Remus stood quietly in the entry hall at Malfoy Manor, waiting patiently
while someone had gone to fetch Draco. He looked around at the beautiful
white marble architecture of the room, fascinated that a family such as
the Malfoys would have such architectural tastes. The entry was three
stories tall, all constructed in a luminous white marble that had been
enchanted to glow from the inside. Clusters of thin columns were carved
with such precision that they seemed almost to truly be living, breathing
things, and soaring skywards to the elaborately vaulted roof. High
Gothic, Remus thought absently, noting that it almost looked like
one of the arcades at the beautiful Muggle cathedral back in Exeter. That
had been one of his favourite places to go as a child; it took him hours
to get to the city itself from their village, but he thought it worth
every step. He would sit for hours in the still beauty of that place,
listening to the singing sometimes, just marvelling that such things could
be made by hand alone, no magic.
Remus shifted his gaze to the heavy oak front doors, thinking back to
a time he and Sirius had come here on much less welcome terms.
"Professor; sorry to keep you waiting."
Remus turned to see Draco hurrying down the stairs towards him, followed
by an older man Remus assumed was the Malfoys' butler.
"Not a problem Draco; I'm sorry to disturb you."
Draco stopped at the bottom of the stairs, a faint smile showing briefly
on his customarily tense face.
"Never a disturbance, Sir. What may I do for you?" He turned
to the older man who and said 'tea', then pointed in the direction of
one of the doors. Remus followed Draco into one of the small rooms off
the entry. This room seemed more what one would expect to find at the
Malfoys. Its walls and even the ceiling were a deep dark blue. The only
light came from huge lamps carved in the fashion of Welsh dragons that
Draco lit as they entered. Ebony bookcases lined the walls, and a gigantic
desk made of black marble and decorated with an intricate pattern of coiling
snakes stood in the centre. Draco ignored the desk and instead led them
to sit facing each other in two high backed chairs, made of the same ebony
wood of the bookcases and tapestries showing demons dancing in flames.
Draco gave a huff as he saw Remus glance at the design.
"Hideous, I know, but this is the only room that isn't torn up at
the moment, I'm afraid. The others are all covered in papers, potions,
poisons and gods knows what else as we try and clean all the detritus
of my family's colourful past out of here. This was father's study; mother
won't let me touch it. I'm humouring her for the moment, but if she thinks
I'm not going to gut this place as well, she is sadly mistaken."
Remus looked at Draco. "How is your mother?" he asked quietly.
Draco gave a thin smile.
"She should appreciate that someone cares how she's feeling, but
I doubt she'd appreciate that it came from you. She seems all right; but
as you know, I'm making sure she's watched carefully. Mother's a powerful
dark witch in her own right, and she's nobody's fool. I stay here mainly
to keep an eye on her, but she is still in mourning for father, it seems.
I suspect she's going to snap out of it any day now and start causing
trouble. She's still under the impression," here Draco flinched a
bit, "that I am going to 'keep traditions'. Thankfully that energy
right now is focused on finding me an 'appropriate' wife. Lucky so many
of those girls fled with their families, I think."
Remus smiled. "Well Draco, there's something to be said for a good
wife," he said calmly.
Draco did laugh at this. "Mrs. Lupin is an intelligent and resourceful
woman in her own right, Sir. But her parents are Muggles, so alas, she
is utterly inappropriate."
"Squibs, actually. My in-laws are both squibs. But I suspect that's
hardly an improvement."
Draco shook his head. "Not a bit. Now what can I do for you?"
Remus sighed. "I was actually hoping to hear that you had stared
looking through more of your father's personal papers. But it seems this
is not the case."
Draco frowned. "No, as I've just said. Why? Are you looking for
something in particular about one of father's colourful cronies?"
"Voldemort may be dead, Draco, but it isn't over. Particularly for
some of us."
Remus paused, looking quietly at Draco. Sirius is still one of his
least favourite people in the Universe; they do tend to get into arguments
on the rare occasions they're together. I hope he will in fact decide
to help on this; I haven't asked before.
Draco watched Remus for a few moments, thinking about what he'd said.
Then his expression quietly changed, growing a little harder as he seemed
to understand what Remus was implying. "Oh of course. I hadn't thought
of that. The lingering issue of Pettigrew is it?"
"Yes," said Remus. "His name has come up again. Another
of the former Death Eaters…."
"Yes. She told the Ministry that she'd seen Peter. We're nowhere
closer to finding him and the suggestion has been made, unofficially,
that if Peter is alive, perhaps I and Sirius have been working with him
for many years now."
Draco looked slightly shocked, then decidedly angry. He stood up and
went over to the desk and took out his wand. With a single glance at the
door, he said an incantation and pointed his wand at the top of the desk.
Amid a shower of red sparks the top of the table seemed to turn to liquid.
Remus stood up to walk over for a better look, as the liquid seemed to
suddenly start boiling and churning. Then, slowly, the liquid seemed to
roll back, revealing underneath a large room filled with books and papers.
Draco put his wand down and walked back to the door, opening it just
as his servant returned carrying a large tea service.
"Thank you," said Draco, taking the tray from the man. "We
are not to be disturbed. By anyone. If my mother wishes to speak with
me, tell her I am out and will see her at supper. Do not let anyone enter
this room, on any errand. Understood?"
The old man nodded and backed out of the room, closing the door behind
him. Draco set the tea things down on one of the small library tables
and walked back over to Remus.
"We will be undisturbed. Tenquill will see to it. I do trust him,
as he has been quietly working with me for years. Professor, I am sorry
I didn't see fit to do this earlier. If there is any mention of Mr. Pettigrew
in this house, it will be in here where the family's personal papers have
been stored for generations. We have a few problems, however. This is
not 'catalogued', in the traditional sense, for the purpose of keeping
anonymity should it be discovered you understand. Secondly, as my father
explained to me when I was 16 and 'of age to know such things', it is
all cursed, as you can well imagine. This is why I have not yet gone down
here, and left it for last." He paused.
"I am still a Malfoy, Sir. I have no intentions of destroying this
family, only of … making it more suitable. I have been dutifully turning
numerous objects and papers over to the Ministry as I see fit. I do not
see turning any of this material over. If I do find something in here
as pertains to Mr. Pettigrew, I will speak to you personally. Is that
"Yes. I understand."
"It is going to take me quite a while to get through this."
Remus thought for a moment. "Draco, would you accept some help in
Draco gave a tight smile. "It depends on who would be helping, I
"Would it be acceptable if Hermione helped with this?"
Draco looked very surprised. "Granger? Or Weasley now, I
guess. An interesting suggestion."
Remus was well aware that there were still lingering animosities between
Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco. They had, in the last days leading to
Voldemort's downfall, called an uneasy truce and worked diligently together.
But as soon as it was over, and Lucius Malfoy was dead, Draco had quickly
retreated. He had is own problems to deal with, considering that many
of the community felt that he was not to be trusted as well. Draco had
had to endure the public humiliation of questioning before the Council,
but Dumbledore and Snape had made certain that Draco was acquitted and
excused. The Council had not even thanked him for his help, other than
Dumbledore, but Draco gave no indications that he cared about that in
the slightest. Remus had wanted to be there, but his word was not going
to be much help to Draco, and he had deliberately kept a very low profile,
even when his name was mentioned. Draco had seemed angrier over Remus'
continued humiliations than his own situation, but Remus had figured out
years before that Draco dealt with what was going on around him by transferring
his own feelings onto others.
The fact of the matter was, such work as reading through the Malfoy papers
would entail was something Hermione would excel at. And, in her position
at the Ministry within the legal department, she would easily be allowed
to come and work with Draco on this.
"We will not tell the Ministry exactly why she is here, and Hermione
can be trusted to keep your secrets, Draco. You know that."
Draco nodded slowly, staring down into the dark room hidden inside the
desk. He said nothing for some time.
"Draco? If that's too much, perhaps…."
"No, Sir. Hermione would be very good for this, I don't doubt it."
"Then what is it?"
Draco gave a small laugh and looked at Lupin with a slightly apologetic
expression as he waved his wand to close the desk. "I was running
over reasons in my head why neither Hermione nor her husband would care
to have her come here. Various hexes, curses and general bad behaviours
from the past, you know."
"That's right Draco, the past. I doubt anyone ever told you that
in your sixth year, when Harry first spoke to you about my needing your
assistance with the spell at the New Forest house, that it was Hermione
who insisted you be given the chance to prove yourself. Harry and Ron
wanted nothing more than to believe you were utterly false in your intentions.
She told them to do it."
Draco said nothing.
Remus had to smile. "She's also the one who set the three of you
up to get that detention together."
Draco finally laughed quietly and poured out the tea. "I always
thought that was a set up. I couldn't for the life of me fathom why she
suddenly started going off on me like she did. I had carefully said nothing
to her for quite some time. Weasley rose to the bait admirably; I thought
at the time she'd done it to get the fool to own up once and for all to
his feelings for her. I should have known better. I never underestimated
her, despite my parents' utter contempt for her and her kind. She was
at Hogwarts for a reason. I was at Hogwarts because it was my birthright.
"Draco, you were Head Boy."
Draco shrugged. "Well, I had to prove to myself I could do it, that's
all. Father didn't, you know. One of your lot beat him to it."
"Herthal Santal, I remember. He was quite a character."
"Well, father got his revenge. Santal was one of the first people
he killed." Draco tapped his teacup impatiently, watching Remus though
half-cast eyes. "I'll do this, as usual, for you, Professor. I owe
you a great deal, for numerous things. If Hermione wishes to aid me, I
will accept her help. I find it utterly unacceptable that such accusations
could be levied against you and I appreciate that, for you, this is a
matter of singular importance. For many reasons."
"Thank you, Draco. And Draco?"
"I haven't been your professor, or anyone's for that matter, for
over quite a while. I would be pleased if you called me Remus."
Draco shook his head. "No, Sir. To me you will always be 'Professor';
don't take offence, but you were the best teacher I ever had. If it were
up to me, you'd be back there at Hogwarts."
"I don't think that's going to happen," sad Remus, a little
more sadly than he intended. "But thank you."
"You did love it, didn't you?"
"Very much. Despite the circumstances. But, in retrospect, loosing
that job was the main reason I have a family now, so I think I got a fair
Draco did smile now. "I doubt if it's any consolation, Sir, but
'the werewolf' was the best DADA prof we ever got. The others were
evil lunatics; you were the only one people assumed was an
evil lunatic. No pun intended, of course."
Remus smiled. "Even Lockheart?"
"Especially Lockheart. Though I am sorry the Slytherins missed out
on his pixies."
Remus put down his teacup and stood to leave. "Draco, thank you
again. I'll speak with Hermione directly and let you know."
"Hermione and Ron both have to agree, Professor. I'll not have Weasley
"Deal. And Draco? Perhaps you might give some thought yourself to
being a teacher, if you've no other plans."
Draco laughed as he opened the front door. "A Malfoy teaching DADA?
That would certainly get a few knickers in a twist, wouldn't it?"
"Better than a werewolf."
"Not particularly. Good day."
Remus sent an owl to Hermione and Ron asking them to join him and Katie
for dinner that evening, after checking to see that the Cannons were on
bye that night and Ron would be available. This should be an interesting
conversation. Hermione probably won't have a problem with it, but Ron
will. Ron still detests Draco, and barely trusts him, despite everything.
Katie agreed with his opinion when he told her why he'd invited them
"Ron is going to explode, Remus. Be prepared."
Remus spent the rest of the day working while Malcolm sat in his study
with him and practised reading. Remus carefully made sure that Katie had
no idea he let Malcolm practice with an old charm book, as she had been
furious the first time she discovered Remus teaching Malcolm to read with
one of his dark arts texts. Remus saw no harm in it, since Malcolm wasn't
old enough to even do any real magic yet, but Katie had practically thrown
a copy of "Cat in the Hat'" at him and told him to be more responsible.
He dutifully stopped every time Malcolm had a question, feeling slightly
guilty that Malcolm was so put out over Sirius' abrupt departure the day
before. He had only fussed slightly, though, at breakfast that morning,
and then quietly went on with his day as usual. It always made Remus a
little tense when Malcolm was upset over anything. My own lingering
guilt; Katie and I decided to do this together, and I will do the best
I can for the boy, but I will always be a liability to him. What will
happen when he starts school? How will he react to what people are going
to say to him?
His wife never put up with his saying such things, pointing out that
everyone had their problems and that their son was no fool. Remus had
once, and only once, pushed the issue until Katie finally broke down and
said, in tears, that of course she worried about such things but she was
damned if they were going to let ignorance and prejudice get the best
of any of them. Sirius had yelled at him later for being an insensitive
git and taking such an incredibly strong woman for granted. A miserable
week. None of us were speaking by Friday.
Hermione and Ron showed up spot on seven. Ron gave Remus and Katie a
hasty 'hello', then went to give Malcolm, who had been allowed to stay
up to see the Weasleys, a hug and ask how he was doing. Katie looked at
Hermione with a knowing smile as Ron and Malcolm chatted.
"Any thoughts to giving him a better distraction than our son?"
"Katie! I'll give you my mother's phone number, you can commiserate.
We're just 20, for goodness sake. We'll get there."
Katie laughed. "Just teasing. I didn't have Malcolm until I was
35 myself, you know."
"Well that would put everyone out, I think."
Remus put off discussing the situation with Draco until dessert. He hadn't
actually had the chance to talk much with either of them since their wedding,
so there was a lot to catch up on. Ron was obviously loving his position
with the Cannons, and thanked Remus again for convincing him to go after
the job in the first place.
"May not be as respectable as Ministry work," he smiled, "but
I don't particularly care."
"Sirius regards your work with the Quidditch league far more important
than anything the Ministry gets up to, I can assure you."
"We'll groom him for Minister of Sport, that should take the sting
out of it," said Hermione.
Ron gave a small groan. "Over my dead body, Hermione."
Finally, Remus had to turn the conversation to the issue of Pettigrew.
Thankfully, Hermione raised it first.
"Remus, how are you, Liz and Sirius doing with tracking down Wormtail?"
Katie and Remus exchanged a knowing look before Remus answered her.
"Actually, Hermione, that was something I wanted to talk to you
about. You know, I'm sure, that a number of Death Eaters have mentioned
Wormtail when they were brought in."
"Yes; except for Kaylee Pratins. She is the first to say Pettigrew's
name to us."
"She was at school with us, and in our year, so she would remember
him. She must have recognised him, somehow. He looked…rather different
that night in the Shrieking Shack than the last time any of us had really
seen him. Its as if someone actually recognised Sirius as he looks now
from the wanted posters that still circulate of him."
Hermione smiled. "I found something out about those posters, Remus.
I always thought it strange that they always had a picture of Sirius as
he looked…in Azkaban. Even after all this time. I mean, I look at those
and can barely see our Sirius in them. Seems someone has made sure they
never changed the picture."
"Yes. Very clever of him."
"Well, best not mention it to him, as it is a little deceptive,
even if it is being done for the right reasons, and he would rather not
Ron looked at Remus. "You figured it out, too, then?"
"No, Ron, I helped him with the spell. Now, back to Peter if you
don't mind. Hermione, there is something I need very much for you to work
on as I think it is something you are perfect for. However, it involves
working with another person." Remus paused to think of how to phrase
the rest of his request, and Hermione pumped in.
"Remus, that's hardly an issue," she teased.
"Unless its Malfoy or something," added Ron, laughing.
There was a long silence, broken only by Ron swearing rather loudly,
and then instantly apologising to Katie.
"Not a problem, Ron. I thought that might be your reaction."
"Remus! What can Malfoy possibly need with Hermione?"
"Draco doesn't need her, I need her to help Draco. Hermione, the
last best place we have to look that might possibly tell us anything about
Peter's potential whereabouts, or what he might be up to, is Lucius Malfoy's
personal papers. I spoke with Draco this morning on the subject. He made
it very clear he has no intentions of turning over any personal papers…."
"I knew he wasn't …." Ron swallowed the rest of whatever he
was going to say and went slightly pale at the look Remus gave him.
Remus continued. "Draco has spent the months since Lucius' death,
as you both know, turning his family home inside out and giving
any number of items and books over to the Ministry. He does have a right,
Ron, to keep his family's personal papers. To begin with, nobody wants
to start a 'witch hunt', to borrow a muggle phrase," he smiled as
he saw Katie stifle a laugh. "The only former Death Eaters still
wanted are those we have proven crimes against. We are not going to start
retrospectively holding Lucius Malfoy's diary before the Council and suggesting
other crimes. How will we ever move on?"
"More importantly, Draco has a right to make a name for himself.
Not 'Lucius Malfoy's son', but simply 'Draco Malfoy'. He has enough to
contend with without the acts of his relations, which are beyond his control
to begin with, being held up wherever he goes and used against him."
"What does Draco need Hermione for?" Ron asked in a quiet voice.
"Draco has told me that he will search his family papers and tell
me personally if there is any mention of Pettigrew. The papers are, however,
magically stored and cursed. It will take considerable time and effort
to go through them, since they are all anonymous. As Draco was explaining
this to me, I thought that this was something Hermione would be very good
at helping with."
"I'll be happy to help."
"Hermione, you understand that Draco's privacy is paramount. I can
only imagine the things you will find down there. And you must not let
the Ministry know exactly what you are doing, as there are several powerful
wizards who would do anything to get their hands on anything to discredit
Draco and bring him further grief."
"I understand that entirely. And I have no issues with Draco. Ron?"
Ron turned slightly pink, but nodded. "Anything to get Percy to
shut up. He's still anxious about all this, but we can count on him to
keep his silly ideas to himself until we find Wormtail. For a while at
Hermione and Draco worked on the papers for several days before they
suddenly showed up late one evening at the Lupins. Hermione looked excited
and pleased; Draco kept his usual chilly air, but did smile at Katie when
she greeted them.
"Katie. How are you? I have not had the opportunity to congratulate
you in person on the birth of your daughter. I trust you are both well?"
"We're just fine, Draco, thank you very much. Well? It looks as
if you two have some good news for us all."
"We think so, Katie," said Hermione, glancing at Draco as he
took a large book out of his robes from under his cloak. "Wormtail
is actually mentioned in three separate documents, and one seems about
as promising as we can hope for."
Remus indicated that Draco should put the book on the table and looked
at it closely. It was bound in red leather carved with intricate knot
work designs. It looked harmless enough but as Remus leaned closer to
it he felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. Dark, dark magic
holds this together. He stood up and looked at Draco.
"This is better than we hoped for; you've made good time."
"Hermione came up with a rather ingenious method of searching the
papers, which made identifying those objects we should concentrate on
"What was that?"
"I modified a charm that locates objects to locate specific words.
Like the computer works, you know, Katie. The charm was able to lead us
to those documents that had those words in it, so we didn't have to actually
touch anything that wasn't necessary. There are some pretty nasty spells
Draco gave a small laugh and took his wand out as he placed his cloak
on a chair. "They are dreadfully nasty, Hermione. I suspect that
some of them can kill. Professor, do step back while I open the book.
Please, do not touch it."
The others all took a step back as Draco placed his wand on the top of
the book and closed his eyes. He said nothing aloud, but after a few moments
the book slowly rose off the desk a few inches and opened in front of
him, the pages flipping quickly until they stopped on a page showing several
paragraphs of text and what looked like a crude map. Draco stepped back
and motioned for Remus to stand next to him.
"The books will not open for anyone without Malfoy blood in them.
You can try anything you like, but they won't. And, we discovered, you
cannot copy down anything from them, as it causes the parchment to burst
into flames." He gave Hermione an amused glance.
"Yes. That was an unpleasant discovery. Don't tell Ron. Katie, can
you tell I've been burned?" Katie looked closely at her hands as
she held them up, then glanced at her face.
"No. Whoever cleaned you up did a good job of it."
"I told you Tenquill was invaluable," Draco said to Remus.
"Now, here's what we've got. Mr. Pettigrew, or Wormtail as Hermione
insists I address him, was Voldemort's top personal lackey. Not a pleasant
job, I'm sure; but something we all knew. Voldemort used him mostly for
running errands. Never trusted him with much else. I met the man once,
and I could see he was rather…unbalanced. He gave me chills like none
of the others ever did. Father considered him a liability, I know, but
he was absolutely untouchable in his position. However, there was one
thing that Pett…Wormtail was keenly interested in personally."
Remus looked more closely at the book. "That's Peter's writing!
How did he…."
"He did not actually write in the book, father simply charmed a
letter given to him by Wormtail onto the pages. Now, my father's notes
indicate that he did this simply to build his case that the man was insane
and dangerous. We haven't finished reading the letter in its entirety,
as it is several pages long. We came here as soon as we could. The gist
of it is that Wormtail was trying to convince father that there was an
ancient object they needed to track down that would make Voldemort even
more powerful than he already was. There's no date on this, of course,
but obviously it was written after Wormtail found Voldemort, but I suspect
before Voldemort regained his body in our fourth year."
Draco paused a moment and both he and Hermione looked a little sad at
that statement. But Draco soon continued.
"Wormtail's suggestion was ignored. I never heard anything about
this, and as you know father began to confide more and more in me as I
got older. The language of the letter suggests why. Seems Wormtail was
fixated on some old legend. Father abhorred suspicions and sneered at
anything but fact, so it's no surprise he treated this with contempt."
Remus continued to look at the book, a closed expression on his face
as he studied Peter's familiar uneven writing.
"You think that Peter's gone himself now to find whatever he was
Hermione sighed. "It seems as good a lead as any, doesn't it? He
was very convinced that this was in fact real. That's why we think he's
"Or Egypt," added Draco.
"There's a considerable distance and a rather large body of water
between those two spots. What are the possibilities of narrowing it down?"
"None really. The map is of that area of the world, though rather
askew. We think whatever he's after he has to follow a certain trail of
clues. He has to go to Greece first, then to Egypt."
"What's he tracking then?" asked Katie.
"It's called a 'Casting Stone'. I've never heard of such a thing,
but it is mentioned in here a few times. Professor? Is it some type of
Remus could hardly believe his ears. Casting Stone? That's a complete
myth. Worse, that's a myth I heard from…. He looked at Draco.
"It's a menhir, actually. Well, that's what we Celts call them.
I'm not sure of the Egyptian term for such things, and the legend of the
Casting Stone as I heard it is based in Egyptian mythology. Sirius, believe
it or not, is an expert on Egypt. And he used to tell us all rather wild
stories about their ancient magic and customs when we were young. The
irony of your suggestion," Remus said, shaking his head, "is
that this whole idea was probably something Sirius planted in him when
we were 11. Unbelievable; even Peter knew better than to trust anything
Sirius told him that he couldn't confirm from another source."
"Well this proves the man is mad," Draco commented dryly.
Hermione ignored him. "What does it do, Remus?"
"What is it supposed to do is a better question. This is an old
legend and actually, interestingly enough, one that is shared by many
different cultures in various forms. The 'Casting Stone', also called
the Heel Stone, World Stone, or Centre Stone, is supposed to be the most
powerful talisman surviving from the time before our 'modern' civilisation,
as we know it today, rose up about 5000 years ago. That would make this
object about 10,000 years old. It is a fantastic object, really; just
a flight of fancy. It is supposed to resonate the power of any person's
own power back on them. The more powerful the wizard, obviously, the more
powerful the Casting Stone. A truly gifted wizard would be almost invincible
with such a tool. Even squibs would be able to do magic with this object."
"Interesting question. The literature of some ancient people suggests
they too believed in the Casting Stone, and that their gods were responsible
for creating the object. Some even claimed to have it, and had legions
of priests guarding it, and only using it for the Ruler's best interests.
The story of the Ark of the Covenant is a good example of what is most
likely that culture's version of this myth. If you read what that object
is supposed to do, it fits. Certainly wizards and Muggles lived much more
closely together then, which is why so much of our fact is their myth
and visa versa. And no doubt wizards were regarded as powerful 'holy men',
who truly did have the ability to make crops grow or cattle die. Especially
in places like Greece and Egypt."
Draco paced a bit, mulling over what Remus had said. "Professor,"
he asked at last, "do you believe such an object exists?"
"No. All my life I have heard so many tales of the fantastic, Draco.
You should hear some of the more creative ways to cure lycanthropy. But
the issue at hand, really, is does Peter believe it exists? I suspect
he believes, or needs to believe, in this object very much." Poor
Peter. Always, always obsessed with 'not being strong enough'.
"He'll have quite a head start on us."
"Not exactly. All ancient magic centres on the solar and lunar cycles.
Certain objects can only be seen on certain days. Solstice and equinox
days. The version of this story I know, as I remember Sirius telling it,
is that this is the case with this object. Summer solstice has just passed,
and there were no reports of Peter anywhere, and certainly nothing has
happened to indicate that something so fantastic may have actually been
located. None that I heard, at least."
"Remus, as I recall, you were extremely pre-occupied on the
21st," laughed Hermione.
"Yes, Miss Roarke was joining us that day, was she not?"
"Alright, maybe I wasn't paying attention to much outside of this
house, but still. And now the autumn equinox is coming. We've got to find
Peter, or wherever he thinks it is that he'll find the Casting Stone,
before then. That gives us about two months. I'm going to contact Liz
and Sirius and tell them I'll be joining them soon."
"We'll be joining, Sir."
"You need my book, and no one save myself can touch it. So I believe
I'm coming with you."
Hermione put a hand on his arm. "He's right, Remus. Trust me."
"Very well. Draco, go and get some sleep. Come back tomorrow so
we can make some plans as to how to start about this. And I'd appreciate
it if you took the book with you tonight and brought it back with you
in the morning. Malcolm is an early riser and he might have one of his
'unable to resist the no touching rule' moments."
Draco gave Katie a small smile as he picked closed the book and reached
for his cloak. "Yes of course. I remember being unable to resist
such temptations myself. I will see you both in the morning. Hermione?"
"Thank you for your assistance and your confidence. Good evening."
Draco went to the fireplace and quickly disappeared. Remus wrote a hasty
letter to Sirius.
I think I have v. good news. Mr. Malfoy and I will be sitting
at a table at the taberna across from the front steps of the National
Museum of Greece in the day after tomorrow at 11 in the morning.
Dogs on leads are welcome.
"Hermione, would you mind giving that to Pig? He's very adept at
"Of course. I won't state the obvious like 'please be careful' as
I've enough sense to know you will. Goodnight and good luck. Keep us informed."
Hermione left as well, leaving Remus and Katie standing facing each other
in their living room.
Finally, Katie spoke, smiling softly. "Let me know where you are.
I'll join you before the full moon."
"Remus. Malcolm and Roarke will stay with my parents, both to their
and Malcolm's delight. I am not going to be left out of this; I
need this finished too. And besides, you and Padfoot should never be far
from a healer, should you?"
He laughed softly. "No, good point. With any luck, the dynamic team
of Moony and Padfoot will have this all solved before you need to come."
"What will Liz and Draco be doing? Sitting by the pool sipping tropical
"I suspect Liz at least will be far too busy for that making sure
the dynamic team doesn't do something you two would deem 'bloody rash'
and 'utterly, incomprehensibly stupid'."
Katie smiled and came over to hold him closely.
"You make us sound like nags, love."
"You are. I love every minute of it. I couldn't bear not having
you there to nag me."
"I'll take that as a compliment, you ungrateful cur. Let's go to
They put out the lights and started upstairs. Remus stopped her on the
"I'm not ungrateful, Katie. I meant it. Notice I am being very,
very understanding and letting you come, if you have to. Despite my instinct
to keep you here where I know you're safe. I love you."
"I know. Now, let me show you how grateful I am for your understanding."