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disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot and Draco's potion ;) A/N: I had a hard time trying to get this chapter written down but eventually it came out a little longer than originally planned but .. well, hope you like it! oh...reviews would be nice too ;x BTW.. I can't believe I forgot this. Can anyone please help me out on something? I read a DM/HG fic here somewhere and the sad thing is, all I remember of it is that in one of the chapters there is the line "She was his." And there is a chapter where Hermione has her hair up in a braid, Draco doesn't like it, they go to Hogsmeade and stuff .. I'm trying so hard to find that fic but I can't find it anywhere. If anyone knows what I'm talking about please point me in the right direction lmao i'm dying to read it again ;x thanks! k, now i'll let you read the chapter hee.
*** HIS DEAD FATHER ***
Monday morning came a little too abruptly for Draco's liking and he arose reluctantly. His mind was a complete blank and he felt no particular emotion whatsoever. Sluggishly dragging his body over to the bathroom, he made to wash himself up in quick automated movements. Standing before the steamed-over mirror fifteen minutes later however, his mind seemed to awaken fully and suddenly. A strange stream of emotions, thoughts and worries drowned him and he felt himself struggle to find his own in vain. He was slipping away from himself. The more he stared at his hazed reflection, the more he began to see images in his mind's eye. He was Draco; and yet he was Lucius Malfoy. It was indeed an aura not unlike that of his dead father that ran through his veins and for the first time in his life, he saw himself through his father's eyes. How he despised what he saw. It was not so much of the looks that revolted him but rather the knowledge of Draco that irked him so bad. Draco ... the annoyingly stubborn mule of a son who only pretended to obey orders from him. How dare he? Wasn't he, after all, his father? Did that not command respect no matter how much one might dislike to do so? He narrowed his eyes at the boy in the mirror. "Draco Malfoy .. you are an absolute disgrace to the Malfoy name. A tarnish. You fill your head with all these whimsical fancy fantasies of yours. No doubt you have been poisoned. Haven't I told you countless times ... never associate with those beneath you. Never. They are filth, Draco. Filth. Filth that should be trodden down underneath us. They do not deserve anything. They are a waste of life, a waste of time and energy; space and attention. They deserve nothing. "And yet ... you betray yourself. You betrayed your father, your mother. You betrayed your ancestors. How dare you, a Malfoy, smudging our pureblood lineage because you are so besotted with the idea of goodness. There is no goodness, Draco. No goodness for us Malfoys. You will distance yourself if you want to live. You will harden your heart which you have despicably softened. Draco, Draco. Such shame you bring onto your family. Shame that will make your ancestors turn in their graves." Draco was weak, crying angered and hurt but his face showed no emotion. His eyes immobile, blankly staring from the mirror. A pitiful picture of weakness he was. Slender was his body, bare save for the white terry-clothed towel wrapped leniently low around his hips. Beads of condensed steam dotted and dripped down his naked skin. The trademark yellow hair wetly hanging from his head in a complete disarray. Yet his face was blanked, devoid of any sign of recognition to what was taking place. His pale grey eyes gazed ahead, lost to the point they resembled a pair of glass orbs and nothing more. The war in his head ploughed on, relentless, merciless. "Don't you know what it means, Draco, to be cursed into oblivion if we Malfoys show as much as compassion to others? Why do you think we have thrived so successfully over the past century? Why do you think we command such respect be it in the wizarding world or not? Because we respect the path that our ancestors have chosen for us. We obey. We live up to the standards expected from us. Or we die. "But you. A fledgling. A mere boy. You defy your father. You defy the natural course of being a Malfoy. You defy your blood. An utter disgrace. And you throw everything away because of a filthy mudblood. Do you want to lose everything? Everything you've ever known. Everything you've ever owned. You don't deserve to be a Malfoy if you continue to fraternize with that impure, contaminated mudblood. You will cease to befriend her. She is not even worth of being a nobody in our world. A warning, Draco. I may be gone in body because of your stupidity and lack of judgement but I will never be truly away from you while you still carry the name Malfoy." The boy who was crumbling moments ago seemed to stiffen. Something in him had awakened, something that had been forced to remain dormant all these years. Draco was angry. Angry that he had fallen victim to his father's insults yet again. No. This time it would be different. This time his father was dead. This time ... he was not going to take everything thrown at him and stay silent. He would not accept the fact that he was useless anymore. Draco had had enough. The spell of Lucius lifted as suddenly as it came and he gritted his teeth, his fists clenching so tight that had his nails been longer there would be bloodshed. A low, guttural growl slowly seeped through his throat. CRASH! The mirror in front if him burst apart into a million shards. His right fist slowly lowering from the middle of the mirror. Now there was blood. On his knuckles and on the broken mirror. Yet he flinched not as he stared at his fragmented reflection. "You're wrong, Father. You control me no more. I will befriend whoever I want to, muggleborn or not." A rebellious, triumphant smirk flitted across his lips for a fraction of a second. "I won't be a Malfoy anymore." Draco left the bathroom to get dressed. . . . Potions class first thing in the morning and he was five minutes late. Snape stared at his favourite student with a look of distaste that he rarely wore for him. Draco paid no heed to this and proceeded to sit down at the first empty seat he could see. The instructions for the potion they would be making were already on the blackboard. Wearing no expression whatsoever on his face, he strode over to collect his ingredients and began making his potion while blissfully ignoring anything and everything around him. It was only when he fumbled around the desk for the powdered mandrake leaves while keeping watch on his cauldron did he shake out of his reverie. His hand had rested on another human hand. He raised an eyebrow, blinked and slowly turned to look at his hand. There it was, a small undoubtedly female hand, soft under his callous palm. The hand, which seemed to stiffen upon his touch, started to move away as he stared at it. His eyes travelled up the robe-covered arms, the perfectly tied Gryffindor tie, the stubborn brown hair, the merest glimpse of neck and finally to the surprised face of Granger. "What the heck are you doing here?" The words rushed out before they registered in his brain. A mild look of amusement glanced upon her face. "Making my potion. That's basically what this class is for, you know." He wasn't able to resist himself. After all, it had been a rather long time since he had last verbally sparred with anyone. "Well go make your potion then and please, stop leaving your hands all over. I do believe they are not part of this potion." If he had expected a witty comeback as she had always endlessly supplicated him with, he was sorely wrong. The girl merely cast him an odd look and shook her head slightly. He was unsatisfied. Close they had grown over the weekend, that was true. But who was he to deny himself the pleasure of the war of words with her that he had subconsciously enjoyed all along? Nobody else had ever given him this pleasure, a challenge of intelligent remarks. Of course, she had once resorted to violence instead of clever cutting words but he supposed she had her reasons. "Where are your bodyguards? Still giving you the cold shoulder?" "What does it matter to you if I sit alone once in awhile?" "It doesn't of course. I just like asking questions. It doesn't hurt to ask, you should know this." "Give it a rest, Malfoy, please. I'm trying to concentrate on my potion and it is hard with you hissing in the background." "If the two of you..." Snape's sudden voice cut through the hushed whispers that came not only from their table but otherwise forcing a dense silence to settle on the class. That distasteful look was hitched back onto his face. Clearly he did not enjoy the sight of the Slytherin and Gryffindor seated together at the back of his class. "... are quite done with your little squabbles, I should like to see some work actually being done in this class." Granger pursed her lips defiantly but nevertheless said nothing as she went about making her potion. Draco frowned. Did she always have to use his last name when addressing him? His hatred for his family name intensified at that moment. He was beginning to see what it really was to be part of the Malfoy family tree and was he ever disgusted by his little discoveries. More and more he wished he hadn't been born as Lucius' son. Draco finished his potion in complete silence, handing over the flagon containing his finished potion to the professor at the same time Granger placed hers on the teacher's desk. Snape simply glared down at the two of them. Sitting back down at their table after all unused ingredients had been cleared away and their cauldrons emptied and cleaned, Draco lazily tapped his fingers on the table, doodling on a piece of parchment with his other hand while waiting for the bell to ring. For some reason, the girl seated beside him found his incessant tapping highly irritating and kept shooting glares his way, her eyebrows knitted in a perfect frown. This only encouraged him to tap as loud as possible without catching the attention of the disgruntled professor. "Oh quit it, will you?" "No." "Why are you so intent on being such an immature prat?" "To make up for being mature yesterday, of course." It had slipped out without intention and he mentally kicked himself in the head. It silenced her, though. She seemed to be mortified that he had made casual referrence to the time they had spent the day before in public ... potions class, nonetheless! Out of the corner of his eye, he watched as she looked around uneasily to see if anyone had been paying attention to their conversation. Temporary relief smoothened her face until her eyes rested on a few tables away where Weasel King and Pothead sat playing with trick wands under their desks. Her features seemed to crimp with annoyance and dissapointment and she slowly turned her face down to her lap where her thumbs lay twiddling away. Just as he was about to make another random comment to cover up his previous folly, the bell finally sounded and she seemed ever so eager to get away from the class. Draco found himself debating whether he should give in to his father's raging demons inside him or go after her.

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