The very first HP fic I wrote was some crappy thing about Slytherins, so somehow another crappy thing about Slytherins seems like a good bookend? I dunno. Not mine. Written for fun, not profit.

Any Means Necessary

The first time Tracey Davis and Daphne Greengrass ever fought, it was over who would get to ask Blaise Zabini to the Yule Ball. They refused to speak to each other for three days, preferring to glare at each other in frosty silence, until Millicent Bulstrode threw things at both of them and threaten to turn them into skrewts.

The second time was over whether or not Tracey could borrow Daphne's cute pink skirt without permission. That ended with name-calling and screaming and Pansy Parkinson telling them that she was going to turn them both over to Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad if they didn't let her get some sleep, damnit.

The third time, Tracey got her wand out first.

"Are you trying to get us in trouble?" Daphne hissed. She looked thin and unhealthy, a year's worth of worry leaving dark circles under her eyes, and the faint light of the Slytherin common room at three in the morning certainly wasn't doing her any favors. "Do you have any idea how insane the Carrows are?"

Tracey did, as a matter of fact. She had a very good idea. "Why are you stopping me if you don't like them?"

Daphne scowled, but stayed where she was, between Tracey and the common room exit. Her hand hovered over her pocket, but she made no move to pull her wand out. "Don't you remember what happens every time the Gryffindors get caught?" She darted a glance in the direction of the girls' dormitories, where her little sister was no doubt sound asleep. "I don't want everyone punished just because you're being stupid!"

"Keep your voice down," Tracey snapped. "And I'm not going to get caught. I know what I'm doing." She saw Daphne's eyes widening at the implications of that - that this wasn't the first time she'd pulled a stunt like this - and was both relieved and insulted that her friend didn't seem to realize it was a complete lie. "I might get caught if I have to Stupify you, though. Do you really want that?"

Daphne hesitated for a moment. Very slowly, she shook her head.

"Then get out of my way."

For a moment she thought Daphne wasn't going to. Then, with a sigh that seemed more like a goodbye to a decade worth of friendship, she moved to one side.

Tracey didn't stop to thank her. Somehow, she knew Daphne wouldn't appreciate it.

The corridors seemed echoing and dangerous this late at night, but she ran as quickly as she dared, listening intently for anyone else's footsteps. There was nothing. Slytherins weren't the ones causing trouble these days, so the professors rarely bothered with them. All the same, Tracey found herself jumping away from shadows, her wand clutched in a white-knuckled grip and her back pressed against the wall.

She had no idea how the Gryffindors did this sort of sneaking around all the time. It wasn't good for her nerves.

More proof that they were all mental, she supposed.

After what seemed like an eternity, she found herself outside the Dark Arts classroom. Her grip tightened on her wand until she imagined she could feel the grain of the wood digging into her palm. She didn't have to do this, she told herself. It wasn't too late to go back, find Daphne, and whisper with her about how much of an idiot she'd almost been. She knew Daphne wouldn't tell anyone about this, no matter how upset she was. No one ever had to know.

All Tracey had to do was keep quiet.


Before she could talk herself out of it, she brought her wand up and whispered the spell, scrawling huge letters across the classroom door and the wall. She almost wilted with relief when it worked. She had been practicing for weeks, in secret, because Charms had never been her strong point.

One more reason why no one would suspect her. Not for a while, anyway. Long enough to make sure no one found any incriminating spells if they checked her wand.

When she was finished, she stepped back to admire her handiwork and then ran back to the safety of her dormitory. She could imagine what the Carrows' reactions would be. They weren't going to be pleasant.

All the same, she thought as she climbed back into the Slytherin common room and didn't find Daphne waiting for her - all the same, maybe it would be worth it to see their faces.

This wasn't the first time a student had scrawled Dumbledore's Army on the castle walls, of course.

But surely it was the first time someone had used silver and green.