Hiding onto Nothing
It’s been maybe 5years since I last wrote in this ficlet collection, but I felt like writing something short, so here we go again.
This is inspired by a 100% real life situation where I had to battle through a group of squealing, surprisingly violent teenagers to get to my meeting, just because there was a (completely untrue) rumour that a boy band off last year’s UK X Factor were being interviewed in the building.
Obviously this is extremely A.U. Hiding onto Nothing
“Shitting…unholy…everlasting…bloody…but most of all… fucking
hell!” Draco Malfoy panted as they ran hell for leather down Diagon Alley.
Connor laughed, not remotely out of breath. Draco cursed his friend’s vampiric breeding. “Never thought a few fan girls would scare the great Draco Malfoy.”
Draco had a few more choice words for that comment, no doubt words that would make said ‘fan girls’ swoon and blush. It turned out girls loved a reformed bad boy…who knew?
Blaise was wisely saving his breath. The screeching was dimming which must mean that the witches were giving up, or at least falling behind.
It had all started a week ago, the day after the big celebration of Voldemort‘s final demise, after that damned article in The Prophet made people start thinking that the formerly-evil trio weren’t so bad after all. Somehow word had got out that they had been actively helping in the post-war clean up effort.
There were a lot of Death Eaters that had escaped capture; they were not the bravest or most loyal of followers, and when the tide had turned during that final battle, they had apparated out before you could say ‘Voldemort’ (which, ironically, people finally started doing for the first time in thirty years). Now they needed to be tracked down and held accountable, especially those who were still practicing the dark arts and engaging in Death Eater activities.
So, as the Ministry had proven itself to be completely corrupt during the war, the Order of the Phoenix’s members and a hand picked squad of aurors were handling the fall out. Draco, Blaise and Connor had volunteered their considerable and invaluable services
(as Draco had put it) for the cause, thus effectively changing their status in the wizarding world from ‘spineless bad boys who had cowardly swapped sides to save their own hide’ to ‘reformed bad boys who gallantly swapped sides at great risk to their personal safety’. People had stopped avoiding them, they assumed that they ‘weren’t so bad’ and that the unfriendly glares that had put off most of the unwanted attention were now ignored with a jolly wave and a chirpy hello. Much to their eternal irritation.
Then came the fan girls which, okay, had been fun at first, but when a fifteen-year-old witch levitates outside your bathroom window when you‘re trying to take a piss, the novelty quickly wears off. They were relentless. Never mind that Draco, Blaire and Connor were only helping the effort on Cordelia’s rather loud, shrill orders… “Connor Angel, you will stay here until every last one of those Death Eater’s is behind bars. You made this mess, you have to clean it up.”
Connor’s insistence that technically it was Voldemort’s mess had not gone over well.
“This is…all…your fault…Angel…” Draco panted in time with his running footsteps.
“How’d you figure that out?” Connor asked, glancing back over his shoulder to see that some of the witches had found brooms and weren’t giving up, dammit. “And don’t call me Angel.”
“If it wasn’t for you…we’d be in a nice cosy cell in Azkaban right now... But no….You had to catch a sodding conscience.”
Connor just laughed as they piled on a last burst of speed to reach The Leaky Cauldron where they had been staying. They slammed the door shut behind them and collapsed against it, much to the amusement of Tom the barkeeper who was using the mid-morning lull in customers to wipe down the bar. “Alright boys?”
“Fine thanks.” Connor said smoothly as Draco and Blaise tried to get their breaths back.
Tom hid an amused grin at the scene. Ah to be young again… “Them girls are a bit keen, aren’t they?”
“Just a bit.” Blaise said woefully. “Never thought I’d be complaining about too many women chasing me down the street.”
“They don’t give up.” Connor agreed. “They’re worse than a hell hound with a bone.”
“Bloody hell.” Draco swore as he inspected the back of his robes. “They tore my robes. Rabid little wenches.”
“One of them pinched my bum so hard, I’m sure it will bruise.” Blaise groaned, rubbing his sore derriere.
“What will Ginny say?” Connor grinned.
“Shut it, Angel.” Blaise snapped. “Just because you’re quick enough to get away doesn’t mean you get to gloat.”
Draco snorted, still mourning the loss of another set of robes. “More like just because they’re still a bit scared of the ‘Vampire Spawn‘ so keep their distance for the main part.”
Tom laughed and shook his head, used to their way by this point. When they’d turned up to book their rooms a week ago, he’d been unsure as to what he was letting himself in for, but how could he turn away Hogwarts’ three most unlikely heroes? And they had certainly made things interesting. He opened up three butterbeers and slid them along the bar to the boys. “Here, looks like you need them.”
They thanked him and retired to their room. Stupid witches ruining their day. Blaise and Draco immediately collapsed on their respective beds with a happy groan while Connor made for the stash of food they’d acquired for when they were hiding out, but a high pitched squeal followed by a thump had him turning around sharply and the other two leaping out of bed with their wands out and ready to fight.
There was a girl in a heap on the floor, her broom still hovering outside their window. She peered up at them between her hair, she couldn’t have been more than fifteen although they didn’t recognise her from Hogwarts. They lowered their wands and she looked up at them in amazement. “Wow. You‘re really here.”
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Draco growled in his most scary voice. It had always terrified the first years at Hogwarts.
The girl was looking up at him with wide eyes, mouth agape as she tried to form words. “Oh Merlin…”
Draco continued to scowl as the girl showed appropriate amounts of fear.
“…Will you wait here while I get my friend? Henrietta would just die
to meet you.”
Maybe not quite the appropriate amount of fear after all. “Excuse me?!”
“She’ll be so jealous.” The girl continued dreamily, blissfully unaware that Draco was turning an interesting shade of purple. “Hey, can I take a photo? No one will believe me otherwise.”
“What?” Draco spat. “No, you can’t take a sodding photo. Are you mad?”
She sighed in disappointment. “S’okay. I expected as such. The Prophet did say you were incredibly shy.”
“I’m not bloody shy.”
Draco protested indignantly. “I’m evil.”
“That is so cute!”
she squealed in delight as Connor grabbed the back of Draco’s robes to stop him launching himself at the girl. He managed to drag him back a few steps and Blaise hurriedly put himself inbetween the schoolgirl and his friend, who was practically foaming at the mouth at this point. It had been a long week.
“You do know we can’t be trusted right?” He explained patiently. “That, just by entering this room, you are risking your life and virtue by putting yourself at our mercy?”
“Wow,” she said with her head cocked to one side. “I love
the way you guys stay in character all the time.”
Blaise looked at her strangely as she totally ignored his threats. Did she not know who they were? “Okay. One more time, from the top. You
are not safe here. This is because we
couldn’t give a hippogriff in hell about you people. If necessary we will
use very nasty curses and extremely violent force to make you leave. This is because we are not nice people. We may not technically be full-blown, bathing in the blood of innocents and sacrificing virgins, one hundred percent evil anymore, but that certainly does not, and never will, make us good. You follow?”
She just sighed dreamily, looking at Blaise with adoration in her eyes.
“Let’s try this another way.” Connor said. He released a now silently seething Draco and stalked forward in a manly impression of the way he’d seen Faith do when she was going in for the kill. “You know who I am, right?”
“Yes.” She said breathlessly.
“Then you know I’m the spawn of two of the most deadly vampires to ever walk the planet.”
“Y-yes…” She stammered, smile dimming slightly as Connor invaded her personal space, predatory smirk on his face. Suddenly all the lore on vampires from Care of Magical Creatures came flooding back…
“I’ve had a really, really
bad day. I was just chased down Diagon Alley, and do you know what vampires do when they feel threatened? They bite.” He leaned in so that his last words were whispered against her ear, so close that she could feel his breath down her neck. “They can’t help it. It’s instinct, genetics even. So you really need to leave. Now. Before something happens we might regret. Go.”
She gave a startled “eep!” and made a dash for the door. Connor turned back to his friends grinning. “I’m brilliant.”
“Bloody hell, Angel.” Draco said, clearly impressed. “I didn’t know you could be that scary.”
Blaise nodded in agreement. “If you had been like that more often when we were Death Eaters working for the forces of evil, then we would have never needed to worry about getting found out.”
Connor rolled his eyes. “Up there!”
They heard the should and looked around in confusion, but then suddenly the light to the room was blocked as a dozen or so witches on broomsticks hovered outside their window.
Draco swore, running for the door and heading downstairs as quickly as his feet would carry him, Connor and Blaire two steps behind him.
As they reached the main bar, they saw Tom adding reinforcement charms to the door and excited girlish chatter filtered through. “I wouldn’t go out there if I were you, boys.”
“Shit.” “Dammit.” “Fuck.”
“Sorry about this, Tom.“ Connor said as he grabbed his friends and pulled them all into the floo port. They all tumbled in a heap as Tom waved off their apologies; having the unholy trio staying at the Cauldron had been rather good for business.
They fell out of the floo on the other side in a painful tangle of limbs. “Ow.”
Blaise disentangled himself and looked around in surprise. He knew this place. “The fuck?”
“That’s what I’d like to know.” They all spun around at the irritated voice. “What in Merlin’s name are you doing in my living room?”
Draco and Blaise immediately turned to glare at Connor who began to stutter. “Uh, that is, I guess…maybe hiding?”
“Hiding?” Sirius Black, repeated incredulously as Connor’s companions groaned. “And why, pray tell, did you pick here for hiding?”
“Uh, because it’s the secret headquarters?”
“No,” Sirius said, drawing the word out as Blaise and Draco both face palmed in exasperation. “It was
the secret headquarters. Now this is my home which you have just come barging into uninvited. The Order is no longer a secret, so we don’t really need a secret headquarters anymore.”
“Speak for yourself.” Draco muttered under his breath, remembering the faces peering in their second storey window.
Sirius looked at the miserable looking group in front of him; he would never have thought he would see the day a Malfoy and a Zambini befriended a muggle, not with all the racism their parents had spouted. He paid particular attention to Draco; his second cousin. In a way, Draco reminded Sirius of his brother, or what Regulus could have become if he’d had people looking out for him when he’d tried to change sides in the first war. If the old Order had taken Reggie in, would he have still died?
Sirius shook himself from the depressing thoughts. The past was the past; it was too late to change it now. “Why in Merlin’s name are you hiding anyway?”
“There was great risk to our personal safety.” Draco explained earnestly. “We were getting mobbed.
“By Death Eaters?” Sirius said, instantly on alert.
“Worse.” Blaise said glumly. “Women.”
Sirius stared at them for a minute. Then he burst out laughing. It was just too funny; the big, bad Slytherins and their son-of-a-vampire companion running away from a group of little girls who wanted their autographs.
“It’s not funny!” Draco protested indignantly. “They push, and pull, and scratch with their talons, and they - would you stop bloody laughing?”
“Sorry.” Sirius said, not sounding in the least bit so. “But that‘s what happens when you join the good guys and they win. The hero worship is just part of the parcel.”
“But we’re not the good guys.” Connor, there was no other word for it: he whined.
“Not the good guys, huh? So it was some other ‘overly strong muggle’ who gallantly carried that elderly squib Mrs Raymond down four flights of stairs when Death Eater’s trashed her flat, and personally delivered her to St. Mungo’s and asked to be kept updated on her condition so he’d know they were treating her right?” Sirius raised one eyebrow. “How is she by the way?”
“Fine.” Connor mumbled, eyes on his feet as her idly scuffed the worn carpet.
Sirius grinned at his chagrined expression and turned to the other two who were both smirking something rotten. Not for much longer… “And it must be someone who looks just like you, Blaise, who’s been seen out holding hands with Ginny Weasley, bone fide war hero, looking remarkably cosy and sickly sweet, and, allegedly, with full support of her family of equally famous war heroes?”
Blaise sighed. “Ah bollocks. I knew someone would notice that.”
“You just have to face it,” Sirius said with no small amount of amusement. “You’re the good guys now. Welcome to the side of the light boys, you’re in for a hell of a ride. We‘ll have you rescuing kittens from trees and reading to sick children in no time. With Voldemort dead and Harry taking a break, the wizarding world is in the market for a new hero. I think you three could be just the ticket.”
“You take that back!” Draco protested hotly. “I refuse to allow such an outrageous slur to be cast upon the Malfoy name!”
“I don’t think you have to worry about the Malfoy name, Draco. Luna Lovegood’s been singing your praises all over Hogsmeade. She was very impressed at the way you not only gallantly charged to her rescue with no thought to your own safety (although she also points out that she was handling the situation just fine by herself), but then insisted on escorting her and her father from their ruined house to The Three Broomsticks and paying with the Malfoy account for a room and board for as long as they need it.”
“It was a tax write-off.“ He tried, but they clearly weren’t buying any of it. Draco deflated visibly, his face falling and just looking generally pathetic. “She promised she wouldn’t tell anyone.”
“Don’t worry,” Sirius said with false sympathy. “I think there might be some people that don’t believe it. But I suppose they might change their mind when they read next month’s Quibbler with ‘Hogwarts’ Unsung Heroes’ as the lead story.”
“Bugger.” Draco said, looking so dejected that Sirius actually felt a bit sorry for him.
“Don’t worry, Malfoy, I still think you’re a little shit.”
“Really? You’re not just saying that?”
Sirius snorted. “Why would I
want to make you
Draco nodded, brightening up considerably. “Good point.”
“So, what are we going to do now?” Blaise asked. “We can’t go back to the Leaky Cauldron.”
“If it’s even still standing.” Connor injected with a frown. He really didn’t want to have to go back to America, and he wasn’t entirely sure that Cordelia wouldn’t kick him back out again until the rest of the Death Eaters had been captured.
“The aurors still have control of the Malfoy estate. They won’t be done for at least another week.”
Sirius sighed. He already knew that he was going to regret this… “You can stay here. Just until you get somewhere else sorted.”
The boys all looked to each other. Connor just shrugged he didn’t care where they stayed. Blaise and Draco exchanged looks; beggars couldn’t be choosers and they had both had their property seized by the Ministry until the aurors had finished looking it over and taking whatever evidence they needed.
“What about Potter?” Draco asked. He’d rather face the fan girls than share a house with Potter. Probably.
“Harry’s on holiday with Ron and Hermione; he’s taking a break.”
Draco diplomatically held his tongue and refrained from sarcastic comment.
“Thanks.” Connor said, offering a smile.
Sirius just nodded. He knew he’d done the right thing. It was still dangerous out there with Death Eater’s on the loose, and all of them would love the opportunity to get even with the ‘turncoats’. Draco et al may bug the hell out of him, but Sirius didn’t want them dead. There had been enough death. “I haven’t cleaned out the old Order bunks on the top floor. You can stay up there.”
They nodded; they’d all stayed up there before during the height of the war when they had been on the run from Voldemort.
“Just try to stay out of my way, eh?” Sirius added. Well, they were still Slytherins.
For the most part, they did just that, and when the trio did meet their temporary landlord, the exchanges were brief but civil. Sirius found he quite liked have other people about the house. It had been to quiet with Harry away and only his work for the Order to distract him.
One day, Sirius spotted Connor looking closely at the Black family tapestry. He watched the not-really-a-muggle silently for a moment, wondering why he was interested in a dusty old tapestry. Sirius hated the thing. If it wasn’t for the permanent sticking charm on the back, he would have torn it down and set fire to it long ago.
“I didn’t realise you had so many ties to the Malfoys.” Connor said as he sensed Sirius‘ presence.
“All the pureblood families are tied into each other several times.” Sirius said, not surprised that Connor not only sensed someone standing behind him but also knew who it was. In the few days the boys had been staying with him, he had never seen Connor anything less than fully alert.
“Huh.” Connor mused. “I’m technically related to the Malfoy’s too, though I can’t say we share any blood in the traditional sense. You know my father is a vampire, right?”
Sirius nodded. Everyone knew that.
“Well he sired the vampire that turned William Malfoy IV.”
“You’re telling me,” Sirius said, mouth agape, “That’s I’m related to a vampire?”
“Yep.” Connor nodded. “A master vampire. William the Bloody to be precise.”
Sirius went deathly pale, but Connor didn’t notice.
“You know, technically, Spike’s sire, Drucilla, was my sister. Which makes me Spike’s (or William Malfoy’s as he was previously known) uncle. And, since you’re all inbred with the Malfoy’s that makes me your great-great-great-great uncle-in-law, once removed? Or something like that.”
Sirius looked at him in alarm.
Connor frowned in thought. “But then, Dru also re-sired Darla, my mother, which also makes her my grandmother as well as my sister, and Spike is her childe, which make’s Spike my
uncle, which would also make me your…“ He frowned, trying to figure it out.
Much to Sirius’ frazzled brain’s relief, Connor just shrugged and left the topic alone. Sirius resolved to forget the whole conversation. It was bad enough being related to Death Eaters, but vampires too? If that became public knowledge, he would never live it down.
Luckily for Sirius, Connor didn’t feel the need to bring up their familial relations again and the rest of the week went rather smoothly. But that never lasted for long in the wizarding world and sooner or later something was bound to kick off…with sooner being the infinitely more likely of those two options.
“Hello?” A voice called out. “Sirius?”
“Harry!” Sirius greeted, his face splitting into a big grin as his godson walked in the door. “You’re back early.”
Harry shrugged and returned his godfather’s hug. “I got bored; it was great to have a holiday, but after this last year, just sitting around doing nothing seemed just plain wrong. Besides, Ron and Hermione wouldn’t stop bickering the whole time and it got old after a while.”
Sirius nodded in understanding. In some ways Ron and Hermione made the perfect couple; they were best friends, they had been through so much together, and in a way they balanced each other out. Ron forced Hermione to relax every now and then, while Hermione demanded Ron take life seriously at times. On the other hand, they were polar opposites and never seemed to stop arguing. Speaking of bickering…Shit, Malfoy and Zambini.
Sirius chased after his godson. “Err, Harry…”
Harry was frozen in the kitchen doorway. “Sirius, what the hell is Draco sodding Malfoy doing in my kitchen?”
“Scarhead.” Draco said cordially, he was a guest in this house after all and he had been raised to show the proper decorum in these situations. “Always a pleasure.”
Harry scowled. “No, it’s not, you git.”
Sirius groaned. His peaceful summer was definitely over.
Draco shrugged. “Fine, have it your way. I was just trying to be pleasant, you know, know that I’m a white hat and all, but if you’re going to insist on honesty, then that’s fine by me. Tell me, how is the filthy mudblood and the ginger weasel? I do hope no terrible harm has befallen either of them.”
“Why I ought to-”
“Ah ah ah, Potter. You’re the disgustingly good one remember? I know I can’t forget it. I can smell the self-righteousness from here.” Draco said, eyes twinkling in amusement. He loved a good argument.
“Slimy Slytherin bastard.” Harry shook his head, less of the malice behind it than there had been when they were at Hogwarts. He understood Draco more; now they were almost acquaintances. Almost. Malfoy was still an insufferable little prick as far as Harry was concerned.
“Right you are, Potter.” Draco replied, not offended in the slightest. This was just how he and Harry communicated. “And as much as I enjoy our banter, I’m afraid we will be departing this evening. The aurors have signed off Malfoy Manor so Blaise, Connor and myself plan to start in on my father’s store of vintage firewhiskey. With a bit of luck, in a few hours this whole conversation will not even be an unpleasant memory.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “I would say I’m sorry to see you go-”
“But we both know it would be a lie.” Draco interrupted smoothly. No matter what side they were on, he and Harry would never be friends (ever), but these days they could be in the same room without it descending into hexes and curses. Who knows? At some point they may even be on nodding terms. “Well, we must be going. I feel the need to take a scalding hot shower to rid myself of the Gryffindor stench of sanctimony.”
Draco paused and looked at Sirius. “No offence.”
Sirius just shook his head. He was a Black after all; he got it. “None taken.”
“Thank you for your hospitality.“ Draco said formerly.
Sirius just nodded.
“See you around, Scarhead.”
“Not bloody likely.” Harry muttered.
Draco disappeared upstairs and reappeared a few minutes later, two friends in tow, with a trunk hovering in front of him, despite Connor’s insistence that he could have carried is easily.
“Hello Potter.” Blaise said evenly. Ginny had made him promise to be nice, and she could be surprisingly vindictive at times.
Harry nodded curtly in reply. Ginny had extracted a similar promise from him.
Connor just gave him a lazy half wave. He didn’t really have anything against Harry Potter (though he was heavily influenced by Blaise and Draco’s stories) but he’d never felt the need to make an effort to speak to him. Harry reminded Connor too much of his father; far too broody for his own good.
They thanked Sirius and escaped via floo to Malfoy Manor.
Draco immediately gave a sigh of relief. “Home sweet home.”
Blaise dropped into one of the plush armchairs and ran a hand over the thick velvet, a far cry from the threadbare sofa’s at Grimmuld Place or the wooden chairs in the Leaky Cauldron, “Back to civilisation at last.”
Connor made a beeline for the window. He’d been cooped up far too long; surely the Malfoy’s would have grounds big enough for him to let off some steam?
“Where are the house elves? I’m famished.”
“I could go for some decent grub myself.” Blaise agreed. “That Kreacher; nice chap, but he does tend to overcook the meat.”
Connor stepped back from the window and turned to his friend. “Uh, Draco? I think you should see this…”
“What’s wrong?“ Frowning, Draco joined Connor at the window. His jaw dropped. “How did they…”
As Draco trailed off, Blaise went over to see what all the fuss was about. There at the Malfoy Manor gates, despite the fact that they had only been back a matter of minutes, was a small but unmistakably present group of fan girls. One of them even had a pink, heart-shaped, floating banner with the words ‘Marry Me!’ shimmering in silver.
- end -