I was just stepping off the train when Briar ran into me giving me an extremely quick hug, it was almost a ghost of a hug, before he mumbled an apology and continued to run in the direction he was heading.
Draco was behind me and complained about Gryffindor's and their lack of manners.
I laughed and told him my brother was a Gryffindor. Poor Draco, his already pale skin paled quite visibly at this previously unknown knowledge.
The poor boy began to say something about never making fun of the Gryffindors again but I stopped him and told him that my brother is quite aware that most of Draco's insults are for appearances only and won't take any of them seriously.
I could tell that Draco wasn't sure if this news should make him feel happy or insulted.
While he pondered; I reached into my pocket to see what Briar had placed in it. It turned out to be a tiny plant. The note that came with it said to toss the plant at someone's feet if I needed a getaway distraction. The note also claimed something about the plant acting as a sentry while I slept at night.
He was starting to make me feel like a bad sister, giving me all these presents while I hadn't gotten him anything yet.
I am happy I put all that extra effort and time into his Christmas present. It was a bunch of tiny spheres I created with my ability and then charmed so they stayed. They look almost like biospheres but it is more like a trick of the light to make the surface look like it contains an environment inside.
The spheres are made to reflect some of the places we saw when travel across the continents. Each little sphere contains some soil from the area it reflects, that is the key to the reflection charm. I then took all the spheres and attached them to some rotating arms so it looked like a upside muggle mobile that they hang over a baby's crib.
I am quite proud of my creation, it took over a year to make, but it was worth it because I knew Briar would love it.
I miss Briar, sure we talk telepathically, but it isn't quite the same. I am looking towards summer with anticipation.
It would have been rude to decline Draco's invitation, but I did feel he was exaggerating about me saving his life. The troll wasn't in the dungeons anymore, of course none of us actually knew that at the time, but still.
Draco had us waiting for the crowds to thin out. His father dislikes crowds for some reason. I know I dislike them, but it is also easy to remain anonymous and disappear in large crowds.
Draco introduced me to his parents as his friend Art. His mother asked him a question quietly and Draco answered at a normal volume that he was indulging my love of leaving people guessing. Then at his father's raised eyebrow he added that there would be time for proper introductions when we arrive at the Manor.
I could see the confusion on the older Malfoy's faces. I can't help but wonder if they were worried I was a muggle born or something, but they held their composure well.
Draco's father even added that train stations were definitely not a place for proper introductions.
Outside of King's Cross there was a large limo waiting for us. The limo had 3 different sections. The front section was just for the driver. The middle section held stronger alcohol, or that is what I was told when Draco and I were made to enter the back section which held an assortment of treats and beverages.
I passed the trip talking to Draco who was sadly still going on about the last quidditch match where Potter almost swallowed the snitch. He told me I should have been there to watch.
I asked why I should watch when Slytherin wasn't even playing. The best answer I got back was that it was quidditch.
At least I didn't have to worry about impressing his parents yet since the compartments of the limo were completely separate.
Although Briar is always telling me that we are Tranquillitas and don't have to worry about impressing people and that they should worry about impressing us.
Draco is my friend though, I would like to leave a positive impression on his parents.
Draco is trying to read over my shoulder as I write this, but it is spelled and actually coded so that only I can read it. Well Briar can read it as well since he helped develop the code.
Once the house elves had taken my things to one of the guest rooms and we were settled in one of the Manor's many sitting rooms; Draco introduced me properly to his parents. It was a stuck up pureblood introduction and everything, I am mildly impressed. I wonder when Draco learned that.
After introductions Mr. Malfoy stood up and asked Draco for a word in private. It was still possible to hear them, they didn't go that far away, but I let them keep their illusion of privacy.
Lucius Malfoy seemed mildly scared of my family and ordered Draco to keep me happy or to never go against my will.
I wonder what would happen if my will were to clash with Mr. Malfoy's?
Either way I complimented Mrs. Malfoy on her home and she told me to call her Narcissa. I let her know that the Manor was far more welcoming then my Grandfather's home.
He doesn't like to entertain guest and keeps it run down looking on purpose.
Narcissa was telling me that she had heard that my family had been wiped out by the dark lord.
I smiled politely and said Voldemort did try to kill my Grandfather but after failing several times he had been the one to spread the news.
My Grandfather actually liked that everyone thought he was dead, he enjoyed the quiet and solitude.
Mr. Malfoy and Draco were returning to the couches in time to hear my answer and Draco asked why Voldemort had failed.
His parents visibly stiffened at this, I am not sure if it was because he had said Voldemort's name or because they thought the question would offend me.
I hope they would trust their son to know me well enough to know what offends me. Especially since he told them we have been friends since we arrived at Hogwarts.
If they had been the ones to ask I honestly think I wouldn't have answered, and pretended ignorance, but since it was Draco I was happy to vaguely answer the question.
My Grandfather owns many houses, Voldemort showed up at one of them to offer my Grandfather a place in his inner circle. My Grandfather laughed in Voldemort's face saying that if he had wanted to kill everyone inferior to him there wouldn't be another living soul on the planet, and that would be boring.
Voldemort tried to Avada Grandfather at that point but it had been an intricate spell and my Grandfather had never actually been there. Voldemort destroyed the house instead and tried to find my Grandfather's actual location. Unfortunately, all he found were more spell copies, so after all his known houses had been destroyed; Voldemort claimed he had wiped out the entire family.
Narcissa decided that would be a good time to ask about my parents. I told her simply that they were both dead, leaving my twin and I to be raised by Grandfather when we were nine.
Mr. Malfoy seemed amazed that I had a twin, I confirmed that yes, I did have a brother in Hogwarts.
Mr. Malfoy looked at Draco, I could feel an icy contained anger inside him when he asked Draco why he hadn't invited my brother as well.
Now Briar probably would have waited to see what Draco would have said, but I could feel both the contained yet still growing anger and Draco's well contained respectful fear.
So, I intervened, "With all due respect sir, Draco doesn't know who my brother is. He doesn't even know his name. He goes by our mother's maiden name."
Mr. Malfoy's anger was still there but now it was starting to show on his face as he turned to me.
I could tell Draco was torn between wanting to help me and not wanting to disrespect his father. I do not envy the decision that kept him frozen to the spot.
Mr. Malfoy asked me in an incredibly icy voice how I could claim Draco was my friend if I didn't trust him.
I stuck my hands in my pocket as if I wasn't bothered by any of this while I grabbed the plant Briar had given me.
I didn't want to run away after only a few hours in their home, but I would if I had to.
I also took the icy anger I could feel in Mr. Malfoy and I channeled it into my voice to give it a chill as I addressed him. "I trust Draco with all my secrets, but my family's secrets are theirs to keep or give. Trust is earned not given Mr. Malfoy and some secrets can be used to harm. My twin is my weakness as I am his. Our family has enemies even if yours does not. I was taught how to keep safe, and I will not put myself or my brother in danger just to satisfy your pride and ego."
Since I couldn't safely look him in the eyes while saying that I made sure to look just under his eyes and hope the illusion was enough.
When Mr. Malfoy didn't answer I released his anger from my voice and turned to Narcissa. I thanked her for the wonderful cup of Earl Gray tea, which happens to be my favorite, and claimed that traveling exhausts me. I then asked permission to retire for the night, which she granted politely.
As I walked out of the sitting room I heard her tell Draco to be a gentleman and escort me.
No hard feelings from her then, although I still planned to make sure I took the plant out of my pocket and get it set up on my nightstand tonight. Carelessness and complacency are what will get you killed after all.
Draco caught up with me quickly and offered his arm to escort me properly.
When we arrived back at my room I asked him how angry his parents would be if we snuck out and went flying.
Draco said that they expected him back soon, so if I really wanted to go flying that I should wait for him to come get me later that night. He also asked me if I was angry with him.
I explained that I hadn't been angry at all, but I had wanted to get my point across to his father and appearing angry seemed like the best way.
Draco smiled at that and explained that if my display was me pretending then he didn't want to ever see me when I am actually angry.
I remember telling Draco that if he ever needed a place to escape to that I am sure Grandfather would let him use one of his spare houses, and that once he knows who my brother is he would probably be welcome in the main estate as well.
Draco understands and leaves me to return to his parents. This shall be an interesting couple of weeks.
I pet the plant I placed on my nightstand and focused all my thoughts on Briar. We are farther away than we would like so it actually takes a little bit of conscious thought to talk, at this distance though I could still point to you in the exact direction he is from here.
I told him about what happened and he seems to pity Draco, something about us having a strange childhood but at least we don't fear any of our family.
I told him I would probably fear Grandfather if he were angry.
Briar says that is only because we respect him so much and it is a different type of fear, we would fear disappointing him, or losing his respect, we don't actually fear his actions or what he would do. Briar also told me that he does trust Draco, it is Draco's parents he doesn't trust.
He won't allow the harm that would befall Draco if his parents found out he was keeping information from them. When Draco proves to Briar that he can willingly defy his parents then Briar would trust Draco with his identity.
Of course, Draco can't know this is his test, that would destroy the purpose of it.
Than Briar and I talked about how Grandfather was doing.
In the few months we were at school Grandfather managed to obtain a few more houses in two separate countries. He also got a pet thestral.
Briar can't see the bloody thing but he knows it is near when he feels it eating the plants.
Grandfather told him that only those that have witnessed a death are able to see them. Grandfather also mentioned that Hogwarts uses them to pull the carriages.
Since neither Briar or I can see them it means that father faked his death and is most likely still alive somewhere.
Briar told Grandfather this and Grandfather started to laugh. He said he is happy that his son can still willingly follow some family traditions despite being a squib.
I can't see any reason to ever fake my own death, Briar tells me that is because I can't feel my own emotions yet. He plans to fake his own death if his work with plants ever makes him famous.
Briar likes his privacy just like Grandfather does. Briar passed on to me that Grandfather believes that once I master my ability more I will start to feel my own emotions.
I am not sure if I should look forward to that or not, Draco says my lack of emotions makes me more level-headed.
Briar assures me that since Draco doesn't know my ability he is wrong. I feel everyone else's panic and can think clearly despite that. If anything, I should be able to think more clearly since I will be able to tune others out.
Briar is asleep now and I am bored, I am starting to think I should go to sleep too.