August 19th, 2008
|melfinatheblue||09:29 pm - Fic: "Even Old Dogs can Learn New Tricks" (Lucius Malfoy, R)|
Title: Even Old Dogs can Learn New Tricks
Author:Melfina the Blue
Length: 4700 words
Main character or Pairing:Lucius Malfoy (mostly through the eyes of Draco)
Canon compliancy: Non-Epilogue compliant
Disclaimer:I own nothing. JKR and WB own everything and I am not making any sort of profit from this.
Warnings: Mention of physical and sexual child abuse, fistfights, cursing, and murder
Summary: Draco gets married and learns a few things about Lucius.
Cards Drawn:Hermit, 10 of Pentacles, and the Tower. Exploding cards were 3 of cups, ace of pentacles, 10 of pentacles reversed, 6 of swords, ace of wands reversed, king of cups reversed, and the star .
Card Interpretation: The Hermit signified someone at a crossroads, someone trying to figure out who they were, and also how to be part of a greater whole after being alone. The knight of pentacles was everyone coming together, success within your grasp. And the Tower was the doom that could befall you if you failed to pay attention to the lessons of your past. The exploding cards became images and characters.
Author Notes:Many thanks to Zephre, who helped me figure out what the heck I was doing.
There was no getting around it; Draco was bored. Bored silly. Pansy and Mother were off doing wedding planning, Father was, well wherever Father was he was probably busy, and he'd been forbidden to leave the Manor because his opinion might be needed. Like his opinion mattered. Pansy did this sort of thing for a living and Mother's parties were always must-attend affairs. So he wandered the halls of the manor, randomly. At least walking was something to do, even if it wasn't that interesting. And then it occurred to him. There was only one room of the manor he'd never been in, only one room he was absolutely, positively not supposed to go into. The Red Room. It had been off-limits for as long as he could remember. He'd asked Mother what was in it once, and she either hadn't known, or didn't think it was a good idea to tell him. Probably the former, since she had never managed to successfully lie to him. He decided it was time to find out how many skeletons his father had hidden in the closet. Given the probable size of the room, he could be keeping a whole skeleton family in there.
He stopped before the door. It was bright red and stood out like a sore thumb in the sedate decor of the hallway. He pulled his wand out and checked for wards. Just Father's usual, the same stuff he put on his study door. If he really didn't want Draco in here, he would have put up better ones. These were a piece of cake to break open. He took a deep breath and opened the door. It was smaller than he'd pictured, and dusty. There was a small roll-top desk with papers on it and stacks of books everywhere. A cane, similar to the one his father carried, leaned against an uncomfortable-looking chair. A portrait of his grandfather hung on one wall, and there was a large, dirty window. He brushed off the chair and sat down. It looked far more uncomfortable then it was. He started to flip through the papers and discovered that they were all very old business stuff from his grandfather's days. Had this been his grandfather's study? It was rather cramped compared to father's. He picked up one of the journals and opened it, then dropped it in shock. There were dirty pictures in it. Dirty pictures with children! Oh god, eww! He closed the book with his foot and shuddered theatrically. Obviously Abraxas had been a pervert of the highest order. He carefully opened the next one. Okay, it was full of writing. He turned to the first page and started to read...
"The boy spilled his milk today. A useless idiot, weak, just like his mother. Cried during the punishment as well, so I doubled it."
Draco slammed the book shut. If that was his grandfather's journal, he didn't want to read it, and he certainly didn't want to know what the punishment was. He shoved the papers onto the floor, and noticed a familiar-looking book hidden in amongst them. It was larger than the others, and reminded him of the book that sat on his father's desk, the one that no one but his father could read. He picked it up and opened it.
"There are days I wonder if it would not be better to unburden myself to her, allow her to know about the nightmares, the foul treatment I received at the hands of one who I should have been able to trust. But then I think better of it. Would she not think less of me, that I allowed myself to be treated like that, that I allowed such indignities to be perpetuated upon my person? I was weak, and I do not want her to think me so. My fear no longer controls me, I will not let it."
Draco flipped ahead. He found a page partially torn. The handwriting was a scrawl, barely recognizable as his father's.
"I've grown used to watching my every word, my every motion. I must always be a Malfoy, whatever my thoughts. But in front of him...
Even my thoughts are not safe. His curse still makes my muscles shake, even now, so many hours after it was first cast. I must learn to control even my thoughts, or things will not end well."
He flipped ahead again, stopping at a page stained with water.
"Today, there are no words. I held her as she cried and there was nothing I could do. Nothing. I've never felt so helpless. The healer told us it was unlikely that she would ever bear a living child, that her anatomy makes it difficult and dangerous. I've told her it doesn't matter, and it doesn't. I'd rather have her by my side than raise a child without her. And the thought of being a father terrifies me. More than anything I fear becoming him, repeating his mistakes. There are times I catch myself looking at a boy and thoughts that are not, that can not be mine rise from the depths. I never want to hurt a child like that, mudblood, muggle, or pureblood. There is an evil he infected me with and it frightens me.
And though she grieves today and my heart bleeds for her pain, I cannot help but feel relieved. She can never know that. Never. I could not bear to see the look of disgust in her eyes."
Draco closed the book. It had never occurred to him that his father had ever felt the way he did. He was always so composed, so sure of himself. But here on these pages was evidence of doubt, of questioning. His father had agonized about things, worried about how he came off to others, just like he did. And just like him, his father had struggled with how much to tell someone he loved. He wondered briefly if his father had ever told mother about what Abraxas probably did. Then he heard his mother calling for him. No doubt an opinion was needed about napkins or some such. He picked up the book and left the room, carefully replacing the wards behind him.
//The Ten of Pentacles//
It had been two days since Draco had discovered his father's old diary. Lucius had apparently gone on a business trip and forgotten to mention it to anyone. Or possibly snuck off on purpose to get a few estrogen-free days. If it was the later, Draco was going to be very annoyed with him when he got back. After all, he wanted to escape from the wedding planning too, but no, he had to be there to listen to Mother and Pansy debate endlessly about napkins. Or flowers or tablecloths or whatever the heck the argument of the day was. It wasn't as if he had any sort of opinion on them, anyway. He didn't care, and even if he did, he didn't think they'd listen. Honestly, at this point he just wanted to get it all over with.
Lost in reverie, Draco hadn't seen his father enter the room.
"Father. Where have you been?"
"You sure you didn't escape from the wedding planning?"
"Draco, my dear boy, would I leave you to deal with that all by yourself?"
"Yes, if you could come up with a good excuse."
"You wound me, my dragon, wound me to the quick."
Draco smiled in spite of himself. Lucius gently lifted his head.
"And there's that smile I was looking for."
"Father, I'm not a small child."
"Given that we're currently planning your wedding, I would certainly hope not."
Draco scowled theatrically and Lucius chuckled.
"You're not allowed to leave me alone here again till after the wedding."
"Too much estrogen in the air for you, boy?"
"I just don't give a flying fuck about napkins or themes or any of that crap. And don't call me boy."
"Language, Draco. And themes?"
"Something about having a themed engagement party. I believe they were considering merfolk. I suggested Quidditch, but was told that was not appropriate."
"Merfolk? Why merfolk?"
"I suspect it has something to do with mother and Pansy both looking good in blue.”
“Quite probably. Now, my dragon, what say we escape for the afternoon?”
“Apparently my opinion is needed.”
“They're just saying that so you'll feel involved. If either one of them is really annoyed, you can blame it on me.”
"So where are we off to?"
"I was thinking the Appleby Arrows game. You can watch Potter's team get trounced."
"Watching Potter get his arse kicked. That's always a good time."
"You're a man of simple pleasures, Draco."
"Probably a good thing. I'd have a devil of a time convincing Pans to marry me if I was into complex pleasures."
Lucius laughed for a moment, then grabbed Draco's arm.
"Come on, let's go before your mother and fiancée can ambush us. We'll have a lovely afternoon mocking Potter's team. Why he decided to go for the Cannons is beyond me. He looks horrid in orange."
"Obviously, only the worst team in the league would have him."
Lucius nodded in agreement and pulled Draco close to him.
"You're coming along by side-along. Otherwise we'd have to go out the front door, and your mother would likely see us."
"When did you adjust the wards to allow Apparation from the study?"
"Just mine, and about a week after I married your mother. She does like to keep tabs on people, and I think it does her good to confuse her now and again."
"Ah. You just wanted to get out and have a quiet drink now and again, didn't you?"
"Possibly, possibly. Now come along. Game starts at 2 and it's half past one now.
Draco and Lucius popped out of existence, just as Narcissa stuck her head in the door.
"Draco? Drat, where did he get to? Draco!"
It had been a long time since Draco had gone to a Quidditch match with his father. In fact, the last game they attended might have been the Quidditch World Cup where the Death Eaters marched. And that hadn't been as much fun as going to an Arrows game. The Arrows were Father's team, and he had a tendency to get very involved in their games, even yelling and making rude gestures. And of course, as a long-time and loyal supporter, he always got the best seats. He followed father up the stands to the sponsor's boxes. Standing guard in front of the entrance was Smith, the usher. Draco remembered the bag of jelly babies that Smith always had on hand for him.
"Afternoon, Mr. Malfoy. Good to see you at a game again. And is this young Draco? My, you've grown up, sir. Spitting image of your father. Still got a taste for jelly babies?"
"Hello, Smith. Yes, this is Draco. What's the game looking like?"
"Should be a halfway decent match. The Cannons only hope is for Potter to catch the Snitch quickly, and I know our Beaters will be aiming for him. Could be a violent one."
"Is there any other kind?"
"No, sir." Smith rummaged in his pockets for a moment, then pulled out a small, crumpled bag.
"Here you are, young Mr. Malfoy. A fresh bag of jelly babies."
"Thank you," said Draco, taking the bag. "I haven't had these in years."
The five minute horn sounded, and Smith opened the door into the box. It was made almost entirely of glass, specially spelled so that no one but the players could see in but the sponsors could see out. It was also very crowded. Obviously everyone had turned out to see Potter. The room quieted at the sight of Lucius, who decided not to notice.
"Come along, Draco."
Lucius walked to his normal seat in the front of the box, and glared daggers at the man sitting in it until he left. He then brushed off the seat with his handkerchief and sat down. The woman now sitting next to him glared.
"Excuse me. Rude much? Who died and made you king?"
Her accent marked her as an American. Lucius turned to her.
"I have been an extremely generous sponsor of this club for nearly thirty years. So kindly mind your own business."
"Tiffany, leave it," the man who'd gotten up for Lucius said.
"I will not. He took your seat."
"Tiffany, he's probably the most powerful dark wizard in England. Leave it."
"I'm not scared of him."
The woman began poking Lucius in the chest with each word she spoke.
"Listen here you arrogant fucking faggot, get the fucking hell out of my boyfriend's seat. He might be scared of you, but I'm sure as hell not, and...ow!"
Lucius had grabbed her finger and was slowly bending it backwards.
"Manners, young woman. If you touch me again, I will break your finger. Now, find somewhere else to sit, and do not use such language in my presence again."
He released her finger, and she pulled her hand back against her chest. Her other hand slipped into her purse, presumably for a wand. Draco grabbed that wrist. If father got in a fight, it'd be all over the Prophet the next morning, and Pansy and mother would both be pissed. He was a bit surprised when she punched him in the jaw. Lucius' reaction was immediate. He grabbed the woman by her throat and held her up against the glass partition.
"Touch my son again, and you'll not live to regret it."
He dropped her, and turned to Draco. She scurried off. Draco rubbed his jaw ruefully.
"Are you injured?"
"Just a bit sore, Father. She had a good right hook."
"Well, come and sit down. The game's about to start."
Draco sat next to his father, and looked out at the field. The players filed out, shook hands, and mounted brooms. He started as something cold was pressed into his hand.
"Here's your drink, Draco. I chilled it to numb your jaw."
Draco looked at the frosty glass his father had handed him.
"What is it?"
"A Welsh Green Dragon."
Draco wondered for a moment how his father knew what his favorite drink was. And then the game began. He took a sip of his drink, expecting to breath fire, and instead breathed ice which momentarily fogged the window in front of him.
"Draco, what exactly is in that?"
"Midori, vodka, and some Welsh cider called, um, Gwynt y Ddraig, or the Dragon's Wind in English. Of course, the muggle version doesn't let you breathe fire, but I didn't know you could chill this and breathe ice."
"Oh. I think I'll stick to brandy."
Lucius punched Draco gently on the arm and turned to the field. Potter was now circling rather close to their box. He noted Draco and made a rude gesture. Apparently he was still holding a grudge about the Weaselette thing. Honestly, how was he to know that she and Potter were engaged? It wasn't as if he ever paid any attention to Potter.
The box erupted in cheers as Potter took a Bludger to the head and fell to the field below. Now the Cannons had no chance. In less than five minutes, the match was over, and the Cannons' meager hopes for the pennant with it. Draco tossed back the rest of his drink and looked at his father.
"Well, now what?"
Lucius pondered for a moment while finishing his drink. The boy really did need some time out, and the game hadn't lasted long enough.
Draco wasn't sure about this. Drinking with his father was not going to do anything for his image. On the other hand, he'd never really seen Lucius properly drunk and might never have the chance again.
Lucius had almost reached the door while Draco thought. He paused, allowing Draco to catch up.
"So where are we going?"
"Arrow's Head. It's always entertaining to drink with the team afterwards."
Draco nodded and followed his father. If nothing else, it was likely going to be an interesting afternoon.
The Arrow's Head pub was so named because that was where the supporters of the Arrows met with the team to buy them drinks, bask in their reflected glory, and generally have a good time. It was even decorated in the team colors. Harry couldn't help noting that his uniform clashed horribly with, well, everything. He wasn't exactly happy to be here, but the other team members had been most insistent. It was considered polite to go have a drink with the opposing team, no matter who won or lost. So here he was, deep in Arrow country, with an aching head and the Arrows Keeper and one of their Chasers both staring at him.
“You alright, Potter? Want something to drink?” the Keeper asked. “Your teammates might kill me if I let you go dry.”
Harry shook his head no. A drink, as nice as it sounded, would probably make his head hurt worse. The chaser flipped her hair back, and leaned into the table.
“Wow, check out who decided to show up. It's been years since I've seen him in here.”
“Robin, he is one of the team sponsors. He can show up whenever he likes.”
“He's a Death Eater.”
“And a very rich man and the reason we have a pension fund for injured players.”
Harry looked over at the door, to see who they were talking about. Lucius Malfoy was standing near the doorway. He looked better than the last time Harry had seen him, but since that had been at the Battle of Hogwarts, not a huge surprise. There'd been a trial, and Malfoy had managed to weasel out of all charges. Apparently he was good at that sort of thing. He shifted a bit, and Draco came into view, standing behind and slightly to the left of his father. Harry stood up, ignoring the queries of his table mates, and walked slowly over to him.
“Potter,” Draco said, and then Harry hit him.
It wasn't a long fight. It was in the best interests of all concerned to keep Harry Potter from killing Draco Malfoy, no matter how intent Harry seemed on doing so. Soon enough Harry was pulled off Draco, but not before he'd given him a bloody nose and lip.
“Potter, let it go. It was a one-time thing four years ago.”
“YOU SLEPT WITH MY FIANCEE!”
“FOUR YEARS AGO! And I didn't know you and she were that serious.”
Harry struggled mightily against the men keeping him from wrapping his hands around Malfoy's neck. He was going to kill that bastard!
Lucius had apparently managed to miss the entire thing, what with flirting outrageously with Robin and all. He was moderately surprised when he turned around and noticed Draco had managed to collect more bruises.
“Draco, what is going on?”
“I'LL KILL YOU! ALL OF YOU!”
Lucius raised an eyebrow as Potter continued to rant. Obviously he was unbalanced.
“Father, I think perhaps we should leave. Potter here seems rather determined to make a fool of himself.”
“Well, he is a Potter. It runs in the family. Shall we wander over to Diagon Alley?”
The two Malfoys swept out of the pub, leaving one fuming Potter behind.
Lucius and Draco stood outside a small shop just outside Knockturn. It had a bright new sign that proclaimed “Fortune Telling for a New Age. Don't just see it, experience it!”
“This is new.”
“Father, divination? Really?”
“Because it'd be a waste of time?”
“We're spending a leisurely afternoon away from the women. There is no such thing as a waste of time. Besides, I'm running out of places to take you. I can only think of one more, and that's being saved for your stag night.”
“Fine, but they're telling your fortune, not mine.”
“So sure of what your future holds?”
“I don't know, but I like the way it looks right now. I don't want anything to spoil it.”
“Very well. Come on.”
Lucius opened the door and stepped into the shop, Draco following close behind. The shop consisted of a counter, and a wall with three doors. The man standing at the counter folded his Prophet and looked up at them expectantly.
“Would you be wanting the full experience, good sirs, or just a taste?”
“The full, I think,” Lucius said as he laid a galleon on the counter.
“I've Madame Zelinka free right now, but she'll only do one of you for that.”
“That is acceptable.”
“Middle door then. Enjoy.”
Draco opened the middle door. Inside was a parlor, or at least that's what it looked like. Except for the large table with a scrying pool in it, it looked like most of the parlors he'd been in, full of uncomfortable antiques. There also didn't appear to be anyone there. He looked back at the man on the counter.
“She'll be in momentarily. Go ahead in and have a seat.”
Draco nodded and sat in one of the armchairs. Lucius swept in behind him and sat at the scrying table. They waited a few moments, and then a young woman entered the room. She wore muggle clothing, and was reasonably attractive, in a Ravenclaw sort of way.
“Good day, sirs. I am Madame Zelinka. Now, who wishes to see their future?”
“I do,” said Lucius. Zelinka sat down at the table with him and waved her hands over the pool.
“Well, sirs, the experience is similar to watching a memory in a Pensieve. There is generally some sort of guide, often heard but not seen, and it is important to remember that the future shown is only one of many possible. Shall we begin?”
Lucius nodded and the room seemed to fill with smoke. Next thing he knew, he was sitting in a dark area, watching as Daily Prophets spun by and a disembodied voice spoke...
“Lucius Malfoy was elected Minister of Magic in a landslide. No one was sure how he managed it, everyone seemed to think it was a bad idea and no one would admit to voting for him, but someone obviously had. Even Malfoy couldn't pull off that amount of election fraud, could he? And now they had an ex-Death Eater in the highest office in the land. Most people blamed the reforms of Kingsley Shacklebolt. Obviously allowing the people to choose the Minister directly had been an awful idea. People were idiots, everyone knew that.
Does this make you happy, Mr. Malfoy?”
It took Lucius a moment to realize that the voice was addressing him.
“Yes, but how do I manage it?”
“How you get to the top is not the point. The point is what happens while you're there.”
“I don't understand.”
“Hopefully, you will.”
Photographs flew past him, images of him and Narcissa, of himself giving speeches, of addressing the Wizengamot. Of an era of peace and prosperity, and a Wizarding World properly insulated from the filth of the Muggles.
And then he was in the Minister of Magic's office, watching himself talk to Harry Potter. Or rather watching Harry Potter shout at him.
“Don't think I don't know that you bought the election!”
“My dear fellow, please calm down. Have a drink.”
“I won't stand idly by and let you do this. This has to stop and I'm going to stop you. You wouldn't be the first would-be despot I killed.”
Potter pulled a gun and pointed it at Lucius. Lucius reached for his wand, and the gun went off. He staggered backwards, looking down at the rapidly spreading bloodstain across his chest. He collapsed backwards onto his desk, and then the scene faded to black.
“The Minister of Magic was gunned down today by the madman Harry Potter. Apparently Potter did not approve of this new age of peace and prosperity. Lucius Malfoy, you will be sorely missed.”
“That's it? I become Minister, and then die?”
“More or less. You get quite a bit done, considering your short time in office.”
“So, what's the point of this? Aren't you supposed to be my guide?”
“Yes. So listen up. What this lovely little tableau fails to show is that by the time you become Minister, you're married in name only, and your son hasn't spoken to you in three years. You chose power over family, and your family came to hate you for it. You did that once before, remember? Remember the Dark Lord? They forgave you once, they won't twice. Make a decision. What's more important, your family, or power?”
Lucius was suddenly in the small parlor again. He blinked, then looked over at Zelinka.
“That was interesting.”
“Take what you need to from it, but remember, it's only one possibility. Make your choices wisely.”
She stood up and walked out of the room. Draco stood up as well and walked over to his father.
“Well, what did you see?”
Lucius looked up at his son. He'd never really been one for showing affection openly, but now felt like a good time to start. He stood up and hugged Draco, who stiffened, then relaxed.
“What's this for?”
“Just wanted you to know that I love you, and I'm proud of you, and I always will be.”
“Father, how about we go home now, before mother and Pansy decide we should both have our balls hexed off?”
“Sounds good to me, Draco, sounds good to me.”
I struggled quite a bit with how to connect three very distinct parts in a thematic whole, as well as how to incorporate the exploding cards into the fic. Two of them were fairly obvious. The Ten of Pentacles became Abraxas, and the Star was Narcissa. For the rest, I ended up trying to incorporate their images either into various characters or just referencing the images themselves. The 3 of cups became the merfolk-themed engagement party, the reversed King of Cups became Lucius' lust for power, and the Six of Swords became Harry Potter and his grief and anger over Ginny's betrayal. The Ace of Pentacles was a bit more difficult, and ended up becoming Lucius' ability to use his money to get what he wants
Such a unique look into the lives of the Malfoy boys - you've made them very real, very human, very...normal, lol. I like it. You remind us that everyone has a story, everyone has problems to go home to, and that everybody needs a bit of family (or family-of-choice) to get by. Nice entry!
Thank you. Glad you liked it.
hee hee! I love how in a Malfoy-centric universe, Harry Potter is a crazed and dangerous individual. :-)
Well, of course. He stalked Draco for a year, after all.
I liked this fic. It was interesting to see Lucius with a slightly more human, or maybe that should be humane, side. I'm not entirely convinced he has one in canon as such but I like seeing it in fanon, so long as it's not overdone, which I don't think it is here.
The sideline of Draco's impending marriage and is feud with Harry was done to just the right degree too. Bravo.
Thank you very much.
I know my humane Lucius comes directly from DH, and what we see of him there. I still think he's a villain, but a villain with a human side is far more interesting to me then a inhuman monster. It's an interesting thing to explore... How can someone either turn a blind eye or actively participate in atrocities and then go home and be a father and a husband?
(the fact that he's an aristocratic English blond played by Jason Isaacs has absolutely nothing to do with it, nope. )
I was rather pleased with the whole Malfoy family in DH, I knew there had to be some feelings and humanity in there somewhere, we'd already seen Narcissa's love for Draco in HBP and it was nice to see something, anything from Lucius too.
(The aristocratic English thing sort of passes me over, being a Brit myself, although I agree Jason Isaacs does bring a certain something to the role)