Chapter 14 : Dueling Club
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Draco sat down next to Blaise in the DADA class. After the incident with the pixies, Lockhart’s class was more subdued. He and Blaise had run into his father when they ran from the classroom and had promptly taken them both to the Headmaster’s office. There they found many other teachers, when they realized what had happened. Now class contained mostly Lockhart talking about himself.
“Today I am going to tell you about something new we will be trying.” Draco and Blaise exchanged a look. Whenever Lockhart started talking like that, it never boded well.
“We will be starting a duelling club. This will be the first time in fourteen years that we will be offering this.” There were soft murmurs going throughout the class. “I will have more information for you in the future. Now, who can tell me about the vampire attack that I prevented?”
Draco walked down to the potion’s room. “Come along. Hurry up.” Draco looked to see his father coming up to the room. Everyone went inside quickly. Severus went up to the board and waved his hand over it. The ingredients instantly appeared. “The ingredients are on the board and in your books.” Severus then sat down at his desk.
Draco got up and got the ingredients. He set them down in order on the table. “Draco?” Blaise asked when they began to get their cauldrons to simmer.
“Hmm?” Draco replied as he glanced at his father. He knew that he never really liked it normally when people talked in class and he seemed to be in a mood.
“Do you really think we are going to have a duelling club?”
“I do not know. I’m pretty sure that my father participated in the last one.”
“Mr. Malfoy.” Draco looked up to see his father standing in the front of the class, with his arms crossed. “Perhaps you would like to include the entire class in yours and Mr. Zabini’s conversation?” Blaise tried to answer but instead incoherent stutters came out.
“We were just taking about the upcoming Duelling Club. I think it is on everyone’s mind, sir.”
“Is that so?” Severus looked around the class as he got a few confirming nods. “Well, that is something to be talked about outside of class. Now you should be worrying about your potions.” Severus glared at the rest of the class as they went back to brewing.
Draco began to cut up his roots when he was his father approached their table. “Where did you hear about a Duelling Club?”
“From Lockhart.” Draco said as he looked up at his father. Severus suddenly grabbed onto his hand.
“Do not talk while you are cutting.” Draco nodded as he finished cutting and put the root into his cauldron.
“You heard that from Lockhart?”
“Yes, did not he tell the staff?” Draco asked curious to why his father was asking these questions.
“No. I believe I will talk to Albus later. I remember when we did the last one.”
When the bell rang, Severus spoke to the whole class. “Bottle your potions and put them on the table up front.” A bustle of commenced as students took their bottles to the front. “Draco, could you stay after please?”
All the students left and Draco leaned on the table. Severus spelled all of the bottles to his cabinet. “Come along, Draco.”
Draco got up and followed his father out of the room. They walked silently until they got to the hallway with Severus’s quarters. Draco stopped suddenly and turned toward his father. “Please, Father, I don’t want to do this again.”
“Draco, you know very well that you have to.” They stopped in front of the door and Severus motioned for Draco to walk in before him. Draco stood still for a second before he finally waked into this father’s quarters. His father told him to go into his newly finished bedroom. Green carpet littered the floor with black walls. A four-poster bed sat in the middle of the room with green sheets and a dark brown nightstand sitting next to the bed. A large desk was opposite his bed with bookshelves on either side, in the same colour as the nightstand.
Draco placed his bag down at the bottom of the bed and sat down. His father came in carrying a goblet. For almost two months, this had been the routine. Draco would go to class, Severus would take him down to the dungeons, and Draco would drink the potion and would wake up the next day, usually, in his dorm.
“Father, I don’t want to do this anymore.” Draco said again as Severus sat down with the potion in hand.
Severus sighed as he sat down next to him. “Draco, we have been through this already. You have to drink this so your powers are kept in check.”
“It hurts when I take. It reminds me of that night.”
“I know, but you need to take the potion until I am able to train you properly. I am sorry, Draco.” Severus gave the goblet to Draco. He took a deep breath and downed the potion. Severus laid him down on the bed and waited until the potion to take effect. He put a silencing charm up so no one would be able to hear the boy’s cries as he sat on the bed comforting his son.
“How could you allow this, Albus?” Minerva stood in front of the Headmaster. Lockhart and Severus were flanking her in chairs.
“For once, I completely agree with Minerva. I do not believe a Duelling Club would be a good idea.” Severus said as he sat straight in his chair.
“Gilderoy has some good points. The children do need to learn to defend themselves.” Albus said as he sat behind his desk, his arms lying on his lap.
“Besides, I really do not see what either of your problems is.” Gilderoy said lazily.
Minerva scoffed and sat down. Severus spoke up. “The problem is that you said this to the students, without even mentioning it to the staff. You did not even wait to see if it would be appropriate to do. Now, all the children’s hopes are up. Also, you were not here for the last one.”
“And who’s fault would that be, Severus?”
“I will have you know, Minerva….”
“Really, as much as I would love to let this continue, I cannot. Now as I said before the children need to train and this is the most efficient way. I will personally make sure nothing is used that would be able to cause disruption.”
“….Now, break into groups in your own houses and try to defend yourselves.” Lockhart said as he and the other teachers broke the students into small groups. Cherise sat on one of the tables, watching Draco and Blaise stand opposite each other.
“Okay?” Lockhart looked around before continuing. “1, 2, 3!”
“Boli.” Draco said as he pointed his wand at Blaise. Blaise cried out as boils began to form on his hand.
“What? He said to use any curse or hex to defend ourselves.”
“Yeah, but boils? This was my wand hand, what am I supposed to do know?”
“That is the point of the exercise, Mr. Zabini. You must be able to think through any situation.” Severus said as he walked up to the trio.
“But I’ll have to wait until I can get the potion.”
“No you won’t.” Everyone looked over at Cherise. She rarely got into the conversation in public. “Just use the counter spell.” Cherise said as she calmly sat on the table.
Blaise and Draco looked at her confused. “The what?” Blaise asked
“There isn’t one.” Draco said looking at Cherise strangely.
Cherise glanced over at Severus who a small frown on his face as had looked at Draco. He lightly shrugged his shoulders and she explained. “Say the spell backwards.”
“Ilob.” Draco pointed his wand at Blaise’s hand and said the word doubtfully.
Suddenly the boils on Blaise’s hand disappeared. “Hey, it worked. Why did we never learn that before?” Draco asked, turning to his father. Severus’s frown deepened.
“You are not really supposed to do that.”
“Is it Dark Magic?” Blaise asked warily.
“No far from it, however; the ministry still frowns upon it.”
Severus stood behind Draco as he and Potter turned around to stand in place. He did not really like this idea. It had been Lockhart’s idea to have a small demonstration on actual duelling and he had chosen these two boys to volunteer.
Draco should not be doing this yet, at least not until he had learned to control his outbursts. He had a few of them already, but they had been after he had a bad dream. Thankfully, he had been in the dungeons when they occurred. Getting emotional would only aggravate those outbursts and there was nothing that Severus could think of that was more emotional than a duel. He saw Albus sitting in one of the chairs. He saw apprehension on his face, but his was for a different reason. Albus knew just as well as Severus that these particular boys would most likely try anything to beat the other out. Just as he and James had when they were chosen to duel in his school days. Of course, James had his own small army. In addition, Sirius Black had thrown the ‘misguided’ spell.
Lockhart explained the rules of the duel then began to count. Before he could even get to three Draco shouted out his spell. Well, the boy was a Slytherin, but what would Potter do in return?
Potter lifted himself up from flipping backwards. He stood up quickly and retorted with his own spell. Draco was not expecting it. He put his hands up instinctively. The spell hit Draco making him flip back as well. The air in the Great Hall seemed to flicker as if there was a burst of raw magic. Severus could hear Lockhart yelling that the duel was only to defend, but he was not listening. He needed to stop this duel. Before he could even begin, Draco summoned a snake from his wand. The snake slithered toward Potter. Harry walked up to it and suddenly began to talk to it in parseltongue. Severus looked on with wide-eyes as the snake turned on his son and lunged at him with its fangs. A bright light filled the hall and the snake turned into ashes.
Both boys just stood looking at each other. Whispering could be heard in the whole hall. Severus saw that Albus had gotten up from this seat, but he did not care. He walked up to Draco and took hold of the boy’s hand. He lead him down to his quarters and put him down on the couch, when Albus came walking in.
“How could you, Severus?”
“I don’t want to hear it, Albus.” Severus said as he walked up to Albus.
“Severus, how long has this been kept from me?” Severus was about to answer when Draco began to toss on the couch. Severus walked over to him and placed his hand on the boy’s forehead. He was beginning to get a fever.
“Severus”, Albus waited until Severus looked up at him. “At least promise me you will train him to control his powers.”
“Of course, Albus.”
“Very well. I fear that word is spreading fast about both boys.” Albus said before he left the dungeons leaving Severus alone with his son.
Draco woke up on the couch in his father’s quarters later that evening. He did not remember falling asleep. The last thing he remembered was hearing calming words and a cold hand placed on his forehead. Someone had put several blankets on him, evidently to keep him warm. He looked up groggily to see Cherise sitting in the chair next to him.
“Oh, you’re up, Dragon.” Cherise had heard Severus call him Little Dragon after he had fallen asleep on the couch once and the name stuck, as if it was a rebuttal to his own nickname for her.
“Obviously.”, said Severus as he walked into the living room from his personal lab. Cherise excused herself and went into the opposite room. “How are you feeling?”
Draco looked apprehensive at the question. “What’s wrong, Draco?”
“Whenever you ask me that, I have to drink that potion.”
Severus chuckled lightly. “Well, you don’t have to worry about that. You won’t be taking that anymore, but I do need you to take this one.”
“What is it?”
“It is for your fever, child.” Said Severus as he sighed wistfully.
“You got a fever after the duel. It seems to have gone down, but I want you to take this just to be safe.”
Draco took the potion and placed the empty vial on the table. “Why am I not taking the potion anymore? I thought I had to take it until Christmas.”
“Well, your show earlier in the Great Hall proved that to be useless.”
Draco eyes grew wide as he blushed and looked away from his father. Severus placed his hands on Draco’s shoulders and turned him around. “I’m not mad at you.”
“No. I never should have let you duel in the first place. I need to know how you felt during the duel.”
Draco looked down at his hands. “It’s hard to explain. I saw the spell coming and I just put up my hands. I knew I had to counter it, but it happened so quickly. I just did the first thing I could think of. The snake was the same way.”
Severus sighed. “You will need to learn to control this, especially with everyone knowing about it now. If you get angry, you may cause things to happen. We cannot allow that to occur. You will need to go back to your own dorm tonight, but I expect you to be down here tomorrow. We will begin lessons in the morning.”
Draco walked into his dorm room and sat down heavily on his bed. A few minutes later Goyle and Crabbe came in and quickly went to their own beds, not even looking at Draco. Blaise and Draco gave each other a short glance, as Draco climbed into the bed for a restless sleep.
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