Chapter 10 : The Vault
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“Absolutely Not Mr Potter, you can wait until the weekend, certainly not during school hours”
“Please Professor? It could hold vital information for the Aurors”
“I’m well aware of your position amongst them, but while you are on Hogwarts grounds you are my responsibility”
“That’s where I come in Head Mistress. I was going to accompany them” Hermione spoke up from behind Harry. She clutched the books in her hands tightly fearing Professor Mc Gonagall was going to shout at her
“Oh so three of you now, No adults of parents present to mind you” She quickly stopped talking when she realised the three students who wanted to go, parents accompanying them wasn’t really an option
“We’ll be back by lunch, all three of us are ahead in our school work and you must trust us by now Professor it’s not like we’re running off to cause havoc”
“You should reconsider your choice of words Miss Granger, if you have a look back at your track record and Mr Potters and certainly Mr Malfoy’s, causing havoc seems very likely”
“Professor do you understand how important this is!” Harry had snapped her was furious that Professor Mc Gonagall was standing in his way of this
“Yes I do!” her voice stern and more serious than either of them had ever heard before “But as Headmaster of this school I am telling you no! If you wanted to stay as involved in that campaign as you were you shouldn’t have come back to Hogwarts, but while you are here you will follow the rules like every other student, no exceptions no favours”
“After everything he’s done for this school”
“Hermione!” Harry cut in “We’ll go the weekend”
“Very well, now off to bed” Professor Mc Gonagall sat back at her seat
Hermione was dragged by the hand out of her office, she looked back at Mc Gonagall on her way feeling completely bewildered by what just happened
“Harry what just happened”
Harry laughed “I think I just got put in my place”
“She was way out of line like everything you’ve done and sacrificed”
“I don’t understand” she was lost in what was happening “I’m not saying abuse who you are but this is important”
“When she was yelling at me I realised whatever is in the vault will be there on Saturday and that I fought for Malfoy to get back into this school because he wanted a normal life be a normal seventeen year old at Hogwarts”
“A normal seventeen year old at Hogwarts! What? What has Malfoy got to do with you not being allowed”
“Hermione” he laughed as he interrupted “I’ve always just wanted a normal life, but I never got it and I wouldn’t take back one second of my life now but I understand where she was coming from I’m taking Malfoy’s approach for the rest of the year and just be another face in the crowd”
Hermione was feeling a little emotional, they had been through so much, but what was wrong pretending they hadn’t that they were the same as all their peers? It made her think about her position as head girl and gave her some ideas for making everyone’s last year there the most memorable.
“For what it’s worth Harry Potter, you’ll never be just a face in the crowd. Even if all this stuff never happened, you are and always will be a kind, charismatic firecracker!”
Harry hugged her tightly “And you’ll always be my sister Hermione Jean Granger”
Draco unwilling rolled out of bed at eight o clock that Saturday morning. He couldn’t understand why Harry would want to get up so early on a day off, none the less he was up. He looked over at Blaise who was sleeping peacefully. Beside his bed was a picture of Daphne blowing kisses, he shook his head and smirked to himself as she had sent him the exact same picture that summer after they had slept together. He began to wonder if she gave it to Blaise to remind Blaise of her, or because she knew Draco would see it in his room and for it to remind him of her!
After a long walk through the school’s corridors to the main entrance, Draco’s stomach churned with hunger, and then suddenly tensed up when he saw that Hermione was waiting with Harry.
“Granger! Are you coming too?”
“Yes, she is!” Harry cut in before Hermione could answer “It was the only way Professor Mc Gonagall would let us go?”
“No need to get your knickers in a twist Potter I was just asking”
Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes as both of them walked past her. It was going to be a long day.
“Why so early Potter? Even Granger looks like she’d love a lie in”
“The sooner we get there the sooner we get back”
Draco sighed and walked ahead of Hermione and Harry walking out the huge double doors at the main entrance of the school.
“Harry maybe I shouldn’t go” Hermione fretted once Draco was out of ear shot
“Don’t be stupid, it’s fine!” Harry linked his arm through hers and pulled her along beside him “If it gets too much you don’t have to come to the vault with us”
“To the vault! You want me to come in with you? Harry that’s too much”
“Mione, I’m bringing you because you’re brilliant and I’m afraid I won’t be able to figure out what’s in there”
Hermione blushed a little and began to willingly walk alongside him towards the carriage to the train.
It was easy enough to find an empty cabin on the train as not many students travelled home for the weekends. The three of them piled into one and all had the same idea. Sleep!
After about an hour Draco woke up with a shooting pain in his neck from trying it rest it on the chair. He felt like he had been asleep for hours and slowly stretched out, wincing to the sound of his neck clicking. Hermione sat across the table from him scribbling something down in a journal furiously
“You’re doing school work on a very rare day away from Hogwarts?” he asked rhetorically “Potters got the right idea” he nodded towards Harry jealous of the fact he was still asleep
“It’s head girl stuff” Hermione answered not looking up from her notebook
“Still, it may not be the most exciting trip but it’s an excuse to not worry about it”
“Well actually it’s something fun”
“Like what? Later library hours?”
“Out of all the people at Hogwarts, you would genuinely appreciate that one so”
Draco smirked up at her, knowing she was right, he then raised his right eyebrow
“Well then enlighten me”
Hermione became a little nervous at how he was looking at her, she had seen this look before but it was normally followed by something nasty or if he had won an argument! Never something, well, friendly.
“I was planning a party for the seventh years”
“A party? Ha!” he looked at her doubtfully
“No honestly, something we can all just let loose at”
“A party at Hogwarts is hardly something to let loose at especially not with the professors watching your every step”
“Not like that! Something exclusive, Harry had mentioned wanting to be a normal seventeen year old, a face in the crowd and I thought what would we have been doing at the weekends last year if we hadn’t been scared for our lives or protecting our friends and families and everything else”
She left that part quite open as what Draco was doing was what Harry, Hermione and Ron were trying to prevent,
“What?” He asked feeling drawn in by her idea
“We’d be in the three broomsticks drinking butter beer”
“True” he nodded “Except you, you’d be studying” he smirked again “So you’re suggesting we all get drunk somewhere?”
“Not just go somewhere and get drunk, just have fun be normal as if last year never happened”
“And how do you suggest getting Professor Mc Gonagall on board to let the entire senior class go somewhere and get drunk?”
“That’s where I’m stuck, and it’s not about getting drunk”
“It so is!”
“Listen here fire whiskey, you can get drunk if you like” she laughed “I have the perfect time, Halloween break because we don’t have to be at Hogwarts and have the whole week off I just have no place”
“So all this just so Potter can forget last year?”
“Not just for him, for everyone. Isn’t that what everyone wants to feel, normal, accepted by your peers”
“Is that what the books say Granger” he rolled his eyes
“If I’m not mistaken I have more friends than you Malfoy
“Touché” he admitted defeat “We could use my house?”
“What?” Hermione asked in disbelief, she was beginning to doubt her idea from his reaction and now he was offering to help?
“It should be big enough for all the seventh years”
“And sixth years?” she asked cheerfully
“I thought you said just seventh years?”
“I know but I want to bring Ginny, well Harry will”
“How about seventh years with a plus one”
“PERFECT!” She almost leapt out of her seat “Thank you Draco!”
“Draco? I do one nice thing and I get Draco?” he teased
“Fine you’re a ferret Malfoy!”
“Hey! That’s a sensitive subject” he almost sounded genuine but she knew he was kidding “Danger Granger”
“Why on earth would you call me that?”
“I coined it after you punched me in the face, you’ve lived up to it too, and everywhere you go you manage to bring some sort of trouble to others and mostly yourself”
“I do not”
“You so do! Your best friend it Harry Potter for a start, you’ve dabbled in the Weasley always a dangerous territory, hell you almost put yourself in a coma last week I’m sure I could keep going”
Hermione began to laugh uncontrollably “Danger Granger” she giggled
“I call it like I see it” he also began to laugh too
Hermione suddenly stopped and became a little awkward at the idea of laughing with Malfoy. Draco instantly picked up on her awkwardness but it took him another moment to realise why she had stopped.
“Maybe we should wake Potter we’re almost there”
The walk to Gringotts was long and awkward to say the least. Hermione was now feeling extremely uncomfortable around Draco. She feared she was letting him in a bit too much and forgetting everything he had done. Yes they were trying to be civil but friends? Was that too far? On the other hand Draco was worrying about how her mood had suddenly changed on the train. Just when he felt like he was being treated like everyone else, the stigma of his name and his actions haunted him once more and worse yet he still had to face what was in this vault.
While Harry was dealing with the goblins to access vault 86DM, Hermione fretted about going to the vault with them. She stood behind Draco and watched as he stood impatiently waiting for Harry. She could see his shoulders tensing as the goblin opened the gates for them to pass through
“Wands in here please” he croaked as he pointed towards a large golden box
Each of them reluctantly placed their wands in, all looking at each other wondering why
“After what you know who done to this place it’s maximum security here, we do trust you Mr Potter, but not him” the little stubby goblin turned his nose up at Draco.
As Harry and Draco stepped into the cart to take them to the vault, Hermione decided now was the time to make sure it was ok she went
“Wait! Are you sure you’re ok with me coming”
“I told you already Mione its fine”
“Not you Harry, I’m asking Dra...Malfoy”
“It’s ok, chances are you’ll be the one to figure it out” he laughed half heartedly
“That’s what Harry said” she smiled softly at him as she stepped into the cart
The cart jolted off and the nerves in Draco’s stomach were almost unbearable, he felt like he was going to throw up. He genuinely had no idea what was going to be here. Harry was 50/50 about what was there. It was either money or a clue for Draco as to where his parents are hiding, he was hoping it was the second one. As for Hermione she hadn’t really thought about what might be in there she was too busy thinking about how Draco was feeling, she had never seen him so openly nervous before, normally he would try and hide it like in the room of requirement when he had a standoff with Harry and she didn’t have time to notice when they were trying to get away from the fiend fire. When the cart eventually stopped all three were hesitant to get out.
“Your hand Mr Malfoy” The goblin reached out his hand for his “This will hurt” he smiled viciously then he used his long pointed nail to tear open a wound on the palm of Draco’s hand
“Agh” Draco pulled in back “What the”
“Place it on the door” he insisted as if Draco should have known what he was doing
Draco looked at the cut in disgust then timidly placed it on the door. The instant his blood made contact with it, the door began to unlock
“I’ll leave you to it so” the goblin made his way back to the cart to wait
“Here” Hermione pulled some tissue out of her bag and handed it to Draco to wrap around his hand.
Draco shrugged his shoulders and proceeded through the now unlocked door. It reminded Harry of the one he had first visited with Hagrid to get the philosophers stone, lots of twists and locks. Draco looked at Hermione before he walked in, after all the minor things that had happened between them he was actually glad she was there. He felt as if she would probably understand, or at least try to understand what he was about to go through.
Draco stood speechless at what he was seeing. The room’s walls were covered in all the old family portraits that had once hung over the fire place in the dining room at Malfoy Manor. There were also many pictures of Draco, mostly pictures of his as a child. Some he remembered being taken, then others he never knew they existed, like him opening presents on birthdays and at Christmas. There was one he couldn’t take his eye off which was one of his sitting on his grandfather’s knee when he was about five or so. It was in a large cast iron frame, which was thick with dust, he was smiling in the picture but just looking at himself he could almost feel the fear he felt that day, the fear that was laced in his eyes. He was terrified of his grandfather, even Lucius was terrified him. Draco always blamed his grandfather for how his family turned out. If he hadn’t of treated Lucius the way he did when he was growing up he might have had a different life. At the best of times Draco didn’t get on with his father or doubted his choices but he was always more compassionate than Abraxas Malfoy!
Harry and Hermione stood silently behind him, neither of them knowing what to say. Harry had spotted a table with various objects on it but was waiting for Draco to take the lead on what may be in here. The rest of the room was valuable furniture that may have once been at the Manor, priceless ornaments and figurines and some rather sentimental items like Draco’s first broom, Hogwarts report cards and even his first year uniform. Hermione picked up a picture which was misplaced in the floor. It was of Draco as a toddler, well at least she assumed it was him. A little boy of two or three with a full pudgy cheeks, white blonde curls and ice blue eyes which looked like the biggest eyes she had ever seen. After a moment of studying the picture she was sure it was Draco, his eyes gave him away. He heart ached a little to think that even so young he had the same sad, empty eyes he had now. She looked up from the picture in her hands to be greeted by two piercing eyes on the wall. Bellatrix, the sight of her made he shudder. She moved a little closer to him and placed his hand just below his shoulder
“Draco would you like Harry and I to leave you alone?” she offered, all of this felt like his parents were trying to say they cared more than he thought
“No, it’s fine. Unless you want to go” he looked down at her seeing there was genuine concern in her eyes
“We’ll give you a few minutes then come back” Harry suggested taken Hermione by the hand and leading her out of the vault.
Draco looked around some more, eventually making his way to the table Harry had spotted. It had things like his mother’s old jewellery that she no longer wore, old school pins, the cufflinks Lucius bought Draco when he got his very first suit, a D and an M. Bellatrix’s wand was there, his mother must have picked it up after she was killed. He just looked at it he never touched it, for some reason he imagined all the evil she caused with it would consume him. Beside her wand was a little wooden box. It struck him as odd that it was there as everything else on the table was gold or jewel encrusted with the exception of Bellatrix’s wand. He took up the box and looked for an opening, there was none. He shook it softly and heard something rattle inside.
“Potter!” he called out “I think I found something worthwhile” but Harry didn’t hear him. Then he had an idea. He took the tissue from his bloody cut and rubbed the palm of his hand across the box. It lifted up out of his hand and floated righted in front of his face, and then it began to crack all over, tiny little cracks which got bigger as they ran into one another. It then broke apart and the now tiny pieces of wood fell to the ground as they were completely insignificant to what was inside the box. A small octahedron shaped, blackish-blue stone hovered in his face. He placed his hand under it then gently closed his fingers around it. When it made contact with him a wave of cold rushed over him.
“POTTER!” he called louder than the last time
Harry and Hermione came running in as Draco sounded frantic.
“What’s the matter?” Hermione gasped, no longer able to read the expression on Draco’s face. He looked like he used to when he would pick on her, mean and sinister. His lip almost snarled and his eyes like they could break glass if he concentrated hard enough.
“Here” he held out his hand to Harry who timidly placed his under Draco’s. Then he dropped the stone.
“What is it?” Hermione looked in Harry’s hand “That’s the”
“Yeah it is, she must have seen it on our way back from the forest”
“Who my Mother, what is it?” Draco was completely bewildered
“It’s the resurrection stone” Hermione closed Harry’s hand in “It brings people back from the dead”
“The dead?” Draco sounded horrified
“Not entirely back, they’re like ghosts but not quite a little more alive than that and as long as you hold it you will always see them”
“Harry was able to see his parents one last time before” Hermione stopped talking all of a sudden as she started to think what if Draco’s parents knew they were going to die? This would be there way of saying goodbye. Harry looked over at Hermione, he was thinking the same thing as her.
“Wait can you see your parents now?”
“No you have to flip it three times in your hand and think of the person you want to see, I’m pretty sure it only works with loved ones” Harry held it out for Draco to pick up again
“I’m starting to think my parents aren’t alive anymore” he lifted it out of Harrys hands “Can I do this alone?” he asked looking back at Hermione she looked like she was going to burst into tears. She bit her bottom lip to try and hold them in.
“Sure” Harry took Hermione’s hand once more and led her out of the vault leaving Draco to find out whether his parents had somehow planned on dying.
Draco flipped it three times. He closed his eyes on the last time afraid of what might be waiting for him when he opened them.
Ok so now we know why his parents wanted him to go to the vault, and Harry was right it wasn’t just money, but I don’t think he knew this was in store.
Hermione’s become very compassionate towards Draco! Is it because he may be just about to find out if his parents were dead? It was one of her worst fears during the war for her own parents maybe she’s reliving it? Or is it because he has turned a new page in his life? He did take care of her when she fell and apologised to her. We’ll just have to wait and see!
Thank you so much to everyone who has read and reviewed this story! It really does mean an awful lot I don’t think I could stress that more! I think some of you have given me more credit than I deserve!
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