Character(s): Draco, Lucius, Narcissa
Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Length: ~1000 words
Summary: The one in which Draco receives his Hogwarts letter.
Note: Originally written for a contest at hogsmeade_elite; the prompt was to write the story of how any character except Harry received his or her Hogwarts letter.
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
On the morning after Draco's eleventh birthday, he woke up very early and, after a hasty breakfast, made his way towards the owl cote at the end of the long, cobbled walkway in his mother's garden. He was eleven now, and that meant he would be getting his Hogwarts letter. Draco approached the owl cote -- a low, grey building with a raised roof of thatch -- and sat down just outside, letting the sun warm his face. There were no owls, though, and by the end of the day, his face was pink. Mother scolded him and told him never to show his face to the sun. The Malfoys belonged to the night, she lectured as she applied ointment to his aching skin.
There must have been some sort of mistake and the letter got delayed. Or maybe the owls took a long time to fly this far. Hogwarts was, after all, in Scotland. Day after day, Draco sat in the shade of the overhanging roof on the north side of the owl cote, but no letters arrived for him, except for a polite invitation to Pansy Parkinson's eleventh birthday party. Stupid, fat Pansy Parkinson and her stupid, fat birthday. Draco's toy broomstick lay abandoned in its shed, his medieval chess set gathered dust on the floor of his bedroom, and Draco himself grew more and more anxious every day.
Could it be that he was a Squib? But he'd done magic before, hadn't he? He'd stolen Mother's wand once and made sparks shoot out of the tip. That was magic. Wasn't it? He was afraid to ask her. What if she remembered that he was supposed to have received his letter already? If Draco was a Squib, he would be sent away forever, and his name would be burned off the beautiful tapestry that hung in the downstairs drawing room. Squibs were as useless as Muggles, and everyone knew Muggles were cannon fodder. Draco didn't want to be cannon fodder. He wanted to be a Malfoy.
Pansy Parkinson's birthday party came and went, and it was well past midsummer. Draco was barely sleeping; what if the letter came while he was asleep? What if one of the house-elves accidentally burned it in the fireplace? What if one of the owls ate it? What did owls eat, anyway? Such were his thoughts as he sat behind the owl cote, gazing at the sky, until one morning, a handsome barn owl landed next to him. It dropped a tight roll of parchment to the ground, hooted, and flew off. The parchment was addressed to:
Mr D. Malfoy
Behind The Owl Cote
With trembling fingers, Draco opened the letter.
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr Malfoy,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.
Draco looked up from the letter, unable to stop himself from breaking into a wide grin. This was proof that he was no Squib, and he would not be sent away. He would really go to Hogwarts! He would live in the Slytherin dungeon and do all the things his parents always talked about -- eating in the Great Hall, playing Quidditch, playing the House Game... Draco folded the letter carefully and tucked it into his pocket, and then set off towards the house with as much dignity as he could muster.
It was not quite teatime yet; his parents were in the drawing room, talking in low voices, probably about him, and how he might be a Squib, and wouldn't that be a terrible blow to the family? It was all Draco could do not to break into a run and shove the letter at them, shouting, "See?" Instead, he walked into the room and greeted his parents formally.
"I have received a letter from Hogwarts, Father," he said, handing it over.
"A few days early this year, aren't they?" his mother observed, walking closer so she could read over Father's shoulder.
Draco was glad they weren't looking at him, because he probably made quite a picture, gaping as he was. Early?
"I'm not sure the boy should go there, Narcissa," said Father.
Draco was doubly glad they weren't looking at him, because that made him sit down right where he was standing -- on the floor. Not sure I should go there?
"Where else would he go?" asked Mother. Her voice was like the whisper of steel in a scabbard.
"Durmstrang Academy," said Father. "Igor Karkaroff -- I'm sure you remember him -- is Headmaster there, and I believe Draco would benefit far more from a curriculum that includes the Dark Arts instead of vilifying them--"
"No," said Mother. "Absolutely not. Durmstrang is as far away as Azkaban! I will not have my son going to school in that cold, wretched place. Hogwarts -- and Slytherin -- is a family tradition for both our lines. While I may not be fond of the administration, at least it is a civilised school. I will not put my child amongst Russian savages!"
"But my dear--"
"I said no! Did you know that the boys at Durmstrang make the smaller boys--" She broke off suddenly, and saw that Draco was still there. "Draco, I should like you to leave us now, we will see you at tea."
She didn't even appear to notice that he was sitting on the floor. This was bad. Draco nodded quickly, got to his feet and hurried out, even though he really wanted to know what the boys at Durmstrang made the smaller boys do. He dared not disobey his mother when her voice sounded like that.
He hated it when his parents argued. Suddenly, Draco didn't want to go to Hogwarts anymore. In fact, he was going to hate every minute of it, he decided. Even in the unlikely event that his mother won this argument.