Chapter 2: If It Is Not Right Do Not Do It
It went on that way for several days: Draco would deliver meals to the wandmaker and Lovegood and each time she would say, "Thank you, Malfoy." Finally one afternoon he snarled at his mother when she told him to take the trays down again.
"And just iwhy/i am I no better than a house elf, Mother? And why do you have their trays prepared with the same food as ours?"
Her back was to him but he noticed an immediate tensioning of her shoulders. Sucking in a deep breath she turned to him, and not for the first time did he did take note of the toll their situation had taken on her. While his mother still could be considered a beautiful woman several new wrinkles marred her face and shadows of exhaustion shaded the area around her eyes. Blue eyes that typically appeared as placid as a lake, since the arrival of the Dark Lord, now flashed angrily at him. They darted to the door of the study before narrowing back at him.
"Draco my dear, you know without question that you are certainly better than a house elf – do not be foolish," she snapped. "You should know that I," here her voice lowered considerably, "do not approve of keeping an old man and a young girl locked in my basement. However, I have no say of what occurs in this home anymore, yet, I will do what my mother taught me long ago – to be a proper hostess."
Draco felt the all to familiar trickle of anger at the reminder that his family's loss of power. "But why must I do it?" he argued.
His mother placed a hand tenderly on his cheek. "It is one thing that we must keep them prisoner here. Why make matters worse by allowing their only interactions to be with the Dark Lord and house elves? This is our home, Draco, and as such it is your duty to check in on them – even if you do not wish to."
Footsteps sounded in the corridor and his mother gave him a sharp look. "We will speak no more of this. Now deliver the trays."
On the fifth day of Christmas break Draco found himself once again walking into the basement. This time he caught himself once again staying out of sight and watching Lovegood. With Ollivander asleep in his claimed corner she was swaying back and forth with closed eyes as she mumbled wordlessly to herself. For ten minutes he watched her; transfixed by her graceful movements. He wondered if she was in some sort of meditative state or simply mad.
Most likely, the latter.
He announced his presence with heavy footsteps that echoed loudly off the concrete walls. Lovegood paused in her movements and blinked her large eyes at him. She unnerved the hell out of him – and not just because he went to school with her and now she was locked in his basement. It was the way she always watched him. At first he couldn't decipher her looks but today he realized what it was – pity. The Blood Traitor pitied him.
The realization generated a wave of anger through him as he directed a sneer in her direction.
Hastily he thrust the trays through the gate and turned to leave.
"Thank you, Malfoy."
Inwardly he rolled he rolled his eyes at her. Maybe it was a woman thing, for Lovegood and his mother to observe proper decorum in all situations, even hostage ones.
"Malfoy, you wouldn't by chance have my school knapsack somewhere, would you? I was would like to read something while I am here."
Well this was new. She had never said anything besides 'thank you' to him. He turned to her in surprise.
"You would like to have something to read?" his voice dripped with disdain.
"You do realize that you're a prisoner here, right? That my family and the Dark Lord are keeping you here hostage because your idiotic of a father is publicly and blatantly supporting Potter through that damn paper of yours, right?" His tone was clipped, cold, and cruel. Someone needed to get the truth of the situation through her damned thick skull.
Watery blue eyes blinked and then hardened to ice as he watched her in surprise. Straightening her shoulders she began speaking – and this time her voice lost its dreamy quality. "Malfoy, I am no fool. I understand why I have been kidnapped. I realize that I am a prisoner here. I even recognize that You-Know-Who will likely pay me a personal visit."
But this," she gestured towards the confines of her cage, "this is what Fate has seen fit to deliver my way. Our choices impact our lives and character, and I for one am proud of my father's choices. Had he followed the blind eyes of the Prophet he would not be the man he is. Had You-Know-Who not made the decision to kidnap me then he would not the thing he is. Therefore, this is where Fate has led me and I would at least like a book to read or my journal to write in for lack of nothing else to do."
He could not help but stare at her in surprise. Draco had no idea Lovegood was anything more than a dreamy Trelawney wannabe who was more intent on the supernatural than the real world. Her fire was shocking; enough so that Draco nodded dumbly and went to retrieve her knapsack.
She had a point, after all.
The morning of Christmas Eve was cold and a large snowstorm was raging ferociously outside. A branch flaying in the wind kept scratching his bedroom window until finally, sod it all to hell, he decided to get up. He was dreading today. Typically on Christmas Eve his mother hosted a large dinner party – an elite affair for all the purebloods of high society. Clearly, this year no party would be hosted at Malfoy Manor – unless you counted a Death Eaters meeting a party. A part of Draco was tempted to see if Blaise would have him over for the rest of break but there was no way he could leave his parents.
Even if he was, at the heart of everything, incredibly angry with them. If his father hadn't failed in the Department of Ministries or, hell, become a Death Eater in the first place then Draco never would have had the Dark Mark forced upon him or plotted for a year to kill Dumbledore. If his mother had someone forced his father to stop or done something, then maybe they wouldn't be in this situation.
But, if wishes were sickles then Draco Malfoy would be the richest wizard in Britain.
Regardless of their faults, he loved his family with everything he had. He would not desert them. He even loved Aunt Bella, even if she was madder than Merlin. Of course, she frightened him greatly but she had done what she could in providing training for his Occumlency skills and nonverbal spells. Love was a funny thing, he reckoned.
After washing up, he stepped carefully down the spiral staircase; ears straining to listen for sounds of the Death Eaters. He heard several people conversing in the sitting room but he knew who was here by the sight of an enormous snake trailing through the corridor that hissed at him with malcontent.
The Dark Lord was here.
Draco felt a slight shiver run through him and he made an immediate decision to go back to his room. His mother had warned him to be obedient to the Dark Lord but to avoid him as much as necessary whilst he was here – she did not have to tell him twice.
"Why Lucius, who is it that I hear traipsing through the house? Is your boy here visiting?" Draco froze as he heard the high-pitched voice echo towards him.
"Ah, why yes my Lord. All the students have gone home for the holidays," his father answered – and Draco could hear the twinge of worry that crept into his voice.
Apparently the Dark Lord had heard it as well. "Excellent. Bring him to me. I so enjoy meeting with the youth of our world."
Draco frowned. There was no way he could get out of this meeting. When his father called for him he began shutting down his mind like Aunt Bella had taught him. The walk towards the room felt long and during it Draco checked his pride at the door. Walking in he saw his father, the Dark Lord, and Aunt Bella sitting comfortably around the room with a tea set arranged on the coffee table.
Draco bowed. "My Lord, it is good to see you again." Straightening he nodded at his father and aunt. "Father, Aunt Bellatrix." The Dark Lord disliked it when nicknames were used and proper respect towards adults was not given.
"Draco, how good it is to see you well. How is Hogwarts these days?"
Terrifying. Oppressive. Cruel. "Better than ever, Sir. Headmaster Snape has been doing an admirable job."
"And the Carrows?"
Ugh – the brother and sister known as Amycus and Alecto were teaching the Dark Arts and Muggle Studies, respectively. Disobedience delivered dark forms of torture and they were both so twisted – and stupid – that Draco was surprised that his father had associated with them during the First Wizarding World.
"Excellent, my Lord. A welcome change to the teaching staff."
"Have they been well received by the students?" The Dark Look peered his reptilian red eyes at him and Draco had to fight not to flinch at the grotesque sight.
"Yes, my Lord," he lied.
"Hmm. I had heard differently. Apparently there are several students who have given them a hard time," he said reproachfully.
Draco kept his eyes straight ahead; fixated at a point below the Dark Lord's chin. "I have heard rumors, my Lord, but I do not associate with such people to learn the whole story."
"Filthy Blood Traitors!" his aunt muttered. "They should be happy to even be allowed at Hogwarts! I say we should get rid of them all!"
"Now, now, Bella," the Dark Lord admonished. "You know I place great value on the lives of pureblood witches and wizards, especially those who are young and have time to modify their beliefs. However, I am told that one of the Hogwarts children is being kept captive here?"
"Yes, my Lord," Lucius answered swiftly. "Xenophilius Lovegood's child is downstairs, as you requested."
"Has he been notified?"
"By owl, my Lord."
The Dark Lord smiled and Draco wondered how much longer he would have to stay. He did not want to hear any plans they had for Lovegood.
"Come now, Lucius, we could do something better than that. Let us send Mr. Lovegood proof that we have his daughter – and maybe the fool will rethink his allegiance to that blasted Potter child." The Dark Lord rose and Draco quickly moved to the side of the door in order to let him pass.
"Oh no, that won't do. Draco, why don't you come with us? I am sure you would love to see an old schoolmate of yours – yes?"
Draco said nothing and just followed the Dark Lord, his father, and his aunt into the basement. Foreboding beat against his heart like drum and for not the first time in the last six months, Draco wish he was anywhere but here.
"Ollivander, how are you doing today?" the Dark Lord's voice clipped through the air like speeding Muggle bullets.
Ollivander pressed against the wall in surprise and his features soured. "The same as ever," he replied in a non-committal fashion.
The Dark Lord made a noise of disapproval with his tongue. "But my dear wandmaker, now you have a comrade to share in your seclusion! Surely you must be happy." A shrill stream of laughter crept past his lips.
"I do not need her, please let the girl go. She is too young." Draco was surprised by the pleading tone in the man's voice. He thought by now the wandmaker had surely been broken – perhaps a week with Luna had lifted his spirits.
Soundlessly the Dark Lord crept closer and eyed Luna Lovegood up and down. Her hair was dirty, stringy and it hid her downcast eyes. "Ms. Lovegood, is it? I have heard you've been making things difficult for my Death Eaters at Hogwarts – not to mention your father has foolishly cast his lot with the losing team."
When she said nothing he went on. "I am very curious about you, I admit. You see, I just cannot understand why a smart pureblood witch would stand up for the Mudbloods and Muggles of this world. Why is that?"
Her voice was soft but it contained strength nonetheless. "The Roman General Marcus Aurelius once said 'If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.' I do what I do because it is the right thing to do."
The Dark Lord began laughing and Aunt Bella joined in. Lucius offered force laughter but Draco just stood there silently.
"Because it is the iright/i thing? My dear, you are hopelessly ignorant of what the right thing is. The right thing is that Pureblood Wizards take what is rightfully ours and control these petulant Muggles in order to reign freely, without fear or condemnation. How many wizards and witches do you think were killed by Muggles because of fear? Throughout history – the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials – our kind have been hunted. Now tell me, is that right?"
Luna gazed at the Dark Lord in great contemplation. "I do not believe death, torture, fear, or ignorance is the key to any fully functioning society."
Draco wanted to scream at her – i'Just lie! Just lie and pretend you love the Death Eaters and get the hell out of here!'/i He knew it didn't matter that whatever she said the Dark Lord wouldn't allow her release. But still, what was it with Potter and all his friends that they needed to be so damned honest and righteous all the time?
"I see," he hissed. "I'll advise you, my girl, all four of those things can often become the pillars of success. Shall I show you?"
Draco saw the fear creep into Lovegood's eyes and he turned his head away; dreading what would be coming.
"Draco?" the Dark Lord's voice pierced through the basement. Reluctantly Draco turned his gaze towards him. "Perhaps you would like to do the honors?"
"My Lord, I do not deserve such an honor." At least his father had taught him one thing – how to manipulate words into smoothly avoiding unseemly activities. Of course, the Dark Lord could always see through him – he could always see through everyone.
"Oh my Lord, please let me have a go at the girl! It has been too long since the last opportunity," his aunt begged and, although he knew she did it for herself and not for him, he thanked her silently.
"I suppose it is almost Christmas, dear Bella, do enjoy yourself. Lucius, Draco, please prepare the hall for our meeting this afternoon."
Like lightning Draco streaked upstairs, wincing inwardly as Luna's cries travelled up the stairs to meet his ears. He made his way quickly to the kitchen where he grasped the marble countertop and hunched over; trying desperately to shut out Luna's screams. He hoped, for her sake, that the witch learned her lesson and would remember to avoid loosening her tongue.
His mother entered silently and when her eyes found his, she cast a sympathetic look. An arm wrapped around his shoulders and she gave him a gentle kiss on his brow. Draco felt like a cowardly little boy, taking comfort in her embrace, but he knew there was nothing else to be done about the situation.
This was their life now.
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