Title: The Things You Do and The Things You Don’t Say
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Lucius/Narcisa, Ron/Hermione.
Summary: It’s confusing and it’s wrong, but it may be worth all the inconvenience. Maybe.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): A little violence but that’s it.
Deathly Hallows compliant? Compliant as far as the last chapter goes = EWE.
Word Count: ~ 3.370
Author's Notes: jairissa prompts were: wet sex, cameo by loving Lucius and Narcissa, return to Hogwarts for 7th year. I hope you like what I’ve done with it, and that you have wonderful holidays! Thanks to the mods and MP, both for being patient and one for the hand-holding. Any mistakes left are my own.
My letter might not come as a surprise to you, considering mine and my family’s position nowadays on the Wizarding society. I am, however, not a proud woman when in interest of my son, Draco.
He is a boy, Harry Potter, much like you. He has dreams and he has a whole life ahead of him. I have heard, more times than I would have asked for, how your relationship with him is one based on mutual dislike and fierce competition, but I ask of you: would you let someone with your age, someone whose faults were not his own but mine and Lucius’, someone who might regret forever the things he had to go through and do for his family, suffer a penalty so harsh as life-imprisonment? Can you do as such?
Draco once told me you had the loyalty characteristic of a Hufflepuff. Are you as loyal to your debts as you seem to be to your friends? I will not fool myself, Harry Potter, into thinking you, out of some noble feeling, will help my son as would his own mother. I am not the one in the right position to do so. Still, I was a Slytherin and I’ll stop at nothing to ensure my son’s well being – he has always been the most important thing above all else. And, however much you may decide to not acknowledge it, I saved your life - now, you’ll save my son’s.
His trial will be two weeks from today. I could not bear to see my child doomed to a fate such as the one the Wizengamot wants to inflict on him. Surely you can relate to how far a mother can go for the safety of her child.
Malfoy was looking sour as Dawlish led him out of Courtroom Three. Harry could see the Auror’s fingers digging onto Malfoy’s upper arm and that the Slytherin was stumbling as he tried to keep up with Dawlish’s brisk stride.
Seeing Malfoy in such a situation, put on his rightful place… it satisfied the eleven year old in Harry.
“Here,” Dawlish spat in Malfoy’s direction, “you’re to stay here until your guardian comes to pick you up.”
Malfoy scowled but otherwise kept quiet as Dawlish ended the Incarcerous spell. In the low light of the hall, Harry could see dark circles under Malfoy’s eyes and the grey tinge to his skin. The clothes he wore, clearly the ones he’d had when arrested, were hanging off shoulders that looked like they had no more than flesh. His face was dirty, smudged with dust and oily, while his hair looked thin and waxy as it reached past his neck.
He started rubbing his wrist as soon as Dawlish re-entered the courtroom and a tired expression replaced the scowl.
Harry stepped out of the Invisibility Cloak and cleared his throat. As soon as Malfoy’s eyes connected with his and narrowed in suspicion, Harry knew. Malfoy won’t make it easy on either of us.
“Let me guess. You’re my appointed guardian.”
Harry nodded. It was such a stupid title, and he’d rather not be anything of Malfoy’s, but Kingsley had decreed that the Death Eaters’ children were to be placed under guardianship of the Vouched Folk and observed for a three-year period to prevent them from going back to the ways of their parents. Hermione approved immensely of the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement’s proposal, consisting of entrusting the responsibility for the youngster’s well-being to those who could assist the children. It was unusual for someone as old and dangerous as Malfoy to be placed in the household of someone as young as Harry, but it had not been hard to get it assigned. One of the quirks of being the Wizard Who Won.
“It’d be wiser if we reached the Floos before rush hour, Malfoy,” since people really won’t like seeing you getting off Azkaban, Harry frowned as he bundled up the cloak and put it inside Hermione’s burrowed rucksack. He felt weird enough already helping Malfoy, he didn’t want to start empathizing with the prat. “We’re going to Grimmauld Place.”
As he walked towards the elevators, he could hear Malfoy’s leaden steps echoing off the walls.
“I’m not going,” Malfoy stamped out of the drawing room in rage, only to come back not five seconds after to snatch up one of the sinister-looking boxes he’d extracted from the cabinet.
Harry took two long, harsh breaths in and went up the stairs after Malfoy. He heard a door being banged, and Harry’s annoyance reached a new level. Upon Malfoy’s bedroom door stood a magical sign which read PISS OFF.
Harry pounded on the door. I’m going to throttle that brat.
“Malfoy! Open this door at once! You’re in my house, and I’m your guardian, and I’m saying open. This. Fucking. Door. Now.”
He gritted his teeth as Malfoy’s muffled voice said, “And you’re not my bloody parent! Come off it, Potter. Stop ordering me around as if I were a child!”
“You’re my responsibility, and you’re acting like a bratty child. I’m treating you just as such.”
Malfoy wrenched his door open. “Where do you get off, Potter?” His eyes narrowed. “I never asked you to testify in my favor, or take me in, or, or, force me into going back to Hogwarts! I don’t want to! I’m fine here.”
It was the same discussion they’d had before. Even when the school was being reconstructed and the staff needing any help from all the students, Malfoy still refused to go there. Harry could relate, sure. The stupid bastard had been the seed that led to the horrible year following Dumbledore’s death and Hogwarts’ demise. He’d been the one who got the Death Eaters in, the one to put everyone in mortal peril, the one who brought on all the changes to Harry’s unattended Seventh Year. No one had forgotten it. And it was what that git deserved for all the things he’d done during the war, it was his penance.
Harry balled his fists. Malfoy looked like a child – his pink cheeks made his face seem younger, his rumpled hair and stance were those of a kid’s tantrum – no one was going to harm the little coward. He was being stupid.
“Your mother asked me to help you,” Harry revealed with relish. “She sent me a letter. She asked – no, she pleaded me to help her baby boy. It was quite pathetic-”
Malfoy threw a punch towards his left cheek and Harry ducked, but not in time for it to not catch on his jaw. Even though it hadn’t been a direct hit, it had strength behind it to make him stumble back. In the low light coming from Malfoy’s room, Harry could see his eyes shining and his mouth form a thin, hard line.
“You’re pathetic, Potter,” he said before banging the door closed again.
Harry walked to his own room, the one he’d once shared with Ron, and threw his own door on its hinges in anger.
It was in Malfoy’s best interests that he go back to school. That was one of the terms of his probation. There was really no reason to be so obnoxious about it! He couldn’t spend the rest of his days fiddling with the many Dark Magic items found throughout the house, or searching for ways to get rid of the upstairs toilet’s ghoul and the Boggart and the doxies in the drawing room, or getting Kreacher to replace the carpets and the peeling wallpapers. Hermione had said that that was a way of coping, something that Malfoy was probably using to block his own feelings and thoughts. It might have some merit if Malfoy hadn’t returned to being his hateful younger self the day Harry brought him to Grimmauld Place.
“What, now?” Harry snapped as he slumped over the bed.
“I’ll go,” he started in a subdued voice, barely audible through the think wood door. “I’ll go, but you have to get my mother out, too.”
Damn it! Harry muffled his groan with his hands. Mothers were a weakness of his… bugger!
“Pass over the sausages, Harry,” Ron demanded after swallowing the bite he’d shoveled in.
Hermione cut an even slice of lettuce and added a piece of sausage to her fork and primly bit onto it. “I think it’s quite stupid, you know,” she declared lightly, as her eyes focused somewhere behind Harry’s head.
“Wha’?” Ron glanced at her by his side, once he’d gulped down a healthy dose of pumpkin juice.
“What people are doing to Malfoy. You know.” Her tone dropped down as she specified: “The whispers and the looks, not to mention the pranks, hexes and name-calling.”
“Hermione, really!” Ron straightened up with a groan. “Did you have to mention ferret-face now? You’re putting me off my food.”
“Sorry,” she said insincerely. “But I really do think so! It’s not like he was a little delicate flower before –” her gesture clear: Voldemort, the war, the deaths - “but this is getting out of hand, Ron! Did you know Sprout had to send him twice this week to the Infirmary because he came to class with a bleeding nose and a blackening eye? I heard he’s been sleeping there for the past week. And term only started three weeks ago.”
Harry frowned. “Where did you hear this? He hasn’t mentioned it to me before.”
“Well. Well.” Hermione huffed. “It’s not a secret, Harry, for pity’s sake. It’s all over the school, and if you’d bothered to just look at him –”
“Yeah, mate,” said Ron, taking sides now that he was getting some. “People aren’t being exactly careful with it… all you have to do is see his long face as he walks by.” He shrugged, as Harry turned half-way around and watched Malfoy for a few seconds.
So Malfoy spends his meal being ignored by his classmates, and some people are getting a little back at him, and, and. Harry turned back. He looks sick.
“I’ve been busy,” Harry excused himself.
He had Ginny to deal with. The girl he’d loved and wanted. He looked over at her, talking excitedly to two other girls Harry recognized from being in her Year. Her cheeks were flushed as she did one of her impressions, her mime smooth as she enacted the scene.
I wanted that.
But he didn’t know what he wanted now.
“Busy, but not blind,” said Hermione, her voice taking on a disapproving note. “Anyhow. I’ve decided to do something about it.”
Comprehension not a moment later dawned on both Harry and Ron, as both boys took on twin appalled expressions and Hermione’s eyes were filled with glee and determination.
It was going to be S.P.E.W. all over again.
Not one week had gone by before Hermione had Ron doing the dirty work, too.
She’d tried to get Harry into it, but he’d been very objective on the subject: “If Malfoy isn’t approaching me, it means he’s quite fine on his own.”
It wasn’t a question of vindictiveness. It was… retribution. Malfoy could’ve perfectly done his repentance and redeeming act before going to Voldemort and opening Hogwarts to the Death Eaters. There had been ways to protect the Malfoy family and the little worm wouldn’t have had to do more than open his big mouth. This time for a just cause, even.
He had tried to explain this to both Ron and Hermione. It had not gone well. Ron, ever since starting to escort Malfoy to and from classes they shared together, had been sensitive about the subject, and Hermione had become a lot more sympathetic with the whole Malfoy situation. They had tried to put it across to Harry, which had then led to an argument – an argument! Over Malfoy, no less! The row had ended with Ron’s ringing exclamation of ‘You don’t know what it’s like, Harry! When Fred died, I thought – I would have given anything to bring my brother back. He was a prat, and annoying most of the times, and I still would’ve done it! You don’t choose your family, Harry. You can choose friends, and girlfriends, and jobs, but you don’t get to choose the ones you grow to love.’
That still didn’t justify any of Malfoy’s actions!
So Harry had decided to approach Malfoy, to see how he’d twisted things just so for even Ron to believe it. He’d gone after Malfoy when the boy didn’t come up for supper for the sixth time in two weeks to find him in Myrtle’s bathroom. He’d had to check the Marauder’s map twice (Malfoy’s dot was alone) before venturing inside.
Malfoy was standing with his back to the door, his hands clutching either side of the sink, his white-blond head bowed.
This time he wasn’t crying.
He snorted. “Sometimes I wish,” he started without looking up.
Harry’s hands felt clammy as dread settled over his belly. This didn’t feel right. This place wasn’t right. This conversation felt wrong.
“What?” He breathed evenly, aware of Malfoy’s tense shoulders, of his hard grip, of the fringe that shuttered his face to the mirror.
“Sometimes I wish you had done it.”
Malfoy’s head moved a fraction to the side. “Do you care?”
“No.” But Harry didn’t have to think hard to say, “But your mother does. And so are Ron and Hermione starting to.” Harry could see that too, clear as the first signs of their own life-long friendship. And he took the few steps that brought him closer to Malfoy. “And I’ve seen the way some of the Slytherins look at you.” He had. Harry had watched as nearly everyday Pansy Parkison, Daphne Greengrass and even Goyle tried to make eye-contact, tried to break into the wall Malfoy had established in the air around himself, the unmovable, dead fortress he’s shut himself in. He grasped Malfoy’s left shoulder. “You don’t have to act so miserable.”
Malfoy turned and shoved Harry, a sneer twisting his lips. He was white-faced except for the two bright spots of pink on his cheeks. “I’m not acting.”
Harry shoved him back. “Then stop being,” he shouted. “Stop taking what everyone’s throwing at you like, like some, some poor girl on a spot of danger waiting to be rescued. You’re Malfoy.” Harry shoved him again. “You’re vicious. You’re a coward but you’ll snap and bite and crush anyone who calls you one!” Harry pushed him again. Hard. Harder. Until Malfoy’s back hit the wall and his eyes reflected murder at Harry.
“That’s right,” said Malfoy with obnoxious glee and his eyes narrowed into two slits of grey.
When Malfoy lunged at Harry, it wasn’t exactly unexpected.
It was somewhat revigorating to have this back, Harry found.
When Ron and Hermione came toppling through the bathroom door to discover Malfoy and Harry on top of him, both wet from a burst pipe – Harry had knocked onto it earlier on the brawl – trying to bite each other’s tongue out, they took it the wrong way.
Hermione excused herself, and pulled an uncooperative Ron with her, as Malfoy’s head thumped on the floor.
And Harry stared at him. Stared at the wet locks drifting around Malfoy’s face, darker now that it was drenched, stared at the red mark near Malfoy’s right eyes, stared at the blood that’d pooled on the corner of Malfoy’s mouth. Malfoy’s lips, pink, swollen and so very thin. So easily shaped into horrible expressions.
As that same mouth moved to spill what was probably something nasty and vitriol and inexcusable, Harry covered it with his own, and had a surprising epiphany.
Maybe you can’t even choose the ones you want. Maybe it’s not a question of choosing. Maybe it’s one of finding and being found.
As he pressed down his body harder and let his hands clutch a thin shoulder and a handful of blond hair, he chucked that thought to the back of his mind. He concentrated on deepening the clash of his and Malfoy’s mouths, tasting blood, fight and victory.
His and Malfoy’s. The blood and the fight and the victory, it was all theirs. And it tasted good.
Lucius, great disappointment of my life.
How is the incredible buffoon that impregnated me passing his days? I sincerely hope that in Azkaban time goes boringly slow and that no distractions have caught your wayward attention. I do know your old tricks, you sad excuse for a gentleman, and all this talk of Aurors patrolling the area around the prison makes me wonder about any fancy skirt you might go after. (If you go for one around Draco’s age, painful hexes might find the path to your cell. Which would be sad, really.)
Andromeda’s house is as eventful as our grounds were when Draco was away, although Andy’s grandson provides a little amusement from time to time. And worry not – as far as the eye can see, he gets Nymphadora’s (what a terrible choice of name, by Merlin! I did not need to be reminded of Andy’s passion for those unseemly heroines from those horrible books she used to read, Lucius. You do remember how embarrassing it was, don’t you?) traits, at least physically. Teddy (such a common name, Lucius! I wonder, will this family end its line with names like Angie or Brad or, Merlin helps us all, Tony? I shudder to think of it) has Lupin’s eyes, though his hair changes according to his mood. Now it is blond, and yes, I am on Andy’s grounds, under a shade, with the werewolf’s offspring by my left. Shut it. He reminds me of our Draco sometimes, especially with the hair color he has now.
Talking about him, how did you take the news of his consorting with the Potter boy? You did not throw a fit, did you? Not without me around to chuckle at your antics, I hope not! He seems okay, though. Even though his exuberant days are gone, I still glimpse traces of our little boy once or twice, Lucius. It’s an odd feeling, I’ll tell you, to look at Draco and see him all grown-up (it’s not making me feel my age, you old goat). It gives me hope.
Also, Potter tells me he’s negotiated a few privileges for you. Why did I not hear of this from you? It’s clear he did it for Draco so you should be proud that at least our son’s manipulative streak (which comes from “moi”) is still very much in effective. And if by privileges he meant salacious brunettes, I might have to castrate you and Potter both. I should probably torture you ahead with thoughts of Draco doing “the nasty” in case you’ve started courting Azkaban’s female staff. But I won’t because I always play the good Auror, see?
If you do not keep up as you grow older, I’m not lowering my standards. There’s this fine specimen that lives near Grimmauld Place, named Jensen and around thirty years old, that I tried to persuade our son into seducing and, as you can imagine, Draco had a spectacular fit over it and almost said he is in love with the Man With Nine Lives. Anyhow, I gathered Jensen would rather go for the pretty blond’s even prettier mother, so there: slip on your ways, and you’re sleeping away (shush, I know you love my sharp wit) – I’ll finally have someone who doesn’t hog all the covers.
I expect your response sooner rather than later, remember.