As the Gryffindor tuned away from the stare, the other's eyebrows scrunched together in thought. The boy was challenged, for once. It wasn’t going to come easy to him, as things normally did, and this frustrated him. Time after time, he got everything he wanted with a simple, but well thought out plan, or by doing nothing at all. But this prize would have to be earned. The Slytherin would have to work hard and carefully think about him next moves. The one problem was her. He could plan- oh, he was Sorted for all the right reasons- but what couldn’t be predicted were her moves. He could scheme all he wanted, but one unanticipated change in direction could throw everything down the drain.
‘Why must things be so bloody complicated?’ The schemer thought angrily, stabbing his fork into a potato
“Oi, what did that vegetable do to you? Did the color offend you or something?” A fellow House-Mate sarcastically questioned.
“No, Nott, just venting my frustration over the scent of the corn.” He replied in the same manner.
“Can't we just bully the Gryffindors a bit instead? I think Goyle is devastated that you harmed the food.”
At the mention of their rivals, the boy stiffened; which his best mate took notice of and sniggered.
“Looks like Draco got himself into trouble with those rule-followers, eh, Nott?” Blaise knowingly responded, mocking the other. Draco looked up and gave the now chuckling Slytherin a cold look.
“Am I missing something?” Nott responded, slightly confused.
“Nothing at all” Draco said through clenched teeth, shooting Blaise a warning look.
“Let’s just say that little Draco probably won’t be participating in any of our insult-the-Gryffindors-to-their-faces times for a while.”
“Well, Blaise, I think it’s worth fifteen Galleons and the opportunity to see you write a love poem.”
“Love poem? You two made another wager then, didn’t you?” Nott interjected, suddenly interested. Draco and Blaise’s bets usually turned out interesting and the outcome never failed to entertain the Slytherin House. The students learned to expect crazy antics from these boys and some even started to look forward to the next time they would see one of them singing opera in a pink dress, or something of that sort.
“’Course, and I think I might actually win this one, Nott” Responded a smug-looking Blaise.
“I’m not too sure about that, Zabini. Malfoy usually has a few tricks that can get him through anything.”
“See, Blaise? He’s on my side. And I have more than just a few tricks up my sleeve.” Draco told them while carefully cutting his chicken. Knowing not to keep arguing with his stubborn friend, especially while the latter was already ticked off, Blaise gave an exasperated sigh and airily said “We’ll see, Draco.”
With that said, the others continued eating their lunches without much conversation. With Draco plotting, Blaise musing over the idiocy of his friend, and Nott pondering over the outcome of whatever the bet was, there wasn’t much room for them to speak. Once Draco’s plate was cleared, he swung his legs over the bench in an attempt to get up. He was prevented from leaving, however, by a long-nailed hand clamping onto the sleeve of his robe.
“Draco,” Pansy Parkinson whined, emphasizing the ‘o’. “You haven’t said ‘hello’ to me yet!”
“Hullo, Pansy, Now may I please have my arm back so I can get up and leave?” He responded; not really wanting to participate in one of her so-called conversations. As she realized that her holding onto him was the only thing really keeping him from exiting the Great Hall into solitude, she gripped the fabric tighter.
“Stay with me, you hardly spend time with me anymore!” Pansy pouted, making him groan in annoyance. After dating her for a while, as suggested by his parents, he came to realize how overly-clingy, obsessive, and frustratingly annoying she could be; and he could hardly stand her feeble attempts to get them back together.
“Fine Pansy, for a few minutes only” He reluctantly submitted, leaning back against the table. She released her death-grip on his robe and spun to face him with a smug smile playing on her lips; proud of herself for making Draco stay. After a minute of just staring at him drumming his fingers on his legs, she finally blurted out "Aren’t you going to say anything?” He spared her a quick glance before resuming his tapping “No, not really” he told her with a bored tone.
“I’ll talk then. Why were you staring at the Mudblood Granger? That piece of filth doesn’t deserve your attention, Draco!”
The other two boys, who had been eavesdropping looking for a good laugh at Draco’s expense, perked up at the mention of this.
“You were staring at her? Nice way to make it obvious, Draco...” Blaise stated, rolling his eyes.
“Granger? So the bet is with Granger?” Nott cried, shocked.
“Wait, a bet? Good, I thought you were actually interested in her!” Pansy exclaimed as she breathed a sigh of relief and flipped her too-perfect hair over her shoulder.
Groaning once more and spinning around to face them, he clarified with “She was staring at me, I was only glaring back. And, yes, you idiots, it’s a bet involving Granger. So don’t you two mess it up, I already had Blaise do that for me.” Draco hissed the last part as a warning, letting them know he was serious, before finally rising from his seat and departing from the Great Hall. The other three exchanged a wary glance and silently decided to let him be instead of going after him.
Draco wandered into the corridor, deciding to search for the Library again for future reference. Further down the hall he heard hushed voices and hesitantly made the decision to ask them for assistance. As he got closer, he noticed that the tones were forceful, indicated that the speakers were angry. The more he approached, the more he thought he recognized one of the voices, but he pushed this suspicion out of his mind.
Once he was nearly there, the speaker facing Draco finally took note of his presence and alerted the other of the oncoming figure. The second stopped taking and hastily shoved something into his pocket- Draco couldn’t tell what it was- before turning to fully face the Slytherin. The boys looked at him expectantly, but with a slight cold edge to the stare. Apparently whatever they were discussing was of great importance and they didn’t appreciate having to stop their argument.
Just a second before the words left his mouth, Draco stopped as something in his mind clicked. ‘He’s the Ravenclaw from earlier’ Draco thought, referring to the one hiding something in his pocket. Thet. Suddenly forgetting all about his original purpose for approaching them, Draco sneered “Fancy seeing you here, Ravenclaw. Now, are you going to show me what you stuffed in your pocket or shall I hex you to get it?”
“It’s nothing of your concern, Malfoy. And the name's Sonter, not ‘Ravenclaw’.”
“Well then, Sonter, if you’re keeping it away from me, it probably is of my concern”
“It doesn’t affect you, so shove off!” Spoke the third. At this, Draco’s head snapped towards him.
“And who are you?” He said rudely, “I don’t recall asking you to give your opinion.”
“I’m Mark Siftner. I believe we meet the morning when you stopped us from tormenting that girl.” He replied crossing his arms over his chest and taking a step forward to look intimidating. His attempts were failed, however. Intimidation does not work on Draco, as he has faced things far more terrifying than a small boy. It took a moment of inspection before Draco recognized the boy; he had been the one holding Granger.
“Well, Siftner, that doesn’t give you the right to speak to me in such a way.”
“I can speak to you in any manner I want, you’re no better than the rest of us!” Siftner practically spat.
“Sorry, but I am. I doubt anyone has even heard of you, much less actually like you. And Sonter, turn out your pockets before you have no arms to do so.” Draco threatened, making the boy pale a bit.
“Forget it, Malfoy; we aren’t going to listen to you.” Siftner scoffed.
“And I thought Ravenclaws were supposed to be smart….” At this, Draco deliberately took out him wand slowing, and started to twirl it around. The third boy visibly gulped and stepped back a bit, causing Draco to smirk in satisfaction.
“I think we should go, Mark. We, er, haven’t eaten lunch yet” He hastily said, eyeing the wand. Sonter, not wanting to go just yet and damage his pride, started to protest. Draco wouldn’t hear of this though- when does he lose? - and silently solved the problem with a nonverbal spell ‘Flippendo’ and a flick of his wrist. The stubborn boy was knocked back a few feet and gasped as he made contact with the hard floor. The other Ravenclaw stood with his mouth opened; clearly shocked that Draco had actually sent a spell their way. He looked at the Slytherin with fearful eyes, only to be met with a raised eyebrow and an expression that plainly said ‘try me.’ Not wanting to meet a fate similar to his friends’,they trudged towards the other and hoisted him up onto his feet.
They gave one last withering look to Draco and headed down the corridor, anxious to get away. Draco smirked once again at his victory and twirled his wand between his fingers as he cautiously placed it back in his pocket. The Slytherin walked forward a few feet before his face fell and his moves were halted; he still didn’t find out what they were hiding, nor where he could find the Library. Deciding to keep moving forward in hopes of stumbling upon the house of books, he resumed his strut with a slightly less confident attitude than before.
As he wondered about the identity of the mysterious object, Draco continued onward in his search. He was walking for quite some time when the sound of the bell reverberating throughout the castle wall jolted him out of his hunt. But, as the day continued on, consisting of idea-searching, theorizing and scheming, two questions haunted his thoughts, never leaving his mind, waiting to be answered.
‘What were they doing? What are they hiding?’