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Chapter 26 : Nothing But the Truth
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A fairly tired and sleepy looking Malfoy put on his silk dressing gown and let him in.
“Look, it may very well be beneath you to take up this invitation but, well, it’s not really safe for you to get out of here on your own and bump into a Death Eater or someone from the Ministry, for that matter,” Harry began to explain. “I know you want to go to Muggle London anyway. I’m getting a lift with Mr. Granger in about half an hour. If you are interested, you can come as well,” he told him, glancing towards Malfoy trying to read his response in his pale blue eyes. It was a Muggle he wanted to see, so Harry thought he may as well offer.
Draco frowned at Harry but the look on his face seemed indicative that he was mulling things over.
“So, we can go together and speak to the priest?” Draco asked, hoping for confirmation.
“Well, not really. You see, I have stuff to do and it’s probably going to take up most of the day. I can probably meet up with you later though, with both of you or on your own if you rather, if that helps,” Harry offered.
“I should have known you wouldn't keep your word!” Malfoy protested implying that Harry had made a bargain with him which he wasn’t sticking to.
“I never promised you anything, please stop putting words into my mouth,” Harry tried to remain composed whilst he said this but he was, in reality, becoming irritated. “I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m not lying to you, I have things to deal with and, if all works out, you’ll be rid of me soon enough, anyway,” he announced.
Draco looked at him slightly disconcerted. “What do you mean by that?”
Harry saw no point in keeping it a secret, as long as the address of the property he bought in the end wasn’t disclosed. “Ok, I’m planning to move out of this dreadful house. My taste and your ancestors’ are rather different, as you may have gathered,” he said with a tinge of pride, “But anyway, I don’t really have to explain myself to you. The thing is, it's you who is going to have to come clean on this. It wasn’t me who lied to him in the first place,” Harry stated in a non negotiable tone. "You're just going to have to sort this out yourself."
Malfoy deep down knew that he had no choice but to accept his offer. It was true, it wasn’t safe for him to employ any means of magical transportation.
Harry, suddenly felt that he had spoken too much, too soon. He had never mentioned to Malfoy directly the problems he had with the Ministry’s new regulations. He thought, however, that in all likelihood, Draco must have overheard something on the subject by now. Worryingly enough, Umbridge and Draco had been pretty much in the same league when she took over Hogwarts. Now, was this going to give Malfoy the idea of trying to get into the Ministry’s good books by betraying the fact that Harry was intending to buy a London property? He slowed down for a minute. Ok, he had just revealed that he was moving out, but not to where, neither whether he intended to rent or to buy, nor the budget he had allocated himself. So, maybe he had nothing really to worry about, well, at least not just yet. In any case, he thought he better throw a warning in for good measure.
“Malfoy, by the way, I would be very wary of the Ministry if I were you. You may choose not to believe me, but I know for sure that they are in with Voldemort,” he advised him, wearing an expression that tried to convey his sincerity.
Draco didn’t reply and his face was unreadable.
Finally, they got into the car. Harry suggested that Hermione sat at the front, and that Draco and himself share the back. It was more polite that way and also he gave him a better chance to communicate with him. He noticed how Malfoy couldn’t stop fidgeting throughout the journey. He was clearly very nervous about meeting Father McKenna again and, possibly, about travelling by car for what Harry assumed must have been the first time in his life.
“Where about would you like me to drop you?” Mr. Granger asked Draco.
Malfoy hesitated for a moment, not wishing to be too specific as to where he was going but, equally, not wanting to end up miles away from his destination.“Anywhere near Bow Road, in Tower Hamlets,” he replied.
Mr. Granger was silent for a minute, trying to work out the easiest route.“Ok, that’s not a problem. In fact, that is in the East End and we are going to Kent, so I guess it’s not too out of the way.” Mr. Granger could not quite fathom what business could bring a wizard teenager into the Muggle East End but didn’t comment on this.
Harry now, suddenly thought of something. How was he to communicate with Draco once they went in separate directions? What if he got stranded?
“Malfoy, you better take this with you," he said passing to him a silver mobile phone. He had bought it just before he'd left the Dursleys. He had figured out that it may be useful, as he imagined that we were going to have to delve into the Muggle world at some point.
Draco frowned at Harry, feeling baffled. Fair enough, he knew Father McKenna had one of those devices so that he could be contacted in an emergency. However, he had never operated one himself and he felt a bit stupid about not knowing how.
Harry sorted out this problem for him by trying to explain in simple, yet not condescending terms, the basics of the thing. Draco nodded, feeling more inadequate than he felt comfortable with.
The car was now virtually outside Bow Road tube station. Hermione noticed how the place itself was dominated by a pretty soulless brick building that looked as if it had been constructed in a hurry. There were very few business around, very little evidence of buzzing commercial activity. The flyover bridge over the river Lee had, sometime ago, curtailed this. A few warehouses and the odd pub were visible. She could not envisage a least likely place for Malfoy to wish to be dropped at.
As Draco stepped out of the vehicle, having courteously but coldly thanked Hermione’s father, Harry got out as well.
“Look, don’t feel offended. I know how wealthy you are but, well, we just cannot risk you running out of money and attempting to go to your vault in Gringotts." Malfoy looked at him suspiciously but his lips didn’t part. “Look, you’re a fugitive and, as I said, the Ministry is under Voldemort and they control the bank, I have it from a very good source. Don't be stupid,” Harry said with concern in his eyes as he discreetly handed to him £50 in Muggle notes. “Use this if you need to and give us a call later.”
Draco, once again, had no option but to accept. He nodded his head in a slightly forced way and disappeared into the dismal urban landscape.
“Dad, are we going home right away, or would it make more sense to stay here in London for Harry to look at the place he said he’d like to see, since we’re already here?” Hermione pointed out.
“Yes,” Harry interrupted, “one of the buildings has really caught my eye but, of course, whatever it’s easier with you.”
“Harry, which particular building have you taken a fancy to? I could call the estate agents straight away and organise a viewing,” Mr. Granger offered.
Harry took a few seconds to reply. Even if he wasn’t completely aware of the fact, he felt completely drained. He knew what Malfoy had to do and he didn’t envy him. No matter how much he had fallen in love with that flat, his mind was elsewhere. However, he composed himself quickly enough and showed Mr. Granger the building he meant. Having managed to find a nearby multi-storey car park and left the vehicle, Will made an arrangement with a real state agent for them to view the apartment at midday. In the meantime, they proceeded to fetch a cup of coffee.
Harry hadn’t been wrong. Draco was really not looking forward to what he had to do. After a fair amount of deliberation, he decided that his best bet would be to carry on pretending to be Tim Adams until he had a chance to undo the memory charm he had placed on McKenna, then, he would go on to explain everything else from there.
He walked slowly, almost as his feet were trying to delay the dreaded meeting. He hadn’t ventured onto the streets an awful lot when he had lived with the priest, yet, he had done so enough to be relatively familiar with the area, enough to know his way and to realise he wasn’t far. He had to conquer his cowardice somehow. He knew he would feel a lot better for it later and, above all, he owed at least that much to his late mother.
On that note, he realised he didn’t know whether his former benefactor would be at the church or still in his flat. He decided to use Harry’s Muggle telephone to find out. As he picked up an address book from his jacket pocket and dialled the number, he thought about the last time they had communicated. It had been after he’d discovered that his mother had died. He had used the phone at the Tonks’ cottage to let him know that his mother had passed away and that he had business to attend to. Sean McKenna had offered him his condolences and had even had arranged for some flowers to be delivered to the address he had provided. At least, that bit of the story had been true, albeit him not having gone into the ins and outs. As he thought of this, he heard the priest’s voice again and his heart begun to pump.
“Hello, Father McKenna speaking,”
“Good morning, Father, it’s me, Tim. I’m in London, I thought I may pay you a visit,” he replied speaking very fast as if trying to get this over and done with as quickly as possible, “Are you at the flat?”
“Tim, goodness, I’ve been thinking about you! Are you ok? Yes, yes, I’m at the flat, it will be great to see you,” Father Sean said excitedly.
“I’m very close by. I’ll see you in about five minutes.” .
True enough, it didn’t take him long to arrive at the place. He rung the door bell and waited feeling extremely nervous.
The priest opened the door and saluted him cordially, “I was really sorry to hear about your mother, Tim, how are you?”
“Well, it’s been hard, “Draco said sullenly, “thanks for the flowers by the way,” he added politely.
“Please, come in. I’ve just made some coffee, would you like a cup?”
“Yes, thanks, that would be great,” Malfoy replied, trying to work out very quickly how to go on from there.
As the sat at the humble but familiar table, Draco gathered his courage and started, “Father, I have a confession to make, well, a second confession, in essence,” Sean McKenna’s eyes opened up with a mixture of concern and curiosity. “I made you believe something that wasn’t true when we first met,” he continued. Do you remember that night?”
Father McKenna frowned at him. Yes, he had a niggling feeling that there had been something funny about how they’d met. But, surely, he had been sent to him by his colleague in Kent, they hadn’t met at night, he had arrived one Tuesday morning. What was that all about? He didn’t suspect anything too dreadful anyway, and disregarding the young chap’s comment about their first meeting, he reasoned that perhaps he had a crush on some girl.
“Father, you said that God forgives if one is to repent,” Draco started, attempting to gain the priest’s absolution even prior to telling him his story.
Now, the priest was convinced that his suspicions were correct, that he must have met with an old flame back home and probably committed a carnal sin. He was bound to have felt lonely after what had happened. “Ok, do you just want to talk to me, or would you like a proper confession?” he offered.
Draco now had to think on his feet. If he chose the actual sacrament, this would make the priest trust his repentance more; yet again, this was likely to take place at the church and he wanted to undo the spell and was aware that magic didn’t work very well in such buildings; so it was better that they talked where they were.
“Ok, thanks, Father,” Malfoy replied politely, “I think I rather talk to you informally first and then, yes it would be really good if I could confess properly. Please, believe that I don’t feel good about this.”
“Ok, let’s hear you out, then. I’m sure that, as long as you truly repent of whatever your sin, forgiveness is at hand,” McKenna told him encouragingly.
Draco, almost automatically reached out for his wand, withdrew his gaze for a brief second and then pointed at Father McKenna’s forehead with as much concentration and conviction as he could muster.
“Finite Memoriam Mutatam!”
The priest glared at him almost with terror in his normally affable blue eyes. Slowly, the events of the night they had met started to emerge; how Draco had extinguished the fire using a wooden stick, what they have talked about, what he had told him about the wizarding world. Sean McKenna looked at the youngster with an expression that reflected a mixture of anger, disappointment and disbelief.
“I need your help, Father. I know I did wrong by letting you believe I was someone else. I did tell you the truth at first, though, but then, I panicked,” he explained ashamed. “You were good to me and I sort of betrayed you but you see, exposing my world is strictly forbidden and I’m coming clean with you now. I just need you to forgive me. I need your help, sir!” Draco pleaded.
McKenna still found it hard to trust his newly restored memories. Malfoy himself recalled how, on the night of their first meeting, he had told him all about his mission to kill Dumbledore, about the Dark Lord’s regime. He had not, however, explained about the different beings which inhabited the Earth unknown to the priest, about the magical powers vested upon his kind. He was trying to tell him all these things now but it was very hard to know where to begin.
Father Sean could not believe his ears, however, his curiosity, once again, permitted him to allow the youngster to continue. The world the teenager talked about was something very much like folklore, like a macabre fairy-tale, with sorcerers and dragons but no happy endings, a world torn apart by civil war but, did that reality truly exist or was the kid just merely a bit unstable? Too many fantasy books, films and computer games! McKenna couldn’t help but lay the blame on such things.
On the other hand, the Bible strictly forbid any form of sorcery, he reminded himself; “Do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord." He remembered the passage by heart: Deuteronomy 18:10-12.” It was entirely possible, he thought, that the boy had been initiated into some heretic doctrine. If that was the case, it was his duty to help him find the way out.
Meanwhile, Will Granger had suggested to Harry that, in order to avoid suspicion on the part of the estate agents and to justify the fact that he, Harry, a minor unrelated to him, was the ultimate decision maker, pretended to be engaged to Hermione and that the apartment was to be her father’s wedding gift. Both Harry and Hermione blushed and giggled but had to agree that the plan wasn’t bad.
The apartment featured on the brochure, the one in the glass, wedge-shaped building, was the one they were about to view. They were shown into the property by a very smart looking woman in her mid-thirties. She pointed out to them, time and time again the many advantages of living in an area situated between Chelsea, Kensington and Fulham with all its amenities, in the very bank of the Thames. She continued with an extensive account of the property’s facilities, the gardens, the leisure centre, the tennis courts, the 24 hour security, the secured car parking and so on and so forth.
Harry, rolled his eyes hoping that the woman would stop advertising the place. He needed little persuasion. The views of the apartment did really live up to his expectations. Still, the real estate lady carried on emphasised how rare it was for one of the largest apartments in the building, especially for one located in the prestigious E block, to become available. The flat was certainly a large one, at almost 200 square metres. The reception area was indeed very spacious. Harry could see this being really useful for the intended DA meetings. The kitchen, as Ginny had commented, was also really impressive, large, airy and very modern, the three bedrooms were equally roomy and all of them had bathrooms en-suite. Harry knew there and then that he’d made up his mind. When they had all left the building, he instructed Hermione’s father to phone the agents and place an offer. He couldn’t wait to move in!
Draco at this time was still wrestling with Father McKenna’s reluctance to believe his world existed. Harry, on his part, was anxiously awaiting the vendor’s answer in response to his offer. The call finally arrived and, as Will had expected, they had been able to round the monetary consideration at two million pounds. The apartment was now his, once a few formalities were completed at the solicitor’s office.
Harry was now in an excellent mood, he was almost euphoric. For the first time in his life, he was going to live in a place he could really call his own. Fair enough, he owned Grimmauld Place, but he hated the house nearly as much as his godfather had done. This was different!
They decided that that was cause for a small celebration and they proceeded to have lunch at a traditional public house.
Harry was dying to convey the news to Ron and Ginny, especially Ginny, but then again, he realised what would follow. She was intent on moving in with them and she was by no means a quitter. Mr. Granger had instructed his Assistant to take his patients for the day and was ready to go back home. However, he asked if Harry had any other business in London. He replied that he ought to call Malfoy to see how he was getting on. Hermione knew that he had lived with a Muggle priest for a while and suspected this had something to do with the matter in hand. Harry didn’t expand a lot but said that he had promised Malfoy to help him if necessary.
Draco Malfoy was still looking very subdued in front of the priest, trying to gain his confidence, when the mobile phone rung.
“It’s me, Harry,” he started “Look, I think I’m done with the stuff I had to sort out. I can meet up with you, if it helps.”
Draco, although unwilling to admit it to himself, sighed with relief. It certainly wouldn’t harm his cause to get support from someone from his world, someone he somehow knew would make a good impression. “How are you getting here?” Malfoy enquired unsure as to whether wizards in Muggle London Apparated at all.
Harry was a bit unsure himself, “I can use the London tube,” he suggested.
Hermione’s father, fearing that the youngster might in the end decide to Apparate and being still a bit worried about him, intervened, “Harry, I can give you a lift back to where we left your friend, if you wish me too.”
Harry hesitated for a moment and made a sign for Mr. Granger to bear with him.
Draco was beginning to become uncomfortable with the silence at the other end of the Muggle artefact. “Harry?”
Harry noticed that he was calling him by his first name, which was something he had never done before. He just couldn’t contain a knowing grin; he was undoubtedly going to tell the priest that they were best of mates.
Hermione threw a curious look at him. Harry continued to smile and simply replied to the receiver “I’ll meet you at Bow Road underground station in about half an hour.”
Hermione and her father dropped Harry back at Bow Road and told him which train to catch later in the evening. He needed to go back to their place so that they could get the conveyancing ball rolling the next morning. He said that there was a small chance that he may be meeting with Bill and Ginny later but told them he’d be in touch in any event, thanked them for all they had done and stepped out of the car.
Draco had informed Father McKenna that he was meeting with a friend of his whom he might find interesting. The priest was at an absolute loss as to what to think or do.
“I think you’ll like Harry,” he broke the ice. “Most grown-ups like Harry, for some reason…” he muttered to himself. “You see, he’s an orphan, his parents were killed when he was one by the same guy who ordered me to murder the Headmaster,” Draco commented hoping to appeal to the priest’s sense of compassion. “He goes to my school. I’d very much like you to meet him, though. He was brought up in what you would call the normal way,” Malfoy added, “so probably you won’t find him all that strange.”
“But he’s like you claim to be, ain’t he?” enquired Sean McKenna almost alarmed at the prospect of having to deal with more either delusional, or far worse, heretic people.
“It won’t hurt for you two to meet, you know,” Draco tried, “He’s also extremely wealthy and I believe he’s always had faith in God, " Malfoy quickly invented, since he had never discussed religion with Potter at all, "so you never know," he continued, "he may be able to help you restore the old chapel,” he said retorting to the only strategy his father had ever taught him, the colour of money.
Father McKenna, contrary to his expectations, showed real anger for the first time since Draco had known him. “Look, son, donations are very welcome but I will not be bribed in such a way!” he exclaimed feeling insulted.
“I didn’t mean it that way,” Draco apologised alarmed, realising he had put his foot on his mouth well and truly. “I know he’s kind, you see, and he’s looking for answers as much as I am,” he ventured.
The phone rang again. Harry again, of course. “Look, Father, I’m going to meet with him. I’d be honoured if you join us,” Draco stated changing tactics.
Father McKenna reasoned that, even if these people were supposed to be able to cast evil spells, this other chap was also only a boy and he, surely, wouldn’t do a thing like that in a public place, beside he was extremely intrigued so, in the end, he agreed.
Harry arrived at the station first. It was a small one, and once a few people had gone through the barrier, a fairly desolated one.
Father McKenna spotted a young man from a distance and, given that he was on his own, about Draco’s age, and looked as if he was waiting for someone, he concluded he must be the person they’d come to meet. Father Sean’s first impression was that Harry looked rather normal and pretty well presented. Harry was rich now and there was no way he was going to continue wearing the cast-outs, many sizes too big, that Aunt Petunia had forced on him for most of his life. To Father McKenna, he looked neat, too much so, perhaps. He had never been particularly keen on people who appeared too well-off. He was wearing jeans that pretended to be worn but weren’t really; his polo shirt was an expensive one, by a leading brand, also he went to that posh and strange school… Yet, the priest willed these thoughts out of his mind. It wasn’t right to judge, even if sometimes he found this hard to achieve.
Harry stepped forward and shook his hand. He did so fairly firmly but not in an overpowering way. “I’m Harry, Harry Potter,” he introduced himself. “Very glad to meet you,” Harry said politely not quite knowing what to expect from that point on.
Malfoy looked at him with complicity. Harry smiled back.
Father McKenna glanced for split second at his new acquaintance’s eyes; they were alert and warm. Nothing about them was disturbing, but yet again, there was something unnatural in their colour; they were brighter than any green irises he’d ever seen before. In fact, he wondered if Harry wasn’t actually wearing glasses to make this very uncommon shade less noticeable. The priest’s instincts were telling him, however, that there was no real malice in the youngster and decided to give him a chance. He invited them both back to his place.
They walked in almost absolute silence. Harry wasn’t exactly sure as to what role Malfoy expected him to play. The sole reason for him being there, in his opinion, was to try to get help regarding Narcissa’s ghost. Of course, he was completely unaware as to what Draco had told him already and what he had omitted.
Malfoy broke the silence by telling Harry that he, himself had already breached the Statute of Secrecy, that he needn’t worry.
Harry was glad to hear that but still feel extremely awkward.
Once in the flat, Father McKenna went to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. He had been right, Draco was addressing him still by his first name. He also noticed how the priest continued to call Draco, Tim, despite the fact that it had been clarified that he had now been made aware of his true identity. He supposed that it must be hard to, suddenly, have to call someone by a name other than the one you've always known them by.
“Have you told him about the problem with your mum?” Harry enquired in a whisper now that they were alone.
“Well, not quite yet,” Malfoy replied also in a very low voice, “I will though but, please, do help me.”
As Harry whispered back, “How?”, Father Sean entered the room holding a tray in his hands, offered the boys a drink and sat down at the small table.
“I believe you two go to the same school,” the priest said attempting to start up the conversation on a semi-normal note.
“Yes, we’ve known each other for six years now,” Harry answered in a neutral tone of voice.
“You went to your local state school before that, didn’t you?” Draco asked Harry trying to make McKenna feel more comfortable by showing that his companion hadn’t always been raised as a wizard.
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Your friend tells me here,” the Father said softly, “that your parents died when you were a baby. I’m really sorry about that,” he added, genuinely sympathising.
Harry wasn’t entirely sure why the conversation now was centred upon him and his life story, however he remained polite, if not overly talkative.
“I don’t wish to intrude at all. I just think it’s sad,” the priest added apologetically.
“It’s alright, don’t worry,” Harry smiled trying to put him at ease.
“You went to live with your aunt and uncle in Surrey, didn’t you?” Malfoy prompted again. It was clear that it was Draco who wanted to steer the conversation in that particular direction.
Harry nodded not really wanting to have to explain too much about how he felt his relatives had treated him.
“As a matter of curiosity, Harry, were you raised in any particular faith? Not that I’m to judge you in any way, son,” the priest reassured him, realising that he was being rude by practically interrogating his guest.
In reality, he had been merely looking for a sign to the effect that some of his former pupil's friends may have some Christian connections.
“Yes, in the Anglican Church, Father. You’re a Catholic, aren’t you?”
“Yes, that’s right. Well, you’re still within the Christian faith, though. Did you go to church much?”
Harry had never until then talked really about religion. It wasn’t a topic he was at home with. “My aunt and uncle used to take my cousin and me to mass on Sundays, well, to begin with,” he corrected realising that as he had grown a bit older and they had feared he may do magic, they had made all sorts of excuses for him not to be able to attend, by such deeds as inventing that the kid suffered from one nervous disease or another.
Father McKenna noticed the sad expression in Harry’s features and realised that there was more to the story. He looked at the boy as if asking him to continue, to let whatever it was off his chest. Harry recounted how, as soon as it had become apparent that he could do magic, he had been prevented from attending the church.
Now the priest really felt outraged, denying a young child a religious education, how terrible indeed!
“Harry, I think this is truly terrible, to be kept from the scriptures on purpose. I just don’t know what to say. Now, this magic?” Father Sean found it hard to put the question properly together.
“Well, Father. I know you probably find this very scary, since of course, you must have had no idea… Now, my view is that God must have given us this gift, if you wish. We are free to use it to do good or to do evil. We’re not all systematically bad, though. We can choose how we use our abilities but we cannot choose having them!” Harry now felt very passionate about the subject and Father McKenna listened really attentively. “When I was young, sometimes I’d be upset and strange things would happen, like a glass may break or something. I didn’t know what it was, no-one ever told me, not until I was eleven. Magic is more dangerous if not properly channelled and controlled, that’s why we have a school to learn how to do this. You mustn’t fear us, although I have to say, there are some pretty unsavoury people in our world, just as there are also nasty individuals in yours.”
Father Sean frowned and crossed his arms thinking again about the reference to magic in that passage from Deuteronomy.
“Harry’s right,” Draco agreed trying to fight his own corner a bit further. “As I said, some maniac ordered me to kill someone or else, he’d kill my whole family, and yet, I chose not to do that,”
Harry, without anyone noticing, rolled his eyes almost involuntarily. In his opinion the main reasons why he hadn’t become a murderer were lack of nerve and Dumbledore’s efforts to prevent him from doing so, but this wasn’t the time or the place to make such observations; also Draco may very well be speaking the truth, that he had made a choice.
“In fact, that’s why my mother is dead, Father, because the guy in charge took revenge on me through her!” Draco was now becoming fairly emotional.
Father McKenna stared at his former protégée completely flabbergasted. He had been absolutely convinced that the boy’s mother had died of natural causes. All the knowledge he had about him had been turned completely outside down. “I can listen to you, of course, but you must understand, all this that you’re telling me about it’s just too mind blowing, ain’t it? And as I said, apart from giving you some moral support I don’t know what I can do,” he concluded frustrated.
Harry glared at Malfoy really intensely, commanding him without speaking to come clean, to explain about his mother not having passed away properly. Draco realised that, unless he mentioned his more pressing problem, Harry would.
“Father,” Malfoy started, trying to hide the fact that was nearly shaking. “Do you believe in ghosts?”
McKenna didn’t like where this conversation seemed to be heading. “Well, that’s a bit of a question, ain’t it, son? I mean, of course there is the Holy Ghost but I take you’re talking about spirits, as it were.”
Malfoy nodded and looked down hoping that there was something, anything at all, that the priest could actually do in that regard.
“Well,” Father Sean replied after reflecting for a few moments, “what we believe is that after death we can be either condemned to Hell or ascend to Heaven but it’s not always that simple. Some people are absolved but need to redeem their sins and they go to Purgatory. In such cases, the best thing we can do is pray for their souls… I don’t know if this answers your question,” he added looking worried.
“How about unfinished business?” Harry butted in.
“Ah,” McKenna now smiled. “I think you two had seen more television that is actually good for you,”
This was in many ways ironic, since the first time Malfoy had in fact had come across a TV set had been at the priest’s place. Harry decided to take a more direct approach.
“Well, I think it’s really for my friend here to explain in more detail. All I can say is that he’s been staying at my place and that I have sensed myself that his mother is not actually resting in peace as she should…”
Draco assented, to the priest astonishment. He must admit, he hadn’t had anyone coming to him for help with what people called “ghosts” for a very long period. The only thing he could think of is that, for some reason, she was paying a penance for something she must have done. In fact, he could recall studying that sometimes God would allow certain people to have sightings of such souls. How to explain his suspicions to the kid, though? “I think it will do no harm to pray for your mother’s soul, though, he conceded, in case she’s actually in Purgatory. I’m afraid this is the best that, to my knowledge, can be done. We can all pray together, in fact,” he concluded sullenly.
“How about exorcism, Father? I read something about that in some of your books when I was staying here,” Draco pressed on not really feeling terribly confident about how effective a few prayers could be.
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph! This is hardly something in practice today. In fact, we are not even allowed to attempt this without express consent from the Bishop. Besides, that’s supposed to be used in cases of demonic possession. Clearly, your mother has passed away, she’s not possessed!” McKenna now held his forehead with his hands and shook his head.
“No, sir, she hasn’t passed away, that is the whole problem!” Draco now exploded.
“Ok, ok, calm down,” the priest tried to soothe him patting him in the back “I promise we will pray. I’m sure things will be alright.”
The priest now proceeded to ask about what Draco thought he had sensed or seen. Malfoy had explained how things had got worse after he found out the details of her death, that maybe she was attached to the house he was now living in, which incidentally had belonged to a cousin of hers, who had turned out to be Harry’s godfather. More for the purpose of comforting Draco than out of a real belief that she was in fact haunting the place, Father McKenna offered to take a look at the property, place a cross and purify the house with holy water.
Harry, as the owner of the house, gave his permission but was concerned about what the likes of Alastor Moody may make of this. He then suggested to Father McKenna that it might be a good idea for him to visit their London so that, hopefully, when he got to meet the Order it would less of a shock.
“I’ll take you there. I was heading for Diagon Alley, anyway,” Harry said and then added looking at Draco, “You best use my Invisibility Cloak though. I have this with me. You know there are people out there after you,” he reasoned.
The priest was going from shock to shock. An invisibility cloak indeed! Dangerous and frightening as their world may seem, it was also incredibly intriguing. Maybe it was God’s wish that he should help these people. With these thoughts in mind, he agreed.
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