A Professor of Magic at Hogwarts - C.322: Lucius Malfoy

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Felix cast his gaze around the room. Some people smiled in greeting, others eyed him warily, and a few averted their eyes as if they hadn't noticed his presence.

"Felix! I've been eagerly awaiting your arrival," Sirius strode over, embracing Felix in a tight hug. He whispered, "Thank goodness, I was starting to think I had accidentally infiltrated the Death Eater camp."

Felix smiled softly and replied, "You're the one who invited me, aren't you?"

Sirius sighed, "It's all family ties, written on the family tree, can't be helped... Frank and Alice are quite uncomfortable too." He released Felix and Harry, Ron, and Draco approached.

"Professor." "Professor Harp." "Hello, Professor Harp," they each greeted.

Felix nodded at them, and Draco gave a fleeting glance at the other two before softly saying, "Professor, my father would like to speak with you privately..." Harry and Ron's eyes widened immediately, reacting as if they had caught a glimpse of a cat near a mouse hole.

"Now?" Felix looked surprised in the direction of the Malfoy couple. Lucius Malfoy had Narcissa in his arms, his other hand gripping a serpent-headed wand, engaged in an animated conversation with Mr. Crouch. Crouch had an unyielding expression, meticulous and sparing in words, mostly listening with occasional responses of "Indeed," "I agree," "Perhaps there's a better way."

In the midst of conversation, Lucius turned his gaze toward them, a composed smile on his lips. "Please pardon the interruption, Mr. Crouch," he walked over, shifting his wand to his left hand, and extended his right hand, "Greetings, Mr. Harp. I've been looking forward to officially meeting you."

"Mr. Malfoy"

"Call me Lucius, and I'll call you Felix. My relationship with Severus is quite close." Lucius Malfoy said as their hands shook. "I was his prefect when he started at Hogwarts." His gray eyes fixed on Felix.

"Very well, Lucius. Are you interested in discussing your son's performance at school?"

"It's actually... a private matter," Lucius said.

"Alright then," Felix nodded, "This way"

The two of them went to a secluded spot, behind an oak tree, with half of Lucius' face in shadow. In the distance, Harry and Ron unabashedly craned their necks to peek, and Ron said to Draco, "What conspiracy are you two up to?"

Draco looked at him disdainfully. Ron's robes looked like a modified old suit, the edges of the cuffs were faded, and the color wasn't a pure black. "If I were you, I'd be embarrassed to be seen in those robes Ronniekins," he drawled.

Ron was shaking with anger, and Harry quickly held him back. Today was Regulus' funeral, and he didn't want them to fight here. Harry stood between Ron and Draco, intending to mock Draco Malfoy a bit, but a surprised voice behind Draco made him freeze.

"Draco, you just, just" Narcissa hesitated as she looked at him, her gaze shifting between her son and Ron, an expression like she had stumbled upon a monumental secret, her blue eyes wide.

"Mother! It's not what you're thinking" Draco hurriedly explained. The nickname he used was just mocking, nothing more.

"Draco Malfoy, come with me," Narcissa straightened her clothes, her face stern.

Draco opened his mouth but followed his mother with a dejected look.

Harry and Ron exchanged looks, and after a moment, Ron suddenly shivered. His face twisted, "She wouldn't have thoughtugh, so disgusting!" Harry suppressed a laugh and said, "At least Malfoy won't call you that anymore."

They peeked around the large oak tree where Professor Harp and Lucius Malfoy were talking, guessing what they might be discussing. But the truth was, they were circling around the topic on the outskirts.

"... I've written to Dumbledore, expressing my concerns. Muggles and wizards are two parallel worlds. Unfortunately, stories like 'The Fountain of Good Fortune' that encourage unions between wizards and Muggles are still circulating," Lucius struck a sanctimonious pose.

He whispered, "I don't want my son to be influenced by such stories and tarnish his pure bloodline. As a father, I've been trembling with fear, trying to shield him from the distractions of the complicated world outside... But suddenly, I found that someone's influence on Draco surpassed mine, as a father. It was his first time contradicting me. Using the content from a comic book."

Felix smiled and said, "People grow, and they don't always follow in their parents' footsteps. As a professor, winning the affection of students is quite an accomplishment."

"But don't you think you're being too lenient?" Lucius Malfoy said coldly.

"What do you mean, Christmas gifts, or something else?"

"Forgive my candor, Felix, but you're Severus's prized pupil, and naturally, we're on the same side," Lucius said, his gray eyes narrowing slightly. "I have some shallow, inconsequential reputation within the pure-blood circles. We're not closed-minded, and we equally welcome fresh blood."

"Lucius, you must have heard about the things I've done..." Felix said, feeling that their conversation was finally getting to the point.

"Threatening some foolish, short-sighted idiots?" Lucius said. "They don't hinder us from forming a friendship. You and the Malfoy family have never clashed."

"I have Muggle-born relatives..."

"As long as it doesn't affect Draco."

"Some pure-bloods would strongly oppose..."

"I will mediate."

"I'm half-Muggle..."

"To be precise, you're an orphan from a Muggle orphanage," Lucius said cunningly. "Based on the talent you've shown, we have reason to believe your bloodline is quite pure. If you're willing, I can arrange for a 'satisfactory' investigation and grant you justice."

Felix chuckled; he understood Lucius's intentions. Lucius might represent a faction that, as Felix's presence and influence grew, felt unsettled and were attempting to send friendly signals. If they could pull him to their side, it would be an excellent choice.

He believed that with a word from him, the families that had offended him would silently decline, and the company he hadn't even started yet would experience rapid growth with the support of hidden forces. Perhaps, a few years or even decades later, after his time at Hogwarts, he could freely choose between the positions of Hogwarts Headmaster and Minister of Magic.

Seeing Felix seeming to hesitate, Lucius warned in a feigned tone, "The past shouldn't be an obstruction. We should look ahead, don't you think?"

"There's just one question"

"What?"

"There's just one question, Lucius," Felix looked into his gray eyes, saying, "You reminded me to look forward... but I see more, farther than you anticipate"

Lucius furrowed his brow.

"Can you perform the Occlumency?" Felix suddenly changed the topic.

Lucius wore a puzzled expression, and Felix concluded with advice, "Learning a bit more wouldn't hurt; you might find it useful. Perhaps we have a chance to cooperate."

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