Chapter 35 : Bad Blood
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Draco held the door to the study open for Luna and she smiled her thanks as she entered the room, looking, if Draco did say so himself, extremely satisfied.
His father was sat at the table with Lupin on his right and Granger on his left. Potter was there too Draco noted with a vicious scowl, sitting on the old sofa a moody look on his face.
“Hi, Harry,” Luna smiled at him brightly and took a seat next to him her hand patting his knee affectionately.
Draco immediately moved to take up residence beside Luna. He sat himself on the arm of the sofa and she smiled up at him, her and curling around his leg and her thumb rubbing absently over his knee.
Draco’s scowl deepened when Potter smiled back at her, it was impossible for him not to see the look in Potter’s eyes that spoke of complete adoration. It was a wonder to Draco that Luna didn’t see it; she saw most things that people kept hidden. She had seen his feelings for her before he was ready to admit them even to himself. Perhaps she did know about Potter’s secret love, perhaps it wasn’t so secret after all but Luna chose not to mention it so as not to hurt Potter’s feelings, that would be the type of thing she would do.
Draco took a moment to enjoy that thought and gloat, even if it was only in his own head, that Luna had chosen him over Potter.
“Hi Luna. Everything alright?” Harry asked. It was dangerous for him to be around Luna now that his secret was out in the open between him and Malfoy. Malfoy, Harry felt, couldn’t totally be trusted when it came to Luna. His emotions were heightened and all over the place since his transition and he wasn’t in complete control of himself. It was a toss up, Harry thought sourly as to whether it would be Voldemort or Malfoy who finally killed him.
“Where’s Ron?” Luna asked glancing around the room.
“Sulking,” Harry said without thinking.
“Oh,” Harry rolled his shoulders awkwardly. “We had words, it’s not important.”
Luna didn’t press the issue, that wasn’t her style and Harry was grateful for it. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat acutely aware that Malfoy was so close to him and watching every move he made.
A few minutes later Ron came into the room. He glared heatedly at Harry and sat in a vacant arm chair near to Remus.
“Are we ready to begin?” Hermione asked politely.
“Not quite yet,” Lucius said. “We’re waiting for the others, they should be here any minute.”
“Others?” Harry queried.
“Other members of the Order,” Remus clarified. “We have something to discuss that requires all input not just ours.”
Harry was intrigued. He was glad of the presence of Lucius Malfoy in his life Harry realised. He was a strong man, capable and determined, ruthless and cunning and smart. He had, slowly but surely taken on the mantel of leader of the Order, transferring the burden, far too heavy for Harry’s young shoulders, of fighting strategy and making plans to defeat the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters. Harry didn’t resent it, he was grateful for it, grateful to have someone older and wiser to look to for advice again. He had sorely missed that when Dumbledore and Sirius had died.
“Can’t you give us a hint?” Luna asked just as curious as Harry was.
Lucius smiled slightly. “I suppose it won’t hurt to run the idea past you before the other’s get here.” He glanced at Remus for his agreement and the other man nodded.
“Well,” Lucius begun. “It occurred to me that although we’ve gained a little ground with our attacks and the rescue of the Minister’s family, we really haven’t got very much done by way of striking a critical blow to the Death Eaters. So, I feel we need to finally take a stand, show the Dark Lord we mean business.”
“Sounds good,” Harry said his eyes lighting up at the prospect of actually dealing a crippling blow to the other side and making them sweat for a change.
“So what’s the plan?” Ron sat a little further forward over his knees, it was impossible for him not to be interested and excited.
“It’s been all very well intercepting the Death Eaters attacks, but what we really need is to bring all members of the Order together, a real show of force and in turn we want the next fight to be on our own terms, it could very well be our last; that is something we cannot control. What we want is to force the Death Eaters to come to us, and when they come to us it won’t be out in the open as it has been before, we want to make it as difficult as possible for them. What we want is a type of fortress.”
Hermione’s brow ruffled in thought. “Where are you going to build a fortress? I mean, where were you thinking of holding up?”
“There are two possibilities which is the reason I have called a meeting of the Order. I believe that the location should be debated thoroughly and all opinions voiced to ensure that we make the correct decision,” Lucius said.
“It’s the only sensible way forward,” Remus added. “This could be the turning point for us, the last stand even, and we want it to go our way.”
“Of course we do,” Harry agreed.
“What are the options?” Ron wanted to know.
“Either the Ministry itself,” Lucius told him. “Or Hogwarts.”
“Both have their good points and bad points,” Remus said. “So it’s important that we discuss all aspects together.”
Ron, Hermione, Harry and Luna immediately began to voice their opinions but Draco kept out of it, he would go where his father told him to go and that was the end of it so far as he was concerned. He occupied himself instead by imagining himself snapping Harry Potter like a twig. He was stronger and faster than Potter, he always would be, and Draco indulged in a little day dream of Potter’s eyes wide with terror his fear pouring off him in waves as he towered over him. Draco imagined himself feeding on that fear, letting it wash over him and fuel his own rage as he extracted the payback Potter was due for trying to steal away what did not belong to him.
Luna was his, Draco could feel it in his bones. He wanted her, she was his. The thought of turning her went over and over in his mind, he would have to do it sooner rather than later. It was probably better to do it before his father dragged them all into another battle where she could get hurt, or worse, die. Once she was like him she would be strong, fast, the killing curse would not work on her; she would be safe.
He glanced at Potter who was now sitting on the edge of the sofa talking excitedly. What life could Potter possibly think he could offer someone like Luna? She deserved the best and wasn’t he the best? Money, power, eternal life and youth; he could give it all to her. What a life they could have together exploring the world. She always went searching for non-existent creatures with her father and now he could take her. She would have eternity to find the crumple-whatyamacallit. She could research every creature both real and imaginary if she wanted to.
His Luna, she would be young and beautiful forever. She would be at his side for eternity with the world laid out at her feet. He could, Draco thought smugly, give her the world; and he would.
“I’m with Luna,” Harry said, putting his hand out and curling an arm around her shoulders giving her a squeeze. “She always has good ideas and I happen to agree with this one. Sorry, Hermione.”
“Oh I don’t know,” Ron said with a frown. “They both make good points.”
“That is the entire reason for the meeting,” Lucius said patiently. “So that everyone can air their views and we can talk it all out between us.”
“I think that…” Harry trailed off with a small frown, there was a low rumbling sound close by, almost like a growl.
“Harry,” Hermione spoke softly. “No sudden movements. Put your hands in your lap. Slowly.”
Ron stared half horrified half fascinated at Draco. His face was somewhere between Malfoy and scary vampire. “What’s happening to Malfoy?”
“Hermione?” Harry whispered through his teeth hardly daring to breathe.
“Let go of Luna, Harry,” Hermione said again, straining to keep her voice level and soft. “Vampires are possessive. Let her go. Slowly.”
Harry swallowed, the growling getting louder and more menacing. Considering what had already passed between him and Malfoy he figured it had probably been a really stupid idea to touch Luna in the first place.
Draco was incensed. How dare Potter think he could touch what didn’t belong to him. How dare Potter think he could put his hands on what was Draco’s! Didn’t Potter realise she belonged to him; his scent was all over her.
Ron’s nose twitched, all of a sudden there was a really strong smell of cinnamon in the room; the scent frightened him and he shrunk back into his chair, although he couldn’t say just why he did that.
Both Lucius and Remus detected the scent too and they both moved back, away from it.
Harry had just lifted his arm from Luna’s shoulders when Draco struck. Anger, rage, jealously, they all fused together inside him until Draco couldn’t tell one from the other. He grabbed Harry by the shoulders and tossed him over the back of the sofa as easily as though Harry were a rag doll.
Harry groaned as he landed in a heap on the floor. He struggled to get to his feet but he had hardly even sat up when he felt Draco’s hands on him, strong and cold and unrelenting as they grabbed hold of his shoulders and jerked him from the floor so violently that his head bobbed about like a jack in the box.
“Draco!” Luna cried out jumping to her feet. She didn’t move from her spot sensing it was better to stay away from Harry at this given moment.
“Expecto Patronum!” Hermione cried out and her patronus sailed across the room towards Draco. Her jaw popped open in alarm, the only effect it appeared to have on Draco was to fuel his anger.
“Draco!” Lucius snapped in his most authoritive voice.
Draco paid no attention his vision was red with blood. Potter’s blood. His head reared back and he struck, swift and sharp.
Harry cried out in pain as Draco’s fangs pierced the thin layer of skin on his neck. Automatically he gripped Draco’s arms trying to pry himself away from the angry vampire. He could hear the others screaming and shouting but he couldn’t work out what they were saying; the pain in his neck was too great.
Wrong. It was all wrong. Draco knew as soon as the first drop of Potter’s blood touched his tongue. It was vile, disgusting, bitter, it was wrong. It was bad blood.