Of Dwarves and Stewed Lucius

Lucius Malfoy blinked. Several times. Still clutching the ancient amulet above his heart, he looked disbelievingly at what was a very handsomely outfitted workshop. He looked around quickly, but he was alone in the room.

"What the…" he said, pocketing the rune-covered stone and making his way toward a bench where an array of carved metal boxes sat in differing stages of completion. Iron gleamed lustrously and silver sparkled in various recesses as Lucius stared at chalices, sword-hilts, chain mail, a crown…

He must have said the spell horribly wrong to be wherever he was. But that was impossible. He had researched it thoroughly, even translating the sigils, or so he thought. Surely his ancestors hadn't made a mistake. No. They were Malfoys. Being able to trace precious items was in their blood. He reached out his hand toward a beautiful filigreed armband.

"If you value that hand and care to keep it, you will not put your fingers any closer."

A gruff voice sounded behind him and Lucius spun around, his robe flying as he instinctively shook his wand down his sleeve. It went straight into his hand, but was promptly snatched away. Lucius paused, suddenly defenseless and rather disconcertedly inches away from a glistening axe.

"How did you get into my workshop, Elf?" the rumbling voice spat below the wicked blade.

"Elf?" Lucius took precious seconds to avert his eyes down the weapon. The axe was wielded by a very short, very hairy, and very angry looking… what? Man? Surely not. Had he managed to send himself to a time when garden gnomes had learned to arm themselves?

"I am Lucius Malfoy," he said in his most commanding and authoritative voice. "What in Merlin's beard are you?"

"What did you say, Elf?" the troll-like creature rumbled, moving the axe closer to Lucius' face and stowing his precious wand in its wide belt.

"I am not an Elf. I am a pure-blood Wizard."

Dark, oily eyes squinted at him from under bushy sienna eyebrows. "A wizard?'

Thank Merlin! Lucius thought, garnering all spare mind power toward his wand, attempting to summon it through will alone. At least I'm making some sense to the gnome. "Yes. A Wizard. And you are…" Lucius paused, hoping the evolved gnome would illuminate him, since he did still possess his wand. For the time being.


"Favík," Lucius echoed, wondering why his wand was still resolutely stuck in the gnome's belt, but grateful that the hairy thing had also sheathed his axe.

"Favík, of the house of Vram. At your service." He bowed, his long beard brushing the floor.

Lucius stuck out his lower teeth and sucked on his upper lip, something he did only subconsciously and only when exceedingly perplexed. Which was almost never. Gnomes didn't have names, did they? He was still puzzling over his situation when the creature righted itself.

"Come, master wizard!" The gnome was quite cheery now. "You shall join us for dinner and some ale. My apologies for thinking that you were an Elf. We don't see many wizards, and they have looked far older than you appear."

"No, that's understandable," Lucius said, his blue eyes fixed on his wand, still out of reach. "I must have caused quite a fright, showing up here…" he purposefully let his voice trail off, the tone begging for clues.

"Erebor?" the gnome offered, helpfully.

"Ah, yes. Erebor." Lucius nodded his well-groomed head in sympathy, then turned to precede the hairy thing out of the workroom, Favík's arm gesturing toward a corridor. Lucius wasn't looking at the doorframe.

"Mire and mudbloods!" he swore, having smashed his forehead against the lintel. He winced as he rubbed at the new tender spot above his eyebrows.

"Oh! Do be careful!" Favík said a bit too late and in a decidedly not sorry voice. "These halls are obviously made to Dwarvish standards, not those of tall wizards."

"Of course, of course, think nothing of it," Lucius answered, forcing a congenial tone while foul epithets ran through his mind.


He was at a loss.

Lucius followed the Dwarf down several corridors, the sound of their footfalls ricocheting from the stone. The ceiling was high enough that Lucius could walk without stooping, and since this Favík/gnome/Dwarf-creature remained silent, he took the opportunity to absorb as much detail about his surroundings as he could. Sturdy-looking wooden doors dotted the otherwise plain walls, save torches burning in brackets. Each door had a single metal rune on it, but despite his extensive studies of myriad languages, especially those known for their potency in curses, Lucius couldn't begin to guess what they represented.

The Dwarf led them up a set of stairs to a high-arched entryway, the massive doors open to the inside. Lucius kept his composure, but he couldn't help biting his tongue. There were dozens of the hirsute things, sitting at long tables and eating from noticeably ornate iron plates. He'd never seen so much bushy hair in all his life. Every last one of them had a long beard and hair trailing down its back. Lucius itched to get his hand on his wand and perform a massive shaving spell, but his fingers grasped at air. The creatures stared at him, so he stood even straighter and returned their gazes with a haughty glare.

They stopped at the end of the board in front of a Dwarf in a high-backed chair, a large, gem-encrusted goblet in his hand.

How garish, Lucius thought, though he couldn't help but admire the quality of workmanship. Once he figured out where on Merlin's green earth he had ended up, he could find a way to get one. It certainly would go nicely with those patens from his great-uncle in Bavaria…

"Náin, King of Erebor. I present Malfoy the Wizard."

Favík gestured toward Lucius, bowing deeply at the waist to the king.

King, eh? Lucius pondered. Now we're getting somewhere.

With a flourish, Lucius swirled back his robes as he dipped forward slightly, showing both his impeccably tailored Italian purple pants as well as the fact that he was disarmed, though he had every intent to remedy the latter as soon as possible.

"Lucius Malfoy." He paused, wondering what he could add that would be to his advantage among these short, furry creatures. "Wealthiest wizard in all of England."

The dark eyes of the king glittered. He might have been smiling, but it was impossible to tell.

"I did not think Wizards were interested in riches," he said in a low voice. "Regardless, you have come at just the right time. Obviously you are here to assist us with our dragon troubles."

Lucius stared at the king, his pale eyes widening in the ensuing implicating silence. "Dragon troubles?" he repeated, wishing wistfully that he had his ebony walking stick. He was damn fine at toying with it as a diversion.

"Yes. We've fought several of them off, but that only seems to make the rest of them more bold." Náin pointed a meaty finger at the wizard. "Surely you know how to rid us of their presence."

"But, of course," Lucius said immediately, feigning insult. Dragons, dragons, his mind whirled. I don't know a bloody thing about dragons. Dark Magic, yes; discipline, most certainly; what flavor marmalade Lord Voldemort liked best on his toast in the morning…

A thought came to him. "Tonight, this Favík here will bring me a map of your lands and the location of the dragon caves."

"Lairs," Favík grumbled. "Not in caves."

"We wizards," Lucius emphasized pompously, "may use different terms."

Both Favík and Náin looked dubious. Lucius supposed that was their expression, anyway; their eyebrows really could use a trim. Or bushwhacking. He plowed ahead.

"Cave, lair. Regardless, I shall need a map, since this is my first visit to your realm. If your hall and talented subjects are any indication, then I will be most overwhelmed."

The king's face brightened at the compliment, not picking up on its insincerity.

"I shall also need to have my wand returned to me," Lucius said pointedly to Favík, extending his hand in a commanding manner.

The Dwarf looked over at King Náin, who steepled his fingers at the top of his beard.

"Well yes, of course," the king snapped gruffly. "How else is he to wield his power without his-"

"Wand. My very powerful wand," Lucius interrupted.

Favík made a very displeased sound in the back of his throat. "He did not ask permission to enter my workshop, and had I not stopped him, he would have touched an unfinished piece. You know that is déandorkh."

The last word sounded as though the creature was chewing gravel.

They must have their own language! Lucius marveled. Quite advanced for gnomes.

"He's a Wizard, not a Dwarf, and may not know of our ways," the king insisted, displeasure in his voice.

"Fine." Favík took the wand from his belt and grudgingly handed it to Lucius, who caressed it in a nearly obscene manner.

"Thank you, King Náin of Erebor. You will not regret this," Lucius said, eyes flashing and fishing about in his mind for a hex that could kill all of them at once. He looked around quickly and saw that the room had filled during their discourse. It suddenly occurred to him that he didn't know how to get back to the Manor. Perhaps if he did come up with a way to eliminate these dragons which, with his wand back in his possession, should be a fairly simple task, the hairy things could guide him to another wizard, since obviously there were others here. And he could probably talk this king into giving him a very pleasing reward. He swept his robes around in the most elegant manner his could muster, surprised at his change of heart even as he accepted it.

"Favík, please show the Wizard to a room on the lapidarist's corridor," the king said, reaching down for his chalice. "A map and food will be brought to you shortly."

Lucius nodded his head and followed Favík out of the dining area. It was at their second set of stairs when his bladder insistently reminded him that he needed a toilet. Now.

"Gno- Favík?" he asked, tapping the Dwarf on the shoulder with his wand.

"What?" He spun around, appearing livid.

"I am in need of… well…" Lucius gestured as gracefully as possible toward his groin.


The wizard rolled his eyes, exasperated. "A privy."

The Dwarf wrinkled his nose before pointing to an unmarked door they had just passed.

"Thank you, fine fellow."

Moments later, as Lucius relieved himself into a stunningly carved urinal, he acknowledged that he was in a very odd situation.


Lucius awoke in the dark of night, sensing more than actually hearing the thunder and rain dousing the land. Eventually he went back to sleep.


In the morning Lucius went to the same unmarked door, taking the provided washcloth and soap before performing his morning ablutions. He bathed, performed a shaving spell (he'd tried using his wand the night before and was quite relieved that his magic still worked), then cast a lustra on himself, smiling at the way his platinum hair, cascading across his shoulders, shone in the light. Back in his room, he did fifty situps (how else was he to keep his figure?), stood balanced on his head for ten minutes, then stared at the wall and contemplated both how fabulous his life would be when Lord Voldemort was in power and wondered how on Merlin's beard he was going to get back to it.

The gleam on his teeth seemed to alarm Favík. That, or perhaps it was that Lucius heard the Dwarf coming down the corridor and burst open the door to welcome it. Most unfortunately, the heavy oak swung into the creature, which then proceeded to swear in its language. Lucius assumed it was swearing; it all sounded as though the hairy thing were gargling boulders.

"My apologies, Favík," Lucius said, taking out a handkerchief so the gnome-creature could wipe the blood off of his face. "Breakfast?"

The russet-haired Dwarf continued to mutter incomprehensible obscenities in its own language as they made their way to the dining hall.

After a sturdy meal and stout coffee, Lucius followed the King and at least two dozen Dwarves out into the desolate lands that flanked the Iron Hills. The region had obviously been thirsty for rain; Lucius breathed deeply the unique scent of petrichor, his refined nostrils flaring in the grey morning.

"Today, we reap the wild wind!" he ejaculated, pale tresses blowing in the rain-scented breeze.

King Náin stared at him. "You are a Wizard?" he confirmed.

"Pure-blooded," Lucius assured him. "Thirteen generations."

Eyes one shade short of midnight gazed menacingly at him.

"Right. Axes!"

All of the Dwarves in the company hefted their blades and turned them in their hands from left to right, the deadly iron shining in the dim sunlight.


Three hours later, Lucius was rather sorry that he was wearing his dress shoes and not his boots, but Merlin knew that he would never wince in front of these Dwarf-people. At least he had his wand, which would certainly stand them in good stead seeing as how he was supposed to take out a whole slew of dragons. He'd done his homework the night prior, and knew that there wouldn't be just one of the scaly, winged creatures. There would be a whole pack, and they would probably try and talk him out of killing them.

Why shouldn't they speak, just like these evolved gnomes?

Lucius flipped an annoying bit of fringe from his face and contemplated his fate as he clomped across the well-trod earth. He was supposed to have been at his third cousin once-removed's house, pilfering through his designer silver; not surrounded by hairy, irritating beings that wanted him to destroy a dragon's den. And not one of them had offered to arm him, not one link of chain. Granted, the edges on their axes did look quite sharp, but one hex from his wand should take care of the lot of the fire-breathing animals.

Just around that time Lucius realized he had a really painful blister on his pinkie toe on his right foot. Pixie's piss, he swore to himself.

As he and the Dwarf convoy crested a hill, he saw the dragon caves. It occurred to him that he really didn't want to into any kind of fray with a full bladder.

"I'll be right with you," Lucius said, motioning elegantly to a copse of trees. "Shan't be a moment."

The King huffed an impatient sigh as the rest of the entourage continued down the path to their destination.

Imposing himself on an unwitting aspen, Lucius cast a translation spell on himself, hoping it would work properly in this perplexing locale. Merlin only knew where he really was; in looking at the charts and maps that he'd acquired the night before, he seemed to be utterly lost. It was England, he was nearly sure, but somehow he'd managed to end up in an alternate reality far from anything he recognised. He was in this for the jewelry, not battling dragons.

He slid his snake-embossed buttons back into their well-tailored buttonholes and contemplated his plan of attack as he stalked back to the Dwarvish phalanx. According to all that he'd read, dragons appeared to hoard treasure, much of it stolen from the gnome-creatures. Hence Operation GUBOST (Give Us Back Our Shiny Things) as Lucius now thought of it. These wars over treasure had been going on for decades. Given the size difference between Dwarf and Dragon, Lucius had come to the conclusion that it was the Dwarves' pathological inclination to hold a grudge that had kept them in a near-constant battle over their metal and gems. Much like the Malfoy family, truth be told.

"Master Wizard!" The Dwarf-King addressed him, nodding his head toward the dragon caves. "We will be waiting should you need us. May the luster in your eyes never grow cold."

With a slight sneer, Lucius bowed forward, sweeping his robes as menacingly as possible. "I will be certain to let you know if I need your assistance."

He strode toward the largest cave, wand at the ready. He entered the dark cavern without incident and stood in the gloom, letting his eyes adjust to the lack of light. "Lumos," he incanted, raising his wand and gesturing around the room. He made his way further in, treading gingerly on the uneven earthen floor. The path led downward without many twists and turns, Lucius determinedly following the trail into the bowels of the mountain. Lucius had never actually seen a dragon up close, and he wasn't relishing the thought of doing so now. He was an accomplished Death Eater, however; as long as his magic held out, he had no qualms throwing around a few Avada Kedavra's to get the job done. What worried him more was how to get back to the Manor, being sure that he had an opportunity to raid Favík's workroom before he left.

A deep rumbling noise drew him up short and he paused mid-step. The air had become warmer, and with the back of his left hand, he wiped off the sheen of sweat that beaded above his eyebrows. Lucius looked back over his shoulder to see if any of the Dwarves had decided to follow him, but he appeared to be completely alone. Excepting, of course, the indubitably massive dragon he was about to disturb, interrogate, and kill, presumably in that order.

"Come closer, sweet smelling one."

The voice was low and strangely endearing, though the smell of sulfur that accompanied it nearly made Lucius gag. So the dragon could speak- this was a definite coup. Lucius could bandy platitudes for as long as need be. He rounded a corner and found himself peering into a vast room, its roof so high that it vanished into the dark. Seconds later he attention was trapped by a nearly blinding, luminous pile of… well… everything. Gold, silver, shields, crowns, baubles, chalices, necklaces, chests, candlesticks, swords. On and on it went, enough to make even a goblin forsake his beloved Gringott's. Sprawled on top of his glittering guerdon was a decidedly contented looking dragon, his honey-colored scales shining in the light of torches lit on the walls. Chrysoprasic, half-lidded eyes drifted to where Lucius stood, marveling both at the treasure and its colossal owner. The dragon opened its wings as though to fluff them before settling them against his armored, muscular shoulders.

"I have not smelled your kind before," the dragon said, flicking out a scarlet tongue, nostrils flaring. "What are you and how are you called?"

Lucius steeled his shoulders, his wand pointed directly between the dragon's disconcerting green eyes. "I am a pure-blood Wizard. Lucius Antonius Guillaume Malfoy, the Eighth."

The dragon let out a small puff of smoke which drifted lazily toward the ceiling.

"I have not eaten wizard before," the dragon mused, its gaze focusing on Lucius' wand. "I suspect you shall be quite tasty."

"I wouldn't count on that," Lucius replied haughtily, brandishing his wand and wishing that sweat wasn't meandering from the small of his back to places indelicate in his leather trousers. "Besides, you should know that there is a small army of Dwarves outside of your cave, and they seem determined to take back the treasure upon which you currently sit."

The dragon let out a sigh. "Ridiculous, hairy things- quite a bother, really, though they are delightfully crunchy," it went on, raising its eyelids so that three-quarters of its verdant orbs shone directly at Lucius.

For his part, the wizard was suddenly distracted by two distinctly unexpected and decidedly unpleasant sensations. He felt his mind being probed and a millisecond later, closed it against the mental intrusion, flabbergasted that a dragon had the ability of an accomplished Legilimens. In addition, his hand felt as though it were on fire. Lucius' mouth flew open in anticipation of raging against the soft-spoken, death-wish-wanting dragon, but instead a torrent of painful exclamations and profanity poured out.


The dragon had shot out a thin, perfectly-aimed jet of flame from its mouth straight at Lucius' wand, which immediately felt like a poker burning a brand into his palm. He dropped it, snatched up the hem of his robes and began beating at it in an attempt to put out the blue flames licking at the one thing that could get him back home.

"Oh!" the dragon purred from high above Lucius' wild gyrations. "Another one! Such a feast."

Lucius shot up and whirled around, finding himself face to face with-

"Take my hand," Severus snarled.

The absolute absurdity of his situation prompted Lucius to adopt an attitude of debonair bravado. "Are you giving me your friendship?" he asked, clasping Snape's bony fingers.

"No," Severus said, revulsion etched in his features. "I'm merely saving you from an untimely charbroiling and allowing you the chance to reclaim the Manor."

"Reclaim the Manor?" Lucius let go of Snape's hands and grabbed the front of his black robes. "I haven't been gone but a day! Wait- that was you before, wasn't it, poking in my head?"

"Of course," Severus spat. "I had to make sure it was you. Draco couldn't find your magical signature anywhere, assumed you were gone for good, and when I left, moments ago, he was doing a pole dance for dozens of his admirers. You wouldn't believe the orgiastic revelry I was forced to witness."

Lucius watched Severus' eyes pan upward to the dragon behind them.

"Where exactly are we, Lucius?"

"Erebor. Somewhere back in time, I believe. The gnomes talk, and they have such beautiful things, Severus, you must let me go back to-"

"Shut up," Snape hissed, clutching Lucius to him and pulling out a Tongue-Tying Toffee wrapper, obviously a portkey. "We're going back to the Manor and you are never going to use whatever spell that was ever again and you will thank me once a day for the rest of your ridiculously fortunate life."

"My savior," Lucius swooned as Severus pressed his lips together in displeasure until they were nearly invisible.

"Only in your dreams, you insufferable, greedy sycophant."

"I love it when you use big words." Lucius kissed Snape on the cheek.

Looking as though his eyes would roll all the way into his head, Severus shook his head and disentangled himself from Lucius' arms. "There aren't enough Obliviates in this world for what I've experienced in the past hour. Please don't add to my misery." With a last glance at the very interested dragon, Severus held out the portkey. "You take care of Draco's party. I'll be in your library, drinking your oldest Scotch and lots of it."

"Thank you," Lucius said as he felt as though his insides were being pulled out of him. He despised traveling by portkey, but in this instance it was far better than being roasted by a dragon or attacked by livid Dwarves.

True to his word, Severus had keyed his transportation so he was suddenly plunked down in the middle of the Manor ballroom. There were people everywhere and the music was so loud he couldn't think. Using wandless magic, he cast a silencio, and in the ensuing quiet, he walked to a chair and stood on it. He focused his eyes on his son, whose face bore a mixed expression of surprise and fear, despite being conveniently sandwiched between two handsome young men.

"My name is Lucius A. G. Malfoy. This is MY MANOR," he said, calmly but forcefully. "I will now be spending the evening in MY WINE CELLAR, and I do not wish to be disturbed." He gazed around at the group, smoothing his platinum hair to his scalp. "Just be sure that you are all gone by morning."

With a slight twitch at the corner of his lips, he stepped down and strode out of the room, nearly colliding with Severus, who was looking at him as though he'd suggested that Arthur Weasley would make a smashing Minister of Magic.

"Have you lost your mind?" Severus seethed as Lucius joined them arm in arm, heading toward the stairs that led to his wine collection envied through wizarding England.

"Entirely possible. Care to join me? I hear sanity is quite overrated."

They began down a curved staircase as Severus emitted a resigned sigh. "I suppose. It makes as much sense as anything else going on here."

Lucius hummed along to a bar of the Weird Sisters' song "Bring Out Your Dead" that drifted from the renewed party. He turned to his companion. "Severus, I'll need a new wand. Care to go to Ollivander's with me tomorrow?"

There was only an uncharacteristic whimper in reply.

"Oh good. Thank you."

He gave a passing thought to the dwarf/dragon battle going on in the wake of his abduction, felt a moment of gratitude about his lack of involvement, and decided that Severus did deserve to remain on his Christmas card list after all. It was good to be home.


dé:andorkh- déan (make, making) dorcha- dark, in Irish. Yes, it looks like something-dork. I thought that a 'k' instead of a 'c' would look more Dwarvish. Ultimately I wanted the word to have the sensibility of "sacrilegious," something that just Would Not Be Done. I originally made up this Dwarvish word for my story "Speak, Friend, and Enter" and felt like borrowing it.

This is written for my dear friend licia, who requested a story with the following:
Lucius Malfoy; purple leather pants; a dragon; and lyrics from a song of my choosing by Ultravox.
Happy Birthday, dear heart.

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