- 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.
- Chapter Summary:
- Malfoy Security Inc. is hired when Chudley Cannons' star Seeker Harry Potter receives threatening letters.
Draco couldn't blame Ophelia Weaver and Dennis Zimmer, the owner and general manager of the Chudley Cannons, for feeling uneasy about the crop of letters Potter had been getting. They were a series, sent through Muggle post, and reading them left Draco with the desire for a long, hot, sterilizing shower. The writer didn't hate Potter. The writer instead had a some weird twisted obsession for him, something the writer called 'love', and as the dates of the letters changed it became clear that the correspondent was becoming impatient with the lack of reciprocation.
It was nothing Draco hadn't seen before. Sometimes such letters came to nothing. Sometimes they resulted in death. It was hard to know. Draco had copies sent to Perona with instructions to see what she could find from the Aurors and the media archives. The Aurors themselves had already been informed of them, and were performing investigations of their owns, but Weaver and Zimmer had insisted on hiring their own professionals.
After he and Weaver and Zimmer had come to a deal, which involved an exorbitant fee, it was time to confront Potter. Weaver and Zimmer appeared tense over the prospect. Draco wasn't. He'd dealt with prima donnas before. It was all about picking your battles. Object to small stuff but be won over by the client, so the client thought they still had control over their lives. Stick to your wand on the important stuff, so the client doesn't wind up dead.
Potter lived in Wendover Alley, a quiet quality area but not what one would call strictly high class. A place of nice houses with moderate lawns and near-luxury flats. Draco had been expecting a spacious estate, which would have been a nightmare to ward, and that was what he had in mind when he'd stated his fee. Potter had to be a gold mine, that Weaver and Zimmer agreed to it.
The three of them flooed into the ground floor of one of those deluxe apartment buildings, and were halted from proceeding further by a security guard stationed by the doors. The guard used a Muggle-phone to contact Potter in his flat, but received no answer. "He's in there," the guard said. "The night guard noted he came in late last night and he hasn't left this morning."
"We told him to expect us," Weaver sighed. "You know who we are, yes?"
"Yes, ma'am," the guard nodded, though his gaze lingered on Draco.
"Something might be wrong. Please let us up."
The guard unwarded and then unlocked the lift, and accompanied them to the top floor. There were only two flats on the floor. Weaver knocked on the door on the right. "Harry! Are you in there?"
No answer. A few moments the general managed pounded on the door with his fist. "Potter! Up and at 'em!"
Another short wait and the guard started fiddling with his keys. But before he could use them the door opened, and a gorgeous creature slouched against the frame.
Draco had seen pictures of Harry Potter. They were impossible to avoid, in newspapers and magazines, on billboards, on posters and calendars. In some of the pictures he's been wearing even less than he was wearing right then, faded jeans worn low on the hips. But it was nothing like being in the presence of the real thing. And the real thing had black hair tumbling to lightly tanned shoulders, and leanly muscled arms crossed over a leanly muscled chest. His eyes were a little hazy, though not, Draco suspected, due to a lack of lenses. Once he went professional he would have had his vision corrected. Six silver earrings curved along the rim of his left ear, and a dull silver torque drew attention to the firm clean lines of his throat and collarbones.
A Malfoy did not drool.
Potter rubbed his face with a lazy hand. "Where's the fire?" he asked in a slow, gravelly voice. He cleared his throat.
The door guard silently withdrew into the lift.
"We told you we were coming by this morning," said Weaver.
Potter's hand lowered until it covered only his mouth, while his black eyebrows drew together. "Time is it?" he asked, his voice smoother but just as deep.
"We've brought Mr. Malfoy with us. We're here to talk about security."
Potter seemed surprised to learn there was a third person there. Draco was steeling himself for some kind of explosive reaction. Instead, Potter cast a disinterested eye over him. "Didn't you turn out the pretty one, Malfoy?" He turned away from the door, pushing it wide open behind him.
Apparently that was an invitation of sorts, for Weaver and Zimmer followed in after. "Are you hung over?" Zimmer demanded.
"No! Crikey! I'm just tired. Got in late."
Draco, meanwhile, was standing stunned by the door, holding it open but not quite stepping into the flat. He couldn't believe Potter had just turned his back on them and let them in, let him in, so nonchalantly. He gets threatening letters, a past enemy arrives out of nowhere, and it's hey, walk on in.
This was going to be more difficult than he'd anticipated.
He stepped in and silently closed the door behind him. Folding his coat over his arm, he looked about the large area before him. A sizeable hallway, two steps down into a spacious living room with huge windows, furniture chosen for comfort rather than style, and a great deal of Muggle entertainment equipment. The tidiness of the place surprised him. If he'd thought about it he would have expected the Boy Who Lived to be messy. Then again, it was likely Potter had some kind of cleaning service, which was something they'd have to talk about.
Weaver and Zimmer had followed Potter into another room, the kitchen no doubt. Draco could hear them talking, Weaver and Zimmer explaining the reason for Draco's presence and Potter sleepily protesting that none of this fuss was necessary.
Potter came back out from the kitchen and sprawled on one of the sofas. "Take a load off, Malfoy."
"Please take this seriously, Harry," Weaver chided him, squeezing into the remaining space on the sofa.
"I am taking it seriously. I just don't think you need to hire me a bodyguard. Especially this bodyguard." Draco prickled at that. "He's littler than me."
"Difficult as it may be to wrap your primitive little mind around the concept, Potter, not everything has to do with brute force."
"I'm also a wizard. I can handle magical attacks."
"Maybe if they're dressed in black and shouting 'I'm going to kill you, Harry Potter!' but I have a feeling more subtle threats will pass you by."
"I'm not stupid, Malfoy."
"You let me walk right in."
"I wouldn't if you were alone. You're with people I know."
"So? Maybe I've gotten into their good graces."
"Why would you?"
Bludgers. Too many bludgers to the head. "Have you forgotten our seven years at Hogwarts? Hated each others' guts? Ring any bells?"
"We were kids."
"How do you know I haven't spent all of my time since then plotting your downfall?"
"I assume you've got better things to do with your life."
Draco felt oddly flattered by that, and then an instant later irritated that he felt flattered. "Your assumptions will get you killed, Potter."
"Am I wrong? Are you here to win my eternal devotion?"
At least he'd read the letters. That was something. "Of course not. But it's not as simple as that."
"Of course it is."
"Potter," said Zimmer. "Celebrities get killed by stalkers, right?"
Potter sighed and rubbed his eyes.
"These people are dangerous because they don't think like everyone else. They're unpredictable and they don't wear signs saying "I'm a stalker." It takes a professional to suss them out and Mr. Malfoy is a professional. Let him do his job. You don't have time to deal with it yourself, anyway."
It seemed that morning was a good time to convince Potter to do something he didn't want to do. He was tired and indifferent. "Fine, whatever. It's your dosh. But I'm not going to hide in here or have a huge bunch of people hanging around. More than usual, anyway."
"Perhaps now would be a good time for Mr. Potter and I to decide what the details of his protection should be." Draco had learned it was better, if more difficult, to discuss the fine details with the client rather than with any handlers said client may have. Nothing ticked off people more than the feeling that others were arranging their whole lives for them. "We can send you a report later today."
Weaver and Zimmer didn't like it. They scowled and protested. Draco know how to handle the handlers, too, and Potter expressed no opinion on whether they should stay or go, choosing to go back to the kitchen while the discussion went on. By the time he returned bearing a tray with two mugs, sugar and cream, the owner and the general manager were gone.
"Coffee?" he offered, setting the tray on the coffee table. He took one of the mugs, piling in a disgusting amount of sugar followed by a disgusting amount of cream. Draco would have thought a professional athlete, and especially a seeker, would need to be more cautious about what he put in his mouth.
"I don't remember you being this ... distracted in the mornings." He'd never been like that in early classes.
Potter grunted, holding the mug in both hands and resting his elbows on his knees as he brought the mug to his mouth. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath through his nose, and savoured a slow sip.
Draco watched him with amusement. What a picture that would make. Barbarian Having Sex With Coffee. "I need to move in here with you."
Potter choked on his coffee. A highly satisfactory response.
"You what?" Potter demanded, voice sharp, eyes finally clear.
Ah, now he was waking up. "If I'm to protect you, I need to live with you."
"I assumed your protection would entail wards and charms and watching my mail."
"Didn't I warn you of the dangers of making assumptions?"
"What do you need to be here for?"
"To watch you and those around you, of course. Be here in case of an attack."
"The letters didn't say anything about an attack."
"They did mention teaching you to appreciate his devotion. I doubt he has in mind roses and a basket of kittens."
"You think it's a bloke?" Potter took another long sip of coffee.
"I don't know for sure. It's just a feeling I get from the letters. Why? Are you going to erupt into a homophobic rage?"
Potter shrugged. "Just good to know what to keep an eye out for."
"So do you have a spare room or am I kipping on the sofa?"
Potter pinched the bridge of his nose. "Don't you have a life? Someone to get upset if you're bunking somewhere else?"
"I think anyone in my life would feel well compensated by what the job brings in," Draco said coolly.
Potter smirked. "You mean they'd be happy with the money over your company? Well, yeah, not so hard to imagine."
"You would know. What's your salary?" Though a search through the papers would probably tell him.
"How do I know you aren't here to kill me yourself?"
Now he asks. "Bad for business when the client dies, Potter."
"Why did you take the job, though? Really?"
"The cash. You wouldn't believe what they're paying me. You must mean a lot to them."
"Yeah. I bring in a lot of revenue."
Draco looked at him closely. That was what he'd meant to imply, to be snide. It wasn't what he'd expected Potter to admit, perfectly serious, without any bitterness. "So? Room or sofa?"
"Is this really necessary?"
Potter sighed. "Whatever." He heaved himself to his feet. "I've got a spare room. It's this way."
Draco stared after him. He'd really expected more of a fight. Maybe Potter needed a second cup of coffee before he was really on the ball. Maybe in half an hour or so he'd suddenly start screaming the roof down. He hurried after Potter down a short hall off the living room.
"There are going to be limits, Malfoy. I've got enough useless rules to follow."
"These are rules that are going to save your life."
"In there." Potter threw open a door to a moderately sized room, blandly decorated. "I guess I should tell you I'm having a party tonight."
"Cancel it," Malfoy said more sternly.
"No." And Potter was off again. Draco followed him into another bedroom, larger and decorated with more personality, a nice balcony off the large windows. Potter headed straight to the en suite bathroom. "I'll give you a list of who's coming and you can do whatever you sort do to check them out, but I'm not having my life turned upside down because Weaver feels like panicking."
"I've seen the letters, Potter. This is a serious threat."
"Yeah, well, we've all got to die sometime. Now do you mind? I'm trying to take a shower here."
Can I watch? "This isn't the end of it, Potter. I've got a bunch of questions you won't like about everyone you've spent two seconds talking to over the past decade. I've got to set up wards all over the place and do something about these nightmare windows. What's with this place, anyway, Potter? Missing your glorious Gryffindor tower?"
"Malfoy." Potter breathed out the name, like he was just too tired to speak right then. "Go away." And he closed the door in Draco's face.
Draco took a step back, not sure whether things had gone better or, in some subtle twisted way, worse than he'd expected. Not that it mattered. He had a job to do, and it didn't include figuring out Potter's little issues.