Chapter 8 : Yesterday Laughs, Tomorrow Cries
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“HARRY POTTER IS DEAD! DEAD! He is GONE! He is not coming back, he has been dead for five years, this is all a weird misunderstanding! All this pressure, it’s gone to your head, pull yourself together!”
“No, you listen to me, Malfoy. It makes sense. He’s got to be alive. It was all a set up! He faked his own death, and he’s been hiding out! And then he came to Ron and said that I killed him- he must be crazy! He must have gone mental, living in isolation- he staged himself at Ron’s house at his bed, pretended to be dead, he’s been chasing me! He must have some vendetta against me because….because I don’t know why, I don’t know what I did, but it’s him, I know it! I know!” Draco stared at her, mouth agape.
“No, Hermione, No, you’re talking crazy. Let’s just leave and think up a plan to thwart the aurors.” Hermione looked at Draco, her eyes narrowed.
“Accio Shovels!” Hermione shrieked, and two shovels flew from the shed a few yards away and landed at their feet. She picked one up and began to dig into the soft earth. Draco sighed, realizing that he wasn’t going to get anywhere arguing with her, and decided to humor her and at least help her dig. But he knew what was going to be there- a dead, decayed skeleton, wreaking of death and full of bugs. He charmed his shovel to dig, and he sat underneath a willow tree, watching Hermione hard at work. She refused to charm her shovel, insisting that it was faster to do it her way. She finally guilt tripped him into digging too, and he did until his shovel hit something hard.
“Oh, bloody hell, this is where I leave,” Draco said, vacating the hole. Hermione stayed behind, staring down into the depths. There it was, that cherry wood casket that she’d seen five years ago. She had assumed it would be there, after all, she’d watched them lower it into the ground. However, nothing could have prepared her for the emotion she felt when she saw that wood again.
“You son of a bitch, Harry,” she whispered, leaning down to touch the hard lacquer. “If you hadn’t have done this, no one would be in this situation right now. Everyone would be happy, with kids and birthday parties and jobs and happy lives. But you ruined everyone’s life. Especially mine. I hate you. I HATE YOU, damnit, Harry, I hate you! I fucking hate you!” Draco stood, watching her let out the emotion that she didn’t dare let out five years ago. He had never heard her curse like that before; before today he would have never thought it possible for the goody-goody Gryffindor to even utter such dirty words. Yet here she was, soiling her clothes with her best friend’s resting place, screaming out to the sky. Draco climbed back into the hole, realizing she needed something, anything to lean on.
“Hermione, come on, come on, it’s ok,” he whispered. She wasn’t crying, she just looked eerily determined and steadfast.
“No, it’s not okay. He did this, he faked his death, I don’t even know why I’m looking in this casket, it all makes sense!” Draco swallowed, hating what he was about to say.
“You know, Hermione, I think we should open it. I mean, we dug it up, we just need to open it and- and see, you know, for sure.” She answered with a curt nod, and the two began to dig around the casket to make room for opening it. Finally, they’d cleared enough space and the whole box was ready to be opened. Hermione took a deep breath while Draco squeezed his eyes closed. She unlatched the locks and slowly opened the coffin.
“Oh-“ she breathed, staring down. Draco slowly opened his eyes to see what had elicited that response. She wasn’t screaming, she wasn’t crying, what in the world would have made her respond like that. He looked over and realization dawned on his face.
There, in the coffin, was Harry Potter. He was still wearing the same clothes he’d worn that day they bid him adieu. The flowers that Hermione and Ginny had thrown in his coffin were still there. His wand was still beside him, clutched in his hand. His eyes were closed and his hair was sticking up in every direction, never to be tamed, even in death.
“I don’t understand. He’s been dead for five years. Why isn’t he…bones? Why is he, well it’s like he’s…perfectly preserved!” Draco said incredulously, turning to Hermione, who had tears rolling down her cheeks.
“I-I don’t believe it. He really is dead. And look at him, there he is, oh Harry, oh Harry!” She sobbed, staring at her best friend. She hadn’t meant everything she said before. Hermione felt shame and grief wash over her senses. What a stupid, emotional basket case she had become! Perhaps it was because she was with child, or perhaps it was the shock of seeing her dead best friend for the second time in a week, cold and still- except this was different.
Harry had an amber glow around his body that amplified his features and made him look almost angelic. Hermione smiled through her tears and then let a small laugh slip between her lips.
Draco stood back and watched the woman as she continued to smile at the corpse. Finally, after a few moments, he chanced a conversation.
“So..er…what do you think caused this?” He asked softly, afraid of what she might say or do.
“Well, there has been documented cases of things happening like this before, even in the muggle world. For instance, certain Popes have been exhumed and their bodies have been perfectly in tact, much like Harry’s, and officials have chalked it down to good embalming and preservation techniques-“
“WHAT are you talking about, Granger? I didn’t ask you to recite history from a text book, I asked you what caused this!” Draco snapped, and although his words were harsh, his tone was not. In fact, he was absolutely elated that Hermione had seemingly returned to normal.
“Well, what I think is…Harry has a lot of magic left in his blood, and it has kept him from decaying. I’m not entirely sure, of course, but I could do some research to find out the history of magical deaths and exhumations and- what am I saying, no I can’t, I’m a fugitive. Well, if I weren’t a fugitive, that’s exactly what I would go and do. But, since we’re kind of at a loss for freedom, I suppose that’s as good an explanation as any.”
Draco nodded and stared down at Harry’s lifeless form. It looked as though he would jump up from his bed any minute and scream, “JUST KIDDING!” Then he’d do something unbelievably Potter-like, such as cursing Draco for even thinking that he was anymore of a human than he had been in his sixth year at Hogwarts. Draco shuddered even thinking of the possibility.
“Well, guess it’s time to go, eh?” he asked, glancing at Hermione, who was lovingly stroking Harry’s robes and tidying up any dirt that may have accidentally spilled into the coffin.
“Yes, we probably should be going. After all, I can’t imagine that the aurors have checked here, and if they were to come here at this very moment, we’d be…well, we’d be in a hole, wouldn’t we?”
“Yes, I suppose so.” Hermione turned back to Harry and went to close the coffin when she spotted something odd.
“Draco, come look,” she whispered, hardly believing her eyes.
“What?” he asked impatiently.
“Look there- on the back of his head!”
“I’m not touching him, if that’s what you’re suggesting..”
“Fine, I’ll do it!” Hermione gently lifted Harry’s head and Draco gasped. The whole entire underpart of his hair had been clipped off. Hundreds of pieces of hair were gone from Harry’s precious head.
“Holy shit- someone has been here before us- or they did it before he was buried. What does this mean?” Draco asked, turning to Hermione.
“It means that the ‘Harry’ I saw at the Weasley’s was not Harry at all- it was someone taking Polyjuice potion! But who would do that? And why? Why would anyone want to do something so horrible?”
“I don’t know, but I’m starting to get creeped out, so can we please put Harry back where he belongs and get the hell out of here?” Draco asked. Hermione nodded, closing Harry’s casket up after saying a short goodbye. Her tears had dried up, and her detective disposition had returned. Once they had filled the hole, they sat back down under the willow tree to think.
“So, whoever is doing this had the ability to steal part of Harry’s hair. They appeared to Ron while I was in Diagon Alley and told him that I killed Harry. But it doesn’t make any sense! Why wouldn’t Ron be able to differentiate that Harry had been dead? It just doesn’t make sense. But Harry is definitely dead, that was a poor theory on my part- I’m hardly ever wrong, you know,” Hermione said, deep in thought. Draco smirked at her.
“Yes, Granger, I know what a little know-it-all you are. Now if only- AH! Shit!” Draco cursed. An unpleasant burning sensation had just made its way all the way up his arm. He shuddered involuntarily as fear clouded his senses and judgement.
“What? We don’t have time for this! What’s wrong?” She asked impatiently, but all annoyances left her voice as she saw the fear in Draco’s eyes.
“It isn’t possible, this isn’t happening, no, no,” he said quietly. “My-My arm, it’s burning.”
“What do you mean your arm is burning? You can’t mean- your dark mark?” Hermione asked, dreading the answer. Draco pulled back his sleeve, revealing his dark mark, which had darkened in color and continued to burn.
“It-it only burnt like this when the Dark Lord was exceedingly angry. How can this be possible? He’s dead…What the fuck his happening with all these damn people presumed to be dead coming back to life!”
“I don’t know…this isn’t right. What are we going to do? It could be a trap…the aurors could be using it to summon you..”
“There’s no way. The only people who knew that spell was the Dark Lord and his closest followers. I don’t even know it. The only was is that a Death Eater is doing it, or they told the spell, but it’s highly impossible. Most death eaters are dead!” Hermione nodded.
“I don’t have a-a choice, I can barely stand this- I’m going to have to apparate,” Draco winced, rubbing his throbbing arm, which only made it worse.
“I’m coming with you,” Hermione said, getting up from the ground.
“No, you stand here, it can’t be good, they’ll get you for good,” Draco replied.
“Yes I am. You need me. I’m coming with you, whether you like it or not. I can take care of myself, I’ve done alright so far. Let’s go,” she said, determination gleaming in her eyes. Teeth clenched, Draco agreed. He took her hand, and they apparated to the predetermined destination. When they arrived, Hermione looked around in confusion.
“I don't understand...There isn’t anyone here. Why would someone have us apparate outside the muggle entrance to the Ministry unless- look in the sky!” There, in the sky, was a gleaming, glittering dark mark.
“My God,” Draco said, staring at it. “I haven’t seen that since…since…”
“Neither have I. It can’t be good. We’ve got to go in.” Draco nodded, knowing that whatever it was that created the mark was going to be trouble. Wands clinched in their hands, they made their way to their fates.
NEW STORY ALERT!!!!!!!!- I have just published a fluff/humor one shot about James and Lily shopping for baby clothes called Muggle Jammies check it out and review please! It's relatively short! Well, This story is almost over, there's only two or so more chapters left, just letting you know! Please read and review!
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