Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
A Dragon's Treasure
The Mark Burns
Draco was pleased that the baby was kept in his parents' room. He couldn't hear the baby cry all the way from his parents' room. Draco became oddly withdrawn after the baby was born. He wasn't sure how to act. His mother was busy about caring for the baby, feeding it, cleaning it and oohing over it. If Draco was younger, he would be more jealous over the attention, but Draco was glad his mother was the one doing everything for the baby. His mother never asked Draco to clean or feed her. She insisted on doing it all herself.
Draco did his bit on cleaning the table and doing the dishes, allowing his mother to care more for the baby. Gemma no longer looked as pink as she did when she was first born. She became paler like the rest of her family, her skin white like alabaster. For Easter, Narcissa suggested they have a family portrait. They hired a photographer to come to the manor. Narcissa was dressed in a formal pale green dress and baby Gemma wore pastel pink. Draco and his father were wearing black and green dress robes for the occasion. The family portrait was taken inside the luxurious family room. Narcissa sat in the comfy chair with Gemma in her arms, with Draco on Narcissa's left and Lucius behind Narcissa. The photographer took several shots before picking one to for The Daily Prophet, much to Draco's dislike.
The next day, the new family of four went to Kings Cross when Draco returned to school. Draco disliked that more than having his picture taken for the daily prophet. Everyone wanted to have a closer look at baby Gemma, including muggles. Draco was grateful that his parents were too proud to let the Muggles touch her.
Draco didn't stop to give his growing family the goodbye his mother was hoping for. He just smiled, waved and said, "see you soon," before hopping onto the train.
"Draco!" his mother shouted.
"it's all right, Narcissa," said Lucius.
"He didn't say goodbye to Gemma," Narcissa said sadly.
"He needs time to get used to the big brother thing," said Lucius. "he was an only child for a long time. He did not grow up in a family with siblings, as you did, dear."
"Oh, I suppose," Narcissa frowned.
The picture of the new Malfoy family appeared in the Daily Prophet the day after Draco got back to Hogwarts. Ron got his revenge on Draco for talking bad about his mother by quoting from the article and saying rude comments about Draco's family.
"Gemma...what kind of name is that?" said Ron. "Why didn't they give her an animal's name like yours...snake would've been more like it."
Draco wanted to curse Ron into oblivion. He had just about enough. He liked being in the spotlight, but not like this. However, he remained his cool. Draco took a deep breath and turned the tables back on Ron. He knew how Ron hated being poor and now was a time to rub his face in it.
"At least my parents can afford her, unlike yours," Draco said with a smirk. "Gemma will get only the best things, while your family has to suffer in poverty. I almost feel sorry for you."
Draco turned on his heel and walked away. Harry had to grab Ron's arm to keep him from attacking Draco.
"Come on, Ron," he said, "we've got to get to class."
Draco used his sister as a way to flaunt his wealth to Ron and other poor kids. He would quote from his mother's letters, telling them about the new clothes and toys his sister got. It wasn't the best way for Draco to warm up to the idea of being a brother, but it was a start. He wouldn't have to be concerned about handing down his wand or books to his sister. She would get everything brand new.
On June fifth, Draco turned fifteen and he received quite a package from his mother: sweets, a new pair of shoes and pictures of his sister. He showed the pictures to nearly everybody he came in contact with.
"Look at him," said Hermione, as she entered Potions with Harry and Ron. "a while ago he didn't like the idea of having a new baby in the family. You know he's just using his sister to look good."
"Poor kid," muttered Ron.
The final task was approaching and the judges was turning the Quidditch field into a hedge maze. The date of the final task was posted on the billboards, with encouragement for the champions to invite their families and other supporters.
On the way to breakfast that morning, Draco spotted the notice. He stood there for a moment and a thought occurred to him. His two 'friends' Crabbe and Goyle stopped with him, looking confused.
"You two go," Draco said, "I've got something to do."
Draco turned around and headed straight to the owlery. He pulled his wand from his pocket and hissed, "Scourgio!" on a spot near opposite his eagle owl, named Nicodemus. Owl droppings, straw and regurgitated mouse skeletons disappeared from the two foot square spot, giving Draco a clean place to sit as he wrote his letter.
Mother and Father,
Thank you for the birthday presents, if I haven't thanked you yet.
Draco paused, believing that he should comment on the pictures of Gemma. He tapped his chin with his quill and came up with the words.
Gemma looks adorable in her new clothes. I hope Mother is getting enough rest so she can take care of Gemma.
The final task of the Triwizard Tournament is the twenty-fourth. The judges are making a maze in the Quidditch field. It looks quite impressive. I think you two should come to watch it. Bring Gemma with you. All my friends are dying to meet her and I think it would be fun for Gemma.
I hope to see you.
Draco rolled up the letter and tied it to Nicodemus' leg. The large owl spread its wings and took off into the sky.
Draco stood by the window, a smug smile on his face as he watched Nicodemus fly away. He could already see it. Everyone will be too taken by the Malfoy's new edition to even care if Harry Potter will make it through or not.
Draco was happy to see that his parents and younger sister were waiting for them by the Great Hall. It was hard to see them, for many girls crowded around them to ooh and ahh over baby Gemma. Mr. Malfoy was speaking to Cedric, wishing him luck.
"Thank you, Mr. Malfoy," said Cedric. He saw Draco coming from the hall and Cedric excused himself, entering the Great Hall to be with his parents.
"Draco, let's go somewhere more quiet for dinner," Narcissa suggested. "You weren't expecting to be with your friends, were you?"
"There is only the Hogs Head and Three Broomsticks in Hogshead," said Draco. How was he supposed to show off his sister when they weren't going to be in public?
"Three Broomsticks will be fine," said Lucius, steering Narcissa and Draco toward the great oak doors. The family of four walked down to Hogsmeade to have dinner. Just as Narcissa had hoped, the pub was nearly vacant. There were just a few old witches in the pub, talking over drinks. Lucius lead his family to an empty booth away from the other customers.
"What does everyone want?" Lucius inquired.
"Dad, we're in a pub," said Draco. "All they serve here is drinks."
"Oh there is food here too," said Lucius. "People just don't always order it."
Lucius went ahead and ordered lamb chops for his family and they discussed current events. Considering the amount of customers she had, due to the excitement of the last task, Madame Rosmerta was pleased that the Malfoys decided to have dinner at her pub. The Malfoys were not her favorite people, but they weren't as disruptive as some of her guests. Many of Rosemerta's customers left to get a decent seat for the task and she had to keep what customers she could. She couldn't complain much, however. This was the biggest year in business for her in years and she the Triwizard Tournament to thank for that.
With dinner finished, the Malfoys made their way to the Quidditch pitch, which was transformed into a labyrinths hedges. They sat with Slytherins and Narcissa allowed a few girls to hold Gemma. Once all the champions arrived, the onlookers cheered.
Bagman magically magnified his voice. "Ladies and gentlemen, the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament is about to begin. Let me remind you how the points currently stand. Tied in first place, with ninety points each--Cedric Diggory and Mr. Harry Potter, both of Hogwarts School!"
Applause broke out, more for Cedric than Harry.
"In second place, with eighty points--Mr. Viktor Krum, of Durmstrang Institute! And in third place--Miss Fleur Delacour, of Beaxbatons Academy!"
The Durmstrang and Beaxbatons students applauded for their champions. Bagman blew on his whistle and Cedric and Harry rushed into the maze. A few minutes later Bagman blew his whistle again and Krum entered the maze. Karkaroff applauded hard, cheering for his prized student and when Bagman's whistle blew the final time, the last champion, Fleur Delacour ran into the maze. Now that the four champions were in the maze, no one could see them from the bleachers. It was just like waiting during the second task. The spectators could only imagine what challenges they were facing down in the deep lake, and again in the mysterious maze.
"We were studying Blast Ended Skrewts in Care of Magical Creatures," Draco said to his parents. "Hagrid told us he was training them for something; I suppose this was it."
"Blast Ended Skrewts—Draco—there are no such things," Lucius muttered offhandedly.
"I know, Father," Draco insisted, "I suspect Hagrid crossbred them. They look something between a crab and a scorpion."
"Crossbreeding magical creatures is illegal," said Lucius
There was a scream from inside the maze and the Beaxbatons students became anxious, whispering in French.
"I guess something happened to that Fleur girl," Draco said. "I'm disappointed...but I guess if she really is half veela, all she has going for her is her looks."
"Draco!" hissed his mother. "Stop your sexist comments!"
There was more screaming, but it wasn't Fleur this time. It was Cedric Diggory. Seconds later, red sparks shot into the sky, scaring Gemma and making her cry.
"Gemma doesn't like this noise," said Narcissa, rising from her seat, the diaper bag on her shoulder. "I'm going to take her inside. I'll wait for you there."
"Mum, don't you want to see who wins?" Draco inquired.
"You can tell me all about it later," Narcissa said and she left the bleachers into the direction of the school.
Professor Moody went into the maze and returned with a stunned Krum and a stunned Fleur. Cedric and Harry were the only two champions left. After shouts and spells going off, there was silence coming from the maze. It was as if the champions had disappeared.
"It's awfully quiet," Draco commented. "I wonder if they're even still alive."
Lucius winced suddenly and grabbed his left arm. Draco looked at him, frowning. "Dad, are you all right?"
Lucius swallowed, tightening his fist. He bit his lip, keeping him from hissing in pain. He knew what the pain was immediately. His Dark Mark was burning, the first time in thirteen years. It could only mean one thing: The Dark Lord was back and he was calling for his supporters. Things have happened since he was in the Dark Lord's circle. He had redeemed himself, somewhat, by claiming he was only acting under the Imperious curse. It was true that he and his family detested muggles, but Lucius did not always enjoy working for Lord Voldemort. Lucius had recently become a father again. His daughter needed him.
Lucius was currently at Hogwarts, surrounded by students and staff and foreign wizards. He could not just disparate here and now. They would notice. But if Lucius did not arrive to his old master, he certainly would notice and so would the other Death Eaters. When the Dark Lord calls, you never just ignore it.
"Father?" Draco said, putting his hand on his shoulder. "Are you all right?"
Lucius opened eyes just in time to notice Karkaroff walking down the steps. Lucius muttered to Draco to stay put as he stood up and walked after Karkaroff to the Durmstrang ship.
"Where are you going, Karkaroff?" Lucius demanded, just as Karkaroff was about climb aboard. "You know the Dark Lord will not let you back into the circle after you've betrayed him."
"I'm not," Karkaroff said coolly, turning around. "So I am leaving. You join him again if you wish."
Lucius frowned and didn't answer. He wasn't so sure if he wanted to join the Dark Lord again. Karkaroff smiled.
"You're not going back either?" Karkaroff asked. "We all know how the Dark Lord does not like waiting."
Karkaroff entered the ship and Lucius followed him.
"I knew the Dark Lord was coming back," said Karkaroff, gathering some supplies. "Have you noticed the mark getting clearer? I always knew, in the back of my mind, that he would return."
"Even though you betrayed us?" Lucius inquired.
"Lucius, you try spending one day in Azkaban," Karkaroff shouted, "and you see that you will do anything to get out."
"The LeStranges remain loyal," said Lucius.
"Because they went insane almost immediately," Karkaroff said. "Your sister-in-law Bellatrix may have been a beauty, but she was always out of her mind. I did not want to end up like them. I'd rather die."
"That could be arranged, Karkaroff," said Lucius, withdrawing his wand and pointing it at Karkaroff. Karkaroff dropped all that was in his hands and backed up.
"Lucius, no," Karkaroff said. "Don't."
"It'll be easier this way, Karkaroff," Lucius told him. "You know you won't get far. The Dark Lord will find you. Would you rather have him torture you and kill you when he does, or have me kill you now and get it over with?"
"Yes, Karkaroff," said a cold voice and Snape walked into the ship. "Lucius is right. Killing you now will make things much easier for you...however..." Snape looked at Lucius. "There are many people here right now, including Fudge. I know you may think you have Fudge in your pocket, but if Karkaroff is found dead, you will become a suspect, Lucius. You want to risk it?"
"Think of your wife, your son, your new daughter," said Snape. "You want to go to Azkaban and lose them now?"
"Shut up, Severus!" shouted Lucius. "You would become as much as a suspect as I! You left the circle; Karkaroff used your name. How would you know he wouldn't use it again?"
"I won't say anything," said Karkaroff desperately. "I'll just leave."
Snape and Severus stood still for a moment, thinking on what decision to make. Lucius still wanted to kill Karkaroff. Lucius worked hard to get his perfect ego. He wasn't going to let Karkaroff ruin it.
"I told you before I will make excuses for you," said Snape. "Go now."
Lucius sighed. "Fine, the Dark Lord will find you soon enough. You can't hide from him for long."
Bag in hand, Karkaroff walked passed Lucius and Snape and left Hogwarts. Snape looked at Lucius.
"What will you do, Lucius?" Snape asked. "Now that The Dark Lord has returned. Are you going to go back to him?"
Lucius shrugged and looked at Snape. "I don't know."
Hours later, Harry suddenly appeared outside the maze in cuts and bruises. He had one hand on the Triwizard Cup and the other on Cedric Diggory. Cedric's eyes were blank and unfocused, his body still. Cedric was dead. Screams erupted and girls began crying. Draco sat still in his seat, an unexplainable emotion coming over him as he watched Professor Moody pull Harry away from Cedric's dead body.
"No," Draco mumbled. He remembered how his father recoiled, holding his left arm just hours earlier. Cedric Diggory lay dead and Harry was in hysterics, shouting about Lord Voldemort being back. Draco somehow made his feet move and he was running in the direction his father had went. Now that the Dark Lord had returned, was Draco going to lose his father to him once again?
TO BE CONTINUED