Beren (beren_writes) wrote,

Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 68 - Looking Forward (Harry/Draco, NC17)

Title: Defence, Pretence, Offence - Chapter 68 - Looking Forward
Author: Beren (aka Tasha)
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story is canon compliant until the end of Order of the Phoenix and then goes AU. None of the HBP or Deathly Hallows plot will be used, or the Horcruxes for that matter since this story was planned before we knew the details about those things, and hence has it's own fanon. This includes birthdays and other information that have since been revealed on Pottermore and in further productions.
Summary: The threat of open war in on the horizon. The Order and the Ministry are of one accord and both know that where Harry Potter is, Voldemort will eventually be. Preparations are being made and this time the side of the light will not be caught unawares.
Summer classes, sabotage, revelations about Draco's father, teaching and the final showdown with Voldemort all await Harry and Draco in this exciting sequel to Gold Tinted Spectacles (LJ | AO3 | Wattpad).
Author's Notes: This is the second story in the Hecatemae universe. It starts up just after the end of the first instalment and I advice reading that one first so you understand the premise. Thanks go to my sister Sophie for the beta reading.
It has taken me 12 years to finally get around to finishing this, I very much hope everyone enjoys it.
Link to other parts: LJ | DW | AO3 | Wattpad

Everything seemed to be moving at an incredible rate. Draco knew that time didn't speed up or slow down, but it felt like they were hurtling towards the inevitable at great speed.

Looking around the room, he could tell all their friends were as tired as they were. It had been another long night as they prepared things in secret, pretending that the school was just carrying on as normal.

Ron and Hermione were sitting close together on a comfortable looking sofa, Pansy had a bean bag chair she was curled up in, and Greg was lying on the floor. The Room of Requirement had all their plans in it, so after they had finished their latest tasks that's where they had returned to. Everyone else had already gone to bed, but their group were winding down.

"Do you think he'll really come?" Harry broke the comfortable silence with his words.

Draco had suspected something was coming, he had felt it building in his soulmate. He was sat on a comfortable chair with Harry between his legs on the floor and he had been trying to remove tension from Harry's shoulders that never seemed to go away now.

"Bound to," Ron said.

From a Slytherin Draco would have assumed the response was hyperbole, but he knew that Ron was simply saying exactly what he thought. It was a strange comfort that their number one strategist was so sure.

"Snape hasn't been summoned yet," Harry said and revealed what had clearly been worrying him.

"He wouldn't be a Dark Lord if he rushed into things," Pansy said. "He'll want to make sure of everything before he calls Professor Snape back. He won't let a chance like this pass."

"But what if…"

Draco leant forward, winding his arms around Harry's shoulders and placing his face right next to his soulmate's.

"Even if he doesn't take the bait, we just come up with a new plan," he said. "But he will. He's a madman and he's obsessed with you. He's just a careful one who likes to think everything is his idea."

"His ego has got him every time," Hermione agreed. "This will be no different."

Harry didn't say anything, but leant into Draco.

"Look," Draco decided, "we're all exhausted. We need to stop this worrying and get some sleep. The preparations on the castle are going perfectly, we have everything from this end under control. Professor Snape is the best actor I know and we know the Dark Lord believed him. We just have to wait for the evil bastard to make his next move."

"Yeah," Greg agreed and sat up.

[I can't help worrying,] Harry told Draco silently as everyone else moved as well.

[I know, Love,] Draco replied and kissed his cheek, [neither can I, but, right now, all we can do is have faith. Come on, things will look better in the morning.]

The nightmares had come back to some extent with all the stress they were under, but Draco could hope for a peaceful night. None of them were going to sleep completely soundly until this was all over.

* * *

The situation with Lucius was in no way resolved, and Draco was still having trouble dealing with the idea that he might actually have his father back, but at least he could think about it without panicking now. It had been four weeks since the trip to St Mungo's and he had spoken to his mother about Lucius on several occasions and received two letters from his father, although he had, as yet, been unable to make himself reply, except for short notes of acknowledgement.

Harry had been trying to look into how he had altered the Killing curse to produce the current results, but with everything else going on, it had so far been a fruitless search. This had caused Harry to keep apologising until Draco had had to threaten to withdraw sexual favours unless Harry got over it; which thankfully seemed to have worked. Draco had also sent the Ministry packing when they wanted to talk to his soulmate about it. The war was far more important just at the moment.

It seemed, however, that the Ministry had decided to focus on the problem and that was why Harry had stormed out of breakfast like a dragon with a toothache and they were now sitting outside the Minister's office waiting to be let in. Draco's mother's letter had arrived with the first owls of the morning and he had opened it, expecting it to be the usual update on his father's mental and physical health and some normal family things. It had been nothing of the kind:

The Ministry plan to move your father to Azkaban without trial. They want to make an example of him whether he is the same man or not. Your father is still weak and the healers have warned me that Azkaban could kill him in days. I do not know what to do, my son; I cannot stop them.

While Draco had sat there in shock, not knowing how to react, Harry had read the letter and made the decision for him. The anger resonating through Harry had been quite breathtaking, and it had only been Draco's Slytherin desperation not to let Harry do something very stupid that had calmed Harry down enough so that Fudge had not found his door blown off its hinges.

Now Harry was sitting next to him with an icy calm that was scary in its totality. It was at times like these when Draco could see why the sorting hat had nearly placed his soulmate in his own house, and he whole-heartedly approved of what Harry intended to do.

"The Minister will see you now," Fudge's stuffy secretary said as she reappeared from the Minister's office.

Draco watched Harry climb to his feet with a false smile that did not reach his clear green eyes, and then he followed. If the situation had not been quite so personal he might have enjoyed the impending confrontation.

"Thank you," Harry said politely as they walked past the secretary's desk, and then Draco felt him dismiss the woman from his mind.

When Harry was focused on only one thing he was frighteningly dedicated, and Draco began to wonder if Fudge would survive the meeting.

As they walked in, the Minister stood up from behind his desk and smiled at them in a very oily and obsequious way. Since the Order had made itself known and they had begun cooperating with Fudge, the man had become a little less problematic when it came to Harry specifically, but the Ministry was still a bunch of bureaucrats with parchment in triplicate where their brains should have been as Sirius' trial had proved.

"Good morning, gentlemen," Fudge greeted, completely oblivious to what was about to come, "to what do I owe the pleasure of your presence so early this morning?"

"You will not remove Lucius Malfoy from St Mungo's," Harry said simply and in a tone that begged no argument.

Fudge sat down with a frown on his face.

"Mr Potter," the Minister responded, in a most unhappy tone, "you have no authority to make such a demand, and I would have thought that you of all people would understand the need to remove the threat posed by Lucius Malfoy, and to exhibit to the populace how we deal with Death Eaters."

"My father is not a Death Eater," Draco backed up Harry. "The dark mark is gone as well as all trace and understanding of dark magic. He's more innocent now than he has been since his father first taught him a dark hex."

"Just because a man is obliviated..." Fudge started to say.

"Lucius Malfoy has not been obliviated," Harry cut the Minister dead and the man sat back in his chair somewhat startled. "When a person is obliviated the memory is still there, but the means to recall it have been removed. That has to be true or reversing it would be impossible. Lucius' memories are gone; they have been eradicated; they no longer exist. They were taken along with every taint of dark magic. He does not even know who Voldemort is; he did not even recognise me or my name."

Fudge sat in his chair just looking at Harry for a moment, but Draco knew that the man was about to hide behind a bureaucratic wall. He could see it in the Minister's eyes, and he suspected that the man may already have told the wrong people about what he intended to do.

"Be that as it may," Fudge blustered, waving his hands for emphasis, "the Ministry cannot be seen not to serve justice. Lucius Malfoy is guilty of having been a Death Eater, and he must be incarcerated. We cannot have criminals walking our streets."

"To send him to Azkaban will kill him," Draco said, completely sure of his facts.

"You have no proof..."

"Fudge," Harry's tone was similar to the one Draco had heard him use with some of the first years when they chose to act half their age, "Lucius has been in a coma for months, he has had his mind, his magic and his body altered by, as yet, unexplained magic, and he has lost a third of his body weight. Azkaban kills the healthiest wizards. You will not send him there. Keep him confined in St Mungo's; it is probably the safest place for him, or had you not considered that Voldemort might like him back at some point?"

Now the Minister appeared angry; Draco did not think that the man liked to be patronised.

"Mr Potter," Fudge said hotly, "I will not sit here and have you demand things of me. I am..."

"Fudge," this time Harry shouted, before levelling his voice, "I don't demand things unless I have a very good reason. I am the only living Hecatemae, I have already discovered new magic, and I intend to keep doing so. In the past there has always been a good relationship with my kind and the authority of the day. If Lucius Malfoy goes anywhere near Azkaban I can promise you two things: one, I will never participate in any Ministry related project that is not to do with Hogwarts; and two, I will register all spells I create to me, licence them for everyone except Ministry personnel to use, and then charge the Ministry every time one of their employees needs to use them. Do you understand me?"

The Minister looked shocked and horrified.

"You can't..." the man all but whispered.

"I can," Harry said pointedly, "and I will. I will not be associated with an institution that punishes innocent men for crimes they did not commit. We have already proved how good Ministry justice is with my Godfather, but Lucius will not survive long enough to go through a similar charade. I don't like threatening people, Minister, it's not part of who I am, but I will do it when necessary. Good day."

And with that, Harry turned and swept out of the room in the best impression of Snape that Draco had seen in a long time. With a single look at the shocked Fudge, Draco did the same. From the defeat in the Minister's stance, he knew that his father was safe from Azkaban, at least for now.
Tags: category: slash, ch_story: defence, fandom: harry potter, fictype: 30kwds up, fictype: chaptered, genre: fantasy, genre: romance, offence, pairing: hp - harry/draco, pretence, rating: r to nc17, type: fiction

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