4. The Marauders
The next few weeks passed quickly as Severus and I became close friends. Soon I was spending more time with Severus in the library or the common room than I was spending in my dorm. That had never happened before. Severus would share his stories about the Marauders and their stupid pranks and I would listen and pretend to feel the same as my friend, though truthfully, I wished I could pull some of those pranks myself.
One day I found myself bursting at the seams as I sat with James Potter in Transfiguration class. I couldn't hold in my curiosity anymore. I turned to the messy haired boy and smiled "Is it true that you turned the prefect bathroom into a swamp and they couldn't fix it for a whole week?"
James laughed softly. "That would be telling, Miss Malfoy. I'm not stupid enough to give you Slytherins any more ammunition. Especially a friend of Snivellus."
I frowned at the juvenile nickname. "I'm not asking for ammunition. I think it was bloody brilliant, but I suppose, if you think you can switch out the Slytherin boys robes with muggle prom dresses without someone on the inside..."
I carefully ignored James for the rest of the lesson, pretending I was having a hard time turning my top hat into a rabbit. Just before the end of the class I saw Professor McGonagall giving me a strange look. She knew that I'd never had trouble in her class before. I gave her my best imitation of James's arrogant smile and effortlessly changed the hat into a rabbit and back again. The Professor rolled her eyes, but I could see the smallest hint of a smile on her lips.
James pouted next to me. "You could have done that at any time. Instead you insisted on leaving me hanging. Come on, Malfoy, That's the best idea I have ever heard! Please let me in on this!"
"First of all, call me Desari." I caught James's eye with a grin. "And second of all, if I let you in on this, you and your friends HAVE to let me in on something great you guys do. This is my first prank, and I don't want it to be my last."
"I'll have to talk with the boys. We've never let a non-marauder in on our plans before. I'm not sure how they'll feel about a snake in our midst, Desari." James smiled and even though we'd really only said a few words to each other, I could feel the beginnings of a great partnership. Maybe even a friendship one day.
"Talk to your fellow Princes of Pranks, but please make it fast. I have a wonderful offer here, and it won't be on the table forever." I smiled coyly at James just as Professor McGonagall dismissed the class. "I'm sure you'll find a way to deliver the news discreetly. Snivellus won't take kindly to me making deals with those bloody Marauders."
Before James could reply I had already left the classroom with my books in tow. It was hard to concentrate in my classes with my thoughts being consumed with my in the moment decision to try and join the pranksters, let alone the eager jump of my heart at the idea that they might let me. Never before, in all my time at Hogwarts, had I thought of doing something like this, to my own house no less. Plus, how the hell was I going to pull it off? Yeah, I have money, but surely the Slytherins aren't dense enough to actually wear muggle dresses, as funny as the idea is. Plus, if the marauders do happen to let me in, I would have to convince them that I was capable of doing it, even though I wasn't sure myself that I would be able to pull it off.
By dinnertime I had decided that the Gryffindor boys had decided that I wasn't trustworthy enough to let in. I was both relieved and hurt by the decision. On one hand, I had really wanted to do something crazy and fun for the first time. I had wanted to break the rules and live on the edge. On the other hand, I still hadn't figured out how I was going to fool my classmates into wearing dresses.
I was halfway through my plate of steak and chips when a tiny little Hufflepuff came up to me and tugged on my sleeve. "You're Miss Malfoy right?" Her quiet voice was barely heard over the din on the great hall. I looked her over in a way only a Slytherin could, assessing her weaknesses and strengths.
"I am indeed." I said coolly, though truthfully, I felt a little bad for her, walking into the den of snakes unprepared.
"Professor McGonagall would like you to report to the east wing of the seventh floor at eight for your detention. She said that she's a little busy, so you'll have to help Filch clean that hall." She said bravely lying to my face. I almost smiled at her, but to keep with her story I groaned.
"Tell McGonagall that I'll be there, but if Filch is a moment late, I'm going back to the library to finish my Potions essay." I grumbled and shooed the girl away. She would pass my message back to James and he would understand.
At the very end of dinner Professor Dumbledore stood up and gave the Great Hall his signature smile. "Now that our bellies are full and our eyes start to droop, I think it's time to announce that we're doing something new this year. This year, we're going to have Hogwarts first Halloween Masquerade Ball! I think it would be fun for our students to dress up and have some Halloween fun Muggle style. Costumes will be encouraged, but surely not required. Now off to bed with all of you."
The Great Hall erupted into whispers. The Slytherins were all talking about the masks they planned on wearing and I sighed. None of my own house would chose to dress in muggle costumes, but they would probably use the ball as an excuse to taunt the other houses.
Severus leaned in and whispered "You wanna be the only Slytherins to wear actual costumes? No one would know it's us if we hide our hair as well..."
I grinned and hugged my friend. "Oh Severus, you say the sweetest things. I would greatly enjoy that, but promise me you won't tell me what you're wearing. I want to see if I can pick you out of the crowd."
Severus chuckled lightly "Okay, my dear friend, I promise. But you can't tell me either."
I grinned and hugged him. "I didn't plan on it. You'll never find me first."
Severus laughed lightly. "Oh, you are so on, Malfoy. I'll pick you out of the crowd in ten minutes. Tops." He glanced at the clock. "But, you should probably get going. You wouldn't want to be late for the detention you didn't mention you had. Though, I would love to hear how you got it."
"Hardy har har, Severus. You know how McGonagall is." I waved a vague hand towards the Head Table. "A simple smart ass comment and she'll have you dusting fifty year old trophies for a year."
"Get going, Dez. It's nearly seven thirty."
I smiled at his nickname for me. I'd never been called a nickname before. "Okay, okay. I'm going."
I stood and left the hall, noticing that the mysterious Marauders had already disappeared. Surely at least one of them would meet me on the seventh floor, though why they would chose that hall was a mystery. There was nothing up there.