Ad Pavonem

BY : Lomonaaeren
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Draco
Dragon prints: 2974
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I am making no money from this story.

Title: Ad Pavonem

Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling and associates own these characters. I am writing this story for fun and not profit.

Pairings: Harry/Draco eventually, Draco/Pansy

Rating: R

Content Notes: Ridiculousness, crack-ish humor, jealousy

Summary: Draco Malfoy, who had seemed to be staying out of trouble after the war, has been connected to smugglers of Dark artifacts. Harry goes to investigate…and runs afoul of a defensive spell at the Manor that makes it highly improbable he can complete his mission. Much worse, Draco doesn’t even know the defensive spell has been triggered.

Author’s Notes: This is a silly story that will probably have seven or maybe eight chapters. It should be updated on Sundays. The title is Latin for “to the peacock.”

Ad Pavonem

Chapter One--His In

“I don’t know if we should trust him with the spell.”

“He already knows about it, sir.”

Harry sighed and raised his hand to knock on Robards’s office door. Of course Robards, who for some reason had decided that Harry was a menace as an Auror even though he always got the criminal he was searching for, thought Harry shouldn’t know about the spell that had been invented to let the Aurors track Apparitions.

Harry had been instrumental in helping to develop the spell, but Robards was perfectly capable of ignoring that when he chose to.

“Come in!” called Louis Calzade, the Deputy Head Auror and the only sane voice in the higher ranks of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Harry had heard a lot about how great Amelia Bones was, though. He wished, as he stepped into the Head Auror’s office, that he’d known her.

The office was covered with clutter: awards, trophies, photographs, old case files, tattered Auror robes that Robards never seemed to take home, a softly pulsing blue orb that Harry frankly avoided every time he came in here, disempowered Dark artifacts, and the perch for Robards’s raven. The raven gave Harry a tormented look every time he came in. Harry had offered to buy the bird once or twice, but Robards always refused.

Now, towering behind his desk with narrowed, considering eyes, he looked as though he would throw Harry out for trying to make the offer. Harry sighed and stood patiently in front of the desk, since the one chair was covered by a complete set of crockery.

Calzade, a thin man a few years older than Bill with dark hair and dark eyes and an expression much like the raven’s, did his best to smile. “Hello, Auror Potter. You know that spell we’ve developed to track Apparitions?” He ignored the finger Robards laid across his mouth, and the scandalized look he got. “We’ve used it to track several different Dark artifacts smugglers now, and they’re all going one place.”

Harry raised his eyebrows. “Where?” They’d tried for months to track the ring they knew were working together, but never had any luck, since they all seemed to pick up their consignments separately and then go on a wild series of Apparition jumps.

“Malfoy Manor.”

Harry would have sat down if not the likelihood of crushing six china plates. “Really?” Malfoy had become ostentatiously reformed after the war. It probably helped that his father was in prison and his mother had become involved in charity work to such an extent that she traveled much more than she lived in the Manor. Malfoy could play the repentant little bugger all he liked, with no parents looming behind his shoulder.

“You didn’t think that picture he presented was the real one, did you?” Robards growled at Harry, and then turned and talked to Calzade in what he thought was a whisper. “This is why he shouldn’t know about the spell!”

The raven let out a muffled choke and buried its head under its wing. Calzade looked as if he was wishing for wings so he could do the same.

“Um. Anyway.” Calzade cleared his throat. “We’d like you to be the one who investigates, Auror Potter. You’re one of our few Aurors who knows the layout of Malfoy Manor, and the only one who might be able to persuade Malfoy, if he uncovers you, that you’re there for worthwhile reasons.”

Harry nodded slowly. He was the only Auror who had approached Malfoy since the war, although he’d done it mostly as a trainee: to return his wand, to tell him that his father’s sentence in Azkaban had been extended to life after Lucius killed another inmate, and to ask how he was and what progress he was making in getting the Mark off his arm. “All right. You want me to begin immediately?”

“No, Potter, next week!” Robards barked. “Of course now!”

Calzade immediately stepped forwards as if he thought he could shield Harry from what Robards wanted somehow. “Come on,” he breathed to Harry. “I’ll escort you out and make sure that you have all the information you need.”

Harry nodded but didn’t speak until they were out in the corridor again. Then he studied Calzade. “Do you think he’s mad?”

“No. Under the pressure of the job, he’s getting so he can’t do the job, though.” Calzade grimaced and flicked a dark comma of hair out of his eyes. “And soon I’ll be forced to take over.”

Harry sighed. “Well, thank you for what you’ve done so far. Where’s a map I can use, so that I can check for myself that those smugglers were going to Malfoy Manor?”

“You really want to believe in his innocence.”

“Of course I do. I think he did reform after the war. He was just a terrified kid at the time.”

Calzade nodded once and started walking down the corridor ahead of Harry. Harry couldn’t help but watch Calzade’s narrow shoulders and slim arse as he moved. It was a shame that he was completely straight, and had told Harry so gently when Harry had tried to ask him out a few years ago.

Harry sighed. Half the time I have to just look and dream. Damn, I really need to find someone to date for a while.

*

Harry finished the wand movements of the spell, and sat back to watch as the map that Calzade had given him lit up. The spell the Aurors had developed worked only with a map, and even that had to be printed on special parchment with goblin-made ink. They weren’t truly worried about anyone else being able to duplicate it easily.

Harry sighed as he watched blue sparks come to life at multiple Apparition points around the British Isles, and become trails of blue flame. Each trail showed a spark where one of the smugglers had Apparated to some other point, and then became a trail again tracking their magical flight through nothingness to the next point.

Seen like this, there could be no doubt. Malfoy Manor was the center of an enormous flower of blue lines.

Harry wanted to believe that Malfoy himself had nothing to do with it. He knew from his visits that there were enormous wings Malfoy had simply shut down, either because of bad memories or because he didn’t have the house-elves to deal with keeping them clean and open anymore. Smugglers could have a wild party in there and Malfoy would never be the wiser.

But it seemed a lot less likely that he wouldn’t notice so many people going in and out of his wards.

Harry nodded. He almost hoped that Malfoy did find Harry sneaking around his property and confront him. Harry would do his best to serve the true purpose of the mission, which included spying on Malfoy’s doings, but he liked everything being open and honest so much better.

And damn it, I really did think he’d reformed. Maybe that was one reason Harry had visited Malfoy even when he didn’t have to: because they seemed so similar. All they’d both wanted after the war was peace.

*

Harry sighed as he prowled the outside of the Manor’s wards. He couldn’t get through them without causing all sorts of commotion, unless he used one advantage he’d been carefully avoiding for as long as he could.

He could sense small weaknesses in them, though, like doors locked to all but people with the key. Whether Malfoy knew about them or not, people were getting through his supposedly impenetrable defenses and using parts of his Manor for—things. Perhaps it was something Lucius had done before he went to prison. The smugglers all wore masks and glamours layered on glamours, and the Aurors didn’t actually know any of their identities. They could be old friends of Lucius’s.

Harry scowled a little at himself. Yes, you need to believe in suspects’ innocence until they’re proved otherwise, but you sound desperate to make excuses for him.

Harry shook his head in the next second. He had done his best not to let his emotions control him since he began his Auror training, but he had also had to learn to listen to his instincts. One of the things they told him was that Malfoy couldn’t have feigned the relief Harry had seen in his face when he spoke about the end of the war. He had honestly never been that good a liar. Look at how badly he’d failed to act confident and without stress during their sixth year.

Someone could have changed his mind for him, though. The Imperius Curse…

That was another hole in his perceptions that Harry had had to learn to repair. He’d bungled several early cases because he’d never thought of the Imperius Curse as an explanation, simply because he was immune to it himself.

Now, he settled back against one of the stone walls surrounding the Manor grounds and listened to the cries of the peacocks in the garden. He’d tested his magic gently against every portion of the wards that looked weak and against all those locked doors, and each time, angry power had risen in response. He wasn’t going to get anywhere like this.

Harry held out his hand and closed his eyes. Sparks of magic formed over his palm. He knew that he would see a dark flame burning there if he looked.

He didn’t look. After the one time he’d seen his secret weapon’s arrival and nearly lost every meal he’d eaten for a week, he had decided he’d never look again.

“I need you,” he said.

There was a note like someone playing a fiddle made of his bones, the only beautiful part of the process, a ringing, deep noise like a hunting horn. Harry opened his eyes and stared at the Elder Wand lying across his palm.

It could look so innocent if you didn’t know what it was.

Harry grimaced. He had discovered enough lore on the Deathly Hallows that he was fairly certain he could break the damn thing’s power if he didn’t die violently with it in his hand. That meant he only used it for peaceful or defensive processes, and always sent it away again when he was going to actually fight.

But its power hummed and pulled at him, and Harry knew how easy it would be to give in, to tell himself that it was only this one time that he was going to use it, that these particular enemies needed to be defeated…

Harry sighed and reached out with his magic through the Elder Wand; he had never wielded it like an ordinary wand. He had never needed to, with the connection to Death that he had singing through him whenever he chose to pay attention to it.

He touched the remnants of death all through the grounds, something that was always going to happen whenever living things existed in a space. The only places Harry couldn’t find something to influence were utterly bare ones of stone or water, with no rodents or insects or plants or other small lives at all.

The Malfoy Manor grounds, crowded with grass and peacocks, flowers and house-elves and mice, had no chance against him.

“Bring me in,” Harry whispered, as his power brushed against the corpse of a mouse lying motionless next to a stone.

The power latched on, and for a minute Harry felt the mouse’s life and death, knew the strike of a clawed paw that had killed it, and the nest it was born in, and then he flowed and vanished along the path Death had created for him. He would land next to the corpse and be fully within the wards. Luckily, he was fast with the Disillusionment Charm—

But then, something went wrong.

Something gripped him and grabbed him and shook him. Harry gasped. It was sparkling magic, like opals, a stream of white light and a storm of beating wings and something else that he didn’t recognize—

Life magic.

The answer seemed to originate in the Elder Wand, not him. Harry shook his head. No wonder he hadn’t sensed it. Life was the opposite of Death and a blind spot in his defenses. He wouldn’t have sensed it if the living animal that had killed the mouse was standing right over its corpse, either. He resigned himself to getting tangled up in this ward, whatever it was, and having to explain the situation to Malfoy after all.

Except that didn’t happen. He did land beside the corpse of the mouse, but there was no Malfoy running towards him. Harry stared around. There were odd shadows and moving lights in the distance, where firelight shone through the windows of the Manor.

“What is going on?” he tried to mutter to himself, but a shriek came out of his throat instead.

Harry tried to turn, but he stumbled. There was something behind him, heavy and dragging, and his arms were bound behind his back, and altogether he felt as though someone had wrapped him in a sack with ropes covering it and attached a boulder to his tailbone.

He struggled frantically to free his arms, another shriek breaking free from his throat, and then his arms were free after all, his feet left the ground, the dragging weight seemed to fold up and follow him—

And Harry was airborne, his wings supporting him through a flight of a few meters before shock made him fold them and crash to the ground again.

He stared back over his shoulder, and saw the weight twisted up behind him. He shook it, trying to get it to go away, his mind still scrambling, and then the full glory of his tail unfolded and there he was, shaded by dozens of drooping white plumes, marked with pale blue eyespots. One of them had shadows of the same carvings on it that had decorated the Elder Wand.

Harry craned his neck back and forth, and finally made out what he was looking at. The tail of a peacock. A white Malfoy peacock, to be precise.

His voice came out as a sharp cluck, but what he meant to say was, “Oh, shit.”

He’d never heard of a Transfiguration like this, based on pure life magic, much less something that could transform an artifact like the Elder Wand.

Which meant he had no idea how to reverse it.

Which meant he was stuck as a peacock on Malfoy lands until he did.

It was really frustrating being unable to swear.



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