Who's Afraid of the Yellow Eye?
Slytherin Common Room, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scotland, 1992
Despite their rather random argument, Adrian's relationship with his brother resumed mere hours after it was interrupted, and Adrian himself didn't particularly care what his brother's problem had been so long as it was no longer an issue.
It was nearly the end of the first week, and the Second Years had yet to experience the 'Defensive Maneuvers and Tactics' drills that most of the other Years had already endured. Reviews ranged from idiotic to fun to useless to dead useful, and he was looking forward to it, especially since Professor Lupin and Uncle Severus would be conducting the Second Year class, along with Sirius Black.
But for the moment, there was something far more important on his mind, and the minds of his friends; Quidditch tryouts were to be held in two days, and he was determined to make the team. He had the perfect build, loads of experience, and a broom that wasn't even on the market yet. He should be absolutely confident.
Except he wasn't.
To be honest, Adrian Malfoy was a nervous wreck. He was knocking over everything he touched, he'd lost a shoe in Herbology (a shoe. He didn't even know how shoes could be lost while one was wearing them), and he'd managed to smack Goyle across the face with his wand when he tried to practice a spell, giving the other boy a horned nose and a bulging eye for more than a day.
He had studied the current Seeker's tactics all of last year, he'd been in multiple competitions this summer around Europe, in both speed and dexterity, and had won most and tied others with Bulgaria's Seeker Viktor Krum. In one competition that had taken place just before the birthday party, he'd won his secret weapon.
But he was nervous nonetheless, and these jitters were only compounded when it was announced that all teams would be holding tryouts on the same day, one team after the next, which meant that nearly the whole school would be in attendance.
And now, sprawled on the rug in front of the fireplace using Loki as a pillow, Daphne and Blaise bickering about something or other nearby, it began to sink in that he was attempting to unseat an older student.
Granted, this student wasn't as skilled, but he'd led them to the cup the year before, and that counted for quite a bit.
Sighing, Adrian clambered to his feet and made his way out of the common room in search of food or distraction. Loki padded along after him, seemingly unable to help following his master wherever he went.
He'd made it to the second floor when he heard an odd noise coming from behind a tapestry. Feeling as though this could be the distraction he was looking for, he crept closer and, moving the heavy cloth aside, peeked behind it.
There was a passageway that he'd never seen before and, as far as he could recall, wasn't on the map.
"What on Earth?" he muttered. Ignoring Loki's low rumbling growl, he stepped fully into the mysterious corridor.
There seemed to be several rooms attached to the main hallway, and he wondered why an entire corridor of classrooms had been covered up. They didn't appear to have been used for several years, if the dust was any indication, and that only served to intrigue him further. Cautiously, he opened the first unlocked door, wand at the ready, and discovered an empty classroom. Desks were stacked neatly, and there seemed to be a chalkboard at the front of the room. Just as he was closing the door, something odd caught his eye.
"Lumos," he incanted softly, and when the soft light showed what had drawn his attention, he nearly dropped his wand.
Written in huge, disorderly letters was, 'Who's afraid of the yellow eye?' with a ghastly illustration of what appeared to be a dead girl with a smiling crowd around her.
Gulping, he backed up slightly, and passed through something cold. Though he'd never admit it if anyone asked, he was so startled that he yelled and fell to the ground, wand flying out of his hand and rolling under a desk.
His light now extinguished, he began to panic in the dark room. Something about this place was not right, and it made him jumpy.
"What," an angry voice hissed in his ear, "are you doing in here?"
The hairs on his neck stood on end, and he fought an urge to scream. "Who-who are you?"
"I asked you first!" the voice bellowed. "What are you doing in here? You aren't allowed!"
"I'm Adrian, I was just curious is all," he said, hoping to placate whoever or whatever the voice was. "I didn't mean to disturb you."
"Oh yes," the voice yelled. "Who would want to disturb me? You all avoid me like I'm diseased!"
He gulped again. "What is this place?"
"None of your business! Now leave, and take your dog with you!" the voice shrieked, sounding mere centimeters away from his face. "GO!"
"I need my wand," he said, hoping he sounded calmer than he felt. His hands were shaking badly now. "It fell under those desks there."
"Fine. But then you have to LEAVE. This is my place, and you aren't allowed, none of you."
"Alright, I'll leave. I promise," he assured the voice, trying not to shake. "Loki, get my wand."
He heard the big dog scamper over to the desks and back, and his snout bumped Adrian's shoulder with more than a little urgency. Adrian stood slowly, unsure of where the voice's source was at the moment, and started to make his way to the door.
"GO! NOW!" it bellowed, and he heard something rushing toward him.
Loki yelped and bolted, Adrian hot on his heels as the voice continued to chase him down the long-abandoned corridor.
"Leave me in peace!" it shrieked. "Never come here again!"
As he finally neared the tapestry, he noticed a strange… something coming from what appeared to be a solid wall. Something he couldn't see or smell or touch, but he felt whatever it was in his chest, like a heavy, rhythmic drum too deep to be heard.
But the voice was getting closer, and was sounding even more irate than before, and despite wanting to investigate, he fled toward the dungeons. He didn't stop running until he collided with someone coming up the stairs he was running down.
"Sorry," he said, scrambling to his feet and continuing on his way.
"It's quite alright!" a girl called after him. "We are acquainted, after all!"
When they finally reached the common room, breathing heavily, boy and dog decided that this was enough of a distraction and promptly went to the dormitories to take a nap.
"Where's he been?" Draco asked, watching his brother curiously.
"No idea, but he looks like he's about to fall over," Ron said.
"He's probably just nervous about tryouts," Daphne added. "I'm sure he's fine."
Draco nodded distractedly, eyes still on the entrance to the dormitories. "You're right. He has been a bit… tense recently. Merlin knows why, though. He's sure to make the team. He's a Malfoy, after all."
Draco was then soundly pummeled with pillows, his friends having taken it upon themselves to keep him humble.
It was their duty, they decided, not only to one another, but to all of wizard kind.