Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Control Issues :: 04 :: Malkin, Malfoy & Weasley

04 • Malkin, Malfoy & Weasley

Harry slipped into Madam Malkin’s unobtrusively, having noticed the odd Order member casually strolling the length of Diagon Alley, and approached the counter to pick up his order, a plan quickly forming in his mind that Voldemort was easily able to discern, and even approve of. This time, however, Harry’s hooded cloak was a faded brown in colour.

Madam Malkin greeted him cheerfully and immediately produced several packages for him, shrinking them down so he could put them in his pocket with little fuss. But before she could wander off on other business, Harry decided to enact his plan.

“Madam,” he said in a confidential voice, “I was wondering if you might be willing to do me a small favor.”

Her expression changed to display curiosity, and even a little suspicion.

“You see, it has come to my attention that—well, no, perhaps it would make more sense if I explained something first. As you might be aware I have been hard at work over the past few years, training, and helping as best I can to take care of this little problem we all seem to find ourselves in.”

She nodded, leaning closer over the counter.

“The people that need to all know exactly how to get in touch with me, naturally, but I noticed as I was on my way in that there’s been some suspicious activity in the alley, and I’m concerned that someone might have recognized me before and spread word that I’ve been spotted out and about.”

Her expression changed to include a touch of confusion.

“You see, I have been made aware that certain parties have taken it upon themselves to wander about in disguise—such as using glamours or polyjuice?—looking like friends of mine, so that they might more easily make inquiries as to my whereabouts.”

A faint look of fear crossed her face and she leaned in even closer.

“Now, I was thinking that you could help me out a bit, if you were willing, that is, as I’m concerned that one of those people—I can only assume they are connected to the Dark Lord—might come in here to ask you questions, and I would like to make sure that if that did happen, you wouldn’t be in any danger from me having patronized your fine establishment.

“To that end, I was thinking that I could place another order with you—I’ll pay for it now, actually—and dash off a quick note letting you know that I’ll be delayed in picking it up and could show up unexpectedly. You would have proof and be able to answer any questions honestly, and I would make the time to keep an eye on things unobtrusively to see where these people end up going, and hopefully bring them in for questioning. Do you think you’d be willing to help?”

She straightened up and appeared to consider his offer quite seriously. A full minute passed before she looked at him with a faintly sympathetic expression and said, “That’s very clever of you, and thoughtful, I must say.” She reached out to pat his hand briefly for emphasis. “Yes, I’d be happy to help, and I think I’d feel a lot better knowing that you’ll be keeping an eye out here in the alley.”

Voldemort privately wondered why that was so, since Diagon Alley was more or less considered an unofficial safe zone. He couldn’t even remember the last time any altercations or pitched battles had been fought there, if ever.

Harry smiled warmly at the lady and inclined his head. “I am happy to be of service, madam. Now, I think it would be fine if you just whipped up another set of what I’ve just gotten—if that’s all right with you? And if I’m not able to break away from duty long enough to pick it up in a reasonable amount of time, I’m not going to care if you decide to sell it to someone else. I’m more concerned for everyone’s safety, so a few galleons is of no never mind to me.”

“Yes, I can do that,” she said. “I can just check over the order slip from before.”

“Splendid,” Harry said as he fetched out another handful of galleons and passed them over. “Thank you so much. Everyone is always so complimentary when they speak of you, so I just knew I could count on you.”

She blushed rosily and slipped the money into the till, allowed him to gallantly drop a kiss on the back of her hand, then scurried off quickly, totally forgetting about the note he had mentioned.

Voldemort mentally rolled his eyes as Harry slipped back out, attracting no particular notice, and headed off to an owl office to take care of that little detail. A short time later Harry had finished scoping out the opposition for the day, having only come up with someone he suspected was Tonks and possibly one other person he wasn’t sure he recognized.

He had another brief, not quite verbal discussion with Voldemort, then headed home.

*

Harry, of course, successfully came back from his little mission a few days later and smugly presented Voldemort with the required coordinates, but refused to explain just exactly how he had managed it. Voldemort didn’t have the heart to tell his mate that he had watched the entire trip, having been very careful to remain mentally quiet so that Harry wouldn’t know he was there or be distracted. After all, much as it might pain him to admit (not that he would, because dark lords did not admit to such things), his nerves did fray a teensy bit whenever Harry left the house.

So he accepted the data after giving Harry an obviously manufactured look of irritation for his reticence and tucked the paper in his pocket. “When would you like your reward?”

Harry bounced and clasped his hands together behind his back, then said, “Now?”

“I have a meeting scheduled in just under an hour, Harry,” Voldemort pointed out.

“So? That’s plenty of time,” Harry said and leaned forward slightly. “Please?”

Voldemort stifled a sigh. How he was supposed to get anything done with Harry looking so damned appealing all the time was beyond him. Honestly. He found it somewhat ironic that Harry had once accused him of being able to get him to do anything with just a touch, and here his mate stood giving him that wide-eyed, hopeful look that Voldemort simply couldn’t say no to. And for pity’s sake, they’d only “been together” for approximately a fortnight.

“All right, Harry. But you need to put at least some clothing on. I will not have you prancing around the compound in the altogether and potentially distracting my followers. The next thing I know they could be hexing each other’s heads off because they were looking at you instead of where they should be aiming.”

Harry stepped forward and brushed his lips to Voldemort’s. “Okay. I’ll go put something on real quick.” He started for the bedroom, then paused and tossed back over his shoulder suspiciously, “Don’t you dare sneak off without me.”

Voldemort rubbed his forehead as Harry disappeared and wondered just who was getting the better half of the bargain insofar as the bonding went, then shrugged when he considered how much more fun his life had become recently, not to mention satisfying on a number of levels, and dare he think it, meaningful. Still, he was beginning to feel like he was no longer the only dark lord in town. And on the heels of that thought he realized that with the right support, Harry would make a better dark lord than he was, and might already be.

Harry reappeared, so they went on to his office, and once inside Harry quickly slithered out of his meager clothing and perched on the edge of the desk. “I feel squirmy and melty inside already and you haven’t even touched me. I just knew there was a reason people liked to do this,” Harry said breathlessly.

Voldemort smiled faintly and stepped up to fit himself between his mate’s legs so he could capture Harry’s mouth in a kiss while he reached down to unfasten his trousers and release his already hardening penis. All Harry had to do was look at him the right way and he became aroused, a sometimes vexing prospect considering he already had so much trouble preventing himself from constantly caressing the young man without thinking.

Harry leaned back, coaxing Voldemort to lean with him, and brought his feet up off the floor so he could wrap his legs around Voldemort’s waist. A moment later he was wriggling his hips impatiently and making mewling noises deep in his throat. Voldemort retaliated by stroking his mate’s scales, then positioning himself for entrance, thrusting sharply a moment later and sinking himself fully in one go.

Harry broke their kiss and tossed his head back, biting his lip so hard it broke the skin, and Voldemort immediately reached out to pull him back into a kiss. He could taste sweet, coppery blood briefly before Harry’s ability kicked in and healed him, and that was when Voldemort braced himself and began thrusting in earnest, setting up a smooth, steady rhythm he knew he could keep control of for a decent length of time.

It was about then that the office door opened. Someone stepped in, closed the door behind them, then prostrated themself.

Voldemort broke their kiss and glanced over, his hips still working smoothly, and saw that it was young Draco Malfoy, who apparently could not yet read a clock properly. He gave a mental shrug and turned his attention back to his sweet little incubus (who was flushed and moaning with abandon) and reached between them to begin stroking and fondling Harry’s cock and balls.

And, as he was not particularly fond of the idea of giving anyone a protracted voyeuristic experience of their sex life, Voldemort picked up his pace and reclaimed Harry’s mouth, swallowing the young man’s delightful expressions of his pleasure. Harry didn’t even seem to be aware that they were no longer alone.

A short time later Harry was convulsing in orgasm beneath him, which triggered his own release, one so intense that his vision greyed out briefly. When he finally stopped feeling like someone had hit him with a jelly-legs jinx, Voldemort pulled free gently and cast a quick cleansing charm, then straightened himself and reached for Harry’s clothing. It was entirely possible, he thought, that Harry had a point about clichés.

He put a finger to his lips as he assisted his mate up, jerking his head slightly in the direction of Malfoy—Harry blinked several times and shook his head as though to fix his eyesight—and then helped Harry to get dressed, pulling up his hood last and giving him an amused, conspiratorial smile.

Only then did he take a seat behind his desk and say, “Malfoy. Is there some particular reason you decided to invade my office well before your scheduled meeting?”

Malfoy lifted his head part way, clearly terrified, and said in a shaky voice, “My lord, you have my deepest apologies. I must have misread the time.”

“Obviously,” Voldemort said dryly, then conjured up an extra chair next to his own and waved Harry into it. “If it happens again I might forego an easy punishment like you’re about to receive and have you cleaning the barracks for a month straight.” Then he lifted his wand and said, “Crucio.”

He gazed at the ceiling as though bored for approximately a minute, then lifted the spell and said, “Take a seat, Malfoy.”

Draco’s face showed the aftereffects of the curse, but also the flush of . . . embarrassment? Lust? Voldemort could not be sure without digging into his mind, and he really couldn’t be bothered. “Splendid. I am well pleased to see that your inability to understand the concept of time has not hindered your efforts to find a chair. Now, report.”

He listened with only half his attention, the other half divided between noticing Malfoy’s badly concealed curious looks at Harry and his desire to yank his mate onto his lap so he would at least have something interesting to do while he absorbed the report. Still, it looked as though there were a number of students in the current crop of seventh years at Hogwarts that might be willing to join his dark army, and that was always welcome news.

“Fine,” he eventually said. “I want a detailed list by the end of the week. I also want a full accounting on our cover in Hogsmeade. Someone over there seems to be trying to hide something from me. I expect you to find out what’s going on and inform me directly.”

“Yes, my lord.”

“It occurs to me that I might need to send you back through training with the greenies, Malfoy,” he said, delighting in the split second look of consternation that crossed the blond’s face. “After all, you’ve been doing a seriously piss poor job just in the last twenty minutes of keeping your eyes and attention where they belong. I’m beginning to think that you’re suffering delusions of being more important than you are, which might explain your lack of proper manners and respect today.”

“I’m sorry, my lord. I didn’t mean to cause offense.”

Voldemort arched one brow and turned to Harry. “What do you think? Are we feeling so unlike ourselves today as to let him off with a warning?”

Harry turned his head toward Draco, his face completely shadowed by the hood, then snorted softly. “That depends,” he said in a raspy whisper.

“On?”

“Can he fight?”

Voldemort contemplated that for a moment, gazing at Malfoy speculatively. “Against you?”

“Yes.”

And as much as that might be an amusing duel to witness, Voldemort had to slowly shake his head. “He wouldn’t last ten seconds against you. No fun at all, I’m afraid. You’d be bored senseless.”

Harry made a disappointed sound under his hood and turned his head back to Voldemort. “I have no opinion, then. Unless, of course, he is imbecilic enough to speak of what he witnessed here, in which case I will simply hunt him down and kill him.”

Voldemort nodded and looked back at his minion. “I am feeling a touch generous at the moment, so I suppose it’ll just be a warning. Crucio.” This time he held the curse for two minutes, knowing full well that Malfoy would be dragging his ass off to the infirmary the second he was out the door and begging someone there for a potion to ease his suffering.

“Dismissed, Malfoy,” he said indifferently, then watched as the young man staggered to his feet and exited. He waited a full minute before he turned to Harry and unleashed a wide smile. “I must say, I rather enjoyed that.”

His mate was kind enough to refrain from saying the obvious, and instead laughed softly. Voldemort knew, though, if he could see Harry’s face, his mate would most likely be sporting a self-satisfied little smirk that just screamed the thought, “I told you so.”

*

The only real problem Voldemort had with the idea of portkeying Severus into the Great Hall was the fact that neither of them could easily watch the reactions it provoked. When he voiced that concern, Harry was prompt to offer up a suggestion.

“Tom, you do have students at the school that belong to you already. There’s nothing saying you can’t order one to eat in the kitchens, and let me take their place for a single meal.” He paused a second, then continued, “Preferably a student who’s a bit anti-social or surly, so I could tell seat mates to piss off if they tried to talk to me. In any case, I could be there and we could watch together.”

And so they did. Harry slipped off to Hogwarts with a supply of polyjuice potion, met with the student and thoroughly cowed him into fearful submission without ever once raising his voice or revealing his identity, then sent him off to the kitchens after procuring several strands of the young man’s hair and with an admonition to not show his face until after the usual dinner hour was over or face dire consequences.

He then knocked back a dose in a secure location, waited to finish transforming, then verified his appearance before strolling off toward the Great Hall in time for dinner and a show. Harry made sure to get a seat with a very good view of the head table, snarling at anyone who dared to question his choice, then settled in to pretend to eat.

So it was that Harry was perfectly positioned when a very naked, very bloody, corpse of Severus Snape appeared on top of Dumbledore’s dinner with an odd squelching sound. He even still had his little toy intact, complete with weighted chains, and a sort of collar around his neck to make sure his head didn’t inconveniently roll away. And, the pièce de résistance, Snape was positioned so that he lay across the table, not along it, with his legs spread apart to give Dumbledore the best view possible.

Students in the hall looked up at the disturbance, paused a few seconds to take stock of the situation, then erupted into complete chaos. Harry simply sat there, an expression of carefully manufactured shocked disbelief on his face, and watched the head table as students all over the hall were screaming, fainting, being ill, or running away from the sight.

Albus Dumbledore, a man with a reputation for always appearing unflappable, calmly reached out to remove the note thoughtfully stuck to Snape’s chest with a small metal skewer and opened it, read, then set it aside and stood up to sweep his gaze over his former Potions professor. Then he turned and spoke quietly to McGonagall, who looked like she was barely holding onto her own dinner, never mind consciousness, then turned and spoke to Flitwick.

Then, seeming to finally notice the chaos in the Great Hall, thundered, “Silence!”

The student body as a whole turned to give the headmaster their attention, so he continued, “Prefects and Heads will lead their houses to their dormitories immediately. Food will be made available for those who wish it. Go, now.”

Harry made sure to be a straggler, but was disappointed to note that Dumbledore merely levitated the corpse and headed off through the door at the back of the hall. Annoyed at not having received a more obvious response, Harry hastened off to the kitchens to order the student he had copied to return to the dorms, then fled the castle under cover of invisibility.

Voldemort was not surprised to see a petulant look on Harry’s face when his mate stepped into the sitting room and began stripping off his clothes. “Now, Harry, we both knew that Dumbledore wouldn’t likely freak out.”

“I know,” Harry said sullenly, “but I was hoping a little bit. It makes it so hard to tell if he enjoyed our little gift!”

“How could he have not?” Voldemort said. “I’m sure he was very pleased that Severus returned, even if he did get him back a bit damaged.”

Harry looked up and smiled. “I’m so glad you insisted on leaving everything intact, Tom. It’s just a shame that the student body wasn’t able to properly see my handiwork. But then, I suppose, most of them are innocent children, so I guess it’s just as well.”

Voldemort nodded, though there had been a time when the concept of sparing innocents would have been the absolute last thing on his mind when it came to mayhem and terror. “I’m sure we can find out more about reactions from the next person, or persons, you manage to capture and bring back. And if absolutely necessary, we can revisit the idea of you sneaking into their headquarters and snooping around and talking to portraits.”

Harry got a thoughtful look on his face. “I might do well to visit Gringotts again.”

“Why is that?”

“Well, Sirius is dead. I wonder if he left me anything, like . . . oh, I don’t know, headquarters? It was his property, after all, and I didn’t think to check on anything but money.”

Voldemort smiled slightly and gave a thoughtful nod. “I don’t suppose it would hurt to check with the goblins to see if he left a will you were named in. And if it was left to you?”

Harry tilted his head and blinked, then said, “Well, assuming they didn’t somehow manage to find that out, and get me to sign over the property and obliviate that from my memory . . . I suppose I could be unkind and boot them out, but I’m not sure how I would. And Dumblefuck does have it under the fidelius charm.”

“Find out first if you want, then we’ll discuss this again if it is indeed something we can make use of.”

“Okay.” Harry shrugged and flopped into a chair, tucking his legs up beneath him. “Well, whatever. I think right now I should start focusing on my next target. I should probably haunt Diagon Alley, or. . . . Actually, where’s that list you made?”

*

Harry had not actually got around to tracking down any more friends to play with when Voldemort came back to the house with a bit of news after a day of work overseeing his evil empire. He took his usual seat and pinned his mate with an intent gaze.

Harry gave him a suspicious look and said, “What is it?”

“Some of my people brought me a present today,” Voldemort said. “Ginevra Weasley, to be specific.”

Harry shrugged indifferently. “She’s not on the list.”

“That’s true. However, I thought you might be interested in doing a little digging, and then perhaps help me decide what to do with her.”

“If she’s an innocent you should let her go,” Harry said.

Voldemort held back a sigh at Harry’s lack of interest in someone he wasn’t planning to kill. “Yes. However, she may know things that could be of value to us. I plan to investigate regardless. The question is whether or not you wish to join me.”

That made his mate become thoughtful. “I can understand that. I’ll help if you want me to.”

He gave Harry a nod and said, “Are you up to it now? We could be done with her in a couple of hours and send her on her way, minus a few pertinent memories, of course.”

“Okay.” Harry got up and disappeared into the bedroom, presumably to dress, and returned shortly, a faint look of distaste on his face.

Voldemort could not decide if it was simply the necessity of having to wear clothing or the idea of having to look into the mind of a female that had Harry in a mild snit. “Let us go, then,” he said, then rose and headed off toward his office.

He had already moved the girl into his private dungeon, not wanting to risk any of his more impulsive followers deciding they ought to have a little fun with her. In the general course of things he would not really care if they were a bit overeager, but there were simply some prisoners he wished to deal with personally.

She, unlike Severus or Moody, was bound to a chair rather than a rack and was fully dressed, though she was in the same Dark Arts coma. Voldemort conjured up chairs and took a seat, then said, “All right, Harry. Do you remember how to do this?”

Several hours later they were both sitting back contemplating what they had learned. Apparently, Harry might not be the only experiment in town. Voldemort did recall that he had learned from Severus that attempts had been made to gift others with Harry’s healing ability, though those had failed, and it was now clear that Miss Weasley was aware that Neville Longbottom was one of those subjects.

And while she was not a member of the Order, she possessed enough cunning and resourcefulness to have learned more than she ought. None of it concerned Harry directly, though, only Neville, and she seemed to be rather infatuated with the young man, despite her concerns about his welfare, for in fact, her memories of Longbottom showed that his behavior was a bit . . . odd.

If nothing else, Voldemort was pleased that Harry had a chance to properly absorb the lesson on interrogation techniques without being pushed into another blind rage at what he found, though he did seem slightly agitated. And then he spoke.

“I really, really, do not want to learn that poor Neville has had to go through anything like what I did,” Harry said, tightly gripping the arms of his chair.

Voldemort was not sure how to respond to that, so he settled on silence for the moment.

“You said he’s been at some of the Order meetings, right?”

“Yes.”

“How did he act?”

Voldemort thought back to what he had witnessed in Moody’s memories, then said, “Very quiet, almost like a ghost. He never spoke unless spoken to and deferred to everyone else.”

Harry ran a hand through his hair. “Well, that’s not entirely out of character for him, from what I recall. But if Ginny is concerned, there might actually be a problem. Do you suppose it’s possible that Dumblefuck set up two experiments, one for each prophecy child, and it’s just that hardly anyone is aware of what’s been done to him? After all, I’m the Boy Who Bloody Fucking Lived, so I’d get all the airtime, right?”

Voldemort thought about that for a minute and said, “Possibly. As I understood it, though, the Longbottom matriarch is quite an old battle axe. Why would she consent to have her grandson be tortured?”

“That’s assuming she knows the details, Tom. And anyway, she seemed to think that Neville was quite nearly a disgrace to the family name and could never measure up to his father. If they’d presented her with a plausible scenario, she might well have agreed, just to finally see the family disappointment make something of himself. They might also have pushed the prophecy angle, citing that he could be in as much danger as I was, even though I know and Dumblefuck knows that Neville isn’t capable of killing you.”

Voldemort looked over sharply. “What do you mean?”

Harry had the grace to look embarrassed at the question and ducked his head for a moment. “I’m sorry. Things have just been so. . . . Right, the prophecy. Dumbledore told me what it said, Tom. He was the one who originally heard it so he was able to show me a memory. It was right after Sirius died, when I was so completely angry and in shock.

“Anyway, basically, it said you would mark someone, the one with the power to defeat you, as your equal, and that neither could live while the other survived. Frankly, given our present situation, I tend to think it’s a load of rubbish. Yes, you certainly managed to mark me that night, but I’m having a very hard time believing that we’re suddenly going to go postal on each other or live miserable, empty lives unless one of us kicks off.

“Then again, it also said something about how either must die at the hand of the other. I sort of wonder if that means we’re both immortal so long as we agree to and hold true to a cease fire, which we’ve essentially already done. And believe me, if our present relationship is an example of ‘not living’, I’m perfectly happy to go right on ‘not living’, if you catch my drift.”

Voldemort rubbed his chin and tried to process everything Harry had just told him. Finally, after much thought, he said, “Prophecies can be negated, Harry. Many of them never even come true, though I suppose in this case that if what he showed you was real, then aspects of it were negated either through their actions, yours, or mine. I suppose it doesn’t much matter. And yes, I’m quite content to ‘not live’ right there with you. So, what do you think about Miss Weasley and Mr Longbottom?”

“Her? Fix her memories and let her go, preferably somewhere near the Burrow, or wherever it is she’s living these days. I’d say construct a nice little fantasy where one of your people was careless and allowed her to escape, but she passed out from exhaustion once she was near safety, not quite at home.”

Voldemort nodded. “An excellent suggestion.”

“Now, Neville? I’m—” Harry stopped and got out of his chair, dropping onto Voldemort’s lap a few seconds later and pressing close. “I’m kind of afraid to find out,” he said quietly.

“I ask for your benefit, Harry, not mine or even his. After all, I do not know that young man, and really have no reason to care except for the fact that it might affect you. If you don’t wish to make a decision just yet, that’s all right. I’m not going to push you on it. In fact, if you never make that decision it’s all right. I could argue that you were able to extricate yourself from your predicament, so if he shares it to some degree, it might be as well for him to make strides personally toward resolving things.”

Harry shifted against him in a way that told Voldemort his mate was very uncomfortable with the current subject, so he switched topics. “Now, about Miss Weasley. I will fix her memories and personally see to dropping her off. You may join me if you like, to see that she awakens and makes it to safety.”

Harry sort of shrugged and said, “That might be nice. I have nothing against her, so we probably should make sure nothing bad happens to her while she’s unconscious and helpless. Do you think maybe sometime you can teach me about obliviating people and constructing replacements?”

“Of course. The next Death Eater who royally pisses me off can be our guinea pig.”

It wasn’t so much longer that they were able to do that, watching from a vantage point screened by trees and other foliage as Ginny woke up slowly and looked around, then jumped to her feet and raced like blazes toward the Burrow.