'Do not regard the hour, minute or second when we meet, no matter that the moment be lengthy or fleeting; for long or short it is but a fleeting physical moment next to the movement of spheres.'
1. The Revolutionary:
"It's time." A voice tells me from the doorway.
I look down at the sleeping body in front of me. Wrapped in his favorite, gaudy, red and gold Gryffindor blanket is Harry Potter. So trustingly unconscious in hands of the Slytherin he hated with so much zeal for last seven years of his conscious life. His breathing is shallow, but stable. His body secured in the strongest and most complicated stasis charm of my own design, which retains his health and vitals as they were the day he fell and Voldemort fled as nothing more than a shadow yet again.
It's revolutionary, actually, in the field of healing, this stasis charm of mine. If only my intentions had been as noble as bringing about a revolution in medi-wizardry.
I refuse to be acknowledged for something I did for personal and selfish reasons. Initially, it was a simple stasis to just prevent Potter from dying. I did not really give a thought that I might be preventing him from passing on, which he might have wanted. I wouldn't be a Slytherin if I respected his wants and wishes now would I? Neither was it because I had a profound idea on how to heal him. It was just so he does not die. In the following week, I realized that I had to do something to save him on a more concrete basis and that it was no use just keeping him suspended like that. Every one of the Order of the Phoenix was just as clueless as I, but then they looked up to me. With the death of Pomfrey and Snape, I was partially self-proclaimed and partially appointed healer on Potter's case. Somehow it was Granger who trusted me enough to officially cut me some slack. Of all the people!
This stasis charm allows Potter and his magic to keep constant contact with external forces, yet also forms a time freezing shield, protecting him from the effect of time and non-movement. It allows one to curb all dangers, yet carry on with the healing treatments or magical testing all the while. Brilliant isn't it?
I figured that though I only cared about Potter living, the Order still needed him to finish the job. I still was reluctant to remove him from suspension, reluctant to take the chance on nature. Nature that has always been cruel to me and Potter as it seems.
It is strange how I have made miracles occur in past three years, just for the sheer purpose of holding on to something I do not even have a right to. Gods! I have started to sound like a Gryffindor, but I forgive myself tonight, I smile. It's not my fault that I am surrounded with so many of them. Realizations or no, I stand by my decision of holding Potter back. It is a question of integrity, desperate need, relentless hope...
Perhaps it's all the red I am surrounded by in here all the time that is making me become unhinged by Slytherin standards. I remember this room as it was when Potter had been placed here three years ago with the consensus of all Order members who agreed that Grimmauld place was the safest to keep Potter. this room had been big enough but sparse in furnishings. It was actually a second Ball-room. Have you ever heard of a Ballroom on the Third floor? And why would anyone need a second Ballroom I am still to decipher, but knowing that this was the home of the family my mother belonged to, it's not unexpected. You just have to take a look at the shrieking portrait of my late great-aunt and you will understand.
It only had a double bed, a nightstand and a simple wooden chair under a reading lamp in the beginning. Over the years it's become the center of the whole house. Funny how even a sleeping Potter is still the center of attention. The brat! You would think that people would mind 3 flight of stairs, no such luck. I think it has to do with majority of Gryffindors in the house. What with them and their tower living. Blah!
I admit that I was the first one to add something in here. It had been for the sake of practicality rather than sentimentality or comfort. I had taken the liberty to add a small writing desk in the far corner which I now share with Granger. Imagine, me and Granger sharing something.
Then as if they all got a pass or something. Granger and Weasley added their own chairs and couches surrounding the lone fireplace with a coffee table. All in different shades of red and Brown and gold. Molly Weasley added a few potted plants which I have been thankful for, for a natural touch of green. Weaslette added the gaudy red and Gold curtains surrounding the windows and the recliner on the right side of Potter's bed, in which she sleeps sometimes, and Fred and George had brought their wireless, a source of real annoyance to me most evenings, when those closest to Potter lounge about him having tea and including him in conversations. I usually slip off at times like those, and when I am somehow unluckily stalled from slipping off by Mother Weasley or the twins, I just keep mum and watch closely and silently how these people dote upon Potter. How completely loved he is. It's a bittersweet feeling and most of the time makes me more aware of my borrowed time and how I was never loved that unconditionally. Not that I would ever say such a thing out loud.
The bed he lies on is surrounded by wards that would prevent anyone who with ill intention tries to touch him or cast a spell at him. Gracing them with a sizable magical shock in return. I have improvised these wards on such a scale that now they are multilayered to an extent that charms and protective potions have been added to them. Even a highly qualified Unspeakable would need hours to undo them as we tested, and even if they succeed in removing the wards they would still have to remove the protective locket that lays around Potter's neck, my most prized possession, an ancient silver Malfoy family emblem a green drop shaped Emerald surrounded by slithering serpents inlaid in a nest of peacock feathers, charmed and warded to protect Potter from Physical harm by the most basic yet strongest blood magic so extreme that it can easily pass as dark I am that thorough. Three years are very adequate to be so thorough. I am after all someone who found a way to bring Death-eaters into Hogwarts, which even Voldemort himself had been unable to do. At the age of sixteen, mind you, with Potter on my trail 24/7. I am not proud of it, I am just saying, if there is anyone who thinks out of the box, or is patient enough to look through the box to the very end, it is me. Draco Malfoy.
Three years I have spent in this room standing by the window that I enchanted to show the view from Potter's dorm window at Hogwarts or sitting next to this bed on which he lays, looking down at the only possible hope of the light side, lying in a deep sleep that I have spend hours and hours to wake him from. Fighting and cursing and spying and hunting, during the day and coming back to this room, night after night after night all the while. Three years and it's finally time. Tonight Potter will either wake, or we both will die. It's time. I thought I would be hyper-ventilating tonight, strangely I feel very serene. Is this how these Gryffindors feel when they charge into battle for the sake of a Noble cause? My style is more shrewd and calculating, but tonight I am serene. How fitting.
"You hear that Potter? It's time to wake up and finish the job. I would not let you slack off any longer you Gryffindork." I lean down and whisper in his ear before I get up from my perch on his side.
2. The Wand:
I move towards the muggle painting of a Gypsy dancing, on the left side wall and remove the frame from the wall that hides a muggle secret safe, Granger's idea, complete with a number dial and a fingerprint input mechanism which recognizes only four people. Yes they included Potter, they are that optimistic. I am just certain. The door gives a grumble and a hiss before it comes ajar. It stores only one item and one item alone. I pull out the long rectangular box I fashioned myself out of old Kashmiri Sandal wood inlaying charms to make it a vessel worth containing what it was supposed to and gifted sleeping Potter for his Eighteenth birthday two years ago. The gift was symbolic. A safe containment to the only thing Potter and I shared. I am pathetic I know. I was only Eighteen too, you know.
Closing the safe firmly behind me I settle down on the conjured chair on which I have spent what seems like a thousand nights and probably are a thousand nights. I patiently recite the incantation that opens the box which Potter would only need to touch, to receive that ancient piece of elder wood. The death stick. The one wand that's the master of them all. The one wand that I had unknowingly earned the allegiance of that fateful night when I had disarmed Dumbledore atop the Hogwarts astronomy tower before it chose another master, the Master that lays before me today as this madness comes to an end. Hopefully.
I have envisioned this day almost every day for past Three years. How the events had paved to make way for this day. It's nothing short of providence. Three years ago, the light and the dark side had stood face to face the savior against the destroyer head to head in the great hall of the great Hogwarts. The duel of the millennium ensued between Harry Potter and Voldemort. But something had gone wrong. Neville Longbottom had failed in slaying Nagini before it had struck him down to his death and as final blow came and Voldemort cast his final killing spell whilst Potter cast his disarming spell the Elder wand had flew to its master right out of Voldermort's hand. Voldemort's body had been destroyed but the magical backlash had struck Potter once again. What happened next I remember only in bits and pieces. I remember that I had plunged forward towards Potter and only been able to grab hold of his hand with the elder wand when the magical backlash had hit him and me. I do not remember the rest. As the next time I had opened my eyes had been an hour later. The last Horcrux had escaped and so had nine death eaters belonging to the inner circle. My father and mother had both been killed by the fleeing death eaters to be made example of. I had been unconscious when they were killed in the aftermath. It still makes my heart heavy, but we Malfoys are no victims to sentimentality. Only perhaps when we are charming windows for our sleeping Arch-nemesis? Well…
The secret was out. The last piece of Voldemort, a Horcrux still existed and so the Guerrilla war started again. This time the light side had control of the ministry whilst the death eaters were in hiding. This time they did not need Harry Potter to bring back Voldemort and there surely were ways and rituals to bring back that abomination for one last time, as Potter lay in stasis with no way or ritual to reawaken him and nothing to defend him anymore from Voldemort. Even if this time Voldemort was mortal. All knew it was only a matter of time the world would fall to darkness again. The prophecy was in suspension. But I now know what would work. I finally know, and I'll see if any force can stop me from helping this war to the final winning conclusion.
When Voldemort returned six months ago, all hope was lost, though determination wasn't, and then a night in drunken stupor with Weasley and Granger brought forward the answer to the Questions that caused all the melancholy, 'what happened?'
The answer to which would win us this war. Just a sliver of hope. One last chance.
It was really the oldest and most widely told story about Harry Potter that contained the answer to all our problems.
19 years ago, baby Potter had been shielded from the killing curse and the resulting magical backlash as Voldemort was destroyed with nothing but a scar to show for it, by such a simple thing. An ancient magic, a little ritual that involved a little thing called 'Love'.
Potter's mother had sacrificed her life for Potter. Such a little thing isn't it? It was something that brought to my attention to another simple thing. Oh how a little thing called intention can cause so much chaos. My intention that was just that, an intention, never brought to fruition into an actual action. My hands had been tied, metaphorically of course. I kept telling myself. I had been running from facing a simple thing for so long, just for its implications. What did it matter when the world was going to end?
You see, the events that lead to Potter gaining the allegiance of the Elder Wand were not as they were thought to be. Yes, everyone knew that I had refused to recognize Potter when he had been brought to The Malfoy Manor alongside Granger, in order to allow Potter a chance to escape so that in the long run he could fulfill the prophecy. That is what they think and say, to fill in the blanks. That's what I kept telling myself in order to hide my own real intentions for doing what I did myself. Everyone knows that Potter had disarmed me and taken my wand from me when he had escaped from the Manor. What everyone does not know is that when that dunderhead had disarmed me, I was about to intentionally give him my wand in order to facilitate his escape. Why? In my drunken stupor, it had been easy to consciously realize. The magic word was Love.
I loved that over-enthusiastic, foolishly noble and stupidly modest Gryffindork. I loved him with every pore of me. I loved him in an all encompassing capacity. I had loved him from the moment he had refused me that hand of friendship in the first year. I had loved him when he had kicked me to the dust in the second year and stolen the snitch from me.
I had loved him again and again until that fateful day in the abandoned girl's Lavatory when I had cast a Cruciatus on him unsuccessfully for stumbling on to my misery, which he had returned with a cutting curse. I had cast the torture curse on him as the retaliation, not for witnessing my weakness or enmity, but to get a taste of the torture I had been under for years because of him. Because of loving him when I was supposed to hate him, just the way he hated me. For being a slave to instinct and constant reaction to him. For carrying the passion and aggression that disables all feeling of contentment with just a look his way. For punishing myself for the eternal line drawn between him and me. For being the center of my universe since I first laid eyes on him. That was the moment I realized that I did not hate Potter. If I had, my curse would not have been unsuccessful. No matter what they say, I have always been a better duelist than him. My harmful curses just never worked on him, because there was always hurt behind them, never hate. Breaking his nose by physically stomping on it was the farthest I had gone in hurting him.
I still remember the look in his eyes as he stood there looking down at me with haunting eyes, through the water that was spraying all over the place from the pipes that had shattered because of our swift fight. His eyes wide and shining, so scared of what he had done, I knew he had not known what that curse could do, his mind was like an open book for a skilled Legilimens and I was and am one of the very best. I wanted him to know how thankful I was of dying at that moment at his hands. I wanted to tell him that I was dying willingly because I could not take the darkness that was Voldemort anymore. I wanted to say that he was a worthy adversary and to die at the hands of a worthy adversary was the highest honor for a Malfoy. But I had been captured and frozen by those haunted, scared, shining, green eyes that held so much fear for me as seconds ticked by and my life force colored the wet lavatory floor red and finally I was denied the death I wanted so desperately denied a perfect moment to die.
Severus had come and Potter had been whisked off. Severus, from whom I inherited the ability and the curse to love so deeply and destructively, until it annihilated you to mere ashes. We made the same mistakes that resulted in same consequences. We both set in motion events that spiraled out of control with our foolishness and weakness and concluded in claiming from us the ultimate show of bravery and strength. That last final ultimate sacrifice. History is repeating itself. Had my intention not been of handing my wand over to Potter the moment he disarmed me in the Manor, the result would have been much different. Voldemort would have been vanquished, Potter would have claimed victory and…
But I had been selfish, and hasty, I had not trusted in his ability to save himself and I had not wanted him to come to any harm. My heart had made the choice for me, a simple intention and Potter's predictability had lead to this. This one wand, the master of them all had given Potter his allegiance for disarming me, but had not broken allegiance from me at the same time because of my Intention of handing over my wand in order to help Potter escape. Potter had not won my wand, I had chosen to lose it which is not really losing at all. So the Elder wand had now two masters. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. My intentions had lead me here.
I realized, my Love almost killed Potter.
The next time I had faced Potter had been in the Room of requirement few hours before the Battle of Hogwarts. I had only followed Potter in there because Crabbe and Goyle were following him. The Golden Trio were too careless to watch their backs, so I followed, all the while trying to think of ways to make Crabbe and Goyle get off the trail. I had been a failure then. The Fiendfyre was cast and then it all became an inferno at the center of which was Potter. I do not know where they got hold of brooms. All I know is that Potter was flying to safety as I climbed atop a pile of broken furniture to see a glimpse of him escaping to safety. I should have known better that that Gryffindor foolishness would not let him escape without trying to rescue me. I remember those eyes, reflecting the orange flame, sparkling, pleading with me to take hold of the hand he had put forward; I wanted to refuse it, just as he had that first night at Hogwarts. Had I hated him, I would not have taken the hand as he hadn't once upon a time.
Since that night of intoxicated realizations Six months ago I researched extensively and once I had a solid line to follow I included Granger in my research. She proved to be an invaluable research partner. Together we tested theory after theory regarding wands and masters and the nature of magical allegiance between wand and its master, even Weasley contributed sometimes with his simple monotonous mind, his uncanny ability to stick to the basics was just what we needed at times when we wandered too far off the crux of our research. I even caught myself complimenting him twice.
In last Three months I have also become civil with the Weaslette who is a fierce fighter and usually on the front lines in the hunt of the death eaters. She comes to Potter's bedside every night she is not out hunting and sits for a few hours while I work extensively on the conjured workstation in the far corner of the room. She forgets usually after a few minutes that I am present in the room and she whispers all those love stricken, heart breaking things into Potter's ears. She croons at him and say affectionate nothings in his ear so easily. It must be all true if it flows out of her mouth so effortlessly I often wonder. I envy her. I know she is the one who holds Potter's heart. The one he is supposed to marry and have a basket full of red-haired and green-eyed children with. The one to share his bed, home, body and heart. When this is all over. She is going to be his everything. She is perfect for him. She is going to be his world. I have seen many times in the past how Potter followed her with his eyes. I had unknowingly noticed how he pinned after her when she was dating other guys in our sixth year. She is the one and she is flawless. Her love would give Potter life, together they will make their Paradise. My love shall be banished to hell, where it belongs, it already burns in the core of my soul. I hope she survives the night. Oh yes this is the hell I paved with my good intentions all right. How obscenely melodramatic! I am half a Black after all.
According to our findings, in a few instances recorded in history, a wand has responded to two masters, but then again, the will of the wand always favored the more powerful wizard. In light of this theory, the elder wand should have completely yielded to Potter's command that day as according to Dumbledore's and Ollivander's records Potter was the magically stronger wizard as tested on the purchase of his first wand. It was a covert mission of Dumbledore's and Ollivander's to keep track and eye on the most powerful wizards and witches that found home at Hogwarts. A rather brilliant idea which was executed even more brilliantly.
The first wand that was handed to all the first years when they went to purchase their wands at Ollivander's was a magic measuring wand and for all the years that Dumbledore remained a headmaster at Hogwarts, he was informed of the magical capacity of all the students that came to Hogwarts. It was a highly forbidden practice which neither the ministry nor the board of Governor's at Hogwarts knew anything about. We only found out about it when McGonagall had handed over Dumbledore's journal and his research to us when we started the research. The password to his records was provided by Dumbledore's portrait. From the records we found out that mine and Granger's magical power was somewhat same. With Weasley following closely and Potter leading us by a whole 2 points. Standing somewhat equal to Tom Riddle's magical power as estimated by Dumbledore.
The mystery thickened, when we through request and some heavy convincing asked Old Mr. Ollivander to come and measure Harry again. As he measured the unconscious Harry, we came to find that his magical power had reduced by one and a half point. He still lead us with half a point. At Hermoine's suggestion tested me as well and found that my magical power had increased half a point since my first testing at the age of eleven making me the exactly equal to Potter now. I gained many answers that evening as Ollivander gave us his theory regarding the confused Elder wand that now responded to its full capacity only when I and Potter both yielded it at the same time. Or would respond fully to one only if the other died. Granger had looked at me in horror while I had been unable to hide my smile for a moment at the realization. Such a simple solution really. Being the brightest witch of her age also made her the most practical witch as well. She had looked at me far too often and closely after that night to my chagrin.
Next I went through all that was known about the Elder wand and Antioch Peverell's theories regarding Magic and allegiance. The arrogant fool had not even considered the fact that someone would willingly surrender their wand, his pride and inclination towards dark magic and power had hood winked him towards the anomalies that could result if the willing surrender of his wand should ever occur. The wand itself had been confused. The moment the wand had flew out of Voldemort's hand and into Potter's if a banishment or killing curse had been cast by both me and him, Voldemort would have been vanquished alongside any of his remaining Horcruxes. Such was the power of the Elder wand. Since no one knew that the wand had two masters only Voldemort had been destroyed, Nagini had escaped, and because of the lack of Lilly Potter's protection or the piece of Voldemort's soul inside Harry, I had only been able to cast a raw reflexive of a protection shield. Out of sheer desperation to save Potter. It had not killed him, but it had not saved him either, which is where the dilemma lied.
Potter had to be the one to Kill Voldemort. In light of what happened last time that Potter tried to finish Voldemort without protection, Potter would not survive the kill not to forget he would not be able to yield the final blow without me and him striking Voldemort at the same time. So, Potter needed to be protected again, which I knew how to do. Potter needed to yield the full power of the Elder wand, which I also had an idea how to make happen. But first and foremost Potter needed to wake up and that was the only thing I needed to still figure out. Time was short and the competition tough.
With Voldemort's return the attacks started again. This time he is rumored to be possessing the Body of Rodolphus Lestrange' somewhat reminiscent of how he once possessed the body of Professor Quirrell. Only now it is a full body possession and Lestrange's body has been purged of his own soul if he ever had one. If Potter has the kind of protection that was provided by his mother, Voldemort would yet again be unable to touch Harry, since the resurrection this time did not involve Harry's blood. Voldemort is at his weakest this time, though being a part of his death eaters once upon a time, I know he would under-estimate the light side once again. such are the drawbacks that come with an over the top sense of superiority Voldemort possesses. He is expecting Harry to be at his weakest with no Dumbledore. In Voldemort's books, he only needs to add enough torque to attack the Order head-quarters one time to destroy Harry Potter. If he was not so conceited like he was the past Seven times he tried to take Potter's life, he would never walk into the trap I have laid, but he is, and I'd be damned if I am not Slytherin enough to take advantage of his weaknesses. Plural of course.
So we knew six months ago that this was our final chance. I had to devise an extremely Slytherin plan, something Voldemort would least expect when so many Gryffindor's were involved. After all Severus Snape was the most prominent Slytherin to ever be part of Order, covertly of course, and he had never been able to make a plan of his own. The cards were different this time. Credit goes to Granger who was leading the order this time and was indeed bright enough to leave the planning to a Slytherin. I, with the help of most of Potter's Order have designed a metaphorical trail of bread crumbs and tonight all the puzzle pieces are in place, except one, which is about to fall into place just in time.
3. The Cure:
After years of research and fail to find a way to bring out Potter from his comatose state, and I was able to take the risk and diagnose that even if the Stasis was removed, that Potter won't die, weaken and age he will, but his body won't die instantly. It was one of my first victories. That resilient bugger! But how to heal him? Cure him out of this coma?
The answer came to me 2 months ago, almost like a divine intervention. While playing a muggle word game called scrabble, Aunt Andromeda had made a word on the board, a winning word against Weasley, which had brought me Potter's cure. It was funny how basic it was really. Extreme again, risqué, ancient but very basic. The magic word was. 'Axiom'.
"Axiom?" Weasley said bending his head to read it correctly upside down, "Is that even a word? I have never heard it!" My mind had registered it, snorted at Weasley's obviously scarce vocabulary and in a rush of relative thinking which I have always used to remember information to retrieve it's actual meaning, and in what sentence I had come across it first. Axiom…
"Yes Ron, axiom is a word. It means a generally accepted truth." Granger said peeking from the Tome she was bent upon just a few inches away, Little Teddy napping in her lap.
"Axiom of least contradiction" My mind provided in a flash, and my mouth delivered swiftly. I was startled by the sound of my own voice. Granger looked up at me startled at my loud delivery as well.
"Huh?" she said with a confused expression. She should've made the connection like me straight away. I looked at my Aunt Andromeda who was looking at me confused as well.
"Axiom of least contradiction, Granger, surely you know the second law of Meta-magic according to Lyndon's theory?" I looked at her imploringly. A theory so ridiculous that it might actually work was unfolding in my mind. Oh Gods how had I not thought of it before?
"Meta-magic? I have never heard of such a thing…" Granger looked at me, curiosity sparkling in her eyes. This time Aunt Andromeda's eyes flashed recognition.
"Granger, 'Axiom of least contradiction' means that the seven rules that are all encompassing of all five disciplines of magic should be equated in such a way that all differences are neutralized until the disruption in magic is harmonized."
"Whoa! Encyclopedia Malfoy! Stop showing off, I get it, 'axiom' is a word, you win Andy!" Weasley was saying in the background.
"Shut up for a moment Ron!" Granger snapped at him and then looked back at me questioningly.
"Five disciplines of magic? As in Merlin's Disciplines of Magic?" she asked. Was it possible that she had never even heard of Lyndon?
It is human nature to go after the least challenging goals. Same had happened to Magic in general over the millenniums. The Five disciplines of magic had been suspended as they were, a mixture of their easiest part had been formed which was now known as wizardry. Merlin was the founder of this modern order of magic that really did not even scratch the surface of the real magic. The magic we now performed and were taught was limited to spells, charms, wards, hexes, potions and on extreme ends mind altering magic. Whereas the basic five disciplines transcended all boundaries until they connected in their own raw and natural way to the very magic that made the existence of the world possible. The practice had been abandoned ages ago because of its extremity and Merlin had devised a simpler form of magic in order to save it from total extinction. Extinction still happened but only for the Ancient disciplines.
Lyndon was a wizard who was the first one in modern history to have mentioned the Ancient Magical disciplines. Naturally because of their extreme and dangerous nature his theories were shunned and his concepts ridiculed. He found only one believer, which was a very young Salazar Slytherin. Though Slytherin only had been able to compile a few proofs that in his books made the 'Disciplines' a somewhat metaphorical reality, like a postulate. In general knowledge, he never went farther than that, but in reality, the reason for Slytherin's eventual downfall had been his research and attempt at mastering at least one of these Disciplines. It was the best kept secret in all ancient Pure-blooded families. So naturally, a curious Ten year old Malfoy with a healthy curiosity and thirst for forbidden knowledge would find one or two forbidden tomes in the ancient and formidable Malfoy Manor library.
"Thaumaturgy, Alchemy, Sorcery, Magic and Wizardry five disciplines, the one who masters them all becomes a Meta-magician." I explained to Granger.
"But, that does not make any sense. Wizardry is all of these combined Draco!"
"No Granger, Wizardry as you know is only the easiest bits and pieces of all these five disciplines. The most powerful wizard today can't even claim to be a master at even the single one of these disciplines, they within themselves are too extreme and now we have moved too far from them but I am thinking that that is where the answer to our dilemma lies."
"Really? How so?" now I had the whole room's arrested attention.
"Meta-magic in its full form is the healing magic that is powerful enough to heal earth itself. It harmonizes and fixes whatever is lacking wherever. We have been trying for 3 years to find what is specifically wrong with Potter, or what is specifically needed to heal him, what we actually need is something like meta-magic that is not specific and harmonizes and heals whatever is wrong."
"Draco you cannot be serious love, You cannot possibly think to become a meta-magician? It is a theory that has not seen an attempt, let alone actual practice in more than a Thousand years and has never seen success, period." Aunt Andromeda said, her expression incredulous, she resembled my mother so much at times like these.
"No Aunt Andromeda, I do not intend to become a meta-magician, I only intend to do to some extent what Merlin did. I am going to extract and tailor and stitch specific elements to design a shadow of Meta-magic strong enough to heal one person. You must see that it will require a rather small effort, seeing as Meta-magic heals the magic of Earth itself that is home to millions and millions of magical creatures. I am only surprised at why it has never occurred to someone to do it?"
"I am listening!" Granger said as Aunt Andromeda attempted to make sense of it in her head. I smiled at Granger before I started throwing ideas at her. Had she looked closely, which I'd hoped she wouldn't, she would have noticed that this smile was somewhat familiar. I only had to divert her hunger for research and make her specifically research the five disciplines and their seven laws and keep her away from Meta-magic. Yes, she should not come across the three laws of Meta-magic which in their gist were
- Undeniable acceptance of the equality of all seven laws.
- Harmonization between the differences of the seven laws.
And the last
- Dedication to healing through self-sacrifice.
After extensive discussions for the week, we decided a deadline at which all means should come to an end. Every symphony has a crescendo, every story its climax, every assignment its deadline.
Tonight is the night that I perform the final magic, As the ancient wall clock shows that it's almost Half past Ten, I know the time for musings, memories and retrospect is gone. Tonight is when Potter will finally wake and Tonight is the night when Voldemort dies. Tonight, I also turn twenty-one. Happy Birthday to me.
I levitate Potter's bed and place it in the center of the room. Divesting him of his blanket. All the furniture has been cleared out of the room except the bed. Granger steps in with the supplies I would need for the ritual. She stands just by the door, holding out a satchel. I nod at her as I take it from her.
"Everyone's in position, Voldemort's is gathering forces. He has taken the bait Draco." She says. Her expression is solemn and broken. Yes, impending doom has the capacity to do that. I look down at her hands which reach for my hand. She is wearing a ring. Finally the Weasel has taken the plunge.
"I guess congratulations are in order Granger. Do try to teach him some table manners once you tie him down." I smile at her. Taking hold of her hands properly.
"Draco, I know…" she hesitates. "I know what you are about to do." Her eyes are shining with wetness. Are those tears for me?
"Then you also know Granger that I never take a chance on anything that does not gain me something?" I smile at her and hope she confuses it for a smirk. She looks confused for a second.
"Draco?" The tears finally escape.
"Oh no! Not the waterworks Granger!" I cup her small face in my other hand as I lean down and kiss her forehead. She gasps at the action. I smile down at her as i let go and nod again giving her leave. She nods back and steps out, closing the door behind with one last look at me.
4 . The Ritual:
An hour later the stage is set. Potter lies in the bed in the center of a Runic Circle I have drawn from a limestone soaked in my own blood. My blood representative of connection and contagion, laws of the first Discipline, Thaumaturgy. The Runic circle which now outlines all the protection wards, representative of a perfect and specific ritual, law of the second Discipline, Magic. The dagger I used to extract my blood lies soaked in Potter's left hand. An artifact with no inlaid magic, soaked now in my blood and then dipped in Felix Felicis that I brewed from scratch, representative of the Third discipline, Alchemy. I had the whole order that was fighting tonight share the rest of the batch between them. enough to last them 2 hours. I never leave any lose ends. Luck is what Gryffindors do best, Luck they shall have.
The hilt of the dagger is wrapped in Unicorn hair, representing the Dichotomy and control of my will onto a magical creature to fulfill the specification of the fourth Discipline, Wizardry and last but not the least above The head board I have erected a Mirror, which has an anti-illusion charm of my own design inlaid, another revolution, something I was inspired to make from the concept of the Mirror of Erised, the ultimate example of mind control. To create an illusion is easy, to disillusion is one of the most difficult thing to do, which is the basis for the fifth and final discipline of magic, Sorcery.
I remove my shirt, throw it out of the runic circle, now clad only in my dragon hide trousers I kneel by Potter's side. Only 30 minutes to recite the incantations I have designed myself, to connect to the magic of the earth and the magic of all items that represents all disciplines as the first two laws of Meta-magic would be satisfied and by the time the third law needs to be satisfied, the whole game would have reached its crescendo. As if on a cue I hear a loud crash somewhere downstairs. The final attack has started, just in time. 'Best of luck Granger.'
I place my hand on Potter's that holds the Elder wand in a lose grip, tightening his fingers around it. I feel the wand immediately respond to the joining of its two masters. I concentrate on Potter's Stasis and remove it without any difficulty. Yes, the wand is working on full capacity. The power is over-whelming. I understand now to some extent why the master would never wish to surrender just a powerful wand, but it holds no attraction for me. Yes, my Slytherin detachment will come handy.
Another blast goes off, now following a downright racket. I cast a simple silencing charm to help me concentrate. Closing my eyes, I reach deep down and seek out the magic that connects me to the ritual circle. I open my eyes once I find the connection to see the drawn circle glow a bright red. I read through the Incantation one last time as I start reciting it.
Prostratus ante omnipotentis Dei (Prostrate in front of God Almighty,)
Praesento vobis donum fortitudinis (I present to you my offering of might,)
Nunc sanguinem meum votum tuum (My blood is now yours to vow)
Mihi sacra circulum vite trepida quam (My ritual as complete as the circle of life)
Mea es ut exigere ut liquido fortuna (My art as exact as liquid luck)
Ad quam omnes creaturae inclinare voluntatem (My will to which all creatures bow)
Animo referre omnes lux cum tenebris abundare (My mind to mirror all light when darkness abound)
Ego hoc loquor offerentes tribus (I say this offering and i say this in three)
Me purgare tenebras æternum. (To Purge me of all darkness for eternity.)
The incantation is more intention than words and it is working. It is surprising to me, how my faith has leaded me here when the very meaning of my name is 'Bad Faith'. I am practicing Sorcery at its most extreme. I start to recite the incantation again, my hand tight around Potter's the wand is now vibrating with intensity. Is it just my imagination or did Potter just take a deeper breath?
Just as I reach the middle verses of my incantation I feel a ripping pain go through my spine as the Dark Mark on my left arm starts to freeze against the magical heat that is surrounding me. Voldemort is getting closer. Pain I expected but the heat I did not. I feel magic vibrate around me and all the clashing elements are heating up with the friction of their different strengths. I keep reciting through it all as more heat and pain rips through my body alongside a crashing weight. It takes all my will and strength to keep from collapsing. My whole body is in agony. It's getting harder for me to breathe in this heat, but I carry on. With all the resilience I can gather, I carry on. I must carry on.
The Ritual Circle grows brighter as the door to the room is blasted off with most of the wall. Not because of my ritual but because the fight has reached so far. I see a figure fly back as they try to breach the circle. Red and orange lights are harshly glowing out of the ritual markings, my wards are on fire. The fire is important, it would open the way into another dimension and bring out the demon which I would have to control by the will of my mind. It is the most crucial step; there is no more chance of failure. I can still see the figure on the outside of my circle, trying to find a way in, the burning wind is now surrounding me like a twister. I look down at Potter again. His profile is unperturbed. The sensations and illusions are all for me. I am not burning to my marrow. This is just like the Cruciatus, only with visual aid. I take a deep breath as my Incantation reaches it second half the second time, with the utterance of the second last verse, the floor at the foot of Potter's bed shatters open and out jumps a scorpion, size of a muggle car. Its color is a glossy liquid black as liquid burning tar melts off its legs and claws, hissing and burning through the wood. The contours or its body are outlined by fiery lines, as if its insides are made of fire. What pit of hell this demon stepped out of I do not know. All I know that it has the ability to mind control me. I put up my Occlumency shields though I doubt that this creature will use that on me. No, it will probably use the power of my own imagination and mind against me. The clicking and scratching sound of its claws is one of the most peculiarly disgusting and scary sound I have ever heard. The room melts away around me behind the curtain of fire that surrounded me and all of a sudden I am on the Astronomy tower and everything was on fire. So this is how we are going to play?
"Draco!" I hear a low voice. An old voice. My heart skips a beat as I stumble in reciting the second verse of my incantation. I know that voice. That voice had haunted me for months after the last time I had heard it. I hear a distant faint crash somewhere deep inside my psyche. A ward has broken somewhere. With dread mounting I raise my head to see Dumbledore standing at the edge of the circle which has grown 5 times in size somehow.
Barely standing straight his twinkling blue eyes are a dead and eerie glassy grey. His log beard and log hair tangled and singed in places, bruises under his eyes. His expression of helplessness is heart-wrenching. You did that to him my mind supplies.
"Draco, do not let that creature kill me, Draco!" the old haggard man pleads with me. Not looking very different from the last time I saw him alive, but he had not begged me to save him or not to kill him. He had pleaded with me to not become a killer. He was the only one to have such faith in me without testing me. This is not the real Dumbledore, this is just an illusion. The demon's attempt to gain control of my mind, I have to fight it. I see this fake Dumbledore's purple robe catching fire from one side and see the huge Scorpion proceeding towards Dumbledore. I screamed at its try at distracting and manipulating me which somehow the demon hears and turns towards me as if startled. I proceed with my Incantation again as soon as I have its attention. I smile at its fiery eyes as it turns its full attention towards me, its claws clicking dangerously their razor sharpness glinting in the fire light and from behind the curtain of fire it finally erects it's humungous sting, dripping a copious amount of venom that is more like Acid. I proceed with my Incantation when at the next moment I hear another voice calling me.
"Draco! Love? What are you doing? Why are you doing this?" I look back where Dumbledore was standing just a second ago. He still stands there but now next to him is my mother and father. My father looks angry and menacing. I know this is just an illusion, but my insides are screaming at this cruel display. The Demon moves towards the three people who are somehow unable to move.
"DRACO STOP IT THIS INSTANCE! YOU ARE A DISGRACE! SENDING YOUR FAMILY TO DEATH FOR A FILTHY HALF-BLOOD. You are a disgrace to every Malfoy that ever graced this earth. You cannot be my son!" My father shouts at me. It's all an illusion, yet those words hurt.My determination wavers for a second, before I regain it.
The words of the incantation now flow freely from my lips and with every word I utter, the ripping pain grows in intensity, and my illusions plead with me more pathetically and the demon moves closer to its victims. Its razor sharp claws are snapping with purpose, its sting is dripping with venom and growing in size every second. I start shouting the verse as the Demon impales it's sting through my father's chest and he gives out a gut-wrenching scream of agony, before he starts gurgling and a black liquid starts to flow out his mouth. My mother screams at this horrifyingly before she is also impaled through the chest and suspended on the demon's sting in mid-air before the demon takes hold of Dumbledore through the waist and cut him in clean half around the waist. I feel bile rising in my throat. As I scream the same line of my incantation again at the demon instinctively.
"Ad quam omnes creaturae inclinare voluntatem!"
(My will to which all creatures bow!)
"Ad quam omnes creaturae inclinare voluntatem!"
"Ad quam omnes creaturae inclinare voluntatem!"
The demon gives out a scream that pierces through my ears before it tosses the illusion of my parents into the curtain of fire, where they suspend before burning to a crisp. I have finally gained the will to close my eyes at my own accord. So I close them. I can see the blue print of the entire magical world that I have created within my runic circle, again, sans the fiery inferno and the change of location. I see the fiery pit still open at the foot of Harry's bed. I reach out towards the Demon in my mind's eye. My control is strong. I have seen the worst and not lost my mind. My confidence picks up. Tendrils of my magic slither towards the demon. In the eyes of my mind it's rather small and now panicking as it sees the snakes of my magic reaching towards it fluidly. It screeches again. I keep saying verse after verse of my incantation. Now the snakes are slithering up the demons legs and wrapping themselves against its claws. Closing them effectively. I am gaining control, as I am supposed to. By the time my incantation comes to an end the second time the snakes of my magic, my will, are dragging the demon back to the fiery pit, while it has stopped struggling. Nothing but the runic circle remains glowing in the blue print as the fiery pit closes in on itself; I slowly allow my eyes to open as I utter the last words. To see Green eyes staring into mine.
"I knew it would be you Draco." Says the voice I have longed to hear for past three years.
Potter is conscious! My mind screams at me in joy but my body is too fatigued. I am mesmerized. He is so close. All I can see is his eyes. Shining like gems looking at me in awe and pride. My breath hitches. He stands in front of me, same height as mine, breathing pleasant cool air on my face. Clad in his favorite sleeping shirt which I had dressed him in earlier.
"Look at you! So perfect! So strong! I just saw how you subdued that demon Draco! You are perfect. You are someone I was always looking for. Don't you see? I have wanted you for so long…" he steps closer, only a few inches of space left between us. I want to tell him that I feel the same way about him. My heart is beating so rapidly, his words are like a soothing salve to my battered soul and that is not all that is battered. My body is singed, my skin feels like it just stopped melting. I just want to close the inches of distance between us and get lost in his presence. He is everything. Yes he is.
So why am I not moving? Something is wrong with this picture comes a stray thought. There is an itch somewhere deep inside me. I am forgetting something. What is it? Potter smiles at me, but I don't feel right about this. There is something I am forgetting.
"Draco… touch me! I promise you that we will always be together! We will become the most powerful couple the wizarding world has ever known and together we will rule the world. Just you and me. I'll make all your dreams come true! Just touch me Draco. I want you so much, it hurts! Make me yours and be mine."
His eyes are pleading at me. He is breathless. His porcelain cheeks flushed with desire, and his lips moist I am afraid of looking away from his face. Desire for me. Wait! Potter would never desire me. I know this. He would appreciate me, perhaps befriend me for my strife, but desire? Concentrate! My mind is at war with itself. A part of me wants to take hold of him, show him what passion and love means. Show him how no one would ever come as far as I have for him. No one would endure so much pain and agony for him. Me, only me! I deserve him a part of me says. I deserve everything he has to offer. I have given so much. Can I not take back just this much? So much conviction. The other part of me laughs at the illusion that is obviously my deepest desire for myself. It warns me. It hesitates. Too good to be true Draco! Think, just stop and think.
That's when it finally comes to me. I have not recited the incantation the third time yet. Harry could not be awake. I turn my head slowly to look at the bed by which I have been standing again. It is empty as Harry stands right in front of me. The fire is gone; the runic circle is not glowing anymore.
'The mirror!' my mind provides, 'Look in the mirror!'
I turn my head upwards to look in the mirror of my own making that I had fixed on top of Harry's bed and there, in it, I can see Harry still lying in the bed still unconscious. That is what I designed it to do, to show the reality at all times. Through all glamors, charms and illusions and I haven't failed! Pride and understanding fills me, with a bit of sadness, at letting go of this illusion, but you can't live with in an illusion. I have not come this far to be deceived off my path by my own desire. Something bigger is at stake here.
This Harry standing in front of me is nothing but an illusion. A final test. As soon as I turn back towards the illusion Harry, I start to recite the verses of my incantation again. Illusion Harry frowns at me and turns to look towards the door where I see Weaslette standing. Smiling at Harry, who is smiling back at her.
There is a twinge deep within me. This is not an illusion anymore. This is the glimpse of the future. Weaslette walks towards Harry who has now turned his back at me and is stepping towards her to meet her halfway. Their arms wrap around each other in a lover's embrace and they are pressing against each other closing all space between them.
"Why does he stand there?" Weaslette asks Harry unbuttoning his shirt, while he presses his hands against her breast in a most provocative gesture while sucking at her neck.
"Because he is foolish enough to imagine that I would ever want to do anything with an evil death-eater scum like him. He's pathetic!" Harry sneers. This is not my fantasy anymore, this is my fear. At some extent it is true. It hurts somewhat, but I am okay with that. Embracing my fear has to be another test, I don't know how long I would have to endure this. I hope not long.
The Weaslette giggles looking at me as Harry closes his mouth on hers. They are now tonguing each other as the Weaslette keeps her eye contact with me. Smirking and mocking me through that passionate and vulgar kiss, which is more like tongue fucking. I keep reciting the incantation and finally look away from them both as Harry starts grinding his hips into the Weaslette who is moaning in ecstasy. I turn to look at the mirror that is reflecting the real Harry. My heart is full with decision.
5. The Crescendo:
'I would still do anything to bring you back Potter, no matter what you think of me.' my heart whispers and I know it to be the deepest truth in me. My lips still utter the words of the incantation, I feel the wards vibrating again which breaks me out of my reverie. I look down from the mirror to see that the room is back, the illusion Harry and Weaslette are gone. The runic Circle is glowing again and the wall and the door of the room is gone and just outside I can see Weasley and Granger fighting against Two death eaters through the chunk of the missing wall. Firing and shielding and ducking and sidestepping. I look at a tall figure standing at the edge of my ward just inside the door way where I had last talked to Granger, his wand is swishing in intricate patterns. I shoot at a look at the ancient clock which is still working, it's exactly midnight. A minute more and my wards would break. I recite the final verses of my final incantation as my silencing spell shatters. In a swift moment I climb atop Potter and straddle him even as I feel the pain in each and every bone I possess.
I look into his face for what I know would be the last time. The arc of those thick eye brows. Smooth, wrinkle free wide eye lids that I know hide the most beautiful and bright green eyes fringed by soft and thick black lashes. The straight patrician nose and defined cheek bones covered with a day worth of stubble and beautifully bowed dark pink lips. I blink my eyes against my will. The commotion outside is huge, but I feel as if time itself has slowed down. I look into the face of the one I love for one last moment as I recite my plea, finally. I know I have reached my destination.
"Me purgare tenebras æternum."
(To Purge me of all darkness for eternity.)
I turn away from the face and now face the enemy, who is about to reach through the wards any second.
The power of Three, my mind suggests. I thank my own mind, saying my farewells. It might be the last few seconds that I use it. Well-used indeed.
"Hoc est sacrificium!" I yell looking at the enemy, Voldemort, the abomination, in body of another enemy. Face of Rodolphus Lestrange has been mutilated beyond recognition and all that shows for a face is a skull with bulging red eyes, slits for a nose and bared lipless teeth. His eyes are alight. One of the death eaters fighting Granger falls. I see her turning swiftly to help Weasley take the other one.
"Hoc est sacrificium!" I chant again, as Voldemort rips through another ward. Only one last standing! I feel something burning my back as I shield Potter behind me.
"Hoc est sacrificium! Sana, hoc salvator lux!"
(This is my sacrifice! Heal this Savior of light!)
I turn around again facing Potter as a white light engulfs everything around me and I feel the bed tremble. With a Final flash and then crash as the last of my ward breaks through. I cover Potter with everything I have. My face closest to his than it has ever been. In a second a million prayers pass through me wishing for him to open his eyes. To know if I succeeded in my mission. There is a sound in my ears like ringing of a bell mixed with thunderstorm and Potter's eyes fly open.
"Hello Again!" I find my mouth saying unable to not smile at the miracle I just made happen. If only for a second, I know I fill his vision. His eyes flash recognition as his lips purse to form the sound of my name. A shrill voice screams behind me as another snarls.
A memory echoes in my mind. 'Then you also know Granger that I never take a chance on anything that does not gain me something'
"Avada Kedavra!"Comes a snarl and at last that green light has come for me making those green eyes shine brighter than ever. I have gained.
My ears are still ringing as I come back to the conscious world.
"Mione! Mione! Are you okay? Are you hurt?" I know its Ron, holding my head up. My mind quickly shocks into work.
"Ron?" I hear a scratchy voice which I realize is my own.
"Yes I am here! Mione! We are okay! Voldemort is gone!" Relief washes over me for a moment before my mind recalls.
"NO! NO! NO!" I yell as I jump up from the pile of rubble. Not caring at all for the every inch of me that hurts. What is hurt? When my heart is shattering with grief?
"HARRY! DRACO!" I scream, feeling as if my heart would burst with pain, pain of realization. I can hardly see through the dust and smoke as I crawl out of Ron's grip towards where I can see the Outline of the bed. My mind quickly brings me the last thing my eyes had clearly witnessed. A green curse hitting Draco's back as he covered Harry. I had tried my best to leap at that monster Voldemort when he had cast another killing curse leaping closer to the bed and then there had been an explosion and I had been propelled back by the sheer force of it.
"OH GOD! HARRY! DRACO!" I yell again and feel Ron scrambling behind me as well. Realizing for the first time the gravity of the situation.
"MIONE!" Ron is calling me. By force of will I finally get inside the room, or what was supposed to be the room. The dust is quickly settling now. I see Blond hair atop a badly burnt and bruised naked back. It's Draco, and he is lying on his side on the bed as if in deep sleep. Arms clad in a faded blue night shirt are holding his head up. Harry. Harry is alive. Tears burst out of my eyes.
"No! No! Fucking Malfoy! Don't do this to me you ferret face!" I hear a muffled angry voice. It's a voice we all have been waiting to hear for past three years. Especially the one who is being addressed at the moment. I finally heave myself into a sitting position. By the foot of the bed. I hear Ron mutter something behind me and the dust immediately clears away. I hear hurried footsteps on the stair case.
"Harry?" I can see him now, cradling Draco's limp head in his arms. Harry's black hair covered in dust and soot. His face scrunched in concentration.
"Hermoine? Ron?" He looks up from Draco's shoulder. His Green eyes find me. Wide and slightly panicking. I feel Ron behind me.
I reach towards Harry.
"Voldemort's gone Harry. Finally… truly… gone." Ron whispers. I see Harry nodding before he turns to face Draco again.
"Finite Incantatum.." he whispers, pointing the elder wand towards Draco. The wand alights, but Draco remains the same.
"Ennervate!" he whispers again.
"I think he's gone Harry." Ron mutters. My heart sobs as tears find their way out of my eyes in earnest.
"Yea… I know." Harry whispers. His face is blankly sad. He looks disorientated. I can't stand it anymore so I reach across Draco to enclose his lifeless body in a hug. Harry leans down above me, enclosing me in an embrace. I wonder if he is in shock. That is before I recognize Harry's comforting hand in my hair. My heart finally shatters into pieces my muffled cries become sobs as I realize that Harry is trying to comfort me, he does not even know what he has just lost a few minutes ago. He does not know that the man who tore into the very fabric of Magic itself and endured physical, mental and magical pain just to bring him back and sacrificed his life to save him and provide him with the ultimate protection once again out of love, lies dead between us.
How unconditionally does one have to love someone to give such a sacrifice for someone from whom they did not even get a shadow of same love returned. All this for someone, who might never love you back. Who might never know the lengths you have gone to for them? I can hardly breathe the way my chest is hurting. I never thought there could be physical pain in a heart-break. I feel Ron embracing me from behind. As I feel the moisture of his breath and his silently hitched breath in my ear. He is crying too. I know he understands my grief. But who will ever understand Draco? I thought I knew the extent of his depth and dedication. I realize, I knew nothing!
He took no chances when it came to Harry. He took no chances when it came to the ones Harry cared about. His plan had been flawless, gone off without a hitch. I had been wise to trust Draco. How I will live with my own wisdom now? I don't know. I should have known better!
In tonight's battle there has been no casualties. Just a sacrifice of an Anti-hero to save the hero.
Both Ron and I and everyone who had ever been in this house had known the truth for past few months as Draco descended into frenzy in order to prepare for the final ritual to heal Harry. In case they missed it in last three years during which Draco had spent every waking hour around Harry. Watching him like a hawk. Draco pushed beyond limits just to get everything right, so that Harry could live. Even a total stranger could sit for an hour in the room where Harry was and Draco sat and still easily declare that Draco loved Harry to the extent of madness even if Draco never said a word during that hour.
'Oh Draco! Beautiful, misunderstood, misjudged Draco. My heart will weep for you till the day I die.'
I should have known better than you never telling me a lie.
You knew you had nothing to gain and everything to lose. Where did you find so much courage? So much love?
No, this will not do. I will tell Harry, I will make Harry know every instance of all that you did for him. His generations will worship your name. I vow this to you Draco.
I will make sure that at least a part of his heart will belong to you.
"You know Mione…" I hear Ron's shaking voice above me. "Everyone always labels Gryffindors to be the most noble, courageous and sacrificing of them all, let the record state, that even if they are devious and cunning when it comes to sacrifice Slytherins take the bloody cake!"
I look up at the love of my life, my Ron, my best friend. His eyes are spilling tears, his face is flushed with grief, but he is looking down at Draco, his eyes a little wide. I follow his eyes and look upon Draco's face for the first time. Draco's lips are curved into a serene smile for eternity. A memory whispers, the last time I saw that smile.
'Then you also know Granger that I never take a chance on anything that does not gain me something!'
"I hope you gained what you took a chance on." I whisper.
'He did indeed.' My heart answers.