Hogwarts Gets Wild!
Machiavella of Kingsport
Chapter 10: Draco Who?
Ron was still seething a week after his fight with Hermione. He couldn't believe her…her and her audacity, that she could just deny that there had been something special between them…and then to snub him by going out with Draco! They were sickening. Not only did he hate Draco Malfoy to begin with, just because he was a stuck up, rich, pretentious bastard, but the fact that Hermione would even go for someone so immature just made him want to puke.
They sat together at the Slytherin table during meals and smiled lovingly at each other as though no one else existed…cuddled together in the library…and god, they were always talking. How much could they possibly have to talk about, when before they had hated one another? Draco came from a wizarding family, shitloads of money, and parents who believed those without full wizard blood weren't fully human. Hermione came from muggle parents, and didn't even know magic existed until she got her Hogwarts letter five years ago—she believed in the goodness of humanity, the good deeds of the people around her…and that hate was part of being evil, even though she had hated many people. Ron couldn't understand why now, Draco and Hermione were so close. It just pissed him off.
Ron saw his god-given opportunity only this evening. Lola, who had received four hours' worth of laundry for detention due to her misconduct at the recent quidditch game, would be working with the house elves tonight…he was sitting in the common room at the present moment, when Lola walked in carrying a pile of books. He rose from his chair a little nervously.
"Hey, Lola. What's up?"
She smiled congenially and dumped her books unceremoniously on the common room table before the fire, and plopped down into one of the plump armchairs. "Oh, work…what about you?"
Ron sat down into his chair again. "Well, not much, I was just thinking…" He trailed off. How would he phrase it?
Lola yawned a little and stretched. "…Yes? And what were you thinking about?"
He coughed quietly and raised his eyebrows, and shifted uncomfortably for a couple of seconds. "Well, um, you know how Hermione and Draco are going out?"
"Yeah. It's so weird." She looked out the window, not particularly interested in talking about the subject at hand.
"Well…I kind of wanted to get back at Draco."
"Huh. What did he do?"
Ron's composure failed as he verbally exploded. "He took my woman! He took Hermione! She was mine, you realize that, don't you? She and I were…we were so close. I think she loved me! And then Draco, that bastard, he took her from me!"
Lola would have laughed but for the fact that it would have been quite tactless of her to do so. She took a while responding. "Are you sure you weren't just under the wrong impression for a long time? You know, about how Hermione felt for you?"
"No! I'm always right!"
"Shh, shh, calm down, Weasley." Lola's words had the soothing effect of a mother's cooing to a child. Ron shrank back into his seat and pouted. "I think you still need some time to reconsider your opinion of Draco and Hermione's relationship. Just because it doesn't seem normal to you doesn't mean it isn't normal for them."
Ron was sulkily silent for a while. "But Draco's just such a prig anyway. I want to get revenge for all the times he's humiliated me."
Lola chuckled half-heartedly. "Sure. You guys and your rivalries. You guys are so immature sometimes. Well, okay, correct me there; all of the time. Money isn't everything, you know. And just because he insults your mother a lot doesn't mean you have to lose face and blow up all over him. That's not exactly the most civil thing you could do."
"Yeah, so? Listen, Lola—you have detention in the laundry room tonight, don't you?"
"What of it?"
"I just want you to do me a little favor, okay? I could do something for you in return, if you want. Compensation, like."
"Depends on the favor. What do you want me to do?"
Ron thought it out slowly while she tapped her fingers on the arms of her chair impatiently. "All right…would you just find Draco's nice cloaks in the laundry pile—his will have personal tags on them—and soak them in bleach, long enough to ruin them?"
Lola sighed exasperatedly. "Oh…fine. What's your collateral?"
"Uhh…that's a tough one. I don't really have any money, see…"
"Well, you're still good friends with Harry, right? I mean, you haven't found any reason to hate him yet, have you?"
"Yeah, we're friends."
"Well, I like him a lot. I want you to…you know…put in a good word for me."
"Oh, well, sure. That's fine."
"It's a deal then." Lola inspected her fingernails briefly, and then abruptly stood up. "I've got more work to do, see you later."
"Right then. Thanks."
Draco's morning was not starting off too well; first of all, he had run out of Sleakeazy's hair gel, so his hair was sticking out at odd angles, and second, his robes were a mess. Those damn house elves had screwed up and used bleach on them, and so now, they looked like some screwed up version of a reverse cow hide. To make things worse, everyone at the Slytherin breakfast table was jeering at him—he used to be the popular one, but it probably didn't help that he was in love with a Gryffindor and everyone knew it.
Just when he thought his day couldn't get any worse, a disgruntled and irritable family owl swooped down over his toast and dropped an envelope on the table before him. It was no ordinary envelope; of course, it bore the Malfoy family seal, and Lucius Malfoy's name was printed boldly on the envelope…but the envelope itself was of a distinct crimson color that made Draco's heart sink like a rock in a pond. A howler. And he knew very well what it would be about. Trying unsuccessfully to ignore the jeers and catcalls of his fellow housemates, he took one finger and slit the envelope open—
"JUST WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING, DRACO? IS THIS THE WAY YOU DISGRACE YOUR FORMER FAMILY NAME, YOUR FORMER BLOOD AND YOUR HERITAGE? HOW CAN YOU JUSTIFY YOU TREATMENT OF MISS PARKINSON, A FELLOW SLYTHERIN AND PUREBLOOD? HOW CAN YOU SHAME YOURSELF LIKE THIS? ARE YOU VERMIN LIKE THOSE HORRIBLE WEASLEY TWINS?
"I CAN'T STAND SUCH UNRULY BEHAVIOR FROM YOU! YOU HAVE EMBARRASSED ME, AND I AM NOW THE LAUGHINGSTOCK OF THE MINISTRY BECAUSE OF YOUR MISCHIEF—AND THAT GRYFFINDOR!! A MUDBLOOD GRYFFINDOR! I HATE YOU, YOU ARE EVERYTHING I RAISED YOU NOT TO BE—I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, NOT EVEN ON THE DAY I DIE! YOU ARE NO LONGER MY SON—AS OF THIS DAY, YOU ARE DEAD TO ME!"
There was a deadly silence. Draco was ghostly white. The words were still sinking in with a numb feeling…he had just been disowned. His last name was no longer Malfoy…as quick as that. By then, the raucous laughter from his table had died down to uneasy chuckles and uncomfortable, furtive glances in his direction. No one said anything, and no one would meet his eyes. He looked across the room, stood up, and walked out with as much dignity as he could muster as the howler spontaneously combusted in his pumpkin juice, leaving an acrid smell of ash hanging in the awkward atmosphere.
Draco's feet dragged as he made his way to the gargoyle that was the entrance to Dumbledore's office. Muttering the password, he slumped inside and leaned against the stone wall as the revolving stairs took him up to the office door.
"Come in, Draco," Dumbledore said, before Draco could knock. The door swung open, and Draco plopped into one of the chairs and sat in stony silence.
There was an awkward pause.
"Well, Draco, you know why I called you here, right?"
"Yeah, I guess. But what's there to talk about?" Draco stared dully at the floor and let his mouth hang, his lips slightly parted in a troubled frown.
"There's a lot to talk about," he clarified. "You no longer have a place to live outside of Hogwarts; no financial support, or legal guardian, for that matter. Obviously you can live here the remainder of the school year; but you haven't the money now to pay for your last two years, nor would you be allowed to pay, as you are a minor. Have you any idea whom you will turn to?"
"No, " Draco mumbled, as though it should have been obvious.
"There's no one who would take you in? You have no close friends who would be willing to bring you to live with them?"
Draco gave a short mirthless bark of laughter. "If ever I had the chance, it's gone now. That would have been Pansy, except that now she's sworn to be my enemy until the day I die. Or she dies. Something like that. And Hermione…well…I'm not so sure her parents would like the idea of her boyfriend living under the same roof, you know? It's kind of problematic, like that."
"Well, you haven't asked."
"Come on! They don't even know who I am right now!" Draco gestured emphatically and glared at Dumbledore with disgust.
"Have you considered one of your teachers? Professor Snape, as you well know, regards you almost like family."
"Yeah…well, maybe I'm not willing to live with him and that Trelawney bat."
"Sorry…Professor Trelawney." Draco mumbled his apology begrudgingly.
Dumbledore sighed heavily, and stared at Draco through his half-moon spectacles. For a while no one said anything, until: "It seems, then, that you are in a bit of a bind. Either you must forget your differences with some people, or you have to…well, beyond that, I must truthfully say that I do not know. I will talk to you soon if I see another alternative. You may leave, mister Malfoy…or I guess that's not your name anymore, is it? …Who are you?"
Draco's eyes widened with surprise at Dumbledore's question. He didn't know, either. Who was he? Draco…was Draco a Slytherin? A descendant of a family of dark wizards? Or was he someone new, now that he had begun to change inside? This was a chance for him to recreate himself…but as to whom he would become, he hadn't yet found the answers. Treading slowly and carefully, he made his way to the door and within seconds found himself turning back. "Sir, may I ask something?"
"You just did, Draco."
"Whatever. Can I try on that sorting hat of yours?"
Dumbledore considered the youth for a moment before giving him a small, sad smile. "I find that it hardly ever changes its mind about those it has already sorted; but if you believe it will give you any answers you need, by all means—have another go."
Draco hesitantly reached for the hat, and then, taking a breath, jammed it onto his head. He stood there, keeping his face absolutely blank as he listened intently. After a few moments, during which Dumbledore heard nothing, Draco took the hat off slowly and placed it back on its stool.
"Did you learn anything?"
Draco's face was deadpan. "Maybe." He whirled around, his mottled and splotched robes billowing out behind him as he disappeared into the revolving stairwell.
TO BE CONTINUED…
A/N: I know this was a shorter chapter than usual, and also a much more serious one in content; but it would only fit in the context…in my mind this was all bound to happen. So please, no flames, just your more gently censored opinions…hehe. Next few chapters should be quite entertaining, though, I promise. I'll get around to them sometime soon I hope; until then, enjoy, and do drop me a line! --Nicoli