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A Hero All the Same

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Draco Malfoy was a drunk.

It was quite the shock to his system, not to mention his pureblood pride, to admit this to himself. And he didn’t even want to imagine what his father might have said. Or worse, what punishment Lucius Malfoy might have dealt his errant child. It was one of the few times that Draco was relieved that his father was dead, so that he couldn’t see just how far his heir had allowed the Malfoy name to fall.

Not that Father did the Malfoy name any favors himself by sniveling at the feet of a madman, Draco thought to himself, only a little bitterly. It made him feel somewhat less ashamed of that pesky alcoholic thing, anyway.

To make matters worse, he was addicted to – he almost hesitated to even think the word, although he absolutely didn’t hesitate to drink it – muggle alcohol. Looking back on things, Draco still wasn’t sure exactly how he’d ended up where he was now.

It had been a little more than four years since Harry Potter had killed the Dark Lord in one tremendous, brutal, bloody final battle. Draco had managed to avoid taking the dark mark; at the same time, he’d also managed to avoid committing himself to Dumbledore and the Light. No, Draco Malfoy had been perfectly content to sit back and let those idiots do all the fighting they wanted to.

Of course, the only way he’d been able to do such a thing was the fact that Lucius Malfoy had died in Azkaban the summer after his fifth year and Narcissa Malfoy had immediately fled to France. And when Draco turned sixteen the following June, these two facts combined to put Draco in charge of his own destiny, not to mention the vast Malfoy vaults in Gringott’s.

This blissful state of affairs had lasted just a little over a year, when Harry Potter had defeated the Dark Lord towards the end of their seventh year, and suddenly the war was over. The Ministry of Magic hadn’t wasted much time in seizing all the money in the Malfoy vaults as ‘restitution’ for all of Lucius Malfoy’s crimes.

Oh, Draco had fought them, of course, but the Ministry was very determined and he was only a seventeen-year-old wizard who’d been abandoned by both his parents. To make matters worse, the war had claimed the life of just about everyone who might have been willing to help him, including Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, and the entire Parkinson family.

Thus, Draco had been forced to…ugh…find a job. And from there, his troubles only got worse. There wasn’t a single person in the wizarding world who would hire on the son of one of the most notorious Death Eaters there had ever been. In frustration, and not a little desperation, Draco had been forced into the world of muggles.

Thankfully, Draco had actually paid a little bit of attention in Muggle Studies during his years at Hogwarts because, although he would have denied this vehemently if called on it, he thought the ways muggles got around their lack of magic were quite interesting. So, while it certainly had not been easy, he had managed to make his way through the non-magical world and find employment in a tea shop.

It was a huge blow to his pureblood ego to have to serve muggles, but Draco was pragmatic about the whole affair. He had to eat, did he not? And he did well at first. He was able to save enough to rent a room in a boarding house, which was an enormous step up over the shelters he’d been forced to make use of. The room wasn’t much, but at least it was private.

Or at least it would have been private if he could have gotten rid of Ellie. She was the daughter of the owner of the house, and looked after it and all the tenants for her mother. For some reason, even though she was only a few years older than he was, Ellie Smithson had decided to ‘adopt’ Draco. Therefore, she spent all of her time hovering over him, nagging at him to eat well, to be careful, to watch how he spent his money.

To his annoyance, Draco found that he couldn’t stay mad at her for very long, as she was quite possibly the most fiercely optimistic person he’d ever met. And he’d known Luna Lovegood before she was killed in the war. No matter how viciously he insulted her, Ellie never took offence or left him alone. In fact, the nastier he got, the more insistently friendly she became. Finally, in an effort to prevent himself from either losing his mind or snapping and shooting an Avada Kedavra at her, Draco gave up and let her mother to her heart’s content. It wasn’t as though Narcissa was ever going to care about him again, anyway.

So he allowed Ellie her maternal meddling, even if it was somewhat grudgingly still, and things were all right, for a while.

Then, the tea shop he worked at was robbed one evening by a couple of thugs with the biggest guns Draco had ever seen. The sight of those weapons had startled and frightened him so much that he’d completely forgotten the fact that he was a wizard and that he had a wand and that he could have hexed the two of them within an inch of their lives.

Fortunately, the two thieves had been more interested in the cash than in hurting anyone, although they did shoot a couple of times at the ceiling and the noise was so loud that Draco swore he could still hear the echoes of it hours later. Marty, the other clerk, had realized how upset his coworker was with what had happened, and had reached into his backpack and handed Draco a beer. Having no idea what it was, Draco still took it and gulped down a huge swallow, then almost gagged at the bitter taste.

Accusing Marty of trying to poison him with ‘vile swill’, Draco huffed in annoyance when Marty just laughed and told him it started tasting better after a while. Draco did enjoy that nice warm feeling in the pit of his belly, and so he decided to give Marty the benefit of the doubt. He was probably in a slight state of shock, which is why Draco figured that he didn’t protest when Marty offered to take him out ‘for a few more drinks’ just to get his mind off what had happened.

Several beers and various alcoholic concoctions later, Draco was definitely not in control of himself. But he liked it, because for the first time since his father went to Azkaban, he didn’t have to think about what a mess his life had become. It also didn’t hurt that Marty was a rather nice-looking bloke and Draco had ended up spending the night in his bed.

He briefly regretted his impulsiveness the next morning when he woke with the worst hangover in the history of the world. But, he finally did remember that he was a wizard at that point and quickly headed to Diagon Alley for some hangover potions. After the wizard in the apothecary only reluctantly sold it to him, Draco decided that he would simply brew his own potions at home from then on.

It was a bit of work keeping that from Ellie, nosy as she was, but he managed it. And from then on, Draco was drinking to forget his troubles every night. It wasn’t until a couple of years had passed and he had just gotten fired from his fourth job for not showing up to work often enough, that Draco began to think that the drinking itself might have become a bit problematic.

It was when he decided to stop drinking that Draco realized he did indeed have a bigger problem. He couldn’t stop. His newfound resolve to no longer imbibe any sort of alcohol had lasted approximately seven hours. Even as he lost himself in the blurred haze that was his drunkenness, Draco was appalled when he imagined what Lucius might have had to say about his lack of willpower.

He struggled and fought and failed for months on his own, trying to beat this demon that he had foolishly allowed to flourish within his soul, without success. Ellie was nearly beside herself with worry for him, and while Draco again resented her intrusion into his private hell, he also realized that any other landlord would have kicked him out long ago. She kept babbling on about something called Alcoholics Anonymous or AA as she called it, or some such rot.

When he finally acknowledged, as much as it pained his Malfoy sensibilities, that he could not do this on his own, Draco agreed to attend one of the meetings. He was still skeptical, but he was determined to regain his sense of control over his own life.

He read over this twelve step thing and decided that this was something he could do. It was a muggle organization, of course, and so they talked about God quite a bit. Draco wasn’t sure how he personally felt about the idea of a supreme being in the universe, but knowing that this was his best chance to conquer his problem, he figured he could just go with it for a while.

He was okay with most of it until he got to step number eight.

Make a list of all persons you have harmed, and be willing to make amends to all of them.

Well, hell…

That would be an impressively long list, wouldn’t it? Draco admitted that he might have been a little bit of a prat while he was at Hogwarts. He briefly thought about confining the definition of ‘persons he had harmed’ to mean those that had been directly affected by his drinking. But had reluctantly admitted to himself that some of his actions while in school had contributed to his being shunned by the wizarding world, thus his exile, thus his drinking.

No, if a Malfoy was going to do something, they were going to do it right, whether it was becoming a drunk, or figuring out how to stop being one. So he went to the meetings and talked about himself a lot, which had never been much of a difficulty for him, although all the details were carefully edited, of course. He had managed to put off step number eight for a while, but his sponsor had started to gently remind him that he wouldn’t get very far if he didn’t embrace the whole program.

He had made his list, and it ended up being a little shorter than he’d originally thought it might be. Draco wished he could ignore the fact that it was shorter because several people on the list had to be crossed off since they were dead. He tried to avoid thinking about the war itself, as that was part of what had caused him to seek out the numbness of alcohol in the first place.

Thinking that he should get the most difficult ones out of the way first, Draco tried to find out what had become of the Golden Trio. Reports of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley weren’t difficult to find if one picked up back issues of the Daily Prophet, as they both worked for the Ministry of Magic, and were mentioned with annoying regularity.

When Draco attempted to find any notice of the Boy Who Lived, however, it was not as easy. Potter had simply dropped completely out of sight after the final battle. He hadn’t even made an appearance at any of the numerous awards ceremonies or parties or celebrations in his honor. The Daily Prophet went mad with this frustrating bit of news at first, printing wild stories ranging from Potter’s death to his turn to the Dark to his emigration to America. Eventually, though, with nothing to go on, articles about Harry Potter had dwindled to zero, until this year, he’d only been mentioned in the issue on the anniversary of the final battle.

Realizing that he couldn’t put it off any longer if he hoped to continue to make progress in his sobriety, Draco made his way to the home of Ron and Hermione Weasley. The two of them had married only a few short months after the war, and Potter hadn’t even been there for that, which made Draco wonder if he really was dead, after all.

The Weasley home was warded strongly, of course, so Draco made his presence known at the edge of them, and waited. He was certain that only Granger…er, Granger-Weasley was home because she was on maternity leave from the Ministry, having given birth to her second child only four weeks ago. Draco tried not to shudder at the thought of the Weasel and the Know-It-All not only mating, but reproducing. He only hoped that she would listen to him before she started throwing hexes, something he was fairly sure her husband would not be able to do.

“Malfoy.” His name was uttered in a flat mixture of disbelief and contempt, and Draco was only barely able to conceal his start of surprise. He’d been lost in thought for a moment and hadn’t heard her approach.

He could grudgingly admit that she’d grown up better than he’d thought she might have. She’d never be considered beautiful, but she had a strong confidence about her that brought its own sense of beauty to it.

“Gra-…er, I mean, Mrs. Weasley. Nice to see you.”

She raised one mocking eyebrow at that, and didn’t say anything. He forged on, determined to do this, and do it with all the grace that came with being a Malfoy.

“May we talk inside?”

“And just why should I allow you into my home, Malfoy?”

“I only want to talk, Gra-…um, Hermione. I promise.” Fuck, so much for grace. He was bumbling like he was still a third-year.

Her eyes widened a bit at the use of her given name and she gave him an intense stare. Draco wondered if she knew Legilimency, and fervently hoped not. He realized he was here to tell her about his problems with drinking, but he’d rather tell her than have her pull it from his head. He didn’t feel the tell-tale pressure in his skull that signaled someone mucking about in his memories, though, and so he thought she was just attempting to read his body language.

“Very well. You can come in, but I warn you, Malfoy, if you try anything…” she let the threat dangle.

Draco knew that she was very much capable of hexing him into unconsciousness, so he reached into his jacket and very slowly pulled out his wand, making certain that he was holding it in a non-threatening way.

Her gaze narrowed as she watched and her body tensed as though she was ready for action. Draco carefully held it out towards her, balanced across his palm.

“If you don’t trust me, you can hold my wand until I’m ready to leave,” he said, and tried not to hold his breath. Even though he hadn’t actually done anything for the Dark Lord’s side during the war, she could probably hex him with his own wand and the wizarding world would cheer her on.

But he counted on her being intrigued in spite of herself, and he could tell that she was from the interested gleam in her eye. She reached out and took his wand, at the same time bringing her hand from behind the back of her leg where she’d been hiding the fact that she was holding her own wand at the ready the entire time they’d been talking.

“Very well then, Malfoy. You can come inside,” she said with a little smirk at the redness of embarrassment on his cheeks.

When they walked inside the house, Malfoy was impressed, reluctant though he might have been to admit it. The place was nowhere near the grand luxury of Malfoy Manor, naturally, but few places were. Still, it was large enough to be comfortable for a growing family of four, and tastefully decorated. He thought, somewhat spitefully, that the Weasel had no doubt left the matter of décor up to his wife.

“Who is dat, Mama?” a voice from somewhere around his knees asked.

That, Jilly, is Mr. Malfoy. He and mummy are going to talk for a bit, so why don’t you go watch the telly, hmm?” Hermione said with a smile as she looked down at the child who’d appeared out of nowhere.

“Okay,” the toddler said and then wandered back in the direction she must have come from.

She was a lovely child, with hair that was a softer red than the violent shade most of the Weasley clan had. Draco glanced back up at Granger and was a bit taken aback to see that she looked amazingly tender when she was gazing at her daughter.

“That was Jillian, my oldest. Jillian somehow got shortened to Jilly, and now she won’t answer to anything else,” Hermione said with a grin. “Wait here, I have to go get Matthew. It’s time for him to eat.”

Draco made a little coughing noise in his throat and looked at Granger a bit anxiously. She looked back questioningly, one foot on the first stair, ready to go fetch her child.

“You’re not, er…feeding him…ah, naturally, are you?”

“What?” she said, a confused frown crossing her face.

“You know…” Draco said and made a vague gesture in the region of her chest.

She looked at him for a long moment and then she burst into laughter. “No, Malfoy, you don’t have to worry about me offending your delicate sensibilities. He’s on the bottle, because I have to go back to work in a couple of weeks.”

She was still chuckling as she went up the stairs and he cursed the fact that a muggle-born could keep him so off balance. Of course, he’d never been quite able to understand, or best, Granger. Maybe he should have tried to figure her out while they were still in school. But that would have been impossible at the time, so he could only do his best to rectify the situation now.

A few minutes later, they were sitting in the family room ready to talk. Jilly was watching a television a few feet away, and Hermione had cast a gentle silencing spell around her and Malfoy, so that she could keep an eye on her daughter, but the little girl would be unable to hear what the adults were talking about. She was feeding a bottle to the baby as she looked up at Draco and raised an eyebrow as if to say ‘well, get on with it’.

He began rather awkwardly, still mortified that he was sharing weakness with a muggle-born, and one that he’d hated for quite some time, at that. But she was a fantastic listener, letting him talk without interrupting, and he wondered if she’d learned that skill as a mother, or if she’d always been that way. Draco seemed to recall several arguments between the Golden Trio, where shouts of ‘know-it-all’ had been thrown at her from her two best friends. Either way, she’d definitely gotten better at keeping her opinion to herself.

Draco became so comfortable talking to her, he told her a few things he hadn’t intended to let her know, such as the fact that he was gay. He got a little flustered after he’d let that slip, because it certainly didn’t have anything to do with the alcoholism, but she simply smiled and nodded at him to continue.

“…and so, I just wanted to say that I deeply apologize for anything I said that hurt you, or any actions I took that hurt you. If you decide not to forgive me, I understand, but I promise you that I will never say or do anything in the future that would cause you pain or discomfort.”

At the end of this speech, the two of them stared at one another for a long while, and Draco began to think uncomfortably that she was not going to find it within herself to forgive him his actions. Well, that was all right. Her forgiveness wasn’t necessary to his own atonement. He’d made the effort, now he could only wait to see what she would do.

“Malfoy…” she began and then paused. “Draco. I just want to say that I am incredibly impressed by your bravery. I know how difficult it was for many people during and after the war, and so many of them would not have had the courage to face the wrongs they committed. I forgive you.”

Draco found himself perilously close to tears and fiercely fought them back. Some things were just completely beyond the pale, and crying in front of someone outside the family was definitely one of those.

“Thank you…Hermione.” He cleared his throat, and looked down so that she wouldn’t see him blinking furiously to get rid of those tears, the ones that were absolutely not there.

“Somehow I doubt this will be as easy with your husband,” he said ruefully.

“No, probably not,” Hermione said, with a wry grin.

“And Potter will probably make that look like a walk in the park.”

He was startled at the way Hermione’s face immediately lost all expression and her eyes filled with tears. She looked away from him with a little sniff. The baby in her arms whimpered, obviously sensing his mother’s mood. Hermione lifted the child to her shoulder and began to comfort him quietly.

“Hermione? Were those rumors true? Is Potter…” he hesitated, for some reason unable to say the word floating in his brain. The Boy Who Lived had been such a huge part of Draco’s life for so long – and that was something that he didn’t care to examine too closely – that Draco couldn’t imagine him being gone.

“No, Draco. He’s not dead. But he might as well be,” Hermione said.

The sadness in her voice was so complete that it made Draco’s heart wrench a little. Who would have thought he’d be feeling sympathy for the witch he’d scathingly called a mudblood for most of their school years? And yet, he did.

He didn’t say anything, waiting for her to gather her composure enough to continue. Finally, she looked up at him with a fierce gaze.

“I understand that you’ve changed, Draco, and I’m willing to trust you with this information. But I swear on everything that is precious to me, if I ever find out that you’ve abused my trust, I will hunt you down and hex you until you wish you were dead.”

“You have my word that whatever you are about to tell me will never leave my lips,” Draco said solemnly.

Hermione pierced him with her stare for a moment more and then heaved a great, weary-sounding sigh. “You weren’t there on the day of the final battle, Draco. But I was. And no words I could say to you could ever describe the utter horror of it all. People on both sides, Light and Dark, dropping dead from curses. The werewolves and Inferi that Voldemort recruited were ripping people to pieces. Literally. On our side, we had the centaurs and a few giants who were doing equal damage to the Death Eaters. It was vicious, bloody, cruel. And absolutely frightening. Ron, Harry, and I were fighting together, apart from the other members of the Order, because we knew he had to get to Voldemort.”

She paused to take another deep breath, and Draco almost told her to stop, because he could see how painful this was for her, reliving that day. But he wanted, needed, to know what had happened to Potter.

“Remus and Tonks fell right beside us, just as we looked up and saw him. At the top of a hill, his robes billowing out like some dark cloud, acting for all the world as if he were at a celebration of some sort. He was laughing! Laughing at all the people dying around him, his own followers and those who were opposing him. It was the most disgusting sight I saw that day.”

She shook her head, her lip curling in disdain at the mere memory.

“Then he saw Harry. He called to him, tossed out a few insults at Lily and James Potter and Dumbledore and challenged Harry to face him one-on-one. Harry never could resist an outright challenge like that, as you should well remember,” Hermione said, with a pointed look at Draco.

He ducked his head in just a little shame as he recalled all the many times he’d taunted Potter while they were in school. Again, he wondered how different things would have been if he’d defied his father and gotten to know the stubborn Gryffindor who’d intrigued him from day one.

“That was the beginning of it. The final battle really was just leading up to the confrontation between the two of them. I suppose you’ve heard of the prophecy by now?” she asked, and continued when Draco briefly nodded his head. “It said that neither could live while the other survived. Those words haunted Harry for so long, but he knew his duty, and he never backed down from it. They fought and nearly every other battle ceased to watch this one. We all, Death Eaters and Order members alike, knew this was the important one, the one that would decide which side triumphed.”

Again, she paused, and Draco knew the retelling of this tale was so difficult, he marveled at the fact that she was able to remain relatively calm as she told it.

“So many curses flew back and forth between them that it was impossible to tell who was casting what. I just remember being in awe at Harry’s magical strength. We all knew he was powerful, of course, but this was the first time we’d all really seen it, and it was magnificent and beautiful and so, so scary. It seemed to last forever, but finally, there was one last massive burst of magic from Harry and Voldemort just…disintegrated. I’m not even sure what spell he cast to do that, but it was done. The Dark Lord was dead, and with him went every single person who carried the Dark Mark. Even Snape, who’d been a spy for our side all along. And I think he knew what would happen because I swear he was smiling right before he died.”

Draco didn’t even try to hold the tears back this time, but it didn’t matter because Hermione was crying along with him. It was the first time he’d heard what exactly had happened to his godfather and Draco hadn’t realized just how much he missed the man until that moment.

“Ron and I were the closest to Harry after everything settled. It was so quiet then, that I could hear my own breathing and it sounded like a storm inside my own head. Harry fell to his knees and we rushed forward, thinking he was injured. He looked up at us, and the emptiness in his eyes…it was just heartbreaking. But I remember thinking that I, Ron and I and all of his friends, we’d help him through this. It was over, the war was over and we were all alive. Harry was still looking at us and he said…” she broke off here as she was almost literally sobbing now, and the baby in her arms was fussing at the emotions flowing around them.

“Shh. Shh, darling, it’s all right. Mummy’s here, Matty, everything’s all right,” she comforted the child.

She raised her eyes back to Draco once the baby had calmed a little. “Then Harry said, ‘It’s done.’ And he fell face forward into the dirt, unconscious. We rushed him to St. Mungo’s, of course, and every top healer in the building was immediately on his case. They did every scanning and diagnostic spell they could think of on him and they could find nothing wrong. So we thought, well, he’s just exhausted, isn’t he? He’ll wake up in a bit and everything will be fine. We’ll take care of him and everything will be fine.”

She shook her head despondently. “But it wasn’t fine. The next time he opened his eyes was two days later, and it was so obvious that his body was there, but Harry wasn’t. There was no life in his eyes, he wouldn’t talk, he wouldn’t move on his own. If you helped him to his feet and led him, he would move, but nothing on his own. If you fed him, he’d eat, but never on his own. It was like he was nothing more than a living doll.”

Draco stared at her in horror. “But why? Did Vol…did the Dark Lord do it?”

She gave him a half-hearted glare at his reluctance to speak Voldemort’s name, but didn’t call him on it. “The healers eventually came up with the theory that since Voldemort had accidentally given Harry some of his own magic when he was a baby, when Harry killed him, he took that power back as he died. They believe that he basically took Harry’s soul, leaving his body a living husk, rather like a Dementor would have.”

Draco was speechless for a long time after that, having no clue what to say to Harry’s best friend. He wondered how they’d managed to keep all of this out of the papers, but then he remembered how fiercely protective the Weasleys and Granger were of Potter. He sat there quietly thinking as Hermione went upstairs to put the baby down for a nap and prepared a quick lunch for Jilly. He listened to that little voice telling her mother all about the silly show she’d been watching on the telly, and knew a moment of incredible sadness that Potter would never know the child that would have undoubtedly been his goddaughter.

When Hermione came back in, Draco looked at her and said, “Would it be all right if I visited him at St. Mungo’s? Even if he can’t hear me, I’d like to at least say my apologies to him. And my thanks, I guess.”

“He’s not at St. Mungo’s,” Hermione said, and now she appeared a little uncomfortable.

“Then where is he?” Draco asked.

“He’s with his aunt, in Little Whinging.”

“Hold on a moment. Didn’t I read in one of Rita Skeeter’s articles that Potter was practically abused by his muggle relatives? Why in the hell would you let them take him?” Draco asked in disbelief.

Hermione glared at him. “Don’t criticize things you don’t understand, Malfoy. We couldn’t leave him at St. Mungo’s. There would have been people constantly trying to get in to gawk at him, and neither Ron nor I would ever stand for that. We would have brought him to live with us, but I’d found out that I was pregnant only a couple of months before the final battle. I knew there was no way that I could take care of a new baby and Harry as well,” she said huffily.

“What about your in-laws, then?” Draco demanded. “Weren’t they practically like his second family? They didn’t want the burden either?”

“You shut up, Malfoy! You’ve been too busy drowning yourself in drink to understand the horrors the war visited on the Weasley family!” Hermione shouted.

Draco was ready to give right back to her, when a bewildered little voice said from the doorway, “Mummy, why are you and Mr. Malfoy yelling so loudly?”

“Oh! Jilly, I’m sorry, I…” Hermione said and visibly tried to rein in her temper. “Mr. Malfoy and I were just disagreeing on something, sweetheart. I’m sorry if we frightened you.”

“I’m fine, Mummy, but you shouldn’t yell. It’s not nice. You neither, Mr. Malfoy,” Jilly scolded.

“You’re right, of course, Miss Jilly. I apologize for my rudeness,” Draco said and smiled when Jilly giggled at his overly formal tone.

“Silly grown-ups,” she said, and turned back into the kitchen to finish her lunch.

Draco looked over at Hermione. “Well, my vow never to offend you certainly didn’t last long. I apologize again,” he said, a little stiffly as he was extremely disappointed in himself.

“It’s fine, Draco. I shouldn’t have lost my temper and I apologize as well for the crack about your drinking,” Hermione said with a wave of her hand. “But you should understand that the Weasley family was hit hard by the war. We lost Arthur, Fred, and Ginny. Molly hasn’t been the same since, and she’s just not capable of taking care of Harry. She lives with Bill and Fleur because we don’t like to leave her by herself for too long.”

“I didn’t realize that. But still, wouldn’t anyone have done over the muggles that made him live in a cupboard?” Draco asked as his nose wrinkled in disgust.

“Harry’s Uncle Vernon died right around the time of the final battle from a heart attack. He was the one who really hated Harry and all of his magic. I contacted Mrs. Dursley as a last grasp sort of thing, and found that she regretted all that Harry had been through when he lived with them all those years. She leapt at the opportunity to make up for it a bit, and now he lives with her and she takes care of him. Ron and I try to visit as much as we can, but it’s not easy when you have young children.”

Their visit lasted a little longer, but eventually Draco had to leave. He didn’t think he was ready to face Ron Weasley yet and he’d let Hermione decide whether she wanted to tell her husband of her visitor that day. But along with his returned wand, he had the address of Petunia Dursley in his hand before he went. He’d been somewhat surprised that Hermione was willing to give it to him, but he was reminded of the gravity of the situation at her last words.

“I don’t think even you will be able to look at him, Malfoy, and remain unmoved. I’m not really worried that you’ll do anything to harm him.”