Enter The Realm of the Pendragon
I Am Draco - Part One: Father To Son
Fandom: Harry Potter
I lay on my back, with my head pillowed on my arms staring up towards the ceiling, watching the dappled light of the morning sun play there. The window closest to the bed was ajar, letting a slight breeze through to wash over my chest. It was barely nine and the heat was rising already, indicating that today was going to be a scorcher.
Voices outside the window drifted up and piqued my curiosity but I felt too lazy to move; instead I strained to make out what they were saying.
"... grass turning yellow over on the north side..."
"... herbaceous border taken over by weeds..."
Rolling my eyes in distaste, I tried to summon up the energy to slide out of bed but only succeeded in turning over and collapsing full length on the mattress. Wearily, I rested my chin on my hands and stared at the carved wooden headboard with a mind that was completely blank. Realising that my bladder was screaming out for relief too loudly to be ignored much longer, I hauled myself to my knees, clambered across the bed and staggered into my bathroom.
Once Nature's call was answered, I turned on the shower and clambered in, wincing as the chilled needle-sharp flow hit my sleep-warmed skin. The water beat down on my head in a vain hope my brain would surrender to the drumming and begin to wake up. With a final wide yawn, I rubbed my hands over my face, started to feel slightly more human and looked around for the soap.
There was one benefit to the mandatory cold shower every morning, I mused some time later, wrapping a large towel around my waist and stepping out onto the tiled floor; it certainly didn't encourage you to hang around. Treading carefully across the chilly floor to the vanity unit, I leaned on the sink to peer into the mirror above it, inadvertently catching some of the bottles crowded there with my elbow and knocking them to the floor. Ignoring them, I studied my reflection with assumed nonchalance.
"Not bad, not bad at all," I muttered in approval, turning my head this way and that and feeling my chin for any stray hairs I might have missed whilst shaving in the shower. I rummaged around the cluttered shelves and counter for my comb, finally finding it hiding behind a half-filled bottle of cologne and amused myself by parting my hair along the side to see how I looked.
I was always surprised by how dark my hair went when it was wet; it made me look like a completely different person and for a moment I considered changing it, just for kicks. It would have been worth it just for the look on people's faces, but I knew that when it came down to it, I wouldn't change it for the world. It was unique, like I was or at least, unique to my family.
Turning to one side, I sucked in my stomach, pulled my shoulders back and tried to admire my physique but it was a waste of time in a mirror that only showed my head and shoulders. Padding softly into my bedroom, I took up position in front of the full length mirror next to the wardrobe.
Staring at the mirror and my reflection in it, I realised my hair was still parted on one side, making me look a bit of a prat. Ruffling the whole mass with my fingers to get rid of the parting, I ended up simply shaking my head violently till it just settled into place of its own accord. Flicking the ends out of my eyes, I wondered if it was finally getting too long and if I should consider getting it cut.
"Looks like you're peering out from behind a pair of curtains," Father had said the last time he saw me and had ordered me to get it cut. Of course, I'd made some defiant stand about it being my hair and I'd do what I want with it. It was a glorious moment and a wonderful speech, just a shame we had been in different places when I made it.
Wrinkling my nose in thought, I took a step closer to study myself better. I had the same grey eyes and white blond hair as all Malfoys, coupled with the pale skin that would burn within seconds of being exposed to anything approaching summer sun. Always small and slight for my age, my long-awaited growth spurt had never materialised, meaning that at age 18, I was a good head shorter than both my parents. My slender frame meant that should I desire to continue to play Quidditch, perhaps professionally, I was still the perfect build for Seeker.
"You're putting on weight, you know."
"What? Where?" I scowled at the mirror.
"Turn around," the mirror said and I did so, twisting my head over my shoulder to try and see the back of me. "There!" it proclaimed triumphantly.
I couldn't see anything and craned over the other shoulder to see if that made any difference.
"Where?" I wished the damned thing had hands so it could point. I frantically shifted from looking over one shoulder to the other, trying to see what the mirror saw.
"There! Right there!" I raised my eyes to the ceiling in despair and heard a quiet fwump as my towel, dislodged by all my twisting about, finally gave up and fell at my feet. The mirror dissolved in fits of giggles and I caught something about "My mistake, looks fine after all."
Grabbing the towel from round my ankles, I wrapped it hastily around my waist again and threatened the mirror with relegation to the attic.
Sighing, I flung open the doors of the wardrobe and rifled through its vast contents. Every item of clothing had been carefully selected with regards to my colouring and physique, so I pretty much could have thrown anything on and still would have looked fabulous but that wasn't my style. Mind you, I had it on good authority that I could have worn nothing but a coal sack and would look like I'd just stepped off a catwalk. After some consideration, I pulled out a simple pair of charcoal trousers and an ice blue short sleeved shirt. After a quick application of cologne, I dropped the towel on the floor, much to the amusement of the mirror and swiftly got dressed. With a final glance in the mirror, I gave my hair one last ruffle and left the room to seek breakfast.
The dining room was not really designed to be used by one person. I sat in my usual place, at the right hand of the head of the table that practically ran the length of the room and pushed my food round my plate, cringing at the sound of the cutlery clinking against the china. I slouched back in my chair and picked up a slice of buttered toast. Chewing on it, I studiously ignored the house elves who had started to clear away and began instead to devise something for keeping toast warm for slightly longer than the ten seconds it seemed to manage on its own.
Finally fed up of trying to chew something that appeared to resemble cardboard, I threw the half-eaten slice back onto my side plate and stared up at the windows instead. Dust motes danced in the few strips of sunlight that dared to pass into the room. Like the rest of the house, the windows were so high up in the walls and so narrow that every room was permanently dark. In the summer, on days like today, it was a cool sanctuary from the blast furnace outside; in the winter, it was too depressing for words.
Wriggling around in a vain attempt to get comfortable in a chair that was not designed for it, I cast my mind to my plans for the day and was pleasantly relieved to find that I had none.
"Another day of rest and relaxation ahead of you," I said to myself with a smile. "Oh, it's good to be me."
I had a feeling though, that there was something I had to be doing but couldn't for the life of me think what it was. What had I done recently? Frowning, I thought over the last few days. Well, I'd only come back home yesterday from school...
"Congratulations students, on this, your day of graduation. From here, you take the knowledge we have given you and use it wisely..."
The audience burst into spontaneous cheers and applause and a veritable swarm of hats were tossed in the air. The air was filled with the sound of excited chatter and the scraping of chairs as the audience got up to leave. Students milled around the grounds, little groups swelling and decreasing as the participants moved from cluster to cluster, swapping contact details and posing for photos.
"Malfoy! Over here!" I looked up as my name was called and instantly squinted against the glare of a particularly bright flash that took me by surprise. Out of blinded eyes, I saw a small boy scurrying away as I walked over to the group who had hailed me.
"Who was that?" I rubbed my eyes viscously and tried to get rid of the dancing colours.
"Creevy, I think, he's a fourth year?" Pansy Parkinson replied, tossing her hair over her shoulder and sniffing in disdain.
"He's lucky I'm in a good mood," I stated, "otherwise, he'd be wearing that camera. Internally."
"Oh, leave him alone, we're not going to be bothered by him anymore."
"What bliss, no more school, no more stupid first years, no more Potions homework!" Blaise Zabini joined in with a big grin and the others agreed.
Feeling strangely detached from the whole situation, I just stood back and listened to cries of merriment and celebration all around me. The Triumvirate stood over by the wall in the shade, looking strangely depleted despite the continuous flux of fellow Gryffindors and general hangers-on. I watched them silently for a few moments till a comment from Pansy got my attention.
"So Draco, what are you going to do?"
"Do?" I echoed, "With what?"
"With your life!"
My eyes snapped open with realisation. I was a graduate, my time at school was now over and I was now out in the big bad world on my own. Pushing my hair out of my eyes, I couldn't help but frown. What was I to do? I remembered a comment someone at school had made which had filtered through to me about being an Evil Overlord in Training. My future had all been mapped out from the moment I was born, it had already been decided for me and all I'd had to do was go along with it. Why would I want to do otherwise?
There was just one tiny flaw in that plan though. Apart from the fact that it didn't take my views into consideration, it also pretty much took for granted that there was a need for an Evil Overlord. Not to mention that there needed to be someone to lord it over, as it were. At the moment, there wasn't a great call for it, considering the way the last Lord had been shot down in flames, so to speak. All in all, it was a pretty crap idea as a plan for someone's future career and wouldn't go down at all well to an advisor. They'd probably give you the usual guff about it being a really difficult industry to get into and had you considered being a bus driver or something?
I kicked the table leg in irritation, knowing full well it would have earned me a sharp rebuff from Father had he been there.
"But he's not, is he?"
I shoved my chair back with no concern for the highly polished wooden floor and threw my napkin down on the table before marching off in a fit of pique.
"How dare you do this to me? How dare you plan my whole sodding life for me, without my consent I may add, and then just bloody disappear!" I stormed the corridors back to my room, my good mood completely blown and the first day of my holiday ruined.
"Tut tut, young man."
"Youngsters today, they just have no concern for their elders. I was trying to sleep."
The portraits of early Malfoys muttered in my wake as I thundered past but I paid my ancestors no heed till I rounded a corner at full pelt and practically ran into one of them.
I came to a rapid halt as I found her slumped against a wall next to the dark painting of an unidentified young man who had shrunk against the side of the frame and was staring at her aghast.
"Mother?" She was leaning on the wall with one arm thrown protectively round her head and I couldn't figure out whether she was holding the wall up or the wall was holding her up. This was not a normal pose for my usually refined and sedate parent.
I wasn't sure what was the best thing to do; should I try to talk to her or just leave her alone? A sudden clinking drew my attention to the hand down by her side, which I hadn't noticed before as her body shielded it from me. She seemed to be holding something, a glass tumbler containing a small amount of a clear liquid and from the ice cubes within, I was prepared to bet that it wasn't water.
Drinking? At this time of the morning?
I took a step to her side and placed a tentative hand on her shoulder, feeling as I did so the slight shaking there.
"Mother, I - "
I wasn't sure what the reaction would be. Neither of my parents were what you would call tactile. Maybe a gentle shrug of the shoulder to indicate I should remove my hand or perhaps a small step to the side taking me out of her personal space? I didn't expect her to suddenly whirl round to face me and collapse on me with a great wail and huge wracking sobs. I caught a glance of the young man in the painting who was now looking both hugely relieved and rather smug.
"Talk about out of the frying pan," I muttered inwardly. Mother was putting all her weight on me and although a slight woman, she was still a good head taller than I. Her body shook and I could feel my shirt getting damp where her tears were soaking through.
"Come on now, Mother," I tried to say soothingly, and feeling increasingly awkward patted her on the back. What on earth did one do to a crying woman? Why was this never covered in my upbringing?
There was a muffled response and I managed to make out the words 'baby' and 'gone'. Baby? What baby? And gone where? A repulsive thought came to me and I was horrified. Was she referring to Father? I had a sudden violent urge to vomit.
I had to get Mother back to her rooms somehow but she seemed incapable of something as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. I managed to manoeuvre her so that she was hanging on to my shoulder and I could support her with one arm round her back and the other under her elbow. Coaxing as best I could, we began the slow laborious task of walking down the corridor, and all the while she muttered under her breath.
"Gone 'way," she slurred, "Poor baby," and a fresh deluge of tears assaulted my shirt.
"That's it Mother, this way," I urged, aware that I was half carrying and half dragging her along, while grotesque mental images of my parents plagued me.
"Yes Mother, I know it hurts," I replied, adding in thought, "Though not in quite the same way it will hurt you later on."
"Want baby back, my baby," she hiccupped, "Want hold him again, love him."
I had visions of my parents sitting at the table in the dining room bathed in candlelight, gazing into each others eyes in adoration; holding hands and smiling at each other like love-sick teenagers; permanently joined at the lips like some of the kids at school; and then surrendering to a fit of passion and tearing each others clothes off before sinking down onto the bed and -
Trying hard not to retch, I kicked open the door to Mother's bedroom leaving a black streak against the white paintwork and cursed the damage to my shoe. I'd have to get another pair to replace these.
"Here we are, Mother. Now, why don't you just lie down on the bed?" I was aware that I was talking to her as to a child and inwardly winced. I covered the distance to the bed on shaking legs and once there, she just collapsed on it like a rag doll. The glass fell out of her hand and due to the thickness of the carpet, didn't smash but rolled instead under the bed where I left it. Its meagre contents soaked into the carpeting but the house elves would deal with that.
Standing up, I placed both hands in the small of my back and stretched it thankfully. If I never had to do that again, it would be far too soon. With a sigh, I studied Mother, realising that she had either fallen asleep or passed out. She looked pale and tired, and there were dark circles around her eyes making her look so much older; her usually immaculately made-up face was blotchy and her nose was red, while her long hair, her pride and joy, had partly fallen out of its usual chignon and hung stringy and tangled. She had obviously been crying and drinking for some time but the thought of her going to pieces like this over Father was extreme to say the least.
Taking a step back, I heard something crunch under my foot and noticed that I'd inadvertently stood on a sheet of parchment. Picking it up, I saw one or two other sheets scattered over the cream carpet and collected those as well. The sound of barking from outside in the grounds alerted me to the fact that the window in front of her bureau was wide open so a breeze had obviously sent the papers flying around the room. I dumped them on the bureau and reached across it to pull the window shut.
A gentle snoring from Mother reminded me that I was in her private room, a place I hadn't been allowed into since I was a very small child. I felt as though I was intruding and slowly tiptoed out of the room, even though the carpet was so thick, it would have muffled a herd of wildebeest running through. I closed the door softly behind me and leaning back against it, breathed a sigh of relief.
As I walked back to my room, I thought about my mother who had apparently drunk herself into a stupor over the loss of her beloved husband. It was a most bizarre thought. In the tower room that jutted out from the corner of my bedroom, I sank down into the couch and gazed over in the direction of the portrait of my parents taken on their wedding day. It had hung on the wall directly opposite my bed until I reached my teens and the idea of my parents watching me in bed made me feel quite ill. I had relegated it to the furthest wall where it was hidden in a narrow nook beside my wardrobe. In the photograph, Mother was talking to someone out of shot and Father appeared to be threatening the photographer.
It's hard for any child to imagine their parents as being all lovey-dovey but with mine it seemed to be particularly hard. I racked my brain to recall a moment when they had shown each other anything remotely resembling some kind of affection but drew a blank. I stretched out full length on the couch and pulled at my lower lip, lost in thought. When I really put some thought to it, I was hard pushed to say exactly why my parents had got married at all. Thinking about it logically though, what woman in her right mind would turn down Lucius Malfoy, right hand man to the Dark Lord?
Evil Overlord - JL MathewsChapter Two.
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