Enter The Realm of the Pendragon
I Am Draco - Part One: Father To Son
Fandom: Harry Potter
Something about Father's death and subsequent revelations that I wouldn't inherit till I was twenty-five niggled at me. The more I tried to concentrate on it, the more it slipped away, hiding in the recesses at the back of my mind. I got no rest when I retired for the night either. My mind just wouldn't stop worrying at it so I spent a fitful night and woke feeling drained and out of sorts. I took breakfast alone again which concerned me and I hoped that Mother's uncharacteristic retirement to her room was not going to become a regular occurrence. I didn't pay any attention to what I was actually eating and wouldn't have noticed if I'd been served up fried Flobberworms on a bed of shredded burdock. Finally I spent several minutes staring into my glass of juice, thinking of absolutely nothing.
Possibly due to lack of activity, my brain kicked itself into gear and began to mull over the puzzle of Father's death. The thought that he had held off my inheritance till I was twenty-five was mildly odd when you took into consideration that my entire upbringing was based on the fact that one day he would no longer be around and I would take over control of the estate. Why then, would he deny it to me? It just didn't make sense.
Resting my chin on my hand, I began to give the matter some serious thought. There must have been a reason for Father to include that clause, I mused, chewing on a fingernail. What was that reason; why did he write it? Twenty-five was such a definite age as well - it didn't seem as though he'd just picked it out of the air.
Fiddling with my knife, I tried to put myself in Father's place, to examine his mentality when he was making out his will.
"So I'd leave my estate to my son because I've trained him all his life for that role. He is fully aware of his duty, particularly in more recent times, and as much as he might attempt to fight it, he will concede. But!" I stabbed the air with my knife to punctuate my thought. "but he won't be able to fulfil his destiny until he is twenty-five. Now why would I do that? Unless I knew that something was going to happen to me then."
Goosebumps prickled my arms and I began to sit up slowly as one by one, things began to fall into place. If Father hadn't just picked that age out of the air, then he chose it specifically. That then suggested two possibilities. Firstly, that he had somehow gained prior knowledge of his death so he was able to write his will accordingly. The second thought was the one that really made me pause. Father knew that when I reached the age of twenty-five that he would no longer be alive. However, I was not yet twenty-five and wouldn't be for some time.
Standing up, I began to pace up and down to work out my thoughts logically. Scenario One - Father knew in advance when he would die but had got the timing wrong. Although I had no great experience in such matters - divination had never interested me - I knew small errors were possible, but an error of several years just didn't seem plausible. So Scenario Two: Father was correct and when I was twenty-five, he would be dead. As I was not twenty-five, then did it follow that he was not dead? I stopped in my tracks and addressed no one in particular.
"But if he is alive, then how did I gain access to his Dark Arts room? And why was I allowed to?"
Was it possible that all of this had been planned down to the smallest detail by Father? It was an unnerving thought, giving me the feeling that everything I did had already been put in motion by an unseen deity and I was just following a predetermined path. This then led to the greatest question of all.
How did Father know?
A sudden memory slipped into my mind and I bit my lip.
All was quiet. I sat up in bed, listening carefully but heard nothing apart from the usual sounds of the house settling down for the night: here, the creak of a beam; there, the silky soft whisper of a passing ghost. Slipping out of bed, I quickly threw my cloak over the day clothes I still wore and cast Chivato to aid my passage through the sleeping Manor. Opening my bedroom door, I stuck my head out into the hallway and listened carefully once more for any signs of life. It might have been close to midnight but I wouldn't have put it past Father to still be in his study and that was the very room I wanted to go into.
"All I want to do is try out my new broomstick," I muttered under my breath. "If you didn't want me to get excited over flying, you shouldn't have got me started on Quidditch."
Conveniently forgetting that the whole reason my broomstick was in Father's study was as punishment, I made my way downstairs. Dreaming of what my new broom was capable of and lost in a fantasy involving myself and the Quidditch World Cup, I wandered in a happy daze to the rear of the Manor where the study was. Not that I needed to be able to concentrate on where I was going; the route to Father's study was a well-trodden one although it was safe to say I never usually headed there wearing such a broad grin as I was now. However, it was soon to be wiped away.
I turned the corner into the passageway that led to the study and the lights slowly flickered into life so that I was greeted by the sight of a familiar figure standing in front of the door. Dressed from head to foot in his usual black, he appeared wreathed in the shadows that the candlelight barely held back. Arms folded across his chest in a stance I knew so well, he said nothing for a long moment, just looking at me with cold grey eyes and I froze under his gaze.
My heart thudded painfully in my chest and my hands felt clammy while I waited for my new sentence. It would be extensive; after all, I was openly defying him. After what seemed like an age had passed, I dared to peer up at him under the cover of my hair. Catching my eye, he parted his lips to speak and I quailed.
"Go to bed," he said softly but firmly, an iron bar under a covering of silk.
"Yes, Father," I replied and as I turned to go, I glanced at his face. An expression flitted across it, not the usual disappointment, but something akin to amusement. Frowning, I retraced my footsteps back up to my room, wondering how Father had known what I was up to. Perhaps he had some kind of alarm system which I'd inadvertently triggered. More than likely I'd made a mistake with Chivato and I'd actually sounded like a herd of elephants instead. I would have to practice.
A wry smile curled my lips at this recollection but then another later memory appeared in the back of my mind and as I succumbed to it, a shiver crept its way down my spine.
The crup snarled, baring its sharp teeth in warning before leaping to the attack.
"Stupefy!" It seemed to freeze momentarily in mid-air before landing heavily on the ground. I lowered my wand and beamed in delight.
"Well done, young Master." The voice sounded impressed and I looked up at Thatcham, the man responsible for most of the security for the estate. I had spent the last few hours learning how the crups were trained as part of my education on all aspects involved in the running of the estate. "Your father will be proud of you."
"Do you really think so?" I queried anxiously.
"He's coming this way, why don't you go and tell him?"
I looked round to see Father striding hurriedly across the grass towards us.
"Draco, inside now," he ordered upon reaching us. My heart sank and I wondered immediately what I had done, but I knew better than to ask, especially when Father looked as forbidding as he did right now. I simply began to follow him back towards the house. I hadn't taken more than a few steps when I heard the unmistakable whimper as the stunned crup regained consciousness, but this was followed by a sudden loud volley of barks. A deep growl then made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck and I spun round, eyes widening in horror.
Without warning, the crup flew at Thatcham who had been kneeling on the grass attempting to quieten the animal. There was a snarl, a glimpse of sharp white teeth before they sank into the soft flesh under Thatcham's chin, a fountain of red spraying over the green grass and a scream of pain and fear. I clamped my hands to my ears as a flash of green light from behind me brought forward silence, though the sound of the scream still resounded in my head.
Feeling sure that this was an error of mine - after all, I was the one who had cast Stupefy - I turned to face Father expecting a severe dressing down. His eyes raked my face as though searching for something before giving a curt nod and telling me to go and clean up. I scurried off to the house before he could change his mind.
At the time, I had accepted the explanation that the crup had experienced some kind of stroke which affected its reasoning and resulted in the attack on Thatcham and didnt think anything more about it. Now I couldn't help but wonder about Father's timely intervention in summoning me to the house. It could be seen as nothing more than mere coincidence, but if he hadnt appeared just then, would I have been the one lying on my back in the grass as my life spurted away? I bit my lip, concerned that I was probably reading more into a simple matter than the whole situation warranted due to the conclusions I had drawn earlier. I shook my head to dissuade the memories from plaguing me and to end that train of thought before I began to see things that just werent there.
I was curled up in the armchair in Father's study, engrossed in the battered copy of Malleus Maleficarum. Since I had found it in the Dark Arts room, it had kept me gripped with a kind of horrified fascination. I was simultaneously revolted and intrigued the further into the book I read, knowing as I did the damage these words had done to the wizarding world.
The door suddenly flew open, banging against the wall with such force that it left both wall and doorknob marked. My head snapped up and my heart leapt into my mouth. For some bizarre reason, I expected to see Father standing there in a blind fury over my ability to access his Dark Arts room: his eyes sparking with barely contained rage, burning fire in his normally pallid face; his luxuriant hair fluffed up in the same way as a cat appears twice its normal size when threatened.
However, it was not Father who had disturbed my reading.
"I thought I'd find you here."
I marked the page before closing the book and standing up politely. "Did you want something?"
"You're always here," she carried on as though I had not spoken. "Leaving me on my own." Her footsteps were unsteady as she made her way over to the desk and leaned on it heavily.
I frowned, trying to follow her train of thought. "but I - "
"We both knew what we were getting involved in and what it would mean, but I don't think you realise the consequences. I'm starting to have doubts, even you must sense that things are out of our control and moving too fast. And Draco - he's not a child any longer and he's not stupid either. You must realise that at least and understand what it means."
I bit my lip, loathe to interrupt the flow of what promised to be full of interesting revelations, but part of me knew it wasn't really for my ears.
"You can't stop what you've set in motion. The cogs are turning, the heavens are in motion and one day - "
Mother turned round and smiled at me, though I knew it wasn't me she saw.
"One day?" I prompted.
"Yes, one day, Lucius. One day." With that bewildering remark, she simply crumpled to the floor as though suddenly struck with the Jelly-Legs Jinx. I threw myself forwards to catch her, paying no heed to the contents of my hands which Id cast aside without a moments thought.
"Mother! Mother, are you all right?" I bore her gently to the ground, heart thudding painfully against my chest in panic. Losing one parent was bad enough, but to lose both could be seen as carelessness. As I leaned close, the sudden scent of alcohol clinging to her breath practically made my eyes water and I sat back in a hurry. Tutting in disgust, in a manner similar to Father's - a fact which irritated me the second I realised what I'd done - I slapped her cheek in an attempt to rouse her, but to no avail.
One swift Mobilicorpus later, Mother was hovering in the doorway of her bedroom while I surveyed the state of the place. The windows were both wide open, the curtains billowing out in the breeze. Sheets of parchment were scattered over the desk and floor. Quickly transporting Mother over to the bed, I released her from the spell and closed the windows.
I pushed some of the parchments aside with the toe of my shoe and debated whether I should leave the mess for the house elves to clear up. Flicking my eyes over them, I sighed and was about to leave the room when something caught my eye. Frowning, I crouched down and picked up a sheet, biting my lip. I was sure I'd seen my own name on it but I knew that didn't give me the right to read it, especially seen as it belonged to my own mother. Quickly looking over at the bed to make sure she was still unconscious, I scanned the sheet I held. Not only did it have my name on it, but the context was enough to make me want to read further.
A footstep to his left made Harry fumble in his robes for his wand.
"Surprised you bothered to show, Potter," a voice said softly.
"Lumos," Harry whispered, the golden glow illuminating the pale pointed face of Draco Malfoy. Leaning nonchalantly against a pillar, arms folded easily across his chest, he looked at Harry with disdain.
"Let's just get this over with, Malfoy." Harry replied, biting back an angry retort. The Slytherin stepped forward, brushing his white blond hair out of his eyes in a casual gesture.
"My thoughts exactly, Potter," he sneered.
I sat back on my heels, feeling startled and confused. Glancing over at the bed and the still silent form there, I made a sudden decision and swiftly began to gather the pages together. Heart pounding painfully against my chest, I checked the bed for any sign of movement before scrambling silently to my feet and leaving the room.
Sinking into the comfy chair in Father's study, I closed my eyes, finally managing to take a deep breath and let it out slowly, willing my heart to stop thumping so much.
"I don't know why you're feeling guilty about this, it's not like you've never done it before," I scolded myself, opening my eyes and staring at the sheets. I knew though that the fact these belonged to Mother made all the difference.
Shuffling through the pages, I scanned their content rapidly and tried to put them into some sort of order. The more I flicked through, the more I began to read rather than scan. Even though they weren't in the right order and the majority of the writing seemed to consist of scribbles, doodles and notes with the occasional complete paragraph, I soon began to get the gist and my jaw dropped. Goosebumps suddenly tickled my spine and the hairs rose up on my arms, making me shiver. I glanced over my shoulder in the direction of Mother's room and blinked rapidly as my brain tried to take in what it had just read and make some sense of it.
Tugging at my lower lip, I glanced up at the ceiling as though the confirmation I sought was written there. Needing to work things out logically as was my wont, I strode from the chair intending to pace across the floor but with my first step, my foot caught something on the floor and sent it hurtling across to the desk where it collided with one of the legs. I realised it was the Malleus Maleficarum I'd been reading earlier when Mother did her collapsing thing and obviously had just dropped it with no thought for what would happen. It lay opened face down and I winced as I thought of the damage I had inflicted on such a valuable item.
Picking it up with gentle hands, I ran my fingers across the creased pages in a vain attempt to smooth them out. Cradling it in one hand, I touched the spine softly, tracing the creases which ran down it, only then realising that what I thought was a crack in the leather was actually a split right through to the binding underneath.
Biting my lip, I examined the tear with the intention of casting a quick Reparo on it to return it to the state it was in previously but stopped suddenly as something dug into the pads of my fingers and I withdrew them sharply. Carefully prising it open, I noticed something nestled in the gap underneath the leather binding of the spine which gracefully slipped out from its hiding place and fluttered to the floor. Feeling more than a little puzzled, I glanced at the book and then down at a tightly folded piece of parchment at my feet.
Putting the book down on the desk, I picked up the pellet of paper and carefully began to untwist it, noting it was brown and thin with age. Gentle fingers teased open the folds, smoothing out creases until I had the slip of parchment spread out in my hands. In thick black ink, a familiar hand had documented a single brief sentence: The Lynx will reveal all. Underneath this, Father had printed his initials and a date of some twenty years previously. My hand trembled as I stared at the writing and for the second time that evening, a shiver traversed its way down my spine.
I glanced at the book, lying silent on the desk and at the sheets of parchment placed neatly next to it. Swallowing hard, I took a step backwards away from them as though moving away could halt the thoughts which began to hammer at my mind, demanding to be dealt with instantly. Crumpling the slip of parchment in my hand, I edged away with faltering steps shaking my head in denial of something I couldn't even bear to contemplate. The feeling of manipulation overwhelmed me and in a sudden fit of rage, I snatched up Mother's writing and stormed from the room. I slammed a mental straitjacket on the reasonings that still assailed my mind, insisting on their right to be heard, fearing that if I gave into them the world as I knew it would never be the same again.
"Losing one parent was bad enough, but to lose both was just sheer carelessness." - The Importance of being Ernest, Oscar WildeChapter Four.
Unless otherwise specified.