CHAPTER 2: RENDEZVOUS WITH MALFOY
HARRY – EXIT STRATEGY
It was August 1st. Harry woke up after a long night’s sleep, excited to be leaving Surrey. For the first time in weeks, he was not assaulted by nightmares. Sunlight streamed into the room. Harry cocked his ears. Where were the Dursleys? He hadn’t heard them all morning. That was odd. He grabbed his glasses (this time strategically placed on his dresser) and glanced at his reflection in the mirror. He still looked like shit. Well, at least he felt better.
Moments later, there was a loud crash downstairs. Harry bolted out of his bedroom and down the stairs. Tonks had knocked down the Dursleys’ front door. So much for a smooth landing. The Order of the Phoenix had arrived.
Tonks entered first, boasting nineteen facial piercings, a pig’s nose and strawberry blonde highlights. Mundungus ‘Dung’ Fletcher and Remus ‘Moony’ Lupin arrived next. Then came Alastor ‘Mad-eye’ Moody. Mad-eye scanned Harry suspiciously (making sure that it was actually him), and then walked onto the porch to wait for the signal that it was safe for them to leave.
Harry waited for ‘Snuffles’ to arrive. He knew that his Godfather was dead, but secretly he stared at the doorway, hoping that somehow Sirius would walk into the frontroom and... Harry blinked back tears. He didn’t know what he would do if the Order took him back to number twelve, Grimmauld Place. He couldn’t bear to go back to the House of Black. At least, not right now.
Suddenly, Mad-Eye rushed back inside the house and pointed to the main window. There were green sparks in the distance. It was time.
DRACO – PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
10:00 AM. Draco was standing in the parlor of Malfoy Mansion in Wiltshire, England. He was ready. There were nine house elves lined up in front of him, all standing in a row. This was going to be fun. Draco loved practicing wizardry on house elves, and it was especially important now that he had to duel with scarface in September. Malfoy grinned, knowing that the wards protecting Malfoy Manor would prevent detection of his underage use of magic.
“Stupefy!” Draco shouted. His blast nailed one of the house elves in the chest. “Expelliarmus!” Another one went airborne. “Tarantallegra!” “Rictusempra!” “Finite Incantatum!” House elves were flying all over the parlor. Damn, he was good.
Draco pulled out a tattered S.P.E.W. badge from his pocket. In small print, it read, “The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.” Draco snickered. Stupid mudblood bitch. As if he would join Hermione’s wretched fanclub. It’s too bad the Mudblood wasn’t here for him to practice on. Then again, she was so ugly she’d probably scare away the house elves.
Draco pinned the S.P.E.W. badge onto his robe and resumed his practice. “Crucio!” he cried. A house elf fell to the floor and twitched with uncontrollable pain. That was his tribute to the Muggle-born shrew, he mused. Suddenly, a familiar raven flew into the parlor.
“Did he get the scroll?” Draco enquired. The raven nodded, transforming instantly back into Bellatrix Lestrange.
“Master will be proud,” she cooed.
Draco returned to practicing his spells. “Incendio!” A house elf was set on fire. “Locomotor Mortis!” Another one was stunned mid-escape.
Bellatrix cleared her throat. “Why don’t I help you.”
Bellatrix scanned the room full of cowering house elves, focusing her eyes on a scrawny one trembling in the corner.
“Now raise your wand and repeat after me.”
Draco raised his glistening Malacca wand, awaiting further instruction.
“Avada Kedavra!” There was a flash of blinding green light and a rushing sound, as the invisible curse soared through the air. The curse killed the house elf instantly; his corpse bore an expression of absolute terror.
The other house elves panicked and started running hysterically out of the parlor. One elf, however, was so terrified that it froze in its tracks like a deer caught in headlights.
“Now it’s your turn,” Bellatrix cackled.
Draco swallowed hard and, shaking, lifted his wand.
HARRY – BACK AT THE BURROW
Harry and his escorts flew over the village of Ottery St. Catchpole late in the afternoon. Moody had cast the Disillusionment Charm on all of them so that Muggles wouldn’t see them flying in the daylight. Finally, they arrived at the Burrow. Harry opened the door and entered the house. Ron and Hermione were waiting for him.
Hermione nearly pounced on him. After several failed attempts, Ron finally pried her off of him and then gave Harry a big hug. Hermione stepped back, suddenly quite concerned about Harry. He looked gaunt and malnourished.
“Harry, are you all right?” Hermione asked. “Did those people starve you? That’s criminal neglect, you know... under Muggle Common Law. We read all about it when I took Muggle Studies.”
Harry smiled. He was feeling better now. He had really missed his friends.
“He just needs a good ham and chicken sandwich,” claimed a voice from the kitchen. It was Mrs. Weasley. “Harry dear, come into the kitchen and have something to eat. I have such good news.” She gave Harry a hug. “Our Ginny’s a Gryffindor Prefect. I still can’t believe it... five Prefects in the family. She just received the owl this morning.”
“That’s brilliant,” Harry replied, feigning enthusiasm. Mrs. Weasley beamed.
Harry walked into the kitchen and sat down at their scrubbed wooden table. Fred and George were sitting at the table. Harry knew that he was happy for Ginny. But for Christ’s Sake. Did every God Damn Weasley have to be a Prefect (the twins notwithstanding)? Harry exchanged looks with Fred and George. They obviously felt the same way. Harry needed to change the topic, quick.
“So how’s your joke shop?” Harry asked the twins. Last he heard from Ron, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes was doing quite well.
“Business is fantastic!” George exclaimed. “Zonko’s has been licensing some of our belch powder and ton-tongue toffees for their Hogsmeade shop.”
“Yeah,” Fred added. “And we are doing so well in Diagon Alley that we might drive Gambol and Japes out of business.”
Harry smiled. It was about time something good happened for the twins.
“Then what’re you doing now? It looks like you’re... studying?” Harry asked.
“Blimey, now that Dumbledore’s back, we promised Mum that we’d take our N.E.W.T.s to graduate,” George grumbled. Mrs. Weasley glared back lovingly. Despite her former concerns about their questionable career path, she loved her twins and was very proud of their success. But she still seemed a bit more excited that Ginny was a Prefect.
Harry wolfed down his meal and walked upstairs, absolutely exhausted. He bumped into Ginny in the stairwell. She smirked mischievously. Ginny had definitely matured over the summer. And damnit, she knew exactly where to place that Prefect badge so that everybody would notice her cleavage.
“Harry, I have something for you,” Ginny purred, handing him a scroll that looked a bit like a family tree.
“What is it?” he asked curiously.
“Oh, it’s just the genealogy of your birthday gift. It turns out that your issue of PlayBloke was initially purchased by Charlie... used by Bill... then passed down to Fred... then to George... and finally inherited by Ron. So it truly bears the Weasley Family Crust!”
Fifteen showers later, Harry continued his ascent to Ron’s bedroom on the top floor. He waited in Ron’s empty room for a few minutes until his best mate arrived.
“You know, Harry,” Ron remarked, “The Burrow isn’t completely safe. Mum said the Order will remain here to protect us until we leave for Diagon Alley on the 31st.” As Ron entered the room, he accidentally tripped over his threadbare Chudley Cannons bedspread and tumbled onto the floor. Harry had to refrain from laughing. Ron blushed. He stood up, walked over to his bed, and peered underneath it... obviously looking for something.
“Why aren’t we at the House of Black?” Harry asked. He was relieved not to be there, but curious nonetheless.
“Dumbledore’s orders,” Hermione replied, entering the room with Ginny.
“Hey mate, I need to talk to you... about Cho,” Ron remarked, turning to face him. Harry froze. This wasn’t really happening.
“She owl’d you over the summer, you know,” Ron continued. “I guess she thought you were staying here.”
“Well,” Hermione and Ginny simultaneously cooed with bated breath.
Ron handed Harry a scroll, which was sitting on top of his desk. Harry really did not want to open it, especially in front of them. Harry blushed. Ginny rolled her eyes. “Well?” Hermione pleaded. Harry finally gave in and opened the scroll.
I’m really upset. I have to talk to you... about us.
Let me know where you are.
Harry swallowed hard. This was the last thing he needed right now. If only his friends knew the truth.
Ginny scanned the scroll. “Let me guess, Michael Corner probably dumped her.”
There were a few moments of uncomfortable silence. Ron walked over to Harry and whispered, “Blimey Harry, I know you miss Cho but... have you been raiding my magazine collection?” Ron grinned from ear to ear. “I mean... my best issue is missing.”
Harry glared at Ginny; he really needed another shower. Ginny smirked mischievously.
GINNY – THE BEST ISSUE
Truth be told, Ginny had put a lot of thought into Harry’s birthday gift. Initially, she planned to send him her copy of Inches, but somehow she thought he might not appreciate it... yet. So the poor, confused bloke got Ron’s ‘best issue’ instead.
DRACO – VENGEANCE IS MINE
It was the Witching Hour. Midnight, September 2nd. Draco Malfoy stood atop the Astronomy Tower, triumphing over the sniveling, Muggle-loving Potter. Harry was defeated. Broken. Cowering on the Astronomy Tower floor.
“Draco please!” Harry reached out and clasped his hands around Draco’s ankle, begging him for mercy. Draco kicked the half-blood swine away.
“Dumbledore can’t save you now,” Draco grinned. It was almost time.
Harry pleaded for mercy. His face bloodied. His cheap, fiberboard wand snapped in two.
“You didn’t show my father mercy,” Draco responded coldly. He lifted his wand, ready to recite those two immortal words. He had practiced them for several weeks and now vengeance would be his. He would avenge his father. He would be worthy of his family name.
Draco lifted his wand. Potter cowered in fear. Just like the house elf. Draco admired his reflection in Potter’s terrified green eyes. He was going to do it. He waved his wand. A raven nodded in the background. Time stood still.
“Avada Ke... ” Draco froze... mesmerized by those haunting green eyes.
Draco woke up abruptly. It was only August 31. Just before 5:00 AM. Damn.
Draco wasn’t sleeping well. Why was he always dreaming about his duel with Potter? Why couldn’t scarface just die? Famous Harry Potter. Just the sound of that name made his blood congeal.
Draco looked around his master bedroom. He would have to leave for Diagon Alley in two hours. A Muggle-Mobile (some call it a Rolls Royce) would pick him up at that time.
Draco yawned, rubbed his eyes, and then pranced in front of the full-length mirror. He was so bloody hot... and he knew it. The porcelain look was in this year, and he worked out all summer to have the body to match. And now he even had a mullet. Witch Weekly declared this hairstyle the latest in retro Muggle-trash chic - ‘Business in the front, party in the back.’ It was perfect. Damn, he was irresistible. How could anyone not want to shag him?
Draco couldn’t wait to see the looks on the Slytherin girls’ faces when he arrived at King’s Cross Station tomorrow morning. He could picture them now. Millicent would be flustered. Pansy would have a heart attack. He, of course, would grin – flashing his perfect Malfoy smile. A Pureblood first year would surely faint. And then he would just prance away. Okay, so he had a flair for the dramatic, but...
But he knew something had to happen soon. He desperately needed a girlfriend. Time was running out. People might start talking. He should have been dating someone last year. His father lost his virginity during his 5th year at Hogwarts. Draco knew that he was running late. His friends must have also noticed. Would they start talking? Were they already talking? But who should he pick? Who was worthy of his greatness? Pansy had already owled him five times this summer asking him who he was taking to the Halloween Ball in October. Christ, it’s only August.
A fly buzzed into the room. Agitated, Draco swiftly picked up his wand.
“AVADA KEDAVRA!” There was a flash of green light and a rushing sound. The fly dropped to the floor… dead.
HARRY – RENDEZVOUS WITH MALFOY
Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys arrived at Diagon Alley on the morning of August 31. Mrs. Weasley immediately went to Flourish & Blotts to buy all of the kids’ schoolbooks. Fred and George left to reopen their shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Ginny went snooping around The Apothecary. Ron and Hermione headed over to The Leaky Cauldron for a few butterbeers. Harry wandered off alone.
Harry strolled down the Alley, past Gringotts Wizarding Bank and Madam Malkin’s Robes For All Occasions, and finally walked into Quality Quidditch Supplies. Harry knew that he already owned a Firebolt, but that did not mean that he wouldn’t want to purchase some useless merchandise to go along with it.
Today, Harry’s eyes focused on the Official Firebolt Coffee Mug. Okay, so Harry didn’t drink coffee - but he could collect the entire set. Harry admired the blue ceramic mug. A magical Firebolt swooshed around it as it was held up to the light. Well, this was a bit tacky. But it might match his new Chudley Cannons Tea Kettle. Hmm, maybe not. Should he buy the Official Firebolt Bath Towel instead? It came with two matching wash cloths. What would his friends think?
Harry was about to put the ceramic mug back on the shelf when a very attractive bloke with white-blonde hair, murky grey eyes, and a pale pointed face walked out of the back room carrying a Firebolt. It was Draco Malfoy... and did he have a mullet?
Harry and Draco immediately locked eyes. A chill ran down Harry’s spine. He despised Malfoy. Malfoy didn’t blink. Neither did Harry. Malfoy’s cold grey eyes didn’t look as daunting as in years past. They suddenly looked unnerved... almost vulnerable. Harry was winning. He would finally break Malfoy. He would shatter him like broken glass. Wait, where was the coffee mug?
Harry quickly glanced down at the shattered mug on the floor. Draco smirked and walked up to the cashier.
“See you at the Tower,” Draco remarked. Then he exited, proudly brandishing his new Firebolt.
DRACO – RENDEZVOUS WITH POTTER
Draco Malfoy always wanted a Firebolt. His father never bought him one because Lucius said he’d have to wait until he beat Potter at Quidditch. But now that his father was indisposed and Draco was the man of the manor, some things were about to change.
Draco walked into Quality Quidditch Supplies and asked the clerk where the new Firebolts were. She pointed to the back room. Draco strolled over and pulled a brand new Firebolt off of the shelf. It was the last one left, and it cost 1500 Galleons. Chump change. It was perfect. This broom was worth more than the entire Weasley estate! He couldn’t wait to open the packaging and try it out. But what would he do with his Nimbus 2001? Maybe he’d give it to the St. Mungo’s charity, but then again, Weasley Sr. would probably end up buying it from them second hand. He’d better just destroy it.
Draco walked out to pay the cashier. Speak of the Devil. Harry Potter. Looking at some stupid toy mug. What was he, six? He must be fuming to see that I, too, am now the proud owner of a Firebolt. That I... he’s looking at me... he’s looking through me... What the...?
Potter dropped the ceramic mug; it shattered on the floor below. Draco smirked. Must be the Malfoy charm. He could break him. He could break Potter. He already had.
“See you at the Tower.” Draco exited, proudly brandishing his new Firebolt.
END OF CHAPTER 2