Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Creature Comforts
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

"I mean really, what person in their right mind would employ a filthy half-breed as a teacher? It's just as my father's always said; Dumbledore's finally lost his mind, the mudblood loving old git."

Draco Malfoy had just returned to the Slytherin third year boys' dormitory after having spent the previous night in the hospital wing due to being 'mauled' by a Hippogriff, and Theodore was really wishing that he hadn't. If anything he was wishing that the Hippogriff had actually done some severe damage to Draco, preferably to his vocal chords, but alas that wasn't the case. Goyle was gazing at Draco with adoration, as usual, but Crabbe looked like he was about to drift off to sleep, and Blaise seemed be contemplating cursing Draco – if Theodore himself didn't get there first.

Theodore slammed his book shut, deciding that he would be completely unable to get any reading done so long as the blond boy was in the room, and then decided that the best plan of action was to get Draco to talk about something other than the fact that the Hippogriff had 'all but wrenched his arm off'.

"Draco, why on earth did you take Care of Magical Creatures in the first place?" Theodore asked. After all, even Draco wasn't stupid enough to overlook that fact that Care of Magical Creatures might just possibly involve magical creatures.

Draco snorted indignantly. "Well, when I signed up for it I was under the impression that we'd actually have a professor teaching us, not some incapable lunatic of an animal. He's not even as intelligent as the brutes he makes us work with."

Theodore resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "You didn't answer my question."

"Well why aren't you taking Care of Magical Creatures," Draco shot back.

"I am. I was standing right next to you all lesson, in case you didn't notice… which you evidently didn't," Theodore drawled and Blaise failed to repress a snicker.

"Why are you asking me this in the first place?" Draco snapped, looking suspiciously as though he were trying to avoid admitting something.

"It's just that you've always seemed to love your creature comforts too much to actually get involved with any creatures," Theodore replied. "Imagine getting dirt on your robes, Draco – your worst nightmare. And yet here you are doing it willingly." Or perhaps not, judging from the irritated flush in the boy's cheeks.

"Mother made me do it, ok?" he spat out at last. Blaise let out a howl of laughter and Draco shot him a filthy look. "I couldn't exactly refuse her, could I?"

"Mummy's boy," Blaise spluttered. "You complete and utter mummy's boy! I refused to do Muggle Studies even though Mama said it'd make me look good."

Theodore privately thought that this was a lie, as any man who had stood up to Magdalena Zabini in the past had ended up poisoned at breakfast, but of course he wasn't going to say that.

"Mother said I needed to do a softer subject because the people at the ministry prefer it if you're not too academic," Draco replied. "I mean, unless you want to be an Unspeakable or something like that."

"You're still avoiding the real reason, Draco," Theodore yawned. "After all, everyone knows Divination and Muggle Studies are the softest subjects of all, so if that was your real reason then you'd be doing one of them."

Draco stared down at his feet and mumbled something that Theodore didn't catch but which had Blaise in tears of laughter.

"Peacocks? Peacocks? They're not even magical animals!"

Draco puffed himself up in a way that reminded Theodore rather of an angry cat. "I'll have you know that my family have been breeding albino peacocks for the past seven generations."

Blaise continued to laugh and Draco glared at him, struck dumb. Theodore returned to his book; at last, peace had returned to the Slytherin dormitory… at least until five minutes later when Blaise broke the silence with a cry of 'peacocks!' and Draco launched a pillow at his head.