Chapter 6: Ghosts
Disclaimer: I do NOT own the characters of Harry Potter
A/N: I'm so sorry for the late update, no, this isn't the drama filled chapter that would be the next one though, I think.
Very slowly, Draco roused from the bed being as careful as he could as to not to wake the sleeping brunette lying next to him. 'Where in the name of Merlin would I get 35000 galleons?' Draco thought glumly as he made his way down to the garden. And out of frustration, screamed out loud and sunk down onto his knees.
"Having some troubles oh great ferret lord?" said a voice from behind him
"Go away saint potter." Draco muttered not even bothering to look behind him and taking a deep breath he added, "I'm already as miserable as I could be at the moment without you bothering me."
"Lighten up mate." Harry said hitting his shoulder as he sat down next to him, "maybe I could help or offer some words of wisdom." He said going all sagely as he said the last part.
"Look Harry, it's about money matters and rent," he said finally looking at the raven haired young man beside him. "I still have my pride as a man, so no, I'm not borrowing money from you, and besides, if I do borrow from you, how would I be able to pay you back and the rental afterwards?"
"ohhh, someone sounds so pessimistic here." Harry then sighed dramatically, "Too bad I couldn't let you into an easy money method that I know of."
"Easy money? Really? I need to earn 35,000 galleons!" Draco grabbed Harry's shoulders and shook him, "can I earn 35,000 galleons with that method of yours?"
At this point Harry looked at him looking all scandalized. "What? You don't believe me? 35,000 galleons?" Harry snorted, "oh please Malfoy, you can earn up to tenfold of that amount with this handy dandy job that I got on my mind!"
"350,000 galleons!" Draco exclaimed standing to his full height, "We're not going to rob a bank, are we Potter?"
"Of course not." Harry calmly said standing up as well, "its racing, dragon racing but it's pretty illegal and Hermione would hate it if we participate on one. Actually, when I did participate on it this one time she almost maimed me! So, just forget about it and go get some sleep to clear that head of yours."
'That was close' Harry thought as he made his way back to the house and as he was about to open the door he felt Draco's arm fling around his shoulders and when he looked at him, he had this crazed look on his eyes that vaguely reminded him of Bellatrix Lestrange.
"Where can I find the administrators for this race, huh, St. Potter?" he asked with a scary smile
'Hermione would be out for my blood' Harry thought to himself.
Hermione turned to her side expecting the welcoming warmth of Draco's sleeping body next to hers but to her dismay there was no blonde hunky for her to hug or any trace of warmth. Frowning, she forced her sleepy brain to function, slowly opening her eyes, she confirmed his absence, turning to her right she saw the clock. It was only 10:30pm, so where could he be?
Fully awake now, she made her way downstairs calling Draco's name and when no answer came a frown prominently etched itself upon her face.
'Where could they be?' she thought as she went around the house and noticing that nobody's around the place.
Hermione sighed to herself. It wasn't hard to put two and two together. Pansy is out away in Italy at the moment and Harry told her earlier that he has no plans of going anywhere. Ergo, if her reasoning is correct, Draco's probably out trying to earn that rental money and he probably dragged Harry along with him on his mission. She was in the middle of solving the mystery of where Harry fits in this puzzle for surely Draco wouldn't just randomly tag Harry around with him, when her phone started ringing.
"Hello," she said after pressing the accept button and as she heard the voice on the other line she suddenly froze in her position, going rigidly still. It's him. Ron Weasley, that pig she fawned herself with in her younger years and the guy who led her on and broke her heart.
"What do you need Ronald," she said between gritted teeth. The nerve of this guy, he's been missing for a year and half now, no contacts whatsoever at all with his parents and siblings, and now he has the gall to call her?
"You're unbelievable Ronald," she said with barely contained rage. "Running off with Lovegood and now giving me a prank call? I'm turning this down now if you-"
"No, no, no!" Came his frantic voice from the other line, "Hermione please, you don't understand."
"Ohh? I don't understand Weasley? Sure, I don't understand, so I'd better put this call down now!" Hermione all but screeched in indignation on the other line.
"Please listen to me! Even for just a minute!" Hermione sensing the urgency on his voice kept quiet, wanting to know what could have made Ronald come out from his hiding.
"I swear you got no idea how I had to swallow the last remnants of my pride and gather all the remaining Gryffindor courage in me just to call you." He said in an uncharacteristically sad and sober tone, "Please Hermione, I know it's the middle of the night but can we meet up? What I had to say is too delicate and important and I think it's really better to talk in person. I can understand if you don't come but please find it in your heart to at least spare me ten minutes of your presence, of your life." Pausing, he thought of a more appropriate words to voice out his thoughts in a way that it wouldn't sound too cliché or dramatic, "I know that I have wasted enough of your time in the past but you're the only one I can turn to now. My parents would probably kill or strangle me on sight and my siblings aren't far behind that…"
'And I don't?' She thought indignantly to herself, in all actuality, for everything he has caused her, she might as well strangle him to death.
"I know you wouldn't though, you're always the logical one." He said quietly, answering the unvoiced question, "So what do you say? The cafe just on the muggle side of the Leaky Cauldron?"
Hermione who remained quiet all throughout wanted to say something along the lines of "hell no!" But instead she opted on saying, "alright Ronald." She was signing her feelings in a one heck of a rollercoaster ride again but there was something in his voice that made her want to spare him some of her time and to hear him out, plus, it doesn't hurt that she's intrigued with what sounded to be a more mature and articulate Ronald Weasley.
Lucius found himself standing in a meadow full of various blossoming flowers. He could identify the blue dahlias, white irises, snowdrops and sunflowers. They were all blooming which he found odd, he might not be a herbology genius but seriously it doesn't take a genius to know that this flowers shouldn't be blooming all at the same time, they all require different humidity, temperature and sunlight.
"I must be dreaming,"he concluded to himself andnoticing something amidst the dahlias, lowered himself on one knee to get a closer look. Reaching out a hand to weave the dahlias, he saw a white narcissus.
"Dreaming? Not quite but good enough." Said a gentle voice behind him, slowly turning around Lucius was shock to see Narcissa garbed in a loose white dress standing with a smile on her face.
"Lu? You look like as if you saw a ghost." She said and her smile turned into a grin. "boo, scared?"
Lucius abruptly stood up and strode towards her, and openly stared at her.
"It's nice to see you again Lu." She said pleasantly, "but you see I don't have much time, so—" she let her word hang in the air and allowed her fist to do the talking. She hit Lucius on the side of his head. Hard.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING TO MY SON?"
And for a full minute Lucius just stared at his wife before gaining back enough sense, "I'm not doing anything." He said while rubbing the side of his head that Narcissa just whacked. "For a dream, that sure hurt."
"Weren't you listening?" Narcissa huffed placing a hand on her hip and shaking her head. "This isn't exactly a dream Lucius." She said with a smile that clearly said 'I know something you don't'.
"oh?" he said raising an eyebrow, "then what is it?"
Narcissa smile at him and said, "Guess." And she rounded him again, "you haven't exactly answered my question yet my dear, so mind telling me why you are being so hard pressed with your own son?"
"Cissa! Have you seen his choice for a girlfriend?" He said defending himself and mentally he started listing all the negative traits that he'll say, "She's dull, plain and rude, add to the list that she's not from a pure lineage, and that's even an understatement Cissa! She's a muggleborn!" And he went on and on, saying to most irrelevant commentaries.
And when he finished, he noticed that Narcissa was looking at him in a bored manner.
"Are you quite done, darling?" Narcissa asked in a tone that can match the look she's giving him. "I thought you were going to add to the list that she's not blonde."
"That can be arranged." Lucius bite back in indignation as he folded his arms in front of him. Narcissa just sighed.
"The point is, you're giving them too much hardship and it's really out of me." Pausing as she remembered something, "come to think of it, you really didn't take those blood purity ideologies to the heart, so I'm really at loss at what this is all about…"
Lucius sneered, "Do I have to remind you that I was a Death Eater?-"
"yes, yes, you were Voldemort's right hand man," Narcissa cut and continued for him. "But it wasn't and never was for those blood purity ideas."
"It was for power, prestige and to secure a good standing for us, for our family…" Narcissa said sounding nostalgic. "For our happiness."
"Whatever was my reason, it obviously backfired." He said in tone bordering bitter regret. "You're not even by my side anymore…"
"You can still be happy Lu if you stop being so pigheaded." She said gaily and schooling her face in a more serious expression, "but seriously, what do you think you're doing?"
"Hmn… you can call it purging." He said thoughtfully, "you said I'm being hard pressed to our son but how do you extricate pure gold from rubbish? By purging it with fire, correct?"
"Yes…" she said looking thoughtful then she beamed up to him, "you're just testing their mettle?"
"Think of it in whatever way your want to and if it appeases you to think of it in such a way then do so."
Unexpectedly, Narcissa stepped forward and embraced him, "why oh why my dear Lucius must you mask your emotions to an extreme level?" She said burrowing her face on his shoulder, "why are you so stingy on showing it?"
"Whatever." He said dismissively, absentmindedly noticing that he had plucked the white narcissus earlier as he returned the embrace and whispered, "I still don't think she's suited for our son… I prefer Astoria for him." He felt Narcissa sigh and pull away from him, enough to see his eyes. "Lucius, promise me one thing."
Lucius took her hand into his and pressed it against his lips, "anything for you."
With a gentle smile playing on her lips, she stepped back from him. "When this brilliant scheme of yours fails, you'll give way to Draco and Hermione…" Lucius opened his mouth to deny her request but a look from her eyes stopped him.
Sighing he grudgingly said, "I promise." A sudden glint appeared on his eyes, "but I highly doubt that my plans will fail this time. Its as infallible as it could be, sorry to disappoint my love."
"ahh, you're making me fall in love with you all over again." Narcissa crooned as she giggled, obviously not taking his words seriously. And as she fixed her gaze at him, Lucius couldn't help but notice a slight look of wistfulness, longing, perhaps. "Our time has come to an end." She said smiling gently at him, "It had been better than I've imagined, thank you." And she started walking away from him and fading to the environment.
"Wait!" Lucius desperately called out to her, she stopped but she didn't turn around to face him, "you haven't told me what this –" he said gesturing to everything around him, "-is exactly."
She turned around with a bright smile, "Magic Lucius, its magic." With that everything seemed to fade, the flower meadow and Narcissa of whom he desperately tried to reach out but she didn't do anything, she just continued smiling at him.
Lucius Malfoy suddenly found himself bolting up into a sitting position on his silk covered bed.
'What a strange dream…'
And as she was about to wipe the beads of sweat on his brow he noticed that his right hand is holding a white narcissus flower.
Hermione looked at her watch and sighed, she's been in the café for three minutes now. As she was about to leave the bell attached to the door of the café sounded. Very slowly she turned her head towards the door and saw a shack of ginger red hair that's making slow but sure steps towards her. Her eyes ventured to the face to place a name to the red haired person. It was undeniably Ronald Weasley walking towards her table.
"Sorry, I was a bit late." He said apologetically, scratching the back of his head, "I had to take care of something." And as he said that his features noticeably fell although he immediately covered it, or more appropriately tried to cover it.
On lighter note he asked her, "May I take this seat?" Flashing her one of those smiles that would probably turn her seventeen years old version into goo, however, this nineteen years old version of her could only numbly nod her head while she continued staring at him.
"Ronald, please don't smile if you really don't feel like it." She said finally noticing that the smile on his face looked forced and desperately in need of a saving grace for herself she continued, "It makes you look stupid."
And as if he didn't hear her, he tried another feeble smile.
Taking a better look at him he appeared to have lost some of his weight, his posture showed signs of weariness and the dark circles around his eyes indicated lack of sleep for a considerable amount of time. Inwardly, she wandered if facing a ghost from her past is a wise move on her part.
"Well, well if it isn't Draco Malfoy." Came a condescendingly irritating voice, breaking Draco's entrancement to the full moon. Looking over by his shoulder, he saw a face that he would love to maim any day, Marcus Flint, sporting a sneer on his face that contorted his already below average face into something worse, well on Draco's opinion that is.
"Flint," Draco spit out his name like it was something repugnant, "Didn't I warn you the last time that if you dare show that rat ass face of yours to me again I'll kill you?"
Marcus Flint snorted at him, "excuse me Malfoy but I usually come here, so it's you who showed up here not me." Then his lips took the form of a smirk, "My, dragon racing, Malfoy? Why would the Slitherin prince be participating in such a dangerous activity?" then if it was possible is smirk grew larger, "Did your father got tired of you bedding a mudblood every night and disowned you?"
That does it. He punched his poor excuse of a face squarely, and he heard his nose make some crunching sound. Pulling his fist back, Draco smirked happily and said, "Don't ever take my words lightly and watch your words, I won't hesitate to cut off your tongue the next time. And I haven't quite forgotten what you did awhile back in Hogwarts." His eyes flash menacingly at Flint and he took hold of his neck and as he did, memories resurfaced on the forefront of his mind.
He felt exhilarated, the early morning air felt so invigorating as he swoop down and dodge tree after tree while riding his broom at full speed, and the fact that now Hermione Granger is his girlfriend doesn't hurt as well. Never mind the fact that at most he only had three hours of sleep and had been flying nonstop all throughout Scotland.
It was around 12am when he decided to pay a little visit to his mother to share the good news with her. He never thought it was possible for him and Hermione to ever be couple seeing that she was too enamored with Weasley, ''was' being the keyword since now she's all mine.' Draco thought possessively to himself.
It took him 2 hours and a half of flying to make it to his mother's grave and since there are anti-apparition spells around the Hogwarts and his mother's final resting place, he chose to fly, thinking logically that it is the stealthy option he has and quite frankly, he is in the mood to fly. He noticed that the sun is starting to rise, it must be near 6 am and he was all sweaty from all the flying he has been doing and thinking that it isn't much of a turn on if he turns to his girl for an early morning embrace all sweaty, veered his broom to the direction of his house's quidditch locker room, deciding that a shower is must.
And he was still in that euphoric mode when he landed near the Slitherin locker room when he heard strange noises coming from the said room. 'tch, oh please couldn't they find a better room?' It was with thoughts like that when he started walking away from the locker room but an unmistakable scream caught his attention and bolted full speed to the room, wand at his hand.
"BOMBARDA!" The door exploded into unrecognizable pieces and the inside of the room was revealed to him and he didn't like it one bit.
Marcus flint was all over a struggling Hermione, the Hermione Granger, his girlfriend! And as Marcus became rooted with shock, he took one dangerous step towards him and with a flick of his wand Marcus went flying off to the opposite wall with a resounding crack.
"What do you think you're doing Flint?" he said in a dangerously quite tone belying the white hot rage that he felt surging on his veins.
"What the fuck MALFOY!" He shouted picking himself up into a standing position which he found out to be a very bad idea. It appears to be that Malfoy managed to broke some bone on his hip and it hurts. Seeing Malfoy's murderous expression he began explaining, "Relax, I wasn't going to do anything that bad to your fuck toy, just wanted to have a little taste, I didn't know you mind sharing." He said in hopes of appeasing him.
Wrong answer. Before he could even blink he found himself pinned in the wall by his neck. Draco had him pinned against the wall constricting his air passage with every passing minute. He would have been a goner if Hermione's sobbing didn't reach Draco's ears. Immediately he was kneeling by her side, enfolding her to him, rubbing comforting circles on her back as she bury her face by the juncture of his neck and shoulder.
"Hush. It's okay, I'm here now, nothing's going to happen to you, I won't let anything happen to you." He said as she continued sniffing and sobbing on his shoulder.
Noticing that Flint is still in the room, he glared daggers at him, "Get the hell out of here!" He shouted at him, sending a stinging hex at him, Marcus all but flee in such a weird angle because of the condition his hip bone is.
Draco and Hermione remained in that position for a long while until Draco decided that they have stayed long enough in the locker room and carried Hermione back to her room. After all, he still has an unfinished business to settle.
The very next morning Marcus Flint was expelled from Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry.
His trip down memory lane was cut short with Harry's voice and at least three men taking his hands off that pitiful excuse of a human's neck.
"Malfoy, are you listening to me?" Harry said waving a hand in front of him, "why are you choking Flint? You're not allowed to strangle to death other race players... Well, before the game that is."
Draco's eyes focused sharply on Flint who seemed faint, honestly he had no idea how long he has been choking him since he was so absorbed reliving a memory. "Race player, huh? See you later in the race." He said confidently as he broke free from the three men taking hold of him and sauntering off tagging Harry along with him.
"So you know the mechanics?" Harry asked when they were out of the hearing range of Marcus and the goons of the administrators. Draco shrugged his shoulders.
"Just how hard could taking an egg right under a dragon's nose be?" Draco said nonchalantly but as he said this his adrenalin was already surging on his veins. And walking closer to the edge of the mountain they're currently standing on for a closer look of the dragon's lair atop the sleeping volcano.
Although it's an inactive volcano, its surface area are all cracked-up and its vents spew hot steam or magma every once in awhile, and in the dark of the night, the lines of the mountain's continuous crack glows an orange red color.
His lips formed into a daredevil smirk. The mere thought of racing here and with Marcus Flint as a competitor as well is causing his adrenaline to go into its maximum concentration. Dragon racing is a nice way to get back to that ghoul from the past…
A/N: Thank you very much for reading my story! So here's my plan, I'll be editing the earlier chapters of 'Having you Around' since I took the time to read them and I had a headache from all the grammatical errors. Afterwards, I'll be writing the next chapter which should be out by early November, hopefully.