With the Snakes?

Chapter 11

Of China Dolls and Defenestration

Well, I'm back, as shocking as it seems. I know this has taken for ever, and my only excuse is pretty pathetic, so I'll shut up now, and let you read.


After the 'incident' the Slytherin first years were even closer than before, and Hermione and Harry had truly been welcomed into the fold. Even Millicent, Greg and Vince, who were never very close to the 'ringleaders', Draco, Pansy and Blaise, became part of the very close knit group. None of them went anywhere without at least one of the others, especially Hermione. Harry took it upon himself to protect her at all costs, still blaming himself for the accident. This naturally annoyed Hermione to no end, leading to a rather loud, and public, row on the second day of Harry's campaign.

"Oh for the love of Merlin! Harry will you give it a rest! I do not need an escort everywhere I go! Especially NOT to the bathroom!" Hermione burst out.

"But…" Harry was cut short

"HARRY JAMES POTTER! Give-it-a-rest!" she screamed "I am not a china doll, I will not break! So for Circe's sake, leave me alone!"


"Damm right you're sorry! Have you any idea how annoying it is to be treated like that?" Hermione's eyes were narrowed dangerously.

Draco tapped her on the shoulder.

"What!" she snapped, spinning round.

"You're causing a scene Hermione," he said, completely unfazed by her anger.

"Oh." The expression on Hermione's face was priceless. It was as if she had completely forgotten where she was.

"Right folks; move along, nothing to see here." Blaise laughed, grabbing Hermione by the arm, and dragging her off.

"You were getting kind of annoying Harry. And Mya's a pretty independent girl, so you can't expect her to sit there and let you treat her like a doll," commented Pansy.

"Shut up."

Pansy laughed, and taking Harry and Draco's hands, lead them off to Defence Against the Dark Arts.

When they arrived at the classroom, Hermione and Blaise were sitting in the back row, whispering quietly. Pansy snuck up behind them.


Hand flying to heart, Hermione screamed. "What the hell Pansy?"

"Sorry, had to be done!" Pansy giggled.

"Ehh, Pansy? Isn't that guy your uncle?" Draco questioned, pointing towards the tall man who had just entered the room through the back door.

"Oh my god! It is! Uncle Andy!" the small brunette rushed toward him, arms outstretched. He grabbed her by the waist and swung her round, setting her down just as the other students came into the room, thankfully too busy talking to notice.

"Hey there, Pansy. How's my little niece today then?" he asked smiling down at her. "You might want to be a bit more subtle with your public displays next time girly."

"Sorry!" Pansy said, it blindingly obvious that she couldn't care less. "What are you doing here? You aren't the teacher we had last week!" she asked, totally ignoring her uncle's question.

"Pansy! Answering a question with a question. How simply awful of you." He winked at her. "I'm here because Professor Bucherie's wife has just had a little baby, very unexpectedly, and he has retired for the time being. I am replacing him until he comes back."

"Wow! I hope you stay here forever!" the small girl said, grin stretching ear to ear.

"That would be fun, but forever is an awfully long time Pansy! Besides, you have to act as if we aren't related in classes, I'm just your teacher, ok?" he replied.

"Oh. Why?" asked Pansy.

"Because one of the conditions of Dumbledore hiring me, knowing I would be teaching you and your friends, was that I would treat you just the same as every other student under my care. It wouldn't be fair if I favoured you. Now go sit down, I need to get this class started." He smiled, and stood up, giving Pansy a little push off to her seat.

As soon as Pansy sat down she was assaulted by a barrage of questions.

"So he's your uncle ehh?" asked Harry,

"What did he say?" asked Draco,

"Did he tell you what we would be studying?" asked Hermione.

"Mya!" they chorused.

"What! I like defence, and I'm good at studying, so why shouldn't I study?"

"Never mind Mya." Draco patted her shoulder and turned back to Pansy, "Well?"

"He's our new teacher; the old one had a kid or something like that. He married my mother's sister, which is why he's not a Parkinson." she looked thoughtful, a pretty worrying look in most of the group's opinion, "What is his last name? I've only ever known him as Uncle Andy. Hmm."

Pansy was cut off from her thinking, (thankfully, as Blaise would later say) by her uncle.

"Right class! Settle down please." He called, walking behind his desk. He turned to face the students.

"Now that you are all here, finally, we can begin. I suppose it would only be fitting for me to introduce myself first, before asking your names." He winked at the class; it was beginning to seem like a habit. "I am Professor Andy Riley; some of you will already know me as Miss Parkinson's uncle."

"There's your answer, Pansy." Whispered Draco.

"Quiet please, Mr Malfoy." Riley laughed. "Nahh, I'm not going to be too strict with you. I don't mind a few quiet chatters, but when I speak, you listen. Ok?"

He was met with silence. It was definitely a first; being told it was ok to talk by a teacher. Professor Riley wasn't being boring! Hermione didn't trust him, no adults were this nice, her parents were proof of that.

"Class? Is that ok?" Riley sounded confused; obviously his teachers had allowed him to talk in class.

Pansy stuck her hand up. "Professor Riley," she began, rolling the unfamiliar word over her tongue, "most of our teachers demand silence in their classes. Only Professor Flitwick lets us talk in class. Not that we mind or anything." She smiled, the innocent look almost always worked for her.

Riley laughed again. "Right… your teachers are obviously stricter than mine were, either that or I'm forgetting my schooling!" he said. "I'm an Auror; I'm taking a little break to teach you guys as a favour to Dumbledore. As far as I know, I'm going to be here for one year, and that's it. I suppose you would like to know what we'll be doing for the time I'll be here."

"No!" chorused everyone, well, everyone except Hermione.

"I do!"

"Mya, you have honestly lost the plot. Studying is boring!" Pansy cried, as the rest of the class looked on, shocked and stunned.

Professor Riley cleared his throat, "Well, I must admit that a first year wanting to study is rather… emm… unusual, but, I'm hoping that the rest of you will have a bit more of an incentive to study after you find out what we'll be looking at this year."

He was met by a sea of blank faces, except Hermione, who was obviously lapping up every word.

Undeterred, Riley went on; "We're going to be studying ritual magic."

Hermione gasped, loudly. "No way!" She clapped her hand to her mouth.

"Yes way, miss…?" he trailed off expectantly, an annoying habit of teachers, expecting you to read their minds.

"Emm, it's not really been decided yet." She muttered with her head down.

"Oh yes, you're Hermione aren't you?" Hermione nodded, "Right, is it okay if I just call you Hermione then. I prefer to call my students by their first names anyway."

Hermione nodded again.

"Ritual magic is a type of magic that witches and wizards used before wands were reliable. This obscure branch of magic could only be used for major things, like curses, counter-curses, exorcism and the like." Riley said

A scared murmur ran around the room. They had all heard about the Marshall case a few years ago.

"Now I know you're going to be scared, and I totally understand that, especially after the Marshall 'incident'. Miss Marshall was an exception rather than the rule. Ritual magic is normally quite safe as long as the instructions are followed specifically.

"Granted the Marshall case may have caused the Ministry to tighten regulations, needless to say, they don't know what I will be teaching you this year, but in a controlled, safe environment, nothing should go horribly wrong. The Ministry's new law on ritual magic states that ritual magic may not be performed out with an institute of higher education, or in exceptional circumstances, and then only with a permit.

"Obviously Professor Dumbledore has chosen to completely ignore the Ministry, as he feels that it is essential to your education that you understand the basic principles of the magic before you try to defend against it. I know this year will be hard for all of you, but a large part of the Defence Against the Dark Arts course will focus on ritual magic."

The rest of the class continued in a similar way, Riley would reveal something even more shocking, the class would gasp, and he would calm them with another long speech. Pansy's uncle was quickly becoming boringly predictable and blasé.

Of course Hermione became a bundle of laughs, as usual, as soon as class let out.

"What was the 'Marshall Case', Draco?" she asked seconds after stepping out of the room.


"The Marshall case, the one Professor Riley mentioned at the beginning of class," she reiterated.

"Oh, that." Said Draco flatly.

"What happened Draco?" asked Hermione, pouting like a petulant child.

"I think I'll take over here," Blaise cut in, "Stephanie Marshall was the daughter of one of Draco's mother's, shall we say… 'acquaintances',"

"Was?" questioned Hermione.

"Yes, was. Now shush, you want to know what happened, no."

"Sorry Blaise." Hermione had the decency to look at least slightly ashamed for interrupting.

"No problem. Stephanie, who was about twenty-four at the time, had gotten very annoyed with a childhood friend who had attempted to steal her fiancé away from her. Needless to say, she wasn't exactly happy with her, and decided to take matters into her own hands. Now, like Riley just said, you need a very clear head whenever you attempt ritual magic.

"To cut a very long story short, she attempted to curse her friend but it backfired and she was killed." Blaise's voice dropped to a low whisper, "Draco's still a bit sore about it because he had an itsy, bitsy crush on her way back then!"

Hermione couldn't help the giggles that insisted on tumbling out of her mouth.

"Is that not like a ten year age gap?" whispered Hermione, still giggling.

"Try about fifteen!" laughed Blaise, "and, Draco was nine!"

"Oh shut up you two!" Draco pouted at them.

"Aww, poor, ickle Draky. Come here silly," Hermione grabbed him in a hug and kissed him soundly on the cheek.

"Geroff me Mya!" he screamed, wriggling away from her.

"Ehh guys? Don't you lot have somewhere to be?" professor Riley asked as he came out of his classroom. "Is Pansy around? I wanted to speak to her."

"Emm… she was," answered Draco, looking around.

"Where's Harry now I think of it?" said Hermione.

"And Milli, and Vince, and Greg?" continued Blaise.

The three looked around suspiciously; Riley stood by with an amused look on his face, "looks like you three have been ditched!"

Hermione, as usual, was first to cotton on.

"Oh I'm going to kill her!" she shrieked, storming off down the hall.

"If looks could kill…" began Draco.

"We'd all be dead in that case," said Blaise, "any idea what that was about?"

"No idea," said Draco, shrugging. "I think we should be off now. I really don't want to be late for Snape's class, he'd defenestrate us!"

"That would be Professor, Draco." Said Riley, almost laughing at the two boys.

"No need to call me Professor, Sir!" answered Draco. "Sorry, I couldn't resist!"

"Quite right, never pass up a good joke!" Riley winked at them, "Now, off to class before I get in trouble for holding you back, Snape scares me too!"

"That would be Professor, Sir!" Blaise stuck his tongue out, and then, grabbing Draco by the wrist legged it down the hall.

Two minutes later they came running past again, Riley was just coming back out of his classroom,

"Wrong way!" Blaise yelled as he and Draco ran by.

So, what did you think? A little too mad? Or just right?

Review and tell me!