Typically the Mudblood was always early for breakfast, dragging a drooling Weasel and obviously-not-a-morning-person Potter with her. Why she bothered was beyond him, since invariably one spent the entire time trying not to fall asleep in his porridge and the other used it to finish whatever essay was currently on the verge of being horrendously overdue. Then came the ritual of glaring at the late homework doer (apparently the most heinous of all crimes) and ensuring that Potter ate his food instead of just lounging in it, since rumour was rife he was trying to save the Dark Lord the hassle of killing him and instead reserving the honour for himself. It was, in Draco’s opinion, the height of bad manners, not to mention ridiculously absurd. However, if Potter wanted to starve himself to an early grave Draco was not about to dispute the sentiment. No doubt it would make his current predicament that much easier. It wasn’t that he particularly cared if scar-head and his sidekick also happened to disapprove almost as emphatically as he did of what was happening, he just didn’t fancy the prospect of a trip to the hospital wing.
Not that he would be the one to need it, naturally. But if he were forced into a situation in which he had to curse one or both, the riddle spewing idiot that passed for a Headmaster these days would most likely then force him to their bedsides to witness the consequences of his actions first hand. And to top it all off he wouldn’t even be permitted to gloat.
However, the thought had occurred to him that if Potter would just hurry the damn thing along a bit it could prove to be an unrivalled opportunity. He could swoop in and offer the distraught girl a shoulder to cry on. Comfort her over the loss of her closest friends; since the Weasel would no doubt have some sort of anerism if merely at the sight of a Malfoy so close to his only hope of happiness.
Fine, so there was one major flaw with the plan, beyond the fact that Potter wasn’t yet dead. Malfoy’s weren’t exactly know for their saving of Damsels in distress. In fact, more often than not they were responsible for keeping the heroes of the world so busy with the snivelling women. That and most of his robes were prone to staining at the slightest drop of water. The havoc a sobbing Mudblood could wreak on his wardrobe was too painful to even consider.
Oh, and his hair tended to curl slightly if it got even the slightest bit damp.
Perhaps he could slip something into the food of the Boy-Who-Couldn’t-Do-Anything-Properly. In deference to the disgusting peasants friendship he was sure he could find something painlessly lethal.
Except that Potter wasn’t eating. Damn.
He was still drinking though, most likely Pumpkin juice as the Golden Boy raised a goblet to his lips and swallowed slowly. There were plenty of untraceable and undetectable poisons that should be fairly simple to surreptitiously slip into his morning beverage. And if he managed to kill Potter perhaps the Dark Lord would be more understanding and thusly forgiving of his arranged marriage.
Okay, he was naďve but not that naďve.
He nursed his coffee sulkily, glaring across the Hall and cursing the generations of Malfoy’s that had so selfishly thrust this upon him. He wasn’t cut out for romance. In his opinion any woman should be bloody grateful he even breathed in her presence, and speechless if he so much as talked to her. Granger didn’t strike him as the speechless type though, and a lifetime of nagging was tentatively trying to present itself as the most likely outcome to this little endeavour.
He calmly told it to shove off, to which it turned its back and blew raspberries.
It was definitely the beginning to a perfect day. Not only was he willingly going to have to talk to at least one member of the Golden Trio, but also his inner voice had the mental age of a three year old. Merlin only knew what the old bat Trelawney would make of that.
Somewhere in the middle of his musing his feet had apparently taken his life into their own proverbial hands, as he was somewhat nearer the Gryffindor table than he recalled being and still walking. Towards it, that was, not away as his instincts were screaming at him to do.
That was right, sarcasm. When all else failed it was the ultimate lifeline. He could do sarcasm, and it always managed to break the ice quite effectively. Sneer, check. Form coherent sentences, check. Prepare dank yet tasteful hole to crawl into when this is all over, check. ‘So, the Golden Boy is capable of gracing us with his presence before noon. Should I grovel now, or just send my gesticulation with the nearest owl?’
Nothing. Not so much as a glare. Damn it all if he couldn’t even taunt The-Boy-With-Far-Too-Many-Hyphens-In-His-Name to make himself feel better. What right did the idiot have to be so depressed in his presence anyway? Contrary to popular opinion he didn’t find the attitude heartbreakingly sad. It certainly didn’t encourage him to make life changing alterations to his perceptions of the world and his place in it, nor did it strike in him the urge to comfort so much as the urge to Crucio until they bloody well stopped. Being depressed or breathing, that is; he wasn’t overly bothered which.
At least the Weasel was glaring enough to make up for the both of them, although the Mudblood seemed indifferent to his presence. She certainly wasn’t staring rapturously at his angelic countenance. He had once been told, by a nervously shaking first year, that some ignorant woman somewhere had had the nerve to describe his perfect features as ‘pointy’. He still hadn’t found said woman, but his plan for when he did so had grown to epic heights.
Thankfully the good old Weasley ingenuity came hurtling towards him, as he really didn’t think he could have endured holding up both ends of the conversation ‘Sod off, Malfoy.’ Yes, you could always rely on the redheaded peasant to be as remarkably predictable and eloquent as always.
It was now or never, although he did take a brief moment to pray for never in the vague hope that Gods liked leaving things to the last moment. Or possibly that the Dark Lord would change his plans and storm the school at this exact second.
Nope, oh well.
‘Such language,’ he commented, clutching at where he was fairly sure his heart was supposed to be and wiping his forehead in a distraught manner before holding out his hand for the vile one. Admittedly he had made a few discreet changes to the course of action Pansy had finally suggested, when the hysterical laughter had died down. He hadn’t trusted her to be completely sincere though, and besides, Malfoy’s were supposed to be able to handle anything with expected style and grace. ‘Come, ingrate. Let me whisk you away from such vulgarity where we can live happily,’ he choked slightly on this word, but recovered himself admirably, ‘together for the rest of all eternity.’
There, he had said it. The offer had been made, so no one could accuse him of not trying. Perhaps toning down the scorn might have been helpful, but this was one place where he was willing to let perfection take a second seat. And why, in the name of all that was evil, was she still failing to collapse at his feet sobbing tears of joy that he had acknowledged her existence?
‘Leave Malfoy,’ Granger had finally seemed to notice his presence, dragging her gaze up from a painfully thick book.
‘Such eloquence,’ he was really getting caught up in the moment now. ‘Such divine tranquillity. You could do such much better than these barbarians,’ he gestured vaguely in the direction of a spluttering Weasley and an oblivious Saviour-Of-The-Wizarding-World, who only just seemed to have noticed he was even there.
‘No one was asking you Potter,’ Draco snapped over his shoulder, rolling his eyes as Harry just stared at him blankly. ‘Oh for crying out loud,’ he dropped the heroic pose he had adopted and leant over the table until his face was mere inches from Harry’s, fixing what he was fairly sure was a non-threatening smile to his face and speaking softly. ‘I hear Moaning Myrtles bathroom is empty. Why don’t you just toodle along like a good little boy hero and go drown yourself, whilst there’s no one to interrupt you.’ Harry looked up slowly, Draco could almost hear the words turning over in his head before he rose with the speed of a snail and made for the large double doors.
‘Harry, No!’ Hermione shrieked, jumping from her seat and running to his side, steering him gently back towards the table, casting Draco a look of horror. ‘Malfoy you should know better. Harry’s delicate at the moment.’
Draco looked momentarily confused. ‘Your point?’
‘You shouldn’t take advantage.’
There was some life lesson supposed to have been imparted here, he was sure. And any minute now it would enlighten him.
Well, he didn’t have all morning to wait, and if the lesson was coming from a Mudblood it couldn’t have been that important anyway, he dismissed easily. No doubt it had something to do with morals and why you shouldn’t encourage the Boy-Who-Was-Prone-To-Melodramatics to behave recklessly. Well, more recklessly than his usual Gryffindor standards of recklessness. Obviously there was some hitherto unwritten code stating you were only allowed to get yourself killed if it involved stupid heroics. Or bludgers to the head.
How many bludgers to the head did it take to kill someone anyway? He was sure he had read somewhere that a famous, yet remarkably inept Lithuanian beater had fallen to the four thousand, three hundred and ninety seventh. And Potter had hit his head, what, no more than three/four times. Admittedly that meant that in the space of the four remaining games he would need to get practically pulverised to reach the somewhat ambiguous lethal limit, which would most probably involve some interesting game tactics on his part, but Draco was not above rising to the challenge.
But then again, perhaps he could just casually mention to The-Boy-With-Ambiguous-Parentage that he was starting to look remarkably like Snape. That should have him bolting for the afterlife in a flash, and would be far less likely to cause such ethical indignation. And even if the prospect didn’t repulse him, no doubt Severus would take care of his little problem when the Boy-With-Childhood-Emotional-Issues turned up on his doorstep desperate for a hug.
That might have been worth seeing even if it weren’t for what he refused to refer to as anything but ‘the results of despicable foreplanning.’
‘Were you waiting for something, Malfoy?’ His atrocity of a future wife was talking again. She hadn’t even asked his permission. ‘Or are you so desperate for attention that even a hex is better than nothing. I’ve been researching ferrets.’
He would not kill her; he would not kill her. He’d damn well like too, but once again the results of despicable foreplanning were ruining all his fun.
So he smirked instead. ‘Much as I’d love to stay and witness first hand the next failing of our resident know it all, I’m afraid you have more pressing matters that require your immediate and undivided attention,’ he gestured to the figure on the bench next to her with. ‘If I were you I’d fish Potter out of his Pumpkin Juice. I did suggest the bathroom, but even when trying to condemn the Wizarding World to eternal darkness he insists on stealing the limelight.’ He grabbed what remained of his pride and sauntered back towards the Slytherin table, glaring a couple of fourth years into immediate silence to ensure he wasn’t loosing his touch and wincing as the scolding words of all that was wrong with his life echoed past him.
‘How did you even manage to fit your head in the jug?’