The Final Confrontation
Half an hour later, Lucius Malfoy returned with a big basket full of potion ingredients. Snapdragon laid them out on the table.
"I need to do magic in the course of brewing. Promise that Draco won´t be hurt for it." She glared at the Dark Lord, who agreed with a nod.
Snapdragon started with conjuring a cup and making herself a peppermint infusion.
"If you mock me, he shall pay!" cried the Dark Lord, furious.
"Wait!" cried the girl. "I need the cup to know when to add the ingredients. It´s a delicate brew and the steam of the infusion tells me when to add what!" And it was going to cover the smell of the potion and make copying the brew hard, but of course Snapdragon didn´t tell that.
The snakelike wizard glared at the girl suspiciously, but let her proceed.
Snapdragon brewed slowly, but she knew that she couldn´t be too slow. If Albus was the traitor, the Dark One knew that brewing the potion didn´t take longer than two hours.
The two hours were nearly up when Snapdragon allowed the silver mist to form. The Dark Lord stepped closer, eager to see the other world.
Snapdragon didn´t know the place. It was old and dusty and only few rays of sunlight lit the small room. Dad was there.
"My Lord," he said, "let me go and look for Harry Potter for you!"
"Severus," replied the dark creature, who looked even more snake-like than the one standing beside the redhead, "I can´t allow that." He hissed to the giant snake, which lay in a corner of the room. "You have what I want. What I need."
"Whatever it is, my Lord, I will gladly hand it over to you."
"There are things that can´t be handed over, my poor Severus. You may find it comforting that I do not enjoy this." The evil creature signalled the snake, and the reptile slithered to Dad and wrapped its rope-like form around him. When Dad was unable to move, the snake ripped his throat.
Dad cried out in agony. Blood was all over the place.
The silver mist wavered and the image dissolved.
"You killed my father!" shrieked Snapdragon, in agony. Her heart ached and she could hardly breathe. The evil creature beside her was slammed back into the nearest wall like Sirius Black had been when he had dared to insult the girl´s beloved parent. But this time Snapdragon didn´t apologize. She let her magic flow, driven by her anger and pain.
The Dark Lord burst into flame. The fire was red in the beginning but soon turned green and barely a minute later it was over. The evil creature was no more, what stayed behind was a heap of ashes.
Snapdragon bent over, exhausted.
"We have to run!" Draco´s voice said urgently from behind her and she felt him gently touch her shoulders. Unable to decide for herself, the girl followed the blond out of the room. They had barely reached the entrance, when they heard an angry roar from the behind them.
"Father´s not happy," Draco stated. "We can´t leave the house against his will. He controls the wards. We have to hide."
So this must be the Malfoys´ house, Snapdragon thought. She followed Draco up a staircase and into a room at the end of the corridor.
"This was my grandmother´s room. It´s hardly ever used," explained Draco. "Can you put up a ward to keep him out?"
Snapdragon shook her head. She was exhausted.
"I can´t without a wand," Draco whispered, frightened. "What can we do?"
"Do you trust me?" the redhead whispered back. "Are you ready to leave everything behind?"
Draco waved at the house at large. "What is there worth staying?"
Snapdragon rummaged in her pocket. "Get me a container. A glass or something."
Draco went searching and returned with a small vase. "Can you use this?"
The girl nodded and extracted a wavering ball of potion held by a spell. She dropped it into the vase.
"You nicked some of the brew!" cried Draco.
Snapdragon rummaged in her pocket again and added some herbs to the liquid. The silver mist formed.
Harry was pacing the Gryffindor Common Room. Snapdragon could have sung with joy. There was a mirror in the Common Room.
"Harry, go to the mirror! Quickly!"
The boy obeyed. Green eyes met black.
"Harry, I have no time to explain. You have to pull me through or I´ll be dead in five minutes or so!"
Harry extended his hand as far as it would go and Snapdragon reached out for him. She stretched her other hand out to Draco. "Whatever happens, don´t let go!" she ordered.
There was a noise in front of the door.
The last glimpse of Malfoy Manor Snapdragon caught was Lucius Malfoy breaking the door. Then Harry succeeded and she fell through the mirror. For a moment the girl thought she had used too little potion and the window was too small. The transit was painful like never before. It was as if her universe refused to let her go for a second time. But then Snapdragon realised that it was Draco´s weight holding her back and she pulled, physically and magically. After what seemed like forever – a split of a second would with an irate Lucius Malfoy after you – the resistance weakened and they moved.
Snapdragon landed in a heap on the floor with Draco on top of her.
"Malfoy!" Harry had his wand out in an instant.
"Harry, no!" Snapdragon disentangled herself from Draco. "He´s a friend!"
"Are you sure?" Harry wasn´t easily convinced.
"Very sure," smiled Snapdragon. She placed a quick peck on Draco´s lips. "As sure as I can be. – Are we safe here?"
Harry nodded. "I killed the evil git an hour ago."
"Not before he murderered Dad," Snapdragon said sadly. "I saw."
Harry smiled. "Why don´t you come to the hospital wing. You have a nasty scratch on your cheek."
They walked down the stairs in silence. The castle was half destroyed. Unlike the other world, there must have been a battle at Hogwarts. Madam Pomfrey was bustling about busily when they entered her realm.
"Ah, Snapdragon, right on time. He´ll be glad to see you when he wakes." She pointed to the far end of the room.
The girl didn´t wait for confirmation. She raced down the aisle, ignoring the other patients until she reached the last bed in the corner. Dad lay there. He was deathly pale and his neck was heavily bandaged but his chest rose as he breathed. Snapdragon threw herself on the wizard with a howl of triumph.
"A little more careful," came auntie Poppy´s amused voice from the door.
Snapdragon scrambled up to a sitting position. Harry and Draco joined her. "She says it will take some hours until he wakes, but he´ll live. – Why don´t we talk in the meantime?" Harry asked, amusement in his voice.
Snapdragon leaned back into Draco´s embrace. "Can we talk a little later? I´m tired."
They talked when Dad was back up and about. Dad, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Snapdragon and Draco were assembled in the headmaster´s office.
"It´s good to see you safely back, my child," said Albus´ portrait. The old wizard smiled benignly. "And you brought somebody with you. I wish you happiness in this world, my boy." He smiled at Draco, who was eyed suspiciously by the others.
"Things were so different from here in the other world," said Snapdragon. "Their Draco is a sweetheart and their Albus a traitor." She smiled at Draco happily.
"Things might get complicated if I exist twice in this world," Draco pointed out.
"You won´t," said Harry. "Draco Malfoy died in the Room of Requirement in a Fiendfire."
"But his parents will realise that I´m not their son."
"They both died in the battle," said Ron.
"You´re the only surviving Malfoy in this world. If you decide to keep the name and appearance, the Malfoy fortune is yours." Dad smiled.
"But you know that I´m not the rightful heir!"
"Why would any of us tell on you? If you´re as good a person as my daughter says, the Malfoy fortune will finally be used for good purposes."
Ten Years Later
Severus Snape, headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, smiled as he read the newspaper. It wasn´t the first time he had made the front page, but certainly the most happy occasion.
"Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," the paper informed its readers, "was the location of a most joyous event yesterday evening. A triple naming ceremony was held at the castle for the grandchildren of headmaster Snape. The wizarding communities youngest members are James Severus Potter, Albus Severus and Lilian Poppy Malfoy. The proud parents, the headmaster´s adopted son, Harry James Potter, and his wife Ginevra and the headmaster´s daughter, Snapdragon Malfoy and her husband Draco received their family and friends´ well-wishes on behalf of their children at the Great Hall of Hogwarts.
Mr. Potter, who was promoted Head of the Auror Office only a week prior to the birth of his first child, was glad to stay at his childhood home for the ceremony.
Mrs. Malfoy, resident potions mistress of Hogwarts school, informed us that she will return to teaching as soon as possible. "My husband," said Mrs. Malfoy, "was kind enough to take over my lessons when teaching became too exhausting for me, but I, along with the rest of the wizarding world, would like to see him back at his social projects rather sooner than later."
Mr. Malfoy, who is known for his efforts in the promotion of muggleborn witches and wizards and his counselling for the Department of Muggle Relations, expressed his happiness about the birth of the twins and his readiness to stay at home for as long as he was needed. Later that evening, your reporter saw him deep in conversation with Minister Weasley, so it seems safe to say that his next project is to be expected soon."
Severus smiled. Life was good.