This is entry #20 in the August 2014 Fic-A-Day challenge
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
The Great Hall
September 1, 1993
Draco Malfoy was outraged, and also the least bit – concerned – about the reactions his latest bout of taunting had elicited from Scarhead, the Mudblood and the Weasel.
Or more properly – the utter lack of any significant reaction his comments about the Weaselette's death had produced, let alone the volcanic eruption from the redheaded git which he'd expected.
He was also outraged because Professor Snape had been lurking a short distance down the corridor leading to the Great Hall, waiting for the opportunity to take points from Scarhead and his friends for their reactions, but the potions professor hadn't had the chance to do so before someone had interfered.
The oldest Weasel, the prefect, had also been standing just a short distance down the hall, along with the other Gryffindor fifth year prefect, and had immediately stuck his blood-traitor nose in where it didn't belong before his godfather could do anything to prevent it.
After rebuking him for "insulting and imprudent language," "being a dunderhead," "breathing too loudly," "looking arrogant" and "obstructing the school corridors with your presence" the arrogant prat had then deducted ten points from Slytherin House for each of the listed offenses.
And at the very moment that the Head of his House had stepped forward to intercede for him, the self-important blood traitor had actually had the audacity to turn to Snape, hold up his hand and say, "You needn't concern yourself with this matter, Professor. I've already taken care of this little incident."
And then, when his godfather had begun reprimanding the puffed-up, officious berk for daring to penalize him, the older Weasel had merely looked at the Potions master and said, "What seems to be the problem, Professor? After all, those are the same penalties and point deductions you've taken from any number of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw students over the past ten years, sir.
"I don’t understand – is there any reason why those penalties should not be applied to Slytherin students, when appropriate?"
And what with that old fool, Dumbledore, standing by and watching from his position at the Staff's table with that idiotic smile on his face, his Head of House hadn't been able to say or do anything to stop the insolent blood traitor from penalizing him, simply for speaking up and announcing to the world how very much improved things were now, what with the youngest blood traitor dead and unable to further pollute their society's bloodlines with any future offspring.
It seemed like, once again, that the world was conspiring to ruin his fun.
Bugger it, it just wasn't fair!
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
The hallway leading to the Slytherin dormitory
A short time following dinner in the Great Hall
As he followed his Head of House down the stairway to the Slytherin dorms, Draco continued complaining in a loud and droning diatribe about the injustices he'd been forced to endure a few minutes earlier at the hands of the eldest blood traitor Weasley.
Accordingly, no one was able to hear the whispered incantation that caused the whining, blond-haired Third Year to misstep and make him stumble forward, falling against the greasy-haired Potions professor in front of him.
As the pair tumbled forward off-balance, Draco's flailing arm grabbed against his minion Goyle's sleeve in a futile effort to regain his balance.
Unfortunately for both Draco and Snape, Malfoy's actions merely caused the lumbering and dull-witted bodyguard to be pulled along after them, and the unlucky potions professor at the head of the plummeting mass of bodies served as a cushion for approximately three hundred pounds of uncoordinated dead weight that dropped on him, slamming Snape face-first against the unyielding stones forming the dungeon floor.
Frozen in mid-step halfway up the stairway, Crabbe stared blankly at the groaning and bleeding mess below him for the better part of a minute – before finally realizing that it was up to *him* to summon aid for his injured housemates and, accordingly, finally rushed off to seek assistance.
Several hours later, after everyone's injuries had been treated, Snape and Draco would consider themselves lucky that neither of them had bled out while lying unconscious and waiting for Madame Pomfrey to respond to Crabbe's calls for assistance.
A corner of the Gryffindor common room
A few minutes before the preceding scene
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," Percy Weasley declared as he stared down at the enchanted parchment spread out on the table, his two seemingly interchangeable twin brothers sitting quietly on each side of him while Harry, Hermione and Ron sat on the opposite side of the table.
"Yep. There they are, heading back to the Slytherin dorms, probably for their usual plotting against everyone else in the school," Ron noted as he pointed to a section of the Marauders Map. "The Great Git and his slimy toadies."
"Dad said that according to the Wizengamot records he had a quick look at once things had – uh, settled down," Percy said, his voice sounding only the slightest bit strained as he obliquely referenced Ginny's funeral, "Snape was accused of being a Death Eater by a convicted Death Eater named Karkaroff, but Dumbledore vouched for him, saying he'd been working for him as a double agent all along, so the greasy git was acquitted of all charges brought against him.
"Well, when I heard Quirrell talking to Snape back in first year, Quirrell reminded that great bat about staying loyal to the so-called 'Dark Lord'," the Boy-Who-Lived told his companions with a scowl of anger and distaste.
The merciless expression now gracing the youth's face seemed quite out of place for a thirteen-year-old, and appeared more appropriate to a battle-hardened war veteran.
Which, in all truth, when one considered what he'd already experienced in his life, Harry actually was.
"Well, since we know Malfoy was the one who was keeping Riddle's diary hidden away, and Snape and Malfoy are such good friends that Snape acts like he's Draco's uncle, I don't think we have to spend all that much time worrying about whether Snape actually *is* a Death Eater, or if he's just really good friends with one of them," Hermione declared, an equally unforgiving and determined look on her face as she stared down at the parchment on the table.
"All right, then," Harry nodded.
"I don't think that any of us have any reservations about the plans we discussed this past summer, but I just want to check one final time before we start anything," he stated as he glanced around at the table at his family. "Are we ready?"
Nodding his agreement with the resolute expressions he found as he glanced at each of the four brothers, Harry allowed the ghost a smile to cross his face as he said, "Right then.
"Who gets to take the first shot in our private little war?"
"As much as I'd like to do it, I think that Hermione should get that honor, if she wants it," Ron immediately stated, his words eliciting a look of surprise from his recently-adopted sister.
"Really, Ron?" the brilliant brunette asked, a wide-eyed expression of disbelief on her face. "Me?"
"Yeah, Hermione, you," the ginger-haired Third Year nodded agreeably. "The way I figure it, if it weren't for you getting Professor McGonagall to approve your using a Time Turner for extra credit this year, we'd never even have a chance to use it against Malfoy and any other berks that might need it.
"That's why you should get to use it, first," he pointed out with a congenial smile.
The brilliant smile of anticipation on the bushy-haired brunette's face practically lit up the room, as she grabbed up the aforementioned Ministry-issued artifact and looped its chain around her neck, and then picking up Harry's invisibility cloak.
"All right, then," the boys heard Hermione's voice saying after she faded from view.
"I'll be back as soon as I take care of the garbage."
As the five boys then eagerly clustered around the enchanted map, pleased smiles broke out on all their faces as they watched several of the names on the map abruptly all cluster together at the base of the stairway noted on the map, as though they had suddenly come together in a single great pile.
"Cor, Hermione sure is a fast worker," Ron exclaimed, his smile nearly stretching from ear to ear as he watched the map. "It looks like Snape, Malfoy and Goyle all fell down the stairs and landed on each other."
"Surprisingly, Crabbe's a lot more coordinated than he looks," the boys heard Hermione's voice saying, as the door to the common room swung open and the brunette witch casually walked in, her bookbag slung over her shoulder.
"Pity," she shook her head regretfully. "I was hoping I'd be able to deal with all of those berks at the same time.
"Oh, well," she said as she shrugged her shoulders. "Those are the breaks, I suppose.
"Actually, now that I think about it," she added, her smile grew even wider, "I'd wager that there's a very good chance that all of those prats are going to be having a very long run of bad luck in the very near future."
The grins which appeared upon hearing her prediction would have looked far more suitable on a pack of hungry wolves than they did on the faces of the five youths seated around the table.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
September 2, 1993
"Come now – you really must give up this vendetta you’re obviously waging against both Harry and the Weasley family, Severus," Dumbledore counseled the furious Potions professor as the two sat in the headmaster's office, sharing a pot of tea.
"Minerva, as well as a dozen of their fellow classmates, all vouch for the lot of them; their House mates all can account for their constant presence in the Gryffindor common room from shortly after dinner last night, until they retired to bed at approximately ten o'clock," the aged headmaster informed the seething Head of Slytherin House. "Therefore, it's patently impossible for any of them to have been responsible for inflicting any of your or your students' injuries.
"And quite frankly, Severus, I must also warn you that Minerva has already informed me that, should you continue to harass any of the Weasleys or allow any of your students to repeat any obviously offensive behavior like young Mr. Malfoy exhibited in the Great Hall last night, then she will personally be registering a complaint with the school's Governing Board, against both you and the students responsible," Dumbledore added with a disapproving frown. "She also warned me that she will not tolerate any further instances of the emotional abuse which Draco attempted to inflict last night.
"Given her close friendship with Arthur and Molly, should there be any sort of reoccurrence – well, I have no doubt she will endeavor to see your godson expelled from Hogwarts immediately," Dumbledore warned, causing Snape's disdainful sneer to grow even wider.
Dismissing Snape's low-voiced "But I *know* Potter's behind this, somehow," through long-established habit, the Headmaster turned his attention to back to their previous discussion of the various potions materials which would be needed over the course of the coming year.
Over the course of the next few months, the majority of Slytherin House came to the conclusion that someone very powerful (or possibly a group of very powerful witches or wizards) must have cursed several of the residents of their House, since it seemed that not a day went by without some sort of – relatively – minor, yet highly inconvenient, mishap striking Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Pansy Parkinson or Millicent Bulstrode.
The fact that the vast majority of such incidents seemed to occur just as one of the afflicted students were about to harass or annoy Potter, Granger or one of the Weasley brood also did not go unnoticed, and soon enough Draco and his faction soon found themselves effectively shunned by the other members of their House.
That particular reaction proved to the rest of the school (who had been observing the ongoing series of occurrences with the same fascination that the mundane world had for its various soap operas) that at least *some* members of the House reputed to be the home of the cunning and the ambitious had finally realized that, under no circumstances, did they want to risk being identified as a friend or ally of either the obnoxious, loud-mouthed braggart or his minions.