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Chapter 7 : 7- Bad Behavior
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“What do you want, Malfoy?” demanded the Slytherin Captain, Marcus Flint.
“I want some answers, Flint,” sneered Draco. The two of them were alone in the Slytherin changing room. “You didn’t put a single second year on the team, despite the fact that I outflew Pucey, Potter was a dozen times better than Higgs, and Crabbe and Goyle made better Beaters than Derrick and Bole. Explain yourself.”
“I’m the Captain, Malfoy, not you. My decisions are final,” snarled Flint, clearly annoyed at the challenge to his authority.
“Then explain them,” snapped Draco. His tone was icy and demanding, and it clearly expected to be obeyed.
Flint looked like he was thinking it over for a few moments before he finally started talking. “Frankly, it’s because of you.”
“What?!” said Draco, suddenly confused.
“If I let in you, Potter, Crabbe, and Goyle, that would make 4 of you out of 7 players. You’d be in charge then, not me. And I like being Captain.”
Draco paced up and down the aisle without responding as Flint justified himself. “How’s this?” he asked, faking a friendlier tone. “Take on just me and Potter, and I’ll make a generous contribution to Slytherin’s team- how do seven brand new Nimbus 2001s sound to you, Flint?” His father had always told him that gold could drive a man to his knees long before power could, and Draco decided to put those words into effect.
“You’re not serious are you?” demanded Flint, a manic glint in his eye. With seven top-of-the-line racing brooms at their disposal, Slytherin would have no problems at all winning the Cup this year. Not to mention, he desperately wanted that Nimbus 2001 for himself. “Those are bloody expensive broomsticks.”
“I’m deadly serious,” answered Draco, offering his hand. “Just shake my hand and we have a deal.”
Flint, after careful consideration, made his decision.
When Draco returned to the Common Room, he found Harry, Crabbe, Goyle, and the other Slytherin 2nd years huddled in a circle by the fireplace, sulking over Flint’s decision to retain all of last year’s Quidditch team.
“Potter, we’re in,” he announced, sitting down between Harry and Blaise Zabini. “Flint was agreeable in the end.”
As relief flooded Harry’s systems, his spirits soared. “That’s great,” he said. “What about Crabbe and Goyle?” He didn’t even bother mentioning Nott or Pansy; they were abysmal.
“Well, Flint didn’t want 4 of our clique on the team,” Draco explained. “See, he was afraid that I would end up, you know, in charge of his team.”
“That doesn’t sound like you at all,” said Harry in mock surprise. “Who ever heard of a Malfoy seeking domination over everything around him?”
The rest of the Slytherins laughed, Draco made a ceremonious bow of approval, and no one noticed Marcus Flint running across the Common Room to edit the newly posted list of Slytherin Team players.
“You know Potter,” said Draco as they strolled around the grounds on one of the last warm days of the year- October was almost up. “It’s probably better that Crabbe and Goyle aren’t on the team. After all, I don’t want other players touching my pawns.” His smile was predatory now; he really did think of those two as nothing more than pieces of his chess set. It often worried Harry to think about how Draco viewed him.
“Wouldn’t it be better if I wasn’t on the team then?” he inquired.
“Don’t talk rubbish Potter, I actually want to win this year,” Draco laughed. “Besides, I need someone to talk to during practices.” His reply left a lot of doubt lingering in Harry’s mind, but he decided to change the subject.
“Why don’t we go tell Luna and Ginny? After all, they showed up for the tryouts, and I’m sure they’ll want to hear about what happened,” he suggested.
Somewhat predictably, Draco immediately approved of a solution that involved going to see Luna. Harry didn’t quite understand Draco’s rather peculiar friendship with the Ravenclaw, but she always left him in a much better mood, which made life for Harry and the rest of Slytherin house easier. Besides, Ginny was probably his closest friend after Draco- he often confided in her his worries about being another pawn in the great Malfoy chess game, something he would never do around Blaise, Nott, or Pansy.
Despite Draco’s rather severe treatment of those he caught harassing Luna, ridiculing her was still something of a habit amongst many first years, especially the Ravenclaws who could make fun of her in the safety of their own Common Rooms. Strangely, she refused to tell him about such incidents, preferring to avoid the castle altogether and spend a lot of the time out on the grounds with Ginny, and sometimes Harry and Draco.
“There they are, by the lake,” Harry pointed out- despite having glasses, his vision was like a hawk’s, which contributed to his Seeking abilities.
“I see them,” Malfoy nodded; he too was a skilled Seeker. It wasn’t his eyesight, but lack of nerve that failed him in competitions with Harry.
Luna and Ginny were spread out on a red and white picnic blanket, doing homework. Ginny was surrounded by books, sprawled over a piece of parchment, which she was scrawling on furiously. Luna on the other hand was lying on her back and wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention to the textbooks piled around her, but gazing up at the sky and watching the clouds and the birds.
“Ginny, Luna,” Harry greeted, sitting down at the edge of their blanket. Luna glanced over at him, said a quiet hello, and resumed watching the clouds. Ginny dropped her quill in surprise, spattering drops of ink all over her essay.
“Clumsy, clumsy, Weasley,” laughed Draco; he took off his shoes before sitting down by Luna.
“Draco, be nice,” Luna chastised.
Uncharacteristically, Draco obeyed. “Sorry Weasley,” he said. “The spell to clean things up is Scourigrify, if you want to try that.” Even though it happened a couple times a day, Harry was still stunned by these occasions- Draco Malfoy, the elite pureblood, calmly allowing Hogwarts’s least popular student to admonish him and tell him how to behave. It was simply incomprehensible.
“So why aren’t you two doing homework?” Ginny grumbled, resuming her essay without bothering to clean up the little dots.
“Ah, forgetful Weasley, you seem to forget that we’re Slytherins,” Harry reminded her. “Snape doesn’t do his best to bury us in garbage like he does with your class. Our assignments are short, sweet, and best of all, they actually teach you a thing or two.”
“Ugh, lucky little gits,” Ginny groaned. “He assigned us a footlong essay on the effect of bright light in the potion-making process just because Colin Creevey took a flash-picture during the lesson. Do you know how few books there are on the effects of light in potion making in the Hogwarts library?! Even Hermione had no idea what I was supposed to write about!”
Harry slowly tuned out of Ginny’s ranting about Snape’s unfairness, and his attention found a new target- Draco and Luna. They were lying on their backs, side by side, pointing out shapes amongst the clouds and laughing hysterically. Draco’s laugh sounded very… pure, to Harry. No one was getting mocked, or cursed, or transfigured into a lamp to cause this laughter. There was no ambition or plotting in his smile, only amusement. And Luna, usually so calm and collected, was beside herself. The whole scene made Harry feel somewhat lonely.
“So Harry, where’s Lucifer?” asked Ginny, refocusing his attention. His albino Southern Smooth Snake had been sleeping under his dresser for a week now, ever since Quidditch tryouts began, and Harry could not wake him with Parseltongue or vigorous shaking.
“He’s hibernating,” Harry told her, rolling his eyes. “After the first cold day in October he decided it was time to hit the hay, and he hasn’t moved since.”
“Oh,” said Ginny. “I was wondering what happened to him.” After that, there was an awkward pause between them; she still wasn’t what anyone would call comfortable around him (Mrs. Weasley and Ron had spent all summer telling her that Potter and Malfoy were the Devil’s children and would one day soon be the next You-Know-Who’s). Ginny returned to her essay, and Harry returned to his feelings of loneliness. If Draco or Luna noticed him at all over the next hour, they didn’t show it.
After sitting around bored for half an hour, Harry got up without a word and left Draco, Luna, and Ginny in search of something else to do. Eventually, he found Weasley, Granger, and Longbottom on the other side of the lake. Before he could begin his usual torments, Weasley noticed him. “Hey Potter, where’s your boyfriend? Did Luna steal him from you?”
“Ron, that’s not very nice,” laughed Granger. “I’m sure Luna would give Potter a turn if he begged nicely.” Longbottom kneeled on the ground in imitation of Harry.
“Please Luna, give me 2 hours with my bestie again and I’ll bless you with my mysterious powers,” he pleaded in a pathetic voice.
By this point, Harry’s blood was stirred- how dare they, a Mudblood, a blood traitor, and a Squib, mock him! “Petrificus Totalus!” he snapped, hitting Neville with a Body-Bind Curse. While Weasley and Granger were still drawing their wands, he struck down the Mudblood with a Stunning Spell to the chest. Her tiny frame collapsed on top of Neville’s rigid body, knocking the wind out of him.
“Eat slugs, Potter!” shouted Ron. A loud bang followed, and Harry was thrown off of his feet. In a daze, he stood up, and vomited out a giant, slimy slug. Ron immediately began guffawing at the punishment his made-up spell had inflicted.
Enraged as never before, Harry drew his wand again, waited for the next slug to come out, then shouted “Bombarda Maxima!” The Explosive Charm, a jet of purple light, flew from his wand straight at Ron’s wand-arm. It collided, exploded, and left Ron staggering on the ground, his wand shattered into a thousand pieces and his mangled hand bloody and distorted.
“Oh Merlin, no,” whispered Harry, horrified at what he’d done in his anger. At that inopportune moment, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, ran over. He too looked sickened by what Harry had wrought.
“Well Mr. Potter, care to explain yourself?” he demanded, kneeling to examine Ron’s arm.
Lost for words, Harry stood there mutely while Professor Lockhart stood up impressively and waved his wand in the general direction of Ron’s hand. It looked impressive originally- it stopped bleeding, the skin healed, and it took its normal posture. Then the hand drooped at an impossible angle, flimsy as rubber.
“Professor!” shouted Harry, poking Ron’s newly soft wrist. “You just removed his bones!”
“Ah,” muttered Lockhart. “Well, um, that can happen sometimes. Well Mr. Potter,” he said, looking around to see that no one was watching them. “I’m just going to have to edit your Memory now; can’t have everyone thinking I made this mess, can we? You’ll just remember using a bone removing spell instead of an explosive one on Mr. Weasley and-”
Before Professor Lockhart could utter another word, Harry raised his wand and cried “Expelliarmus!” Lockhart was knocked down to the ground, his wand three yards away from him. Harry lowered his own wand to his teacher’s face. “No, Professor,” said Harry. “That’s not what’s going to happen. You’re going to modify their memories,” he told him, gesturing at Ron, Hermione and Neville. “Weasley fell off a broom, and Granger, know-it-all that she is, tried to fix his wrist up, and this screw up ensued. Longbottom fainted at the sight of it, and you arrived when you heard Hermione scream in panic. Then you dutifully carried these three to the Hospital Wing, while I was at the other end of the lake by myself. Understand?” He waved his wand menacingly before the whimpering, nodding Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. It was easier than threatening his idiot cousin.
“I understand,” said Lockhart weakly. With Harry’s wand pointed at his back the whole time, he did exactly as Harry had ordered, and not until he levitated the three Gryffindors up the stairs to the castle did Harry breathe a sigh of relief.
He wondered what Lucius Malfoy would have thought of his handling of the situation.
AUTHOR"S NOTE: if you guys see something you don't like, and want to stop reading the story... PLEASE TELL ME. I DON"T MIND. I WANT YOUR NASTY CRITICISM. SO PUT ON YOUR RITA-SKEETER MASKS AND WHIP OUT THOSE EVIL REMARKS.
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