28. Troll! In the Dungeon!
Remus and I managed the school day fine, even without any sleep, though we did get a lot of crap from the boys since Remus hadn't returned to the dorm. Nothing could faze us in our private bubbles of happiness, not even if the war had broken out in the middle of the Great Hall.
After classes, the five of us marched out onto the grounds for an evening of studying and quidditch. Remus and I finished our homework for the week and flopped onto our backs.
"This whole resorting thing is a pain in my ass." I chuckled, glancing over at him. A smile tugging at the corners of my mouth despite everything.
"What did you expect, Dezzie? Your house is supposed to be your family, and you basically disowned them. Plus, you hexed Snape." Remus teased. "I mean, it's okay for a Gryffindor to hex a Slytherin, but hexing a housemate and then running away? Shame on you."
I rolled my eyes. "I didn't hex him, Rem. I silenced him. I also basically screamed to the whole house that they were blood purist scum and that I would enjoy putting them in Azkaban. I mean, they might have taken that a little personally... Especially when I added that I hoped the dementors gave Sev kisses good night..."
"You didn't." Remus sighed. "Please tell me you didn't"
"I said something along those lines." I laughed. "I was just so... mad. I didn't want to deal with it anymore. I didn't want anything to do with these death eater wanna-bes."
"You should have just hexed him, it would have been better." Remus said, wrapping setting his hand on my arm.
I fell silent, unsure what to say now.
Too soon, the sky grew dark and the five of us headed towards the castle. Remus and I walked a step behind the three louder boys and chatted quietly.
"Hey, there's still a little bit before curfew. Wanna sneak off and give them something to talk about at breakfast?" I whispered.
"Sure." Remus said, pulling me down a separate hallway as the boys headed upstairs. I smiled at Remus and took off at a run towards the dungeons. I heard Remus chuckle and chase after me.
The two of us ran through the dungeons, playing a little game of chase.
"Miss Desari! Jenna has been looking everywhere for you!" A small voice called as I turned a corner. I tripped and fell to a heap on the floor in my effort to avoid running the poor house elf over. Remus was second behind me, but somehow managed to stop just in time.
"Hi Jenna." I laughed as the two each grabbed a hand to help me up. "What'd you need, love?"
"Jenna has a gift and message for Desari." Jenna grinned proudly. She held out a small doll, almost exactly like the one Severus had given me for Christmas, except this one's hair was enchanted to change between silver and green. "Master Snape says to deliver this directly to Desari and tell her that he's sorry. That she should return to Slytherin before it's too late."
"Thank you, Jenna." I whispered, taking the doll.
"Desari looks sad. Did Jenna do something wrong?" The small elf looked devastated.
"No, no Jenna. You're great. There's just a lot of confusing things going on right now." Desari forced a smile and patted the elf's head. "You go up and get yourself some chocolate. There isn't any in the bowl, but there is some in the bedside table."
"Okay!" Jenna hugged my legs, nearly making me fall all over again. "Jenna will see you soon, Miss Desari!"
I waited for the house elf to leave with a pop before letting my smile fade. Severus was using poor, innocent Jenna against me. And what was with the veiled threat? Before it was too late for what?
"It's okay, Dez. The marauders are with you no matter what." Remus whispered softly. "You're one of us, now and forever."
"I know." I whispered, slowly wandering back towards the stairs. It would be curfew soon anyways, and I needed to figure out how to handle Severus. Remus wrapped an arm around my shoulders, and the two of us walked in silence.
When we passed the Potions Dungeon, a wonderful idea crossed my mind. I grinned and grabbed Remus's arm, dragging him inside.
"Dez, what are you-" Remus asked, but I put a hand over his mouth. Slowly, I moved my hand off his mouth and crept up to Professor Slughorn's desk. I set the Troll doll on the desk and placed a sticking charm on it so it would still be there when we had potions in the morning.
I smiled softly at Remus and grabbed his hand, dragging him back out of the room. "Don't worry. Horace adores me. Plus, it'll show Snape what I think of his apology."
Remus rolled his eyes. "Sometimes, you're as immature as Sirius."
"I know." I grinned, dancing my way up the stairs. It would be curfew soon, and we still had a ways to walk.
The two of us walked in a comfortable silence to the door to my private quarters. Just before we went our separate ways, Remus took my hand. "Dez, thanks for wearing the ring. It means a lot." He whispered, toying with the ring on my hand.
"It's no problem, Rem. I love it." I smiled and leaned forward, giving him a gentle kiss on the cheek. "Goodnight, Remus."
I turned and entered my dorm before he could respond. I shut the door behind me and leaned against it. "Bloody hell, Malfoy?" I whispered to myself. "What on Earth were you thinking, kissing him like that? You know he needs time to think things over... Bloody idiot..."
I slowly walked away from my door and to my nice warm bed. Maybe I needed some time to think things over too.
The next morning came fast and hit me hard as the light I still wasn't used to pulled me awake shortly after dawn. I couldn't get back to sleep, even after I conjured some curtains (In green, because I did still love Slytherin, even if I didn't feel safe there). Finally, I gave up and sat at the teacher's desk, the only desk left in the classroom turned dorm. I started drawing, not thinking about what it would be when I was done. For once, I wasn't trying to draw anything or anyone in particular. I was just letting the lines guide me. When I was done with the bigger lines, I put a temporary enlargement charm on the page so I could draw the smaller, finer details. It was the only magic I ever used when I drew. By the time I was done with the drawing, breakfast was over and I only had a few minutes left to get to the dungeons before Potions. I gently returned the paper to it's original size and slid it into my drawing book. I could wonder about it later.
I grabbed my bookbag and ran the whole way down into the dungeons, not even stopping to say hi to the boys when I got there. I went to sit in my usual seat by Severus, but it was taken. Emmeline Vance was in my seat... I looked around, confused, and saw that the only seat left was next to Sirius.
I sat down, silently. Everyone's eyes were on me. I blushed and pulled out my potions book, rereading the chapter until they looked away.
"It's safe to talk now, Dez." Sirius breathed.
I looked up at him apologetically. "Thank's Padfoot. Why is Vance in my usual seat?"
"New seating chart." Sirius grinned. "I guess good old Slughorn thought he should move a few of us around."
I smiled lightly. "Thank god. I don't know if I could stand sitting with that slimy git."
"Wow, you were friends just a few days ago, Dez. That's a harsh turn about." Sirius teased, setting his arm on my shoulder. "Poor kid must be all confused."
I shrugged and straightened up as Professor Slughorn entered the room, nearly ten minutes late for his own class. "Good morning students. I hope you spent the last ten minutes reading the next chapter, rather than gossiping about the new seating chart."
Most of the class fell silent, but I did notice a smirk settled on Snape's face. Of course he was reading, everyone had been talking about him... and me, but I was used to it. As if sensing that I was watching him, Severus turned his nastiest glare on me. I didn't back down, I glared right back at him, looked at the troll doll still secured onto Slughorn's desk, turned back to Severus and grinned.
Severus's pale face went red with fury and he turned back to the front of the class quickly. He didn't look at me again.
Slughorn chuckled lightly. "Well, class, we're going to be studying something much more entertaining than Girding potion or shrinking solution. Today we're going to begin our chapter on Amortentia. I rolled my eyes lightly. I'd made a dozen vials of Amortentia over the summer for Mr. White's apothecary.
"Can anyone share with the class exactly what it is that Amortentia does?" Slughorn asked.
I sighed and raised my hand.
"Yes, Miss Malfoy?" Slughorn grinned at me.
"It's the most powerful love potion known to man." I said matter-of-factly. "It doesn't create real love, of course, but it does create a powerful affection, bordering on obsession in the drinker. It also smells like that which attracts you the most."
"Would you mind sharing with the class what you think you would smell, given the chance?" Slughorn asked gently.
"I would smell expensive chocolate and old books." I shrugged. "That means that I probably wouldn't be fooled if someone put some in my morning juice. My evening hot chocolate though? I probably wouldn't notice if done properly."
"Brilliant, Miss Malfoy." Slughorn grinned. "Now, everyone draw out a piece of parchment. I want you to write exactly what you think Amortentia will smell like to you. Don't worry if there's one thing or ten, no one else will see this."
The professor drew up curtains in the middle of out desks to separate us from our partners so that no one could see our papers. I smiled at the sound of scratching quills as I wrote my own answer. "Rich, dark chocolate. Fresh ink. Dusty old tomes."
I wondered what the others would smell. Remus would probably smell ink and coffee. Sirius might smell bacon and cologne. James would probably smell quidditch and hair gel... or Lily's perfume. Peter would smell fresh soil and sunlight. I chuckled, wondering if I was even close.
Slughorn waited for the last person to stop writing before he spoke again. "Now, I'm going to come around to each one of you, and let you smell the real thing. You don't have to write that down if you don't want to. I just want you to give yourself a scale of one to ten, ten being the closest and one being the farthest from your guess."
Slughorn walked around to each person and let them smell. Most people just wrote a number, but a few spent several moments revising their answers. When he finally reached me, he gave me a small smile. "Go ahead, dear. Give her a whiff.
I rolled my eyes and sniffed the potion. The smell had changed since summer. Now it smelled faintly of chocolate and ink, but mostly it smelled like coffee, the forest after rain, and something I couldn't quite put my finger on. It smelled wonderful... like... moonlight? Does moonlight even have a smell?
Before I could sift through my memories properly, Slughorn took the vial away and replaced the stopper. "Now you all know what to look out for if someone tries to slip you Amortentia. Miss Malfoy, how would you rate you guess on a scale of one to ten?"
I frowned. "I would rate myself a two. It smelled a little of chocolate, but mostly it smelled like rain."
Slughorn chuckled. "And Miss Malfoy, have you been exposed to Amortentia before?"
I nodded. "Yeah, I brewed some during my summer internship, just last summer."
"Very good, Miss Malfoy. Do you still think that someone could slip it in your cocoa without you noticing?" Slughorn asked softly.
Mister Black, on a scale of one to ten, how did you rate yourself?" Slughorn continued.
"I gave myself a four."
"Excellent!" Slughorn grinned. "Mister Snape?"
"I gave myself a zero. It was nothing like I expected."
"Wonderful class! Now you see how difficult it would really be to slip someone some Amortentia without them noticing." Slughorn returned to his desk. "You would have to know a person better than they know themselves. You would have to know who they are now, because in as little as a year, everything can change. You would have to know them and love them."
The class was silent for once as they truly thought about it. Slughorn gave us the rest of the hour to read the chapter and take notes. Snape's eyes didn't leave the troll for the rest of the class.