Smells like Muggle Spirit (and Fear!)
"What on earth have you been doing to this boy?" Narcissa shouted, her voice trembling with rage as she stared at Petunia Dursley, Harry Potter, and the pathetic little cupboard under the stairs that was evidently the poor boy's room. Her fingers itched for her wand but Narcissa willed her hands to clench the sides of her dress instead.
Petunia's face paled and her jaw dropped, further exposing her horse-like front teeth. "I-I-I…" she stuttered helplessly, trapped under Narcissa's glare.
"Narcissa darling?" Lucius' voice called, his tone questioning and slightly worried. He had been afraid that she wouldn't be able to handle herself during today's visit and Narcissa hated to prove him right – but one look at Harry's malnourished features and dirty, baggy clothes, and she was deadly afraid that she would be proving her husband right today after all.
Lucius, Draco, and that nasty Vernon man walked down the hallway to find the three of them standing still – Narcissa because she was afraid to make a movement lest she destroy the house in a murderous rage, Petunia because her dark secret was laid bare to a wealthy stranger, and Harry because he had no idea what to do…would Vernon beat him extra tonight because it would be his fault that this lady found his room?
"Petunia? What's the matter, dear?" Vernon asked. His beady eyes took in Narcissa's furious features and Harry's open cupboard, and he instantly tried to backpedal. "Ah, is something the matter Narcissa? Would you, ah, like to return to the parlor for some tea?"
"Tea?" Narcissa sneered, her eyebrow raising dramatically at the realization that Vernon Dursley truly was stupid enough to think he could steer her away from this predicament.
Without turning her eyes away from the Dursleys, Narcissa spoke calmly to her son. "Draco, be a dear and go play with Harry outside. The adults need to have a word."
Draco, unable to see what the fuss was since his mother hid his view of the cupboard, shrugged. "Okay, Mother." He waved to Harry. "C'mon, Potter. Let's go do something. I've heard that children in mug—er, in these neighborhoods like to throw eggs at houses. Maybe we can go do that for fun."
As soon as their footsteps drifted away and the back door shut, Narcissa pulled out her wand and flung the Dursleys into the wall, smiling in delight as their faces contorted in pain at the heavy hit.
"You're w-w-wizards!" Petunia sputtered in surprise.
"Narcissa, dear. Be reasonable. We can't simply torture the muggles. We areattempting to keep a low profile," Lucius advised his wife in a soft voice.
She shot Lucius a withering glare. "I nary spoke a word about your illegal activities during the Dark Lord's reign, Lucius. You will allow me my justice."
Lucius, seeing the determined gleam in her eye, sighed. Stubbornness was a Black family trait.
Narcissa turned back to the Dursleys. "Now," she began in a deceptively calm voice. "Please inform me as to why you force your nephew to live under the stairs like a mere house elf. Andwhy you abuse the poor boy like he was a sewer rat."
"Wha-what?" Vernon said, his body shaking in fear – his wife had told him all about the freaky wizarding world and he knew just what evil these people were capable of performing. "W-We treat the boy like our own son!"
"Lies!" Narcissa growled as she raised her wand again. "Crucio!"
Vernon Dursley dropped to the floor, his body twisting like a sidewinder, and his screams echoing off the perfectly designed pastel wallpapered walls.
"Please! Stop!" Petunia begged as she glanced frantically between her husband and the witch.
Narcissa ceased her efforts, but not before liquid seeped from Vernon's slacks and formed a puddle on the floor. "Stop?" Narcissa repeated haughtily with a forced laugh. "Such a strange word, 'stop' is. It is a word that is used so often yet it is the word least likely to be obeyed. Tell me, Petunia, do you ever think that your sister's son ever said or though 'stop' when you forced him to live like a slave and ensured his unhappiness?"
"No," Petunia answered breathlessly. "We provide him a home. We provide him with safety. We are doing our part, just as Dumbledore asked of us!"
Lucius quickly interjected. "And what did the daft old man tell you, Petunia?" Lucius asked with a cunning look in his eyes.
Forgetting that he was in the room, Petunia turned towards the blond wizard and wet her lips nervously. "He said that Harry was in danger from dark wizards. A-and if we let him live here, with a blood relative, then the dark wizard could not harm him until he became of age."
"Interesting," Lucius mused thoughtfully as he turned to inspect their surroundings.
"So what?" Narcissa snapped at Petunia. "You think that just because you kept the boy alive you deserve credit for doing something right? Crucio!"
Petunia's limbs jerked erratically and a low moan was ripped from her throat.
Narcissa ended the spell and turned towards her husband with a resolved look. "Lucius, I want to kill them."
"Yes dear, I know," Lucius said in a placating tone. "But remember, Dumbledore iswatching the place. We cannot do anything hasty."
Jerking a hand in the Dursleys direction, Narcissa spat, "But we can't leave poor Harry here, either! These muggles are abominable!"
"That may be, but you heard what she said. There is some unknown power that Potter has against the Dark Lord, should he ever rise again, that can only be found with a blood relative. If we kill the muggles then we may lose a key talisman."
Narcissa let out a disbelieving snort. "Ifthe Dark Lord ever rises, Lucius. Be serious."
"True," Lucius admitted with a nod. "Still, I think we need to be pragmatic."
He turned towards the muggle couple who were now lying down in a puddle of their own waste. Both of them were terrified, sure that they would be killed tonight.
"Dursleys know this. We will allow you to live. But you must give Potter his own room and treat him like your own child—"
"—Betterthan your own child," Narcissa inserted fiercely.
"Better," Lucius agreed. "You will not treat Harry like a slave. You will not allow his cousin to bully him. And you will allow him to visit us whenever he likes. Do you understand?" His words were clipped and cold, falling like icicles into the Dursleys' ears.
The muggle couple shared a look and Vernon quickly shook his head. "Yes, yes, of course. We will do anything."
"Good," Narcissa drawled. Using her wand, she lifted the couple up to stand on their feet. "Because if you violate the agreement or tell anyonethat you know that we are wizards or that Harry is a wizard, I will come back." Narcissa walked over and lightly trailed her wand down Vernon's plump stomach. "And I will never allow you to die, even though every night you will beg for it."
Struggling not to faint on the spot, Vernon nodded. Only Petunia had enough voice to issue a croaked response, "Yes."
"Excellent." Narcissa nodded. "Now, we will take Harry with us for the weekend. By the time we return him on Sunday night his new room will be fully prepared. Understood?"
The Dursleys nodded.
"Come dear," Lucius whispered as he ushered her through the home. "Let's be off." He sniffed distastefully at his quaint surroundings. "Honestly, if I am surrounded by this barbaric culture one more minute I may lose my appetite.
Short but sweet! Just one scene, sorry, but I really wanted to update for you all :)
Thank you to everyone who reads and reviews!