Settling The Differences
We don't own Harry Potter. We're just having fun. Leave us alone.
P.S. This carries to all future chapters.
Things came to a head in Care Of Magical Creatures. As we all know, feelings had been strained between Gryffindor and Slytherin since their inception at the time of the school's founding. But, as we also all know, tensions had reached epic proportions with the enmity of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy.
It was the beginning of their collective sixth year at Hogwarts. Malfoy, in Harry's opinion, had gotten more odious the longer they had known each other, and Harry, in Draco's opinion, had gotten infinitely stupider.
"Just lovely," Draco drawled. "Another year with Golden Boy, the Mudblood, and Weasel-bee."
Hermione whirled around. "Well, I'm sure we'll greatly enjoy another year with the Amazing Bouncing Ferret," she said, her simpering sarcastic.
Draco laughed affectedly through a prominent blush. "Is that the best you can come up with, Mudblood?" he said. "Perhaps all this schooling has been wasted on you."
Harry hissed with indrawn breath as he turned to face his enemy. "That's it, Malfoy. It's time we settled this."
Draco leaned in close. "Ready when you are, Potter," he muttered.
"Midnight on the Quidditch field," Harry said, turning back to the class slightly. "Bring whoever you want."
Draco smirked. "Done," he whispered.
Word had spread, as word was wont to do, through Gryffindor house fairly quickly, and Harry found himself in the common room at the head of at least half the house by eleven o'clock.
Harry cleared his throat and, to his surprise, the common room became completely silent. "Since there are a lot of us," he began, "it's probably best if we go out in two's and three's—that way more of us have a chance of getting there. I want a line formed at the door and we let people out every few minutes. And don't all of you go the same way. The more confusion we can cause, the better chances we have. All right?"
At about eleven-fifty, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, the last to exit, slipped out of the common room and made their way down to the field.
The Slytherins, however, had different ideas. They had pressed their remarkably good luck and exited in neatly coordinated lines, with Draco in the lead, arriving fashionably five minutes late.
The Gryffindors, having been there on time, watched irritated as Draco approached Harry. (Note from authors: Ever seen Braveheart? You get the idea.) "Rules?" Draco asked, taking his wand out.
Harry mirrored the action. "No Unforgivables. You?"
Draco's face showed minimal disappointment. "Wands only."
From the back came a small voice: "Damn." Harry smiled darkly. "Done," he said, and raised his wand. "Green sparks on three."
"One," Draco replied.
"THREE!" they both shouted, and the field erupted into magical fire.
Of course, ten minutes later, an irate McGonagall stormed onto the field. The majority who were intelligent enough to notice she was coming managed to get away in time, but a few straggling girls and boys had neglected to pay enough attention, including Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Blaise Zabini, and Pansy Parkinson. Draco and Harry, of course, were locked in combat and probably wouldn't have noticed an angry, rampaging elephant.
So, as was just their luck, they got caught.
McGonagall was feeling particularly evil, as they had woken her up, and prescribed detention for all of them after holding them in suspended animation and giving them a fifteen-minute lecture in midair. By the next day, when they appeared in her office after class, however, she seemed a bit more rational. But no less evil, as it turned out.
McGonagall confiscated their wands and lead them to a large room, barren but for a large chest, a couple of doors, and a sizable (though barred) window. After she had watched them all file in, McGonagall smiled and closed the door softly.
While the other students looked around, Harry turned to ask McGonagall the point of this punishment—only to notice she was gone.
"Professor?" he called, and tried the door.