Categories > Books > Harry Potter

Melts into air

by lolaraincoat 2 reviews

One day, after the war was over, Draco Malfoy received a package. Gen, gloomy, references to character deaths

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst - Characters: Draco, Dumbledore, Lucius, Narcissa - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2005-08-24 - Updated: 2005-08-25 - 693 words - Complete

Draco Malfoy, unlike his lamentable parents, lived to see the end of the war. After leaving Hogwarts, he survived battles that left him with serious wounds; he endured a brief imprisonment, and the final humiliation of having Arthur Weasley of all people pardon him for all that he had done, or tried to do, in the name of the Dark Lord. But of course when Dumbledore's side won, Malfoy's inheritance was forfeit: the Ministry took the family bank accounts, the land, the Manor and all its furnishings, and the house elves who had served his family for generation upon generation.

Released from the dank cells beneath the Ministry - at least he had been spared Azkaban -- Draco was sent on to the rehabilitation ward of St. Mungos. Nobody ever visited, but he was used to that; when he had stayed in the Hogwarts' infirmary, only Snape and Dumbledore ever stopped in, and he was sure that they only did because it was their duty. Both men, in their ways, had been great believers in duty, and so much the worse for them. They were gone now, along with all his relations, and he was alone. Good. No one was left to share the memory of his failures. He would heal, more or less, and then he would begin again.

Draco suspected that the nurses had let him linger in the ward until they were sure he had somewhere else to go when he left. He resented them for it, turning his eyes from their pitying looks. Finally, on the strength of the Ministry pension he was no longer too proud to accept, he moved in to a cheap flat overlooking Diagon Alley. How his father would have sneered! But he was pleased to be free of the institutions he had lived in since he was eleven years old. No longer a schoolboy, a soldier, a prisonor or a patient, he could become his own man at last - whoever that would turn out to be - without wardens, nurses, parents, a Dark Lord or a headmaster to lead him by the nose.

As he limped up the stairs to the new flat, he contemplated all this, as well as the more immediate matter of how to manage cooking supper for himself in the entirely unfurnished flat. He turned the key, trying to control his labored breath, though nobody else was there to hear it. When the door swung open, creaking, it revealed an enormous wooden trunk in the center of the otherwise bare room. Startled, he approached it cautiously; but it popped open as soon as he prodded it with his walking stick.

Draco didn't need to get any closer to understand what the box contained. A faint aroma drifted from it, comprised of his mother's everyday perfume, stale candy, dusty parchment and dried ink, elementary potions ingredients; the scent told him everything. The trunk held all the contents of his childhood rooms, all he had left behind at Hogwarts and his ancestral home. His mother must have gathered it all up for him, when - well, never mind. Making the trunk, packing it, ensuring that it would find him: these must have been the last tasks their house elves would ever perform for a member of the Malfoy family.

And now here it was. All he would ever inherit, his past, his family, his wealth, come to this. He contemplated burning it. Perhaps he wouldn't even waste a spell on it, just light a match. But no. He was poor now, he had to keep that in mind, he had to be pragmatic. There would be something useful, surely, in there. Robes, perhaps. Old schoolbooks he could sell. He knelt by the side of the trunk and reached in.

But the elves would have their little joke. The first object his hand encountered - the creatures must have planned it this way - was his old collection of Chocolate Frog cards. Draco stared at the face on the top card, crying, shamefully, for the first time since his mother's death. That face stared back at him as if to warn him: He would never be his own man.
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