“So this… whatever it is… doesn’t give you what you want?” Ginny asked, just to be sure.
“It’s what people generally think it does, but it doesn’t actually…” Hermione explained.
“Too bad… I wouldn’t mind having a Ferrari…” Draco said. “What’s the use of having such a long drive-way without a car on it?”
Elphaba opened her mouth and closed it again, staring at him.
“What?!” Draco snarled.
“It’s just, well… cars are Muggle inventions….”
He rolled his eyes. “Precisely... Obviously, money isn’t the objection… Mother would never have it…”
“Obviously, it isn’t…” Ginny mumbled, her temper rising.
“Let’s keep the peace, shall we?” Harry said a little sharpish. “We’ve got a common enemy here, remember?” Between Ginny and Draco, he’d had his work cut out for him…
“There’s plenty of lovely carriages in your stables…” Hermione said wistfully. “That white one, with the peacock feathers on top….”
Suddenly, all four of them stared at her. “Aren’t you the romantic…” Ginny scorned. “It sounds as if…” She couldn’t get the words out. Was Hermione really planning a bloody wedding?!
“Just comparing them to cars, that’s all,” Hermione replied; her face growing red. “Cars…” she huffed, “so overrated…”
Draco pondered his mother’s message. He and Hermione had stayed at the farm, while the others went into town finding a way to spread a rumour, hoping to draw the Jennings in. The overturned bucket had become his go-to seat. Draco, darling, please beware, it had said. You are not one of them…
Apparently, the Belarusian Bole was dangerous. Just because it was his, and his mother’s before him, and his grandmother’s before that; that didn’t necessarily mean it would behave kindly to their kind, she had warned him, not this time. Draco hadn’t the slightest idea what she meant by that….
Hermione lay her hand on his shoulder. “You were very far away, just now…”
He looked up at her. “It was a bit cryptic, wasn’t it? The whole message… Do we even know what will happen?”
Hermione shook her head. “Not really… It does match Ron’s prophesy though…”
“So you’re willing to try it…?”
She hesitated. “Don’t you? Don’t you want to catch her?”
“Yes, of course, I do. But this… trusting something we don’t even know much about.”
“It may be our only chance… We have to give it a try..”
“Expelling the Darkness within…” he mumbled. “Can’t believe we had such books in our library…”
“Perhaps there was more… Your family has a long history. Maybe they haven’t always been, you know…”
Draco rose his eyebrows. “Evil, dark, twisted?”
“Surely you aren’t anymore…” she said, smiling at him. “Nor your mother…”
Draco shrugged. “If you say so…” If there had been good, decent Wizards in his family tree, he sure hadn’t heard of them… Not that he would have, of course, such tales would have been shameful… Maybe Hermione was right. There was his aunt Andromeda after all; perhaps she hadn’t been the only one to escape the dark side….
“It burned her fingers…” he said. “Seems like the book doesn’t agree with you…”
“Books aren’t always trustworthy,” Hermione replied. They’d learnt that the hard way, during their second year…
The three had returned. They’d spread the rumour of the Bole’s presence and that combined with the Dark Stone magical wishes could come true. At the first light, the pair of them would bring whatever you wished or hoped for.
“And now we wait…” Harry said, grinning widely. They were having dinner at the large wooden table in the farm’s kitchen. More stew… Hearty and good travel food.
“There’s a bit of a flaw in the plan, though,” Draco said, if only to wipe the smug smile of Harry’s face. “With such a rumour spreading any number of thieves could be coming for the Bole…”
“It will reach the Jennings soon enough…” Harry replied. “Besides we’ve also frightened people about the possible consequences…. Only the most reckless will want to give it a try.”
“I see,” Draco answered. “So tomorrow morning or the next, it could all be over…”
Harry gritted his teeth. “I hope so. I’d love to get my hands on them…”
Sooner than they knew, the rumour had reached mother and sons. Justus wasn’t too keen on the plan, but Julian and his mother were desperately interested. They were conferring in a shabby hotel room. Justus was sitting in a rickety chair; his mother and brother, on the other hand, were very close to dancing…
“It might be a trick!” he kept saying, to no avail. “What if they spread the rumour themselves? Think of the risk, we would be taking!”
“Hardly any risk,” his brother snorted. “We’ve already dealt with Potter before. We can take him, easily.”
“It’s a chance, a real chance to live our dream… To see true equality come to pass!” His mother was jubilant. “Imagine a world where Wizards and Muggles are real friends. No more secrecy or superiority….”
A chance for them to create a legacy and to honor their murdered relatives in doing so. Justus wanted it just as much, but kept being cautious.
“We must keep it in mind,” he said again, “It could be a trick. It might be used against us somehow.”
“Spoil-sport,” his brother mocked. “Come and have a drink before we leave.”
Together they went to the pub. A happy party. They discussed their plan until the early hours, until it was time for action.