Draco stared at the small book in his hands for some time, uncertain what to do with the new piece of information. He gazed at the letters of his ancestors' name, till they blurred together and became impossible to decipher. Draco looked up at Hermione angrily.
"You didn't think to tell me, you know just grab me after class; by the way, no biggie but I might have found your ancestor's book wedged down the back of a shelf." Hermione rolled her eyes again.
"I would of, had you not made a point of being a first-class prat." She spat, making Draco's eyes widen at her choice of words. "Plus, it's not that big of a deal, you have it now and it tells us exactly how to use that wand." she pointed at the ancient wand still clutched in Draco's hand, grinning mischievously.
Draco pushed the book towards Hermione, certain he wouldn't be able to concentrate long enough to read. It all felt too convenient, books didn't fall down the back of the shelves in Hogwarts library, to suggest such a thing would no doubt end in Madame Pince formulating a particularly nasty punishment, on par with getting your skin lightly toasted by a dragon.
"Don't you think this all seems a little…weird?" Draco mumbled, fiddling with the black wand, as Hermione flipped through the ancient book, she glanced up at him for a moment before turning back to reading.
"Well considering we've been experiencing the memories of strangers, because of, as you put it, a magical bowl," she stopped reading and met his gaze again, her eyes sparkling in amusement, "a bowl we happened to find hidden in a room that was shut away by 'glowy' carvings, that, in turn, was hidden beneath a set of stairs, that I just happened to fall through by accident," she took a deep breath, "I'd be inclined to say it was probably the most normal thing to happen to us yet."
Draco chuckled lightly at her, scratching the back of his head uncomfortably. When she turned back to the words in front of her Draco carried on staring. He allowed himself a small smile as her brow furrowed in concentration.
"Right I've got it," she muttered quickly, looking up at him, just as he quickly found something incredibly interesting on the toe of his shoe.
"I thought you'd read this, Granger?" He asked, dryly.
"Well, well yes I did, but it always helps to reread it, keeps things fresh in your mind."
"I bet it does." He straightened his back. "Alright, what's it say?"
"Close your eyes?"
"That's it?" He raised one eyebrow languidly, and Hermione sighed.
"No that is not it, but it's a start, now close your eyes." She commanded. Draco sighed, making a big show of closing his eyes. After a moment his face contorted into a look of surprise and bewilderment.
"I don't believe it," he spluttered in wonder, allowing his mouth to fall open. In spite of herself, Hermione found herself leaning forward.
"What, what is it?"
"It's so beautiful, the colours, the- the complete lack of colours. It's almost like…almost like…"
"What? What's it like?" Hermione breathed, wondering if the connection had simply shown itself like she'd read it could.
"Like I've got my eyes closed," Draco added drily, grinning slightly when Hermione hit his arm. "Honestly Granger, closing my eyes? That's Trewloony level helpful." He blinked, opening his eyes and staring at her incredulously
"You didn't let me finish, now shut up, and close your eyes."
"Alright, alright. So bossy," He muttered, complying with her demands.
"Of course, I am Hermione Granger." Something in the way she said it, sent him reeling back to when they'd first met when she'd been more hair than witch. It made him smile softly, she'd changed, but some things never did.
"News flash, Granger, I haven't stopped. It's one of those fundamental things I need to do in order to live."
"Well if you want to remain that way, I'd suggest shutting up." Hermione ground out through gritted teeth.
"Alright, touchy." Hermione took a deep breath, calming herself, before continuing, her voice softer.
"Think of your magic as a light within in you...stop laughing, this isn't going to work if you're laughing," Hermione huffed, as Draco gave into the laughter that had been bubbling inside of him.
"I'm sorry but, you've got to be joking."
"I'm not joking, look."
"I'm supposed to have my eyes closed."
"Will you just look." His eyes blinked open and he casually took the book from her, smirking the whole time. His smirk immediately fell away.
"You weren't joking."
"No, I wasn't." Draco looked down at the book again, certain that, if he kept looking at the instructions, they would change.
'Close thine eyes to the world, magic is a light, believe and it will be so. You sure this wasn't written by Liptious too?" Hermione gave him a withering look. "I'm serious, they can't even spell."
"It was a different time; besides, we don't really have any other option do we. Now," Hermione took the book off the Slytherin, who was still contemplating complaining some more, "close your eyes, and let's try this again."
Draco sighed, letting his shoulders slump heavily, there was no point arguing with her anymore and he had to admit that he was a little curious.
"Your magic is a light, a light that connects you with the magic of the world." Draco's brow furrowed as he concentrated on her words, trying to imagine his magic as a light. The whole process was completely alien to him, and he was ready to give it up as ancient nonsense when something golden flickered across his vision and settled in the darkness. The small ball of light pulsed and the more he focused on it the brighter and bigger it became, till the vision was completely obscured by it. Wincing he opened his eyes and immediately reeled back, his mouth opening and closing in shock.
"What the matter?" He shook his head at Hermione's question, reaching out a hand to touch the light that completely filled the small room; it moved in the air almost like liquid, coiling around his arm as he reached out to touch it. He recognised the tingle of it against his skin, murmuring in shock when he realised it was the magic of the Sensieve, that presence that seemed to follow both him and Hermione around, choking the air out of the room when they were close, it was there before him and it looked so beautiful.
"Malfoy?" Hermione was completely obscured by the glow of pearlescent light from her, it emanated from her, shimmering and glittering as she moved closer to him, her head tipped to the side in concern. With a jolt, Draco realised that it was Hermione's magic, the very thing that his father had told him she didn't, couldn't have. Yet he could feel the warmth of it on his face and was blinded by the sheer brightness of it.
"You're, you're," Draco stammered, stumbling back.
"I'm what? Malfoy what's the matter?"
"You're glowing," He breathed, dropping his wand and slumping to the floor. As soon as the connection between the wand was lost, the world returned to normal, becoming dim.
"Malfoy, are you okay?" Hermione asked, rushing to his side. Draco waved her off quickly, unsure he could handle Hermione fussing over him at that moment. He felt like everything he knew about Magic had been turned on its head.
"Did-did it work?" Hermione asked hesitantly, gazing at the wand that Draco had abandoned on the floor. With a gulp, Draco turned to her, nodding his head slowly.
"I'm calling a group meeting," Pansy stated, rising from the plush sofa of the Slytherin common room, her shadow dancing across the floor as the fire crackled behind her.
"Joy of joys," Theo muttered, sinking further into his seat.
"I'm out," Blaise stated quickly, making a move to leave the room.
"If you value those pretty womanizing features of yours Zabini, you will sit down." Pansy eyes glittered dangerously in the orange light and Blaise gulped, slowly sinking into the nearby armchair. He cast a hopeful glance at his fellow sufferers; Theo, Crabbe and Goyle, hoping to at least gain some sympathy, though as always, none was forthcoming.
"What, oh great and mighty Pansy, are you going to try and rope us into now?"
"This is about Draco," She said simply, looking at each of them in turn, "he's acting weird." All four boys stared at her, their silence making her scowl.
"And?" Let his head fall back against the snake-shaped cushion that had slithered its way behind His, Crabbe and Goyle's heads, it was one of the more light-hearted pieces of adornment to makes its way into the Slytherin Common room, though no one was actually certain where it had come from. There were speculations of course, such as a joke, possibly a curse, someone had even suggested that it was remnants from a disastrous relationship one Slytherin had begun with a Hufflepuff. All Theo knew was that it was comfy and in order to get any use of it, he had to sandwich himself between the two great mountains of boys Crabbe and Goyle because they always seemed to be in possession of it.
"And, we need to find out what's wrong."
"I don't see how we have anything to do with your meddling," Blaise pointed out and Theo nodded.
"I am inclined to agree since when have we been anything but silent bystanders when you start 'helping.'"
"What's wrong with, Draco?" Crabbe cut in, his voice gruff and low.
Blaise lifted one eyebrow incredulously, wondering, not for the first time, how someone so incredibly dense could have been sorted into Slytherin.
"I think Vinny, old chap, what's wrong with Draco is, as Pansy put it, 'he's acting weird," Theo drawled, his eyes falling shut.
"In what way?" Goyle mouth falling open in the usual lights-on-but-nobody's-home way on completion of his sentence. Blaise winced as he realised it was just the opening Pansy needed to 'rally the troops'.
"Well, for one, he's been distant."
"Erm, do I really need to point out, Slytherin, and or a Malfoy and or kind of tetchy," Theo listed without opening his eyes, pointing at each of his fingers in turn as he made a point.
"Also see, 'up his own well-bred arse', 'delusions of wizarding grandeur', and 'albino sensibilities."
"Hmm, as Blaise says he is rather aloof. Doesn't like anyone ruffling those pretty blonde locks of his, not without getting a face full of his family name."
"Second," Pansy said loudly trying to drown at the boy's laughter, "He's been staring off into space recently, not joining in on conversations."
"Oh well, then there must be something wrong. You're right Pansy, we should do something, we don't know how long this has been going on for." Blaise shuffled forward in his seat, meeting Pansy's gaze with mock severity.
"I do," Theo smirked, "Poor lad checked out as soon as he met you"
"O har de har, very funny you guys. Come on, even you have to admit the whole thing with the Golden Trio was a bit weird."
"Pansy that was weeks ago." Theo scowled, shuffling to try and make himself more comfortable as Goyle pudgy fist curled around the end of the cushions tale and yanked it rather abruptly making Theo jolt awake. "Greg, my main man, don't you think you've commandeered enough of it already, some of us are trying to sleep."
"Sorry." Though he said the words, Theo knew without a doubt that the large boy in no way meant it. He was simply behaving because Theo had supplied the batcakes for the evening, which both he and his fellow large companion were getting through at an alarming rate, tiny little bat wings flapping in their faces as they sunk their teeth into the pink icing.
"Yes but, he's been off, he keeps staring at that bushy-haired know-it-all," Pansy muttered.
"Perhaps he likes her." Crabbe was barely intelligible round a mouthful of cake. The first one to laugh was Theo, followed soon after by Blaise and Pansy.
"He could." Crabbe's defence did nothing to dispel their laughter. The mere suggestion of such a thing was absurd.
'Where do you get these ideas from, Crabbe?" Blaise asked, shaking his head incredulously. The huge boy shrugged, taking another bite of cake, thoroughly consuming one bat wing, with a grin.
"I don't know, they just come to me."
"Can we get to the matter at hand, please?" Pansy wiped a tear from her eye as her laughter subsided.
"Sure, sure, Draco acting weird, yada, yada, yada. What do you suggest we do? Perhaps we could form and Albino Intervention," Theo chirped.
"Well…." Pansy began, sitting down on the stool next to her slowly.
"You cannot be serious? Theo was joking Pansy, jo-king."
"I know, but he's not far off the mark. We need to talk to him, find out what's wrong."
"I think I may have fallen into an alternate reality, where Pansy is a Hufflepuff." Pansy scowled at Theo, cutting her eyes in a very Slytherin way.
"I'll have you know, Nott, Slytherins look out for their own. There is something wrong with Draco and I intend to find out what it is." Blaise sighed, his hand covering his eyes as he slumped back in the large armchair.
"No one is disagreeing with you Pans, but I don't know what you want us to do. Malfoys are known for being closed off, you start poking your pug little nose in and he's going to close up tighter than Gringotts."
"My nose is not…"
"Blaise is right, they're like ferrets," Theo grinned, referring to a particularly embarrassing moment for the proud albino with malignant pleasure. "They're skittish little things, don't do too well when poked." Pansy huffed turning to the fire.
"Maybe if we followed him?" Goyle shrugged, staring at his lap. Theos mouth opened and closed.
"Dost my ears deceive me, but did our very own resident idiot, have an idea that didn't involve eating something?" Blaise spluttered, mentally thanking Salazar that the large boy was at the other side of the room and making the trip across to hit him would no doubt figure on the boy's list of things that were far too much effort.
"It's an alternate reality, Vinny, be a good sport and pinch me," Theo joked, wincing when the boy wiped his icing coated fingers on his trousers and reached across to pinch Theo's arm.
"Oh, Greg you're a genius," Pansy squealed, springing up and enveloping the boy mountain in a hug.
"I still don't think this is a good idea, Pans. You know what Draco is like." Pansy appeared deaf to Blaise's warnings as she fawned over Goyle, offering the plate of remaining batcakes for him to dig into happily.
"Those are to share, Parkinson."
"I am sharing, Nott." She bobbed her tongue out quickly before turning to Blaise, "You never think any of my ideas are good, Zabini. Trust me, Draco will be thanking us."
Theo and Blaise looked at each other, shaking their head in unison. Though Pansy was loyal and scarily astute when it came to sniffing out secrets she never did know when to call it a day. The brown-haired witch would keep searching till she found her answers all the whole thing blew up spectacularly in all their faces.
"What was it like?" Hermione handed the wand back to Draco who took it cautiously with shaking fingers.
"Light, there was light everywhere." He gulped, slowly pushing himself onto his feet, holding his arms out a little as his legs shook beneath him and threatened to give way.
"Do you think you could try the spell?" She asked, her voice quiet as she climbed to her feet, examining his face closely. He seemed distant, running his hand over the dragon that adorned the wand.
"I…" Gulping heavily he closed his eyes, focusing on his magic. Almost immediately the golden light flared, shining so much brighter and seeming so much more apart of him than when he had first seen it. Now he could feel it coursing through his veins and into the wand. He thought of the lullaby, silver light weaving with the gold. He could hear the music, notes warm and clear filling his mind.
"Cantiaer." His voice felt different as the word left his mouth as if his voice held the very power to change the fabric of the world. It was entirely all too much power and it scared him, the wand dropping from his fingers as two notes wheezed into the air around them, fading into nothingness as it clattered to the stone floor.
"Are you okay?" Hermione asked, her brown eyes staring into his with genuine concern. Draco gulped, nodding slightly.
"Yeah, it's just…different." He almost choked on bitter laughter at how much of an understatement his own words were. What he and Hermione found was so much more than different, it was life-shattering, world-altering. The whole history of magic changing within a matter of seconds. They'd opened a door to a world of power that he was certain no one else knew existed, or at least if they did, it was a closely guarded secret. He pressed his hands against his knees, hunching over as he tried to calm his breathing. It was his power, he saw it, felt it. The power did not come from the wand, it came from him. He thought of what others could do if they knew the power that they possessed, what he knew they would do and almost wished that the wand had remained hidden.
"I know," Hermione stared down at the book, "it does say that the process should be repeated over and over, in order to become comfortable with it."
"It's nice that they think I'll get used to it." Draco joked, wiping his hand over his face.
"Perhaps we should call it a night?" Hermione suggested, beginning to back her bag when Draco slowly nodded his head, finally straightening himself up. He felt so entirely drained and at the same time crackling with an energy that made him feel wide awake.
"Are you sure you're okay?"
"Watch it, Granger, someone might mistake you for actually caring about me."
"As if," She countered, shimmying her way up the rope they'd used to climb down. When she'd finally managed to lever herself onto the steps she looked up and she gasped. The domed ceiling of the room with the emerald pillars stretched up over her head, levitating candles flickering to light. Draco climbed up behind her and sighed.
"Well let's get this over with."
As if on cue the Sensieve floated out from a gap in the floor, silvery mist filling the room.