The Power He Knows Not Is…
Disclaimer: Hopefully by this point in the fic we've established that I do not own 'Harry Potter', or any associated copyrights or merchandise. It's all J.K. Rowling and her business associates. Not me.
Notes: Just thought I'd spend a few chapters on Draco's perspective. Enjoy.
CHAPTER 13- (Draco Black- Pause. Reflect. Part 1 of 3.)
"I should be back a few hours after dark. If I'm going to be later, I'll send a message with one of the elves."
"Whatever." Draco said dismissively as he stood just inside the Viaticus room. 'Yeah yeah, get going, scarhead. Go play with the other blood traitors.' He thought, trying to muster up enough anger for a scowl to see Harry on his way.
"Toodles." Harry gave a final nod and Apparated away.
"Finally!" Draco Black exhaled explosively. "Now I can…" He trailed off and blinked. Slowly, his shoulder's slumped with as he came to a depressing realisation "Wander around this bloody house and try not to cry with boredom." He finished with a sigh.
Ever since Harry had taken 'custody' of him, at Narcissa Malfoy's suggestion, Draco had rarely been allowed out, and never without supervision. At first, Harry had been content to keep him under a sort of house arrest. From the way Narcissa had been acting, Harry expected that the Death Eaters would have picked Draco up the first time he showed his head out the front door. After that, he would have only lived long enough for either Voldemort to get another body, or his insane aunt Bellatrix to lose her patience and kill him in a fit of pique.
Besides, Draco did not have any actual friends. Just other Death Eater children that were cowed by his father's reputation and standing as a leading member of Voldemort's inner circle. However, since his father's incarceration and fall from grace, the Malfoy name was now actively working against him.
He had managed to convince Kreacher to deliver some letters to some of those people, without telling either Potter or his mother, to see if they were willing to take him in, or allow him to visit. Vincent Crabbe. Gregory Goyle. Pansy Parkinson. Theodore Nott. He had sent letters to them all.
The owled response he had received had left him deeply uneasy.
Harry had shown him the replies when they had arrived. Draco had not known until that moment that incoming owls, especially ones not accepted by the wards around Grimmauld Place, went through even more scrutiny than people arriving through the Viaticus room. Harry had the opened letters, along with their envelopes, floating in the air with a shielding bubble around them that Draco could not identify. Harry then went on to explain just how many portkeys, tracking charms, compulsion charms, poisons, hexes, and curses were infused into each piece of paper.
Draco's mother had then entered the house and proceeded to tear strips off her son for his stupidity. It had been an unpleasant afternoon. Lucius, when he was angry enough with Draco to dole out actual punishment, usually applied the Cruciatus Curse to him for a few seconds. He would have preferred five minutes of that, to his mother's angry and fearful tears that afternoon.
The lesson was clear; his life was in danger if he tried to keep up with his old crowd. They were all seeking to become Death Eaters themselves, the same as he had been. Their parents were actively encouraging that desire, the same as his father had been with him. Any way of furthering that ambition was to be grabbed with both hands. If any one of them had fallen into the circumstances Draco found himself in, he would have tried the same things they did.
Draco had felt a vague sense of sadness about that realisation. He had actually hoped deep down, in a secret part of himself, that they might have considered him a friend despite all the crap he had put them through for as long as he had known them.
So, he was well and truly stuck. Walburga Black, Sirius' mother and the previous matriarch of the Black family, had spent a large portion of the Black vaults in her support of the Dark Lord. Harry's godfather had drained the rest. He had barely one-hundred thousand Galleons to his name. The various Black properties were gone, sold by both Sirius and Walburga. Harry had inherited the sole remaining house. Draco had noted that some investments and shares in a few businesses were still in his portfolio, but that selling them was inadvisable, considering that they were the only source of income he currently had available to him.
Which was another thing that annoyed him. While Harry couldn't just stroll into the Black vaults and fill his pockets with Galleons, like his godfather had, neither could Draco. Harry completely controlled Draco's access to his finances. And while it meant that when the time came for Harry to hand over control of the vaults they would be filled with substantially more gold than they were at the moment, he wanted to be able to spend those Galleons now!
Patience was not a strong personality trait of his.
Draco thought, though, that Harry might have been feeling guilty about keeping him cooped up. It would explain the demented outings that insufferable scarhead had begun dragging him out on.
-:FLASHBACK THE FIRST:-
"Exactly why am I dressed up in this ridiculous clothing, Potter? I look like a skinny Dementor." Harry looked back at Draco, who was standing at the threshold of the Viaticus room, plucking at his clothing with an expression of distaste on his face. He, like Harry, was clad head to toe in black. Black long-sleeved shirt, black jeans, black dragon hide boots, with a black balaclava in his hand. Harry noted that the shirt was bulging slightly around the middle, and wondered if Draco realised that his 'girlish' figure was getting away from him. He certainly wasn't going to comment on it though. Not after last time.
The hissy fit that had resulted from him asking Draco about a couple of dark-blond strands mixed in with his silvery hair a few days ago did not bear repeating.
"Because I am continuing your education about what you would have really been joining, had you become a Death Eater this summer, and we will need to be as inconspicuous as possible." Harry replied.
Draco rolled his eyes. "So where are you taking me?"
"One of Voldemort's hiding spots." Harry said bluntly.
"…SAY WHAT?" Draco screeched, after taking a moment to process that statement.
"Draco." Sighed Harry, "Have you ever wondered why Tom Riddle doesn't have a vault at Gringotts? Why he sponges off his supporters and Death Eaters as much as they will let him?" Draco looked at him, utterly confused. "When he split his soul in his sixth year at Hogwarts, he 'died'. Magically speaking. In a way."
The Black Scion cocked his head to the side, showing his deepening confusion. "Huh?"
"For magical contracts to work, especially the banking ones the goblins use, a wizard or witch's soul interacts with the magic infused in the parchment, or key. It prevents anyone from trying to open a vault without the owner's permission. Having damaged and warped his soul the way he did, any magic that tried to get an 'imprint' of his soul to make sure the contract would bind specifically to him, would fail. It wouldn't register. Despite how obscenely powerful he is, magically, he can't even do something simple like get a Gringotts vault key to work for him." He shrugged.
Harry hoped he was explaining this right. It was hard enough for him to make sense of what he could decipher from Riddle's knowledge, and the anger associated with those memories. The Dark Lord's inability to make use of a normal magical contract had indirectly led to the creation of the Dark Marks he used on his followers. It had also contributed to his dislike of non-human intelligent races in general, and the Goblins in particular.
"So, to make sure he has money available if he needs it, he has four big cache's spread around England. We," He points a finger from Draco to himself. "are going to clean out the largest one. Tonight."
Draco stared at him in abject horror. Defying the Dark Lord, trying to stop his plans was one thing. Robbing him was very much the other. "Your insane. Completely, utterly, incurably insane."
"It's been said before, usually by The Daily Prophet. What's your point?" Harry smirked, enjoying the odd colours Draco's face was turning. Mostly because he knew several things about what they were about to do tonight that Draco didn't. The big one, was that the Blacks had a working prototype of an early time turner in one of the sub-basements of Grimmauld Place.
He had found it in Sirius' journal in the first few chapters. Before Dumbledore's Order had made the house their headquarters, the sly old dog had sealed off the top two floors, as well as three sub-basements. The private Black library was there, along with a few other bits and pieces. Sirius figured that if the Order had known of their existence, they would have at the very least removed them. He felt that they were his, and later, Harry's, to do with as they wished.
Harry was grateful. The 'time turner' was actually a series of rooms, layered in Runes, with a control dais in the main room. It wasn't elegant, or very compact. But, it could send you back up to three days at a time. He had been spending an inordinate amount of time in there, repeating each day at least twice. He read everything he could get his hands on, and practiced what he learned. He also planned. And, as in the case of today, could do several things at the same time.
Harry's outing with Draco today was actually his fourth for that 'day'. He had already cleaned out Voldemort's other three cache's.
Half the Galleons went to an unnamed vault at Gringotts, to be used to address the evil Voldemort had done at a later date. Reparations to families harmed by the war, donations to charities and benevolent institutions and the like.
The other half, along with any gold, precious stones and anything else of that nature went straight in to a high-security vault beneath one of the Potter properties. Harry would decide what to do with them later, as well. For now, they would become his emergency cache.
Dark objects were assessed by the goblins, and either neutralized or destroyed. For a fee, of course.
Any items discovered that were actually stolen, Harry would put aside. He asked the goblins to find out who they belonged to, or their descendants. He would return them, in due time.
When he finally gained another body and discovered this theft, (as Harry was sure he would,) the Dark Lord was going to go spare trying to figure out how his secret places had been looted and destroyed at exactly the same time. With luck, he would become quite paranoid. Maybe the Order had finally lifted their game, or there was a new group after him. If Harry was really lucky, Voldemort might even do a purge of his inner circle, trying to find a traitor within their midst.
Harry had Apparated the two of them to a dark corner of Belfast, in the Republic of Ireland.
"Voldie set this one up in the sixties." Harry explained. "The English government and the Irish Republican Army have been killing each other, and everyone else that wandered into range, for most of this century." Harry explained. "From what I understand of his memories, there was so much crap happening here all the time, that anyone could pull something here if they were careful. Toss in a highly-capable and utterly ruthless magic user, and he managed to hide a huge tunnel system from everyone, directly under the city." He chuckled mirthlessly. "Voldie got a real kick out of sealing up and putting under the Fidelius Charm an English Government-dug network of tunnels."
Draco absorbed that information silently. "So, where are they? Are they still under the Fidelius? How do we get in?"
"We're standing on top of it." Harry pointed across the street. "The entrance is right over there, hidden by more mundane but longer lasting charms. The Fidelius failed somewhat when he lost his body. Again." He smirked. "And you get to wait here, while I disarm Voldie's security measures."
"What! Why? I could do it." Draco shouted indignantly.
Harry continued smirking. "Doubt it! They all have Parseltongue triggers. Stay here and don't annoy anybody." He ordered as he Disillusioned himself and walked away.
"Did the Fidelius fail, that Halloween night he tried to kill you, the first time?" Harry nodded, grimacing. "If it failed, how come no-one found this place?" Draco asked as the teens walked through a dank, ill-lit tunnel. He was glancing around in a manner both disdainful and fearful. It was not a look easy to carry off, especially while wearing a black balaclava, but he managed it.
"I said it somewhat failed. Voldie didn't exactly die, either time. To my knowledge, no-one has ever studied what the effects of what becoming a Horcrux-having, non-corporeal wraith-thingy, would have on a Fidelius charm." Harry replied. "And who says no-one didn't?"
"Do you mean, that someone did?"
"Yeah." He sighed. "They seemed to be non-magicals, mostly homeless people. I guess they were looking for a place to sleep, or something. I vanished what little was left of them before I came and got you." Harry's shoulders slumped. He was sick of death, especially death caused by Voldemort. "Like I said, the protections Voldie had on this place were formidable in the extreme. He didn't want anyone finding this place. And if they did, he didn't want them getting away to tell others."
"Oh" Draco contemplated that, not noticing that they were approaching their objective until he bumped into Harry's back. "What?" He looked up, startled.
In front of them was a round door, made of solid steel. Around the edges were what looked like black metal snakes. Their tails imbedded in the stone walls, while their heads were pointing towards the centre of the door. In each mouth was a bar that was attached to the door itself, holding the door locked. It looked very intimidating to Draco. Beside him, Harry snorted, looking almost amused by the sight of the forbidding doorway.
"Arrogant prick." Harry shook his head. "All that power, and he's not the least bit original."
"He copied the doorway from the Chamber of Secrets." He pointed a finger at it. "Watch this." He winked, and whispered an order in Parseltongue. To Draco's amazement, the snakes began writhing and curling up on themselves, their tails pulling out of the walls. The door then swung outwards silently.
Harry started forward, then paused and looked back at Draco, who was still staring at the door with trepidation.
"C'mon Draco, nothing'll bite you in here unless I ask it to. Your safe."
Draco shook himself out of his daze, and glared at Harry. "And that's supposed to reassure me?" Without giving Harry time to retort, Draco brushed past him and through the doorway.
Harry had been leading Draco down a long corridor, lined with the wands Voldemort had taken off the dead bodies of his enemies, when the young Lord Black had stopped and pointed.
"What. In the fuck. Is that?" Draco pointed at the...something...that was sitting in the corner of the hallway, blandly watching their progress towards it.
Harry drew his wand as he strode towards the thing that was squicking Draco out. "That, is what happens when a Death Eater pisses off his Lord and Master when he's feeling especially creative, Draco." He explained as he started looking around the back of the thing.
"What?" Draco repeated weakly. It was grotesque. A naked brain was floating in a slightly cloudy liquid, encased within a large globe of glass. Veins could be plainly seen pulsing slightly across its surface. In places, the veins seemed to merge into a network of plant roots, which went down into the floor of the room, and upwards to a bunch of what looked like Venus fly traps sitting on top of the globe. And at the front, attached to the brain by a couple of tendrils of muscle and nerve-clusters, was a single, unblinking sky-blue eye.
Harry stopped his explorations and looked at the brain. "Some random idiot, one of Goyle's cousins I believe, screwed up a monitoring operation of some importance to Voldie. So as a lesson in irony, he removed the guy's brain and stuck it in that set-up so that he would always have a 'live feed', as it were, of whoever makes it this far." Harry shook his head in disgust. "It's a monitoring system. He sets it up wherever he needs something constantly watched. The roots and the flytraps gather the nutrients the brain needs to stay alive, while the eye looks at everything. When Voldie wants to view its memories, he either uses Legillimancy onit, or pulls the memories out and reviews them in a pensieve. The pensieve I'm looking for right now."
The rest of that night had been a blur of opening various doors, unshrinking trunks (brought by Harry), and removing everything into those trunks. All in all, Harry spent over five hours gutting the place of everything remotely of value or interest. Draco just watched it all float past him in a kind of daze. Gold. Jewellery. Galleons. Muggle money. Valuables. Files. Portraits. Libraries of books. Even a few family Grimoires.
Draco was astonished at the sheer volume of stuff the Dark Lord had stolen over his lifetime. 'And Potter recons that there are three more like this, spread over England.' He thought to himself. Deep down, he was starting to become glad that he wouldn't be anywhere near the Dark Lord when he found out about this theft. There would be more than one of his servants fed to that giant bloody snake of his, Nagini.
When Harry was finally done, he shrunk everything back down, and put it all into a bottomless pouch. He had then made sure that Draco was on the other side of the giant doorway, before drawing his wand and unleashing Fiendfyre through the door. When Draco gathered his wits together enough to ask, Harry merely stated that he was depriving Voldemort of a resource.
The coldness in his voice as he spoke rattled Draco enough that he didn't even think to ask if he was going to get a share of the spoils, just for being there.
-:END FIRST FLASHBACK:-
More Notes: The idea that Sirius Black would have blocked off portions of Grimmauld Place to keep an area private for himself and Harry is not really an original one. The example that sticks out most in my mind is a story called 'Guardian', by an author called Logicalmagic. (ID: 5157533). A good story that has sadly fallen by the wayside, and has not been updated in nearly four years.
-END OF CHAPTER-