|phoenixfest (phoenixfest) wrote in phoenix_flies,|
@ 2007-10-31 14:55:00
|Entry tags:||fic: pg-13, fic: pinkelephant42, hp/dm, prompt 45|
Fest Fic: The Return Of Draco Malfoy
Title: The Return of Draco Malfoy
Prompt: #45 - Veritiserum: The problem with telling the truth.
Pairing: Harry/Draco, slight Ron/Hermione and others mentioned.
Word Count: 3300
Warnings (if any): Slash, a bit of cussing, EWE.
Malfoy Manor wasn't as menacing as Harry remembered. Several years after the war, it just looked like a broken old mansion. Harry wondered how Draco could stand to stay there.
Slowly, wand ready, he made his way across the grounds. He expected to encounter protective spells and wards, but there were none. The path to the door was clear, and Harry made it into the front hall unharmed. Now he just had to find the intruder.
Once the war ended, Lucius Malfoy had been taken to Azkaban. Narcissa and Draco had disappeared. Most people thought them cowards, unwilling to face the wizarding public one the Daily Prophet re-vealed that they were the ones harboring the Dark Lord during the most desperate, dangerous part of the war. Harry was glad to be rid of them.
The ministry had put detection spells on the Manor that would alert them of any life or danger within the walls. It was a precaution Hermione insisted on, used also in the Riddle house and the homes of sev-eral former Death Eaters.
Now they'd been alerted to a presence in Malfoy Manor, and Harry had gone to investigate.
"Narcissa? Draco?" he called, hoping he was right in assuming it was them. "We know you're here."
He turned in a slow circle, deciding which door to take first. The hall, which was once elaborately deco-rated, was dusty and disheveled with abandonment. The walls were slashed, portraits lay forgotten on the floors, and there were burn marks on the floor. It looked like a battle had taken place, and consider-ing the Manor used to be inhabited by Death Eaters, that didn't surprise Harry at all.
"Malfoy!" Harry called louder.
There was a shuffling noise behind him, and Harry turned quickly, wand raised.
"What are you doing here?" Draco asked, clearly surprised. He gripped his own wand tightly, but kept it lowered.
"Why are you here?" Harry demanded.
"This is my home!" Draco said, scowling. "And you're trespassing. Get out."
"The Ministry took the Malfoy estate years ago," Harry informed him.
Draco's eyes narrowed. Harry could tell he was seething with anger, though Draco was trying to keep his composure. Draco lifted a hand, and Harry winced slightly; but Draco simply brushed his stringy blond hair away from his face. It had gotten long, Harry noticed.
"Why did you come back?" Harry asked.
"It doesn't matter. Just get out of here before I hex you," Draco threatened. He raised his wand. His hand was shaking, he was so angry. "This is my home. I have every right to be here."
Harry slowly lowered his wand, but kept a tight grip on it, ready to retaliate if Draco really did cast a hex. He took a few steps toward the door.
"Is your mother here too?" Harry asked.
"No," Draco replied stiffly.
Harry briefly wondered if there was a way to get Draco to talk willingly, but nothing came to him. He and Draco had never been on good terms. He'd have to send someone else to the Manor another day. Harry hoped that Draco would stay, and also that he wouldn't discover the spells the Ministry had placed on the Manor. That seemed unlikely, however.
Harry took his leave before either of them did something regrettable.
"I don't know why he's back, Hermione," Harry said.
"Why does it bother you so much? It's been over a week and all he's done, as far as we can tell, is clean the Manor. He hasn't even found our spells yet," Hermione reasoned.
She didn't look up at Harry as she spoke. Lately, she'd been too absorbed in her work. She had three books open around her, a stack of parchment, and a quill poised to write. It reminded Harry of the long hours she'd spent in the Gryffindor common room pouring over her (and his and Ron's) schoolwork.
"You should go out tonight," Harry changed the subject.
"Hmm? Oh, no, I have to finish this," Hermione insisted.
"No, you should go out with Ron and me tonight for Firewhiskey," Harry said. "You've been working too much."
"Well, the Death Eaters messed up all of these record books, and I've still got to revise the law books with the changes that were passed over the past few days." Hermione glanced up briefly. "You can Ron should have a bit of fun, though. You've been working hard too."
"Aren't there people to help you with this?" Harry asked.
Hermione sighed. "Yes, but there's just so much."
She pulled one of the books closer to her. Harry leaned over and covered the page with his hands.
"Ron and I will be at the Leaky Cauldron at six tonight. Please be there," Harry requested.
Hermione bit her lip, and nodded curtly.
The Leaky Cauldron was busy, and though Harry and Ron chose a table as far from the bar and the general crowd as possible, they were approached often by friends, co-workers, admirers, and people who just wanted to gawk at Harry's scar.
"Mate, we need to find another place to drink," Ron said after the third gawker.
"Yeah," Harry agreed.
Hermione was late, but Ron was clearly happy that she was there at all. He held her hand most of the night and toyed with the engagement ring she wore. Harry was happy for his friends, but at times like this he felt like the third wheel, even if Hermione had been reluctant to come.
"Did you talk to Charlie yet, Harry?" Ron asked suddenly. "He's back at the Burrow for a while. Avail-able."
Harry sighed. "You two don't need to be worrying about my love life. After Oliver, I don't think I'm ready for anything like that, anyway."
Hermione leaned over and whispered something to Ron.
Ron's eyes narrowed. "He's got to get over--"
Hermione jabbed him in the side with her elbow, and Ron lowered his voice so Harry couldn't hear.
While Hermione and Ron held a whispered conversation that Harry was sure consisted of the sad state of his love life and other things he didn't want to hear, he let his attention wander. He gazed lazily around the room, taking in the occupants through the pleasant haze of alcohol.
Staring back at him was Draco Malfoy.
He sat on a stool at the end of the bar and sipped Butterbeer. He looked cleaner, more composed, than when Harry last saw him. His long hair was tied back, and his robes looked expensive, with decorative patterns of an Asian design. He looked like his old, arrogant, sophisticated self.
Harry frowned, then turned back to his friends. "Draco Malfoy is at the bar," he interrupted.
Hermione glanced around subtly, looking for him out of the corner of her eye. Ron, less tactfully, leaned over and scowled in the direction Harry indicated.
"What is he doing here?" Ron asked loudly, just as a waitress set a plate of food on the counter beside Draco.
"Eating dinner," Hermione observed. "He has every right to. Even if he's not exactly liked, Lucius Mal-foy took all the blame for everything his family did during the war. Draco's perfectly free, as long as he's not doing anything illegal or Dark."
She was right, but Harry still didn't like Malfoy's sudden appearance.
"Leave him alone, Harry," Hermione insisted.
Harry didn't think he could do that. He was, once again, rapidly becoming obsessed with Draco Malfoy.
Harry needed an excuse to go back to Malfoy Manor. He was an Auror, an important person in the re-construction of the Ministry after the war, but he didn't have reasonable cause to harass Draco.
Finally, a week later, an opportunity presented itself. Draco walked into the Ministry with the papers required to take possession of his estate once again. Harry shoved himself between Draco and the witch who would normally take care of such matters, and snatched the papers from his hands.
"Potter," Draco greeted with a characteristic sneer.
"Malfoy," Harry responded flatly.
Harry looked over the papers carefully. They were filled in perfectly in neat handwriting that curved to the right. Harry glanced up at Draco, as if none of this were a big deal.
"Everything looks in order," Harry said in his most professional voice. "We'll just have to look through the Manor to make sure it's clean."
"You've already been through my private property," Draco drawled. "I'm sure the Aurors got all of the Dark materials my father collected."
"We need to be sure," Harry insisted.
Draco shrugged. "Fine, but while you're there, you can remove the tracking spells I'm sure Granger created. They're unlike any I've seen before, and you certainly aren't clever enough to do something like that."
Draco walked to the Floo, leaving Harry gaping after him. He turned just after he threw the Floo pow-der, smirked, then disappeared into the green flames.
Malfoy Manor loomed above Harry, a shadow of it's former elegance. He banged on the door with a heavy brass knocker molded into a curled serpent. He wanted to just walk in like last time, but Hermi-one had insisted he act civilly. That meant he should act as a guest instead of an Auror.
Harry reached into his pocket and wrapped a hand around the ball in his pocket. It looked like a remem-brall, but it was enchanted to grow warm in the presence of most Dark magic.
Draco opened the door. His lips were curled into a smirk, and he stood tall. He acted like he owned the Manor already. He wore robes similar to the ones Harry saw him in at the Leaky Cauldron, with his hair tied back in a thin ribbon. Harry tried not to think about how good he looked.
"Potter," Draco greeted once again.
"Malfoy," Harry replied unwaveringly.
Draco led Harry to a sitting room. He took the seat closest to the door, and gestured to a tall-backed chair on the other side of a rounded coffee table. Harry took the seat, almost reluctant. The trinket in his pocket remained cool to the touch.
"The Ministry requires you to drink this," Harry said. From his other pocket, he pulled a small vial of Veritiserum.
"I'm not drinking that," Draco replied, clearly insulted.
"If you don't, we'll have to schedule a hearing with the Wizengammot," Harry replied. "It's a precaution added to the Wizarding laws after the war, to be used when dealing with known former Death Eaters."
Draco's fingers moved unconsciously toward his left arm. He scowled. "I don't trust you, Potter."
"I don't trust you either," Harry replied. "None of us do. You just show up here after you and your mother disappeared years ago--"
"This is my home!" Draco interrupted.
"Then in order to keep it, you won't mind answering a few questions," Harry replied, holding out the small vial. He tried to keep his voice even, but his frustration showed through.
Draco reached out to grab the vial, and downed the Veritiserum. He handed the vial back with a sneer.
"Where is your mother?" Harry asked.
"Away," Draco replied.
"Give me a specific place," Harry requested.
He could tell Draco was struggling against the effects of the potion. "Beijing."
"China?" Harry frowned.
"Yes, Potter." Draco's gaze was intense with hatred. "She's safe there, and she's made friends in the Chi-nese Wizarding community."
"Safe?" Harry repeated.
"From the Ministry and gits like you," Draco clarified.
"Were you with her?" Harry asked.
"Until recently, yes." Draco sat back in his seat and crossed his legs comfortably.
"Why did you leave?" Harry leaned forward.
"I… wanted to see… to get away," Draco replied evasively.
"Why?" Possibilities ran through Harry's mind. Maybe he did something illegal. Maybe the Chinese Wizarding community found out about his Death Eater activity. Maybe…
"I needed a change after--" Draco stopped short and pressed his lips together, struggling against the Veritiserum once again.
"After what?" Harry asked.
"After I broke up with Jiang," Draco replied. He slipped into a Chinese accent so Harry didn't quite catch what he said, and he was forced to repeat the answer.
"You had a girlfriend there," Harry clarified.
"No. I had a boyfriend." Draco looked away.
Harry blinked at him a few times. Had he heard that right? "Oh."
"We broke up, and I didn't want to hang around. I figured it was about time I came back here, anyway. Pick up old friendships, whatever," Draco explained in a strained voice.
"Whatever," Harry repeated. "What does that mean?"
Draco seemed more vulnerable than Harry had ever seen him. "For... Pansy, mostly. Which isn't any of your business."
"Um, right. Well, now I just have to check the Manor once more for Dark magic and materials," Harry said, trying to remain professional.
"I know the Ministry has been through this house already," Draco replied. He was sneering again, and looking directly at Harry once more.
"Er, well. Yes, but…" Harry decided suddenly he didn't want to be there anymore. He felt rather un-comfortable under Draco's gaze. "Do you know of, or have reason to believe there are any Dark spells or objects in or around this Manor?"
"No," Draco replied confidently.
"Right. That's all then," Harry said.
He left quickly, Draco slamming the door behind him.
"He's a ponce!" Harry declared loudly. "All this time he's just been fucking some guy in China."
"Who?" Hermione asked distractedly.
"Malfoy," Harry replied.
To his surprise, Hermione laughed. "At least we don't have reason to think he's dangerous. Did he tell you where Narcissa is?"
"China," Harry replied.
"And the house is clean?" Hermione asked.
"Yes. Er." Harry paused. "I didn't detect anything, and he said it was, anyway. And the Veritiserum worked."
"Good." Hermione pulled a small stack of papers toward her, and with slight flourish, signed her name. "Bring this to Kingsley. Since the Malfoys have a history with Dark Magic, he'll have to sign it as well."
"I'm not an owl," Harry said.
Hermione looked up sharply. "Just think of it as finishing the Malfoy job."
Harry could tell she was stressed. Not wanting to irritate her further, he took the deeds to the Manor and left Hermione's office.
Harry didn't have to bring the deeds to Draco, but he volunteered. For some inexplicable reason, he wanted to see the git again.
Draco answered on the third knock, and Harry stammered a greeting. Draco raised an eyebrow. Harry felt like he was being quietly criticized.
Slowly, he held out the papers. Draco took them between his thin, pale fingers. Everything about him seemed delicate and aristocratic. Harry allowed his eyes to follow the curve of Draco's neck, the ponytail that rested over one shoulder, the arch of his body.
"Potter," Draco interrupted him.
Harry stiffened. This was Malfoy. Just because he was gay didn't mean Harry should be attracted to him.
"Malfoy," Harry replied.
He shifted his gaze back to Draco's face. Draco's lips were curled into a smirk.
"The house is yours again. I won't bother you anymore." Harry turned quickly to leave.
"Wait!" Draco said.
Harry considered ignoring him, but he turned.
"Remove the tracking spells from my home," Draco drawled.
Harry stiffened. In his haste to get away the last time he was there, he'd forgotten to do that.
"Er. Sorry," he said, even though he wasn't.
Harry waved his wand and recited the complicated latin words Hermione had taught him. He he walked slowly through the house, pulling at the magic the Ministry had placed there.
When he was finished he moved quickly to the door, where Draco was still waiting. In his haste, he bumped into the git. He smelled like warm, foreign spices, Harry noticed. He muttered an apology and left.
"Thank you," Draco called to his retreating form.
"He thanked me," Harry said.
Ron shook his head. "You're lying."
"No." Harry took a long swig of his Firewhiskey. "There's something different about Malfoy. He drank the Veritiserum. He thanked me. He acts almost civil."
"Well, it's about time the two of you grow up," Hermione replied. "It's been years. Maybe the two of you should make peace."
Like usual, it had taken much convincing on Harry and Ron's part to get Hermione to join them at the Leaky Cauldron, but she had shown up. It wasn't as much fun as Harry hoped, however. Ron and Hermione both smiled every time their eyes met. The mouthed sappy words across the table when they thought Harry wasn't paying attention. It was romantic and quite nauseating.
"Both of us?" Harry repeated.
"Yes. You've been unpleasant since he returned. It's like you're still stuck in sixth year," Hermione ob-served.
Harry opened his mouth to reply, but was interrupted by a short witch with dark hair and a familiar pug nose.
"Harry Potter." Her gaze lingered on Harry's scar, but her greeting didn't hold the usual affection or awe with which people usually greeted Harry.
"Er, yes," Harry replied. He shook his head slightly, trying to get his fringe to obscure his scar. "Pansy Parkinson?"
She nodded. "Leave Draco alone."
"You heard me, Potter. He doesn't need you. Leave him alone," she said in a threatening tone.
Hermione started to reply, but Pansy walked away.
Harry was confused. It seemed that each time he thought he had Malfoy figured out, something new was presented. "Why would Malfoy need me?"
"Mate, we really need to find a new place to drink," Ron said, then took a swig of his Firewhiskey.
Harry fully intended to leave Draco alone, not because Pansy Parkinson requested it, but because Hermione was right. It felt like they were in sixth year at Hogwarts again. It brought back many un-pleasant memories.
Draco, however, seemed to have other plans. Several days after the encounter with Pansy, he showed up at the Auror's offices, demanding to see Harry. Reluctantly, Harry met him.
"Don't listen to anything Pansy tells you! She lies," he said in a voice too loud for the cramped office.
"Er, all she said was to stay away from you," Harry replied. "And honestly, she doesn't have anything to worry about. I have no intention of…"
"You're a git," Draco replied, and stormed out of the office.
Harry stared after him, for a moment, confused. On impulse, he ran after Draco.
"Wait!" Harry called just before Draco got on the lift.
Draco turned. "I drank Veritiserum for you. I put up with the Ministry. I allowed you in my Manor. I came back from China hoping…" Draco trailed off. Harry was more confused than ever.
"Hoping what?" Harry took a step toward Draco.
"The reason I left in the first place was to get away from you," Draco admitted.
This wasn't what Harry expected him to say at all, and he was unable to reply.
Draco didn't quite look Harry in the eye as he spoke. "We've always had this connection, and I… liked you. In a way that I didn't want to. You were the hero, I was a Death Eater. It couldn't…" he took a deep breath. "I thought by leaving, it would stop, but it didn't."
"Oh. Er. I thought you hated me," Harry replied slowly.
"I… apologize if I acted rude or… fuck. Potter, I don't even know if this could work," Draco admitted.
Maybe Hermione was right. It was time they grew up. Harry glanced at Draco, with his delicate fea-tures, hair that would be perfect to run his fingers through, and elegant robes. He was attractive in a way most of the other men Harry had dated weren't.
"We could get dinner tonight," Harry suggested.
"I have a date with Pansy... I mean, not a date, but... Merlin. She's my best friend," Draco tried to ex-plain.
"I'm free tomorrow night too," Harry said.
"It's a date," Draco replied. He smiled. Harry thought it was the first time he'd ever seen Draco smile without smirking.
Before Draco got on the lift, he paused. "And just for the record, Potter, I could've resisted the effects of the Veritiserum. I was having trouble with it because I didn't want to scare you off."
The smirk was back, but Harry decided he liked that.
"You don't scare me, Malfoy!" Harry replied, smiling as well.