"You know, for someone who's spent the last six years cutting ingredients in potions, you kind of suck at it."
Draco jumped; he hadn't realized that she was behind him. "Well, Weasley," he retorted, "most of the time I con your brother into slicing up my ingredients."
"What are you talking about?" Weasley growled.
With no apparent regard for his personal safety, Draco continued "Well, the best one was when that rampant beast mangled my arm. Of course Pomfrey healed it in seconds, but I kept the bandages on for a week and Snape had Weasley slicing up my ingredients all week."
If her expression could get any more deadly, if just did. Draco wisely decided to keep his mouth shut about the times he straight out stole Weasley's cut up roots.
"Why the hell am I cutting up carrots for you anyways?"
"Because if you are going to keep following me around, you'd better be useful. You can leave if you want."
Draco was distract once again by the house elves cowering in the corner,"I couldn't do that. Snape told to tutor you in potions or he'd drop my grade." He didn't add that following her around was hilarious. He threw the knife down on the cutting board, "Why don't you just ask the house elves for whatever you want. This is degrading."
He watched as she became more angry, "Because that would defeat the whole point. It's not about the food, it's about the process."
"For someone who seems to cook so much, you'd think you'd be better at potions."
With that, Weasley exploded, "They're completely different! I don't have to worry about killing myself every time I add a new ingredient to soup."
"Well, that's what a recipe is for," he replied smugly.
"You... you..." with a loud screech, the red head turned her back on him and stormed out of the room. Draco paused a moment as the house elves began to scurry out of their hiding places to take back the kitchen before following her. Knowing Weasleys, she had probably gone mad and was off to kill first years.
After a bit of chasing, it became clear to Draco that Weasley's destination was most likely Snape's office. That meant she wouldn't be getting into too much trouble except that Snape would berate her for at least twenty minutes.
Draco should have recognized the closed classroom door as a bad sign. Snape rarely closed the classroom door unless he had a class or didn't want students to come in. He did, however, recognize the closed office door for what it was.
"Stop, Weasley!" he ordered her. The girl just gave him a disdainful look as she hurried into the office.
He clearly saw every thing as it happened, but he couldn't stop it. Draco watched as Snape startled to see the clumsy red head stumble through the door he spilled whatever he was measuring straight into the potion he was working on. Draco hadn't realized that Ginny had stopped and started speaking, "Professor, I can't stand working with Mal-" when he bumped into her and she bumped into Snape.
Draco wasn't sure what happened next, but one moment they were in Snape's office and the next they were in some sort of cave.
"You idiotic girl," Snape turned to Weasley, "have you taken leave of your senses! You're lucky I wasn't working on something that exploded." He continued on this line of thought for awhile, and although Draco agreed with berating Weasley, he interrupted the man.
"What were you working on, Professor?"
"A potion for Professor Dumbledore," Snape told the two, "it was supposed to be similar to a Pensieve, only instead of working on one person's memory, it would work on stories."
Draco didn't fully understand but it seemed that Weasley did, because she asked hesitantly, "So that you could find out the rumors about You-Know-Who? For the Order?"
Snape looked faintly surprised, as if he hadn't expected her to understand. This was usual for Snape, since he only found people to be intelligent who were good at potions.
"Well," Draco asked, "where are we?"
"The Underworld, of course," and with a slightly overdramatized flourish of his cloak, Snape strolled away from his students down the dark cave.
Rather than reflecting the ting of fear that Draco felt, he found Weasley to be looking a bit amused.
"We're not in the tale of Ishtar, are we?" she said, almost to herself.
Draco had no clue what she was referencing, but it seemed that Snape did for he turned around, mid-step, and looked at her as if she was a kitten that sudden had grown fangs and bitten him. Without a word, the professor turned away and continued.
This time so softly that Draco could barely hear her, Weasley spoke again, "Don't worry, professor, I'll try to keep my shirt on."
Before Draco could even react, she was hurrying to catch up with Snape. With nothing else he could do, he followed her.
The passage soon began to widen and the three soon found themselves at the edge of a huge river. All along their side were what Draco could only describe as shadows of people wandering the shores.
The Gryffindor's eyes widened and she turned accusingly at Snape, "We're in Hades, aren't we?"
"Well, what myth?" she asked.
"One of Heracles' tasks," Snape answered.
As if waiting for a summoning, a man came from the entrance behind them. Unlike the shades around them, he actually seemed alive. A boat appeared at the shore and the man approached the boatman. They began to speak in a different language.
"Who's Heracles'?" Draco asked.
By then Snape was heading towards the boat, so it was left up to Weasley to answer.
"Don't you pay attention in history?" Weasley asked, pulling off a decent sneer.
"Don't you pay attention in Potions?" he returned.
Weasley ignored him and followed the Potions Master. Once they were all on the boat and were waiting for the two characters of the story to finish their discussion, Weasley chose to answer him.
"You know how the wizarding race began, right?" she questioned. Draco shifted guiltily and she took that as an answer. "Don't you read anything?" she was disgusted. Rather than wait for his answer, she continued, "Anyways, in the beginning...," aft that she paused as if waiting for Draco to say something. When he didn't, she shook her head as if disappointed and spoke, "There were really two different people. Wizards and Muggles. Both sides were very different from what we have today. I mean, there's been so much intermingling-"
"Hey!" Draco felt as if he had been insulted, "I come from a long line of pureblooded wizards."
Weasley looked at him as if he had just said the most idiotic thing on the planet, "Did you hear what I just said? There are no such thing as purebloods. No one really knows how these two races started," she looked suspiciously at Snape, "only that there were these two extremes. Original wizards were so powerful, Muggles though them gods. But there was a downfall to this. Wizards rarely reproduce with each other. They could, however, have children with Muggles and they lived so long, there were a lot of half-breeds."
Draco had a look on his face of some that had just had all of his beliefs challenged in an instant. Weasley was not kind and continued, "I haven't read a lot of Greek wizarding history because the heros are a bit... crude, but I know the basics of Heracles."
The two men had finished their discussion by then and the boatman pushed off from shore. As they crossed the river, Weasley told what she could remember, "Alright. So that guy," she pointed to the boatman," is Cherion or something? He takes the dead in Hades, the Grecian underworld, across the River Styx if they have a coin to pay for it. That's why it's Greek custom to bury their dead with coins on their eyes, or in their mouth. If they are not, they are stuck on that side of the river. That guy," she pointed to the other man, "is Heracles. He's the son of the main Greek wizard, Zeus, and a muggle. Zeus's wife likes to try to kill Zeus's illegitimate children, so she drove Heracles mad and he killed his family. He had to do some number of tasks to make up for it. This is one of them."
"Good job, Miss Weasley," the girl jumped as if she hadn't known that Snape had been listening, "but you shouldn't ignore history just because you don't like it."
"I know," Weasley replied guiltily, "I did read it, it's just if I am going to reread something, I usually pick something that I like."
"Ishtar?" Snape offered.
Weasley by the fact that the boat had landed on the shore and they had no time to continue their conversation. The three followed Heracles off the boat, but as he tried to enter through the gate way, he fell as if Stupefied.
Draco froze, as if shocked as the guards came out and dragged Heracles away. "How did they do that?" he asked, "I didn't see wands or wards."
Weasley looked at him with pity, "I already told you. They are so far beyond our league. They don't need anything like that."
The Grecian hero was dragged to two people on thrones. They seemed to be in charge of the place so Draco asked, "And who are they?"
"Um...," Weasley thought for a moment, "Hades and...," she mumbled something like "Pera-something."
Draco looked at her suspiciously, "What did you say?"
She shifted, uncomfortable, "I can't remember her name, alright?"
He replied by rolling his eyes, "Whatever. What's happening?"
Weasley simple shrugged and the two turned to Snape. The professor scowled and after a moment, he gave up and answered, "Miss Weasley is correct. That is Hades, and his wife Persephone. They are Heracles' aunt and Uncle according to the myth. Miss Weasley has already gone over the basics; Heracles is the son of the main wizard, Zeus and a Muggle. After Heracles killed is family, he was sent to King Eurystheus to perform ten tasks, which actually ended up being twelve tasks. His last task was to capture Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the gates to Hades. Since he was captured, he is now asking permission from his uncle."
"Does he get permission?" Draco asked.
"I believe he made some deal with Hades that allowed him to take the dog if he didn't harm him."
"Wait," it was Weasley's turn to ask a question, "a three-headed dog... like what Dumbledore used to guard the Philosopher's Stone?"
Snape ignored Draco's question of "What stone?" and queried, "How did you know about that?"
With a rather secretive smile, Weasley replied, "A few years ago, Ron had a phase where he want to be Watson to Harry's Holmes. I read a few of his stories. Awful stuff, if I must say."
Snape nodded with a completely straight face. Feeling as if most of the conversation was going over his head, Draco queried "Who's Watson and Holmes?"
The look Ginny gave him caused Draco to decide that he wouldn't give her the satisfaction of knowing more than him. With a smirk, she said, "Honestly, Malfoy, don't you read anything other than Playwizard?"
"You can't expect him to know that," Snape answered instead as Heracles' conversation with the wizards ended and the three followed him down yet another tunnel.
"After all, it is Muggle literature."
At that moment Draco decided to make a list in his head of why his hatred of Weasley was growing by the second. Number one: She was so damn smug. But his thoughts where interrupted by the sight of a huge dog.
"How is he supposed to capture that?" Draco mused softly. Luckily, Weasley seemed to be in as much awe as he. But their doubts were in vain for Heracles had beaten then dog in less than ten minutes and was leading him back through the tunnels.
"I told you that wizards were much more powerful than they are today," Weasley said to Draco's surprise.
"But you said he was a half-blood," Draco insisted, "and he didn't even have a wand!"
Weasley seemed to being taking a leaf from Snape's book for she just smiled and followed the hero down the hall. They went back the same way they came and as soon as Heracles passed the place where they arrived, Draco found himself back in Snape's office with Weasley and the Potion's Master.
"I hope you've learned your lesson," Snape aimed his retort at both students.
"It was Weasley's fault," Draco muttered and the red-head glared at him.
"Can you please separate us?" Weasley pleaded, "We're obviously a horrid combination."
Being the cruel man that he was, Snape replied, "I think you two do rather well together," and if that wasn't enough, he continued with, "and since Mr. Malfoy seemed to have a questionable History, I think I'll speak to Professor Binns about having Miss Weasley help you with your work."
The Gryffindor and Slytherin looked at him and ill-concealed shock and after a moment of pure silence, they both broke in with complaints.
"I can't work with her-"
"-and ignorant, prejudice-"
But Snape simply forced them out of the office and shut the door behind them.