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Chapter forty-six

House Arrest

Narcissa sat silently as she waited to be called, her eyes drifting around the small, stone room. Her eyes focused momentarily on a picture of ancient looking wizard in 17th century judicial Wizengamot robes, then back at the desk that was several feet in front of her; a young clerical woman sat there, looking through a stack of parchment, occasionally picking up a quill and jotting something down. She sighed as she shifted uneasily in the hard wooden seat; she wished they would call for her already so she could get this over with and head back to France. She had received an owl from the Ministry a few days before sequestering her presence in regards to Lucius' arrest; she couldn't say that she was surprised, just a little annoyed. She didn't have time for the Ministry's semantics.

When she had originally read in the paper about Lucius' arrest, she couldn't help the tears that inevitably came. Tears that were shed not because she believed her husband innocent or felt saddened for his capture, but from relief. At one time she had cared deeply for her husband and had hoped for a long and happy life together, but those dreams faded as quickly as they came. Once Lucius joined the Dark Lord, the light that was once in her husband slowly began to diminish and soon she was left with nothing more than a dark, vacant hole; a hole she thankfully filled with the birth of her son. Draco was her hope and peace and while, for a time, she was afraid he would become quite like his father, she could now see that his heart and soul were more pure then Lucius' ever were.

She had flooed Draco immediately after finding out the news; it would seem, however, that he had already read the Prophet that morning and knew of his father's arrest and much like Narcissa was not saddened by it, but relieved that he was locked away where he could no longer harm another. She had gone home that same day as with the news she wanted to be close to both Draco and Severus but had planned to return to France once things settled down. She still had business there that she had to take care of. She had filed for a divorce through the French Muggle legal system and was waiting for the papers to come by Muggle post so that she could sign them, send them off and once and for all be done with him. His being arrested certainly helped the situation. Being locked up in Azkaban, he couldn't try and retaliate once he found out about the divorce.

"Narcissa Malfoy." The pureblooded witch looked up at the sound of her name. A thin, extremely tall woman with a long nose and jet back hair that was up in a high bun stood several feet away from her. "Come with me, please," the woman said, turning and heading past the front desk and down a small corridor. Narcissa followed.

"In here," with a flick of the woman's wand the door opened. Narcissa gave a quick "thank you" and slipped inside, the door shutting automatically behind her.

"Please have a seat Mrs. Malfoy," said a husky man behind a small, wooden desk as he motioned to a nearby chair.

Narcissa took a quick glance at the name plate on the man's desk: Herbert Wilson. She knew that name, her husband had complained about him on more than one occasion. He was a pureblood but a fervent advocator for Muggles' rights, and by the way that he was looking at her, he most likely knew exactly how her husband felt about him and most likely assumed she felt the same.

"Of course you know why you are here, correct?" he asked, his eyes seeming to narrow just slightly as he leaned forward in his seat.

"Yes. Though I do not know what you want from me, I wasn't even in the country when the act was committed."

She was curious of his motives. She didn't think he would accuse her of knowing that he had planned to rape and kill that poor woman, that would have been ludicrous but perhaps he did believe she had knowledge of the raid on the campgrounds.

Mr. Wilson let out a grunt then saying, "No, you were not. You were in France, correct?"

"Yes, my son and I were visiting my mother for the summer."

"Hmm, and do you normally spend time with your mother during the summer holiday Mrs. Malfoy?"

"Sometimes, yes. Do you not ever visit your mother Mr. Wilson?" She responded trying to be witty.

The wizard across from her gave out a snorted laugh, his lip curled, a hateful glint filled his blue eyes. "My mother is dead, killed by Death Eaters over fourteen years ago along with her father."

Narcissa let out a long sigh, shaking her head slightly; now she knew what this was, a vendetta. He had lost loved ones in the war and this was his chance to 'get even', so to speak. He was most likely assuming she knew something about what her husband had been up to and planned to weasel whatever he could out of her to use against him. Well, little did Mr. Wilson know at that moment but Narcissa was going to become his biggest ally in the case against her soon-to-be ex-husband.

"I am sorry for your loss Mr. Wilson, a lot of people lost love ones during that time. Now let me start by telling you that I know what my husband is; he was branded as a Death Eater shortly after we were married. At the time I was too young and scared to do or say anything about it but… times have changed."

Mr. Wilson's eyes shot up in surprise. He had been expecting hostility or at least resistance from the pureblood, but was it possible she loathed what her husband was and what he stood for as much as he did?

"Mrs. Malfoy, are you saying that you are willing to help in the case against your husband?"

Narcissa smiled before leaning forward slightly, looking the man across from her directly in the eyes. "You leave my name out of it and I will tell you everything I know."

A wicked grin pulled to his lips. "I believe we can accommodate that request," he said folding his hands together and resting them on his desk.

"Excellent, what would you like to know?"

"Let us start with the raid of the camp site during the Quidditch World Cup. Do you know anything of it?"

"I had known my husband was up to something for months, which was why I chose to take my son out of the country once school had ended for the term. I had no idea what he was meddling in exactly nor did I care to. I learned long ago not to get involved in my husband's affairs. However, I can give you a list of people he has been in contact with recently, as well as access to our home, specifically his study; it is where he spent much of his time and where he conducted any personal business."

Mr. Wilson's grin stretched ear to ear, "That would be very helpful, thank you Mrs. Malfoy."

"Oh believe me Mr. Wilson, the pleasure is all mine."

XXX

Draco was beyond annoyed. His mother was afraid, and Severus had agreed, that it wasn't exactly safe for Draco to be out of the house, at all. He hadn't even been allowed to fly his broom. He was basically under house arrest and all because some lunatic sent an owl threatening to "make the Malfoy family pay for Lucius' crimes". While he understood his mother's concern, he thought she was over reacting. The wards around the Malfoy Estate, like Potter's home, had bloods wards surrounding them and in so were nearly impenetrable. No one was going to be able to attack them in their own home so he should at least be able to fly his broom and ride the horses!

The real question was what to do when he returned to Hogwarts. He was pretty sure he would have any problems with his own house mates, but he couldn't say what the rest of the school would do. Not to mention the visiting schools that were coming in mid-October for the Tri-Wizard tournament. He supposed he would just have to keep his guard up. He knew Hermione wouldn't think any less of him; she had already sent him a letter telling him just that. As for the others, he would just have to wait and see.

Leaning back into his bed pillows, he propped the book he had just grabbed from his nightstand on his lap and opened it. It was a book on powerful Charms that his mum had gotten it for him after he had received the 'best Charms score ever for a first year' note on his end of the year marks. Chapter one was on the Patronus charm. It was a spell that he desperately wanted to learn, that along with Legilimency. While he was a skilled at blocking his mind from intruders, he wasn't very skilled at entering and reading another person's mind. Severus was by far the best person to ask for advice on this form of mind magic, but he wanted to have a little better foundation before he did. He couldn't have his Godfather knowing all his secrets, at least not yet.

XXX

Hermione turned away from Ron and his family in a huff and marched toward the Hogwarts Express. She could believe them! The indignity! They actually had the nerve to tell her that Draco was a danger because of what his father had done. Mrs. Weasley had attempted to be sympathetic in her words stating, "I know he is your friend dear, but it really would be safer for you to keep your distance from him." Hermione knew she meant well but they really were being too biased. Draco was not his father!

Quickly making her way toward the back of the train where Draco usually sat, she scanned the compartments until finally she found him in the second to last one, but he wasn't alone. Sliding open the door, she was surprised to see Professor Snape sitting across from her best friend.

"Hi Mione," Draco said with a grin.

"Hi, Draco, h-hello Professor Snape," she said, glancing over at her intimidating potions professor.

"Miss Granger," he said with a nod.

Draco could easily see how nervous Hermione was with Severus just a couple of feet away. Usually the only time she spoke to him was in class and that was always to answer a question. So what was she supposed to say to Hogwarts' most-feared Professor?

"Sorry, Mione," Draco spoke up, "but my mum kind of insisted he ride along. Since the… um well, the incident my family has been receiving threats and she just wants to make sure I'm safe."

Hermione gasped in shock, then quickly made her way completely into the compartment and sat down next to her friend. "That's awful! Are you okay? No one's tried to hurt you, have they?" she said placing her hand onto Draco's.

Severus couldn't help but snicker under his breath. As much as Narcissa desired that their friendship would not become more, he was pretty sure that in due time the young friends would soon become a young couple. Granger certainly wouldn't have been his first choice for his Godson, but despite how annoying she could be, she was intelligent and it was quite obvious that she truly cared for Draco.

"Oh I'm fine," Draco reassured her. "It's just precautionary."

Perhaps it was a bit more then precautionary; they had actually received dozens of letters since the first. Mostly they were just hate mail but there had been a few that talked of more sinister plans. As of yet, however no one has actually tried to attack Draco or his mother; then again this was the first day that he had been out of his house since he had returned back to England.

"If you two will excuse me, I'm going to use the restroom," Severus said, standing, "I will ward the door so that no one can enter while I am away."

Draco thanked his Godfather, who 'used the bath room' for almost a half an hour before returning. He had made an excuse of the loo being broken and had to wait for it to be fixed. It wasn't a lot of time but it allowed him a short time to talk to his best friend without intrusion. When he returned, they mostly talked about school and what books they had read over the summer, both of which were easy and safe subjects to talk about in front of your dreaded Potions Professor.

A/N: Here's the next chapter, I know it took forever but life s crazy hopefully it won't take as long next time. Next up announcement of the Tri-Wizard tournament and a little twist with the contestants. Any guesses as to how?