Ch 2 Scars
My scars remind me that the past is real.
Life at the Malfoy Manor went unchanged for years. Walls still dark and plainly littered with mirrors and portraits of ancestors and current family members were scattered everywhere. The manor was home to new Lord and Lady Draco and Pansy Malfoy and Draco's father, Lucius, who refused to leave the place he had lived for several years do to many a reason. The main reason being that he wished to see Pansy produce a proper heir, and sore that he would not leave until he had a grandson, not matter how long it took. Pansy found it all very amusing, much to Draco's dismay. He would have rather his father move in with his crazy aunt and uncle in whatever part of hell they currently resided in.
The only visitors the manor received were those of close family, friends, and Ministry of magic employees. For today, there would be a small gathering of sorts, nothing entirely too pleasant, however. Today consisted of family, friend and co-workers. It would give Pansy chance to talk with someone other than her husband and father-in-law. It would give her the talk time she desperately needed, and the talk time Draco needed as well. For today the Malfoy's would play host to the Lestranges, Daphne Greengrass, and Blaise Zabini.
It was always such a joy for Pansy to see Daphne and Blaise, such long time friends as the they had been growing up and going to school together. It was still nice to hear all of the gossip that floated around the Ministry and everywhere else that she didn't get to visit often. Draco, however, chose Blaise's company over Daphne's, while both Daphne and Blaise talked avidly about their sex lives Blaise was still less likely to go off on a random burst of the latest issue of Witch Weekly, and for that, Draco was very grateful.
That left Lucius with the company of his in-laws. His late wife's sister and husband. He had his favorite, too. Between both Bellatrix and Rodolphus, Lucius would rather spend his time in the study conversing with Rodolphus than with Bellatrix, but the fates were never on his side as he wished they were.
Pansy was, of course, the one to greet their guests, a tradition that she very much disliked but was inclined to continue. From the moment Daphne and Blaise stepped foot inside she began to gush, kissing her friends on the cheeks both, and giving a sickly sweet, "Oh, how you both look! Why, if Draco spent half as much time at home as he does at the prison place, I'm sure he could sparkle as you do, I'm sure." Blaise would smirk and laugh at this, for he could picture Draco sparkling like a girl in one of Pansy's dresses.
And then Bellatrix and Rodolphus showed up. "Oh, Auntie," she said, going for the common greeting with her aunt. "And look at you, Uncle. You both haven't changed a bit! Lucius is upstairs in the study, and if you don't mind the three of us, we'll be out in the parlor." She flashed her in-laws a smile before quickly ushering Blaise and Daphne away. Bellatrix always had a knack for making Pansy's skin crawl and would do whatever it took to quickly leave.
"You make it seem as though you do this sort of thing for a living," Blaise commented to Pansy as they took their seats in the parlor, Draco already having been seated snickered at them all. "I have to say it is quite interesting how you would compare Draco here to our lovely Daphne. Does he sparkle, too, I wonder?"
Pansy sneered. "Oh, shut up, Blaise," she snarled, running a hand through her hair. "I don't recall anyone asking you in particular, or do you enjoy your petty two cents worth a comment?"
The dark skinned man smirked. "Yes, love, I rather fancy what my two cent comments." Daphne rolled her eyes at him before slapping his leg.
"Stop, stop," she snapped at the two of them. "We're not here to bicker, we can save that for supper. I'd much rather know about how our darling Mr. Potter is doing in his home of two - three years? It is always such fun to hear of how he's doing."
"Wasting," Commented Draco swiftly, taking a drink of water as quickly as he could. "Watching his poor boyfriend practically dying before him must have done something, at least. He still believes, I think, that he'll get out, and it's beginning to drain him. It takes the fun out of trying to rile him up, you see."
Pansy eyed her husband warily leaning toward her right, away from him. She studied him a moment before biting down on a red nail. "Why, Draco, do you have a dirty little secret you would like to share?" she drawled, dark eyes flickering up, trying to meet his own gray ones. He would not look at her directly as he smirked.
"None that I wish to share with you, Pansy," he said dryly. "You would spoil the fun. You are known for doing that after all."
"Ah," sighed Blaise dejectedly, folding his arms. "I thought we were here to have fun, and not listen to them fight."
Daphne nodded right with Blaise. "I do hate it when they fight."
Draco scowled at Pansy before leaving the three of them to talk. It was no secret that his marriage was anything but perfect. In reality it was the very same way his own parents marriage had been, before certain actions had been taken. That same action would be with Draco for the rest of his natural borne life, to him, it was worse than having ever cast the Killing Curse on someone, it was worse than having been branded by a man who was now dead. Draco could never forget the look on his mothers face when she was sentenced to death, she screamed in argumentation that her loyalties lied with the Dark Lord. When caught, however, she admitted to it.
Lucius had been the one to kill her. It had been a family affair, Draco recalled. He had stood beside Pansy, his father, Aunt Bellatrix and Uncles Rodolphus and Rabastan stood around Narcissa. He had never seen his mother so broken, so frail, and helpless. Bellatrix had been sorry it had come to down to it, and his mother to all of them said she would be seeing them all in hell. And then Lucius killed her. He never forgave his father for that, but it wasn't his place, and he wouldn't risk the same fate as his mother had.
The blonde man threw open the doors to the library, finding that aunt, uncle, and father had relocated themselves there. His uncle, Rodolphus gave him a nod of acknowledgement, and Draco flopped himself down in a chair near the door, however still within ear shot. They were talking of Ministry business, of course, and Auntie Bella was adding in news from the Death Eaters, which caused Draco to snicker quietly to himself. Oh, what a powerful force the Death Eaters are! She would say to him when he was little. He wonder vaguely if she could hear herself speak. Probably not.
"The matter still stands, Lucius," came the quiet snarl of Bellatrix. "That Resistance, whatever is left of the Order of the Phoenix, is most likely planning their next move. Underground resistances are forming, still. And you know as well as I that while we can subdue we can't entirely cut them out."
Lucius was drumming his fingers upon the arm of his chair. "They all want Potter," he said in a way that made Draco's skin crawl. "They believe that he will still be able to save them, even now."
There was a bark like laugh from his uncle, and Draco leaned back in his chair to listen further. "Isn't it funny? All the hope they have and they can only manage such movements that are easily prevented?" He asked, crossing his arms over his chest. "They mean to leave us a mark of some time, when it was actually Potter who had left enough marks to last us and them a lifetime."
Draco, who could remember everything that happened to him during the times before the war pondered his uncles words. It was entirely all Potters fault that he had been forced into Death Eater ship, forced to protect his mother. He could still remember her crying after him. He was her only son. She had wanted only the best for him. But it was all Potter, he was to blame, as he always had been. He remembered what happened when he and Severus had returned to the Dark Lord that night during his sixth year.
He was thrown forward at once. He stumbled to quickly regain his balance, and as he stood he swayed on the spot. Behind him sulk in a man whose dark figure quickly loomed over the boy, with arms crossed over his chest in a haughty manner. A woman strode in only moments later, looking pleasantly smug, as she normally did after quite sometime. She didn't bother to stop and stand by the man. She made quick to push the boy down onto his hands and knee's, a sneer curling onto her lips as she glared down upon him with her dark eyes.
"Well," she snarled, her eyes never leaving the boy on the floor. "Go on. Explain to all of us why you failed to complete your given task." She had continued, tapping the side of her right leg with her wand, as if she was drumming to a beat. Her lips still curled into a snarl as her eyes fixed themselves on the boy on the ground. She bent her head over, allowing her dark hair to fall forwards, rolling off of her shoulders. When she finally lifted her head, it was to see the quivering man in the back, however before she had a chance to speak, there was a shrill shriek of "Silence!"
All eyes were focused on the back of the chair, and everyone held their breath respectfully. All but Draco, whose breathing seemed to be ragged as though he had done a great deal of running. The man in the chair arose and stepped closer to the fireplace. Reaching a hand out, he placed one hand on the mantle, his eyes narrowing into slits. It was only a matter of moments before he turned around to face the three people who had stormed in. "Silence, Bella, let the boy speak for himself." He drawled lazily letting his eyes slide down to the boy on the floor before back up to the man. "And you, Severus, have some explaining to do on your part of the boys-"
"I didn't do anything!" Draco suddenly hissed, his teeth gritted, and clenched together. He snapped his head up at once, his eyes landing on the very leader of the Death Eaters, a snarl set dead on his face. His hands, balled into fists upon the floor were trembling with anger, and it was at that very moment did he realize that the words that had been uttered from his mouths were not the best of choice words. He opened his mouth, as though he were about to correct himself.
"Exactly," Voldemort sneered, turning around to face the boy completely. The three adults in the room all took a step back. The mans lipless mouth curled into a snarl. "And in doing so you cause great confusion among the rest of our family!" He spat, his eyes narrowing dangerously upon the boy. For a moment or two, it looked as if he had been considering pulling his wand on the boy, and cursing the living day lights out of him. Neither had happened and the man went back to glancing at the fire.
It was then that Snape spoke up, though he did so holding back a disgruntled look. "Master, if I may," he began, at first glancing down to Draco before to Voldemort. "Include the boy on the plans to hunt down Potter. Have him see first hand what it takes to be a real Death Eater. Perhaps put him in the front lines. Plans to release the Death Eaters on the search for Potter doesn't begin until November."
"It would be a wise move, my lord," Bellatrix drawled eyeing Snape before turning her attention back to her master. "Rodolphus, and myself could… take the boy under our wing, until such times as when Lucius will be freed from Azkaban. I assure you that Draco will learn where his loyalties truly lie." The woman continued. She placed a hand firmly on her nephew's shoulder, digging her fingers into the fabric of his robes painfully, causing the boy to wince. A twisted smile crept onto her face as she turned to face Wormtail. "If you'd like, master, I am certain that I'd be able to make a man of Wormtail."
Wormtail, who had been snibbling in the back of the room, straightened up almost immediately, his eyes growing wide. It wasn't long before he was once again gnawing at this nails, in a very rat like manner, his eyes darting about person to person. He had begun to say something, but with the cruel smile that played across Bellatrix's face, his words were lost as he backed against the wall, his eyes all the more wide. If anyone, he feared that woman next to his master.
Voldemort, who had been contemplating his different options, merely ran his hand along the mantel of the fireplace in thought. There was already so much going under why that they couldn't afford any further slip up from the boy. "Very well," The man said, his voice gone deathly low as he turned around completely. His wand had once again been drawn, and it resided at his side. "Bella, take the boy and teach him. However, when plans are put into action, there will be no second chances."
It had been only pain after that and he had thanked the Dark Lord and he had begun training with his aunt the very next day. He had one drive throughout the whole time. Potter had left a mark on him, Pansy was sure to point out every night. The scar that ran along his chest. Now he had Potter right where he wanted him, in Azkaban.
"Draco," snapped Lucius, he was standing up with Bellatrix and Rodolphus. "Dinner's off. Your aunt and uncle have somewhere to be, and they would have dinner with Daphne and Blaise some other time."
"You're still lord of the manor," drawled Draco lazily, one leg slung over the arm of the chair. "Unless you've decided to finally leave." Draco didn't stick around to see what his father would do. He left the library scowling, and sulking all the way back to the parlor.
Blaise looked distraught while Pansy and Daphne were laughing away at something. He almost seemed to have at once perked up when Draco reentered. However, the news that the man had to give them, he could have done without.
"Bellatrix and Rodolphus called off dinner," Draco said, waving his hand. "Sorry you lot can't stay. It's for the good, you know. Pansy and I have a fight to continue from this morning, and Father and I have just started another fight."
Pansy rolled her eyes and stood up promptly. "You, Draco Lucien Malfoy, have absolutely no tact," she snapped, throwing an arm in the air. "You would do us all some good if you spent more time at work then here. More would likely to get done around here and then your father wouldn't have to complain all the time!"
Daphne couldn't have looked more delighted even as she bit down on her lip, tugging Blaise out of his seat. "Oh, Pansy, be gentle with him." she said, linking arms with Blaise who snickered. "We may need him later."
"Because we so desperately cleave his attention," Blaise winked before appertaining with Daphne.
"I hate you," Draco said earnestly, walking away from his wife.
Pansy bit her lip, clenching her hands. "It's Potter, isn't it, Draco?"
They sat in a booth at The Three Broomsticks, watching people as they entered and sat. Daphne drummed her fingers on the table, hazel eyes darting around the place as if she was trying to ignore Blaise who was reading a copy of the Daily Prophet. This was part of their daily routine. They made their stops to their parents, then to the Ministry, and depending on if they had to visit someone they would stop and get a drink at The Three Broomsticks. Luckily for them, their dinner plans had been canceled.
Blaise leaned back and set the paper down. One glace at Daphne told him all that he needed to know. Something had been bother her all day and having heard her snap at their dear friend Pansy just hours ago (while Draco would was out of their company) seemed to have proven it. They lived together and sharing a home with Daphne made him feel as if he had known her for her whole life. After all, they had grown up together, dated on and off in school. Now they lived together and they had many family members wonder why they didn't just get married.
Daphne, Blaise knew, took all information about Potter to heart. He knew why, and he did too. While he didn't give a rats ass about whether or not the man was in Azkaban, the conditions bothered him. To him, Potter was still a Gryffindor who got them into trouble as teenagers.
"Draco needs a different job," commented Daphne before she took a drink if her coffee. She looked thoughtful for a moment before shaking her head. "It's almost like he's trying to kill the loneliness in that place And to add that he actually married Pansy, who mind you, might as well have been his sister."
Blaise snickered. "Love, there is nothing more that Draco would want than to watch Potter suffer." He paused to give it a moment of thought. "However, knowing his family, he'll be bound to loose all remaining sanity and our dear Pansy will become a distraught wife with no children."
"Stop," snapped Daphne, setting down her cup. "You're being horrible, Blaise, and that is exactly what I was thinking."
From there they stopped talking and Daphne studied her nails carefully. To say that she didn't want to talk about that subject was a lie. She wanted to talk her head off, but couldn't in public, and they both knew that. She was worried for Draco and for Pansy. They were her bother and sister at heart, and she feared for Draco's sanity, but knew the Death Eaters wouldn't let him change jobs. As for Pansy, she knew what Lucius would do if Draco wouldn't help in providing an Heir. He would. That man was twisted in more ways than one.
No wonder poor Narcissa did what she did. Too bad it had gotten her killed.
Daphne allowed a small smirk to grace her lips. "So, what's the news on our favorite little Weasley? You know I just love to hear all about her, and what she plans to do.
The man looked at her oddly before scoffing. "What's to say? She wants to play innocent. She claims to just want to see Potter. But she is allowed out on her own now. Everyone at Azkaban knows not to let her in."
Daphne nodded her head. "Brilliant," she replied looking at her drink. "Blaise, you haven't touched your coffee yet."
Luna sat perched on the guard rail of her stoop, a single article of the Quibbler in one hand, and a quill in the other. Her eyes scanned the paragraphs of the page repeatedly before she would eventually write something on her arm and roll her sleeve down. She tugged on the hem of her shorts, shaking her head every so often. It wasn't good, not at all, it made her want to pull her hair out, but it was already to short to get a firm grasp.
Over the course of the past three days she had been rereading the articles of the past two years that the Quibbler reporters wrote. But it was sneaky. The Quibbler now went to France, Ireland, and Scotland, and was owned by the Resistance. It was how they got their information and plans across to different countries without being found. Luna was currently looking at the Irish edition for Oliver's update from a month ago.
It was all a code. But it wasn't. The first letter pf every paragraph was bolded. Those letters spelled out things. They summarized the report. So far, in a poorly written article she had gotten F.O.U.N.D.L.A.V., but it was the way in which the words came together. They were in order! Even Luna knew what it spelled out, and the letters were supposed to be scrambled!
"Stupid, stupid!" She sighed, folding the article. "You're so stupid, Oliver. Bloody going to - to get us caught. You and Romilda both."
Luna Lovegood was far from the strange girl that she had been in Hogwarts. Grown up at twenty one, she lived for the cause of the Resistance. Lupin actually begun to say that she picked up on Tonks personality. She was loud, clumsy, and opinionated, and worked in the muggle world. She, along with Tonks and Lupin decoded the reports in the Quibbler. It was a boring job, but it had to be done by someone.
"Cho," Luna called behind her as she placed her quill behind her ear. "He found Lavender."
The twenty three year old Scotland native shed out of the house, tripping only slightly at the door. "Good. Is he going to try and-"
Luna sighed. "Cho, he's only just found her. And this was a month ago."
"Oh, please, shut up," Cho rolled her eyes. "I've got to go to work, and Roger is coming by later to pick up the papers in the kitchen."
She had never seen the blonde look so flustered in all her life. It was almost worth laughing at, and she had a hard time trying not to.
"Leave off then! You've probably made a right mess of my kitchen and I've only just cleaned it last night!" Cried Luna, jumping off of the railing. "And Cho, when do you plan on telling Oliver?"
But Cho was gone.
A/N: Well, here's the next chapter, and I've finally gotten my internet back! So, this fic, along with others will be getting updated very shortly. Enjoy!