- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Abuse - Child
- Character Bashing
- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Murder
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
- Canon Divergence
- Challenge Response
- Time Travel
Chapter One: Asking for a Second Chance
Lucius opened his eyes to find himself back in his favorite chair in his personal study, however that’s where the similarity to the him that he had come from ended. It had been years since Lucius felt this healthy. He’d started drinking too much while Voldemort…. Riddle he corrected himself mid-thought. He liked that James had called that Dark Bastard Tom Riddle and made a promise to himself that he would never call the slimy beast anything else ever again.
Shaking his head, Lucius turned his thoughts back to his contemplation of where in time he was when his original Zeus popped in. Lucius was so surprised to see the House Elf that he forgot himself for a moment and getting down on his knees hugged the smaller being.
The Malfoys had always named their House Elves after the Greek Gods. The House Elf that served the Lord was always named Zeus, and the House Elf that served the Lady was always named Hera. They were also always the Personal Attendant House Elves, which were a step above a normal House Elf in rank. Back in the days when war amongst magical countries was more common, powerful and wealthy families had various ranks of House Elves.
There was the common House Elf that did things like cooking, cleaning, and running general errands to keep their master’s house running smoothly. Then both the Lord and the Lady of the family each had a Personal Attendant House Elf that served both as a sort of half secretary and half protector. Some families also assigned their children a Personal Attendant House Elf at the time of birth. Then there was often a Steward House Elf who was in charge of all of the other House Elves in residence outside of the two that served the Lord and Lady.
These days, even most pureblood families didn’t have enough House Elves to have this hierarchy. The Malfoys though still followed the old ways in many ways, and their House Elves were just one of them. In addition to Zeus and Hera they still had a Steward House Elf who was named after one of the Greek Fates, and their name was always assigned by the former Steward Elf upon their retirement. The name was chosen based on their strength.
Clotho was the name for the Steward Elf who was strongest in things like healing, tending to the grounds, growing food or herbs in the green houses, or other things of that nature. Lachesis was the name of the Steward House Elf who was best at management in general. These House Elves had a strong eye for making sure everything ran smoothly and that both the masters and the House Elves were happy. Then the last option was Atropos, and this House Elf was best at protection. This was a Warrior House Elf and these days there weren’t many who held this strength.
Lucius thought that he should have known when the previous Steward House Elf, named Clotho, retired and named his replacement as Atropos that it was a sign of things to come. Lucius’ original Zeus had originally been named Aether before he’d been elevated to the position of Zeus when Lucius took over for his father as Head of the House of Malfoy. Abraxas had hated the House Elves, saw them as insignificant creatures who deserved only scraps and rag, and expected his son to do the same. Most often Lucius had done as expected. After all, Lucius always did what was expected of him. His father expected him to hate the House Elves, and thus Lucius had, except for Aether.
Aether had been with him literally his entire life until the day that the Dark… no. Until the day that Tom Riddle killed him because he was annoyed. Lucius remembered that moment and the flash of insight that he’d had about his son’s reaction to finding out that Dobby had been given a sock. Unlike Lucius, Draco had always loved the House Elves. He’d never understood why he should hate them and had never been willing to accept because I said so as a reason.
When Draco found out that Dobby had been freed, his son had cried and screamed that he hated him. Lucius remembered sneering at his 12-year-old child and taunting him saying that if he wanted to cry like a baby then maybe he should wear diapers. He’d then forced Draco to wear a diaper for a week as punishment. He might have loved his son, but that didn’t mean that Lucius wasn’t aware that at times he was a horrible father.
“Is Master Lucius feeling ok?” Came the croak from within his arms, and with a shaky huff, Lucius pulled back to look at his House Elf and friend. It was in that long dark night after Aether’s death that the Malfoy Lord finally realized just what the House Elf had meant to him.
“I’m fine, Zeus,” Lucius promised and moved to sit in his chair as he was studied by the House Elf.
“Zeus thinks that something has happened to Master Lucius. This Master Lucius is not the same Master Lucius that he said good night to last night. Something has changed. Some big magics has happened. Does Master Lucius need Zeus to call Professor Severus Snape?”
“Yes, that would be a marvelous idea, Zeus,” Lucius said unable to stop smiling down at his friend. “I also need you to let Narcissa know that I need to see her at the same time as well. After that, I want you to get together with Hera and Atropos. I want new uniforms for all of the Malfoy House Elves. Make sure that you, Hera, and Apollo also check your armor and order new if you need it.
“The same goes for the Black House Elves that reside with us. I also want an inspection of your quarters and living areas and a list of any changes or improvements that are needed. Lastly, I will be contacting the Dverger and having them send over a Healer to check you all out and add some protection spells that we have in error let go dormant. I…”
Lucius took a deep breath and bowed his head. His hand found the head of his cane and he let his fingers roam over the pointy fangs of the snake head. “I have not been a good master to you, Zeus. You or any of the other House Elves. I have done some bad things and allowed things to be done to all of you that I should not have. The fact that it hasn’t happened in this timeline yet doesn’t matter.
“I want you to know though that I’m going to be a better Master to you, and from this point forward will not tolerate anyone mistreating my House Elves. You… when I was a child you were the only real friend I had, Aether. I forgot that for a while, and I am sorry. I swore that I would not become my father, and then I went ahead and did it. That’s over though. You have my oath as Lord Malfoy that I will treat you all better from this day forward.”
Zeus’ eyes got bigger as Lucius talked, and by the time he was done, Lucius was a little worried that they would pop out of the poor creature’s skull. When Zeus leapt forward and hugged Lucius’ legs, he couldn’t help but smile and pat the smaller being’s back.
“Master Lucius is the best Master Aether now Zeus has ever had. Zeus is honored to serve the mighty and noble Malfoy family and will be proud to have the Malfoy crest on his uniform. You is Zeus’ friend too, and Zeus is going to make sure all of the other House Elves is envious that their masters is not as great as the Mighty and Noble Lord Lucius Malfoy. Yes, he is. Is there anything Master Lucius is being needing before Zeus goes off to see to his tasks?”
“No, Zeus, that will be all,” Lucius advised as his study door opened with a crash as his son stormed through.
When Zeus narrowed his eyes at the Malfoy Heir, Lucius stopped him from scolding him. “It’s ok, Zeus. I am afraid that you are not the only one I owe some apologies to. Can you have someone bring Draco and myself breakfast here? You can let Cissy know that she is welcome to join us if she wishes. There is no reason why she cannot hear this discussion. I will no longer be keeping secrets from Lady Malfoy. If I need anything else, I will call for you.”
Reluctantly, Zeus nodded before glaring at Draco for the way he entered the room and then popped out to see about his tasks.
“What have you done, Lucius?” Draco growled, his words and tone at odds with his 13-year-old voice. “Why am I back in my13-year-old body? What have you done to my life now?”
“I know that you are upset, Draco, and I do not blame you,” Lucius soothed gesturing to the chair opposite him. “We have much to discuss, and I have no intention of keeping things from you. I only ask that you hear me out. Because I know that what I am about to say is a little unbelievable, and that you have more reason not to trust me than you have reason to do so…”
Lucius pulled his wand out of his cane and pointed it at himself. “I, Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, do swear on my magic that what I am about to tell my son, Draco Lucius Malfoy, about the event that led to the two of us being sent back in time to be true and without intentional mistruth or holding back of information. If I intentionally deceive him may Lady Magic punish me as she sees fit. So, mote it be.”
Lucius noticed that Draco’s expression had grown wary, and his eyes widened slightly at the oath. He was satisfied though when his son moved to sit in the chair Lucius had indicated and seemed to be willing to listen. So, once Draco was settled and they both had a nice cup of morning tea, Lucius started telling his son about the dream visit from James Potter not leaving out any detail and not stopping until he’d told the entire tale.
When he was done, Lucius pointed his wand towards the fireplace and shot off a spark of fire rekindling the flames that had died down. “Holy shite,” Draco murmured quietly, and Lucius just managed to withhold a scolding about language. He just hoped that his son would at least not use such crude words around his mother. The way Lucius saw it, with all of the things that he had done to his son, the last thing he had the right to bitch to him about was saying shite in his presence.
To say that Lucius’ relationship with his son and Heir had been damaged by his actions during the war and with Riddle specifically was an understatement. Draco never trusted him again and made his disdain for his father well known to any who would listen. When Lucius had closed his eyes to take a nap the night before, he hadn’t seen Draco in nearly a decade, and then only across the room at a social function.
“I know that the things I have done to you and forced you into are inexcusable,” Lucius started and noted how Draco’s eyes dropped to his teacup as if he were reading tea leaves. “I can’t change things in the original timeline, but I will do my best to change them in this one. You have no reason to believe me, and I hold no ill will about that. I would like a chance to re-earn your trust, but I will not hold it against you if you can’t find it in you to give me a chance. I know you will not believe this, but I love you Draco.
“You are not just my Heir, but you are my son, my only child. I know that you have always been closer to your mother, and the reasons for that are my fault. I love you now though and I loved you then, even if I was a horribly bad parent. You have my oath that there will be no following Voldemort in this timeline. There will be no selling you to anyone or asking you to follow anyone you don’t trust.
“I will do my best to free not just you but your friends and anyone else who needs it if that is what you wish. I know that you’ve worked hard with the war orphans all these years when we haven’t been speaking along with several other charities. I am also aware of the work you have done to influence others within the Wizengamot to change laws so that they are more balanced not just for muggleborn and half-bloods, but for pure-bloods as well. I promise that I will begin your work here now and hopefully we can avoid some of the bullshite.”
“Does this mean that you’re throwing yourself in with Dumbledore?” Draco asked sounding skeptical and Lucius just snorted.
“My feelings on that old goat have not changed. Albus Dumbledore is in my opinion as bad if not worse than Tom Riddle, and just so you are aware, I refuse to use the name Voldemort ever again. He was born Tom Riddle, and I refuse to use some stupid made-up honor that he gave himself. Had he changed his name to Tammy Riddle, it would be different, but I refuse to give him the honor of even a fake lordship.”
Draco’s lips twitched and before Lucius knew it, Draco was holding his sides, hung over the side of the chair howling with laughter and stomping a foot against the floor in his amusement. “Tam… Tam… Tammy…. Holy shite! Tammy Riddle! I will never be able to take snake face serious again!”
Lucius’s lips twitched as he watched his son laugh. “What are you thinking Dragon? Red lipstick and a blond wig? I am not sure that he has the legs for heels though.”
If possible, Draco’s laughter got louder and by the time Narcissa and Severus came in, Draco was laying on the floor, red faced from laughing and still holding his sides. “Tammy Riddle!”
Lucius looked up from his son to his stunned wife and friend and moved to the table where Zeus had set up breakfast for them all. Stopping at Draco, Lucius held out a hand to his Heir and son to help him up off the ground but expected to be rejected. When his son actually took it though and let Lucius help him up, the father almost forgot how to breathe.
“I will give you another chance, father,” Draco professed seriously as he calmed down. He seemed to be momentarily ignoring his mother and Godfather’s presences. “I would be a hypocrite not to give you a second chance when there are many who gave me one after the war. If Bill Weasley can give me another chance after I was responsible for facilitating the attack that caused his injuries, the least I can do is give my father the same chance. My only demand is that I will not leave Harry behind this time.”
Lucius just nodded and gripped his son’s shoulder. When he found himself wrapped up in a hug though, Lucius froze for a moment as it had been decades since his son hugged him. But quickly his brain started back up and Lucius returned the hug burying his nose in his son’s hair for a moment and inhaling the scent of his child that he had missed desperately.
“I have missed you my son, and I vow on my life I will not betray this chance you are giving me. We will save you, Harry, and anyone else that needs it.”
Eventually, Draco pulled back and nodded to him before turning to greet his mother and Godfather. “Mother, Sev, good morning.”
Lucius looked to his wife and friend, blushed seeing his normally stoic wife teary-eyed with a hand over her mouth. Severus had an arm around her shoulders in support as he studied the Malfoy Lord and Heir as if they were a potion that was not reacting the way he’d expected.
“We have much to discuss. Let’s sit down and I will tell you why I have called you both here.” Moving to the table, Lucius repeated his earlier oath, only this time for Narcissa and Severus before beginning his tale.
When he got done, Lucius reached into his inner pocket and finding the vial that James had given him, pulled it out setting it down in front of Severus. “What about you?” The Potions Master asked, and Lucius just shook his head, squeezing his wife’s hand gently where it lay on the table top clasped in his own.
“I do not need it. You, however my friend, deserve a life free of masters, and if we are to win this time around and defeat Tom Riddle as well as Albus Dumbledore, we need you to be free of outside influence my friend.”
“Tammy Riddle,” Draco murmured with a grin before he began giggling. Lucius just shook his head even as his lips twitched. However, when he heard a giggle come from his wife, Lucius turned his attention to Narcissa and arched an eyebrow, which seemed to completely set her off.
Turning his eyes to Severus, Lucius shared a tolerant look with his friend as his wife and son giggled. When they calmed, Lucius told them all about his conversation with Zeus, and blushed when stunned eyes turned on him again.
“What? I cannot very well expect to win this and just play at changing. If things are going to be different, then they need to change everywhere. That means treating the House Elves better and following my son’s lead there. It also means making amends with the gob… no, the Dverger. The House of Malfoy will never again use that horrible wizard created slur to insult them. It means facing the fact that muggleborn and half-bloods are not on fact inferior to us they are for the most part just not properly educated in our ways. It means really changing our ways and not just playing at it.”
Looking toward Severus, Lucius could see his friend eyeing the vial. “I have never heard of this potion, but James was very clear that while you would get incredibly sick, you will live if you are fully willing to break your ties to all that that is influencing you.”
“I am,” Severus said quickly and carefully picked up the vial and looked at the liquid that seemed to imitate what Lucius thought a liquified pearl would look like. “I have heard rumors of such a potion, but I did not think that it actually existed. I will keep a tiny bit back to study. If I can determine how it is made, I will make some for you, Lucius. It is not fair that I am the only one freed from this cursed mark.”
Lucius waved a hand in the air and smiled at his friend. “I trust you to do what you think is best but know that if you are the only one of us that is saved then I am fine with that. I think it is well beyond time that you are allowed to live your life for you and following your own path without outside influence.”
Severus nodded and looked to Draco who seemed to be eyeing him eagerly. “Did you continue your Potions work after the war, brat?”
Draco nodded quickly and puffed out his chest slightly. “I went to France and was accepted to do my mastery under Herbert Mercier. I remembered you speaking highly of him.”
“Good, then you can help me figure out this potion. We’ll consider it an early apprenticeship otherwise you are going to find yourself incredibly bored in potions class this year.”
“I’ll manage,” Draco shrugged and thanked Euphrosyne, who was actually the daughter of Zeus. “Your uniform is lovely.”
Euphrosyne bobbed smiling big running a hand over the sunflower patterned material. “Papa Zeus made this for Euphrosyne, he did. He said he knew that sunflowers were Euphrosyne’s favorites.”
“It’s charming,” Narcissa praised gently, and the tiny House Elf quivered with happiness before vanishing the dishes and refilling the tea settings before disappearing. “What is our first order of business, Lucius?”
“Freeing James’ son,” Lucius said immediately and eyed Severus who suddenly had a sour expression on his face.
“You are going to have to get over that, Severus. Harry is not his father any more than Draco is a miniature version of me. Let’s hope this issue you have with him is a product of whatever Dumbledore has done to you.”
Severus seemed to take a deep breath and then nodded shortly. “I have a… suggestion and personal request if I may?”
“Of course, Severus,” Lucius allowed nodding thanks to Narcissa after she refilled his teacup adding sugar but no cream to his taste.
“If we are going to bring in the… If we are going to try and help Harry Potter, I think that it would go a long way to gaining his trust if we had Remus Lupin on our side. I know that he is in the area because he had a meeting with Dumbledore yesterday about taking up the Defense Against Dark Arts position next year at Hogwarts.”
“Lupin has always been one of Dumbledore’s staunchest of supporters though,” Draco pointed out skeptically. “Even in the previous timeline, he never waivered from the man’s side despite the fact that the Headmaster did very little to actually help either him or Sirius Black. Dumblewhore also basically ignored Harry’s condition, which if the Thunder can see that something isn’t right with Harry’s home life you would think that a Professor who was friends with his parents would see it.”
Severus nodded and wrapped a hand around his teacup staring at the liquid inside as if he was seeing something else. It was Narcissa who spoke though, and Lucius turned his attention to his wife.
“Doesn’t that suggest though that he was under some kind of behavioral charm or potion? I don’t know much about Lupin, but I do know werewolves thanks to my work with Sterling Barrows over the years. From what I have gathered from him, it is highly suspect that he was so blasé about the treatment of a child whom Lupin had to see as a cub in his personal pack. Lupin should have been enraged the first time he saw Mister Potter alone, and that doesn’t even take into consideration Black, who was one of his best friends. We all know that there is no way Sirius was the traitor.”
Lucius nodded shortly and sat back in his chair rubbing his chin. “I think, Draco, that you and I need to make a record of all that we remember from the first war. I don’t know how long we will have our memories and there is information there that will surely be useful later, even as we make changes. As to Black, you are correct. He was not the traitor, it was Peter Pettigrew who is living in his Animagus form with… someone in your year, isn’t it Draco?”
Draco nodded quickly and leaned forward even as he made a parchment and quill appear with the wave of his wand. “He’s living at the Burrow with the Weasleys. He will be Percy Weasley’s pet this year, and then will be Ronald’s after that. What are you going to do with the Weasleys father? If we are to really stand a chance at defeating Dumbledore, we need to put a dent in his supporters and that means the Weasleys but specifically Molly Weasley.”
Lucius nodded and rubbed a hand over his face with a sign. “That damned diary is going to be a problem. I will have to see if the Dverger would be willing to mediate a meeting between Arthur and myself. At the very least I need to get a Mind Healer to see to healing the daughter. I think I will also offer the return of Weasley Manor. Severus or Cissy, do you think that Dumbledore would have potioned Molly Weasley?”
“Yes,” Narcissa said quickly straightening in her chair. “I would think Molly would be a perfect target for Dumbledore’s manipulations.”
“Indeed,” Severus agreed with a nod. “Molly’s personality changed drastically after her brother’s deaths. I know everyone chalked it up to her grief, but I have always thought that her anger had an unnatural edge to it, and her anti-Slytherin views are a little too close to what I know to be Albus’s true feelings about my House.”
Lucius nodded and produced a parchment and quill himself and began making a list of things to do for himself. “Then I will offer to pay for the Dverger to check her and if needed do a Dverger Cleansing Ritual on her. What do you think about letting Arthur see my interaction with James?”
“I think it is going to be needed if you expect him to believe you,” Severus said immediately and Narcissa quietly agreed with the statement.
“I don’t think an oath will do it for Arthur my love. I think that he will need to see the proof for himself. The good thing though is if we can cause a rift between Dumbledore and the Weasleys then it will be just that much easier to pull others away from his side.”
“Ron will never turn from Dumbledore’s side,” Draco interjected as he leaned back and crossed his arms over his chest. “Ron Weasley is a lazy, arrogant git who never grew up and just expected the world to be laid at his feet just because he was Harry Potter’s best friend. Although if you ask me, he wasn’t much if a friend. He seemed to only be a friend to Harry when it was convenient. I don’t think you know this father, but Granger and myself made amends after the war when we started working on some of the same charities. I will never understand what in the shite she saw in that lazy bum, and quite frankly wouldn’t be surprised if she hadn’t been potioned into the relationship.”
“You don’t think that Ron will change his ways if we find out that his mother was potioned?”
“No, and he will never believe that it was Dumbledore. I am telling you, even Potter strayed from the Dumbledore was faultless schtick after he got mind healing. Ronald never did though, and I know for a fact that it was the source of more than one argument amongst the golden trio after the war was over. I am telling you that Ron Weasley is everything people believe I am.”
Severus nodded and spoke up to agree with his Godson. “I can tell you that of the three of them Ron is the most hopeless. I think that under different circumstances that Potter wouldn’t be so terrible, because he at least tries. Ronald though is simply lazy, and it isn’t just in my class. He does just enough to skate by and that’s it. No, I agree with Draco that he is a lost cause. Those twins though, I have never believed that they shouldn’t have been Slytherins. I swear that hat is batty.”
“Hmm, maybe we need to see to it that it’s checked out by the Dverger then,” Lucius said with a smirk. “It is well within the rights of the Board of Governors to have the Hat and the school checked. You are not the first to suggest that something is wrong with the hat. I will add a meeting with the Board to my list of things to do. In addition to the hat, maybe we should see if the Dverger would send a team of their curse breakers to fix that problem with the DADA position.”
“Lupin was the best DADA teacher that we had with Uncle Severus coming in second,” Draco agreed readily. “Father, I am thinking that I need to have a meeting with the Thunder immediately. We need to do something about Crabbe now. I refuse to watch him die again. I think you need to push through some of the laws that we enacted after the war now, but in the meantime, I have been thinking… What do you and mother think about opening Malfoy Manor up as a sanctuary? I am still pissed off that no one thought to use those ancient laws the first time around.”
“I think that is genius, Draco,” Lucius praised with a proud smile. “The sanctuary laws are perfect because they do not have an age restriction. Not only that but they are exactly what we need to get Potter away from wherever he is at. If he is truly being mistreated, then all he needs is to come to us and ask for sanctuary and there is nothing that Dumbledore can do about it.”
“How are you going to accomplish that though?” Severus asked skeptically and again it was Draco who came up with the answer.
“Dobby!” Draco exclaimed excited. “I found out after the war that Dobby and Harry were quite close. We can send Dobby to talk to him and bring him here. I can have Apollo to talk to Dobby and convince him that it’s safe here now. Dobby always liked me and answered my calls at Hogwarts once I realized that he was there. I am sure he’d believe my explanation. You may have to apologize to him though father.”
Lucius raised an eyebrow, and saw Narcissa and Severus look to him quickly, and knew that they expected him to blow up at the idea. Producing a new blank piece of parchment Lucius wrote a letter of apology to Dobby and with a wave of his wand retrieved his signet ring and sealed the letter with his official seal. Once the wax had cooled, Lucius handed the rolled-up scroll to his son who seemed to have relaxed further.
Sitting back quietly, Lucius listened as Draco called for Apollo and explained the situation. Lucius smiled fondly as Draco got a hug from his Personal Attendant House Elf with whom his son had a very close bond with, even closer than Lucius and Aether had. Once Apollo agreed to the mission, Draco handed him the scroll and sent him off to see Dobby letting him know that he was allowed to go with his protégé to see Potter if Dobby thought that it would help.
Hearing that Apollo had been a mentor to Dobby made Lucius sigh internally angry at himself for not knowing these things. Breaking such a bond was horrible, and Lucius made a note on his to-do list to make sure that his son’s House Elf knew that he had Lucius’ permission to continue the mentorship even though Dobby was not an official House of Malfoy House Elf any longer. Seeing a flicker in his peripheral vision, Lucius glanced toward the fire and saw James standing there for a brief second and after getting a nod of approval relaxed.
Lucius assumed that he was the only one who could see the spirit until he heard a sound from Severus that seemed to be half squeak and half gasp. Looking toward his friend, Lucius saw Severus looking in James’ direction and when he turned his eyes back toward the spirit saw him moving in their direction.
“Snape,” James greeted after he’d stopped roughly a foot from the table, standing between where Narcissa and Draco were sitting. “I know that it’s probably too late for this, but I apologize for everything that I did to you or said to you while I was alive. I know that neither Sirius or I made your life easy, and I don’t blame you for your hatred. I do though ask that you stop holding my actions against my son. Although, I can confirm that most of that is due to Dumbledore. He has indeed added some potions and behavioral charms to you that are causing you to be triggered to certain things and prompting you to react extremely negatively.
“He was afraid that your friendship with Lily would interfere with his plans. He wanted you to be his spy within Riddle’s ranks too badly to care how many lives he was hurting by doing it. I just ask that you remember that Harry is as much Lily’s son as mine, and frankly, while physically he may look like me, in all the ways that matter he is all Lily’s child.”
“Lily,” Severus almost moaned softly, and James seemed to glide closer to the Potions Master.
“She forgives you, Severus. Once she got to this side and saw what Dumbledore had done to you, she immediately forgave you. In fact, that potion in front of you, she helped Merlin with. She has become quite an avid supporter of yours. She wishes that she could be here to see you, but it is not allowed. The only reason I can be here is because I am Draco’s guide. So, since he is here, I can be here as well. She sends her love though and wants you to know that you deserve Remus, and we both hope that you will give a future with the two of you a chance.”
Severus nodded stiffly and Lucius couldn’t help but reach out and put a hand on his friend’s shoulder but noticed his son watching his mate’s father wide eyed. “I don’t understand,” Draco murmured obviously perplexed, and James smiled at his charge.
“As I told your father in our prior discussion, I see a lot of myself in you, Draco. Were just a couple things different in my life I would have been you. Frankly, I am not sure that I was half as brave and courageous as you are. I watched what you went through for your family, and I dare anyone to say that its only Gryffindors who hold those traits. I see an opportunity in you and my son Draco. A chance to make Hogwarts and even Magical Britain what it should have been instead of what it has become.
“There has been a lot of damage done to Britain over the years, well before men like Grindelwald and Riddle sunk their claws into it. Damage done by those jealous of what they didn’t have and unable to see the things they did have. However, you and my son have a chance to resurrect Avalon. You and Harry have the ability to save us all. So, if you trust nothing else, trust yourself and trust my son. Because if you work together the two of you will change everything. Know that I am never more than a dream away, and I look forward to watching you and my son teach them all a lesson.”
As Lucius watched, James turned away from Draco and looked to him. “You’re starting off right, Lucius. Keep your promises and you will be rewarded for it.”
“My son has given me a second chance,” Lucius murmured looking to where Draco sat across from him at the table. “That is reward enough, Potter.”
The spirit nodded and smiled before starting to fade. “It’s James, Malfoy. My friends call me James or Progs. Either will do.”
When the spirit of James Potter had vanished, Lucius sat in the quiet of the room, looking at the spot where his son’s guide had vanished from until his wife drew his attention with a gentle clearing of her throat. “I would say that we have quite a lot of work to do. I think, my husband, that while you are working on freeing Harry, I am going to have a meeting with our solicitors to see what it will take to clear Sirius’ name.”
“Black!” Lucius exclaimed slapping himself in the forehead before casting a quick hodiernae diem to check the date. Seeing that he still had a couple weeks before Black escaped Azkaban, Lucius let himself relax.
“Cissy, I need you to go to Azkaban and see your cousin immediately. He’s going to escape on the 31st of July. I need you to go see him and tell him not to do it. It will be much easier to get his name cleared if he is not a wanted fugitive. Severus, if you can find Lupin before that maybe he can go with her, providing that we can get him on our side. When are you going to take the potion?”
“I will touch base with the wolf and then take it. I would like to get it done as soon as possible if I am going to be ill for at least a week.”
“Father, I would like permission to invite some of the Thunder here to help take care of Sev while he is ill. You and mother have too many things to do, and I don’t want to expect the House Elves to do everything. Plus, he does so much for us that I think it is the least we can do to help him while he is cleansing himself. Not to mention that Pansy and Daphne will have my… err will be upset with me if I knew Sev was going to be sick and didn’t tell them.”
Lucius smiled at his son and considered the request. The Thunder was the name for Draco’s group of friends within his year in Slytherin House. It had started with himself, Pansy Parkinson, Daphne Greengrass, and Theodore Nott as they were the four of them who had parents who were friends with either Lucius or Narcissa. Eventually it had expanded to include Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe, and Blaise Zabini. The name had come from the fact that Draco had always been the leader, and because he was named after the dragon constellation, they wanted something dragon related. They ended up with The Thunder, as Thunder was the name for a group of dragons flying because the sound that they made resembled thunder.
Shifting his gaze to Severus, Lucius could see that his friend wanted to argue, but he thought maybe it would do his friend some good to find out just what he meant to his snakes. “I agree. I would like it if Lupin was here also to help you in case you run into something that is beyond your magical capabilities. Reach out to your friends though Dragon and see who is able or willing to come. In fact, if you want to see if they would like to stay the summer, I am ok with that. I am sure that you all would like a chance to plot. I have no doubt that you are dying to let them know what has happened.”
Draco nodded fast and practically bounced in his seat before producing more parchment papers and began furiously creating letters. Looking back to Severus again he could see his friend glaring at him, and just chuckled.
“It will do you good, Severus to find out just how important to them you are. If you can manage to be a spy within Riddle’s ranks, then I am sure that you can withstand the Thunder’s attempts at taking care of you.”
Severus huffed, but eventually nodded before producing quills and parchments for both himself and Narcissa. Soon the group of them were busy writing letters and making lists of things to do or plotting their next steps. Lucius wasn’t sure what this timeline would hold for him, but he could already see that it would be better than the last. He was on the road to regaining his son’s love and trust and freeing his most loyal friend from the bonds of two masters that he had been burdened with for too long. So, wherever they ended up, there was no way that it wouldn’t be a better place than where he’d come from.