A/N – As regular readers know, I love a Dark Hermione story so for the foreseeable future, Mondays and Fridays will be dark days where I publish my dark stories. So updates for this will be Monday and Friday.
This story is a bit different for a dark story in the respect that it only has 8 chapters. Most of my dark stories are fairly long, but I am also trying to do some smaller ones. This particular piece was originally going to be a Tales from the Dark Side, but by the time I'd finished what would have been the collection piece, I had the entire story in my head so I carried on and turned it into a multi-chapter fic.
Time wise this is set during seventh year – but a lot of things have ran differently (all of which will be explained over the course of the story). I hope people enjoy Fools Rush In.
A couple of days into the Easter break of their seventh and final year of Hogwarts, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley were ensconced in the front room of Grimmauld Place, headquarters of the reformed Order of the Phoenix, playing a game of chess. Neither boy was particularly gripped by the game, but it was better than sitting around doing nothing. Truth be told they were bored, and they wanted some action. Their other best friend, Hermione Granger, had chosen to go home and see her parents over the holidays, so the boys were pretty much on their own for the next couple of weeks. Of course they could have spent their holidays at Ron's family home, The Burrow, but they were hoping that if they stayed at Headquarters with Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, they might get to see some action.
Not that there had been much action since Voldemort's return at the end of the boys fourth year. Not everyone had believed Harry when he said the dark wizard had returned, but Albus Dumbledore had been among those who had believed him and he'd reformed the Order with witches and wizards who were either loyal to him or had been part of the original Order during the first war. Harry had then expected their numbers to grow as the rest of the wizarding world discovered Voldemort was back, but it just hadn't happened.
Since his return, Voldemort hadn't made any large attack or publically made it known he was around. There had been minor skirmishes and even a breakout from Azkaban, but nothing large enough to get the public believing they were in any danger. The bloody war the Order had been preparing for had failed to materialise, and as such all the Order could do was wait and try and gather intelligence on what the dark were planning.
The Order's big weapon was supposed to be Severus Snape – a former Death Eater turned spy for Dumbledore. Snape had confirmed The Dark Lord's return hours after Harry had reported the news, but apparently since then he hadn't seen the dark wizard again and had no idea what he was planning. Harry and Ron suspected that it meant Voldemort trusted Snape as much as they did – which was not at all. However, Dumbledore had a different view and he was becoming increasingly convinced that the ritual Voldemort had used to restore himself hadn't worked properly, which was why nothing had happened and why Snape had never seen him after the day of his return. Still, it was merely a theory, and without proof, The Order were still on high alert, just waiting for Voldemort and his Death Eaters to attack.
"I am so bored," Ron muttered. "Maybe we should have gone to The Burrow after all. At least there we could go flying."
"We could always leave once Sirius comes back," Harry replied, agreeing with Ron that Grimmauld Place was not living up to their expectations of excitement.
Since Grimmauld Place was in the middle of London, muggle London at that, the boys were pretty much confined to the old dusty house. It may have only been a couple of days since they arrived, but they were already starting to go stir crazy and it didn't help that Sirius had gone off out yesterday evening and hadn't returned. His best friend, and their former Defence Professor, Remus Lupin, suggested he'd spent the evening with a lady friend, but they wouldn't know for sure until Sirius returned.
As if talking about him summoned him up, the boys heard the front door open and Sirius ordering the portrait of his mother to be quiet when she started screeching. Mrs Black ignore her son and continued to shout, but Sirius ignored her as he poked his head into the front room where the boys were sitting.
"Just the people I wanted to see," Sirius said with a grin. "Is there anyone else around?"
"Mum poked her head in earlier, but she then went to do some shopping," Ron replied. "I think Remus is around somewhere."
"I think he's up in the library with Tonks," Harry supplied. "Should I go and get him?"
"No, what I have to say is for your ears only," Sirius said, keeping his voice down low as he entered the room and quietly shut the door behind him. "I know the pair of you want some action, and I'm about to give you some. However, it has to stay between the three of us. I doubt Dumbledore and some of the others would approve of what I've done, and what I'm planning on doing."
"What have you done, and what are you planning on doing?" Harry asked his godfather.
"You'll see," Sirius replied. "But before I take you into my confidence, I need your word that this stays between the three of us. No-one can find out what we're doing. We can tell everyone if my plan works, but until then, it's a secret."
"We won't tell a soul," Harry vowed and Ron also promised his silence.
"In that case, let's go now before anyone can stop us," Sirius said. "One of you jot a quick note saying we're going to Diagon Alley and we'll be back this afternoon."
"We're going to Diagon Alley?" Ron asked in dismay as Harry summoned some parchment and jotted down the note to leave for the rest of the Order. Diagon Alley was hardly thrilling, and it was somewhere Ron had been numerous times in his life.
"No, that's just where we're telling people we're going," Sirius replied with a smirk. "You'll soon find out where we're really going. Now are you ready, or what?"
"We're ready," Harry said, propping the note up on the table where they'd been playing chess. "Let's go."
Excited that they were finally getting some action, Harry and Ron grabbed their coats and followed Sirius out of the front door. Once they were clear of the house, Sirius took hold of them both and whisked them away from London. When they landed, the boys found themselves outside of a dilapidated cottage on the coast. There looked to be no more houses around for miles, and the entire area seemed deserted.
"What are we doing here?" Ron asked.
"And where exactly is here?" Harry added.
"This is an old cottage belonging to my family," Sirius replied. "When I was younger, we used to come here for weekends by the sea."
"I hope the place was nicer back then," Ron muttered.
"The cottage was, but its location has always been secluded," Sirius replied. "More often than not we didn't see another soul while we were here. Regulus and I used to love having the beach to ourselves."
"Somehow I don't think you brought us here for a trip down memory lane," Harry said to his godfather. "Especially as the place has long since seen better days."
"You're right, Harry," Sirius replied with a smile. "I've got something you might be interested in inside the cottage."
Harry and Ron exchanged baffled looks as Sirius waved his wand to disarm the protective wards he'd placed around the cottage. They then followed the older wizard into the dark cottage, wondering what surprises awaited them. What they didn't expect to find was a lone chair sitting in the centre of the room, with a bound Draco Malfoy sitting on it. Draco's head was lolling to one side and he looked to be unconscious, but other than that he seemed unhurt.
"Bloody hell, Sirius, what have you done?" Ron gasped at the sight of his most hated enemy tied up in Sirius's possession.
"It was a spur of the moment thing," Sirius admitted with a shrug. "I spent last night with a friend, and this morning I popped to Diagon Alley to grab some hangover potion. The shop I usually use didn't have any, so I went into Knockturn Alley. I saw Malfoy exiting one of the shops, and he seemed to be alone. Next thing I knew, I'd knocked him out and this was the only place I could think of bringing him. If I'd taken him to Dumbledore, he likely would have made me let him go."
"But what do you hope to achieve from kidnapping Malfoy?" Harry asked. "Don't get me wrong, it's great to see him at such a disadvantage, but his father will be furious. He won't stop until he gets him back."
"I don't intend to keep him," Sirius replied. "I just intend to use him to get the information we've been sorely lacking."
"You expect him to talk?" Ron asked. "I think Malfoy is a big of a coward as they come, but I don't think he'll tell us about You-Know-Who. He'll probably not know anything, anyway."
"He knows things," Harry said, disagreeing with his best friend. "After all, it appears Voldemort is staying with the Malfoys. He might not be privy to the dark's plans, but he will at least know what state Voldemort's in. Although I do agree with Ron about Malfoy not talking. His loyalty is to the dark, and he'll know he'll be in more danger if he betrays them. We can hurt him, but I don't think we'll break him."
"I have no intention of breaking him," Sirius said. "I agree that he'll likely not talk. My plan is to infiltrate Malfoy Manor as Draco. I'll be in there just long enough to find out what state You-Know-Who's in. After all, no-one's going to suspect Draco in his own home."
"You're going to use polyjuice potion to get into Malfoy Manor as Malfoy, and have a nose around?" Harry checked with his godfather.
"I am," Sirius replied with a grin. "I'll get the information we need, and I'll be out of there before they even know what's happened. We can then just obliviate Malfoy, and set him free. We'll have some vital information, and the dark will have no idea how we've played them."
"That's brilliant," Ron gushed, beaming widely.
"It sounds dangerous to me," Harry said warily. "No offence Sirius, but you don't know Malfoy. You don't know how to act like him. You could arouse someone's suspicions without even realising it. Maybe Ron or I should do the infiltrating, at least we could pass ourselves off as Malfoy easier than you."
"No, I won't let either of you take that risk," Sirius said with a stubborn shake of his head. "Ron's parents would kill me if they found out I'd let him go into the heart of the dark side, and you're too important to risk, Harry. It has to be me."
"But Harry's right," Ron argued. He didn't really fancy posing as Malfoy himself, but he could understand where Harry was coming from saying it would be easier for one of them to pull off. "How can you possibly expect to fool the people closest to Malfoy when you don't know him?"
"That is where you two come in," Sirius replied. "You're going to spend the rest of the day giving me a crash course in Draco Malfoy. Come tomorrow, we'll be ready to put the plan into action and I'll know enough about him to fool even his parents. Dumbledore still has his pensieve at my place, so we can use that so I can view your memories of him and really get under his skin."
"And what about Malfoy himself?" Harry asked, glancing over at the blond who still appeared to be unconscious.
"No harm will come to him here until tomorrow," Sirius replied with a shrug.
"And what about tonight? What happens when he doesn't go home?" Ron asked. "His parents will be looking for him, and they might be able to track him down."
"We'll send a note, informing them he's staying with a friend overnight," Sirius answered. "It's not ideal, but it should keep them from sending out a search party."
"Okay," Harry said with a nod, his mind already going over the plan and looking for weaknesses. "We can use Zabini as an alibi. Malfoy's friendlier with him than the other Slytherins, but his family doesn't have close connections to the dark. If we used someone like Nott, Crabbe or Goyle, the Malfoys might know he's not with them."
"I'll leave that to your judgement," Sirius said. "All we need now is some hairs from our prisoner. We can grab some polyjuice potion from Knockturn Alley on the way home."
"Is pulling his hairs out going to wake Malfoy?" Harry asked as he approached the blond wizard.
"No Potter, I'm already awake," Draco drawled, opening his eyes and lifting his head. "And I heard everything."
"So?" Ron questioned with a shrug. "You can't do anything about it."
"You're right I can't," Draco replied with a slow smirk. "But I can tell you that you're going to fail." Turning his head, Draco focused on Sirius. "It doesn't matter how much Potter and Weasley can tell you about me, they don't know me well enough to give you the information to fool those closest to me. If you do this, you're dead. I just thought I'd give you a friendly warning, since we're family."
"You're no family of mine," Sirius snarled. Whipping out his wand, he pointed it at Draco and shot a spell at him that had the blond wizard falling back into unconsciousness.
"Do you think he's right?" Ron asked as Sirius roughly yanked several hairs from Draco's head.
"He's just trying to stir the pot," Sirius said. "But even if he is right, I think it's worth the risk. We've got nothing, and we're getting no information from anywhere. We're just guessing what the dark are up to. For all we know, they've folded in a heap and are no threat. But on the other hand, they could be preparing for war. I say we take this risk. At the moment, it's all we have."
"I agree with Sirius," Harry said. "We need to do this. We're just going to have to give him every scrap of information we can about Malfoy, and show him all our memories. Hopefully no-one will pay him that much attention when he's at the manor and he can be in and out without any fuss."
"That's what I like to hear Harry, positivity," Sirius said with a smile. "I think we're done here, so let's go."
Harry and Ron took one final look at the unconscious Draco, before following Sirius out of the cottage and back into the spring air. Sirius once again warded the cottage so Draco couldn't escape, before he escorted the two boys back to London where they picked up some illicit polyjuice potion, before heading back to Grimmauld Place to spend the rest of the day preparing Sirius for the task that lay ahead. By the end of the day he was going to know everything about Draco Malfoy, and they all hoped it was going to be enough for him to head to Malfoy Manor, find out what they needed to know and get out again without being rumbled.