Harry went on. He wanted to be with Sirius, and his parents. He wanted the pain to be over, and now it was.
Well for him at least. The rest of us are still in for a lot of pain. This is Neville Longbottom, and I am here to tell you what happened to the Wizarding World after The Boy Who Lived died.
After the Battle of Hogwarts, the remnants of the leaders of Dumbledore’s Army, Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Ginny Weasley and myself, needed a place to hide. We deiced on the Potter’s house for a while. Hermione did the Fidelius charm on the ruins of the Potter’s house in Godric’s Hollow. Hermione made Luna the secret-keeper. We hid out there for a while, but we knew we would have to move soon.
I don’t know who took Harry’s death the worst, but, I think the Weasleys were tied for first place, Ginny was on the verge of tears half the time and Ron was muttering to himself most of the time. Luna wondered around, looking more aimless then normal and Hermione kinda just sat around not really talking much. A lot of the time we sat around trying to make this be a nightmare, or a figment of our imagination, needless to say we failed. Hermione and I sort of took the leadership role. But our time at Godric’s Hollow had to come to an end rather quickly.
I don’t know why my brain didn’t turn off like every one else’s brain, but it didn’t and looking back I’m glad it didn’t. I told Hermione, who’s brain was still working a bit, that I was going out. We had acquired Harry’s Cloak of Invisibility some how. I was going to nick some food and a copy of The Daily Prophet if I could. I left the safety of the ruins of the Potter’s house, armed only with my wand and hidden by the cloak, and braved the pre-dawn hours in Godric’s Hollow.
I went to this alley between two houses. I was digging though the trash can when I heard the voices of Death Eaters.
“And you’re sure their’re here, Lucius?” said the voice I recognized as Bellatrix Lestrange.
“Of course, Bellatrix, of course. We heard that the Weasley girl did some magic around here.” Lucius Malfoy answered her.
Had Ginny done magic? I couldn’t remember. At the moment I was the only one in danger, but if the Death Eaters got me, the others would come looking for me for sure. I couldn’t let that happen.
Bellatrix and Lucius’s footsteps drew closer to me and I had no time to get under the cloak, so I ducked behind the trash can I had been digging through a moment earlier. Fortunately for me, they didn’t look down the alley. I stayed hidden for a few moments until I couldn’t hear their footsteps any longer. Only then I risked standing up.
I saw the most recent issue of The Daily Prophet on top of all the trash I had been digging through. I grabbed that and the cloak and started towards the entrance of the alley.
I stopped dead in my tracks. I saw a person who I had hoped I would never see again, and he was turning down the alley. Had he seen me? He looked right at me and mind you I didn’t have the cloak on. I pulled out my wand and pointed it at him. He pushed me down the alley.
He was my age, he was white as a sheet and his normally slicked back hair was so messy it rivaled Harry’s hair. “Duck,” whispered Draco Malfoy.
I saw Lucius and Bellatrix coming back this way threw the cloak over myself and ducked down. Don’t ask why I didn’t just leg it back to the Potter’s, okay, I just didn’t.
“What are you doing, Draco?” Bellatrix asked.
“I… I thought I saw something down here,” Draco answered.
“Well did you?”
N…No not exactly.”
“Well hurry up, The Dark Lord wants us back before sundown, with those Dumbledore’s Army idiots.”
“Go on, just give me a moment.”
At that Bellatrix and Lucius started walking back down the street. Draco knew I hadn’t left and after a moment whispered, “It’s alright you can come out now.”
I looked up and down the street just to be sure then pulled off the cloak. “Why didn’t you just turn me in?” I asked him, “And what are you doing here?”
“Look,” Draco said, “This is hard to say, Longbottom, but,” he took a deep breath, “You were right about You-Know-Who and…and about Potter. I… I want to join Dumbledore’s Army.”
Those words out of Draco’s mouth. I had to stop myself from pinching my arm to see if this was a dream. What should I do now? Trust him? Or was this one of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s tricks? Why was I letting him see me? What was I doing? Only I don’t think he could fake saying something like that, even if it was on You-Know-Who’s orders. He had to be sincere, or did he?
“Where’s the proof that your not lying?” I asked still skeptical.
Draco Malfoy took his wand out of his pocket and held it out to me. “Here,” he said “Take it, Longbottom. If I were lying, I would not give my wand to you.”
I took the wand hoping it wouldn’t explode and tie me up or something. It didn’t by the way, in case you were worried. “Why?” I asked Draco. “Why are you defecting now?”
“Did you hear me, Longbottom? You are right! Words you’ve probably never heard before, I’m saying you are correct. I want to join you. You have my wand how much more do you need?”
“Fine,” I said after a moment of thinking about it. “But if you’re lying I will go Unforgivable all the way.”
“Deal,” Draco said.
I got back under the cloak and Draco and I snuck back to the Potter’s house. “Wait here,” I told Draco as I went into the house. I knew he couldn’t see the house but I bet he knew where we were.
“Hermione!” I said, “I’m back.”
“Oh, Hello Neville,” Luna said. “Did you bring any food?”
“Yeah, but the food can wait. We need to have a meeting, now. Can you bring the others to the living room?” I said.
“Sure,” Luna answered, weird girl that Luna.
Two minutes later Ron, Ginny, Hermione, Luna and I were in what was left of the Potter’s living room.
“What’s up, Neville?” Hermione asked. “Luna told us all to come down here.”
I told them what happened in the alley, there were gasps of surprise at the Death Eaters in Godric’s Hollow. Then I told them about Draco. When I told them what I did with him all of them reacted differently. Ginny fell of her chair, Ron ran to the window, Hermione started yelling at me words I didn’t hear and Luna looked at me puzzled.
“ARE YOU CRAZY?!?” Ron yelled at me. “HE’S GOING TO GO TELL HIS DAD WHERE WE ARE!!!”
“I don’t think even he could fake sounding that sincere,” I told him keeping calm. “He gave me his wand.” At that I pulled out his wand.
The three girls looked at it. They looked pretty convinced that Draco was on our side.
“Let’s vote,” Hermione said. “All in favor of letting Draco Malfoy join Dumbledore’s Army raise your hand.” Luna, Hermione and I all raised our hands. “All apposed to letting him join.” Ron and Ginny raised their hands.
Ron scowled at us. “Fine,” he said. “But if we die it’s your fault Neville.”
“Agreed,” I said. “Shall Luna and I show him?”
“I still don’t like this,” Ginny said as Luna and I walked to the door.
“I don’t think any of us do, Ginny,” I said. “But we need allies seeing as half the Order is dead.”
And with that Luna and I walked out the door. I reminded Luna to whisper where we are to him. Luna and I went out under the cloak. One of us stepped on something and it made a sound. Draco heard it and jumped like Trevor used to when he got scared. I lost track of Trevor last year, when the Carrows had control of Hogwarts. I don’t know what happened to him. Sad. :-(
Anyway, we went over to Draco and I poked him in the back. He gave another jump and turned around. “Is that you, Longbottom?” he whispered urgently.
“Yeah. We’re gonna get you in, alright?” I whispered back.
“Yeah just hurry. I think I heard my father just a minute ago.”
Luna and I switched places and Luna whispered where we were to him. Draco, Luna and I then went back in the house. We only just got in, I swear I saw Bellatrix’s hair.
“Did Granger do the Fidelius charm?” Draco asked curiously.
“Later,” I said. “Later.”
Luna pulled the Invisibility Cloak off us and went off to who knows where. I walked into the living room and Draco followed me. “Sit,” I said gesturing to the couch, sitting.
Draco sat on the couch across from me curiously. Ron was standing in the corner, his expression was throwing daggers at Draco so hard I was surprised Draco was still in one piece.
“Why were there Death Eaters in Godric’s Hollow?” I asked Draco.
“You think my father told me?” he said. “He woke me up half an hour ago and said ‘Get up Draco. The Dark Lord has given us a mission, If we succeed all will be forgiven.’ Then I heard Aunt Bellatrix say something about you lot and next thing you know I find Longbottom in the alley.”
“Why are you defecting now?” I asked. “Why not before the Battle of Hogwarts?”
“After The Battle,” Draco took a deep breath then continued. ” You-Know-Who had all the Muggle-borns killed, Granger’s probably one of the last ones alive. Well, after that I kind of had an… an awakening, I guess you could call it. I don’t want to be like my father or You-Know-Who. I… I think he’s wrong.”
I heard Ron let out a low whistle. Draco looked like he wanted to get this off his chest for a while. “Is You-Know-Who’s name still used to track people?” Ron asked.
Both Draco and I looked a Ron momentarily taken back then Draco answered. “I don’t know,” he said abruptly. “But I wouldn’t use it if I were you, Weasley.”
Teaching moment here. “Alright, you don’t know, that’s OK,” I said. “One rule you should know though. Here we use first name, Draco, alright?”
Draco scowled a little but then said, “Fine. Can I have my wand back yet?”
“Still deciding,” I said. “What happened to the Blood traitors?”
“Half of them are locked up in Azkaban. Half of them are dead. Don’t worry, Wea… Ron your family is in Azkaban, well except for that one that died during the Battle.”
“D’you know where Azkaban is?” Ron asked quickly.
Draco laughed. “Do I know where Azkaban is?” he said between laughs. After he caught his breath he spoke again. “No I don’t know where Azkaban is. It’s somewhere in the North Sea, I think. Why? Planning a rescue mission?”
I heard someone coming down the stairs. “Ron,” Hermione said. “Ron. Is Neville back?”
“Yeah. I am,” I said loudly to her getting up. “Give me a minute.” I passed by Ron on my way to the stairs. “See what else you can get out of him,” I whispered to Ron as I walked up the stairs. Ron gave a small nod and walked off over to where I had been sitting.
I walked up the stairs and got to the landing where Hermione was standing. “What’s up, Hermione?” I asked.
“Neville,” Hermione said staring me straight in the face. “We need to leave.”
“Yeah I know. When should we leave? Where can we go?”
“I… I’ve been thinking and reading, and I think we would be safe in America.”
“America? But who’s to say You-Know-Who wouldn’t follow us?”
“There’s no guarantee, but we would be safer there then we would be in any part of Europe. Can we trust Draco?”
“Yeah, just not with a wand yet.”
“So you, Ron and me can Apparate I can take Luna in side along Apparation Ron can take Ginny and you can take Draco. We can go to New York City, Apparate into Central Park. There are loads of woods there and no one will see us. We’d be safe there.”
“Yeah,” I said agreeing. “I’ll tell Ron and Draco, you tell Ginny and Luna. D’you think we can be ready in twenty minutes.”
“Yeah,” Hermione said, her face looking more cheerful than I had seen in months. “Defiantly!” She ran up the stairs to find Ginny and Luna as I proceeded down the stairs to tell the other two.
Twenty minutes later, the girls came down the stairs. “Alright,” I said. “Listen up.” They all looked at me. ” We’re going to be Apparating in pairs. Ginny you’re going with Ron, Luna, you’re with Hermione, and Draco you and I are going together.”
Draco looked angry about this arrangement but didn’t object. “Alright Ron, Ginny, you go first. Hermione and Luna are going after you. Draco and I will go last. remember. Where ever you land, meet at Delacorte Theater.”
They all nodded and Ron with Ginny holding tightly to his arm, disappeared into thin air. Hermione and Luna went next. “Ready?” I asked Draco.
“I can’t believe this is happening.” Was his response. “When we get to New York, can I have my wand back?”
And with that we Dissapparated.
“C’mon,” I said to Draco when we got to New York. ” Delacorte Theater is this way.”
“You sure,” he responded.
“Well, it wouldn’t be the first time you were wrong.”
“C’mon. There’s a Muggle map this way.”
We made our way to the map. It had a big red X on it that read ‘You Are Here’ and I looked it over. We were near a place called Belvedere Castle the theater where we were supposed to meet the others was near by. Draco and I started heading over that way.
“Can I have my wand back now?” Draco asked as we started towards the theater.
“Ask again later. The place is packed with muggles.” Was my response.
“I don’t care. Can I have my wand back?”
I saw a head or two look our way. “They’re starting to look at us,” I cautioned.
“So can I have my wand back or not?” he asked starting to get annoying.
“NO! YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR BLOODY WAND BACK YET!!” I yelled. This time a lot of heads looked at us.
“C’mon bro,” Draco said quickly. “Sorry!” he said to the crowd. “My brother is not quite right in the head.” Draco then grabbed my arm and started pulling me to the theater again.
People just stared as he pulled me through the crowd which now parted easily as though being mental was contagious. Only I noticed someone following us. Who was it?
I pulled Draco’s wand out of my pocket and stabbed him with the tip.
“Ouch!” he said. “What was that for?”
I held his wand out “Take it,” I whispered urgently. “There’s someone following us. Take the bloody wand.”
“Alright,” he whispered back taking the wand.
We were coming up on the theater when a voice from behind us said. “Could I talk to you for a moment?”
We were faced with a man of about twenty. “About what?” I asked.
“I am from the Magical Congress of the United States of America. You are obviously foreign wizards, but all the same I need to see your wand permit.”
“Our… our wand permit?” Draco questioned.
“Do you two know anything about the Wizarding community in America?” the man asked.
“Not exactly,” I answered. Truthfully.
“Well if you two do not have a wand permit, I am afraid you will have to come with me.”
“Sorry but that won’t be happening.” Draco said.
“And why is that?” the man asked.
“Stupify!” Draco cried.
Fortunately no Muggles were near by. The man fell like a rock to the ground. Draco grabbed my arm and we sprinted towards the theater. We got there fast enough only well we just took down a local wizard, and not some owner of a sweet shop. We found Hermione and the others rather quickly.
“Good,” she said smiling. “We’re all here. What’s wrong Neville?”
“Just ran into a bit of trouble with a local wizard, and I don’t think he owns a sweets shop,” I said after I had regained my breath. “We need a place to stay.”
“Alright I’ll see what I can do, but Neville what happened.”
“Like he said,” Draco said. “We ran into a bit of trouble with some American wizard, worked for the government by the sound of it, then he asked to see our wand permit and we ran for it. End of the story.”
“Nice job, guys,” Hermione said full of sarcasm. “One place we might be safe and you two are on the most wanted list.”
“Hermione,” Ron said. “Do you have any Muggle money?”
“I… I can get some, but you two,” she said looking at Draco and me. ” You two are probably wanted.”
“What if we just lay low for a while?” I asked. “This is a big city. If we just lay low in some Muggle hotel or apartment they’ll never know.”
“Alright,” Hermione said.”I’ll get us some Muggle money and find us some place to stay. You two,” she said glaring at Draco and I. “You two should probably stay out of sight.”
“You know, Hermione, that is a brilliant idea,” I said, trying to get back into her good books.
Ten minutes later we are trying to find a taxi with seating for six.
After we found one we went to a part of town that looked a bit shady. After Hermione payed the cab driver we waited on the streets while she found us a place to stay. She found us a hotel room for fifty dollars a day. Apparently Hermione told the owner that she didn’t know how long we would be staying and said she would pay on the way out. The owner led us to our room gave Hermione the key and walked away chuckling.
Hermione opened the door and I could immediately see why he was chuckling.
To be continued…