A/N: This is the final Chapter for Year One! Longer note at the end.
Forgetting about the Mirror of Erised proved to be easier said than done. He'd given the cloak back to Harry the very next morning, so the temptation to go looking for it was gone, but it still filled his thoughts. He'd told Harry and Theo what he saw, and also about the nightmares he was beginning to have. Going back to Malfoy Manor, living under the same roof as Lucius, his mother dead on the floor. It was his greatest fear, how could it also be his greatest desire?
"See, Dumbledore was right." Theo hissed. "That mirror is driving you mad!"
"You need something else to take your mind off all of this." Harry suggested. "Why don't you head to the library? Hermione's there, she seems pretty annoyed that we never asked about that Flannel guy."
"Flamel, Harry." Theo chastised.
"Yea, him. She'd probably like the company."
"I guess I could." Draco paused a moment. "You know, I brought her to see it, the mirror."
"Yea?" Theo asked, clearly interested.
"Yea. She said she saw herself as head girl, with Professor McGonagall smiling at her. And the other students looking happy for her."
"Makes sense." Harry said to him. "It's all I hear in the common room how she shouldn't be here because she's muggleborn. And she definitely shouldn't be as smart as she is, some of the pure bloods really hate it."
"They think she doesn't deserve to be here?" Draco asked. "But she's brilliant."
"They don't care. Her parents are muggles. Why do you think I spend all of my time with Blaise when I'm not with you idiots?"
"Where is he, by the way?" Theo asked as he looked around at the other tables. "I got used to having him around."
"Said something about helping Pansy and Daphne with potions. Pansy's just a little too much for me."
"Rude?" Draco asked.
"Mouthy." Harry settled on. "I'd never want to see her and Theo together."
"I think I should run down and meet her right now."
"I'll join you." Draco said quickly as they stood.
"Please don't." Harry called to them. "Guys!"
Draco looked back to see if Harry would follow them once they were out of sight. "So where are you going?"
"Probably back to my room." Theo snickered. "Let him worry a bit. You?"
"I'll head down to the library."
"You good, Draco?"
"I'm fine." His practiced answer coming out a little too practiced. "I will be fine. I'll see you later."
Four hours later, Hermione and Draco made their way back to their common room, full of disappointment.
"I can't believe we haven't been able to find anything!"
"I swear I've heard the name somewhere, I just can't remember where."
Hermione plopped on the couch in the common room while Draco went to his dormitory to get some snacks and the game Sirius had gotten him for Christmas this year, connect four. He loved that Hermione's face lit up when she saw it.
"Care to play?"
"Where did you get this?" She squealed and moved to the floor, setting up the game on the coffee table while Draco opened the box of snacks and pulled out a bag of trail mix.
"Sirius gave it to me for Christmas. We get a muggle game every year. I guess when Harry's parents were still alive they all lived together and had game night every week or something, and Harry's mom and Aunt Petunia always picked muggle games. Sirius really likes them. Here, she made this, too." He said as he handed her the bag.
Hermione took a handful. "She's sounds really wonderful."
"She's the best."
They had only played two games when Ron came in and sat with them, watching. He played two with Draco and two with Hermione, when Neville came into the common room, hopping. Thankfully the room was empty except for them.
"Neville!" Hermione squeaked as she took out her wand and performed the countercurse. "What happened?" She helped him to a chair nearby, since his legs were trembling from exhaustion.
"A leg locker curse." Draco said, which Neville confirmed with a shaky nod.
"How the bloody hell did you get up here?" Ron asked. "You jumped up all of those stairs?"
Neville nodded, completely out of breath. "Goyle. I met him as I was leaving the great hall from lunch. Said he'd been looking for someone to practice it on."
"You have got to start standing up to people, Neville." Ron scolded. "If you don't they'll just-"
"There's no need to tell me that I'm not brave enough to be in Gryffindor, I've ready heard it enough times, thank you." He choked out.
Draco fished around in the snack box from Petunia and pulled out a chocolate frog. "Here, Neville. Eat this, you'll feel better. That's what Remus always says, anyway."
"You're worth twelve of that idiot Goyle." Hermione said sternly. "The hat put you in Gryffindor didn't it? That means you do belong here."
"Thanks guys." He said glumly. He opened up the package and took the frog out. "Here, want the card? Don't you guys collect them?"
Draco took the card back. "Dumbledore ag-" then he gasped. "Look!" He held the card up to Ron and Hermione. When they didn't understand he took it back and read it aloud. "Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner Nicolas Flamel!"
Hermione jumped to her feet and didn't look back as she took off running.
"What's going on?" Neville asked. "Why is that important?"
"We've been searching for him for weeks! We had no idea who he is."
"You still don't know who he is." Neville said blandly.
Draco could have glared at him. "You've been around Blaise and Theo too much."
Hermione came back a minute later with a huge book in her hands and slammed it on the floor, making them all jump. "I can't believe I didn't think to look in here! I checked this out weeks ago for a bit of light reading."
"This is light?" Ron said in complete disbelief.
She glared at him quickly before she began flipping through hundreds of pages. "There! Nicolas Flamel is the only known maker of the Sorcerer's Stone!"
"The what?" Ron and Neville said at the same time.
"Ugh. Don't you read?!" She huffed. "The Sorcerer's Stone will transform any metal into gold, and also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal. That means you can't die."
"I know what it means!" Ron protested.
Hermione gave the smallest smirk of satisfaction then began to read again. "Mr. Nicholas Flamel currently owns the only stone known to exist, and just recently celebrated his six hundred and sixty-fifth birthday."
"Six hundred and sixty-five." Draco said in awe.
"That's what Fluffy is guarding on the third floor. That's what's hidden under that trap door. The Sorcerer's Stone."
"I have to tell Harry!" Draco shot up like he was going to run for the door.
"Draco, wait!" Ron said as he grabbed his sleeve. "Quidditch practice, remember? He won't be done for a while."
Draco sat back down with a groan. "What do we do until then?"
"Well, now that we've solved that we could study for our final exams."
"Exams?!" Ron squeaked. "Finals aren't until June!"
"It's never too early to start studying, Ronald."
Very reluctantly, and really only to make Hermione stop yelling at them, they studied. Neville showed her his book of spells he got for Christmas and she helped him with a few wand movements, which he could never get right. Ron mostly faked his way through, although Draco knew that Hermione wasn't fooled. As soon as it was time for dinner Ron took off towards the great hall.
"He barely did anything!" Hermione huffed.
"At least he stayed." Draco tried to reason. "He might have learned something."
They packed up their things and returned them to their rooms before heading down to the great hall themselves. Draco couldn't wait to tell Harry about what they'd figured out. As they were walking down the stairs they saw Theo ahead of him and ran to catch up, so they could walk together. They'd arrived early, so they sat and waited for Harry, who Draco thought was taking forever to get there.
"Hey guys." Blaise said as he sat down.
"Hey, Blaise." Theo said to him.
"Have you seen Harry?" Draco blurted out.
"Oh yea. Passed him in the hall, said he was going to shower before-"
"Will you settle down." Hermione whispered. "Just relax."
"I am relaxed." Draco's tense voice just made Hermione roll her eyes.
"What's going on with you?" Theo questioned as he looked at Draco, then Hermione.
"We just have something to tell everyone, and I want to wait for Harry."
"Well you might as well eat, he'll be at least another twenty minutes." Blaise said to him.
So Draco began to eat, while pouting about it the entire time. He was mostly ignored by everyone else at the table, while they chatted about their day.
Theo was laughing at something Blaise said when he looked up and saw Harry walking in, holding his head. He quickly elbowed Draco to get his attention.
"Ouch, What?" Theo nodded in Harry's direction. "His scar must be hurting again."
"Did you ever ask Remus if he found anything on curse scars?" Draco asked as he stared at Harry.
"No. Harry hasn't brought it up since, so I thought maybe it was just a headache that he had."
"He hasn't said anything to me about it." Blaise said to them. "Harry, everything okay?"
Harry sat down next to his friend, still holding his forehead. "My scar hurts. Ever since quidditch practice. Its better, but it's still there."
Out of instinct Draco looked to the head table and sure enough, Snape was watching them. "Do you think it has something to do with Snape?"
"Yes." Harry said immediately. "I heard him talking to Professor Quirrell outside the pitch when practice was over. Snape watched our practice, and my scar hurt the whole time."
"What did they talk about?" Hermione asked as she leaned forward.
"I'm not sure, as soon as practice was done I left to get away from him, hoping it would stop."
Theo filled his plate and pushed it in front of him, hoping that Harry would at least try to eat something. "Draco has some news for you."
"Oh, right. You'll like this!" Draco's excitement coming through.
"Yea? Okay." Harry offered a small smile and began to eat, while he listened to Draco tell him how they found out who Nicolas Flamel is.
After dinner Ron and Neville went back to their common room to play jenga, Ron's new favorite thing, while Hermione and Blaise went to the library to study. It was late, but Harry, Theo and Draco decided to go and visit Hagrid, to see what they could find out from him. It was already dark out, and they didn't have much time, so they ran as fast as they could and pounded on his door.
"Who is it?" He barked out when he opened the door.
"Sorry." Hagrid said quickly, cutting Harry off. "Don't wish to be rude, but I'm in no fit state to entertain today." He tried to shut the door but Draco grabbed it.
"We know about the Sorcerer's Stone!"
"Oh." He was hesitant to let them in, but he finally stepped aside so they could enter.
"We think Snape is trying to steal it." Draco said as he sat down.
"Snape, blimey your still not on about him, are ye?"
"Hagrid, we know he's after the Stone, we just don't know why." Harry said to him.
"Snape is one of the teachers protecting the stone, He's not about to steal it."
Theo looked at Harry. "The teachers are guarding the stone, so there's others things to get passed, isn't there? Loads of enchantments, probably."
Draco nodded in agreement. "So Professor Quirrell would have done some anti dark arts spells that Snape would need to break through."
"That's right, bit of a waste of time if you ask me. Ain't no one gonna get passed Fluffy. Ain't a soul that knows how, 'cept me an Dumbledore. I shouldn't have told you that, Come now." Hagrid huffed. "I'm a bit preoccupied today."
The kettle behind him on the stove began to make hissing sounds and Hagrid jumped and began to coo at the pot. Theo looked around and saw several books from the library on the table on dragons. His suspicions were confirmed when Hagrid pulled out an egg the size of a melon from the kettle and ran to the table.
"What exactly is that?" Harry asked as he moved to the table to get a closer look.
"That? Well, it's a... it's..."
"Hagrid, that's a dragon egg." Theo breathed. "Where do you get it?"
"I won it. Off a stranger I met down at the pub. Seemed quite glad to be rid of it, matter of fact."
The egg began to shake and crack, and within seconds a slimy green dragon broke free.
"Isn't he beautiful?!" Hagrid said with pride. "Oh, bless him, he knows his mummy. Hello there, Norbert."
"Norbert..." Harry repeated.
"Well he's gotta have a name, don' he?" He began to coo at the dragon some more and attempt to tickle it, which only made the dragon sneeze fire and catch his beard aflame.
"Hagrid!" Theo's voice rising in shock. "You have a fire breathing dragon... in your wooden house!"
"Well he'll have to be trained up a bit, o' course!" He said as he frantically patted the fire out of his singed beard.
Hagrid just continued to talk to his pet dragon, so they left him alone, grumbling about how they now had another problem to solve... Hagrid and his illegal dragon. Walking back to the castle, they realized the time.
"Walk quietly." Theo whispered, the last thing we need is to get caught by Filch."
They hadn't made but three steps into the castle when Filch rounded the corner, with Blaise in tow. "More students out of bed?" He grinned, making his yellow teeth show. "Let's see what your heads of house have to say about this."
Filch lead them to Professor McGonagall's office, since she was the one on watch that night.
"What do you have to say for yourselves?! Four students out of bed, wandering about! I'm disgusted! Mr. Nott, I thought you had more sense. And as for you, Mr. Malfoy, I thought Gryffindor meant more to you than that. Nothing gives you the right to walk around the school at night, especially these days, it's very dangerous. You will all receive detentions, and fifty points will be taken... from each of you."
"Fifty points each?!" Blaise gasped. That was one hundred points from Slytherin.
"You heard me, Mr. Zabini. Now get back to bed, all of you!" She gave Draco one last disappointed look, then turned away from them, signaling that they better get moving.
"Blaise, what were you doing out of bed?" Harry whispered as they walked away.
"Looking for you! You left the cloak in your trunk, and you didn't say anything about going out, I thought something might have happened! You've been saying your scar has been hurting a lot."
Harry sighed, feeling guilty. "I'm sorry, we went to see Hagrid, that's a whole other thing, I'm sorry I got you detention, and points taken away."
Blaise scoffed. "I don't care about points. You're the best seeker Slytherin has had in years, all you have to do is win the next match and we'll be fine."
Harry grinned at him. "I can do that."
The next morning at breakfast they were all sharing their tale to the rest of the table about what had happened last night. Theo, who usually started the day at the Ravenclaw table, then wandered over to them, sat with them immediately.
"I think they're really mad at me." He said glumly. "We were beating Hufflepuff for the house cup, but now we're not. I guess no one's ever lost fifty points all at once before."
With the morning mail four letters arrived, one for Harry, Theo, Draco and Blaise; all from Professor McGonagall, saying their detentions would be served tonight at eleven pm, with Hagrid.
"I don't get it." Theo said as he read the only sentence on the page three more times. "Our detention for being with Hagrid is to be with Hagrid?"
"Well whatever." Draco said as folded up his letter and stuffed it in the envelope. "It can't be that bad then, right?"
"At least it's Friday, I can sleep right after quidditch practice tomorrow." Harry said hopefully.
At eleven pm the four boys met Filch so he could escort them to Hagrid's.
"Pity they let the old punishments die. There was a time when detention meant you'd be hanging by your thumbs in the dungeons. God, I miss the screaming." His sick smile turning their stomachs. "Now don't think of running off, it'll be worse if you do. Bet you won't be thinking of breaking anymore school rules after this."
Draco was beginning to wonder what exactly they'd be doing tonight. It must be really horrible, or else Filch wouldn't sound so delighted.
"Hagrid's got a little job for you to do, inside the dark forest."
"The dark forest?" Theo rasped in shock. "But we can't go in there, we're only first years."
"Yea! There's... you know... monsters in there." Blaise said quickly, nearly panicking. "Werewolves!"
"Oh." Filch said with a grin. "There's more than werewolves in there. You can be sure of that. Nighty night."
Blaise and Theo exchanged panicked looks, but went with Hagrid into the forest anyway. They walked in silence, the only noise being the crunching leaves under their feet and the random howls of creatures off in the distance. Hagrid had his cross bow at the ready, which didn't ease anyone's nerves.
"See that there?" Hagrid asked quietly as he knelt and swirled his fingers in a metallic puddle on the ground. "This here is unicorn blood. Somethin's been goin after them, this is second one this week. I found one dead on Wednesday. We're gonna try and find the poor thing, see if we can help it. If only to put it out of its misery."
"And... and what if whatever is hurting the unicorns find us first?" Blaise asked.
"There's nothin' in this forest that can hurt ye as long as yer with me." Hagrid said confidently.
"Could a werewolf kill a unicorn?" Blaise asked as they began walking again, deeper into the forest.
"No." Theo answered right away. "They're not fast enough."
"That's right, Theo. And unicorns are powerful magical creatures, I've never known one to be hurt like this before."
"How did you know that?" Blaise whispered.
"I just know a lot about werewolves." He answered evasively.
They continued to follow the spotty trail of unicorn blood. Everyone kept in a single file line behind Hagrid and Fang.
"It couldn't have gone far, especially if it's this badly hurt, it won't be able ter- GET BEHIND THAT TREE!"
All at once they ran behind the towering oak tree, while Hagrid drew his crossbow back and took aim. No one knew what he saw or heard. As they listened, they could hear something slithering over the dead leaves nearby, but the sound faded quickly.
"There's somethin' here that shouldn't be." He said grimly as he lowered his bow. Just then, he heard the crunching of heavy footsteps. "Who's there?! Show yourself!" He demanded.
Something stepped into the clearing, making the four boys look in awe.
"Oh, it's you, Ronan." Hagrid breathed. "How are ye?"
The centaur walked forward to shake Hagrid's hand, his red hair and bead slightly blowing in the breeze. "Good evening, Hagrid." His deep voice sending shivers down Draco's spine.
"There's somethin' bad lose in this forest. This be Harry, Draco, Theo and Blaise. Students from the school. Boys, this is Ronan, he's a centaur."
Blaise nodded faintly. "We noticed."
Ronan's nodded to them in greeting, then gazed up at the stars. "Mars is bright tonight."
"Listen, Ronan. There's a unicorn that's been hurt, know anythin' 'bout that?"
Ronan didn't answer right away, instead continued to look at the stars. "Always the innocent are the first victims."
"Yea. Have you seen anythin' unusual?" Hagrid asked again.
"Mars is bright tonight." He repeated. "Unusually bright." He looked back to Hagrid, his face all seriousness. "The forest hides many secrets."
Out of nowhere, a second centaur appeared, but this one had jet black hair, and had a wilder look about him than Ronan.
"Hello, Hagrid. I hope you are well."
"Well enough. Look, ye seen anythin' odd in here lately? There's a unicorn been injured, know anything' 'bout that?"
Bane stood next to Ronan and looked to the sky. "Mars is bright tonight."
Hagrid just sighed. "Well if either of ye see anythin', let me know will ye? We best be off."
He nodded and walked away, with the boys quickly following him. "Bunch o' stargazers, they are." He grumbled.
"How many of them are out here?" Draco asked.
"Oh, a fair few."
"Do you think that's what we heard earlier? A centaur." Blaise asked hopefully.
"No. Didn't sound like hooves." Hagrid said without looking back. "You ask me, whatever we heard is what's been killin' these unicorns."
They walked on through the dark, dense trees. The deeper they got into the forest the darker and scarier it seemed to get.
"We should split up." Hagrid suggested. "Theo and Blaise, you'll come with me. Harry and Draco, you two will be together."
Harry and Draco nodded, although neither one was so sure about going into the forest by themselves.
"Got yer wands, yea? Send up some red sparks if you get into trouble."
Harry and Draco took off in the opposite direction as the others, with Draco holding the lantern in front of them. They kept quiet, not wanting to attract any more attention. They didn't know the centaurs like Hagrid, and the last thing they needed was trouble. They'd spotted more puddles of blood and began to follow the trail, hoping to just find the injured unicorn and leave.
"Harry, look." Draco whispered as he grabbed his arm to stop him. "There."
Up ahead they both saw something that was bright white on the ground in front of the mangled roots of an uprooted oak tree. Once they got closer they realized it was the injured unicorn, and it was dead. Draco had never seen anything so beautiful. Its pearly white mane was sprawled out against the dark dead leaves. The sight made him sad, who could kill a unicorn?
He didn't have to wait long to find out. A hooded figure emerged from the shadows and lowered itself next to the unicorn, drinking the blood from the wound on its neck.
"Ah!" Harry screamed, his scar sending a piercing pain through his head. It felt like nothing he'd ever experienced before. He stumbled backwards, right into Draco.
Draco covered Harry's mouth, but it was too late. The vile creature heard them and turned to look right at them. It seemed to slither towards them, unlike any living thing they knew of. Harry and Draco couldn't move, rooted in fear as they watched it come closer and closer, the unicorn blood dripping down its face. Both boys stumbled backwards, with Harry shutting his eyes tightly against the pain. Harry faintly heard the stomping of hooves behind them, and only when Draco tried to pull him up did he realize that the creature was gone.
"Harry Potter, are you alright?" The centaur asked. He had white blond hair and piercing blue eyes.
"I- Yes. Thank you. What was that?" He asked as he leaned against Draco for support. His head still hurt, but it was much less than before. The centaur moved closer and removed Harry's hand from his face, gazing at the searing red scar on his forehead.
"A monstrous creature." Was his grave reply. "You had better get back to Hagrid. It's not safe here, especially for you."
"What's your name?" Draco asked him.
"I am Firenze. We must leave. I will help you find Hagrid."
Draco continued to hold onto Harry, whatever that thing was affected him and Draco was scared about why. He looked back at the dead unicorn, wondering again why anyone would want to kill it. Seeming to read his thoughts, Firenze turned to look at him.
"Do you know what unicorn blood his used for?" He asked.
"No, we've only used the horn and tail hair in potions."
"It is a terrible crime to slay a unicorn. Drinking the blood of a unicorn will keep you alive even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. For you have slain something so pure, that from the moment the blood touches your lips, you will have a half-life, a cursed life."
"But who would chose such a life?" Harry asked, thoughtlessly. "Who would be that desperate? If you're going to be cursed forever, wouldn't death be better?"
"It would be. Unless all you needed is to stay alive long enough to drink something else, something that will bring you back to full strength and full power. Can you think of no one?"
Draco gulped, the realization hitting him hard. "You mean to say, that that thing... that thing that killed the unicorn and was drinking its blood, that was Voldemort?"
"Do you know what is hidden in the school at this very moment?"
"The Sorcerer's Stone." Draco whispered. He couldn't find his voice to speak any louder.
Draco looked up to see Theo running towards them, with Blaise and Hagrid right behind him.
"Hello, Firenze. See you've met young Mr. Potter and Mr. Malfoy. Alright there, boys?" Hagrid said with worry.
"Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy. This is where I leave you. You're safe now." Firenze then looked to the sky. "The planets have been wrong before. I hope this is one of those times. Good luck." With a nod to Hagrid he walked away.
"We found the unicorn." Harry said sadly. "It's in that clearing back there."
"Alright, I'll take care of it then. Best get you boys back to the school."
The second Draco was back in his dormitory he woke up Ron and Neville. He rushed through everything that happened, barely stopping for air.
"So, you mean to tell me, that You-Know-Who is out there right now, in the forest?"
Draco nodded frantically. "But he's weak. He's living off the blood of unicorns. Don't you see?! We had it all wrong! Snape doesn't want the Stone for himself, he wants it for Voldemort! My mom told me that he was a supporter of his, and he's friends with Lucius, who was a fanatic! With the Elixir of Life, Voldemort will be strong again."
"Stop saying his name." Ron hissed.
"If he comes back, you think he'll try to kill Harry. Don't you?" Neville asked gravely.
"I think if Voldemort had the chance he would've tried to kill him tonight."
"Will you stop saying his name!" Ron's terrified whisper making Draco chuckle.
"Wait, hang on. What did Cissa say before we came to school?" Neville asked Draco. "Who's the one wizard that Voldemort always feared?"
Ron huffed and crossed his arms, clearly annoyed that Neville has said his name, too.
"Dumbledore." Neville said clearly. "As long as Dumbledore is around, Harry will be safe. I know Sirius and Petunia have their qualms with him, but even they don't deny that he's powerful and Voldemort was always afraid of him. As long as Dumbledore is here, Harry can't be touched."
Draco knew that Neville had a point. Petunia would always hold a grudge against Dumbledore for the way Sirius was treated all those years ago, but Sirius and Remus both agreed that Dumbledore was a great wizard.
"Come on, let's get to bed."
"Yea." Draco said to Ron. He changed for bed but couldn't sleep. Instead just lying there staring at the ceiling, worrying about Harry.
In an attempt to take their mind off the apparent return of Voldemort, in the following week at least one person in their group of friends made a point to visit Hagrid to see how he and Norbert were doing. Dean and Seamus couldn't get enough of the dragon, mostly since for once it wasn't Seamus's fault that things were catching fire. Theo would only go down early in the morning, in hopes that his housemates would see him in the castle for the rest of the day following the rules, and start talking to him again.
On Saturday they were all in the great hall studying, sitting at the Slytherin table for a change, since it was the emptiest one.
"I've been thinking." Ron said quietly, without looking up.
"That's a first." Draco drawled.
"Shut up, I'm serious. There's no way Hagrid can keep that dragon, what if I wrote to my brother, Charlie."
"For what, advice?" Harry asked.
"No, to see if he could take Norbert to the reserve."
Blaise looked impressed. "That's a brilliant idea!"
"You can use my owl, write him a letter now." Harry said excitedly.
Another week went by before they heard anything from Charlie. Turned out that he was happy to take Norbert, and he and some friends would fly to Hogwarts to pick him up. They hatched a plan to meet at the astronomy tower at midnight the following Saturday. The only problem was, they still had to tell Hagrid.
Hagrid was heartbroken, but knew this was the best thing for Norbert. He said his goodbyes and even helped the boys, minus Theo, who didn't want anything to do with it, up to the astronomy tower to wait for Charlie. They didn't have to wait long when four brooms came into view, with some odd contraption hanging between them.
"Hiya, Hagrid!" The tall redhead beamed.
"Charlie Weasley." Hagrid said with affection.
"Got a dragon, did ya?"
"Yer gon take good care of him?" His scratchy voice full of emotion.
"Don't worry, Hagrid. Norbert will have the best life, I promise." He smiled then turned his attention to his little brother. "Good to see ya, Ron. Who's your friends?"
"This is Harry and Draco." He said proudly.
"Getting into quite a bit a shenanigans, have you? Made me proud!"
Ron smiled up at him, then Charlie became all business. They put Norbert in the harness they had made, and tied him in place so he was safe. Hagrid put a bucket of brandy and some dead rats next to him, along with his favorite teddy bear so he won't get lonely. With a teary goodbye, they watched Charlie leave.
"It's alright, Hagrid." Harry said to him. "Norbert will be so happy there."
Hagrid just nodded. "Well, better get you boys to bed, I'll walk ya. Say you've been helpin me with... somethin'."
Thankfully, they didn't run into Filch or any other teachers, since the boys knew no one would believe a story Hagrid came up with. Hagrid took Ron and Draco to Gryffindor tower, while Harry used his cloak to head down to the dungeons.
End of the year exams were here before they knew it. Hermione and Theo became slave drivers, forcing every single one of them to study during every free minute they had. Harry had caught the snitch in the last game of the year, earning them the win against Hufflepuff. Draco will never understand how he managed to make it through all of his exams, since he and Harry expected Voldemort to come bursting into the room at every class, ready to kill him.
Draco, Ron and Hermione made their way down to the black lake, enjoying the nice weather that came with spring. Fred, George and Lee Jordan were also there, tickling the tentacles of the giant squid.
"No more studying." Ron sighed happily as he plopped down in the soft grass, next to Harry and Theo. Blaise and Neville joined soon after.
"Your scar is hurting." Theo said bluntly as he watched Harry rub his forehead again.
"I wish I knew what it means!" Draco huffed. "I don't want to ask my mom, she'll know something's going on."
"I think it means dangers coming." Harry said to him. "Every time it hurts, something bad happens."
"Maybe we should ask Hagrid." Theo joked. "He's always telling us things that he shouldn't."
Everyone else laughed, knowing full well how when Hagrid got to talking, he would say things that were better off left as secrets.
"Of course!" Harry said as he jumped up. "That's it!"
"What's it, Harry?" Hermione asked.
"Don't you think it's a bit odd that what Hagrid wants more than anything is a dragon, and a stranger just turns up who happens to have one?!"
Theo caught on instantly. "How many people walk around with dragons eggs in their pockets? Why didn't we see it before?!"
Harry and Theo took off running, with Ron, Draco and Hermione right behind them. Blaise and Neville stayed where they were.
"They're always doing that." Blaise said carelessly, as if he was used to their dramatics.
"Hagrid!" Harry shouted once they were close enough. "Who gave you the dragon egg? What did he look like?"
Hagrid stopped playing his flute and looked at them curiously.
"I don't know. I never saw his face, he kept his hood up."
"Did you talk to this stranger?" Draco questioned.
"Course! He wanted to know what sort of creatures I looked after. I told him, I said after Fluffy, a dragon's gonna be no problem."
"Did he seem interested in Fluffy?" Ron asked.
"Well o' course he was interested in Fluffy. How often do you come across a three headed dog, even if you're in the trade? But I told him, I said. I said the trick with any beast is to know how to calm it! Take Fluffy for example, just play him a bit of music and he falls straight to sleep."
They all gasped in unison, and only then had Hagrid realized what he'd done.
"I shouldn't have told you that."
They took off again straight for the castle and didn't stop until they'd reached Professor McGonagall's classroom.
"Professor!" Draco shouted as they ran right up to her desk. "Professor we have to speak to Professor Dumbledore!"
"Immediately!" Hermione added.
"I'm afraid Professor Dumbledore is not here. He received an urgent message from the ministry and left at once for London."
"He's gone?!" Harry panicked. "But this is important! It's about The Sorcerer's Stone! Someone's going to try and steal it!"
McGonagall stared at them, shocked. Whatever she had expected them to say, it certainly wasn't that. "I don't know how you found out about the Stone, but I assure you it is perfectly well protected. Now, back to your dormitories. All of you."
"Now what do we do?" Ron asked once they left McGonagall's classroom.
"We go down the trap door. Tonight."
Draco could have groaned at Harry's response, but he knew that they needed to protect the Stone. They couldn't let Voldemort get to it first. He'd heard stories from everyone he lived with about how bad it was before when he was rising to power the first time. If Voldemort got to the stone, his power would be completely restored. He would take over Hogwarts, turn it into a Dark Arts school, he would hurt people like Hermione, kill them even. He couldn't let that happen.
Draco, Hermione and Ron waited in the common room until everyone was asleep. Harry had given him his invisibility cloak at dinner, so the three of them could go to the third floor corridor without anyone seeing. Ron and Hermione would stay there, while Draco went to get Theo, and then finally Harry. No one knew what to expect once they were through the trap door, so the five of them agreed to go together.
"Ready?" Draco said as he pulled out the cloak.
"Let's go." Ron said as he stood. A loud croaking making him jump. "Trevor! Shh. Go, you shouldn't be here."
"Neither should you." Neville said as he moved out of the shadows of the large chair he was in. "You're sneaking out again, aren't you?"
"Neville, we have to." Draco tried to reason. "It's about-"
"I know what it's about! I can't let you do this. I'll... I'll fight you."
"Neville, I'm really sorry about this." Hermione said just before she raised her wand. "Petrificus Totalus!"
Neville's arms snapped to his sides, his entire body going rigid just before he fell to the floor, stiff as a board.
"What have you done to him?!" Draco asked, clearly worried about his friend.
"A full body bind. Oh, Neville, I'm so sorry."
Ron looked over at her. "You're a bit scary sometimes, you know that? Brilliant, but scary."
"Let's go." Draco said glumly as he looked at Neville one last time. They got to the portrait and threw the cloak over them before they opened it. "He's worried something will happen to us. Neville is a good friend."
"Of course he is, but no one believes us, and we don't have time to find people that do." Hermione said to him. Draco knew she was right, but it still hurt that they'd left Neville like that.
Draco followed the plan to the letter, and once he returned with Harry, he gave the cloak back to him.
"So, we're really doing this?" Theo asked.
"We have to." Draco answered.
Hermione walked up to the door and unlocked it, the door opening slowly and silently. They heard music and the sound of Fluffy's snoring.
"He's asleep." Ron hissed, then pointed to the spelled harp. "Snape's already been here."
"Ugh, his breath is gross." Theo said as he waved his hand frantically in front of his face.
"We have to move its paw." Draco said as he carefully knelt in front of the huge beast. "Help me."
It took all four boys to move it, and then Hermione to open the trap door. She felt around for a ladder, but couldn't feel or see anything.
"It's completely dark down there, and no ladder. We'll have to jump."
"I'll go first." Harry said quickly. "If something happens to me, send Hedwig to Dumbledore, got it?"
"Yea, Yea." Theo said with a wave of his hand. "Just go already."
Harry threw his legs over, then after a deep breath jumped. No one heard any screaming, so Draco shrugged and jumped in next. Each of them going on by one until Theo was the only one left. They seemed to fall forever, before landing on some kind of cushion.
"We must be miles under the school!" Theo huffed.
"What is this?" Harry asked as he poked around on whatever they landed on.
"Lucky it was here."
"Lucky? Look at yourself." Hermione muttered.
Ron looked down and saw the vines that were beginning to wrap around him.
The movement seemed to spur the planet into action, and began to engulf all of them with its thick black vines. The more they struggled, the quicker the plant wound around them.
Stop moving, I know what this is!" Hermione tried to shout. "It's Devil's Snare!"
"Oh, I'm so glad that we know what to call it!" Ron said sarcastically. "That's a great help!"
"She's right, you have to relax." Theo said calmly. "If you don't it will only kill you faster."
Draco rolled his eyes. "Such a way with words. You're a real comfort sometimes, you know that?" He watched as Theo tried to stay as still as possible, then fell through the plants vines. He relaxed as much as he could, then fell right through himself.
"Where did you go?!" Ron yelled as he continued to struggle with the vines.
"Ron, you have to relax!" Hermione said, irritated. She was close enough to Ron that his frantic movements were making vines wrap around her tightly, too.
"Ugh, he's not listening!" Draco said from beside him.
"I remember something from Herbology." Theo said as he ran his fingers through his hair. "Devil's Snare, Devil's Snare. It's deadly fun, but will sulk in the sun! That's it! Devil's Snare hates sunlight!" He took out his wand and pointed it up towards the huge plant. "Lumos Solem!"
The plant seemed to hiss from the light and within seconds Harry, Hermione and Ron fell through.
"Whew!" Ron said as he stood up. "Lucky we didn't panic."
Harry stared at him. "Lucky Theo pays attention in Herbology."
"Guys." Draco waved them over to the door he'd just opened. "Look at this."
They all walked into the room and heard the fluttering of something flying.
"I've never seen birds like these. They're must be a thousand of them." Hermione said in awe.
"They're not birds, they're keys." Harry said to her. He walked over to the broom that was hovering in the middle of the room.
"Do we have to fly our way out? There's only one broom." Theo wondered.
"No, one of these keys opens that door." Draco said decisively. He watched as Ron walked up to the door, wand out, and tried the Alohamora spell.
"It was worth a shot."
Draco snorted. "No it wasn't."
Harry looked up at all the keys flying in the air. "There! I see it, there one with a broken wing."
"We'll go on, youngest seeker in a century. Go get it." Draco smirked. "Shouldn't be that hard."
Harry mounted the broom and lifted into the air, but the moment he did so the keys began to attack him.
"Well, that complicates things, doesn't it." Theo snickered.
"I hate you, Draco!"
Draco actually laughed. "He probably does." He watched as Harry flew around the tall tower like room in search of the right key. Within a few minutes Harry grabbed the key and threw it to Draco.
"Unlock the damn door!" He shouted.
Draco unlocked it and they all ran inside. The moment Harry jumped off the broom and ran in Draco slammed the door. He could hear the keys hit the door with force.
"Now what?" Theo groaned as they walked through the next room, filled with rubble.
"I don't like this." Hermione said nervously. "I don't like this at all."
"Are we in a graveyard?" Harry asked as he looked around. Broken and shattered statues all around him.
"This is no graveyard." Ron said as he walked forward. "It's a chessboard."
The moment all of them stepped onto the marble floor of the chessboard, a fire that surrounded the entire thing lit up, blocking them inside.
"Now what?" Hermione looked around but saw no way out. "The door is on the other side."
"It's obvious, isn't it? We have to play our way across." Ron turned to face them, looking every bit the brilliant chess player he was. "Alright. Theo, you take the empty bishop's square. Draco and I will be the knight's. Hermione, you'll be the queen's side-castle. Harry, you take the king's square. No offense, but you two are horrible at chess-"
"We're not offended at all." Harry said quickly. Hermione nodded in agreement. "Just tell us exactly what to do."
Everyone went to their positions. Once they were all in place, one of the white pawns moved forward, signaling the start of the game. Ron began to direct the black pieces, they listened to everything he said, moving silently across the board. The pieces showed no mercy, either. Each piece that was taken was smashed to bits. As the game went on, the only players yet to move were Hermione and Harry. Draco, Theo and Ron moved around the board, smashing their opponents.
"We're nearly there!" Draco shouted in excitement. Two, maybe three moves and the game was theirs.
"Let me think..." Ron said to them all. The white queen spun round to face him, and then he knew. "Yes."
"Wait a minute! No!" Theo shouted as he looked around.
"Yes, that's chess. There has to be sacrifices." Ron said softly.
"Ron, no!" Harry shouted, but Ron ignored him.
"You understand, right?" Ron asked Theo. "Once I make my move, the queen will take me. That leaves you free to check the king."
"Hermione, no!" He shouted. "Do you want to stop Snape from getting that stone or not?"
"He's right." Draco said to her.
"Don't hang around and wait for me. The moment the game is over, just go. He might already have it." With a deep breath Ron turned around and faced the queen. "Knight to h3."
His chess piece moved across the floor "Check." He muttered.
The queen moved swiftly to stand in front of him, then swung her sword harshly, shattering the horse Ron was seated on.
"Ron!" Hermione yelled.
"Don't move!" Theo yelled back. "We're still playing." He made his move next, three squares to the left. "Checkmate."
The white king took off his crown and threw it as Theo's feet. The chessmen parted and bowed, leaving the door ahead of him clear. "Let's go."
Draco looked desperately at Ron, laying among the ruble of the mutilated pieces. "He's, Alright, yea?"
"He's fine. Gryffindor and all." Theo said from beside him. "Come on."
"We've only got Quirrell and Snape left, I think." Hermione said, thinking back on all of the obstacles.
Draco pushed open the door, and was hit with the most disgusting smell he'd ever come across.
"What the bloody hell is that?" Ron mumbled through his shirt that he'd pulled over his nose.
"Glad we didn't have to fight that one." Harry said as they passed the giant troll. This one being even larger than the one from the beginning of the year.
"Let's go. Quickly!" Theo ran to the door and wasted no time pulling it open. There was nothing scary about this next room, just a table with seven differently shaped bottles sitting all in a row. Once each of them stepped over the threshold of the door, a purple fire sprang from behind them, and a black fire before them.
"Look." Hermione walked up to the table and picked up the scroll lying next to the bottles. She sighed once she finished reading whatever was on the parchment. Then she smiled. Draco wondered why she was smiling, it was the last thing he felt like doing.
"This isn't magic, this is logic. A puzzle."
"Okay?" Harry was confused. Draco was too, but he was glad he didn't voice it, given the glare Hermione sent to Harry.
"Seven bottles. Three are poison, two are wine, one will get us safely through the black fire, and one will get us back through the purple."
Theo walked up to her and eyed the bottles, too, while reading the scroll.
She held up the smallest bottle. "This one will get us through the black fire, toward the Stone, but there's not enough for all of us."
"Which one gets us back through the purple flames?" Theo asked her.
"This one." She pointed to the round bottle at the end.
"Alright. This is what we should do." Theo turned to face everyone. "Hermione, drink this one. Go back and get Ron. No, listen." He held up a hand when she looked like she was going to protest. "Go get Ron and use the broom from the key room to fly out of here. Send my owl to Dumbledore, we need him. Draco, Harry and I will go forward. Together we might be able to hold him off until help comes."
"What if... if You-Know-Who is there, too?" Hermione questioned.
"I was lucky once, wasn't I?" Harry tried to joke, but no one was fooled. They were all worried.
"Hurry." Draco said he handed her the smallest bottle. "Drink this, go get help."
Hermione's lips trembled, then she threw her arms around Draco, then Harry, and then Theo. "Please, please be careful!"
"It's going to be alright." Draco assured her. "Here." He watched as she took the bottle and drank it, giving a harsh shudder after.
"Is not the poison, was it?!"
Hermione shook her head at Harry. "No, I just feel like ice."
"Better go." Theo urged. "Before it wears off."
They watched Hermione walk through the purple flames. She turned back to look at them quickly, before running back to get Ron.
"Alright, here we go." Harry said as he picked up the round bottle on the end. He took a drink and handed it to Draco then Theo. With the potion of ice flowing through their veins, they walked through the black fire, ready for whatever was on the other side.
Nervously, they walked down several flights of stone steps that lead into a seemingly empty chamber. Harry hissed and put his hand to his head, his scar was burning again. When they reached the last few steps they saw someone standing in front of the Mirror of Erised, but it wasn't Snape. It wasn't even Voldemort.
"You?" Harry said in a whisper, completely baffled.
"No, it can't be." Draco said in disbelief. "Snape, he-"
"Yes, he does seem the type, doesn't he?" Professor Quirrell's words were cold and sharp. He was nothing like the usual trembling man they were used to. "Next to him who would ever suspect p-poor s-stuttering Professor Quirrell?"
"But that day, at the quidditch match. Snape tried to kill me."
"No, dear boy. I tried to kill you!" His harsh words and booming voice giving them all chills. "And trust me, if Snape's cloak hadn't caught fire and broken my eye contact, I would have succeeded. Even with him muttering his little countercurse."
"Snape tried to save you?" Theo whispered. This didn't make any sense.
"I knew you were a danger to me from the off. Especially after Halloween."
"You let the troll in!"
"Very Good, Malfoy. Unfortunately, Snape wasn't fooled. He of course, never trusted me again. He did make himself quite unpopular with the other teachers, all while trying to save you. Pity, since I'm going to kill you tonight."
"I heard you and Snape talking, behind the broom shed."
"He thought he could frighten me, but I had Lord Voldemort on my side. Hardly left me alone after that. But he doesn't understand." His voice low and heavy. "I'm never alone. Never. Now, what does this mirror do? I see what I desire. I see myself holding the stone and presenting it to my Master. How do I get it?!"
Use the boy.
A chilling voice echoed through the room.
"Come here, Potter! Now!"
"Harry, no." Draco hissed, but it didn't matter.
Quirrell waved his hand and Harry flew over to him, wrapping him tightly in ropes, then sending Theo and Draco against the far wall, tangling them in ropes as well. Theo's head smacked the stone, making him slump to the floor, his head oozing blood.
"Theo!" Draco cried.
Quirrell ignored them. "Tell me, what do you see?"
Harry stood in front of the mirror for a moment, then turned to Quirrell. "No."
Draco's eyes got wide. Harry was going to get himself killed.
The eerie voice said to the room. Quirrell backhanded Harry across the face and clapped his hands, freeing Draco from the ropes that were holding him. He stumbled forward, then tried to run to Harry. Quirrell grabbed him by the collar and forced him to look at the mirror.
I just have to lie, that's all. I just have to lie about what I really see. "I see myself, shaking hands with Dumbledore. I've, I've won the house cup for Gryffindor."
Quirrell cursed as he turned away, seeming to have a conversation with himself. Draco chanced a glance at Harry, who tapped his pocket lightly. What was that supposed to mean?
He lies... he lies...
Quirrell spun around and grabbed Draco by the throat. "Tell the truth! What did you see?!"
Let me speak to him.
"Master you are not strong enough."
I have strength... for this.
Slowly, Quirrell unraveled his think purple turban. Draco felt as if every muscle in his body was made of lead, he couldn't move, was frozen to the very spot he stood in. There, on the back of Quirrell's head, was Voldemort's face. Pale white and glaring red eyes, with slits for nostrils, like a snake.
"Draco Malfoy. Harry Potter." The face whispered harshly.
Draco somehow moved to pull Harry up and back away from him. Harry was holding his scar again.
"You see what I have become? Mere shadow and vapor... see what I must do to survive? Unicorn blood can sustain me, but cannot give me a body of my own. But there is something that can. Now, why don't you give me that Stone in your pocket?"
Draco held in his gasp. Harry had the stone? How?! Harry didn't move a muscle, though. Just looked at the hideous face.
"Don't be a fool." Voldemort hissed. "Better save your own life and join me, or you'll meet the same fate as your parents... they died begging me for mercy..."
"Liar!" Harry seethed.
"And you, Malfoy. What did you see in the mirror?"
Draco didn't like the way he was looking at him, like he could see right into his mind.
"Your father, yes. Many hope to be like him... a master of the dark arts... a faithful servant..."
"Never!" Draco shouted. How did he know all of this?
"Seize them! Get the Stone!"
Quirrell ran towards Harry and put his hand right on his scar. The pain was blinding. Harry had never felt anything like this, as if his head would split in two.
Draco ran forward and tried to pull him off Harry, but wasn't strong enough. Quirrell, surprisingly enough, had backed off. Draco caught sight of his hand that was blistering right before his eyes.
"Seize him!" Voldemort shrieked again.
Quirrell lunged, knocking Harry right off his feet, and landed on top of him with both hands around Harry's neck.
Harry tried to scream from the pain in his head, but couldn't. Quirrell howled in agony.
"Master, I cannot hold him! My hands! My hands!" His burned palms were red and shiny, as if his very skin was melting off. He scrambled off Harry and backed away, giving Draco a chance to grab him. Harry sprang on top of Quirrell while Draco held him down, and put his hands right on his face.
"KILL HIM! KILL HIM!" Voldemort's raspy voice demanded.
Quirrell was screaming in agony, his face blistering just as bad as his hands. Draco held on tight as he struggled to get away. He had no idea what Harry was doing, but it seemed to be the only way to stop Quirrell from killing them. He held on tight until his Professor was no longer moving, and neither was Harry.
"Harry!" Not bothering to look at their more than likely dead teacher, Draco crawled over to Harry. He didn't look hurt, just passed out. He was still breathing. He then crawled over to Theo, who still had blood dripping down his face. He untied the tightly bound ropes as best as he could, sliding Theo's limp body out of them. "It's alright, its okay. We're all gonna be okay." He choked out. He ripped a piece of his sleeve and began to dap at Theo's Head, hoping that someone would find them quickly. He couldn't get them out of here by himself.
Draco woke up in a hospital bed, with Theo lying beside him, his head wrapped in bandages, and Harry asleep in the bed next to Theo.
"Theo." He tried to say, but it came out as a croak. He wondered how long he'd been here. And what was wrong with Harry?
"Ahh, Draco, awake are we?"
Draco looked over and saw Dumbledore standing off to the side of the room. He swallowed a few times, to try and wet his dry mouth. "Sir, Quirrell! The Stone! The-"
"Calm down, dear boy. You're a little behind in the times." Dumbledore's soft smile set him at ease.
"The Stone is safe."
Draco sighed in relief. Only then looking around and seeing the tables in front of their beds, covered in cards and sweets.
"Gifts from your admirers." Dumbledore teased. "What happened in the dungeons between you boys and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so naturally, the whole school knows. I believe your friends Misters Fred and George Weasley we're responsible for trying to send you a toilet seat. No doubt they thought it would amuse you."
Draco smiled at that, just the thought amused him greatly.
"Your friends will be happy to know that you're awake, they've been most worried about you."
"How long have I been out?"
"About twelve hours. It's been a very trying night. I arrived just as you were finishing tending to Theodore, here. You passed out quite quickly after that."
"Will he be alright?"
"He will be just fine. Harry is simply in a deep sleep. His magic was nearly drained from the exertion."
"Do you know why Quirrell couldn't stand to be touched by Harry?"
Draco shook his head, which he regretted, since it made him nauseous.
"Harry has a certain kind of protection, which lives in his very skin. Something that Voldemort cannot even begin to comprehend."
"What is that?"
"Love, Draco. Love. His mother sacrificed herself to save him. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, leaves a mark. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed and ambition, as well as sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch him for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good." Dumbledore paused to give Draco time to process all of that. "As for the Stone, is has been destroyed."
"Destroyed? But Sir, that means that your friend Nicolas will die."
"Oh, you know about Nicolas?" Dumbledore said in a delighted voice. "Well, Nicolas and I have had a little chat, and decided that it is for the best. For him and his wife, after all these years, it will just seem like going to bed after a very, very long day."
"I wonder how Harry got the Stone in the first place."
"Ahh. You see, only one who wanted to find the Stone, find it, but not use it, would be able to get it. That was one of my better ideas, and between you and me, that is saying something." Dumbledore winked at him, and Draco felt himself smiling.
"So, if the Stone is gone, then... does that mean that Voldemort can't come back?"
Dumbledore's gentle smile disappeared. "I'm afraid, there are other ways in which he can return. He left Quirrell to die, which only shows what little mercy he has for his followers."
"I never want to be like him."
Dumbledore's smile returned. "Then you won't. Rest now, my boy. I shall tell Miss Granger and Mr. Weasley that you are awake, if you care for visitors."
"That would be nice. Thank you, Sir."
"Very well." Dumbledore patted his leg then rose to let in Hermione and Ron, who were waiting right outside the doors.
Five days later, it was the end of term feast. It had taken two days for Theo to wake up, and three days for Harry. Draco was sick of explaining everything that happened, so he let Hermione and Ron tell most of it. For the first time since their first day at Hogwarts, everyone sat at the table they had been designated to. The great hall was decked out in bright yellow flags, to signify that Hufflepuff had won the house cup.
A crystal glass chimed at the head table and the entire hall went silent.
"Another year gone." Dumbledore said as he rose. "And from what I understand, the house cup needs rewarding, and the points stand thus: in fourth place, Slytherin, with two hundred sixty-two points."
Blaise cringed, knowing they were in last place because of him and Harry.
"In third place, Gryffindor, with three hundred fifty-two points. Second place, belongs to Ravenclaw, with three hundred seventy-two points. And in first place, Hufflepuff, with three hundred seventy-six points."
Theo looked around his table nervously while the table beside him cheered. He'd almost rather be in last place, than to miss it by just four points.
"Yes, well done everyone, well done. However, recent event must be taken into account, and I have a few last minute points to award. To Miss Hermione Granger, for her cool use of logic in the face of fire, fifty points."
Gryffindor table all cheered for her, turning her face red. Draco smiled broadly at her, she deserved the recognition.
"Second, to Mr. Ronald Weasley."
"Me?" Ron whispered, a goofy smile on his face.
"You." Draco smiled back.
"For the best played game of chess that Hogwarts has seen these many years, fifty points."
"To My. Draco Malfoy, for seeing the truth with heart instead of eyes, I award fifty points."
The Gryffindor table bursted into another fit of cheers.
"To Mr. Harry Potter. For pure nerve, and outstanding courage. I award Slytherin House sixty points."
Slytherin table cheered for him, although no one was louder than Blaise.
"Next, to Mr. Theodore Nott. For the intellect to stay calm, when others were in grave peril, fifty points."
Theo's table cheered for him, he shyly smiled at everyone around the room.
Hermione leaned over the table. "This means we're now tied with Ravenclaw."
"And finally. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends. I award ten points, to Mr. Neville Longbottom."
"Neville!" The entire Gryffindor table cheered. Hermione hugged him and Draco was clapping loudly across from him.
"Neville! You won us the house cup!" Ron shouted.
Neville seemed to be in shock, but a very faint smile crossed his face.
"Assuming my calculations are correct, I believe a change of decoration is in order." Dumbledore clapped his hands and the colors in the hall changed from yellow to red. "Gryffindor wins the house cup!"
Theo, Blaise and Harry could care less that they lost. Gryffindor won, which meant that Draco won. And more importantly, Neville won them the house cup.
The ride on the Hogwarts express was full of happiness. The seven best friends all crammed into one compartment on the train, with Ron and Harry perfectly content to sit on the floor. They laughed, and got their fill of candy and sweets before they pulled in to King's Cross Station. They exited the train slowly, prolonging the inevitable as long as they could. Ron spotted his mom and Ginny standing with Remus and Petunia as they went through the platform. As a group they all walked over to the parents.
"You must come visit this summer!" He said. "All of you!"
"Of course!" Hermione threw her arms around Ron, then went around their circle of friends, leaving Draco for last. He was very happy about that.
"Neville dear, we told your Gran we would pick you up." Petunia said to him. "She's waiting at Grimmauld."
"Nice!" Neville said excitedly. "Blaise, where's your mom?"
"Oh." He shuffled nervously. "She's around. I'll find her."
Harry didn't miss his sad face. "I'll write to you. Maybe you can stay at ours for a bit this summer, too."
"I'd like that." His face brightening.
"Oh! I see my parents!" Hermione squeaked and went running to drag them over to introduce them to everyone.
"Thank you for the sweater and fudge, Mrs. Weasley." Draco said politely.
"Yes, thank you." The rest of the group echoed.
"Oh, it was nothing dears." She said with a wave of her hand.
Hermione introduced her parents to everyone, which became quite the group. It took another twenty minutes for everyone to actually leave the platform.
"Well boys!" Remus said once they had made it to the car. "Did you have a good year?"
The four of them looked at each other with smirks. They'd gained so many friends and already looked forward to going back next year.
"The best year." They all said together.
A/N: So?! *nervous smile* That final scene was a blast to write, I know that I used quite a bit of content from the book/movie, but as we progress to the later books and things get dark... because oh, boy do they get dark! I can use more originality. And thank you for the guest that pointed out a huge mistake! I had it written down in my journal how I wanted it to go then left it out, so thank you! :) I have no idea when I'll be able to get to Chamber of Secrets, so be patient :) Hope you all enjoyed this, thank you for reading!