Chapter 1 : xi, I
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The rain was falling down around me, drenching my clothes and my hair; even my lips were trembling with icy water. There was just no stopping the onslaught of the pendulous weather.
It fell down from an easterly direction, beating against my face, chest, arms and legs. The rain didn't stop. I stood there, in the middle of the quidditch pitch of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the appalling weather as if I were nothing but a mere wisp of shadow, but I was not alone. Only the thin rays of light coming down from the castles mighty structure that managed to penetrate through the lateness of the hour and the heavy rain were betraying my position to the outside world, though not by much.
My white school shirt clung uncomfortably to my body, transparent from the water it had absorbed, protecting me from no one or the coldness of the rain. The water ran down from my hairline and softly caressed my face as gravity took control of its decent. It either chose to drip off the end of my nose or continued to run down my neck, falling into place with the rest soaking into my bones. No part of my being was dry, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
I was in paradise.
An irate grunt escapes my lips as the world begins to turn on its axis. A sharp, jolting pain occurs along the length of my spine, while my head hits the hardest as I'm roughly knocked to the ground. The loud sound of books I had been formerly holding comes clattering down around me, and on me, knocking the breath out of my lungs with a groan of pain. Glass shatters soon follows as the precariously balanced ink pots sitting atop my collection of books collides with the stone floor as well, spilling inks of green, red and black upon the ground and stains my robes when the fabric starts to absorb the spill.
'Watch where you're walking, Dumaresq!'
I force myself up on bent elbows, glaring angrily at the person who'd knocked me down from where I lay on the ground. A look of pure fury is etched upon my features, and apparent to all the students in the corridor that had chosen to watch the fight that was about to begin between myself and my attacker.
'Malfoy, if your head wasn't so inflated by your ego, there'd be plenty of room for anyone to pass you with ease down this corridor!' I hiss, loud enough for the curious onlookers to hear, and who then promptly began to snicker at his expense.
Tall, aristocratic and snobbish, Draco Malfoy did not appreciate being made a fool out of, so there's little wonder at all that he's glaring coldly down at me, rather than offering to help me to my feet like any normal person would have done after knocking another to the ground. 'What was that?' he rudely demands. I grit my teeth and send a cold glare his way.
'You heard me,' I say angrily, getting to my feet whilst ignoring the bent books and shattered glass by my feet, having thought it would be far safer on two feet than already on the ground and defenceless in case things turned out for the worst. It was not the first time I had been a victim to one of Draco's foul moods, which seem to be occurring a lot more frequently lately since his split with his long time girlfriend, fifth year Slytherin Astoria Greengrass. True, they had only been going out for seven months, but for Draco it had to be a record and worth recognition as his longest relationship to date. The unfortunate thing was that, since the split, Astoria found love elsewhere soon after and left me to deal with Draco's ever-changing temper on my own.
Sometimes being best friends with Draco Malfoy really could be harder than fighting a dragon blindfolded and wandless, but someone had to do it and save him from himself.
'Everyone, get to class now or I'll dock your houses five points each!' Draco shouts, glaring coldly at the crowd still gathered around us both. Slowly, the group dissipates with the first and second years leading the way in their flight to freedom, while older students linger a little longer to see what would happen, not as afraid or intimidated by the seventh year Slytherin as the rest were.
Before too long, it's just the two of us staring one another down in the middle of the third floor corridor, both angry with one another for very different reasons; Draco is angry that I had humiliated him in front of everyone, whereas I am annoyed that he was taking out his vented up feelings about his failed relationship on me – again - when I had nothing to do with it in the first place. I mean sure, I was upset for his sake that things didn’t work out, but that didn’t mean I felt the need to hide my feelings of animosity towards his ex, or my frustration with Draco for continuing to take his anger out on others, regardless of the consequences.
We stand facing one another, Draco's height towering down upon my own small stature, but I don't back down and remain firm where I stand as he begins to speak. 'What was the meaning of that, Tamara?' he hisses, folding his arms tightly over his chest, icy eyes blazing down upon me. I mimic his actions, showing him that he was not scaring me in the slightest; I was far too use to his theatrical ways by now to really give a damn about humouring him and play along as if he was scarier than a Hungarian Horntail, even if the thought of him breathing fire did bring a slight hint of humour to my lips. I quickly stifle the grin before speaking, hoping he hadn’t noticed.
'Draco, I understand that you're still angry about what happened with Astoria. I know, I would be too if I were in your shoes and the person I dated ran off with someone, let alone Nott of all people, only a few weeks after breaking up. It’s got to hurt considering how long you spent with one another, but she's young and impulsive, so don't be too harsh on her! You're meant to be the older and mature one in this situation, and all you've been doing since the break-up is taking your anger out on everyone, especially me, and I don't appreciate it in the slightest-'
'Tamara, that's not what's going on here. I don't miss her-'
I snort. 'No? And I don't play quidditch! Come off it, Draco! Even you're not that stupid! This is something Goyle can work out, for Pete's sake!' I sigh, knowing I was being unusually cruel towards him and decide to lighten up. 'Look Draco, it's ok to admit that you miss her, and that what she's done has hurt you, but you don't need to act like a meanie-butt in order to get your message across to others.'
'... Did you just say the word meanie-butt?' Draco asks, with a distinct grin upon his lips he tried hard to disguise. I smile, at least glad that I had managed to get him out of his way of thinking for even a little while as I retrieve my wand from my pocket and clean up the mess on the floor, trying hard to ignore the feeling of being laughed at for such an immature reference, but Merlin only knew where Mr Filch could have been lurking, so the humiliation was worth the risk of being caught saying something far worse.
'C'mon Draco, let's go to class before McGonagall goes off her rocker,' I say with a smile and lace my arm through his. Draco offers a weak smile and picks up the books he'd knocked from my arms, deciding to carry them to class for me as a way of apology, to which I gave his forearm a gentle squeeze to show his efforts had not been overlooked and we continued on our way to class, all the while trying not to smile at the mental picture playing on my mind of Draco Malfoy, the gaunt silver haired fire breathing dragon.