A sad dream at Christmas has Draco scheming to prevent it from coming true. The two get close and on the night of Dumbledore's death, she says, "No." But a magical book keeps them connected during the deadliest times of their lives.
"Granger, I hold on to every memory of you for dear life."
Men become accustomed to poison by degrees - Victor Hugo
It is October 1949: Lycus Malfoy is dying, quarantined in his house alone but for his wife, Adelaide, who still hopes there is a miracle cure; Eileen Prince has vanished into a Muggle life, washing the dead and arranging flowers, away from the sneers she endured at school; Cygnus and Orion Black are at war with each other even as they bury their secrets six feet deep.
There is a murderer on the loose, shrouded in paranoia, and the old structures, things of blood and age and time, are starting to crumble.
And a ship arrives from Lübeck bringing Tom Riddle home.