Cunning as a Ferret
By the Empress of the Eclipse
Disclaimer - I don't own Harry Potter, it belongs to our beloved JK Rowling and Bloomsbury.
WARNINGS - This is fluffy nonsense with occasional sentimenty dollops. It could prove bad for your teeth! *grins*
Vagueish Harry/Draco (if you want to see it that way).
I knew I shouldn't have taken that cup of tea off Goyle.
To be fair, it probably wasn't really his fault. He's so dumb that he probably didn't realise that Pansy had put something in it. Dumb bitch. Just because I wouldn't sleep with her, she gets all huffy and needs revenge.
Anyway, there I was, doing my Potions homework in the dormitory so I could concentrate, like a good boy when Goyle comes up to the dormitory and offers me a cup of tea. After checking he hadn't made it (last time, he used gravy powder rather than tea), I accepted it and drank it. It tasted a little odd but not particularly.
Nothing happened for about five minutes, giving me time to settle back into my essay and time for Goyle to go away. Then I suddenly realised that my stomach was cramping unpleasantly and my hands were itching terribly. I staggered to my feet, about to make a dash for the bathroom when the world suddenly feel away most alarmingly and the floor whooshed up towards me. The whole effect was so dizzying that I closed my eyes as it happened. Something soft folded over my head like a huge blanket, and panicked, I scrabbled at it until I found a way out. Once out, I realised that the world had grown very big.
Or I had grown very small.
Horrified beyond all measure, I used my new snowy white paws to scrabble up my bedspread and ran over to my bedside table, where I stared at myself in the mirror which rested there.
I was a ferret.
My first thought was Mad-Eye Moody's back! He's come to take his revenge! My second thought was Uh oh.
Slytherins do not like small, cuddly animals. They are not affected by the Aw, isn't that cute? mentality that gets the Gryffindors. At least, no Slytherin with any pride is affected by that mentality.
And most of the Slytherins I know are very proud.
My reaction to this thought was pure ferret. I leaped off the bed (considering my size, this should have been a titanic feat, but I landed on top of my robes that were crumpled on the floor, thus breaking my fall) and flew out of the door as fast as my four paws would carry me. I thought I heard someone in the Common Room yell "Hey!" as I passed but this only panicked my twitchy ferret brain every more. I flew over to the Hidden Wall and scrabbled at it with my hopelessly ineffective paws. Luckily, the Hidden Wall obviously goes by what's in the mind rather than what the body looks like and it swung open. I flew up the corridor, scrambled up a flight of stairs and down another corridor. I only stopped running when I finally managed to drag my ridiculous ferret brain under control. During this time, I had got hopelessly lost. Well, the school looks a bit different when you are very small.
As I miserably wandered round the cold corridors, my tiny paws getting more and more tired, entertaining depressed thoughts about never being able to convince anyone that I was really Draco Malfoy and having to remain a ferret forever, I was startled to hear voices coming towards me.
"...anyway, it was your fault Ron."
Ron? Weasely? Oh no!
"It was not my fault! It was an experiment that went wrong, that's all."
"Did you have to experiment in Snape's lesson? With my cauldron?"
"Oh come on Harry, I couldn't exactly use mine now could I? It's old and battered, it would never stood up to that treatment."
"And neither did Harry's!"
"But Herm, I didn't know that!"
Potter, Weasely and Granger. About the only people I did not want to meet while in my pathetic state. I knew what they were talking about to as I'd been in the lesson that afternoon where Weasley had melted Potter's cauldron, seemingly in an attempt to mix up some sort of horrible smelling thing. Snape gave him and Potter detention, and threw one in for Granger too since she was just standing there. I had been deeply amused by the entire incident.
As I frantically looked around for somewhere to hide, I saw the three morons heading towards me. Realising it was too late, my ferret instincts made me cower down in front of them, shaking and trembling quite pathetically.
"It's a ferret," Weasley said, sounding surprised "What do you think it's doing inside?"
I cowered down even further as they surrounded me, staring down at me out of too large eyes. No one should be allowed to be that large! (I refuse to believe that it's because I'm small).
"Hey, doesn't he look like Malfoy?" Weasley said, then laughed. Potter and Granger both snickered too. I arched my back, furious. Bloody Weasley, bloody Mad-eye Moody...
"Well, maybe not Malfoy," Weasley conceded, kneeling down "It's too cute to be Malfoy, aren't you little ferret."
He reached out a hand and quick as I could, I lunged forward and chomped down firmly on his grubby finger.
Weasley shook me violently until I let go. He then clutched tightly at his finger, staring at it as though I had wounded him mortally. I didn't think ferrets could smile but if they could, there would have been a big ferret grin on my face at that moment.
"Bastard little thing!" Weasley was yelling.
"You probably scared it," Potter said reprovingly "It's only a little ferret."
He knelt down now.
"Here little ferret," he said kindly "Come along little ferret. You can't stay here."
Oh for God's sake! Was Potter always so bloody I'm-so-nice-let-me-save-you- from-your-hideous-plight? I hissed at him and arched my back again.
"He'll bite you too," Weasley said, sounding rather happy about this "Then you'll be sorry."
I considered doing just this, but then thought about it. Why bite the hand that feeds you? And it would piss Weasley off if I didn't bite Potter.
So when Potter put out his hand again and said coaxingly "Come on little ferret!" I squeaked obligingly and ran over to him, sniffing at his fingers in what I hoped was a ferret like way. Granger giggled and Weasley made a furious sound as Potter carefully picked me up, cuddling me to his chest.
"I wonder if he belongs to someone?" he asked "He's really sweet."
"Sweet?" Weasley spluttered "It's an evil fiend!"
"Oh Ron, don't be so ridiculous," Granger said, using her most know-it-all voice "It's only a ferret. You just scared it."
She reached out to pet me. Instantly, I scrabbled out of my hollow in Potter's arms and chomped down hard. Granger yelled.
"Vicious little beast!" she said indignantly.
"Thought you said it was only a ferret," Weasley said snidely as I snuggled back into my warm hollow. I thought that really I ought to take this opportunity to bite Potter too but the ferret in me didn't really like the taste of blood and besides, it was rather funny to watch Potter's best friends sputter and moan over their injuries while Potter was holding me completely uninjured.
"I wonder if he belongs to someone?" Potter mused, staring down at me thoughtfully "Maybe we should take it down to Hagrid."
Hagrid! Maybe I was wrong about Potter after all! The half-giant freak ate things like me for breakfast! My ferret instincts took over again and I frantically tried to scrabble away.
"Hey, hey! Easy little ferret! You don't like that idea huh? Well, we'll just have to take you up to the Gryffindor Common Room and keep you until tomorrow when McGonagall can sort you out. Okay with you?"
Fine with me. At least it would be warm up there. And maybe they'd give me something to eat. It was better than letting the half-giant near me.
"Harry! You aren't seriously going to take that evil little rodent come up to our Common Room?"
Trust Weasley to over-react. I snuggled down in Potter's arms and stared smugly at him from the rim. Weasley glowered back.
"Don't be silly Ron," Potter said "It's only a ferret."
"It's looking at me funny," Weasley said sulkily.
"Maybe it's a familiar," Granger said doubtfully "Although I never heard of anyone having a ferret before. And besides, it's against the rules, we're only allowed owls, cats or toads."
"Yeah, yeah, we know," Weasley said with a sigh "It must be a Slytherin's familiar if it is one - horrible thing like that!"
"Aw come on Ron, he's sweet!" Potter said, lightly petting me.
Sweet?The great Harry Potter was calling me, Draco Malfoy, sweet? It was either funny or hideous, I couldn't decide which.
White I was attempting to decide this, the Trio were walking back to their common room, squabbling about whether Potter really ought to be carrying this deadly beast or not. I was quite happy to be carried. My paws were still aching from too much exercise, and besides, Potter was nice and warm to snuggle up to.
We walked up what seemed like miles of stairs to finally reach a portrait of a fat lady in a pink dress.
"Password?" she asked.
"Fudge Sandcastles," Potter said calmly. This struck me as an extremely stupid password but I was distracted from it when the portrait swung aside to reveal and hole which we all went through.
So this was the Gryffindor Common Room? It was better than the Slytherin one. Warmer, more friendly feeling. It was packed with students doing their homework and talking and laughing - so at least that was the same.
"Harry! What's that?"
Finnigan, the Irish asshole. Great.
"It's a ferret," Harry said "We found him in the corridors."
"So you're offering the poor thing a home? How sweet."
"Shut up Seamus," Harry said calmly "We're not offering him a home, we're just keeping him until we can give him back to McGonagall. He must be someone's pet or he'd never have got that far into the castle and would have run away when he saw us."
"Wish he had run away," Weasley said sulkily "He bit me, the bastard! Right to the bone!"
"Oh don't be silly Ron, it was nowhere near the bone!" Granger said, although she sounded rather grumpy too "We'd better wash our bites though Ron, ferrets don't clean their teeth."
I took affront at this and tried to scowl at her. It didn't work, ferrets are not equipped for scowling. But my hackles went up and I hissed.
"Hey," Potter said gently "Don't get upset, little ferret! It's just the Common Room. These are my friends."
Shows what you know I thought sulkily. Your friend is making accusations about me not cleaning my teeth and I should stay calm? Grrrr.
Potter gently stroked my ears in a rather soothing fashion. I wondered if ferrets could purr and decided they probably couldn't. Still, the ferret in me was definitely enjoying that...
Potter walked over and sat on an armchair beside the fire, resting me quite comfortably in his lap. He began to idly stroke me as Weasley and Granger returned, bringing their homework with them, Weasley cursing Snape with the worst words he knew (which was nothing compared to the worst words I know!) and Granger telling him off for swearing. Those two made such a double act. I hoped they'd reveal something personal, like how often they'd had sex together. I had money riding on that they'd done it at least five times.
As Potter leaned over and began to write on his parchment, he kept stroking me, right down my back, then slipping his fingers underneath to tickle my stomach lightly. The real me was utterly repulsed by this but the ferret part was utterly ecstatic and delightedly chased the fingers around, rolling over willingly for a tickle and arching my back for more strokage.
"That thing really is cute!" I heard Weasley Female remark "Harry, you should keep him!"
"It's against the rules," Granger said swiftly.
"Shame," Potter remarked "He is pretty sweet. I wonder if he's hungry? Anyone got anything to feed a ferret?"
I suddenly wondered exactly what ferrets ate. My brain began conjuring up images of insects and other horrible things that animals liked to eat and I began quaking on Potter's lap.
"What's the matter little one? Aren't you hungry? Don't worry, we won't make you eat anything you don't want to."
Potter began to pet me against in a soothing manner and I relaxed a little. Weasley Female came over and held out her hand with chocolate on. I promptly whipped forward, snapped it up and zoomed back to the safety of Potter's lap to eat it.
"Wow! Fast!" Weasley Female said, looking a little surprised.
"Obviously hungry," Potter said "Or perhaps he just likes chocolate. I wonder what his name is?"
"Call it Malfoy!" Finnigan laughed from nearby.
I whistled at him approvingly.
"I didn't know ferrets could whistle," Weasley said "Still, it seems to like the name Malfoy. Stupid little beast really."
Stupid?Furious, I attempted to make a leap for Weasley's throat but at that moment, Potter lifted me up and draped me over his shoulder, meaning that I had to scrabble for balance. I made another whistling noise, this one of indignation. Potter laughed and scratched me gently under the chin before going back to his homework, absently ordering Weasley not to call his new ferret stupid. I decided that it was rather comfortable up there after all and coiled myself into the safest position I could, staring down at Potter's homework and whistling happily every now and then when he got an answer wrong. Potter seemed to feel that I was whistling for attention because every time that I whistled, he reached up and petted me. Unfortunately, about the sixth time this happened, the ferret part of me got so enthusiastic that I fell off Potter's shoulder and ended up on his lap again, much to Potter's amusement.
"Maybe McGonagall will let me keep him," he said to Granger "I mean, he's ever so sweet and I really like him."
I wished more than ever that I could talk. Potter wanted to keep me! Me, Draco Malfoy, his arch-enemy! As a pet!
Although if I had to stay a ferret forever, staying with Potter was probably about the best option...
What was I thinking? I'd rather be eaten by the half-giant than live with Potter! I hate Potter dammit! This is the ferret part of me, yes that explains it. I'm part Draco Malfoy, part ferret slut, willing to prostitute itself for a stroke or two...
"Oops," Weasley announced, shattering my panicky thoughts. I looked up at him and realised that he was levitating about two feet off the floor. Obviously, Weasley had found the levitation charm for large objects that we were supposed to be learning in Charms a bit too easy.
Potter cracked up, leaning back helplessly in his armchair and shaking with laugher. Annoyed that he had stopped stroking, I nipped his fingers lightly. This seemed to make Potter laugh harder and he kept tickling me lightly while laughing at Weasley's plight.
"Ron, you weren't supposed to practise on yourself!" Granger said, sounding like she was struggling not to laugh herself "We're just supposed to be noting down the theory!"
"I didn't mean to!" Weasley snapped, amid gales of laughter from the other members of the Common Room who were watching this with glee "I was just writing it and I was trying to spell the words out and I had my wand on my lap and then...oh just get me down would you? I'm feeling air sick!"
This was too much for Granger who pressed a hand over her mouth and began giggling helplessly. She pointed her wand unsteadily at Weasley and said "Finite Incantatum!"
Unfortunately, she was laughing so hard that she missed Weasley completely. And hit me.
The world twisted and spun again and then I was back at my normal size, curled up on Potter's lap, completely naked and staring right into Potter's eyes, practically close enough to kiss him. His hand was still on my stomach and just beneath it...
Ohshitshitshitshitshitshit where did THAT come from?!
Obviously, the ferret's enjoyment of being stroked showed itself in another way now I was human again. In a way that I didn't like at all.
It appeared to be something Potter quite liked though. Was that just his knee I was sitting on or was that...?
It was at about this point in my thoughts that the Gryffindors reacted to my sudden appearance in their midst. Potter gave an extremely girly shriek and threw me off him, jumping into a standing position in the chair like a woman who's just spotted a mouse. Granger also shrieked and covered her eyes with her hands, Weasley started laughing hysterically and the rest of the Common Room seemed split between unholy glee and shock. I tried to cover myself up and glowered round at them with hatred. Potter was still standing up on his arm chair, clutching the back of it and looking grey in the face. It would have been funny if I hadn't been naked on the floor.
"What the hell are you laughing at?" I snarled at Weasley, who was now hanging in a very odd position in the air and hugging his stomach "Like you've got any more dignity!"
"Someone give him something to wear!" Granger wailed "I can't look until he's decent!"
Potter (eyes still fixed unblinkly on me) shrugged off his outer robe and threw it to me. I quickly squirmed into it, grateful to notice that a certain...problem...had already gone.
"Y-y-y-y-y-you w-were the f-f-f-ferret," Potter managed to stammer out through stiff lips.
I nodded, standing up and punching Weasley hard in the arm to shut him up. It didn't work, he just clutched his arm and laughed harder.
"You can look now Granger," I said darkly "My incredibly desirable body is now concealed by Potter's manky robe."
Granger peered rather comically between spread fingers, then removed her hands.
"How did you become a ferret this time?" she asked "Annoy another teacher?"
"No," I said rather sulkily "Someone put something in my tea."
Granger giggled a most annoying giggle. I gave her a look of hatred, then looked back at the traumatised looking Potter, who appeared to be unable to speak. The rest of the Common Room was having no such trouble and I was very aware that this story was going to be around the whole of Hogwarts by tomorrow morning. This was going to be something that the gossips would love.
"Ferret," Potter managed again, still gaping at me like a yokel.
"Potter, you are remarkably quick on the up-take," I said irritably "I need to go and kill someone now so if you'll all excuse me..."
With as much dignity as I could manage, I marched over to the Portrait Hole and walked through it. I could still hear their laughter as I walked out. Goyle was so going to die for this...
Still...it had been funny. Poor old Potter...I had a feeling that he'd never get over the shock of having a cute little ferret suddenly turn into his naked worst enemy on his lap. That would be the last time he ever tried to help something small and fluffy on the floor! Though his body certainly hadn't seemed to mind the intrusion...
I suddenly heard running footsteps behind me and turned to see Potter arrive, looking dishevelled. I raised an eyebrow at him, hoping I looked calm and composed and utterly in control.
"Yes?" I said.
"The robe," Potter said, gesturing at the robe that was protecting my modesty.
"Yes?" I said again, wondering what on earth was coming next.
"Burn it, okay? I mean...ferret hair. And you. On it. So...burn it."
"Potter," I said sincerely "Nothing could give me greater pleasure."
For a moment we just stood there staring at each other. I couldn't help being hugely amused by Potter's rather adorable flustered expression. Leaning over, I patted his head like he'd patted mine earlier.
"Don't worry Potter," I said in my kindest voice "I'm sure that the rest of the school will appreciate your kindness to helpless creatures."
Potter moaned pathetically at the idea of everyone knowing how he'd adopted his worst enemy. I grinned as an idea suddenly came to me. I let my grin widen wickedly, staring Potter in the face.
"Who knows, maybe Snape will appreciate your kindness to his favourite student," I said, pushing the humiliation in a little deeper "He might even award you points...give you a commendation in front of the whole school...Potter, the saviour of little furry creatures..."
Potter groaned again.
"Why Potter," I said, affecting surprise "Anyone would think you were embarrassed by the whole thing."
"Shut the hell up Malfoy and leave me alone," Potter said, turning away.
"Course," I remarked innocently to his back "This hideous embarrassment would never have happened to either of us if Goyle hadn't put something in my tea. If it was Goyle, which I rather suspect it wasn't as he's too stupid to think of that. That means it must have been someone else. I personally would like to hunt down the perpetrator of this idea and make them suffer horribly."
Potter turned round and looked at me thoughtfully.
"Keep talking," he said.
"Course, I've never been very good at getting information out of people," I said "But you have an odd knack of knowing things you shouldn't possibly be able to know. You also have friends in...high places, shall we say. So...perhaps we could form a mutually beneficial agreement where you discover the perpetrator of this crime and I cause that person serious damage. What do you think?"
Potter was staring at me blankly. Then he suddenly smiled, a smile that rivalled my most evil ones.
"Malfoy," he said "That has to be the best idea you've ever had."
Which was why a week later, Pansy turned into a large fruit bat in the middle of the Great Hall (courtesy of a brief truce between myself and the Weasley twins, who specialise in things of that sort). And why when it happened and the hall filled with shocked squeals of amazement, Potter and I exchanged looks of pure wicked glee.
Hey, he might be my enemy. But enemies sometimes have their uses. And Potter's particularly cunning.
Almost as cunning as a ferret you might say.
Black Goddess: Fruit bats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Empress: Some people are pleased by the simplest things.