- The Dark Arts
- Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
- Mystery Slash
- Multiple Eras
- Order of the Phoenix
Published: 11/04/2003Updated: 01/06/2004Words: 40,796Chapters: 17Hits: 231,087
The Goodness of Their Hearts
- Story Summary:
- Malfoy Security Inc. is hired when Chudley Cannons' star Seeker Harry Potter starts receiving disturbing letters.
Malfoy Security Inc. - Personal and property protection.
It appealed to his sense of irony. Years of learning from his father how to break in where he wasn't wanted, how to manipulate secrets out of people, how to hurt people, turned around to assist people. For a price, of course. But still a noble enough effort. After all, doctors and nurses and clergymen were paid, too.
Though probably not so well.
What clients shelled out paid for the fine leather boots on his feet, the sprawling three-century-old house that served as his place of business, and his staff of nearly thirty. Voldemort was dead, his Death Eaters equally so, or incarcerated, or abusing the ears of pedestrians by screaming out from street corners their tired warnings about the deterioration of the wizarding race, but if anything people were even more afraid of the dark than they had been before Voldemort's second rise. The bumbling of the Ministry of Magic, its reluctance to admit to Voldemort's return or to effectively deal with him once it had, had cost it the respect and faith of the rest of the population. People no longer trusted the government to take care of them. Those that could afford to bought the services of businesses like Malfoy Security. Those that couldn't arranged for their own protection, which meant anything from tutoring in the Dark Arts to purchasing dodgy charms and potions from places less respectable than any establishment found in Knockturn Alley.
Surely Draco Malfoy couldn't be blamed for being pleased with himself, having been right there at the ground level for the new surge in the protection industry. Or for establishing a business that was so profitable, staffed by employees so competent, that the boss could take the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy a leisurely soak in the bath before striding into his own little kingd - uh, enterprise.
Mornings were the best time of day.
But then, of course, one had to open the front door, and actually step inside.
"Got a new client this morning, boss." The tall, slim woman with her brown hair cropped short and a pencil tucked behind each ear planted herself in front of him, a file in her hand.
Draco scowled. He hated being talked at as soon as he stepped through the door. Perona knew that.
Which was probably why she did it every single morning.
Delia, on the other hand, slid to his side silently, holding out a small mug of coffee dashed with nutmeg. Lovely girl. He took a sip, nodded in approval, and strode from the foyer through the long marble corridor.
Perona, undaunted, strode after him, an easy enough task as the damnable woman was a good three inches taller than he. "You'll never guess who it is."
"Good morning, Perona," he muttered with sarcasm, releasing the ward to his office.
"And I can't believe they called you. I mean, us."
Now that piqued his curiosity, much as he hated to admit it. He set the coffee on the massive black cherry desk and stripped out of his coat. "Why wouldn't they call us? We're the best." It said so in Wands and Wards magazine. He picked up his coffee and sat back in his comfortable leather chair.
"It's the Chudley Cannons."
The coffee cup halted in its ascension to his lips. "Is it?" Wait for it.
"Seems their Seeker - "
He snorted and took a sip.
" - has received a death threat."
"Another one?" Everyone knew Potter received death threats by the sack. Even Draco had sent one, just for kicks, leaving clues to his identity that he'd thought even the Aurors would pick up on. They hadn't yet. "When will those losers learn Potter didn't kill Voldemort?" Severus had. Using a poisonous fume in which Potter's blood had been an ingredient. Which, apparently, was enough to meet the conditions of the alleged prophecy everyone had heard about after it was all over. Not that Draco had ever believed in prophecies. All a bunch of nonsense.
It had all been Severus. He'd come up with the potion, developed it, and gone to the Death Eater meeting when summoned. He'd arrived at the meeting with a little vial he had promised would end any conflict before it had even begun. According to Severus, Voldemort had assumed it was something to be drunk, and had assumed it was poisonous, and had ordered Severus to take a swallow of it. Severus had unstopped the vial, whereupon liquid met air and turned into a vapour that was fatal only to Voldemort and Potter himself. Severus had hung around long enough to make sure Voldemort actually died and then apparated the hell out of there.
There was still a war after that, one Draco had managed to stay out of. The Death Eaters hadn't had Voldemort, which meant the Dementors returned to Azkaban. They hadn't even had Lucius Malfoy, who had never left Azkaban. The grandiosely named Order of the Phoenix had had its Dumbledore and its Boy Who Lived, and was plagued with fewer members who were more interested in inflating their own rank than in taking out the other side. No one was surprised when the Death Eaters lost the short but scarring war.
So although Potter didn't actually kill Voldemort himself, and although as a teenager of no great intelligence or magical talent he had served more as a figurehead and a mascot than a master strategist, he still received a disproportionate amount of the credit and almost all of the blame, depending on one's point of view. It was common knowledge that the Cannon's seeker received howlers both from the same old pathetic Death Eaters on the street corners and from many who had lost loved ones in the war and thought it was because Potter hadn't been fast enough, or smart enough, or Boy-Who-Lived enough, to save them.
"They think this threat is different."
"The team owner and manager."
"What does Potter think?"
"He's not worried. Figures he can handle it himself."
"He may have a point." He did survive a great many encounters with the Manic Dark One himself. Which was more than most could claim.
"The team don't want to take any chances with him. Not this time."
"I'll bet." There was no disputing that Potter was the Cannons' meal ticket. By the end of the war Potter had earned the reputation of being emotionally unstable, and few people had wanted anything to do with him, despite his cachet as the Boy Who Lived. The Cannons, however, had been desperate enough to offer him a place as Seeker, their own Seeker killed in the war and their reserve permanently injured in a match. Their gamble had repaid in spades.
Quidditch was a sport where one player, especially the Seeker, could make or break a team, and Potter made the Cannons. Whatever anyone else could say about him, he knew how to fly, and nothing short of a Dementor on the pitch could distract him from the Snitch. The only time the Cannons lost was when Potter was somehow incapacitated. The steady increase in advertising and merchandizing revenue lead to better coaches, better equipment, and higher salaries for increasingly better players.
Other teams, realizing their mistake, had attempted to lure Potter away from the Cannons with ludicrous offers. The sports pages were often splashed with details concerning negotiations contracts and stories of Potter threatening not to play if the Cannons didn't cough up to match. All Draco knew was that Potter was still with the Cannons.
As to emotional instability, that had never really been determined one way of the other. The media loved to divulge details concerning drug use, alcohol abuse, violent temper, and indiscriminate orgies. There were dozens of reliable sources ready to dish the dirt on Potter. But was any of it true?
Draco, for one, didn't care. He was thrilled to say Potter was no more interesting than any other famous person he didn't know.
Draco knew he wasn't the only adult who wished they could eliminate entire portions of their childhood. It didn't stop him from cringing when he thought of his. Imagine getting one's knickers into such a twist over some self-righteous disapproving prat that seven years were spent trying to punish him. How pathetic. He hated to think how much it had warped his personality and taken over his life. Lame pranks that never worked. Toadying to that stupid Umbridge bitch. Acting like such a twit over being a Prefect - what was he, a Weasley? And nearly selling himself to the wankers of the black cloaks and stupid masks.
Thank Merlin his father had been in Azkaban when the Death Eaters had come to Malfoy Manor, expecting him to join then and there. If his father had been there, with his steely-eyed disapproval and the dignity he'd been able to bring to the ridiculous Death Eater kit, Draco would have bared his forearm and taken the mark. Without his father's presence - or Voldemort's - the Death Eaters had appeared crazed and wretched and Draco had had the courage - or the cowardice - to run.
He hadn't run far. Just to Ireland, where he'd picked up a job in a book store in Dublin and had the piss taken out of him by down-to-earth Irish wizards with little affection for English aristocrats. Draco had had the time and space to realize how nice it was not to have to deal with Dumbledore's moralizing or Death Eater rhetoric. And he'd decided belonging to any kind of movement, regardless of its goals, was not for him.
He had also discovered how much of his behaviour had been influenced by Potter's, and had become profoundly embarrassed.
"He's prepared to accept protection, though?"
"They haven't told him yet. They'd wanted someone chosen before they went to him, so they could present it as a fait accompli."
"Are they aware that Potter and I have a - " he hesitated, not sure what to call it.
"A thing?" Perona supplied with a grin. She'd been in Ravenclaw a year behind Draco. She knew all about their thing.
"An unpleasant personal history."
She shrugged. "They didn't bring it up, so I didn't."
It didn't really matter. "Alright then, put Morrow on it." Morrow was their most experienced man, in his early forties and, as far as Draco knew, no particular fan of Quidditch.
Perona pursed her lips. "Don't you think you should do it?"
Draco raised a blond eyebrow. "No."
"This is a highly important and visible client, boss. The head of the company should be in on it."
"I am not living with Potter for however long it takes to find this crackpot."
"Ah," said Perona. "And here I thought you were a professional."
She was being obvious and heavy-handed and he was not impressed. "Do you really think I'm that easy to manipulate?"
"Are you kidding? All I had to do was mention how much you were looking like your father and the next day you came in with your hair cut off."
Draco put a hand to his hair before he could stop himself.
"Anyway, Morrow already has a client."
"As of when?"
"As of this morning. Wealthy new married couple want to get their house properly warded. They're both Death Eater kids. Morrow's already on his way out to meet them."
"That's what you get for being late."
"Put Ashton on it, then."
"Are you trying to avoid Potter?"
She appeared surprised that he was willing to admit it. "I thought you didn't have any issues with Potter anymore."
"I don't, but he might have them with me."
"Would make it all the more fun, then, wouldn't it?"
This time his eyebrow went up for an entirely different reason.