“Father, why are those people staring at us?” Draco asked, loudly, from his father’s side.
It was less than ideal, Lucius thought, having your twelve-year old son with you on covert dealings.
They stood at a far end of Diagon Alley, near the brick wall with a shingle proclaiming the location of the Leaky Cauldron. It was a busy bit of street with witches and wizards entering and exiting the Alley while entrepreneurs tried to push their wares on disoriented shoppers.
And then there were the others, the lurkers that browsed, trying to slip past the watchful eye of the plain-clothes Auror into the irregular opening between the Leaky Cauldron’s wall and a shop advertising Pluck-Your-Own eye of newt. The irregular opening that led to where Lucius Malfoy wanted to be--Knockturn Alley.
Too near the dark opening now to abort, Lucius strode in, head held high, cane clicking against wet cobblestones. He dared anyone to shout out what they whispered in private: dark wizard. But no one did, that was the power of being a Malfoy.
He also tugged his son in behind him.
“Hush, Draco,” he admonished, coming to a stop just outside the view of those still in Diagon. “Malfoys do not deign to notice such things. Especially at that volume.”
“Sorry, Father,” Draco replied, trying to sound contrite while also staring wide-eyed at anything that didn’t move too quickly in the cramped space of Knockturn: hags, bums, and gory store displays.
Speaking of things a Malfoy should never do. “Stop gaping like a fish, Draco. Now pay attention.”
His son’s wandering eyes reluctantly met his own. Abraxas’ voice echoed in Lucius’ mind, scolding him for letting his son grow up too undisciplined. Maybe he and Narcissa had coddled the boy. Lucius had been into Knockturn Alley for the first time before he’d even been to Hogwarts and his father would never have said was Lucius was about to.
Making sure he had Draco’s full attention, he spoke solemnly. “You must never tell your mother that I brought you here, do you understand?”
Surprise and disbelief registered on Draco’s face, then a cunning glint caught his eye. “And what do I receive for my silence?” Draco replied, haltingly like he couldn’t believe the words were coming out of his mouth. But he stood by them, eyes bright with expectation and trepidation.
Lucius scowled down at his son. Too coddled but certainly willing to take advantage of another’s weakness. He tried not to feel too proud; the brat was blackmailing him after all.
“I’ll buy you a present later.”
Draco considered the offer for only a moment, his face lighting up. “My lips are sealed, Father.”
Patting his son on the shoulder, Lucius suppressed a smile. It was no loss to him, he’d meant to buy Draco something all along. The amateur manipulation was something to build on, however.
“Come along then, Draco. We have business to attend to.”