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Of Pastry, Potters and Penseives
By the start of his second week in the Muggle world, Draco was well acquainted with the local library. After his initial skepticism about what he could learn from Muggle literature, Draco found that the array of books available to him was astounding. The topics covered were varied, and detailed, allowing him to gain a better understanding of the Muggle world in general. Now that he knew where it was, he spent all of his free time in the library. Heather had even managed to get him his own library card, a few waves of her wand providing them with the necessary paperwork needed to get one. During the days, he would sit at a table in a quiet corner, poring over books about electronics, physics and chemistry. In the evenings, he would indulge in books on Muggle metaphysics and philosophy, sometimes even immersing himself in fiction. Draco had quickly discovered an acute fascination for electronics, wanting to know how the Muggles made things work without the use of magic. He soon found that a lot of it made sense, despite his initial ignorance of all things Muggle. He also enjoyed science, finding chemistry close enough to potions that he was quite good at it. He had always enjoyed potions, not having the problems of his Head of House penalising him, like the other Houses did. He knew that a lot of the praise Snape gave him was due to his father's influence, but despite that fact he knew that he was good at the subject. Muggle chemistry was very similar to its magical counterpart. In some ways it was much inferior, not producing some of the outstanding effects produced by most potions. However, its logic, and the different reactions that could be produced from non-magical elements, was impressive.
On the Tuesday of Draco's second week at Heather's house, he discovered something else he was good at. Cooking. When he came home from the library at five o'clock, he opened the front door and was met with the tantalising aroma of freshly baked scones. Curious, he made his way to the kitchen, where he could hear Heather humming a jaunty tune to herself. Pushing the door open a little and looking through the crack, he watched as she pulled a tray of freshly baked goods out of the oven and placed it on the kitchen table. Pulling off her oven gloves, she went back to whisking some eggs. Draco must have made a noise, for she turned around and looked at him, a smile spreading over her face.
Draco, you're home! Come in and whisk this for me, will you? I need to check on the pies.
Draco pushed the door open fully, blushing slightly at being caught spying, and went over to where she was standing. When she handed him the jug of raw eggs and a whisk, he stared at it blankly. She quickly noticed, and frowned at him slightly.
What do I do with this? he said, holding up the whisk.
You beat the eggs with it. Have you never used one before?
No. At Malfoy Manor, and at Hogwarts, we have house elves to do the cooking.
You mean you've never cooked?!
No. Why would a Malfoy lower himself as far as to do a servant's work? he said hotly.
Because you never know when you'll be caught without your elves to do the work for you. Come here, I'll show you.
No buts! You will learn to cook something, even if it's just something simple. You never know when it might come in handy. This is supposed to be a learning experience for you, and this is a vital part of Muggle life. They don't have house elves to do their work, and they don't have magic to help either.
But when I get my magic back .
You will be able to integrate yourself into Muggle life if the need ever arises in the future.
With a sigh of defeat, Draco looked at the jug of eggs and picked up the whisk.
So, what do I do with this?
For Draco, there was no looking back. He soon got the hang of the whisking, and when Heather asked him to make the dough for the ginger snaps she was baking, he stuck right in and got on with it. Before he knew it, he was taking over her baking, while she sat back and watched, telling him what to do as he went. By the time he'd finished, he wanted to try something else. They stopped for dinner, Heather pulling out some freshly made pies, and as soon as the washing up was finished, Draco got back to work. By the time it was late enough for him to go to bed, Heather's cupboards were bare of any baking materials, and piles of cookies, scones, pies, pasties and bakewell tarts lined the kitchen work surfaces. Sitting down at the table with a cup of tea and some biscuits each, Heather and Draco looked at the treats in awe.
You know, I thought Malfoys wouldn't do servant's work.
Well, you know, I didn't have much of a choice. Someone not a million miles from me now twisted my arm, if I remember correctly, he said, one eyebrow raised and amusement in his eyes.
You could have refused! And I was going to stop after the ginger snaps. It was your idea to make cookies, tarts and pasties.
Well, I thought it best to make the best of a bad situation, he said with a smirk.
Really? I never would have guessed.
Are you going shopping in the morning?
I think I'll have to. I need more flour, salt, sugar and eggs. I think you've used up everything.
Wouldn't surprise me. What are we going to do with all of these, though? he asked.
I'm not sure. We'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.
The problem was solved the following morning when Draco went to the library. Boxing the treats up in several large Tupperware containers, he shoved them in one of Heather's old rucksacks and headed for the school. As soon as he got there, he went up to the librarian and gave her his most charming smile.
Good day, Madame, I have a rather large favour to ask.
The librarian eyed him suspiciously.
And what would that be, young man?
Well, you see, I was doing some baking last night, and got a little carried away. I was wondering if I could give some of the things I made to the children. I know a lot of them don't come into the library very often, and I thought it would be something to entice them. You could give them a free pasty every time they take out a book and another one when they bring it back, if they can prove they have read it. It might encourage them to read more.
The librarian was still suspicious, but took the boxes from him and placed them on the desk in front of her.
And what's in it for you?
Absolutely nothing, it would just be nice not to see all of my hard work go to waste. I know for a fact that Heather and I would never be able to eat them all ourselves.
Fair enough. Thank you.
Draco grinned at her.
You're very welcome, milady.
That said, the Slytherin wandered off in the direction of the cookery section. Looking along the shelves, he decided to pick up a few recipe books while he was there. After all, he had all afternoon to kill; he may as well be doing something productive.
When Draco got back to the house, he found Heather in the kitchen putting away the new supplies. She had Tesco bags littered around the room, and it was obvious she had been doing a lot of shopping.
Are you storing food for the winter? Draco asked, wryly. Heather gave him a withering look.
No, I'm getting a few things in, in case you feel like doing a bit of baking.
Well, I did get some books about it from the library. I was thinking about making a cake
It's just as well I went shopping then, isn't it.
Yes, I guess it is.
Before long, Draco had an apron wrapped around his waist, and was mixing up ingredients for a sponge cake. Heather was helping, but it was mostly Draco's project. When the door bell rang in the early afternoon, the witch quickly wiped her hands on a tea towel and pulled off her apron, running to the door to answer it. Draco stayed where he was, knowing that any visitors she had probably wouldn't even know he was there. Pulling out a baking tin, he started to pour the cake mix into it, just as Heather came back in.
Just carry on with what you're doing, Draco. I'm just getting a pot of tea for my guests. Do you mind if I give them some of our biscuits?
No, it's fine. I'll just carry on with this.
Heather quickly gathered up a tea service on a tray with a plate of fresh biscuits, before bustling out and back into the living room. Draco finished putting his cake mixture into the tins, and placed them in the oven. With a sigh, he set the egg timer and quickly slipped upstairs to the bathroom.
It was on his way down the stairs that Draco heard it. Through the door, he could hear a very familiar voice talking to Heather.
Yes, but it's given us the opportunity to get to know each other, so we're both happy. I have a question for you, though.
What's that, Harry?
How did you know my friends and I were back?
His heart froze. His mind became numb. He could barely hear Heather's reply. Potter was there. In the same house as him. The same Potter that had taken his magic. Sent him to the Muggle world. Made him have to adapt. Left him defenceless. Turned him into the one thing he had been raised to despise more than anything else. A Muggle. Over the last week and a half, he had completely forgotten that Heather was Potter's aunt. It had just never occurred to him that the irritating Gryffindor Golden Boy would actually turn up to visit her.
Pushing the door open a little, he looked into the room and spotted Potter sitting there, listening to Heather speak, a cup of tea and one of Draco's biscuits in his hand. A boy, who looked very similar to the Boy-Who-Lived, sat to one side, watching the proceedings with interest. The second boy looked up and got his eye on Draco, and the blond watched as comprehension dawned in the other's eyes. Seeing red, Draco pushed the door open with a bang and lunged for his nemesis, landing a hard punch to his temple. He barely heard Heather scream as he started to beat the unconscious boy beneath him, taking out all of his frustrations on the downed Gryffindor. The next thing he knew, he was being dragged backwards by the unidentified boy, and heard a whispered enervate spell as he started to take punches. Turning his attention away from Potter, he started to fight in earnest with the older boy, who was definitely getting the upper hand. Despite his disadvantage, Draco was a Slytherin, and it wasn't in him to give up. He completely ignored the flour floating around the air, and Heather and Harry's conversation, concentrating all of his efforts on his attacker. Eventually, they reached a sort of stalemate where they were both trying to strangle each other. Draco started to black out from the loss of oxygen, and the last thing he heard was `stupefy'.
Draco felt himself starting to wake up, and he let out a loud groan. This was echoed from somewhere next to him, and he cautiously opened his eyes. Pushing himself up unto a sitting position, the first thing he noticed was that he wasn't in any pain. His injuries had been healed. The next thing he did was look around and take in his surroundings. He appeared to be lying on Heather's bed, the boy who attacked him lying next to him. Heather herself was huddled in a corner, as if in terror, with Potter kneeling next to her. This confused Draco greatly. After all, what would Potter possibly do that would scare Heather so much?
What's going on? Draco asked the room in general.
Shut up, Malfoy, Potter said, venom in his voice. This only served to frighten Heather more.
What's going on, Dad? the strange boy asked. Draco eyed the boy next to him in shock.
Dad?! he said, rather surprised. Potter had a son? How was that possible?
Yes, he's my dad. Now shut up, the other boy snapped, and Draco, wisely, did as he was told. He watched, fascinated, as Potter tried in vain to talk to his aunt. He could see that the woman was muttering to herself, but from his position on the bed he couldn't tell what it was she was saying. The Slytherin watched as Heather got more and more worked up, and heard Potter mention the Dark Lord. Then, the boy on the floor muttered a deep sleep charm and turned to the two on the bed.
Come downstairs, you two, I think there are a few things we need to discuss.
The pair nodded, and stood up from the bed. Potter levitated the woman onto it, and tucked her in firmly, before leading them down to the living room, which Heather had obviously repaired while they were unconscious. Sitting down, Potter Senior conjured up a pot of tea and plate of biscuits with a simple wave of his wand. Draco burned with jealousy. Eventually, he decided to break the awkward silence that had fallen over them.
Well, Potter, what was all that about?
Potter let out a deep sigh, but much to Draco's relief he explained himself.
Aunt Heather, as you will know by now, was captured by Voldemort. When I rescued her, I promised she would be safe from him. When she came upstairs just now, I was talking to one of my pet snakes. The parseltongue must have made her suffer a flashback. I don't know how I'm going to fix this
Well, you certainly seem to be making a mess of people's lives at the moment, Potter, Draco sneered, If I didn't know that your Gryffindorish sense of honour would prevent it, I would say you were doing it on purpose.
You don't know what you're talking about, Malfoy, the older boy said, hotly. Draco smirked, feeling in a vindictive mood. After all, this was the person who had taken his magic from him.
Really? Well, from what I can gather, you've just scared away the only relative you have that actually loves you. Great going, Potter.
And what's this about a son? Draco continued, Where did he spring up from? Been putting it about a bit on your travels, have you Potter? Been getting young harlots pregnant? And at such a tender age
Draco realised he had gone too far when he saw the rage in Potter's eyes. Fear crept into him when he saw his enemy's wand pointed straight at him, and any thoughts after that were drowned out as his body was wracked with the most intense pain he had ever felt. He knew it was a milder curse than the Cruciatus, but he knew from experience that it was hurting more than Crucio ever had. When the curse was lifted suddenly, he managed to gather his thoughts and realised what the difference was. He didn't have magic. Magic was a natural filter to all kinds of spells, and if they were performed on squibs and Muggles the effects were worse. Now he could see that while pain curses were excruciating for wizards, they were worse for Muggles. He dreaded to think what the Cruciatus felt like for a Muggle. He looked up at his tormentor and saw the satisfaction in his eyes. Draco smiled a little as a triumphant feeling filled him.
You know Potter, he gasped out, You pretend to be all high and mighty the saviour of the bloody wizarding world but deep down you're the same as your enemy. A Muggle torturer just like Voldemort
The last thing he saw before he slipped into unconsciousness was a deep fear entering Potter's eyes.
When he regained consciousness, Draco was all alone on the living room floor. He winced as he tried to sit up, the aftereffects of the pain curse wracking his body. After taking a moment to compose himself, he pushed himself to his feet and made his way upstairs to his room. Dropping on his bed, he promptly fell into a deep, restless sleep.
Several hours later, he awoke, feeling much better. His muscles still felt stiff, but it was easier to deal with. Sitting up, he collected his thoughts, and decided to see if Heather was alright. The last time he had seen her, she was rather distressed. Getting up, he made his way along the landing to her room and knocked on the door lightly. When he didn't get an answer, he knocked louder, but to no avail. Shrugging mentally, he opened the door slowly and poked his head inside to see if she was there. What he saw shocked him. She was still under the effects of the deep sleep charm. Walking over, he shook her slightly, but nothing happened. With growing annoyance, he realised that the Potters had left without lifting the spell, and he certainly couldn't do it. Not without his magic. Looking around, he tried to find something that could help. After five minutes he was getting annoyed. All he had found was the woman's wand in the corner of the room she had been hiding in. As he looked at it in frustration, an idea struck him. He couldn't do magic, but Heather could. Taking the wand, he uncurled her fingers and wrapped them around the rod of wood. Making sure it was secure, he pointed it towards her body and moved her hand and arm in the right pattern, simulating the correct wand movement as he muttered `enervate'. The blond was delighted when she started to stir. Opening her eyes, she looked right at him, and fear immediately entered her eyes.
No! Lucius, please, don't!
Draco watched, disturbed, as she curled up in a protective ball. He started making soothing noises, and whispered to her.
It's alright, Heather, it's Draco. Lucius isn't here. It's me, Draco. Just Draco.
Eventually, she calmed and looked up at the boy in front of her. Recognition sparked in her eyes and, with a sob, she launched herself at the startled youth. Draco felt a little uncomfortable but he patted her back as she embraced him, deep sobs of grief wracking her body. When she eventually calmed down, he pulled away and handed her a box of tissues.
Better? he asked her.
Much. Thank you.
It's alright. What happened, though? I woke up and Potter was kneeling next to you, and you appeared to be afraid of him. He said it was something to do with parseltongue
When I came upstairs, Harry was talking to one of his pet snakes. I had a flash back of my time with Voldemort. It scared the life out of me, Heather explained.
Oh. Was it a flashback of something in particular? I mean, you thought I was my father at first .
It was of one evening when your father came in to report about a failed attack. I-I really don't want to relive it, if you don't mind.
Alright, Draco conceded, a little disappointed. He was intensely curious about what had happened to his hostess during her time with Voldemort. His father had always told him it was a great honour to serve the Dark Lord, and Heather was to only one who escaped his service and had openly criticised Voldemort. Draco had always expected to follow in his father's footsteps, and still did, but he was curious to see Heather's take on the whole thing. What she said next, though, made him perk up slightly.
I don't want to talk about it, but I could show you.
What do you mean? he asked.
I have a penseive, you could watch it in there. If you think you can stomach it.
Draco gave her an affronted look.
I'm a Malfoy, I can stomach anything.
Really? she asked, skeptically, I highly doubt that. Fine, I'll let you see. You can see for yourself how Voldie treats his favoured few.
Moving over to a cupboard, she pulled out a large stone bowl with white mist swirling around inside. Pulling out her wand, which she was surprised to find in her hand, she stirred the mixture until she found what she was looking for. Draco gave her one final look before sticking his hand inside the bowl and being sucked into Heather's memory.
As he landed with a thump on the semi-solid ground of the penseive, Draco looked around to get his bearings. When he turned around, he spotted a large throne set up in a clearing. In the throne sat a tall, pale man with glowing red eyes. He recognised him as the Dark Lord immediately, for he looked exactly how his father had described him. He was even more imposing in person than Draco had ever imagined. Around Voldemort stood several circles of black clad figures. Their bone-white masks identified them as Death Eaters. As Draco watched in interest, Voldemort's intense gaze landed on one person in the front row, who started to shake at the Dark Lord's scrutiny. The young Slytherin could see that Voldemort was angry, and he shivered when the serpentine man began to speak.
Lucius, get your worthless hide over here. I want some answers from you.
Draco watched in surprise as the shaking figure of his father walked forward and collapsed on his knees in front of the Dark Lord, kissing the hem of his robes. The Malfoy heir was disgusted at Lucius' show of servitude. He had always been led to believe that following Voldemort was something glorious, which brought prestige and power. From what he could see now, though, it involved groveling, and crawling on the ground like a house elf. It wasn't a position fitting for a Malfoy.
Lucius, I would like you to explain to me why your attack on that Muggle school failed.
Master, it wasn't my fault
Crucio! Lucius, Lucius, Lucius, you should know by now that if I leave you in command, and something goes wrong, it is always your fault. You were the leader, and you failed on your mission.
Draco watched in horror as the curse was lifted, and his father dragged himself back to his knees and kissed the robe hem again.
Ma-Master, the Order of the Phoenix were there! They were too many
Crucio! I will not stand for this! How can a bunch of Light Wizards beat my Death Eaters? You are supposed to use Dark magic! Magic they won't use, and cannot defend against. You are the elite of the wizarding world, and it's time you started acting like it. Crucio!
Lucius screamed in pain as the Dark Lord took out all of his anger on the unfortunate man. Eventually, the curse was lifted, and Voldemort looked around the assembled Death Eaters.
I do not suffer failure. I also do not suffer fools. If any of you fail me again, I will make an example. For every failed mission, one of you will be executed. Do I make myself clear?
Yes, my Lord, came a chorus of voices from the assembled crowd.
Good. Now get out of here. Heather, my sweet, stay here, the Slytherin heir said in a chilling tone. All of the Death Eaters, bar one, apparated away, leaving Heather alone with the Dark Lord.
Come with me. Now, he said in a cold voice. He led the unfortunate woman out of the clearing and over to a run down house on a hill. Draco followed behind, his head spinning at everything he had seen. His father had always told him the Death Eaters would be treated like gods after the final battle. Now, Draco could see that even if the rest of the wizarding world were ever to treat them as such, they would still be abused at the hands of their lord and master. He came to a stop when the pair in front of him entered a room decorated heavily in Slytherin colours. Voldemort muttered a few spells, and Heather was soon chained naked to the large bed. With a wicked smirk, Voldemort pulled from the wall a vicious looking flail, and lifted the Imperius curse. Heather's eyes seemed to regain their focus, and she spotted the torture item and the leering man. She screamed.
Draco couldn't stay much longer after that. When he finally emerged from the penseive, he collapsed sobbing into Heather's arms.