Chapter 8 : Old Enemies
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He had just been pulled through...it had felt like a mixture of traveling by a combination of apparation and Port Key, but far worse than both. He made to wretch but only dry heaved. His head hung low, his hair hiding his face.
A simple spark to his right nearly blinded him. A torch caught fire, bringing back his sight. The room was small and square, all of stone. His wand was still clenched within his hand, but useless as he could not lift it less he give way to the mighty force trying to crush him to the ground. He could see the other's feet still standing before him. He had to strain to lift his head to face him.
"Potter!" he groaned.
"What are you..." he struggled. He had to conger all his energy to continue, "release me!" he demanded.
And just like that, the weight was lifted. Malfoy had been struggling so hard that when the gravity was finally eased, he practically jumped up off the ground. With a swipe of his wand, Harry slapped him back against the far wall. Recovering, Malfoy raised his clenched fist, but his wand was gone. He looked frantically about himself, but the wand was nowhere to be seen.
Malfoy started laughing a mad laugh. He looked around the room, searching for an exit. The torch lit only part of the room, leaving the rest in shadow, but as far as he could tell, no door or window existed.
"What do we have here? Harry Potter, the-boy-who-lived, all grown up!" he cackled to himself as if he had indeed truly gone mad.
Malfoy continued laughing, laughing 'til his breath was abruptly robbed from him. A sharp blow struck him hard in the gut, as if someone had just punched him there. He was left choked, struggling, gasping for air. Harry put away his own wand and then clasped his hands together before himself.
"I have to be frank with you, Malfoy, I have grown tired of you. Tell me, how many times have you and I danced this dance now? Over and over again, round and round we've gone, always to the same tune."
Malfoy could only glare up at him, his chest heaving up and down. Harry was a completely different wizard than he had known and remembered. Fear was evident in his eyes. Needless to say, Malfoy never answered his question. Harry continued.
"Too many. Too many times, Malfoy. I say no more! Listen to me carefully, I have no intention of having to fight with you again."
The glow from the torch on the wall created a half arc of light in the room. Harry stood just on the edge of its shadow. The effect was daunting. Still with his hands clasped, they suddenly separated, forced apart by a tiny explosion of green light controlled within his grasp. He then, ever so gently, pushed his hands forward, carefully, as if he were sending off a fragile bubble into flight. It shone bright within the dimly lit room, a fatal green bright.
And just like a bubble, it floated slowly, haphazardly, ever forwards in the direction Harry had sent it, on towards the cowering Malfoy.
"It is a shame, Malfoy, what you have done to your family's name - the dishonor, the disgrace you have brought it. I will erase it forever, though, you should thank me for that."
This caught Malfoy's undivided attention.
"So much potential. So strong and capable. You and you alone have ruined the line. Or should I say you and your rotten son. But without you to care for and protect him, I dare say that fragile boy will not make it long."
Malfoy groaned in anguish. He was only just catching his breath. His scared eyes were locked on the ever nearing, floating green light.
"You'll regret this Potter..." he managed to threaten with a broken voice.
"Will I? Will you, little man, make me regret this? Or will your runt of a son? How can a dead man make me regret anything. Should I feel guilt, remorse for causing your demise? Why would I regret it, Malfoy? This shall be a far greater world without your stain upon it."
Malfoy wanted desparately to argue, to protest, to curse Harry Potter, but no words would come. He was already defeated, laid helpless, back against the stone wall.
"Is something wrong, Malfoy?" Harry questioned. "You cannot hide from me, Malfoy, you cannot not hide a thing. You feel that this is unfair. Tell me then, how are my actions unjust?"
Silence. Malfoy struggled to stand up, but he immediately fell back over to his knees once more.
"No, you do not deserve to stand before me."
The green light grew closer.
"You dare call for justice?" Harry challenged him. Malfoy struggled harder, straining back and forth in an attempt to pull himself from the ground, but the invisible force held him in place. "Give me one example where you have shown justice, where you have given mercy and I will spare your pathetic life."
"What is it you're after, Malfoy? Power? Glory? Riches? Is it for Wizard Rule? Do you wish for the muggles to bow down and worship you? Would that make you feel more worthy?"
Harry bore down upon Malfoy. Malfoy had to turn his face...he could not understand what was coming over himself, but he was attacked by fear. He could not bear Harry's fierce gaze.
"Perhaps the Malfoy's deep vault has begun to run low, I know how you throw your galleons around freely. Did Voldemort rob you of all you had?"
Malfoy sneered at this.
"Tell me, which of these did you achieve by your dark ways, by serving your precious Voldemort?"
Malfoy winced at the use of the Dark Lord's name.
"WHICH, MALFOY!" Harry yelled at him. "Here, we are deep within the ground, miles from the surface. I created this cell, just for you. There is no exit. I could leave you here, wash my hands of you. Even if you had your wand, you have not the power to reach the surface on your own. I would feel no guilt, no sorrow for such a foul soul. If you serve the injust, Malfoy, you will receive injustice. You are guilty of many aggregious crimes and you deserve your sentence." Harry paused, nearly growling at Malfoy, "You have lost all that you had. Your family, your title, your weallth, your respect. You have brought dishonor and disgrace to your once proud name. Tell me then, why do you still serve such ways - what greatness have you found in the Dark Arts?"
But Malfoy had no response. The green light was now floating idly just before him.
"This is your fate Malfoy. Or. Or you may choose remorse. You are a strong wizard Malfoy, you have your uses. Deep in the knowledge of the arts of Magic. And you have your connections. I am offering you that which you do not deserve, a chance at redemption."
"What do you want of me?" Malfoy muttered.
"Service. You will make an Unbreakable Vow with me."
Malfoy's head snapped up to face Harry. He gritted his jaw as he weighed Harry's offer. His eyes fell to the still floating green light.
"What choice have you left me?"
"None." Harry answered the rhetorical question. The green light then lit ablaze, its intensity blinding him. It drew closer still, drawing itself so close that should Malfoy have slipped forward even a hair, he would be dead. "Your answer?"
Malfoy took a deep breath, squeezing his eyes closed from the light.
"We haven't a third...", he muttered, but he had no more than said it than the green light extinguished and a shape began taking form from the shadows. It was nothing more than a spirit, but it took the form of a man nonetheless, and drawn from the dust between the stone a wand too took form and drew into the spirit's hand.
The gravity eased enough for Malfoy to raise a hand. Harry took it, grasping Malfoy's wrist, with his own locked in Malfoy's grip. Harry spoke slowly, deeply, somberly.
"Will you, Lucius Malfoy, swear your allegiance to Britain and to me, to aid us in our fight against her enemies?"
Malfoy seemed more terrified than ever. He seemed to be weighing his options, trying to find a way to retreat, but there was none, Harry was too overwhelming.
A blazing red tongue sprouted from the tip of the spirit's wand and wove its way around Harry's and Malfoy's hands.
"Will you break your old ties, forged with dark wizards and Death Eaters alike, to give them no aid nor shelter, nor information or weapons that could help their cause?
A second tongue erupted out, it too winding its way around their joined hands.
"Will you swear to obey my every command to your fullest ability, to be indebted to me, to never betray me, to help protect me from harm, to be my best ally until which time my enemies are defeated?"
A final red tongue mimicked the others, but as it finished, all three lit ablaze together, locking Harry's and Malfoy's hands in a blazing fire.
"Good, then it is done."
The force that held Malfoy released, but his energy was sapped and he collapsed over onto the floor regardless.
"You have made the right decision Malfoy. Stay to your word and salvation shall not be too late for you. Now then, I have a task for you."
Harry's face went blank. His eyes went into a trance like state, as if looking off into the distance. When he spoke, his voice was even and monotone.
"You will travel to the land of the northern Slavs, to the city of Tabor. You will visit there the Čarodějky Břečku, the Witches Brew, where you will seek out a wizard by the name of Bedrick."
Harry paused for a moment, deep in thought. Malfoy stared up at him, as afraid as ever.
"You will ask to speak with him in private. When no one else can hear, you will tell him you have a message for his master, a gift rather. You will tell him you have procured Na Klic and that you are willing to trade his master for it."
"You want me to barter with Anatol Kaan!" Malfoy asked dismayed. Harry's eyes shifted down to him.
"Kaan desires this more than anything. Your demand, your reward for your services shall to be nothing short of being named Warlord of all of Britain upon Kaan's rise, and as his assurance to you of this, he shall offer you a gift in return. Circe's Seal for the Key."
"He will kill me..." Malfoy protested. Harry did not respond to this. Again he went long into thought, though looking down at Malfoy, he was looking through him.
"Perhaps..." Harry finally said, "but you will demandd it all the same. Kaan will not be able to pass up this chance. He will come himself to collect it. You will tell Bedrick you will return at this same hour the following day. Na Klic for Circe's Seal and your position as Warlord, am I clear?" Harry asked.
"But, what is this...Na Klic? Circe's Seal?... I don't,"
"It is not for you to understand. You are a servant here. Your soul Malfoy, if you could see it, is darker than this room without its torch. Your fate beyond this world is far worse than you can imagine. I have offered you a chance at redemption. You will obey my orders without question - without thought. You have made the Vow, break it and you shall burn for an eternity."
Malfoy could say nothing. He had no choice but to obey for failure to do so would be to forfeit his life regardless. Already though, his mind was scrambling for some hole in Harry's instructions, some way to dodge this assignment.
The cacoon of energy began reforming about the two wizards, connected by the thin vortex between them. They grew hazy before all of a sudden disappearing. They returned on some unknown, dark lane. A stray dog scuttled out of sight upon their arrival. They were in a run down, shoddy neighborhood, standing before what appeared to be an abandoned, boarded up house.
"You will embark upon this journey tomorrow, to arrive in Tabor late on Wednesday. You will enter the Brew's doors five minutes before midnight and you will find Bedrick there. Your meeting will then occur with Kaan on Thursday, five minutes before midnight."
Harry reached into his robes and summoned out an antique looking instrument. It was solid gold and enscribed with various Runes. It had two layers, contructed in the shape of a pyramid. The bottom layer, wider than the top, had many jagged and blocked edges about its rim. The top was thinner and longer, and contained what appeared to be hieroglyphics in addition to the Runes. Harry handed it to Malfoy.
"The Key - Na Klic. You will only surrender this upon the trade for Circe's Seal and to no one else but Kaan himself. You will protect this piece with your Life."
Malfoy nodded. Harry drew out another object from his robes. It was a simple tobacco pipe.
"Your Port Key. It will come to life twenty minutes before Midnight on Saturday, it will take you to Tabor. Do not be late, timing here is imperative to your success. If you fail me Malfoy, there will be no second chances, not for you."
Harry stared long and hard at Malfoy. Malfoy dared not look up at Harry, but studied the two objects in either of his hands.
"You will hold up here until it is time. Go now, your family is waiting for you."
Malfoy's eyes suddenly shot up. Though shadowed with dark circles, hope was alive in them for the first time in a long time. Malfoy looked from Harry eagerly to the house, then back to Harry, unsure if Harry was only toying with him. Malfoy had been forced to flee his family following the war. Malfoy had been convicted on many counts for his Death Eater dealings and had been sentenced to life in Azkaban. He had not seen his wife or son in nearly two years.
Harry nodded in reassurance. Malfoy started as if he were going to say something to Harry...but then held his tongue. He turned to hurry to the house, but before he had made it a few steps Harry called out to him, "Malfoy, you may be needing this," Harry held out Malfoy's wand. Malfoy walked cautiously back, grabbing hold of it. He pulled, but Harry held on to it at first, looking Malfoy seriously in the eyes.
"Do not fail."
Malfoy nodded and Harry released his wand. He turned once more and hurried to the front door, rapping on it anxiously. Harry watched as the door cracked open and Malfoy quickly slipped inside.
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