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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 2:58 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Even if he had been living there for several years now, and it was the place that he grew up, Draco would probably never really get used to the vastness and the emptiness of Malfoy Manor. It was such a vastly different experience compared to when he was a child, most of it due to just how huge the manor was and how he had it all to himself.
It was a nightmare most of the time, but Draco needed plenty of room to do his research and it wasn’t like he would be able to afford anything in the size that he would need. That was the main reason he had decided to go back to the manor, combined with how secluded it was and all the wards that he knew to already be in place.
The secluded nature of the manor also meant that he rarely saw other people, something that he had come to cherish since the war. There were really no people who were interested in the effect that dark artefacts had on the human psyche, at least not when said research was done by Draco Malfoy, so nobody bothered him and he didn’t have to worry about someone accidentally triggering one of his artefacts.
Thus, he was extremely confused when his wards alerted him that someone had appareted onto the grounds. He never had company unless he knew in advance, something that he appreciated or more than one reason, and he knew that he had nothing scheduled for the day, so the identity of his visitor was a complete mystery to him. It was unrealistic that someone was just dropping by for a visit and whenever a ministry worker did come by, they always made sure to come through the floo network; leaving him with enough warning to be presentable.
He went to his front door to see outside and didn’t immediately recognise the shape coming towards him. Once he did though, a deep sense of dread filled him, making him sick to his stomach with anxiety.
What on earth was Harry Potter doing here?

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 3:53 pm 

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Much to his annoyance, Harry hadn’t been able to apparate thought the second perimeter of wards, effectively stranding him just a few yards within the gates skirting Malfoy Manor. It had instead forced him to walk the length of the avenue by foot, well peeved at pace in which the evening was progressing.
Everything had been so painstakingly slow, and it felt like every single step through the gravel taunted the fact that it had taken Harry, by now an Inspector in the Auror force, a full week of intensive work only to find himself somewhere as un-disguised as Draco Malfoy’s doorstep.
By the time the house came into view, Harry decided that the wards were more practical than protective, allowing Malfoy to appear at the doorway perfectly on cue; by the look of Malfoy’s face, Harry wondered whether or not he was even supposed to have made it through the gates.
Even at at a distance, Harry could sense that the rejection was already on Malfoy’s tongue.
"I have some questions about your papers," he quickly interrupted, completely disinterested in coyly honouring Malfoy’s publishing anonymity that had been so troublesome for Harry to trace back.


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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 4:05 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco really had no idea what he had expected that Potter wanted from him, but him wanting to know anything about Draco’s research, or even having tracked the research back to Draco, was not it.
“All the answers are in the papers,” he stated cooly, not interested in even having Potter on the grounds and much less wanting him to come inside the manor.
In all honesty, Draco couldn’t remember the last time he had seen Potter in person, and he had been perfectly fine with keeping it that way for a long. He knew that Potter’s life had taken a dramatically different turn than his own had, continuing his path as the saviour of the wizarding world and everybody’s golden boy. It was nauseating and Draco had never wanted to face it.
“I can’t believe that Longbottom tattled,” he said with a shake of his head, having a hard time seeing how else Potter could have identified him as the author of those papers.

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 4:27 pm 

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The animosity was perfectly expected; the mention of Neville, however, completely sidelined Harry’s prepared train of thought, causing him to buffer. For a moment, he seemed confused by the curse before another flash of annoyed realisation ran across Harry’s features.
"Had to strong-arm it out of Slughorn," he corrected blankly, as he undeterred carried on up the steps to the front door. Harry had no issue admitting who had sold Malfoy out, though he didn’t intend on admitting to the fact that Horace had been wined and dined for the information.
"Most of your papers are hypothetical," Harry pointed, some annoyance seeping into his voice. He was well aware of the fact that Malfoy knew precisely what he had written.
Over the course of the last month, Harry had read everything Malfoy had produced in what was almost a decade of research. Everything was fresh on his mind, and nothing contained any concrete answers to the concerns Malfoy himself had raised in them.
He had stopped at the last step before the landing. For the first time in what felt like a lifetime, Malfoy was once again towering above him, blonde hair unexpectedly long.
"I need you to be more specific than that."


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 12:59 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Even if Draco probably shouldn’t be surprised by that kind of nerve coming from Potter, he still felt completely and utterly annoyed to his core that Potter didn’t seem to understand how research like he was doing worked. Of course his papers were hypothetical, because there was very little he could do to test his theories in the real world. It would reflect extremely poorly on him, if he started doing experiments in line with his research, and he accidentally hurt someone permanently.
“Leave me alone,” was all he said though, finding that his words were probably going to be wasted on Potter; who was likely used to getting what he wanted.
Despite the fact that Draco was towering over Potter, he couldn’t help but feel small in the golden boy’s presence, being the one who could do no right, next to the one who could do no wrong.
“What I know is what I wrote, please just leave.”

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 1:49 pm 

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Harry all but bristled at the rejection, no matter how phony politely Malfoy tried to phrase it. He had spent a month in and out of St. Mungo’s to no avail, and Malfoy’s research had been hard enough to come by, let alone figure out who the author was. Harry had been treading waters for too long, process being made so agonizingly slow that he found himself with little consideration to whatever discomfort Malfoy might be in.
"No," Harry dismissed indifferently, frustration building in his chest. Not balling up his fists was a conscious decision. "Some wartime artefact bypassed every single identification spell during an Auror dismantling and I need you to explain to me what the hell they were exposed to."
Locating, identifying, and dismantling the remaining curses of the war had always been a tedious and exceptionally secretive process. Despite having dedicated the better part of the last decade to removing every single one of Voldemort’s remaining signatures, Harry had no possibility of knowing how much were left to find. The Ministry had always preferred to keep quiet about their ignorance, not willing to inform the public of dark magic still littered about the country like landmines yet to detonate.
Though the failed operation never made the papers, it had shaken the corps regardless. Every protocol had been executed, every safety precaution had been taken and still something had escaped being detected despite every effort made to securing the room before entering. With a white-hot flash too reminiscent of a Cruciatus curse, it had knocked every Auror within a five-yard radius to their knees, the pain disappearing before Harry had been able to comprehend it. It had warranted them all an inconclusive stay at St. Mungo’s.
Over the course of the last month, they had made no further process, the magic in the house remaining active. It had Harry on edge, knowing that the curses were left disturbed and unstable.
Whatever padded academic language Malfoy had used in his papers had been to no use in the field, nothing about his suggested approaches aiding the Cursebreakers in finding what on Earth they had encountered. When Harry had set about finding the author for better explained answers, he, granted, hadn’t expected he had to fight Malfoy for it.
"You’ve stated there to be flaws in the known ways of identifying dark magic that don’t manage to sense out dark artifacts, but they shouldn’t bloody be able to disappear into thin air."


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 2:58 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Of course Potter wasn’t just going to take no for an answer.
Draco desperately wanted to get him off the grounds, even if he knew that he probably was the only one who knew dark artefacts as intimately as he did, but he really didn’t want to help Potter. There had to be people who would be able to make sense of his texts at the ministry, so he really had no idea why Potter would even need him in the first place.
“All my texts are hypothetical because all my knowledge is hypothetical,” he stated, slowly backing into his house, hoping to be able to just slam the door in Potter’s face and maybe get some peace and quiet.
He had decided to live at the manor in the first place to be able to be alone, but of course he couldn’t just get to do his research in peace. A part of him was extremely agitated that his research had even caught Potter’s interest in the first place and felt even worse that he had managed to track Draco down. What was worse was that Draco felt fairly certain that he would be able to help Potter with his case, if he should want to do so, but he absolutely despised the idea of helping a system that was so keen on keeping him where he was.
“Now, leave me alone,” he said, backing away further, feeling the tension in his body and how his stomach churned. He hated that Potter had this effect on him, making him feel weak and as if he had to apologise for even existing in his presence. It was disgusting and Draco wanted Potter to leave so he could forget that he had even felt this way in the first place.
“Trust me, if there had been a more clear conclusion to draw yet, I would have drawn it,” he stated, frustrated that Potter clearly knew him to be an expert on the area, yet still doubted his abilities to this extent. “I have been researching this for a decade. There are no answers.”

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 3:20 pm 

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The moment Malfoy shifted backwards Harry’s sheer disadvantage going into the conversation seemed to dawn on him. While Harry could justifiably apparate through whatever wards allowed him to pass, he had little grounds to force himself further into Malfoy’s property once he had slammed the door on him.
It visibly made Harry reconsider, swallowing a harsher reply than the one he eventually spoke.
"Then at least explain how to diagnose the effect without the artifact," Harry tried, taking the last step up the stairs. It was a new approach to information he desperately needed, albeit his voice remained strained in his attempt to maintain his composure.
It annoyed him to no end that Malfoy certainly knew more than he wanted to disclose to Harry yet having some grand idea that nothing could be discussed were it not clinically conclusive. Precisely such pedantics had protected Malfoy’s right to publishing anonymity and Harry was sick of it.
It was when Malfoy took another step into the foyer that Harry’s frustration came to a cusp. Harry lunged a step forward to grip Malfoy’s forearm, preventing him from pulling the door closed any further.
"I know you passed your Healer’s exams," Harry pointed, irate.


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 3:55 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Potter’s hand on Draco’s arm sent a jolt through him, surprised by the tightness of his grip and the roughness with which he held onto him. It made Draco instinctively yank his arm out of Potter’s grip, pushing the hand away and withdrawing his arm such that Potter was less likely to reach out for it again.
“Get off me,” he snapped, trying not to think about how the fact that Potter knew that he passed the Healer’s exam made him sick to his stomach. He hadn’t thought about being a healer for many years, knowing that he wasn’t going to ever be working as one, no matter how much be wanted to, so it seemed to be a waste of tie to even having taken the exam in the first place.
“I can’t help you,” Draco stated, knowing that it was probably a lie, but he found that the line between can’t and won’t was thin enough that it didn’t feel like a real lie. It didn’t matter to Draco that Potter seemed desperate for his help, because he knew that nothing he did could change how the world still viewed him, so there was no need. Also, he absolutely refused to give Potter the satisfaction of convincing him to leave.
“Goodbye, Potter,” Draco stated, before finally managing to slam the door shut.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 5:57 pm 

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Upon seeing the expression on Malfoy’s features change, Harry let go of his arm without a moment of hesitation. In that split second, Harry seemed equally startled by the fact that his frustration had so clearly translated to a much harsher grip than intended.
It sent Harry’s mind reeling, barely forming a coherent regret before Malfoy had slammed the door in his face. Whatever intention Harry had of apologizing immediately disappeared, leaving him blood boiling in the sudden darkness of the landing. It wasn’t surprise – frankly, Harry should have left Slughorn’s office at Hogwarts and just gone straight home, knowing better than expecting anything from Malfoy. What bloomed in his chest was instead a feeling of utter disappointment, frustrated to find that Malfoy was so headfast stuck in his own misery to even consider doing good when presented with the opportunity.
Harry had to fight the urge to hammer a first against the front door, insisting for Malfoy to grow up and talk to him. The only thing stopping him the still lingering feeling of Malfoy’s forearm against his palm; he flexed his hand to rid himself of it, before apparating with a crack out of the inner circle of the Manor wards.


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 12:50 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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____
Draco had barely sent Potter away before he started feeling guilty about having done so. He knew that his resentment for the man shouldn’t stand in the way of helping the ministry solve a problem; especially when it was something that was so much in his wheelhouse.
It was still fairly early when an owl dropped the Daily Prophet through his kitchen window and Draco was forced to face just exactly what his rejection of Potter had meant.
On the front page, a large story of an attack on the ministry was staring at him. There had not been an attack on the ministry since the war and Draco found himself flipping through the pages to the main story, as he waited for his coffee to brew.
While Potter had told him next to nothing about the artefact in the house, Draco knew that this was the same thing. He also felt very certain someone was carrying the energy of the artefact with them, probably triggering a ward, which had made something go haywire in the system.
It also meant that Draco fully expected Potter to come by again, sooner rather than later.

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 4:24 am 

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When Harry once again apparated onto the far end of the Malfoy Manor walkway he felt less disdain for the distance than he had felt just a few days prior. While his exhaustion was probably justified, the cross-country apparition from central London had done nothing to soothe his already growing headache; the walk up to the house did at least allow the world to stop spinning before Malfoy would, certainly, cuss him off his property once again.
What Ministry officials had classified as an attack on the state, targeting Harry specifically, had to him felt more like karmic justice, only fuelling the concerns he had tried to express to both his superiors and Malfoy.
Upon arriving to work Tuesday morning, Harry had been caught travelling through the Floo from Grimmauld Place to his office, blocked not from entering but from arriving. When he had finally tumbled out through one of the general entries at the Ministry foyer, the enchanted fire in his office several floors down had erupted, spilling over, and licking dark marks up his mantlepiece. Harry had immediately been hospitalized, kept there for observation the last two days.
To Harry, the notion that someone had managed to interfere with the Floo network to that extend had been ludicrous. Having tried to argue that point to the Auror investigating the issue, Harry had been dismissed, kindly and as if to reassure him, that it wasn’t a matter of interfering with the network, but with Harry’s fireplace specifically; they were looking into who would have had access to his office. It had left Harry fuming, knowing it wouldn’t have mattered, finding that entire line of questioning to be utterly useless.
Harry had spent he last two days restlessly pacing the observation room at St. Mungo’s, nothing to observe besides the scorch marks on his fingertips, attributed to long exposure to the Floo. The timing had frustrated him, knowing the DMLE was reluctant to see any correlation between the house in Towthorpe a month ago and the supposed tampering of his fireplace, and too narrowminded to interpret the latter as anything else.
When Harry had been discharged with the explicit order to go home and rest, Harry had apparated to Malfoy Manor, needing to talk to the only who might know what Harry could only suspect.


Last edited by Nymeria on Sat May 15, 2021 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 5:22 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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When the alarms indicating that someone had breached the wards of the manor started ringing again, twice within a week, Draco was, if possibly, more startled than he had been two days prior when Potter had been at his door. Once again, he was not expecting anyone to come by and while he felt certain that Potter was going to stop by again, he could also read in the Daily Prophet that he was in St. Mungos and was under observation.
Leaving his coffee brewing behind, Draco took the trek to the front door, feeling more than a little anxious as to who it could be. For a moment, he felt convinced that someone was suspecting him for the attack of the ministry, the though alone being enough to fill him with a deep sense of dread, as he would have absolutely no way of proving that he had been home all night.
That really was the curse of living entirely on his own like this, but he also knew that he was going to have to get through that, if that was the case.
Once he finally gathered the nerve to open the front door, fully expecting a ministry official to be standing on the other side, it completely took him aback to find Potter back on the other side of it.
“Shouldn’t you be in the hospital?” He asked, finding that he had nothing else to ask.

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 6:11 pm 

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Harry had only barely made his way up the steps when the door swung open in front of him, an entirely different hostility in Malfoy’s voice when he addressed him. It made his lips part, genuinely surprised that Malfoy even kept any newspapers, let alone cared enough to read them.
Unexpectedly, Harry found himself smiling, the corners of his mouth quirking upward for just an instance.
"I haven’t run off, if that’s what you’re implying," he dismissed, voice easier than it had been last time he had talked to Malfoy. It no longer felt as urgent as it did Monday evening. He was tired; whatever he had tried to anticipate had already escaped his grasp, just barely. He hadn't allowed himself to linger too much on what that might entail.
Harry’s gaze dipped to the stone stairs, taking the last few steps up onto the landing before once again meeting Malfoy’s eye. He paused at a careful distance, aware of everything that had gone wrong the last time Harry was here, attempting to correct it. He still felt the void of Malfoy’s arm in his fist.
"They discharged me," Harry went on, just to say something. He didn’t know if it mattered that he had gone here, and not home, so he didn’t specify it. "According to the Prophet they’ll keep me ‘til Friday."
Harry knew practically it was a safety precaution. If it had been an intentional attack, Robards had every right to keep Harry’s exacts whereabouts from the public until the case was resolved. Of course, that was under the presumption that Harry would either be home or at work; nobody was likely to go looking for him here, of all places.
"I still have some questions I’d like to ask you," Harry reiterated from a few nights before, his tone slipping back into poised profesionalism, knowing Malfoy had at least read the mornings articles.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 4:07 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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The smile that was spreading on Potter’s lips was absolutely infuriating, and Draco wanted nothing more than to just smack it off his mouth, but he refrained. All in all, it was a huge step for Potter to return to the manor after Draco had rejected him last time, so a part of him felt that he had to at least hear Potter out this time around.
“They shouldn’t have done that,” Draco stated mindlessly, not that he cared too much about Potter’s general health, but he knew that an attack like that could take a serious toll on someone’s health, even if it didn’t show directly. It also drove him more than a little mad to know that Potter had to have gone directly from St. Mungos to the manor; mostly it was knowing that Potter really thought that Draco had the answers to his predicament that infuriated him.
The dynamic between them seemed different than it had just days before, even if nothing much would have happened to justify that change between them. It made Draco feel slightly more at ease, but he was till cautious about trusting Potter too much too fast. He knew that Potter was only looking to use him for his own gain and Draco was still not keen on helping him like that.
“Why do you think that I have the answers you want?”

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 8:54 am 

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The definiteness of Malfoy’s reply sent a thrill down the nape of Harry’s neck, feeling an inexplicable sense of resolution in just a few, harsh words. He had spent the last day talking about possible suspects, or vague motives, or a million different fluid, pointless concepts, all guaranteed to lead nowhere. Even before that, the only thing Malfoy had said decisively was goodbye. This finally felt like progress.
The question, in contrast, was eerily familiar, making something in Harry’s shoulders tense. Though Malfoy had stayed put on the doorstep, Harry saw him retreat into the foyer, an overlaid image of Monday night. Harry felt uncomfortably close to another dead end, so he paused to think.
"’cause you wouldn't have discharged me," Harry eventually agreed, voice perfectly plain for what otherwise could have been a genuine compliment to Malfoy’s capabilities.
His eyes remained attentively on Malfoy, regardless, looking for any sign of gratification in the furrows of Malfoy’s irritation.
"I don’t think anybody’s out to get me by inconveniencing my commute, either. I think this has to do with the dismantling in Towthorpe."
A million things were going through Harry’s mind as he watched Malfoy, a month worth of fragmented suspicions and patterns that never seemed to match up seamlessly, or hadn’t been able to piece together correctly. When Harry had admitted to the confidential knowledge that Malfoy had passed his Healer’s exams, it hadn’t been to exude power or to intimidate; Harry thought Malfoy would know more than any Healer Harry had yet spoken to about it.
Finally, Harry smiled, a competitive pleasure painted clearly across his features though his lip had barely curved. Harry didn’t know why he thought Malfoy could help, but he knew exactly why Malfoy had even opened the door. "I think you know I’m right."


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 4:27 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Everything in Draco was at odds.
A part of him was pleased that Potter seemed to recognise that Draco held some level of authority on the topic, being vastly more qualified when it come to talking about dark artefacts than any other person available. However, it also went greatly against everything that he had worked for to even consider giving Potter any help, especially with how Draco had been treated by the ministry for the past many years.
Without it being a conscious decision, Draco found himself slowly retreating behind the door, a large part of him just wanting to hide from Potter and for him to no longer look at him. However, he managed to catch himself before fully closing it, managing to pull himself together and actually face Potter.
He realised that he probably was the only one who would be able to shed any level of new light onto this case, because Draco definitely agreed that someone wasn’t just trying to ruin Potter’s morning commute, and he was curious was to what else it could possibly be.
“Come in,” he stated, feeling his stomach turn at the mere idea of Potter entering the manor, but he also didn’t want to have this conversation on his doorstep.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 6:28 am 

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The silence between them was uncomfortably long as Malfoy seemed to weigh his options. When Harry had been younger, he would have tried to fill it with either attempts at persuasions or frustrated curses. Now, Harry’s features softened, the smile fading though his eyes remained attentive.
In his mind, Harry knew he had played his cards better this time around. He circumstances had changed, too, the stakes heightening in a conversation that otherwise remained very low risk to Malfoy. Harry knew it was useless trying to convince Malfoy to listen due to a sense of obligation; he could only hope Malfoy instead would listen out of interest. Harry had effectively presented Malfoy with the opportunity to study something that, for once, wasn’t hypothetical.
When Malfoy moved to retreat, Harry felt the pull of the closing door as it had been tied to him with rope, heart drawn into his throat. He willed himself to stay put, hyper aware of the fact that preventing Malfoy from closing it had been the wrong approach. The effort made his shoulders tense. If Malfoy were to refuse him a second time, Harry didn’t know if he had grounds to ask a third time, leaving him in a worse position to figure this out than he had been a month ago.
Once Malfoy folded, Harry’s shoulders relaxed a fraction; the door opening back up allowed his heart to resettle, doing a flip on its way back into his chest.
His smile reappeared, small but pleased and carefully encouraged. He stepped past Malfoy into the manor, pushing through every harrowing instinct to never to set foot in that building again.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 1:21 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Everything in Draco screamed for him to just slam the door before Potter could enter his home, not wanting his old childhood nemesis to be able to see what had become of him. It was only due to Dracos’ ravenous curiosity that he was letting Potter inside, uncertain if he knew enough on a theoretical level to be able to help in the real world.
He closed the door behind Potter, leaving them in the light foyer of the Manor, not seeing much point in inviting him anywhere to sit, as he figured that this would be fast. After all, Potter would just have to explain exactly how he thought that Draco could help him, before Draco would even consider extending said help to him.
“So,” he started, taking a moment to take Potter in, unsure how he felt about the entire thing. It seemed surreal to have Potter within the walls, especially when Draco knew that he had been the one to ask him in. There were no niceties to be exchanged, because they both knew that they would be purely for show and there was no one around to put on a show for.
“Tell me what happened and why you don’t think that someone just tampered with your fireplace.”

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 2:43 pm 

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Upon stepping into the foyer, Harry’s attention completely drifted. It wasn’t even a professional habit; it had barely crossed his mind whether or not Malfoy should be trusted. Harry was trying to pin memories onto the room as he glanced through it. He didn’t recognize the space, but still everything within him reeled in discomfort.
Reluctantly, Harry’s eyes returned onto Malfoy. In the filtered daylight washing into the foyer Malfoy looked translucent, his skin no longer platinum as it had been in the sunlight. The request to defend his case made Harry’s heart rate quicken, inexplicably.
"Because I don’t believe it’s an issue with my fireplace," Harry stated, aware of the simplicity of the argument. The last Auror he had tried explaining this to had certainly thought so, dismissing his concern as humility or disorientation. Harry didn’t tell Malfoy what he had told her, that he didn’t buy that anybody was looking to harm him; Malfoy, Harry was certain, would readily argue the contrary.
He parted his lips, gathering his thoughts as he spoke them out loud. Nobody had yet to hear him out for this long.
"Do you realize how many fireplaces are between the second floor and the foyer?"
It wasn’t a question he needed answered, yet Harry paused as if he expected Malfoy to guess. His gaze became unfocused, a mental image of the building skimming across his consciousness. "There’s got to be hundreds. Above us’s the entire administrative staff, but everything below us’s still warded completely off from all possible things."
Harry’s eyes had wandered along with his thoughts, and in an attempt to gather in the later, Harry met Malfoy’s eyeline head on. Part of him wondered if that was enough explanation; Malfoy had based his entire career on hypothesis. And this was barely half of it.
Harry’s brows quirked, trying to read Malfoy’s reaction as he spoke. "I think the reason I didn’t tumble into an office across the hall’s that the same thing that blocked me from mine blocked me from those. I believe I was caught in a ward, and that the closest general fireplace for me to arrive to was hundred coordinates off, 6 floors down in the foyer."
Finally, he paused, eyes still on Malfoy as silence settled between them. Falling into old habit's, Harry added a simple, "And then there's still the issue at Towthorpe."


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