Dumbledore stood before The Order, not as the strong and trustworthy leader that they knew him to be, but a tired old man. He lent on his desk as his mind came to terms with what had happened this night. Severus had betrayed them; he had returned to the Dark Lord, but Albus had made sure that he hadn’t returned wholly. He had obliterated so much of his memory that he would be lucky if he could remember his own name when he finally woke up.
“I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you all that the location of headquarters at Grimmauld Place has become known to the enemy.” Everyone broke into whispers at this comment. They had all been evacuated in a state of emergency earlier this day and only now were they learning the reasons. “We have been betrayed and it is completely my own fault. Severus Snape was leaking information back to the Dark Lord – which is why we haven’t been able to catch a break in our fight against the Death Eaters – we have been stopped every step of the way. Lately, he has done such a terrible thing as to leak information which can be directly used to trace our headquarters. I have disposed of him myself – he will not bother us any more . . .” said Dumbledore tiredly. Only a select few knew how Snape had managed to leak the information. When he had been sorting through Hermione’s memories and adding new ones – he had added one that would lead Voldemort to the house of Black. It was a simple and easy way to do it, without anyone even knowing!
“But, sir . . . what will we do about headquarters? We need somewhere safe to meet!” shouted an unknown voice from the back of the room.
“True . . . true. We will use my office here at Hogwarts for the time being until we can find another safe house.” stated Dumbledore confidently. There was a nod of mutual agreement across the room as everyone began discussing the day’s events with each other. Dumbledore sat down in his chair with a sigh.
“Sir?” asked Harry. Dumbledore merely looked at him. “I was wondering – do you know how Hermione’s taking all this? About us being kicked out of headquarters and such?”
“Yeah, and what does V-v-v . . . ah, you-know-who think about it all?” asked Ron. He had lately been trying to say Voldemort’s name, but was failing miserably.
“No, I’m sorry gentlemen – I don’t know much of anything about Hermione at the moment. The last time I checked her mind, it caused serious distress for her, making her collapse. I’m not keen to force the experience on her again!” He said, but both boys looked shocked. “Do not worry – I will not abandon Miss Granger. I’ll check her mind again in time – I just want to give her some time . . .”
Voldemort regarded Snape’s sleeping form for a few moment’s longer. How had his most successful and accomplished spy come to be like this?
“His memory has been obliterated to within an inch of his sanity. Who ever did this – they didn’t want him to remember anything!” said Watson. Voldemort hissed in distaste.
“Take him up to the study and leave him there. The rest of you go and get changed, I expect to see you down here for the celebrations.” Voldemort demanded. Everyone in the room looked at each other strangely. Why were the celebrations continuing? The attack had been a failure! The Dark Lord seemed to know what everyone was thinking and turned his attention back to them.
“After all, there is still much to celebrate. We have pushed The Order of the Phoenix out of their comfort zone! The more we push – to sooner we’ll have them backed into a corner! We’re just one step closer to destroying them once and for all!” he laughed hollowly. Everyone’s smiles were replaced automatically. If the Dark Lord was still happy about this – then there certainly was a reason to continue the celebrations. He was not angry! Hermione looked at Draco. He had a frown on his face.
“What’s wrong?” she asked concerned.
“How did they find out? How did they know that we were going to attack? They were gone before we were even ready!” he hissed quietly. The orchestra began to play their soft melody again and he automatically bowed to her – offering another dance whilst they talked. She bowed in return and they took up the slow-waltz stance.
“I . . . I think I might know.” she stated unsurely. She remembered that Harry sometimes knew what the Dark Lord was doing. If he had any immense feelings – Harry would feel them too! Voldemort had been ecstatic the day he figured out the puzzle. Maybe Harry had felt that extreme happiness and told Dumbledore. Hermione explained her theory to Draco and he simply scowled.
“Bloody Potter! How is it that no matter what we do – he always seems to get in the way!” he snapped. Hermione opted to stay quiet at this comment as she allowed Draco to mull things over in his mind. They danced silently for some time, looking anywhere in the room but at each other. She hated the idea of dancing with her sworn enemy. He was a bastard who beat up on girls. The orchestra stopped abruptly and everyone turned to their stage where the Dark Lord now stood commandingly.
“I would just like to say one thing before the night becomes a little too late.” he stated simply, his red slit eyes sweeping across the crowed until they came to rest on Hermione and Draco. He smirked slightly like he had just tasted something deliciously sweet in his mouth. “I would like to introduce you all to our guest of honour for tonight. She is the one responsible for our raid on Dumbledore’s hide out. Hermione, would you come up here please?” he asked invitingly. Hermione paused for a moment. Was she supposed to get up before all these people? After her slight temporary hesitation, she made her way to the stage quickly. As she stepped up, everyone in the room clapped. “Yes. Hermione here is the latest addition to our works and is proving herself to be a promising member! Thankyou Hermione for all you’ve offered. May your faithful service to our cause continue willingly.” he stated and everyone applauded again.
Willingly? That was indeed a strange word to use. Dutifully would have been quite a bit better to use, but he had instead used willingly. What if she didn’t go willingly? Sure, she was quite faithful to the cause - wiling to do almost anything, except maybe kill someone, but she doubted that she’d be asked to do that. It almost sounded as if he had something planned for her. But what?
She stepped down from the stage, followed by Voldemort who glided from the spotlight. He leaned closer to her and whispered something in her ear.
“Will you please get Draco to come up to the study? I need a word with him.” he whispered and she nodded in reply. She rushed over to where Draco stood on the side of the dance floor with a brandy in his hands, talking to another man. She stood nervously behind him for a moment when the man he was talking to noticed her and gestured in her direction, alerting Draco to his visitor.
He sighed and turned around to her.
“What?” he asked ungratefully. She didn’t bother with a quick remark or anything but simply related the message to him. He nodded and downed the rest of his drink. Just as he began to walk away and she thought he was gone, he quickly stepped back and grabbed her arm. “Don’t dance with anyone – I don’t think I can trust you to be alone.” he stated matter-of-factly. She let out an appalled sigh. How dare he? He walked away, not caring for a moment that he had just insulted her.
Truth was – he didn’t want her to dance with anyone else. His father had appointed him as her escort for the evening, and he planned to make it as miserable as he possibly could. He wanted to make sure that she wouldn’t get any joy out of tonight – and if that mean he had to suffer through her terrible dancing for the rest of the night, then so be it. He followed the familiar trail up to his fathers study and knocked on the door.
“Enter.” spoke a harsh voice from within the room. Draco stepped inside and closed the door behind him. The first thing he saw was Snape’s bound figure shoved in the corner of the room. He was still out cold. Voldemort was hovering above him, watching him as if he were silently commanding him to wake up and spill his guts. Draco stood at the door unmoving like the soldier he was, waiting for the Dark Lords admission. Voldemort let out a large sigh and walked away from Severus. He immediately walked to the drinks cupboard and pulled himself out a glass and the bottle of whisky. “Drink, Mr Malfoy?” he asked.
“Yes please, my lord.” Draco stated in return, not releasing a muscle as he stood to attention.
“Please, sit Mr Malfoy.” Draco knew now that this was a serious moment. Draco had never once been asked to sit with the Dark Lord. He had always waited, been handed his orders and then left. Never had there been a serious moment between the two grown men. Draco took the seat on the couch across from the one that Voldemort usually sat on. The Dark Lord came over and sat opposite him, handing him his drink. Draco sipped the strong whisky and put it down on the table in front of him. “You seemed very comfortable with Miss Granger tonight.” stated Voldemort aimlessly. This comment had come out of nowhere for Draco and he answered straight forwardly.
“I was asked to escort her by my father. That is all.”
“Ah, but why then have you danced every dance with her? You could escort whilst allowing her to dance with others.” he stated cryptically. Once again, Draco was caught off guard and so answered with the whole truth.
“To say it plainly, my lord, I only danced with her to make her most miserable. I didn’t want her to have a good night, dancing with whomever she wished. I wanted to keep her grounded.” Voldemort considered Draco’s words carefully as he watched the young mans face. He sighed and let loose a small smile.
“Ahh, Draco. What will I do with you?”
“My lord?” Draco asked confused. This was a strange comment.
“When will you learn to put aside your petty arguments and stop judging people so critically?” Draco was dumbfounded. He had no answer for this and so he stayed quiet, willing to hear out the great Lord Voldemort. He was going somewhere with these comments, Draco wanted to find out where. “Miss Granger is as faithful as you are. You may not see if for all the hard work you’ve put into your job here, but I do.”
“I’m sorry my lord. I guess I’m still having a hard time accepting her presence here. She’s been my enemy since school – I can’t help but remember all the things we’ve been through and hate her all the more for it!” he said menacingly. He truly hated that girl. She was everything he despised in a person and he guessed slightly that she had been the initial reason he hated all these attributes in a person.
“Yes – that is just the thing though. The two of you know each other so well – why don’t you concentrate on these things and work towards a better relationship together? It could work out well for the two of you!” he said eagerly. Draco got a strange message from those words.
“M-my lord . . . are you asking me to be friends with Granger?” Draco stuttered. If he was . . . why? What would such a union have that was profitable for Voldemort? The Dark Lord regarded Draco carefully before giving out a large sigh.
“Draco, you are twenty years old, are you not?” he asked plainly.
“Yes my lord.”
“At your age, your father was already married and expecting his first, and only child. What plans do you have Draco?” Plans? As in marriage? Why was he asking him about marriage? He wasn’t seriously considering . . . ?
“I . . . I have no plans.” Draco stated bluntly. He was too busy thinking about what had already been said. Was he seriously hinting towards . . . ? Voldemort seemed to read Draco’s thoughts as he spoke next.
“What if I told you Mr Malfoy that I think a union between yourself and Miss Granger would be very profitable? Not only for yourself, but for me also!” Draco didn’t speak. He didn’t want to think about it. The idea of marrying Granger! No. It was too stupid to consider. She was a Mudblood for goodness sakes! “Think about it Draco. You wouldn’t be marrying a complete stranger. She’s a beautiful, smart young woman. She knows what she wants in life. The two of you are perfectly matched!” he stated, and this time waited for Draco’s response.
“W . . . wh . . . why? Why would I marry her?” he asked stupidly. Voldemort watched Draco stumble over the idea of marrying the young witch. “She’s been my enemy for as long as I’ve known her. I hate her. She hate’s me. She’d never agree to it. I . . . I . . .”
“What if I told you Draco that I needed the two of you to marry? For my own needs? What would you say then?”
“I . . . I would have to say what is it that would profit you so much?” Draco said bluntly. There was no more consideration of what was polite. It had gone past that. Draco was deeply disturbed by the thought of having to marry the wench Granger.
“I need an heir. Although my attempts at gaining control over the wizarding world are still not complete, I need someone to take over once I have succeeded and gained control. I need someone I can train from a young age. A son from you and Hermione is my first and possibly only choice.”
“Why her? Why not someone more worthy? She’s a Mudblood! You’d have an heir with dirty blood!” Draco stated frantically. If the idea of marrying Granger was disturbing – the idea of producing a child with her that would one day go on to rule the world was terrifying!
“Ah, Mr Malfoy. You forget one important aspect. I, myself, am a Mudblood – as you so call it!” Draco was shocked into realisation. He had heard rumours, but never had it been confirmed so plainly that the Dark Lord was a half-blood. “I want a child who I can relate to. A child of your and Miss Grangers would be perfect. Think about it Draco. You’re both smart, attractive, powerful – offspring between the two of you would be magnificent. One of the most precious creatures to walk the Earth!” Draco had a terrifying feeling that he wouldn’t be able to escape this so easily.
“But . . . I . . . I can’t marry her!” he cried pitifully. He just wanted to run from the room. He couldn’t stand the idea of marrying that creature! He was quick to realise that this was the big plan that his father had been referring to. To create an heir for Voldemort! His father thought it was an honour to do so. Sure, it would be great to create a child that the greatest wizard could use as an heir. He would be the proudest father ever, but to share a bed with Granger? No!
“Draco – I know what you’re thinking, and your right! Could you imagine how much you would be honoured by everyone else? The father of one of the greatest children ever born! You would be worshiped!” Draco liked the sound of being worshiped, but still the thought of bedding Granger ran through his head. She was attractive, that was no doubt, but there was too much hateful history to be forgotten. Voldemort could tell he wasn’t winning this argument, and so he turned to his final weapon. “Draco. I’m afraid to say that I’ve been depending on this plan for too long to let it slip away so easily. I’m asking you to marry the girl Granger. To create an heir for me. Then, if you’re not happy with things still – I will personally dispose of her. All I ask is that you create an heir for me. That is all. It is the most important mission I’ve ever asked of you. Will you accept it?”
Draco was stuck between two arguments. On one hand, it was Granger! How could he force himself to sleep with her? Spend his time with her? Put up with her whining? On the other hand – he was being ordered by the Dark Lord! No one turned down an order from him without dreadful punishment. Could he do it? If he didn’t like things after a child was produced (which he doubted he would!) then he could have her killed. Gone from his life. Forever. Then he would have to raise his son on his own. His son . . . he liked the sound of that. His son. To have a son. He could be a father. He had always wondered when the time would come for him . . . was now the time?
“If you promise that I can have her killed . . . then . . .” Draco spoke slowly.
“I promise that if you’re not happy with thing after, and only after, an heir is produced – I will kill her personally!” stated Voldemort assuredly. Draco had the Dark Lords word . . . what more could he ask for? Not to do this? he thought bitterly. He had made his decision.
“In that case . . . I’ll do it . . .” he said decidedly. Voldemort smiled widely. He had won.
“Thankyou Draco – I didn’t want to have to ‘Imperio’ you!” he laughed, making Draco swallow loudly with concern. The laughter died away and he turned his attention back to Draco. “Very well then . . . I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t say anything to Miss Granger until I have spoken with her.”
“What makes you so sure that she’ll agree?” asked Draco straightforwardly.
“What other choice does she have?” said Voldemort. That was true. She was here for one purpose – to help Voldemort and his cause. This was apart of his great cause . . . Draco wondered if she’d kick up as much of a fuss as he did . . . he guessed that he’d find out soon enough!
Author’s Note: That was kinda a long chapter! So, there you go! You know my major plot line now! But I have a dilemma!!!! Trust me when I say that an heir will be produced! I want a great name for Draco and Hermione’s son, but so far all I can think of is this:
So, now I send out the call! I need help naming their son (it will most definitely be a boy!) Help me name the new Malfoy. I need two names (a first name and a middle name). I want the first name to be something VERY ORIGINAL, PROUD and very VERY WORTHY OF A MALFOY. The middle name can be anything, but once again, I want it to be something that represents the strength that a Malfoy name shows! I’m looking forward to hearing your names! There’s plenty of time before the chapter is posted when the young Malfoy arrives and I’ll announce what name I’m going to use THEN AND ONLY THEN! So, drop me a review with your ideas! Love you all!
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