Chapter 10 A Cursed Necklace
Draco felt terribly guilty after punching Fred, but his old Malfoy pride would not allow him to go back and apologize for what he'd done. He tried to tell himself that Fred had deserved it, but he kept hearing that small voice that said Fred was right. He had a choice. But it wasn't his pride that was keeping him from asking for help.
He was terrified of what would happen if he did ask for help.
Draco didn't like feeling guilty. He wasn't used to it. But ever since Fred Weasley had come to his home, he had become more and more familiar with the uncomfortable feeling.
He truly wondered if his fear or his guilt would win this battle.
He jumped. Turning around from where he'd been absent-mindedly staring out his window at the falling snow, he saw Blaise standing in the doorway to their dorm. He had an expectant look on his face, and Draco wondered if he had missed something he had said.
"What?" he asked.
"I asked if you were gonna head to Hogsmead with the rest of us. We're about to leave."
Oh. He'd forgotten about it. Glancing briefly at his trunk, he felt a pang of both fear and guilt, and knew why he'd forgotten. He hadn't wanted to remember.
"Don't worry about me. I'll be along shortly."
"It's just as well," Blaise said, smirking slightly. "Pansy wanted you to escort her, and I've seen how clingy she's been lately."
Draco rolled his eyes. Yes, Pansy was being rather insufferable lately. He had actually found a love potion in his drink one day-he was constantly checking ever since he'd seen Pansy drooling over the one Slughorn had shown them.
"Tell her to go with Theo. I'm sure he'd love it," he said, turning his gaze back to the wintery landscape outside.
He waited until Blaise had gone before looking back at his trunk. Dread coated his stomach. Taking a deep breath, he strode to the door, and peeked to see if there was anyone out in the hall. Seeing no one, he turned back to his trunk. Taking a deep breath, he made his way back across the room and knelt down. He quickly opened it up, and with another glance at the door, he started pulling out a few extra belongings and then found the lever that opened the magically enhanced space at the bottom of the trunk. Without wasting any time, he reached in and pulled out the brown bundle, being careful not to unwrap it. He may not like his aunt, but he knew she had given these instructions for a good reason.
He replaced the rest of the items, and shut the trunk. Then, still holding his package gingerly, he made his way into the bathroom where he locked the door behind him.
After placing his package down on the counter, he looked up into the mirror, seeing the now familiar dark lines under his eyes, the more pronounced paleness of his skin. He didn't recognize himself.
Looking back down at the package, he slowly, carefully, pulled the wrappings aside, and flipped the case open. The black, rather hideous necklace lay there, looking harmless, if you didn't know where it came from. His aunt had actually gotten it from Borgin and Burkes, and she had explained it in detail, so he knew just how dangerous it really was.
He had spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to get the necklace to Dumbledore, and in the end he had decided that the right moment would be when there was a trip to Hogsmead. Less teachers, lots of people to pick from. He was actually quite good at the imperious curse, so he knew that once he found someone to deliver the necklace, they wouldn't have any trouble obeying him and taking the necklace to Dumbledore.
He inhaled and exhaled slowly, trying to calm his pounding heart. Then, he wrapped the necklace back up. He figured he could wear his cloak today instead of his winter coat. That way he could carry the package without it being seen by prying eyes.
Namely one nosy Harry Potter. Draco wasn't an idiot, and he knew full well that Potter had been following him around. Annoying git.
Shaking his head, Draco quickly made his way to his wardrobe where he pulled out his favorite cloak, and pulled it on. All the while trying hard not to think of the fact that he was going out to kill Dumbledore.
Draco had made it to Hogsmead with his package held unnoticed under his cloak, and had gone into the Three Broomsticks. He had headed to the restrooms, deciding he would wait for someone to come back where he could put the imperious on them. Unfortunately, he had happened to glance around the room and had spotted the Golden Trio sitting with Professor Slughorn. Potter had seen him, and if looks could kill, both boys would have died on the spot.
He tried to forget about his rivalry with the other boy-one extra thing on his mind that he didn't need-and
walked down the small hallway outside the two bathrooms. He leaned
against the far wall, and closed his eyes, waiting.
He didn't think he'd been there long, when he heard someone in the girls restroom coming out. He already had his wand out, and his arm was stiff with the tension going through it.
The door opened, and a girl came out. Draco recognized her as a Gryffindor chaser. Bell, he remembered. Kaitie Bell.
Once again, Draco found himself shaking his head, trying to clear his thoughts. She hadn't seen him. He could do it.
Draco nearly jumped out of his skin, and then realized he was getting paranoid. There was no one else there.
But that didn't mean his imagination wasn't playing tricks on him.
He just wished it wouldn't do it in Fred's voice.
"You have a choice."
Draco blinked, his hand stretched out, his wand pointing at the girl.
He couldn't do it.
He slumped against the wall, his wand almost falling from his limp fingers. He watched, detached, as Kaitie went through the door, and back out to the main area. He had failed.
"No you didn't."
Stupid Fred voice.
But then the weight of what he had almost done crashed down on him, and he suddenly felt suffocated. He quickly pushed off the wall, and followed the girl out, ignoring the Golden Trio, and headed once again out into the snow.
He didn't know how long he walked, but when he finally became aware of his surroundings again, he realized he was standing in front of the lake. So, he had managed to go all the way back to Hogwarts grounds.
Oh, what had he almost done?!
A strange sense of urgency filled him, and he had the overwhelming urge to get rid of the cursed object he held in his hands. Frantically looking around, he spotted what he was looking for. Grabbing several rocks that were peeking out of the snow, he once again opened the bundle, and placed them inside. He then transfigured some sticks into string, and tied the package securely. He then went to the frozen lake, and walked out to a deeper area. With a muttered spell, the ice cracked, and the dark water could be seen clearly.
Draco took a deep breath, and dropped the package into the icy depths.
He started when he head the crunch of snow behind him. Turning quickly, he saw none other than the Weaselette standing about ten yards from him. She seemed to hesitate a moment, and then asked, " What was that?"
Trying to hide the fact that she'd startled him, he put on a bored look, and said, "Not that it's any of your business, but I had to get rid of something."
She raised her eyebrows, looking like she wanted to question him further, but then said instead, "I hope it makes you fell better."
Draco did a double take and stared at her. " What?"
She huffed. " You've looked kinda sick lately. Madam Pomfrey would have remedied any sickness pretty quickly, so I figured something was bothering you instead. So, whatever you dropped, I hope it makes you feel better."
And with that, she turned and walked away, leaving Draco gaping after her.
But what she had said was true. He felt better than he had in ages.
Without looking back at the hole he'd made in the ice, which was already freezing over again, he turned and walked away, his heart feeling lighter than air.