Blood Bound

Chapter 25 - Hospites

Draco’s eyes were immediately assaulted by the ginger atrocity and the dark-haired disaster when he walked out of his bedroom, pulling his t-shirt down over his chest as he walked through the doorway. They were facing away from him as he slipped a smirk on his face and ran a hand through his hair.

“Well, not exactly my choice of a wake-up committee,” he drawled, causing them both to spin and stare at him. “However, I dare say I may just prefer you to Filch if I really had to choose, wand to my head and all that drivel.” As expected, the idiot duo was staring at him in confusion, obviously a little slow trying to figure out his presence. Draco took advantage of their stunned silence and walked into the kitchen, drawing their attention and in the process putting their backs to the bedrooms so Granger could run to her own room. Weasley’s hand twitched towards his wand as he walked around, as though he were contemplating reaching for his wand.

“What are you doing in here Malfoy?” Potter finally managed to form a thought as he finished putting on a pot of tea for Granger and coffee for himself. I can’t believe the saviour of the wizarding world is this much of a moron he thought with a roll of his eyes. Draco stalled his response momentarily as he caught the flash of brunette that indicated his witch had slipped into her own bedroom.

“Clearly, Granger really is the brains of your precious trio” he sneered, “how do you manage without her?” He asked, fixing himself a cup of coffee and leaving Granger’s tea to over steep itself like she preferred. “I mean, obviously you’re barely scraping by judging by your hair and Weasel-bee’s overall appearance, really its pathetic.”

Weasley’s face turned red to match his hair -really not his best look-and Draco watched in pleased satisfaction as the dumber half of ‘Dumb and Dumber’ pulled his wand and aimed it at him. He simply sauntered around the counter to lean against it in front of the other two, blatantly ignoring the wand fixed on him.

“I didn’t realize they let death eaters into Hogwarts now” Weasley sneered.

“Ronald!” Granger’s admonishing tone came from behind the two as she walked out of her bedroom, hands on her hips. “Put your wand away right now or I will send you right back through that floo I swear to Godric!” She huffed in annoyance and walked around the three, snatching her tea off the counter and settling onto a stool to sip it. Draco simply raised an eyebrow victoriously at the two boys, internally quite glad not to be on the receiving end of that tone for once.

“Why are you defending him ’Mione? He’s a death eater! And what is he even doing here?” The red-head reluctantly lowered his wand but kept it firmly in hand as he turned on Granger. Potter seemed to be assessing the situation silently, his eyes flitting between the mug in Granger’s hands and Draco.

“I know you’re not the smart one Weasley,” he answered in a bored tone “but as you are in the Head’s dorm, and that door” he gestured to his bedroom door across the room “clearly has my name on it,” Draco paused for emphasis, enunciating as though he were talking to a child “even your pathetic deduction skills must have realized that I live here.” He smirked, satisfied, as Weasel’s jaw dropped and Potter’s clenched at the revelation.

Before anyone could speak, the sound of the common room door being swung open drew the attention of everyone in the room.

“Darling!” came ringing through the room in Nott’s overly-cheerful tone, “Honey, I’m home!” The lanky Slytherin came sauntering into view of the small group, followed by a surly looking Parkinson who had her arms crossed over her chest.

“Good morning Theo!” Granger chimed up from her place on the barstool, smiling broadly at the boy. “Are you referring to me?” she asked in an overly-sweet tone “or are you two-timing me with Malfoy here?” she cocked her head in his direction, her smile sliding into a playful smirk.

Nott ignored the two former Gryffindors staring at his back, dumbfounded, and waltzed up to Granger, swinging an arm over her shoulders and placing an exaggerated kiss to her temple before shooting her a wink. Draco scowled at his friend, who caught his look and arched an eyebrow at him in a silent challenge.

“Actually Granger,” Draco cut in before Nott could open his mouth “if he were being unfaithful to one of us, it would certainly be me, since I’ve known him far longer.” That earned him a snort from Parkinson where she was lounging on the sofa leisurely, as though there weren’t two-thirds of the golden trio glaring at her head.

Glaring may have been inaccurate, Draco realized. Potter was glancing rapidly between the two new occupants of the room, looking like he was attempting to assess the situation. Weasley however, was openly gaping at the side of Parkinson’s head, a red flush crawling up his neck. Interesting he thought, saving that realization for later. Nott was draped over Granger but was openly ogling a very oblivious Potter, so Draco felt his desire to break the boy’s nose subside a bit.

“What are they doing here?” Weasley finally managed to reconnect his mouth to his brain and turn to direct the question at Granger. His eyes were narrowed and staring daggers at Nott, who’d seated himself on the countertop after swiping Granger’s mug of tea from her hands. Draco watched in amusement as his friend took a sip from the cup and immediately made a face, already knowing exactly how Granger liked her tea -bitter and overly sweetened with honey- if one would even still call that tea.

“We’re not here for her” Nott explained “though I’m not sure your rude tone really deserved a response” he added snootily with a sniff. “We’re here to collect our quidditch captain, pre-game party with various debauchery and what-not in the dungeons. Sorry” he added with a quirk of his lips “no lions allowed in the snake pit.”

Draco doubted anyone but him was listening to Nott at this point. Granger was humming distractedly and pouring herself another cup of tea, Potter was shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot and staring at his shoes after noticing Nott’s lecherous stare, and Parkinson was glaring mildly at Weasley who was nervously twirling his wand in his fingers.

Deciding the tense atmosphere had become more uncomfortable than it was entertaining, he summoned his wand and his quidditch gear to land in a neat pile on the couch while he drank the last of his coffee. Snagging an apple out of the fruit bowl, he nodded at Granger and ignored the other two as he made his way to the exit.

“Nott, Parkinson, let’s go. It’s positively stifling in here with this many Gryffindor’s.” He called as he slipped his shoes onto his feet. With a glance in her direction, Draco caught Granger’s eye who subtly smiled and mouthed a ‘good luck’ before she turned her attention to her friends and he walked out of the common room, two snakes in tow.

--

“What the hell ’Mione?!” Ron exploded as soon as the door closed behind the Slytherins. “Please tell me you’re not actually living with Malfoy. It’s Malfoy!” He paced a full circle around the sitting area before plopping down onto the sofa with a heavy sigh. Taking a moment to collect herself, Hermione risked a glance at Kaa to make sure he was still firmly inside his enclosure.

Don’t worry about me, I’ve been in the red-head’s mind before. I don’t want to go back, very messy and sticky in there. Kaa reassured her in a hiss that she interpreted as disdainful. She was becoming less and less sure that Kaa was her creation every day, considering his personality.

“Ron, there’s really no need to raise your voice at me so I suggest you take a breath.” She told him in a warning tone, levitating over a tea service -including a fresh pot of tea, steeped for an appropriate amount of time- into the sitting area for the three of them. She took a seat on one of the lounge chairs and Harry took up residence in the other. “I am living with Malfoy” she told them calmly “because he’s the head boy, and there’s nothing either of us can do about it.”

Ron made a disgusted noise as he reached for a muffin while Harry simply pursed his lips disapprovingly. Harry had been extremely quiet since the two had arrived, which wasn’t exactly abnormal. He’d become much more introspective since the war. Noticing the way his fingers were twitching in his lap, Hermione turned her attention to her bespectacled friend.

“I don’t mind if you smoke in here Harry, I’ll just have to remember to cast an air freshening charm before Malfoy gets back.” Harry smiled gratefully at her, immediately reaching into the pocket of his jacket to fish out a cigarette and light it, whereas Ron had turned his attention away from his muffin and back to her at her words.

“Who sodding cares what Malfoy thinks? Let the bleeding prat cast his own air freshening charms.” He grumbled the last bit as he ripped another chunk off the poor muffin in his hand, which seemed to be taking the brunt of his temper. Hermione took another centering breath and pinched the arch of her nose, feeling a headache building.

“Ronald” she started in an overly calm voice “I know that you may have a personal issue with Malfoy, however him and I have agreed to get along this year seeing as we have to live with each other regardless.” She explained slowly, subtly using a bit of wandless magic to sweep the piece of fabric she’d identified as yesterday’s knickers underneath the couch from where they were on the floor by Ron’s foot. “If an air-freshening charm means that the two of us don’t argue, then I’m going to just do it to save myself the argument.”

He clearly wasn’t pleased with her response, but the look on her face seemed to be enough to nip that conversation in the bud. With a pleased nod, she glanced over at Harry, who was happily sucking on his cigarette and to her surprise, freshening the air after each exhale of smoke.

“So,” she changed the conversation, setting her tea down. “Once you two are done, I say we head over to Gryffindor tower to visit with everyone yeah?” Both of them nodded enthusiastically and Hermione smiled, happy to have her boys back. She really had missed having them around, especially now that she wasn’t high all the time or crippled by uncontrolled magic. She let the silly grin that she’d been suppressing show on her face, reveling in the feeling of completeness that came with being with both Ron and Harry. Just like old times.

--

“The wonder twins are in town, lovely.” Nott groaned from beside him, one arm looped with a reluctant Parkinson and the other swung awkwardly over Draco’s shoulders (awkward because Draco was a good three or four inches taller than him).

“Oh yes” he responded drily “I’m ecstatic can’t you tell? It’s going to take me weeks to get rid of the smell of inadequacy from the furniture.” He complained loudly, to which Nott sympathetically draped a hand against his forehead in a dramatic swoon.

“You might be better off burning it all and replacing it, to be sure you get it all.” Parkinson advised, he nodded solemnly in agreement.

“Seriously though Nott,” Draco turned to his friend slightly as the three walked down the hall “mind if I crash in the Dungeons with you lot for a few days until four-eyes and ginger-for-brains go back to wherever they crawled out of?”

“Our dungeon is your dungeon” Nott said enthusiastically, “it gets pretty boring with just Blaise, he’s always disappearing off to Salazar knows where with Salazar knows who.”

“You’ve got Crabbe too” Draco added, to which the boy just snorted humorously.

“He’s about as good company as a depressed paperweight these days, only talks to cast spells, if he even picks up his wand.” Parkinson abruptly elbowed him harshly in the ribs, giving him a disapproving frown.

“Don’t be cruel Theodore” she scolded him; her eyebrows crinkled together in a scowl. “You know just as well as the rest of us that he hasn’t been the same since Greg died, he was his best friend!” Nott raised his hands in surrender, grimacing as he flinched away from the irate girl.

“Okay, okay! I’m sorry!” She halted her aggressive finger-pointing and her face smoothed back into its regular sneer as she fell back into step beside Draco. He heard the other Slytherin grumble something along the lines of ‘violent she-devil’, which Parkinson seemed to pointedly ignore.

Personally, Draco thought that Nott really should have seen her response coming. Parkinson may be prickly and outright unpleasant most of the time, but she was fiercely protective of anyone she deemed worthy of her affections.

The three walked down the many flights of stairs in relative silence from then on, every once in a while, breaking it to crack a joke (Nott) or hiss something cruel at passing students (Parkinson).

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