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Chapter 17


Hermione folded a letter she had just read. Now she knew why she hadn’t seen Jasper at lunchtime in the Great Hall. She sighed and put the parchment in the gift-box, next to the necklace. Then she put the box into the bottom of her wooden trunk.

There was a knock at the door. She answered it and saw a pale Draco Malfoy with uncombed hair.

’What happened?’ Hermione asked surprised.

’Nothing… I just had a nap,’ he spoke slowly. ’I had some stupid dreams and… now I have a headache. That’s all.’

Hermione narrowed her eyes.

’Did you happen to dream about Luna?’ She asked suspiciously.

’How do you know?’ Malfoy asked shocked. He entered the room and closed the door. His gaze shifted to Hermione’s neck. ’Where’s the necklace?’

’In its box,’ she answered deep in thought.

’Anyway, I’m here because…’ He felt embarrassed. ’I’d like to give you something… Something that is very precious and… means a lot to me… Means much more than something I could buy in a shop.’ He gulped.

’Malfoy, I…’

’Please, let me finish…’ Malfoy interrupted her. ’I’d like you to have my ring. The Malfoy family ring.’ He started to get the jewel off his finger.


’Please, don’t say no,’ Malfoy looked nervous. ’Rosemary wanted it, Pansy wanted it, Lovegood wanted it… I wouldn’t give it away to anyone… but you.’ He looked into Hermione’s big brown eyes. ’I want you to know how much you mean to me.’ He could remove the ring but, instead of giving it to Hermione, suddenly he started studying it.

’What’s the matter?’ She asked but suspected the answer.

’It’s not my ring… It’s a fake…’ He answered in shock. ’I can’t believe it…’

’So it’s true… She put Sleeping Potion into your pumpkin juice and while you were sleeping she replaced the real ring with a fake one…’ Hermione explained quietly.

’Who? Lovegood?’ Malfoy tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Hermione took a deep breath.

’Malfoy, what I’ve been trying to tell you… is that… I know who murdered Professor Trelawney. And I know where Pansy is. And I know where your ring is.’

’I know the answer to the last one. Luna Lovegood must have stolen my ring,’ Malfoy was fuming.

’It wasn’t Luna…’ Hermione gulped. ’She just looked like Luna.’

’What do you mean?’ Malfoy was getting totally confused.

’It was Pansy. Voldemort’s daughter. Since August she’d been using Polyjuice Potion to transform herself into Luna. And your ring is the last Horcrux.’

The huge pile of unbelievable information shocked Malfoy. But Hermione didn’t let him stand there rooted to the spot.

’We must find her before it’s too late,’ she grabbed Malfoy’s hand and pulled him out of the room.


’Hagrid, have you seen Luna?’ Hermione asked the half-giant impatiently.

’Headed to the Forbidden Forest,’ he growled while feeding Buckbeak.

Hermione and Malfoy were soon searching for Luna-Pansy in the snowy forest. When they got near to the clearing they heard someone murmur something like an ancient chant.

Then they saw her. Luna (or someone who looked like Luna) was on her knees, eyes closed, the Malfoy family ring on her palm. The ring was sparkling, glittering in the snowfall, Hermione and Malfoy were watching it mesmerised from behind a bush.

The sky darkened suddenly and a lightning flashed across the sky, illuminating the clearing. A jet of green light flew from the ring and the Dark Mark appeared slowly, glowing above their heads.

’Dad, I got the ring as I’d promised!’ Luna exclaimed excitedly. The Dark Mark was getting bigger and bigger.

’We must destroy the Horcrux!’ Malfoy shouted and, getting out of the bush, he pointed his wand at the ring.

’Don’t!’ Hermione screamed but it was too late. The clearing was on fire, the flames were huge and took the shape of monsters.

Luna opened her eyes, and, startled, dropped the ring. On the blazing snow the jewel started to bleed at once and a blood-curdling scream could be heard as the soul fragment perished. Luna looked at Malfoy with hatred in her eyes and got her wand.


But she didn’t have time to finish the spell. Hermione’s wand was quicker and Luna fell to the ground unconscious.

Malfoy flicked his wand and used the counter-course for Fiendfyre. As an experienced wizard and the professor of Dark Arts he was able to control the flame dragons.

Malfoy wrapped his arms around Hermione and they clung to each other desperately. The dark clouds disappeared and they both looked at Luna’s golden hair spread out in the snow, around her face, shining in the sun. She was sleeping peacefully, due to the enchanted sleeping spell Hermione had cast on her. Then, all of a sudden, Luna’s long, blonde hair got shorter and darker, almost black. Her features faded and some seconds later it was Pansy there, lying unconsciously in the snow.

’How did you realise Luna was Pansy?’ Malfoy asked curiously.

’Luna behaved in an unusual way. She was so unlike the Luna I had got to know. This Luna was not dreamy. She was interested in your ring and said she hated pudding. And, on top of all, she fell for you…’

Malfoy frowned.

’When we were in Rose Cottage, the Potions book was on Pansy’s desk, and the page about Polyjuice Potion was dog-eared,’ she went on.

’You didn’t tell me,’ Malfoy cast an accusing look at Hermione.

’You were focusing on the mystery of the pink underwear,’ she smiled.

’I never thought my ring was a Horcrux,’ Malfoy sighed.

’I should have known years ago…’ Hermione was angry with herself. ’A Horcrux influences you in a bad way when you wear it. It happened to me and Ron, too, when we wore the Locket. That Malfoy family ring, since it was a Horcrux, darkened your thoughts and made you behave in an evil way… During all those years.’

Malfoy was speechless. He felt relieved now. That damned ring… What a secret. Now he was glad he could get rid of that terrible jewel.

’When you said that Rosemary, Pansy and Luna had all wanted to get it, I was sure it was the last Horcrux. A ring with a rose-shaped ruby which was there in St Mungo’s when Rosemary died…’

’But it didn’t belong to Voldemort,’ Malfoy remarked.

’Voldemort saw the ring on Rosemary’s finger and heard about its story. He liked the jewel and knew it was extremely precious. Then in St Mungo’s, when he realised he didn’t need Rosemary anymore, he transformed it into a Horcrux by killing the woman. He thought his daughter, Pansy Rose would inherit the ring but Lucius Malfoy ruined his plans when he appeared and took the ring. Later, Voldemort found Pansy and ordered her to get the ring. When the war was over, Voldemort died, Pansy hoped that she could bring her father back to life by getting back the ring, the last Horcrux. She knew you would come to teach DADA in Hogwarts so she decided to come here, too. But this time not as Pansy Parkinson, but as Luna Lovegood. She used Polyjuice Potion. I guess the real Luna is in the wooden trunk in her room,’ Hermione said.

’And Professor Trelawney? Why was she murdered?’

’Professor Trelawney must have entered a trance and had a vision about one more Horcrux and Luna and Pansy but I don’t think she could put two and two together. That’s why she wrote letters both to Luna and Pansy and wanted to talk to McGonagall.’

’So you think she wrote those letters?’

’She either wrote a letter or she could talk to Luna-Pansy. That’s why the professor had to die. Luna-Pansy pushed her down the stairs. And Luna-Pansy cast the Petrificus Totalus spell on me, to scare me to make me give up the investigation. Trelawney’s last words ’Find. Rose. Danger’ didn’t mean that Rose was in danger, as I first supposed, but they referred to the fact that Rose was dangerous.’

’And the pink underwear Lovegood was wearing when she wanted to… uhm… seduce me… That was Pansy’s lingerie, missing from her wardrobe,’ Malfoy wondered.

’I can see, the mystery of the pink underwear had a great effect on you…’ Hermione rolled her eyes.

Malfoy stared into Hermione’s big brown eyes and held her tighter. He could have stayed like this for ever.

’Where’s Hale?’ He scowled.

’Gone back to the US, to his vampire girlfriend. He’s still in love with her.’ She replied matter-of-factly.

’Are you sad?’ Malfoy asked with empathy.

Hermione shook her head.

’I don’t mind at all. I guess it wouldn’t have worked. I’m not that vampire type, you know…’ Her eyes met his, falling into the mesmerising bluish-grey depths.

Malfoy didn’t say anything, he just drank her sight in.

’Your life begins now, Malfoy,’ she broke the silence finally.

He nodded.

’Will you be part of it?’ He asked quietly.

Hermione moistened her lower lip.

’Do you want me to?’

His hands cupped her face and he tangled his fingers gently in Hermione’s snowy, wavy hair while his lips took possession of hers. She melted against him, feeling glorious in his arms. His kiss scorched her, burnt her, made her want more, made her forget Jasper forever.

They parted reluctantly to breathe.

’So when will you show me your pink underwear?’ He raised his eyebrows, grinning.

The End


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