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Chapter 3: A Proposition
When I woke up, it was quiet. Sunlight was streaming through the stained-glass windows. I checked my watch to make sure I wasn’t late, but I wasn’t. I stretched and headed straight for the fridge, throwing it open. There was cereal, porridge mix, pancake mix, and biscuit mix. There were just a whole lot of mixes, all which required me to cook.
I grabbed the cereal and poured a bowl, gulping it down. I walked over to the bathroom and it smelled of vanilla and cocoa—probably Granger. I grumbled, wishing I had my own damn bathroom. You’d think that would be a perk. I hopped in and turned on every nozzle I could find, relishing the hot water almost burning my skin. Today would not be a good day. I knew that already. I shook myself dry and stepped out into the living room, where the most hideous sight awaited me.
“What the fuck are you two doing in here?” I asked, glaring at Potter and Weasley, both of whom were sitting on my couch. The Weasel immediately stood up, a glare on his face, to which I almost snorted.
“Why the fuck don’t you have any clothes on? There’s a girl living with you!” the Weasel yelled at me.
“Hardly,” I sneered. I summoned a towel and wrapped it around my waist. “What do you fuckers want?”
“Hermione told us you were Head Boy—” Potter started to say.
“Well you missed the Mudblood, you nimwits, so get the fuck out of here.” The Weasel lunged at me, but I drew my wand and hexed him to the side, where he sat on the floor, rubbing his pathetic red head. I was immediately hit with a jinx of my own and found myself on the sofa from the impact. Potter stood in front of me, his wand drawn.
“Can’t fight your own battles, I see, Weasel,” I sneered. “Potty still coming to your rescue?”
“Harry! Ron!” I turned to see Granger walking out of her room. She glanced at me and then looked at the two of them. “Let’s just go, shall we?” she asked, taking the Weasel’s hand and helping him up. He glared at me, put an arm around Granger, and limped out, Potter behind him.
Parkinson was the first to try and talk to me that day. It was lunchtime, and I was just going to go back to my room, but instead, I was stopped. I turned to see Pansy looking at me angrily.
“What, Parkinson?” I snapped, not in the mood.
“I just came to say that you’re being ridiculous. Blaise and I are just trying to be your friends. Can we just put this behind us?”
“Pansy—” I said, trying hard to be civil.
“Look, I get that the Dark Lord went away and then your dad went to jail, but honestly, you’re not the only one this affected,” she said.
“Oh, like it affected you when you fucking ran off to America with your parents? And didn’t really know the brunt of anything?”
“I wanted you to come with me,” she whispered, reaching for my hand. I pulled it away.
“Pansy, don’t touch me,” I warned. “We were over in sixth year, when you made your choice.”
“My dad made my choice,” she said. “He wanted nothing to do with any of it, and you had gotten the mark,” she whispered, tears coming to her eyes.
“Your dad had the right idea. It’s better for you not to be fraternizing with a Malfoy, in any case,” I said bitterly.
“Draco,” she said. The familiar rush of blood came to my face when she said my name. “I’ve always loved you.”
I laughed at that. “You never loved me, Pansy. You’re not fooling anyone, so you can quit while you’re ahead. You just latched onto the person who could get you the farthest. I’m not that person anymore. Go fall in love with Zabini, why don’t you? He seems like he’ll be alright. Or even better—Potter. You are an opportunist after all.”
I expected tears, but instead, she became angry. “You son of a bitch, we’ve been by your side—been your friends since you—”
“Friends?” I asked, in mock bewilderment. “You and Zabini and Crabbe and Goyle weren’t my friends. You were my pathetic followers. You didn’t know right from wrong and you didn’t care. I hated being around all of you. You brought me down with your stupidity and recklessness. You’re all idiots!” I exclaimed. “The only reason I ever stuck it out with you fuckers is because my father made me. He ingrained into me the importance of living up to the family name. And I’m done. Done with it all.”
“What are you, a Gryffindor now? A Hufflepuff for crying out loud—”
“YEAH!” I bellowed, “IF THAT MAKES ME MORE ACCEPTABLE TO MYSELF!”
“God, you’re a lost case, Malfoy. Your father would be ashamed.”
“Good,” I said, getting truly angry. “If he was proud, I’d know I was doing something wrong.”
“Can you two stop yelling?” I turned and saw a familiar looking girl poking her head out of the library doors to glare at us. Her black hair was knotted on the top of her head and she was wearing green robes. “The war is over, get over yourselves.” Pansy stalked over to her, her wand out.
“You bitch—do not talk to us like that—do you know who we are?” she asked.
The girl laughed. “Yeah—the pig Parkinson, and the ferret burnout Death Eater, Malfoy, I know,” she said. I could tell Parkinson was about to hex this fearless girl, so I pulled my own wand out of my back pocket and pointed it at Parkinson.
“I’m actually Head Boy,” I said, “and if you mutter a curse, you will be in detention till you finally finish your seventh year, Parkinson.” She turned, looking betrayed, but I fixed my glare on her. She narrowed her eyes, turned, her hair flipping behind her, and stalked off. The girl was staring at me funny too and I walked over to her.
“You okay?” I asked.
“I’m fine,” she said, leaning back and folding her arms, smirking. “But are you okay?”
“Fine,” I muttered. “Why?”
“Because you just did a decent thing. Wouldn’t have expected it from you.”
“Great,” I said. “Who are you anyway?”
“Astoria Greengrass,” she said, closing her book and watching me. “I’m in sixth.”
“Right,” I said, “anyway, I’ve got to go, but just—try not to get in Parkinson’s way,” I said. She nodded and I got up, heading to my room, trying to get Astoria’s blue eyes out of my head.
The rest of the day went normally after that—well as normally as it could have gone. My head was spinning from the day, even though I didn’t really learn anything I didn’t know. I didn’t even know why I came back to school. I guess it was so that I had a semi-shot of getting somewhere decent in the world. The Weasel and Potty wouldn’t need that extra schooling—they can become Aurors even though they don’t know jack shit about anything yet and they survived all this time because of dumb luck and other people’s help. Granger didn’t really have to come back to school. She could’ve just applied for Minister of Magic right now and make it. Just as I was thinking about it, she walked in, looking tired and frazzled, her bag slung loosely over her shoulder. She glanced at me, fear flitted across her face, and she went straight to her room.
I put my feet up on the couch and started reading my History of Magic passage again, expecting semi-quietness, but she was back in another second. She sat across from me. Right across from me. I shut my book and looked at her expectantly.
“What do you want?” I asked, narrowing my eyes. She just watched me for a second. “Well?” I asked, annoyed. I felt like she was studying me. I didn’t like it.
“I just—we have to meet the um—prefects tonight—”
“Good luck with that,” I said, “don’t tell me how it goes—I don’t really give a fuck.”
“Malfoy, I really need help,” she said. “I can’t do it all on my own.”
“Not my problem,” I said, shrugging. “So unless you want me to just hex you, leave my sight,” I said. I was across the room in half a second, and I looked up to see Granger standing up and glaring at me, the tip of her wand steaming. “That is the fucking second time,” I growled at her.
“Not my problem,” she said, glaring at me. “Don’t threaten me again.”
“Fine,” I muttered.
“And you will help me tonight. You will at least fucking be there.” I widened my eyes. She just said fucking.
“Well, I didn’t know you had balls, Granger. You have almost impressed me,” I said sarcastically. “Just for that, I guess I’ll make an appearance.” She let out a little huff thing and then stalked to her room, looking indignant. It would’ve been charming if it weren’t her. “What time?” I called behind her.
“Now!” she yelled back.
“Thanks for the notice,” I grumbled to myself. I pulled my feet off the bed and stretched. I walked over to her room and knocked. It opened slightly to reveal her face. She looked frightened. “Relax, Granger,” I said slowly—I couldn’t help the smirk that immediately lighted onto my face. “Just wanted to know where it’s being held.”
“In the Great Hall,” she said, slamming the door in my face.
Everyone got really quiet when I entered the Great Hall with Granger. I immediately stepped away from her, because I was definitely not going to give them another reason to stare at me. I looked around the room, looking for the Slytherin prefects and my eyes found the same blue ones that I’d seen earlier. I felt something funny in my stomach. Astoria Greengrass was a sixth year prefect then.
All of a sudden, I began to look forward to the job, but not all that much.
We didn’t break eye contact until Granger cleared her throat. “Alright,” she said. “So basically we’re here to go over Prefect duties and Malf—um—Draco—” Well that sounded weird. “Right well most of you were prefects before obviously, but we will have to set up times for rounds and things. There’s a scroll going around with your names and I need you to pair up and sign up for time slots.”
I sat the whole time, watching Astoria out of the corner of my mind and not really paying attention to much else. The sixth year Slytherin prefect boy seemed to be doing the same thing. Granger paced around, shooting me dirty looks every now and then, but I didn’t really give much of a fuck. The meeting ended eventually and everyone hastily left, avoiding me with a pretty huge radius—everyone except Astoria, who was a bit slow about leaving. Granger gave me a look, but I glared at her, and she shrugged and left, leaving Astoria and I to be the only ones in the Great Hall. She smirked at me when she looked up.
“Draco Malfoy,” she said in quiet, incredibly sultry voice, walking up to me. “How come you haven’t left yet?”
“I… um—” I wasn’t sure of what to say.
“I have a proposition for you Malfoy,” she said quietly. I raised my eyebrows.
“Big word for you, I know darling—” she said, smirking. She had the gall—but I admired her for it. “Anyway, I know you fancy me.”
“What?” I asked, genuinely surprised—and a little nervous.
“I’m not blind, Malfoy,” she said, leaning so close to me, I could smell the perfume she must have dabbed on her neck. “Point is, darling—I have a proposition. You’re cute, but word around school and basically everywhere—you’ve fizzled out. You’re not a good Slytherin, you’re not a good anything anymore. Your time has passed. And the thing with me is that I need something solid. Something here, and something now. And I need you to be fantastic. That’s me. I’m a Slytherin girl through and through. You’ve got to be worth it.”
“Call me Tori, would you? Fucking—sound like my mother when you do that,” she laughed.
“Uh—Tori—” I said instead, unsurely. “Right, well, look—I’m solid,” I said lamely. That got a huge chuckle out of her. I wanted to die. And I took what I said back—I don’t admire her—whatsoever. She was making me feel very small. “What’s your goddamn proposition?” I growled.
“Prove you’re a Slytherin,” she said, smirking.
“How? You want me to open the goddamned chamber of secrets or something?”
“Please—that’s so cliché” she said.
“Darling, I want you to break a Mudblood’s heart.”