Disclaimer: Not mine.
It was easy to let things run their course. Draco was able to convince his father he had stolen the journal and had to return it the next night. He helped Lucius not only cast the spell over the pensives but staged the false memory, for yet another pensive, in which he told his father the intended object that was to be sold was legal. Draco watched his father leave for the Alley and quickly got to work.
The first task was by far the hardest, and the one that mattered to him the most. He had to get his mother out of the house and as far from the Aurors as he could. She still took a daily potion to calm her nerves and was beginning to act unstable, jumping at the smallest noise, walking the halls, weeping at all hours, and calling out to Lucius when she knew he was not there. Draco could deal with everything but the way she still clung to her husband, and begged him to stay home with her, afraid the Dark Lord would come back.
Helen had agreed to take her to lunch and talk of the old families. As a Dolohov, she was acceptable in Narcissa's circle to friends and a simple lie placed her on the side of the Dark Lord and no longer a Blood traitor.
"Really Mother, she asks about you every time I am in Diagon Alley," Draco lied to her. "She says she misses the old ways, and no one believes her. It is a shame. I wouldn't mind taking her out myself if she could be accepted by our side."
"Draco, she is a Dolohov. Are you sure?" Narcissa narrowed her eyes. "I seem to remember that she was not what we thought, that she turned."
"No, not this Dolohov, this is Helen." Draco rolled his eyes, playing his part well. "She was always kept in the back, waiting for the right time. Mother, she is one of the few pure bloods left that we can trust."
"I don't know Draco. I will speak to your father of it."
"Just have a cup of tea with her, feel her out, talk to her." Draco pressed. "I will collect you myself and then I can take my favourite girl shopping."
"We could go to Diagon Alley. I do need some new robes." She smoothed her hair and looked around nervously. "If you are sure, your father can get so upset over little things like this."
"Mother, I am quite sure father would be glad to see you get out more." He smirked at her. "I will guarantee he won't yell at you ever again."
"He has said that I should get out more, perhaps I will go out today." She straightened her back and smiled. "Yes, perhaps I will talk to this Helen Dolohov."
"You will like her Mother, I am sure of it." Draco kissed her on the cheek and sent her upstairs to dress.
In the end, Narcissa had agreed and left in enough time to allow Draco to use the code from the journal and match the blood vials to the pensives, restoring the memories back to the true memories. He worked quickly. He pulled out illegal items from hiding places and moved them to places to be easily found. He moved books on the Dark Arts from the dungeon's hiding place to the main library and as a last thought sent even the house elves to the Crabbe home to keep them out of the mix.
The Aurors waited until Lucius stepped into the Alley and arrested him as he intended. They took him to the Ministry and watched as he smugly protested their accusations, assuring them he was not aware that the book they found on him was illegal. He assured the Aurors that he owned nothing considered Dark, and even went as far as to offer his Manor to be searched.
Marcus nodded at the rest as he left the examination room with Lucius's permission to enter the Manor. It was all that they needed.
Arthur was the first to arrive at the Manor, followed by four others. They removed over fifty pensives, and with that evidence, they had enough on Lucius to search for any other objects they could find. Draco stood back and folded his arms, playing his part as the angry son. He did not trust that all the Aurors could be trusted. Although Arthur assured him that Kingsley had thinned the ranks and found the Dark Lords supporters Draco still had his doubts.
"I have Kingsley's word that the Ministry will not seal the Malfoy accounts. They may ask to inspect the vaults to see what else is hidden there, but your funds will not be touched." Arthur pulled Draco aside as the Aurors made yet another trip laden with goods to deliver to the Ministry.
"Father hid his vaults so well it will take even the goblins a while to sort them out." Draco grinned. "I am afraid that is one thing I will not help you with."
"Understood," Arthur said.
"You do know there are still Death Eaters out here." Draco folded his arms and looked at Arthur coldly. "You also realize that they are learning to hide better, to do things differently."
"We know Draco. Next time someone comes along to destroy this world it will be harder. Hopefully we will be better prepared."
"Next time you will not be able to look at an arm to see the allegiance."
"Will we be able to count on you Draco?" Arthur asked.
"No. You can rest easy that I will not be with them." Draco looked down at the floor before meeting Arthur's eyes. "I will not dedicate the Malfoy fortune to them, I will not help them, but I will not help you fight against them."
Arthur nodded and held out his hand to Draco only to have Draco walk away, refusing to shake it. Arthur sighed and watched the young wizard walk away, wishing for a moment that he could help Draco accept the way things were now. Then he left for the apparation point, smiling at the thought of Lucius waiting patiently for them at the Ministry.
Lucius Malfoy sat on the straight-backed chair tapping his cane on the hard stone floor, impatiently waiting for things to begin. He looked at the clock on the wall and frowned to see he had been here already two hours. He was about to demand to speak to a supervisor when the door opened and Mr Weasley, flanked by two Aurors walked in.
"Well, I see government bureaucracy is again at its best." He sneers as the tall red headed wizard entered the room.
"Mr. Malfoy we have almost completed the search of your family home." Arthur nodded to the Aurors who walked over and began to cuff Malfoy's hands behind his back. "You are hereby under arrest for heinous crimes against humanity, including torture, murder, rape, bodily dismemberment… should I go no?"
"There were no pensives with my memories! What are you doing Weasley?" He thundered.
"Quite wrong Lucius, we found several. Strange though, there were empty vials scattered on the floor." Arthur looked at him as if pondering the meaning of the vials. "Any idea what they would be?"
"You will hear from my solicitor Weasley. I can assure you of that." Lucius pulled against the restraints and glared at Arthur.
"And I can assure you that if what we saw in those pensives you and your solicitor will have a long Ministry paid vacation."
"Take this scum to Azkaban. I will let Kingsley know the arrest is completed." Arthur grinned. "Well, he is rather busy today. I may have to leave it until tomorrow. Do enjoy your stay with us Mr. Malfoy."
Arthur walked out into the hallway and closed the door behind him, feeling a weight lifted off his shoulders. Lucius Malfoy had been responsible for so much that had happened in his family. He had a quick vision of Ginny, his youngest, as she had looked laying in the bed in the Hogwarts infirmary due to Malfoy putting a charmed journal in her hands all those years ago.
Arthur started down the hallway and smiled knowing what the guards would do to Malfoy before he even made it to trial. He headed for the apparation point to leave for Vincent's, first he wanted to stop in Diagon Alley and pick up a present for his daughter. He suddenly felt how close he had come to losing her again.
"It's over?" Helen looked around the table and set down her teacup. "Just like that?"
"Yes, we have Lucius in custody, and seven more will be picked up by morning," Arthur said.
"I can't believe they would keep evidence like that around the house," Lucy said, shaking her head.
"I guess you two will be leaving then?" Vincent asked.
"Well, I still have about a week of busy time, and much as I have enjoyed a whole house, I think I need to get back to the Alley," Helen said.
Tom was leaning against the counter listening to the four at the table. "I will keep an eye on her Vincent. Just to make sure, that is until Arthur tells me all seven have been found."
"You needn't make it sound like such a chore," Helen said.
"No chore." He laughed at her and winked. "As a matter of fact it will be less of a chore than coming here every night."
"You have been coming here every night?" Vincent looked at him with a raised eyebrow.
"We have had a stake out on the house, just watching," Arthur said. "Tom was good enough to take one of the shifts."
"You could have let us know," Helen said, looking at Tom.
"Yeah, well, it didn't seem like a good idea at the time." Tom laughed and stood up straight. "I need to head back now. Vincent, if you need anything just floo."
"I think I am fine now," Vincent said. "Thanks Tom."
"You coming Helen?" Tom asked.
"Sure, let me just grab my stuff and I'll meet you at the floo." She hurried out of the door to gather her belongings as Tom headed to the sitting room.
"I should be going to," Arthur said. "I want to stop off and see Ginny and Harry."
"Arthur," Vincent started. "I don't … I … I don't know what to say."
"Tell me you will come to the Burrow Sunday for family dinner."
"No, I don't think so Arthur. Maybe sometime, only not now."
"Vincent, since Ginny's first year at Hogwarts Molly has worried about her safety. Even with the war over, and Voldemort dead, she has worried. Now, with Lucius is locked up, I know she wants to thank you."
"I just can't Arthur, not with Ronald and Harry there. I know what they think of me, and it would just ruin everyone's day." Vincent shook his head. "No Arthur, maybe some day, but not now."
"If you change your mind you come," Arthur said. "I will leave it as an open invitation. Any Sunday you chose."
"When Vincent passes his exams he is going to have a party." Lucy smiled and nodded despite the frown on Vincent's face.
"Where did you get that idea?" Vincent said.
"Well, you never got to celebrate before. I thought it would be nice."
Arthur laughed and headed for the sitting room to floo to Ginny's. "Let me know, I will be glad to come."
"So, I guess I should be off." Lucy stood up slowly. "Umm, Vincent if I can't find a place today I may want to come back tonight. Would you mind?"
"No, not at all. I'll tell Elsie to keep your room made up."
"Sure, thanks." She hurried out of the room and almost ran up the stairs.
"Go after her," Elsie said.
"You really need to stop sneaking up on people like that." Vincent scowled down at her. "And why should I go after her."
"You need her."
"For what?" Vincent felt his neck get warm and a blush start up to his face. "Stop that Elsie."
"You need her. You tell her you need her for the test."
"You need her to help you study."
"Do you think that would work?" Vincent looked down at the elf.
Elsie nodded and popped out of the room leaving Vincent alone to think about what she suggested. He stood and walked slowly up the stairs wondering how this would go.
"Lucy?" He stood in the doorway to her bedroom watching as she shoved the clothes Molly and Minerva had given her in a knapsack.
"They said I could keep them."
"I know, it's not about that." He walked into the room and looked around at the few things she had left to pack. "I was wondering about, well about… I guess I wanted to know if you…"
"Give me a minute," he said impatiently.
"Sure." She folded her arms and looked at him.
"I wanted to know if you wanted to stay here."
"I need help studying."
"I can come over a couple of times a week."
"Yeah, I guess you could."
She turned back and finished packing her clothes. "Well, that's it then."
"No, I mean …" Vincent looked at her. "Okay, fine, so I want you to stay."
"Does it matter?" He looked at her incredulously. "I mean this has got to be better than what you are going back to. You would just have to deal with me."
"So, you just want to hire me." She pushed past him and headed for the door. "Fuck off Vincent."
"What did I say wrong?" He ran after her.
"Oh, I don't know Vincent. I really thought we could be friends. You know? I thought after all this I could just… I could be a friend."
"Then why not stay?" He asked as his words came back to him. "I didn't mean that you had to deal with me in … I didn't mean it that way."
"Talk quick Vincent, you are losing here." She put her hand hoping he was saying what she thought he was.
"I need someone to help me study, that part is true." He swallowed hard. "But, I guess I just like having you here."
"Who? Lucy of Violet?"
"I have never called you Violet." He scowled at her. "And I never will."
"Why do you want me here?"
"For now as a friend." He smiled at her. "Tomorrow, who knows? Maybe more."
"I want to plan a party."
"I want to invite people."
"I don't want you to treat me like a …"
"Fine." He smiled at her. "I guess that about does it then."
"One more thing." She laughed at him. "We go to the Weasley's for dinner. If I can face them, with them knowing about what I do, then so can you."
"Only if you drop the glamour." He grinned when he saw her smile and knew he would not be lonely again.
AN: Good grief… 30k on a story that I was going to do 2 Chaps on… I hope they shut up and stop this banter…