Disclaimer: I do not own, nor do I claim to own, Harry Potter in any way, shape or form. No copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
"Why can't we go out, father?" asked Draco Malfoy. He was sitting at the dinner table, watching his father tell off one of the house elves. Lucius shot him a dark look, gave the house elf a quick kick out of the dining room and stippled his fingers in his forever evil manner.
"Because, Draco, it is Halloween. Only muggles and muggle-lovers go out on Halloween."
The young boy nodded. Narcissa Malfoy smiled at him sweetly and dabbed at her lips lightly with a napkin. Draco followed suit and threw down his napkin, excusing himself from the table and rising.
"We'll visit the Parkinson's tomorrow, it's just one night," drawled Lucius.
"Of course, father," said Draco nonchalantly. He then turned on his heel and retreated out of the room. Silently, he made his way through the musty old manor until he arrived at his bedroom.
He was a small boy, only seven years of age with a wiry frame and white-blonde hair. His father often complained that he needed to play more Quidditch - it would toughen him up. His mother often pondered whether the house elves had been starving him. Of course, this ended with many jobless, not to mention headless, house elves.
Draco threw himself down onto his large, four poster bed and boredly began tracing patterns with his fingers over the thick quilt cover. A few minutes passed as he lounged in his boredom, before he noticed the loud sounds emanating from outside the Manor. Rushing to the window, he was disappointed to find that it was only the shrieks of innocent bystanders, as the west wing of a house two Estates down had caught fire.
'Why doesn't anything interesting happen on Halloween?' he asked himself. He decided to sieze the moment and put on a face of forced indifference, before running downstairs. His father was in his study, sitting at his desk with a glass of liquor and a black book open in front of him.
"Father! Something's happening at the Nott's. Shall we go see?" he asked, as if annoyed that they dared to create such a fuss on Halloween.
"No, Draco," said Lucius, taking a long sip from his glass of brandy. "Whatever has happened, they can care for it themselves."
"Alright," the young boy murmured. Draco knew better than to argue with his father.
He headed back to the room, sulking the very moment he was out of sight. He returned to his room and seated himself at the window, enjoying for a moment the look of rage on Jansen Nott's face as he berated his son.
So what was the young Malfoy going to do now? He went to his wardobe and tried on his new dress robes. He went in search of a missing sock. He even called for a house elf, only to send him in search of said sock.
Still, he was bored. Longingly, he looked out the window at the large town below. Night had fallen, cloaking the land in black shadows and hiding itself away from prying eyes. The street lamps had been lit and they were the only guides for Draco's eyes. He pressed his small palms up on the window and squinted, watching as people who looked as small as ants, travelled back and forth from house to house.
He had heard from Blaise Zabini that this kind of thing was called 'trick or treating'. His cousin had told her about it. Children would go from house to house and beg the residents for sweets until they finally gave in. Even if it was a muggle practice, Draco couldn't help but be secretly enticed. What kind of seven year old would he be if he didn't have a sweet tooth?
"I want sweets," he proclaimed to his empty room. Realising that he'd need someone to actually get them for him, he raced to his parents bedroom. Narcissa Malfoy was standing at her dresser, sealing an envelope.
"Mummy," said Draco politely, "do we have any sweets?"
Narcissa smiled at her son and knelt down to eye level. "You really are in the Halloween spirit, aren't you?"
He nodded quickly, grinning his cutest grin.
"I'm sorry Draco, but your father would be rather upset if I gave you sweets today. He doesn't necissarily like Halloween."
Crestfallen, Draco frowned. He pondered for a moment whether a well deserved and practiced tantrum would get him what he wanted. Then of course, this would require him disagreeing with his father's word, and it was seldom done.
"Why doesn't father like Halloween?" he asked curiously, pouting darkly at Narcissa. If he couldn't have what he wanted, he would be damned if she got off so easily.
"Because he just doesn't," she said sternly, cringing inside with guilt. That child sure knew how to pull her strings. She smoothed down his hair, before directing him to the door and giving him a small pat on the back.
"How about you go to your room and read a book."
Draco shot her a death glare, surprising her to the fullest, before he stomped off grumpily through the castle. In his anger, he gave a suit of armour a very sharp kick.
"Oooow!" he howled, clenching one fist at the armour and jumping around stupidly, rubbing his foot with the other. "Stupid armour," he muttered.
Soft laughter emitted from one of the portraits and he turned to glare at it. Inside was a young woman, standing in a very clouded, foreboding atmosphere which looked the very image of the Malfoy Family Graveyard. She had long black hair, pale skin, dark brown eyes and was watching him very curiously from across the hall.
"You really should be more careful," she told Draco, a small smile still lingered on her lips. "I'd hate to think of the trouble you'd be in if you injured your foot doing something so stupid."
"I wasn't being stupid!" said Draco, defensively. "I was testing it's durability!"
"Such big words for such a small boy," said the portrait absentmindedly. "I'm guessing that you're Lucius' son."
"Indeed I am."
He raised his chin indignantly, looking very much the younger image of his father. He folded his small, bony arms and ignored his throbbing foot. "Who are you?"
The portrait curtsied and bowed her head. Draco noticed that her lanky black robes featured the Malfoy crest. Her dark smile made him uneasy, as was the maddening look in her eyes. The other portraits in the hall were whispering back and forth between one another, for they usually did not speak in the presence of their hosts.
"So, young Malfoy, what brings you into this part of the castle?" she questioned, moving further down her portrait until she was standing above the frame.
"Nothing," he muttered. "I'm just bored."
"A Malfoy is bored," she said to herself, "on Halloween?"
Draco nodded slowly, watching her with clear interest. Maybe she knew why his father seemed to dislike Halloween more than he let on, or perhaps she knew something that would keep him preoccupied until this awful night was over. Who knows, maybe she even knew where some sweets were. She seemed to be entraced as she stood there, observing him closely.
"Well, why aren't you trick or treating, dear boy?" asked Katherine, sweetly.
"Father says that trick or treating is for muggles."
"I see..." she began. "Do you agree?"
Confused, Draco asked, "Agree with what?"
"Whether trick or treating is for muggles, boy. I thought Malfoys were meant to be smart," she muttered and Draco scowled. "Oh nevermind," she said, noting the look on his face.
"You're a very unusual portrait," he murmured, prodding the edge of her mahogany frame. If she weren't a portrait, she probably would've reached out and slapped him. Instead, she sneered and walked further away from him, standing behind a rather realistic, watercolored tombstone.
"You do know what Halloween is, don't you?" questioned Katherine.
Draco pondered for a moment, biting his tongue for a moment, before shaking his head. "I thought it was just a day."
She smirked and sat on top of the tombstone. "Some believe that it's the wizarding new year. Truthfully though, it's on this very day, the veil between the living and the dead is thinned and the living are able to speak with the dead."
"And I should care?" asked Draco, boredly. He was tired of company that could not walk in front of him, give him sweets or let him go watch buildings burn.
Katherine shrugged, resting her chin in her palm and watching him lazily with her hawk-like eyes. Draco shuffled his feet nervously. Something about her eyes made him feel uneasy. "Perhaps you don't care, Draco, but I think your father does."
"Father?" asked the young boy, perplexed. Realisation hit him like a hammer and his eyes lit up as he contemplated the possibility. "Father doesn't like Halloween because-"
"Indeed," she murmured knowingly, not bothering to let him finish his sentence.
Draco scrunched up his nose and folded his arms. "But why won't he let me have sweets?"
Katherine rolled her eyes and raised her feet to rest on the tombstone. She balanced herself and hugged her knees to her chest, sighing in frustration. "I tire of your company, I've forgotten just how clueless five year olds are, please save me the trouble of asking and just leave."
"I'm not five!" yelled Draco, his cheeks burning. "I'm seven and a half!"
He stomped his foot and glared at her. She merely faked a yawn and waved her hand, gesturing for him to leave. Draco stuck his tongue out at her, before turning quickly and storming out of the hallway. He retraced his steps until he found his parents rooms. Peeking inside, he found that his mother was no longer inside. He yawned, suddenly feeling for once that it was perhaps, getting late.
He wandered downstairs, searching the drawing room and living room, until he finally finds her sitting in the library. She's sitting in one of the large, black chairs reading to herself in front of the fireplace. Creeping away silently, hoping not to disturb her and to make ammends for his rude behavior, he soon ventured to his father's study.
"Father?" he whispered.
Reaching up to knock on the door, Draco heard a deep voice echo out from the room. "I see things haven't changed much, Lucius."
Curious, Draco decided to do the unthinkable. He peered through the keyhole, trying to find the man who he had not seen arrive. Maybe this man could give him some sweets. After all, his father's friends were always nice to him.
But peering through the keyhole didn't seem to do Draco any good, for while he could still see his father standing in front of his desk; his chin raised indignantly and his arms lazily by his side, he couldn't see the man that Lucius was talking to.
"There hasn't been much to change," said Lucius dryly.
"Then why did you bother calling upon me for yet another year?" the voice asked.
Lucius folded his arms and frowned slightly. "I was under the impression that life in hell wasn't at all enjoyable."
"And neither is being in a house that I cannot dwell in, nor with a son I cannot command," answered the voice gruffly.
Draco edged away from the door. He didn't like the voice and he especially didn't like the angered look on his father's face. Silently, he tiptoed away from his father's study and headed upstairs to his bedroom. Sprawling down on the large, green quilt, he recounted the events earlier that evening.
The Nott's Estate catching fire... his mother refusing to give him sweets... the evil looking portrait who had called him a five year old... his father, and his guest, in his study.
It had certainly been a boring Halloween.
Authors Note: So, what did you all think? Happy Halloween people (and yes, right now it's a little early) and I hope you all enjoyed this ficlet. Please review and let me know what you think!