Disclaimer: We all know by now that I don't own Draco or Ginny, but I enjoy doing interesting things with them :)

Divide and Conquer - An Amici ed Amanti Cookie

“Mummy,” Ava said loudly, announcing her presence in her Mum’s sitting room.

Ginny looked up from the book she’d been reading. “Mummy? I don’t know you.” She feigned disbelief. “What have you done with my daughter?”

“Mummy, I’m right here!”

“You couldn’t be my daughter Ava! She wouldn’t willingly put on a skirt nor have her hair in cute braids.”

The little girl spun around showing off her outfit. She was neatly dressed in a red and navy tartan plaid skirt, cream turtleneck under a navy jumper, cream tights and black Mary Janes. Her hair had been pulled back in twin French braids. “Yes, I would!”

“I demand that you return my daughter this instant,” Ginny said with a giggle.

Ava flung herself into her mother’s waiting arms. “You’re so silly, Mummy.”

She smothered her baby girl in kisses until she started to squirm. “And just what are you so dressed up for, poppet?”

“Da is taking me shopping.”

“Is he now?”

“Uh huh.”

“And what are you shopping for?”

Ava’s eyes grew wide as she looked around for any sign of her father before whispering, “It’s a secret.”

“It’s okay if you tell me, I’m your Mummy.”

“No, I can’t!”

“It’s okay, you can tell me.”

“Stop trying to interrogate my daughter, you evil witch,” Draco said sternly, a small smile playing at the corner of his mouth. “It’s secret business we’re about and you’re on a need to know basis.”

“Da!” Ava squealed, leaping off her mother’s lap to grab his hand and distracting him. “I’m all ready!”

Ginny took the opportunity to close the space between her and husband. “I think I need to know.”

“I told you, it’s secret business.”

She pressed against him seductively and purred in his ear, “I know just how to extract that information.”

Draco could feel his body’s pleasant, but ill timed reaction to his wife’s attention. He slipped his free arm around her waist and pulled her closer, nibbling her neck. “Yes, I do believe you could.”

“Tell me what you’re up to before I have to torture it out of you.” Her hands slid dangerously low down his backside.

“Mother,” Rauri said loudly as she entered the room, effectively killing the mood. “Not in front of Ava!”

“I guess torture is out,” Draco sighed, sounding rather disappointed.

Ginny sighed. “Yes, it does look that way, doesn’t it?”

“What not in front of me?” Ava asked.

“Nothing,” Rauri assured her sister while making sure her mauve sweater was neat over her grey pleated wool skirt. “I have my list and my purse so I’m ready now, Da.”

“I could change my shoes and go with you,” Ginny suggested.

Draco shook his head slightly. “I don’t think that’s such a good idea, Gin. The girls planned this on their own.”

“Oh. I thought shopping was a girl’s only activity.”

“They’ve saved up their money and they want to go buy something special for-”

“Li Li,” Ava supplied helpfully, wrapping her arms around her mother. “We’re buying him a present!”

“And why are you buying him a present, my darlings? It’s past his birthday and it’s not Christmas yet.”

Rauri joined her sister in hugging their Mum. “We wanted to get him a Manor warming present.”

“And because we love him,” Ava chimed in.

“Sounds like a good enough reason to me. What were you thinking of getting him?” Ginny felt the not so subtle nudge her older daughter gave her younger one.

“We don’t know yet. That is why Da is taking us to Diagon Alley so we can look.”

She gave her husband a questioning look that he returned with a sly smile. “Are we ready to go girls? Rauri has a cello lesson at three,” Draco reminded everyone.

“Yes, Da,” Rauri said with a sigh, pulling away so she could wrap her white rabbit fur trimmed gray wool cloak around her shoulders before handing her sister a navy cloak and heading off to the Floo network fireplace. “I’ve been ready unlike other people.”

Ginny helped Ava fasten her cloak. “Now remember, you need to pick out something Liam will like and not something you want.”

“Yes, Mummy,” she said before darting off to join her sister in their father’s study in front of the fireplace.

“That goes for you too. Don’t let them buy him a duck or anything.”

Draco kissed his wife soundly. “Don’t worry, no ducks. And I’m sorry about all of that.”

“You better make it up to me later,” she threatened, wrapping her arms around his neck and trailing tender kisses along his jaw.

He hands found their way to her hips so he could hold her soft body against him. “I’d like to do it now…”

“I wouldn’t object,” she purred in his ear.

“Can you do that later?” Rauri huffily asked while tapping her foot impatiently. “We’ve a time restraint.”

“I feel sorry the poor bloke that ends up married to that one,” Ginny whispered.

He kissed her one last time. “I’m starting to see the value of marriage contracts…”

Draco gathered his daughters and Flooed to the Leaky Cauldron before Ginny could tempt him into staying home. It wouldn’t have taken much convincing either. After vault denting, but no present for Liam, stops in Magical Instruments, Quality Quidditch Supplies, Flourish and Blotts, and the Stationery Shop the girls managed to maneuver him into Magical Menagerie.

“I don’t think you’ll find anything for Liam in here, girls,” Draco stated firmly. He knew that they could spend hours wandering through the store looking at all the different animals for sale and he’d eventually have to put his foot down and tell them no that they couldn’t bring home the entire store.

Ava looked up at him with her big blue eyes. “Daddy, just a few minutes. Please?”

“Yes, Daddy, please?” Rauri echoed, squeezing his hand lightly. “Just to look.”

“All right, five minutes,” he gave in, already regretting his inability to be strong and say no. He opened the door for them to enter. “I’ll be right here at the door. Remember, I can see you.”

They darted off, hand in hand, to peruse the cages and tanks filled with every kind of animal imaginable. After a few minutes Ava traipse over to him looking rather hopeful. “Da, can I have a tarantula? They have one that looks like Avice. Please?”

Avice, a Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula, had nearly cost him his marriage and his oldest son when he’d allowed Gareth to convince him that was what he wanted for a pet. It wasn’t going to happen again. He enjoyed the comfort of his wife’s bed too much. “No,” he said firmly.

“Please, Daddy? I’ll love her and take care of her just like Gareth! Please.”


“I’ll buy it with my own money, please?”

He could feel the slight wavering of his resolve. “No, your mother would murder us both.”

“Please, Daddy,” she sniffled.

He took a deep breath. She wasn’t making this easy. “How about a hamster?” It was cute, it was small and made little mess. Ginny would be mad, but not enough to commit murder.

Ava brightened considerably. “How about something that eats hamsters?”

“You already have a cat, remember,” he reminded her.

“Oh, yeah.”

“How about a lizard?” There a fair compromise he figured. Small, relatively little mess and contained in a tank. Ginny could only get so mad right?

She cocked her head, giving him a thoughtful look before a wide grin exposed her missing front teeth. “I think they have fire belly newts!”

Draco was watching Ava excitedly pick out four of the little brown and red lizards to go in the tank they’d just decided on when he felt a tug on his cloak. He looked down to see Rauri looking expectantly up at him.

“Da, I found what I want to get Liam,” she said.

“In here? What on earth did you find?”

She pulled him by the hand in the direction she wanted him to follow once the last newt had been put in a container for transportation. She stopped in front of a cage with two little black and white kittens entertaining themselves by play fighting. “Them.”

“Lemme see!” Ava said, trying to stand on her tip toes, but still wasn’t quite tall enough.

Draco picked her up so she could see. “I don’t know, princess. Liam might not want the hassle of having two cats to take care of.”

“Them,” the co-conspirator agreed, nodding that she was in definite accordance with her big sister all the while sticking her fingers through the cage in an effort to pet one of the cats.

“They’re Egyptian Maus, brothers,” Rauri continued on. “They need to be kept together.”

“Rauri,” Draco said trying to head this idea off at the pass. “Has Liam said he wanted a pet? If he gets the Quidditch gig he’ll be away for long periods of time.”

“That’s the brilliance of cats, Da. They don’t require full time attention,” she stated matter-of-factly. “By getting the brothers, they will have each other when Liam isn’t there. Besides, Costa will be there to take of them when he’s not. And it will be nice to have someone to come home to instead of an empty manor. Just think of how excited they’ll be when their Daddy comes home.”

It was true and he knew it. Hammy and Audrey were often the first to greet him when he arrived home from work. Sure he made a big fuss about not liking them, but it was all just a front. He really did enjoy quiet time reading with one and sometimes both curled up beside him on the sofa. Maybe it would be a good thing for his oldest child - teach him responsibility. “Well…”

“We’ve been saving our pocket money to buy him a present and this is what we want to get him. Isn’t that right Ava?”

“Uhm,” she whimpered, burying her face against her father’s shoulder. “IspentallmymoneyonlizardsI’msorry.”

Rauri bit her bottom lip as tears started to form in her big brown eyes. “How could you, Ava? We were supposed to pool our money. Now, I don’t have enough to buy them both.”

“Oh baby, don’t cry,” Draco spoke quickly. He couldn’t handle her tears. It just tore his heart out. “Da will take care of everything. Why don’t you pick out something else to spend your money on.”

“Thank you, Daddy!” she squealed, throwing her arms around him and hugging him tight. “You’re the best.”

Ava made a show of sniffling before shooting a wicked grin at her sister over their father’s shoulder as they made their way toward the front counter. All told they left Magical Menagerie with four fire belly newts, two Egyptian Maus, a small floppy eared brown and mostly white bunny and all the various items needed for their care.

They Flooed to Malfoy Manor just as Liam was finishing up an intense yoga session with his personal trainer, a lanky lass named Alison, in the conservatory. He hadn’t even had the chance to get up off the floor before being attacked by his sisters.

“Rug Rat and Squirt!” he managed to grunt out. “What are you doing here? I thought you weren’t allowed to be here!”

“Da brought us,” Ava said before kissing his cheek.

Rauri leaned back and grinned at him. “We brought you a pressie!”


“Yes, we picked it out ourselves and bought it with our own money!” Ava said excitedly.

“Son,” Draco said, finally catching up with his daughters. He had a small basket in hand. “I do believe this belongs to you now.”

“Da,” he replied, greeting his father. “And just what is this?”

“Go on, open it!” Rauri squealed. Ava reached for the latch to help her brother open his present, but she slapped her hands away. “Let him do it!”

“Yoga?” Draco queried.

“Yes,” Liam drawled. “I started doing it with Mum after she had Rauri. It’s relaxing and really helps me stay limber with all the strength training I do.”

He smiled then, remembering the direct benefits of Ginny’s daily yoga sessions. “I can definitely see its merits.”

“Daddy!” Rauri complained loudly. “Stop distracting him!”

Liam carefully undid the latch holding the lid of the basket in place. The lid popped up as a little silver kitten with black spots popped out follow quickly by another that could only be the first one’s twin. “Wow, two kittens…” he trailed off, clearly surprised.

Ava nodded, reaching for one of the cats. “Uh huh! We picked them out just for you.”

“Do you like them?” Rauri asked. “They are brothers just like you and Gareth!”

“Don’t squeeze him too hard, Squirt,” Liam admonished softly, rescuing the helpless little kitten from his sister’s death grip. “Yes, I like them very much.”

“Now you won’t be all alone here at the Manor. You’ll have the kitties to keep you company!”

“I know. Thank you.”

“What’re going to name them?” Ava asked.

“I don’t know, but why don’t you help me decide.”

After half and hour of heavy debating, the feisty kitten was named Byron and the one that demanded constant attention was dubbed Shelley. Draco returned home with Rauri a few minutes before her afternoon cello lesson. Ava had stayed behind with Liam to teach him how to care for the kittens. He would bring her home when he came over for dinner a little while later.

“You are not allowed to go shopping alone with the girls ever again,” Ginny said from the doorway of their youngest child’s room.

Draco was putting the finishing touches on the newt habitat when she found him. “I don’t know if you want to see what Ava has here.”

“Fire belly newts. She Flooed me all excited.”

“They really are cute little things.”

“If you insist, but you do know that your daughters conned you into this.”

He sighed. “I know, but it’s just so hard to say no to their cute little faces.”

“Let me guess, Ava started out with something she knew was unobtainable and bargained you down to what she really wanted in the first place?”

“Yes, how did you know?” The realization that his youngest daughter - his sweet, precious, darling baby girl - had just deftly manipulated him into getting what she wanted hit him hard.

“Did she call you Daddy and maybe shed a few tears?”


“She cranked it up a notch to make sure the end result was what she wanted.”

“She’s a sly girl, that one.”

Ginny laughed. “You’re just now realizing that? So what did Rauri take you for?”

“A floppy eared bunny that she hasn’t named yet. But I understand Bixby and Fu-Fu are in the running.”

“That thing had best be house trained,” she warned, crossing the room to take her dejected husband in her arms. “So did she use the same tactic on you?”

“No,” Draco said slowly, remembering how it all went down without his knowledge. “She approached me about the kittens from a logical standpoint of why they would make perfect gift for Liam.”

“Mmm, then something tragic happened and the waterworks started up? Maybe a gratuitous Daddy thrown in for good measure?”

“Yes, now that I think about it. Ava used her pocket money to buy the newts instead of pooling it with Rauri. Wait, how do you know all this?”

“I was their age once, my love,” Ginny said with a wide smile. “Only I didn’t have a partner in crime.”

“That is a scary thought,” he ribbed her.

“Don’t worry, I’m not angry with you because there was no way you could have put a stop to it.”

“That’s good to know,” he said, wrapping his arms around her and kissing the top of her head. “How did this happen? My baby girls have gone bad. I’m almost sure that Ava would scare the knickers off of Voldemort!”

“I don’t think she’s quite that bad yet,” Ginny chuckled. “But she’s still young and she is a Malfoy.”

“Don’t tell me that,” Draco whimpered. He really didn’t want to know this about his daughters. He wanted to live his life believing they are perfect and innocent in every way.

“Oh, my poor darling,” she purred, “I think I need to take your mind off the evil spawn that are our daughters for a little while.”

“How do you plan to do that?” His bottom lip jutted out slightly with his pout.

“Well, Rauri has a lesson for the next two hours and Ava is with Liam and her bed looks so inviting…” she trailed off as she focused on laving his neck with tender kisses. Her hand quickly found its way inside of his robes and under the waistband of his trousers.

“I think I know where they get their penchant naughtiness from now,” he uttered before the ability to think deserted him.


As always, thanks to Nokomis for the beta :)
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