I strolled easily up the stone steps, alone for the most part on the higher levels. Every student was currently immersed in their finals, whether currently in one or briefly reviewing for the next. It reminded me of my own, so long ago, a bright handsome young lad with a skip in his step. My reflection in the windows caught my eye and I stopped to look at it, smirking to myself. And I'm still much the same, I think. Yes, improved with age like a fine wine.
I kept walking. The whole place seemed so quiet, like I had the whole castle to myself. Every once in a while, a student would rush by, indistinguishable from each other in long black robes and tall black hats. When I am Head of Slytherin, I thought, I will make sure that my house has something to tell themselves apart from the rabble. I watched a girl smile a bit too wide at me, frowning inward as I realized that kind of change would probably belong only to a Headmaster. Ah well. No particular problem with that. I have been a school governor for quite some time, and Head of House is only a small jump away from Head of Hogwarts...
A loud banging from a near-by classroom caused my curiosity to peak. I stepped up to the door and looked in. The female Weasley was bumbling around, carrying a large stack of what appeared to be iron. I noted the problems with this. First, the height of the metal tower prevented her from seeing around it, causing her to bump into everything in the room. Second, she was doing it manually instead of spelling it done. Third, she was doing it herself.
It was rather funny though.
I kept watching for a couple more minuted before becoming bored with it and starting to walk away. Then a thought hit me; If I rescued her from herself it would easily place me in a good light. She'd be just the person to plant the seed about this Mudblood/Severus business, and I wouldn't have to worry about paying or bribing anyone. Good hearted people, I thought, are always easier to fool. I pointed my wand and whispered a small spell. Instantly the weight was steadied and became manageable.
"Oh! Thank you!" The woman's voice, high and breathy, sounded grateful. I quickly plastered a warm smile on, just in time for her to see me. The face that peered around the metal to greet her savior turned very quickly from relief to revulsion. I kept my smile.
"You're quite welcome Professor Weasley! I would hate to see you fall, you know."
"Of course. Thank you, Mister Malfoy."
"Ah ah! Professor Malfoy now." I felt my smile widen. For a moment something like nausea flashed over her features, then she broke out a sparkling smile of her own.
"Of course! How silly of me! Professor Malfoy, how very kind of you to come to my aid. Now, I must get back to work." She turned quickly and dropped the bars into a box.
"Nonsense!" I snapped my wand back into my cane. "I'd hoped we could talk a while."
She didn't even look up. "Impossible." She grabbed some papers. "I have a final to lead in less than half an hour."
"Ah, well understandable. I suppose there's someone else I can voice my concerns about Miss Granger to."
I saw her body shift. A slight ripple under her skin that meant I'd struck a nerve. I waited for her response before doing anything. I didn't wait long. "What about Miss Granger?"
I put a hand to my forehead, a look of paternal concern on my face. "The poor girl! I ran into her the other day in Professor Snape's office and I fear the discourse between us was a bit on the sharp end of words. I am worried she is now unduly upset with me."
She turned to me, a hand on her hip and an incredulous look on her face. "And you... care about this?"
I quickly changed my face from concern to shock. "My dear lady! Of course I do! As an interest of my good friend Professor Snape she is an interest of mine!" Her eyes widened. I put a hand to my face and closed my own eyes in embarrassment, pretending to have let a secret slip. "Oh dear, I've gone and said it haven't I?"
"How do you know that?" she asked. I put my hands at my sides.
"I see things, Professor. And I try hard to notice if something seems off to me. And, doesn't it seem rather off to you? The relationship they seem to have?"
She looked at the ceiling, her eyes blank. I waited patiently, watching gears in her head turn. Rather slow, this one.
"Yes." she answered, causing me to blink as I was pulled out of my thoughts. "I have noticed something between them."
"I'm afraid of it. What if he hurt her? Or people started thinking that he was this way with all his female students?" I tsk-tsked. "It would look very bad on the school."
"You know, Professor Malfoy, I think you may be right." She folded her arms, tapping her fingers on the top crossed arm. "What do you suggest we do about it?"
"We? Dear me no! I couldn't betray the trust of my friend to anyone! Besides I don't think I have many comrades here..." I let a bit of blush creep into my cheeks and lowered my eyes ever so slightly, before meeting hers again. "Perhaps I could inquire if you have any ideas?"
She was quiet for a moment, and I was reminded of an overly-large beaver trying to figure out what to do about petrified wood. "Her parents are coming here in a couple days for the ball. I know them. Maybe I could bring it up to them?"
"That sounds like an excellent idea!" I marveled, my joy genuine. "Oh, but I'd better keep out of the way for it."
She nodded. "Yes, you don't want to betray yourself. I'll just say I noticed on my own and wanted to bring it up. Plus, it might sound less credible should you mention it yourself, what with your ruined reputation..."
Just had to get a jab in there somewhere, didn't she? "Too true Professor. Now, I'll just leave you to your... Work." I motioned to the pile on the floor.
"Take care Professor Malfoy." she called. I nodded and turned, my cloak blowing out behind me in a practiced motion, and swept from the room.
Ahhhhh... I thought to myself as she closed the door smiling behind me. It feels so good to see things working out.