The Sugar Quill
Author: JiminyC (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Unmade  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Unmade

Disclaimer: The characters & settings of this story are borrowed, with all respect, from the mind of JK Rowling. Since I’m coming clean, I also should admit that I borrowed a cup of sugar from a neighbor last Christmas that I still haven’t repaid.

 

Unmade

 

"Come on, then, Goyle…I’m waiting!" Draco looked down at the Quidditch pitch, holding onto his broom with one hand. He had been practicing for an hour and Goyle’s 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 towards Goyle.

"Honestly, why do you bother? The way you throw - wouldn’t even be a challenge for Potter!" he snarled, pressing it back into Goyle’s 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 can’t 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!"

"Wait…you’re a leprechaun, aren’t you?" Draco asked, holding him fast.

"Oh, and I suppose you’ll be thinking you’re 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 right?"

The leprechaun’s eyes widened. "Oh…is it a Malfoy that you are, then?"

Draco felt his shoulders straighten. "You’re familiar with my name?"

"Aye, ‘tis a name I’ve heard about. Well, well. You a Malfoy and all, I expect you’ll be asking me to grant you a wish, seeing as how you’ve taken me at me naptime." He flicked his eyes up at Draco with a beatific expression. "Tell me, then, what’d a Malfoy be wishing for?"

There was a moment’s silence while Draco pondered the possibilities…then the 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?

"It’s just that…if you could only see the look on yer face! Sure, and you’re thinking of wishing for gold, as if you haven’t got enough as it is. Or you’re wishing for power, which you’ll be having, in good time…as yer Da’s a powerful man, and no mistake. Never a thought to wish for that you’ve NOT got…such as compassion or kindness or the eyes to see right from wrong." He pointed a finger of his free hand at Draco’s chest. "If the choice be yours, young Malfoy, how will you be making it?"

Draco’s face filled with scorn and anger. "Save your wish. You have nothing I want." He flung the leprechaun’s 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 that’s given, but not taken
Becomes the giver’s 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 voice:

"A Malfoy by blood, by appearance and voice,
And now, as you’ll have it, a Malfoy by choice.

The wish was unmade, and there’s 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 you’ll 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.

 

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