Parallel Catastrophes I thru IV (XF/HP) by Vanzetti
Website: Parallel Catastrophes (http://vanzetti.populli.net/pc/pcmenu.htm)
Date: Thursday, February 27, 2003 6:15 PM
Disclaimer: The X-Files Universe belongs to 1013 Productions, Fox Television, and Chris Carter. The Harry Potter Universe belongs to J. K. Rowling and her publishers etc. including Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and whoever was responsible for those movies. I make no claim to ownership of previously copyrighted materials, nor do I make a profit from my use of them.
Parallel Catastrophes I: The Wedding of Lucius and Narcissa by Vanzetti Category: HP/XF crossover snippet (WMM, Marita, Lucius, Narcissa) Summary: Parsifal Parkinson makes a contact, and Marita Covarrubias wears pink.
The wedding was a disaster. Oh, not in any obvious way. It didn't rain, the band wasn't horrible, the guests didn't appear to be developing food poisoning. No fights had broken out, no family feuds erupted, no one was going to be killed the next day in a wizarding duel over some drunken slight. The bride was beautiful, the bridegroom attentive, the parents and friends all doting.
But still, a disaster. From the folds of Narcissa's white chiffon dress to the white roses she had carried down the aisle to the tasteful quartet playing a pavanne, the whole affair oozed good taste and Malfoy money. And that, Marita thought, was the problem.
The night before she had made one final attempt to explain her fears to her older sister, and once more Narcissa had shrugged them off. No doubt trying to use the Freudian psychology she'd picked up in Muggle Studies last year had been a mistake. "Daddy is dead, Marita," Narcissa had hissed at her. "I know that! And Lucius is nothing like him."
"What I mean," Marita had said, "is that you're trying to use Lucius to replace Daddy. Lucius is always telling you what to do, and you like that."
"Don't be stupid. And anyway, someone needs to take care of this family. You don't think that mother is going to do it, do you?"
Their mother was becoming more ghostlike every year since their father's disappearance, and for a while Marita had gotten up early every morning to check and make sure that she hadn't faded away entirely. "Why can't we take care of each other, the way we used to?"
"Oh Marita, you're such a child. When you're a woman you'll understand."
"I'm 14," Marita had objected. "I know about sex."
"But not about love, darling," Narcissa had said.
Love indeed, Marita thought now, watching her sister dance with her new husband. Narcissa could not possibly be in love with that creepy Lucius Malfoy, no matter what she said. It was Malfoy's money and standing that she wanted, that was all.
The pavanne finally ended, and the quartet struck up a waltz. Arturo Goyle was making his way purposefully toward her; she looked around for an escape and when she looked back found an older man standing in front of her. That Mr. Parkinson again, she thought. Not for the first time, she noticed that there was something snakelike about him, something in the shape of his head or the set of his eyes. She wouldn't have been surprised if he's turned out to be a Parselmouth. But he was an old friend of Lucius' family and had walked Narcissa down the aisle, in the absence of their own father.
He held out his hand. "May I?" he asked and she was so surprised that she let him lead her out onto the dance floor. "I don't believe that I've told you how lovely you look, my dear."
She resisted the urge to correct him. Narcissa was the pretty one, and today more than ever. Marita was the smart one, top of her year in Charms and Transfiguration and in the top three of everything else. "Thank you," she managed.
He looked down at her. "I suppose that this marriage will cause a number of changes for you."
Marita had an answer ready for that. "Mother and I are moving into a house on the Malfoy estate. Lucius has been very kind."
"Lucius thinks very highly of you, you know. I suspect he finds you rather daunting."
"Why?" she asked and bit her lip. She could always hope that he would think the question bold, rather than stupid.
Parkinson continued as if he hadn't heard her. "And as you know, he loves you sister very much."
Marita suspected that it would be tactless to tell Mr. Parkinson that she didn't believe Lucius capable of love, and had her doubts about Narcissa. "Yes," seemed the most innocuous comment.
When the music ended he escorted her off the dance floor. "Lucius tells me that you've decided to pursue Muggle Studies."
"I find it interesting."
"It's an unusual choice for a Slytherin."
She had an answer ready for that question, too. "Muggle Studies is an important subject. We need to understand them. They outnumber us, and what happens to them affects us."
"Indeed." He surveyed the room. "Pity more of us didn't agree with you."
She blushed at the praise.
"You may not know, Marita, that my business takes me to New York on a regular basis. Would you like to come with me someday?"
This time Marita kept her questions to herself. Maybe this was just Lucius' way of getting rid of her, or maybe there was something else Mr. Parkinson wanted. She was certain that the entire conversation had been engineered to permit this question.
"Think about it," Mr. Parkinson told her. "I believe that you'd find New York interesting." He bowed slightly and turned to go.
"Mr. Parkinson?" she asked. He turned back. "My sister thinks that Lucius Malfoy isn't a gambler." She could feel how pink her cheeks were. They probably matched her dress.
"Well, not in the sense that your father was. Or is," he corrected himself. "Lucius is unlikely to disappear mysteriously after a wizarding baccarat game in Buenos Aires, for example."
She could feel herself turning even redder, and reminded herself that she had chosen to ask the question; she could hardly object if he mentioned her father.
"But in every other way, my dear," Mr. Parkinson continued, "Lucius Malfoy is the grandest gambler I know, and it is very clever of you to see it. Just look at this crowd." He nodded to her and wandered away.
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Parallel Catastrophes II: Afternoon Tea by Vanzetti Category: HP/XF crossover snippet (Marita Covarrubias, Narcissa Malfoy) Summary: Marita makes a confession, and Narcissa tries to be understanding.
"A Muggle lover? Really, Marita, don't you think that's taking your involvement in Parsifal's little conspiracy a bit too far? I hope you aren't intending to bring him here." Narcissa's gaze flickered around the room as if she expected strange Muggles to leap out from behind the velvet curtains and flowered chairs. The idea of Alex in her sister's sitting room coaxed a smile out of Marita; she could feel the anger which had prompted her to make the announcement draining out of her.
"I was hoping to bring him to that party you're planning to throw for Lucius," she said.
Narcissa flushed. "Please say that that's a joke, darling. You know how Lucius is."
"Lucius is a xenophobic bore. It would be tolerable if he knew anything at all about Muggles, but as it is he just looks like an idiot."
"If you knew anything about what was going on in the Wizarding world, Marita, you would realize that you're the one who's mistaken. Lucius is well-respected in our world." Narcissa stared down her nose at her sister. "Please don't pick a fight with him this evening."
"That isn't very attractive," Marita said, "the way you're looking at me."
"Neither is your know-it-all behavior, Marita. Just because you're an Unspeakable, you think you know everything that's going on. I can assure you that..." She closed her mouth.
Marita took a sip of tea. Damn. Now she was going to have to attend Lucius' party, just to see who was there and what Lucius was planning. And she really couldn't bring Alex, despite her threats. "I'm sure Lucius is perfectly well-respected, sweetheart. I just think he's wrong on certain issues."
"Is that your head talking, or your heart?"
"What?" Marita did her best not to laugh; Narcissa's sense of romanticism would drive her insane one day.
"Well, darling, you must admit that this Muggle lover of yours changes things.. Your children won't be purebred. And so of course you're more likely to favor extending the privileges of the halfbreed and Muggle-born."
The tea Marita was swallowing caught in her throat. When she had finished coughing, she said, "Children? I'm hardly planning to... can we talk about something else?"
Narcissa pursed her lips. "I suppose I ought to be glad that you aren't serious about this Muggle. Perhaps I ought to find you someone more suitable to bring to Lucius' birthday."
"I'd be grateful if you refrained." She already regretted mentioning Alex to her sister. At least the very notion of taking a Muggle to bed would be so disgusting to Narcissa that there was no reason to discuss all the other ways in which Alex was unsuitable. She could imagine him glowering in a corner as Narcissa's latest string quartet played and the house-elves floated the trays of hors d'oeuvres around the room. Or worse, when most of the guests had gone and only Lucius' closest companions remained... No. She really couldn't bring Alex here.
"I only want to help you, darling."
"I know that, Narcissa."
"I know you can't really discuss your work, what you're doing for Parsifal. But I'm not a fool, Marita, and I can see what it's doing to you. I just wish that you had something... for yourself."
Marita stared at her sister, Was Narcissa trying to be understanding? "My work is extremely fulfilling."
Narcissa's nose wrinkled slightly at the word 'work.' "I'm sure it is." Then her face cleared. "Tell me," she said. "your lover. Is he... different?"
"What do you mean?" Surely Nacissa didn't mean...
"Well, being with a man who isn't..." She waved her hand. "...Who can't use charms, and all the rest of it. Do you manage to..."
Marita watched her sister turn pink. "Narcissa, are you asking me what sex with a Muggle is like?"
"One does wonder, you know."
What kind of lurid novels had her sister been reading, anyway? "The charms are not as important as you might think."
"That's all we're going to say about it," Marita said firmly. "I cannot believe that we're having this conversation." It was entirely too tempting to confide in Narcissa. She had no intention of sharing the kind of sordid detail Narcissa was interested in, although she might describe Alex's intensity, the way he focused on her as if she was the only thing in the universe when they were together. But Founders knew she wanted someone with whom she could share her worries for Alex, but she would have to tell Narcissa the reasons behind her worries: the work he had been forced into, her fears about Parsifal and his intentions, the violent divisions within the conspiracy. Those were subjects Narcissa must remain ignorant of: "Unspeakable" was more than a job description in Marita's world. She had already said too much.
"You always were a prude, Marita." Narcissa sounded disappointed. "I wasn't asking for Ministry secrets, you know."
"I know. I..."
"You used to come to me with all your secrets, do you remember?"
"I grew up."
Narcissa sniffed. "It was bound to happen. I suppose there was nothing either of us could have done about it." She looked Marita up and down. "That haircut, though. Did you have to, darling?"
She smiled as Marita began to laugh.
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Parallel Catastrophes III: Hogsmeade Meeting by Vanzetti Category: HP/XF crossover snippet (Marita Covarrubias, Severus Snape) Summary: Marita tries to cover her tracks, and Snape is not flattered.
Her contact was waiting on the outskirts of Hogsmeade. "You're late again, Covarrubias. Some of us have hordes of screaming children to control."
"It's Sunday, Snape," she responded. "You don't teach today. The fresh air will do you good."
"I sincerely doubt it. Are those the new samples?"
She handed over the warded container. "Are you making any progress?"
"I believe I understand the way the consciousness melds itself to the matrix of the oil. It's quite ingenious."
"It's dangerous," she said.
"The most interesting things are, I find. If that's all?"
"A question, Snape," she said. He turned back to her in a whirl of black. She took a deep breath. "Narcissa is making a large party for Lucius. I must appear, and I must appear with an escort.
He tilted his head to one side. "Are you asking me to be that escort, Covarrubias?"
"Not for any romantic reasons, I assure you. But I must bring someone."
"Don't be awkward, Snape, please. I know you have no more interest in me than I have in you, but I need an insider and you've gone to some trouble to ensure that Lucius considers you pliable."
"Not bad, Covarrubias. Insult and blackmail. Unfortunately for you, I intend to have other plans that evening. Why so desperate, anyway? Narcissa must have found you someone especially dreadful."
"I need to distract her," she answered.
Watching Snape think was less enjoyable when his intelligence was focused on her own life, Marita found. She could almost see him raising and discarding possibilities. "It isn't someone she's found, is it? It's someone you've found. Who is it, a Gryffindor? No, it would be worse than that. A Muggle-born?"
"A Muggle? I see why you're desperate enough to ask me."
"Your ability to combine rudeness with self-pity never ceases to amaze me, Snape. I thought you might be interested in whatever Lucius is planning."
"Lucius only has one plan, and I already know it. Your problem, however, interests me."
"I've already had a full dose of horror mixed with prurient interest from Narcissa, thank you. As you've given me your answer, could we consider the subject closed?"
"I might change my mind, Marita," he said.
"To be perfectly honest, I'd forgotten how unpleasant you can be when I decided to ask you."
Snape barked out a laugh. "I had no idea you were capable of perfect honesty. Very well. If nothing else it will generate a refreshing amount of confusion."
"Have you become an idiot? Your desperation touches my heart. I will aid and abet this deception of yours."
"You are only doing this to gain an advantage, aren't you?"
"What else would you expect?" he said. "I doubt we will meet before the party itself. Until then?" He bowed slightly before turning to go.
"Until then," she told his back.
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Parallel Catastrophes IV: A Drink with Malfoy by Vanzetti Category: HP/XF crossover snippet (WMM, Alex Krycek, Lucius Malfoy) Summary: "I suppose it's no different from talking in front of the house-elves."
"Tell me again why you're doing this. And why you're wearing a dress?" Alex Krycek, in his usual jacket and jeans, stood in the doorway; he was staring at his patron in what the older man thought might be amusement.
"I was at school with Lucius' father. Our families have been connected for centuries. Long before the aliens returned to this planet, the Malfoys and the Parkinsons were allied. And these are wizarding robes, Alex. Do try to keep an open mind."
"My mind has been opened enough, thanks."
"Lucius Malfoy is an important man in his own world, but even there he is intolerant."
"Is that your way of telling me not to shoot him if he insults me?"
"You might consider it that, yes."
"Warning noted," Krycek said.
A bell chimed next to the fireplace. "Ah. Here he is."
There was a puff of smoke and a tall man stepped from the hearth. He regarded the room with disapproval as he brushed a few specks of ash from his long white-blond hair. "Parsifal," he nodded. "It was good of you to agree to meet with me."
"You know I could hardly refuse you, Lucius. Shall we go to my study?"
"Of course." With a curt nod toward Krycek he turned to go.
"Alex will of course be joining us," Parkinson said.
"This is no concern of your... what does one call them? Your Muggle hit-man."
"I prefer assassin, myself," Krycek said.
Malfoy's upper lip curved into a sneer.
Krycek kept his face blank.
"Alex knows all my business, Lucius."
"But not mine," Malfoy said.
"I can assure you of his discretion."
Krycek stared coolly at the other man until Lucius nodded his head. "Very well. I suppose it's no different from talking in front of the house-elves."
A muscle jumped in Krycek's cheek but under Parkinson's glare he remained silent.
In the study Lucius accepted a glass of whiskey and settled into one of the generous leather chairs. "I'm sure you're aware, Parsifal, that recent events have shifted the balance of power in the wizarding world. I feel, and there are many who agree with me, that it's time you took more of an interest in your own kind."
"My interest in our own kind, as you put it, would be greater if more of us were willing to pay attention to the threat we all face."
"To help you solve what is, in the end, a Muggle problem?"
"The colonists make no distinction between magical and Muggle," Parkinson said. "But the fact that they remain unaware of our existence could be used against them in the end."
Malfoy smiled. "And wouldn't that be easier and more effective, if the magical world were united under a strong leader?"
"Are you planning to go into politics, Lucius?"
"The Ministry is run by incompetents. I'm talking about a real leader, a strong hand. You know already that Lord Voldemort was only injured by the Potter child. He has regained his strength and soon he will be able to move openly."
Parkinson's glass hit the desk with a sharp clink. "Not that Voldemort business again, Lucius. This is hardly the moment to precipitate a civil war in the wizarding world."
"When Voldemort rises again, who will dare to oppose him?"
"Albus Dumbledore, for one. And quite a few of the witches and wizards he's turned out of Hogwarts since becoming headmaster. And I myself was never quite so taken with Voldemort as the rest of you were."
Malfoy rose to his feet. "Dumbledore is an old fool. And you, Uncle Parsifal... Your involvement in this Muggle conspiracy of yours has led you to forget where your true loyalties should lie. What happens in the Muggle world is no concern of ours."
"Was this the proposition you wished to discuss with me, Lucius? That I agree to join Voldemort's willing servants? You should have known me better."
"You were willing to accept him in the old days."
"In the past I have been willing to accept any number of things which no longer seem quite so palatable. My answer is no."
"You may regret this. I will do what I can but..." Lucius shrugged. "Lord Voldemort is not known for sentimentality."
"Indeed." Parsifal stood up. "I regret that it's come to this. My regards to Narcissa, as always."
Lucius bowed slightly. "No need to move. I can show myself out." He turned and, finding Krycek leaning against the door, shouldered past him on the way out.
"Should I make sure he leaves?" Krycek asked.
Parkinson shook his head. "No need. Lucius no doubt considers spying beneath him." He sighed. "We will have to keep an eye on him."
"Resist or serve all over again?"
"You might say so. I'm not pleased to find myself fighting on two fronts. But if it must be, it must. Marita will be able to help with this." He looked at Krycek in time to see the other man's quick frown. "The two of you will have to resolve your differences if we are all to work together. The fate of the planet outweighs your petty betrayals."
"If you say so," Krycek said. "If you aren't expecting any more guests, I have things to take care of."
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