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Batch 11: Canon Era (2) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 11: Canon Era (2)
Draco interacting and thinking about Neville during their last year at Hogwarts. Draco has had to have realized that Neville has changed very much and has grown formidable. for Anon

[For myself, I doubt Draco noticed a thing. He had too much on his plate that year. But I'll see what I can do. An inkling, maybe.]
Draco took Advanced Herbology under Snape's directive; apparently, a serious Potion brewer (which, for some reason, Snape believed he should be) needed a solid grasp of Herbology. "Your ingredients," he'd said, "should be second nature to you. I shall not make subject you to Care of Magical Creatures under Professor Hagrid--"

Draco had wrinkled his nose. Snape gave him an understanding, if nasty, smile.

"--but I will expect you to learn the animal-based ingredients at any rate. Professor Sprout is not a trial as a teacher, so you will take her class."

Protests that he hadn't taken sixth year Advanced Herbology fell on deaf ears; apparently, in the new regime, if Snape informed a teacher that a student would be in her class, then that student was in the class. He couldn't think of any other way that Goyle could have got into Advanced Transfiguration.

And if even McGonagall knew better than to cross Snape, Draco certainly did. Even Aunt Bellatrix had stopped questioning his loyalty--at least in public--and told Draco to do as he was told, or it would get back to the Dark Lord, who would be displeased.

So now, on top of taking a subject in which he had little interest, he was a year behind in that subject, and Professor Sprout had assigned Neville Longbottom, of all people, to tutor him.

At sunrise, three days a week.

The only saving grace was that Longbottom as even less happy about the situation than he was.

"Let's get this over with," Longbottom said as soon as Draco showed up. "Fluxweed. Chapter eight."

Draco opened his book. "Common ingredient in shape changing Potions."

"We're growing it, not brewing it."

"If I'm ever growing it, I'll be growing it to brew it," Draco explained, trying not to hex Longbottom on the spot for his tone. What did he expect, that Draco would suddenly want to adopt a pile of weeds?

"It won't brew worth a damn if you grow it wrong."

Draco snorted. "Right. I'll take advice from you about how my Potions will turn out."

"No more than I'd take yours on how to grow Fluxweed, but then, you're not tutoring me." He stared steadily at Draco.

For a moment, something stirred in Draco's mind--I should warn Alecto not to push Longbottom any further; he's getting scary--but it faded. It was just Longbottom. He was cocky because he was Sprout's pet in the greenhouses. Anywhere else, he was still an idiot.

"Fine," Draco said. "I'll treat the weed like it's royalty. I'll buy it its own palace garden."

"You'll watch for signs of a stealthweed infestation, and you'll bloody well learn to recognize when the seed pods have got covered with Festering Fungi. And when you can do that, you'll learn to cross-pollinate so the strain you're growing doesn't get thin from inbreeding. I imagine that won't sit well with your new friends."

Draco made a great show of yawning. Longbottom seemed to have forgotten that he was as pure-blooded as anyone just lately... which was, in Draco's opinion, fairly easy to forget, though he fantasized briefly about giving Longbottom the kind of lessons in the responsibilities of pure-bloodedness that he himself had got over the past year. He wondered who Aunt Bella would make Longbottom torture. Maybe she'd just make him kill off his plot of weeds.

When he looked up, Longbottom was looking at him strangely.


"Nothing. You looked ill."

Draco narrowed his eyes. "I just can't stand the smell of blood traitors this early in the morning. Let's get this over with."

Could you do a DH missing moment - Ron bringing Hermione back to Shell Cottage after they escaped from Malfoy Manor. Other's have done it, but I'd love to read your take on it :-) for Anon
Ron had only been vaguely aware of the actions in the Malfoys' parlor. He'd taken part, so he supposed some part of his brain must have sized the place up and got his body where it needed to be, but that part was deep down, the part that often made plays in chess without any conscious reason.

Hermione never believed him when he told her this. She was sure he had his moves plotted a dozen in advance, like something she'd seen in a Muggle film, but it was true--when Ron sat at the chess board, he envisioned the end of the game, and the moves he made to get there were made more by a general instinct than a grand plan, which would always end up wrong anyway. Get across the board, whatever it costs. Capture the queen. Check the king.

When they'd first thrown him in the cellar at Malfoy Manor, he hadn't been able to think, hearing Hermione screaming above. But as soon as Dobby had come, and he'd thought of the light in the deluminator, he'd understood: The endgame was to get Hermione away from the Death Eaters. Whatever needed to be done between where he was and where he needed to be would be... done. If Wormtail's magic hand hadn't turned on him, Ron would have cut his throat with a slash of his own wand. Trying to plan what would have happened after that would have been a fool's game, because the conditions would have changed too fast.

Just keep the endgame in mind.

But Hermione had started screaming again, and then she'd been offered to Greyback.

Even if he'd had a strategy at that point, it would have been destroyed. No way was Greyback touching her. Ever.

So he'd gone bellowing into the room, and of course, that had nearly got them captured and wandless again, but Dobby had come, and there'd been a chandelier, and... something.

Something other than Hermione hanging limply from Bellatrix Lestrange's arm, with Bellatrix's knife at her throat. Because the chandelier had knocked them apart.


Ron ran across the parlor, grabbed her, and Disapparated. He'd go back for Harry once she was safe.

As it turned out, he didn't need to. Almost as soon as he felt the sea air next to Shell Cottage, he heard more pops, and he turned long enough to see Harry's silhouette against the early dawn sky. His glasses flashed in the starlight.

Harry was fine.

Hermione was limp in Ron's arms, but starting to come around. She whimpered in pain as he jostled a broken wrist, and her blouse was soaked from a thin cut on her neck that had bled much more than it looked like it could.

"Bill! Bill!"

A shadow apepared in the upper window (all the lights were on, and he guessed that they were already up from the arrival of Luna, Dean, and Ollivander), and Ron's oldest brother leaned out the window. "Ron, what--" He saw Hermione and stopped. "Door's open. I'll meet you inside. Fleur, get the Healing Potions. We have worse problems than Ollivander."

Ron didn't wait for a further invitation. His arms were burning, his back was a sheet of pain. But he didn't let Hermione touch the ground. He didn't jostle her. He ran for the door and slipped inside. Bill was waiting. He reached out to take Hermione, but Ron couldn't let her go.

"Come on," Bill said. "We'll take her to the little guest room. Ollivander is in the big one. She needs rest. Fleur's getting things ready. What happened? Ollivander and Luna "

"Bellatrix Lestrange."

"Oh, my God. Obviously, it wasn't just Cruciatus. We'll get her--"

The warning bell beside the mantel rang to tell them that someone was nearby.

"It's Harry," Ron said. "And probably a couple of others. I'll take care of Hermione. Make sure they're all right."

If Bill objected to being given orders in his own house, he didn't show it. He just ran out.

Ron lay Hermione down on the narrow bed he'd slept on while he was here and gingerly released his embrace. His arms felt cold and empty.

Her eyelids fluttered. "Ron...?"

"I'm here."

"Ron, I hurt."

"I know. Where do you hurt? I can start fixing you, and Fleur is on the way in."

"I hurt everywhere."

He took her hand and held it carefully, wanting to squeeze it and hold it to his heart but worried that it was damaged somehow. "It's all right. You're all right now."

"And... Harry? The others?"

"I haven't checked. I saw him Apparate in."

"You should... go..." He didn't leave, and if there was any measure of her pain that seemed real, it was that she didn't try to force him.

He waited with her until Fleur came, and asked Hermione if she could send him out--"We will look at ze injuries now." Hermione, for just a flash, didn't seem to want to let him go, then some shadow crossed her face, and she nodded.

Ron went outside, to find Harry and whatever else was there to be found.

The real endgame had started.
13 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 4th, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)


Gosh, new stories in the middle of the afternoon!

And I seem to be the first posting!

Draco/Neville was fantastic! Yeah, it would take quite a while for Draco to really cotton to how much Neville has changed. Nice to see how Neville can now hold his own with Draco.

Sara Libby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 5th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Brava!

It was actually up in the morning--I'd mostly finished the night before, but I fell asleep. ;p
reannanshaw From: reannanshaw Date: January 5th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
That first one was fantastic, and just reinforces my belief that what was going on at Hogwarts that year was far more interesting than what Harry was doing. *sigh* Oh, how I long to read a decent alt-POV novel of that year. Between Neville and the DA, Draco and the other DE kids, Snape keeping his cover while keeping the kids safe, and kids disappearing at various times... *sigh* Such a wasted opportunity on Rowling's part. Although the beginning of that fic reminded me of something. What do you think Snape's real feelings about Draco were? I haven't been able to figure out whether he actually liked him at all or was only pretending to favor him to stay in favor with the Malfoys and keep his cover.

That second one's nice, too. Ron's a character who I didn't care for when I first read the books, but he really grew on me over time. Still not my favorite or anything, but I do like him.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 5th, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Snape cared a lot about Draco--moreover, I think Draco was the person he wanted to be as a kid. Born of a good family, with the manners and habits of high society, well-spoken (granted, evil, but well-spoken) parents who obviously loved him--pretty much the opposite of little Snape. That would contribute to him wanting, I think, to protect Draco, which I think is a very genuine concern of his. I'm not sure how it plays into demanding Herbology, other than "Fern needed Neville and Draco to interact," but I'm sure it somehow does.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 6th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Not entirely sure, but a reason for herbology -

There were plenty of ways for things to go sour that year from Snape's POV. Things are bad enough for Draco, but he has had what protection Snape could give him. If things go bad, Snape's dead (or worse). What protection he's tried to give Draco is gone and may even make Draco more of a target. I think Snape sees Sprout as the most likely to survive any of the many scenarios that could bring Snape down.

I started a list of the ways McGonagall could go down by being with him/against him/collateral damage, but let me cut it short and say she's unlikely to stand safely on the sidelines. Slughorn is already Draco's House Head but he's also not big on sticking his neck out for others. He also might be collateral damage if Snape goes down, depending on how much he's tried to capitalize on his apparent connection to Snape since the new regime started.

That leaves Flitwick and Sprout. Snape may be cultivating Flitwick as a potential Draco protector, too, but it looks like he's placed his bets on Sprout.

Have to admit, I think Hufflepuffs are the most likely to overlook past problems and offer a safe haven in time of need (Gryffindors would have a bit more trouble overlooking past problems and would waste more time wondering if it was a set up).

Also, Draco did wear a Support Cedric Diggory badge, which has to count for something with Sprout.

etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: January 5th, 2012 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Just a quick note as I run past to say that I'm thrilled every time I see another posting! I liked each of these -- Draco seemed entirely in character. Pity he was already so overwhelmed, and so prejudiced, that he couldn't appreciate what he was seeing. And bless Ron. He's a good man and right to depend on his sometimes (but not always!) excellent instincts.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 5th, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's probably good, actually, that he didn't appreciate what he was seeing. If the DEs had truly appreciated how dangerous Neville was, they probably would have just killed him.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 5th, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think bit by bit we're gonna prise Safe out of your brain. We'll get it out, we will! ;p
All joking aside, I was thinking DH seen through Draco's eyes would make an interesting read -- dark and gloomy and violent and depressing and harsh and quite possibly gory, but interesting...
But really, any alternate PoV from anyone at Hogwarts that year would be fantastic. Hint hint nudge nudge (hey, you can't blame an avid reader for trying ;p)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 5th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Safe wouldn't have taken place at Hogwarts, anyway, so that's not edged at here!
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 5th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
even if draco is deserving of pity, his still snobbyness and pureblood self-righteousness makes him deserving of a good smack.

snape, war hero or not, is an unrepentant git who values himself too much as a jusger of character and i do not regret at all what happened to him, cause he got there by his own damn judgements.

the second one was also interesting, althought i'm not quite sure what you mean by ron-s strategy- and i would think he was more willing of- any means necessary- be if he dies to keep hermione safe- so be it- not to leave harry to fend for himself cause harry can handle it.

I dont even remember if in the book ron dissaparated by himself- and i seem to dont think he did?

these are xcellent thought

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 5th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree about Snape. Nothing we saw convinces me that he was anything but a miserable, twisted git.

I re-read the scenes in question, and it's not entirely clear, except that Ron DEFINITELY didn't come with Dobby and Harry. Harry sees him run across the room to get Hermione, and then, when they get there, Bill tells Harry that Ron came into the house with Hermione. Harry seems to be Apparating himself, since he's thinking of the destination, so my assumption is that Ron did so as well.

Edited at 2012-01-05 08:47 pm (UTC)
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: January 6th, 2012 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Powerful one, Endgame. And Draco's thoughts too...
sidealong From: sidealong Date: January 6th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Neville would be a great alternate POV for a Year 7 at Hogwarts book. Ginny could be awesome also. They went through so much that's only hinted at.
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