Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 11

Lucius’ help had been very helpful indeed. The woman was named Jemina—after her mother— Jennings. She did have two sons and seemed to move around quite a bit. After the Second Wizarding War she had fallen of the grid. The Malfoy’s books provided quite a few facts about their family history, and other books related the spell that had been used on Ron, and presumably also on the couple whose house had been burgled, as well as, the spell that was used on Draco.

Draco had lied to his father about the spell, claiming it was one that weakened your health very slowly instead of the actual one… Lucius had no trouble believing it… although Narcissa had her doubts. Draco seemed sad and upset, but otherwise healthy enough. However, since both wouldn’t dream of using Legilimency on their son, his true thoughts were hidden from them.

Harry had still been puzzled by why Ron had been killed and not himself… It had been a dark night so they hadn’t been recognized as part of the Golden Trio, so perhaps it had just been an accident that it had been Ron and not himself…

However, Hermione found the answer to that one. She had taken a few days of work to aid him and Elphaba with wading through the books. Harry was very grateful for that gesture. When speed-reading her way to yet another spell book, her stash already far smaller than either his or Elphaba’s, she let out a small shriek of… not happiness …

“Hermione, what is it?”

“This could be… Harry, this might be the answer to… It could clarify…” she swallowed, “Ron’s death…”

“How? What?”

“When wishing to establish blood status,” Hermione read, “all one has to do is cast the spell Ancestro Revelio which, other than the name suggests, will not provide a family name, but rather one of three options: pure-blood, half-blood, or Muggle-born, otherwise known as Mudblood.”

“I didn’t hear… but, of course, if they could perform it nonverbally…”

“All the best wizards can… it does help in fighting if you don’t have to spill it out…” Hermione said.

“Whereas Voldemort would have used it for finding Muggle-borns, they could have used it for tracking pure-bloods instead…” Harry thought out loud…

“Hard to believe we are on the same side as the Boy Who Lived now, isn’t it?” Draco said to his mother as he was preparing a potion to help his father with his pain.

“It’s taking its toll on him,” she replied a little grim. “Having him strut about the place as if he owns it, raiding our library…”

“I thought he was reasonably restrained about it,” Draco disagreed. “He is capable of behaving far worse… believe me…”

“It did provide your father some pleasure to call Lord Voldemort by his birth name,” his mother conceded, and added, “me too,” with a rare grin.

Her face soon fell as she whispered to her only son: “It won’t be long now, I think. Last night, he hardly slept… The coughs are getting worse everyday; he is even coughing blood now…”

“We should prepare ourselves…” Draco agreed, patting his mother on her arm. It would be hard without him… They didn’t have many friends left…

Despite that they had both sensed it coming, Lucius’ death was still a major shock to the Malfoy household. Two days after Harry Potter had visited them, taking a significant part of Lucius’ library with him, Lucius died during the night.

Narcissa and Draco had been at his side, when he took his final breath. Lucius had expressed his hopes for a grandson one last time, and had given Narcissa an endearing farewell speech. Without her he’d had never been able to become the man he was… stating that she had been his driving force throughout his life.

At least it had been painless. Draco had seen to that…

Bitterness filled his heart as they were truly left behind as mother and son. The funeral might be grand, but the attendance would be low…. Lower than it ever would have been; if he had died years earlier when he was still a respected member of the wizard community, people would have been queuing up to attend, and even during the wars there would have been a horde of Death-Eaters…

As it was, it would be the both of them. Although Narcissa had a tentative relationship with her sister again, and Draco had some friendly colleagues, none of them were keen to be seen mourning Lucius…

Locking their hands, mother and son, saw their father and husband disappear from sight in the Malfoy tomb. “May he rest with his forefathers,” Narcissa mumbled softly, as Draco lay down a few white lilies and white peacock feathers in his honor.

Lucius’ wand had been destroyed years before, but the cane with the snake-head, mended and well, now belonged to Draco. He had suggested burying it with his father, but Narcissa had insisted. He should continue carrying such an heirloom…

“We’ll get him the finest portrait ever made..” Draco tried to console his mother. Narcissa smiled sadly as she squeezed his hand. Some blows money couldn’t soften….

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