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Chapter 14

Professor Granger and Professor Malfoy were sitting patiently in the Headmaster’s office. Though it was McGonagall’s room now, the teachers often called it Dumbledore’s Office, so many things reminded them of him here: the huge collection of books, the Pensieve, the Sorting Hat and a silver ink pot with a scarlet quill of phoenix feather on the desk.

Instead of Fawkes the phonenix, a snowy owl was sitting and blinking peacefully on the golden perch now and Hermione’s heart skipped a beat when she saw the bird, it looked so much like Hedwig, Harry’s beloved owl of the good old days.

The Headmistress had left the professors there as she had a Transfiguration class. From the window-sill a black cat was watching the duo gracefully as if McGonagall had asked it to keep its green eyes on the guests while she was away.

They were waiting for Dylis Derwent to return from her portrait in St Mungo’s. Malfoy unwrapped a candy he’d taken from a bowl but suddenly it bit him on the hand. He cursed angrily, the old headmasters and headmistresses scowled and shook their heads disapprovingly in the portraits.

The wallclock struck one, Malfoy and Hermione looked up at the cuckoo clock that had a fortress-like shape, and the clock on its tower showed the time, the day, the month, the year, and even the current zodiac sign. The small gate of the fortress opened up but it was not a cuckoo that appeared. It was a tiny Hungarian Horntail Dragon and instead of the cuckoo call it emitted fire from its mouth.

’Cute,’ Hermione smiled.

’It was Snape’s,’ Malfoy nodded with a quick sideways glance at Severus Snape’s strict portrait. ’Uhm… Professor Snape’s.’ He added.

As soon as the dragon returned to its fortress, Dylis Derwent reappeared in her portrait.

’Unfortunately I couldn’t get the information you required, Professor Granger and Professor Malfoy,’ the ex-headmistress said, ’no one seems to remember seeing the Dark Lord and his… uhm… fiancee in St Mungo’s.’ Dylis Derwent was too old-fashioned to be able to use the word ’girlfriend’.

’There are a lot of young healers now who didn’t work in the hospital in the 80s,’ she continued, ’Most of the healers were really old at that time and they have died.’

Hermione and Malfoy looked very disappointed.

’But you should ask the nurse who was working as a beginner healer in St Mungo’s back then. She might help you.’

’Where can we find her?’ Hermione immediately got her pocket book and a quill to take notes.

’You won’t need to go very far. She’s working in Hogwarts. Her name is Poppy Pomfrey.’

OOOOO

’No, I never saw You-Know-Who in St Mungo’s. Or… Maybe I did but I didn’t know it was him,’ Madam Pomfrey shook her head and put a bottle full of pink liquid on the shelf.

’The woman he loved died there…’ Hermione said quietly.

’What was her name?’

’We don’t know,’ Malfoy replied now. ’All we know is that it happened in the 80s.’

’There were several women who died in St Mungo’s in the 80’s,’ Madam Pomfrey sighed. ’The only one I remember well, died in childbirth… After her daughter was born. You know that girl, her name is Pansy. Pansy Rose Parkinson.’ There were tears in the nurse’s eyes.

’And her mother was Rosemary,’ Hermione nodded. ’We’ve heard the story.’

’Poor thing… Her husband… I mean, her boyfriend, the father of the baby, treated her in such a cruel way… He had expected a boy, you know. He was disappointed the baby was a girl.’

’Did you see him?’ Malfoy asked curiously.

’No. Nobody saw him. I saw only Lucius Malfoy…’ When she looked at Draco Malfoy, she gasped and realised she might have made a mistake.

’What?! You saw… You saw my dad there?!’ Malfoy was shocked.

’Maybe I shouldn’t have told you…’ Madam Pomfrey felt uncomfortable. ’But it happened such a long time ago… It was Lucius Malfoy who found Rosemary dead when he went to St Mungo’s to see her… He said she’d been a good friend of his.’ The nurse got more and more embarrassed. ’Sorry, I’m busy… I’ve told you everything I know.’

She felt relieved when the duo left the hospital wing.

In the corridor Malfoy raked his fingers through his hair nervously.

’I hope Pansy is not my half-sister.’

End of Chapter 14

 
 

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