Chapter 1: Malfoy's trial
It’s the trials. The biggest clean-up after the second wizarding war has been done and now they are dealing with the remaining death eaters. Quite a number of them died during the final battle, some committed suicide in their holding cells to avoid Azkaban and luckily less than we feared could escape the country. I was asked to watch the proceedings as I know the most about the Dark Lord and his organisation (at least according to them, I would think higher members of the Order of the Phoenix would have been better). So now I am witnessing my 14th trial since the beginning of it all. Up until now every person put to trial has received a relatively just punishment. The court is now sentencing a young woman who I forgot the name of to seven years in Azkaban in the top layer (the easiest confinement; no dementors, no dark hallways, acceptable food and so on). Thought so, from her testament under Veritaserum it became clear that she was a minor pawn who did little more than legwork and has never killed anyone. I yawn while she is led out of the room.
Close to dozing off I suddenly look up when I hear whispers start in the round. And I immediately straighten up when I see why. There in the doorway is the person for whose trial I have been waiting the whole week. Draco Malfoy. The only Malfoy who will stand trial at all. Lucius was killed in the final battle, even though no one was sure what both he and his wife were doing on the battlefield since none of them had a wand. Narcissa was hit by a stray curse (most likely from a fellow death eater) as well. She isn’t dead, but her mind is wiped, leaving little more than hallucinations. That makes Draco the last survivor of his family. I am sure the weeks since the battle haven’t been easy for him. Having to grieve his father and look after his mother until they took him into custody and transported her to St. Mungos.
But nonetheless he is standing straight, ignoring each insult or other exclamation thrown at him. I scowl at watching the masses curse Draco for things he hasn’t done. Most of those accusations should be directed at Lucius, but since he is dead his son has to take up the role of scapegoat. But he doesn’t so much as twitch, just walks on with an expressionless face. But I still notice the exhaustion and probably physical pain in his posture. He moves too stiffly, his skin is way too pale (making him looking worryingly like a ghost; causing a shiver to run down my spine as it reminds me of our encounter in the toilet in sixth year), there are rings under his eyes and his hair is unkempt and dried out. To the public he might look as impeccable like always, but to me who has known him for seven years he looks awful. Especially when I have seen those silver eyes glint at me aggressively so many times and now they are cold and empty. By now he has reached the chair, sitting down with his usual grace and crossing his shackled arms. He looks more bored than anything.
“Draco Lucius Malfoy?” the judge asks in a booming voice, even he is displaying his displeasure at the young man.
“Yes,” is the simple answer, grey eyes focusing on the compact figure.
“You know why you are here?”
“I guess so, but I would like to have the charges told me directly as is my right,” he responds calmly.
Gesturing to his assistant at the side the judge starts to read out a very long list of various crimes. I am pretty sure Draco did not commit even a fraction of them. Murder in more cases than I would like to say; I don’t think Draco is capable of killing anyone. Torture and any other cruel deed you can do; I don’t believe that either. The minor crimes that follow after, like for example vandalism at muggle buildings; that I can believe. But if you ask me they just refuse to let the Malfoys (who were considered the epitome of death eater during all of Voldemort’s regime) get away nearly unscathed again, no matter whether it is actually just or not. That makes me really angry. It is like the society didn’t learn at all from the two wars.
Draco takes in everything calmly until the judge fixes on him, “What do you say to that, accused?”
He takes a deep breath, “While I agree with you that I am guilty of minor war crimes I must disagree on the first accounts. I have never killed any person, neither have I tortured as many as you try to pin on me. Not that I did it voluntarily to begin with. Also your accusation of… rape is completely wrong. I would never lower myself to that,” his eyes are strong as he gives his answer.
“You have the Dark Mark, do you not?” his nod earns him a scathing look from the judge, “Show it.”
A frown crosses Draco’s face, “That was throughoutly checked when I was taken into custody. There is no need to prove it again.”
“That was not a question, prisoner,” a councilmen growls.
One of the guards who brought Draco in steps forward. A big hand grabs the thin forearm harshly, dragging the blonde to his feet. With little regard to the expensive clothes and his prisoner, the burly man rips the cloth covering Draco’s left arm away, revealing the morbid tattoo marring the pale skin. I see the boy press his lips together but otherwise he doesn’t protest, instead lets himself be shoved back into the chair after there have been started enough enraged murmurs in the rows around the room. My hands clench under the bank and an irrational urge to protect the thin blonde in front of my eyes wells up inside me.
“There is no denying you are a Death Eater, boy,” the judge spits, reminding me uncomfortably of uncle Vernon, “In fact, as a Malfoy you belonged to you-know-who’s inner circle. And you want to tell me that you never killed anyone?”
“I never murdered,” Draco insists, his voice and gaze strong, even though he is now hiding his left arm in his robe.
It earns him malicious snickers from all around the room. Murmurs about him being a liar and only wanting to save his skin drift to my ears. He ignores it even though I’m sure he can hear them.
“I don’t think anyone would believe you this,” the judge snorts, “But you have a chance to prove it, don’t you? Will you let us question you under Veritaserum?”
For a moment silence falls and I hope he will agree because he could prove that he is indeed innocent this way. On the other hand I am not even sure if I would trust the court to accept that testament if he gave it.
“No,” he answers to my surprise, “I am well aware of the consequences but that is something I will not allow.”
I groan. Stubborn, proud Malfoy. No matter what kind of embarrassing secrets he’s keeping he should just accept it, but no, he has to be difficult. He turns his chances of getting away from here with little punishment into non-existent. Not that he is the first death eater to refuse it, but still. They will use this to pin as much on him as they can, so he will never see the sun in his life. The judge smirks.
“Then we will have to believe the reports of eyewitnesses and what other death eaters told us about you. That makes you guilty of all charges,” he explains nearly gleefully.
Draco sighs and shakes his head, but he looks resolved to accept whatever is in store him. I even can’t help but admire him for it. Where did that whinny boy go who spent weeks complaining about a fall from his broom. Something must have changed him quite a bit.
“Is there anyone who wants to speak up for Mr. Malfoy?” the judge asks, not expecting anyone.
But to everyone’s surprise I stand up, “Yes, I want to.”
Immediately silver eyes fix on me. Slight surprise is visible on his face but nothing more and he covers it up fast. Instead he stares straight ahead again. I smile at the back of his head and get down from my seat into the witness stand. This is my best try to spare Draco worse punishment.
And so, I retell the whole story. From how pained he looked in sixth year over whenever I would see him in a vision, he would do nothing that could be considered bad. That he saved my life at Malfoy Manor by not identifying me. What I will only later realise is that he could have ended the war at this point, with the dark side winning, should he have chosen to identify me. But he didn’t and I am not drawing that conclusion yet. So I continue on over our escape from the Manor and how he didn’t fire any curse at me in the Room of Requirement even though he had more than enough time to do so with my back turned to him. He didn’t even fight in the final battle. I saw him walk away from the fight after all.
Through the whole story, Draco’s eyes have remained frozen, only narrowing briefly when I talk about the Manor. The judge has become more pissed with each sentence I said (and reminds me even more of Vernon due to it now). He is even glaring down at me while I am finishing my speech with the statement that I don’t believe Draco capable of killing anyone. Some whispers have started among the spectators and not all are immediately condemning Draco as far as I can hear. As I nod and leave the witness stand, I catch those silver eyes for a moment and he gives me a nearly unnoticeable nod but I smile back brightly.
The judge glares angrily and after asking whether there is anything else and a short discussion with his fellow councilmen he turns back to the bored looking Draco, “The court will now announce their decision.”
Chapter 2: A new task
sorry I wanted to post this chapter much earlier but life got in the way. I will try to upload the next one faster.
Thank you for the comment.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of them.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Fuck!” I curse as I kick the first thing I come across in the hallway of Grimmauld place, a wooden chest, which promptly earns me a hurting toe in addition to the already shitty day.
But on the other hand my loud arrival (banging the door too) has called my two best friends out. The two have not been at the trials, instead helping with either rebuilding or family matters. We agreed to meet up in the evenings so they have been waiting for me in the house I inherited from Sirius. It takes no less time than for me to take off my coat and throwing it over a hook to the side, for both Hermione and Ron to storm into the corridor.
“What’s wrong, Harry?” she asks, looking at me worriedly.
“It’s not fair. He didn’t deserve that!” I growl, shoving past them to get to the firewhiskey in the living room cabinet.
“Who didn’t deserve what?” Ron yells after me while the two follow behind.
“Oh,” Hermione has caught up faster, “Was Malfoy’s trial today?”
Ron stares at her strangely while I snort into the drink I have poured myself, “It was less of a trial but more of condemnation.”
Sighing the brunette lets herself fall down on the sofa beside me and takes my hand, “What happened, Harry? What punishment did he get?”
“Lifelong Azkaban,” I growl, drawing a gasp from her and a frown from Ron, “On the lowest level.”
Hermione swallows, skin paler than before, “That’s… harsh…”
“It’s unfair,” I correct, “Draco didn’t even commit most of the things they charged him with. And there was no way he could have defended himself either. I am sure the decision was set before he even stepped into the courtroom.”
“Mate, not to be impolite,” Ron breaks in, “But that’s Malfoy we’re talking about. He’s an arsehole. He let death eaters into Hogwarts, killed Dumbledore and nearly killed me.”
“That with you was an accident and as much to blame on Slughorn as Malfoy,” I rub my hand over my face, “And he didn’t kill Dumbledore, Snape did. Malfoy did only take his wand. He couldn’t kill him.”
“Harry, I understand you want to help him. But maybe he really did what they said…” Hermione trails off when I throw her a look.
“You didn’t see him that evening. He could not kill Dumbledore. He could never kill anyone in cold blood. He may have done some awful things while under Voldemort’s reign but I believe that he would never do it on his own free will. Taunting, teasing, playing pranks and insulting or throwing punches, yes. But nothing that would warrant any worse punishment than social service. Like I said, I am aware he might have committed smaller crimes, but nothing that is enough for what he is suffering now. And the worse stuff he did was forced anyway, I saw that,” I rant.
Hermione smiles sadly, “I get it, fine. But didn’t he try to defend himself? What about the Veritaserum?”
“He tried to, but the judge wouldn’t even let him say more than that he didn’t do it. And he refused the potion. God knows why.”
She smiles strained, “Well, maybe he has a very important secret to keep.”
“Or he is just too proud,” Ron snorts but I ignore him.
“What could be more important than clearing the wrong accusations and receiving a just punishment instead of what he got now?” I sigh, downing the rest of my glass.
“I don’t know,” Hermione says, “Maybe you could speak to him?”
“I tried, but before the trials there was too much of a chaos and now… I asked, only to have them say that as the criminal he is I can’t be allowed to talk to him until he is in safe confinement.”
“Until they have broken him enough, I guess…” she looks sad.
I hum in agreement and reach for the bottle, but am stopped by the girl’s hand on my arm, “No Harry. You had enough for now. I understand that you are angry about what happened to Malfoy, but drinking won’t help. You should rather think of a plan on how to get him out again. Or at least lighten his punishment.”
I sigh but nod.
“No offence, mate,” Ron suddenly speaks up again, “But I don’t really get why you care so much. It’s still Malfoy, the bastard who tormented us for the most part of our years at Hogwarts.”
I glare at him, “But he is also a boy who has been forced into his role as much as I have. I am pretty sure neither his father nor Voldemort ever asked whether he really wanted to be a death eater. I can understand him in that,” I shake my head, “Besides the fact that the court was simply not just. I can’t let it stand like that. If we start with isolating and being unfair to the death eaters now, we are not much better than them, who did the same thing to muggleborns.”
“But we are not torturing or killing them,” the red head protests.
“Malfoy’s punishment is not much different than that,” Hermione says silently, “Living down there is practically torture until one day he is going to be so much of an empty shell that he could very well be dead.”
I nod and sigh, “I am not sure why, but I really want to get him out of there.”
At that the brunette throws me a look which seems unnervingly knowing and nods, “I will help you. Maybe I can find some kind of loophole in the laws.”
“Thanks,” I say, letting my head rest on her shoulder.
~ * ~
Two weeks later there is no solution in sight yet. Granted none of us has had much time to look into it because we are still working on rebuilding everything. My favourite place is still Hogwarts despite the memories of the final battle now connected to it. I am clearing some hallway from rubble when professor McGonnagall approaches me.
“Mr. Potter, good that you are here.”
Dusting my hands off, I turn around, “Hello Professor. What is it?”
“Can you do me a favour?” she asks.
I frown but nod nonetheless, “How can I help?”
“It’s about Dumbledore’s old office. The majority of his files and papers has just been pushed into the storeroom next to it, since at that time no one wanted to go through it. It would be a great help if you could look at them. You know, throw away what is useless and decide what we should keep.”
She shrugs with a sad smile, “You were someone he trusted and I feel like he would have wanted it like that.”
I sigh and grab the jacket I had put away for the work, “Fine, where is it?”
She smiles at me thankfully and leads me towards the tower in which the headmaster’s office resides, making small-talk while on the way. To my surprise this tower seems to have sustained little to no damage during the battle. But she explains that there are stronger wards around it which kept it from being accidently damaged. Stopping halfway up the spiralling staircase (which hasn’t been repaired to move again yet) to the old office, she opens an unsuspicious wooden door which I never noticed before even though I went up there quite a number of times. When she steps aside, I want to enter.
Only to do a step back instead. The chamber which is a lot bigger than it looks from the outside is literally stuffed with papers, folders and boxes with more files. In the front and the middle of the (barely noticeable) walkways are free sheets, thrown around randomly and folders which look like they have been just left in there without looking. Boxes with more papers are everywhere and the shelves are stuffed as well. I gulp.
“That is going to take a long time. Do I really have to do this?”
Professor McGonagall shoots me a look I am still familiar with from my own school time, “I would very much appreciate it. Unfortunately Dumbledore was never one for much order or tidying up and well, the people after that just didn’t have the time,” she then frowns, “Mind you, that there aren’t only school papers here. Some of these sheets contain information about or for the Order. This room can only be seen and entered by members of the Order as well. That’s why I need you to sort this out. You have to separate the papers for the school from those for the Order.”
I sigh dejectedly, “Fine. How exactly am I supposed to do that?”
She nods thankfully, “Give information for or about the Order to Mr. Weasley or his wife. They know what to do with it after that. What belongs to the school, please pack back into the shelves. And if you find something that was solely important to Dumbledore, you can either collect it or simply burn it. I am sure he had the bills for his sweets orders somewhere in here,” she shakes her head, “And it would be best if you could at least look through the files in the shelves and boxes too. Pull out those for the Order.”
Still eyeing the mass of paper with wariness I nod, “Okay. But don’t expect me to be available for anything else anytime soon. This is going to take some days.”
“I know, Mr. Potter. Thank you, I really appreciate the help,” she says before walking down the stairs again.
“Alright then,” I say to the empty room, “Let’s see how fast I can bring this mountain of paper down.”
That's it for today. Thanks for reading.
Hope you liked it. Kudos and comments are always appreciated.
See you next time.
Chapter 3: Interesting discovery
this is more the time frame I planned to update. I can't promise it but for the first part at least I am trying to stick to uploading a chapter every second day.
Thank you for the comment.
Also I wrote these early chapters when I was only starting, so there might be numerous grammar mistakes. I have never had a beta and english is not my native language.
The same goes for any mistakes in HP lore. It's been some time since I last watched one of the movies and several years since I read the books.
Disclaimer: Never been mine.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Yeah, not fast may have been the best answer. It’s six days later and I only have managed about three quarters of all the files in here. Mind you the worst part were all the papers just randomly flying around the place and the fact that no one seemed capable to only put one kind of information in a folder. So sometimes I had to sort every single sheet from the same folder somewhere different. And since McGonagall asked me to make sense and sort out all the papers I find too… Well, you see my problem. Luckily there are only some boxes (and a few flying leaves) in the back left and the shelves. But I guess that’s the only thing in this damned place that is halfway in order.
I have also found nearly everything in here by now. From prototypes for school letters over grading sheets and lists of pupils. From personal letters between Order members over meeting protocols to attack plans and even the occasional spy report. I also found some knitting magazines that belonged (with 99% certainty) to Dumbledore and a few of the aforementioned sweets bills. I sigh and cough as I pull at a dusty box in the corner.
With a protesting crunch it finally gives way and slides to me. Apparently it got somehow stuck to it’s place on the floor. It doesn’t look much different than the others. A brown cardboard box with a lid with quite a number of dents and a thin dust covering. I chuckle when I spot the word ‘sweets’ written in Dumbledore’s curvy handwriting across the front. Still there is something different about this box. I frown but when I try to lift the lid it doesn’t really budge. I grumble. Running a spell over the box, it glows blue to my surprise, revealing a magical seal over it. That causes me to pull a face. Was Dumbledore so adamant at hiding his sweets that he would seal them? Really? I would say no, but by now I would believe nearly everything when it comes to that old cot. Focusing for a moment I concentrate my magic in my wand and mumble a few incantations meant to break seals which Hermione taught me. Giving way under my force the ban breaks.
“Got you!” I grin triumphant, “Let’s see what secret you have been hiding. How much sweets did our headmaster order each year?”
My smile nearly falls at seeing manila folder after folder again in the box. But with the knowledge (or maybe rather hope) that I found something important or at least interesting I grab the first folder (nicely labelled with a roman number one) with as much eagerness as I can muster. And at the start it really is what I would have suspected. Bills for sweets. A huge order of lemon drops. A bill for jellybeans, toffees and fruit candy. And so on.
I am chuckling over the number of different biscuits he ordered when I suddenly stop. I have just turned to the next page and find myself in front of something entirely different. That is not a sweets bill. And neither are the next pages as far as I can see. This is handwritten (by Dumbledore) and speaks a very different tone as the amusing bills before. It looks nearly like a diary.
25th February 1996
First contact with a new possible source today. They approached me this evening with an offer of information. In return they asked for sanctuary should the worst happen for them and their mother. I trust in their determination. No matter the looks they want to destroy the Dark Lord just as much as we do.
I frown. It’s not really a diary though. It looks more like some of the reports (especially the ones from spies) I saw earlier. And my thought proves itself right.
27th February 1996
It is decided. We have a new spy. Severus was less than pleased but he agrees that he can use help in his cause. But the highest secrecy is needed, he asked for it himself. So we will do.
12th March 1996
Horcruxes, that is the piece of the puzzle we have been missing. Even though I was aware of their existence only a marked paragraph in a book Spy A copied brought it in connection with Voldemort. He said the book had the mark of the Hogwarts library (forbidden section) but didn’t reside there anymore. A quick trip to the library archives proves this book disappeared roughly around the time Tom Riddle left the school.
Spy A suggested Voldemort split his soul in more than two pieces to have more than one fall-back should the rest fail. He wants to stay immortal after all.
My eyes widen. This is exactly that. A spy report! And from no one who I have ever heard of. I mean I know that Snape was a spy and I saw a short list when I looked through important documents after the war, but that synonym ‘Spy A’ I have never heard before. With new interest I throw myself into the documents, eager to find out more about this mysterious character.
Throughout what was my fifth year at Hogwarts his reports are still slightly sporadic, mostly just getting some information on dark magical things, stuff you can’t find out in normal libraries. Especially horcruxes. He also helps with suggestions as to what Voldemort could have actually turned into a horcux. Towards the end of the year, he starts reporting more about death eater movements as well. At some point he hints that he believes Voldemort wants to launch a big attack on the ministry. And that it has something to do with me. Duh, they used my connection to Voldemort to lure me there to get the prophecy.
After the end of fifth year the reports break off for a short while until they pick up again shortly before the next term.
27th August 1996
We have picked the contact with Spy A back up. He reported that Voldemort has now securely settled into Malfoy Manor. But A’s advice goes strongly against an attack. The wards are strong and Voldemort brought a literal horde of death eaters with him. Even the whole ministry would probably not be able to get in there, especially with the warning systems around the Manor. And of course the dark side’s spies in the ministry.
Voldemort is also planning something big soon. Severus said that as well. According to Spy A the most likely actions are to finally get rid of either Harry Potter or me. The security around Harry has to be strengthened.
Sixth year had much more reports of Spy A. He informed them about impending attacks on muggleborns or important people in the wizarding world. He pointed out some people in the ministry who they had to keep an eye on because they most likely worked for the dark side, forced or not. All in all the information is pretty high class and one needs a very close contact to Voldemort’s inner circle to know all of that. To my surprise though what only comes up pretty late (after the first failed try actually) is Malfoy’s mission to kill Dumbledore. Well, maybe that was a top secret mission that only those who had something to do with knew about.
After Dumbledore’s death another handwriting continues the reports. It seems vaguely familiar to me but I can’t place it. I haven’t even gotten until the time of my 17th birthday when a look out of the window suddenly makes me realise how late it already is. Cursing under my breath I jump up. I have been so immersed in this report that I completely forgot the time. And I am supposed to be at the Burrow for dinner tonight. Hastily I disfigure some empty sheets into a folder and try to get all the material about Spy A into it since I haven’t finished reading it yet. But a summoning charm doesn’t work, so I have to sort them out between the sweets bills, most likely there to hide the reports, by hand and stuff them into the folder one by one. It takes me longer than expected and has me bolting out of the door in haste once I finished.
Only to nearly crash into Professor McGonagall once I come out, “Slow down, Mr. Potter,” she frowns, catching herself on the railing, “I was just about to get you. Everyone else is leaving. Is everything alright?”
“Yes, yes,” I reply, pause for a moment and then ask, she was a member of the Order after all, “I just found something. Have you ever heard the name ‘Spy A’?”
She looks at me weirdly, “No, I haven’t. Why? What kind of books have you been reading lately?”
I laugh nervously, “Nothing, I… Never mind,” I break off, “I have to get ready for dinner at the Burrow now. I’m sorry, but I have to hurry.”
“No problem,” she says as I run down the stairs, waving over my shoulder.
The folder is still under my arm.
That's it for today, Thanks for reading.
Comments and kudos are always appreciated. See you at the next chapter.
Chapter 4: Never heard the name before
sorry for the delay on this chapter again.
Thank you for the comments.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
After a fast shower and changing into better clothes I hurriedly apparate to the Weasley family home. Since I want to ask them about my new findings too I have some report sheets with me.
Hermione, who is living there as well until she can restore her parents’ memories, hugs me as soon as I enter, talking about something she read. I smile as she releases me and we walk inside. I nod and mumble at the appropriate places, having long learned the skill of just tuning out during her lectures while still pretending to listen. My thoughts are still focused mostly on that new spy I read about. Nearly the whole Weasley family is waiting in the kitchen.
“Harry dear,” Mrs. Weasley bustles up, “You are late. Did something happen?”
I smile soothingly, “No, don’t worry. I just got held up in Hogwarts. I wanted to finish something before I left.”
“That’s nice,” she smiles, though still not with as much enthusiasm as before the beginning of the war, “I’m sure you’re hungry then after working the whole day. Come to the table.”
She ushers me over, smiling, and stuffs me between Ron and George at the table. I don’t have the heart to tell her that I am not that hungry since all I have been doing was sort papers all day, not clearing and rebuilding the castle as she most likely thinks.
Dinner passes in a nice atmosphere as it usually does even though the missing of one family member is sorely felt. While Hermione and Ron sneak off to have some alone time after the table is cleared and the other brothers are ordered to wash the dishes, I settle with Mr and Mrs Weasley in the living room. Fits me perfectly since I wanted to ask them anyway.
First I hand them the new stuff for the Order I found in the chamber today. Except that about Spy A. Arthur nods thankfully. Then I draw a breath.
“I just wondered, I know the Order had spies in Voldemort’s ranks, but what happened to those people?”
He looks at me weirdly, “Those Order members have been rewarded. Why do you ask?”
“But what if they were death eaters? I don’t think they would have been too open about it,” I bore because I am sure that Spy A was a marked one, otherwise he would have never had so much information.
“I don’t know,” the two exchange a look, “The Order would have kept them safe, I guess.”
“Is there a list with the people who spied during the war?”
“I think so, but we made sure everyone on the list was being accounted for as far as I was told,” Molly says.
“So were there spies who had the dark mark? I mean, I know Snape was one of those, but apart from him.”
“There were some, I guess,” Mr Weasley concedes, “Some lower ranking death eaters who were forced into joining and decided to stand against the dark lord. As far as I remember it were four.”
“Three,” his wife corrects him, “That boy jumped off at the last second.”
I smile and nod, “And what happened to them?”
“One was found out shortly before the battle and was killed during his escape. The other two died at the final battle,” is the answer.
It still causes me to frown. Something tells me that the person I am searching for is not one of them. Arthur said they were lower ranking death eaters, but Spy A wasn’t that.
“Harry, why are you asking all these questions? Where does that sudden interest come from? Is there something you are hiding from us?” Molly asks with a worried face.
“No, it’s just…” I scratch the back of my head, pulling the sheets out of my bag, “Have you ever heard the name ‘Spy A’ during your time in the Order?”
They exchange another look, but both shake their heads, “No, not as far as I can remember. What are you talking about?”
I stretch to hand over some of the papers I brought, “I found these documents while I was searching through Dumbledore’s chaos. They are reports about the information from a person who was always only referred to as ‘Spy A’. He was never mentioned by name or anything, so I was hoping someone in the Order might have known his identity.”
Arthur takes the sheets and studies them, “I have never heard that codename before, I must say. But this information is high class. Where did you get them from?”
But his wife asks a different question, “Why do you refer to the spy as ‘he’ while you said you don’t know their identity?”
“Because he is referenced as male often enough in these reports, but I don’t know any more than his gender. And that he was a death eater. A marked one somewhere in Voldemort’s higher ranks if I’m correct,” I explain.
She hums approvingly but then frowns, “Wait a minute. I remember that report about this. The warning about that attack on the muggle governor’s family.”
“You do?” I ask eagerly, showing that kind of interest in anything for the first time since the end of the war.
“Yes, it was Dumbledore who gave us that information. When somebody asked him where he got it, he just smiled that smile of his and said a little bird told him,” she shuffles through more sheets, “Yeah, these are nearly all things Dumbledore told us.”
“I figured as much. It’s his handwriting after all,” I agree, “Maybe you know who had the most information from the death eater ranks after his death.”
“I don’t know,” Arthur frowns, handing the papers back to me, “Maybe Remus, but I am not sure.”
“It’s just since I can’t ask Dumbledore anymore who Spy A is, I wanted to find whoever is behind the second handwriting who continued the reports after the headmaster’s death.”
“Sorry we can’t help you,” Molly says.
But before I can retort, Ron and Hermione barge in and pull me away, saying I have been spending far too much time working lately. So half an hour later we are all three sitting in Ron’s old room, chatting like old times. I have just explained my findings. Hermione smiles while the red head frowns.
“Why are you that eager to find whoever that spy is? He’s just another death eater,” he grumbles.
Anger fills my chest and I’m sure my eyes are blazing, “He may have the dark mark, but he certainly isn’t any death eater. He probably didn’t even believe in Voldemort’s plans or he wouldn’t have become a spy. He risked his life. Especially judging by how close he must have been, the danger must have been high for him,” I clench my hands, “He should be considered a war hero and I can’t deal with the fact that he might be rotting in Azkaban despite that just because he has the mark.”
Hermione smiles and carefully lays a hand on my arm, “And you are right in your opinion. I agree with you. Whoever this is should be honoured and not imprisoned. But what will you do if you come to know his identity only to find out that he died in the final battle.”
“Then I will make sure he gets the post-mortem honours and be done with it,” I sigh, not really wanting to think about that (pretty likely) possibility, “But for now I prefer to think about saving a person undeserving of punishment from Azkaban.”
“Man seriously, you are going to empty Azkaban of prisoners if you continue like that,” Ron sighs, causing Hermione to giggle and me to glare at him.
“Well maybe, Malfoy was right in at least one thing,” she snickers, “Our dear Harry has a saviour-complex.”
“I don’t!” I growl, frowning at her, but they only laugh and for a moment I feel myself set back to lighter times. I allow myself to enjoy that and laugh with them.
That's it for today. Thanks for reading.
Comments and kudos are always appreciated. See you next time.
Chapter 5: A new clue and visting Luna
At least only one day late this time.
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(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The next day I take off from my work at Hogwarts, it’s a Sunday anyway. Instead I pour over the papers I got about Spy A. There are quite a lot for the last year of the war. Sometimes there are breaks but after such a hole there is always a whole lot of information. And it is fascinating. Whoever reported that really must have been close to the source, voluntarily or not. Positioning of many death eaters. Planned attacks. What exactly Voldemort knows and what he doesn’t.
But that isn’t what surprises me. No, there are also notes about where I (, Hermione and Ron) could be so the Order could try to keep an eye on me. I would guess whoever he is knows quite a lot about me and the others. He also talks about the prisoners who were kept in Malfoy Manor. Every time someone new came he reported it. But I also found another passage.
7th January 1998
Spy A confirmed today what we already feared. Luna Lovegood has been captured by the death eaters. After Xenophilius’ panicked message that she didn’t return home for the Christmas holidays, we thought this might have happened. Spy A told me she has been imprisoned in the dungeons of Malfoy Manor. She is kept together with Olivander. Spy A has promised to look after her just like he makes sure to with each prisoner.
From this passage it seems like Spy A also made sure that the prisoners kept in Malfoy Manor were at least treated properly. That may be a way to find out his identity. While I still doubt that he could have done that openly, maybe the prisoners know something. At least a clue.
I still don’t know much more about the mysterious man’s identity. Like I said, I know he’s male. His mother is still alive, at least she was during our fifth year, so it is likely that he is still relatively young. Also he seems to have a vast knowledge of me or at least behavioural patterns. My guess is that he is some pureblood son who was forced into becoming a death eater and then rebelled by putting his life on the line as a spy. I am also sure that he lived in Malfoy Manor during the year leading up to the final battle.
That would bring my thoughts straight to the Malfoy family themselves. Granted I can rule out Lucius immediately just like Narcissa. That leaves me with Draco and while he fits all the criteria I listed earlier (nearly perfectly) I have a bit of a difficult time imagining him actually doing it. During our schoolyears he always struck me as a bit of a coward. On the other hand he changed quite a lot. Now wouldn’t that be ironic? But still there is no mention of certain things like our incident in the bathroom and when Draco is mentioned in the reports he is referred to as ‘Draco Malfoy’. Plus he was still in school during that time, I guess that would have been to restricting to be the spy at the same time. And the Malfoys were by far not the only ones living in the Manor during that time. Voldemort brought a huge group of death eaters with him.
Also I need someone in whose name the letter ‘A’ has some significance. Since Snape is sometimes referred to as ‘S’ in notes which could have been seen by the enemy, I guessed that I need to find a name which starts with an ‘A’. Draco Lucius Malfoy doesn’t include that. Still sometimes I wish it is really him because then I would have a more than valid reason to drag him out of Azkaban.
Shaking my head free from thoughts of silver-blond hair and grey eyes, I decide that there is nothing to be found in these papers anymore. At least not for now. So I will return to the passage of caring for the prisoners for today. Luna was kept there and I am long overdue of paying her a visit. So I clean up, putting the papers away. After a short visit to the bathroom and putting on some fresh clothes I apparate away.
I come out on the hill not far from the Burrow. The small house Luna and her father rebuilt from the rubble of the last one after it was blown up during our visit there is in front of me. You see her influence clearly on the outside. The same tree is still beside the entrance and the house is coloured brightly. I smile and do the last steps to the front door. After ringing the bell I hear soft steps from the inside. A moment later the door opens and Luna’s dreamy face appears, pale hair floating around her form. She smiles at me.
“Harry. How nice to see you.”
“Hello Luna,” I smile back, even though she can be weird sometimes, being around her relaxes me.
She ushers me in, “You seem troubled, Harry. There are so many wrackspurts around you.”
I laugh softly, “I am fine, Luna. I just found out some interesting things. Is your father here?”
“No,” she answers as she leads me to the restored living room, “He is interviewing an activist who speaks up for better conditions for the prisoners in Azkaban.”
“In Azkaban?” I frown, “Why that?”
“I think those prisoners on the lowest layers are treated way too awfully. Every person, criminal or not, deserves to be treated at least human. They aren’t. He thinks the same,” she smiles.
I chuckle, “You switched from supporting me during the war to fighting for the rights of death eaters. Am I supposed to feel offended?”
She smiles her dreamy smile, “I didn’t think you would. You fight for their rights and just punishments just like we do.”
“That’s true,” I relax in her presence and serenity, “But won’t people complain about your sudden change of direction?”
“Some do, but since when have we cared. We do what is right and most of the death eaters are as human as we all are. Even if the light side sometimes tends to forget that. Especially when they were forced into their role,” she explains, giving me a knowing smile.
I sigh and nod, “Like Malfoy.”
“Yes, like Draco,” she muses, surprising me with her use of his given name, “I am still waiting for the permission to visit him in his cell.”
“What?” my eyes shoot to her, “You want to visit Malfoy in Azkaban?” I look at her in surprise. Why would she do that? He was one of the people who held her captive in Malfoy Manor after all.
“Yes, I applied for an permission as soon as I heard what he was sentenced to. He doesn’t deserve it,” she sighs.
“I agree but even I couldn’t stop it,” I nod, “I just wondered why you would want to see him after your imprisonment in Malfoy Manor.”
She smiles absent-mindedly, “Like I said, he doesn’t deserve a punishment this severe. Also I don’t think anyone else will even try to see him. It’s lonely,” she takes a short break then continues with her eyes far away, “And he wasn’t that bad. He was actually relatively nice during our stay there.”
That causes my eyes to snap her again, “What do you mean nice?”
“Well, most of the death eaters would always be very cruel when they handled us. He wasn’t. He lead us wherever he had to bring us, instead of just simply dragging us along. He never hit us as long as he didn’t have to and would support Olivander when no one would see,” she explains, then her eyes fix on me with a startling clarity, “He is a good person at heart. He was just raised wrong.”
“I know,” I sigh, but before I lose myself in thoughts about Malfoy again, I focus back on the actual reason for my visit here, “Since we are already on the subject of Malfoy Manor, I want to ask something.”
“I don’t think that the death eaters gave you enough food and so on, right?”
“Where did you get the food from then?” I ask, my eagerness rising.
She regards me for a moment, “There was a house elf who would come when no one was around. She would bring us additional food, blankets, clothes and even medicine once.”
I nod, I had already suspected that he would not reveal himself so easily, “A house elf?”
“Yes, I think she said her name is Tilly. A Malfoy house elf, but it was Malfoy Manor after all. But why are you asking this all?” she fixes her eyes on me imploringly.
I squirm a bit, “I want to find out who was behind it. I think he was a death eater who is imprisoned now and helping you would provide a reason to free him or at least lighten his punishment.”
She just nods, purposely ignoring my slip about the male pronoun. Bless Luna and her acceptance.
“I want to find who helped us too,” she finally agrees, “But I don’t know who it was. We always only saw the house elf. I asked her once but she said, the master told her not to tell anyone.”
“The master? Since she was of the Malfoy household could she have meant Draco?” I ask, searching an ally for my theory in her.
“It could have been. But since they called every death eater ‘master’ I can’t be sure,” she thinks for a moment then gives a wistful smile, “But if I am honest it would make sense if it was Draco. He was not only her primary master but also never really seemed comfortable in the atmosphere there.”
I nod, “I thought about it too. On the other hand I doubt Draco could have rebelled against the whole house on his own. And he still went to school.”
She seems to think for some time then starts humming softly, “Hm, maybe. But I don’t doubt that you will find out who it is one day. I know you. When you are set on something you achieve it too.”
I laugh, “I hope so too, Luna.”
That's it for today. Thanks for reading.
We all love Luna, don't we? ;)
Anyway, comments and kudos are always appreciated. See you next time.
Chapter 6: Trip to Malfoy Manor
I am really, really sorry for the delay, but life is being a bitch right now.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
My next clue is Tilly, the house elf, then. The Malfoy Manor itself is empty now, since Lucius is dead, Narcissa in the hospital and Draco in Azkaban. But the house elves stayed there. I remember that Hermione tried to convince them that they are free now. It was close to hilarious watching how everything she said was ignored. They were set on staying at the Manor and taking care of it in case one of their masters will return one day. I am wondering when Hermione will understand that most house elves don’t want to be free to begin with.
Anyway it works in my favour as all the Malfoy house elves are still in the Manor. But unfortunately the Manor is classified as a dark magical site. That means you need a special permission to be allowed to enter the wards that were placed around it. Ridiculous if you ask me. The ministry should focus on other things than that. And it apparently it does sometimes since it takes me two whole weeks and three letters until I finally get said permission. Sometimes they are unbelievable…
But now I am standing in front of the massive black doors leading inside the huge white Manor. I swallow hard. As much as I would like to deny it I am nervous about entering the building. The mansion is still as ominous looking as ever. And the memories I connect with this house are not pleasant in the least at all. But this is nothing against living in Azkaban. So I take a deep breath and knock hard. A second later a loud crack announces the arrival of a house elf. One of the door wings swings open, revealing the small creature, clothed only in a dirty silver pillow case.
“What can Matty do for you, master…?” big blue eyes with wrinkles around them focus on me.
“My name is Harry Potter. And can I come in?” I ask softly
“Master Potter,” the elf hurriedly bows deeply, “Of course. Matty welcomes you at Malfoy Manor. I am sorry but none of the masters is here currently.”
“It’s fine, I know,” I answer as I step through the door, “I need to speak with a house elf anyway.”
“A house elf, Master Potter?” the little creature squeaks, closing the door behind us again.
“Yes, do you have someone named Tilly here?”
“Tilly is cleaning the young master’s bedroom at the moment. Do you wish me to call her for you?”
“Yes, that would be great,” I smile and he nods, his huge ears bobbing eagerly.
He apparates away, leaving me in the too-still entrance hall of the Manor. A shiver runs down my spine. I can hardly imagine spending as much as a week in this atmosphere. But growing up here? I would definitively not want that. No surprise Draco turned out a bit messed up if he spent his whole life in a house like this. Hopefully it was better or at least lighter when he was younger. Before Voldemort decided to use it as his main quarters. But I am ripped out of my thoughts by the crack of another house elf arriving. She is smaller than Matty but also younger, with big greenish eyes and a newer pillow case. Curious eyes stare up at me.
“Master Potter called for Tilly,” she squeaks.
“Yes,” I take a deep breath, “I have something important to ask you.”
“How can Tilly help?”
“Is it correct that you brought supplies to the prisoners kept here without everyone’s notice?”
She squirms uncomfortably, “Tilly is not at liberty to say. However Master Potter is a very good man. Yes, Tilly disobeyed Master Lucius and brought food to the prisoners.”
“I’m sure you didn’t do that on your own,” a shaky nod follows, “Who ordered you to do it?”
She freezes for a moment, then only shakes her head more, “Tilly is sorry. But Tilly is really not allowed to say.”
“Please,” I urge, “I don’t want anything bad. I want to help whoever it is. He might be imprisoned on unjust reasons. I want to free him. But I need his name, proof that he really did it.”
But it only gets me another head shake, “Tilly wants to help, she really wants. Both the master and Master Potter. But she can’t. Master especially ordered that Tilly never tells anyone about him.”
I sigh and run my hand through my hair. I am not getting the name out of her. If a house elf was specifically ordered to not tell anything, they will never do so under any circumstance. But while I’m already here…
“Fine, I will leave it be for now. But since I am already here can you show me to Draco’s room?” I ask, anxiety creeping up my throat.
“The young master’s room? Tilly can do that,” she answers nervously.
The small creature leads me further through the gloomy Manor and I have to fight the urge to just turn around and leave straight away. Have they ever heard of windows and sunlight in this house? The walls are covered in old tapestries, paintings of landscapes and portraits of Malfoys from earlier generations (judging by the platinum hair). The old people are staring down at me with disdain. Dear god, how can you let a child grow up in such a glum, pressing atmosphere? Finally Tilly stops in front of a door right at the end of a corridor.
“This is the young master’s bedroom. Do you need anything else, Master Potter?” she squeaks.
“No, thank you for now. I will call you when I want to leave again.”
She bows and apparates away. I take a deep breath and grip the handle of the dark door in front of me. I swing the door open and take my first look inside. And am surprised. For one Draco seems to have known about the existence and use of windows, because two of the walls (it’s a corner room) have both two of them. Apart from that the room looks very impersonal. Very little decorations, no posters, no photographs or trinkets. The bed is pretty big and covered in green sheets (not surprising). On the expensive looking desk to the side is a potions book. Still open, like Draco just left to get something to drink. The shelves are full of books about potions, spells, dark magic, healing and other subjects from school. I can’t spy any novels or magazines. Doesn’t he have any or are they somewhere else? The walls are bare apart from two drawings in pencil. One is of a Quidditch player, most likely chasing the snitch. The second is of an elegant horse, reeling up majestically. I smile softly and trace the lines of the broom. Did Draco draw that? It’s beautiful. I sigh and turn back to the rest of the room. Let’s try to find out if there is something interesting here.
I don’t know what I expected to find, but truth is that I don’t find anything. If Draco is hiding something (which I am sure he is) then he is hiding it extremely well. Granted with Voldemort in the house he had to become pretty good at keep anything indiscriminating out of sight. I found little more than more school stuff and some unfinished sketches. So he did indeed do the drawings himself. But if I wanted to find some confirmation about whether he is Spy A I come up completely empty. I also run spells over the room to find any magic seals. I found one or two but I didn’t manage to break any. And I am not so desperate to bring a professional in here. Besides the fact that it would be a huge invasion into Draco’s private sphere which I do not want. So with a last sigh, I turn back to the door. In a last thought I carefully pry the drawing of the Quidditch player from the wall and stuff it in my pocket.
Outside I call for the house elf again. She eagerly agrees to help me find my way back through the Manor. On the walk out I give it another try to find out who ordered her to feed the prisoners, but she just shakes her head again and says she is not allowed to tell. Sighing I say goodbye at the door and apparate back to Grimmauld place, glad to be out of Malfoy Manor.
Home again I pull the drawing out of my pocket. I am staring at it for a bit until I set it on the fireplace mantle, sticking it next to a photo of Draco I found somewhere I can’t remember anymore. It’s his drawing after all.
Chapter 7: Feelings and hints
you're getting the next chapter now because I don't know when I will update next.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
In September I return back to school at Hermione’s request together with her, Ron and everyone else who couldn’t complete their 7th year because of the war. McGonnagall, who is headmistress now, sets up a whole new dorm for what she calls the 8th year. The houses are mixed in the dorm because by far not everyone returned. Some didn’t survive the war, others moved away or just simply don’t want to finish school. But even then you can see the difference in the houses. While basically everyone from Gryffindor who made it through the war returned as well, Ravenclaw is about halfed and there are only a few Hufflepuffs. In our year that is. As for Slytherin. We don’t have any in the 8th year. After Malfoy got imprisoned most of them feared coming back I guess.
All in all Hogwarts seems empty to me. Every year is smaller than usual, Slytherin especially. Everyone of the younger years treats me like some sort of god. It’s annoying if I’m honest. Well, the snake house still doesn’t. They are sneaking through the hallways these days, heads bowed and trying to draw as little attention to themselves as they can. The once so proud house is now forced to hide in the shadows. No matter when you go to the hospital wing these days you can always find some Slytherin there. So much for house unity. The other three houses are constantly attacking them. It’s frustrating and in all honesty disgusting. I don’t know how many times I tried to make clear that fighting is not going to help anyone.
And if I am honest I miss the fights I had with Malfoy. His retorts, no matter how insulting, and the flashing of his grey eyes. But he isn’t at Hogwarts, rather he is rotting in Azkaban for crimes he didn’t commit. I haven’t given up on getting him out of the prison, but I haven’t gotten any further either. Neither is there any progress on the matter of Spy A. I have looked through any material the Order had but couldn’t find anything. Also school caught up with me. Only because Snape is not here anymore doesn’t make it any easier. With schoolwork, Quidditch and friends there is little time to ponder over mysterious men. I am already getting teased about having some unknown girlfriend (or boyfriend according to Seamus).
Ginny isn’t very receptive about such rumours. Despite the fact that we are not together. But she seems to have problems understanding that. No matter how many times I told her that we aren’t, she just tries again. And I do not appreciate it when I am buried in some Order stuff to find out something about Spy A and she suddenly drapes herself over my lap. In these moments I am so glad that we don’t live in the Gryffindor tower anymore and have our own common room. And my single room. Still her favourite hobby nowadays seems to be following me around. How annoying.
“Harry! There you are!” And speak of the devil…
“What is it, Ginny?” I sigh and turn around.
I cringe when she latches onto my arm. Even after five months in school which I spent trying to get away from her, she still hasn’t caught on to the fact that I don’t want anything from her. With a scowl I pry her away from myself again. She giggles.
“Why are you so grumpy? I thought you would be happy to see me,” she smiles, trying to press herself against my body.
“Ginny,” I groan, taking a step away, “I have told you before that I am not in the mood for your games.”
She pouts, “These are no games. I love you.”
And there goes the problem. Because I don’t love her. At least not in the way she wants it. She is like a sister to me and even Ron has accepted that by now. I know it felt like I loved her in 6th year, but back then it was probably just the most straightforward way, so I loved her. But now that I am free of Voldemort and for the first time can live just like I want without him looming over me, I feel only like a sister for her. If she would just comprehend that…
“And I told you I don’t,” I grumble, absolutely not in the mood right now, “Leave me alone, Ginny.”
Her lip trembles, “But you love me too. You said so.”
“That was two years ago, Ginny. I changed a lot. The war changed everyone. You are like a sister to me, Gin. I said that before. A sister not a lover,” I explain exasperatedly.
“But,” she sniffles, “But we wanted to marry one day and…”
“You!” I yell, my annoyance finally reaching the boiling point, “You wanted to marry. I never said anything like that! It’s true I loved you during 6th year, but I don’t anymore. Get that into your head. You are a sister to me not more! And we are not coming back together! So stop following me around.”
“But I…” tears are running down her cheeks and my anger evaporates again.
I sigh, “Ginny, I am sorry. But I don’t feel for you that way. And it’s not going to change. For sure not if you keep pushing yourself on me,” I softly touch her shoulder, “Let me go. Find someone who loves you back as much as you deserve, Ginny.”
“But I thought…” she sniffles, then scowls, “There is someone else, isn’t there?”
“What?” her question catches me completely off guard.
“You are in love with someone else, aren’t you?” she repeats angrily.
“No,” I stumble, “There is no one.”
She only hisses, “I can see it in your eyes. When you pour over those mysterious papers no one but Hermione and Ron are allowed to see. You are in love with her, aren’t you? Or is it a he, Harry? Is that why you never seemed to react much to me,” she sneers.
When I don’t answer her, she only gives a wet snort and turns around, stomping down the corridor away from me. I am left there standing shocked. I look like I am in love while I am reading the reports of Spy A? Such a bullshit! How can you be in love with a person you know nothing but the gender of? And where does she get the idea that I’m gay. Granted I have long suspected that I am bisexual. My obsession with Malfoy is way too strong. Only when a gush of cold air rips me out of my musings, do I remember my original destination. I was on my way to McGonagall’s office to floo over to Andromeda’s house and visit Teddy.
Still grumbling I finally storm into the round room. The headmistress only throws me a questioning look, one eyebrow raised and motions to the fire place. Ignoring her, I move in front of it, taking some powder. I throw it in the fire, yell the address and step through. On the other side I stumble out. I still hate floo. Only to hear laughter and see Andromeda standing in the doorway.
“Hello Harry. Great that you are here,” she walks over and embraces me.
I smile, “I am always glad to come. I enjoy spending time with Teddy.”
“He misses you too,” she gives a sad smile back as we step apart again.
Ten minutes later we are sitting on the sofa with tea in front of us and Teddy cuddled into my chest.
“So how are things at school?” she asks, “You seem to be a bit unsettled by something.”
I sigh, letting my eyes drop down to the sleeping infant on my chest, “Just before I came here, I was ambushed by Ginny. I finally exploded and told her that I don’t love her that way. Rather forceful if you want to see it that way. I think she finally understood. But…”
“But?” she urges.
“Well, you remember how I asked you about that Spy A. And Ginny said I look like I am in love when I think about whoever this is. But I don’t know him at all. And it’s a guy!” I grumble, burying my face in Teddy’s soft hair (currently black to fit my own locks).
She chuckles, “Are you against being with another man?”
“No, no,” I hurriedly move to correct her, “That’s not it. I have just never thought about it. I mean I can appreciate it when a guy looks attractive and I have never found that weird. But actually being with another man…”
“Hm, I guess it’s a big step,” she agrees, “But maybe it would be the right thing for you? From your stories I always had the impression that you were never completely happy with your girlfriends.”
“Hm,” I mumble, “I don’t know. I always felt that they somehow loved me for the fact that I am Harry Potter, the wizarding world’s saviour. At least partly. I don’t want that. I want someone who sees me as Harry and only Harry.”
Smiling, she pets my hand, “And is there someone like that? You seem pretty sure about it.”
Surprised I look at her for a moment. Then the words register in my brain and I burry my face back in Teddy’s hair as light blond hair and silver eyes flash through my mind again. I groan. Andromeda laughs softly.
“So you have someone like that in mind,” I only groan again, which gets another giggle from her, “Let me guess it’s a male.”
I nod embarrassed, she only laughs again and stands up, “Well then. Maybe you should just try. And I could have something that would perhaps help you. But it might shock you too.”
“What do you mean?” I ask as I lift my head back up, cheeks burning red at the thought of Malfoy as my lover.
She only waves me off and bustles away into the back rooms. A few minutes later she comes back, a small leather-bound book in hand. Her face holds a sad smile, but she comes over eagerly nonetheless. Grinning she plucks the sleeping baby from my arms and pushes the book at me. Staring at it curiously, I turn it in my hands.
She smiles sadly, “Remus’ diary from his 6th year in Hogwarts.”
I frown even more deeply, “Why would you give that to me?”
She grins mischievously, chasing away most of the sadness in her face, “Because you are not the only one who has been more than experimenting with both genders.”
I choke on my own breath while she chuckles again, “Look at page 67.”
Hurriedly I flip to the aforementioned page. What I see there causes my eyes to widen. The entry of the 8th November speaks of Lupin doing more than just kissing. And not with a girl. No, with my godfather Sirius. I cough when the part gets a bit too explicit, hearing a giggle from the woman again. Sweeping my eyes over the next entries up until their last year, I find out that it was more than just a bit of fooling around. They were in an actual relationship for some years. Why did no one ever tell me that? I groan and burry my face in my hands up until something catches my eyes.
That handwriting! It’s about the same as the second one in the reports. Especially the peculiar way to do the ‘g’. It was Lupin who continued the reports of Spy A after Dumbledore’s death. He must know who it is as well. Yeah, apart from the fact that I can’t ask him either. All three persons who I am sure knew Spy A’s identity are dead. Dumbledore, Remus and Snape. I can only hope Andromeda knows something.
So I shoot up at her, “Did you know Remus worked with that spy?”
“What?” she looks back at me in surprise, not the response she expected to the diary, “That one you talked about? Not that I know of. Why do you ask?”
“Because it’s his handwriting on the reports,” I bore, “Did he never say anything?”
“No, he never,” she falls silent for some moments, “Now that you talk about it. He sometimes disappeared and no one knew where he were. Later on Tonks seemed to be aware of it as well, but he never said anything about it to me. I’m sorry.”
I deflate again, “Nothing at all?”
“No, I…” she starts, then frowns, “Wait a moment.”
I stare at her surprised as she dumps Teddy back in my arms who squeals in delight. Then she hurries off somewhere upstairs again. My attention is diverted back to the baby in my arms as he giggles and tugs at my hair. I smile, his presence letting me forget my troubles for the moment. I hear his grandmother rummage around above us. After about five minutes later she comes back, nothing but a small scrap of paper in her hand. She sits next to me again.
“Unfortunately I don’t know anything. But this came through the fireplace one day. It had an urgency marking on it and when I showed it to Remus he cursed and flooed away immediately. When he came back he told me to destroy it but at the time I thought I had misplaced it so it survived until now,” she explains hurriedly, handing me the paper and taking Teddy back into her arms, “I think that could perhaps be useful to you.”
With interest I turn the scrap around. I nod eagerly when I read through the words on it.
Urgent message, Wolf!
Just got the notice from Xenophilius Lovegood that Harry Potter is with him. Two men have gone over to check on it. Tell that idiot to get out of there! It’s so close to the Burrow the whole area is being watched. And Lovegood has ratted him out to get his daughter back. Remind that blockhead that he has to think before he acts.
My heart is beating faster at the new clue. There is no hint to his identity, but I can’t help but hear a very familiar voice speaking out of this letter. Words filled with insults, something no one else would really dare towards me. I feel like I have seen the handwriting before as well. Again platinum blond hair flits through my mind. The suspicion is getting stronger, but I have no way to prove that Malfoy is indeed Spy A.
And getting proof is an entirely difficult matter. Those who could tell me are dead. I asked Snape’s as well as Dumbledore’s portrait but I got the same answer from both of them. ‘I am only a portrait, I don’t know everything the original knew.’ Tilly won’t tell me anything either. The only possibility would be to take memories forcefully but that’s against the law and I would never do anything like that. Also to get into the Manor would involve weeks of waiting again to get the permission. It would be easier to talk to Malfoy directly. But to get permission to speak with him in his cell in Azkaban is even more difficult and I don’t think even Luna has managed to get through yet. Not that I think he would just tell me.
I groan. No matter the good intentions this is so difficult.
Even though I think to have the puzzle completed, finding proof turns out to be near impossible. No matter how many times I apply for permission to visit Draco in Azkaban it is refused each and every time. Not even playing the ‘Saviour Card’ (as Hermione calls it), no matter how much I hate to do it, helps. I have been to the Manor again, but there are more sections sealed than open and another search of Draco’s room brought nothing new. The seals I found last time have disappeared too, but Hermione told me of magic seals that only work if they are continuously infused by their creator’s magic, otherwise they self-destroy and take whatever was sealed inside with them.
Life has caught up with me again. The school year finished with me not finding so much of a scrap of new information. Hermione and I tried every last loophole to get Draco out of prison but no chance.
As soon as the ministry hears the name ‘Malfoy’ they put up walls. We have achieved lighter punishments for a bunch of other people in similar situations like him though. A little victory, just not the one I wished for. As for the proof, I have run out of options. The only thing I haven’t tried is talking to Draco directly, but I doubt he would be much help nowadays. Luna managed to get through the ministry three months ago and was allowed to visit him in his cell and what she told me was anything but encouraging. I remember that day clearly.
~ flashback ~
I am reading through one of the books I got from my teachers in the healing classes. I decided to become a healer in the end. Even though both Hermione and Ron urged me to become an auror like I said in 5th year. Everyone thought I would apparently. But I have had enough of fighting the bad guys for a lifetime from these seven years. I needed to do something else. As a healer I can help people just as well and don’t have to throw curses ever again. I spent about half a year after Hogwarts not sure what I wanted to do but then I went to Malfoy Manor again and nicked some of Draco’s healing books (together with the drawing of the horse and some of his sketches). I read some of them and found it interesting. That’s when I decided that healer is the job I want to do. Two months ago I have started classes and I enjoy them.
But suddenly my calm is broken as the fireplace flares up in angry green flames. And to my surprise a flustered Luna tumbles out. In her haste she has to catch herself on the sofa in front of the fireplace. Hurriedly I stand up and help her steady herself. Wide eyes under a chaotic blond mane stare at me.
“Luna. Are you okay?” I ask worried.
“It is outrage,” she huffs, “What? Harry, yes, I’m okay.”
“That’s good,” I say as I lead her over to the couch to sit down and nonverbally summon a glass of juice, “So what happened?”
“Yes, you remember that I said the ministry finally allowed me to visit Draco,” she says and dread settles into my stomach, “Today was the day they let me see him,” she takes a swallow of juice, “Not enough that they already treated me nearly like a criminal just because I wanted to visit a classmate of mine. They ran countless searching spells over me and took my wand. Only then would they let me down there. And I tell you it’s awful there. No light, no warmth, no fresh air. Only cold, damp, dark stone, bars, guards and those god-forsaken dementors. These are no human living conditions.”
I listen to her ramblings, the feeling of dread strengthening. I never thought they would treat him well. I have never been to that part of Azkaban (or the prison itself) but that it was that inhuman? Well, I should have suspected it, the prison is known to drive even perfectly sane people crazy. One of my hands clenches in my lap. What have they done to Draco?
“Have you seen him? Is he okay?” I break off the girl’s babbling.
Clear eyes fix on me, “You have no idea of the conditions down there, do you Harry? No one can be okay down there. I would be surprised if he made it past the first year with part of his sanity intact. So no, Draco is not okay,” she rants and I swallow hard.
“How bad is Draco?” I breathe.
“Bad,” her bright eyes are uncharacteristically hard, “I-I… It was a shock when I saw him first. He looks like ghost.”
“He did that during 6th and 7th year as well,” I grumble sadly.
“Yes, yes, that,” she waves it off, “He looks worse now. He is nothing but skin and bones now, deathly pale. Everything I could see of his skin is covered in bruises and cuts. And he looks like he hasn’t seen anything to clean himself since the day they put him in there.”
My throat feels like someone is squeezing it and I hastily summon myself something to drink as well, “Oh god. I didn’t know he became that bad.”
“That’s not even the worst of it,” she grouses and I feel like someone is trying to crash my chest, “It’s not the outside that worries me. It’s true he looks awful when you see him. But what really worries me is his mental health.”
“His mental health?”
“Yes, he didn’t recognise me at all,” her hands clench as well and her eyes turn wet, “He doesn’t seem to recognise anything. He just stared into nothing. There was no life in his eyes at all. When I came to his cell I greeted him more than loud enough. But all he did was turn his head in my direction and give a small bow. The smile he gave me was as if he was completely elsewhere. Not that I have ever seen him smile at all. I tried to talk to him but he didn’t react. My words didn’t even seem to register in his brain. He barely recognised his name. It’s like his complete soul is gone. The only time he even said anything was when he muttered a ‘Bye’ when I left. Most of the time he didn’t even seem to register that someone was there to begin with.”
My hands are clenched and my face stormy and pained. I never thought such a fate could ever befall the proud Draco Malfoy. My heart beats harshly against my chest and the strength of the panic which seizes me forces the realisation on me that my feelings for the blonde go much further than sympathy and the wish to save him from an undeserved fate.
Suddenly a soft hand on my clenched fists makes me look up, only to meet Luna’s clear orbs, “You have to get him out of there,” she says with an unknown urgency, “Azkaban is harrowing and soul-destroying enough for a stable person, but someone as imbalanced as Draco…”
“I know,” I whisper, “Believe me, I am trying my best. But every time I say his name to the ministry they shut down. And I haven’t yet found proof that he did anything to warrant getting his freedom back. At least nothing the ministry would accept.”
“You have to do something,” she sighs, “He is not going to hold out much longer.”
“I know,” I growl, my magic getting out of control like every time my feelings grow too strong. But Luna doesn’t even flinch when the glasses on the table explode into pieces, “I want nothing more than get him out of there. But the new wizarding world is little better than the old. They still live as much on prejudices as before, only the other direction this time.”
“I agree with you,” she says softly, “But maybe soon something will happen that will finally open the possibility to free him.”
“I hope so,” I answer and relax into her presence.
~ end of flashback ~
Until today I shiver when I think of that day. But no matter what I have tried I didn’t get any bit further in freeing Draco from his imprisonment. As for Spy A I still lack the final proof that it’s actually Draco. By now I have also checked off every other possibility just to make sure. The aurors found lists of the death eaters in Malfoy Manor. I managed to get a copy with the names of everyone who followed Voldemort. I went through every male name that had an ‘A’ in the initials. Half of them are dead, of the other half over two third are accounted for and I talked to them. In the end I can rule out all of them. That leaves me with five more who are either missing or have moved to other countries. But none of them seems anywhere believable. Three were lower ranked, another is nearly 70 now and the last proclaimed his belief in the dark lord even before he joined the death eaters. That leaves only Draco in the end. But I still lack the proof.
That's it for today. Thanks for reading.
Sorry for the long break. Hope you like the chapter nonetheless.
Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine.
Comments are always appreciated and see you next time.