Disclaimer: If you think this is mine then you are seriously demented.
Betaed by Laura
A/n –I've a long note at the end of this chapter. You'd better read it. ;)
Chapter 24: Who did it?
"Are we all here?" Hermione asked looking around.
"Almost," said Ron with a grimace. They were back in the boys' room which was filled to capacity. Ginny (leg in bandage), Harry, Ron, Remus and Tonks sat on Ron's bed in the far corner. Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Mad-Eye Moody and Fleur where all seated on Harry's bed in the middle. The Twins were sitting on Draco's bed, along with Snape having made a surprise visit to see if everyone was alright after the attack. It was almost ironic that Harry was sitting as far apart form Draco as possible while sitting with his ex-girlfriend and the same thing applied to the Snape, Tonks, and Remus triangle.
Hermione stood in front of them, nervously pacing up and down. In her hand, she clutched a huge book as if for reassurance. "I called you here because we were attacked by a group of …"
"Just get on with it," sad Mad-Eye, probably angry that he was forced to sit on a bed with his leg sticking out.
"Well," she said after a long pause. "Malfoy didn't summon Lucius here. He couldn't have."
"Why not?" Ron said with a scoff. "He admitted it himself. The bastard he was carrying was linked to his father."
"No it wasn't," Hermione said.
"You mean," Ginny said thinking furiously. "The baby wasn't Lucius'"
"Who else could it have been?" Snape said angrily. "Mine."
"Probably," Fred said then shut up when his former potions master glared at him.
"It was Lucius' alright," Hermione said, glancing at Draco who hadn't said a word. In fact for a roomful of people, everyone was keeping entirely too quiet. "I really don't think it was anyone else. Though we didn't do a paternity spell, I'm sure we can be positive about that part. But Harry, remember the question I asked you earlier?"
"About what Lucius said to me about Draco at the club that night," Harry said listlessly.
"Exactly, can you repeat that please," Hermione said.
"Ok," said Harry swinging his eyes towards Draco who flinched. "Lucius said a whole lot of nasty things which I will not repeat but in the end he asked 'what did you do with the extra luggage he came with… I didn't think he meant anything by that…Actually was too busy to think it over until Hermione came and started to question me."
"But you think he was referring to the baby," Remus said. "Only if the bond was true, then he would have felt Draco at the Club. But the question implied didn't."
"But," said Draco, after a while. "When Marcus made the comment about me putting on weight…I thought…."
Ignoring Harry's blanched look at the mention of Draco former lover, Hermione plunged in. "I don't think your father had much time to talk with Marcus after that. You did knock him down and your father was Auror custody soon after."
"And no one bothered breaking him out," Mad-Eye Moody added, almost as an afterthought.
"And Draco, what did your father tell you about the baby?" she asked. "Remember you were surprised at St. Mungo."
"Must I answer the question," Draco grumbled. "You obviously know the answer."
"Do it," Snape said, irritated by all the stalling. "I'm getting fed up of everyone acting as if they are five years old."
"Oh, all right," said Draco. "He told me it was going to be a boy and that the bond between… it and him…"
"Why a boy?" Hermione persisted.
"It's always been boys," Draco concluded. "My mother has always had boys, though none of them survived, apart from me. I think the potion my father fed me was meant to ensure that the baby was a boy. Malfoys have always held male children in high regard."
"Why?" Hermione asked triumphantly.
"Who knows," Draco said lethargically. "He wanted an heir and he never did like girls much."
"Because," Hermione said triumphantly, opening the book and slamming it down on the bed where Mad-Eye sat. "The Malfoy blood bond applies to males only. The only way your father could had felt a blood link would have been if the baby was a boy…but it wasn't."
"Oh, shit," said Harry mournfully. He knelt shakily on his bed and tried to say something, but Mad-Eye beat him.
"Maybe not," he said. "But Lucius did tell us that his son send him two owls informing him of the family situation, especially about Potter being there. That must have been what caused the Death Eaters to attack the Burrow."
"I didn't…" Draco said, and then stopped.
"Don't tell me you didn't send those owls boy…" Mad-Eye snapped brandishing his wand.
"I didn't send an owl tell him that Potter was there that day," Draco finished. "He isn't stupid enough to attack the Burrow randomly in the hope Potter might be there."
"No, but someone did tell Lucius," Remus said. "Otherwise that attack would have been a failure."
"And the attack at the Club," Hermione said. "That's what helped me figure out who did it in the end. It helped me narrow down the suspects and even though I had my suspicions, I spoke to Bill yesterday and he helped me come to a conclusion."
"That question you asked me," said Bill, sounding troubled. "But…that would mean…no…"
"I'm sorry," said Hermione, looking rather sad.
"No!" said Bill standing up, pushing Fleur aside. She squealed in protest but hurriedly shut up when she saw Bill's face.
"But it's true," said Hermione, tears coming to her eyes.
"It's not," said Bill, striding forward and clasping Hermione on the shoulder. He shook her roughly then let go abruptly, when he became aware of his actions.
"Hey," said Ron also jumping to his feet. "Let her go, Bill, she's usually correct, you know."
"You don't understand Ron," Bill said his eyes fixed on Hermione. "She thinks its mom."
"No she didn't" Ron said, halting in mid-stride.
"It's true, Ron," Hermione said, softly.
"What makes you think that?" Ginny said hastily, also getting to her feet. Only the twins remained silent, though they were also sitting up straighter.
"The only people who knew you were going to the Club were us. Me, Harry, Ginny, Draco, and you two."
"So, it couldn't have been mom," Ginny said. "You know she only found out when we came back."
"I didn't say she's the spy," said Hermione. "She's been handing out information about us on a purely innocent basis. She did know you were planning on going out…didn't you Mrs. Weasley?" Hermione asked the silent woman.
She did not reply since Bill spoke up first. "The clothes…"
"What clothes," Harry asked.
"Merlin," said Ron looking pale. "Draco borrowed your clothes for us to wear. You told mom about it."
"I just told her that you were planning on going out. I didn't know about the Club."
"Neither did she" Hermione concluded. "But she told someone who knew"
"Who else knew the significance of the Club?" George asked, and then gasped answering the question himself. "Percy."
"She's being passing information to Percy all the time," Hermione said, speaking very fast. "Remember, the day before the attack at the Burrow, she ran into Percy at Diagon Alley. The twins came back with her for lunch because she had a fight with Percy and was crying. They said she needed to be cheered up."
"And she must have told him about Harry being there," the twins said. "Only when we saw them together…mom, tell us it wasn't an act…" Mrs. Wesley, who was crying freely, did not reply.
"That day, when I came to the Burrow…on the day of the attack…you sent an owl to Percy, telling him…" Harry said in confusion.
"No," she said fiercely. "I didn't order an attack. Percy was supposed to come for a visit that day and since you were there, I wanted to send an owl telling him not to come but I couldn't find Pig."
"That was why you were insisting on using owls all the time," Hermione said. "You were writing to Percy and didn't want it to look suspicious if you started fire calling Mr. Weasley."
"He did come," said Remus dully. "He came with the Death Eaters."
"No!" Mrs. Weasley shirked. "He'd never side with them."
"He did," said Ron sitting on the floor abruptly. "Remember," he said speaking Draco. "Marcus wasn't surprised to see me. He said…"
"He wasn't surprised," said Draco sitting up. "He wasn't at all surprise to see Weasley with me. In fact he thought the two of us were together."
"You know it was him," Hermione said, speaking to the older woman forcefully. "You told Percy we were all collecting clothes or something. He put two and two together and increased the watch on the club so that on any day, he would be there ready for us."
"But…" Mrs. Weasley said.
"You were the one who invited him to a Fedelius charmed house," Hermione said, shouting. "You did it."
"She couldn't have," Snape said. "Only the secret keeper can give out the location."
"And she did," said Hermione. "Remember at the Burrow, McGonagall gave Draco the address written in a piece of paper. Mrs. Weasley took it to throw it in to the fire but she didn't …she must have thrown something else away but she kept that and gave it to Percy, sometime back. But he didn't come, because he thought Harry was blind. Therefore, useless. One thing about magical ceremonies is that, if someone is spell damaged you should reverse the process before casting anymore spells on them. Otherwise you get all sorts of unheard of side effects."
"All those days you were asking how I was," Harry said, his voice cracking. "I thought you were concerned, not…"
"I didn't know you were better," she said softy. "He was always asking about you. I thought it was because he cared. He told me to inform him when you were fully recovered. I was going to wait for your final physical examination after St. Mungo and then, tell him what the results were. He said if I could get him your medical results, he could show it to his colleagues at the Ministry to prove that you were still alive and … but after St. Mungo…I didn't even know you'd gone taking that Malfoy boy and you went out that night, so we couldn't even talk that night. I didn't get a chance to tell him you were better…"
"You didn't need to tell him," Harry said. "He saw me at the Club."
"But…" said Ginny sharply. "Even if mom did pass stuff on to Percy, it doesn't mean he was working for You-Know-Who."
"He isn't," Mad-Eye said. "Your brother was too clever to tie himself down to a megalomaniac. Instead, he tied himself to Lucius, I suppose. Could have been him who helped him escape. We did think of a few possibilities, but he was never on the list. "
"Got hit by Mrs. Black's portrait," Ron said mutedly. "That's why he didn't hex Ginny. He did have a soft spot for her, always"
"But why," Remus said. "He's not stupid."
"No," said Fred. "But he's in love."
"With my father," said Draco in a disgusted voice.
"No!" said George. "We don't know, but he's always had a thing for Hermione. The brightest witch of the century and all that. She was with Ron and we used to tease him about that, a lot. Maybe, Lucius promised him that with Ron out of the way, Hermione would be his…"
"I'd never," hissed Hermione, looking appalled. "So that was what he meant in Knockturn Alley that day, and he was so agreeable with my suggestions at the Club that night."
"But mom," said Bill, finally. "Why…"
"Why," said Mrs. Weasley. "I didn't know he was working for Lucius Malfoy until the day of the attack and maybe, if I had known I wouldn't have done that. I did it because he's my son. He wrote to me and said he wanted to come back home, but didn't want to come back a failure. Said if he could prove to his supervisor that he was working on something and got a promotion, then you wouldn't laugh at him. You two (to the twins) weren't making it any easier making fun of him and sending all those bogus complaints. He just needed a few places and dates; from our meetings to impress his fellow workers. Then he said he wanted to come meet me and asked for the address, so I gave it to him. I didn't see why the fuss was. He was one of us and we were all going to live here. What use was it if my son couldn't come home? But he didn't even use it…"
"…saving it for last possible instant," Snape guessed.
"…and he sent me an owl saying he wanted to come home, but wanted to talk to me alone…" she went on as if no one else had spoken. "But I went and waited and waited for him but he didn't come. I knew something was wrong then so I ran all the way home. Thought if I apparated, I would splinch my self and then the door was locked and warded. I was knocking on it and knocking on it and…"
"He wanted you out of the house," Remus said. "Must have loved you, Molly, to keep you safe like that…"
"I didn't know," Mrs. Weasley sobbed. "I didn't know he was going to try and kill his own brother and sister."
"He wasn't after them," Harry said. "Only me, but it would have been suspicious if he had tried to get everyone out of the house."
"Oh, God," moaned Ginny, crying in earnest. "I knew you were acting oddly…all those owls you kept on sending and I tried to tell Harry...that day when he blew a hole in the bathroom wall only…"
"I'm sorry," said Harry sounding stricken. "I'm so sorry Ginny."
"You never listen to me," she said. "Remember the Chamber of Secrets .I tried to tell you something was wrong but no one listened. No one ever listens to me."
"Mum," Ron moaned from the floor. "Oh, Mum"
"I'm sorry," said Tonks, who looked equally stricken. "I have to arrest you."
"Draco, wait," said Harry, hurrying down. "I need to talk to you."
"There's nothing to say, Potter," said Draco, adjusting his cloak.
"Where are you going?" Harry asked, as Snape hovered impatiently.
"To Malfoy Manor," Draco said. "Since I'm cleared of charges and of age, it's mine now. I have a lot to sort out before school starts."
"But, Draco," said Harry. "Will I see you again? I'm sorry about what I said in the room, don't…"
"It was fun while it lasted Potter," Draco said. "But there never really was us. Go back to your friends and enjoy yourself."
"I'm not staying here," Harry said. "I'm going to Godrics Hollow…meant to ages ago, but couldn't. I need some time on my own. But please, I'm sorry…you can't end this…please Draco…. I'm sorry about what I said to you earlier. I was angry and you did keep secrets from me. Please, stay or at least come back after you've sorted out your problems"
"I'll see you at school, Potter," Draco said. "Don't bother looking for me on the train. I'll be coming in one of my carriages, directly to school." With that, he turned and was out the door.
"No" whispered Harry. "Draco…I'm sorry…come back."
"Harry," said Remus from the top of the staircase with his suitcase in hand.
"You're going too," Harry accused.
"Malfoy Manor is rather big and lonely. Snape invited me."
"He hates me," Harry said. "I was angry with him… and it wasn't even his fault. I was such a fool…"
"There's always hope you know," Remus said.
"Hope is a demon with the face of an angel," Snape drawled, before following Draco out.
"Give him time to cool down and then try again," Remus said. "He's had bit of a shock but he's not really bad. I should know; I'm dating a guy who took the Dark Mark willingly."
"Harry, you can woo him back. You're going to be at school together, you have an entire year…"
"I don't even know if I have the time…there's so much to do."
"You make time," Remus said. "If you want something, don't make excuses. You always have time for those you love."
"I'll try…" he said.
"You should do better that that…" said Remus. "In the mean time, there are others who need you again."
After Remus had left, Harry went inside to talk to Hermione. She was sitting at the kitchen table talking to Winky, looking lost and sad. Her bags were in the hallway as she got ready to go back to her parents for the remainder of the holiday. The house was been systematically cleared out. The Weasleys were going back to the Burrow. Mr. Weasley had been suspended from his job at the Ministry after it was revealed that Percy was Death Eater. Any hope of his becoming the next Minister of Magic was gone.
Things could have been worse but for the moment, he couldn't imagine how.
Scrimgeour still fought for life, but the antidote seemed to have come too late. Fudge was already getting ready to take over.
"I'll see you at the station," he said.
"It's for the best," she said, her eyes red. "He wasn't good for you anyway, Harry. I think he's not bad as a person but as your boyfriend…you can do better."
"He is the best," said Harry. "I'm going to win him back." He changed the topic. "How's Ron?"
"Considering everything," Hermione said and Harry did not let on that he had heard them argue in to the night over Percy and Mrs. Weasley's action. However, they seemed ot have made up by morning. "He's all right. He's shaken, but he's got Ginny and the rest. She's not going to be thrown in Azkaban because she honestly didn't know she was doing anything wrong. Just that…"
Mrs. Weasley was at St. Mungo after suffering from a nervous breakdown.
"What a mess," he said.
"And you still have to destroy the remaining horcruxes and take out Voldemort and …find out what the original plan of Lucius Malfoy was." Lucius Malfoy was immune to veritaserum. All they had at the moment was the answers he had provided willingly. Hermione had come up with a few muggle techniques of determining whether he was telling the truth or not, but they all knew he was a true Slytherin and could escape the process. Snape was working on a stronger form of truth serum, but it was still in the experimental stages.
"I still have to save the world," Harry finished sitting down next to her.
"Ron is glad that Malfoy and you broke up, too. We're proud of you" Hermione was obviously not very good at cheering him up.
"I've got to finish packing," he said, standing up. He left the room without looking back.
He made it up in three goes, stopping occasionally to catch his breath and sitting down once when he was sure he was about to topple over. The poison had taken a lot more out of his system that he was willing to let on. Upstairs he paused at Draco's bed, and then looked at Ron who was standing in the room, looking around forlornly. "He's gone, isn't he?" Ron asked.
"Did you get a chance to talk to him," Ron asked.
"Yes," Harry said. "But he didn't want to…"
"Oh," said Ron. "Sorry."
"Why," snapped Harry, finally losing his temper. During their interrogation, it had been revealed that Harry and Draco had been rather close, if not exactly lovers or boyfriends. "Everyone, I mean everyone, apart from Remus has been telling me how nice it was that I decided to break up with him. Even people who didn't know he and I were together, like Mad-Eye, told me to stay away from him. Telling me stuff like I'll be stabbed in the back while I sleep. Aren't you going to tell me it was good idea too? Maybe get back with Ginny while I'm at it, like your mom was hinting."
"Merlin, no," exclaimed Ron. "I wouldn't wish my sister to be with a guy who wants to be with another guy. Plus, I was with him a bit, you know and he's not half bad."
"That's a first," said Harry with a smile. "A Weasley, saying something nice about a Malfoy."
"Not that different, are we?" Ron said slowly. "We've all got Death Eaters in the family now, by the looks of it. Don't you worry; everything will work out when we get back."
"I hope so," Harry said.
"Sure you don't want to come with us?"
"Yes," Harry said confidently. "I'm going to go and collect the rest of my stuff from my Aunts and then go to my parents' old home. I'm not going to stay there. I think I'll stay here…should be safe with me as the new Secret Keeper."
The Secret Keeper was changed, since no one knew how many people knew about the safe house, though the house was no longer used as the Order Headquarters. He would have a home to come back to no matter what, so he was not about to give it up that easily.
"Well then," said Ron shyly. "I have to go with Mione so…" Harry nodded and watched Ron walk out with his trunk and did not leave, even when he heard everyone else leaving.
He was all alone, just as he was before.
End of part one.
The second part of this story is going to be a separate story called "The Cost of Service." (Name suggested to me by my lovely beta Laura. You can find her stuff at It picks up where this stopped, when they are all back at school. Harry has to win Draco back (yes, it's going to have a happy ending. I didn't write close to three hundred pages for a failed romance) while finding all the horcurxes (what is the plural of Horcrux) and while going through a grueling training that is to prepare him for the final battle.
He's going to get a shock over one of his trainers. (Guess who). Have the most unexpected people support his affair with Draco while many will disapprove.
No character deaths. None of the major good guys are going to kick the bucket, unless I can't stand them and decide to kill them off. I'll leave it for the Canon.
It's not going to be Mpreg. I can't do it. It was difficult enough as it was. I messed it up completely here and it was a total flop. Maybe I'll wait until I have kids of my own…or maybe not. Don't see that happening for a while. Maybe in the very end. You know, they lived happily ever after and ooops …he's pregnant. With the final battle and all, I can't have anyone, guy or girl waddling around. Need them to be quick on their feet and all that though it might be mentioned in passing in a conversation or two.
This story came out a little different from what I planned but the plot is the same. (I originally wanted to put Draco in a dress when he went out with Ron but that was soooo fan fic.)
Thank you for being with me to the end. Hope you'll read the next one too, when I start posting it. Haven't started work on it, yet, so might take a while for it to show up. Hope you'll be with me then.
Before I start that, please, if you want to comment or have questions about this story ask away. I can answer them freely now that the plot is not going to be spoiled.
Thank you to all those who read this story especially those who put me on their favorites list and those who put me on their alert list. Hopefully you'll stick with me for the next chapter as well. Grimm018 you can't call the ending of this chapter a cliff hanger can you?
And to all those who guessed it was Ginny, you were wrong.