Disclaimer: The characters, world and premise of Harry Potter belong to JKR; my interpretations are my own. Also, the characters and premise of the Chronicles of Narnia are the property of CS Lewis. Here, my interpretations are my own.
A/N: Follows Ireland vs. Bulgaria, and is concurrent with To Question Why and Be Well Tried. In the universe of my fic "Elijah's Cup," timeline and relevant info in my profile; this fic probably won't make much sense without reading at least that one first, though I'd definitely reccomend "Shield of David" and "Ireland vs Bulgaria" as 'prequel'-type fic as well. Summary from WB Yeats' "The Second Coming.
STICKS AND STONES
The sound of screaming went on for a long time; he savored the aria as a composer would, noting tone and pitch and tempo with savage glee. Unnaturally pale fingers wrapped around well-aimed yew; a baton conducting the sounds of agony.
A motion cut the spell short. My patience with such games is gone. I will have answers. The air was wet with the noise of ragged panting. "Tell me of this Peter Pevensie, Lucius."
Blond hair, scraggly with fear-sweat, rose from the disordered pile of limbs and robes crouched on splintered floorboards. "I know little, Lord -"
"He's at Hogwarts, working with the Muggle Studies department." Hasty words tripped over themselves. "Dumbledore called him in last year, and he came to my attention through my son. I met Pevensie some years ago when I was a student at Hogwarts."
Voldemort studied the scar. Shiny and new, it skittered from Malfoy's ear to the corner of his mouth. "He is a Mudblood."
Red eyes glowed. "A wizard?"
Around the room, black robes tensed. An arm lifted; yew crackled with power.
"No, Lord! Please, let me -"
"Crucio!" The screaming lasted a glorious eternity, this time, until Malfoy's body slumped unconscious at his feet. "Ennervate."
None of the other Death Eaters moved as Malfoy gasped his way back to the waking world. He cast about the room, ignoring the muffled groans that filtered up from the floor. So few. Polished yew was smooth and warm with power under caressing fingertips. Too few. The Aurors had been busy, while he was trapped within slithering scales.
And with Malfoy's carelessness, I have lost even more -
"Explain, Lucius," he purred coldly.
Malfoy might be his right hand, but the slender aristocrat was far too bold. His intelligence was of value; however, he would not tolerate the man's arrogant impertinence.
"My Lord, even Dumbledore does not know what Pevensie is. The man is not wizarding kind, for he cannot use a wand, or magic." Desperate, ice-blue eyes were locked on the heavy hem of silken robes. "Yet the man appears not to have aged since I encountered him as a boy – thus he is clearly not a Muggle."
There was a stir throughout the room at this; low murmurings of shock, and conniving speculation.
And there was something in Malfoy's eyes that spoke of hope. You think you are so important to me, then, to escape unscathed? The Dark Lord valued intelligence, for an intrinsic aspect of those who followed was the placid willingness of cattle to be guided. But Malfoy was in dire need of a lesson. "Severus."
The blond aristocrat tensed.
Eyes properly lowered, another black-wreathed figure glided to his side. "Yes, Lord?"
"Tell me what you know of Pevensie."
He did not listen, as Severus began to speak. The spy had told him all before, away from prying ears. Four Pevensies, all with the singular resistance to magic that had never before been encountered by wizards, within or without their world. Red eyes scorched the kneeling man instead.
It was only when he gestured for rotting gray cloaks to approach that panic loosened Malfoy's tongue.
"No, wait, my Lord, please!"
Skeletal, clammy digits wrenched the blond to his feet. They did not have permission to administer the Kiss – Malfoy had more use than that. But to be a Dementor's plaything –
"My son, my Lord!"
Red eyes flashed at the interruption of thought. A word froze the Dementors. The room held its breath.
"My son is at Hogwarts, Lord. He has the opportunity for close contact with the Pevensies, more than Severus."
"True," the spy interjected dryly. "A child would have more success at exposing a weakness in them. They are on their guard against most."
"Look at me."
Malfoy flinched, raising his eyes.
Magic gathered into a searing probe, rooting through thought and action and plan all tumbled within Lucius' mind. Interesting. The idea was intriguing; what he saw of the boy in Malfoy's mind pricked vague interest and hazy memory.
An inclination of his head was all the approval Malfoy would receive. Gray cloaks, deprived of their treat, faded into the room's shadows. The Dark Lord knew the value of wanton cruelty, but he would not be totally unreasonable. To destroy one's greatest tools was tantamount to self-destruction.
The word hissed from his lips. "Nagini."
She answered his summons, coiling slickly about his ankles. Fear was fresh in his nostrils. Ohhhh, such were the joys of renewed life! A scaly head butted under his hand; red eyes never left the sweating aristocrat as he petted the serpent's bony skull.
He is of great use to me. More, now that he has remembered to fear me. And his plans required someone with Malfoy's prestige and authority. He had not been idle, those years trapped in the bodies of host creatures.
Fury flared at the memory. I will have the boy. I will have all those who oppose me. Soon.
His plans were already in motion.
And in the meantime, there was one remaining detail to attend to. Its name was Frank Bryce.
A/N2: Okay, I got myself all turned around with text-lifting, and then having IvB split off from what I thought the rest of the "Goblet of Fire" ECVerse trilogy was supposed to be. So, the timelines are a little wonky so this is the prologue instead of the first actual part of SAS. The first part will be contemporaneous with the first chapter of BWT, mostly, I was just really fond of this bit and didn't want to chuck it. Never fear, I'm working on the first chapter of this fic and the muses are smiling.