"I can't do this anymore."
Those were the first words Harry Potter heard Draco Malfoy utter when he entered Interrogation Room A at the Ministry of Magic. Then Draco saw Harry, and he stopped speaking.
"Mr Potter," Kingsley Shacklebot said by way of greeting, standing up and indicating the seat next to Malfoy. "Take a seat."
Harry glanced at Malfoy, who was steadfastedly ignoring him, and took the seat.
Kingsley sat back down at his place on the other side of the table. "Mr Malfoy," he said, clearly resuming a conversation that had begun before Harry entered the room. "I am afraid we have not yet retrieved all the names. Perhaps with the help of Mr Potter, this may be the last time." He said this kindly, although it was plain to Harry that Kingsley did not believe it.
"Can't Potter look by himself?" Malfoy asked after a pause. Harry glanced at him and saw that Malfoy's face was as close to pleading as he'd ever seen. A thin sheen of sweat covered his face, and his skin was even paler than usual.
"What am I looking at?" Harry asked Kingsley. The Pensieve in the middle of the table was giving him a few ideas, but since the terse summons he had received this morning had given no explanation, the details were a mystery. And why was Malfoy here?
Kingsley turned to him. "While the Ministry has had extreme success in identifying the majority of Death Eaters thanks to people like Mr. Malfoy here." Malfoy smirked without humor. "There are several still at large."
Harry frowned. He didn't see how he fitted into the picture.
"He wants you to put names to faces, Potter," Malfoy interjected with a sneer, although his words and voice sounded merely tired. "And since my family played host to a few little Death Eater parties over the last months, where better place to start?"
That explained why Mr Weasley had said he had seen Malfoy walking in and out of the Ministry over the last few weeks, even though his parents were in Azkaban awaiting trial.
"In answer to your question, Mr Malfoy," Kingsley said. "The more times and ways in which you view a memory, the more likely you are to find a link to another memory. If you can remember even one other time that you saw these Death Eaters, it may lead to the discovery of their names."
Harry noticed that although Kingsley was remaining kind, there appeared to be no real sympathy in his voice. He had wondered whether Malfoy would go on trial, like the other Death Eaters, or whether his age might earn him some leniency. Looking at the scene now, he may have leniency, but Harry wasn't sure it would last.
"OK, let's do it," Harry said, suddenly keen to get this over with.
Malfoy grimaced, and without further warning, quickly leaned over the Pensieve. Kingsley motioned for Harry to follow, and then there was that familiar tugging sensation and the three of them were standing in Malfoy Manor.
"Crucio!" Malfoy yelled.
Harry jumped back and fumbled for his wand, before realising that it was memory Malfoy, not real Malfoy, casting the Unforgivable.
He turned to look at the real Malfoy, who was smirking at him like he was a complete idiot.
If Harry hadn't seen the sheen of sweat on his face back in the interrogation room, he might have missed the fear behind Malfoy's arrogant expression.
Harry turned back to the scene in front of him.
"Mr Potter," Kingsley asked quietly. "In the past, when you have been linked with You Know Who, has he ever spoken to or named these men?"
Harry tried to look around the room, to take in the faces of the people sitting at the long dining table, but he found himself drawn to Malfoy instead. Both Malfoys looked sick and afraid, but the Malfoy of the present wasn't trying to hide it anymore.
"Very good, Draco."
It had been months since Harry had heard that sibilant voice, and even knowing its speaker was long dead it still made him stiffen in fear.
Memory Malfoy dropped his wand, relinquishing his victim with too much haste. His relief was too obvious.
Harry looked at Voldemort and saw that he had seen it too. Expected it, even. With a jolt of shock, he realised that was exactly why Malfoy was the one to be casting the curse, despite the many Death Eaters in the room. Voldemort was toying with him.
"Now finish it," Voldemort continued, his eyes lit with something too cruel to be called amusement.
Harry watched memory Malfoy blanch and lift his wand.
"Do you recognise anyone?" Kingsley prompted, looking all too aware of what was going on in Harry's mind.
Harry drew his attention back to the Death Eaters at the table. He shook his head. It was rare that the visions Voldemort had given him showed anyone he could recognise. Only in the graveyard had he been able to name anyone, and those names were no longer any use to the Ministry.
Harry jumped, and turned back at the flash of green light hitting the man on the floor.
Memory Malfoy stood, open mouthed in shock. His wand rested by his side.
"Narcissa," Voldemort said, curiosity in his voice. It reminded Harry of a cat who had just been bitten by a mouse.
Narcissa Malfoy stood, her wand still raised and pointed at the man on the floor. Her eyes were wild, and Harry had to look away from the intensity of emotion he saw in them.
Voldemort made a small motion with his hand. A Death Eater who looked vaguely familiar stood up, and before Harry knew what was happening, Narcissa was lying on the ground screaming.
Memory Malfoy twitched, but made no other movement.
The room dissolved, although Harry wasn't sure that the vision of Narcissa Malfoy being Crucio'd on their dining floor would ever leave his mind.
This time they were in a sitting room, similar to the one Harry, Hermione and Ron had been held when Draco had chosen not to identify them.
There were only a couple of Death Eaters in the room this time. Voldemort wasn't there.
Harry didn't look at Malfoy.
"The Dark Lord requires further use of your hospitality," a slimy Death Eater was saying to Lucius.
The corners of Lucius' mouth lifted up into what must have been meant as a smile. "As the Dark Lord pleases," Lucius said, standing up in a clear dismissal.
The Death Eater smirked and stayed seated. "The East Wing is to be prepared for his purposes by tomorrow night."
Lucius inclined his head, the half smile still on his face.
The Death Eater finally stood up. "See that it is done."
Harry felt Kingsley looking at him. "I don't know any of them," he said, somehow feeling like he was letting Kingsley and Malfoy down. "I'm not sure if I'm going to recognise anyone. When I saw him, or through his eyes, Voldemort never really spoke to anyone by name."
He heard Malfoy make a noise, presumably derisive. He turned, ready to insult Malfoy, when he realised that Malfoy wasn't looking at him.
Turning back to the scene, he saw that memory Malfoy had just entered from where he must have been lurking outside the doors. His face was pinched and haggard, but he seemed determined about something.
Narcissa looked up at him in alarm, but before she could say anything, Malfoy spoke.
"Is there no better location for the Dark Lord's headquarters?" he said. Harry thought he heard a small tremor behind the words. "Malfoy Manor is hardly a discrete place for the Dark Lord's activities. Everyone knows us. We are easily watched."
Another Death Eater stood up and sneered. "You would turn down such an esteemed honor, boy?"
Malfoy paled, but said nothing.
"I am sure the Dark Lord has ways of avoiding unnecessary attention," Narcissa interjected smoothly. "Don't let it trouble you, Draco."
Draco's jaw stiffened, and he gave a curt nod before stepping back to let the Death Eaters exit past him. Narcissa lingered behind a moment. Although they were already moving on to the next memory, Harry heard her whisper to Draco.
"Now is not the time for foolish bravery."
If that was bravery, Harry thought it was a pretty pathetic attempt. As the scene dissolved completely and the next one took its place, he shot another glance at Malfoy and gave a small start when he saw how weary he looked. He wondered how many times Malfoy had already been forced to go through these memories, and what he could possibly be expected to suddenly remember on each subsequent revisit.
The next few memories showed no one that Harry could identify, and they were forced to leave with no new information.
"The rest of Mr Malfoy's memories show the same people, or ones we have already identified," Kingsley explained when they were back at the Ministry. "So there is no point showing you those memories if you are absolutely sure you haven't seen those men before."
Harry shook his head. There was one Death Eater that he thought he might have seen that hadn't already been named by the Ministry, but he didn't think looking at any more of Malfoy's memories would aid his own, and quite frankly he'd had enough of the Pensieve for one day.
"So be it," Kingsley said with a nod before turning back to Malfoy. "You are safe to return to the Manor for tonight, Mr Malfoy," he said. "But tomorrow we will have to make our final preparations for your move."
"Where's he going?" Harry asked before he could stop himself.
Malfoy turned to him, lip curled. "He doesn't think it's any of your business, Potter," he spat.
Before Harry could shoot something equally spiteful back, Kingsley interrupted. "Mr Malfoy is under witness protection," he explained under Malfoy's indignant glare. "The Malfoy Manor is too easily located to be a safe haven for a whistle blower."
Protection, just like Harry's parents. Because that worked so well last time.
Harry frowned. "So, what, he'll go somewhere where there is a secret keeper?"
Kingsley nodded, although Harry caught something like hesitation in his expression.
"The Ministry is having trouble tracking down someone willing to protect a Death Eater," Malfoy added, his voice thick with cynicism.
Kingsley frowned. "There are several people willing and suitable to play host to someone as valuable to the Ministry as Mr Malfoy, but we need to make sure they pass the appropriate tests."
At Harry's look of confusion, he elaborated. "Tests to make sure they are both trustworthy and able to bear the weight of Secret Keeper."
If Harry's parents hadn't been able to find someone trustworthy enough, Harry doubted that Malfoy would.
A memory flashed, unbidden, into Harry's mind. Lying on the damp forest floor, Narcissa Malfoy's hair brushing over his face as she whispered in his ear. Her voice, crying "He is dead!"
"He can stay with me," Harry said before he had time to reconsider.
Malfoy shot him an incredulous glare. "With you? What the hell makes you think I'd stay with you, Potter? I'd rather be kidnapped by rogue Death Eaters than be subject to your stupid face every day."
Kingsley coughed quietly. "That would be a good solution, at least for the interim."
"You can't be serious?" Malfoy said, his gaze turning beseechingly to Kingsley. "What happened to the 'several people' you had on standby?"
"The longer we have to confirm their suitability as Secret Keeper, the better it will be for you. Mr Potter is already Secret Keeper of his house, since Miss Granger very cleverly resolved the previous issue," he smiled wryly. "And he would be in just as much danger by revealing his location as you would be. You're certain, Mr Potter?" He looked at Harry, his eyes serious.
Harry nodded. "I'm sure."
"Don't I get a say in this?" Malfoy yelped, a hysterical note finding its way into his tone as he sat upright in his chair. "You can't make me go with him."
"We can make you do anything we please, Mr Malfoy." Kingsley's voice had taken on a warning tone. "But we would prefer you make your own decisions."
Malfoy took the hint and shut his mouth, making no more protests.
"If that's settled then?" Kingsley looked at the two of them questioningly.
"Done," Kingsley said with a smile.