Hello! Here continues the story! I've been working every night on the two Harry Potter stories I have up, this and Systematic Somethings. I'm posting this tonight, so I'll be posting the second chapter (FINALLY!) of Systematic Somethings hopefully tomorrow night. :)
"Harry!" I hear Narcissa yelling for me to hurry as I shove the remainder of my textbooks into my trunk.
"C-coming!" I reply quickly, latching my luggage closed. Rushing down the curved staircase, dragging my trunk behind me, I glance back a last time to the room I had slept in for the summer. I would be sad to leave Narcissa. She was so kind, gentle exactly how you wouldn't expect Draco's mother. Exactly how you wouldn't expect a former Death Eater to be. When I had reached the sitting room, where Narcissa, Lucius, and Draco were already gathered, Narcissa holds out a purse full of Floo powder before stepping into the fireplace already lit by the signature green flames, tossing the silvery powder down and speaking her desired destination. After her Lucius, Draco, then myself. "King's Cross Station, platform nine and three quarters." I toss down the powder in front of me, tightening my grip on the handle of my trunk to ensure it isn't lost in my traveling the Floo Network.
Once I stumble out of the receiving flames, I'm glad I had decided to send Hedwig ahead of me to Hogwarts, she despises Flooing. I jog toward the Malfoy's who were just a few feet away, Lucius and Narcissa saying their goodbyes to their son. When Draco glanced over, he motions me forward, so I join them, feeling bad for intruding on their family moment. I grin at them sheepishly. "S-sorry..." Narcissa rolls her eyes at me and pulls me into a hug.
"Have a great year Harry, I will write you, alright?" I nod and she grins. "Thank you Harry, for becoming Draco's friend. I know he can be difficult sometimes, but he is a good kid, deep down." I nod once more and she pulls in Draco, crushing him into both herself and into me. "I'll see you boys in the winter, alright?" She smiles through the tears falling to her cheeks. I can't help but to smile and pull her close again, mumbling a goodbye before letting her go once more.
We rush to make it onto the train in time to snag a good compartment, one close enough to doors to make a swift exit anyways. After a bit of the long journey back to Hogwarts, I turn to the very blond Draco, who looks about ready to fall asleep, if he wasn't already napping. "Th-thank you." I speak softly, in case he had fallen asleep already. Turning his head towards me, his icy blue gaze gains focus and looks confusedly over my face.
"Why are you thanking me..?" He doesn't seem to realize that if he hadn't invited me to stay with him over the summer break, I would have no where else to go. Sure, Ron would have extended an invitation but there's no way I would have accepted. His older brothers were expected to come back home this year to visit them and we weren't especially close. Sure, we spoke outside of class, but he really only talked to me because he felt obligated by Hermione. Our relationship had definitely gone downhill after my setting him on fire, it didn't matter to him that he was a willing participant.
"Y-you di-idn't have t-to open yo-our h-home to m-me..." I lower my eye, feeling slightly self-conscious even in front of my best friend. "I d-didn't re-eally have anywh-where else to g-go, b-but y-you di-idn't h-have to..."My stutter worsens due to my nervousness, my cheeks most likely warmed to a bright pink. I feel a slim finger press under my chin, lifting my head.
"Harry. You're my best friend. I wasn't gonna leave you to fend for yourself over the break. My house is always open for you. Merlin Harry! You're just barely twelve! Mum would be furious if I hadn't dragged you along!" I chuckle quietly, because if I had learned anything about Narcissa over the break, I had learned that she always gets her way, and she is fiercely protective of anything she can get in her clutches, whether it's a wounded animal or a child with nowhere to go.
"Y-your mum i-is wonderf-ful." Draco sighs and releases my face, keeping his eyes on mine, humming his agreement before resting his left temple on the window, gazing out at the flat land before nodding off minutes later. I shake my head at him and pick up the required potions textbook, flipping through the pages, skimming the black ink creating the symbols perceived by the brain to be letters composing words, sentences.
"Harry! Come on mate! We're here!" I'm shook awake by Draco, a rather large grin on his face as he speaks, not quite in a whisper. Rubbing my face, I straighten up and stretch.
"'M a-awake." I stand, ready to go, to leave the compartment, to step onto the soil of Hogwarts, to feel that magic surge through me. I pick up the textbook that had apparently tumbled from my hands while I had slept. I sleepily make my way to the eating hall with Draco chattering away beside me. "Hey D-Draco..." I had interrupted his babbling and, though he looked surprised, he went with it. "Th-thanks. For b-being my f-friend." Smiling, he rolls his eyes at me.
"And why wouldn't I be your friend? Weirdo." We laugh a bit and sit ourselves down at the table designated to Slytherin, there's the usual cheering as the first years are sorted.
Halfway through the feast, there's a small snort from Draco and I tear my attention away from the professor's table to look at him questioningly. "Bloody hell Harry, I would've thought you had gotten your fill of Uncle Sev during the break..." My face flushes bright red.
"I!" There is absolutely no way I can defend myself, Snape had come by quite often during the break for dinner and sometimes to simply hang around. I glance back at the table of faculty and my eye is caught by none other than Gilderoy Lockhart, the famous author. "Wha-at is G-Gilderoy L-Lockhart do-oing h-here?" My eyes are unable to stray from the man now they had been caught on him.
Draco could win an award for eye rolling, he did it so often and so well. "He's the new Defense Against Dark Arts professor, apparently last year's Professor Quirinus Quirrell was..." He looks around, lowering his voice. "He was acting as a host for the Dark Lord, like a parasitic relationship, you know?" My eyes widen and I lean in closer, no wonder he had been acting as though he was telling a secret. Though, it was odd Professor Dumbledore hadn't included that in the announcements he so loved to give before eating the first feast of the school year. When Draco turns to laugh with Blaise, I scan the rest of the table in search of more new faces. I find no more New professors, though my gaze does fall on my mother and father, laughing and acting as though there was not a single flaw in the world.
It was that moment my mind finally caught up to Draco's words. If Quirrell had been acting as a host for the Dark Lord, did that mean he had been here, in Hogwarts, supposedly the safest place for us, for a whole year going undetected? Did tht mean... He was... Alive..?
So. This is where I'm leaving it for now, but I will update again, hopefully soon! Thank you so much for continuing to read this fic, for not giving up on it!