The Dark Arts
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
Mystery Slash
Multiple Eras
Order of the Phoenix
Published: 11/04/2003
Updated: 01/06/2004
Words: 40,796
Chapters: 17
Hits: 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 10

Chapter Summary:
Malfoy Security Inc. is hired when Chudley Cannons' star Seeker Harry Potter receives threatening letters.
Author's Note:
There was a bit of a screw up when I submitted chapter nine, with the result being that I lost my list of new people who have given me feedback. Please forgive me if I missed you. New people that I remember include: Juno, Elfian, Calamus_Draco, Kriddle, ferox, Jet_Black, Leo_Dormiens, Kilolo, Naddie, Primrose_Burrows, nschik, Kenovay, Tanyaneko, Ishtar, freya, geekmomma. And thank you so much to those who review regularly.

Draco got an idea of how his clients must feel, being watched all the time. Potter was introducing him to the experience. He would have to find a way to ... repay him ... for the lesson.

It wasn't blatant. It wasn't like Potter stared at him constantly. But if there wasn't something demanding his attention, he seemed to find Draco the most fascinating object in his survey. There was nothing possessive or challenging about it, even when Draco deliberately met his gaze and scowled. More puzzled or assessing. It got under Draco's skin and made him a little edgy.

Others noticed. Rose was the first and she was quick to start teasing Potter and tormenting Draco. The others on the team followed suit, including reliable sources who let the press know all about it. Which got Draco's own crew into the act. Perona, in particular, was merciless.

Sometimes Draco really hated women. And he wondered at himself for ever wanting to be famous in any way, for any reason. And he hoped and prayed that some time soon people would stop using the words 'sex lair' in reference to him.

He hadn't even done anything to deserve it.

"Well, you could."

That was Potter, standing right behind him, speaking into his ear.

Draco folded the newspaper, realizing to his horror that he had spoken out loud. "Can't take no for an answer?"

"Just want the chance to prove I can do better."

"We have more important things to think about."

"Like what?"

Draco turned around to start at him in shock. "Someone's trying to kill you!"

"Oh," he said, like he'd honestly forgotten. "Well, then, you'd better take advantage of my offer before it's too late."

Right then, Draco wanted nothing more than to grab Harry by the shoulders and shake him until he showed some sense. "Do you hate your life that much?" he demanded.

Potter looked surprised. "I don't hate my life."

"I guess not. Even hatred requires that you care."

The Seeker rolled his eyes. "Not everyone lets themselves get wound so tight as you."

"I'm pretty sure, Potter, that almost everyone else on the planet would get worried if they found themselves the target of a murder plot."

"Wow, Malfoy. You've turned into a nag."

Yes, they'd been over this ground before. If Potter would just act like a normal human being about this they could give it a rest.

There was a knock at the door. Potter moved reflexively to answer it, and Draco stopped him with a hand to his arm. He strode over to the door, casting a spell over it with a wave of his wand. The identification spell told him it was Perona.

"It's me," Perona called from the other side of the door.

"Prove it," Draco challenged her.

He could almost hear her rolling her eyes. "My first day, I set my desk on fire."

Draco let her in.

She was holding files. It seemed to Draco she was always holding files. "What have you got for me now?"

"Copies of their books."

Oh joy. Taxes. Capital expenditures. Debits and credits. Draco had no fondness for - or skill with - numbers. He hired people for that.

"How did you get those?" Potter demanded stiffly.

"I stoled 'em." Perona grinned at Potter. "Hi there, gorgeous."

Potter's eyes narrowed. It was not in reaction to the greeting.

"Relax, Potter. We're not going to do anything nefarious with them, and they'll be destroyed as soon as we're done with them."

"What do you need them for?"

Draco just gave him a look. He bloody well knew what they needed them for. There was no need to set off a temper tantrum right then. He and Perona went to the kitchen where they could spread the papers out on the table.

"What am I supposed to do while you two are in here violating my employer's privacy?"

"Anything you want, as long as you don't leave the flat."

There was a bit of a cold front waving in from the Potter direction. Draco suspected that if he looked up from the file he would see the Seeker scowling. He flipped over a couple of pages without actually seeing anything, waiting until Potter had stomped away.

"You know, boss, you'd probably find this assignment much easier if you found a way to soothe the client's troubled brow," Perona smirked. "I've got some suggestions."

"That joke's getting old, Perona," Draco muttered, flipping back to the first page. "Are you going to tell me what these say, or what?"

"Don't you want to look through them yourself? What did I bring them down for?"

"That's what I'm wondering. Spill."

"Well, it's hard to judge these accurately without comparing them to the books of other teams. But everyone knows that the club is doing extremely well. The Cannons have been the most profitable team in the league for the past three years."

"And Potter's the most highly paid player."

"Aye, but that's only since Reena Sparrow retired. It was only a couple of years ago that Potter's salary really jumped up, with his last contract negotiation. Most of his galleons come from endorsements."

"So all those screaming headlines about his contract negotiations were just ...."

"A way to sell papers. You know how these things work."

"So, Potter's not ridiculously expensive?" He couldn't believe this. Another motive fading away.

"He does make an awful lot now. His insurance premiums are high. And his contract's up for renegotiation at the end of this season. His salary can't go anywhere but up."

"They could just let him go, then, if he's getting too expensive."

"They'd be fools to let him go. He's still got a few years in him.

Draco thought about that. "I heard someone else say that. It makes him sound like a dog that will need to be put down eventually. He's still young yet."

"Not for a player. It'll be harder for him to stay as slim and flexible as a Seeker needs to be. And Seekers wear out the shoulders and wrists more quickly than other players. Chasing after the Snitch takes more dives and jerks than passing the Quaffle or hitting Bludgers. Already people, some people, have noticed he's begun to slow down. A little."

"So they'll have to increase his salary even as he becomes less effective as a player. Yet they wouldn't want him to go to another team, with his Boy Who Lived fame and past triumphs and his few good years." He spelled together some coffee as he thought about it. "There's a few possibilities, here. There's out and out revenge for some old grudge. Or someone working for the club trying to get Potter off the team without risking him going to another team. Or someone working for another team, either just getting rid of Potter, or hoping that with all this hassle the Cannons will drop him, maybe even with a view of picking him up themselves."

"Or just driving him out of the sport."

"With no real concern over whether he gets killed or not."

"I wonder why I find that more chilling than killing him out of romantic obsession," Perona said. "Are you definitely crossing that motive out?"

"Nothing's definite, but it doesn't fit the facts. There have been no more letters, no attempts at contact at all since we came on board. And though two events aren't really enough to establish a pattern, I really think the stalker is targeting the games, and for a reason. Maybe an attempt to discredit Potter in a public way, or something like that. It really doesn't feel like the sort of thing people with a sexual obsession would do." He sipped at his coffee. "How many have we got working on this?"

"Easier to ask how many aren't."

"I want a twenty-four hour watch on Zimmer, Oban, the physiotherapist - what's his name again? - the new Beater, and Hilton."

"Why Hilton? He's been with the Cannons almost as long as Potter."

"I don't think he's the instigator of the plot, but I can easily see him being used as a tool. He's an established insider, he feels under-appreciated by the team, and the promise of taking over as Seeker might be enough to convince him to play along."

"We're really stretched thin right now," Perona warned him.

"Juggle whatever you have to, to keep them covered. I have a feeling Potter's fine until the next game. I probably don't even need to stay here anymore."

Perona looked at him in surprise. "You're not leaving him, are you?"

"Nice choice of words," Draco said sourly. "Don't get hysterical. It's just an instinct that I have, that I'm not needed here. I won't act on it."

"That's not the only instinct you won't act on," Perona muttered. "Bloody coward."

Draco raised a chilly eyebrow. "I beg your pardon?"

"Sorry. I mean, bloody coward, sir."

Draco pushed the files back at her. "You can go now."

"You're just waiting for an excuse to ditch him."

"Why don't you take over, then? You can baby sit the professional Quidditch player twenty-four seven."

"Can't you let yourself enjoy yourself for an instant?"

"I'm not being paid to have fun."

"You're not being paid not to."

"Don't you have any orders to carry out?"

"Oh, just shag him already."

"Perona." Draco's tone dropped several degrees in temperature. "I give you a lot of leeway. Don't abuse it."

"Hey, fine. You want to look back on a couple of centuries of nothing more than work, that's your idiocy." Her back stiff, Perona rose from the table. "I'll see myself out, thanks."

His coffee was cold, damn it.

"I see you still enjoy that unique talent for pissing people off, Malfoy."

The bane of his existence was leaning in the doorway, much as he had been when Draco had first seen him. Well, first seen him the second time.

"The only thing you could find to do was eavesdrop?"

"What can I say? The old forms of entertainment seem less amusing to me now." Potter crossed the kitchen. "You know, if you use the coffee maker you don't have to keep spelling the coffee hot."

"It tastes better this way."

Instead of using the Muggle contraption, Potter spelled himself a cup, standing back against the counter. "Are you going to do what she said?"

"What was that?"

He smirked. "Shag me already."

Anger flared. "Fuck it, Potter, shut up about that! I have enough to deal with without putting up with your crap, too."

There appeared to be no reaction from Potter. He looked down into his coffee mug.

Draco wondered how much of the conversation Harry had heard. He didn't seem angry or defensive, as he usually did when he heard of suspicions against his team. Surely he would have been outraged by the suggestion that his life was being threatened for the sake of business.

Potter poured his coffee down the sink. "Come on, let's go."


"I'll tell you when we get there. Up. You've been sitting around doing nothing all morning."

"So have you."

"I'm not being paid for my time. So up. On your feet. They're waiting for us."

"Who is they?"

"No one you suspect of trying to kill me."

"And I have to trust your judgment on that? Wonderful." But he went, of course. He had no choice. And nothing better to do.