The Hummingbird and the Flower


Chapter One


Pansy breathed heavily in my ear as we spied on my father and a man through the bars on the landing. Pansy had come over because her mother and my mother had tea together every Sunday afternoon. It was one of the rare times I socialized with another child my age. Pansy wasn't too loud or dense, so I didn't mind her coming over too much, unlike my father's friends' children, Vincent and Gregory, who I generally ignored or hid from when they made their presence known; although, I could only get away with this when my parents weren't around. They didn't approve of isolation. The family name wouldn't flourish if we didn't make ourselves known, even among the more dull. I started Hogwarts in the fall, so I just figured I could start being a better Malfoy then.

The only real problem with Pansy was that she was a girl. She always wanted to do girlish things like play dress up or have pretend tea like our mothers. And, for instance, right now how she was breathing on me; my neck began to feel moist, and I couldn't hear anything my father was saying.

My father was usually never home during these luncheons, preferring to distance himself at the Ministry of Magic. The only time he wasn't at the Ministry for hearings and special events where a bunch of Purebloods donated money was during most dinners and to sleep. If he was ever at the Manor during the day, he was in rare form, so my mother says.

Today, though, something private had to be taking place; my father never invited strangers into the home unless the matters were of utmost secrecy. For this reason, I was annoyed with Pansy breathing in my ear. I heard voices, but I couldn't hear anything being said. Finally, I pushed her away, giving my best glare. She shrank away moodily, but I ignored her and turned back to the two men.

I could only see the top of the man's head, though, as he was facing away from me. If I got any closer, I would be seen. From what I could tell, though, he had abominable black hair; it was nothing like my manicured Malfoy tresses. And his robes! They were faded to almost gray and were almost four inches too short.

Rare form, indeed, letting a man like that in the house.

". . . duties over to Severus . . .," the man was saying but faded out once more. They were too far away, and I could only hope they would soon talk louder; I wasn't going to chance my father's wrath for a few words. I strained my ears to hear the man's voice mix with my father's. I couldn't see his face, but his voice sounded kind and gentle and submissive and I wondered what a man like that was doing with my father. My father looked worried with what the man was saying.

"Where do you think I'm going to find those potions now? So busy you can't send them to me?" My father's voice rose, and his face began to grow red.

The submissive man shrugged his lanky shoulders, then shook his head. Pansy was too close again, and I pushed her away without a thought.

"I can promise you any sum of money, you know that," my father said. He sounded desperate, an emotion I never had thought to associate with him. He was always in control. Suddenly, I wasn't so sure I wanted Pansy or even myself to hear this conversation.

"I don't need the money, and Draco will have to find out about it sooner or later. It's just going to be sooner now," the man said in his now song-like voice. "Severus could always attempt to find–"

"Find what?" my father snapped. "You're the only one that can quell the inheritance. I call this abandonment."

"He's reaching that age–"

"What's that got to do with it? You could hold off that curse forever."

The man turned to place a hand on my father's shoulder. My father glared at the man, who turned completely to reveal his face to me.

I had to cover my mouth to keep my gasp from carrying across the hall. The man wasn't human. His features, though, were the imitation of one: two dark eyebrows set in the worried crease between his eyes which were as green as grass in the morning sun, and his mouth was a lopsided bow, tense. His face was slim just like the rest of him, but he seemed to emit power. His skin had an ethereal glow to it. How I ever thought him submissive to my father was beyond me. He had much more control and prestige than my father could ever wish to have; than anyone could hope to have. Yet he looked so young; only about seventeen.

I was so caught up in staring, I almost didn't catch the next part.

"I don't want to," the beautiful being said. "I want nature to take its course, and I must be out of the way to do that. You know I wouldn't be able to contain the inheritance for long anyways even if I did keep making the potion. He's getting old enough that I would become too jealous to willingly give him a potion to prevent our–"

"Don't say it," my father ordered. Immediately, the words, the demand, sounded wrong on his lips, and something unpleasant bubbled in my stomach. I must have voiced my discontent because Pansy pinched my arm and looked at me with a question poised on her open mouth. I turned away, though, not wanting to waste a moment not looking at his beauty.

The being broke his calm mask for the first time. The scowl didn't fit his face, nor his cold exterior, although both were rightly deserved to be aimed at my father; he was obviously a creature of light.

"Your disregard and chosen ignorance to the situation will do nothing for you in the long run," the being began. "Draco will abandon you if you keep this from him, and you will have no heir to call your own any longer."

"I'll have no more heirs ever because of you," my father hissed.

The man didn't even pretend to be affected. "No, you won't," he agreed. "Nor do you deserve any. You're a vile creature and the only reason I put up with you for this long was because of my beloved. I wished a normal childhood for him."

Most of the words seemed to fly over my father's head. "Creature. That's rich, coming from a half-breed like yourself."

"And now look at your son. He was never yours."

"I expect you to say he's yours?"

The beauty nodded. "Yes. Draco has always been mine. I just let you take care of him for a while." My heart swooped in unconscious agreement. How could I not belong to him?

"You let me," whispered my father. "He's my son."

"And I'm his mate. Magic, ancient laws, and love are guiding me. Blood and arrogance, you."

"I think it's time for you to leave, Harry," my father hissed, tone livid under badly concealed anger.

"Yes," Harry agreed. His intense eyes, for a moment, glanced up and locked with mine before looking away. I suddenly couldn't breathe and my face felt rather hot. "Yes, I think it is time I'd go. With any luck, I won't see your face for at least another three years. Draco will be ready then."

My father's voice became strangled as he choked, "Go." And then the beauty was gone. I didn't think he Apparated because there was no pop, but the silent evaporation seemed to suit a creature as surreal as Harry.

Pansy and I went back to my room.

"That man, Harry–" I said.

"Wasn't he just gorgeous?" gushed Pansy. Then her dreamy expression turned sour as she glared at me. "But I couldn't hear a thing half the time with you bouncing around like you were."

"I did no such thing."

Pansy rolled her eyes, laying down against my pillows. "You looked ready to piss yourself, Draco." She then sent me a sly glance. "Or something a little more sticky."

"Ugh." I walked out of the room.

Why did girls have to be so gushy and gross all the time? Pansy should stay out of other people's business.

What I felt for Harry was private, yet Pansy had to go and ruin it by making it sound tawdry.

At dinner that night, when Pansy had gone home, and the blush had left my cheeks, my father was tense. He kept his head down, something unusual, and ate his rare steak quietly and without conversation. My mother kept sending worried glances towards him before glancing over at me in question. I always looked away.

It served him right, keeping his head down at the dinner table. No one should be able to talk to dear, beautiful Harry that way and be shameless.

I smirked into my glass, knowing my father would not see.