The Sugar Quill
Author: Lady Narcissa (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Ferret Day  Chapter: Chapter One
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Only Corgi had better be reading this!

ferret day

Disclaimer: JKR owns all the characters and some of the dialog, and I owe her thanks for inspiring me to write parodies.

This story ©2004 by Lady Narcissa. In this chapter, we reconstruct the Day of the Ferret, and various strange things begin to happen.


chapter one

‘Breakfast time, Draco.’ Goyle’s voice sounded far too loud for the room to contain him this early in the day. Draco’s head pounded but he sat up in bed, stretched, and yawned.

The morning dawned grey and stormy. Draco got up, dressed perfunctorily, and headed to the Great Hall for breakfast. It was another day just like any other day at Hogwarts, without all the luxuries and comforts of home. He waited eagerly for the regal eagle owl that would be bringing special treats from his mother, which he would, once again, neglect to share with even his closest friends. Across the way at the Gryffindor table, Draco noted with some disdain that Potter, Weasley, and Granger sat with their heads together, listening to something that the ridiculous Weasley twins were plotting. Lee Jordan, the patently biased choice for Quidditch announcer, was also in on whatever the latest stupid prank was going to be. Young Master Malfoy was so glad he hadn’t been stuck with the losers on the far side of the hall.

‘Oi, mail,’ grunted Crabbe from his left. As usual, his father’s magnificent owl Persephone fluttered by with Mum’s heavy box of sweets. Goyle looked on like some lovesick puppy as Draco opened the box to reveal a homemade cake, a spider-nest pie, and the usual assortment of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, Chocolate Frogs, and Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum. He tucked them away into his book-bag and sneered at the forlorn look on Goyle’s face as, once again, he received no treats. And why should he share? Crabbe and Goyle had their own parents to send them things. These were for him and for him alone.

He stood and headed off to History of Magic, Crabbe and Goyle at his side just like the morning before. He would spend this class, he knew, with his Quick Quotes Quill taking notes for him as he worked his way through the spider-nest pie, into which his mother always baked a special treat. One time it had been a Galleon, another time a family heirloom ring he knew his father wanted to wait to give him until his sixteenth birthday. His mother was such a pushover; he’d admired it and she’d sent it. It was so easy to get what he wanted from her.

Professor Binns droned on as usual, and as usual Draco paid no attention whatsoever, letting his quill take the notes he would undoubtedly never read. He opened the spider-nest pie beneath the desk and tossed the wrapper aside. As he bit into it, wishing Crabbe would stop making those little whingeing noises, his teeth met something hard. There was the treat, and what a treat it was. A small silver serpent charm, coiled and at the ready.

Draco shook his head slightly; he had an awfully odd feeling he’d gotten one of these same snake charms just the other day—Mother must be slipping. But he took it out, licked the pudding off it, and tucked it away in his robe pocket nonetheless. In short order he’d made his way through the homemade cake (pumpkin today) and torn up the duplicate Chocolate Frog cards. He was bored; Binns was boring; he saw no reason why he should have to sit through this class. He glanced at his timetable: Care of Magical Creatures was next with that oaf Hagrid—and, much to his chagrin, the Gryffindors. Why they insisted on having the two houses study together was beyond him. But there were some things that even a Malfoy couldn’t control at Hogwarts. He should know: his father had tried.

When Professor Binns finally stopped talking about the Goblin Rebellion of whatever year it was (all the Goblin Rebellions ran together in his brain), Draco stood and collected his supplies. He packed his parchment and quills away, once again fingering the snake charm in his pocket. If she sent another one of those, he might start giving them away in return for favours from his friends. Now there was a thought. They’d worship him forever for that.

With Crabbe and Goyle at his side (‘will you give me some breathing room, you mongrels!’), he made his way toward Hagrid’s hut near the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Draco did not like the forest or any of its inhabitants. His idea of enjoying the outdoors more closely resembled staying in a luxury suite with a view rather than gracing the earth with his hands and fingertips. He knew that he was destined for things far more refined than mucking about with that which got one dirty; his white willow wand was proof of that. He remembered his mother’s squeal of delight at Ollivander’s when this particular wand chose him. He had, of course, rolled his eyes in embarrassment—his mother could be something of an idiot. But she was a decent cook who never failed to send him what he wanted, so on that basis alone he’d decided to keep her.

As usual, the Gryffindors were already at class. Hagrid was speaking in that dimwitted manner he had. ‘On’y jus’ hatched, so yeh’ll be able ter raise ’em yerselves! Thought we’d make a bit of a project of it!’

‘And why would we want to raise them?’ Draco heard himself say, and for a moment he was annoyed with himself. This sounded awfully familiar—hadn’t they started on Skrewts yesterday? Hagrid shot him a look of complete non-comprehension; Draco continued. ‘I mean what do they do? What is the point of them?’

Hagrid gaped at him and when he finally found his voice, he looked as though he couldn’t have been more pleased. ‘Tha’s next lesson, Malfoy. Yer jus’ feedin’ ’em today…’

Draco rolled his eyes as Hagrid droned on and on about what they might try to use to feed the Skrewts. Obviously the giant knew even less about these beasts (for they were definitely beasts) than the usual creatures he used to torment them. Draco didn’t see the point—you couldn’t tell one end from the other—but there was no arguing the fact that Care of Magical Creatures was a required class and he would have to make his way through it. Maybe he could force an accident much like he had the year before. That had almost gotten Hagrid taken care of, but not quite. And it was all Potter’s fault, in some way, shape, or form.

Everything was Potter’s fault somehow.

Crabbe and Goyle moved forward to work with the Skrewts; Draco joined them half-heartedly. There seemed to be no point to it other than the point at either end of the Skrewt. It was impossible; an exercise in complete futility. This was so far beneath him. Let the Gryffindors learn to work with these nasty things; he didn’t have to. The mudblood Granger even had the nerve to compare their usefulness to that of dragon’s blood, as if these Skrewts would ever amount to anything. Draco ignored her and instead cast his attention on Pansy Parkinson’s chest as she tried to walk her Skrewt: now there was something worth focusing on. He smiled to himself; the rest of the class passed relatively uneventfully. After an hour they headed back to the Great Hall for lunch. Then it would be time for double Transfiguration, and then dinner.

And then time to hold court in the Slytherin Common Room. That was Draco’s very favourite time of day.

/^~*v*~^\

He’d been waiting for just the right time, of course, and the opportunity presented itself as the students queued up for dinner in the Entrance Hall. Saint Potter, Weasley, and Granger were together, as usual; Draco fingered the newspaper in his pocket. He called out to Weasley, who spun round in annoyance. ‘Your dad’s in the paper, Weasley! Listen to this!’

And he read in a very loud voice indeed, so that the entire crowd could hear him. It filled him with a great deal of glee to watch as Weasley’s face began to redden to match his hair. Draco read the whole article, including the part where Weasley’s father’s name was written in wrong. For some reason that was just too funny; The Daily Prophet would never dare to get his father’s name wrong, would they. By the time he’d finished reading the article, Crabbe and Goyle were howling, slapping their knees, and generally rolling around on the floor.

But there was something oddly familiar about all of this, too… Draco shook it off and said a few choice words about Mrs Weasley’s body shape. And suddenly Potter strode forward to defend his ickle friend with a very pathetic Get stuffed, Malfoy.

Draco was unable to resist that one. ‘Oh yeah, you were staying with them this summer, weren’t you, Potter? So tell me, is his mother really that porky, or is it just the picture?’

To his left Goyle sniggered and muttered ‘good one!’ under his breath, but Potter wasn’t quite so readily put off. ‘You know your mother, Malfoy? That expression she’s got, like she’s got dung under her nose? Has she always looked like that, or was it just because you were with her?’

Draco felt himself flush—no one talked that way about his mother! She was perfect, and only he could say otherwise, and only to himself. ‘Don’t you dare insult my mother, Potter.’

‘Keep your fat mouth shut, then.’ Potter turned his back.

Now that was a mistake. Insult my mum, then turn your back? It’s just too good to imagine…. Draco pulled out his wand and in an instant had cast the spell. ‘Capillus Inflammare!’ A jet of white-hot light streamed from his white-willow wand and just missed the side of Potter’s face. Had it hit him, Potter would be on his knees apologising for his comments, begging for a way to stop his hair from flaming in front of the whole school! That would be some vindication. But…

‘OH NO YOU DON’T, LADDIE!’

Wait… this wasn’t how it was supposed to go! This had already happened, hadn’t it? Or had it been a dream, a déjà-vu, a precognition? Instinctively, Draco curled up into a ball, expecting the worst.

Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

The next thing he knew he was unceremoniously sprawled on the floor, staring up at that stupid enchanted ceiling. Why, oh why, did this have to happen to him? ‘Wait until my father finds out about….’

‘Oh yeah?’ Moody limped forward menacingly. ‘Well, I know your father of old, boy… you tell him Moody’s keeping a close eye on his son… you tell him that from me… now, your Head of house’ll be Snape, will it?’

‘Yes.’ Draco felt his heart sink into the pit of his stomach.

Moody cast him a malevolent glare with his real eye, while the magical one fixed on him unblinkingly. ‘Another old friend. I’ve been looking forward to a chat with old Snape… come on, you….’ And with a painful grasp, Draco found himself being pulled up and marched off to the dungeons in front of the entire school! If his father ever found out….

/^~*v*~^\

Draco sat up in the privacy of his four-poster with a start, head pounding, chills crawling up and down his arms and legs. He heard Moody’s voice echoing inside his brain, a relenteless reminder of the mess he’d made of things just before dinner. His skin itched as though he had fleas, and every time he started to fall asleep he felt himself being bounced mercilessly off the stone floor of the entry hall.

And worst of all, it had been McGonagall who’d had to rescue him. Oh, if his father ever found out!

He pulled the blankets up over his head in abject misery. Snape had actually sided with that Moody character! The nerve of some people. If only he’d been able to hit Harry with that spell….

When he finally slept he did so restlessly. He dreamt of a mirror, and when he looked in it his face was flushed with embarrassment and his arms covered with sleek white fur. He awoke many times, always with the same thought: tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow will be better.

//
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