For I Am A Wicked Child
***Chapter Ten***To The Victor
Only one thought was on Draco's mind as he sat hovering on his broom.
It sucks playing Quidditch at Durmstrang.
True to form, the weather was horrible. The sky was dark from overcast clouds, not that the sun trying particularly hard to make an appearance anyway. Harsh gusts of wind blew in from every direction, making it hard to stay balanced especially when flying up at seventy feet in the air. And from time to time, there was an onslaught of rain and hail.
Fabulous weather for the semi finals.
Unlike Draco, the rest of Cronus weren't particularly concerned about the lousy conditions. They were more preoccupied with other things, such as beating Crius into the ground. The score was currently 120- 10, to Cronus. And the one goal Crius has scored had been a fluke, as the Quaffle had been blown through one of the hoops by a strong blast of wind.
When Zhivko scored another goal, bringing the lead up to 120 points, Draco wondered whether he should really bother chasing down the snitch. With a few more goals, Cronus would win the match either way. Draco glanced over at Crius' seeker who had been circling the pitch frantically for the past ten minutes, since capturing the small golden ball would be the only way that his team would be able to come back. Draco smirked as a bludger nicked the tail of the boy's broom, sending him spinning all over the place.
The chances of Crius making the finals were none to… none.
Suddenly Cronus scored two more goals and as the seeker straightened out, he shook his head hopelessly while trying to catch his breath. Which was fortunate for Draco, because as the other seeker was busy feeling sorry for himself, he caught sight of the snitch. It was lazily fluttering on the other side of the pitch, not too far away from Crius' hoops. Grinning smugly, Draco urged his broom forward. The other seeker still hadn't noticed and as Draco whooshed past him on his broom, he gave him a sharp shove with the side of his body. It had been entirely unexpected, and the Crius seeker completely lost his stability. The sound of the boy's loud yelp as he fell towards the lake only encouraged Draco to speed up.
As he raced towards the snitch, Anders appeared at his side with the Quaffle tucked under his arm. The two of them glanced at each other, their faces locked in concentration. Anders suddenly gestured for Draco to speed up with a quick upwards nod of his head. Draco gritted his teeth and drove his broom on harder. The snitch was still flying idly, almost floating even. With only a meter between him and the snitch, Draco readied himself.
Suddenly Anders called out from behind him, "Draco!"
An underarm throw sent the Quaffle rushing towards him. Reacting instinctively, Draco twisted sharply on his broom. The tail connected firmly with the Quaffle, and as Draco closed his hand around the snitch, the Quaffle flew through the centre hoop earning another ten points.
The Quidditch pitch was suddenly filled with a thousand cheers, as people in the stands and the other players on Cronus roared. Draco grinned. They were through to the finals.
All is well at Durmstrang. My team Cronus has made it to the finals, largely thanks to me. I was absolutely brilliant in the semis, it's a pity you weren't there to see it. By the time I get back to England for the holidays, I'll be known as the best seeker in the school.
Draco laid the quill down on the desk and after one final read over, he placed the letter into an envelope and sealed it. As he began to make his way to the Owlery, he passed some players from Hyperion. They were talking between themselves and were far too troubled to notice Draco walking by. No doubt that it had something to do with their upcoming semi final against Iapetus. Dimitar had lengthened their practices by over an hour and was really pushing the team hard. Especially the beaters. Hyperion had no intention of making the final. They just wanted to make it through the game alive. Even though he loathed the idea of Iapetus winning, Draco didn't care much for Hyperion either and couldn't help smirking at the idea of all seven Hyperion players being shoved around the pitch.
"Good luck for the semi's" drawled Draco as he passed them by.
The Hyperion players glared at him angrily but without any real threat, knowing that they couldn't do anything to him. Draco smirked as he continued on his way.
As he swaggered down the corridor, he caught sight of Gunnar, casually leaning against the wall.
"Hey Malfoy," said Gunnar.
Draco replied with a quick raise of his brow. Gunnar noticed the letter he held in his hand.
"Who's that for?" he said, gesturing to the envelope with a nod.
"No-one you know," replied Draco.
Gunnar shot him an audacious look, as if to say "Oh… really?"
"Try me," he said, his voice laced with haughtiness.
"I'd rather not," said Draco.
That fake smile emerged again.
Something softly brushed against Draco's sleeve. He turned his head to the side, where his grey eyes locked with Elisabet's green ones. Her fingers lingered for a second on his robes, before she walked over to her boyfriend. Gunnar wrapped his arm around Elisabet's shoulders, whispering into her ear while she reached up to hold his hand. Not having the stomach to tolerate such displays, Draco spun on his heel and began to walk off without so much as a word of goodbye, leaving the couple behind him.
As he strode off, he glanced down at the letter in his hand, which now seemed like an unnecessary inconvenience. He considered burning it or using a returning charm or even just ripping it up, but he wasn't particularly tempted to do any of those; he had put in the effort of writing it and disposing of it would just make the letter a waste of time. Tapping the letter against one hand, Draco surveyed the corridor, wondering what to do.
While his eyes roamed the hallway, he caught sight of a large old painting of the Durmstrang lake. Fog floated across the surface of the canvas, obstructing the castle and anything else of interest from sight. The glassy surface of the water was dark as usual. As Draco stared at the picture, he caught sight of an indistinct reflection in the centre of the lake. A pair of eyes, quietly watching him yet unaware he was looking back. For a moment Draco couldn't bring himself to look away, but the sound of approaching footsteps broke his concentration. Disregarding the painting, he noticed a couple of girls, probably 3rd years, coming his way. A sly smirk started to creep onto Draco's face, and he deftly sidestepped in front of them.
"Hello…" he drawled.
The girls stopped and stared at him blankly, their surprise rendering them frozen. Finally, one of the girls managed to squeak something out.
"You're Draco Malfoy."
"Yes…" he replied.
"The seeker for Cronus," continued the girl.
"That's right," said Draco with a slow grin.
"Hi…" said the girl carefully, as though not trusting her voice. The other remained silent, simply staring at him. Draco mentally scoffed at the two of them, but kept up the polite façade, smiling graciously.
"…My apologies for interrupting you, but I'm somewhat new to this school and I was wondering if you ladies would be kind enough to help me out?"
Both of the girls' eyes widened, before they turned to look at each other in disbelief. When they looked back at Draco, they were both wearing warm smiles.
"Sure Draco," said the girl from before. The other one still didn't speak.
"Well…" said Draco, turning on the charm, "I have a letter I want to send, except the thing is I've completely forgotten where the Owlery here is..."
"Oh, it's just at the end of the fourth floor and the 6th door on the right," replied the 'talking girl'.
"…Right," said Draco. Thinking quickly, he winced and added, "Oh no… I have that Quidditch final meeting with Marconi."
Biting his lip as he pretended to be stressed, he lifted his head for a glance at the girls' reaction except he accidentally caught sight of the painting again. The shimmering water was still reflecting those eyes, but they seemed colder now, almost resentful.
"I guess I'll just have to send it later…" sighed Draco, "Which floor was it again?"
The two girls looked at each other, when unexpectedly the quiet one said "We can send it for you."
Draco smiled, "That would be great actually."
Handing the letter over, he told them to use his eagle owl. Both of them stood there staring at the letter in awe, until Draco cleared his throat and said, "Would you mind going now? It's somewhat urgent."
The girls nodded apologetically and soon scampered away to the Owlery. Draco smirked, pleased that he could manipulate those girls so easily. As he moved to turn away, his gaze once again fell upon the painting of Durmstrang lake. Like before, the eyes were still there, floating in the middle of the picture. Draco was completely still as he looked back at them. Those eyes were much deeper and mysterious than the lake that surrounded them. And much darker.
And then they were gone.
Draco blinked, before registering the lake only consisted of water. A sense of unease spread through him, and he suddenly sought to get away from the painting. Turning away, he saw that Gunnar and Elisabet were still in the corridor, just beginning to leave. Draco paused, waiting for them to leave.
"Damek…" said Draco. He stared suspiciously at Damek due to the fact he had appeared out of nowhere.
"Where are you headed?" said Damek.
"Nowhere in particular…" replied Draco, drawing out his answer. Damek nodded quickly, not really listening. If Draco hadn't noticed Damek's furtive glances, he would have believed the casual attitude Damek was projecting to be genuine. Inwardly grinning, Draco simply stood there as Damek became more agitated by the minute.
"Shall we then?" asked Draco, making a sweeping gesture for the both of them to continue on their way.
"Yeahgoodidea," replied Damek, quickly.
Draco smirked and the two of them began to head off in a general direction. Several frantic teachers rushed past them as they sauntered down the hallways, but Damek didn't seem the least bit interested. Draco observed one of the teachers carrying a defensive spell book as he sprinted past the two of them. With a look sideways and a bemused grin, Draco remarked, "Been keeping busy Damek?"
Damek shrugged, "More or less."
The two of them turned a corner in the hallway and entered the link to the dormitories. As they walked down the empty passageway, Damek suddenly remarked, "I've been thinking about what you said in class the other day."
"…And?" asked Draco coolly.
Damek stroked his jaw, "It's something."
"I know," said Draco.
Damek turned away and looked out of the link.
"Do you know how deep that is?" he said, gesturing towards the lake.
"No sorry, I'm not cool enough to measure lakes," said Draco snidely, "Why do you ask?"
Damek frowned, "There's a reason that Durmstrang's lake is so vast you know."
"You're not actually worried are you Damek?" asked Draco doubtfully. When Damek didn't reply, Draco laughed and said, "Come on, this is going to be child's play for you."
"If anything goes wrong…" said Damek, trailing off nervously.
"It won't," said Draco bluntly.
Damek raised his eyebrow questioningly, "With something like this, everything can go wrong."
Draco rolled his eyes, "Nothing will go wrong. I won't allow it."
Damek turned away and looked outside the link again, silently staring into the distance.
"It better be worthwhile," said Damek.
"I never do anything that isn't."
The link was still as the two boys stood on opposite sides, both thinking of the same thing.
"All right. I'm in."
A few minutes later, Draco returned to the dorm, having parted with Damek. He passed Ivan in the common room, who gave him an obligated hello, which Draco didn't bother responding to. Entering his room, he was met with a chill of cold air and once inside, he got into bed trying to ignore the fact his room reminded him greatly of recent Quidditch conditions. As he wrapped himself underneath his covers, he heard the faint sound of talking outside, with the sound of footsteps following. They stopped outside his room, and Draco stared at the door guardedly; he had his wand at the ready in his right hand. Hexes were not required however, as the person outside the door suddenly moved on. Curious, Draco got out of bed and slowly opened the door. Peering out, he saw the back of Nikolas disappear into his room. Slowly, Draco relaxed and leaned on the door, before looking off towards the common room. Ivan was still sitting by the fireplace, throwing his wand up and down one-handedly.
"What?" he asked, noticing Draco watching him.
"What?" mimicked Draco.
Ivan sneered and went back to his wand throwing. Draco looked back down the corridor at the rest of the rooms. The door to Ivan's was open, and there was a faint glow coming from inside, catching Draco's interest. Leaving his doorway, Draco made his way down to Ivan's room; Ivan too self-involved to notice. Glancing inside, Draco saw the usual mess of clothes, parchment, sheets and general disarray he had expected to see, but also in one corner of the room there was a Quaffle-sized orb, with elegant gold flames flickering inside.
A Bottled Flame.
Draco scowled. To think, he had been freezing all this time when he should've just bought one of those. Even stupider to think that his mother used hundreds in her courtyard parties at night and here he was without one. He'd have to complain about that to someone. Draco pressed the tip of his wand against the side of the orb.
The golden flames slowly extinguished, and the glass became cool to touch. Draco tucked it under one arm and marched back to his room. Ivan still hadn't noticed anything as Draco shut the door behind him. Grabbing a quill off his desk, he used a basic transfiguration charm to turn it into a stand. As he carefully placed the Bottled Flame on the stand, he heard Ivan moving around in the common room. Draco held onto his wand, but Ivan was only moving towards the dorm entrance. Draco was surprised to hear the muffled sound of feminine voices at the door and for some reason felt compelled to eavesdrop. Quickly casting a spell that magnified his hearing, Draco began to listen to the conversation in the next room.
"Is he here?" The voice belonged to a young girl, sounding somewhat nervous and somewhat familiar.
"What…Draco?" sneered Ivan, "…uh no. Haven't seen him."
Draco smirked at Ivan's response. Ironically, he was doing Draco a favour.
"Oh…" said the girl, disappointed, "Well… can you tell him we sent his letter for him?"
So it was the letter girls who had dropped by. Draco mentally congratulated himself for choosing girls with a kindness that he could exploit. Ivan scoffed at the two of them however.
"Yeah, sure I'll get right on that," he said, before slamming the door into their faces.
Ivan began to make his way to his room, while Draco removed the hearing charm from himself. It proved to be good timing, because no later was Draco's hearing back to normal when a great cry came from Ivan's room.
Draco smirked to himself as expletives were omitted from the room down the hall. He gently tapped his wand against the orb.
Strangely enough, Ivan never passed on the message to Draco about his visitors. Granted, that was probably due to the fact he had woken up sick with cold the next morning and had to go to the nurse. Ivan was not without company however. 3 of Hyperion's players were in the medical wing of Durmstrang, after being thrashed quite literally in the semi-finals. Iapetus' beaters had been the ones controlling the game, taking out the keeper in the first eight seconds of the game and allowing the chasers to wear out the Quaffle. With the final score at 320- 0, it was a game that no one on Hyperion was likely to forget. And one that Iapetus wouldn't stop bragging about, much to the dislike of Cronus. Eight days away from the final, Draco was walking to his Illusionary Magic class, when he saw Nikolas up ahead of him, coming down from the floor above. On the stairway, Iapetus' seeker was bragging to some girls about the game.
"… Well, it's really not something you can learn. Being a seeker is just a natural thing you know? Not everyone can do it."
"Like Radomir?" said Nikolas, suddenly interrupting the conversation, "Iapetus' original seeker and the guy you're just… filling in for?"
The seeker's face flushed a bright red, before turning sour.
"Better watch what you say, Niko," he sneered, "or the only thing you'll be trying to chase is your pride after Iapetus kicks your ass."
Draco scoffed at the boy's lame attempt at a threat. Nikolas wasn't intimidated either. Taking a step closer, he took advantage of his taller frame to peer down at the boy.
"Is that so?" he asked slowly.
The seeker continued to stare back at him, despite showing signs of nervousness.
"Step back Nikolas."
Nikolas turned to see a couple of Iapetus players descending the stairs, including Jordan. All of them were staring at him with hostility. By this time, the girls the seeker had been bragging to were long gone.
"All right Ant?" they said, as they stood beside him. Ant, the seeker grinned smugly and folded his arms over his chest.
"Yeah. NOTHING to worry about."
"Are you so sure?" said Draco, coming up the stairs. A couple of the guys were thrown off, but did their best not to show it. Jordan stared back at the two of them.
"Yeah. I know it."
Draco was about to speak, but felt the presence of someone else move beside him. The Iapetus players turned to look at the newcomer with a glare.
""You actually know something Jordan?" taunted Damek, "Other than how to be an asshole?"
Jordan growled under his breath. The other boys took similar poses of threat, which neither Damek, Nikolas or Draco reacted to.
"You better get used to the cold boys. Because that's all you're going to be feeling for a week after we beat you," said Jordan.
"Don't Jordan. That doesn't work on us," said Nikolas, in contempt.
"You wait," piped up Ant, "You'll see."
Draco shook his head, "No we won't."
"Yes you will…"
"Then why are you sweating?" interrupted Draco, "Worried all your talk won't be able to help you when you're floating face down in the lake?"
He grinned maliciously.
"You should be."
Draco took a defiant step closer to the Iapetus team.
"In a few days, you're going to know exactly what losing is."
He turned to look at the rest of them.
"All of you."
The other boys continued to glare but did nothing. Jordan was the only one who made any movement, his eyes narrowing.
When he spoke, Draco expected a threat but there was none. Instead, Jordan replied with a weak, "Whatever," before walking down the stairs. The rest of the team followed, with Ant hazarding a backwards glance before scuttling off.
The three of them stood on the stairs, watching them go. Damek looked at the other two and grinned.
"Well. Finals should be interesting."
AN. Been on hiatus for a while. I seriously thought about dropping the whole story, but I decided to continue even if no one reads. I was becoming addicted to reviews for a while, which is really not a good thing since it's much easier to write for me than for anyone else. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate them though! By the way if I previously wrote that Draco had blue eyes, could someone please tell me which chapter it was? I have this feeling that I did, but I can't remember where it was.
* Draco's final threat is based on a line from Blade.