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All Good Things
The rest of the week was like a blur to Draco and Evie. Mrs. McCarthy went to the hospital and stayed in intensive care. Heather took Evelyn in for the time being, just while her mother was in hospital, and helped to make the funeral arrangements for Evelyn's father. Draco spent much of the week in a state of shock. The first three days after the attack he had stayed in bed recovering from the ordeal, Evelyn curled up at his side, her thin arms wrapped tightly around his waist. The end of the battle was a mystery to him, as he had fallen unconscious soon after Evie stupefied his father. The last thing he remembered was telling her to call Heather. Next thing he knew he was lying in his bed at the older witch's house, staring at the ceiling. Evie had yet to say anything, seemingly in her own little world since the shock of losing her father and almost losing her mother as well. The fact that she had just discovered that she was a witch pushed her over the edge, and she lay motionless next to her best friend.
By the end of the third day, Draco started to recover slightly. The after effects of the Cruciatus had made him sore and stiff, and his lying in bed hadn't done him any good. However, it had given him the opportunity to think about a lot of things. The first was the things he had said to his father. Even thought it was likely the Malfoy patriarch had been shipped off to Azkaban as soon as the Aurors arrived, he still felt a little uneasy. Lucius Malfoy had a lot of power and influence in the wizarding world, and it wasn't a good idea to defy him, especially when you were his heir. Draco was also still recovering from the rather important decision he had made. All of his life his father had been telling him that one day the Dark Lord would return to purge the earth of Muggles and Mudbloods, and that he, Draco, would take a place at his side. Not knowing any better, Draco had never questioned it. It was his destiny, and he never thought he would want to change it. His father had filled him with hate for the non-magical people of the world, and Draco had accepted it as all children did when their parents taught them values. It had taken this rather unorthodox lesson to teach him the truth about the Muggle world. Although he had resisted as much as possible, somehow Heather and Evelyn had managed to show him that there was more to life than crawling before the Dark Lord. It didn't mean that he was about to praise the Weasleys or become best friends with Potter, but it was a good start.
The next thing he had to sort out in his mind was Evelyn. She had been silent for three days, hardly moving at all, and clinging to Draco like a lifeline. The blond could understand to some extent what she felt like. Her family had fallen apart right in front of her eyes. She had watched her father be killed, and her mother almost end up the same way. She was sure to be traumatised. And unlike Draco, who made the decision to defy his father, she didn't ask for the life she knew to end. The worst Draco was facing was being disinherited, but Evie had to rebuild her life entirely. He couldn't imagine what she must be going through.
On the fourth day, Draco dragged himself out of the bed and made his way to the bathroom down the hall, stretching his aching muscles as he went. After a long luxurious shower, he pulled on a set of clean clothes and tucked Evie under the duvet, before heading downstairs. He found Heather in the living room watching the TV. She looked up when she saw him, a relieved smile on her face.
Draco! You're finally up. You had me worried.
Sorry, Heather, but I had a few things to work out before I faced the world.
I see. How's Evelyn?
Draco looked at the floor, a sad look on his face.
She still hasn't said anything. She's sleeping at the moment; I didn't have the heart to wake her. I can't imagine what she must be going through.
It's going to be hard for her, Heather said, I just hope you're willing to help her put her life back together.
Of course I will, she's my best friend! Anyway, I owe her a life debt. She stupefied my father when he was torturing me.
What! Heather exclaimed.
You didn't know? the blond asked with a frown.
No. I was waiting for you to wake up to find out what happened. Most of the people in the area were dead or unconscious, except for Evelyn, who has been in shock since the Aurors arrived, and hasn't spoken a word. What happened, Draco?
Well, there's not much to tell. We went to the cinema, to see Pocahontas. Everything was great; we were having a great time. The film was really good Draco trailed off, going off in a little Disney world of his own. Heather gave a little cough to regain his attention, an amused smile on her face. Draco started, and blushed lightly.
Sorry. Anyway, we were about to leave, when I heard shouting and explosions outside. I knew what was happening, because I could hear curses being shouted, but before I could warn anybody, the ceiling collapsed on us. When I woke up, I tried to find Evie and her family. Evie was alright, just a little bruised and I managed to wake her after trying the enervate spell a few times
You can do magic again?! Heather interrupted.
It's starting to come back slowly. I can do weak versions of low level spells, but nothing more.
Taking out his wand, Draco pointed it at Heather's teacup.
The teacup wobbled a little, before gently rising from the coffee table. Setting it gently back down, he did the same thing to a book, and it shuddered before rising unsteadily. On his third try, a potted plant, the leaves shook and the pot vibrated, but it didn't rise more than an inch off the floor.
As you can see, I have limits, even with simple spells, but that's more than I could do the other day, so it must be getting stronger.
That's good to hear, Draco. After all, you'll be going back to Hogwarts at the end of next week.
At Heather's words, Draco suddenly realised he would be going back to school very soon. The thought made him happy, because he would be back in the Wizarding world where he belonged, but on the other hand there were a lot of things in the Muggle world he would miss. Most important were Evelyn and Heather. Evelyn was his best friend, and Heather, despite being his nemesis' aunt, had become almost like a mother to him. Narcissa Malfoy had always been more interested in balls and galas than her own son, so for the aristocratic youth it was nice to find a woman who looked after him. He would miss both of them dearly. Not to mention such things as the television, light bulbs, and the fridge. Of course, he would miss Disney films as well, but he secretly hoped to watch his videos as soon as the opportunity arose. His contemplations were disturbed when Heather lightly placed her hand on his shoulder.
You know, Draco, you can come and visit whenever you like. I'm not going anywhere.
I don't think my father would allow that.
Your father won't be in a position to complain. He's been shipped off to Azkaban.
Really? Draco asked, hope in his voice.
Yes. What happened to him? The Aurors found him near you, unconscious.
How far did I tell you?
You found Evie.
Right, so we started looking for her parents, and we found her father under some rubble. He was dead. Naturally, Evie was a bit upset. She performed her first bit of accidental magic, blasting a load of the rubble out of the way. It cleared a way out, and uncovered her mother, who was dying. She was confused, so I explained to her about magic, as briefly as possible, and gave her my wand. After all, even untrained, she could perform stronger magic than me at the moment. I taught her a few basic healing charms, and we managed to stabilise her mother, before leaving to find help. Unfortunately, we ran into my father. He wanted to know what I was doing there, in the Muggle world, with a Mudblood. I-I yelled at him. I told him she was my friend, and that he couldn't hurt her. I also told him I wouldn't join the Death Eaters and hurt people. He put me under the Cruciatus and Evie managed to stupefy him. The last thing I remember is sending her to call you.
You turned your father down? Heather said in surprise.
Yes, the blond whispered, looking at the floor. Heather reached forward and placed her fingers under his chin, lightly tilting his head up and looking him in the eyes.
Draco, you made the right choice.
Good. I suppose you want to know what happened after you blacked out?
Well, I got a call from Evelyn. She sounded frantic, talking about her father being dead, and you not moving. She was worried sick. She said that men in black robes were attacking, and that your father had hurt you. I figured it was a Death Eater attack, and fire called Harry. He alerted the Aurors and the Order of the Phoenix, who came to the rescue.
You called Potter?
Well, I couldn't call the Ministry, could I? They would have arrested me. And I couldn't call Dumbledore, as he thinks I'm dead. Harry was the only one I could get in touch with quickly. Fortunately, he was near the fire when I called. If he hadn't been, I would have had to call someone else, which would have been disastrous.
I suppose. What happened next?
Well, Harry brought you and Evelyn back here, and we put you to bed. He was a bit confused when he found a little girl clinging to you at the scene of the battle, but he figured you must know her. She wasn't saying anything at this point. I spoke to him about what had been happening since the last time he was here, and he went to find out what happened to the McCarthys. Mr. McCarthy was taken to the morgue, and Mrs. McCarthy went to the local hospital. She's stable at the moment, but you have to bear in mind that Muggle medicine is nowhere near as effective as magic. She'll be there recovering for a couple of months. In the meantime, I'm looking after Evie and sorting out the funeral for her father. It's scheduled for next week, so I hope you'll go with us. I think Evie will need the support.
Draco nodded in agreement, thinking over everything he had been told. Eventually he reached forward and squeezed Heather's hand, before getting to his feet.
I'd better go and check on Evie.
It took another two days before Evelyn would even come out of Draco's room. The boy had sat by her side talking to her and comforting her all the time, trying to get her to speak and eat. She was holding her grief in, and it was tearing her apart. When he happened to mention that her father's funeral was going to take place two days later, a single tear fell down her porcelain white skin. Wrapping his arms around the fragile child, Draco began to rock her backwards and forwards. After a few minutes, her small frame began to shake violently with her sobs. Draco let out a sigh of relief. If she could openly grieve, it would help her to heal. She needed to mourn, otherwise she'd be locked in a state of catatonia forever. When she had cried herself out and fallen asleep, the blond boy placed her gently in bed and tucked her in, making sure she was comfortable.
The next day she had gone downstairs and eaten. She even spoke to Heather and Draco briefly, before starting to sob again. She spent the whole day with her best friend, crying off and on and needing a lot of hugs from the young wizard. Draco and Heather were relieved that she was letting it all out, though. In the early evening, they took her to the hospital where she got to see her mother. The woman was still in intensive care, but seemed to be recovering well. They had a short conversation, telling her that her husband was to be buried the next day, causing her to cry long and hard. Evie was given some time alone with her mother before they left. On the way out, Heather asked the Irish woman if there were any family members she could contact. She also mentioned the fact that Evelyn was a witch. At this news, Heather was given the name of Mrs. McCarthy's aunt, who was a witch herself.
The following day found Evie, Heather and Draco, along with assorted members of the McCarthy family who had been reached, standing in a church saying goodbye the Mr. McCarthy. The service was traditional and beautiful, making Evie cry all the more. Draco clutched her hand all the way through the service, lending her as much strength as she needed. At the end of the service, as the coffin was being lowered into the ground, Draco discreetly took out his wand and performed some simple preservation charms, and blessed the coffin. Evelyn watched, fascinated, as he did what little he could to ease her suffering. Nothing he did could bring her father back, but the least he could do was repay her for saving his life by always being there to support her.
The Tuesday of Draco's last week in the Muggle world brought a post owl with an official looking scroll attached to its leg. He took one look at it and realised what it was. He had been expecting it for a week, and was surprised it hadn't come earlier. Evelyn, who had been sitting next to him on the sofa watching The Lion King, was a little shocked by the appearance of an owl at the window.
Draco, why's there and owl here? And what does it have tied to its leg? she asked in awe.
It's a post owl. In the Wizarding world, it's how we communicate. When you go to Hogwarts, I'll get you an owl so you can send post to your mother.
I'm going to your school? she asked, confused.
Well, as you're a witch, you'll need to be taught magic at some point. When you turn eleven, you'll receive your Hogwarts letter, no doubt.
Wow. So, you send post by owls? How strange!
You'll get used to it, Draco said, taking the scroll from the owl's leg and offering it some popcorn. The bird looked at it in disgust before turning back towards the window. Before it could fly off, Draco spoke up.
Wait! I'll need to send some letters, and I don't have my own owl here.
The avian glared at him, but settled down to wait while the blond opened up his scroll and looked sadly at the words. Hearing the commotion, Heather had come in from the kitchen to see what was going on. As soon as Draco finished reading the letter, he sat down heavily and looked at the two witches.
It's from the Ministry of Magic. I've officially been disinherited. I still have the money in my trust fund, but everything else is gone. I can't go back to Malfoy Manor, and I won't receive any of the family wealth when my father dies. I have also been officially disowned.
Oh, Draco, that's awful! Evie exclaimed, wrapping her arms around his waist.
It's not like I wasn't expecting it. No-one crosses Lucius Malfoy and gets away with it, and I not only refused to follow his precious Master, but I also got him sent to Azkaban. I'm lucky this is the worst he did. In fact, it's not that bad. I may not have the status I had before, but I still have enough money to finish Hogwarts. The only thing I need to work out is where I'm going to stay in the holidays.
Well that's easily solved, Heather said, You can stay with me.
Draco gave her a stunned look.
B-but I'm not your responsibility. And you'll have Potter wanting to stay here, now that he knows he has somewhere else to go other than your sister's place.
I know you're not my responsibility, Draco, but I must admit you've grown on me over the last seven and a half weeks. It would be a pleasure having you stay with me. And don't worry about Harry. He's eighteen years old, and will probably want to live in his castle.
Potter has a castle?
Yes. He lets the Order of the Phoenix use it as its headquarters. Its name is Domus Corvus Corax.
I've heard my father mention that. Voldemort never could find it, no matter how hard he looked.
He wouldn't. It dates back to the early years of Hogwarts, and is even more secure.
Wow. Must be quite a place.
It is. But I have some bad memories of that place. I don't want to go there.
So you really want me to stay?
Yes, I do.
Draco grinned widely and impulsively embraced the slight woman. Heather was surprised at first, but quickly wrapped her arms around him and hugged him back. When they pulled apart, Draco went upstairs to his trunk and took out two sheets of parchment and his self inking quill. Taking them downstairs, he handed one to Heather and started writing on the other. When he was finished, he addressed it to the Ministry of Magic and handed the quill to his guardian.
Didn't you want to send a letter to Evie's great aunt?
Heather nodded her head in understanding, before taking the quill and quickly writing out a note. When she was done, Draco attached the two letters to the owl's leg and sent it on its way.
When Sunday finally rolled around, Draco was in a terrible mood. He had packed his trunk the night before, ready to go back to Hogwarts. His magic still wasn't back to its normal levels, but it was strong enough for him to be able to participate in his lessons. He figured it would take about another two weeks for it to come back completely, but the headmaster was expecting him back. He had even received a portkey the day before sent with Potter's snowy owl. It was due to go off at noon, and he was dreading it. He no longer had any pull in the Wizarding world. He was just like everyone else now that he had lost the Malfoy name and titles. He wasn't as poor as the Weasleys, but he had little enough money that he would have to get a real job when he finished school. He also knew he would be given a hard time in Slytherin now that he had refused to join the Death Eaters. It was worth it, though. Evie was his only friend, and he would be leaving her very soon. As he shrunk his trunk and placed it in his pocket, he looked around his room one last time. A single tear rolled down his cheek, but he brushed it away quickly. After all, he would be back again in the Easter holidays. The hardest part would be leaving Heather and Evie though. They were family to him, Heather being like his mother should have been, and Evelyn being the little sister he never had.
With a deep breath, Draco headed down to the living room to wait for his portkey to activate. When he got down there, he saw Heather and Evie standing next to a small pile of brightly wrapped presents. He looked at them in shock. He had never expected anything like this. As he walked over to the pair, Heather wrapped and arm around his waist and gave him a smile.
Draco, we're going to really miss you. We got you some things to remind you of your time in the Muggle world.
Thank you, the wizard said, giving Evelyn a big hug. When he let go, he picked up a parcel and started pulling the green and silver wrapping off. He grinned widely when he saw the stuffed Simba toy inside.
Wow! I love him, he said, smiling genuinely. He dreaded to think what his dorm mates were going to say when they saw a stuffed lion on his bed, but he decided he didn't care. It was perfect, and he loved it. The Lion King had been his favourite film from the first time he saw it, and he thought it was a very appropriate gift. Picking up the other parcels, he unwrapped an array of Muggle books, some videos, and a shrunken television. Looking at the tiny object, he sent Heather a quizzical look.
I thought you might need something to watch your films on. It's a combined TV/VCR. I enchanted it so it'll play in Hogwarts, just don't tell the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office. You just need to unshrink it when you want to use it.
Thank you so much, he said, giving them each another hug. Taking out his trunk, he resized it and placed everything inside, before reshrinking it and putting it back in his pocket. When he looked at the clock, he noticed it was five to twelve, and his eyes began to sting. Looking at Heather, he gave her a large hug.
Heather, you're the best. I've learned so much from you, and I'll always be grateful for that. Thank you for taking me in, and for offering me a home. I'll be forever grateful.
Draco, it's been a joy having you here. You brought me back in contact with the wizarding world after all of these years. You also helped me get over a lot of the issues I had with the Death Eaters. Knowing that you won't turn out like your father is a gift I will always cherish.
When they pulled apart, Draco pulled Evelyn into his arms as well. The small girl began to sob, and he gently rubbed her back.
Don't cry, Evie, he said, I'll be back before you know it. And just think of all the fun you'll have at Hogwarts when you're old enough. I love you, Evie. You're like my little sister. I'll miss you.
I'll miss you too, Draco, she sniffed, pulling him more tightly against her. Eventually, Draco had to pull back, as the portkey was about to go off. Grabbing the old sock Dumbledore had sent, he waved to his two friends and gave them a genuine smile, before disappearing with a sudden *pop*.
Heather wrapped her arm around Evelyn's shoulder, pulling the child towards her.
Don't worry, Evie, she said, He'll be back.