Rating: Any Age
Summary: "We know what we are, but know not what we may be."
A/N: For milynee. ♥ An early birthday present! I just couldn't wait. November is much too far away. ::hugs:: Beta'd by kazfeist. Thanks!
Prompt: Missing - 100quills
Deathly Hallows: Not really relevant, since it's set then, and some things don't happen. Also, I can't really remember little things, so other than some people still being alive, and other little bits, not really compliant at all.
Everything in her life had boiled down to instinct.
Natural instinct. Her maternal instinct. It told her that something was wrong. How very wrong would remain to be seen, but it didn't feel right. The last owl she had received told her that tonight was the night. Everything had been building, stacking up, balancing like a pack of cards.
Tonight, they would discover how they fell.
She would discover just how she and her son now survive in the world in which they lived.
She didn't like to pace. It showed too much: her anxieties, her nerves. When she worked so hard to keep those feelings hidden, to remain unaffected by the world around her. She wanted to sit calmly, serenely in her chair. She would keep one eye on the door and one on the Floo. Waiting for word. She couldn't though. She was anxious, she was nervous. Everything depended on this one night. It was frankly, too much to bear.
Her son, her only son, his life was perched on the precipice. Placed there not by her hand, but by his father's. Through no fault of his own, his life hung on the balance. There were two paths in front of him. One she hoped he would take, and one that never in her darkest nightmares would she want for him. For no mother should want her child to be a killer.
While she didn't want him to spill blood, kill, she wanted no blood on her boy's spilled, either. It was a kill or be killed situation. If he failed, he would surely be a traitor to the Dark Lord. That was not something she wanted him to be be. His life would more or less be over. She didn't like to think about it, but he would surely be killed.
If on the other hand, he didn't fail, his life would be in tatters. He would be a hunted man, pursued wherever he went. That was, if he managed to escape the castle with his life. Security 'now that the Dark Lord was active' would be immense. And while Draco told her that he had encountered no Aurors, she wasn't a fool. Ifher son could find ways to disguise himself, the Auror's ways were far more highly advanced, compared to his. They were there.
So it was a waiting game. Nothing could be done till she received word, either way.
At times like these, she'd wanted Lucius around; if for no other purpose than to reassure her that everything would be fine. She wanted to believe that it would be, more than anything. It was a false hope though; no matter what happened. It wasn't going to be fine.
The walls of Malfoy Manor which had always felt protective, now encroached. They constricted upon her... she wanted to be gone. Escape now, run now; to where she didn't know. Staying here though, was necessary for the time being. She needed her son. Narcissa couldn't leave without him.
She looked around the spacious sitting room. Her home. For nearly twenty years she had lived here, she had spent the best years of her life within these walls. She had been married to a man she had adored. Her son was conceived, born, and raised in this house. Over the last few years 'however' the gloss had worn off; the shine had faded with time. She was loyal, though. She had made vows, made promises, and she would live by those words. No matter how disenchanted she became with them.
The mantle was lined with photographs. Pictures of happier times. Of times when the smiles weren't forced. Of a time she would happily return to. Her husband smirked at her from his position front and center. There was a time when that smirk would make her weak at the knees. Just a little hint of it, and she was butter in his hands. Now it twisted her stomach, and accelerated her pulse the wrong way. Narcissa didn't trust it anymore; she was unsure of its intentions. They had never been pure --- she just couldn't be sure anymore if they were sinister.
She crossed the room quickly, and turned away all the frames that contained her husband. His careless smirk did nothing to help her nerves, and neither did the expression on her son's face. She picked up her favourite picture and sat finally.
It had been taken six years ago now, on the eve of his first school year. She had been so proud... her baby was going to Hogwarts. Draco had looked so grown up in his school robes; he wasn't her little boy anymore. He had aged naturally since this photograph had been taken. Losing his full cheeks, and getting taller. The expression had changed too. On that night many years ago as he tried his new school robes on for fun, a happy smile had graced his face, and his eyes sparkled with the joy of what was to come. Now he looked panicked; his lips wavered, and he looked on the verge of a breakdown.
Her handsome son had vanished. In his place stood another of the Dark Lord's minions. She didn't like it. She wanted her son back. She lay back in her chair, cradling the precious photo to her chest. Closing her eyes, it was back to waiting. The clock in the entry rang twice, signifying two o'clock in the morning. The time to remain calm had passed. She just wanted her boy back with her.
Her eyes snapped open as a whistle rang through the air. It only meant one thing. A piece of parchment appeared in the fireplace, floating down to rest on the logs. Narcissa crossed the room immediately, and picked it up. Recognising her husband's script immediately.
It has begun.
It was simple, but it needed to say no more. Whether it meant that the events at Hogwarts had started, or if he meant that they had done what needed to be done, all she knew was that it would be over soon; soon she would have him back. How Lucius knew what was happening while ensconsed within the walls of Azkaban, she didn't know. There were things she couldn't begin to understand.
She had never berated Lucius for anything. His path had been set long before they had even met. He had been a good husband, to the best of his ability. Draco and herself had never wanted anything. In the beginning of their marriage, and while Draco was still young, it had been wonderful. As the years went by, it had lost its wonder. She was a grown witch, and she knew her place in the marriage. It was Draco she wanted more for. He was a young child, and while brooms and other fun toys distracted, they did nothing to negate his base need.
Narcissa gave him all the love and devotion a mother could. A boy though, a growing boy, needed love from his father. He needed a father, someone to look up to. It caused her no small amount of grief to see what he received. Maybe it was because of how he had been brought up, it was a different time. Lucius' father was a difficult man. But all the excuses in the world did nothing for Draco. When he should have received love, guidance and a place to feel safe; all he got was disdain, anger, and someone who was never happy with the son they had.
She held that to be the sole reason for what he was doing right now. She couldn't change the way Draco, or Lucius had been brought up. She couldn't change what had happened to Lucius in the Department of Mysteries. Each of those had led to now, and now was what she could change. Severus would bring Draco home, and she would do the only thing she could think to do.
She sat till the clock rang the hour once more, with someone following it inside, the front door of the Manor was thrown open. Whoever it was ran inside silently. Not saying anything, she leaped out of her chair, as she could hear footsteps getting closer. Narcissa couldn't bring herself to move further.
"Mum?" She heard softly.
Narcissa moved to the doorway, and she saw him. Heading down the hall away from her.
"Draco?" She called, willing her son to turn and face her.
He stopped, and her heart raced faster still. He turned and ran towards her. She wrapped her arms around him, cradling Draco to her chest. He shook in her ams, silent and shivering, and she didn't know what to say to make him speak. Her instincts had failed her. Her urge was purely to hold him, as though that would be enough to keep him safe. She knew 'however' that time was not their friend. Standing still made them an easy target. They couldn't afford to stay.
There were things she needed to know 'though' before they could do anything.
"Draco," she began softly. "Where is Severus?"
"I don't know," he said into her hair. "We Apparated separately; I came straight here."
"Okay," she whispered, hoping that he would be okay. He was one of her oldest friends, and she didn't want to think of what the consequences might be for him if things went badly. "I need to know what happened."
"I couldn't do it."
"I couldn't Mum. I failed."
"Oh sweetheart," she cried. "You didn't fail, you didn't."
Draco pulled himself away from her violently and he walked to the window, kicking the window seat as he got there. "I did Mum. I nearly did it, I intended to do it, but I couldn't. He doesn't take 'couldn't' as a reason for not achieving something. Father will be punished for this."
"At the moment your father is not important; besides it doesn't matter what your actions were," she moved behind him, stroking his hair. "It was a lose-lose situation. Either way the result is the same. The how is the only difference. It has just narrowed our options down to one."
"And that is?"
"Run?" He turned to her.
"Run, leave, it's all the same. We have to go."
"It doesn't matter --- far away. Out of England. Europe will probably be our best option. I haven't given the destination much thought, but leaving, and leaving soon, is what is important. They will be looking for you soon, both sides, and this will be the first place they will look."
"Do I have time to pack?" He asked desperately.
"No," she said quickly, walking away, indicating for Draco to follow her. "I've already packed. We have to go now."
"To where, though?"
"Please Draco," she turned to him. "I really don't know, all I know is that we have to go. We'll go to London tonight; it's a heavy populated area, lots of magic."
He nodded, and Narcissa's heart broke a little for her son. He looked so tired, so worn out. They wouldn't be running forever, but they needed to right now.
It was the polar opposite of everything she was used to. Truth be told, she had only been in the Muggle world once or twice in the last twenty years. There was no reason for it. She was a Black; why would she subject herself to those filthy Mudbloods? Then she'd married Lucius, and became a housewife, a respectable Pureblood housewife. She went to Diagon Alley, and on occasion had ventured into Knockturn Alley. But, other than taking Draco to King's Cross, and her trip to Spinner's End to see Severus, she had remained untouched by the Muggle world.
She had never been interested in touching it either, believing the tales she had been told. They were vermin, less than vermin. They were lucky that they were allowed to exist in the same space as wizardkind. There were stories of those disgusting Mudbloods, cautionary tales told to prevent young witches and wizards attempting to commingle with them. Narcissa had been content to heed these stories. She had been happy living in her world, there had never been a desire to breathe where they breathed. Two separate worlds was perfect. Anything to keep them away from her son.
Now though, associating with them was entirely necessary. If they wanted to survive.
Narcissa allowed herself a brief moment to panic, and she took it gladly. The air was fresh, and she breathed it in greedily. Taking what was given so freely. She had been so stupid, so blind. She hadn't planned, for plans can be discovered, thwarted. She was going on instincts alone, and while that in itself was going along swimmingly, it didn't think for itself.
The sun was rising slowly over the horizon, and the sea stretched out as far as she could see to meet it.
She knew they had to leave England. It wasn't the place for them at this time. In her hand she held money, Wizarding money. Over the last few months when she had had occasion to be banking, she would withdraw more than necessary, though nothing to draw attention, as you never knew who was watching. Just enough 'however' to steadily build up a nice amount, which she had with her now for their journey. All of her sneaking though, her deviousness, was for naught. It was completely useless, because of what use is a Galleon to a Muggle?
Narcissa was cursing herself for her stupidity. Their path to freedom was not the Wizarding way. Their path was open in front of them right now. They needed to go the Muggle way, and for that purpose she needed Muggle money.
Draco stood beside her, his eyes drooping. They had traveled through the last few hours of darkness. There had been no time for stopping, or slowing down. Together with the necessities that she had packed for them, they had flown by broom to the outskirts of Dover, and traveled by foot to here. It had been a long night and it was only going to get longer.
"Why are we standing here Mum?" She jumped slightly. "Everyone else is boarding. We are going to miss it."
"We can't buy tickets, we can't board the boat. I only have our money. It's no good here," her voice breaking. "I tried, I really tried."
Draco moved an arm through hers, whispering, "Let's go over here." She let him guide them to a box next to the entrance. "Can I have the money please?" He smiled at her, the first time she had seen one today. Without question she passed it to him.
"Draco, what," her question died on her lips as she watched him feed their money into the box. Seconds later coins fell, strange little coins into the well at the base of the machine. Narcissa reached down and picked up a coin, turning it over in her fingers.
"That's Muggle money," he said.
"But how did you do that?"
"Muggle Studies. Don't tell Dad, I told him I fobbed off. I sat in the back, still took a few things in, though. Thought this would be handy, if I was ever stranded in the Muggle world, with no money."
"Very handy," she smiled.
Travel for her had always been instant. Traveling by Floo, Apparating, or by Portkey it was never time-consuming. Blink and it was over. The train to Hogwarts had been the exception, but 'surrounded by her friends' it had never seemed long. The gentle movement of the boat, and the sound of the water had the right affect on Draco, and within thirty minutes at sea, he was fast asleep on her shoulder.
She was grateful for his ability to find rest. When Draco had come home for Christmas, the difference between then and when she said goodbye to him at the beginning of the school year was immense. It was nothing 'however' compared to the man beside her now. His cheeks were hollow, and completely devoid of colour. Narcissa couldn't tell for certain, but she was sure that underneath his large coat, he would be nothing more than skin and bones.
It made her almost physically ill to see what Lucius had done to her son. It was too much pressure, too much to ask of one so young. The toll of a father's failure reaped from his son's life. It didn't seem like a fair trade to Narcissa.
They were all leaving that behind them now though. Some would call it the cowards way, and maybe it was. All she could think was that this was the only way to save a life. Staying would bring horrors she couldn't begin to imagine. If what Draco had told her was the complete truth, then it wasn't they that were the target. Severus was the intended, it gave them a slight head start, but did little to remove the target from their own backs. They wouldn't even be able to walk down Diagon Alley, but abroad; they would have a chance of freedom.
She had spent some time in France as a child, and holidays when Draco was young. The language 'while not spoken in so long' was second nature to her, resting at the back of her tongue and mind. They could find their own place here, just till it was safe to return. It would work out.
He wouldn't admit it. In fact, if you asked, he'd deny it with his last breath.
He had loved her, and as far as he was concerned, she was the one for him. Her beauty had blinded him right from the start, but it was her tenacity that drew him in for keeps. There was a fire inside her. He had loved her, and had very much planned on spending the rest of his life with her.
Things change, however, and feelings waver. With the ground shaking beneath his feet, he tried his utmost to keep a hold on everything. Some things hadn't survived though, no matter how hard he'd tried.
There was the possibility that he was taking the excuse that was being offered to him. He could blame it on the Change, he wasn't the same man anymore. He wasn't a complete man anymore. That wasn't it, though. He felt grateful that she loved him no matter what. It didn't matter that he had been maimed, or that he got a monthly that changed his mood worse than hers. She still wanted him, and still wanted all that he would give her. Right at the start, it had been all that he wanted. After all, a beautiful woman fawning over him? Then, it started to change slowly, it started to constrict. His injuries weren't life threatening; he was fully capable in every way. He could still do things for himself, he could still think for himself.
Maybe his mood changes were to blame, but he found it hard to breath. He needed space. Bill found himself leaving to be by himself more and more. It didn't go unnoticed. If only she had given it to him, the freedom that he craved, maybe he wouldn't be there right now. He'd be getting married. Not surprisingly, Fleur didn't wish to remain in England after their relationship ended. It was where they'd become involved, it was where they were planning their lives together. Her family was in France, and it was also safer there. Above all else, he still wanted her to be happy, and safe.
The streets around him were crowded, people enjoying the late afternoon sunshine. With nowhere to go, and no one to see, he was left wondering the streets of Paris alone. It was a beautiful city, so far untouched by Voldemort. He hoped it stayed that way. At any other time, he would have savoured the chance to relax, and explore. Today though, he just wanted to go home. His Portkey was set to go in twenty minutes. He couldn't sit still, so he walked. Passing happy shoppers, people relaxing in little cafe's. He wished he could join them, because he knew that as soon as he got back to England, the fight would still be raging. It would be unrelenting, it wouldn't stop, and when he would have this chance to take a moment, a real moment 'again' was unclear.
Bill stopped as he came across yet another cafe, and he made a quick decision to sit. A waiter came to him after a moment, and in his broken French he ordered a coffee. It wasn't going to take him long to drink just one coffee, and he could say that he had enjoyed some peace. That was surely what he was going to be asked of his trip to France. It was such a different place than home. There were smiles on faces, and laughter in the air. Bill would love to see that again on the faces of the people he knew. While it was nice to see it on strangers, it wasn't enough.
He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes as the sun shone down on him. Letting the atmosphere wash over him; the sounds, the smells. His coffee was placed in front of him, and he sat up properly, thanking the vanishing waiter. Lifting the cup to his lips, he looked across the street and saw something extremely out of place. Jumping out of his seat, he threw some coins from his pocket down onto the table. He ran, down the street, pushing past people, noticing some fall, but not having the time to stop as he continued.
Ahead of him was a crosswalk. He ran towards it, glancing at the correlating sidewalk as he went. Bill raced across the street, and stopped for breath in an abandoned alley. He didn't know how long it would be till they made it to his location. Before long he heard the nasally whine that was familiar to him, and adding to the angular face he met as he turned onto the sidewalk, it all fitted together.
Looking at the shocked woman, and then to her son, "Mrs Malfoy, Draco," he said, extending a hand. "Bill Weasley. Well isn't this a surprise."
It had all been working so well. Maybe that there should have been the clue. It all felt good, as they had settled into their new lives easily. They were staying in a little hotel room close to the city centre, but not too close. It didn't measure up to what they were used to, but it did it's job. It sheltered them and , it kept them safe.
Draco and she kept to themselves --- it was easy to. France was in the grip of holiday season, and they raised no eyebrows as they walked the streets full of tourists. After two weeks of being stuck inside, wary of what might be lurking outside for they. They began to explore. Narcissa found that the language came back easily, Draco's desire to rid himself of his cabin fever though was enough incentive for him to venture out.
Unsure of the French Magical Ministry's position on the use of Magic, especially while staying in a Muggle hotel, she was hesitant to perform it freely. That was part of Draco's difficulty. At school and at home, magic was ever present. Growing up, he had never done anything without it. With elves to do their bidding, Draco had never learnt to truly fend for himself. So it was a struggle, but he had gotten use to it. Narcissa had spotted a few moments of wonder from her son in regards to the various things that Muggles lived with.
It seemed 'however' that good things weren't able to last for Draco and herself. Just as they were finding their feet, the rug was pulled from beneath them. Leaving them floundering, once more.
Narcissa had begun to enjoy a daily walk through the streets in the afternoon sunshine. It cleared her head, and relaxed her. Today she had managed to convince Draco to join her for the first time. How she wished now she hadn't.
She knew the Weasleys, of course, but not personally. If she was out and about, she might have crossed paths with the mother. With their vibrant red hair, the children were always recognisable. Draco had 'over the last few years' cursed a Ron a time or several in her presence. This Weasley stood tall, and proud in front of them. His hair shining, his face set, his lips nothing more than a thin line. Draco had kept details of what happened that night at Hogwarts to a bare minimum, but Fenrir Greyback was had been mentioned. She had let him say no more then, as the mere thought of that thing was enough to scare her. This Weasley's scars, thin lines crisscrossing across his tanned face, still pink with freshness, were no doubt his work.
Draco towered beside her. He stood to his full height, still not meeting this man's shoulders. His lips quivered to the slightest degree, and he looked on the verge of running. She reached for his hand, and gently squeezed it with her own. Questions were racing through her mind, and she couldn't hear any answers. What was he doing here? Was he sent to find them? Or was it purely by chance that he had found them? It seemed too large a coincidence that they could be on the same street in Paris; the chances of it happening didn't seem likely.
Their flight mechanism hadn't been used in weeks, since they'd left England for France, but it was the time again to engage it. Looking past the Weasley, Narcissa spotted a large group of tourists making their way towards them. They took up the whole pavement as they walked, conversing and laughing loudly amongst themselves. Holding Draco's hand firmly within her own, she held the Weasley's eye, waiting for just the right moment. As the Americans surrounded them as they passed, Narcissa pulled Draco with her, and, turning, she ran through them. With Draco sprinting next to her, they ran passed shocked and outraged individuals, till she saw an entryway. Stepping into it quickly, she Apparated Draco and herself back to their hotel room. The time for not using magic had elapsed.
"Bloody hell Mum, some warning would be nice," Draco panted, his hands on his knees.
"There wasn't time," she exclaimed. "Do you think he's here for us?"
"I don't know, maybe," he stood up straight. "What are we going to do now?"
"We have to go, because if he knows where we are, then the Order knows, and if they know, He will know."
She crossed the room, parted the curtains slightly, and looked down onto the street below. The lights were beginning to be turned on, and the night was starting. Their friend was nowhere to be seen, though she didn't expect him to be. Narcissa could just see in the distance where they had encountered him. It wouldn't be long though, because if he had found them on the street, he would find their hotel.
"When do we go?"
"As soon as it's dark. Go pack now; we'll go to the train station as soon as we can, and get on the first train out of the country."
He didn't fight her. This brush with home had no doubt reminded him that this wasn't a holiday; they were running, from home. She heard the door of the adjoining room close, and she closed the curtain. Narcissa pulled her small bag from the top of the wardrobe, and started packing her meagre amount of belongings inside of it. It was a quick job, only taking a few minutes to remove her things from the drawers. Her former life had dissolved; of what had once been lavish and full of meaningless possessions, all that remained could be packed into a small bag. She sat down next to her bag, and waited for Draco to come out.
She didn't know how he had found them, but he must have been persistent. As far as she was aware, they had left no trail, but he still managed to be right behind them; and if he was, he wouldn't be the only one. She had told Draco that they didn't need to run anymore, they could wait here in somewhat comfortable surroundings. Now it felt like they'd been sitting in a giant trap.
There was a firm rap on the door, and a French voice called out, "Housekeeping."
She moved to the door, and opened it a crack. "We don't need ---"
The door was pushed open, and a hotel employee entered the room, finger against lips, pushing the door closed with their foot. The hat fell off, displaying a shock of red hair. "Muffliato," he whispered.
Narcissa struggled against him, pulling herself away from him, as she rushed to Draco's room.
"Please Mrs. Malfoy," he said quickly, moving right behind her. "I just want to talk to you, I won't hurt you."
Narcissa pulled the handle to Draco's door, and when it wouldn't budge, she spun around. Upon noticing his close proximity, she pressed herself against the door, demanding, "What did you do?"
"I'll open it soon, I need to talk to you. If Draco is anything like my brother, he will not make this go smoothly. Right now, he's a hindrance. You need to stay calm."
"Calm?!" She shook her head, "You enter my room under false pretences, push me around, and then lock my son in his room. Calm is nowhere near what I'm feeling. My husband didn't put much stock in you Weasleys, but even this behaviour seems a little extreme."
"I apologise, Mrs. Malfoy, but my actions are necessary."
"How did you find us, anyway?"
Snorting to herself, Narcissa replied, "I don't think so. You just happened to be on the same street as we in a foreign country? It's highly improbable."
"I have my own reasons for being in France. Finding your son and you was never my intention."
"You did though," she said quietly.
Sighing she said, "What do you want with us? We haven't done anything wrong."
"I want to take you with me." She looked up at him; his eyes were resolute once more. "We can protect you, both of you."
"I don't think so. The last thing my son needs is England. We aren't going back there yet --- he's not ready."
"Mrs. Malfoy, if I can find you, purely by luck alone, then what are the chances that, when someone is looking for you, they will find you? What do you think the consequences will be then?"
"Of course I have thought about that, and believe me, Mr. Weasley, I know what the consequences will be. That's why we are leaving as soon as we can."
"What kind of life is that, though? Always looking over your shoulder, wondering if someone is behind you, ready to hurt you, or kill you? You cannot run forever, it is a futile exercise. You will get tired, lose your drive to run, and they will find you. Think of what will happen when they do."
"I do think about it, every night as I close my eyes, and I see what will happen to Draco if they find us. Which is why they can never find us, because we will hide. Out of sight, out of mind; we are hardly important to them."
"But you are," he responded. "You know things, things we could not begin to know or understand. Your husband, your sister, are involved so deeply; and Draco, too, with all that he knows. Our side needs you."
"Why would I help you? You will get what you want, and then throw us to them when you are finished with us. If you are so desperate for inside knowledge, talk to Severus. I know he played both sides; talk to him."
"Snape is no longer an option."
"So he finally chose a side, and it wasn't yours?"
"He always had a side, and it was his own. That was his greatest downfall, he played to stay alive."
"His downfall? What do you mean?"
"He's dead; it appears that Voldemort got tired of his little spy."
"Oh my!" she gasped.
"Mum?!" Draco panicked voice called from the room behind her. "Why won't my door open? What's going on?"
"Open the door, we are finished talking," she said in a low voice.
He nodded, waving his hand to the slightest degree. The door's lock clicked, and Draco opened it behind her.
"What the hell was that?!"
"Language please, Draco, we have company."
"Company?" Draco pushed passed her, but stopped when he saw who was standing in front of him.
"Weasley, what are you doing here? What do you want?"
"I'm just talking with your mum," he said smoothly. "How are you, Draco?"
"I'm just swell," he snapped.
"Glad to hear it," Bill smiled at Draco. Turning his attention back to Narcissa he asked, "Is there a Floo in your suite?"
"There is a fireplace in Draco's room; I don't know if it's connected though."
He nodded, "It should be. Most of them are, but they are not terribly utilised. I'll just use it to contact Moody..."
"Professor Moody?" Draco exclaimed beside her.
"Yes, I'll be back in a minute." Narcissa moved out of the way, Draco sticking to her side.
He turned on her the second the door closed behind them, whispering, "What is he doing here?"
"He found us, again." She grabbed her bag from her bed, looking at Draco's empty hands. "Where is your bag?"
"In the room --- I put it down as I was fighting with the door handle. What does he want?"
"He wants to take us back to England, but we aren't going anywhere with him. Narcissa moved to the door. "We are leaving, now, without him. We'll get you some new things later." With Draco behind her, she turned the door handle, but it refused to open, much like Draco's had. "Son of a bitch," she muttered.
"No arguments from me, shouldn't be surprised though, him trapping us in here."
"We are on the fourth floor; we can't go out the window," she said, looking around the room.
"Well, let's Apparate somewhere, anywhere!"
"We can't risk being seen. It was a huge risk using magic before. For all we know, the French Ministry could be tracking us right now."
"So we are stuck. Going back to England with that bastard?"
"He said they can protect us," she said quietly.
"No one can protect us from Him."
Narcissa dropped her bag at her feet signing defeatedly, "It seems that it's our only option, though."
"Only because he locked us in. What a way to take our options away," he snapped, kicking the door.
"We didn't have any options anyway, Draco. Run for the rest of the conflict? Always making sure that no one is behind us? Maybe they can protect us, and maybe we can help them."
"By telling us everything you know about Voldemort, and the Death Eaters," Bill said from the doorway.
Grimacing at the mention of his name Draco responded, "All that we know would not be helpful."
"Even so, it's more than we know at the moment. I meant it Draco, we can protect you. They would never have to know you were helping us. We will keep it to a bare minimum of ears, I would know, naturally, as well as Moody. I highly doubt it would go much further than that."
"What about Potter?"
"Depends," he shrugged. "If what you tell us has any bearing on anything to do with what Harry is up against, then he will need to be told. If, and when, that happens, we'll see if it's necessary for him to know who gave us the information."
"He won't like it."
"Harry knows that things aren't always as they seem. He's grown up a lot over the last few weeks; he's not the same person he was, and I'd hazard a guess, neither are you."
Draco sat on the edge of Narcissa's bed, "So it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that we are going to come with you?"
Seating himself opposite, Bill said, "Like your Mum said, Draco, it's the only option. You can run, but they'd find you, and it wouldn't be pretty when they did. You know what they are capable of; do you really want to put yourself, or your mother, in that position?"
Draco glared at him, "Don't try to influence me by saying that. I would never intentionally put her in harm's way. Keeping her safe, away from all danger, is my only priority."
"As is mine," she said from behind them.
Nodding to himself Draco asked, "So what's the plan?"
"I have a Portkey, and I've changed the co-ordinates. We will go to Scotland, and from there get a train to London. I was never meant to be returning directly to London, so it may raise the wrong eyebrows if I did now."
"But surely, we would be recognised?" Narcissa asked.
"A simple glamour charm," he said. "We would change your hair, your voice, only do what is necessary."
"What time is your Portkey?" Narcissa asked as she moved to sit next to Draco.
"In about ten minutes," he said looking down at his watch. "Which means we have to get organised; I see you packed already."
"You have the Portkey on you?"
He pulled a pen from his coat pocket, "Right here."
Draco reached over and grabbed one of Narcissa's hands; she looked at him, and gave him a small smile. She looked back to Bill, "Let's do it then. I haven't performed a Glamour Charm in a long time."
"That's fine," he said, waving a hand dismissively. "I've done them a fair bit over the last few years. Now the ruse will probably work better if we look like we are related --- brothers and a sister." Standing up, he pulled his wand from his back pocket. "It doesn't hurt, it's only perception. Your reflection looks different, but you will feel like yourself."
Draco stood growling, "Just get on with it."
With a wave of his wand, and the simple incantation, a flash of light flew at Draco, who didn't flinch, but he did blink rapidly.
Reaching up, Draco felt his face, "It's just the same."
Bill grinned at him, "Go have a look in the mirror."
Narcissa smiled at her son as he passed her. "A little bit cruel, don't you think?" She whispered to Bill.
"I told him we had to look related," he chuckled.
She was opening her mouth to suggest they all change, when an outraged yell preceded Draco storming back into the room, "Change it back, you mongrel!"
"We don't have time I'm afraid, and besides, you look just like my brother."
"Mum!" Draco turned to her, "It's outrageous!"
"Draco, dear, no one would ever imagine you with hair like that. I'm changing as well, remember."
"It's red Mum! I look like a Weasley, I look like the bloody Weasel!"
"You don't look like yourself though, and that is the main thing."
Draco threw his hands in the air, and slammed himself into a chair.
Standing in front of her, wand in hand, Bill asked, "Ready, Mrs. Malfoy?"