Disclaimer: It all belongs to J.K. Rowling. I merely enjoy playing with her creations.
Dedication: This story is dedicated to Naesy, because she had to wait sooooo looong for her birthday fic (Come Kid With Me- hint, hint XD). And her birthday was in JANUARY. So I dedicate this one to her as a… urm… added bonus? Yup- that'll do. Enjoy!
Authors Note: Lots of sadness followed by weirdness. Reviews are joyously welcomed, flames will lower my heating bill, be laughed at, and then deleted.
Warnings: DM/HP, NT/RL, RW/HG, GW/NL This story contains slash, if you're not looking for that, I don't know how you found this story. Character Death. (More of a love letter to Draco than a Will- you'll get it in a second…. XD)
Beta: un'beta'd except by lonely ol' me. If you find a mistake or an inconsistency, please feel free to inform me D
Title: The Will to Survive (thanks Meg's)
They were sitting in Griphook's office waiting for the old goblin. It was a small room, barely ten feet by twelve, and crowded. The five guests sat in a semi- circle in front of one large desk, and it was a silent, depressing place. Hermione looked over at Ron nervously, before transferring her attention back to Draco. She bit her lip, and studied him. They didn't know why he was here, but Griphook's office was spelled to let no one but those with an invitation enter. So they didn't say anything. Instead, Hermione forced thoughts of him from her mind and turned to her other side to face Ginny.
"When do you think Griphook will get here?" the younger girl asked.
"I don't know," Hermione replied honestly. It wasn't the norm for goblins to keep anyone waiting, but they had been sitting here for about fifteen minutes. Aside from Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Malfoy the room also held Luna Lovegood. No one was completely sure why they were there, but they all had a pretty good idea. What confused them was that Malfoy was there.
Griphook chose that moment to walk in the door. "Thank you all for coming," the diminutive goblin said. "I am sorry that I am late, but I had to take care of a few last minute details. Let me get settled, and I'll tell you why you're here." The goblin took his time getting ready, but Hermione forgave him. He was a very old goblin, after all.
When Griphook was finally seated behind his desk, he pulled out a parchment and started to unroll it, but stopped.
"I need to inform you that whatever is said in this room cannot be revealed to those outside of it, even by force or coercion." When they all nodded, the goblin finished unrolling the parchment and set it on the table before him.
Harry's voice rang out, sounding like he was in the room with them.
"I, Harry James Potter, do hereby affirm that this is my Last Will and Testament. This document has been written with my full approval, and I am under no coercive spells to say any of the things that will be written here. These words dictate the ways in which my estate will be divided in the case of my untimely death. This document is written June the fourteenth, in the year of our Lord 2006."
It was the standard opening for any Wizarding Will. But what made Hermione's eyes tear was the date. June 14th, 2006 was three days before the Final Battle. Three days before Harry Potter's death.
Draco didn't feel anything. His heart was a solid block of ice, and he was glad that it was. He needed to be calm in this room full of sappy bleeding hearts. He needed to keep his composure. He needed to be able to hear what was coming with no expression. No care. No tears.
He would not let the pitiful excuses for Wizards in this room see him as anything other than who he was. Draco Malfoy, Lord Malfoy, Pureblood Wizard.
But when he heard Harry's voice come from the charmed document on Griphook's desk, his composure slipped, just a little, and the icy wall that had surrounded his heart for the last month shattered quietly. His face reflected the storm inside of him, and, for a brief moment, Hermione saw the pure, unhidden emotion on his face, and froze.
She had glanced over at Draco, wondering again why he was here. He'd been sternly composed through the waiting, and through Griphook's getting ready, but when he heard Harry's voice, his façade had slipped for one fateful second and she had seen a sea of hate flood his features.
She was shaken by the force of the emotion she had seen- would Draco let his feelings of hate towards Harry get the best of him? Would he storm out of here in a rage? She resolutely turned her back to him. She needed to concentrate on what was coming next.
But Hermione was only half correct- that hate that had suffused Draco's face had been all the self- loathing he had kept hidden for the four weeks since the Savior of the Wizarding Worlds death. He hated himself, for reasons he had only admitted the week prior to the Final Battle.
But he pushed such thoughts away and concentrated on the goblin in front of him. The sooner this was over, the sooner he could get back to his private grieving. He stared resolutely at the front of the room, at a point a little above Griphook's head. He ignored the look of pity the banker was giving him, ignored the fear practically seeping out of Hermione, ignored everything, for that was the only way he would be able to get through this now.
Harry's voice once more rang through the small room. Griphook re- settled himself, and watched the humans as they heard the voice of the deceased. For this was how Wizards handled their Will.
"Hermione, Ron, you two were the best friends I could ever ask for. The fact that you stayed with me through all the things I did- whether they were stupid or brave is up to interpretation- you were the only two I could trust for most my life. Thank you for being there for me."
Ron and Hermione smiled shakily at each other. They turned back to the parchment as the enchantment continued.
"To Hermione Jane Granger, I give 1/5 of all my monetary goods, to be spent as she sees fit. I give her the Potter Manor in Collingbourne, and all the books I have ever collected- forgive me if there aren't very many."
Harry's deep laugh sounded then, as if he could imagine the look on her face at what he had just given her. His voice continued.
"To Ronald Bilius Weasley, you better get married to Hermione quickly, mate. She won't wait for you forever."
Ron smiled, and looked at Hermione with tears in his eyes. He'd asked her to marry him in the middle of the battle, and she had agreed.
"Aside from that, I give you 1/5 of all my monetary wealth, and the 30ft yacht anchored in Champlain's Port. I know how much you love that thing."
Hermione reached over to squeeze Ron's hand, and smiled at him.
After a short pause, as if Harry knew they would like a moment, he continued.
"Ginny and Luna, my other two best mates. Ginny, if you hadn't been a cover for me for three years, I would surely have been trapped into an un- wanted marriage. Thank you, thank you so much. Luna, your unique perspective on any given situation was horrendously helpful. I thank you for your friendship.
To Ginevra Molly Weasley, I give 1/5 of my monetary wealth, and the flat in Diagon Alley. Just so you can keep a watch on those brothers of yours."
Everyone could hear the smile in his voice when he mentioned them, and everyone but Draco smiled along. The twins pranks (though meant as practical jokes) had been the turning tide for the War. Everyone who had ever associated with them knew how to negate their effects, but they had been a complete mystery to the Death Eaters. The joke shop was now the most popular thing in the Wizarding World, and both twins had been given Order of Merlin Second Classes for the 'Spectacular Use of Magic in Defeating the Enemy'.
"And to Luna Marguerite Lovegood, I also give 1/5 of my monetary wealth. I know that you have no care for the trappings of the physical world, so I want you to have my puppy, Jasper, so someone can keep an eye on you. Griphook will know where he is."
Griphook nodded as Luna's dreamy gaze came to rest on him, and she smiled mistily at the goblin, who surprised himself by smiling back.
"The other one fifth of my monetary goods shall be entrusted to Hermione Jane Granger for whatever charity she deems worthy. I know that you will make me proud of your selection, 'Mione. Just, Leave S.P.E.W. out of this, okay?"
Shaky laughter was the only response to this plea from Harry.There was silence in the room as they waited for Harry's voice to continue.
Hermione and Ron were sneaking peeks at Malfoy, who hadn't moved or even expressed any interest in the proceeding thus far. Ginny was holding back tears by imagining all the things she could do to her brothers in the name of Harry Potter. Luna was contemplating the fact that she was now one of the richest witches in London, and that now she didn't have to go looking for a job that would take time away from her hunt for the Twist- Fanged Gladamadte.
When Harry's voice came back, they all stilled and listened in respectful silence.
"And Draco Lucius Malfoy, the one you are all stealing looks at, wondering why he's here with you." Harry's tone was light, but no one missed the flinch as Draco heard his name being spoken by the calm voice. He glared even harder at the wall above Griphook's head, knowing what Harry was about to do, and wishing that he was alone with the voice from the past.
"Draco," Harry's suddenly husky voice slid through the room and flowed into Draco's soul, encasing him in a blanket of warmth. His breath shuddered into his lungs, and his eyes slammed shut of their own accord. Harry's voice continued, and everyone could hear the tears he was trying to hide in his words.
"Draco," Harry began again, "I know that anything I could give you would be but a drop in the bucket compared to the Malfoy fortune-" "Too damn right," Draco interrupted, ignoring the scandalized looks from the rest of the humans in the room, the voice chuckling a little as it continued "-and I know you agree with me. But I give you Number 12 Grimmauld Place anyway, because you are more of a Black than I am, and who knows what you might find in the secret places that it hid from me. I also give you the Potter Mansion in Muggle London, because I know how much you love it there."
Hermione glanced at Ginny and Ron, confused, as the voice took a little break. "What's going on here?" she hissed, but Ginny just shook her head as the voice came back. They all looked at Draco before turning once again to the enchanted paper. He was a little slouched on his chair, his arms crossed, hair obscuring his face. His legs were stretched out in front of him, and were crossed at the ankles. He would have been the perfect picture of aristocratic aloofness had they not seen his face when Harry spoke his name.
"Draco, you are the reason I had to change my Will, you know. I know the Battle will happen soon, and I want to make sure that I say this to you before I die, if I haven't said it to you already."
A pause before the voice continued. "Draco, I love you." Another pause as they heard Harry clear his throat.
Hermione was shocked to her core. I didn't hear that right. I couldn't have heard that right. She looked to Ron for confirmation that her hearing was going, and saw only wide eyes as he too digested Harry's words. They both spun in their chairs as they stared at Draco, noting that his eyes were bright as he finally looked at the parchment on the desk. The voice continued.
"I love you, and I will always love you, no matter how long or short my life may be. You were the one who was able to keep me sane in the weeks of planning, and scheming, and distrust. You were the only one who believed in me enough to let me follow my own intuition. You were able to hold off the Order when I needed to be alone.
I know that you risked more than your life when you became a spy after Severus was found out. I know that it killed you to betray your Father to be with me. I know the pain you felt when everyone else rejected you as a spy for Voldemort. I know, because I was there, holding you, comforting you, loving you when it became too much for you to bear alone. I know the pain of never fitting in, for I shared it with you.
We held each other up when the pressure became too much for our young shoulders. We comforted each other when no one would believe us. We fell in love because we understood each other. There is nothing that I hide from you, just as you hide nothing from me. We complete each other. Our separate halves became one when we were too young for the responsibilities they put before us.
My life was a series of duty, and hate, and fear before you came to me. I lived in a barren desert of my own making, where the only thing that grew was the ever- present shadow of Voldemort. But somehow, you were able to reach in and grab me, you were able to make me feel compassion for those whose lives I would be forced to save. You became the only flower in my desert, the only reason for me to live.
If not for you, I do not know where I would be right now. Certainly not in Griphook's office, re- doing my Will for the tenth time.
"I know you will probably hate me for saying all that in this roomful of the people you hate, but I want them to know too. I do not want my love for you to go unknown. I want to scream it from the rooftops, and emblazon it everywhere. But I know you, and I know that you would not wish that. So I've made do with telling all the people who are important to me. I do not want you to be alone when I die, as I will be alone in death.
I love you too much for that to happen."
The room was silent as Harry's voice faded away. The only movement came as Draco lifted a hand to brush the silver tears off of his face. In the stillness, it was easy to hear the crowds outside, slowly ending the spell Harry's voice had woven.
"That's all. If you would please follow me, I will take you to the goblins who have become your financial aids. Lord Malfoy, please remain behind." The others stood and made to go, but Hermione and Ron paused, and then turned back to Draco. "Listen, Malfoy. If all of that is true, why didn't he tell us?" From his undignified slouched position, Draco replied in a voice as devoid of emotion as Harry's had been full of it.
"I'm sure he neglected to tell you because he feared the possible repercussions of loving the man you all hated." Ron shifted guiltily, and said gingerly, "Well, we don't hate you now. Maybe we could put that behind us?"
Draco shut his eyes as he tried to calm the emotions raging inside of him. "Go away, Weasley," he said tiredly, "I do not want to deal with your Gryffindor tendencies right now." Ron stiffened, and would undoubtedly have said something altogether stupid, if not for the polite cough from behind him. Turning, he saw Griphook waiting with an impatient expression. "If you would follow me, Mr. Weasley." He hesitated, looking back at Malfoy, then shrugged and walked out of the room, Hermione following with a soft "Sorry" directed at Draco.
When all the humans had been assigned to goblins, Griphook returned and shut the door. Turning to face the one of the few Wizards he had come to respect, the goblin sat again. Carefully veiling the compassion he felt, he said "Now, Lord Malfoy. Perhaps you would like to change your Will?" With a defeated sigh and a strange gleam in his eye, Draco sat up and nodded.
Outside in the hallway after dealing with their respective goblins, the four friends met up again and headed towards Fortesue's Ice Cream Shoppe. As soon as they were seated, they began talking. "Ginny, you didn't seem surprised by Harry being in love with Draco." Ron said suspiciously. Ginny sighed, and pushed aside her barely touched ice cream.
"I knew." Luna nodded, indicating that she had also known.
"Why didn't anyone tell us?" Hermione asked, slightly hurt. Luna answered with a sleepy smile as she watched the puppy gamboling around her feet. "It was obvious. I thought you already knew and where ignoring it. Besides, why should we tell you when they didn't?" Ginny nodded. They ignored the subject after that, instead preferring to discuss the topic of who would be appointed Minister of Magic in Rufus Scrimgeuor's stead.
On their walk home about three hours later, they noticed a commotion outside the office of the Regional Aurors. It seemed that a press conference was going on. Stopping, they listened, curious as to what would be so exciting on a Monday night.
A man in a white suit came out and stood at he top of the stairs. He waited for the masses of people to stop talking, and when he had their attention, spoke.
"About an hour ago, Lord Draco Lucius Malfoy, age twenty- three, was found dead in his ancestral home. The causes of the death are under investigation, but it is commonly believed to have been a suicide. Details of the investigation will be available early tomorrow with the release of the Daily Prophet. I will now take questions."
It was a surprise that the four of them managed to stay upright when they heard the news. Immediately questions started to be fired at the man left and right. He held up his hand, and pointed to an official looking man with a pad in his hand. "Yes, Mister Jones?" The man in question stepped forward and asked "Mr. Montoya, is Lord Malfoy's Will common knowledge?" Everyone was quiet as they waited for the answer.
"The Will is being read now, Mister Jones. Only Mr. and Mrs. Remus Lupin and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Weasley were invited. That is all I know. Next question."
"Was there a suicide note?" a woman called out, and the rest of the reporters came to attention with the swiftness of a bloodhound.
"Indeed not, Ms. Corner. Unless it has just been found. Next question."
"Why do you think Lord Malfoy would have killed himself?"
"This is a criminal investigation, Mr. Garrote, not a wonder tale. Keep your questions professional. Next question."
Ron spoke up. "Who, if anyone, do you have in custody?" The reporters swung around en masse as they realized who had spoken. Immediately, the four friends were swarmed as the reporters came to them, begging to be told anything about Lord Malfoy's life.
"When was the last time you saw Lord Malfoy, Mr. Weasley?" the same woman who had asked about the suicide note queried. Ron looked at Ginny, Hermione, and Luna, and when they all nodded, he replied quietly. "At the reading of Harry Potters Will, about three hours ago."
There was a silence as the reporters took that in. Any time anyone mentioned their Hero, there was always silence. Mr. Montoya took that moment to answer Ron's question. "No one at the present time, Mr. Weasley. I am sure that as soon as the investigation is complete, you will be the first to know." Turning back to the reporters, Mr. Montoya said, "That is all the time I have for now. Please show some respect for the dead."
The news men and women's furious uproar at the Investigators evasive tactics was enough that they didn't notice when Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Luna snuck away, heading back towards Gringotts.
"What I want to know is why my parents were called into hear Malfoy's Will. He always hated us Weasley's." Hermione shrugged philosophically as they entered the building. "Well, I guess we'll find out now, won't we?" as she gestured to two stunned- looking couples.
Hurrying over to their parents, Ginny and Ron immediately asked what was wrong. It took a moment for the older adults to answer. "I need to sit down." Tonks said, and walked over to one of the chairs near the entrance to the bank, the others following, all in varying states of shock. Luna, losing interest, walked over to examine a goblin, Jasper following in high spirits as she proceeded to explore Gringotts.
When they were all seated, Remus looked up at his one- time students and said "He left everything to us. Everything." Eyes- wide, the three friends looked at each other in shock for a third time that day. Molly added, "Well, with one condition apiece, but I don't think it's a hardship at all. No. Not at all." Bursting with impatience, Ron said "Elaborate, please."
And they did.
"He gave Tonks and Remus half of the Malfoy wealth, me and Molly the other half. The caveat Draco set for them was that they had to give one of their children the surname of Malfoy, and another the surname of Black, and they have to hold in trust Malfoy Manor and all its possessions for the Malfoy child, and Number 12 Grimmauld Place for the Black child. But they got everything else. Your mother and I were told that one of our children has to have a surname of Potter, and we were to hold the Potter Mansion in Muggle London in trust for that child. And we got everything else." With an expansive sigh, Arthur sat back in his chair. "It's a lot to take in."
Ron nodded in shocked agreement. That much money would restore the Weasley's to full Pureblood status in no time. Remus and Tonks would be able to afford good quality clothing, and they would be able to spend as much time as they wanted with little Teddy. Hermione cleared her throat. "You are planning on setting aside a good bit of money for the new bloodlines, correct?" They all turned to look at her in confusion.
"What? It's obvious that that's what Draco wanted, isn't it? He wanted to re- establish the Potter, Black, and Malfoy lines, and you were the best people to do it." They still didn't understand.
"Listen," Hermione said, "Tonks, you are a Black and a Malfoy. So therefore it is possible that you could be the founder of the new bloodline for those houses. And Molly," she said, turning to look at the Weasley matriarch, "You were the closest thing to a mother Harry ever had, so Draco undoubtedly thought that you would not mind being the founder of that new bloodline. Don't you see?" She asked when presented with blank faces.
"Draco wanted the three surname's to live on so that no one would ever forget the sacrifices they made in the War against Voldemort. He wanted everyone to always remember that even Malfoy's can change their colors and fight for what is right. He wanted everyone to remember that sometimes justice is flawed, and that you should always look for evidence, even when what you have seems to be fine. He wanted everyone to remember that freedom is bought and paid for with blood and death. So he asked you, those who are closest to the Malfoy's, Black's, and Potter's in blood and love to carry out that objective for him."
Understanding had graced the features of the elder couples, and even Ron looked like he knew what she meant. Ginny, studying her shoes, looked up at them and said, "I'll change my name to Potter." Molly replied, "Honey, you don't have to do that, we'll just get Fred or George to change their name. Lord knows it will make it easier to tell them apart."
Ginny glanced up, then away. "No, really mother. I would rather change my name. It will make everything easier, anyway." Molly, with a mothers intuition, pinned her with a stern glare. "Ginevra Molly Weasley. What have you done?"
"Nothing! Just, Neville has all those cousins to carry on the Longbottom name, and he wanted to commemorate Harry anyway." Hermione caught on first. "Are you getting married?" she asked gently. A shy nod was her only answer. "That's brilliant, Ginny! Congratulations!" Everyone smiled and hugs and well- wishing went around the circle. "Are you sure he won't mind?" Arthur asked, and Ginny smiled. "No, he really wanted to do something for Harry. This will be perfect."
The double wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Neville Potter and Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Weasley was the talk of the English Wizarding World the next year.
One year later, Rose Elizabeth Weasley, Jason Harry Potter, and twins William Lupin- Black and Reginald Lupin- Malfoy were born.
Eleven Years Later
"So, can anyone tell me why the werewolves joined Lord Voldemort's side of the Second War?" The Professor's voice was calm, and he smiled gently as several hands went up in the air. "Yes, Ms. Weasley?" he asked, and Rose smiled and said "Because the Wizards treated them worse than Voldemort did, and they went with the lesser of two evils."
"Good, five points to Ravenclaw. Why didn't the Wizards treat the werewolves better than Voldemort, who believed that the werewolf was less than human?"
Again, hands shot into the air. "Mr. Lupin- Black?"
The now black haired boy responded with "'Cause Wizards were dumb, that's why. Not all werewolves were evil, child attacking psycho's." The Professor smiled. "Good, five points to Gryffindor, though I believe you might be biased on this point." The class laughed along with the Professor, and he smiled a little before continuing.
"Why didn't the Ministry change the regulations concerning werewolves to bring them over to their side? Mr. Potter?"
The auburn haired youth smirked. "Because the Ministry was a bunch of fools who thought they ruled the world, but in fact couldn't find their own ass-" The Professor interrupted before he could finish. "Thank you Mr. Potter, for your most apt description. Five points to Gryffindor for your honest depiction of the Ministry."
The class laughed. This teacher was known for his hate of the Ministry of Magic, and took any chance he could to belittle them. He was about to continue when a ghost floated into the room, causing the more skittish of the class to gasp in fright. The ghost sailed to the front of the room, and settled onto the desk next to the Professor.
"I was floating by, and I couldn't help but over hear your lesson. I know, it's funny, but I thought this class was History of Magic, not Instill Hate of the Ministry into the Younger Generation." The class laughed along with the ghost as he teased their Professor. They lived for the times when he would come into the classroom and they took immediate advantage of it. "Gramps," Jase Potter said, "Tell us the story again!" The rest of the class joined the clamor to the get the ghost to steer the lesson off course.
"No, not today, kiddies. What were you learning about before I so rudely interrupted?"
Platinum blonde Reggie Malfoy smirked. "The maltreatment of certain accursed groups by the incompetent fools in the Ministry." He cackled with his twin as the new ghost groaned and hid his head in his hands. "NO! He's gotten to you already! I'm too late." He lamented to the general amusement of the class.
Their Professor, annoyed by the interruption of his lesson, grabbed the new ghost and clamped his hand over his mouth. "Shut up or leave." he ordered, and Harry Potter nodded vigorously until the Professor took his hand away. "Anything you want, Professor Malfoy. Anything." He added with a leer, and shrieked and ran as Draco lunged after him. The class watched in amusement as the two ghosts chased each other in the last minutes of class.
"It's so beautiful." Rose said to her best friend, Melanie Zabini, who nodded agreement. She leaned closer and added "I was talking to Professor Malfoy once, and when I asked him why he did it, he said 'I had nothing to live for, and everything to die for'." The two girls sighed at the romance of it, still watching as their Professor caught and extracted a promise from Harry to stay quiet or else.
Turning back to the class, he said, "I think that this will conclude today's lesson. I want three feet due on Friday on the Ministry's maltreatment of those they deemed 'inferior'. You may use any group, including werewolves and Metamorphagi-" he paused as the twins grinned at each other, thinking correctly that this would be another essay they aced- "Centaurs, Mer- people, and Giants. Include any repressed race that you can think of- I will not discriminate. And, you had better do my essay quickly, because I have it on good authority that your Potions homework will last you well into the weekend." He smirked as the class groaned. "Fair warning, and all that. Now scat. I don't want to see your ugly faces until Friday." When no one moved, he frowned.
"Well, what are you waiting for? I'm letting you out-" he glanced at the clock- "Twelve minutes early. Go!" When the class started packing up, he turned his attention back to his captive. "Now, I have the rest of the day free. What were you planning that got you so excited that you ruined my class?" His mock- severe tone was countered by the interest in his gaze.
He smiled openly, however, when he heard his lover say "Wait until you see what Peeves and I planned in the Great Hall for lunch! The look on Sev's face is going to be worth it." He trailed off into a dreamy silence, clearly picturing the Potion Master's probable expression, and the students grinned at each other as they were obliquely warned to steer clear of the Great Hall.
A/N: It you hadn't picked up on the fact, Reggie and Will are Metamorphagi.
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