Pardon My French

By Violet Beck

Arc I :: Quelle Chance!

Chapter Six :: The Plot Increases in Viscosity

 

I'm ashamed of it, but I spent the night in the kitchen. It was warm, it was dry, the house elves had several blankets they had no qualms about sharing...yeah, I know, very slick of me. Extremely high class. Father would just die. And most likely take me with him. Bleeding. And in pain.

But enough about that. Anyway, one of them (who I guessed was female, but one never really knows) woke me up this morning, and sent me on my way home with a mug of hot coffee and a muffin for the journey. Nice folk, the house elves. I miss our old one from back home quite horribly. Damn Potter, he convinced our Dobby that he should be a free elf.

Potter. Ugh. I discarded that image best I could, which wasn't too well, unfortunately. I munched on my muffin as I headed down to the dungeons to look for Severus. Something had to be done about my luck's bizarre disappearance last night, and the first thing I needed to fix it was information.

I unhappily skipped the small passage that would take me back to Slytherin House and kept on towards the Potions classroom. Snape rose earlier than most teachers to prepare his lessons, thank the gods, otherwise I would never have time to talk to him. He's proved to be an invaluable resource through my days at Hogwarts.

He was bent over a cauldron already when I walked in.

"Morning," I said lazily, and walked over.

He didn't look up.

"What brings you here, Draco?" he asked as he sifted some powdered Ice Pixie wings into the thick, pearly brew.

"I need to know something," I said, and carefully tucked my right hand--the hand with the ring on it--into my robe pocket.

Severus smirked, which, in Snapespeak, is about the same as a comfortable chuckle. "What is it now? Because I'm making this potion to remedy the ill effects of a recent slew of ill-cast Transfiguration spells on students."

I put on my favorite Innocent Look. "What? Me? Curse Gryffindors? Why would I do that?"

Severus rolled his eyes delicately, and didn't offer answer to this. Some sort of dried fungi was popped into the mix. Yuck. It suddenly bubbled frothy, sickening pink. He handed me a thick wooden spoon (enchanted not to burn, most likely) and I started stirring without question.

"Fifty-one strokes," he said calmly. "Anyway, the question of the day was...?"

"I want to know about lucky charms," I told him.

Severus was rooting through his supply cupboard. "Which sort of lucky charms?"

"The ones that work."

Another smirk. "There aren't a whole lot of those, you know."

"Yeah, yeah." I was nearing twenty-five stirs, and the pink froth in the cauldron had gone to a silvery lavender. "Particularly, I want to know about lucky rings."

Suddenly, Severus was at my side again. "Why do you ask that?"

I'm really good at this whole lying thing. "Oh, I just heard some of the kids in an older year talking about them. Are they dangerous, or something?"

Snape looked shrewdly at me, and suddenly grabbed the spoon from my hands. "That's fifty-one already. You miscounted," he said, unreadable as ever. He gently placed a pair of Veela hairs into the cauldron in an 'X' on top of the thick solution.

"Sit down," he commanded, giving me the patented Evil Eye.

I obeyed. "I really don't have one," I told him. Honesty Eyes. A real killer, and a great counter-attack to Evil Eyes.

"I don't believe you," Snape said, "but that's not going to help me get it out of you." He sighed as he turned to fully face me. "I want you to know, however, that there are very few of those rings out there. And every last one was made by a very strong Dark wizard. Making every last one of them very, very dangerous."

My brow furrowed. "How is that?"

Severus really smiled now: a cold, mirthless smile that made his thin, bony face a mask of sad truth. "The most frightening magic out there is the type that manipulates minds, young sir. Imperius, which enslaves the mind. Cruciatus, which convinces the mind that it is in great pain. The Amavi Potion, which tells the mind that it is in love. Luck Rings, and other powerful lucky charms, have a nasty tendency to read your mind."

Okay, this was getting stupid. "Why's that bad?" I asked, wrinkling my nose.

He stared at me like I was a moron. "Draco, most of the time you don't really want to do what you think. In fact, if we did some of the things we thought, we'd be in Azkaban!"

"Oooh, scary. Melodramatic, too."

His lip twitched. "Don't bait me, boy, and don't drive me off the subject. Luck Rings, the longer you have them, gain increasing abilities to peer into your soul. And blindly, they open doors for you to do your innermost desires."

"And?"

"And the world isn't ready to become the prey of a Malfoy's twisted mind. Malfoys aren't ready for their own twisted minds!"

Now, my lip was twitching. I hoisted myself off of the work bench, staring Severus in the eyes. "I'm not Father," I growled at him. "Even if I had a ring, I could handle it. I'm not the fucking toot of all evil, here."

He returned the gaze, icy cool. "Oh, right, you're his son," he deadpanned, and motioned to my mug of coffee. "Give me that, you're giving me a headache."

Grudgingly, I picked it up, and I was in the middle of handing it to him when two really, really unwelcome puzzle pieces fit together hideously well in my busy little head.

The coffee cup hit the ground with an explosive crash.

I'd been wearing the ring. The ring never fails. The ring can read your mind. My mind had told the ring that I wanted to be put in compromising situations with--

"ARGH!" I yelped.

Severus was pissed. Pissed as in...well, really, really pissed. "You spazzing animal!" he yelled. "Go! Get out of here! Realize things about your copious amount of mistakes on your own time! Leave, BEFORE I TURN YOU INTO A FERRET!"

That did it. I was out of there, because I knew from Snape's voice that he wasn't kidding around. He could clean up the damn coffee. It had changed ownership anyway, right before it fell, so he should clean it up, right!?

Oh, fuck the coffee! I'm subconsciously in love with my own worst enemy!

I sped off to find a wall to bang my head against. Preferably in my dorm room. ALONE. With a few liters of cyanide as a nightcap after my hard day's work of self-flagellation.

Chapter Five | Chapter Seven


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