AN: Thank you for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
What is Rose's problem?
Ron took another gulp of vodka. He swung the half full bottle into the air, splashing some of the liquid onto the armrest of his marmalade recliner. He leaned back. The footrest flew up.
I don't understand. Rose should be thrilled to have a real father in her life. She should want to know everything about me and spend New Years together. Her new resolution should be changing her name to Weasley, not defending Snape at every turn.
Seriously, what is that witch's deal?
Ron took another sip of vodka. Is it possible that Severus Snape is a decent father?
Ron coughed, spilling some of the liquid onto his faded brown pants. No, this is the greasy git, the one who bullied me in school. He hates children, and children hate him. Heck, everyone hates Snape, and Snape hates everyone. There's no way he could raise a child with any kind of love, no way.
Ron wiped his mouth.
Then again, Snape did almost kill me because I kidnapped her. Then he faced down Fenrir for her. I guess that counts for something.
Ron slammed the bottle onto a nearby side table. No, Snape just saved her because he wanted an heir. He was a terrible father to her. I'm sure he neglected, abused and insulted her. Rose is very confused as to what makes a good dad Someone needs to show her what real love really is.
How can I show her love if she won't so much as look at me?
Ron put his head into his hands. I have to think of something fast. If I can't convince her to give me money then Raul and Gregorio are going to take my brooms and won't leave me with enough galleons to buy new ones. The Bluebottle 4002 is coming out soon! I'll need more than a few sickles to buy it. Rose would understand why I need it if I just explain it to her. If she protests, I'll tell her to look at the broom as an heirloom since I might give it to her when I die.
Ron's eyes grew. "Yeah, that's what I should do. I'll give her a family heirloom. Then she'll understand that she is a Weasley and help me out."
Ron leapt from his chair, only to pause. Is it really ethical to ask Mum for a piece of jewelry the night Dad asks for a divorce?
"Pfft, I'll just wait a few days," Ron waved his hand. "Mum will be more than happy to give it to me then, and Rose will love receiving it."
In the meantime, I need to leave. There's another baccarat game at the El Conjeto Afortunado. With my Christmas bonus I may be able to win a few thousand galleons. Who knows? Maybe I'll win enough to pay off all my other debts!
Ron stumbled to the floo with a renewed sense of optimism.
"I honestly don't know what to feel."
Draco massaged his wife's back. She shuddered and sat up straighter. Then she rolled the sheets over her legs.
"I never thought Dad would leave Mum," Ginevra continued. "I mean, I knew they had problems, but never in my life did I imagine they would divorce."
"I'll admit their divorce caught me off guard as well," Draco admitted before his hand stilled.
"Don't get me wrong," Ginevra pulled the sheets up to her waist. "Divorce is the best thing for Dad. Merlin knows he must be going deaf from all of Mum's hysterics."
Draco suppressed a chuckle.
"Still, growing up I believed they were the epitome of a happily married couple. We seemed to be a happy family, until," Ginevra bowed her head and lowered her voice. "Until I disrupted everything."
"Excuse me?" Draco asked.
Ginevra clasped his hands. "You know that I love you and that nothing will ever make me regret marrying you, correct?"
"Of course I know that," Draco replied.
"I have never doubted that marrying you was the best decision of my life but…"
The moonlight illuminated her skin as well as the tears in her toffee eyes. "I feel guilty for raising everyone's hopes up about becoming Mrs. Harry Potter."
Draco rubbed her hands with his thumbs.
"I couldn't keep quiet about my crush on Harry. He told me I understood him on a level nobody else did. The family was so excited about the idea of Harry becoming an official Weasley. They wanted their grandchildren to be Potters. I gave them that hope," Ginevra shook her head. "Looking back, it was wrong to do so."
"You never gave anyone any false hope."
"Yes I did. I told them that I loved planned to love Harry forever, and that didn't happen."
"You were in love with Potter for a time. Nobody can fault you for that," Draco answered.
"I know, and then I fell out of love with him and realized I wanted to spend my life with you," Ginevra released his hands. "It should have been so simple. People fall out of love with each other all the day. Everyone should have the right to marry whoever they want without hassle…"
"But it doesn't work that way," Draco answered.
"No," Ginevra whispered. "It didn't work that way with my family. They could forgive Percy for abandoning them, but they never forgave me for abandoning Harry."
Draco leaned in closer to Ginevra.
"The first fissures in the family came when I announced that I was dating you."
"So you feel partly responsible for your parents' divorce."
Ginevra groaned. "It all sounds so stupid. I have a husband who loves me and four children whom I adore. Life could not be going any better for me. Yet I still feel responsible for the divide in my family."
"I highly doubt everything is your fault."
"It is my fault, at least partially. My family was fine as a child, but broke apart when I left Harry."
"Are you sure things were so perfect when you were growing up?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well," Draco wiped the tear from her eye. "Things are not always as they appear. We are capable of misremembering things."
"But something like this?" Ginevra asked.
Draco shrugged. "Perhaps."
Ginevra's lower lip quivered.
"I'll use myself as an example of how things are misremembered," Draco began. "When I was a child, I believed my parents could do no wrong. As awful as it sounds, I truly did believe in pureblood supremacy. I hated your family because I believed all of you were blood traitors."
"But you don't believe that anymore," Ginevra replied.
"No," Draco answered. "I learned through very bitter experience that my parents were wrong. While I still love them and believe they did the best they could for me, some of my best memories are tainted by the knowledge of how wrong we were to ever believe in pureblood supremacy."
"No offense, but my parents' divorce has little to do with pureblood supremacy."
"True, but after the war I was forced to reexamine my life and my childhood. I had to face some difficult truths, such as the fact that things were not as they appeared."
"You've always blamed yourself for your parents' problems, but the reality is that if their marriage was so perfect, they would have found a way to accept your marriage to me without divorcing each other," Draco concluded.
"I suppose there was some tension growing up," Ginevra tapped her finger on the duvet. "I remember Mum getting overly obsessive with things such as the perfect meal. It would drive Dad up a wall, but that all seemed like a quirk. It wasn't often, at least I didn't think it was."
"Hmmm," Draco replied.
"Mum was someone who rarely compromised. I remember a time when I was eight, and Mum was insistent on spending Dad's bonus on new curtains. Dad wanted to save it up in case one of us wanted to go to the university. Mum was unhinged about it for a week. Dad relented in order to keep the peace, but he seemed to resent it."
"Then there was the whole Fleur thing. Mum hated Fleur and let everyone know about it. Fortunately Fleur was able to prove herself, but Hermione," Ginevra exhaled. "Mum was so cruel to Hermione during her relationship with Viktor Krum and then later when she became pregnant with Rose."
"She was beyond awful to Hermione," Draco answered.
Ginevra's eyes widened. "I used to think she was standing up for the family, but I wonder if she was only upset because people weren't doing what she wanted."
"I think that's exactly what happened," Draco replied.
"She always has been fairly selfish."
"Yes, she has been."
Ginevra cocked her head. "You've thought my mother was selfish for a long time, haven't you?"
"I tend not to have a high opinion of people who attempt to imprison me for a crime I didn't commit," he admitted.
She gave him a half smile. "Fair enough."
Draco kissed her on the cheek.
She choked. "If you thought my mother was a selfish bitch, then why did you not speak up sooner?"
He hummed. "I did not want to make things anymore tense than they already were. As long as she did not harm you or our children, then I was willing to tolerate her antics."
"You were willing to tolerate her for me?"
"More or less."
She threw her arms around him, "Draco Malfoy, you are an amazing man."
He embraced her. "Don't ever forget that."
"Ginevra," Draco released her. "I love you and the life we've built together. You should never blame yourself for your parents' problems, ever."
"I won't," she promised. "Mum and Dad's problems have nothing to do with me. I know on an intellectual level, but…"
"No buts, none of this is your fault."
"It isn't, and I refuse to blame myself for my mother's poor behavior."
He kissed her on the forehead. "I am glad to hear it."
They turned around.
"Yes, Orion?" Ginevra asked.
The child emerged from the shadows. "I can't sleep."
"Why not?" Draco asked.
He rubbed his eyes. "I don't know, I just can't."
"Would you like for us to read you another story?" Ginevra asked.
"Maybe," he answered.
"Okay, yes, I want another story."
"Okay." Draco got up. "Which one would you like me to read?"
There was a spark in Orion's eyes. "I want to hear The Fountain of Fair Fortune."
"Very well," Draco replied as he extended his hand. "We can read that one."
Orion took it. "Thank you Daddy."
"You are most welcome," Draco answered.
Ginevra brushed a tear from her eye as she watched them exit the bedroom.
Thank Merlin she'd never listened to her mother.