Brock Groves lane.
It was a muggle neighborhood, but a far cry from Spinners end. Here the moon shone brightly over grand trees that were scattered around the large yards of the muggle manors. There was a loud crack in this muggle neighborhood and with it brought a tall, blond haired man. The man walked briskly down the sidewalk looking for number 9 on Brock Groves lane. The night was quite only the sound of the man's boots on pavement, the tapping of his cane, and the swish of his clock was audible.
When he reached his destination he knocked upon the mahogany wood with a barely shaking hand, looking over his shoulder more than once scanning the street and moonlit yard. The door opened and a house elf poked its head out, a rather strange sight for a muggle area. The elf soon spoke in a harsh whisper.
"What is wizard doing at mistress' house and so late at night? Ally's mistress be sleeping sir."
"Inform your mistress that, that her brother wishes to speak to her."
"Ally's mistress be having no family!" the elf glared in contempt up at the wizard.
"Ally be telling her mistress your claim and Ally hope to receive order to throw damned relative of my mistress into river!" the house elf slammed the door in the wizard's face.
Said wizard's rather pointed face went slack with shock and not for the first time did he question his decision to seek out his disgraced sister. It was several moments later that the same house elf appeared.
"Ally's mistress be seeing you for all that Ally does not know why. Ally be leading most despicable guest into seating room while mistress be getting out of bed and into clothes and all matter of annoyances because most horrible guest could not come at descent hour."
As the house elf led the pureblood into the sitting room she continued a constant string of insults. The man was by far not used to being insulted and by a servant no less, but he came here for a favor and cussing the creatures tongue out would anger his blood traitor sister. At last they arrived and the house elf was forced to leave him alone, but not without parting words.
"Here is place the most indecent guest may sit his most deplorable buttock on mistress good furniture. Ally will offer most undeserving guest refreshments because that is what a good elf should do, but Ally thinks Mr. bottle blond wizard should take his refreshments and stuff them up his-"
Until now the proud man had been too startled by the insane elf to respond, but that was going far enough to snap him out of the elf induced daze.
"That's enough you horrid creature get out of my sight!"
"Or what Ally asks? Not like man with pimp cane can do anything to Ally." and with that the house elf snapped her fingers and disappeared. What followed the house elf's disappearance was an amused laugh from a blond haired woman standing just inside the room having entered from a separate door just behind her.
"What would I ever do with Ally, hmm Lucius?"
"Indeed Adrianna." sneered the man named Lucius in distaste.
The woman Adrianna walked further into the room.
"Is this a social visit Luc or have you finally come to disposes of your shameful sister at last?"
"Ah…well that clears things up!" she said with scornful sarcasm.
"Another proposal from the man you worship as a god on bended knee? Or, do you actually have something to say that I won't be able to guess?" she spoke with venom which trailed into bitterness. Lucius began to speak, but she held up her hand.
"Wait Lucius, let us sit. Let us go back to the proper pureblood form our mother taught us and let us…well I suppose it is too late for that." her pale Malfoy eyes soften as she spoke to her brother wishfully. There was a stillness in the air as brother and sister looked at each other. If anyone was there to see they might have been surprised at how much the two resembled one another for all that they had not spoken in years.
"Is it?" Lucius words were barely whispered though his sister still heard. Lucius sat down and looked up at his sister.
"Perhaps we could have some wine?" Lucius asked his demeanour meeker then Adrianna had seen since their father died. Adrianna frowned feeling a touch of concern and puzzlement. She sat down across from him.
"Ally" the house elf appeared with a light pop.
"Yes most glorious Mistress!"
"Do fetch us some wine won't you Ally?"
With a mild glare at Lucius the elf replied, "Yes Mistress!" and was gone.
"You don't seem well Lucius. I had heard of course of your imprisonment…and escape. Yet it seems that something more troubles you."
"You have always been perceptive. "
The elf appeared with the wine and served both guest with dignity.
"Anything else Ally can do for Mistress?"
"No thank you Ally."
The elf bowed and left.
They drank the wine and she watched him. With every moment her eyes conformed something was very wrong. At last Lucius spoke.
"Times are dark, darker then they have ever been…for our family."
Adrianna wanted to ask exactly when it had become her family again, but she held her tongue.
"The Dark Lord has risen and I have fallen in his eyes. My failure will be punished. Punished in the worst way possible." he closed his eyes in pain and Adrianna could not stop her feelings for her younger brother who she had understood as a child she was always supposed to protect.
"There is no need to draw things out with me. I have never been fond of the torments of words. I know my mind and my heart well. What is it you need of me brother? I cannot deny you!" He looked at her with emotion. Pain, regret, sorrow, surprise, relief, and amazingly, not to say surprisingly, she saw some tenderness there.
"Adrianna." he looked away from her as if he could not bear to see her, but his voice rang with gratefulness and any misgivings he had left her.
"Tell me of this punishment Lucius." Adrianna commanded as half formed plans ran though her mind trying to think of what to do for him.
"My son. My only child will pay for my mistake."
She felt herself tense in horror as understanding went though her. Of course that is what the vile man would do. What else could break her brother so?
"He has given him a task that he is doomed to fail Adrianna. I can't be there for him, but you can."
"What task is this Lucius?"
"The Dark Lord has ordered Draco to kill Dumbledore."
Her eyes widened and she fought her reaction to say something stupid like 'You're bloody joking!'
"He means for him to fail. It will be my punishment. You could do it Adrianna you have always been so strong."
"Lucius!" her voice rang with her shock even as she searched her heart to see if she could find the resolve for such a deed.
"I know not to ask that of you Andria! I know! But you could save him when it looks like he will fail. You could steal him away. They could think you killed him in revenge against me. You could make it look liked he died! You're brilliant Andria and you could save him, my son!"
Sometime during his speech he had grabbed her hand with his and was gripping it tightly, seemly unaware he was doing so. She could see madness in his eyes and desperation.
"I will Lucius! I will and I can. I will save him brother!" she used her other hand to hold his face and look into his eyes making him see her certainly.
"I will do what is necessary. You will leave it all to me Lucius. I swear it brother!"
Finally the mad look retreaded somewhat and he seemed to have found some hope and strength though her words.
"If anyone can Adrianna. If anyone can save my Draco it is you. Listen, even if he succeeds he will be in danger, the Dark Lord is living in our manor now."
"No!" She was outraged at the thought.
"Yes he is in our home. There is no safe place for Draco now. He is too young and the Dark Lord is too crazed now. Even if he succeeds will you promise to hide him, hide him even from me and not to bring him back unless the Dark Lord falls or I am given a high enough position in his ranks that I have kept for at least a year? Please I must know my son is safe!"
"Yes Lucius. I will Lucius. I will go to Hogwarts. I will watch him, guide, and protect him and when the time comes I will hide him."
There was no unbreakable vow, but there did not need to be. Adrianna would have died before she failed her brother despite the bad blood between them. A half hour later the tall man with the cane and blond hair was leaving the grand house though the mahogany door.
He walked down the street with a lighter heart quite unaware that his wife had also used the time when others were busy and that she too was leaving a muggle neighborhood feeling much better then when she came.