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Chapter 2
The Invitation


Harry’s sluggish mind clicked slowly with what Draco had said. The words fighting against the voice screaming in his head to curse Draco on the spot, call the Aurors, and have Draco taken away to prison. Harry considered Draco to be nothing more than a treacherous coward. How dare he speak to Harry, let alone step out into public. He and his family were considered a disgrace to the wizarding community. How did he find him anyway? Was he tailing Harry to Madam Malkin’s shop? 

“Harry, I need to talk to you, quickly,” repeated Draco, his nervousness showing more so than before. 

“Talk…to me, Draco?” stammered Harry. “What the bloody hell do we have to talk about?!” Harry’s voice rising, tinged with anger. 

“Just give me a minute, and I’ll show you.” Said Draco, seeming to almost cower at Harry’s evident anger coming forth. 

This was not the Draco Harry used to despise. He had changed since Voldemort had been defeated. Harry had determined this in the brief few moments they had communicated. Another voice in Harry’s head said that he should investigate this change in Draco. 

“I don’t have much time, please could we talk for a minute?” said Draco rather urgently. 

Please? Harry thought this in itself was odd. He had never known Draco to have any kind of manners, unless it suited him for his own gain, buttering up a professor at school, or his parents perhaps. The curiosity was too great for Harry to resist. With Madam Malkin watching from behind Harry, he proceeded to walk towards Draco, resisting the urge to draw his wand, as Harry had done with him so many times in the past. 

“What is it?” asked Harry, in an annoyed tone. “You know how we all feel about you and your family since Voldemort returned, with you and your fellow Death Eaters falling over yourselves to serve him.” 

“This should help then.” said Draco flatly, handing Harry the envelope. “I don’t want to explain here, but please read this, and maybe everything will be better, once you come and know the whole story. Don’t worry; it’s not cursed or anything.” 

With that said, Draco turned quickly, and hurried out the door of the shop before Harry could say another word. Harry could only watch Draco vanish from sight, his mind turning with questions, the envelope clutched in his hand. 

Turning back towards the counter, Harry saw Madam Malkin looking questioningly at the envelope in Harry’s hand. He had almost forgotten about it, having been lost in the flood of questions about the whole event that just occurred. 

Looking down at the envelope Harry clutched, he turned it over in his hand, seeing only his name written in neat script on the front, and a wax seal on the back flap. It was imprinted with an emblem, what appeared to be a crest. Harry believed this to be for the Malfoy family, but he was never aware they had a crest. Taking the envelope in both hands, he prized open the seal, and pulled out a piece of parchment, folded in thirds. 

Opening the parchment, Harry saw it was handwritten in equally neat script. He read the following;

To Mister H. Potter,

We cordially invite you to dinner and important conversation regarding recent events at the Malfoy Manor on Friday evening, July the first, at six PM. Please RSVP by owl no later than Wednesday, June the thirtieth.

Sincerely,

Narcissa Black

Narcissa Black? That was Draco’s mother’s maiden name. Harry recalled seeing it on the family tree at Sirius’, or rather, his house, next to Bellatrix name. They were sisters, but Bella married into the Le Strange family, Narcissa, to Luscius Malfoy. What had happened to Luscius? Harry wondered, lost in thought, and had completely forgotten where he was till he heard Madam Malkin speak up, trying to snap him out of his trance. 

“Is something wrong, Mr. Potter?” 

“I’m not sure…” muttered Harry, who was looking back down at the invitation in his hand. Harry wondered again about what kind of conversation Narcissa and Draco would have to talk to him about. The whole thing was getting stranger by the minute. Draco had left so quickly, Harry didn’t have time to question him about what this was all about. Draco had said this would help explain, but all it did was leave Harry more baffled and full of questions. 

Tucking the envelope into his robes, Harry walked back to the counter, glancing back at the door in the hopes that somehow Draco might come back in to elaborate on the whole thing, and perhaps let him in on the joke, or trap, if that’s what this was. No such thing happened however, and he felt a bit foolish for expecting this. 

“Your new robes will be ready by tomorrow afternoon, shortly after three PM,” said Madam Malkin, handing Harry a ticket stub. “Be sure to bring this back with you. I normally don’t do this, but since there have been so many orders, I had to use this ticket system to keep track of everyone’s purchases.” 

“Fine, tomorrow after three then.” Repeated Harry. 

 Turning away, Harry walked to the door and left the clothier, his mind now replaying what had occurred there. It felt almost like a dream to him, and he knew he had to tell someone about this situation. His mind went directly to Sirius, but he knew this was an old habit. Harry missed his godfather as old pangs of regret ran through his mind. He would confide in his two best friends, Ron and Hermione.

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