My therapist says I should apologize more – or rather, that I should apologize at all. After thinking about it long and hard, I realized you're the only person (still living, anyway) I really owe an apology to. So, in the name of very expensive therapy, here goes:
I'm sorry my aunt tortured you. Whatever you may think, I never would have wished that on you.
P.S. If you could reply to this letter so that I can prove to my therapist I've sent it, it'd be much appreciated.
I hope you are not paying your therapist too much, because I would have told you for free that you need to apologize more. I can probably think of a gross of people – yes, Malfoy, a gross – that deserve apologies from you. That's one-hundred-and-forty-four apologies minimum, so I'd start writing if I were you.
Now, I am certainly included in this gross of people I've mentioned – I very much do deserve an apology from you, but not for what your aunt did. It was, as should be obvious, your aunt who did it, not you, and you can't help who you're related to (see: Harry's aunt and uncle).
As strange as it is to have my day interrupted by an enormous (overcompensating?), very persistent eagle owl carrying a letter from a man I haven't seen in six years that contains an apology for something he did not do, I'm going to have to ask you to send another. When I have received an apology from you that I actually deserve, I will write an appropriate letter for your therapist in order to confirm that you have been forgiven.
P.S. While the apology is unnecessary, the sentiment is appreciated (and completely unexpected.)
I must first ask you how completely droll your life must be in order for my little five sentence letter to warrant a novel-length response. Did The-Boy-Who-Lived-To-Annoy-Me and the Weasel abandon you, leaving you friendless and alone, desperate for any sort of communication, even from an old school rival? Or is your time so full of house-elves lately that you're happy with any human interaction? Both, perhaps?
As I'm sure you know, I can't very well show your last letter to my therapist. Apart from the fact that he'd have to take it home overnight to finish reading it, it also declares my apology insufficient. Your letter would prompt my therapist to ask me what you think you actually deserve an apology for, and I would be forced to respond that I simply do not know. As for this gross of people you've mentioned: name five, with legitimate reasons, and I'll eat my ridiculously large (definitely not overcompensating) eagle owl.
In response to your allegations that my apology is unnecessary, I will say this: I was apologizing for the fact that I just stood there and watched, more than anything.
Hoping that your extremely boring life warrants a quick response,
By my estimation, my last letter was not any more than two hundred words long. By most definitions, a novel is any written work comprising more than forty thousand words. Although people do view novel-length differently, I don't think two hundred words would be considered a novel by anydefinition. Except, obviously, yours, but your opinion on novel-length is not incredibly important. Also, according to my very high-tech word counting quill, I write an average of twenty-five words per minute. This means that, assuming I didn't have to stop to wonder at your stupidity, it probably took me about ten minutes to both read and reply to your letter. I could have done it on my lunch break and still have had a very full and hearty lunch with my dear friends, Harry and Ron, who are very much still around, thank you. Not that it's any of your business.
I don't believe that you 'simply do not know' why I deserve an apology, and you won't get any sort of letter from me for your therapist until you figure it out yourself. I don't know how often you meet with this person or how long he will believe that I've not replied to your letter, but it seems to me that you'd better start thinking about why you should apologize to me. So that we're clear, a letter that merely says "I'm sorry" isn't going to cut it.
As for your challenge of naming five people:
1. Harry Potter: Numerous taunts and insults at Hogwarts, smashing his nose on the Hogwarts Express, and, oh, nearly turning him over to Voldemort,immediately prior to him saving your life.
2. Ron Weasley: Numerous taunts and insults at Hogwarts, including numerous insults to his family and home; poisoned wine that very nearly led to his demise.
3. Neville Longbottom: Again, numerous taunts and insults at Hogwarts, as well as many hexes and spells placed on him without prompting.
4. Astoria Greengrass: I read about you breaking her heart in the paper; poor girl, but I would assure her if I could that she's better off.
5. Bill Weasley: A man you may have never met, but his face and appetite are permanently disfigured because you allowed Fenrir Greyback into Hogwarts in sixth year.
Need I go on?
I guess when I receive a reply to this letter, it will be via a different, hopefully smaller and less annoying, owl.
Oh, and I suppose I should mention, again, that you don't need to apologize for that night. You couldn't have done anything, at least not without getting killed or tortured yourself, and I don't blame you. I don't particularly fancy knowing you witnessed … that, but really, it couldn't be helped.
Now I've received a sequel!
I won't comment on your first chapter, except to say that you have a very annoying habit of writing your numbers out. I can't see why you would do that, when simply writing the actual numeral is so much more efficient. Here's an example: 461 words; that's how long your last letter was, to my count, and it could have been considerably shortened by merely not writing out every single blasted number.
You can insist and insist that I owe you an apology, but I will not cave. I have no idea in what way I've wronged you, and until you let me in on the secret, I'll have nothing to apologize for other than my original apology which you stubbornly refuse to accept.
As to the five people I've supposedly wronged, I say this: phooey. I do not owe an apology to any of those blokes, nor to Astoria. Don't always believe what you read in the papers, Granger. It was Astoria who left me. (Not that it's any of your business.)
As for Potter and Weasley: they started it. Potter refused my friendship the first day of Hogwarts, thus permanently wounding me and inviting retaliation via taunts and insults. Don't act as though I didn't get my fair share of insults thrown my way. And I only stomped his nose in because he'd been eavesdropping on my could've-been-very-private conversation. As for the younger Weasley, my family has a long-standing grudge with his, and I couldn't very well throw that away, could I? The poisoned wine was not meant for him; it was an accident, and if anything, Slughorn should be blamed for selfishly hoarding what was supposed to be a gift.
Longbottom was inviting bullying, the way he behaved. I wasn't the only one who laughed at him or made fun of him. Also, no one is to be blamed for Greyback's actions but Greyback himself.
Finally: sweet Merlin, Granger, accept my apology already. I am through arguing with you about it. I know very well that if our situations had been reversed, you would have done something to help me, however stupid or foolish it would have been. You could have been killed that night, and all I did was cower in the corner. I AM SORRY, and that is my final word.
It is amazing to me how you can be infuriating for the first three quarters of your letter and oddly compassionate for the last fourth. You feel extreme guilt for something you couldn't help, but not for things that you purposely did. I find this both strange and intriguing. Upon further analysis, I am forced to believe that you actually do feel bad for the things I listed in my last correspondence, and you simply don't want to admit it. Also, I noticed you failed to mention anything about almost turning Harry over to Voldemort, so I know you must feel bad about that.
Since you refuse to admit that you know anything about the way you treated me in school, fine. You tormented me for the simple reason of my Muggle heritage, called me foul names, and made very inappropriate, unwarranted comments about my various features. I won't go into specifics, but I'm sure you remember.
I am flattered to know that you wasted your very valuable time counting the words in my last letter. Four-hundred-and-sixty-one words, was it? Four-hundred-and-sixty-one. How interesting.
Further, I am not usually a nosy person, and I can probably fathom a thousand guesses on my own, but why exactly did Astoria leave you? She never seemed the type of person to appreciate a person for their personality, which makes sense as she was with you in the first place; did you suddenly go broke?
And fine, Malfoy, if it means that much to you, I accept your apology, but know that I never blamed you for what happened that night. Further, I cannot say what I would have done in your situation, given that I was never in it; but I am rather flattered that you think I'm that brave. Finally, while I accept your apology, I will not consider it as sufficient to appease your therapist. And I've charmed this letter so that you can't edit that sentence out.
Hoping the Malfoy fortune is still intact,
I don't feel bad for the things I did in school because I gave as good as I got; I seem to remember a very painful bruise on my right cheek that proves that. Anyway, you can't honestly tell me that being called 'beaver' hurt your feelings. If you're still smarting from it, then perhaps you ought to seek therapy as well.
Regarding Astoria: as I said, it's none of your business. But, if you must know, she said that I was inattentive to the point of being neglectful. When I asked her how long it had taken her to look up the word 'neglectful' in a dictionary, she stormed out of the manor and never came back. Don't worry, Granger, the Malfoy fortune that you seem so interested in is still very much available, and its sole manager is single. Not that it benefits you much.
Finally, I suppose you ought to know something. In a fit of expression, I revealed our little correspondence to my therapist, who suggested that you are a sticking point in my 'healing process' and that it may be beneficial if you were to attend a session with me. Obviously, I tried to talk him out of it, but he seemed very adamant that you should come. This is my formal invitation: this Wednesday, at 3:00pm, if you can make it. We can meet at the Leaky Cauldron. Of course, if you were to tell my therapist that you are simply too busy, we can put this whole business behind us.
P.S. I never implied that you were brave. I believe my exact words were "stupid and foolish."
It would be rather difficult for me to tell your therapist that I am too busy when you haven't ever told me his name, or his place of business. The point is moot, though, because I will be attending this session with you; after all, someonerecently recommended I receive therapy. Getting it for free sounds great to me.
I am not personally interested in the Malfoy fortune; I make plenty of money myself, thank you. I was merely concerned with your future; without that fortune, you may never be able to find a wife. Certainly no woman would be interested in you for you. In previous letters you made it sound as though Astoria had left you broken hearted. It now appears that you did not care about your relationship with her at all, which leads me to wonder why you were involved with her to begin with.
I will see you at 3:00pm at the Leaky Cauldron, this Wednesday, so that you can lead me to your therapist's apparently-secret location. Shall I bring a blindfold, or will I be allowed to view the path that we take to get there?
Just dropping a quick note to let you know some very surprising news. Before I begin –
DO NOT TELL HARRY OR RON. This is between us girls.
I went to a therapy session with Draco Malfoy. It's kind of a long story, but suffice it to say that through a series of simultaneously infuriating and enticing owls, he convinced me to attend.
And he apologized. For all the things he did in school. He actually, legitimately apologized. After which, he heavily implied that he had bedded at least half of Gryffindor house. Is there any truth to those – ah, nevermind. He was probably just trying to infuriate me, as usual.
Anyway, I was just bursting at the seams to tell someone the very unusual news. Again, don't tell Harry or Ron.
By the way, how are things with Harry?
Well, our session of couple's counseling is finally over, and I feel that it went rather well, don't you? Of course, I can't pretend to hide my disappointment that the aforementioned blindfold never came into play, but I suppose if you're unwilling I could always hit up one of the other Gryffindors I mentioned in my little black book. I have found that they can be quite feisty. And now that my relationship with Astoria is ended (here is your one and only hint as to why I was with her), I do feel the need for some uncommitted shagging.
I am trying to think of further things to write about, but the blood seems to be leaving my brain at the moment.
Let Lavender know I was thinking about her,
You are an utter pig, and I can't believe that I am even bothering to reply to that piece of trash you sent me.
Unfortunately, I am a curious woman, and I have to know. Lavender? Really? And the word "Gryffindors" implies plural. That can't be accurate. You know what, nevermind. I am aware that the only reason you brought up these untrue events was to attempt to rile me up in front of a licensed therapist. Too bad for you it was unsuccessful.
I suppose I should have known that you were with Astoria for the perks, but since I've somehow managed to surround myself with men who aren'tchauvinists, I didn't catch on. That poor woman. No wonder she left you. I guess you must not have been that good. And don't think I've forgotten about your overcompensating owl.
As for our 'couple's counseling', first of all, as you've surely by now realized – as it was a requirement to open this letter in order to read it – I have cursed the envelope with a shocking charm. It is a common method used on dogs in order to keep them in check, so I felt it was appropriate. Second of all, if you ever refer to us as a 'couple' again, I would be careful opening future letters. There may be bubotuber pus coming your way, and trust me, it is not pleasant.
But speaking of the counseling, I was very surprised to find out that your therapist is a Squib. I wasn't sure you even knew that Muggle London existed, let alone how to find a shrink there. Impressive, for an ignorant bigot. Or former-bigot, I suppose. Actually, the fact that you even sought therapy is rather surprising. How long have you been going? How else have you even been occupying yourself since school?
And I don't want to hear a response involving the words "sex," "Gryffindors," or "Lavender."
Hope you're having a shockingly good day,
"Shockingly good day?" Really? That's the best you could come up with? And damn you, woman, that charm actually hurt. As an avid chauvinist, I was not aware that witches could cast spells equivalent in power to wizards.
I don't appreciate you questioning my skills in bed. Perhaps, if you continue to question them, you could ask Lavender her opinion. Of course, if you can't get in contact with her, there are many other women, Gryffindors included, with whom you could speak. While you're at it, ask if my owl is overcompensating. Let me know what they say. If you fancy a more 'hands-on' approach (and you do seem the type), I am currently single and, as you know, open to casual shagging. I would completely understand; in the name of science, of course. Experimentation is the best way to learn, or so Snape always taught me.
Reading that last sentence in context, it sounds extremely wrong. I was referring to potions, Ms. Granger, potions. I assure you my relationship with Snape was purely professional.
Therapy was actually a required element of my 'house arrest' – you know all about that, of course, Potter having testified on my behalf. I was to attend counseling for a year, but given my unlimited money and free time, I continued to go after the requirement ended, to aid my further development, etc. I suppose the fact that I was basically silent for the entire first year of therapy factors in as well.
And since school – apart from sex with many Gryffindors, including Lavender – I haven't really been occupying myself. I still live with my mother, which would prevent me from getting women if I wasn't so unbelievably rich and attractive, and I've been pretty much coasting along on my family fortune. I've considered getting a job – I even took my N.E.W.T.s, as per requirements – but you'd be surprised how few people are willing to hire me. Son of a Death Eater, and all that. Would suck if I wasn't already rolling in Galleons. What, pray tell, have you been doing?
Remember, Granger, my bedroom is always open,
If you question the strength of my charms, I know a quite good one that would help with the little problem you seem to have between your legs. I learned it from you, as a matter of fact. Densaugeo. Remember that gem? It makes things grow, Malfoy. If you catch my meaning.
Sick and tired of you being so obtuse about this whole Lavender thing, I actually did go talk to her about it. From what she recalls of your little experience together, (key word being little, once again), it wasn't anything great. Not very memorable at all, she tells me. Her current lover, Ron, seems to be satisfying her much more than you ever did.
So unfortunately, given that review, I just have to turn you down on your experiment offer.
One more thing, on that note: I always knew there was a reason that Snape gave you preferential treatment. How many times were my potions clearly better brewed than yours, and yet I still received inferior grades? I hesitate to ask, but were you sexually involved with other professors? McGonagall, perhaps?
As you will soon come to learn, you cannot bring up that you took a test without telling me the results. You took your N.E.W.T.s. I want – need to know how you did.
Anyway. I've got a job at the Ministry of Magic with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Currently for the Goblin Liason Office, though I am trying to integrate a new division involving house-elves. My goal is to be the head of the department someday, so that I can draft up new laws on many of the barbaric things our country currently allows. For instance, it is currently legal to refuse someone a job if they are a werewolf (or the son of a Death Eater) – preposterous! For now, though, I'm stuck dealing with goblins who complain because Ludo Bagman hasn't paid off his gambling debt. (Of course, this isn't all the goblins complain about, but it does seem to apply to a surprising majority).
Alright, alright, you've caught me. I know that you have actually not spoken to Lavender as if you had, there would be nothing for her to tell. Not because we had an experience that was unmemorable, but because we had no experience at all. But don't pretend like she would have said no if I'd ever propositioned her. I caught her staring on numerous occasions. She seemed to fancy me in Quidditch robes, particularly, so perhaps I should fly by her place and see if I can't get her to practice a little infidelity. Shouldn't be too hard, considering her current mate. (Which prompts me to ask, wasn't the Weasley your mate?)
Then you'll have a source for a proper review.
As for my sexual involvement with professors – very funny, Granger, but if your logic is that I was sexually involved with Snape because he gave me superior grades, then that logic would state that you were sexually involved with McGonagall. I seem to remember you being top in that class – so Flitwick, as well? Sprout? Sweet Merlin, Granger, Binns?!You are certainly kinkier than I ever imagined – women, midgets, and ghosts alike. You'll have to share those experiences with me, in gory detail, please.
I should have known you'd want my N.E.W.T. results, but I'm not giving them up so easily. You'll have to earn them. Feel free to suggest a way that would be possible.
I could have guessed you'd be working for the lesser creatures of this world. House-elves like being slaves, Granger. That's what they live for. Haven't you ever seen one being told not to work? It's like torture to them. It'd be like telling you that you couldn't do your homework. And while you're working on Bagman's unpaid debts, feel free to get the 500 Galleons he owes the Malfoys. We don't need it, of course, but it's the principle of the thing.
Truth be told, this type of career seems rather below you – I mean, you did put in a lot of sexual work to become top of your class. Makes me wonder why you settled for such a degrading job.
You said so many infuriating things in your letter, I'm not even sure where to begin. So I will address them in the order in which you infuriated me.
Lavender is not known for being the most morally upright girl, but I feel that her relationship with Ron, as it currently stands, is not something she'd compromise, even for an attractive man in her preferred Quidditch robes. Yes, their fling at Hogwarts was embarrassing to say the least, but they have progressed far past that. So don't get any ideas about tapping into the Gryffindor market there.
To answer your question, Ron was never my 'mate,' not that it's any of your business.
I know it must be hard for you to accept that a Muggle-born bested you in every class, but I assure you I did it with no sexual bribery. Nothing further to say here.
Finally – house-elves, goblins, and werewolves are not 'lesser creatures.' They are intelligent beings that should have every right you and I have. House-elves enjoy slavery because it's what they've been taught, but I happen to know for a fact – and you should, as well, considering your connection with the house-elf in question – that there are elves that want to be free, that want to make wages, that want to have rights. And with the proper persuasion and anti-brainwashing, all elves will come to see that working, unpaid, in sometimes horrible conditions, is not the way they want to live.
The only way you're getting that 500 Galleons back is if you write it over as a donation to S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare). I've attached a button for you to show your support. You always were overly fond of those.
I did not settle for a degrading job. I chose this career as it was the simplest way for me to get involved in magical creature rights. I realize that I am currently a low-level employee, but I intend to work my way up in the ranks. Soon I will have laws named after me. Or at least, that's my hope.
My first one is going to target overly rich prats who abuse their house-elves.
P.S. N.E.W.T.s. Now. Or I'm afraid our little correspondence must cease.
My, my, the subject of Ron and Lavender seems to be a touchy one. I seem to recall a gross amount of sexual tension between you and the Weasel, and a definite load of jealousy towards Lavender from you in sixth year. Even I heard about the Avis charm, Granger. That wasn't for no reason. Everyone in school was convinced you'd end up together, so what happened?
Anyway, I was never serious about flying to her window. I'm thinking about 'tapping into the Gryffindor market' with someone else, currently.
I've attached my N.E.W.T. scores, as I get too much pleasure from infuriating you for this correspondence to end. After all, I spend my days doing nothing but ordering house-elves about – I may as well have a quill-pal, don't you think?
You must be referring to Dobby, who was an exception to the rule of most elves. I do miss him, I must admit. Funny fellow. Made amazing scones. Practically raised me. Pity my father treated him so horribly, or he might not have desired freedom so desperately. I do not abuse my house-elves, Granger. My father might have, but he is currently in Azkaban where he does not receive that luxury. My elves are treated quite well, I assure you. All nine of them. I even know all of their names.
Speaking of names, you've given your society a horrible one. Haven't you noticed what the acronym spells? I am certainly not going to go around wearing a vomit badge on my chest, no matter how fond I am of badges overall. People would start to wonder about me.
Let me know what you think about those scores.
Certainly your scores are impressive, although you can refer to my attached scores to note that I have bested you once again. I wouldn't have expected an O in Arithmancy, as I don't recall ever seeing you in that class – it was my favorite, you know. I think I would have remembered you being there.
Again, I will state that my relationship with Ron is none of your business. Clearly we did not end up together, so your opinion on what everyone in school thought is irrelevant. Speaking of ending up together, if you want to talk past relationships, I was always convinced you'd end up with pug-faced Parkinson. So please, if you want to pry into my personal affairs, feel free to explain what happened to that relationship.
I am aware of the poor nomenclature of S.P.E.W., but I've invested too much in various badges and other such things to change it now. If nothing else, the name will attract attention and cause people to inquire further. Trust me, Harry and Ron have laughed at me enough for that lapse in judgment.
You may soon have to prove that your elves are treated well, as I am currently working on drafting a bill that will ensure proper treatment of them is enforced. Complaints will be able to be filed, and families with known histories of abuse (know anyone that fits that description?) will have random check-ups. Presently I am encountering a lot of obstacles to getting this bill passed, but I assure you I will not stop working until it is law.
Dobby was a great house-elf. Very brave, very loyal. He saved my life and I'll never forget that. It's a pity I never got to try one of his famous scones.
In your proclamation of having bested me, you seem to have passed over D.A.D.A., wherein I received an O and you received a measly E. This is especially amusing considering you, of the two of us, were the one fighting the Dark Arts in reality! So I got one less O than you. I hardly consider Astronomy a class anyway. We're basically even.
Arithmancy happens to be my favorite class, as well. I didn't take it in my initial run through school, but I did study it on my own time and decided to try my hand at the N.E.W.T. Worked out well for me, don't you think? I've been looking into a career involving this particular skill, but as I previously mentioned, not a lot of people willing to hire me.
If my good looks won't get me forgiveness for my less-than-favorable past, what will?
Pansy was more of a school acquaintance – based more on her blood and family fortune than anything, I will admit. Petty of me, perhaps, but that's how I was back then. She wanted me more than I wanted her. After school we parted ways. Astoria happened for a while, but you know how that ended up. Perhaps if I based my relationships on more than blood/money/looks, I might get a little further. Thoughts?
In the spirit of supporting S.P.E.W., I would like to offer you an opportunity to test out your new bill. Consider it a trial run. Come over to the manor tomorrow to inspect how my elves are being treated. As an avid S.P.E. , I consider it the least I can do.
Two o' clock good?
Two o' clock.
POTENTIAL HOUSE-ELF ABUSE
INSPECTOR: HERMIONE GRANGER
Date of inspection: March 27th, 2013
I arrived at Malfoy Manor at two o' clock sharp, as per my previous arrangement with the head of house. I was greeted by a house-elf that was clearly far too old to be working and seen into the parlor.
Draco Malfoy, with whom I had arranged a meeting, was lounging on a sofa in the parlor, wearing his normal attire: black robes and a smirk. He did not stand to greet me, as is to be expected from someone so prattish. He commented on my appearance – too dressed up, he speculated, for a business occasion. Of course, I had come to the Manor straight from work, so his speculations were, as usual, wrong.
Mr. Malfoy then sent Wheezy, the aforementioned elderly house-elf, to retrieve the other eight elves residing at Malfoy Manor. I commented on Wheezy's age. Mr. Malfoy reminded me of the old tradition of mounting elderly house-elves heads on walls and asked if I'd rather that be Wheezy's fate. While this is a brutal tradition, I do feel there is some middle ground between mounting his head on the wall and endless, exhausting work.
At that point the other house-elves arrived. Mr. Malfoy named them all off: Wheezy, Wonky, Willy, Rosey, Dolly, Pinky, Shelly, Waldo, and Ernest. While impressed that he remembered all of their names, I still had to investigate possible abuse. The house-elves did not give anything away under questioning, not even after Mr. Malfoy requested that they all be honest with me. They all seemed quite happy and fond of Mr. Malfoy. This fondness is how I know he must be tricking me somehow.
When asked if they would be interested in receiving wages, there was an uproar of protests from the elves and laughter from Mr. Malfoy. The brainwash inflicted on these particular elves is strong. It will take many more visits to the Manor to break it.
CC: Draco Malfoy
I would like to thank you for sending me a copy of your inspection report. Very official. I agree; I am a very shady character and the suspicious treatment of my house-elves definitely warrants many more inspections.
Many, many more inspections.