Lucius winced at the pain knifing through his leg, the cold air suddenly knifing through his cloak, the knowledge of betrayal twisting through his gut. The smell of fresh blood still coated the inside of his nostrils, mingling with the sweet fragrance of the night flowers blooming just on the other side of the Manor's gate. His leg felt ready to fall off. He stopped to gauge how much damage the Auror's damn severing charm had done.
"Good evening, Mr. Malfoy."
Lucius' head jerked up, silver eyes widening behind the white porcelain of his mask. He found himself staring at the tip of a wand - ash, dragon heart string, thirteen inches - held in the olive skinned hand of a broadly grinning wizard. The other man's hazel eyes glittered in an all too familiar way. They glittered that way when the wizard had a Muggle before him, begging mercy. They had glittered that way in school, every time Slytherin had won a Quidditch match or the house cup, every time a Gryffindor had gotten in trouble, every time their owner had gotten the best grades in the class.
"Fidel." The name left a sour taste in the back of Lucius' mouth. For formality sake he asked, "What are you doing here?"
The other man laughed, the same warm, rich laugh that had filled seven years of Lucius' schooling with a shared sense of triumph. "You know perfectly well what I'm dong here, old friend." The fond title rolled off the other wizard's tongue like over sweetened honey. "I'm here to betray you. I'm here to get the reward the Auror's are offering for the capture and destruction of Death Eaters. Don't." Fidel twitched his wand slightly as Lucius' hand slipped back toward his own. "Don't move, Lucius." Warning softened the other man's voice, brought it down to a cold whisper. "I want to turn you in alive, more money that way, but if you make me, I'll kill you. Just stand up and come along quietly. It will be that much nicer for you if you do, I think."
Slowly, mind frantically searching for a way to escape, or at least to stall, Lucius stood. "It was you." He accused, the words a statement rather than a question, a calm acknowledgement of fact. "You were the one who told the Aurors that we were going to be attacking those idiots the Fitzroys." His lips lifting in a sneer that echoed in his voice. "You seem to have given them the wrong time. They weren't there in time to save that sniveling Muggle lover and his get."
"Oh please." Fidel laughed again. "You think I wanted Byron Fitzroy alive?" He snorted in derision, unknowing or uncaring that Lucius' statement had been sarcastic. "With him out of the way, I can get my new mining operation set up and the hell with the fact there's a snidget reservation where the quarry will be. I wanted the damn environmentalist gone! And you, old boy, have given me the perfect opportunity to both get rid of him and fund my project."
"You have a rather odd way of showing thanks." Lucius noted.
Hazel eyes widened in mock hurt. "But I am showing thanks, Lucius! I'm not killing you." He seemed to consider this a truly generous move, despite his earlier, less noble reasons for wanting the Lord of Malfoy Manor breathing. "Now, be a good man, put your hands on your head and come over here."
"You aren't even going to let me say goodbye to Narcissa?" Lucius slowly raised his hands to the top of his head. He'd be damned if he marched willingly to Azkaban, but he wasn't seeing any way out of his current dilemma.
"Come, come, you insult me!" Fidel glowered. "I'm not stupid enough to let you out of my sight, and I'm not stupid enough to walk into your, I will not even call it a house, lair. Your wife can write you in prison. Now, let's go!"
Both men jumped at the interruption of a third voice, soft and cross yet delicate, as if the fragrance in the air had been transformed into sound. It was hard to pinpoint its exact origin as it came from the shadows beyond the wrought iron of the Manor's gate, but it was the sweetest sound Lucius thought he'd ever heard.
The night lit up in a flash of green wind spiraling out from the tip of eleven inches of mahogany and phoenix feather. Through its ghostly, wavering illumination, Fidel got one look at his killer before his heart gave out, his lungs seized up, and his brain malfunctioned, dropping his lifeless form to the ground. His hazel eyes, now filmed and blank, continued to stare as the Manor gates swung outward and a slender figure wearing a white dressing gown, swathed in a black cloak, stepped into the moonlight.
Lucius turned to the figure, his tone one of calm reproach, as if his life hadn't, a moment ago, been in danger. "Narcissa, what are you doing out at this hour? You'll catch your death."
"You almost caught yours, husband." His wife replied calmly, the pale pink of her lips twitching at the edges in a porcelain face to match his mask. It was shadowed only by a curl of her silver-gold hair, leeched as pale as her skin by the moon. "I was worried for you and so I thought I'd wait up. I happened to be looking out the window when you arrived and I saw that," she nodded her head dismissively at Fidel's body, "harassing you, so I thought I would come see if the damsel in shining armor could come save the knight in distress." She smiled broadly as her husband laughed. The smile lit up her grey-blue eyes. "I must say, I'm a bit amazed I had enough power to pull that spell off. I rather thought I'd wind up distracting him so that you could finish him off."
Still chuckling, Lucius walked over, limping slightly, and wrapped his arms around his wife's waist. "Such a clever woman." Pale lips pressed to pink softly, one hand drifting to knit its fingers in a moon drenched fall of silver-gold hair. "It shouldn't surprise me if you had the power to rule the world."
Narcissa laughed. "Well, before we go that far, let's at least take care of the body."
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