White Coat, Chapter 6: the conclusion.
In the darkness a slender body pressed closer, the warmth of the arms that held him unable to banish his fear. "I can feel it. Harry . . ."
"Shhh, I'll be right here, waiting."
When Lucius woke up he was startled to find himself in a strange bed. There was a small scroll resting on the pillow next to his, familiar script spelling his name in rich black ink. He absently snatched it as he sat up, wildly looking about a bedroom more lavish than any he had ever seen at the mansion or Hogwarts. Where was he? He clearly remembered going to bed in his own home, in his own bedroom and bed. Even his pajamas were different, though he absently noted they were of acceptable quality. Then he registered his coat lying next to him and his chest painfully clenched. Someone had found his coat. With fumbling hands he pulled the ribbon on the scroll, confused to recognize his own handwriting.
How odd to begin a letter thus, but we must start somewhere. I understand that for you, you should be safe in bed at home, but much has happened and most of it will be hard to accept. If you take a moment to think of yourself you'll feel what I can only describe as a content warmth somewhere around your heart. That is your mating bond to Harry Potter, son of James Potter and Lily Evans.-
What? Potter being stupid enough to knock up Evans was no surprise, but the brat was his mate? He was bound to a baby! Salazar's Balls, could he shag whoever he wanted or was he going to be half dead before he'd get laid? Pressing a palm to his chest his brain and outraged libido seized. He could feel what the words described. A contentment; a warmth that burned on the edge of pain. Never having felt such a heat before he failed at describing it, but it felt wholly wonderful. Like the heat of an over warm room when you came in from the freezing cold. This was what it felt like to be mated?
Reluctantly his attention returned to the scroll. The unbelievable story did not stop with his mate. Knowing too much intimate detail of his life to be a stranger making a prank the letter writer told of Voldemort and his forced enlistment. His enslavement. Marriage to Narcissa Black and his son by the woman, Draco. The teenager's hands trembled where they gripped the expensive vellum and he shook his head at what had to be lies. He was no deatheater!
- I know this must seem the poorest of jests, but it is all true. Headmaster Dumbledore has a pensieve of my memories, though I have asked him to wait till you are a few years older to show you all of them. I barely remember how you must be, but veela magic is returning my life to you. I do not want you to be haunted by the past. All that was good in my life is in this house. Through the door at the end of bed you will find Harry, your mate. He defeated Voldemort and freed us from servitude. He is a private man despite his fame and will rely on you to keep him from it all. Down the hall is Draco, a true Malfoy and Slytherin, and my finest pride. He has married a Weasley, but the boy plays a fine game of Quidditch. Even little Severus is here. The life you dreamed of is waiting for you, Lucius. You have a family that loves you, and as trite as that may sound, from where I stand, broken and scarred from decades of torture, degradation and rape at the hands of a sociopath . . . It is the only hope I have strength left to pray for.
Do not fail me.
Lucius Octavian Malfoy. -
It was his own signature there at the bottom, and he ran his fingers over it. This could all be a hoax, a Marauders' prank, but that excuse did not explain how he felt inside. He could not think of such a spell or potion, and honestly, concocting such an elaborate story was a little beyond the juvenile Marauders. Making up a tale that he was mated to James was more their style. But how could any of this be true?
There was one way to find out. After his mother had abandoned him he had learned no one was to be trusted. Everyone betrayed you. If the letter was true, his life had proven that. Son, mate, they would soon show themselves to be no different, but he would have to stay vigilant. Without his memories or age they doubtless expected a child, easy to control and enslave. He didn't really know any more about veelas than what he'd learned in Magical Creatures, but he knew he couldn't trust some weird stomach ache. Their first mistake had been to leave him his coat and with Slytherin confidence, he smirked to know it wouldn't be their last.
He growled softly as he jerked his coat about his shoulders and slunk from the bed, changing into his half-man form. The door was just a few feet away, the latch making a soft 'click' when he shoved it down. The room beyond was shadowed but he easily picked out the cumbersome frame of the king sized bed that dominated the spacious room. Heavy red satin curtained the bed, but they parted at his approach, quietly pulling back. He froze until he realized it was magic quietly drawing the curtains and animating the sash that knotted them to the bedposts.
A man was revealed, sleeping in a boneless sprawl with his face turned from Lucius' sight. By the low drape of the sheet he guessed the man, this Harry Potter, was nude, the excellence of his physique unashamedly bared to the veela's frank curiosity. Unthinking, Lucius sucked in a breath, taking a great lungful of man's heady scent. The soft noise he blurted took him by surprise and he clapped a hand to his mouth, mortified. The man smelled like Christmas at Hogwarts, warming, yet at the same time, strong and rank like the broom shed where all the boys went to whack off.
Harry's chest rose with a deep inhalation, his dark head rolling in Lucius' direction. Large verdant eyes blinked open, the greenest eyes Lucius had ever seen, and Harry smiled up at him as he languidly stretched. "Morning, fox."
Oh. And there went all his defenses and expectant hostility. Completely lost with two little innocuous words.
It was close to morning when Ron's nose tickled him. Still asleep, his nose twitched and wrinkled, trying to escape whatever was offending it, but the irritation persisted. Snorting, the redhead rolled over, or at least tried to, finding his freedom tightly restricted. Coming more awake he cracked his eyes to see what the bother was, but all he could make out was white.
"Wot?" he mumbled, wiggling up onto his elbows to discover himself tightly wrapped in an iridescent white blanket. A veela coat and one he knew well by smell and texture. "Dray?"
"This is the only way," his husband answered from his perch at the foot of the bed. "Giving you my coat is the only way to prove to you I'm never leaving, by my choice or not."
Merlin, it was too early for this. "I don't want you by force, Dray," Ron sighed, scratching at his sleep tousled hair. "I get that you might one day leave me for destiny. It hurts, and I hate it, but I've also accepted it."
Draco's nose unbelievably notched the air as the blond glared down at him. "But with having my coat you won't have to. I'll be yours forever, veela mate or no."
It was impressive, how cleverly Draco had bound him into his coat without waking him, and Ron absently rubbed his cheek against the silken fur as he debated. Veela were not all that common; it was entirely possible Draco would never meet his ideal veela match. There were no guarantees, except the magic of the coat. "I would miss your veela forms, though. Especially when making love."
Draco's eyebrows climbed. "The magic lies in the surrendering, love." Rolling up onto his hands and knees he slunk up the bed. "Unless you give it up or die, the coat is now rightfully yours."
"Don't you mean, you are then rightfully mine?" Ron gasped, the coat blurring about the pale man crouched over him. The redhead closed his eyes to the disorienting sight and when he opened them seconds later a half veela, half man was bearing down on him, heavy sex pushing out from between his legs. Ron bared his throat to the sharp teeth that nuzzled him and opened his body to his husband's ardent passion with a choked cry.
Minister Cornelius Fudge and Amelia Bones were gracious in accepting Senior Auror Granger's invitation to her offices. The young woman had done much to restore the authority of the Ministry beyond being a pivotal combatant against Voldemort. It was commonly believed Hermione Granger would be Minster herself in a few short years, epitomizing the much lauded "modern wizard" their society strove for. Powerful, smart, and as adept in their shrinking world as she was in the Muggle.
Being close friends with the savior Harry Potter didn't hurt her election chances either.
"Thank you, Minister Fudge, Judge Bones, for accepting my invite on such short notice," Hermione warmly gushed as she came around her desk to clasp hands with the older wizards. With her riotous hair demurely pinned back and her uniform robes impeccable, the young wizard looked every detail the part of a senior Auror and her guests subconsciously reacted desirably. This was not a barely out of school girl, but a seasoned soldier, and they both obediently sat where she indicated in front of her desk. Tea and a plate of cookies and scones immediately appeared. "Tea? The black biscuits are Oreos."
"Muggle?" Amelia asked as she took one, Fudge's fingers scrambling right behind hers.
"Yes, American." Hermione returned to her side of the desk with a small scone.
Both officials enjoyed their cookies, Amelia taking a second with her tea. "Quite good, if I do say so. Thank you, Hermione, that was a treat."
"Think I'll have another myself," Fudge mumbled.
Amelia sipped her steaming tea to chase away the last tastes of chocolate before smoothly doing away with the initial pleasantries. "So, Hermione, the reports coming from this office have been very encouraging."
Hermione absently broke her scone into pieces onto its napkin while she spoke. "Well, most of the remaining at large deatheaters have fled Europe though we are in negotiation with other Ministries concerning extradition."
"Yes," Fudge frowned, peering at her from under his heavy brows, eyes sparkling with a supposed cleverness that went largely unfounded. "It is unfortunate, though, that some will forever escape justice, isn't it?"
Hermione stared at him guilelessly. "I am confident everyone will get what they deserve, Minister." Glancing down at her hands she frowned to see all the crumbs and started to brush them off over the trashcan at her knee.
"But what then of the Malfoys?" Fudge crowed. "Dumbledore may vouch for the younger, for all that means, but what of the senior? All this nonsense that Potter has put us through and for what? It all smacks of conspiracy, I tell you. Malfoy is controlling young Mr. Potter somehow, probably even before the boy started on this whole marrying nonsense. Like the savior of the wizarding world could be allowed to-"
"Oh do shut up," Hermione snapped, whipping out her wand from where she'd retrieved it while making a production of cleaning her hands. An angered word and both of the older wizards froze in place, eyes glazing over. Now to see if the potion Severus had mixed into the black and white cookies worked like it was supposed to. Giving both a heated glare Hermione stood and walked back to their side of the desk.
"I had hoped these sorts of measures wouldn't be necessary, but obviously Harry was right. We cannot trust you to keep Lucius' true fate a secret." Reaching out, she patted Amelia on her stiffened shoulder. "Oh don't worry, this will be no simple Obliviate. In a few short minutes you will believe like everyone else that Lucius Malfoy received the Kiss. That he is dead and gone. I do wish, Amelia, that we could trust you, but not with the happiness of our family. It's been too hard won."
It was a warm afternoon that saw the normal tranquility of Lucius' garden banished by the joyful, laughing voices of dozens of people. Everyone who Harry considered family was there, from the Weasleys to Nearly Headless Nick. For the first time since he'd acquired the stately residence the mansion felt full and Harry smiled to realize it was a not entirely comfortable feeling. He definitely liked his privacy, but for occasions such as his wedding celebration, he was willing to concede that crowds had their moments. Just so long as they didn't cut into his wedding night time.
"What is that look for, Harry James Potter?" Hermione teased as she came up to her friend. "And where's that jailbait husband of yours?"
They both laughed at that one, Harry pointing with his beer bottle to where Lucius was chatting with Remus, Charlie and Ron, Draco at his back. Barely twenty feet separated him from his spouse, but both mates continually glanced back at the other for reassurance, Lucius more than Harry. "Draco is chaperoning him for the moment. How did things go?"
Hermione studied the way Draco split his attention between his own husband and his father, keeping both possessively close. He had an arm draped over Lucius' shoulder and as she watched the teenager casually tilted his head as he talked, breathing in his kit's scent. "Fine. Percy got the two secretaries who knew the particulars, so everything is done."
"Thanks, Hermione," Harry murmured, drawing her into a loose hug. "I know I was an ass to ask that of you."
"No, you only asked what was necessary. Fudge wouldn't have kept his mouth shut and Amelia would have gotten suspicious of his memory lapse. I'm not going to regret helping a teenager who has nothing to do with crimes that weren't his fault anyway."
That was his Hermione, champion of the innocent, and Harry bussed her cheek for it. She blushed and batted him away. "Are you trying to get me mauled by a jealous veela, Mr. Potter?" When Harry just grinned she huffed in annoyance at the stupidity of boys. He did step back a safe pace, however. "Honestly." She looked again at Lucius. "He's looking better. A little shell shocked, but happy."
"Yeah. He's still taking it all in and sometimes gets this Slytherin look about him, like a wary cat, but he's coming around. Seeing his classmates all grown up helped convince him this all wasn't some plot to control him." He chuckled softly. "Draco blew his mind. It's weird, having a kid older than you, but I think they'll end up more like brothers than anything."
Draco did act very protective, Hermione agreed, but the alpha veela had always acted that way regarding his father. Slinging an arm around her shoulders Harry started them towards the small group. "I think he's more upset about having to finish school a second time than his son being older than him. The recognition of their bond is there, but its more as veela than as father/son."
Seeing their approach Lucius' argent eyes dangerously narrowed and he escaped Draco's hold to stalk over. Barely sparing Hermione more than a possessive snarl the blond growled at his own mate until Harry stepped away from her and hugged him. Mollified, he sniffed in Hermione's direction, pointedly ignoring her in favor of curling his long fingers in Harry's black hair and tugging his nearest ear to his pouting mouth.
"Lupin says a portrait of the woman who betrayed me hangs in the Black residence. I want that painting, Harry."
Running his hands up and down the silk clad back of his delectable mate Harry frowned. "What do you want with Mrs. Black's portrait, my fox?"
"I'm going to douse it in turpentine and set it on fire, what do you think?" Lucius snapped. "I am certain that if I knew that such an abomination still existed than I was waiting years to deliver a little comeuppance." Sliding an arm around his husband's waist the slender veela steered them back towards their waiting friends. "And besides, as I am to understand that Lupin and Black are hoping to do their pureblood duty it would behoove us to lend any assistance required to guarantee their domestic health. Really, they should be thanking us, but I suppose we shouldn't begrudge them this token of friendship."
"Whatever my love wishes." Folding his fist into that glorious fall of platinum Harry tugged Lucius' head back and kissed him deeply, uncaring of their audience. Veela magic might have returned Lucius to his past life, but it had not changed the nature of the man. Lucius Malfoy, by whatever name he was given, was vain, arrogant, possessive . . .and wholly Harry's.
When time allows I will be writing a sequel, but please don't expect it any time soon. Here, however, is a summary of the planned crossover: Draco Malfoy's life was near perfect. When an incident in the US calls him overseas, however, he finds everything he's fought for threatened by the last person he ever wanted to meet: his mate.
Next in this ol' Veela series: Lest Destiny Tear Asunder
Finally, I want to thank everyone who read my first foray into Harry Potter, and an especially big thank you to those who reviewed. I've never gotten a bigger or warmer reception to a story. It is you all who lit the fire to write a sequel, and once it is done over in my live journal it will make its journey here. Harry and Lucius will be seen again, rest assured.