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Chapter 31 : |Chapter 26| Interrogation
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Minerva entered the Weasley's sitting room and took a seat in the nearest armchair, giving that Draco was still occupying the entire couch. "Good afternoon Draco," she began. "And I must say, welcome back." Draco merely grunted in response to her friendly welcome. "You have no idea how worried we've been about you."
"I'm sure," he sneered. "And I suppose next you're going to tell me how the Order was frantically trying to find a way to get me out of there the entire time I was gone, too."
"Well yes," she stated, "yes we were. It's a difficult thing to do, however, when you have no idea where Voldemort is currently hiding, so I apologize that we could not reach you sooner."
"That's ok," he said mockingly. "As you can tell, I clearly found my own way out, all by myself. I don't need the Order's help."
"Listen to me Draco," she snapped, "I can understand why you're being so bitter, but I do not think I deserve to be spoken to like that, not after everything I've done for you. You have no idea the hours we all spent searching for you. Finding you and Roxi has been our top priority for the past six weeks now."
"Six weeks?" Draco exclaimed. "Is that really how long I was in there?"
"Yes," she answered. "You've been missing ever since that same night your father escaped from Azkaban." And with knowing the real truth about that night, Draco couldn't help but crack a smile upon hearing her say that Lucius had escaped.
"And that was six weeks ago," he reiterated. McGonagall nodded. "Wow, it feels like it should have been so much longer than that. I was thinking more in terms of months, not weeks."
"Yes, they certainly were six very long weeks," she agreed. After a brief period of silence, Minerva became serious and more professional at once. She sat up straight and took a deep breath. "But let's get down to business, shall we? I trust that you've figured out by now why I am here."
"You have come to interrogate me," Draco casually stated.
"That's right," she replied with a short nod of her head.
"I mean, I can't exactly say that I'm surprised to see you here," he went on, "for I have come to know you well enough by now to expect such things. What really strikes me though, is that you didn't get here sooner. I was almost expecting you to be here the moment I arrived."
"Yes, well, I was detained," she told him. "Running a school and heading up the Order of the Phoenix takes time. Add to that the fact that I now have to converse nearly all of our operations with the Minister, and well, things eventually start piling up quickly. My jobs do tend to occupy the majority of my time anymore, Draco, as you can clearly see."
"Well such is to be expected when we are at war," he said. "But what do you mean by conversing with the Minister? What exactly is he requiring you to tell him?"
"Oh, everything, naturally," she said irritably. "Of course, I'm not exactly one-hundred percent honest with him all of the time, but that is only because I can't be. Some things are just meant to remain a secret, and I don't see where the Minister has to be aware of every single little thing that we do. His weekly meetings are pointless, as far as I am concerned, and I could go my entire life without ever having to attend another one of them again and be perfectly glad." Minerva realized that she was rambling and stopped suddenly.
As she was catching her breath, Draco smirked at her. "I take it your predicament with the Minister has you rather frustrated then?"
"You have no idea," she openly admitted. "The Ministry has taken a strong interest in what I have been doing lately. They've been watching my every move, on Scrimgeour's orders no doubt. I don't know what he thinks he will find on me, but until this stops I have got to be very careful with what I say and do. I've even got to watch where I go from now on, because I never know if I'm being followed or not."
"And you have no idea why?" he asked.
"Oh, I have my suspicious," she confessed. "You see, back before they administered that poison to your father, I went and pleaded with the Minister; on your behalf, if I might add. I urged him to go about executing Lucius another way and, as you know, he refused to do so for a final decision had already been publicly made. That was the night that he agreed to give you and Lucius one hour together before he was transferred back to Azkaban, you remember. I brought you to Hogwarts to speak to your father the day you got out of St. Mungo's after that stabbing incident at the Ministry."
Draco shook his head, of course he remembered that night. How could he forget about going to see his father in the dungeons of Hogwarts after he had received his death sentence? That was the night that he had decided he was not going to allow his father to die like that. That was the night that all of this madness had really begun, for that was the very same night that he had gone to see Severus about making the antidote. Had he not done that, Percy would have never overheard them, and then he and Roxi never would have been captured. Not only that, but had he done things differently that night, he could have been an orphan by now.
"Well, seeing how as I was the only one who was openly opposed to the Atropha Rickium in the first place," Minerva continued, "I therefore become their prime suspect when Lucius went missing."
And before he could stop himself, Draco blurted; "but you weren't even involved with that at all!"
"No I was not," she confirmed. "And how you seem so certain about that is what I'd sure like to find out."
Draco was internally yelling at himself on the inside. How stupid it was for him to have said anything after he swore he would never mention the true events of that night to anyone ever again.
"Would you care to share your version of the story with me?" McGonagall offered nicely. "I am quite interested in hearing it, seeing how it was the same night of your disappearance. What really happened, Draco? I know that you know more about this than you're letting on."
"I'm sorry," he lied, "but I cannot tell you that. I really don't know anything about it."
"Then how do you explain knowing for certain whether I was involved or not?" she pried.
Draco shrugged. "I was imprisoned with Voldemort for six weeks, how else do you think I know about anything? Obviously he brags about everything he does!"
"So you're telling me that all your information comes from him, from Voldemort?" she said skeptically and Draco nodded. "Then how did you come to be captured, and where were you when he found you? I know that you weren't here in this house, for had you been here he would not have been able to reach you."
"I can't tell you that," he stubbornly answered. "Why should I have to tell you that?"
"Because, Draco," she explained. "Who's to say that, while you were gone, you didn't switch sides and rejoin Voldemort and the Death Eaters?"
"For Merlin's sake, professor, do you really think that I would be stupid enough to do that?" he exclaimed.
"No, but who's to say if you have or haven't for certain?" she said with a casual shrug. "For all I know, you could be working for him right now and he might have let you come back here just so that you could spy on us and give him the inside information he so badly desires to have on the Order."
"Look, I have not switched sides here," he insisted. "I will NEVER go back to him, you have to believe that! He killed my mum. I hate him."
"I want to believe you Draco, believe me I do," she said. "But if you are not even willing to stand up and confirm your claims, then how can I know for sure that what you are speaking is the truth?"
"I just can't tell you anything else, other than that," he argued. "So you're just going to have to take my word for it, alright?"
"Unfortunately, Draco, that is not alright. And if you keep giving me the same response, I will be forced to resort to other options," she threatened.
"Other options like what?" he challenged. "You have no sure-fire way of making me talk, and you know it."
Minerva reached into her pocket just then and pulled out a small vile. It was filled nearly to the brim with a clear liquid, and Draco needn't ask her what it was as she placed it on the table before him, for he already knew exactly what it was.
"Veritaserum. That's your alternative?" he said, still arrogantly. "And what in the hell makes you think that I will consent to taking even a drop of that shit?"
Minerva's jaw nearly dropped in shock as he said this. It was all she could do to maintain her composure, for it had been a fairly long time since she had heard Draco Malfoy swear like that. She knew, right then and there, that there was something terribly wrong with him. Something about him had changed, but she did her best not to let her disgruntlement show.
"If you do not consent to this," she replied calmly, "then I am sorry, Draco, but I will have to ask you to leave the Burrow. I cannot allow someone who might be lying to me to stay within the headquarters of the Order. It is far too risky."
"Tch!" Draco scoffed at her. "Please, I don't need you. I don't need the stupid Order of the Phoenix. And I certainly do not need the help of the Weasleys," he spat the name out as if it were a dirty word. "I don't need anybody. I think I have proven that I can take care of myself just fine, thanks."
"Draco Malfoy, you are getting out of line," Minerva warned him. "But you have got to see this from my standpoint here. I am tying to do what is best for everyone, its not like I want to put you through this."
"Well I will not get sucked into some kind of word trap like Saleena did," he growled. "You talked information out of her that she had no intention of ever giving up to you, and I am sorry, but there are just some things in my past that I would rather not have brought back up ever again. I know how you are with your clever wording when it comes to asking questions, Minerva. You're a pro at it; a natural, and given your job status, I think you'd have to be."
"Well I for one am not sorry with how my conversation with Saleena turned out," McGonagall stated. "And in the long run, I do not think she will be either. But who's to say that our talk together will turn out anything like my talk with Saleena did? I think you are making far too big a deal out of this, Draco."
"Well I don't," he disagreed, "and that's all that really matters here. Like I said, I don't need you, or anybody else for that matter. I have a place to go you know, and it's an extravagant, large and exquisite manor at that! There's even a safe in there that I happen to know the combination to, so I could get easily money if I needed to. Then I could just as easily pay someone to help me get around until someone figures out a way to lift this blasted curse the Dark Lord's put on me. Which I will be contacting Saleena for that one, because if anyone can figure this thing out, it'll be her for sure."
"That won't be necessary, as I have already contacted her for you," Minerva pointed out.
"Yes, well I did not need you to do that," he snapped back. "But here's the thing, the bottom line if you will. As I have already made clear; I don't need you, Minerva. But you, you need me. You need my information. You need to know what it is that I know, because it's good," he teased. "It's really good. So you will either agree to question me on my terms here, or I will do as you say and take my leave. But know that if I get out of here, I do not intend on ever coming back through that door again. That is my final offer. Take it or leave it."
Minerva frowned in disappointment. She hated to admit it, but Draco actually was right. She did need to know whatever it was that he wasn't telling her. He had the upper hand over her, and there was nothing she could do to change that, unfortunately. She would just have to take his word for it and believe he would tell her the truth if she wanted him to talk.
"And what exactly are your terms for the questioning, Mr. Malfoy?" she asked bitterly. It wasn't very often that anyone ever had an advantage over her, so Minerva McGonagall was quickly becoming more upset the longer the conversation continued to not go her way.
Draco's countenance changed and relaxed almost at once as he seen that she was finally giving in. "I intend to tell you the truth, Minerva; I really do, because I mean to do whatever I can to thwart Lord Voldemort and his scheming plans. That being said, all I ask is that you trust me. Believe that I am telling you the truth without the aid of a truth potion, and if a question is asked that I may not be comfortable with, please respect my decision to decline answering it. Do not pry me for information that I do not want to give."
She took a moment to consider his offer and finally, she gave in. she knew that that was the best she was going to get and she would just have to take it. "Alright, fine. You win. I'll just be putting this away then," she said as she snatched the vile of Veritaserum off of the table and shoved it back into her pocket.
"Thank you," he said calmly. Draco smiled as he took in a deep breath. He felt that he could breathe freely again, now that the threat of being exposed was out of the way. Heaven forbid if he had taken that potion only to have her start asking questions about Roxi… He shuddered at the thought of being forced to relive and reveal all of that. Not to mention some of the other things that he had done during the time he was forced to serve the Dark Lord. He was certainly not proud of the things he had done as a Death Eater.
"So going back to my first question then," Minerva tried again, wasting no time. "How is it that you came to be captured, Draco?"
Draco bit down on his lower lip. "You say you've been meeting weekly with the Minister, correct."
"And are you able to lie or with hold information from him during those meetings?"
"I can, as I see fit, yes," she replied. "But Draco, I don't see what any of that has to do with the question."
"It has everything to do with the question, if you want me to answer it truthfully that is," he snapped. That got her attention, for she was looking straight at him now. "I want to tell you the whole truth, Minerva, I really do. But I need to know that what I say here is not going to be repeated to the Minister."
"I can give you my word that your secrets will be protected, Draco," she promised. "But I am a little curious as to why it is that they would need protecting in the first place."
"Because I may have done something slightly illegal, and I would rather not end up in Azkaban for it," he replied. "And if any of this gets back to the Minister, he will put me away for sure. Maybe even for life, that's how serious this is."
"Draco, you have my word," she swore. "I will not tell the Minister anything we discuss here without having your permission first."
Draco took a deep breath before he began. "Well the reason I know for sure that you had no hand in my father's escape from Azkaban… is because I did it. I was the one who came up with the plan to get him out and then, I was the one who executed it. I had help, of course. For example; the Death Eater that Annias is claiming to have seen, before being knocked unconscious, was actually Roxi in disguise."
McGonagall was in shock. Of all the things she was expecting to her him say, this had never been it. She could not believe what she was hearing. "Do you even understand what an immense task that is? And you expect me to believe that you took it on all by yourself?"
"No, not by myself," he corrected her. "I've just told you that I had Roxi's help. Her and I planned the whole thing. I made a decision the right after the hour I spent talking with my father that I was not about to just let him die like that. So I snuck out of here that very same night and went to Voldemort's lair to meet up with Severus. I had to know if he would be able to help me make an antidote for my father, should I successfully manage to get him of Azkaban. Otherwise, what would be the point in going through with it?
"I learned that night that, between the two of them, Severus and Roxi both had the five main ingredients that were needed to make the supposedly impossible antidote for the Atropha Rickium poison that they gave to my father," he continued. "Severus agreed to help me, and we decided it would be best to brew it at the Malfoy estate. We made plans to meet up there at ten that night, that way we knew we'd have enough time to make the antidote and administer it to him at precisely six o'clock in the morning."
"But how on earth did you manage to get Lucius out of Azkaban?" McGonagall blurted. She had been dying to know the answer to this question since Draco had started talking, and she could not hold it in a second more.
"That was actually the easiest part, believe it or not," he smirked. "You would think that Azkaban would have been more guarded but, fortunately for us, it wasn't. Annias was so distracted by what was going on with my father that he left Julie all alone to guard the door. Roxi and I apparated onto the island, and before Julie could sound the alarm, I stunned her. Roxi then took her cloak, changed her features as best she could to resemble Julie's face, and then went inside to lure Annias out. While she was doing that, I stayed behind to modify her memories so that Julie would remember seeing a Death Eater just before she was stunned."
"That was actually a very smart thing to do," McGonagall commended him.
"Thank you," Draco said before continuing. "Once Roxi had successfully gotten Annias out of the building, she stunned him and then we put him next to Julie. The last thing we did before going inside was clear out footprints out of the sand and lay some fake ones to secure our Death Eater cover-up. We made it look like Voldemort was behind the whole thing, and he didn't even have a clue as to what was going on… Or so we had thought.
"Apparently," he went on after taking a quick breath, "the night I had gone to talk to Severus, the last minute or so of our conversation was overheard by Percy. He didn't hear all of it, but it was still enough for him to go back and let the Dark Lord know that we would be administering an antidote to my father in Malfoy Manor at six o'clock that morning. We were caught completely off-guard. I was upstairs in my room when it happened. Voldemort and Percy showed up there at precisely six o'clock but, fortunately enough, Severus had given the antidote just before that. By some miracle, they were able to get it done fifteen minutes early, so we had just enough time to do what we had gone there to do, at least."
"And, obviously, after that you were captured," Minerva deduced.
"Yes," he confirmed. "I tried to sneak down the stairs to gain in element of surprise, but Percy heard me. He stunned me and I fell down the stairs and hit my head. I blacked out after that, and when I woke up, Roxi and I were locked in a cell in the Dark Lord's hideout. My father was in an identical cell right across from us. I was so relieved to see that the antidote had worked and he was still alive. That was all I cared about at that point in time. But that, Minerva, was how we came to be captured," he finished.
"Well this certainly is a lot to take in all at once," she stated. "I just can't believe the two of you were able to come up with all of that all on your own, and you even executed it so perfectly. I confess I may have underestimated you, Draco. You and Roxi both. To do what you did and, had Percy not overheard you, it sounds as if you would not have gotten caught in the act at all. That was an extremely clever plan."
"Thank you ma'am," Draco said proudly. "I was actually the one who came up with most of the plan, but getting Annias to come out to the beach was entirely Roxi's contribution. I can't take credit for that one, because I don't even know what she said to him to be honest."
"And speaking of Roxi," McGonagall said, "where is she, and why didn't she come back with you?"
"You mean no one has told you yet?" When she shook her head no, Draco exhaled a little too dramatically. "Well professor, I hate to be the one to have to tell you this, but Roxi didn't come back because she is not longer with us now."
"You mean she's dead?" McGonagall exclaimed.
"No, no, it's not like that," he reassured her. "What I mean is that she is no longer with us, in the sense that she is no longer on our side anymore. Roxi has decided to work for Voldemort. I believe she started out with good intentions at the start though, but once she became friends with some of them, they roped her in. She started picking up on some of their little behaviors, and then it went from that to parts of their lifestyle habits even."
"What do you mean she started out with good intentions at first?" Minerva asked.
"Well, I mean, the only reason she agreed to do some work for Voldemort in the first place was to save me," he admitted. "She even went so far as to make an unbreakable vow with him, forcing him to promise her that he would not hurt me, or try to kill me, while we were there."
"And what did he get from her in return for that promise?" She said, asking yet another question.
"Roxi swore to truthfully answer each and every question that the Dark Lord so asked her about you, the Order, the Ministry, Harry Potter, everything. If he asked it, and she knew the answer to it, she gave him all the information he wanted to know."
"She wouldn't!" Minerva could not believe what she was hearing.
"Yeah, well, she did," Draco said somberly. "Roxi betrayed you. She betrayed me. She betrayed all of us. Hell, she's even gone so far as to become friends with some of the Death Eaters now, so I don't look for her to ever come back to our side again. And not only that, but she's taken herself a lover with Percy Weasley, you see."
"There's no way!" Of all the things Draco had said so far, Minerva found this bit of information to be the most difficult to believe. "I don't understand it, she seemed like such a nice girl. I thought she could be trusted. I never would have thought she'd do something like this to us."
"Neither did I ma'am, but it really did happen. I'm not particularly thrilled about it," he went on, "but there's nothing we can do for her now. I fear Roxi has gotten herself in way too far this time."
"Well I do know one thing," Minerva said with some finality, "if she has joined them, she will never be welcomed back here again."
Draco smiled on the inside. He was quite fine with that decision, for he didn't care to ever have to see Roxi again after what she had done to him. A part of him had hoped that she would still show her face there again, however, that way he could watch and laugh as McGonagall sent her packing.
"I will make Molly and Aurthur aware of my decision to ban her from the premises," she continued. "But Draco, if she tries to contact you, I will need your word that you will let me know of it immediately. Until we find out what Roxi's true intentions are, she should be considered as potentially dangerous. I do not want you to go off meeting her alone somewhere."
"You won't have to worry about me doing that, ma'am," he assured her. "I have no desire, whatsoever, to see that bitch again. In fact, if she were to walk up to me right now, I'd be most likely to punch her in the face. And that's saying something, because I usually don't believe in hitting women. One might find it difficult to believe, but I actually was taught to know better than to do something like that."
"Would you mind it if I asked you where all the sudden animosity towards her has come from?" Minerva cautiously questioned.
"Yes, actually, I would mind that," Draco snapped, rolling his eyes. "But if you must know, it's because we did date, for a time. But then I felt the need to break up with her in order to spare her the disappointment of the inevitable fact that one day I will end up letting her down. Roxi didn't seem to understand it at first, but everything still seemed to be fine between us for a short while afterwards… But then she decided it would be a good idea to get back at me by jumping right into a relationship with that Percy Weasley, of all people. And as if that wasn't bad enough, she even took it a step further and shared our special kiss with him, right smack in front of me!"
Minerva was appalled and therefore didn't know quite what to say. "My apologies," she spoke softly.
"No apology necessary," he scorned. "I don't need your pity."
"It wasn't meant to be as pity, Draco," she snapped. Minerva could feel her patience slowly beginning to thin with him. "I only said that because I really am sorry that all of that happened to you. I do not feel that you should have had to go through something like that."
"Yeah, well, I shouldn't have had to go through a lot of the things I've been through," he snapped, "but I have. Sometimes life just isn't fair like that."
Minerva shook her head. She knew there was no sense in arguing because it really wasn't going to get her anywhere with him. "Moving on then," she sighed. "I have one last question for you, and then I will be going. Draco, I would like for you to tell me how you managed to get out of there. Given your current state, it is obvious that you had to have some sort of help."
"I did," he answered shortly.
When he didn't seem to be offering anymore information than that, she asked; "so who helped you then?"
"There was this guy who was both a death Eater and a werewolf," he told her. "His name was Lucas and, from what I gathered, he was never really faithful to Voldemort at all. There's some sort of argument going on right now between the Dark Lord and Fenrir Greyback, but don't ask me what its about, because I can assure you that I don't know anything about it."
"That's fine," she encouraged him. "Fenrir is my last concern right now. Go on, please."
"Well, Lucas said that he was told by Greyback to help me escape. Apparently Voldemort has something that Greyback wants, and I was in the way of him getting it. Which is fine by me though, because it helped me get out. I was never given any other details than that though, because Lucas said that his masters great plan was none of my business."
"So how did Lucas do it then?" she pressed. "I mean, surely Voldemort had to have had some sort of protection around you to keep you from getting out of there."
"The only thing he had up was an anti-apparation spell," Draco said. "That and I was locked in a cell and paralyzed like this so that I could not try to run away."
"And you expect me to believe that this Lucas character had magic that was strong enough to over power one of Lord Voldemort's anti-apparation spells?" she asked skeptically.
"Not Lucas, no," Draco admitted. "That pea-brain couldn't even unlock a door if his life depended on it."
"That's not a very nice thing to say about the person who is supposed to be responsible for your freedom," Minerva pointed out.
"Well Lucas isn't solely responsible," Draco corrected. "I mean, the guy was sort of a joke among everyone else. He was another one of those young ones that got in over his head way too early. He had no idea what he was talking about half the time, according to Roxi, and he was completely annoying. I always hated it whenever Lucas was on guard duty, because the kid never knew when to shut up."
"So if he was so clueless, then how did he manage to bypass the protection to get you out of there?" McGonagall asked again. She wasn't about to give up until she had the answer she wanted. "You said so yourself that he wasn't solely responsible, so who helped him get you out then?"
"Well, I'm assuming that it was Greyback's idea, since he was apparently the one behind it all," Draco said.
"Draco," she snapped, "you're not answering the question. Stop avoiding it, please, and just tell me who else was helping those two. If Lucas didn't lift the anti-apparation spell himself, then I'd really like to know who did."
It was in that moment that he realized how wrong it would be to tell McGonagall about Kireonna first. "I-I'm sorry professor, really I am," he said sincerely. "But I cannot tell you that. At least, not yet."
"What do you mean, Draco?" McGonagall demanded.
"I mean that there is someone else out there who needs to know the answer to that first," he calmly replied. "And I'm sorry professor, but I cannot have this conversation with you until I have had it with her."
"With who Draco," she prodded. "Who else needs to know who all was involved with your escape? It is someone in the Order?" Draco nodded in reply. "Well then I think it will be ok if you tell me first then. I am, after all, the one in charge here."
"Yes, but that doesn't matter to me," he said shaking his head. "No disrespect to you though, ma'am, but this is something I just cannot divulge to you until I have discussed it with Saleena first. Sorry, but I really feel like this is something I have to do. It's Saleena's business, not my own. Otherwise I would have no problem discussing it with you."
"I don't understand why you would need to talk to Saleena about it," she admitted, "but if it's something that you feel needs to wait, then so be it. Saleena should be here tomorrow sometime. As I have said, I already contacted her about your condition, and she has agreed to come back here and help us find a cure for you. I will let this go, for the time being, but know that I will be expecting answers from you once you have had a chance to talk to Saleena about it tomorrow afternoon."
"And I will give them to you," he said, "if she says it's ok for me to do so."
"Well, whether Saleena says it's ok or not, I will get to the bottom of this," McGonagall promised. "If you won't tell me what I need to know, then I suppose I will just have to get the answers I seek out of her, once you have shared them with her that is."
"You can do that if you want to," he said, "but Saleena is my friend. She has been like a sister to me for all of my life, and I will not betray her trust by talking to you first about business that concerns her."
"Fair enough," Minerva finally agreed as she got to her feet. She'd had enough of this argument for one day already, and was ready to move onto the next thing on her never ending to-do list. "I must be going now, Draco, but we will finish this conversation later. I will respect your wishes, however, and let you talk with Saleena first. She should be getting here sometime later tonight or early tomorrow, I'm not sure which."
"Thank you," he sincerely said. "I really do appreciate your understanding. I'm not trying to hide anything from you, honestly. It's just that it only just occurred to me that I really should have this conversation with her first. But I promise you that, once you know why, you will fully understand."
Minerva gave him a short nod. "Well I surely do hope so," she said.
Then without another word she swept from the room. Once she was gone, Draco leaned back on the couch and relaxed. Interrogations had always made him nervous because he hated being put on the spot. At least with McGonagall though, she was willing to understand and make compromises, if necessary. He was not used to being questioned by somebody who would so willingly do that.
As Draco laid there and waited for someone to come along and help him up, his mind began to ponder on Saleena. He couldn't help but wonder how she would take to hearing the news that her mother was currently imprisoned by Lord Voldemort. But more importantly, he wasn't quite sure how he was even going to tell her. All he knew was that she really needed to know, and he had to be the one to tell it to her...
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