AN: I deeply, deeply apologize for taking so long to update! Things just got so chaotic this week and time flew away. Still, I am very thankful that you all have stuck by me! You all are amazing!
There's still hope!
Percy read the article again. He clung to it as if it would disintegrate within the next few minutes. The words remained the same though.
The people still hadn't forgiven Draco for his Death Eater deeds.
Then again, how could the blond have expected anything different? True, Percy had attempted to cover up an amnesia epidemic, but he'd never been hired to kill anyone. It was ludicrous to think he was worse than Draco. It was about time the citizens of Wizarding Britain realized that!
Granted, Percy's lead was not as large as he wanted. In one poll he was up by twelve percent, in another up by ten, and in another only up by five. Still, they were leads, and the margin of error was three percent. There was no denying that he had a commanding lead over Draco.
"Do I have to go to school this morning?"
Percy poked up his head from the parchment.
His daughter sat across the kitchen table from him, snarling. "I don't want to go to school today."
"Now Molly, we both know you need to continue your education," Percy began. "You do not want to be thought of as an idiot, do you?"
"No," She crossed her arms over her chest. "But why do I have to go to school in Peru?"
"Because you wouldn't want to fall too far behind your peers in Britain."
"I can always make up my work later," Molly argued.
"Perhaps, but what if you have to make up your work with Professor Rose? Would you want that?"
Molly's eyes were huge. "Studying with her is worse than hearing everyone speak Spanish all day."
"Indeed it is," Percy replied.
Molly exhaled. "It isn't fair, Daddy. I can't understand a thing anyone is saying. I wish they'd stop speaking Spanish and speak English once in a while."
"Why is this a problem? Yesterday you said you were able to follow along just fine."
"I mean I can copy what they're doing and I know the Latin used in the spells, but I have no idea what any of the students are saying to each other. I hate that they still make me write essays too."
"They let you write them in English and do a translating spell though. At least they're nice enough for that."
"Yes, but I still hate writing. They need to give me other assignments."
"Oh sweetie," Percy set down his paper, stood, leaned over, and kissed his daughter on the forehead. "Very soon we will be back in Britain and you'll be back at your old school. There you can speak English and hang out with all your friends."
She pouted. "I'll still have to deal with that stupid headmaster and my idiotic cousin."
"One of my first acts will be to fire both of them," he promised.
Molly's eyes sparkled. "Really?"
She squealed and threw her arms around him. "Thank you Daddy."
He squeezed her closer to him. "Anytime."
Her frown returned. "What now, Mum?"
"You're going to be late for the school bus if you don't come out here now," Audrey called.
"I hate the stupid school bus," Molly grumbled. "They won't give me a seat of my own."
"Just hang in there. You won't have to deal with it much longer," Percy promised.
Molly gave him a small smile before darting out of the room.
Percy picked up the paper again and scratched his chin. The numbers were promising, but were they too promising? Could there be a catch of some sort? Was there something the pollsters weren't telling him?
He groaned and tossed the parchment onto the table.
"Percy," Ron stumbled into the kitchen, his head in his hands. "Hey Percy, do you know if I have any more anti hangover potions?"
Percy took a deep breath, strolled over to a drawer across the room and opened it. "You have five vials left."
"Great," Ron moaned. "I'll have four once you give me one."
Percy bit his tongue as his brother plodded towards him.
"So, is there anything interesting in the news today?" Ron slurred.
Percy gave him the potion. "Let's just say the reports of my political demise are premature."
Percy scowled. "It means I'm not losing. People will vote for me instead of Draco."
"Oh, that's good, I guess." Ron popped off the cap.
"Indeed it is," Percy then muttered, "It means I don't have to spend much more time with you."
Ron gulped down the vial.
"Do you need more anti hangover potion?" Percy asked.
"Yeah. If you could give me some more I'd like that."
"If you give me a few sols I can get some for you."
Percy furrowed his eyebrows. "You gambled your remaining money away last night, didn't you?"
"Maybe," Ron squeaked.
Percy shook his head.
"Look, I can pay you back later, I swear."
Percy snorted. "The only reason I will pay for your anti hangover potion is because I don't want you hung over around my children."
"Thank you," Ron exhaled.
Percy reached into his pocket and pulled out a few coins. Ron held out his hand and took them.
"That should be enough to tide you over," Percy mumbled.
"Thank you," Ron hugged Percy. "I owe you big time."
"Indeed you do," Percy replied.
Ron skipped out of the room. For a moment, Percy wondered if the would gamble the money away, but decided against asking. It was Ron's business if he wanted to be broke and hungover instead of broke and well.
After two weeks, Percy would not have to endure his brother for another second.
"Do you think Percy bought those poll results?" Ginny asked as she tapped her fingers on George's counter
"I couldn't tell you for sure," Arthur began as he dusted off the cash register. "But given how eager he was to take them from me, my sneaking suspicion is yes."
Ginevra released the breath she'd been holding. "Let's hope so."
"Yes, let's hope so," George replied.
"One article won't be enough. We need to keep the deception going," Ginevra began.
"I can find some new supporters to poll, assuming I can find any," George offered.
"If we have to interview the same ones we can do so," Ginevra answered.
"Fair enough," George replied.
"When you get the new polls just let me know," Arthur folded his hands. "I'll be more than happy to give him another article in the name of being a good father."
"Thanks, Dad," Ginevra replied.
"There's no need to thank me," Arthur's voice was softer. "I've allowed Percy's atrocious behavior to go on for far too long. It's about time I correct some of my previous mistakes."
Ginevra embraced her father. "You were trying to be a good dad."
"I failed though," Arthur wrapped his arms around her. "I punished you for marrying the man of your dreams while I overlooked my sons' faults. That wasn't fair or right."
"It may be too late to undo the damage I have caused, but I can at least help bring some justice to the Wizarding World," Arthur continued. "Once again, I am so sorry I made your life hell when I should have been there for you."
"I'm sorry too, Ginevra," George joined in the embrace. "I was awful to you when you married Draco. I should've respected your decision and not alienated your family."
"Thank you," Ginevra did her best to wrap her arms around both men. "I really appreciate it."
"Don't thank us yet," George released them. "We haven't apologized to Draco yet."
"No," Arthur took a shaky breath. "That will be trickier, but just as necessary. It would also be good to apologize to you children as well."
"We can arrange a family dinner if you're serious about doing so," she replied.
"Let's schedule it soon," Arthur replied.
"We will," Ginevra promised. "Right now, we have a politician to catch."
"Yes, we do," Arthur cleared his throat. "When exactly should I fall ill?"
Ginevra scratched her thigh. "It needs to be before the election."
"Anytime afterwards and he'll see through it," George answered.
"What about the night before?" Arthur suggested.
Ginevra hummed. "He could see through the ruse."
"Not if he thinks I've been barely holding it together until then," Arthur answered.
"Yeah," Ginevra's eyes lit up. "A few coughs here and there, some complaining of aches, and it will all look like a progression."
"Exactly," Arthur replied.
"This, this could actually work," George answered. "With a little luck we might be able to nab Percy."
"Let's hope so," Ginevra replied. "Let's hope we can bring justice to the Wizarding World."
"Yes," Arthur replied. "Let's hope that there's still time to undo the damage we've done."
"Indeed," George answered, hopeful that they still had time.