A/N:My new story! Hooray!
Lisette and Bryn are two names that popped into my head just before the idea for this story... I have no idea why, I've never actually heard those names before and had to Google them to make sure they actually were names.
Thanks to DragonMaster65 for betaing!
I've always wanted to use the saying 'gone to hell in a hand basket,' and I've incorporated it into this chapter! I just thought I'd share that...
Disclaimer: Any recognizable characters, setting, etc, etc, aren't mine. They will continue to not be mine for the entirety of this story.
The first time I saw Draco Malfoy I thought 'great, there's no escaping spoiled little rich kids, even in a magical school'. I didn't let it bother me though; I was too excited about this new, magical world to be bothered that there were bad people at Hogwarts just like at the Muggle school I'd attended. Besides, they were magical, but they were still people, and people came in good, bad, and everything in between; it was to be expected. I'd dealt with people like him before, what harm could he possibly do?
It wasn't until later that he was the first one to call me that horrible word. Mudblood. The concept is ridiculous; as if someone could be inherently inferior because their parents weren't magical. If anything, I have an advantage over Purebloods because I'm perfectly capable of getting along in either the magical or the much larger Muggle world without much difficulty.
"He's just jealous," I mumbled out loud, too caught up in my thoughts to notice.
"What was that, Hermione?" Harry asked, walking beside me as we headed to transfiguration class.
"Nothing, Harry." I blushed; it was slightly embarrassing to get so caught up in my thoughts sometimes that I spoke them out loud.
"There's Malfoy," Harry whispered, pointing out a bright blonde head slipping around the corner in front of us. "He's up to something."
Ron and I shot each other a look and rolled our eyes. Harry was getting out of hand, expecting trouble and conspiracies where there weren't any ever since we'd come back for our sixth year. The entire Wizarding World was going to hell in a hand-basket because of Voldemort and his followers and Harry was concerned about Malfoy.
Harry darted off to follow Malfoy, leaving Ron and I standing in the hallway looking after him. "I can't be late for transfiguration again; it's your turn to go after him."
I rolled my eyes once again, but nodded; Ron wasn't at all concerned with his attendance, he was just tired of chasing down Harry as he did things that would get him in trouble. We'd all had our share of detentions because of Harry's inability to let other people handle problems. "Fine, I'll get him this time," I waved dismissively at Ron and headed off in the direction Malfoy and then Harry had gone off in.
I found Harry peeking around a corner as Malfoy paced in front of the blank stretch of wall where the door to the room of requirement would appear. "Harry!" I hissed, tugging on my friend's arm.
"He's going to hear you!" Harry snapped, only sparing me a quick glance over his shoulder before turning back to stare at the blonde.
"Harry, why do you keep insisting that Malfoy's up to something bad?" I was beginning to think that Harry was slipping a little; all that time spent fighting against evil and he started to see evil where there wasn't any. When the war finally ends, I worry what Harry's going to do without a threat looming over his head. He'd probably start worrying that the dust-mites under his bed were plotting his downfall.
"Hermione, he's evil. I think he's a Death Eater."
Once again I rolled my eyes at my friend; I was really going to have to stop doing that. If my mother were here, she'd tell me to stop before my face gets stuck that way, but that usually just made me roll my eyes again.
"He's not evil Harry." I knew this for a fact; I had since third year when I slapped him.
The stress of everything was getting to me; we were just kids, why did we have to deal with so much? Had I stayed in the Muggle world, homework and bullies would have been the worst of my worries, not a dark overlord and an escaped murdering convict.
I finally snapped when the blonde arse just had to give his input. Stepping forward, I slapped him across the face as hard as I could.
The effect would have been more satisfying if I hadn't had a strange flashback the moment our skin made contact. A rush of images and sounds assaulted me, depicting the life of a woman I'd never even seen before, yet seemed oddly familiar in a way I couldn't quite put my finger on.
I snapped out of my trance when this woman and her lover died a brutal death at the hands of a mob. It seemed they'd been tried for witchcraft and killed for it. Their wands had been taken from them and they'd been burned.
"Lisette," Malfoy whispered in an awe-filled voice.
My eyes snapped to his in horror; he'd seen those visions too? I saw the truth was actually something much, much worse when I looked into his eyes. The colour and shape were different, but everything behind them was someone I had once known so well. Bryn.
"No." I told him forcefully. "That never happened." No one could ever find out that there was something connecting us. So we'd been lovers in a past life, that didn't mean we had to have anything to do with each other in this one. It was some fluke that we'd found each other again, it had to be.
I turned around and didn't look back as I heard him run away.
We hadn't spoken anything more than passing insults since that little discovery in their year. I did, however, know that if he was in possession of the same soul that Bryn had had, then he wasn't evil. And he was, so he wasn't. Inside Malfoy, there was good, a lot of good. It was just stifled by all the foulness that had been dumped on him in this lifetime.
"And how would you know that Granger?" Someone snarled, making the both of us jump.
I turned my head so fast I probably caused whiplash; there was Malfoy, standing just around the corner from Harry, he must have heard us talking and walked over in that annoying, soundless way of his.
He seemed almost like he was challenging me to admit that there was something between us that would let me know that he wasn't evil. I'd made it clear to him three years ago that what we'd seen had been a hallucination – neither of us believed this, but that's what I chose to pretend.
"Anyone can be bad, but it takes a certain type of person to be evil. You're not that type of person, there's good in you." I told him with conviction.
Harry was looking between the Malfoy and me with confusion, I had to be careful or his overactive imagination might pick up on the real past between me and Malfoy. I wouldn't think he'd actually be able to hit the nail on the head, but he could probably detect there was something there if he was suspicious enough.
"You don't know anything Granger." Malfoy hissed.
Instead of being afraid of him, I tilted my head, contemplating. Was he trying to warn me that he actually was up to something? My eyes flicked down to his left forearm and back to his face, could he actually be a Death Eater?
"And you Potter, stay out of my business." The hiss turned into a threatening growl as he turned his attention to Harry. I wrinkled my nose at him behind Harry's back, I wasn't afraid of him, and neither was Harry.
Malfoy turned and left before Harry could grab his wand. He walked right past the room of requirement and continued on down the hallway, obviously abandoning whatever it was he'd been doing now that he'd been caught.
"He's up to something," Harry said again with narrowed eyes as he watched Malfoy's retreating back. I rolled my eyes –yet again – but didn't comment; I just grabbed my friend's arm to drag him to class.
As a prefect, it's my duty to patrol the halls with a partner assigned by the head students. These pairs consist of a male and female from different houses that are shuffled from week to week, and I've been exceedingly lucky to not have been paired with Malfoy yet in the year.
After our little incident in the hallway earlier in the day, it figured that for the first time I was paired with Malfoy.
When the head girl handed me the schedule with my partner for the week, she gave me a sympathetic look. I shrugged, telling her I knew it was going to have to happen eventually. So I was paired with Malfoy for the week; I could survive that.
I could feel Ron's worried stare burning into my back as I left right from the prefect's meeting to patrol – we had the first patrol of the night.
"You realize we're supposed to patrol together, don't you Mudblood?" An annoying voice behind me called.
"Don't call her that!" Ron yelled. I didn't bother turning around, but I did hear a scuffle from the room we had gathered in as Ron tackled Malfoy.
The other prefects could break the two of them apart; I was going to start my patrol without Malfoy – the longer he fought, the less time I had to spend with him. The fight probably wasn't going to do much for the blonde prat's mood though.
I was up a floor when Malfoy finally caught up to me. "I say we need to patrol together and you leave," he growled, wiping blood from the corner of his mouth.
It looked like Ron had managed a few good shots while they'd been rolling around on the ground. For someone so invested in Pureblood supremacy, Malfoy was awfully fond of using Muggle means of problem solving.
"You call me a Mudblood and wonder why I leave?" I snapped back at him. Did the git really expect everyone to worship him to the point of flocking after him even when he insults them? I guess if you looked at the Slytherins, this seemed to be true, but the Slytherin world and the real world are completely different things... At least I hoped they were, I'd seen evidence to the contrary on numerous occasions.
"Let's just get this over with."
I looked at him sharply, hearing the defeat in his voice. Had he always looked so tired? He had purple smudges under his eyes and his pale skin was looking almost sallow. The war was weighing heavily on everyone, but Malfoy seemed to be having a harder time of it than most students.
I didn't know for sure, but if I were to guess, my bet would be that Malfoy had been dragged onto his parent's side without being given much of a choice. He had always been an opinionated child, but they had never been his opinions. I'd always thought if he were to just think with his own brain instead of acting like a very large parrot for his father, he might actually be a decent person under all the social pressure. Not that this was something I'd ever talk to him about, because there was absolutely nothing connecting us. Nothing.
A sound echoing down the hall distracted me from the sidelong looks I kept stealing of Malfoy as we walked together. After glancing at each other, we both pulled out our wands and crept forward, not sure what kind of threat we were going to face; Hogwarts seemed to be getting more and more dangerous of late.
It was Peeves. He was attaching what looked like water balloons to the ceiling, but they didn't seem to be filled with water.
I let out an unconscious sigh of relief when I saw that it was only Peeves. Malfoy must have heard it because he glanced at me out of the corner of his eye before stepping out of the shadows we were hiding in and started demanding to know what was going on, along with a slew of other official things we'd been instructed to say should we come across a troublemaker. I was content to let Malfoy handle the poltergeist; I wasn't in the mood for yelling and he seemed like he could use the chance to blow off some steam.
While they were shouting at each other, I pulled out my wand and carefully levitated the many balloons down from the ceiling. My earlier suspicions were confirmed when I accidently bumped a balloon on the wall above my head and I was covered in chocolate pudding. Yep, definitely not water.
I'm not proud of it, but I squealed in horror when the disgustingly squishy and slimy substance covered me. Malfoy and Peeves paused in their shouting match to stare at me.
"What?" I snapped irritably. It wasn't like they hadn't seen a person with pudding in their hair before: Peeves frequently pulled pranks like the one I'd been disassembling. My voice served to break them out of their disbelief and trigger their laughter. Peeves sped away, cackling hysterically and knocking over suits of armour in his path, leaving me alone with the blonde git.
"Now your hair matches your blood." Malfoy told me, before starting to laugh as well.
If Harry had been there, I would have immediately taken back my earlier defence of the prat. At that moment, I was pretty sure that he was evil after all.
I was on the verge of tears of humiliation; I could feel them starting to burn the corners of my eyes, threatening to overflow. Clenching my fists, I forcefully stopped them from pouring over and glared. I wasn't sure how, but this was Malfoy's fault – okay, maybe not his fault, but he definitely wasn't helping the situation.
An evil idea occurred to me when I noticed the balloons waiting for disposal sitting at my feet. A quick glance at Malfoy assured me that he was still too busy laughing at me to notice me as I bent down and grabbed one of them. It was a red one – how fitting, a Gryffindor colour.
I've never been very good at throwing things, but my aim has always been flawless and the throw was fuelled by anger. I lobbed the balloon at him and it burst right on his head. Needless to say, his laughter stopped.
"Now your hair matches you personality," I said, mocking his earlier statement. I was too angry to laugh at him, but I memorized his disbelieving and horrified face to describe to Harry and Ron later in excruciating detail.
I watched as he visibly fought the instinct to hex me half to death for daring to mar him with something as common as chocolate pudding – at least that's what I imagine was going through his inbred little brain. His desire to remain a prefect seemed to win out over the need to get revenge.
"You better watch your back," he growled at me as he Scourgified himself. I followed his example and magically cleaned the pudding out of my hair. A frown appeared on my face; magic wasn't as thorough as I would've liked it to be. I had a feeling I was going to be finding pudding globs in my hair for the rest of our patrol, possibly even for the next few days.
I cast an envious glance at Malfoy's hair, he didn't have nearly as much as I did and all of the pudding came right out. It helped that his hair was blonde and not the same colour as the pudding, like mine was. And that his hair looked smooth and soft as opposed to the wild mess of curls that mine settled in no matter what I did to it. I can admit it; he's an arsehole, but he has nice hair. It was probably soft too – okay, too much!
I shook my head to clear it of the blasphemous thoughts and followed Malfoy down the hall to finish our patrol. Things were going so well already, and only six days of these wonderful experiences left!