Chapter 05

Lucius Malfoy was seething with fury. The house-elves in particular were feeling his wrath. None of them came within a hairs-breadth of Lucius after he had thrown one of them out the window after torturing him to the very brink of death. They weren’t stupid.

How dare Potter turn into a Veela! How inconsiderate and frustrating and downright bloody annoying! His calm composure, of course, showed none of his true emotions. The anger was in his eyes, however, and even Narcissa was avoiding him.

Lucius knew there had to be a way to keep Draco from being hurt by the Potter boy. That was really his only concern. Unlike common assumptions, Lucius Malfoy did indeed care about his son. In actuality, his immediate family was the most important thing to him. The reason Lucius was upset about Harry being a Veela and choosing Draco as a mate wasn’t because he was a Death Eater. Lucius had never been associated with Voldemort-he thought the man was a bloody idiot and if it weren’t for all his supporters, Lucius would have killed him a long time ago. Malfoy senior was concerned about how well his son was holding up. He knew how much the dark-haired wizard’s rejection had hurt Draco in his first year at Hogwarts. Father and son had always been best friends. Malfoy senior had despised the Potter family because of the feud he and James had had during their Hogwarts years, but he wasn’t about to tell his son who he could and could not associate with. Even if Lucius had tried a few times to convince Draco that Harry Potter was no good…he knew that Draco had a thirst for new alliances. So it hadn’t surprised Lucius to learn that his son had offered his friendship to the Potter boy. Malfoy senior wanted to see how his son was coping, so he apparted to Hogsmeade and hired a carriage to take him up to Hogwarts.

“Dumbledore, I need to speak with my son,” Lucius Malfoy stated calmly.

Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled with amusement, knowing perfectly well that Lucius was at Hogwarts because of his son’s change of ‘friends.’ “Lucius, Draco is adjusting to the new situation himself, and according to Mr. Potter, isn’t adjusting well at all. Unless you intend to help him with these adjustments, I’m afraid you’ll have to leave.”

Now Lucius Malfoy wasn’t stupid-he knew a loop when he saw one. He also knew that Dumbledore suspected him of being on Voldemort’s side, but that didn’t concern him overmuch. He had never been a fan of Dumbledore’s to begin with. “That is the exact reason for my visit, Dumbledore. The welfare of my son is always one of my chief concerns.”

The twinkled left Dumbledore’s eyes-he had let himself fall into Malfoy’s little trap. He himself had given the man a way to Draco, a young man the Headmaster was beginning to respect. “Very well, Lucius. You will, however, have to wait until the students have been dismissed from their lessons.”

“Of course, Albus,” Malfoy senior agreed smoothly, gracefully occupying a nearby chair to wait out the half-hour.

Meanwhile in Potions class, Harry and Draco were arguing yet again. For the first time in perhaps all of Hogwarts’ recorded history, they were arguing quietly instead of making a scene. Snape was ignoring them, as he always did when a Slytherin was involved. The source of their argument was Lucius Malfoy, whom, unbeknowst to them, was sitting in the Headmaster’s office.

“When my father comes, you will let me handle him my way,” Draco stated calmly, continuing to chop up the frog legs they needed for the Protection Potion they were brewing.

Harry was shocked at his mate’s calm attitude, knowing that Lucius Malfoy was not an easy man to deal with because of their encounter during Harry’s second year. “Draco, let me come with you when he arrives. That way he won’t be as inclined to hurt you.”

Draco let out a short barking laugh, incredulous. “Is that what you think? My father has never laid a hand on me, and never will. No, I will deal with him myself.”

“Draco, he’s a Death Eater!” Harry protested.

“Potter, I am well aware of my father’s political affiliations-which you are not. They have nothing to do with this particular situation.”

“How can you say that? That type of political “affiliations” makes him unstable!”

Draco glared at him and Harry squirmed. He knew angering his mate wasn’t a good idea and that he himself would apologize for days after the argument ended.

“Potter, are you trying to tell me my father-my own flesh and blood-is insane?”

Harry was uncomfortably silent. He knew crossing that line wasn’t an option. Harry did not want his mate irrevocably angry at him. “No,” he choked out in a whisper.

Draco relaxed a tiny bit, accepting the answer as the apology it was. “I’ll deal with my father alone. He won’t hurt me.”

Harry just nodded, accepting the defeat as gracefully as he possibly could, but still worried about Draco’s safety. A blue sheen encased Draco and Harry relaxed. The color of calm was much better than the red cloud of anger that Harry had placed around his mate by being so suffocatingly concerned about his welfare.

Lucius looked at the clock on the wall and smiled. Now, finally, he could talk to his son about Harry Potter.

Lucius entered the Slytherin Common Room, having gleaned the password off of Severus Snape, and called for his son, “Draco!”

Draco appeared almost instanteously and simled imperceptibly at his father.

“Let’s go somewhere more private to talk, Draco,” Malfoy senior suggested.

With a simple nod, Draco agreed, and father and son found their way into Snape’s private office.

“Hello, Father,” Draco grinned.

Lucius smiled fully in return, not one to show emotions except in private. “So, Draco, what’s this I hear about you being Harry Potter’s mate?”

Draco sighed. “Down to business already, Father? Well, it’s true. He is part Veela and he just happened to be drawn to me.”

Lucius nodded slightly, considering Draco’s answer. “How are you coping?”

“Fairly well,” Draco answered with a faint smile. “It’s not that bad, really. Harry has agreed to the ‘just friends’ thing for now and he is a lot less insulting than he used to be. I think it just might turn out well, Father. Though we did have an argument during Potions.”

Lucius was intrigued. What had instigated an argument between the two? If they had still been enemies, it wouldn’t have surprised him in the least, but as friends? “What was the fight about?”

“This visit, actually. He’s pretty convinced that you would actually hurt me, though I have no idea where he picked up that particular misconception. He wanted to accompany me when you stopped by for this visit-I told him no.”

Lucius laughed. He knew how stubborn the Potter boy was. “How’d you get him to agree with you?”

Draco smirked, knowing the answer would amused his father. “I asked him if he was implying that you were insane and he hates it when I get angry at him.”

Lucius Malfoy’s mind was working fast, as it always did. Lucius knew that Harry Potter-a Veela and Hecatemus according to Dumbledore-would be a very good political move and a wonderful ally. But how was he supposed to convince the Boy Who Lived that he wasn’t a Death Eater? “Draco,” he began.

“Yes, Father?” the younger Malfoy peered up at him intently. His father’s tone told him quite clearly that the elder Malfoy was planning something.

“Why don’t you go get Mr. Potter wo we can discuss things? Make him more comfortable about my political standings, perhaps?”

Draco grinned, and walked out of the room.

“Password?” the portrait of the Fat Lady asked Draco.

“Er…” What had been that Password that Harry had given him in case of emergencies again? He couldn’t seem to remember it, but he needn’t have worried so much. The Gryffindor Trio emerged from the portrait hole a moment later.

“Malfoy, what are you doing here?” Ron Weasley spat nastily.

Harry sighed and reigned in his friend, shooting a pleading look at Draco, who wasn’t the least bit interested in fighting with Weasley. “Ron, he’s here because he’s allowed to be here. You know that. I told you he was my mate two days ago!”

Ron looked sheepish and Draco grinned-internally. No need to wake a sleeping tiger. Hermione smiled thinly at Draco, who smirked in return.

“Hi, Draco,” Harry greeted him.

“Hi, Harry. My father’s here now.”

Harry’s face darkened with some unreadable emotion at the mention of Lucius Malfoy, but he waited for his mate to finish. Neither one of them wanted a repeat of the argument they had had during Potions, Harry least of all.

“He wants to meet with you,” Draco said, adding, “with me too,” when he became aware of Ron’s angry suspicious glare directed at him.

“How do you know it will be safe, Harry?” Hermione asked. “Lucius is a Death Eater and it could very well be a trap.”

Draco grimaced imperceptibly at the mention at Death Eaters and his father’s supposed affiliation with them, but waited calmly for Harry’s decision.

Harry ignored Hermione and lowered his Hecatemus shields, seeing hope and anxiety in Draco’s aura. There was not an evil something that screamed ‘It’s a trap! We win the war against the light when you walk willingly into it!’ So against Ron and Hermione’s better judgment, Harry nodded.

“But Harry-it could be a trap!” Ron and Hermione protested in unison.

The raven-haired wizard took a leaf from Draco’s book and stated, quite calmly for once, “That’s a risk I’m willing to take. He is my mate and I have to start trusting him sometime. Might as well start now.”

Guilt did not suddenly flood Draco’s aura, but relief did. That told Harry everything he needed to know. There was no trap-Lucius Malfoy genuinely wanted to meet with him.

Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy entered Snape’s private office together, Harry hanging back just in case.

Draco smiled at his father and Lucius understood instanteously. Harry would not be won over without a show of emotion. And Lucius then did the one thing he did with no one except immediate family-he dropped his guard, offering a genuine smile to the two young men.

“Hello, Harry. I’m sure there are some questions you would like to ask me, but first I want to assure you that I am not, and never will be, a Death Eater. Here, see for yourself.” Lucius pulled up the left sleeve of his robe to reveal pale, unmarked skin.

Harry was still slightly suspicious. “There could be a concealment charm cast on your arm and i wouldn’t be able to see the Mark then now would I?”

Lucius sighed. “You’re a Hecatemus, right?”

“Yes, so?”

“So use your Sight to see what I’m telling you is the truth.”

Harry glared and then caught sight of Draco, who was very obviously displeased with his mate.

Trying not to cry with the shame it caused him when he upset his mate, Harry lowered his Hecatemus shields and saw that Lucius was indeed telling the truth.

“I’m sorry, sir. It’s just that ever since second year, when you slipped Tom Riddle’s diary into Ginny Weasley’s cauldron, I’ve been a little concerned.”

Lucius winced openly. “Ah, that incident was purely that-incidental. I thought the book was a standared journal-it didn’t have a name on it when I bought it at a thrift shop. I was honestly trying to make amends with the Weasleys as subtly and as slowly as possible. That situation turned out quite horribly and on top of it all, you freed my house-elf!” At this, the elder Malfoy grinned broadly, explaining exactly why Dobby hadn’t been much of a house-elf, going on about wages all the time.

Harry absorbed all the information, not yet willing to trust the man. Draco sensed his uneasiness and turned an angry glare on him. Harry just barely kept tears out of his eyes. The Veela in him did not appreciate the way Harry kept angering his mate.

“Draco,” Harry said softly.

“What? Have you finished accusing my father yet? Or do you still not believe me?” Draco said hotly.

“Draco! Get a hold of yourself!” Lucius demanded, shocked at his son’s outbreak. The words seemd to calm Draco down, however, and the older man relaxed.

“I’m sorry, Draco. Please forgive me?” Harry was practically on his knees begging.

Draco sneered at him, still upset. “No,” he said, and walked out of the room.

Harry no longer attempted to hold back his tears. They flowed down his face and he let out a shriek of raw emotion that rattled the students and shook the walls with his Hecatemus powers before he got himself back under a semblance of control. He waved a tired goodbye to Lucius and headed to Gryffindor Tower to tell his friends what had happened.

Meanwhile, Draco was huddled on his bed, reading his Potions book and trying not to think about Harry. He doesn’t understand how close me and Father are, Draco thought bitterly. My father is my best friend. I hate it when he gets insulted-especially by the people he tries to protect! Sighing, Draco closed the book and lay book, suddenly overwhelmed by guilt. But still, I shouldn’t have yelled at Harry like that. He was trying his best to understand everything. I’m sorry, Harry. I know you were only concerned about our safety. That decided him-he would apologize to Harry.

Draco exited the Slytherin Common Room and made his way to Gryffindor Tower, having finally remembered the password Harry had given him.

“Password?” the Fat Lady’s portrait, of course.

“Hecatemus.” Odd password choice. Harry must’ve chosen it, Draco thought to himself.

The door swung open and Draco entered the Gryffindor Common Room for the first time in hie life.

Ron Weasley was up in his face the next instant. “How dare you do that to Harry? What gives you the right to hurt him like that?”

Harry’s voice drifted tiredly past Ron, reaching Draco’s ears. “He has every right, Ron, leave him alone.” Harry’s words made Draco feel even more guilty-the blond hadn’t known just how “nice” Harry actually was until this moment.

“But, Harry, he hurt you!” Ron protested.

Draco squirmed. He was here to apologize and Ron was making it harder by the minute.

“Ron, Draco is my mate. It doesn’t matter what he says to me or how much he hurts me emotionally. He has the right to do that. He is my mate, Ron. I don’t know how to make it any clearer than that.”

Ron sighed. He didn’t understand why the Veela in Harry was drawn to Malfoy, but he had done his best to accept the fact.

Draco swallowed hard. He hadn’t known how submissive Veelas actually were until hearing Harry utter that phrase. It doesn’t matter if I kill him, he’ll still love me. Tears sprung unseen to Draco’s eyes at that thought, but he was here for a reason. Pulling himself back together, he said, “Hi Harry.”

“Hi, Malfoy. Are you here to abuse my emotional stability some more?” Harry asked, but relented immediately. “I’m sorry-I didn’t mean that.”

Yes you did. And I deserved it, too, Draco thought. “I know,” he said instead. “I came to apologize for my behavior earlier. It’s really hard for me to hear bad things about my father…he is the closest thing I have to a best friend.”

Harry smiled uncertainly. “I understand. I’m sorry it took so much evidence to convince me that your father’s really on the side of the Light. So, friends?”

Draco smiled warmly. “Friends.”

Chapter 4     Chapter Index     Chapter 6

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