The Frenchman

A day in the life of a regular Malfoy, or more precisely a regular day in the life of a Malfoy was not at interesting as one might reasonably suppose. Sure, from an outsider's point of view looking in, the extravagance the decadence and the pampering to every whim could look exciting, but it quickly grew commonplace and familiar.

And familiarity breeds contempt.

The problem was, Draco Malfoy decided, being able to (and being allowed to) do anything, you ended up having to make your own decision, and just doing the same old stuff that everybody else did every day of the holidays. Besides, you just couldn't get the staff these days, given how much careful breeding had gone into producing the current deferential breed of house-elves. He was bored out of his mind – because as much as he was allowed to do anything he liked there was a "within reason" tagged onto the end of that. And mild as it sounded, this reproof carried a great deal of force from the elder Malfoys, a blanket that covered almost every indulgence a teenage boy could be expected to be interested in, in the minds of the house-elves, at least. And so there was no point in ordering dancing girls and grape-based beverages when all he got was fully clothed, classically-trained ballet dancers and schloer.

But today, today he decided was going to be different. His parents were otherwise engaged – totally engaged – in a certain dark ritual of…he wanted to say Gravlack, but that wasn't right. Nevertheless, they were tied up (not literally, this being a Tuesday rather than a Saturday night) and were unable to monitor his deeds – or misdeeds – and he could see an end to his boredom coming along nicely.

Several hours later Draco Malfoy was well into the swing of things and settled into the comfortable chair in his suite of rooms, a glass in one hand and his eyes glued (again, not on a Tuesday night) to the widescreen 'television' adorning his wall. An outside observer would, if they hadn't already been caught and killed for trespassing after such a long stretch of time wondering undetected, and if they were a Muggle, so admittedly it's a long shot, probably recognise it as a plasma flat-screen. However, truth be told it was more akin to a magical portal than any kind of retrofitted Muggle technology. They were highly difficult to control (to keep neatly straight edges and not suck the entire world into a hell dimension) and as such this tended to increase the cost astronomically. This meant that the Wizarding Television Network was nowhere near as advanced or developed as their wireless network, and its stars were nowhere near as well known. Which was quite often something they were thankful for.

Most of the patrons of the WTN were a moneyed bunch, with all the necessary qualities of discretion and tact, so the majority of the entertainment provided was eminently suitable for an out-of-the-way gentlemen's club. Thus Draco's attention was currently focused on a riveting tale of five film makers engaged in a competition to make the best film, and sipping at his glass. He didn't even have to get up to refill it, that being what house-elves under direct and unavoidable orders were for.

Every time his genteel sipping emptied a glass it was changed for a new cocktail – he had skipped most of the gin and vodka ones, had lingered on the rum daiquiris for a while and now he was moving onto the brandy section, using VSOP cognac of course, because anything better was too good to mix and anything worse was too terrible to contemplate drinking.

About half-way through the cognac-based medley it occurred to Draco that as teenage rebellions went, watching porn and drinking copious amounts of alcohol, at the grand old age of sixteen, wasn't all that great, and tomorrow certainly wasn't going to be all that memorable. There was bona fide dark ritual going on in this very house and he was sitting it out as nothing more unethical than an adolescent too inebriated to stain the expensive rugs with anything but vomit.

Besides, this film was no where near as diverting as the last.

So he got up.


Sat back down and waited for the world to stop spinning quite so dangerously.

The next time he raised himself up from the chair at a more moderate pace and managed to stay on his feet this time – his natural sashay was only slightly more apparent than normal, punctuated by only the occasional misstep.

Which was how he came to find himself strutting into his father's lower dungeon – the one with the padded floor covering and scatter cushions - to be greeted with the words:

"What, we don't knock at dark rituals any more?"

"Not when I'm not invited, no." He slurred. Apparently his speech was nowhere as steady as his feet, and his logic was in an even worse state.

"Indeed." Sarcasm, among other things, dripped.

Draco pouted.

Lucius wiped the remaining black goop that lingered around his lips away with a crisp and monogrammed handkerchief, and summoned the house-elf assigned to Draco's service.

"How much, precisely," he queried, after the small pop that announced the servants arrival, "has he had to drink?"

"He's on page 76 of the Ultimate Cocktail Book, Sir."

"Curse you for breathing you slack jawed idiot!" cried Draco, going as red in the face as his pale complexion would allow him to.

"Evidently." Deadpanned his father, turning away to grill the elf further on exactly what his son had been doing that evening, with the threat that that metaphor might become literal if he was displeased with the answer.

Draco lost interest in the rounds of recrimination going on and fell onto a rather plush red cushion. He began drinking the drink he had managed to preserve thus far, against all odds. His attention wandered, he was entirely diverted by the interesting new playthings scattered decoratively about the room by some servant of his father's. He examined each as carefully as his inebriation would allow, resisting as best he could, so on the whole unsuccessfully, the urge to touch, until he was brought up rather short by an exclaimed:

"Draco! Get your mouth away from that Frenchman. It's positively indecent!"

Draco looked up coyly, taking his eyes from where they had been fixed on licking sugar off the rim of the martini glass containing the aforementioned Frenchman, his tongue still partially out of his mouth.

He couldn't have looked more endearing; except possibly for when he whined, "but it's only rather good brandy mixed with lemon juice. And only a very small, single lemon at that."

Lucius merely raised an eyebrow at the red-looking drink in what could be called an ironic, or even satirical way.

"Only a very small lemon indeed."

And to be entirely honest there wasn't a whole lot more to say that evening.

In fact, there was not a whole lot more said until a few days later when Lucius finally got around to asking his son if it had all indeed been worth it. And then really wished he hadn't when Draco regaled him with a blow-by-blow account by way of explanation, a tale he entitled Swallows and Amazons.

It had an unexpected ending though, even more distressing than the actual tale.

Yes, that's right - Draco chose this moment to announce that he was gay. Lucius tried to explain that a lack of response to any stimuli with quite that much alcohol swimming around his system was not a shameful thing.

No, Draco explained, the film about the film makers had cleared a few things up. He knew he could never complete, and he didn't like to fail.

"You're gay because you don't think you'd be good at making films?" his father queried. "Or you're gay and you want to make films?" being the horrifying alternative.

"I think I was a little persuasive in explaining that the film had a plot wasn't I? Let's just say that it proved to me that girls are best left to the tender mercies of other girls."

"Oh. Oh! What was it called again?"

A pause in which Draco tried to figure out just how horrified he ought to be with that thought.

"And incidentally, Draco," asked his father a little later, "why do you call that tale Swallows and Amazons?"

"Nah. It was the name of the other film: Swallows an Amazon."