Pardon My French

By Violet Beck

Arc I :: Quelle Chance!

Chapter Seven :: Intermezzo

Sighing in a rather satisfied fashion, I proceeded to towel off my obscenely pale hair in front of the fogged bathroom mirror.

It was about eight in the "morning." I'd just woken up, had a good (if short) wank in the shower, and was now going to tackle the pot of coffee Pansy had brewing in the other room. Things were looking up, if only slightly. Wrapping a towel around my waist, I strutted out into the bedroom.

Pansy was dandling her little brother on her knee. A rather distraught Mrs. Parkinson had dropped the evil little bastard off at around six. He'd been a surprisingly small burden so far, calmly cooing on the floor while we both got another hour and a half of sleep.

"Squeaky clean?" Pansy asked, surveying me.

"Squeaky. Coffee?"

"On the counter. I already poured it."

I picked up the cup and smirked at her. "Aren't we the industrious little housewife this morning?"

"Fuck you," Pansy said, rolling her eyes.

"Uckjoo!" Leif Junior echoed happily, and started bouncing manically on her knee.

"I see you got someone to fix your eye?"

"Yeah. Dad stopped by to talk to Severus last night and proclaimed he couldn't cope with having a one-eyed son."

Pansy pouted. "Even for a few glorious days?"

"Fortunately not."

With a soft rustle of feathers, a snowy owl shot through the open window and cut a neat circle above our heads before landing on the hotel desk.

"Gowl!" Junior cried enthusiastically.

"Yes, darling," Pansy cooed, "an owl!"

"Gowlie gowl."

I set down my coffee, and approached the owl.

"Who's it for, Draco?"

"Hold on, woman. I'm not telepathic."

The bird eyed me rather warily before lifting its leg, and allowing me to free it from the small roll of parchment tethered there. My heart skipped a beat as I looked at the handwriting, and realized who it was from. Well, that had been a fast reply....

Somewhere else in the room, a cat who had spent far too much time in Slytherin house was crouching, ready to strike.

"Well?" Pansy prompted.

"Itty!" Junior exclaimed.

"Not kitty, Leif. Owl. Draco?"

"Well--"

Obviously in the interest of saving me from an answer, complete chaos struck. The unsuspecting owl on the desk had been hit full force by a rabid ten-pound ball of claws, teeth and gray fur. It let out a shrieking hoot of horror as the pair of animals crashed onto the floor, limps and wings flailing.

Dropping everything, I dove after them. "Bad Asmodeus!" I yelled, reaching into the fray and managing to messily extract him by the scruff of his neck. "No eating owls! Bad, bad kitty!" He started purring. His little maw was filled with feathers.

Snickering, Pansy managed to cast the Remedium Spell on herself before she had an allergy attack.

The owl, by now, had skittered off to cower under the desk, and was glaring something awful at me with large golden eyes. Bending down for a better view, I inspected it. No serious damages were visible, but mottled feathers were all over the floor.

"Bad cat," I muttered, slightly shaking Asmodeus. He meowed happily, proud of a kill well-made.

Pansy's snickering had transformed into all-out laughter.

"You know, it's not that funny," I said testily. "He could have killed that owl, and I don't even know who it belongs to--"

"Yes you do," Pansy said, cackling and waving an open roll of parchment in my face.

I turned crimson. "Give me that! You know, I think it's a Federal crime to open another person's mail in America!"

"Said the son of a mass-murderer." Pansy browsed the letter, grinning widely and artfully keeping it out of my reach. "He really likes you, huh?"

Though I previously wouldn't have thought it possible, I turned even redder. "Maybe I'd have some notion as to what you're talking about if you'd let me read the damn thing."

"Fine, fine." Grudgingly, she proffered it, and I snatched the parchment from her fingers.

Dear Draco:

Thank you for the spell. I was wary of trying it at first, but Hermione told me it wasn't a curse, and it ended up working perfectly. (I'm currently staying with the Weasley family for my summer holiday, as is Hermione. Speaking of which, Ron sends what Hermione has sternly told me to refer to as his "best wishes.")

Hope your black eye suits you. Please write again, when you get the chance.

- HP.

Pansy was smiling smugly when I looked up.

"What are you looking at!?" I exclaimed, but it was quite merrily all in vain.

<<<>>>

The rest of that day passed in quiet and unobtrusive succession. Crabbe, Goyle and I rented brooms and shot across the exotic Hawaiian countryside. Goyle hit a tree and sprained his wrist in the fall. It was all mildly hysterical.

Dinner was a pain again. Everywhere I looked, bits of intrigue threatened to pull me in--glances shared, dishes "accidentally" broken, whispers of confidence--but I studiously ignored them in favor of some top-notch seafood pasta. John Skycloud ate a salad. Snape sat edgily between my mother and the odious Madame, picking at a rare steak.

Two days passed. One night, I brunched with Father, and he was halfway civil, if a bit high-strung. One morning, I fell asleep in an armchair in Severus's hotel room, and woke in my own bed, boots removed, covers pulled to my chin. Pansy was constantly plagued by her little brother, who appeared to be conquering the world of swearing with great leaps and bounds. She had multiple allergy attacks, and Asmodeus made a nest out of one of her hats. Little Leif pulled his tail, and sustained a scratch on his arm for the trouble.

Twice, the strange girl I'd met when I first arrived at the Inn sought me out. I always tried to extricate myself from the increasingly annoying situations as politely as possible, but she never seemed to take the hint. I finally started quietly suggesting that she might be in over her head at her current place of residence, but any comments glossed right over her peppy blonde head like Crisco over a naked Kelpie. My dislike for her completely unabashed oblivion of Mudbloodality (new word? I think so) flowered like some rare Hawaiian plant. I started a few rather stupid murder plots, only to find quiet strolls on the deserted beach more interesting.

I laid down to sleep on that third morning, peaceful, completely unaware of what dark complications waited for nightfall....

Chapter Six | Chapter Eight


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