Chapter 7 : Home again
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I landed on my right hand side, softer than last time as I was prepared but I still squeaked. I looked up and found Potter holding out his hand instead of my cane, helping me to my feet. Wonder what changed. Hermione walked past and I felt myself get lost in the way her hair fell about her shoulders like that of a waterfall.
Okay snap out of it.
Potter leant closer to me so as not to be over-heard. “Next time you’re planning something like that. Let us know first will you? Ron was doing a whole goodbye speech to Hermione.” I smirked.
Undeserving little twerp.
“Was it any good?” I looked at him, but his eyes were transfixed on something. It was still mid-day, and the wrecked ruins of Malfoy Manor looked almost ancient.
“Dear Merlin.” One of the rooms in the top right looked like an explosion had taken place, the two walls blown to nothing and the old slate roof had fallen in to fill the hole it had left, craters in the ground from where basements and secret tunnels had fallen in. You could almost sketch the path mine and Lucius’s fight had taken through the house. I walked forward, across the half-melted gates, where the Aurors had apparated and attempt to separate us but couldn’t get through the enchanted gate so they burnt it down. The grass looked singed and the walls washed of all colour. A few white feathers scattered around where the peacocks had taken flight, screeching like cats as they went.
I walked across the ground, hedges were still looking the same but just a touch rough around the edges. I walked up to the front door, hanging by one rusted hinge. I pointed my wand at it and carefully took it all the way off and laid it down on the grass next to me.
“Merlin Malfoy, what happened here.” Weasley was running his hand along the wall, his eyes wide and for the first time this year there was no hostility in his face. Weaslette was just standing in shock just inside the doorway.
“Me and, Lucius had a bit of a disagreement.”
“Just a bit yeah.” I smirked. Hermione walked past me, muttering a charm from her wand. A white mist shot from her wand and down the corridors, we stood waiting. Ginny was standing next to Potter, subtly holding his hand. She seemed slightly spooked by the dark barren walls. Weasley spotted this and held out his hand to Granger who was pacing. She either didn't notice or completely ignored him as McGonagall inspected the paintings on the walls of all my extensive family.
“When did this happen?” Harry spoke up as he examined a blood stain on the opposite wall, which I think came from Lucius.
“About a week after the battle. Me and Mum had just about finished moving out when he came back. The aurors were notified but he cursed the gate shut and they couldn’t get in hence.” I nodded to the pool of metal.
I scanned the floor, the dust had been disturbed before us but no footprints were actually visible, I tried to follow it but the wind whistled eerily through the many cracks in the wall and blasted away any sign of even my own footprints and left swirls in the dust.
“Guess we mistook you Draco.” He looked at me, I frowned.
“I haven’t.” Weasley stood behind Granger looking defiant.
“Should have your head tested Weasley if you think I care about what you think.” The red ears came flooding back. “I didn’t do it for any approval either.” I threw at Potter.
“This is taking forever.” Granger had ignored us, fretting.
“Doolley?” A pop and an elf appeared, his tennis purple eyes looked confused and his skin a pale mossy green.
“Yes Hogwart master?” I knelt on one knee, this elf used to belong to Cyrus’s parents but got taken on by Hogwarts after they died, Cyrus had a little soft spot for him. It also meant he’d been here before.
“I need you to do us a favour. I need you to check the basements that haven’t fallen in and check for a woman.” I stood, walking over to Granger. “She looks a bit like her and her name is Jean. Tell me if you do or don’t find her but please be quick.” He nodded. My house was filled with ancient spells and charms, Granger's spell probably didn't work properly because of them.
“Pleasure sir.” He hesitated though before apparating with a loud pop. I walked up the stairs.
“Malfoy what about the rooms down here?” I shook my head.
“I know my way around. He’s most likely taken one of the bedrooms for his own and a basement for your mum. If she’s here, I’m going to see if I can find anything in the bedrooms. Come if you want, nothing’s stopping you.” They hesitated. I walked across to the room at the end of the landing, listening to McGonagall walk up the stairs.
“Lumos.” I pushed open the door, it was still in its clean unused state, the dust on the floor only disturbed by me.
Forgot how depressing this place looks.
The same colour scheme was everywhere, black, silver and green. I flicked my wand in the air, turning the green drapes to red, bringing more light in through the windows. It made the room look warmer and a little less gloomy. I walked back up the hall.
Still can’t believe I’ve inherited this place.
“Found anything Professor?” She shook her head. Standing up and brushing her skirt of the dust that was, well, everywhere. I noticed now how truly old she was. She can't have been that far behind Dumbledore's age. Even though no one knew how old he was either.
“Mister Malfoy. What makes you so sure she’s here?” I had doubts in the back of my head. Should’ve found something by now.
“Good a place to look as any. Although I would have expected Rudolphus to fix the door.” I turned back to the stairs.
“Master?” I turned, Doolley had run up the stairs instead of apparating. “Quick master. I have found.”
“Professor!” I ran after him as he didn’t wait. I could hear McGonagall coming up behind me, calling for the others.
I dashed down the stairs, leaping the last part that had crumpled into a pile. We turned the corner and past several doors and another flight of stairs. Doolley stopped, this staircase has been smashed to oblivion, pointing my wand a ball of light lit the wrecked remains and what looked like a new set of stairs freshly carved out where the rubble seemed thickest. I carefully tested my weight on it before going down, Doolley apparated to the bottom and stopped at a large metal door that looked freshly fixed. Doolley shook slightly glancing at the door, I took a deep breath, unlocked it and pressed it open a crack. After a second I heard a sob inside.
BINGO! Oh yeah, couldn't hide her from me!
I locked away the leap of jubilation and pushed the door open, holding my hands up to show I was unarmed. “Mrs Granger?” The sobbing stopped.
“Yes? What do you want?” I walked through, turning on the light. She was completely unharmed by the look of it, huddled in the corner under a very thin blanket. Wearing trousers and what looked like a gardening blouse, marked with grass and mud stains.
“My name is Draco Malfoy. I’m going to…”
“Kill me. He said you were going to kill me.” I smirked and shook my head. The look of defiance on her face reminded of her daughter.
“I’m afraid he lied Mrs Granger. I’m going to take you back upstairs to your husband and daughter.” Tears sprung to her gentle eyes but she brushed them away. She had darker hair then Granger, and her eyes a lighter shade of brown. She had soft wrinkles round her face and her crows feet were just showing. “Can you walk?” She nodded.
"How can I trust you? I might not know much about the magic world but that doesn't mean i'm just going to take your word." I smirked at her angry defence. She had stood up, clutching the blanket in one hand like she was going to use it as a weapon.
"I don't know what to say that would make you trust me, except that if I wanted to kill you I wouldn't go to this amount of trouble, the killing spell is quite short." This didn't work to comfort her. "But if it makes you feel any better, you can have my wand?" I pulled it out and held it out to her, handle first. It felt wrong but as she took it I knew it had done the job.
However much I wanted to snatch it back.
“Malfoy where are you?” I looked as Professor McGonagall walked around Doolley into the doorway. “Ah there you are. Oh Mrs Granger, is everything all right?” She nodded. “Is there anything you can tell us about your captor?” I raised an eyebrow at her. Am I not a trusted opinion? She shook her head.
“All I know is that he was going to come back with a boy named Draco Malfoy who was going to kill me. I recognised the name because I’d heard my Granger talking about him.” She lowered her voice as I led the way up the stairs with Doolley. “Is that really him?”
“Doesn’t seem anything like how Hermione described.”
“No, his family have changed since the war.” I heard something in Professor McGonagall’s voice, pride? No it can’t be.
“Oh, what happened to his shoulder, looks horrible.” I glanced to see that blood had seeped through the bandages.
“Mum? Mum?” I reached the corridor, to see Granger storming towards me. I swung an arm around her waist and carried her away from the basement door way.
Man she’s light.
She was slapping my good shoulder. “Malfoy put me down!” Her warm weight was a welcoming feeling in my arm but I fought against it, burying it down inside.
“You were about to bowl them down the stairs.” I put her back on her feet, almost a foot smaller than me. Hair still smells like coconut. She blushed slightly, more from anger than embarrassment at being corrected.
“Hermione?” I watched her run into the arms of her mum. “Hermione I am glad to see you.” She gave me another side-ways glance. “You told me the Malfoy’s were nasty scum?” I smirked,
“He was though mum, but he’s different now.” She shook her head.
“Well, people do change.” She kissed Granger's head as her husband walked up at put his arms around his family. They stood like that for a moment, talking quietly before splitting apart. Mrs Granger walked forward, holding my wand out to me. I took it, happy to have it back and leant against the wall, listening to them all talking about what they would do next.
The throbbing in my shoulder was beyond ignorable now, I staggered quietly away into the kitchen, scouring the cupboards for a painkiller. Finding none I sneaked up the stairs, no one having noticed my sudden departure. I dragged myself up the bannister till I found my room, brushing the dust off the little silver foil covered packet, I popped a painkiller in my mouth and leant against the wall. Waiting for it to take effect.
“Malfoy?” I turned my head. Potter was standing at the door.
“Get lost Potter. Ever heard of personal space?” I forced myself to breath, the pain was coming back hard and fast, I twisted gasping, trying to ignore it. Potter stepped into the room, looking around, his expression curious and slightly concerned.
The grand four poster bed, and the completely bare walls. The chest of drawers and wardrobe were made of polished black wood and the carpet was silver and covered in little emerald snakes. “I said, Potter, get out.”
“I can help the pain. I know a few spells.” I waited a second before nodding, feeling the charms wash away the worst of the pain I gasped. Feeling very light headed. “You can still apparate, everyone’s down stairs. Why didn’t you say the pain was coming back?”
Hermione, didn’t want to hurt Hermione by not finding her mother in time.
“I did.” I watched as he figured out my act at the Grangers, clutching my shoulder on the floor. I closed my eyes.
“Professor McGonagall’s taking Hermione’s family to the ministry to sort everything out, then when she gets back she’s going to take you to Hogwarts hospital wing.” I closed my eyes, remembering how warm Hermione felt in my arm. The pain was swirling around the back of my head, threatening to take over. My nose filled with dust and the remembered smell of coconut.
“What If I black out?” He shook his head.
“Professor said it wasn’t a problem.” I nodded.
“Good.” I leant back and allowed myself doze as Potter poked around my room. I watched as he took in the red drapes above the window, making him smile slightly. “Well you get sick of green after a while.” He nodded.
“I know what you mean, I get sick of the colour red occasionally.” I smirked. “You got a bathroom round here?” I nodded.
“Down the corridor, third door on the right.”
“Cheers, I’ll come back in a minute, don’t move.” I chuckled.
He left and I tried to stand, not wanting to accept help from him to get downstairs. As the blood rushed to my head though all I could do was aim for the bed.
The chapters get edited and improved ever so often. Thank you for reading, this has become a little bit of a pride and joy for me. Remember! Any thoughts please review :) :)
x Ravenpen x
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