speedgeek: (Phoenix!verse DHr)
I am totally peeved with myself that I didn't manage to finish any story in 2010 at all. so I've resolved to write a little every day. And viola, I've finished something! Yay!

Title: Master of Puppets
Author: speedy
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
Pairing/Characters: Draco/Hermione, Percy
Rating: PG/PG13
Warnings: Drug abuse
Summary: If anyone had told him fifteen years ago Hermione Granger would end up the most powerful dark wizard in Britain with him as her number two, Draco Malfoy would've had them committed to St. Mungo's as they were clearly insane.
Notes: EWE, more than 15 years post-DH, DarkLord!Hermione, but I wouldn't particularly call this dark. Unbeta'd. Title refers to the Metallica song of the same name, which seems to fit Percy's situation.

Draco Malfoy slipped quietly into his wife's private office. He was unsurprised to find her staring intently at computer screens, hand on the barely visible curve of her abdomen; she worked more than any person he ever met. He walked up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. She startled, then relaxed into his touch, her eyes never moving from the screen.

A brief glance at the screen showed him video of the Minister of Magic's inner office, in fast forward. As paranoid as Minister Weasley was about security, the Ministry guarded against only magical surveillance. They never suspected the entire Ministry was covered in muggle video cameras and bugs. Nothing went on without their knowledge.

"Scorpius wants Mummy to read him a bedtime story. Apparently I don't do the voices well enough."

"In a few minutes," she replied distractedly. "I'm almost done."

Most of the surveillance feeds were monitored by the elves, but Hermione liked to monitor the Minister's office and the Auror offices herself as well.

"Anything interesting?"

"McLaggen's still holding back."

"He's trying to keep him options open."

She snorted. "What options? He's ours. Unbreakable vows are called that for a reason and we learned our lesson about wording from Smith."

"You know he's a little slow on the uptake. He'll eventually figure out he has no way out."

"Pay him a visit. He needs a reminder of who he sold his soul to for his last promotion."

Hermione rewound the video a few seconds and played it back at normal speed. The Minister bent over something on his desk, and then leaned back in his chair. She gasped. Whatever she saw, Draco had missed.

"Did you see that? Is he doing what I think he's doing? I knew he was on something!"

She zoomed in and replayed it. This time, he didn't miss the small mirror or the white lines.

His wife looked up at him with a feral grin. "We got him."

Draco smiled back. This was a long anticipated for moment. They had been working their way through the Ministry for years, gaining allies and supporters and informants, working their way closer to the Minister. She hadn't wanted to take down Shacklebolt, she still felt friendly towards him and was happy when he chose to retire six months earlier, but a Weasley, this Weasley… There would be no mercy.

He loved how much she hated the ginger traitors.

"This is something to celebrate."

"You know the rule, sweetheart," she said, standing. "No celebrating until it's a done deal. Find out who his dealer is. If it's not one of ours, kill them." She gave him a chaste peck on the lips. "Now I have a story to read."

If anyone had told him fifteen years ago he'd be happily married to Hermione Granger with three kids and another on the way, living in muggle house and using muggle technology, Draco would've hexed them for the insult.

If anyone had told him fifteen years ago Hermione Granger would end up the most powerful dark wizard in Britain with him as her number two, Draco would've had them committed to St. Mungo's as they were clearly insane.

Percy Weasley wiped the sweat from his brow as he hesitantly knocked on the hotel room door. He hated associating himself with the streetwalkers and junkies that hung around dirt cheap hotels like this, but it was unavoidable. He was getting desperate since his last dealer was fished out of the Thames and he was Minister of Magic, he couldn't exactly walk up to any of the few dealers that frequented Knockturn Alley. And he certainly couldn't trust any of his assistants to do it for him. He'd be blackmailed or run out of office within a week.

So he was stuck with lowlife muggles.

It was the responsible thing to do, really. He couldn't leave at five o'clock like everyone else. He was Minister of Magic. He was very important and had a lot of very important work no one else could do. He just needed a little pick-me-up sometimes, to help him work late, and potions were out of the question. Everyone would know. This was for the good of the Wizarding World. Really.

The door opened and the first thing Percy noticed was the muggle handgun the man's waistband.

"You got money? I don't give out free samples."


The lowlife backed up and waved him in. Percy stepped inside the room and noticed the lines already laid out on the cheap table. He heard the door shut behind him.

"Have a seat, Minister."

He spun around. Draco Malfoy was leaning against the door, superior smirk on his face.

Percy swallowed. He didn't know how he'd found out; he covered his tracks carefully, he stayed in the muggle world...

His brother was right, it was the only explanation. Malfoy was still a dark wizard. Ron told anyone who would listen long enough that Malfoy was the Phoenix, the mysterious leader of the New Dark Order that was sweeping through Wizarding Britain.

This was going to end very badly. He'd be utterly disgraced. Ruined. He'd be remembered worse than Fudge.

"What do you want, Malfoy?"

Malfoy silently gestured to the chair. Percy looked at the cheap plastic thing as if it was the instrument of his execution. He didn't have much choice. He sat.

"Are you going to answer my question?"

"I'm not the one you should be asking."

Out of the corner of his eye Percy spotted the shimmer of disillusionment spells being dropped. Leaning against the wall was his own Undersecretary, Cormac McLaggen. It was surprising the man would get involved with Malfoy, but everyone in the Ministry knew McLaggen wanted to be Minister. He just didn't think the man would resort to these kinds of dirty tricks to get the job.

However, what shocked Percy most was the person sitting across the table from him. Hermione Granger was smiling sweetly. He knew her well enough for that alone to set off warning bells in his head.

"Hello, Percy," she said, her voice just as deceptively sweet as her smile.

Pieces of information started to mentally slot into place. The Phoenix was always three steps ahead of the Aurors; after five years they had nothing concrete. Malfoy couldn't conclusively be linked to anything, other than still being associated with his former Slytherin classmates. No amount of bait using blood purity had gotten even a nibble. No one that could be identified would talk, not even the few witnesses to their crimes.

Malfoys never deferred to anyone less powerful than they were, even with all the influence they'd lost after the war, and here Malfoy was clearly deferring to Hermione.

Hermione knew how the Aurors and the Order of the Phoenix worked; she was an Order member and in and out of the Auror offices all the time. She knew Harry and Ron; they told her everything and they took her advice without a second thought. She knew how obsessed Ron was with Draco Malfoy, that he'd never consider he was being led astray. She knew how to keep a large group of people quiet. She was never swayed by blood and would never have formed an organization based on it. And she was brilliant, brightest witch of her age, and ruthless when she was crossed the wrong way.

Between her and Malfoy, there was no one in the Wizarding world, in the Ministry, they didn't have access to.

They were so thoroughly fucked. The war was lost before they'd even known they were at war.

"You're the Phoenix," he said finally.

"Of course. We're friends, aren't we, Percy?"

He was no longer sure about that. "I-I thought so."

"You could've come to me for your little…habit. I would've taken care of you."

"I didn't know that."

The sweet smile morphed into a cold smirk, just like Malfoy's. Percy wondered what his chances of leaving this room alive were.

"Well, I'll be taking care of you from now on. I'll supply you with as much cocaine as you want."

"How much?"

"Oh, I couldn't take your money."

He closed his eyes. This was bad, very bad.

She stood and walked around the table. She handed him a rolled up pound note. He never wanted to quit more than he did in that moment. He never wanted a hit more than he did in that moment.

"You'll have to be careful. This is mostly pure, cut with only a bit of caffeine. You can't snort as much as usual. I'll make sure you only get the best stuff, not the junk running around that's cut with baking soda and detergents."

She stroked his hair gently, as if she was actually trying to comfort him.

"All I ask is that you do as I tell you, when I tell you."

Oh, Merlin, forget Fudge. He'd be spoken of in the same manner as Thickenesse.

"And if I refuse your offer?"

Hermione laughed. It sent chills through his body.

"You're a smart boy, Percy. I think you already know the answer."

He looked up and saw a smug grin on McLaggen's face. Hermione only raised an eyebrow, resting her hand on the back of his neck. He heard a metallic click behind him, he guessed from the gun.

Do what she wanted and live or die a huge embarrassment to his family and be replaced by her chosen man.

When Percy was eleven years old, Hogwarts' old sorting hat had wanted to put him in Slytherin. But he was too scared to be away from his older brothers and had begged to be put in Gryffindor. The sorting hat relented, even though he really wasn't a good fit. He was never known for his bravery. He was much too prone to self-preservation.

He took the hit. If he was going to hell, it wouldn't be sober.

Draco walked into Hermione's office carrying a bottle of sparkling grape juice. "Can we celebrate now?"

Hermione was engrossed in the surveillance footage from the Minister's office. "I wish I could have champagne."

He took that as a yes and poured two glasses. "Just another 5 and a half months," he reminded her, handing her a glass.

"And then 6 months to a year of nursing. Maybe I'll get lucky and this one'll wean himself at the earliest opportunity like Vega did."

"Cheers," they said together as they clinked glasses.

Hermione scrunched up her nose in distaste. "It's like carbonated, watered-down grape juice."

"Anything interesting?"

"The raid on the Manor went down today."

"I hope you gave Mother and Father ample warning."

"They had their instructions."


He didn't particularly like that Hermione had involved his parents, but he supposed by this point they knew what they were doing. Ministry raids were nothing new.

She waved him off. "They didn't actually need to do anything. Ron walked in with an attitude, started breaking stuff, pushed Narcissa to the ground, and tried to strangle Lucius."

His hands clinched into fists. He wished he could hit something, preferably Weasel's face.

She glanced at him and saw the murderous rage written all over his face. "Draco, they're fine, they weren't hurt. I went over there this afternoon to make sure they were okay. Narcissa is fine, Lucius is fine, nothing really valuable was broken. They filed complaints and Harry's already personally apologized. It works out better this way. Ron can't argue that he was provoked, there's a room full of Aurors who witnessed otherwise."

She turned the computer screen towards him and brought up a video file. She grinned. "Harry ripped Ron a new one."

"That's it?"

"Nope." She returned to the feed from the Minister's office. "Percy's laying into Ron pretty good, too. And now Ron's getting fired."

He relaxed a bit, knowing the Weasel wouldn't be getting away with anything this time. "I suppose it'll do."

"Have you talked to Pucey?"

"The project's ahead of schedule. He thought it'd be complete by the end of the month, but I'd say earlier after this."

"Poor Lav-Lav," she said with a fake sigh, "having to listen to Won-Won blame everyone but himself."

"Lucky for you, you dodged that bludger."

Hermione stood and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Lucky me," she said, pressing her lips to his. "What do you say we move this celebration upstairs?"
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