From: Terry Boot Tboot@ministryofmagic.ww
Sent: Tuesday, March 4th, 2003 11:37am
To: Draco Malfoy Dmalfoy@ministryofmagic.ww
Subject: Muggle Assignment
You are needed for a muggle infiltration assignment at 7pm this evening, March 24th, 2003.
As you know, the Harry Potter books released in the muggle world have been causing problems for the ministry for several years. Now, with the movies being released, more and more muggles are questioning the potential of the stories being real rather than fantasy.
You will attend a Harry Potter book release party tonight and collect information on the muggles intel regarding the wizarding world. The M.O.M. needs to know how much of a problem this new book is going to cause.
The party starts at 7pm, arrive by 630pm.
Location: Waterstones Book Store, London.
As you are aware, the Ministry's late response to the first two books means that we are unable to mass obliviate the muggles, especially with the advancement of the internet. However, if you personally need a muggle obliviated please fill out the proper forms and one will be dispatched for you.
Assistant to Head Unspeakable
Draco walked down to level -4 and headed straight for Boot’s office. He knocked on the door and waited for it to open, reminding himself that he had worked very hard to get to this position and that he needed to remain calm. Even in the face of an insufferably smug coworker, he must hold composure. The door opened and Draco walked in, glancing around the office to make sure they were alone.
“Malfoy,” Boot said, not raising his eyes from the paperwork on his desk, “have a seat.”
Draco sat down straight-backed in one of Boot’s uncomfortable office chairs. “Thank you,” he said tightly.
Boot finished pretending to be busy and looked up at Draco. “I assume you’re here in response to the email I sent?”
“The assignment is perfect for you, Malfoy.”
Draco forced his face to remain neutral, something he’d gotten good at long before his employment at the ministry. “Of course. I am simply hoping for some clarification on how the job is perfect for me?”
“I think,” Boot said, “this assignment is a joke. There’s nothing we can really do about the books at this point, except continuing to promote the idea that they are only works of fiction.”
Draco was taken aback, surprised that he and Boot actually agreed on something. Perhaps coming to him was the right thing to do. Perhaps Draco would get out of this assignment on the grounds that it was a complete waste of time. “In that case-” Draco started, then stopped when Boot held up a hand.
“I also think the assignment would be a complete nightmare for any pure-blood wizard to work. Naturally, I thought of you as the best man for the job.”
Draco’s eyes narrowed. “Nice to be thought of,” he said, bitterly. “Is this because I was a Death Eater?”
“Don’t pull the war card, Malfoy. Everyone knows how you were forced, family held hostage, saved Harry, blah, blah, blah," Boot rolled his eyes. "No, this is just because you’re a privileged snot who gets on my nerves.”
At least it wasn’t the war. Draco felt his shoulders slump and forced himself to sit up straight. “Does Granger-”
“The boss already signed off on it. She said it will be good for you to spend time around muggles.”
Well, that was his last refuge demolished. Once Granger had it in her mind for Draco to do something there wasn’t much argument to be made. As her word was the main reason the Ministry had let him start work here, Draco knew better than to cross her.
He stood from the chair and smoothed out his black robes. “Thank you for your time, Boot,” he said, headed for the door.
“Oh and Malfoy?” Boot said, a cruel smirk tilting his lips, “I took the liberty of sending your outfit for the night. It’s already owled to your flat, along with the credentials and your cover story.”
At 6pm Draco was staring at his mirror, a knitted green and silver scarf wrapped around his neck. He sighed heavily, running a hand through his hair to rumple it a little further into an on-purpose messy look. Boot had sent tight denims, black converse, and a t-shirt with the Hogwarts emblem emblazoned in gold.
“I should quit,” he said to his empty flat.
“It’s a nice change,” the mirror replied. “from your stuffy robes, or those dragon-leather pants you wear to the club. Those make you look like a slag.”
Draco rolled his eyes. “Yes well, when I am wearing dragon leather I'm looking to get laid,” he said. He slid his wand into the slip sewn into the side of his denims. Boot had enclosed a note, saying that the muggles would all be carrying pretend wands so Draco didn’t need to worry if his was spotted. He picked up the wallet, rifling through the contents, muggle money, identification -reading Jason Smith-, and an emergency port key in the shape of a pop tab. Draco pulled out his ticket to the party.
VIP access - doors open at 630pm
“I should have moved with Mother to France,” he said, apparating to a side street near Waterstones.
Chapter 2 -
Draco passed the line of people in front of the book store. It stretched down the block, disappearing around the corner. From the looks of it, there were people of every age and class gearing up to enter this party. The most common colors were red and gold, but Draco could see a few people dressed in green, blue and even yellow. Draco shuddered at the thought of being forced to talk to a muggle pretending to be a Hufflepuff.
Merlin, what if he got cornered by a muggle pretending to be a Ravenclaw? That would be worse, he’d probably end up in a heated argument and blow his cover. Maybe the muggle ones weren’t as keyed up to debate, though that didn’t seem likely.
How the hell was he going to make it through this night?
Draco made his way to the back entrance and walked up to a table where a girl dressed in Gryffindor robes was sitting. She was holding a clipboard and reminded him, uncomfortably, of a young Hermione Granger, with dark skin, wild curls, and sharp brown eyes.
“Are you my Draco Malfoy?” she asked. Draco blinked, unsure how to respond.
The girl glanced down at her clipboard. “Jason, right?” She stuck out a hand. “I’m Emily, I’m in charge of this party and the look-alike’s point of contact.”
Draco shook her hand, “Nice to meet you, Emily.”
She gave him a quick smile. “All right, for tonight, please act as much like Draco Malfoy as possible. The people coming to this party paid for their tickets and they want a full Wizarding World experience. I assume you are familiar enough with the material to pull that off?”
Draco fought the urge to flee. “I think I know enough,” he said.
Emily’s eyes dropped slowly over him, lingering on the way his denims clung tightly to his waist. “I like the muggle clothes. The agency did a good job,” she said, meeting his eye, “you really do look just like him.”
By 9pm Draco was exhausted. He’d been swarmed by fans, mocked, hit on by every age, gender and class. Out right groped by some of them.
The pictures had been the worst, in the last two hours he’d probably taken more pictures with muggles than the Prophet’s paparazzi had ever managed to take of him. The first few pictures had been awkward. The people would hold up their phone and push the buttons, then look at the picture and pout. Finally, a girl with dark eyeliner and purple streaks in her hair had fixed the issue.
Looking at the picture on her phone she had said, “Can we take another where you don’t smile?”
“I thought muggles like it when people smile in pictures,” Draco had said, thankful that he could use the term freely during this assignment.
She had pursed her lips and cocked a hip, the picture of teenage annoyance, and replied, “And you’re supposed to be Draco Malfoy, a pureblood. So smirk, or sneer, or something. Just don’t smile, it looks weird.”
Draco had cocked an eyebrow and looked at her as if she was an ant daring to crawl on his robes. The girl’s face had lit up, beaming at him she tucked in close taking several quick pictures on her mobile. “Christ,” she’d said, looking at the phone.
She’d peeked up at Draco, teeth dragging over her bottom lip, and nodded. “Yeah, thanks mate.”
After that, the muggles seemed to love their pictures with him.
He leaned against a counter that was selling a sticky sweet muggle version of Butterbeer, that was woefully lacking any alcohol, and surveyed the scene. Draco had listened in on several conversations throughout the night, even joined a few, and decided that there was nothing to worry about. Well, nothing new, at any rate. Some of these muggles did believe the stories were true, but most of them were convinced it was fantasy. As long as the Ministry kept watch over early experiences of accidental magic they wouldn’t need to worry about growing fame of the Harry Potter series.
Children who were magically inclined were now contacted at first sign of accidental magic. Draco felt that was a better move in the Ministry's part. In fact, Draco had not only been a believer in bringing muggleborn children into the wizarding world at a younger age, he had funded a good portion of the programs.
After the war he had approached Granger with ideas on how to help change the divisive nature that was so deep seeded in the Wizarding World. His only stipulation for funding had been the requirement for muggleborns to learn more about the customs and traditions of pureblood families so that they weren’t lost to future generations. That program had launched his current relationship with Granger, and could probably be credited with the reason she had hired him as an Unspeakable.
Dark eyeliner girl walked over to him. “Hi,” she said, pulling Draco from his thoughts. "You did a great job tonight.”
“Thank you. Your tip about the pictures helped.”
She smiled with bright red lips that reminded him of Pansy. “I don’t know if you ship Drarry, but I wanted to give you this.”
"I've never been on a ship," Draco replied honestly.
The girl chuckled and handed over a piece of thick parchment. "It's my art and you're free to use it on social media if you want." With that she sauntered away, imitation Slytherin robes billowing behind her.
He looked down at the paper and stared dumbly at it for at least a full minute, until his spinning head demanded air. Sucking in a breath, he tried to comprehend what he was holding. It appeared to be a drawing of himself wrapped up in the arms of Harry fucking Potter. In the picture, Harry had a grip on Draco's green and silver tie, and Draco's fingers were threaded through the disaster that is Potter's hair.
They were kissing. Kissing!
Draco tore his eyes from the picture and searched the room, feeling desperate for an explanation. Spotting Emily, he rushed over to her, interrupting whatever pointless conversation she was having with a boy dressed as Hagrid.
"What is the matter with you?" Emily asked, wrenching her arm out of Draco's grasp once they were alone.
"What is this?" Draco thrust the picture at her.
Emily looked it over, a wry smile tilting her lips. "It appears to be Draco Harry slash art. Very well done, I might add." She looked up at Draco, "What, did you think Draco was straight?"
Draco swallowed, his throat dry. “Yes?"
"Come on. I mean, is there a stereotype the character is missing?"
"Well…" Draco trailed off, he had no idea what muggle gay stereotypes were. He felt completely wrong-footed, and sure that any answer would blow his cover. It's not that he'd never thought about what it would be like with a man. He'd just just never acted on those thoughts.
Emily's eyes darkened and Draco took a step back. She really did remind him of Granger. "You’re not a homophobe are you?"
"I-" Draco stalled out, startled by the question. "No! No of course not. I just," he looked at the picture again. "Why Potter?"
Emily smiled and pulled out something from her pocket that Draco recognized as a sharpie. He'd used them several times this evening to sign his name on books, cards, ties, and skin. She grabbed Draco's arm and pulled the cap off with her teeth.
"Here," she said, writing something on his right forearm. "Go to this website and educate yourself. Type in Harry Potter for the fandom and Draco/Harry in relationships. Actually, use their last names too. You'll get better results."
Draco looked down at his arm feeling faint. It must have shown on his face because Emily squeezed his bicep and said, "You look a bit ill, Jason. Why don't you head out. Your two hours is up anyway."
Draco thanked her and left the party behind.
The next morning, Draco trudged into Granger’s office and put his case file on her desk. He sat down heavily in one of her office chairs and waited. It was ten minutes before 8am and Granger was never late. He knew that it was unorthodox to wait for someone in an empty office, but it was either this or have a complete meltdown at his flat. So Draco would wait.
“Draco?” Granger’s voice woke him up and he shot to his feet. She stood at the door with Ernie Macmillan by her side.
Draco gave a quick nod in greeting to Macmillan, hoping that neither of them had realized he’d been asleep. It wasn't his fault really, he'd been up all night reading fanfiction.
“Granger,” he said, “I’ve brought my case file from the assignment last night.”
"You know Draco," she said, pulling off her coat, "my last name is going to be Weasley soon. What are you going to do when that happens?"
Draco grimaced at the thought. "I will acquiesce to your former request and call you Hermione."
She walked around the desk to take her seat, a smile on her lips. "How about we start that now," she said.
Draco sat back down and gave her a short nod, he had more dire arguments to engage with her this morning than her name. Macmillan sat down next to him. Draco didn’t really want him here but there was no tactful way to get rid of him since he was in his last week of training. During the last week of training, all Unspeakables shadowed Hermione.
Draco decided to ignore him, this was too important to wait for another time.
Hermione’s eyes narrowed. “No quips? You’re just going to give in?” She leaned closer and said, “Are you feeling alright?”
Draco was not feeling alright. Draco was having a fucking crisis!
“I’d like to go over the file with you,” he replied, “if you have time.”
“Of course.” Hermione opened the file and skimmed through Draco’s report. “This looks like about what I expected,” she said.
Draco leaned over the desk and slid his report to the side, revealing the artwork he’d been given the night before. Her eyes flicked up to him, then back down to the picture. To her credit, Hermione didn’t flinch the way Draco had. Which meant that she wasn’t surprised.
“Did you know about this?” Draco asked.
“Did I know about what, exactly?” she responded carefully, still looking at the parchment.
Draco’s fist clenched, and he forced out the words, “Did you know that a slew of muggles are writing stories about me and Potter? Explicit stories!”
Macmillan leaned forward, eyes going wide at the artwork.
“I might have heard a few rumors,” Hermione said.
“Rumors! Granger, what the fuck?! How could they think this!?”
“Draco calm down, this isn’t a big deal.”
“Not a big deal?” Draco growled. “I bet Potter would think it was a pretty big deal.”
Hermione grimaced, “More likely Harry will think-”
“Think what?” Draco said through clenched teeth, cutting her off. “He’ll think ‘Draco Malfoy is up to something,’ is that what you were going to say?”
Macmillan huffed a laugh, “Wow,” he said, staring at Draco. Draco glared at him. “Sorry,” Macmillan raised his hands in a sign of surrender, “just, I’ve read that tag so many times but hearing it in your posh accent really brings it to life.”
"Shut up, Ernie," Hermione said.
Draco turned his glare back to Hermione. "We have to do something about this. The muggles are running wild with this idea. I mean the tags alone- Hermione, there are thousands of stories about me and- about this-” he waved his hand at her desk, unsure which word would capture the situation.
“Ship,” Macmillan said. “It’s a ship. They ship y- um, well, drarry, they ship drarry.”
“Ernie,” Hermione said.
“Sorry,” the boy mimed zipping his lips and slumped back in his chair.
She turned back to Draco, her eyes searched his face before returning to the picture. “We are not able to bury thousands of stories shared on multiple sources across the internet. Even magic has its limits.”
“There must be something. I can’t live with this knowledge and do nothing about it.”
Hermione’s eyes snapped up, sparking with revelation, and Draco’s blood ran cold. He recognized that look, it was the look she gave when someone showed up with a difficult problem and needed her help to do the research. It meant that she found something interesting, challenging, exciting. Draco didn’t know what she was about to do but he knew that he wasn’t going to enjoy it.
“You’re right Draco,” Hermione closed the file and slid it back across the desk to Draco’s waiting hand. “The Unspeakable department is officially opening a case to determine the effects of fanfiction on one’s psyche. You will research the material, categorize the tags with comparison, and report back to me.”
Draco felt his face heat, tags from AO3 flashing through his mind; switching, public sex, D/s, edging, consent fest. “I’m not sure that I’m the best person-”
“No one will be able to spot the differences faster than you Draco.”
“The differences?” Draco asked, trying to fight the distinct feeling that he was being set up.
“Yes,” she said, her eyes dancing now. Draco’s stomach swooped at the sight, feeling like he might actually live to regret ever bringing this to her.
“What about Potter?”
“Harry wouldn’t be good for this, he is notoriously bad at being observant, oblivious some might say,” she said in a near whisper, as though she was confessing.
“Isn’t his case-closed record the highest in the Auror department?”
Hermione lifted an eyebrow, “How do you know that?”
“Everyone knows that,” Draco replied, “people never shut up about him.”
“I didn’t know that,” Macmillan said.
Draco turned to him with the haughtiest Malfoy look he could muster, “You do realize that if unspeakable is going to be your actual job title you will have to find a way to stop talking?”
Inexplicably, Macmillan smiled. What the fuck was going on with everyone? It was as if they’d all collectively lost their minds.
“You’re right,” Hermione said, drawing Draco’s attention back to her, “Harry is unobservant, except when it comes to his work, or,” she paused, a smile tugging her lips, “other obsessions.”
Next to him, Macmillan choked, probably from the effort of not speaking. Whatever, Draco didn’t care when Potter was observant. This conversation was completely off track.
“I don’t understand the assignment, what do you want me to report on?”
“I want to know the effects on your psyche. The first step is to research the material and bring me a report on which tags apply to you. We need to know the kind of story you’re actually living before we can make any comparisons.”
When Draco returned to his office he sat at his desk for nearly half an hour replaying the conversation in his head. He wasn't able to determine what, exactly, had happened. All he knew for sure was that Hermione Granger really was up to something.
He opened his browser to see the multiple AO3 tabs still open from the night before. With a long suffering sigh, he started to categorize the tags, crossing off the ones that didn't apply as he went. For some of them he wrote down little notes for Granger to read when he turned in the report.
-Most Common Tags-
Friends to Lovers
Enemies to Lovers - I still hate him and it's clear he's continued to be a self-righteous prat.
Redeemed Draco - As much as I can be?
Tattooed Draco - this appears to be referring to tattoos other than the dark mark. In either case, yes, I have several.
Pierced Draco - I'm not answering this
Rentboy Draco - why the fuck are there so many muggles fantasizing about me being for sale??
Vampire Draco - No. Though, either I've been lied to my entire life or muggles are way off. These stories rely heavily on the idea that the sexual satisfaction one feels with a vampire is better than any other. Email sent for confirmation to the Love and Lust Unspeakable department.
Veela Draco - I'm flattered. It is recorded in the Malfoy line but I'm certainly not in a creature fic. I'm not even sure if that rumor about my family is accurate. I think it's just that we have pretty hair.
Unspeakable Draco - Yes
Draco in leather pants - not currently, though I do own a pair.
Forced Proximity - No. For the record, this also covers that we are not roommates.
Bonding - I would AK myself
Joggers - I haven't seen him in joggers
Werewolf AU - No fucking way is Potter hiding this. He thinks in all caps.
Pining Harry - see above
Coffee shop AU - no. Though I do have a favorite coffee shop, I've never seen him there.
Hogwarts 8th year - this is an intriguing idea, (not the drarry portion). I think I would have liked to go back for a year after the war.
Plot What Plot - this is literally porn described.
Fluff and smut - not even sure how to address this, what is "fluff"? I'm guessing smut is sex, so no.
Hung Harry - I heard that you pollyjuiced into him once, maybe you can answer this?
Powerful Harry - this I've seen first hand
Auror Harry - yes
Dark Harry - No. Thank Merlin. These stories scared the shit out of me.
UST-Unresolved Sexual Tension - eyeroll
Parstletongue Kink - I don't know
Top vs Bottom - I don't know
Sex toys- some of these ideas are ingenious, almost all of them are sold at WWW. I haven't been there for some time but I will stop by this week to see if they have a "red curtain room"
Grimmauld place - of course wizarding houses have magic. Investigate?
Amortentia - Unlikely, Potter's Amortentia smells of leather, fresh-cut grass and broom polish. Sounds more like he's in love with quidditch than pining for me.
Draco stared at the last tag and the notes he'd written. How did he know that, about what Potter smells with Amortentia? He thought back to 6th year when they brewed in class. He remembered Hermione smelling the cauldron and saying something ridiculous about toothpaste. For the life of him he couldn't remember if Potter had told the class his smells or not. He must have though, how else would Draco have gotten that information? Perhaps it had been printed in the Prophet?
Draco shook his head, trying to rid himself of the thoughts, and put his pen down. It was clearly time for a break and a cup of tea.
Read the rest HERE
If you enjoyed this please consider reading my original piece Mercury Rising