This Chapter his not been edited yet, Roanoke caught the Rona and hasn't been able to work on the chapters, I'll re-upload the chapters when she's feeling better but currently please forgive me for any grammar mistakes.
Narcissa sat in her favorite Parlor room, reading a novel as she slowly sipped on a cup of Black Tea, every now and then looking to the door, "any moment now." she said softly as she turned the page of her book.
"Narcissa!" the call of her husband made her smile slightly as she marked her spot and gently laid her book down as the door opened and Lucius came striding in with a parchment in his hand, "a letter from Hermione!" he said with a rare smile on his visage.
"Oh really?" she asked as she crossed her legs and held her cup and saucer in her hands.
"Yes! She's having a very interesting time at school this year, what with the Tournament going on."
"Mhmm…" Narcissa hummed as she sipped some tea.
"And it seems Potter has gotten into the thick of it once more."
*Sips tea* "really now?" she asked in amusement, the Potter Report-as she liked to call it-happened once every saturday, usually with her daughter lamenting about the boys lack of talent ("why does he think he looks good flying so recklessly mother? Honestly he's not even the best") or his deplorable state of dress, ("he doesn't even brush his hair mother! It's always so wild and unkept") of course her daughter always gave them snippets that would please her father ("listen to this Narcissa, the boy isn't even in the top five, what a disappointment.") and while it had been exasperating to think that her husband was so interested in the possible ruination of a child; she found it very humorous to hear her daughters thoughts upon the boy. Especially when she could read between the lines of her casual dismissals and critiques of him.
"Oh yes, according to her letter the Potter boy has been entered into the tournament." Lucius said, not even noticing his wife's amusement
Narcissa paused at that, "that is interesting." she said as she carefully set her tea down on it's saucer.
"Yes, what's even more interesting is that she doesn't believe he entered himself at all!" he said, handing the letter over to her. Usually she doesn't even skim them, but today she read each line word for word.
How are you? Was Samhain as exciting for you and Mother this year as it was for me. As you know the Triwizard Tournament is being hosted at Hogwarts and the night of Samhain is when the Champions would be chosen. Almost all of them are as expected, all of them except a certain bespectacled celebrity.
Harry Potter was entered into the Triwizard Tournament. It makes no sense, why would anyone want to place Potter into such a place of Honor and not themselves? At first I assumed the teachers or even the Headmaster would have done this. But all parties involved were much too surprised for this to be an option. Even Potter himself was shocked. So I decided to confront him about it. He wasn't very receptive at first, but I was able to persuade him to tell me what he thought of everything. He seems to be under the impression that someone entered him into the tournament to kill him; While i think that is extreme, it does seem that someone entered him to do him harm. Which faces me with a moral dilemma.
Do I help Potter in this Tournament? He is already at a disadvantage compared to most in our year, and now he is in a competition that pits him against of-age wizards. I doubt he would last more than a minute in this competition without my help, but I doubt my ability to convince him of this; there have been many faux pas committed on both sides and I fear some of the damage may not be repaired. But I still think I should try.
What should I do Father?
With all my Love,
Give my love to Slinky
Narcissa put the letter down, looking at her husband, "what will you advise her to do?" she asked.
"Well, I can't have my daughter cavorting with Potter can I? No matter what trouble he's got himself into." he shook his head, "just imagine what Nott and McNair would say if it comes out that she's even considering helping him."
"Mhmm…" Narcissa hummed as she sipped her tea, typical of her husband, always thinking of what his allies would think of him, despite the fact that he hated almost all of them.
"I best pen the letter, let her know to stay out of it."
"Don't send it yet Darling, I wish to send my own letter to her." narcissa said as her husband began to leave.
"Of course dear," he said absentmindedly as he strolled out.
Narcissa waited a few moments until she was sure he was gone before pulling her wand, with a whispered word the parchment changed, revealing another few paragraphs just under the main body of the letter. Her daughter didn't always add extra lines for her to read, but when she did, she always let her know by telling her to give love to 'slinky' a stuffed rabbit she used to own. Her father believes it's just a cute little sign off that she used among the family. But Narcissa knew better.
I'm so confused.
Harry Potter is and always will be an uncouth, arrogant toerag, but he isn't a cheater, nor is he a liar, he's too just and honorable for that. So why does everyone seem to think he cheated his way into the tournament? Even his own best friend? I don't know how to handle this, and I don't want to leave him on his own to face it alone. But how could I help him if he doesn't want me near him?
I made a grave mistake in my approach to confront him about what happened. I pulled him into a classroom and disarmed him, held him at wand point. Why did I think that was a good idea? Not only did I apprehend him, but I also belittled and demeaned him; it's no wonder he took his wand back in such a spectacular fashion. Stole it straight out of my hand and stopped my attempts at retaliation.
Why did this give me such a thrill? It was an uncoordinated, unplanned move on his part and yet…
What must I do mother? I know father will tell me not to help him, but can I really leave him to fall? And how can I ignore him when all I want to do is get closer to him and find out why he made me feel the way he did?
Narcissa smiled softly at her letter, she knew her daughter was one of the smartest witches to ever grace the halls of Hogwarts. But she seemed to struggle when it came to issues of the heart.
"Tipsy." Narcissa called, making a small house elf in a white tea towel appear, "bring me some parchment and a quill, I must write to my daughter."
Hermione watched the Gryffindor table as Potter sat down, the boy completely ignored those around him as he piled food onto his plate.
" Are you going to Eat?" Daphne asked her friend, nudging her slightly, "or are you going to stare at him all day?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Hermione said as she looked away from Harry and began to eat her own food.
"Mhmm...so what did that letter say?"
"It said to do as I pleased." She said absentmindedly as she watched a few hufflepuff fourth years walk up to Potter and begin shouting at him.
"Oh really?" Daphne asked with a raised eyebrow, "Your father said this?"
"Of course not." she said as she saw Potter, snap back at them, jumping to his feet before being forcibly pulled back by Granger, 'My father said to ignore him and do nothing."
"But you just said-"
"My mother," Hermione interrupted her, "on the other hand, said to do what needed to be done."
Daphne sighed and followed her gaze to Potter, the boy was now stalking out of the great hall with Granger following.
"So what's our plan of action?" Daphne questioned as her friend slowly stood and moved towards the entrance hall.
"We parlay with him and hope he is not foolish enough to ignore our help."
Harry sulked as he and Draco walked out of the great hall.
"Just ignore them Harry." Draco urged him as they made their way towards the dungeons for their potions class.
"I know, but it's hard...it's like second year all over again…"
"And just like second year we'll make it through this." Draco said confidently as they reached the potions classroom. Where their classmates were milling about.
"Hey Potter." Nott called, trying to gain the bespectacled boy's attention.
"Ignore him." Draco said quietly to him.
"My father and I have a bet." Nott continued on, a sneer gracing his weedy face, "I say you won't last ten minutes in the tournament...he disagrees, he says you won't last five!"
Harry spun towards Nott, a retort on the tip of his tongue, only for it to die as Malfoy stepped forward.
"Bite your tongue Nott." The Heiress said coldly as she walked towards the group, Daphne Greengrass at her side, similarly glaring at the weedy boy, "you dishonor us all with your words."
Everyone fell silent, stunned at her words. Watching as she advanced upon the boy with all the grace and nobility befitting her station.
"You are to be head of your house one day." She said to him, a sneer forming on her lips, "and conducting yourself as a jealous schoolboy not only besmirched that honor, but reflects badly on the Crest you wear upon your breast."
"But he-" Nott started.
"-did nothing to you to be ridiculed." She cut him off sharply, "he is not your lesser. Nor has he attacked you in any way that calls for hateful words."
"But it's potter-" he tried again, only to flinch back when she advanced a step.
"Do not think his last name makes a difference for how you are to conduct yourself in public.' She whispered icily to him, "do not disgrace yourself anymore Nott."
Nott couldn't even meet her gaze as he stepped back to his spot between Crabbe and Goyle, cheeks flushed in embarrassment and anger.
Hermione turned her cold gaze upon everyone else. Finding no one in either Slytherin or Gryffindor meeting her challenging stare, her gaze fell upon the confusedly thankful Harry and her glare softened ever so slightly. "Now, let's have a productive potions class."
Her words made a shiver run through everyone, only once had a slytherin student attempted to sabotage another's potion, and it resulted in the ire of not only Professor Snape, but also the Malfoy Heiress, who was beyond angry at having the sacred art of potions ruined by school rivalry.
It had led to everyone, both Slytherin and Griffindor alike agreeing to a truce within the walls of the potion classroom.
Harry watched as Malfoy walked into the classroom, "what was that about?" He asked his friend quietly.
"I think...that's her way of extending an olive branch." Draco said carefully, "I think you need to approach her."
Harry snorted in disbelief.
"I trust her about as far as I can throw her." Harry muttered as they took a seat at the back of the class, "and that's not very far."
"Then don't rile her up. Don't be the rude, sloppy degenerate she thinks you are, and be the well mannered, clean degenerate you really are."
"Jeez, thanks Draco."
Harry sighed and looked over to where Malfoy was sitting, and was surprised to find her garnet eyes fixated on him, it wasn't the first time he'd ever caught a girl staring, but usually when he caught them they would look away and giggle to their friends, Malfoy kept her gaze on him long enough to make him squirm slightly. Only when Professor Snape started the lesson did Malfoy turn her gaze away.
Draco leaned towards him, "Either she just figured out all of your dirty secrets." Draco whispered to him, "or she just imagined what it'd be like to snog you and found potions more interesting."
"Piss off Granger."
"You'd like that wouldn't you Potter."
Hermione watched as Potter and Granger left the potions classroom together, both having a whispered argument as they left the room.
"If you want to snog him so bad then just do it." Daphne muttered to her as they finished cleaning up their station.
"I'd rather snog the giant squid." Hermione said vehemently.
"You sure? Because it looked like you were undressing him with your eyes at the beginning of class.
"I wasn't staring at him!" Hermione exclaimed, sparing a glance to where her Uncle Severus was grading papers, he looked up a fraction of a second before looking back down to his work, "I was lost in thought." She whispered fiercely.
"Mhmm, probably thinking about how good his broom-closet skills are." Daphne said quietly, a playful smile upon her lips.
"Daphne!" Hermione gasped, scandalized.
"Oh do lighten up Hermione." Daphne giggled as she finally stood up with her bag slung onto her shoulder.
"I would never...how could you even….what is wrong with you…" Hermione spluttered as she followed Daphne towards the door.
"Never say Never Hermione." Daphne said, her smile dropping as they stepped out of the classroom to find Potter and Granger waiting for them.
Hermione raised an eyebrow, "yes Potter?" she asked inquisitively, any sign of embarrassment gone.
"Why did you stand up for me?" he asked. Cutting straight to the chase.
"As I said, Nott was embarrassing himself and his station." she said, "it reflected badly on us all."
"There's more to it though isn't there?" Granger asked smugly, making Hermione glare at the boy.
"Yes, there is." she said carefully, looking back to Harry "but that conversation is better had in private, and not in the middle of the hallway before Charms starts, perhaps we can meet after classes. Alone."
"If you want to snog him then just do it." Granger drawled, making both Hermione and Harry glare at him.
"I do not want to snog this prat." Hermione said vehemently.
"Sure." Daphne mumbled under her breath, giving Hermione an innocent look when the heiress turned her glare to her.
"Meet me in the third floor corridor, fourth classroom." she said, turning on her heel to walk away.
"Alone?" Potter asked, an unsure edge to his voice.
Hermione stopped at that, "you can bring Granger," she muttered, "but know i'll be bringing Daphne."
Potter nodded slightly. "Lets go Draco." he said, going the other way.
Daphne looked at Hermione with a slight tilt of her head, "I never said I would help you in this endeavor."
"Please." Hermione scoffed, "you wouldn't dream of leaving me alone with two Gryffindors, or miss out on a chance to witness drama."
"While your observation is correct, I find it offensive that you did not ask me first." Daphne sniffed, "you should work on that." she smiled when Hermione glared at her, "come on, let's get to charms before we're late."
Harry paced inside the abandoned classroom, Draco was biting into an apple, watching his friend from the desk he sat on, "pacing won't help." he said.
"What else should I do?"
"Sit down, relax, try not to freak out that your enemy/girlfriend is coming?"
Harry glared at him but Draco simply grinned back. Harry rolled his eyes and began pacing again.
"So...why don't you want to be alone with her?" Draco asked.
"What?" Harry asked in confusion as he looked back at Draco.
"Why don't you want to be alone with Malfoy?" he asked, annunciating his words carefully, as if talking to a slow child.
"I don't trust her."
"But why? The only thing she's ever done is call me a racial slur, and while I'm still a bit bitter about that, that's really not the worst thing to ever happen to us, remember when Nott tried to get us expelled for helping with Norbert? Or when he tricked us into going to a 'duel' which was really just a set up to give us Detention, or how about-"
"-i Get it." Harry muttered, "I just...i've been on edge about her since our last confrontation."
"When she made you look foolish at the library?" he questioned.
"No I...never mind.'
Draco quirked an eyebrow, "I smell something dramatic." he said with a smug smile, "what happened between you and her that makes you so...twitchy."
"Nothing that concerns you, Granger." Malfoy's cold, aristocratic voice stated, making both boys look to the door of the classroom where Hermione and Daphne stood.
"I think it does,' Draco drawled as he stood up, "considering it's my best friend that's being affected."
"Whatever has happened is between the two," Daphne piped up,crossing her arms, "it has no lasting consequence to us."
"No lasting consequence except the right to tease our friends." Draco pointed out.
"That's enough Draco." Harry said tiredly.
"I disagree, but go on." Draco said with a smirk as he leaned against a nearby desk
Malfoy glared at him, then turned to Harry, "I want to offer my help to you." She said to him, "This tournament is serious business, and if you are unprepared then you could possibly be seriously injured or killed."
"And what's the catch?" Harry asked suspiciously, "what would you gain from helping me?"
"And what do you even have to contribute that we couldn't gain from research?" Draco asked in interest.
"What couldn't I gain from having the Boy-Who-Lived owing me a favor?" Malfoy asked primly, "and to answer your question,' she leveled a look of cold indifference to Draco, "I have access to the restricted section, as well as tomes and books that aren't in the Hogwarts Library; I can also teach you proper etiquette for the Yule Ball."
"Yule Ball?" Harry questioned.
"Honestly," Malfoy said in exasperation, "you get thrown into a tournament that you don't want to be apart of, and you don't even look into what's in store for you?"
"The Yule Ball used to be a tradition that happened every year at Hogwarts." Daphne interjected, giving Hermione a warning glance, "but during the Triwizard Tournament it was a spectacle that was spared no expense, and as a tradition, the champions are to open the dance."
Harry grimaced at that while Draco laughed, "Harry dance?" he asked with a chuckle, "you'd have a better chance getting a Hippogriff to accept an insult with grace."
"I can help with all of this," Malfoy said, "and in return I curry favor with you, do we have a deal?" she held her hand out, as she once did when they were little first years.
Harry hesitated, then said, "you have to apologize to Draco first." he said carefully, "you called him that slur, and never apologized, so now you'll apologize."
Malfoy looked like she had swallowed something sour, "and if I refuse?" she asked.
"Then we walk out of here and figure it all out on our own." Harry said firmly, crossing his arms, "spells can be learned on our own, and as for making a fool of myself, well i've done that a lot over the years without anything bad happening, might as well keep up the streak."
Malfoy grimaced, but turned to Draco, "I...am terribly sorry for using that word in reference to you." she said sincerely, "i should never have said it and I hope that you can accept my apology so we can move forward as acquaintances if nothing else."
Draco pretended to ponder it for a moments, "hmm, i want her to grovel, can she grovel?" he asked Harry, who smacked him on the back of the head, "Right, serious moment, yes I accept your apology Ms. Malfoy, I do hope we can one day be friends.'
"Indeed." Malfoy said dryly before turning to Harry, "do we have a full deal now?" she asked, holding her hand out once more.
Harry stared at her hand a moment before reaching out and taking it carefully, giving it a soft shake before retracting his hand, "so, where do we start?"
When working after hours, Filius Flitwick always believed that one should be done by eight no matter what, so as to enjoy a brandy or a light snack with friends before turning in for the night. And as the time neared, he couldn't wait to sit with Professor McGonagall and enjoy their weekly cup of whiskey before heading off to bed.
So wasn't he surprised when he opened his door and found himself face to face with the unlikeliest group of students he could've thought up.
"Mr. Potter? Mr. Granger? Ms. Malfoy? Ms. Greengrass?" he asked in surprise.
"Good evening Professor." Ms. Malfoy began respectfully, "We wanted to ask if you would allow us to use the old Dueling Hall."
"The Dueling Hall?" he pondered, "why yes, i'm certain I could unlock it for you, but I must ask why?"
"For training purposes Professor," mr. Potter spoke up, "Mal-er...Hermione is helping me train for the Triwizard tournament, but we need somewhere to practice."
Flitwick nodded in understanding, "Understand Mr. Potter that we professors are incapable of truly helping you in the tournament."
All four seemed to deflate at his answer, "but," he began with a sly grin, "if i were to...say forget to lock the dueling hall tomorrow after i walk through...and mayhaps drop the key...then there's really nothing I can do to stop any student from using it."
Mr. Potter and Ms. Malfoy shared a smile, "it would be a shame if that were to happen Professor." Ms. Malfoy said.
"Well then, I'll be off, you four should be getting to your common rooms, curfew is coming soon after all." he said Jovially, ushering them off, he watched them leave as they gave him parting farewells as they went towards the entrance hall.
"Well, tonight's topic will definitely be a fun one." Flitwick said with a chuckle as he turned to walk towards the direction of Gryffindor tower. "It looks like someone owes me a couple of Galleons!"
'That went well." Daphne said as they walked.
"Definitely," Draco agreed, "I figured it'd take a little more convincing."
"Professor Flitwick is a professor most at ease with bending the rules." Hermione said smugly, "he also does what he can for his favorite students."
"So it's a good thing you came along." Harry said to Draco.
"Hardly," Hermione muttered, then louder, said, "actually, you're one of his favorites Po-Harry." she corrected herself, it still confused her that Harry had used her first name when talking with Flitwick, but if he was going to be using hers, then she may as well return the favor.
Harry, for his part, blushed at hearing her use his first name, "i'm one of his favorites?" He asked.
"You do catch on to charms faster then the rest of us." Draco said, giving Hermione a curious look before looking to Daphne, who nodded slightly.
"Either way it's good that he's letting us use the dueling room so freely, we can start practice tomorrow with whatever spells we can find in the library, and then we can work on whatever mother can send me from the Malfoy Library." they stopped as they stepped into the entrance hall.
"I say we meet up tomorrow after classes to research and begin practice." Hermione stated, "so long as no one has anything else to do."
"I'll have to reschedule my oboe practice." Draco said dryly, making both slytherin girls look at him in confusion.
"That was a joke."
"Not a funny one." Harry sighed, looking to Hermione, "Thank you, for helping me...and believing in me."
Hermione's eyes brightened ever so slightly, "it's my pleasure P-Harry." she corrected, "Just...do try not to disappoint me.' Daphne turned away from the boys to hide the roll of her eyes.
"Not a chance." Harry said with an uncomfortable grin.
"Good," she said as she and Daphne began walking towards the stairs leading to the Dungeons, "we bid you both goodnight."
Harry and Draco watched them leave and left as soon as they were out of sight, "well, that was awkward." Draco said as they began walking back up the stairs, " 'do try not to disappoint me'." Draco mimicked, "like she's a professor or a relative or something."
"Yeah that was a bit awkward wasn't it…" Harry grimaced, "from the sounds of it we'll be busy tomorrow."
"That we will be…" Draco trailed off, "you know...you didn't have to make her apologize to me…"
"It was an apology long overdue." Harry said solemnly, "if she wants to be around either of us then she'll have to at least have apologized to my best friend."
Draco smiled, "Thanks Harry…" he murmured, "Now come on, lets get some sleep, big day tomorrow, second date with your girlfriend after all."
"Not my girlfriend." Harry grumbled, his good cheer gone.
"Mhmm, whatever you say."
Daphne was able to hold her tongue until the two were securely behind the door of their room, "Really Hermione?" she asked with a raised eyebrow, " 'do try not to disappoint me'? Are you his professor or his mum?"
"I...didn't know what else to say." she mumbled, uncharacteristically embarrassed.
Daphne sighed and practically collapsed onto her bed, "Merlin help me," she groaned, "there were a million other things you could have possibly said that wouldn't have made the end of the night so awkward. You could've just said goodnight and been done with it!"
Hermione turned red, "well then, perhaps next time i'll leave the farewells to you."
"Oh no, I won't deal with Potter anymore then I have to, the boy may be good with practical magic, but he's also as thick as a troll. i' m sure he'll have me tearing my precious hair out at the roots."
"He's not that bad." Hermione defended him, "yes he's a bit thick, but he catches on as fast as any boy could be expected to."
"Mhmm…" Daphne sat up and stared at her friend, still red in the face as she sat at her desk, her hands playing with an eagle feather quill. "I'll leave it to your judgement then." she said, then fidgeted, "so...did you really mean that apology to Granger? Or was that all for Potter's benefit?"
"I meant what I said." hermione said stiffly, "it was inappropriate for me to have called him that, and had we been closer I would have apologized a lot sooner." she stood and went to her wardrobe, pulling out her night things, "as it is he's still not one I like to associate with, he's as uncouth as Weasley."
"His humor certainly leaves a lot to be desired." Daphnea greed, "but…"
"But what Daphne?" Hermione asked in exasperation.
"But...nothing…" Daphne finished, "never mind, let's get ready for bed."