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Chapter 15 : Midnight Patrolling
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Harry led Hermione to the spare table, asking her how her Christmas was. She lied, replying that not much happened, nothing too special. She in turn asked him how it was at Won Won’s. Hermione snapped at him, glaring, when he asked her whether she would let it go. But she couldn’t. Ron didn’t deserve her time.
Harry dropped the subject of Ron together and began recounting what he had overheard between Snape and Malfoy. “Malfoy knows Legilimency, Hermione! He told Snape he did.”
Hermione’s voice was caught in her throat as she nodded slowly. This couldn’t be serious... Draco wouldn’t...
Harry ploughed on, “Snape was offering him help, told him he made the Unbreakable Vow to his Mother. He said he’ll protect Draco. And you want to know what Draco did? He refused, Hermione. He told Snape that he was trying to steal his glory.”
Once Harry had finished, Hermione sat in thought and then said, “Don’t you think –"*
“ – he was pretending to offer help so that he could trick Malfoy into telling him what he’s doing?”*
Hermione nodded, saying yes in response. Harry told her that both Mr. Weasley and Lupin think so, though the exchange between the two Slytherins definitely proved that Malfoy’s up to something, and that even Hermione couldn’t deny it.
Hermione wished she could deny it though. Malfoy wouldn’t be up to something... he couldn’t. He wouldn’t do that... he’s too...nice.
Ah, but is he? Remember all those times he called you a Mudblood?
Hermione tried her best not to listen to the voice that kept on creeping into her head and listen to what Harry was now saying. Hermione tried reasoning with Harry, that maybe “your master” didn’t mean Voldemort, but actually meant Lucius Malfoy, and that Draco was doing something for him, but who was she kidding, even she herself didn’t believe that. She stared out into the Common Room, lost in deep thought, until she turned back to Harry and asked him how Lupin was doing.
“Lupin said he’s been underground a whole lot, he’s living with werewolves,” he said in an undertone. He then asked her whether she knew Fenrir Greyback.
Hermione jumped in realization. She told Harry that she had, and incidentally so had he! Harry thought she had heard of the deranged werewolf in History of Magic, but she shook her head.
“No, no, not History of Magic – Malfoy threatened Borgin with him! Back in Knockturn Alley, don’t you remember? He told Borgin that Greyback was an old family friend and that he’d be checking up on Borgin’s progress!”* she said in a rush.
Harry exclaimed then that this basically proved Malfoy was a Death Eater.
Hermione bit her lip. He couldn’t be a Death Eater... he just couldn’t be...
She then countered lamely, stating that maybe it was an empty threat. Harry was marveled at her ignorance, and began telling her about his row with the Minister of Magic.
“He wants me to be the Ministry’s poster boy! After this,” he said, flashing his wrist. “After Umbridge!”
Hermione nodded viciously in return and the duo spent the rest of the evening abusing Rufus Scrimgeour, until they were interrupted by Ron.
“Er – Hermione?”
“What?” she snapped.
“The Heads wanted all the Prefects down in the Great Hall, and uh, I met them in the corridor, so if you wanted to come –"
“You go. I’ll come in a second.”
“Okay,” Ron replied, sounding relieved that Hermione hadn’t set birds on him again.
Hermione bid Harry goodbye and fastened her Prefect badge, the Fat Lady closing behind her. Her stomach churned when she realized that a certain someone will be in the Great Hall too. That is, if he doesn’t skive off. Again.
Draco growled as a pillow hit him, hard on the face.
“What the hell Blaise!” he grunted, turning over. “What do you want?”
“Pansy told me to tell you that the Prefects need to meet in the Great Hall right now.”
Draco tried pulling his curtains closed but Blaise resisted from the other side. “Why don’t you go for me?”
“I’m not the pretty Prefect, you are,” he replied with a smirk.
“Fine,” Draco said, getting up, though he had no intention of actually going. He figured he might as well go back to the Room of Requirement, since he had after all, been lying in bed after his incident in the girl’s washroom.
Draco made his way up from the dungeons, and was just about to turn when a firm hand grasped his shoulder.
“Mister Malfoy, the way to the Great Hall is that way.”
McGonagall. Draco swallowed.
“Of course, Professor,” he choked out.
McGonagall looked at him up down, sizing him up. “Hmph. Come along, I was just about to go down myself.”
“After you Professor.”
“No, Malfoy. After you. You’ve missed far too many meetings. Continue and that badge on your chest will vanish quicker than you can say “Prefect.” Hurry along now,” she said, her lips barely moving, pursed into a tight frown.
The boy and Professor walked slowly, Draco’s mind wandering off to the Room of Requirement. As they entered the Great Hall, Draco caught the faces of Pansy, the Hufflepuff Ernie who he had Potions with, and a girl with pigtails who he was sure was a Hufflepuff too. Who else would have hair like that?
As he came closer though, he spotted the Ravenclaw Prefect Anthony Goldstein, the oaf Weasley, and to his pleasure, Hermione.
“Now that we’re all here, Remington and Pastore, please address your Prefects.”
Draco rolled his eyes in boredom, not believing his luck. The Head Girl Remington began talking.
“The Headmaster is once again out on business. We’ll be patrolling the grounds in pairs. So get yourselves partners and come see us and we’ll tell you what corridor you’ll be patrolling.”
Draco watched as Pansy scrambled to the Ravenclaw Goldstein, and smirked when Hermione refused to partner up with Weasley.
“Weasley! Partner up with Miss Patil, and Miss Granger, I guess you’ll have to be with - ah – Malfoy,” came the Transfiguration Professor’s voice, as she swept the Prefects into groups of two.
And once again, Draco just couldn’t believe his luck.
When Hermione left the Common Room ten minutes ago, the last thing she would’ve expected was patrolling the dungeons, wands out, with Draco Malfoy. And not ending up hexing him.
“So, how was your first day back?” she asked him, trying to fill in the silence.
“Horrible,” he replied, and though she couldn’t see his face, Hermione knew he was smirking.
“Well that’s rotten luck.”
Silence followed as they doubled back the corridor, but this time was broken by Draco. “I don’t even know why they’re even making us do this. Who do they expect to Apparate into Hogwarts? The Dark Lord?”
Hermione’s eyes widened when he said “The Dark Lord”. She hid her notion and said, “The Dark Lord?”
She saw Draco’s face become more pale than usual. “You-Know-Who of course.”
She nodded slowly in return. It was just a slip up, right? After all, he was surrounded with Death Eaters. “Exactly. I mean, haven’t they read Hogwarts A History? You just can’t Apparate or Disapparate inside of Hogwarts ground –"
“You are such a dork,” he interrupted.
Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. “Ferret.”
“Haha, real original. At least I don’t bounce,” she teased with a suggestive eyebrow.
“You did not just go there!” he said, trying to sound serious but failing miserably. Soon him and Hermione were laughing, hard, and she couldn’t help but notice that his face was still tinged, and he still had dark bags under his eyes.
“Do you not sleep Draco?”
“What?” he spluttered, taken aback at the sudden change of subject.
“Do you not sleep? I mean your eyes...” she trailed, looking down at her shoes, embarrassed.
Draco looked hard back at her and said stiffly, “Yes I do Granger. I get plenty of sleep, thank you very much.”
Hermione knew to drop the subject there.
At midnight, they both walked back to the Great Hall, where McGonagall told them they were to return the next night, and continue to do so until Dumbledore came back. Hermione nodded her head in approval haughtily, and made her way out, her stomach still churning. She’d just managed to break whatever she had had with Draco, why couldn’t she just keep her fat mouth shut?
*- Taken from Page 232, Chapter 17 A Sluggish Memory from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.
AN: Well, there you have it! I hope you found this a bit better than the last chapter. Please be sure to drop a line or two with thoughts or suggestions! Alsooo, I got third place in the Casual Vacancy Quote Challenge! I had tons of fun writing it, and it turned out alright :)
Until next time!
Edied 01/12/2013 -- typos
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