Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 42

Narcissa told Draco that he needn’t leave. He could see if there was anything about Harry’s condition in their vast library, whereas she would do her own research… Draco opted to join her.

“We’ve stored some of your father’s memories… some of his father’s too… You know, for posterity…” It was a huge understatement…

Draco had never seen his mother use the Pensieve. His father had shown him his memories of his own and his grandfather’s childhood when Draco was little. They’d had a similar childhood to his own and it had been amazing to see his father ride broomsticks, or see his grandfather naughtily steal the peacock’s feathers…

Whereas Pensieves where usually incorporated into or next to the owner’s tomb, the Malfoys had one Pensieve with memories stored on shelves all around. It went back for generations…

“This is a gold mine…” Draco whistled. “Father won’t like us rummaging through here…”

“I doubt your father is very pleased with either of us at the moment… I enticed him into letting Dromeda visit me all she wants…” his mother smiled, her eyes shining. “He can’t fight us both…”

“It’s our family history here…” Draco looked around eagerly.

“Far more so than those written histories…” his mother mumbled. “They gloss over all the really interesting bits…”

“If we could go back to a time where the ancient spells the Jennings use were still in use…” Draco thought of all the possibilities… “Or we could check out Dad’s run in with them… Or the Dark Lord’s stories about the Jennings…”

“The options are endless, indeed,” Narcissa agreed.

They mutually decided to start with Lucius’ memories first.

“I didn’t want him to tell Potter, but your father was there the day when… Tom Riddle eliminated the family, unbeknown that they were not all present…” She looked hesitantly at her son… “Are you sure you want to see this?”

“I’ve seen death in the War, mother,” Draco said. “You don’t have to spare me…”

The memories swirled around them until both of them found themselves standing in the middle of a field. A farm nearby was the Jennings property, the family home.

A younger but still menacing Voldemort directed the Death-Eaters to spare no one… Human and cattle alike. Draco and Narcissa followed the group. Draco peered at his mother, wondering what she felt… Seeing a younger, fairer, alive Lucius couldn’t be easy.

Even Draco didn’t remember his father like this… He quickly realized it was before he was even born. Voldemort’s rise had ended when Potter was around the age of one.

The attack on the Jennings family was brutal. It reminded Draco slightly of the things they had done at the Quidditch World Cup, although it was far more gruesome. The Death-Eaters liked to have fun with their prey…

His Aunt Bellatrix was there as well, but his mother was absent. “Why weren’t you there?” he asked her in a whisper, briefly forgetting no-one could hear them.

“I wasn’t part of the inner circle… Not yet..” she answered. “That didn’t happen until after I married your father. He had asked him for advice, you know… if I was a good choice…”

“What did the Dark Lord say?”

“He didn’t care much I think, not really. I was from a good family, dedicated, so he gave his blessing…”

“Can’t imagine father needing it…” Somehow it was still strange for Draco to realize that the strong, unyielding man his father had always been to him needed approval himself sometimes.

“He feared him even then… Felt he was superiour, of course, without question, but his powers… They were great…”

Draco shuddered. There was no need to remind him.

Neither Lucius’s own actions, nor Voldemort’s tales about the Jennings provided them with any answers. Draco and Narcissa resolved to discover when the spells were widely practiced. They decided to focus on memories of ancestors that lived before the abolishment of the spells next.

“We’ll do that tomorrow then…” Their research had lasted he entire free Saturday. “Will you be staying here tonight as well, or will you return tomorrow morning?” Narcissa asked tentatively.

“I’ll come back in the morning. I’d like to tell Hermione what we’ve been doing… She could use some good news…” he replied.

Narcissa nodded. Perhaps it was for the best, neither she nor Draco would be ready for another night of fighting with Lucius…

When he apparated in front of Hermione’s house, he noticed Mrs. Weasley and Rose playing a game. Draco sighed deeply. Hermione was probably still at St. Mungo’s. He wondered briefly if he should go elsewhere, but Rose had already spotted him through the window and ran outside to meet him.

As he was about to enter the house, Mrs. Weasley stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips. She glared at him and was about to question him, when he asked: “Mrs. Weasley, how’s George?”

She huffed as he slid right past her, winking at Rose. Mrs. Weasley angrily shut the door.

“I cannot believe Hermione lets you live here…” she mumbled, “in Ron’s home…”

Draco opted to remain silent. He would never win that battle….

“What’s the game you were playing?” he asked Rose instead. She went into a long explanation but he wasn’t really paying any attention.

“Never mind, we can’t play with three..” Mrs. Weasley said. “Why don’t you put on your nightie, Rose… Go on…”

“Already?!” Rose whined, but Mrs. Weasley gave her a stern look.

“I rather thought playing a game might lighten the mood…” Draco said as Rose climbed the stairs. “What else are we going to do? Of course, you could leave, since I’m here now. Hermione would be perfectly fine with that…”

“Yes, but I wouldn’t…”

“I thought not..” He smirked at her, shaking his head amusedly. She was like a mother bear. Draco babysat Rose all the time, so Merlin knew why she made such a big deal out of it…

“How’s Potter…? Any change?”

“Like you care…”

“I did get him to the hospital, if you remember?” he snapped. “I could have easily hurt him and your daughter while we’re at it…. I clearly chose not to… “

“Only because Hermione was there…” Ginny’s mother said reluctantly.

Draco rolled his eyes… He’d really had enough of the Weasley family and their distrust.

“I was called a blood traitor today,” he said, “because of Hermione. I have also been trying to find a way to reverse the spell that hit him… I have earned my stripes… Big time!”

Molly didn’t respond. Draco tried a different tone. The things he would do for Hermione’s sake!

“You trusted Snape… Didn’t you? You didn’t like him, but you trusted him, nevertheless…”

“We didn’t always trust him… No matter how much Dumbledore assured us of his allegiance.”

“I can understand how he must have felt… Stuck with you lot…”

“He was very good in appeasing both sides, that’s for sure…” Molly wasn’t going to give in without a fight. “He was as oily and sneaky…. And cunning…” Still standing in the small hall, she wasn’t going to give in to this prat. He was just like his father…

“Like a snake? You’re really going with that?! Because it’s boring…” Draco felt like a good row, if not with his father… then, well, the lumpy woman would do…

Mrs. Weasley shivered and he could see her reach for her wand. Draco quickly grasped his. This woman had killed his aunt.

With both their wands out, they stared at each other. Draco registered pain and fear on her face, but also something else that he couldn’t place… Was it shock? Surprise?

Her shoulders lowered and she slowly dropped her wand arm. “Rose, dear…” she said, her voice a little shaky. At the top of the stairs, Rose stared at the both of them.

“What’s going on?” she wanted to know, her lips trembling.

“No child should have to see that…” Molly hissed at him, like it was his fault…

“Nothing my dear, we just got into a bit of a heated discussion…”

“It looked like a duel…. Like in the stories..”

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