Biting the Hand that Feeds You
A Harry Potter fic by Andrew Joshua Talon
Disclaimer: This is a non profit fan based parody. Harry Potter is the property of J. K. Rowling and Time Warner. Please support the official release.
Written with Scriviner...
Draco was on his knees. Staring at the wreckage.
He was fine, he kept telling himself. He could get up at any moment that he wished. It was simply that at that precise moment, he was feeling a tad weak-kneed.
And his eyes stung bitterly. Painfully.
One hand was still gripping his wand.
Didn't want to lose that.
Lost everything else important, but at least that he had with him.
He felt something dripping from his fist and he was reasonably certain he was holding on hard enough that his nails were cutting into his palm and making them bleed.
He could let go and get that looked at later.
Those foreigners all claiming to be British Aurors were still about after all and sooner or later one of them would probably try to help.
He would be getting up any moment now.
He felt something at his side and softness, gently squeezing against him. Arms. Wound around his neck. "It's going to be okay. Everyone's fine. It's okay."
"It's not the end of the world."
He turned and gave Ginny, who was holding him a bleak, despairing look. "Are you looking at the same thing I am?" He said in a dead, flat voice.
"So it's a little bit of a mess…" She said, trying to smile.
"It. Is. In. Ruins." He continued in that flat tone, completely unlike his usual snarky energy.
"With what?" He moaned. "Look at this!" His voice suddenly rose sharply and he jabbed his wand at the grinning head of Bellatrix LeStrange which was upright and staring at nothing amidst the crushed remains of Draco's factory.
That had been bad enough… but Potter's last shot. The one that had literally kicked Bella's head off had sent it careening and bouncing all over the neighborhood. Which had almost been funny, given that most of the neighborhood had already been in total ruins, so that hadn't caused much of a fuss.
Except the Potter's stag had kicked far stronger than anyone had even considered possible.
Strong enough to send it right into the grisly barricade of giants. Of course, those Asian women in the short skirts and funny wands had screamed out things. Spells that Draco had never heard before.
The head had hit their hurriedly improvised shield and bounced high. Almost directly up.
Then almost directly down.
Back onto the barricade.
Except the shield was curved and it had deflected the head just so.
Just perfectly so… that it sent the head plowing right into the Audi R8 first.
Then into the factory.
The entire north side was wrecked. That had been where all the friers and bagging equipment had been. The dorms were on the south side and no one had gotten hurt there. Which was a small blessing, but that also meant all of Draco's factory equipment… his carefully calibrated, precision built, Wizarding produced factory equipment was completely crushed.
And Bella's head was still intact and leering down on him. Even as the real (and unconscious) Bella was carted off by the few actually British Aurors around to a functioning Floo.
It was at that moment that Snape apperated into view next to Malfoy. His gaze swept the ruined area, then he turned a glance down on Draco. "You let this happen?"
"Me?! Let it happen?!" Draco snarled, shooting up to his feet. "Blame the one who sent Aunt Bella and those giants here!" He jabbed his wand at Snape, "You know perfectly well who that is!"
Snape's haughty expression seemed to harden for a moment, but Draco's eyes widened as he realized something.
"You knew!" Draco gaped at Snape. "You knew this was going to happen! That's why you insisted we have the factory set up in this town!"
Snape sneered down at Draco, "Don't be absurd, boy."
"You set us up?!" Ginny growled at Snape, still maintaining her hug on Draco, but now it was no longer consoling, but rather trying to keep him from jumping the older man.
"This is no business of yours, Miss Weasley…"
"It is my business! I've been managing Draco's accounts for a while now!" She glared
"What, pray tell, could your qualifications for that sort of work be?"
"I help my mother balance our household accounts," Ginny replied haughtily. "And what about you?! What exactly have you been contributing to the company?! Besides trying to destroy it?!"
"I will have you know, that the exclusive formulation you are using is my invention. All of Draco's initial capital is mine as was the signature used to rent this property." He sniffed, "You are both obviously still just children and would know nothing about how the real world works."
Draco during the exchange was getting progressively redder and more furious. "She's worth ten of you! We've been slaving away, day after day and for what?! To have you sabotage us because it amused you!?"
"Ahem." Someone said solemnly next to them, interrupting the argument.
All three turned to face the clearly Japanese witch who was twisting a massive baton-sized wand in both hands while shying away from the three angry faces confronting her.
"I… that is… we are very sorry about the damages to your manufactory Mr. Prince Malfoy sir."
Draco twitched and might have launched into a tirade about the contribution of the Asian contingent of Witches to the devastation, but Snape spoke before he could.
His voice was coldly dismissive. "Think nothing of it. Some… collateral damage is inevitable when things like this happen."
"Well, we are working on covering up the damage to make it consistent with a freak storm, perhaps something with unseasonal and completely uncharacteristic cyclones, but such things follow their own logical path anyway and…"
"Spit it out," Draco snarled, "What do you want?!"
She bowed low to them, then spoke in a breathless rush. "We would like to repair the damage to your warehouse and to your car and the parking lot at the very least."
Ginny and Draco both blinked. "We have some specialists in very fast, very accurate repairs that we would like to bring in from our home country. They have a great deal of experience with repairing this kind of damage."
"Abso-" Draco began to say, but Snape cut him off.
"No. Leave the warehouse as it is."
"What?! Are you INSANE?!" Draco screamed. "You are going to ruin me! I need a factory!"
"Well, you do not have one." Snape sniffed. "And screaming and throwing a tantrum will not get you your way here any more than at Hogwarts."
"Uh… should I go…?" The Japanese woman asked uncomfortably, twisting her wand in her hands even more.
Ginny shot Snape another glare, then turned to the Magical girl, "At least do the car. He's got no say over that."
"Oh," She said with obvious relief as she backed away from the very angry people. "Absolutely, yes." She scurried away.
"You shouldn't have any say over the factory either, Godfather!" Draco growled, turning the word into a curse. "I was the one actually using it! I was actually working it!"
"Except my name is the one that appears on all the paperwork." Snape smirked.
Draco blinked. "Except you had me sign some of those papers too."
Snape gestured dismissively, "Nothing of consequence."
Draco frowned, "This is for the… agh. Blast it. What is the term…" He frowned until finally, "The Sewer Ants!"
"What?" Ginny asked, confused.
"He said something about making sure we had… coverings." Draco's eyes blazed furiously. "You utter wanker. You knew. I'm sure of it."
"What are you talking about?" Ginny asked, puzzled.
"Sewer Ants Coverings." Draco snarled. "It's a form of muggle gambling. Godfather bet someone that the factory would get destroyed, knowing that it was in the path of this attack."
"I did no such thing," Snape glowered.
"You endangered all these people…" His voice drifted off as he realized what he was really angry about, "You endangered me! Your own godson! For money!"
Snape gestured, "Weren't you doing all this for money as well?"
"Only as a means to an END!"
"As it always is," Snape replied airily.
Draco looked at Snape murderously, but Ginny's voice suddenly cut through the argument like a whipcrack. "Mr. Smith!"
"Yes, Miss Weasley." Smith stepped up beside them, bristling with brisk efficiency.
"Mr. Snape here," Ginny inclined her head towards the man, "Has outworn his welcome. We also have reason to believe he may have had prior knowledge of the attack and allowed it to happen so that he could profit."
"That's… a serious accusation," Smith murmured, then turned a flat stare at Snape. "Especially when leveled against a known Death Eater associate that only escaped justice last time at the recommendation of the Head of the Wizengamot."
Snape took a step back from the older man's stare and noticed that the argument had attracted quite a bit of attention. Most of the factory workers already had their wands in hand and all looked ready to see if their potato peeling charms would be useable on a live target.
He turned a final sneer towards Draco, "Consider my permission to use my recipe revoked, Draco. And the use of the Prince name while we're at it."
He apperated away just a fraction of a second ahead of a potato thrown at his head.
Draco scrubbed his empty hand down his face and stared, "And now we're completely ruined."
"Well, it might not be a total loss," Ginny said carefully.
"What are you talking about?!" Draco exploded. "We have no factory! The stocks of potatoes that we have that survive are now completely useless to us because if we DID get a place where we could process them, if we tried to prepare them to Professor Snape's formula then he'd be able to come after us for it legally! We have no more liquidity in the Wizarding World because we just sunk it all into paying for security people for a factory that no longer exists! And to top it all off, that Audi's been gone for so long from the lot, I wouldn't be surprised if Ferdinand is even now calling the police on me for stealing it!"
"Okay, I admit it does look bad," Ginny said slowly, "On the other hand we're alive. You've still got a lot of workers. Unskilled and skilled." She turned her gaze pointedly at the ex-Aurors who were still helping with the clean up. "The majority of whom are convinced you're Merlin himself returned. We'll come up with something, alright?"
"I… I suppose so."
"Tomorrow's another day." Ginny said forcing a smile.
"... yes. And we still have the Audi to aspire to." Draco replied, unable to resist smiling himself.
"Yes," She purred.
"And now one more thing too." His voice dropped to a growl, that Ginny was not going to admit was doing all sorts of things for her.
"Revenge." Draco growled.
Pansy groaned softly as she came to, the bright light of morning drawing a scowl across the pretty witch's face. She blinked rapidly against the light, her vision slowly coming into being. Across the large Hogwarts Hospital Wing, she could spy a sleeping Harry Potter in another bed. She felt tension she didn't know she'd been carrying slip away into nothingness, and she slumped very slightly as she smiled.
She then spotted a sleeping Hermione Granger in the bed next to his, separated by a privacy screen. Again, she felt a strange kind of relief and wasn't entirely sure why.
Good Merlin's beard, I really am turning into a Gryffindor, she thought, faux sourly. She sighed and rubbed her face. She seemed to have been healed up nicely, given the terrifying sensation of her internal organs burning in agony was gone. She did have a slight headache, but that was natural after potions exposure.
And she was seeing a man dressed in flamingo pink robes and a broad sunhat walking in. She blinked a moment before realizing it was Dumbledore, and thus perfectly normal. For him.
"Hello Miss Parkinson," Dumbledore said kindly. Pansy averted her eyes.
"Um... Hello Headmaster," she said quietly. Dumbledore chuckled.
"You know, I still remember the first time we met," he said fondly. "You were such a little wahini, clinging to your father's leg when we met in Gringrotts. I offered you candy and you took it. Do you remember?"
"I... Not really, Headmaster," Pansy admitted, frowning in confusion. "How'd I-?"
"My order arrived just in time to be absolutely useless," Dumbledore confessed with a smile. "Well, save for saving the injured. And collect some testimony from those around. Indeed, that a certain young witch aided in the battle by rather selflessly trying to cut Bellatrix's belly open?"
Pansy flushed. "I... Har-Potter needed... I owed him," she said with a shrug. "He took me in, and... And I couldn't just let him..."
"You know," Dumbledore said, looking out the window at the Scottish landscape, "that wasn't a particularly... bright thing to do. An unkind person might say it wasn't very Slytherin of you."
Pansy was silent. Dumbledore's eyes twinkled.
"Nor a very Parkinson-like thing to do, either, assuming it was the same person. Your family's always tried to stay out of things. Business people."
"Selling off their daughter for wine and caviar," Pansy sneered. Dumbledore looked at her, and she flushed under his scrutiny. "I..."
"Yes," Dumbledore nodded, "I had heard of that."
Pansy sighed. "So... Are you going to tell them I'm here? Hand me back to them?"
"Do you want to go?" Dumbledore asked. Pansy frowned.
"What do you think?" She asked sarcastically. She then flushed, and averted her eyes. "I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean-"
Dumbledore chuckled. "You know, that spirit of yours is quite amazing. I can see why he likes you." The old wizard's smile grew just a bit. "So many of my wonderful students learning to stand on their own... Finding out who they are. And finding things to fight for." He looked over at the sleeping Harry and Hermione, and then back to Pansy. "I'm glad that you've found something for yourself to fight for. Even if said unkind person would disapprove."
"Said unkind person sounds like a complete idiot," Pansy retorted, a bit cautiously. She was rewarded with a small laugh from Dumbledore.
"Yes! Yes indeed he does," the wizard laughed. Pansy looked back over at Harry, smiling a bit.
"He's going to be all right...?" She asked. Dumbledore nodded.
"Quite all right... Though he will need some assistance," Dumbledore said. "And I daresay Madam Pomphrey is going to be a bit overwhelmed. She's aiding everyone else at St Mungo's. The Dursley house will need to be repaired, so that's out. And even if Voldemort," he waited for Pansy to stop flinching, "'s assault got him a great deal of attention he will need time to recover and regroup. So for the moment Hogwarts is probably the safest place for him to be. And keeping the identities of those aiding him secret would just be common sense..."
"... Are you offering to let me be his... Nurse?" Pansy asked with a blush. She scowled. "You aren't going about it in a very subtle way, you know."
"Are you going to agree to it?" Dumbledore asked. Pansy flushed.
"Then my aims have been achieved," Dumbledore said with a bright smile. "Subtlety is merely the beginning of cunning, Miss Parkinson. Besides, convincing someone to do something they were going to do anyway is not that much of a challenge, is it?"
"I-I guess not," Pansy admitted, eying Granger. "And her too?"
"I've invited her parents to come," Dumbledore said. He shook his head. "It occurs to me we need the parents to be a bit more involved in things, Muggle or otherwise." He rose and brushed off his robes. "If you would like, breakfast will be served in the Great Hall soon. Would you care to join me?"
"I..." Pansy glanced at Harry for a moment, then nodded. "Certainly, Headmaster."
"Good," he said. "Please awaken Miss Granger. I will see you there shortly." Dumbledore walked off, whistling softly. It was some Muggle song, Pansy was sure of it, but she couldn't place the name. She rose and walked over to the sleeping Hermione. She reached out and shook her shoulder.
"Mmmph... Nngh..." The Muggleborn witch grunted. Pansy sighed... And got a wicked little smile.
"Potter needs a spongebath. I volunteered to give it to him but if you have any objections-"
"I'm awake!" Hermione cried, shooting straight up. She rushed around the privacy screen to check on Harry... And returned with a sour expression on her face. Pansy just smirked back. "Can't you stop tormenting me for five minutes?"
"I did for several hours, if you'll recall," Pansy pointed out.
"You were unconscious!"
"My point still stands," Pansy said. She walked around the privacy screen to gaze down at Harry. She smiled warmly at the almost peaceful look his face had adopted. She brushed some of his untidy hair out of his face, and sighed.
"You really are impossible, you know that right?" She said softly. She glanced at Hermione, who was scowling a bit. "But then, I'm glad of it. Aren't you?"
Hermione flushed, and nodded slowly. "Well... Yes, yes I am," she admitted, gazing at her... Best friend with a warm smile of her own.
"Come on, the Headmaster invited us to breakfast," Pansy said. "It would be rude to turn him down, would it not?"
"I suppose so," Hermione admitted with a lingering look at Harry. Pansy sighed.
"And we can bring him something to eat, too. If you're that dead set on staying by his side and pestering him into taking care of himself."
"He wouldn't be here if I didn't," Hermione said, a bit smugly.
"The sad thing is, you're probably right..."
The Dark Lord had brought his followers back with him to their Unplottable castle, silent from the moment Bellatrix had been brought down. Snape had made his excuses of being a spy and had practically fled, leaving Voldemort with Wormtail, Lucius Malfoy... And a still shocked Alfred Lestrange.
Alfred looked over at the two wizards, and then back at Voldemort upon his dark throne.
"... My Lord, perhaps you should show the Loremaster just what the price of failure is," he said, his usual confidence a bit slack. Wormtail nodded eagerly.
"Y-Yes! Yes! It was his plan, all his idea!" He said, pointing at Alfred. "He's responsible! He failed us! Not us! No, we followed you loyally and to the end and-!"
"Silence," Voldemort hissed. Alfred slowly raised his hand. The Dark Wizard glared at him, and Alfred slowly lowered it. "Well Loremaster?"
Alfred was still pretty overwhelmed. Learning there was a magical world... That his real mom and dad were wizards... That magic was real... That he served a real Dark Lord who actually was evil and had unleashed a whole army of giant zombies and soul sucking monsters on an innocent town... Kind of a lot to take in. But, he did have the means to know when the right time was to accept responsibility... And when it was time to blame some other sucker. Since everybody else had beat him to it, he guessed he was left with option 1.
"Yeah, it pretty much is my fault," Alfred said. "I accept full responsibility."
"Yes, exac..." Wormtail froze and stared in disbelief. Even Lucius Malfoy seemed... Impressed? Voldemort stared back.
"Indeed? How is it your fault?" Voldemort asked in a neutral tone. Alfred coughed.
"Well, uh... I kind of did originate it. I suggested it. It was my plan from the start..."
"Indeed... And what role did you play in executing that plan?" Voldemort asked flatly. Alfred coughed, and thought about it. Long and hard.
"... I... Brought the pizza rolls?" He asked. "And I stood there... With you?"
"So in other words, other than the origination of the plan you have no responsibility for what actually happened?" Voldemort concluded. Alfred blinked a few times.
"Well... When you put it like that then, sure, yeah." He shrugged.
"My Lord?" Lucius asked, blinking almost frantically as though to make sure his eyes were working. Alfred personally thought he was going to give himself epilepsy. Wormtail didn't look much better. Voldemort glared at them, and they cringed.
"The rest of you... Begone from my sight," he ordered. Lucius and Wormtail, confused but relieved, made their way out the nearby door. As soon as it shut with a dramatic bang, Voldemort sagged. Alfred cringed.
"Er... My Lord? You okay?" He asked. Voldemort sighed, and rubbed his pale forehead.
"Alfred... You do know of Legilimency, do you not? The magic art of reading minds?" Alfred opened his mouth, but Voldemort beat him to it. "No, of course you didn't. You had no idea I could read your mind. Do you know what I found?"
"Er..." Alfred grimaced. "If you're asking about the thoughts I had regarding that one bird in the leather shooting a wand gun, I'm totally not going to betray you over her. I don't even know her, I just know she's got a nice-"
"No Alfred," Voldemort said flatly. "That is not what I found... Or rather, not what I wanted to discuss."
"Oh," Alfred said. "Thank God. This was getting awkward..."
"Indeed," Voldemort observed dryly. "No, what I found was something I didn't find in my other servants... A bit of honesty. You didn't immediately leap to blaming everyone else for the operation's... Setbacks."
"Setbacks? That's understating it," Alfred blurted out. "I mean... Er..." At Voldemort's look he hesitated. The Dark Lord nodded, and Alfred continued slowly. "I mean, we lost all the giant zombies and my mum-"
"Right, them, that we sent in. Potter apparently leveled up or unlocked a new ability, which involves summoning some giant deer made out of energy-"
"That, yeah. And apparently they have giant robots, which would be a lot more awesome if they weren't our enemies-"
"Talos," Voldemort added again. Alfred nodded.
"Right. Love the reference, by the way... And er... Well, a whole bunch of wizards and witches from overseas flew in to save the day. And everyone's acting like you're going to make their brains boil out of their heads."
"If we are being honest, Alfred," Voldemort began, steepling his fingers in front of him, "before I might have done just that. I'm a bit infamous for it, really... Then I realized," and here Voldemort held up a single long, white finger, "in this case I have no one else to blame but myself... And Potter."
"I had no idea Potter could do that," Voldemort said with a shake of his head. "I had no idea that a Talos would appear. Nor that Potter's allies would be so... Resourceful. And in the end, what are the losses to our side?" He leaned back in his throne. "Bellatrix will be recovered. The Inferi represent but a small portion of our stock. The Dementors will recover. And I now know much more of what Potter can do than he knows of what I can do." He smirked slightly. "Indeed... There is another bonus: The Ministry has shown just how weak and ineffectual it is right now. Yet they cannot undo the embargo which so cripples them. Not without incurring considerable political damage, but more importantly-Because they have already had to admit I have returned, and that is a slight to their pride they will not have forgotten."
Voldemort rose and paced the throne room. Alfred watched him, still kind of... Terrified? A little. Mystified? That too. In shock? Oh yeah, definitely. Maybe he was just numbing himself out of response to this entire thing. That almost seemed like a smart thing to do.
"Yet in this situation, you thought of your mother."
"I just learned she was my mum," Alfred said with a shrug. "I mean, losing her would..."
Voldemort nodded. "Indeed..." He sighed and looked aside. "To be honest, Loremaster... I feel as though I am not myself. And yet, I feel that this is a better thing. Perhaps it is influence from Potter... Perhaps simply influence from you." He looked to Alfred. "Perhaps I read that Evil Overlord List a few too many times, but this... This is merely a setback. And what would Crucioing you into oblivion do but make you resent me? Fear me?" He walked up to Alfred. "You already fear me, do you not?"
"... Yeah, I do, quite a bit," Alfred admitted. Voldemort nodded.
"And yet, you would still serve me?"
"... I guess... Yeah," Alfred admitted. He shrugged, and smiled wanly. "I mean... Before all this, I was just a pizza delivery guy. No future, nothing to look forward to... This though," and he looked upon the stack of comics, sourcebooks and other memorabilia on a table in the corner, "this is real. This is my fantasy made real!" He felt a surge of almost sadistic glee as he grinned at the Dark Wizard. "And the prospect of seeing just what else you can do... Well... That seems worth the fear, my Lord."
Voldemort stared into his eyes... And nodded. He chuckled. "How strange," he mused. "That of all my loyal Pureblood Wizards, the one who has wonder and the right attitude... Is the Squib." He shook his head and chuckled again. "Forgive me, Loremaster. The irony is... Palpable."
"Well... It's kind of a dramatic irony, but yeah," Alfred agreed. "So... What next?"
"We will rest, lay low for a time," Voldemort said. "Our agents in the Ministry will continue the embargo, find new information. We will build our forces up, look for the right opportunity to strike!" He lowered his clenched fist. "But for the time being... You will introduce me to more Muggle 'popular culture'. I wish to gain inspiration!"
"All right!" Alfred said with a grin. "What would you like to start with?"
"Start me out on the basic villains... I recall seeing The Body Snatcher in a theater once upon a time, but I trust villains in Muggle fiction have evolved since then?" Voldemort asked. Alfred blinked repeatedly, and nodded.
"Yeah, you might say that..."
And thus concludes Biting the Hand that Feeds You. The story will be resumed in...
THE HAND BITES BACK