Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 2

Hermione read up on the Wizard version of online dating: Owl-line dating. It had been three years since Ron died and friends and family had nudged her a little into it. It might be hard for them seeing someone else in Ron's place, but seeing Hermione without a partner was hard to stomach as well. Hermione herself was not that eager. She had her daughter, her busy job, but she was willing to give it a try.

It looked more like an old Muggle version of lonely hearts, she thought. The Daily Profet featured advertisements and the idea was to use a regular post owl, not your own—definitely when it was distinct and recognizable, like Draco's owl was—and have contact by letters first.

Then, whenever you were ready —in some cases never, such as the famous Shetland Island wizard Perceval and his female counterpart, Vivian, residing on the Canal islands, who had corresponded for fifty years without ever laying eyes on each other—you could decide to meet up and see each other. It was a bit like blind dating as you also only revealed your identity whenever you wanted. Hermione sighed. It didn't really matter when she'd reveal it… she would still be famous, and now also tragic: both a war heroine and widow.

She took a look at some of the current adverts. Many seemed only to want one thing… but some were more serious. The one she liked the best was the advert of a healer, highly educated, responsible job and with a love for flying broomsticks.

That reminded her a bit of Ron which was why her eyes had fallen on it… but then she read the small print at the bottom. "Pure-bloods preferred" it said. It made her blood boil… whatever had they fought this entire war over if not to wipe out views such as this?!

She peered as even smaller print appeared under that, in the finest print of all it said… "but not necessary by any means." Quite the mixed message….

Briefly she wondered how such a strange advert had come to be…

No matter what he would or wouldn't do, Draco would remain a disappointment for his parents. He sighed heavily. He had become a healer, one of the best, in his own not so humble opinion. It was a challenging career and it required his knack for potions. He loved it… a career that was made up out of doing 'good'—as his father sometimes sneered though he readily accepted any cures for his faltering health—and of a certain amount of respect and standing. The perfect combination as far as he was concerned.

But disappointed they would be… until he'd, or really his wife, would produce a male heir. Draco hadn't gotten married. He had hardly even dated since Hogwarts. His focus had been on his education and career and on proving that he was a worthy person. A lousy Death-Eater perhaps, but a damn good healer.

None of that mattered to his parents. The sicker his father became, the more anxious he was to see a grandson. Never mind that there were not many prospective dating partners left… not the pure-blood kind anyway. His father still lamented that and urged him to find someone before all the women were married. He would hold him off saying that he could always marry someone younger. Hadn't his father done the same?

"Hardly…" Lucius snorted.

Draco didn't know exactly what he wanted in a partner. Since the war his opinions had gradually changed and the old pure-blood ideal didn't seem as important anymore…. Yet at the same time it was hard to not take it into account. His family name was important, and to mingle with… It was hard, and his parents didn't make it any easier.

To get them of his back, he had introduced them to the Owl-line.

His father had sneered…

"We never needed that in our day…" but since Lucius was secretly thrilled that his son was now actually going to enter the dating scene again, he had kept his mouth shut after that one remark.

However, he had soon found something else to complain about…

Just before Draco could send his application away with the post owl, the advert Hermione would eventually read, his father grabbed it with his long fingers and read it… only to become furious.

"You haven't added the most important thing of all!" he roared. "She has to be pure-blood!"

Draco had raised his shoulders nonchalantly and mumbled: "Surely, we can't demand that anymore …"

"Oh, yes we can!" his father replied, "and we will…" scribbling that no-one else needed to reply.

Draco snapped it from his fathers hands, right before he'd tied it to the owl, who stared boringly at the whole row before its big eyes.

He quickly added that it was not necessary and before Lucius could further interfere, the owl flew away. Draco sighed. His advert sounded so stupid now, pigheaded and arrogant, but at least he had added the final sentence….

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