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Chapter 14 : The Black Lake
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Draco Malfoy stood on the edge of the black lake. Crabbe and Goyle had left him for the day to gorge themselves on sweets. Draco threw another stone into the lake and watched as the ripples spread out then disappeared.
He watched as Hermione Granger walked along the edge of the lake toward him. Draco threw another stone into the lake. Hermione made it to Draco and stood behind him for a moment. Draco grimaced and threw another rock in. Finally, he turned.
“What do you want, you stupid little...girl.”
Hermione brushed her bushy hair back from her eyes. “I wanted to make sure we were clear that you aren’t going to speak to anyone about this summer.” Hermione mumbled.
“Snape’s already talked to me, alright.” Draco fumed, turning back to the lake.
Hermione sat down on the rocky shore.
“What are you waiting for? Leave!” Draco crossed his arms, trying to ignore her.
“I wanted to ask you a question.” Hermione mumbled.
There it was. Draco growled and shifted on his feet. It was always the same with people from the other houses. Are you really evil? Are you really a death eater? I heard your father killed all sorts of people. They can all bugger off.
“Did my dad ever talk about me when you were little?” Hermione asked, looking at the horizon instead of Malfoy.
Malfoy turned to her, blank confusion on his face.
“You stayed with him a lot, when you were a kid, I mean. He said he’s your godfather.” Hermione fidgeted in the silence. “It’s just, he’s been avoiding me again this year, and sometimes I wonder...”
“He never spoke of you.” Malfoy murmured.
Hermione wrapped her arms around her knees and stared at the ground.
Draco sat down a few feet away, facing the lake. “When I was a kid, your room was off limits. One night, when I was seven or eight, Snape said he was going out for a walk. I don’t know where he went, but he always apperated somewhere else on nights like that. I was curious, and I figured he’d be gone for a few hours, so I slipped into your room.
“Everything was musty and gross. It looked like the room hadn’t been touched in years, but I’d seen Snape go in there almost every week. There was a crib in the corner that looked like it had never been used, and all of the fabric was moth eaten and covered in cobwebs. There was a rickety wooden chair next to the dresser and spread all across the dresser and the floor and hanging on the walls were all sorts of pictures and news paper clippings. Some looked like they were muggle-made. A bunch of the photos were too blurry to make much out, other than a house, or a street. There were a few baby photos.
“Then I heard Snape returning, so I ran out of your room. Before I could get back to my room, he grabbed me around the collar and started swearing at me and shaking me. He eventually let me go and I ran back to my room. All that night, I couldn’t sleep. He was wailing and moaning and mumbling from your room. I’d never seen him like that before. I haven’t since either.
“The next morning, your bedroom door was locked and stayed that way until this summer. Snape pretended like nothing had happened.” Draco leaned back on his hands. Both teens looked at the black lake instead of each other. “I always figured he’d had a wife and a baby that had died in the war. It was pretty common amongst our...at that time. So I didn’t say anything to him or anyone else about it.”
Draco grew quiet at the end of his story. Hermione didn’t say anything for a long time.
“I didn’t even know who he was until I got to Hogwarts. I grew up like any other girl.”
Draco had grown contemplative. He sat holding his knees to his chest and hating it. “That’s why you’ll always be a mud blood.” He suddenly said.
“Shut up, Malfoy!” Hermione stood up, kicked dirt at Malfoy, then left.
Draco stretched out on the cold ground once Hermione had left. He still didn’t feel better.
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