"The mark continues to burn. You know what this means do you not Lucius." Narcissa says, her voice dripping with fear. "He's coming back, and he will want revenge."

"He would not target us Narcissa, we are his connection into the wider wizarding world. We are the reason why he got such a good start to begin with. He needs us." Her husband replies, his voice infuriatingly calm.

"You do not think he will know about you claiming to be under the Imperius Curse, and doing things against your will? You do not think he will he know who it was who gave information on Bellatrix?" Narcissa asks.

Lucius's face is one of deep held resentment. "If he does, he will understand why I had to do it. The Dark Lord understands the value of preservation. After all, he cannot have an army, if all his generals are dead or in prison."

"So, what will you do then?" Narcissa finds herself asking, hating how her voice quivers. She has feared this moment coming for thirteen years, feared it, loathed it, and dreamt of it all in one. "How will you protect us, Lucius?"

"I have resigned from the Ministry. Fudge understood why, Dumbledore has been putting far too much pressure on him, though from what Severus has said, it seems that Dumbledore himself might go." Lucius says.

"What do you mean?" Narcissa queries. "Have the governors decided something?"

"Not the governors, some of the teachers. They feel that after the Chamber, and the Philosopher's Stone, Dumbledore is losing his grip over the school. Furthermore, with Sirius Black on the run, it seems old wounds are opening up for Severus himself. The man who Dumbledore thought his greatest ally, could soon become our key to taking over the school." Lucius replies.

Cautiously, Narcissa takes a step forward, and plants a hand on her husband's arm. "Lucius, you cannot seriously be considering trying to take of Hogwarts, can you?"

"And what if I am?" her husband replies.

"Lucius, that is madness. There are more people in the community who would oppose you than welcome you. The Weasleys have the Prewett inheritance, they are bound to have more sway now than before. If you do that, we are all in danger." Narcissa pleads.

"If I do not do that, then we are most definitely in danger." Her husband snarls. "What you fail to realise Narcissa, is that we are running out of time. Either the Dark Lord will return and we shall need to do everything we can to ensure we remain in his good books. Or he will not return, and the purge of the old order will continue. I cannot allow that to happen. We must act and we must act quickly."

"And who will support you in this endeavour? Crabb? Goyle? Please tell me you are still not relying on them to carry out anything worthy of you? They have fewer brain cells than a slug. Indeed, if Draco is correct, their sons are hardly any better. Are they really the sort of people you want helping you?" Narcissa asks.

"Not Crabb or Goyle, indeed I do not think either of them will be around for much longer. Regardless of that fact, I know Severus for one is willing to help in this endeavour, and we have an outside source of help in the form of Crouch." Lucius says.

"Why would a Ministry official want to help you?" Narcissa asks confused.

"Because I have promised to support him in the role of Minister of Magic should he run for the post. The man has never given up his ambition, and Fudge is slowly losing his appeal. I can handle Crouch, he does not like Dumbledore, never has done. That is something I can use. Crouch has more adherents within the old rungs of the Ministry than Fudge believes. We must use that and quickly." Lucius replies.

A knock on the door, and Draco walks in. "I heard you talking." Her son says softly, his eyes flitting between the two of them. "I want to help."

"And how could you help Draco?" Lucius asks his tone filled with ice. It seems her husband has still not forgiven their son for his failed attempt at playing seeker all those years ago.

"I know things about the castle. Rooms which can be used to stage activities, ways to distract the professors from what is happening right underneath their noses. I can be helpful." Draco says. His voice so filled with hope it breaks her heart.

"What rooms would those be?" Lucius asks, Narcissa can tell he is considering whether their son has any value to him, and she finds herself hating him for that. Their son is not an object to be shifted and turned around a board.

"The Room of Desire, on the Fourth Floor, it makes your desires come true, at least for a moment. I know Professor Flitwick had to go Madam Pomfries last year for almost three weeks because of it. I know that the Mirror of Erised is still out there as well, somewhere within the castle, I could try and find it for you." Draco replies, his voice pleading.

Her husband takes a moment to think over what their son has said, Narcissa does not like it. It would put Draco in far too much danger. It seems however, that her husband does not see it that way. "I will think on it Draco. Thank you, you may go." Her son nods and hurriedly leaves the room.

The moment the door is closed, Narcissa looks at her husband and says. "You cannot be serious about this Lucius. Draco is only a boy!"

Her husband's eyes are cold when he replies. "It is time for him to learn the way the world works. He must do this, or we shall all suffer. Do not counter me on this Narcissa, the time has come. We must emerge from the shadows."