Malfoy Manor is Not Haunted (3/3)
Fckyeahwizangst/ Lady Vonne
Abused!Draco, Mental!Lucius, Auror!Harry, Father and Son, Post-War
Implied torture, Mental Illness, Abuse
This fanfiction can also be found on FF under the penname Lady Vonne (Used to be Va Vonne), along with a collection of other projects. I am looking to expand my horizons, so to speak. Due to the post being too large, I've separated what is normally a one-shot into different parts! Now... finally...
Malfoy Manor is Not Haunted (3/3)
Sometimes when Lucius Malfoy dreams, he dreams that all of this never happened.
He dreams that he is living with Narcissa again and that Draco is sitting with his head in her lap. She strokes his blond head while he, Lucius, sits in his lounge chair with his legs crossed at the ankle and he and his beautiful wife exchange looks because they know that one day, Draco Malfoy will grow up into a successful man, just like them. Other times, Draco is not seventeen in his dreams, but instead just a small boy, and when he falls asleep Narcissa takes him up to his bedroom where a tiny golden snitch buzzes around the place and they know; one day, Draco is going to be an excellent Quidditch player.
Lucius' favorite dreams are the ones in which he doesn't have to keep Draco locked down in the Cellar. Sometimes he fantasizes that he and Draco are rebuilding the Manor and that their Dark Marks are gone completely. But it's that dream that haunts Lucius the most and, the first time he'd had it, he had done something drastic. And every time Lucius glances down at the inner flesh of his left forearm, he's reminded of the dream and the night he'd woken up from it, drenched in a cold sweat. It was the night he'd gone down to the kitchen and Draco had been screaming so loud that he had to duck down underneath the cabinets with his palms over his ears in order not to hear him.
Then he'd retrieved the knife from the wooden slots on the counter and poked it down just there, right on the edges, to cut away the Dark Mark once and for all. And it had hurt, but not as bad as he'd anticipated, because when he'd finished it hadn't nearly looked as ugly as the black Mark that had rest there. He'd even felt an odd sense of refreshment, too, once he had found himself rid of it, and he wondered what the scar might look like, when it were to heal. Thus, even Draco's screams from the floor below were even made bearable, for Lucius had woken up on the tile on the kitchen in the morning, and Draco was silent and it looked like everything was going to be alright again.
But what Lucius hadn't anticipated was for the spot to start hurting again. It had to be in his mind, though, because the Dark Lord was gone; but something was nagging nagging nagging at him and he thought that perhaps Draco needed for his Dark Mark to be removed too. And he'd done it as a last resort, really, entering the Cellar with the knife and his wand and a saddened look in his eye as if he really didn't want to do it. Nonetheless, he'd entered the darkened room and leaned forward with his body, kneeling down low at the edge of the mattress that he'd given his son to tap him awake. His fingers rapped without rhythm on his sullen cheek.
And he'd pressed a hand over his son's mouth and told him that it wouldn't hurt before showing him that gash on his own arm to prove it. He pushed back the hair from Draco's eyes and planted kisses on his forehead and told him he loved him; what he was doing was just going to make the pain go away, he promised. He slipped a bundle of cloth in Draco's mouth and told him that it would keep him from biting his tongue. Then he lifted the arm along with the bindings and drew his thumb across it in the night. He said, "it'll all be over soon, Draco," and forced the tip of the blade deeper into Draco's pale skin.
He'd carved lightly enough not to puncture any veins; and that had been the most impressive aspect of it all, for when he'd finished, they both had matching gashes where their ugly black Dark Marks had once been. He'd spelled the blood dry with his wand and watched a new scab form; big and possessive, it was definitely going to scar. But the pink lines were to be nothing compared to the Mark and, for that, Lucius was happy. So he'd pulled the cloth out from Draco's mouth and wrapped it around the wound in a tightly wound manner that made the boy's skin blue. He spelled water in the cup he'd brought and helped Draco drink from it, running a wet towel through his hair and brushing the side of his face tenderly. He scooped the drool from his mouth and told him in a voice that was gentle, "you've done so well." He told him, "I'm so, so proud."
It's these gentle moments with his son that Lucius Malfoy misses the most, so he takes advantage of him in his subconsciously weakened state, wrapping his arms around him in a strange form of an embrace before breathing tiredly into his messy blond scalp. And he does it, often, too, just when he's certain that poor Draco isn't going to last much longer within the throws of his consciousness. Thus, its these times when Lucius adjusts the bindings and helps Draco to rest his head in his lap. He acts like Narcissa in his motions, gently stroking him and sometimes- if Lucius is lucky- Draco tells him about his nightmares, too.
And Lucius Malfoy is a good father- a great one, even- so he listens to the slurred recollections of Draco's dreams.
Draco dreams that he's still living in the Cellar and that the Death Eaters are alive and all around him. He tells Lucius this in a voice that's nothing more than a sleepy whisper and he's almost on the verge of knocking himself out, but he pushes through the haziness to finish his sentences. However, he doesn't bother to strain against the bonds and instead lies slack in his father's grip, face buried into the soft spot just above Lucius' knee, to sometimes lean into the soft strokes deliriously. Rather, he tells the man cradling him that the Death Eaters- they're hiding in the shadows.
When he dreams, he says, they crawl out from their hiding spots in the darkness and whisper things into his ear, promising him death like lovers in the night. When he says this his voice gets all mumbled and shaky and he hitches with the onset of newfound desperation, insisting, "I c-can't stay here, dad, p-please... I can't." And then finally he finishes with the sentence that betrays Lucius most of all. "Please..." he says so pitifully that his voice cracks with hiccuped fragments, "please let me go. I just want to be let go."
But Lucius is adamant, for he pulls himself out from underneath his son's lulling head and tightens the bonds at the boy's wrists to prove a point. The hallucinations, he tells him, are all part of the Healing Process; and he slips him a Sleeping Drought as he says so, watching Draco as he shuts his eyes before leaning into the vile defeatedly as he presents it to his lips. He watches the faint lines of concentration fade from his face, softening, softening, softening, until he looks almost childlike and blameless, his bruised and battered face nothing more than a blank slate in the way that he finally succumbs to the blackness.
And when he stands he does so slowly, drinking in the image of the boy's visage to wait until the nightmares come; he wants to witness them on his own. They come, eventually... always come... and soon Draco's face is no longer peaceful but tormented. Tortured moans drip out from his mouth and he writhes on the dirty mattress in the Cellar, sometimes so much so that the concealed wound left over from the mangled flesh where the Dark Mark used to be pools over all over again, but these are the times when Lucius doesn't bother to help patch him back up.
So he leaves him to spit out the demons on his own.VII.
Lucius Malfoy has forgiven his son for his sins, of course- he'd like that to be on the record.
Only, now he just needs to make Draco better and that's where the Healing Process comes in. He just had never expected it to take so long. While he waits, he counts the collection of his son's misdeeds on a sheet of paper, making tally marks that could darken the page for there are just so many disappointments. He forgives the boy for his having always been weak, forgives him for his ignorance, and even forgives him for his rejection. It's only the disease talking anyway, of course.
And besides, his Draco would never have really wanted to leave his father. Lucius has decided it over a cup of tea sipped by the fireplace after he puts the boy to sleep and makes sure he'd be left unconscious for several more hours. His Draco would have realized that Lucis had done so much for him- too much- to want to leave. And really, Lucius asks himself as he crosses and recrosses his legs, there's no reason to want to leave anyway because he, Draco, has got everything that he could possibly ever need right here, right at the Manor. Lucius has given him all the money in the world. He's given him a breathtakingly gorgeous home to inherit. And, most importantly, he's given him the Cure.
Sure, now Draco thinks that Lucius' methods are a bit bent out of shape, but that's because he doesn't know. That's because he hasn't seen. That's because he's been tainted and Lucius is really just trying to save him from all of that. And Draco should be grateful, if anything, but that's what Lucius doesn't understand the most. When he looks down into Draco's watery eyes, he knows that the boy truly just doesn't get it. And Draco should appreciate all his hard work, but he doesn't because oh God, if he does, he certainly does not bother to show it. But those are the days that Lucius Malfoy doesn't go down into the Cellar at all. He's just that angry with him.
It's those days that he hates him the most- absolutely hates him- and he'd rather die than house the entity that has taken over the body of his son to make him so bloody ungrateful. It's days like the one today, where Lucius tunes out the sound of the boy's screams and instead shuts his eyes and warms himself by the fire. He ignores the seeping way in which the screams slip out from the floor below and echo around the room to run down his back and slide down his spine. In his irritation, he doesn't bring the boy any food for days. He doesn't bring him anything to drink, either. He lets him lie on the mattress without cleaning the sheets. He leaves him like this for all that time and, all the while, Lucius Malfoy can't help but think that, really, the boy has only brought this all on himself.
And so he overlooks the sound of the voice that sounds so much like Draco and so different from him at the same time. He blocks out the cries and instead plays the grand piano in the living room just to drown him out and, when he's finished, retires early to his bedroom and plunges himself under the covers to stare into the moonlight. Then he turns over on his side to stare at the empty space next to him, leveling his eyes back out the window to the rose garden in the yard, and whispers goodnight to his wife, his beautiful wife, for she's fallen asleep before him. Just like always.
Over the sobbing below, Lucius Malfoy- like a good man- says his prayers.
He thanks the Lord for his fortunes and even his misfortunes, hoping to make them better and praying for the time and patience that they might possibly require. He prays for Narcissa, for she had always been a vain little thing, and does two Hail Marys just to be safe, for he does not want her sin to send her to Hell. And, lastly, he prays for his son. Lastly, he prays for Draco. With his hands folded across his chest into a perfectly postured point, Lucius asks the Lord to forgive the boy, promising that, in time, he'll make him better. He asks the Lord to rid him of his demons, for he fears he's been infected with so many of them. He asks the Lord to deliver him and to redeem him, for he knows that he has not been perfect.
And then, as the screaming from the Cellar floor finally manages to die out, Lucius Malfoy asks the Lord to please... please... help Draco, his Draco, find his way back home.XIII.
When Lucius Malfoy awakes from his dream he is covered once again in sweat and this time, he's really had a horrible nightmare. It's still dark outside and he's absolutely coated in salty wetness and he blinks into the darkness with his heart pounding like battery acid and he knows- just knows- that something horrible is going to happen soon.
It's a dream so vivid that, at first, Lucius can't identify it as a nightmare and, for a moment, he just sits up in the covers with his eyes on the mirror in front of him before he even notices that the gash from his Dark Mark has split violently back open. So on shaky legs, he makes his way to the bathroom and runs the faucet water, staring at his own reflexion in the lack of light, his long blond hair only just visible beneath all that shadow. And he tends to the wound anxiously, a large amount of bile in his throat as he splashes the tap water on to his forearm and hisses when it stings before wrapping it up in a towel and gripping the edge of the sink so tightly that it blatantly creeks underneath the weight of him.
But it is the nightmare that flashes before his eyes and he breathes pantingly as he tries to forget. This one, he decides, has been the worst of them all, for he dreamt that it was the end of the world and that he, Lucius, had acted too late in saving his son. In the nightmare he'd been lying on the mattress, just as he had been before falling asleep, and from his window he'd watched the mound underneath the roses that surrounded his Narcissa in the night. Yet there came a big sound like a gulp and he saw the very earth devour her, a shining light of fire enveloping her corpse before dragging her to the Hell before his very eyes. And then the room had started to shake and Draco, from the Cellar, had started screaming again, so he'd pulled himself from the sheets and hurried down the hallway while the world through the windows lit up in flames and he'd guessed that this was it, this was the end.
Still, he'd seen the ways in which the Outside crept in on him, calling with the sounds of the wind, lashing out their disease in the form of thick black smoke. It had seeped through the cracks of the doors and clouded his house so that he had to duck low in order to find the Cellar, and when he found it, he'd brought out his wand, lighting up the tip of it and prying his eyes into the blackness. Yet when he'd gotten there, he was met by nothingness and his Draco was gone, completely gone, so the world fell apart and the smoke closed in on him and Lucius Malfoy thought he was going to die. And he awoke an instant later, struck in his bed, waiting for the hurricane that never really came, but that hadn't made Lucius feel any better. Not by a long shot.
And now he's out of bed in the instant, clamoring through the blackness of the night down the corridors and the steps, to the living room, and the Cellar. He shakes when he yanks open the door and almost looses his balance on the staircase made of stone, his wand out in front of him while he peers into the dark to check- he has to see if Draco's been damned.
But the boy is there, ignorant and unknowing. His face is sullen in the depts of his sleep and his mattress is dirty and Lucius realizes he hasn't tended to the boy in three whole days. Three long days and Lucius wonders how it is possible that time has gone by so fast without him noticing, but he slumps to the floor and buries his face in the palms of his hands. When he's done sobbing, he inches closer to the bed and oh God, Draco looks so very sick and this isn't good because he was so, so sick already...
In the quietest of tones, Lucius whispers his son's name over and over and over; and he remembers that he loves him again, remembers, even, how he's always loved him. So he scoops up the boy as much as the bindings will allow and he cradles him again in his lap, letting his head lull back against his knee. And he strokes the hair from his eyes as he promises him that he will never, never, never let anything like this happen to him ever again.IX.
"Harry Potter stopped by the Manor this morning."
Lucius tells Draco this after he finishes the treatments and the boy is just on the verge of passing out again. It's been a couple hours since the last incident, but Draco wakes up none the wiser. Nonetheless, Lucius takes in the sight of his eyes behind their bruised lids and draws his hand across Draco's face, but the moment he mentions Dumbledore's golden boy, the younger blond's entire posture stiffens. He opens his weary eyes and he looks like he's seen a ghost. But Lucius continues anyway, allowing his hand to linger on his son's face, for it is the first time in a long time that the boy does not try to reel away.
"He came without the others this time," says the older man, smoothing away the sticky blond locks across Draco's forehead and wiping away the trail of blood that lingers there. "He wanted to talk about you."
"Harry Potter?" croaks Draco, as if he's never heard the name before in his life. But Lucius takes advantage of his son's weak state and coaxes him back down to the rusty mattress, putting the bindings back in their usual place and ignoring the look of confusion etched on the boy's pensive features. It's one of the only times that Draco hasn't put up a fight, but Lucius suspects that the news has put him in something of a shocked state; it is, of course, expected. However, it doesn't take more than a moment for the boy to be lured back into place and, when he repositions the pillow underneath Draco's head, the boy is still staring at him inquisitively. "They're still looking for me?" he asks, pitifully hopeful.
Lucius shakes his head. He does so slowly, and in a soft manner that is meant to appear understanding. "No, Draco, no. They're not looking for you. They're looking for themselves. Don't you understand that?"
But Draco's eyes only swell up with tears and he doesn't even look like he's staring at his father anymore, but instead at the stone wall just behind his head. "They're still looking for me," he whispers to himself, and he smiles- almost smiles- with the idea that he might get out of the Cellar sometime soon. But Lucius knows that this is just a fantasy, egged on by the infected like Narcissa, and he catches the desperate expression just before Draco can wipe it off his face. So he takes it upon himself to wipe it off for him.
And that's when everything goes downhill because Lucius is screaming before he can stop himself, his face red with fury and his hair strung about wildly, for he's done so much to help his son and this is the result he gets? "You don't know what you're talking about!" screams Lucius and he he lunges forward to seize Draco's chin and yank it up from the pillow. He overlooks the ways in which Draco whimpers to instead dig his nails in deeper to his flesh. "They're infected with the disease, the whole lot of them... trying to infect you!"
"Not... infected," murmurs Draco, and his voice is dry from lack of use. But Lucius can't even believe his ears and he throws Draco's head back down against the pillow to stagger back before leaning in again at a safe enough distance.
He's back away from the mattress several impressive feet before he yells at the top of his lungs, "LIAR!"
Still, Draco's face is screwed up and he's crying all over again but Lucius is crying, too, and oh God, he hadn't realized that he'd been crying. But it was all his work for nothing because it had been so long and he still had not seen any progress. And it truly had been weeks and Lucius was doing all that he could but Draco, this Draco, he was nothing like the way he'd hoped he'd turn out because Lucius doesn't know any other way to fix him. He is certain he doesn't know.
"I'm not lying, Draco! You're brainwashed, don't you get it? Don't you see? They're trying to brainwash you! They're trying to take you away from me!" His fingernails scratch at his scalp before he realizes that his hands are in the roots of his hair and he must look like a madman to Draco. So he repeats himself for good emphasis and he watches Draco pull in his bindings so hard that his skin splits open and the boy cries out and then he is sobbing harder than ever. "They're trying to take you away from me!"
"Like you took mum away from me!" accuses the boy, despite himself, choking on the words as he delivers them.
And Lucius' heart twists and he feels like he is going to be sick, so he explains as best as he can that, "she had to go! She was only setting you back! She had to, Draco, she had to go!" And he wonders how things could have fallen apart so quickly? He wonders how could have possibly failed his son so much. He says, "I didn't want you to be like them!" and he falls to his knees with his wand lifelessly in his hand and Draco's staring at the ceiling with his face all twisted and he looks like he wants his mother and Lucius can't look at him because of it. Nonetheless, he struggles to compose himself and he blinks at the ground before breathing out and refocusing himself to look back up at the blond boy in desperation; he feels his hair snap out at the ends. "And I did it because I love you!" he tells him and he hates the way that Draco's face falls with disgust when he says it. "I love you, Draco!" he sobs, despite himself. "I love you so much."
But Draco doesn't even look at him and instead burns holes into the ceiling and the moment seems to go on for hours as Lucius waits on baited breath to hear the words repeated back to him. He wanted to hear it... wanted it so bad. However, when Draco finally speaks, his voice is dry and filled with loathing and he continues to glare at the ceiling when he mumbles, "I hate you."
And this time, Lucius Malfoy is certain that the world is over, for he sits on the ground in the darkness for a horribly long time as he tries to put the pieces together but nothing seems to fit properly. He wonders how he could have lost track so easily, wonders how he could have failed him so much, and he can't believe that its over because there's got to be a way. There has to be a way. Then his eyes glisten down at his wand and something hypothetical hits him in the head and he stares down at the weapon curiously for a moment before he places things together.
Then he staggers back up and hiccups down his last sob as he considers the wand between his fingers, almost caught up in the glory of it and the way it almost screams the answer. And he wonders why its taken him so long to figure it out until now. But now he's got it- the Cure- the bloody Cure. Right there, right between his fingers. When he glances up from his wand and makes his way over to the mattress he cups the side of Draco's face so gently that it causes the boy to flinch before his eyes catch sight of the wand sitting in the center of his eyes and then his face pales and he looks like he anticipates death. But Lucius shakes his head silently, for how could he kill him? He loves him so much.
So he lets his fingers trail on the side of his son's cheek and presses a finger to his lips when the boy starts to whimper, letting out soothing noises while he steps back and positions himself there, directly at the foot of the mattress.
And he tells him, "I love you, Draco, my Dear Draco..." and the end of his wand glows bright, illuminating the space ahead of him just before he casts Imperio on the Prodigal Son.X.
Bang bang bang
It's them again, the Ministry Men, and this is the last time they're ever going to be there, for Lucius opens the front door wide and stands staring at Harry Potter, who looks so awfully proud to be holding a search warrant in his hand. But Lucius only smiles and he says, "oh, that won't be necessary, Mr. Potter," and he watches the way in which the boy's face slumps in confusion before he blinks stupidly there on the porch. Nonetheless, Lucius leans up back into the house and he calls his son's name once, for that's all he has to do, and then the slow-paced footsteps sound out around the tile and everything is silent- no more screaming.
And there he is, his son, clad in his dress clothes, looking nice and neat with his messy blond hair slicked back and proper, for Lucius had been expecting guests today, even though it was Tuesday, after all. But he says, "come and say hello, Draco," and Draco comes towards Potter with an expression so attractive that its almost impossible to tell that its vacant, stopping just in time to meet the spot nearest Lucius, who wraps an arm around his shoulder and squeezes just a little.
"Hello," Draco Malfoy says, and its the first time Harry Potter has heard the boy talk in years.
"Malfoy?" Harry croaks and his fingers slip as he drops the warrant, eyes wide as owls behind his foggy eye glasses.
"Turns out you were right, Mr. Potter. Draco here did decide to run away for a while," Lucius Malfoy explains, relishing in the ways that Potter's expression morphs, absolutely befuddled. He's not looking at Lucius, but instead at Draco, who looks right back almost sleepily until Lucius gives him the signal to perk up and he does, obediently. "He came back last night on his own accord, but he's back now and he's here to stay."
Harry's face pales. He studies the blond boy ahead of him and his mouth works in ways that amuse Lucius as he tries to think of something appropriate to say. Finally, he settles on, "you ran away?"
Lucius nods while Draco says, "yes, but that was a mistake," and Lucius is proud, so very proud. "I don't want to leave," he says, "not anymore."
But Harry shakes his head and he looks rather comically confused. "But..." he starts before trailing off. "I don't understand...".
So Lucius asks fondly, "what's there to understand, Mr. Potter? Draco's returned home. Mystery solved."
Still, Harry Potter is frantic and he stares at Draco as if he can sense something is off about him, so Lucius makes Draco stand straighter and he does rather instantly. Yet Potter's eyes scramble all over Draco's stature and, when he spots the bandaged up Dark Mark, his right eye twitches. "Don't you want to get out?" Harry asks and Lucius almost smiles at the misconception. "Don't you want to have a new life? Your own... life? Don't... don't you want to start over? This house," he says, just as he'd said to Lucius, "it has so many memories... so many ghosts."
However, Draco shakes his head and his blond hair falls out of place so Lucius leans in to smooth it away. He says, "every house has its ghosts," and Harry freezes as if struck by lightning.
He asks, "what did you say?" and Draco calmly repeats himself in a low, vacant voice that makes Potter blink, but Lucius is far too quick and he pats his son's shoulder before announcing that, perhaps its better for Draco to get some sleep. He tells Harry Potter he's had a rough couple of weeks.
When he ends the conversation, he shuts the door and ignores Potter, who stands on the doorstep for a very long time before moving at all. Rather, Lucius tends to the living room and he sits in front of the fire and he doesn't forget Draco, who lingers at the front door, before he's called to the couches as well. Then he places his hand on his lap and he has Draco lie next to him on the couch while he strokes his hair and tells him he loves him while, this time, Draco says it back; and Lucius is certain he's done it. He son has come home again. He's finally found the Cure.A/N:
Due to a number of requests, I am considering writing a sequel to MMiNH. Please don't hesitate to leave me a comment on your opinion of an impending second part. Thank you!