"Hey, Heir Malfoy!"
"What, … Lord Potter?"
"Could I have a word with you? In private?"
It was late evening, crowds of people were leaving The Great Hall after the dinner, and Draco Malfoy was leaving with his goons, Crabbe and Goyle. He turned with a sneer to Harry Potter who run towards him.
"What do you need, Mr. Potter? I have something more interesting to do than chatting with small kittens."
Harry hold his anger at bay for the moment. He was actually glad Draco was antagonistic towards him at the moment, nobody will suspect anything.
"I won't bother you for long, Mr. Malfoy."
Draco turned around, looked thoughtfully at longing Pansy Parkinson and then resolutely turned towards Harry. In the end it was possible Harry wanted to have political talk, and that could be important.
"OK, Mr. Potter, but just a minute."
Then he stepped out of the group and turned with Harry towards an empty corner of the Entrance Hall.
"Mr. Malfoy I wanted to ask you about one thing I really do not understand."
"Oh, so you finally admit that you are stupid and need my help, Mr. Potter?"
"Well, not exactly. It is just that. … OK, I don't ask you to confirm or deny anything what I saw in that graveyard in the Little Hangleton … no, don't say anything … just humour me for the sake of argument … let's say theoretically, in case Voldemort actually returned, and in case just theoretically your father was helping him to get back, why the hell he would do that?"
Draco looked at him in confusion. Harry just continued.
"Mr. Malfoy, I understand we are not exactly eye to eye on politics, on your opinion about wizards and witches who are like my sister, on werewolves and many other things, but I am not talking about our opinions. As much it pains me to admit it, I know that you are not stupid, and I am talking about Armand Malfoy, and about your family staying somewhere close to the top of the wizarding Britain for more than nine centuries. I thought you are in the game for a long run and that you are smarter than to fall for the person like Voldemort."
Draco was confused, he wanted to blow up some obscenity to Harry, to tell him that their family politics is none of his business, but he was also curious what he has to say, because he felt with deep pain somewhere around his stomach, that this idiot could have actually something to say. So, he just encouraged him instead.
"Go on, Mr. Potter."
"Have you ever heard about Muggle leaders like Napoleon or Hitler?"
"Of course, I did, I am not stupid, you know!"
"I am sorry, I really didn't want to imply anything like that, Mr. Malfoy, but I am really not certain what a good pureblood guy knows about Muggle history."
"Well, I don't know that much to be honest. Just that they were alive and that Hitler was one of the nastiest persons walking on the Earth."
"So, if you know at least about them, I would encourage you to go and read something more. It may give you some insights how these people like Voldemort work?"
"You compare The Dark Lord with some ordinary muggles?!"
"Well, muggles or not muggles, they were really not exactly ordinary. Yes, they were absolutely awful and disdainful, and they fully deserved all they got in the end, but they were in some aspects shockingly similar to each other, and in my opinion to Voldemort as well.
For example, all of them had no sense when to stop, and so they went on and on so long until they hit somebody who finally destroyed them. Which leads us back to the long game of the Malfoy family. Imagine Voldemort succeeds, kills me, destroys any of his opponents and completely dominates magical Britain. How long do you think his reign will go on?"
Draco looked at him confused. What the hell he means by question like this? And how can he talk about his own death so calmly and matter-of-factly? He tried some feeble answer, but he was immediately certain that his uncertainty was obvious.
"I don't know, for a long time, until he dies in his old age? And even that seems somehow complicated, because apparently even the Killing Curse hitting him by a rebound was not enough to get him out."
Harry rather ignored the second sentence, but he thought the first one could actually lead him to what he wanted to say.
"I think you should really study a bit more history of those two dictators. Napoleon was actually a really very capable general and strategist, and yet he remained in power for only sixteen years (or perhaps just eleven), and Hitler only twelve. If both of them just stay put after they conquered large chunk of Europe, they could probably stay around for much longer time. However, both of them tried to conquer more they could chew, particularly both of them tried to attack Russia, and both of them failed and they were destroyed. I would expect Voldemort following the same path, that is, he will overextend himself, and I wouldn't expect him to stay even for five years.
I don't know what Voldemort will try which will destroy him, but I am sure he has no common sense to stop and limit himself. Perhaps, he will just attack some other nations and he will be defeated by united forces of ICW. And even if he defeats them, I have heard he is now re-targeting himself from pureblood to general magical supremacy. If he tries to attack Muggle Great Britain, he has no idea what will hit him.
We were taught that Killing Curse cannot be stopped by any magical defence. What about armour equivalent of 30 inches of the best quality steel? I don't think he has any chance to send a curse through something like that. That's muggle fighting machine called tank. 1 With this crazy thick armour, it can drive almost as fast as the Hogwarts Express.
Do you remember how the late Quirrellmort showed us a muggle gun? This tank has one secondary gun which can throw five hundred rounds in a minute, each of them flying faster than you can even hear them coming. Which Shielding Charm will sustain such attack, what do you think? I would say none, do you agree?
Before you could even think about defence curse, a whole army would be cut like grass. And that's the smaller gun, the main one is designed to fight monsters like itself. One shrapnel from that can kill a whole crowd of men.
Even if Voldemort tries weather charms or something like that, this monster weights sixty tons, so it can happily go through the middle of hurricane and people inside of it won't even notice. And only the Muggle British army has hundreds of monsters similar to that. And that's just conventional tank, we are not talking about nuclear arms, missiles, or fighter planes, against which there is no magical defence whatsoever.
Voldemort has some knowledge of the Muggle technology, he was living in London during the Battle of Britain, but I am not sure how much he actually knows. He saw Luftwaffe bombing London, but for example I wonder whether he ever saw tank, I don't think he ever saw attack aircraft in close air support of the land armies or whether he ever heard about missiles. Moreover, I am really not sure he can really appreciate how far the current Muggle technology advanced and whether he can stop himself not to overexert himself and try anyway.
Draco, whether you believe me or not, I saw Voldemort; the guy is completely insane, he has absolutely no chance to keep his power for longer time, and if the Malfoy family wants to live in the time range of where it has been living so far, you should be very careful what you do, and most likely I would keep as much distance as possible from him."
Draco Malfoy was listening very carefully. He was obviously a bit shaken by what Harry told him.
"Why? Why do tell this to me? … Do you want to seed doubts and fear? Do you want to scare me?"
"Well, of course, I would prefer if Voldemort had no access to the huge financial resources of your family, so it is for my benefit as well, but I think you should listen to me even considering just your own most egoistical self-interest. Whatever differences in opinion we have about muggle-borns, werewolves, and other issues, I am persuaded that in this case our interests are actually a way closer than you think they are.
Despite what many think about me, I am not actually after the destruction of the Magical Britain, and although I am a liberal and I see need for many changes, I don't think destruction of major wizarding families like Malfoys would help anything. Nobody knows what future holds for us, and I surely can be wrong, but I truly believe what I say, after all I bet my life on it. And if I am right, fate of your father is probably not salvageable and thus you may be one of the most important men in the history of the Malfoy family, one on which lies whole future of your family and perhaps even the one of the Magical Britain. I thought you should have time to think about it and prepare.
Have a nice day, Mr. Malfoy."
With that Harry turned around and left Draco Malfoy to his unhappy thoughts.
1Numbers here are for Challenger 2, the main battle tank for the British army. The first tanks entered the service between 1994 and 1998, so it may be slightly anachronistic, but the exact numbers are not that important here.