Chapter 31 distressed damsel
The city was so full; there was very little space to move. Even with Severus being seen everyone was too busy or fearful to part away, I was angry to the point of seething when we had to dismount, we lost Greg somewhere in the crowed and slowly pushed forward.
An hour passed and remarkably Greg found us again with a white silk cloak.
Severus was impressed as he threw it upon me and covered my face, mounting he shouted to the crowed, "Make way for the princess."
"MAKE WAY," Vince and Greg shouted now using their horses to butt people aside. Finally that did the trick and the once busy path opened up so we could ride.
Finally at the castle, the guards parted and I went to get off my horse. My body was beyond stiff and Severus helped me off.
I could barely move, Severus suggested getting cleaned up before I met my father and I gave a reluctant nod. My energy had drained away but I was determined to speak to him this day.
My guards helped me to my chambers and I opened the door. Sitting on my bed was a beautiful blond boy, his expression was vastly startled.
"Who are you?" I questioned shocked. Father had replaced me!
"Who are you? "He mirrored, scrambling away.
"This is Princess Draconis," Greg spoke darkly watching the nearly look alike imposter.
"Impossible," the boy breathed "they foun… I am the princess."
I strode in "then the amulet, present it." My voice held steady, my neck heavy. I was wearing the proof.
"GUARDS!" the boy screamed and the hand maidens raced in, I waved my hand and my own guards went to remedy the situation that I could hear pounding down the hall.
"Princess," one maiden replied as both women fell to their knees in front of me.
"I…No I am," the boy tried to regain composure.
"Hush," one woman told him "this is the real Draconis."
"Proof," the boy was bold I would give him that one.
I drew out the amulet, the one I demanded. "Proof enough? I paused a moment 'Pansy?'
"Yes princess," the elder of the two curtsied.
"Bath," and she rushed away, I looked at the other "keep him in line."
She curtsied and grabbed the boy by the elbow, making him sit.
Vince and Greg joined a few moments later, "keep watch over everyone," I demanded and they nodded "We shall go to father soon. The courts won't even let me pass looking like this."
I scrubbed hard, and both maidens hurried to make me presentable. I admit after a long time of being away that the perfumes smelled odd, the silk foreign but dressed in a flourish before placing that dreaded veil back on "watch the boy, it will be all your heads if he escapes."
I strode down the hall, my steps confidant, masculine and the looks I received were odd.
I passed death eaters on my way to my father's study and hurried my pace. Harry could be in real trouble if Voldemort was aiding in the war.
The guards drew the doors for me and I strode into the throne room, my eyes searching for my father. The elder man sat bent in his throne, he looked extremely ill.
"Father!" I raced to his side, throwing myself at his feet "Father?"
"Draconis," he smiled weakly "its you?"
Yes father it is," I took his hand in mine "what's going on? Are you ill? Father where's mother?"
"I am just tired beloved child;" his hand rose to pet my hair "it's been a long time."
I rose to my feet "let's get you some rest, we need to speak."
It took both my guards and the hidden passage way to get father to his bed, mother started when the portrait opened and rushed over when she saw father.
"Lucius," she called the doctor, grabbing the bowl of warm water from her maids very own hands.
I watched quietly, I had to speak to him, waving away the maids I gave a nod to Vince and Greg to secure the room, wondering where Severus was. "Greg get Severus."
Mother looked up at those words "Draconis?"
I nodded taking off the veil "I'm home mother, what's wrong with father?"
"I think it's that wretched Voldemort," she frowned marring her pretty face.
I nearly cursed, Voldemort was here. "He's doing something to father?"
"I don't know, but he's been sicker and sicker since this war started," Mother dabbed Fathers forehead.
"Father, mother you can stop this war," I spoke boldly "I will marry Harold Potter and the kingdoms will be joined."
"It's too late," father whispered "we've made other arrangements."
My face fell in a darkened look "no."
"Yes, you're betrothed to the dark lord."
I could have screamed instead I glared "I will not. I am not virgin."
"What!" Mother exclaimed shocked, father despite the green looked livid.
"I have a son, with Harold Potter," I replied "And I will marry no one but him."
"Is that so?" I hissed voice came from behind "you've been a very naughty princess."
I swung around "Voldemort."
"Finish the job," his cold, ugly face smiled as two masked men shot a light of green at my father.
I screamed launching myself at the ugly, snake-like man. My knife in my hands "you bastard! I'll kill you!"
His death eaters caught me, twisting my wrist. I dropped the knife still struggling to cause him, them anyone pain. I kicked one in the shin and bit the other before I was pushed to my knees. Forced to stop my assaults.
"Tisk, tisk, tisk Princess," Voldemort smooth voice hissed "I that any way for you to act?"
"Go to hell," I spat, this man had just killed my father and expected me to roll over and obey. I think not.
"Oh you will do as I say princess," Voldemort smiled a cruel grin, his hand going to touch my cheek, I snapped at him.
His evil eyes glared at me "take him to his rooms; we will announce the horrific death of his father shortly. And as to you both," he eyed myself and my mother who was crying "if either of you try anything I will kill the other in front of you."
I was then hoisted up and taken to my chambers; the imposter was still there and jumped up at my arrival with two death eaters.
They dropped me harshly to the floor and turned, slamming and locking the door behind them. We were trapped, myself, the boy, Pansy and Millicent.
I was shaking like a leaf when the women came to me, "Don't," I replied trying not to look as defeated as I felt "they killed father… they killed him."
I pushed Shadowfax to the near braking point and the moment the gates were opened I swung off him, knowing someone would grab his reins and rushed to father.
"Father!" I yelled as a guard opened the war room doors.
"Harry," My mother swept me into an embrace.
I held her tightly as my eyes swept the council chamber for my father; he was looking at me with a mix of anger and relief.
"Harry," He spoke as mother finally let me out of her arms, I missed her and wish to embrace her again but now was not the time.
"Father you need to stop this war," I spoke with a tone that surprised me, full of authority and power.
"I will marry Draconis," I began to say and father cut me off.
"Impossible," he snapped "you had your chance; Lucius has declared war and his sons hand has been promised to an ally."
"No," I growled "Draco is mine."
The whole room seemed confused but father shook his head "no Harry he was but no longer will be"
"I have to go to him," I turned heel. It was a foolish idea to part, I never should have let him talk me into this, Draco could be in danger, and just who was his new intended? Pausing "who is he to marry father?"
"Lord Voldemort," Father spoke and I headed swiftly to the door "what is this about Harry?"
"Nothing has been broken," I looked at him "I met Draconis on my travels, when…when I foolishly left."
"Lucius lied to me then," Father spat.
"What?" I questioned.
"Draconis was there at the palace, he was ill at first but joined us for many meals," Father replied as Sirius and Remus nodded to confirm.
"No he was with me," I nearly shouted, confused.
"It wasn't the real princess," mother finally spoke, "I think Harry is telling the truth, Severus has never left Lucius' side and not once did I see him or the princess's personal guard."
"Why did you not say anything Lilly?" Father snapped.
"I wasn't certain till now," Mother replied "are you sure darling?"
"Severus came looking for him and found us," I replied "he knew right away it was him."
Mother nodded "then where is he?"
"He returned to Malfoy kingdom," I felt sick "right back to… Mother, Father I have to go with or without your help or permission."
"Do you love him son?" Mother asked.
"With all my heart, soul and life," I replied honestly.
We looked at father who sat pondering, "Then we ride to rescue the distressed damsel."