|North Star of the World
Author: Spideria PM
Harry, a young merchant, stops at Draco's village during an annual festival and brings new passion to Draco's life. What will happen when he falls for the soontoleave brunette?Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Harry P. & Draco M. - Chapters: 6 - Words: 15,096 - Reviews: 141 - Favs: 56 - Follows: 116 - Updated: 03-15-07 - Published: 01-01-06 - id: 2729792
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Harry Potter characters.
Hello. I'm back. 8D I feel sort of weird after writing Chasing the Forbidden because I know nothing else I write will ever come close to it, heh, but it's time to come out of my hibernation and write something anyway! I've just been itching to write, and all though my latest idea is a bit out there and one of those things that either works or fails miserably, I still just really want to write it anyway.
So, here goes nothing.
North Star of the World
The sound of jangling coins rang throughout the village. Every spare coin that had been salvaged from taxes, food, and the strictly necessary clothing for growing children and newborn babies now lay safely bundled in tiny pouches carefully strapped about the many waists of the townspeople.
With them came creased brows upon the men, ready for a good bargain – for they would not be cheated out of the little extra earnings they held; upon the children, brilliant smiles in anticipation for the enchanting festivity that came but once a year; within the women, a hope for strength enough to hold down their overly hyper toddlers.
"Oi! Here they come!" called a young lad as a large caravan of carts became visible in the distance, throwing up dust in their shadow and rattling – with wondrous surprises - over the uneven pavement.
Immediately, tiny hands began tugging at their mothers and jumping about wildly, eager to get closer. Large, callused hands tightened over their pouches possessively, and dreadful sighs slithered over tired, aged lips.
As the caravans drove closer, a jolly melody became prominent.
"Son, today is the day you will learn to bargain like a man." Lucius Malfoy, though as poor as the average villager, was a proud man. His tall, lean physique spoke of the manner in which he held himself, and his sleek, platinum blond hair along with his sharp features only added to his air of confidence.
These traits were not lost on his only son, Draco.
Beaming excitedly in reply, the younger blond looked out, once again. As a young boy, he had watched his father in awe, always making the traders bring down their initial asking price with expert skill, sometimes cutting the price in half. Of course, all the younger boys awed at their fathers' trading talents, doubting that they would ever be as good, though it was most definitely expected of them once they came of age.
Draco, in fact, was not to be of age for another month, but his father did not see the sense in making the younger Malfoy wait another eleven months simply because of one month's difference. And so, fifteen years old, Draco Malfoy was going to encounter his first, personal bargaining experience today.
Lucius had reminded him of helpful tips earlier that morning as they ate the porridge Mrs. Malfoy had prepared for them. "Remember, Draco, never accept the first price – even if you think it fair. These tradesmen aren't thick-headed. They purposely start higher than what they want; they know we're going to make them go lower." He had said. "If the merchant seems too stubborn, try to scare them a bit saying to yourself that you remember the local market selling that very same product at a lower price." "Look them in the eye. Do not look unsure of yourself. They will take note and use this to their advantage."
To all of these, Draco had nodded dutifully. He was nervous, of course, but he didn't want his father to know. He wanted his father to believe that he was just as prepared as Lucius seemed to be all these years.
Now, as the crowd rushed forward, Draco was not quite so sure he would be able to go through with keeping this façade believable.
"Alright, Draco. Your mother needs flour. Which cart will you need to go to for that?"
Searching quickly and forcing himself to ignore the bright and festive colors begging for his attention, he found one cart with a bald, rotund man who seemed to be in his mid forties. He held up bread for a customer, speaking animatedly. "That one."
"That a boy, Draco. Let's go."
Breathing in slowly to calm himself, Draco walked to the line, his father close behind. The older of the two would not help his son. Though, as it was the family's only spare money, if he saw his son making too poor of a deal, he would have to step in and take charge. That, however, would be a horrible disgrace.
The line moved slowly, as it always did with the ongoing haggles, but Draco felt that it could not be slow enough. Soon, there was only one customer left before him. Anxious to calm himself down, he looked around only to have his eyes meet in a strong hold with another pair. He gulped.
Blushing slightly, he gave a small smile. The brunette girl smiled back shyly and even from the twenty yards of distance between them, Draco could see her giggle into her small, cupped hand as she continued to watch him.
"What'll it be, kind sir?" The merchant asked Lucius.
Draco ripped his gaze away from the girl and looked up at the merchant who stood a good foot above him in his cart stand.
"Oh, no. It is my son who will be doing the purchasing, today."
"Ah, first time, ay? Don't worry. I'll be easy enough on yeh."
Draco nodded respectfully. Not only did he now have to impress his father, but he had to make sure to put on a proud show for his distant spectator.
"One pound of flour, please."
"That'll be four pennies."
"Fours pennies? Surely you'll go down to three."
"Now why should I go down to three pennies?" The merchant asked slyly, folding his arms cockily over his chest and leaning in toward Draco with a smirk on his face.
"Because you need my money for business, and while I'm sure you'd like the extra money, I can easily buy flour for a much better bargain anywhere else."
"Alright, I'll tell you what. You give me four pennies, and not only will I give you yer pound o' flour, but I'll throw in two eggs, free o' charge."
"As kind as that offer sounds, I'm sorry to say that I don't need any eggs. What I need is a pound of flour for a decent price three pennies."
"Alright, alright. I can see I'm not going to get anywhere with you. Here's yer pound o' flour for three pretty pennies." The merchant replied good-naturedly, a smile on his face. "Tough bargainer you got, there," he said to Lucius.
They walked away and Lucius clapped Draco's back proudly.
Nearly three hours passed once the handsome pair had finished purchasing all their necessities. Having spare change and feeling the youth deserved some form of reward, the elder Malfoy handed his son four pennies and told him to buy himself a treat.
"Oh, but father –"
"No, no, Draco. You deserve it. Enjoy yourself. Just make sure to be home before it gets too dark.
"Yes. Thank you."
It would be wonderful to buy himself anything of his choice from the colorful, vibrant caravan of delights, but as he once again found the sweet brunette, he realized that the right thing to do; the gentlemanly thing to do would be to use his money to treat a young lady as the beginnings of a courting.
Ignoring the temptation to give one last longing glance behind him, where he could have continued to walk for his own pleasure, he pushed himself through the crowd. "Hello, Amelia."
"Draco! How are you?" she wore a beautiful smile, here blue eyes dancing happily.
"I'm fine, and you?"
"Lovely, just lovely. I saw you earlier today. Was that your first time?"
"Yes. It was."
"Were you nervous?"
"I have to admit that I was just a bit curious about it."
"Well you needn't have been. You were fantastic!" She exclaimed, giggling.
"Thank you. If you have time now, I'd like to –"
"Amelia! Amelia, where are you?" a voice off to the left called out.
"Oh, my mother. I'm sorry, Draco. I have to go. Perhaps some other time?"
"Oh yes, of course. Give your mother my greetings."
"I will," and with a quick hug, she walked in the direction of the call.
"Well, Draco, I guess you'll get to enjoy yourself after all," he muttered to himself happily. Immediately, though, he felt guilty for it. She was a lovely friend and his father had previously hinted that he wished for Draco to marry Amelia. Her family was fairly well-off and she was an attractive and commendable young lady.
However, now was not the time to become engulfed in guilt and so, anxious to see what new and dazzling item he could find, he turned around and headed off in the direction he'd first wanted to go. Many of the carts were now brimming with exotic trinkets, as the carts with more conventional supplies such as food and tools had finished selling from earlier in the day. Those were necessities which people hurried to buy, while pretty toys and alluring objects were mere luxuries, only to be bought if money was left over after the day-to-day needed supplies were obtained.
He thought to himself happily that now was one of those times. With four pennies sitting warmly in his pocket, he continued to explore. Though it wasn't very much, he was sure there had to be some sort of souvenir he could buy. He passed several stands quickly, for though they were all very exquisite, none seemed to be all too appealing.
Then, when he thought he would simply give up and keep the money for a later time, he came upon a wagon that was not so impressively bright, but rather, had a darkness surrounding it, with a small bubble of light glowing from the center.
Intrigued, he walked closer. There was one woman there, a widow by her onyx attire, but she walked away empty-handed just as Draco reached the front.
"Good day, young man. How can I – oh, Lord, the light went out again. Harry! Come serve this customer while I find a match to light this confounded candle!"
"Sure thing, Boss."
"Do excuse me, will you?"
Draco nodded with a friendly smile and waiting awkwardly for this 'Harry' to arrive. He felt flustered, as he hadn't any idea what to buy, and if he was even going to buy anything in the first place. He looked around searchingly, wondering just what exactly they sold. The widow hadn't been able to purchase anything.
Perhaps I should just leave…
But before he could turn, a cheery voice called down to him, "Hello, there!"
He snapped his head up and blushed once again. Forgetting to even smile as a show of good manners, he simply continued to stare. This boy couldn't be more than a year older than himself! The oddest part was that his age wasn't even the most surprising thing about him. He wore atop his head a beautifully crafted tiara, several diamonds, rubies, and emeralds sprinkled artfully into it.
"You like it, do you? Well I can tell you right now, you won't be able to afford it." His smirk, though pleasant and friendly angered the blond.
"Isn't that for girls?" he asked, glaring; his tone haughty.
"Well that, it may be, but I might never get the chance to wear something this bloody expensive, again. I don't care if it's made for dogs, I'm wearing it!"
Lost for words to say, Draco simply gaped for a moment, until the clever brunette spoke again. "So, anything you looking to buy?"
"Well, I'm not exactly-"
"Alright, well what's the occasion? A birthday gift? Something nice for yer mum? A gift for a wife-"
"I'm not married!"
"Well I'm only throwin' out suggestions, here."
"Well…. Well I'm just looking around."
"Oh, okay. You're perusing."
"Perusing. It's this new word I learned from the last town we were in. I'll tell ya, there were a heck of a lot o' smart people there. ' had to stop them every couple o' words to try and look in this here dictionary." He said, brandishing a small, tattered read book with yellow lettering. "I'm trying ter, er… trying to speak more eh….what's the word…? Oh yeah, eloquently. There are just so many smart people out there and I don't like looking a damn fool, you know?"
At the blond's blank stare, he cracked a smile and pulled out a pallet from a drawer to his right.
"Here, look at these. Aren't these the prettiest looking rings you've ever seen?"
Draco already knew he couldn't afford any of them. He felt himself blush once again. Coming here was a mistake. He was only going to embarrass himself just as the woman before him had.
"Well, aren't they?"
Draco nodded. "They are."
"How much you got on you?" he asked, his eyes gleaming.
"Definitely not enough – "
"How much you got?"
"Four pennies," he mumbled, feeling his ears burning.
"You're right. Hmm…. Tell you what. Just keep yer four pennies and I'll give you this here ring since I like you so much." He said, giving a quick look to where the previously attending man was still looking for the matches.
"What?" Draco said, not believing his ears as the brunette pulled out a rather plain, yet stunning silver ring.
"I'd give you a prettier one, but this here ring aint for no girl. It's for you." He said, whipping out another dazzling smile.
"I- I couldn't."
"Well sure you could!"
"Please, at least take what little I can offer you."
"I'll tell you what. We're going to stay in your town for a few days since some of us have special deliveries and orders to make to that castle over there," the boy jerked his head up slightly to show the direction in which the head of state lived. "Keep that money and next time you see me around, buy me the best drink in the nearest bar there is."
"Are… are you sure?"
"Am I sure? I'm positive."
"I- thank you," he said, shaking his head, still full of disbelief.
"No problem," he said, fisting his hand and flipping the ring over to Draco with his thumb. He caught in clumsily and then, looking at the boy, slid it onto the ring finger of his right hand. "See you around," he said with a cunning wink.
"Yeah. See you around."
AN: And so, you get chapter one! Yeah! I'm totally LOVING this story! I realize it's crazy and this could be a horrible turnout, but I'm sorry, I'm going to write it anyway. I just really love it! Wahoo! When I finally sat down to write this out, I just couldn't stop! Ok, well I hope some of you like this story, too. And please remember to leave a review!
One more thing. Please note that since I am at school, I was only able to write this because I am on break. So the intervals between updates will most probably be long and varied. Sorry!
xoxo Spideria xoxo