Admiring the Stars | D. Malfoy
You sat at your usual desk in Potions class. You continued to feel your head dip towards the parchment in front of you. Staying awake felt like trying to grasp a shadow— impossible. Professor Snape's monotonous voice hadn't been helping in the slightest. Needless to say, you haven't been getting enough sleep lately.
Ever since the news of Hermione's petrification, you had been stressing and staying up until the early hours of the morning, blaming yourself. You've been stuck in a downward spiral thinking if you had only stayed with her longer, or at least until she reached her common room, then maybe, just maybe, she would still be walking around and raising her hand in class to show off her knowledge like she always does.
You missed talking to her. You still go to the hospital wing every other day to describe how your classes have been. Sometimes, you would take a book you think she would like and read to her until Madam Pomfrey sends you back to the common room.
You don't realize that you've fallen asleep until you hear Professor Snape's voice right next to your desk. "Am I not entertaining you enough, Ms. L/n? Are you so bored that you find the need to fall asleep in my class?"
You don't look up to meet his eyes. "I'm sorry sir, it won't happen again."
"This is the second time that I have had to wake you up. Stay after class for detention, Ms. L/n." Snape turns around dramatically and returns to the front of the classroom to continue teaching.
You hear some Slytherins snickering at you for receiving detention. You look up to see Malfoy turning around in his seat to give you a concerned look, to which you give your best smile and shake your head.
Next to you, Millicent taps your shoulder and gives you a concerned look with a raised brow. You whisper that you're tired and she seems satisfied with that answer. You both returned your attention to the lesson before you, awaiting the end of the class.
The instant Professor Snape releases his students, Millicent puts her hand on your shoulder as she gets up. "I'll wait for you in the common room."
You nod and pack your things up, leaving your bag on your desk. You look up at Snape sitting at his own desk, already diving into the piles of parchment he needs to grade. You couldn't imagine grading so many essays all the time. "What is it that I'll be doing, Professor?"
Without looking up from his pile of papers, he instructs you without hesitation. "You will be cleaning the cauldrons without magic. I will escort you to your common room once you are finished." You nodded your head. The school was still on lockdown from all the attacks, so you weren't surprised when he said he would escort you.
"Your wand, please." Snape held out his hand and you gingerly placed your wand into it. You inwardly sighed at the thought of cleaning cauldrons and walked around the desks towards the broom closet. There, you found the sponge and other various cleaning products that were to be used. Then, you walked across the room again but took a turn towards the cauldrons and other potions materials.
Before you can reach your first cauldron, Professor Snape speaks breaks the silence. "Ms. L/n. If I may ask, why were you sleeping in my class today? You are usually one of my more tolerable students."
This was it; you finally reached your breaking point. You were able to keep all of your emotions at bay after Hermione was petrified. Still, you felt as if you couldn't hold in the grief of one of your friends being petrified any longer and decided to spill your feelings out to of all the professors— Professor Snape. "Well, I'm sure you've heard about Hermione Granger being petrified. I just— If I had stayed with her a little bit longer she wouldn't be petrified. I knew that there was something in the castle that seems to be after muggleborns and I still left her alone."
You continue your rambling. "She's one of the only few friends that I actually have and without her— I guess I just feel lonely at times. Millicent is an excellent friend, but she has other people that she likes to hang out with. So, when she does, I am just left alone. I can't force her to only hang out with me. What kind of friend would that make me?"
Snape just sighs and sets his quill down; his eyes look tired as he finally looks at you. "First of all, Ms. L/n, you need to come to terms that Ms. Grangers current predicament is in no way your fault. Even if you had stayed with her, there is nothing you, a second-year student, could have done to save her. The only difference you could have made is that you would also be in the hospital wing right now with her."
You stay silent throughout his response, mulling over his words carefully. "As for the other problem, you really just need to try befriending more Slytherins. I know that making friends can be hard, but it is even harder when you are not even trying. Ms. Bulstrode and Ms. Granger can not always be there for you. When they are gone, who are you going to turn to, Ms. L/n?"
You take your time to consider his question for a moment. "Ron Weasley and I used to be good friends, but he has been distracting himself from me recently. So, I don't know, sir."
Professor Snape nods. "That is a problem, Ms. L/n. You should always be sure that you have someone to turn to. That is just something to think about. Now, I advise you to get to cleaning those cauldrons because if I am not satisfied with the number cleaned, you will be here again tomorrow."
You nod and get to work, spending an hour cleaning the grime off of cauldrons. The only sounds accompanying you being the scrape of a quill on parchment and the scrubbing of a sponge on metal. For the first time in a week, you got a good night's rest.