"It's just horrible!" sobbed one of the little Ravenclaw girls Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle were walking behind to get to the Great Hall. She couldn't be older than a third year. Because of the different times and days of DADA for each year and house, different groups of people were at different places in the books. Some were just starting them today, others may be on chapter four already. This little group of girls had obviously gotten to chapter two already, maybe even chapter three. He'd be reading that in class today since he had Double DADA. It couldn't be anything worse than what's in the second chapter.
Draco reflected, as he walked into The Great Hall, he might have been a little hard on Pansy the night before. Even he was cringing at Potter's treatment. It was deplorable, and he would probably laugh hearing about it but reading about it in detail was something he could have gone the rest of his life without. Still, it was more than a little annoying to have a friend of yours cooing over poor Harry bloody Potter. From what Draco's seen, every female in the damn school was mopping their eyes over Potter, and come to think of it, some of the blokes too. Even some of his Slytherin peers who usually have much more sense were warming up to him it seemed.
Daphne Greengrass obviously hadn't done the reading the night before and had been catching up in History Of Magic, where they could be taking notes or dueling each other and Binns wouldn't notice either way. Draco noted that in the beginning she snickered, and soon she was gasping. By the end of the class she looked sullen faced and was trying to discreetly brush away a tear or two. Draco was starting to wonder if this was Potter's plan from the start.
Lunch was uneventful for the most part, until Potter and his mudblood and blood traitor pets came in. Just from the looks on their faces Draco could tell they hadn't read chapter two. Whether or not they read chapter one, he wasn't sure of. However, Draco wasn't stupid enough to believe they'd look as carefree (albeit uncomfortable with the stares coming their way) as they did right at that moment if they read that chapter.
"Do you think Professor Dumbledore could have done something about this?" Draco heard someone he did not know say when he was seated at his table.
"Of course he could have!" said the other person. "But he likely didn't know about it!"
Draco glanced at the Gryffindor table as Harry took his last bite of food. "Draco!"
He snapped out of his thoughts and looked at Pansy. "What?"
"Do you want to take our break?" she asked. He saw she, Blaise, Crabbe, and Goyle were all looking at him expectedly. He nodded, "Alright."
They got up, and not until they'd gotten to the edge of the table did they notice Potter and company had done the same. They didn't seem to see him or his friends, so Draco slowed down a bit.
"Just wish everyone would stop staring at me." he heard Potter say as they walked towards the exit.
"This will all..." Weasley began but the door shut and the rest of what he said was lost. When they opened the doors again, he heard Potter's response.
"I don't think any of this will ever be normal, Ron."
"I know this is strange, I know it's horrible. But really, Harry, you're putting off reading the chapters we were assigned." Granger said. "We agreed to read together, but we can't wait until right before class on Friday. We can start now if you'd like."
Potter muttered something and Granger sighed.
"We'll do it right before Care of Magical Creatures then."
Almost at the same time, they all realized they were following Potter and his friends and quickly made their way to the dungeons. Nothing really happened. They chatted, Blaise and Nott played chess, just lounged around. When the time came, he gathered his things and he and the others began walking to the Defense Classroom. He took his usual seat, in the front. Umbridge was looking quite pleased with herself.
"Good afternoon, class!" she grinned.
"Good afternoon, Professor Umbridge."
"Did everyone do the reading?"
Mumbled yes's were heard, although no one sounded too happy about it. Draco found he was almost on Potter's side in all of this. That didn't mean if Potter tried to do something like steal the books from everyone and burn them up, which Draco would not put past him, he'd assist the nitwit. It just meant he'd understand if he did. He couldn't imagine having the entire school read about his personal life. He might still mock him about it all, after all, everyone else would be falling over themselves to help him now that he's got another sob story.
Oh my parents died, I had to live with muggles, they treat me like their servant, love me!
"Very good." Umbridge said. "We will be continuing today, reading chapter three. Would anyone want to volunteer to do the reading? Draco?"
Draco frowned. "No thank you."
Umbridge looked unhappy and turned to the rest of the class, but no one spoke up. "Very well, I will do the reading. I will allow you to make comments as long as they are relevant to the topic and you raise your hand.
She cleared her throat.
Harry was punished for the longest time he'd ever been after what happened at the zoo.
Draco actually winced, which was something he'd never done for Potter's misfortunes. The knowledge that a ten year old child being locked in a cupboard with no meals for a long time just made him uneasy despite who it was. Umbridge, however, didn't so much as pause.
School was already over by the time he could leave his cupboard.
Terry Boot, who was in the class as well, made sure to find out when Dudley's birthday is. Each day Harry was locked in that cupboard would equate to each hex he'd send the Dursley's way.
Dudley had already gone through his most expensive presents and knocked Mrs. Figg down when he went out on his racing bike. While Harry was happy about there not being any school, he was still forced to deal with Dudley's gang. His gang consisted of Piers, Dennis, Malcolm, and Gordon and they were all big and stupid. Dudley was the leader as he was larger and less intelligent than all of them. They all often played Harry Hunting, Dudley's favorite sport.
Umbridge paused. "You notice his helplessness in this situation he's in? His inability to make things better for himself? Make note of that, it will be relevant at another time."
Harry spent his time outside of the house daydreaming about the end of summer holidays. When school started up again, he would be going to secondary school and he would be away from his cousin.
"Well... that's partially correct." Draco heard someone mutter.
Dudley, on the other hand, would be going to Smeltings with Piers, which happened to be Uncle Vernon's old school. Harry would be going to the local public school, Stonewall. Dudley was quick to tell him they like to stuff people's heads down toilets, and asked if he'd like a demonstration upstairs. Harry replied it likely wouldn't be good for the toilet because it's never had anything as horrible as Dudley's head down it.
"Oh sh-" Pansy whispered, cutting herself off after being completely surprised by Harry's witty comeback and she giggled. Most of the Ravenclaws laughed with her, and a few of the Slytherins as well. Draco knew of Potter's cheek, as he was often on the other side of it. "That's a Common Room Line!"
A Common Room Line. Being in Slytherin meant constantly proving yourself. In the first year, a good witty remark or comeback usually meant you got to sit in one of the seats. Draco had used one on his second day, and had a seat ever since. Keeping the seat meant throwing one out every once and a while to keep that respect. Some of the best quotes and comebacks Draco had ever heard had been in the common room, and there was now a list of the very best ones that was posted on their wall, entitled Common Room Lines. Pansy calling what Potter said a CRL meant it was a really good one. Draco had said some great stuff, and he was only on the list twice.
Before Dudley understood what Harry was implying, Harry ran. In July, Aunt Petunia went out with Dudley and left Harry with Mrs. Figg, who wasn't very fond of her cats at the moment as she'd broken her leg tripping over one of them.
Blaise snorted behind him.
Harry instead got to watch the television and eat very old cake. When he was back home, he watched Dudley walk around in the very ugly Smeltings' boys uniform. It consisted in a maroon tailcoat, orange knickerbockers and a straw hat.
"How unpleasant." Pansy whispered., "They're basically the Gryffindor colors!"
Knobbly sticks came with the uniform, which they used to hit each other when they weren't being watched as 'good training for later life'. Uncle Vernon expressed how proud he was while Aunt Petunia cried looking at her Ickle Dudleykins
Now the whole class giggled slightly, apart from Umbridge.
because he looked so handsome. Harry, however, was hurting himself to keep from laughing.
A few more laughs rang out.
The next morning, Harry smelled something horrible in the kitchen coming from a large metal tub in the sink. Looking in, he saw what looked to be dirty rags in gray water. When he asked his Aunt Petunia about it (who was not happy about being asked a question by him), she answered that it was his school uniform. Perplexed, Harry said he hadn't realized it had to be so wet.
Draco heard Blaise clearly when the students laughed again and rolled his eyes. Blaise was clearly warming up to the Golden Boy, whether he'd admit it or not. And Draco didn't like that at all. No, Potter had enough allies, he didn't need to take any of Draco's.
Aunt Petunia snapped at him that he was being stupid and explained she was dying some of Dudley's old clothes.
"They'd rather go through the trouble of dying his cousin's clothes than simply buying other ones?" asked Corner. "Even cheap, used ones in his size?"
"I do believe I made a point to remind you all to raise your hands in this class!" Umbridge said pleasantly.
She said it would look no different from anyone else's when she was done. Harry, who thought it would be better to keep his mouth shut, thought it'd look like he was in old elephant skin.
Draco chuckled at the mental image, and it wasn't a stretch. Draco couldn't understand, before, why the boy dressed as if he were trying to smuggle three broomsticks out of a shop whenever he wore muggle clothes. Now he knew.
The morning progressed with Dudley and Uncle Vernon coming into the kitchen and Dudley banging his Smelting stick on the table. They heard the mail come and Uncle Vernon told Dudley to get the main, but Dudley simply told him to make Harry get it. When Uncle Vernon told Harry to get the mail, Harry tried Dudley's tactic and told him to make Dudley get it.
That's not going to work, Draco thought.
Uncle Vernon instead told Dudley to poke him with his stick, and Harry quickly slid away from the table and out of the way of the stick to get the mail. The mail contained a postcard from Uncle Vernon's sister Marge, a brown envelope that was likely a bill, and a letter for... for him!
"OH!" the Ravenclaw Sue Li grinned.
Harry couldn't believe it, as no one had ever written to him. No one else would, he had no friends or other relatives and he didn't get noted from the libary asking for books back. But the letter was for him for sure. It addressed him as Mr. H. Potter from The Cupboard under the Stairs, 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.
"So it is the Hogwarts letter then." Goyle mumbled to him, looking unsure. Draco simply nodded.
It was a heavy envelope made out of what Harry thought was possibly parchment. Everything was written in green ink and there was no stamp. He turned the envelope and saw the wax seal with a large letter H surrounded by a lion, eagle, badger, and snake.
Crabbe began humming the Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Wartty, Hogwarts before Draco felt the need to kicked him and hiss shut up.
Uncle Vernon barked at him to hurry, and asked if he was checking for letter bombs, and then laughed at his joke. Harry obeyed, going into the kitchen and staring at his letter.
Draco slapped his forehead. The idiot just didn't think.
After handing Uncle Vernon his things, he began opening the letter. Uncle Vernon was busy reading his mail, muttering that his sister had eaten a funny whelk and was now ill. Then, Dudley yelled that Harry had something in his hands.
The entire class groaned. Umbridge looked up. "I do not need the acoustics. Hogwarts letters are sent until they are received, and the boy is in school. There's nothing to worry about so be quiet!"
Harry had the letter out and was unfolding it when it was snatched from him. Harry tried to get it back, yelling that it was his, but Uncle Vernon just sneered at him wondering who would ever write to Harry. As he began reading, his face began changing colors as he gasped for Petunia to read. Dudley tried to see it but he held it up for his wife, who began reading it and then looked as though she may faint, making choking noises.
"Oh good, perhaps she'll drop dead." Pansy said pleasantly, low enough that it went unnoticed by their professor.
She began crying out in shock and fear.
She's so dramatic. Draco thought. She had to have known it was coming.
They seemed to forget they weren't alone, and Dudley gave his father a light hit with his stick and announced he wanted to read the letter. Harry, angry at this turn of events, called out he wanted to read it and it was his. Uncle Vernon tried to send them away as he put the letter back in the envelope, but Harry stayed put.
"As usual, Mr. Potter does not follow instructions." Umbridge pointed out. Draco raised an eyebrow. He doubted he'd follow anything this man said himself.
He yelled very loudly that he wanted his letter!
"And he's disrespectful." Umbridge continued.
"I didn't know he had such a temper!" the more tolerable Patil twin whispered. "Unless you count what happens between him and her," she glanced at Umbridge, "Which- well who could blame him, but he's always so... so serene."
Dudley continued demanding to see it but Uncle Vernon had enough and threw them by the collars of their shirts, slamming the door to the kitchen. Harry and Dudley fought for who would listen at the keyhole, and Dudley won.
It didn't surprise anyone that Dudley won, but just the fact that Potter fought showed he was certainly in the right house. Dumbass.
Harry listened instead at the crack between the door and the floor. Aunt Petunia was quivering, asking Uncle Vernon how it was possible they 'they' knew where he sleeps. She wondered if they were being watched.
Draco scoffed. As if no one had anything better to how dramatic could they be?
Uncle Vernon said they could be spying on them.
He scoffed again.
Aunt Petunia wondered if they should write back, but Uncle Vernon said they would ignore it and they'd leave them be if they didn't get an answer. Aunt Petunia seemed hesitant but Uncle Vernon yelled he wouldn't have 'one' in his house, and they swore long ago they would stamp out the dangerous nonsense Harry came with.
"That's not even possible." he saw Patil whisper to her friends. "...Right?"
After Uncle Vernon had gotten back from work and visited Harry in his cupboard. This was peculiar because he'd never done this before. Harry asked for his letter straight away.
"Right to the point. Good." Corner muttered.
And who was writing to him, but Uncle Vernon said no one was and it was all an accident.
"Not even Potter's that stupid." Draco said aloud when he meant to just think it.
Umbridge looked disapprovingly at him, but like Snape, she had favorites. She said nothing.
Uncle Vernon told him he burned the letter, and Harry angrily yelled it wasn't a mistake, they'd even addressed it to his cupboard.
"I have a question." Corner asked, his hand raised.
"Yes, I see. For the future do keep in mind that your hand says that quite plainly." Umbridge said sharply. "What is your question?"
"If it says the cupboard on the letter, does that mean they know where he sleeps?" Corner asked. Draco raised an eyebrow, it was actually a good question.
"There is an automatic system." Umbridge said dismissively. "No wizard has been involved in the actual writing and mailing of the letters for nearly a century when the charm was placed."
Uncle Vernon yelled for silence loudly enough that some spiders fell from the ceiling. After calming himself, he forced himself to smile in a way that looked like it was painful.
"Oh dear!" Pansy whispered. "I sure hope it was!"
He told Harry he was talking with Aunt Petunia and they agreed he was much too large for the cupboard and they would move Harry into Dudley's second bedroom.
"Second bedroom? Why didn't Harry get it?" Crabbe asked as mutinous mutters broke out around him.
"Because they're all big piles of shit, Crabbe." Draco said calmly.
Harry asked why,
"Because they're only seeing the wrongness of their actions after they think they've been caught, like all the wrong sort of people." Boot said to Corner.
Uncle Vernon snapped to quit asking questions and ordered Harry to take his things upstairs. The Dursley's house was described as having four bedrooms, one for Vernon and Petunia, one for guests, and two for Dudley. One room was where he slept, and one room was where he kept his toys
"Are you kidding me?" Blaise whispered to Pansy. Draco glanced back and Blaise looked legitimately angry. "Are you joking? Four rooms and two of them aren't even used? And Potter's sleeping in a bloody-fucking-"
"Blaise!" Draco hissed. Blaise quieted down for the most part. Draco thought he could still hear heavy breathing. He thought he saw Boot giving them a strange look, so he quickly glared at him and Boot looked away.
Along with anything that wouldn't fit into his first bedroom. Harry had so little it took just one trip to move what he had downstairs to the bedroom. Looking around the room, it was hard to miss that nearly everything in it had broken.
Umbridge paused as she glanced down at the page. "There will be items mentioned in the book, muggle items. Do not interrupt to ask what they are, if you wish you may take note of them and find someone who knows later on."
The video camera, the working tank, Dudley's first television set, a bird cage from when Dudley had a parrot (which he swapped for a real air rifle, that was also bent) and books that had likely never been touched.
Not a surprise the idiot doesn't read. Draco thought.
Harry could hear Dudley pretending to cry to try to get Harry out of the room because he needed it.
"For what?" Blaise seethed. "What could he possibly need the room for when everything in there is broken?"
His voice had been getting louder with indignation, but he soon found himself and cooled down, his breathing heavy again.
Harry relaxed on the bed. Any other day he'd be thrilled to be up there, but he just wanted his letter and would take the cupboard under the stairs if it meant he had the letter.
With the reminder that he will eventually get to Hogwarts and away from the muggles, the students were able to stop themselves from feeling too down.
It was quiet at breakfast the next day, as Dudley was still in shock. He'd pulled all his tricks, including screaming, hitting, making himself sick
Kicking, throwing, and yet he still didn't get what he'd wanted.
Draco was still a bit peeved off over the fact that his friends had compared him to this brat. Yes, he did often do what he could to get what he wanted but he never crossed the line into disrespect. His father made sure of that.
Harry was hoping he'd opened the letter in the hall.
"Yes that would have been smart." Blaise whispered.
"Maybe he was in shock." Pansy said thoughtfully. "He'd never gotten a letter before, right? How was he supposed to know the giant arse would take it from him?"
Draco was gritting his teeth. He could admit that he had a bit of sympathy for Potter's situation, but now Pansy's defending him. Defending Potter! He whispered, his head turned ever so slightly so that they'd hear, "That would imply he has common sense."
He didn't get a reply back.
His aunt and uncle kept sending each other dark looks. The mail arrived right on time as always, and Uncle Vernon seemed to be trying to be nicer to Harry and made Dudley get it.
"Ugh great. Bloody perfect." Boot grunted quietly. "Now that Harry knows to open the letter in the hall, the fat lump's making his cousin get it."
Dudley was banging things the whole way, until he shouted that there was another letter. This time it was aggressed to Mr. H. Potter of The Smallest Bedroom.
"He's no smarter." Patil said. "Not that I want him to read it, but anyone who uses their brain would know not to scream that there's another letter."
Uncle Vernon jumped from his table and ran down the hall, and Harry was right behind him.
"Oh come on, Potter." Blaise rolled his eyes. "Surely you could outrun him. How fast are you really?"
Uncle Vernon wrestled with Dudley, and Harry jumped on his uncle's back, seizing him around the neck.
"Oh my God!" Pansy giggled. "Stupid bloody Gryffindor!"
Uncle Vernon ended up victorious
He told Harry to go to his cupboard, and then corrected himself to say room, and just sent Dudley away. Harry thought about the fact that someone knew he had moved out of his cupboard.
"No one knows you lived in a fucking cupboard," Blaise mumbled.
"The prophet would have a field day." Pansy said. Draco raised an eyebrow.
"Is there any reason the prophet shouldn't know?" he asked. Blaise and Pansy looked at each other. Draco was starting to get angry. Last week had he known Potter lived in a cupboard for nine years of his life, he, Blaise, and Pansy would have had a party while sending a letter to the prophet. Now they were more than hesitant. They were sympathizing.
"Erm." Blaise said still looking at Pansy. "I guess… not."
"But it's a little unnecessary, isn't it?" Pansy said quickly. "The entire student body already knows, and I don't think he very much cares what people outside of Hogwarts thinks."
"That's a good point." Blaise said. They looked at Draco, who was playing off his annoyance. Draco shrugged and turned away. Poor Potter had a hard childhood. He wasn't the only one! Why was he stealing Draco's friends. Draco wouldn't send the prophet news on Harry's living arrangements, it'd just continue the trend of Poor Poor Potter. He'd figure out something to do with this information. Last week he would have hexed anybody- hell everybody for the kind of embarrassing shit he was being handed. Why should that change now? Everyone else may be singing to Potter's tune, but not Draco.
They seemed to know he hadn't received his first letter. Harry thought they'd have to try again, and Harry had a plan to make sure he got his letter this time.
"Well, we get to see one of the famous Potter plans." Boot said.
"Something tells me he's not very good at planning. I mean, think about how often he and the other two get caught." Corner said.
"But that makes you wonder how often they don't."Boot shrugged.
Harry set the alarm to six o'clock and quietly and quickly went downstairs. He would wait outside for the postman so he could get the letter before anyone else.
"Okay, not bad." Corner said. "In fact, I feel like it will probably work. Maybe this is how he gets his letter in the end."
Although, Draco wondered what a postman was. Did they make people do owl's work? Filthy muggles.
His heart thumped as he walked towards the door, when a loud sound made him jump. He had stepped on something big and alive!
"Alive?" Pansy whispered. "You don't think…"
The lights went on and he realized he had stepped on Uncle Vernon's face.
Half the class laughed, but the other half, the ones who realized this meant Harry once again didn't get his letter, looked almost defeated.
His uncle had laid right at the front door in a sleeping bag to make sure Harry did do just what he had attempted.
Blaise sighed. "I really think that could have worked."
He yelled at Harry for a while, and then told him to go make tea for him.
"Poison it. Poison it, Harry." Pansy muttered. Draco scowled. No, it wasn't that he didn't agree with what she said, he'd have actually gone up to Potter and clapped him on the back if he had done that. No, it was the fact that Pansy had called him Harry. It was likely just a slip of the tongue, the books didn't call him Potter after all, but still. These books, they were becoming more of a menace than a laugh.
Harry went on to make the tea, and when he came back the letters were in Uncle Vernon's possession. He tried to ask for his letter again, he could see three of them this time, but Uncle Vernon just started tearing them up.
A Ravenclaw girl raised her hand hesitantly. Umbridge studied her for a moment before saying, "Yes?"
"How do they know he didn't read his letter?" she said. "I mean, he opened the first one, and even nearly unfolded it."
"There's a charm on there that sends word back that the person whom is addressed in the letter has read the entirety of it." Umbridge said, looking a little annoyed at the interruption. "If said person hasn't read it, they will send another."
"And another," Crabbe said under his breath. "And another, and another, and another…"
Instead of going to work, Uncle Vernon nailed up the mail slot saying if the letters couldn't be delivered they'd give up.
Draco snorted, and he wasn't the only one.
Aunt Petunia voiced her disbelief
"Well at least someone in that family has a brain." Blaise said.
Uncle Vernon said that 'these people' didn't think like them.
"And I thank Merlin for that." Draco said.
As he tried using fruitcake to knock in the nail.
"I thank Merlin and every deity there is that I do not think like him." Patil said.
A dozen letters came for him on Friday
"Aren't they… wondering why he's ignoring the letters?" Li asked her friend. Said friend shrugged.
They'd been pushed through the sides of the door. Uncle Vernon burned the letters and boarded up the cracks around the front and back doors, no one could get out now.
"He knows we have magic right?" Draco asked. "Does he really think this will work?"
"We've already established that they're dumbasses." Pansy said tiredly, rubbing her temples.
He began humming and jumping at every noise.
"He's gone loopy," Pansy giggled.
Two dozen letters came into their house hidden in two dozen eggs.
"What? Who is in charge of this?" Blaise chuckled. "In the eggs?"
Uncle Vernon made several phone calls to find someone to blame while Aunt Petunia disposed of the letters. Dudley was amazed someone wanted to talk to Harry so badly. Sunday morning, Uncle Vernon looked like he'd fallen ill
"How nice would it be if he dropped dead?" Pansy whispered.
but also looked happy.
"That's not good, is it?" Goyle asked. Draco ignored him.
Stating there was no post on Sundays.
"What?" Pansy asked. "Why not? That seems inconvenient."
He began putting marmalade on the newspapers talking cheerily about ther being no letters just as something came down the kitchen chimney and hit him on the back of the head.
Then, thirty to forty letters flew out of the fireplace. Harry tried to catch one out of the air
"Wha- that idiot!" Pansy whispered furiously. "Why wouldn't he get one from the floor? This isn't seeker try outs!"
Uncle Vernon pushed them all out into the hall and slammed the doors shut as they heard the letters whizzing about inside the room.
And Potter would have likely had at least one of them had he just grabbed it from the floor. Draco thought.
Uncle Vernon had cracked as he tried pulling hair out of his mustache and telling them they were going away and to meet back here in five minutes with some clothes.
"If he wants the letters to stop coming, why doesn't he just let Potter read the letter?" Crabbe asked.
"They don't want him to find out about magic, I suspect." Draco answered.
No one argued, he looked too dangerous. In just ten minutes, they were in the car. Dudley was crying quietly because his father had hit him after he'd tried to pack his television, VCR and computer.
"At least he's finally being disciplined." Patil frowned.
They drove for ages, but no one asked where they were going. Uncle Vernon would take spontaneous turns during the drive to 'shake them off'. They didn't stop for anything, including food. Dudley was miserable. He was hungry and missed five things on TV and didn't have his computer either
"Harry has to go through that and worse every day of his life you worthless sack of shit!" Boot whispered.
Finally, Uncle Vernon stopped at a hotel. Harry shared a room with Dudley, and while Dudley slept he stayed up wondering.
"Wondering what?" Goyle asked.
"Wondering who the bloody hell wants to write to him so badly."
The next a stale breakfast when the owner came to them, asking if any of them was H. Potter and they had nearly a hundred letters at his desk.
"How many bloody owls are delivering these letters?" Li asked. "Or are they delivering packages of letters?"
She showed the letter, which now addressed the hotel.
"Now, to someone with sense, this would be proof," Blaise began. "That it doesn't matter where they go, they will always be found and they should just go home."
Harry tried to grab it but Uncle Vernon slapped his hand away while the woman stared at the exchange.
"What happened to keeping their image?" Pansy said condescendingly.
Uncle Vernon told her he'd take the letters. Aunt Petunia asked if it would be better to go home, but Uncle Vernon ignored her or didn't hear her.
"You can't reason with loons." Blaise said. "Especially not with logic."
They didn't know what he was looking for, he drove in many different settings. He would get out and look around at certain spots. Dudley asked his mother is his father had gone mad.
"So glad he's caught on." Draco mumbled.
They had parked at the coast and he went off somewhere. As it began to rain, Dudley told his mother it was Monday and there was a show he wanted to watch. This reminded Harry that if it was Monday, then the next day was his birthday.
"Think he finally reads his letter tomorrow?" Boot asked keeping his volume in check.
"What a nice birthday present that should be." Corner said. "Happy Birthday Harry, you get to leave these people because you're magical!"
He never did anything for his birthday, last year all he'd gotten was a coat hanger and some old socks.
Draco's jaw dropped. Of course he should have expected that Potter's birthdays were horrible as well, but not even a damn card? He couldn't imagine getting nothing but a coat hanger and old socks on his birthday.
But you weren't eleven every day.
"But you are eleven every day... for a year…" Crabbe said.
When Uncle Vernon came back, he had a smile and a long thin package claiming to have found the perfect place. They were to stay at an old shack on top a rock out at sea.
"I, for one, am glad he's doing all this stupid shit." Blaise said. "If Potter has to suffer, let them all suffer."
Uncle Vernon said there was supposed to be a storm that night, and he met an old toothless man to lend them his boat.
"This man cannot be serious. Doesn't he have to work? How long did he plan on them staying there?" Patil said. "I know he's gone a bit… nutty but he honestly should have thought this through."
Uncle Vernon said he had rations and told them all to get in the boat. It was a long cold ride on the boat. Uncle Vernon was slipping all over the place when they reached the rock.
"All of these opportunities for this man to have a bad accident… and yet…" Pansy sighed and shook her head.
He led the way inside the old house. It smelled like seaweed, there were holes in the walls, and fireplace was empty, and it had only two rooms.
"Who wants to bet that Harry doesn't get a bed." said Patil with a sigh.
All Uncle Vernon had was a bag of chips and some bananas.
"And it's still more than what Potter usually gets." Blaise said.
His attempts of lighting a fire was futle, and he said he could use a letter or two now. His good mood showed he was sure there was no way the letters would reach them in their location with the storm outside.
"It's bloody magic." Draco wanted to yell, but like everyone else in the class, had kept his volume in check. "He knows about magic, obviously."
And while Draco could admit to himself that the owls would certainly have a harder time getting to them, they'd still make it in the end.
Harry figured he was probably right. The night went on and they started making beds. Dudley was on the couch, Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were in the bed in the other room, and Harry tried to find the softest part of the floor.
"That's possibly the saddest thing I've ever heard." Corner said. "And that's saying something because this book is depressing."
That was something everyone seemed to agree on. Well, everyone except maybe Umbridge, who would smile every once and awhile at random while exposing Potter's secrets.
Harry was the only one awake as he shivered and tried to find comfort. He was hungry and it was thundering outside. He could see Dudley's watch since his hand dangled over the edge of the sofa and he saw he had ten minutes until his birthday. He wondered if the Dursley's would remember, and where the person who was writing to him was at that very moment.
Draco snorted quietly, knowing there was no 'letter writer' and who Potter was referring to was a charmed quill.
At the five minute mark, he heard something creak and wondered if the roof would cave in. He thought he might be warmer if it did.
Draco wanted to bang his head on his desk. Potter was honestly so tragic Merlin's balls.
He thought maybe the Privet Drive house would have so many letters he could steal one.
"There's the bright side."
At three minutes he could hear noises outside, maybe the sea? At two minutes he thought he heard a crunching noise. He ignored the sounds from outside and focused as he counted down from thirty seconds, and thought about waking Dudley up just to annoy him.
"Not a good idea," Pansy shook her head. "He'd just end up punching you and that'd be horrible to celebrate your birthday."
"He can't hear you." Draco rolled his eyes.
He counted down the last three seconds and there was a loud BOOM.
Umbridge did not raise her volume in anyway, so no one was frightened as Potter likely had been at the time. However, it did make people worry, what in the world could have caused this.
Harry jumped upright, there was someone outside.
"It might be a teacher." Said a Ravenclaw mudblood. "When we wrote the letter off as a prank, a professor came and explained everything to us."
"Either way we are out of time and the chapter is over." Umbridge said. She eyed the book thoughtfully, and then nodded to herself. "Draco, do you read this alone?"
Draco raised an eyebrow and shook his head. "I read it with Pansy, Blaise, Crabbe, and Goyle."
She nodded. "I suspected as much. This is the best way to read outside of class. I want everyone to read chapters five through seven this weekend with the groups which I will assign for you. I will have a the list of groups posted in each of your common rooms with who you'll be reading with and I don't want to hear any complaints. As for now, read chapter four before the weekend, class dismissed."
"Why is she assigning groups?" Crabbe asked him much later as they walked to Care of Magical Creatures. Draco shrugged with one shoulder, unbothered, as long as he didn't get anyone stupid. Although he was reading with Crabbe and Goyle...
Care of Magical Creatures was Draco's least favorite class. The giant was a bloody imbecile and the creatures were menaces. So it wasn't hard to notice three people missing from class (what else was he supposed to do? Pay attention?). Potter, Weasley, and Granger. He remembered Granger saying they would read before this class, but he had no idea why that would make them late. If they had a break before Care of Magical Creatures, depending how long the break was, they may not have finished a chapter and lost track of time or something. Draco wasn't going to spend too much time thinking about it
They didn't end up showing up until dinner, and they certainly didn't show up quietly.
They were a few minutes late, so everyone was already beginning their food when the doors flew open and a red in the face Weasley came stomping in. Granger was right behind him, wet cheeks and swollen red eyes noticeable from a distance. Potter was several steps behind them looking like he wanted the earth to swallow him whole. Weasley was marching straight past the Gryffindor table, not seeming to care that all eyes were on him. His left hand was holding the book of Potter's life, his thumb keeping track of a certain page, and his right hand held his wand. Granger was trying to keep him from doing whatever stupid thing he was about to do, although from where he was Draco thought a part of her may want to join him in it.
Potter seemed to realize they weren't simply going to eat and quickly caught up trying to defuse the Weasley, but Weasley was already at the head table holding the book out in front of Dumbledore. "No meals!"
His loud voice coupled with the pin drop silence of the hall made his words echo all around.
"No bloody meals?!" he threw the book to the side but his wand was already up and pointed at their headmaster before the book made impact with something, so it was the last thing on any of their minds. "You knew didn't you? You knew this was happening!"
Potter and Granger were now trying to physically remove him but he didn't budge as he just started breathing heavily like a dragon about to breathe fire. Umbridge was grinning, not daring to stop as the longer Weasley would go on the more she'd be able to get him in trouble for. Snape, however, stepped in.
"It would behoove you to hold your tongue, Weasley, and maybe point your wand somewhere else."
"Bite me, Snape!"
"Shut up Hermione!" Granger jumped, the hurt and anger battling on her face and the anger was winning. But Weasley had already rounded back on Dumbledore.
"Do you even care? Do you even give a damn? Maybe you didn't know about all of this, maybe you just dropped him on the doorstep and didn't look back!" Weasley was near growling now. "He's ten here! Who- Who treats a ten year old like- like-"
He broke out in line of vulgar curses. Draco was so far quite entertained, and began eating his soup while watching the show. Dumbledore looked no different than he normally did, simply watching the scene unfold. Granger watched Weasley for a moment before she turned on Dumbledore as well.
"When you took him as your responsibility that night, sir, you made him your responsibility as... as almost another guardian! With all due respect, you should have checked on him constantly and consistently! Forgive me, sir, but what were you thinking? He'd lost everyone, the least he could have had was someone who gave a-" she seemed to catch herself, remembering where she was and who she was talking to. "Someone who cared about him."
Potter mumbled something, tugging on both of them.
"Why didn't you tell us!" Weasley yelled, now looking almost hysterical. Potter kept his mouth tightly shut. Granger was a lot softer.
"Harry, we're your best friends... we care about you..." she glanced at Weasley. "We're not blaming you. Ron's just... he isn't mad at you. We know it's not your fault, but you... you could have told us."
Potter took a deep breath. Draco glanced at the head table. Snape still looked angry at being told to 'bite' Weasley, almost looking like he wanted to hex Weasley himself but he had more sense and self control. Dumbledore looked pensive. McGonagall looked like she wanted to break this up, but from the looks she was giving Dumbledore, also agreed with everything that had been said. Umbridge looked on eagerly.
"You want to talk about it?" Harry asked calmly. "Alright let's talk about it, but not here."
Granger nodded but Weasley was still thinking with his rage. "No! You know what? I'm not done with him!" he pointed at Dumbledore. He didn't notice the angry look on Potter's face "Maybe he'd like to hear what you've got to say? See what excuses he comes up with, how it was for the best-"
"Ron if you want to talk let's bloody well talk! But I'm not having something else about me that should be private broadcasted to everyone, AGAIN!" Potter yelled louder than Weasley had ever been, his voice sending vibrations onto the table Draco was sitting at. His hand was outstretched towards the tables to fully make his point. Umbridge looked like she'd gotten the best present of her life. Draco was amused to see that some people had actually jumped.
"That's the I want my letter rage there." Blaise mumbled.
Harry wasn't finished. "For ONCE I'd like something to be my own bloody business! So let's GO!"
Weasley glanced around, as if finally realizing where he was.
"Perhaps a talk between the three of you is necessary." Dumbledore finally said. Weasley looked like he wanted to point his wand at the man again, but finally controlled himself and nodded at Potter. Everyone watched the three of them walk out, and the hall was quiet. Those who hadn't understood what Weasley was talking about because they hadn't read that far, like Weasley's siblings from the looks of it, went about pulling out their books.
Dumbledore raised a hand, "You may read in your own free time, let us continue dinner now."
People were muttering and whispering to themselves and each other about what had just happened, some began eating again, and then a girlish giggle could be heard.
"Well, I think something must be done about that little display. I'll have them in my office right after dinner-"
"That's quite alright, Dolores. As I was the target, I'll deal with this." Dumbledore said as if he were doing her a favor. Umbridge smiled sweetly.
"May I remind you of Decree Number Twenty-Five?" Umbridge said pleasantly. "In which I was given supreme authority of all punishments-"
"If they break school rules, and while it's certainly frowned upon to make such a scene, it is not against any written school rules."
"Mr. Weasley threatened you!"
"He was simply pointing with a hand that happened to hold his wand."
"He threw a book! It could have hit a student!"
"Simply dropped it from what I saw." Dumbledore smiled, and even from a distance Draco thought he saw his eyes doing that glinting, twinkling thing they liked to do.
"I saw the same thing." McGonagall. Said taking a sip from her glass. "Pomona?"
"Same thing!" Sprout giggled.
"I saw the same as well!" Flitwick squeaked.
"So as you can see, it's all been handled." Dumbledore said. "But I thank you for caring for my well being."
Draco couldn't quite believe what just happened. Potter and his friends got off easy again, and most of the Heads of Houses helped! But Snape didn't, he looked just as bitter as Draco felt.
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Next chapter POV? The teachers! See you soon!