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Chapter 33 – Revelations and Prophecies:
Two men stood outside a little stone cottage with a winding creek in the back. One looked more tired than a man had a right to look, and the other seemed resigned. It mattered not, for they were assigned fates in which they were forced to follow. One had sworn to protect the girl inside the cottage for all the days of her life, a pact made with her mother. The other had sworn to make things right, to right the wrongs of others, and to make sure things worked out the way they should have.
“It is done,” Marcus Flint said to Remus Lupin. “I can do no more. My part is over, thankfully.”
“I only wish it had not gotten this far,” Remus returned. “Does she know your identity?”
“No one knows,” Flint said. “No, that is not true, for you know. I told Miss Weasley a convenient lie, as a means to an end, but seeing as the girl is dead, I no longer see the harm. As far as Hermione goes, I only told her who her mother was today.”
At first Remus Lupin looked shocked. How did this man know who Hermione's mother was? After a few moments of quiet reflection, he knew that he no longer cared. “What does it matter now?” Remus said. “I only wish there was another way. I hate the thought that she will be lost to everyone who loves her and them to her.”
“If we had not trusted others, there would be another way,” Marcus Flint said. “You will find her in the cottage. Go do what you have to do, and then I will find you both and lead you to safety.”
“I hate that everyone thinks she died,” Remus added.
“Better that they think she’s dead and she lives, than for her to really die,” Marcus waned. He put his hands through his black hair and said, “Soon it will be over.” And with that Marcus Disapparated away.
Remus looked toward the cottage. He knew he had to do… he had to make sure she really forgot everything this time, but he could not do it yet. He had one place to go first, so he Disapparated away right after Marcus did with a vow to return.
Malfoy Manor was like a tomb and Draco Malfoy felt as if he had been buried alive. He felt there was no longer enough air to breath. Lord Potter was a walking shell of a man, mourning his lost love and his only ‘kin’. Everyone kept telling Draco that he needed to have a memorial service for Harry’s cousin, so Harry might find some peace. Let the man never have peace, for Draco would not hold a service for someone for whom he knew was not dead.
When he was a child, his mother told him that an old seer blessed him at birth. She said that this old woman made a prediction that Draco would someday fall in love, and it would be a love of a lifetime... a love to last beyond a lifetime. His mother told him that the old woman said that once he gave his heart to another, there would never be anyone else for him. The old seer predicted a bond so tight would be formed that time, distance, and even death could not put it asunder. All he had to do was find the right woman, pledge to her his love, and ask her to be his wife.
He used to laugh at his mother when she would tell him such fairytales. He would pay her no mind. He was not the type to care about love and such things. Now he saw what a fool he was to mock things he did not understand.
He had that bond with Hermione. Testimony to that fact was the way he ‘felt’ her the night of the fire. He was in a different house than her, yet he actually felt her in his arms. His lips actually felt they were upon hers. It was real, not imaginary. The bond was there, and with that an attachment, a link, connecting her heart to his, her mind to his, her soul to his, and even her body to his.
Draco refused to think it was over, not when he was still so certain that she lived. He decided to go to the old fortuneteller in the Muggle village. He knew it was insanity, but this woman was no mere Muggle and she knew something about Hermione. He knew she did.
Therefore, he rode his horse into the neighbouring village and hitched it outside an inn, then walked along the street, asking a passerby if they knew where the old fortuneteller resided. Finally, he found a young boy who led him to her hovel. He paid the boy a Muggle coin and knocked on the door.
The old woman answered the door and said, “I knew someday you would come.”
“Do you know who I am?” he asked.
“Lord Malfoy,” she said.
“You are a witch?” he confirmed in a form of a question.
“Of course I am,” she said. “I made a prediction about you to your mother the night you were born, a prediction about love.”
“So you are originally from Godric’s Hollow?” he asked.
“Yes,” she answered. She pointed to a little wooden chair, by a spindled leg table. Draco pulled out a handkerchief, wiped off the chair, and sat down.
“What do you know?” he asked.
“Twenty two years ago, Lady Lily Potter heard her husband had succumbed to the Dark side. Blinded with anguish and pain, and in a fragile state, she lay with his best friend, Sirius Black, for she needed consoling. The result was that she became heavy with child while her husband was still missing. While still pregnant with this babe, she feared this child would fulfill the prophecy set out by myself. I foretold of a child, born of a Muggle-born and a pureblood, who would be the downfall of the Dark Lord. She had this child, a baby girl, mistaken that this child was the child from my prophecy. However, that child was not the child of whom I spoke. My prophecy was for her second child, her son with Lord Potter, the viscount, Lord Harry Potter, whom she had a mere ten months later.”
“Nevertheless, I believe her real motive was fear, for if her husband should find out that she had a child while he was held captive by the dark forces, he would know that the first child was not his own, but that of his best friend. So, when she had this first child, a girl, she gave the baby to her trusted friend, Lupin, who took the child to Lily’s sister, who raised it as her own.”
“Hermione Granger?” Draco asked.
“Yes, the young woman who was with you the other day,” the old woman said. “The woman you love.”
“Lily Potter was her mother?” he asked to clarify.
“Yes,” she said. "Hermione Granger is Harry Potter's half sister, the child of Sirius Black and Lily Potter."
“Are you sure?” he asked again, shocked.
“Yes, for I was the midwife that was to attend to the birth, but another needed my services more than she on the very same night. After I was sure that Lily would deliver without complications, I went to the other woman and Lily Potter delivered her child first, with the aid of Remus Lupin. The other woman, Andromeda Tonks was not as lucky.”
“My aunt,” Draco said.
“Yes. She was having a difficult birth. She was afraid that Death Eaters would kill her and her child, just as they killed the child’s father. She would not let your mother, who also attended the birth, call a healer, so they called me. I could do nothing for the woman, who was bleeding badly. She died while delivery her child.”
“And the child died as well,” Draco said, as if it were a fact.
“No, the child lived,” she rebuked, “and he lives still. Your own mother knew that he lived. She took the baby and gave him to a pureblood family to raise. She never told them who the child’s father was. They knew the baby, a son, was the child of Narcissa Malfoy’s sister, but that was all they knew. They took the child and raised him as their own flesh and blood, for they could have no children. I was the only witness. I was the only one who knew of the true parentage of either child.”
“And you have never told anyone until now?” Draco asked.
“I never said that. While your mother, Lady Malfoy, lived, she paid me well. I came to the Muggle village and gave up magic. When your mother died, I had to make a living. I started to tell fortunes, for I was always a gifted seer. One day, two young men came into the village. I knew right away they were wizards, and after giving one of the young men a reading, I knew he was the child of Andromeda Tonks. For proof, I asked him to undo his neckclothe, so I might see if he had birthmark on the side of his neck that the child had at birth. He did, so I told him who he was. He believed me right away. He and the other man left, and I have only ever seen him one other time.”
“Why?” Draco asked. “Why did you tell him who his mother was?”
“Doesn’t everyone have a right to know who they are?” she asked.
“Is he the one who took Hermione?” he asked.
“She is gone?” the old woman asked back.
“If you are a seer, you should know that,” he sneered.
“I know one thing,” she said. “You love her. Your connection is strong. You were meant to be together. The moment you pledged your loved to each other, and promised to be man and wife, a bond was formed, a lifeline. Such a bond is rare, even among the magical, but when it is forged, not even death can erase the connection. You can sense her now and she you. You can feel her though she is miles away. You will be able to find her, if you just listen to your heart.”
“So she is not dead?” Draco asked with relief.
The old woman stood up and ordered, “Close your eyes.” Draco did as instructed. She placed her hand on his chest and said, “Listen with your heart, not your ears or your brain. Concentrate on her. You will find her. She is hidden from you. There are those whom you trust who betray you, and will try to take her from you. The child of Andromeda Tonks feels this girl is an impediment to getting what he thinks he deserves.”
Draco opened his eyes. “Who is that?”
“That is for you to find out, but know this - he does not want her dead. However, your death is much coveted. She stands in the way of what he wants, but you block the way completely. Your life is now in more danger than hers.”
Draco stood up and said, “Please, tell me who he is!”
“I cannot, for I do not even know his name. He has a birthmark, in the form of a rose, on his neck. It is usually covered with clothing. He is a friend of yours, but just on the surface. Find him, and find your love, or find her and find him. It is your choice.” The old woman Disapparated away, leaving Draco alone and confused.
He got on his horse and started back to Godric’s Hollow. If the old lady was right, and a bond was formed when she consented to be his bride, then he should be able to feel her, and know where she was. He rode along on his horse and closed his eyes again. He imagined her, and soon he saw her clearly in his imagination. He saw her fair skin, her wavy brown hair, and the sparkle in her eyes.
He said, “What shall I ask for and what shall I seek? Do I ask for help, guidance, strength, or courage? I need too much and my want is too great. Let me feel your strength. Guide me to you, my love, Hermione.”
He let his horse amble down a road, which did not lead back to Godric’s Hollow. He saw a little stone cottage down in a valley, with a narrow, twisting creek in the back. There were tall trees all around. He felt a yearning to go to that house, so he did.
Hermione sat in the same chair she sat in the day before, thinking the same thought, “Why do you not come for me?” She knew Draco was looking for her, but she did not know how to tell him where she was. She felt he was near, so she closed her eyes, and willed him to find her. She laughed silently and thought, ‘he always thinks it is odd that I shut my eyes when I perform magic,’ so she opened her eyes and immediately she saw a man outside the cottage on a white horse.
She stood up so quickly that she knocked the chair over. It was him! Was this another dream? Was this her imagination? The night she imagined he made love to her felt as real, but it was not, therefore, this could not be real! This was a mirage. She placed both hands on the wavy glass and closed her eyes again. She did not want to see him if he was not real.
He climbed off his horse and tied the reins to a hitching post at the side of the cottage. He took out his wand and started around the backside of the little stone house. He felt her presence. There was a battle raging inside him and his hunger for her masked all his other senses. He could only sense her. In his world of darkness, he needed some truth. Even though she was not within his eyesight, he felt her. He heard her calling to him. Her voice was the sweetest song he had ever heard, full of hope, promise and undivided love. She was guiding him to this little cottage. He knew she was inside.
She opened her eyes once more and he was gone. She knew it was not real. She sat back in the chair, leaned her arm on the windowsill, placed her forehead on her arm, and gave up. He would never find her and very soon, she would forget that he ever existed.
He waved his wand toward the backdoor of the cottage, but it would not open. She was locked away from him. Nothing was easy. He held his wand in front of him; his heart almost gave flight when he looked in a back window and saw her, sitting in a chair with her back to him, leaning against an opposite windowsill.
He said to her, knowing she would be able to hear, “I knew in an instant that if I gave into your love, I would be your prisoner never to escape. My love found you. Turn around and look at me.”
“This time, it seems so real,” she said aloud. “You seem real. I can actually hear your voice. Sometimes it is wrong to believe in such things, but sometimes believing gives a person freedom. I want to believe you are real.” She did not look up once. It was almost as if he was in the room with her.
Though a wall separated them, he could hear her plain as day. He felt as if he were right behind her. Why was she so sad? Why did she not turn around, find him, and run into his arms? “When I fell in love with you, it was forever. You can never forget about me. Your heart is the key to unlocking my heart,” he said in a voice barely above a hoarse whisper.
“I am tired of being alone and unhappy,” she whispered in return. She stood up, still facing the opposite window. “What type of cruel world do we live in, when I can actually hear your voice, and sense your presence, and yet you are not real? Where is the fairness in that?”
“Turn around, Hermione,” he said louder.
“No, for you are not but an illusion. I felt you near me that other night. I felt your hands on me, your lips on mine, you body next to my body, and it was all false. It was not real, and this is not real. I do not want to hurt again. Go away, illusion. Forget about me.”
“Turn around!” he urged.
“Only the strong survive,” she said. “The truth is that I used to think I was strong, but now I know that I am weak. I feel torn apart. You weaved your life together with mine, and left me with nothing but an empty shred of an existence. I cannot turn around. I am powerless to obey.”
‘Please, turn around,’ he thought. He imagined that he touched her shoulder.
“Even your touch feels real,” she said again in a whisper.
“I am flesh and bone and blood behind you. I know it feels too simple, too contrived, but I found you, but I am here to take you home,” he said louder. Still, she did not turn to look at him through the window. How could he reach her? He finally decided to cast his patronus. He had to think of a happy thought, but just the thought that he found her, even if she would not acknowledge him, was the only thing on his mind. It would have to do.
He raised his wand and said, “Expecto Patronum.”
A silver snake, made of smoke and haze, left the tip of his wand and went under the door. It twirled and swirled around her body as it did that first day. She looked down, confused, before she realized what it was. She turned around slowly, so slowly that the anticipation was killing him. She faced the opposite window and only then did she finally see him.
He placed his hand upon the glass. She ran to the opposite window and brought her hand up to the pane, near his face.
“You are not real,” she said.
“Then a shadow loves you. A mirage will take you home. A dream will take care of your forever,” he said with a smile. He placed his other hand, still holding his wand, to join his first hand on the cold glass. “Who brought you here?”
“Marcus Flint,” she revealed. She placed both hands hesitantly on the glass so it appeared her hands touched his, and said, “Are you real?”
“Dear lady, do I look real?” he asked. He longed to have her hands on his face, to turn his face into her hand, captured one hand in his, and to kiss her palm. “Can you open the door?”
“Do you not think I have tried that already?” she asked.
He grimaced. Of course, she would have tried that. He tried every unlocking spell he knew and none worked. He finally said, “I must go get help. I have to go to Theo and Potter. I will return.”
She banged on the window and said, “Do not leave me! Remus Lupin means to Obliviate my memory again, and this time, they said that all thoughts of you would be wiped from my mind forever! He was just outside with Flint. I am sure he will return any moment. Please do not leave me!”
“I shall Disapparate as soon as I can, but I shall return. Trust me,” he begged.
“NO!” she cried with a sad anguished cry.
He could no longer hear her, for he had already taken his horse and rode away from the little cottage. When he felt safely out of sight, he let the horse run free and he Disapparated back to Malfoy Manor.
He returned moments later, with Lord Potter, Theo Nott, and several other men from the Militia. He told them what the old lady told him, and that Draco thought Marcus Flint had to be Andromeda’s son. As they stood a distance from the home, they saw Remus Lupin Apparated by the front door. That proved Malfoy’s theory that no one would Apparate in or out of the little cottage.
Remus used his wand to open the door and disappeared inside the cottage.
“We must hurry, for Hermione claims he is to Obliviate her again. I cannot risk losing her.” Draco rushed to the front door.
Theo and Harry rushed around the back of the cottage, as Draco opened the front door slowly. He saw Remus sitting on a chair by the bed, as Hermione lay very still on the bed. He could not be too late!
Draco raised his wand. “Tell me you did not wipe her memory, old man, for if you did, I shall kill you.”
“Kill me,” Remus said without looking up. Draco approached the bed slowly. “Are you alone?” Remus asked.
“Yes,” Draco lied, even as he saw Theo and Harry out the back window.
“Take her away. Keep her safe. I cannot do it any longer.” Remus stood up, leaned over, and kissed her forehead. “I wasted my life and for nothing. She will still come to harm, and I am powerless to stop it, but perhaps you can protect her better. Love is the best protection.”
Lupin walked from the chair and saw Harry outside the window. “You lied, Lord Malfoy, for I see Harry outside the door. The wards are lowered, tell Harry to enter. I would like to tell him goodbye before I leave.”
Draco did not yet do as the man requested. Instead, he lowered his wand and rushed to the bed. He placed a hand on her cheek. “Why does she not wake?”
“I gave her a calming potion. She will wake soon. If Marcus Flint came back, I wanted him to think the deed was done.”
“Did you know that you lied to us when you said Andromeda’s child died?” Draco asked. He pulled Hermione’s body closer to him. He kept his hand on her arm, in case he would need to take her quickly to safety.
“I did not always know that, but that was brought to light right before Hermione came to the village. That is why I kept telling you she was in more danger than you knew,” Remus said. He looked up once more, back out the window, and said, “NO! You brought Theo Nott here. You stupid man!” Remus withdrew his wand and pointed it toward Draco. At that moment, Nott, followed by Harry, rushed in the back door, and before Remus could react, Theo said the killing curse and the man fell over dead.
Harry ran to Remus’ body. He was shocked. He had lost so much. He was not sure he could mourn again. Draco picked up Hermione and said, “He was to Obliviate her mind.”
“Did he succeed?’ Theo asked with urgency.
“I do not think so,” Draco said.
“Where is Flint?” Theo asked.
“That is also unknown, but I think he may be the son of Andromeda Tonks, just as I told you the fortuneteller told me. He must have wanted to be rid of Hermione, because he felt she stood in the way of him inheriting my estate since she would have inherited it over him. That must be why at first he wanted us to marry, so that my father’s will would revoke my ownership of the estate, and it would be rightfully his.”
“You stand in the way of that, not this girl,” Theo said. He went over to Remus’ body, placed his hand on Harry’s shoulder and said, “I am so sorry Lord Potter. I was sure he was going to kill Lord Malfoy.”
Without a word, Harry turned around and walked over to Draco, who now sat on the bed with Hermione cradled in his arms. Harry placed his hand on her forehead. “At least it is over,” he said. “We will find Flint.”
Hermione opened her eyes, saw Harry and said, “Did you know that you are my brother, Harry?”
Chapter End Notes:
p>(Coming up, the lost scene and some memories.)
Please don't hate me for killing Lupin. I know he was such a sad, lost, figure in this, and I felt bad for killing him, too, but he was slated to die since the beginning. Look at it this way, he lived longer in this than he did in JKR's story, and instead of hating me, hate Andromeda's son, whoever he might be!!