Lucius Malfoy And The Gift Of Mercy
"Far too easy, love," said Lucius, leaning over the balcony at the two figures who walked away through the courtyard. The taller of the two, dark haired, was striding as fast as he could, as if desperate to get away from the place not that Lucius blamed him. After the amount of mind fucking Serverus had been through in the past two weeks at the hands of the Malfoys, Lucius wouldn't have been surprised if the man broke into a run.
The other figure made no attempt to match Serverus' pace. His head downcast, Draco moped slightly behind his teacher no doubt worrying about how he could entice Harry back without compromising his pride. A hopeless case, Lucius thought, fondly a true Malfoy when it came to matters of the heart. He turned slightly from his perch to view Narcissa, as composed as always.
"Should I hazard a guess?" he murmured.
"If you wish."
"You played on his ah, masculinity. The damsel in distress act, was it?"
"How clever you are," she purred.
"It wasn't hard to guess," Lucius replied. "After all, that is how you got me to marry you." He tapped the rails with his fingernails their length as long, if not longer than Narcissa's. "Your father and his loaded wand was a motivation, too," he added. "Nothing like a shot-wand wedding."
"I thought you looked dashing in your black robes," said Narcissa. "A single white carnation in your button hole. I almost came, just by looking at you. And after the ceremony "
"And before," Lucius reminded her.
"And during," Narcissa added.
" the best night of our lives," Lucius murmured. They were given to picking up each others thoughts in this fashion.
"Even better than the weekend we spent in France at the Veela convention?" Narcissa asked.
"Far, far better."
"Oh, you are the romantic, Lucius Malfoy."
"He'll have to call me grandfather," said Lucius, after a breif pause. "Pops is so repulsively common. Grandfather Malfoy. I rather like the sound of that. It has an almost regal note to it, wouldn't you say? Little Tobias Malfoy. Or Lucius junior. I'm unsure whether he should be named after his great grandfather or not."
"Tobias Lucius?" Narcissa suggested.
"Marvellous, my dear. What would I do without you."
"Employ another French maid," said Narcissa, with a wicked smile.
Lucius yawned. "I don't know. I rather fancied your pool man. He did look marvellous wet. Very tight buttocks." He reached for her hand, and she took it, both so slender that it was impossible to tell which fingers belonged to whom. "So many busy days, and busier nights. Shall we celebrate, love?" He swung her to him in a motion, with a kiss as conclusion a toast he pressed his tongue over her lips as if savouring the flavour of some exotic wine. "To the conception of our grandchild, the reunion of our son and his partner, and the glory of the Malfoy family to come."
"We should find some fresh Veelas," Narcissa purred against him, thoughtfully.
"Actually I thought we might hire a dominatrix," said Lucius. "For a change. Cornelius Fudge recommended one to me, recently. Should we give her a call, hm?"
"Oh, darling. You know how to treat a girl. It'll be like Amsterdam all over again."
"But without the drugs and the feral Muggle hippies," Lucius reminded her, with the slightest wince.
"You don't still regret that?" Narcissa asked, as they linked their arms.
"Syphilis is still syphilis, my love," Lucius drawled. "No matter how exciting the manner by which you come by it."
Still whispering the sweet nothings of sin and flattery, the Malfoys sauntered back into the house.
"We aren't going by broomstick, are we?" Draco mumbled, as he followed Snape up the staircase into the heart of the Ministry of Magic. The place was a bustle of activity wizards and witches jogged past, carting papers and foreign objects. Some of them bantered in strange languages, usually from opposite ends of the long halls. A few nudged Draco in passing rather too hard to be an accidental bump. Draco hadn't expected any of them to pleased to see him back. After quitting his job at the Ministry, he suspected most of his colleagues had heaved a sigh of relief it was far easier than sacking him and incurring the wrath of his father.
Someone trod on his heels. "Really no harm done," Draco muttered, through his teeth. His reputation for being the most incompetent employee the Ministry had ever had was evidently still common knowledge. He reached for the tails of Serverus' robe, and knotted his fingers into the material. "Well, Snape? Broomstick or not?"
"Hardly. We'll use a portkey." Snape opened a door in the middle of the hall, and stepped inside, Draco dragging behind him. "Deepest Africa, wasn't it?" He chuckled, cruelly, and the sound transported Draco back some eight years to his old Potions class. Eight years ago, with Harry pretending he'd dropped his dried ragwort underneath the desk. Oops, Harry'd said, holding the object between finger and thumb, then casting it between Draco's legs with an agile turn of his wrist. There it goes again.
Oh my, Draco replied. That sneaky little thing. You'd better get it, Harry.
Gosh. It's kind of dark under there.
Come on. You're a big boy now.
You're telling me.
What had happened to that Harry? Draco wondered, glancing over the room, and barely registering what he saw. Just another Ministry office, though filled with various urns, arranged on library shelves. He sighed, as Serverus prowled along the aisles. Harry'd been fun, once excitable, quick-witted, ready for action, for anything really. He'd been a challenge, someone Draco couldn't quite figure out, someone Draco wanted to get his nails into and hold on.
Did I break him? Draco asked himself. Was it my fault did I make him what he's become? The answer ached him, and annoyed him at the same time. Of course I didn't, he debated Harry was made of stronger stuff than that.
Until I made him fall in love.
Malfoys did not accept half hearted adoration. It was all or nothing. Draco remembered the first time he'd whispered those words a joke, leaning against Harry's side in a toilet cubicle. All or nothing, right here, right now, Harry. Do you dare? They were running three minutes for class already, and Harry's expression was strained, doubtful. Draco repeated himself closing the distance between them, breathing it into the hollow of Harry's collarbone.
All or nothing, you bastard.
It was the first order the first command either had dared speak. Harry had shivered, and leant into Draco's body without a word; simply acquiesed, without protest, without plea. Draco imagined it was because Harry wanted it too who wouldn't have wanted him then, prowling and pretty in the toilets like some nightmare wet dream, promising a brevity of bliss. And Harry had returned the favour only a few days later, catching Draco by the tail of his robe as Draco headed to his dormitory.
I want my all now.
I'm tired, Harry.
You want to settle for nothing? Harry wriggled his eyebrows. I don't think so.
They'd been sex charged and only recently de-virginised and teenage lust, Draco supposed, could easily be misconstrued as true adoration. The first months were a gasping period of experimentation; the next few the perfection of the art. How to do it quick between Potions and Dark Arts. How to get into the toilets after school hours. How to avoid Filch. How to do it during a History of Magic in such a way that Professor Bims wouldn't notice which was probably the easiest of them all.
At some point Draco had started to be cruel. He wanted to test Harry's limits. Surely I'm more important that Transfiguration class, he'd said. Surely you don't think McGonagall is cuter than me, Harry. I have a much better haircut, for one. I dare you to ditch it. All or nothing, Harry. You know how it is.
That was a boundary Harry never crossed, in all their memories that of inconvenience. He would never stoop to push Draco's buttons, to make him choose between class and quality time. In fact, Harry grew less eager if Draco remembered correctly and Draco was forced to assume the role of the aggressor. Pushing. Molding, perhaps. He had no other choice.
Draco for gods sake, stop a second. I'm concentrating. You want me to fail my NEWTs?
Oh, you want for it to stop? It can stop any time, Harry.
I didn't mean fine.
Gosh. I sure feel loved.
I'm sure you are.
It was still a joke, though. Just teases and yawns and Draco's lazy, taunting drawl. But Draco knew he was being cruel he understood who was in the wrong, and when. And why. So for their graduation, he'd bought Harry a present a sort of mid-anniversary gift. Something he felt would be both humourous and poignant; a reminder of what they'd been through, and the bonds which would always tie them together. A snitch a brand new one, and the most expensive one he could find ( he was spending on his father's Master-wizard card, and money was never an object ), of the type the proffessional leagues used. This was it, Draco'd figured it was almost a ring, really, when you thought about it. A gold ball, a gold band. The two were much the same.
And he'd danced. And he'd sung. He'd left his pride backstage and bared himself for Harry and pressed the ball into his hands infront of the entire school. Lucius and Narcissa hadn't made their engagement public until after their wedding it wasn't a Malfoy thing, to show one's private life to the world. But Draco dared to it was all part of that dare and dare-not and all or nothing.
He'd done it. The whole bloody thing.
And Harry had bitched. He'd dared to question it.
So what was all this about? he'd asked, shaking the snitch infront of Draco's startled face; a challenge. It had phased Draco the wind was ripped from his sails. He had attempted to joke; because he'd thought Harry was joking. Surely Harry could understand. The boy was no genius but he wasn't.. but he was. Draco had to explain it to him, in the simplest terms he could find. And yet again, Harry had managed to mix it up.
So you think we won't last, then? he'd said, tossing the snitch about as if it were a toy.
And then the ungrateful shit had thrown it away.
And he blames me for the way I've treated him, Draco thought, fiercely. He doesn't deserve my pity. He doesn't deserve anything. It hurt. It hurt me, Draco bawled, inside his head. He shouldn't have misunderstood. It made me look cheap. Malfoys are never, ever cheap.
He swallowed thickly; and then something spun him from his reverie. He blinked up to see that Serverus was looking at him, frowning Draco realised he must have zoned out whilst Serverus was speaking. "Sorry?"
"I've located the right portkey," said Snape, dryly. "Are you coming, Draco?"
With his broomstick in one hand, he reached out with the other for the end of Snape's coat, awaiting the sudden snap to a new reality.
Harry leant against the window. He'd been leaning there for three hours now, ever since Ron left like a faithful dog awaiting the return of its owner. Remus checked up on him every half hour, but Harry didn't appear inclined to move. Though tempted to wave a hand infront of the man's face, Remus resisted, returning to his studies. Harry was lost in his own thoughts, and Remus wasn't willing to risk breaking the spell in case Harry remembered he had company and decided to vocalise his lovesick lament.
But at present, Remus had little to worry about. Harry's thoughts were too personal to say aloud the young wizard was running his mind over various memories. They'd been happy in school, he reflected. It had been fun then; the facade of forced secrecy surrounding their affair made it all the more exciting. I'm not telling a soul, Draco'd whispered, in the twilight of the grounds, following an impromptu liason on the grass no more than twenty metres from Hagrid's house.
They already know, Harry had replied.
Draco lay there silently, watching the sky. Fuck it, he'd muttered, after a minute had elapsed in mutual quiestescence. If we're going to go down in flames, then, Harry we might as well do it in style.
Spoken like a true Malfoy, Harry grinned back.
Then something changed; a delicate balance broken. The day Harry threw the snitch away from him into the sky, after Draco revealed his pessimistic outlook on their relationship. That was when Draco started sinking in his claws pushing Harry, and always with the same threat. I'll leave you. Standing there, in the hall of the manor. I'll leave you. Before work; a kiss and a michevious grin but still the same words. I'll leave you. In bed, post-coital. Hurt me and I'll leave you.
At the heart of it it was insecurity. As simple, as clear as that. Draco's pride made it impossible for him to relate in, say, the way normal wizards would. Instead it had become a battle of ultimatums because Draco always felt the lingering threat that Harry would throw away Draco's affection as easily as he'd thrown the snitch. So he'd made the threat a reality vocalised it and held it between them like shield.
How do I destroy this thing?
You can't destroy it.
You think we won't last, then?
I think we'd be lucky if we did, don't you?
You don't mean that, Draco.
Oh, but don't I, Harry?
How far are you willing to go. How close are you to the edge? How close are you to admitting that you're a goner, Harry Potter. I fell. And if you don't follow, I will drag you by your fucking hair.
Harry groaned, quietly. Remus, passing through the kitchen, heard him, and paused. "Harry?" he asked, tenatively. "Is everything okay?"
"No." He shuddered. "I think." A pause he reassembled his thoughts, like piecing together an illfitting jigsaw. "What do you think, Remus?"
"Well relationships," said Harry, swinging to turn, his fingers sliding along the sill of the window. "Can you go back? Not mend, but reverse? I've never done this before." Surprisingly, the words didn't make him feel ashamed. He gained confidence.
"I'm not sure I'm the person you should be asking about that sort of thing, Harry," Remus said; he was fixing himself a mug of coffee boiling the water with the end of his wand.
There was a faint, yet audible note of pain in Remus' voice. Harry realised he was dangerously near to entering forbidden territory. "Oh " he said, slumping. "Sorry I didn't mean to "
"I know." Remus glanced up. "And I doubt Ron will be any help to you either, on that front."
Harry smirked. "No. He'll just say whatever. Or, yeah, or nah dependant on how he's feeling at the time."
"That's Ron for you." Remus smiled, weakly. Clasping his steaming mug in his hands he blew on it. "What did he say to the girl who left him last week? The brunette, I think with the very blue eyes."
"You forgot the dishes, I think," Harry said.
"You left hair in the plughole," Harry tried.
"No no. It was coarse."
"Oh, that. Shit happens. He says it a lot. He said it to the plumber, too, remember?"
"That was in context."
"And when he saw in the paper that Goyle's wife had triplets."
"That was also in context." A wry smile played breifly on Remus' lips. "Oops," he mumbled. "Well that was harsh of me. I suppose Goyle is a very nice boy now he's grown up."
"But you wouldn't want to visit him and find out, would you?" said Harry.
"No. Probably not." Remus pause someone had knocked on the front door. "I bet he forgot his keys again," he muttered, and pulled aside the curtains.
And then dropped his coffee mug on the floor.
Harry hadn't seen who was outside Remus' body was in the way but from the man's reaction he could hazard a guess. Either Voldemort had showed up for a cuppa, or Harry flinched. As Remus ran to the kitchen, flustered, Harry peeked out through the blinds.
Serverus Snape and Draco Malfoy, the elder glancing at his watch, and the younger with his arms folded across his chest, tapping his foot against the ground in a manner Harry knew all too well.
Outside, Draco scowled. "We have to stop with Lupin?" he muttered.
"He should be able to track Harry down," said Serverus, simply. "Werewolves have an extremely attuned sense of smell. At any rate, he's been in this district for four months. He should know just about anyone who's anyone."
"He does take his time answering the door," Draco yawned, elaborately extending his slim arms in a stretch.
"They aren't like you and I," said Serverus, smartly.
"Dress sense alone sets us worlds apart," Draco agreed.
"Beasts," they said in unison, and exchanged smooth, Slytherian smiles.
Remus' ears were pricked. Harry stood rooted to the spot taking his cues from his erstwhile teacher.
"You can hear them?" he asked his voice sounded so very small.
"Are they saying anything good?"
"No." Remus couldn't lie.
They looked at each other over the kitchen table.
"You get it," they said in unison.
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