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He thought they would never leave.

He scowls in his place behind a statue of Charles Curative as he watches Madame Pomfrey see Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger out of the Infirmary. The school surgery is hardly a merry place to be on a Saturday night. Yet, as he gives a cursory glance at the picnic basket Draco is lugging in his arm, the two students seem to have decided to spend their precious dinnertime at the nursery and not some café in Hogsmeade.

They pass the statue in silence, eyes looking far away and foreheads creased with worry. He peers at them curiously. He wonders why anxiousness is etched on the students’ faces. ‘I guess dinner wasn’t that fun,’ he thinks to himself.

“You haven’t told anybody, right?” Draco suddenly asks. “About us? Being alright now and everything?

Hermione looks at him in surprise but shakes her head. “No,” she answers slowly, “Nobody knows.”

Draco sighs. He stops walking and takes her arm. “Hey, don’t take it the wrong way.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Hermione says in a tone that was a forced attempt to be as offhand as possible.

“Hermione,” he says pleadingly.

“Draco,” she interrupts, “You don’t have to be worried about anything. My lips are sealed about this entire… thing. Whatever it is. If it is… something… at all…” She continues to walk but Draco steps in her way.

“It is. It is something,” he insists. He reaches out his hand and touches the snake pendant that leans on her neck. “I gave you this because I want us to have… something.” He turns red. “That is, if you want us to have… something…”

The Dim figure rolls his eyes in exasperation. He wonders why he’s always in the right place and right time for these sappy moments. He looks over at Hermione whose face just lit up in a smile. She doesn’t answer but takes his hand in hers and they resume walking again.

Again, he wonders what all the fuss is about. But as soon as the two students are well out of earshot, he quickly dismisses the puzzle. He looks down at own hand, carrying his own picnic basket and gives it another once over, making sure he has everything he needs.

“Perfect,” he says a little too loudly.

“I dare say. Who’s there?” says the statue of Charles Curative nervously, eyes looking around.

He smiles and puts his hood on and turns himself Dim. The statue then focuses on something else at the other end of the annex. “Anyone there?” the statue calls again. He takes this opportunity to slip in the Infirmary unnoticed.

He enters the lounge at the same time Madame Pomfrey steps out from the nursery. He could tell the Dim spell is holding quite well as her attention is fixed on her desk, where a rather thick book sat beside a steaming cup of Overcast Duke.

He stands still in his place right beside the front door and he watches her leave the nursery door open before going over to her novel. As soon as she is settled in her chair and is opening her book, he quickly slips in the baby’s room, carefully holding his picnic basket close to his chest.

He takes a deep breath upon setting foot in the nursery. He looks around the room and spots the little infant’s crib, now moved from her place near the window to the center of the nursery. He walks over to it and smiles at her sleeping figure.

She definitely looks better, maybe even at the pink of health. Her tanned complexion exudes a vigorous glow and her silver blond curls are shining beautifully.

He looks back at Madame Pomfrey who is now softly weeping over her book. Gently, he puts the picnic basket down and takes out his wand. “Muffliato,” he says.

Finally, everything is secure. A piece of scroll is taken out from underneath his robes and laid down on the night table. A few rays of light from the moon touch it delicately and the letters and words written in a very hurried scrawl seem to jump to life.

To compile everything neatly, the identifying spell requires: a pair of owl eyes, a pair of dog ears, a pixie’s nose, a salamander’s paw and a lock of hair or fur of the animal, human, monster, familiar, et cetera to be identified. All are to be thrown into a cauldron of boiling water and paprika in the order this is relayed.

The caster must stir the formula completely while chanting Appelatio over and over again. After two minutes of stirring, hear a distant thunderbolt from the bottom of the cauldron will be heard. Once the surface is settled, a five-minute vision of where the being is from and what it is should appear.

He obviously wastes no time as, in a few minutes, everything is in place. On the floor, a few feet from Aurora’s crib, a cauldron full of water is now at a rolling boil. From the picnic basket, he draws out the bottles and sacks of monstrous ingredients and drops them in the cauldron. Then he goes over to the sleeping baby and takes a lock of her hair using his wand and chucks it in the cauldron.

He stirs the darkening potion with his wand.

"Appelatio,” he begins, feeling a bit tense in his chest. But he continues. “Appelatio. Appelatio. Appelatio. Appelatio..."

Suddenly, he hears a thunderbolt. It is time. He takes away his wand and takes a deep breath. He counts up to ten and peers over the cauldron.

His eyes widen. A freight train of confounded thoughts begin to flood his mind. He waves his wand and the cauldron and the picnic basket disappear.

Not able to comprehend what he’s just seen, he leaves the Infirmary the fastest way he can and runs like the wind.

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