The Prince and the Slave
Harry, Draco, Ron and Hermione were making their way to where the King was waiting for them. It was a very somber crowd. Before they had left the room, Harry had taken the collar off of Draco. He was a little mad at himself after seeing the ring of bruises that made their way around Draco’s neck. He had apologized profusely, but Draco had just waved it off. He had a lot of other things in his mind right now to worry about. When they had retreated from the room and ran into Ron and Hermione, no words were exchanged, though Hermione had walked up to Draco and given him a big hug, which Draco returned. A part of Harry had burned with jealously for a moment before he reigned it in.
The group stopped outside the door leading back into the room his father was in with the rest. Harry opened the door and motioned for everyone to enter. Draco was the last to enter before Harry. Draco entered the room with his eyes on the ground. Harry led him to a chair next to Hermione before giving his shoulder a squeeze and walking around the table to take his seat next to his father. He sat down and waited for his father to speak.
James watched as Draco walked into the room. He saw Draco had his eyes focused on the ground. He felt for the boy. Undoubtedly he had been told of his parent’s death. This proved to be correct when Draco had taken a seat and looked around to those surrounding him. James took note of Draco’s puffy red eyes, but wisely did not say anything about them. He sat back in his chair a moment before speaking. “Draco, I take it you know why you are here?”
Draco looked at James for a moment before speaking. “Yes, Harry told me.”
James nodded his head before continuing. “Draco, I want you to know that I am sorry that you have lost your parents. I also lost mine at a young age, so I know a little of what you must be going through.”
Draco nodded his head. “Thank you, but you didn’t kill your parents.”
James looked at Draco confusedly. “Why do you think that?”
Draco looked over at Harry, willing himself the strength to speak. After a moment, he bowed his head and began his story. “Granger has probably already told you that I was kept away from everyone my entire life. Very few people even knew my name. I was always under the impression that it was for my safety. That is what my father always told me, anyway.” He took a deep breath and looked off into the air.
“I was always in a certain set of rooms. I was never allowed out of them, though I snuck out many a time. Then, a few weeks ago, I ran across a conversation that my father was having with a servant of the Dark Lord.” Everyone tensed at this, but Draco paid them no mind. “From what I found out, I was promised to the Dark Lord when I was a baby. We were to be wed so as to lock our countries in a permanent alliance.”
Everyone in the room froze at these words. Sirius was the first to speak. “You can’t be serious. There would be no heir.”
Draco let out a short burst of laughter. “It seems that that was taken care of when I was born. From what I was able to dig up after I heard them, a powerful wizard was passing through our kingdom when I was born. My father purchased his service and a spell was placed on me.” Draco looked down at his hands that were clasped together on the table.
Harry listened to everything that Draco had been saying. He knew what question had to be asked but part of him feared it. What if it was something bad? He reached across the table and took Draco’s hand in his. He waited for Draco’s eyes to meet his. “What was the spell, Draco?”
Draco could not look away from Harry’s eyes, even though a blush broke across is face before he spoke. “The spell makes it so that I am able to bare a child.”
Harry sat there, stunned. And from the quiet around them, so was everyone else. Harry could not believe it. Draco was able to be impregnated. No wonder Draco said that he and Harry could never have a physical relationship. He felt Draco break their contact and Harry sat back, trying to think things through. He switched his attention to his father when he started to speak.
James was thinking everything through. So the dark kingdom and Slytherin’s were trying to form a permanent alliance. No doubt so that they could combine their forces to invade the other kingdoms. But what Draco was saying was almost unbelievable. He turned towards Sirius. “Sirius, can you go get Albus? I think we are going to need him before we leave here.”
Sirius nodded his head. “Of course.” He got up and left the room.
After he left, James turned back to Draco. “So that is why you ran away?”
Draco nodded his head. “Yes, I couldn’t marry the Dark Lord. I knew what type of marriage it would be. I would be nothing but a means of breeding for him, and I knew the consequences. It was obvious why they wanted this alliance to go through. I could not allow it to happen, so I ran. And now the Dark Lord has killed my parents because of it.” Draco felt tears burning his eyes, but refused to allow them to fall. He wouldn’t be weak in front of all these people. He was a King now by birth.
Hermione, seeing the distress on Draco’s face, put her hand on his shoulder. “It wasn’t your fault, Draco.”
James nodded his head. “She is right, you know. You did the right thing.”
Draco shook his head. “That is easy for you to say. I have to live with the consequences.” He took a deep breath before changing the subject to a more important matter. “What of my people?”
James understood the change of subject and was grateful for it. But Draco’s next question left him without answers. “I don’t know.”
Draco stood and placed both of his hands on the table. “You have to help my people.”
James looked at him apologetically. “Draco, there is no way we can help you. Even though it means we will have to fight the Dark Lord in a few years.”
Draco sat back down and placed his head in his hands. “But why?”
James looked at him. “Our kingdoms have never been at peace. There is too much ill will for us to help you. Our people would never go for it. I may be king, but I am a king of the people. I am truly sorry.”
Draco’s head shot up. “But so I will be as well. Is there nothing that can be done?” Draco saw the sadness on the King’s expression. “What if I give the throne to you?”
Snape stood up at this. “Your Majesty, no! You must not do that. We will fight.”
Draco looked over at the person who spoke. He saw the Slytherin crest on the man. “Who are you?”
Severus walked over to stand in front of Draco. Once there, he got down on his knees and bowed to Draco. “Your Majesty, I am Severus Snape, your father’s distant cousin. I must ask for your forgiveness. I was a spy for Gryffindor because I knew the path your father was taking was going to lead us down the path of destruction. Forgive me.”
Draco looked down at the man. This man was most likely the only family he had left. Draco stood up and brought his hands down to help Severus to stand. He waited for his eyes to meet his. “There is nothing to forgive. You were serving the best interests of the people, and I thank you for that.”
A tear slid down the side of Severus face. “Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Draco nodded his head before turning to look at James. “May I speak with you alone?”
“Of course.” James looked around at all the faces. “Can you all excuse us for a few moments?” He saw everyone start towards the door but he spoke before they could leave. “Harry, I want you to stay.” He looked over and saw Draco nod his head to show it was acceptable.
Once everyone had left the room, Draco turned towards James. “So what of it? Would you accept the throne of Slytherin and bring it under you protection?”
James sighed. “Draco, it is not that easy. You saw how Severus acted. Your people would never allow it. They would see it as just another invasion.”
Draco looked down at his hands. He new the king was right. What other choice was there though? If his people did not get help, they would perish. Draco looked around the room, trying to seek an answer. After a moment, his eyes locked onto those of Harry’s. He held the gaze for a moment before turning his head to James again. “I have a proposition.”
A/N: This chapter is one of the most important, though the next is up there as well. Please review.
Now for the dreaded Teaser:
Dumbldore nodded in thanks to Harry before walking closer to Draco. He noticed that Draco started to shake and wondered briefly if there was something he did not know. All at once the shaking stopped and Dumbldore glanced around to find the reason before his eyes landed on Draco’s and Harry’s joined hands. He looked back up at Draco’s face. “This might feel a little weird but I promise it won’t hurt.”
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