belongs to JKR; Buffy
When Mr. Zabuto brings his ward to Malfoy Manor for Christmas, Kendra and Draco meet for the first time.
This is a Holiday Fic-a-Thon response for LeoRuby; sorry it's late. I hope it was worth the wait.
Crossover Fandom: BtVS/Harry Potter
Three things you'd like to read: Mr. Zabuto being friends with the Malfoys, Draco thinking Kendra's a muggle and being schooled, Kendra returning the flirtation despite her upbringing
What you DON'T want to read: Character deathChristmas at Malfoy Manor
The first time that Draco met Mr. Zabuto, he regretted it. Meeting one of Father’s guests always meant that he had to be on his best behavior. He had to wear his best pair of dinner robes, and they would use the good china, and there was no way
he’d be allowed to pester Father for flying lessons. Extra dessert was going to be completely out of the question.
Narcissa frowned prettily when Draco complained. “Mr. Zabuto is a highly respected business associate of Lucius’s,” she said. “He’s also the leading European expert on the costs of ancient Greek agrarian magic. It isn’t often that your father has a chance to talk shop with someone as informed on the Black Arts as Mr. Zabuto. You will not
This pretty much meant that Draco wasn’t going to be talk at all, tonight. Lucius had strict and occasionally incomprehensible standards about what “embarrassing” consisted of.
“Yes, Mother,” Draco said, and went off to change for dinner.
Supper was just as bad as Draco had feared. Lucius and Mr. Zabuto talked about obscure magical rites with Narcissa chiming in occasionally on the subject of curses, while Draco stared sullenly at his plate and wished that tall, dark skinned wizard with his bizarre clothes and his bizarre accent and his freakish lack of a wand would just go away
so that Draco could enjoy dinner with his family.
Unfortunately, it didn’t end even after the meal was over. The party retired to the drawing room, where Lucius quizzed Draco on Dark potions ingredients to show his heir off to his guest.
After Draco successfully rattled off all the ingredients necessary to brew a Triple Top Turnover, Mr. Zabuto complimented, “Your son definitely seems to have the cunning and intelligence to be the next great master of the Black Arts.” Lucius smirked, smugly.
This, Draco thought observing his father’s pleased expression, was probably not the time to admit that he was actually planning to be a Quidditch star (or possibly a mediwizard) rather than a Dark wizard.
“Thank you for that compliment,” Narcissa beamed in an excess of parental pride. “We have such high hopes for him. Perhaps you could come back sometime and check on his progress? Lucius would be delighted at the chance to show you his collection of Greek death masks.”
Mr. Zabuto nodded. “I would love the opportunity to see them – I’ve heard only good things about your collections. However, the Council has seen fit to assign me a Potential.” Draco could tell by his parents’ stillness that they were very impressed. “If it’s not too much trouble, could I bring my ward along to our next get-together? She’s about Draco’s age.”
Oh no. No way was Draco entertaining stupid Mr. Zabuto’s stupid ward on his next visit. Mr. Zabuto was bad enough.
“Of course we’d be delighted to have her! Are you two available this Christmas?”Christmas?
His mother was inviting them over for Christmas
? Not even his friend Pansy was ever invited over for Christmas, and the Parkinsons were the Malfoy’s oldest allies. This was looking very bad... But maybe Mr. Zabuto wouldn’t accept! Surely he’d have family of his own to bother, instead of trying to steal Draco’s!
“It would be an honor.”
At least it was just this once. Draco could be generous enough to share his special time with his parents just this once, right?
“Perhaps,” Lucius suggested, “if this first visit works out, we could make it a Christmas tradition.”
Well. Draco was just going to have to make sure this first attempt was such a disaster that Mr. Zabuto would never want to visit again, with or without his stupid ward. Although Draco was going to have to be careful not to get caught; Lucius would get very upset
if he found out.
Mr. Zabuto’s ward wasn’t what Draco was expecting. First off, although she was beautiful—gorgeous dark skin and long black hair—she looked uncomfortable, as if her robes didn’t quite fit. She was a year or two older than he was; she had probably started at Hogwarts already, which made Draco secretly but desperately jealous.
She wouldn’t meet his eyes, and for some reason that annoyed him.
“Kendra, this is Draco Malfoy. Draco, this is Kendra,” Mr. Zabuto introduced. Conscious of his parents’ assessing gaze, Draco offered her his hand using his best adult manners.
Kendra bobbed her head, but made no move to take his hand.
“Kendra,” Mr. Zabuto said, “does not talk to boys.”
So, Draco thought. She’s painfully shy. This is going to be a snap.
Draco smiled charmingly.
Dinner began as a repeat of Mr. Zabuto’s last visit, with an added layer of smoldering resentment because it was almost Christmas and Draco still wasn’t permitted to beg for a second helping of dessert. The adults talked shop; Draco and Kendra talked only when spoken to, which was never.
Draco tuned the grown-ups out to focus on Kendra and plot his plan of attack. She jumped every time the house-elves appeared to bring out a new course, and she discreetly spit her pumpkin juice back into the goblet the first time she sipped it. When dessert finally arrived and the house-elves brought out the chocolate frogs, Kendra actually stabbed hers with a fork and left it twitching on the corner of her plate.
“Kendra,” Mr. Zabuto rumbled threateningly. “Apologize for your bad manners. Although,” he added peering more closely at her victim, “good technique.”
“I ‘m very sorry for the d’sturbance,” Kendra said. Draco hadn’t heard her speak yet, and her accent was a bizarre mish-mash of Scottish and, of all things, Caribbean. It wasn’t unpleasant, though. “I had never,” Kendra continued, “seen one of dos t’ings b’fore.”
Never seen a chocolate frog before!? What kind of freak was
Oh sweet Merlin, she was a Muggle!
An actual Muggle,
sitting right here at his parents’ table, getting her germs on their good china and tainting their air! Why hadn’t his father stopped her?! Why hadn’t... Wait. Wait, calm down.
This might simplify things.
After dinner, the adults dismissed the kids. Narcissa gave Draco a stern warning to “show Kendra proper Malfoy hospitality,” and Mr. Zabuto told Kendra to “maintain vigilance.” Draco was easily able to interpret these commands as “get out of the way so we adults can have a proper grown-up chat,” and while usually this would have encouraged him to sneak upstairs and listen through the airshaft, today he took it as the signal to begin his campaign of terror on Kendra. She was due to leave in just three days, after all, and Draco felt he owed it to himself to make those three days really memorable.
“Let me show you around,” Draco offered. “Father has some ...interesting collections you might enjoy.”
Kendra gave that meek head-bob, and Draco dragged her off to see the trophy room. Frankly, that room creeped out Draco sometimes – there was no way a dumb Muggle girl who couldn’t even look him in the eyes was going to make it through there without serious mental trauma.
Draco opened the trophy room door with a flourish. Kendra stepped after him and he slammed the door behind them.
“Sorry,” he said insincerely when Kendra jumped and looked warily over her shoulder.
“These,” Draco said, pointing at the trio of stuffed heads mounted over the fireplace, “are all that remains of the Erlking and his two enormous wolf-dogs that haunted the Cotswolds in the late 1600s. The Erlking carried off and devoured more than sixty-five people in just under a four month period. My ancestor Bertrand Malfoy killed him using only a second hand wand with a sea anemone core.” Their glass eyes glittered in the firelight, and one of the wolf-dogs suddenly tossed its head with alarmingly life-like vigor.
Kendra examined them with interest but without, Draco was displeased to notice, fear. Well, maybe this next one would do it:
“This rug which you are standing on right now,” Draco announced, “is woven out of strands of the highly poisonous Soefaning Grass. If the grass isn’t properly treated, it secretes an acidic liquid that can dissolve its way through steel toed boots. Imagine what that could do to your
feet.” Kendra, Draco had noted, was wearing the equivalent of ballet slippers.
Kendra nodded thoughtfully and bent to look at the Soefaning Grass more closely. Draco whispered a discreet charm that would make her think her shoes were filling with hot, stinging liquid. Kendra stepped off the matt, removed her shoes and checked them for acid. When she didn’t find anything, she shrugged and put them on again. Draco decided then and there to skip the rest of the trophy room and move on to Plan B.
Kendra proved to be equally unintimidated by Lucius’ kennels of specially bred attack spiders; when Draco took her up on a broomstick for Plan C, spinning them over and around in wild loop-de-loops, she blinked and clung just tight enough not to fall off. Plan D, Draco giving her all the awful flavors of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Jelly Beans, failed when Kendra simply refused to try the candies. Draco considered bringing Kendra through the laundry and accidentally spilling bleach on her good robes – Pansy would cry if he ever did anything like that to her – but Draco thought that might be too obvious. It was important that Lucius not suspect anything; he would at the very least wonder why his son had taken his guest through the laundry room in the first place.
Finally, the only thing left to try was physical violence. If he was careful not to leave marks, then even if Kendra was
brave enough to complain to Mr. Zabuto it would be Draco’s word against hers. Lucius would certainly take his side over some dirty Muggle’s – at least as long as there wasn’t any proof.
Draco took Kendra upstairs to the West Art Gallery. He knew from experience that the only place in Malfoy Manor where the portraits weren’t spying on you was the gallery where the family kept all the painted still lives. Most of his ancestors found artistic studies of light on fruits and flowers too boring to bother with. Great-Grandfather Milford was an exception, but Draco had seen him chasing Great-Grandmother Angua through a picture of Paris on the first floor, so he was probably going to be busy for the next few hours.
The other benefit of the West Art Gallery was that no matter how loudly a person screamed, a grown-up talking in the drawing room absolutely could not hear her.
Kendra followed Draco into the room, gazing at the various pictures with a mild interest that lasted until Draco sucker punched her in the stomach.
Shortly after, Draco found himself facedown in the carpet with his arm twisted painfully behind his back. That first blow had been the only one he landed; Kendra dodged his follow-up attack with contemptuous ease before casually socking him in the face, sweeping his feet out from under him, and then pinning him.
“What,” Kendra asked, “was tha’ for?” It was the first time she’d addressed Draco. Since Draco had hoped the first time would be her begging for mercy, it was an added blow.
“Stupid Muggle,” Draco growled indistinctly into the carpet. “Can’t you see you’re not wanted here? Why don’t you just go home?” In spite of himself, he sniffled.
“Is that what this was about?” Kendra snorted. “Y’are an idiot.”
“It’s not fair,” Draco mumbled as Kendra let him up. “I have hardly any time with my family, and you and your stupid dad are taking them away from me! At Christmas!
They’re supposed to be paying attention to me right now!”
Kendra rolled her eyes. For someone who was supposed to be so timid she couldn’t talk to boys, she sure wasn’t all that submissive now.
“Mr. Zabuto is not me dad,” she denied. “Mr. Zabuto is me Watcher. He don’t even like me. I am too clumsy, too bold and too impatient for a proper Slayer. Mr. Zabuto says tha’ he is going to have to work extra hard to mold me into a decent warrior.”
Draco looked at her quizzically. Kendra stared back at him. Now that she was finally meeting his eyes, he sort of wished she wasn’t. She was a lot
more fearsome than he’d initially suspected.
“D’ya even know what the Slayer is?” Kendra asked.
“Of course,” Draco said coldly. His father had always drilled into him that one never admitted ignorance. Kendra gazed at him, one eyebrow quirked in doubt.
“We should return to the drawing room,” Draco said, and marched off without waiting for Kendra to reply. He felt her eyes on his back the whole way there.
Narcissa gasped when she saw Draco. “Your eye! What happened?”
Draco gulped. “I,” he started. He caught sight of his father over Narcissa’s shoulder and gulped again. “Um,” Draco said intelligently. “I fell down?”
“Really,” Lucius said, glaring at his son as if he could force the truth out of him using sheer force of will. Judging from past experience, that might not be as impossible as it sounded.
“He slipped on the Soefaning Grass in the trophy room,” Kendra contributed, and Draco barely managed to control his expression of shock. If their positions had been reversed, Draco would have boasted about how effortlessly he beat the stew out of his unprovoked attacker.
It was Mr. Zabuto’s turn to glare at his charge. “Kendra, did you talk to Draco?”
“Yes, sir,” Kendra said, eyes fastening back on the floor.
“Your Calling has no room for the frivolities of friendship or romance,” Mr. Zabuto thundered.
“No, sir,” Kendra whispered.
“You’re going to do an hour extra mediation tonight to remind yourself of your sacred duty. Tomorrow, we will do an additional two hours of basic strength exercises, and I also expect you to have memorized the passage on goblins from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
“On that note,” Mr. Zabuto said to the room at large, “we must retire. It seems Kendra and I have much to discuss.”
Somehow, Draco wasn’t even pleased that Lucius had forgotten all his doubts about Draco’s alleged fall.
The following morning, Draco slipped down to breakfast and learned from the house-elves that Kendra and Mr. Zabuto were already awake. They were training in the backyard, Dobby said, and had been since before the break of dawn. Draco went out to watch.
Mr. Zabuto and Kendra both glanced his way when he sat down on the step, but neither broke off the exercise. Mr. Zabuto was running Kendra through a drill series with a staff; he’d call out a number, and Kendra would swing the staff up into a block, down into a leg sweep or straight out in a jab. Occasionally, Mr. Zabuto would shout out the name of a magical creature, and Kendra would list all the ways to kill it without missing a beat of the staff drill.
Kendra was very good. She flubbed only once, when she forgot that T’karvok demons could also be killed by salt, but even then she never lost her physical rhythm. Kendra, Draco had to admit, was magnificent.
Mr. Zabuto did not agree. He was constantly telling her to swing harder, move faster, center her weight better; the time she missed the demon death by salt, he chewed her up one side and down the other in a precise, scornful tone that made Draco wince reflexively. Once Draco ignored the deep pitch the words were spoken in, he recognized it as the same tone Lucius used when Draco failed to measure up as the Malfoy heir.
Eventually, the training ended. Mr. Zabuto told Kendra to do her cool-down routine and headed indoors, passing Draco as he lingered on the steps.
“Thanks,” Draco said awkwardly after she’d finished her last stretch.
Kendra quirked an eyebrow at him but didn’t speak.
“For, um, not telling my father. I didn’t mean to get you in trouble.” He continued in a rush, “I don’t actually know what a Slayer is.”
Kendra grinned. “I could tell you,” she said.
“Won’t you get in trouble again?”
“Only if Mr. Zabuto asks.”
The following day was Christmas. Draco got a new set of satin robes, a self cleaning cauldron so he could get a head start on his Hogwarts Potions class, a book on undetectable curses, a broom maintenance kit and all the chocolate frogs he could eat. Kendra got a stake.
Since that didn’t seem fair, after everyone but the house-elves had gone to bed Draco snuck into Kendra’s room and dared her into joining him by the Christmas tree. He gave her a tiny glass globe of Malfoy Manor; he’d charmed to look like it was snowing, and she eyed him sideways for a moment before she shook it carefully and watched the snow swirl a moment.
“T’anks,” was all she said, but she tucked it gently into her pocket and Draco saw her hand stray over to touch it a few times.
They played a Muggle card game called Casino, which Kendra said all the girls in the Potential dorms knew, and then Draco taught her to play Exploding Snap. She won all his chocolate frogs even though he cheated shamelessly.
When the clock struck two, Kendra said she had to go back to her room. Mr. Zabuto would be waking her up for early practice in another four hours. They passed through the Great Hall, giggling, and then Draco happened to look up.
“Hey, Kendra,” he whispered. “We’re standing under the mistletoe.”
“So what?” she whispered back.
Draco didn’t roll his eyes. From some of her stories, it sounded like the Potential dorms were really strict about letting the girls learn about anything
, aside from their sacred duty.
“It’s tradition for two people standing under mistletoe to kiss,” he told her.
“Oh!” Kendra blinked, then smiled. “Well, who are we t’ ignore tradition?” She kissed his cheek. It was the first time he’d been kissed by a girl.
Well. Maybe Draco wouldn’t mind seeing Kendra again for Christmas next year after all.