Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 48

They’d talked for about two hours after that, making all kinds of preparations. They would have to bring tents, camping equipment, and Morisius’ spell book, of course. Elphaba had begun to translate parts of it and had copied them so they could practice the offensive, defensive, and counter spells. Together they decided on two weeks for preparations, before heading out. Elphaba and Harry had already determined on a few potential hide-outs they could visit.

“I can’t believe this is happening…” Draco said, once both guests had left. “It sounds like… a joke, or a potential disaster…”

“Who knows? You and Harry might become friends…” Hermione said, hope written on her face.

“Not too likely… We could just as easily end up killing each other in our sleep…”

“No killing…” Hermione said sternly, “Unless it’s the Jennings…” she added darkly.

“Even that might be…. problematic… I need her to perform the counter-curse…” Draco replied wistfully.

“Are you okay? With Harry’s news, I mean?”

He smirked. “It doesn’t really matter if I am, does it? It’s the way things are…”

“We’ll find a way….” She said softly, her eyes showing her love and concern for him. Draco swallowed hard. How could she worry for him? For his sake?

“I don’t deserve you…” he whispered, and when she made an irritated, off-hand gesture, he insisted. “I’m serious. I’ve been thinking about… well, these Horcruxes and you three at the Manor and… it was appalling what happened…. Horrible, and to think that you even visited it, all for me…”

“Shush, shush,” she said, taking his face in her hands, “It’s simply the kind of thing… you do for love…”

The memories overwhelmed him as he recalled all that had happened. Bellatrix, her knife, Dobby…

“I didn’t… I didn’t do anything to save you… Any of you…” He buried his face in her shoulder, sobbing quietly.

Hermione stroke his back. “It’s in the past…” she whispered, “It’s gone now… all of it. You and me, that’s what’s important… You, me, and Rose, creating a new family of our own together…”

Draco slowly calmed down as she kept telling him it was in the past. That he wasn’t the same… That he was a different person now, a good person, as he had proved many times already…

“So you honestly think it a good idea?” Harry asked Elphaba for the umpteenth time, pacing in their office. “Bringing him?”

“Can’t hurt to have a healer around… I’m sure Hermione knows the basics, but a proper one…” Elphaba shrugged.

“It’s Malfoy… Draco Malfoy!” Harry stated once more. “When did you two became friends?”

“We’re not friends… We just… well, we get along alright. And he did help getting you back… Without him, you’d still be in St. Mungo’s and we’d be completely stuck…”

Harry groaned. Why hadn’t Hermione made the potion, like they had claimed she had? It would be so much easier to reject Draco if he hadn’t actual been responsible for helping him get better!

“He’d better not mess anything up…” he mumbled. “Camping with Malfoy…” he huffed, “I’d rather wear that stupid locket again…”

“What locket?” Elphaba asked, forcing Harry to relate the entire story…

The following day, Draco also asked Hermione a million question about their mission. She told him about Godric’s Hollow, Nagini, and the dragon…

“I so hate flying…” she said. “Absolutely hate it! Yet I always seem to end up needing to….”

“You never told me that Ron left before…” Draco said. “He actually thought you and Potter?”

“He was jealous… That locket really got to him…”

“Horcruxes… I didn’t know… Mother and father were often speculating about what it was that… but that option never occurred to them, and certainly not multiple…”

“Further travelled on the road to immortality than any before…” Hermione remembered; “He said something like that, Harry told me, the night Cedric died.”

“The night his body was restored, the night my parents were first summoned again…” Draco recalled only too well both the eagerness and fear that his parents had felt that summer. The Dark Lord had returned! It was good news, yet he had also been quite displeased with his followers...

“Strange to think that… I fought against your parents quite a few times,” Hermione stated, “and now.. I’m beginning to warm up to your mum, at least. She really took to Rose.”

“She probably feels the same. Building new friendships, slowly discarding old ideas…”

“You said… You… When you came in, when Harry and… You said something about the spirit world?” Hermione suddenly remembered. “You had news, you said?”

“Yes, mother told a story about… my aunt Bellatrix.” He replied carefully.

“Keeper of the cup…” Hermione muttered, “And the sword… Fake as it was.”

“She visited that place more than once…” Draco said. “When she was still at Hogwarts. Bellatrix used a potion similar to the one Harry did and…”

“Creating such a difficult potion as a teen… Your family has pretty impressive skills…” Hermione said, looking up at him. There was so much they still didn't know about each other....

Draco smiled sheepishly in return: “Only when it comes to the Dark Arts.”

“What happened when she was there?”

Draco told the story his mother had told him. About her near addiction. About the spirits being offended when called on once too often…

Hermione’s face fell… It sounded like the resurrection stone, she thought, with similar side-effects. So much for her plans to seek out Ron...

“Harry should be fine, though,” Draco consoled her. “He only visited once…”

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