A/N: I want to thank everyone who has stuck with this story. I know Kirk has probably managed to finally get to Boldly Go in the time since my last update and I just wanted to assure you that I have not abandoned this story. I am currently in an accelerated college program plus I'm doing a work study, so I have very little free time that isn't spent sleeping. Once again I thank you all for supporting this story and I hope you enjoy the latest installment.
One more quick note – there is some strong anti-gay language. This is only used as a plot device, it does not represent my own feelings on the matter.
Chapter 7: Something's Happening Here
Draco's flattering reaction to Harry's new look set the tone for the rest of the day. Everywhere he went the other students were staring at him in awe, and more than a few girls had propositioned him before breakfast was even over. The reaction was a bit more than he had expected, but he supposed that might have been due in part to the fact that the other students believed he had spouted his new appendages overnight. No one had seen his ears or tail the night before due to the heavy glamours he had placed over them. Draco had somehow managed to see through them and Harry wasn't sure if that was because he'd unconsciously lowered his glamours when he was with him or if it was for some other unknown reason.
By the time potions came around at the end of the day Harry was on the verge of losing his composure. All day the other students had been acting as though his new inheritance had given them leave to accost him at their discretion, and if one more idiot pulled on his tail or tried to pet him he was going to start hexing people. He ran out of his previous class as soon as it was over so that he could get ahead of his fellow classmates and his headlong rush through the halls to avoid the other students resulted in him being one of the first to arrive in the classroom. There were only about thirty-five students who had managed to score high enough on their exams to continue potions that year so the class was a mix from all four houses.
When he arrived Draco and two Ravenclaws were the only ones in the room and Draco immediately waved him over. Harry bit his lip and nervously approached the other boy.
"Partner me this year?" Draco asked him with a glint of hope and something unidentifiable in his eyes.
"I guess….but you better not pull my tail." Harry told him with a faint glare as he sat down next to Draco. The constant tugging at his tail by numerous unknown hands throughout the day had resulted in a throbbing ache at the base of his spine.
"Of course not. You know - you could hex them and get away with it by claiming self-defense. Pulling on your tail like that would be classed as an assault – especially with you being a submissive."
"I'd rather hex them and decrease the surplus population."
"As much as it would amuse me to see you do that, how about some chocolate instead?" asked Draco as he pulled a chocolate frog from his robe pocket.
"If you release that infernal creation in my classroom you shall regret it for the remainder of your blasted existence." Snape's voice froze Draco's actions instantly and Harry watched regretfully as the chocolate disappeared back into the confines of Draco's robes.
"I expect more forethought from you, Mr. Malfoy. What did you expect would happen when you freed a hopping chocolate frog in the presence of an agitated ichobas?"
Draco blushed and ducked his head in a rare show of emotion, before quietly repeating his apology.
"Very well, Draco. Don't let it happen again." He nodded at Draco and then turned away as the rest of the class filed in cautiously.
Having Draco as his potions partner was surprisingly enjoyable. They worked flawlessly in sync with one another and seemed to know what the other needed before they asked. Draco taught him how to put a shield charm around his cauldron so that it could not be tampered with, and explained minor corrections Harry could make while preparing the ingredients that would increase the potency and reliability of the potion. Snape did not go out of his way to insult Harry during the class, so he was able to relax and concentrate on his work. They finished their potion in record time and had made decent progress on their homework by the time Snape signaled the end of class.
The only dark spot on the time spent with Draco was the fact that Hermione was also in his class. Every time Harry turned to say or hand something to Draco he caught her glaring at him from a table a few rows back. Luckily Snape also seemed to be aware of her preoccupation with Harry and used her distraction to his advantage.
Hermione let out another frustrated huff as she looked over at Harry happily sitting with Draco, she just didn't understand what had gotten in to him. Ever since the downfall of Voldemort he had been acting very strangely – he didn't respond to Ron's invite to the burrow, he stopped talking to them completely in school, and now he'd had himself resorted into Slytherin. The worst of it was him coming back after this summer looking like a beast and giving Professor Dumbledore attitude. How dare he! Harry had no hope of ever even coming close to being as great a wizard as Albus Dumbledore.
Harry's attitude since defeating Voldemort and his new attributes were starting to make her think that Harry had absorbed part of Voldemort when he killed him. He should be more grateful and humbled by the help they had given him. It was unfortunate that he didn't die in the battle as he was prophesied to do, but they would find another means of receiving their due compensation from him. Until then she would have to keep an eye on him and make sure he wasn't going dark.
Hermione's first clue that something was wrong was the hush that fell over the room right before she felt a tingling at the back of her neck. Her eyes widened and she felt a blush rise in her cheeks and scalp as she stilled in absolute fear. Snape was gone. He was nowhere within her line of sight and dread filled her as she realized what that meant.
"Miss Granger, I was unaware that you believe yourself to be so far above your peers." Snape's silky tone sent a shiver down her spine as she turned to look at the obviously irate professor.
"I don't understand what you mean, professor. I do have the highest marks in the class though."
"And do you believe that makes you smarter than your classmates, Miss Granger?"
"Obviously, sir." She didn't bother masking the smugness in her voice; after all it was true, you only had to look at her marks to see that. The Gryffindors around her that had looked nervous before now wore looks of anticipation after her disparaging remarks towards them. The Slytherins took the situation in with malicious glee, the know-it-all was finally going to be put in her place now that she was no longer under the protection of Harry.
"Obviously." Snape sneered. "What I see as obvious is the fact that you have shoved so many books into your brain that you have pushed out all common sense."
"You can't talk to me that way!"
"I think you'll find I can Miss Granger. Being Dumbledore's pet know-it-all does not allow you to spend my entire class obsessively staring at Mr. Potter. I think you'll find that your attentions are not only unwelcome, but abhorred. Throwing yourself at Mr. Potter will not make up for what are some serious deficits in your personality."
Hermione rose lightning quick and got in Professor Snape's face.
"You have some nerve! You are nothing but a cowardly Slytherin deatheater, whereas I am the smartest witch of my generation. Just wait until I tell Dumbledore what you said – you'll be lucky if you aren't fired."
"However will you prove your claim Miss Granger?"
"You may have the Slytherins in your pocket, professor but my fellow Gryffindors will not be intimidated into silence by a greasy dungeon bat like you."
"I daresay you are mistaken, Miss Granger. You are unlikely to receive any backing from your peers after openly admitting that you believe yourself to be better than them." Hermione glanced around and realized from the looks on her classmate's faces that he was right. Her gaze settled on a smirking Harry and Draco which caused her fury to escalate. This was all Harry's fault, he had obviously planned it ahead of time.
"Stop smirking you freaky little faggot! This is all your fault!" Snape saw the rage forming on Draco's face at Hermione's insult and quickly stepped in to prevent anyone being killed in his class.
"THAT IS ENOUGH MISS GRANGER! One-hundred points from Gryffindor for your detestable behavior today and another fifty for not doing the assigned work. You have a zero for the week and detention every day including the weekends for the next month. Now leave my class and don't return until you are ready to issue a formal apology to Mr. Potter, your classmates, and myself."
"You CAN'T do that!"
"I just did. Furthermore, you will not be allowed to drop the class, so you will receive a zero for every day you miss plus another night of detention. This will go on your permanent record and considering it is a requirement to move on I do believe you will have to repeat the year."
Hermione let out an enraged scream and attempted to raise her wand and curse Professor Snape. Luckily Snape had years of experience as a spy in his favor and was able to disarm and incapacitate her before the first syllable could cross her lips.
"Miss Parkinson, please go retrieve the headmaster and Miss Granger's head of house. The rest of you clean up your areas and you are dismissed for the day."
The next day at breakfast Harry and Draco were happily digging into their breakfasts when Pansy arrived at the table. Harry unconsciously snuggled closer to Draco as he peered around the blond boy at Pansy who was seated on his other side. The girl didn't respond to Harry's questioning looks so he nudged Draco until the other boy let out an aggrieved sigh turned to Pansy.
"So Pans, would you mind letting us know what happened to the mudblood Granger before Harry fractures my ribs?"
"Dumbledore tried to claim that the mudblood's out of character behavior was due to the devastating abandonment of her closest friend after forcing her to put her life on the line year after year. He was going to overturn all of Professor Snape's punishments, but Professor Snape called in a favor and had both Madam Bones and the Grangers floo over."
"How were the Grangers able to floo in? They're muggles."
"Madam Bones apparated over to them then brought them to ministry through side-along apparition. Anyways, after the viewing the memory in Professor Snape's pensieve Madam Bones was going to suspend Granger and have her start over next year, but the Grangers said they didn't like the way she was turning out and so the removed her from Hogwarts completely. She was crying and begging but they just stood there and forbid her from coming back to the magical world until she became a better person."
"But what if she tries to perform magic illegally and someone sees? How are they planning on upholding the statute of secrecy?"
"That's an issue that Madam Bones brought up. She laid out a number of different options for the Grangers and they chose to have her magic blocked combined with a comprehensive obliviation. By now Granger should already be back home with no memories of anything magical. All of her time here has been modified so that she believes she went to a muggle boarding school and spent all of her time studying by herself."
"What about Dumbledore? Did he put up a fight?"
"Now that's the really unbelievable part. After seeing the memory of how he reacted to a student trying to curse a professor, Madam Bones declared him an unfit role model for any child. They removed him from the position of headmaster and took away his place in the Wizengamot. I heard him muttering something about having to move back to the old Dumbledore homestead." This last bit of news caused Draco to speak for the first time since the beginning of the conversation.
"So who's running the school?"
"Madam Bones called the Board of Governors over and they decided to put their head in charge of the school." Draco went white and choked on air.
"My father's the new headmaster?!"
A/N: This is not where I intended this chapter to go, but I'm not displeased with the way it turned out. I know it was Drarry-light, but I needed a way to get certain issues out of the way so that their relationship could progress smoother. Never fear though, we still have Ron to add a bit of drama when the time comes. Please review and let me know what you think.