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Ron got his robes stuck over his head as he was getting dressed that morning. It put him in a bad mood right from the start of the day. At breakfast he dug a spoon angrily into his porridge. Hermione was eating toast, neatly chewing the crusts off before biting into the rest. He regarded her balefully. “Why won’t you tell us who you’re going to the ball with?” he asked her.

“For the last time Ron,” she replied snappily, “because you would just tease me and really it’s none of your business.” She got up and walked out of the hall.

“Why don’t you just tell her you like her?” said Harry, lazily spooning honey into his porridge.

“I don’t, it’s just” Ron stopped and blushed a bright crimson, “I just want to know ok?”

Harry held up his hands in mock submission, “ok, ok. You still think its Malfoy?”

“Yeah,” said Ron, looking over to the Slytherin table where Draco was sitting and glowering at Viktor Krum.

The bell went so the two of them scooped up their books and headed out to Potions. Ron took his seat and noted in surprise that Krum wasn’t in the class; he’d been in most of their lessons that week. Ron chose his moment carefully; luckily for him Snape was uncharacteristically late. Ron waited until a lull occurred in the chatter around him before saying loudly, “so Malfoy, is it you who’s taking Hermione to the Ball?”

Draco, sat directly behind him, hit him around the back of his head with a text book. Hermione, sat next to Draco, diplomatically said nothing. Ron repeated what he’d said only more loudly. This time a few Slytherins heard him. “What’s that Malfoy?” laughed Blaize Zabini, smirking at Draco, “going to the ball with the mud blood?”

“As if!” Said Draco furiously, “I’d not do that.” He temporarily forgot about Hermione sat next to him in his desperation not to lose face with his friends. She looked offended and carefully inched away from him.

“He’s going to the ball with me,” said Pansy smugly.

“That answers that one then,” said Ron, turning away from Draco and leaning across to Harry, “I wonder who it is she’s going with then.”

Behind him, Draco was desperately trying to think of something to say to make amends with Hermione but she was looking at him as if he had two heads and didn’t talk to him for the rest of the lesson. 




Draco spent the rest of the day avoiding Pansy and looking for Weasley. I’m going to kill him when I find him he thought furiously. 
Ron spent most of the day apologising to Hermione and the rest of the time hiding every time he saw Draco.

Hermione spent the day in the library with Harry who was being diplomatic and not taking sides.

Viktor Krum spent the day in the basement practicing curses on another Durmstrang boy. He smiled more at every perfectly executed curse. He was going to win the duel tonight and show that Malfoy boy who was best once and for all. 





At dinner Draco sat down at the Slytherin table. He spotted Weasley sat at the Gryffindor table but there was nothing he could do now in front of all of these teachers. Next to Weasley was sat Hermione…. How could he have insulted her? She wasn’t talking to him at all now. He didn’t stand a chance with her; he thought miserably and felt the familiar ache in his heart.

Krum slid into the seat next to Draco and hissed in his ear, “don’t forget Malfoy, midnight at the Quidditch pitch” he then got up and moved further down the table. The duel! Draco had completely forgotten about it. He’d wasted his day chasing Weasley and moping over Hermione when he should have been practicing. He swallowed down his fear, he was a better wizard than Krum, he’d been taught spells by his father that Krum would never even have heard of. He smiled and bit into his steak and kidney pie, he’d show that Durmstrang idiot who was in charge around here.

At the end of the meal Krum waited in the Great Hall for Hermione who he was spending the evening studying with. She approached him, smiling, and he took her bag from her, “you’re such a gentleman,” she said.

Draco walked past and eyed them sulkily, “midnight,” said Krum softly as Draco passed. As he walked off, ignoring the taunt, Draco heard Hermione cross questioning Krum about what he’d said. He grinned; Krum was in for it now.

He was less confident as, at ten to twelve that night, he walked towards the Quidditch pitch, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle. Waiting for him he could see two people. It was pouring with rain and it was only as they came very close that their shadowy figures sharpened into the shape of Krum and one of the other Durmstrang boys.

“Ready for this Malfoy?” said Krum, flexing his muscles.

“Of course,” said Draco, shouting to be heard above the roar of the rain, “are you?” Krum nodded and they walked until they were a careful distance apart. Krum shouted, “on three, one… two…. three.”

Krum’s first curse hit Draco in the stomach before he’d even lifted his wand. He bent over double and gasped out “Expelliarmus.” The curse was weak and Krum barely lost hold of his wand.

The rain began to drum down even harder and Draco lost sight of the other boys who were watching. He yelled another curse which shot a jet of red light at Krum and threw him backwards. Blinded by the water Draco could no longer see him. He got up and crept cautiously forwards to where Krum should have been. To his side he could hear a girl’s voice calling but he ignored it, probably Pansy had followed him

He reached the spot where Krum had stood but there was no sign of him. A sharp crack behind him alerted him to the older boy’s presence. He whirled round but it was too late. Krum yelled out a curse and a jet of purple light hit Draco in the chest and he felt his own blood spatter across his face. The wound was agony and he could barely think. Krum was only five feet away now and had a cruel look on his face. He raised his wand again. Pain flooded Draco’s brain as he tried to think and he called out the only curse he could think of. “Avada Kedavra.” Green light swept over Krum and he collapsed to the floor.

Draco pressed his hand to his chest and screamed in agony as he touched the torn cut. Suddenly footsteps were all around him. Crabbe, Goyle, the Durmstrang boy and… Hermione. She turned red eyes towards him, tears streaming down her cheeks mixed with the rain as she looked from the prone body of Krum to Draco and back again. “You’ve killed him Draco, you’ve killed him.”

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