Lucius Malfoy And The Gift Of Mercy
Two hours later, the professors hadn't returned, and Ron went off to steal a dragon. Harry and Draco waited patiently for him outside, blowing on their hands in the chilly Winter night. Then feeling suddenly affectionate they blew on each others hands. Draco was just about to let Harry warm his hands further by slipping them between his thighs when they saw a darkness on the horizon.
"Is it a bird?"
"Is it a blimp?"
"Is it a dragon?"
"No," said Harry, tilting his head curiously. "It's definately a blimp, Draco."
Then they saw Ron standing on the shoulders of the blimp? waving down at them, and yelling their names. The illusion of the blimp shuddered before their eyes and they were suddenly face to face with the largest dragon either had ever seen a great blue beast with a wingspan like that of a jumbo jet. Its tail swooped towards them, and they both jumped back.
"No, climb on," Ron hollered. "The Bluewing is too big for me to land here."
Draco exchanged a worried look with Harry but the man was already clambering up the rough scales, as nimble as monkey. Draco wasn't so sure of this. He recalled only too clearly his last experience with a Black Feathertail. But he didn't want to look like a git infront of Ron; he might no longer have been Ron's official superior, but there was something about the man that made Draco feel it essential he at least give the appearance of being better than him. Ron was a Weasley, after all. It didn't look good to show weakness infront of paupers.
He clambered up grimly after Harry, his thin fingers finding the natural handholds above each scale. Once they were both fairly high up on the tail, Ron called a warning, and the dragon raised its tail, both Harry and Draco falling face forwards onto the scales. They crawled the rest of the way, Draco mumbling swear words under his breath. He regretted not taking a broom with him on this journey the thin rod of wood was a lot more reassuring than this impossible airborne dragon bulk.
They settled on the dragon's back, Harry leaning one leg against Draco's side. Ron whispered a word of command to the dragon, and the creature's great wings spun in the axis of its shoulders and began to flap them determinedly Englandwards.
"How long will this take?" Draco pushed his blonde hair from his face, and wrapped his arms around Harry's waist.
"Shouldn't be more than twelve hours, even if we do get wind problems. It took Harry and I two days to make it on the Limpbreasted Raptor, but on a Bluewing these babies can hit the same sorts of speeds as a Muggle aeroplane."
"You talk about dragons the way my uncle used to talk about cars," Harry said, grinning into the wind.
Ron shrugged, his body pressed tight against the spine of the beast. Draco curled closer to Harry. Ron had his back to him and Draco wondered if he and Harry couldn't get in a quick
"Don't even think about it, Malfoy," said Ron.
"Think what?" Draco tried to look innocent, and Harry laughed.
"Just remember you're two hundred feet in the air on the back of a dragon, fan boy."
"Like I could forget." Draco rolled his eyes, and nuzzled back into Harry's lap. He'd missed Harry. More than he'd thought he had, too. Lounging against Harry, with the wind in his hair it was heavenly. Draco yawned. It had been a long day.
"Love you, Harry."
Harry stroked his fingers through Draco's fine silver-blonde hair. "Love you too, Draco."
"Upchuck alert," Ron cautioned them.
"Oh shoosh, you," said Draco.
"Shoosh? Good grief "
But he didn't say anything more, and simply sat there on the dragon's shoulders, like a tanned and stubborn sentinel. Draco sprawled himself it was quite roomy on the dragon's back, so broad across that one and a half Dracos could have made themselves adequately comfortable with some room to spare.
Draco fell asleep with his head on Harry's lap, and Harry's hands running gently down his back, as if stroking a cat.
"What are you doing, Snape?"
"Writing a quick letter. Just stay in the lounge room. I'll show you to your room, shortly."
Remus glanced about the walls. He hadn't expected Serverus to live in a place like this. A little wear and tear around the edges, Remus could understand Serverus was still on a teacher's salary. But this place was positively dilapidated, some of the walls broken in, the furniture no more than crates. Serverus must use the place as a quick bedsit whenever he left his dormitory during the Christmas break, Remus surmised. Still, the place didn't fit at all with Serverus' elegant posing. Remus was learning new things about the man every day.
"Right. I've owled it. We'd better take you to your room. It's outside, I'm afraid."
The place smelt of dirt it had a distinctly unlived in feel. Remus was beginning to get creeped out by it; there'd been houses like this in his neighbourhood as a child, and they were the houses he'd held his breath when passing creepy, burnt out places that he was sure housed ghosts or axe murderers.
Serverus appeared in the doorway, rubbing his hands. The smirk on his face creeped out Remus further. He wasn't at all sure now that he should trust Serverus. The man was being undeniably nice. Too nice. All Remus' finely tuned wolf senses were screaming at him to run now while he had a chance. But it was Serverus. They'd shared too much for Remus to run. And if he did run, he'd probably never get a chance to spend time with Serverus again.
"Outside..?" said Remus, weakly.
"I'd let you sleep in my bed," said Serverus, apologetically. "But the mattress is rather lousey."
"You sleep on a lousey mattress?" Remus asked, disbelieving.
"When I have to," said Serverus. "Why?"
Remus shrugged. "It's just well, I thought you'd be rich. Being a Slytherin and all.."
"You forget that Voldemort was a poor starving orphan." Serverus sneered. "To give one poignant example of the trials some Slytherins have had to suffer. Are you coming?"
Serverus pushed open a door held by a single, fraying hinge, and led the way. In the garden which looked to Remus like a junkyard, filled with rusting Muggle automobiles there was a small path which led through the heaps of urban detritus toward a square metal shed. It looked almost like a tank. Serverus whispered an opening spell, and then prised open the small port hold of entry. After a few minutes, and the words of another spell, he modified the exit into a larger entrance a door set in the side of the tank.
He looked back at Remus. "In you get, Lupin."
"You have got to be joking," said Remus, folding his arms.
"I used to sleep in there when I was a child. That's why the door is so small. It should be fine, now."
"What the hell are you playing at?" Remus erupted, suddenly. "You want me to get into a tank in the middle of nowhere in the back garden of a house that certainly can't be yours and and what? What are you going to do? Planning to do, I mean."
Serverus looked away. "I'm hurt you don't trust me, Remus."
Even the use of his first name did nothing to sway Remus. "You're a bloody Slytherin," he hissed. "I'm not as stupid as you might think."
Serverus sighed, and dug about in his rope for something. "You're right," he said. "You aren't as stupid as I thought. But sadly for you you're still stupid enough."
He brandished his wand. Remus didn't even have a chance to reach for his.
Remus' eyes closed before he hit the ground.
The owl arrived at the Malfoy manor at eight just as the sun began to set. Urgent as it was, it fluttered around the window of the Malfoys' bedroom, rapping its white wings against the glass until Narcissa was forced to roll over and glare at it.
"Darling, would you get that?" she asked.
"You can be so delightfully lazy, sometimes, Narcissa," Lucius mumured. Without looking up from his book, he reached for his wand, and pointed the tip towards the window. "Alohmera."
The window burst open, and the owl batted its way in. It crouched on the bedside table beside Narcissa, who reached out sleepily to take the letter it held in its claws. Once she'd begun to open it, it flew out again and with another lazy flick of his wrist, Lucius closed the window again.
Narcissa read over the letter.
-Malfoys. I have kidnapped your son Draco from his teacher Snape. I will kill him if you do not come to the junkyard in Roundham close, Kidlington, during tonight's fullmoon. I will have Draco there, and we may discuss then a settlement involving a lot of galleons. I will be in a reinforced metal water catchment at the centre of the junkyard.
"I'm afraid its another blackmail letter, love," Narcissa murmured.
Lucius looked up from his book with a groan. "Not more Witches Weekly journalists with pictures of us at the Veela convention?" he asked. "I told them before I would be quite happy if they printed them. Provided of course they sent us a leather bound issue of the magazine for posterity's sake. We can't have our grandchild thinking we were fuddy duddies, after all "
Narcissa shook her head, gently. "No, darling. It looks like someone has kidnapped our Draco."
"They'll probably die from his whining before we have time to settle the bill," Lucius yawned. "Would you ?" Narcissa passed him the letter. "Thank you, my dear."
He perused the contents of the page, and then turned it over.
"Rather an inadequate blackmailer, wouldn't you say?" he drawled.
"I thought so too. They wrote it using a quill and handwriting is so easy to trace."
"They also wrote it on the back of some Hogwarts stationary. Monogrammed Hogwarts stationary."
"There was that too."
"Some people are simply not made for crime. Serverus can be so intolerably naive when it comes to breaking the law. Quite a dishonour to his house. And a dishonour to the Death Eaters, too. No wonder he turned to good. Only evil has the potential for intelligent deviousness."
"I find it rather amusing," said Narcissa.
"Then let's snigger for a while, my love. It will do us good to get it out of our systems."
They sniggered, in unison.
"I suppose that Serverus ran into someone who informed him that I didn't actually save his life," said Lucius, once their gloating had come to conclusion. "Such a shame. I'll have to spend more time in his company convincing him that what I did was make things better for him. An I didn't want you to feel indebted to James Potter should do the trick." He wrinkled his nose. "I'm afraid you may have to seduce him again, my dear."
"That shouldn't be particulary hard. He was drooling onto his robe the last time I spoke to him. What should we do about Draco? If it's true that Serverus does have Draco locked in a canister somewhere."
"We can transport him here, quite easily," said Lucius. "Remember the charms we placed on him when he was little you were so protective of him, my dear. So beautifully maternal. We can trace him where ever he is. Could you get our son's baby album?"
"You can be deliciously lazy sometimes, my love," said Narcissa. She raised her wand, and whispered an incantation. A moment later the chosen volume was flapping at the closed door, the thuds of the spine raising a muffled percussion against the wood.
"Alohmera," said Lucius, absently. The door opened.
"Such team work, darling," said Narcissa. She raised her hand, and plucked the book from the air as it flew over her head. Settling it on her lap, she began to turn through the pages. Lucius set aside his own novel, and leant against her shoulder.
"I haven't dared to look at this ever since he became overfriendly with that Potter boy," Narcissa admitted, creasing the tome down its centre. "In fact, I'd almost forgotten we had this "
She trailed off, staring at the central page of the book. Like all of the photographs in the album, the photograph was animated but its setting, unlike the others, was moving rapidly following Draco, rather than bound to a single screen. The Malfoys had used the most powerful wizardly tracking devices available on their only son; it had come in remarkably handy when they brought him shopping with them.
Now the screen of the photograph showed Draco curled and sleeping against someone's thigh, on a bed which looked to be covered with sparkling blue scales. A swift breeze ruffled through his hair he was flying, evidently.
"He does seem awfully cosy with Serverus," Lucius smirked. "And I wasn't aware Serverus used dragons for airtravel regulary."
Draco put his thumb in his mouth and began to suck it.
"Isn't he darling?" Narcissa murmured.
"He has your chin," said Lucius.
"And your dearest little lips," said Narcissa.
"But those eyes, my love, are most certainly yours."
"And that lap," said Narcissa, frowning suddenly, "has to be Potter's."
"He doesn't," said Lucius, in disbelief.
"I think I've gone blind," said Narcissa, closing her eyes. She shut the book with a snap.
"I suppose that's settled, then?" said Lucius. "No Serverus-related horror for Draco in the near future, it seems." He rose from the bed and changed his bedclothing with a word of command to the wardrobe. "I should make an appointment with Fudge to show him this letter," he said, holding the piece of paper in his hand. "Just in case Serverus decides to make any more misinformed attempts on our dear son. Or non-attempts, as the case may be."
"Darling your networking skills are without peer."
"You flatter me," said Lucius, from the doorway.
"Often," Narcissa agreed.
Walking into the lounge, Lucius nearly bumped into the exhausted dominatrix. Sticky eyed, and barely dressed in her ridiculous, inexpensive corset, Hermione stumbled as Lucius turned the corner, and Lucius reached out to save her from falling. Dangling the girl by the back of her corset, while she struggled to gain her footing in her thigh high latex stilletos, Lucius felt moderately annoyed. He despised having to deal with his lovers the day afterwards Narcissa excluded. They had an awful tendancy to look rather less attractive than they had the day before and Lucius prefered to have his memories untarnished by reality.
"Thanks," said Hermione, breathlessly.
"Indeed." Lucius stared down his sharp nose at her.
The girl blushed, beaming. "Last night gods. I can't remember the last time I've been "
"I mean the thing with the broomstick "
"What's that you're holding?" Hermione asked.
Lucius looked at his hands. "Oh. A blackmail letter," he said.
"Blackmail?" The girl's mouth was fashioned into an O of shock a lipstick blurred and slightly too small O. "Blackmailing you for what?"
"My son, actually." Given the choice to either explain the matter to the pathetic creature, or let her read it herself, Lucius passed the letter to her. Hermione's eyes widened as she sped-read the page.
"What are you going to do?" she gasped, when finished. "They've got Draco!"
"Nothing," said Lucius, shrugging. "What should I do?"
"You'll have to rescue him!"
"I think you'll find that won't be necessary," said Lucius, calmly. This is the last time I ever let Cornelius Fudge recommend a whore to me, he thought, privately. This Mistress H, or Hermione, or whatever she called herself was a joke to her professional calling.
"What? No! You can't! Harry will go mad!"
"I'd never thought about that, actually," Lucius mused, rubbing his chin. "That would be interesting to see oh, where are you going?"
For the girl had turned on tail and begun to run down the corridor, still wavering a little in her too-high heels. Lucius watched her go, without feeling the need to call her back and better explain things. At least, he felt, she was out of the house now.
Overly exciteable women are such a bore, Lucius thought, as he sat himself down on the couch Hermione had vacated. With a wave of his wand, he summoned paper and a pen, intent to write a long letter to Fudge concerning the failings of both Mistress Hermione and Serverus Snape.
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