Lonely Reign, Part 8


The huge boy seemed crestfallen. “But… we have an egg together. It’s gonna hatch soon, we have to raise it together. We’re its parents!”

“Hm, yes, about that, Goyle,” Draco ventured. “There isn’t going to be any actual ‘raising’ as such.”

“There isn’t?”

“No.” Draco actually looked less than completely self-assured. “I suppose now is the time to tell you that your… offspring is going to be taken to a research facility to be studied after its momentous birth.”

“Re—search facility?” Goyle’s tongue stumbled over the unfamiliar words. “Why?”

“Because its entire existence is extraordinary,” Draco replied briskly, earning an admiring glance from Laura at his impressive alliteration. He preened a little, and continued. “It’s not every day that a human girl—even a witch—produces an egg of a species that’s been extinct for hundreds of years.”

Goyle looked blank.

“Your egg is very special, Gregory,” Laura explained gently. “Everyone is very excited about it, and they want to know more about it.” Comprehension dawned on his coarse features, and she patted his hand. “It—“ there was a knock at the door, cutting off her sentence, but she didn’t seem to mind at all.

“Harry!” she exclaimed, a little breathless, and ran to the door. Flinging it open, she was plucked from the portrait-hole and soon thereafter, loud and slurpy snogging noises were heard from that direction. “Mmm, luv, stop a moment,” she said with a giggle, and then she was climbing back through the hole, rearranging her mussed robes.

“Harry and I are just going to… ah… er…” She giggled again as hands groped her from behind. “No, sweetie, I can’t concentrate when you… oh…”

Potter popped his head into the portrait hole and grinned at the assembled Slytherins. “We’re going to go study,” he told them blithely.

Draco folded his arms over his chest, eyes very narrow indeed as he watched Laura’s face take on an expression of lazy anticipation. “Study,” he repeated crossly. “And we believe your feeble excuse because…?”

Potter shrugged, supremely unconcerned with Draco’s ire. “Didn’t say what we were going to study.”

“Anatomy and Human Sexuality,” Blaise murmured, then received a glare from his prince as Potter grinned.

“Exactly right, Zabini.” He turned to Laura. “You ready?” She nodded eagerly, and he helped her climb out again.

There was a long moment of silence before Crabbe said, “How can she study if she left all her books here?”




Tuesday, 9:51 pm February 19th, Flitwick’s Charms classroom


As soon as Laura and Harry entered the Charms classroom they usually appropriated for their snogging sessions, all expressions of affection and fondling ceased.

“Harry, you are simply the sweetest thing, ever!” Laura exclaimed breathlessly, eyes bright. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help. It was so super that you kissed me at the Quidditch match, such a dramatic way to start this whole thing!”

“Not a problem,” he replied with a jaunty grin. “It’s helping me toward my goal, too.” He hopped up to sit on Flitwick’s desk. “And you’re the mastermind behind the whole thing. I’d have never thought of it before you approached me with the idea to make them jealous with each other.” A soft laugh. “A Hufflepuff. Who’d have thought?” He eyed her with admiration. “How’re things going with you?”

“Oh, he’s been very annoyed, indeed,” she told him, sitting on a student desk and crossing her legs demurely. “Almost to the point of teeth-gnashing, but not quite.”

“Gotta say, Laura, I’m baffled why you want to hook Malfoy,” Harry mentioned. “Surely there are dozens—hundreds—thousands of better blokes out there you could fixate on?”

She gazed innocently at him. “The same could be said of Hermione.” He ducked his head, blushing. “We’re both in situations where we’re desperate to gain the attention of the person we love. At least you know she loves you back, even if it’s only as a friend.” Laura sighed and stared at her dangling feet. “I can’t tell whether he hates me or not.”

“Isn’t he ever nice to you?” Harry asked, green eyes curious behind the spectacles.

“Sometimes,” she admitted, glancing up at him. “And sometimes he’s horrid. I never know what it’ll be at any given moment. Perhaps that’s why I like him so much…” Her words trailed off and she gazed into the far corner, thinking. “He keeps me on my toes.”

Harry looked skeptical, but said nothing. “Life with him will never be boring,” he allowed.

“So,” Laura began after a moment of silence. “Why do you love Hermione?”

He was quiet so long, she thought he wasn’t going to answer. Finally, “Because she’s so loving. And gentle. And generous. And strong. And brave. And smart. And—“

“Ok, I get it!” she interrupted, laughing, then grew serious, her eyes gentle on him as she stood and walked over. “She’s lucky to have you love her so much.” And she kissed him tenderly on the lips, her arms embracing him in a soft hug. “Harry, you are a lovely boy.” He hugged her in return, blinking back sudden tears.

“Right,” drawled a voice from the doorway. “Enough of that, then.”

Laura and Harry disentangled themselves from each other to see Draco standing there, twirling his wand in his slender fingers. His face was amused and derisive, but his eyes… oh, his eyes. They were glacial, and before he narrowed them at her, Laura could detect the faintest flicker of jealousy and… hurt?

Part of her rejoiced that her plan was working, but another part felt horrible for making him feel bad. He beckoned her to his side with a crooked finger. I just don’t know what else to do, she thought miserably as she walked toward him, and hoped he’d understand one day. His hand bit into the soft flesh of her arm as he grasped her and steered her out of the classroom. She looked back at Harry and saw he was once more wearing his smug, just-got-snogged face. Daring a glance up at Draco beside her, she noted how tightly his jaw was clenched and knew he’d seen it too.

“Bye, Harry,” she said, forcing her voice into a dreamy, reluctant-to-be-parted tone, and winced as the grip on her arm tightened and Draco began dragging her down the hall.

“See ya, Laura,” Harry replied insolently, and sauntered in the opposite direction, toward Gryffindor tower.

She kept looking back with supposed longing until Draco hissed, “If you don’t stop doing that, Madley, I’ll snap your neck.”

“Don’t know why it matters to you,” she protested sulkily. “Not like I matter to you at all. I’m just Alterna-Pansy, and now that she’s back, I’m not even that. I’m nothing to you.” They ground to a sudden half, and Laura hazarded a glance up at him.

His hair was gilded by the corridor’s dim torchlight, and the flickering flame reflected in his pastel eyes almost hypnotically. “That’s right,” he agreed, his voice silky and low. “You’re nothing to me.” She winced at the brutality of his words. “But until I release you, you’re mine.”

Laura shivered at the ownership blatant on his face, and wondered if there were something wrong with her for enjoying his claim on her. For wanting to be possessed by him. Perversely, she felt compelled to offer at least a token protest. “No,” she whispered. “I’m not yours. I’m my own.”

His hand moved from her arm, which she rubbed to ease the soreness, to her cheek, brushing her hair back over her shoulder before cupping her smooth skin. “You’re mine,” Draco repeated, and lowered his mouth to hers. His kiss was meant to be brief, a branding, a mark of ownership to prove that he could do with her what he pleased.

But he hadn’t counted on the fact that Laura Madley had wanted him to kiss her for a very long time, and that she would melt against him like warm honey in fevered relief. Nor had he thought she’d wind her arms around his neck, tangle her fingers in his hair, and massage his scalp as she kissed him back.

And he certainly hadn’t expected to hear her whimper in pleasure when his lust overrode his wish to make his point, and he sucked her bottom lip before licking her upper one. Oh, she tasted sweet, he thought dazedly, slanting his mouth over hers over and over, his tongue spearing into her, dueling with hers. He hardened insistently against the softness of her belly, and it was only as he realized he was lowering them both to the cold stone floor that he came to his senses.

Bloody hell, he thought, gasping both mentally and physically. He’d very nearly shagged her in the hallway, and judging by the look on her face— longing, disappointment, hunger—she’d not have minded overmuch. But she’s Potter’s, a nasty voice in his head reminded him, and he felt his face change from its slackened expression of lust to its more usual sneer.

“So disappointed I interrupted your shag-fest with Potter than you’d lower yourself to use me, then, Madley?” he ground out, pushed her away from him so that she flew against the wall, hitting it with a faint cry of pain.

Eyes huge, she reached out to him, but he flinched away. “No, Draco…” she began, but he bared his teeth at her.

“Do not touch me again,” he snarled, eyes colder than anything she’d ever seen before. “I will not be used as a substitute for him.”

“You’re not!” she cried as he once more grabbed her arm and steered her toward Hufflepuff. “Draco, please…” He felt himself softening toward her even as his chest seemed to seize with an odd pain, as if his heart were being squeezed.

They arrived at Hufflepuff’s portrait, and he flung her toward it. “Do not join us tomorrow, or any other day. You are no longer welcome with Slytherin.”