Chapter beta: the one and only Dani
Chapter translator: Aivy & Sophie (my co-translator is back, yay!)
That night I laid in bed for a long time and planned. Technically, I was not allowed to leave the castle during the holidays, but now Snape wanted to meet Minna to... Well, I didn’t have to go into that just yet. Thus I would schedule all my errands around this excursion, that much was clear! I wouldn’t inform Draco. As I had said, he had not addressed this topic for weeks and he didn’t seem to want to know, so why tell him? No, I couldn’t, it was already hard enough for me. Though how could I get out of this unharmed? I hoped my ointment worked on the mark... Argh! I rolled back and forth uneasily in my bed; today I wouldn’t find any peace of mind.
By now I knew Snape better, not only could I see the evil professor that lived in the dungeons but also, incredible as it was, family in him, thanks to Draco. I was not aware yet how I could survive the encounter in one piece, but I was reinforcing my heart and mind to do it already. I tried to convince myself. It’s just work. Do it and then put it behind you You can do it, Hermione, you're cold and calculating enough for it. Exactly, if I said this mantra often enough, then I’d, for sure, believe it soon!
Grit your teeth and get on with it! It was .. it would be a fast number. Yeah, right, it worked, really fantastic, the mind was a great thing! That was meant ironically; the irony dripped downright out of my thoughts. I lay down on my stomach and screamed my frustration into my pillow. It was unbearable. I had been expecting a letter of that kind for weeks, and when I had held it in my hands I could not and did not want to be able to contemplate it.
Luckily, I had been able to turn Ron’s and Harry's interest away from the letter.
Oh well, my not yet silenced conscience had decided to come back after a long absence and deprived me of my well-deserved sleep, great. Professor, why did you decide to call upon Minna at this time? I was wondering to myself with slight annoyance.
Also, the files I had stolen from Umbridge were still occupying my thought. My mood increased minimally. I loved it when I was successful but even that didn’t cheer me up fully.
Finally, I gave up, annoyed, and got up to prepare for our daily run. Armed with a book, I took up camp downstairs in the common room to wait for Harry. I didn’t have to wait long. The slight bags under his eyes showed that he, too, had had a truly restful night.
We didn’t speak; we found solace in our common silence. It gave us a lot and did us good, more so than if we had chewed each other's ears off and I understood that he had a lot to think about, just like me.
When the three of us entered the Great Hall again as a unit, almost everyone looked up immediately, still hoping for a continuation of yesterday's soap opera. But we just took a seat, began to eat, and gradually the other students also turned their attention towards their own food, disappointed that we were getting along again and demonstrated unity. The everyday gossip bubbled up because now it was time to dissect the story around Marietta, Dumbledore, and Umbridge.
As the new Educational Decree No. 28 appeared everywhere, informing the students that Professor Umbridge had been appointed Headmaster, it led to indignant and angry opinions being voiced, which were expressed louder in some places and quieter in others. Everyone was shocked, downright unsettled and so the events of yesterday went from mouth to mouth at lightspeed.
I could hear the loud, curious conversation between Lav, Pav, and Padma, who was just saying that it was somehow related to her Housemate Marietta, who had been in the infirmary since yesterday. It caused a lot of excitement and I really couldn’t resist a nasty, vicious grin.
Just then little Dennis Creevey skidded through the hall and stopped everywhere, at Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, finally scurrying up and down our table as well, stopping near to us.
“Did you hear? It's so cool! The pink monster can’t get into the headmaster's office! The gargoyle refuses to let her in. This is so wicked! She’s standing in front of the office with her box and screaming like a wild banshee. She gave up, Colin is taking pictures!”
It bubbled out of the small, bright boy and he continued on. Soon he got stopped by some Slytherins who wanted to know what he had to tell. They were interested in the information and brought it to Draco, who had not stirred once. As a matter of fact, it was incredibly difficult to look at how he kept court while his lackeys brought the despatch.
“Hey, Hermione…” Fred flopped down next to me and I looked at him invitingly. “Did you notice that a Slytherin girl can’t take her eyes off our hero?”
I frowned at this information reluctantly and shook my head, but I did not raise my eyes to search the table of snakes. I had myself too much under control for something like that.
“No. Who?” I whispered back and looked into the so carefree-looking face of Fred.
“She’s in your year level. Seated near Dra… Malfoy and Co. Brunette, really pretty, well built, not like the pug face or as beefy as the other black-haired one.” He too spoke softly. I thought I could discern from Fred's flattering description that he meant Parkinson and Bullstrode, who would fall under ‘ugly.’
“I think you mean Greengrass. Yes, she’s pretty. Find out what she's up to. But only talk to B ... Zabini, the other one would probably be annoyed with such questions... And you are sure that you didn’t misjudge or are imagining something?” I enquired and got an exaggerated rolling of his brown, sardonically gleaming eyes in return.
“Please! Her eyes are glittering since he licked your face yesterday!” Fred leered. “But it was just too inspirational. We had our fun yesterday as well!” He wiggled his eyebrows and smiled happily. Did I want to know that?
“Then tell me what pieces of information you can find!”
“Of course, boss. As you order, most beautiful! Now we are still curious; what do you have to say about the toad?” he wanted to know confidentially.
“What do you think? I get the cold horror. Spread the truth that Dumbledore easily overwhelmed her, Fudge, and two Aurors; harm her reputation!” I planned my little revenge. The letter I would send today would not be to Fudge’s and Umbridge’s liking at all and make sure that the events in the professor's office and the total failure of the Ministry people were portrayed and made public. Well, I wouldn’t do Dumbledore a favour, but when had he done any for us?
I was curious and wanted to give him this chance to show me what he could do in the ‘underground’ and how his strategy looked like against the Dark Lord, but also against Fudge, now that he was able to act more freely because his post was already lost.
“I think George and I will even go one step further. You know everything is up and waiting for us to get out of here! So we decided to go all out. We're going to mix up the school in a way Hogwarts has never seen before. Forget the Marauders, it'll be fun! And the best advertisement we could wish for our company!” he prophesied eagerly, smiling ominously from ear to ear
“You want to get expelled?! … How original!” I now showed my teeth and had to suppress the urge to tremble very hard, as I already saw the horror in red these jokers would unleash on us coming towards me. Good that they warned me, I would be everywhere where they weren’t. But I agreed with them; should they drive the toad mad. If anyone could do it, it would be the Red Devils.
“I think with this reaction you could paralyze Gryffindor again, most beautiful, do you know that?” He rubbed his hands viciously, in malicious anticipation.
“Well, I'm not as many think I am. But I wish you much pleasure and fun while you practice your expulsion. On a completely different topic: How is Ginny? I'm a bit sorry for her and your laughing at her! Isn’t she becoming a bit obsessed?” I played with my cup.
“Oh, Ginny is Ginny! She was and still is the baby of the family. She always got everything she wanted, even clothes. Mum bent herself dangerously so that Ginny always got everything she desired! And now she's been desiring Harry for years. But really, our little sister is not an angel, truly not! We have lived with her for years and she definitely is not angelic, she’s rather more of a devil. She has a thick skin! Hello, I mean, she has six brothers! I don’t think that you have to pity Ginny. She knows what she wants and wants to get hold of it by all means. But honestly, she's similar to Mum and maybe that's why I fancy hem hem... someone special, but I wouldn’t wish Mum on anybody, really. I don’t think that Harry deserves that; he needs someone else! Ginny will get over it!” He shrugged indifferently. “If you want to worry about anyone, worry yourself with Ron, his skin is much thinner and he has more insecurities!”
“Yes, if you say so, then I am reassured. And I do; I'm about to set him up with Lav!” I said long-drawn, which led to Fred getting a full-blown laugh attack.
“Are you coming, Hermione?” Ron called me over the heads of our Housemates.
“Oh, I'm already sorry for you, what you will have to endure when they start living out their love!” Fred croaked out, but I had to go now, anyway. However, I understood very well why he laughed so much.
“Sorry, Fred.” I waved to him, hurrying after Ron and Harry, who were chatting with Ernie.
Just before I caught up with them at the portal, Slytherins jumped into our path and Pansy pointedly stood in front of Harry.
“What did I just heard? Are you bad-mouthing the new headmistress?” Pansy squealed in excitement, her plump cheeks reddening unfavorably.
“Out of the way, Parkinson! Put your pug nose into your own affairs,” Ron snarled, straightening up so that he towered over her.
“If I were you, I would pay attention to the words directed to a member of the Inquisitorial Squad!” she fervently announced, patting her chest pompously, on which a badge with an ornate, silver ‘I’ marked her new position. The other Slytherin pack standing behind her laughed loudly when they caught sight of the surprised expressions of the three boys. What a pity that the snakes didn’t know that I was Abraxina; that would be a glorious scene. Draco was clearly rubbing off on me, I grumbled, because Pansy, I was sure, would throw herself on the floor in front of me, pleading that I shouldn’t harm her. Oh ... the mental picture was wonderful! But unfortunately, it wasn’t feasible at this time, so I silently joined the group and observed the situation.
“And what I heard is a disrespect to the new leader of Hogwarts, so I will deduct twenty points from each of you!” Pansy spoke very smugly, her arms crossed over her chest, and glared at the boys.
“What, what… Come again?” All three of them shouted indignantly at the same time.
“You understood correctly!” She showed a cutting grin.
“You can’t do that. Ernie and I, we are Prefects!” Ron said matter-of-factly and pointed to his own chest, on which the plaque was pinned.
“Oh, you're really too stupid to pick it up, Weasel. The Inquisitorial Squad outranks the Prefects!” Bullstrode now hissed maliciously and seemed to relish in her new position.
Thus the snakes, gleefully laughing over the shocked-faced boys, passed by and waved derogatorily.
The terror regime of the pink monster at Hogwarts had begun. The mood was lousy, the teachers looked like they had all been chewing on Dumbledore's lemon drops and now they had stomach acid. They were doing everything they could to avoid appearing too cooperative.
Snape, who was flying through the corridors of the castle, whose bulging robes fluttered ominously behind him, and who had already spread a fearful mood previously, showed what it meant when he was apparently in a bad mood. Unbelievable but true, he seemed to have been in a really good mood the last four years. Now that the difference was so clearly visualised, everyone fervently wished the old Snape back.
McGonagall, who could never have been considered particularly warm-hearted until then, showed what coldness really meant. She was able to compete with the good-humored Snape, which unfortunately did not exist anymore, and her mouth was permanently pressed into a firm line. She was as strict as never before.
The other teachers, too, showed only stolid, reluctant expressions, while the students flitted and crept through the school, afraid of the Inquisitorial Squad, which had now opened the hunt on everything and everyone. Umbridge’s blood feather was in constant use. Despite the beginning of spring, it had become very dark at Hogwarts.
One lunchtime Harry received a written request from a Slytherin asking him to appear for tea with the new Headmistress.
“Blimey. What does she want from you, Harry?” Ron asked morosely, scratching his arm distractedly.
“Harry, it says ‘for tea’! Please don’t drink or eat anything she’s going to serve you!” I advised him urgently.
“You think she’ll try to slip me something?” Harry enquired, immediately wary. He wouldn’t put anything past her.
“She would certainly be capable of that, so be careful!”
“Don’t fret. I may not be as smart as you, my dear, but I've seen through that too. She couldn’t have been less subtle!” He snorted contemptuously, looking at the ‘invitation’ with unspeakable reluctance.
“Don’t underestimate her! Who said that this woman is smart? She’s just mean and vicious and that's sometimes even more dangerous!” I tried to explain to him my point of view, that you always had to be careful.
“Man, Harry, if that's what I hear - just take care of yourself!” Ron looked at him imploringly. His concern was reflected in his blue eyes.
“Sure, I'll do. Thanks for caring. Then I'll get going!” Harry left as enthusiastically as if he was going to his own funeral and went to our beloved toad. At least she'd been forced to relocate back to her classroom office because she was still denied access to the headmaster's office, which had to mean that Hogwarts too didn’t recognise her as a legitimate successor. Ron and I looked after him worriedly, but Ron soon turned to Lav and Pav to distract himself and started chatting with them about all and sundry.
“What did we hear there, beautiful?” The red fiends squeezed themselves into the bench next to me, grinning like the devils they were.
“Yeah, that sounded like Harry is going to the hell of the cats!” Fred said laconically, but also seriously.
“Unfortunately, and she wants to drink tea! I’ll dare a shot into the dark and venture a guess... Veritaserum? What do you think, my little Red Devils?” I pulled the whole thing into ridicule, which was not ridiculous but highly dangerous. Although the serum did not always work to one hundred percent, Harry was not part of the category that could do anything about it.
“You are probably right. Rumour has it that at the moment all those who are summoned by her, and are stupid enough to take something from the hand of this... this hag, chat a lot!” George said seriously, and one could only marvel at how much they knew and how well they played the grapevine.
“That’s not good, but Harry won’t accept anything from her, and she won’t like it.” I deliberated, thoughtfully biting my lower lip once again.
“Quite right. Do you trust us?” George raised his eyebrow questioningly.
“Absolutely, you know that!” I quickly admitted, conjuring a truly scary grin on their identical faces.
“Well, grab Ron now and herd as many Gryffindors as you can find into the tower. We'll have our Geminio doubles sleeping in the common room, so give us five minutes before you come in with the whole lion pride!” he requested, now all business.
“What are you going to do? Stop, stop! Forget the question, you’ll do it!” I said quickly, picking up my hair.
“Cool. You'll like it. Bye!”
I let three minutes pass and then ambushed Ron.
“Ron, gather as many Gryffindors as you find. Everybody needs to get into the tower as fast as possible!” I urged him hurriedly.
“Don’t ask, you’ll see. Help me!” I demanded with a conspiratorial expression. He blinked at me for a moment, then shrugged his shoulders indifferently, got up, and helped me get a large crowd of lions to go to the tower.
As we entered, I saw Lee watching the Twins sleeping in a corner, and I noticed him giving me a cheeky wink. Ah, it seemed like Lee was privy to whatever was about to go down.
Everyone asked excitedly why they all had to come here and Ron looked at me with the same question in his eyes. However, before even a word could be exchanged, we suddenly heard a loud bang at a volume that shook the foundations of the castle. Hell, what were the crazy Twins doing? It sounded like cannon thunder! Did they want to raze Hogwarts to the ground?
The common room was filled with the panicky shrieks of girls clinging anxiously to each other and even many boys looked around fearfully. I stood in the middle of the room like a rooted tree. Yes, really, with everyone running around like frightened chickens, my total immobility stood out in stark contrast. But really, I did not know what the twins were doing, but just a bit of noise was no reason give yourself to such an embarrassing behaviour.
“Hermione, what’s happening?” Ron asked me in a high pitched voice, looking at me with fearfully wide, open eyes. Not being brave at all.
“Nothing too bad, just calm down everybody!” I tried being pragmatic but I really could have just stayed silent for all the good it did.
“Come on, let’s go and take a look!” called a visibly excited Dean. I gladly let them because I was curious myself and followed after them. Gathering in the Common Room had just been for an alibi for most of us and we had it now.
It was unbelievable! When we left our protective tower, total and absolute chaos prevailed. There were constant explosions, noise, and quakes; it was overwhelming, gigantic! But it stank pitifully of smoke and ashes. As we descended, we were greeted by loud firecrackers, some of which came dangerously close to us and required an abrupt dodge. Some of the students would have fallen down the moving stairs if the higher years hadn’t been so far-sighted as to use protective spells against that.
When we arrived at the main staircase, we experienced a riot of colours and sounds. The Twins had unleashed truly gigantic fireworks: Dragons formed out of sparks, their size scarily life-like, chasing students; huge fire wheels setting fire to everything they touched - students helped the younger years by quenching them with water jets from their wands - sparklers which self-ignited and wrote swear words of the worst kind into the air... Hey, I mean, they were so resourceful, you could learn something from them. Many of the words even I did not know.
I suspected that thanks to the defensive spells that lay on the castle, the effect and number of fireworks increased disproportionately and therefore it was almost unstoppable.
I truly laughed when I saw the toad rushing through the school with disheveled, scorched, tangled hair and in a costume singed at the edges like a brainless, frightened hen. She looked sweaty and out of breath, and with black stripes of soot on her face. She didn’t really look like she could master the situation.
The twins were brilliant, such amazing inventors; their ideas were incredible. I was simply overwhelmed by the skillful timing and the perfect implementation. I took my hat off to their inventiveness, being delighted to watch how Umbridge scurried around making the chaos even worse by trying to contain it while screaming for the other teachers to help.
Professor Flitwick declined with thanks, pointing out that he had a lumbago and was not allowed to move too much and, above all, too fast, and McGonagall said that, magically, unfortunately, she was too untalented to stop such complex magic. A big compliment to the Twins.
Snape was and remained missing, also a valid tactic. Did I ever say that I admired this man? He stoically held the position in the dungeons, which were strangely excluded from the bombardment. I could already imagine why. Fred and George certainly did not want to challenge their torturer, who hammered discipline into them every Sunday and face an even more acidic Snape. I congratulated them on this foresight because he was already unbearable. Pestered with such a nuisance, he would take revenge and then the two wouldn’t be able to move once again and so they left him, clever as they were, wisely in peace.
When I noticed Harry walking towards us smirking playfully I knew our little project ‘save Harry’ had been a great success. Words weren’t needed when I sent him a similarly mischievous smile.
In the evening, Fred and George were found innocent after a thorough interrogation by McGonagall and checking all of our whereabouts. Consequently, the two were frenetically celebrated as the initiators and inventors of the spectacular fireworks, but not prosecuted. They had achieved what they had hoped for: there was a volley of pre-orders from all the houses. I stress the ‘all’. We here in the Tower could almost have been confused with the owlery. It was not surprising that the fireworks boxes proved to be a bestseller.
Even though Umbridge suspected the Twins she didn’t have a ground to summon them. McGonagall already had done all the interrogations and everybody had testified that the Twins had been in their tower. Such a pity.
While Harry seemed to be in a trance-like, thoughtful state, Ron flirted with the girls. It looked like he tried to become a second Sirius. I wasn’t serious about that.
I utilised the celebration and general inattention to make myself scarce. For a short moment, I straightened my black cloak before I entered and also disturbed a social gathering down here. This time I saw Draco immediately, who was enthroned in his broad armchair, holding court and everyone was hanging from his lips.
I was still angry that this whole house was terrorising me with its inquisitorial shit. If they knew who I was, they would not dare to do so, hence I looked around contemptuously, which unfortunately no one noticed.
When I realised that the little Greengrass girl was sitting on the couch right next to Draco's armchair, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and take a closer look and stepped closer to the group. In the meantime, my appearance was no longer regarded as spectacular, because if you ignored me, nothing happened to you. Who said snakes were not smart?
Thus, I arrived without attracting much attention, as I purposefully walked over to the brunette, long-and-smooth-haired girl with a billowing cloak. The group around Draco didn’t have time to react before my hand darted forward, grabbing the little girl's chin and raising her face so that I could look into her green-blue, relatively pretty eyes.
“Ahhh…” she exclaimed anxiously and surprised but didn’t dare to move when I manhandled her like that. Her eyes expressed her worry without knowing what this was about.
“Darling, what are you doing here? Not that I’m not elated!” Draco showed himself unaffected by my surprise attack on the girl.
“Draco!” I greeted him without paying attention to him. Blaise, who was sitting in the other armchair, said nothing at all, probably thinking that I was difficult to judge right now. Blaise was always too amusing in his calculating, rather cunning way, and so he held himself back gracefully. But now I wanted to take care of the little girl whose first name was still unknown to me.
“What’s your name?” I asked harshly.
“Darling, you aren’t jealous that Daphne is sitting here, are you? I mean, that’s not like you!” Draco wanted to know in a controlled, calm tone since he too could only wonder what I wanted from her.
“Draco, please, do you want to insult me?” I asked, piqued. In the meantime, I could see into Daphne's frozen, fear-stricken eyes. I turned her head now back and forth and examined her profile. I had never consciously noticed this really very attractive girl because she was calm and discreet. Next to the lumps Parkinson and Bullstrode, who always pushed themselves into the foreground, she got overlooked.
I could feel Draco getting uneasy in my back.
“Draco, it’s about something different. I don’t accuse you of anything!” Meanwhile, thanks to my action, we had returned to the spotlight. “Daphne it is… Hm-hm. Leave us alone! Get lost, Nott and the others too! Draco, put up the wards, I want to talk to Daphne!” I announced sweetly but also very briskly.
“What about Blaise?” Draco asked, starting to cast the wards. The rest of the group had quickly fled to the other side of the generous common room from where there were watching us curiously.
“He stays!” I decided. Although I couldn’t see it, I heard Blaise falling back into his armchair.
When Draco had finished, the Malfoy required and demanded attention. Malfoys tolerated disregard very badly.
I released my victims face and she immediately tried to make herself as small as possible on the couch, whimpering timidly. Then I turned around and sat down on right beside her.
“May I now ask what you wanted to achieve with this dramatic performance?” he asked presumptuously.
“As if you don’t appreciate a show like this, you, the drama queen par excellence!” Blaise dared to laugh at my dry manner which earned him an angry glare from Draco.
“What? She is right, Draco!” Blaise chuckled, amused but stifled, and shot Daphne a reassuring glance and that tipped me off that he had already spoken to the Twins and knew what I wanted from her.
“So, Daphne, you are a Greengrass. Tell me about your family!” I demanded jovially, very friendly and the small, frightened deer blinked at me with wide eyes and then at Draco and he only nodded at her encouragingly before he looked at me, interested.
“Why…?” she asked, perplex.
“Do what you’re told to do!” Draco hissed impatiently and she winced visibly trying to make herself small again.
“Of course, I am sorry! I’m fifteen years old and I have a sister who is two years younger, Astoria…” she stuttered insecurely, not knowing where exactly to start.
“What, where?” I interrupted her and Blaise pointed out someone in my back. I turned around in interest and spotted a small, pale, inconspicuous but attractive brunette girl in the mass of Slytherins, watching us cautiously. She wrung her hands nervously, keeping a concerned eye on us. She seemed to be visibly worried for her sister, which was quite uncommon for a Slytherin since they didn’t really believe in showing their emotions openly.
“Hm, what’s bothering me about the picture you sister is making?” I asked predatorily and noticed the fear reflected in her eyes.
“What? Astoria didn’t do anything!” she exclaimed in indignation. Ah, so there was temperament under this beautiful shell.
“Now you show it as well!” She showed me a mask of incomprehension when I tried to explain myself.
“Gee, girl, since when do snakes worry about others? And show it openly on top of it?” I shook my head in disbelief.
“Oh! Oh, well… Our mother died ten years ago and Father remarried. The new lady wishes not to be bothered. Astoria means a lot to me…” she tried to justify herself. Even though I didn’t show it to her, I thought it was good that she cared for and was concerned for her sister and that she also had an interest in her, that was nice.
“And you to her! Look at the little one. Cute, isn’t she?” I wanted to rile her up.
“Leave your fingers off of her!” she hissed suddenly at me, with steel in her eyes. Respect, little girl. But when I didn’t make a move and she could only stare into the darkness of my hood, her temperament seemed to extinguish just as quickly as it had sparked up. She seemed to be surprised about her own courage and whispered with a shaking voice: “Please, don’t harm her!” But still, she tried to withstand my gaze.
“Why should I? She didn’t do anything to me!” I stated neutrally and saw that Daphne seemed to calm down a bit. Blaise and Draco were just listening attentively to our conversation.
“Ah, well, moving on… What does your father do for a living?” I enquired.
“Merchandise of all kinds, on a large scale, that's what the Greengrass family has been doing for decades!” She readily provided the requested information. She had a very nice voice.
“So you are rich?”
“No idea!” She looked at me with an honest expression.
“They are. They are wealthy!” Draco interjected in her stead and drank from his teacup. I gratefully nodded to him under my hood while Daphne looked at him in disbelief. He seemed to know more than she did. Should that surprise me? No, Malfoys knew such things, and the girls of the pureblood families were less involved in the business concerns of their families.
“Is your father a Death Eater?” I wanted to know and the little girl gasped and froze completely, not twitching a muscle. I always say ‘little girl’ but she was as tall as I was when she was standing, and not daintier than me. However, thanks to my training I would be able to crush the ‘little girl’ next to me like a grape between my fingers.
She stayed silent and I waited, tapping my knee with my fingers impatiently.
“Answer her, Daphne!” Draco ordered icily. I loved it when he was dominant like this.
“I… um, when our mother... The first time, he wasn’t, but now, since summer, he is. Thanks to his new wife! She is one as well!” She whispered unhappily, her head lowered down in resignation.
“What kind of snake are you? You should be proud!” I told her coldly and I could see Draco raise his oh so noble eyebrow in question. Daphne did not react and kept her head down.
“Who is your ‘evil’ step-mother?” I enquired further.
“One of the Warrington sisters!” she replied contemptuously. The fairy tale of the Cinderella seemed to repeat itself constantly.
“Draco, isn’t one of the Warringtons here?”
“Yes, darling. He is the oldest son of the brother of Daphne’s stepmother. An old, noble family, highly respected but a little impoverished!” He explained very arrogantly.
“Interesting! You may go!” I dismissed her with a wink of my hand and she jumped up and wanted to dash away when I continued to speak: “Keep your concern for your sister, it's a good thing to have, but don’t show it so openly. For you as a true Slytherin, that shouldn’t be a problem, right?” I advised her instead of a goodbye and let her go by turning away. Confused, she walked to her sister. Blaise smirked all the while.
“Will you tell me now what that was all about?” Draco asked. I motioned to Blaise that he should answer.
“It looks like our dear Daphne is interested in Potter and as Hermione is so close to Potter she apparently wanted to sound her out, the old matchmaker!” He chuckled meanly.
“Hey!” I shouted, insulted.
“What?” Draco exclaimed loudly and struggled to maintain his mask as everybody was still watching us. “Ugh, Potter? I thought she had more taste than that!”
„Why, Draco? She would be a much better match for him than the red Weaselette!” Blaise said slightly scoldingly.
“Or the weeping swan!” I added with frustration. When they looked at me questioningly I explained: “Oh, that’s Cho. Cho Chang.”
“Oh no, she doesn’t suit him at all. I mean, she’s kind of pretty in her exotic way but she’s really very wearisome!” Blaise stated diplomatically.
“Stop babbling. She’s an unbearable wench! I can’t stand girls like her!” Draco declared frostily.
“I wanted to sound her out, watch what happens. But stay out of it, please!” I requested and both nodded, then I got up and held out my hand to Draco. “Is she always so skittish?”
“No, what do you expect? Everyone here is scared of you, since Pansy! And Draco inspires everyone's respect. She is a well-behaved, nice girl, very smart and well-read and as you can see, in this environment quite something special!” Blaise explained. Draco took my hand.
“Do you fancy her, Blaise?” I asked.
“Hell, no! This girl means marriage and if there's something I won’t do, that's it!” he exclaimed, startled, and his dark eyes wide open in horror. “No way!” He pressed his hand against his chest atop of his heart in dismay, completely shocked at the thought of a ring on his finger.
“You just gave Blaise a shock for the whole night!” There was an amused undertone in Draco's voice.
“Then we’ll leave him to his shock! Feel like intimacy? I missed you!” I breathed seductively and he now pulled my hand close, so he could kiss it when he pressed his soft lips against my skin, I could almost not suppress my longing.
“It would be my pleasure, milady!” He rose gallantly, positioned my hand in the crook of his arm, and escorted me to his room. The crowd parted in front of Draco like the sea before Moses. The man was unbelievable! Many envious glances from a lot of girls followed us when we left the common room behind us.