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Pettifog and Contrition

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Chapter 1

 

Draco Malfoy was sitting in silence on his porch, looking out over the ocean. The sun was setting, painting the sky in shades of brilliant red, soft pink, and light violet, and a cool breeze swept around him from the sea. He listened with closed eyes as the waves lapped onto the pebbled beach, making quiet trickling noises as the water flowed back to the ocean. It was tranquil, and any onlooker would think the elderly Draco at peace, but they would be wrong. There was a war raging in his mind.

Draco had lived the perfect life. At least, he did by someone’s standards. Certainly not his own. After his trial, he’d trained under McGonagall with Harry and Hermione to become a transfigurations professor (and in the process changed his relationship to them). He’d worked at Beauxbatons for sixty years, and then retired. He’d met his wife while teaching, and they had a boy and two girls. After he retired, he moved with his wife to Lopez Island, and small island off of the coast of Washington State in the US. A perfect life.

Draco’s eldest daughter walked on to the porch and placed a hand on her father’s shoulder.

“Is it time?” she asked. He nodded, so she hugged him one last time. Draco’s life ended warm and tranquil.

~~~~

Draco awoke in a vast plane of darkness. He blinked, unsure if his eyes were closed or if the darkness was around him. “Hello?” he called, and the sound echoed inside his head. “Is anyone here?” A bright light appeared in the distance and he looked toward it. For a moment it was stagnant, but then it grew, quickly. Draco shielded his eyes.

He felt a hand pull down his arm and the light dissipated a bit. A woman was in front of him. She was tall, and her skin glowed bluish. Draco sat still in silence and confusion.

“Hello, young one. I am Mother Magic,” she said. Her voice was melodic, soothing. Draco could listen to it forever. “It is not often that one of you comes to see me. You must have made a terrible mistake, many, many years ago. Let’s see..”

She waved her hand through the void, and it appeared to ripple like water. A blue light spread from the center of the ripples, growing and fading over and over until suddenly, Draco found himself and Mother Magic in a room. The room was painted light blue, and sunlight streamed through the curtains.

“My first memory,” whispered Draco. He turned around and spotted himself, aged 5, laying facedown on his bed. He’d contracted dragon pox, the milder kind. His younger self sneezed, spewing sparks onto the curtain, and it caught on fire.

“This isn’t it,” Mother Magic said, resting a glowing hand on Draco’s shoulder. He could almost feel the heat as a  flame flared up, hear his younger self’s screams… and the memory faded.

The darkness rippled again and a new scene arose. This time, Draco was ten. He was standing stock still as a house elf buttoned up his dress shirt for the Annual Malfoy Winter Solstice Ball. He could remember this exactly, and mouthed his words along with his younger self.

“I wonder if Harry will be here this time. Mother always says that Harry will come, someday. I really want to meet him, Dobby,” he’d said. Potter had never ended up at one of the extravaganzas, even after he and Draco had become friends.

“We’re closer, but this still isn’t it,” said Mother Magic, and the memory dissolved into darkness.

A few minutes seemed to pass, not that Draco could understand how time worked in the void, before a new memory appeared around them. Mother Magic nodded while Draco examined the scene.

“This is the one. Pay attention,” she called into his ear. Draco shivered and watched himself standing in Madam Malkin’s.

“Hullo,” he’d said to Harry, “Hogwarts too?”

“Yes,” said Harry.

“My father’s next door buying my books and mother’s up the street looking at wands,” Draco said. “Then I’m going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I don’t see why first-years can’t have their own. I think I’ll bully father into getting me one and I’ll smuggle it in somehow. Have you got your own broom?”

“No,” said Harry.

“Play Quidditch at all?”

“No,” Harry said again.

“I do – Father says it’s a crime if I’m not picked to play for my house, and I must say, I agree. Know what house you’ll be in yet?”

“No,” said Harry.

“Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they, but I know I’ll be in Slytherin, all our family have been – imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?”

“Mmm,” said Harry.

“I say, look at that man!” said younger Draco, nodding towards the front window.

“That’s Hagrid. He works at Hogwarts.”

“Oh,” younger Draco replied, “I’ve heard of him. He’s a sort of servant, isn’t he?”

Draco turned to Mother Magic. “I’ve seen enough. What do you want me to do?” he asked. She smiled at him and gestured to the scene.

“You get one chance to fix this. You’ll retain your memory if you make the fix. If you don’t do it in time, you’ll be stuck on the same path, lose your memories, and have no way out. Otherwise, as soon as you fix it, you’ll live the life that you were supposed to. Or, you can move onto the afterlife now. It’s your choice, Draco,” she explained, soothing voice softening the difficulty of the decision. Draco took a deep breath and pressed a hand to his cheek.

“Alright,” he whispered after a moment, “I’ll do it, on one condition.” Mother Magic gestured for him to continue.

“Will this cause Harry to lose the war?” he asked. She just smiled at him. Draco closed his eyes as the void collapsed around him.

“Befriend him,” he heard.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

 

Draco awoke in a curtained bed. His bed.

“My bed!” he exclaimed, sitting up.

“Is something wrong, Master Draco?” came a voice from beside him.

“Dobby!” Draco called, laughing. It hadn’t been a dream! Dobby wrung his hands.

“M-master Draco, sir, Mistress Narcissa is asking for you in the parlor.”

“Tell her I’ll be right down, Dobby. I’m getting dressed, alright?” he insisted. Dobby popped away.

Draco sighed happily, gathered his quilt up around himself, and closed his eyes for a moment. He sprung out of bed and bounced over to his shower. Turning on the water, he poured some of his soap on his fingers and brought his hand up to his nose. The bubbles smelled like pine needles and campfire, but most importantly, they smelled like home. He undressed and stepped under the spray, lathering himself up and relaxing. The warm water cascaded down his back and over his hair, and he examined his hands. They were smooth, soft, free of scars. A bright giggle fell from Draco’s mouth.

He dried himself off with a fluffy towel and stepped back into his bedroom, where a crisp suit lay. He took his time buttoning up the shirt and smoothing the sleeves of the jacket. A pop sounded.

“Master Draco, sir, your mother is very insistent that you come down immediately ,” Dobby said.

“Oh, alright, Dobby,” Draco said, smiling, “Take me to her, then.” Dobby grasped Draco’s sleeve and popped them down to the parlor. Narcissa was standing by the floo, which was flaring bright red.

“Good, morning, Draco. We’re almost late to Diagon Alley,” she said, eyebrow raised.

“Good morning, Mother. I was simply enjoying the sun. Let us go, then,” he said, grabbing a pinch of floo powder.

“Diagon Alley!” he called as he threw down the floo powder, and he was whisked away.

~~~~

Draco could feel his mother brushing the soot off of his shoulders as he stepped out of Floo into the bustling alley. He pushed her hands away and straightened his suit, glancing up at the clock that stood next to the fireplace. 8AM… He’d no clue what time he met Harry the first time, and there’s no way he could just sit in Madam Malkins all morning. He thought for a few moments before heading over to Eeylop’s Owl Emporium, which was next door to the robe shop.

The bell chimed as he opened the door, and he immediately locked eyes will a gorgeous snowy owl. That’s Hedwig, thought Draco. He walked over to the shopkeep and purchased her, but she clearly wasn’t very comfortable belonging to Draco.

“Don’t worry, girl,” he whispered, “You’ll be with your proper wizard soon.” He walked out of the shop, holding her cage, and almost ran into the coat of a tall, wide man. Draco was about to snap at him when he noticed the small, bespectacled boy walking next to him. The pair wandered off towards Gringotts, and Draco rushed into Madam Malkin’s. He placed the cage down, and sat in a seat to wait.

Twenty minutes later, he was finally being fitted, and the door chimed. Harry walked in, looking terribly small, and smiled at Draco.

“Hello!” Draco said, “Are you going to Hogwarts too?”

Harry nodded and stepped up next to Draco to be fitted.

“Me too,” said Draco. “I’m Draco Malfoy, you?”

“Harry. Harry Potter,” came the quiet response, clearly concerned. Draco nodded.

“I’ve heard of you, but my mother says never to believe what you hear. Say, do you have an owl?” he asked, and Harry shook his head.

“You can have that one,” Draco said, pointing to Hedwig. “She’s called Hedwig. She’s been freaking out the whole time I’ve had her since this morning, but she calmed down as soon as you got here.”

“You’re serious?” came Harry’s quiet voice. Draco nodded, smiling widely. He explained that he already had an owl, and how one could use them. Tears pricked at the corners of Harry eyes, and he pulled Draco into a tight hug.

“Are we friends, then?” Harry asked. “You’d be my first,” he continued.

“Of course!” exclaimed Draco, relieved and excited. He and Harry continued their pleasant conversation until Hagrid came to the door. Draco smiled as the half giant walked through the door.

“‘Arry! I brought you a birthday present!” said Hagrid, holding up a squirming ferret. The air seemed to grow warm as Draco’s cheeks coloured. “I see ya foun’ a friend…” Hagrid continued.

Draco held out a hand to Hagrid, who took it. “Draco Malfoy. Pleased to meet you, sir.” Hagrid looked understandably surprised that a Malfoy would willingly shake his hand.

“Say, you’re the gamekeeper at Hogwarts, right? A difficult job; I’m impressed,” continued Draco. Hagrid immediately softened and puffed up with pride.

“Well i’n’t gonna say tha’s anythin’ too hard, there, ‘raco. You ‘n ‘arry can come round my cottage any time once tha school year starts,” Hagrid bellowed. Harry turned to Draco and smiled, and Draco smiled back.

“We’ll be sure to, Mr. Hagrid,” Draco said. “I should get going, my mother’s probably waiting for me. I’ll see you on the train, Harry.”

“Definitely! I’ll see you then, Draco,” said Harry, and Draco left the shop.

He walked directly into his mother.

“I see you’ve made a friend, Draco,” she said, guiding him towards the floo with a hand on his shoulder.

“Indeed. He’s Harry Potter.” Draco expected the quiet gasp and ignored it.

“Your father will be pleased,” Draco heard, but he’d already resolved to keep Lucius’s political agenda away from Harry.