Authors Note: So this is a new story I began working on over the holiday and I'm starting to post it now. I'm quite fond of it so far, and I'm excited with where it's going. I'd like to thank my beta's Shannon and Robert for their edits and notes on this story so far and I hope you all enjoy it. Also, if anyone would like to know about updates and/or new projects you can find me on Facebook or my Yahoo Group (see my profile for details).
Chapter 1 Libertine
With spry cat-like movements, Draco yawned and sprung from bed. He was loath to leave the warm silken comfort of his black satin sheets, but he was never able to sleep much past dawn no matter how late he fell into slumber. He wasn't the type to just lay around and he felt that if he was in bed he had better be sleeping or shagging or else it was a waste of hit time.
Sliding into a plush, dark green robe and tying it loosely at his trim waist, he went to the other side of the bed and yanked the covers back roughly, revealing the woman he had brought back to the manor with him the night before.
She was clad only in the sparse morning light that streamed into the room through the expansive multi-paned windows. She immediately woke with a start and began to grab for the duvet that Draco held just out of her reach. "What in bloody hell do you think you're doing?" she demanded sleepily, raking her thick auburn waves away from her face.
"I'm getting you up and out," Draco responded lightly as he handed her an item or two that had been strewn haphazardly around his room in the flurry of the previous nights activities.
The young woman quickly swiped her clothing from Draco's hands and began slipping it onto her tiny frame. "You're serious? But last night-" she began but was promptly cut off by a cruel laugh.
"Really Madeline, you were lovely, a tiger even, but I don't do seconds," Draco noted with a smirk and padded toward the door, easily ducking the high heel she hurled in his direction. After years of this lifestyle, Draco started anticipating how each of his conquests would react to being told that they had only been used for a quick shag. He had already known for certain that Madeline was going to react with violence.
"But you said-" she blurted again, a tearful edge to her voice that Draco knew well and promptly cut off.
"Transfiguring into a sobbing mess will do nothing to endear me to you," he informed her blithely. "I merely said what I had to in order to get you in the sack. You didn't really think I had fallen in love with you after two dates?"
Draco whirled around in the next moment and with a slight wave of his hand, cast a spell that sent the second shoe that she threw back in her direction. It fell just short of where she stood, forcing her to retrieve it from the floor before she could slip it onto her petite foot. Though when she reached for her panties, Draco shook his head. "No, those I keep," he said with a wink, and a moment later they were in his hand and then balled up in the pocket of his robe.
A red lace thong. "Not very original," he muttered quietly to himself. He had over a dozen similar to it in his trophy room.
"You must be the world's hugest arse!" she huffed. "I should have listened to my sister when she told me to stay away from you," she added with a growl.
Draco merely shrugged and laughed. "You should be honored that I even remembered your name. Most of them don't even get that much," he noted. "In fact, your sister didn't," he added just to rile her up. He had no way of knowing if he had ever slept with her sister or not, but clearly he hit his target and her face turned from hurt and confused to fuming mad. He always thought it was best to have them leave angry so that they didn't turn into lecherous stalkers that wouldn't leave him alone.
"Prat," she scoffed, as she flattened down her skirt and adjusted the collar of her sapphire blouse.
"Kip will show you out," he told her when a squat house elf appeared and bowed. With an overly dramatic and patronizing bow of his own, Draco left the room, laughing as the woman hurled more curses at him through the open doorway.
He headed for his private bedchamber, as he had simply been in one of the numerous guest rooms. He never took a lover into his own rooms: they were far too personal and he didn't need them snooping about and finding out truths about him. He preferred that his challenges know only what he chose to tell them, and no more.
Because that was what they were: challenges. Each and every conquest was thought out, documented and a trophy was kept. He never got attached, never slept with the same person twice and he never made exceptions. Not that the want or need to do so had ever occurred. Draco never found any of the men or women who graced his bed to be worthy of a second glance, or even a guilty conscience, especially the more recent ones.
Draco Malfoy was a notorious scoundrel and liar. It was well documented in the papers and magazines how he never planned to settle down and how he made a life of using people to get what he wanted. It was the Malfoy way and the people he bedded should have known what they were getting themselves into.
But they never seemed to. Every single one of them thought that they alone could capture Draco's heart and tame the elusive beast within him.
What no one seemed to understand - not even his own family - was that he liked his life. He liked to chase and to catch and to toss away again. He loved to adapt himself and play the role that would work best to ensnare his newest victim. He liked the nightlife: always out on the town, a new club one minute or an elite restaurant the next. He may be well known for his debauchery, but at least he was well known. Being a morally ambiguous playboy didn't stop the party invitations from flowing in: no, quite the opposite. It worked perfectly for him; there was no reason to change his ways. Not now, not ever.
Draco opened the pristine white double doors that led into his bedchamber and strode over to the set of doors west of his massive ivory four-poster bed. Those doors led to his walk-in closet, which was nearly the size of the entire guest bedroom he had just come from. Every wall was lined with elegant dress robes, dapper suits and even sharp looking designer muggle clothing. In the center of the room was a glass-top island that held shoes and ties, cufflinks and other accessories. Had it been a girl's closet, the crowning jewel would have no doubt been just that, a diamond tiara, or some other nonsense. But instead his obscenely opulent item was a custom made diamond and emerald encrusted Bvlgari watch, which only saw the light of day on very special occasions.
Through the closet was a smaller door, hidden by a rack of elegant Armani suits. He shoved the perfectly tailored garments aside and unlocked the door with an intricate twisting of his first and third finger and a spell he had spent months perfecting. He wagered even Granger would have her work cut out for her if she tried to break his locking spell.
The room he entered beyond the closet was smaller, but just barely. Lining the walls were hooks and shelves and it appeared at first to be just an extension of the previous walk-in – unless you looked closely.
Three ornate chandeliers hung from the ceiling of the narrow room, and draping from each piece was an undergarment, be it thong, boxer, brief, or granny panty. He preferred to take these items as his trophy, as it seemed personal and extra humiliating to make his guests leave without them. Occasionally however, that didn't work out.
Sometimes, his challenge would feel daring and come to visit him sans knickers, in which case he would have to improvise. This was why among the walls covered in various underwear were also other baubles like jewelry, hair barrettes or some other article of clothing he took a fancy to.
Each was tagged with who the item belonged to and placed somewhere in the room depending on where they ranked with him as a lover or a challenge or even both. Those on the chandelier he held the highest regard for, and those on the shelves near the floor or toward the back of the room had been hardly worth his time in the first place.
He conjured a small slip of golden fabric and watched as black script letters appeared on its surface spelling out 'Madeline Harper' and tossed the lacy garment onto a nearby shelf. He studied those around where it landed for a moment, as he often would when he had time to revel in his trophy room. A pair of blue cotton briefs with the name 'Duke Edgar Willingsworth' inscribed upon them caught his eye first and made him laugh.
It had taken only one date, and really only part of one, before the Duke was scrabbling at his trousers. That one had been far too easy, but still, the man was royalty and deserved a spot better than the floor.
A pair of white satin boxers made him groan and move on to another shelf. Those had belonged to a wealthy wizard fresh out of Durmstrang and had taken him all the effort of a shy smile and a batting of an eye to get him eating out of Draco's palm.
He was beginning to get frustrated with how easy it was to take down his prey lately, no challenge whatsoever. It seemed that every new article of clothing he picked up had belonged to someone who it had taken one date or less to conquer. He needed to find someone more worthy of his time and affection.
As he left the room, stroking the frosted glass of the door reverently, he wracked his mind trying to think of who might be a worthy candidate for his next pursuit. It should be someone who was wary of him, perhaps even turned off by him at first. That always made it so much more delightful when he broke them down in the end.
While Draco made his way down to breakfast he tried to envision the kind person that should come next for him. Perhaps it should be another member of royalty? They tended to be entertaining, but he had made his way through all of the attractive ones and would probably have to hop the pond and go after the American Presidents daughters, which just wasn't the same.
"Master Draco would like the usual?" the house elf asked when Draco took his seat at the long dining room table.
He tilted his head to the side in thought as he poured tea from the steaming kettle hovering in front of him into his cup. "I think something lighter this morning, Kip. Maybe a nice grapefruit," he mused.
"Right away, sir," the house elf replied with a bow and was gone the next time Draco looked up.
He carefully unrolled the morning edition of the Daily Prophet and smoothed it out in front of him while he sipped at his tea and ignored the sharp throat clearing that indicated his father's arrival.
Lucius let his eyes travel briefly around the small dining room that they used for breakfast most mornings before taking a seat across from Draco. His son ignored him easily while reading the morning paper.
It was a ritual to eat with his son while Narcissa took tea and toast on the upstairs balcony. He often took this time to assess his son and inquire about his previous nights activities, which were no doubt lewd and could never be mentioned in front of a true lady like his mother.
By the looks of things, Draco had once again entertained a new guest last night, as he was still clad in only a loose fitting robe and nothing else. Lucius was getting tired of his son's antics but had no way of punishing him; a source of great distress to the older man.
"Draco," Lucius muttered in a falsely polite tone and nodded in greeting as he poured his own cup of tea.
"Lucius," Draco replied in turn, purposefully snubbing the man by refusing to use his title as 'Father' or "Lord Malfoy' which would have also been acceptable.
He glared across the table with annoyance at his petulant son, but otherwise let the slight drop, as he had been doing for months. It seemed hardly worth the effort to reprimand a son who didn't respect his own father enough to listen to good advice. Lucius had tried for years to make Draco understand the importance of keeping a strong outward appearance, especially under the scrutiny they had been under for the last few years.
After the war, Lucius had been put under house arrest and all of his vaults and assets had been transferred under Draco's name. As Lucius's heir, Draco had gained full ownership of the manor and everything associated with the Malfoy name, including its fragile reputation. His wife's action during the Battle of Hogwarts was the only thing that kept them both out of Azkaban. Saving the life of Harry Potter was important enough that even the most prejudiced Wizengamot member couldn't ignore or fail to reward it.
So they were allowed to keep their lives, and certain freedoms in exchange for never leaving the manor. It was easy enough given the size and amenities offered there, but it also meant that to the wizarding world, Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy were dead, and Draco became king of the castle so to speak.
With the keys to the kingdom and no one with any authority to reel him in, Draco quickly adopted a blithe attitude with his parents and set off to remake the Malfoy name. Unfortunately, what began as an endeavor to acquire new partnerships and new fortune soon became a life that sought out and revolved around only pleasure, frivolities and smut.
Draco's behavior since the war had already crushed his own mother to the point that she could no longer look upon him without the disgrace he had brought upon their name etching itself in her face. Lucius knew that she checked Draco's bedchambers every evening to see if he was there or out with another trollop; more often that not she returned to their bed crying that her son was lost.
Lost was a good word to describe it, and Lucius often found himself thinking the same thing. It seemed that none of the Malfoy values that he had tried to instill in Draco as a child had stuck. As soon as he was able he tossed them aside and created his own path, which was paved in only temporary fulfillment and lust.
It pained him that his son had yet to discover what true love and passion could bring him. Draco was ignoring the stability and trust that developed between two people when they were joined for years like he and Narcissa and opting instead to flitter through an endless supply of lovers. He never made a connection, never put forth any valid effort, and therefore never reaped any of the benefits.
What was worse was that Draco didn't seem to notice or even care that he was missing a vital part of his life. Lucius observed the tightness around his eyes each morning that came from a restless sleep, and he could tell that his son yearned for something more, but clearly didn't know, or guessed incorrectly at what that missing thing was.
It was no use telling the boy that, however, because Draco only laughed him off and continued on his way as if not a word had been spoken. He had become insolent and loathe as he was to admit it, Lucius could do little to nothing about it. Legally speaking, if Draco wished it, he could evict them both and leave them without even a knut to their name.
He watched his son's turbulent gray eyes light up when he came to a small article on the front page of the entertainment section of the Prophet, and Lucius wondered what the sudden cause of distraction could be.
Before he could ask, however, their main house elf Kip entered the room with a soft pop and placed a tray of eggs benedict in front of him and a grapefruit half - encrusted with glittering sugar - in front of Draco.
"Kip, what do I have scheduled for lunch today?" Draco asked, his eyes flicking up to his father's. They held an anticipatory gaze that only occurred when he was planning something extra dreadful for the family name and wanted to see if Lucius would challenge him.
"Master is to be having tea with Sir Charles Collins in Canterbury and then shopping with Miss Owens," Kip recited from memory. He had been acting as butler and personal assistant to Draco for nearly five years.
"Cancel all of it and set me a reservation at the Grotto Café in London," Draco told him.
"The Grotto Café doesn't take reservations, Draco," Lucius told him.
"What respectable restaurant doesn't take a reservation?" Draco scoffed.
Lucius merely laughed and shook his head lightly. "It could hardly be called a 'respectable restaurant'," he told his son. "It's a muggle pub down the street from the Ministry headquarters."
His son's eyes took on a curious shine and he looked back down at the article he had been skimming prior to his sudden mood shift. "Interesting," he muttered and closed the paper. "Kip, clear my schedule and arrange a meeting with Auror Cuttlebaum for half past one," he ordered and pushed himself away from the table then directed his attention to Lucius.
"So what do you think, father? Does our hero wear boxers or briefs?" he asked mysteriously and then chuckled lightly.
"What in Merlin's name are you talking about?" Lucius replied, but Draco merely shook his head and got up, leaving his breakfast untouched.
"A pleasure as always, Lucius," Draco noted with a smirk and bow, leaving the room and clearly ignoring his father's displeasure.
At once, Lucius levitated the paper over to his end of the table and opened it to the page Draco had been reading. He scanned every major headline unable to find anything that would have captured his son's attentions until he reached the bottom of the page. In bold black ink were the words 'Hero Spotted at Local Café' and Lucius had to use all of his self-control not to incinerate the page after looking over the article.
Just below the heading was a picture of none other than Harry Potter sitting in front of what looked to be a half eaten sandwich and looking generally displeased and maybe even slightly annoyed. He also looked as shy as ever Lucius had seen him, though. After being in the spotlight since he was eleven and even more so in the eight years following the war, one would think Potter might have become used to such random publicity by now, but alas he still appeared to be as nervous and awkward as ever.
Under the picture was a small article and Lucius cringed at the idea of what Draco's look had suggested when his son had read it.
'Only three blocks North of the Ministry's Headquarters sits a cozy establishment called the Grotto Café. It's walls are covered in adverts for Guinness and Beamish and paintings that exude Irish charm, but it's is neither the décor nor the friendly staff that make this place a landmark. It just so happens to be the preferred lunch spot of one Harry James Potter, War Hero.
When I asked some of the other patrons of the café if they had indeed seen the famously scarred lad they hadn't known who we were speaking about, but after producing a picture of him they indicated that he ate lunch there nearly every day. What was more, one of them pointed him out to be sitting in a shadowed booth at that very moment.
You can only imagine this reporter's excitement upon finally getting to meet the reclusive hero, and sure enough as I walked around the corner I spotted him right off, shaggy black hair and all. He was in the middle of chewing a mouthful of the roast beef sandwich he was eating and looked excited to see me.
Around him sat some other people of note from the war, Seamus Finnigan, Neville Longbottom and Harry's permanent sidekick Ronald Weasley. The hard to track down hero wasn't very forthcoming, answering with only a word or two when I asked him about his life since the war and his recent promotion as Head of the Auror department.'
The article droned on after that, clearly not understanding that Potter was trying to get the reporter to leave him and his friends alone. It was more worrisome that his son had taken such a sudden interest in the article and it set his jaw into a tight ache when he thought of his son trying to woo the man who had been essential towards himself and his wife not being thrown into prison.
Not that it was easy to retract an act such as Potter had done during the rash of Death Eater trials that happened after the war, but he came forward and testified on Narcissa's behalf and gave memories to indicate that both had regretted their acts during the war; if anyone could retract such a gracious statement, it was Harry Potter.
House arrest was actually much more lenient than Lucius had even expected to receive in light of his deep involvement, and he suspected that a certain Will left by Severus Snape had something to do with that. He knew that the last testament of his old friend and colleague had been left to Potter and he assumed there was information within it telling the boy that Draco was Snape's Godson and that both his son, his wife and even Lucius himself had turned traitor on Voldemort before the Battle at Hogwarts and leaked information to Snape prior to that attack.
For Draco to risk their shaky ground within the wizarding world was a matter that Lucius needed to stand up to. His son had been lavishing in frivolity for too long and needed to be brought back to his senses before their name and reputation was irretrievable.
Authors Note: So, what do you think, promising? As always I have title images for this story (and all of the others) on my yahoo group (the link is on my profile) and eventually on my website. I typically don't bother posting to LJ until the story is complete. Little golden tags with your name on it for all who review. I expect you to attach them to your underwear and wait for Draco to come and claim you.