Chapter 7 : When Was The Last Time You Worried?
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I walked into the welcoming Common Room, the fire down to the last embers. I watched as they slowly faded to the darkness, the room barely lit. From the seat I'd taken on the small table I could see a large part of the castle through the large window. I glanced out into the dark sky, doted with small patches of light, the stars barely glowing, as if the sadness and fear in the world was slowly draining every last bit of light from the world. I glanced across at the sky noticing a strange light flickering in a corridor opposite the window. I stood immediately and ran to the window, I placed my hands on the window sill and glanced across at the flickering light, it wasn't moving, staying in the same position, just flickering away not a care in the world.
Probably a lost first year. I said to myself heading for the portrait. I ran quickly along the corridor, a dreadful stab of pain engulfing me at the remembrance of the many adventures of Ron, Harry and I along these corridors invisible to the world, one step ahead of Snape and Filtch with Harry's map. I had neither of these possessions, no map, no cloak to protect me, merely my Head Girl status, which realistically was not a good cover up story. There were several things I knew my status would not cover, one being if either of the Carrows managed to find me. Squinting in the low amount of light, not daring to use my wand for light I made my way to where I believed I'd seen the light. I knew I must have been drawing close, the flickering light visible around the corner of a corridor.
My pace slowed, my breathing staggered. What is wrong with you? I scolded myself. You've faced far worse than this! I thought of all the battles I'd fought and won, and how an amazing sense of luck seemed to be on my side, strange, I had barely anything to show for it now. Those whom I called my Best Friends had deserted me, I was cowering at an unknown light – which most probably would be a lost first year, and of course there was the small matter of my every second thought being of the arrogant prat – Malfoy, was I truly going insane? I slowly rounded the corner, no longer worried as to what lay beyond, tired of fighting I gave in and walked around the corner to meet my fate.
I realised suddenly that the light was from the flickering of a wand, but it was no first year sitting there, taller than any first year the figure had yet to realise that I was almost upon them. Or so I thought. How could I announce my presence without startling them was my largest concern. I could try coughing but risk being attacked or I could disarm them first. However it was the person sitting their back to me facing and open window who made the first move, similar to a well played, strategic game of chess.
"And to what do I owe the pleasure Granger?" The sneering arrogant voice of Draco Malfoy asked.
My insides churned, this is not the confrontation I had expected, firstly Draco most certainly wasn't a crying, helpless first year, he was the complete opposite, and secondly I was not in the mood for his testing attitude. My hands clenched around my wand tightly, so tightly in fact momentarily I worried that I may accidentally snap my wand.
"Why the great silence 'o-so-intelligent-one'?" Draco asked in a purring voice.
I groaned, "I thought you might have been a first year, lost or something. But your not. So I can go back to bed." I said turning away from him.
"Leaving so soon?" He asked innocently, his voice almost infuriatingly sweet, like too much sugar in a cup of tea.
"Why the hell would I stay?" I asked pointedly. For what reason would I even consider staying in the same room as him for longer than I had to?
"Well are you not interesting in some of the finer details about our new teachers, the Professors Carrow?" He asked coyly.
I stopped, I'd never been one for gossip, did I dare stay just to hear what monstrosities these two people had committed?
"No Draco." I replied quietly beginning to walk away from him.
Then would you be interested to know Scarface and Weaselbee's whereabouts?" He asked offhandedly.
I spun immediately and saw him sitting by the flickering light of his wand examining his fingernails casually, almost too casually for what I could only assume was four o'clock in the morning. It felt as though my insides were splitting. How could he just causally sit there examining his hands when Harry and Ron were out there, now. Risking their lives? I wanted to run at him and punch him as hard as I could, cause him as much pain as I possibly could, for Harry and for Ron and for every other person who was ever a victim of Draco Malfoy's arrogance and bullying. This time he'd taken it one step too far.
"Shut the hell up Malfoy!" I hissed pointing my wand at him.
"Or what you'll call for a teacher?" He said throwing his arms into the air in mock concern before placing them casually behind his head. "Give me a break." He spat.
"You know, you might be a worthless piece of scum but I'm not. So don't treat me and everyone else like we are, your not above us with your 'Pureblood' status, and your Dark Mark. Your just a pathetic lump whose too scared to oppose him like we are. Too weak to fight him, so you joined him." I spat at him.
"How. Dare. You." He spat standing; the casual tone in his voice had faded, replaced now by rage and impatience.
"How dare you," I hissed, "treat everyone else like they're the dirt on your overpriced shoes and you couldn't give a damn about who you hurt in the process as long as in the end you're happy. You know what?" I asked. "I've had enough of it; I'm not going to put up with your bull shit any longer. Seven years of it is enough!"
"Seven years?" He asked. "Seven years of your 'Miss-o-so-perfect' 'Miss-o-so-smart' act is pissing me off. Why don't you quit being someone your not and start acting like a normal person for once in your life." He said, he was now standing directly in front of me, I could see the intricate details of his grey eyes, every fleck of silver within them.
"Well isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black!" I said, a heavy tone of sarcasm falling into my voice. "Have you taken a look in the mirror any time lately Draco?" I asked.
"What only to glare upon my dazzling reflection, why yes I have." He noted running a hand through his sleek blonde hair.
"Why do I even bother with people like you?" I asked turning away one again.
"Because it's people like me who know things, people like you are too shall we say, halfblooded to obtain? I know your not a Half Blood, hell everyone here knows it. Why the hell are you allowed in and they not?" He asked.
"I serve a purpose here, as we all do. Do not doubt what movements are already in motion, the actions that cannot be changed." I said to him, still facing a wall.
"Lets put it this way, any day now you'll be hearing from Scarface and Weaselbee, that you can be sure of." He laughed standing.
What did Draco know that I didn't, I felt the most terrible urge to ask him, however I must be strong I told myself. I must resist. Draco yawned loudly.
"I grow tired of this boring conversation. The company leaves a rather lot to be desired."
I sneered at him.
"Not everything is about you, you know that right?" I asked pointedly unable to help myself.
"Well seeing as this place is pretty much as boring as it gets, this is all the entertainment I seem to have had this week. I can't say I've enjoyed it either…" He added.
How could he act like this? Like he was, so arrogant, so self centred. The anger seemed to be boiling within me, never had I met anyone like him, could there be anything worse than a single conversation with Draco Malfoy? His self-centeredness only seemed to be increasing with every word; it was like Cormac McLaggen on steroids! There were people out there – dying! And he's concerned about the interesting factor of every conversation he has had this week!
"You self-centred prat." I hissed. "There's more to be worried about than yourself!"
"There's nothing to worry about." Draco laughed taking a few brisk steps towards the opposite end of the corridor. "Night Granger oh and do try to be nice to the second years, they know what you really are." He called before stalking down the remainder of the corridor.
How could Draco say there was nothing to worry about? There was plenty to be worried about, the darkness seemed only to spreading, the days becoming needlessly dark, the warmth being slowly drained from the suns bright light. Even the weather was dreary causing a common gloom to encase the grounds. I could see as much as the sun slowly rose over the grounds of Hogwarts as I made my way back into the Common Room, the fire had completely extinguished in my absence, my papers lay untidily across the floor. These were such trivial matters to me when there was so much more pain and suffering in the world. How could Draco say there was nothing to worry about? There was everything to worry about for people like me. Maybe not for him, 'Precious Pureblood' he was evidently so deluded into thinking the world was alright that he hadn't even noticed the changes in the castle or it's inhabitants.
Some of the other students now wearing almost permanent saddened expressions, those who'd already lost someone they loved, those who feared for their friends still out there. No-one was free from the terrors of the outside world; I doubted even the 'Precious Pureblood' was. Even more concerning was that more and more students were receiving worrying news from their families of what was going on out there. Sheltered from it we had realistically no perception of what was really going on out there. The worry was thick in the voices of most teachers and older students. A constant nagging in my mind reminded me that this was only just the beginning, there'd be plenty more to worry about by the time this war ended.
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