Chapter 5 : Big, Bad Wolf
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Dear Mr. Draco Malfoy,
Despite past actions which have prevented you to attend Hogwarts for your Seventh year, you have hereby been accepted to Hogwarts to take it again. Hopefully, all your desired N.E.W.T.’s will be completed and your stay here comfortable. You, along with your other fellow classmates, are to board the grey-blue train leaving from Liverpool Station at Platform Seven Halves at 7:30 a.m.
As a result of the Second Wizarding War, students will be transferring from other schools (and some, other countries) will be enjoying the rest of their stays here. Upon arrival at the school, these students will be Sorted and given a guide for the rest of the year. You, as well as a few other selected students will be paired with an exchange student, to help them learn the British schooling system, way around the school, and, if needed, teach them English. You may also need to held them in their studies, seeing as some of them may not know English well) and help them through problems that may be going on as a result of the War.
A list of books for the Seventh Year is enclosed.
I reread the letter a second time, and then a third; You, as well as a few other selected students will be paired up with an exchange student... How could I miss the vital sentence that took up so much of the acceptance letter? I lay on my back like a snow angel, wide awake though my stomach was fuller than it had been in a long time. It was after the second feast, the one held for the people of Hogwarts who were allowed to take the carriages and the boats from Hogsmeade. The words of the letter replayed over and over in my mind in a torturous cycle. I had skimmed the thing and then tossed it aside, not realizing that it would take up the majority of my time at this last year of Hogwarts for me. How could I, of all people, be trusted to watch over another; new, scared, and at my very mercy??
“What did you think of the double feast we had yesterday? Sure made up for the long walk we made from Hogsmeade, huh?”
I looked at Nott, who was putting on his socks. “Delicious,” I replied, slipping on my last shoe.
“Didn’t seem like you were enjoying it that much. Other things on your mind?”
My mind flickered to the letter again, the one I had stayed up late to memorize the night before. “Why’s it any of your damn business, anyway?”
“Just asking, “ Nott answered, putting up his hands in defense. He bent down to pick up his tie from his luggage.
I was just about to stand up from my bed when I see Blaise walking quickly toward me, too quick for me to duck out of his way. Thunk. The guy shoulder checks me into my bedpost. “Hey!” I called.
Turning around, he calls, “Sorry, didn’t see you there, Malfoy! Hope you enjoy your breakfast!”
“Why you—“ I growled, about to go after him, but again Nott holds me back, handing me my tie to put on. “He only wants to aggravate you, Draco.”
Still angry, I replied, “What does he mean, ‘hope you enjoy your breakfast,’ huh?”
“I don’t know, but don’t get fed up about it now; it’s too early.” Waiting for me to fasten my tie around neck, he then says, “Now let’s go get some food.”
I soon found out why Blaise wanted me to enjoy my breakfast so badly. It came to me during the morning post.
You will be serving detention from 6p.m. to 12a.m. this Friday for harming another student in a deliberate manner. You are to arrive punctually in Ms. Hooch’s coaching office, opposite the Quidditch changing rooms, below the Announcer’s balcony.
Professor Horace Slughorn
“Oh come on—“
“What?” Nott asked, and took the note from my hand. “Ouch,” he said after reading it.
“I don’t see how this day can get any worse…”
Just then, Gianna Larz and her dark-haired friend sat down for breakfast some meters away. “Oh yeah, I have to go show her the way around the whole bloody school…”
“Hullo. I see you got your eyebrows back,” Kaleb said to Alvara as she approached.
I smiled. Alvara flashed the two of us an ugly glare, and changed her mind about sitting down next to us. She sat down further down the Slytherin House table, with a few of the new students, but they gave her a look and moved away as if she were scum. I was too tired to show some friendliness towards the girl. And anyway, it was her decision, I thought. It’s not my fault that she was being a brat. I struggled against a yawn. I had had trouble sleeping last night, but it wasn’t just from getting used to a new bed.
“Bad dreams?” Kaleb asked.
“Yes,” was all I said. I need to write these down; I thought as I cut through another sausage link. I needed to write them down; I could never remember what they were about in the morning, unless they were serious. All I knew was that they kept me up half the night, fighting for what little sleep I could gather in the early morning, causing me to wake even after the Owl Post.
I looked again to Alvara, surprised to see that I didn’t need to pretend to feel any sympathy for Alvara much longer. A head across the table had noticed her. Standing up, the tall, weedy looking boy stood up to sit across from her, taking longer than usual to fit his legs underneath the table. Alvara’s eyebrows rose. The boy started… talking to her; asking her name and what country she was from. I couldn’t tell whether he was just being nice or if he was only acting friendly because he was her guide. I picked at my eggs, hoping they wouldn’t notice me going slower because I was listening in their conversation.
“My name is Theodore Nott. I’m your guide for this school year, by the way.”
“Oh…” began Alvara, not used to his kindness, or any type at all, really. “Thank you.” She rolled the two words along her tongue like she had didn’t use them too often.
“So if you need me to show you to your classes, I’ll need to know what classes you have.”
“Oh, yes! I have Transfiguration, and then a free period, and then…”
Deciding I couldn’t eat anymore, I checked my big, bulky wristwatch. I needed to go, in time enough for me to find my first class of the year.
Getting up I was about to check my schedule again for which floor and room the class was in again when a hand snatched it away from me.
“Transfiguration…. and Divination? Who would still take such a useless subject now? You are a seventh year, right?”
“Excuse me,” I said, trying to be polite for his sake, “but it’s my schedule.”
I looked into the eyes of my mocker. It was the white haired boy, Draco Malfoy, arching an eyebrow high. My guide.
“Well, you can find your way easy to that one; it’s on the first floor. But I can show you to your next class; it looks like I have Transfiguration right now too.”
No, he has to show me to my next class, I thought, annoyed. “It’s fine,” I replied, “I can find my way on my own.” What I said, though, wasn’t really true; on my own, it had taken me approximately fifteen minutes to find my way to the dining room just from the Slytherin Common Room.
“Please, allow me,” Draco said with a devious smile, one hand holding my elbow, another gestured towards the open dining room doors. “I am your guide.”
“Hey, let go of her,” said my brother rising up now.
“It’s alright, Kaleb.” I assured him. Turning to Draco, I murmured, “Let go of me now, please.”
Draco dropped his hand, and his toothy smile dimmed. “Right this way, then.”
Letting go of my arm, Draco swooped ahead of me as if daring me to follow. After an unsure look shared with Kaleb, she shrugs and I follow him like a blind sheep being herded to the kill by the big, bad wolf.
Was it just me, or was everybody in the vicinity staring at us, staring at him? Curious eyes and gossiping whispers sprang up down every hallway we went through. It made me think that maybe this Draco Malfoy was bad company.
“According to the class’s O.W.L.’s scores, many of you have succeeded in turning moving creatures into inanimate objects,” began the teacher, Professor Malfoy, after roll in Transfiguration class. “For seventh years, we will begin turning inanimate objects into moving creatures. This art is a challenging and complicated one.” She looked at each of the students sweetly. “But I believe you can do it.” As she was saying this statement, She looked straight at Draco, who groaned and put his head down on the desk. Professor Malfoy cheerful demeanor faltered, but only slightly. Recovering from herself, she continued: “Each of you have gotten either Outstandings or Exceeding Expectations last year, but of course that’s true or else none of you would be here right now, would you?” She smiled slyly at the class. No one smiled back. Sighing, she went on: “For the next few days, you will need to take many notes for success to be possible.” The sound of rustling rolls of parchment filled the air. “Now, let’s begin.”
During the rest of the class I hastily scribbled down notes during Professor Malfoy’s lecture. Looking over, sitting next across the room was Alvara, parchment and quill on the desk, though she stared straight ahead, looking bored. I will not feel bad for her, I thought. Sitting in front of me was Draco and a tall though average-looking student, thin and awkward. His elbows jutted out and his arms were extremely bony, his skin stretched over the rest of his body. I wondered what was wrong with him.
At the end of class, when Mrs. Malfoy dismissed us, I heard many confused whispers.
“Mrs. Malfoy? Draco’s mum?”
“Blimey, I can’t believe they let her teach Transfiguration this year at all…”
“Watch her get fired for torturing a Muggle-born…”
Draco, overhearing some of the whispered things about his mother, stormed out of the classroom, leaving his skinny mate behind, who was looking alarmed. Then he hurried out of the classroom after him. He had grudge about everything, didn’t he?
“Ms. Larz, may I see you for a moment?” Professor Malfoy beckoned me.
I looked up surprised. Alvara passed in front of me, throwing me a most curious look. Her eyes were unreadable, and her mouth curved into a slight smirk, of malice, of supremacy…?
And then she left.
“It is only a note from Headmistress McGonagall.” Mrs. Malfoy said as I came closer to receive the folder piece of parchment that she held out to me. I unfolded it. It was a discipline notice.
You will be serving detention from 6p.m. to 12a.m. this Friday for to intentionally harm another student. You are to arrive punctually in Ms. Hooch’s coaching office, opposite the Quidditch changing rooms, below the Announcer’s balcony.
“Oh great….” I grumbled to myself. Now I understood the look Alvara had given me now; a look of quittance, of beloved revenge for what had happened on the train. I suspected she made sure that my brother had gotten a detention too.
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