Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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Fresh, cooked, steamed and baked. A hundred miniature cauldrons filled with every kind of sauce, so heavy the one immense table had extra legs in the middle to stop it collapsing.
The tables for the students were covered in new decorative cloths, a mixture of all the colours of the houses come together in stitched together squares with sections in the stitching where you could see through to the table. The mascot animals were moving about, crossing over the coloured squares. The Eagles stayed close to the doors and the badgers stuck to the edges, the lions paraded around the middle roaring whilst the snakes slithered around the bottom, one hissed as a Hufflepuff poked it, a Ravenclaw went to stroke an Eagle, it squawked and flew off. Normally I would have made a joke that they were tacky and had no meaning, but they were kinda likeable.
Blaise grumbled. "Are they serious? Their making the dinners into a help yourself buffet? When are they going to do the sorting? That’s the best bit, my favourite!" I looked over to the Slytherin Table. Only twenty students, a few from each year. Me and Blaise so far looked like the only ones from the previous year to come back. A low hiss filled the hall. Low, quiet and menacing. I looked around trying to see where it was coming from. All the older years were glaring at us, hand’s discreetly over their mouths so the professors wouldn’t see. We walked over to our table and sat down, ignoring the childish antics.
"Enough!" Hagrid slammed his goblet down on the Teachers table and the hissing relented. Blaise sat in front of me, with his back to the other tables. He couldn't see the evil glares that so many were giving. I filled my goblet up from a golden water jug in the middle of the table engraved with elaborate patterns, a small boy who looked like he should be from second year shuffled up next to Blaise.
"Why are they glaring" We looked at him. Dirty blond hair, blue eyes filled with innocence and unknowing, a young rounded face with a button nose and a polished uniform, as if he still took pride in it. The young have it so easy. I glanced up at the buffet table, noticing the second year staring longingly.
He would have joined Hogwarts last year and suffered like everyone else. He wouldn't understand that the rest of the houses blamed the former Slytherin members for what happened, I couldn't blame them really. The Dark Lord was a famous Slytherin. "What’s your name mate?" The little boy seemed a little nervous, Blaise was staring at the Buffet table, a couple of Hufflepuffs had braved to wonder up there. One picked up a drink, the other a hot dog and walked back to their table. Blaise lost it.
"That’s my cue, gotta run. Whatcha want mate?" I looked at what was up there from where I was sitting. "Corncob, and chicken wings. What about you?" I stared pointedly at the second year who still hadn't said his name.
"Same, please." The kid looked down again. I got bored waiting.
"What's your name?" He replied this time.
"Micheal, Micheal Nightingale. My brother Sean Nightingale is in Fourth year", he motioned to a blond haired guy sitting on his own. What was it with blond Slytherins this year? "Our Oldest brother is in Seventh year, Cyrus Nightingale." I looked up.
"Seventh?" He nodded. "Re-sitting?"
"Huh?" He smirked "No. He was in sixth last year."
"How much do you know about our houses, erm, social history." I gestured at the other houses, whose more immature occupants (who weren't involved with the battle) were still glaring.
"Not much, Cyrus doesn't really mention the mundane stuff, just Quidditch matches when he came home for the holidays before I joined. Sean only ever moaned about the amount of homework he got." Sounded legit.
"Well. We are Slytherin and proud, and we are the ones that no one likes due to some of our lot making bad decisions, but we are still stronger than everyone else so that’s why we’re famous. Ignore them and don’t ever let them see you cry, if you need to cry? Do it in the common room." Blaise sat down, the kid -Micheal- looked a little taken a back.
"That, Ladies and Gentlemen is D's famous speech, renown mainly for his short-sighted arrogance all these past years and now he sounds wise and looks like an Albino Mole." Blaise received a swift kick under the table. He winced and stuck his tongue out.
The kid looked a little reassured by the relaxed atmosphere and seemed genuinely grateful for a little adive."Well cheers...D" He grinned, I saw Micheal's oldest brother Cyrus spot his youngest brother get stuck into a corn-on-the-cob. Blaise had superb serving skills, long armed with huge hands he had the ability to plate up and carry several meals with easy. Cyrus stood and began walking over. I had been wondering when he would come over, even considering heading over there myself. Cyrus was infamous amongst Slytherin, he received a quiet respect. You needed to find something out? You asked him. No one tried to take advantage of him and he only told you what he found if he trusted the reason behind why you wanted to know. I liked him from the stories I'd heard. Yet never bothered to make conversation with the guy or get to know him, but as we were in the same year I might as well. Yet now, I was curious. How good at it he would be.
"How’s the corn?" Cyrus mentioned to Micheal, before he sat next to him. Glancing at the other houses before tucking back into his dinner of fish and chips. Dam, that was a good choice. My stomach rumbled and I remembered the plate that Blaise had brought me, attacking my chicken wing. Train travel always made my stomach queasy. Putting me in a bad mood. I normally needed to spend five minutes in the bathroom before becoming the slightest bit able to talk to someone like a person other than a bad-tempered poltergeist.
"Great, he went and got it for me, I wasn't sure." Micheal gestured at Blaise. Cyrus glanced up.
Blaise grinned, waggling his eyebrows. "Correct." He carried on munching his choice of Roast Potato dressed in mint sauce. Cyrus looked at me.
"Draco Malfoy." I extended a hand to him, my right hand. I was still munching Chicken with my left. He shook it, large hands, rough skin. Blaise’s' was still soft, which he had suffered many a ridicule over from 'yours truly'.
"So Inspector." I turned back to my table, still munching. "Why do you think there are so few come back this year?" Cyrus glanced around.
"Shame." I raised an eyebrow. "Shame at being associated with people who wanted to hand the 'Boy who lived' over to Voldemort and allow the chance to fight for a better life over in preference to remaining under his rule. The others? Are probably living in muggle foster homes because no witch or wizard wants to be associated with a child of the Deatheaters. Therefore my guess is that those who can come back have their parents portioning them to be moved house. However Hogwarts and the Ministry which is still trying to correct the corruption. Is trying to create equality, and unity. Hence the Buffett." He gestured up at the food table. "So they are probably denying them otherwise it looks like no one wants to be in Slytherin which doesn't help their cause. So the new parents are putting their feet down and saying their kids aren't coming back until they are moved house. You'll see more students coming back as more parents crack under the pressure of their kids not getting an education and the school's stubbornness." Cyrus had continued eating throughout all this.
"So you’re not smart then?" I grinned through my chicken. He wiggled an eyebrow.
"No? I had no idea." I laughed, I was beginning to like him.
"How much do you know about me?" Blaise asked, tucking into a Yorkshire pudding.
"You eat for Hogwarts." Blaise laughed, I smirked and tucked into my next bit of chicken.
We stayed relatively silent for a moment as we munched.
"What are you doing here Malfoy?" I looked up. A black haired kid from Ravenclaw had marched over, with ketchup on his uniform that he had failed to notice.
"I'm sorry. Do I know you?" I stayed polite, yet carried on eating my chicken. Blaise had turned to the side. Slipping his wand out of his pocket, before realising how small the kid was. I saw a smirk twitch at the corner of his mouth.
"I repeat snake what are you doing here?" I leaned back, wiping my fingers on a napkin before picking up the corncob.
"Well. A second ago I was eating Chicken and enjoying a conversation. I guess my main aim is to gain a missed education of this place before looking for a job and maybe getting my own apartment." Blaise smirked at my sarcasm. I knew what the kid was really asking but he wasn't going to get an answer to a question most people would deem rhetorical.
"Whatever." He turned and marched back to his table. Blaise turned round fully.
"Yo kid." He turned. "Missed your bib" He motioned to his uniform where the Ketchup had rolled down his chest. The kid blushed and hurried back to his table. A couple of people laughed.
"Well, that was a bit of entertainment." Yet the glares were back. Mainly from fifth and sixth years. As Professor McGonagall stood however the eyes went back to the front.
"Welcome back to Hogwarts. As you can see there have been a few changes." Her eyes lingered on the table cloths. "We are aiming for unity and less of a divide among the houses. The Ministry decreed that all students get involved in some trust tests on the upcoming Sunday's. You will all be placed into groups of four from your year. These will be your groups for the rest of this academic year. One from each house and each weekend you will either work with your team or your team will be partnered up with others. I will tell you who you are with after the sorting.”
"You think they'd remember what happened last time the ministry got involved with Hogwarts." Cyrus smirked at Blaise's comment as the doors swung open again and an army of first years came stamping up to gather around the front. The food table was covered with a white cloth and magically pushed to the side. All of them were pointing at everything in sights, one even pointed to the floor, their voices filling the hall like a horde of angry wasps. Filch staggered up carrying the stool and hat, most of the kids didn’t notice him trying to get past. He eventually bellowed out, and they scattered aside to let him pass. As soon as the hat was settled it’s rim split and he began to sing.
Hoggy Hogwarts hat,
Together we stand,
Four houses tall and strong,
Gryffindor in the lead,
Ravenclaw and wise,
Slytherin strongest of them all,
Together we stand,
Apart we fall.
There was a silence, students unsure what to think. Professor McGonagall didn’t let the silence grow. "Ashley, Rhianna." The girl had a short crop of black hair, very short. Naturally spiked, bouncing up the steps to the stool, as soon as the hat landed on her head a look of shocked surprise crossed her face.
"SLYTHERIN" I whooped with the few number we had, she bounced down the steps and up to our table. She seemed confused as where to sit. I jerked my head so she bounced up and plonked herself next to Micheal. Whom still had some chicken on his plate. She picked it up and started munching.
"Cheers I'm starved." I laughed and Micheal just looked surprised. The sorting continued, and our number grew but at less than half the rate as the other houses. I kept picking roast potatoes off Blaise's plate, cheering whenever we got a student and didn't look bothered when we didn't.
I choked on my Potato. "Excuse me?" I knew I had a cousin, but had no idea what happened to her when Bellatrix and her husband had been sent to Azkabam years ago. I was uncomfortable with the sudden, cold, stone silence filling the hall. Half were staring at Arabella whilst the other half were staring at me. The hat landed on her long, curly black hair, her eyes staring at the floor. The silence continued. No one said a sound as the pregnant pause waited to hear the inevitable.
"GYRFFINDOR!" There was a hushed intake of air. The older Gryffindor's stood up and started cheering. The rest followed suit, the other houses began applauding the decision. Blaise looked at me.
"Turned down by your own cousin, shame." Blaise carried on eating. I kicked him again under the table. He looked up wincing and I stuck my tongue out. "Such a child." I laughed. The sorting finished not long after that.
"Well, now that is sorted. Grab your plates and finish eating." Professor McGonagall went to sit back down.
"Loving the pun." Blaise yelled up to the front. A couple of sniggers went up around the hall. McGonagall sat down and ignored the yell. There was a pause then a large rush of people who were too unsure before began marching up to the front to grab what they liked. A large content chatter had gone up as people from different houses joked with each other. I stood, feeling starved after eating nothing on the train for fear of throwing up in the toilets. Rhianna followed, skipping down the other side of the Slytherin table. Managing to keep up with my long strides, plate in hand.
"What’s Hogwarts like?" I liked her, she had a cheeky, arrogant style. "Because I hope the teaching is as good as the food, but I’d hoped I could have started eating as soon as we were sorted."
"But you did?" I smiled slightly.
"No, properly. That was a snack. What’s that guy’s name anyway?"
"Micheal Nightingale." I answered. Watching her face. She'd been here five minutes, could she be interested? Well that girl didn't believe in bidding your time.
"Nightingale. Isn't that a bird?" I nodded. She giggled. I reached the table and looked at the un-ending potential meals. I reached out a hand and scooped a couple of fresh vegetables onto my plate. "Hey watch it!" I looked up, a guy had tripped on his own laces and hit the table face first. A gigantic pile of roast potatoes wobbled, drawing my wand I steadied it. Rhianna was staring down grumpily at the guy who had tripped as I reached past her to grab his skinny arm and drag him back to his feet. He looked slightly shocked.
"You'll live, does it hurt?" He nodded, I quickly muttered a spell for the pain. He blinked and smiled.
"Cheers." Before turning back to the food table. I bent back and started trying to search out more chicken. Finding some wings, I leant over and scooped some more on my plate. A cauldron was bubbling and I sniffed it. Thousand Island sauce. Wouldn't go. I served up a whole load of Roast Potatoes and turned back for Slytherin table. Finding myself face-to-face with a large chest.
I looked up to see Ronald Weasel. "Malfoy." His face a shade of red to match his hair.
"Hello." I marched past him and back down to my spot. Rhianna skipped up beside me, her plate a mountain of food, her arms so skinny she looked like she could barely support it.
"Here Birdy I got you something." She sat down next to me and began attacking her plate mountain, Cyrus covered a smirk with his hand and Micheal just looked down right shocked. She picked up a chicken wing and passed it onto his plate with her spoon and fork. "To make up for the one I munched." He smiled and went red. Muttering a thanks beneath his breath. I tucked into my potatoes.
"What did Weasley want?" Cyrus asked above Rhianna's head.
"No idea. Didn't wait to find out." I steadied my gaze on a lion and badger who were having a standoff on the table cloth.
"Well looks like he's not about to let it go." Weasley had marched back to where Granger and Potter were sitting, red faced and empty-handed. He looked like he was about to breathe fire. Blaise returned with a plate mountain to match Rhianna's. "Ah mate, taste!" He held up his hand for a high-five from the first year. She smacked him with a matching enthusiasm. I shook my head, not understanding really what was happening.
"Draco, their watching you." I glanced at Cyrus. "Weasel and co'" I looked over, he wasn't wrong. Potter had even turned round. Granger muttered something and they all laughed. I couldn't blame them, I deserved everything they gave me. I just carried on eating. "Wonder who I'll be with." I looked at Cyrus. "For the Trust Games" He made his voice drip with sarcasm.
"Maybe they'll give you Weasley." Cyrus rolled his eyes.
"He has no reason not to trust me. Except for being in Slytherin." I nodded. The trust teams as it had been dubbed, would prove only disastrous for me.
That’s what you get for being an arse.
"Do you reckon the Trust games will work?" Blaise snorted at my question.
"No question about it mate, not trust but we'll get to know each other in the group, then it'll be just pure prankage if we get on, if not it'll be a matter of who is stupid enough to trust the other. I'm more interested in what these games will be." Blaise continued to eat and talk without much skill. "And maybe we'll get out of it because we're re-sitting. Technically not students of studying age" A trick he managed when he was in third year because everyone was bored of being sprayed with food. He liked to eat and he liked to talk. "Maybe they'll make you go up high without a broom D" I glared at him. Even on a broom I wasn't that big a fan of heights. Which explained my lack at Quidditch skill, I loved it but didn't make me better than others.
"Maybe they'll make you swim in the sewers." Blaise pretended to puke.
"Now that’s just unhygienic." The way he was eating was unhygienic.
Professor McGonagall was standing up at the top of the hall. Holding a large parchment she'd been pawing over with professor Flitwick. Her face was pinched in a quiet disapproval until the hall settled.
"This is all very cliche." I snorted at Cyrus's remark. "Their trying to create trusting bonds yet not mixing up the teams every week." Good point
"Ministry for ya." Blaise had finally finished his dinner, I swear he even made Professor McGonagall wait for him to finish.
"I would also like to say that those of you re-sitting seventh year. You are also required to get involved with these tests."
"Oh dear Merlin!" I rested my head on the table, this was going to be great. Blaise had squeezed his eyes shut and was gripping the base of his nose with his fingers. "I had hoped we'd get out of this. It's so cheesy." I couldn't stop laughing, quietly into the table.
"If you are quite done Mr Malfoy." My head shot up, she and everyone else was staring at my outburst. There were only two Seventh year re-sitters from Slytherin (yours truly and Blaise) and five from Gryffindor. Potter, Granger, Weasley, Longbottom and Brown. Attention turned back to Professor McGonagall.
"Mr. Longbottom, Ms Lovegood, Ms Stenn and Mr Zabini." I glanced over at Longbottom who sighed in relief. I had a sense of dread, after all the years when I was blind with arrogance and caused and hurt them. Now I was going to be made to pay, fair and I deserve it but I still dreaded the idea.
No, Please not Potter, please not Potter, please not potter or Weasley. Please don't make me face them please.
"Look like you've seen a ghost mate." Blaise looked relieved, somehow though I wasn't going to be allowed to be with Lavender Brown, even though she hates me just as much, I hadn't hurt her directly.
"Next, Mr Potter"
"What?" I frowned. "But he's not a re-sitting Slytherin?" I turned to Blaise who shrugged.
"Anyone would've thought you wanted Potter." I stamped on his foot as hard as possible, he gave a squeak and bent down to hold his foot under the table. I could see the Golden three discussing with frowns what had happened.
"Moon is in my year." I glanced at Cyrus. "their obviously filling in the numbers with other years. Not going to work. Slytherins number is too low."
"But it’s the older years who have the biggest trust issue with Slytherin." Blaise was still rubbing his foot.
"Next, Ms Granger."
No, they wouldn't.
With what happened at that manor?
"Oh mate." I looked over to their table, Granger had a face like she'd been smacked,
Weasley's face was purple. "That’s not fair!" He bellowed.
"No more interruptions!" She continued with the next few names, I couldn't do anything. Just like when Bellatrix had tortured Hermione at the Manor. Father made me, Father always made me, he'd hurt me otherwise, a knife? That’s nothing. They don't know. I couldn't help...
"Draco, pull yourself together. Their looking at you." I glanced at Cyrus who nodded at the Gryffindor table. They were, all five. Cold faces and empty eyes. I breathed and neutralised my face, a gift I learned from being around Father. I locked eyes with Weasley. I couldn't bear to look at Granger. An expression of anger I could manage. If she showed any other I might crack...
"Come on Draco. We can go." Blaise kicked me under the table, making me break my stare with Weasley. "Cyrus we'll see you in the common room. Birdy, Rhianna. Good luck." I walked numbly towards the great hall doors. Blaise pushed through and held it for me. Oh Merlin this is going to be fun. We walked up the steps, past the stairs towards our common room.
"Oi. Malfoy!" I turned and felt a fist hit my face. My butt hit the floor and I clutched my broken nose, my face was numb with pain and shock . I opened my eyes feeling the tingle and agonizing pain in my nose, stars were popping in my vision as I just sat to let the pain subside.
"Ronald! What did you do that for!" Footsteps and more shouting. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried not to cry. I heard a spell and felt my nose fix under my hand. Which hurt even more. I laid back and bent my knees. Blinking my eyes. "Malfoy get up your fine."
"Oh really? You didn't just have your nose broken!" I sighed with relief that Blaise was there, I could feel his foot pressing against my waist, I cracked my eyelid open enough to see that he had his wand drawn.
"Ronald! First day back when we've been allowed to resit and you go and break Malfoy! That’s a great show of gratitude to Professor McGonagall!" I felt a hand grip mine.
"Draco let me look." I shoved him back and scrambled to my feet. My hands were covered in blood as was the lower half of my face. Blaise had pocketed his wand after Weasley had stepped back and was kneeling next to me.
"Go on Malfoy. Go running and tell the Professors." I met Weasley's gaze. Granger was standing between us, a look of disgust and something else in her eyes. Fear? I watched her eyes, deep chocolate brown, warm and homely. Her hair falling gently and untamed. No, don't look at her. It'll make it worse.
"No need for that." I grabbed the bottom of my robe and rubbed off the drying blood. Glancing at Hermione's face one last time. I turned and began walking away "I deserved it." I called over my shoulder. I felt my stride getting faster. I marched to the stairs and raced down the stairs.
"Draco wait!" Blaise caught up. "Yowzah talk about exiting in style." I kept walking. I couldn't feel my face. "That’s a great way to start the year" Tell me about it "I mean, they don't believe you won't try and get them in trouble"
Course not, why would they?
First story, I'm editing and adding as I go along but I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. Reviews are most welcome, and I hope you enjoy what I've written. :)
x Ravenpen x
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