Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the title song for which this chapter was named. It's Dybbuk by Gackt. Rather fitting.

Author's Note: Here's the edited version of chapter 3. Changes of minor details and it reads better now in my opinion.

Consonance 3055

Dybbuk

It was with relief that Draco embraced his father once those godforsaken shackles rattled to the floor.. Around them, the witches and wizards of the Wizengamot dispersed along with any spectators that had been sitting in on the proceedings. Some were grumbling under their breath at the verdict, most looked pleased with the result. Draco didn't care either way. His family was free. He was free. There was nothing anyone could do them.

He smiled to himself, internally, you know, so no one could see, looking away as his mother and father shared a kiss. He hadn't seen his parents so openly affectionate in a long time. It was oddly refreshing. And embarassing… When they broke apart, they began making their way out of the courtroom, their hands entwined.

Draco paused just a moment before following and turned to look over to where little Miss Harrity Potter had been sitting to find her place empty. The girl was nowhere in sight, vanished into thin – or not so thin - air. Draco shook his head, already berating and swallowing down any meaningless disappointment. He had no reason to seek her out. Why should he be disappointed?

"Come, Draco. Let's go home."

He smiled. Home…

The family of three parted the crowd on their way out, hushed voices following their heels. Lucius Malfoy asserted himself through the throng of ministry workers and officials, no less the respectable figures of years past despite the shroud of weariness surrounding him and the whispers trailing his path, his wife, Narcissa, at his side, looking as regal and beautiful as ever. Most bowed away from them, favoring the ear of their nearest comrade, while others openly stared at the freed Malfoy family.

The couple Malfoy simply either did not notice the attention or paid it no mind, holding their heads high with the grace and dignity expected of their renewed status. Nothing, however, was missed by Draco trailing slightly behind, though he too, taking a cue from his parents, moved with the same calm composure as they.

Lucius reached a hand to his shoulder.

"Pay it no attention, son."

"Yes, Father," he said, stepping onto the lift that would take them to the upper levels of the Ministry of Magic and the atrium.

It was odd, he observed, how quickly the attitude of the entire ministry and soon enough probably the entire wizarding community could change at the word of a young girl. Not even two hours before, it had been more than whispers lacing their heels on the way to the Wizengamot.

"Guilty!"

"Disgusting Death Eaters!"

"Lock them away, I say!"

Calls for punishment, imprisonment, even execution had colored their appearance, a soundtrack of distain for the known family of former Death Eaters.

"Level 8, Atrium."

The doors opened with a 'ping', and Draco felt a rush of free air fill his lungs. It really was all over. They would be left alone now.

"Mr. Malfoy!" a voice called from behind him.

Lucius whirled around to see who was calling for him. Narcissa's hold on his hand tightened, and Draco clenched his teeth.

Kingsley Shacklebolt walked briskly toward them.

"What is the meaning of this, Shacklebolt?"

"My apologies, Lucius, but I almost forgot. I have some small business with Draco."

His head popped up at the mention of his name. Shacklebolt studied him quietly, warmth radiating from his chocolate colored irises. Draco looked from his father to his mother in question. At their acceptance he addressed the man before him.

"Minister?"

"Yes, Draco, if you'll give me just a moment."

The man began looking for something hidden in his robes before continuing.

"Miss Potter requested I deliver this to you."

Draco's eyes flashed at this unforeseen development, his jaw going slack in wonder, pupils dilating in euphoria at the sight of the item in Shacklebolt's hand.

"She said it belonged to you," he explained, handing the teen a thin wand, hawthorn, 10 inches, unicorn hair, and if Draco remembered Ollivander's description correctly, reasonably springy. Light but solid, its weight settled in his hand with the familiarity of seeing an old friend. As if recognizing its old owner, the wand glowed a soft amber for a heartbeat and then puffed out a burst of white sparks that only just missed the hem of the ministers robes.

Looking a tad sheepish, or at least as sheepish as a Malfoy could afford to appear, Draco tucked the wand away in his inside pocket after giving the handle a fond squeeze. Shacklebolt just laughed.

"Yes, I can certainly see it belongs to you, young Malfoy. Miss Potter sends her gratitude for allowing her to borrow it."

Uhuh… 'Borrow it' his house elf! The witch all but broke his hand prying it from his fingers several months back, the little thief, but he squashed his ire. It didn't matter anymore. The wand was with its rightful owner once again. He shouldn't complain, though he could harmlessly daydream whenever he felt particularly vengeful.

"Thank you"

"Not at all, young master. And one more thing…"

He hands Draco a thick envelope with a Hogwarts seal on center fold. Ah, yes. He'd heard Hogwarts was inviting back students from the year prior in order to give them a chance to complete their education in a decent manner. No one ever did get to graduate last year.

"That will be your booklist for your next year at Hogwarts. Prof. McGonagall expects you to be in attendance. Lucius, Narcissa, congratulations on the outcome of your hearing. We are all pleased with the outcome-"

Alarms blared from the ceiling tops of the atrium. Metal grates slammed down on the fireplaces lining the entrance. Office doors were slamming shut of their own accord, and the witch at the reception desk was speaking, wand tip at her throat.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain calm. All entrances and exits will be temporarily barred. There has been a break in security on level 9. An item has escaped the Department of Mysteries. I repeat; an item has escaped the Department of Mysteries. Everyone, please remain calm."

Most of the surrounding witches and wizards adhered to her instruction, but there were the scattered few who decided not to listen and panic anyway. It made things quite the mess. One of them, a tall, long limbed warlock, just about barreled over Draco, tripping the boy up and nearly sending him to the floor.

"Draco," Narcissa called. "Come here."

She reached for his hand whilst Lucius aimed to catch a grip on his shoulder. Draco's nails actually scratched his mother's sleeve when a flash of light blinded everyone in the atrium, and something flew straight into his gut.

His vision swam.

The hit propelled him backward, and he collided dead on with something before landing flat on the floor face down. In the back of his mind, he registered the shouts of his parents and the worried voices of the surrounding crowd. The first thing to reach cognizance was that other than just having had some mysterious ball of light crash into his stomach and being propelled half way across the bloody ministry, he felt relatively no pain. His elbows would bruise along with his knees, and he might be a little scraped, but whatever had cushioned his fall had saved him most of the damage. In fact, the thing he'd been flung into – the wall, door, floor, whatever it was – was actually fairly soft…

And it was groaning.

His eyes opened wide. He was lying across someone's stomach.

He moved to get up, but the action was too quick. Whoever was beneath him let out a sharp gasp, so he slowed, unwilling to cause them further harm. It wasn't until he had lifted his body weight completely off the other person that he swiveled his head around to check on his accidental savior.

"Are you alright?"

He froze stiffer than a deer caught in wandlights, caught in the gaze of the most brilliant of green eyes.


If you asked her why she left the courtroom so quickly, she honestly wouldn't be able to tell you why. It just didn't feel right staying. Besides, she had to get going. The hearing had taken far longer than she'd expected. Harrity was relieved to find that Ron and Hermione had been waiting for her just as they'd promised.

"Harry!"

"How'd it go?"

She let out her breath before answering.

"Not bad… Actually quite good considering."

"What was the verdict? Did they say?"

The anxious look on Hermione's face spoke louder than words. Ron, too, appeared interested in her answer, despite his earlier reluctance to let her testify. They followed when she started walking to the nearby lift.

"Draco and Narcissa have been found innocent, the charges against them dropped, Lucius Malfoy however…" She trailed off, her attention caught by a certain Pius Thicknesse storming from the courtroom in a fury, looking ready to exact death and dismemberment on the next poor soul to cross his path, as the lift closed shut before her. Hermione's voice brought her back to her friends.

"What about Lucius?"

"Well, they convicted him, didn't they," inserted Ron. Hermione glared at him. "Two-faced git never really had a chance at being found innocent."

He seemed to finally notice the look his girlfriend was gracing him with.

"N-not that I think he deserves a life sentence or nothing. I'm just saying. How could they find him innocent with so much piled against him? Never mind that he really was a Death Eater. Sheesh, Hermione, you'd think I didn't have a soul."

That seemed to appease the bushy haired brunette.

"So how hard did they come down on him?" whispered Ron into Harrity's ear. She shook her head at him.

"Yes, well it's a good thing they let him go with a sentence of time served. I expect he'll have some probation time to serve, but at least he'll be with his family."

Harry had to stifle a laugh at Ronald's gaping expression. If only she had a hook. She might fancy a day at the fishing hole. Hermione was about to have a field day, if the small smile forming on her face was any indication.

"Level 8, Atrium."

The trio exited the lift. Harrity tuned out the bickering already starting up from either side of her. Ron's pouting and Hermione's chiding, as entertaining as they were to listen to, just didn't hold any appeal to her at the moment. There were too many people staring and pointing, whispering and beaming. Hero, she might have been, but the limelight just wasn't for her. Merlin knew, the Prophet had been publishing only the most dastardly of stories lately. Wild tales of how she'd brought down the most powerful dark wizard that ever lived. She paid them no mind; heck, she'd even cancelled her subscription for the next year or so, but still every time she left the sanctity of home and family the news caught up to her.

She could swear by Dumbledore's slippers there was a pair of witches not three feet away from her talking about how she'd defeated You-Know-Who's entire army of dementors single-handedly armed with a half broken wand.

What rubbish!

"Are you sure you won't come with us to Australia, Harry? It'll be so much fun."

The girl-who-lived started. It took her a couple seconds to reconnect to the topic of conversation. That's right. They'd talked about this the day before. Ron and Hermione would be leaving today to find Mr. and Mrs. Granger, so Hermione could return them their memories. They'd asked her to come along, but she had refused preferring to stay in London for the next few months despite the insanity of the Daily Prophet.

"What? Sorry, yes, I'm sure. I want some time to myself, is all."

Her two best friends shared a worried glance as they stopped beside the newly restored Fountain of Magical Brethren.

"So this is it then?" asked Ron. You're really going to stay here all by yourself, mate. What are you going to do?"

"I dunno…" she answered truthfully. "I think I might visit Teddy and Andromeda, maybe listen in on a few of the hearings. More than likely I'll just get on with redecorating Grimmauld Place a bit. It could use for a bit more sunshine, and it'll be a good pastime. I think it will be a pleasant change, don't you think? To have a nice boring summer for once…"

They looked unconvinced. Really, she couldn't blame them. After all they'd been through together in the last year, she was honestly surprised they'd even let her out of the house to present at the trial today. Since the end of the war, they'd been her infrequent shadows, staying by her and with her whenever she ventured out.

"Maybe we could wait a bit," suggested Hermione. "I'm sure in a couple of days-"

"Hermione."

Harry cut her off.

"I know you're both worried about me, but I'm fine, honestly. I just need time to sort everything out. Go find your parents. Merlin's beard, you've waited long enough as it is what with wanting to make sure everything was safe beforehand. Everything is fine, now, and don't you dare lie to me, I know how much you've missed them."

The girl seemed to finally understand that Harrity did not want to intrude on the reunion of parents and daughter. Ron would be there to support Hermione, and he would no doubt be introduced formally as her boyfriend. Harry didn't have a part in that, and she was alright with it. Ron, whose own brother had been laid to rest not three months ago. Hermione, whose parents still could not remember their daughter. She owed them so much more than she could give in a lifetime. They needed the chance to move forward in their lives with each other – that, at least, she could give them. And while she knew she would always have a place in their hearts, it still hurt to ponder it too closely.

She needed to find her own future.

But right now, all she wanted to do was to retreat her new home, at Number 12 Grimmauld Place, get herself in order. Settle in. Kreacher was probably waiting for her.

"Oh, Harry!"

Hermione's eyes glittered with tears, and the taller girl flung herself into Harrity's arms. The smaller girl tried to console her best friend, patting her back and cooing into her ear. She wasn't all out bawling, but Harry could feel her hiccupping into her shoulder, accented by the occasional sniffle. When Hermione drew back it was with her usual composure and a single dab at her eye.

"Promise you'll write to us."

"I will."

"And don't forget to let us know if anything important comes up."

"Hermione, it's alright. Don't worry. It's just a few weeks."

She finally conceded, stepping out of the way for her red-haired boyfriend.

"You better not be lying, mate."

It was Ron's turn to envelope her in a hug.

"Knowing her, if we don't hear from you for more than three days at a time, she'll drop everything just to come here and check on you."

Harry chuckled, letting him go.

"You know it's true."

"I'll keep that in mind," she laughed, giving Ron's shoulder one last squeeze before he stepped backward to stand next to Hermione. The pair took hold of each others' hands, preparing to apparate to the Burrow where Ron would bid goodbye to his family.

"We'll see you in a few weeks, Harry. Don't do anything to recklessly boring while we're gone."

"Have fun, you guys. Say hello to your parents for me."

"Goodbye, Harry."

She waved them off, smiling softly as the air folded. There was a soft pop, and they were gone. She closed her eyes and turned to do the same.

Alarms sounded.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain calm. All entrances and exits will be temporarily barred. There has been a break in security on level 9. An item has escaped the Department of Mysteries. I repeat; an item has escaped the Department of Mysteries. Everyone, please remain calm."

Harry pulled her wand from her robes.

"Look out!"

Something slammed into her, knocking the wind from her lungs and the glasses off her face.

There was shouting all around her. Did she black out? She was lying on her side. She could feel the migraine already pulsing behind her eyelids. The dull pain at the back of her skull throbbed with the rise and fall of the voices. She just wanted everybody to shut up, though it would be nice, too, if whatever had hit her would get off.

"Urgh!"

She'd thought too soon. Apparently whatever had hit had been a living thing that had just tried to move, jostling her pained body. It stopped at her gasp, though, whatever it was, and went about removing itself from her person a hair slower. It helped some. Soon enough, its weight disappeared entirely, and she could breathe once again.

"Are you alright?"

The voice was oddly familiar.

She winced a bit but eventually her eyelids lifted, allowing her to squint at the pale blur before her. Her hands pushed her into a semi-sitting position while she blinked away the fogginess. When she finally could see, she let out a strange hiccup at the grey eyes staring back at her.

Well, this was awkward…


The blonde wasn't sure just how long they sat their simply staring at each other. She didn't move. He didn't move. He hoped the standstill didn't last for more than a few seconds, but like he said he didn't know.

"Are you alright, Potter?"

She blinked at him a moment, her face unreadable, before nodding.

"Just a little dizzy…"

Draco pulled himself together and moved to stand up, green eyes following his progress. She started to shuffle her feet underneath her about to follow suit, but she paused when his hand reached down to assist her. The shock was definable on her face.

"Unless of course you'd rather stay on the floor," he teased, the trademark Malfoy smirk on his face.

That got her moving. She begrudgingly took his offered hand, allowing him to pull her to standing. And just as she was about to rise up, there was a snap, accompanied by the flash of what was, undoubtedly, a camera.

"Mr. Malfoy, Miss Potter, would either of you like to make a statement to the prophet on today's events?"

The girl seemed ready to bolt, choosing instead to cower backwards into the Malfoy heir as a little wizard, quill and parchment at the ready, crowded into her personal space. Several others followed, all their questions ringing to the topmost levels of the atrium. Well the plan had been to slip away, but, no doubt still disoriented from the fall, she staggered backwards instead. Draco had to catch her round the waist, lest she end up on the floor again.

"Miss Potter, what's your opinion on the outcome of the trial?"

"Mr. Malfoy, what just hit you?"

"Are you alright, Miss Potter?"

Draco grabbed the witch around the shoulders, all but wrestled them away from the horde of reporters. Sadly, he didn't get very far as his back met the wall. Potter was squirming to get away, but she stumbled closer to him, a hand at her, probably throbbing temple, and an anxious look on her face accompanying the dizziness no doubt still affecting her from the fall. The sight prompted him to push her behind him as though to shield her from the onslaught of people.

Another camera flashed in his face.

"Mr. Malfoy, do you feel indebted to the Chosen One after the events of today?" inquired one flirtatious looking witch, therefore, starting up a brand new assault of question. Draco was tempted to hex the life out of her. Thankfully, though, before he could reach for his wand, several voices came to their rescue.

"Draco!"

"Harrity!"

His parents were pushing their way through the gathered crowd, closely followed by the Minister of Magic, himself.

"Away with the lot of you! Can't you bloody well see that there's been an accident?"

That seemed reason enough for the crowd to disperse, and in the silence that replaced it, Draco noticed for the first time that the alarms had stopped.

"Draco, are you alright?"

"Yes, Mother," he grumbled, as she immediately started her own personal evaluation of his person, patting him down and looking for any possible injuries. "Mother, I said I'm fine!"

"You should consider yourself lucky, young Malfoy."

He turned away from her. Shacklebolt was attending to Potter, who was holding her head with on hand while the other held her up against the wall. She looked at him, curiously.

"There aren't many who can afford to be hit by unknown magic and come out unscathed."

"What were you hit by?"

Potter's question sounded almost genuinely concerned, if not for his sake than for his situation. Draco raised an eyebrow at her.

"It looked like a spell, but I really can't be sure."

"Whatever it was," inserted Narcissa. "It doesn't seem to carry any immediate effects."

"An attack no doubt," proclaimed Lucius, taking a tight grip on his son's shoulder. "Provided a failed one."

"Lucius, do you honestly believe-"

"Shacklebolt," the Malfoy head continued over his wife. "I refuse to allow my family to remain here a moment longer when such aggression is being shown to us. I demand the wards that prevent us from leaving be lifted this instant."

"Yes, Lucius, I quite agree. I can promise you there will be an inquiry of everyone present, and if you'll give me a moment, I shall adjust the wards to allow for your safe return home."

"Thank you."

Shacklebolt closed his eyes to focus on the task of loosening the ministry wards, his wand tip lit pale blue as he moved it in an obscure circular pattern. Narcissa took the hand of her husband and pulled him to the side, Draco left in their wake, as they began a quiet debate. Narcissa, obviously, did not share the same views as her husband. Potter, on the other hand, didn't appear concerned with her environment at all. She was too busy kneading her temples with her fingertips.

He was not sure what possessed him to go up to her, but Draco found himself all to soon placing a hand on the wall next to her.

"Are you sure you're alright?"

The girl started with a jolt, dropping her hands to her sides.

"Yeah, I'm fine. It's just my head."

It's the first time Draco has had a chance to really look at her since the Battle for Hogwarts. Her hair was longer, but her eyes were still as impossibly green as ever, the color punctuated by the growing bags below them. She looked weary, a bit thinner around the edges than he remembered her ever being during their years at Hogwarts, and she was paler than was acceptable for summer. He wonders if she's been eating properly. He couldn't really blame her for struggling through this aftermath. They had all taken the worst from the war, she probably more than anybody else.

"No faithful sidekicks today?"

She winced, hand coming up again to massage her forehead.

"And you care because," she snapped.

Draco sighed and drew his wand. There'd be no talking to her like this.

"Come here," he spoke gently, taking a step toward her.

"What are you doing?"

"Just a pain spell my mother taught me when I was younger."

She just looked at him suspiciously.

"Come on, it'll help."

Her frown withered, and she shuffled just a hair closer. Taking that as permission, Draco lifted his wand to the back of her head.

"Thampiosk(1)."

Her facial features instantly relaxed with relief. Her eyes widened, in mild amazement. Draco had to remind himself that she grew up amongst muggles.

"Thank you," she whispered, avoiding looking at him.

"You're welcome."

He flashed her a smirk.

"Now about those sidekicks of yours," he drawled. "Do you think if they'd been here, we might have avoided that little photoshoot?"

"Malfoy!"

She appeared to be seriously contemplating punching him.

"Minister! Minister!" came a yell from the far side of the atrium, pull both of the teenagers' attention away from the other.

Two ministry workers, Unspeakables if their badges were indicative of anything, were running towards them. One of them, the male, looked like he'd just been confunded and successfully tripped on the hem of his robes landing facedown on the floor. The other just kept running. She almost knocked Harrity Potter over again to get to the concentrating minister.

"Minister! We've lost track of the item!"

"I don't have time for this, Magpie," he replied without opening his eyes. "Lucius, you're clearance has gone through."

"Thank you, Minister. Draco?" called his father.

Draco slid away from Potter and toward his mother and father.

"But, sir, you don't understand-"

"I'm sure whatever item escaped your department will return itself eventually. Right now, I will be escorting Miss Potter home. I am afraid she might have a concussion. Now if you'll excuse me, we can talk about your item when I return."

The woman looked rightfully angry, but she stepped back. It was the last thing Draco saw before he disapparated back to Malfoy Manor.


"Kingsley, I promise you, I'm fine," she insisted, stepping up the walk to Number 12 Grimmauld Place.

"I believe you, Harry, but when you say you're fine, it could mean anything from a bruise to critical bloodloss. You'll understand if I have a quick word with Kreacher before I depart."

He let himself in, Harry following behind him.

"Kreacher," she called softly.

"Mistress has returned, and she brings company."

Kingsley takes Harry by the arm, leading her into her own sitting room.

"Your mistress has had a bit of an accident, Kreacher. Do you think you could help me brew her up a remedy?"

"Of course. Kreacher lives to serve Mistress."

They both disappeared through the kitchen door, Kingsley instructing her to stay put.

She sighed.

She couldn't imagine what the heck had happened to cause the cacophony, and why did it have to be her that was hit? She could really do without the article that was sure to be printed in the Prophet in the morning. (It's like really… One of the witches asked her if she'd ever had a crush on Malfoy during their time at school) Thank Merlin she had cancelled her subscription.

Ron and Hermione would not be happy. She could already imagine her best friends' responses. Hermione would worry and mother hen her until she pulled her hair out, and Ron would probably just laugh his arse off at her predicament, though admittedly, that would be after he threatened death and dismemberment on Malfoy.

"Bloody Malfoy!"

Of all the people in the world she would have ram into her, he had to be the last, barring Voldemort of course, yet the fates seemed to have it in for her. Granted, the normally arrogant blonde had been acting relatively pleasant about the whole thing. Helping her up, shielding her from the press, and even casting a pain spell over her head. It was unusual, but she was certain his politeness was attributed to the fact that she had just represented on his family's behalf in court not minutes before.

Regardless, it definitely hadn't been the worst Malfoy interaction she'd ever had.

That is until he decided to strike up a conversation. Bloody, pure-blood had the audacity to try and tease her about Ron and Hermione's absence. Him, Draco Malfoy, the guy whose family she had just gone out on a limb to defend, had the audacity to imply that she couldn't go out on her own without Ron and Hermione being there with her. That she couldn't avoid the press without her faithful "sidekicks." Che, never mind that the whole situation even happened on account of him.

"Git!"

Kingsley reentered the sitting room, Kreacher at his heels, carrying a small goblet filled with what was apparently a smoking potion.

"Mistress should drink this. Kreacher's potion will help with Mistress' head injury."

"No it's alright, Kreacher. I'm fine."

She suppressed the fact that that was thanks to Malfoy.

"I suggest you take it, Harrity," advised Kingsley. "House elf remedies are might powerful, best to mend any possible concussion before you are tempted to go to sleep."

Harry sighed but accepted the proffered cup.

"Well, I'd best be going then. You seem to be in good hands here, Harrity. I have a ministry to clean up."

"Thank you, Kingsley. You really didn't have to come out here."

"Nonsense," he laughed, gathering himself to apparate. "It's the least I can do for our hero. Farewell, Harry, Kreacher. Keep a good eye on her."

The house elf bowed low to the minister as he disappeared.

"Kreacher will get started on dinner. Mistress should rest until Kreacher is finished."

And he too left the room to return to the kitchen, leaving Harry alone.

She sighed.

She'd best get started on the letter to Ron and Hermione explaining what happened. They'd never forgive her if they heard it from the Daily Prophet first.

TBC

1 Taken from the Greek phrase Thampo o Ponos which means to dull the pain.