Admiring the Stars | D. Malfoy

Chapter 18

 You sit in the Great Hall in your usual spot, to the left of Millicent and across from Malfoy. The two of you have been on relatively decent terms lately. He doesn't seem to be as rude as he usually is, and, in turn, you are halfway decent to him.

The Great Hall was beautiful tonight. The Christmas feast was magnificent, with all kinds of foods spread across the tables and artificial snowflakes tumble from the ceiling, disappearing just before they reach your head. You weren't able to experience the beauty of it all last year since you had decided to go home for Christmas with your family. However, this year, you sent a letter to your Mum a week prior asking if you could stay. She was very hesitant at first due to everything going on about the petrification and Chamber of Secrets, but eventually, she relented, letting you spend Christmas with your friends.

You had just finished your plate, tapping Millicent's' shoulder and taking her attention from the piles of snacks she had stacked on her plate. When she looked up from her plate, you let her know that you would wait for her in the common room.

You stood from your seat, along with Malfoy, who also seemed to be finished with his dinner for the night, and began to make your way through the hallways. You both walk silently through the corridors; the only sound accompanying you is the tapping of your feet on the stone floors.

Your mind began to wander as your body went on autopilot towards the common room. You hadn't even realized that you were at the entrance until you heard Malfoy whisper the password. He let you go in first. You nodded your head at him in thanks and walked towards one of the leather couches, grabbing a book that you left on one of the side tables. You wanted to wait for Millicent to get back before you headed to your dorm room.

You look up from your book to see Malfoy awkwardly sit down on the opposite end of the couch, closest to the fireplace. You rose your brow in a silent question. He seems like he doesn't know what to do without Crabbe and Goyle to accompany him.

He finally looked at you, awkwardness hanging in the air. "Why didn't go you home for Christmas this year, L/n?" A question that you weren't expecting from him.

You close your book, setting it back on the nightstand. "Well, I went home last year and I really wanted to see what Hogwarts would be like during the season," you smile. "Why didn't you go home this year?" A fair question.

Malfoy simply shifted in his seat uncomfortably, gaze trained on one of the windows that showed the Black Lake. "I wonder where Crabbe and Goyle are?" He stands from the couch. "I'll go find them."

"Oh... well, while you're out there, can you find out if Millicent is still out there too? You don't have to, but I'm beginning to get worried."

He nods and walks away, leaving you alone with your thoughts. You sigh and grab the book you had abandoned and began reading alone once more.

—∞—

Malfoy returned shortly after with Crabbe and Goyle trailing behind him. You stand up from your seat, quickly setting the book down on the side table. "Any sign of Millicent?" You ask wearily.

Draco just shook his head and plopped back down on the side of the couch closest to the fireplace. You stare out the large door, waiting to see if Millicent would come back anytime soon. She was your closest friend in Slytherin, and with all of the petrifications going on, how could you not worry?

Crabbe and Goyle remained standing as well, Malfoy notices. "Well sit down," he insists. Crabbe and Goyle plopped down on the couch opposite of Malfoy, exchanging nervous glances. Draco looks at you next, noticing that you still stood anxiously staring at the door. "Sit down, Ln. Stop worrying so much, I'm sure your friend will come soon."

You break your gaze from the door and take your seat next to Malfoy once more. He nods and begins speaking. "You'd never know the Weasley's were purebloods, the way they behave." you began to glare at the boy next to you. He simply ignores you and continues. "They're an embarrassment to the wizarding world. All of them."

"What did they ever do to you Malfoy?" Your glare seems to intensify. You break your gaze when you notice Crabbe bunching his hand into a fist on his knee and making an expression that you assume to be anger. You press your eyebrows together in confusion, as does Malfoy.

"What's up with you, Crabbe?"

Crabbe responds in a low voice. "Stomachache," you exchange a glance with Draco, silently agreeing that the excuse is valid. You know how much Crabbe eats, he and Goyle seem to have competitions every now and then during lunch, so it's reasonable that the boy would get a stomachache eventually. However, you remain vigilant, noticing that Draco's goons are acting a bit stranger than usual tonight.

Draco looks back at the goons. "You know, I'm surprised that the Daily Prophet hasn't done a report on all these attacks. I suppose Dumbledore's trying to hush it all up. Father always said that Dumbledore was the worst thing that ever happened to this place." You couldn't agree nor disagree with the boy, not knowing Dumbledore well enough to have an opinion on the matter, so you stayed silent.

Goyle, however, doesn't. "You're wrong!" Both you and Malfoy looked surprised at the exclamation.

You stare at Goyle, sensing his uneasiness, while Draco stood up and towered over the nervous boy. "What? You think there's someone here who's worse than Dumbledore?" Crabbe shook his head, and Goyle looked down. "Well? Do you?!"

"Harry Potter?" Goyle rose his head once more to looks Malfoy in the eyes.

Malfoy sniffed and smirked at the boy. "Good one, Goyle. You're absolutely right." Draco seemed to buy the excuse, but you noticed something odd about the relief in the boys' faces. You remain quiet about your thoughts, trying to see if one of them would slip up again. "Saint Potter. And people actually think that he's the heir of Slytherin."

You decide that now is the time to act. "Well, Malfoy, Harry isn't all too bad once you get to know him." You narrow your eyes at Crabbe and Goyle, watching and waiting like a fox watching the hen house.

They respond exactly as you expected. Suppressing a smile. You looked at Malfoy, and he stares back at you with a confused look. "Whatever," Malfoy began walking around the couch.

Goyle snaps out of his daze at your 'compliment' and asks Malfoy if he knows anything about who might be behind the petrifactions. Draco stops at a desk to your left, "You know I don't, Goyle. I told you yesterday," you began listening intently to the information that seemed to be handed out to you like candy. Draco picks up a box. "How many times do I have to tell you?" He shakes the small gift next to his ear and gestures it to Goyle. "Is this yours?" Goyle shook his head, and Draco pocketed the gift box. You gave him a disapproving stare and shook your head as well when he rose his eyebrow in a silent question.

"But my father did say this: It's been fifty years since the Chamber was opened. He wouldn't tell me who opened it— only that they were expelled— but I know this: the last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened, a Mudblood died," you raised your eyebrows in shock. "So it's only a matter of time before one of them's killed this time. As for me... I hope it's Granger."

You abruptly stand up and punch Malfoy in the arm, distracting him from Crabbe and Goyle's escape. He winced and grabbed where you struck. "What's the matter with you, L/n?" You glare at the boy as he turns to see his goons missing. "Where did Crabbe and Goyle run off to?"

You rolled your eyes and walked off to your dorm, willing to wait for Millicent's return there.

—∞—

You made your way to the hospital wing the following morning after ensuring Millicent was well and in the dorm last night. You walked in to see Ron and Harry with piles of books next to Hermione, who was lying in one of the hospital beds.

"Harry. Ron." You saunter up to them, an angry look plastered on your face. "Hello, Hermione, I hope you're feeling well," you smile at your friend. The glare returns when you look back at the two boys next to you. "Were you in the Slytherin common room last night posing as Crabbe and Goyle—"

You were cut off by all three of them shushing you. Hermione speaks for the two idiots, as she would probably be the only one that you're willing to listen to at the moment. "Yes, they were. We just needed to see if Malfoy knew anything about the Chamber of Secrets."

You shook your head at her, upset that they didn't just ask you to ask him. "Hermione, you realize that you could've asked me to talk with Malfoy and I probably could have gotten the information out of him. You all put yourselves in a situation where you could have gotten into serious trouble. Even worse, Hermione, you were put in the hospital wing!"

"Yes, we're sorry for not telling you. But...." Hermione began waving her hands around awkwardly to try and explain herself. "Listen, I can't tell you right now, but me, Harry, and Ron need to do this ourselves. We just can't risk you telling someone or slipping up to any other Slytherins."

You shook your head once again at all three and just walked away. If they wanted to do this themselves, then fine. They can get into trouble without you worrying about a single thing.

A week passes as you refrained from speaking with any of the Golden Trio. You were happy with just talking to Millicent and some other Slytherins in your classes. You needed to make more friends in your house anyway. When Hermione asks if you were willing to study with her later that day, you, albeit hesitantly, agree.

You both sit in your usual spot, in the back and next to the window that looks over the grounds. Hermione apologized on the way to the library and wondered if you were willing to help her research the Chamber of Secrets.

You reluctantly agreed, the plan of studying being thrown out the window. However, you didn't get much done because you excused yourself to play a wizard chess game with Millicent in the common room. You had been strategizing lately into seeing if you could actually win a game against her, and you both planned to play tonight.

Hermione smiled and let you go, saying that she was just going to pack up and leave soon after you.

—∞—

The next day, you were called into the hospital wing.

You walked in awkwardly, not knowing why you had been called just yet, when you see Hermione laying petrified in a bed, holding a mirror up. You gasp and run over to your friend leaning over her body in the bed to see if there was any semblance of life.

Apparently, you were called in for questioning, as you were the last person to see Hermione the previous night. You let the professors know everything you could before turning back to Hermione's frozen form.

Harry and Ron were soon to rush in after you were finished answering questions, Madam Pomfrey trailing behind them. You wipe your eyes, wondering when the tears started falling and looked at Harry and Ron. "I'm— I'm sorry. I didn't think that leaving Hermione last night would land her into a hospital bed. I'm so sorry, if I had known—"

Ron cut you off. "Y/n, it's not your fault that Hermione is petrified. She went off on her own after you left. It's not your fault."

You hesitantly nod, sitting down in a chair net to Hermione's bed. You stayed for as long as you could before Madam Pomfrey ordered you to go back to your common room for the night.