A Day and A Night

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Chapter 30: An Accusation and a Race

After making love, Draco and Hermione swam some more, made love in the springs, swam some more, and made love a third time. Finally, Hermione decided that it was getting late, and she wondered if Milo was even still waiting for them. Draco said that Milo could go to hell and back. Hermione laughed, said that he had probably already been there, and then reminded Draco that they had a new body to examine.

That put a bit of a damper on things. They dressed quickly, but before they left the cave, Draco pulled on her arm and said, “Are we okay?”

“I should think so,” she said. “I don’t make love to just anyone, Malfoy, but more importantly, I don’t say I love you to just anyone, either.”

“Only to us really good looking chaps, right?” he joked as he helped her put her arms in her jacket.

“Yes, I’m that shallow that I only make love to good looking chaps,” she said bitingly. He buttoned the buttons on her jacket, as he had done before, only this time, he wasn’t embarrassed by the action. This time, it felt right. It felt intimate, but correct.

Before they left the cave, Hermione pointed toward some writing on the walls. “Light your wand and hold it up to those words, Malfoy.”

“Is your wand broken?” he asked, although he did as requested. He moved the lit wand back and forth along the words that were above the opening of the cave. Hermione frowned. Draco looked at her and said, “It looks foreign.”

“It’s Celtic,” she answered. “Do you have parchment?”

“Now where would I have parchment?” he asked. “Under my hat, oh, that’s right, I don’t have a hat.”

“Don’t be a rude bugger,” she said with a smile. “All good Aurors should always carry around a pad of paper and a pen, like on those Muggle detective shows.” She drew a small spiral notebook out of her pocket, along with a pen.

Draco lowered his wand and asked, “If you had a pen and paper the whole time, what was the point of asking me for one, Hermione? What was the point?”

She shrugged and said, “To bother you.”

“Right, I’ve got your number, Princess,” he laughed. She grabbed his wrist, pointed his hand and wand back toward the writing, and she copied the words.

She read the phrase silently from her pad. “
Eiridh tonn air uisge balbh cion annsa.” “There’s no way I could even begin to pronounce these words. I’ll have to ask Iver what they mean and how to pronounce them.”

“That last word is ‘beloved’. I know that because it’s the name of the last sister, from the eight original Veelas,” Draco said nonchalantly. Hermione looked at him with surprise and he said, “Don’t look so shocked. I’m smart, and, remember, I told you that my family comes from the last sister, and that was her name. I already told you that. You’re slipping, old girl.”

“Old girl?” she asked. She stuffed the notebook in her pocket, grabbed his hand, and they left the cave, hand-in-hand, and once outside, they noticed that Milo was gone. Hermione had hoped that he would be, because she was sure he had figured out what they were doing in the cave, and she was frankly too embarrassed to face the man. Draco had hoped he would be gone, too, because he wanted to talk about the case to Hermione on the way back to the castle, without the other man present.

Walking along the forest, on the well-worn path, Draco said, “Did you know that Cat’s mother left her when she was young?”

“No, I figured it was something like that, rather than a death, although I don’t know why I thought that,” she said. “That’s a bit curious, isn’t it? People don’t seem to leave this village often, except by dying.”

“I was thinking,” he said, “Cat has very blonde hair, and is very fair.”

“Just like you,” Hermione laughed. “Maybe she’s your long lost sister.”

“Please, be sensible,” he said with a roll of his eyes. “Her father is dark, as is almost every other member of the Prime clan. Milo’s cousins today, Thom and Angus, they were dark as well,” Draco observed.

“Remember how Iver explained that everyone either had the dark colouring of the Vampire heritage, or the fair colouring of the Veela heritage. I noticed that the men from the other night, the ones from the third clan were mostly blonde and fair,” she said in return. “But yet, Cat has blonde hair, as you stated.”

“Right.”

“What’s your point, Malfoy?” she asked.

“Perhaps her mother was from the Day people, too. On the other hand, maybe her mother was from another clan. Didn’t you say that Iver told you that his father’s mate was from the third clan?”

“And how is that significant to this case?” Hermione wondered aloud. “Why, do you think that Cat’s mother was from the third clan?”

“She might have been, she might not have been, I’m just wondering,” he mused. Hermione stopped walking and he literally ran into her back. He held onto her shoulders and said, “Sorry, Princess, but you’re supposed to keep walking unless you want someone to run over you.”

She turned to look at him and she said, “That’s what’s been bothering me!”

“The fact that someone might run over you?” he asked, sincerely.

She looked at him incredulously, clenched her hands into fists to keep from slapping him, and said, “No, the fact that all of the girls have had very dark hair and dark eyes, except for Violet. She was older, yes, but one could tell she was a blonde when she was younger, and her eyes were blue.”

“But her death was probably the outcome of our investigation, or rather, because she helped us, rather than it fitting the mold of the other murders,” Draco surmised.

Hermione asked, “And tell me, Mr. Auror, what is your assumption? Why do you think all of these girls were murdered?”

“Because they were all potential mates for Milo,” he said.

“Exactly,” she expounded. “This makes Cat a prime suspect in my book. We don’t know that she’s really in love with Iver, except for what she’s told us. She could secretly love Milo, and she was originally meant for him, and perhaps she resents the fact that he wanders about the countryside looking for an outsider to wed, and the archeology students just happened to have the misfortune of being outsiders, also making them potential mates, according to that blasted book.” She tore a small limb off a bush, whacked it across a tree, and said, “I have so much to do, Malfoy and not enough time to do it!”

“And beating up trees is item number one, I take it?” he asked sardonically.

Ignoring his blunt humour, she ticked things off on her hand. “I need to analyze that book, to determine its age, I need to do an autopsy on the new body, no, on two bodies, because of the one they found last night, I need to see which of the remaining girls they match, I need to re-examine all the DNA and hair samples, to make sure that Violet and Jennifer were the only ones connected to this place, and I’d love to sneak samples from Iver, Milo and Cat, but I’m not sure how I’d do that, plus we need to somehow find that last remaining body.”

“You also need to use punctuation when you speak, because that was a bloody long sentence, Granger, dear.” Draco took her hand and dragged her down the path. “And don’t worry, I’ll help, but I’ll be busy myself. I have to write up a report for Harry, and once you’ve determined who this latest body was, and who the girl from last night was, by the way, don’t forget her, we still have to contact Potter and the Ministry, as well as the Muggle Authorities. There are families to be contacted, and families to interview, to see if there’s anything that would tie the missing girls to this place. See, I’ll be busy, too.”

“You need to get to the village as well,” Hermione said, “Glendora, I mean, and ask around about Cat’s mother, find out who she was, if she’s still alive, and also perhaps about the woman who was cast aside by Milo’s father, or they might even be one and the same. The more we know the better.”

“You’re so bossy,” he said. She stopped and stared at him. He kept walking, but turned when he felt that she was no longer walking with him. He turned to her. “What? I like that about you.”

“Right,” she said, doubtfully. “I would love to know what type of magic Milo uses on the women to see if they’re his potential mates. Isn’t that what Cat told you?”

Now Draco stopped walking. He placed his hand on her chest to make her stop and he asked, “How is that pertinent?”

“What if it’s a form of the Imperius? I told you, I almost felt that way when he touched me the first time. Maybe he’s still our most likely suspect. Maybe he murdered those girls just to lure us here. He seemed to know exactly when we were in Dorchester, and you have to admit, someone blew up my car that first night, and I don’t think it was to make us leave before we could come to Glendora, but to somehow isolate us more once we got here.”

“Right,” Draco laughed. “He’s a serial killer, but his whole reason for killing was to get an Auror from the Ministry, along with his trusty, little Mudblood, know-it-all, scholar girlfriend to come to the village, but for what purpose, Granger?”

“Scholar?” she asked.

“That’s the only word that bothered you? Not the Mudblood part? Not the know-it-all part or even the girlfriend part? The word ‘scholar’ bothers you? It was your word in the first place, remember?”

“I wasn’t your girlfriend when we arrived, and according to the story about the lost prince, oh, never mind,” she said. She stepped away from him, just as the trees grew dense again, and the castle came into view.

“What about the story?” he called out.

“You read it,” she said, vaguely.

“I read some of it, and yes, the prince of the land tricks the lost prince as well as a girl from another village into coming to their land, he forces them to a bonding ritual, all to fulfill a prophecy to reunite their people into one people, forgoing individual clans. I read that part, but you don’t really think that applies to us, do you?” Draco asked.

“No, of course not, after all, as you said, even if Violet did write that book, she couldn’t have anticipated you and I coming to Glendora, could she? The story isn’t about us.” She smiled, but inside she was worried. “Besides, no one would ever mistake you for a ruddy prince, even though I’ve been calling you Prince Rude since day one.”

“How does the story end, Granger? I know you’re trying hard not to tell me.” Instead of answering, Hermione began to run.

She shouted, “Last one to the castle has to kiss MacNeill on the lips!”

Draco cursed when Hermione began to run. He ran after her, grabbed the back of her coat, and spun her around. “Granger, how does it end? The girl doesn’t kill the prince or something, does she?” He laughed, because he was joking.

She laughed, too, even though she felt beads of perspiration break out on the back of her neck. She said, “It’s silly really, but it ends with the girl being forced to marry the dark prince, instead of the lost prince, and I guess I’m worried because I’d rather not marry Milo. He gives me the shivers.” That part was true, also. In the story, after the girl accidentally kills the lost prince, the dark prince forces her to marry him.

“And not the good shivers, right?” Draco said, with a smirk. He grabbed her around the waist, and skimmed his nose along her cheek, down her jaw, to her neck, where he kissed her pulse point. He kissed his way back up her neck, up to her chin, to her mouth. Then he said, “Then it’s a wonderful thing that story’s not about us, because there’s no way in hell I’d let you end up with that ponce.”

“Good thing, that,” she said with a smile. She hugged him, and prayed he was right. She pushed away from him and said, “The last one to the castle has to kiss Milo Dorchester on the lips for three minutes!”

Draco swung her around her waist, picked her up, and threw her lightly on the ground, and then he jumped over her and ran as fast as he could. Hermione said, “Hey, that’s cheating!”

Draco wasn’t above cheating. He turned back once, and saw that she was still on the ground. He yelled, “Hurry, Granger, I don’t want you to have to kiss him either.” Then as he continued to run, he muttered to himself, “No bloody way will I ever let him have you. Ever. I’d kill him myself first.”

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