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"I find myself at your door,
Just like all those times before,
Im not sure how I got there,
All roads they lead me here."
-The Last Time, Taylor Swift ft. Gary Lightbody

Lysander tightened his grip on the broom and closed his eyes as he sped up, the wind rushing through his hair and whipping across his face. He pulled the top of the broom upwards and halted after counting to ten and when he opened his eyes again, he was two inches away from the castle wall. He smirked.


It had taken weeks to get it right. To start at a specific point and move at a specific speed where ten seconds later, he would stop and be only inches away from the wall. He had suffered broken noses and smashed jaws and twisted wrists but it had all been worth it.


The risk, the thrill, the wind rushing through his hair- everything made him feel complete. He backed up on his broom and looked down at the fields, illuminated only by the full moon and the millions of stars set into the dark velvet of the sky.


His next goal would be doing the same but zooming downwards. He would have to achieve it sometime in the next month.


He was just about to head back down when movement in the direction of the Astronomy Tower caught his attention. He squinted, trying to see what it was and when he did, his eyes grew wide as saucers and he spun his broom around to move towards the figure that had just fallen off the edge of the tower top.


He urged his broom to go faster as the figure approached the ground rapidly. He swallowed hard when he saw the boy's head hit a protruding set of bricks in the wall before he began falling again.


Almost there...


And just before the figure hit the ground, Lysander snagged his wrist and pulled him onto the broom in front of him.


He had a feeling he knew who the boy was... Oh, Merlin...


Adjusting his hold on the first year, he flew to the Castle's main doors, hopped off his broom, swept the boy into his arms and began sprinting to the hospital wing.


He burst through the doors yelling, "Madam Pomfrey! Madam Pomfrey!"


"It is ten in the night, what could- Oh dear!" Madam Pomfrey gasped and hurried back into her room to get her wand and a tray of vials.


Lysander placed the boy onto the bed and took a few steps behind.


"Lovegood, I need you to make him drink this potion every minute." She thrust five vials with purple liquid inside into his arms and started working on the boy's head wound.


"Where have I seen him before?" Lysander asked, forcing one of the vials' liquid down the boy's throat.


"Troy Thomas. The Proffesors were asked to keep an eye on him. He's-" Madam Pomfrey fell silent, partially because it was a difficult thing to say and partially because she wasn't supposed to say anything about it.


"He's suicidal." Lysander completed and heard the older lady suck in a breath.


"Where did you find him?" She asked, abandoning her wand to move away Troy's hair and hold his skin apart to assess the wound.


"He jumped off the Astronomy Tower. I caught him while flying just before he hit the ground." Lysander said, opening Troy's mouth and pouring the contents of one of the vials inside. "He isn't swallowing."


"Doesn't need to. It enters his body by absorbing into his mouth and gums." Madam Pomfrey said. "Oh, thank Merlin you got to him in time, Mr. Lovegood."


"Has he been like this the entire year?" Lysander asked as the matron stitched up the slit across the boy's forehead.


"Lately it's become worse. I guess he thought this would be the final time- but it isn't. How will we inform his family and friends?" She shook her head, conjuring a bandage and Lysander helped lift his head while she tied the cloth around it. "The boy needs help."


"Serious help if he's in first year and trying to commit suicide." Lysander shook his head.


Madam Pomfrey cleaned up Troy's remaining wounds by which point he was in a deep sleep and levitated him to a bed with clean sheets. She sighed and Accioed a few vials from her office and placed them on his bedside table.


"You should return to your dorm, Mister Lovegood. It's past ten thirty." She said, placing a charm on him that would alert her to any movement or discomfort before heading to her office and living quarters.


"Would it be alright if I stayed here the night? By his side?" He asked boldly, knowing she never allowed anybody to stay the night away from their dorm in the wing.


She studied him for a moment, her lips pursed in a firm line before nodding and leaving.


Lysander stood shocked for a second before pulling up a chair and sitting down beside the sleeping boy. He stared at his sliced forehead and shook his head. He would make sure he got help. He wouldn't stop trying until Troy Thomas was healed- physically and mentally.


* * *


"I don't know what to say." Crane leaned forward in his seat, his fingers laced together and his elbows resting on the table top. Three of his agents sat in front of him in his office- two being Heads of the department.


"We didn't have a choice, Sir. It was-" Hermione Granger started, looking down at her hands in her lap.


"It was what?" Crane challenged her. "Necessary? Required? Inevitable? It was a hostage situation, Granger! There was an agent's life on the line! It was a serial killer you were dealing with! What made you even THINK you could deal with him alone?" She had never seen him so angry and look so disappointed in them. She flinched and subtly scooted further behind in her seat.


"She wasn't alone, Sir. I was present as were Aurors Zabini, Weasley and Knight." Harry Potter, the second agent said, from Hermione's right. "We had things under control."


Crane laughed humorlessly. "You may be the top Aurors in the Ministry and the Golden Trio, Potter, but you still do NOT go forward without my permission. It was over a span of three days, Potter! How you managed to maneuver around me and all the other agents is beyond me. Granger, you are always the logical, rational one- how could you possibly allow this to happen? Did you not stop and think? Did you not think of telling Potter it was a bad move?"


"Sir, it was entirely my fault." Hermione said in a tiny voice. "Harry wanted to tell you and get help but when Ace said he would find out if we told anyone from the Ministry outside our circle, he would find out and he would kill Dr-Malfoy. We didn't quite have a choice considering her seemed to know our every move and have eyes on us."


Crane sighed and closing his eyes, he pinched the bridge of his nose. "I could have not only lost one agent-" He looked at Draco Malfoy, who was seated silently on Hermione's other side. "-I could have lost more than three if Ace had men we weren't aware of. If he had a plan we hadn't anticipated. You must understand that it's not about my ego and that I needed to know the information before anyone else- It's more than that. It's the fact that you are my top Aurors." He leaned forward further and looked at them in turn and suddenly he looked much older. "I'm fifty-two. I've worked with you both for over ten years now. Youre not only my Aurors, you have become my family."


"Sir, just as you would put your life on the line for us- as we know you would- we had to do the same for Malfoy." Hermione said, staring Crane straight in the eye. "Please try and imagine yourself in our positions. We had to ensure that nothing happened to Malfoy. We had to be completely sure. There wasn't much anybody could do. With all due respect, we are your department Heads- we would have planned what we did with or without other Aurors involved. We had to take the best decision. Just like you would, we had to protect our family."


Just like the other two in the room, Draco couldn't take his eyes of Hermione as she spoke. One word in particular rang through his skull louder than the others-


Family...


* * *


Irene slung her towel over her shoulder, her wet hair cascading down her back, and picked up the letter lying on her bed. A comb sat beside it on the white comforter.


"Irene,
Come over to the hospital whenever you can.
-Theo."


Irene's eyes grew wide and expecting the worst, she dropped the towel onto the bed and grabbed the comb. It immideately acted as a port-key and whisked her away to St.Mungo's. She landed straight inside the waiting room outside Rowen's ward where Theo was seated.


"What's going on? Is he alright? I came as soon as I saw the note!" Irene said in one breath.


"I probably should have mentioned that it was good news in the letter." Theo said, an amused smile playing at his lips. He stood up and came to stand in front of her. "Rowen's going to be fine."


She stared at him, her mouth open in shock. "W-what? Are you serious?"


Theo nodded. "The other doctors and healers returned to their respective hospitals and mum's just packing up. They healed him completely last night while we were on the mission."


"He- he's okay then?" Irene stammered, unable to believe it.


Theo placed his hands on her shoulders and smiled at her. "He's perfect, Irene. I promise."


Tears rose to her eyes and before she knew it, she had thrown her arms around his neck and was hugging him tightly. He stumbled back a little, eyes wide, before putting her arms around her waist and hugging her back.


"Thank you, Theo. Thank you so much."


He didn't know what to say so he remained silent until she pulled away and wiped at her eyes.


"You can go in and see him." He said.


She nodded, a smile on her face before heading towards the doors of the ward. She stopped and turned around, "Would you like to come with me?"


He actually had some important business that he had to attend. It couldn't be missed.


He stared at her. Her eyes were shining with happiness and relief and a soft smile was fixed on her face.

He nodded and followed her inside.


* * *


"Could you please at least lend me your wand?"


Albus' eyebrows came together, recognizing the voice immediately. He quickened his pace and turned the corridor. Matilda stood there, a pair of blue and pink glasses perched on her head and her blonde hair held up in a bun using two sticks. She was calling out to two Slytherin boys who were smirking and heading his way.


He saw Matilda look up to the ceiling and he followed her line of vision to the pair of shoes floating high up. Her pair of shoes.


He was in front of the two boys in an instant, his wand pointed at them. "Bring them down."


One of the boys laughed and mimicked him- "Bring them down!"


"Like hell." The other one smirked. Albus pointed his wand at the boy's throat.


"Bring them down."


"It's okay, Albus." Matilda's soft, musical voice called to him. She was beside him in an instant, her hand on his wand arm. "Leave it be. It happens all the time." Albus continued glaring at them. "Put the wand down." Only because she asked, he did. The two boys hurried away, leaving the younger Potter and the younger Lovegood behind.


They moved to stand beneath the shoes and look up at it.


"Everyone's always hiding my things. I'm used to it." Matilda said, sighing.


"Why were you asking them for a wand?" Albus frowned looking towards her.


"I think I forgot mine back in the dorm. I couldn't find it in my robes or my book bag." She said. He then noticed something and smiled. He reached out behind her and pulled one of the sticks out of her hair. The other one clattered to the floor and her hair came loose. He handed her the stick and she gasped softly. "I must have accidentally put it in my hair. Thank you." She flicked her wand at the shoes and they came flying down. Albus caught them swiftly and placed them on the floor by her feet.


"Thank you." Matilda said again. She bent down and shrinking the shoes, she put them into her book bag. He shook his head, amused. Of course she would choose to walk around in pink socks instead.


"I'll see you around then?" Albus asked, realizing he was going to be late for Potions.


"Yes, of course." She nodded.


He smiled before heading down the corridor. He stopped, turned around and called her name. She looked towards him questioningly.


His smile widened as he winked and said, "Sorry about the hair."


* * *


Crane sighed, slipped off his spectacles and placed them on his desk gently. "Alright. I'm letting this go because I trust you." Harry and Hermione nodded. "I need a detailed account on the case, though. Orally rather than in a file first considering I have no idea about what happened."


"Of course, Sir." Hermione proceeded in giving them the necessary details on the case up until they split up, after which Harry took over.


"As soon as we split up, I had Aurors from my department on red-alert for any sign from one of our teams. Aurors Zabini and Knight found Hayley Parkinson and Washstone and we- Hermione and I- found Malfoy."


"How did you track locations so perfectly?" Crane asked, noting what the Aurors in front of him were saying.


"Malfoy had done some impressive tracking and locating and had it all down in a file. We unlocked the file and found the information." Hermione said, not looking anywhere but at Crane.


"The locks were that easy to open?" Crane asked.


"No, Sir! They were double locked with extremely unique codes. The two times that Ace let us speak to Malfoy, he dropped us hints. We worked our way from there." Hermione said.


"And the rest of your team consisted of who exactly?" Crane asked.


"Aurors Zabini, Knight and Weasley. And- Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Theodore Nott, Pansy Parkinson and us." Harry said.


"So you risked not only Miss Hayley Parkinson's life but also four other non-Aurors?" Crane asked, not looking happy at all.


"It's not like that, Sir. They chose to join us. And nobody got hurt." Hermione said softly.


"And Hayley Parkinson- did she give her account of the third day?" Crane asked, dropping the previous accusation.


Harry nodded and said, "Washstone took her to one of his locations and she was supposed to give us a signal but turned out that the location's room removed any kind of possibility to transfer signals and any devices- muggle or magical- switched off immideately. So we went in after a few minutes according to what we felt was right. She said we reached them just before Washstone could do anything to her.She was shaken but she was alright. He didn't have a chance to hurt her."


Cane nodded and put his quill down. "Alright. I should rightfully be suspending you both-" He looked at Hermione and Harry, "-but since nobody got hurt and Washstone was caught and arrested, I will be leaving you with a warning. But rest assured, if anything of this sort happens again without my consent, I will be removing you from your duties and possibly even your positions as Heads for a period of time. This would have had the both of you removed from your duties for half a year, at least."


"Thank you, Sir. We apologize for our actions." Hermione said and Harry nodded, agreeing.


"Malfoy, your work and survival skills only proved to me that choosing you for this department and this mission in particular was not a mistake. We are proud to have you with us in the Auror Department." Crane said. "How are you feeling?"


"Thank you, Sir. I'm proud to be a part of this department." Draco said. "My broken bones and joints were fixed and healed. The internal bleeding has stopped and I should be perfectly fine by tomorrow."


Crane nodded and dismissed the trio.


"I have never seen him so angry before." Hermione whispered, once the door was shut behind him.


"He couldn't possibly remove us from duties or our positions though." Harry said.


"Why? Because you're good at your jobs or because the man quite evidently loves you both?" Malfoy asked, amused. "Family and all that."


"Both." Harry answered and shared a smile with Hermione. "And if the show inside has anything to say about it, you're on that list of people he loves- working your way up slowly but surely. He doesn't take a look at new recruits to be honest."


Draco smirked proudly. "I would expect no less for my brilliance."


"Malfoy?" Hermione said, shaking her head, a smile playing at her lips. He turned to her questioningly. "Do shut up."


* * *

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Sorry for the late update, lovelies! I had this chapter ready but wasn't finding the time to post it! But it's here so I hope you liked it :) Thank you for all your support and being patient with me. Do do do review please! An important chapter awaits in about two chapters' time so do watch out ;)

Thank you so much and reviewwww xx
FeltonLewis.

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