|Scene Title||Purity of Essence|
|Synopsis||Draco finds out who that strange girl in DADA is and explains his philosophy of life to her.|
|Date||October 2, 1994|
|Watch For||What Mei wears at home. What Draco really thinks of Goyle.|
[HGW] - Library
Diffused golden light is given off by enclosed globes of flame bracketed to towering mahogany bookshelves, flickering into even the dustiest recesses of the stacks. Here and there, open areas are littered with open tables, each set with chairs comfortable enough to sit in for hours, should one of the students need to study that long. At the end of certain popular shelves, small end tables with decorative lace doilies offer non-functional stained-glass lamps. The librarian's table is set near the expansive doors, kept impeccable neat. Hidden away in the darkness to the back of the library is a roped-off section, a wooden plaque overhead reading 'Restricted Section: Do Not Enter Without Permission'.
Contents: Mei Draco
Exits: [Out] Fourth Floor [RS] Restricted Section
It's after classes, and as usual the poor fifth year hufflepuff is up in the library. With a number of books open before her, not the least of which being that curious little notebooks she's always got (This one is blue) the girl reads through some in one of the books, then turns to copy down in her own language what she read. It seems she's doing DADA research.
Draco enters the library and starts scouting the shelves. He moves along to the relatively rarely used History of Magic section, and after a few moments' scrutiny, pulls out a dusty tome and brings it to a table.
Mei looks up at the sound of the movement and smiles. Cocking her head to one side she recognizes the boy from class earlier. Not quite sure what to make of him just yet she opts to watch from afar, silent, but curious. Looking down she slowly closes her own book and watches.
Draco meets Mei's eyes and recognises her. There's a moment's awkward pause, then he closes his book again and instead of sitting at the table comes over to Mei. "You were in DADA earlier."
Smiling the girl nods. "I was." Looking at him she looks to her own books. Deciding they won't be going anywhere she slowly looks up at him. "The professor seemed quite…interested in you."
"Oh, Professor Moody," says Draco dismissively. "He's just jealous of my father, and he'd take it out on me if he dared, but he's too spineless to even try bullying me. He really is a pathetic old drunk. They expect us to learn how to defend ourselves against dark magic from… that? You must have noticed, he /showed/ us the Unforgivables, but did he actually say word one about how to stop them? He did not." He drops his book on the table from a height of about three inches, enough to make a thud and raise a little dust, and then sits opposite Mei.
Mei ohs softly and then smiles. "Well I rather think one of them isn't exactly something you can defend agains. Well, save one fellow. I still don't get it though, but I suppose you heard that in class." Laughing, the girl's giggle is high pitched but happy. Still she's not stupid and keeps her voice down so as not to get trounced by the librarian. "I have to admit, Moody and I did not get off on the best foot so far…"
Draco furrows his brow a little as he leans forward. "How on /earth/ can you be a senior student here and not know the first thing about that scarfaced nit, Potter?"
Grinning, Mei slowly leans in, as if to share a grand secret. Gesturing with one finger for Draco to lean in, she smiles and looks about. "Big secret…" she whispers and waits to see if he complies.
Draco's eyebrows go from lowered to raised. After a moment, he leans in a little way, and turns one ear slightly towards Mei.
Mei whispers softly into his ear. "I'm Chinese. I was born in Hong Kong which…" she smiles and looks about to make sure no one is looking "Is about ten thousand kilometers away." Before leaning back she also playfully blows in his ear. "He's not too well known there. At least not at face value." Cocking her head the girl waits to see what reaction she causes.
Draco jerks back when Mei blows in his ear. "Don't /do/ that," he snaps, sitting back and considering her. "So, what, you got transferred here or something? I thought I didn't remember you, but Hogwarts is big enough I can't know everyone, apart from purebloods of course…"
Shrugging the girl smiles and reaches up to pull the chopsticks from her hair, letting the soft locks spill out over her shoulders and down her back. Smiling she purses her lips before explaining. "There is a law passed I think sometime in the eighteen hundreds, which allows students born in the territories and commonwealth to attend Hogwarts. Hong Kong is a british possession. It also doesn't hurt that my mother and father attended here, but that's beside the point."
"Then you're pureblooded?" Draco seems suddenly more interested in the girl and less so in his book.
Sadly she shakes her head. "Half-blood." Sighing she hangs her head somewhat, though in truth she's watching him through the screen of her own long bangs. "Purebloods are very rare in China. Moreso than they are here. I'm sorry, I know how so many hate us, I just hope you aren't one…"
Draco purses his lips. "Blood purity is important. If something isn't done about it, the wizard genes will just die out and the world will go to pot," he warns. "I suppose you can't help it if one of your parents is a mudblood but…" A shrug from the blonde boy.
Nodding she sighs, not seeming phased at all by the mudblood comment. "I suppose you can't marry me then. Shame…" Chuckling the girl looks up. "And don't choke, I simply jest. I understand about the problems with blood though. As I said, they are very rare in my homeland. My father's family are the only I've ever known."
"It's a very big issue here," Draco says. "Too many stupid liberals… think love is all that matters and you can marry any damn mudblood or even a non-wizard. You can't let your heart rule your brain like that. It sucks, but that's just how it is." He nods sagely a few times to reinforce his point.
Mei just smiles softly. "It could be worse you know?" Looking to her book, the girl flips it open after a moment, picking out a few pictures she keeps there. "It could always be worse, but we shouldn't worry about that you and I. After all, we're young and the world is ahead of us." Grinning she looks up. "Would you like to see photos of my home?"
"I guess," Draco says cautiously, as though he fears a trap.
Mei gently slides the photos over, revealing a very beautiful chinese home with garden, and Mei in a cute red chinese dress waving in it. There's several photos, all of them similar. Her mother is in them, also dressed in the chinese dress, and her father looks a bit tired. Annoyed at the photos. "May I offer you a bit of advice?" she asks softly as she eases them over.
"You can offer." Again Draco is guarded, prepared for the situation to turn bad, or so it seems.
Smiling she sits back. "you need to relax. I'm not going to oh…hex you or anything like that. I've heard rumors about you of course, but I like making up my mind on my own. So tell me, first look at the pictures and tell me what you think and then be honest. What do you think of me?"
Draco scrutinises the snapshots. "You look happy," he says. "So does your mother." He doesn't mention her father. "The buildings are a bit… unusual." He looks back up at her. "So what rumours have you heard, then? What do the Hufflepuffs say about me? Are they all Potter-worshippers too?"
Mei shrugs. "Depends on who you ask really. Most have warned me not to come near you as they say you would rather hex me in the back than to speak. Though…" leaning in she smiles moving the pictures to show off a cute one of her in the cherry trees. "That's my favorite. It was last summer. As to you, I think you're proud…not that it's a bad thing mind you, but honorable too. And you should know my name if you don't already."
Draco shrugs, and gives a faint smile. "False modesty has never been my thing. I'm proud of who and what I am. It's a pity that that makes some people so insecure around me that they think I'm going to back-hex them. Okay…" His smile broadens. It may be faintly mocking, or it may not. "I'm Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius Malfoy, you may have heard of us."
Laughing gently she leans in. "Dear," she says picking the term on purpose "If I didn't know whom Potter was when I first met him…why would I know you?" Chuckling she takes the pictures and places them back in her book. "I'm sorry, but why not tell me more about your family?"
"We are just about the oldest and best connected wizarding family in this country," drawls Malfoy. "Our ancestral home is down in Wiltshire, near Devizes. It's super. Full of really old, awesome stuff. Father is awfully important. He's a consultant to the Ministry on lots of things and frankly I don't know where that old idiot Fudge would be without his advice."
Giggling at the comment about Fudge she smirks. "Probably out of office looking for work with your father in charge?" Hearing about the manor she oh's softly. "Have you any pictures?"
"Yes, but not on me," Draco says. "I'm not like you girls, carrying round half your belongings everywhere you go… they're back in my dorm. I can show you sometime if you like… Dad wouldn't want to be Minister, I think. He wouldn't be keen on having to do all the work with muggles, did you know the Minister has to spend ages talking to Muggle politicians?" He makes a face. "Besides, some people still think Mum and Dad weren't under compulsion when You Know Who was around. Of course he went straight for them, being so important as they were, and put them under Imperius. Naturally they were cleared at the trials, but you know how nasty and suspicious people can be."
At the "YKW" comment she blinks and asks "Who?" Before quickly raising her hand and adding "Wait, don't tell me, I don't want to start that argument again." Ah, she's had it before it seems. "I know how this is true. And I fear they may talk down about you for even speaking with me. As to carrying everything…" Mei looks right at him and playfully wrinkles her nose and sticks her tounge out.
Draco seems unaffacted by the sight of Mei's tongue. "Weren't you going to tell me your name?" he prompts her.
Mei nods and then smiles. Placing her hands below her chin the girl bows her head. "Ni hao. My name is Mei Huang…" The last name being pronounced "wang". "It would be very improper of me to do otherwise wouldn't it?"
"Mei," Draco repeats. "Like the month, or…?"
Mei giggles. "I'll answer to it, but no, it's "my"."
"Myyyy." Draco gets it right this time. "Pleased to meet you." He sits back in his chair and looks at her. "Why would people talk down about me for speaking to you? We each of us have our place in this world. I happen to have been born to a high one. It doesn't mean I don't have to speak to those less fortunate than me. Why," he says, "the dustmen who come to empty our bins every week at home are not only Muggles, but they're about as low as you can get even in Muggle ranks. But I still gave them a card at Christmas, and put some Muggle money inside it for them. If you know your place in society and stick to it, everything works smoothly."
Mei giggles softly and nods. "I wonder…" she says idly, "what might happen were others to see you such as this? They don't even really give you a chance do they? Generally speaking."
Draco shrugs again. "Some people will always be jealous. Potter wants to be my friend, but he blew it by being bolshy back when we first met, and he's too proud to apologise, so he goes around telling everyone how horrible I am, and because he didn't get killed by You Know Who due to some million to one lucky shot, people listen to him instead of just laughing. Goyle wants to be clever like me, so he hangs around me all the time as though clever was some kind of a germ which he might catch if he spends long enough with me, but the poor sod is always going to be as thick as a flobberworm and I can't do anything about it. His father's as bad. He visits my dad sometimes. Dad's always polite to him but after he's gone Dad practically dances a jig to be free of Mr Goyle."
Smiling the girl nods, politely listening to all he has to say. In fact she pays CLOSE attention to him, reaching up to slowly rub her hair absently. Giggling she hmms. "And where does that leave me?"
"You don't seem to be mad, or jealous, or anything that makes me want to run a mile," Draco says. "And you don't just talk about makeup and boys, or giggle all the time, which a lot of girls do, and it drives me up the wall when they do." He looks at her books. "What're you studying?"
Mei looks down to the book and sighs. "Potions. There are some things I don't quite understand, so I take notes…" reaching to the little book she opens it to reveal chinese characters that fill it. "I take notes in chinese and re read it whenver I can. My father, he's an apothecary, and I think he'd like me to follow him." Looking to the pages, the girl sighs, somewhat sadly as she touches the dried parchment. "I don't really understand why I should have to make a decision now. I mean, I'm still in school…but OWLS are coming up and I suppose I need an idea by next year."
"Potions is really important for so many things in different wizarding careers," Draco says solemnly. "And Snape really knows his stuff. He's got no patience for imbeciles but if you really want to know Potions he's the best teacher there is."
Mei smirks. "You heard the rumor about the Weasley boy in a skirt right?" Mei giggles even as she asks that, unable to really keep a straight face. "Well, that was Professor Snape's doing." Grinning widely she adds. "Potter ended up a girl…and I think he even put on makeup!"
Draco shudders ostentatiously. "I really have no desire to know what that redheaded buffoon gets up to with Potter in the privacy of Gryffindor. The Weasley family really are a disgrace. Those idiotic, gormless twins. And their father… don't get me started on him. The only decent one of the lot was Percy. Poor fellow must be so ashamed of the rest."
Mei giggles softly. "Ah, but whether or not you're interested…" the girl looks around and then leans in just a bit. "you are presented with a rather curious little…opportunity. And if you dare say I should have been in your house I'm going to pinch you." She seems serious too.
Draco leans back in again despite himself. "What opportunity?" he murmurs, glancing quickly round to ensure they're not being eavesdropped upon. He seems to realise that something clandestine is in the offing.
Mei smiles. "Now whether or not it really was the boy…well that's beyond the point. Whether or not he likes it, thanks to the professor he…meaning the weasley boy, is going to have quite a hard time explaining why he had a girl's uniform on. He may claim it was the potion, and while that's well and good true, does it really matter?"
Draco narrows his eyes a little. "What are you suggesting? It's obvious that Weasley was made to look a complete clown and probably a pervert as well. Are you suggesting I should start going round school with… frilly knickers or something, and claiming I found them in Weasley's washing?"
Laughing at the comment she shakes her head. "No, that'd be too crass. Something that he'd do possibly. If I were you, I'd keep it as ammunition…just incase the opportunity or need to use it arose. You're Slytherin…be devious. Obfuscate…"
"How can I keep it as a secret weapon when everyone in the school must have heard about it anyway?" Draco demands.
Mei smiles gently. "that's the beauty of it dear." Sitting back in her chair she puts her hair in the usual place over her shoulder "He was turned into the Granger girl. Now he may deny it all he wishes, may hope that it's quickly forgotten…but don't you think it's hard to deny when she is seen at the same time he was? They're always together correct?"
Draco's hand goes to his face and he rubs his chin thoughtfully. "Pretty much…"
Mei smiles. "So, you see the point I'm making? Oh, the question isn't about Potter, but rather what lengths that boy would go to, in order to prove his love." Giggling she sighs. "And I see by the time that I must go. I have but one request for you. It's not too hard, and I know you must think "Ah I knew it! She wanted something!"
Draco bursts into a laugh, then suppresses it (after all, this is the library) and just chuckles, his sides quivering with merriment. "Go on," he says when he's regained full self control.
Mei slowly stands, picking up her books. Walking over to stand near him she looks around and leans down, whispering in his ear. "Promise me that you will relax when around me. I shan't let anyone hex you. I've seen just a bit of how nice you can be, but I'd like to see more. Promise me that is all I ask." That close her hair might dance over his face, smelling faintly of spice before she'd stand.
Draco doesn't show much sign of relaxing. If anything her sudden closeness to him brings about the reverse effect. "Can't relax… Constant vigilance!" he says, in a not very good imitation of Alastor Moody. "Never know when something's about to blow up…"
Mei smiles gently. "It was that or ask you to kiss me just once, but that's all I ask. Just a bit of you relaxing. None of your friends around either." winking she waves at him before turning to head out.
Draco rubs his brow once Mei is out of sight, with a very pensive attitude. He stares at the door after her for a few seconds, then shakes his head, and turns to the book he selected several minutes ago, beginning to read up on the history of the post-Voldemort wizarding trials of his accomplices…
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.