Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 26

As the case against Jemina grew larger, the need to find her increased as well. She and her little group had been responsible for a range of murders and as it turned out numerous other cases of Extinctio. It appeared to be her signature spell, and that could eventually become her downfall…

Harry sensed that he was closing in on them. He had expected the group to be far larger… but so far the group seemed to solely consist of Jemina, her sons, and a few followers. However, they were quite powerful and swift in changing their locations.

“Look here, Stirgood,” Harry said. “Let’s check out these two locations today…. One’s a cave near the latest killing… and this one…” he pointed at a large map draped over his desk, “this one’s an abandoned village near a haunted lake. Apparently Muggles don’t dare to venture anywhere near and even wizards seem keen to avoid it…”

“Sounds like the perfect hide-out…” Elphaba replied.

“My thoughts exactly… I will send Ginny an owl not to expect me home tonight. This is a two day trip, at least…"

Ginny was spending some time with Hermione while Harry was away. Although Hermione hardly mentioned Draco, letting sleeping dogs lie as it were… Ginny did broach the subject.

“Dad met Malfoy right here, didn’t he? In your kitchen…?” She was putting away the dinner plates in the cupboards.

Hermione sighed. She had hoped for a quiet night for a change. Draco was at home celebrating his mum’s birthday and even though Andromeda would make an appearance, they had clearly stated Hermione’s presence wasn’t wanted in the least…

“Mum, who’s Malfoy?” Rose asked, carrying her fluffy seagull in her arms.

“See what you’ve done..!” Hermione hissed at Ginny.

“Malfoy is someone’s last name…” she replied, “in fact, the last name of one of mum’s friends. “

“What’s the first name?” she asked, looking up at the both of them.

“Draco…” Ginny answered with gritted teeth…

“When will I meet him? Is he going to be my new daddy?” Rose asked excitedly. “I would really like to have a daddy…”

“I don’t know… Maybe…” Hermione sighed as Ginny now glared at her. “He’s a very good friend of mum but not so much of grandpa and grandma Weasley…” she said, speaking plainly.

“Why not?” Rose wanted to know.

“Because,” Hermione began, “because Draco, but mostly his father, couldn’t really get along with grandpa Weasley…”

“Why not?” she asked again.

“They were on opposites sides of the war…” Hermione explained, “and that’s making it all a bit difficult.”

“Oh,” Rose said, sticking her thumb into her mouth.

“Don’t do that, my dear…” Hermione said, her parents being dentists after all.

“Ron would hate for Malfoy to raise his daughter,” Ginny immediately began when Hermione had put Rose in front of the TV for now. Not very educative, but her best option at the moment…

“You know…” Hermione was starting to become really sick of these comments, “you lot can be even more manipulative than the Malfoys…”

Ginny was shocked. “We are the good ones!” she boasted, but Hermione began to doubt that more and more.

“No, you’re not…” she sneered, briefly wondering if Draco was beginning to rub off on her, “you just think you are, which is hardly the same thing…”

“They are… they are…” Ginny started but Hermione didn’t listen.

“At least, I know where I stand with them… “ she muttered, “but you are supposed to be my friend..”

“I am your friend…” Ginny said softly, “I’m just warning you…”

“No, you’re not. You’re accusing me of being a bad mother…!” Hermione was getting riled up, frustration running high.

“I don’t need you telling me what Ron would or wouldn’t have wanted,” she yelled at his youngest sibling, “Ron is dead! And my life is continuing…. and even though it sounds strange and it is totally unexpected for the both of us, it seems as if Draco will have quite a large place in it!”

“You won’t change your mind then…” Ginny whispered, tears beginning to form in her eyes, “we’ll have to accept him or lose you in the end…”

“Yes,” she replied firmly. “That will be the choice. Of course,” she added more softly, “I hope you will come around… At least George has…”

“George!” Ginny snorted. “He has lost his marbles….”

Hermione sighed. It was going to be a long night….

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