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They had been searching for hours. It was now nearing dawn. Harry had set out with Kingsley, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna and a handful of Aurors; a separate set of Aurors and friends made up another search party. The rest of the Weasleys went to the Burrow to await news and to provide protection and comfort to Molly who was distraught with grief. It was a small comfort that Madam Pomfrey had given her some Dreamless Sleep Draught before they left Hogwarts. McGonagall had stayed at the school with the other professors to guard the castle just in case the Pure Blood Movement returned or sent word of any demands.

Kingsley led the search party through Ottery St. Catchpole, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley was next but at the moment they were about to enter the grounds to a wealthy magical family’s home.

“Do you think they might know anything?” Neville asked as they waited for the wrought-iron gates to open.

“Who knows, but they might have overheard something,” Kingsley said pensively as he passed his palm over the front latch of the gates.

The gates let them pass a moment later; Harry and Kingsley led the way in. Gravel crunched under their feet and Harry looked down to see it glitter in the pre-dawn moonlight. An albino peacock spooked Hermione and made her jump; it fascinated Luna and Neville had to pull her along. The Malfoy’s must have had their wards up because Narcissa Malfoy opened the door promptly when they reached the front of the house. Her eyes widened when she saw the size of the search party.

“What is the manner of this visit at such and hour?” she demanded as she secured her dressing gown around her slim waist. Draco came up behind her. Lucius was currently in Azkaban awaiting his hearing. 

"We’d like to ask you some questions,” Kingsley said, walking up the steps to the front door. “We’re also going to do a search of your house and premises.”

“It’s still rather early, Minister. Has something happened?” Narcissa said. Harry and Kingsley exchanged a quick glance; did they truly not know anything or were they hiding something?

“We’ll explain what we can when we get inside,” Kingsley said sternly. Narcissa stood to the side. Harry stepped forward with his wand at the ready. Draco still stood blocking the doorway. He sneered at Harry but he moved when his mother grabbed his arm exactly where, Harry knew, the dark Mark had been branded on his skin. Harry wondered briefly if the Mark had disappeared when Voldemort had died or if it had merely faded but remained on the skin of Death Eaters forever. Harry entered the house cautiously, Kingsley, Luna, Neville, Ron and Hermione right behind him. The others began to search the grounds and outbuildings.

The house was sparsely furnished compared to the last time Harry had been here. No doubt all of the furniture had been auctioned to help pay for Narcissa and Draco’s crimes. The Malfoy bank assets were currently frozen by Gringotts. Paying fines was a lighter sentence than they could have been dealt had Harry not spoken on Narcissa and Draco’s behalf. The Malfoy’s were being forced to pay quite a hefty sum in damages and to aid the families affected by the war. Draco was also temporarily suspended from using magic. His wand was currently being held at the Ministry; he would get it back when his probation was over and he had served all his hours of community service.

Once they reached the sitting room, which ironically had no chairs in which to sit, Hermione and Ron began to magically seal and soundproof the room. When they were at last sure they would not be interrupted or overheard Shacklebolt finally spoke.

“Mrs. Malfoy, Draco, we’re here to inquire if you might have any information, if you’ve heard anything, regarding the disappearance of Ginevra Weasley?”

“Lost your girlfriend, have you, Potter?” Draco spat. Normally Harry wouldn’t let Draco get to him but he was already torn up over Ginny’s abduction and so Draco’s words hurt him like a physical strike. Harry supposed Kingsley expected him to retaliate against Malfoy with a Hex or the like because Shacklebolt put up a Shield Charm, but Harry stood frozen. How could he, for even a second, try to believe that Ginny being taken wasn’t because of him when even Draco Malfoy knew it to be true? Harry broke out of his stricken state when Narcissa began to speak.

“We haven’t heard anything, Minister. We haven’t been in contact with much of anyone lately,” Narcissa looked directly at Shacklebolt. She deliberately avoiding Harry’s gaze which he took as a relief.

“Do you mind if my team takes a look around?” Shacklebolt asked politely even though she must have known that declining wasn’t an option. The Ministry held the right to do searches on Malfoy Manor at any time or interval they chose.

“Not at all, Minister. We have nothing to hide,” Narcissa said raising her chin up in a defiant manner. Kingsley nodded at Harry and he led the others to search the house; Luna stayed behind with Kingsley no one trusting one person to stay alone with either of the Malfoys. They had agreed to having at least one person stay with Kingsley at all times. Luna had volunteered to be by Shacklebolt’s side at the Malfoys and Harry could understand why she wouldn’t want to be involved in the search as it would eventually lead to the basement. Harry didn’t blame her or think less of her either, not one bit. He couldn’t imagine what even being in this house must be like for her, it held to many horrible memories. Even Hermione had gone ashen as she eyed the room she had been tortured in. The chandelier had been repaired and returned to it’s proper position of hanging from the ceiling. It didn’t pass Harry by that Ron had his hand pressed to the small of Hermione’s back in a comforting gesture, his thumb rubbing up and down gently. It made Harry miss Ginny all the more, it drove him to push on with searching the house. Unfortunately Draco insisted on going with them.

“So how long have you lot been Shacklebolt’s ‘team’?” Draco jeered at Harry. Harry pointedly ignored the question.

Homenum Revelio,” Harry cast into the room they had just entered. He didn’t see anyone but he walked in cautious just the same. Neville followed him in, Ron and Hermione guarded the door and watched Draco, respectively. The room was dark and Harry had to light the end of his wand to see. The room seemed to be a gallery of some sort, with an abundance of paintings that portrayed the Malfoys. There were a few small sculptures up on pedestals that Harry could only describe as ugly. Harry raised his eyebrows at Draco, questioning the choice of room décor.

“Mum likes to paint,” Draco said with a shrug of his shoulders. Harry expected the retort ‘got a problem with that?’ to be tagged on but it was left unspoken and Harry didn’t press the matter further. There didn’t seem to be any Dark Magic objects in the room and Harry was about to leave and rejoin Ron and Hermione when one particular painting caught his eye.

“Somehow I don’t think you’re mum painted that one,” Harry pointed at the painting that showed a group of kids being forced to sit quietly for the portrait. There were three girls sitting on the floor in the forefront. Harry could easily recognize Bellatrix looking so out of place and quite cross wearing a pale peach frilly dress. Next to Bellatrix was Narcissa looking quite proper in a sky-blue dress with even more frills and lace. Continuing down the line was Andromeda wearing a pretty pastel pink that reminded Harry of the bubblegum shade Tonks used to turn her hair. Directly behind Andromeda, sitting in a wooden high-backed chair was Sirius Black looking like he’d rather be anywhere other than being forced to stay still. He kept trying to remove his tie and surreptitiously pulled Narcissa and Bellatrix’s hair, an action that kept making Andromeda laugh. Next to Sirius, and looking rather angrily at his brother, sat Regulus Black. Harry couldn’t tell how old they were but Sirius didn’t look old enough for Hogwarts just yet. If he had to guess Harry would say Sirius was nine maybe ten years old when the portrait had been painted.

“No, my grandmother painted that one. Are we done in here?” Draco asked impatiently.

“Yeah, sure, whatever,” Harry said waiting for Draco to lead the way out, not trusting him to walk behind him. “What’s in the next room?”

“Just the loo,” Draco said and waited outside while Harry and Hermione checked it over; Ron and Neville stayed out in the hall with Draco. They also inspected a solarium that doubled as a tearoom and a library that was also used as an office for Lucius. The desk was, of course, empty as the Ministry had taken its contents on their first inspection. They went up the stairs and insisted on looking in the bedrooms. When they reached Draco’s bedroom he balked but Ron shoved him in and held him by the arm just inside the door.

Hermione cast a few charms but they turned up nothing. Harry did notice one of the floorboards he stepped on creaked and rocked just a little bit than the rest. He bent down and discovered the floorboard came up quite easily. Draco tried to break away from Ron but Neville cast a Leg-Locker Curse on him that caused Malfoy to nearly fall over. For all his protestations, however, Harry didn’t find much in the cubby: there was just Draco’s own diary which Harry checked the most recent entry on to see if he did know anything but there was no mention of Ginny, there was also the Hand of Glory that Harry confiscated, some of the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder that Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes sold, and a pair of black satin and lace women’s knickers that Harry chose to carefully avoid touching. There wasn’t anything else in the cubby or anything else in the room of interest. Draco finally convinced Neville and Ron to let him go so he could at least dress and Hermione stood at the door with her back pointedly turned. Harry returned the diary to the hole and replaced the floor board. It wasn’t much of a find and they didn’t find much more in any of the upstairs rooms. There was only one place left to look; the cellar.

They went down the dangerously steep stairs then went through the heavy door of the cellar with just as much caution as the other rooms if not even more. The room was just as dark as Harry remembered. At least this time he had his wand, he used it to light the way. The room didn’t reveal much in the way of anything. The Ministry had already swept through the room days prior to gather evidence to prove Ollivander and Luna had been held captive for a long period of time in the room. Hermione ran through her usual set of Revealing Charms but she shook her head to let Harry know she found nothing. This search was feeling hopeless. Harry was starting to feel the darkness of losing Ginny creep further into his heart. It felt like someone was concurrently ripping his heart out and constricting his ribcage with ropes. He took a shaky breath and reminded himself he had to hold it together, he had to keep looking, he couldn’t give up. Ginny had to be alive, she just had to.

Harry looked up to see Malfoy shudder as if her were cold, although the room was cool it wasn’t cold enough to warrant that strong of a reaction so it had to be nerves, Harry reasoned. Draco was pointedly staring at the floor in one spot so as to not have to look around the room. He had not seen Harry’s temporary emotional lapse for he seemed lost in his own thoughts.

“Something bothering you, Malfoy?” Harry goaded

“Nothing at all,” Draco lied. His eyes strayed over to the corner where Mr. Ollivander and Luna used to huddle.

“Imagine how much more terrifying it would have been to be Luna or Mr. Ollivander trapped down here against their will; wondering if and when you’d bring their next meal. Paranoid every time that door opened if it was you or someone much worse come to torture them. Did you hear their screams when they were writhing in agony? Perhaps you blocked your ears or put a Silencing Charm on your door so you couldn’t hear? Did you stare at the floor rather than see them in so much pain? Avoided their gaze so you wouldn’t have to see them plead with their eyes for relief?” Harry had railed into Draco with his torrent of words; he was hazarding a guess as to what was haunting Draco. He must have hit the right nerve because Draco sneered at Harry then stormed out of the cellar, Neville, not trusting him, stayed right on his heels. Harry waited for Ron and Hermione to leave the room first then he followed. Harry regretted the fact that Hermione, Ron and Neville had to hear him say such terrible things but he didn’t regret taking out his anger and frustration on Malfoy. He’d earned his contempt. Harry also thought he preferred to be angry over ice-cold and numb with pain and worry; anger was more motivational. Harry took a deep breath then stalked out of the basement to join the others in the sitting room.

"What did you say to my son?” Narcissa correctly accused Harry as soon as he entered the room. When Harry didn’t answer her she continued on, “you said something to make him so upset he won’t speak.”

“That’s enough, Mother,” Draco said with false calm in his voice. Malfoy was clearly still seething with anger towards Harry.

“Thank you for your cooperation,” Kingsley said after a long space of time. “If you hear anything or anyone contacts you be sure to contact the Ministry.” Shacklebolt started to walk toward the door and the others began to fall in behind him. Harry was still eyeing Draco who was watching Luna with a look of curiosity, disgust and an emotion Harry couldn’t quite place. Draco turned to Kingsley suddenly before the Minister had walked out the door.

“Where are you looking next?”

“Why do you want to know?” Ron shot out at Draco.

“I didn’t ask you, Weasley,” Draco spat at him then turned back to Shacklebolt.

“It was a valid question, Mr. Malfoy, why do you want to know?”

“There are places that I, that is to say, maybe I could be of help?” Draco wasn’t humbled or anything close to it he only seemed determined. Kingsley only nodded and then stepped out the front door.

“Draco, please be careful,” Narcissa said trying to hug him but he just shrugged her off.

“Of course, Mother,” Draco said haughtily, his chin aloft as he walked away from her toward the door.

“Potter,” Narcissa turned to Harry as Draco went out the door, “Harry you’ll keep him safe won’t you? Remember he has no way of defending himself. You’ll bring him home safe?”

“I-” Harry began but realized it was a promise he couldn’t keep. So many wished the Malfoy’s harm from both sides, the Death Eaters and their sympathizers for turning on them and the winning side that knew all the Malfoy’s treasonous ways. Harry just nodded his head in compliance and stepped out the door into the morning sunlight.

It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the brightness of the early morning sun. Kingsley was conversing with the Aurors but it seemed they did not turn up anything. Malfoy was standing, back ram-rod straight, putting space between himself and the D.A. members.

“So where are we going?” Draco asked inspecting his nails.

“Knockturn Alley,” Harry answered in clipped tones.

“Brilliant,” Malfoy drawled sarcastically.

“You’re the one who volunteered to help,” Harry reminded him. The idea of having to watch Malfoy was irksome but not so bothersome now that an idea had struck him. He ran his idea by Kingsley who agreed heartily that it was the best plan they had left to them. It would certainly guarantee Borgin would be more relaxed and talkative than he would be if they stormed the place. So, a few minutes later they regrouped in front of Gringotts having Apparated to Diagon Alley (Draco side-alonged with an Auror). The Aurors silently took up positions skulking in the shadows in Knockturn Alley where they would not be seen.

Shacklebolt cast a Disillusionment Charm on himself and the D.A. members who couldn’t. Harry noticed and was unsurprised by the fact that Hermione cast her own. Harry knew the spell quite well now from his Auror training but chose not to use the charm. Harry held out the Hand of Glory to Malfoy.

“So what is it that I’m supposed to be doing with this/” Draco asked snidely.

“You’re going to see if Borgin will buy it back from you. Chat, make small talk, see if he knows anything,” Harry answered as he dug his Invisibility Cloak out of his Mokeskin Pouch.

“He’s not going to trust me,” Draco said dryly.

“Are you in or not?” Harry asked in a harsh whisper, “’cause if you’re not we could always have Mundungus go in for us.”

“Fine,” Draco said squaring his shoulders and giving an impatient huff of breath. His face was set in a determined expression that Harry thought only made Malfoy look more like a ferret.

“‘Fine’ meaning you’re going in or ‘fine’ I should have Kingsley send for Mundungus?”

“Don’t be so thick, Potter. My only way back home is by one of you or walking. If I’m here I might as well go in, just don’t expect too much.”

“Well,” Harry said, the corner of his lips twitching up into a snide smirk, “you could always take the Knight Bus or a Muggle cab.” Harry heard Ron snigger from somewhere to his right.

“Let’s just get this over with,” Malfoy said through clenched teeth.

“Be careful, Harry,” Hermione whispered in his ear causing him to jump. It took a bit of control not to yelp in surprise.

“Don’t scare me like that, Hermione!”

“Sorry,” she whispered back. Again Harry could hear Ron sniggering.

“Remember to be careful not to bump into anything and to be as silent as possible,” Kingsley said from somewhere on Draco’s right side, Harry’s left, as Draco was still in front of Harry facing him.

“It’s okay, Minister, we’ve had practice at being invisible,” Harry said cheekily as he threw on his Invisibility Cloak.

“That cloak really is flawless, Harry, truly one of a kind,” Luna remarked in her airy voice.

“You’ve no idea,” Harry said quietly.

“Right, Neville, Luna, you’ll go in first, take up post on either side of the door. Draco, wait thirty seconds after they’ve gone before you start walking. Harry, you and I are directly behind him so we are sure to get in the door before it closes. Ron, Hermione, if you can squeeze in before the door closes do so but if not go ‘round back after Draco’s gone in and pulled Borgin to the front of the store. Be careful no one sees you open the door. Draco, when you go in be sure to open the door as wide as you can so it stays open longer. We ready? All right, Luna, Neville head out now,” Shacklebolt gave them the run down and called the shots. Draco waited a bit then walked at a leisurely pace toward Borgin and Burkes. Harry followed close behind him. Occasionally he could feel Kingsley bump his arm. Harry took great care to not allow the cloak to snag on anything, it was a hindrance but he preferred to have the jinx defence of the cloak.

Draco pulled the door open wide and walked into the gloomy store. Harry easily slipped in directly behind him and could feel Kingsley pressed behind him. Harry didn’t think Ron and Hermione made it through the front door.

“Who’s there?” a voice called out. “Oh, it’s you,” Borgin said distastefully when he spotted Malfoy. “What do you want?”

“Good morning to you too,” Draco drawled sarcastically. Borgin merely stared at Malfoy. ‘I’ve come to do business,” Malfoy placed the Hand of Glory on the counter. “I wanted to know if you would be interested in buying this back, it’s served its purpose and I no longer have use for it.” Borgin inspected the Hand of Glory carefully, checking for damage to the severed hand.

“And why should I help you?” Borgin growled out as he looked up at Draco.

“I could easily just leave here with it but I thought I’d give you the business opportunity to have ownership of it once again as you’re the one who sold it to me,” Draco said smartly.

“Oh, really? From what I heard Gringotts had frozen your family’s account. Wouldn’t be a little desperate for money would yer?” Borgin said casually, knowing he had the upper-hand over a Malfoy for once. Harry thought he could hear Draco’s teeth grinding in anger.

“Fine, I can see you’re not going to be reasonable, I’ll just be going then,” Draco said then quickly grabbed the Hand of Glory off the counter, turned smartly but hesitated near the door.

“Wait,” Borgin spoke in a low voice, “let’s not be hasty. You paid, what, a hundred and thirty Galleons for it? I’ll give you seventy-five.”

“Ninety-five Galleons and I paid one forty-five.”

“Eighty-five, consider what I’m not paying you a rental fee.”

“Done,” Draco agreed to the deal. “So, how’s business been?” Draco asked seemingly uninterested as he leaned on the counter. Borgin was counting out the Galleons and Draco watched as he counted. Borgin gave a derisive snort at the question.

“Not much business to tell of.”

“Yeah, I figured as much,” Draco said still leaning on the counter as Borgin handed him the coins. Harry noticed he had shorted him by two coins. Malfoy counted them then cleared his throat. Not fazed in the slightest, Borgin handed over the two final coins. When he had re-locked the money drawer Borgin grabbed the Hand of Glory carefully and walked over to a shelf on the wall. It was then that Harry spotted it lying innocuously on a shelf among a pile of clutter. A tattered book with a juxtaposed new cover announcing it as a potions book. How it got here Harry didn’t know but he knew he wanted it back.

“So…have you heard anything new/’ Draco asked flippantly, Borgin eyed him before answering him.

‘No, not much of anything. Heard there was a raid at Hogwarts. Pure-Blood Movement took that pretty little red-head girl, Ginny Weasley was it? Not that I care much, whole family’s nothing but blood traitors. I’m sure whoever took her is going to enjoy her while they have her,” Borgin said with a sick smile on his face and an evil gleam in his eyes. There was no margin for mistaking Borgin’s meaning. Harry felt his stomach turn at the thought of Ginny being raped and tortured. Harry heard a sharp intake of breath between himself and Malfoy that broke him out of such morbid thoughts; he needed to concentrate on the task at hand. Draco coughed to cover up the loud breath and Borgin seemed none the wiser. Harry had a good guess that it had been Ron. Harry could just envision Hermione holding Ron back so he wouldn’t pommel Borgin and blow their cover.

“Yeah, she always was a looker,” Draco said wistfully, “it’s too bad she’s a Weasley.” Harry wanted to punch Draco himself. “Any idea who’s behind this new movement anyway?” Draco asked as he stopped inspecting his nails and stepped away from the counter. Borgin was watching Malfoy like a hawk and Draco was moving towards the door; Harry saw the opportunity and took it. He quickly snatched up the Advanced Potions Making book with the dog-eared corners and hid it with him under the cloak.

“Haven’t a clue,” Borgin answered quickly. ‘You’re mighty chatty today.”

“I don’t get out of the house much lately,” Draco said with a dry laugh. Most everyone knew Draco was under house arrest. He pulled the door open and paused with it open wide as he turned back to Borgin and said, “nice doing business with you.”

Harry quickly slipped out the door and once again felt the presence of someone behind him. They walked down the dark backstreets until they were out of Knockturn Alley and back on Diagon Alley. Draco stopped abruptly in front of Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour which was still vacant and boarded up.

“It’s clear, Minister,” an Auror announced as he stepped near Draco. Kingsley removed the Disillusionment Charm from himself and the others and Harry removed his cloak.

“I told you he wouldn’t tell me anything,” Draco said sitting on one of the outside tables, ignoring the fact that there were chairs.

“He didn’t know any more than what he told you,” Harry said. “He answered too quickly.”

“It’s not exactly a secret Borgin’s a shady businessman. The Pure Blood Movement wouldn’t trust him with their whereabouts and identities for fear he’ll be arrested soon and share his knowledge.”

“Why hasn’t he been arrested yet?” Neville asked, rubbing at his neck that Harry knew probably felt warm from the Disillusionment Charm being lifted caused.

“We were hoping his position in the middle of the Dark Wizard Underground would prove useful but I agree with Miss Granger; Borgin’s out of the loop,” Shacklebolt said rubbing his chin.

“Wait,” Malfoy stood up in alarm and protest, “you can’t go arrest him now. He’ll think I’m the one who tipped you off!”

“Like we’re supposed to care, Malfoy. What’s one more enemy to you anyway?” Ron said angrily.

“Shut it, weasel, nobody asked for your input,” Draco shot back his pale pointed face contorted in an ever-present sneer.

“We’re not going now,” Kingsley said with a great finality that no one argued. “We will soon. Just the cabinet alone is proof enough that he aided Death Eaters to break into Hogwarts the night Dumbledore was killed.” Kingsley’s mention of that plot deflated Malfoy.

“Speaking of, Malfoy,” Harry turned to him and held up the potions book, “any idea how this got into Borgin’s shop?” Draco examined the book then shrugged his shoulders.

“What about it? It’s just an old potions book with a new cover on it,” Draco said not really caring. Harry heard Ron and Hermione inhale sharply when they realized which book he was holding. “I needed a tester to make sure the cabinets were working. I was looking around hat room and found the book in a cupboard around the corner so I sent it through. So what?”

“It’s more evidence against Borgin, for one,” Shacklebolt pointed out.

“I notice you’re not calling him on the fact that he just nicked it out of the store,” Draco spat.

‘It wasn’t yours or Borgin’s to begin with,” Harry retorted.

“And I suppose you’re claiming ownership?’ Malfoy rolled his eyes.

“Technically, yes, I gave the school a new book in exchange for this one.”

“Why is this book so important, Harry?” Neville asked tentatively.

“It was Snape’s,” Harry said and he felt that was all the explanation he needed to give. Neville didn’t press the issue.

“Can we get back on track here,” Ron spoke up. “Borgin doesn’t know anything that will help us find Ginny. Where do we go from here?”

“Dawlish, Rhodes, escort Mr. Malfoy home. Moriarty, Hart, stake out near Borgin and Burkes; keep your eyes and ears open, do not be seen,” Kingsley ordered. They left and Malfoy looked disappointed to have the escort forced upon him. “Let’s regroup back at the Burrow, get something to eat and start out fresh. Maybe there’s somewhere we’re not thinking of in our tired state.”

“That’s it then? We’re not going to keep looking?” Ron said angrily, his face and ears turning red.

“I’m not saying we’re giving up,” Kingsley said, “I’m just saying we’re all beat and we need energy to go on or we’re no good to Ginny when we do find her.” When Hermione wrapped her arm around Ron’s waist he calmed down. Harry turned away from them; he didn’t want to see the tears in Ron’s eyes.

One by one the others began to Disapparate away from Diagon Alley and harry waited, counting the faint ‘pops’ as they left. Harry knew his glasses were clean so that wasn’t the reason his vision was blurred. His eyes burned with tears threatening to fall. he blew air up to his eyes trying to calm himself and willing the tears away. His breath hitched a few times and a few tears rolled down his cheeks. He wiped at them frustratingly and made sure his face was dry before he turned on the spot to Apparate to the Burrow.

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