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 12

Chapter Summary:
Malfoy Security Inc. is hired when Chudley Cannons' star Seeker Harry Potter receives threatening letters.
Author's Note:
Sorry guys. That was my screw up.

"Hey, Potter, were we the first investigators your team hired?"

Potter ambled into the kitchen. "That I know of. But that doesn't mean much."

"It appears Zimmer hired a private investigator about eight months ago," Perona said.

"How do you know that?"

Perona tapped a pile of papers in front of her.

"Have you broken into his books, too?"

"No, these are still the Cannons' papers. He keeps his personal accounts at home."

Potter gave her a glare.

"I looked," she said shamelessly.

"So maybe he's cooking the books a little," said Potter.

"Saintly Zimmer?" Draco gasped melodramatically. "Never!"

Potter scowled. "Taking advantage of job perks is a far cry from murder," he said sourly. "There was a rumour, a while back, that Zimmer's wife had been sleeping around. He might have hired a P.I. to chase after her."

"And put it on the company books?" Perona asked dubiously.

"Is it obvious these are expenses paid to a private investigator?"

"To people who know what to look for, it's obvious there is some kind of consultant on hire. The periodic payments of varying amounts. Travel and lodging expenses. I'd bet my last knut that it's a private investigator."

Harry shrugged.

"I'd love to get my hands on some actual receipts, to see where this guy went. The copying spell wasn't so thorough, unfortunately." She pulled out a blank sheet of parchment and jotted down some notes.

"You seem to be handling the idea of your club being responsible with more equanimity," Draco commented to Potter.

"You do what you have to do and when you see that you're wrong you'll see that you're wrong."

Ah. No actual progress then. Though it was nice not to have to deal with the hostility.

On the other hand, the hostility did give Potter a certain fire that was very appealing to look on.

That moment was not the time. Damn his wandering ... mind.

"So you think it's Zimmer then?" Potter asked.

"He's the likeliest," said Draco. "He has unrestricted access to everything." And Draco didn't like him. "But Hilton is a real possibility, too."

"You really think he'd kill me to be first Seeker?" he asked sceptically.

"People have killed for less," said Draco. "And he's been selling information to the papers."

Now that could have been announced a little less bluntly. A sentiment Perona agreed with, if the look she was giving him was any indication.

Potter's eyes widened. "What?"

"Once a week he meets with Randal Burke from the Daily Owl at the Copper Pot. Burke writes a lot of the more ostentatious stories about you."

Potter looked stunned, his face going pale. He turned and walked out of the kitchen without another word.

A real blow apparently. Draco could understand. If he found out one of his employees was selling his personal secrets he'd be furious.

"Well, that's it for now," Perona announced in an artificially loud voice as she shoved her files back into her sachet.

"No, it's not," Draco objected. "You said you had something on the physiotherapist."

"Only that he's changed his name at least once, but I can discuss this with you tomorrow." With exaggerated head and eye movements she indicated the door through which Harry had left.

She had to be kidding. "Counselling is not part of the job!" he hissed in a low voice.

"Who's talking about your job?" she whispered back. "See you later, Harry!" she called out as she left the flat. There was no answer.

Draco rolled his eyes and looked for Harry.

He found the Seeker out on the balcony, leaning against the steel railing. Draco wanted nothing more than to curl up behind him, wrapping his arms around that slender waist and pressing into that strong back. Well, he wanted something far more than that, but he was leery of taking that kind of step. Instead, he stood beside Harry, hand on the railing. Harry continued to look out into space, with no reaction to Draco's arrival.

"Are you really that surprised?" he asked him.

Harry leaned down, resting his elbows on the railing and loosely linking his fingers together. "Daniel is the one telling the papers about me? That I'm impossible and going mad and doing drugs and all that?"

"We can't know exactly what he's telling them," Draco hedged.

"But probably, yeah?"

"Yeah, probably."

Harry's shoulders slumped.

"It's not just you, because you're Harry Potter, you know," Draco said, not at all sure it was the right thing to say. "We all meet up with people who only want to use us for who we are or who we know or what we have. It hurts when you find out, but you just have to let it go."

There was no response, no reaction, from Harry.

Draco wondered if it would be a good time to offer to fuck him. He decided not to risk it.

Harry was subdued for the rest of the day, vegetating in front of the television, letting the telephone ring without answering and accepting owls without reading the messages. Draco gave half-hearted attention to the reports written by his employees. There was nothing of any use in them. No one was going near any of the Quidditch gear. Security at the arena was tighter than ever and there were no unknowns, even secured temp workers, being allowed in. And of course, no more letters from the stalker.

Draco couldn't really think about it. Harry was miserable. Not indifferent. Not apathetic. Shocked and saddened and miserable. And Draco knew he was falling far short of what Perona had been expecting of him, but he couldn't help it. He didn't know how to make people feel better, except to give them a raise.

Or, of course, offer to fuck them.

Draco couldn't do it, not while Potter was so depressed. When he was high-spirited, the few times Draco had seen it, then certainly. When he was apathetic, the challenge of it added a certain spice. But when he was so obviously dejected, Draco couldn't do it.

Another owl came, pecking at the window, and Draco groaned in anticipation of another report. It was, however, a small envelope of thick expensive paper, the back sealed with black wax. Draco accepted it reluctantly.

Harry noticed. "What's wrong?"

Draco was too shocked to tell him to mind his own business. "Someone's died." He opened the envelope and read while Harry left the sofa to stand near him.

"It's my mother," Draco said numbly. "She's died."


"Some sort of cancer." He put the short letter back into the envelope. "I didn't know she was ill."

"How could you? You said yourself she wanted nothing to do with you."

"True." He might have made a better effort, though. He wandered back into the kitchen, because he had to do something.

She was dead.

She would never admit that she'd been wrong.

Lucius would never be released from Azkaban and return to Malfoy Manor. The two of them would never settle back into marriage and rebuild their lives and, after giving it some time and becoming comfortable with the new order, begin to think it might be nice, in their reclining years, to see their wayward son again.

It was all broken, and the possibility of ever fixing it was gone.

"When's the funeral?"


Maybe if he had gone to Azkaban, and had visited his father, it would have redeemed him in the eyes of both his parents. He hadn't wanted to go to Azkaban. The place terrified him. He couldn't shake the fear that if he made the mistake of standing outside his father's cell, some guard would just shove him in, him being nothing more than another Malfoy, and so conveniently positioned and all, because who would care enough about him to start an inquiry about an illegal incarceration?

"Your mother's funeral. When is it?"

And he'd been angry with his father, and ashamed of him, and had hated him a little. For choosing the wrong side and insisting on sticking with the wrong side even with all the evidence that the wrong side was being lead by a gibbering psychopath. For raising him to be the slave of a madman. For ending up in prison and leaving him to deal with the madman all by himself.

"I'm not sure. In a few days."

But he should have made the first move. Visited his father. Maybe in Azkaban, away from his toadies and forced to think about the things he'd been doing, his father would have acquired a new perspective, and a better understanding of Draco's point of view. After a while they might have come to an amicable understanding.

And with his father's acceptance, Draco might have been able to go to his mother and regain access to his family home. They might have drunk tea in the eastern room and when she asked him what he was up to he might have been able to tell her the truth. The Slytherin in her might have appreciated the irony of his becoming a security professional.

She would still be dead.

He would have seen her, though. He would have talked to her. She might have smiled at him, once or twice, as she had when he was younger.

"I really don't think it's appropriate for me to go," Harry was saying.

"To my mother's funeral?" Draco asked mechanically. "Of course not."

"So you'll need a few days off. And you know I really don't need anyone living here with me. You said yourself - "

"I'm not going."


The fog was being dissipated by irritation. "I'm not going."

"To your mother's funeral?" Potter looked scandalized.


"You have to go!"

"I must do nothing but pay taxes and die."

"It's your mother!"

"Potter." Draco fought to hold on to his temper and his patience. Potter couldn't understand. He'd never known his mother, who had been built up in his eyes as the perfect self-sacrificing woman. Of course he thought all mothers were all that was good and glorious about the human race. "This is none of your business. The subject is closed."

"You have no reason not to go."

"I have responsibilities."

"This job?" Potter looked disgusted. "You would miss something this important for a damn job? Where the hell are your priorities?"

"It's not a damn job! I'm not going to leave you running around like an idiot just to - " Oh, that was brilliant. What a stunningly stupid thing to say. And he kept on talking. Incredible. "My mother is dead. She doesn't care whether I show up to her funeral or not. It's too late for her to care. You are still alive. And for all we know, this stalker is focusing on the games because that's the only time you're outside warded structures without me hovering over you. For all we know, the moment I step outside the door something will slip in and that will - " And here he had to stop because his voice cracked.

What the fuck was wrong with him?

He tore up the letter into eighths, then set it on fire. "I told you before, Potter. My family wasn't this ideal of warmth and love you seem to carry around in your imagination. My mother and I have - had no use for one other." And he wasn't going to trade Harry's life for an appearance at a funeral of a woman to whom he meant nothing. "End of discussion."

And for a long tense moment, Potter stood there and stared at him. Draco wanted to fidget in his gaze, so he flung his head back and stared back in challenge. He noted in his own humiliation that the dejected air had lifted from Potter's shoulders.

Harry put a hand on Draco's shoulder. "Let me know if you change your mind," he said quietly. "And thank you."

"For what?"

Harry shrugged. He slid his hand up to the back of Draco's neck, then leaned in to kiss Draco softly on the mouth. "I'm sorry about your mother, Draco," he said. "Let me know if you change your mind."

He wasn't going to change his mind. For the sake of decorum, he should go to the funeral, regardless of how he felt. His mother, however, would have to make do with the fact that for the sake of decorum he wasn't launching himself at Harry to follow up on that kiss.

He was degenerating into a sentimental mess. He had known, back in the beginning, that taking this job was a bad idea. He'd done it anyway. Damn his impulses. They always screwed him up.