Mother had been very determined not to get him anything electrical no matter how much he pleaded. Draco knew that it wouldn’t run properly in the magical realm but he didn’t really care. He figured if he worked on it long enough he’d eventually be able to fix it so that it could run on a different power source. Mother had scoffed at him and picked out a muggle toy that shot out foamy disks. He liked the toy so he kept his complaints to himself.
“Draco, dear, stay in sight.” Narcissa pulled out the small handbag she kept just for muggle money, and joined the line waiting to pay for purchases.
The store was ridiculously crowded. Perhaps she should have saved their outing for a weekday when muggles were less likely to be out of their offices and schools. But she had learned long ago that it was easier to be inconspicuous in a crowd of people than in a scattering.
Maybe she would get Draco a small electrical knickknack after all. He had been looking forward to this outing for ages, practically jumping around the house like a happy puppy ever since she had told him it would be today. Maybe one of those little video games… she was pretty sure Lucius knew a way to shield the technology from the affects of magic.
“Pardon me, Madame,” a young woman wearing far too much makeup and clad in lacy black from head to toe, addressed Narcissa. “I couldn’t help but notice your dress. Wherever did you get it? It’s so hard to find custom made dresses, and such a fine quality at that. You must tell me.”
“I’m afraid it was a gift from my cousin. I couldn’t tell you where she found it,” Narcissa replied politely, but her eyes made it clear that she had no intention of discussing it further. Wilting under her gaze, the girl turned back to her friend without another word.
Narcissa kept her eyes set forward from that point after, only glancing around to locate Draco’s white blond hair from time to time. Maybe the video game was a bad idea; they had been there twenty minutes and her son was still staring intently at the screen along with a large group of boys, watching as two battled each other. Perhaps one of those portable clocks—wristwatch, if she remembered correctly—would be a better idea. Most all of the muggles wore them, and they would be helpful in getting her son home on time when he insisted on playing out in the yard when he knew dinner would be served soon.
She stepped forward, a tall man taking the place behind her and blocking her view of the corner Draco was playing in. She placed the toy on the counter so it could be scanned and the price entered into the computer.
Draco was probably too young yet for a computer. They were too easy to use in communication with the world of muggles, and although she didn’t mind feeding her son’s curiosity, Lucius didn’t want their son too sympathetic towards muggles. Certainly, her husband had gotten more lax over the years since the disappearance of the Dark Lord, but she had a feeling some things would never truly change.
She wanted her son to be able to see all sides and let Draco choose for himself, but Lucius and his Malfoy pride were not so lenient. If the gods were good and Voldemort truly dead, Draco would never have a choice to make.
“You have to be kidding me, lady. Do I look like a bank?” Narcissa fixed her eyes on the store clerk and raised a brow at his scowl. Honestly, didn’t muggles practice customer service?
“I have nothing smaller, young man. You have more than enough to reimburse me.” She ignored the man’s glare and waited patiently for her change. It was only for Draco that she had graced this particular low-classed establishment. She was certain there were more suitable toy stores, but she hadn’t had the time to research. It had been a long time since she had journeyed outside of the magical community, and things changed in the muggle world as much as things stayed the same in hers.
Finally her change was handed back to her… but things weren’t quite correct. The man was glaring at her still, and Draco’s toy had yet to be packaged. “Must I ask for a bag, or is commonsense beyond you?”
“We’re out of bags.”
Narcissa could see at least ten bags in plain sight right behind the counter. “It seems you are blind, as well as rude.” She debated calling for the manager, but decided she really didn’t want to stay any longer in this store than she had to. With a discrete flick of her wand the shelf behind the clerk gave a lurch, its contents spilling to the floor with a loud crash. “Oh my, what a mess…”
While the frantic clerk tried to bring some order to the mess, she reached across the counter and grabbed a bag, carefully placing Draco’s new toy in it. A demure smile in place, she whirled and carefully picked her way around the crowd, moving over to the gaming stations where Draco was likely still glued. She spotted his shining locks in the crowd and reached out to touch his shoulder. “Time to go, Draco.”
“Huh? Watch it lady.” Surprised, Narcissa stared at the crude boy that was most certainly not her son. Shaking off her shock, she turned and scanned the mobs of people for Draco, her heart speeding up the longer it took to find him. Forcing herself not to panic, she began searching each row, even going so far as to check the men’s loo.
No, no… he was probably right outside. Draco disliked crowds; he probably stepped outside for some fresh air. The bag shaking in her grip, she strode quickly to the door, not caring that she had knocked into at least five people on her way. Bursting out of the store, she looked desperately for Draco’s telltale white-blond hair.
Draco was nowhere to be found.
Alright… maybe he had wandered into another store. Maybe he had gone back to look at the one with computers while he waited. She’d check them all if she had to. Gods, what were the words to that locator spell?! Her mind was drawing a blank, and she wondered if she’d even be able to cast a simple lumos right now. Oh dear… no, she wasn’t going to faint. She didn’t have time to faint. Narcissa took a shuddering breath and carefully made her way to the closest bench so she could sit for a moment, just in case, beyond all strength of will, she did pass out.
Draco would be fine. No one knew who he was here, or who his father was; they would have no reason to harm him. And Draco was a smart boy. He knew enough to stay away from strangers or anything that could harm him.
Oh why hadn’t she given him his wand today! He only knew a few little spells, but the Ministry would be able to track him the instant he used it. Oh gods, her poor baby was all alone with all these strange muggles, probably scared out of his mind with no means to defend himself…
Pushing herself off the bench, Narcissa made her way to the nearest store to search. A moment later her vision dimmed again and she fell to the ground.