A/N: Alright, check out the sequel under the name 'Afterlife: The Tail of a Curious Cat'! Who should Draco end up with? Check out my poll!

Edit: NEWTs got cut off, for some reason, so I've fixed it. It originally said 'N.E'.

Afterlife: The Tail of a Curious Cat

He knew it was insane – come to think of it, what was he thinking?! His head must have been as empty as Snape claimed, after all!

Sucking in a shaky breath, he calmed himself by concentrating on the rhythmic click-clack of firm heels on the cracked concrete. Narcissa had hidden him in the folds of her cloak, though it wasn't nearly as comfortable as it had been with Lucius. For one, it was much squishier for reasons he'd really rather not get into and secondly, he was being engulfed by her perfume. It wasn't overpowering or unpleasant, but he didn't get a lot of fresh oxygen and the spicy-sweet scent was making his head hurt.

A creeeek snapped him back to the present and he felt his heart speed up, sweat gathering under his fur. Narcissa didn't bother looking around and headed straight for the counter, most likely sneering at the grimy little store.

"Shop-keeper!" she summoned, voice firm and echoing. The animals were unusually quiet, most likely silenced by her firm presence.

Or her faux-fur coat. Who knew?

The back door cracked open and the snivelling manager peeked out, eyes widening and face reddening. Stumbling out, he rubbed his greasy hands on his equally filthy trousers and pasted on a yellowing, uneven smile. "Madam Malfoy, h-how may I be of service?"

Lip curling, Narcissa raised her chin and pulled Harry from her coat. She set him on the counter, manicured nails pinching the scruff of his neck. "This," she said, "is a menace. I purchased him in Belgium and haven't been able to get rid of him since."

"You wish to s-sell him?" the shop-keeper squeaked, recognising the sleek creature as a werecat. His store was certainly a blessed one to have seen three in his lifetime!

"Sell? I have no need for whatever you might scrounge up. I trust our little transaction will remain…discreet?"

"O-of course! No-one shall know where he came from!"

"Good," she smiled coolly, pressing a handful of gold coins to the counter-top. She spun on her heel, robes fluttering gracefully around her form. "For the trouble. Good day, sir."

Harry ignored the sinking feeling of abandonment in his chest, watching Narcissa go with wide eyes. They had planned this all out, but now he felt pretty shitty about the whole thing. Howling, he scratched frantically when meaty hands wrapped around his small body.

"Insolent fucker!" the man hissed, practically chucking him into a cage after fumbling with the lock for a moment. The door was locked and the man stomped back into the back, growling over the wounds on his hands and wrists.

Harry shook himself off, baring his teeth at the man's back. Wrinkling his nose, he glanced around and saw he had been put in the exact same spot, in the exact same cage as last time. A particularly vicious-looking hawk squawked at him from its perch not inches away.

Grumbling to himself, he settled down for a [most likely] long wait. He was rather tired since being up the whole night in an excited buzz, but he couldn't sleep just yet – not when he knew Lucius could walk in at any moment.

He hadn't seen or spoken to the Lord in over three years – after graduating in 98', he had met up with Narcissa in Spain where she began drilling eighteen years' worth of etiquette and manners into his head. He wasn't a caveman by any means, but he knew next to nothing about Pureblood niceties. He supposed he could've just shown up with some NEWTs and Lucius would have been happy, but that sounded…well, like he was taking the easy way out. He wasn't sure if they would last – would Lucius even show up? – and if they didn't, then he had learned how to not make a fool of himself at a dinner party and could go on with his life. Either way, he had still wriggled out of his parents grasp and disappeared with only a few letters every now and then. He felt horrible for leaving them and not telling anybody – directly, he assumed Remus knew exactly where he was going – but it was something he needed to do for himself.

He was an only child, had been isolated until Hogwarts…he supposed what he had done was childish and stupid, but he was finally making his own decisions. Sighing softly, he closed his eyes and settled his chin on his paws.

If Lucius didn't show, he would get the twins to help him egg the Manor. Arsehole.