Chapter 1: To Be or Not To Be
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not just because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
"Join me Harry Potter, or perish!" Voldemort snarled, his wand pointed threateningly at the fourteen year old, while his other hand reached out to the beaten boy.
"I don't have a choice, Tom. I can't join you." Stuttered Harry, as he backed away from the snake-like creature, nearly tripping over the body of Cedric Diggory.
"Foolish boy! There's always a choice!" Voldemort snapped back, his murderous red eyes glowing brightly.
"Not for me Tom, not for us." Harry chocked out, his own wand held limply at his side, his wide jade eyes conflicting with many emotions.
Puzzled, Voldemort dropped his wand arm to his side, narrowing crimson eyes at the shaken young lad, "You know of the Prophecy?"
"Yes." Harry stated bravely, attempting to straighten himself up.
"I presume Dumbledore told you?" Pausing, his eyes flickered slightly before he continued, "What exactly did the old fool tell you?"
"Dumbledore didn't tell me anything, I," stuttering to a stop Harry looked around at the twisted masked faces of Voldemort's Death Eaters, hesitant he glanced at Voldemort who waited patiently for him to speak aloud something he hadn't told anyone. Switching into Parseltongue, Harry finished what he had to say, "I've been dreaming of it, for the last six months."
Nodding his head, Voldemort sauntered over to him, his ruby eyes calculating as he assessed the boy in front of him. "I could make you great, we could rule the world," stopping, he tilted his head, and continued with a small shake of his snake like features, "But you don't want to rule the world, do you? I know you want to prove yourself, become as powerful and brilliant as the founders were, but you want to be in the shadows. I can help you there; all you have to do is join me."
"What exactly are you offering me?"
"I don't want power," Harry stated his voice hardening as his eyes met Cedric Diggory's own lifeless ones, "He was a waste of life Voldemort."
Ignoring Harry's statement, Voldemort continued trying to sway the Harry to his side, "In the up-coming war any you deem close to you will be spared. So long as its not Dumbledore or any other High Ranking Order Members."
"Safe passage. If later on the ones I wish to protect turn their wands against you, than what?" Harry questioned, his stomach clenching with emotions he couldn't name.
"We shall discuss that later. Are we in agreement? You will end your support of Dumbledore, swear to remain neutral throughout the war and I shall teach you the meaning of Power, and the ones you love," he spat this word out with a sneer, "will be protected."
"All I have to do is to remain neutral?"
Voldemort nodded his head, and Harry narrowed his eyes at him, "What of Dumbledore, you didn't consider him in this little equation of yours did you?"
"We can take care of that," Voldemort waved the boys concerns to the side.
"No, I need to finish my education," here Harry paused, as he fingered his wand, eyeing the dead body of his school mate, and repeated his earlier statement "He was a waste of life, Voldemort."
"He was in my way. Besides, he was a half-blood." Voldemort hissed as if that simple statement could justify his actions.
"As am I, and if I recall, as are you- Tom." Harry hissed in anger, "But I, I do not think I can join you in your cause. I can't- won't participate in helping you kill innocents."
Voldemort had expected this, and was prepared with an answer, "I am not asking you to boy, all I'm asking of you is to allow me to give you what you want."
"You're a Slytherin; you won't help me without getting something in return." Harry's hissed statement made Voldemort frown for he had not truly expected much from the boy.
"All I need from you, Potter, is for your loyalty for Dumbledore to end. So that I may continue forward with my goal- all I want is for you to remain neutral," Voldemort said, switching into English.
"Then so be it. As you know, I go home at the end of the year to my aunt and uncles. I wouldn't mind being rescued from their loving care." Harry said as his own hissing came to an end.
Contemplating the boy's suggestion, Voldemort shook his head, "You wish to return to Hogwarts?" He knew the answer and continued before the boy could answer.
"Lucius!" He hissed, motioning for the regal looking man to come forward, "It seems as though Mr. Potter is not receiving the best of care in his relative's custody, I want him in your guardianship within the next week, is that understood?"
Lucius bowed his head, eyeing to boy, "I do not believe it shall be hard to complete My Lord, anyone seeing Mr. Potter's attire on a good day would assume such a thing, and not to mention the boy is half starved." Pausing, a glint entered the steely gaze "I'm sure my wife will just adore the chance to dress him up.
Shaking his head clear, Harry composed himself, "I believe it is time for me to return." Summoning the cup, Harry looked once more at the Circle of robed men, before disappearing.
The next few days passed Harry in a blur, his arrival (which he personally thought he performed splendidly!) on the field to his meeting with Barty Crouch Junior had him staying once again in the Hospital wing, where Madam Pomfrey hovered over his bedside table until he begged for his release.
His first day out of the infirmary, Harry walked down the dismal halls, his darkening heart clenching as he passed by a couple of Hufflepuff who glared angrily at him, but he continued to the great hall, head bowed to the blows he was receiving.
Harry squeezed himself in next to Hermione as the Hall banners took on a mourning Hufflepuff crest, he dutifully accepted Hermione's tight comforting hug and returned Seamus soft pat on the back. He drowned out Dumbledore's first half of the speech, only concentrating on the speech when Hermione gave a loud sniffle.
"Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory."
Zoning out once again, Harry felt his own eyes start to water, and he forced himself to continue to listen to Dumbledore's speech.
"….in the light of Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open."
Once again his attention drifted off, this time to the Slytherin's across the hall, as everyone stood, and the traditional three minutes of silence was held. Harry looked over them, was he willing to become one? He looked at the way they stood so proper, how their faces showed nothing of what they felt, and he knew too that their speech would be immaculate. Was he prepared to become one of these divine beings? Because, to Harry, that is exactly what they seemed to be. Did he want to be one of these people? With a shake of his head he knew he didn't and not for the first time since his return Harry felt unsure of what he was trying to pull off, all he wanted out of this deal was knowledge and safe passage for his friends and the people he considered family. But he knew that with those demands would also come the expectance of a true Pureblood.
As the students started to mill out of the hall, Harry felt a firm hand land on his shoulder, "Mr. Potter, the Headmaster whishes to speak with you." Professor McGonagall stated firmly, her lips pressed in a thin line.
"Yes, ma'am." Harry whispered, "What is the password?"
Smiling sadly at the small boy in front of her, she leaned down to whisper, "It's Mars Bars."
His mind drifted as his feet carried his body through the familiar winding halls; he barely acknowledged his arrival at the gargoyle as he whispered the password. Knocking softly on the Headmaster's door, Harry felt his eyes begin to water as his mind brought him back to the ever present Cedric, and his newly acquired ally. 'Oh Merlin, what have I done?'
"Harry, please come in." Dumbledore said, opening the door for a second. "You had stood outside my door for quite some time, I wasn't exactly confident that you would entire without assistants."
"Headmaster," Harry greeted, taking the offered chair quietly.
"Harry, my boy, the minister has come to me this evening with some quite distressing news." Albus Dumbledore informed the sullen looking child in front of him with a somber expression.
"It seems, that Lucius Malfoy, and his wife, Narcissa Malfoy, has contacted your aunt and uncle asking for them to give up custody of you. After making it legal in the muggle world, they carried on to fully adopting you in the Wizarding world. It would seem that a strong word with your muggle relatives is in need, for I had strongly suggested that they keep you safe. "
Albus watched Harry carefully, fully expecting him to be quite angry. What he least expected was the boy to look up at him with eyes so full of pain that he felt his old heart clench.
"It never ends does it?" Harry muttered, although he knew of this well before anyone else did, it was devastating to hear it from Dumbledore, the implications of the simple statement was completely shattering for him.
Smiling in what he hoped was comforting, Albus walked around the table, gathering the young man into his arms. "It has only begun, Harry."
"I have tried everything I possibly could to stop this from happening. But, because Lucius had gone to your relatives and gained they're blessing, and completed all the legal papers needed to be completed in the muggle world. I can do nothing to stop them. I'm so sorry. But rest assured I will be making weekly stops to Malfoy Manor to make sure you are treated with the best of care."
"Thank you, sir." Harry murmured, his face pressed into the brightly colored robes, as he finally allowed the tears to fall.
A regal knock broke the two wizards apart; Harry quickly scrubbed at his face, wiping away the last of the evidence of his breakdown. Dumbledore calmly moved back to behind the large desk. "Come in."
Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy gracefully entered as the door swung open. "Headmaster, Mr. Potter." Lucius bowed his head slightly in a small show of respect. "I have come to retrieve Mister Potter. I will be taking Draco and him home early for the summer. I do not wish to be bothered by the foolish muggles at Kings Cross."
"Lucius," Narcissa reprimanded lightly, "Honestly, love. When will you learn to ignore them?"
Stunned, Harry looked closely at Narcissa, she was quite beautiful. Her skin was perfectly white, setting off slanting crystal blue eyes and full red lips. Her hair was unbound, falling loosely below her shoulders in silver-blonde, snaky locks. She took her offered seat with boneless grace that Harry couldn't help but envy.
"Hello Harry." She smiled politely.
"Hi, Mrs. Malfoy." Harry stammered back nervously.
"Oh, for Merlin's sake, call me Narcissa, or even Cissa. We're basically family."
Nodding, Harry looked towards Dumbledore, who was currently sporting a large happy smile. "Well, everything seems to be in order. Lucius, I will be stopping by the Manor sometime this week, to make sure everything goes smoothly." Dumbledore said, his voice dropping a few levels that sent chills down Harry's spine.
"That would be excellent Headmaster; I will arrange a brunch for us!" Narcissa said brightly, standing she held her hand out to the Headmaster, allowing him to brush his lips lightly across her knuckles, "Oh! Perhaps, you could be a dear and bring my rather doggish cousin of mine?"
Freezing, Harry spun towards the Headmaster, a look of complete horror etched on to his face. "Professor!" Harry squeaked out in panic.
"I'll be sure to ask him to attend." Albus said, laying a comforting hand on Harry's thin shoulder.
"Harry," Dumbledore said, as the Malfoys walked gracefully out of the room. "You know you can contact me at anytime. Hedwig will know how to find me. If anything happens, and I mean anything odd happens, contact me. I wouldn't mind receiving letters from you as well…" Dumbledore trailed off.
Smiling, and feeling surprisingly better, Harry hugged the old man. "Thank you, I'll write you every Saturday…that way you'll receive my letters on Sunday." Harry murmured, blushing slightly, realizing to late how young he sounded.
"Goodbye Harry my-boy." Dumbledore murmured as he watched the Wizarding world's only hope walk out his door with the devil's right hand man.
"Oh, Harry! We are going to have to do some major shopping!" Narcissa said, wrinkling her nose at the state of Harry's clothes and his trunk. "Now where is Lucius? He should be back by now."
Lucius had left Harry and his wife standing to go and retrieve his son, who was currently still packing.
"Oh honestly, Draco didn't have that much stuff to pack! What is taking them so long? Perhaps a hair cut too would suit you?" she added, fingering his unruly black hair, "Yes, a hair cut will do nicely."
"Perhaps, Mrs. Malfoy, Mal-Draco is not taking the news of me staying the summer well…" Harry trailed off as the very center of their conversation walked around the corner, with his father's arm hanging around his shoulder.
Harry stood surprised, he had never seen any Malfoy look that happy, relaxed- it was disconcerting to see it now. He winced as he saw Draco's face; apparently Mr. Malfoy had not gotten around to telling his son.
"What in Merlin's name is Potter doing here?" Draco questioned dangerously, his eyes flashing a violent shade of silver as he shrugged off his father's arm.
Narcissa embraced her son, "Darling, Harry is to stay with us during the holidays."
"What?" Draco said, standing rigid in his mother's arms, "Are we to hand him over to your lord? Or are you bringing him home to rot in our dungeons cells?"
"Dragon, do curb your tongue. Harry is now officially a Malfoy. You will treat him with the respect that you treat us." Lucius reprimanded, laying his snake headed cane firmly on his son shoulder.
"The respect I hold for you is completely different. I respect you because you happen to be my parents, incredible magical folk, pay for my expense and happen to love me. The feelings I have for Potter, are nothing short of hate, I want nothing to do with him." Draco stated his eyes burning brightly as he stared at Harry.
"Look, Mal-Draco." Harry started, "I don't understand why we fight, but for this summer, and the holidays to come, I am willing to put aside our differences. I am not asking you to like me, but for your parent's sake, will you at least put up with my presence?"
"How do I know that you will not try to stab us in the back?" Draco snarled, his entire body radiating strong dislike. "I don't know you. So why should I trust you?"
"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." Harry returned, remembering once when Sirius said the same, his eyes turning from the dull green to a glowing jade that seemed to radiate power.
Nodding, Draco continued to stare at him for some time, both his parents watched and waited and seemed to breathe a sigh of relieve as he stuck out his hand. "If you refuse this time, Potter, you will never get this offer again, and I can guarantee that you and all you hold dear will lead miserable lives."
Looking at the offered hand, Harry reached forward, and instead of accepting his hand he latched on to his wrist, pulling Malfoy close, "Right now, Draco, you are officially my step-family. You are something I hold dear. So have a jolly old time living your remaining life miserably."
"Oh dear," Narcissa murmured, her hand covering her mouth slightly. "Both of you are so much alike. I can understand why you don't get along well. But I hope that you will try, perhaps you will learn to enjoy one another's company?"
"I will attempt to mother." Draco conceded, casting a side look to Harry, before he gave his mother a warm hug.
"That's my Dragon."
"Come, we have a Portkey to activate. I wish to return home. I believe the house elves are making your favorite Draco." Lucius added, his face still remaining slightly neutral. Looking at Harry, he held out an old key, "Please take a hold of the key, Mr. Potter. It will transport us straight to Malfoy Manor."
Looking suspiciously at the key, Harry felt his stomach clench, he never wanted to used a Portkey again, not if he could help it, he backed away slightly, he vision blurred as his memories took a hold.
"Kill the spare," Harry started to tremble as his vision was overcome with a sickly green colour.
"No." Harry said as he tried to regain his composure. "I can't,"
Narcissa stepped forward, glaring all the while at Lucius, "Don't you worry, you and I will walk down to Hogsmead, while the boys go ahead with the luggage."
Giving a shy smile at Narcissa, Harry started to protest, "Mrs. Malfoy, I can walk down myself, and floo when I get there…you don't need to come."
"Oh pish-posh! I wouldn't mind getting to know you." Narcissa smiled, "Come, we should start our walk now. I can't for the life of me remember the last time I walked down to Hogsmead."
Turning back to her son and husband, she gave each a kiss goodbye. "Actually I believe Harry and I will make a quick stop in Diagon Alley, and perhaps, we'll floo down to Selma's store."
Raising an eyebrow, Lucius nodded, "So I shouldn't wait up? Make sure you feed the lad at least twice Cissa," turning to Harry, he gave him an almost sympathetic look, "Good luck to you Potter."
"Oh, Luc, you're just over reacting!" she cried blushing slightly as Draco snorted. "Yes, well we must be on our way."
They walked briskly down to Hogsmead, or rather Narcissa walked briskly, while Harry jogged to keep up, for the first time since arriving back from the cemetery Harry felt happy about his decision. "You know," Harry panted, "I wasn't completely looking forward to this, I mean, I've always watched the Slytherin's, and if you promise to never tell Draco this, I've always admired them. Every Slytherin I have ever met, is so, is so distant, and they never let anything really affect them. I thought living with the Malfoys, and they basically define the term Slytherin, was going to be horrid, and I was going to be so clueless." Here he paused, attempting to catch his breath as he walked with Narcissa.
"I've always loved how divine you all were, so perfect all the time. So emotionless, like you never had to worry about anything, and if you did, you never let anyone see it." Narcissa stopped at the Three Broomsticks, opening the door, she smiled slightly at Harry, and he continued, "Me, I was never really good with keeping my emotions bottled up, or at least controlling them. Actually, I guess I'm lying about that, my mates tell me I'm the most closed off person they know, and when I actually do show what I'm feeling it's usually directed at your son. Which I suppose isn't the best of times to show emotion, Hermione tells me I can become rather scary when I lose my temper." He stopped, she was staring at him with a small smile on her face, "Sorry," He mumbled blushing.
"Don't worry. Everyone rambles sometimes, especially when nervous." She grabbed a pinch of floo from her purse, "Now, I think traveling together would be the best of plans," Leaning forward, she lowered her voice, "I'm not the best of flooers, I tend to stumble and well, it's not fitting for a Malfoy to do so…"
"No worries, neither am I, at least now you have an excuse right?"
"Right. Let's be off. I have a long afternoon planned out for us…"
Diagon Alley was crowed as Harry and Narcissa walked out of the Leaky Cauldron, right before they had walked out, Narcissa pulled Harry into the shadows.
"Lucius and I discussed it, and Dumbledore basically forced it. We all believe that this new development should be kept somewhat in the dark. Only for your safety of course, the only ministry people who know of the changes are the Head of Children care, the Minister, and well, actually that's all. Dumbledore thought it best that the only people who knew were directly involved in it. So naturally no one does." She gave a weak laugh, "I believe your werewolf friend knows, and my cousin... After that, my guess is as good as yours, darling. The Dark Lord Obliviated all the Death Eaters who were present, except a select few."
"Now, I'm going to perform a slight charm on you, it'll just change your hair and eye color, making you look like a Malfoy. You'll still retain your body size and such, only minor things have changed, like your scar for example, is completely hidden, so no worries alright?" Seeing him nod she smiled, brandishing her wand, Harry than felt an odd sensation. "Excellent!"
"So, Cissa, where are we going?" Harry asked, offering his arm.
"We are going shopping. A Malfoy can not been seen with someone whose dressed as poorly as you do…of course that's none of your fault, your dreadful relatives…Dear me, that's not very good conversation."
Laughing Harry smiled, before the implications of shopping sunk in, his smile fading from view he told her, "Mrs. Malfoy, I don't have any money…perhaps I could quickly stop in at Gringotts…"
"Heavens no child! You're under my guardianship, thus I am entitled to make you save your money and spend Lucius fortune."
Laughing, Harry gave in, not in the least caring that he was spending someone else's money, after all if they didn't buy clothes for him, he was sure that the money would go to Death Eaters. "Okay, if you're sure."
Harry started to head towards Madam Melkins, "Harry, we do not shop there, Draco only gets his school robes from her, and we buy more casual and formal wear at a dear friend of mine. His name is Andras, very famous designer. A Malfoy only wears the best."
Lucius sat with his son, waiting for his wife's arrival with his new charge. They were rather late, much later than he would have thought. His face remained blank as he listened to Draco ramble on about his long months at Hogwarts. Laughing at all the right times, still facing the fireplace.
He watched the flames dance, adding in a comment or two when appropriate, but his increasing worrying must have showed, because Draco now stood in front of his father, a cross expression on his face.
"I see that your mind is elsewhere father and I can understand why you would not wish to listen to my ramblings. However, I must feel slighted, it is custom for us to sit down at the end of each school year, and listen to me, and yet I feel as if I were nothing but a house elf. You ignore me in favor of letting your thoughts transfer to Potter, who is nothing but a halfblood. So I must assume that you have lost your interest in my story- in my life, to treat me as if I were nothing but a common mudblood!" Draco growled angrily, his eyes flashing dangerously.
"Dragon, do not insult me. I have paid attention to everything you had said. I apologize if I came off rude, but I am simply worried. They should have been back by now." Lucius murmured his eyes that were firmly staring at his son's angry ones, snapped to the fireplace as it turned a sickly green color.
Narcissa and a blond Harry tumbled out of the fire place laughing as they attempted to dust one another off with little success. Standing he let a cool mask of indifference slide on, "I believe a simple cleaning charm would work."
Narcissa turned a slight smudge of ash on her beaming face, "Lucius!" She cried out, laughing as she strode over to him, as she gave him a large hug. "Oh darling, I'm sorry we're late. Andras was incredibly insistent that we visit his sister, Andrea. Than we had to go to Selma's, Lucius did you know that this was Harry's first trip to Spain?" She asked as if she was insulted by the mere thought.
"One would assume, darling." Lucius replied coldly, his tone didn't go unnoticed by Narcissa, whose smile slowly faded into a confused pout.
"Lucius?" Narcissa started puzzled.
"Go get yourself cleaned up." He ordered, taking a seat once again.
"Very well, I feel absolutely disgusted, Harry insisted on going to some muggle museums, he was absolutely astounded by everything, we must go on a trip this summer."
"Narcissa, go get yourself cleaned up, make Potter look as decent as he can be, we have guest coming soon."
Narcissa's face became stony, and Harry marveled at how fast her emotions were tossed to the side, turning she gripped his hand gently, tugging him towards the door, "Come Harry," As they walked she turned her head, "Lucius, Selma, Andrea, and Andras said that Harry's clothes would be delivered either today or tomorrow. Would you be a dear and inform the house elves? Thank you."
She shut the door gently behind them, leaning against and taking a shuddering breath, "I don't understand Harry; how you could wish to learn from such a creature like Voldemort?"
Harry looked confused for a second, as he thought on, after a second, he looked up from his feat, "I don't know, I need to learn, to become more than I am now, and Hogwarts isn't teaching me what I want to know."
"But you have to do something to stop this, this evil," Narcissa said, her eyes looking pained. "It has become so dangerous out there, and my poor baby…"
Harry froze, his heart clenching as he realized how foolish he was to begin to like this woman- no she would be exactly like all the others, she only thought of using him for ends means, as a weapon. How foolish was he to really believe that she would really care for him.
Harry startled her, as he answered her coldly, his face and eyes shut off to everyone but him, "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
Harry strode down the hall, leaving Narcissa Malfoy standing alone, frozen in shock or fear, she had yet to decide as the she felt the last of his power slowly fade, and she could finally breathe.
Narcissa leaned against the door, her breaths coming in short gasps, 'Such power…' she thought her mind worried, 'I don't understand what set him off.'
She walked down the opposite hall, forgetting that this was Harry's first time at the Manor, and didn't know where his rooms are.
Inside the sitting room, Draco watched his father sip some Fire Whiskey, "Voldemort is coming over?"
Lucius nodded, his cool mask still in place, "Why," Draco asked bluntly, it was no secret to his father, that Draco had little patience for the Dark Lord.
"It would seem, son that your golden boy is not as Gryffindor as you like to think." Lucius started.
Cutting his father off, Draco smirked, "Potter, is more Slytherin that you would like to think. I know Potter, perhaps even better than the mudblood, and blood traitors. Potter is no Gryffindor."
Lucius raised a fine eyebrow at his son, "How do you figure?"
"When you look at him father, what-who do you see? You see the shy, disgustingly brave, Gryffindor, you see the Boy-Who-Lived." Draco waited for his father's nod before he continued, "So, what does a young boy who has been thrown into a world so different from the one he's grown up in, to a world where he is the center of our entire universe. You adapt."
Lucius eyes brightened, but Draco held up a hand, "If what I know is to be true, Harry Potter was thrown into the shadows at a young age. I've watched him, and I know him not as The Boy-Who-Lived, but as Harry Potter, who is as Slytherin as can be. I've watched him manipulate every single person around him, if Potter did grow up in an abusive house, he must have learnt to manipulate to get things he needed…"
Lucius leant forward, "I would have never saw it if you hadn't laid it out for me," Smirking he looked at his son, "Well done, I'm proud of you."
"Father," Draco said shyly, his gaze uncertain "I- look Potter carries much power with him, much of it he cannot control. His grades are dreadful, but not because he doesn't understand it, but because there's no challenge, I've seen him perform amazing magic, without a wand, and he doesn't even realize it. Just- look just be careful okay?"
"Very well. Your mother wishes to have a ball, for Harry's sixteenth. Harry is to be our cousin; his name is going to be Hadrian Malfoy. I actually have a distant cousin that is named Hadrian and happens to be your age, so it all works out. That is why the Dark Lord wanted the Malfoy's to get guardianship."
"Father, I believe it will not be wise for me to be there for dinner…" Draco started, but trailed off as the fire place turned green.
Lord Voldemort stepped out of the green flames, his face still held the snake like characteristics that he was resurrected with, but he had slowly begun to return to his former body.
Lucius stood, shooting a warning glance at his son, "My Lord, you are early." He spoke as he started to bow.
"Lucius you are my most trust worthy friend, I would never ask for you to bow to me." Voldemort stated coolly, his crimson eyes settling on to Draco's stiff form. "Your son on the other hand…"
"Is just about to leave," Draco interrupted, turning to his father; he gave a curt bow, before he walked out of the room, without bowing to Lord Voldemort.
"My Lord, I apologize, Draco is a wild one. I find it hard to control the boy sometimes…" Lucius trailed off, his fear for his son, causing him to mumble.
"No worries Lucius, your son is exactly like you were when you were his age, just like your father, Abraxas was indeed my truest friend. I would never ask for a Malfoy to bow to me." Voldemort told him softly.
Lucius's fear left him as he relaxed, "It is good to see you again, My Lord. Please take a seat, dinner will be ready shortly.
"How is the Potter boy settling in?"
"My wife and he seem to get along splendidly. If I may be a bit bold, but I still do not understand why this is necessary."
Voldemort laughed, "Harry will one day be very powerful, and being a Gryffindor, he is extremely loyal, we gain his trust and loyalty- Draco will have a much easier time with this- we gain his name, and this power."
"Power, my lord?"
Voldemort reclined in his chair, accepting the tumbler of brandy before continuing on his explanation.
Dinner started at eight o'clock sharp, everyone was seated, well everyone with the exception of Draco and Harry, of course with a Pureblood up bringing they would not start without ALL guest being there. Narcissa irritated at being kept waiting, called for a house elf.
"Dei, where are Harry and Draco, both should have arrived ten minutes ago."
"Die, is sorry ma'am! Master Harry is having problems with clothes, he should be arriving shortly. Master Draco is to be arriving shortly!" Die squeaked, its large ears falling flat against her head.
Looking down her nose at the small house elf, Narcissa asked, "How shortly Dei?"
Squeaking Dei looked fearfully at her mistress, "Master Draco is arriving now. Master Harry should arrive soon ma'am!" She cried, popping out quickly as Narcissa dismissed her with a curt wave of her hand.
"Draco, you are late."
Draco narrowed his eyes, "Sorry mother,"
"We have a guest; it is rude to keep him waiting for his meal." Lucius said, his own blue eyes narrowing.
"Yes, I know. I apologize father, for not wanting to be here for longer than I'm needed. I'm not ashamed to say I'm not exactly fond of our company."
"Draco, do not be rude." Lucius admonished, his blue eyes darkening in warning.
Harry stood outside the door, his mouth slightly open as he listened to Draco insult the Dark Lord. He entered quietly, luckily going unnoticed to everyone, even the mighty Dark Lord.
Voldemort stood, his eerie crimson eyes glowing as he growled out to Draco, "Rudeness is a weak man's imitation of strength."
"It is also commonly used to show ones dislike for someone." Draco retaliated, although slightly more subdued.
"You should watch your boy Lucius, one day I'm afraid my anger might get the better of me…" Voldemort threatened as he fingered his wand.
Draco raised an eye brow, and Harry suddenly felt a sense of power wash through him. "Why should I be afraid of a weak Half-breed's anger? I fear nothing, especially a mudblood whose gone crazy for power." Draco growled, speaking the information he had been gathering since he realized Voldemort intent with him.
Voldemort flew into a rage; quickly casting a curse at a shocked Draco. Harry felt himself panic, he recognized that curse- oh did he ever recognize that curse. The Cruciatus Curse created immense pain, sometimes, if left under long enough would drive you to insanity.
Harry did the first thing he could think off, he stepped in front of the sickly red beam. Harry biting back a scream, felt his body tense, every nerve felt like it was on fire, falling to his knees, the rooms occupants stared at him as Voldemort held the curse, even as he slowly realized that it was the wrong blond under the curse.
Harry attempted to block the pain out and his entire body shook as his hands fumbled for his wand. His mind screamed at him as he dropped his wand, Harry held back the scream that threatened to burst from his mouth. Suddenly he felt cold; he knew the curse had been lifted. Although he had only been under the Cruciatus for mere seconds, it had felt like an eternity.
"Harry," Narcissa whispered, reaching out to touch the shaking boys shoulder as he tried to stand.
"Don't." Harry croaked, "Can you get me a glass of water?" Harry mumbled, collapsing on to his knees once again. "Merlin I hate that curse."
Draco snorted; his back was straight and tense as he stared through narrowed eyes at the boy who just saved him a world of pain. Why would Potter do that for him? Draco thought, his features transforming into a stony look, hiding away his confusion and concern for a later date.
Narcissa returned within seconds of Harry's request trying to help Harry raise the glass to his lips, Harry slapped her hands away gently, smiling slightly to show he meant nothing by it. After finishing the glass off, Harry shakily stood. Voldemort stood at the back of the group, crimson eyes watching the boy with interest.
Standing, and catching his breath, he gave a small forced smile, "Shall we eat?"
Narcissa stared at Harry in shock, nodding absently and ordered the dinner to be served, slapping herself back to her senses, she rested a hand on Harry's tense shoulders, "Harry, are you sure you wish to do this? You need to have a pain reliever potion and a nerve repairing one." She whispered, eye narrowing when he took his seat and started to speak of their day, "Harry, I'm serious, you should be in bed."
"Narcissa, please, I am tired. Please, will you allow us all to eat dinner without your worrying?" Harry finally snapped, his hands coming to rub tired eyes.
"Harry," Narcissa started feeling highly insulted, her expression turned cold, "You never speak rudely to your hosts. Understood?"
Emerald eyes narrowed, "I apologize. But I would appreciate it if you were to stop your repetitive questions of my health."
"Potter," Draco warned, no one spoke like that to his mother, even though he couldn't help but agree with the statement.
Rolling jade eyes, Harry nodded allowing his eyes to land on Voldemort. "So Tom, how are you?"
The table's occupants froze, two eyeing their lord fearfully, the other two watching him with interest. Harry was still shaking off the constant jerking of his body and hadn't touched his plate yet, knowing that nothing on his plate would stay in his stomach for any amount of time, if it didn't kill him that is, and the small nagging voice in the back of his head reminded him that he was not safe, he would not be safe eating or drinking anything they handed him.
"You will address me by Lord Voldemort, Potter, not by that name. In regard to your question, I've constructed a few plans regarding your education, and I believe that Lucius has shown an interest in having young Draco learn from me as well. Which I believe will work out quite well." Voldemort spoke with a hint of hissing.
Harry's eyes flickered over to Draco, who had only just taken a drink; his hand was turning white with the strength that he was using to grip the wine glass. "Is that wise? Malfoy- Draco, does not look quite enthused by that comment."
Smirking, Voldemort let out a laugh of delight, "I don't think you understand, either of you. I own Mr. Malfoy. I named him my Heir when he was born, and he would be trained by me when he came of age. Neither of you have a choice in this matter."
Harry's eyes narrowed, "You can't own a person. We're not property. Like you said many weeks ago in the grave yard, there is always a choice. If Draco does not wish to learn from you, I don't think you have a choice in this matter."
Voldemort narrowed his eyes at Harry, attempting to intimidate the younger man. Harry stood his ground, allowing his eyes to stare hard into the pits of hell without flinching. Harry felt Voldemort's anger as his magic surged, rushing to surround him and bend Harry to his will.
"He is mine, and when I deem him fit enough, he will become Lord of all England." Voldemort stated forcefully, trying to force the idea into Harry's mind.
"That's all well and dandy, but what I think you keep forgetting is that he does not want to be." Harry growled out, subconsciously throwing off Voldemort's grip with ease.
"Malfoy," Harry said, turning to Draco, "Do you wish to train under Tom?"
Draco, shocked didn't answer for several moments, "I," pausing he thought of his answer, "I do. But I do not wish to be paraded around like a pet. I do not belong to anyone, I am a Malfoy, and we bow to no one. Especially a half-blood."
Harry made a face at the term half-blood, choosing to ignore the comment he looked to Voldemort whose eyes had turned back to slits, "Is that a deal?"
Voldemort hesitated, unsure why he was debating with the boy, finally he sighed and nodded, "Very well, but; he will still act as my successor in formal affairs."
Draco nodded his consent, leaning smugly back in his chair, "So, when does this training start?"
Voldemort's angry eyes laid heavily on Draco, weighing his options of finding another suitable heir in such short time, deciding against killing the boy; after all finding a young boy that was equally as powerful and would be able to command his armies would be damn near impossible- plus Lucius would not agree with the decision.
"Tomorrow morning at 5:30 sharp, so I suggest you both head to bed, you need to be up early." With that said Voldemort stood from his chair at the head of the table and walked out the door.
Snorting Harry mumbled something about ruddiness before following Voldemort out turning the opposite way.
"Voldemort!" Harry called as he rushed after him, "If Draco is to be the Lord of England where does that leave you?"
Voldemort smiled darkly, "That leaves me the rest of the world Potter."