A Strange Engagement

The Real Reason

As a stunned Draco followed Veronica to the rack where Fallon was gazing at the chocolate mint cremes, he kept asking himself how she had recognized him under the spell. From the way his mother had sounded when she first told him about it, it had seemed full proof, but maybe it wasn't up to the spell to do all the work. Maybe he had to take on the personality traits and he hadn't done that.

But honestly, how did one who wasn't a girl act like one? And why was she able to figure out that it was him specifically, and not just some random wizard who had taken the concoction, and was just horrible at acting like a girl?

Just before they reached the mint crème rack, Draco tapped Veronica on the shoulder.

"Didn't you say that you would give me something so that I would stop looking so ridiculous?"

She nodded, and grinned mischievously. "Of course I will, but before we do that, I want to see the look on Fallon's face when he tries to tell us apart."

Draco shook his head vigorously, but she paid no heed and took him by the hand, dragging him the rest of the way.

"By the way," he said, in between tired gasps, because she was eager enough to be running as she pulled him along, "how did you know it was me, and not just some random wizard who took the stuff and failed miserably at being a girl?"

"Oh, that's easy. Who gave you the stuff anyway? Was it your mum?"

Draco nodded mutely.

She smiled. "I thought so. See, the potion works like this: it has the standard recipe, which is how any old person can make it, but then, after you make the general brew, you add something that makes you look like a person of the gender you want to be. It can be anything: hair, sweat, saliva, blood. Your mum must've put something in your batch so you'd look like her."

"How do you know what my mother looks like?"

Veronica looked over to see if any of their conversation had caught Fallon's attention. With his powers, it probably had, but it didn't seem like he was planning on doing anything about it.

She pulled him so that they were eye to eye and whispered "our mums went to Hogwarts together and I've seen pictures."

Draco's eyebrows knitted. "Your mum's a witch?"

She nodded. "Yeah, I don't see her much though." Then suddenly, she snuck another glance at Fallon and seemed to remember what she really wanted with him. Pretty soon, Draco was holding his breath as Veronica and he came to a dead stop in front of his cousin.

"Fallon."

Fallon didn't even bother looking up. "What, Veronica?"

"I got this new robe that I really want you to see. It's that periwinkle one we found that day I convinced you to go shopping with me. You know, the one you said goes so beautifully with my eyes."

Fallon smiled and looked up. Draco barely had time to marvel as his look of delighted anticipation quickly turned into one of confusion as he gazed at what seemed like two copies of the same girl.

"Veronica, did you screw up one of your spells again? Because there seems to be two of you."

The real Veronica stepped forward. "No, I haven't messed up anything, but may I say that you look incredibly adorable when you're confused?"

Fallon blinked and shook his head. "But then, if you're the real Veronica, then who's that?"

Veronica said simply, "your cousin Draco."

Then, she pulled a small vial from her pocket and tipped Draco's chin up, forcing his mouth open as she poured the bitter liquid down his throat.

The stuff was difficult to swallow, but he got it down. For a minute afterward, Fallon looked at him and he looked at Fallon. Then, Fallon jumped him.

The first thing Draco felt was a terrible pain blossoming in his ribs. Then, Fallon's fist connected with his eye. As the two of them rolled around on the floor, Veronica stood there, her eyes wide.

After standing frozen for a few minutes, she dashed off to the other part of the chocolate shop, (which stored sweets other then chocolates,) and came back clutching four boxes of enchanted marshmallow mice. The mice were enchanted to move as if they were alive and were indeed lifelike in their movements. She gingerly picked out the mice one by one and placed them on the exposed skin at the boys' necks.

As she thought they would, as soon as the two boys felt the pitter-patter of little mice feet on their skin, they immediately pulled apart and began trying to get them off of themselves.

"Wow," Veronica laughed out loud. "That was way more entertaining then I thought it would be."

The two boys just glared at her.

"Anyway," she said, whacking Fallon smartly on the back of the head, "what were you thinking attacking him like that? Gammreid won't like it if he gets damaged. At least wait until he gets seen before you start bloodying him up."

Fallon rubbed his head and grimaced. "Yeah, whatever. Let's just take him to the main hall and get it over with."

And Draco followed the two vampires, wondering what he was getting himself into.

Hermione sat with Narcissa and Lucius in the main kitchen.

"So what is the plan?" Narcissa asked.

"I wrote it down actually, it's kind of complex; I'll go get my notes so you can see what needs to be done."

And she quickly left the two Malfoys to make conversation amongst themselves. As she walked down the hallway to her bedroom muttering the plan to herself, she thought she heard muttering coming from the elder Malfoys' bedroom.

She stopped and stood still, the plan temporarily gone from her mind. Now the words of Draco and Fallon's grandmother were no longer mutterings, but loud and distinct, as if she didn't care who heard the conversation.

"…Yes, my Lord, we have the girl. She and Draco have become very close, so I assure you that there will be no problem with him getting her to the Clan castle."

After that, the sounds of a more cautious someone.

"…No, in fact, Narcissa told me that Draco was at Fallon and Arion's castle right now, so they should be on their way to the Clan castle any time now. Of course some mind control will be necessary, but don't worry. And if Draco should fail, I know Fallon would be more then willing to take charge of her. Don't worry, you will have your sacrifice, and the vampires will be on your side."

Turning on her heel, Hermione ran to the owlry with two thoughts vying for attention in her head: one, the plan she had spent hours making wouldn't be needed, and two, she needed to owl Harry immediately, because it seemed like she was going to be of some use to the Dark Lord, and the Order needed to know about it.

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