|By : Massanie|
Category: Harry Potter > Threesomes/Moresomes
Views: 75212 -:- Recommendations : 4 -:- Currently Reading : 27
|Disclaimer: Harry Potter does not belong to me and I'm not making any money with this story|
CHAPTER 16: A Conversation Between Malfoys
Thank you very much, all of you, for being so understanding and for your commiseration. My mother is better now, though she's still fighting with the after effects and will be for some time and my grandmother is now in rehab. Cida is fine right now but my parents decided to not have her examined further as it wouldn't change anything in her treatment. It maddens me to not know whether she's going to die in the next months or not.
Anyway, apropos parents. My father now discovered Harry Potter and keeps calling me a 'muggle' and when I annoy him he points at me and says 'crucio'. Honestly… is there a certain point where the parent-child relationship reverses?
Well, in any case I hope you'll enjoy the chapter…
Quickly, Draco left the rooftop garden, one hand clenched at his side so hard that his knuckles were white and almost hurting from the strain.
Harry was starting to trust him. The boy who had refused his friendship seven long years ago, who had fought with him constantly, whom he, Draco, had almost hexed with the strongest torture curse in existence, who had almost killed him by slicing him open but in the end had saved his life on another occasion … well, at least no one could say that their relationship had ever been anything but intense. But who cared? Harry was starting to trust him!
It was all he could do not to go back to his fiancé and their colibri and throw him down to properly kiss him senseless with just as much intensity… Harry, not Blaise. Well, Blaise maybe, too.
Sweet Morgaine, but now his obsession with the raven haired, green eyed Gryffindor seemed to have reached a totally new level!
But could anyone fault him for that? Harry was beautiful in his own way, especially with those markings and iridescent feathers, and powerful enough to stir his desire and lust to a blazing inferno. But even more than that Harry was an enigma, a paradox, neither this nor that, all at once and nothing at all. Something – pardon, someone, who shouldn't exist in Draco's world.
He was a Gryffindor with Slytherin tendencies, suppressed but there, and ready to apply himself like a Hufflepuff and intelligent enough to be a Ravenclaw, even though he often seemed to refuse learning when he didn't see a practical utility, which probably related to a gryffindorish/hufflepuffish Ravenclaw. He was the heir of a pureblood family who was a halfblood and a muggleborn by upbringing. He knew nothing about what it really meant to be what he was and yet, he instinctively understood certain concepts that were the foundation of old wizarding families and the world Harry would now live in, willingly or not. Even the age old principle of vengeance and family honour and loyalty. He didn't like them, but in the end he would understand and learn to accept what he couldn't change while changing whatever he could…
And if Harry really wanted, he could change a hell of a lot: he had a keener mind than one would expect, a firm set of morals and principles, and he possessed both the personal strength – the courage one might say – and the acuteness of mind to fight for what he believed in and emerge victorious. If Harry invested himself, he could do pretty neigh anything, at least with a good strategist at his side.
But he was tolerant and sensible enough to not enforce his will in such matters, to see the reason between traditions if they were explained to him and, Draco thought, intelligent enough to estimate the feasibility of his goals. He could become the bridge over the gaping abyss between the old wizarding families and the mudbloods- … inwardly Draco sighed. He supposed he really should stop using that term, and for Harry's sake he would… Well then, Harry had the potential to become the bridge between muggleborns and purebloods, with his links towards those who betrayed the age-old traditions, those who had none and those venerable families that upheld the old values and would now be forced to re-evaluate their view on the Chosen One, the newest member of the Vykélari community.
They had to, because the wizarding world in England was changing, those of lesser blood and a notable disregard for the traditions that had made their society what it was today, were gaining power and the purebloods would need to adapt or be pushed from the stage to the stands.
Viewed in this light he should maybe search for another term to call bloodtraitors: maybe they had just anticipated these changes decades before the traditionalists, which then would be a truly commendable example of forethought, instead of the atrocious betrayal of pureblood values that his father had always declared it as. Although Draco doubted that something else than pure love for all things muggle had turned Harry's Weasleys from the 'path of virtue'.
It was of no importance whether Harry decided to devote himself to politics; if he did, Draco was sure that the Gryffindor would do what needed to be done and if he decided to enjoy a more private life… well, the purebloods would survive and Harry would still be an enigma. A riddle that Draco badly wanted to solve, whether it would take his whole life to do so or merely years. He was prepared to become his friend and he would, whatever else might happen. He'd be damned before he allowed the Gryffindor to push him and Blaise out of his life once again. But he wanted to be more than a friend or confidant. He wanted Harry to be with him and Blaise, for the Gryffindor to trust them and only them (even though Draco knew how truly inflated that wish was), to search them out for comfort and help, to stand by them in turn and become part of a triad like there had never been before.
And by the temptress Morgaine, he wished for Harry to give himself over, to lie beneath him, wanton and moaning, writhing, crumbling, wanted that supple body quivering from his touch alone and those expressive eyes to shine up at him, entranced by the wings he'd spread over them like a canopy of white feathers, and yet with that burning defiance that screamed that there was no one Harry Potter would yield to completely. As it should be.
Even the still sober part of him that screamed 'damn those instincts' could not erase that vision from his mind. Neither the one where – and Draco had to lick over his lips to moisten them – he looked down his naked torso to see those ripe lips wrapped around a certain part of his anatomy while he buried his hands in jade- and spring-green feathers and black tresses, cradling and caressing the other teen's head, glowing face, his soft cheeks, drowning in the astonishing green of his eyes before they fluttered close from the intensity of the moment. And all the while he'd watch Blaise pound into the submissive from behind, the dark strong fingers digging into Harry's slender hips, and only with much reluctance the Italian would relinquish his hold to reach down and fondle the younger teen, like he had done with Draco so often before, to help their nightingale reach that supernova, that explosion of overwrought nerve endings, causing the sweet thing to moan and whimper against Draco's flesh…
Draco had to close his eyes at the vision he had conjured up in front of his mind's eye and suppress a moan himself. He didn't bother berating himself for the lack of self-restraint, it was probably the fault of Harry's beautiful feathers and markings anyway that caused him to have such daydreams in the middle of a corridor in his fiancé's home (a Malfoy like himself really should have more self-control and usually, he had); it was maybe just a bit morally reprehensible that they were not about his fiancé per se, but Draco deemed it sufficient that Blaise had featured in them, in any case, he really couldn't find it in himself to worry over that trivia.
Nonetheless, Draco determinedly forced the images from his mind and told himself to focus: none of this would or could ever happen, if he didn't find a way to set some boundaries to the mating bond. He couldn't be emotionally and mentally naked in front of Harry, he just couldn't.
He needed answers. Right now before he allowed himself to get any closer to Harry. At this point they still could back out, and become friends instead of lovers, because nothing had happened yet; but should they go any further they would pass the point of no return. After that it would become awkward between them at least for their rather inexperienced Gryffindor should they change their mind and decide not to mate. They had, after all, no friendship to fall back to and whatever happened between them, there was no doubt that Harry would take it quite seriously, he certainly didn't strike Draco as someone for whom something like casual love existed. Which was alright, because neither Draco nor Blaise had a different opinion, despite of what the rumour mill in Hogwarts might think. All the more important for Draco to quickly make up his mind. And for that he would need more information, information that Adler would hopefully be able to give him.
But first, he really needed a shower. A cold one. A very cold one.
Not even fifteen minutes later, after a shower that was equally as short as it was cold, Draco strode out of his and Blaise's rooms, leaving his still wet hair to dry freely on its own, the silken strands crying heavy tears onto his blue shirt and painting dark spots on the fine fabric. He could have dried them magically, but that always left the texture so strawy, as if the spell bereft the hair of more than just water.
It certainly was a breach of the carefully concocted ritual of getting dressed and ready, that usually only varied with different occasions. But right now Draco needed to speak with his ancestor more than he needed to look his best.
So, despite his somewhat rushed appearance, Draco purposefully and determinedly strode through the wide hallways of his fiancé's home that were so much warmer and homely than Malfoy Manor could ever be, until finally he came to stand in front of a narrow, inconspicuous door. It was held in the same artfully painted swirls of oranges, terracotta and gold that covered the rest of the corridor and it would have been almost invisible if one didn't know that it was there in the first place.
It was a room that wasn't intended to be found, just like Adler had wished to have for himself.
At that, Draco shook his head, amused in an exasperated sort of way: even when having been dead for three centuries already, Malfoys always got what they wanted. Embarrassingly, that had only ceased to be the case in his and his father's generation. And that certainly made dealing with his confident, successful ancestor that more difficult.
Taking a deep breath, Draco straightened his posture and entered the room that the house elves had tailored exactly to Adler's wishes. It was a round chamber in the middle of the Manor that had no real windows whatsoever, though wide magical windows covered the whole circle of the room with the one narrow door as the only exception. They were enchanted to show the respective parts of the scenery surrounding the Manor, granting a panoramic view of the sea, the coastline and the mountains far in the north-east.
The parlour, if it could be called that any longer, had been emptied out completely and was bare now aside from a single, thick, massive wooden pillar that stood in the centre, showing an artfully stylized tree that dominated the otherwise not very large room. It was round except for a metre high, cubic part in the middle, of which each side was occupied by one painting, each showing a different room that probably had been part of some baroque Italian villa: facing the door was a huge, two-storey library, where an elaborate fresco occupied the entirety of the domed ceiling overlooking the curved balconies of the first floor and the richly ornamented worktables on the ground floor. Sunlight flooded the hall through tall windows situated in between the many shelves, bathing it in a surreal golden hue. Next to that painting, Draco knew, he would see a study and a trophy hall. The latter was in his opinion a rather indelicate hotchpotch of magical creatures that bordered on the grotesque. One of Blaise's ancestors had been a professional hunter and his eternally preserved victims, including a Harpy, an Echidna (a man-eating half-snake) and a Teumessian fox littered the room without any conceivable order. The fox at least, Draco was sure, had been a protected species even then; wizards had even spelled the few remaining individuals so that no muggle hunter could catch them.
Useless to say: that ancestor had not been a Vykélari, their kind didn't care much for such a mortuary cult. Draco rather suspected that this specific painting's presence in Adler's room had something to do with how the deceased Malfoy had treated him when they had first talked through the mirror connection after Harry's transformation. Blaise could be unbelievable protective and vindictive at times…
In any case, the young Malfoy heir gave those three paintings little attention; aside from the fact that his relative was not in them, they held little importance for him. Quickly he rounded the pillar and came to stand in front of the for him well-known portrait of Adler Malfoy, the last of the four paintings and by far the most sombre of them all: dark, small-framed wooden panels faced the walls of the study that had once been Adler Malfoy's. The owner himself currently leaned against a massive desk behind which stood a throne-like arm chair that looked uncomfortable and stiff, made from dark, richly ornamented wood and shiny, well-kept leather padding. All in all, the darkness of the picture's furniture - which, Draco held the sad knowledge, wasn't at all exaggerated - drew even more attention to the one spot of brightness: the pale-haired, pale-skinned inhabitant, who acknowledged his visitor with a small inclination of his head and a soft "Good afternoon, Draco."
"Adler." Draco inclined his head in turn but with a certain stiffness to the movement and never breaking eye-contact. Respect and mistrust in equal shares. Adler was certainly someone to be admired, but not someone to be trusted unconditionally, not to Draco's knowledge in any case. Few were capable of holding his interest for long, even less held his affection. And those who did, were probably most often not even conscious of that little trivia.
It made dealing with his ancestor quite a precarious endeavour. One never knew if Adler was in the mind of helping or not. And Draco himself was not sure if this time he would get actually useful advice or only slashes from that sharp tongue. Fortunately he wouldn't need the elder Malfoy's advice, only information. But even that was sometimes hard to get as well, if Adler was not inclined to be helpful.
Well, he'd see.
"Two visits in one day." Adler remarked, his gaze resting on the youth standing before him, poised and tall. "To what do I owe that pleasure?" He asked as his opening move, pleasantly as ever.
"A question, Adler. Just a question… Or perhaps more than one." Draco said with a sharp smile while he took out his wand and conjured a chair for himself; one that did look much more comfortable than the one behind Adler's desk.
Ever so slowly, Draco sat down, smoothing out non-existing wrinkles in his clothes as he did so and watched his counterpart taking his seat behind the desk. "It concerns something we spoke about this morning."
"Feel free to elaborate whenever you are ready." Adler said with an elegant hand-wave and the hint of a smile when Draco had fallen silent for some moments, pondering over how to address the morning's happenings.
Draco merely raised an eyebrow, showing more composure this time as he decided not to react to his ancestor's teasing. He was starting to think that maybe, this was Adler's shrewd kind of humour, or his way of testing him, and that their cooperative work might be more productive if he ignored his biting remarks. At least it could prove to be a worthwhile experiment, he thought with a semi-detached scientific interest, as he fixed the portrait with a nondescript gaze.
"Your husband seems to have reached Harry." He said, tilting his head mildly. "How he did it I do not know, and I don't want to appear distrusting or ungrateful, but if you could find out for me what incentive he used to sway our Nightingale, I'd be much obliged. That, is the first matter I came here for."
The way that Adler leaned back, resting his weight with one elbow on the leather padded armrest so he could comfortably brace his chin, had Draco immediately sit up, and he watched with flagrant suspicion as the long-haired man hid his lips with one hand, the thumb under his chin and the forefinger against the septum of his nose. Especially when the elder Malfoy took a deep breath, Draco knew something was wrong.
"I already know, Draco," he said, his voice tinted with a graveness that Draco didn't like, but after a moment of silence, the propped up hand fell away and Adler smiled at him, a polite, but faked smile. "I spoke with Ives while you were occupied with young Mr. Potter… How well your Nightingale did on his beautiful wings; he certainly is a talented flyer."
Draco nodded his affirmation, not letting his ancestor pass from view. "That he is. But let us not digress: we were talking about both of the submissives."
"Of course." Adler conceded. "We shall speak about it after attending to the other concerns that brought you to me."
'Or in other words,' Draco thought, 'the matter is too serious for us to be able to discuss anything else of importance afterwards. How reassuring.'
"If you prefer."
But he did scrutinize the near perfect mask of calmness, showing his suspiciousness by doing so, before he returned to the matter that had lead him to seek out his ancestor's portrait to begin with, and which now might turn out to be the less grave topic discussed today. "Well, although Harry was certainly much more accommodating and complaisant after his time with your husband - though I must say you should maybe talk to him about the way he speaks of our family - Harry had…"
"Did you never think the same?" Adler interrupted, making Draco halt and narrow his pale eyes.
Draco didn't ask what his ancestor was talking about. It was clear to him that the other man was referring to Ives' opinion of what had become of the Malfoy name. And of course Draco knew that the little anecdotes that the submissives had shared over breakfast were all too true and that there were neither excuses or explanations that would make the stories any less atrocious. But one didn't speak of the black pages in the family history – which every family had. Shameful secrets should remain just that: secrets. It had been wrong of Ives to use them to entertain Harry. Was Adler so besotted with his red-haired submissive that he would take his side no matter what? Besides: he hadn't come to Adler for another lesson in humility over their family.
"I don't think that is of any importance right now." He said, the fingers of his right hand rubbing against another as if they missed the feeling of his hawthorn wand. "Ives should be mindful of what he says to whom. This is his family, also."
"Yes," His opponent granted amiably, "but he cares not for names, he never did, and you should understand that about Harry, too, for I believe he is similar to Ives in that regard: if he comes to like you, or Blaise, he will like you, not your family. He will care for your reputation, not your family's. They believe in individuals, Draco. Try to change that and you will destroy an essential part of his being."
"The family's reputation is my reputation!" Draco murmured, his voice deceptively calm.
"It doesn't have to be." Adler countered quietly. "Why do you think no one ever identified me with my father?"
That was true; Draco actually had to think some moments before he could remember the name: Rhisiart Malfoy. He had died early, if his memory served right, leaving his only child and heir to become head of the family at the tender age of 17. Adler had not even been guided through his transformation by his father, as was tradition for dominant Vykélari.
"Because he died so early?" He answered only half-jestingly, tilting his head and watching with interest as one of Adler's hands closed tensely around the armrest, even though his voice was still quiet as he continued.
"Make no mistake, Rhisiart was long enough alive to establish the reputation of a stern, irascible, though cunning man. A great wizard, some said, who in the eyes of others was obsessed with power, dark magic, and sadistic games. He was not nearly as intelligent as he made himself out to be, and not as powerful, but otherwise his reputation was quite true. But I made sure to detach myself from that image as soon as he was killed. And in time, over my accomplishments, he became forgotten."
"A wonderful anecdote, Adler." Draco drawled, secretly storing away how important it seemed for Adler to have surpassed his father. For further reference, one never knew when it might come in handy. "But my situation is rather different from yours: I still have a family and I still care for them enough to have consideration for their wishes and expectations… And their reputation. So while I understand your protectiveness of Ives, I'd appreciate it if he recognized some boundaries. I don't want him to poison Harry's mind further against my family. God knows there is enough animosity already."
"But do you think it is undeserved?"
"Does it matter?" Draco spat, a little bit aggressively in his own protectiveness of his parents and ancestors. Of course it was deserved. But he had not come here for another reminder on his family's faults, this morning had already been enough in that regard, thank you very much. There were more important matters to attend to anyway, such as the invasive nature of the connection they had shared today. Furthermore, despite anything that Adler said or believed: family came first, Draco would have to stand behind them regardless of their crimes and mistakes. Of course he didn't expect Harry to become close to his mother, and much less his father, but maybe both parties could be persuaded to at least ignore each other. In any case he would deal with the problem once it became acute.
"For Harry it will." Adler answered, obviously unimpressed by his young descendant's mindset.
"Your father tried to kill him more than once. Behind whom will you stand when they will inevitably clash? Will you ask Harry to tolerate Lucius' silent smirks and smug looks or will you tell your father to change his ways and his views or keep them to himself if he can't? If my memory serves me well, you were not too keen on openly standing up to him in the past."
The painted Malfoy leaned forward, his mercilessly blunt speech and piercing eyes boring into Draco, but now his tone changed, the words seemed to drip slowly from his lips, a deadly trap like resin for an insect. "Can your Gryffindor accept the presence of a murderer, a torturer over a polite conversation and a cup of tea? Do you want him to be able to? Will you force him to?"
Silently, Draco averted his gaze, the answer, the only possible answer, clear in his mind. Of course he wouldn't. Fate had already forced Harry to kill and Draco didn't want to force him to become even colder, even harder than that. It wouldn't be fair on him. But now, Draco himself felt as if the whole weight of what his father had done during the last two wars and in between them rested unfairly on his shoulders suddenly instead of on the perpetrators. And wasn't that true? Lucius Malfoy would escape punishment, prison, wriggle out of the sordid affair like a slippery eel; and his conscience was none the worse for it, had been silenced long ago, leaving the current head of the family even unable to understand that what he had done was wrong.
And Draco had to pick up the shambles, had to balance on the thin line between loyalty and his own believes, his own visions of carrying a name that was not only a charade of power, influence and prestige.
But while Blaise was prepared to support him and play his part, he knew he couldn't expect the same of Harry. Even though the Gryffindor had assured him that Draco's deeds during the war were forgiven, the same did not necessarily hold true for his father…. Who had urged Draco to identify and reveal Harry Potter so he could be given to the Dark Lord and be tortured and killed. Who had hunted him through the Department of Mysteries where Black had died, someone the young submissive had cared for deeply if Severus was to be believed. Who had watched Harry being tortured and had laughed through it all.
Draco closed his eyes.
The list didn't end. God, even before the war, there had been the incident in their second year; Draco knew his father had been somehow involved in the petrifactions of those students that had ended with Harry landing in the healing wing once more… was there a year in which Harry hadn't ended up in the healing wing some way or the other?
That aside, even if Lucius had not been directly involved, at least he had known exactly what was going on.
No, no one had the right to demand of Harry to just forget and forgive all that had happened between their families, least of all Draco and Lucius, not even to ignore the past. The noble Gryffindor that he was had already helped his mother and him during their trials and given him back his wand; he had spared Draco's life by returning for him and right into the fiendfyre even with all their black history.
Draco didn't want to ask for more.
"I will think about it," he sighed, more troubled than ever.
"Good." Adler gave him a rare, approving smile. "Now, I believe you were speaking about what happened after our submissives talked."
Nodding slowly, Draco tried to steer his thoughts away from the looming conflict between his father and his submissive, which was harder than it should be. "Well, Harry…"
... had told them about his problems with Draco's family, but he had not really listened, had not taken the Gryffindor serious enough. Again. A transgression he would have to make sure not to repeat.
"He was afraid." Draco said at last after some more moments of silence. "His first transformation must have been … traumatic at best. So, to alleviate his apprehensions, Blaise proposed to establish a temporary connection. Which I blame you for, by the way. You shouldn't have encouraged him so much this morning." He looked up in time to see Adler hide a smirk and glared at him shortly, but he wasn't really in the mood any more to play games.
"To make it short: we assimilated both physically and mentally: heartbeat, breathing, feeling..." with an indefinite hand-wave he concluded "we shared each sensation."
Only the miniscule narrowing of the deep, blue eyes hinted at the astonishment the elder Malfoy undoubtedly felt at those news. Strangely enough, that lifted Draco's spirits somewhat again and he managed to edge the dark shadow of his father aside for now.
"I take it, this diverges from the norm?" The question came surprisingly easily over his lips, considering how apprehensive Draco had been. Was this maybe just an irregularity that would diminish or maybe even vanish in time?
Instead of an answer, though, he only got a counter question, insistently asked. "Did the bond remain after you broke physical contact?"
Leaning back, Draco considered his ancestor critically. Adler seemed urgent: the way he stressed his words and had leaned forwards over his desk, boring intense eyes into Draco's head … it was alarming.
"Only for some lingering moments." He murmured, more interested in his opponents expression and reaction than in the words he himself spoke.
"And were you able to communicate telepathically?"
"We could feel each other's emotions but … no, no articulate thoughts, at least not on my part."
Seemingly relieved, Adler relaxed back against the backrest of his chair - as much as that was possible. "Well, at least you haven't bonded, then."
"Bonded?!" Draco exclaimed, shocked. Had they really almost…
"Well, yes. Obviously this was much more intense than a mere temporary magical connection. It should only have allowed you to feel a vague echo of sensations and let you share only those that you concentrated explicitly on to begin with. Maybe it was because of the life debts between you… or the rather … intense relationship you had even before the war."
Draco shook his head, doubts forming in his mind over that theory. "Blaise felt it, too. And he never interacted much with Harry before now."
"But Blaise has a rather deep connection to you. Well, it could have only been the simple fact that you helped him through the transition and his magic knows and trusts you more." A firm edge had crept into his voice, freezing it over like a still lake in winter. "I wouldn't know since Ives ran away from home prior to his 222nd moon and was lead through his first transformation by his godfather in secrecy and not by me like it was originally planned. In any case I would be careful from now on. You don't want to become mated by accident, do you?"
"No." Draco answered not quickly or firmly enough to be absolutely convincing… and to be honest, it didn't actually matter much to him. After all, in the end what mattered was the result. But Harry would probably be devastated. And Blaise was a romantic, Draco didn't think that he'd want the mating to begin in such a way either.
That aside … "So this is how a bond is like, then? We would be so closely connected that we'd share the same heartbeat and our emotions?"
The unease he felt at those words must have shown on his face, because Adler once more evaded a direct answer to probe deeper instead.
"What is it you are asking, Draco?"
Averting his gaze once more, Draco wondered if he really wanted to answer that question completely truthfully. Here was someone who had done everything this side of the legal to become mated to Ives Prewett; obviously he would not be able to get an unbiased opinion.
But so far, Adler had proven to be surprisingly helpful and had not really ridiculed him once. He had been relatively forthcoming with information, at least when asked directly, and though Draco secretly thought that the elder Malfoy had incited them to rush into establishing the temporary bond, it had been their own (or rather Blaise's) decision in the end. And he needed those information…
"I found myself manipulated by their emotions and I must admit, that though the experience itself was not unpleasant, the thought of being influenced in such a way is quite disconcerting to me. So I wish to know if it is possible to … disable … those aspects of the bond."
For some moments only the sound of Adler's fingertips tapping softly onto the wooden end of his armrest could be heard, and Draco looked up again, poised and with a mostly neutral expression firmly fixed on his handsome face.
Adler looked back at him with an expression that one might read a newspaper with, one of concentration and mild interest, while he sucked up all the information he could get.
It might have been disconcerting, being looked at like this, had Draco not been perfectly sure that there was not much to be read from his countenance and bearings. He had been taught by a spy, a Black and a Malfoy, after all. A formidable threesome.
"Yes, it is possible." Adler said at last, the corner of his lips twitching into an unwilling smile. "It rather is like the physical transformation: the first time everything will be established once and then it can be retracted and brought forth again at will."
"That is good to hear." Draco said calmly, inwardly relieved and pleased beyond measure, almost as if someone had cast a cheering charm on him. Of course, he knew that this was only one of many, yet unsolved problems he was facing and also that he could not always keep the connection closed - he even suspected that for the bond to function properly they would have to actively keep it open from time to time; but there was the possibility to do it and preserve their privacy whenever they needed it and that was enough. At least it would grant him some much needed time to get used to the overwhelming closeness; at least, it was one problem deferred if not solved.
Another one to tackle.
"So," Draco said, sitting up straight and poised, a gleaming in his eyes replacing the earlier pensiveness "will you tell me now what your Ives did to garner Harry's compliance?"
Adler sighed, looking out of the side of his portrait for but a moment before turning back to his young descendant with a grave look. "I'm afraid you will not like it. I certainly didn't. But it is nothing that can't be turned to your advantage. If you are judicious and remain level-headed." The portrait said with a sharp, warning glance.
A little bit displeased at the way Adler kept advising him over things that had been taught to him even before he had entered Hogwarts (granted, he had not always acted on his teachings), Draco pursed his lips, his cool eyes full of unspoken stinging hexes. "Please, Adler, spare me the lectures."
With a soft snort of amusement, the elder man inclined his head in a mock-bow to his descendant "As my young lord wishes."
Draco took a deep breath to rein in his flaring indignation. Despite needing the portrait's assistance, despite respecting the man it showed a lot and despite wishing to become just as, if not more, influential as he had been in his days, this was just a painting, the portrait of a dead man who no longer held the role of head of the Malfoy family. It was a nuisance, really, that all those portraits had been painted in the prime of the person's life, they often were unable to adapt to changed circumstances and power relations.
Maybe it was time to seize the opportunity of being alone with his ancestor and address the matter that for him was becoming a problem.
"Indeed, Adler." He drawled, his voice and expression steely. "That is exactly what I am in regard to you, and I tire of your attitude quite frankly. I value your council and it would pain me to lose it, but as the only living heir of our family, the one who will be head of the family, I demand your respect in turn or I will have all your portraits delivered to a windowless safe-house with no possibility of visiting other places or any other paintings that do not hold your person." And that would include any portrait of Ives' also, leaving the two lovers separated while the ban lasted and Adler unable to commune with anyone but copies of himself. It was a harsh threat, but Draco hoped it might at least shift the so far unequal balance of power in their relationship towards himself and remind Adler of his allegiance. If the move cost him Adler's advice and Ives' support, then so be it; in contrast to his parents, Draco was not willing to endlessly pamper the portraits' ego just to keep them happy and complacent.
Long moments passed with neither Malfoy breaking their fierce eye contact, as the elder tried to assess the heir's sincerity in his threat and the younger tried to convey it with all his considerable stubbornness. Neither one spoke, and their breathing was as flat and slow and silent as possible while they fought to enforce their will.
Finally, Adler spoke, his posture and expression unwavering. "You would really do it, wouldn't you."
"You may test me whenever you please." Draco said, his words deceptively soft. "But I'd rather you would not force me to follow through on my words. As I said: I do value your advice."
"Then you have it." Adler said, the tenseness around his eyes easing away and Draco had the odd feeling that there was some form of approval. In any case, the portrait settled back in his arm chair and folded his slender hands, as if he had been unmoved by the topic of their conversation and his descendant blackmailing him; like a businessman sifting through the different topics of a conference.
Draco meanwhile waited, his fingers drumming away impatiently on his crossed legs. It seemed that even if he would get Adler's cooperation more freely now, they still weren't past games. He sighed martyred. "So will you grant me said advice?"
"But of course." The other answered, his thoughtful eyes dancing to the side. "I believe we were talking about 'incentives', were we not? Well, it seems that Ives bought young Harry's cooperation by promising to tell him how to force you and Blaise into giving him a portkey back to London on the 31st of August."
Draco sat stock-still, disbelieve and the rotten feeling of betrayal pulsing through his mind. Ives, that Weasel-headed cur!
In little more than … Merlin! Only one and a half months, Harry would be gone, gone forever and everything they would have accomplished until then would be for nought. Worse: Harry's sudden willingness to compromise, the way he had opened himself to them, his acceptance … all of that was nothing but a clever lie so that he could in the end escape them.
It was no wonder, that Harry had seemed so approachable today, that he had yielded so easily. He was playing his part so that eventually he could flee from Blaise and Draco. By Morgaine, how could a Gryffindor sustain a charade that encompassing, acting the whole day long… if he wasn't so angry with Ives, he might have been able to admire that feat favourably with the appropriate attentiveness. Right now, though, he was ... not amused, to put it lightly.
Had Harry even meant it? That he had forgiven Draco for everything that had happened in Hogwarts and during the war? Or had that been faked, too… fuck!
Almost, Draco cursed out loud, anger and frustration and bitter disappointment warring in him. Had it been too much to hope for? That Harry Potter might really give his nemesis of seven years another chance? That he might come to forgive him, even like him? Trust him?
But a tiny part of him flared, not in defence of himself, but of Harry. The Gryffindor wouldn't be so cruel, surely. Harry might not really care for them, might be angry at them or even hate them, he might feign his cooperation and acceptance of the situation, but he was not so cruel as to lie about something like this and fake understanding and forgiveness so convincingly when there was absolutely no need to.
And the way he had spoken to them, about not wanting to be an Auror, about his feelings on the ministry… he had been so open and … and he had even implied that he started trusting Draco. Surely that would have been going too far for a mere pretence, such an act was colder and crueller than their colibri, their sweet Harry, was. He wouldn't do something like that.
No, maybe he was really trying to give them a chance, for the sake of his freedom and the pleading of another submissive, a kindred spirit, so to speak. Ironically enough, due to Ives and his attempt to buy them said chance, they might have lost it now all the same. A frightening thought.
And really, there was no word more fitting to describe the situation. Draco knew how much Harry valued his freedom, knew that he had felt caged. But it was better to be caged and safe than free and hunted down, or so Draco thought and therefore he and Blaise had planned to stay at Lanai Manor if Harry needed the time, get them the best tutors that money could buy instead of returning to Hogwarts, where another three or four newly fledged dominant Vykélari would be in their year, it really depended on how many had received their inheritance.
At least none of them were Gryffindors and could lie in wait for Harry in his dorm or common room where neither Blaise nor Draco could protect him.
Draco snarled lowly, angered and frustrated. That shouldn't have mattered, Harry should not have met other Vykélari until he was mated to the two dominants that had guided him through his transition or until he was at least secure in his newfound powers and knowledgeable enough to be able to protect himself. After Ives' interference it would come differently now: Adler's husband had made it so that he would become Harry's infallible friend and confidant while Blaise and he would never be able to reach that level of trustworthiness in the Gryffindor's eyes. Because they had not been the ones to give him back his treasured freedom. And as he was getting to know the more intricate patterns of the personality of the submissive who had once been his enemy, Draco was also starting to understand, that he could not possibly give him a more precious gift than the one Ives had given him.
"Ives wanted him to give you a chance." Adler said quietly, interrupting his gloomy pondering. "An honest chance."
Draco snorted. "I know. But instead he established himself as the wise saint and us as the well-meaning but misguided kidnappers. Whatever we do now, it will be too late, Harry will think - and rightly so - that we were forced into action by Ives… and all the while Harry is acting a part, playing the eager and willing student, the grateful and understanding protégé… he even more or less allowed us to court him for the sake of appearances solely! He would have made a good Slytherin."
And if his voice was somewhat bitter as he said these words, who could fault him for that?
"No, Draco. If what Ives tells me is true, then what you saw today was his real self, the one he couldn't show you before because of all the pressure you put on him by taking away his freedom and not giving him any hope of returning it to him."
"Really?" Draco snorted. "Because he was still so very uncomfortable with his transformation; what if he only did it for the sake of the promise to Ives? He should accept his inheritance when he is ready to, and not an hour earlier, Adler. And I don't want his trust or forgiveness if he forced himself to feel it just so he kept that damned covenant."
Adler shook his head slowly. "I think you should give him more credit than that. He possesses the vaunted Gryffindor bravery, so why shouldn't he face his fears? And maybe he is more compassionate than you think him to be. Honestly, I believe that Ives merely helped him overcome his anger and made him address his problems instead of sulking over them."
"A little bit more respect, please, Adler. The 'sulking boy' defeated one of the most powerful wizards of our time in a duel, even before his inheritance. I doubt your Ives would have been able to do that" Draco said sharply before he became aware of the amused smile playing around his ancestor's lips, and he averted his gaze, irritated that he had allowed himself to be played in such a way.
"In any case it will be difficult now to earn his trust, when the only atonement that really would have counted has already been offered by Ives." Draco said as he stood and turned to leave. There was nothing more to say and he found himself eager to return to Blaise and Harry, to reassure himself of Harry's sincerity, his forgiveness, and that it would still be possible to win him over. Of course he knew that this endeavour would require a considerable amount of subtleness, after all, their submissive's decision to collaborate with Ives was understandable, nothing that Draco or Blaise could fault him for and earning his trust and favour now was a delicate, intricate affair that could not be tackled upfront. That would just catch Harry's suspicion, possibly make him think that they were only forced into action by Ives, only playing an elaborate charade to trick him into mating.
"Draco!" Adler called out, passing through the painting with the study into the library to follow his descendant's retreating figure. "What will you do?"
Already at the door, Draco halted, his slender fingers dancing over the doorknob. "I'll fill you in later." He said with more confidence than he actually felt.
CHAPTER END NOTES:
I'm sorry, I planned on updating this chapter together with what is now going to be the next chapter because I seem to aggravate some of you with my stalling - the following chapter would then have been the one where the Golden Trio is reunited, now it's postponed again, because I didn't manage to complete that part. But I promise, that after the next chapter Ron and Hermione will have their talk with Harry.
So, I hope you liked the chapter and that you'll gift me with a review!
While AFF and its agents attempt to remove all illegal works from the site as quickly and thoroughly as possible, there is always the possibility that some submissions may be overlooked or dismissed in error. The AFF system includes a rigorous and complex abuse control system in order to prevent improper use of the AFF service, and we hope that its deployment indicates a good-faith effort to eliminate any illegal material on the site in a fair and unbiased manner. This abuse control system is run in accordance with the strict guidelines specified above.
All works displayed here, whether pictorial or literary, are the property of their owners and not Adult-FanFiction.org. Opinions stated in profiles of users may not reflect the opinions or views of Adult-FanFiction.org or any of its owners, agents, or related entities.
Website Domain ©2002-2017 by Apollo. PHP scripting, CSS style sheets, Database layout & Original artwork ©2005-2017 C. Kennington. Restructured Database & Forum skins ©2007-2017 J. Salva. Images, coding, and any other potentially liftable content may not be used without express written permission from their respective creator(s). Thank you for visiting!
Powered by Fiction Portal 2.0
Modifications © Manta2g, DemonGoddess
Site Owner - Apollo