‘Breakfast time, Draco.’ Goyle’s voice reverberated in his skull, which
was already pounding from lack of sleep. The sky outside was grey and threatening; Draco sat up and stretched.
His whole body was sore from where he’d been bounced against the stone. Hadn’t that been punishment enough?
He got out of bed, resolved to make this day better. Or at least to steer
clear of Mad-Eye Moody; that was something he could probably do. He dressed quickly, making sure the Slytherin
patch on his robe was nice and prominent, and headed down to the Great Hall for breakfast.
As usual, the Weasley twins had their heads together with Lee Jordan—why
didn’t the three of them just get married and get it over with—while the mudblood, Scarhead, and Weasel looked
on. Didn’t they ever get tired of this? Draco shook his head as Persephone dropped the day’s package in front of
him. Another cake, another spider-nest pie, more Chocolate Frogs, and more Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. And
at the bottom, a whole collection of Drooble’s. Maybe today he’d chew some of that in one of his classes and stick
the wad on the underside of the desk for the next student to find. He wondered idly what class was up first; he’d
just follow Goyle and Crabbe.
‘Must be new this year,’ he drawled to Crabbe as they entered the History
of Magic classroom. ‘We never used to have this class two days in a row.’ Crabbe shot him a stupid glance (nothing
new there); they sat down near the back. Ignoring Professor Binns completely, Draco let his Quick Quotes Quill
take notes again while he took out the cake. Pumpkin—Mum must have made a whole batch—which had always been one
of his favourites. He figured to save the spider-nest pie and set to work next on the Drooble’s. He chewed it into
a tidy wad; Draco plastered it to the underside of the desk just out of reach of his knees. Someone would find
it, and it wouldn’t be him. He smirked at the thought and when class was finally over, he moved the wad of gum
forward. Whoever sat there next would get a nasty surprise.
Care of Magical Creatures was never worth hurrying to, so he took his
time. On the way he stopped to trip a first-year heading back to the castle, stole the hat off a Hufflepuff who
looked as if he might want it back but blanched at the sight of Crabbe and Goyle flexing their muscles, and made
rude comments to a fifth-year Ravenclaw girl who shot him a superior look before hurrying off with her friends.
It was shaping up to be a very good day indeed.
As usual, the Gryffindors were there first, the little suck-ups. Hagrid
brought out the Skrewts again, and this time Draco ignored him completely. There was a rather large bird soaring
around overhead; he watched that instead. On today’s turn walking the Skrewts round the grounds, Draco ogled Millicent
Bulstrode. She wasn’t nearly as fine a sight as Pansy the day before, but she was far more amusing, since she had
the stance and demeanor of a bulldog. A bulldog with a chest. He watched as her Skrewt pulled her around in circles—she’d
completely lost control.
Draco laughed, and when he laughed, Crabbe and Goyle laughed too. They
most likely had no idea what they were laughing at but they made for good little minions, the idiots. No questions
asked, ever. Just like their parents did with his father.
And his mother. And that reminded him of the spider-nest pie; he took
it out, shredding the wrapper into a hundred tiny pieces that he let trail off on the wind. Some creature would
come by and clean them up, wasn’t that how it worked? At any rate, the litter was no concern of his. He bit into
the pie and met a hard object.
Another stupid snake charm!
He rolled his eyes, tucking the charm into his pocket. He could practically hear Goyle drooling, but he ignored
him. It was almost lunchtime.
Transfiguration dragged as it always did. He didn’t understand how Crabbe
could be so dim as to not be able to turn his hedgehog into a bonsai tree, but he put some faith behind the idea
that everyone was good at something, and face it, this just wasn’t what Crabbe was good at. Draco Transfigured his hedgehog
three times in quick succession until it curled into a ball and patently refused to be worked on any more.
Draco was decent at Transfiguration. He wanted to learn how to Transfigure
Crabbe and Goyle into trolls. They were already most of the way there.
Professor McGonagall eyed him suspiciously so he did the spell on the
reluctant hedgehog one more time for her, until she was satisfied. He knew after that she’d leave him alone. He
opened his copy of Intermediate Transfiguration by Emeric Switch and pretended to read the chapter on vertebrate-to-vertebrate
transformations, but under the protection of the book, he sorted his Every Flavour Beans into two piles: acceptable
and disgusting. He put all the awful ones—vomit and bogie and spinach and earwax and dirt and sardine and horseradish
and dragon dung—into the disgusting
pile; he slid these across the table to Crabbe. No matter how many times he did this, Crabbe never remembered that
he wasn’t going to get any good
beans. How stupid could a person be? Draco watched with some amusement as Crabbe poured the entire handful into
his mouth all at once, then practically gagged.
He deserved it.
When Transfiguration was finally done—and
why were the classes all repeating every day so far this week?,
Draco wondered—he headed back to the Slytherin Common Room. There was something he wanted to get, something he
wanted to bring to dinner. What was it? Oh, right, The Daily Prophet. Seemed they’d re-run that story on Weasley’s father and this was a very good
chance to rub it in yet again. He dropped his bookbag on the sofa and picked up the newspaper, tucking it under
his arm. And as he suspected once he got to the entry hall, Potter, Weasley, and Granger were heading in; he rounded
‘Look, Weasley, they’ve done it again; you’ve got to love the Daily Prophet for running this
two days in a row, although you’d think they’d have something worthwhile to say:
FURTHER MISTAKES AT THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC
It seems as though the Ministry of Magic’s troubles
are not yet at an end, writes Rita Skeeter, Special Correspondent.
Recently under fire for its poor crowd control at the Quidditch
World Cup, and still unable to account for the disappearance of one of its witches, the Ministry was plunged into
fresh embarrassment yesterday by the antics of Arnold Weasley, of the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office.
‘Imagine them not even getting his name right the second day in a row,
Weasley!’ He grinned malevolently; by his side, Crabbe and Goyle chuckled heartily.
‘What are you on about, Malfoy?’ Weasley shook with fury; his face was
as red as a phial of phoenix feathers. ‘What do you mean, the second day in a row?’
Draco grimaced, but it turned into a smirk. ‘They ran the same article
yesterday, you idiot. They must have gotten such a laugh out of it the first time that they decided to do it again.’
He tossed the Daily Prophet
at Weasley. ‘Here, you can keep it; you’re too poor to go out and buy it anyway. It will be a miracle if your father
gets to keep his job now, Weasley. What are you going to do, move into a shoebox in the middle of the road? Maybe
then your mother would lose a bit of weight.’
‘Get stuffed, Malfoy.’ It was Potter, rounding on him.
Draco rolled his eyes. ‘You’re becoming predictable, Potter. Not any
smarter, but predictable.’ He watched as Potter turned his back and the opportunity presented itself. Draco raised
his wand. ‘Capillus Inflammare!’
The spell missed Potter by a centimeter or two, ricocheted off the wall, and doubled back to land on Millicent
Bulstrode. Her hair went up like a bonfire on a dry summer day; she ran screaming out of the entryway to the Great
Clunk-clunk. Clunk-clunk. Clunk-clunk. Draco spun around just in time
to see the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher approaching him, his wooden leg echoing off the flagstones. ‘OH
NO YOU DON’T, LADDIE!’
There was a loud BANG and suddenly….
What’s going on? What happened? Why am I here? Who am I? And ooooooh
I’m going to be sick! Up and down and up and down and up and down. Mmm, what’s that I smell? Fear? Fear.
And before he knew it, Draco lay spread-eagle on the floor, and everybody
was laughing. Even Crabbe and Goyle were laughing: they’d get theirs later. Draco felt his face flush and knew
he was as red now as Weasley had been minutes before. But wait… hadn’t he specifically heard McGonagall tell Moody
that Transfiguration was not to be used as punishment? How on earth did Mad-Eye think he could get away with this—this
rubbish—two days in a row?
Draco let out a resigned sigh as Moody pulled him to a stand and steered
him off toward the dungeons. If things kept up this way, he’d never
be quit with detentions.