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The Void Between

Chapter Text

 

Lucius quietly walked down the hallway, and cracked the door to his son’s room. Once he saw that Draco was sound asleep, he slipped in and walked over to the bed. Lucius couldn’t show it, especially not now, not when his son was about to enter Hogwarts, about to become vulnerable, but he really did love his son. He could show affection for Narcissa, she was a formidable witch, more than capable of defending herself. But until Draco was stronger, Lucius could show naught but indifference, for simple fear that his enemies would seize upon it as a weakness and put Draco in danger. Lucius looked down on his slumbering son, and bent down to place a kiss on his pale forehead, only to stop and draw back rapidly, hand going to his wand as he heard a low hiss from behind him. As Lucius turned, his eyes widened at the bright green light they saw, and acting on pure instinct, he threw himself sideways, out of the path of the deadly curse. It was only after he had landed and drawn his wand that he noticed the origins of the green light were not a wand, but rather a pair of eyes, brightly glowing against the darkness of the room. Seeing no signs of aggression, Lucius warily lifted himself off the ground, pointing his wand at where a body should be.

 

“Get out of my manor before I end your life.” Lucius spat, furious that somebody had managed to intrude upon his home.

 

There was no immediate response from the being in the shadows, but as Lucius readied himself to cast the killing curse, the being moved forward faster then he could react. Refusing to retreat, Lucius found himself looking slightly up, into the face of the nocturnal intruder. What he saw almost made him pull back anyway. The intruder was not a human, nor any magical race Lucius had seen before. Large horns rose up from its forehead, and in its slightly opened mouth he saw fangs. As the shadows behind the figure moved, he realized that what he had assumed was normal darkness was in fact a great pair of feathered wings, blacker than pitch. As the creature bent it’s face down, Lucius did finally back up slightly, and warily watched the figure.

 

“Mine.” The figure growled out.

 

Lucius had had a long day, and the shock of finding an intruder in his son’s room had basically removed any further ability or desire to work out the meaning of this statement.

 

“What in Merlin’s name are you talking about?” Lucius questioned wearily.

 

The creature leaned back slightly, bringing forward one of its hands (which Lucius noted offhand, had claws ending each finger). As the being held its hand out flat, an orb of softly glowing light formed above it. In the orb, Lucius saw his son, moments from the past day playing out, he saw Draco, opening presents, laughing in delight, hugging him and Narcissa. As Lucius looked from the orb back to the creature's face, a horrifying realization struck him, a thought that was confirmed when the being spoke again.

 

“Mine.” It repeated, speaking in the same growled voice.

 

Lucius’ fears confirmed, he started casting all manner of harmful spells as he spat out his next words; “How dare you come in here, invade my house, and try to lay some sort of claim in my son!”

 

Even with his strong words, however, Lucius’ heart began to sink as the spells he cast had no effect on the figure in front of him. He continued resolutely, but the more spells he cast to no effect, the more despair began to overtake his mind. Suddenly the creature once again moved to fast for Lucius to track or react to, one of the being’s clawed band coming to rest on Lucius’ forehead, and the world melting away around him.

 

As the world came back into focus, Lucius whipped his head around frantically, eyes darting over a landscape, a scene completely unlike his previous location. Around him was a city, filled with building that were either in ruins, or proceeding towards that point. Around him he saw humanoid figure shift and move through the buildings, as explosions sounded and fire rained from the sky’s. He saw no trace of the creature anywhere around him as he reached for his wand, preparing to apparate out of whatever hellscape he had found himself in. Panic set in, however, as his wand was nowhere on him, as he was neither powerful enough, nor skilled enough to pull off wandless apparition. He warily began to move forward, breaking into a run when he heard a massive explosion right behind him, and a shadow fell over him. Realizing he was not fast enough, Lucius turned, and saw a massive portion of a building falling down, about to land right on top of him. Bracing himself for impact, in his last moments, Lucius felt… nothing? Lucius looked around in shock, for he was standing inside of the building, a metal girder running through the same space as his head. Realization hit him like a lightning bolt. He was inside a vision. While this was comforting, in that it made it significantly less likely he was going to die, it was also disconcerting, as it meant the creature had not only breached his occlumency shields, a feat The Dark Lord hadn’t managed, but that it had been done with no visible effort on the creature’s part. Knowing he resided in a vision, he drifted forward, searching the landscape, looking for what he had been sent here to find, knowing he couldn’t leave until he did so. Eventually, after what felt like hours, and maybe even days, Lucius found something different from the rest of the vision. In the middle of the collapsing city there was a tall winged humanoid, curled protectively over something Lucius could not see. As a metallic object (something Lucius recognized as a bomb from his forays into Muggle Studies) fell from the sky, directly towards the figure, it struck a suddenly materializing shield, formed from energy the same color as the killing curse. After the smoke and fire cleared, the figure moved slightly, turning as one of its wings uncurled, letting Lucius see what it was protecting. His eyes widened slightly as he saw his son, a peaceful and happy look on Draco’s face. Lucius moved his head to look at the figure, the creature in his Draco’s room, and as he met its eyes, as a surge of emotions swept through his mind, each new emotion coming with a greater rush of urgency and strength. Honesty. Concern. Wanting. Protectiveness. Caring.

 

Lucius pulled his eyes away from where they had locked with the creature’s, and realized that he was back in reality, standing next to Draco’s bed.

 

“Mine. Forever.” Spoke the creature one last time, before withdrawing back into the shadows at the edge of the room.

 

There was a conviction in that statement, especially in the second word, that made it seem less like a word, and more like a statement of an undeniable truth. Lucius thought back to the vision. Maybe it was more than a simple mental construct? He wondered, before pushing it out of his mind. Down that line of thought, only despair lay waiting. Turning his wand away from the creature, and towards Draco’s bed, Lucius cast the strongest protective wards he could manage, knowing already that they would be useless. Anything that could bypass the shields on both his house and his mind with little effort, and while leaving no trace would hardly notice such hurriedly placed wards. Still, there was little he could do but hope that the feelings he received in the vision were real, and not the creations of a superior Occlumens. There wasn’t anything he could do right now, especially when he had no idea what the creature was. Shaking, he left Draco’s room, and slowly walked back to his own, hearing Narcissa’s voice as he opened the door.

 

“Where have you been dear? You went to check on Draco over an hour ago. Surely he wasn’t still awake at this hour?” She said nonchalantly, until she saw the look on her husbands face, and the way his hands were shaking, and her face went pale.

 

“Narcissa, I,” Lucius managed to get out before he gave up, looked her in the eye, lowered his shields and simply said, “Please?”

 

Lucius felt Narcissa comb gently through his mind, looking for the source of his distress. Of the two of them, she was the superior Legilimens, by quite a significant margin. Lucius’ talents, especially in that area had always been more defensive. She quickly went over the events of that night, and when she finished, she wrapped her arms around Lucius and placed a kiss on his cheek.

 

“It’s ok my love. It, he, did nothing to hurt Draco. And if those feelings were real, then Draco has gained a powerful protector today. And if they weren’t, well tomorrow we will start looking into the creature. We will find his weaknesses, and if we have to, we will kill him.” Narcissa finished softly, but with an edge to her voice.

 

Lucius gave a bitter chuckle as he responded, “Do you really think we can find a way to kill something that powerful? It took the killing curse without flinching.”

 

Narcissa’s face hardened at those words, and the words she spoke next were laced with steel, “Anything that lives can die. And anything that can die can be killed. Nothing is invincible, and if he even thinks about hurting Draco he’ll find out exactly how fragile he really is.”

 

Lucius’ last words before he fell asleep were nothing more than a whisper, an expression of the helplessness and worry he was feeling. “Nothing we know of is invincible. But this is something we’ve never seen.”

 

After Lucius dozed off in her arms, Narcissa laid him down on the bed, before getting up and quietly exiting the room. She did not return until dawn began to creep across the sky