Draco couldn't stay by the crater after seeing Harry. He sure as heck didn't want to talk to Ron about it. Not that Ron would talk, if Draco asked him to. After his initial shock, Ron had shrugged it off and gone back to his tent. Draco hung about nervously outside until he heard Ron snoring. Sleep of the devil.
Draco got on his broom and flew home. He slept for a few hours, tossing and turning he wasn't sure if he felt guilty, now that he thought clearly about it. He hadn't exactly done anything to be guilty of he'd just bitten a little at Ron's face, that was all. Harry had held Hermione just as close when they'd met in the crater earlier in the evening. Harry was just making a big fuss about nothing.
The problem was that Draco wasn't sure if Harry would come back. Before, it had only been taunts and teases, little mind games to amuse Draco. But this was serious it was criminal. Or would have been criminal, if something had really happened. Which it hadn't. It was just a kiss. It didn't mean anything. Just lust, a stupid little game which had backfired. Another stupid little game.
Draco covered his head with his pillow and waited until his head grew empty, drowsy. His dreams that night were fraught with demons and fire-stricken landscapes. Harry was always in there somewhere, though he'd be the demon lord ordering his minions on, or the green eyes sparkling at the pit of the fire.
He woke up to find hands on him small, house-elf hands. Moaning, he slapped them away, swearing under his breath. They fell back as he struggled to sit up, wiping the sleep from his eyes.
"What on earth do you think you're oh."
His father was standing in the doorway, tapping his long nails against the wooden frame. It was so utterly Lucius, Draco thought, to get house elves to wake his son for him.
"What did I do now?" he grunted.
"Just a question for you, Draco," said Lucius, in that sweet, tense voice he used shortly before launching into a lecture.
"Why are there three large dragons outside in the garden, eating the guards."
Two of them were massive the biggest dragons Draco had ever seen in his life. They were bright green, with heads shaped like bats, and sharp furred ears. They looked almost surreal as they plowed through the flowerbeds, charring the odd tree or two with their firey breath. The remaining dragon was pink still large, but only half the size of the other two. It was more conventionally dragon shaped a long snout and scaley wings that when spread turned translucent as butterfly wings.
Draco tossed the medallion in his pocket as he peered out of the front door.
"Well?" said Lucius.
"I'm thinking of a good excuse, dammit," Draco snapped.
Lucius cuffed him over the side of the head, and Draco banged his nose against the partly open door. He whined, and put his hands to his face. Lucius remained impassive.
"Hurry up, Draco."
"I brought something from work home with me. A medallion. With a dragon on it. I didn't know it would do this and please-don't-hit-me-again," Draco whimpered under Lucius' glare. "I think I broke my nose."
"Where is this medallion, Draco?"
Lucius bent over, and held Draco by the hips as he rummaged through his son's pockets. Draco felt all of five years old, but resisted the urge to push Lucius away. When his father was angry, it was best to simply do as he said.
Lucius found the medallion, finally, and Draco hopped away. He watched his father nervously as the man turned the green disk over in his hands, examining it from both sides.
"Remarkable," he said seeming to forget Draco's presence for a few moments. "I'm sure yes, I know I've read about this."
Draco chanced a glance into the grounds again. One of the dragons, the pink one, had done something large, smelly and unsightly in the middle of Narcissa's rose garden. Draco winced. Narcissa loved those flowers she certainly wouldn't be happy. He wondered whether she'd ground him, to try to. Grounded at twenty three. It didn't bear thinking about it. Draco privately made plans to make himself scarce about the manor for the next few weeks.
"Draco?" Lucius snapped his fingers infront of Draco's face, and Draco blinked.
"Come with me to my study."
Lucius strode off purposefully toward the stairs. Draco leant his back to the door, locking it behind him.
By the time they reached the study four more dragons had joined the first three. Two gold ones were peeing in the fountain, and a black one and a purple one were doing something naughty in the courtyard. Draco boggled.
"It'll make you blind," Lucius cautioned, flipping through a leather-bound book.
"No, that's mast" Draco cut himself off just in time.
"I'm serious, Draco. When a Black Feathertail copulates it expells a mercury-bright light at its zenith. It's enough to cause blindness for at least a week. No one knows why they do it, though. Perhaps it's just a natural measure to stop perverts." Lucius couldn't help adding, "Like you, Draco."
Draco tore himself from the window, and wandered over to his father's desk.
"I never knew you knew so much about dragons," he said.
"Your name is Draco, for goodness sake," said Lucius, shortly.
Lucius made a noise that was somewhere between a sigh and a groan. He turned a few more pages, scanning each one carefully.
"Ah. Here, I've found it."
"The Legend of Dragon Rock," said Lucius, as if it should be perfectly obvious. "I didn't think it truly existed until now." He flipped the disk between his fingers.
"Well?" said Draco, patiently.
Lucius relented. "A long time ago, a group of dragon breeders decided to create an object to attract dragons. Simple enough they wanted to increase their herd. The problem was that it worked too well. Dragons flew from all corners of the globe, including dragons that came from other breeders. There were a lot of arguements, and very nearly a war. In the end, the breeders who held the medallion closed themselves away in an exinct volcano, which they named Dragon Rock. The dragons kept coming, though. The entire mountain was covered with them it literally seethed with scales. There was talk in the wizard community that the breeders might see to take over the world with their dragons."
"And?" said Draco. "Was there a war?"
"Hardly. The volcano turned out not to be extinct, after all." Lucius raised his shoulders in a shrug. "The dragons were killed in the lava flow, and the breeders surely perished inside. No one ever found the medallion which started it all. There were rumours the breeders kept it in a secret room, carved out by the dragons themselves. It was supposed to have vanished into obscurity, at any rate. But here, apparently it is."
He tossed it in his hand, lightly.
"What should I do with it?" Draco asked.
"Destroy it, of course," said Lucius.
A bright light filled the room suddenly, and Draco closed his eyes against the blast.
"Well done, Black Feathertail," said Lucius, randomly. He continued, unaffected, "The legend alone proves that it's unwise to have too many dragons about at one time."
"I thought the legend proved only that you shouldn't make camp inside a volcano," said Draco.
"That too. But too many dragons could result in a war which wouldn't be pretty. And I certainly don't want word of it going around. This thing would be infernally dangerous, if it ever fell into the wrong hands. Not to speak in cliches, but you understand my meaning."
"So how do I destroy it?" Draco asked.
Lucius scanned the page. "You have to fly a thousand miles, and battle a dark demon in a loin cloth on a field of dead bodies, and then sink it into the fire of Unrest."
"What?" Draco gaped.
Lucius smiled, slightly. "I'm pulling your leg, Draco. The medallion only works when exposed to open air. Buried, it's completely harmless. There's a shovel in the garden shed."
He passed the medallion to Draco, and curled his son's fingers about it. "Watch out for the dragons," he said.
Draco clutched the medallion tightly for a moment, before shoving it back into his pocket. "Father " he began a sudden thought had struck him.
"Why don't you ever you know, try to take over the world," said Draco, in a babble. "I mean you manage to do plenty of things behind you-know-who's back, and now you have a medallion which could start a war, make you supremely powerful. So why don't you you know, do it?"
Lucius looked toward the window, and then returned his silver eyes to his son. He spread his hands on the table, long, pianist's fingers, perfectly manicured.
"See these nails, Draco?"
"Notice how clean they are?"
"That's how I like them to stay. Being an evil overlord has it's bonuses, I'm sure, but it's far too much bother. I prefer to be rich and powerful in a very surruptitious fashion. I certainly don't see any need to take over the world. I have all that I want, right here. A great deal of money, a beautiful wife, an incredible house, and a son who will provide me with a heir to the line even if I have to drug him to do it." Lucius smiled. "Really, Draco. What more could a wizard ask for."
"Orgies on hard drugs," said Draco, promptly.
"What do you think I do in the basement?" Lucius asked. "Or do you still believe that Dark Arts rubbish I told you as a child?"
"When you're old enough, I'll let you down there."
"You'd better go get the shovel, Draco."
"Good bye, son."
"Good bye, father."
Draco jogged outside, feeling somewhat disorientated. Talking to his father for any length of time usually had that effect on him. He was never quite sure when Lucius was joking. His father had a perversely black sense of humour.
A large blue and white striped dragon was munching on the remains of one of the gardeners. Draco averted his eyes, and stole down behind the bushes toward the shed. Like all things at the manor, the shed was a huge, overdone affair there was even an ornate iron fringe around the door. Draco ducked in, grabbed a shovel, and padded back outside. Choosing a corner by the wall, he began to dig.
It seemed a waste of such a powerful object, to have it end up in someone's back garden. Still, Draco had his orders. He made careful note of the place, though. He felt that at some much later date, knowing the whereabouts of the medallion would be helpful. The next time Narcissa tried to dress him up for one of her parties, he'd be able to threaten her with more dragon turds.
He patted down the earth and stepped back, admiring his handiwork. Not bad for a man who'd never used a shovel before. He wiped his hands down on his shirt, and had just turned to make for the shed again, when he felt something's hot breath on the back of his neck. A dragonish sort of hot breath.
Draco looked up over his shoulder, fearing the worst.
The Black Feathertail was staring at him with its dilated pupils, in a manner which Draco felt was rather too enamourous.
"Yi," said Draco, abruptly. He dropped the shovel and fled.
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