Sense of Belonging

Chapter 2

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter (that magic belongs to J.K. Rowling).

"I cannot wait to read all of these books! They look fantastic!" Izzy exclaimed as she added the large pile of required reading for Hogwarts to her bag. Handing it to Daisy (who promptly popped back to Malfoy Manor with it), she turned back to her mother with a wide grin.

Narcissa gave her a small smile. "I'm sure you will enjoy /some/ of them, sweetie. Anything else? We should get back to your brother at Madam Malkin's... Isabelle?"

The dark-haired daughter's attention had been caught by the familiar section of wizard novels, two brightly-colored series' installments newly released. She had completely forgotten that they would soon become available and had not pre-ordered them as she usually would have. The one was a historical adventure, set before the First Wizarding War, with the bright blue ribbon around each copy. The other, a maroon-red colored cover, was a romance series following a pureblood witch and a variety of suitors. (The last installment had left readers with the protagonist sneaking off with the Muggle-born wizard rather than her betrothed pureblood fiancé. The best cliffhanger, in Iz's opinion!)

"Can I get them, Mother? Please? I completely forgot to order them! Please, please, please?" Izzy turned back to Narcissa, pleading like the spoiled child she was.

"You can get that one," her mother replied, pointing to the historical fiction. "The other can wait, for the moment. Hurry, your father and brother will be waiting for us by now." Narcissa did not add that she had heard about the other novel, disapproving of the liberal romance ideas it was placing in magical children's heads. It was not appropriate, to her or many of her friends, that a pureblood girl should even fantasize about marrying outside of her bloodline. Pushing away thoughts of her own family history with such a story, she glanced back out to Diagon Alley.

Grabbing the first novel and, after a second of hesitation, sneaking the second one when her mother wasn't looking, Isabelle offered the two books to the bookseller. Checking once more to be sure her mother didn't see, she hurriedly picked up the three books without looking at them and returned to Narcissa's side.

"Ready?" Iz nodded, hugging the books to her chest to try and hide the forbidden book, and followed after her mother who paid her little attention. They quickly reached the now-familiar robe shop, stepping around the very large man with ice cream waiting out front. (Isabelle had come there first to be fitted while Narcissa took Draco shopping for his other supplies, then swapping children to take her daughter out after.)

"…until they get there, do they, but I know I'll be in Slytherin, all our family have been – imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I'd leave, wouldn't you?" Draco's voice echoed to the front of the store, obviously in conversation with the dark-haired boy standing next to him. Narcissa moved off to discuss something with Madam Malkin, not paying attention to her children's topic nor tone.

"I say, look at that man!" Draco called and Izzy glanced back out the window at the large man with the ice cream. After receiving some sort of response from the other boy, her brother exclaimed,

"I heard he's a sort of savage – lives in a hut on the school grounds and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire to his bed."

"I think he's brilliant," the other boy responded coldly. Turning back to the two boys, Izzy tried to figure out if she knew the boy from anywhere. He didn't look familiar…

"Do you?" Draco answered with a slight sneer. "Why is he with you? Where are your parents?"

"They're dead," the boy replied shortly. Izzy glanced at her mother, wondering how much longer they may have to wait.

"Oh, sorry," her brother said, shrugging. "But they were our kind, weren't they?" Draco gave the boy a judging look, as if trying to figure out before he answered.

"They were a witch and wizard, if that's what you mean."

"I really don't think they should let the other sort in, do you? They're just not the same, they've never been brought up to know our ways," Draco responded matter-of-factly, as if it was obvious. "Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families, that's what my father always says. What's your surname, anyway?"

Before either could hear the answer, Madam Malkin interrupted the conversation to let the dark-haired boy with the round glasses know that he was done. He promptly hopped down from the footstool and began to walk towards the door.

"Well, I'll see you at Hogwarts, I suppose," Draco said afterwards, then turned to complain to their mother about how long the fitting was taking. After a couple more moments, the three Malfoys left the store to meet the fourth in the alleyway.

"Successful, dear?" Narcissa asked her husband as he walked up to join them. He handed her a small pouch, the sound of coins clinging inside. He then turned back to the children.

"One last treat for you, Draco," Lucius smiled at his son, motioning to the Quidditch store just down the street. "Pick anything you want as a present. You won't be able to bring your own broom to school yet, unfortunately, but we can always practice at home."

"Awesome!" Draco ran off to the store without glancing back, Lucius following him with poise and grace as he usually did.

"…do I get to buy another book, maybe?" Izzy looked to her mother, glancing at the small bag of money.

"Well, that is your brother's present for his acceptance at Hogwarts. You, according to your father, get to choose which owl will deliver yours and Draco's mail at school. Come." Narcissa began walking the opposite way down Diagon Alley, not waiting for her daughter's surely unhappy response. As they reached Eeylops Owl Emporium, the large man emerged through the almost too-small doorway, the dark-haired boy now with a snow-white owl fast asleep in her cage. They paid the Malfoys no attention as they turned toward Ollivander's and Narcissa shot them another disdainful look.

"Your choice, Isabelle," her mother motioned to the selection of more expensive owls, already trained and of exquisite heritage, according to the store owner. Not exactly books, Izzy would take whatever presents she could. She had come to take advantage of any opportunity, however small, her father would give her for a reward as they came much less frequently than for her brother.

After petting each for a few moments, the youngest Malfoy decided on a light brown older owl. It had a gentle nature and seemed to take a liking to her, intelligent enough to be able to sit on Iz's shoulder without pulling her hair.

"I think I'll name him Russet. How does that sound?" Iz cooed to her new friend. She had begged her parents for a pet – preferably a cat – for the better part of three years, but she agreed that an owl was more useful for school. After paying for the animal, Narcissa turned to leave the store.

"Wait, what about for Draco?"

"You two will be sharing this owl, for the moment." At her daughter's look, she added, "It will make it easier for your father and I to communicate with you both. Don't worry, it is just for the time-being. Now to find out what your brother bought and time to go home for supper. Ready?" Izzy nodded, still a little disappointed that her present wasn't really just for her but glad that she had been in charge of the decision. Going through the checklist for school in her head, she grew excited once again at the thought of starting at Hogwarts. One month to go, she thought to herself as they met the rest of the family.

And what a boring month of anticipation it would be.