Disclaimer: Harry Potter, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of Warner Bros. They are used here for entertainment purposes only.
Warnings: Slash. Kisses.
Spoilers: None. Written Pre OotP.
Chapter 1 - Of Weakness
The moon was high and bright, sitting amidst feathery clouds and dancing among the stars, the night Draco Malfoy finally admitted the truth to himself. A feeling he couldn't quite describe had been bothering him all day, and he'd made his way into the Hogwarts gardens hours past curfew to think about what he couldn't quite put his finger on.
It was the soft, almost romantic way the moonlight fell across the roses growing in droves before him that clued him into what was happening to him. He was feeling something he'd never felt before, but had seen often enough. He'd sneered at the idea whenever he'd seen someone express it. He'd used it against people when it suited him. It was love.
Draco hadn't thought of love in a long time. When he was ten, his father had crushed his dreams of romance and ever-after. They'd been shopping in Diagon Alley, for some reason or another, and had stopped at a luscious restaurant for lunch. Lucius had explained to Draco that it was time for him to learn about what was expected of him as heir to the Malfoy estate. Lucius had listed for Draco the redeeming qualities that Narcissa had that made her the perfect Mistress of Malfoy Manor.
She was loyal to a fault.
She was born of a pureblood family. A rich pureblood family.
She'd been a virgin upon marriage.
She'd been impeccably trained from a young age in manners and wifely duties.
She was cunning and ruthless.
She had a world class education.
She was beyond reproach and would never embarrass the Malfoy name.
These were the things Draco was to look for in a future wife. Draco had frowned and asked of love. His father had looked down his nose at him.
"Love is weak, Draco. Like glass. It looks pretty, when twisted into shapes with sweet words and given the right setting, but its still glass. Delicate. It breaks easily enough. Love makes a man weak, Draco. It gives him a weakness. When you want to kill a man's body, son, you don't go for a leg or an arm, you go for his heart. When you want to crush a man's spirit, his soul, the thing that makes him fight for what he thinks is right, you crush his heart. You're a Malfoy. You're not meant for a weakness like love."
Lucius had politely thanked the waitor who'd just brought them their lunch and pointed out a couple on the other side of the restaraunt, sitting dangerously close to one another. The brown-haired man looked absolutely enthralled with the blond bombshell, who was twirling a hair around her finger, gazing into his eyes lovingly. They were whispering to each other, in a room so noisy and crowded that no one could hear what they were saying anyway unless they yelled.
She gave her lover a warm smile and leaned in to give him a quick kiss before picking up a grape and feeding it to him.
Lucius snorted. "How cliche."
Draco smiled smugly. "See? They're in love."
Lucius raised an eyebrow at his son. "That man's name is Jonathan Thumb. He works with me at the ministry and has recently seen something of mine that he shouln't. Our Mr. Thumb is a very distrusting person. He's got spells all over his apartment and no one gets in or out at anytime except his fiancee there. They've been planning their wedding for two years. They were sweethearts in school. I overheard his mother once, at a party, telling someone that Sally was the only woman she'd trust with her beloved son. She's designing Sally's dress. He trusts her implicitly."
He smiled coldly.
"I was surprised at how easy it was to get her to agree to kill him for me."
Draco gaped at his father and began to feel sick. "B-but..."
"Draco, every man has a weak spot. And so does the woman he loves. Anybody can be bought, if you pay ther right price. Anybody can be blackmailed, we all have our secrets. Everyone has a weak spot."
Lucius let out a short laugh.
"I, my son, am a master at finding a person's weak spot and exploiting it. It's easy enough to identify your own weaknesses and get rid of them."
Draco stared down at his food for a good ten minutes, listening to his father tell an amusing anecdote about Minister Fudge. He didn't feel like eating. It was when they were just about to leave that Draco glanced over to the sappy couple.
"What was her price, father?"
Lucius halted and smiled over at the couple. "I went with blackmail this time. She's pregnant with his brother's child."
The next morning the papers reported the poisoning death of Jonathan Thumb, ministry official. He'd been found by his fiancee, who would weeks later inform the wizarding world that she was pregnant with a dead man's baby.
Nearly a year later, and a thousand lessons from his father more cynical, Draco was amused to read of Sally Thomas and her engagement to Timothy Thumb, quidditch player for the Chudley Cannons, and brother of her dead fiance.
Taking after his father, Draco had learned how to read people with one quick glance. Find their weaknesses with minimal effort. Exploit their feelings and insecurities to get them to respond exactly the way he wanted them to. It was almost easy, reading people. He'd looked to himself in the early days and discovered his weaknesses and gotten rid of them.
His love for his mother, he'd turned into admiration and distanced himself from her. She'd seemed pleased he was learning his way.
He'd distanced himself emotionally from just about everyone, learning to let them feel close to him so that he could exploit them without them ever suspecting.
He didn't let himself enjoy anything anymore.
He was in control now. He held power. He'd eraticated every weakness he'd come across.
But he'd just found a new one. He was in love.
With Harry Potter.