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Author’s Musings: Sigh. And I said I wasn’t dead didn’t I? Here’s the fifth chapter! There’s a strange -erhum- surprise of sorts below.
Have I said that I love you guys before?
‘Cause I do. :o)



Pandora’s Box
It Starts Now




~




“Ginny! Did you hear?” Her voice was edgy and her hair was flying in all directions as she stomped her way over to where her redhead friend was seated. Cutting up her bacon as fast as she could, Ginny merely shook her head, gritting her teeth as the knife slid and scrapped across the plate with shill squeaks.

“There’s going to be a ball!” Hermione exploded, “a Masquerade ball at that!” She huffed and crossed her arms as Ginny looked up, eyes shining.

Masquerade, you say?”

The fuming brunette glanced at her friend, whose lips were curled into a dreamy smile. Now she knew why it was a wrong idea to even think of ranting about it in front of Ginny. She huffed for a second time and stared angrily at her empty plate just as Ginny covered her mouth with her hands.

“Oh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean that! I was just thinking-”

Hermione looked up in confusion, before the sorry look in Ginny’s eyes made her realize.

“Oh, come on Ginny. I’ve told you before, it’s really alright with me!” Her words failed to reach the ears of the redhead however, as she continued to stare at Hermione, transfixed, horrified at what she had said.

“Ginny! Snap out of it! I – don’t – mind!” She sighed. “Don’t make me hex you!”

The redhead shook her head, locks fluttering and flapping about with each violent turn. “I promise you, I won’t be so careless about this anymore.” Her eyes were set hard and firm. “I will be more considerate and stop hurting every time we approach this topic!” Hermione sighed in frustration and rubbed her forehead. Ginny’s constant resolve on being considerate was really bugging her. The topic was sensitive enough, and Ginny would do a lot better just keeping quiet and dropping the subject altogether.

Her chair scrapped as she pushed it back, abandoning her breakfast.

“Where are you going Hermione?”

Somewhere where you won’t talk about Harry all the time. “Nowhere. I have to clear my mind a bit, this Masquerade is the symbol of another headache and dealing with another one is going to sap me of all my strength.” She didn’t bother to look back at her friend’s troubled, guilty expression as she marched stiffly past the long tables and back into her room.



~




“Stupid thing…”

Blaise rolled his eyes. “Shut up, Malfoy,”

Draco rounded on him, eyes alight with anger. “Well, how would you like to be the one planning this stupid thing? A BALL! It’s a ball, in Merlin’s name! At such a crucial time too! I have to complete arduous task after arduous task and this old windbag comes up and wants me to organise a ball!" His rant seemed to go on forever as Blaise sat back, eyes clouded over.

“..are you listening?” Draco snapped, jerking his head back to look at his friend, blond hair ruffling a little from the sudden turn.

There was silence following his annoyed expression but the dark-haired boy suddenly spoke up from his place in front of the fire.

“I think,” Blaise murmured softly, “you might want to talk to the Lord.”

Draco raised an eyebrow.




Worthless fools. That’s what they were, nothing but worthless fools.

His eyes were burning. Intense. He was angry, and nothing at that moment could calm him. Where was a muggle when he needed one? All the idiotic things they call Death Eaters… they’d probably bring about his demise, not his victory. He would have killed all of them if not for the fact that he was so merciful.

Another idiot apparated to his door and he hissed inwardly. More bad news. He lay back in the soiled chair, a wine glass in one hand, contents swirling about in the a most calming manner – completely contradictory to what he was feeling at the moment. The door creaked open slowly.

“My Lord…” the small, dark figure took a deep bow.

Silence ensued and the Dark Lord impatiently tried to look inside his follower’s mind, but it was sealed. Stupid boy. He had used Occlumency.

“What is it that you want?” He was getting impatient. Death Eater after Death Eater had flocked into his room to inform him of some demise of another Death Eater. While he was recruiting quite a large number, the old ones were certainly losing their touch, and while this boy is a new one, he certainly did not show any signs of potential.

The boy faltered a little when he heard his Masters impatient sigh. He half wanted to open his mind again. It would be easier if he hadn’t had to speak to his Lord; one wrong word and he would be as helpless as a fly.

But he had to continue. He had to receive orders and some how or other complete his current task and whatever that was coming his way. He had to prove that he is just as good as his father, possibly better, and be in favour of the Dark Lord.

He opened his mouth to speak but by that time, his inexperienced Occlumency had slipped, and the Dark Lord had read his mind. There was a tingling feeling in his mind and he couldn’t push it out.

In a spilt second, the interrogation was done and the Dark Lord started cackling his sadistic laugh. The bowed figure grimaced; he hated catching the Lord when he was moody.

A sardonic grin was plastered on the Lord’s face as his eyes twinkled with something scarier then pleasure. He had an idea. It was perfect and judging by the boy’s capability, it wouldn’t be too hard at all. In fact, he had probably done it a lot of times.

“Young Malfoy…”



~




He breathed in deeply. He had to do this right. Smiling at the mirror, he held out one shockingly pale hand. “Would you…” he stopped, smile still plastered on, and dropped his hand. No, it was too insincere. She would be able to tell and he’d fail his mission. Dropping the smile, he sneered at himself. Sure, it wasn’t a second mission, it was merely an add-on to the first, which was to get the mudblood to trust him, but this was insane. People will laugh at him, they will mock him! He glared at the mirror image as he tried it again.

One hand was out and the other was across his midriff as he half bowed at the full-length mirror, a smile painfully set on his face. Forcing himself to think of the dirty muggle-born, he rehearsed his line again. He paused and stared. Something was wrong. He couldn’t exactly pinpoint what, but suddenly his line seemed to flow out much easier than expected. He shrugged. Or probably it could be because of his strange attire which consisted of nothing but a bathrobe. Rolling his eyes, he dropped the smile, the hand and the robe as he sighed and jumped into the warm tub.

If I actually succeed in this, I will the biggest idiot alive, and so will she.



Her hair was a mess as she stepped into her room. Yet another day of separating snogging couples in broom closets. Have they no sense of decency or shame whatsoever? After sending a pair back to their dormitories, she wandered two storeys up, only to find the same couple glued at the mouth in yet another closet. Really, this insanity had to stop. Teenage pregnancy is not something she wanted to deal with during her reign as Head Girl.

She plopped down on her bed and tugged at her navy skirt as she loosened the striped tie. Her duties today were hectic, and had sapped her of all her energy. Crying tonight wasn’t a very good option, not that she wanted to in the first place. If truth be told, Ginny’s comments were affecting her a lot less these days. In fact, it had been quite a while since she last had a serious break down. Her pillow would still be soggy every other morning but she was a lot better. However, to recover completely was still a long, winding road away and she knew it.

Picking up a brush from the table cluttered with books, pens and papers, she swiftly brought it down her hair, back up, and down again. She followed the rhythmic fashion like she was in some hypnotic trance as she mulled over her past. It certainly seemed like her past but it was haunting her in such a way that it could have bordered on being her future.

A sharp rap on the door woke her from her reminiscence. Hermione looked up from her place at the foot of her bed as the door slowly swung open. Draco’s face popped in and he seemed rather satisfied about something. Light from the common room was splashing across the doorway carpet and illuminating everything in her partially dark room with a pale, sickly glow. She sighed. Now she was just tired and a Malfoy being happy was too strange for her to deal with. “What do you want? I’m still busy with preparations for the ball you know. And I haven’t seen you helping around much,” She shot accusatorily at him.

He merely smirked cheekily. “Ah, what’s a bunch of paperwork to you?” Realising that her eyebrows had lowered at the comment that had slipped out, he quickly backtracked, injecting as much niceness into his voice as he could. “So, do you want me to help?” Hermione eyed him wearily. “No. Just carry out the orders on that piece of paper, and the decorations will be done,” she pointed at the piece of yellow which had neat writing all over the front and back of it. Draco forced his smile to stay there as he picked up the parchment. His cheeks were aching and nasty words were longing to spew forth but he merely vented on the parchment and crushed it as he put it in the front pocket of his jacket.

There was silence for a moment, its stillness broken only by Hermione’s second sigh. She seemed tired, with dark, heavy bags circling her eyes. “You can go now. I have a lot of studying to do,” She jerked her head towards the door but Draco stood his place. He breathed in and reminded himself of what he was supposed to be doing as he ate his Slytherin belief away. “I was wondering,” he paused and contemplated on whether to hold out his hand, like what he had done to his mirror. She waited for him to continue, eyes dull with tiredness as she stroked a piece of hair back behind an ear. He cleared his throat.

Think of how proud the Lord will be.

“Would you like to go to the ball with me?”



~




She nervously tugged at the pink dress. Truth be told, it wasn’t much of a “masquerade” for her. She had to start the ball as Head Girl and she had to go about doing that wearing a mask, therefore the people will be able to tell later during the dance that the Head Girl is the one in the pink dress and feathered mask. She heaved a sigh. Now she can’t possibly disappear into the crowd. There would definitely be people yelling for her as she was theHead Girl. The Head Boy wasn’t helping much anyway, she thought in annoyance.

She didn’t bother much with make up, just simple foundation to cover up her bags. Lip balm and mascara were put on after much consideration, as did casting a spell on a hair to tame it. She did not want to seem too overly done-up, because she was there only for work and it was work she will do. Sliding into the slippery outfit, she pulled the mask over her face, brushing stray hair away from her face. The feathers were dancing about from the top corners of the mask and the area around her eyes was littered with glitter and light purple jewels. It matched her cheerful pink ruffled dress. It had a decent neckline, and her skirt flowed from a ribbon on her waist down to her ankles, neat and unoffending in anyway.

She smiled strangely at the mirror, and though its strangeness still lingered, it was genuine.

Time to meet Harry.



~




Author’s Musings: Now I wonder why this strange duck is meeting Harry. Hmmmmmm…
WELL. HELLO PEOPLE! I AM BACK! After being killed by a brick, I was resurrected by the lovely reviews you guys left. Aww. It made me feel all warm, it did. –touches heart- As a token of appreciation, I’m going to sacrifice this chapter’s image to give you this! –dundundun-





Yes. I love you all to no end. Thank you guys so much for the reviews even though I was dead at that time, and thank you guys for reading my other stories too! GROUP HUG!!!

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