Old Author's Note (Abridged): This is it: the end. I tell you, it has been on hell of a ride. This story has undergone a complete metamorphosis from what it originally was; thanks for sticking with it anyways. I hope you are not offended by Mr. Weasley's role in this last chapter. I know that it is vulgar and juvenile, but I have had this idea since I started 'Precious' and I could not resist. I want to thank my reviewers, who were helpful, supportive, and wonderful.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. You knew that.
My Angel is a Dragon, My Devil is a Snake
Chapter 14: Fun
During the time between the quidditch final and the OWLs, Draco was so busy with both studying and his prefect duties that he forgot to be bothered by his father's car. The time passed so quickly that the OWLs had come and gone before Draco could have believed it. He supposed that one of the advantages of exhausting himself so completely studying for them was that he could not later clearly remember how awful they were. And after the last test, all the fifth and seventh years (who had just completed their NEWTs) were completely ecstatic. Most fled outside into the warm sunshine that they had not been able to enjoy all year, and when night fell, they all filtered into the Great Hall for the party Blaise had convinced Dumbledore to let him throw.
Everyone was dressed as muggles, and Blaise was playing his recorb, often accompanying on an old piano that he had dug up from somewhere. Blaise, Sally-Anne, and Justin Finch-Flechly were teaching everyone how to dance like muggles and sent McGonagall into fits with some of their more risqué moves (it was bad enough, she said, that boys and girls went about showing their legs off to each other). Despite himself, Draco was having a good time sipping on a butterbeer and watching everyone make fools of themselves. Millie seemed to enjoy herself too, though it was hard to tell as she kept nodding off. Finally, Draco decided to walk her back down to the dungeons then go to bed himself.
"G'night, Draco," Millie murmured, "Thanks for walking me down."
"Good night, Millie. I'm sure you were brilliant on that last test."
"You think so? If I did, it was only because you helped me so much; I don't know what I would have done without you."
Draco blushed, "It was no problem, really. Um..." Draco had the sudden urge to do something very silly; he wanted to kiss Millie good night. He had never done that before, as the only other girl he had ever 'gone' anywhere with was Pansy, and he would have sooner kissed a blast-ended skrewt than her. But he was a Malfoy, and Malfoys always got what they wanted. Before Millie could say anything, Draco rolled onto the balls of his feet (Millie was a good three inches taller than him) and kissed her. "Good night, Millicent," Draco smiled shyly when he was finished.
"'Night," she replied, looking dazed.
Draco hummed too himself all the way up the stairs to his dorm.
Draco shared a sly grin with Millicent as they entered the Great Hall for the leaving feast. For the first time in four years, it was decorated in green and silver, announcing to everyone in the castle, had they not known already, that Slytherin had won the house cup. As usual, the two biggest contenders had been Slytherin and Gryffindor, and Weasley's ill-fated attempt to turn Draco into a ferret had knocked Gryffindor out of the running. And this year even Dumbledore could not find a way to steal the cup from them as he had done in Draco's first year.
And surprisingly, he didn't even seem to want to try. His speech congratulating Slytherin seemed sincere, and he even went so far as to say, "This year Slytherin house has demonstrated a degree of maturity that outshines any I have seen in any house during my entire career as headmaster. In all arenas, academic, athletic, and extracurricular, they have acted in the most fair and sportsman- or woman- like manner, even in the face of adversity and provocation. Three cheers for Slytherin!" And amazingly, there were.
Draco and Millie shared a grin; it seemed like everything was going their way after all.
Lucius could not stop smiling as he pulled his Viper into a parking space at King's Cross.
He grinned even wider as he heard a familiar voice declare, "Gorgeous car, Lucius."
"You were my inspiration, Lynda," he replied.
"But I see you have a things for snakes; I prefer horses, myself."
"Horses?" Lucius questioned, as he took Lynda's arm in his own (a well-bred wizard always offered a lady his arm, even if he was dressed in muggle clothes).
"The symbol of the Ferrari is a stallion. I like your new clothes. Armani?"
"Of course," Lucius replied smugly.
"No one could ever accuse you of having poor taste, Lucius."
"Of course not; I am a Malfoy."
Lynda laughed, "Of course."
He walked her through the barrier, and they once again claimed the bench as their own. They had not been there long, however, when Arthur Weasley decided to butt in. "Malfoy," Weasley nodded coldly. "Mrs. Hill?" he inquired, holding a black, leather bag in one hand.
"Yes?" Lynda asked suspiciously.
"Hello, my name is Arthur Weasley."
"I know who you are; my daughter told me all about the trouble your son gave the Malfoy boy this year."
"Well, yes," Weasley flushed, embarrassed. "Ron does have a tendency to act before he thinks."
"Well?" Lynda demanded archly, "Did you want something?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, I was wondering if you could give me some help," he replied, fumbling with the clasp on his bag.
"What kind of help?"
"Well, I don't know if your daughter told you, but I work in the Office of Muggle Protection..."
"I rather resent the implication that we need protection," Lynda said coldly, "But what is it you need?"
"Well, you see, I confiscated an illegally charmed object last week that I am sure is muggle made, but neither my partner no I can figure out exactly what it is. I was wondering if you would be willing to try to identify it for us."
"All right," Lynda replied carefully, "Do you have it in that bag there?"
"Yes, here you are," and he opened the bag so that she could see.
She was very still for a moment then started to snicker. "Mrs. Hill?" Weasley asked hesitantly. Lynda started howling with laughter.
"I'm -he he- sorry! Ha ha- This is just too funny!"
"Why?" Weasley asked, clearly embarrassed, "What is it?"
"It's a -he he he- a -ha ha- a -ha ha- It's a -he he he..."
"Lynda?" Lucius said in a disapproving tone, "Get a hold of yourself."
"But it's a -ha ha ha- and he's -he he- he's carrying -ha ha- it around with him -HA HA HA!"
"Um..." Weasley was as red as a beet. Mortified, he snapped the bag closed and wandered back to his wife.
Even though he didn't understand what was so funny, Lucius snickered as Lynda continued to laugh. When she finally stopped, Lynda grinned at Lucius, "I'm sorry, but that was just too bizarre."
"What was it?"
"I'm not sure I should tell you," Lynda giggled, "It's not the type of thing discussed in civilized conversation."
"Oh, come now," Lucius huffed; he was practically burning with curiosity, "You just laughed in a man's face; that isn't civilized."
"But you're civilized, I'm sure," she teased.
"I don't quite know about that; I've done some very uncivilized things in my time."
Lynda started laughing again, and Lucius had the feeling that he had just inadvertently made a joke at his own expense. "For Merlin's sake, Lynda, just tell me what was in the damn bag!"
"No, I don't think I will," she grinned. Lucius realized that she was enjoying this immensely.
"Because you'd use it to humiliate the poor man, Lucius. I know that you hate him."
"Well, if that's the case, I have other ways of finding out. You may as well just tell me and spare us all the effort."
"You're bluffing. And even if you are not, I won't know that unless I call you on it, will I?"
"True, but by then the papers could be involved."
"Oh, for goodness sake, Lucius! It's not that big of a deal."
"Then why won't you tell me?"
She grinned again, "It's just killing you, isn't it?"
"Yes!" Lucius growled, "Tell me, damn it!"
Lynda laughed more. "My shoulder angel is telling me not to tell you, and the devil is trying to decide weather it would be more fun to embarrass Weasley or to torture you. Either way, I'm not telling you."
"What are you talking about?"
"What? Don't wizards have shoulder angels?" Lucius gave her a weird look. "Your shoulder angel is that little voice in your head that tells you to do the right thing; it's a metaphor for conscience. Your devil is on the other shoulder, and he, or she, tells you to be mean to people. Everybody has a cruel side."
"What do these 'shoulder angels' look like?"
Lynda laughed yet again, "It's just a metaphor, silly! Though in the cartoons, they look like miniature yous; the angel has wings and a halo, and the devil had little, red horns and a barbed tail."
Lucius smiled; he knew who his angel was. Unfortunately, he knew who his devil was too; and as he had told Draco, Abraxas would still be with him for as long as Lucius lived. But at least Lucius now knew that Draco was the stronger of the two.
"But I still want to know what Weasley has in that bag, Lynda."
When the Hogwarts Express pulled into the station thirty minutes later, Lucius had still not gotten Lynda to tell him what Weasley had confiscated.
"I'm not going to tell you, Lucius! Flare, honey!" Lynda suddenly declared, pulling her daughter into a hug.
"Hey, Mum," the tall, blond girl replied, looking a bit embarrassed at her mother's enthusiastic greeting. Lucius scanned the crowd for Draco, finally finding him, dressed, as per Lucius" instructions, in the shirt and trousers he wore under his school robes on cold days. Draco was carrying Hades' cage in his hand, pushing a pair of second years down the steps of the train.
"Hurry up; other people need to get off the train, you know."
"Hello, Draco," Lucius, greeted carefully. The platform was a lot more crowded than the Three Broomsticks, and Lucius did not want to embarrass his son in front of all his classmates. But Draco seemed to have other ideas.
"Hello, Father," he smiled, hugging Lucius tightly. Lucius hugged him back.
"I missed you," Draco murmured into Lucius' shoulder.
"I missed you too. Are you feeling all right?"
"Yeah. I just haven't been getting too much sleep lately."
Lucius brow wrinkled with worry, "Why? OWLs were a week ago."
"Yeah, I know. But there's other stuff. I'll tell you later; I want to say goodbye to Millie before we leave."
"All right." Lucius wrapped one arm around Draco's shoulders as the boy steered them around the platform looking for his friend.
It was Lucius who found her, but not by sight. "Don't be stupid, girl. Draco Malfoy would never have anything to do with an ugly thing like you, now come on."
"Draco..." Lucius began hesitantly.
"Draco!" The girl, in whom Lucius could see the ogre blood instantly, smiled.
The girls' parents gaped, open-mouthed as Draco hugged Millicent, then kissed her on the cheek. Lucius smiled and extended his hand when they broke apart, "Good afternoon, Miss Bulstrode. Draco had told me a great deal about you."
The poor girl look positively dumbstruck as she shook his had limply, "G-good afternoon, M-Mr. Malfoy."
"I do hope you will find time to visit us at the Manor this summer."
"Yes!" Draco agreed. "You can practice quidditch with me; we have a full pitch on the grounds."
"Oh, we would love that!" Millicent's mother answered for her daughter, her voice dripping with a syrupy, fake friendliness.
Lucius, who had heard enough from Draco about how this woman and her husband treated Millicent to know what sort of person she was, gave her a chilling stare. "You practice quidditch?" he asked dryly, "Funny, you don't quite have the appearance of an athlete."
The woman was clearly too enamored of Lucius' money to be angered by the insult; she merely flushed with embarrassment, "Well, it has been years..."
Lucius knew perfectly well that this woman had never played quidditch, but ignored the lie in favor of using the opening to praise Millicent. "Then I fear you would be hard pressed to keep up with Draco or your daughter," Lucius replied snidely, "I hear she is one of the best quidditch players Slytherin had seen in decades."
"Too right, she is," Draco agreed. Millicent blushed deeply at the compliment.
"Well, of course, we can leave the children to their sport while we discuss business," Mr. Bulstrode decided to but in.
Lucius smiled mockingly, "I am retired from the Ministry, and I prefer to leave my finances in the hands of goblins; a true gentleman is above such petty matters, don't you think?"
"Uh..." Lucius knew that the Bulstrodes were not in the financial class where they could afford leave everything in the hands of the goblins; what's more, they knew it too.
"Well, I am sure that you would love to meet our other daughter," Mrs. Bulstrode simpered, "She's a liaison with the British ambassador in Germany. I know that she would *love* to meet you and Draco." There was a certain quality to the tone of Mrs. Bulstrode's voice when she said that last sentence that told Lucius that the annoying woman had read the Witch Weekly article. The implications for both Lucius and Draco were quite disturbing.
"Does she play quidditch?" Draco asked innocently. Lucius raised a mental eyebrow; he knew that Draco knew that Angela Bulstrode had never gone near the sport.
"Then I doubt we would have anything to talk about," Draco replied, causing Mrs. Bulstrode to flush. Millicent gave Draco a shy, thankful smile, and Lucius was terribly proud of how Draco had handled himself.
"Oh, hi, you must be Millie's parents," Blaise Valini said out of nowhere.
Lucius nearly laughed at the Bulstrode's reaction to Blaise's manner of dress (short, black trousers covered in metal spikes that looked ready to side down his hips any second and a black shirt that was open in front, showing off his bare abdomen to everyone in the station). Mrs. Bulstrode put a hand to her mouth, looking as if he had offended her sensibilities so that she might faint. Mr. Bulstrode's eyes were bulging out under his low, sloping brow. "Hello? Anyone in there?" Blaise asked, waving his hand in front of Mr. Bulstrode's face. Mr. Bulstrode scowled menacingly and Blaise quickly withdrew his hand.
"Um, anyway, I just wanted to wish you a good summer, Draco, Millicent."
Draco looked questioningly at the tanned boy, "I thought that Dumbledore had adopted you."
"It's still going to be a few weeks to get all the paperwork cleared up; Fudge is just being an arse because he feels threatened by Dumbledore - I think Fudge had some kind of sexual dysfunction, to tell the truth. I'm staying with Harry and Sirius until then."
"With Black? I'm sorry," Draco said sincerely.
Blaise grinned, "It will be an adventure! I'll be like Jane Goodall, observing the apes in their natural habitat."
"Watch out for fleas," Draco replied sincerely.
Blaise laughed, "Don't worry; I'll have Madam Pomfrey do a parasite check when I get back to Hogwarts. I have to go now; I'll be seein' you. By the way, Mrs. Bulstrode, you might want to pick up some new robes; those kind of... accentuate the size of your arse. Bye, Draco!" and he ran off, the chains attached to his trousers making a loud, jingling noise.
"How dare he!" Mrs. Bulstrode declared.
Draco raised an eyebrow, "You don't like my roommate?" he asked imperiously.
"He was perfectly pleasant when he visited the Manor last Yule," Lucius added.
It was a delight to see how the Bulsrodes stuttered and flushed, trying to cover up their 'faux pas'. But Millicent, (quite a fine girl, really) actually took pity on them, "Um, I think it's time we went home. Have a good summer, Draco."
"You will come over, won't you?" Draco asked, suddenly sounding younger than he was.
"Sure," Millicent blushed, as her parents gave Draco blinding, fake smiles.
"I'll owl you with a time. Goodbye," Draco added shyly.
"Goodbye, Draco, Mr. Malfoy," Mrs. Bulstrode said in a sickeningly sweet tone.
"Goodbye, Millicent," Lucius replied, pointedly giving the girl a charming smile.
"Goodbye, Mr. Malfoy," she smiled back, practically dragging her parents away from them. When they had passed through the barrier, Lucius shared a look with his son.
"Well, that was certainly an... experience," Lucius said.
Draco grinned, "Blaise had perfect timing." They both had a long, hearty laugh, but eventually, it tapered off, and Draco sighed sadly, "Millicent really deserves better than them."
"Yes, she does."
"What's in the bag, Mr. Weasley?" they suddenly heard Blaise ask loudly.
Lucius turned, listening curiously. Draco wandered towards his roommate's voice, and Lucius fallowed until they could both see the blush that covered Weasley's entire face. "Um... we're not quite sure; I need to take it back to the office..."
Blaise grinned slightly; he could obviously tell that Mr. Weasley was hiding something. "I'm sure I could tell you what it is; are you sure you don't want me to take a peek?"
Lucius and Draco watched, amused as Weasley tried to think of excuse not to let Blaise have the bag. Finally, it was Black who took the matter out of his hands. While Blaise kept wheedling Weasley for the bag, Black crept up behind the balding man and grabbed it right out of his hand. Black snapped the bag open, an expression of confusion on his face. "What, by Merlin, is this?" he asked, pulling the object out of the bag.
Blaise got one glance of it and began to laugh hysterically, while the Grangers, who had been exchanging pleasantries with the Weasleys, look scandalized. "It's a vibrator!" Blaise shrieked; which only served to confuse the wizards more.
Mortified, Weasley snatched the bag and the 'vibrator' out of Black's hands, tossing the object, which Lucius had just noticed to be phallus shaped, into the bag. But he could not seem to help asking Blaise, "So, um... what is it used for?"
Blaise made a visible effort to compose himself, wiping tears out of his eyes. "It's a sexual aid device. You put batteries in it-"
Blaise giggled, "Yeah, batteries. When you turn it on, it vibrates, and you put it in... well, whatever orifice you want stimulated."
"Arthur!" Mrs. Weasley gasped, completely shocked. "Don't you dare bring that thing into the house!"
"If I may ask," Blaise ventured, trying desperately to suppress his giggles, "What was it enchanted to do?"
Mr. Weasley blushed such a bright shade of red that he looked as if he had stuck his head inside a bucket of paint. Almost everyone assembled began laughing so loudly that whatever reply Weasley might have made to Blaise's inquiry was drowned out. Draco was laughing so hard that Lucius grabbed him about the waist, afraid that he might fall. This was a little difficult to manage as Lucius himself was laughing so hard that tears were steaming down his face.
Lynda walked by, grinning widely. "Get a hold of yourself, Lucius!" she teased. Flare just shook her head, trying to hide the fact that she, also, was laughing.
Lucius managed to compose himself just enough to wish Lynda a nice summer. To be honest, he didn't really want to stop laughing. Making such a spectacle of himself in public went against everything he always believed, but it felt good to laugh. Lucius hadn't felt this good in a long, long time. And Draco was enjoying himself, too, which, of course, meant everything to Lucius.
When the laughter tapered off, and Draco was standing on his own again, gasping for air and wiping tears out of his eyes, Lucius asked, "Are you ready to go home, son?" Draco nodded, clearly still too out of breath to speak. "Let's go find your trunk, then."
Lucius shrank Draco's trunk; it was easier to carry and fit in Lucius' car that way. Once they had fought their way through the crowd, Lucius led Draco to where he had parked the Viper. Draco was glancing around curiously; he had never walked this way before.
Once they were more or less alone, Lucius took the opportunity to ask Draco, "So are you willing to tell me what has caused you to lose sleep recently?"
"Oh, you know. Stuff."
Well, Draco was certainly being cooperative, Lucius thought wryly. But that did not mean that Lucius was going to let it drop. "Is this about Millicent?"
"Some. More like... girls in general."
Lucius raised an eyebrow. "Go on."
Draco flushed and looked away, "Well... I was wondering... when is it okay to... you know."
"No, I'm afraid I don't know."
Draco shook his head, "This is stupid. I always knew that you were supposed to wait until marriage, but lately everyone has gone around bragging about all the girls they've shagged or boys they kissed, and sometimes I feel like I want to, but I don't know if I really want to or what you would think, and I don't want to do anything to make you disappointed in me, and I'm not sure what Millie wants or even if she's ever thought about it and... stuff." Draco had to take a deep breath after blurting out everything all at once. Lucius took the opportunity to concoct a reply; he had never anticipated having to have this conversation with his son.
Finally, he asked the one question he most feared the answer to, "Do you love her?"
Draco looked at him seriously. "I don't know."
"Then I think you should wait until you do know." It seemed like the best answer at the time.
Draco smiled, apparently glad to have Lucius make the decision for him, "Okay."
Lucius sighed inwardly; he knew that he had merely managed to stave off the inevitable. But that was a thought that could wait until another day. They walked on in silence, finally finding Lucius' car among the other parked vehicles.
"So this is it," Draco remarked, as Lucius unlocked the passenger side door for him.
Lucius looked up. He knew that Draco was resistant to the idea of his having a car, and as much as he loved it, Lucius would get rid of it in a second if Draco openly asked him to. "Yes. I thought that you might enjoy a ride in it; it's much faster than the ministry limousines."
Draco merely nodded as he got in his seat, Hades' cage on his lap. Lucius bucked Draco's seat belt over his narrow waist and closed the door, then walked to the driver's side of the car. As he got in, Draco asked inquisitively, "What does this button do?"