Ronald Weasley’s day wasn’t going great so far. Annie, his assistant, had accidentally spilled hot coffee onto his lap when bringing his morning breakfast. Around lunch time, two over-sized men came barging into his office, arguing like a married couple about something that didn’t even concern Ron. And when Ron was getting ready to use the Floo Network home, he was transported into Knockturn Alley only to be told by an elderly squib that the Floo Network was not working properly.
Finally, he had no choice but to take a portkey home. He landed on the hill overlooking the Burrow. Now as Ron brushed the dead leaves off his tweed jacket, he walked hastily to his home, his expression tired. He entered the house and murmured a greeting without looking up.
He kicked his shoes off his feet and cursed when he nearly tripped over his own foot.
“Ronald!” Mrs. Weasley said in a firm, but nervous voice.
For the first time since Ron entered the Burrow, he looked up to see more than just red-heads seated at the dinner table. He noticed a certain blonde seated on the opposite side of Charlie. Her face was pink, but she smiled graciously at Ron.
“Luna,” Ron said, surprised. “What are you doing here?”
“Your father invited me to dinner,” she said, still smiling.
“You should have invited her yourself, Ron,” Mr. Weasley said, frowning.
“Well…I-I…didn’t…know…” Ron stammered, but Mrs. Weasley grabbed his arm and yanked him forward, motioning for him to sit next to Luna.
He plopped down on the seat, staring at everyone else. They were all wearing mischievous smiles.
Across from Ron sat Fleur, Bill, Charlie and Mr. Weasley at the end, while Ron and Luna were on the other side along with Mrs. Weasley.
His mother smiled graciously at everyone. “Well, what are we all waiting for?” Mrs. Weasley said, magically placing plates in front of everyone. “Let’s eat.”
Millicent paced back and forth in her room, occasionally stopping to listen for any footsteps that passed the hall and into the guest room. She had heard none yet.
“Where is that bloody woman?” She cursed.
The doorknob turned and the door squeaked open to reveal a tiny, beast-like creature.
“What the hell do you want, Wittleton?” Millicent angrily addressed the hesitant house-elf.
The house-elf bowed low to the ground. “Apologies, Miss,” he spoke gently. “I come to tell you lunch is ready.” The house-elf got ready to leave, but Millicent quickly spoke up.
Wittleton obeyed. “Yes, Miss?”
“Tell me where that American woman is.”
“You mean Ursula,” Wittleton said dreamily.
“Shut up and tell me where she is!” Millicent spat.
“She is in lavatory, Miss.”
Millicent tapped her chubby fingers on her mouth in thought. “Hmm….”
“May I leave now Miss?” Wittleton asked.
“Get out of my sight you sack of vermin!”
Wittleton snapped his fingers and he was gone in thin air.
“That’s the fifth time today that woman has gone to the lavatory. Something’s not right.” Millicent smirked. “Something’s not right, indeed.”
Hermione paced the room anxiously, every once or twice taking an impatient glance at Draco. He was rubbing his temples and looking bothered.
“Well?” Hermione asked, biting her bottom lip.
“That’s a lot you want to know, Jean,” Draco said, looking up.
“Then start from the beginning. I want to know,” Hermione said, sitting next to him.
Draco followed her movement and turned his face to the side. “What do you want to know?”
Hermione peered deep into his eyes. “Everything.”
“Before I can tell you anything Jean, I’d like to know first why were you in such a hurry to leave the grocery store? What happened? Who did you see?” Draco asked.
“Fine. If you really want to know who I saw, I’ll tell you. When I went to get the bag of potatoes, I came across two Death Eaters, Marcus Flint and Theodore Nott.” Hermione paused and watched Draco’s expression go pale. “Now, I don’t know about you, but I sure didn’t want to stick around.”
Draco swallowed and rubbed his hands together in silence.
“They had a lot of interesting things to chat about, Draco,” Hermione continued. “Now, it’s my turn to ask the questions.”
Draco slowly nodded his head. “Ask away,” He whispered.
“What on earth were two purebloods like Flint and Nott doing in a muggle grocery shop?”
Draco rubbed the bottom of his chin. “They’re most likely hiding from the Ministry.”
“That doesn’t explain a lot,” Hermione said flatly.
Draco smirked. “Put yourself in their place. If you were a wanted Death Eater, where would you go?”
I’d never want to be Death Eater. I’d rather kill myself. Hermione thought about Draco’s remark for a few seconds and nodded slowly. “Of course. The one place where no one would search for purebloods would be in a Muggle store.”
“Fine. Explain to me the significance of Slytherin’s jewel. What is it and why do they want it?” Hermione asked.
Draco took a deep inhale of breath, slowly exhaling it out. “Slytherin’s jewel is the greatest jewel in the whole world. It is as big of a deal as the Sorcerer’s Stone once was.”
Hermione folded her hands in her lap, eager to hear more. “What is it capable of?”
Draco paused for a moment before continuing. “It’s told that the Slytherin jewel is powerful enough to bring back the dead.”
“Anyone?” Hermione gasped.
“It cannot bring just anyone back. The jewel can only bring back someone that was a part of Slytherin’s house and someone that has only been gone in between 10 years after they died.” Draco continued, his eyes darkening. “Ever since Voldemort was killed by Harry Potter, the Death Eaters have been trying to search for Slytherin’s jewel. They want to bring back Voldemort.”
“Wait,” Hermione said, thinking for a moment, “even if Voldemort managed to come back from the dead, wouldn’t Harry just be able to kill him off again?”
Draco shook his head. “It’s not that simple. The jewel has stronger powers than just bringing back the dead. It can give unimaginable strength…power.”
“How did they know of the jewel?” Hermione asked.
“I don’t know for sure. It’s something Voldemort only told his inner circle about. I wouldn’t know. I only found out about it through--” Draco momentarily crunched his fingers in his palms, popping them.
“Your father,” Hermione finished for him.
Hermione pulled on her shirt nervously. This was a big deal. Flint and Nott were speaking of the jewel and if they were able to get their hands on it then the whole world would be doomed…all over again.
“But I doubt it’s anything to worry about,” Draco said absentmindedly. “I heard a while ago that it was put away to be destroyed. It’s probably already gone by now.” Draco smiled, but Hermione knew that he wasn’t convinced.
“Who has it?”
“I don’t know. I just know that it’s not in evil hands or we’d all be dead by now.” Draco grinned, joking. “Anything else you’re curious about?”
Hermione paused for a moment, chewing her bottom lip. “What do they want with you?”
Draco’s smile faded away. He rubbed the back of his neck, looking tensed. “I guess there’s nothing to hide now that you already heard most of the story.” He sat forward, his arms on his legs. “They want Gryffindor’s dagger and…”
Draco leaned back against the couch, sliding his hand over his bandaged arm. “And I have it.”
Hermione didn’t gasp, which didn’t surprise Draco. He was certain that Flint and Nott must have already mentioned the dagger as well.
“What powers does the dagger have that they want?” Hermione scooted herself closer to Draco on the couch because of the interest of their conversation. She didn’t realize how close she was until Draco’s leg brushed against hers. She moved a few inches away, unable to hide the blush that crept up her face.
“Well, to be honest…I really don’t know why they would want it. I just know that…it can purify a lost soul,” Draco said in deep breaths.
Purify a lost soul? Hermione thought in confusion, “What do you mean?”
Draco swallowed uneasily, holding his arm to his chest once more.
The time went by in silence as none of them said anything and then it hit Hermione like an epiphany. She stared unbelievably at Draco’s arm and then at his face.
“You mean that you were able to get rid of it…permanently?” Hermione asked, obviously in shock.
Draco didn’t flinch. His soft breathing was the only movement coming from him.
“Merlin,” Hermione’s mind was swirling. I read every book and never, ever came across anything that could get rid of their mark!
“Can I see it?” Hermione asked tentatively.
“It’s upstairs in my suitcase.” Draco got up to make his way to the stairs, but almost tripped over Hermione’s stretched out legs.
“I’ll get it.” Hermione volunteered, but Draco quickly said, “There’s an alarm on it, or did you forget?”
Hermione frowned. “Fine then. Trip and flip, but I don’t have all day, you know.”
Draco smiled and held out his hand. “I didn’t say I didn’t want you to come along.”
Hermione smiled back and slid her hand into his, getting up. As they walked up the stairs, Draco didn’t release her hand, and Hermione wasn’t eager to let go either.
They walked into his room and Hermione directed Draco to his suitcase. Draco opened it easily and the alarm that once filled the room before was as silent as a sleeping owl. He rummaged through his cloths and boxers, reaching for the very bottom of the suitcase. He pulled out a hand long case that wasn’t very big.
He opened it by murmuring an enchantment and revealed a tiny, toothpick-like dagger. He placed it in his hand and with the other, picked up his wand from under his pillow and said, “Enlargo.” The tiny toothpick grew bigger. Now, the handle was in Draco’s hand, with the blade stretching pass his fingers. The handle was crested in beautiful diamonds and the letter “G” was glimmering in the blade.
Hermione held it in her own hands, admiring it. “It’s beautiful.” She gasped.
“I know.” Draco said, smiling.
Hermione looked at Draco’s bandaged arm once more. “Can I see your arm?”
Draco looked hesitant, but unfolded the bandage slowly. Hermione placed the dagger on his bed and took a hold of his arm with one hand, unwrapping the bandage with the other. “I’ll get it off faster for you.”
As Hermione unwrapped the bandage, she kept biting her bottom lip because her heart was pounding like crazy. She guessed that she was feeling nervous because she was going to see Draco’s cut up arm.
She peeled off the last part of the bandage and furrowed her eyebrows together. There was nothing there. His arm was as clean and undamaged as a baby’s bottom.
Draco inhaled a breath and held it. “What do you see?”
Hermione twisted and turned his arm. “Nothing. There’s nothing here.”
Draco laughed happily. “It’s gone!” He pulled Hermione in a sudden bear hug. Hermione was so shocked, she couldn’t find the energy to function her arms. “It’s gone, Jean! That bloody tattoo is gone forever!”
Draco finally let go of Hermione and hugged his arm.
Hermione couldn’t help, but to smile at Draco’s childish behavior. She started laughing, too.
“I’m so happy!” Draco exclaimed. “I wish--” Draco paused in mid-sentence and stopped in his tracks. His face had the fallen expression once more.
“What’s wrong?” Hermione asked, unable to understand his sudden odd behavior.
Draco swallowed and made his way to his bed, sitting down on it. “N-nothing.” He stuttered. “I’m just glad that I don’t have to live with that mark anymore.”
“That’s not just ‘nothing’.” Hermione sat down next to Draco. “You said that you ‘wish’. Wish for what?”
Draco dropped his head downward. “I wish…my mother could have seen this.” His voice was cracking.
“Well, I’m sure she’ll be able to see it once you’re out of here. We have about another month and a half to go and then---”
Draco shook his head. “No, you don’t understand.” Draco buried his face into his hands. “I’ll never see her again.”
“Why not?” Hermione asked.
“B--because she--she’s dead,” Draco croaked.
Hermione gasped. She never did like Narcissa, but her heart tore into two to see Draco cry. Without thinking, she wrapped her arms soothingly around him and brought his head to her shoulder.
“Who killed her?” Hermione asked softly.
Draco swore under his breath, “My bloody father.”
**A/N: Just a little side note I want to add is that Gryffindor’s dagger does have more than one use, but getting rid of the Dark Mark and becoming pure is just one of them. There is another use Draco should be aware of, but he doesn’t realize it until later. **Samhria
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