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Chapter 1 : Wormwood
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“Oh and don’t think that you will ever ‘conquer’ me boy, I may not be a pure blood but I can beat you at your own game any day!” she glared at me, her deep grey eyes burning with malicious rage and stalked off, in a very refined way.
“Well mate you just got owned.” Zabini said, smiling as he came up to me and patted my stiff shoulder.
“She will pay,” I hissed, my face becoming a smooth and composed mask as we walked back down to the common room.
Xanthippe Wormwood had been the bane of my existence since day one. She seemed to be the ultimate Slytherin, malicious, vindictive, manipulative and deceitful. Of course I was all of these but not the extreme extent that she was. She took it upon herself to point out my non-Slytherin failures every time that she saw me. In her time at Hogwarts she had never had a boyfriend, never taken a wrong footing, never stepped out of line, she always got good grades; overall, she was a person who in the Professors eyes could not put a foot wrong. In truth, she just was good at never being discovered. Whereas I have a knack of attracting Potter who likes to inform on his enemies.
All of the males in Slytherin wanted this untouched beauty, they saw what Parkinson had become and harked back to the days when all the girls were untouched and pure. The Slytherin females tended to use their feminine wiles to get what they wanted, where as Wormwood used words, threats and the allure of mystery.
No one actually knew anything about her; she had no confidants in the house, which was wise. For most of her time she would be found in the centre of a group of people, never did she talk to them or acknowledge their existence, she would stare at someone, her eyes burrowing into them as if she was trying to see their darkest secrets. When she had finished she would simply get up and leave, the people would follow her.
This power of natural attraction was something that I did not posses and for that reason, she aggravated me, and there was the other matter that I had a bedpost full of notches and there was one missing for a full house. She was my bingo. Okay so other than my carnal lusts and my jealousy I have no reason to hate her. However, she has me.
Wormwood has taken it upon herself to be the one-woman crusade to bring equal rights to females in Slytherin. To be honest woman/girls are treated like objects in Slytherin, most do not object. Nevertheless, if a single comment about woman’s rightful place in the world is made in the common room the person who made it is not going to come off lightly. After all these years, you would have thought that the guys would have learnt, but they haven’t, and as Wormwood’s education progressed so did her arsenal. Her vendetta against me is simple really; I have taken away most of the girls V cards in our year and the year below. I wouldn’t say I’m proud, but it is a weird fetish of mine. Therefore, she sees me as the oppressor of the freedom of women. Also, she wants to prove that half bloods can do anything that pure bloods can do.
“Okay guys I have an ace joke for you,” I said smiling wickedly. We had all just returned from lunch and were chilling out in the common room.
“A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead just bought a broom together. Which one flies it first?” I asked,
“Umm...” was the general sound that came from my audience.
“None, they're all in the kitchen!” they all cracked up laughing, I chuckled along in my triumph at been cool and being funny at the same time. Then they all froze, a scarred look spreading across their faces.
“What did you just say?” Wormwood said, her wand pointing at the back of my head.
“He said that they’d be in...” Goyle started then someone shut him up by a thump on the back of the head.
“Malfoy you know I don’t take too kindly to your idiotic sexist jokes,” she said jabbing the back of my head.
“And I don’t take to kindly to being poked in the back of my head with a wand, Wormwood.” I said in an acid tone,
“But then we all know that your only telling these stupid and childish jokes to make up for a lacking in the trouser department!” she said, I could almost hear her smirking.
In a flash I was stood up and facing her, rage burning in my cold eyes.
“I’m not lacking in the ‘trouser department’. My bed post will prove that to you and I’m sure that someone will happily prove you wrong Wormwood.” I spat out her name like she was spoilt food “But then you could always see for yourself,” I said smirking at her.
“Umm no, I would be mentally scarred. But remember, Draco Malfoy you have crossed the wrong Slytherin,” she said flouncing off in a similar manner to the earlier incident.
I sat down and mused over her empty threats, or were they?
“I would be careful Malfoy,” Zabini said quietly, as if he did not want to incite the wrath of Xanthippe Wormwood “the last person to insult her ended up in the Hospital wing with food poising.”
“That could have been chance-“
“Not likely,” he muttered
I was sceptical, she may be a Slytherin but she wasn’t that much of one. Was she? It was difficult to determine, as no one knew anything about her.
This wasn’t the first time that I had confronted Wormwood and had her storming off leaving me slightly wounded. This was not the time for me to skulk, well it was but I would be following her.
She had been gone for a few minutes so she could be anywhere by now. Where would I go if I were a raging hormonal feminist Slytherin? I instantly ruled out Madam
Slowly I walked round the first floor, checking the rooms. It wasn’t until I came to the broom cupboard that I heard the frustrated cries, even sobs.
I pulled out my wand and whispered Ahlohamora the lock clicked back quietly.
I pulled open the door, and a very strange site met my eyes.
Xanthippe Wormwood sat on an upturned bucket, her hair balled up into a messy bun and her face contorted into a mixture of rage and deep anxiety. She looked at me, her eyes puffy and red but burning with anger.
“What do you want now?” she almost shrieked at me.
“To find you, dufus!” I said,
“I’m not a dufus,” she said rubbing her eyes angrily.
“Why are you upset? It was just a joke-“
“But it isn’t, don’t you realise how much harder we have to work-” she cut over me “-in this male dominated world.”
She narrowed her eyes at me, waiting for a sarky retort.
“Women will never be treated the same until stupid prats like you realise that jokes like that are not funny and are demeaning!”
“Men have to work hard too...” I started but when she glared at me I stopped.
“Women can do everything men can, yet we will never get paid the same.” she dabbed at her eyes with her sleeve.
“You lot see women as objects to use then throw away, I know all about you and your conquests,” she said now glaring and an offending mop on the other side of the small room.
“I don’t throw them away, they just never come back,” I said hopefully coming across better than the situation actually was.
“And you wonder why I get pissed at you, any way why are you still here?” she asked frowning deeply at me.
“Dunno, explain to me why.”
“I could be here for hours you know, but I’ll keep it brief,” she piped up as soon as the subject turned to her.
“Without your mother, Malfoy, you would be in some eastern European country with a lode of guys. Without your mother you would not exist.” she stated firmly,
“Without my father I would not exist,” I stated.
“It took him one small action; it took nine months of your mother’s life,” she had a point.
“Women have so much to give society, rational thought for a start, but yet the limitations of maternity leave and pay raises means that those potentials are lost,”
“But.” I started,
“As they say there is a great woman behind every great man, and they are the ones who never get the credit.” she looked glumly at me,
She sighed; I wanted to reassure her, for some strange reason. This was not the Draco Malfoy I was.
“You just don’t understand,” she said.
I took action; silently I slid in to the cupboard and joined her in the confined space.
“Show Me,” I said pulling the door shut on the two of us.
“Open the door now, before I actually hex you!” she said stiffly.
“O-p-e-n it now”! she said through gritted teeth.
“No, you’re lonely and I can see it. The way you sit surrounded by people that you don’t even notice. You have pushed everyone away,” I stepped forward.
“Lumos.” I whispered.
The ghostly light filled the small space, her features were lit cast into shadow and her eyes sparkled in the light. She eyes darted up to me.
“Don’t think that I am going to fall all over you just because you talked to me, I’m not going to ever be yours Malfoy.” she said her eyes burning with the usual hate.
“Why would I expect that?” I asked, placing my fingers under hear chin and forcing her to look up at my sincere face.
“Where do I start?” she asked rhetorically,
There was a moment of silence, which was only broken by the occasional sniff from Wormwood.
“I see my reputation precedes me,” I said, a hint of sarcasm in my tone.
“You know that the world seems much brighter when you have been hugged,” I said looking at her “my mother always gave me a tight hug when the world looked gloomy for me and I would feel better!”
She looked up at me, a frown forming on her face.
“Yes, I give hugs okay, I may have a cold exterior but under the layers of ice I’m a really mummy’s boy,” I admitted, winking at her.
“I knew it,” she said smiling.
“Ah, see, I made you smile.” I announced, smiling slightly,
“I try to make a point of not smiling, you see I don’t like to convey my emotions in any way shape or form.” she said her face forming her usual mask.
“But you’re like a book, so easy to read it’s not funny,” her face fell.
“I can see through you Xanthippe, someone hurt you,” I whispered as if it was a deadly secret.
She almost convulsed at the sentence that I just whispered.
“Now, this is where the hug comes in,”
I pulled her up off the upturned bucket and pulled her towards me. I wrapped my arms tight round her small shoulders. She seemed to go limp and very quiet, no sobbing, not a word, just the slow intake or breath.
“It was my dad, he left on Christmas Eve when I was nine, he cut me in two,” she whispered in a strained voice.
I made a sympathetic noise and she continued.
“My mum couldn’t cope and she became depressed, it was his entire fault. Men ruined my life,” she said,
“Only one man,” I corrected her.
She didn’t respond.
“I would never hurt you,” I said, why all of a sudden was I being civilised towards her?
“How?” I asked frowning slightly,
“I can see things...I’m a seer, can you see why I stay away from people. I can see their lives panning out in front of them.”
“How can you guarantee that I won’t hurt you?” I asked again,
“No Slytherin will be hurt by the heir of Slytherin or the followers, I see your future Malfoy and the possibilities that lie ahead of you,” she said in a spaced out tone.
“I cannot tell you, I don’t want to. The future will play itself out as it comes.” she let her head fall against my chest, breathing heavily.
I bent my knees so that I was the same a height as her and made her lips meat mine. At first she tried to object but then she just let herself go with the flow. Suddenly she was becoming alive, this was the real Xanthippe; full of passion and fury. She laced her hands through my hair.
I reached for the door and turned the lock and let my wand light go out, plunging us in to the forgiving darkness.
There was a loud clatter as she stumbled backwards into the bucket that she had been sat on, but she was oblivious to this as she let her thoughts run wild. I pressed he back against the cold stone and ran my hands inside her school robes, letting my fingers trail over the cotton blouse.
Soon she was gasping for air, I moved my onslaught of kisses to her neck and collarbone, she shivered and her body convulsed lightly at the feel of my teeth nibbling slightly at her soft skin.
Even though she was on her one-woman crusade, she was still a woman and a human at that. It was so easy to give in to sin.
“You will never understand,” she said, her breathing rapid.
“I know.” I replied between kisses.
There was a bell sound and a quiet rumble from far off.
“I have a lesson next,” she hissed.
“Don’t go!” I pleaded,
“I have to, lumos.” she whispered,
The light illuminated our faces; hers was flushed and pink.
I lent in for one last deep kiss, she kissed me back but in a final type of way.
“See you round,” she said as she unlocked the door and composed herself.
Somewhere I had lost all sense of things; she was no longer a notch on my bed.
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