The former enemies had long since put their differences aside from their earlier school days. Once Draco joined the Auror office, they found they actually worked pretty well together on difficult cases that required tedious research and cooperation. As the years went on, they started meeting for drinks after work with Blaise, Theo, and even Luna and Hermione on occasion. When Draco's assistant stepped in to introduce his next client, he was surprised to see Harry walking through the door in muggle attire, sitting down in the chair across from the large, cherry wood desk the blonde sat behind.
"You didn't need to set an appointment with me, Potter. We could've met up after work for drinks. I could use it after the day I've had." He laughed, leaning his elbows on his desk, resting his chin against his knuckles. His hair was longer in the front, just enough to skim over his pale gray eyes when he didn't bother to push it back. He threaded it through his fingers to clear his vision and stared back at his coworker.
"This is official business. I thought it best to discuss it with you here." The sound of his urgent tone was enough to make the Auror pull a quill from his drawer and poise it over a thick blank pad, ready to take professional action.
"It's not your wife, is it? If she's still getting threats from opposing Quidditch teams, I can get someone to shadow her at practices again." He suggested. The worry etched across the Gryffindor's face was so out of place, he knew it had to be something urgent.
"It's not Ginny." He started, balling his fingers together until they made such a tight fist that his fingernails scarred the inside of his palms. "I know you've heard Fenrir Greyback escaped Azkaban yesterday."
"Of course, that's who half our department is out looking for. We're going to be working nonstop until we find him." Malfoy sighed.
"That's what I wanted to discuss with you. I'm worried about Hermione." He enunciated his words so there was no room for misunderstanding at how dangerous this monster was to his best friend. "Before they caught him the first time, right after the war, he was hunting her every chance he got. He's obsessed with her."
Draco set his quill down gently, forgetting the notes and giving his coworker his full attention. "You've never mentioned that. Is she okay?" He kept his voice steady even as a chill shot up the base of his spine.
Harry reached into his cloak and withdrew a nearly shredded piece of parchment, passing it across the large desk. Blood coated the paper, along with a few short words.
'I can't wait to taste you'
Malfoy dropped it to the center of his desk, thinly veiled fury flashing behind his eyes.
"It was on her front door just minutes after he escaped. When she was brought to the Manor during the war, something happened...." Harry began to explain before was cut off. Malfoy immediately started offering suggestions for security.
"We get 24 hour shadows on her. Night and day. At work, at home, whatever it takes." He said, his quill flying across the page. "Where does she work? I'll need her schedule."
"Malfoy, the wards don't work at her house. Not only did he leave the note on her door, but he came inside and-" Harry took a deep shaking breath as he reeled in his anger. "Went into her bedroom while she was asleep." He explained, the seriousness of the situation becoming clearer by the second. "He took every scrap of underwear she owned." Reiterating the harassment his best friend had endured was enough to make Harry curl his hands into tight fists against his legs, his knee bouncing with frustration.
"This kind of shit gets him excited. He's a legitimately deranged, sick fuck. That's why he didn't attack her while she was sleeping. It's no fun for him that way." Draco explained, taking more notes on the second page of parchment in front of him. "He found a way around the wards?" He asked, alarmed.
"He must've. Her magic is stronger then most, so if it didn't keep him out, I'm thinking ancient blood magic would be the only alternative. Like Grimmauld Place..." He drawled out slowly, the suggestion hanging in the air.
"Or Malfoy Manor?" He finished, outraged at the mere thought of it. "You can't possibly expect Granger to want to move in with me when you're home is an equally suitable option." He tossed the quill across the desk, staring at his friend with wide, demanding eyes.
"I have a wife and three children. Do you think she'd be able to concentrate on her work with that kind of chaos?" He argued, throwing his hands up as he pushed out of the chair. "Damnit, Malfoy, I don't have any other ideas. This is my best friend we're talking about and someone wants to not only kill her, but likely do disgusting, vile things to her until then. What am I suppose to do? You're the only one I know with a home as protected as mine. I'd have her moved into my place right now if I thought it would work, but I don't think that's a practical solution. You have an entire wing in your home dedication to potion making, don't you?" Draco sighed in response, nodding his head slowly.
"Yes, Potter, the Manor is quite expansive." He conceded, pinching the bridge of his nose with a long exhale. "You have to understand, my hesitance isn't because I don't like your friend. I find Granger to be tolerable when she's not being a stubborn know it all. But you seem to be forgetting, I have a daughter of my own to protect. I don't relish the thought of having Greyback's prize stowed away in my home where Cassie sleeps."
"There's no way he'd be able to get through the protective enchantments built up around the Manor over the hundreds of years it's been in your family. You'd hardly even notice she was there. You have a dozen spare rooms in that place."
"I only moved back in to fix the place up after my father died. I planned on moving out once Cassie starts Hogwarts next year." He explained, getting to his feet and meeting his coworker near the door. "Granger is not going to go for this. My aunt scarred her for life in that house. How do you plan on convincing her to just move right in? I'm guessing Weasley wont be thrilled at the idea of her living with another man and his 10 year old daughter either."
Harry's eyes narrowed at this. "Ron and her broke up months ago."
"Makes sense. She was way out of his league in the first place. She finally get tired of listening to him ramble on about Quidditch all day?" Draco asked, opening the door to his office and walking his client out to the main lobby. Passing the reception area, he informed his assistant that he would be out for the rest of the day.
"It's a heavy situation, but no one in the family speaks to him anymore. I'll let her be the one to explain what happened if she's up for that." When he shook the blondes hand, he gripped it firmly before letting it drop. "Consider this your top priority. Keeping her safe and working with the rest of the Aurors to hunt Greyback down. I'm putting you in charge of this case and the entire team."
"No use wasting time. Cassie's private school is right now the street. I'll take her home before talking to your friend."
"You two are more similar then you realize. She could end up being just as much your friend as she is mine by the end of this." Harry pointed out, following Malfoy around the block to a large, stone building just a few streets away from the twins joke shop.
"We will be at each others throats by the end of the night." He countered, signing his daughter out at the front office. They only had to wait a moment before she was escorted down by a member of the staff.
"You do that?" Harry asked, smiling wide at the uncharacteristic information.
"Shut up, Potter." He shoved the shorter wizard back roughly before leading his daughter inside. She rushed up the steps to change out of her uncomfortable uniform, a complaint he was forced to listen to every morning as she dressed.
"Do you guys work together?" She called out from upstairs, her voice clear.
"Yes, now close the door while you’re changing!" Draco called out, storming into the kitchen and drawing two tumblers from the cupboards. Once they were filled with a rich, amber liquid, they drank it down, slamming both glasses back on the counter with a combined sigh of relief.
"She should be home by now. Might as well get it over with." Harry suggested, taking a moment to go over her day to day tasks with him, including her job and other obligations.
Draco stood outside her flat, a single bulb illuminating her front porch early that evening. His fist was frozen as it hovered over the door, his mind racing with all the possible ways to professionally explain the unique situation. Truth be told, he rarely spoke to the young witch outside of Potters presence. Their jobs rarely had them crossing paths, and they only passed simple, civilized conversation when the situation demanded it.
Before he could force himself to knock, her voice carried through the air above him. He looked up to find her leaning over the second story terrace railing, her long coffee colored curls whipping around her head in the cool, autumn breeze. Draco was man enough to admit she'd grown into her looks impressively over the years. Even leaning a story above him in simple Muggle attire, she looked naturally stunning. Her face was tan, her nose covered with freckles. A dark red hood was pulled over her head to control the curls as the wind picked up.
"You don't need to look so nervous, Malfoy." She said with a challenging smirk as he stared up, listening. "Harry told me you'd be stopping by. I'll be out in a second and we can take a walk. I'm assuming this conversation will make me quite peeved, and it's best I stay moving as not to swing at you." The small dimple on her left cheek was proof enough of her teasing, although having been punched by her before, he couldn't be too sure.
"Hurry up, I haven't got all day." He snapped, trading in his nervousness for a mask of disinterest. She merely rolled her eyes before disappearing.
She hugged the red sweatshirt tight around herself as they walked, brown riding boots pulled up to her knees over light wash jeans. It wasn't quite dark yet, but the street lamps were lit as they strolled down the residential sidewalk. They kept a brisk pace, turning into a small garden park a few blocks away from her flat.
"Let's hear about this plan you and my best friend have formulated on my behalf." She said with a sneer that could put his perfected one to shame.
"You seem quite annoyed for someone with a friend who cares about you so much as to formulate one." He countered, taking her wrist to stop her from walking any further. She sighed deeply as he released her, dropping down onto the small, metal park bench tucked between two overgrown shrubs.
"I'm not annoyed, I'm worried." She replied. "Harry suggested I move in with him and Ginny, but I just couldn't do that. What if something happened to one of them because of some mans sick infatuation with me? I couldn't bring that into their home."
He was unsurprised by her usual selflessness when it came to matters of her own personal safety. He expected her to think of others before herself. Thankfully, he was being paid to worry about her safety alone, everyone elses coming in second.
"What about my place?" He offered simply, adjusting the cuff of his cloak for something to do before sitting down beside her. "Surely you care less about my safety if Greyback happened to track you there."
Her eyes widened at the casual suggestion. "You're joking."
"It's probably best if we get you moved in by tonight, as to avoid any more love letters attached to your door." He pulled his wand from inside his cloak pocket and twirled it expertly between his long, pale fingers.
Hermione zipped her sweater further up her neck, her eyes full of questions. "I wont give up my life because of this. I have friends, family, a career. Do you all expect me to hide away at the Manor until he's caught?" She asked, her foot tapping against the concrete anxiously. "What if he never is?"
"I have quite an extensive brewing room at home. You can do your work from there for the time being. If you are against sending inventory through the post, I can escort you whenever you need to make a drop off at the hospital." He stated diplomatically, watching her carefully for any more concerns she might want to voice.
"You live alone?" She asked, having the same reservations she did with Harry, not wanting to bring danger into a families home.
"I'm not married." He evaded easily, turning towards her now with his elbow propped against the back of the bench. "This is my job, Granger. I know we don't get on like old friends, but I would offer this same suggestion to anyone else in this situation. Greyback is a high profile criminal, and if he's marked you, it's my job to give you the best protection available until he's caught." He explained confidently.
She looked down, avoiding his gaze while biting the inside of her lip. "I haven't been there since..." She trailed off, glancing up at him under her dark, thick lashes. She grabbed her concealed forearm before she could think better of it, his eyes watching the action as pain flooded his chest at the memory.
Before he could stop himself, he reached over and took her hand from the scarred area, setting it back down in her lap gently. "I know." He whispered, his voice full of regret. "I don't have particularly found memories of the place myself. However, it's got the oldest blood magic and ancient protections this side of the world. Not to mention, Potter and I will be working this case tirelessly. This wont be the rest of your life." He promised.
"We'll argue, you know. Often, if history is any indication." She said with a small smile.
"Yes." He agreed simply. The corner of his mouth twitched as he held back a grin of his own. "I suppose I quite enjoy that."
"I appreciate you even agreeing to such an inconvenience. I know Harry will feel better, and I'm a big enough person to admit, I will too. Having been attacked by Voldemort himself and your deranged aunt, I still consider Greyback the only one I've felt this level of fear with. I don't know why. Something about him just hits me differently." She said, holding her hand over her heart as it thudded erratically against her palm.
"That's because you're smart enough to know when to be afraid." He replied, walking her back to the two story flat. She started to walk up the front steps but he grabbed her arm and yanked her back. Her door stood slightly ajar, both of their wands brandished at the sight. "Go to Potter's." He instructed, pushing into the living room as she ignored him, following behind him with her own weapon drawn.
"I won't be running away at every scare." She snapped, going to her bedroom while he checked the kitchen.
"You're going to make my job so much fucking harder, aren't you?" He seethed, snapping his wand back over his shoulder before shooting it at the closed pantry door. It blasted to pieces easily against the flash of red magic, shards of wood littering the floor. Ingredients spilled down the shelves from their broken glass jars, landing on a crumpled heap of black robes underneath.
Hermione cleared her bedroom and attached bath before meeting him in the kitchen, wand pointed at the knocked out wizard covered with flour and uncooked pasta noodles. "You could choose to look at this as me making your job more fun." She countered, keeping her attention on the intruder while Malfoy alerted Harry to their location. Her best friend apparated into her living room seconds later, along with half a dozen Aurors.
"You alright?" He asked, rushing to her side and wrapping her in a hug while two wizards restrained the unconscious criminal. They popped out of her home without a word, undoubtedly bringing him in for questioning.
"I'm fine." She drawled, pulling away from him and averting her eyes that were now glassed over with tears.
"What is it?" Malfoy asked, concerned when he saw her pained expression even as she tried to mask it. She looked over at him, worrying her bottom lip before Harry's voice let out a string of curses from her bedroom. Malfoy kept eye contact with her a moment longer before rushing towards the sound, joining his boss in the entryway.
"Son of a bitch." Draco muttered, looking at Harry before they both stared back at the center of her bed. It was neatly made with deep purple sheets, two white pillows against the headboard. A starry quilt was folded on the foot of the bed, along with the bloodied, shredded corpse of her over sized orange cat that she'd loved since her teenage years. Hermione crept in behind them silently, propped against the door frame while Harry bagged her feline companion and brought him in for evidence. Once her flat was empty of all Aurors aside from Malfoy, she slid down the wall with a long sigh, pulling her knees up to her chest and resting her chin there.
She saw a flash of platinum hair as he crouched down in front of her, balancing on his heels. He reached for her face, tilting her chin up to see tears streaming down her cheeks. Her golden eyes stared back at him helplessly, her full bottom lip trembling as she opened her mouth to speak. No words came out for half a moment before she shut it again, lost at what to say.
Malfoy dragged his thumb under her eye, pushing the tears away only to be replaced with new ones. "We'll get you set up in the spare room closest to me. It's not forever." He reminded her, his chest tight as he watched his former enemy sob.
"Ok." She agreed weakly, wiping her cheeks. "I'm not going to run away every time something happens."
"It's a good thing I'm so use to being annoyed with you." He smirked, pulling her to her feet.
"Did Harry tell you what happened at the Manor that night?" She asked nervously, busying herself by packing her beaded bag full of essentials.
"The night the Snatchers brought the three of you in?" He asked, watching her from the doorway.
She nodded, shoving her clothes into the spacious tote and avoiding his gaze. "I'll probably have to do that, wont I?"
"Yes." He answered firmly, already planning the evening that was ahead of them. She nodded again wordlessly, pulling the strap across her chest and meeting his stare.
"Ready." She muttered, looking around her flat a final time before they entered his foyer with a loud crack.
She still wore the maroon colored hoodie with her jeans and brown boots, feeling much too casual standing in such a grand entryway. "This house is ostentatious." She muttered, looking all around her at the high ceilings and expensive, hand painted portraits. Malfoy surprised her with a genuine laugh, nodding in agreement. "It's a terrible place. Once we catch Greyback, you can go back home and I can find a less gothic place to live."
He led her down the long hallway and into the east wing. Instead of the familiar drawing room she'd expected, there was now a beautiful brewing area, filled with cauldrons of all different sizes. Ingredients lined the shelves for decor and for use, while a tall closet housed even the rarest of herbs and supplies.
When she tilted her head skyward, he breezed past her, trailing his fingers over the rim of the largest cast iron pot sitting in the center of the room. "Figured since the chandelier was ruined, I might as well scrap the whole room." Her eyes flashed at this admission, astonished. She couldn't believe he'd put in the time to renovate an entire wing of his childhood home.
"Did you scrap any other rooms?" She asked curiously, taking it upon herself to study the contents of the supply closet. He watched from across the room, fighting back a smile at her studious interest in potion making.
"I didn't need the dungeons anymore, so I made them into living quarters for the house elves. Most of it is just storage space that isn't being used. You'll find a house this size is pretty empty with less then a hundred people living in it."
"You have house elves?" She asked, fire back in her eyes as she stepped into the supply closet and perused the vials leisurely.
"Only two, and they are treated very well." He held up his hands in surrender, enjoying the view of her so at home in the space he'd created. Potion brewing was one of his favorite hobbies, so making a room dedicated to the craft had made sense. Even though he didn't plan on living out the rest of his days in the cold, sterile home of his youth, he wanted to be comfortable until the day he decided to leave.
They spent the rest of the evening touring the grounds, including the vast acres outside that housed gardens and recreational space. When they made it back inside, a loud pop signaled the arrival of a smiling house elf clothed in a hideous orange sweater.
"Sir, Winky set up the spare room as you asked." Her voice was high but soft as she spoke, bowing politely to Malfoy before staring up at the curly haired brunette beside him.
"Hello." Hermione greeted warmly, extending her hand to the small creature.
"Miss Granger, it's an honor, Miss." She squeaked, introducing herself excitedly before pulling Hermione towards the stairs. "Come, I will show you the room. It's right next to the library." Her hand felt incredibly large in the small elf's grasp as she allowed herself to be lead up the stairs, Malfoy snickering behind her.
The room was considerably larger then she expected. A Queen sized bed sat between two, full length windows with a love seat and empty bookcase near the door. The walls were painted a warm, inviting butter yellow, looking out of place in contrast to the rest of the mundane home. "You put so much work into this, I can tell. I appreciate it." She thanked the elf kindly while Draco stayed out in the hall, allowing her space.
"Winky is happy to help, Miss." Once she was gone, a deafening silence fell over the room. Hermione sat on the edge of her new bed, legs dangling over the side. She peered through the open doorway at her new shadow, now leaning against the banister just outside her room, gazing down at the lower level.
"Am I to assume the Master of the house sleeps in an even fancier room them this?" She called out to him with an exaggerated, teasing voice.
"You want to see my room, Granger?" He arched a brow suggestively in her direction. Before she could inform him that she would rather drop dead, a muffled voice came from across the hall, catching both their attention.
"Are you talking to yourself out here, Dad?" A young girl asked from a few doors down. At the sound of his paternal title, Hermione got to her feet and met him in the hallway. "Who's that?" His outspoken daughter asked, now fully out of her room. Draco could feel the anger pouring out of Hermione in waves, staring up at him as she stood a full head shorter by his side.
"This is Hermione Granger. She'll be staying with us for a while." He explained, looking only at his daughter and not so much as glancing in the Gryffindor's direction.
"Is this another work thing I wont understand?" Cassie asked, meeting them near the stairs.
"Yes." He answered simply, keeping the severity of the case to himself as not to worry her.
"I'm Cassiopeia." The ten year old was almost as tall as Hermione, with straight blonde hair falling to the middle of her back. She wore a pair of dark green flannel pajama bottoms with a plain white t shirt. Her feet were bare with toenails a glittering shade of blue. Hermione struggled to find the words as she took the young witches extended hand.
"It's a pleasure." She managed to push the words from her throat even as she stood, stunned. Draco chuckled beside her.
He wrapped his arms around his daughter and kissed the top of her head. "Did you finish your school work?" He asked, still feeling the heat of Hermione's gaze against his back as he ignored her.
Cassie nodded, her own arms tight around her fathers waist. "I'm just going to read in the library before bed, if that's ok."
"Not too late." He reminded her before she disappeared, bouncing down the corridor. He turned to find Hermione's mouth open, ready to speak, but he cut her off.
"It's been one hell of a day. Any chance you can yell at me over a glass of wine?" He asked, leaving her to stand, lips parted, at the landing while he descended the stairs and headed for the kitchen.
By the time she found her feet and followed, he was already pouring a fragrant red wine into two glasses. "You're angry." He stated outright, sitting on the plush, black bar stool framing the marble island. She sunk down beside him, taking the other glass with a heavy sigh.
"I'm worried." She corrected, taking a long sip of wine. She welcomed the alcohol eagerly as it helped relax her muscles and slow her racing mind. "I specifically asked if you lived alone." She snapped, meeting his steel eyes.
"I told you I wasn't married. It's not my fault you didn't follow up on that." He smirked, clinking his glass against hers mockingly before taking a large sip.
"How do you have a teenage daughter? Did you get some poor girl pregnant at school?" She asked curiously as her anger faded into simmering anxiety. The laugh he emitted was something she'd never heard before. It was a genuine, hearty sound that brought a small curve to her own lips.
"We were out of school, just barely." He explained, topping off both their glasses. "I was 18, so she's not a teenager yet. She'll start Hogwarts next year though."
When she didn't respond, he looked over at her with a knowing gleam in his eyes. "We're going to be working together on this case for the foreseeable future. Go ahead and ask your questions. I promise to be nice." He said, dramatically crossing his heart and pointing to the sky.
"You have a ten year old." She whispered in disbelief. "Where's her mother?" She swirled the deep red liquid around her over sized goblet.
"Astoria wasn't interested in having a daughter. Without the status that comes with mothering a pureblooded Malfoy heir, she all but cast the baby aside. It's been just the two of us since the beginning." He explained, draining his glass before pushing it aside. He folded his hands and turned fully towards her, their knees brushing against one another. "My turn for a question." He demanded, wanting to avoid any more emotional talk about the nontraditional life he lead as a single father.
Before he could ask it, she interrupted with an unusually timid tone. "She's lovely. She has a better life with one parent then most kids have with two. You should be proud." She complimented casually, dragging her finger along the rim of her glass.
"Careful." He warned, his voice low. "I might start to think you don't hate me."
She rolled her eyes, staring him down confidently over the top of her glass. "I never hated you, Malfoy."
"That's bullshit. You avoided me like the plague even after we cleared the air and I started hanging out with Potter." He called her out. "Not that I blame you." He shrugged, wanting her to know there was no judgment.
"I avoided you," she started, using his own words. "Because you reminded me of a traumatic time in my life. That's no ones fault. It's just a fact that made meeting up for drinks with you and Harry something I was uncomfortable doing." She explained, worrying her lower lip and hoping she didn't offend him. "Maybe we can work on being friends now that we've kind of been forced into it."
"You sure know how to make a man feel special." He smirked, effectively lightening to heavy mood.
"I'm going to need more of this if we are going to play 20 questions." She said, raising her empty glass with a sigh. He poured the rest of the bottle into her glass, grabbing a new tumbler for himself. She watched his back, undetected, as he dropped three cubes of ice and a healthy amount of firewhisky into his glass. There was no denying he was fit, the muscles in his shoulders on display under his thin black T shirt as he moved fluidly around the kitchen. The veins in his arms stood out against his pale skin, rippling with strength when he leaned against the counter in front of where she sat.
"I'm surprised Potter let's anyone near you. He was enraged this morning when he told me about the letter and theft." He explained, pouring himself another glass of amber liquid even as his head swam with the alcohol he'd already consumed.
"I was pretty hysterical when I apparated to Grimmauld Place after it happened. It's not every day a werewolf sneaks into my bedroom and steals my clothes." She said. The sigh that escaped her throat was shakier then she intended.
"When the Snatchers brought the three of you here, what happened between you and Greyback? I was so busy keeping an eye on my mother, I had no idea what was going on in the dungeons." He explained, popping open another bottle of dry, red wine to pour into her glass. If he was going to make her relive the worst moments of her life, it was only fair he provide the liquid courage they'd both need to make it through this conversation.
"They kept me separate the entire time. I could hear Harry screaming for me, but he seemed so far away." She told him, pulling nervously at her nail as she revealed to the man she least expected the events of that day. "Bellatrix came often to try legilimency on me, but I was able to keep her out. I guess she thought a different kind of scare tactic might work, because she brought Greyback with her right before Dobby rescued us. Tossed him in the cell with me and locked the door." She took a deep breath as the memory played out behind her eyes. "He said a lot of things, but one of them sunk into my chest." She shrugged, keeping her voice as casual and steady as she could, Draco's steel gray eyes never leaving hers.
"He said he wants to put baby wolves inside my belly." She watched his jaw tighten, his eyes snapping away from her so he could toss back the rest of his drink. He slammed the empty glass back on the island as she continued. "I was only 17, so you can imagine how that might've shaken me."
His teeth ground together before managing a response. "Did he say anything else?"
"He said he wanted his babies to have my pretty face. Then, after a few dozen pups," She quoted grotesquely, "He'd eat me." She finished bitterly, standing from her seat to pace the length of the kitchen anxiously.
"You never mentioned this conversation to Potter? Or even Weasley over the last ten years?" He asked, shocked she would keep such a thing a secret.
She stormed back over to the island, leaning across from him with her fingers curled angrily into the marble surface. "How would I go about telling my dearest friend, who screamed for me down the hall as it was happening, that a werewolf wants to rape, impregnate, and devour me? Of course I never told them." She huffed, as if his question was outrageous. "Although, I'm sure Harry will find out now."
"He just wants to keep you safe." He reasoned, reaching across the space to grab her hand gently.
She looked up, taken aback by the comforting gesture. "You knew I wouldn't agree to move in with a child living here." She lowered her voice, unruly curls framing her face as he let go of her hand.
"This isn't some kind of favor I'm doing for Potter. This is my job; One I happen to take very seriously."
"What if something happens to her because I'm here?" Draco held a hand up to stop her impending rant. His forearms flexed powerfully against the counter as he leaned down with more force, his eyes dark.
"I would never let anyone touch my daughter. She will be escorted to and from school and otherwise confined to the house. Which I would be doing regardless, because an extremely dangerous criminal is on the loose."
"I just don't want anyone to get hurt because of me." She whispered. "Especially a little girl."
"I know you don't." He replied, taking their glasses to the sink. "Every wizard in the country is looking for him. With any luck, this will be over within a month."
"He could kill dozens of people by then." She murmured sadly.
"I don't doubt that he will. I imagine every day we don't catch him and someone dies, it will eat away at me." He strode over to her in two long paces, pushing a single index finger under her chin until she stared up at him. "But my job is making sure one of those killings isn't you."