Yay! I updated! And I'm sorry about the wait – I don't think I have an excuse, really. It has simply been a difficult chapter to write. I've had a look at the stats for this story, and there are people from all over the world reading this, which I still find pretty awesome.
So, after reading a story by galfoy, titled Of Kings and Queens (which is a great story by the way), I have decided that I love the idea of Narcissa Malfoy as a BAMF, which I hope might come across in this chapter. Also, many thanks go to irfane,I'm. . .An Innocent Bystander, Lovegood Loves Good and DustBunnyQueen for the prank suggestions. The ones I haven't used in this chapter will most likely be used in future chapters, and if anyone else wants to suggest pranks, please do so.
Towards the end of the summer holidays...
"Now, are you sure you have everything you need?" Sarah asked as she fussed about with Harry's hair, involving several curses from Sarah as his hair refused to lie flat.
"Yes, Sarah, I'm sure," Harry answered with a roll of his eyes. "You've asked me that twice already this morning."
"I just want to be sure," she huffed, before standing back and looking critically at her masterpiece for about two seconds before it sprang back to its usual unruly state.
"Ugh, I give up!" she proclaimed to nobody in particular. Jareth smirked – Sarah just hadn't seemed to learn yet that the sheer power of both his and Harry's hair simply refused to be tamed.
"Fine," Sarah exclaimed. "I'm all done. No more asking you if you're packed, no more messing with your hair." Harry cheered silently, which Sarah pretended not to see.
"Ready then, Harry?" Jareth asked, lounging on his throne, idly examining a piece of paper that was in fact a list of demands from the goblins' union. Really, he thought, since when had the goblins decided upon having unions? And asking him to pay wages? That was about as likely as asking him to stop wearing tight trousers; simply not going to happen.
"Yes," Harry sighed. "Everything's packed and sorted."
"Fantastic. Off we go," Jareth said cheerily, leaping off his throne, pausing only to give Sarah a knee-trembling goodbye kiss, before fading out along with Harry, who was rolling his eyes at the overdramatic display of affection.
"Damn you, Jareth," Sarah groaned as she lay in a heap on the floor, watching as glitter from the King's exit danced in the air around her.
"Harry, you're here!" Draco cheered. Lucius let out a rather undignified yelp. Narcissa only smiled. Gliding forward, she greeted the Goblin King with a deep curtsey, who was rather impressed; there were so few people these days who remembered the old manners. Rising and turning to Harry, Narcissa kissed him on both cheeks.
"Harry, darling, it's lovely to see you again," she said. "Now, if Draco would like to show you your room, you can leave your bags there and then join us for afternoon tea in the conservatory," she smiled. "And perhaps his Majesty would also care for tea?"
His Majesty did indeed care for tea, if only to watch the twitch on Lucius Malfoy's face grow larger.
Draco grinned slightly at the look on his father's face, but then immediately removed the grin as his father turned to glare at him, and hurriedly pulled on Harry's arm to drag him up the main staircase to his room.
Harry was really very glad to have Draco with him to show him around, given the amount of passages they went through before finally arriving at his room. Draco threw open the door with a flourish and bounded into the room.
Harry followed, rolling his eyes at the drama before taking in the room and all of its splendour. Like the Great Hall in Hogwarts, the ceiling had been charmed to show the night sky, but instead of reflecting the current sky, it showed a clear night with a crescent moon and stars twinkling all over the ceiling, along with a simply huge bed. Something told him, however, that Narcissa would not be happy if he bounced on the bed; even if she wasn't there at that moment, he was pretty sure she would know.
"Hey, if you want to wait outside, Draco, I'll quickly unpack?" Harry suggested, with the light of mischief dancing in his eyes.
Now, Draco may have been somewhat oblivious at points throughout his life, but even he recognised that remaining inside Harry's room would definitely nullify his defence of plausible deniability, so he nodded with a resigned smile upon his face, and backed out of the room. Still, he couldn't quite quench the feeling of anticipation welling within him.
The door had barely shut before Harry spun back to face the bed and emptied his bag out upon it. Clothes fell out and Harry impatiently swept them to one side, waiting for the uninvited guests to appear, and they did. One by one, they tumbled out of the opened bag, shoving each other out of the way as they toppled onto the bedspread. Some continued to push the others out of their way, leading to a clamour of yelps as elbows and knees hit rather sensitive parts.
Harry had to clear his throat several times before they started to quieten down, and eventually their gleeful little faces stared back at him expectantly.
"Now, for this next week, you're all going to be having some fun with Lucius Malfoy," Harry told the goblins. "You can do anything you want to him."
The goblins chittered excitedly with their minds already coming up with wicked, wicked plans.
"So long as it results in no permanent harm to him," he added quickly. The goblins looked shocked; permanent harm was half the fun!
"Right then," Harry grinned wickedly. "What are you lot waiting for?" The goblins needed no further encouragement, and quickly disappeared in order to find Lucius Malfoy. Evil giggles faded into the air as Harry stood still for a moment, smirking, before he left to find Draco who had been waiting impatiently for him outside, who grabbed Harry by the arm and proceeded to drag him through the many corridors of the Malfoy mansion to the conservatory.
Every so often the Goblin Prince could hear evil little giggles floating ahead of him. Really, Harry mused, he had to learn to stop smirking so much, or it would be far too obvious for any bystanders – or indeed the victims – to realise that something was about to happen.
In a very short while, he was sitting downstairs, a cup of tea in his hand, and Narcissa smiled kindly at him. "What are your plans for the future, Harry, if I may be so bold as to inquire?" She calmly ignored the screaming Lucius who was running up and down the hallway outside of the conservatory, being chased by goblins. Draco glanced nervously at his father as he passed by the doorway once again.
One goblin involved in the chase paused by the door, looked in, and then crept through the entrance, trying its best to move unnoticed. It failed; however, still believing that it remained invisible to the other occupants of the room, it sidled up to Narcissa's chair, and just as it attempted to grasp the skirts of her robes, it found itself flying up into the air rather violently and then falling, just stopping short of the carpeted floor.
From its close position, the goblin squinted at the stick thing its victim-to-be was holding; it looked very pretty with those lights coming out one end.
"Do not touch my robes."
This was said in the same sweet tone that Narcissa might have used to discuss the weather, but with a very noticeable hint of a threat added. With that said, she flicked her wand in a swirly pattern; the goblin fell to the floor, hurriedly patting himself all over to make sure he was alright before glaring at the Big Person who had dared to treat him so, and moving towards her in what he hoped was a threatening manner. He only managed a step before he started to fade. The goblin gulped as he looked down and noticed how his feet and legs were slowly disappearing from view; Harry had never heard a goblin squeal like that before.
"Never fear," Narcissa mentioned, leaning forward to add a drop more milk to her tea. "I believe that that certain spell transports the victim to the peacock enclosure. I am informed they do not like sudden appearances."
Jareth threw Narcissa a rather admiring glance.
"Well, finishing Hogwarts is the short-term plan, and then, I suppose, taking up my duties to being the Heir of the Goblin Kingdom," Harry replied with a charming smile on his face, completely ignoring what had happened to the goblin.
"How lovely," Narcissa smiled.
The background of Lucius' shrieking suddenly stopped, causing the small group to look up in alarm. Well, only Draco was looking up in alarm; both Jareth and Harry had identical smirks on while Narcissa looked slightly exasperated.
"Mother," Draco said nervously, as the sounds of whimpers finally became audible. "Shouldn't we go see what's happened to Father?"
"I suppose we must," Narcissa sighed in resignation. "Please excuse us, Your Majesty, Harry. Come along, Draco."
"May we accompany you, my lady," Jareth asked quickly, knowing perfectly well what had happened to the man and dearly wishing to see what they had done.
Narcissa nodded regally, gathering up her skirts and departing to see what had happened to her oh-so-beloved husband.
Lucius was sitting in the largest formal drawing room, huddled into a little ball in the corner. The once proud Slytherin had been cowed by the goblins who were circling around him, predatory grins on their face as they moved in closer, chanting under their breath. Jareth heard the whimpers and smiled beatifically.
The remainder of Harry's time with the Malfoys' went wonderfully, Harry thought. Lucius Malfoy might have disagreed with that conclusion though, after suffering several breakdowns over the course of the week. But that was just him.
Harry's feelings were rather mixed as he went back on the train. On one hand, he had missed Hogwarts really very much, and seeing all his friends every day; on the other, he missed the Underground so much sometimes that it hurt. He wondered how the goblins were doing in his absence...Probably getting drunk, to be honest.
He also wondered how Jareth was doing; he did get a bit worried sometimes about him when the King would go off into the Labyrinth somewhere and brood by himself for a bit. It hadn't happened nearly as often since Sarah had come to visit, which Harry was very thankful for. Sarah seemed to make him happier, and her visits were growing longer every time, so it looked as if it wouldn't be long until her visits were permanent.
He heard the door to his compartment open, breaking him out of his thoughts, and looked up with a smile as he saw Draco and Hermione at the door.
It was a few days later, in the middle of dinner when the first big prank of the year took place, when one of the Gryffindor girls began to shriek as she noticed what was happening to her and the rest of the girls at the table. Like the prank that had affected the male Slytherins last year, their clothing was slowly transforming into something that was most definitely not Hogwarts uniform. For the majority of the girls, their robes transformed into military-style, bright red coats, and hats formed out of nowhere onto their heads. For the other girls, however, their robes disappeared and the other students could wee the transformation of their skirts into high-waist trousers with braces stretching over their now red flannel shirts. Furry trapper hats had formed on their heads, while great big bushy beards overtook most of their faces.
One girl stepped up onto the table, uncaring of the food she was squashing beneath her feet, opened her mouth and began to sing. "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay. I sleep all night, I work all day" with a beaming smile on her face.
The girls dressed in red coats suddenly stood up and belted out "He's a lumberjack and he's okay. He sleeps all night and he works all day."
There were a fair few in the audience who had begun to laugh hysterically, having recognised the lyrics.
Another of the girls not wearing a red coat also took her place on her table, before singing, "I cut down trees, I eat my lunch, I go to the lavatory. On Wednesdays I go shopping, and have buttered scones for tea."
The group of red-coated girls were back on their feet once again. "He cuts down trees, he eats his lunch, he goes to the lavatory. On Wednesdays, he goes shopping and has buttered scones for tea. He's a lumberjack and he's okay. He sleeps all night and he works all day."
"I cut down trees, I skip and jump, I like to press wild flowers. I put on women's clothing and hang around in bars."
"He cuts down trees, he skips and jumps, he likes to press wild flowers. He puts on women's clothing and hangs around in bars. He's a lumberjack and he's okay. He sleeps all night and he works all day," came the chorus once again, with a rather puzzled tone in the middle of it.
"I cut down trees, I wear high heels, suspenders and a bra. I wish I'd been a girlie, just like my dear Papa!" belted out the last soloist …
"He cuts down trees, he wears high heels, suspenders and a bra…" the group of girls trailed off as they realised what the lyrics were actually saying, and as they stopped singing, the spell finished. A few of the girls, having realised what they'd been singing, took an bow to the enthusiastic clapping of many of the other students and a few of the Professors, while the others blushed bright red and sat straight back down.
Draco and Harry merely grinned at one another, raising their glasses to one another in a toast of their general awesomeness.
And in another place far, far away, two people were watching their son, who was currently locked in one of Hogwarts' classrooms, completing a deal with Peeves. Incidentally, this deal would result in the Great Butterfly Incident of 1992, which the whole school would universally vow to forget. Apart from the Weasley Twins, who took it as a challenge, leading then to the Take-Over of the Caterpillars. Scotland would never be the same, and a separate cabinet was set aside for them in the Ministry of Magic's Obliviator Office.
"Do you know," James said thoughtfully, "I think he's doing a rather good job of raising Harry."
Lily rolled her eyes. "You're only saying that because Harry caused absolute hell at the Malfoys'."
"I know!" James grinned. "Wasn't it wonderful?"
Lily looked at him in slight despair, but had to relinquish her mock anger as she thought of what they'd seen: Lucius Malfoy huddled into a ball, rocking back and forth, surrounded by goblins pulling on his shiny, shiny purple hair. She promptly broke out into laughter.
Many thanks also go to Monty Python for their sheer awesomeness – once the lumberjack prank was suggested, how could I not include that song? I very much hope they don't mind me borrowing their wonderful song.
And, what do you all think?