Chapter IX

Draco in a New Light

"Um…that's for me…

"Um…that's for me…?" I try to say, but it passes through my throat as a whisper. It's too late anyway; it's open, spread out between his long, lethal fingers, its message loud and clear in Ron's scribble:

Meet me outside.

I could slide out of my chair I'm so relieved, but I keep it together as Malfoy snickers to himself. There's the laugh I know and hate.

"Even Weasley's taking a shot…" He says, more to himself I think, "Ridiculous…"

He thinks that Ron's set out to 'woo' me. Let him think that, I guess, it's better than him finding out! Bloody hell I thought I was going to have a heart attack…

"Weasley? Is that his name?" I play along, snatching a glance at Ron, who is watching Malfoy worriedly. It was his stupid fault; there are other ways of sending a message…

"Yes, not exactly a thrilling love interest." He warns me. His attempts to put me off Ron when I couldn't see him in a romantic life if I tried amuse me.

"Oh, I don't know." I contradict, "I quite like red-heads." I see instant resentment in his eyes and know its working.

"Hmmm, but do you like blood-traitors?" He tries, sounding nonchalant but I can hear the urgent undertones.

The bell rings- how could potions soar by so quickly? It feels like we'd only been sitting here for five minutes.

"Ah, but unlike you, Malfoy," I smile slowly, as the bustle of everyone packing their bags surround us, "Jealousy doesn't do much for me."

Not even waiting for his reaction, I rise gracefully and swing my bag over my shoulder with one fluid movement. Without a backwards glance, I walk towards the door, taking my time. I don't hear him get out of his seat; perhaps he's dumbfounded.

As I leave the room and hit the fresh air of the corridor, I take a deep breath and laugh quietly to myself.

That went rather well!

"OI! CHARM!"

Ah. I forgot about that little detail.

"Yes, Pansy?" I turn around, watching her storm towards me, her friends in her wake, Esme looking excited, Daphne and Hillary looking uninterested as usual.

"What the hell were you doing, taking my seat?" Pansy demands, giving my shoulder a shove. It hardly moves, and I raise an eyebrow at her.

"I don't see what you're so upset about." I say, dusting my shoulder lightly, "It was only a seat, Pansy."

She turns an ugly shade of magenta, swelling like Aunt Marge, spluttering like a broken broomstick.

"I think she's mad because you sat next to Draco." Esme explains.

"Oh!" I say, my eyes wide and my hand flying to my mouth, "I didn't realize…"

"How could you not realize?" Daphne asks dully, looking skeptical.

"Well, I guess I didn't see anything there." I shrug. Pansy practically explodes, "No hard feelings? Good, I've got to get to Transfiguration- see you there!"

And I make a break for it, and I'm pretty sure I hear the word "BITCH!" being called after me in a strangled yell.

"Har-Lottie!" Ron squeaks, and I slow down, turning to see him chasing after me.

"Hows it going?" He asks breathlessly. Great, another person chasing after me…! Can I not just be left to the peace of escaping the wrath of a Man-Goblin?

"Not here." I hiss, "You want someone to overhear us?"

"Where then?" He demands louder than necessary, "You're constantly surrounded by that lot."

"Meet me in the Library at break." I snap impatiently, itching to get away so I can ignore Malfoy in Transfiguration and make him seriously irritated, "As if they'd go there- bring Hermione as well…see ya, Ron!"

And I leg it.

"Wait..?" I hear him call helplessly.

I skid to a halt at the end of the corridor and maintain a causal slink to the classroom as soon as I catch sight of Malfoy. Everyone's already gone in, so the place is deserted, he's leaning against the wall watching me silently and I can actually hear my head beating in my head.

Must be because I've been running…

"May I walk you the rest of the way." His devious smirk tells me he'd do it, whether I give him permission or not.

"Eager, aren't we?" I ask, giving a cheeky grin back. I can always ignore him later…

"Don't flatter yourself." He tells me quietly, "Leave that to me…"

Cheesy, but it makes me want to jump up and down, squealing. Luckily I supress that urge and continue to behave like I have in fact evolved from the apes. How the hell can this be working so quickly?

"We'll see." I don't want him to think he's got control or anything, do I? Keep the upper hand, Lottie! Malfoy just shakes his head and laughs lightly. I never thought I'd see him…happy? Care-free? Nice? Granted, they're weak words, but they're the kind of words I never thought I'd use when describing him.

"Tell me, have you always been charmingly different from every other girl I've ever met?" It sounds like some cheap line, but with the reference to my fake surname I can't help but feel enchanted.

"We're a rare treat, the Charms." I assure him, "Are you always this courteous?" I notice we're walking slower than necessary, but the door is still creeping ever closer. We can already hear McGonagall's sharp voice cutting through the air.

"No." He says truthfully, without a hint of mirth. His robes are slung across his shoulder, his green tie lose around his graceful neck and his half-open white shirt looking grey next to his creamy skin. He has one hand stowed in his pocket, the other glides through his hair for a swift moment. I realize that it's changed- it's no longer slicked back like an Adams Family member, but ruefully tousled, it's style and allurement offhand, almost unintended . All these years I saw it as simply blonde, Barbie blonde if I'm being cruel. But really it's a delicate shade of white-gold, almost dazzling when we pass a beam of light streaming through a high window.

His lean figure isn't disappointing either; he's tall, with a long, slender torso. Almost feminine, but still boasting masculinity at only sixteen. His muscles aren't bad- brilliant in fact. Bloody hell…I can see them rounding his sleeves…peeking out at me…

Oh God…stop staring!

But when did he become like this? Not a sneering brat…a majestic gentleman…effortlessly elegant, strong…sensuous-

"Late I see, and only your third lesson, Miss Charm! Mr. Malfoy, I hope you do not escort her again, you do nothing for her punctuality!"

Ah, Professor McGonagall, no harsher to students outside her house than in. That's good teaching, unlike Snape's disgusting favoritism…although it got me my first Outstanding in Potions!

Thank God she interrupted my daydreams; I might've jumped on Malfoy if I'd gotten the chance to carry on admiring his knock-out qualities. Hastily, we take our seats at the back, having to sit either side of Neville, who has sat in the middle of the three spare seats. I feel like kicking the chubby, brainless twat.

What is with these hormones?

He freezes when he realizes he's sitting between two (beautiful) Slytherins. What tortures can we unleash?

The inconvenience of sitting away from Malfoy irritates me, and my brain starts to whirr, going over the different factors of the plan…

I need to get him to like me…he's showing signs of it already, but if I want him to really fall for me so I can crush him then I'll need to entice him even further…I can see him in the common room, at lunch and I have all my lessons with the Slytherins…I can see him all the time really.

However…perhaps it's better that I don't spend too much time with Malfoy. I don't want to throw myself on him…if he only gets glimpses of me, an exchange of banter here and there…he'll get more and more eager. Giving him a little taster and suddenly taking it away will leave him pining for more. I need to wait for him to come to me…

So stay away from him, avoid him…but make sure he sees me…easy, right?

Professor McGonagall takes the register, and soon enough, she comes to my name. My real name.

"Harry Potter?" She takes a sweeping look around the room, having no idea that she's just seen him come in.

Hermione clears her throat, as if preparing for a well-rehearsed speech. She always has been a terrible actress…good thing she's got brains.

"He's ill, Professor- he's staying at Ronald's with spattergroit." She declares shakily. The Slytherins guffaw to themselves, causing the Gryffindors to shoot them spiteful looks, but with a hint of smugness it seems. Seems Ron has let them all in on the plan. Seamus winks at me, which Malfoy doesn't fail to overlook. His hand is resting over his wand on the table and it seems to tense slightly. I can't help but grin back at him. Is he just being a horny git, or is he helping me out to entice Malfoy further?

I don't need to debate much longer, as the look on his face when his eyes once again move to my chest is definitely not staged.

Before I can blink or Seamus can become even more aroused there's a streak of light and he seizes up, his arms snap to his side and his legs are completely straight as he clatters to the floor like a plank of wood. Malfoy's wand is stowed in his pocket before anyone can suspect his conjuring of the body binding curse.

There is silence, and the whole class slowly turns their heads to Professor McGonagall, who is staring calmly at Seamus' wooden form.

"Detention, Finnigan." She says in a bored voice, causing the class to exchange looks of confusion, "How many times do I have to tell that boy NOT to point his wand at himself? I remember his first year- explosions seemed to follow him everywhere as soon as he aqquired a wand…"

I can't believe Malfoy's luck. Or the hilarity that Seamus was punished for being attacked. However, I realize that only the Slytherins find this amusing. The rest of the Gryffindors turned and shoot them suspicious looks, angered that their side has been given a detention for something that the Slytherins had a high probability of doing, being gits and all. Well, except Dean- he was ready to believe that Seamus had cursed himself. He knows him the best, I guess. No one seems to be in a hurry to help him out of his state. In fact, Professor McGonagall continues to teach while Dean sniggers and pokes his friend with his foot.

Another thing that surprises me is Malfoy's temper. He can't possibly like me this much already to act so protective, or possesive might be a better word. Of course if Seamus had looked a second longer it might have been me to shoot a hex at him. I guess he's learnt his lesson…or not. It is Seamus we're talking about here.

The rest of the lesson drags, much slower than double potions even though it's only a single period. What I write goes through my head into my fingers and gets scrawled onto a piece of parchment, but it doesn't reach my conciousness. I end up giving up altogether. I find myself sneaking glances at Malfoy instead, who isn't writing either. At one point, our eyes meet and I blink slowly and look back at my page. He doesn't look away immediately.

It's really working!

Finally the bell rings and we're free for break time. Free to see Ron and Hermione again, and avoid Pansy.

"Harry!" Hermione gushes and she throws herself into my arms. Now before, when I was a guy and had more density and everything, I could survive a hug like Hermione's. But now I'm a girl, with little bones, little arms and no muscle. I'm boweled over and we land in a heap on the floor. Ron sees no need to help us up; in fact he's happy to watch. Are all guys sick bastards?

"Hermione…" I groan, and Ron just gets more excited, "No wonder you don't have any girlfriends…"

"Sorry!" She squeaks and scrambles up hurridely. I'm pulled up soon afterwards and I waste no time in cursing Ron. He's keeling over, laughing, giggling, and screaming as the tickling hex hits him. He's on the floor, shrieking like a two year old girl.

"Silencio." Hermione adds, and he's left to writhe on the carpet and scream silently, "We're in a library after all…hows it going, Harry?"

"Lottie." I correct her in a hiss, "Anyone could be here…"

"Don't be silly, I'm the only one who comes here at break. No one else can read a good amount of chapters in such a short time." She beams at me, "So hows it going, Lottie?"

"Well, very well." I supress a giggle, "He walked me to Transfiguration, and he was the one who put the body binder on Seamus; he was perving on me."

"That's wonderful! Malfoy's perving on you already?" Hermione asks, but before I can correct her she's already moved on the part she really cares about: "I saw you take Pansy's seat next to him in Potions! How upset was she? Was she shouting-was she crying?"

"Close to tears." I tell her. She beams at me, as if I've done my homework all by myself for once, "I think she's pretty much set on mauling me."

"Oh I have a good spell for that." Hermione assures me.

"There's a spell for a bitch fight?" There's so much I don't know about the Witch's side of the wizarding world!

"Mm! Just as she's about to slap you or anything like that, just twirl your wand-" She demonstrates- "And say Llortnam."

"…Say that once more."

"Lort-nam."

I watch her suspiciously. "Now if I were to write this spell…and then write it backwards…"

"You'd get the word Mantroll, yes."

I blink at her.

"Are there any more of these spells?" I ask, fearing for the wizarding race.

"Yes, but not as effective as this one." She grins mischeviously, something I'm not used to.

"What does it do?" I imagine a huge hand performing a mighty slap or scratch, or maybe a magical handbag to whomp Pansy over the head with.

"Wait and see." She giggles, with a touch of something sinister that makes me hope I never have to use it, "Do you think Ron's had enough? I think he's hyperventilating…"

I glance at Ron who is much less animated now, lying almost still but twitching violently. Sighing I lift the hex and he lies there, covered in sweat and breathing heavily.

"That'll teach you." I tell him sniffily.


Yeah the Bitch Spell is silly but I can never resist these kind of things!

Review if you feel like it ;D