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Chapter 7: Action, Reaction
Thanks to ehlana, Emerald-Eyed Cat, HPizmalife, Caeleste, dracoskye, kelly, fiendfyre, and of course the great GriffindorHeadGurl-who I must also thank for reminding me to update!- for the amazing reviews! I'm so thankful that you have continuously kept reading the story! Here's chapter 7, cheers!
Dom and Castor relayed everything to James after their mind-blowing lunch. What happened was this:
Draco and Blaise had just exited Hog’s Head, so Dom/Harriet and Castor/Royden slowly made their way out the door.
‘Your hair,’ Castor whispered, ‘It’s turning blonde.’
Dom grabbed Castor by the arm and pulled him into the alley behind Zonko’s. There, the Polyjuice Potion wore off.
‘I hope James was smart enough to realize to get out of the public eye…’ Dom fretted.
‘Please. We all know James is an idiot, but Rosie’s not. She will have taken control, even if she had to use the Imperius Curse on him,’ Castor reassured.
Cautiously, they wandered out of the alley and ran into none other than James and Rose.
‘Merlin, I almost lost it! McLaggen was walking by…’
‘…and you decided to stare at her like a stalker,’ Dom interrupted.
James glared at Dom before continuing, ‘I almost asked her out on a date, before Rosie punched me in the stomach. The potion was about to wear off when we ran into your Dad.’
‘Mine?’ Castor and Dom echoed.
‘Castor’s, obviously. He was about to chat up with us, but Rosie saw that my hair was starting to turn black. You should’ve seen her, it was brilliant! She told your father, and I quote, ‘Excuse me, Mister Malfoy, but your son promised me that he would take me to Gladrags before we left, and we have five minutes. So, if you don’t mind…’ It was something that you would totally say, Dom.’
Dom wrinkled her nose.
‘Would I really be that rude?’
‘Not rude, Dom, but blunt,’ Rose explained.
Dom threw a grateful smile to her cousin before swiveling around to focus her glare on James.
He just shrugged before turning back to Castor.
The next morning, they woke up early to talk.
“So you’re sure it’s Sinstra?” James asked again, as if he needed more confirmation.
“Yes, I’m convinced,” Dom frowned.
“It’s definitely Sinstra, mate. We just need more proof.”
Castor was frustrated. How on earth had Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley maintained their tempers through out Hogwarts while solving all those mysteries?! And, more importantly, how many other secrets was his father keeping? After all, he had once loved Hermione Granger…
Dom voted to keep discussing/solving the problem at hand, but Castor was too distracted to continue so James voted they discuss while walking to breakfast.
“We’re on the 6th floor; we’ve plenty of time to talk,” was the excuse James used.
Castor readily agreed, leaving Dom with no choice but to escort the two boys in her life down to the Great Hall. The walk was silent however. James’ stomach was grumbling, Dom was brooding, and Castor was still dwelling on what he’d read the previous night from Hermione’s journal:
Isaacs and I stayed up talking. It was strange how he accepted my word as truth almost readily. At first, I was suspicious, but as Isaac had said:
“That’s what roommates do.”
Isaacs knew what I was thinking, too.
“Listen, Castaway- as much as you would like to believe me to be the Shadow, I’m not. I gave up believing in all that crap at the end of 5th year. My father doesn’t even believe in that stuff anymore. He’s seen how the consequences of a madman’s whims affect everyone. And my mum? She’s never really believed in Pureblood superiority. Why else would she save Harrison’s life, huh? So I’m sorry to burst your bubble, Castaway, but I’m not the one you’re looking for.”
“I…I wasn’t thinking that you were,” I stammered.
Stupid! I cursed myself. I could feel the blush creep up on my face at this point…Miranda, you dolt, you don’t stammer!
“Sure, Castaway,” he smirked.
Over the next few weeks, Isaacs and I became good friends. But one day, it seemed as if the word ended. Gary and I had gotten into another fight, yet again. This time it was about how I was never spending time with him anymore.
“You know what, Gary? Henry is never like that!”
Only, Gary caught my slip-up.
“Henry? HENRY?! You’re on a first name basis now, are you? So this is the reason why you don’t want to spend time with me, Miranda? You’re fraternizing with the enemy. Again.”
“No, I…I never said that!”
“Please, spare me the pathetic excuses, Miranda.”
This infuriated me.
“Pathetic? Pathetic? You want to talk about pathetic excuses, let’s talk! I try to spend time with you, you arse. But every time I clear out a block, you are always with Jasmine… ‘Oh, Jazz’ you coo. It’s ridiculous. Ask Blake how often I talk to him compared to you! And as for Henry, yes I call him Henry! He is my friend now. He listens to me. All you think is that since the war is over, there’s no reason to worry. But there is, Gary, and you’re just a bloody idiot not to notice!”
“Save it, Munn,” I sneered, “I’m tired of your excuses, and I’m tired of you blaming me for your stupidity. Don’t believe me about anything anymore then. I’ve only been right, oh at least seven times.”
Gary stood before me, barely breathing. I don’t think he heard a word after I sneered at him, calling him by his surname…in short, acting like Henry Isaacs. His mouth was open in shock, and his eyes were wide. It took him several minutes to collect himself.
“Fine, Castaway,” he sneered back. “If that’s how you want to play, two can tango like that.”
“Like you even know how to tango, Munn,” I muttered.
“I heard that,” he snapped back.
I turned around, trying to go back to the Head’s Dorm. Alas, I ran into Gillian.
“Don’t talk to her,” Gary snarled. “It seems as if the Princess isn’t so dignified anymore, hanging out with scum like Isaacs.”
“Huh, Isaacs? Is he serious?”
“Gillian, it’s not like…”
“Oh, really?” Gary asked coldly. “Then please, enlighten us.”
“Enlighten? That’s a big word. I’m surprised you’ve learned it after all these years of copying my homework,” I shot back.
Gillian raised her eyebrow at me.
“Gillian…Isaacs has really changed,” I started.
“I don’t want to hear it, Miranda. I want to believe you, trust me. But I can’t. And it doesn’t help that the first thing you do when I arrive is insult my brother’s intelligence.”
“No buts, Mira. How could you be so mean to Gary? He’s in love with you,” she hissed under her breath to me.
“If he’s in love with me, then why’s he hanging all over Jasmine, huh?” I shot back.
She opened her mouth to respond, but nothing came out.
“That’s what I thought.”
I left. The Munns were not on my good list at the moment. Of course, as Fate would have it, I ran into Blake next.
“Miranda, are you ok? I just ran into Gary and Gillian. They seemed a bit…put out,” Blake explained.
“Put out, were they? They ought to be.”
“What happened? You and I know the Munn’s have a terrible temper…”
“Gary had the guts to accuse me of ‘fraternizing with the enemy’ again.”
“Isaacs?” he guessed.
“I slipped up, Blake. I called him by his first name accidently.”
I could see Blake wincing as I spoke.
“Mira, I’m sorry. We both know Gary’s not the brightest, and he’s very possessive.”
“I don’t care. Why does he always have to be such a stuck up prig? The war changed us all. He just won’t accept that.”
“I know, and I’m on your side trust me. That doesn’t mean I ever want to be best mates with Isaacs or anything, but I’m willing to give him a second chance. Don’t worry about Gillian, I’m sure she’ll soften up,” Blake reassured.
At this point, Castor decided it was too confusing to read any further with the code names Hermione had come up with. So he replaced them with the flick of his wand:
“Thanks, Harry. I knew I could count on you!”
“You’re like my sister, Hermione. Nothing could ever make me hate you. The Weasleys have so many siblings, but you and I are alike. We are alone. We’ve become siblings over the years, and I won’t let Ron be such a prig to you.”
My eyes were on the verge of tears. Bloody hormones, I thought, as I wiped my eyes with the sleeves of my jumper. Then Harry had to get even more sentimental- it was the hug. Of course, with the luck I’d been having this day, it got worse. Just as Harry had leaned in to hug me, Draco rounded the corner.
His silver eyes bore into mine. The look of betrayal emanated. His scowl deepened into a look of hatred- no, disgust.
“What’s wrong?” Harry asked.
“Draco just saw us hug. Now he’s mad.”
Harry tensed up for a moment. He breathed in a deep sigh before facing me again:
“Go after him, ‘Mione. I know you are good friends. You need to talk to him, okay?”
I felt another surge of emotion towards Harry. I shot him a grateful look, which I could see echoed in his bottle-green eyes. Harry had many names. The Boy-Who-Lived. The Chosen One. Harry James Potter. Mini-Prongs. But to me, he would always be the boy who was my brother.
I ran. Everyone knows I’m the least athletic person. I barely support the House Quidditch team, and I’m terrified of even stepping on a broom. Even in the Muggle world, I’d never been the most athletically oriented. Needless to say, by the time I reached the Heads House, I was out of breath and coated in sweat.
“Scourgify!” I muttered in an attempt to clean myself. Or at least, that’s what I told myself. Secretly, I didn’t want Draco to make fun of my lack of athletic ability (for he himself was extremely fond of Quidditch). After catching my breath, I persuaded myself I was ready to face the dragon…actually, I must have yelled at myself internally for being such a coward. Weren’t Gryffindors supposed to be brave?
“Draco?” I murmured timidly.
“Back so soon?” he shot back. There was Draco, sitting in the dark. He was barely discernable, save for his silvery hair.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Come off it, Granger,” he spat, “I saw you. How long did you snog Potter for? How long have you been snogging him?”
“Excuse me?!” I spluttered.
“Did you even tell Weaselette that you were snogging her beau? Oh, and how does the Weasel feel about it? Is he upset that you led him and others on for so long?”
The acidic tone was doing just as Draco had hoped. It was pissing me off.
“Shut it, Malfoy.”
“Why, Granger? Upset that I’ve discovered the Princess’ secret life?”
“No. You could never upset me, Malfoy. I just don’t want you to have another bloody nose. I don’t think you were fond of the one I gave you third year,” I replied icily.
“Like you could give me a bloody nose. I didn’t even bleed third year, I’ll have you know. You’re pathetic, Granger. No, you’re worse. You’re a liar.”
Mercury met chocolate that night. We must have spent hours staring at each other. Eventually, the hatred slipped away. Deep down, Draco and I were the same. His family was practically nonexistent. So was mine…
After the war, I went back to Australia. I’d hoped I’d find my parents, and I did. However, they had a child with them- a little girl…my sister. When I modified their memories, they were upset. Here, I had been their precious baby girl, and I’d found the gall to erase their memories of me and relocate them. They knew the threats that had festered in London, but they didn’t care. As far as they were concerned, they were the ones who were supposed to take care of me, not the opposite. From then on, we had an icy relationship. Helena- my sister (named after the character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream)- was now four. She did not like me at all. I scared her. My parents used Helena as an excuse to limit my visitations. So I was alone.
Draco was also alone. His father was serving time in Azkaban, and his mother was in St. Mungo’s. The stress of the war had affected her, and her nerves weren’t faring so well. He had been placed in charge of all the family accounts, the numerous Malfoy house elves, and the various properties his family owned. Of course, with the Malfoy household came the Malfoy debts and taxes owed to the M.o.M. due to their involvement with the Death Eaters. He paid heavy taxes. No one cared that he was barely out of childhood. The bar came down, and it came down cruelly for him. No one had sympathy for the man who almost killed Albus Dumbledore (even though ironically everyone now loved the man who had killed Albus Dumbledore).
I knew at that moment that part of me was in love with this silver haired, mercury eyed, totally misunderstood man. True, he was a Slytherin. True, he had been a Death Eater. True, he had tormented me my entire childhood since the start of school. But none of that mattered, because good eclipsed bad. He had been reluctant to identify my friends and me when Snatchers captured us. He had been reluctant to use the killing curse. He didn’t bother fighting with his father’s friends when the time came. And after the entire ordeal, he helped build the castle by hand with the rest of us (admittedly, no one trusted him enough to work with them, so they all sent him to the dungeons to refurbish the Slytherin dorms and the Potions classroom). He was a good man. He was a reformed man. And I loved him.
Castor could not handle it anymore. He grabbed two pieces of parchment. One, he addressed to Sherry Vanderbilt. He enchanted it with many spells so that it could only be read by her:
Dear Hermione Granger,
I am Castor Malfoy. I have your journal. I’m sorry if it seems intrusive, but I couldn’t help but read it. Dom, James and I are the only ones who know you are here, and we promise to keep your secret. In fact, we have some information that may help your search. But this is a deviation from the topic that I want to ask you about. While reading your journal, I could help but come across some particularly…interesting topics. It is not commonly known, but Astoria Malfoy, nee Greengrass, is not my biological mother. And after what I’ve read in the most recent passage, I can’t help but wonder… Are you my mother? I’m sorry if this letter is perceived as extremely sensitive or personal, but I need to know.
With the second parchment, he wrote to his father after casting similar spells:
While in the Head’s Library, I came across an interesting journal owned by Hermione Granger during her last year at Hogwarts. It’s said many things, and I can’t help but wonder…Dad, is she my mum? We both love to read. Everyone always said Hermione should have been a Ravenclaw, and I’m in Ravenclaw. She’s working here at Hogwarts, under an alias. I’ve sent her a similar letter, but I’m not sure if she’ll respond. Please, Dad, I need to know.
Verona, Castor’s owl, flew out into the night with the two letters. Just as Castor had sent the owl, another flew in. There was a letter addressed to Castor Malfoy from none other than his father.
I’m sorry if this letter gets to you late. I forgot to send Hermes with the mail until now. I need to speak with you soon. It’s quite urgent. It’s also an excuse to see my firstborn again. I hope your studies are going well, and I hope you aren’t being influenced too much by James and his…habits. Give your siblings my love, and extend my greetings to your friends. Astoria also sends her love to you, Scorpius, and Cassie. She says to make sure Cassie isn’t too upset about Hufflepuff (although, I’m rather thrilled as now we have all the Houses covered. We can plan a Potter take-over this summer).
Love, your Father
P.S. Next time you dabble with Polyjuice, don’t forget to take the ring off…
Castor swore. Of course his father had recognized the ring! It had been
Draco’s favorite too. How Castor remembered the story of that piece of jewelry-
The study was dark, save for the small flickering emanating from the fireplace. Castor peeked up from his hiding spot, his silvery hair another ball of light in the dark room. Above the mantle was a portrait of Narcissa Malfoy, proud and beautiful. She smiled indulgently down at her eldest grandchild. Across the room was a portrait of Castor’s grandfather, Lucius. He was asleep in a posh armchair, unaware of the mischief about to occur. There was a silver ring on Draco’s desk. Castor had never seen it before, for he’d never seen his father wear it. His father always wore the ring from Astoria. It was made of Welsh gold. This new ring was a mystery. He reached out to grab it.
“Castor, what are you doing?”
He spun around. There stood Draco.
“Dad…I…I didn’t mean to do anything,” Castor spluttered.
Lucius’ portrait had, by now, awakened.
“Teaching your children thievery already, Draco?” Lucius’ silky voice inquired.
Lucius muttered some nasty words, causing Draco to retaliate again:
“You wonder about the ring, don’t you?” Draco asked calmly.
“I’d just never seen it before. I was curious,” Castor shrugged back.
“Do you like it?”
Castor nodded. The silver was mesmerizing. It never stayed still, but moved like light reflecting off the snow, or a river of mercury.
“Then you may have it.”
Castor was stunned. He hadn’t expected to be given the ring. Perhaps see it, or hold it, but never wear it! Solemnly, he took the ring his father gave to him, and swore to take care of it forever…
His father had never spoken about the ring afterwards. As he got older, Castor grew more inquisitive. He asked about the ring constantly: was it a family heirloom? Had it been a gift- from Uncle Blaise? Was it Grandfather Greengrass’ ring? Draco would never answer. It was always “too late” or “past your bedtime”.
Castor was tired of secrets, but one was about to be answered. A letter soared in through the window- from his father again.
I just received your letter. I think it would be best if you and I talked before you talk to Mrs. Weasley. The time has come to tell you everything. I’m sorry if this has caused you any pain. I shouldn’t say anymore- if she is back at Hogwarts, it is not for good reasons that she is. I will meet you in the Room of Requirement tomorrow evening, around 7. Please don’t be late.
Love, your Father
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