A Real Family
By Sinister Spiders
Draco Malfoy stood beside his mother and father in a clearing in the forest nearby Malfoy Manner. The weather above the canopy of trees was unusually warm and humid making the forest beneath feel like a sweltering sauna. The youngest Malfoy was thoroughly irritated by the fact that they had arrived far too early at the Portkey Point and that his father had been unable to arrange a private Portkey for them. Add to this the glistening sheen of sweat that was marring his carefully manicured appearance and it was clear that this was one of the worst mornings of Draco Malfoy's life. Draco Malfoy did not like waiting. And Draco Malfoy most certainly did not like sweating.
The night before he was so excited that he barely managed to get a wink of sleep. Earlier that morning he had even been too excited to finish the breakfast that the house elves had cooked for him. Never once had he had trouble finishing the expertly cooked scrambled eggs and bacon that would be heaped on his plate. However, the fact that he and his parents were sharing the Top Box with the Minister of Magic at the final game of the Quidditch World Cup had him far too preoccupied to bother with fickle things like food and sleep.
With an impatient huff Draco kicked his shiny black leather shoe angrily in the dry leaf litter on the forest floor.
"Where are they?" Draco growled at his parents, his tone earning him a reproachful look from his mother. Her steely blue eyes clearly conveying her disapproval of his childish behavior.
"The Greengrass family live much further away from this point than we do Draco, I have told you that already." She told him as though he were nothing more than an impatient brat.
"Well they should have accounted for that." Draco spat under his breath.
"Draco…" His father warned in a tone that Draco knew meant that he should keep his mouth firmly shut. However, he was far to irritated to obey Lucius.
"I just don't fancy missing the Portkey." Draco explained, "I'm sure it wouldn't matter to the Greengrass's though- they could probably get a better view of the game from the Daily Prophet, but we have good seats and a personal invitation from the Minister! How would it look if we were-"
"Draco!" Lucius hissed, his cold voice barely above a whisper, making Draco stop his rant. His mother put her hand on his shoulder and Draco knew from the look in his father's eyes that he would not tolerate Draco's insolence any further.
The clearing was filled with a tension as thick as the humid air as the Malfoy family waited for the Greengrass family to arrive. Draco looked at his watch again impatiently. Ten to eleven. Ten minutes until they had to apparate. Draco sighed again and looked around, sure that this time he would see the others emerging from beyond the thick line of trees.
"What is that thing anyway?" Draco asked gesturing flippantly to the strange object on the ground in the middle of the clearing. It looked as though it were some part of a machine, half metal and half white plastic.
"Some muggle contraption." His father said with a disdainful look at the object.
"It is a spark plug." His mother said, her voice soft.
"What?" His father barked, giving his wife an angry look.
"A spark plug." Narcissa repeated, this time a bit louder. "They use them in their automobiles. Something designed to aid in the combustion of fuel and air in order to make their vehicles run."
"You know Narcissa," His father's voice came low and angry "If a stranger were to hear you talk like that I would not blame them for thinking that you were a muggle sympathizer." Draco's breath caught in his throat at the accusation in his father's words and he stayed as still as he possibly could, not wanting to move in case his father noticed him and turned on him instead .
"Well, you know, Lucius" His mother replied calmly, giving his father an acidic look "that I believe that one must truly know their enemy in order to defeat them." Lucius' raised his hand and Draco closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable sound of flesh hitting flesh. He wished that his mother would not rile his father so.
Instead, Draco opened his eyes to the sound of laughter and twigs cracking in the distance. He saw his father readjusting himself into a more proper position out of the corner of his eyes before a young girl dressed in a hot pink sundress ran out of the trees and into the clearing, her thick black hair flying behind her as her older sister chased her. When the two girls noticed they were being watched by three steely pairs of blue eyes they froze in their tracks and gave the Malfoy family shy smiles.
"Daphne! Astoria!" Draco heard a male voice call before a tall, chiseled man with black hair like his daughter's stepped into the clearing. "I told you-" He cut his reprimand short when he saw the Malfoy's and gave them a curt nod. He crossed the clearing with a few lengthy strides and offered his hand to Lucius to shake.
"Charles." His father greeted the other man tersely just as the spark plug on the forest floor beneath them started to emit a faint humming sound.
"Is it time already?" Charles said giving his wristwatch an astounded look. "Girls! Come on!" He shouted over his shoulders as he crouched down and prepared to touch the Portkey. Astoria and Daphne rushed over and Draco nodded his acknowledgement of them politely. Even though he went to school with the girls, and was in the same year as Daphne, he knew very little of them other than the fact that their mother had been murdered shortly before the fall of the Dark Lord. Unable to restrain the excitement any further Draco grinned as he reached out and touched the strange muggle artifact.
That evening Draco sat in restaurant next door to his hotel with the Charles, Astoria and Daphne Greengrass as well as Pansy Parkinson. His father had rushed away shortly after the Quidditch match, claiming that he had an important business meeting to attend and his mother claimed that she needed to attend as well. Conveniently, however, the Malfoy's hotel room was only a few doors down from that of the Greengrass family's. Much to his surprise he also found that Pansy Parkinson was in the same situation. So, sitting together, and orphaned by their hard-working parents, Pansy and Draco found themselves sitting at a table with the family of three, and for some reason on the receiving end of some disparaging glances from Charles.
When Draco's and Pansy's parents had asked Mr. Greengrass to look after their children for a few hours because they had business to attend to he had snorted. Draco didn't believe it at first- no one- snorted at a Malfoy! But, when it had been followed by a sarcastic comment that no child should be taken along to the business of a Malfoy or a Parkinson he couldn't deny it. The clear derision in the man's voice had set Draco's nerves on edge and made him wonder what it was about Charles Greengrass that made him think he was in a position to mock a Malfoy.
There was a clanging of cutlery and Charles Greengrass put his spoon back on his desert plate and called for the bill. Five minutes later the group of five headed out of the door and on to the street to make the short walk back to their hotel only to find themselves right in the middle of an eerie scene.
In the middle of the street there was a thick column of dark-robed people with grotesque masks covering their faces. Each of them had their wands raised high in the air pointing skyward where a snake-and-skull symbol shimmered against the inky black night sky. Draco's heart skipped a beat as he realised what was going on.
Suddenly he didn't blame Charles Greengrass for snorting at his parents. Draco now knew exactly what sort of business they had abandoned him for. Anger surged inside him as he realized that their whole excursion to the Quidditch World Cup was probably an elaborate excuse for his parents to pull this stunt with their old comrades.
"Daddy?" Astoria's voice came from behind him, small and scared. He turned to see the girls eyes filled with fear and he clenched his teeth.
"Kids, follow me…" Charles said, his hand automatically to his wand as he started to walk towards the entrance of their Hotel. Daphne, Astoria and Draco made to follow the man who stopped when he realized that Pansy wasn't moving. Instead, she stood riveted to the spot, eyes wide as she watched the horrible scene unfolding before their eyes.
"Pansy!" Charles barked.
"I want to watch this." Pansy replied stubbornly.
"Pansy-we don't have time for this. I told your parents I would look after you so you need to follow me." He reached out and put a hand on Pansy's back as if to gently move her along but she shrugged him off angrily.
"No!" She growled, "My parents are probably in with that lot anyway. I want to see what happens." The Greengrass sisters look horrified and Draco couldn't help but wonder what on earth about the scene made Pansy want to watch.
"You idiot!" Daphne hissed, and Draco tensed, he had scene Pansy and Daphne argue many times in the Slytherin common room and knew that this could get ugly. "They are Death Eaters! Don't you know how they carry on? Why in the name of Merlin would you want to stick around?" Pansy turned on her.
"Like I said Greengrass," Pansy replied angrily "I want to see this. I don't have to explain myself to the likes of yo-" Pansy's snide remark was cut short by a loud explosion that shook the earth beneath them. With high pitched yelps Daphne lost her balance and fell backwards onto Pansy, both of them hit the pavement hard. On the opposite side of the road the façade of a two-storey townhouse fell away as though it were made of wooden blocks and a muggle family within looked into the street with horror.
"We need to move." Charles said as he stepped towards his daughter. "Pansy, look at me." He said as he offered his hand to Daphne to help her up.
"I am terribly sorry, I can't see you. There's something large and ugly in my face." Pansy snapped as she struggled to get out from under Daphne. Draco was surprised that Charles ignored the slight.
"Listen Pansy- you are coming with me whether you like it or not, once you are in the hotel you can do whatever you like. However I assure you that, while out here, your parents will have no time to be concerned for your safety." He threw a hateful glance over his shoulder at the black-clad figures behind him. Pansy's smug disappeared and Draco suddenly understood that she was feeling the same way that he was but was just showing it differently. For Pansy and Draco standing out in the street and watching the antics of the Death Eaters at least allowed them some closeness to their distant parents. Parents who were willing to let a near-stranger look after their children so they could join in the macabre display.
A high pitch scream of terror rang through the streets and Draco turned to see the muggle woman from the destroyed townhouse being hoisted into the air and levitated above the Death Eaters. Her dressing gown falling open as she continued to scream in horror. Nearby her husband tried to push his way through the crowd to get to his wife, but the Death Eaters held him back with ease and laughed sadistically.
"MOVE!" Charles yelled at Draco, Astoria, Daphne and Pansy didn't need to be told again. They huddled into a tight group and made their way quickly down the street as the Death Eater's display continued to grow louder and more violent behind them. Draco looked over his shoulder one last time before they stepped through the double doors of their hotel room and watched as the Death Eaters begun throwing curses around that shattered the facades of more buildings. The moment he turned around he bumped into a modern art sculpture and stumbled for a few steps before Astoria reached out and steadied him. Behind her, Charles was crouched down next to Daphne, muttering soft words to her as silent tears traced twin tracks down her cheeks. Draco watched curiously for a few moments before he tore his eyes away, only to be caught by Astoria's hazel gaze.
"Our mother was murdered by Death Eaters." She whispered, voice barely audible above the commotion from outside. "They wanted father to join them and held her hostage, hoping that it would persuade him. He took us into hiding and they killed her." She said.
Draco felt as if an iron fist clenched his guts and he watched as Astoria made her way over to her sister and wrapped her arms around her. He watched the small broken family before him and knew that they were what a real family was supposed to look like.
A/N: This was written for the "How I Met You" challenge. The prompts were; spark plug, scrambled eggs, sculpture and "I am terribly sorry, I can't see you. There is something large and ugly in my face." Hope you enjoyed it.