Chapter One

The Perfect Plan

Ideas and Reasoning

Cordelia woke up blearily from the increasing noise in her chambers. Pulling open her curtains around the bed she saw the maker of said noise. It was one of her roommates dancing around and singing into a hairbrush, her hairbrush, as she listened to a particularly loud song by the 'Right-Way Left Boys'. She had the right mind to grab it out of her hand and storm her way back into her bed when she glanced at the clock on her dressing table.

She was late.

Thank Merlin it was Saturday or else he would be even more sardonic than usual. She quickly ran to the bathroom to take a quick shower and then dressed and ran downstairs to the common room. It was filled with tired seventh years that had obviously stayed up all night studying. It was because of that she dreaded going into seventh year because it looked so hard and stressful. Seventh year exams were obviously something to be reckoned with. For now she would just have to concentrate on passing her O.W.Ls. They were coming up in the end of fifth year and she was quite confident that she would pass them. Being in fourth year she had a while to prepare. Unlike her best friend who was way too convinced that he would get high marks across the board. Speaking of him, she remembered the reason she ran out of bed so fast and continued in her pace to the portrait hole.

He's going to kill me, she thought as she ran outside towards the lake. He was already there. Damn him and his Slytherin punctuality. It was one of the things she was always envious of because he was so controlled and in order. She, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. "All chaos and unkempt beauty," as he would say. She blamed her mother for that. Though most of the blame often fell on the alarm clock which was so loud that it was often found in pieces at the bottom of her bed, which was the home it found every morning when she would wake up and throw it there.

He turned as she walked up to him as if he could feel her presence. He said he got that from his father. This she had always felt was a little creepy and it was one of the main reasons she would never visit over the holidays. He would always tell her that his father wasn't as bad as everyone thought he was and she believed him, but not as far as to stay at his house during summer, or any other holiday that is.

Family, after all, was everything and that was also a reason he had never come to stay with her. Neither had told their parents about the other in fear that they would never see each other again. They were best friends and often viewed as brother and sister. They had been that way since they met four years ago and no one in either house had had the nerve to challenge it.

The Slytherins accepted her after a month of his exile for hanging around with her. During this they had noted that he didn't seem to care. Even though he was only a first year, they realized he was a strong one who needed no one other than those he felt that mattered. They also took on his family history and the name of his father who was also a famous Slytherin who cared for none other than himself and the things that pleased only him be they accepted by the latter or not.

The Griffindors just trusted her one way or the other, knowing that if she chose to be his friend then they couldn't stop her, and they were right. Though there was always those awkward moments when he would be sitting in their common room and they wouldn't have a clue on how to approach him, especially when he sat on his own doing his work. They didn't have to worry about that now though because he had a friend in fifth year that was a prefect and for that came the privilege of his own room whenever he wanted. It was the place that she had spent most of her time.

As she walked up to him she could see the annoyance at her lateness flash across his eyes. "I'm sorry," she said.

For a minute she thought she saw a look of surprise or confusion, but it was masked as quickly as it had arrived. "Well you took your time. What happened, did you get lost in the shower?" he smirked.

She furrowed her brow. "Why would you say that?"

He walked up to her and covered their remaining distance and ran a hand through her hair. When he took it away he showed it to her. "You have soap in your hair. I'd think that even a Weasley could tell which way the water runs. Can't they?" He looked hopeful but she could see, as well as sense, the humor and sarcasm in his voice.

"Very funny, but you don't have to be so sarcastic. I agreed to meet you here because you wanted help. Now what is it? I was rudely awoken from sleep by a bad rendition of 'The Right-Way Left Boys' and I do not want to continue this beautiful Saturday morning having to guess my way through this conversation." She sat down on the grass next to him and hung her head in her hands and started to play with her eyelashes. It was a habit that she couldn't get rid of, especially when they were wet.

He was taken aback but not altogether surprised by her sharp tongue. He had – if anything – taught her well since he had met her.

Waiting for a reply was proving tedious and it was getting her nowhere. In the end her temper got the better of her. She slammed her hands down on the grass. "Chayse Sebastian Malfoy! Answer my question right now! I have no intention of having a staring contest with you. If that is what you had in mind I would rather go back to sleep!" she yelled. Some of the others on the grounds stared at them, but they turned back silently still listening in; anything that happened between these two was news. As much time that had passed, they were the only two from either house that would talk in any way. Even after the war ended and all the houses, including Slytherin and Gryffindor, had teamed up to fight together as the Sorting Hat had once said years ago, the two houses were still wary of each other. Chayse and Cordelia were the first for fourteen years that had actually had any form of friendship.

But they were always arguing this way; it was no big deal or surprise. In a way everyone just thought eventually they'd see each other in the way everyone else saw them and get a room and be done with it. But both parties continued on with their friendship un-phased by anything anyone else had to say, just as they were doing now.

Chayse smiled in a way that made Cordelia wonder what he was up to. She was about to ask him when he cut her off inhaling deeply.

"You know, I knew that there was something missing from this bright and cheerful morning. I just realised what it was; a good dose of the old Weasley temper. Now I feel better. Come on." He walked back toward the castle.

Cordelia followed him ignoring the hopeful looks that they were getting from others. Honestly, do these people have nothing better to do with their lives? She had to practically run to catch up with him and only just managed to catch him when he reached his house portrait. She waited expecting him to say the password for them to enter but he just paused and turned.

"You know the procedure, cover your ears." He twirled his finger signifying she had to turn around as well.

"Why? I've been in the common room before, what difference should it make that I know the password?" she asked.

"We can't have your lot running in and out of here screaming our password to the top of their lungs. Now turn around, hands on your ears and whistle."

Cordelia rolled her eyes. "Whatever, I cannot believe you don't trust me. I know the password to your friend's room I don't see what difference it makes. Shouldn't you be more scared of the fact I know how to get into the bedroom of one of your older friends than anything?" she said as she turned around and started to whistle.

"You won't get to do that if you don't know the House passwords now will you?" When he was sure she couldn't hear he muttered the password to the portrait and they both entered. "By the way," he said stopping her with one arm, "if I ever hear of such rumors I will personally string him up by his private parts and murder you before telling your mother." She laughed until she realised he wasn't joking and they walked straight past everyone with no interruptions to the room off the right of the Slytherin common room.

"Okay, sit." He went to lean against another chair opposite her.

"Yes Master!" She saluted and sat down smiling.

He ignored this and carried on. "Now a few weeks ago in December, just before Christmas break we were talking with a few of my other friends. Do you remember that?" She thought about it. It was the night of her birthday. She had had a small celebration with her house then left a little after curfew with Chayse to celebrate better with the Slytherins, honestly she didn't remember that much of it. Boy did they know how to party.

"Vaguely," she said slowly, trying hard to recall and smiled mischievously.

"Well, we were all talking and said something along the lines of us better off being brother and sister…" he started.

"Oh yeah, I remember. You know I think that's what I wished for," she scoffed. "Yeah, like that'll ever happen."

Chayse sat silent for a second. Cordelia noticed it instantly and sat to the edge of the sofa. "Chayse, what's wrong?"

He looked up from the floor. "Why couldn't it?"

"Why couldn't what?"

"Why couldn't it happen?"

"What? Us being…" She laughed. "Chayse, get real."

"I am being real, think about it. Every time you and I say something about our parents we find that they both tell us the same things. You quote your mum all the time and they're the exact same ones I get from my father. What do you say?"

"I want you to say everything you just said again. This time say it slowly and listen to yourself." He remained silent. "Chayse you cannot be serious, have you seen who our parents are?" Perhaps some reasoning will knock some sense into him.

"Yes I have, and I think they're perfect for each other," he said without batting an eyelid.

Well, obviously not. "They hate each other Chayse!" She resorted to yelling, it seemed to be the only thing that got through to him.

"That's a small technicality."

Cordelia sighed loudly. She rubbed her temples and moved them around to her eyes running her fingers along her eyelashes again. She spoke from behind her hands. "Even if I do agree to this, which I'm not saying that I will," she threw in for caution at the widened glowing of his eyes. "What on this Merlin forsaken Earth makes you think that you can get them together?"

"I have a plan." There was that smile again. Cordelia grimaced, when he made out plans they were often so ridiculously brilliant that they tended to work. And she always gave in and went along. She tried to figure out what it was that he had planned but she couldn't read it. She was instantly reminded of a quote her mother told her once.

"There's no art to find," she began.

"The mind's construction in the face," they both finished.

"Macbeth – Shakespeare." He nodded as if he approved.

"My mother's favourite," she said as he said, "My Father's favourite." He smiled again because he knew she was going to give in.

"This… this is so wrong in so many ways," she said lying back in the chair. "And this…is going to be a long day." She shook her head, not believing what she was getting herself into.