Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 44

Narcissa had been looking into some of Lucius’ ancestors that could provide useful information. She presented Draco with a list of the most likely people. Together they decided, based on gut feeling rather than common sense: ‘the older, the better…’

And so they set out on a trip to the Middle Ages…. As they saw the landscape change before their eyes, Draco was glad that smell wasn’t included in these nostalgic journeys… even more so when they arrived at their destination…

Draco looked around, not noticing anything familiar. His mother also seemed a little frightened, even though they knew there was no need. They had fallen into a dark kitchen. A broth was boiling in the middle of the small room, hay strewn over the floor, animals on the far side. A father, mother, and their teenage daughter were discussing a difficult situation. The villagers had been suspicious of the Malfoy family for quite some time and were wondering if they were somehow involved in witchcraft…

“It’s either the Muggles or us…” the father said grimly. “They are beginning to suspect too much…”

“What about this spell? It seems useful….” The young daughter, Luillenth, pointed at a familiar spell in the spell book: Extinctio.

Her mother smiled broadly with glinting eyes. “How about that?” she nudged her husband. “It will keep us safe as there will be no deaths…. But no more offspring either…”

“Safety in the long run doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet….” her husband grumbled, but he looked with interest at the page his daughter presented him.

“Can you read it, Draco?” his mother asked him. “Perhaps it mentions an antidote, or a counter curse…”

Draco ventured closer. The book was ancient; its pages nearly crumbling. It was easily the family’s greatest treasure….

“I can’t read it…” he said disappointed… Narcissa’s face fell as well; that problem hadn’t occurred to her…

“If we could get the title…” she suggested, “we might still find a copy somewhere… and perhaps someone could translate…”

Both Draco and his mother surrounded the small family, bending over to get the title of the book. Finally, they could make out some words… It was very difficult to distinguish the words with merely flickering candles and the fire beneath the cauldron as their light.

“Morisius…” Draco mumbled. “That must be the writer, right?” The title itself was too besmirched to make out….

“It does ring a bell…” his mother said, pondering… And then, suddenly the memory was over and they found themselves back home, standing next to the Pensieve.

“I wonder what happened to them… Luillenth and her parents….” Draco said, still staring at the swirling memory before him.

His mother smiled briefly, before she replied: “They survived… that’s all I know… Perhaps they used the spell, because Malfoy Manor used to be situated next to a village, but for some reason the village seized to exist over the years. It was as if…. its population simply stopped growing….”

“That little…. barn….” Draco asked surprised, “that was Malfoy Manor….?”

“The family’s very first humble beginnings…. Yes…” his mother nodded, suppressing a snort.


Morisius had written several spell books but the most famous, or rather infamous, one was the one they had witnessed in the memory. Dubious spells were recorded in this Most Potent Pranks: the innocent name misleading on purpose…

It hadn’t been too hard for Hermione to secure a copy and she soon found a translator. A lot closer to home than she’d imagined. Apparently Elphaba could have become quite a renowned linguistic scholar but had chosen the Law instead.

“You can really read this gibberish?” Draco had asked her, when they met at Hermione’s to discuss it. Elphaba was glad it didn’t require a trip to the Malfoys…

“It really isn’t that difficult…” she said, smiling to herself. “If you’ve got a knack for it…”

“So were looking for several spells,” Hermione recapitulated, “Extinctio, and…” she faltered briefly, “the one responsible for Ron’s death, and for Harry’s coma…”

“I thought you had identified the one that…” Elphaba said uneasily, rephrasing : “I thought the spell that hit Harry was the only unknown one…”

Hermione blinked a few tears away. “I think I’ve identified the one that killed Ron but… I’m not entirely sure…. Harry said,” she swallowed hard. “Harry said that they used non-verbal spells and so it’s all guess work, really…”

“We’ll find the truth… I promise…” Draco tried to console her. Hermione gave him a small and brave smile.

“I hope so…” she replied.

With Elphaba’s help the book opened up its treasures for them and during the course of the evening they did gather enough information to give them some rays of hope again…

Hermione had rightly identified the Contamino spell as the one that had caused Ron’s magical blood poisoning. The Extinctio spell did have one or two antidotes, but needed the most bizarre old-fashioned ingredients….

“I have no idea where we could get Nundu droppings,” Hermione said disappointedly, “for all we know they may already be extinct…”

“Money doesn’t have to be a problem,” Draco said confidently, “as long as it exists, I’m prepared to pay… but that special kind of paint created only in Medieval convents or that drop of mead that requires a special blessing by Merlin himself….” He sighed deeply. “It is no use…”

“The spell that hit Harry seems manageable at least…” Elphaba said. “We could find the flowers needed easily enough and transfiguring a swallow’s feathers shouldn’t be that hard either….”

“You’re right…” Hermione smiled. “Let’s focus on that first…” With renewed energy, the three of them discussed the quickest way to gather all the ingredients. Dividing the tasks would hasten Harry’s recovery….


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