Chapter 8 : Suspicions
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When Draco had seen Sam leaning over the edge of the boat peering into the water, he had been reminded of the night she had pushed him into the pond. At the time tipping her boat into the lake had seemed like the perfect way to convince everyone that they were wrong about his feelings for her. Only now it seemed the plan had backfired and they were more convinced than ever that he was in love with her. Even Sam and her friends were now buying into the rumors.
Draco threw his books down on a table in the common room and plopped down in one of the chairs. He stared out at nothing as he leaned across the table with his arms laid out in front of him. His simple plan had elicited the exact opposite of its desired result but there was nothing he could do about that now. But it was Potter’s meddling that made him mad and there was something he could do about that.
Draco marched through the Slytherin common room and into the sixth year boys’ dorm. Crabbe and Goyle jumped to attention when he entered the room.
“Change of plans. We do it tomorrow night.”
It had taken forever but Sam was finally able to escape from the pack of girls that had attacked her at dinner. They had all been dying to know what took place between her and Draco at the Malfoy Estate over the summer. She did her best to wave the girls off but they were relentless. Eventually to get them to go away she confessed that she had accidentally pushed Draco into the pond when they had been walking together in the gardens. They knew there was more to the story then she was telling but gave up after a while to come up with their own scenarios of what had transpired. She didn’t care as long as they left her alone.
She told her friends that she had some research to do and slipped into the back of the library where she could sit alone. She rummaged through her bag and pulled out the note she had picked up earlier by the lake. In neat scroll across the front it said ‘Draco’ and had the Malfoy seal on the back. She took a quick look around to make sure no one was watching and pulled the letter out to read.
I am extremely pleased to hear that you are getting along better with the Minister’s daughter. It would not bode well with our recent troubles to make an enemy out of the most powerful man at the Ministry. Remember Draco, we must respect those that are our equals.
Well now that you are friends with Miss Collins you will be able to learn more about her. I am most anxious to hear all about her. Tell me, is she still friends with the Potter boy? Perhaps you could invite her to stay with us for a while over the holiday break.
I will be writing to you again soon. Do not forget to tell me everything that is happening there at Hogwarts.
The letter certainly did not sound like one from a mother. She didn’t even inquire about her son’s welfare once. Most of the letter had been in reference to Sam. For some reason Narcissa Malfoy had taken an interest in her and was using her son to gain information about what she was doing at Hogwarts. This unnerved Sam a little but it also helped explain Draco’s recent behavioral changes. At least she didn’t have to worry now about whether Draco really had feelings for her or not. He was clearly just using her to get information for his mother. She wasn’t sure if the news relieved her or not.
The more Draco thought about it the angrier he got. He had tried to be nice and even let the stink pellet episode go unpunished. Now look where it had landed him. He had a plan though and the Gryffindors would never know what hit them.
Back before they had even returned to school, Draco had begun work on a plan to put a serious kink in the Gryffindor quidditch season. Once he decided to call a truce however the plan was abandoned. Recently Crabbe and Goyle had begun asking him when they would use his idea against the Gryffindors. He was surprised the two had even remembered what he told them. Without any intentions of really going through with it at the time, he told the boys that the plan would go into action the night before the Slytherin versus Gryffindor game. The game was still a few weeks off but he couldn’t wait till then to get back at Potter.
It was now Friday night and tomorrow morning the Gryffindor Quidditch team would be taking the pitch to practice for their upcoming match against Slytherin. After curfew they gathered up the things they needed and snuck across the grounds to the Quidditch Stadium. This was not an easy thing to accomplish with Crabbe and Goyle with him. They were a pair of bumbling morons and almost got them caught twice before they got to the Gryffindor locker room.
The plan was two-fold. Crabbe and Goyle would put a potion that Draco had developed on the taps while Draco jinxed the Gryffindor quidditch robes. The next day he would be sitting in the stands watching as they hurled across the pitch towards each other unable to control their movements. Then when they finally gave up and returned to the locker room to clean up they would receive his second nasty surprise. After finishing with their showers they would discover that their skin had turned green from the potion they planted on the taps.
He was beaming with glum satisfaction as he pulled the Gryffindor Quidditch robes into a pile in the center of the room. Before he had even uttered more than a syllable of the spell though, his ears were filled with the sharp peels of an invisible siren. He had forgotten all about the extra protection the teachers had added to the castle after the attack on Hogsmeade.
Crabbe and Goyle were already running full speed out of the locker room and Draco followed. It was a mistake though. Seconds after entering the pitch he felt something close around him and he was lifted thirty feet into the air. They were trapped and there was no telling how much trouble they would be in.
“Out for a little stroll, Mr. Malfoy,” someone said and Draco looked down to the see the defense teacher standing below them.
He ignored her though and began using every spell he could think of on the net. He had to get out of here before the rest of the teachers arrived.
“It’s no use.” She called up to him. ”The net is a magical barrier but don’t worry. I’ll let you down as soon as the headmaster gets here.”
She was getting far too much satisfaction from this, “I’ll get you for this!” He said climbing over his friends to glare down at her.
“I hope you are not threatening a teacher, Mr. Malfoy. You don’t need to add to the trouble you are already in.”
He took this under consideration and said nothing else for the duration of his confinement. Soon the staff had all assembled to learn the cause of the alarm. Many were surprised to see three Slytherin students suspended in a net over the pitch.
When the headmaster arrived the three students were taken down and immediately sent to his office for questioning. While they waited for the headmaster to arrive in his office, Draco began to develop his story. If Dumbledore found out what they were up to he could possibly be expelled. This would not make his parents happy.
“Well gentlemen,” Dumbledore said as he took a sit behind his desk. “I assume there is a very good reason behind your being in the Gryffindor locker room tonight.”
“Yes, sir,” Draco said. Crabbe and Goyle just nodded.
“And also for the potion that Professor Knight found on Mr. Crabbe,” Dumbledore said sitting the potion vial in front of them on his desk.
Here was where all of his years of listening to his father twist the truth would come in handy, “It was just a school prank, sir. House rivalry you know.”
“Yes, I do know,” Dumbledore said putting extra emphasis on the last word. “And the fact that the Gryffindor Quidditch robes were found in a pile on the floor?”
“Just wanted to let them know that we’d been there, sir,” Draco said hoping that he would believe him.
“Professor Knight has informed me that siren is only set to go off when dark magic is used. So I don’t suppose you know why it went off?” Dumbledore questioned.
“No, sir,” Draco said too afraid to say more.
“Well, you all know that you are not supposed to be outside of your dormitories after curfew, especially not outside on the grounds,” Dumbledore said and the boys all looked at their feet and nodded their heads. Draco noticed that Dumbledore didn’t mention anything about their safety.
“You will each receive a month’s worth of detention with Mr. Filch. Do not let me catch you out after hours again,” Dumbledore said in dismissal and the boys quickly made their exit.
The next morning Sam was still a little drowsy when she got up. Last night the whole castle was awoken by an alarm going off in the Quidditch Stadium. Word had it that Draco Malfoy and couple of the other Slytherin students had snuck into the Gryffindor locker room to rig a trap. They had accidentally set of the school alarms and Professor Knight caught them trying to escape. She would have to keep an eye on him. This time he had gotten caught but Sam was sure he had more tricks up his sleeve.
That afternoon before tea she was feeling a little hungry because she had missed lunch. Ron told her about the painting of the pear that lead into the kitchens and she decided to head down to get a bite. Right as she was rounding the corner to the painting’s corridor someone ran straight into her.
The person had knocked her completely off of her feet and onto her rear. They didn’t stop but before they could get away she recognized him.
“Draco?” she questioned and he spun around to see her getting up.
“What are you doing here?” he asked sounding suspicious.
“I could ask you the same thing,” she said not liking his tone, “What’s that?”
“Nothing,” he quickly tucked the bottle in his hand back into his pocket.
“I figured you’d be expelled by now with the little stunt you pulled last night.”
“You won’t get rid of me that easily,” he said and turned on his heel to go.
“I know you’re up to something,” she said. He stopped and turned back around to look at her through narrowed eyes.
“That’s right,” she said realizing she had his undivided attention now. ”All the little personality changes you’re made and pretending to like me, its all part of some hidden agenda and I’m not going to stop till I find out what it is.”
He walked back to where she was standing and stopped only centimeters away, “You think so? What makes you think I’m pretending?”
He leaned in closer to her and she could feel the wall next to her back. He wanted to make her uncomfortable but she refused to let him.
“We both know you’re incapable of caring about anything but yourself,” she said looking him right in the eyes.
His lips came down to capture her own. She gasped in surprise and he took the opportunity to deepen the kiss. He pressed against her and she could feel her pulse racing. There was a battle going on inside of her as her mind told her to push him away while the rest of her wanted to give into the kiss. Then suddenly he pulled back to look at her. Her face was flushed and her breathing was shallow. There was a look of triumph on his face as he let go of her and turned to walk away.
She leaned back completely against the wall now. Her heart was still beating wildly and she was breathing hard. She stood there for a moment trying to figure out what just happened. The only thing she knew for sure was that she was more confused than ever.
He had planned on toying with her, scaring her even. The last thing he needed was her snooping around trying to find out what he was up to. The kiss had just been a knee-jerk reaction to the moment. He had just been trying to discover if she had seen him put some of the potion in Professor Knight’s tea. For now he would just have to assume she hadn’t and be more careful in the future.
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