The Sugar Quill
Author: Jack Ichijouji (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Deathdays  Chapter: Default
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Draco Malfoy stood in the corner of the large dungeon, arms crossed, scowling at the ghosts that were floating around

Draco Malfoy stood in the corner of the large dungeon, arms crossed, scowling at the ghosts that were floating around. Most of them he didn’t recognise, but those that he did he disliked even more.

There was the idiot Hufflepuff ghost, floating around trying to get heads rolling (literally—the Headless Hunt was in attendance). The whiny Gryffindor ghost (why he wanted to celebrate the day his head was nearly lopped off was beyond Draco) and the Grey Lady of Ravenclaw stood conversing with the Bloody Baron, who was the one who had dragged him here. Draco remembered it like it was yesterday. It had actually happened earlier that very day, but Draco had problems with his short-term memory.

The Bloody Baron walked—floated, rather—through the sparsely populated common room. The torches on the wall reflected the ghostly blood on his ghostly robes in a very ghostly way. He stopped once he was in front of Draco.

"What do you want?" the blond boy snapped.

"Malfoy, you’re going to Porpington’s deathday party," the spectre responded.

Draco snorted. "Tonight? You must be joking. I wouldn’t miss the feast for anything," he said.

"Not even for this?" he asked, holding up a plush toy of some sort.

"Puff!" Draco cried, reaching for his stuffed dragon. The ghost held it up higher, beyond Draco’s reach. "How’d you get that?"

"I scared a first year into charming it so I could touch it," the ghost explained with a look on his face somewhere between mischievous and evil. "Now, be a good little Pureblood and come to the party."

"Why me?"

The ghost shrugged. "Of all the students that have come through here, you were the quickest one Sorted. So, here’s the deal. You go, you get your… thing back. You don’t, then we’ll see how Puff holds up against real dragons."

"Hello? Hello? HELLO?"

Draco suddenly realised that someone had been talking to him for some time. He looked up to see a young female ghost, no older than himself, with large glasses and a few silvery spots, which he assumed had been pimples before her death. "Hello," he responded coldly. He thought he knew this girl, and if he did, he didn’t like her.

"Oh, now you decide to grace me with your acknowledgement. I come over here to be polite to you, offer you some food that you might be able to eat—" here the girl motioned to a plate of sugar quills on the table near some rotting fish— "and you just ignore me until I have to practically scream in your bloody ear!" the girl moaned.

Moaning Myrtle, Draco thought. I knew I knew her. Out loud, he said, "Some people would take a hint and go away."

Her eyes filled with tears. "Oh, I see. You’re that Slytherin boy. You don’t like me because I’m… or I used to be… a M—" she broke out into sobs before she could finish.

"A Mudblood, and I assure you, it’s a coincidence." Draco looked at his watch, sighed, and waited for the Baron to be done with his fun.

Suddenly, a look of recognition came upon Myrtle’s face. As quickly as they’d come, her tears dried up. "I know you! You’re a Prefect!" she said, her cheeks darkening.

Draco raised an eyebrow at the girl as realisation set in. "You’re the ghost that always looks in on the Prefects’ baths, aren’t you? I always assumed that was a myth!" He backed away from the spirit, his own cheeks turning pink.

"Well, I used to watch the Prefects," she said, turning almost opaque. "But now I only watch… you."

Draco was somewhere between flattered and repulsed by this. "Why?" he asked, trying to hide the curiosity in his voice with a look of contempt.

"I don’t know. I suppose I just like you better," she said a bit shyly.

"Really?" Draco’s false look of contempt had dropped now; he was starting to like this ghost who liked his bare arse better than Potter’s.

~*~

Draco and Myrtle stood (rather, Draco stood and Myrtle floated) in the corner during the rest of the party. Neither of them noticed how the room was thinning out, nor the fact that Draco hadn’t snarled and Myrtle hadn’t moaned for hours. They were far too interested in each other, be it Draco’s talking about himself, or Myrtle going in-depth about harassing the poor girl who’d inadvertently caused Myrtle’s death.

After some time, when the torches were burning low and the house-elves had already taken away the rotten food, Draco felt a sudden chill. He turned around, and saw the Bloody Baron holding a head very tightly to his chest. It obviously wasn’t his own, as Draco could hear muffled noises of complaint coming from it. "Ready to go, Malfoy?" the ghost asked.

Sighing, Draco turned to his new friend. "I should go. I have an early Herbology class with the Ravenclaws tomorrow. I’ll see you later, I suppose."

At first, Draco thought Myrtle was going to cry, but she just frowned and said, "Okay. I know I’ll see you later. Come by my toilet sometime." Without leaving Draco a moment to respond, she turned around and disappeared through the wall.

The Bloody Baron looked from the wall to the boy and back. "You like that girl, don’t you?" he asked, with a slightly less haunted look on his face. If anything, he was smiling.

"Of course not," Draco responding, staring wistfully at the wall. "She’s a Mudblood."

"You can’t be a Mudblood if you don’t have blood," the ghastly ghost answered. "Be careful with women, boy. Especially dead ones." He nodded sagely, as if he was quite familiar with this type of predicament.

Draco sneered at the ghost. "Leave the toy on my bed and go," he said, leaving the dungeon and heading upstairs. "I’m going for a walk."

~*~

Draco walked around the castle for a long time. Filch rarely patrolled the staircases, as they were too obvious. He preferred to watch the hidden corridors instead. Therefore, the safest hiding place was in the open.

Though it annoyed him to no end, his thoughts kept returning to Myrtle. She likes me for me. Not because I’m rich like Harry Potter, or because I’m so much hotter, although that too is so.

Draco was so lost in his thoughts that he wasn’t watching where he was going as well as he could have been, which tends to be dangerous in a castle where staircases tend to wander.

He was falling before he could stop himself, and he’d somehow wandered far higher than he was used to. He braced himself for the impact, but it never came. Slowly, he opened his eyes, and realised he wasn’t falling anymore. That’s odd. I know I hit. I can see me on the floor right… oh no.

Draco had hit the floor. Hard. And the only witness to it was Draco Malfoy, who was floating above the body.

"I’m dead," he whispered. Some part of his now ghostly brain told him to be panicking, but he was perfectly calm. "No more food. No more fr—wait, I didn’t have any friends." He thought hard for a moment. Come to think of it, I’m not going to miss anything about life—except food—and maybe…

"What does one do when he dies?" he wondered aloud. "I can’t touch anything except Puff and other ghosts, so…" His ghostly eyes lit up and he floated toward a certain restroom. "Oh Myrtle…"

My thanks go out to my beta, who did not so much find many grammatical flaws as repair the flow. Dramatically.

//
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