"Come on, then, Goyle
Im waiting!" Draco looked down at the
Quidditch pitch, holding onto his broom with one hand. He had been practicing for an hour
and Goyles attention span was waning. Draco could see him below, examining the
Golden Snitch in his hand. "Throw it! Make yourself useful!"
Goyle looked up at him, blinked a few times and then hurled the Snitch toward the other
side of the pitch. Draco leaned forward and urged his broom on, speeding toward the flash
of gold ahead. One minute later, it was struggling in his fist and he was flying back
"Honestly, why do you bother? The way you throw - wouldnt even be a
challenge for Potter!" he snarled, pressing it back into Goyles clammy palm.
"Try again. Do it right, for a change."
Goyle turned with a grunt and threw the Snitch as hard as he could toward the Forbidden
Forest. Draco watched in slow surprise as it flew, silhouetted against the trees. He
spared Goyle a momentary glare of disgust, then flew up and away after the Snitch, which
was already fading into the forest.
He could make out the slightest rush of movement ahead. Draco dove toward the ground
and cast his eyes around, searching for a glimpse of gold or the rush of fluttering wings.
Hearing some movement in a low shrub, he jumped from his broom, thrust his hand blindly
into the shrub, closed his fingers around something warm and pulled, rolling backward onto
the ground. He sat up quickly to examine his prize. It was not the Snitch. It was,
however, extremely agitated and rather loud.
"Tis a sad day indeed when a fellow such as meself cant be having a
bit of a sleep without some blighter having him out." The tiny man was clad in
greenery. The redness of his puffing cheeks clashed against the bright fire of his hair
and beard. "Leave off, there, laddie! Set me down and be on yer way!"
youre a leprechaun, arent you?" Draco asked, holding
"Oh, and I suppose youll be thinking youre clever for figuring that
out all on your own!" answered the leprechaun, struggling against his captor.
In the distance, Draco could hear Goyle calling him. "Malfoy! Everything all
The leprechauns eyes widened. "Oh
is it a Malfoy that you are,
Draco felt his shoulders straighten. "Youre familiar with my name?"
"Aye, tis a name Ive heard about. Well, well. You a Malfoy and all, I
expect youll be asking me to grant you a wish, seeing as how youve taken me at
me naptime." He flicked his eyes up at Draco with a beatific expression. "Tell
me, then, whatd a Malfoy be wishing for?"
There was a moments silence while Draco pondered the possibilities
silence was broken by a cackle from the leprechaun. He fell to his knees and brayed
laughter into the forest, scaring some winged creatures from a nearby bush. Draco frowned
and tightened his grip on the tiny hand inside his own. "What are you laughing at?
"Its just that
if you could only see the look on yer face! Sure, and
youre thinking of wishing for gold, as if you havent got enough as it is. Or
youre wishing for power, which youll be having, in good time
Das a powerful man, and no mistake. Never a thought to wish for that youve NOT
such as compassion or kindness or the eyes to see right from wrong." He
pointed a finger of his free hand at Dracos chest. "If the choice be yours,
young Malfoy, how will you be making it?"
Dracos face filled with scorn and anger. "Save your wish. You have nothing I
want." He flung the leprechauns hand away, as if burned. The unexpected motion
threw the leprechaun backward onto the ground. He scrambled to his feet and stared hard at
Draco. Then, raising both his hands into the air, he sang out:
"A wish thats given, but not taken
Becomes the givers own for makin."
Draco shook his head and began to walk away. He dismissed the little man behind him
with a wave of his hand and a disinterested shrug. "Do as you like."
"Stop!" Draco froze. The leprechaun leaped up onto a tree branch close to the
level of Draco's head. His remaining words were quiet, but delivered in the same singing
"A Malfoy by blood, by appearance and voice,
And now, as youll have it, a Malfoy by choice.
The wish was unmade, and theres naught I can do
But to counter a curse that will unmake you, too.
Off on your way now, but mind how you go
Forever youll be as your Da wills it so."
Draco began to walk away, not looking back. As he stepped out of the forest and into
the sunlight, a shudder ran through him and he closed his eyes tight. But gradually, as he
walked back onto the pitch, his confidence returned and he began to sense a powerful
change in himself. He looked around angrily for Goyle, anxious to start wielding some of
his new strength.
The leprechaun remained on the branch, watching his retreat. After a moment, there was
a rustle among the shrubbery and Firenze, the centaur, approached from behind him.
"I watched your jest with that boy. Does he not know that leprechauns have no
power to curse mortals?"
The leprechaun shook his head sadly. "It made no matter. Twas a curse, sure
enough. And by his own hand, at the end of it. Perhaps sometimes the weight of evil is a
friendlier companion than the burden of free will."
He stared after Draco for several minutes and when he turned around, Firenze had gone
back into the forest. The leprechaun jumped down from the tree and with a shake of his
head, went on his way.