7 : Flight
Previously on The Weasel and the Malfoy :
The fall of Voldemort.
“Ginny? Draco?” said Ron in a sick sounding voice, gazing at his sister in disbelief.
“Mother! A Weasley? Ow! Ginny….” said Draco clutching his head.
Somehow, he and Ron Weasley had switched bodies.
“Frankly I was afraid of this,” started Dumbledore softly. “This is not the only sign of renewed Death Eater activity, merely the nearest to me in person. It is becoming obvious in some respects that not all the Death Eaters died with their master the other day.”
“And that’s why I’d like you four that I know I can trust to go and investigate,” remarked Dumbledore at the end of his talk.
Suddenly springing away from the table and rushing around to his side, “Draco” spoke quickly, “Certainly, Minister – we’d love to do that. If you’ll excuse us, Ron and I will go on ahead and scout out the area.”
It was all way too much for Seamus. With a muttered curse for the effectiveness of certain alcoholic beverages, he fainted to the floor.
7 : Flight
At the back of the Leaky Stoat, the left toilet window of the gents is notoriously loose. Many a young wizard on a blind date has been known to make their excuses from the horrors currently facing them, and to leave through this lesser known exit.
Today was a slight exception to the normal occasions. Passers by who happened to glance into the rear alley behind the Leaky Stoat, would have seen two young wizards pulling each other through the window in what appeared to be a desperate attempt to leave with all possible haste. The more observant wizard would also have recognized Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy, two of the more unlikely people to be working together in any form whatsoever.
‘Dear Diary,’ thought Draco sarcastically to himself, ‘Hard as it may be to believe, my life has actually become worse since Voldemort died. I have no regrets at all regarding my sleeping with Ginny Weasley, but discovering her oafish brother Ron sleeping with my mother…” He shuddered at the very thought, and finally managed to get his broad shoulders through the barely open window.
Draco looked up at the offered hand from the blond haired wizard before him, and grimaced at the helpful open face. Not to mention this damned body swop between me and this idiot Weasley…
“What the hell are we going to do about Seamus?” demanded the now blond Gryffindor of his companion.
“Stop bloody fretting!” answered ‘Ron Weasley’, brushing down his robes as best as he could. “He’ll be fine as soon as the next guy in finds him. And hopefully, that bump on the head will have affected his memory - or do you want him telling everyone what he just saw?”
‘Draco’ paled. “No way!” He turned and paced around the alley for a moment. “Right Ferret,” he said, turning to Draco. “The most important thing I learned from when Fred and George tested all their tricks at home was to have a good alibi.” His face grew serious. “We need to have been obviously busy somewhere else just in case Seamus remembers.”
Draco scratched his face and slight stubble with an expression of disgust. “I suppose you’re right. But where?”
Ron turned around, and snapped his fingers. “Didn’t Dumbledore want us to go look at something in Kent for him?”
“Hapsgood Manor,” said Draco consideringly. “That would do. It’s far enough that we can claim to have been there all the time.” He stood up off the dustbin that he’d been leaning on, held out his arm, and called out “Accio broom!”
“Accio broom!” echoed Ron, as both sets of brooms swished around the corner to them. “You do realize we’re going to have to work together on this, right?”
Draco automatically sneered back, then grudgingly nodded in agreement. “I suppose so, Weasel. Let’s just get out of London fast, before anyone else sees me hanging around with you!”
One hour later, during their flight to Kent, the warmth of the alcoholic haze was wearing off in the face of the relentlessly cold fresh air whipping past them. Draco, who had been one of the best Seekers to play for Slytherin house in years, was having trouble steering his broom in a straight line for more than a few hundred yards at a time. The broom Ron was flying kept having trouble with the speed, and kept jumping ahead or spluttering and falling back. Eventually outside London, they’d landed in a ploughed field and switched brooms between themselves. Ever since they’d switched to the broom that they were personally accustomed to, things had been a lot smoother, though they were pressing their brooms to go as fast as possible.
The way to Hapsgood Manor was fairly easy, thankfully; follow the M34 and stay above cloud cover until they got to Tenterden. Ron relaxed somewhat once he got onto the old familiar route up north, though something was bothering the back of his mind about this particular stretch.
As they flew past a particularly odd shaped cloud, part of it turned blue and floated after Ron and Draco, flashing as it caught up with them. “Attention, attention,” the blue cloud chirped as it swung in front of the two of them. “Please pull over and land your broomstick immediately by order of the Department of Speed Limits. An Auror will be with you as soon as possible.”
Draco bit back a curse, and swung his broomstick downwards at once. He’d heard things about what these new Air Wardens could do – and he certainly had no wish to suddenly find his broom no longer working this high up in the air. Ron also cursed. Now he remembered – the same speed trap had caught him 3 weeks back!
As they spiraled downwards, Draco spotted the apparition in of a blue robed wizard by a small copse of trees and angled to land by him. Somehow, he managed to land his broom properly in the approved Ministry fashion directly in front of the Auror. Ron, on the other hand, missed his landing completely and skidded several paces past Draco and the Auror, before coming back to join them, looking shamefaced.
The Auror just sighed loudly, and made a little note in his already opened notepad. A badge on his robes marked “Air Warden Tim Vesnuet” shone brightly in the sunshine, only to be blotted out as the small flashing blue cloud floated down to join them.
“Good evening, Sirs,” the Auror started, while examining the little blue cloud closely. “And who do we think we are, doing 60 in a 40 mile an hour area? Viktor bloody Krum?”
“No,” offered Ron helpfully, “But he’s a close personal friend of ours. Do you want his autograph? I’m sure we could get him to…..” His voice trailed off, as he finally noticed Draco’s frantic hand gestures and the increasingly stony faced Vesnuet.
Vesnuet glared at the two of them. “License, registration and MOB please,” he snapped.
Oh god, he had no idea when that damn Weasel’s broom had had its last check-up. And judging from the slightly sick expression on his companion’s face, he had the distinct impression it wouldn’t pass the MOB test right now. Draco sighed inwardly. More points on his Broom License without a doubt. But on the bright side, lots more points on the Weasel’s.
Meanwhile at the Burrow, Molly Weasley was standing in the kitchen, staring at the clock in the corner of the room, with a bemused expression on her face. Before her, the hands on the clock representing all the members of her family was acting as normal. Except for one hand.
Ron’s hand was steadily and completely revolving around the clock face. Not stopping or even hiccupping on any of the points. Molly watched the hand like a hawk whenever it approached the Mortal Danger setting, but nothing seemed to stop the hand’s remorseless advancement around the clock.
Behind her, she heard the sound of the back door opening, and Ginny’s voice rang out across the kitchen, “Hello, mum!”
“Mmmm? Hello dear,” said Molly, not turning round and still concerned at the clock’s strange behaviour. “Ginny, do you happen to know if Ron is still with that dreadful Malfoy woman?”
A cool refined voice spoke from behind her, and it was all that Molly Weasley could do to avoid jumping in the air. “Actually, Mrs Weasley,” Narcissa said, “I’m being looked after by Ginny at the moment.”
End part 7