A Day and A Night

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Chapter 35: A Question and an Answer:

Hermione sat in her office in Dorchester castle, with vials, slides, and pieces of parchments all around her. The Aurors had removed all the bodies, and most of the evidence, and they were working elsewhere, so she was quite alone in the large room. She felt restless; because she felt that last piece of evidence…that last secret…was right within her grasp. She walked up to the still cracked window and looked outside. She noticed that it was once again dark out. She wondered what time it was. She wondered what day it was. Since she had been here, each day seemed to bleed into the next. Had they been here a week, ten days, two weeks? She hardly knew, and she hardly cared.

She went back to the old wooden table and looked down at the report she had been writing when she looked up as Draco walked in the room with a tray of food. “You missed dinner, again.”

“What time is it?” she asked.

“Time for all good princesses to go to bed,” he said with a laugh. “Potter and I are going to crash the clans’ big meeting tonight, and I for one would like to make sure you are well fed, and in bed, before I leave.” He placed the food in front of her, brushed her hair away from her forehead with his hand, and kissed the top of her head. He sat on the table and said, “Did you discover anything earth-shattering today?”

She nodded. “I think I might have.”

“We did, too,” he said, “and to save us time, since you’ll insist that I go first anyway, and I’ll end up giving in to you in the end, I’ll just go first, okay?”

She took a piece of bread from the tray, buttered it, and then motioned that he should go on.

“We went to the village, and Harry asked to talk to the elder of the third clan, believe it or not, even these people have all heard of Harry Potter, and supposedly they were in awe of him, which makes me utterly sick, but anyway, they bent over backwards to answer his bloody questions.” Draco popped a grape in his mouth. He took another one and aimed it toward hers. She wasn’t prepared and it hit her on the eye.

“Ouch, Malfoy!” She rubbed her eye.

“Sorry, princess,” he said. He leaned forward, cupped the back of her head, and kissed her eye. “Next time, catch it with your mouth.”

“Next time, tell me you’re throwing it, or better yet, don’t throw it at all! Now, what did the elder of the third clan tell Harry?”

“The woman who was supposed to marry Milo’s father, the one he was bonded to, and was his mate, was one and the same woman who married MacNeill.”

She stood up and pushed him. He almost fell off the table. “No! They had different names!”

He righted himself and said, “No, same name, different divertive. Iver didn’t deliberately lie to you, when he told you her name; he probably didn’t even remember the woman. When Dorchester senior didn’t marry her, MacNeill stepped in and did the honours, under Milo’s father’s direction. I guess Milo gets his bossy ways naturally.” Draco took another grape, threw it in the air, and positioned his mouth under it to catch it.

“Why didn’t MacNeill or Milo tell us that? It would have been an important piece of information, you would think,” she said.

“You would think,” he agreed. He reached for a third grape, but she swatted his hand.

“This is my food, isn’t it?” she pouted.

“Do you even like grapes?” he asked.

She actually didn’t. “That’s not the point, and how would you know? Anyway, did you confront MacNeill with this information yet?”

“Harry did, and he said it wasn’t a secret and if we had asked, he would have told us. I then told Milo and Iver about it, and they, however, both acted extremely shocked, I mean, this was the woman who supposedly cursed them both at birth, right?”

“They didn’t remember the woman well; after all, they were only 6 and 3 when she went missing, though of course, they didn’t live here at this castle at the time. Milo seemed very upset, and he even yelled at poor Mr. MacNeill, who is still grieving the loss of his daughter, and now his missing wife shows up dead twenty some years later.”

“And did MacNeill say that she was the same woman who placed the curses on Milo and Iver?” Hermione asked.

Draco nodded. “MacNeill said that she did, and once the curses were in place, they couldn’t be lifted. He said no one knew of the curses until her disappearance, when they discovered it written in her journal. He said that was when he told Milo’s parents about it. Of course, they already knew about Iver’s little blood fetish, but they didn’t know the reason until the woman died.”

“When are the funerals?” she asked.

“Milo is having some big clan meeting tonight, the one I told you that Potter and I are planning to crash, under his special little invisibility cloak by the way, although with the extra senses these people have, we’ll probably be discovered. Milo can’t hide it any longer. He has to tell them what happened, and when the third clan finds out, well, he seems to think it will be all out war, since this woman was part of that clan, and indirectly, so was Cat,” he explained. He handed her an apple and said, “Now, what did you find out.”

“Milo and Iver share DNA with Violet.” She took a large bite of her apple.

Draco stared at her in shock. She was sitting, but he grabbed her shoulders, and shook her and said, “Are you joking?” She almost choked on her apple.

“Watch out, I bruise easily, as you can see,” she said, her hand resting on one of his. He removed his hands. “I don’t even know if they know. I don’t think they were closely related, but definitely, they are of the same lineage, and I don’t mean distant relatives, but same general family. I think Violet and their mother must have been related.” She stood up, reached for a folder, and handed it to him.

“Those are my findings. Draco, there’s something else, and I don’t know how to tell you this. It has to do with you.”

He stared at her for a long time, and noticed that she seemed truly worried. He pulled on her wrist, and hugged her. “What, are you pregnant?” He laughed.

She pushed on him again and said, “You’re a moron! I’m not pregnant! We only made love two days ago! At least, I think it was just two days ago. All of my days are bleeding together. No, I did find out something about you, though.”

“I’m pregnant?” he asked with a perfectly straight face.

She didn’t know whether to slap him or laugh. She did neither. He smiled and said, “Just say it, Granger.”

“I took a hair sample from you, too.”

“You did? I thought my hair felt slightly out of place. Why? Did you want to see if I was a natural blond?” he joked, though he was slightly perturbed at her. He stood up and walked around to the other side of the table.

“No,” she said, and then she sighed. “Draco, your DNA also matches Milo and Iver and Violet’s. There are similar qualities, which makes sense, because legend says that you come from the day people, or the lost clan from the eighth sister, the pure Veela and Wizard line, and their mother also came from that line.”

Draco had to take a moment to digest the information, and then he said, “So what? My DNA matches theirs, or shares characteristics of theirs. That would make sense, right?”

She nodded, but he felt there was still more she wanted to say. “Is there more, Granger?”

She shook her head slightly. Milo interrupted them when he knocked on the door. Draco turned to look at him first. “I just got back to the castle and Iver said that you needed me up here, to question me, Malfoy. We have to hurry, because I have a clan meeting later tonight, and I need to prepare.”

“I didn’t ask to question you,” Draco said. Harry and Draco had decided not to question Milo yet. They knew he lied about Jennifer Cravens’ body, but until they had definitive proof that the body was that of Marcella O’Brien’s, they weren’t going to say a word. Draco turned to Hermione and asked, “Did you need to talk to him.”

“Yes, I need to talk to him, and I need to do so alone,” she said. Draco frowned.

He took her arm, and ushered her to the corner. “Don’t mention that we think he lied about the body in the woods, until Potter gets the DNA sample of Marcella’s. Then, when we know for sure that the body wasn’t Jennifer, Potter and I will question him, not you.”

“That’s not what I want to question him about, okay? This is something else completely, and I need to talk to him alone.” She placed a hand on his chest and she said, “Please, Draco. Go back downstairs. I’ll come down when I’m finished.”

“I don’t have time for this,” Milo complained from the doorway. “Are we to talk, or not?”

Draco stormed from the room, shouldered Milo as he left, and he stomped all the way down the stairs. Hermione said, “Please, close the door. I have some questions for you.”

Milo closed the door, and while facing the doorway, he smiled. He had been waiting to be alone with her again. He turned toward her and said, “I want to apologize first, before we talk. I’m responsible for your safety, and you were once again injured.” He took slow, deliberate steps toward her, placed a hand upon her bruised cheek, and rubbed his thumb gently back and forth several times. His hand dropped just as slowly.

Her mouth was suddenly dry, so her words came out hoarsely as she said, “I’m not your responsibility.” She turned away from him and walked over toward the windows. When she turned back, he had followed, and was still just as close, and she felt as if she might sway on her feet.

“Are you alright?” he asked. He stared intently into her eyes, almost ‘too’ intently.

He was highly aware that she was NOT all right. He was using his influence on her again, and he was certain that she was not aware, but then she asked, “You’re doing it right now, aren’t you?” Her hand pushed against his chest. “You’re trying your little spell on me, to influence me.”

“I don’t know what you mean,” he said, innocently, though he was surprised that she was aware of what he was doing. He placed a hand on her arm, to steady her.

She brought her hand up to her neck, and began to breathe harder, while her other hand found purchase on his forearm. “Listen, Milo, that’s what I wanted to ask you. I need to know what spell you used on these girls to determine if they were your mates, and if you used them on everyone of the dead girls.”

His face suddenly clouded over and he backed away one-step, then two. “Why do you need to know that?” He stopped using his influence over her, as his anger began to grow.

“So I can trace the magical DNA to see if there are any other bodies, so I can see if there is a connection, so I can see if our theory is correct that these girls were killed because someone viewed them as potential mates for you.”

“I assure you,” he began, “none of them were my potential mates. If they were, I would have claimed one of them by now. Besides, two of them I barely knew. The girls from the University I had only met and spoken to a couple of times.”

“But you do now admit you knew them all, right?” she asked. She backed against the window. The window seat was against her legs.

“I had met them all, had I not been forthcoming with that information already? I thought I had.” He took another step forward again. “The three from the village were all witches, that village actually has more witches than they let on, but that’s their business, not mine. That wasn’t a secret, was it?” He face was set like a rock, and his voice was tense and menacing. He closed the gap between them, and again, he stared deeply in her eyes, his hand reached out for her once more, and touched her arm.

“Please, stop there.”

“Why?” he asked again.

“Milo, did the spell work on all of them?” she asked.

He took another step forward. “Yes, it did.”

“How does it work, and what type of spell is it. I need to know the incantation, or if it’s a silent spell, I need to know its origins, so I can recreate it. It’s important to the case. You need to tell me how it works, and how it made the girls feel, and how you determined whether it was accurate or not.”

He smiled and said, “I could show you, instead.”

“No thank you,” she said. He was so close now. She could feel the heat of his body, could smell the scent of his skin, she placed a hand on his chest again. He placed a hand over that hand. She said, “I don’t want to feel that way again. It made me feel dizzy, and nauseated, and like I had no control of my own body and mind.”

“But Hermione,” he said, steadily, “that’s not the normal reaction to the spell.” He came so close that they were literally standing in front of each other. She had to crane her head up to look at him. Their bodies were touching.

She found breathing difficult. She placed her other hand on his chest, too, and her thoughts became jumbled. She couldn’t think, or act on her own. His free hand went to her back. He stared deeply in her eyes and said, “I shall show you the spell now, Hermione. Pay attention, won’t you?” Each word said was slow, like a caress, his lips close to her lips, his breath on her skin. In an ancient language, with words that rolled slowly off his tongue, and rang through her head, he said, “An rud is annamg is iontach. Ceileann searc ainimh’s locht. Tada gan iarracht. Gra, Dilseacht, Cairdeas.”

She fell into him, both his arms wrapped around her. She looked up at him, and breathlessly she asked, “What did that mean?”

“That’s the spell. It means nothing, it means everything,” he replied. He suddenly felt conflicted. She should not even be aware that he had spoken the words. Normally, after he said the spell, he then could perform Legilimency and delve into their minds, search their hearts, and see if they were kindred spirits. Usually, they would be in a state of walking-unconsciousness, but they were always able to walk and talk, and respond to his commands. He would ‘taste’ their blood as the last test, and all of this would happen without their knowledge. Her reaction was completely out of the ordinary, and it intrigued him.

When he had first met Hermione in the village, he had not gotten as far as saying the actual incantation, because Malfoy came upon them, but he suspected at that time that it would not have worked. Why didn’t it work? What did that mean? It couldn’t mean that she’s his mate, could it? He stroked her hair, as he held her up against his chest with his free arm. He asked, “What do you feel right now, Hermione? I must know.”

“Please, I feel…I feel…please. I feel weak and ill. Let me go. I need to sit down.” Her head lolled toward his chest. She would have dropped to the floor if his arms were not holding her upright. He picked her up and sat on the window seat, with her cradled in his arms, on his lap. Hermione looked up at him and said, “Please, get Draco.”

“No,” he answered.

He looked down at the girl in his arms and he thought, ‘What does this mean?’

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