Chapter 5: The discovery of the snakes
After dinner Harry and Hermione decided to show the snakes a well-known game among them, Chinese checkers, assuming that they had never seen a game like that before, having seen the board, Theo, Blaise and Draco wondered how it was played.
-'And how do we play this?'- Draco asked curiously whilst staring at the board.
-'Well the objective of the game is to pass all your chips to the side opposite before the other players, you can skip your chips and those of the others if you have a space in front of the chip that you want to skip'- Hermione attempted to explain the object of the game.
They played four games, of which Hermione won three and Draco one, but not much after that and while Hermione was discussing the plans for the next day in the parlor, Hermione had invited Harry and the boys over to hers for tea.
Draco was sat on a sofa with Blaise and Theo. Within a few seconds he started to feel bad, but didn't want the others knowing about, he couldn't hide it for long because the headache that he usually felt during these episodes was increasingly on the rise.
-'Don't you think Draco?'- Blaise asked his advice on something so trivial.
Draco did not reply, he had his eyes strongly closed and he focused on getting rid of the pain he felt in his head.
-'Hey, are you ok?'- Asked a worried Theo.
Draco still unanswered trying to focus on the pain going away, but he managed to release a quiet sigh. -'Granger, help me'- and that was all Draco was able to bite out, after that he held his head with his hands and bent over in pain.
As if she had been listening to the soft murmur, Hermione ran to where Draco was and knelt next to him, Harry just followed wordlessly behind Hermione where Draco was and sighed with sadness, he was hoping Draco was going to feel well, if only for that day, but it seemed near impossible.
-'Draco can you hear me? What happened? Lay down a bit, yes, yes like that'- Hermione shooed the other lads of the sofa whilst she helped Draco to curl up on the sofa.
-'Granger… again… not… see…light…hurt'- was all Draco was able to get out.
-'Got it, Harry, please'- Hermione turned to Harry and as if he understood her, Harry whipped his wand out and dimmed all the lights. Answer Hermione and turn to Harry.
-'There is an empty bedroom on the bottom floor he can occupy for now'- with his wand already out ready to magically lift him up, Hermione held her hand out stopping him whilst she took her own wand out and personally took Draco to the spare room. Harry looked at Blaise and Theo only to find them frightened and confused.
-'Well, you wasn't supposed to know about this but Draco has a health problem, we don't know the cause, we only know that he's going to be blind for a little while'- Harry explained cautiously as he lit the lights back up.
-'But he was fine a moment ago'- Exclaimed Blaise with his hands up.
-'Yes, that's part of the problem, we don't know when he can start to lose his sight, we also don't know when it will come back again, and according to my research it might sometimes be painful for his sight to go or come back, but again we don't have any clue about the time or something that could tell us the symptoms for each episode'- Harry sat on the sofa he originally occupied with Hermione.
-'So we can only see as our friend suffers? We can't do anything?'- Said an exasperated Theo
-'For now yes, you only can watch, after today, I hope you can help me with the research, I have a few clues, but I need more than that to make a counter spell or a healing spell'- Explained Harry with a tired tone as he rolled his head on the back of the sofa.
-'Why did Draco tell you about his health condition and not us? We were writing to each other for a year before all of this and he didn't mention any of this, is it that he trusts you more than us? We're his friends, or so I thought'- Blaise felt offended as Theo dragged him back to the sofa they were sitting on with Draco.
-'Draco, as you know has way too much pride, he didn't want you to know his condition, and he doesn't not trust you, is only that he doesn't want you to worry, yes I know it sounds stupid, but I can understand how Malfoy feels about this, I'm the same, I don't want Hermione to worry about me, but she somehow discovers everything'- Said smiling Harry.
-'I understand, but it still feels so frustrating'- Theo nodded along with his Italian friend.
Hermione entered the room with a tired look etched across her face, she sat on the sofa next to Harry and sighed.
-'How is he Mione?'- Harry allowed Hermione's head to rest on his shoulder
-'He got a little feverish, but he's going to be ok, he's sleeping now, I'm afraid that we're going to have to stay here Harry'- Hermione looked up at Harry and smiled, she hated to have to impose on her friend like this.
-'Don't you worry your pretty little head, you know you are never an inconvenience. You look tired Mione, go and rest'- Harry glared softly at his friend.
-'It's not like that Harry, I'm worried, what kind of curse could cause this kind of damage? And who was so evil to create that kind of curse, it's painful to see someone suffer like Malfoy, It's worse than he crusio curse'- Hermione trembled next to Harry as memories came flooding back.
-'Don't worry, I will find a solution, these two have volunteered to help me, so you can go and rest for a bit. Tomorrow you have work as normal but for me I think I'm going to work at home. Is anybody wanting any supper?'- Harry offered as he moved Hermione into a more comfortable position.
-'Yes, an 'emergency dinner' please Harry, I'm going to check on Malfoy, have some food before I go to sleep, I trust you, I know you'll find a solution which I am glad you're not alone in your search'- Hermione smiled a small smile of kindness to the occupants of the room before leaving to check on Draco.
-'Emergency dinner, has Granger had a knock on the head we have already had dinner?'- asked Theo to Blaise
-'It's a code that Hermione and me invented during the war, the emergency dinner consists of only a cup of tea, and some cookies or bread with marmalade'- Harry stood to make their supper before Hermione's return.
-'Isn't that only a light dinner?'- Asked Blaise confused
-'Haha yes, but like I told you it was a code, it has another meaning behind that'- Harry laughed as Theo and Blaise came to help him.
Hermione was in the guest's room that was now assigned to Draco, she was next to him checking his fever, sighing in relief when she notice that the fever had significantly gone down. Noting down any notes in her pager, she tucked Draco in, patted his hand gently and headed to the kitchen and for her dinner.
Hermione had a cup of tea and a slice of toast, staying out of the conversation between the boys. Harry was getting slightly high rate in trying to explain to Theo and Blaise about emergency dinner concept.
Thanking Harry for the food she rose from the table to once again go and check up on Draco, but this time she was surprised, he was rolling on the bed similar to when someone has a nightmare, she approached to him and touch his head.
"Merlin, he has such fever, but how? He was alright when I left, oh god, I hate seeing people suffer, and on top of that he has a nightmare" thought Hermione.
-'Malfoy, wake up, come on, wake up'- Hermione prodded gently.
-'No, don't do that to her, please Aunt I beg you, YOU, MOVE! DO SOMETHING SHE'S GOING TO KILL THEM! SAY SOMETHING!'- Draco shouted into the dark room in despair. -'No, don't cry, don't cry please, please'- Draco pleaded and begged in his nightmare.
"Is he dreaming what I'm thinking? The time when we were at his manor, is he saying what he was thinking at that moment? He wanted to do something, he wanted to save me, he was begging for me" Hermione thought with sadness. -'Malfoy, wake up, it's only a nightmare, it all passed long ago, its ok your safe …. I am safe'- Hermione whispered the last bit to herself more than anything but of course Draco still heard her.
Suddenly Draco woke up and saw Hermione standing next to him, he was sweating part because of the fever and partly the nightmares fault.
-'Granger, you're alive… I am so glad'- before he could notice the tears began to flow
-'I'm sorry, I'm really sorry, I couldn't do anything … sorry, sorry, I'm glad you and Potter are alive'- Malfoy still crying, tried desperately to wipe away his tears.
-'Oh dear, let those tears flow, cry, cry and let the pain go, listen well Mal… ahem Draco, neither Harry or me blame you, it was a hard time, and in a war you only have two destinies: you live or you die, you chose to live, and I have to say it was a wise decision, don't blame yourself that much, good or bad it's in the past, If you want Harry and me will be here for you, until you shut us out'-Hermione moved to sit on the bed and made large circles on Draco's back with her hand, Draco rested his head on Hermione's chest and cried himself to sleep, a first in a long line of years.
Hermione didn't have a choice or heart to move and so she got comfy and rested next to him, in the middle of the night when Harry got out of bed for a glass of water he saw a light coming from the spare room, walking in quietly he saw the scene in front of him and smiled. Walking closer to the bed Harry rearranged the bedding so both were covered before dimming all lights and left in silence.
The next morning Hermione woke up early and went to work quietly, of course Harry saw her off and made sure she had taken some lunch with her before he moved around the house to start his own work, when the snakes decided to wake up they looked for Harry immediately.
-'Potter… are you busy?'- Theo knocked on Harry's studios door and waited for a response.
-'No, come in'- Harry sat behind his desk with piles of papers swamping his frame.
-'Blaise and I are going to head down for some breakfast, and then can we join you …. Erm may I ask how's Draco today?'- Said Theo a bit shy.
-'He's still sleeping, but he's ok don't worry Hermione checked in on him before she left, I think I shall accompany you in the hunt for food and then we can concentrate in the investigation fully'- Leaving all his papers on his desk Harry followed the two snakes downstairs. -Morning Blaise- Said Harry smiling at Blaise's look, he was half awake and half dressed
-'M'ning P'ter 'nd T'o'- Blaise greeted still sleepily.
Theo and Harry were laughing all the way to the kitchen at the sight of Blaise whom greeted them.
After the breakfast, they discussed Draco and how he could have got the curse, Harry explained to them that it was caused by a very old curse or so that was what the healer said.
After a breakfast of porridge and coffee they searched through the vast books in the library, time to time one of them would go and check on Malfoy, hours later Harry left the two snakes in the library and started his ministry work in his study. He did very much worry about Malfoy but he still had a job to alongside of Hermione.
-Look at this Theo, I remember my late father talking about this, the dark mark had this kind of curse, my father told me that it wasn't a simple mark it contains many spells and curses, and in this book explains more or less the health curses you could use behind a mark like that- Blaise lifted a book up for Theo to glance through.
-'Really? In this book I find this curse that could make you lose your sight, oh look it's also mentioned in your book, but how… I don't want to ask, its well know how the dark lord enjoyed to invent curses, anyway my mother also said that in the moment that you got that mark you get yourself cursed, I think she knew about something early on, but why is only Malfoy affected? There're many death eaters and I don't know of any that have that kind of symptoms as of yet anyway'- Theo tapped on the book with his fingers.
-'If only your mother wasn't on St Mungo's Mental Ward, we could have asked her'- Blaise sighed, wondering if Mrs Nott let slip of something she knew to somebody she should not have.
-'Yes, we're so close and yet so far'- Theo almost threw the book across the room.
Both snakes looked at each other and sighed in resignation. Harry entered the library and walked towards them to read what literature they had found he saw the book in the middle of the guys and his face lit up.
-'What a great discover guys, you found the curse!'- Said Harry in surprise
-'But we don't know how it was casted on Malfoy and why does it only affect him? We're too far away to know a solution'- Theo deflated while Blaise hit his head gently on the table
-'As how it was casted it's easy, you have the answer here'- Harry pointed at an image of a mark about ¾ of the page.
-'You already know that Malfoy has the dark mark on his left arm, and that's how he get the curse, why it only affects him, I'm not sure but it could be because he is the youngest death eater I don't know anyone that had the mark that was the same age as Malfoy, the only thing left is how to lift the curse … hmmm … leave that to me knowing what kind of curse it is I can make many things.'- The two boys lifted their heads up and just stared at him.
-'You see, I have many books in my ministry office that could help us a bit, and also a secret weapon that may come in help'- Said Harry calmly, but he jumped in surprise at first when he looked at the two of them, they were hiding their faces in their hands, Harry was staring at them and notice something that put a warm smile on his face, they were crying from relief knowing that their friend would be saved.
-'Come on guys, you're so sensitive, let's have some tea, its time, and Hermione is coming over soon, I checked on Malfoy before coming in here, he is awake and waiting to see you'- Said Harry and left the room
Theo and Blaise smiled at each other and walked where Malfoy, Hermione and Harry were preparing the things to start tea.