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Chapter 21 : The Betrayal
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“A week.” Ginny said slowly. “They’ll be here in a week?”
Harry was sitting in the Gryffindor common room with all the DA members from Gryffindor plus Luna gathered around him.
“Yes.” he simply said. No one said anything. There really wasn’t anything to say. Voldemort would come after them and there was nothing they could do about it. All they could do was stand up for themselves and hope for the best.
When everyone had gone to bed, Harry remained behind in the common room with Ginny. When he looked into her eyes he saw the fear that he had been feeling himself since Snape had broken the news to Harry. Not the fear of Voldemort or the fear of dying, but the fear of losing the girl he loved.
“It’s going to be fine, Ginny.” he said softly. “We’re going to be fine.”
“We can’t be sure of that.”
Harry didn’t know what to say. She was right of course. They couldn’t be sure that they would be fine. In fact, there was a good chance that they wouldn’t be.
“I love you, Ginny.” he finally said. “I love you so much. I don’t know what I would do if you… I wish I could keep you safe until this is all over.”
“Not a chance.” Ginny muttered, burying her face in Harry’s shirt. “I’m staying with you. Until the end.”
“Ginny, if I – “
“No, Harry.” Ginny said firmly. “Don’t say it. Don’t ask me to stay strong if you are killed. Don’t tell me to be okay. You know I won’t. I couldn’t ever…” She looked up at him. Tears were streaming down her face, but she still had that determined look in her eyes. “How could I ever be okay when I can’t be with you?”
Harry wanted to protest, but he decided against it. He knew how Ginny felt. He could only hope that if Ginny gave her life during the battle, his life would be taken too. Any life without her wouldn’t be worth living for him.
“We’ll stay together.” Harry said soothingly, stroking Ginny’s long, red hair. “One way or another… We’ll stay together.”
The first thing that Harry did on Sunday morning was scheduling a DA meeting for that night. The members from the other houses didn’t know about the news yet. When he had told them that Voldemort was planning to attack the school within a week, they were looking at him frightfully. Malfoy had never looked paler.
“Do you think we are ready?” Justin finally said.
“Yes.” Harry said after a short silence. “Yes, I think we are. You have no idea how much progress you have made in the last two years. Each and every one of you.” He looked at his fellow DA members proudly. “But a bit of extra practice can’t hurt.”
They spent the meeting rehearsing all of the defensive and offensive spells that Harry had taught them over the past few months. He was happy to see that no one had any difficulties remembering all of them. He knew that this people would be a great help during the battle, not only because they had all proven to be accomplished duellists, but also because they were all friends. They would all go through fire and water for each other. Well, nearly all of them. Draco Malfoy had been accepted by every DA member when he joined and he had proven himself by fighting in two battles, but he was still keeping a distance between him and the others. Then there was also his relationship with one of the other DA members. Malfoy and Zacharias Smith had been living like kneazle and crup from the moment Malfoy had joined the DA. The main reasons for that were that there had been a conflict between the Malfoy family and the Smith family for generations and Zacharias didn’t have an inch of trust in Malfoy , but over the last few weeks every reason was good enough for a shouting match between the two. This time it had been a curse of Malfoy that had gone astray and nearly hit Zacharias.
“What is the matter with you two!” Harry said as he stood in between them.
“He’s trying to curse me, that’s what’s the matter!” Zacharias said heatedly.
“It was an accident, Zacharias.” Justin tried to calm the furious Hufflepuff. “He was aiming for me, I just dodged it and it nearly hit you.”
“Why are you practicing with that vermin anyway?”
“Watch who you call vermin!” Draco said, who was also losing his temper. “Big words coming from a Smith!”
“Don’t you start on my family again!” Zacharias said threateningly. “At least no one there has the Dark Mark on his arm.” Malfoy cursed and pointed his wand at the Hufflepuff.
“Expelliarmus!” Harry shouted and both Malfoy’s and Zacharias’ wands flew towards him. “I’ve had it with you two! There’s a war coming this way. It’s time you put your petty differences aside and you realize that you are on the same side here!”
“I’m on the same side as you are!” Zacharias said to Harry. “But I wouldn’t be so sure of him. He’s a Death Eater. I’m sure of it!”
Malfoy laughed scornfully. “Sure. I fought against the Death Eaters in Godric’s Hollow and here in the school, but yeah, I’m one of them.”
“I don’t know what twisted game you are playing, Malfoy, but you are one of them.” Zacharias said firmly. “Or is it a coincidence that you’re always wearing long sleeves?”
Harry shook his head when he heard the accusations of Zacharias, but when he looked at Malfoy he noticed the sudden fear in the Slytherin’s eyes. The content of Sirius’ diary flashed before his eyes. Even the people from who you would least expect it could be passing information to the other side. And even Harry had to admit that if he would know there was a spy in Dumbledore’s Army his first guess would be Malfoy. He slowly pointed his wand to the Slytherin. “Roll up your left sleeve.”
“You’re kidding me, right?” Malfoy said. He had quickly regained his cool composure, but Harry had seen his initial reaction to Zacharias’ accusation.
“Roll up your sleeve, Malfoy. I’m serious.”
Slowly Malfoy rolled up his left sleeve, revealing the Dark Mark of Voldemort and his Death Eaters. The black tattoo was contrasting with his pale skin.
A long silence followed while everyone was staring at the tattoo on Malfoy’s arm. Zacharias was looking extremely smug.
“Leave.” Harry finally said. “Everyone but Malfoy, get out. Go back to your common rooms.”
Everyone left without saying another word. When Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Neville and Luna made to follow the others, Harry stopped them. “You guys stay.”
“Potter, I can explain this.” Malfoy began.
“Shut up, Malfoy.” Harry said.
“Save me the crap. I’m not interested.” He turned to his friends. “Ron, Hermione, could you go get McGonagall? She’s probably in her office. Her old office, not Dumbledore’s. Neville, Luna, please go get Moody.”
When the four of them had left, Malfoy started talking again. “Please let me explain, Potter. It’s-“
“You can explain when the others are here.” Harry interrupted him again. “Now shut up. I don’t want to hear another word out of you.”
Harry felt betrayed and humiliated. He had been the one convincing everyone to let Malfoy join the DA. He had been the one who was stupid enough to trust him. To believe that he had actually changed. He could only guess how Jacinta must be feeling now. He knew he should be there for her, but he needed to handle this first. He only hoped Dennis would be able to cheer her up.
Ginny put a comforting hand on Harry’s arm and gave him a weak smile. She was saying with her eyes what she didn’t want to say out loud. That it wasn’t his fault and that she had trusted Malfoy too, but it didn’t really make Harry feel better. They waited in silence, guarding Malfoy, until finally Ron and Hermione returned with a confused Professor McGonagall with them.
“Harry!” she said urgently when she spotted him. “Could you please tell me what’s going on? Mr Weasley and Miss Granger – oh sweet Merlin!” She had spotted the Dark Mark on Malfoy’s forearm.
“Apparently Draco Malfoy has been spying for the other side, Professor.” Harry said coolly.
“I haven’t – “ Malfoy started, but he was interrupted by the return of Neville and Luna. They were accompanied by Mad-Eye, Remus, Tonks and Kingsley. Tonks groaned when she saw the Dark Mark.
Moody looked at Malfoy with pure loathing in his eyes. “I suspected that they had someone in the castle since Bellatrix’ remarks at our last encounter.”
“What do we do with him?” Remus said harshly. He too was looking at Malfoy disgustedly.
“We could keep him in the dungeons until all this is over.” Professor McGonagall said. “He wouldn’t mean us any harm there.”
“You can’t just lock me up!” Malfoy said.
Kingsley walked towards Malfoy and looked down at him. “I am the Head of the Auror Office, Malfoy. I am the one who will decide what happens to you. Now, answer this. Do you or do you not admit that you joined the Death Eaters?”
Malfoy lowered his eyes. “I do.” he muttered.
“Then you will be kept in custody in the dungeons of this castle. You will appear before the Wizengamot when this war is over. They will decide about your punishment then.”
Kingsley and Mad-Eye grabbed Malfoy on each side and guided him out of the Room of Requirement. Malfoy went with them willingly, his head bowed towards the ground. Once the door had closed behind them, Harry cursed loudly.
Ginny put an arm around his waist. “Don’t blame yourself, Harry.” she said softly.
“I was so convinced that he was sincere.” Harry said. “I guess I’m not that good at Legilimency as I thought.”
“He fooled us all, mate.” Ron said sympathetically. “I wasn’t all for it at first, but I really thought he changed sides too. I mean, he did fight with us twice, didn’t he?”
“He has played his part well.” Remus said. “That whole scheme about Voldemort ordering his Death Eaters to kill him was quite clever of them. And he did seem frightened when you killed Rodolphus in Godric’s Hollow.” he added, nodding to Harry.
“Well yeah. I just assumed that he was shocked by seeing his uncle die before his eyes. I mean, who wouldn’t be?”
“I’m sorry, Harry.” Hermione said.
Harry shrugged. “I’m just glad we found out now. Who knows what he would have done once the battle had started.”
When the six teenagers returned to Gryffindor Tower they saw that only the members of the DA were still up.
“What the hell was that all about?” Seamus asked the moment they sat foot into the common room. A storm of questions and accusations followed, but Harry raised his hands to quiet them.
“It seems that Malfoy has taken the Dark Mark. He has probably been spying for Voldemort ever since.”
Katie cursed loudly. “I can’t believe this.” she grumbled.
“I’m sorry.” Harry said to them. “If it weren’t for me he would have never gotten in. You all had your doubts and I should have listened more to you.”
“Don’t say that, Harry.” Parvati said sympathetically.
“We voted on it.” Lavender added. “No one voted against it. We’re all to blame here.”
“Yeah, but you trusted my judgement.” Harry said.
“Don’t blame yourself, mate.” Seamus said. “We all trusted him once he came through. I would have never thought he…” His voice faded away.
No one knew what to say next. They all felt betrayed, but none of them felt as betrayed as Harry. He had trusted Malfoy, he had stood up for him back when the others didn’t. And now this. He was snapped out of his thoughts by Hermione’s voice.
Harry quickly looked around and noticed that she indeed wasn’t with them. He felt ashamed that he hadn’t noticed before, but he had so many things on his mind.
“She went to bed.” Dennis said. “She was pretty shaken up about it. I think she just wanted to be alone.”
“You should go see her.” Hermione said to Harry.
“How? I can’t go up to the girls’ dormitories remember?”
“You can if a girl takes you upstairs.” Ginny said, smiling mischievously. She grabbed Harry’s hand and pulled him up from his chair.
Ron opened his mouth to say something, but closed it again when he saw Hermione looking at him. “Not now.” she hissed.
Ginny took Harry up to the second year dormitories. She softly knocked on the door but there was no response. When they entered they saw that Jacinta’s roommates were all fast asleep, but Jacinta herself was sitting straight up on her bed. Her eyes were still red from crying.
The two older students sat down on the rim of her bed. “Muffliato.” Harry muttered so they wouldn’t wake Jacinta’s roommates.
“I’m so sorry.” the young girl said when Harry grabbed her hand.
“What are you sorry for?” Harry asked.
“I begged you to let him join. You did it for me.”
“Don’t ever think that Jacinta.” Harry said firmly. “And don’t you ever blame yourself for what happened. He had all of us fooled.”
“I should have known.” Jacinta sniffed. “He was always Lucius’ favourite. I should have known he would grow up to be just like him.”
Harry noticed that Jacinta referred to her father by his first name, but he didn’t comment on it. He pulled his adopted sister close to him and kissed the top of her head.
“Now everyone will think again that I’m a dark witch too.” Jacinta said in a small voice, burying her face in Harry’s shirt. “They did when they found out who my family was and now it will start all over again.”
“It won’t.” Harry said soothingly. “I’ll make sure of that.”
“Do you still trust me?”
Jacinta looked up at him and Harry looked into her big, grey eyes. “Yes.” he said firmly. “How could I not trust you?”
“It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.” – Confucius
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