Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 29

“It was them….” Harry coughed, his eyes still darting across the filthy shed. “Her sons at least….”

“Are you sure? Have we really tracked them down..?”

Harry let out a hollow laugh. “They escaped again, didn’t they?”

“Harry, please tell me they didn’t…?” Elpaba was afraid to ask. Although Harry wasn’t technically a pure blood, they could have still used their famous spell on him.

“They laughed at me…” Harry replied, gritting his teeth as he managed to sit upright. “Harry Potter… The famous boy… The amazing Auror… What are you doing, hunting your allies? That’s what they said.”

“What did you say?” Stirgood asked.

“I accused them of killing Ron! Of being just as narrow-minded as many pure-bloods… They did not like that! They fought for me during the war, so I needed to leave them alone… or else…”

“Or else what?”

“They didn’t say… I fought them both, but one got behind me and manage to stun me…” Harry said with wounded pride. He’d fought two against one before…. They were stronger that he’d expected them to be…. Or perhaps he was losing his touch… just like they had implied?

A manhunt was ordered for a large parameter outside the village. The Jennings’s family appeared to have vanished into thin air once more. Harry and Elphaba were not amused. They had been so close! Only to lose them again…

The healer had ordered some rest for Harry. Harry, who firmly disagreed, would have ignored the advice if it hadn’t been for Ginny. She kept her eyes on him like a Seeker on a Snitch. Harry would be housebound for a few days as there was no telling how long he had been unconscious.

Hermione visited him, wishing to discuss the case and Rose as well. Harry was grateful for her help. Perhaps she could shed some new light on things?

Hermione had not seen the Weasleys again, since the kitchen incident a few days ago. The tale of Mrs. Weasley’s unfortunate entrance provided Harry with a few laughs, despite Hermione’s scowling.

“What do you think?” she asked. “Should I let Rose and Draco meet so soon already? He is talking about me moving in…. but that house still gives me the creeps. Sometimes Bellatrix still visits my dreams…”

“What does Rose want?” Harry asked.

Hermione sighed. “Rose is enthusiastic enough, but she is just a child. She can hardly know all the consequences…”

“You know them and you still went ahead with this relationship,” he chided her sternly.

“Don’t you start…” she replied.

Harry suddenly wondered if Draco had informed Hermione already about what had really happened during his encounter with the Jennings. He had kept silent about it, but the Daily Prophet had reported various other cases of Extinctio.

“You’ll have to make a decision either way…” he said. “Either you’re serious about him and he’ll have to meet Rose soon or you could… you know…”

“Call him a rebound guy… Break it off and find someone more suitable?” Hermione said, raising her eyebrows.

“He is a bit of a rebound guy, isn’t he?” Harry silently hoped. “Someone entirely different from a previous and serious relationship…. A dalliance…?” He couldn’t keep the eagerness out of his voice.

“I wouldn’t do that!” Hermione responded affronted. “I have never been like that and I’m not about to start now…”

“Perhaps you’d change your mind if you knew…” Harry said darkly. His anger over missing the Jennings again while having been so close, boiled over and he went for his default response of blaming Draco for his troubles.

“Knew what? His wrongs as a Death Eater? More about his family history? I know there’s loads of skeletons hidden there… Really, Harry, do you think I ever forget for a second that it is the Malfoys were talking about here?!”

“It feels like you do…” he complained.

“How could I? Of course, I haven’t…”

Harry swallowed. He didn’t want to lose his other good friend over this matter. “I’m sorry,” he said, clutching his head as he felt a sharp pain right above his ear.

“Were you talking anything specific?” Hermione asked, peering at him.

“No, no, I just read some new stuff in his file, that’s all,” he replied dismissively.

“I don’t need to know everything,” Hermione stated firmly. “He’ll tell me what I need or want to know, I suppose, and it is all in the past anyway. If I dwell too much on it…” She sighed heavily.

“You begin to doubt…” Harry realized.

“That isn’t fair to him either…” she said. “You’re right. They should meet and we’ll see what happens. Perhaps he’s hiding some unknown fathering skills…” she smiled.

Standing up, she told Harry to take it easy. Headaches could develop into severe migraines if not treated properly. He shouldn’t be careless.

Harry nodded angrily. He didn’t need anymore people mothering him!

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