All Those Muggle Things

QLFC Training Camp - Seeker: Banchory Bangers - Round 1 (Fairytale Dabbling) - "The Little Mermaid."

The 12 Days of Christmas Drabbles Challenge - Bronze Level - "Lucius Malfoy."

You are four years old and it seems you have it all.

Your large mansion of a home is constantly filled with magic; you have a house-elf that will play with you if you ask him to, and, best of all, there's this park that Mommy takes you to every day.

When you go to the park, Mommy holds tight to your hand and you skip alongside her, waving at anyone who will spare you a glance.

The moment you enter the grassy field of the park entrance, you try to tug away from Mommy's hand.

"Draco," she says to you, "be careful, okay?"

"Yes, Mommy," you promise her, and she smiles, leaning down to ruffle your platinum-blonde hair that already looks so much like your father's.

Then you're off, running through the grass and onto the metallic playground equipment, heading straight for the seesaw.

One end of the bright red seesaw is leaning on the wood-chip ground, and you sit on it, waiting patiently. You know your friend will be here any moment now.

And then there she is, racing towards you, her bushy brown hair flying behind her as she runs.

She joins you on the seesaw and you grin widely at her, pushing off the ground with your feet. You soon fall into an easy rhythm, drifting off the ground and into the sky and back down again, and it almost feels like flying.


You remember that tiny training broom your Mommy bought you last week, and you decide to tell your friend about it.

"Herminny," you say, "I can really fly, you know."

She laughs. "That's not true."

"It is!" you insist sullenly. "I have a magical broom. My mommy bought it for me."

She sticks out her tongue. "I don't believe you," she says. "I can do some magic, but even I don't have a flying broom." She thinks about it for a moment. "My mum and dad don't have magic though. Maybe that's why I don't have a broom."

"Maybe," you shrug.

"Or maybe they just don't exist," she finishes.

You frown until an idea comes to you. "Tomorrow, I'll bring my broom here and show you."

"Okay," she smiles, and the discussion is forgotten, at least for the time being.

That night, at dinner, you tell Mommy and Daddy that you need to bring your broom to the park tomorrow to show it to your friend.

"I need to show her that brooms can fly," you explain. "She knows magic, but because her mommy and daddy don't, so they've never bought her a broom before."

Daddy's eyes narrow. "What's your friend's name?"

"Herminny," you reply promptly.

Daddy's eyes narrow further. "What's her surname?"

You shrug easily, spooning another scoop of mashed potatoes into your mouth. You've never liked mashed potatoes, but Daddy always gets angry when you complain, so you've learned to just force them down.

"I'm taking you to the park tomorrow," Daddy announces, and Mommy shoots him a nervous glance.

You just smile, not sure why Mommy seems so afraid. You hardly ever get to spend time with Daddy, and if he takes you to the park, you're sure he'll love to meet Herminny.

The next morning, Daddy walks you to the park. He refuses to hold your hand, so you just walk beside him, hurrying to keep up with his quick pace.

He didn't let you bring the broom to the park today- and when you pouted about it, he promised that once he met your friend, then you would be able to bring the broom.

You sigh. Maybe he'll let you show it to Herminny tomorrow.

When you arrive at the park, you grab Daddy by the wrist and practically drag him over to the seesaw. He does not seem amused, but he doesn't protest at your antics.

Today, Herminny is already waiting for you, beaming on the seesaw, her oversized front teeth showing.

"This is my daddy!" you exclaim, pride in your voice. Then your brow furrows slightly. What did Mommy always do when introducing you to new people? Oh, right. "And Daddy, this is Herminny, my best friend."

Herminny flushes happily at the compliment. "Hello, Draco's daddy!" she pipes up cheerily.

When your daddy doesn't respond, you glance up at him, shocked to see that his face is furiously red.

"Come on, Draco," he growls, voice dangerously quiet. "We're leaving."

"But-" you try to protest, but he snatches you up in his arms and carries you away from Herminny.

You start to cry, unsure of why Daddy seems so mad. Didn't he like her?

Daddy refuses to speak with you until you get home. When you do, Mommy is already waiting in the parlor. Daddy tosses you onto the parlor couch, turning on Mommy.

"How could you let our son fraternize with a girl like her?" he spits, venom dripping into every word.

Mommy pales. "Look, Lucius, they're just kids. Does it really-"

"It matters!" Daddy roars, a vein bulging in his forehead. "Of course it matters, Narcissa!"

You start sobbing even harder, and Daddy spins to you. You flinch, terribly sure that he's going to strike you, but he doesn't.

Instead, he glares at you, a glare so filled with malice that it's almost worse than a slap.

"You are not to consort with Mudbloods," he leers, hate oozing out of his voice. "If I ever see you talking to a Mudblood again, you'll be in more trouble than you can ever imagine."

You're trembling now, hiccuping with tears. "What's- What's a Mudblood?"

Daddy gives you a disgusted glance. "We'll deal with this later. But this is not over, Draco, not even close."

When he leaves, Mommy sits with you on the couch, pulling you into her warm embrace, but she offers no words of comfort.

Ten years later, when you're fourteen years old, you know what a Mudblood is, and you're practically a carbon copy of your father- or so it seems.

You strut around Hogwarts like you own the place, insulting Muggle-borns whenever the opportunity comes up; and it comes up quite a lot, because Hermione Granger is the Mudblood witch in your year.

You remember her. You know exactly who she is- that girl from the park, a decade ago. The girl who never believed in magic brooms.

It's clear, however, that she doesn't remember you.

So you keep an eye on her, curious- how is it possible that a Mudblood, someone who is, according to your father, the filthiest of all living scum, is the top witch in your year?

You're curious, that's all. You want- you need- to learn how someone like her could possibly excel in all of her classes.

And as you observe Hermione Granger's performance in academics, you notice other things, too- you find yourself pondering over the lives of other Muggleborn Hogwarts students, wondering how they seemed exactly like you when, in truth, their blood was supposedly unclean.

And so, as you conduct your unofficial experiment, you find Muggle things piling up in your trunk. Muggle items and artifacts that you've spotted lying on the floor and pocketed for no apparent reason. A burnt-out camera. A button. A sewing needle. A shoelace.

You have no idea why you're saving these things, but you are, and slowly, your secret collection grows.

You're fifteen years old when your father realizes you've been collecting Muggle things, and he's more furious than he's ever been in his entire life.

Screaming curses and bloody murder, he goes so far as to aim a Cruciatus at you- which, fortunately, you're able to dodge at the last moment.

Your mother tries to calm him down, but he strikes her across the face and you can see she's blinking back tears.

Your heart hardens. It's one thing for him to target you, but if he thinks he can hurt your mother and get away with it, he's got another thing coming.

You shoot your own spell at him, and he roars in pain, freezing you in place with a bolt of magic and you're forced to watch as he smashes every item in your collection to smithereens.

Then he leaves, storming out of the house, and you bellow curses at him, spitting in rage.

When he's gone, it's your mother who takes your hand and helps you off the floor. You flinch, gritting your teeth against an onslaught of pain and glance down at your fingers, mangled and twisted. When did he manage to break your hand?

As your mother heals your broken bones, she begins to ask the house-elf to clean up the camera shards and Muggle-thing bits and pieces scattered across the floor.

You interrupt her. Once your hand is fixed, you pick up all the broken Muggle things by yourself, swallowing against tears.

It's not the so-called Mudbloods who have filthy blood, you decide; it's your father who deserves to die.

When you pledge your allegiance to the Dark Lord and accept the burning snake-tattoo seared into your arm, your father thinks he's finally won. He thinks he's broken you.

He's wrong.

Of course, you pretend to give the Dark Lord your full loyalty, but multiple traitorous thoughts nag at the corners of your brain.

The first is: you don't want to be a murderer. You don't want to kill Albus Dumbledore, because he's given you more second chances than you deserve.

And the second?

You still silently study Hermione Granger.

You watch as she grows closer with the Potter Brat and the Weasel, and you watch as she becomes stronger. Braver. Smarter.

More powerful than your own pure-blood father ever was.

Nobody knows when you save Hermione's life. It's during the war, in the midst of falling wizards and witches from both sides- the dark side; your side. And the light side, the side that holds your secret loyalty forever.

Someone shoots a Killing Curse at her. You see the green bolt of light before she does, and you immediately launch yourself at her, knocking her down and rolling her out of the way.

Her head cracks painfully against the ground and you wince on her behalf, but the important thing is that she's breathing, she's living, she's alive.

Her eyes start to flutter open blearily, and you know she can't ever find out it was you who saved her.

But you can't help yourself.

"It's me," you whisper in her ear. "From the park. I told you magic was real. And I'm sorry, Herminny, that I didn't get to show you my toy broom. You would've loved it, I'm sure."

You pull away and break into a run before she can realize your identity.

Your eyes burn, and you let the tears fall.