Note: this story does not quite stand alone. It fits into Prodigal, and will most likely not make sense until after you have read that story, but I think it works better read before, rather than after.
The Last Visit
Hearing a low growl in your throat, you’ll know that it's started.
It has nothing to ask you. It has only something to say, and
it will speak in your own tongue.
Marie Howe, "The Last Visit"
The choice is yours, of course. It would be unwise for you to keep me long, as you well know, and one can scarcely imagine a more inappropriate time and place for conversation. Then again, there will likely never be another occasion.
I do find it interesting, at this remove, to consider how little of real importance ever fell out according to my designs. My early years enabled me to overlook my late failures, I imagine. Those I was able to arrange better. I was Head Boy in my day, and Quidditch captain, and Slytherin did not lose the House Cup once during my tenure.
You did not manage half as well, contrary to all expectations.
And yet these were but ephemera. Now I suppose I shall be remembered largely as your father, whether your forces defeat the Dark Lord tonight or not.
Your forces. An interesting phrase, that. After all, I doubt Potter and his fellow do-gooders will have much use for a graduate of the darkest of all dark schools once the war is over. Once you have won it for them.
I see you have given some thought to that matter. Just as well.
You seem surprised at my interest in your welfare. Why would I not be concerned? Do recall that you are, after all, my heir.
Of course I am not pretending to have regretted the necessity. Regret is the most useless and plebian of emotions. Incidentally, Draco, I trust that this conversation is not a mark of regret on your part. That would be disappointing, and I thought that at least I had done with being disappointed in you—Ah. I am most glad to hear it. Then I have no objection to continuing as long as you wish. I, at least, have nothing of more pressing urgency, and I confess to a certain interest in speaking with you, now.
So: the Dark Lord's demand was not one that could be refused. If all had gone according to design, there would have been ample time and leisure after his victory was secured to get another heir. And if all did not go according to design, then you would be alive and in the good graces of Lord Voldemort's opponents. As you are.
I see that you understand now. Through the sacrifice, my position in Lord Voldemort's ranks was secured, and your position on the opposite side as well. Regardless of which side emerged victorious, our family's fortunes would be assured. The decision was straightforward, if hardly pleasant, particularly as you had demonstrated no extraordinary gifts up to that point. Narcissa was foolishly unreasonable—
Very well. We need not speak further. This is not even my own voice, of course. You know that. I can tell you nothing you do not already know.
= End =
With many thanks to Cesca for beta!
|All feedback much appreciated!|
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