Title: Lonely Reign
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an ’89 Caddy Eldorado with a broken tape deck, and you’re welcome to it.
Rating: Who knows what offends people? I gave it an R, just in case.
Lonely Reign, Part 1
Wednesday, 11:13 am, History of Magic class (Slytherin/Hufflepuff)
Draco Malfoy’s sobriquet was The Slytherin Prince, and it suited him nicely, he thought. Wasn’t he absolutely regal in appearance and manner? And didn’t he have a select group of courtiers tailing him through his every endeavour?
His silver gaze flickered over the occupants of the desks surrounding him, and he allowed that perhaps ‘select’ was a slight exaggeration. Crabbe and Goyle were playing a game of hangman by carving the letters and little dangling figure into Goyle’s desk with a pocketknife, Bulstrode and Parkinson were doing homework for other classes. Zabini was sleeping.
“I won!” exulted Crabbe. Draco glanced over at the carving.
“You spelled ‘Quidditch’ wrong,” he said with a sigh. “There’s two d’s, and there’s no s in it at all.” Crabbe looked crestfallen. Goyle gloated.
Draco returned his attention to Professor Binns. It’s always good to have goals, he thought. Important to keep pushing yourself, to exceed your personal best and outdo all previous accomplishments. It was the only explanation of which he could conceive for Binns’ absolutely stultifying lecture that day. He had surpassed all previous lectures of Draco’s personal experience, and possibly all previous lectures at Hogwarts, full stop.
One might think that hearing about the hippogriff stampedes of the ninth century would be an exciting tale, but one would be bloody well mistaken.
How a tale of rampaging beasts causing mayhem and chaos across two continents could be rendered actively boring was a matter of investigation for the Department of Mysteries, thought Draco, and then busied himself for the next few minutes pondering the oxymoronical concept of ‘actively boring’.
It could be a weapon. A hex, upon casting of which the recipient is stricken by such a powerful sense of ennui that he is prepared to drill holes in his cranium to let the boredom seep out. It could work, he considered, and made a note to explore further.
So involved in his thoughts was Draco that it should have come as no surprise to him or anyone else when something happened.
Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones, Laura Madley. The so-called ‘troika’ of Hufflepuff sixth years, a veritable bevy of female pulchritude, and rumoured to have a single brain between them, which they traded off according to day (two days a week each, with Sundays off to let the poor overworked thing rest).
The troika d’habitude passed Bins’ soporific lessons engaged in what basically amounted to a slumber party, but without the slumber and, much to Draco’s lament, sans shorty pajamas. They gossiped, they read Teen Witch aloud to each other, they engaged in acts of personal hygiene and beautification, grooming and pulling at each other like baboons.
He had to admit, it paid great dividends. Giants of intellect they were not, but visions of loveliness—oh, my, yes.
Hannah was your classic blonde shepherdess type—short, pink and white English complexion, well-endowed enough to make even old Snape break into a sweat, with a placidly pretty face surrounded by long, bouncing, shampoo-commercial curls. Susan, on the other hand, was a lanky dark beauty, all raven hair and chocolate eyes and slender golden limbs. Laura was somewhere between the two of them- the most average of the three, being of middling height and figure. Her hair was a sort of bronze shade, neither red nor brown, her eyes an indeterminate hazel-green. All in all, they were well-matched.
Shame they were Hufflepuffs, thought Draco, and slouched more comfortably into his chair, the better to facilitate the nasty boy-thoughts that had crept into his mind. He was just getting to where he was showing Hannah a preferable use for her mouth than wittering on about cosmetic charms when there was a rather impressive BOOM! from behind him, and a flash of violet light arced toward the Slytherin side of the room.
And suddenly Draco was… shorter.
When the puffs of lavender smoke cleared, Draco perused his surroundings and found that, where his housemates had been, now squatted a flock of birds. Dodo birds, to be precise. And it would appear that he himself had not escaped this ignominious fate, as he tried to speak and found himself able only to make an odd squawking noise.
Amazingly, Binns droned on, oblivious to the fact that half his class were no longer human.
“Oh, Merlin,” Laura Madley cried from the back, and Draco whipped his head around (as well as he could) to see the girl with one hand clapped in horror over her mouth, the other dangling a wand from limp fingers. His feathered shoulders slumped in comprehension.
Madley had this deplorable habit of gesticulating with her hands whilst talking, and on those occasions that she was holding her wand at the time, various small disasters had occurred. None so grave as this, of course, but there was that time last year she’d described Harry Potter’s latest masterful employ of the Wronski Feint and Apparated not the entire Charms class, but the entire Charms class’ robes. And all the way to Wolverhampton, no less—the Muggle news was full of the anomaly of thirty-one black ‘bathrobes’ suddenly appearing in the middle of a tobaconist’s in the city centre.
That was how it became public knowledge which were the under-robe garments (or in the case of Terry Boot, lack of same) favoured by fifth year Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws. After restoring everyone to a properly clothed state (and providing trauma counseling, as poor Boot had been in the midst of his own nasty boy-thoughts regarding the troika, with the expected physical reaction), Laura Madley had been scolded quite severely, and warned about careless wand-waving.
Apparently, the warning didn’t ‘take’, because Madley had, in fact, engaged in waving her wand carelessly, and had, in fact, transfigured sixteen students into large, flightless fowl.
“Oh, Merlin,” Madley repeated, walking toward her victims with hand outstretched in supplication. “Draco?” she asked him, reaching to touch his head. He squawked loudly and snapped at her. “Yes, that’s you, then,” she murmured, rubbing her injured fingers.
“Professor! Professor Binns!” Susan Bones called loudly, striding to the front of the room and knocking briskly on his desk, finally gaining that gentleman’s attention. “There’s been an accident.” She gestured widely behind her, indicating the flock of Slytherins who were either sitting quietly in shock, like Draco, or trying to walk around and get their bearings, like Millicent Bulstrode, or else falling off their chairs, like Vincent Crabbe.
Binns’ ghostly eyes rounded in shock. “Er… what happened?”
“There’s been an accident,” Bones repeated patiently. “We should go for help.”
“Quite right,” Binns agreed. Blaise Zabini flapped his stubby little wings and chirruped. “We’ll need… er… Headmaster Dumbledore, of course, and Professors McGonagall and Snape.” Three messengers were dispatched to fetch the respective authorities, and they left in a flurry of robes and excited whispers.
The moments until they returned with reinforcements were thick with tension and the fervent need for air circulation. Dodos, it would appear, had a significant and heretofore unknown flatulence problem, and it wasn’t long before the remaining Hufflepuffs had flung open the windows and stood with heads hanging out, trying manfully to keep their breakfasts in place.
“Mr. Goyle!” Binns exclaimed suddenly, translucent hands flapping ineffectually. “Down! Get down!” Goyle had mastered the use of his short, splat-footed legs and waddled over to molest Pansy Parkinson. Her resulting shrieks of outrage rang off the stone walls. “Get down!”
Madley rushed to the happy couple and pulled Goyle away. “No, Gregory,” she admonished gently, patting his feathery head. “Be a good boy until we can turn you back into a… boy.”
Goyle decided to cut his losses and leaned against Madley’s side, nestling his head against her bosom with a joyous sigh. Distracted, she didn’t push him away, but continued to pet him. Draco frowned, or tried to, and hopped off his chair. He’d be damned if Goyle was going to cop a feel and Draco would have to spend his life ignorant of the pillowy softness of Laura Madley’s cans.
Making his way to her side, he thrust his beak under her other hand, clearly indicated that he wanted a cuddle, too. “This is very upsetting, isn’t it, Draco?” she asked mournfully, putting an arm around his long neck and stroking his wing. He nodded with vigour, then settled happily against her, his head propped snugly against her right breast.
Just then the door flung open and McGonagall burst in, closely followed by Snape and Dumbledore. Their expressions of shock swiftly turned to expressions of disgust as they caught a whiff of essence de dodo.
“What in Merlin’s name happened here?” Snape demanded nasally, pinching his nose shut.
He was met with silence. Binns didn’t know, the Hufflepuffs didn’t want to get their housemate in trouble, and the Slytherins were birds and therefore without power of speech.
Clutching Draco and Goyle more tightly round their necks, Madley spoke up. “It was me, Professor,” she said, her voice quavering. Draco rubbed his cheek comfortingly against her nipple. “I was careless with my wand again.”
“Madley, you imbecile!” McGonagall shouted, but was shushed by Dumbledore. He came forward, his face grave but somehow vastly amused at the same time.
“This would be young Malfoy, then?” he asked. “He seems quite comfortable with you.”
Oh, I am, Draco thought, and sighed contentedly against Madley’s chest.
“Poor things,” she said, her voice thick with tears. “They must all be so scared.”
Draco exchanged a look of ‘yeah, right’ with Goyle. Scared? Hm. Furious, violent, homicidal: yes, but scared: not likely. Then Madley’s hand stroked down his back all the way to the end of his spine and Draco’s eyes crossed with pleasure. Apparently that particular region was a big erogenous zone for a dodo.
“Hm, yes,” Dumbledore said noncommittally. “Well, we’d best return them to their original states, Minerva.” He and McGonagall raised their wands but before they could utter a word, Pansy started making an ungodly racket.
Cawing, honking, racing round the room with a decided spraddle and much flailing of stubby wings, she proceeded to go fairly berserk before plopping down in the middle of the aisle and, with a mighty heave, expel something from her nether region.
“Oh, Gregory,” Madley cooed. “You’re going to be a father.”