A/N- This is my first Charlie/Draco fanfiction, so please leave comments! It should be fairly long (well over the 20,000 mark when completed, I think) and I do aim to update regularly. I take critism quite well, so long as there is actually some basis for it, and it is well explained.
Chapter 1- Intimidation
Draco felt more than a little out of place as he walked into an office filled with ginger Gryffindors. He counted in his head, noting that here was, in fact, nine Weasleys present at the gathering, all seated upon the two sofa's and three chairs that graced the usually spacious and empty part of the room. All of them had turned to look at him as he entered the room, as if they had actually expected him to be there.
That was a bit peculiar to Draco, who hadn't known a single thing about them being there, having only just received a note from old Dumbledore, who had only written that he needed to see him immediately.
Oddly, Mrs Weasley smiled kindly at him when he entered, and gestured for him to sit in the empty space on the sofa opposite her, next to Charlie Weasley, who looked slightly nervous.
"Have a seat dear, next to Charlie. I think the headmaster should be along in a moment, and your father should, too." This confused the blond even more, but he nodded mutely, and then sat down obediently next to Charlie. The man was well-known to be the attractive one of the Weasley bunch, though Draco really couldn't understand why. Though the man had very pleasant features, a sort of soft face upon a rather muscular body, one built up from hard labour, Draco could barely even sit next to him.
He knew he was cowardly, being scared of a Weasley, but Charlie's very presence was just so intimidating. He held a darker aura than the rest of them, and his muscle made him lose the lanky look that applied to the other Weasley brothers. This made him scary, and for Draco, that successfully squashed any attractiveness that he may have thought the man had.
Draco found him pathetically scary, especially knowing that the man played with highly dangerous dragons on a daily basis. Whoever said that dangerous men were attractive, clearly hadn't actually met one, in Draco's opinion. He managed to sit still, though, without his lip wobbling in the way it did when he was properly scared.
It wasn't 'conversing with the dark lord' level of terror, but he still did not want to be as close to Charlie as he had been forced to sit.
He leaned back against the cushions, subtly placing as much distance between himself and the red-head as was possible, and tried to ignore the somewhat alluring, masculine scent that had filtered through his nostrils.
It wasn't a specific scent, and Draco could honestly say that Charlie did not smell like a bed of roses. At all. In fact, it was a slightly sweaty smell, one that he did find a bit comforting, warm and nice. It was a scent that only really appealed to people who had spent time in a cosy bed with a nice, comforting boyfriend.
It actually made him miss Blaise, who had been both his first friend, and first boyfriend. They hadn't been together in a long time, but Blaise was the only person that Draco had ever had a proper relationship with, and the Italian had been a good friend as well; even when they weren't dating, Blaise had cuddled up with him for comfort.
Blaise had gone into hiding nearly a year ago, with his half-blood boyfriend; Seamus Finnigan. The blond would have been lying if he said he hadn't been initially hurt by this, though he knew he could hardly run away, with them. Just like really, when he had calmed down, he was happy that Blaise was safe.
They all sat in an awkward silence, Draco trying to breathe normally. It was odd, how whenever one becomes aware of how they are breathing, it is difficult to make it seem to go back to normal, to not concentrate on it.
Eventually, the door opened, revealing a tired looking Albus Dumbledore and Lucius Malfoy, who looked far less proud than he usually did.
The blonde's hair was matted, like he hadn't gone through his usual grooming routine, and his clothes were slightly dirty, which was peculiar, considering that the man was never normally seen in a less than impeccable state.
"Father!" Draco jumped up, almost elbowing Charlie in the process, who quickly moved his head back out of the way.
"Do sit down, Draco. There's no need to be so dramatic." His voice held the usual smooth edge, though he spoke less forcefully than usual, as if he couldn't muster the effort to properly scold his son. Draco nodded anyway, and resumed his seat, closer to Charlie than he had been before as his father had successfully distracted him from the scary redhead.
He coughed lightly, clearing his throat, before turning to talk properly to the elder Malfoy.
"If you don't mind me asking, Father, why are you here?" Out of the corner of his eye, Draco noticed Mrs Weasley frowning slightly, as if unhappy. He first wondered what he had done to irritate the woman, then secondly pondered why on earth he cared. She was a Weasley, and if the youngest were anything to go by, they all had terrible manners.
"We have a problem, Draco." Lucius answered quietly, before picking some of the dirt from his robes as if embarrassed. Everyone else in the room found the motion disconcerting; this was far different from the Lucius Malfoy that the public usually saw.
"Oh? What is it?" Draco turned even further in his seat, so that one of his knees was up on the sofa, so that he could see his father better.
Lucius gave him a reprimanding look for not sitting properly, then sighed, his face looking slightly tired.
"Your mother has informed me of something earlier today."
The youngest Malfoy couldn't even remember the last time his parents had properly talked to each other, but knew he would be considered impertinent if he asked in front of all of these people.
Instead, he nodded sharply, and waited for Lucius to continue.
"According to Bellatrix-" Here, he paused, and Draco joined in
"- May her damned soul rot in hell-" [They both smirked at their little mantra for whenever they mentioned Narcissa's evil sister]
"The dark lord wishes to…initiate you shortly." He looked slightly to the side, the way he always did if he had to say something that he thought was distasteful or not polite for company.
Draco just looked confused, and his hand flew to his left arm subconsciously.
"But Father, I already have that ghastly mark."
"Do not refer to it in that way." Lucius barked out automatically, before he shook himself. "I apologise, Draco. It's a habit, as you know. That's not it. You know that. Your mother bares the mark, though is not an active member, a part of the circle. She is one of the masses, as you are now. Your age is only thing that saved you at the time."
"Then I have been assigned a mission of some kind?" He enquired softly.
"Don't mumble, Draco. And the word mission is hardly appropriate; do not romanticise the whims of a psychopath."
The Weasleys did not appear as surprised as Draco would have thought they'd be; clearly Dumbledore had shared Draco and his Father's views with them beforehand.
"I'm sorry, Father."
Lucius nodded. "You have been ordered to let his inner circle into the castle, where you are to…assassinate Albus."
There were collective gasps of shock from the youngest four Weasley's, who clearly hadn't been given all of the information after all.
"That's very easy to fix, Father. No-one in their right mind would think me powerful enough to kill Professor Dumbledore. I would only need to fake trying."
Lucius shook his head. "You are to be handed a time limit, Draco. Should you fail…" He didn't need to finish.
Those with important missions, who failed after a certain amount of time, were always killed. Horrifically.
"Well, what am I supposed to do, then, Father? I can't kill anyone! Remember, even when the evil bitch made me try and 'practice' on a Muggle I couldn't do it, and they were defenceless! You have to mean it, which is something I simply can't do!"
"I don't expect you to, Draco! Do you honestly think we would be here if that were the case!" He slammed his staff against the floor indignantly, which made Draco jump and Ron supress a smirk.
Lucius' face relaxed a little, and his hand loosened its grip on the staff. "Right, Draco."
Albus Dumbledore now moved forward from his desk , to stand just in front of Lucius, but to one side, so that both could see the young Slytherin.
"Draco, you have been asked before if you wished to become a member of the order." Dumbledore started, and was interrupted with a somehow dignified snort from the Slytherin Prince.
"I said yes, if it were possible, and you said afterwards that it wouldn't be possible. Remember, Professor? I did ask for help, you know."
"Draco! Do not talk to your elders in such a disrespectful way!" Lucius turned to Albus, and inclined his head in the closest thing Lucius got to bowing. "I apologise, I think Draco is just a little confused."
"Oh, that's quite alright, Lucius. You should hear some of the things Harry has said to me."
Both Malfoys expressions darkened at the mention of the saviour, though Lucius' expression was far milder than it once would have been. With him, it appeared to be automatic. With Draco, he had simply copied the expression from his father at such a young age that he found himself applying it to his childhood rival without really thinking why.
"I think I would rather not, Albus. Mr Potter always says exactlywhat comes to his mind."
"Yes, yes he does. I find it like a breath of fresh air after talking to the majority of my associates. I never have to worry about him lying." Albus smiled at Lucius, then turned back to Draco, his blue robes swishing around his feet.
"I could not safely induct you into the order, Draco, however much I wished to. Cornelius has a new law passed. Well, not new, per say. Just…edited. Anyone in the presence of a marked Death Eater is ordered to hand them over to the ministry. As an organisation, he would all have been arrested, every single one of us, including Harry and Ronald. Absolutely all of us, which would have left no-one there to fight. We would have been attacked by both the ministry and Voldemort in one fell swoop. Which is, regrettably, not something I was willing to do."
Draco nodded. It did make sense, no matter how much he hated it.
"And now?" He arched one fine eyebrow in an amazing imitation of his mother.
"Now, we have passed a new law, specifically for young people like yourself, who didn't have a choice, as well as for others- like your father- who have found themselves…disillusioned."
Draco just blinked several times, waiting for him to continue.
"And this is? I cannot think of a single situation which would make it necessary for the Weasley's to all be here to witness this."
Lucius cleared his throat softly, looking a little uncomfortable. This did not instil confidence in any way.
Dumbledore's eyes flicked across the Weasley's, then came back to rest on the only young Slytherin.
"You can now, if you wish, be inducted into the order." Dumbledore paused, knowing that Draco would not be happy with his options. "If, and only if, there is a member of the order who can vouch for you at all times. A spouse."
That was the last thing Draco had expected to slip from the old codgers lips. That was positively absurd.
Draco glanced to his father for help, only to find the infamous cool Malfoy mask on Lucius's face as he stared at a spot on the stone wall.
"Father, is he serious?"
Lucius nodded. "He is indeed. I know you are not happy, Draco, but you should be grateful for the choice. All things considered, that is not the worst thing possible."
His eyes came down from the wall to brush over his nails. "After all, Draco, you should have expected an arranged marriage at some point."
"Then why are the Weasleys here at-" Comprehension dawned on Draco's face and he glared at his Father.
"Just who am I expected to marry?"
Lucius stood up even straighter than before, and straightened out his collar. "The way I see it, Draco, you have three options. One, you try and carry out your task. If this is the case, you should consider yourself disowned. Secondly, you could get yourself…close to the dark lord.-"
"You know I'm not going to do either of those things! How dare you father! I am neither a murderer nor a whore! Who am I supposed to marry?!"
By this point Draco had gotten himself in rather a state, and was shaking slightly, though it wasn't visible, as he knew that he would marry whoever it was. If the choice was between some order member Gryffindor, he would take that over playing concubine to the dark lord.
Only Bellatrix had sunk that low, though she killed people at his will anyway, as he did not consider her important enough to be given the luxury of hiding. She was also insane enough to take please in the acts on torture of murder, no matter who she was attacking.
"We had to think this through, Draco. Most order members are already married, and the majority, as with most groups of people, are heterosexual. No-one can marry if they are already married, despite their state of affairs with their spouse, and the union must, in a certain amount of time, be consummated. After that Zabini, I obviously knew of your…preferences. We could only find two people, and one of them is not yet of age."
Here Dumbledore butted in, ignoring the look he got from the aristocratic Malfoys.
"The one not yet of age, Draco, is the one I am sure you would not have chosen anyway, Draco. Bear in mind, if you chose to wait for the other to come of age, you would be in more danger in the meantime. You would also be married to Harry James Potter."
"Well, I think anything beats that. Who is it?"
"Me." A soft voice to Draco's right cut in to the conversation, and the blond turned to look at Charlie Weasley. He looked slightly reserved, but not altogether annoyed at the turn of events. That was surprising; Draco could not fathom why this man had clearly actually agreed to give up his life to save him from the evil psychopath.
"Why on earth would you agree to that?!" Some of Draco's incredulity slipped out, and his eyebrows rose so high they nearly combined with his hairline.
"Why wouldn't I? I am not a petty person Draco, I know when it's life and death, rather than childish stupidity." His voice was still pleasant, even with the harsh quality that accompanied his words.
He briefly wondered why any Weasley would address him by his first name, before noting that he had never actually spoken with this particular Gryffindor before. At least that was something; he had yet to say something offensive to Charlie.
Draco nodded slowly, and bought his hands up to run through his hair, something he didn't allow himself to do very often as, since it had grown partway down his neck, it left him looking rather unkempt. It was one of those days, however, when he simply didn't care.
He didn't know quite how to respond to this situation; it wasn't something he had been taught to deal with, like courting or dinner parties. He even knew how to go through official proceedings to eventually propose, but everything he knew only applied to pure-blooded women, and this wasn't a situation that was proper or actually arranged. He wasn't quite sure how to cope.
While thinking of a response, something else flittered to his brain, and he was grateful for something else to say.
"What about you, father? Professor Dumbledore said there was an out for you, too. Who are you marrying?"
Lucius laughed lightly, an unexpected sound that Draco very rarely heard.
"I'm not, Draco. Due to the contracts drawn up my mine and your mothers parents, we cannot divorce. This means that I cannot remarry."
"Then what are you going to do? If you stay, he'll just take it out on you."
"You actually worry for me? How unusual, Draco. I am going on the run." He swallowed as if he had eaten something rather large and sour. "Without magic, so I can't be traced."
Draco noticed that his father didn't seem too concerned about this, other than the 'no magic' part.
"You aren't going on your own, are you?" His eyes narrowed slightly.
"No, Draco. Myself and Severus will be leaving, right after the last school day of the year; next week. We will be travelling with two others, order members, until we've thrown off anyone following. Once we've done that, the four of us will hide in a safe house until the end of the war."
Draco processed this, his face turning a little desperate. "Will I be able to contact you?"
Lucius smiled, an uncharacteristic expression that he had been told made him look both younger and far more attractive. "Of course, Draco. I'm not abandoning you. We can exchange notes, you can write any letters, and they will be passed to the secret keeper during meetings. It may be a little while before that is possible, but I will try, Draco."
Relieved, Draco let himself sag forward a little.
"Thank you, Father."
"There's no need for that, Draco. I am your Father. It will make me feel infinitely better to know that you are safe."
Draco turned to look at the man sat beside him, who looked even more intimidating now that he knew he would have to be married to him. It was a scary idea, having to give up his control and lifestyle to someone else. Even since he had come out as gay, he had thought himself as at least an equal partner, if not the one in charge.
He met Charlie's eyes, and the redhead seemed to sense his worries immediately.
"Whatever your imagining, Draco, I assure you, I'm not that bad." He smiled slightly, showing pearly white teeth. The expression was so genuine that it made Draco's own lips curve upwards slightly.
"Yeah, Malfoy's that bad though." He heard Ron mutter, before the youngest male Weasley was chastised by his mother. That made Draco's smile widen somewhat.
They didn't seem that odd, really. It was a million times better than either of his other two options. Draco sighed silently, then pulled on his bravest Malfoy mask.
That dropped, very quickly, when he met his father's fond gaze.
The blond stood up, then ran to his father, giving him a big hug, something that he hadn't done since he was six years old, and had accidentally done it in front of Lucius's business partners.
They hadn't been happy, and Lucius had been embarrassed by his sons behaviour. Draco hadn't done it since.
This time, though, the older Malfoy hugged his son back warmly, both all too aware of their impending separation.
"Thank you, Father."
"That's quite alright, Draco."
Draco pulled away, feeling slightly more emotional than he was used to. He blinked rapidly, then turned to Dumbledore.
"Okay. I'll do it."