HP fic: Admittance, ch. 14: Spying [Harry/Draco/Snape, adult]
Title: Admittance Chapter 14, "Spying" Authors: celandineb and cruisedirector Fandom: HP Pairing: Harry/Draco/Snape Rating: adult Warnings: Legilimency during sex, daisy chain Summary: There's a price for Harry and Draco finding what they're after.
It was gone ten o'clock by the time Harry and Draco Apparated to Malfoy Manor, arriving just outside the front entrance. "The house-elves will let us in," said Draco confidently.
"But won't they tell your parents that you were here?" Harry was less sanguine about the entire expedition.
"I still have a few things in my old room. I can take one or two of the dress robes away with me; that'll be sufficient excuse to have dropped by. Or maybe use a memory charm on the elves. It won't hurt them, Harry." Draco's voice was impatient. "You've been talking with Hermione too much. Honestly. Besides, it'll be safer to arrive openly if by chance my mother hasn't left yet." He twirled the front doorbell. "See? Nobody home." Unlocking the complicated bolts and removing the wards, Draco pushed open the front door. "And Father hasn't even changed the locks."
"That might just mean he was hoping to lure you home and into a trap," muttered Harry. He wondered whether Lucius Malfoy would really try to shut Draco out of his life if they couldn't find a way to bring this absurd standoff to an end. It was very quiet inside the house; no elves in evidence, no shrieking portraits as Harry had half-expected. A few of the paintings offered polite greetings to Draco and even recognized Harry from his previous visits -- "Potter" was evidently a surname that met with their approval, though what they would have said if they knew Harry was a half-blood, he suspected he did not want to know.
"This way." They went first to the dining room, where Harry had known for a long time that there was a hidden chamber beneath the floor. An elf stuck its head out, started to ask whether they wished any food and quickly withdrew with a small squeaking noise when it saw what they were doing. "They know better than to come in when anyone's under here. My father made that very clear years ago."
"And they won't tell him?"
"Not if I order them not to. I'm the Malfoy heir -- they have to do my bidding. And there's a reason there are no photos within view of the floor." Draco had finished rolling back the rug and spoke a phrase that made a trap door suddenly appear in the wood beneath. Grinning, he pulled it up. "Come on."
"Lumos." Holding his wand in front of him, Harry followed Draco down into the dark chamber. At first glance, it appeared completely empty, and Harry waited for Draco to do whatever was necessary to make the invisible objects appear.
But in the dim light from their wands, Draco was gaping in surprise. "It's all gone!"
"Gone?" Harry looked around, and shivered. The air felt close and cold.
"Everything. There were shelves full of... things. I never even knew what all of them were for. Dark Magic, mostly, but Father only showed me a few of them. Now even the cabinets are missing. See?" Draco pointed at the floor, and Harry held his wand closer to see the marks where something heavy had clearly stood, making dents in the old wood.
"If they were Dark Artifacts, I'm not surprised that Lucius has removed them -- got rid of them altogether, maybe, or perhaps just hidden them better. You knew they were here, your mother and Severus probably did too, and who knows who else? With the Ministry talking about a crackdown... I mean, Lucius is at a meeting about it, today," Harry rationalized. "Aren't there other hiding places he might have in the manor? I mean, you'd even mentioned this one to me."
"There are others, yes, but this was the largest." Draco frowned. "We'll have to check the dungeon, and Snape's right -- there are things down there with wards older than I am. I'm not sure even my father knows everything in the secret room."
"Then it would seem like that might be where we'd be most likely to find an unaltered copy of your grandfather's will. If your father had one, wouldn't he have had it destroyed by now?"
Draco shook his head, scowling. "I don't know. Come on. Let me go first -- it's possible that the inner chamber has some spell that will only allow a Malfoy to pass."
Or someone with a Dark Mark, Harry thought silently. He did not know whether Abraxas had actually been a follower of the Dark Lord or, like Sirius' parents, merely a sympathizer. Would Lucius have dared to threaten his father if Abraxas had been an ally of Voldemort's? Or would Voldemort have admired a man who had killed his sire the way Voldemort himself had murdered his own?
The dungeons were cold and forbidding; while those in Hogwarts where Slytherin House was located had been largely cleansed of their antique torture chambers, here the nearly black stone corridors below the wine cellar and storage rooms were still studded with the occasional manacle or set of bars holding bones. "This is it," Draco whispered, stopping before what appeared to be an entirely blank wall. "It's not very big. Maybe you'd better let me go inside first while you stand watch."
Harry gripped his wand as Draco cast the spell to open the chamber. The stones appeared to turn into mist, hazy but still there. Draco stepped through it with no visible hesitation and Harry could see him waveringly on the other side.
"Seems to be all right." Draco's voice was relieved. "And most of what I remember is still here. A few things gone, and some I don't recognize, but it's been years since Father brought me down and I might have simply forgotten. It's actually bigger than I recalled, there's enough room for you to come in too if you like."
"Do you think it's safe?" asked Harry a little doubtfully.
"I think so." But Draco didn't sound entirely sure. "You're better than I am at dealing with the sort of wards and hexes that might be on some of the stuff in here, after Voldemort's Horcruxes. I don't know if I can manage this by myself, not quickly enough."
Taking a deep breath and reminding himself that the entire expedition was for his benefit as well as Draco's, Harry walked through the mist into the tiny room.
Immediately he heard a creaking noise and turned his head; the statue of a knight in the corner was raising his sword. "Immobilus!" Harry shouted more loudly than necessary, jerking his wand upward, and the effigy froze.
He and Draco both stood defensively, back to back, circling, but nothing else in the room appeared to react to Harry's presence. "That was odd," said Draco. "Any wizard could have disarmed that, not just a Malfoy."
"The room knows we're here." Harry glanced around, feeling the malevolence of the place in his bones. Some of the objects on the shelves he recognized -- grisly-looking restraints and implements of torture, snakeskins and Erumpent horns, a great deal of jewelry -- while some, like a silver plate with a raised blade in the center, he couldn't guess the purpose of at all.
"There." Draco was pointing at a small brass chest, resting innocuously behind a gold chessboard. Harry sincerely hoped that they would not have to play a game to open the chest, since he'd never fully mastered the strategies of wizarding chess. He let Draco approach first, sliding the game to the side. "Lock looks straightforward enough. "Alohomora!"
The room illuminated so suddenly that Harry had to shield his eyes. Where the wall that they had entered through had been, there was suddenly an enormous portrait of an imposing, elderly man with pale hair and skin and a cane in his hand with a serpent's head very like Lucius' walking stick. "What Malfoy are you?" the portrait demanded.
"I am Draco, son of Lucius, son of Abraxas," said Draco, drawing himself up and drawling in his most arrogant tone. "The Malfoy heir."
"And that one?" The cane swiveled to point at Harry, and the silver serpent opened its jaws in a silent hiss.
"He does not bear the Malfoy name," admitted Draco. "But he is a relative, and my own chosen companion."
Harry stood silent as the portrait examined him. It was true that he was a relative -- very distant, but all the purebloods were related. Draco had worked it out at one point, deciding that he and Harry were sixth cousins twice removed on the Black side and something similar on the Malfoy side. Of course, if Lucius were not really Abraxas' son, then it would be a different matter.
Cold blue eyes bored into him. They might be merely enchanted paint, but it was nearly as bad as being hauled up before Professor McGonagall to be given detention, back in school. Harry kept himself from squirming with an effort.
"If his name is not Malfoy, he has no right to be here," was the portrait's conclusion. Suddenly Harry found himself being pulled back against the stone wall, cold metal clamps fastening themselves around his wrists and ankles.
"Hey!" objected Draco as Harry struggled with the uncomfortable shackles. Striding toward the portrait, he put on a face that made him look so much like his father that Harry found it uncanny. "He is here to assist me. Release him!"
"His name is not Malfoy," the portrait announced again.
"So what? My mother's name wasn't Malfoy either until she married my father, and you can't tell me she's never been in here. Who put you in charge, anyway?"
"Phoebus Malfoy," said the portrait promptly, as Harry tried whispering unlocking spells to make the clamps release him; Alohomora had no effect, and Refigo actually made them tighten more.
Hissing softly, he said, "Draco, let's just see if you can find what we came here for." Addressing the portrait, Harry asked, "How familiar are you with the contents of this room?"
For a moment he thought the portrait would ignore him entirely, since he was not a Malfoy. But then it spoke, though it addressed Draco: "I am the curator. What is it that you seek?"
"Let Harry out of those shackles and I'll tell you," snarled Draco, raising his wand. "I am Phoebus Malfoy's grandson's great-grandson, and you must obey me!"
The sneer that graced the portrait's face after that statement matched anything that Harry had ever seen on Lucius himself. "You are the heir to Malfoy only, and my obedience is to the possessor of the estate. The intruder will remain bound."
"Just ask about what we need," urged Harry in an undertone. "Then we can see about getting me out."
Draco's face was tight. "I seek the will of my grandfather Abraxas, that I may ascertain his wishes accurately. Is it hidden in this chest," he pointed at it, "or elsewhere in this chamber?"
"Many are the records and deeds that are preserved here, but they are for true hands only." The portrait smirked, and Harry held back a gasp, biting his lip. Surely that didn't mean...? The pale-haired figure continued, "If you do not have the authority, the knowledge of the spells to keep you safe, you will never see them."
"Where?" gritted Draco, his wand hand hovering over the chest. "In here?"
"Loose the lock and more will be set free than you may wish." How kind of the portrait to warn them, thought Harry.
Draco bent over to study the lock on the chest. "No keyhole," he said, turning it around in his hands. "This has to be unlocked magically. I assume the usual spells won't work, if they didn't work on those shackles. And I don't dare risk blasting it open; if a curse didn't kill me, my father might." He glanced back at Harry. "Any suggestions?"
"It'd be triggered by something specific to your family," Harry said. "A word or a phrase only a legitimate Malfoy would know. Can you think of anything like that?"
"My grandfather was fond of 'Abracadabra,' I'm told - it comes from the same root as his name." Nodding, Draco straightened, aimed his wand at the chest and said, "Abracadabra!" Harry braced himself for anything from an explosion to the room dissolving around them, but nothing happened. "Maybe it has to be used nonverbally, to stop an enemy from overhearing the incantation." He stared at the chest, face red with concentration, but the room remained entirely still.
"Maybe each Malfoy who inherits it can change the spell. Your grandfather and your father didn't get along very well, remember? I'm guessing Abraxas might not have told your father how to get at anything in this room; Lucius had to be the possessor of the estate, like the portrait said. What would your father have chosen as his secret password?"
Frowning, Draco said, "I'm not sure. I know he's used mutatis mutandis sometimes, but I don't think that's the only magical phrase he uses for such things."
"Go ahead and try it anyway." Harry grimaced slightly. "These shackles are not exactly comfortable and I'd really like to get out of here."
Draco touched Harry's shoulder. "I know." He faced the chest again and raised his wand. "Mutatis mutandis!" Nothing happened. "True hands, the picture said. I wonder..."
"Draco, don't!" Harry shouted, but too late. Draco had put down his wand to place his hands on the lid, repeating the incantation. The chest began to shake, rattling against the table and causing several of the chessmen to tumble over.
Then the lid popped open. Draco exulted, "It worked!" He leaned over to look inside, and his face went white. "There's nothing there except..."
"Don't touch it!" yelled Harry as Draco reached out. "Remember what Severus said, don't touch anything. What's in the chest?"
"It's disgusting." Draco shuddered and backed away. "There's a little doll of some sort in there... it looks like it's made out of human skin and bone and hair."
"I bet it's a bit of some ancestral Malfoy," Harry said, his stomach turning. Why would Lucius, or any Malfoy, have preserved such a thing? Oh... was it possible that it was some part of Abraxas, saved by Lucius as a trophy, or because possessing it gave him some power against any possible haunting? Harry didn't know very much about ghosts, but even growing up among Muggles, he had heard stories about vengeful ones coming back to wreak revenge on those who had killed them, giving up whatever afterlife they were meant to have so that they could haunt their killers. Harry wouldn't have wished that sort of existence on anyone -- he had learned to be glad that Sirius had not returned as a ghost, as much as he had once wanted him to -- but oh, if only Abraxas Malfoy could speak to them!
"Well, if I can't touch it, what do you suppose I should do with it? Ask it whether it is pure of blood?"
Then Harry realized something else. If that was a part of Abraxas Malfoy in the chest, and if Lucius was not Abraxas' son, that little doll contained the proof. Could anything be more dangerous to a dynasty than physical evidence that its heirs were illegitimate? "Try a levitation charm," he said. "See if you can make it move without touching it."
Draco pointed his wand towards the chest, his hand shaking as he recited the appropriate words. "Merlin," he gasped.
"It's heavy. It's like trying to lift a giant." Sweat had broken out on Draco's forehead. "But... yeah... here it comes."
Very slowly, the bone figure appeared above the rim of the chest; when Harry saw it he understood why Draco had looked like he might be sick. Shreds of dried skin and hair clung to it, giving the doll a kind of mockery of life, especially as it moved and turned slightly in the air as Draco guided it out of the chest and onto the table.
"Who disturbs me?" The voice was faint and rasping, but arrogant -- exactly what Harry expected of a Malfoy, Draco excepted.
"Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius. Who are you?"
"Kiss me, and if you are a true scion of the Malfoy house, you will know all the secrets," was the sibilant reply.
"Don't!" Harry ordered, though there was no need; Draco had stepped back with an expression of utmost disgust. Even forgetting the question of the purity of the Malfoy blood that flowed in Lucius' veins and Draco's, there were a hundred enchantments tied to kissing; Harry had been surprised in History of Magic to learn that some of the Muggle fairy tales involving sleeping princesses and transformed frogs were based on real spells. It was one of the very few times that he hadn't needed to borrow Hermione's notes to write his essay.
Like the portrait, the thing ignored Harry. "I am the guardian," it rasped. "There are many secrets here, but you must prove your worth. Kiss me."
The thing turned in the air, hissing, and Harry saw that a snake was emerging from its mouth like a Dark Mark. Morsmordre -- the bite of death. Harry had never thought that the phrase might have a literal meaning. He swallowed. "I think," he faltered, speaking to Draco. "I think maybe if it bites you, the venom might be the sort that makes people see visions or predict things."
"You're saying I might have to let it bite me to find the will?" Draco demanded.
"I'm saying that might be one way. There must be a way to replicate that, a potion... if only Severus were here!"
"Do you think he'd help if he were? He didn't think this was a good idea to begin with," frowned Draco.
"I'm sure he would. But he's not going to leave that meeting until your father does -- that was the whole point, to make certain that Lucius didn't come back and find us unexpectedly." Harry grimaced. "Can you imagine what your father would do if he walked in now? I'd be up before the Wizengamot for breaking and entering, and you'd be whisked off someplace to be 'persuaded' to change your mind about teaching at Hogwarts, and probably forced to marry."
"Hang on, though. If we could just get a message to Severus, he could decide if it was safe to assume that my father would be occupied long enough this afternoon; by now it must be clear how long the meeting is likely to last." Draco looked at Harry. "How do you send a message by your Patronus? How complicated can it be?"
"You have to conjure it, first. Then think very clearly about what you need to communicate, and who the message is supposed to go to. The problem with that, though, is that everyone in that meeting will know that Severus has been summoned, if your Patronus shows up and then he leaves. Including your father."
"But he won't know it's my Patronus," said Draco reasonably. "Father doesn't even know I can conjure one, much less what animal it is. And I'm not sure how much he knows about how the Order used the Patronus, anyway. It's not at all a common way of communicating -- isn't that why Dumbledore taught it to Order members?"
It was true, Harry thought. If a large, ghostly komodo dragon appeared to Snape and said Come, even in company, anyone not already knowledgeable about the Patronus might believe that Snape was being summoned by a demanding sorcerer who liked showy tricks like Lockhart's. "We need an outrageous message," he said slowly. "Something to let Snape know that it's us and we need his expertise, but that wouldn't give anyone else a clue."
"Yeah, well, it better be a short message or I'm not sure I'll be able to pull it off," Draco said.
"Felix Felicis," replied Harry at once. "Anyone could want that, for a variety of reasons that Snape would be able to make up on the spot if anyone overhears. And, you know, if he brought some with him, it might help us out a lot."
"Fine. I'll try." Draco held out his wand, then made a face at the thing on the table. "It's hard to think happy thoughts around... that." His eyes shut tight. Several long seconds passed as both the portrait and the corpselike doll stared skeptically at Draco. If Lucius didn't know about the Patronus already, thought Harry, he'd know after his next trip to the cellar; that painting would probably tell him everything that had transpired here.
"Expecto Patronum!" There was a sudden burst of light, and the large reptile coalesced, slithering straight through the portrait and out of sight.
"Now I suppose we wait," said Harry, a little wryly as he tried to ease his wrists in the shackles.
Draco nodded. "I'm going to put this back in the chest where we don't have to look at it. But I think we should start trying to figure out how to free you from those... just in case Severus is unable to come." He levitated the doll once again; it moved as slowly as before. Harry wondered just why that was the case. It was almost as if the doll bore the weight of the entire original person from whom it had been made, although clearly it hadn't been simply shrunken. He supposed it didn't really matter as long as Draco could move it.
"Don't close the lid, though," he suggested.
"Of course not." Draco lowered the doll, looking relieved to have it out of sight, and then turned back to examine the clamps around Harry's wrists. "They look quite ordinary."
"What does that mean?" Harry couldn't quite see either the shackles that held his hands securely down near his waist, nor those at his ankles.
"They seem to be simply iron, nothing unusual in the metal, and there's a keyhole. I wonder..." Draco tapped his wand against one, and it tightened slightly.
"I already tried Alohomora and Refigo," Harry told him. "No luck." He forced a grin. "Maybe what we need is a Muggle-style key, or a lockpick."
Draco looked pleased. "Fortunately, when I was trying to repair that cabinet sixth year, I had a lot of practice locking and unlocking things. I can pick a lock, I just need..." He looked around, moving toward the shelves with the ancient, hideous implements of torture. "...something sharp. Like this."
A moment later Draco was back at Harry's side, working something sharp and nasty-looking into the restraints. There was an awful scraping noise, then the shackles opened, freeing Harry's by-now-numb wrist. "If it can't be opened by magic, then it doesn't matter what your breeding is: you can't break in or out of this room by yourself," Harry said, shaking out his hand while Draco went to work on the other one, then bent to free Harry's ankles. "Rather clever, really, though I'm surprised whatever Malfoy put this in place was willing to use something devised by Muggles."
Draco was studying the vicious-looking tool in his hands. Harry didn't even want to think about what its previous use might have been. "Muggles used to torture witches and even suspected wizards with things like these. I bet it pleased my ancestor to put them to his own uses. Listen, Harry... I think I should kiss that thing. I don't see how else we're going to know what it can tell us. Those papers are in this room, I'm sure of it. We just have to figure out how to get them."
His expression was determined, and Harry knew that there would be no use arguing, even though he worried that things could go a lot more wrong than Draco would probably be willing to admit. "At least wait for Severus. If that thing is poisoned..."
"That portrait isn't going to let Severus into this room with us." Draco set the piece of pointed metal back on its shelf and reached into the chest again. "And we may not have much time. We need to find that will. If that thing can help us -- I am a Malfoy -- it is my birthright."
"Go ahead, if you feel you have to," said Harry in his most resigned voice, and took as firm a grip on his wand as he could with his sore wrist.
"I guess I might as well simply pick it up." He lifted the bone figure, hesitating a moment before bringing it to his lips. Harry saw the snake emerging once again from the doll's head; it bit Draco just as he made as if to kiss it.
"Ouch!" Dropping the doll back into the chest, Draco clutched at his mouth and swayed slightly. His eyes glazed over and he spoke in a voice very unlike his own -- a shrill whine. "Within my resting place lies what you seek and more besides." The final words were almost gasped. Draco's hands grasped for the edge of the table, but slipped off, and he collapsed in a heap on the floor.
"Draco!" Harry wasn't sure what to do first. The lid of the chest was slowly swinging shut; if he didn't look in it quickly, they might lose all chance of finding the papers.
He had only an instant to make a decision. With a fervent wish that Snape was on his way, he thrust his hand into the chest, pushing it open. Something sharp bit into the side of his wrist. There was a small decoration in the shape of a serpent inside the upper part of the hinged lid, with teeth as sharp as the ones in Lucius' walking stick. As he twisted his hand, he felt it move. There was a false panel set in the lid!
Quickly, he set to work trying to figure out how it opened, speaking to Draco all the while. "Just hold on, Snape's on his way, there's something hidden in here, I can feel it, if I can just get this thing open..." He turned the little snake-head, first one way, then the other, but the panel did not give way. Nor would it pull out, push in or unzip along a seam. In frustration, Harry shouted, "Move!"
It was not until the little snake hissed, Yessssss, and began to slither along the edge of the panel, unsealing it, that Harry realized he had spoken in Parseltongue. Had Abraxas been a Parselmouth? That was a mystery for another time. "Draco, it's opening! It worked!" The inner lid fell free and a rolled parchment fell into Harry's hands, along with something else -- a photograph.
"What in Merlin's name are you doing!" It was Snape's voice, furious, but Harry had never been so happy to hear it. He was standing just beyond the misty wall, half-visible beyond the portrait.
"Severus, Draco's hurt, please!" Harry could have cried with relief as Snape stepped through. He wasn't sure if the entrance had remained unsealed somehow or if Snape knew the spell to enter; it didn't really matter now that he was here.
The chamber was uncomfortably crowded with three people in it. Snape quickly knelt down by Draco and began examining the wound on his lip, muttering. "What bit him?"
"Doll. In the chest." Harry gestured weakly towards it, and sank to his knees. "Snake bit me." The snake's venom seemed to be less potent than the doll's, since he was still conscious, if rather unsteady. "Got the will, though. I think." He fumbled with the scroll, opening it far enough to see that yes, it bore Abraxas' signature on the bottom.
Snape cursed under his breath. Draco's face was pale, almost green, and his breath was shallow. "Look in the lower left pocket of my robe, Harry -- I can't take my hands off Draco to reach it. There's a bezoar in there. Now!," he snapped.
Snape seemed to have an entire apothecary in his pocket -- Harry could feel stoppered vials and packets beneath his fingers, but finally he found the bezoar. He reached over Snape, shoving the thing into Draco's mouth. Instantly Draco's breathing grew deeper, his color returning slightly, though he did not open his eyes.
"Same pocket. Blue bottle. Drink it," Snape snapped at Harry, who was feeling quite sick. "Essence of rue, take it at once... I suspect the Malfoys' favorite poisons have not changed." Harry swallowed it down as quickly as he could and sat heavily down, waiting for the chamber to stop spinning. "I told you that this was too dangerous..."
"The message. The Patronus. Did anyone see you?" asked Harry, happy to have any reason to interrupt Snape's diatribe, though he feared it would be only a temporary respite.
Snape made a scoffing noise. "The timing could not have been more fortuitous. Lucius was at the front of the room berating some poor official from the Muggle Artifacts division about the harmlessness of keeping cursed ink pens. As if Lucius had ever owned an ink pen in his life... it was a matter of principle, he felt, that the Ministry had no right to be passing restrictions on privately owned magical objects. He never saw me leave."
Draco coughed, and Snape bent over him. "Pass me that bottle. I'm going to give him some of this, and then we are leaving immediately whether that is the will or not. Put it in your pocket." Harry did so, along with the photograph, as Snape helped Draco sit up. "You little fool," he snarled, and Harry guessed from the fury in his voice that he had been truly afraid.
As Harry leaned over to search for the bezoar that had fallen from Draco's mouth, the photograph fluttered to the floor in front of him. He recognized it as a picture of Draco's grandmother Erato, Abraxas' wife -- there was a portrait of her upstairs in the long gallery. Picking it up again, he shoved it deeper into his pocket
"'M sorry," mumbled Draco once he had drunk a few gulps of the potion. "Harry. Have to put everything back as it was."
"I think it is." Harry looked around. The chest had closed itself again, with the doll inside, and the shackles lay quiescent against the stone wall of the chamber. He assumed that the portrait of whatever ancestral Malfoy it was would return to slumber once they were gone. "It looks all right, Draco."
"We have to make sure that nothing will tip off my father." Draco's voice was stronger now, and his face was no longer pale green. "Portrait! I order you...silence..."
"Later." Snape hauled Draco to his feet, putting an arm around his waist to support him. "Potter, out. Now."
Harry went through the misty wall -- it looked solid again from the other side, and he waited half a minute in nervous apprehension before the other two emerged. Once they had Apparated back to Snape's flat, he slumped in relief. Snape steered Draco over to the sofa, settling him with a gentleness at odds with the harshness of his words. "What did you two young idiots do?"
"Don't you need to go back to the meeting before Lucius realizes you're gone?" asked Harry hopefully.
"Since the reason I was there was to ensure that he did not leave it and go home to find the two of you making an unauthorized search, no, I do not," said Snape, glaring. "What did you do?"
"It is the will, at least," Harry protested as he pulled the parchment from his pocket. From his expression, the statement did not mollify Snape at all.
"What's that?" Draco reached for the photograph which had again slipped out when Harry brought out the will.
"SIT," Snape barked at him, pushing Draco back against the cushions and bending to pick up the photo himself without looking at it. His eyes narrowed at Harry. "Start at the beginning. What happened in that room before I arrived?"
"Well... there was a portrait, it asked who we were and put me in manacles when it found out I wasn't a Malfoy but it let Draco look around. There was a chest. That... thing was in it." Harry shuddered. "It said that all secrets would be known if Draco kissed it..."
"And you just went and did what it told you?" Snape whirled on Draco, giving him a look Harry remembered only too well from having it turned on himself during Occlumency lessons years ago. "Malfoy, you irresponsible..."
"The point is, Draco did it, and managed to send his Patronus to you besides," Harry said loudly. "Now we have the will and..." He reached to tug on Snape's hand, turning the photo up so that all of them could see it. "Draco, is that who I think it is?"
"It looks like my grandmother, if that's who you're thinking it is." Draco leaned forward and peered at the woman in the photograph, who -- to Harry's surprise -- fluttered her eyelashes flirtatiously at him. "But I've never seen a picture of her looking like this before. Positively vamp-ish."
"I might draw your attention to the brooch she is wearing, Draco." Snape indicated an elaborate pin on the woman's left breast. "That is not the Malfoy crest."
"Wouldn't it be her birth family's?" Harry asked.
"You'd think it would be, but it isn't. Grandmother was a Wilkes, they use a leopard as their symbol, and that is not a leopard," said Draco absently, studying the brooch, which the portrait now unpinned and held up obligingly. Draco's jaw dropped. "It can't be..."
"What?" asked Snape and Harry simultaneously. Harry was a little surprised that Snape didn't know whose crest it was; he himself was woefully ignorant about such things, but Snape had been hanging around purebloods like the Malfoys most of his life.
"Look at the animal. It's a weasel, it has to be." An anguished note came into Draco's voice. "My grandmother is wearing the Weasley crest."
No wonder Snape hadn't recognized it. Harry was sure that the present Weasley family never paid attention to any such ancestor-worshiping symbolic twaddle. "How old is that picture?" asked Snape, taking it and looking at it closely. "She isn't wearing a wedding ring. Perhaps your grandfather was not her first suitor."
Harry couldn't help it; he started to laugh. "You don't know when your grandparents' wedding anniversary was, do you, Draco?" Still looking traumatized -- and not at having been poisoned -- Draco shook his head. "We've got to look it up. I'd bet my Invisibility Cloak that there's less than nine months between the wedding day and your father's birthday."
"You're saying that the Weasleys aren't only my distant cousins, we might have a grandparent in common?" Draco looked as if he might be about to start inspecting himself for freckles. "No. I don't believe it. My father would know if he wasn't a true Malfoy."
"Perhaps, but if he did, he would certainly never mention it to anyone, would he?" Snape looked quite satisfied, his previous rage momentarily forgotten. "I believe the Malfoy and Weasley ancestral lines have crossed several times before. On the other hand, you, Draco, are indisputably on your mother's side a Black, which is perhaps the purest of the pureblood families. It would explain a great deal about your parents' marriage -- he had great wealth and connections, but she had the most prestigious wizarding blood in Britain."
While they talked, Harry had unrolled the will and was studying it. "We've got it, Draco," he said, holding it where the others could see. "Right here. This is the part your grandfather changed. Those additions about the Malfoy heirs having to marry and sire children were to protect the fact that the entailment originally required proof of blood purity."
"That's why it was so important to my father that no one ever find this, including me," Draco nodded. "My blood might be more noble than his!" He snorted faintly.
"May I remind you that that cursed thing very nearly killed you." Snape's voice had grown angry again. "There may not be a wizard left whose blood is pure enough to survive such a test. The purebloods knew it when they began to join Voldemort: they are faced with extinction if they do not accept new blood."
"Which could be why Abraxas changed the will," said Harry throughtfully. "Maybe he knew that he couldn't sire any children of his own -- maybe he'd tried and failed -- so he was willing to pass off your grandmother's child by someone else as his, for the sake of appearances. He'd have had to alter the will to make sure that Lucius inherited, especially if he didn't know how pure the line was. But it would still be a blow to his ego, and that would explain why he and your father never got along."
"I wonder how the proof of blood was made?" Draco glanced at the parchment. "It doesn't say."
"There are several possible means," Snape told them. "One is, in fact, a potion. There are also at least two spells I know of. All of the tests are complex, but their evidence is irrefutable."
"So if I petitioned the Wizengamot to restore the original will..."
"Which they might well do, given that as Hermione discovered, the alterations appear to have been made without proper witnessing," Harry interjected.
"...and then had my own blood purity tested, I might be able to claim the estate over my father," concluded Draco. "Not that I want it. But it would be an awfully good bit of leverage to get him to leave me alone, don't you think?"
"I think it's exactly what we needed." Exhaustion had hit Harry very suddenly -- a side effect of the poison and its antidote, he supposed. Slumping back against the cushions, he leaned on Snape, who gave him a concerned once-over.
"Not much good it would have done you if you'd got yourselves killed," he grumbled. "If you intend to teach Potions, Malfoy, you need to recall my advice about carrying antidotes with you at all times! What if one of your students were splashed by Shrinking Solution or scarred by a blast-ended skrewt? And you, Potter... if you're going to encourage students new to flying to take unreasonable risks..."
"All right, Severus, we get the point," Draco interrupted. He had sat back as well and looked pale again. "The point is, we did it, and the next time we see my father, we'll have a plan. But now can we go to bed? I'm feeling a bit tired."
Harry expected Snape to express more outrage. It was barely after two o'clock, after all, though it felt as if it should be much later. But he only grabbed them each by an arm and hauled them toward the bedroom. "Get in there, both of you. I'm going to bring some more essence of rue, and I'm going to wake you in an hour to force some broth down your foolish throats."
"In an hour I might want something else down my throat," said Draco sleepily, though he let Snape steer him onto the bed and push Harry down beside him.
"Me, too," Harry agreed, although he rather thought it might take more than an hour to recover. "Oh, blast. Severus, can you owl Hermione to say we made it back all right? She insisted that I let her know."
Snape rolled his eyes. "I will owl Miss Granger. Now rest."
When Snape shook Harry awake, he felt amazingly refreshed and drank the broth eagerly. Snape was a surprisingly good cook, just as Draco had become. It had to be the practice with potions.
Draco sipped his more slowly. "What did you put in this, Severus? I taste ginseng." He grinned and licked his lips. "Harry, do you remember the properties of ginseng?"
"Er..." Harry racked his brains. "It's a stimulant, right? Come on, I was never as good at Potions as you were."
"I always thought that Miss Granger helped you more than she ought to," Snape rumbled.
"It's an aphrodisiac, you git." Draco nudged Harry's shoulder. "Severus, I'm surprised at you. Giving something like that to us after what we've been through today."
Snape's face flushed. "It has restorative properties in addition to being an aphrodisiac, and only a mild one," he announced as if they should have known this. Harry wondered whether Snape had been watching them sleep, and, if so, whether he had found it arousing. Thinking about it made Harry's cock perk up; knowing that Snape worried about them made him feel safe, and that, in some confusing way, made him want Snape's cock inside him.
"Well, I don't know about you, but I need some protein." Draco was grinning down at Harry's groin, where his cock was tenting his trousers. Reaching over, Draco's fingers unfastened them. "Nothing like fresh protein, is there, Severus? Maybe you better make sure I don't deplete Harry too much."
He slid down between Harry's legs, pulling off the trousers, as Harry looked up to meet Snape's eyes. "He's right, sir. You'd better give me some of yours," Harry grinned.
After stacking the empty bowls in a pile on the floor, Snape did the same thing with his clothing and climbed onto the bed, leaning over to kiss Harry before crawling over him. If there was anything better than having his prick in Draco's mouth and Snape's in his own, Harry couldn't think what it was at the moment. Draco seemed to agree, since he pulled off Harry long enough to request tartly that Snape should turn around and give as good as he got. Then for a little while all that could be heard were slurps and smacks and muffled moans.
The disadvantage of a daisy chain, Harry recalled eventually, is that one became... distracted. If he wanted to really savor the way that Draco's tongue was bathing his balls, he couldn't at the same time pay proper attention to his own suckling of Snape's cock. Not that he didn't enjoy trying to do both at once. Nevertheless when Draco stopped sucking him and crawled up to whisper a suggestion in Harry's ear, he was quite happy to agree that perhaps they owed it to Snape to focus on him for awhile.
So Harry kept nuzzling at Snape while Draco Accio'd the pot of Snape's special lubricant and began titillating his arsehole with it. Snape made a noise in his throat that Harry could almost call a purr, odd though that seemed, and stroked Harry's hair so that Harry tilted his head back and looked up at the older man. "Take turns," Snape said.
Harry didn't understand at first, and then, abruptly, he did, for he had seen the fantasy in Snape's mind before. With a groan Harry slid up, wrapping his hand around Snape's cock and his own and stroking slowly as Draco stretched Snape with his fingers, grinning at Harry over Snape's shoulder.
"Legs up, Severus." One of Snape's thighs came to rest high on Harry's side, and Harry felt Snape's cock throb as Draco pushed inside him. Reaching for the lube, he quickly slicked some onto himself while Draco opened Snape up, then slid out. "Your turn, Harry."
It felt very dirty to be sharing Snape this way, even though Harry was sure Snape had got himself very clean before he came into the room with the two of them asleep, hoping for this. Snape raised his legs further, allowing Harry access, and as Harry slid inside him, he felt Draco's erection prodding between their bodies, bumping his own thigh.
"Three, I think," Draco said, and Harry nodded. They would each thrust three times, then switch. It was tight and rather awkward, but exciting too, to be so close to both of them at once. When Harry withdrew he only pulled back far enough to let Draco's prick in, leaving his own where it rubbed against Snape's balls, and where Draco's balls slapped against the head at every stroke.
Snape's fingers slid over Harry's face, reaching his mouth, and as he sucked them Draco touched his leg to let him know that it was his turn again. Harry shifted his angle slightly to push back into the hot slick channel of Snape's arse. He wasn't trying to hold back, this time, but the pauses slowed him down enough to savor the sensations.
"Fuck, Severus, how do you think of these things?" Draco's voice was breathless as he nudged Harry's cock aside to plunge in. "I thought I was pretty creative..."
Harry still had his eyes on Snape's, and he caught a flicker of memory: Lucius and Severus and a man that Harry didn't recognize, with Lucius in the middle and Severus in the same position Harry was now, facing him. He swallowed and tried to push the image away, not wanting to think about Draco's father.
Instead, while Draco was thrusting into Snape, he wrapped his hand around Snape's cock and stroked it. He could tell from Snape's breathing that Snape was close to coming despite all the shifts, and selfishly Harry wanted Snape to come while he was inside him rather than Draco.
"Think you could take both of us at once, Severus?" whispered Draco, withdrawing to give Harry his turn.
"Not now," Snape groaned, but his cock twitched hard in Harry's hand and for a moment Harry thought he would come just from the suggestion. He thrust in hard, feeling Snape tight around him, unable to imagine how it would be possible without causing serious pain, but the idea of his cock and Draco's being confined together in that narrow space while Snape convulsed around them...
Snape was convulsing around him, Harry realized dimly, spurting milky liquid over his hand and belly, and Harry was past his turn, still thrusting into him. He glanced up at Draco as he reluctantly withdrew, and for the first time ever, he felt Draco touch his thoughts, pulling that erotic image from Harry's mind as he slid into Snape's body.
"Yesss..." Harry wasn't sure if he had said it, or Draco, or both of them, as they shared the fantasy. There was a lump in Harry's throat and a surge of gratitude that Draco had been willing to open his mind this way; it had been such a joy for Harry with Snape and he had regretted that Draco hadn't wanted to try.
"Now," Draco said, and Harry realized that they were waiting for him. Draco's hand found the base of his cock as Harry pressed into Snape's arse. "Go on, Harry, fuck him, I know you want it, come on..."
Harry's gaze flickered wildly between Draco's face and Snape's. He couldn't maintain the Legilimency with both of them at once, but this came close, both of them feeding him images in a kaleidoscope of sensuality, until he squeezed his eyes shut and came, groaning against Snape's neck. Reluctantly he pulled his cock out and felt Draco's pushing against it, prodding eagerly.
"Inside," Snape ordered breathlessly. Even though he had already come, he strained back toward Draco.
Lifting his head, Harry looked at Snape and really saw for the first time the dread he had pushed down when he saw them in the Malfoy dungeon, the recognition that he could have lost them both. "It's over, Severus -- we're all safe now," he murmured. Snape pulled him forward to kiss him at the same moment Draco cried out, thrashing against Snape's back.
They all lay together for a long time after, Snape turning so that he could put an arm around each of them. When Draco fell asleep, Harry supposed that he still hadn't recovered completely from the poison, but when Snape dozed off as well, he realized that they were all still recuperating from the stress of the planning and execution of their incursion.
Wrapping an arm around Snape's middle, Harry let his hand come to rest on Draco's hip and closed his eyes, smiling in satisfaction.