Disclaimer – I do not own Harry Potter.
A Difference of Opinion
Daphne Greengrass was tired. She was tired of the drama and the ridiculous fights that seemed to be the focus for some of her house. What she wouldn't give for normal one of these years. So because she was tired, she was DONE. From that point forward she would take no sides, and not involve herself in the affairs of others, from that day forward she was truly following the family's pledge of neutrality.
"Well he's at it again," said Tracey dropping down in an arm chair near the roaring fire in the Slytherin common room.
The platinum blond seated on the sofa to her left lifted her eyes from the book she was reading and raised an eyebrow in question.
"Malfoy," Tracey continued, "he is planning on continuing his ridiculous feud with Potter." She sighed, "You know I don't care if he carries on a rivalry with Potter but these blatant and obvious attacks are an embarrassment to our house."
The blond closed her book, directing her attention to the brunette. "Tracey you know I loathe Malfoy as much if not more than you do, but I really don't care what he is up to. I have decided to ignore him. Perhaps if I pretend he doesn't exist then I won't be bothered by his ridiculous tendencies."
"I know but still…"
"I don't care Tracey."
"Daphne, he is making badges for the tournament."
"I truly don't care nor do I want to know."
"Pansy will insist you wear one too."
"I could care less about what Pansy might insist."
"You are starting to whine Tracey; you know whining in that manner is unbecoming of a lady."
The brunette crossed her arms over her chest and sank back into the chair a pout forming on her face. "Bloody 'Ice Queen,'" She muttered under her breath.
Daphne's eyes hardened slightly at the mention of her nickname. Daphne, following her family's tradition of neutrality had adapted an aloof persona that her house mates had dubbed the 'Ice Queen.' She was dubbed as such due to her 'untouchable' attitude. She didn't date, because she found all the boys around her to be far too immature. She didn't socialize with most of her house because she found them seriously lacking in intelligence. She didn't get involved because quite frankly nothing within these walls interested her. And so she became the 'Ice Queen' in their eyes. Unfortunately, what she had shown her house so far was friendly for her.
A few moments later a tall black boy slide onto the couch next to Daphne, placing his arm around her shoulder which she instantly shrugged off.
"Blaise," she said softly, "need I remind you that you have not been give leave to touch me and that if you continue to do so I will hex you in a way that will never be traced to me." There was no menace in her voice, nor did she look at him but he knew she would do just as she said.
"Apologies Miss Greengrass, I seemed to have forgotten myself." He looked to Tracey and nodded. "Have you heard what Malfoy is up to?"
"Oh Merlin," muttered Daphne.
"You mean the badges," asked Tracey, a bit excited that someone would discuss Malfoy's schemes.
"Indeed," he drawled, "he somehow managed to convince one of the sixth years to spell them for him as he doesn't have the knowledge to make them or the patience find out how. The wording is pedestrian and the attack is quite frankly pathetic." He smirked, "there are much better insults than 'Potter Stinks.'"
"Potter Stinks?" repeated Tracey incredulously.
"Pathetic," was Daphne's only reply. She regretted saying it, calling his wording pathetic was not neutral.
"Agreed. The other message isn't horrid, 'Support Cedric Diggory the Real Hogwarts Champion' is at least mildly intelligent and in my opinion enough of an insult on its own."
"I have said it before and I will say it again, Malfoy lacks the cunning that defines our house," Daphne looked at the other two, "now will you please refrain from discussing the child around me." Damn, apparently staying neutral around her friends was harder than she anticipated.
The three sat in silence for a moment, the only sounds coming from the crackling fire and Daphne turning the pages of her book.
"Hey Blaise," Nott dropped into an armchair on the other side of the couch. "Did you see those pathetic badges Malfoy designed."
Daphne slammed her book shut, stood and stormed out of the common room toward the girl's dormitory.
"What's with her," Theo asked.
He never got and answer because Tracey and Blaise burst into uncontrolled laughter.
Daphne was seething.
She was filled with rage.
Someone needed to pay.
Pansy Parkinson was going to pay.
She wouldn't see it coming but she was going to pay.
"You alright Daphne?" asked Theo as he slid onto the seat across the table from Daphne while reaching for the coffee.
"I am plotting Pansy's demise."
"Ah I see," he said taking his first sip of black coffee. Yeah he was British and he should be drinking tea but nothing woke him up like a cup of black coffee. "Why are you 'plotting Pansy's demise?'"
Daphne moved her hair behind her shoulder revealing a 'Support Diggory' badge.
Theo sucked in a breath, the whole of Slytherin house had heard Daphne refuse to wear one of the badges. She had done so with more emotion than she had shown all year, so everyone knew that she was enraged by them.
"Where did that come from?"
"Pansy, in her infinite wisdom put a permanent sticking charm on it so now it is stuck to my robes forever and I don't have time to go back to the dorms and make it to class on time because class starts in 10 minutes and changing would take me at least 15."
"She used a permanent sticking charm on your clothes?" Daphne was known for her perfect appearance and keeping her things in perfect condition and yet Pansy had destroyed a pair of her school robes, that was beyond stupid.
Daphne nodded. "I plan on sending the bill for the replacement robe to her father. She got Tracey too so perhaps I will send a bill for her robes as well."
Theo nodded, "Good plan, her father will be furious that she ruined your clothes, especially considering he has been attempting to become a business partner with your father." At Daphne's devious smirk he continued, "Is that all you're going to do to her?"
"No," she replied, "I am going to do so much more. However, my revenge will have to wait. I would rather she have no idea why her life starts falling apart around her, all I will be doing for now is sending her father a bill with a letter detailing the circumstances that lead to me seeking reimbursement."
"I will enjoy watching the show."
Theo stood and walked around the table, offering his arm to Daphne. "Well, Lady Greengrass, might I escort you to class so that we might find an end to this day and hide this attack on your wardrobe that much sooner?"
Daphne stood and hooked her arm through his, pulling her hair over the offending badge with her free hand. "Lead the way Mister Nott," she said in her 'Ice Queen,' voice.
Harry sighed and rubbed his shoulder. Sometimes his life was truly awful. Today had been one of the worst days of the year so far. He could handle the staring and Ron's attitude as long as he didn't have to deal with house rivalries.
Malfoy had been in top form today.
Detention with Snape had been brutal. Bloody Malfoy and his stupid badges. He and Ron had had detention for pulling wands, and in Ron's case firing spells, during the incident earlier that day. Hermione's teeth had been enlarged but all Snape cared about was the boils forming on Goyle's face. Snape had made Ron aid Filch for his detention, which turned into cleaning the trophy room without magic, Ron was outraged but Harry hadn't thought that was so bad. He had been assigned cauldron cleaning without magic, that was brutal.
Perhaps the worst part was, Ron still wasn't talking to him. Ron's mood swings were starting to give him whiplash.
He wasn't really paying attention and jumped when he heard a soft voice to his right.
"You shouldn't let Weasley influence your emotions Potter," Daphne Greengrass said stepping out of the shadows.
"Potter Stinks is such a pathetic insult don't you think?" she said with a slight raise of her perfectly shaped eyebrow. "So very childish and unimaginative."
Harry tilted his head slightly. It was a pathetic insult, in fact it was the kind of insult he expected from Dudley, and those only ever made him laugh. What teenager resulted to kindergarten insults? Why had he reacted so strongly to the message? Yeah Malfoy had gone after Hermione but that had been after the fight started.
"It seems to me Potter that Weasley and Malfoy operate at the same level in terms of insults, childish and brash." She looked him in the eye, "I think you have a slightly more mature style when it comes to battles of speech. Correct me if I am wrong but you reacted more to the original message claiming Diggory to be the 'REAL' Hogwarts champion, well until your little sidekick joined in on Malfoys game."
She was right, he had reacted to the first message, as had Hermione.
"For what it's worth Potter, I know you didn't put your name in the Goblet, and knew it from the moment the headmaster called your name." With that she turned and started to walk away.
"We're 14 Potter, neither of us has had nearly enough schooling to trick an ancient artifact. Not to mention the two classes that would have been most helpful in doing that are Arithmancy and Ancient Runes and you didn't take either." She smirked, "Not to mention the fact that you seemed both terrified and utterly astounded when he did say your name and the only reason you stood was because Granger pushed you up."
"Don't mention it Potter." She started to walk away again but turned one last time, "really, DON'T mention it."
Harry stood there watching her walk away and then continued to stand there after she had disappeared around a corner.
Finally, he shrugged. Maybe not all Slytherins followed Malfoy and his ilk after all. He turned and made his way toward the tower. All in all, perhaps it hadn't been that bad a day after all.
Daphne walked into the common room just before curfew and slid onto the couch next to Tracey.
"Hey where have you been?"
"Clearing my head," and conscience she added silently. "I had to work out some of my anger at Malfoy and Parkinson if I wanted to keep my image in place," she whispered.
She merely tilted her head in answer while reaching for the potions book sitting on the coffee table in front of the couch.
Okay so maybe approaching Potter was anything but neutral. Honestly, she was okay with that, taking Potter's side was better than taking Malfoy's any day. Life and people were, after all, defined by differences of opinion.
And there it is. I tend to write/imagine stories with Harry being the central character but thought I would try something different. I have never been one to paint all Slytherins with the same blood purest brush, so I wanted to play with some of the unknowns in the house of snakes. I know I changed a few things around in terms of timing but this is how it turned out, plus it's been years since I read GOF so I was mostly going off memory, and a few quick searches.