Chapter 1 : Backstory
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Minerva McGonagall let herself into her study, turned around pointed her wand, and murmured “Colloportus”. She heard the familiar squelching sound as the door sealed itself. From a cupboard she took a small, plain glass, inkwell and placed it on her desk. After a few seconds the inkwell glowed blue. Gathering her robes around her she placed her finger on the inkwell and seconds later felt the familiar feeling in her navel as she vanished from the study.
Re-appearing in a small clearing in a forest she recognised her surroundings but, as with her first visit, had no idea where she was. Taking the only pathway from the clearing she walked the fifty yards to the small cottage where Albus Dumbledore now resided. The door opened as she approached to reveal the headmaster or now ex-headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
“Albus, good to see you, how are you?” a couple of air-kisses breathed past his ears. He looked at his blackened right hand.
“Well, thank you Minerva. Considering the hand and the fact that I am dead, I feel very well.”
“Good. Severus tells me that he is making progress with the cure for your hand. He still has a lot to do but he is making good progress. As for being dead, it’s better that you stay that way for now.”
“Without you and Severus I really would be dead.”
“All I did was a cushioning charm when you fell from the Astronomy Tower. Severus did the hard part; he had to time the Avada just right. You had to get your time-turner trick just right too. I was tempted to let you bounce a couple of times.”
“I’m glad you resisted that temptation. Now tell me how Harry is doing.”
“The tracking charm you invented is working well. I can find them anytime I want. They are at Shell Cottage, planning to break into Gringotts with the help of Griphook. They believe there is another Horcrux in the vault of Bellatrix Lestrange. Voldemort is looking for Gregorovich, thinking he may have the Elder Wand.”
“Breaking into Gringotts is a dangerous thing to do.” He paused, “You do know that it’s all going to come to a head soon don’t you?”
“A few days I think, a week at the most.”
“I agree. We are as ready as we can be.”
The battle was raging. Hermione and Ron had destroyed Hufflepuff’s cup and with Harry were close to finding Ravenclaw’s diadem. That would just leave the snake.
Meanwhile Narcissa Malfoy was hunting through the corridors looking for Draco. She had witnessed the black Auror, Kingston, or something like that, kill her husband Lucius Malfoy. Vengeance could wait. She had to find her son; she wasn’t going to lose him as well. She found him with his wand out standing in the shadow of one of the many statues that lined the corridors of Hogwarts.
“Draco!” she kissed her son, “Come Draco, we have to leave here. Now!” Not waiting for a reply, she took his arm and disapparated them both to Malfoy Manor.
“I had to get you out of there Draco. Your… your father is dead, Draco. We should go abroad for a while.”
“No, mother, I’m not going to leave. I’m going back to Hogwarts; I want to be there when Potter kills Voldemort. Yes Mum. Voldemort is going to lose. I’ve felt that for some time now.”
“Draco, your father is dead, don’t you understand that?”
“Oh yes, I understand that, and I don’t care. I wouldn’t expect you to understand but I hated him. I hated him ever since he used the Cruciatus on me, his own son.”
“He used the Cruciatus on you?” Narcissa finished what Draco was going to say. She was angry and bewildered. “I don’t believe you. You’re a coward. Get out of my house.”
“Actually Mother, since the Malfoy estate never passes to a female, this is now my house. You are, of course, welcome to stay.”
“Stay! No Draco, I couldn’t stay here with a coward and a traitor. With your permission, I’ll take my things and go.”
“As you wish Mother. Goodbye.” She disappeared from his sight. He apparated back to Hogwarts.
Draco appeared on the platform of the Astronomy Tower and immediately made his way downstairs. He found a secluded spot outside the Great Hall which gave him a view through the open doors. There were bodies on the floor, lots of them. He saw Molly Weasley rid the world of his aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange. Potter was battling just about everybody until there were just the two of them, Potter and Voldemort. Potter didn’t stand a chance. Voldemort was the master of the Elder Wand. Or so he thought. He was proved wrong when in a flash of red light Dumbledore appeared in the hall. The Elder wand flew to Dumbledore’s hand. Voldemort taunted Potter,
“We have a bit of an impasse, Potter. My wand can’t kill you and your wand can’t kill me…”
“But mine can. Avada Kedavra.” The whole room stared in open mouthed astonishment at Neville Longbottom. That was it. It was over, done, finished. Draco remained hidden for an hour trying to decide what to do. Looking again into the hall he saw Ginny Weasley weeping piteously over the body of her brother Fred. He remembered the encounters that he and she had shared a couple of years before. Encounters that neither of them had spoken about. His heart ached for her. Oh Red, I am so sorry. I wish I had been brave enough to prevent this, he thought, but my Mother was right. I am a coward. He knew then what he had to do.
He saw the Auror, Kingsley Shacklebolt, leaving the hall. He stepped out of the shadows in front of the man. He offered his wand. “Mr Shacklebolt, my name is Draco Malfoy. I surrender myself to you.”
Examination of his wand had shown that he had taken no part in the battle, had never used an Unforgiveable Curse, and had never actually injured anyone. Albus Dumbledore had secretly prevailed on the Ministry and the Wizengamot not to send Draco to prison, but to free him on Dumbledore’s own recognisance subject to the condition that he return to Hogwarts for his seventh year. After long consideration the authorities had agreed and released Draco to resume his education.
Draco could not understand his own reaction to the news. He was upset, almost angry. He felt that he deserved some sort of punishment. He was reluctant to go back to school; he knew that he would face the taunts of Potter, the Weasel and their friends. He wouldn’t take it lying down, that was for sure. Perhaps he should just go back as the obnoxious character he had been before. It would be what everybody expected. It would mean another year enduring the ‘companionship’ of Crabbe, Goyle and Parkinson. He decided he would fake it. He would be a milder version of the Draco Malfoy of old. He could still give Potter and his crew the verbal treatment they were used to. He just had to keep it to a level that would not attract the attention of Dumbledore or McGonagall.
He and Hermione Granger had been named Head Boy and Girl. Both had declined the opportunity to share the apartment normally used by the holders of those positions. Neither could imagine sharing such a facility with the other.
Let the term begin.