Lucius thought over what Tanya had said and though he disagreed with the way she looked at things, he decided to make it up for his failed attempts at cheating. In all honestly, Lucius would have dusted his palms and pretended nothing happened if not for the sudden arrival of a clever idea. He had a special gift of turning things around for himself, and his gift was about to make his situation a win-win.
Walking past the perfect’s lounge, Lucius headed straight for Professor Slughorn’s office. With each step came a string of words he could use to buy favour, words his father failed to teach him while the Dark Lord did.
No, Lucius never had a real conversation with the Dark Lord before. Lucius had only seen him a few times when he came to stay in Malfoy Manor. But every time he came over, Lucius would stand outside the hidden room door and listen to the discussion he had with his followers. Everything he said was full of confidence and conviction, and Lucius wanted to emulate him.
Even though Lucius was not sure if he really wanted to join the Death Eaters, he knew he wanted to be as great as the Dark Lord. If it meant making a name for himself and bringing pride to his family, then he wouldn’t mind being under a ludic lover of power. How bad can things go, right?
By the time Lucius was outside Professor Slughorn’s office, the door opened and the two found themselves face to face.
“My dear boy, what are you doing here?” Professor Slughorn asked.
“I need your help, Professor. I think I made a mistake,” Lucius replied.
“Come on in. Would you like a drink?” Professor Slughorn said, as he ushered Lucius to the armchair near the fireplace.
“No, thank you.”
“Very well. Tell me what happened.”
“As you know, students have been buying O.W.L and N.E.W.T papers for the upcoming examinations. I happen to be one of them.”
“Sir, you know I’m not a cheater,” Lucius quickly continued, “I only bought the papers to find out who was distributing them. I know it was foolish of me to take things into my own hands, but I knew the culprit had to be caught.”
“I see,” Professor Slughorn replied. He showed no expression of belief or disbelief, which made Lucius a little worried.
“This man does dealings in The Three Broomsticks. I don’t know his name, but I remember his face. I was planning on telling Professor Dumbledore tomorrow, but the spot check this morning made me look guilty.”
“Who found the papers you bought?”
“Tanya Lovegood. She did not report me, but she told me to admit to my actions. If I told her I am innocent, she would not believe me. That is why I came to you, Professor. If you tell them you told me to find out who the culprit is, we could both get a good rapport with the ministry,” Lucius said. His words were a mess and they came out all wrong, but it seemed to be working.
“Well, honestly boy, you shouldn’t have gone snooping around. You will make your parents very disappointed with you! But I won’t let a good student ruin himself over the urge to be a hero. Tell me who this man is and we will see Dumbledore together.”
Lucius nodded and described the man to the best his memory could recall. When Professor Slughorn bewitched a quill to draw according to Lucius’ words, the result was surprisingly identical. After Lucius confidently said the drawing was spot on, the two of them went to see Professor Dumbledore.
That night, Professor Dumbledore’s office was graced with stacks of illegal exam papers and the company of a few Ministry of Magic officials. Lucius had seen them in newspapers before, and by the way they tilted their heads upwards he knew they held quite a status.
When Professor Slughorn handed them the drawing of the man, they were rather shock. They questioned how certain he was and Professor Slughorn gave Lucius the chance to explain what had happened. Though Lucius knew Professor Dumbledore was sceptical, the officials looked pretty convinced.
“This is shocking, Albus. He is one of our trusted advisors in our education department,” one official said.
“Are you very sure this was the man that sold the papers to you?” Professor Dumbledore asked, still unsure on what to believe.
“Yes, Professor. I have never seen the man prior to purchasing the papers.”
“Trust me, the boy has a good memory,” Professor Slughorn said.
“We believe you, young man. What is your name?” another official asked.
“Lucius Malfoy, sir.”
“Ah, Abraxas’ boy. Your father would be proud.”
Lucius replied with a smile and a nod.
“Well, then. We better get this issue sorted out. Thank you for your effort, Horace. We could use people like you in the education department.”
Professor Slughorn chuckled before saying, “My heart is with my students.”
“You taught a fine one,” the official pointed out.
“Why, thank you.”
“You know, the ministry is looking for fresh faces,” the official said as he turned to Lucius, “would you be interested in an internship? It would do you good if you ever want to work with us in the future.”
Lucius could not believe what he was being offered, but at the same time he was unsure if he should take up the offer. His father wanted him to be a Death Eater, and there was really no need to get a job after graduation. If only Lucius could ask his mother what she thought… she always had the best answers.
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Lucius should accept or decline the internship!)