Disclaimer: Obviously I didn’t make up these wonderful characters. They belong to J.K. Rowling. I just like to have fun writing them.
Author’s Note: Thanks to: Silver Patronus, Jesabelle, twopennystar, Benvolio, Svava, Jo Nicole, Freedom, The Morning Starr, and Shellebelle for their help and support during the UR Ficlet challenge. Thanks also to my brother for all his help. Thanks also to my wonderful beta reader Jedi Boadicea.
A big huge thank you and hug goes to Pearl because I couldn’t have done this without your support! Without that this story would still be sitting on my computer.
Sifting Through Shadow
“You’re going to pay,” said Malfoy in a voice barely louder than a whisper. “I’m going to make you pay for what you’ve done to my father…”
Hours later, in the Slytherin dormitories the words still rang in Draco Malfoy’s ears. He had received an owl from his mother informing him of his father’s whereabouts. The news stung anew every time he thought of it, even days later. It had spread through the school like quicksilver and everyone now knew what his father was, and he had become the son of a known Death Eater. It was all the papers could talk about. The Daily Prophet ran a large piece describing the situation in detail: “Upstanding Citizen Lucius Malfoy Jailed for Ties to You-Know-Who.” Draco had sat staring at the paper in a state of disbelief. If his father, cold, powerful, influential and wealthy, could be thrown in Azkaban by such incompetent fools as the Ministry of Magic then how powerful could Lucius truly… The thought trailed off and Draco quickly wiped it from his mind as absurd. Potter, this was all Potter’s fault a little voice in his head whispered desperately. Yes, Potter would pay for this humiliation, he thought as he drove the last niggling doubt from his mind.
Perfect Potter, with his legions of adoring fans, was once again the golden boy of the magical press. Draco had relished the days when the words Harry Potter were synonymous with raving lunatic. Now Potter was lauded, among other things, as a heroic boy ridiculed unjustly by the wizarding world. “Lone voice of truth” indeed, thought Draco bitterly. It galled him how swift the Ministry and the rest of the magical population were at returning to their adoration of Potter. He would get revenge on Potter and he would get it soon. No one humiliates a Malfoy without retribution…no one.
One week remained before the students of Hogwarts would return home for the summer. Throughout the course of the week Draco plotted feverishly how best to revenge himself on Potter. Sometime in the middle of the week a plan started to take form. He had to be smart about this or risk being caught. There was no hope in getting Potter while he was surrounded by his hordes of fans and various teachers. He would have to wait until the students were aboard the Hogwarts Express. However, even then Potter’s “friends”, Granger and the Weasel, and various other lapdogs, would be at his side straight away. He must manage to get Potter on his own somehow. As Draco sat in the silent common room his thoughts began to wander to earlier in the year…
It was late August and the smothering heat made most people choose to remain indoors rather than face the soaring temperatures. Time was passing all too slowly for Draco Malfoy, as he paced up and down one of the twisting halls of Malfoy Manor waiting for the post to arrive. He had already snapped at two of the house-elves that merely wanted to know if Young Master Malfoy cared for something cold to drink. When was his blasted letter going to arrive? thought Draco impatiently, as he stopped walking suddenly. Of course it would contain his prefect badge…but what if it didn’t? he thought abruptly. The idea itself was ludicrous. Who else could they possibly give it to? Crabbe or Goyle? Theodore Nott? He snickered at the thought. Who would possibly place Crabbe or Goyle in a position of authority? As for Nott, well no one paid much attention to Nott. There was no one more suitable for the position than he. Therefore, there was nothing to worry over. Yet, again his step quickened. He half flew toward the front hall where, surely, his father held today’s post.
Draco involuntarily slowed his pace as he approached Lucius, who had the precious letter clasped in his left hand. He handed it to Draco without a word. Draco had tried to keep his face blank, but could not keep the large grin from his face as the silver Prefect’s Badge slid from the envelope. He scarcely noticed Narcissa glide into the room as he stared at the gleaming piece of silver that rested in his hand.
“Ah Draco, I see that you have been appointed as a prefect this year,” interjected Lucius after a long silence. “We are proud of you,” he added. “It is an accomplishment befitting a Malfoy. See that you perform your duties…admirably.” And without another word he strode from the room.
Narcissa hung back, as if unsure of how to act with her son. She hugged him quickly and he shrank from the touch. She had not embraced him since he was little and he was unused it. Narcissa was rarely openly affectionate toward him, or toward anyone else, for that matter. She looked slightly hurt from his reaction though, but he thought, he was far too old for such childish things as clinging to his mother. “We are very proud of you Draco,” she said finally. He thanked her and she too left the room. He was left clutching the badge in a kind of wonder.
As the memory faded, Draco sat with a slight smile playing about his lips. Then, his face hardened again. He would please his father again, and make Potter eat his words. Draco plotted and planned frantically throughout the remainder of the week. He remained in his dormitory and focused on nothing beyond what hexes he would use on Potter. He wanted things to be perfect. Crabbe and Goyle were hardly any help with things like this so he must ensure that everything went off without a hitch. At last, he decided his best bet at getting Potter alone was to stake out his train compartment. This would work, Draco thought. He would wipe that smug look off of Potter’s face and defend his father’s honour in one morning. He drifted off to sleep with a satisfied smirk on his face. The next morning he strode onto the train confident of what was going to take place.
He awoke an hour later on the floor, flat on his back, covered in every imaginable curse with his mother gazing down on him. Narcissa Malfoy was looking upon her son, an expression of contempt and disappointment on her lovely face, her expression looking as though it had been carved from ice. She looked at Draco with the haughty glare she normally favored for the house-elves. Narcissa did not kneel to help her son to his feet, but instead raised her eyes and asked coldly “Do you wish to explain Draco, why I find you lying hexed on the floor yet again?”
“B…but Mother, I was trying to…” stammered Draco as he got to his feet. “It was Potter and his gang,” he spat. “After what he did to Father I wanted to give him what he deserved,” he finished looking towards Narcissa for approval. He found none in his mother’s reply, however.
“How many times must we tell you, Draco,” said Narcissa wearily, “that it is unwise to side openly against Harry Potter so long as Albus Dumbledore holds power at Hogwarts.”
“But Mother I was only attempting to…”
“Furthermore, Draco,” Narcissa interrupted in a clipped tone, “you would be wise not to squander your energies on such petty schemes, especially during such,” and here she paused, “times. You will take care to comport yourself in a manner befitting a Malfoy,” Narcissa said frostily, “This matter is closed Draco.”
Draco fumed silently. How dare she treat me like a child. Petty scheme indeed, he thought. I was taking revenge into my own hands and she acts as thought I’m a squabbling child. What’s the point of all of this? And why won’t they tell me what is going on?
Draco realized that he was breathing furiously and his mother was giving him a strange look. He made an effort to visibly calm himself. Narcissa said little during the ride to the Manor other than to ask how the end of his year had gone and inform him that his father would be home shortly, circumstances permitting. Her thoughts appeared to be focused elsewhere. Draco latched onto these small crumbs of information, but they were not enough. He wanted more and he had so many questions. How could his father be arrested? What had Lucius been doing in the Ministry? Why was his father doing this if the end result was prison? Lastly, What was he, Draco, supposed to do about it? He knew next to nothing about the events taking place. He wanted to know what was happening. His father had feed him little tidbits of information, which he had used to bait Potter with, but besides those few pieces he was lost as to what was going on in the wizarding world. Unsure of where exactly he stood, his mind swirled with questions that he could not possibly ask anyone.
Upon returning home, Narcissa retired to her quarters and left Draco standing at the foot of the stairwell. The Manor appeared cavernous and a chill ran down Draco’s spine. He climbed the stairs to his rooms without bothering to light all of the lamps. Draco sat in his room without moving for a long while, half in darkness, as the shadows slowly closed in on him.