Chapter Twenty-five My Immortal Beloved
"Well? What do you want? I was in the middle of something, you know!" Draco sat in a hard leather chair across from a set of frightening reddish eyes, glaring out at him from beneath the hood of a cloak. He reclined casually, as if the Dark Lord had just interrupted his dinner.
Voldemort showed no sign of amusement and scowled at Draco's disrespect. "You've had that book for many hours."
"Well it took some time to get it back! Or didn't your spies tell you that? I assumed you knew I went to Hogwarts." He brushed back his long hair and let it spill down around his shoulders.
"I grow tired of your pride, Draco. I can make you just as loyal and compliant as your father was, though I do not think you'll enjoy it."
"Is that all you want? Some idiot savant? Well then you'd better look elsewhere. I'm not changing my very personality, not for you, my father, or anyone else. I got you the book, didn't I?"
"Yes, but you lost it. By your own admission. That's failure in my eyes."
"Yeah, but I got it back. I'd call that a success. Next time have me steal something from the girl's dorms during shower time. I want to keep my rating high."
"Do you expect me to believe you managed to steal this book from the school, with Dumbledore and Potter there to stop you?" Voldemort raised his wand. "Veritas."
Draco felt his mind open up as if what guarded it had been suddenly ripped aside.
"Draco, what did you do at Hogwarts?"
"I went to see Harry Potter."
"And he gave you the book?"
"Yes. He said someone died trying to find Granger's and he wanted to know why. His has gone missing. That's why it took so long. He had to get that book back from Sara. He said Snape was bringing it."
"Why give it to you at all?"
"Because I was afraid of what you would do to me if I lost it. Harry's a good Samaritan. And supremely sentimental. I knew I could draw on his sympathy. After all, he is rather fond of saving people."
"Is he a friend of yours?"
"How do you think your father would feel about that?"
Draco's brow creased in annoyance at the mention of Lucius. "I don't really care what my father would think. After all, we did attend the same school for seven years. You tend to run into people now and again."
Voldemort seethed. "You're too stubborn for your own good, Draco. Perhaps you need a few more lessons in obedience and respect."
"I'll do as I'm told. I'll keep up appearances. I'll even answer your questions. But don't ask me to respect you. Respect has to be earned and in my eyes you're worse than my father."
"But you loved your father."
"When I was younger I worshipped him. There was no one like him. People listened to him. They feared him, cowered in his presence. They respected his power over them, even his enemies. I wanted to be just like him." Draco leveled his eyes on Voldemort. "Then I met someone who opened my eyes to the truth of it all. The secret of life you could say. Creating fear is easy. Any Hufflepuff could learn to be cunning and uncaring. The real challenge is in making people love you. It's a fine and difficult art in which the real power lies. It's something my father failed at abysmally. I love him because he was my father, I hate him for the father that he was."