Sixth Year!PostOOtp Its Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts and he has to make some hard decisions in order to survive. But will these decisions help him or make him weaker? Martial arts, dueling, anima...
DISCLAIMER: No, I don't own Harry Potter. I just write fanfics for fun and make absolutely no money out of it. It all belongs to the great J. K. Rowling.
Thanks as usual to my brilliant beta Tricia (MuggleMomma).
Narcissa Malfoy sat quietly in a chair by Draco's bedside as the Healer worked on him. Her usually sharp mind was in turmoil.
Today's encounter with Potter had made a few things very clear to her. The boy had power, no doubt about that. She had never felt so much magic in the air around anybody other than that old fool Dumbledore and the Dark Lord himself.
Narcissa Malfoy was a true Slytherin; over the years she had done her research on the Dark Lord and knew all about his origins and had more than a few ideas about his intentions. She knew that all of the Pureblood Supremacy he preached was just a sham to mask his real goals. Narcissa also knew that the Dark Lord was very powerful and that his power went hand in hand with his cunning and ruthlessness. Nobody who had stood against him had survived, save Dumbledore.
Dumbledore, however... he was another kettle of fish. The Headmaster made the Dark Lord nervous, and it was something that was known but never talked about within the ranks of the Death Eaters. For some reason, however, in all the years of the war Dumbledore had never tried to kill the Dark Lord. Some took it as proof that Dumbledore had lost his edge and he didn't have it in him to kill anymore. Others believed that perhaps he wasn't powerful enough to kill the Dark Lord.
Then there was Potter. His mention alone was enough to send the Dark Lord and most of the Death Eaters into fits of rage. He had managed to repeatedly trip up so many of the Dark Lord's plans. Some believed that he was unnaturally lucky. She had spent years listening to her husband and son rant about him and most others had dismissed him as an overly lucky, average-powered brat who just wouldn't die.
Then there was that mysterious prophecy that involved him and the Dark Lord. It was now almost impossible to know what it said, since her husband and a bunch of other Death Eaters had failed to lay their hands on it. They had paid for it, too; the Dark Lord didn't tolerate failure.
She had wondered privately whether the prophecy was about the fact that Potter might be the one who was meant to fight the Dark Lord. Maybe that's why Dumbledore had never tried to kill Voldemort. When she had shared these views with Lucius he had just laughed.
"That brat is a nobody, Narcissa. One of these days his luck will run out and the Dark Lord will crush him like the insignificant pest that he is."
She had shrugged it off and put the thought out of her mind. But today, after the encounter, she wasn't that sure about Potter being insignificant.
The boy had definite power and the look in his eyes had made it clear that he would use it to kill, too. But he had a long way to go, yet. He was not in control of his temper and still behaved like a brash teenager. The Dark Lord had years of knowledge over him. He had delved so deep into the Dark Arts that few in history could come close to his breadth of knowledge. Even considering that, however, Potter was somebody to keep an eye on. He might not be ready yet, but things could change. The boy had Dumbledore on his side and Narcissa now realized that the balance could tip at any time.
One thing was clear to her, though: her son would never be a match for Potter. She would have to make sure to drill it into Draco's head to leave the boy alone.
Narcissa sighed. Her son was a disappointment to her, truth be told, and for this she lay the blame firmly on Lucius' shoulders. From an early age he had drilled into Draco's head all the prejudices and hate that he himself followed. In reward for learning those early lessons so very well, their son had been pampered and spoiled until even Narcissa found it to be excessive. What this led to was that Draco never thought for himself and had tried to mould himself into a clone of Lucius. The problem with this was that Draco didn't have Lucius' power or the intelligence to pull it off, so the end result was less than satisfactory.
Theirs had been a loveless marriage, one more for convenience rather than love. Narcissa had never dwelt on it for too long. Love was unnecessary and overrated in her opinion. Her Slytherin side had craved power and recognition. Money, too, had always been a requirement.
For years she had lived a life of sheer luxury, hobnobbing with the elite of the wizarding world, the envy of most of her peers, but now things were falling apart. Her husband was a criminal on the run and if caught he would be sent to Azkaban for life. Their money and property might be seized by the Ministry if certain things ever came out. Everything now hinged on the Dark Lord winning this war and suddenly she wasn't too sure about that.
Another thing that she couldn't stand was the fact that Draco was well on the path to taking the mark. She didn't want her son to be part of the war, especially now that the Aurors had the authority to kill in defense. Her arguments to Lucius on the subject were totally ignored and this made her more than a little furious.
She wasn't going to lose everything just because her husband had decided to follow Voldemort. She had spent too many years setting things up and making her own place in society to lose it all now.
She looked up when she heard Draco snarling, "Aren't you done yet?"
The Healer looked at him disapprovingly. "Healing a broken jaw is a delicate procedure, Mr. Malfoy, and it would help if you would refrain from speaking."
"Maybe it would help if I got someone more qualified than an incompetent Mudblood like you," Draco sneered.
The Healer stopped what she was doing and looked at him coldly. "Maybe that would be for the best. I certainly don't want to waste my time treating an obnoxious little brat like you."
"Draco, apologize," Narcissa said sternly.
"What? But..." Draco said angrily.
"Now," Narcissa said in a firm, no nonsense manner.
Draco angrily muttered an apology and the Healer began to work on his jaw again, making no attempt to be as gentle as she had been before Draco's outburst. He was healed in a little under a minute and after giving Narcissa a cursory nod, she left.
"That bitch, she purposely made it more painful. She'll get hers when the Dark Lord takes over," Draco muttered sullenly.
Narcissa looked at him in disgust. "I'm ashamed of you at times, Draco. You really think the Dark Lord cares about your petty vendettas? The way you act sometimes makes it seem as if you have no breeding. I know I taught you better than that."
"Are you taking that Mudblood's side?" Draco retorted angrily.
"She was doing her job, and there was no reason to insult her. You got yourself into this mess, so don't take it out on the wrong people. I'm disgusted at the control you have over your temper; it reminds me of a first year Gryffindor throwing a tantrum."
Draco looked outraged at this.
"That's not fair, Mother," Draco replied, his voice cold with anger. "As for today's incident, Potter will get what's coming to him. I'll take care of him for good this time."
"You will do nothing," Narcissa said in a low, furious tone. "You know the Dark Lord's orders; Potter isn't to be touched until he feels it's the right time. You're already in a lot of trouble for what happened today. When your father hears how you were spouting your mouth off about incidents nobody else was supposed to know, and in front of Aurors, no less, he won't spare you."
Fear flashed across Draco's face for a moment before he shrugged it off. "I don't care. Potter has crossed me for the last time. He will pay with his life for it."
Narcissa grabbed him by his shoulders and shook him roughly. "You will do as I say or I will remove you from Hogwarts. Is that clear, boy?"
Draco didn't answer.
"Is that clear or not? Answer me," Narcissa said in a soft voice, filled with threat.
"It's clear," Draco muttered.
As they left St. Mungo's, Narcissa had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach. She knew that Draco would still go after Potter and no promise she made him take would stop him. She only hoped that he either came away successful or that he didn't get too badly hurt by it.
Whatever happened, it threatened to be a bad few months.
Lucius entered the throne room quietly, his body stiff with anger. He had heard the news of his son's humiliation from Keith Parkinson, whose wife had been on the platform to drop off Pansy.
He was sure that by now the Dark Lord would have heard of the incident and that was probably why he was summoned.
"Ah, Lucius, do come in," the Dark Lord called out in a deceptively mild voice.
Lucius kneeled before the Dark Lord and kissed the hem of his robes. "You sent for me, Master?"
"Yes, I have heard a disturbing story about a scrap between your son and the Potter boy. I was hoping you would clear it up for me, seeing as I had forbidden anybody to take any action regarding Harry Potter without my permission," Voldemort said, idly twirling his wand.
"My Lord, I am ashamed to say that the fool went against your orders. He will be punished most severely when I get my hands on him," Lucius said humbly.
"I understand that not only did he confront Potter, dragging along the Crabbe and Goyle children, but he also was mouthing off about some sensitive information in the presence of Aurors," Voldemort said, drumming his fingers on the armrest impatiently.
Lucius cringed. "I believe you are right, My Lord," he admitted. "I have tried again and again to teach him to hold his tongue. It seems I have been too lenient with him. It will not be so in the future."
"That's good to know, Lucius," Voldemort said softly. "I do not like followers who do not know how to obey orders or to hold their tongues. It seems to me that they have forgotten how to be Slytherins. I confess myself most disappointed to see such a weak and undisciplined child coming from the Noble House of Malfoy."
"I shall discipline him and turn him into a follower you will be proud of, My Lord. He will either learn or die."
"I am pleased by your answer, Lucius," Voldemort said with a dismissive nod. "You may go."
Lucius Malfoy got to his feet, trembling with relief. He had fully expected to feel his master's wrath today. As he moved to open the door the Dark Lord's voice stopped him in his tracks.
"Oh, and Lucius, I heard that your son was making some interesting threats using my name. It's bad enough that he disobeyed me and lost to Potter but to then use my name to threaten vengeance for himself..." he trailed off.
"You will make my displeasure of this felt to him, won't you?" Voldemort said silkily, raising his wand. "Crucio."
The castle's walls rang with the screams of the blonde aristocrat.