A/N: This is the last chapter of this section of the story – one out of three major parts. I will probably continue it after a break from Harry Potter writing, then pick up in May 1999 of the story. Thank you to everyone who has followed it so far!


Saturday, 3rd April 1999
5.30pm

When he opened his eyes, it was cold– snowing, all around him. Draco frowned and pulled his cloak tighter around him, staring at the empty field surrounding him. Where was he?

A stream of sparks flew past his left ear and he whipped around, staring into Dolohov's face. His eyes widened in alarm and he took a step back, reaching for his wand. Fingers closing around it, he was abruptly reminded of his lack of magic. Draco began to panic–

"Come to the manor," Dolohov ordered him, pointing his wand at Draco's throat.

"No," he spat, feeling uncharacteristically brave.

"Your mother–"

"–is gone," Draco told him. "And so are you."

Dolohov began to laugh and hauled Draco up by his collar. "Are we?"

"Don't touch me," he growled at him, yanking himself free. But Dolohov grabbed his arm again and he struggled to get away.

"Draco," he was calling. It sounded different, but he wouldn't look back–

Saturday, 3rd April 1999
5.32pm

"Draco," Harry shoved him again. "Get up, for Merlin's sake."

His eyes flew open and he shot upright, reaching out to grasp Harry's neck. Harry stilled under his touch and didn't move an inch, waiting for him to calm. Slowly, the terror left his grey gaze and he sagged back against the couch, breathing heavily.

"What was it?" Harry asked him carefully.

"Dream," Draco replied vaguely. "It's nothing."

"It's not," Harry retorted swiftly. "You can trust me." Draco had only been asleep for five minutes, dozing off while they waited for Hermione to return home with Ginny and Molly – the Easter holidays had finally come. He had been thrashing, nearly vaulting himself off the couch– Harry sighed as Draco curled up again, not meeting his gaze.

"Snow," Draco muttered grudgingly. "Dolohov."

"Again?" Harry cocked an eyebrow.

Draco rolled over and exhaled slowly, nodding. "Different, this time– like a vision."

Harry snorted. "You're not serious."

"It's not funny." Draco's eyes narrowed dangerously.

Harry shrugged. "Yeah," he agreed. "But this prophecy business seems a bit fishy, doesn't it?"

Draco looked at him curiously. "I suppose," he replied slowly.

"So," Harry said, letting it drop. "A vision?"

"Yeah," Draco told him. "He told me to go back."

"Back where?" Harry held his breath.

"The manor," he snapped, fiddling with his shirt. "Something about my mother."

"Is she alright?" Harry asked him politely. Narcissa Malfoy had, after all, saved his life. Draco fixed him with a look of exasperation.

"Look, Potter," he said condescendingly. "My mother left me."

Harry frowned. "I find that hard to believe."

He laughed darkly. "So did I."

The sound of the Ford Angelina began to rattle the house and Harry looked out the window, seeing them approach quickly. Draco groaned and threw an arm over his face, shooing Harry to go open the door.

"Ready?" Harry asked him, seeing Hermione step out of the car.

"For the Weaselette?" Draco returned scathingly. "Never."

Saturday, 3rd April 1999
7.42pm

"Neville's gone all soft around Luna," She was telling them over dinner. Somehow, she looked taller now, slightly more freckly. She had chosen to stay in her Hogwarts robes, wearing them proudly at the table. Draco shuddered and stabbed another piece of potato.

"About bloody time," Ron grinned. "It's been ages, hasn't it, Harry?"

Harry snickered and nudged him back. "'Luna...'" he simpered. Ron burst out laughing.

Hermione coloured slightly. "You're terrible," she admonished. "I think they're rather sweet."

The Weaselette smiled widely. "Aren't they?"

"Absolutely diabetic," Draco agreed with her, nodding.

Her face soured and she turned to him stiffly. Draco shifted ever so slightly when Harry's back straightened and Hermione looked away. "So," she changed the subject abruptly. "You're still here, then."

Draco nodded solemnly, holding his ground. "Unfortunately so."

"Be nice," Harry said under his breath, nudging him.

"Why are you here, anyway?" She asked him, leaning curiously across the table and locking her gaze with his. Ron coughed and she rolled her eyes, pressing on. "What do you do?"

"We need him," Hermione answered her quickly. He threw her a grateful smile. "He's given us most of the clues, hasn't he?"

Ron murmured in agreement and Draco raised an eyebrow in surprise. The Weaselette leaned back against her chair, shifting her attention to Harry.

"Clues?" she prompted.

"Memories," Harry told her evasively.

"Memories," she repeated. "What good is–"

"Facts," Draco cut her off. Glancing to Harry out of the corner of his eye.

She snorted. "Facts? From you?"

Harry locked his gaze with her and she faltered. "It's just a little suspicious," she mumbled, looking away. Ron coughed and Harry gave him a questioning glance.

"The memories contain more clues than the house does," Draco couldn't resist the urge to continue. "Most of them are at the manor."

He gave Harry a pointed look. Harry shook his head warningly and he fell silent as Arthur and Molly joined them, dropping their shopping at the end of the table. Arthur clapped his shoulder as he walked by, smiling warmly. Draco felt an uncharacteristic spread of warmth in him, looking at the Weaselette again. He would definitely need it.

Saturday, 3rd April 1999
11.57pm

"You know where my mother is," Draco said without looking up as Harry came in. He had his nose in the French book again, running his finger down the page and muttering to himself. He flipped it sharply, annoyed. Harry ignored it.

"What?" Harry asked, unsure. He folded his arms and leaned against the door, looking at him suspiciously.

"My mother," Draco repeated, rolling his eyes. "You know where she is."

"No, I don't," Harry told him, his gaze honest. "Why would you think so?"

Draco looked up and met his eyes. He seemed to search Harry for a moment, looking for a sign of deceit. But he sagged back against the pillows– he had of course been expecting that. Narcissa had disappeared clean off the face of England – Merlin knew where she was hiding. Perhaps, with her relatives in Ireland?

"Why?" Harry asked again, carefully.

"She knows," he told Harry, fishing it out of his pocket and holding it in view. It had slowly begun to rust – George had accidentally drenched it in potion on April Fools' Day. "She'll know about this."

Harry looked over the ring, looking distinctly exasperated by the sight. Dirty silver, nothing more, the parseltongue engraving. Over and over again, nothing changed when they wanted it to, surprising them when they least expected it. He absently wondered how effective a protean charm was, and considered the possibility of a spy.

They hadn't called a meeting yet. It was too dangerous, most of the Order was in Asia. Harry took the chain from Draco and stared at it, willing it to write more clues into the metal.

Hermione had taken to keeping a log of changes, casting a set of spells every morning. Draco didn't think there was much use– it hadn't changed at all since two days ago, she seemed to be chasing geese trying to figure it out.

"Have you tried writing her?" Harry asked, dropping his weight on the bed. "Your mother, that is."

Draco shot him a look of incredulity. "I don't have an owl, Potter."

"Ask," Harry shot back, face hardening. "Ron's got Pig–"

"Poor bird will probably perish in the rain," Draco replied scathingly.

"He'll be fine."

Draco paused and searched his eyes. He looked tired, worried– the Weaselette had kept them up all night in their little family reunion, Draco knew. But his mother, she was probably safe – he didn't care. Not enough. "No," he said finally.

Harry made a noise of annoyed protest. "Why not?"

"I don't want to know if–" he paused and took a deep breath. Harry looked at him worriedly and Draco held up a hand to stop him, pushing forward. "If she's dead."

"Oh," Harry said softly, crossing the room and settling into his bed on the floor, his expression unreadable. "Alright then."

Draco rolled over and closed his eyes, forcing himself to sleep. Harry began to snore long before he even drifted off, setting a comforting atmosphere. As long as he was there, he would be safe. He slowly surrendered himself to unconsciousness, pushing the thoughts away from him and walking straight into slumber.

He dreamed of his mother anyway.

He wasn't surprised.

Sunday, 4th April 1999
12.00am

Hermione pushed away from the door. She had heard enough.

She padded away down the corridor and went to the kitchen, grabbing an envelope off the mantlepiece. She had to warn her, it wasn't time. Not yet. Hermione scribbled her name on the envelope and sealed it, not bothering to write a note. She would understand, she would know.

"Pig," she called softly, fetching the owl from his cage. "I need you to take this to France."

The owl looked at her with huge eyes and hooted in understanding. She sent him out the window and gazed sadly until he flew out of sight. She supposed she could only hope that someone didn't shoot him down on the way to his destination. She winced at the thought.

It was simple enough, she knew– the letters they had sent Hedwig off with to 'Snuffles' had all returned to them, completely unopened. Sirius Black was dead, of course, they had known– they knew the letters could not be delivered.

Hermione searched fruitlessly for Pig in the sky, long gone.

It was alright, she told herself. Narcissa would receive them – hopefully, Harry would never know.

Tuesday, 6th April 1999
7.28am

Muggle village attacked in Hampshire.

Twenty dead. One missing.

- H.J.

Tuesday, 6th April 1999
9.45pm

She was under polyjuice, he knew. A young muggle girl, redheaded and tall– she carried herself with far too much grace for her clothes, but he knew this was the only way they would locate the base the fastest. The village's people were darling, really, offering them their muggle treasures in order not to hurt them.

"We are ready, my Lord," Alecto bowed deep, her hair grazing the marble floors.

"Excellent," he replied, folding his arms and leaning back into the comforting leather of the chair. He crossed his legs and smoothed out the silk, watching him with his same cool gaze.

He tented his fingers. "I want it completely destroyed," he said lazily. "Every last shred of it."

"Of course." She rose to her feet and pulled her sleeves over her mark, hiding her terror. "Nothing less."

Wednesday, 7th April 1999
3.11am

The bird was injured, hardly able to fly through the window before collapsing on the floor. The envelope was burnt, but she could barely make her name out on the front. It was Potter's writing, she knew– but how on earth had he broken the charm, unless Granger–

"Ah," she sighed aloud.

She lifted a piece of parchment off her desk, smoothed her nightgown and held the quill steady in her left hand, struggling to write it clearly. She couldn't afford to write it with her right, Draco would probably recognise it. They needed him to stay safe, to stay hidden.

Safe.

Narcissa sent the note off with the small bird after healing its wounds, feeding it a treat for its trouble. She prayed Draco was with them, guarded. With friends. She hoped Granger knew what she was doing.

Wednesday, 7th April 1999
3.11am

"Harry," Draco was shaking him awake urgently. "Wake up, come on."

He pried his eyes open blearily and stared into the grey gaze, squinting to focus. "What?" he mumbled out, barely able to see his outline.

"Grimmauld Place," Draco heaved him upright and handed him his glasses. He pushed Harry to get to his feet, passing him the nightgown draped over the end of his bed. "It's Kingsley."

"Kingsley?" Harry yawned, slipping his glasses on.

Draco made a noise of annoyance and grabbed his wrist, forcing him to meet his gaze. "Yes, Potter, Kingsley."

"What on earth for?" Harry mumbled, sleepy.

Draco took a deep breath and grabbed Harry's shoulders to steady him. "We've been attacked."

Wednesday, 7th April 1999
3.13am

Harry suddenly bolted upright, staring at him, horrified. "What?"

Draco lead him out the door and down the stairwell. "It's– well," he stammered. Harry cocked an eyebrow, following him suspiciously. "You can ask him yourself."

His steps were urgent leading Harry down the corridor, his posture immaculate. He seemed distressed, but Harry wouldn't say a thing. They rounded the corner and Kingsley came into view, spread out on the couch and nursing a wound in his arm. Harry bolted over, alarmed. "What happened?"

"Harry," Kingsley rasped. "Grimmauld Place..."

He nodded for him to continue, holding his breath. Draco kept a hand on his shoulder.

"It's gone. Burned down," he said. "And the dark mark."

Harry's mouth fell open. "Who–"

"No," Hestia piped up, offering him a small wave when he turned to look at her. "No one died. We're sure of it."

"Right," Harry said, turning to Draco. "And?"

"Nothing's left, Harry," Hermione spoke up, covered in ash.

"You went to– oh, God, Hermione," Harry breathed, catching sight of Ron. "Both of you."

"You were asleep–" Ron tried.

"I would have wanted to help!" Harry snarled. "For Merlin's sake–"

"Calm down," Draco hissed in his ear. "You're not helping."

Harry fell silent and breathed heavily. "Okay. Okay, now what?"

"We'll have to guard the ring, obviously," Hermione stated. "We think they burned it because it was missing."

"Of course they burned it because it was missing," Harry said scathingly. "That much is obvious."

"Also, er– we had to take your invisibility cloak, so," Hermione held it out, an apologetic look crossing her face.

Harry's eyes sharpened. He reached for the cloak and folded it in his arms, absolutely silent. Draco took a step back as Harry whipped around swiftly, stalking up the stairs.

"Where are you going?" Draco called after him, not turning around.

"Up. I need air," Harry responded bitterly. Then, he swept the cloak over his shoulders and disappeared.

Wednesday, 7th April 1999
3.18am

The sound of the door slamming above resounded through the house. Draco sighed and leaned against the wall. "That went well," he nodded to the rest of the room.

"I'll go after him," Ginny volunteered.

"No," Hermione stopped her. "Not now."

They glanced at each other warily around their makeshift circle, not quite raising their heads. Hestia cleared her throat and Ron shifted his weight between his feet, unsure of what to say.

Draco watched them all, rolling his eyes. He pushed himself off and moved toward the staircase. "I'll go," he sighed.

Ginny pressed her lips together until they were white, not saying a word as he left. Hermione rubbed her arm comfortingly and they nodded to him. He took a deep breath and ascended the stairs, cringing at the thought of Harry on the roof.

Wednesday, 7th April 1999
3.25am

He had been resolutely ignoring Draco for a good five minutes now, staring out into the field. Harry was sure Draco was freezing, but he wrapped the invisibility cloak around his shoulders and continued to hug his knees, ignoring that, too.

"Why didn't you wake me?" Harry asked no-one in particular.

"You dreamt of your mother," Draco replied after a long pause. "You were calling her name, I couldn't wake you."

Harry chuckled. "I know," he said. The dreams of Lily came more often now, more vivid– especially since Snape's memories in the war. He wouldn't ever forget. He turned back to Draco.

"But so did you," Harry shot back casually. "You cry, sometimes."

Draco cocked an eyebrow. "I do not."

Harry turned to face him properly, fixing him with an unreadable gaze. "You do." He paused and quirked his lips thoughtfully into a smile. "And it's okay."

Draco exhaled. "I'm sorry," he admitted softly. "You should've gone–"

"It's fine," Harry cut him off sharply, turning his face away. "It's over."

"It's not," Draco protested weakly, imagining the dark mark floating above Grimmauld Place. "Not yet."


I really hope you've enjoyed it so far, I promise this isn't the end of the story! I just really need to focus on other work right now, and this is a nice way for me to tie this arc up. Love you all!

Till next time!