The first week had passed on dully for Rhyme, though, not entirely uneventful. Everyone had been keen on questions for the new girl.. where was she from? Who were her parents? The only problem was, Rhyme was not so keen on answering them. Her parents, pureblood but of no real status, had moved to American when she was younger and now they were back. That was her story, and she was sticking to it.
Finally Friday had come, and she hoped by Monday they would be over it all. It wasn't that she didn't like being the center of attention, or that she even cared what people thought, but in this case it was probably better to blend in with the rest of the students.
Sighing, Rhyme stared around. At this particular moment, she was enduring a very boring double-potions. She'd had the unfortunate pleasure of being paired up with Pansy for the lesson. This was her one and only class with Harry, which might not have made Potions such a snooze-fest if it weren't for the fact that they couldn't even speak to each other.
Draco Malfoy, the current reason for her headache, was seated a space away from her at the next table, twirling his quill around with his index finger. He looked up sullenly, as he did every once in a while to make sure Snape knew he was paying attention. He paused, looked downward, then chanced a glance at Rhyme, who shot him a glare. In return, he pretended to not notice and smiled at Pansy. They'd been playing this game for two hours, and he hadn't gotten any better at it.
Rolling her eyes, she turned her green eyes in the opposite direction, only to meet another pair. Harry looked away quickly. Rhyme smiled to herself. Boys were so obvious.
Harry's intentions were even more obvious when he caught up with her outside the dungeons.
"Rhyme, isn't it?" He said, hurrying next to her.
Like he forgot.
"That depends, who's asking?" She said, acting only mildly interested.
"Erm, Harry. We met on the carriage-?"
"It was a joke, Harry. I don't think there's a Witch or Wizard on this Earth who doesn't know your name." Rhyme stopped walking, and laughed at him.
"Oh, right." He nodded, smiling uncomfortably.
She may have been a Slytherin, but he could pretend otherwise for now. Truthfully... his studies, friends, meals.. anything and everything had been put on hold every time the thought of her drifted into his head. It was so hard to act like he really didn't care, when he was made to sit two rows behind her in class every day. He'd already ruined two of his potions that week, and dripped another onto Hermione's hand, causing it to erupt in boils. Why did she have to be so beautiful?
"So, how's your first week going?"
"Well, it's certainly going." She replied, shrugging, as she watched Draco pass by them, slow enough to 'overhear' their conversation. Perking up, she said, "I'd actually been hoping to run into you."
Harry furrowed his eyebrows. "We've had Potions together every day this week. "
"Yeah, look..." She said hazily, still squinting at Draco as he stopped to 'tie his shoe' a good ten feet away. "I've got to run or I'm going to be late for Herbology. Walk me?" She smiled flirtatiously, causing his insides to turn liquid.
"Sure..." He replied, indifferent to the fact that he would probably be late for his class.
"Perfect." She annunciated loud enough for Draco to hear, and looped her arm through Harry's.
"That's strike two."
Rhyme furrowed her eyebrows, spinning around. "Excuse me?"
"Strike two: Talking to a Gryffindor. Potter, no less."
It was Daphne Greengrass who had followed Rhyme out of Herbology. A fellow Seventh year Slytherin, somewhat pretty, but a mere shadow to Pansy Parkinson, who she was usually seen following around.
"And what, may I ask, was strike one?" Rhyme said politely, but quite annoyed.
"Draco Malfoy is off limits. Okay, new girl?"
"New girl? That hurts, really," She faux pouted. "What, do you own him, or something?"
"No, but Pansy does." Daphne smiled, folding her arms over her chest matter-of-factly.
"Well, why don't you just tell Pansy, that I'm not interested in her boyfriend." Rhyme said, letting her annoyance spill out.
"Please, it's so obvious you like him." The blonde haired girl responded, trying to sound menacing.
At this, Rhyme had to hold back the urge to fold over, laughing. Daphne was clearly under the impression that being sent to do Pansy's dirty work made her of some importance. Which meant that she had to be under the impression that Pansy actually held some kind of superior social ranking at Hogwarts. She was sadly mistaken.
"I don't know if like is the word I'd use. More like despise, or.. can't stand." She placed a finger to her lips, thinking. "Well, that's two words actually-"
"Just stay away from him!" Daphne growled, becoming frustrated. "And stay away from Potter, too. That's not exactly the kind of filth you want to be seen hanging around."
With that she walked past the other girl, knocking shoulders roughly as she went. Leaving Rhyme to think through what she'd said. Of course, how could she be so stupid! Was she completely unaware of the fact that she, as a Slytherin, was lolligagging around campus with the chosen boy, himself? Flinging her bag more securely over her shoulder, she began walking back towards the school. Daphne was definitely right. If she wanted to make her role more believable, she'd have to stop associating with Gryffindors. Or for that matter, anyone who wasn't a Slytherin. At least not public.
It was later that night when, quietly studying in the library, Rhyme caught the very person she'd dreaded seeing out of the corner of her eye. He was heading straight towards her. Looking around at the packed library, she hurriedly took the book she was reading and placed it straight up on the table, so that the top of her head was barely visible over it.
"Rhyme?" She heard his voice and knew he was sitting straight across from her.
She raised her head the slightest and smiled. "Hi, Harry."
"Er-what exactly are you doing?"
"I'm reading. What does it look like I'm doing?"
Truth be told, she did feel a little guilty. Just a little. The poor guy probably thought she was avoiding him, or didn't want to be seen with him. Which was even worse, because it was true. An idea sprang into her head, and she dropped her book flat on the table.
"Know of any secret passage ways around here?"
"Now this," Rhyme exclaimed, pulling the invisibility cloak off them as they reached the lakes shoreline. "Is pretty damn cool. Where'd you get one of those, anyway?"
"My dad left it to me." Harry said as bundled the cloak up and stuffed it into his pocket.
"I heard about your Mum and Dad. I'm really sorry."
"Do you miss them a lot?" Well, this was sufficiently awkward. She barely knew him and was asking those questions he probably got enough from everyone else.
"It's hard to miss people you never knew. I miss... the idea of them. And the idea of a normal life."
They were striding side by side, around the edge of the great lake now, which was completely dark except for the nearly full moon reflecting upon its surface.
"I know what you mean." She replied quietly, then in response to his curious stare, quickly corrected herself. "I mean, I don't know what you mean. Because both of my parents are still alive. I just.. understand.. that's all."
Rhyme was seemingly so eager to know everything about his life. For the next hour.. or two, they talked of nothing but Harry. From the Dursley's, to Hermione and Ron and the rest of the Weasley's, his last six years at Hogwarts, even... Cho Chang. Which led them to the always forseen, always dreaded topic of Cedric Diggory.
"So what about you?" He was eager to shift the spotlight. "Why did you return? The war is just beginning again."
"Exactly." Damn. Damn. Damn. It was like she had swallowed a spoonful of veritaserum. Why had she let her guard down so much in the last five minutes? She racked her brain for something more to add. "My parents want to help our side. They're considering joining the Order."
"Our side?" Harry laughed. "I've never heard of a Slytherin's parents being in the Order of the Phoenix before."
"Well.. now you have." She smiled. Rhyme hadn't spared too much thought to her story. She was so use to just winging it, which she had begun to realize was a huge mistake.
"And what would Malfoy say if he knew you were signing up to fight his old pal, Voldie?"
"I don't care what Malfoy thinks-!" She cried indignantly.
"Why are you in Slytherin, anyway?"
"What is this, 20 questions? Maybe it's because the robes match my eyes so magnificently." Rhyme stopped walking, and regained her composure. "Stop sweating it so much, Harry. I won't tell if you don't."
She whispered the last six words, leaning into him slightly, she gently kissed his mouth, placing her hands on the soft lines of his jaw. Just as Harry began to relax his lips on hers, a sudden downpour of rain caused them both to break apart. Rhyme, laughing, grabbed Harry's hand and made a dash for the castle. Once they were back in the sanctity of Hogwart's walls, she reached into his pocket and pulled out his invisibility cloak, slipping it over the pair of them once more.
Rhyme pushed her way into the Slytherin common room, and made a B line for the staircase that led to the girls dormitory. Thankfully, as it was so late, everyone had already gone to bed.
Just as she had grasped the rail of the staircase, a familiar voice rang out.
"And just where have you been?"
Rhyme ground her teeth together, turning to meet his gaze. Who did he think he was? Her father?
"I was studying, if you must know."
Draco walked towards her, smirking as he did so, and wound a soaked strand of her hair around his finger.. "Where? The Great Lake?"
Rhyme smacked his hand away and attempted to continue up the stairs. In a split second, Draco grabbed her arm and had spun her around until she was pinned against the wall. "You smell..."
"Thanks for the compliment, now get off me." She tried to push him off, but he seemed to be entranced by her lips.
".. Different. Like another man." He finished, leaning in closer. She was now able to fully appreciate just how gorgeous he truly was. His eyes were spectacular, a cold blueish-gray. She'd never seen anything like them.
He cupped her chin, pressing his mouth to hers roughly. It was nothing like the one she'd shared with Harry earlier, safe and tender. Draco's lips were hard and numbing, and the force with which he kissed her was enough to make her whimper. But she loved every second of it, gasping when he finally released her.
"You taste like him, too."
Could he possibly know.. that ''him' was Harry? And for that matter...
"Exactly how many guys have you tasted?" She toyed, eying him suspiciously.
He shot her an agitated glare. "Better question is, how many have you?" He smiled, leaving her one last rigorous kiss before heading up the spiral staircase parallel to her own.
Rhyme groaned. Sliding to the floor, she reflected on the day passed. Between kissing Harry, and kissing Draco... it definitely set this day apart from the rest of her week. Raising her left arm, she hugged it to her stomach and rolled up the sleeve. She still wasn't sure why hers, apart from others, had been bothering her so much. Although, it was doing much better since she'd been branded with it the night before coming to Hogwarts. But there was one question bothering her even more than the slightly swollen mark she was now caressing...
What would the Dark Lord do if he found out that she was beginning to fall for her mission?
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and review the last chapter. It means so much to me. This one is a bit short, but it got the point across, I hope. If you liked it.. scroll down. You know what to do. Haha.