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Five Times Harry Potter Tried to Uncover Buffy Malfoy’s Evil Plot of World Domination (and Failed. A Lot.)

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Harry is an auror and has been for neigh on twenty years. He’s vanquished a Dark Lord before he got his first shag, has hunted down evil wizards for most of his life. He’s defied death more often than other people sneeze.

He’s good at his job, is what he’s saying.

And part of that means that he never, ever really turns off the paranoia that comes with said job. Mad-Eye would be so proud.

A few feet away his daughter is promising a Malfoy to love and honour him for the rest of her days and Harry should really be focused on that, but he isn’t.

Because he’s good at his job.

And because the bridegroom’s mother, one Elizabeth Anne Malfoy, nee Summers, happens to be sitting only an arm’s length away, young as the day Draco first returned from America with her on his arm.

That is to say, in her mid-fifties, Buffy Malfoy looks like she’s twenty.

Harry blinks, blinks again, sees the shimmer of a glamour meant to make her look like a middle-aged housewife, but it’s already been established that Harry is good at his job, and that means he can look through the magic and straight at… well. She was hot when they were twenty.

She’s still hot now.

Discreetly, Ginny elbows him in the ribs. “Stop staring at the Malfoys,” she chides. “Our daughter is getting married.”

“Yeah,” he grumbles. “To one of them.”

He shoots a look at Mrs. Malfoy and finds her gazing back at him steadily.

“They’re plotting something,” he mutters under his breath. Why else would the Missus be wearing a glamour to hide that she’s not aging? If she were a creature of some sort, like Fleur, there’d be no reason to hide. But she is hiding it, ergo, she is, well, hiding something.

Harry is suddenly mad that he didn’t make it to the dinner last night because of a burglary, of all things, in central London. If he’d seen her then, he would have been able to pull her insider and interrogate her.

But the middle of his darling girl’s wedding is hardly the right time and place.

Probably.

Mrs. Malfoy smirks at him.

“They’re probably going to kill us all at the reception,” he tells his wife.

“Of course, dear,” she mumbles, absently, dabbing at damp eyes, gaze fixed on Lily.

“They are,” Harry insists.

She pats his arm and shushes him.

With poison, probably. And then they’ll take over the world and Harry will be waiting in that blasted train station to tell them all, “I told you so.”

Just watch him.

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1

Hiding is a sort of specialty of Auror Potter.

He puts a slew of spells on himself, hunkers down and waits with a patience born of ten years of living in the Dursley household.

This time, he uses a few more spells than his average and finds himself a decent sized rosebush in the front gardens of Malfoy manor, right below the open window of the parlor.

Well, one parlor.

Harry’s only been in there a couple of times, but he always got turned around within five minutes at the most. The place is huge.

Inside, Buffy Malfoy is having tea with a friend. They talk about their children, their hobbies, and their husbands. Harry never needed to know that about Draco.

Ever.

He shifts from one foot to the other, presses his palms into the moist soil to keep his balance and waits for something juicy.

Except that that’s the moment one of the bloody damn peacocks decides to share his hiding space. It smacks against his invisible back, squawks indignantly and pecks him right between the shoulder blades.

Harry winces.

It pecks him again.

Hard.

It’s enough to make him lose his balance and fall forward into the rose bush. Which? Has thorns.

Ouch.

“Who’s there?” Mrs. Malfoy asks in dulcet tones, suddenly standing by the window, looking down. How did she get over here so fast?

Looking, in fact, straight at Harry, who can’t decide whether to clutch at his stinging face in agony now, or wait until he’s removed the thorns from his hands.

He stills.

She stills, too.

He tries to breathe shallowly.

She meets his gaze evenly, despite five different charms and two potions. Then, suddenly, her left arm twitches, almost too fast to see. The beautiful vase on the windowsill, blown glass and a metal claw foot, starts to fall.

Straight at Harry’s head. There is a moment, as brief as a heartbeat, where Harry can see the vindictive pleasure in the blonde’s eyes.

If he didn’t, he might think the vase falling is an accident.

But it isn’t.

He disapparates and in the split second when his body disintegrates, can feel the rush of the vase plummeting to the ground, less than half an inch from his nose.

He lands with a bang in his office, backside sore.

Jesus Christ!

First attempt to find out if the female Malfoy has horcruces and plans for world domination?

Failed.

Spectacularly.

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2

Without the option of observation, that leaves only infiltration.

So Harry spends a week finding the newest member of the Malfoys’ staff (no elves anymore, Hermione made sure of that). Then he waits another two weeks for her to go out alone and nabs her in a convenient alley.

He knocks her out, brings her to a place where she can sleep off her headache without harm and takes a lock of her hair.

Thirty minutes later, Head Auror Harry Potter has become Leticia Littlebroth, maid. He fumbles the dress a little, not used to long skirts because no matter what anyone says, robes are not just like dresses, everything falls differently. He practices the proper way to speak as a servant girl and fails, decides he’ll have to play the functionig mute.

His own wand is disguised to look like Letty’s.

He’s going to go in, look for signs of dark magic, maybe a convenient map with an X, marking the spot where Mrs. Malfoy hid her horcrux, and then get the hell out, change back and return to arrest her for being a dark witch.

It’s going to hurt Scorpius, which is a shame, because the lad’s a pretty decent human being, and Draco, who also turned out to be… well, at least a decent imitation of a decent human being.

Or perhaps it won’t, it the elder Malfoy knew all along. Harry imagines it’s hard to keep the fact that you’re unaging from your spouse. In fact, he doesn’t have to imagine. She can’t be wearing glamours all the time.

He – Letty – waves at the gardener and swings his basket a little as he makes his way up the drive. In the entrance hall, he cleans the mud off his shoes, smiles beatifically at the painting overlooking the room and turns to –

- run smack-dab into his mark.

“I’m sorry, Letty,” Buffy Malfoy blurts, catching Harry by the shoulders, “I didn’t see you there. You’re not usually back this early on your day off and – “

She trails off, eyes narrowing. It’s a good glamour, Harry decides. He can see crow’s feet at the corners of her eyes as she squints at him.

“You’re not Letty.”

What, Ma’am, no. Of course I’m Letty. Who else would I be? Don’t you remember me? Are you feeling alright? Let’s get you sat down for a moment, Ma’am.

The possible ways to play this shoot through Harry’s head like particularly fast-paced spell bursts.

None of them leave his mouth.

Buffy’s eyes are a very bright green and they look at him too intently for him to even move.

He could make excuses. He could try to talk his way out of it.

It wouldn’t work.

He knows that with absolute certainty.

So he does the only thing he can. He eeps, and disapparates with a crack, bringing down the wards as he goes.

Whoops.

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That evening, Harry sits at the edge of his bed, Ginny curled up behind him, reading. He stares at his hands and wonders how Mrs. Malfoy knew.

How she saw through Polyjuice and twenty years of learning how to act when in another person’s skin.

It must be more dark spells, some kind of ritual perhaps. She made herself a horcrux. Gods know what else she’s done.

He reviews her history in his head.

Her life before she met Draco is almost entirely unknown. She has a sister, no living parents, no record of a magical schooling. She’s a few years older than Malfoy, met him when he was travelling through America. She followed him back to Britain but they didn’t get married until she had a bun in.

She rarely – if ever – uses magic in public, which led to speculations that Draco married a muggle, or a squib, but she uses all kinds of magical tools regularly, so she definitely is… something.

Her children adore her, her husband loves her. She donates money in ridiculous amounts.

Everything perfectly normal.

Except for the disappearances every few weeks, where she more or less drops off the face of the earth. During those times, the rest of the Malfoy family is wont to be on edge, as if worried. When she returns, they are all sunshine and daisies again.

Harry can’t figure out where she goes.

Nor can he figure out how the hell she isn’t aging. It must be a horcrux, of course. It must be. But why? Just to stay young? She has made no move to gain power of any kind, and he knows for sure Draco is done with the whole world domination thing.

So what the hell is she doing?

“Come to bed, dear?” Ginny asks. He hears her put down her book and reading glasses and squirm closer. She rests a hand on his back. “What’s wrong?”

“There’s something going on with Buffy Malfoy,” he answers.

“What?”

“There’s something wrong there. I know it. She’s evil.”

His wife snorts. “Tell me you are not revisiting your sixth year, please? One Malfoy-obsession was quite enough, thank you. And remember, our youngest is now one of them.”

Harry hums and relents, lets her pull him under the sheets.

What Ginny doesn’t seem to remember, he thinks, as he wraps an arm around her, is that he was right about Malfoy, back in sixth year.

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3

With infiltration and observation failed, it’s back to… well, observation, really. He considers pulling Ron into his plan, but the bloke would laugh him out the house, the same way Ginny did, so he decides to do it alone.

Considering the… matter, it’s probably better anyway.

Observation. But this time, he’s going to be more careful.

More spells, better hiding place, less obvious. No open window this time, no. He waits until Mrs. Malfoy comes to him, instead of going to her.

And he finds a bush without thorns to hide in.

It’s a pretty nice one, actually, little white blossoms. He likes it.

It’s also on the far end of the property, far from any of the damn peacocks.

The Malfoy matriarch and her youngest, a girl by the name of Anne – at last, a normal name in that family – are practicing archery in a field.

Buffy put up targets – manually, not magically – and handed her daughter a bow and a quiver full of arrows. Now she’s standing a few feet off, giving all kinds of advice.

“Pull with your shoulder, not your arm. Don’t twist your wrist, you’ll drop the arrow. Don’t imagine shooting the target. Shoot through it.”

When did Elizabeth Malfoy-Summers become an expert in archaic weaponry? It’s not on the bloody records.

Anne takes it all good-naturedly, not like you’d expect of a sixteen-year-old girl at all. She nods, seriously, and corrects her stance time and again. Trying to please.

And it works. Every time she hits the target better, her mother praises her with a faint grin and a nod.

The evil female Malfoy, Harry is surprised to discover, is a) a good teacher and b) genuinely loves her children.

He didn’t think someone with half a soul was capable of that.

But then Buffy shifts a little and her glamour shimmers and flashes and he can see through the beginning wrinkles and a baby-fat leftover from three pregnancies, straight down to a woman who looks like she did the day Draco brought her home. She’s young, vibrant, taught as a bowstring under there. Like she’s never had children, never aged. Like the past twenty- three years have never happened at all.

In hindsight, he must have made some noise.

But hindsight can really kiss his ass because by the time he comes out of his thoughts, Anne has given up her bow to her mother, who is aiming an arrow, but not at the target.

Oh, no.

Suddenly, Mrs. Malfoy’s sights are set, unflinchingly, on Harry, in his bush, hidden by seven different spells four potions.

How the hell does she even know he’s there?

“Watch closely, honey, this is important,” Buffy tells her daughter, drawing back the bow. Then, louder, “You have two seconds to get the hell out of here before I pin you to the nearest tree and give you to my baby for target practice.”

And then – without giving him two seconds, Harry would like that known – she fires.

The only reason he’s not dead is his portkey, tuned to his heart-rate and going off at just the right moment.

“She’s insane!” he yells as soon as he lands, on his ass, in his ministry office. “Bloody fucking insane! She would have killed me! Killed me! With a blasted arrow!”

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4

The next time Harry finds the madwoman, she’s in the same field, but alone this time. There is no bow to be seen.

Instead she’s doing some kinds of martial arts with something that looks like she might have stolen it from the Grim Reaper, only in red. It has a blade and a stake and Harry makes the split second decision to continue his surveillance when she isn’t armed with a weapon out of one of James’s fantasy novels.

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He makes a list, at home, at his desk.

Vase.

Bow and arrow.

Super-scythe.

Sees through disguise.

Knows I’m there, even when invisible.

Does not age.

Married to Draco.

Absolutely, bloody insane.

He strikes the last two items, stares at the list for half an hour and then burns it. It reminds him of too many things he’d rather forget.

“There’s something going on, Gin,” he tells her over dinner.

She pats his arm again, the way her mother used to. “Of course, dear.”

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5

He casts a dark-magic detection spell at her during Scorpius’ birthday party at the manor.

She casually sidesteps it, raising her champagne flute in salute to Harry before he can quite make his wand disappear. She smirks.

Behind her, Zabini suddenly grabs his crotch and goes down, howling in pain.

The party’s pretty much a bust after that.

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In the end, there’s only one way to approach this.

“You know,” Buffy Malfoy says as she sits down across from him at the finest restaurant in London, “We could have done this months ago.”

“You knew it was me the whole time.”

She shrugs. “You weren’t subtle at the wedding.”

“So why play games with me? Why not just kill me and be done with it?”

She waves at a waiter, settles in to order. After a few minutes she says, “Why would I kill you? I hoped that you’d eventually figure out that I’m not whatever evil you think I am. I have a husband I love and three children I adore, a daughter in law who likes to trade pop-culture barbs with me – thanks for educating her, by the way. My life is good. I don’t need whatever evil plans you think I have.”

“You’re not aging,” he tells her, a bit sharply. It’s the reminder that Lily adores her, he thinks. It makes him edgy.

“So?”

“So there is only one way you could do that, and that’s the darkest, most forbidden magic of all. Magic I just happen to know Malfoy Sr. once had access to.”

“If Drake had that magic, we’d both be young, not just me.”

“Maybe you found it and kept it from him.”

She snorts delicately. “Bullshit. Just like it’s bullshit that there’s only one way to stay young. But you already knew that, didn’t you?”

She’s staring at him again, her green eyes under the glamour of her green eyes making him think he’s seeing double. She’s looking right through him.

“I have no idea what you mean.”

She snorts again, less delicately, and leans forward. “How old are you under there? Seventeen? Eighteen? You don’t age anymore than I do. But I haven’t asked you how you did it, have I?”

Harry is too dumb with shock to even try to deny it. Master of Death, they told him. They didn’t explain the consequences.

“Tell me, Harry – I can call you that, right? – is this really about whatever magic you think I have, or is it about finding someone else like you?”

“I don’t…”

She waves him off. “Nevermind. I get it. I watch Draco age every day. I understand why you’re a little insane about this. But take it from me: I didn’t want this anymore than I suspect you wanted it. It’s something that was done to me and I understand your concern, but this stops now. If you want to talk, we can, but the stalking ends. You stay away from me and my family.”

“I’m not…” he sounds helpless, even to his own ears, like the seventeen-year-old his mirror shows him before he applies his own glamours.

“Oh, honey,” she allows, suddenly, standing to come to his side of the table, to touch his face lightly. “I’d like for us to be friends. I love my husband, the same way you love your wife, but they’re aging, and we’re not. When the time comes, I’d like to have a friend like you. Stop asking questions and maybe one day I’ll tell you. Maybe you’ll tell me. Until then, well….” She smiles, pecks him on the cheek and disappears out the door.

Harry sits there for a long time, unmoving, until the waiter brings him the bill for the uneaten food.

She ordered the most expensive things on the menu, two of each, and then left him to pay.

Harry throws his head back and laughs.

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