Chapter 15 : Truths
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A HUGE thanks to all my reviewers, you guys are what makes all this possible. Seriously, I could thank you guys for hours. You are the people who give me the inspiration to keep writing.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the wonderful world my characters live in, all that is part of the brilliant mind of our personal queen, JK Rowling. I don't own Beauty and the Beast either, that credit goes to either Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve or Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont.
“Well… you see… you have to remember what was going on our second year.” She said and I nodded. I remembered all too well. The Chamber of Secrets had been opened, everyone was freaking out. Her especially I imagine, being muggle born.
It had been utter chaos that year and I'd been so smug the whole time. Nearly everyone at the school thought at one point or another that I was the heir of Slytherin and that my father had opened it before me. I had to remind them time and time again my father wasn't over sixty years old, but that didn't stop people from making their assumptions so I let them. I didn't mind everyone being afraid of me.
“Well, as usual, Harry started to jump to conclusions and wanted to figure everything out. He couldn’t just sit back and let the teachers figure out what was going on. His immediate assumption was that the heir… well… that the heir of Slytherin was you.” She said and shook her head, clearly embarrassed.
As she told her story, I found myself wanting to laugh more and more. It didn’t surprise me, that Harry had thought the heir was me. Crabbe and Goyle themselves had believed I was the heir.
“So, well, Harry wanted to get answers but knew he himself couldn’t get them from you. So we came up with a plan that would allow us to get them.” She paused and looked to me as if for confirmation to continue. I nodded and she took a deep breath.
“I had just recently read about Polyjuice potion and though it looked incredibly difficult, I told the boys I could do it. We agreed it would be the best possible choice and I immediately set to work.”
“How did you know what to do?” I found myself asking, the potion was extremely difficult and I didn’t know how she had possibly managed to do it, at age twelve no less.
“Simply followed directions I suppose. It proved to be even more of a challenge than I had originally anticipated, but I did it nonetheless.” She said, shrugging.
“That’s incredible.” I said before I could help myself and she beamed.
“That’s not even the half of it.” She said, “well, once I was nearly done with the potion and we only had a few more days, we came up with a plan.”
“Of course.” I said, finding myself smiling now.
“Well, we knew the only people you would actually trust with anything regarding the Chamber of Secrets or anything else for that matter, would be Crabbe and Goyle.”
“Naturally.” I said as she cast me a nervous look. For whatever reason, I was far too amused to even be upset that they had thought they could get answers from me.
“So. Harry and Ron decided they would transform into Crabbe and Goyle. I needed someone to transform into and one of the only people I knew from Slytherin who was going home for the holidays was Millicent Bulstrode.” I found myself bursting out in laughter. Of all the people Hermione could possibly choose, it was Millicent. Of course, no one would notice had she randomly been back.
She glared at me. “That’s when it gets worse. I walked by her in the hallways one day and plucked a hair off her robes. Pleased with myself for being so sneaky. Then the potion was finished. The night of the feast, we’d come up with a plan to get Crabbe and Goyle into a broom cupboard so they couldn’t come bursting in when Ron and Harry were talking to you.”
“So, what did you do?” I asked, now curious. Their plan already seeming to be far more complicated than anything my 'friends' and I could've come up with.
"I made a sleeping draft. A powerful one. I put it inside a couple of cupcakes and Harry enchanted them to hover as they approached. They each took a bite and passed out immediately. The boys put Crabbe and Goyle in a broom cupboard and pulled out some hairs. Then they met me in the bathroom."
"The bathroom?" I found myself asking, wondering what bathroom they would all be in without getting caught.
"The one that Moaning Myrtle fancies. So of course, no one ever goes in there. That's where we had been brewing the potion all along."
"Ahh... of course." I said, knowing all too well that the bathroom she was referring to was never occupied. People had an aversion to Myrtle.
"Right. Well, it was our safe place that year. Even with the whole basilisk getting into the restroom thing."
"How does the basilisk get into a girl's restroom?" I asked out loud, it was something I'd never found out.
"Well, that bathroom is where the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets is. Who would figure that out? Besides, it travels through the pipes. I figured that out right befo- right before I was..."
"Petrified?" I offered and she nodded, looking away.
The train rolled up in front of us and she went to stand. I grabbed her wrist and she turned to me, looking confused.
"Let's wait for the next one. Or until you've finished." I said and she looked hesitant before nodding slowly and sitting back down.
"So when the boys arrived, I had Millicent's hair ready and they had Crabbe and Goyle's. We put the potion into individual cups and each dropped the hairs in. We drank some and almost immediately, felt sick."
"Is that what it does?" I asked, having never used it myself.
"More or less. It's just an odd sensation is all. First time is the worst." she laughed, "I never thought I'd use it again."
"At least you didn't have to make it this time." I offered. I'd always known it was difficult but after hearing her stories was even more impressed that she'd managed it without help.
"That's true, I suppose. But that's getting off topic. Ron and I ran to stalls in case we threw up and well Ron came out a minute or two later, looking like Crabbe. I on the other hand, sprouted hair all over my body, sprouted a tail, and grew pointed ears. I was humiliated and told the boys to go without me. They left after some arguing, knowing time was short." her face was tinged red and I could tell she was still embarrassed by why had happened.
"What was that like?" I asked softly, not wanting to upset her.
"Annoying mostly." she said quietly. "It wasn't within my control and I couldn't change back. I was stuck in the Hospital Wing for weeks taking potion after potion to try and change things back." she laughed bitterly, "I spent so much time in the hospital that year."
"Does it bother you?" I asked cautiously.
"Yes. I just feel like I missed out on so much that year. I mean, I was always reading ahead and all but being petrified for months just made me feel like I'd lost so much time." She shook her head and looked to me, her eyes full of sadness.
"I just wish it had gone differently, you know?" she asked quietly.
"Of course. I think most people would had they been in your situation."
"I suppose. And well, I suppose you also know the rest of the story... Harry and Ron talked to you and apparently randomly ran out when they started changing, muttering something about a stomach ache?"
"That was them?!" I asked a bit too loudly, several people turned to stare. "I knew something was up. I mean Crabbe got a bit too defensive when I'd insulted you and Goyle did the same for Dumbledore. I'd thought it was odd but they played it off as Crabbe having a stomach ache." I laughed and she looked at me in shock.
"You're not mad?" she asked incredulously.
"Mad?" I asked and laughed once more, "How could I be mad? Your plan was brilliant and I fell for it. I'm almost sad I couldn't be of more help, though had I known it would have been helping saint Potter, I wouldn't have said anything obviously." I shook my head.
I couldn't help but stare at Malfoy in shock. He wasn't angry at me for what had happened. He was so unbelievably un-Malfoyish lately.
"I-I don't even know what to say." I stuttered.
"Don't say anything then," he said, "At least not about this. It's in the past, there's no use getting angry over it, is there? Especially when we're going to be with each other for a while." he said calmly, looking me in the eyes.
There was a rush of wind as a train pulled up to the platform. He grabbed my hand and pulled me up.
"Well, let's get to it then. Almost there." he said, smiling as he pulled me aboard the train.
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