Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity
Year 2: The Advancing of Shadows
Chapter 5: Of Raids and Rings
Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based on the Harry Potter universe. All recognizable characters, plots and settings are the exclusive property of J.K Rowling. I make no claim to ownership.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to my editor Fezzik, as well as my other betas Athena Hope, Luq707, Mr. 3CP, Raven, Regress, and Yoshi89 for their incredible work on this story.
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August 3, 1992
There was a heavy kind of silence at the table that night in the dining hall of Nott Manor. Harry would have hoped his first ever stay at Theodore’s ancestral family home would have been on a more cheerful occasion, but it was not to be.
The Muggle Protection Act Mr. Malfoy had ranted about the week previous had come into effect and sure enough, Arthur Weasley had come calling, joined by several HIT wizards. The Malfoy parents had told their three charges in no uncertain terms to floo to the home of Lord Tiberius Nott and remain there for the evening while the raid was underway.
“It makes me sick,” spat Lord Nott. “Blood traitors able to pillock the home of noble, upstanding citizens who helped build this country.”
“How are they able to in the first place?” Harry asked, vaguely remembering something about protecting muggles.
“Because the law prohibits the ownership of a list of items longer than the Chudley Canons’ last losing streak that are all dangerous.” The man drew air quotes around the final word and sneered. “Fat lot of good it will do. It’s not as though the ministry has let us put any of those items to use in the past fifty or so years as it is. It’s nothing but an excuse to take power away from the noble and pass it onto the blood traitors and mudbloods.”
Harry had never heard that last term, but he could guess well enough at its meaning and he wasn’t sure he liked it. Muggles could burn, as far as he was concerned, but he had no quarrels with muggleborns. So long as they conducted themselves in a respectful manner, Harry had no problems with them. He was a muggleborn in all but blood, after all. Even by that metric, he was only a halfblood.
Despite all of this, he didn’t dare say anything. Not after Theodore’s father had so graciously opened his home to them on such short notice.
He did agree that the bill was nonsense though, judging by the very little he knew.
Why did the muggles need protecting? The two worlds were forced so far apart, it shouldn’t have mattered, should it? It wasn’t as though muggles didn’t have their own weapons. And so what if Harry’s opinion was coloured by a touch of bias? He was sure the same was true for the other side as well.
He could practically feel Grindelwald’s pendant burning a hole in his chest. He had strung it onto the chain Regulus had gifted him with, but its properties remained the same. He didn’t understand why wizards felt the need to protect muggles, but he also failed to understand why they hated muggleborns so deeply.
It was a dichotomy that puzzled him, and Harry had no doubt that the one-time dark lord would have answers.
He just wasn’t entirely sure whether or not he was curious enough to dare ask for them.
In the end, he decided that he did not, in fact, dare.
August 9, 1992
Harry winced as he shifted in his chair at the Malfoy’s dining-room table. Every muscle in his body seemed to ache and protest to his every motion. He could never remember a time in his life when he had been so sore.
Yesterday, he’d had his first lesson in duelling. Lord Corban Yaxley — who Harry addressed as sir during their lessons — had indeed agreed to teach him. He would tutor Harry directly every Saturday and Sunday until the end of the summer. During the week, Harry would be given a list of spells to practice and drills to complete each day, as Lord Yaxley would be occupied during that time with his job at the ministry.
He had completed his second lesson only hours ago and it had left him wincing. The first had consisted mostly of Harry’s knowledge and form being tested, but it had ended in a mock duel that had left the Slytherin youth battered and bruised. Another mock duel had opened their practice today. Harry could tell the older man was taking it very easy on him, but he still battered him around easily. He wondered how many years it would take before he could make up that differential in skill.
Harry wasn’t sure what made him want to keep going. He knew that, rationally, most children his age would probably have given up, citing the brutality of these lessons as a more than valid reason for doing so. He oddly enjoyed it. Not the getting knocked around part, but the learning. He felt as though he had learned more in those two lessons than he had in months of Defence Against the Dark Arts lessons at Hogwarts. Quirrell — or Voldemort, he supposed, as uncomfortable as that thought made him — had been a good teacher, but this was just a different kind of lesson. Without any other students, Yaxley could give Harry his full attention, which the young Slytherin was quickly learning meant rapid and meaningful results.
Harry wasn’t the only one at the table who looked tired. Draco’s father hadn’t only had the weekly Wizengamot meeting to attend that morning, but he had also just returned from a meeting of the Hogwarts Board of Governors. They were beginning their own weekly meetings once more in preparation for the start of another school year.
“Who’s the Defence teacher going to be, Father?” asked Draco.
Mr. Malfoy scowled. “That is the question, isn’t it?” Harry was surprised by the uncharacteristic amount of frustration in the man’s voice. “Dumbledore provided a mandatory update at the end of last month, but it was of little help. He had invited Gilderoy Lockhart to take the position, but he turned the offer down.”
“Of course he did,” scoffed Diana. “He’s making more money selling books than he would as a professor and with all he’s done, the post seems beneath him.”
“With all he has claimed to have done, at least,” Mr. Malfoy said coolly.
“Do you think he’s lying?” Draco asked, leaning forward in his chair.
Mr. Malfoy took a languid sip of wine before he answered. “As a student at Hogwarts, Gilderoy Lockhart was far from impressive. He started school after I had already graduated, but I still had ears in the castle. All accounts of him at that time point to him being a pompous fool who hardly knew one end of a wand from another.”
“He could have improved after graduation though, couldn’t he?” asked Diana.
“Of course he could have, but I don’t think it likely he reached the mythical levels he writes about in his books. I think it’s far more likely that the man is a brilliant novelist with impressive creativity and a flair for the dramatics. If I’m right, I personally commend him on making so much out of so little and wish him all the best.”
“If you’re right though,” mused Diana, “that also explains why he didn’t take the position at Hogwarts. It would have exposed him as a fraud.”
“You don’t know who’s going to be our teacher though?” Draco pressed.
Harry had to resist the urge to pull back. It was so odd having adults eat with him who were willing to answer questions. Aunt Petunia’s screeches about not asking questions seemed to echo painfully off the inside of his skull even as he waited for Mr. Malfoy to answer.
“We haven’t the foggiest of ideas. Dumbledore insists no one else has taken the job.” Lucius’s face twisted into a sneer shockingly reminiscent of the one his son frequented. “It’s all stalling, of course. I have no doubt Dumbledore has already found his man and is just waiting until the last week of summer to make his choice known.”
“Why would he do that?” Harry asked timidly, finally allowing his curiosity to override his sense of self-preservation. His heartbeat quickened as Mr. Malfoy turned towards him. To Harry’s relief, the man was smiling.
“Because he probably doubts whomever he has chosen would meet the board’s standards. Hardly a surprise, given the riff raff he has subjected the students to over the years. It’s a clever ploy, actually, but then, Dumbledore always did enjoy his games.”
Harry was sure no matter who taught them the class, it would feel like a step back from both Voldemort — as much as that thought made him shudder — and Yaxley. Whomever it was, he just severely hoped they were competent. He would hate to squander a year of learning in what was doubtlessly his favourite subject.
August 19, 1992
Hogwarts letters had arrived exactly a week ago, and with them had come the perfunctory lists of books and supplies needed for the upcoming school year. The book assigned for Defence Against the Dark Arts was relatively generic and gave off no real hint as to who the professor might be. Funnily enough, Draco had taken a harsh anti-Lockhart stance ever since his father had speculated about the man. He had told Harry with complete confidence that had Lockhart been their professor, the egotistical git, as Draco called him, would have assigned all of his own books.
His rantings weren’t completely uncalled for, as the very man in question was holding a book signing at Flourish and Blotts the very day they were set to do their shopping. Mr. Malfoy had been less than pleased by the inconvenience, but they hadn’t rescheduled. Mr. Malfoy was a busy man, and moving things around in his busy life wasn’t the easiest of things to do.
They travelled to Diagon Alley via floo powder. Up to that point, Harry had read about, but never used the form of transportation. He could comfortably say after almost falling head-first out of the Leaky Cauldron’s fireplace that he would have had no objections to keeping it that way. He had been spinning so fast that he hadn’t been able to see straight for more than a minute upon his arrival. Worse still, he had spent the entire journey wanting to vomit. Not because of the spinning, but because of the way fireplaces, and living rooms, and all sorts of other things blurred past his eyes so fast that his brain seemed to just give up.
He blinked after stepping out into Diagon Alley proper alongside Mr. Malfoy, his son, and his daughter. It was a normal, cloudy day, but it seemed to Harry’s eyes like an onslaught of light after the dimly-lit pub they had landed in.
“I have a stop to make before we do your shopping,” said Mr. Malfoy. “Harry, Draco, stay with me. Diana, you can come or go as you like, so long as you are careful.”
“Thanks, Father. I’m meeting up with my friends at Madam Malkin’s.”
Mr. Malfoy fished a bag of golden galleons from his robes and passed it to his daughter. “Enjoy yourself,” he told her. Diana waved as she made her way off towards the robes shop in question.
Mr. Malfoy did not lead Harry and Draco towards Gringotts, as Harry had somewhat expected. He instead led them towards a place Harry had never noticed before.
It was a long, twisting alleyway that looked much emptier than its larger, more populated counterpart. Much quieter, too. Almost eerily quiet in a way that made the hairs on the back of Harry’s neck stand on end. Many of the shops here were… different. A few of them had boarded windows and a larger number had chipped paint. Some were maintained very well, but even some of these put Harry on edge.
Many of the windows displayed things much different than what Harry had seen in Diagon Alley a year ago. There were things like swords and daggers, some of them still dripping with sickening green poison, or worse. Several shop windows had what appeared to be bones on display, while one had a strange-looking limb that mercifully didn’t seem to be human. One, however, proudly displayed what was beyond doubt a human skull. The bones were so white, Harry thought they must have been bleached. Or, he supposed, cleaned via magical means.
The most normal things on display were books, but even some of these were odd in gut twistingly grim ways. Some of them, Harry would swear, looked as though they were lined with human skin, and more than one had deep, red stains that looked unmistakably like blood.
“Not the most charming place, is it?” Mr. Malfoy asked, watching Harry closely as the youth’s eyes roamed around the place.
He shook his head. “It’s a bit…” he trailed off, casting about for an appropriate adjective.
“Grim?” Draco’s father supplied. “Dark, needlessly edgy, excessively melodramatic?” Harry nodded. “This, Harry, is Knockturn Alley. They’re not marketing to their customers. We know what to expect from their services. The place may look like it’s run by scum, and that isn’t completely untrue, but it offers services which can’t be readily found anywhere else. The… colourful displays are to draw the attention of impressionable young minds who are less educated.”
“Mr. Malfoy, sir, how much of what’s on display is… legal?”
The man raised an eyebrow. “How much does the answer matter to you?”
“It doesn’t, really,” Harry rushed to assure, and he meant it. He knew some of the older Slytherins had plenty of books and other things that weren’t legal. Some of them Harry had interacted with and just because they owned things that were frowned upon, didn’t mean they were bad people. “I just wondered why the ministry doesn’t raid this place if they’re raiding family manors?”
Lucius’s lips curved upwards into an oddly cruel smile. “A good question, but a complicated answer. Politics has much to do with it, but I won’t bore you with those nuances. What you might find satisfactory an answer is that, if the ministry shut down Knockturn Alley, they would have a warzone for lowlife thugs, as well as more dangerous frequenters.”
Harry felt like he was missing a lot of context in what Mr. Malfoy had just said, but he noted it for later thought and nodded along.
“Come along,” the man said, “I don’t wish to be here for too long.”
They followed the Malfoy patriarch down the twisting street, ignoring a number of predatory-looking hags as they went, until they came to an unremarkable-looking building. It had a shrivelled head in the window, along with a number of other, ancient-looking trinkets that Mr. Malfoy seemed to completely ignore as he pushed the door open and ushered the two boys in before him.
The shop was deceptively large. Harry would never have thought by the exterior that the inside could have been as large as it was. He idly remembered the enchantment that allowed his trunk to hold more books and items than it should have been and wondered if this was just that on a grander scale.
Delicate shelves lined the low-ceilinged building, many of them caked in a thick layer of dust. It was dark and gloomy, with the only source of light coming from outside; and even that was obscured by a thick layer of grime on the inside of the window. Harry wondered, given the vibes Mr. Malfoy had given off when talking about this portion of the alley, whether or not that was a deliberate attempt to stop passers by spotting more than what was on display.
A glass case nearby held a withered hand on a cushion, a blood-stained pack of cards, and a staring glass eye. Evil-looking masks stared down from the walls, an assortment of human bones lay upon the counter, and rusty, spiked instruments hung from the ceiling. Draco cast his eyes around the dimly-lit shop and quickly bustled over to and bent over a shelf of skulls.
“Mr. Malfoy,” came a voice so oily Harry almost cringed, “what a pleasure to see you again. Delighted — and young Master Malfoy, too — charmed.” The new arrival was now standing behind the desk, though he hadn’t appeared to be present a moment ago. He was stooping and had long, greasy hair that looked most unkempt. He pushed it back out of his face and studied Harry with dark, curious eyes. “And who is this?” he asked.
“Harry Potter, if you must know,” drawled Mr. Malfoy. “He is a friend of my son’s and has accompanied us today.” He levelled Borgin — whose eyes had grown wide and hungry-looking — with an intense glare. “And I will have you know, Borgin, that if so much as a word of his presence here today gets spread about, you will be hearing from associates of mine under much less pleasant pretences.”
Borgin hastened to signal his agreement. “Of course, Mr. Malfoy, sir. I would never dream of spreading family secrets about. I always say that along with the services we provide, our patrons pay for discretion.”
Mr. Malfoy sneered. “It would explain some of the pricing.”
“Yes, well, what can I help you with today?” asked Borgin. “I must show you, just in today, we have—”
“I am here to sell, Borgin,” Mr. Malfoy cut in. “I have no plans of buying anything here.”
“But Father,” spoke up Draco, “you said Harry and I could both have gifts!”
It was true. Lucius had promised Harry he would buy him anything on this shopping trip. Draco had looked most unhappy about that, so Lucius had appeased his son with a similar promise.
Mr. Malfoy’s eyes narrowed upon his son. “Not quite, Draco. I told Harry I would buy him a gift of his choosing. If his item of choice so happens to be from here, I suppose I will, in fact, be buying.” His lip curled in a way that would have made their Head of House proud. “I did not make you the same promise. I said that you could have a racing broom.” Mr. Malfoy turned to Harry. “Have a look around, if you’d like. I’m not sure you’ll find anything of interest here, but they do occasionally have interesting trinkets if you know what you’re looking for.”
Harry hastened to obey and began scanning the shop with vigour while Lucius began discussing the details of his prospective sale with Mr. Borgin.
Harry found himself oddly fascinated by this place. It was unlike anywhere else he had ever seen. Some of the artifacts on display were said to carry horrific curses the likes of which Harry had never even imagined. Some of them made his skin crawl, but some of them piqued his interest in a way he wasn’t sure was normal. Much like his reaction to seeing his former classmate’s casket lowered into the earth, this made Harry question whether or not he might not be so great a person.
“Merlin,” muttered Draco, catching Harry’s attention, “Harry, come look at this!”
Harry made his way over towards Draco, who was looking at a shelf that seemed to be reserved for high-value goods. Much of what it held were books, but there were some extremely old-looking things, too. What Draco was looking at, in particular, did admittedly catch Harry’s attention as well.
Atop a pillow that was a deep shade of royal purple sat a slightly tarnished ring of deep, dark silver. It was accented with gold, which also made up the effigy in its centre. Sitting on some kind of ornate chair was a man who appeared to Harry as maybe being some sort of knight. His head was held high and he held aloft a sword in one hand and a sceptre in the other.
Even while clearly aged, the ring was stunning, but it wasn’t what caught Harry’s attention. That was the label right underneath it.
King John’s Long-Lost Ring!
“Ah,” crooned Mr. Borgin, who had apparently concluded his business with Draco’s father. “A man of great taste, I see.”
Lucius strolled over and stared down. His eyebrows rose. “An impressive find,” he told Borgin. “The artifact has been lost for centuries.”
Borgin smiled thinly. “We were very proud of it. All sorts of rumours about its magical properties over the years, but no one’s quite sure what it does. Definitely imbued with magic of some sort. You can practically feel it when you hold the thing.” The man looked towards Harry with a gleam in his eye. “Are you interested in the ring, Master Potter?”
He really was. Beyond its stunning aesthetic, Harry had always enjoyed history. He had read about King John and the Magna Carta long before Hogwarts. He was sure the real history was different, seeing as wizards were likely involved, since that debacle took place nearly five hundred years before the implementation of the Statute of Secrecy. The artifact just called to Harry in an odd sort of way, but the price tag had Harry’s eyes practically bulging out of his head.
“A touch pricey,” Mr. Malfoy observed. “More than worth it if it is indeed the real thing, of course.” He turned to Borgin. “If Mr. Potter wants the ring, would you object to an examination of it by an expert?”
The man shook his head. “Not at all, sir. We are very confident in our find.”
“I’m sure. Forgive me if I do not share the same degree of confidence.” He glanced towards Harry. “Is this what you would like?”
“If… if that’s okay, sir. I know it’s expensive—”
Mr. Malfoy waved his hand. “Our final stop today will already be a costly one. I had not planned for today to be a cheap outing, so it is most alright.” He turned back to Borgin. “I will have someone come by in the coming days to examine the ring. Should they prove its authenticity, you have made yourself a sale.”
Borgin smiled like a kid in a candy shop as he nodded vigorously.
Harry and the Malfoy males departed Knockturn Alley after their trip into Borgin and Burkes and spent the rest of their time in the more densely populated Diagon. Harry had expected them to head to Gringotts, but they didn’t. Mr. Malfoy said he would buy Harry’s school things and provide him with money for the upcoming year at Hogwarts. A year ago, Harry thought he would have politely turned him down. After spending a year in Slytherin, he knew enough not to look a gift horse in the mouth, so he accepted Mr. Malfoy’s offer with much grace.
After stops at Slug and Jiggers, Madam Malkin’s, and Scribbulus Writing Supplies, they neared the queue outside of Flourish and Blotts. Lucius’s eyes scanned the crowd and quickly picked out Diana with her friends. He strode confidently through the bustling queue of what seemed mostly to be middle-aged witches and came up beside his daughter.
“Come,” he told her and her friends, “we need not wait out here with the commoners.”
He led them all up to the main entrance, which was guarded by a couple of Auror trainees. Mr. Malfoy conversed with them politely for a minute or so and was quickly let through. Harry blinked, hardly able to believe how easy it had been. He hadn’t even seen any gold change hands.
Gilderoy Lockhart came slowly into view as they advanced further into the shop, seated at a table surrounded by large pictures of his own face, all winking and flashing dazzlingly white teeth at the crowd. The real Lockhart was wearing robes of forget-me-not blue that exactly matched his eyes; his pointed wizard’s hat was set at a jaunty angle on his wavy hair.
A short, irritable-looking man was dancing around taking photographs with a large black camera that emitted puffs of purple smoke with every blinding flash. Draco snickered and quietly pointed to Ron Weasley, who the man had just rudely shoved aside. Harry plastered a fake smile onto his lips, but he didn’t much care. He neither liked nor disliked Weasley, but he had a hard time ridding himself of the image of him and his family standing atop the hill at Longbottom’s funeral.
“Harry,” said Mr. Malfoy in a low voice, eyes fixed on Lockhart at the front of the room. “I was wondering whether I might ask a favour of you?”
Harry looked up at the man with wide eyes. “Of course, sir.” It wasn’t as if he was going to say no after the unceasing kindness the man had shown him today.
“I think I might steal a picture with Mr. Lockhart. His reputation would do me wonders after the slander the Prophet’s been posting since Weasley’s meddling.” Harry winced; the Daily Prophet had posted the names of all families who had been raided, and the Malfoys had not been spared. “I was wondering whether you might be agreeable to joining me?”
The rest went unsaid. Harry was the Boy-Who-Lived. There had been articles written about him after his sorting into Slytherin, for Merlin’s sake. Even after that, they had sung his praises, spinning it into a tale of how he might reinvent the house’s reputation. If Mr. Malfoy was seen with Harry Potter so soon after the aspersions cast upon him by Arthur Weasley and the Daily Prophet, all would be forgotten.
Harry didn’t much like the idea of posing for a newspaper, nor standing in front of the whole crowd of people with a fake smile on his face. But for a man who had shown him such kindness ever since they had met…
“It’s no trouble, sir. Anything I can do to help.”
Lucius smiled and rested a hand on Harry’s shoulder, guiding him up towards where Gilderoy Lockhart was still signing autographs. The crowd burst into loud murmurs at the sight of Harry — who was impossible to miss — walking alongside one of the most prominent men in the country. Lockhart clearly heard the whispers, for he looked up, and his eyes landed on the both of them.
“It can’t be Harry Potter?”
The remaining crowd parted, whispering excitedly. Lockhart looked like he wanted to dive forward and seize Harry’s arm, but he restrained himself, seeing that Lucius was with him.
“Good afternoon, Gilderoy,” said Mr. Malfoy with a small inclination of his head.
“Ah, Lucius, old chap! So long it’s been!” Harry was pretty sure the two of them had never interacted before. If they had, Lockhart was certainly not close enough to the Malfoy lord to call him by his first name.
For his part, however, Mr. Malfoy just smiled along. “Indeed it has. My ward here just wanted to meet you, so I thought it only right if I gave him the opportunity. He’s enthralled by your books, you see?”
Lockhart beamed with the force of a miniature sun. “Of course, of course! And I’ll be happy to give the lad the whole set, signed and free of charge!”
Harry and Lucius were now standing at the front of the room with Lockhart, who took to his feet and stood on Harry’s right. The boy now stood between Lucius and Gilderoy, with the former’s hand on his shoulder and the latter’s arm draped around him. This last motion made him tense, but he forced himself to relax as the cameraman rushed forward.
“Nice big smile, Harry,” said Lockhart, through his own gleaming teeth. “Together, you and I are worth the front page.”
Harry thought that comment might have made it much easier for Mr. Malfoy to fake his own, winning smile.
August 31, 1992
They had indeed made the front page, but that had been nearly two weeks ago now.
It was the night before Hogwarts would begin yet another year and Harry felt strange. He loved the castle more than anywhere else in the world and in many ways, he wanted nothing more than to return to it. But he had also loved Malfoy Manor in a different way. The freedom it had provided him was something he had never experienced before, and the kindness shown to him by the Malfoys was something he could have never imagined.
Yet that kindness showed to him didn’t make Harry’s current course of action any less intimidating.
Draco and Diana had been trying to convince Harry for weeks to tell their father about the Dursleys, convinced that the man could do something about it.
Finally, with less than twenty-four hours until he was set to board the Hogwarts Express, Harry acquiesced. It was a combination of their persistence, his desperation to never return to Privet Drive, and the shopping trip that convinced him. The way Mr. Malfoy had treated him during that trip and the way the man had carried himself… it just inspired a great deal of confidence and Harry was going to take the plunge.
He very hesitantly knocked on the door to Mr. Malfoy’s study, hoping he wasn’t interrupting anything. It was one of the most heavily warded rooms in the home, according to Draco. He’d said he had only ever been in that room on a few scarce occasions.
“Who is it?” came Mr. Malfoy’s voice.
“It’s Harry, sir.”
A pause, and then…
The door opened of its own accord when Mr. Malfoy spoke, and Harry saw him pushing a pile of parchments to the side as he looked up.
“Good evening, Harry. Was there something I can help you with?” His eyes watched him intently, noticing the way the boy had suddenly become quite fidgety.
“I… maybe, sir. There’s… something I’ve been working up to telling you for a long time. Something Draco and Diana have been trying to get me to tell you.”
The man raised an eyebrow. “Come and sit,” he said, gesturing to the plush armchair across from him. Harry did so, and the door closed on its own as he walked further into the room. “What is it you wish to tell me, Harry?”
“You… remember how I said I used magic when I left my relatives’ house?” Thankfully, Mr. Malfoy had gotten that warning revoked within the week, as he had promised.
The man’s eyes darkened. “May I presume I’m about to hear exactly why you did such a thing?”
Harry took a deep, centring breath and then began to rattle off how the Dursleys had locked him in his room the night after he had arrived on Privet Drive. Some time during the tale, it devolved into Harry telling Lucius about how they had locked him in a boot cupboard as a child, forced him to do chores, and even punished him with occasional bouts of physical violence.
By the time Harry was done, he was shaking. Not quite at the point of becoming teary-eyed, but shaky and not at all stable.
“Calm down, Harry.” The man’s voice was softer and gentler than Harry had ever heard it before. “Nothing that happened is your fault and it is nothing you should feel ashamed of. It is the fault of the filthy animals who locked you away, and it is the fault of our pathetic system for allowing any child — the Boy-Who-Lived, especially — to be raised by such creatures.”
“I just… please, sir. Can… can you not tell anyone about this?”
Mr. Malfoy’s features softened. “I’ll need to tell a few people if we are to resolve this atrocity.”
“R-resolve it, sir.”
The man’s jaw clenched. “Yes, Harry, resolve it. I will need to gather evidence and the like, but you are never returning to the rabble who raised you. I am going to make sure of that — I swear it to you.”
“Does… does that mean everyone is going to know about what happened, sir?”
“Not if I can help it. If I have my way, the affairs will take place in a low key manner and behind closed doors.” His eyes gleamed. “And between the two of us, Harry, us Malfoys almost always get our way.”
“Thank you, sir,” said Harry, unable to say anything more.
Mr. Malfoy stood from behind the desk and made his way over to Harry, resting a firm and steadying hand on his shoulder as he bent down to look him square in the eyes.
“You are part of our world now. More so, you are family, in a sense. I promise you, nothing is going to take you away from either of those two things. I will make sure of it, by any means necessary.”
Just a note on the ring: It will not be giving Harry any kind of superpower that is going to win him fights or resolve major plots. It does have a function that will doubtlessly come in handy at some point, but it is not going to be a major advantage going forward. Honestly, the ring exists largely so I can expand on some magical history that will be semi-relevant to the story way down the line.
Please read and review.
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