Guys, 82 separate people have been on the page for chapter 1. Whether they clicked on and went off, or read the chapter I don't know, but c'mon - reviews, please? I never thought it made a difference, asking for reviews, but from experience apparently it does! Still, I hate to ask like some kind of cheap-ass beggar, but I'm not lying when I say each good review generates a new chapter. Honestly, I read it, get happy, and then tap away at the keyboard till my heart's content, and voila! A new chapter is born! So please review. Don't be nasty. My favourite kind is when you guys tell me in detail the parts that you like. Haha, I suppose that's being a bit overly optimistic…anyway, enjoy!

The boys were separated and healed. However they had to endure Mrs Weasley's tirade together, and their bruises were left unhealed as a reminder. And when Harry, Hermione and Dumbledore arrived, it was to find the following scene.

Mrs Weasley was storming from one side of the room to another, pacing like an angry rhino, shouting "…can't leave you alone for a minute….Ronald, this time you've gone too far…thought I could trust you Draco…!"

Ron sat in one chair, shirtless, ribs bandaged. He had a black eye and numerous bruises on his face and torso. When Hermione saw him she gasped and ran over. For some reason, Ron recoiled from her, so wheeling around to shout at Draco, knowing it was his work, she opened her mouth but then faltered at the state he himself was in.

Draco sat leaning to one side, a stunned look on his face as his eyes followed Mrs Weasley. He too was shirtless, but with no bandages the purple and black bruises were clearer, covering his skinny frame. His Dark Mark was blatantly obvious on his arm, and it drew Hermione's eyes like a magnet although everyone else seemed too wrapped up in the moment to notice it. Madame Pomfrey had just finished siphoning the last of the blood off his face and was now starting on his hair. Malfoy had two black eyes.

"Concussed." Madame Pomfrey shouted over Mrs Weasley's lecture, in response to Hermione's questioning gaze "A broken nose, two fingers and his cheekbone too. And that one," she jerked her head in Ron's direction had a broken rib and nose."

"Harry." Ron said earnestly from his chair "Malfoy is dick. Please tell me you're not letting him get away with this."

Harry looked from Draco to Ron, his tired mind heavy with renewed grief. It had been a year since Sirius's death, but coming back to Grimmauld Place made it all feel fresh in his mind, and he wanted nothing more than to go to bed. He looked from Ron's expectant face to Draco's downcast one again, then tore his eyes away, refusing to meet Ron's gaze.

"I'm going to bed." was all he said.

"Hermione?" Ron said, his voice shaking.

Hermione turned away to follow Harry upstairs. From what Lupin had told her she had a fair idea of what Ron had found out and she didn't want to confront the issue now. Or ever, preferably.

"Harry?" she called up quietly after her friend, but he didn't answer so she followed him up to his room.

"Can I come in?" she paused at the door hopefully. Just as Harry knew her secrets, she knew what was upsetting him, and she sighed with relief when he nodded and she closed the door behind her and plopped down on the bed beside him.

"Have you heard from Pansy?" she asked quietly, laying a hand on his arm. Harry's eyes looked dull, and his face was rather too expressionless, and she knew he'd been worrying himself sick.

He looked up at Pansy's name. "She hasn't written at all." he muttered, not meeting her eyes, and Hermione took the opportunity to put her arm round him.

"She's in a dangerous place Harry, it would be silly, really to risk writing letters to you."

"I'm just so worried," he whispered , staring at the ground "I sent letters to her, what if she was caught with them."

For a moment Hermione stayed silent, trying to think of a tactful answer. All she could think though, was that Harry had taken a huge risk. She didn't want to ask if he'd used Hedwig - of course he had, he had no other way to send a letter. He shouldn't have used such a distinctive owl, but Hermione knew what it was like to be lovesick and the months on end with silence from his girlfriend must have been a nightmare for him.

"Or if, you know," he continued "if she changed her mind."

"Changed her mind?" Hermione said blankly

"About me."

"Oh Harry!" she gave him another little hug "Of course she hasn't, it's probably just to risky for her to reply to your owls. She'll be fine though, you'd have read in the paper if she wasn't."

Harry looked up abruptly, his face pained "Hermione, I don't think she's dead, I think she's a Death Eater!"

"Of course she isn't Harry," she replied brusquely "she loves you, she'd never-"

"It doesn't matter how she feels about me, she'd have to choose between that and death!" Harry said, his voice sounding tortured "She's a fighter, she'd never just pin her life to a cause and die for it. She'll do whatever she can to keep alive, I know it."

Hermione bit her tongue. "Well," she said finally "then that makes her no better than Draco."

"Exactly!" Harry exploded "And I hate him! I hate him, so much for lying, for hurting you - us, for all of it!" then he deflated, shaking his head defeatedly "But in the end, he was just trying to stay alive. Like Pansy. And I'd forgive her in a heartbeat, but I can't forgive him."

"Really? You'd forgive her?" Hermione was surprised. No matter what she'd thought at times, Harry had always been so opposed to the Dark Arts, and to consider remaining in a relationship with someone who had devoted her life to Voldemort…

"I love her." Harry said quietly, sinking his forehead into his hands "And I know whatever she's had to do to keep safe, she doesn't really want to do. Even if she has been made a Death Eater, I know her heart's not in it."

"But Harry…" Hermione searched for words "Whether she wanted to or not, she's devoted herself to Voldemort - not you. If it's the case that she's joined him anyway."

She watched Harry as he picked at his thumbnail, his eyes half closed, long lashes nearly concealing the deep green eyes. "But the thing is," he said finally "I'd rather she was his than dead. And at least I know she isn't really his, not really, because she's only doing what she has to do."

"So what about Draco then?" her voice was a little abrupt, but only because the question had been eating at her for months "Do I forgive him? Do you?"

"I don't know Hermione." Harry fell back on the bed with a humph "I hate him for what he's done, but just like Pansy, I know he didn't want to do it."

"He thought he had to." Hermione agreed, and they locked eyes for a moment.

"I'm too angry to forgive him." Harry said at last "But I'll tolerate him. Maybe if we spend time together, it'll fix itself, but honestly I'm too worried about Pansy to worry about him. I'd rather just see how things go, start again."

"Just like strangers with a bad history."

"All over again." Harry shook his head at the irony

"So what's the plan?" Ron leaned in eagerly.

Harry took a breath and began to explain what he knew.

"I'm a Horcrux, so is Voldemort and there's six more. For the Horcruxes in me and him, we'll figure out a plan." he swallowed "but the other six, we need to eliminate, and from what Dumbledore's told me, once we've found them it's a matter of destroying them permanently."

"Obviously." Ron rolled his eyes

"Hang on," Hermione interrupted "you're on speaking terms with Dumbledore?"

"Sort of." Harry replied "he's told me what I need to know about Horcruxes in exchange for the agreement that I'll hunt them with him and a few order members with me."

"Fair enough." Ron nodded

"Not really." Harry lowered his voice, casting his eye quickly around the dusty Black library "I don't trust him. In case you forgot, he's been planning to off me from the beginning. The last thing I'm going to do is go Horcrux hunting with him. I'm just a portable Horcrux they can take with them, waiting to be destroyed at leisure. I'm going without them"

"I'm sure he wouldn't …" Hermione tailed off, then blushed, shaking her head "You're right Harry, absolutely right. You need to be with people you trust."

"Which is why I'm coming with you." Ron chipped in

"And me." Hermione said firmly

Harry grimaced, but nodded in acceptance. "I don't want to put you in danger, but to be honest, I'm glad. I'm thinking about setting out after the wedding."

"Yes, you need to stay for that." Ron said hurriedly "Fleur will be a nightmare when we get back if we don't."

"So anyway," Hermione interrupted "what are the plans for hunting them down?"

"Well I have ideas where they might be." Harry said slowly "But I haven't said anything about them to Dumbledore, or they'd be able to track us down, wherever we go, really easily. But we can talk about that another time. First of all, we need to use the library to find ways to destroy them permanently."

"What do you mean?" Ron said, puzzled "Can't we just, incendio them or something?"

"We have to put them beyond magical repair." Harry corrected "Whatever that means. Dumbledore was being a little vague - it's probably his way of stopping me from running off and doing it alone."

"I've got it." Hermione said suddenly, then frowned "but I don't know…"

"Well? Are you going to tell us or not?" Ron urged eagerly

"Well…you tell me." she looked at them both expectantly "What can't you reverse with magic? What's the one thing-"

"Death." Harry said suddenly "The killing curse. They're alive, the pieces of soul, we have to cast Avada Kedavra at them."

"That won't work." A voice said, and they all jumped, but Harry scrambled to his feet almost immediately, wand in hand.

"How much did you hear?" he demanded, his wand trained on Draco as he emerged from behind a bookshelf

"All of it." Draco looked unconcerned at Harry's wand, but pale nonetheless.

"Obliviate him." Ron said roughly

"No!" Draco said quickly "I can help! You can't kill them that way!"

"What do you know about - about-" Hermione began

"Horcruxes?" Draco said roughly "Nothing. But I know Dark Magic, and I know the theory and what you're trying to do is dangerous. There'll be better ways."

"Like what?" Harry demanded, and Draco moved closer to him, meeting his gaze with pleading eyes

"Take me with you, and I'll tell you."

"No." Harry said flatly "Out of the question."

"I can help -"

"No. I don't trust you." he turned back to Ron and Hermione "Now, we need to discuss the plans more, but I think we can wait until after the weddi-"

"Please, Harry." Draco said suddenly, and everyone turned to look at him again. "Please let me go."

"Aren't you going to obliviate him?" Ron demanded

Harry frowned. Since when did Draco say 'please'? He didn't feel comfortable with Draco coming with them to find the horcruxes, or even hearing their plans. Any friendship they had shared had been ruined by his betrayal, and besides, Ron hated him. And he didn't want him anywhere near Hermione for that matter either.

"Draco I'm sorry, but-"

"Harry." Draco said desperately, aware their friendship was in tatters, and desperate to fix it "Please."

"I'm not going to change my mind. We were friends once, but not anymore. So far I've kept to our original deal, keeping you safe. Friendship wasn't part of the bargain and I shouldn't have let it happen. Ron and Hermione, Ginny….and me, we've all been hurt by you, and you betrayed our trust. We're keeping you safe, isn't that enough?"

"You might need me," Draco bargained "I know more about how the other side thinks,"

Draco ignored a snort from Ron "I could even - " he stopped, hesitating

"Yes?" Harry prompted

"I would spy for you, if you needed me to. I know they probably won't take me back, but if the situation arose, you could need a spy, and that person is me."

"Well then we'll come back for you," Harry said matter-of-factly "and bring you back when we're done."

"And what makes you think I'm going to let you use me like that when you won't trust me with anything else?" Draco flared up "I know I don't deserve trust, but I'm really trying here!"

"Fine, we won't use you then." Harry shrugged

"Look," Draco pleaded "I can help you! Casting Avada Kedavra, it's dangerous for you. You told me that's how Horcruxes are made, last year Harry, and I heard you say you have a part of His soul inside you, what if you split yours when you cast it, and His soul can take advantage of the two weaker pieces?"

Harry frowned. He hadn't thought of that.

Hermione came to his rescue "Well then I'll cast it." she said matter of factly "Or Ron."

Draco stared at the three of them in exasperation. "What if I promise to try and make friends with Ron?"

"No thanks, mate." Ron said cheerfully, buoyed by Harry's dismissal of his enemy

"If I - oh I don't know! There's nothing I can offer that will make you change your mind!" Draco stared at Harry, his jaw clenched. He turned for the door, then hesitated, turning back again. "I don't want to be left behind. I want to help Pansy. She's in trouble, I know she is!"

Harry's head jerked up almost involuntarily in response. "How do you know?" he demanded

"She's not with us." Draco said simply, before resuming his pleading "Harry please! Being your friend became important enough that I dropped the Dark Lord's task, really risking my life this time, and throwing away my family, just for your approval. I didn't want to be a Death Eater, but I never had. It was your friendship that was the reason I joined your side. I'm not sure I can cope without it. Please reconsider."

With that, Malfoy turned for the door again and left.

There was a moment silence until Hermione began to snuffle.

"Hermione, he'll be fine." Harry said, hoping he sounded firmer than he thought he had.

Hermione immediately burst into tears. "Harry, I just know he's serious. Haven't you seen how pale he is? He's got no one!"

"Who's fault is that?" Ron snapped "And since when are you on his side? I thought you broke up?" his voice had a threatening tone to it.

"We did break up!" Hermione snapped back, wiping her eyes "It doesn't mean I can't treat him like a human being!"

"I can trust him to help rescue Pansy." Harry found himself saying

"Rescue Pansy?" Ron burst out "You never mentioned that!"

"I was about to!" Harry said hotly "Do you have a problem with that?"

"No - it's just all these Slytherins-"

"Listen," Hermione interrupted before Harry exploded at Ron "so what if you can trust him to help you with Pansy Harry? Can you trust him with everything else?"

"Whose side are you on?" Ron asked seriously, looking bewildered. Hermione ignored him

"He's heard it all anyway." Harry said unsurely " And - and well…"

"You're going to let him come with, aren't you?" Ron said heavily.

Harry didn't reply at first.

"I don't know what to do." he said at last "Ron, you don't want him, and you," he nodded at Hermione "do." she ducked her head without denial "And I - " he faltered

"What do you want?" Ron said

"I have him to thank for Pansy." Harry whispered "And we're both worried about her. And two of us trying to find her just as badly could help. And…he was right. We could use a person who could be a spy."

"But Harry, what do you want?" Hermione whispered

"I think it should be just us three, like the good old days." Ron said stoutly

"Shush Ron."

"I … truthfully, I want him along. Its difficult to let go of the friendship. If things could be like they were before…once I stop hating him for what he's done, I mean…"

There was silence.

"Harry…" Ron said heavily "Both of you think you can trust him. And this time…" he hesitated "I- I'm more likely to believe that he really does regret it. He can't betray as again, that's for sure. He's too far gone, it'd get him no benefit from the other side, and he'd probably be killed on sight anyway. I don't want him along. I don't like him. But if both of you really want it…"

"Thanks Ron." Hermione said quietly

"Just don't expect me to be nice to him." he said, irritably

Harry felt an inevitable smile creeping onto his tired face.

"Thanks Ron. Maybe we should tell him then."

Draco didn't think he could handle another day of lying on his bed staring at the ceiling, which was slowly moulding over, so he made his way to the room with the piano, wishing that he was somewhere else. Anywhere else. A constant cloud of grim depression hung over the entire building; it wasn't just him. It made things so much worse that he was surrounded by people he didn't like and that he was in their territory, where they felt safe and perfectly at ease when making him miserable. Mrs Weasley put a stop to what she could, but she couldn't be everywhere at once. Tonks was a ray of sunshine when she was round, but being busy with auror work, this was a seldom occurrence.

He trailed his hand over the piano keys, unwilling to play despite his initial fervour to repair the instrument. He had only ever played piano in the Manor, and whenever he thought of home he was hit by a sense of profound loss so deep that he wasn't sure he wanted to stir any memories by playing a song.

Strange, he thought not for the first time, I never liked being at home before…now I can't stop longing for it.

He knew his parents had rejected him, and they would not welcome him with open arms. He highly suspected the Manor would be in use as a rallying ground for Death Eaters, so it was likely that his home would be filled with strangers anyway. Nevertheless, anything was better than being in this cramped, dilapidated excuse for a Pureblood house. Clearly the Order of the Phoenix saw it as a large house, but Draco was used to living in rooms of palatial sizes, and ten modestly sized bedrooms seemed very small to him.

"You play piano?" said a soft voice, and Draco snatched his hands from where they had been poised over the keys and whipped around.

Hermione and Harry stood in the doorway. He, looking uncomfortable and she smiling softly.

"I used to." he replied shortly, looking at the floor. He wondered if he would ever speak to another human being without this tense, awful silence between exchanges.

"We've decided to trust you." Harry told him, and Draco looked up, surprised. Harry's eyes were hard. "Don't let us down."

Again. It hung unsaid in the air after Harry had spoken, and Draco's cheeks flushed with shame.

"You can rely on me this time, I promise." he said, looking Harry in the eye, who looked away quickly. He met Hermione's eye too, and she did the same. The weight in his heart grew heavier still.

"When we leave," Hermione said, still looking anywhere but Draco "we'll take you with us. But Harry wants your help with something we're going to do first. Until we leave, he wants to work on a plan for it."

"What is it?"

"I'm worried about Pansy. I was wondering if you could tell me - what sort of danger could she be in?"

"She hasn't answered any of Harry's letters." Hermione said meaningfully, and Draco understood that she thought Pansy had simply moved onto someone else, tiring of Harry now that he wasn't around to meet her needs.

The defiant expression Harry bore told Draco that he was wondering about the same thing.

"I haven't been able to write to anyone." Draco said "So I have no idea whether she's safe."

Harry's shoulders slumped.

"She lives in London," Draco continued "most of the time, anyway. Her family has a manor in Ireland, but they don't normally go there."

"London?" Harry said immediately, as Draco had known he would "We could check on her easily then!"

Draco shook his head. "More easily than if she were in Ireland, yes. But I don't know exactly where her house is."

Harry stared at him incredulously. "How can you not know where she lives? You were engaged to her for years! You didn't know your own fiance's address?"

Draco shrugged. "I only floo'd there if I had to. It's called Thornwood House. That's all I know. I avoided the place if I could. Her older brother is a creep, and her mother is about ten times worse than Pansy at her worst."

"You must know more." Hermione said confidently "When you looked out the windows, what did you see? Or was there a garden you could see the street from?"

Draco sat down on the piano stool slowly, facing away from the keys and towards Harry and Hermione.

"What do you see from the window in the kitchen?"

Hermione looked at him in confusion. "The window?"

"There is no window in the kitchen." Harry said flatly.

Draco stared back at them, apparently as confused as they were. "Yes, there is." he said slowly.

There was a long silence, as all three stared at each other as if the other party was mad.

"Interesting." Draco said.

"What do you mean by that?" Hermione said at once.

"We'll get to that in a moment." Draco said "What I see from the kitchen window, the existence of which is now up for debate, is an overgrown garden. Mrs Weasley told me there was no garden, so I assumed the window was enchanted. The point I was going to make, is that enchanted windows are common to magical homes, so what I saw from the windows at Pansy's house isn't necessarily going to be a help."

"I want to take a look at this 'window'." Hermione said, frowning.

"Later," Harry said impatiently "Draco, tell us what you saw anyway, it might help."

"The windows of the front room looked onto a very small front garden, with iron railings separating it from the street. I think there was a bit of grass, but it was mostly flowers." Draco wrinkled his nose "Horrible, skinking things. Mrs Parkinson is obsessed with flowers. She used to leave the window open in the summer and the front rooms always smelt like stinking perfume. Like the floral version on Professor Trelawney's room at Hogwarts."

"Well, if you could smell the flowers, that view must have been real." Hermione stated.

"Not necessarily, but it's very unlikely it was fake I suppose. Who would want a view where you could see the muggle street?"

"Even if it is real," Harry interrupted "there are thousands of houses with front gardens like that in London."

"I'd recognise the stench a mile off." Draco said

"But we don't have the time or freedom to just let you wander through muggle London until you smell it." Hermione said "Wasn't there anything else?"

"Not that I can think of." Draco said "But, if we're really going to go looking for the house, there's a few things we should bear in mind. First off, it's a wizarding house. A pureblood house, and more specifically, the Parkinsons are…well I wouldn't say noveau rich, but they have only been wealthy for the past three generations. Likewise, their bloodline can only be traced as far as the 1920's. Mrs Parkinson always says the records were lost, but everyone knows they're hiding something. There must be a halfblood in the main Parkinson line." Draco sniggered, then seemed to remember where he was and stopped suddenly. "Ahem. Anyway, the point is, they feel the need to bolster themselves with showy displays of their history, and their money."

"So we're looking for a fancy house?" Harry simplified

Draco nodded "And, even though I can't remember anything like it, we should look for symbols involving wolves."

"Wolves? Is that part of their family coat of arms?" Hermione asked, whipping out a pen and paper.

"Yes. This house, the house of my great aunt Walpurga and her husband Cygnus Black, has snakes everywhere. They're not descended from Slytherin, but they like to infer that they are by that."

"Wait, you know everyone who's descended from Slytherin?" Harry cut in

Draco laughed "Harry, I know the family tree of everyone who can get away with calling themselves pureblood. My parents have had me memorising them since I was six."

"Okay then." Harry swallowed "Who's still alive who's related to Slytherin?"

Draco watched him speculatively for a moment before replying. "Why?" he asked suspiciously.

"Just tell me. If it turns out to be important, I'll let you know." Harry said

Draco didn't look happy, but he complied. "No one is alive, no one descended from the direct line. The Gaunts died out nearly fifty years ago. As for descendants not of the male line…there's no way of telling. I wouldn't be surprised if every pureblood was part Slytherin."

"What do you know about the Gaunts?" Harry pressed

"Tell me why." Draco folded his arms.

Harry scowled. "Look -"

"Harry, we should tell him. I thought we agreed that we would all trust Draco." Hermione prompted.


All three of them whipped around at the new voice.

"Ginny!" Hermione exclaimed.

"What were you talking about?" Ginny said, frowning.

"Nothing." Harry said immediately, and Draco rolled his eyes. Honestly. Harry had all the subtlety of a troll brandishing a club.

"We've decided to try to get along with Draco better." Hermione said with a tight smile. "Anyway, never mind that. We were just about to head down to the kitchen."

"Oh." Ginny said, though she was still looking at Draco suspiciously, who studiously avoided her eyes. "Well, good. Because mum sent me up to tell you lunch is ready."


"I don't know much about the Gaunts." Draco muttered under his breath to Harry as they ate. "They're extinct, in the male line at least, so there was no reason for me to remember anything about them. I could try to find out more - if you can cause a distraction, there's a good library in here. Only, Mrs Weasley doesn't like me looking at the books. They're all about the Dark Arts. What's so important about this anyway?"

"Marvolo Gaunt was the father to Merope and Morfin Gaunt." Harry whispered, "Merope was … she had problems. She wasn't good looking to say the least."

"How do you know this?" Draco asked, watching Harry closely

"If Merope hadn't went and done what she did," Harry continued, ignoring Draco "she probably would have ended up marrying her brother. That's the sort of pureblood they were. And they looked it too. They were dirt poor. The muggles who lived nearby thought of them as dirty tramps. They thought they were mad. Then…" Harry continued "Merope fell in love with a muggle." Draco couldn't mask the gasp of shock he let out at that.

"What are you boys talking about?" Molly Weasley said as she passed them. When both boys looked guilty, she simply beamed at them both. "Never mind. It's good to see someone making an effort with Draco." She glared at Ron, who looked at his plate, only to smirk nastily at Draco as soon as his mother's back was turned. Draco smirked right back, which only made Ron turn red with anger, and Harry deduced that Draco had cheered up.

"Leave him,. he told Draco, who turned back to him, smirk fading.

"Right, so Merope Gaunt married a muggle."

"No," Harry said "she fell in love with him. Obviously, he wasn't interested. He was engaged, and he was from a rich muggle family. To cut a long story short, she fed him a love potion, rand away with him, then stopped giving him the potion, thinking he would still love him."

"Stupid. What kind of witch was she!" Draco exclaimed

"Not a very good one." Harry said "She was almost a squib."

"Excessive inbreeding." Draco shook his head

"Isn't any kind of inbreeding excessive?" Harry said incredulously, then shook his head. "Never mind, I don't want to know. Anyway, she was treated badly by her father and brother, she could have been terrorized so much that she couldn't get her magic to perform. I don't know, but in the end Riddle left her -"

"Riddle?" Draco said, frowning

"The muggle she ran away with was called Tom Riddle. He left her, and she was pregnant. She had nothing left, and for one reason or another, didn't, or couldn't use her magic to save herself. She turned up at an orphanage half dead, and gave birth to a boy, then died."

The kitchen was growing quieter, and Harry and Draco both paused as Fred and George, the main source of noise, left the room. With no loud talking to cover their conversation, they looked uncomfortably around at the remaining people in the kitchen.

"Girls?" Mrs Weasley addressed Ginny and Hermione "Please tidy the kitchen before you go upstairs."

"Aw mum!" Ginny whined "I always have to-"

"Ronald did it this morning with Harry, and Draco is always helping me with one thing or another."

Everyone's heads swung around to stare at Draco incredulously, and he stared stonily at the wall.

"Now please get on with it." Molly Weasley left the room.

"Why don't we do the dishes?" Harry said, nudging Draco. "Ginny, go on. Don't worry about the rest."

"Yeah, I'll help them." Ron added

"O-okay…" Ginny said, though her face was extremely suspicious, she wasn't going to volunteer to do housework.

The second she was out the door, Hermione whipped out her wand and cast muffliato on all four of them.

"Hermione!" Ron said, impressed "Mum'll kill you if she finds out!"

"She won't, unless someone snitches." Draco said, giving Ron a pointed glare.

"Anyway," Harry said quickly "I was just telling Draco about the Gaunts."

"Yes, why are you telling me all this, fascinating as it is." Draco asked impatiently.

"I don't think you should tell him anything." Ron said, pouring himself a glass of milk. He was ignored by all.

"Merope Gaunt gave birth to a boy, who she named after his father. Tom Riddle. She gave him her father's name as a middle name, Marvolo."


"Try for an anagram!" Hermione cut in, a zealous look in her eyes that she usually only got right before a class test. "Tom Marvolo Riddle."

Draco felt silence for a long moment.

"Ramrod doll motive?"

There was a split second of silence, and then a fountain of milk erupted from Ron's nostils as the whole kitchen fell about laughing.

"Ram-rod-" Ron choked, slapping the table. Harry couldn't control his laughter either.

"Try - try again!"

Draco, twin points of colour on his cheeks, shook his head.

"Please, Draco!" Hermione giggled "Go on, it's not that hard."

Draco closed his eyes to think.

"Immortal dove lord?"

Everyone burst out laughing yet again, and he flushed a deeper pink.

"That was close, actually!" Hermione said encouragingly.

"D'you think he came up with these too, when he was thinking of a name for himself?" Harry chortled, causing a new bout of giggles.

"Devoid marmot roll, and that's the last I'm saying." Draco said sulkily.

"Here." Hermione said kindly, grabbing her notebook and pen as the last of the giggles slowly subsided. She wrote out TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE across a blank page in capital letters. She paused, then wrote underneath. I AM LORD VOLDEMORT.

Draco's eyes widened. "No."

Hermione nodded grimly, and Draco stared at the notebook in silence.

"So, you're telling me," he said finally "That the Dark Lord is a half blood."

"Yup!" Ron said cheerfully

"His name is Tom." Draco sneered as he said the common name.


"And he used anagrams to choose his name."

Ron merely guffawed.

"I can't believe my father doesn't know this." Draco shook his head, looking gob smacked.

"Actually," Hermione frowned "shouldn't he know that? I mean, your grandfather was supposedly a follower of Voldemort while he was still in school. He would have known his name, and presumably, his blood status. Why do you think he didn't tell your father?"

"The Dark Lord went to Hogwarts?" Draco said "Are you serious? Was he in Slytherin?"

"No, he was a Hufflepuff!" Ron snapped.

"Draco's grandfather was probably terrified of Voldemort." Harry reasoned "He might not have had a choice except to follow him, and why would he tell his son he was worshipping a half blood? It would make him look bad."

Draco looked offended. "I'm sure there's a better reason."

"Right." Ron said sarcastically.

"Anyway, weren't we going to take a look at this supposed window?" Hermione cut in before Draco could retaliate.

A/N: Guys, if you like this fic, parts 1 and 2, please please let me know. I made the mistake of looking at reviews for New Alliances 1, and some really put me down. Since they were written admittedly I have vastly changed and improved it, but to be honest the lack of recent good reviews - heck, any reviews - has me worried. New Alliances was my first ever fanfic, so I'm sure you can imagine how bad it was at first, and how high my hopes were. Now I'm a bit more thick skinned, and a better writer (I hope!) so I was sort of expecting some reaction, considering the number of people who have both stories on alert.

So far, people's biggest gripe has been that this story is under H/Hr pairing. It's not. gives the option to list the main characters, not the pairing, and I listed Harry, Hermione, Draco and Ron, but still only Harry and Hermione are shown. In the end, I don't see why people are so upset about it, as I read a crapload of fics daily (I'm not exaggerating, I'm a fast reader and a Harry Potter nut) and there are many many fics which display main characters in the summary, and those two main characters aren't in a relationship in the fic. Usually I have noticed if there are pairings, the author explicitly states it. I have done this in New Alliances 1, but not for 2. This is because everyone who reads 2, will need to have read 1 first or it won't make any sense, and I have no plans to change the pairings.

ALSO, NOTE TO THE ANONYMOUS REVIEWER - first mention of lupin in your fics. why wasnt he there for harry likepadfoot?

Answer - I forgot about him. Lol. Whoopsie. He isn't important to the story anyway so I suppose it doesn't matter. I think I remember Harry saying in the books somewhere that he had hoped Professor Lupin would write to him, but he had so far been disappointed. Maybe we could say that the same thing happened, only Harry cared even less, so he never really thought about it? I don't know, you can make up your own reason unless everyone is super mad about it and wants me to go back and add in some reason for his absence. If I did, I would probably have Harry be a little sad about the lack of contact, then later on have him be miffed at Lupin a bit, but eventually get over it.