Chapter 2 // Betty's Bakery
Before I realized it, I reached the village. The muggles smiled friendly and some even waved at me. I waved back happily.
The bakery was probably the cutest cottage in the whole village. It was small and decorated with flowers. The windows and the door were painted bright red and above the entrance were the words ‘Betty’s Bakery’ in graceful letters. I sniffed deeply as I entered. Nothing smelled as good as the bread, pies and cakes Batty baked. My mother was quite a good cook, but even her pastries couldn’t match these delicacies.
‘Good morning, Katherine!’ Betty showed me her usual smile. Her teeth were pearly white, but crooked and occasionally there were even some bits of her breakfast between them. Today, however, she seemed to have washed her teeth properly.
‘Good morning, madam Betty. How are you?’
‘Always so polite!’ She clapped her hands with delight, ‘I’m fine, thank you. How can I help you today?’
I told her my order and while she was busy we chatted about the weather and other unimportant things.
‘The new schoolyear almost starts again,’ she said, after I had paid, and she gave me my order. ‘Do you feel like it?’
‘I am really looking forward to it! Although I have to say that I’ll really miss your macaroons.’
‘Oh! Maybe you can come by on the weekends. I’ll keep something aside for you,’ she winked, which made me smile.
‘That’s very sweet of you, madam Betty, but that won’t be necessary. I’m going to a school in the north. It’s a boarding school, so I won’t be able to stop by on weekends either.’
‘Then ask your parents to come by and send you some of my cakes,’ she insisted, ‘then I also get to meet your parents for once!’
I trembled at the thought. I had convinced Betty that I lived in a village not far from here and that I always came to her bakery on foot, because my parents didn’t have a car. Nothing was farther from the truth, of course. My parents’ home was in Wiltshire, which was about an hour’s drive from Castle Combe. Not that we owned a car. Like most wizards, we almost always used the fireplace to get somewhere. I couldn’t apparate yet (I was too young for that) but once I was in my sixth year at Hogwarts, I would learn to do it and then I would never have to take the soot of my clothes again.
After I assured her that I would visit during the Christmas holiday, she put some extra sweets in my bag and said her good-byes to me, I walked back in the direction of the cottage. On the way, I pulled out my letter from Hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardry from my pocket. For weeks I had been taking it everywhere with me, afraid of losing it. One more week and I would be allowed to take the train on platform 9 ¾. I would spend a year without my parents complaining. I could meet other wizards, more interesting people than that evil pure-blooded scum my parents seemed to be so fond off. And off course I would get to spend an entire year with my best friend.
Draco sat on guard, staring at the fire and his wand in his long, pale fingers. He looked up when I came in and wiped the dust and moulded teacup off the table. While we ate, I asked him about Hogwarts. He probably was tired of my questions already, but he answered them anyway, even if he had answered them a million times before.
Suddenly, I was startled by a loud bang in the room. I turned around and stared into the big bulging eyes of Bonkers. Her huge bat ears lay flat on her head and her long, thick nose touched the ground as she bowed.
‘Bonkers,’ I said as I got up, ‘what are you doing here?’
‘The masters have sent for you, miss Katherine,’ The house elf kept bowing as she spoke, ‘there is a party tonight and the mistress wants you at home in time, so that you are completely in tip-top condition. She also wants you to go to Diagon Alley to pick up your school supplies.’
‘Isn’t she going with me?’ I asked, but I already knew the answer. My mother would never waste her precious time to go with me to get my school stuff.
‘No, miss Katherine,’ Bonkers looked up for the first time and began pulling her blanket, which she wore as a piece of clothing.
‘And my father?’
‘The master is busy for tonight’s party,’ Bonkers muttered, ‘but if miss Katherine does not want to go alone, Bonkers can always come with her?’
I sat down and folded my hands together. Suddenly I didn’t feel like eating the cheesecake, which lay half-eaten before me.
‘No, it’s okay, Bonkers, thanks, but I think you’d better go and help my father.’
‘As miss Katherine wishes,’ the house elf answered, and he disappeared again with a loud bang.
‘You treat that thing way to good,’ Draco sniffed, stuffing another piece of cheesecake into his mouth.
But I didn’t listen to him. I pushed my cheesecake away, walked to the cupboard and took out my robes. Draco slid the last piece of cheesecake in his mouth and stood up.
‘I’ll see you tonight,’ I nodded absently. I was too stubborn to admit that my mother’s request had upset me. I knew Draco wouldn’t ask to accompany me. He knew I wouldn’t want it.
And I wouldn’t ask him. I knew my mother would keep a close eye on my behaviour in Diagon Alley and if I showed any weakness, she would punish me. Asking Draco to stay with me wasn’t an option. We both knew that.
He sighed, stepped into the fire, shouted the words ‘Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire’ and disappeared into a sea of green flames. I cleaned the rest of the rubbish, put on my robes, stashed the muggle clothes away in the closet and grabbed some green floo powder. I threw the powder into the fire, shouted ‘Diagon Alley’ and disappeared into a tunnel of emerald green flames.
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