Thanks to everyone for the wonderful reviews! xoxoxoxo 3
In which we meet the ancestors of the most noble house of Malfoi and deviate from the french canon! 3
Once again I am chuffed for all the gorgeous reviews! 3 Enjoy chapter two! xoxo
'I look ridiculous.' Hermione grumped as the two wizards flanked her down Diagon Alley.
'You look gorgeous.' Harry said and gave a small wave to the crowds that were gathering.
'I look like a...'
'Witch?' Draco said helpfully, smirking when she growled.
Harry laughed. 'Trust me love, if that's what hags look like, you'll be the sexiest hag in London.'
'Sexy?' she hissed and dug her nails into his arms, feeling a small sadistic thrill of pleasure when he winced in pain.
'Granger, stop whining,' Draco snapped. 'That dress cost more than every book at Hogwarts. You look beautiful. I wouldn't have picked it otherwise. Plus...I need this; it feels normal, don't deny me.'
Releasing a small huff, 'You know, Malfoy,' Hermione said harshly, 'that is only going to work for so long.'
'Work? What are you on about?' He looked the picture of innocence and had it not been for Harry's sniggering beside her, she may have bought it.
'Using guilt to get your own way, arse!'
'Malfoy...' Harry said warningly.
'It's all right, Harry,' Hermione smiled, tugging the tall, blond until he stopped. 'Feel better?'
'Marginally,' he admitted then smirked again, his grey eyes flaming with wickedness.
'If our dear Draco here needs to spout filthy epithets to feel 'wizardy' again, then who am I to deny him?' Harry opened his mouth to speak but Hermione stopped him with her next words. 'Although I cannot be held responsible if he wakes up resembling a ferret.'
Flashing a wicked grin, Hermione walked away from the two shocked wizards.
'She wouldn't dare...'
'You don't think so?' Harry asked and shook his head. 'Merlin, I thought she was going to hex you.'
'Bloody hell mate, me too.' Running a hand through his blond locks, Draco turned his sly gaze back to the witch now sashaying down Diagon Alley. 'Fuck! I want to get her out of that dress.'
Following the wizard's heated gaze, Harry licked his dry lips and clenched his hands. He couldn't remember Hermione looking so lovely. Tonight Draco had bought her a rather scandalous dress, bright blue silk, cascaded from her generous breasts, dipping low to reveal cleavage that set his body on fire, the material nipped in at her waist only to flare again at her curvy hips and fall in a cascading sea of ruffles to the ground where her feet were adorned with black sandals and blue painted toes.
'How did you get her hair...?'
'Remind me to thank your elf, Malfoy.'
'I may even start paying her.' Draco grinned and tilted his head to Hermione who was talking to another young witch.
'Unfair advantage, Malfoy.'
'Ahhh, I'm Slytherin, Potter. I take all the advantages I can. Plus, how can I compete with the Wizarding world's saviour who also happens to be an Auror?'
Harry grinned and slung his arm across Draco's shoulders. 'She doesn't want either of us, but that doesn't mean we can't have a bit of fun.'
Mirroring Harry's grin, the two wizards sauntered down Diagon Alley after their witch.
Hermione regarded the two wizards before her thoughtfully. How strange it was to watch them now, happy, carefree, drunk...when only a year before they were fighting for their lives. She was grateful to have them, to share a true friendship with them, after all the hardships they'd endured. A world without Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter by her side wasn't one she'd care to live in and she knew, deep down in her heart they felt the same.
Draco had never opened himself up to another human being before like he had with the two former Gryffindors. His honesty and love was not only welcomed but nurtured and it hurt the witch to know he would never be able to gain the approval he desired from his Father. How she wished that times could be different, but would she give up everything that had been gained to change one simple event?
Hermione felt selfish and cruel to be glad that events had transpired to bring them together, because Draco was her light and her darkness where Harry was her soul. The newest trio weren't shunned or ridiculed any longer, but revered and gossiped about. Speculation over their relationship wasn't anything new but the papers had long since given up their disapproving stance and moved towards exposing those who were against harmony in this new, frightening world.
She looked up from her half empty glass of whiskey and smiled at Draco whose eyes were hazy and half lidded. 'Stop drinking and I might.'
He made a noise half between a growl and a snort before throwing back another shot of vodka. 'Vodka, my new best friend.'
'Calm down, mate,' Harry murmured and poured the wizard another shot. 'We still have to Disappratate home.'
'Disappratate?' Hermione laughed and sipped her whiskey. 'Just how does one disappratate?'
'Funny, Granger,' Harry snarked and clinked his glass with Draco.
'If you'll excuse me,' Hermione stood slowly and laughed again as the two wizards drunkenly stumbled to their feet. 'Please don't stand on my account, wouldn't want the world to spin.'
'I think I'm drunk.' Draco said and held up the bottle of vodka which was sadly empty.
'I think we are too.' Harry laughed and called out for another bottle which instantly appeared. 'Front page again, I'd wager mate.'
'Drunken louts accost Miss Granger in dark, secluded corner of Diagon Alley, her virtue be damned!'
'Damned,' Harry murmured. 'I gave him a Portkey.'
'Who Potter?' Draco blinked lazily and instead of pouring another shot, swigged from the bottle instead.
The bottle fell to the table with a thud, sloshing clear liquid over Draco's fine robes. 'You gave him a Portkey?'
'Hermione's idea actually- told me I wasn't allowed to tell you. Acted right off he did your old man. Said she smelled like a memory then went all funny.'
Draco paled. 'Were those his exact words, Potter?' the delightful little drunken haze had lifted and the wizard's mind clear as he recalled a faint tinge of his own memory.
'He called her a name too...' Harry thought for a moment. 'Mio Testory?'
'Mio Tesoro? Are you certain?'
Harry shrugged. 'Maybe?'
'Potter, what did Granger say?'
'She told him the verdict was bad and that he needed to escape.'
Draco shuddered at the thought his Father knew his fate before stepping into the courtroom and made no move to save himself. 'Are you suggesting that Father had a Portkey and didn't use it?'
Taking a quick gulp of his drink, Harry nodded. 'He made a deal with Shacklebolt that you wouldn't be punished.'
'WHAT?' Draco yelled and jumped from his seat, sending it flying backwards with a crash.
'Sit the fuck down!' Harry snarled and pulled the chair back with magic, forcing Draco to sit. 'You would have been kissed as well, you idiot!'
He slumped forward, his head resting atop shaking hands. 'What good did it do? Nothing's changed except I haven't any family now.'
'You have us,' Harry said kindly. 'And we're Gryffindors; we stand by the people we love.'
'What about Severus?'
'What of him?' Harry asked and pushed another drink towards the morose pureblood.
'Father's fate was sealed the minute I took the Dark Mark, but Severus- he was a spy and pardoned.'
'You aren't making any sense.' Harry looked at him confused, squinting a bit as the candlelight pierced through his drunken glow.
'I told Granger I had news for you both after dessert but since she's decided to fuck off somewhere, I'll tell you instead.'
'Oh, do tell.' Harry smiled and leaned forward.
'I'm going to save Severus Snape's life.'
Harry blinked quickly then shook his head. 'I thought you said you were going to save Snape for a moment. What did you really say?'
Smirking, Draco leaned back in his chair and swallowed down his drink. 'My great-great-great grandfather was a bit of an inventor; he worked as an Unspeakable but rarely shared his spells with anyone outside our family. In my second year he shared a very interesting spell with me...' He drifted off as Harry leaned closer with interest. 'I need some reassurances, Potter, that you won't go running off at the mouth with all my secrets.'
'Unbreakable vow?' Harry looked sick at the mere thought.
Reaching for his wand, Harry pressed the tip to Draco's as the wizard murmured the terms. 'You will aid me in saving Severus Snape's life and keep everything I tell you from this day forward a secret- except from Granger, of course. What say you?'
'I agree.' Harry grinned as the tips of their wands glowed green and a piercing shout broke through the calmed near empty restaurant.
'What the bloody hell did you just do?'
Hermione Granger had returned and she was pissed.
Her rant lasted from the bottom of Diagon Alley right until they breached the wards into the Muggle World, both wizards wearing a permanent wince on their faces as she all but dragged them from the restaurant to the Apparition point.
'Wand oaths,' she muttered and cursed roughly as they entered the alley next to the Leaky Cauldron. 'What the sodding hell were you thinking?'
'I wasn't,' Harry admitted shamefaced as he studied the golden thread on his wrist.
'And you Draco Malfoy! Have you learned nothing of oaths taken whilst drunk? You should know bloody better!' she raved and yanked hard on his oath thread.
'I had to,' he said quietly and tugged Hermione into his arms, feeding off her anger and gently pressing his lips to her neck. 'I need reassurances.'
'Haven't we given you enough?' she asked and he could tell from the slight hitch to her voice that Hermione was hurt by his stupidity.
'I couldn't risk anyone finding out.' Another kiss to her neck and he tightened his hold around her waist.
'Keep still,' Hermione said gently and pulled Harry into the embrace. 'I'm going to Apparate us so, please don't move.'
With a small spin they materialised in the grand hall of Malfoy Manor, Harry barely regaining his footing before retching all over the black and white marbled floor.
'Explain!' Hermione demanded, ignoring her sick friend now passed out on the ground.
'Vitale Malfoy,' Draco said and led the witch towards their wing of the Manor, 'was my great great great Grandfather.'
'I thought your family was French?'
'They were, for the most part. Sophia and Caden Malfoy were murdered and their children Ancil and Vitale were sent to Italy for their education. They lived with Sophia's cousin who had neither the heart nor the galleons to raise two boys, subsequently they were split up. Ancil, the heir, was returned to Britain where he lived here in Malfoy Manor and Vitale stayed in Florence. He married and had a bunch of kids before Ancil fell from a horse and broke his neck.'
'Your ancestor died from a horse fall?'
'Try not to look so shocked, Granger,' Draco said. 'Not every wizard in my family was suckered into servitude.'
Hermione rolled her eyes and gestured for him to continue.
'Vitale was forced back to the Manor as the new head of the Malfoy family and immediately ingratiated himself to the local populace. He was welcomed into the fold as the long lost son, trained as an Unspeakable, had more babies, then died.'
'What happened to his family in Italy?'
Draco smirked. 'He was quite the bastard, old Vitale, abandoned his wife and kids to take up with his brother's widow. Caused a scandal not only here but in Italy as well. The Ministry refused to extradite one of their valued employees for polygamy and thus the ties between the two communities were severed.'
'Are you saying that the rift that exists between the Italian and British Wizarding communities is because your Grandfather married his brother's widow and abandoned his family?'
He laughed. 'It gets worse; he sold all but one of his estates and left his wife destitute. There were dozens of attempts on his life until he got wise and employed decoys who were Polyjuiced as him.'
Hermione shook her head in disgust. 'What a scoundrel.'
'Intelligent though,' said Draco, nodding his head, 'some thought him too smart for his time and most sought to lock him away. They believed his power to be uncontrollable and his methods eccentric at best.'
'Dark Lord material?'
'Hardly., He lived in books, created spells that were not only useful but widely used although most of his more- questionable inventions weren't released at all and Malfoy gossip suggests they are still hidden in the Manor somewhere.'
'So if your ancestor is Vitale, does that mean you descend from his first marriage or second?'
'Second,' Draco sneered. 'His son Verrill was the heir, being his first born son from the second marriage. Ancil's children were all girls so unable to inherit anything, plus he married them off once they turned 16.'
'A common age for marriages back then.' Draco said with a shrug.
'Verrill is your great great Grandfather?'
'That still doesn't explain the wand oath.'
'I'm going to save Severus, Granger.'
'I suppose you have a Time Turner hidden away, then?' Hermione rolled her eyes again. 'This is the alcohol talking surely?'
'Vitale was an Unspeakable in the Invention and Time rooms, Granger. He didn't need a Time Turner, he had spells.'
Hermione stopped suddenly, her nails digging into the palms of her hands. 'Draco, what you're suggesting is not only impossible but incredibly stupid. You plan to go back in time, save Professor Snape, then what? Return here and act as if nothing has changed except you have a dead man with you!'
'I thought you of all people would understand!' he snarled and pushed past the witch, entering his room and slamming the door shut with a satisfying bang.
'Mental,' Hermione said softly.
'Is he really?'
She squeaked and spun around, wand raised and a weak Lumos lighting the hallway before her. 'Show yourself!'
'I am here, I am always here. Never leaving, never allowed.'
'Where are you?' she whispered and moved her wand slowly from side to side.
'I am permitted to reside outside the master suite, of course.'
Swallowing her nerves, Hermione walked quickly down the hallway to the door scorched with spell damage and splintered wood. 'Why haven't you spoken before?'
'I didn't feel it prudent to reveal myself to a Mudblood,' he answered and sneered at her.
'Then why is it so prudent now?' She replied a bit tartly.
'Do you know who I am?'
Her eyes drifted down to the small silver name plate below his canvas where it read, Vitale Malfoy. 'Ahhh so you were eavesdropping and wanted to spout nonsense about your amazing adventures in bigamy?'
'I was never legally married to that Italian shrew,' he dismissed. 'Sleeping with my brother's widow was far more enjoyable, she was quite the vixen in bed.'
'Oh honestly, like I care to hear the painted tales of boudoir romps from you?' Hermione yawned loudly and took a single step towards her bedroom before his next words halted her.
'Young Draco cannot go back in time.'
'This I know,' Hermione said.
'Neither can Mr. Potter.'
'What are you suggesting?' Hermione watched him curiously as he stood from the small, plush chair and paced his canvas.
'The spell is real, girl. Over the centuries my stories have been embellished to a point where they hardly resemble anything of truth. But young Draco was my confidant, I heard stories of Mudbloods and Halfbloods- can you believe a witch dared to slap my kin?'
Hermione snickered. 'I can and did. Your kin used to be a right smarmy little bastard. He deserved it.'
Vitale's eyes gleamed as the powerful witch spoke to him. 'Did he slap you back?'
'Of course not, he might have been a bastard but he'd never hit a witch.'
'Then I am pleased chivalry was inherited along with my smarts.'
'Your smarts didn't seem to get your family anywhere, though did it?'
'I may be a portrait,' he whispered menacingly, 'but I still have a certain amount of influence amongst my loyal staff, you would do well to remember that. Now tell me witch, who does Draco seek to destroy with my spell?'
Hermione's hand tightened around her wand even as she paled considerably at his threat. 'Draco doesn't want to destroy anyone.'
'Does he wish to cause havoc and mayhem?'
'No,' Hermione could have sworn the portrait's face flashed with disappointment.
'Does he wish to destroy that filthy Halfblood that hurt my Lucius?'
Hermione shook her head. 'Many mistakes were made by your family, Mr. Malfoy and Draco believes he should right a very horrible wrong. He wishes to save the life of a wizard his mother condemned.'
'No, Severus Snape.'
'Brutto figlio di puttana!' Vitale cursed roughly in Italian and Hermione flushed even though she'd hadn't a clue what he'd uttered. 'My apologies, Madam,' He bowed shortly. 'My language was vulgar and uncalled for in front of a lady.'
'Quite all right, I didn't understand a word you said,' Hermione smiled. 'Is there anything the matter?'
'Do you know of dark and light intent?'
'Yes, the intent determines the nature of the spell. You could cast a killing curse upon a horse to save it from a horribly painful death and your soul would remain intact but cast it on an innocent child who has done nothing to deserve that hatred and you are dabbling in the dark arts.'
'Very good,' Vitale praised. 'My spells were not intended for use of the dark arts. They can only be wielded by those of pure souls and untainted auras.'
'You do not believe Draco meets your requirements?'
Vitale huffed. 'The boy can cast a Cruciatus without blinking! But you my dear, you are much different.'
'I killed during the war Mr. Malfoy. Do not believe for a moment that my soul is pure.'
Vitale's smile grew and he clasped his hands behind his back, resuming his pacing. 'How many did you kill with their backs turned?'
'How many were innocent?'
'How many times did you defend yourself which resulted in another's death?'
'Many times.' Hermione blinked quickly as tears gathered in her eyes and slipped down her cheeks.
'You cry over their lost souls or because your magic is tainted?'
'I cry for a lot of things,' she admitted, unashamed as her vision blurred and her body shook in memory. 'I didn't want to kill, I didn't want to battle but I hadn't a choice. My path was chosen the minute I stepped into Hogwarts and I was loath to deviate from Harry. He needed me.'
'You are quite right; he did need you, for the war would have been lost without your help.'
Hermione smiled. 'That's sweet of you to say but hardly accurate.'
Vitale stopped pacing and watched the witch thoughtfully before he spoke again. 'Draco was correct about my legacy still being inside this Manor. I was quite the imp in my time and enjoyed a variety of languages, almost all...' He leaned forward, licking his painted lips, 'of a crude nature.'
Hermione flushed again. He was certainly handsome and no doubt had been a complete and utter cad in his day and she was eager to find his research, if only to prevent Draco from attempting time travel.
'Your legacy will help Draco?'
'No, it will help you to right the wrongs of my boy's past. You must take Draco's place, for he is too important for this time line to be lost.'
'Yet I am not?' She couldn't help but feel a bit hurt by his statement.
'Ahh my dear witch do not be upset with me. I meant that Draco cannot complete the task afforded us. We need a witch with the appropriate intelligence to seduce the time line to behave appropriately.'
'Seduce the time line?' Hermione laughed. 'You jest Sir.'
'Draco wishes to save Severus Snape, he cannot move about freely in the past as you can. A witch can have many disguises, a wizard carrying a dark mark or a lightning bolt scar only has one mask to bear.'
Hermione sighed. He spoke the truth however hard it was to hear. Two Harry Potter's in the past would be as impossible as two Draco Malfoy's. The wizards had unbreakable ties to powerful points in time that could not be severed or altered. If anyone could return to save Professor Snape and go undetected it was her alone.
'I would be vulnerable.'
Vitale smirked at her acceptance. 'Fica vaffunculo,' he murmured. 'Dungeons, last cell on the left, third stone from the ground, it's darker than the rest, you cannot mistake it. Tap it four times with your wand; say the password and all my secrets shall be yours.'