“I think it’s a great opportunity, boy,” Professor Slughorn said.
Lucius acknowledged Professor Slughorn with a nod before turning to the official. “That’s one offer I cannot turn down, sir,” Lucius said.
That night, Lucius wrote a letter to his mother to tell her about the internship. He would have addressed the letter to both his parents, but he feared his father would send him a howler in return. When his letter took flight the following morning, he pushed the internship out of his head and shifted his focus to the upcoming exam.
Now that Lucius’ plan to ace all his subjects failed, he was forced to study. He spent whatever time he had left poring over his Divination textbook and drinking in the horrible taste of Herbology. When the exam weeks finally arrived, Lucius chucked his books aside and hoped none of the information he stored in his brain would leak out unexpectedly.
Strangely, Lucius got through the two weeks pretty well. He knew he would score ‘O’s’ for most of his subjects, and a few ‘A’s’ for those he made mental gagging reflexes at the sound of their names. As long as he passed with more ‘O’s’ than ‘A’s’, he shouldn’t have a problem with his parents.
Shortly after the exams, the school year was wrapped up. That year flew by so quickly, Lucius could not even remember Christmas. His memory of the year was like a misty morning with only a few patches of incidences he could recall. Typically, Lucius blamed the exam for robbing what could have been a great year.
As Lucius boarded the train that late sunny afternoon, his fellow prefects gave him the same train hospitality. It was just like the last time he boarded, except that Tanya helped herself to the seat beside him without question.
“So, are you ready to go home?” Tanya asked.
The Slytherin prefects seated across them ignored her and pretended to look busy. It became a habit as they did it every time Tanya came to speak to Lucius. Lucius wouldn’t mind them leaving as he did not have to watch what he said if they weren’t around, but he assumed they were either afraid or too prideful to let go of their cushioned seats.
“That depends on the welcome party,” Lucius replied.
“Why? Do all the house elves come to greet you?” Tanya asked cheekily.
A question as such would have gotten a student a curse in the stomach, but Lucius was now immune to Tanya’s choice of words.
“No. The family does,” Lucius answered.
“Oh, what if the family doesn’t?”
“Then we have a guest,” Lucius simply said. His answer raised a head across him, but Lucius paid no attention to the subtle yet obvious response.
“Do you like this guest?”
“He’s one of a kind. How about you?”
“I can’t wait to go home! We’re having a picnic once I get home,” Tanya said.
“Won’t it be dark then?”
“Can’t you have a dinner picnic? We do it all the time.”
“Right, I forgot.”
“You should come visit me one day. That’s what friends do.”
Lucius shrugged with a chuckle. He would rather live with his weird grandaunt than visit a mixed blood family. Not forgetting how his father would ignore him for the rest of his life if he did.
By the time the train stopped, Lucius allowed his little helpers to drag his bag out to the walkway before taking over himself. He preferred to look independent when he got off the train, after all, his mother did not enjoy giving the other mothers a thin smile for their children’s submissive behaviour.
As he headed to the exit and alighted from the Hogwarts Express, he searched the crowd for his parents. There were so many people calling out names that Lucius strained his ears to hear his. When he did, a mixed emotion swept over him.
“Mr Malfoy!” a deep voice called out.
Lucius was hoping for ‘Lucius dear’ or Lucius, my boy’ but that evening he responded to the formality and handed his belongings to the chauffeur.
“I know, let’s go,” Lucius interrupted.
He gave one last wave to Tanya, who was seen with her strange cousin, before striding toward the big black car outside the station. It was going to be another long journey, and by the time he reached home he would be crashing into bed.
True enough, Lucius had his dinner in the car and caught up with the family business from a report book his father left in the backseat for him. Even though many people knew who the Malfoys were, they did not gain their fame from working in the ministry. They owned a wine and an antique business, with branches all over the world. They were also shareholders for larger companies and had investments in different stocks, all in wizard currency of course. That was why Lucius did not need an internship.
By the time Lucius had finished updating himself with the family business, the car rolled in front of the white porch with the full moon buried beneath the clouds overhead.
Lucius did not wait to have his door opened as he exited the car and walked right into his home. He took quick peeks into the different rooms on the ground floor in search for his parents, but when he found neither of them he headed straight to his bedroom. Lucius was exhausted, not because he did anything but because his day was so uneventful. By the time he hit his large, soft bed he drifted off to sleep almost instantly.
Unlike its predecessors, that night was rather still. Lucius would have slept through it if not for the floorboard the house elves had not fixed. When it made a loud creak, Lucius barely opened his eyes and winced at his surroundings. The moment he spotted something at the end of his bed, Lucius stared long and hard.
The fireplace was dead, the curtains were drawn shut, and the darkness made it impossible for Lucius’ foggy brain to make out what it was. He contemplated calling out but sleep was beckoning him. It was a petty decision, but Lucius did not know what to do.
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Lucius should call out or go back to sleep!)