Author's Note: Hello all, you might know me as the author of Against All Odds and if you do, why the hell are you reading this? Against All Odds sucked, but this is better! If you read one thing of mine, please read this and not Against All Odds! I'm asking you now, please be patient with me because I might not update as regularly as I did with what shall now be referred to as "the other fic". Okay, this author's note is very important because first of all, it's probably the third time I've written an author's note for this chapter (I don't know why that makes this A/N important, but hear me out! Besides, I'm wired on Pepsi right now!) Secondly, if you are going back and reading this from the first… or second time I've changed it… I would just like to say to you, that until I update a sparkling new chapter, this will be the last time I change this story! Yay! Shadows of Light is going to be completely revolutionized once Lyssa (my beta-reader who is also a very gifted writer-go read her stuff!) my editor Alexa, and I get finished with it.. Don't worry, same plot… Just more! *evil maniacal grin*
Pairings: Draco and Hermione (of course)
Rating: As of now, PG-13
Disclaimer: If I said I owned this, would you believe me? If so, then Joanne Kathleen Rowling is just a 15 year old girl who likes Eminem and writes fanfictions based on my work. Idiot.
Summary: Draco Malfoy had always hated that Harry Potter and his two best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and the hatred had magnified since they had landed his once highly-esteemed father in the wizard prison Azkaban. That was why nobody would put it past him to feign injury in order to torture Hermione Granger into doing his work for him in the name of vengeance on Potter. Endangering her life also sounded like the sort of thing he would do. But what happens when an emotion much stronger than revenge begins to take hold? Could it be that fate has other plans?
Shadows of Light
His gray eyes scanned the platform apathetically. His face was devoid of any emotion, giving his features a snobbish bored aspect. However, Draco Malfoy was anything but bored. He watched the crowds scamper and scurry to get on the Hogwarts Express lazily from his comfortable seat on the train.
The truth was, he was rather looking forward to Hogwarts this year for a change. He watched as a group of fearful looking first years were trampled over by a hurrying group of older students. Yes, he was quite excited about Hogwarts this year, he mused staring absently at Neville Longbottom who had tripped over a second year on his way to the train and was now apologizing profusely.
Two great figures loomed over the crowd which parted despite the confusion on the platform. Crabbe and Goyle clambered onto the train. Draco could have sworn he felt it rock slightly as their large feet made contact. His lips formed around a smirk.
In a few minutes' time, they would come thundering into his pleasantly empty compartment. Not that Draco minded. They were his friends, if you could call them that. He only knew them as big and incredibly stupid, two qualities that made them easy to bend to his will.
Outside, the barrier opened with only minutes to spare before the train set out on it's journey north. Students were running from all directions onto the scarlet engine. Harry Potter, Ron and Ginny Weasley, and Hermione Granger came jogging through the barrier out of breath. They were followed closely by a flurry of people, most of whom were sporting the trademark flaming Weasley hair and second-hand robes. The troublesome twins, Fred and George, were included in this equation, which, in Draco's opinion, greatly lowered the total IQ of the whole meagerly-clad bunch. He watched bemusedly as Potter checked his watch and hollered something to his friends who crowded around him.
Draco was pleased to see that they all wore very serious expressions and stood huddled together, Harry in the middle, while the quartet of Gryffindors spoke their grave goodbyes to the group of wizards that had followed them in. He smirked noting how they looked over their shoulders every so often, but they had no idea just how much danger they were in.
Lord Voldemort would get his hands on that scar-headed, stupid, feel-sorry-for-me-because-the-Dark-Lord-has-returned-and-wants-me-dead, four-eyed prick. Draco was going to personally see to it that Potter paid for landing his once highly-respected father in Azkaban, and for bringing shame on the Malfoy name. A surge of white hot anger coursed through him, but he quickly stifled it. The time would come when Potter would suffer for his crimes and it would all be worthwhile. When the whistle blew, Potter, Granger, and the youngest two of the Weasley litter ran to the Hogwarts Express, their luggage trailing along behind them.
The compartment door slid open and Crabbe and Goyle thundered in, just as the engine roared to life and the train began its journey.
"Hey Draco," said Crabbe plopping down next to him. Draco mumbled a greeting to his companions.
"Just got finished showing a few Second Year runts who's boss around this place," Goyle grunted seating himself across from Draco. He looked rather self-satisfied.
A loud knock sounded on the door. "This compartment is full," Draco drawled. The knock sounded again, a little sharper than the one that preceded it. Draco sighed loudly in annoyance and pulled himself out of his seat to answer the door.
"What do you wan-- hello Professor." Professor McGonagall stood outside his compartment door looking extremely cross. Her lips were set in a very, very thin line and her eyes were narrowed behind her square spectacles.
"Mr. Malfoy, correct me if I'm wrong but did I not state clearly in your Hogwarts letter that all Sixth Year Prefects are to report to the Prefect compartment for a brief conference?"
"Sorry, professor," he said quietly following her as she swept down the train's corridor to the Prefect compartment.
Draco put on his best "I'm a good little rule-abiding Prefect" face and stayed in close step behind his Transfiguration teacher. While he stayed silent, inwardly Draco was cursing the bothersome professor. Why did she always have to favor the Gryffindors and treat Slytherin as if they were absolute scum? The truth of the matter was, Draco would have had his father pull some strings a while ago and get McGonagall fired right from the off, had it not been for Professor Snape showing the same bias for his own House. Speaking of which, if Professor McGonagall was on the train, shouldn't Professor Snape be as well? And come to that, why was McGonagall on the train in the first place?
Before Draco had a chance to inquire about her presence, however, McGonagall reached out and slid back the door to a compartment, revealing the rest of the school Prefects and the new Head Boy and Girl. Everyone looked upon up their arrival. Some, the Slytherins, nodded to Draco as a sign of greeting, while others, like Granger and Weasley who were standing together looking particularly impatient- as if they had anything better to do- glared at him, looks which Draco returned full force. Speaking of Weasley scum, Draco noted that this year, there was not one, but two fiery-haired atrocities contaminating the prestigious compartment with their poverty. Maybe the little Weasel girl was not as daft as she looked, but, judging by her dirt-nosed, dilapidated appearance, Draco did not suppose this was such a difficult feat.
"Now that we are all here," McGonagall began crisply, shooting an almost accusatory glance at Draco before continuing, "I have a few announcements to make as Deputy Headmistress. Professor Dumbledore thought it best that a few teachers remain on the train with the rising threat of Lord Voldemort hanging over… " McGonagall scowled as a collective gasp ran through the compartment. The Slytherins were looking exceptionally smug. "...therefore I will be introducing this year's new prefects and Head Boy and Girl."
She pulled out a scroll and unfurled it. "For Gryffindor," she read deferentially. "Ginny Weasley and Willam Figglesworth. For Hufflepuff, Elizabeth Cantera and Nicolas Whitby. For Ravenclaw, Luna Lovegood and Jack Sadler. And for Slytherin, Dominique Tripp and Warner Kensington. As for our Head Boy and Girl, Isabelle Clearwater from Ravenclaw and Darian Meisser from Slytherin." Professor McGonagall rolled up the scroll, and tapping it once with her wand, it disappeared with a small 'poof'.
One boy, a Hufflepuff who's name Draco neither knew nor cared, raised his hand. McGonagall turned to him, "Yes?"
The boy's voice was curious, "Why did you make the list disappear, Professor? Are Prefects secret this year? Should we not wear our badges?"
"No, Mr. Tripper, Prefects are not secret this year. However, I'm glad you brought that point up." She then turned and addressed the rest of the compartment. "As a necessary precaution, this year all important documents containing any information that we may not want falling into," she paused, and Draco could have sworn her eyes stopped on him for a second before resuming her speech, "the wrong hands, will be destroyed once they are no longer useful. This and other preventative measures will be taken in order to keep Hogwarts as safe as it has always been."
Ginny Weasley spoke up. "But, with Professor Dumbledore back, is that really necessary? I mean, I don't want to put an invisibility charm on my homework just in case it's intercepted."
A few kids laughed, Draco just scowled, and McGonagall looked at the out-spoken Gryffindor rather sternly. "Well, Miss Weasley, as important as education is, your homework is hardly the kind of document I was speaking of. And, yes, even with Headmaster Dumbledore back--"
"What ever happened to that old bag Umbridge anyway?" Professor McGonagall turned to Ernie MacMillan who had interrupted her, clearly perturbed.
"Ms. Umbridge," her nostrils flared as she spoke the name, "is currently--"
"Yeah, and what about the students who were in league with her against Dumbledore? Her 'Inquisitorial Squad' or whatever they called themselves." It was the Weasel who had obtruded on the Professor's statement this time. "Shouldn't there be some sort of," the red-haired mongrel glared pointedly at Draco as he spoke the last word, "punishment?"
"Please refrain from interrupting me, Mr. Weasley. Now to answer your question--"
But Draco had a question of his own. "Or, Professor, what about the students involved in the illegal organization that was the cause of our Headmaster's departure in the first place? Shouldn't they be the ones to receive," Draco looked at Ron, saying more with his silver glare than he dared to aloud in front of a teacher, "punishment?"
"And, if I remember correctly, Professor McGonagall," the Weasel cut-in again, not even bothering to look at the teacher he addressed, but instead shooting daggers at Draco, "it was the Inquisitorial Squad that caught the members of said 'illegal organization' and brought them to Umbridge, which then resulted in the departure of our Headmaster. Shouldn't that call for some," his eyes were now narrow slits, opened only wide enough to look at the arrogant blonde standing by the door in what he seemed to think was a threatening manner, "punishment?"
Draco didn't even give McGonagall time to get in one word before he retaliated, sneering at the poorly-bred boy before him, whose ears were now as red as his hair in his anger, "Considering the fact that--" But Draco never got a chance to finish his quick-witted comeback, for the Weasel spoke once more.
"Or, Professor McGonagall, perhaps the fact that some," his look of malice toward Draco was now one of pure loathing as the compartment door slid open and shut quietly, "members of the Inquisitorial Squad's parents are dirty stinking Death Eaters rotting in a cell in Azkaban, and their children are well on their way down the same path, this calls for some," the freckle-faced snot-nosed hand-me-down-robed Weasley snarled, "punishment?"
Draco could barely remember being this angry in his entire life, but he dared not to show it. One would only know the extent of his rage if they looked into his eyes. His gray eyes emanated an icy fury directed vehemently at the fiery red-head. Their two personalities and glares clashed as violently as the elements which represented them. Malfoy against Weasley. Impertinence against petulance. Ice against fire.
Draco didn't shout, but his voice was low, unnervingly cool, and bore evidence to only one emotion; pure, cold hatred. "Or possibly, Professor, some of the members of the aforementioned organization would not have need join at all, if it weren't for their," Draco paused conspicuously and looked the furious Weasley up and down appraisingly, then with a quick sneer and a flare of his nostrils, as if dismissing something unwanted and disgusting, returned to his speech, "less than standard upbringing. If I am to understand, they were a group which met to review more practical uses of Defense Against the Dark Arts, skills that one with proper background would have long since mastered. Surely, those dull-witted students whom are the bi-products of such ill-breeding, should, for the sole reason that their families are worthless, impoverished filth, be subject to some long-overdue but well-deserved," he raised his eyebrows as he spat the last word, "punishment?"
The tension in the compartment reached a boiling point as Ron made a lunge for the aloof blonde leaning arrogantly against the wall. Pansy Parkinson let out a shriek of laughter as Hermione and Ginny grabbed both of Ron's freckled arms and pulled him back so forcefully that he fell backwards and lost his balance.
The Slytherins in the compartment erupted with laughter as a thoroughly humiliated and still quite furious Ron got to his feet, stubbornly refusing the hands offered to him by the two girls that had accidentally knocked him down in the first place.
"Mr. Weasley!" Professor McGonagall screeched her voice sounding oddly like a hissing grate. "I am appalled at your behavior! As a Prefect and a sixth-year you should know to never ever openly attack another student! As for you Mr. Malfoy, your comments were completely out of place and quite frankly I don't blame Mr. Weasley for attempted onslaught! Both of you will receive a detention! And I trust that the other prefects and Heads of Houses in this compartment will not say a word to the rest of the student body about how two of your fellow prefects do not know how to contain themselves from childish quarrels!"
"Professor McGonagall, if I may," a cool voice intercepted. Many people in the compartment jumped at the sound of Snape's voice; they had not been aware of his arrival, as they were distracted by Draco and Ron's heated argument. "From what I saw, which is, I'm sure, enough to pass fair judgment, Mr. Malfoy was only making a harmless suggestion, and in doing so did not target any one particular student. His words certainly did not provoke Mr. Weasley's sudden burst of violence and I saw no hostility in Mr. Malfoy's actions to warrant Weasley's ill-conceived attempt to cause harm to his fellow classmate. Therefore, and as he is in my House I am quite in the right to say, I see no reason why Mr. Malfoy should get a detention, unless speaking one's mind is yet another precautionary rule the school has enforced that of which I have, as of yet, been uninformed. I have been fifteen years in service to this school, and I think I can recognize when a student is deserving or undeserving of," the Potions Master's coal black eyes rested menacingly on Ron, "punishment."
Professor McGonagall's lips thinned sternly as she looked upon her colleague. "I suppose that is for you to decide, Severus. But I know when a student is deserving or undeserving of punishment also, and Mr. Weasley you'll forgive me, if I don't let you off the hook." She turned to address the multitude of Prefects that had been watching interestedly. "A Prefect's duty is a very serious one, and I hope you are all taking extra precautions in setting better examples for your younger, more impressionable classmates then the display I have seen here today. Your first prefect meeting will take place in the Prefect's Lounge at seven o'clock sharp tomorrow after dinner. I expect to see you all there. You may go back to your compartments now." Professor McGonagall turned sharply and exited the compartment followed closely by Snape.
Twenty-four students shuffled out of the magically magnified compartment, a few looked quite disappointed that the show was over. Draco walked behind two fuming Weasley's and a silent Granger making a mental note of where their compartment was before sauntering off to his own to pick up his cronies for a little meeting of his own.
Okay, we're done!! *wipes brow* Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, and for a change please review! Teehee, just because I changed the chapter three times, doesn't mean I'm going to mess with the corny A/N at the bottom! lol!