Chapter 32 : Mother Knows Best
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There are many things in this world which we cannot explain. These are the things we cover in mystery and superstition so we do not cause ourselves so much pain as to wonder their true origins. Most times, the origins of our fears are simple. You should fear the shebear when her cubs are at stake. She will fight to the bitter end.
A/N: If you leave a review and I answer it in the next chapter, be happy! I may not have gone in the direction you wanted…but I’m sure I answered the questions.
“I don’t know what you are talking about, Mother,” Cho said disdainfully. “There is nothing that needs be done about my ‘situation.’” Cho held up her hands and made quotation marks in the air.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Cho,” her Mother said. “You have to be reasonable. There is no way you are going to come out on the winning side. Either way this goes, you lose. You don’t see the simple facts here. You’re just like your father, too smart for your own good.”
Cho sneered at the disembodied head speaking to her from the fireplace. She had stopped paying any attention to her mother ever since the woman had claimed to care about Cedric’s murder. She had hated her daughter’s relationship with the Hufflepuff when he was alive; why would care about his death?
“You seem to forget, Mother dear, that I also have your Slytherin tendencies,” Cho said. “I didn’t come into this with my eyes closed; I’m not a little girl any more. I came into this to win, and I am going to win.
“Then stop acting like a silly little girl and cut your losses,” her Mother interrupted. “You were named as a senior accomplice. You can’t deny your involvement. Even the Imperius defense won’t work. There are too many witnesses.”
A sudden scraping of a door opening startled Cho.
“Be that as it may,” Cho started, “this conversation is over. I must go, someone is here.”
“Cho, please,” her mother said in barely a whisper. “Reconsider your position. I’ll do everything I can do to help.”
At that, Cho turned towards the other side of the room and the door that had opened. Draco Malfoy stood emotionless at the threshold.
“Sorry if I interrupted,” Draco said in his silky voice. “I know how parental conversations can be…draining.”
Cho narrowed her eyes at Draco. He maintained his emotionless posture, but generations of breeding and years of strict parenting gave his physical carriage a regal quality. It was a quality Cho admired in William. It was as if William were a wild animal, free of the confines of societal restrictions; he was exhilarating. And for some reason, Draco had the same wild air about himself but, Cho felt, it was controlled like the potential power of avalanche. She felt her skin tingle under his gaze.
“She’ll never understand,” Cho finally responded. “There is a greater good at stake here. I’m not just playing about.”
Draco nodded. He could see her confusion. Cho, while very close to William, was still a young woman. Perhaps he could maneuver himself closer to her, thereby bringing himself closer to William.
“That’s always the problem,” Draco began, “They never seem to believe you have a mind of your own and can use it. My father did everything he could to stop me from doing what I thought was right, even after I had learned everything from him.
Draco then smiled at the thought of his father’s current whereabouts.
“What?” Cho asked.
“It’s nothing, only that for once, I am glad that I didn’t follow his advice or else I’d be in a cell next to him in Azkaban. His refusal to fully commit to the Dark Lord’s cause was his downfall.
“You know he was the reason the Chamber of Secrets was reopened. He could have facilitated the Dark Lord’s return by killing Harry Potter when he had the chance. Instead he faltered and ended up waited for that disgusting rat, Wormtail, and Barty Crouch, Jr. to bring him back.”
Draco turned as if to leave, sure that Cho would stop him and further engage him in conversation. She is a woman, isn’t she, he thought to himself. She has needs.
“What did you want Draco?” Cho asked. “I’m sure you didn’t just come here to tell me about your father.”
Draco smirked to himself before he turned back to face Cho. “Oh, I did almost forget,” he said. “Do forgive me. But you asked me to let you know if there were any changes at the Ministry. Well apparently the group who showed up when William disengaged from the battle are wizards from the American Army. My sources tell me they are here to train the Defenders of the Light.”
Ajax Potter sat staring intently at the room’s other occupant. He wanted nothing more than to cast a Reducto and create a pile of dust out of him. But since he was wandless and confined by a medical restraint charm all he could do was hurl insults and jibes at the man.
Hermione called in Healer Garzino to assess Ajax’s stability. She told him there was something not quite right about his story. She also told him what Molly and Arthur had done when they met him. Garzino trusted the Weasley’s instincts so for them to have trussed this man up and place him in their shed must have meant they too were suspicious.
“Look, I don’t know what else to tell you,” Ajax said. “I’m not crazy. I just came back to settle some old scores.”
“By releasing another great plague on humanity?” Garzino asked.
Ajax shook his head. “You obviously don’t understand. Evil must be destroyed! And if there is collateral damage, so be it.
“William is evil. He’s as bad as they come. You think Voldemort was dark? Well William is black. There is nothing he won’t do.”
Garzino furrowed his brow. He watched Ajax become more and more agitated as he thought and spoke about William. Beads of sweat started forming on his upper lip and brow.
“The sick bastard killed my father and brother and then framed me for it,” Ajax said. “He said he had to kill Angel because he deserved it. What could an eleven year old have done to deserve what he did to him? Nothing, that’s what.
“Angel was just that, an angel. He was everything anyone would have wanted from a boy – my father loved him, I loved him. He was as perfect a child as you could have ever imagined.”
Garzino picked up on the unusual sibling relationship. He had been talking with and listening to Ajax for eight to ten hours a day for the last four days trying to understand what trauma had occurred before and after William killed his family. In all that time, Ajax had not mentioned anything about any sibling rivalry between the brothers. In addition, Garzino expected some veneration of the victim, and some guilt associated with surviving. None of that was present.
“Ajax, where was your mother when this happened?” Garzino asked.
“You leave her out of this,” Ajax snapped. “She had nothing to do with any of this. She was dead long before any of this happened.”
Garzino nodded and made a note on his pad. He had asked his office to provide him with anything they could find on Ajax, but since he was also under the blood magic that shielded the Potter family, there was little to go on. They had verified that Ajax’s mother had died twelve years before William had murdered Ajax’s father and little brother – an inconsistency he could hardly ignore.
“Very well,” Garzino said, “but, just one more thing…What happened to Angel’s mother? Where was she?”
Ajax flew into a rage. His eyes bulged and his nostrils flared. Had it not been for the medical restraint charm, Garzino was sure the man would have at least attacked his personal protection charm or at worst hurt himself.
“I told you, you bloody quack, she was long dead.”
Garzino closed his pad and nodded. “Very well then, I think you’ve had enough of this. Why don’t you get some rest?”
A medi-witch entered with a tray holding a small potion phial. Garzino smiled at the witch and nodded. The young witch administered to potion without resistance and Ajax fell asleep.
Garzino went to his office where Hermione and Ron waited for him. He had invited them to watch the last few minutes of his conversation with Ajax via a magical screen to get an idea of what they were dealing with.
“He doesn’t seem that bad,” Ron began. “I mean, I was awfully torn up by Fred’s death. And Ajax seems to have really loved his little brother. I can’t blame him for feeling the way he does.”
“Yes, I agree with you Ron, the issue however, is not that he loved his brother…or for that matter his father,” Garzino said. “What is far from normal is the intensity of his feelings this far removed from the event. You see, I am sure he’s hiding something about the event or about his brother.”
“His brother?” Hermione asked. “He was only a child. What would Ajax have to hide about him?”
Garzino explained the discrepancy between Angel’s age and the death of Ajax’s mother.
“Well, they were under the blood magic, weren’t they?” Ron said. “That could have just been a mix up.”
Again Garzino nodded. “Normally, I would have said the same thing. But intuition tells me there’s something else. Not to mention the fact that to kill William, Ajax would sacrifice the rest of humanity. I can say without a doubt, he’s insane, but I think we need to understand what drove him insane.”
Molly Weasley was finally satisfied: everything had been arranged for the wedding. Now all she needed to do was make sure the family would have a normal Christmas.
She was well aware of the battle that took place at the Ministry, but Arthur had told her there were no serious injuries, so she was satisfied things there would not ruin her family’s first Christmas since Voldemort’s downfall.
She just needed to prepare her home. She had been very excited by the way Harry’s house elves had decorated Gryphons Den and the surrounding neighborhood. She loved the way it seemed to warm everyone who saw it. She wanted the Burrow to reflect the same kind of hope for a better future.
But where to start she wondered. Most of the family decorations had been destroyed from the fire that almost consumed the Burrow. She still had a few items that she had taken to Gryphons Den when it was still Grimmauld Place and they had spent Christmas there.
“I wonder,” she said quietly to herself. She cleared her throat. Then she thought to herself, There’s no chance the house elves will even come if I call. They are part of Harry and Ginny’s household. Well, it was a good thought.
Just then Kreacher appeared with a soft pop.
“Madam Wheezy requires something,” Kreacher said in a deep bow.
Molly jumped from the elf’s sudden appearance.
“Oh Kreacher, you gave me a start,” she said. “I didn’t say anything.”
“Madam is Master’s ‘motherer’,” Kreacher croaked. “He would be quite upset if I neglected her wishes. The Missus Potter would never let him hear the end of it.”
Molly smiled thinking of how the little elf had Ginny’s behavior pegged and was going to every length to ensure Harry didn’t incur her wrath.
“What is it thats you wishes?” Kreacher said. “Is you requiring help with keeping Christmas? Jinks and Kreacher are happy to help.”
And then just as suddenly as Kreacher appeared, Jinks was standing in the Burrow. The little elf was also carrying a large assortment of precariously stacked boxes as well as wearing a bright red and green Christmas cap.
“Finally,” Jinks said. “I was wondering where weez was going to move Christmas.”
Jinks put down his burden and turned to Molly. “Tis a pleasure to serve Harry Potter’s ‘motherer’,” Jinks said.
Molly could say nothing. While she loved Harry as one of her own, her role in his life had never really been acknowledged by anyone. To have two house elves, whose magic saw past normal human perception, recognize her as Harry’s ‘motherer’ was a gift in and of itself.
“Worry not,” Kreacher said. “Weez are going to make ready the Burrow for a wonderful Christmas. You must rest. Much will be happening in the coming days. Much joy and…”
Kreacher turned away and mumbled the end of his sentence, “and much sorrow.”
Jinks slapped the old elf. “Sadness is not allowed,” he said. “There is only happiness when one passes through the veil.”
Molly missed the elf conversation. She was, however, very happy that they were doing what elves did best; making life better.
Harry scratched his head as he and Ginny made their way back to the shoreline. They needed to find when the gryphon’s egg was. Just thinking about it made his temples throb. How could something exist in a single period of time, he wondered. While he was not overly fond of scientific theory, he had managed to see a few programs where Professor Steven Hawking had explained time the way Muggles see it. He had even seen the American physicist, Michio Kaku explain how time travel was not only possible but something that happens at a level so small that humans may only see it one boson particle at a time.
Ginny, on the other hand, understood anything was possible with magic. The problem was finding out how – and time travel or manipulation was something almost taboo in the wizarding world. Potter the Younger’s ribbon demonstration more than proved what a mess could be made when someone decided to try. By the time he finished his explanation the ribbon was split into so many fibers it almost looked like smoke. The whole thing made her head hurt as well.
“You know,” Harry started, “There’s got to be someone who can help us figure this thing out without causing use too much more headache. I mean, this all seems real, but for us to move in and round time, wouldn’t we be making the same mistake if we just went poking around. It would be a spectacular disaster.”
“No doubt,” Ginny agreed. “I think without knowing when the egg exists we are pretty much lost on that account. But what I still am having problems with is how this all relates to the daggers. I’m sure there’s a connection, but Younger just made it all seem like a bigger puzzle.”
“That’s it!” Harry said as he jumped to his feet in the boat. The boat, while being magical, was not immune to the physics that Harry was thinking about and listed heavily to the side tossing both of them into the water. Luckily they were close enough to the dock neither of them had any trouble getting to it.
Judging by the look on her face, Harry could tell Ginny was not pleased with their current situation. He decided the best thing to do was to act as if nothing happened and explain what he meant before they hit the water.
“Ginny, it a bigger puzzle,” he said as he pulled her onto the dock. “We are only seeing a portion of it. It’s like the ribbon Potter the Younger was talking about, except it’s bigger than that. Time is only a small portion of our universe. It’s what we experience as passing or as coming or going. It’s never static – so for something to be only at a certain time, that means it has to be in singular position – at a static moment in time.”
Totally bewildered by his thinking, Ginny waited for Harry to explain further.
“We don’t need to travel in time – we need to stop it.”
“Don’t want much, do you,” she said as she pulled her wet hair out of her face. “Harry, that’s one of the magical constants; time moves in one direction. It moves forward.
“We can move back in it, and as I said before, no one wants to do that because of the problems it causes.”
Harry thought back to Hermione and his use of a time-turner when they saved Sirius in his third year. They were only faced with outcomes that seemed destine to complete the same way they had done in the first place. Their meddling seemed to be part of the reality they were living the first time. Harry stopped.
“The first time…” he said out loud and paused.
Ginny was using a drying charm on her clothes. But she noticed the faraway look on her bondmate’s face. She stopped and waited. Harry said nothing.
“The first time, what?” Ginny asked.
“Oh, err, I was thinking the first time Hermione and I used a time-turner, I felt like everything that happened was supposed to be happening,” he said. “I mean, I didn’t know the difference when things were happening that we were actually manipulating time. If you look at the outcome – well, it was a positive thing.”
Harry stopped and waited for Ginny’s reaction.
“So your point is what?” she said. “You saved Buckbeak and Sirius. But you were also confined to Hogwarts. It’s not like you went and killed Merlin or Gryffindor – you just touched local time.”
“I think that’s what my point is,” Harry replied. “If we can in effect stop local time at the egg’s ‘where,’ then I think we’ll find it right there waiting for us.”
“Okay, that makes no sense whatsoever,” Ginny sniped. “If you CAN stop time, what’s to say that anything will be there?”
Harry paused and thought for a moment. He was quiet for the rest of the trip home, lost in thought. Even if it was possible to stop time, what made him think anything would be on that small island of time. The only thing he knew was that it just seemed like it could be done, and if it could be done, then the egg would be there.
Asiya was on her way back to the Leaky Cauldron after her encounter with the Tears of Ali shopkeeper. She needed to find Bill Weasley as soon as possible. He would be her key to getting to Harry James Potter. He would also be able to get her to Azkaban and find the liar Harry Randal Potter. She finally had the piece of the puzzle that kept her searching throughout the centuries. She was so close to reuniting with both her beloveds that it made her head fill with memories of joy not felt for so long that the emotions felt new. As she entered the Leaky Cauldron tears were coursing down her cheeks. The end was finally close.
Tom the barman was serving a customer when he saw Asiya enter. Seeing her tears, he quickly set a shotglass of Firewhiskey in front of the wizard and rushed over to her. “Oh my dear, is there anything I can do to help?” he asked. “Are you hurt? Do you need a healer? Let me get you something.”
Tom signaled his barmaid to bring tea to the table he sat Asiya at. Once it arrived he poured her a cup and sat quietly next to the young woman as she composed herself.
“Thank you for your kindness,” she said. “I wonder if you could call Bill Weasley to come and fetch me?”
“I can get word to him through his mother, Molly,” Tom said. “You just leave it to me, miss. She’ll have him here in a jiff.”
Tom went directly to the fireplace and threw in a pinch of Floo powder. He then stuck in his head and spoke directly to Molly. He pulled his head back seconds before Molly came charging through the fireplace.
“Where is she, Tom,” Molly asked. “Is she alright? I didn’t know Fleur and Bill had one of her family here, but we can’t just let her fend for herself, now can we? Thank you so much for calling me.”
Tom showed her to Asiya’s table. Molly was surprised by the girl’s appearance. She had a much more Mediterranean look about her. Her eyes however were the clearest blue she had ever seen. There was something about this girl that didn’t sit right with Molly. Years of experience with her boys and their high jinks had taught her when things don’t feel right there’s a reason.
“Hello dear, I’m Molly Weasley, Bill’s mother,” Molly said. “It looks like you’ve landed yourself in a spot of trouble. I sent a message for Bill to come here, so I expect him shortly. But, if you don’t mind my asking dear, what are you?”
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