Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 10

“Lord Voldemort…” he began, causing Elphaba to take a sharp intake of breath, “built his ideals on the old beliefs of pure-blood superiority..”

Tell me something I don’t know, Harry thought by himself, but he kept his mouth politely shut.

“Despite being a half-blood himself, very successful in concealing that fact, he took pride in his magical abilities, including speaking Parseltongue… He flaunted his skills and this occasionally led to …. conflicts.”

Lucius started coughing, and it took him nearly two full minutes to recover enough to start speaking again.

It was strange witnessing his former enemy’s body crumble like that… fall to pieces before his very eyes. Harry felt a tiny sting of pity, of sadness, at yet another causality of the war…

He would have been triumphant had Lucius fallen during the war… but now, it seemed more like war would never end claiming its victims…

“A Muggle-lover, a nasty blood traitor, called Jemina…”

Draco flinched at his father’s casual display of his prejudices in front of the Aurors, forsaking all decorum and appearance of political correctness while being interrogated….

”actually her whole family, decided to make a point by all marrying Muggles… Evidently, she and Lord Voldemort did not get along…”

“How did they meet? What caused them to even know about each other…?” Harry asked pointedly.

“Let’s just say they were both recruiting in similar places… lectures or discussions about the importance of blood-lines, debates on whether the magical community should become more or less secretive…. They kept running into each other…

At that point, Lord Voldemort was still testing his powers… and he wanted to make an… example out of her…”

“You might consider dropping the ‘Lord’ part,” Harry suggested coolly, not that he really minded… “or even just using Tom instead…”

A flicker appeared in Lucius’ eyes; Harry couldn’t tell if it was fear or pleasure. With Voldemort gone, how did Malfoy truly feel towards him… with him demanding their manor for his own use… forcing his mark on Draco… taking his wand…

“Very well…” Lucius stated, “Tom Riddle…”

Everyone stared at him as Elphaba gasped. Harry’s partner had never been one for controlling her emotions… making her horribly bad at poker.

“wanted to eliminate her entire family. She was gaining followers, just like he was, and he didn’t suffer her to do so. It would send a message to her entourage… not to stand in his way…”

Lucius got another fit of coughs, as everyone impatiently waited for him to recover.

Narcissa whispered something in his ear… warning him not to incriminate himself…

Harry raised his eyebrows mockingly at that remark… Everyone in the room knew Lucius Malfoy wasn’t a saint…

“He tracked her down to their family home and killed each member present… Some of the earlier Death-Eaters were also provided with this opportunity…”

Lucius conveniently did not mention whether he had been present or only knew all this by hearsay.

“It was only a number of months later when Lord… Tom heard that both her daughter and one of her brothers had not been present at the family gathering and were still alive. He tried tracing them, but never caught up with them and eventually forget about all their existence… He had other things to burden his mind…”

“And you believe that her daughter… might be responsible for Draco’s affliction… She could be the one behind all this…”

“Despite their unfortunate views…” the older Malfoy said, “they were a very skilled family. Keepers of ancient traditions… Like myself, they had an extensive library filled with spells dating back hundreds of years…”

“I assume…” she hesitated for a second… “Voldemort destroyed their home? So the books were probably lost…” Stirgood asked her first question.

Harry looked at her proudly. She had been quite adamant after all these years to still use You-Know-Who, since she still feared his name as his followers had been responsible for the death of her only sister.

“That would be a safe assumption…” Lucius agreed. He did not care much for this green-haired woman, even though she might be perceptive, “except that their library had been moved to their hide-out… and so they could still have preserved their knowledge…”

“So rather than wishing to establish ancient traditions, they might simply be quite good in these old spells…” Harry mumbled.

“Using them for a horrifying cause,” Narcissa said. “And like..” she took her husband’s cue and said: “Tom’s followers, using them precisely because they are outlawed… The ancient magic is far more powerful and damaging… which is why the spells were made illegal in the first place…”

“But are far more useful in fighting a cause…” Harry understood.

She nodded. Yes, many legal spells were not much use in wartime…

“Taking a leap here…” Harry continued, “but provided the woman is Jemina’s daughter… and the two men… perhaps her…”

“sons, I suppose. They were around my age… a bit older maybe.” Draco spoke up.

“the three of them could be involved in wanting to further her mother’s cause. Taking revenge for the death of her family and aiding Muggle-Wizard relations…”

“Which also accounts for them not being noticed during the war…” Elphaba added, “as they would have fought against Voldemort…”

“It does all seem to fit…” Harry said. “Could you provide me with… perhaps books, more information on her family… The whereabouts of the family home that Tom Riddle destroyed… The daughter’s name, the family’s last name…” He spouted out a list and Lucius nodded.

His first concern was the safety of his family and if that meant aiding Harry Potter, than so be it…

He had learnt to swallow his pride long ago, when Voldemort had taken his wand so easily all the while taunting him… Lucius didn’t have any more fight left in him, at least not for the moment.

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