|Celandine's Chronicle (celandineb) wrote in cels_fic_haven,|
@ 2007-08-08 21:54:00
|Entry tags:||coauthor: cruisedirector, hp fic admittance, hp fic draco/harry|
HP fic: Admittance, ch. 6: Entertaining Guests [Harry/Draco, adult]
Chapter 6, "Entertaining Guests"
Authors: celandineb and cruisedirector
Warnings: dirty talk
Summary: Lucius is demanding, Draco is reluctant, and no advice from Harry or Snape is acceptable.
Lucius Malfoy's presence dominated Harry and Draco's dining room, though Draco was taller than his father and Lucius sitting did not have quite the same presence as Lucius standing, when his elegant robes would have been displayed to their best advantage and his walking stick poised to emphasize whatever point he might have been trying to make. He had swept into the flat as if he owned it -- which, Harry supposed, he might consider that he did, since Draco paid for half of everything, and Harry was certain that Draco drew upon his trust fund as well as his salary. Lucius had not said a word as he looked at their furniture and artwork, some of which was rather lascivious in nature, but the slant of his eyebrow spoke eloquently of his opinion.
Thus far he had been entirely cordial to Harry, insisting on being addressed by his first name when Harry had called him "Mister Malfoy." Yet there was an icy distance in the smile that Harry recognized all too well -- it was the same smile Draco turned on anything or anyone he regarded with a contempt that common sense or good manners dictated he should hide.
Now -- sipping from a glass of the very expensive French wine that Draco had bought for the occasion of his father's visit -- Lucius inclined his head toward the kitchen, where Draco was taking dinner from the oven, then met Harry's eyes with challenge brewing in his own. "I'd never have expected Draco to become so interested in cooking," he said in a superficially friendly tone that had undertones of accusation. "Who would have guessed that he would enjoy housework?"
"He was always good at Potions -- I wasn't at all surprised that he took to cooking," retorted Harry. "Besides, it's something of a novelty to him, since he didn't grow up doing it. My aunt and uncle made me cook for them, so I can't stand to do it now."
Lucius' nostrils flared at this reminder that Harry had been brought up by Muggles. "And how long do you think this infatuation with domestic life will last?"
"I've really no idea," said Harry coolly. Narcissa kept insisting that her son required a house-elf, something the Malfoys could afford despite all the new reforms in the status of servants, but Harry disliked the idea and Draco seemed to find magical housework an amusing novelty, at least for the moment. "We divided the chores and Draco offered to do the cooking, so unless he decides he'd rather dust the furniture and clean the loo, I think the arrangement will stand." Harry raised his glass in an ironic salute. "I'd be quite happy if it lasted a lifetime."
Eyes narrowed, Lucius replied, "I wasn't aware that you'd made permanent decisions about such matters."
Harry was torn between anger and laughter at Lucius' sham ignorance -- Draco had insisted that his parents treat Harry as his partner from the time they had moved in together, and Narcissa had already arranged that they visit for the annual May Day festivities... although Harry suspected that her motives were ambiguous at best. He was saved from having to respond by a call from the other room that dinner was on the table. "After you." He followed the older man, wondering what on earth Snape saw in Draco's father that could possibly be attractive. Snape was too canny to be lured simply by physical beauty... which Harry had to concede Lucius Malfoy possessed.
For all their conflicts, it was evident that Draco was quite attached to his father as well. "I left out the cilantro... I know you don't like it," he was saying to Lucius, looking proud of himself. "And I was very sparing with the garlic, just the slightest bit." Sitting at the table, Lucius smiled, but the pleased expression did not reach his eyes. "Would you like some greens? They're fresh. Or we have fresh fruit, too, though if you'd rather save that for dessert..."
"Sit," ordered Lucius, and Draco obeyed with alarming speed; he didn't jump so quickly even for Snape's sexual commands. "Since you did so much work preparing the meal, perhaps Harry would like to serve it." Phrased as a request, Lucius spoke it as an order.
Making Harry feel like an attendant, a lesser wizard -- a half-blood -- had never ceased to be a project of the elder Malfoys, even when they were wearing friendly expressions. "I'd be happy to serve Draco," he said, though he knew manners dictated that he should put food on their guest's plate first. Draco glanced at him anxiously but thanked him, and Lucius did as well when Harry got around to serving him. When he finally tasted his own meal, Harry discovered that everything was delicious and he complimented Draco. Lucius merely nodded when Draco asked if he thought the food was all right, and Harry had to restrain himself from hexing Lucius right there, keeping it fixed firmly in mind that he had been the one to suggest that they invite Lucius to dinner to begin with.
Conversation was awkward. Lucius chose to talk about Malfoy Manor and some improvements he was having made to the grounds, a topic to which Harry could contribute little. He nodded and smiled politely as if he cared whether a new grove would be planted with beeches or oaks, carefully ensuring that Lucius' glass remained full. Alcohol might not mellow the man, but perhaps he would be less inclined to the verbal jabs with which he skewered both of them. Lucius did unbend sufficiently to inquire about the wine, and Draco responded eagerly with a description of the vintages he had considered and rejected for this occasion.
Lucius listened politely, but after a few minutes he held up a hand. "You didn't invite me to dinner to discuss wine, Draco. What is it? Do you need money? Or are you thinking about changing jobs? I have never thought that Gringotts was suitable for one of your talents and connections."
Flushing slightly, Draco dropped his eyes. "Harry and I just thought it was time we had you over to the flat," he shrugged.
"Without your mother? She won't be pleased about those engravings you have hanging on your walls, but she cannot be any more shocked by them than she was when you announced that you planned to move in with Harry Potter." Lucius' voice was superficially amused, yet Harry thought that if he could have been digging his fingernails into Draco with every word, he'd have done so. "There must have been something you wished to discuss with me privately."
"It's about Severus," began Draco sullenly. "Well... it isn't about him, but he's the reason we were thinking of it. What did you have in mind, giving him a Thunderbolt? You know he doesn't much like to fly."
"What a question, Draco," Lucius said smoothly, leaning back in his chair. "He's one of my oldest friends, and he has done great service to our family -- including you -- so why shouldn't I give him a gift that he would never be able or willing to purchase for himself? Indeed, I'm rather surprised that you're aware of it."
"Are you." Harry did not voice it as a question. "He was quite open about the fact that you had given it to him, even before he told me that he doubted he would use it and offered to exchange it for my Firebolt."
There was a flash of something -- satisfaction? -- in Lucius' eyes. "Did you accept? Draco has often told me how much you enjoy playing Quidditch."
"How could I possibly turn down the chance to fly on a Thunderbolt?"
"Perhaps I should have found another gift for Severus, and offered it to you instead?" Harry was certain it was a poorly-suppressed note of triumph he heard in that silky voice.
"As you've gathered, it wasn't necessary. Snape gave me the Thunderbolt. He said he'd be very happy to fly on my old broom." An emotion Harry couldn't identify flickered across Lucius' face at that, gone before he could study it; still, he had the distinct impression that Lucius had felt a momentary qualm. "Draco tried it out too. Doesn't seem to be hexed or anything."
"Whyever would you think it was hexed?" Innocence looked even less natural on Lucius' face than it did on Draco's, where Harry often found the wide-eyed, vaguely wounded expression sexy, though rarely believable. "I would have been happy to give you a Thunderbolt, you know. I'd been under the impression that you're not comfortable accepting gifts from me."
"He's seen you shopping in Borgin & Burkes," Draco pointed out. Lucius shot a glare in his direction. "Do you blame him for not accepting gifts from you when pretty much every time you see the two of us, you tell us all the reasons that our living arrangements are unacceptable and that even if he were a witch, Harry wouldn't be good enough for me because he's not a pureblood?"
"It isn't a question of 'good enough,'" said Lucius, his voice now strained. "No one doubts that Harry Potter is the most powerful wizard in the world -- I expect that the old standards that judge wizards and witches by their blood may soon be a thing of the past." Harry bit his lip, refraining from saying that for everyone except a few diehards like the Malfoys, they already were a thing of the past. "But there is still family to consider. Draco, raising you has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Surely you realize that if I had to choose between becoming Minister of Magic and my family, I would choose you?" He sounded sincere, thought Harry. "You're young, and you may think that indulging this -- attraction -- is the most important thing there is, but when you recognize the tradition that..."
"This is not just an attraction!" Draco put his glass down so hard that some of the expensive wine sloshed onto the tablecloth. "You aren't listening. I love him."
Hearing Draco say that did queer things to Harry's stomach. Of course Draco had told Harry he loved him, but he had never said it in so many words to Lucius, at least not to Harry's knowledge. Apparently it had an entirely different effect on Lucius; white to the lips, he set down his own glass, as if he were afraid that he would snap the stem in two if he continued to hold it. "And I suppose you're going to tell me that's the only thing that matters to you," he said.
"Of course," Draco replied defiantly. "You've set me such a wonderful example, you know. You're a textbook case of what it's like not to choose your partner for love -- d'you think I don't see what's before my eyes? You and Mother behave with great courtesy towards each other, you hardly ever even quarrel, but you could be living at opposite ends of the earth and neither of you would care. I'm not willing to spend my life like that! No matter what family tradition says. If you're so keen to have the family name carried on, see to it yourself!" He was nearly shouting now, and had half-risen from his chair. Harry put out a hand to Draco, who took it and gave his father an obstinate glare. "I think you've felt trapped all your life, and you want to put me in a similar situation so that you can justify your own decisions as having been the right ones."
Lucius wore an expression of enforced calm. "Would you rather that you had never been born, Draco?" he asked in a quietly dangerous voice. "Would you rather that you had grown up like Harry did -- in a closet, was that the story?" Harry felt his face burning. Of course, there were wizards and witches who had known where he lived during the summers -- one had even sent Dementors after him -- but he had not known that Lucius Malfoy's Ministry connections went so deep that he had learned the more humiliating details of Harry's childhood. "Draco, you are a Malfoy and a Black -- you have the strongest blood of any wizard of your generation. The gifts you take for granted..."
"Not only did Harry beat me in every Quidditch tournament we played fairly at school, Hermione Granger's always been better at Transfiguration and Charms than I am and she's a Mudblood!" Harry didn't even bother to react to Draco's casual use of the term. "Look at the Blacks -- you consider Sirius a blood traitor and Regulus a fool. One of my aunts married a Muggle and the other's insane! And you're the last of the Malfoy direct line, besides me. How does that make us strong?"
"We aren't as strong as we should be. That is why you must carry on the line." Lucius seemed to have switched tactics; there was a note of barely subdued anguish in his tones now. "If my generation has failed, you can redeem us... but not if you persist in such selfish behavior. You would be nothing without your family, Draco; you wouldn't even exist. Don't you think you owe something to both past and future? To the parents who wanted you enough to bring you into the world, to carry on a tradition that is so much greater than our own petty wishes?"
Draco shook his head. "I didn't ask to be born, and I don't owe it to anyone to marry a person I don't love just to have children I don't want. Why do you care so much whether I have pureblood children? Why can't you be glad for me that I've found someone I love?"
Harry could feel that Draco was trembling, and he squeezed his hand before turning to Lucius. "If you really want to better the Wizarding world, why don't you put some of your money and time toward helping other people's families? There are many who were orphaned in the war, and I wouldn't ever want anyone to have to grow up the way I did. I bet there's a pureblood somewhere - maybe even one who's related to you -- who needs a home."
"It's pretty clear the Malfoys aren't going to reign over anyone, anyway," spat Draco. "Otherwise, why would you have found yourself kneeling to a half-blood Dark Lord whom Harry defeated even though he wouldn't use all the Dark magic our family's kept around?"
Lucius' lips were pinched tightly together, his eyes looked small and beady, and his knuckles were white on his fork. Again Harry wondered what Snape could ever have found appealing about the man. "No matter how powerful you think you are, you are still very young," he grated. "There is a great deal about how power works in our world that neither of you understands. How many of your friends in the Order of the Phoenix survived the war, Harry? How many Death Eaters? Yet look at us. We may be all that is left of our line, Draco. Do you want to leave the Ministry to fools like Arthur Weasley and your clumsy cousin Nymphadora Tonks? Is that who you see rebuilding the world?"
Far better them than Lucius, in Harry's opinion. Not that he had any say in the matter.
"If it weren't for the crazed lust for power that Voldemort had, and his gathering of so many purebloods to support him, there wouldn't have been any need to rebuild it in the first place," Draco countered. "That's not much of an endorsement for the kind of power you seem to be promoting. And at least Weasley and Tonks are trying to rebuild in ways that don't dictate to every witch and wizard how they must act." He drew a deep breath, and suddenly looked very young and tired. "I'm sorry that I'm such a disappointment to you, Father, but if I let you tell me whom I must marry, then Voldemort might as well have won, for all the difference it would make to me."
"I'd like to think that my friends died for a purpose," Harry added. "They chose to fight against someone whose use of power and manipulation of others were intolerable. To prevent that, we all risked our lives. Even Draco in the end. That some people died doesn't mean it wasn't worthwhile."
He met Lucius' gaze steadily, and to his surprise the older man was the first to look away, turning towards his son. "You live very nicely here. This wine, those engravings... were those purchased with Harry's salary or yours? No. That is Malfoy money and Potter money. You do understand, Harry, that those Galleons your parents left you weren't earnings and compensation? Your pureblood father left you a pureblood fortune."
"He's a perfect example then," insisted Harry. "His pureblood parents didn't disown him for marrying my Muggle-born mother."
"Who," asked Lucius, lifting his wineglass, "is talking about disowning anyone?"
Harry and Draco glanced at each other. "Just how else am I supposed to take all your hints and reminders about the Malfoy fortune?" Draco asked.
"You're my son, Draco, my only child -- the last of the Malfoys. Don't you think I will do all I can to ensure that you receive what should be rightfully yours, unless you leave me no alternative?" Lucius held his glass to the light, studying the deep color of the wine. His face was more relaxed now, and reminded Harry of how Draco looked sometimes when he had pulled off a tricky maneuver in Quidditch.
"What do you mean by no alternative?" Draco's voice was wary.
"I mean that of course, if my values differ so greatly from yours, then I would not want to put pressure on you by making any further demands concerning the Malfoy legacy, which involves much more than its fortune. The manor has a history that... well, you already know. But unless I am misunderstanding, you don't really believe that I have a right to it, any more than you do. You think it was a mistake for me to follow my parents, and their parents, all the way back through the centuries. Instead of providing you with a monthly stipend, I should be supporting you by contributing that money to some Ministry cause that matters a great deal to you... the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, perhaps, Harry? So that creatu... people like your friend Remus Lupin no longer need to suffer?"
"You're bluffing." Draco crossed his arms. "You think I'm so afraid of losing the money that I'm going to try to stop you, but I'm not. There's no way you're going to give away the Malfoy fortune to people you despise."
"What precisely do you expect to happen to it if you don't want it, Draco?"
"You've thought of everything, haven't you," Harry cut in. "You cut Draco off from the money while claiming you're only doing what he said he wanted. You put the money into branches the Ministry can't afford to fund, which only increases your power there, and it looks as if your motives are entirely selfless. And while you're buying yourself into the Minister's office..."
"Do you have an alternative proposal?" Lucius asked him sharply.
"You don't think it's any of my business in the first place, do you? That's the whole point. Any proposal I might make you'd simply ignore, so why should I bother? If you are seriously asking for some way in which there can be a compromise here -- I don't know that it's possible. You want something from Draco that he's not willing to give you."
"Not at this time, perhaps, but he may change his mind. You're not a fool, Draco," Lucius added. "I'd advise you to think very carefully about this matter before you make any irrevocable choices. And should you think of any acceptable alternatives to the course of action I have outlined, do tell me. I'm only willing to wait so long." He pushed his chair back from the table and stood, gazing at Draco, his expression unreadable. "I won't tell your mother about this... yet."
"No, of course you won't. Because if I won't play your game, and her crying and begging has no effect on me, then it's up to both of you to get me out of the way, isn't it?" Draco rose to his feet as well. "Are you certain she'll ask me to fall on a sword for the remote possibility of another child? Or are you planning to have her out of the way so you can marry another pureblood witch and manage more than one offspring, to give you something to fall back on?"
Draco's voice had been rising with each sentence; now his face was red and his hand shaking, hovering near the pocket where he kept his wand. "Draco," said Harry calmly but emphatically. "Let it go for now."
"He said the..."
"He said think. He's not going to do anything tonight that we need to worry about." Lucius' head whipped around so he could stare at Harry, and for a moment Harry thought he looked unnerved. "I'm sure there must be legal precedents here..."
"There are," interrupted Lucius smoothly. "When the eldest son of a pureblood household chooses unnatural behavior, he can be cast out of the inheritance."
Harry wondered whether in this case Lucius meant consorting with another wizard or with a non-pureblood, and whether something similar had been how Sirius' parents had disinherited him. Clearly the magical law was complicated, because Sirius had ended up with number 12 Grimmauld Place after all, and he had passed it on to Harry rather than a closer relative. "If you wanted to bring your lawyers against Draco, you could have done it already. Neither one of you wants to be arguing, do you?"
Draco refused to meet his eyes as he shook his head, and Lucius looked almost remorseful as he jerked his head to the side. "Of course not."
"Then I think it would be best if you left now," Harry told Lucius. He expected opposition, but instead he thought he saw a flash of respect in the older man's eyes as Lucius stepped gracefully from the table and picked up his walking stick.
"Draco," he said easily, "send me an owl when you're ready to speak."
"I will." Draco did not look up, and Lucius looked as if he wanted to say something more, but he only inclined his head curtly at Harry, turned, and left the room. A moment later Harry heard the distinctive crack of Apparition.
"I know." Draco was white-knuckled, clutching the edge of the table. Suddenly he swept his arm across and knocked his plate and glass to the floor, shattering them. "Fuck!"
"Hey," said Harry, in sympathy but also wanting to protect the rest of the plates. "You have to admit, that could have gone a lot worse." He tried to keep his voice light. "No curses were thrown, no..."
"Shut up!" Harry fell silent. It was not at all like Draco to speak to him like this, these days. "He will never stop. Don't you see that? He'll ruin you, me, and my mother if he has to."
While it was probably a good thing that Draco had finally realized what his father's purposes were, now that he had been disillusioned he was clearly going to be very unhappy and exaggerate things the other way instead. "We don't know that for certain," Harry offered. "You said the other day that he loves you, that he wasn't going to take your life away from you... maybe there's some way out of this, something we haven't seen or thought of yet."
Draco had wrapped his arms around himself and was hunched over, glowering, in his chair. He raised a despairing face to Harry. "Like what? He wants me to marry a pureblood girl and have a child with her, just as he did. That is all he wants from me. It doesn't leave a lot of room for compromise, does it? What can I possibly offer that he would accept instead?"
"I don't know." Harry cast a spell to sweep the broken glass and china to the side and knelt next to Draco's chair, making as if to embrace him, soothe him with his own touch, but Draco was rigid in his arms. "Maybe..." he took a breath and spoke tentatively, "maybe we could talk to Snape about it? He knows your father well... he might have some ideas. It wouldn't be taking sides between the two of you, trying to find a way to reconcile what you both want."
Draco slumped in his chair, sagging against Harry. "Talk to Snape," he repeated. "Now that's the solution to everything, is it? My father admitted he gave him that broom assuming it might end up in your hands. Don't think Snape's on anyone's side but his own."
"Even if that's true, there's no reason to assume he's helping your father," sighed Harry. "They certainly weren't working together during the war. Look, it was just an idea. If you don't think..."
"Actually, it's a good idea," interrupted Draco, whose hands were still shaking. "But not just now. I don't want him showing up and saying he told me so." He rubbed at his face.
"Come here." Pulling Draco up from his chair, Harry put his arms around him, and this time Draco returned the contact. "I'm sorry," Harry whispered in his ear. "When I insisted we should have your father over... I guess it wasn't such a great plan. I thought he might be a little more reasonable."
"So did I." Draco's voice was muffled against Harry's shoulder. "He wasn't like this when I was younger, or at least, I never saw it. He always told me I could do anything I wanted, because I was a Malfoy... but he meant anything he wanted. And he was wrong even then." Draco lifted his head and looked at Harry. "I couldn't succeed at whatever I wanted just because I was a Malfoy. Granger got higher marks, you always outflew me, I never managed to get rid of Dumbledore... I don't mind any of that now, but I did then. I hated not living up to what Father expected of me. Oh, there was always some excuse, some reason, and he would agree that it wasn't my fault, but I was still disappointing him, and I knew it."
"He didn't expect it of you. Hoped, probably. Hermione pointed out to me once that he didn't lead his team to the Quidditch Cup. Probably he got to be Head Boy because Slughorn made sure a Slytherin held the position once in a while." Harry remembered that there had been some unpleasantness between Lucius Malfoy and Horace Slughorn, and gave himself a private reminder to see if he could find out what that had been about; Malfoy wouldn't have been the only Death Eater Slughorn had supported, if he had. "Anyway, if I outflew you it wasn't by much. Any parent would have to be an idiot not to be proud of you. And you saved yours, joining Voldemort when you did; you might not be proud of it now, but I think we both know what would have happened to your parents if you hadn't."
"I had no choice. I was a Malfoy. That was what we did." Draco sniffled slightly. "Was Father threatening me, do you think? I find it hard to believe that he would hurt my mother, but sometimes I think I don't know him at all, or what he might do. It scares me."
Releasing Draco for a moment, Harry pulled out his wand and concentrated, thinking about how happy he'd felt lying between Draco and Snape in bed the last time they'd all been together. Light burst from the tip, coalescing into the form of a stag, which reared up and then leapt through the window out into the night.
When he turned back, Draco was watching wide-eyed. "It might have been worth joining Dumbledore just to learn to do that."
"I could teach you," offered Harry, not for the first time. Dumbledore had taught the original members of the Order to send messages via Patronus, and when Lupin had taught Harry, he had explained that Voldemort had difficulty intercepting messages fueled by the joyous thoughts of others. So far as he knew, none of the Death Eaters communicated this way.
But as he had before, Draco shook his head. "Someday, maybe. Did you send it to Snape? He's going to think something's really wrong."
"All I told him was to come here when he could. In the meantime, here -- let's finish the wine." Picking up his own glass, he tilted it to Draco's lips, pulling him closer as he did so. Draco rarely allowed him the opportunity to be the one to give comfort; though they had both still had nightmares occasionally despite Voldemort's defeat, Draco's preferred way of coping was to sit alone, pulling calm around himself like a cloak of ice, brittle and transparent.
Harry held the glass as Draco drank. When it was empty he set it down, took his wand again and Transfigured a dining chair into a sofa big enough to hold them both. He sat with Draco leaning against him, and rocked slightly, humming. "Love you," he whispered after a few minutes.
"I love you, too," said Draco. He gave a feeble chuckle. "If I didn't, I wouldn't be having this problem with my father, would I?"
"Oh, I don't know," Harry replied, tightening his arms. "You're a stubborn bastard at times -- you'd have been bound to cross wills with Lucius eventually over something." He stroked Draco's hair and kissed him on the cheek. The familiar scent of Draco's skin sent a wave of untimely desire through him and he shifted awkwardly, trying to ease the pressure on his cock. "Besides, if you didn't, then where would I be? Mooning around with unrequited passion."
Deliberately he spoke in a light tone, hoping to cheer Draco a little, and it seemed to work. "I'm sure you'd have found a way to have your passion requited," Draco snickered softly. "I keep telling you, love and sex don't have to go together. You've probably missed out on some pretty hot opportunities for...!" The sentence ended abruptly with a wordless exclamation as Draco moved against him on the couch and encountered Harry's erection. Pulling back slightly, Draco looked at him. "But you actually get excited over this drippy stuff, don't you?"
Flushing, Harry insisted, "It's just because we were touching and we haven't, you know, in ages..."
"Last night is not 'ages,'" Draco contradicted as he slid his palm flat over the bulge in Harry's trousers. "You do! You got off on me telling my father I love you. Admit it."
"Nothing connected to your father excites me! I worry sometimes that he'll try to hex off my balls." As Draco's fingers continued to wander, Harry hid his face against Draco's neck and sucked a spot of skin. Draco wasn't responding to him, exactly, but he seemed pleased to have made Harry hard and that was an improvement on his previous mood.
"He wouldn't do that." Draco spoke definitively, brushing over the articles in question. "He would be too worried about equivalent retaliation... and with cause."
Harry privately thought that Lucius would do it if he thought he could get away with it, but he didn't argue, preferring to enjoy the feel of Draco's hand through the fabric of his trousers. It was rather like being back in school, except that in school anything to do with sex was always awkward, fumbling, urgent -- none of these sure strokes and the knowledge that he would have Draco sleeping beside him later.
"You did like it when I told him I loved you, didn't you," insisted Draco.
"Of course." Harry moaned a little as Draco's hand moved away to be replaced by the sharp jut of his hip. Draco twisted to put his arms around Harry and rocked gently against him. "That's what he finds so unforgivable, I think... so it was brave of you to say it, and it thrilled me that you did."
"My hope was that he'd realize that I'm really serious about you. Can't think why, but I am." Draco dropped a feather-light kiss against Harry's jaw.
"Because I'm exceptionally good-looking and hot in bed?"
"Not that. I mean, you are, but so are other people. And it's not because you're the Boy Who Lived. It's completely inexplicable, yet there it is, undeniable." Draco nestled a little closer. He actually sounded serious.
Harry whimpered softly. It was hard enough to concentrate with Draco rubbing against him, but Draco usually refused this kind of sentimental talk, laughing that Harry sounded like a poof if he said anything beyond the most straightforward declaration of affection. "Don't stop," he muttered, meaning both the press of Draco's body and the words, but Draco lifted his head to find Harry's mouth and that was the end of conversation for awhile.
"You really have become quite the little pervert," Draco gasped when they broke apart for breath, Harry moaning, Draco grinning a bit which was wonderful to see. "You get turned on by my tongue up your arse. You get turned on by having Snape order you around. And you get turned on by me saying soppy things about you to my father, which is almost the worst of all." His hand wriggled between them and squeezed Harry's cock through his clothing. "Bet I can make you come just telling you what a bad boy you are."
"Probably," Harry gulped. He tried to push his hips forward but Draco's weight was resting on his leg and he couldn't move more than a half-inch.
"You are a bad boy," Draco murmured in Harry's ear, warm breath ruffling his hair and not-quite tickling. "You love it when things are dirty and you can wallow shamelessly and feel good without caring about appearances. You liked it when I fucked you with Severus' come still inside you... you practically came in seconds, you were so excited." He stroked Harry's cock again. "You'd like it if I came on your face right now. You'd like it even better if Severus were here too, wouldn't you? Two pricks are better than one. You'd be down on the floor begging before the end of a minute. Wouldn't you?"
"Yesss," Harry hissed. "God -- Draco..."
Draco's voice became even lower and more suggestive, his hand quickening. "But you wouldn't do it for just anyone, would you? You really like it when Severus orders you around. Just thinking about that gets you hot. And that makes me want to see him doing it to you, to see your face."
"Oh God..." Harry clutched at Draco's arm, trying to slow it, but Draco only shook his fingers off. He was going to come in his clothes if this kept up. "Draco -- slow down -- mmmplease..."
"No, I don't think so. You need to learn control, Potter!" he barked in Snape's voice. And even though it wasn't real, Harry was over the edge immediately, arching helplessly into Draco's hand and wailing so loudly he was sure he must have hurt Draco's ear. "You see? You want it so badly you'll do it in your own clothes. Filthy, Potter. I always knew it."
Draco kept talking, and Harry kept coming; it felt endless, the pulses in his cock, even after he knew he must have pumped himself dry. Finally, with a sigh, Draco said in his own voice, "My father's insane if he thinks I'm going to give this up just for a lot of money and a big house." Harry stared at him, then burst into breathless laughter as Draco gave him a wicked grin back. "It's true, though. I'm not giving you up." There was steel in his tone.
"I'm glad to hear it," Harry told him, as soon as he could breathe again. "Trouble is that I don't think Lucius believes you."
"We just have to come up with a way to make him believe, then." Which brought them full circle to where they had started -- how to find some way to compromise with Lucius Malfoy -- except that now Draco seemed to be more determined than despairing, much to Harry's relief. "Just telling him obviously isn't sufficient; he's always been rather good at ignoring things he didn't want to see. How completely mad Voldemort was, for instance."
Harry rather thought that Lucius had known how mad Voldemort was; he must have, after Voldemort returned, when Lucius realized exactly what he had done, but at that point he could hardly withdraw from the Dark Lord's service without his entire family being killed. "He needs to believe the risk is greater than the reward of succeeding," he said slowly. "There must be..."
The loud crack of Apparition cut him off mid-sentence, and Harry and Draco both jolted, with Harry's head crashing painfully into Draco's chin. "Ow," Draco complained, rubbing his chin as he looked up. "Nice of you to join us, Severus."
Closing his eyes, Harry hoped with all his might that he had mastered silent spells well enough to cast Scourgify upon his clothing without Snape noticing.
"From your message I thought something had happened to you," Snape drawled. "But I see that you were having an emergency of a different sort."
"No -- wait -- Lucius was here -- " Harry tried to sit up and only succeeded in banging into Draco again.
Snape shook his head wearily. "I really thought you'd have outgrown the adolescent fumbling by now, Potter. Malfoy. You have to untangle yourselves before you can stand up." But there was an almost unnoticeable quirk to his lips, and Harry realized that this was Snape's peculiar idea of humor, to devil them both. Snape looked around the room, his eyes widening as he saw the smashed china on the floor. "You said Lucius was here? He's not responsible for that, is he?" he asked, indicating the mess, and now there was concern in his voice.
"No, that was me," Draco admitted. He had somehow slithered out of Harry's lap and was sitting primly upright on the sofa as if he hadn't just been engaged in making Harry come in his pants. Harry pushed himself into a more dignified position as well.
"So what prompted you to send your Patronus?"
Pulling out the chair that Lucius had used, Snape sat down. Harry wished that he were on the sofa with them instead.
"You've known Lucius for a long time. We were thinking that you probably had a good idea of exactly how far he would go to get what he wanted from Draco." The dark frown on Snape's face was not encouraging. "And whether there was any way to... divert him."
"He can't be bribed," Snape said at once. "I doubt there's anything in the world he wants more than an heir of his blood."
"Do you think he wants those things badly enough to disown me?" For a moment Draco's lip trembled again. "I know there are laws that would allow that, given my... preferences. He has more he could throw against me at this point than the Blacks had on Sirius, and they didn't have my father's connections at the Ministry."
"You're presuming that your mother would allow it," Snape said. "She came to me, as you know, to demand that I take the Unbreakable Vow to defend you. I do not believe that she would go along with any plan to disown you, and she has her own money and connections."
"And you're presuming that Lucius wouldn't somehow make her disappear," Harry cut in. Draco and Snape both stared at him. "What? Come on! How many people did he kill when he was working for Voldemort? Don't you think he might try it?"
"No," said Draco instantly, but Snape hesitated, and Draco clenched his hands on his knees. "You don't think he would?"
"I doubt you need fear for her life. It isn't only the question of the risk of exposure to Lucius; her abilities as a witch are not insignificant. And there are many people in the Ministry who would attempt to exploit any schism among the Malfoys. I suspect this is why your father's pressure on you has so far been of a private nature."
"What if he blames her for Draco's unwillingness to comply with his demands?" Harry suggested. "If Narcissa were to defend Draco, wouldn't that be possible?"
"Lucius did not marry Narcissa without persuasion, of that I am certain. How Narcissa felt about it -- I do not know." Snape didn't look at either of them. "It has been a good marriage for a pureblood arrangement. I would expect that Lucius would feel a certain regard for her, after all these years and with Draco to bind them together."
Draco's face was twisted with relief. Much as Harry disliked Narcissa Malfoy, he had been prepared to leap to her defense; having lost his own mother, he would not have seen the same happen to Draco, not if he could do something to stop it.
Snape continued, however. "If Lucius felt jeopardized by his own wife, however, he might not need to threaten her life. Narcissa was never brought to trial after the war, even though it was widely suspected -- and known for certain by people like myself -- that she had harbored her sister Bellatrix and other Death Eaters. He could make things most unpleasant for her if he wished."
"You're saying that Lucius Malfoy would dare point a finger at someone else for harboring a Death Eater?" asked Harry incredulously. "At his own wife, after the maneuvering he did to escape being declared guilty himself, when there were massive numbers of witnesses against him?"
"He wouldn't have to have Narcissa charged officially," Snape explained patiently. "As it is now, since she was never tried and he was let off, they have both been able to lead normal lives in Wizarding society. But because she was never tried and declared innocent, if rumors circulated... she would stop receiving invitations, her friends would melt away. Even other former suspects would disappear from her social circle -- in fact, they would be especially likely to do so. Guilt by association. And society is important to her, or so I've always observed."
"It is," Draco agreed. "Mother loves her parties, and her 'days out with the girls'. She's always hosted charity balls and Ministry events..."
"She's not going to cut you out of her life just for that," Harry said. He felt very certain of this. If Narcissa had risked her own life to go to Snape to beg him to help Draco, knowing what Voldemort would do if he discovered it, then no superficial social rejection was going to make her give Draco up. "Besides, the rumors would affect Lucius too. It's the same problem as publicly denouncing you... people at the Ministry would find out, people who will be involved in choosing the next Minister. It really seems to me that this is all or nothing. Either Lucius will have to risk losing everything just to have a pureblood heir, or sooner or later he'll have to accept you as you are."
"Being Minister would mean nothing to him without the Malfoy line continuing," Draco said. "He said so, and I believe it -- that tallies with everything he's always professed. It's all about the bloodline. I think... if it's all or nothing, then it's going to be nothing. For me."
Hearing that made Harry want to be far more sentimental than Draco would ever tolerate, even if they were alone. Because really, it was for him that Draco was contemplating going against all his father's wishes. Draco had had plenty of other friends and lovers in the past, of both sexes, but none of them had been permanent. Without Harry, who knew but that Draco might have been willing to go along with Lucius' wishes, to marry, to sire children? Harry contented himself for the moment with taking Draco's hand and holding it tightly. Draco turned his head and gave him a rather forlorn smile.
"Admirable and touching as this is," rumbled Snape, lacing his fingers together, "and however determined you may be, you know quite well that your father will not simply give up on you. Lucius has on occasion acted rashly. Are you prepared for that? He will continue to pressure you, and the slightest hint of weakness..."
"It's not what he might do. It's not the money or connections or any of that." Draco looked miserable. "It isn't as if we're going to starve if he cuts off my money -- Harry and I both do all right. If he tried to interfere with our jobs, we could always go away. Move to France or America or someplace he doesn't have influence."
Privately Harry thought that he would not move far from his friends just to get away from Lucius Malfoy. He also didn't think Draco really wanted that; no matter what he said now, Draco had always loved the prestige of being a Malfoy -- he still had friends and admirers from school who were always sending them invitations -- his social network was almost as wide as his mother's. "I don't think running away is a solution," he said.
"At least it gets me out of here. I just don't want my father to hate me." Draco's face tightened, and across the room one of the wineglasses on the table shattered.
"Having a tantrum is not going to solve anything," Snape said in a baleful tone. "And leaving wouldn't change your father's feelings. He might be able to affect your jobs even if you were out of Britain. You wouldn't get away that easily."
"You're being really helpful, both of you," Draco spat. "Telling me all the reasons why it's going to be impossible to reach a solution. I want advice, not gloom."
"Draco..." Harry squeezed his hand again. "There may not be a solution."
"I won't accept that." Draco looked a little wild about the eyes. "There has to be something that will get my father to leave us be without having my parents and me permanently estranged. Please... help me think of a way out, don't just tell me it's hopeless!"
"There is the obvious," said Snape. "Marry a pureblood witch and father a child. You do understand that many women would marry you for your money and prestige, and would be content to live apart from you. I daresay there are as many witches who prefer the company of other witches as there are wizards like ourselves..." Harry bit the inside of his lip. It was kind of funny to hear his former professor talk about himself as queer. "I'm sure you know that there are techniques that would make sexual intercourse unnecessary. I'm told that the Muggles have advanced this to a science."
"But that's giving Lucius everything he wants!" objected Harry. "It's saying having a pureblood child is the most important thing. It's perpetuating the same attitude... what happens if Draco has a son and he thinks this tradition is as awful as Draco thinks it is?"
"First of all, I don't know whether I want children. Look what runs in my family -- insanity on one side, and the Malfoys haven't exactly been producing big healthy litters like the Weasleys. And even if I did want them... how is it fair to anyone to be bred to take over a role I didn't want in the first place?"
"You also can't think I'd ever raise a child to value his pure blood," Harry pointed out. "We'd just be postponing the inevitable."
"But you would be postponing it," said Snape. "Draco asked what he could do to remain in his father's good graces; that is the best answer I can give you."
They sat in silence for several minutes. Draco was scowling and chewing on his lip, while Snape looked irritatingly calm. Everything in Harry cried out that such a solution could never work. What if Draco did marry a witch, and had a child with her, but still lived with Harry -- which of them would raise the child? What if the witch didn't agree that it was stupid to value perpetuating the family line above anything else -- what if she pretended to, but taught the child to believe things that Draco and Harry rejected? What if... what if Draco decided to leave Harry for his legal wife?
Harry looked sidelong at Snape. Did Snape have that possibility in mind? What were his motives here? Snape had never married, he wasn't a pureblood to have had family pressures of that sort, but as far as Harry knew, Snape had never had a long-term male partner either. "What would you do, Severus?" Harry asked abruptly. Snape looked surprised.
"I have never been on Draco's side of the equation," he said thoughtfully. "I've rather found myself in your position." Harry suspected that there was a story about Lucius hidden in that sentence -- maybe a whole lot of stories -- but he was certain he wasn't going to get to hear them now, not with Lucius' son talking about ways to appease his father. "I cannot afford to discount what Draco would be giving up. If he remains within his father's good graces, he will never need to worry about money -- he could choose not to work at all, or take up painting or some profession that rarely pays well. The social circles in which he has always traveled will welcome him. And -- this is not to be dismissed lightly -- he will be in a position to do a very great deal of good, should he elect to do so. He will have the same influence at the Ministry that Lucius enjoys, and should he choose to devote himself to particular reforms, he is much more likely to be heeded than someone like myself."
"You're saying you think I should just do it. Get married, have a child, try to change the system from within." Draco's voice sounded defeated. It wasn't pleasant to hear.
"I am not saying that. I am merely laying out what I see as the facts." Snape turned from Harry to Draco. "You must realize that if you say yes to your father now, he will assume he can make any demands he pleases. If you are willing to compromise on such a fundamental issue as this, he will expect you to give in easily to any other conflict you may face. Once he knows that his threats work, he will have no reason to stop using them."
Draco slumped forward and buried his face in his hands, shaking. "No. He won't," came the muffled agreement. Harry wondered if Draco was weeping in frustration, but when Draco looked up he was dry-eyed. "I can't decide this now."
"No one said you had to," Harry assured him. He reached out and started rubbing Draco's neck where the muscles were tightest. "Your father said to owl him when you wanted to talk... he didn't give any time frame, only said that his patience wasn't infinite. Which we could have guessed anyhow. There's days, weeks, perhaps months to think about this." He gave a short bark of laughter. "Maybe we'll get lucky and he'll be so upset that he'll have a stroke and not be able to threaten you any more at all. No, I don't mean that," he said as Draco tensed. "I don't want your father to be hurt," not as long as Draco still loved Lucius, "I just wish he'd realize that what you choose to do is none of his business."
Snape shifted in his chair, and Harry glanced over to see that he had a peculiar, almost remorseful, expression on his face which he erased promptly as soon as he realized that Harry was looking at him. "If there's nothing further I can help you with tonight -- although I don't know that I've been of much assistance -- I should go," Snape said.
"Stay and have a glass of wine," Draco muttered. "Merlin knows I need another one." He held out his hand and the bottle flew over from the table, followed by three clean glasses from the cabinet. "Sorry to have bothered you."
"It was no bother," Snape said rather stiffly. He averted his eyes, and Harry wondered again whether it was because Snape had ulterior motives of his own that he had come to see them tonight. At least he was certain at this point that Snape wasn't working with Lucius.
Draco rolled his head from side to side, the muscles loosening under Harry's fingers, and his concentration flagged, spilling wine as he poured it into Snape's glass. "Sorry. You can stay here, you know, if there's nowhere you have to be, although it isn't as if I'm going to be any entertainment this evening."
"Neither am I," said Harry, then felt himself reddening at what he and Draco had been doing just before Snape arrived. "We've plenty of room, though."
Snape cast a quick cleaning charm on his spattered cuffs. "Do you." It wasn't a question; Snape had seen their entire flat before, and there was only the one bedroom. "I'm afraid I'm no longer of an age to find kipping on a sofa all that appealing, even if it's Transfigured. I can Apparate home perfectly easily."
"I meant that you could share our bed," mumbled Harry. Beside him Draco nodded. "It's large enough for three."
"So it is..." Snape's voice was soft. He took a deep draught from his glass. "If you both want me to, I will stay." Harry was absurdly pleased that Snape had agreed.
"But I get the good pillow," Draco yawned. "And the middle. I refuse to be woken up in the middle of the night by the two of you shagging."
"If we woke you up shagging in the middle of the night, it would be so you could join us, git." Harry elbowed Draco, then stood up and tugged on his elbow to force him to stand too. Snape caught Draco's arm when he swayed as Harry released him to draw his wand and utter "Finite incantatem," turning the sofa back into a dining chair. "I'll get the rest of the dishes. Do me a favor and see if we've got anything to stop us from waking up with hangovers."
"I can brew one easily if you haven't." Snape led Draco out of the room while Harry began to clean up the rest of the shattered china and glass; there were too many pieces to bother with Reparo. The sink turned itself on and began to wash the dishes as he swept the shards into a pan, accidentally cutting his finger in the process.
Ouch. As he walked over to the sink to wash it before charming it, he looked at the blood welling in the broken skin. After Dumbledore had explained that Voldemort might have intended to make a Horcrux out of something belonging to Godric Gryffindor, Harry had begun to wonder whether that "something" might be himself. He'd already had to consider whether he might be the Heir of Slytherin, though he later learned he'd acquired those abilities from Voldemort himself. But maybe the reason Voldemort had singled him out was that, half-blood or no, he came from the line of the legendary founder of his House...
It hadn't been the case. James Potter had been related to a number of famous witches and wizards through the ages, including Blacks and Malfoys, but Hermione had done some research which proved that Harry didn't descend directly from any of the most prominent Wizarding lines, certainly none of the Founders. Whatever he could do, those talents were as likely inherited from his Muggle-born mother as his pureblood father.
And Lucius Malfoy just couldn't stand that idea.
ch. 1 / ch. 2 / ch. 3 / ch. 4 / ch. 5 / ch. 6 / ch. 7 / ch. 8 / ch. 9 / ch. 10 / ch. 11 / ch. 12 / ch. 13 / ch. 14 / ch. 15 / ch. 16 / ch. 17