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Chapter 3 : 3- Halloween
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I know what you’re thinking, that it’s only been a few months and I’m already in trouble. But before you start the yelling, I want you to know that it was for a good cause. Ask Dad about Lucius Malfoy.
It was his son Draco, and his little show-off friend Harry Potter who got me in trouble. I got into a fight with them because they were being prats, and they challenged me to a duel in the Trophy Room at Midnight. Neville came as my second and Hermione came along to scold us. Anyways, Malfoy and Potter never showed up, and Filch caught us. Obviously, they tipped him off, the conniving, cowardly Slytherin gits.
If a tenth of the things your father has told me about Lucius Malfoy are true, STAY AWAY FROM HIS SON. That family is not to be antagonized in any way. I don’t care what he does; you do not DUEL with that boy. He very well might kill you, and Lucius could probably paint it as self-defense before the Wizengamot.
If a hundredth of the things they’ve said about Harry Potter are true, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT CHALLENGING HIM. He was only a baby and he destroyed You-Know-Who. I don’t want to think about what dark powers he could use on you. You’re probably lucky they didn’t show up for your duel, or they would have left you a scorch mark on the ground.
I know you’re trying to do what’s right, but please, don’t risk your life doing it. You know I couldn’t possibly stand to lose any of my children.
Love from Mum,
Neville Frank Longbottom,
You’re lucky to be alive. Stay away from that Potter boy, understand me? We don’t know how he destroyed He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but obviously, he’s dangerous. From what Professor McGonagall’s written me, you don’t have the talent for fighting, whereas he’s been shattering powerful sorcerers since he was a baby.
I repeat, stay away from Potter. He’s dangerous. And try not to cost Gryffindor the House Cup.
In the middle of the annual Halloween feast, Harry and Draco were interrupted as they were teasing Nott about his ridiculous Potions grade by a screaming Professor Quirrell, who was saying something about a troll.
As one, the students of Hogwarts began panicking and screaming and making havoc. Girls were shrieking, Hufflepuffs were hiding under their table, and the Weasley twins were singing “When the Trolls Come Marching In.”
“SILENCE!” yelled Professor Dumbledore from the High Table, and everyone stopped what they were doing to look up at the Headmaster. “Prefects, take your students back to their Common Rooms. Professors, follow me to the dungeons.”
“Look,” Harry said, pulling Draco aside and pointing towards one of the various side-doors out of the Great Hall. Professor Snape, their head of House, was silently leaving while the students went back to their common rooms. “He’s not going to the dungeons.”
“No,” Draco agreed. “Well, at least one teacher at Hogwarts isn’t blindly doing Dumbledore’s bidding. But he should be downstairs bringing down that troll,” he admitted.
“Let’s follow him,” Harry said, and he raced after Professor Snape, dodging in and out of the mass of students.
“Potter, are you crazy?!” hissed Draco from behind him.
“Yeah,” Harry answered, and pressed on, Draco following behind him but looking annoyed.
They tailed Snape from a distance, following him up three flights of stairs, down a corridor- “the off-limits third floor,” Harry told Draco, who nodded.
“Yes Potter, off-limits,” Draco pointed out. “Off limits to us, not to him.”
Despite this, Harry’s curiousity got the better of him, and he was about to go past the door after Snape when Draco pulled him back and said “Someone’s coming.”
The two of them dove behind a suit of armor, just in time to see Professor Quirrell striding up the corridor, looking… not like Professor Quirrell. Whereas ordinarily he was shivering and jittery, now he looked confident, and there was a sense of purpose to his step. He went up to the big wooden door that Snape had gone in, not bothering to close it behind him.
“Dear God, what is that?” Draco whispered. Harry didn’t respond- his eyes were fixed on the giant three headed dog in front of them.
Professor Quirrell seemed as shocked as they were to see it, and he pulled out his wand, just as Snape stepped out of the darkness in the corner, pulling out his own wand. “Quirinus,” he said sardonically, “what on earth are you doing here?”
At this point, Professor Quirrell broke and ran, sprinting down the corridor like he had in the Great Hall earlier. Snape pointed his wand at his back, but before he could fire a spell, the dog behind him lashed out with one of his heads, biting Snape in the leg.
“Stupid dog,” snapped Snape, flicking his wand at the beast. It flew backwards several feet, leaving horrible gashes in Snape’s leg. Quirrell was nowhere to be seen. Furious, and muttering curses under his breath, Snape locked the door behind him and stormed away down the corridor, off towards the hospital wing.
“What the hell,” demanded Draco, “was that all about?”
“Draco,” hissed Harry, waking his friend up. It was half past one in the morning.
“What is it, Potter?” he demanded, groggily rubbing his eyes.
“That dog. I think I know why it’s here,” Harry said excitedly.
“Let me guess,” Draco mused. “It’s Dumbledore’s pet, and he’s too poor to build a doghouse big enough, so he decided to keep it in the school.”
“No, that’s not it,” said Harry quickly. “I think it’s guarding something.”
“Guarding what?” asked Draco.
“I don’t know. But the day I met you, before we went to Madam Malkins, Hagrid and I went to Gringotts. He picked up a grubby little package there, and he told me that the only place safer than Gringotts was Hogwarts,” Harry told him. It had taken a while to remember, because he didn’t think much about his short time in the wizarding world before meeting the Malfoys.
“Are you mental?” asked Draco. “That was probably just Hagrid’s lunch. Do you really think that oaf has anything worth guarding? And believe me, I’m no supporter of Dumbledore, but even he’s not stupid enough to hide something valuable and dangerous in a school full of children.”
“Which way would you bet on any statement that begins with ‘Even Dumbledore’s not stupid enough to’…?” retorted Harry, to which Draco had no decent answer.
“Go to bed Potter.”
“Professor Dumbledore, shall I go take him now?” asked Snape after telling Dumbledore about Quirrell’s move on the Philosopher’s Stone.
“No, I don’t think so, Severus,” Dumbledore sighed, shaking his head.
“What?!” snapped Snape, “why not?”
“Well,” mused Dumbledore, “there’s not enough evidence yet that he was trying to take the Stone. Perhaps he, like you, had come to ensure its safety.”
“Yes, but he, unlike me, did not have orders to go to the third floor,” pointed out Snape, back to his usual lazy drawl.
“That’s true,” agreed Dumbledore, “but there still isn’t enough evidence. Besides, if I have you take him down and hand him over to the Ministry, what will we do for a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?”
“I could-” began Snape, but Dumbledore cut him off.
“No. Now please, send in Minerva. She’s standing outside my office.”
Grumbling as he went, Severus swept out of Dumbledore’s office and sent in Professor McGonagall, who was wearing her usual grumpy face.
“Something the matter, Professor McGonagall?” asked Dumbledore.
“Yes, Albus, something is the matter,” she snapped at him, “and I think you know what I’m talking about.”
“Ah,” he nodded. “You haven’t found a new Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team yet, have you?”
“ALBUS PERCIVAL WULFRIC BRIAN DUMBLEDORE, THAT IS NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT AND YOU BLOODY WELL KNOW IT!” she shouted, losing her temper.
“Ah,” he ceded calmly. “Then you mean Harry Potter?”
“Yes,” she replied, regaining her composure. “I don’t like this, not at all. Harry Potter, in Slytherin? A friend of the Malfoys, for Merlin’s sake? It’s terrible.”
“Do you really think so?” asked Dumbledore.
“Yes!” she shouted, aghast that he couldn’t see the obvious. “Lily and James- you know what they were like! What they would think if they could see their son now! What he’ll become if this keeps up!”
“Minerva, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Dumbledore, shaking his head. “As far as I know, Harry and Draco have not broken a single rule during their first few months at Hogwarts, nor have they done anything to cost Slytherin points. In fact, I don’t think we’ve had such a commendable pair of students since James and… Sirius.” He said the latter’s name with a mournful tone.
“Albus, you know that says nothing. Tom Riddle had a perfect record too. Lucius Malfoy has never been found guilty on a criminal charge, whereas you have three times been fined by the Ministry for…” she trailed off, not daring to bring up the incidents in question.
“For public drunkenness, creating an unauthorized Portkey, and tax evasion, last I checked,” he chuckled. “But really now Minerva, are you saying that we should arrest everyone with a perfect record and let the world be run by criminals like me?”
“Not everyone, just Lucius Malfoy would make me happy,” she snorted. “Lord knows what he’ll make of Harry Potter; Albus, how can you let this happen?!”
“What should I do?” he asked.
“What?” she asked, taken aback.
“What should I do?” he repeated. “Shall I take it upon myself to lock up Draco Malfoy and throw Harry Potter into Gryffindor, where he will be most unhappy now that he’s acclimated himself to Slytherin? And while I’m at it, shall I hang Lucius Malfoy and the rest of the board of governors, and then take over the Ministry once they ask me why my closet is full of well-dressed, pureblooded corpses?”
His sarcasm was biting, but he had a point. “You’re… well, you’re you,” McGonagall said, flustered. “Surely you’ll think of something.”
“Yes,” agreed Dumbledore. “I believe the French call it laissez-faire.”
“Do nothing,” Minerva translated, frowning.
“Yes,” said Dumbledore cheerfully. “Watch and wait, and not do anything rash. If something particularly nasty happens, then I will involve myself. But for now, I shall be content to observe Mr. Potter and see the kind of man he becomes.”
“Like you did with Tom Riddle?”
AUTHOR"S NOTE: Did you like that ending? I thought it was fun. The letters were fun to write too. Sorry for the decreasing chapter length; I was in a hurry to post this one.
For the record, the bits in Italics were letters between characters, not quotations from the books!
Don't misundestand please! XD
As always, REVIEWS ARE APPRECIATED.
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