Author: Kas (yosegaki)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG (minor language)
Word Count: 1,061
Disclaimer: The Malfoys are not of my creation, and I am seeking no profit.
Permission to Archive: daily_fic, all others, please ask.
Notes: Draco-centric taking place in the Malfoy’s estate during summer holidays (Sometime after first year, but other than that, no specific timeline and not really any spoilers, either). Written for prompt #53 on daily_fic.
Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I saw that cat coming around the corner. That accursed white cat. My mother's familiar.
So, at this point, not only was I in the one part of father’s library that I'd been expressly forbidden to be in, with the spell I'd set to make my wand vibrate when they arrived home (which would hopefully give me enough time to clear up whatever I'd been reading) going off, but I'd also forgotten the precise order of the three books I'd foolishly pulled down from the shelf at once. If a single book was out of place, Father would know. But now, even if I managed to avoid all of that, the cat would certainly find a way to alert my mother of my activities.
It may seem like simply a paranoid thing to have been thinking, but it wasn't.
What that cat knows, my mother knows. I learned that the hard way, a long time ago, and the bloody thing has always had a nasty habit of turning up at the most inopportune moments.
Basically, whenever I'm doing something I'm not supposed to.
I could hear them now, down in the entry hall- father's library is on the second floor, adjacent to his study. (Another place I'm strictly forbidden to be.) The study is the last room on the left, the library being located behind double doors at the end of the Eastern Wing. I hadn't heard them mount the small grand stairs, so I still had some time.
The cat sat on top of the small stack of books, grinning impishly at me. Of all the times I've ever wanted to just give the bloody thing a good kick and send it flying...
I shooed it off the stack with an urgent whisper and a push. It leapt to one side, glaring at me and hissing. Immediately thereafter, it began cleaning its immaculate white fur, as though my touch had somehow dirtied it in the most horrible way possible.
I examined the spines of the three books, and the gaps in the bookshelves for what felt like a small eternity, unable to glean a single clue from the shelves.
I heard someone climbing the stairs.
One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.
Now footsteps. My father's- brisk, swift and the tap of his ornately carved cane- carried for looks and intimidation, not because he needed it. That's not to say that it didn't have other uses.
Quickly, I stuck the three books back onto the shelf. Better he discover them out of place than catch me holding them. I quietly moved to the other side of the room- hurried, but careful to keep my footsteps from sounding on the hardwood floor. I laid down on my stomach in front of a book I'd already had set up form when they returned home, just as my father opened the doors.
I looked up at the sound of his voice, and applied my best look of surprise, pretending I hadn't heard them come home, although I’d have had to be engrossed in something far more distracting than a book not to hear my father come down that polished corridor. He seemed just as surprised as I hoped I looked to see me in the library, reading.
My father's look of surprise was well concealed, but I knew by now, that the slightly raised eyebrow was a look of curiosity and surprise, rather than just the simple condescending look it appeared to be.
"I didn't know you were back."
He seemed to ignore what I said in favor of shooing the cat, which had begun rubbing against him, leaving white hairs on his dark robes. Finally, he sung his staff at it.
"How did your mother's infernal beast get in here, Draco?'
In here implied in his library- a place that was supposed to be cat-free.
I hid a smile by busying myself, marking my place in the book I wasn't really reading. It was always nice to be reminded that I wasn't the only one who loathed the damned thing.
"I don't know, Father. It has a bad habit of just showing up places. I think Mother may have taught it to apparate."
"I wouldn't be surprised," he replied with disdain, finally managing to chase it out the door, which he immediately shut behind it to keep it from changing its mind and deciding to re-inter the room.
"What are you doing in here?" He asked, finally presenting the question the cat had delayed.
At least the insidious feline was good for something.
I motioned to the parchment an quill on the desk, also set up for this particular moment.
"You're starting early."
Slight suspicion sounded in his voice, but he continued on, to my relief, deciding to turn this into an opportunity to ridicule me, rather than interrogate me.
"Have you decided to slack off a bit less than last summer, or is this just a fluke?"
It was, I knew, a rhetorical question. No matter, even if I hadn't left all my summer homework 'til the end of the vacation period last year, it would have just been something else I'd have ended up getting reprimanded for.
"Go down to the foyer. Your mother wanted to speak with you."
Translation: She bought you something, even though I told her not to. Go down and get it. It's probably something you'll hate anyway.
Father was the one who got me the useful things and the things I really wanted.
I gathered up my things with a mix of relief and dread-- I wouldn't be getting punished just yet, but I was certain that I would live to regret being caught later (which I was certain I would be). I wondered how long it would be before he noticed the books - I was sure the punishment would be worse than the crime. I left the library without another word.
Opening the large doors, I found the cat waiting on the other side. Though I knew it hadn't had time to "report" to my mother yet, I couldn't push away the nagging feeling that I was like an accused being lead to trial by a guard as the thing sashayed ahead of me toward he foyer where my mother waited.