Draco Veritas

Part Three of the Draco Trilogy

Chapter One Through Silver and Glass

It was December, and it was freezing cold in the Potions dungeon, but Snape didn?t care. 'Can anyone tell me what this is?' he demanded, holding up a transparent phial of steaming green liquid and surveying the class critically. 'Longbottom?'

Neville, who had been trying in vain to warm his blue-tipped fingers over his cauldron, looked horrified. 'I don?t know, Professor.'

'Did you not complete your reading last night, Longbottom? The assignment was ten pages in the Lieber and Stoller book.'

'I know, Professor, but my toad, Trevor, went missing, and I-'

'Ten points from Gryffindor!' barked Snape, who was in fine form. He didn?t even look cold, Draco mused. Perhaps he?d mixed himself up a Warming Potion before class.

Snapes ink-black eyes darted over the students. 'Potter?? he inquired.

Out of the corner of his eye, Draco saw Harry pale and look startled. Next to him, Hermione went red. Every time she knew an answer and Harry didn?t, Draco had the feeling that she might actually implode with the effort of trying to will the knowledge in Harrys direction.

Its an Imperceptus Potion, Draco thought lazily at Harry. Makes you invisible. Harry sat up straight. 'An Imperceptus Potion,' he said. 'It makes the drinker invisible.' Snape looked disappointed. 'And the ingredients?' he snapped. Mugwort, Draco thought. Crushed dragon bone, powdered asps blood, tansy, peppermint… 'Mugwort,' said Harry.

'Crushed dragon bone, powdered asps blood, tansy, peppermint…'

And a pair of my very own boxer shorts, the ones with the little Snitches on them, Draco added.

'And a pair of…' Harry began, and choked. His face went red and then white as he succumbed to a prolonged coughing fit. Hermione gazed at him in alarm. Draco looked innocently at his quill, twirling it in his fingers.

'Yes, Potter?' Snapes eyebrows had shot up to his hairline. 'A pair of what?'

Harry was still coughing. 'Beetles?' he suggested weakly.

Snape looked annoyed. 'No, Potter,' he said. 'The sixth ingredient is not a pair of beetles. However,' he added, 'five out of six is not disgraceful. I will not take points from Gryffindor.' He set the phial down on the desk in front of him with a slight bang. 'Now, does anyone wish to volunteer to come up here and be made invisible?' he demanded.

Draco looked over at Harry and grinned.

Never, and even Harrys telepathic voice sounded annoyed, ever, help me again.

Hey, Gryffindor didn?t lose any points.

No, but I think I lost ten years off my life. Oh, shut up, Malfoy. Go be invisible or something. Then again, you?d probably drop dead if you had to spend ten minutes without your own reflection.

Draco shrugged modestly, then realized that Hermione was looking from him to Harry and back again. She bit her lip irritably and turned back to her notebook as Ron was called up to the front of the class to be made invisible. Ron looked suspiciously at the foaming green liquid, and drank it with the air of someone about to be murdered.

The sound of rustling paper caught Dracos attention. When he turned sideways he saw that Hermione was holding up a note, folded so that only he could read it. I TOLD YOU NOT TO TALK TO HARRY DURING CLASS!

Draco shrugged apologetically, but Hermione continued to glare at him until Ron distracted the entire class by glowing violently purple for a moment, and vanishing.

'Thats the best Weasleys ever looked,' said a silky voice at Dracos elbow. It was Blaise Zabini, looking at him from beneath her long dark eyelashes.

'Just what I was going to say,' Draco replied quite truthfully.

She laid two fingers on his sleeve and smiled up at him, her beautiful face lighting up. Her eyes were huge and gray-green. 'Aren?t you clever.'

Draco smiled at her and sat back in his chair. He was vaguely conscious, without actually looking at her, that Hermione had shot him a disgusted look. He was used to this.

Ron had popped back into visibility — 'Worse luck,' Draco muttered towards Blaise, and she and Pansy Parkinson giggled — and was making his way back to his desk, looking green. Hermione pulled him down into his seat by the sleeve and patted his shoulder.

'And now we have another potion,' said Snape. He indicated a stoppered vial of red liquid on his desk. 'This one is called Soporus, and it does what….? Yes, Granger?'

Hermione put her hand down. 'If you drink it, it makes you remember your dreams.'

Snape did not even bother telling the class that this was correct. 'Very well.' He cleared his throat. 'Draco Malfoy, come up here.'

Draco was surprised. The Potions Master rarely called on him for much of anything, preferring to torment the Gryffindors and slower Slytherins. He rose to his feet, however, and made his way up to the front of the room, where he stood looking inquiringly at Snape.

Snape unstoppered the vial of scarlet liquid and handed it to Draco. It looked like blood. 'This will make me remember my dreams?' Draco asked, looking at Snape suspiciously.

'Just the most recent ones,' Snape said. His expression was quite blank.

'Go on, then.'

Draco gave him one last suspicious look, and drank the potion.

For a moment, nothing happened. Draco looked out at the class, who stared back at him expectantly. Hermione had her head to the side, looking curious, Ron looked as if he were hoping against hope that Draco might explode, and Harry had one eyebrow raised. Blaise and Pansy were staring with parted lips. Neville seemed sunk in gloomy ruminations about his toad. Draco was about to turn to the Potions Master and announce that nothing was happening when he noticed that the back wall of the classroom seemed to be curling in on itself and rushing towards him like a wave. Blackness hit him, and he fell into it as if he were drowning.

* * *

The dream rose like a fever, washed over him, blinding him. It carried him forward. Stone walls rose up around him and a floor of marble slid beneath his feet. He was somewhere, and nowhere.

He raised his head and glanced around. It was as if he looked through a pane of black glass. The world before him seemed smoky, distant, touched with darkness, as if its light had been smothered under heavy cloth. He looked around and saw that he was in a cylindrical stone room with narrow ancient windows, as if he stood at the top of a tower. A long oak-plank table ran across one wall. It was lined with bottles and silver phials studded with what looked like costly gems. There were other items scattered there: a key made of bones, a Hand of Glory, a wicked-looking dagger. A tapestry covered most of one wall: it depicted a circle, quartered by a cross, and in each quarter of the cross was a symbol Draco could not decipher. Underneath ran a motto in Latin that Draco couldn’t quite decipher, though he thought he recognized the word for “worthy” or “honored.”

In the center of the room was a square table, carved out of onyx. At each corner of the table was a golden disk. And next to the table stood two men.

The one on the right was immediately familiar. Tall and pale-haired, with narrow cold gray eyes, dressed in viridian robes, his black-gloved hands clasped across his front. Lucius Malfoy, his father.

The other man was dressed in a black cloak. His hood was up, hiding his face, although in its depths Draco imagined he could see the flicker of two coal-like eyes. His right hand was bare, and Draco recognized it: the ghastly white skin and red nails. Once that hand had crushed his own until he screamed in agony. When he moved

Вы читаете Draco Veritas
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату