Word Count: 916
Rating: PG-13 this part
Prompt: Day 10 traditional - snowy Parliament
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns them, not me. This is for mischief's sake, not profit.
Author's Notes: This is for slythindor100 's Christmas challenge picture prompts. Sequel of Part one, Part two, Part three, Part four, Part five, Part six, Part seven, Part eight & Part nine
The tall man leaned against the rail and stared down at the turbulent waters of the Thames. He sighed gustily, and wisps of vapour from his breath rose into the wintry London air, lending him the air of a contemplative dragon. The curtain of white-blond hair draped over his black cloak added to the impression, creating a silver harness around his shoulders.
Lucius glanced at the building on the other side of the bridge, his eyebrows puzzling in thought. He wondered what would have happened if the Dark Lord had won the war. Voldemort had confided bloody visions of imposing wizarding rule over Parliament which had upset Lucius even then. The part of him that cherished the feeling of coming home when he arrived at the Ministry, ready to burrow into the intricate bureaucratic procedure which felt at times like dancing with Narcissa to the tune of one of the old pureblood songs, that part had chafed at the Dark Lord's cruel whispers.
By then it was too late, though. Lucius was forced to follow the road that inexorably led to the Final Battle, a pawn in a chess game he no longer had any hope of controlling. Worse than this was the oppressive feeling in Lucius' chest when he watched Draco struggling to survive in the bloody war that was not of his devising; he had to bite his tongue in order to keep his silence when Voldemort cast Crucio on his son!
Lucius' thin lips twisted in a sneer as he recalled the sight that greeted him this morning when he went to the solarium on his way to the garden. Potter had been draped over Draco while his son appeared to be intent on devouring Potter like a hungry dragon. Lucius nodded at this imagery, his lips forming a tight smile at the remembrance of Draco, blooming with good health and cheeks rosy with embarrassment. Potter's blush when Draco gasped 'Father' had been quite entertaining too, Lucius reflected; the vaunted Saviour had scrambled out of the settee like Dementors were after him.
Lucius had lifted his cane at him and said, "Carry on!"
"Wot?" Potter had said, a bit thickly in Lucius' opinion.
"You heard me, Potter." Glancing sideways at his son, Lucius had drawled, "Draco, enjoy your day, and don't forget dinner with the Holcombs. You might want to invite Potter - if he manages to recover the use of his tongue, that is."
"Father?" Draco had said, running his hand through his blond hair.
"You heard me, Draco." Lucius had strolled towards the French windows with a light step, his cane swaying as he called over his shoulder, "Next time, boys, charm the door closed!"
Lucius shivered when the sound of crunching snow under his boots brought him to the present. Lifting his hand casually to nudge his furred hat, he glanced towards the other end of the bridge. It reminded him of the dark hour when he dashed out of the ruins of Hogwarts and towards Narcissa and his son. On that occasion, Lucius had solemnly vowed to stand by his family and watch over them, to finally become the father his son deserved. If Draco decided to pursue the Vanquisher, it would not be Lucius who would stand in the way.
Recalling his wife's Slytherin ways, Lucius decided to keep a discreet eye on the boys and offer his assistance if the occasion required it.
A man with a thick cloak tapped gently on his shoulder. Lucius whirled around, ready to brandish his wand at the intruder but stopped the motion when he recognised the fringe of unruly hair peeking from beneath the woollen hat.
Frowning at the newcomer, Lucius turned to look at Big Ben and stabbed his cane at it. "You arrive a little late, Potter. It's half past nine."
"Got loads of paperwork…"
"I distinctly recall writing the note I owled you which stated precisely at nine sharp."
"Had to get the paperwork done today because of that dinner you invited me to, Malfoy." Harry crossed his arms and glared mutinously. "Or did you change your mind?"
"Not at all, Potter, not at all." Lucius took a deep breath to calm down. Frankly, he wondered how his son managed to have a civil conversation with Potter; perhaps the reason he snogged him was to shut him up.
"What d'you want, Malfoy?" Harry kicked a small mound of snow. "I won't stop seeing Draco."
Lucius snorted. "I am not asking you to stop seeing my son. I want to warn you, Potter." Lucius lifted his gaze to the sky, his eyes as grey as the clouds above. "You might not believe me, but I want Draco to find happiness."
Lucius cane tapped insistently against the snow-encrusted sidewalk. "Indeed. The reason I wanted this meeting is to warn you about the last spell the Dark Lord was working on."
Harry shuddered and pulled his scarf up his neck. Recalling Riddle in the middle of winter certainly did nothing to ward off the winter chill. "What was it?"
"I don't know," said Lucius, shrugging elegantly. "I do recall it was incomplete and he kept working at it, even when we were about to storm Hogwarts."
Lucius gazed at the dark, slushy waters of the Thames lapping against the foundations of Parliament whilst his hands tightly gripped his cane, and then he recited by rote the two words the Dark Lord had muttered over and over, "Sol sistere."