Disclaimer: Characters/names/settings/etc, belong to the one and only literary icon J.K. Rowling. Some dialogue from William Shakespeare. :)
(A/N): This fic was inspired by Shakespeare's book Taming of the Shrew, which I'm currently reading in my English class. I was also inspired by the Romeo and Juliet movie (the one with Leonardo Dicaprio). The movie basically used Shakespeare's exact dialogue, but adapted the plot into a modern day situation, so I was kind of aiming for that "feel". So I'm really sorry if you are somewhat miffed by the use of Shakespeare's dialogue in my fic, but I meant to do that – to try to modernize and incorporate Shakespeare's plot into the world of Harry Potter.
On to the chapter! Shake well and enjoy.
Draco Malfoy tightened his grip on the brass knocker and tentatively pushed the stone door open.
It creaked ominously, revealing a vast, chilly room within. A fire was blazing in the fireplace, but the comfortless flames only added to the foreboding and menacing feel. Draco had been in here a hundred times, yet he still involuntarily shuddered each time he walked in. The room was nearly empty, save a wooden desk, whose feet ended in carved claws, and a chair with a regal red backing.
And in that chair sat Lucius Malfoy, dressed from head to toe in black mink, with his hair aristocratically tied back at the nape of his neck. He carried with him an intimidating air of wealth and sophistication.
"Son," said the elegant man, touching the tips of his fingers together slowly. "I think we need to talk."
Draco tensed. Not once in his life had anything positive followed those four words. Trying his hardest not to betray uncertainty with his eyes, he croaked, "Yes, sir?"
Lucius, with a quick motion, stood up and began pacing the room. "We're losing the war at this point. Badly." The brief sentence seemed to pierce him. He paused with a sigh, clenched his fists, then continued, "Death Eaters are dying daily, being killed off by Aurors and that bloody Order. If we continue at this rate, all the Death Eaters will be dead within four months. The Dark Side will be reduced to nothing."
Draco tried not to roll his eyes at his father's attempt at dramatics.
Lucius stopped in his tracks and turned slowly around. "You don't want that to happen now, do you?" His cold eyes bore into Draco's own. Draco shook his head solemnly.
"Good," Lucius replied. "Because I have a plan for you. For all of us, actually." He finally tore his penetrating gaze away and sat back down, and Draco sighed in relief. After settling back into his chair, Lucius continued, "The Dark Lord has asked his loyal followers to sacrifice their sons and daughters in the line of duty. Now, you are not to fight yet – some of you children's idiocity may get us all killed; look at that Goyle boy– but for now, your age group is responsible for preparing the next generation of Death Eaters to serve the Dark Lord. He has commanded you and the others to start creating more and more Death Eaters, and quickly. The more we have, the longer we all can keep fighting for the Dark Side. Son, you must find a wife, and fast. We need as many loyal subjects as we can get. And I would recommend someone from the Light Side; that way, you will not become two attached to her, since afterwards, we will have to dispose of her. We can't risk letting anyone go, even if they were on our side; they'll know too much of our plans. So if you use a girl from the Light Side, we get to kill off an enemy while we're at it. Kill two birds with one stone, if you will. So choose wisely. Someone whose qualities you admire, yet want so badly to strangle and murder." Lucius smiled with all the warmth of a January morning.
Draco's mind reeled with all the newfound information. A wife? A Death Eater baby? It made sense, since Voldemort was in such dire need of more fighters. But who would be the woman? Someone you admire. Yet someone you want to strangle…Someone you would like to see murdered…Hmm… Draco had the answer at once. An evil smirk crossed his face.
"I have it. The Mudblood. Granger," Draco said confidently. "I always wanted to have the last word with her back when we were at school. She was such an arrogant brat; always acted like she was the greatest thing since magic. I can finally show her whose side is superior, Father."
"Hmm. That's not a bad choice," Lucius said quietly, eyes narrowing in consideration. "She would be a good woman to have dead. With that sort of knowledge,…she knows too much for her own good. Lure her in, Draco, make her believe you are on her side. Then, use her for the plan and then… leave her for dead." He clamped a strong hand on Draco's shoulder. "Good idea, son," he said, with the tiniest hint of pride in his otherwise emotionless voice.
Fifty miles away at Hogwarts, nineteen-year-old Hermione Granger sat at her desk, gazing wearily at the mess that lay in front of her. Magda Eisenhower had accidentally blown up yet another snail, her third one since the beginning of the period, causing squeals from the girls and raucous laughter from the boys. Hermione sighed and thought to herself, When McGonagall had agreed to give me the post of Transfiguration teacher, she didn't mention how incompetent these children were! We were hardly this bad when we were at school! Exhaling tiredly, Hermione smoothed her huge, frizzy mane in frustration and made her way to the quivering, little Hufflepuff girl.
"Now, Magda," Hermione started firmly upon reaching her, "If I've told you once, I've told you a million times. It's Cambia Lucama, not Cambia Lumaca. Make your a's nice and long, then swish and flick. Otherwise, dear, you'll just keep blowing up your snails and I'm going to have to keep cleaning them up! Honestly, Magda, this isn't hard at all. Try to get it right." Hermione shook her head and hurriedly said a cleaning spell to tidy up the bits of snail lying around. The effects of the superbly placed charm left the floor so clean, it practically sparkled. Hermione gave a satisfied sniff.
Before she could turn back around to walk back to her desk, however, she was startled by yet another loud explosion from the direction of Magda Eisenhower. Hermione closed her eyes and tried not to explode in anger as she walked back at the first-year. Magda's lip was trembling, and a mixture of silent tears and snail guts were streaming down her face.
"Magda, what did I just tell you?" Hermione said, fighting to keep her voice steady. "Did you listen at all to what I just said? What did you do wrong?"
The girl shook her head, her blond ringlets shaking. "I-I'm s-sorry," she squeaked. "I'm not very g-good at m-magic. I-I'm doing everything you said, I just-I just can't!" She squealed the last word, and burst into loud tears. Hermione thus had to spend the last ten minutes of class comforting the distraught student while cleaning up the brown gunk that now seemed permanently stuck to the floor.
When the bell finally tolled, signaling the end of first period, the first years filed out of the class and Hermione sank back into her chair, sighing deeply.
I need a vacation, she thought despairingly. And I need to see my friends again… but they're all off fighting for the Order! I wish I could be out there fighting too; if only everyone would stop being so protective of me. I can fight, but no, they want me to stay at Hogwarts instead and teach Transfiguration in McGonagall's place…
Hermione thought back to her Hogwarts graduation just two years ago, at the end of her seventh year. The event was somber yet joyful, filled with students saying their last goodbyes to friends and teachers. She herself had to part with Ron; he had set off to help with Harry's search for Horcruxes directly afterward. Harry hadn't even come back to Hogwarts for his last year, but he had insisted that Ron complete an education before joining him in his journey. And they both had refused Hermione's help, claiming that it was too dangerous, that she had to stay and help out the Order at home. Yeah, I'm such a big help, Hermione scoffed sarcastically. I'm sure cleaning up dead snail guts on a daily basis is just absolutely vital to the Light Side's success…
Her head pounded painfully, and she rubbed her temples, groaning. Maybe I should get some air, she thought, pushing herself out of her desk and heading to the library.
Because even after two years, that was still Hermione: When in doubt, or in this case, when experiencing a splitting headache, go to the library.
(A/N) How was it? I hope you liked it! Please review, I would love to know how I did! and I would love to get a feel for what people like or don't like, etc. Also, reviews really motivate me to get cracking on my next chapters. : More to come!