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Happy 16th birthday to me!! (On June 13th) Here’s a present to celebrate from me to you! The 12th chappie has arrived. I know it’s been kind of a long wait, so I hope it’s worth it. Read on!

Disclaimer: If my birthday wish comes true, I wouldn’t have to do this for much longer! *crosses fingers* Until that time, I shall have to consol myself by playing with characters that aren’t mine.



Jade left the potions classroom with her head spinning. She swept down the long stone corridor focusing on only one thing: finding Harry. She wracked her brain for where he could be. Now that the day’s classes were over, she guessed he would go back to Gryffindor tower. Unfortunately, she had no idea where that was.

Suddenly hands grabbed her from behind. She opened her mouth to scream, but a hand clamped firmly over her mouth. She was pulled to the side and into an empty classroom. The door slammed shut and the hands released her. She whirled to face her kidnapper, ready for a fight.

Harry and Ron stared guiltily at her, hands raised as if to hold her at bay. “It’s just us,” Harry said hurriedly. “Sorry if we scared you.”

“What’d you do that for?” Jade demanded.

“We wanted to make sure you weren’t followed,” explained Ron.

Jade gave him a look of confusion. “Followed?”

Hermione’s voice spoke from the back of the room. “Oh, honestly, boys. I told you to get her in here without anyone noticing. I did not tell you to scare the poor girl out of her wits.”

“I wasn’t scared,” Jade informed them haughtily. “So what’s this all about?”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione had gathered around her. “Jade, sit down.” Harry motioned to a desk, looking serious. Jade perched on top of the desk and waited for them to tell her what they wanted.

Harry continued, “We’re worried about you, Jade.”

She wanted to laugh at the seriousness in his voice, but managed to keep a straight face. “Worried?” she asked innocently.

“We’re concerned you may be spending too much time around Slytherins and it is beginning to affect your mind.”

At this she threw her head back and laughed for quite some time. This display only increased the worried looks on the faces of her three friends. “Honestly,” she told them when she had stopped laughing, “you don’t have to worry. If you’re referring to the incident this morning, it was really nothing.”

“Nothing?!” Ron yelled. “You were all over Malfoy! You call that nothing?!”

Jade was on her feet. “I call that some people jumping to conclusions!” she shot back angrily.

“It wasn’t a very far jump!!” His face was beet red as he glared back at her.

“I thought my friends would have the decency to give me the benefit of the doubt, but I guess I was wrong!”

“Why were you even with him?” Harry repeated his question from earlier in the potions classroom.

Jade’s hands were balled into fists at her sides as she steamed, “Not that it’s any of your business, but I left my book bag in the library. Draco was kind enough to take me back to get it because I have a little habit of getting lost in this maze you call a school, even though he knew it would make him late. We got back and weren’t exactly looking forward to facing Snape, so we were putting off going in.” Jade stomped over to the door and planted her back against it. “I was leaning against the door like so.” She shifted position so she faced to the side and leaned one-handed on the door. “Draco was leaning on the door like this.” She grabbed the doorknob. “Snape opened the door,” she yanked it open, “and we fell.” She knew this wasn’t exactly what had occurred, but it was close enough.

The red in Ron’s face faded to a blush. He looked at the floor as he muttered, “Oh.”

Hermione gave a delicate snort. “Ron, I’m always trying to tell you not to assume things and here is a perfect example.”

“Sorry we, er, jumped to conclusions,” Harry told her quietly. “We were just worried about you. You need to be careful around Malfoy. We realize you have to spend some time with the Slytherins, but you should stay away from him as much as possible.”

Something clicked in Jade’s memory. “You sound just like Snape,” she laughed.

Harry looked like he had swallowed a something slimy. “That’s ridiculous. What do you mean?”

“Oh, he was trying to tell me…what was it? ‘It would be best if you didn’t spend much time around Mr. Malfoy,’” she copied Snape’s tone. “For my studies,” she added.

“For once Snape is right,” Hermione said seriously. “Malfoy isn’t a nice person, Jade.”

“I never said he was nice! He’s arrogant, conceited, and completely self-centered. Possibly the most irritating person I’ve ever met.”

Harry breathed a sign of relief. “Then you’ll avoid him as much as you can.”

“No way!” Jade looked at Harry like he might be crazy. “He’s also terribly amusing, fun to talk to, and can be helpful when he chooses.”

Ron sat down on the nearest desk as though he might faint. “Please tell me my ears have turned into radishes again and I’m not hearing properly.”

Jade, resisting the urge to laugh at Ron’s comment, said, “Don’t get offended, but I can’t imagine, being from different houses, you know Draco very well.”

“Why do you keep calling him that?!” burst out Ron.

“What?”

“Dr… Dra…I can’t even say it!”

“Draco?”

“That! You sound ridiculous.”

Jade just shook her head.

“We know him better than you might think,” Hermione told her. “He’s been horrible to us since first year. It started the very first day at Hogwarts and he’s never missed an opportunity to make our lives miserable since.”

Harry sat down on the table by Ron and continued, “He especially hates me. When we met he tried to tell me we should be friends, but at the same time he was really mean to Ron, making fun of his family and how they aren’t as rich as his. I would never be friends with someone like that and I told him. Now we’re enemies and he takes great pride in getting me in trouble as much as possible.”

“Remember the “pure-blood mania” we told you about?” Hermione added. “Well, Malfoy’s family is a very ancient, pure-blood family who firmly believe they are superior to everyone who is not pure-blooded and very rich. They hate all muggles and muggle-born wizards. He’s always making fun of Ron because Ron’s father doesn’t hate muggles –ok, he’s obsessed with them –and because their family isn’t as wealthy as his. He also hates me because I’m muggle-born and thinks I don’t belong at Hogwarts. Even though I beat him in every class,” she finished with a triumphant smile.

“He calls her a…a mudblood.” Ron looked angry at the thought.

“Mudblood?” asked Jade. She had never heard the term.

“It’s a horrible term for some who is muggle-born,” Hermione explained. “Very offensive and not something normally heard among those with class.”

“Not that he has class, for all he pretends he does,” Ron added.

“So you don’t get along,” Jade summarized. “He doesn’t like you for petty reasons he has been taught by his family and you don’t like him because he acts like a jerk and gets you in trouble.”

“It’s not that simple. His father tried to kill Ginny!” Harry reminded her angrily. “Remember we told you about the Chamber of Secrets and how someone gave Ginny the diary? That was Malfoy’s father and he knew what would happen. He was trying to bring Voldemort back! He used to be a Death Eater!”

Silence followed this pronouncement. Finally Jade asked, “A Death Eater is one of the people who followed Voldemort, right?”

Harry nodded. “Malfoy’s father was practically his right-hand man –right in his inner circle. When Voldemort fell he claimed he “didn’t mean any of it,” but everyone knew he was lying. He gave some very large donations to the Ministry of Magic and his past records just seemed to disappear.” Harry’s teeth were gritted and his voice was strained as though he were trying to talk normally and not succeeding very well.

“Now the Malfoys control the Ministry and Malfoy’s father is back supporting Voldemort, and hiding it well, or was,” Harry continued. “Malfoy will be the next generation of a long line of Death Eaters.”

“You don’t know that,” said Jade rather quickly, rather hoping they didn’t.

“He practically worships the ground his father walks on!” Ron said. “I’m surprised you haven’t noticed every other word out of his mouth is ‘Father says this’ or ‘Father thinks that.’”

“Oh I noticed,” Jade said dryly. “We’ve already had a chat about that.”

“A chat?” asked Hermione in disbelief. “How did that go?”

Jade sighed, “Well, he didn’t take very well to me telling him to shut up and stop telling me what his father thinks about everything, but he seems to have stopped for the most part.”

Harry’s eyes widened. “I’m surprised you’re not dead! I would have guessed he’d hex you from here to Hogsmeade for saying something like that.”

“He wasn’t too pleased, but we’re sort-of pretending it didn’t happen.” Jade fiddled with her bracelet.

“So do you understand now why you have to stay away from him?” Hermione asked cautiously, sitting on the desk next to Ron. “It’s really for your own good, Jade.”

“No, I really don’t,” Jade shrugged. “As I see it, I can do more good being friends with him. Maybe I can get him to stop being so mean to you. If I don’t talk to him, how will that ever change?”

“But it’s not going to change, Jade!” said Hermione desperately. “He’ll always hate us. He’s going to be a Death Eater!”

Jade shook her head. “You haven’t given me any proof of that.”

“Just look at his father!” Ron’s face had turned red again. “The man’s evil! He’s killed loads of people and now he’s –OW!” Hermione had elbowed him in the ribs as she fussed with her robes.

“Sorry, Ron” she muttered. “We’ll have to be more careful.”

“Look,” Jade interrupted, “you’ve made your point: his father is a horrible person. But just because his father is, doesn’t mean he will be, too.” She held up a hand to stop them, “Hear me out. If you’re saying a person is going to turn out like their parents, what does that say about me? Like many of the kids at Madam Belafonte’s, I don’t remember my parents. But different than most of them, I don’t believe my parents are really a duke and duchess who have been searching endlessly to find me, or gave me up unwillingly for my own protection and will come and get me when the crazed murder who is out to get my family is caught, or any of the other nonsense they create to make themselves feel better.

“I am a realist. I realize my parents were probably very poor nobodies, most likely living on the street or close to it, who simply did not want me and/ or could not afford to keep me. They may or may not have even been married. The point is, it doesn’t really matter who they were because it has no effect on who I will be. I make my own choices, my own decisions on who I will be in life.”

Again Jade held up her hand to stop her companions from speaking. “I realize this is not the greatest example because I did not grow up around them and therefore they had less influence over me, but never fear! I have another, better example. Ron is going to be obsessed with muggles when he grows up. In fact, he already is. He has a secret shrine to them under his bed and he reads a refrigerator manual every night before he falls asleep.”

Ron made a strangled noise and Harry and Hermione burst out laughing. When he could speak again, he cried, face bright red, “I most certainly am not! That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Where did you get that bloody idea?”

Jade gave a casual shrug. “Well, Hermione said your dad is obsessed with muggles. And you must care about your dad and respect him a lot. Therefore I assumed you, too, must be obsessed with muggles. The logic follows, does it not?”

“Definitely not!” he spat. “Just because my dad loves them, doesn’t mean I do! I mean, I’ve got nothing against them, but I’m not going to spend my time enchanting their stuff!”

Jade addressed Harry and Hermione in an official voice, “Ron has demonstrated my second example: just because you love and respect someone, doesn’t mean you will be, or want to be, just like them.”

Harry sighed and ran a hand through his already-messy black hair. “She has a point, you know,” he remarked to no one in particular. “But this is Malfoy we’re talking about. He was raised to be an evil git and hasn’t shown much interest in not being like that.”

“All I’m saying is you have to give people a chance,” Jade said. “Don’t assume things to be the way they appear.”

“I still wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him,” muttered Ron. “He’ll probably kill you in your sleep or something.”

Jade grimaced. “Which would you like first: the good news or the bad news?”

“I could do with some good news,” Hermione smiled.

“Before Harry and Ron so rudely kidnapped me, I was looking for you. I wanted to tell you I found out who took the page from the genealogy book.”

Hermione asked hurriedly, eyes alight, “Who?”

“Snape.”

After a few seconds of stunned silence, Harry cautiously asked, “Are you absolutely sure about that, Jade? What would Snape want with that page?”

“I don’t know,” she shrugged, “but I’m sure that’s who it was.” She told them about finding the pink pollen. “So I know it must have been him!” she finished triumphantly.

“Isn’t it possible someone else has the same plant?” questioned Hermione.

“But Snape said it grows in damp, dark places. So unless you’ve seen any in other dungeon rooms or random closets around the castle, that’s the only one around. Besides, I already know I’m going to find the page, so I have to be right.”

Hermione still looked unconvinced.

“So how are we going to get it?” asked Ron enthusiastically. He seemed to be very glad to be off the subject of Malfoy. He had been visibly uncomfortable since Jade had compared them to make her point.

“That’s where the bad news comes in,” Jade said, feeling apprehensive. She had been dreading this part. “I have a plan how to get it, but…”

Ron assured her quickly, “We’ll do anything we can to help.”

“That’s just it. The plan doesn’t include you.”

“So you’re going to do it all by yourself?” Harry asked. “That seems a little risky.”

“No…” Jade stalled. “Dracosgoingtohelpme.” Her words came out quiet and jumbled.

“What was that?” asked Hermione.

Jade took a deep breath. “I said Draco is going to help me.”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione opened their mouths to speak, but Hermione got her words in order first. “He knows about this?”

“Well, no,” Jade admitted, “not yet.”

“Then he’s agreed to help you without knowing why he’s doing it?”

“Well, no, not yet…but he will,” Jade added hurriedly. “I just came up with this plan. I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to him yet.”

Harry shook his head, “Don’t do it, Jade. Don’t trust him. Just let us help you.”

“You can’t,” Jade told him sounding sorry. “It would never work. See, when I went to talk to Snape after class, I heard him telling Draco– ” Ron winced visibly. “ –if he needed any extra help, just ask.”

“He never offers extra help to any of his other students,” Hermione muttered under her breath.

“So I’ve decided to get the time I need to look for the page, I’ll have Draco–” Ron winced again. “ –stop that Ron –get Snape to help him with something in the library while I search Snape’s desk.”

“Jade, don’t!” Harry implored her. “You’ll have to tell about the deal and everything. He’ll never help you anyway; there’s nothing in it for him.”

“How stupid do you think I am?” asked Jade, amusement in her voice. “I’d have to be an idiot to tell him he’s helping me get into Gryffindor. I’ll just tell him the hat told me to find out about my past and it would do me a favor. I won’t mention the part about uniting the houses, either. His precious ego would probably be bruised. As for him not doing it because he’s completely self-centered, we’ll see about that,” she smirked.

Harry looked like he wanted to grab her and shake some sense into her head. “You don’t get it! Malfoy would turn you over to Snape as soon as he would help you, just because he would find it amusing!”

Jade shook her head, “I don’t think that.”

“Maybe not now,” Hermione broke in, “because he thinks you’re a good little Slytherin. But never let him know you’re friends with us. He would betray you, as well as hate you, in a second.”

Jade wanted to argue, but she didn’t feel like fighting a battle she couldn’t win. ‘But I don’t believe that,’ she told herself. ‘I could argue if I liked.’ She pushed away that annoying voice in the back of her head that wondered if maybe, just maybe, she was being a little too trusting of someone she had just met. ‘But,’ she reminded the voice, ‘I’ve only met Harry, Ron, and Hermione a few days ago, and I trust them. At some point you just have to take that leap.’ Trust wasn’t one of her specialties, but she was working on it.

“I won’t let him know,” she said aloud. “But that doesn’t do much toward uniting the houses.”

“Trust us, Jade,” said Harry. “The fight between us is one you are not going to end.”

She merely shrugged and headed toward the door. “If you’ll excuse me, it’s almost time for dinner.”

“Let us be the distraction for you,” Ron implored one last time. “Malfoy will ruin everything; he’ll betray you. I know it!”

Jade shook her head as she opened the door and stepped through the doorway. “Have a little faith, Ron!” she called over her shoulder. She disappeared around the corner, leaving Harry, Hermione, and Ron no less worried than they had been before they kidnapped her.



So there ya go! *hums Happy Birthday to herself* I love cake! I’m sooo hyper right now! Yeah, so anyway, if you want to give me a present back (you know you do!), just review! So step right up! Don’t be shy!

Also, I’ve decided I’m not terribly fond of my summary and I may be writing a new one. If anyone has any suggestions on what to say (or what not to say), they would be much appreciated. Thanks!

*~*~dream_catcher~*~*

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