Title: Of Malfoy Possessions
Summary: Harry Potter has natural immunity against Imperius, love potions and Veela allure. Draco Malfoy is the media darling.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Hints of back stories. Yes, they can be annoying.
Word Count: 2833-ish
Author's Notes: My attempt at creature!Draco evolved into this; I hope you derive some enjoyment from it. My humble apologies for the lingering imperfections and psychosis.
“If it’s just a routine inspection, why are you sending me of all people?”
Harry Potter did not have an inflated sense of self-worth, thank you very much. He was also most definitely not sulking in front of his boss.
Kingsley Shacklebolt failed to bat an eyelid in the face of Harry’s peevishness. “I understand that you may be having some trouble with your case load—”
And that was a low blow if he ever heard of one. Just last week he was complaining that none of his cases were challenging enough for an Auror with his qualifications. When Kingsley summoned him this morning, he had thought he would be given a lead to an interesting case. Any case would have been infinitely more fascinating and less aggravating than this.
“—but surely you can take some time off your busy schedule to make sure that Malfoy is not violating the terms of his house arrest.” Kingsley said impassively.
“I can’t believe that Lucius Malfoy is still giving you trouble after all these years,” Harry groused. “Last I heard he was half-insane from Azkaban. Not that I ever bought that act for one second.”
Kingsley smoothly interrupted before Harry went into one of his pet rants against incompetent Mediwizards and corrupt Ministry officials. “Lucius Malfoy is not the problem here.”
Harry shut his mouth with an audible clack as the implications of that sentence ran through his mind.
Narcissa Malfoy had fallen under the wand of her own sister when she refused to divulge her son’s location. After Voldemort’s death some years later, Draco Malfoy was back in England—having earned a Ministry pardon in return of his contribution to the rebuilding efforts. Mere months afterward, Lucius Malfoy’s case was reopened and his sentence reduced to a lifetime of house arrest.
“What has Draco Malfoy done now? Build another Narcissa Malfoy Center for War-Ravaged Families? At the rate Malfoy’s going, next thing we know Narcissa would be awarded a posthumous Order of Merlin for begetting such a selfless, philanthropic personage.”
Harry was not bitter. Really.
Kingsley raised an eyebrow and otherwise politely ignored Harry’s ravings. “The terms of Lucius’ house arrest necessitate a monthly inspection of Malfoy Manor by an impartial Auror.”
And somehow the term ‘impartial’ translated to having Hufflepuffs as the routine inspectors, Harry’s mind supplied cynically.
“Regrettably, upon reviewing the latest inspection reports, I could no longer deem these two Aurors impartial.” Kingsley flipped the blue folder on his desk open.
“One wrote, ‘The Death Eater spawn is planning to abduct my pet Kneazle for ritual bloody sacrifices under the moonlight, I just knew it!’”
Harry coughed at Kingsley’s attempt at voices. He sounded more like an outraged House-elf than a paranoid Auror.
“And the other Auror wrote, ‘I could not fathom how such rapturous beauty could spring forth from the loins of the cruel, callous Lucius Malfoy.’”
Kingsley mercifully desisted from his high-pitched impression of a lovestruck teenager. Tapping once at the line he just read, he looked up at Harry expectantly.
Ruffling the hair at his nape, Harry valiantly schooled his expression. “Well, I’ve always said that Finch-Fletchley is too paranoid for his own good…”
“The one with the ‘precious pet Kneazle’ was Miss Clearbrooks.”
“Mr. Finch-Fletchley was the one who wrote—” Kingsley consulted the file in front of him. “‘Those glorious grey orbs are dimmed with melancholy today.’ And, ‘How I wish to hear my given name uttered with even the faintest glimmer of affection by those pink, perfect lips.’”
Harry blinked some more. He felt his face turning an unattractive shade of puce. “Wait—Malfoy, grey eyes, what? Finch-Fletchley is gay?”
“Mr. Potter, sexual orientation is not the issue here.” Closing the folder, Kingsley gave Harry a disapproving look. “What concerns me is that two otherwise competent Aurors submitted such alarmingly distorted reports—no doubt affected by whatever they encountered in Malfoy Manor.”
“I am of course aware of your volatile obsession toward Mr. Malfoy during your school years—” Harry opened his mouth to protest, but Kingsley trudged onward. “However, you alone among the Aurors have displayed natural immunity against emotion-altering influences such as Imperius, love potions and Veela allure,” Kingsley recited matter-of-factly.
“I, that is—” Harry spluttered around for an excuse to avoid the inevitable.
“The checklist and standard procedure for the inspection is on your desk. The forms need to be signed in triplicate. Have a good day, Mr. Potter.”
It was another grey day at Malfoy Manor.
Draco Malfoy sipped his morning tea as he read The Daily Prophet’s front page.
A new St. Mungo’s wing for children and youth with debilitating illnesses is made possible by the generous donation from our esteemed Malfoy scion. Draco Malfoy, 18, looked dashing in his fashionable blue robes as he gave a heartfelt speech at the Ministry Charity Ball last night.
Draco snorted. These reporters just kept getting his age younger and younger. He wondered if he had overplayed his “I was an ignorant child afraid for the lives of my parents” card. Ah, here it is.
It is no wonder that the Malfoy heir is such a champion for war orphans. Young Draco had firsthand experience of the cruelties of the Second War. His passage to safety was bought with his mother’s life, thus rendering him an orphan at the tender age of fourteen.
Mouth set in a grim line, Draco placed the paper face down on the breakfast table.
“Draco, what’s wrong?”
He looked up at his father’s question. The voice had the right tone of nonchalant concern, but the expression was all wrong.
Giving Lucius a calm smile, he answered, “Nothing, Father. The Minister is making a fool of himself, as usual.”
Lucius did not seem to hear or even see him. He looked helpless as he said in a halting voice, “Don’t cry, Draco, you’re six years old now.” And, quietly to himself, “Where is Narcissa when I need her?”
Biting his lower lip, Draco said, “I am not crying, Father. I’m an adult now.” Placing a hand on his father’s thin arm, he continued, “And Mother, she—she’s visiting the Parkinsons for tea.”
Distantly, he wondered if his father would’ve been happier without the reminder of his son and his absent wife.
“Young Master Malfoy is ready to meet Harry Potter in the drawing room, Sir.”
Harry swiveled quickly from his contemplation of the enchanted candelabra and almost dropped his case notes.
The Malfoy house-elf waited patiently while Harry cursed and made a grab at the fluttering parchments.
“If Sir can please come this way.” And avoid tripping over Sir’s own feet, Harry added wryly in his mind.
Harry was surprised at how understated the Manor decorations were. Somehow he had always pictured Malfoy living in the lap of luxury, with an army of house-elves at his beck and call. He wondered how many properties Malfoy had to sell to make those massive contributions to various Ministry charities.
“Harry Potter. What a pleasant surprise.” Malfoy’s greeting, strangely enough, did not sound sarcastic. He sounded curious and, if Harry didn’t know any better, pleased.
Harry cleared his throat. “Malfoy. Long time no see, and all that. How have you been?”
Malfoy looked bemused. “I know that you’ve been somewhat of a recluse, Potter, but surely you don’t expect me to believe that you’ve never picked a copy of the Daily Prophet these past two years?”
Harry vaguely wanted to smash in Malfoy’s nose—just on principle, mind. Malfoy’s features no longer looked as pointy as they were in his school years. His white blond hair looked soft in the afternoon light. Normal level of aggression. And I have no desire to compare his hair with cornsilk or waterfall in the winter. Right, then.
Standing up straighter, he threw Malfoy a half-hearted glare.
“I was being polite and making small talk; not that you’d appreciate it, Mr. My-family-never- followed-You-Know-Who-It-was-all-a-terri
If possible, Malfoy just seemed amused by Harry’s come-back.
“Oh I appreciate it, all right. Not as much as I appreciate your stubborn refusal to attend Ministry events though,” Malfoy said, eyes glittering above a wide smile. “With you out of the competition, it was considerably easier for me to become the media darling.”
Harry grumbled, “I was never ‘the media darling,’ and you know it.”
When he noticed grey eyes glimmering with amusement, Harry decided to cut to the chase before he pull a Finch-Fletchley and start rhapsodizing about “moonlight trapped between luscious, long lashes” or such rot.
“Let’s get down to business, Malfoy.”
“I thought the next thing on schedule is to reminisce our Hogwarts years over tea,” Malfoy said with mock innocent eyes.
Seriously, how did Finch-Fletchley fall for this?
“Is that how Finch-Flethchley fall into your clutches? Verbal foreplay over blueberry scones and jam?”
Malfoy scrunched up his nose in distaste. Harry heroically did not find it cute.
“Potter, if I’m ever desperate enough to proposition a Hufflepuff, I would pick—” He paused to consider. “Smith is not unattractive, but that would involve a bondage threesome with Millicent, so that’s out of the question. There’s that Diggory, I suppose.” Malfoy tapped his lower lip as if he was seriously considering necrophilia. “Hmm…”
Harry took it all back. If Malfoy could smile at the thought of doing the dirty with unsuspecting Hufflepuff corpses, then he was surely not above sacrificing pet Kneazles to appease the vengeful spirits. Or something.
“Malfoy!” He barked out. “What have you done to Clearwater’s pet Kneazle?”
Malfoy looked at Harry as if he was the insane one.
“You mean Auror Clearbrooks? I didn’t know you Aurors also defend the rights of furry animals with sharp claws.”
Inexplicably blushing, Harry said, “Never mind the Kneazles. I’m here for the monthly inspection because Finch-Fletchley had irrevocably fallen for your charms and Clearbrooks is convinced that you regularly sacrifice small, defenseless animals.”
Malfoy did not make any jab regarding the sanity of members of the Auror department. He merely walked to the tall doors of the drawing room and nodded once at Harry.
“Follow me, Potter.”
It was a surreal afternoon for Draco Malfoy.
Earlier at breakfast, his father had alarmed him when he regressed into a memory from Draco’s childhood. Now, he was leading his archrival through the rooms of his ancestral home as Potter made various notations on his parchments. If one were to look on the bright side, he supposed Potter was more tolerable than Finch-Fletchley, who hung on his every word, or Clearbrooks, whose paranoia rivaled Moody himself.
However, nothing could have prepared him for the way the manor had swiftly taken a shine to Potter. If Potter was going to be a regular visitor, he would have to rethink the snake motif, which was prevalent everywhere. At present, Potter was exchanging greetings with a coy snake carving on the mantelpiece.
The sibilant noises were making his skin prickle under his robes with an unwelcome mixture of arousal and anxiety. He could feel goosebumps rising along his arms and at his nape. The anxiety’s just a conditioned response from the Dark Lord, Draco assured himself. And that scaly mental image was enough to kill any hypothetical arousal that he might have had.
“If you’re quite done flirting with my book-end, Potter, we should move on to the ancestral hall.”
Potter hissed long syllables to the wooden carving, who then flicked its tail at Draco reprovingly.
Draco never liked that book-end. It refused to hold up any book whose title did not begin with the letter “S.”
“Snake said he’s bored here,” Potter said conversationally, falling in step with Draco. “Back where he came from, he at least had Raven and Tarantula for company.”
He had always suspected that Grand Aunt Melliflua frequented dubious thrift stores. Apparently in addition to that, she had the side interest of stealing sentient book-ends from libraries.
“Oh, and Snake said the next time you try to shelf Salacious Scarlet Seductresses on the mantelpiece, he’s going to bite your pointy finger off.”
Draco scoffed loudly. He made a mental note to transfigure the book-end into a flobberworm the next chance he got.
“Malfoy, I think your ancestor just came on to me,” Harry said in faint horrified tones.
Malfoy scoffed for the umpteenth time that day. “Don’t be ridiculous, Potter. The painting was in perfect behaviour—he didn’t even wink at you.”
The black-haired man in the painting gave Harry another slow, sly smile under lowered lashes. Harry valiantly jumped back only half a step.
“Hm. I see why you might interpret that as flirtatious behaviour.” Malfoy rested his chin on his right hand. “Rest assured, Renard had been smiling at me like that for as far as I can remember, and I am quite sure that he was not trying to seduce me while I was in my nappies.”
Personally Harry would not put it past the Malfoys to indulge in incestuous pedophilic activities, but he assured himself that nobody had yet discovered a spell to facilitate intercourse between a painting and a living being.
He glanced away from the curved full lips in the painting to Malfoy’s secretive pink mouth. “You two look nothing alike,” he blurted out.
Malfoy arched an eyebrow. “It’s a foregone conclusion, considering that we’re four centuries apart.”
“Well, it’s just that—all the other paintings either have blond hair or grey eyes or both, whereas this guy has black hair and amber eyes.” Harry gestured at the long row of Malfoy paintings.
“In this case, Potter, you are correct. Renard is not a Malfoy by birth. Renard is not even his real name, actually. The libraries did not have any record on the man before he came to be known as Renard Malfoy.”
Harry could tell that he had stumbled on a much visited mystery; Malfoy’s eyes had turned speculative and his expression had an element of childlike curiosity. He turned and joined Malfoy’s examination of the painting.
“I could vaguely see a resemblance now,” Harry said softly.
Malfoy’s grey eyes gleamed in the candlelight. “Do you?”
Glancing between the now solemn painting and Malfoy, Harry pondered slowly. “Yes…It’s not that you have similar features or coloring or bone structure. No, nothing like that.”
“Then what did you see?” Malfoy’s voice was a low breath in Harry’s ear. And how he managed that while standing a respectable half-meter away, Harry didn’t know.
“Your upturned nose and this certain curve to your—” Harry faltered. Malfoy was looking at him with wide, rapt eyes.
Harry told himself to breathe normally. Malfoy was not about to sprout fangs and savage his neck. Great, I’m experiencing a special combination of Clearbrooks’ blood-drenched paranoia and Finch-Fletchley’s purple-prose lust.
“This certain curve to your lips. Both of you give the same impression of cunning. Sort of like a fox.” Harry smiled tremulously.
Malfoy clearly possessed superior stealth skills, as he was now a mere footstep away without Harry realizing it.
“A fox, Potter? Are you sure?”
And Harry had no business blushing as if Malfoy had just leered and offered him a ride on his broomstick. He hadn’t felt this flustered when he encountered Malfoy’s four-poster bed.
“Because we know that foxes are shy creatures,” Malfoy said in soft, intimate tones. “You wouldn’t call me shy, would you?” If Harry turned his face a fraction of an inch, Malfoy’s lips would brush his cheek. “Harry?”
Harry stiffened at the sound of his name. And just like that, Malfoy had withdrawn and was once again half a meter away and staring at the painting.
“The only rooms that we haven’t covered indoors are Father’s study and my parents’ bedroom,” Malfoy said abruptly. “The previous Aurors didn’t gossip with the furniture, and therefore went through the rooms considerably faster.” His eyes sparkled so Harry knew he was teasing.
“I would invite you to stay for dinner, but Father—” Malfoy looked unsure for a moment. “It would upset him to see a stranger filling the third seat on the table.”
The third seat? Right, Malfoy’s mother.
Feeling awkward on Malfoy’s behalf and still flustered from the almost-something, Harry readily agreed to do the rest of the inspection tomorrow. Hell. How do I explain this breach of protocol to Kingsley?
At dinner, Lucius seemed to be back to his calm self. As if hitting the perfect solution, he told Draco, “We can go to Diagon Alley and buy another pair of Kneazles for you. A more handsome pair.”
Draco shook his head slowly, ruefully remembering the two Kneazles that ran away in his childhood. “I don’t need any pet, Father. We have perfectly beautiful eagle owls at home.”
“Those Kneazles are just a pair of dumb magical beasts,” Lucius said in perfect authority. “They don’t know what a wonderful little Wizard you are.”
Draco gave his father a wan smile and cut his rare steak into tiny little pieces.