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With a Little Help From My Friends
Chapter 2

By Kinsfire

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With a Little Help From My Friends

Chapter 2

I looked at him carefully.   He was defeated.   My husband and his cronies were very good at their planning, at least when it came to torture, I will grant them that.   They had not been able to break his spirit with weapons, but with my unwitting help …   I held up my wand and spoke.   "I will help you safely escape and survive Voldemort, returning you to your friends, at the cost of my own soul, if necessary.   This I vow."   The Oath was powerful, enough so that it ruffled our hair, and it Connected us.   I couldn't read his mind or his thoughts or emotions, but I Knew this man before me.   And Morganna help me, the Oath had accelerated a process that I now knew would have happened over a longer amount of time.   I was in love with someone young enough to be my son.


"Why?" he asked as I finished repairing his hands.   "Why make that Oath?"

"I loved Sirius when we were children, and I miss my sister Andromeda.   Bellatrix is insane - she took after our aunt just a little too much.   I'm tired of being thought of as evil because of my husband.   Choose one."   I sighed.   "Honestly?   I want to look up from Hell at my cousin and know that just once I did the right thing by him, even if it was too late for Sirius himself."   I fought valiantly not to let any tears escape, but it was a losing battle.

I was rather surprised, however, to feel his rough thumb brush the tears away.   "It's all right, Mrs. Malfoy.   I'll fight to stay alive now.   I'll not kill another person through stupidity or inactivity.   I'll not let my childish tantrums kill someone else.   I'll not willingly kill another member of the Black family."   He paused.   "Well, maybe Bellatrix, but no one else."

I sighed.   This was going to be a long conversation.   For later, though.   "I need some information.   Who is this Hermione you spoke of?   Would she be happy to know that you are still alive?"

"Hermione Granger."   He looked up.   "She's the 'Mudblood' that your son keeps railing about.   I doubt he even knows her first name, so I'm not surprised you didn't recognize the name."

"Would she be worrying about you?"   I intentionally loaded the question emotionally.

He missed it completely.   "Probably, whether or not anyone has admitted that Lucky Lucy has kidnapped me.   Hermione worries about me.   Almost killed me last summer when I finally saw her - she threw herself at me in a hug, she was so worried."

"Does she love you?"

He snorted.   "Not if she has half a brain in her head, she doesn't.   And she's the smartest girl in school."

Interesting answer.   "Do you love her?"

The silence was profound - and almost painful.   "Does it matter?" he finally asked.   "One way loves are painful - just ask Ginny Weasley.   Hermione's too smart to love me, so even if I had any idea what love was, it would be sort of futile."

"Yes, they are," I said quietly.   "I was in love with a man at Hogwarts.   He was madly in love with another.   I married for contract, not for love."   I smiled as I saw his mouth open, undoubtedly to ask who I'd wanted, but scowled and shut it again.   "James Potter," I said quickly.   "Your father.   I never stood a chance next to the most beautiful woman at Hogwarts."

As he stared at me, unbelieving, I continued.   "That's another reason for the Oath.   Not only do I want Sirius to be able to look down into Hell and know I did at least one thing right, I also want James to know that I was willing to die to save his son."

"Was he really worth those kinds of feelings?" he asked with scorn, but I could hear the undercurrent - he really wanted to hear something good about his father.

"Who told you he was a worthless man?" I asked in shock.   Before I had finished the question, I knew the answer.   "Severus," I growled.   "Foul drippings from a demented man's … ahem …"   I brought myself back under control, and was pleased to hear him snorting, trying very hard not to laugh.

"No, tell me what you really think of him," he finally choked out, and that was all I could stand.   We both fell to laughing.   I found myself with my arms around him as we laughed, and as the laughter stopped, we found our faces inches apart, suddenly becoming part of a badly written wizarding romance.

Damn it, is my heart really pounding that hard? I asked myself.   Do I really want to   kiss him that badly?   I ended up answering my own question by opening my lips and closing my eyes, pressing myself to him.

A few minutes later, I found myself on the floor, a very enthusiastic young man kissing me thoroughly.   I fought with myself, successfully I might add, to keep from simply tearing open my robe and convincing him to fill me completely.   He was certainly equipped to, at least.   But despite the Oath I had taken, we really had only known each other for a few hours.

The kiss finally broke, and I spoke first.   "I am married in name only, so do not think that you have caused me to stray from my vows.   It was a marriage of contract, remember?   He has certainly broken it often enough to sate his desires.   At least I had the taste to wait until someone worthwhile came along."

He blinked.   "What are you talking about?"

"The kiss.   You were bothered earlier by how far things had gone, so I had hoped to prevent another occurrence of my going off half-cocked."   After a moment, I added, "You have some issues I want to work through with you at some point, after I get you free."

"I’m naked, ma’am.   I don’t think simply walking out of here is going to be all that easy."   He snorted.   "I can see the headlines if I showed up in Diagon Alley dressed as I currently am not -"

"Boy Who Lived Walks With Pride," I quipped.   "You’d certainly cause quite a stir, and I can imagine you’d need a Quidditch bat to keep the girls - and a few of the boys - away."

"Please," he said, scoffing.

I pressed upward against his erect member.   "I may not have taken a man to my bed in seventeen years, but that doesn’t mean that I’m dead, or that I haven’t looked.   You are certainly well formed, and whomever you take to bed will be well pleased with how caring you seem to be, if your kisses and your other ministrations are any hint of the type lover you will be."

He shook his head.   "I’ll take your word for it.   You can call me Harry, by the way, if you’re tired of saying ‘Mister Potter’."

"Only if you call me Narcissa or Cissy."

He brought his hand up to shake, and then realised how silly that would be, and began to chuckle.   He carefully climbed off me, both to my chagrin and secret pleasure.   Our intimacy levels were too great already, so his willingness to place a wall between us actually boded well for our perhaps managing something more.

"Would you get in trouble if I got some sort of clothing somehow?   I really feel embarrassed advertising what you do to me every time you walk into the room."   I smiled and transfigured him some clothing.


That set the tone for the next weeks.   I would nurse Harry to health, and then he would be taken off and tortured.   He came back steadily worse, little by little.   It was taking me longer to heal him, and I was unable to completely heal him before the next session.

It was late in August - nearly September - when Lucius and Severus came back with Harry already unconscious.   "Ah, Narcissa," Severus said.   "I see that you have been involved in keeping the Golden Boy healthy.   Excellent work - almost as good as my own."

Smarmy fool.   You and I both know who the better is at Potions.   "I appreciate the compliment, Severus.   I do what I can."

Lucius stepped back into the conversation.   With a terribly amused tone he asked, "So how goes the search for the missing Mister Potter?"

"Oh, the Order is searching high and low for him.   They have no idea that the boy’s guardians were paid twenty-five thousand pounds for him."

"So stunning you with Potter’s wand was definitely the right direction to take, obviously," Lucius laughed.

"Oh yes.   They had no problem believing that their darling Harry had figured out how to escape detection for underage magic and had then chosen to leave his protection in a fit of pique.   Without his wand to test, they swallowed my story hook, line, and sinker, as they say."   He chuckled.   "I am enjoying watching Dumbledore going spare trying to find this annoying child."

I stored this information for later, since I knew that it needed to reach the right people.   I was part of the conversation for a time, and left to care for Harry as they headed elsewhere to do whatever those two got up to.   I have my suspicions, but I can’t imagine anyone finding Severus sexually appealing.


I ministered to Harry in my usual way, getting what potions down him in whatever way I could manage.   It appeared to me that they were slowly poisoning him, because his stomach was getting more and more sensitive.   It was reaching a point where the only nourishment I could get down him was breast milk.   Not that either of us were truly complaining, to be honest, since I used nature's delivery method.   I got him to sleep and lay down beside him.

Harry had been asleep for about six hours when he suddenly sat up, shrieking in horror for a few moments.   Before I could ask him what had happened, I saw his demeanour change, and he suddenly began to laugh.   "Merlin, now that I’m awake and can think about it, I have no idea why that dream scared me," he gasped out through his bouts of painful laughter.

"What was it about?" I asked, now thoroughly interested in what could have caused such widely disparate reactions.

"It started in Hogsmeade.   It was a nice normal day, when suddenly they appeared.   Dementors.   They flowed into town, forming a line.   I tried casting my Patronus, but it wasn’t working.   Suddenly, they …"   He shuddered, and I began to worry.   "Music started, and they started to dance, Narcissa!   First they started off with the Electric Slide, and then the music changed, and they started doing the can-can!   That’s when I woke up screaming."

I shuddered, amused and pleased to see him trying not to watch my bare chest.   "Do I want to know the kind of knickers that Dementors wear?" I asked with a small grin, which he rewarded with a snort.

"Please.   I do not want to think of knickers and Dementors in the same thought," he chuckled.

"How about Hermione and knickers in the same thought?" I asked.   He stiffened, in multiple meanings of the phrasing.   "I take it that it’s a pleasant thought?"

He scowled.   "Please, Cissy," he finally said.   "I was an idiot and developed feelings for my best friend.   She doesn’t return the feelings, and all that I get from thinking about her that way is tired arms."

"How will you know if you never talk to her about it?"

He shook his head violently.   "No.   Not even if I thought she returned the feeling.   She’s in more than enough danger from being a Muggle-born, and being smarter than your son.   To make her target number one by letting anyone know that she’s … no."

"So you’ll go through life not knowing what could have been?"

"I’m used to it," he shrugged.   "I have no memories of a loving home life.   I’ve gone through life wondering what it would be like to have family that loves you.   Instead, I received a family that sold me to my enemies as soon as they were offered money.   And the good guys will let them off with a slap on the wrist, you know.   ‘If we allow ourselves to stoop to revenge, Harry, we are as bad as those we fight.’"

"That’s a rather frighteningly good imitation of Albus Dumbledore," I said.

"I’ve certainly heard him enough over my first four years at school."

"What about last year?"

He snorted eloquently.   "Ever since Tommy actually came back, Dumbledore has been a little wary of me, since this scar gives Tom a channel into my tiny little brain.   Four years of being a grandfather, then showing me how he really feels."   He shrugged.   "Can't say I'm not used to it."

I scowled and pulled him into a hug.   Damn Dumbledore!   Damn him for being worse than Voldemort in his own way.   I needed to talk to the man, and I needed it to be soon.

"So last year was exceptionally bad for you?" I asked softly.

"Let's see, almost ending up in Azkaban for doing underage magic protecting my cousin from Dementors, having a teacher give detentions that drew blood, discovering that … I'm sorry.   I'm just whinging.   I learned better in the last few months."

"You had a teacher who drew blood?"   My voice was cold.

"Umbridge and that damned quill of hers."   He held up his right hand.   "If you look carefully, you can see where I carved 'I will not tell lies' into my hand.   I has become quite evident that the lesson that I am being taught is to be self-sufficient.   An adult in power can't or won't help you.   In fact, even before I knew that I was going to be writing lines into my own hand, I was told by my own Head of House that it is far better to let someone in a position of power lie, rather than to bring attention to yourself by insisting on the truth."

I shook my head.   I needed to talk to Dumbledore more than ever, if only to let him know what he had thrown away.   But how to do it such that Lucius … "Harry, were you the only one the Blood Quill was ever used on?"

He shook his head.   "No, there were others.   There was …"

"I don't need to know who.   Thank you."   I stood and kissed his cheek.   "You may well have helped me more than you know."   I didn't want him to get his hopes up too high by telling him that I might get him free.

I headed to my rooms and dressed to go out, carefully hiding Harry's wand in my handbag, and then found Lucius, who it turns out had been looking for me.

"Narcissa, I need to have you talk to our solicitor.   From some of our contacts within the Ministry, I have reason to believe that they will attempt to lay claim to everything Malfoy - the money, the property, and the vaults at Gringott’s.   We need to find a way to keep the money out of Ministry hands."

I have always been a quick thinker - the Hat wanted to put me in Ravenclaw, but I was a little too devious to fully qualify for that House.   "I may have a solution.   I still have a vault in my maiden name, with some small amount of money still in it, just to keep the vault.   If I were to go to Gringott’s and transfer all money and property to that vault, or at least to that name, then we would have a possible method of preventing Ministry seizure, since officially it would be Narcissa Black’s money and property."

"Excellent thinking.   I shall have our solicitor draft a power of attorney for you, granting you full power while I am … indisposed."

"I will be taking some time returning, Lucius.   I learned from talking to Potter that the Umbridge woman was apparently using a Blood Quill indiscriminately.   I am going to talk to that headmaster.   I had noticed scars on the back of his right hand, and asked him where they had come from.   What if she had gotten angry at Draco and chosen to scar him as well?   I want to ensure that she will not be returning to the school this year."

Lucius nodded at me.   "Contact him and set up a meeting, and go talk to the arrogant Mudblood loving fool.   Maybe we can get enough information to get him finally ousted from that school, and put in proper teachers and rules."

"I was thinking something similar, darling," I murmured, pasting my usual 'Aren't you brilliant?' smile on lightly.   I took my leave of him and headed to the fireplace.   "Albus Dumbledore!"   A moment later, I saw the old man's head in the flames.   "Mrs. Malfoy!   What a surprise!   What might I do for you?"

"I need to speak with you, headmaster.   I have learned some rather disturbing things about Dolores Umbridge, and wish to talk."   I put on my most imperious look.

"Very well.   How soon can you be here at Hogwarts?"

"Very shortly.   I have business that needs to be taken care of in Diagon Alley, so I am on something of a schedule, sir."

"I shall have a carriage waiting for you in Hogsmeade, milady," he said simply.

"I thank you, headmaster."   The fire returned to its normal colour, and I left the house.

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Author Notes:

She makes an Oath, and works to fulfil it.