AN: Welcome to Affairs of Modern Art: An alternate universe dramione. Nothing's too different from original Harry Potter so don't be afraid. Please review.
Blaise Zabini scanned his parlor room with great disappointment. It held several of his most prized possessions, yet it was the one room in his giant house that he felt was missing something. This particular something would tie the room together completely and every day he didn't have it was a day he would wake up displeased. Fortunately, today would be the change of all that displeasure because a good friend of his was going to rectify everything and get him what he wanted. Or at least that's what so he desperately hoped.
The dark green curtains were preventing the light from coming in but the room was dimply lit by the large marble fireplace. It really was a beautiful place to relax or entertain company, but Blaise couldn't relax knowing that the perfect portrait was missing from his ownership. It was so very unsettling.
He heard the footsteps in the hallway and waited in a black cushioned sofa placed diagonally in the center of the room. When his guest arrived and cleared his throat, Blaise called him over and invited him to take the seat next to him, never taking his eye off the spot on the wall.
Draco sat and followed Blaise's line of sight. He was confused. They didn't appear to be looking at anything, although there was a curved wall light designed to show off a painting, but no painting to speak of. He waited for Blaise to say something to explain his bizarre behavior and went back and forth from staring at the wall to his friend.
"I didn't expect you to be here so early," Blaise articulated. "Who let you in?"
The silver grandfather clock in the corner of the room said it was just half past seven o'clock in the morning. Draco didn't usually wake up until hours later when the sun was well into the heights of the sky. "It was your little girlfriend. She seemed worried about you and now I am too. Your owl seemed urgent. Did you call me over here so that we could stare at the wall? If you did I have half a mind to slap you senselessly. Please tell me you haven't lost your mind."
Blaise shook his head and took a deep breath. "No, I haven't lost my mind. There should be something hanging in that spot but it's missing."
Draco looked back at the wall and raised a brow. "Was it stolen?" It was impossible to get onto the property unless you were expected company so he found it an incredible feat that anyone could steal anything from this house.
"No, nothing was stolen. I need to ask you for a favor, Draco. It's a rather large one and it won't be easy."
"You want me to steal a piece of art for you?" he sighed with anxiety. "I'm no thief, Blaise. Why don't you just buy it and save yourself some trouble? It's not like you're short on funds."
"Draco, please. If I could buy it then I would own it by now. It's not for sale. You don't have to steal anything, but I do want you to get it for me." He stood and got closer to the wall then swiped his finger along it in the shape of a rectangle. "I've thrown a countless amount of Galleons at it but with no such luck. For two years I've been trying to get that painting in this room but the curator of the gallery simply refuses." It was his life's mission to become rich enough to afford to buy anything he wanted. The one thing he wanted was unattainable and that made him want it even more. "It's called 'Stream' by the famous French artist, Ariadne. It hangs in a Parisian gallery owned by the most inflexible woman I've ever met. She is a most formidable opponent. However, I've never been one to give up before. Why should I start now?"
Draco was now even more confused and worried for the man standing before him. "That's fascinating and all but what has it got to do with me?" He knew he wouldn't like the answer yet he still had to ask.
Blaise turned and looked him right into the eye. "I've told you that I want you to get it for me, didn't I?"
"Yeah, you also just said it wasn't up for purchase and that I didn't have to steal it. So how the hell am I supposed to get it for you, and legally?"
Blaise chuckled at Draco's innocence. It was so obvious what he wanted him to do, if only he could open his eyes. "The curator won't sell it to me for sentimental reasons but I firmly believe that she would give to you if you asked under the right circumstances. She is a woman after all, and a very good looking witch. She's not my type really but you should have no problem with her."
He looked at the wall again and blinked at Blaise. "You want me to sleep with her so you can get a stupid portrait hanging on your wall? Really Blaise, that's what had an owl tapping on my window at seven in the morning because it was so vitally important? What makes you think I'm even capable of doing something like that? I romance women from time to time but I'm no Casanova."
"Oh, don't sell yourself so short. It'll be child's play. You will just have to be patient. Add a few potions to speed up the process and voilà, instant success. And I'll be paying you for it, naturally."
Now he was intrigued. Draco couldn't be bothered to do anything for free and what he had just been asked to do was just plain weird. He wasn't even sure it would work but money was money. "How much?"
"Ten thousand Galleons."
Draco whistled at the amount and thought about what he could do with ten thousand golden coins. He wasn't poor but he did hate to spend his own money. If it was gifted to him then that was a different situation entirely. He could have loads of fun with that. "I can't believe you want it that badly. Why don't you just seduce her yourself?"
Blaise shrugged and put his hands behind his back. "She finds me repulsive and morally bankrupt that I would pay so much money for something I should find meaningless. She thinks I only want it to prove that I can get anything I want. Besides, I think she would only hand it over if it was an act of charity."
"Can't you get anything you want?" Blaise was a very rich man and if he expressed an interest in something he would own it before the end of the week. Draco mentally applauded his friend for being patient still after two years for a work of art. He could have just confunded her if he wanted to and saved himself the trouble of dealing with her. He must want it fair and square, well essentially fair anyway…
"Of course I can get anything I want. You're going to help me, aren't you?" Blaise extended his hand to make the deal solid.
Draco got up and shook his hand. "Ten thousand Galleons? Sure, why not?"
"Excellent. You'll have to be star crossed lovers before she would hand over something this valuable. I want her to want you to have it and if you make her happy enough then she should hand it over willingly enough. I recommend using a love potion to ensure success. I don't expect you to have it for at least a few weeks but that's fine. I've waited this long for it. I suppose I can wait a little longer. However, she must trust you completely so play it cool, Draco."
He stepped back and smirked. "Please. Don't I always play it cool?" he asked with a scoff before disapparating to his place.