Harry and Draco had had a long talk about it. Draco had told him all that he knew. The woman had been flanked by two younger men but they had only fought on her command. She had ranted about pure-bloods and Voldemort but he didn’t remember much about that anymore….
“You should really talk to my father if you want to know more about these ideas…” Malfoy suggested.
Harry almost chocked on his tea. “Talk to your father..?” he sputtered.
“It’s not a war anymore…” Draco remarked scathingly.
“Why should I talk to your father? What’s he got to do with anything?”
“He might have books, might remember stuff from when he was younger and these ideas more prominent… Both..” Malfoy hesitated. “Both pure-blood ideology and this one are sort of opposites… The two idea’s have clashed for a lot longer than you or I might be truly aware of…”
“And your father knows more about what they believe…? Has perhaps encountered them..?” Harry continued a little more skeptical, “However, it’s not like your father, no ‘fence, is going to give any sort of neutral account right?”
“It’s just a thought,” Malfoy said; this time actually ready to leave. “If you talk to him, I do wish you will not mention what the spell was, just replace it with an other old one…”
“Your parents don’t know?” Harry asked surprised.
“Surely even you are above hurting a man already on his deathbed with such horrible news, even if you do despise him?” Draco wondered while raising his eyebrows.
“You want him to never know…” He understood.
“Not if I can help it…”
When Draco had already passed the threshold, Harry called after him.
“Malfoy… One last question… If these people exist and are what you say they might be, do you think it would be possible that Ron’s death wasn’t an accident after all? Since he was a pure-blood, and I am not…”
Draco narrowed his eyes… “I suppose it could be… I couldn’t say for sure though.”
Harry nodded absentmindedly, his mind already whirling with possibilities.
“You’re not serious…?” Ginny was perplexed. She and Harry were enjoying dinner at Hermione’s and Harry had just said that he would interview Lucius Malfoy in the morning.
“Why would you want to talk to… him?” Hermione asked with contempt. “That creepy…”
“He might know a little more about the people who could be responsible for Ron’s death…” Harry whispered. “I don’t want to go there… but it’s too important not to. Perhaps Malfoy will be there himself, I’ll ask him to be present…” he thought out loud.
“Wait, what…? How could Lucius..? I don’t understand…” Hermione asked bewildered.
“Malfoy came to see me, and he told me this story… something that happened to him during the war… and it could… it might prove to be useful for Ron’s case…”
“How so?” Hermione looked at him with begging eyes.
“I can’t… witness confidentiality and all that. Let’s just say that he was hit by an ancient spell which he’s only now realized the full consequences of… and just like in Ron’s case, it was a spell that was outlawed ages ago…”
“What was it?!” Ginny demanded to know.
“Ginny, I… I can’t…”
“You’re choosing that… that horrible, wreck of a man… over us! Your wife… and, Ron’s wife!”
“I’m not choosing anything. I just want to remain professional…”
“Professional, my ….” Ginny left the room shutting the door behind her with an enormous bang… Harry briefly closed his eyes. He’d know beforehand this news would not be easily received…
“It must have been something pretty serious for Malfoy to talk to you like that…” Hermione said thoughtfully. “It can’t have been easy for him… How did he seem to you?”
“Still same old scathing remarks, but otherwise reasonably friendly… Upset, but hiding it well.” Harry assessed.
“Do you really think the cases could be connected…? I thought Ron’s death was accidental… And him and Malfoy are completely different, have no connection, no similar interests… There is nothing to connect them, so how could the cases be linked?”
Harry sighed heavily before he gritted his teeth. “They are both pure-bloods… It seems there are people out there who do not approve of people simply being so…”
“But…. But… That would mean…. People on our side..?”
Harry nodded solemnly… “Exactly! How absurd is that?!”
“Other than that… they only thing Malfoy and Ron had in common was a love for Quidditch,” he continued, “and I don’t think the case will have to do much with broomsticks….”
“What’s he do now anyway… Malfoy? I ran into him a while ago… waiting for that date that never showed up…? Our Rose caught him staring at her, I think… She said he looked sad…”
“He’s a healer, I believe,” Harry stated and wondered aloud “why would he be staring at…” before he suddenly realized why. Malfoy might never have children…
Hermione had fallen completely silent and stared at him in shock. A healer? Who loved Quidditch?
With a tiny voice she asked… “At St. Mungo’s, right?”
“There aren’t that many hospitals around… surely you know that?” Harry laughed.
But Hermione had already jumped up in order to collect her letters.
“Hermione, what?” Harry shouted after her. What was it with them? Why would no-one stay put to eat this wonderfully glazed ham?
She quickly came downstairs, with a bundle of letters in her trembling hands.
“Hermione, what is going on…?”
“I cannot believe it…. Surely, it can’t be so?” she said.
And before Harry could ask, she began to talk about this man she’d been writing to, crumpling the letters in her hand by her firm and nervous grip. Ginny had said she shouldn’t but she’d decided to put her prejudice on hold for a bit, and he had been quite lovely… and so understanding… But he never showed up, and Malfoy had…
The man she had corresponded with was a healer as well and his father was ill… everything added up…