This was originally supposed to be a one-shot, because I already have a WIP I'm working on. However, I can't be bothered waiting until it's completely done before posting it, so it is chaptered, it just won't be all that long. Unless I make 'Enslaved' shorter and this one longer. I haven't really decided yet.
There are two things you need to know about this fic. Firstly, it's set in the last term of Harry's sixth year, and completely ignores HBP - as much as I enjoyed that book, it doesn't fit my story! Secondly, whereas in canon magical people come of age at 17, in my fic it's not until they're 19.
Also, the fic isn't slash, it's more of a friendship/mentoring relationship. However, you can consider it to be preslash if you wish.
Disclaimer: About the only things I have in common with J K Rowling are that I'm female and British.
Draco Malfoy was depressed, and tired. Sleep had become a problem in recent days.
Three weeks ago, his father had been released from Azkaban in time to help in the Death Eater invasion of Hogwarts. He had immediately set out to find his traitorous son, who had refused to take the Dark Mark, and had very nearly killed him, only to instead be killed himself - by, of all people, Ginny Weasley.
Draco couldn't help wondering if it was more out of revenge for his father's actions in second year than any actual desire to save his own life. Then again, Weasley was a Gryffindor.
And then, five days ago, his mother, Narcissa had been taken into custody by the Aurors. The undeniable proof of her involvement with the Dark Lord meant that she was destined for a lifelong jail sentence and, unlike her husband, there would be no escape. Potter had vanquished the Dark Lord, and all his followers were either dead or imprisoned. There was no one to break her out.
And there was the problem. As if he didn't already have to cope with his father's attempt to murder him, there was now the problem that he no longer had a legal guardian. One parent was dead, the other in Azkaban. And he was not yet seventeen years old.
The door to Dumbledore's office opened, and the man himself walked through, followed by a rather angry-looking Snape. Draco stood up quickly, his eyes conveying his urgency to know their answer.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Malfoy," said Dumbledore quietly. "I'm afraid there's no way that we can legally emancipate you, even after you turn seventeen. We tried our best, but the Ministry won't allow it."
He sank back into his chair, defeated. Legal emancipation for underage wizards was not completely unknown, but the chances of it being granted to him, with his parentage, had always been slim. Still, he had hoped.
"So who is it then?" he asked quietly. "Who got custody?"
The two older men took their seats and the Headmaster responded, "The Head of House Black. As your mother's Family Patriarch, he has automatic guardianship."
Draco was honestly surprised. He had expected Snape, or perhaps the aunt he had never really known, Andromeda. "I thought Sirius Black died with no heirs! I mean… I thought I was the closest male relative? Although… if I had been, I suppose I'd have become Family Head a year ago."
"Sirius had no biological children, that is true. However, he made his godson his magical heir before he died."
"Oh." He glanced at Snape, and, seeing the unhappy look on his face, was instantly suspicious. "Professor… who is the Head of House Black?"
"Harry Potter," said Dumbledore softly.
He stared at him in disbelief. "But…" he said weakly, "Potter's only sixteen."
Snape sneered at him. "Heads of Houses are automatically emancipated at sixteen or above Draco, you should know that."
"Nor does his age make any difference in his guardianship of you," said Dumbledore quietly. "Being Patriarch is enough. I know you probably do not like this, but you will simply have to make the best of it. You are at Hogwarts for most of the year anyway, so you and Harry will most likely spend very little time together."
He sank his head into his hands, not saying anything. After a few minutes, Dumbledore rose to his feet, murmured something to Professor Snape, and left the room.
"Draco." The quiet voice of his potion's professor grabbed his attention. "I'm aware of what your feelings on this may be. I do not like the situation myself. But the fact remains that now Lucius is gone, and the Malfoy family is to all intents and purposes gone as well, he is your Family Patriarch, and you will have to treat him as such."
"I am not going to call Potter 'Sir'!"
"Yes, you will. You will address him formally, and you will obey his orders, even after you come of age. You have been taught the rules since infancy Draco and whatever you might think of him it makes no difference. You are a Black now, and he is in charge."
"Professor, you hate him!"
"Regardless of my feelings, this situation cannot be changed. You are a pure blood Draco; do you wish it to be known that you will not acknowledge your own Family Head? You know how the other Families would react."
He paled as he realised. "I'd be an outcast."
The head went back into the hands for a while, and when he finally emerged it was to say resignedly, "Fine. It's not like I have any choice in the matter anyway."
"No, you do not. Draco, Professor Dumbledore will no doubt be bringing Mr. Potter up here soon. You must be on your best behaviour. Potter may be a foolish Gryffindor, but even he must be aware of his right to punish you. And if he is not, Mr. Weasley will no doubt enlighten him as quickly as possible."
Draco sighed. Of that, he had no doubt.
Ron and Hermione had been there when Dumbledore had told Harry.
Ron's natural reaction was to gloat. Malfoy may have been on their side in the battle but that didn't mean he wasn't an annoying git, and the idea of him being completely under the control of Ron's best friend was decidedly appealing.
Hermione on the other hand had reacted a bit more maturely, feeling some sympathy for Draco's plight and helping to make Ron's excited explanation of wizarding Families more balanced and useful.
Now Harry had been called away to meet with his new charge, and they were sitting in the library, nominally writing an essay, but in fact talking loudly (Ron) or sighing with exasperation (Hermione).
"Merlin, I wish I could have seen the look on Malfoy's face when Dumbledore told him! It must have been brilliant! Do you think he'll choke when he has to call Harry 'Sir'? Or refuse outright?"
"Malfoy's been raised by purebloods Ron, ones who care more about wizarding traditions than you ever will. Of course he'll call him Sir, however much he might hate it. Although, I don't remember seeing you calling your father Sir."
"Dad's not the Head of the Family. His older brother is. Anyway, even if he were, I wouldn't have to call him 'Sir' normally, only in formal situations. You don't have to if you're close to the Patriarch."
Ron continued to chatter on about how Malfoy might be taking the news, while Hermione continued to wish that he would just shut up and let her work.
Harry watched as the gargoyle moved to reveal the staircase leading to Dumbledore's office. Quietly he followed the Headmaster up.
Entering the office, Malfoy – Draco now, he reminded himself, he was no longer officially a Malfoy – instantly got to his feet, looking depressed but determined to greet his Patriarch properly.
"Draco," Harry greeted neutrally, perhaps the first time he had addressed him by his first name.
"Sir," the boy answered quietly. A full month older than him, and yet now his ward.
"Potter," sneered Snape, his trademark glare pointed at its usual target.
"Professor," he responded, before turning back to the blonde.
"Harry, there are several forms you need to sign," instructed Dumbledore. "The ones giving you guardianship are already in place, but you need to sign some to do with your overseeing of Mr. Malfoy's inheritance from his father, and his continued attendance at this school."
Draco's eyes widened. "He could stop me being at Hogwarts?" He regretted it instantly; the question bordered on rudeness towards his Patriarch. "Sorry Sir."
"He could, but I am sure that Harry has no wish to do so." Harry simply shook his head, and was passed the relevant documents along with a quill, then was quickly instructed where to put his signatures.
Dumbledore sorted through the signed pages, and put some of them on his desk, then gathered up the others and nodded to the other occupants of the room before leaving and going up to the Owlery to send them on to the Ministry. Snape followed him, shooting a warning glance at Draco on his way out.
"Draco," said Harry quietly, "I know you don't like this and I can't say I'm ecstatic about it either, but as Dumbledore told me, the only long period of time we'll have to spend together is the summer. Otherwise we can avoid each other mostly.
"However, if you need anything, money for instance, come and ask me. I know the Malfoy estates are tied up in legalities at the moment and you probably can't access your vault, so I'll come up with some kind of allowance or something."
"You'd do that?" He was somewhat surprised.
"I'm not heartless, Draco. But I'm not going to give you the amount of money that you're probably used to either. I'll give you enough for the rest of the Hogsmeade trips this term, if you don't already have any, and we'll sort out the summer when I work out where we're staying."
"Yes Sir. Um… thank you, Sir. I'm not sure I'd have been so generous in your position."
"Draco, I doubt you'd have been generous at all. It doesn't really matter."
He nodded, looking at his feet.
"Anyway, I think it's nearly dinner time. We'd better go downstairs."