Disclaimer: I don't own a thing.
"Coffee, I need coffee," mumbled Harry, slipping into a spare seat between Blaise and Louisa. Blaise, knowing how pissed off he was in the mornings without a dose of caffeine, hurriedly passed him a cup. Gulping down a couple of mouthfuls, and burning his mouth in the process, Harry groaned in annoyance.
"Whatever sadistic bastard invented alarm clocks deserves to be maimed and then violently murdered," he complained, glaring at the world in general.
"You're still late," remarked Theo, who was about to leave the Great Hall for the dungeons.
"Shut up," snapped Harry, but nonetheless, once the other boy had left, grabbed his bag in one hand and stood up, clutching his coffee in the other.
Blaise grabbed some toast before the two started making their way to Potions.
"So spill, what's wrong now," said Blaise in a bored tone.
"Well, my morning started out ok."
"Yeah, but then I woke up."
"Uh huh," responded Blaise distractedly, busy glaring menacingly at a bunch of Hufflepuff first-years. "Must have been so traumatic for you."
"Well it was, 'cos I woke up with this on my covers," snarled Harry, waving a piece of parchment in her face.
""Potter,'" Blaise read. "'Tonight, 7 pm.'"
"No, I don't, what's going on."
"That," said Harry, pointing at the note accusingly, "is from Daisy Thornbell."
"Right," said Blaise blankly. "But I thought you agreed to her suggestion, and therefore wanted this."
"Well, yes, I do, but that's not the point," snapped Harry as they turned down a narrow passageway. "The point is that she managed to get that onto my bed during the middle of the night, without me noticing!"
"Wow, that must have needed really advanced spell work, the wards around the dormitories are very difficult to breach," said Blaise contemplatively, absent-mindedly dodging a patch of floor which opened to reveal a mass of evil looking liquid which, rumour had it, had claimed the lives of sixteen first years and one particularly stupid sixth year Hufflepuff in the past couple of centuries.
"Blaiseimagine the potential danger! She could do anything, hex me bright yellow or transfigure me into a beetle and I wouldn't even notice until I woke up!"
"Shit, I hadn't thought of that. Salazar's wand, this is bad," Blaise swore, finally catching on, her mind running through ways to block the sixth year from sneaking up on her, but mostly coming up blank.
"And she could do that to anyone! She can get anywhere, anytime, and she's lethal!" Harry was by now hyperventilating. "Did you hear what she did to that fifth year that aimed badly and accidentally drenched her robes in itching powder? I heard he disappeared for over two weeks! No one could find him!"
"Yeah, and the third year who ended up in the hospital wing for three days!"
"Oh Merlin, I'd forgotten that one," wailed Harry.
"Well, think of it this way, she obviously doesn't dislike you if she's offering duelling lessons, so she probably won't target you," comforted Blaise, attempting to calm her friend down.
"True," nodded Harry, slightly appeased. "But I'm still going to search through the library for some good warding spells."
"Me too," said Blaise fervently.
Just then the bell signalling the start of lessons rang.
"Oops," said Blaise unconcernedly, and the two continued to stroll down the corridor until they reached the potions classroom. Knocking on the door, they entered and Harry put on an apologetic smile and said,
"Sorry Professor. We lost track of time."
"Perfectly understandable," drawled Snape, waving the two to their seats. "Sit down and prepare your ingredients. Today you will be making a simple hair-renewal potion."
Smirking at the glowering Gryffindors, Harry and Blaise made their way to two benches at the back of the room and settled down, preparing for an amusing lesson.
"Weasley! You imbecile! I said a blue flame. Ten points from Gryffindor!"
Ah yes, Potions was always fun.
At lunch time, sitting in the Great Hall and eating apple pie as a main course, Harry was in a good mood. He'd had, as predicted, a very satisfying Potions lesson watching his least favourite person in the whole school (Ronald Weasley) being ridiculed in front of the whole class. He'd then made his way to Transfiguration which had been slightly frustrating, as he'd finally changed his beetle into a button, only to realise he'd been doing the wrong assignment (they'd apparently swapped to turning it into a marble statue) and had been lectured by McGonagall in front of a very smug Blaise. However, things got better on the way to lunch, when he saw an exceedingly cheerful Ginny laughing with Fred and George, meaning that Harry could probably stop constantly baby-sitting her. And then, of course, Harry was now eating, which invariably made him happy. His sigh of contentment was interrupted, however, by the sight of Draco swaggering over towards him with a self-satisfied smirk on his face, making Harry frown, suspicious of what exactly had put him in such good mood.
"Ah hello, my faithful minions," the blond said airily, as he came to a halt by Harry and Blaise.
"Can't you leave your utterly mistaken sense of self-importance unuttered during meals," sighed Blaise.
"Watch it, Draco, or I may just hex your hair to be an eternal mess," grinned Harry, who'd always found Draco's obsession with his hair extremely amusing. "Or worse, make you go bald."
"Well, you could try," drawled Draco, "but I think Flint would definitely object to anybody attacking me."
"What's Flint got to do with anything?" asked Blaise in confusion, shovelling eggs on her plate.
"Yeah, what…oh shit." Harry stared at Draco in shock. "You got on the team, didn't you?"
"Yes, I did," smirked the mini-Malfoy, "as Chaser. Flint is incredibly impressed by my abilities."
Blaise snorted in disbelief.
"Draco, there haven't even been any try-outs yet," she pointed out.
"And Flint would need a really good reason to boot Warrington or Pucey off the team. They're talented and experienced players, not to mention the fact they'd make life hell for Flint if he fired them."
"Well, my expertise must have convinced him to take the risk," drawled Draco, still looking smug.
"Don't give me that bullshit," frowned Harry. "What's the real reason he let you on? Extensive blackmail or bribery?"
"Oh, you'll find out with the rest of the team," smirked Draco, enjoying irritating his friend.
"Fine," snapped Harry slightly sulkily. "Don't tell me." Then a look of sadistic glee spread over his features. "Oh, I can't wait until Pucey or Warrington find out. They're going to pulverise you."
"Uh, yes, well I'm still thinking up a plan to prevent that," admitted Draco, suddenly looking less confident. Then he brightened slightly. "Well, I'm off to gloat a bit more, see you in Charms." He swaggered off to where Pansy was sitting; leaving Harry and Blaise convinced they were friends with a dead-man.
Late that evening, in the depth of the castle's dungeons, in a place where other students rarely ventured, a duel was taking place.
Correction, a one sided massacre was taking place.
Daisy languidly stepped out of the spell's path, flicking her wand and dispassionately sending three spells in succession.
Harry managed to dodge the fire spell, was hit full in the face by her second hex but, face screwed up in slight pain, managed to create a shield to defend himself against the Twisting Curse. Adrenalin was pumping through his veins as he dodged curse after curse, only occasionally managing to retaliate.
"Stupefy!" Harry yelled, aiming at where he thought Daisy was, only to find her seconds later two metres to the right.
"Spiculum," intoned the sixth year in rather bored voice, moving her wand with the utmost precision.
After only the first few minutes of the duel, Harry realised three very important facts. One, Daisy Thornbell was one scary person. Second, she was completely psycho. Third she was trying to fucking kill him.
Harry desperately dived to the right in a, luckily successful, attempt to avoid the two hexes. I can't believe it; she sent a mutilation curse at me! I'm going to die! Harry wailed to himself
His sensible, Slytherin inner voice was telling him to run as fast as he could in the opposite direction. However, his other rather reckless and stubborn inner voice insisted that he couldn't back down from a challenge. Just as Harry was finally going to listen to his survival instincts and get the hell out of there, he was hit by a leg-locker curse and a bone-breaking hex in quick succession. Oh shit, Harry groaned to himself, clutching his broken left hand, extremely nervous at the homicidal look in Thornbell's eyes.
Wordlessly, she summoned his wand towards herself.
No! thought Harry frantically, I can't let her get my wand! He reached out with his unbroken hand and screwed up his face in concentration, wandlessly calling it back to himself. Daisy Thornbell's eyes widened in shock, then glee, as she saw the wand return to its owner.
Grinning manically, she hit him with another two curses, both of which he was unable to protect himself against, then summoned his wand once more, this time successfully, as Harry was too distracted to be able to use wandless magic. Holding onto the holly wand firmly, she smirked at the defeated heap that was The Boy Who Lived.
"Well, you made many mistakes in this duel," she drawled, leaning indolently against the wall of the dungeon. "Your dodging skills are adequate, but your spell casting needs extreme improvement. It must come completely naturally, as a duel-to-the-death leaves no time for lengthy contemplation. Next, your spells are quite powerful, especially when you take your age into consideration, but you must learn not to shout out the incantations of your spells. It leaves your opponent with a large advantage, as if one knows what curse is being used, one can easily counter it. I went easy on you this time-"
Harry snorted in disbelief. His face was covered in tentacles, his legs were glued together, his robes were covered in scorch marks, his hand was broken, and he was generally in a lot of pain, having spent his time dodging potentially lethal hexes. If this was 'easy', then he'd be suicidal to suggest a 'difficult' duel.
"I went easy on you this time," repeated Thornbell with a glare, "as I didn't cast any spells wordlessly. I will wait until you drastically improve your artillery of curses before moving it up that extra level."
"Well that's good to know," muttered Harry wincing as he gingerly moved his wounded hand. "I may just live another couple of weeks in that case."
"We will meet again next week, same time. Understood?" She turned to leave.
"Hey! Wait a second! What about all these curses," said Harry in alarm, gesturing to his legs and face.
"Undo them yourself. It's good practise," said Thornbell unconcernedly.
"But what about my wand?" wailed Harry, slightly panicked.
"You'll get it back once you reach the common room," drawled Daisy.
"Well, with your gift of wandless magic, it shouldn't be a problem." With a last smirk, she swept out through the narrow doorway, her robes billowing behind her in an uncanny impression of Snape.
"Merlin, this sucks," stated Harry.
A/N Hi again! I know, I know, it's taken me ages to update. Real life keeps getting in the way. Ah well, hope you enjoy this chapter despite the long wait! Review!
Genie05 the second: thanks for the encouragement and ideas. I agree, Not Myself is an amazing fic. I don't think I'll make Harry and Hermione get together, at least not long-term, but I'll think about it!
Vire: uh, well, Voldemort doesn't know about all the Slytherin passageways, only the chamber of secrets (which Harry does not know about at the moment). Thanks for letting me know about the confusion, I'll try and make it clear to everyone at some point. And don't worry, I am not going to make Harry fall madly in love with Draco, or Millicent Bulstrode.
Morrigan L. Evans: Thanks a lot for your review, it was really helpful. I'm slowly working through my first fic, correcting all the mistakes and adding small bits in, so I'll make sure the problems you mentioned will be changed. Thanks for letting me know! Oh, and I agree with you about the Harry/Ginny thing. I don't think I'll pair them up.
Anonymous: I know Ginny is acting very, er, emotional, but she did just get put into Slytherin, the 'evil' house, and got yelled at by her family. Don't worry though, now that George and Fred have changed, she'll calm down.
John Surber: Thanks for the review. I don't think I'll write a Ginny/Harry/Blaise pairing, but I might change my mind at some point. It is, as you said, quite original, and as I won't be having relationships for quite a while yet, I have plenty of time to think it over.
Moredi: Yeah, I was debating on that angle for the Fred and George thing, but… well I thought they had been brought up as hard core Gryffindors so… Thanks for the review! It's always so amusing reading what your write.
Sdg: Good idea, thanks.
Smittened by Maurauders: Thanks, it's always nice to get such an encouraging review.
Waytoobored: Of course, Harry and Draco will go out with more than one girl. Don't worry, I think Draco would be very OOC otherwise!