Chapter Six: Transitions and Plans
"You've failed me."
Eyes of ice, in emotion and color, swept across the begging form.
"You disgust me."
His hands clenched tight to the wooden rod, his knuckles white.
"And yet, you remain…useful, however slightly."
His hand whistled through the air, pulling the rod with him. The already blood-stained wood struck against the fake, magical flesh, and splinters struck off the sides to embed themselves in the pretense of skin.
"You shall spy for my master in Hogwarts. You have the possibility of reward and forgiveness with success; failure brings death."
Eyes of ice, in emotion and color, met the eyes of the speaker. A nod.
A twisted, evil smirk stretches over the first, cruel face.
"Now you have our deal to rely on- for the time being."
Robes swirling with thousands of years' good breeding and extensive practice, he leaves the tiny, frigid cell.
The smaller figure twitches, the map of his self damaged. Already his form disintegrates, already a hand has disappeared, now wrapped in bandages. Potions and spells, all have no affect on the mindless being.
And yet he still is.
Shaky legs stand on marble-white floors, the owner dizzy from the sudden movement. A pair of arms, swathed in the darkest of black cloth, but whitest of the skin, reach out to steady the younger man, who tenses suddenly before relaxing into the older man's arms. An embrace, not of romantic love, but of a friend to a friend, or a father to a son. Acceptance- for what relation could he have but that of a father? This man, who held him as a father, regarded him as a father to a son, treated him as family.
What had he missed?
The mind behind the Avada Kedavra-green eyes whirred like a computer, rushing through what he knew about the forbidding man before him.
Had there been an ounce of regret behind those hazel eyes, a sliver of that which begs forgiveness?
Shaky legs, supporting a body supported by a father, step lightly across the pristine white hall. Already, the elder man had brought out a nondescript item from within the endless folds and pockets of his robes, ready to transport the two of them away at a moment's notice.
Mirrored red storms into the tiny, misbalanced house, turquoise eyes blazing with a fury uncommon. The sweaters they wear are inside out, their shits not tucked in, their robes only half-on. Brandished wands seem to almost flare with the dual lights of their magic, one left, one right.
"What have you done to Harry?"
The same, disgusted tone explodes from the usually mild-mannered young men, and though they alternated their words, the voices were so much the same that it wouldn't have made a difference if they were singing two different songs at the top of their lungs, for they sound as one.
"What have you done to Harry, of all people? Quiet, unassuming, hurt, confused Harry? The same Harry that saved your daughter, and your son, and not only once, but countless times! The same Harry that treated you as family! The same Harry that thinks with his heart and loves with every breath!
"You foul, despicable excuses for magical beings. I doubt even Voldemort could orchestrate a betrayal this heart-rending and despicable!"
Silence reigned. Although rare, the wrathful beings before them were known well, and best avoided.
"He deserved it."
Pompous tones drawled out from the bespectacled Ministry wizard.
"He deserved it. He took our brother and our sister on dangerous, life-threatening, AWFUL adventures. He nearly killed Ron, didn't he Ron?"
"I have the scars to prove it!"
Silence again, but even more hostile, if at all possible.
"I- WE invoke the right and rite to separate from our blood family given that their views and ours, their decisions and ours do not and could not ever coincide. We invoke as brothers, together as one, for we two are stronger together than alone, and our views have the most minor of discordances. We invoke this right by the air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth we walk on, and the fire we warm ourselves by. We invoke by the properties of life and death, light and dark, time and existence.
"Thus do we separate ourselves from the caste and family of Weasley, and enter our own, pure-blood line of wizards to be known and respected through the name of Weyrd, and let it be known that we no longer wish any ties to this name, this house, these memories, or any of these people."
Doubly invoked, unison-spoke, magic spilled through the air and severed any bonds between them, dulling the vibrant hair to pale orange, lightening the blush-prone skin to bronze. Still-turquoise eyes peered through shaggy bangs before mirrored orange turns oppositely, one left and one right. Eye catches eye, twin catches twin, and the hand of one reaches out to reassure the other.
Each equal in the other's brotherly embrace, they flee the house they once knew to change the sign and the name on their store, their pride, their joy.
"Um, I think we forgot to change our first names, Fred Weyrd."
"I knew we'd forgotten something crucial, George Weyrd. Our surnames no longer truly match our given."
"Either we should remedy that, or not be considered square."
"You're right, matching is for squares! Why, I never! We're much more inclined to being pentagons, don't you think?"
"Oh, most certainly, I find it the most odd, but heptagons are quite odd as well, and far more fitting."
"Oh yes, I quite agree."
How has your summer been, Harry? If I remember, your nightmares were dreadful when we were still at Hogwarts together, and there have been several attacks that have probably disturbed your rest, but I heard that you had tried to learn Occlumency for a while- did that help any? I hope so. Sleepless nights are no stranger to me, and I wouldn't wish them on anyone else, really.
I'm sorry to wait so long to send this letter, since I wanted to send it on your birthday, but Hermione and Ron both sent me letters detailing what a horrible person you are, which I really can't believe. I'm glad that their true faces have been revealed, but I'm really sorry that you have to lose your closest friends because of it.
Harry, I want to form a formal alliance. I think that, even with you being the Boy-Who-Lived and all, we actually have a lot in common, and I heard some of the prophecy while you were listening to it. I almost wish that I were in your place instead. And I think that, with my knowledge of Pureblood traditions, and your raw power, that we can help each other, especially given what some of our other friends have done.
I know that I don't amount to much. I'm clumsy, and my magic is erratic, and I can't even fly well- I have very little skill in defense at all! But I think that something has changed about that. Although yesterday I could scarcely move around the house without bruising myself, something has happened since then, and I don't have that much clumsiness anymore somehow! And I was reading one of our older textbooks, and Harry... I understood it.
I don't like the current political climate at all, Harry. The Gryffindors will rally, mostly, behind Ron and Hermione, the rest of the Wizarding World is sure to reflect that. Please understand my position, Harry. I know that we're friends, but let's make it something stronger.
The once-clumsy boy dripped green wax onto the parchment and whispered the name of the recipient, hurriedly pressing the leaf-shaped seal through to the parchment.
He attached the letter to the family owl. "Ceres, don't get too distracted, and go straight to Harry Potter, wherever he is right now. Stay until he gives you his reply, alright, girl?
The herbologist-in-the-making caressed the golden feathers of the owl he understood better than his 'familiar', and sent her off, a glitter of golden warmth in an expansive blue sky, marred with only the slightest of clouds.
Wish a rushed note to his dearly beloved grandmother, he set out to finally see his parents as a wizard of his highest potential, as opposed to a failure of the pureblooded sort.
An uproar has transformed Diagon Alley. Ex-Hufflepuffs swarm the streets as they rush to fulfill the demands of their employers, the recently-renamed Weyrds. Already, the sounds fill the air, of spells and movement and clutter. People gawk in the streets, for who could ever anticipate that these two steadfast supporters of the light would separate themselves from such a pure and perfect family? Rhetorical questions, like this one and more, fill the air, and the sign is almost complete.
WWW- Weyrds' Wizarding Wheezes, the only whimsically wonderful source for all of your needs in the realms of pranking, fun, and sweets to eat and laugh at.
Turquoise eyes oversee this rush with interest, all four eyes tracking the movements, until finally, the sign arises and attaches to the façade. High five, hug, rejoice in the new day.
Minerva McGonagall stalked into the Headmaster's office, her expression furious. Three days ago she had requested the Headmasters presence in the staff room for a discussion, and three days ago he had asked for a minor postponement. Unfortunately for him, her impatience had gotten the better of herself, and her eyes glittered- until she saw him.
His eyes were glazed over, his chest showed no signs of movement. The usually lively headmaster looked, for all purposes, extremely dead. The green ichor had stained one of his favorite robes, smothered in rainbows and confections.
Her voice hoarse with screams she hadn't heard, she summoned from her rooms one of her best bottles of scotch. Forgoing a glass, she drank straight from the bottle.
"My god… Albus Dumbledore is dead…"
The portraits that heard her snickered a secret laugh, for they felt it was well-deserved. One did not interfere with the concept and presence of free will without suffering a consequence of sorts. Long had they attempted to make it known to the dear headmaster that, yes, he was making a large number of avoidable mistakes. The Dumbledore fortune had quadrupled with his defeat over Grindelwald, and rather than helping others as so many had advised, he had thought only of himself. Instead of aiding and adopting Tom Riddle, thus giving him a better view on life itself, he'd gloried and basked in the warmth of fame.
He had made so many similar mistakes on so many occasions.
Glory, bask, but everything in moderation, for fear of rebellion and rejection. Truer words are rarely spoken or expressed.
Although their owner is ensconced in safety, a pair of eyes flutter violently behind closed eyelids. They recall a time of freedom, and the day that caused it to end.
Narcissa Malfoy had been a kind mother during his early years. It was she who spent her time with him, and she who told him to spread the beauty of the garden to the guests of his fifth birthday party. Before he had gathered the beautiful, white-velvet roses and the remaining seeds for planting to hand out as party favors, his father had summoned him.
The presence of another mind danced at the back of his head, a constant state of worry for his mother. She feared that too many years of pureblooded inbreeding had caused the onslaught of mental disorders in her son, and harried him about the presence, but it was his constant, and it had never asked for another's pain. The comfort constantly offered was a way for him to escape the torment of purebred culture, and thus was it on that day, so many years past.
Draco Malfoy rushed through the quiet of the house to his father's study. Something important was happening, or had happened, and it would not do for him to be late. Three steps before he reached the door to his impending doom, he halted to right himself, for his shirt had come untucked, and his hair danced wildly about his face.
Three raps indicated his presence to his father, and the door swung open to reveal two men, one brunette and the other blonde.
"Draco, our dear friend Princeton Parkinson has come early with his daughter, Pansy, specifically to speak to you. Come forward." The silky tones of his father's voice slid icily down the back of his shirt, leaving him utterly terrified.
Aforementioned Lord Parkinson held in his hands a family heirloom, a necklace filled with the blood of any Parkinson to be married in alliance, as a way to ensure future fidelity and prosperity between the two. Already he stared askance at the child before him, for though he played the part of an heir to a Knight of Walpurgis, or Death Eater, his eyes were too innocent and kind.
Princeton Parkinson knew that the alliance his friend wished for would never occur, and for that, he worried.
Gingerly, he placed the necklace around Draco's neck, before stepping back, and expecting the screams that indicated an impossible match, or the mild whimpers that indicated a cemented alliance between the two families.
The child appeared to glow with an unearthly light, that was most certainly not his own. This light was not the silver-blue of the young Master Malfoy's aura, but an ebony-green that held surprising comfort and kindness.
A childish, disembodied voice spoke tiredly, "It's not nice to take him away from me, you know. For a moment he was gone from my head, and that hurt. He's not yours. I don't think he ever was."
With that, the necklace settled around Draco's neck and lost every trace of magic.
The shock in the room seemed nearly solid. "But those enchantments- Hogwarts' founders- strongest magic I've seen in a century- my goodness, Lucius, I'm perfectly willing to ally our families, any other way than this. Lucius, your son is protected by one of the most powerful beings I have ever had the honor of encountering, and I've been in the direct presence of both the Dark Lord and Dumbledore. I wouldn't want to endanger myself by infuriating your son's protector," Princeton babbled. This, in an of itself, marked a huge change in the behavior of the man, for Princeton never babbled, not even in the direct presence of Lord Voldemort himself.
With a glare, Lucius ripped the necklace from the throat of his only child and dismissed him with a slide of his hand through the air. Unsure of what had occurred, but perfectly willing to flee, he rushed back to his pile of white roses and continued with his plan to beautify the homes of his party guests.
It was that night that the simulacrum had come into being, and that night that Draco felt the deepest rejection from parent to child.
His rest finally settled, the dream-memory over, and the protection of his lifelong companion and of the Shacklebolts led him to dreamless sleep.
Severus knew, the moment that the portkey dropped him into his home's embrace, that he had missed a slew of firecalls. Visitors could leave messages with the House Elves he employed, and each House Elf could relay three different ideas.
His entire House Elf staff stood in the foyer antsily and descended on him like hawks.
"Mister Malfoy called about your godson who is missing and was almost picked up by the Ministry but the Ministry doesn't have him and he almost couldn't find the second one, either,-Missus Malfoy woke up and he doesn't know what to do -Princeton and Periwinkle are having another baby and wanted you to be the godfather - Professor McGonagall called all tipsy-like and said the Dumbly is-"
"SILENCE" roared Severus, brain spinning, eyes narrowed. "Silence. I have a guest who needs to situating. Once that accomplished, I want two light meals brought to the smaller dining room. Following that, I shall accept any and all messages. Also, bank every fireplace but the private Floo- any messages I miss from those other connections I dismiss as unimportant."
With a sigh, Severus stalked, half-carrying, half-supporting his child, with intent on finding a suitable bedroom for his son.
Important information and thought would have to wait.