Heaven Forbid

The Beginning in the End

A sharp whistle cut through the chaos in the station, signaling that the Hogwarts Express would be leaving in approximately 5 minutes. One by one the students clambered aboard, rushing to claim compartments before anyone else did. Lily Potter giggled as she made her way into the compartment reserved for the prefects at the front of the train. Later she would have to make her usual rounds, checking to make sure that each student was behaving themselves as they should be. For now, she leaned back into her seat and closed her eyes. Leaving Hogwarts was always a bittersweet occasion. She'd miss her friends dearly, but was eager to get home and see her family. Of course, she'd seen her father Harry throughout the entire year, as he was their Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor, but she missed her Mum dearly.

A sudden jerk in the train, and yet another whistle told Lily that they had begun to leave the station. Opening her eyes, the young girl smiled to herself. She thought herself to be one of the luckiest girls in the world. Nevermind that she was a witch, but her father was Harry Potter. He was the wizard of the century, the one who'd saved the world from Voldemort. And the greatest father in the world, if she did say so herself. She ignored the sudden urge to travel to the professors' compartment, just to see him. Instead, she made the decision to stop by later, maybe ask him to get her something off the trolley.

Thinking back to when she'd gotten her letter to attend Hogwarts, she couldn't help but grin. Her father had felt a bit uneasy about the situation, given what he'd experienced in his years at the school. But her Mum hadn't hesitated a second and promised Lily her father would get over the fact that she was growing up so quickly. Harry, of course, had made the decision to retire from his job as head Auror, and take the Defense Against the Dark Arts position. He'd sworn it was because he was highly qualified for the job and that he missed Hogwarts dearly, but Lily knew better. He just needed a way to keep an eye on her. Which she'd thought was just fine.

And now here she was, years later, ending her sixth year at the school. She'd been sorted into Gryffindor, of course, which was as expected. She'd also become very popular, rather quickly. Which was also to be expected, seeing as she had famous parents. She smiled at the thought. It was rather romantic, really, the way her parents had fallen in love. Her father claims it was the moment he'd found Ginny Weasley lying near-death in the Chamber of Secrets. Her mother, of course, frowns and claims it was her heroic wit that had caused them to fall in love.

Either way, Lily herself couldn't seem to wait to fall in love. She imagined it'd probably be a little less dramatic than her parents', but was sure it'd be just as wonderful.

"Earth to Lily Potter, helloooo...." came a giggling voice, snapping Lily out of her daydream. She laughed, and playfully pushed her friend Sophia.

"There you are, darling. I really do worry when you get that vacant look in your eyes. Where exactly do you go, hmm?" asked Sophia, raising her eyebrows in question.

Lily rolled her eyes. "If you really must know, I was thinking about how absolutely dreamy Avery Thomas' eyes are," she said, causing both girls to burst into a fit of giggles. The girls spent the rest of their time gossiping about Avery Thomas and his mates, and wondering what their seventh year would hold in store for them.

About midway through the trip it was time for the prefects to make their rounds through the train. Lily walked down the aisles, popping her head in and out of each compartment. She paused for a moment to purchase a few Pumpkin Pasties and licorice wands for her younger brothers. Making her way to their compartment, she opened the sliding door to find both Albus and James fast asleep on opposite sides of the bench. She smiled, shook her head, and layed the treats between the boys, who'd wake up and fight over them later. Lily backed out of the compartment silently and continued her rounds, until she reached the professors' compartment. Peering in, her face immediately fell. There was no sign of her father anywhere. How odd.

Looking up from the paper he was reading, their new Potions instructor, Professor Belby, nodded at Lily.

"My apologies, Professor, but have you seen my... er, Professor Potter?" she asked.

Professor Belby shook his head. "No, my dear, I can't say I have. Perhaps he's using a different method of transportation this time around." Lily frowned. Her father had always taken the Express with her. He'd never missed out once. Perhaps Professor Belby was right though. He might have had business to take care of this time 'round. Lily smiled, and nodded her thanks to the Professor. She made her way back to her own compartment, wondering where on earth her father might have run off to.


Harry grimaced as the memories came rushing back. He climbed the steps up the Malfoy Manor, clutching his wand, prepared for Death Eaters to jump out from behind the corners. Not that there were any left, to his knowledge. They were all facing Dementors in Azkaban, as they bloody well should. He swallowed the bile rising up his throat at the very thought of what had gone on here twenty years ago. He'd sworn to himself he'd never be back, and yet here he was, for reasons only Merlin knew. His thoughts traveled back to what had caused him to even step foot on this land...

An urgent letter had arrived at his office in Hogwarts, just as he was preparing to pack his belongings and be on his way to catch the Express, as he always did at the end of term. An owl had flown in, dropping the letter on his desk. Harry had every intention of ignoring it, believing it was more fanmail, but the owl had nipped him harshly on the shoulder when he didn't pick it up. So he'd gone to see what all the fuss was about and found a letter addressed to Mr. Potter, from the Malfoy house. Inside, in hastily scrawled letters, was a note from Lucius Malfoy himself asking for an urgent meeting with Harry. Of course, Harry burst into laughter when he read that. As if he'd spare a single moment for that man. If it were up to him, the entire Malfoy family would never have left Azkaban at all. They damned well deserved to rot, for all Harry cared.

Except that the owl was very insistent Harry reply. He'd never seen an owl behave in such a way. When he'd tossed the letter into the garbage, the bird had leapt after it and plopped it right back on Harry's desk. When Harry tried to throw it away again, the owl had nearly clawed his arm off. In sheer frustration, Harry wrote a quick reply, promising he'd come at once. The owl let out yet another screech, picked the note up, and flew off. No sooner than that, yet another owl arrived carrying a note that held a date and time. June first, it read. No later than 4 o' clock. Harry scowled when he saw this. He always took the express home with his children. Not this time 'round, obviously. He didn't bother to write a reply, but instead had one of the house elves take his luggage and put it on the train. At that, he walked into the Forbidden Forest and Apparated to the Malfoy household.

And now here he was, the place that plagued his nightmares, even to this very day. Harry grimaced at the thought. Before he even had the chance to knock at the large double doors leading into the manor, a house elf appeared by his side with a loud "crack!" Startled, he jumped and nearly pulled his wand on the creature. The elf gasped, and shifted its attention down towards the floor in shame.

"S-sorry to startle you, Mr. Potter, sir, but Mr. Malfoy has asked Honey to let you in," she said, rather hastily.

"Please do follow Honey inside, please, Mr. Potter." Harry nodded, and followed the small elf into the manor. It appeared just the same as it had those many years ago, much to his dismay. Clenching his fists, he took a deep breath. It was all he could do to keep himself from running out the door.

"Mr. Potter, please, do come in." Harry looked up to see Lucius leaning against a cane, looking every bit his age. Harry nodded.

"Mr. Malfoy," he said. Lucius beckoned Harry to follow him through the corridor, and into what looked to be the study.

"You might be wondering why I've requested your presence, Potter."

Harry shrugged. "Yeah, you could say that, Malfoy," he replied, all but spitting at that last word. Lucius closed his eyes, his eyebrows knitting tightly together. Harry knew he was attempting not to say something they'd both regret, and couldn't help but smirk. Finally, after several moments, Lucius opened his eyes and began.

"This isn't simple for me, Potter, having you here. I'd much rather never see you again." Harry scowled, about to add a comment, but the other man quickly interrupted him. "No, I'm not saying that to antagonize you. It is just so you can see how important this... matter is to me. You see, it might surprise you to hear this, but I've gotten myself into a bit of a, mess, one could say."

Harry snorted at this, unable to help himself. "You, a mess?" he asked, smirking. "Nooo." Lucius ignored his comment and continued.

"Before the war, the Malfoy family had been having some... financial issues. The Dark Lord had used us in more ways than one, and in the end, I found myself to be in a state no Malfoy should ever be in. Yes, Potter, we were poor. Like any other commoner, I'm afraid. We were barely holding on. And of course, I could never have my family living in such a state!" Anger flared in the man's eyes. "We are Malfoys, for Merlin's sake! Purebloods. Regardless, we struggled. Until I met a man who promised he'd rid us of our problem. And he did, as you can see. We are now living as we should."

Harry glared at Lucius. Why the hell would he care about his financial crisis? Who does he think he is?

"And you brought me here to tell me all this, Malfoy? In case you couldn't tell, I don't bloody well care about you or yours. If I had any say in it, you'd be enjoying the dementors Kiss in Azkaban right now."

Lucius flinched at the comment. "No, Mr. Potter, that is not the reason you are here, I can assure you. I am merely explaining our situation so that you would understand." Harry raised his eyebrows in question.

"In return for his assistance, Mr. Darke requested one thing. That we give our son to him, when the time called for it." Harry shook his head, confused. Tears formed in Lucius' eyes, causing Harry to feel even more confusion. What on earth would make this man, of all people, cry. Until finally, Harry understood. Draco.

"Yes," said Lucius, reading the recognition in Harry's eyes, his voice full of pain. "He's taking Draco to be.... his slave."

Harry couldn't hide the shock and disgust he felt suddenly.

"You mean to tell me, you traded your SON for MONEY?!" he shouted, in disbelief. "Your only son! For goddamned Galleons! Because you simply couldn't bear being without? Are you mad?" Lucius hung his head in shame, making Harry only want to murder the man even more than he previously had.

"Dammit Malfoy, he's your son! And you.... you traded him! How could you do that? How? What in the bloody hell is wrong with you?"

Harry was on fire with anger. He didn't much care for Draco, but this was low, even for the Malfoys.

"And what the fuck do you expect me to do? Clean up your mess? How? You deserve everything you've got coming to you! Not Draco. You deserve to be that bastard's slave!" Finally noticing the way Lucius was shaking, Harry regained control of himself and couldn't help but pity the man.

"I understand what you must think of me, Mr. Potter," said Lucius, quietly. "But you must help me. You must. I'm begging you, save Draco. Please, find it in the goodness of your heart. I need you to claim him! Before this... this man, comes for him."

Harry was taken aback. Claim him? He didn't understand. Unless.... of course.

"Yes, Mr. Potter," came a familiar voice from behind him. He turned to find Narcissa leaning against the wall, her face a tear-streaked mess, her long hair looking as though she had been trying to pull it out of her scalp.

"We need you to claim Draco as your slave.
♠ ♠ ♠
I apologize it's so long. I couldn't find a way of cutting it into two. Hope you like it. <3

All my love,