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Chapter 12: Ninja Turtle Towel
Pansy returned home with her parents after the ball and immediately stomped upstairs to her room without uttering a word to her parents. The night was humiliating for her in so many ways. Not only was she invited into her own childhood home by a family completely un-heard of in high society, but a mudblood was living in her room, next to her ex-boyfriend. Seeing Draco made her burn with fear, shame, and regret, but seeing him dance like that with Granger made her burn with anger, a long lost little voice in the back of her head screaming That’s MY Draco, you wench! Then Potter trying to make conversation while she was standing alone in a corner of the grand room made her feel awkward and lament the things she had told him. The whole night, the only thing Pansy wanted to do was go up to her old comfortable, grand room and sleep until school started.
Crawling into her p.j’s and under the heavy blankets of her bed, Pansy fell asleep with longing on her mind; longing for her old house and memories, longing for her old boyfriend, before he turned violent. She longed for school to start to be comfortable in her common room. And unexpectedly to herself, she longed to talk to Harry. He may have been her old enemy-by-association but she now knew why Weasley and Granger held his friendship; he seemed to know just what to say, no matter her mood. When she was sad, he made her laugh with his stupidly amusing antics; when she was bored, he knew what to do around the small town to keep busy. And when she was happy, he knew how to make her even happier than she already was. A knock on her door shook Pansy out of her thoughts and wiped off the smile that had crept onto her face. She turned onto her other side, away from the door and pretended to be asleep when her father stuck his head into her door, a sliver of harsh light pouring in from the hall. He saw she was asleep, sighed, said goodnight, and closed her door softly with a click.
Malfoy walked in from outside, his clothes muddy, his face sweaty, and his broom slung over his shoulder. He took the old servants entrance from the back up to his room. It was too much of a hassle to risk being seen in this state by his mother. She would just berate him about looking proper at all times and how his father would never approve of looking in such a manner, let alone looking like that himself when he was younger. Also, taking the back staircase and passageways, he would pass the entrance to his father’s study, which he hadn’t come out of since the night before – or at least not that he knew of. Peeking up the staircase Draco noted the door was still closed, though that wasn’t saying much as the door was always closed. His father was too secretive about his work – obsessively so. He left it alone for the time being and went to his room to shower and change. He stopped in his tracks halfway there and decided to just take a swim in the pond bordering his property. Draco retraced his steps back to the servants quarters and found a large linen closet that held replacement towels and sheets for the many beds and baths in the large house. He made a motion to grab one of the fluffy embroidered towels but knew his mother would somehow find out he got it muddy, so instead he reached for his favorite towel as a child. He had bought it with out his mother knowing; when he was a small child he and his mother had gone into muggle London to do some shopping and he saw the towel hanging in a store window on the main road. His mother was too caught up in her own shopping to notice he had ducked out for 10 minutes to buy the towel. He remembered handing over a wad of muggle cash to the clerk who didn’t think twice at the boy not knowing how to count muggle money as he was so young. He stuffed the towel into a bag of his other shopping and caught up with his mother. It was fairly small, practically threadbare, and was red with a picture of four large, human-like turtles with various weapons crowded around a sewer with ninja bands covering their eyes. Above the turtles read a caption, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. Draco didn’t think his mother ever found out about the towel and the house elves always remembered to return it to Draco’s room and no one else’s. Thinking on it, he supposed he owed the house elves for that, then shook his head clear, snatched the towel from the shelf and continued on his way back outside.
Hermione stretched and looked around her large, messy room. She had explicitly told Winky (as she was Hermione’s personal elf) not to clean her room, that she would take care of her own mess. Winky looked like she had wanted to question her mistress’s orders. When Hermione noticed this she provided Winky with an answer to her unasked question;
“Winky just because I have someone to do these things for me, doesn’t mean I’ve lost the use of my arms.” Winky’s eyes sparkled at these words, particularly when Hermione said ‘someone’ rather than ‘something’. This cause a huge pang in the girl’s heart. She smiled down at the elf and went into her room, looking around bleakly. Moving out to the balcony of her room she sighed as the large warm sun hit her face. For the first time since she moved in, she took a good look around at the grounds that were now her backyard. There was acres of rolling green lawn, a small grove of hundred year old oak trees, patches of berries, the deck and pool off her back porch, and if she looked straight out towards the Malfoy Manor, a small glittering pond. She grinned to herself, grabbed a large fluffy white towel, her large, pink tinted sunglasses, a water bottle, and her favorite muggle novel, changed into a revealing two piece (which she only ever saved for tanning – very impractical for swimming much) and dashed through the house to the yard.
Hermione spread her towel on the small apron of sand that surrounded the pond and flopped onto her stomach, her eyes shielded from the glaring sun, hair twisted into a knot at the back of her head, reading her favorite book Diary - A novel by Chuck Palahniuk and playing absent mindedly with her perspiring water bottle. She could feel herself burning so Hermione flipped onto her back, laid her book aside and closed her eyes. That was when she felt a cool shadow fall across her body, but she didn’t bother to open her eyes; she figured it was probably one of her parents. That’s when a horribly familiar voice spoke to her.
“Well well, grown up over the summer haven’t we… little girl.” Hermione opened one eye behind her sunglasses and groaned. She jumped up and wrapped her towel firmly under her arms, around her body. She placed her hands on her hips and pulled her glasses on top of her head. She glared at the blonde man standing before her.
“Can I help you with something Mister Malfoy? If not, I should let you know you are trespassing.” He smirked at her,
“I was just out for a stroll on my grounds; marveling that someone of your kind could ever afford to live there.” He looked at Hermione’s new home.
“Yes well after my parents passed I moved in with Dave and Mary Jane, they had already planned the move. I myself was just marveling at the fact that you were out in the sun – usually your kind don’t venture too far out of the sewer.” Lucius curled his front lip at her and turned on his heel back up to his own manor. She sighed and cursed herself for not holding her tongue, and laid her towel back down on the sand, took off her glasses and made to wade into the water. She received a shock however when her foot disappeared directly into the depths of the pond. She squinted into glittering water and realized for the first time that the small body of water looked like some form of crater. The edge of the pond came to meet the wall of sand which turned into rock when it hit water. It almost looked man (or magic anyways) made. She stood back a couple paces and dove into the pond, letting the cool water seep into every pore. She swam lengths of the pond first with her head above water, then took a huge breath and plunged her head under gliding silently under the surface of the water. She swam so many lengths underwater that she didn’t know which side of the pond she came up for air on when her lungs began to throb. She received a shock when she broke the surface to find herself looking at a pair of feet. She wiped water out of her face and looked into the shadowy face standing in front of the sun.
“Hm, looks like we need to build a fence. You’re on my land Granger.” Malfoy smirked down at her. He stood in a pair of swimming shorts, his Quidditch gear in a heap on the grass past the sand. Hermione turned onto her back and said before kicking off,
“High fences make good neighbors. Or at least it would keep your father away” Malfoy lowered himself onto the sand and stuck a foot into the minute lake, testing the water. It was Hermione’s turn to smirk at him.
“You don’t seem the type to test the water – more the type to dive right in.” She heaved herself onto the sand as Malfoy glared at her and jumped in. Hermione walked around the pond to her things, gathered them up, and turned to leave.
“What do you mean? About my father? When was he over here?” It was very odd that his father would be this far away from the Manor; usually the farthest he went outside was on his balcony and Draco hadn’t even noticed his father come outside. He surely would have crossed paths.
“Just a minute before you came out, being a pig though I’m not surprised.” She started walking but stopped and looked over her shoulder. “Oh, and cute towel, Malfoy.”
“I want my book back Granger!” was the only thing he could think of throwing at her.
So it IS important “Not likely Malfoy.” She said as she walked.
A/N: I've pretty much written myself into a corner - so any ideas of plot direction, or anything yu would like to see - I'd love to hear from you! :D