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Choices and Chances by Pepper Finn
Chapter 11 : A new candidate
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                                                                 ~ Chapter Eleven ~

“Draco, have you read this mornings “Daily Prophet”?”

“As I have only been at breakfast with you for the past two minutes I’d have to say “No”, Mother.”

“Look.” She said throwing the paper down in front of me on top of my bacon and eggs.

“Am I reading Astoria Greengrasses Shame or Cannons New Keeper?”

“Don’t play with me Draco. Read the story on Astoria.”

“Hmmm. Well I guess she is now out of the running to be the next “Mrs Malfoy” then.”

“This isn’t funny Draco! With Astoria’s respectability amongst the Wizarding World all but gone we will need to find another suitable candidate for your wife. Remember the conditions of your Grandfathers will.”

“Happily married for at least six months before my twenty second birthday, how could I forget?”

“You’re twenty first birthday in only 6 months away, Draco. We do not have time to play around. We need this money to cover our debts with the Ministry and those imposed on us by the Wizengamot.”

“I thought the returns from our investments were covering those.”

“Barely. If we are to maintain the same standard of living, then we need your inheritance. That or we can start living like the Weasleys for the next 5 years.”

“Alright, Mother. I will start the search tomorrow.” I sighed.

“Why wait, Draco when we can start immediately? Now, what about that Pansy Parkinson you went to school with?”

I let my Mother drone on about different single witches while my mind was busy thinking about that witch from last night. Who was she? How would I find her? Could an owl find her if I sent one? I’d rather do something more romantic than that. A classified ad in “The Daily Prophet?” She didn’t seem the type to read classifieds.

“Did you hear me Draco?”

“I’m sorry, what was that Mother?”

“Pansy Parkinson. I want you to take her to the opening of the new Malfoy Ward at St Mungos.”

“What if I have someone else in mind?”

“I’ve already sent out the invitation. It’s settled.”

Knowing it was no good to argue I finished breakfast before heading back to my room. Once there I took out the letter and the hair comb that the mysterious, bewitchingly enchanting witch had left me at the fountain.

I wish I knew your name. I wish I knew who you are. So smart, so beautiful and you like me for me, not for my money or my name. When I'm with you I'm not myself but I am the self I want to be. If only I could find you.

I didn’t allow my thoughts to wander too far as I had to read over reports for some of my investments. I had done well to secure investments for The Harry Potter book series, Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes joke shops, Sorcerers Champagnes and Beverages, Nimbus Brooms and Charmed Candles.

These investments were my most profitable and did have their perks such as free Quidditch tickets and the latest model broom for free from Nimbus, free products from the Weasleys entire range as well as free Champagne, Butter Beer and Firewhiskey.

But I didn’t forget the other task entrusted to me (while Father was busy lying low in France) which was to regain respect for the Malfoy name. My Father was highly unpopular but my Mother and I had weathered the publicity storm quite well. We had each avoided time in Azkaban but had been given hefty fines which we had to pay to the Ministry.

In an effort to prove we had changed our ways I donated liberally to St Mungos and other charitable causes, particularly Magic for Muggles. Magic for Muggles was a charity that had Wizards and Witches visit Muggle hospitals and cheer up the sick children with basic magic tricks. It also helped to take care of muggles who had suffered violence at the hands of wizards, providing them shelter, food and clothing and paying for healthcare and education.

Maybe my dream witch will be at the opening of the new ward. I can hope. I allowed myself a few moments of happy daydreaming at the prospect of seeing her again before I remembered that I was going with Pansy. Oh great. It will be a miracle if I end up using the bathroom by myself, she doesn't give me any space.

Sighing I turned my attention back to my reports and was soon lost in profits, losses and new products to give my attention to anything else.

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