Draco Malfoy walked quickly along the chaos filled corridors of Hogwarts. As he picked his way slowly through the increasing pile of dead bodies of both Death Eaters and students, he tried very hard not to recognize anyone.
Susan bones… Hillary… His mind, however, involuntarily registered their names.
Half an hour ago, the Death eaters had attacked, and to Draco's surprise the battle was still raging. He clutched the pack of cards in his pocket as he climbed up the stairs to the Astronomy Tower. He was a boy on the run and the pack of cards was his only hope.
As he rounded on the last flight of steps that led to the Astronomy Tower, he stopped. In the pale moonlight streaming in through the window, he saw a hunched figure, down on all fours, feeding on a barely alive first year Ravenclaw student. Draco clutched the Lycanthe that hung from his chain and sprang at the werewolf. Before the creature could react, he had plunged the Lycanthe into its back; with a piecing howl, the werewolf fell dead.
Always be prepared… The words of his father came rushing back into his head. The Lyncathe had been a present from his father on his fifteenth birthday; for Draco, now sixteen, it seemed a long time ago.
"C'mon mudblood filth there is no escape from us," said Goyle, trying to look menacing with a broken jaw.
"Yeah," said Crabbe nursing his black eye. "Give up, you don't even have your wand," he taunted.
Hermione Granger, top student of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, desperately looked around for another way of escape from the small room, other than going through the two thick-headed hulks that stood near the door. A table strewn with astronomical equipment separated her from them.
Her hands were raised in fists, in perfect imitation of muggle boxers and to the surprise of both Crabbe and Goyle, she seemed quite adept at using them.
Where are Harry and Ron? She thought desperately.
She had been in the library, studying for the test that was due in two weeks, when she had first heard the alarms. She remembered running out of the library into the Great Hall where she was met with a scene of death, destruction and fire. She remembered taking out her wand and trying to make it to the Gryffindor common room, when she had run into Crabbe and Goyle.
It had been Crabbe who had snatched her wand from her unsuspecting hand and snapped it in half. And it was Goyle who had carried her kicking and screaming up to the Astronomy Tower.
She had, at first, thought that they were doing it on the orders of the Death eaters and it somehow was connected to Harry; the real reason why they had done this became very clear after they had arrived at the Astronomy Tower. They had thought it would be easy to scare her a bit, a sort of revenge for all the hexes the trio had put on them. Of course, they had not been prepared to deal with her fists. But Hermione knew that she wasn't safe and the only reason that the hulks were hurt was because she had had the element of surprise on her side. She knew she didn't stand a chance against them and she needed help quick.
"Help," whispered the bleeding Ravenclaw boy as he flung his hands out to catch Draco's cloak as the Slytherin tried to make his way up the stairs.
"Get off," shouted Draco, kicking the flailing hands of the boy away from his robes. "If you try to bite me, I'll use the Lyncathe on you, you werewolf," he said viciously.
Draco ignored the boy's pleas and sobs as he made his way to the Astronomy Tower's storeroom. As he turned the handle to the door he couldn't help smirking at the thought that the boy had actually thought that he, Draco Malfoy, would help him.
As Hermione heard the door open, she allowed herself to fantasize, for a second, that it was Harry or Ron coming to her rescue. However, when the smirking blonde haired boy made his appearance, she felt that her only hope was to make a bolt for the door. She had quickly realized that all three Slytherins were rather surprised to see each other.
One second, he was staring at the surprise filled faces of Crabbe and Goyle; next second, he had his hands full trying to prevent a vigorously clawing brown creature from getting to the door.
"Argh," he cried as it bit him and he flung it reflexively across the room.
As the creature hit the wall and landed on the ground in a crumpled heap, he suddenly realized that it was a she in the tattered cloak and that she also happened to be Hermione Granger. Looking into the hatred filled rather teary eyes of Granger and then at the confused uneasy faces of his friends, he couldn't help but mutter to himself… this just isn't my day.
"What did you think you were doing?" asked Draco, his hands folded across his chest.
Crabbe and Goyle stood before him, shuffling uncomfortably.
"Umm Draco we… we thought we could have some fun with her, you know curse her and …stuff," Goyle said spluttering over the sentence.
Goyle went on with his defense but Draco wasn't listening. He had to make a decision.
Maybe I should tell them to find another room, no… too suspicious, maybe I should stun them all, but they'll tell when they wake up, what if I leave Granger somewhere? Damn it.
He cleared his mind fast enough to hear Goyle finish, saying, "…we didn't think you would be int …interested."
"Not int. … interested?" he said mimicking Goyle. "Let me see," he said, patronizingly. "Here, I have a perfect chance to torture a filthy mudblood, who for the past six years has always beaten me in class. Who in my third year happened to slap me before the whole school and who also just happens to be friends with the one guy in the world, who I just happen to hate, and my perfectly good friends think that I WOULDN'T BE INTERESTED." He screamed out the last part raising his voice as high as he dared to.
When the two oafs had shuffled out, Draco slammed the door and turned around only to be met with the sight of Granger standing up, clutching the wall for support, and looking ready to spring at his slightest move.
"I'm warning you Malfoy, try to touch me and I'll make you wish that you were never born."
Draco shut out Hermione's threats as he started rethinking his plan. He had a certain panache for ignoring other people, which he used to his full advantage, as Hermione's voice reached its shrillest crescendo.
He moved to the window, ignoring Hermione and looked out. The sheer drop seemed to do wonders to his mood and as he turned around, Hermione saw that he had a smug grin on his face. "If you don't shut up mudblood, I'll throw you out of the window," he said, smiling serenely
"What are you looking for?" asked Hermione, staring at Draco, who was now busy searching in his robes.
He has his wand in his hand, what is he looking for? "Malfoy?" she asked.
Draco, finding the pack of cards at last, to his great relief, heard her questioning tone and said, without a thought, "No."
"You haven't heard a word of what I have said, have you?" grated Hermione, who did not care for not being listened to.
"You think I have time to hear what a mudblood says," he answered carelessly, as he continued to scrutinize the box.
Then… then you don't want… why… why did you say what you said to…so you weren't meaning to…'' she said and then stopped suddenly finding herself lost for words.
"As if I would touch a mudblood," he said, the disgust evident on his face.
Hermione was just about to retort when there was a knock on the door and Crabbe 's voice was heard.
"Um… Draco, you better be quick, your father and others are coming this way."
He seemed afraid for a second but then with a smirk in her direction, he answered in a singsong voice, "Almost done."
He moved quickly now. With one swish of his wand, he directed an advanced spell of transfiguration at the box. As Hermione watched, it started becoming longer and thinner and sprouted feathers at one end.
Wait, those aren't feathers its a broomstick.
"That's Harry's firebolt, you scumbag, you stole it," she said recognizing the broom.
Draco shot Hermione an appraising look as he answered. "So? I stole it. What are you going to do? Take me to McGonagall. But wait, she might be dead, by now," he said, a hopeful look in his eyes.
He mounted the broom and turned in her direction, and then with a smirk that could almost be called charming, he put out his hand towards her and asked, "Do you want to come?"
Well here it is. The first chapter of my very first story. The plot (and yes, there is some plot in it) is pretty simple. I just hope that you'll like what I write.
Thanks to Oldoverholt, my beta reader, for making this readable.