The Humility RitesWord count:
Draco chooses to perform the Humility Rites.Warnings:
angst, start of a WIPDisclaimer:
The boys and girls belong to JKR, even though I’m often much nicer to them than she is.Author’s Notes:
This was written for the old apology
prompt at rondracodrabble
“No. No.” Lucius grabbed Draco’s arm, and Draco turned. Grey eyes glazed with fear, but determined: a look he’d seen on his son’s face too many times. “You can’t. I forbid it!” he said in desperation.
A frown drew Draco’s brows down. “You would have our family renege on honoured traditions?”
Lucius looked at him in disbelief, pain splintering through angry words. “Better to lose my honour than my son!”
Draco’s eyes narrowed in sudden, shocking hate. “You said family honour was the most important thing. You
said I should show some humility, and obey!”
“Don’t you dare use that against me!”~*~
Lucius had only seen that sneer, those raging grey eyes, in the mirror before today. He knew in that moment that he would lose.
Draco matched his height. When had he grown up?
“Don’t tell me what to do, not when your choices led us all to ruin. Show some humility yourself, Father, and let me finally
do the right thing!”
“But – your mother.” Lucius felt no shame at the pleading note in his voice.
Draco swallowed, his voice wavering. “She’ll understand.”
Narcissa’s voice sounded from behind the two men, its cadence and impossible grace unchanged, even now. “Understand what?”~*~
They swung round together, and Lucius was forcibly reminded of summer days with illegally baked biscuits and Draco’s crumbs-encrusted, guilty face always giving them away. But Narcissa was paler and thinner than she’d been then, fragile as the glass birds on her windowsill. Sickening, unfamiliar guilt slammed into his stomach.
“Mother, I – I...” Draco stammered. He stared at her with wide eyes, but shuddered and found calm. “The Weasleys, Mother. I need to – we’ve stolen children from them, unrightfully, and someone – ”
True shock sent Narcissa’s face cold and white, as if touching her would give you frostbite. “The Humility Rites?”~*~
“I have to.”
Narcissa’s face convulsed: a wave of emotion was visible under the thin ice of her composure. Then she shut her eyes, hiding her expression.
Lucius felt ill. How would he save Draco from this decision without his mother? Draco obeyed him but he adored
her, if she begged him he would stop –
“Narcissa – ”
“No, Lucius. He needs this. And it may save him from Azkaban.”
Lucius swallowed dryly.
“Mr and Mrs Weasley?” Draco’s voice cracked only a little. They turned, red-eyed and weary, and saw Draco sink to his knees before them.
“I invoke the Humility Rites.”