Chapter Rating: PG
Disclaimer: JKR owns. I only play. You do not sue.
Chapter Summary: Draco ponders the impending Quidditch tryouts, terrorises his dormitory mates, bullies a Hufflepuff, and gets yelled at by Nott. Nott? Nott! The smirk's still in place, though.
Beta: cornmouse, evilsource, goneril, oddnari
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
Chapter 3 - Macmillan and Nott
Draco awoke on Wednesday morning feeling miserable. He had been having an altogether unpleasant dream involving Potter chasing him on a Hippogriff, pointing his wand at him and shouting the words to a spell Draco couldn't make out no matter how hard he tried. Draco tried desperately to keep a safe distance, but Potter kept gaining on him -- apparently, his skill with a Hippogriff matched his skill on a broomstick. Draco kept going for the Golden Snitch, but Potter beat him to it, the Hippogriff turning to look at Draco with a triumphant glare in its eyes. Potter then turned into Weasley riding a Firebolt and wearing a badge that read Malfoy Is Our King.
Draco rubbed his eyes sleepily. The dream served as an unpleasant reminder of next week's Quidditch tryouts for Slytherin. He'd been named captain but it was a hollow gesture -- almost the entire team had left the school: only he, Vincent, and Gregory remained. Vincent and Gregory were not too bad as Beaters but neither of them had any chance whatsoever of being named captain. Draco wondered absentmindedly who the new Gryffindor captain would be, considering that Angelina Johnson had left the school as well. It would be just perfect if Potter was named Gryffindor captain, he reflected. Simply poetic. He'd find out in a week's time, at any rate. Draco yawned and crawled out of bed, shivering a little -- the blasted dungeon floors were always so cold.
Pulling on his dressing gown, Draco padded over to the bathroom. After washing up, he studied his face in the mirror critically. He hadn't removed his facial hair since the first day of classes and there was a thin layer of stubble on his chin that made his face look slightly misshapen -- light tended to play tricks on blond hair. He reached for the bottle of Hair Removing Potion and rubbed several drops of the viscous liquid between his palms, then pressed them against his skin. A few moments later, the fuzz vanished, and Draco smirked at his reflection, satisfied. The mirror made a sound between a giggle and a snort, and Draco resisted the urge to stick his tongue out at it, like he used to when he was twelve. He walked back into the dormitory and pulled the curtains around Blaise's bed back, grabbing the other boy's blanket and pulling it off him. Blaise hugged his pillow and whimpered rather pitifully.
"What time is it?" he asked, opening one eye to look at Draco, who held the blanket with a triumphant look on his face.
"Time to wake up," Draco responded, looking at him expectantly. "I shan't go to breakfast alone again, Blaise. I only let you all sleep later yesterday because it was the second day of classes. Do not test the limits of my generosity."
"Prat," Blaise concluded, abandoning the pillow and swinging off the bed with a sigh. He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands, shaking his head slightly. "It is much too early, isn't it?"
"I don't care," Draco said, walking over to the chair where he'd left his robe. It was neatly folded and slung over the back -- Draco was always fastidious about his clothing. He took off his dressing gown and hung it back on the usual hook by his bedside. Blaise inhaled sharply, and Draco turned to him, surprised.
"Why are you still over there, Zabini? Breakfast is starting soon, hurry up, we'll be late."
Blaise made no answer, staring at Draco pointedly. Draco realised he wasn't wearing anything other than his pyjama bottoms. He rolled his eyes and shrugged into his robe. "Honestly, Blaise," he said, wriggling out of the pyjama bottoms under the robe.
"What? I wasn't doing anything, just looking," Blaise said petulantly.
"Look, this is the last conversation I want to have with you at eight o'clock in the morning. Off to get washed with you, now," Draco said impatiently, folding his pyjama bottoms and placing them into a drawer of his bedside table.
Blaise grunted and walked over towards the bathroom, swaying slightly. Blaise was not a morning person. Draco, on the other hand, enjoyed mornings very much, ever since he was small. While Blaise made splashing noises in the bathroom next door, Draco roused Vincent and Gregory, affording them even less ceremony than he'd afforded Blaise. Draco Malfoy was up and about, his dormitory mates had better do the same, or suffer his impatience. It had been this way since they had first come to Hogwarts, though in their first year Blaise had fiercely opposed Draco's regime. Vincent and Gregory had helped Draco then, but he'd always held more respect for Blaise because of it.
Now they were getting out of their beds, hopping from foot to foot on the dungeon floor. Blaise came out of the bathroom, his dressing gown splattered with water all over the front, and the two boys raced for the door. Gregory won as usual, leaving Vincent standing outside. He grunted and leant against the wall, shutting his eyes. Draco was observing this with some amusement: the morning scene never changed. It was yet another thing he liked about being in Slytherin: they had routines and rituals. Each dormitory had their own little echoes of many years of wizarding tradition.
Blaise was muttering under his breath as he dressed. Draco remembered that he had come into the common room rather late the previous evening. "I say, Blaise," he said, "where were you last night?"
Blaise stopped fumbling with the clasp on his robe and looked up with a sly grin. "That would be--"
"-- telling, yes, I know," Draco interrupted, waving his hand around. "So tell me."
"Nope," came the reply, and Blaise crouched down on the floor, evidently looking for his schoolbag.
Draco hoisted his own schoolbag on his shoulder and snorted.
"Fine, don't," he said in an injured tone, and sat down on the bed to wait for Vincent and Gregory.
Soon, all four boys were dressed and ready to go. They took their hats off the pegs on the wall by the door and filed out into the common room.
"Go on, I'll catch up," Draco called to them as they reached the exit. "I need to check the notice board."
The three other boys nodded and walked out into the dungeon hallway, and Draco peered at the notice board. The first Hogsmeade weekend was going to be the first weekend of October, just like it was last year. Draco made a mental note of this and left the common room, smirking to himself. Things were falling into place quite splendidly. He caught up with Blaise, Vincent, and Gregory, who were walking slowly, chatting about Quidditch again.
"You are going to try out, Blaise, aren't you?" Draco piped up, falling into step beside his friend.
"I don't know," Blaise said with a shake of his head. "Way too much temptation in the changing rooms," he added with a sly wink.
Draco rolled his eyes. "You're insufferable, Zabini." Vincent and Gregory sniggered in unison. Draco ignored them. "Just because you try out doesn't mean you're going to make it, you know," he said, waggling his eyebrows at Blaise, who laughed.
"You slay me, Malfoy," he countered as they turned the corner and came into view of the Great Hall. Up ahead, Potter, Granger, and Weasley were walking through the large double doors. Weasley was gesticulating wildly and Potter was laughing. Granger's nose was buried in a book and she nearly tripped over the entryway. Draco snickered.
The Slytherin table was nearly full by the time they reached it, but their seats were left for them, as usual. Pansy was already there, tucking into a plateful of scrambled eggs and kippers while trying to carry on a conversation with Tracey Davis and Millicent Bulstrode. Seeing Draco, she beamed at him and waved him over. Draco took his seat beside her and gave her a peck on the cheek. "Morning, pet," he said throatily and Pansy giggled. Millicent shot them a look, and Draco smirked at her. She was such a prude.
He scooped a dollop of marmalade onto his plate and took a piece of toast from a nearby tray. As he was spreading the marmalade, Draco thought about his plans for the coming week. Apart from the enormous amount of homework they were likely to get, there was the prefects' meeting on Friday -- that was a new thing this year. Every Friday, prefects from each house had to hold an hour-long meeting before the sixth-year Gryffindor Astronomy lesson, which took place in the evening. The meetings were to be held near the Astronomy Tower, so that the 6th-year Gryffindors who had Astronomy didn't have to leave early. Incidentally, both Weasley and Granger had said they were taking Astronomy, so it was really because of them that the meetings had to be held in the spare Prefects' room. Draco bit into his toast hungrily. It was always Slytherins who got the short end of the stick, he fumed, chewing.
Draco took a sip of his coffee and added more cream to it -- he didn't like it when coffee stung his throat, he liked it when it was smooth. A moment later, the windows opened with a whoosh and owl post arrived. Pandora landed in front of Draco's plate. She bore a package filled with Chocoballs and Liquorice Wands, plus a note from Draco's mum. He gave Pandora the rest of his toast and stroked her beak gently in thanks, and she flew off. Draco grabbed a green apple from a nearby tray and bit into it, unsealing the parchment. Seeing the entire roll of parchment filled with his mother's fancy script, he relaxed. Things were apparently back to normal now that Father was free. He read the letter as he nibbled on the apple.
Mum was bored, with no one but the house elves to keep her company. She hadn't heard from Father yet, but she was certain he would attempt to contact her. The letter advised that Lucius may even try to contact Narcissa through Draco, since the school owls would be much less likely to be intercepted than owls going to or from Malfoy Manor. She wrote about going over to the Zabinis' on the weekend and other inconsequential things that didn't really interest Draco that much, but it was nice to read about them. Despite the cold-shoulder treatment he'd received from his mum in the summer, he did miss her. A part of him couldn't help but feel satisfied that now she was the one locked up in her quarters with no one but Kreacher to talk to.
Draco thought about Kreacher and shuddered. The house elf had come to stay at Malfoy Manor because Narcissa was the last surviving Black with any sort of a permanent residence. Draco smirked, thinking that Aunt Bella had been too busy organising breakouts from Azkaban to bother with house elves. His thoughts wandered back to Kreacher and Draco didn't feel like finishing his apple any more. The house elf was downright scary, now that Draco thought of it -- always muttering to himself as though no one could hear him. Kreacher seemed to have taken a liking to Draco, and kept turning up with food and drinks whenever Draco was least expecting it.
The elf didn't talk much about the last year he spent in the House of Black, but Draco was able to glean that Potter had been there several times. Unfortunately, Kreacher was bound by powerful magic not to reveal any details. Draco had been disappointed at that, and he refused to see Kreacher for two weeks, hoping that the elf would change his mind or find a way around the magic that bound him. It didn't happen, and Draco didn't have any goods on Potter when he boarded the train to Hogwarts two days earlier. That had been a first, too, Draco reflected, then smiled slightly as he remembered the conversation he'd overheard on Monday between Granger and Potter. That had made up for everything in spades.
The rest of the week passed without incident, if one didn't count Thursday. A first-year Slytherin was caught sneaking out after hours by Ernie Macmillan. That was useful for Draco, because he knew the only reason Macmillan had caught the little berk was that he'd been snogging Queenie and had walked her to the Slytherin common room. Draco saw Queenie walk into the common room dishevelled and bright-eyed, then heard the first-year's frantic gibbering and Macmillan's lecturing voice.
Draco walked unhurriedly out of the common room and into the dungeon hallway, startling Macmillan and causing the first-year to jump in fear -- it was one of the boys he'd caught with Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes earlier that week. Draco glared at the first-year and motioned for him to get inside the common room.
"I'll deal with you later," he said in a sweet voice, punctuating his words with a pointed glare. The boy hurried inside, eyes downcast. Macmillan started to say something, but Draco glared at him in turn.
"Well, well," Draco drawled, leaning casually against the wall. "Isn't it just a tad hypocritical of you to berate the poor bastard when you yourself allowed a student out of bounds?"
Queenie wasn't a prefect, and she wasn't supposed to be out after nine in the evening. Draco had put two and two together rather quickly, and he was pleased to see that he was right -- Macmillan blushed a deep crimson and averted his eyes. Draco raised an eyebrow at him.
"Tell you what, Macmillan. You do me a small favour and I keep my mouth shut about tonight's -- ah -- adventure," he said in his best impression of Professor Snape's ingratiating tone, which Snape reserved for speaking to people he particularly disliked.
"Are you going to blackmail me, Malfoy? If so, you can just forget it!" Macmillan huffed. Draco laughed pleasantly, looking over at the other boy.
"Oh, nothing that crude, Macmillan. All I ask is a little favour. If you like, I'll even let you punish the ickle firstie in addition to forgetting about the incident," Draco said, looking straight at Macmillan. "Or you can walk away, and I walk into the common room and put sweet Daphne in detention... loudly stating the reason."
"It's only twenty past nine, Malfoy! We lost track of time, it's not like --" Macmillan began, fuming, but Draco held his hand up.
"You know I would be well within my rights to punish Daphne even if she was a minute late. However, I don't want to punish Daphne and I don't want to cause you undue embarrassment, provided you do me a small favour. It's a trifle, really, I don't understand why you must get so defensive," Draco said evenly, cocking his head to one side and flashing the other boy an indulgent smile. "In the name of house unity, Macmillan."
The Hufflepuff prefect stared at Draco intently for a moment, then lowered his gaze. "Fine," he mumbled. "What is it that you want?"
Draco reached into the inner pocket of his robe and produced a scrap of parchment with a list on it and handed it to Macmillan, who took it and looked at it, frowning.
Defence Against the Dark Arts
Macmillan looked up from the parchment. "What do you want with these?" he asked, his round face reflecting honest puzzlement.
Draco smirked. "A list of professions that require NEWTs in all these classes at the same time. That's all."
Macmillan gaped at him. "Why don't you just go to the library and do it yourself?" he sputtered.
"Because I don't fancy doing it myself, Macmillan," Draco replied, smirk firmly in place.
"All right," Macmillan said after a pause -- he obviously realised he was the loser either way. Draco reflected that perhaps the boy wasn't as dim as he looked.
"No hurry, but if you could have it ready for the prefect meeting tomorrow, that would be just great," Draco said, and walked back towards the Slytherin common room. There were several moments of silence, and then he heard the sound of footsteps going in the opposite direction, and a muttered "Slytherins!"
Draco fought the urge to call out an admonishment involving house unity. "Serpens sanguineus," he said softly, and the door opened noiselessly. Draco walked into the Slytherin common room, which was nearly deserted except for Blaise, who sat hunched over a roll of parchment, balancing a book on his knees and trying to write. Queenie was sitting on one of the sofas, looking frightened. Beside her sat Theodore Nott, who looked sullen. He had dark circles under his eyes and his face reminded Draco unpleasantly of Granger before she had her teeth fixed. Draco glanced at them indifferently and started walking over to Blaise.
"What were you doing, Malfoy?" Nott demanded, and Draco whirled around to face him.
"Why, Nott, I don't believe it's any of your business what Slytherin prefects do after hours," Draco said without looking at Queenie.
"You're not scaring me with your precious pin, Malfoy," Nott walked closer to him and jabbed a finger at his chest.
Draco took a small step backwards in surprise, but recovered quickly. "What is it that you want, Nott?" he asked haughtily. "Make it quick, I haven't got time for playing games."
"I want to know what game you're playing, Malfoy," Nott said, staring up at Draco. Draco sneered.
"I'm going to recommend you go see Madam Pomfrey, Nott," he said in a quiet voice. "The school year's just beginning, and your brain is already addled."
Draco heard footsteps and heard Blaise walk up behind him. "What's going on, Draco?" Blaise asked, almost putting his chin on Draco's shoulder.
"You stay out of this, Zabini," Nott said, his voice rising. Draco wrinkled his nose -- Nott's breath smelled like overcooked cabbage. Blaise tensed beside him but Draco held out his arm as though to restrain him.
"Look, Nott, I don't know who pissed in your pumpkin juice at dinner," Draco said lazily. "However, rest assured that I won't tolerate that kind of behaviour."
"You'll bloody well tolerate it, Malfoy," Nott spat, his eyes narrowing.
Draco stiffened. Enough was enough. He glared down at Nott coldly. "Learn some manners before you speak to me again, Nott," he hissed, "and mind your place." With that, Draco turned on his heel and pulled Blaise along with him.
"You will listen to me, Malfoy!" Nott yelled with a hint of desperation. Draco ignored him and didn't stop walking until they reached the dormitories. What was Nott on about? Draco pulled the door open and walked in. Vincent and Gregory were sitting on their beds, already in their pyjamas, eating the snacks Blaise and Draco had brought up from the kitchens earlier. Draco must have looked really out of sorts, because they both stared at him curiously.
"What was that all about?" Blaise asked, closing the door behind himself.
"I have no idea," Draco replied.
"Whuhappen?" Vincent asked between mouthfuls.
"It's Nott, he just went mental at Draco in the common room," Blaise answered.
Vincent goggled at him. "Nott?"
Draco frowned. Nott had never given him problems before -- in fact, the only person who could ever contest Draco's authority among the sixth-years was Blaise, and Draco had headed that threat off a long time ago by befriending him. It didn't hurt that Blaise was smitten with him, of course, but they had been friends first. It wasn't an alliance of equals, not exactly, but Draco was confident Blaise was not a threat.
Nott, on the other hand, was rather a dark horse. Draco hadn't seen very much of Theodore since the term began -- in fact, this evening was the first time they'd encountered each other outside of classes. At mealtimes, Nott sat with Daphne and several others who didn't belong to Draco's circle, near the fifth-years, whereas Draco's group sat with the seventh-years. Draco walked over to his bed and started pulling off his robe absentmindedly. He changed into his pyjama bottoms and pulled on a dressing gown, ignoring Blaise, who stood leaning against one of the posts of his own bed, leering. Draco stalked past him into the bathroom. He kept mulling over what had just happened as he washed up for the night.
Draco Malfoy's Diary, September 5
I'll need to corner Liam Baddock at the prefects' meeting tomorrow -- he needs to be aware of Nott. What a lucky turn of events with Macmillan, I must say. I do need to speak with Queenie about her questions in class. Everything is going according to plan.
1. Serpens sanguineus -- Latin, bloody serpent. Thanks to the folks at latin for the help.
2. Liam Baddock is a secondary OMC. You'll meet him briefly in the next chapter. He's pretty much a plot device, nothing more.