An Alternate Chain of Events

Chapter 12 - Love and Honour

Chapter Twelve – Love and Honour

Harry was surprised to find his room had changed when he was home. It no longer housed a bed or wardrobe and it wasn't the colours he had left it. Instead there was a desk, overflowing bookcase and filing cabinet crammed into the small space.

"Mum?" Harry called hopping downstairs. "Have you gotten rid of my bedroom?"

Lily laughed. "I'm sorry, sweetheart, I forgot to tell you. We've moved you into the study and the study in your room. You're too big for that little box now."

"Wh- are you serious?" Harry was delighted.

"Go and check if you don't believe me."

Lily listened as he thundered upstairs and exclaimed in delight. "THANKS MUM!" His voice rang down the house.

Mary smiled at Lily. "He's lovely Lil, nothing like James."

"Told you," Lily said triumphantly. "Did you see Neville?"

Mary's smile vanished. "Couldn't miss him, he's the spitting image of Al."

The front door sounded and James strolled in looking harassed.

"What's a matter?" Lily asked as he kissed her and sat down.

"It's Fudge," he growled. "He's put me on probation after what happened at Hogwarts. He would have put Sirius on probation too but he hasn't turned up all week."

"Well it's understandable!" Mary defended her roommate. "He's not doing well."

"I wouldn't know, he won't let me in, I've just been over to yours!" James ran a hand through his hair in frustration. "He hadn't seen her in a year, though, and we were discovering all sorts of betrayals, she helped Peter for Merlin's sake, why is he this upset?"

Both women looked at James as though he had said something appalling. "Oh James, how can you say that?" Lily was incredulous.

"After all those years that you pined over Lily and got nothing back!"

"It's totally different!" James replied defensively. "Emilia spent their whole relationship lying to him. He never even knew her bloody name!"

"But he loved her!" Lily couldn't believe how dense he was being. "I think she's probably the only girl that he's ever loved."

"But they were over!"

"That doesn't mean he stopped caring!" Mary shook her head. "You're being so thick!"

"Well we don't talk about feelings really, not like you lot do, we've only had a handful of heart to hearts in our entire friendship," James shuddered uncomfortably. "I find seeing him cry unnerving."

"You really need to grow a pair." Mary sighed. "Although I know what you mean, he's just not himself and I know he's grieving but he's frightening me. It's like he's had all the life knocked out of him."

"Do you think it's too soon for us to try and pull him out of it?" Lily asked squeezing James's hand.

"Yes." Mary and James replied in unison. "You know what he's like, he needs time."

"Remus would be the best person to talk to him," James grumbled, "but he's gone and disappeared."

"Remus has disappeared?" Harry asked alarmed, he was leaning on the doorway and no one knew how long he'd been listening.

"Hello mate!" James jumped up and put an arm round him.

"What's happened to Remus?" Harry repeated, patting James absently and taking a seat round the table.

"He's taking some time alone, after the incident at school." Lily explained.

"He's sulking,"

"He's not sulking!" Mary batted James's arm. "He's had a shock."

"And he's hiding,"

"He's getting back on his feet!" Lily batted James this time.

"Merlin, when are you going back to America? I'm sick of getting ganged up on."

"Now you know how I've felt with you and Sirius all these years."

"But he's alright?" Harry interrupted.

"Yes, physically fine." Lily emphasised that for James's benefit.

"And how's Sirius after what happened to his girlfriend?"

James muttered that she wasn't his girlfriend but he either wasn't heard or was pointedly ignored.

"Not good," it was Mary who replied.

Harry nodded; it was what he expected given the circumstances. The table fell very quiet, they were all dwelling on their friends, and everything that had happened that fateful night at Hogwarts.

"So, dad," Harry said after a long pause, "how come you never mentioned that you were an Animagus?" Harry's tone was light but loaded.

"Ah," James smiled. "Well it's a bit complicated. To start with we were illegal, Sirius, Peter and I managed it in our fourth year you see, it was to help Remus in the full moon."

"Prongs," Harry said in sudden understanding, mimicking antlers. "Padfoot . . . is Sirius a polar bear or something?"

"No." James snorted. "He's a huge dog."

"Which is very apt." Mary added in an undertone to Lily.

"Your fourth year," Harry repeated. "So would that be when you tried to kill Snape?"

"What?" James, Lily and Mary said. The latter two looked round at James suspiciously.

"I never tried to kill Snape," James replied, Mary and Lily continued to look at him. "Oh come on, I never tried to kill him. Harry what are you talking about?"

Harry told him about the argument he had had with Snape months ago in which he had told Harry that he was just like James, to which Harry retorted that James had saved his life.

James nodded in comprehension. "That's not what happened. I didn't try to kill Snape, no one tried to kill him it was just a joke, in our fifth year, that could have had a nasty ending."

"A very nasty ending," Lily sighed, she too knew what Harry was referring to. "It wasn't dad, that was Sirius."

"What happened?" Harry asked, more intrigued than ever.

"Well you know Snape never liked us," James started. "He was obsessed with where Remus disappeared to every month, he didn't become public with his affliction until after we had finished school."

They had just finished first period charms in their fifth year and were walking down to Defence Against the Dark Arts.

"So what's the plan for tonight?" Sirius asked his friends.

Remus looked behind him, there were a few Ravenclaws within earshot. "Not now, Padfoot."

Sirius rolled his eyes unconcerned. "Relax Remus, no one cares what we're talking about, right James?"

James wasn't paying any attention. He was avidly watching the red-haired girl and her friends that were walking in front of them.

"I wouldn't say that no one cares," Peter hissed. They'd just arrived on the DADA corridor, a lesson they shared with the Slytherins, it became immediately clear to Sirius who Peter was referring to. To Peter's astonishment Sirius cracked a wide grin.

James scowled at Snape as Lily went over to chat to him. He loathed it when she sat with him.

Sensing danger, Remus positioned himself between his friends and Snape. "It's the usual Sirius, stop shouting about it."

Sirius tore his eyes away from Snape and smiled at Remus, "you worry too much Moony." Something about his voice and smile made Remus very nervous. He didn't call him on it; Remus thought he'd be better off not knowing.

James still wasn't paying attention; his eyes were glued to Lily. What could her and Snape possibly have to talk about?

Marlene noticed him staring and rolled her eyes. Elbowing Mary, the two of them wandered over.

"You're doing it again," she told James warningly.

"Doing what?" James replied, eyes still planted on Lily.

"Watching Lily like a stalker." Mary said plainly.

"I am not!" James retorted, looking at the pair of them grinning at him.

"What are you not doing?" Alice asked, as her and Frank joined them.

"Watching Lily," Remus replied.

"Oh Potter, again?" Alice rolled her eyes. "It's weird and creepy."

"Just ask her out," Frank suggested.

"I'm not creepy!" James said harassed, Marlene and Mary were laughing. "And I have asked her out Frank, but she keeps saying no unless you hadn't noticed!"

"Of course he's noticed," Marlene patted James's shoulder. "You're as subtle as a Niffler in a goldmine."

"Oh shove off," James scowled. Professor Goodharbour appeared and they filed into the classroom. James was still sulking and he immediately took a seat at the far side of the room, well away from Lily, where she did indeed sit with Snape. With a significant look at Mary and Marlene, Remus joined James.

Sirius and Peter sat on the opposite side of the room, Goodharbour had forbidden James and Sirius from sitting even remotely near one another. Sirius and Peter were deep in a whispered discussion they had begun in the corridor.

"Black, if you'd be so kind to give the class your attention, I would like to begin our important OWL lesson." Professor Goodharbour barked. Unlike some other teachers she was immune to his charms.

"Sorry Professor," Sirius said unapologetically. "I didn't realise I was so important to your lesson plan."

"You can all thank Mr Black for the five points I am going to deduct from Gryffindor." Goodharbour snapped and the Gryffindors rolled their eyes in exasperation while the Slytherins grinned. Lily turned and shot him an annoyed look, Sirius replied with a cheery wave.

"Don't you think it's a bit risky?" Peter said from the corner of his mouth when Goodharbour had begun her lecture.

"It's just good fun, Pete." Sirius replied. "Besides, the nosy git deserves it."

"Are you going to tell Remus?" Peter asked.

"No." Sirius answered immediately. He shot a look towards Remus and James's table. Remus was taking notes and James was staring out the window, clearly brooding about Evans. Remus was far too sensible to let Sirius do this and in the mood James was in he'd be sure to stop Sirius. Sirius really wished he'd get over Evans, James was absolutely no fun when she was around. "Just us, Pete."

The end of the class came quickly. James and Remus raced off to Arithmancy but Sirius wasn't in a hurry to catch up with James's mood, so he lingered behind with Peter.

"Thanks Black," Lily sighed as she passed him on the way out. "With your help we'll be plain out of the running for the House Cup this year."

Sirius just smiled. "You're welcome Evans, I do make it my mission to please you."

Lily rolled her eyes at Alice and Mary, "come on." She stalked out of the room. Alice and Mary followed giving Sirius a look that said 'why do you do these things?'

"Play nicely Sirius." Marlene said, as they walked out of the DADA classroom.

"I will if she does." Sirius grumbled. "You go ahead, McKinnon, I want to go to the loo before class. Come on, Pete."

"Do you always go to the toilet together?" Marlene raised her eyebrows.

"Goodbye Marlene." She rolled her eyes but recognised herself as dismissed nonetheless. "Ready?" Sirius turned to Peter who nodded. They turned and descended the staircases until they spotted him. Trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, Sirius and Peter overtook him while making sure they were still in hearing range.

"So it's tonight then?" Peter asked, not troubling to keep his voice down.

"Shh Peter!" Sirius said in a staged whisper. "Yes it's tonight, at midnight." Sirius caught sight of Snape's reflection in a nearby window and was delighted to see that he was listening.

"I can't remember how to get inside the Whomping Willow," Peter moaned, just loud enough.

"For merlin's sake Wormtail, you just have to press the knot in the middle and it goes still, how many times have you done it now?" Sirius berated him, giving him a sly wink. As they reached the Entrance Hall, Snape veered left and headed for the dungeons. Peter and Sirius stopped altogether.

"Well that went well." Sirius said pleasantly.

"Do you think he'll turn up?"

"Only one way to find out." Sirius grinned devilishly. "Come on Wormy, we may as well skip Arithmancy, we're so near the kitchens it'd be rude not to stop in."

At six pm that night Remus sought Lily out in the common room, she was reading by the fire, while Alice, Marlene and Mary played a game of Exploding Snap. "Can I have a word?" He asked quietly and Lily nodded, following him outside.

"What's up?" She asked, when they were outside the portrait hole.

"Lil, do you remember that thing I told you about at the start of the year?" He hoped beyond hope she remembered, not that it was something easily forgotten, but it was hard enough telling her once, he couldn't do it again.

"Of course," Lily replied softly, and then realised why he was bringing it up. "Don't worry about patrol, I can ask the sixth years if we can swap our nights with theirs."

"Thank you," Remus said gratefully. "Thank you for understanding."

"Oh Remus," Lily hugged him. "You don't have to thank me."

Remus smiled weakly. "Would you consider giving James a-"

"Unless you're about to say 'would you consider giving James a beating', the answer's no." Lily smiled and went back inside, Remus made his way down to the Entrance Hall to meet Madam Pomfrey.

Sirius, James and Frank were the only ones in their dormitory, Remus having already gone down and Peter having been sent to a detention that he'd forgotten about until ten minutes before.

"Have any of you started McGonagall's essay yet?" Frank asked as he rifled through his bag.

"Of course not," Sirius scoffed. "Have you Prongs?"

"I've started," James mumbled. He was still sulking about Evans and Snape, Sirius was almost ready to throttle him.

"Great, can you explain the title to me?" Frank asked hopefully. "I think I've done the whole thing wrong."

"What don't you get?" James asked, his voice had a bored tone, or perhaps it was just hollow.

Sirius checked his watch. Wormtail's detention was clearly running on, they were going to be late, it was already dark.

"James, do you want to go now and Wormy can just meet us there?"

"I'm not coming," James replied, Sirius looked like he was about to argue so James cut him off. "Leave it Sirius, I'm just not in the mood. You go and I'll send Pete along when he gets back."

As usual, for Remus's sake, Frank pretended to have no idea what they were talking about.

"Fine." Sirius shrugged haughtily. "If you're determined to be boring."

"Shut up and go." James didn't even turn to look at him. He really wasn't in a good humour and still hadn't turned round when he heard the door slam.

"Trouble in paradise with you and Black?" Frank asked, the corners of his mouth twitching.

James just grumbled that occasionally Sirius drove him mad.

"Yeah I think we all experience that with him from time to time," Frank chuckled.

Peter appeared half an hour after Sirius had left. Frank was now altering his essay per James's instructions and James was staring into space on his four-poster.

"Slughorn kept me there for three hours!" Peter moaned. "You'd think I'd done something awful and not just forgotten to do his homework." He was directing his words at Frank not immediately noticing James.

"Why are you here?" He shot at him. "It's the-"

"Yes, Peter I know." James rolled his eyes. "Padfoot's already there. Go and find him, it's quarter to twelve."

"Ah it's about to happen, I'm late!"

"It's already happened," James mumbled looking at the moon, which was sending it's light glaring through the window.

"You mean Snape's already been?" Wormtail sounded crestfallen.

"What are you talking about?" James sat up and looked at him.

Peter clapped a hand over his mouth. "Nothing."

Frank looked up from his essay in alarm. "Peter what about Snape?"

"Peter where would Snape go?"

Peter's eyes looked around the messy room guiltily. "To the Whomping Willow."

"Why on earth would he go there?" James jumped off the bed. "How does he – was this Sirius?" Peter nodded. James swore and chucked his shoes on. "I can't believe him! Stay here!" He raced out of the dormitory and flew across the common room to the portrait hole.

"Potter its after curfew!" Lily shot at him, approaching from the fireplace. "If you go through that hole-"

"Not now Evans," he pushed past her, opened the portrait, threw on his cloak and ran to the grounds. When he approached the tree, to his horror he could see it was still. He breathed. If the tree was immobilised Snape couldn't be that far in front of him. James flew a twig at the knot and crawled into the tunnel, he lit his wand and held it in his mouth as he crawled on his hands and knees. He couldn't see Snape in front of him so he crawled faster, scraping his hands and knees on the gravel on the floor. He crawled for ten minutes, fearing the worst until he saw a shape blocking the entrance to the house, "SNAPE!" He yelled, lowering the hood of his Invisibility Cloak.

Snape's white face turned, transfixed in horror. The door to the house was open a crack and James knew that Snape had seen.

"Come away from there before you get killed!" James shouted. "Come this way, now!"

For once Snape didn't argue, he followed James out as quickly as he could. When they had cleared the tree, both boys collapsed on the grass with their hearts pounding.

"What were you thinking?" James gasped incredulously.

"Don't pretend you didn't know exactly what was going on!" Snape hissed. "This was all cooked up by you and Black!"

"I knew nothing about this until half an hour ago when I came to stop you!"

"Got cold feet more like!" Snape screamed. He reached for his wand but James was quicker, Snape was hoisted upside-down, dropping his wand in the process.

"I saved your life you ungrateful bastard!" James shouted.

"WHAT IS GOING ON?"

James turned round in horror. Professor McGonagall was stood glaring at them, her face was white and her nostrils were flared. "Let him down Potter." James did so without argument. "Follow me." McGonagall spat at them and they followed her silently all the way to Dumbledore's office.

They weren't offered seats. James and Snape stood a meter apart behind Dumbledore's desk, looking at their feet. Dumbledore appeared very grave, his voice was quiet but cold when he finally spoke.

"What happened tonight?"

"Potter and Black lured me into a trap."

"I did not! I tried to stop you when I heard, I knew nothing about this!"

"About what?" Dumbledore said, losing patience.

"I overheard Black and Pettigrew talking about going to the Whomping Willow today," Snape mumbled. "I didn't know what I'd find there." Snape was flushed, he couldn't believe that he had fallen for their nasty plan.

"I knew nothing about this, Professor." James said immediately. "When I heard what happened I went to stop it."

Dumbledore nodded unhappily. "Severus, you are not to tell anyone about what you saw at the end of that tunnel." Dumbledore said gravely. "The two of you will receive detention and lose twenty points from your respective houses. Professor, will you escort Mr Snape back to the Slytherin common room please? I'd like a word with Mr Potter."

McGonagall nodded and she and Snape left the office.

"I knew nothing about this Professor, use Veritaserum or something, this wasn't me!" James protested, as soon as they were gone. He was livid that he was being punished for trying to help.

Dumbledore surveyed him over his half moon spectacles. "I believe you James, but you still left the castle out of hours, which is why," Dumbledore paused looking at James's outraged face. "Which is why, you'll only receive twenty house points for your actions."

James thought about this for a moment. "So you mean we're not losing or gaining anything?"

"Not from your actions, Mr Black and Mr Pettigrew will have lost you a fair few in the morning I assure you." Dumbledore said seriously. "You may go to bed, but James, remember that you did a very good thing tonight."

"Are you going to tell my parents?" James asked in a deflated voice.

"You may tell them if you like, but your mother has intimated that she would prefer fewer owls regarding your behaviour."

"Thank you, Professor." James smiled.

"Sirius did that?" Harry was shocked, he thought that Snape had been exaggerating.

"It wasn't his finest moment," Mary answered.

"How much trouble did he get in?"

"A lot." James said flatly. "I think he was in detention until Christmas, he lost fifty house points and he was bloody lucky not have been suspended. I think that was the first fight we'd ever had."

"You fell out?"

"Yes." James laughed. "I was furious that he'd done it and he was furious that I dropped him in it. Despite being angry, Remus tried to act as a peacekeeper but Sirius and I still didn't speak for weeks. In the end it was Frank that put his foot down and made us makeup because he was tired of the dormitory being a warzone."

"I think our whole house was pretty furious at Sirius," Lily remembered. "We were put in fourth place for the cup,"

"And to top it off, no one knew why." Mary continued.

"I did." Lily told her, "Remus told me everything at the time."

"I just can't believe Sirius would do something like that." Harry was disturbed, this didn't fit in with the image of the Sirius he knew.

"He grew up Harry," James explained, wondering if he should have in fact told him.

"And it would only have been to Snape, he wouldn't have done it to an unsuspecting student." Mary added.

Lily gave Mary a scandalised look. "What Mary means is that it was one step too far in a long animosity between Sirius and Snape. He wasn't trying to kill him, he was trying to scare him. Not that it makes what he did right."

"He was sixteen, Harry, and a very immature sixteen." James added. "I told him he'd acted like a true Black and he punched me. But he never did anything like that again."

Mary looked at her watch, it was getting late. "Speaking of our dear Sirius, I'm going to go home and check on him."

"You're calling it home now," Lily noted smiling.

"Lily, not in a million years." Mary said her goodbyes and left.

Harry was quiet for the rest of the evening. He was trying to picture it all in his head. The fact that Sirius had acted like, like, well Malfoy, made him feel very uncomfortable. He never thought he'd feel sorry for Snape.

When Mary arrived back at Sirius's flat it was dark and quiet. She waved her wand and lit the lamps. "Sirius?" She called. There was no reply, she assumed he was still curled up in his room and continued talking. "I met Harry today, he's lovely isn't he? Looks just like James, he's more like Lily though. I'm jealous of how much he already loves you, although I think he's reconsidering that after James told him about what you nearly did to Snape," there was still no reply. "I'm just joking of course. It was really nice to see their little family, I know you're used to it, but I haven't seen them as parents since they had a toddler! Handling a teenager is very different, isn't it?" There was still nothing. "Sirius this is ridiculous." She barged straight into his bedroom but was shocked to find it empty.

Sirius was banging on the grand oaken front door of Malfoy manor. Sat alone in his misery that day, he'd had a startling realisation, or rather he'd remembered something startling. In the week since Emilia had been moved to the hospital Sirius had gone over and over everything that had happened, berating himself for not hearing her out and letting her fall behind. It wasn't until now that he'd started to relive everything that she had said.

Narcissa had been pulling the strings of his relationship and he hadn't known, he wouldn't have even suspected it. Sirius had always assumed that Narcissa never gave him a thought, since they had been estranged for such a long time, but he couldn't have been more wrong. She had written him that letter, she had kidnapped Emilia and she was there the night that – the night that it happened. Sirius wasn't aware of what he was doing until he stood banging on those heavy oaken doors, he needed answers.

"What on earth are you doing here?" Narcissa hissed as she opened the door fractionally.

"I need to talk to you."

"Not here Sirius! What about Lucius?"

"I don't give a flying Hippogriff about Lucius," Sirius growled. "I need answers Narcissa!"

Narcissa wanted to let him in even less than before. She didn't know what Emilia had told him before she had been attacked. "Sirius here isn't-"

"Let me in." He didn't raise his voice but it was a command.

Narcissa gulped but held her ground. "You can't-"

Sirius was in no mood to take no for an answer. He used his weight advantage to push the door, catching Narcissa off-balance and entering the house. "Is Lucius home?"

"No, but you shouldn't be here!" Narcissa hissed, even though she had shut the door behind him. She surveyed her cousin and he looked as determined as she had ever seen him, he wasn't going anywhere. "Come on, through here." She thought they could at least get this over with before Lucius got home.

Draco watched from the top of the stairs as his mother led an irate Sirius Black through to the drawing room. He immediately rushed downstairs to their owls to alert his father.

Sirius paced the Malfoys' ornate red drawing room. "You knew!" He shot at Narcissa, who didn't deny anything, though a few snootier Malfoys on the walls protested. "Why did you send me that note? Why didn't you just tell me?"

Narcissa raised her eyebrows and calmly replied. "You wouldn't have believed me."

Sirius was about to contradict her, but then he thought and realised that she was right.

"You needed to see proof that she wasn't who you thought she was, and I knew that she was seeing Lucius that evening."

"So she was sleeping with him?" Sirius snapped.

"I can't be sure but I don't believe so," Narcissa said coldly. "She was there for Gringotts, it was a prearranged appointment and I seized the opportunity."

Sirius laughed hollowly, that was the one thing that Emilia hadn't lied about. Well that and Regulus. "You had no right Narcissa!" He seethed. "I'm not a child, you had no right to interfere!"

"I did it for your own good!" Narcissa retorted. "She was using you and you had no idea."

"And what about when you held her in Grimmauld Place?"

Narcissa froze, she had hoped against hope he wouldn't bring that up. "She was searching the house and I knew it wouldn't be for anything good."

"So you held her hostage?" Sirius shouted incredulously.

"I wouldn't have if she'd just told me what she was doing! I knew it would be something damaging, I couldn't just let her go!"

"You let her go when you found out!"

"Would you have rather that I killed her?" Narcissa snapped.

"Of course not." Sirius dropped into a chair. "Did you know her and Peter were related?"

"Yes." Narcissa looked at the floor.

"Why didn't you tell me, Cissy? We could have prevented all of this! He wouldn't have escaped."

"I-I don't know," Narcissa faltered, "I would have had to tell you what I did."

The door to the drawing room burst open. "What have you done, Narcissa?" Lucius sneered.

Narcissa felt her heart stop in fear. She looked from Lucius's livid expression to Sirius's dangerously blank one.

"What are you doing in my house?"

"I'm visiting my cousin," Sirius replied quietly.

Narcissa sensed danger and placed herself between them.

"Leave." Lucius spat.

Sirius held his wand loosely and smiled. He walked past Lucius, who sneered in triumph, but his triumph was short lived. Sirius had merely walked to a chair and sat down. "I don't fancy leaving yet."

"Sirius," Narcissa said quietly. "Please go."

"No." Sirius was resolute.

"Black, if you don't leave now I'll –"

"You'll do what, Malfoy? I'd really like to see you try to make me do anything."

Lucius cheeks had flushed pink with rage. "You're an unwanted guest, I can call the magical law enforcement squad and they'll-"

"- and they'll see that I'm visiting my cousin, who willingly let me into her house." Lucius cowed under the look Sirius gave him. Watching Lucius squirm was making Sirius feel the best he had since Emilia had been attacked.

Lucius turned to Narcissa, but she didn't cower she stood resolute. "Please leave us, Lucius."

"I can't leave you to whatever poison he's been filling you with."

"The only one filling her with poison is you, Malfoy." Sirius spat. "I'll go Cissy, if you come and leave this scumbag."

"How dare you come into my house and-"

"Oh shut up, Lucius!" Sirius suddenly roared.

"Stop it! Both of you stop it!" Narcissa fumed.

"You're honestly going to tell me that you're happy with him? That you want to stay?"

Narcissa faltered for a moment. She had never said that she wanted to leave Lucius aloud, leaving Lucius would mean facing that terrible moment where Draco would have to choose between them. She didn't believe that he'd choose her. "It's complicated." Narcissa replied finally.

"You've meddled in my life long enough-"

"Ah yes," Lucius's eyes suddenly glittered evilly. "I heard about your dear girlfriend's fate."

Sirius stopped like a bolt of lightning had hit him. "What did you say?"

"Dear Emilia, I remember her very well, and she was helping Peter Pettigrew wasn't she? Who knew? Well actually, everyone knew but you, the person that was once supposed to marry her! Imagine-"

But no one heard the rest of Lucius's sentence. Sirius had snapped and hexed him, Lucius skin sizzled and erupted in shiny, angry boils, he was screaming as he burned.

"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?" Narcissa shouted, she took out her own wand. "What curse did you use?"

Sirius didn't respond, he just stood glaring at Malfoy, watching someone experience the pain he felt. Almost all Lucius's face was covered before Sirius even realised Narcissa was shaking him.

"Undo it! Tell me what you did?" Narcissa was screaming in panic. She had tried the counter curses she knew and nothing had worked.

"Why?" Sirius said quietly.

"After all the lectures you've given me on being on the right side? You're torturing him, Sirius!" Narcissa shrieked. "Undo it, now!"

Sirius started to come to his senses, this wasn't the right way to get Malfoy, it had been a very stupid thing to do. He waved his wand and the boils stopped multiplying, but the ones already present remained.

"I'm going to take him to the hospital, go home." Narcissa whispered while Lucius continued to shout in pain, writhing on their stone floor.

"I never meant to-" Sirius looked at the pathetic heap on the floor, "I just lost it."

"I know." Narcissa squeezed his arm. "Go Sirius, I'll sort it out. Go now."

Sirius gave Malfoy one more horrified glance and left. He didn't notice the teenager watching him from the bannister.

Draco stood up from where he'd been crouched on the staircase and made his way to where Sirius had come from. He moved carefully, he didn't want his feet to echo on the stone. The door to the drawing room was ajar and he could hear his parents' voices, he didn't want to interrupt them so he watched from outside.

Lucius was covered in red boils, and was making pained noises.

"Come on, we just need to summon a healer, they'll be able to sort you in seconds."

"No! We're summoning the magical law enforcement so they can see what he did!"

"NO! You can't! He'll go to Azkaban!"

"He deserves it Narcissa! Look at what he's done!"

"You deserve Azkaban, Lucius, after all you've done!"

"All we've done Narcissa!"

"What did I do?"

"You were complicit! You knew about everything and you didn't say a word, you never tried to stop any of it."

Narcissa wobbled, it was her biggest regret, bigger than marrying him in the first place. "I won't do it anymore Lucius, and I won't stand by you prosecuting my cousin."

"You certainly will!"

"No." Narcissa tried to push past him to leave the room, to leave the house.

Lucius let her walk so her back was to him. "Imperio." He whispered.

Draco saw his mother's expression go curiously blank, she stopped trying to leave the room and just stood there, it was as though she had been stunned and remained standing.

"You'll do precisely what I say." Lucius's smile stretched across his malicious face.

"Yes Lucius." Narcissa repeated dully.

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