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The Travel Go Challenge – Character, Setting, Word and Theme prompts.

Pretense

Draco remembered the first time he had gone to the Ministry of Magic with his father. He had been around seven years old at that point and he had been extremely proud that his father had thought him mature enough to go to the Ministry with him. He had promised himself that he would do his best not to interrupt anything important business his father was currently doing, and everything his father did was important.

Despite only coming near his father's elbow in height, he had pretended that he was just as important as his father and had a real purpose for being in the Ministry as he would once he got older. It was expected of him to actively participate in politics once he became the Lord of the House of Malfoy, and at that point he would have a reason to come and go within the Ministry of Magic without being questioned.

He ignored the amused stares he was receiving from most of the people he passed, as they pointed him out as he followed his father around. The Ministry building was bigger than it looked on the outside and Draco knew that only years of experience in navigating its corridors would allow anyone to walk towards their next destination as quickly and efficiently as his father was, moving from one office to the next and holding a brief conversation within each office.

He tried to follow everything his father said, he really did, but even he knew that pretending could only take you so far and his lessons in politics and navigation of conversations had not prepared him for the fluidity and persuasiveness with which his father spoke to everyone. His mind had strayed from his father's conversations often and he hoped that his father had not noticed, or would not give him another one of his disappointed speeches. Draco hated those speeches, he almost preferred his father to be angry instead of disappointed. Disappointing his father always left a heavy feeling in his stomach.

They had passed a corridor where Draco had seen something that looked like fireworks burst in the middle of the corridor. It had been quite a large distance in front of them and his father had immediately taken the corridor to the right so Draco had not been able to get a closer view but that department, the experimental department as he later found out it was called, had aroused his childish curiosity but he had suppressed it to the best of his ability and continued to follow his father. He knew that if he did go down the corridor he would probably not be able to find his father again and also possibly face his father's disappointment. That thought alone had him keeping up his pretense and following close at his father's heels.

The entire pretending thing was extremely difficult and he did not even have to deal or talk to anyone! He could only imagine how much worse it would be when he was unable to pretend to be his father and would have to face everything himself as he knew he would have to at some point in the future.

He comforted himself with the thought that he would only have to take over everything in the very distant future and not any time soon, because his father was not going anywhere until Draco was ready and he was satisfied with how well Draco managed everything because at that point his father would have taught him everything he needed to know.

He had promised that to Draco that on many occasions.

His father never broke his promises.