A Bad Death Eater Gone Good
Paul Smecker: "... That's just what we need now: some sensational story in the papers making these boys out to be superheroes, triumphing over evil. Let me squash the rumours now. These two are not heroes. They're just two ordinary men who were put in an extraordinary situation and they just happened to come out on top. Yes, nothing from our far-reaching computer system has turned up diddly on these two. All we know is what we found out from the neighbours, and the general consensus is, they're angels. But angels don't kill..."
- Boondock Saints, 1999
ACT ONE: ORDINARY MEN
"... Draco? Wake up... Draco..."
The voice was insistent. It was squeaky. It would loud and high-pitched. Draco Malfoy wondered when Pansy Parkinson managed to sneak into his bedroom.
Oh, wait. Pansy was dead.
A younger, higher male voice, one that Draco recognised as his, squeaked out in fear, Pansy's dead?
The sharp words rang in his head, amplifying the throbbing pain that was the beginning of a massive chronic headache. Draco groaned, rolled onto his side, and pulled the covers over his head.
Of course Pansy was dead; she'd been dead nearly ten years—she killed herself instead of participating as the entertainment in a Revel.
That annoyingly high-pitched voice, his younger voice, echoed in his blindingly painful head. So did the strange voice calling his name, ensuring a deep, throbbing ache spread from the middle of Draco's forehead to the back of his skull. Merlin, maybe someone had hit him over the head?
"Master Draco! You's must gets up!"
Master Draco? Goodness, he hadn't heard anyone call him that in years. Deciding that their advice was sound, Draco cracked open one eye, and then another, and peered around his childhood bedroom at Malfoy Manor in shock and confusion.
On the other side of the bed stood a tiny green house elf in Malfoy pillowcase, wringing its hands and staring worriedly at Draco.
Draco stared back, trying to think. Which elf was this? Malfoy Manor hadn't had any elves since Nagini ate all of them in his seventh year. Finally, it hit Draco. There was a house elf in his room. In his childhood bedroom at Malfoy Manor. Calling him 'Master Draco.'
"Gibbs?" queried Draco slowly, blinking at the house elf.
"Yes, Master Draco?" asked the house elf.
"Gibbs," repeated Draco, in the same confused tone.
"Yes, Master Draco?" repeated Gibbs, the house elf, patiently.
"Master Draco, you's must gets up," the house elf finally interrupted, done with playing the strange game. "Yous and Master and Mistress are to gets to the Quidditch Cup laters."
"The what?" asked Draco, frowning. What Quidditch Cup?
"The Quidditch World Cup, Master Draco," responded the house-elf, hopping off the bed and waddling its way over to the dressers on the far side of the room. The elf snapped his fingers and a few drawers slid open; a thin cashmere jumper floated out of one drawer, socks and underwear from another, a light undershirt from one more and then a belt with buckle.
Draco slowly sat up in his bed, staring at Gibbs. Was he talking about the Quidditch World Cup in 1994? Was Draco back in 1994?
A part of Draco was dancing in joy – the blasted Clock had worked, sending him back in time and before the Dark Lord even had a body – but another part of him was running around and screaming like his head was cut off at the thought of being a fourth year again. It was so long ago – and he and Potter weren't friends – what if Potter didn't remember? Couldn't yet remember what happened in the future?
Oooh, Draco's headache throbbed at the final thought.
Looking up, Draco opened his eyes and saw his mother hovering at his bedroom door. "Darling, it's already gone seven. We must get to the grounds before noon, and you're still in bed. You said you were going with your father to pick up the Port Key at the Ministry."
Narcissia Black-Malfoy looked unfazed, cool and composed in a regal manner. The tall, willowy blonde emulated the best features of the Malfoys in their aloofness but the tenacity of the Black line – after all, she had gone down fighting. Narcissia Malfoy had fought her own sister to the death. It was, unfortunately, her death.
"Mother," said Draco, breathlessly. He hadn't expected to see her – he had almost forgotten the point of the Clock taking them back in time.
Narcissia rolled her eyes. "Do get up, Draco. Gibbs already has your clothing prepared. Wash up and come eat breakfast."
Draco dumbly nodded, certain he looked like a Hufflepuff, and slipped out of his bed on unsteady feet. With uncharacteristic patience, Draco let Gibbs usher him into his bathroom, even taking the small elf's gentle reminders ("don't forget to wash yous hairs, Master Draco").
Once fully dry and dressed, Draco meandered down familiar corridors, framed portraits murmuring their hello's and good morning's, sculptures and artwork proudly displayed and not blood-soaked or broken.
The double doors to the dining room were shut – father never did enjoy the hustle and slight bustle of the house elves getting on with their work in the hallways and preferred family solitude, especially at meal times – and Draco hesitated before them.
What was he, a stupid 'Puff? Slytherins may have a sense of self-preservation, but he needed to be a Gryffindor right now and march right in, tell his father hello and that they needed to break Potter out of his relatives and then demand that his father not take up Muggle Baiting during the Quidditch World Cup – oh, and maybe find some Goblins to lay down a bet of Krum catching the Snitch but Ireland winning, side note – but Draco hesitated.
Then, he sucked in his breath, pushed the doors open loudly, saw his parents look up from their seats, and smiled broadly and –
"Damn it, Draco, shut those blasted doors!"
"Of course, Father."
Yes, Father. No, Father. Your stupid beliefs in the Dark Lord got us all nearly killed, Father.
Damn it, he was supposed to be a general in the Dark Lord's Legion (of Dark Nincompoops, seriously), and his thoughts were all over the place. That would not do (thank God Auntie Bellatrix was still in Azkaban).
Draco sighed, sliding into his seat at the table. It was going to be a long summer.
Draco had forgotten quite a lot over the years. Particularly, he forgot the events in the Top Box with the Ministers at the World Cup. He followed his mother and father in, and was immediately surprised by the annoyed look on the Bulgarian Minister's face; Fudge was finishing his introduction of Harry Potter to the man, but it seemed the language barrier was causing some humiliating, awkward stilted conversation between the three.
His father sneered at the Weasleys – the eldest, Arthur, sneered back, and Draco wondered if his father was ever that good at acting before. He certainly knew how to keep a blank face, but living under the Dark Lord's thumb showed Draco his father wasn't nearly as blank or taciturn as he was previously led to believe.
As the youngest Weasleys turned to face the newcomers, Draco nodded amicably at Harry Potter first. "Potter," he greeted neutrally. He glanced over at the bushy-haired companion and nodded politely as well. "Granger."
He then paused as his eyes swept over the redheads. It wasn't that he had anything against the Weasleys personally, he just never got along with them. With an internal sigh, he gritted out as politely as he could, "Weasleys."
At this, Draco missed the confused glance that Harry and Hermione shared, but didn't miss Harry's, "Erm... Malfoy," in response, nor did he miss the young male Weasley's hiss of, "Harry!"
Well. This was a setback. Apparently, Potter didn't remember the previous timeline.
As he settled into his seat, Draco frowned, his eyes blank as he stared ahead at the enormous Quidditch pitch and oblivious to the Bulgarian team's fly-by. Instead, a startling thought made him shiver and nearly weep.
What if I'm the only one who remembers?
"I can't believe you said hello to him!"
"Oh, for Christ's sake..." Hermione muttered, rolling her eyes as Ron continued his rant against Draco Malfoy, who for some strange reason, was nice to her and Harry.
"Ron, it wasn't a big deal. He was polite. I was polite," replied Harry with infinitely more patience than Hermione was currently demonstrating.
The entire Weasley clan was moving slowly from the stadium seats back to their tent, after the wonderful Irish win, despite Krum catching the snitch. The eldest, Bill and Charlie, were walking towards the back with Mr. Weasley so that they could watch over the younger children. Percy was trying to behave as though he didn't belong to the large, rowdy bunch; the twins walked together, heads close and whispering, while Ginny walked with Ron, Harry and Hermione – although her patience too, was wearing thin.
"I can't believe you said hello to him!"
"Great Merlin, Ron, if you don't shut up within the next three seconds I will send my Bat-Bogey hex on you!" growled Ginny, finally giving up all pretenses.
Ron fell silent, into a sulky mope; seeing it, Charlie quickly sidled up to the youngest male Weasley and engaged him in to a conversation about Viktor Krum.
The debate raged and Ginny was soon drawn in, leaving Harry and Hermione to walk companionably beside each other.
"You have to admit, Malfoy acting that way was pretty weird," offered Harry, finally.
Hermione gave a hum of agreement. "Maybe he fell off his broom, hit his head hard on the ground and had a personality transplant?"
Harry chortled. "Yeah, sure. And I'm Dudley in disguise."
"Well, it would explain how you inhaled dinner earlier," laughed Hermione. "But, no, I understand what you mean. Something about him was... off."
"He was dressed the same," mused Harry aloud. "But he wasn't behaving like Draco Malfoy should."
"There was no arrogance," answered Hermione evenly. "He didn't have his nose up, no snobby tone... oh my God, he was normal."
Both Harry and Hermione shivered in response.
"Something is not right with him," Harry declared. "Do you think he's been possessed?"
"If he has, I'm not going to say anything to anyone," replied Hermione. "That's the first time he's ever greeted me by the name and not mudblood. I'd be quite happy if he's being possessed by You-Know-Who."
The two shared a quiet laugh, glancing over as the debate between Charlie, Ginny and Ron drew Bill into the discussion, all with loud, raised voices and violent hand gestures.
"Alright, alright, that's enough, kids," interrupted Mr. Weasley, slowing down as they reached their camping tent. "We're back anyway. You can continue it inside."
Harry and Hermione made to enter the tent flap with the rest, but Harry stopped Hermione with a gentle hand on her upper arm.
"Hermione..." he began slowly, "If there is something wrong with him—Draco, I mean—we'll keep our eyes on him, right?"
Hermione frowned, pensively for a moment; Harry could see her thoughts turning inward as she considered it. "Yes," she finally answered, slowly. "Yes, we'll keep an eye on him."
Harry nodded. "Good."
Together, they entered the tent, separating as Hermione went to sit with Ginny and Harry to sit with Ron, who decided to make a fool of himself, acting out with the twins all of Krum's 'best of moments.'
Soon Mr. Weasley was ushering everyone to bed; Harry and Hermione shared a final, hard glance at each other, reaffirming their belief in keeping an eye on Draco Malfoy, and then the tent was silent.
For a while, anyway.
Of course his father had to participate. Of course he did. Draco could blame the Odgen's Firewhiskey – he really could, but that was just displacing the blame and he couldn't do that. His father wanted to go out with Nott and Crabbe and Goyle and Parkinson and swish and flick their wands at the unsuspecting Muggle family who owned the camp grounds, happy to watch them twist and spin in the air.
Great Merlin, was there ever a time when Draco thought that would be fun? That doing something like that was the highlight of a good evening? The now fourteen year old swallowed heavily and fought against his stomach's rebellion.
What an arse I grew up to be, he thought, walking calmly through the screaming and frantic crowd of foreigners and nationals alike. The scene was something he was used to – something he once revelled in and took pleasure that he and his Legion were the cause of such panic and chaos – so Draco took his time as he walked towards the forest at the edge of the grounds. He vaguely remembered going in the same direction in his previous life, but such memories were hazy and foggy.
It didn't help that his "younger" self was having a hard time reconciling his future memories with his "older" self. It was strange – having two sets of memories, some foggy and distant like a movie he couldn't quite remember seeing before but knowing he had seen it, to other memories being crisp and clear as though they just happened yesterday. His two personalities and consciousnesses were also fighting in his mind – though, now, his older self had managed to suppress his younger self, mainly through shock and horror of their future actions.
Oh, this spot seemed familiar, thought Draco as he leaned against a large tree trunk. He was far enough into the glade now that he sounds of screams were muted, but only just. He folded his arms and waited. He remembered: something was going to happen.
He heard rustling, voices and then the unmistakable grunt of pain that he associated with Ron Weasley.
"What happened? Ron, where are you? Oh, this is stupid—lumos."
A small area of light emerged through the darkness, revealing Ron Weasley lying on the dirty ground, frowning and cursing under his breath.
"Tripped over a tree root," the Weasley said angrily, as he slowly got to his feet.
Draco couldn't help himself; his younger counterpart had briefly emerged, and Draco remembered the next part of this memory well enough that he was okay with the words that emerged from his mouth. "Well, with feet that size, hard not to," he drawled.
In unison, the three Gryffindors turned in the circle of light from Granger's wand, and lit upon him as he stood against the tree. He turned his head briefly, looking through the corner of his eye at the flashing and bright lights of the Death Eater's Muggle Baiting.
"Go fuck yourself, Malfoy," snarled Ron.
Ah, yes, the Weasley he remembered, Draco mentally sighed. "Language Weasley," replied Draco evenly, with a small, dark smile.
Both Potter and Granger were looking at him strangely, quietly – neither wanted to get involved, but Draco couldn't have that. He remembered what he said next, from his memories, but he needed to change his modulation.
"Hadn't you better be hurrying along now?" he asked, directly to Potter, looking him straight in the eyes. "You wouldn't like her spotted, would you?"
As Draco nodded at Granger, a blast that sounded like a bomb sounded from the campsite, momentarily illuminating the foursome in eerie green light.
In his past, Draco remembered Granger demanding, "What's that supposed to mean?" but this time, she merely nodded, silently thanking him for his words of caution.
Of course, Weasley just had to pick up the slack. "What's that supposed to mean?" he demanded hotly.
Draco rolled his eyes. Merlin help him from idiots! "Weasley, they're after Muggles. D'you want to be showing off Granger's knickers in midair to everyone? I know you have a thing for Granger – Merlin knows that the whole school knows it – but if you don't care who gets to see her first, hang around... they're moving this way, and it would give them a laugh."
"Hermione's a witch!" retorted Ron, his ear tips a very bright red, indicating his displeasure at Hermione learning about his crush.
Draco sighed loudly. "Yes, Weasley, she's a witch," he agreed in a very patient, overly enunciated tone. "But if you think that the Death Eaters care about that, you're mistaken. To them, they'll think they've spotted a Mudblood."
"You watch your mouth!" shouted Ron, taking a threatening step forward. Draco saw Potter and Granger share a look, something passing between them – was he changing too much, too soon?
"Never mind, Ron," said Hermione quickly, but softly, as she stepped forward and seized Ron's forearm in a strong, tight grip.
A loud, deafening bang from just the other side of the trees made all of them reflectively duck, just as several others nearby screamed in fear.
Draco shook his head. Humans could be so stupid and silly; there were only about six Death Eaters out there and how many wands between the people at the Cup? They could easily overcome them if they wanted to – but they wanted their heroes to fight for them, they wanted Potter to save them.
"Scare easily, don't they?" Draco said, in disgust as his eyes moved to where the screams came from. His older, General personality was leaking through now.
"Why shouldn't they? They fear what they represent," answered Potter with a slight, one-shoulder shrug.
Draco started at this – the conversation had changed. Luckily, before he could engage in a decent conversation with Potter, Weasley struck again.
"I bet your parents are out there wearing masks, aren't they?"
This time, Draco did see Potter and Granger share a look, as well as a sigh between them.
"Well... if they were, I wouldn't be likely to tell you, would I, Weasley?" asked Draco with a chilly smile.
"Oh, come on," said Granger, with a disgusted look at Ron. "Let's go find the others."
"Keep that big, bushy head down, Granger," called Draco, as they walked away in a final warning.
Although Ron tried to turn and engage in another verbal battle or physical altercation, Potter grabbed his other arm and hustled him further into the woods.
Draco let out a breath he was holding. Well. That hadn't gone quite as planned, but... something had changed.
Hopefully, for the better.
"What was that?"
Theodore Nott had never sounded as demanding in his life as he did in that moment. Draco idly wondered if he was channeling the late Pansy Parkinson (What? Dead? His younger self piped up again, unable to comprehend the future in detail).
"I don't know what you mean," replied the blond.
"Um, hello?" continued Theo, waving his arm about frantically. "The Gryffindor compartment – Weasley? Granger? Potter? Explain."
Normally Draco would've told him to bugger off – but this was his best friend, his true best friend, from the future and current timeline. The two were alone in their compartment, having kicked out Pansy, Daphne, Goyle and Crabbe earlier. Blaise was off doing whatever Blaise liked to do, which suited Draco fine, given what he knew of the teenager and what he was going to grow up.
Draco mentally sighed. Weasley was just too easy to bait – but Potter and Granger had changed in their interactions with him, and he with them. Draco supposed that he could've ignored Weasley, but... he had to have some fun.
"Well?" demanded Theo.
Draco eyed his friend, wondering what to say, as he mentally reviewed the earlier situation Theo was referring to.
The compartment door was left open: he could hear Weasley speaking to Longbottom about his Viktor Krum figurine from the Cup.
"—saw him right up close, as well. We were in the Top Box—"
Draco seized the moment, entering the compartment with Crabbe and Goyle standing behind him, Theo hiding in the fringes – he was good at that.
"For the first and last time in your life, Weasley," he said truthfully. After the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, no others were held with the majority of Britain's players either dead, Death Eaters, or in other countries. And no European nation wanted to be part of the largest sporting event that opened their doors to foreigners, in such a turbulent time.
"Don't remember asking you to join us, Malfoy," said Harry evenly. "Do you have something to say?"
Draco had paused, glancing at Potter who sat next to Granger, a book open in her lap.
"Yes," answered Draco, surprised at the invitation, pointing at a maroon monstrosity hanging half off an owl's cage. "Weasley... what is that?"
As Ron meant to shuffle the maroon fabric away, Draco darted forward and seized the sleeve, pulling it.
He was appalled. "Look at this!" he cried, more for Crabbe and Goyle's show than anything else. "Weasley, please tell me that you weren't thinking of wearing these, were you?"
Draco was flabbergasted. Potter was rich. He should be spoiling his friends; Merlin knew his dress robes for the Yule Ball were nice enough, and Granger cleaned up very well, too. What had Weasley been thinking?
"I mean—they were very fashionable," he corrected himself, thinking he'd best salvage his attempt at somewhat polite conversation (Potter had invited him to speak, didn't he?). He mumbled, as he finished, "In about eighteen ninety..."
"Eat dung, Malfoy!" shouted Ron, cleverly, his face the same maroon colour as the dress robes. He reached out and snatched back the fabric from Draco's grip.
Crabbe and Goyle howled with laughter.
Draco bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing – maroon blush covering Weasley's face clashed terribly with ginger hair. Instead, he turned to Potter, who sat quietly with Granger, both looking at him strangely.
"So... going to enter, Potter?" Draco asked. Please, please know what I'm talking about. I don't want to do this alone. Where did everyone else go?
"Where are you talking about?" snapped Ron, interrupting any answer Potter might have said.
Draco sneered at the redhead, his attention diverted from Potter and Granger. "Are you going to enter, I asked," he repeated. "I suppose you will, Weasley? Going to try and bring a bit of glory to the family name? There's money involved as well, you know... you'd be able to afford some modern robes if you won..."
"You can either explain what you're on about or leave, Malfoy," said Granger, her eyes back on the page of her textbook, which Draco saw was The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 4.
Draco's pale face went a little paler, catching Potter's attention.
"All right there, Malfoy?" asked Potter casually, as he leaned back against the seat, stretching his arms above his head and completely at ease, demonstrating he didn't fear a wand retaliation.
"Don't tell me you don't know," Draco almost pleaded, wholly aware that once upon a time he said those exact words but gleefully and maliciously instead.
With Potter's strangely focused green eyes on him, Draco found himself unable to continue speaking.
"I don't know," answered Potter.
Draco swallowed, muttered, "Let's get out of here," to Crabbe and Goyle, and turned away from the four in the compartment. Theo's bewildered face met his, briefly, before the Slytherin schooled his features into boredom.
"You didn't utter a single Mudblood at Granger, or a Scarhead to Potter," ranted Theo, still waving his arm about. "You were almost pleasant to them, Draco. PLEASANT!"
"Theo," said Draco, catching the teenager's attention. "What would you say if I told you that my consciousness time travelled from the year 2012, in which I came from a world where I was the Dark Lord's lead General in the war against Muggles and... undesirables? A world in which Potter lost against the Dark Lord, where the leaders of the Light fell and the world that we though the Dark Lord would create was nothing more than an illusion that he created to turn us Death Eaters into loyal, pathetic sheep?"
Theo was staring at him strangely. In fact, Theo was staring at him like he lost his mind, which, in Draco's mind, meant that Theo didn't remember.
When the silence stretched on, Draco barked out a strange, hollow laugh and said, "Just kidding. Honestly, Theo, did you think I was ever that creative in coming up with a story like that on a whim? Merlin, don't be stupid. I thought to lull Granger and Potter into a sense of security before doing something to them."
Theo didn't look convinced. Then again, Draco didn't feel convinced either. Fuck. This was going to be harder than he thought.
Moody was still as scary as fuck. The creepy revolving eye that could see through invisibility cloaks and doors and desks made Draco shiver; hell, it made him shiver whenever he had to enter the Ministry and he saw Moody's fake eye watching him.
He could feel that eye on him now—watching, waiting for him to do something wrong so that he could get into Potter's good graces... damn, since when were Death Eaters good Defense teachers? He kind of didn't want to be rid of Crouch just yet, so he couldn't say or do anything that would tip the man off. Not when he was corresponding daily with his evil pen pal, the Dark Lord.
Luckily, Blaise Zabini proved that he was an able, wonderfully stupid Death Eater in training while the Slytherins crowded with the other three houses in the Entrance Hall before dinner.
"Weasley! Hey, Weasley!"
Draco watched from his vantage point a few students away from Blaise, next to Theo, as Weasley, Potter and Granger turned to face the shouter.
Blaise stood there, looking disgustingly pleased with himself.
"What?" retorted the redhead angrily.
"Your dad's in the paper, Weasley!" oozed Blaise, holding up and shoving the front page of the evening edition of the Daily Prophet at the trio. He continued to speak loudly, drawing attention from everyone around them.
He read the article aloud, entering his own comments here and there:
"Imagine them not even getting his name right, Weasley."
"It's almost like he's a nonentity!"
"You call that a house?"
"Your mother could do with losing a bit of weight, couldn't she?"
Draco seriously felt like smacking his head against something. Blaise was supposed to be one of the Dark Lord's best and brightest? Really?
Weasley was shaking in fury, his face a splotchy red. Draco remembered he never did well with crowds – oh, wait, wasn't this the memory when Moody/Crouch turned him into a ferret? Oh, he didn't want that happening again. Ever.
"Get stuffed, Zabini," snapped Potter, turning to his friend. "C'mon, Ron..."
"Don't you stay with the Weasleys in the summer, Potter?" smarmed Blaise, his eyes narrow and glittering darkly in the flickering torchlight. "Your Muggle relatives that filthy that you can't just wait to get away to the disgusting hovel the Weasleys live in? Tell me, is Weasley's mother really that porky, or is it just the picture?"
Granger made a strange noise in her throat, eyes darting back and forth between Weasley and Potter, as though she were contemplating something, especially when her eyes met his.
Draco raised an eyebrow at her.
Her smile widened.
Draco, thinking the world might be ending, shivered. When Granger smiled like that – well, he remembered his third year vividly when he finally pushed over her tipping point and she gave him the best right hook he'd ever seen in either lifetime. And the time when he was in Umbridge's office when she was threatening to Crucio Potter in his fifth year – Granger got that determined little smirk/smile thing going on and the next thing he knew, Umbridge was being treated in St. Mungo's for mental trauma and physical torture, as well as rape... by the Centaurs. Dealt by Granger's hand.
Draco slowly began edging away. This was not going to end well.
"Tell me, Zabini," began Granger, nearly purring and sounding devious, cruel and completely committed. She ever sounded more Slytherin than any female Slytherin Draco had ever known, except his mother in her most fearsome! "What about your mother? All those husbands of hers, dead within a year of marrying her... rumours are that she poisons them. But it really must be that she enjoys whoring herself out for their money before they die from complete disgust at how filthy she acts as she prostitutes herself out to the highest bidder."
The hall went silent.
Draco's mouth dropped open in shock. He had never heard Granger speak like that before! Even Weasley and Potter had turned to stare at their best friend in awe and shock.
Zabini's dark complexion brightened, slightly, and his hand holding the newspaper fell from in front of him to his side, trembling in anger.
"Don't you dare insult my mother, Mudblood," he spat.
"Then keep your fat mouth shut," snapped Potter back, taking a protective half step in front of Granger. "Wouldn't want some new rumours floating around Hogwarts, would you?"
Potter and Granger turned as one, ready to enter the Great Hall for dinner; Weasley sneered once at Zabini rather ineffectively, who sneered back, his free hand raising up—
Draco watched as Potter twirled, plunging his hand in his robes in a fluid motion, his wand up and ready to duel and a spell on his lips—
A second BANG boomed in the hall and a voice shouted, "OH, NO YOU DON'T, LADDIE!"
Draco immediately began feeling himself up as subtly as he could; he was ridiculously happy that everything was humanoid and where it was supposed to be. Theo nudged him gently, and Draco turned to see his friend's eyes wide as dinner plates, staring down at the floor.
Shivering on the floor, where Zabini had been standing, was a chocolate-y coloured, strange looking rodent.
"What is he?" a student finally asked in horrified glee.
"I think he's a muskrat," answered Granger finally, a surprised tone in her voice.
Moody/Crouch stomped through the crowd, his normal eye locking on Potter as his spinning one focused on Zabini-the-Muskrat. "Did he get you?" the crazy defense professor growled.
"Uh, no," answered Harry, as bewildered at Zabini's state like everyone else. "He missed."
"LEAVE IT!" shouted Moody.
"Leave—what?" asked Potter, flummoxed.
"Not you—him!" barked Moody, and as a collective whole, the group at the entrance hall turned to look at Crabbe, who was frozen in terror. He had been about to pick up Zabini-the-Muskrat.
"I so wouldn't do that," Draco heard Granger mutter to Potter. "Muskrats mark their territory... but they also spray when frightened."
Oh, gross, thought Draco, shivering and moving away from Zabini, tugging Theo with him. He'd seen enough and knew how this would end. He was just grateful it wasn't him.
"I thought Zabini was supposed to be smart," muttered Theo as the two slowly edged their way through the crowd to the Great Hall. A squeal of fright and pain from behind them had Draco violently remembering his own "amazing bouncing ferret" circus show.
"He's an idiot," answered Draco, just as lowly. "He should know better than to antagonise Weasley like that in front of Potter and Granger, first off; and a good Slytherin knows never to do something like that in public where you aren't aware of your surroundings. Only humiliate when you can guarantee your own safety."
"Glad to know that rule of Slytherin 101," snapped Granger from behind the two, making Draco nearly jump in surprise. Instead, he turned around to look at Granger.
"I think it's more common sense," mused Potter aloud, a strange quirk to his mouth.
Weasley was a few steps behind the two, a dreamy look on his face that Draco recognised as his way to remember Zabini the Amazing Bouncing Muskrat.
"Does that mean most Slytherins conduct themselves logically?" queried Granger with that strange smile on her face.
Draco hesitated, wondering how to handle this situation as he, Theo and the Gryffindor three pushed into the Great Hall.
"Only sometimes," answered Draco, finally. "Most of the time, wizards are completely illogical. But then again, so is human transfiguration as corporal punishment."
Both Granger and Potter wore startled looks on their face, which quickly eased into contemplation. Theo and Draco broke from the three before anyone noticed, just soon enough to hear Weasley come back down to Earth and say, firmly, "Don't talk to me. I want to fix that in my memory forever..."
(at some point. I am a silly, silly person who decided to apply to Grad School. And got in. And will now dedicate a year of my life to higher learning in an attempt to one day be Indiana Jones. While maintaining three part time jobs. Oh, joy.
Some lines you should recognise as directly lifted from the HP & GoF text - this includes adjectives in "he said/she said" moments, with some differences. Amazing what Draco Malfoy gives you to work with and reread things, isn't it?)