The Three Coins
Hermione's screech caused Professor McGonagall to wince at the loudness of her voice.
"A mission with Malfoy? Professor that's preposterous. Absolutely absurd. It's...it's ridiculous!"
Hermione was beginning to hyperventilate. She could not believe Professor McGonagall would trust Malfoy, and even ask her to work with him. After all, he did attempt to assassinate Dumbledore. Logically, he was not the most trustworthy person.
"I understand you may find this all rather strange, but I assure you, Mr Malfoy can be trusted. He is a spy for the Order and he can rely very useful information about Voldemort's whereabouts and activities. His loyalty is not questionable." Professor McGonagall firmly spoke.
Hermione felt the world had finally come to an end, the dark had finally won. She never thought the day would come that a member of the Order, Professor McGonagall herself, would ever trust and support a Death Eater. One who tried to murder Dumbledore! One who Voldemort trusted a lot and chose to carry out his most vial and dirty work. Draco Malfoy!
As Hermione sat there, letting everything sink in, Professor McGonagall watched her calmly, a wave of sympathy and understanding washing over her. This was very new news for Miss Granger and it was also very big news. Anyone would need time to absorb everything.
Draco, on the other hand, simply leaned against the window sill and stared out with a blank look on his face. It was an exceptionally sunny day, with not a cloud in the sky. Draco watched the street, holding a strange similarity to his life- empty. He was not very bothered about the Granger girl, she seemed to be tipping over the edge of sanity and he really couldn't give a damn. When he heard the filthy Mudblood would be his partner, he first laughed, then threw a tantrum, then sulked and finally just couldn't be bothered. His priority was not the Mudblood, or the Weaselbee or even the damn boy-who-would-not-die. His priority was getting rid of the blasted Voldy, the one who made his life hell, literally. He couldn't remember the last time he was truly happy, he was truly free of all sadness and darkness. He forgot what it was like to laugh or even smile. Voldemort made him numb, and he would pay.
"Where's Harry and Ron? Did the Snatchers get to them?" Hermione suddenly asked, shaking with worry and concern for her two best friends.
" Um, well that we don't know. We are not sure of the whereabouts of Mr Potter and Mr Weaseley. They were not taken by the Snatchers most likely, since Mr Malfoy got rid of them."
"You mean Harry and Ron...are missing?"
One solemn nod from the Professor was enough to make Hermione's heart clench painfully in worry.
"We have to find them Professor!" Hermione exclaimed.
"I agree Miss Granger. The Order is working on finding both of them, but though it will be hard, you cannot concentrate on them now. You and Mr Malfoy have a mission. And I need to know you are fully committed to this mission. It will be dangerous and life-threatening, but absolutely essential if we want to defeat Voldemort. So Miss Granger, are you in?"
Hermione looked down at her hands in her lap, which were getting sweaty and clammy as they wrung together. Beads of perspiration formed on her forehead as she glanced up at the dark Malfoy. He simply watched her with no trace of emotion or feeling. Though he stared at her blankly, she felt his gaze was burning a hole right through her. She didn't know if she could trust the Slytherin Death Eater, let alone work with him. After almost five minutes of heavy silence while Hermione debated with herself, she finally spoke.
A faint smile appeared on the Professor's lips and she nodded slightly.
"I knew you would not back down. Well, perhaps I shall leave you to rest for a while. You still look extremely tired and…"
"I'm fine Professor. Now if you wouldn't mind, I would like to know more about this mission, especially the part where I have to work with…him." Hermione firmly spoke, her eyes narrowed at the Slytherin Malfoy.
Professor McGonagall turned to Draco but he just stared at Hermione with disgust and hatred etched on his face. She sighed inwardly at the thought of the two of them working together. She knew they loathed each other, but it was the only chance they had left. Still, facing problems ahead would be inevitable.
Professor McGonagall sat on the edge of the bed and looked down for a second before looking back up at Hermione.
"You, Mr Potter and Mr Weaseley have been on the hunt for Voldemort's horcruxes, am I right?"
"Y-Yes. But how did you…"
"Albus mentioned it to me. And if I am not wrong, three have been destroyed all ready."
"And the three of you were under the impression that to destroy Voldemort, you would have to destroy all the Horcruxes?"
"Well then Miss Granger, I am afraid you were only partly correct."
At this point, Draco yelped out in pain as he clutched his left arm. Hermione could see the dreaded Dark Mark on his arm moving slightly as Draco hissed through his teeth.
"Mr Malfoy?" Professor McGonagall turned to Draco with a worried look.
"Sorry Professor, but I have to…"
"Yes yes I know. Go on then Mr Malfoy."
Draco nodded apologetically to the Professor and without a second glance at Hermione, apparated out of the room.
"What was wrong with him?" Hermione asked once he was out of sight.
"Voldemort is calling out to his followers. And since Mr Malfoy is a spy, he has to go."
Hermione nodded in understanding, recalling something about how Voldemort communicated with Death Eaters through their Dark Mark.
"Right, now where were we? Ah yes. The seven horcruxes. Recently, the Order has found out a bit of additional information about Voldemort. Though he has split his soul into the seven horcruxes, he still took extra measures to ensure he was truly immortal and invincible."
Hermione gulped as her heartbeat picked up pace and she knew this definitely did not sound good.
"What do you mean…extra measures?"
Professor McGonagall fidgeted through her robes for a moment before pulling out a parchment and handing it to Hermione. On it was a drawing of three circles all overlapping each other in a triangle shape. It was a very simple and vague drawing which made Hermione as perplexed as ever.
"What are these?"
"The Three Coins of Roberta Henson."
Hermione glanced down at the parchment again as her brows furrowed even more. So many questions ran through her mind and Professor McGonagall could see Hermione's confusion.
"Roberta Henson was a Witch who befriended Tom Riddle during his Sixth Year in Hogwarts. She had a keen interest in magical inventions and Tom convinced her to make an invention which could guarantee immortality. Since she was so enamored with Tom, she agreed and created The Three Coins."
"What exactly are The Three Coins? Are they like…horcruxes?" Hermione inquired.
"Not exactly, Miss Granger. You see, at that time Tom had not heard of horcruxes and was still seeking ways in making himself immortal. The Three Coins are more like…a spare life."
"Sorry Professor, but I still don't understand. How do they work exactly?"
Professor McGonagall sighed, knowing that it was going to be hard to explain such a complex theory, even to smart Hermione Granger.
"When The Three Coins were made, Tom spilt his blood on them and Roberta cast a spell, making it so that The Three Coins, if put in the formation as in the parchment and the same spell said, would be able to produce another form of him. Another life of him."
"But, that doesn't exactly make him immortal."
"Exactly. Which was why Tom later sought the method of using horcruxes. Though he did still use The Three Coins, he abandoned Roberta for her poor use of magic. Roberta was so enraged she secretly placed a curse on The Three Coins that if they were ever in the same formation and the spell was said, the opposite effect would happen and Tom would be destroyed forever."
"But, won't the horcruxes still…"
"Yes, the horcruxes will still hold his soul, but The Three Coins will be strong enough if his soul is weak, meaning if most of the horcruxes are destroyed."
Hermione looked down and absorbed everything. Three horcruxes had already been destroyed, but was that enough to weaken Voldemort? As of reading her mind, Professor McGonagall spoke again.
"The destruction of three horcruxes would make Voldemort weaker, but the best is for all of them to be destroyed. Still, The Three Coins might be stronger than we suspect, but it is a chance we have to take."
"So the mission…"
"Is for you and Malfoy to track down The Three Coins. Tom placed them in separate places around the world after he found out about Roberta's curse. You see, it can only work if The Three Coins are placed together. You can't destroy them or perform the spell on them separately. By now, I am sure Voldemort has them extra protected."
"But, where do we start? The Three Coins could be anywhere. And I am all in for the mission, but why is Malfoy also involved? I understand he is a spy, but still…"
"Miss Granger, only you and him can go on this mission. The reason, I cannot tell you. But all I can tell you is that if you really want to defeat Voldemort, you are going to have to work with Mr Malfoy."
Hermione looked disappointed for a second but nodded anyway.
"Miss Granger," Professor McGonagall whispered, placing her hand over Hermione's," I have the utmost faith in you and Mr Malfoy."
Hermione smiled appreciatively as Professor McGonagall squeezed her hand before standing up and walking out the door.
"Rest for a while, Miss Granger. You are going to need a lot of strength for this mission."
As Professor McGonagall walked out of the room and closed the door behind her, she noticed Molly Weaseley standing by the doorway; obviously she had been listening intently.
"Do you really think Hermione and Draco will be able to do it? I mean, in order for them to succeed, they would have to…"
"I know the chances are slim. But at this point, we don't really have a choice. We can only hope Trelawney was right about her prediction. Besides, when was she ever wrong?" Professor McGonagall smiled slightly before making her way downstairs.
Molly watched her walk away and a frown made its way to her face as she thought about Trelawney's prophesy. Professor McGonagall was right. They could only hope now that everything went according to plan.