Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 7

The Auror Deparment had no idea what they were dealing with. Groups that wanted to restore Ancient Magic were not very high on their list of priorities. Anyone who had fought against Voldemort was more or less above suspicion and they were still swamped with tracking down the most skilled Death Eaters of all. This new threat did not really get noticed… it was not on their radar…

After their initial helpfulness just after Ron’s death, no-one was interested in these phantom groups anymore except for Harry himself. Who knew if they even truly existed? Harry got warned not to listen to Luna too much, everyone knew she was a bit… loony.

It had taken Draco all the courage he had to contact he Auror deparment. After a long and tideous search, made even more difficult by the librarian constantly hovering over him, he had finally found what he was looking for. The spell did exist; but it was ancient…. And definitely illegal!

The only solution the book had stated was that a counter spell could be cast by the very same person who had cursed you with it… In order to find this person, if she was indeed still alive… he would have to contact the Aurors…

Draco would have started a search himself but he had an uncanny suspicion that he himself was under surveillance of the Auror Department. Going on a revenge mission, without anything to go on, just didn’t seem the best solution.

For three long weeks he had deliberated about it in his head. All the stuff with Hermione temporarily forgotten. If he told someone about what had happened, anyone… would it be in the next morning’s papers as a headline? He couldn’t do that to father….

But then again… he would never father children of his own if this wasn’t solved… That thought had finally made the decision for him. He would have to swallow his pride again-like he had in contacting a healer-and report the woman responsible.

“You’ll never believe who’s here… and wants to speak to an Auror…!”

Harry’s new partner was easily excitable so he didn’t think too much of it…

“A celebrity?” he asked with raised eyebrows, “the latest winner of Dueling with the stars?”

“Oh no, a lot better than that! It is rather strange…. He wants to report something that happened during the war…”

“But that’s from years ago..” Harry frowned. This was very unusual…

“He’s coming in now,” Elphaba Stirgood, said.

“You still haven’t told me who…” Harry hissed as Draco Malfoy walked straight into his office.

“Malfoy…” he said amazed.

“Potter,” was the reply with a curt nod, his insides squirming…

Potter was the last one he wanted to open up to, yet his partner, a woman with green hair and what appeared to be a tattoo of a Muggle pop band on her upper arm didn’t seem remotely capable…. Draco didn’t really have a choice.

“Do take a seat,” Harry said, being as professional as possible. The green haired woman stayed in the room. Draco sighed. Just great!

He didn’t know where to begin, but Harry took charge.

“Stirgood here, mentioned that you wanted to report something that happened during the war?” he asked with a puzzled look on his face.

Draco coughed. This was the moment… He could still make for the door…

“Yes,” he replied. “I realize that might seem odd, but something happened of which I have only recently realized the consequences…”

“You were attacked, I take it…” Harry inquired.

“Yes,” Draco said smirking. “That’s what happens in a war, doesn’t it…” So much for open doors…

“Exactly… Which makes it all the more… ehm, special that you’re here right now…” Harry couldn’t help saying.

“An elderly woman hit a spell at me,” Draco continued ignoring Harry’s remark completely, “and nothing happened. Nothing at all… So, I laughed at her and suggested that she wasn’t any good at it…”

That sounded like Malfoy…

“But she wasn’t upset in the slightest and she had this nasty smirk on her face, saying… ‘You wait and see;’ she even repeated it a couple of times…”

He fell silent as his brow deepened.

The green haired woman gave him a gentle nudge… “And what has happened recently?”

“Sorry,” he said. Harry was amazed at hearing those words coming from his mouth… Malfoy apologizing?!

“It’s hard to talk about…” Draco smiled sadly. “I had almost forgotten about it, if it wasn’t for my parents… Well, frankly, they want grandchildren… and, and…”

He faltered. “Suddenly I remembered what she had said so I went for a check up.. and well… the spell worked splendidly…”

“What was it?” Elphaba whispered as Harry began to recall one of the spells from his research…

Extinctio,” they both said at the same time.

Draco had his eyes downcast. He wouldn’t be able to stand seeing the face of a gloating Potter.

He didn’t need to fear such a thing. Harry was just as appalled as Draco himself.

“So they might exist after all…” he mumbled.

“Who?!” asked Draco more harshly and demanding than he intended.

Harry’s eyes narrowed. “Malfoy… Have you ever heard of phantom groups?” he wondered.

“No, not that I’m aware of… What do you mean?”

Harry took a deep breath. “There is this theory… well, really it’s my theory…” he altered as his new partner sighed. “Evidently it is shared by few…” he glared at Elphaba.

“Are you really on about this again?” she asked.

“On about what?” Draco wanted to know.

“Ever since Ron… ever since he was killed, I have been wondering…” Harry swallowed the lump in his throat.

Draco flinched for a second at the mention of Ron’s name, recalling his last interaction with Hermione.

Harry didn’t notice, worried about sharing something so personal with Malfoy of all people!

“I don’t know how much you’ve heard… but Ron died of an old spell, an ancient one, in fact. One that was outlawed centuries ago… and I, we haven’t been able to find out who was responsible… So I've developed this theory about a group that might be willing to reinstate ancient magic, using spells that have been forbidden for good reason… And now you’re here telling me of yet another spell that has been illegal for a good while too…”

“I have heard of those…” Draco said, his blood running cold. “They’re like that woman… they hate people like me…”

“Death-Eaters?” Stirgood offered…

“Pure-bloods,” he said with gritted teeth. “They want to spread magic, so rather than containing it among all magical families, they want to do the opposite and share it with the entire world. No secrecy… nothing. For that to happen, every witch or wizard should marry a Muggle…” he shuddered briefly, causing both Aurors to glare at him.

“to ensure as many chances of Muggle-children becoming magical and to establish good Muggle-wizard relations…”

“Quite admirable, I’d say…” the female Auror said. “Completely the opposite of blood purity, but what most of us are working towards anyway….”

“Apart from killing pure-bloods, I hope?” Draco sneered. “If even Aurors are engaged in that kind of thinking… well…” He made as if to rise out of his chair and walk away.

“Could you give me a description of the woman, please?” Harry asked. “And possibly a location, even though the probability of her still being there is quite small… Just everything you remember from the start…”

He took a quill, a piece of parchment, and Draco began to share his story…

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