Plots, Death, and a Surprise
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A pale boy with a pointed face stepped onto Platform 9 ¾. It was his last year at the infamous Hogwarts, and he was planning on making it memorable. Every other year had been so… monotonous. The Boy-Who-Should've-Died was always getting praised for his accomplishments, and he was always shoved aside, looking extremely evil next to his "goody-goody"-ness. The boy scoffed at the thought of him. How he hated Harry Potter and his sidekick losers. They were so… gallant. It was irritating; they were all royal pricks in his arse. The boy started when he heard a cold- colder than his own- behind him.
"Now, now Draco," drawled Lucius Malfoy, the pasty boy's father. The boy- Draco- turned slowly around to face his father. "I know it's your last year at this wretched school, and I want you to make me proud. This will be the year that you top the filthy little Mudblood." Draco winced. That would be way too difficult of a task to complete.
"But Father…," he started to whine.
"Not buts, Draco. I know that she is top of the class, and it'll be quite difficult for anyone to match or top her- ah- intelligence," Lucius said dryly. "But you, as a Malfoy, are not just anyone. I want you to top her, son. Make me- an old man- proud. I daresay that you'll find an honor awaiting you at the end of term." Draco smirked- he knew what the award was. The initiation to become a Death Eater.
"Yes, Father. I look forward to that day quite a bit," Draco said, still smirking with pride. His father threw his cane up in the air a bit, not higher than a foot, of course, and caught it again.
"Excellent, Draco. I'll inform your mother immediately," Lucius replied. He turned swiftly around, walked to the brick wall that entered into the Muggle world, and called over to Draco. "Draco, I am expecting you to do all in your power to be on top this year. Good day, son." Draco nodded and his father turned to the brick wall and went through with his robes billowing behind him.
Draco turned to face the scarlet train with a certain air of cockiness. He had been given an assignment from his father to outwit the disgusting Mudblood in his classes. He'd complete it, of course. Even if it was nearly impossible. Nothing could stop him, though, when his father was involved. Chuckling softly to himself with malice, he bent down and picked up the handle of his cart. This year was going to be quite interesting- he was sure of it.
* * *
One hour later, Draco Malfoy was in a cramped compartment with his so-called "mates". They were not acting like the kids from other houses… they were not playing Exploding Snap, or gossiping or any pish-posh like that. They were Slytherins, and they had a reputation to uphold. Therefore it was quite silent in the large niche until Pansy Parkinson said, quite bluntly,
"This year is going to be the worst we've had yet." Crabbe looked up from his Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and nodded stupidly. Draco, who was looking out the window and onto the Scottish terrain, sighed.
"I don't know, Parkinson, we might finally get our revenge on Dumbledore's dorky trio," he drawled. Goyle, who was sitting to Draco's left, grunted, which everyone took as an agreement. Pansy stood up and walked over to the window, looking out, too.
"We should get them, shouldn't we?" she asked thoughtfully. "We should do something truly horrible that would scar them against Hogwarts for the rest of their lives!" There was an outburst of disagreements.
"Like what? Put Izzy's Itching Powder in their knickers? Have suits of armor trip them and call them names? That child's play," scoffed Theodore Nott. Theodore was a tall, weedy boy who looked as if someone was going to attack him at a moment's notice. "Well, it is! In fact, I think it would damage our reputations. We can't have people thinking we're weak little children who like to play pranks on one another." The compartment door opened, and Blaise Zambini strutted in holding his girlfriend, Millicent Bullstrode, around her waist.
"I heard what you were saying. And I agree with Nott. They'll be expecting things like that, what with the war drawing ever nearer. We should pull something on all of the loser Gryffindors, not just the Golden Trio," he laughed.
"I'll do anything, as long as I get that Mudblood Hermione Granger," Pansy said with malice. She remembered Hermione's taunts and she clenched her fists into balls of fury. Draco's ears perked up at the sound of the… beaver's name. He had been sitting in the corner inspecting his nails carefully, but he turned to face everyone quickly.
"No!" he savagely yelled. He looked down, his cheeks turning their usual pink, and he felt uncomfortable with all of their cold eyes on him. He stuttered out an answer to their questioning looks. "I mean, I'll take care of that… that… Mudblood. My father wants me to best her this year in our studies, and I intend to make him quite proud before the ceremony." Smirking, he looked up and saw the Slytherins settling back into their seats, reassured by his "comforting" words. Of course, they too knew about the ceremony. Their parents had already informed them of what was to come when term ended.
"Good, Malfoy. Then, if there aren't any complaints, let's start planning…," squealed Pansy.
* * *
Hermione Granger stepped off of the Hogwart's Express and tucked a loose strand of her bushy hair behind her ear. She turned to Ginny Weasley, one of her closest acquaintances, and smiled nervously. Hermione kept on biting her lip and tugging her ear out of nervousness- which annoyed Ginny to a great extent.
"Hermione! Will you not calm down? You're making me nervous by being so jumpy!" Ginny said in frustration. Hermione stopped and gave her best girl friend a tight hug. "Can't…. Breathe…!" Hermione let go, laughing and turned to find a grinning Ron and a muddy Harry. Hermione's hands flew to her mouth and
"Harry! My goodness… what happened?" she asked, hugging the two of them. She lingered for an extra second on Ron, who'd finally stopped growing- but was still as tall and lanky as always. Harry wiped some mud off of his face and took off his glasses.
"Hermione… will you do the honours?" he grinned. She rolled her eyes, and snatched his glasses out of his hands.
"If I must…. Occulus Reparo!" she chanted. Then, seeing as they were still covered in mud, she muttered "Scourgify!" and handed them back to Harry.
"I'll never forget that first day on the Hogwarts Express," Ron said, digging his hands into his shabby robes' pockets. "Hermione- you were such a bossy little…."
"-Ron, if I were you I worldn't finish that sentence!" laughed Harry. "Do you remember? You had dirt on your nose! Just there!" Harry poked Ron on his nose, mimicking Hermione. Hermione herself pouted and crossed her arms. Ron, seeing this, came over with open arms. Contrary to what everyone else thought- which was that he would hug her- he put his arm over her shoulder, pulled her down to his belly button, and gave her a "noogie".
"Ronald Weasley! You stop that RIGHT this instant!" Ginny shrieked, sounding quite like her mother Molly. When Ron kept going, Ginny yelled, "If you do not stop this instant, I'm afraid mom might have to find out about what happened in the beginning of the summer…!" Ron snapped to a rigid shape and Hermione, quite breathless, inquired,
"What did you do last summer, Ron?" By the time the end of the sentence was complete, his ears were tinged crimson at the tips, and he was mumbling to himself. "Ron! Tell me!"
"Er… nothing, Hermione… nothing at all…." he trailed off. Harry grinned and poked Ron in the ribs with his elbow. "Harry- quit it… you know what Hermione would do if she found out about…."
"About what?" Hermione yelled, exasperated. Ron, bright red, said nothing, and Hermione asked, "Harry, what did happen earlier? When you were all muddy…!" Harry cleared his throat and shot a nasty look up at the aphotic castle.
"It was Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson. They cornered me after I stepped off of the train and tried to go and push me into the lake. Unfortunately, there was mud everywhere, and I got my new robes ruined. Merlin, I despise Slytherins. They're all nasty and vile and have no feeling…."
"Aw, Potter, we're not that bad," an arrogant sounding voice came from behind them. They all whipped around to find Draco Malfoy and his two meathead cronies, Crabbe and Goyle. Hermione groaned and put her thumb and forefinger to the bridge of her nose in frustration.
"Why don't you do us all a favor, go find a nice corner, and curl up and die, Malfoy," she said crossly. Crabbe and Goyle cracked their knuckles menacingly, but Draco put his arms out in front of them to prevent them from "attacking". Draco took a step over to Hermione, and she backed away.
"Granger, to your displeasure, I can't… I'm Head Boy this year, so I have too many responsibilities to just "die"…." he whispered. Hermione's hands flew to her mouth again, and she whispered,
"No… you can't be Head Boy… you just can't!" Draco smirked and started to walk off.
"See you around, Mudblood… and watch your back…." he laughed. Crabbe and Goyle followed him, chuckling softly to themselves.
* * *
"Oh, Harry… Ron, he can't be Head Boy… I just couldn't spend an entire year with that Ferret!" Hermione complained. She put her head on Ron's shoulder and her arms around him. Ron looked at Harry, not knowing what to do. Harry shrugged and reached for a leg of scrumptious looking chicken that had appeared on the long wooden Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. Ron looked at Hermione's bushy head, and very awkwardly patted her on the back. Ginny, sitting across from the three, scowled at Ron's clueless-ness.
"Men…" she muttered. Hermione turned back to the table, her eyes unusually sullen and empty. "Hermione," Ginny said. "Just because Malfoy is Head Boy- and I'm assuming you're Head Girl- doesn't mean that this year's going to be worse than usual. In fact, you yourself can make his year miserable… what, with your wit and skills? You could turn his hair permanently pink for the rest of the year!" Hermione smiled sadly at Ginny, as if that suggestion was actually worth thinking about.
"Maybe you're right, Gin', but still… he'll probably try to do things to interfere with my studies! And this is our N.E.W.T. year, too!" she said angrily. "I swear, if he does anything to interfere with my grades to get an excellent job, he'll wish he was never even born."
"And we'll make sure of that, too," Ron said, swallowing his food. Harry nodded in agreement, his mouth full of corn and potatoes.
"Ahem… I'd like to have your attention, please! Attention, students!" Professor Dumbledore boomed. When the Great Hall quieted down, Dumbledore smiled at them, and continued on. "Thank you so very much. I have a few beginning-of-term announcements to make, first. Mr. Filch continues to remind me that throwing Dungbombs and Fizzing Whizbees is not tolerated in the hallway. Anyone caught doing so shall be punished severely." Several students grinned toothily at the headmaster, as if saying 'Go on, go on… you tell such amusing stories….'
"Also, as usual, the Forbidden Forest is off limits, and anyone found sneaking into the wonderful Hogsmeade shall be expelled immediately. And yes, Mr. Finch-Fletchley, the rules will be strictly enforced," Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling their familiar gleam. "I see that you all enjoyed the feast… our house elves bore much fruit and outdid themselves this year." Hermione sniffed at this remark and pushed her plate away from herself as if it made her sick.
"Finally, this year will be quite special for our very own school. No, we're not having another Triwizard Tournament, but we are having something quite special. I shall not be telling you about the event quite yet, as we are closing the deal on it, and… er… we want you all to be surprised!" With that, Dumbledore took a long sip from his goblet as the students buzzed noisily, chattering about the upcoming surprise. Dumbledore sat back down and folded his hands over his lap.
He sighed contentedly, thinking, 'This year is going to be a huge surprise for them all….'
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Is it alright? Please review and tell me what you think…. Thanks so much!