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Wayward Son by La Klap

Format: Novel
Chapters: 11
Word Count: 76,402
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Romance, Angst, Young Adult
Characters: OC
Pairings: OC/OC, Draco/Pansy, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione

First Published: 10/20/2006
Last Chapter: 04/10/2008
Last Updated: 04/10/2008

Summary:
(Credit for the banner goes to the wonderful Alora.)
HPFF Recommended Story March 2007





Unwanted, unexpected and nearly unborn, but he's ignorant of it all. Join Draco Malfoy's son in an emotional rollercoaster ride through Hogwarts, starting in his fifth year, until he confronts his father. Does his father consider him a son? Or not a person at all? (not compatible with the DH epilogue)


Chapter 4: Chapter Three: Slithering

Disclaimer: Everything you recognise belongs to the wonderful J.K. Rowling. I thank her for being allowed to play with her characters and create my own little world with them. The name ‘Alucard’ was inspired by the Castlevania game series.

~*~

Chapter Three – Slithering

Help me to guard my tongue and learn to say the right thing at the right time for the right reason in the right way. Help me, too, to know when to keep my mouth shut. – Anonymous


~*~

There were those days when I sincerely wished I had been born a Squib. Today was one of them.

It was a beautiful sunny September day. Rays of sunlight and the sound of young students’ laughter drifted through the windows along with the wonderful scent of a nice Indian summer. You know, that mixture of grass, flowers, and just... the smell that made you want to dump down your books and run outside screaming like a maniac. Alas, that was not an option.

I aimlessly picked books from the shelf. A scent dulled by the air of old, dusty texts filled my nose. The library was the last place I wanted to be today, but I had so much homework it would be idiotic to disregard it and enjoy the afternoon. If I were a Squib, I would not have been at Hogwarts and thus, would not have had to do this disgusting load of homework.

Then again, I wouldn't have been able to do magic either, and that really would've sucked.

Nearly buckling under the weight of my much-needed books, I found my way back to my homework table, accidentally bumping into some Ravenclaw on the way. To my utter astonishment, there was someone sitting at the other end, who had not been there when I'd left to gather my information.

Louisa was writing an essay, occasionally alternating her gaze between the parchment and the enormous book next to her, which she seemed to be quoting from. She was doing it rather enthusiastically, as though she were writing a particularly good and promising paragraph. She smiled and nodded a little to herself, her hair gleaming from the sun that shone through a nearby window. I temporarily blocked all infatuated feelings from invading my mind. Whatever I was planning, I was not going to act like a lovesick fool. Slytherins weren’t lovesick. They weren't. Not me, anyway.

I unceremoniously dropped my stack of books onto the table, making Louisa jump in surprise. She looked up, and as soon as our gazes locked, she glared, her dark brown eyes hostile.

"What do you think you're doing? I'm sitting here."

"I was here first, Rosario," I said, taking my seat again with a flourish that wasn't exactly needed. "So if you don't like my company, I suggest you bugger off."

The words spilled from my mouth as if a stranger were saying them, making me give myself a mental beating. I wanted her to stay, not tell her to go somewhere else. But saying so would make my intentions or, ahem, feelings, blatantly obvious. Thus, I bit my tongue and started flipping through in the first book, Revolutionary Charms. What was my assignment again? What was, in your opinion, the most important Charm invented in the sixteenth century? It was something I would have expected in History of Magic, not Charms. Professor Flitwick must have run out of ideas. I wrote down the title of my essay and underlined it. I was bored with it already.

"Arrogant prick," I heard Louisa mutter under her breath. She had not moved at my remark. I chose to ignore her before I said anything more stupid, leafing through the textbook. The Fertilizing Charm was nice, but that one had been created in the seventeenth century, not the sixteenth...

After a while, I realized my attention was slipping away. Could you blame me, with such a pretty lady right in my view? Her long black hair was tied back into a ponytail like the one Bridget sported often, but a few strands escaped the elastic and danced around her face. In the time period when I was watching, they fell into her eyes at least three times, and she would impatiently tuck them back behind her ear. Suddenly her head shot up.

"Don't stare," she said, a bit unnerved. I raised my eyebrows, trying to prevent the blood from rushing to my face. Anybody who has ever blushed knows there's no way to do that.

"I wasn't."

"Yes, you were."

"No, I wasn't."

"Yes, you were."

"No, I wasn't."

"Yes, you were."

"Okay, I was."

"No you –" She hissed, her dark eyebrows knotting into a frown. "All right, you caught me."

The corners of my mouth turned up a little, though I wasn’t particularly cheerful. Why was she so... snappy with me? I couldn't remember anything I'd done to hurt her feelings, for I had, to be fair, never talked with her before. Unless she thought I was like –

"You don't have to be so smug," Louisa cut into my thoughts.

"I am not smug." Really, what gave her that idea? "Why are you behaving like I've done something to you? I'm just trying to have a civil conversation, but you keep biting my nose off."

"Because – I – you – you're a Malfoy," she said, as if that explained everything. She wrote down another sentence on her parchment. "And you're a Slytherin. You don't like Muggleborns like me."

Ah, my life would have been much easier if I didn't. "Yes, I'm a Slytherin, but frankly we've never said more than two words to each other before. What do you know about me?" I said, turning a page in my book. Those puny Gryffindors, thinking those nasty little Slytherins were all alike. Stupid bunch of... of... quite attractive girls...

Oh, Louisa, you drive me absolutely insane, do you know that?

"Well, your brother is a huge prat, and I've had quite a few run-ins with him so don't you dare suggest I don't know who he is." She was keeping her voice low, but her expression was angry. "And in general, family members are alike. Apple? Tree? Ring a bell? I have every reason to believe you are just out to mock and insult me. So there."

I sucked on my bottom lip, taking care not to throw vicious insults or stumbling apologies at her. She can't help it, I told myself. She's probably never had Slytherins being nice to her before, it's all new to her, and Aiden is a bit of a bully towards Ryan Rosario's siblings...

"Do you hate my brother?" she asked suddenly, as if she had been prying into my thoughts. “I mean, I know your brother does, so, I don’t know, maybe you –“

"You can't feel hate if you don't know love," I replied. Only when she stayed silent, fixing me with a disbelieving stare, did I realized I had said it out loud.

I felt my cheeks flame. Oh, damn... Don't think that was an innuendo, please don't... And don't get the impression I'm a whiny boy who had a lousy childhood and always got neglected, because that's not true... When she kept staring, I blushed even harder. I couldn't believe I'd said something so corny.

"You just made that up, right?" She sounded rather dubious, like I was making a fool of her.

"You can't think up the truth, now can you?"

Alucard Malfoy, from now on, you are not allowed to speak a word. Why don't you just ask her to marry you right away? Travel into the sunset, together forever?

"Louisa?" A young boy with dark brown hair almost reaching his shoulders and framed glasses on the bridge of his nose approached our table, saving Louisa and me the trouble of continuing the conversation. I recognised him as Alex Rosario, Louisa’s brother, who'd been sorted into Ravenclaw a week before. He hesitated slightly when he saw me, but then straightened his head and quickly walked over to his sister. "Louisa, I have to find this book for Potions, but I can't find it, it's so big in here... and there was a tall blond boy where I thought it was and he sent me away."

"Don't listen to tall blond boys, Alex," Louisa told him, flipping to the back of her book, probably to look something up in the register. "Especially if they're in Slytherin. Just tell him to go away himself."

"You're sitting with a tall blond boy who is in Slytherin," the boy said, eyeing me warily. I waggled my eyebrows at him and he diverted his gaze, turning red. Louisa sighed, and I could’ve sworn I saw an eye roll. Good-looking you may be, you’ve got to work on that attitude of yours, Miss I’m-so-much-better-than-you Rosario.

"Look, Alex, I'm busy. If you don't have the guts to get it yourself..."

The boy glanced at me again. "Y-you're a prefect," he stuttered, pointing at the badge on my chest. "You're supposed to help me, my House prefects said so!" He crossed his arms, smirking like he had just made some amazing statement.

I stared at the boy. Yes, I was a prefect, and yes, that meant I had to help the younger students find their way. And if I did... would I earn a place in Louisa's good book? If so, that would be well worth it. And it wasn’t a huge effort or anything. The way Louisa looked, it wasn't like she expected me to do it.

I shoved my essay in Revolutionary Charms so I would be able to find the page later and stood up. "What book are you looking for?"

The boy scuttled over and handed me a piece of parchment. Before looking at it, I met Louisa's eyes. Her slightly open mouth and raised eyebrows gave me immense satisfaction, since she had obviously not expected it. The book her brother was looking for was probably in the basic Potions section. I glanced down at the note. Of course it was. Before I took off, I turned to Alex and inclined my head at the chair I had just left.

"Keep my seat for me."

~*~

The next evening, I had to patrol the corridors, as it was part of my prefect duties. I had been looking for a new opportunity to talk with Louisa, just to show her I was not a pureblood-obsessed... pureblood. I had the feeling tonight would provide me with one. First of all, Sally had gone to the hospital wing a few hours before because she wasn't feeling well, and therefore I had to stroll through the castle all alone. How sad. And secondly... well, I knew I was going to run into her. I just knew.

I heard a rustled of robes around the corner, somewhere by the Defence classrooms. My curiosity awakened, I went looking, of course. And there, my presentiment was awarded. And I'm not a Divination student either. I must be a natural. Or a genius, I'm fine with either.

Louisa was standing in front of an old classroom door, a pained expression on her face as she tried to peek through a crack in it. In spite of my hunch she would be there, I still was rather surprised. She was a fourth year, and her curfew was nearing. She should have been in her common room by now.

I sneaked towards her, taking care not to make a sound. She hadn't noticed me yet as her attention was completely at whatever was happening inside the classroom. Only as I took the last step to stand right behind her, did she whirl around and muffle a gasp with her hand.

"Christ! Sheesh, I – you – Don't do that!" she breathed, her brown eyes wide. Confusion scattered through my brain. Christ? What kind of word was that?

"What in the name of Merlin is a 'christ'?" I asked her. Unlike her, I wasn't keeping my voice down. I didn't see any reason too, but she huffed and pressed a finger against her lips. I couldn't help but marvel at their redness.

"Sssh! Don't you understand the concept of spying? It does not involve yelling at the top of your lungs." She took a glance through the crack in the door again. "What are you doing here anyway, Malfoy?"

"I could ask you the same question. Why are you playing spy when you should –" I paused, shook back my left sleeve and held my wrist in front of my face so I could see my watch, " – have been in your common room a few minutes ago?"

She jumped. "What? I – I haven't – oh, no – Is it already that late?" She was still whispering. "You –" Her eyes shot at my prefect’s badge. "You're not going to give me detention, right? Please?"

I felt my face grow warm and I knew I was getting red very fast. Again. Those eyes... Should I do what any prefect should do, and take her to the caretaker? Or should I listen to my heart (or in other words, look out for my best interests), and let her get away with it? I tried to stall my decision.

"What are you looking at, anyway?"

She looked back again. "Oh, my brother. He – he –" She was blushing too. "Oh, hell. He's snogging in there."

"Thought you'd get to learn something, hm?" Again, words just fell out of my mouth like I had no control over them. I felt myself go incredibly crimson. I was talking about snogging with the girl I had a crush on. Why did I say the most stupid things when she was around? "Sorry, shouldn't have said that. I mean, I – you know –"

She grinned and shook her head. "Oh, forget it. It's probably the Slytherin part of your brain speaking."

"My whole brain is Slytherin, thank you. There's no part decorated in Gryffindor style." I conveniently ignored the little voice inside my head that persisted I belonged in Hufflepuff.

"You sure?" she giggled. "Nothing red or gold in there?"

"Oh, haha..."

"Anyway," Louisa said when we were done laughing, albeit quietly, "not only is my brother snogging in there, my Defence book is inside as well. That's why I'm still here; I was waiting for him to get out. I mean, I don't want to embarrass him and all that..." She nervously looked inside again. I bent slightly forward so I could get a view too. Indeed, Ryan Rosario and some girl I knew was in Hufflepuff were entangled in a far corner, almost like they were joined at the hip – or rather, at the lips.

I laughed softly, not wanting to make more noise than necessary. "Fascinating," I muttered into Louisa's ear, inhaling her scent. I had always had a sensitive nose, and often I judged people on their smell, weird as it may sound. Derek smelled familiar of something like coconuts, something I was quite fond of. Louisa smelled like... something I couldn't really describe – a flower of some kind? I couldn’t quite place it. Maybe it was just perfume.

"Who's trying to learn something now, huh?" she said. My eyes hadn’t left her brother, who was sucking onto his girlfriend’s mouth so hard it was like he was trying to imitate a Dementor.

“Well, they don’t seem to need as much oxygen as normal people.”

I watched as a smile played on her lips and my stomach did a somersault. "Look, there's my book."

It was pretty obvious; it was the only book around, plain in sight on the teacher's desk.

"So, get it," I told her, not seeing the problem.

"The door creaks, I can't get in."

"Come on, Rosario, don't make me get it for you, I suck at Charms." I was still watching through the crack in the door with her and I suddenly got the impression I was taking a lot of liberties. We weren't touching anywhere, but I was definitely very close to her, our faces just an inch apart. If she would turn her face my way, our noses would surely bump. I quickly straightened up.

"How can you suck at Charms? It's the easiest subject by far. And I don't see the connection between Charms and my out-of-reach book."

I raised an eyebrow at her. "Silencing Charm, maybe?"

"I haven't learned that yet in class. It’s so boring, I never get the feeling we learn something new –"

"If you're really good at Charms, maybe Professor Flitwick will let you skip a class. What's-her-name did that too, er, Carmen Pauls. She's in Slytherin, one year above me, but she's doing her Charms and Herbology NEWTs this year."

"All right, I'll ask. But can you get it back for me, my book, I mean?"

I drew my wand, hoping the charm would go right. We were actually planning to learn the charm this year in class, but if there was one charm I could do, it was this one, as I had practiced it often enough at home to prevent the whole household from listening to my piano plays.

Crouching near the door's hinges, I jabbed my wand between them, hissing the incantation through my teeth. "Silencio." I stood up again and opened the door without further ado, ignoring Louisa's hand on my elbow.

The door didn't make a sound.

I grinned at Louisa. She looked stunned, and stunning, but that was beside the point. Though she seemed to be getting over it already, she muttered, "Are you going to summon it? You learn that in fourth year, right? We haven't done it yet."

"Well..." I shrugged. "Okay." We had begun revising them anyway this week. Lifting my wand and picturing the book flying towards me, I muttered: "Accio Defence book." I held out my hand and it nearly soared right past me to slam into the opposite wall, but I managed to grab it just in time. I quietly shut the door again. Rosario and girlfriend hadn't heard a thing. Mission accomplished.

"Thanks," Louisa said, reaching for the book. But I had other plans.

My heart racing, I held the book up high above my head with my hands, smiling teasingly down at her. Being provocative wasn't really what I did on a daily basis, but I just wanted to have a bit of fun with her before we both would go our own ways.

"Oh, you..." She jumped up to the book, but she was too short, and it apparently bothered her to no end. "You boy! Give that here!"

I was unable to keep my face from breaking into a full smile and I inclined my head at the classroom before running a few paces to the left, followed by turning around a corner. Louisa shadowed my every move, huffing and pouting and jumping and – smiling? The temptation to just grab her and swirl her around was fairly pushy.

As soon as we were a few corridors away from Ryan Rosario, we were both breathless with suppressed laughter and dodging around corners. She leaned against the wall, pointed at the book I was still holding and then at her chest. She was obviously too tired to speak. I obliged to her indications and gave her the book back. Our hands briefly touched. Her skin was soft and feminine.

We held each other’s gazes for a while, both waiting for the other to speak until she broke off the eye contact. "I – I need to get back to the common room. Thanks for – you know, not giving me detention and – and putting me into trouble. I – you're not that bad," she admitted. I nodded. I’ll take that as a compliment.

"I'll see you around," I said.

"Yeah. Bye."

"Bye." I turned and left for the dungeons while I heard her footsteps ascend some stairs. Wow. I hadn't even stuttered or gaped all that much whilst talking to her. I had been cool, calm, collected. Slytherin. Wicked. Maybe, just maybe, Louisa would fully tolerate me one day.

I very much hoped so.

~*~

In first year, Herbology had been one of my favourite subjects. However, since the cheerful Professor Sprout had left at the beginning of third year, I dreaded the whole thing. She had been replaced by Professor Vapor, a woman with dark, hawk-like eyes that scanned the room while looking for misbehaviour. She was tall and thin, with her grey hair twisted into a tight knot, that, to be fair, looked ridiculous on top of her head. From what I knew, half the school was terrified of her. Noise, intentional or not, wasn't allowed in her class; one cough and you could spend your time elsewhere, and you got detentions faster than you could say 'but'. You couldn't say “but” anyway, because talking was forbidden. The practical aspect of Herbology was bearable – at least we were able to move and do something. No, the theory lessons (which we had never had with Sprout) were the real killers. Vapor's classes were spent in dead silence.

It was that lack of sound that got on my nerves so much, and probably the reason why I was never able to meet the requirements of such quiet behaviour. Last time, there had been a constant urge to cough in the back of my throat. Today my legs were restless; they wanted to move around all the time.

Professor Vapor was standing in front of the classroom with a large stack of essays in her hands, her expression menacing as always. She slammed them down in front of Amanda Holly, a Hufflepuff we shared the class with. Amanda got up with shaky legs and started handing them out, her eyes flitting back and forth between the rolls of parchment and the professor. But Vapor turned around and walked towards the blackboard, her heels clicking on the stone floor of the classroom. The noise sounded intimidating in the room, which was devoid of any other sound other than Amanda's footsteps and the rustling of parchment.

With a wave of her wand, Professor Vapor made several drawings of plants appear on the blackboard. After that, she slipped into her seat, surveying the room with her chin high and her arms crossed over her chest. Maybe she was just bitter because she was never gifted with a nice front. I imagined my Herbology professor with two huge boobs resting on her desk and hurriedly dismissed the mental image again. I should be thankful she is not.

Amanda gave me my essay about the influences of dragon dung on Mandrakes back. A wave of relief washed over me as I discovered I had gotten an 'E'. In front of the classroom, I saw Derek scowling at his essay, apparently not so happy with his mark. Another stupid fact about Vapor – she had mapped the positions of the students in class herself. Every Slytherin was placed next to a Hufflepuff – preferably of the opposite sex so they didn't cause mayhem. Like anyone would dare under her nose.

The Hufflepuff next to me was Hilary Oak, a girl who normally giggled endlessly but seemed to lose her nerve every time in Herbology. Her fear of Professor Vapor was earnest – she had received detention once for scratching too hard with her quill, and she had gone into absolute hysterics, crying, whimpering and hyperventilating so bad that I had taken her too the hospital wing, but not before Vapor had removed fifty points from Hufflepuff. Oh, how I hated that woman.

We quietly copied the drawings on the blackboard. The sound of quills quickly writing everything down pressed against my ears as I was again overwhelmed by the insane impulse to move my legs. I tried taking a different sitting position, but the shuffling attracted Professor Vapor's attention.

"Ten points from Slytherin for making such a racket, Malfoy." I knew better than arguing. If she didn't show up in the Great Hall every meal, I would've suspected the cursed banshee was allergic to noise. Too bad, but otherwise she should've flinched at the echo of the bell and she didn't.

As we left the classroom, I took the chance to use my vocal cords again.

"Derek –“

"C'mon," he cut across me, "according to Bridget there's a Hogsmeade notice up in the common room." He pulled my arm and dragged me down the stairs to the right of the marble staircase. Whoa, what was so important about a Hogsmeade notice? I jerked my arm from his tight grip and fell into step next to him, deciding to be blunt.

"Derek?" I tried once more, as we paced along the gloomy corridors.

"Hm?"

"What did you get for your essay?"

He grunted something intelligible, shrugging.

"Excuse me, I didn't catch that."

"I got a 'D'," he grumbled sulkily, kicking a small pebble that happened to have fallen into the dungeons down the stairs. "Happy?" I chose to hold my tongue, something I had done the past hour anyhow. The clatter of the stone reverberated from the walls.

We entered the dark common room and headed for the notice board. Looking over the heads of some over-excited third years, I confirmed that there was indeed a Hogsmeade weekend next week, the week before Halloween. My sweet tooth immediately started to demand consideration.

"Good." Derek lightly punched my shoulder, banishing the wonderful vision of Honeydukes' store from my head. "I'll be able to buy you a birthday present. I have a shrewd idea of what I'll get you already." A small, fair third year girl turned around and bumped into him, squeaking in surprise. After she had scurried off, blushing furiously, Derek continued, "I'll have to pre-order it first, though. You just wait."

I grinned. "I hope it'll be worth it, then." Last year, Derek and my other roommates had given me a huge bag of biscuits – huge meaning about the size of a cauldron. We had eaten it the same evening, too, making Isaac swear he would never take a single biscuit ever again. He had broken that oath the following day at lunch. "Is it food?" I inquired.

"Nah." Derek shook his head. "No, it'll be something more valuable. Not saying anything more."

"Since when is food not valuable?"

Laughing, we set off to our dormitory. It was completely deserted, for once. Derek made a show of jumping on his bed, imitating a monkey; or I assumed so, because he was hopping up and down while scratching his armpits.

I regarded him from upon my own four-poster. He was my best friend... I really wanted to tell someone about Louisa. It was hard to keep something like that to myself. But I was too unsure of Derek's reaction to share my crush with him. Would he shrug it off? Would he be disgusted? Or would he accept, or even like it?

I was aware of the fact that since the end of the War, prejudice towards Muggleborns had reduced a lot, but the most fanatical and oldest pureblood families, including my own, still clung onto their own opinion. Muggles were scum. Muggleborns were out to contaminate our bloodlines. Purebloods, or any self-respecting wizard or witch, who associated and became friends with them were traitors.

Traitors.

It was that single thing that kept me from confiding in Derek. Purity of blood and its importance was one subject we had always swiftly avoided, even though we had been friends for over four years now. The only thing that might be an indication that Derek didn't care about blood either was the fact that our roommate Richard Fammet was a halfblood himself, with a Muggleborn mother. Derek and Richard were on perfectly friendly terms.

"Earth to Alan?"

My head jerked up; Derek was trying to get my attention. He eyed me curiously, having dropped the monkey act. He was still standing on his bed, though. The mattress springs groaned under his weight as he moved his legs.

"What were you thinking of, Al?"

"Nothing." I was instantly aware of the fact I had said it a bit too fast.

"Come on, Alan, tell me. Friends don't have secrets for each other." Argh, pulling the friends card on me. Bloody bastard.

I glanced at the door, making sure nobody was heading our way. I turned to Derek, meeting his eye. "Blood."

He nodded. "I should've known." He stepped from his bed and walked over, sitting down on mine next to me. "You don't think it's really important, do you? Pureblood or not."

Startled, I looked at him. How could he have known? Had I been that obvious? I certainly had never held speeches about it. "How'd you know? When?"

"Since..." Derek paused and lifted his gaze to the ceiling, holding his chin in his hands. "I think since you ditched Sally. I mean, I don't think a real stuck up pureblood would've done that, leaving someone who was practically already his wife, someone who was completely void of Muggle blood."

I thought about that a bit, mimicking Derek by resting my head on my right hand, my elbow drilling into my thigh. Yes, it made quite a lot of sense. If I had really cared about blood, I would have dismissed Louisa as a lost case because she wasn't a pureblooded witch. If I had really cared about blood, I would have been satisfied with Sally, pureblood to her toes. Even though she hadn't practically been my wife. Yuck.

"Yeah, you're right," I said, playing with the hem of my robes with my other hand. "Do – do you care?" I didn't dare look at Derek as I asked, but nevertheless my eyes darted over to him.

He stayed silent for a while before he answered; he was now staring straight ahead. "I – no, not really, I guess. I mean – I won't judge anybody on his or her blood, but, you know, it would be such a shame to end a line that has consisted of purebloods for centuries. It would be such a pity – do you understand? Just like letting last names die because there are no sons to take it over to their families."

I mulled this over. No, I couldn't say I understood, but I could imagine Derek feeling sorry about ending the tradition. I understood Derek, but not his reasoning. But that was maybe because we were both different, and I sure didn't want to understand it. I slowly let out my breath and put my hands in my lap.

Derek exhaled noisily and cracked his knuckles. "So, why are you thinking about blood? Knowing you, there must be some kind of reason."

I shifted uncomfortably as Louisa's face jumped up in my mind's eye, the image as vivid as it would've been, had she been standing right in front of me. My pulse quickened a bit. Would Derek know who she was if I told him her name?

"It's a girl, isn't it?" Derek said, sounding smug.

Really, Derek, sometimes I think you can read my mind. I gave him a lopsided grin. "Yeah. Yeah, it's a girl."

"About time." Derek returned my grin with one of his own and lay back onto my bed. "I was waiting for you to confess you had a replacement for Sally already. That's why you broke up with her, correct?"

All right, now I was really baffled. "You know me too well, Derek," I said, shaking my head.

"And for some reason, I don't think she's in Slytherin either, because Muggleborns are pretty rare in our House, after all."

"How'd you know she was a Muggleborn?"

"Alan, you heavily implied she was." His grin was positively superior now. "So, what House? Ravenclaw?"

"No," I muttered, letting my hair fall into my eyes. My cheeks were going red again. "Gryffindor."

Derek yelped and nearly fell off my bed. Despite the knots of anxiety that were forming in my stomach at an alarming rate, I burst out in laughter. He could be such a poser, exaggerating all over the place. When he recovered a bit and sat up straight again, his blue eyes were wide and astonished.

"A Gryffindor? Holy crap Al, sorry, but that's asking for problems. A Muggleborn Gryffindor? What did they feed you?"

I smiled. "Nothing. Or maybe a long-lasting Love Potion?" Derek snorted humourlessly and fell down onto the covers of my bed for the second time.

"Well, what's her name?"

"Louisa. Louisa Rosario."

Derek moaned and clapped his hands in front of his face. "That wouldn't happen to be the Gryffindor Seeker, right?"

"I'm afraid so," I responded, nervously clasping my hands together. Louisa was the Seeker of the Gryffindor Quidditch House team, and that match, Gryffindor versus Slytherin last year, had been the first time I had really noticed her, now nearly a year ago.

It had been her first season on the House team, so of course everyone had been paying extra attention. Ryan Rosario was Beater on there, and James Potter, a friend of his, was Chaser and the Captain. Most people had assumed the Rosarios were just there because they had connections with that Potter arse. Because Aiden was the Slytherin Seeker, I had been paying quite some notice to her, actually, to be able to warn Aiden if she saw something. But about halfway, I had become captivated with her gracious flying skills and had missed the fact that the Golden Snitch had soared right over her head.

"Her brother isn't exactly a friend of your brother, is he?" Derek asked, as if he knew where my thoughts were heading.

"Not exactly, no." To put it lightly.

"Let me sum this up," Derek said, holding up his hand. "She's Muggleborn. She's a Gryffindor. She's a rival on the Quidditch team. Her brother and yours absolutely detest each other. Not really the perfect girl altogether, right?"

"I know." Well, he wasn't being a complete idiot about it. It could've gone worse. Louisa's face swam in front of me again and I felt a strange kind of ache in my chest that was vaguely familiar.

... I missed her.

Derek hit me on the back and Louisa's image vanished. "Oh well, as long as you're happy, I guess." He stood up and yawned. "Come on, it's dinner time, that's why nobody's around..."

That evening, as I crept under the blankets, my mind was still on Louisa, having just seen her in the Great Hall. She had given me the barest of smiles, and I had given her the slightest of nods in return trying to appear disinterested, while in reality my heart would've been flying right out of my body had it not been for my ribcage. Damn, I really liked her. Why should I care about my bloodline? If I ever had children with Louisa, they'd be halfbloods, and I'd be proud of them.

Wait, you're thinking about kids already? With her? You don’t even know her! Get a grip on yourself and go to sleep, you never thought that. I turned over, heaved a sigh, and dozed off.

Little did I know that when I would wake the next morning, I would have dreamt of a pale young boy; his hair had been shining silver like mine as he walked in the dazzling sunlight. And he had been laughing freely, his soul shining through his face, looking at me over his shoulder with Louisa's beautiful dark brown eyes.

I didn't remember the dream until much, much later.

~*~

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