Chapter 35 Call to Battle
Draco was disappointed when Ginny had to go back to Hogwarts, but the last day of vacation had come, she and Luna both went.
"Isn't that a bad idea?" George had asked. After all, they'd just broken her out of the Malfoy's place that was run by Death Eaters, and wanted to go back to a school- that was run by Death Eaters.
"I'll be fine," she had said in her dreamy voice and no one dared to delve into a deeper conversation with the girl.
Fred had cat-called when Ginny had given Draco a kiss goodbye, and Ron had rolled his eyes and glared at Draco. But when Hermione hugged Fred and proceeded to give him a peck on the lips, Ron looked like he was going to burst.
"Wha-you, he-how?" he'd stuttered.
"Careful Ronald, you might hurt yourself," she said. Fred looked like he felt sorry for Ron, but Draco knew that it'd take a while for things to smooth out between Hermione and Fred. But he's still taken the opportunity to jab Fred in the ribs, teasing in his own way.
Malfoys were too dignified to cat-call.
They had all gone their separate ways. Harry, Ron and Hermione had conspired behind closed doors for days, and Draco had exasperatedly said to the twins one night, "Seriously? I mean, we know what they're doing...why keep us out?"
George shrugged. "Maybe they forgot."
When Hermione polyjuiced herself to be Draco's deranged aunt, he'd thought she'd gone mental, but then the implications set in and he applauded her idiotic Gryffindor tendency to take on impossible tasks.
"They're going to break into Gringotts," he said the evening after everyone had left.
The twins just stared at him like he'd gone mental.
Draco found himself outside that night, enjoying the cool air and the light from the full moon. He hadn't planned on visiting Dobby's grave, but he eventually found himself over there and decided to sit down.
Maybe he ought to say something?
"Hey Dobs. I uh, just wanted to say thanks. For helping out all those times in the past. I never said that before. And, I hope that wherever you are, Libby is there too and you're both happy and free."
Draco felt silly talking like this, but for some reason it made him feel better. He'd not thought of Libby in a while, and it made him feel guilty. When Dobby helped them get away, and then died for it, it brought it back. Libby had done the same thing for him and Fred.
Too many people were already dying in this awful war!
He found his thought wandering to his mother, and was surprised when he started to tear up. He'd not done that in a while.
"So, is this the new popular place to cry? Between you and Hermione..."
Draco jumped a little and looked up to see Fred.
Wiping away a stray tear that had fallen, Draco said,"Hermione? So, is that why she kissed you? Cause if your hoping for the same from me..."
Fred groaned. "What is with you and making jokes about...us?" He said the word us with a ridiculous expression in us face that made Draco laugh.
"Because you make it way too easy."
Fred sobered up a little. "Were you close?" He nodded to the headstone.
"Not really. I played with him a few times when I was younger, but my father put an end to that pretty quickly. I just-I was thinking of others who've died already."
The last few words came out as a whisper.
"She'd still be alive if I'd just grabbed her instead of stupefying her like she'd wanted."
Fred looked angry in the dim light, and Draco felt a jolt of surprise.
"You blame yourself for my Mother's death? Don't! You did what she wanted, and believe me, she was stubborn. If she'd set her mind on something, there as no way you changed her mind." Draco let out a strangled laugh. He'd not really cried over his mother's death since the incident with Potter in the bathroom last year, and now he felt like he was choking on his sorrow.
He hadn't realized how much he missed her.
Fred leaned over and drew Draco into a awkward hug as tears streamed down his face. It reminded him of that time he'd first confessed everything to Fred, and was surprised at just how much had changed since then.
"Don't die please. You're the closest thing I think I've ever had to a brother, and I just don't want to lose anyone else."
Fred pulled back from the hug, staring at Draco in surprise. "Really? Well, in that case..."
Draco watched as Fred pulled out his wand, held it up, and said said, "I solemnly swear on my magic that I will not die."
"You shouldn't do that!" Draco said.
"Why not? If I die, then I won't have magic anyways..."
Draco made a face at him, and the moment was lost.
"D'ya reckon they really broke into Gringotts?" Fred said as they made their way back to the cottage.
"Pretty sure," Draco answered.
And sure enough, it was all over in the newspapers the next day.
Potter Sighted At Gringotts!
Escape On A Dragon!
Gringotts Torn Apart!
They weren't sure what to believe in the articles, but Bill, who'd thankfully not been working that day, came to them right before lunch and explained how horrible it was.
"Goblins slaughtered left and right."
"But, they'd never do that!" Fred exclaimed. Draco agreed. The golden trio slaughtering Goblins? True, they were unpleasant creatures, and if they'd gone to get the horcrux that Draco had figured out was probably in his aunt's vault, he could see them take a few drastic measures.
Like a dragon...
"No," Bill said. "I talked to a few survivors. Apparently soon after the break in, You-Know-Who came in and was so furious-mad with rage was how they put it-that he wouldn't stop."
Draco felt sick.
It was at about five o'clock when they got the patronus.
"Come to the Hogs Head. We'll make our way to Hogwarts from there. Battle is upon us," the weasel said in Arthur Weasley's voice.
Fleur paled drastically, and Bill stood up from his place at the table and started trying to try convince her why she should stay there. Apparently she was expecting their first child.
Fred, Draco, and George all exchanged looks as the implications of what could happen in the next few hours sank in.
"Well, here goes nothing."