The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie
by zahra

In life, there was no way on Merlin's green earth that Draco Malfoy would've had anything to do with Harry Potter. Correction: there was no way that Draco would've had anything amiable to do with Harry Potter. He would quite happily have had Potter's guts for garters and his eyeballs in place of those Chinese globes meant for strengthening one's wand hand.

Draco would have given his Nimbus to be the one to wipe that superior Gryffindor smile off Potter's face by sticking his wand where the sun didn't shine. However, the war made certain that Draco never had those opportunities.. On the contrary, the war deprived Draco of almost everything he loved most: the power of the Malfoy name and all the Fizzing Whizbees he could eat. It also ensured that he would never be the favoured child of wizarding kind, considering that he continued to fight for the Dark Lord even though he thought him a monumental prick.

Not that Draco had ever sought popular approval, but he wouldn't necessarily have turned it down if it had been offered to him. Obviously he would have sneered and laughed gleefully, first, then he would have accepted it.

However, none of that came to pass.

Instead, Draco was killed at the last battle and his body was taken, by the Order, to a place he would have severely protested at had he been alive at the time say so. But he was dead, therefore, he was not consulted.

It turned out much later, however, that Draco was not completely dead.


Being dead was quite the experience for Draco, only in that there was no experience at all. There were no white lights or cherubs with wings, nor were there flaming circles of hell where he burned for all eternity as several people had promised him during the war. Once when he was very small, his mother had assured him that death, i.e. The Wizarding Garden of Delights, was full of purebloods and Firebolts at his disposal. It was neither, and he was most displeased. If he could have complained he would have, because truthfully, the only difference between being dead and having an exceptionally long lie-down, was that when Draco woke up there were no house elves hovering nearby to find out if Master Draco required anything.

Point of fact, there was no one around at all when Draco came back to life in a henhouse with several gnomes staring at him and two chickens pecking at his legs. His robes were gone, and the clothing he wore - his favorite jumper and a pair of wool trousers -were in an appalling state. The jumper had an enormous hole in the sleeve that had not been there before Draco died, and his trousers had strange stains on them that Draco was loathe to investigate further. At least one stain was blood, but there were others it did not match, and Draco took a brief inspection of his parts to make sure the blood was not his. Also, there was enough sun streaming into the place where he was for him to be quite clear that a) this was not the Malfoy tomb b) his wand was nowhere to be found and c) he was not dead.

Thusly, it took him several minutes more to get his bearings as he felt quite sure he was not supposed to be alive, and was almost positive that dead people weren't supposed to be completely famished.

When he emerged from the henhouse, he had no idea where the hell he was, and only knew that the ramshackle monstrosity several metres away was most certainly not where he had been at the outset of his demise.


Obviously, Draco being dead meant he was not supposed to burst through the back door of a house that defied all laws of proper architectural construction and find no one at home. If people had thought Draco still alive, surely they would have been waiting around a roaring fire with a nice bottle of nettle wine and a large roast chicken or Firewhiskey and a nice BLT. At the very least they would've put the kettle on, but none of that greeted Draco when he stumbled through the door and found himself in the most disorganised kitchen he'd ever had the misfortune to come across.

He only knew it was kitchen since he'd once apparated into the one in the Manor by mistake.

There were dishes in the sink, shoes on the floor, and a kitchen table surrounded by benches and terribly mismatched chairs. There was dust everywhere, and Draco felt almost certain that whoever lived here, if they did in fact still live there, was clearly the most untidy person ever and most likely a Muggle as no respecting house elf would ever live in such a ghastly place.

It was only when Draco began scouring the kitchen for something to eat and came across what he was almost positive was pumpkin juice that he corrected his assumption about the house he found himself in. He felt certain that Muggles didn't appreciate the restorative properties of pumpkin juice, and when further exploration revealed a large stash of Chocolate Frogs Draco's assumptions were cemented.

After gorging himself quite heartily on what he felt sure was now going to be his final supper, Draco sat down in a chair with only three legs, put his head down on the poor excuse for a table, and closed his eyes.

Unlike the first time, when Voldemort hadn't had the decency to him warn, now, Draco was prepared to die.


Draco awoke for the second time only to find that his lot had not improved in the slightest. His mouth was dry, his head hurt horribly, there was a bright light coming from somewhere and someone was poking him in the back of the head with something exceptionally pointy.

More importantly, he was still not dead.

"You're supposed to be dead," a male voice rasped from somewhere behind him, and Draco sighed deliberately. He couldn't recall ever hearing that dying took so much work. Had the requirements changed some time before he had attempted to pass over?

"I'm well aware of that fact," he said, irritably.

He was poked again, sharply, and he wished terribly that he hadn't lost his wand somewhere along the line. He would happily have put himself out his own misery, had he been properly buried with his wand at his side.

"And I assure you I keep hoping I shall awake soon, and find out otherwise."

There was a long pause, and then the poking ceased. Draco slowly pushed the chair back, and turned his head slightly, only to come face to wand with Harry Potter. If he had wished himself dead before, that desire moved to new level now.

Potter was standing behind him in the kitchen, surrounded by strange white bags, and illuminated by a light that cleared showed Draco that nighttime had settled in. Potter looked the same as always, albeit a bit more haggard. He was easily the oldest twenty-three year old Draco had ever seen, and could have benefited greatly from several holidays and a good moisturising cream.

Potter had never been terribly well-built, but now he was positively scrappy, if the twigs for arms sticking out his shirt were anything to go by. The only thing thinner than his arms was the wand he was pointing directly between Draco's eyes.

"Potter," he sighed in greeting. He was finding not being dead very trying.

Potter stared blankly. "Malfoy."

"Always a pleasure."

Potter made a noise, not unlike a niffler snorting. Draco chose to ignore it. "If you'd care to do the honours, we could get on with it."

Potter continued to look blank. "Get on with what?" he said finally.

"Killing me," Draco said. "I'm finding this in-between nonsense to be rather intolerable."

Potter made another snorting type noise. "What 'in-between nonsense,' Malfoy? You're not dead. I think this conversation makes that painfully obvious."

Draco sighed, and scratched at his elbow through the hole in his jumper. "Yes, I think you poking me in the head established that."

Potter shook his head.

"You'll have to find someone else to sort you out then," Potter said, sticking his wand in the pocket of the trousers he wore before turning away from Draco and moving to the other side of the kitchen.

Draco was incredulous. "You're not going to kill me?"

"The war is over, Malfoy," Potter said as he began to take foodstuffs out of the white carrier bags that littered the counter.

Draco stared at the back of Potter's unruly head of hair and a shirt that proclaimed that London was calling.

"Are you having me on?" he queried.

"The door is there," Potter motioned to his left as he removed a large tin of beans. "You're free to go, I can't be arsed to deal with you."

Draco was silent for several seconds. "You're not taking the piss, are you?'

There was the sound of rustling bags and then Potter turned around, holding an apple in his hand. "Which part of 'can't be arsed' do you not understand?" he said, taking a large bite of a red apple.

Draco's mouth watered at the sight of proper food, and his stomach voiced its opinion loudly. Pumpkin juice and Chocolate Frogs were not, as it turned out, enough for a last meal. However, if Potter heard Draco's stomach he ignored it. Quite maliciously too, Draco thought, which caused him to consider several things as well.

His father was dead and his mum had disappeared months ago.

"I haven't got any place to go," he admitted at last. After all, weren't Gryffindors renown for their gullibility and generosity?

Potter took another bite of his apple and chewed thoughtfully. "I don't see how that's my problem."

"You're going to let a known Death Eater leave to roam loose and quite possibly wreak all sorts of havoc?" Draco had to be certain, but he began to have strong suspicions that Potter had most certainly lost the plot.

It'd taken longer than he suspected.

"You don't have a wand, and Voldemort's dead, Malfoy," Potter said, around a mouthful of apple. "You missed that edition of the Prophet while you were deceased."

Draco paused, got up from the table and cautiously walked over to where Potter was eating his apple. When he didn't wind up hexed, he exhaled a small breath of relief and then proceeded to look through Potter's bags as though they were his own. When he found the apples, he took one and bit into it hungrily.

Draco could feel Potter's eyes on him and when he stopped chewing, he turned and nodded. "Took you long enough."


Potter didn't say anything about Draco spending the night in his home, nor did he force him at wand point to leave, so Draco wandered around until he found a bedroom with two small beds in it, and he collapsed into one. He didn't change clothes or even climb under the dust-ridden duvet, he simply fell asleep on a surface marginally softer than the henhouse floor or kitchen table.

He awoke up the next morning, still not dead, and found himself surrounded by all sorts of odd things: Filibuster Fireworks and rubber chickens. There were order forms on the walls and photographs of people Draco didn't know. The red hair, however, was a dead giveaway, because Draco would recognize the Weasleys anywhere.

Instead of smiling, as they often did in the photographs he'd seen of them in the paper, they stared at him in shock and at least two of the boys flipped him the V. He chuckled, and did likewise.

He could appreciate them more in death.

Eventually, Draco went downstairs and found Potter sitting at the kitchen table with a mug of tea and a large tome of something or other. There was no Daily Prophet in plain sight, and Draco wondered momentarily where Potter's owl was. Surely he at least still had one. He couldn't possibly have gone that far around the bend.

Draco hesitated briefly at the foot of the stairs and pulled absently at a string of thread attached to his jumper. He was most disconcerted when the hole at his elbow grew considerably larger. He cleared his throat, eventually, and Potter didn't say anything in greeting, he simply motioned to the kettle on the stove.

Draco spent several seconds looking for a mug and was quite confused when all that came out the kettle was water. He emptied the water in the sink and tried again. He went through this series of actions several times before he gave up in exasperation. "It's broken," he proclaimed, turning to Potter in disgust.

Potter didn't budge from his chair. "It helps if you add leaves, Malfoy."


Draco was silent. After several more seconds he spoke up. "How?"

Draco prepared to swallow the inevitable laugh with great dignity. The laugh never came, and Draco found that quite strange. Instead, Potter pushed back from the table and came over to where Draco stood with the kettle still in his hand. Quietly, Potter set about making Draco's tea, and when he was done, he handed it over, before going back to his chair.

Draco stared at the mug in his hand, thoughtfully. "I'll leave today," he said.

Potter shrugged. "That's fine."


Draco didn't leave that day, however. Instead he wandered around the Weasley home looking in rooms and learning how the other half lived. The house creaked and clanked, and Draco was insulted at least four times by family photographs that hung in the hallways. Eventually he climbed to the top of Weasley's Tower and found himself face to door with a faded sign proclaiming 'Ronald's Room.' He pushed up the door without a thought for propriety or privacy, since all the Weasleys were dead.

The entire room seemed a violent shade of orange, and on the walls players from the Chudley Cannons whizzed from poster to poster. There was less dust in this room than in any other, and that and the crumpled clothing on the floor, told Draco that this must be where Potter slept.

He looked around for quite a while, peeking in corners and in closets, before he decided to leave. He'd never known Weasley supported the Cannons; they were crap. He wasn't surprised.


That night Potter made dinner, and Draco was surprised when he walked into the kitchen and found the table set for two. They didn't talk over the meal of beans, rashers and eggs, but then Draco had never considered Potter the height of conversational wit, so it really didn't matter.

After they ate, Draco would have offered to help with the dishes, but he had no wand and had no idea how to wash them otherwise. Instead he went out to the garden and looked at a sky that was no longer red no matter the time of day. He didn't hear Potter come up behind him, but when he glanced down and saw the mug of tea by his elbow he took it gratefully.

They stood there in silence, and for how long Draco would never be able to say. Eventually he spoke up, his voice cracking as it hadn't since he was very young.

"Do you mind if I stay on a while?" Draco asked, fully expecting Potter to turn him down.

Potter was silent, and Draco turned to leave. When he brushed by Potter his exposed elbow rubbed against Potters' bare arm, and Draco made sure to place the mug down on the table. He had no idea where he was going to go or what he was going to do. Obviously Potter didn't care, and strangely enough Draco felt rather cheated: he thought that's what Gryffindors were supposed to do.

His hand was on the doorknob when Potter's voice caught up with him. "Only if you agree to burn those clothes and have a bath."

Draco paused, and turned around slowly. Potter was leaning against the doorway to the garden.

"Pardon?" Draco said.

Potter smirked. "People who aren't dead tend to smell when they haven't washed in as long as you have."

Draco coloured. "This is my favorite jumper,," he protested out of habit.

"You reek," Potter said.

"I'll have you know that I don't smell."

"What do rich people call it then?"

Draco thought for a moment. He wasn't rich any more, of that he was quite certain, however, it was the principle of the argument. "It's my scent."

Potter gaped and then laughed. "I'll stick with being bourgeoisie if it means using soap."

"Potter, you're not bourgeoisie, you're..." Draco faltered when no word was immediately forth coming.

"I'm me," Potter said, motioning for Draco to pick up his tea, again. "And you're you."

"Thank Mordred," Draco said, moving back across the room. "Merlin forbid I should be like you."


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