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Draco Malfoy stiffened at the proximity of the voice – just as haughty and cold as he remembered. He turned around and pulled his sherpa coat more tightly around him, affecting his best smirk.
“Father. Always a pleasure.”
“It's been nearly a year since we saw each other last. You've been running from me, Draco.” Lucius shook his head, as if chastising a naughty child. He looked just as Draco remembered.
Draco pulled a cigarette from the pack in his pocket and lit it with a wave of his hand. He watched Lucius's face, but there was no reaction at the display of wandless magic. He took a long drag, then blew the smoke in his father's direction. “Took you long enough to catch on.”
“Still bent on suicide, I see.” Lucius waved the smoke away with one jeweled hand. “I've come to make you an offer. I suggest you listen very carefully.”
“Nice to see you too, Father,” Draco muttered. He fervently wished the cigarette was a joint. He was far too sober for this.
Lucius ignored the remark. “It has come to my attention that you're involved with Harry Potter, and that he's here in San Francisco.”
“You don't know what you're talking about.”
“And I know when you're lying, son. I have always known.”
“Why do you care who I fuck?” Draco raised the cigarette to his lips.
“When it's someone like Potter, I can't turn a blind eye to my son's perversion.”
Draco smirked at him. “Can't stand the thought of me bending over for the Boy-Who-Lived?”
Lucius's face clouded for an instant before he forced a cool smile. “Surely you understand how important Potter is. Everything depends on him remaining under the influence of the smothering spell at the Ministry of Magic. He's been here in San Francisco far too long.”
“He's leaving soon,” Draco replied. “It's not a problem. He'll be back at the Ministry come Monday, working under the watchful eyes of your stooges.”
Lucius's smirk was a study in control. “I'm here to make you an offer, Draco. You've done nothing but fight my attempts to rebuild our relationship–”
“That's because you insisted on calling me a perverted, cock-sucking, shit-packing shirt-lifter in front of my mother.”
“–but I'm willing to make one more effort,” Lucius continued, voice taut. “We can't risk Potter escaping the confines of our influence again. The world is not yet ready to learn of the Dark Lord's plans.”
“And why should I help you? You won't even tell me what those plans are.” Draco dropped the cigarette end to the pavement and put it out with his shoe.
Lucius took a step forward and stroked a black-gloved finger down Draco's cheek. “All in good time, boy. There is something I want you to do.”
Draco did not flinch. He met his father's cool gaze with his own. “I haven't changed my mind. I have no intention of–”
“All I ask now is for your assistance in capturing Potter,” Lucius interrupted. “We know where he is. We can take him easily, but we'll need your help to control him, to convince him to cooperate.”
Draco looked away and pursed his lips, thinking. Stalling, truth be told. “I can assure you he'll soon return to the UK ,” Draco said. “I'll take him there myself. And then...” He took a measured breath. “Then I'll reconsider your offer.”
Lucius raised an eyebrow. “My offer?”
“Don't make me repeat it, Father,” Draco replied, struggling to keep his voice even. “I doubt your narrow mind could bear to imagine the details.”
Lucius looked away. “While I appreciate your enthusiasm, that won't be necessary. The plan has changed. We no longer require your services.”
Draco clenched his jaw. That had been the only card he could play.
“No, Draco, what we want from you is your assistance in apprehending Potter. We will take him tonight. When we have him, I'll contact you in the usual way.”
Lucius leaned forward and kissed Draco's cheek. His father's lips were cold against his skin, and Draco suppressed the urge to shudder. Lucius's smile was cool. He regarded Draco for another moment, then turned and walked away.
Draco waited until his father was out of sight, and then leaned against the alley wall, terrified. He had a choice to make – one he'd hoped to put off for quite a while.
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Draco sat straight up in bed, heart pounding, the rush of adrenaline through his veins wrenching him awake. He pressed his palms against his forehead.
He was in London . It was over. His father hadn't captured Harry. Everything was going to be all right.
The mattress shifted beside him. Draco felt a warm hand brush his thigh, and he turned his head. Harry's dark hair was barely visible under the duvet, sticking out in several directions. Draco swung his legs over the side of the bed, hesitating leaving its warmth. The room was cold.
“Draco...?” he heard mumbled behind him. “Y'okay?”
“Yeah,” he whispered. He'd had this nightmare several times in the last week, and every time it was the same. Always the conversation with his father, repeated in detail. And every time, he couldn't change the outcome, nor shake the feeling that it wasn't over yet.
He got up and went into Harry's kitchen. The glass of water he drank didn't really help, but it was something to do, a reason to get out of bed and postpone going back to sleep. The streetlights from outside cast strange shadows through the blinds, and Draco shivered. This was only the second time he'd slept at Harry's flat – maybe that was the root of his unease.
He stopped to use the toilet before sliding under the duvet again. Harry turned onto his side, facing away from Draco, and began to snore softly. Draco stared at the ceiling and half-hoped he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep.
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