Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 47

Filled with hope, determination, and information, after the conversation with his mother, Draco made for Hermione’s.

“Listen,” he said, coming in through the Floo, “my mother has told me all sorts of things about visiting the spirit world. It may help us with…”

“Draco,” Harry said in greeting. Both he and Elphaba were sitting at the dinner table, poring over some maps. Draco glanced at Hermione.

“What’s this?” he asked. “What’s going on?” Fear entered his heart. Irrational, but strong. Had they discussed him? Or, even worse, Ron? Had she been silently and secretly plotting… what exactly?

“We’ve been talking and… Draco…” Hermione sounded very serious, causing Draco to tremble a little, “We’ve… well, sort of decided to deal with this ourselves…”

“Without me?” he stammered, a sting of betrayal in his chest.

“Without the Aurors…” Harry answered. “When… When the three of us… Hermione, Ron, and me went to… well… beat Voldemort, we did so on our own. Being with a small group has some benefits and…”

“The four of us are much more mobile or flexible than a group of Aurors ever could be and…” Hermione added.

“I thought it was unwise… the threat being too great…” Draco said skeptically.

“Well… that was before…” Harry answered reluctantly. He didn’t like to be reminded of his failure to capture them, leave it to Draco to bring that up!

“Before what?”

“Before we knew what spells they use… The spell book you found, Morisius’ Most Potent Pranks, seems to be their basis of magic. If we study and practice, we could fight them on their own terms, beat them at their own game…”

“The four of us would make a strong team and we all have different skills… We could manage..” Elphaba spoke up.

“You’re saying… you want me to… join?”

“Absolutely!” Hermione gave him a broad smile, Elphaba a firm “yes,” and Harry a quiet, nearly imperceptible, nod.

“Oh…” Draco needed to sit down.

“It will be just like…” Hermione began, almost giddy… Harry shot her a warning glance.

“That was hardly a camping trip,” he said.

“I know… Of course, I know… Still, it could be rather like when we…”

“Hermione…” Harry said, somewhat threateningly now.

“Harry…”she replied, equally stubborn. “We either trust them or we don’t… And if we trust them, they might as well know the truth…”

“Hermione, no!”

But she continued, “As you both know, the three of us didn’t attend Hogwarts during our final year, because we…”

“tried to find ways to thwart Voldemort’s plans…” Harry finished, “at which we ultimately succeeded.”

“We managed to locate and destroy all his Horcruxes and so he became mortal again…” Hermione said.

“Hermione!” Harry yelled, standing up. “What did you have to do that for?!”

“What are Horcruxes?” Elphaba asked, clearly just as curious as Draco himself.

Harry sighed as he slumped back into his chair. “Seeing as you decided on this, all by yourself, you can do the telling…” he said, gesturing at Hermione to take the floor, his eyes dark and frustrated.

“They are bits of someone’s soul, kept save in a container of sorts. When you kill someone, your soul splits and it is in fact possible to create a Horcrux. Once you have, you cannot die. Voldemort lost his body when he tried to kill Harry as a child yet his soul lingered on…”

“Never heard of that before…” Elphaba remarked, but Draco remained silent. His aunt had kept something important in safe keeping for the Dark Lord, that much he remembered.

“Once they were destroyed, which was nearly impossible to begin with, he could die again…”

“There were more?” Draco whispered. “Isn’t it really dark magic?”

“Extremely… which is why it was kept silent. So as not to give people ideas…” Hermione nodded.

“How…” Draco swallowed, “how many? How did you destroy..?”

“There’s no need to know all the details,” Harry stated firmly. “Suffice it to say that it was pretty hard… but we eventually did. What helped us was the secrecy of our quest of our whereabouts… Since nearly no-one knew where we were or what we were up to, we succeeded. Something which we might repeat…”

“We’d have to take sick days or a vacation of sorts….” Hermione said. “Something plausible…”

“Won’t Ginny mind? She’d probably want to come,” Elphaba wondered, looking at Harry.

“I don’t want her to come… She needs to stay safe… Especially now…”

“Why? I can’t say we like each other much, but she is pretty good at hexes and flying… She’s with the Harpies for one…” Draco said, wondering at his protectiveness.

“It’s such glorious news… and just after you awoke too…” Hermione said, grabbing Harry’s hand.

Draco looked at them when it dawned on him: “Just great…” he mumbled when he realized. That’s just marvelous…

“I’m sorry? Am I missing something here?” Elphaba looked from one to the other.

“Only the next generation of Potters…” Draco said glumly.

“Really? Oh, Harry that’s wonderful!” Harry grinned widely at Elphaba’s remark. Yes, it was wonderful but it also made it all the more necessary to remove the threat of those Jennings…

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he replied, “but with this threat hanging over our heads… I’d really prefer it if that was solved before…”

Draco tried not to think about Harry becoming a father, focusing his attention on the Horcrux story instead. It was a time in his life he preferred not to remember…. The three had found themselves in Malfoy Manor during their mission and he had identified Hermione as Granger, as Potter’s friend. He glanced at her: was she thinking the same things as him? Remembering his family’s behaviour on that fatal day?

Hermione seemed far too pleased to be thinking of that. She was probably thinking about this new baby and Harry’s safe awakening…

There had been something about a sword… and his aunt’s vault at Gringotts… She accused them of stealing something from it, that was it! And all the while Hermione was being tortured, both the Curciatus Curse used on her as well as the carvings in her arm… And he stood by, doing nothing! Draco shivered at the recollection. Could she truly have forgiven him for that? He wasn’t too sure he could forgive himself…

“What’s up with you?” Harry asked irritated. “I can imagine you don’t think it’s wonderful news, but to make such a horrible face…. It’s rather rude, I’d say…”

“I… I was thinking about… when you were at the Manor, the three of you… during your search,” he mumbled. “You cannot be serious about taking me with you on this trip…”

“Well, it clearly wasn’t my idea…” Harry said, “Hermione made me. Said that you’d made the potion that revived me so that I owed you…”

Hermione blushed. “Well, I want Draco to come… and I’m pretty sure Elphaba doesn’t object… so that would leave just you… being outnumbered..”

“I know… either the both of you, or neither of you… I heard you the first time around..” Harry grumbled in reply, “And Merlin knows I could use your help…”

“You said that?” Draco’s eyes lit up. Sounded like she really wanted him to be there.

A/N: So far, Rose was the only of the canon children to appear, so Ginny is expecting her first a bit later than in the canon.

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