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Back to Flourish and Blott's - Draco Malfoy
The Slytherin King

Draco Malfoy
Date: 2006-01-28 20:20
Subject: Back to Flourish and Blott's
Security: Public
Tags:dark mark, karbog, narcissa, pansy, prominent wizard's club
A week of opportunities and precautions... the events of last weekend dictated that I take a number of actions. For the bulk of the week, I focused on the unpleasant side of things. My altercation with that 'artifact dealer' at Gringotts had inspired me to have a lengthy conversation with Karbog. I have determined to my own satisfaction that my goblin adviser had no idea what the individual had planned nor that he was part of a larger organization. After a series of meetings with Karbog and his bosses, I have decided to postpone my attempts to enter the antiquities trading business indefinitely.

The second major event last weekend was the incident with the remnant of my Dark Mark. I have made subtle inquiries of 'old associates' and learned that none of them had a similar experience. I will speak no more of this, except to say that the fact that this incident was tied to me personally somehow is quite discomfiting.

In what I sincerely hope is an unrelated note, I received a letter from my mother. Ironically, she suggests that I pick up a copy of Pansy's new book for her. I suspect she seeks to learn the nature of my current relationship with Miss Parkinson. I wish I knew the answer to that question myself, but after our most recent encounter, I have come to a decision regarding the situation.

This brings me to the pleasant side of my week. I have done some research and begun to sketch out a plan of action. One of my first major tasks will be to present myself in such a fashion that her parents will view me in terms similar, if not favourable, to those in which they view Smith. I have never gotten on well with Pansy's mother, but did have a good relationship with her father. The man dotes on his only daughter. He is also well-placed socially. Rehabilitating my reputation and relationship with him will assist me on my way toward meeting a number of objectives. I have learned that he is a member of the “Prominent Wizard's Club of Britain.” My own grandfather, for whom I am partially named, Abraxas Malfoy, was a distinguished member of that organization. I believe I can trade on my grandfather's name and history with the club to secure an invitation to visit and perhaps ultimately to join.

The most enjoyable piece of planning I have done, though, is to lay out the first moves in my campaign to win Pansy back from that pillock Smith. Mother's letter inspired today's endeavour. Just as I did months ago, I decided to attend her book signing. Once I settled on this idea, I began to lay out the details in my mind.


After a great deal of thought, I decide that I will be her final visitor today. As I had last time, however, I arrive some time in advance of the end and spend it observing the affair from a safe vantage point on the balcony. The layout and turnout are similar to the last time she had a book signing in Flourish and Blott’s. Her assistants ride herd on the masses with admirable efficiency. Crabbe and Goyle are nowhere in sight, so I suppose she has relaxed her security. I do not know if I approve of that and may need to speak to them again. If she does not desire to employ them in that capacity, perhaps I will. Just because one stalker has been taken care of, there is no reason to believe there are not others. Much to my delight, Smith is also conspicuously absent. I wonder if the pillock has even read one of her books, or any book.

Toward the end of the allotted time period, I make my way down the stairs towards the end of the line. Her male assistant, Graham I believe is his name, seems about to announce that no one else should enter the line. I catch his eye and stare at him until he silently motions me forward, sealing the line with a spell behind me.

As I approach, she is finishing up with a group of young witches, most likely seventh years or recent graduates. There is much laughing and giggling, and I recall the ways in which Pansy used to manage the other Slytherin girls at Hogwarts. Her skills in such areas are unsurpassed, even by me.

Finally, it is my turn. She looks up and her eyes widen. She did not expect to see me here. Immediately, she takes in the fact that I am wearing the cloak that she picked out for me before Christmas. She flashes a very familiar smile and it seems as though we are back in school, seeing each other after a holiday.

“Draco…” she murmurs in a pleasant tone.

There is so much that I want to say, but I must play this carefully. We each have suffered. There is much pain lurking just beneath the fragile surface of our new-found civility. I cannot push too far too fast if I want to achieve my goals.

I gaze at the display behind her, though I’ve spent quite some time already today staring at it from afar. It is much different than the photo which adorned her second book. "I see you took my advice. I must say that I prefer the refined version.”

She knows, of course, that I suggested no such thing, rather simply remarked on it, but she allows me this small point. "So you didn't like the provocative one? Why?"

An opening I cannot resist… I lean closer and lower my voice so that only she can hear. "I never said that I did not like the other photo. In fact, I enjoy it a great deal." I keep it by my bedside and look at it often, but I will not divulge that fact just yet.

"If you had to choose just one, which would it be? Refined or provocative?" she asks coquettishly.

"I love them equally. You know I've always enjoyed both sides of you, Pansy. The elegant, sophisticated, public side..." I reply, stroking the refined portrait gently. How I long to feel her skin beneath my fingertips. I smile at the memory, adding, "And the more... private… side that only we shared." I can feel my eyes smouldering as I look her over, wearing the same beautiful robes that are displayed in the portrait.

"Are you flirting with me, Mr Malfoy?” she asks in an innocent tone. Then, her voice becomes more pointed, “Because if you are… I'd like to hear more."

My heart leaps in my chest, but I control my expression carefully. I remain cognizant of where we are and who might be watching us. I nod and smile at her warmly, making sure she knows that her comment has not gone unappreciated.

"I will need you to sign two of these for me, Miss Parkinson." I pick up two copies of her latest work. This is how we are, how we always have been… step to the edge and then step back, only to step forward once again. Every aspect of our relationship was like this: the mental, the emotional, the physical.

"Are you sure? I brought my special inks today…the ones that take a very... long.... time to dry. You might be here awhile..."

"There is nowhere else I would rather be." But I can think of what I would rather be doing. Once again, she has intoxicated me and I am swarmed with recollections of times we spent together, alone, dancing along a precipice. When I was young, I dreamed of our wedding day, and our wedding night, when we would finally take those final steps…

She replies in her professional tone, jarring me out of those lovely, but ill-timed, dreams. "Very well, then...” She notes that I have proffered two books and gives me an inquisitive look. “Two books?” she asks.

"One is for me. I do find your charms to very…very...seductive." Her eyes flare and I shudder to recall the passion that lurks within her, the chemistry between us.

"You always were quite susceptible to my charms, Draco."

I wonder if she knows exactly how correct she is. I can feel my heart beginning to race. It is time to step back once again, lest things move too quickly. I decide to test the waters a bit. "The other is for a very special witch..."

She frowns immediately, but then composes herself. She is jealous! It is not simply the joy of flirting or banter. She still has feelings for me.

"I believe you know her," I continue, unable to stop myself. How often did we play such games at Hogwarts? I remember a time when I spent a week convinced that she was being pursued by a Ravenclaw two years ahead of us. When I learned the truth, she laughed at me, but then ‘apologized’ to me in ways that completely made up for it all.

I look into her eyes and see that perhaps it is too soon to fall back into such habits. There is still too much distance and I have come close to pushing things too far. I look down at the blank page and offer, “Two esses in Narcissa..."

I flash my “I’ve been a bad boy” smile and hope that she is not angry. I quickly recognize that she is not, but that she does intend to get even.

"Come here, Draco," she commands in a no-nonsense tone. When I don’t react immediately, she rises slightly from her chair. I step closer as she wishes. Suddenly, she leans forward with a wicked smile on her face. She swings her hair before me, along my cheek and almost nuzzling my ear. "Do you like my new hair potion?" she whispers in a voice loaded with promise and mystery.

I inhale that delicate aroma of flowers and springtime and it is all I can do to keep my feet. Memories assail me and my senses are overwhelmed. She knows how vulnerable I am to her unique scent. I take a deep breath to regain my composure.

"It is a trick question, Pansy. That is the same potion you have always used."

"Oh, so you do remember,” she answers with a triumphant smirk.

"How could I ever forget?"

She lowers her eyes demurely and answers in an almost melancholy tone. "I'm happy that you didn't forget. I thought you had."

"I never did, Pansy," I reply honestly. Again, the tension between us rises, but this is different than before. I want to say so much more…to explain to her, to ask her about why she had done what she did... but this is not the time or place. The unspoken questions and long-suppressed emotions flood the air between us. I cannot find words to break the spell.

"Why did you come back, Draco... now after all this time?" There is still some sadness and regret in the air, but at least we are talking once again.

"To England... or...." Or to you, Pansy I think, but I cannot say that aloud at this point.

"Yes, back to England."

"I felt it was time to come home. I had been away long enough. Fortunately, they agreed."

"Someday maybe you will tell me..." Pansy looks down. "I'm sorry, I have no right to ask you anything further."

I reach out and grasp her chin gently, bringing her eyes in line with my own. "Never apologize for asking such things. There is nothing else to tell, truly. I just felt it was time. I am not certain why. I just knew.”

The touch is magical and I lose myself in her eyes. She is everything that I’ve ever wanted in a witch, and that reminds me of something which has been puzzling me since my return. I reluctantly release her chin and try to moderate my tone.

"I have a question for you, Miss Parkinson. How is it that you are still unbetrothed?"

"It's not for a lack of trying on my parents' part. I've been waiting. I've carefully avoided any entanglements until..."

Until Smith came along. I can only imagine how much her parents, her mother especially, are pressing her to commit to a match with Smith. They used to feel that way about me. If I wish to court her someday, I will need to win them over once again.

I cannot help the bitterness that seeps into my tone. The thought of him with her makes my blood boil! "He certainly is from a fine, upstanding family. He has a lot to offer, I'm sure." I can feel the scowl on my face and will it to go away.

"He didn't start pursuing me until late November. I understand that you were back before then. Of course I had no idea you were back... until..." She seems almost apologetic, until she recalls my actions. It suddenly occurs to me that I might be too late. Have they already reached an understanding? I must know!

"So, are you betrothed to him now?"

"No. I am not,” she replies simply. She stares at me intently to gauge my reaction to this. I make no effort to hide my relief.

"Then there is still hope." I gaze directly into her eyes so that she will have no doubt at all as to my intent. You will be mine, Pansy. I will earn your love back again.

She tilts her head to one side and eyes me curiously. Before she can reply, however, her assistant interrupts.

"Pansy, Zach is on his way down Diagon Alley."

Pansy’s eyes grow widen, and I can see her hands shake slightly. "Thank you."

"I don't want to make things uncomfortable for you, so I'll go. Until next time…" I offer, taking her hand in mine and kissing it softly. We gaze into each other’s eyes for a long moment.

"Draco… Thank you for coming by today." I can tell that she means it and decide that today has been a success. Even Smith’s imminent arrival cannot dampen my spirits as I gather my books and a copy of the new picture.

I turn and make my way toward the door. As I arrive there, Smith enters, almost bumping into me.

“Malfoy,” he barks, raising an eyebrow in surprise.

“Smith,” I reply, smiling knowingly at him. I do not want to push him too far, lest he take out his frustrations by treating Pansy poorly. Though it might expedite my cause, I never would wish any discomfort upon her.

“What are you doing here?” he demands angrily.

“I’m buying books, Smith,” I reply in a bored tone. “You know… books? You read them. They really are quite fascinating. You should try it sometime.” As he sputters trying to think of a comeback, I raise an eyebrow, smirk, and depart.

All in all, a successful start, I do believe.
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September 2006