Pardon My French

By Violet Beck

Arc I :: Quelle Chance!

Chapter Thirteen :: Homicidal Maniacs

 

I slept for a long time, and when I woke, I honestly had no idea what hour it was. It was dark, however--that much was clear--and the dormitory was utterly empty. Last-night-of-school revelries for everyone else. Most of the Slytherins were out skinny-dipping with the giant squid, no doubt. For a few moments, I was a mind to run off in my skivvies and join them, but instead I just rolled over and groaned.

I couldn't bring myself to smile or make fun of anyone's water-shrunken privates at the moment. I couldn't really bring myself to do anything but sit quietly and long for a time a couple of weeks in the past, when everything was still okay.

Someone was banging around in the common above. Sounded as though they'd just knocked over some furniture. I felt no urge to go up and explore.

Damn it. Damn that gods-forsaken ring! Lucky, ha! More like the worst luck a guy could possibly have, finding that piece of shit. Suddenly, my former oblivion looked downright pleasant. I decided that either Weasley or Potter was wearing it right now, therefore making me metaphorically suck life's cock.

I had no lover, no cat and no mentor. I feebly muttered Asmodeus's name, but I already knew he wasn't in the room.

A pair of feet on the stairs. There was a bloody steeplechase going on outside my dorm, and I couldn't bring myself to care. Wow, my world really was ending.

I started to care pretty fast, though, the second the door flew open, revealing Potter.

He stumbled inside, clearly both disoriented and terrified, shut the door behind himself, and stared helplessly at me. I leapt to my feet. His green eyes were huge and his glasses were slightly askew. He didn't tap them back into place.

"What--" I started to ask, and then stopped dead as the pounding of many feet down the stairs nearly deafened me. I chomped down on my lip, rather hard.

Explanations and mutual hatred could come later. Whatever was going on outside was very bad, and though Bad usually didn't bother me, this instance of Bad failed to include me. Making it, well, um, the Big Bad. And I supposed it would be in my best interest to do something about the Big Bad before it got off its ass and turned into the Big Worse.

After this stunning revelation, the old "less bark and more bite" adage went into action.

I pointed my wand at Potter. His eyes shot to the size of teacups, but he didn't have the time to bolt and I didn't have the time to explain jack shit.

"Felis!" I exclaimed, and pressed every ounce of magic in my soul through the wand.

Potter made a coughing sound, and some unknown internal force threw him forward onto all fours. In a crazy flashing movement, he'd shrunk to a sixth of his size and become exceedingly furry and...catlike.

I didn't believe it, but I'd actually done it.

A pair of taped-together glasses fell beside the petrified Cat-Potter, and I kicked them under the bed, adequately shattering them, just as the door slammed open and shattered some of the plaster off of the wall.

The intruder was, most predictably, Damson Celestinne. And she looked like the Scourge of Hell incarnate. (See the Book of Revelations, arguably the best part of the Bible.)

"Where is he!?" she roared, and Cat-Potter leapt into my arms and hung on for dear life, claws and all.

"Where is who!?" I snapped. "You psychotic bitch! I'm here alone!" My acting rocks.

Down the boys' dormitory corridor, I could hear other doors opening. Obviously, the Queen had her whole Toolbox on the prowl. Big fun going down tonight. I was slightly worried. Was one intruding Gryffindor worth all this?

Damson thudded to her skinny knees, and rooted around under all the beds in record time. The wardrobe was thrown open, as were a few trunks. I stomped after her, bellowing all the way. Potter was making shreds of my robes with his bloody little claws. I wanted to chuck him, but couldn't risk somehow disrupting my already-fragile spell.

I snatched at Damson's shoulder as she went for my trunk. "Stay out of there!" I yelled. "I don't know who you think you--"

In about half an instant, I'd been slammed against the wall so hard that the breath was knocked clean out of me. Still clinging to my neck, Cat-Potter hissed violently and made a flying dash for safety. Meanwhile, I choked on my own throat as Damson's fist found my stomach. My face grew hot from oxygen deprivation as I struggled to regain myself. She was too cruel to even allow me to double up on the ground; instead, she pinioned my arms on either side of me, and held them high. Makeshift crucifixion, if you will. Another scene from the Bible came back to me, and quickly left my mind as the first gasp of merciful air made it back into my lungs.

"Who do I think I am?" Damson snarled. I looked into her eyes, and knew instantly that she was no longer a girl, but a beast. "I think that I am a vessel. His vessel. And I think that you, Malfoy, are getting in my way. You and that stupid goddamn sidekick of a cat you were just fondling!"

This was starting to sound dangerous.

"My father will kill you," I wheezed. "Don't touch me. He'll kill you. Let go of me." My brain felt like a broken Repeater spell. Should have gotten more sleep.

"Oh, so your daddy will beat me up?" she sneered. "Brave. Very brave of you."

Cough, gasp. "Bite me."

She released my arms and I thudded to the ground at her feet. "You're in trouble now," she hissed. "I don't know how you did it, but I know you got him out of here. My Lord needed Potter. He's got my Lord's Life Debt, from the resurrection, and now you're going to pay."

Looks like Sevvie made an ickle tiny miscalculation on who had the Life Debt. This was pleasant. I bit my lip and prayed someone would hear the racket soon.

Someone, anyone.

She got to her knees and grabbed my chin in her bony hands. "I chased him in here. I was going to capture him for my Lord. You ruined this--!"

The sudden stop made my gaze shoot wildly around. Damson's hand tentatively reached down and picked up something she had knelt upon.

The ring--Harry must have dropped it, like his glasses.

"I knew it," she growled, her voice deep and cold and possessed. "I knew it would have found you."

At this moment, I lost my last semblance of composure. I struggled to get away from her but she would not release me. "What are you talking about?" I gasped. My voice came out shallow and high-pitched.

"IT WAS FOR ME!" she bellowed. She was insane. She was a beast. "My Lord made it. My Lord's servants planted it where Potter would find it! HE SAID I COULD HAVE IT WHEN--"

"What the hell are you talking about?" I said, struggling for breath. Her nails cut into my neck, my chin.

She calmed slightly, and pulled me closer so I had to stare straight into her deep, mad eyes. "That ring," she breathed. Her breath was foul. "The house elves--the loyal ones--they put it in Gryffindor Tower. Potter's friends found it, as was planned. Potter desires two things: one, his parents; two, to kill my Lord. The ring, it's lucky. It would brought him closer to my Lord without his knowing, and closer to me, so he could carry out his wish. It's lucky, you see." She took a gasping pant. Her lips curved into a perverted smile. "The ring, it's attracted to those who serve the one who made it. It would lead him back to here, back to this House, with great power. That was the plan. It would lead him, then I would capture him. I would bring him to my Lord, whose servants cannot kill him, and we would transfer the Debt--"

"You have nothing!" I yelled suddenly, pulling myself half-upright. The hoarse cry tore my throat. "Nothing, you hear me!? You're insane! Look what this has done to you! You're no more than that ring--JUST A BLOODY TOOL!"

A moment of dead quiet, save the soft thuds of searching from the other dormitories. Her eyes narrowed to horrible little slits, and I realized that I had just said the exact thing that she'd never, ever wanted to hear.

And for this, she pointed her wand at my forehead.

"What's it to you, Draco?" she purred, more dangerous than I'd ever heard her before. Her face was red. Her breath was fast. "You're about to die."

I stared up at her, too proud to beg, too terrified to move. She was completely...fucking...serious.

God, please save me.

"CELESTINNE!" A voice suddenly yelled from the hall, and Damson whirled to find Severus Snape standing in the open door in his full right-hand-of-evil glory.

Noise in the other rooms stopped short.

Damson leapt to her feet like the stupid, terrified schoolgirl she was, and trembled as Severus advanced on her. In one swift, sharp movement, he had snatched her wand from her hand and cracked it in two. Blue sparks exploded in all directions.

"You are expelled," he said coldly and finally. "I am taking you to the Headmaster this instant. It is utterly unforgivable to attack another student with intentions of murder. And in your own House! One hundred points from Slytherin."

Her lips fell open as she stared up at him, completely horror written all over her face. "But..." she said, unable to articulate. "But--"

"'But' nothing," Severus growled. "I heard everything." He took a firm hold of her shoulder, and then spoke to just the two of us in no more than a whisper: "This was not the mission, Ms. Celestinne."

He dragged her out, and stared rabidly around the hall, obviously at the other Tools who were emerging, terror-stricken, from dorms. He tried to say a number of things, but all that came out was, "I'll deal with the rest of you later!"

I quietly shut my dormitory door behind the two of them, and I heard Damson's terrified protests all the way up the stairs.

I exhaled, and slid down to sit at the foot of my bed. My head fell into my hands, and I panted until my heartbeat started to fall back in the direction of normalcy.

A soft, furry nose against my hand brought me back to reality. I heard a meow.

It wasn't Asmodeus.

"Oh, yeah," I muttered, and looking down, I pointed my wand at him. "Finite Incantatem."

The cat sneezed, fell back onto his haunches, and a lot of fur disappeared very fast until a rather disheveled Potter was sitting beside me. Harry groped momentarily under the bed, retrieved his utterly destroyed glasses, and managed to hold the one un-shattered lens up to one of his eyes.

He looked truly ridiculous. I quirked my eyebrows, and snickered very rudely. The sound was a great release.

"Can it," he sighed, and dropped the ruined glasses into his lap. "I think I've just destroyed these for the last time."

"Oh, the drama," I said, and got to my feet. "I just almost got destroyed for the last time. Forget your stupid glasses and get out."

He stood as well, and dusted himself off. A few stray cat furs wafted off of his robes.

"How'd you get here, anyway?" I asked, looking him up and down.

"Actually..." He glanced around the floor, and picked up the ring where Damson had dropped it. "I was coming to return this to you. I mean, well, not you, expressly--I was just going to...uh, pawn it off on the first Slytherin I saw. And then that girl came after me, and I sort of wound up down here."

He offered me the ring.

"Why should I have it!?" I exclaimed, and shoved his hand away. "I don't want it."

"Um...it's your type of thing," Potter said, and shoved it towards me again.

"Bullshit to that," I snapped. "I said, I don't want it!"

"Well you'd better take it!" he cried. "It's given me nothing but trouble! Ron and Hermione, always winding up alone together. And there was this horrible explosion in Defense Againstthe Dark Arts while Ron was wearing it. And when Herm lost it, my gods--"

I cut him off. "Just chuck in the fire and be done with it, then."

"Been there, tried that," he said. "It won't melt like normal lead."

"A lake, then."

"Listen, can't you just take it?"

"No."

"For the love of god, now I'm sitting here, blind as a bat, with you! I could have died a minute ago! It's horrible luck for me!"

"Actually," I snapped, "it's good luck for everyone. You're just a masochist."

He stared at me as though something rather strange had just dawned on him.

I stared back. "What...?" I asked nervously after a second.

"Hermione said you'd had it for quite a few days when she got it back from you," he said.

"Yeah.And?"

He looked very, very disturbed. "You were wearing it that...time in the cabinet, weren't you?"

My cheeks went bright crimson. "NO!" I yelped.

His eyes were huge. "You were! Oh lord, you're gay! And you're in love with me!"

"No I'm not!" I yelled. "You probably are! I mean--argh! The ring--the ring--" I smacked my hands over my eyes and thudded down on my bed. "Get out of here," I groaned. "I don't ever want to ever see you again."

"Same to you!" he yelled, and charged out of the room. He ran into the doorframe.

"Stupid fucking shit," I said bitterly, watching him moan and push himself upright from right where I sat. "And you don't even say thank you, you bloody rude bastard!"

In a second, he was back on his feet looking incredulous.

"You want a thank you?" he asked, staring.

"Yes, seeing as I just saved your bloody life," I growled, and got to my feet as well.

Potter sneered at me. "Well now, thank you very excruciatingly much then, Draco Malfoy," he said. "Have a lovely summer at Death Eater Camp."

I cuffed him across the head for that, and he jumped me. We went down in a flurry of robes and cat fur and really horrible curse words. I landed a punch in his nose and he punched me in the sore gut. Cheater. I'm telling you, that's the only reason he ended up on top.

He stared down at me in disgust, pinning me miserably. A trickle of blood ran down his lip from his nose. "I don't even know why I'm fighting you," he growled.

"Oh, I quite agree," I drawled sarcastically. "This is very pathetic. Now, if you'll get off of me, I'm going to go be very gay and pine over why you don't love me. You're such a stupid ponce, Potter!"

He didn't move, just sort of watched my eyes.

"You think we really want to sleep with each other?" he said slowly. "Or is that ring completely perverted?"

I couldn't even believe he was saying this.

"That's a very hard question to answer when you're lying on top of me," I muttered distastefully.

"Hm," he said noncommittally. Then Potter leaned over, and kissed me on the mouth.

His lips were cool and wet, not to mention altogether unexpected. Warmth coursed through my body as his tongue reached into my open mouth and stroked mine, carefully feeling me out. Weakly, my fingers closed on the collar of his robe, and pulled him down to me.

Wait, was this what I wanted!? Snogging on my bedroom floor with my own worst enemy!? Of course not! Maybe.

He broke the kiss.

"I think I'm going insane," he said matter-of-factly, looking helplessly down at my face with his blurry vision.

"That's two of us," I muttered, and grabbing his tie, I yanked him down again. He breathed out against my lips before they met his, a little surprised. I didn't care. He'd just jumped me in my own room, and he expected me to let him out with just one kiss?

Potter shoved me forcefully away, panting now. "Whoa, whoa...this is a bad idea," he said, sitting back. "I'll--I'll go. Forget this."

"Really?"I said, sitting up into him and planting my hands firmly on his waist.
"How about I don't?"

He licked his lips nervously and shifted on top of me, and I suddenly realized that this was, without a doubt, precisely what I wanted. So sue me. I wanted Harry Potter.

"Thank you," he said suddenly, dead earnest. "You...you got me out of trouble big-time tonight. Really."

I let a smile twitch my lips. "You're welcome."

Shyly, he raised a hand to my cheek, and kissed me. For real and for certain. Soft, plying, innocent. I closed my eyes, and kissed him back.

For one moment, everything felt okay. In a crazy sort of okay way.

Chapter Twelve | Chapter Fourteen


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