Moving On

Chapter 10

Hermione took Daphne by the hand and started to leave the room.

"What's going on? What are you doing Hermione?" demanded Daphne as she pulled he arm away from Hermione.

Tracey and her uncle were just staring at the two women, wondering what had gotten into Hermione. Healer Richmond had a concerned look on his face as he watched the scene unfolding in front of him. Hermione grunted in frustration, then she asked Healer Richmond for a private room where they all could talk. Soon they were all in a conference room and Hermione quickly cast silencing charms around the room and protective wards.

Everyone was staring at her like she was losing her mind.

"I need you all to swear an oath for secrecy about what I am about to tell you," insisted Hermione. She received blank stares and then she shouted, "Now, we don't have much time to waste!"

Quickly they all swore oaths on their magic, and then Hermione began to explain.

"The Elder Wand exists. The master of the Elder Wand is lying on a bed out there, with his magical core leaking and he will die if we do not go get the wand. Harry used the Elder Wand to mend his original wand, the one that was a twin to Tom Riddle's wand. It is back in England"

Everyone, even Daphne was shocked at this statement.

"It's why Harry did not stay dead after the last time Voldemort cast the killing curse at him. Harry is the master of the deathly hallows. He had all three of them, or at least he had control over all three of them before he entered the Forbidden Forest." Hermione sighed as she recalled the Battle of Hogwarts and the fear she had when it appeared that Harry was truly dead.

Tracey spoke up first. "So, you know where the wand is then. You just have to go get it and bring it back."

"It's not necessarily that simple," said Hermione. "Yes, I know where it is, but wands choose the wizard. The Elder Wand is no different. It chose Harry because Harry disarmed its previous master, even though that wizard had no idea they had become the master of the Elder Wand. Tom Riddle stole the wand, but he had no idea that the wand was not his to use. He thought he had the power over the Elder Wand when he killed Professor Snape."

"Dumbledore had the Elder Wand?" asked Daphne. "Snape gained control of the wand then by killing Dumbledore."

"No, but that is what Voldemort thought had happened," explained Hermione. "Dumbledore was unarmed when Snape killed him." She took a deep breath, and then she continued, "Somehow we have to get the one who had disarmed Dumbledore right before he was killed to agree to help us. He was the last one to have any control over the wand, and they may be the only one who can use the wand to save Harry."

Daphne frowned slightly, "So what's the problem?"

"The problem? Only trying to find Harry's biggest nemesis from school and somehow persuading Draco Malfoy to agree to help us." Hermione felt defeated as she considered her last statement.

Daphne's eyes grew wide. "Fine, we can do that," she said in a manner that was so self-assured that it amazed Hermione.

"How can you say that?" she asked Daphne.

"Because Draco is courting my little sister and he has already been making nice to Harry earlier this year," stated Daphne. "Harry and Draco have been hanging out together on occasion before we started this whole trip."

Hermione could have not been more shocked than she was now.

Tracey looked at the two witches and then she explained, "Then what the bloody hell are you waiting for? Go get the wand and get Draco!"

Hermione and Daphne arrived at Greengrass Manor after making several long distance floo connections. As they walked into the manor, Daphne was shouting to get the attention of anyone at home, even the house elves.

Isabella Greengrass walked into the parlour, wondering just what all the commotion was about.

"Mum!" called out Daphne as she gave her a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek. "I don't have time to explain, but we need to find Draco, now!"

Isabella Greengrass stepped back and gave her eldest daughter a hard look. Here she had been gone for well over a month on some sort of crazy adventure with that Harry Potter, and now she returns, hysterical and with some unknown witch by her side. She glanced between Daphne and the woman beside her as she thought there might be something familiar about her face. Daphne noted her mother's look and sideways glances.

"Oh, sorry mum," Daphne said in way of apology, "this is Hermione Granger." Isabella raised an eyebrow. "Yes, that Hermione Granger. We need to find Draco and we need him now. We have to get him to the States to help Harry."

Her mother was taken aback by the urgency in her daughter's voice. "I think that he and Astoria are out for the day at a park somewhere."

"Send a house elf to find them, and have them meet us in Hogsmeade, immediately," she said as she turned to back to the floo. "We'll be at the Three Broomsticks waiting for them, but they need to be quick!" With that, she and Hermione stepped into the floo again.

Isabella was beside herself over the abruptness of the conversation. She called for one of the house elves and then quickly explained what she needed him to do.

Hermione and Daphne were only waiting about fifteen minutes before Draco and Astoria walked into the Three Broomsticks to meet up with them.

Draco was almost dragging Astoria, who appeared distraught over the brief message they had received from the Greengrass family house elf.

"Where's Harry?" demanded Draco. "What's so urgent?" Then looking at Hermione, he added, "And what is the…what is she doing here?"

Hermione was about to say something but was immediately silenced by Daphne. "Get over yourself, Draco," she said trying to calm the situation as much as possible, "you showed signs of growing up before Harry and I left for Australia, so please do us all a favour and continue to act like the descent person you've been trying to become."

Astoria spoke up, "But where is Harry? What happened? And why do you need Draco?"

Hermione spoke up next, "I need you to listen carefully and quietly while I explain. We have a room upstairs that we have warded for protection, so I can explain there, and then we need to get on with why we are here, and hopefully you will agree to help us."

The somber tone of her words got everyone's attention and the quietly followed Hermione to the room which they had prepared. After securing the room with protective wards Hermione began to speak again. "First of all, Harry has been hurt and he is in a hospital in the United States, Saints Cosmos and Damian in New Orléans. Yes, it is a magical hospital."

Astoria squeezed Daphne's hand and then gave her a hug. Draco looked from Hermione to Daphne and saw the tears welling up in both of their eyes.

"How bad is he?" asked Draco, with obvious concern in his voice which surprised Hermione despite what she had heard from Daphne before they left New Orléans.

"He is dying," she answered bluntly, "but there is a chance that he might be healed, but only with the use of a very powerful wand, and it needs to be wielded by someone who can claim it." Hermione noted the blank looks on Draco and Astoria. "During the war, when you were sent to kill Dumbledore….Yes, I know you didn't do it, Snape did, but you disarmed him. Harry told me, he was there, hidden under his invisibility cloak. You disarmed him and then Snape killed Dumbledore."

Draco was shifting on his feet, feeling very uncomfortable with the conversation. "I was there Granger, you don't have to remind me of the events of that night."

Hermione frowned at him for interrupting her, "I know, but just listen. Then, during the war, when we were captured by the Snatchers and brought to Malfoy Manor, right before we escaped, Harry disarmed you, he took your wand from you."

"Yes, I remember, then there was the Battle of Hogwarts, and then he defeated Voldemort," added Draco, "we all know all of this."

"Shut up and listen," snapped Daphne.

Hermione groaned slightly at the continued interruptions. "When Harry disarmed you, he became master of your wand, and the wand you had unknowingly become master of when you disarmed the headmaster. That was the Elder Wand. That is the wand that Harry used to defeat Tom Riddle, that is the wand that may save Harry's life. You are not the master of the wand, but you were at one time. None of us have ever used the wand. But we need to get the wand, and take it and you to Harry and hope that the unspeakables and the healers have discovered a spell that could save Harry."

"If Harry had such a powerful wand, what did he do with it?" asked Draco, not fully sure he was believing everything that he was hearing.

"Harry returned it to Dumbledore's tomb, the same place that Voldemort stole it from just before the Battle of Hogwarts," added Daphne to finish the explanation.

Draco was rubbing his forehead as he tried to take all of this information in that his two classmates had just shared with him.

Hermione then added, "Look, we really don't have much time, let's go to the tomb. I'll send Headmistress McGonagall a patronus and ask her to meet us next to the tomb. We need to get going!"

With a flick of her wrist and an exclamation of "Expecto patronum!" a silver otter shot forth from her wand and scampered out of the room they were in. Next she released the wards in the room and then she lead the way out down the stairs and out of the Three Broomsticks heading towards the gate at the entrance to Hogwarts.

As they were heading up the street, Daphne noted that the building which once housed Zonko's Joke Shop now had a new sign out in front. In varying neon colours the sign flashed "Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes 2." She shuddered at the thought of possibly running into one of the redheaded gits, remembering the last time she had run into Ron in Diagon Alley when she was with Harry, Draco and Astoria.

Ron stepped out of the door as he saw the foursome walking quickly up the road. He was surprised to see Hermione for the first time in almost three years, but he was even more surprised that she was in the company of three Slytherins. He couldn't hold back his anger has he stepped into the road in front of them and called out to Hermione.

"Funny seeing you again, Granger," he snarled. "And in the company of slimy snakes, no less. Well, I guess after you left me you really did drop your standards." The bile in his words matched his middle name.

Hermione stopped and glared at her former boyfriend. "Stuff it Ronald," she snapped at him. "We're busy and none of us have time for your childish rants."

Ron glared at each of the four in turn and nearly spat his words at Daphne and Draco. "So, where's Harry? What you do, have enough of him and leave him in a ditch somewhere? Or did you find out he was really broke and had no more use for him?"

Draco reached to draw his wand, but Astoria held his arm back.

"Letting your slut Slytherin girlfriend keep you out of trouble Malfoy?" Ron jeered.

"What is your problem, Weasel?" asked an obviously irritated Draco.

"You're one of my problems, ferret," replied Ron who was reaching for his wand.

Hermione noted the motion and she moved to step between the two hot-tempered young men. "Cut it out Ronald," she yelled in his face. "We need to get something and we'll be gone. Then we will be going to get Harry."

Ron reached out and grabbed Hermione's arm. "When did you become all chummy with the ferret who cursed you more times than I care to remember?"

"Unhand me!' screamed Hermione as she tore her arm away from his. "We need to leave." Then she turned and started to walk away pulling Draco with her, assuming that the sisters would just follow. Daphne started to walk behind them but she was keeping a careful eye on Harry's former mate.

Ron stared after them and the called out. "What are you needing to go to Hogwarts for?" as he watched them heading towards the school gates. His mind started to kick into gear as he realised that there was one thing that they might be going after, and Harry wasn't there to claim it as his own. Ron tried to think of anything else they would want so desperately from the school, and he could think of nothing other than the Elder Wand.

Losing all self control, Ron drew his wand and hollered "NOOOO!" as he began to cast spells at the group.

Daphne had been wary of Ron acting out and quickly she cast a protego spell, but the shield crumbled under the onslaught of the hex that Ron had cast at them.

Draco spun on his heal and started casting stunners at Ron, but Ron dove to the side and cast his own shield. Ron responded with a quick series of stinging and blasting hexes, making a mess out of the road as dirt and rocks were sent flying into the air. Astoria cried out as she was grazed by some of the debris. Hermione had pulled out her wand to cast another shield after Daphne's had collapsed and she quickly fired off a body bind spell which managed to trip Ron as he was starting to run after them.

Daphne then cast "expelliarmus" and had Ron's wand flying in the air towards her hand. Ron however had managed to get out of the body bind that had only attached to his feet and was now running unarmed towards the four.

Draco looked at Ron in shock at the thought that he would still continue to attack them even though he was bow without a wand. Draco considered various curses to send at the youngest male Weasley, but he quickly discounted them all as being to harsh to use on a defenceless person. Briefly he wondered where that idea had come from, but his wondering soon ceased as he felt the pain of Ron's fist connecting with his jaw.

Daphne hit Ron with a "stupefy spell" which caused him to drop in the middle of the road. Suddenly there was the sound of multiple pops as several Aurors arrived on the scene.

The representatives of the DMLE were questioning everyone including bystanders and they were soon convinced that the story told by Draco and Daphne was correct, that the unconscious young man at their feet had really started the whole incident, casting spells and chasing them even though he had not been provoked. After several minutes they dismissed the four while they grabbed Ron to bring him back to the ministry holding cell. "Might as well not rouse him until after he is put into the cell," commented one of the Aurors who remembered Ron from various calls to Diagon Alley over the past several months.

Several minutes later the group had entered the Hogwarts grounds and were on their way towards Dumbledore's tomb on the far side of the Black Lake. As they drew nearer to the white stone tomb, they noted the silhouette of an imposing woman standing near the tomb. They picked up their speed from a jog to an outright run to get to the tomb.

The four were breathing hard when they arrived to be subject to the stern gaze of the headmistress.

Minerva McGonagall glared at the four former students. "While I would usually say that I am happy to see you, Miss Granger, I must declare that the news I received from your patronus was both startling and quite disturbing." She raised a slight eyebrow as she contemplated just who Hermione's companions were, which caused her even more consternation. "This is highly unusual, and your choice of friends has me baffled. And on another note, whenever you, of all people, seem to get into trouble, Mr. Potter is not far behind. Where is Mr. Potter? Is he not far behind?"

Hermione was about to answer when Daphne gently took her arm and gave her a look. Turning to the headmistress she began to explain, "Professor, Harry and I have been a couple for several months. He is currently in a hospital over in the United States. Hermione and I have been working with Harry on a particular task and he was gravely injured."

Her strong façade was starting to crack as she was explaining the situation. Hermione noted this and gave Daphne a slight hug and then took up the explanation.

"Professor, we need the wand that was placed in Professor Dumbledore's tomb," she said simply.

McGonagall flinched at the idea.

"Let me explain more clearly," Hermione added, "the wand in his tomb is the Elder Wand. Dumbledore won that won from Grindewald many years ago. Voldemort wanted to take the wand as his own and when he had learned that the headmaster had been the last person in possession of it he came and took the wand from this tomb. However, he was mistaken as just possessing the wand does not make you the master of the Elder Wand. It has to be won in battle. Draco won it from him that night before the headmaster was killed. Then Harry won the wand from Draco the following year. It is rightfully Harry's wand. Harry used that wand to defeat Tom Riddle. We need that wand now to help save Harry, or he will surely die."

McGonagall looked from Hermione to Daphne and then to Draco. She always had concerns about the young Malfoy while he was a student and she remembered all too well the altercations that he would get into with one of her favourite lions when they were students.

Minerva trembled slightly as she spoke, "This is most irregular. And to think that you want the most powerful wand there ever was to be removed from this tomb, so that Mr. Malfoy could take possession of it. To say that I am concerned would be an understatement to say the least."

Astoria stepped forward before Draco could respond, "Professor, even in Slytherin house we all knew that you were always fair. In the spirit of that fairness, hear us when we assure you that Draco is not the same young man as he was those years ago back at school."

If Draco could have blushed, he would have with the comments made by his betrothed. "You may find it odd that I tell you this, and you may have no reason to believe what I say," said Draco, speaking up now, "but I have grown to consider Harry Potter as a friend. From the practical side, we may soon be related through marriage to the young women we fancy," Daphne started to blush at this comment, "but I have learned a respect for him that I never had before the Battle of Hogwarts. In fact, I personally owe him a life debt from that night."

The headmistress had heard more than enough to convince her that her presuppositions about this group were misplaced, but she still felt that something was wrong about this whole situation. She turned to Hermione to try and understand things better, "If what you say is true, then why is the Elder Wand back in the tomb? And why does no one know about it?"

"Harry wanted the Elder Wand to never be used for evil again. I am sure you know that its other name is the Death Stick," said Hermione. "Harry's goal was to have the Elder Wand hidden away so that if and when he dies, then it will no longer have a master. It would be best for it to remain an object of children's stories and myth. However, there was an accident."

Hermione shivered at the thought of Harry essentially in a coma with his magical core slowly leaching out as he lay in the bed at Saints Cosmos and Damian Hospital. Daphne emboldened herself to take up the story for Hermione. "Harry was attempting to retrieve the tail feather of a thunderbird when he was cast down from the sky. He had a special robe and protective charms which prevented his body from experiencing any significant physical harm, but the result of the impact in combination with previous magical attacks he has suffered resulted in his magical core essentially being shattered. His magic is seeping away and he will die from the loss of magic in a matter of days if nothing can be done about it." Daphne herself was now overcome with emotion as the full impact of her own words to the headmistress crashed down on her own being.

"My word," gasped McGonagall. "Harry never does anything the easy way." She looked at the emotional pain that was evident in both Hermione and Daphne, and she could feel the anxiety that even Astoria and Draco felt towards Mr. Potter, and she was deeply moved. "Very well, what would you have me do?"

Hermione shuffled her feet slightly and ten began to explain. "We need to remove the wand from the tomb. I am sure we could do it, but having a master in transfiguration do it for us, and the blessing of the headmistress to boot, would make it a little easier," she said.

Daphne added, "Not to mention that we know we can trust you not to share this information with anyone."

Minerva did not need to think very hard about the situation as they had already done a very good job explaining the reasons why this was necessary. She refused to even consider the phrase that this might be 'for the greater good' but she did understand that this was needed to save one of her favourite students from throughout her entire teaching career, but he saviour of the magical world. The headmistress let out a slight sigh before responding, "Very well, I will help you all with this."

She stared at the white stone tomb and then she snapped her wand quickly as she said a few barely audible phrases. The tomb opened suddenly, and the wand floated upwards. Daphne noticed it first and made a move to grasp it, but Draco's reflexes were quicker and he suddenly held onto the fabled wand that at one time had been his to control, even if he never realised that at the time.

McGonagall looked over at the wand and simply stated, "Would you mind terribly if I had a closer look at this storied wand? After all it is not every day you happen upon one of the Deathly Hallows, and the most infamous one at that."

Draco silently proffered the thin wooden instrument of magic to her. She hesitantly reached out and grasped the wand lightly, and made a few quick wand movements. There was barely any response to what she did, only a minimal amount of sparks shot forth. She gave a slight cough that indicated that she was less than pleased with the feel of the wand. She then extended her arm to hand the wand back to Draco. "Thank you, Mr. Malfoy," she said with a tight smile. "It is not at all what I expected, but I can at least say that I held the Elder Wand," then she paused before clarifying, "although I can't tell anyone about this, now, can I?" She gave a slight laugh as she thought about that. "Well, then, I guess it will just be our little secret."

Hermione smiled at her former head of house and the stepped forward and gave her a slight hug in silent thanks. The headmistress blushed slightly and then broke the hug. "Now then," she said to the four former students, "shouldn't you be on your way? Go take care of Mr. Potter. And please, all of you, be safe and no foolishness!"

The four said their thanks and their goodbyes and then they headed towards the Hogwarts gate so they could apparate back to London and begin their series of international travel to return to New Orléans.

At a conference room at Saints Cosmos and Damian's Hospital there was an intense discussion between Healer Richmond and several unspeakables, including Timothy Johnson.

"A simple repairing spell could not possibly be of any use here," stated the healer adamantly.

"But we do not know that," argued a tall but balding man who wore robes of a light grey. "This is the Elder Wand that those young people claim they will be returning with, the power in that wand is unmatched. A simple repairing spell could do amazing things."

The healer shook his head in frustration. "It's not in the nature of the spell to be able to do such repair," countered the healer.

The second unspeakable, a shorter man, slightly overweight, with dark brown hair and a dark complexion joined the debate. "How about a spell to repair a wineskin or some other such container? You have stated that Mr. Potter's magic is leaking out of his core. Have you tried such a spell?"

"Yes, Hopkins, my staff has tried over a dozen variations of such a spell. If you would like, I can give you a paper bag that will never let a drop of any liquid seep through it, but that has not been shown to be of any advantage to our patient." Richmond sat back in his chair and sighed.

Tim Johnson raised his hand to get their attention.

"This isn't grade school," chided the shorter unspeakable, Hopkins, as he glared slightly at Tim. "You don't need to get permission to speak."

Tim ignored the jab as he gave a suggestion, "How about a variation of the binding spell, the type of spell that some parents will use to bind a young witch or wizard's core to help prevent problems from accidental magic?"

Hopkins scoffed at the thought. The older unspeakable looked at Johnson as he rubbed his chin, "You might be onto something here, Tim."

"Thank you, Gus," he replied.

Gus Carleton had not become the head of the unspeakables within the United States Congress of Magic without learning how to appease those who he had to work with, and he often wondered how someone as irritable as Michael Hopkins had reached such a level within his own department. Carleton turned to the healer, "Perhaps we can use this idea from Johnson, use a binding spell, but use it to contain the magical core, not constrain it."

The healer nodded his head slightly as he considered the suggestion. "It might at least be a start." Continuing to think along this line, he then added, "Or use that in combination with a body bind curse, but we would need to work on a new rune sequence that would cause it to work on the magical core instead of the body."

Johnson shook his head as he dismissed the idea, "Not enough time to get it to work, if your current status reports are correct."

Richmond nodded slightly as he quietly admitted that Johnson was probably correct.

Hopkins spoke up again, "Have you determined what the affect of all of this magic leaking out around him is having on those nearby? And why is his leaking magic such a problem anyway? Most of us have experienced magical exhaustion. And even if he did lose all of his magic, why wouldn't he end up just being a muggle?"

"Magic doesn't work that way, Hopkins," snapped Richmond. "There comes a time when a wizard or witch has been using their magic for so long that their very life force is connected to it. Mr. Potter is no exception to this and possibly it may be affecting him more than others considering his previous experiences. If it was your magical core leaking at the rate his is, you probably would have been dead two days ago," he added to try and silence the ridiculous comments from Hopkins.

Tim Johnson tried to get a consensus as he asked, "So, what would you recommend be tried first? A binding charm? A healing spell?"

"Which one?" asked Richmond, "there are plenty to choose from, and everything I have tried has done nothing so far."

Richmond then looked to Carleton for his opinion. Gus frowned slightly as he considered their options. "Perhaps start with a healing spell or two, and a repairing charm, then try the binding charm if that is not successful. A spell to fix leaks might be another idea if nothing else is working."

The healer then looked around the room and closed the folder he had opened in front of him. "Well, now we wait for the others to return, hopefully with the Elder Wand, if it truly exists." With that comment all those in the room stood up to leave.

It was only a few hours after that conference was concluded when Hermione, Daphne and Draco came rushing onto the ward where Harry was being kept. The staff noted their arrival and immediately sent a message to Healer Richmond letting him know that they were back at the hospital. Ten minutes later the healer had arrived and he was shortly joined by Tim Johnson and Gus Carleton. Uncle Tim introduced the master unspeakable to everyone and Daphne introduced Draco to the staff. Richmond suggested that everyone gather at the conference room once again to review the plans. He explained the opinions of the various people involved with analysing the situation. Carleton then carefully explained which spells Draco would use and they reviewed the incantations and the wand movements.

He seemed wary of a young man without any training as a healer being the one to cast these spells. "What experience do you have with such spells?" asked the unspeakable. "This is not some simple stunning spell we are about to ask you to do."

Draco fought back responding with a sneer. "I am completing my first year of Auror training in England, and I had a fair amount of advanced training while I was a student, including in areas that are not normally part of the curriculum. I have learned several of the healing charms for simple injuries even up to Vulnera Sanentur, and I am well aware of the necessity in repeating that spell for some forms of healing." He winced slightly as he recalled his experience of suffering from the sectumsempra spell which Harry had cast on him during their sixth year.

Healer Richmond had a confused look on his face and Carleton raised a puzzled eyebrow at the comment. Tracey's uncle added for clarification, "What this young man is not telling you is that he comes from a family that supported the Dark Lord who recently tried to take over England. The very same Dark Lord that the patient was personally responsible for defeating."

Healer Richmond spoke up, "This is highly irregular. You expect me to allow someone who actively supported that crazy despot and was therefor an enemy of my patient to come in and cast spells to try and save his life? What are we to do if her tries something else?"

Carleton looked at Richmond with a cold hard stare. "Then it would be no different from what you are telling us will happen within the next day or so if we were to do nothing." He turned to the young women who were present. "I presume that you were Harry's friends before, during the war I mean."

Hermione nodded, but Daphne explained that she had only recently gotten to know Harry.

Carleton nodded in understanding as it was already made clear that there were no magical relatives to seek for advice. "Is there anyone else who should be present?" he asked of everyone in the room. No one suggested any other individuals, so then he asked Draco if he could examine the wand. Draco carefully offered the Elder Wand for inspection. The senior unspeakable held it gingerly, and examined it closely, but would not grasp the handle as if he were trying to cast a spell. Looking up at Draco he commented, "It is quite exquisite in its design and craftsmanship. It has a unique feel to it." He paused for a moment as he looked it over once more before handing it back with a final comment, "May you use it well."

Draco nodded silently as he reached out and took the wand back and slid it into his pocket. He kept his usual wand in a wand holster on the inside of his right arm, but he did not want to become accustomed to this wand which he knew was not really his to possess.

The group solemnly filed out and returned to the ward where Harry was. He had been moved into a private room and as everyone walked into the room, Carleton cast charms to prevent anyone from interrupting them in addition to the usual charms for silencing the room.

"Very well, you may begin," said Carleton. "Begin with the repairing spell, then cast the healing spells you know. Then Richmond will assess what you have done."

Hermione looked at Draco, almost pleading with her eyes for him to make this work. Draco looked at Harry and shuddered slightly as he saw his friend, once nemesis, lying there, unresponsive. He called upon his upbringing as a self-important pureblood to keep any hint of emotion from appearing on his face. He then pulled out the Elder Wand and made a few quick practice wand movements as he reviewed the spells in his mind. He knew the spells well and he concentrated on the words and the determination to put as much magic as possible into the spells.

"Reparo," he said firmly as he cast the spell, followed by the healing spells episkey, reparifors and then he cast vulnera sanentur three times in rapid succession. There was a series of white and then yellow and then blue magical light that encompassed his body.

Harry's body shook violently and then he let out a loud cry as if in pain. Daphne shrieked as she was startled by this reaction and Hermione quickly wrapped her arms around her new friend to comfort her and restrain her from interfering.

Richmond cast several spells to asses Harry's condition and that of his magical core.

"The ebbing of his core is slowing down," he exclaimed. "Repeat the spells!" he ordered.

Draco cast the same spells in the same order. He recalled that when Snape had healed him from the sectumsempra curse that the healing spell needed to be cast repeatedly, so this time he called out vulnera sanentur a fourth time.

"Can you bind his core?" called out Richmond as he continued to survey the status of Harry's core.

Draco gave a look of surprise and confusion.

Carleton stepped forward. "Let me try a modification of that spell," he said as he snapped his wand into his hand and began a series of ritualistic chants.

Richmond looked up as he assessed Harry one more time. "It seems to be working, but the damage is not fully repaired to his magical core." He looked at Draco. "One more time, young man."

Draco nodded silently. He was not expecting the drain on his own magical core, and he was starting to break out in a sweat. He started to cast the spells, and he decided to add a fifth vulnera sanentur this time. As he finished he collapsed to his knees and Harry once again screamed out in pain as he body convulsed. Daphne was now sobbing in fear at what this would mean. Hermione let go of her as she ran over to catch Draco before he fell to the floor.

Richmond was again reassessing the effects on Harry. He started to smile brightly. "It's working," he called out. Carleton let out a sigh of relief, and Johnson pumped his fist. Daphne looked up at Harry and then towards the healer. She was calming herself down when she looked over at Draco who was now sitting in a chair after assistance from Hermione. She walked over to her sister's betrothed and gave him a light kiss on his forehead as she whispered "Thank you" to him.

There was another cry from Harry who was still unresponsive and Daphne turned around to watch Harry start to convulse.

Richmond was frantically casting spells to assess what was happening and Carleton had now begun his own magical assessments as well. Gus raised an eyebrow. "Highly unusual," he said softly.

"Unheard of," said Richmond. "This is beyond amazing," he muttered in shock.

Hermione was now standing at Harry's side as his seizure stopped and she looked at the two men. The healer and the unspeakable were talking in hushed tones, conferring about what they were detecting. Daphne had now joined Hermione at her side and was holding Harry's still hand. "What's wrong?" she pleaded.

"Nothing," said Carleton simply.

"His core has been healed," said a stunned Richmond. "In fact, it seems to be larger than before, if anything his capacity for magic has increased at this time. I have no explanation for this, other than it must be some side effect from using the Elder Wand."

Daphne squeezed Harry's hand tightly and kissed him on the lips. Harry started to stir slightly, which was more of a reaction than he had to another stimuli since his injury, other than his screams during the healing process.

"He may not fully wake up for hours," explained Richmond trying to allay their fears and anticipate their questions. "He will need to rest for quite some time." He looked at everyone in the room. "Travel of almost any kind would be right out of the question for several days."

Tim Johnson spoke up. "When he is well enough to leave here, you are all welcome to stay with us in New Hampshire before returning over seas. I presume that traveling much farther than that would not be advisable for quite some time."

The healer nodded in agreement.

Draco was still feeling drained when Richmond had arranged for him to receive a pepper-up potion. Draco initially waved it away, but Hermione encouraged him to take it anyway. She then gave him a hug as she quietly thanked him again for coming to help out Harry.

Draco gave a wry smile as he said, "Who would have ever thought that Granger the Know-It-All would ever give me a hug willingly, or that it would because I had just willingly helped the Boy-Who-Lived."

"Things change," replied Hermione, "and sometimes they can change for the better."


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