Disclaimer – All characters and settings in this FanFiction are J.K. Rowling's. I will take ownership however, of the plot that has spun off her original Harry Potter story. Thanks for this J.K.
A/N – Hey guys, thanks for clicking on to my FanFiction. I hope you give this a read, and be sure to review and let me know what you think! Please enjoy…
'Scales and a Tail'
Chapter One- Scales
The student body of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is full of secrets and false fronts. Hogwarts is a school that gives young witches and wizards a chance to excel in their knowledge and enable them to get jobs after schooling, but it does not help them establish any connections they may need to get the job of their desire.
For hundreds of years, the students have known this and, for hundreds of years, they have taken this matter into their own hands. Secret organizations have been established throughout the school. Each organization has a different purpose, and different rules for acceptance. One secret organization, for example, may only consist of Ravenclaw's who want to get jobs at the Ministry, whereas a different organization may wish to include students of any house and may aim solely to get a variety of well established witches and wizards in to lecture them.
Any student who is not connected to any organization, either wishes desperately to be accepted into one, or cares nothing about such affairs and thinks them to be a load of hogwash. One such student, who believes she has never heard of anything less beneficial in her life, is Hermione Granger.
"I think they're a complete waste of time." Hermione had once said to Harry and Ron when she overheard them talking about organizations, and which ones they would most like to join. "They just give students with nothing going on in their lives a feeling of importance and secrecy. I'd feel very betrayed if a friend was in a secret society and didn't tell me."
"But Hermione," Harry had protested. "The thing is, students who are in an organization aren't allowed to tell anyone else. It would be breaking their rules. They'd get kicked out."
She hadn't responded to this, just muttered that it wasn't right.
During her years at Hogwarts, Hermione, with her outstanding perception and silent observations, had been able to learn a few of the secret societies, and determine who was involved in them. A girls-only Hufflepuff and Gryffindor organization, called the 'Leaders,' was alive to give members more confidence in getting where they wanted to go.
Another, called the 'Feigns Brains,' was for students who were less lucky in the intelligence department, and wanted to meet and listen to success stories of accomplished witches and wizards, who were not overly bright themselves. Hermione had figured Neville to be a member of this organization, along with Lavender. The majority, however, Hermione perceived to be Hufflepuff's.
Hermione knew nothing of any Slytherin-only secret societies, though she was sure they existed. Slytherin students kept more to their own house then the other three, therefore any secretive behavior was normal for them.
When Hermione entered her seventh year at Hogwarts, she still maintained her opinion that being in an organization gave you no advantage over those students who were not. She sat in on all her classes, never missing one, and paid rapt attention to each word that came out of her Professor's mouths. Hermione continued to be one of the top students in her year level, and Harry and Ron continued being average students, but incredible Quidditch players.
A few weeks after the school year began, Hermione walked into her Potions class and sat down next to her two best friends who, she noticed, conveniently came to the end of their conversation when she reached them.
"What were you guys talking about?" she asked curiously, pulling out a fresh sheet of parchment and her bottle of ink.
"Nothing important." Ron said with a shrug. "Where were you? I didn't see you at breakfast."
"I slept in. I had to choose between breakfast and potions." She pulled a disgusted face. "I stupidly enough chose potions." Her stomach gave a rather loud rumble. "I'm starving, I wish Snape would just get here and speed the lesson through so I can go get some food."
Ron looked at her sympathetically. "I hate being hungry."
Harry looked almost guilty that he had allowed himself a big breakfast, when Hermione had so unfortunately missed out. "Just leave now." He suggested. "Snape's not here yet."
Hermione seriously considered this, but as luck had it, the next moment the dungeon door burst open and in strode Professor Snape with his usual stormy expression. He began the class by stating he was severely disappointed in the results of the test he had given them a week previously.
He then strode menacingly about the room handing the papers back. When he reached Hermione, he gave her an offended look and thrust the test in front of her. Hermione's eyes gleamed when she spotted the mark she received.
"What did you get, Hermione?" Ron asked, peering over her shoulder. His face fell when he saw the 'E' scrawled in black ink in the top corner, and he hastened to cover up his test before she could see the mark he had gotten. Hermione had already seen the 'P,' however and knew Ron would feel inadequate if compared to her, so didn't push the matter.
"Oh, that's really great." He congratulated her when his paper was safely tucked away in his books. "I wonder how anyone can be so smart. In all subjects too. I don't know how your brain can handle it."
"I'm not that smart, Ron." She said, because she did not enjoy being gratified for her intelligence. Sure, she consented that she was smart, but didn't like others feeling like she was better then them because of it.
Snape handed the last paper back with a smile at its recipient. Draco Malfoy read his mark and a smirk crossed his face in triumph. Snape turned to the class from his position next to Draco's desk.
"I hope you all take in your grades and begin seriously considering whether you should continue in potions this year. I do not teach failures. I will not have any student who I think will get below an 'O' in their NEWT's. I think that if you are all at least smart enough to know what is good for you, more than half of you won't return to the next lesson."
The students who had received poor grades all sunk in their chairs and swallowed hard, Ron and Harry included. Hermione tried her hardest not to look smug, but she had told them to study harder before the test.
"Who got the highest score, Professor?" Draco Malfoy asked, fully believing that his name would be spoken, and he could then follow it through by throwing it the Gryffindor's faces, most of all Hermione's. Snape, however, turned to look at Draco in a rather disconcerted manner.
"I don't think that information needs to be known by everyone." Snape said with a raised eyebrow.
"Come on." Draco pushed.
Snape looked down at him. "Fine." He said slowly. "The highest scoring student for the test was," he cleared his throat, and in a voice noticeably softer, said, "Hermione Granger."
Draco's eyes widened at he turned in his seat, along with the rest of the class, to stare at her. Hermione felt her face redden and acted as if she didn't notice their jealous looks. Once the class returned their attention to Snape, Hermione allowed herself to look up from her hands. As soon as she did, Hermione saw that a certain pair of gray eyes remained fixedly on her face.
She stared back at Draco, not allowing herself to be the one to look away. His eyes were icy with speculation, and a small sneer lifted the corner of his mouth. When it seemed he had reached a conclusion of some sort, he slowly turned his gaze away.
Hermione frowned at this, but forgot about it as soon as she began copying notes from the board.
"We have a problem." Draco said quietly from the front of the room.
He was in a small dungeon towards the outskirts of the underground level of Hogwarts. The room was occupied by a very select group of Slytherin males. Five, in fact, was the total of this secret organization. Draco had been involved from the start of the previous year, and now seemed to control the group. The other four members allowed him to do so, because they felt a leader was necessary and he was certainly the best of the lot.
Not one other student attending Hogwarts knew of the 'Scales.' Four of the five Slytherin's were in seventh year, only one being in sixth. The Scales enjoyed not being known of, as they didn't have to deal with other students asking whether they could join. Their aim was to make themselves known to wizards and witches of power, so they had a chance being in a position of power themselves one day. Connections always help. Being in Slytherin for nearly seven years had also set them back, because any respectable place would be hesitant of hiring a person who had a fair chance of following the dark side.
Devon Hutch, a brown haired, blue eyed guy who was considered highly spunky by the majority of girls in the school, said "What's wrong, Draco?"
The other members all looked towards Draco with worry. There was Taylor Smith; a short, stocky sixth-year with brown eyes and a rare smile, Mark Darcy; a fair-haired, aggressive looking guy, who had a reputation for starting (and finishing) fights, and Corey Mackell; a reserved, bland looking guy, who wasn't noticed in most places he went.
Draco took a deep breath and replied, "I've been having trouble booking that seminar we were talking about. The organizers are very particular about who they allow in."
"What do you mean?" Mark asked, in a growling voice. "Surely the five of us can't be that difficult a group to book."
Draco stared at him coolly. "In actual fact, we are. The bloody secretary sent me the terms and conditions, and having read them I know it is impossible for us to go."
"Why?" Corey asked softly.
"Because," Draco pulled a sheet of parchment out of his pocket and held it up for him to read, "It says here, 'The Exclusive Seminar can be arranged for any private group, big or small, for a previously negotiated price. The terms and conditions are as follows: We do not run a Seminar for a group of less than five people.'"
"That was close." Devon commented.
Draco nodded and continued. "'We will run a Seminar for students, at student prices. But we will not run a Seminar for a group of students of only one sex, as this is unfair, and some speeches relate more directly to one gender than the other, so we find your money is more worth your while with both sexes.'"
"That's ridiculous!" Mark interrupted. "They can't do that."
"Apparently they can, and they will." Draco said. "Another thing that is unnerving is this more direct knock back. 'Mr. Malfoy, you informed us that you wish to book for a small group of students that attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We are unable to allow you to book a Seminar until we know the Houses of the students you wish to book for. It is also unfair to present a Seminar to you if you are of the same House. We request that a member of your party be of a different House.
Thank-you for your co-operation, hope to hear from you soon,
Isabel Lim, Leading Secretary.'"
"From another house?" Taylor exclaimed. "You're right Draco, now it's impossible to go. Unless one of us claim to be of another House."
"And another sex." Draco responded dryly. "And I am not putting on heels and lipstick, and I think I'm safe to assume that neither will any of you."
"So what do we do?" Taylor asked. "I think we really should go. I mean, there are some very accomplished wizards that we could get to know. The people you have connections with make the possibilities of getting where you want to go a lot bigger. And I know I wouldn't mind having some help once I get out of here."
There was a pensive silence, broken a few minutes later with a hesitant suggestion by Corey. "Uh…perhaps we could recruit one new member."
"What do you mean?" Draco asked him sharply. "The Scales is a very strict society, and it always has been ever since it was founded hundreds of years ago. We can't just recruit someone." He said with a sneer.
"I think we should at least consider it." Corey objected to Draco's downright refusal.
Draco took a deep breath. "Fine." He paused. "Who would we recruit?"
"Just one other." Mark said firmly. "A female and a non Slytherin. Kill two birds with one stone."
"From which House?" Devon asked.
"Rule out anyone from Hufflepuff." Draco told them in a hard voice. "No idiots are allowed in the Scales."
"So Ravenclaw and Gryffindor to chose from." Devon nodded.
"We have to make sure they have all the qualities needed to be a Scale." Mark contributed. "Intelligence, bravery, secrecy, stealth, ambition & determination and no attachments. No friends that this chick might feel obligated to tell about us. She needs to be able to keep secrets. Big secrets. She needs to be trustworthy. And she needs to be smart enough to compete with us. As I said, I don't want a dumb arse in the Scales."
"Here, here." Taylor said.
"Right." Draco said, still not appearing happy with the decision to recruit a new member, let alone a female and a non-Slytherin. "So look around during the week, and next meeting we will discuss possibilities. Until then, Scales."
Hermione sat up straight in her chair and raised her arm till it was fully extended. Only a few quick moments later, Professor McGonagall turned to Hermione from writing on the blackboard, and looked at her from over the rims of her glasses.
"Yes, Miss Granger?"
"Do you want us to have all that memorized by next lesson?" Hermione asked, indicating to the instructions that were written on the board. McGonagall looked between the instructions and the students in her class a few times.
"Ah, actually I think I'll give you two lessons to memorize that, Miss Granger." She replied with pursed lips.
Hermione nodded and continued to copy down the work, completely oblivious to the set of eyes that was watching her. Draco wore a disgusted frown, but realized he couldn't dismiss Hermione as a potential Scale. She was undoubtedly intelligent; no one could deny her that. But she was a Gryffindor and Granger for that matter. He sighed and resumed copying the complex instructions from the board, feeling at a loss with the entire situation.
Taylor Smith sat quietly in the back of the Charms classroom, surveying the sixth year Ravenclaw girls with some perplexity. Every now and then he would notice one that may be considered, then she would talk with ditz in her voice or get scared of a fly that landed on her sleeve and he would roll his eyes and move on. By the end of class he had not one person to present that could possibly be agreed upon, and he exited the classroom, hoping that Gryffindor would present girls to be a bit more likely.
Devon and Corey sat together in Potions the next day, with Draco sitting in front of them. Each was observing the Gryffindor girls who were scattered about the classroom. Parvarti and Lavender were sitting not far from the boys, therefore were immediately dismissed due to their constant giggles and girly talk.
The only girl in the class who caught their attention and held it was naturally enough, Hermione Granger. Her knowledge was not to be questioned and surely one with her mind was bound to be ambitious. Corey put her top spot on his list, as did Devon.
Draco glared at the back of her head, and was determined to find someone else. He would not allow a mudblood into a pureblooded organization.
However, after a week of observations had been made, the Scales met again in the small dungeon to talk and express opinions. Taylor said, with some annoyance, that he had been unable to find anyone suitable in the whole of Ravenclaw's sixth years.
"Nor could I find any Ravenclaw seventh-years." Sighed Mark. "And I looked very hard. I saw plenty of girls I wouldn't mind having for the view, but as far as having bravery combined with brains, they're all out."
"How about from Gryffindor seventh-years?" Taylor asked. "I checked the Gryffindor sixth-years, and the only possible one was Ginny Weasley."
"No way is a Weasley becoming a Scale. I completely forbid it." Draco said sternly, scowling at the mere suggestion.
"Ok." Taylor replied, slightly put off. "So what about the Gryffindor seventh-years?"
Devon and Corey exchanged a glance. "Well," started Devon. "We have noticed that…" he broke off when he noticed Draco glaring hard at him in anticipation of the name he was about to mention. "Come on Draco. She's perfect for it, and you know it."
"That's exactly what bothers me." he said in a quiet voice.
"Who?" Taylor questioned.
"Hermione Granger." Corey said regretfully. "We'd much prefer a Ravenclaw, but she seems to be our best bet."
"Granger?" queried Mark. "She's Scarhead's friend, isn't she? The pretty brunette?"
Draco laughed at him. "Yes, she's Potter's friend but no, she's not a pretty brunette."
"So," Devon pushed on. "We propose the idea to her, put her through initiation," every single one of them grinned wickedly at the mention of initiation. "And then we let the organizers of The Private Young Wizards and Witches Seminar know we've got the right figures and we book the bloody thing. Agreed?"
"Agreed." Three of the guys responded. They then sighed and looked at Draco who had presumably remained silent.
"Have you guys forgotten something?" he asked incredulously. "Do you really think that Granger is going to immediately join a secret organization with Slytherin males for her only company? She hates the idea of these organizations almost as much as she hates us. I think it may be a problem."
"I think you're wrong on one point there, Draco." Corey informed him. "She hates you, not us. We're probably not her first choice of character, I'll give you that, but you're the only one she truly despises."
"I see your point." Draco said grudgingly after considering it a moment. "But what the hell has it got to do with anything?"
"To get her to agree to come to an introduction meeting, we tell her about our dilemma, and ask her if she would consider joining." Corey suggested. "Put no pressure on her, and 'forget' to mention who is in the group. She can decide if she wants to continue with it when she sees you here. But by then, she'll have thought about how wonderful an opportunity it really is." He smiled. "We do it that way, and we've got her."
Draco nodded and a smirk slid across his face. "Fine. Which one of us will tell her about it? Not me, and it better not be Mark- you can be a little intimidating, mate- which leaves you three." He pointed to Devon, Taylor and Corey.
Taylor said, "Well I hardly know who she is, so I'm trusting you guys on this one. She wouldn't have a clue who I am, so it better not be me either."
Corey and Devon exchanged a glance. Draco also considered them and reached a conclusion. "Devon. You're the man."
"Why?" He asked in confusion.
"Because," Draco said slowly, as if it were obvious. "You are…uh. Well, you are known to the girls' as- I don't know…"
"Spit it out, mate." Mark said, with a smirk.
"All right. He's attractive. She'll see his looks before theperson behind them." Draco said with difficulty. "And you don't know how creepy it is to say that to another guy."
"Oh." Devon said with a nod of understanding. He then smiled and raised an eyebrow in a way that he believed would be alluring. Devon then shifted his face to have a sort of pout and puppy dog eyes. He began to shift his expression once more when Draco interrupted him in repulsion.
"Devon mate, we know you can get any chick you want, but please don't practice your methods to us. We trust you to make the right decision in regard to what your face will look like when you approach Granger."
The other guys sniggered at Devon, which made him blush slightly, but he soon regained his composure. "So when do you think I should approach this chick? Soon? Or leave it a while till we know for sure that we want her?"
"The sooner the better, I think." Draco said unhappily. "The only vacancy for a private audience of this seminar is over the Christmas break, and we want to get that before anyone else does."
"Draco," Mark said thoughtfully. "We don't want to miss this seminar. So, why don't you just book it now? We will get this Granger girl eventually, even if we have to try a few different methods, and if you just tell the secretary that we have her already, we will all rest easier."
Taylor nodded. "That's a good point. The secretary won't know she's not a member yet, but she will be by the time Christmas comes."
"Ok." Draco consented. "I'll write tomorrow. But if I do that, we have to work extra hard at getting Granger in. You all up to that?"
"Why wouldn't we be?" Mark asked, seeming to take offence at Draco statement that they weren't prepared.
"Because," Draco answered with a glare in Mark's direction. "She is a Gryffindor. We are Slytherin's. She will not appreciate being addressed by us, unless we act civil. Civil is going to be difficult when she does not act the same in return. We'll-"
"How do you know she won't be civil with us?" Taylor asked hesitantly. "Is this chick a bit dangerous or a rebel or something?"
"No." Draco smiled. "She's quite the opposite. But I know her, and her least favorite people are Slytherin's. We need to act like we mean her no harm. Like we actually want her to be a part of us. I don't know how we're going to manage to keep that front, but we'll have to try." He then turned to Devon. "We have potions tomorrow afternoon. I think that would be a good time to run the idea by her. I think she'll knock it back at first, but you never know your luck. Try to be as smooth as possible, without scaring her off. Through my observations, I don't think she's used to being sought out or talked to by many guys aside from her two freaky friends."
Devon nodded and then thought about potions class. "Uh, Draco? Can I do it after class? I don't think Snape would appreciate my whispering privately in his class."
"Yeah sure." Draco said off-handedly. "So we'll give you this week to try reeling her in. Next meeting will be the 'introductory' meeting. If she doesn't show, then we'll have another one the week after till you finally persuade her to come. Agreed?"
The other guys all agreed.
"Good." Draco smiled at the progress they had made, although it wasn't exactly in his favor. "In the time being," he paused to look at them individually with a near malicious grin on his face. "Think of something for the initiation. I don't want this smart arse to have it easy. But until then, Scales."
A/N – Well that's chapter one. Please review and tell me if you think this fic has potential!