A Taste of Fire and Ice
By Lady Lestrange
Disclaimer: The characters in this story belong to the wonderful JK Rowlings. No infringement is meant or implied. Thanks JK.
SUMMARY: Ginny and Draco know that their parents will never understand their love. Their parents don't even live in the same world. Draco decides they need to live in each other's world. Thus, with a little help from Snape, Draco supposedly brews a potion that will give Lucius a little of Arthur's easy-going attitude. However, Draco decides to take matters a bit further and with the potion, Arthur Weasley and Lucius Malfoy switch lives. Ala Freaky Friday or Wish Upon a Star, see how the two men deal with each others' lives and each others children, and –erm, their wives.
Ginny had lain with her head on his shoulder last night and cried. They had hid until their passion for each other could no longer be hidden. Then they fought the prejudice between Slytherin and Gryffindor, each standing up for the other and venturing onto turf that traditionally belonged to the opposite house. Eventually, they conquered most of their friends' objections and ignored the rest, but they had not broached the subject of their love to their families. Even Ginny's Gryffindor bravery couldn't surmount the fear in both of their hearts. The words Ginny had said rolled round and round Draco's head.
"Your father and my father will never understand. They don't even live in the same world, Draco. It's hopeless."
"Do you want to marry me?" Draco asked.
Lips trembling, she said, "There's a difference between wanting and having. I learned that long ago."
But unlike Ginny, Draco was not used to hearing that he couldn't have what he wanted, and that included Ginny Weasley. In Draco's mind, the difference between wanting and having was only a matter of time. There had to be a way. If their parents could just understand—but they wouldn't understand. He knew that there was no way to explain their love to either of their parents.
Secretly, Draco felt that he had it more difficult than Ginny. After all, Arthur Weasley might rant and refuse his daughter some treat, but he wouldn't hurt her. Lucius Malfoy was as likely to throw Cruciatus at his son than anyone else. Well, that wasn't exactly true, Draco corrected himself. Lucius Malfoy had only Crucioed Draco once in his life and that was when he had called the Dark Lord 'just a miserable mudblood.' His father was probably afraid that he would let something like that slip in Voldemort's presence and then the whole family would likely end up dead.
Contrary to popular belief, Lucius Malfoy actually loved his family, at least as much as any Slytherin loves. After all, he bought the whole damned Quidditch team brooms when Draco hadn't even caught the snitch. His son and his wife had the best of everything, if that wasn't love, he didn't know what was. And, thought Draco, that was exactly the problem. Since he had been dating Ginny, he started to see a different kind of love, the kind that couldn't be bought. He made himself remember that the only reason he was doing this was to show Lucius Malfoy the world of Arthur Weasley, in the hopes that his father would consent to the marriage of his only son to a Weasley, but secretly he hoped a bit of that love Weasley love might rub off.
It certainly had softened him. As he looked through the potions books in the restricted section, he actually felt a pang of guilt. This was wrong. He had no right to do this to his father. Then he saw the potion he needed and he smirked. Thoughts of right and wrong flew right out of his head. He was, after all, a Malfoy, and he was going to get what he wanted. He wondered how he and Ginny would get their fathers' hair for the potion, but he was sure he could manage it.
As he thumbed down the page, his elation vanished. This was a hard potion. The ingredients were specialized and he had almost none of them in his students' stores. That wasn't really a problem. He had an account he could use at the apothecary, but if his father recognized the ingredients when he got the bill—Draco shivered. That wasn't an eventuality that he wanted to see. Besides the ingredients, the potion itself was complicated. The level of difficulty was listed at the top of the page, not sixth, seventh or even A for advanced. The difficulty was marked M for Master. This was a potion to be brewed by a potions master, not a disgruntled seventh year.
He flipped to the next page, hoping for an easier potion. There wasn't one. Everything seemed to point to the fact that "relationship" potions were the most complicated potions, right up there with experimental potions like wolfsbane and vampire potions, all of which were still in the process of being improved upon. Draco sighed, his eyes running down the ingredients of the next potion, a Personality Potion. Many of the ingredients were the same as on the previous page. He flipped back a couple of times, comparing and then smiled. There were only two differences in the ingredients, and on the next page was an antidote. The antidote took a month to make. Well, thought Draco, a month should be long enough. He smiled. Since the potion needed a potions master, Draco decided he'd better go see his potions master.
With a smirk on his face, he tucked the book under his arm and headed to the desk to check out his book. Being a prefect did have some advantages, he thought as he smiled at Ms. Pince. "Only one from the restricted section?" she questioned. "Is Virginia still pestering you to give up the dark arts?"
"Yes," said Draco noncommittally.
Ms. Pince just shook her head and said, "Don't try to brew any of these without Professor Snape's supervision. Most of them can go horribly wrong, and not all of them are reversible."
"I understand," said Draco. "I'm going to Professor Snape right now."
"Very good." She smiled at him and handed him his book.
It was in reality several days before Draco actually got the nerve to take the book to Snape. He didn't know exactly how to ask his professor for help without sounding horribly whiny, but after a particularly hot night with Ginny, he found he had strengthened his resolve.
"What is it, Draco?" Snape asked as Draco hovered at the doorway clutching the book.
Snape frowned. "Get in here. Close the door," he growled.
Draco shuffled inside and shut the door as he was instructed.
"Sit down," Snape said. It wasn't an invitation. It was an order. Snape sounded so much like his father in that moment, that Draco almost backed out entirely, but Snape held out his hand for the book and silently Draco gave it to him.
Draco felt the beating of his pulse in his throat as Snape opened the book. Draco had charmed it to fall open to the potion he wanted. Without fail, it did so. Snape looked at the potion personality-altering potion, scanning the page quickly and when he looked up, an evil smirk was on his face.
"For your father?" Snape surmised.
Draco nodded. He didn't trust himself to speak.
To Draco's surprise, Snape started to laugh. He threw back his head and laughed until tears where running down his cheeks. When he had finished laughing he was wiping tears from his eyes and Draco wasn't sure if he was laughing at the thought of his father having a different personality or whether he was laughing at Draco's attempt to even brew the potion.
"I won't brew this for you, Draco," Snape said, and Draco's hopes fell. "I can't be a party to students' pranks."
"It's not a prank," Draco blurted. "I just want him to understand what it's like—How other people feel—Just once I want him to say he—he's proud of me."
Snape looked at him for a long time. "You need a template for the personality you want," said Snape.
"Then you will help me?"
"No, but I will see to it that you don't poison Lucius," said Snape dryly. "Who will you use for a template?"
"Arthur Weasley," said Draco and Snape looked very thoughtful.
"You might want to invite Miss Weasley to this potion brewing," said Snape. "It has to be stirred continuously. It's easier to brew with a partner."
"Thank you, Sir," said Draco formally, and just as formally, Snape nodded.
"Tomorrow at 7:00," he said.
The potion was just as hard as Draco thought it would be, and took longer. When all the ingredients were added, Snape told them to continue to stir it until the potion turned blue, then it could be bottled, but while Ginny distracted Snape, Draco added the last two ingredients which turned the potion from the Temporary Personality Altering potion to a Personality Switch Potion. Quickly he cast a charm to make the potion the same deep blue as the picture in the book.
He wasn't afraid of getting caught doing the charm. He had done it before in class, and this wasn't a class. Even in class, he didn't think of it as cheating, he thought of it as a sort of cross training. After all, it wasn't much different than using a wakefulness potion to study for a History of Magic test or using a hex instead of a charm. Whatever got the job done. Draco fell asleep that night feeling very pleased with himself.
Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley both came to the Slytherin-Gryffindor Quidditch game. At the end of the game, both Ginny and Draco slipped some of the potion into their father's drinks: Ginny into Arthur's pumpkin juice and Draco into his father's firewhiskey. Later that night, Draco and Ginny met in a deserted classroom to celebrate their success. Both were disappointed that there was no way they could be at home to witness the transformation.
Arthur Weasley awoke because he was cold. His blanket had slipped off of him during the night. Without opening his eyes, he felt the cold smoothness of the sheets. Why were they cold? He wondered, rolling over, his arms seeking Molly's warm buxom body. It wasn't there. He opened his eyes and blinked. He was lying on the biggest bed he had ever seen and wrapped around him were satin sheets: black satin sheets embroidered with the green letter M and a silver snake. He sucked in his breath and dove for the nightstand where he kept his wand. Obviously some dark magic was at work!
Unfortunately, there was no nightstand and no wand. Arthur leaped to his feet, and promptly bumped his head on the brass snake that held the linen canopy. Immediately he felt the sting of a stunning spell and fell flat on the floor unconscious.
When he awoke sometime later, a rough papery hand was holding his. "Master must wakes," squeaked a tiny voice. "Master has important meetings. Master has important business. Ple-e-ease, Master wakes. Master mustn't sleep on the floor."
Arthur Weasley cracked open an eye. A large misshapen house elf was patting his hand anxiously. Reflexively, he yanked his hand away and the elf leaped to the canopy squeaking shrilly.
"Master musts hurry. Master musts," begged the elf, hanging from the canopy like a monkey.
"Where's my wand?" demanded Arthur, coming to his feet. He was still certain that some dark magic was at work here.
The house elf scrambled off of the canopy and pulled a wand from under the pillow, thirteen inches of ebony and turned it butt first to Arthur. Arthur took it slowly wondering whose wand this was, and yet recognizing it from a dozen childhood curses.
The house elf had curled into a squeaking shivering ball once Arthur took the wand. "Master doesn't have time to punish, Tully, now." It squeaked. "Master is late. Yes, Master is."
Arthur felt stunned and slightly sick as he walked to the full length mirror. He knew what he was going to see, but actually seeing Lucius Malfoy's just awakened face staring back at him was still a vision of hell.
"Master is late," the elf squeaked again.
"Late for what?" asked Arthur.
"Working this morning," said the elf. "Master musts hurry"
"OK," said Arthur hesitantly, and the elf scrambled over to the bureau pulling out fresh robes.
"Tully helps Master to dress?" asked the elf. "Hurry."
"No—I" And then it dawned on Arthur that if he woke up in Malfoy Manor that perhaps, just perhaps, that Snake woke up next to his Molly. "Yes! Hurry!" he said.
And the elf snapped his fingers leaving Arthur clean, dressed, hair combed and ready to go to work, but Arthur wasn't going to work. He was going home. He raised his wand to Apparate and then realized that there were probably wards. Hell, if the man warded his bed, he definitely warded his house. Instead Arthur took several steps to the fireplace, grabbed the nearest urn and attempted to open it thinking it should have floo powder in it.
While he was trying to pry off the stuck lid, he became aware of the click-click of heels on a marble hall floor.
"Lucius?" came as soft feminine voice. The sound of her long drawling vowels and clipped consonant made his skin crawl. "What are you doing with Aunt Lillith's ashes?"
"I sleep with Aunt Lillith's ashes in my room?" blurted Arthur.
"She was your favorite aunt," remarked Narcissa. Eyes narrowing, she asked, "Were you away, last night?"
The way she said "away" sounded like she and Lucius had some sort of understanding about where "away" was. Arthur didn't want to think about what that might mean. Especially he didn't want to think about the fact that his wife was probably currently with that Death Eater.
"I—ah—have to go," said Arthur looking around the room. The floo powder had to be somewhere around. "Where's the floo powder?" he asked.
"You can't travel by floo in those robes," admonished Narcissa. "They will be covered with soot. Why aren't you Apparating?"
"I-I guess I can," Arthur said.
"What sort of curse are you under?" Narcissa demanded.
"None," said Arthur hurrying out the door. He took several quick steps into the hall when he realized that he didn't know where he was. He had no idea which way down the long corridor was the door or apparition point.
He paused and turned around noticing Narcissa standing at the doorway looking at him. "Confundus?" she asked.
"Maybe," he lied, now desperate to get to Molly. "Just tell me which way is the door," he snapped.
Narcissa gestured in the opposite direction. "But there is an Apparition point at the end of the corridor."
She gestured the other way, and Arthur ran the length of the corridor unmindful of how ridiculous he looked to Narcissa. When he got to the end of the corridor he raised his wand to Apparate. Immediately bars like snakes hissed up from the ground. Apparently that was how the Malfoy's welcomed someone who Apparated into their home. Not very hospitable, thought Arthur as he Disapparated.
Lucius Malfoy found himself in bed with a rather rotund wench in a ratty flannel nightgown. She had curled her plump body tight up against him and was sleepily groping him. His first thought was whatever he paid for her it was too much, but Lucius didn't get to the financial heights he currently enjoyed by wasting money. He must have been very drunk when he bought her. With that thought, he grasped the woman next to him intending to roll her over with him to a more comfortable position, and he rolled both of them directly off of the very small bed and onto the very hard floor.
The woman screeched, "Arthur!" Then, giggling, she pressed herself against him, kissing him passionately. He actually found himself responding until he registered that the woman had called him Arthur, and he opened his eyes sputtering against her lips.
"M-Molly Weasley!" he gasped, pulling away from her. He was completely at a loss for words, but that didn't seem to bother her. She looped her finger in the top of his only garment, a pair of graying cotton briefs, and whispered huskily, "You still have twenty minutes before you have to get ready for work."
He scrambled to his feet yanking the sheet off of the bed to cover his near nakedness. The sheet, which had seen better days, ripped down the middle and he was left standing with a scrap that wasn't big enough to cover him. Nonetheless, he was a Malfoy, he drew himself up to his six foot three height, and said, "Madam," he said, "Calm yourself. It is this sort of irresponsible behavior that has brought too many children into this world to live in this hovel."
"Oh bravo," she cheered. "You've almost got it, Arthur. A little more sneer and you'll sound just like that stuffed shirt, Lucius Malfoy, but—" she proceeded to straighten the covers on the bed. "I know, your cherubic face doesn't sneer well." She gave him a quick peck on the cheek "Anyway, we don't have time for me to play the ice queen. Help me with this." She pulled on the blanket. "Penelope is bringing the twins over."
"What!" he said incensed. "You—you play M-Malfoy?"
She ignored him as she walked around him straightening the bedclothes and picking up dirty socks off of the floor. He tried to follow her for a moment, dragging the sheet, thinking if only he had a wand he would Crucio the wench for the audacity to think that she could possibly playact Malfoys.
"Give me this," said Molly, pulling the piece of sheet off of him. "I don't suppose I can sew it back together. I'll just sew it into the quilt. Don't worry about it, Luv." She smacked him on his ass and proceeded to take off her hideous flannel nightgown.
Quickly he turned around. The very thought of seeing Molly Weasley naked was enough to turn one's stomach, but as he stood very still he found himself looking at his own stomach. It protruded a good six inches over the waistband of the graying briefs and was covered with a fine spray of very red hair and freckles. "Where are my clothes?" he growled pulling open the first drawer in front of him. In it were Molly's very sensible cotton under garments.
"Right here, on the nightstand with your wand, Luv," said Molly. "You know if I don't lay them out for you you'll never match. Go on," she pushed him forward. "Go and get your shower. It's nearly eight o'clock."
"Eight o'clock!" snapped Lucius. "I'm late." He snatched up the wand offered to him, did a quick cleaning spell on himself and magically donned the robes. He Apparated a spare thirty seconds later, leaving Molly staring after him with a puzzled look on her face.
Arthur Weasley did not stop outside of his house to straighten his impeccable robes. He did not stop to ring the bell that told those inside that someone wanted entrance to the burrow. He didn't stop to think how he was going to convince Molly that he was not Lucius Malfoy, but her own Arthur. His only thought was to get that Death Eater away from his Molly.
He flung open the door and when he saw Molly rush from the kitchen his only thought was to hug her in relief.
"You're safe!" he cried, pulling her into his arms.
"You're daft," she said pulling out of his embrace and focusing her wand at his nose.
Eyes narrowed she glared at him. "Now state your business, Mr. Malfoy, and then get out of my house."
"Molly, I just wanted to be sure you're safe. It's me, Arthur. I love you," said Arthur, but Molly stared at his white blonde hair in horror.
"You are daft," she repeated.
Lucius Malfoy thought nothing of the fact that his bright red hair and ruddy face would not be recognized by the wards of Malfoy Unlimited, Inc. He Apparated directly to the Office of the President like he always did. He was promptly hexed for his trouble. However, Lucius Malfoy, a man with many enemies, and used to dodging hexes, expertly blocked the several of the automatic curses that came his way. After all he was the one who set them. Although he was up the challenge, his Unicorn hair wand was not. After the first three curses blocked, the wand fizzled in his hand and the spell popped out of it harmlessly sounding nothing so much as a bit of flatulence. Lucius Malfoy physically ducked the spell, but ran right into one of his own burly security guards who gripped his arms tightly saying "Hold it right there, Laddie. We're going to be taking a trip downtown."
"Get your filthy hands off of me you imbecile," growled Lucius. "I'm the President of this company and if you know what's good for you—"
"Right," interrupted the guard, "and I'm the Queen of England."
"You're fired!" snarled Lucius, lifting the Unicorn hair wand and wondering what was the most vicious curse the wand would handle.
"Arthur?" said a confused voice down the corridor. "What are you doing here?"
"Trying to get into this office," snapped Lucius, entirely at the end of his patience. "I have a meeting. If this moron would just listen—"
"It's OK, Ned," said the man to the security guard. "I'll take care of this."
"Very good, Sir," replied the guard.
"What's your name?" Lucius demanded of the security guard. "Ned Paxton."
"You're still fired," said Lucius before he turned to the man who rescued him. "Do I know you?" he asked with a frown.
"Arthur are you feeling alright? You look a bit flushed."
"I'm fine," snapped Lucius. "Now who the hell are you?"
"The person that kept you from getting hauled off to jail for breaking and entering," said the man coldly. "and don't think that Lucius Malfoy would go easy on you Arthur. That man is a hard assed tyrant who would send his own son to the dementors if it made him a galleon."
Lucius sputtered. "Wha—"
"I'm telling you," the man said comraderly, "he is a demon. I had enough dealings with him during that caldron fiasco—Do you think he cared that seven kids had been burned by potions leaking from ruptured caldrons? No. All he cared about was the extra sickle he made from the cheaper material."
"Caldwell," breathed Lucius. "You're Calvin Caldwell of Caldwell Caldrons."
"I knew you would remember me," said the man with a smile. "Your son, Percy did me a service pushing that litigation through on the caldron thicknesses. You know, the Malfoys would have just kept making them thinner and thinner until some poor bloke got his eyes blown out when the damned thing exploded over an open flame. I probably wouldn't be in business today if it weren't for your son."
"You won't be in business tomorrow anyway," snarled Lucius. "You're mortgaged to the hilt and a hostile take-over by Malfoy Unlimited is in process."
The man froze. "How do you know about that?" he asked.
"I know," said Lucius coldly, "Because I am Lucius Malfoy, and you dug your grave, Calwell when you messed with Malfoy Unlimited."
"Have you and Molly been having financial problems?" asked Caldwell. "I know the stress of raising seven children must be staggering. I'm about in St. Mungos with just three." He paused sympathetically. "I'm going to take you home, Arthur" said Calvin Caldwell. "Doubtless Molly is worried about you. Is it just stress, or did you get hit with some sort of confundus charm?"
"The next person who asks if I got hit with a confundus charm is going to be picking themselves off of the floor," snarled Lucius, waving his wand threateningly, although it's hard to be very threatening with a Unicorn hair wand.
"Let's go to your house," said Caldwell, and Lucius sighed. Since he was barred from entering his own office, perhaps the best thing to do would be to try to speak with Arthur Weasley. No doubt this whole fiasco was a prank done by those delinquent twins of his. He would see the prats in reform school if he had anything to say about it, and of course he did have something to say about it. He was a Malfoy.
He Apparated to the burrow to find the replica of himself in a leg locker curse, holding a dead rooster by its feet, and snarling that he was going to "ground those boys till they were forty." His own ebony wand was held by a tearful Molly Weasley, who promptly dropped it and rushed to him, throwing her arms around him sobbing.
"Oh Arthur!" she said. "He was just horrible. H-He tried to kiss me. I know I shouldn't have done it. I mean with his money I'll probably end up in Azkaban for cursing him, but I just couldn't—and then he put his wand on the table and I switched it for one of the twins' trick wands. Oh I love those boys—" She cried copiously on Lucius Malfoy's shoulder, thinking that the man was her husband..
Lucius Malfoy hesitantly patted Molly Weasley's back, as he looked at the glowering, trapped Arthur Weasley. "Go into the house—er--Dear," he said. "I'll deal with—Mr. Malfoy." He had trouble saying those words since that miserable muggle lover was certainly not him, even though he was wearing Malfoy skin.
"Oh, I love you," said Molly grasping his cheeks and planting a hot wet kiss on his astounded lips. Mr. Weasley threw the rooster at him while Mr. Malfoy tried to remember when someone had told him that they loved him. Bah—it didn't matter.
Lucius Malfoy stalked around the trapped Mr. Weasley, staying just out of reach, while the bound man growled his fury. "What Dark Magic is this?" snarled Arthur Weasley, struggling against his wife's spell.
"Mr. Weasley, this most certainly isn't my fault," drawled Malfoy. "This is no doubt the work of your delinquent twin sons." He sneered at the dead rooster lying at his feet. "The same ones that left you with a rooster for a wand," said Malfoy, "although I doubt it is much different from this Unicorn hair garbage you use. At least a rooster can defeat a basilisk, which is more than this piece of shit can do." He shook the ineffectual wand under Mr. Weasley's nose.
"Give it to me," snapped Arthur, and "I'll show you what it can do."
"I'm going to remove the curse your wife put on you," said Malfoy, narrowing his eyes. "And then the two of us are going to Apparate to Hogwarts, get this spell reversed, and then I will see those sons of yours punished for this prank. You obviously don't know how to control your delinquent children. If they were mine, they wouldn't be able to pick up a wand when I was done with them, much less use it in such an irresponsible way. If you were any kind of man—"
"Don't tell me about being a man, you snake," snapped Arthur. "And I will deal with my own children."
"You haven't done very well so far," drawled Malfoy, although you seem to have your wife fairly well trained. Malfoy smirked.
Arthur struggled harder against his wife's curse, and at last, Malfoy freed him, saying "We both have been through quite a lot today. Don't press your luck, Weasley. I'm not in a good mood."
"Let's just get this over with," agreed Arthur. "I want my family back."
"And I want my business back," said Malfoy.
The two of them arrived at Hogwarts just as the students were arriving for lunch.
"Albus," said Lucius Malfoy striding forward as fast as Arthur's short legs would take him. "I must speak with you."
"Certainly, Arthur," said Albus, looking from Lucius to Arthur and back again. "I must say, it's a pleasant surprise to see the two of you in each other's company."
"No it isn't," snarled Lucius.
"For once," said Arthur, "I must agree with Lucius Malfoy."
"Oh dear," said the Headmaster as he realized that who he thought was Lucius Malfoy was addressing himself in the third person. "Is something wrong?" he asked worriedly.
"Yes!" said both Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley together.
"I may be able to shed some light on that subject," said Snape, who had glided silently up beside them. "Perhaps we should speak in private, Albus."