15th July 1996:
The O.W.L results came today. I open the envelope with trembling hands:
ORDINARY WIZARDING LEVELS RESULTS
Pass grades: Outstanding (O)
Exceeds Expectations (E)
Fail Grades: Poor (P)
DRACO LUCIUS MALFOY HAS ACHIEVED:
Care of Magical Creatures: A
Defence Against the Dark Arts: E
History of Magic: A
Study of Ancient Runes: O
I passed all of them! I have 9 O.W.L.s! I run to Mother and tell her. She hugs me and says, “Excellent! I am very proud of you! We will go to Diagon Alley on Saturday.”
Mother must have told Aunt Bellatrix about my results because she too, hugged me and said she was very happy with me.
I wish Father was here to share the good news too.
20th July 1996 (Saturday):
I got up at around 6 a.m. I tried to go back to sleep again but I couldn’t. I thought about the Vanishing Cabinet. I shivered even thinking about it. I grabbed a book from the bookshelf and started reading. Finally, it was 7 a.m. and I got out of bed and got ready and headed down for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Mother was already there. She said, “We will go at 9:30 a.m. I will leave Bellatrix in charge of the house.” I didn’t want Mother to come but didn’t say anything.
At last, it was 9:30. Mother and I went outside to Disapparate from the Manor. Mother held out her hand and we disappeared from the place. I absolutely detest Side-Along Apparition. It makes me want to throw up. We reached Diagon Alley. It looked very different. It was very dull and sombre. There were posters of escaped Death Eaters, including Aunt Bellatrix. It seemed very weird, seeing her posters all over the place.
We first went to the apothecary to replenish my Potions ingredients. Then we went to Madam Malkin’s to buy me some new robes. I was very anxious that the Madam Malkin will see my Dark Mark while measuring. “I can shop on my own, Mother. You can go back home.” She looked very surprised. “I know you can, Draco, but we have to pretend that we are taking no part in the activities that are taking place in the Manor.”
We entered the shop.
“Good morning Madam Malfoy and Mr. Malfoy!” She cheerfully said. Mother and I nodded and said, “Good morning.”
“I will do the shopping on my own, Mother.”
“It’s not safe Draco! He needs new dress robes.” She added to the shopkeeper.
I said, “I want those dark green dress robes. I’m not a child, in case you haven’t noticed, Mother. I am perfectly capable of doing my shopping alone.”
Madam Malkin started measuring and made a clucking noise and said, “Now, dear, your mother’s quite right, none of us is supposed to go wandering around on our own any more, it’s nothing to do with being a child —”
As she accidentally stuck a pin on my left forearm, I shouted at her, “Watch where you’re sticking that pin, will you!”
I saw in the mirror that Potter, Granger and Weasley had just entered the shop. I said spitefully to Mother, “If you’re wondering what the smell is, Mother, a Mudblood just walked in.”
“I don’t think there’s any need for language like that!” Madam Malkin said, scurrying out from behind the clothes rack holding a measuring tape and a wand. “And I don’t want any wands drawn in my shop, either!” she added hastily, as Potter and Weasley were standing with their wands pointing at me.
Granger whispered from behind them, “No, don’t, honestly, it’s not worth it…”
“Yeah, like you’d dare do magic outside school,” I sneered. Who blacked your eye, Granger? I want to send them flowers.”
“That’s quite enough!” said Malkin sharply, looking over her shoulder for support. “Madam — please —”
Mother strolled out of from behind the clothes rack.
“Put those away,” she said coldly to Weasley and Potter. “If you attack my son ever again, I shall ensure that it is the last thing you ever do.”
“Really?” Potter sneered. “Going to get a few Death Eater pals to do us in, are you?
Madam Malkin squealed and clutched at her heart.
“Really, you shouldn’t accuse — dangerous thing to say — wands away, please!”
Potter didn’t lower his wand. Mother smiled unpleasantly.
“I see that being Dumbledore’s favourite has given you a false sense of security, Harry Potter. But Dumbledore won’t always be there to protect you.”
Potter looked mockingly all around the shop.
“Wow… look at that… he’s not here now! So why not have a go? They might be able to find you a double cell in Azkaban with your loser of a husband!”
I made an angry movement towards Potter, but stumbled over my overlong robe. Weasley laughed loudly.
“Don’t you dare talk my mother like that, Potter!” I snarled.
“It’s alright, Draco,” said Mother, restraining me with her fingers upon my shoulder. “I expect Potter will be reunited with dear Sirius before I am reunited with Lucius.”
Potter raised his wand higher.
“Harry, no!” moaned the Mudblood, grabbing Potter’s arm and tried to pull it back. “Think… you mustn’t… you’ll be in such trouble…”
Madam Malkin dithered for a moment on the spot, and then decided to act as though nothing was happening in hope that it won’t. She bent towards me.
“I think this left sleeve could come up a little bit more, dear, let me just —”
She was about to touch the place with Dark Mark. I panicked but hid it by pretending to be in pain.
“Ouch!” I yelled, slapping her hand away. “Watch where you’re putting your pins, woman! Mother — I don’t think I want these anymore —”
I pulled the robes over my head and threw them on the floor at Malkin’s feet.
“You’re right, Draco,” said Mother, with a contemptuous glance at Granger, “now I know the kind of scum that shops here… we’ll do better at Twilfitt and Tatting’s.”
As we headed outside, I saw that great oaf Hagrid. We went to Twilfitt and Tatting’s and got my robes. We also went to Flourish and Blotts to get my new books. I also went to Eeylops Owl Emporium to get some Owl Treats for Comet, my owl.
Suddenly, an owl came and dropped a letter into Mother’s hands. She read the message with an impassive face. She said, “Draco, I have to go. You can give me your things.”
I quickly handed her my things and then she Disapparated. I grabbed my chance and hurried off to Borgin and Burkes. As I went there, I passed the new shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. It seemed like an explosion of colours against the dull, poster-muffled stores. Some people were standing in front of it, transfixed. But I walked on.
When I reached my destination, Borgin bowed deeply and simpered, “Good morning, Mr. Malfoy? How may I serve you today?”
“There’s a Vanishing Cabinet at Hogwarts and it’s broken. Do you know how to fix it?”
“Possibly,” said Borgin, in a tone that suggested he was unwilling to commit himself. “I’ll need to see it, though. Why don’t you bring it into the shop?”
“I can’t,” I replied. “It’s got to stay put. I just you to tell me how to do it.”
Borgin licked his lips nervously.
“Well, without seeing it, I must say it will be a very difficult job, perhaps impossible. I couldn’t guarantee anything.”
“No?” I sneered. “Perhaps this will make you more confident.”
I moved towards Borgin and unrolled my left sleeve, showing him my Dark Mark. He looked downright terrified.
“Tell anyone,” I said, “and there will be a retribution. You know Fenrir Greyback? He’s a family friend, he’ll be dropping in from time to time to make sure you’re giving the problem your full attention.”
“There will be no need for —”
“I’ll decide that. Well, I’d better be off. And don’t forget to keep that one safe, I’ll need it.” I added, pointing to the Vanishing Cabinet behind me.
“Perhaps you’d like to take it now?”
“No, of course I wouldn’t, you stupid little man, how would I look that down the street? Just don’t sell it.”
“Of course not… sir. ”
He bowed deeply again.
“Not a word to anyone, Borgin, and that includes my mother, understand?”
“Naturally, naturally,” murmured Borgin, bowing once more.
I felt quite pleased.
I roamed all around Diagon Alley, thinking about the mission. Till the time Borgin manages to fix the Cabinet, I would need to think of some ways I could kill Dumbledore. Poisoning, cursing, torturing him into insanity or doing the Avada Kedavra were some of the ways I could murder him or as close to it.
As I walked around, I saw that Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour had closed down. I really liked his ice creams, the chocolate vanilla sundae being my favourite.
Surprisingly, a lot of time passed and I heard Mother calling out my name.
We then Apparated to the Manor. I went to Greyback and told him to go to Borgin and Burkes to check on his progress once every two weeks and also made him swear that he’d tell nobody about the mission.
I went to my room and kicked off my shoes and climbed onto my bed. I picked out a random book from my bedside table. It was Quidditch Through the Ages, one of my all-time favourites.
The first page. Introduction by Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore. I close my eyes to not let the tears shed. I don’t know why I want to cry, but I just do. I skip it. It’s good to do some forced reading. Keeps my mind off the things that are going on around me.
It must have been an hour or so when someone knocked on my door. “Come in.”
I granted the person entry. It was Mother. She looked happy and relaxed and I couldn’t help but smile too. Her smile was very infectious. They sort of illuminated this dank mansion. She said, “Come downstairs. Linnie,” she referred to our house-elf, “has prepared your favourite cream pie.” My mouth watered at the sound of the absolutely delicious dish.
I hurried down the stairs towards the kitchen. Thank goodness the Dark Lord was somewhere else and not at our place. I was sick of his presence.
Aunt Bellatrix was in the kitchen. She forced as a smile at me and said to Mother, “Cissy, I must go, the Dark Lord is waiting for me.”
“Goodbye, Narcissa and Draco.”
She went outside and Apparated with the faintest pop.
I asked Mother, “Has something happened? You seem happy all of a sudden.”
”I can’t believe it, Mother. I’m 16 now. I’ll be of age in a year. Obviously, something has happened.”
“I’m telling you, nothing has happened.”
“Oh, fine. Don’t tell me.”
Linnie brought the pie. I dug into it. It’d been a long time since I’d eaten it. “It’s perfect, Linnie.” I complimented her.
“Oh, Linnie is pleased Master likes it. Should Linnie make some more?” she squeaked.
“No, no. I’ll burst if I eat any more.”
I went back to my room. Mother was sitting on my bed. It’d been a scene far too familiar over the past few days.
“Ah, Draco. Come sit. I was just remembering the time I had taught you how to make a bouquet when you were about 10. Do you recall it?”
“Er — no.” I admitted sheepishly.
“Oh, never mind. Anyway, you don’t need those kind of skills nowadays.”
“Oh, er, yes. Yes.”
I saw the clock. It was 9 p.m. Mother saw me seeing it. “Oh, it’s 9. You should go to sleep.”
I resumed reading Quidditch Through the Ages and fell asleep quite quickly.