Chapter 26 : Things Get Mucked Up
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Draco headed towards Laura’s last class which happened to be Potions with the Gryffindors. Behind him, Kieran and Finnigan walked to a study room.
“His hair is so gorgeous,” Siena sighed, referring to Malfoy. “If only I could run me fingers through that blonde hair just once…”
“I’m right here you know,” Seamus said jealously, pulling on her arm.
“Oh! You should do you hair spiked like that,” she said, messing with his brown hair attempting to spike it up. “And you could bleach it too! We learned a hair colour changing spell awhile back…I think I remember how it goes. Let’s try it! Please—!”
“Anything for me bonny lass,” Seamus grinned.
She clapped her hands together nearly squealing at the thought.
Draco glanced behind him when he heard Kieran shrieking. He raised an eyebrow at the pair, but continued forward to where he should have found Laura waiting for him. He spotted Ginny and asked her if she saw Laura leave.
“I’ve no idea where she is,” Ginny answered in a nice-to-see-you-too attitude adding wryly, “probably wagging class.”
“You know where she is,” Draco prompted insistently.
Ginny exhaled. “She got up in the middle of Potions and ran out of the room. I think she said some excuse, but she left without permission and Snape yelled at her to come back, but she didn’t,” she told him with a shrug. “Oh, there she is.” She gestured a little further down the hallway where Laura appeared from a girls’ toilet.
Draco thanked Ginny without anyone else hearing him and went over to Laura. Without words, he slipped his arm around her waist and carried her books with his other hand and the two of them walked back together to Slytherin Tower.
Ginny watched them walk away together and smiled despite herself. She was glad that things were looking up for them and that Draco didn’t seem as upset anymore about his mother. But she couldn’t help listening to the nagging voice in her heart, warning her that if Draco’s father learned of his true relationship with Marwood, he might harm his own son to keep them apart.
If what everyone said about the family rivalry and what information she had pestered her brother and Hermione to reveal from their visit to Hagrid’s was true, the potential for disaster was only increased. Was there any way she could possible help Draco? She decided that if her brother and Hermione were interested in solving the murder case, her best bet was to tag along and find out any information she could because if they figured out who was really responsible and they had enough proof, they might be able to put that person away for good. If the criminal was in Azkaban, she might just save Draco’s life.
“How do you think the N.E.W.Ts went?” Harry asked Kelly after offering to carry her large History of Magic book. They followed Seamus and Siena down the hallway.
“Honestly? I think I failed,” she said simply.
“That’s impossible! You’re one of the top students in our class and you’re in Ravenclaw. I think it’s a rare day a Ravenclaw fails anything…well…besides Potions, but that’s just because Snape hates anyone who’s not in Slytherin,” Harry replied sincerely.
“Except maybe Siena,” Kelly laughed. “He likes to pick on her and make her stay after class.”
Harry shook his head. “I don’t want to think about that!” He sounded disgusted. “Snape and her…not a picture I wanted in my head! Thanks a lot, Kelly!”
“I’m not the one who started it!” she teased.
When they arrived at the study room, the pair sat across from each other and started on their homework. They were probably the only seventh-years in the study room who were actually doing work, but they were good students like that.
“I’d offer to do your homework for you, but I’d probably end up losing you points instead of helping,” Harry said.
Kelly found it a little odd how Harry had been acting around her as of late. He seemed to be more willing to offer to carry her books or do things for her, but not in a way like he was trying to impress her. Maybe on some level he felt like he owed her something or perhaps he just wanted something from her? Maybe after telling her he loved her he wanted to back up his declaration? Either way, she liked the change.
She smiled. “Why would you do a thing like that?”
Harry shrugged with a smile curling about his lips.
“You know, Harry, all you have to do is ask,” she said.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know perfectly well what I’m talking about,” she said with a flirtatious grin. “Stop acting like such a girl, you sissy.”
Harry kissed her then, showing his girlfriend that the famous Harry Potter wasn’t afraid of anything.
Even Hermione, who was usually the obsessive swot, backed off from studying and enhanced her curiosity of the Malfoy and Marwood family histories once the N.E.W.Ts were finished. “Why are you following me?” she asked Ron as she headed for the library after classes ended for the day.
“I’m not following you. I just want to find out about the rivalling families,” he partially lied, jogging to catch up to her.
When they got to the section of the library that had volumes of historical wizarding families, they were surprised to find Ginny sitting in a corner with stacks of books on the table.
“What are you doing, Ginny? You can’t possibly have so much homework that you have to study right after classes.”
“I’m looking over the old Daily Prophet articles I thumbed through last year about the Malfoy and Marwood families. I just thought a refresher might point me in the direction of some clues.” She looked up from her work to meet the stares of her brother and Hermione. They looked doubtful. “I want to find out who’s responsible for killing Draco’s mum just as much, if not more, than you do, so count me in on your investigation!”
They exchanged glances as if they were detective partners deciding whether to believe an informant. “Well, show us what you’ve got so far then,” Hermione commanded.
“Here’re the articles I found last year. Not much to them, but they give a good overview of what happened during the investigation behind Lucretia Marwood’s murder.” She pushed the articles towards them, allowing them time to read.
“I don’t know, Hermione,” Ron said after reading. “It sounds like there’s plenty here to assume it’s Marwood, but why would Wen be absent from school during the week of her murder? He’s got to be connected to this somehow.”
“Maybe he was ill?” Hermione suggested.
“A very convenient illness then.”
“What if we ask Madam Pomfrey about it? If she treated him or knew about him being ill, then that would make a substantial alibi as to why he’d be absent from class,” Hermione said wisely.
Ginny tagged along as the pair headed for the hospital wing.
After about ten minutes of waiting for Madam Pomfrey to be free to chat and asking her a few well-placed questions, they found out Wen had complained of a stomach-ache, but didn’t stay for treatment. “Odd, wouldn’t you say?” Ron asked Hermione with raised eyebrow, not even looking at his sister.
“Odd yes, but that still doesn’t convict him of murder,” Hermione argued, also not acknowledging Ginny.
“What’s left then? Searching through his belongings?” Ron rubbed his hands together, eager to search through a teacher’s personal things.
“I don’t think so!” Hermione refused.
“What about talking to him?” Ginny finally got a word in.
“Oh, that’d really get us somewhere!” Ron sarcastically remarked. “You think we could just walk up to Wen saying, ‘Hello Professor, tell us, how did you go about murdering Mrs Malfoy last week?’”
Oddly, Hermione considered it. “But if we talk to him separately, we might each get different pieces of information…”
“What are you saying Hermione? Speak English,” Ron muttered.
“If we each took turns talking to Wen about the week of the murder, he might give us different responses. If we are able to catch inconsistencies, we might catch him in a lie and then we’d have evidence of…” she broke off, realizing she had been talking too loudly. Readjusting her volume level she continued, “…guilt or conspiracy.”
Their idea was a good one, but all their attempts to catch Wen in a lie failed. This didn’t lessen Ron’s resolve that Wen was somehow involved with Narcissa’s death. “I still say, he’s the one who did it.”
“Give it up, Ron,” Hermione disagreed. “We don’t have sufficient evidence!”
“Just because he gave us the same story doesn’t mean he’s telling us the truth!” Ron countered heatedly. “He’s probably planning to do us all in!”
“You’re paranoid!” Hermione huffed. “You’re draw conclusions without any facts to back them up!”
After clearing Wen’s name, there was no doubt in Ginny’s mind that Roger Marwood had murdered her. Since there was nothing to do, but hope neither Roger nor Lucius went after Draco, she freed herself from the endless rows between her brother and his ex-girlfriend. She decided to spend more quality time with Janet and the Hufflepuffs.
Voldemort stood in front of a mirror with a halo of azure light hovering around it with Lucius Malfoy at his side. “Look into the mirror, Lucius,” he commanded darkly.
The scene that played before him in the mirror was the worst thing imaginable. He witnessed his son professing his love for a Marwood. “Gods-‘Riana! I love you,” Draco was panting.
Lucius turned away from the sight, anger flaring in ever fibre of his being, so much so that he was unable to speak.
“This will all end after the death of Harry Potter,” Voldemort promised. “After he dies, I’ll execute the girl.”
Lucius relaxed a bit. “Thank you, my master,” he said, bowing.
In a swirl of cerulean fog, the scene altered and a similar scene played before Roger Marwood. Through the conjured mist, Laura moaned, “I love you, Draco…”as Roger stood beside Voldemort in front of the ghostly mirror.
He growled at the mention of his enemy’s son.
“He will die, Roger,” Voldemort craftily sneered in Roger’s ear, “After the death of Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy will die by my hand.”
“Your wisdom constantly astounds me, my master,” Roger replied, bowing.
Laura was kicking the sheets away and off of her; her eyes moving swiftly under their lids in REM sleep. She moved her mouth like she was trying to scream but something was preventing sounds to come out in more than a murmur.
Sweat chilled on Draco’s forehead causing him to wake with a start. He looked next to him where Laura’s cold figure lay, still as death. Her lips were an icy shade of blue, and when he leaned close to listen to her breathe, he wasn’t able to make out even a soft breath.
Something hit the side of his leg…
Draco was awakened by something kicking his leg.
Laura’s hands clutched at the bedspread and finally her eyes opened. Her heart was beat wildly, her hair was tossed about recklessly, and tears mixed with sweat as she panted in fear, “They killed you-right in front of me-I couldn’t-and then-oh gods-Draco-you were—”
Now it was his turn to comfort her. Her nightmares haunted her far worse than his. He knew it was just a dream and he could push his dream to the back of his mind, but why was she so affected? She was thoroughly frightened, frightened for him. He soothed her, allowing her to cling to him as though her life depended on how tightly she held him. He smoothed her untamed hair as she cried, “I can’t lose you-you’re the only one who-I’d rather die than-can’t lose-”
“It’s OK… Everything will be OK…” he repeated the lie over and over hoping it helped calm her, “It’s OK.” What were they going to do after he graduated? Was there any way to protect her-to protect himself after leaving the school?
Thoughts emanated between them, though Laura tried to withhold things from him. “What is it that you’re not telling, Riana?” He felt she was holding something back and if there was any way he could help her, he wanted to know.
How could he possibly know whether she was or was not concealing something from him? “Are you developing some telepathic capabilities I don’t know about, Draco?”
“Maybe? Maybe not… It’s just- I get this feeling from you that you’re not telling me everything and I’m used to feeling open when you connect with me…”
Her wide dark eyes blinked away from his and stared at her lap as she partially lied, “I also dreamt about Voldemort saying he was going to kill Harry. That’s all.”
With his arms still around her, he was able to assess she still hadn’t told him everything, but didn’t want to force it out of her. He figured she was gaining more control of her thoughts now, so perhaps the next time she healed someone, they wouldn’t be able to enter her thoughts anymore.
Whatever it was that she was hiding, it must be horrible…
A/N: Some people were asking about character motivation... My synopsis is that few people, if any, are perfect in real life.
Harry still has feelings for his ex (who doesn’t?), but he really fancies Kelly now. Also, he’s a teenaged boy with raging hormones. (If you aren’t old enough yet or it’s been awhile since you were that age, imagine it.) Kelly really fancied Ron at first, but he had a gf, so it was hands-off after that. She is, however, currently infatuated with Harry! She wasn’t going to go out with him at first because she was worried about her grades and Quidditch, but Quidditch is over now and so are the N.E.W.T.s. Therefore... ::mischievous grin::
As far as Draco and Laura are concerned, I leave it up to you to decide how you feel about them. I really, really want to tell you, but I’m forcing myself not to! Just three words I could tell you would reveal the whole thing…No! I won’t give in to the temptation!
I don’t want to give away the plot by telling you every detail of everyone’s love-life. I’m trying to make this story as realistic as possible and not FLUFF. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Ginny, etc. are “real” in my story and I’m trying to write accordingly.
If you want fluff, go someplace else. ;-)
Ron and Hermione? Oh dear, those crazy kids! They are currently reverting to the ol’ fightin’ duo… That’s why I had them break up. I wanted their chemistry to be illustrated in a more fun way. Happy is boring, evil is fun! (You can quote me on that by the way ::grins::)
And Ginny? She’s not all that she seems. You’ll see. You’ll all see! BWHAHHAAHAAAHAHAAAAA ::raises an eyebrow, shrugging:: Don’t mind me…
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