Harry Potter and the Secret Link Part 11
The moment Draco saw his father prancing around in a pink frock with a white bonnet hiding the man's long, pale hair, the Malfoy heir knew that he was in for a strange dream.
His father looked at him solemnly and said gravely, "In God we trust; all other's must pay cash.(1)" Which didn't make sense, really; Lucius Malfoy wasn't what one would call a religious man, especially when the muggles' god came up.
"What?" Draco asked, dumbfounded. Then a tree ate his father.
"Thanks," Draco said, "but now I'll never get my pony."
"You're welcome," the tree replied. "But why would you want a pony when you can't even take care of your cat?"
The tree had a good point.
So Draco wandered through the thick purple foliage of the jungle, thinking that it would be quite nice if he had a map until he stumbled upon some archaic temple with intricate carvings all over the walls. When he paid closer attention to the carvings as he traveled up the lengthy stone steps, he was both shocked and amused to notice that the carvings depicted different people participating in the act of fornication. There even looked to be one of a man having sexual relations with what could have been a sheep, or a really fluffy dog.
He couldn't help but wonder if one of Maxwell's ancestors had a hand in that.
When he walked into the cavernous room, there was someone there, kneeling in front of three rows of candles; some had been lit, and some had not.
"Hn," the other boy said. "Omae o korosu."
Draco was confused. "What? Hey, where am I?"
"Arkansas," the boy replied flatly. "Baka." And then he disappeared.
"Hey, wait!... Bloody hell, where is Arkansas?"
"Arkansas is here, but not really," came another voice. Draco turned to see a rather rotund man wearing a loin cloth sitting on an unadorned pedestal. The bald, fat Asian man was smiling quite cheerfully at the Malfoy heir.
"Ew," Draco said, making a face. "Put a shirt on."
"In this heat?" the man laughed jovially, his belly rippling."I'll pass."
It was around that point that an entire chorus line of identical skinnier bald Asian men (that, strangely enough, resembled the fat one a lot) pranced from the dark entryways surrounding the room. They all linked elbows and began kicking their skinny legs in the air. Right knee, right leg. Left knee, left leg. They continued on in that pattern as they sang in harmony.
"Oh, I wish I were an Os-car Mayer Wie-ner!
That is what I'd tru-ly like to be.
'Cause if I were an Os-car May-er Wie-ner,
Ev-ery one would be in love with me!"
"Who is this Oscar Mayer," Draco demanded irritably, "and why does everyone want to be his wiener?"
"That is a question to be asked another day, little fox," said one skinny man.
"I'm not a fox," Draco replied, "I'm a person!"
"And I'm not a person," said the same man, "I'm a dog." And he was.
Draco turned from the dog, whose tail was wagging happily as his tongue lolled out from the side of his grinning maw, to glare at the smiling fat man. "What's this all about? Tell me!"
The jolly man grinned and held out both hands. "A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand."
"That diet doesn't seem to be working out for you," Draco pointed out scathingly.
"That's what you think," the man said nonchalantly before he stuffed one of the cookies into his mouth. "Draco, wake up!"
"Draco! Wake up!"
Draco found himself in the land of the waking once again, blinking dazedly up at the familiar stone ceiling above his bed. In his peripheral vision, he noticed Vincent had taken the liberty of pulling the green drapes around his bed to peek down at Draco. The Malfoy heir was so relieved at having been torn from his dream that he didn't even bother scolding Vincent for that minor infraction of privacy.
"What?" Draco snapped testily, sitting up.
"Professor Snape wants you downstairs. Millicent went to get Pansy, too."
Draco sniffed, yanking the drape to the side violently as he slid from his bed. He hazily recalled he'd been so exhausted after the events of the day that he'd simply thrown himself in bed and fell to sleep without bothering to even kick off his shoes. He paused before the mirror, taking the time to make sure his hair was in perfect order before he left the dorm room. Before he left, he noticed something odd in the reflection of the room behind him.
"Vince," Draco said slowly, "why are there two new beds in here?"
"I said -never mind. How could you-" Not notice there were seven beds where there had always been five? "Never mind. Look, Vince -count the beds."
Vincent turned and looked, counting the beds slowly before a look of confusion came over his face. The look was oddly identical to the look that tended to overcast his face during most classes. "There are seven."
"Yes, Vince. There are seven."
"But there are only five of us."
Draco counted to ten. Patience, he knew. Patience with Vincent. It wasn't Vincent's fault Crabbe Senior went and married his first cousin. "Right, Vince. And Snape wants to talk to me and Pansy, the sixth year prefects, downstairs. What conclusion can you draw from this?"
Vincent thought about it. "That... we have two new students?"
"Phrase it in the form of an answer, Vince."
"That we have two new students," Vincent repeated.
"That's right, Vince. Very good."
Vincent grinned proudly. Draco could only hope that teaching the other how to draw accurate conclusions would help him actually survive in the real world.
"But why would we have two new students in the middle of the first semester?"
"That's what I'm about to find out, hopefully," Draco replied before leaving his dorm room.
Not many people knew or realized that the Slytherin dorm rooms were actually below the common room, which was part of the dungeons, but they wouldn't have been surprised by it. What would have surprised many was the fact that, even though a Slytherin had to walk downstairs to get to his or her dorm room, Slytherins still resided in one of the seven towers of Hogwarts. For some reason, Slytherins had a lot of trouble explaining this to the scant few muggle-borns that were worthy enough to be Sorted into Slytherin.
"As the sixth year prefects, I wanted to inform you personally that we have two new students joining Slytherin House," Snape said, cutting right to the chase.
"Either of them girls?" Pansy asked. She'd always been quite miffed that the boy-girl ratio of Slytherin was five to three. Draco had offered them Blaise to even things up, but that one joke on Blaise's feminine appearance got his bed short-sheeted once.
"No," Snape replied, "both are male."
"Why do we get two new students in the middle of the year?" Draco asked.
"They're from the colonies," Snape replied with a tone that clearly stated he wanted no more questions about the matter. "In fact, they're friends of Maxwell's."
Friends of Maxwell's. "Spirits preserve us," Draco muttered wearily.
"We seemed to have gotten off light," Snape replied grudgingly. "Both are nothing like that walking disaster. I want you two to ignore any odd quirks about them, and encourage the rest of Slytherin House to do the same."
"Of course, Professor."
"Good. Wait here while I retrieve them." With a billow of his black robes, he turned on his heels and went toward the common room entrance at a steady pace.
"Odd," Pansy murmured.
"What's odd," Draco murmured back, "is that, instead of answering my question, Severus simply told us where they are from. He's never directly avoided answering my questions before."
Pansy squealed quietly as she glanced over Draco's shoulder. "Oooh! They're so cute!"
Oh, spirits. Draco sighed and braved a glance. They were cute, damn it all -one was taller than the other, with light brown hair that fell over one side of his handsome face, leaving only one green eye to look into. He was wearing odd muggle clothes; those blue jean things, which always looked so tight to Draco, and a turtle neck jumper that fairly clung to his torso and arms. The other had a darker complexion, with messy chocolate brown hair and solemn Prussian eyes. He, too, wore those jean-trouser things with a rather revealing sleeveless, low-neck olive green shirt.
"These are the Slytherin prefects for your year," Snape said without preamble. "This is Draco Malfoy, and her name is Pansy Parkinson. Malfoy, Parkinson, this is Heero Yuy," a wave toward the shorter of the two, "and Trowa Barton. I'll leave you two to inform them of the rules and how things are done in Slytherin House."
"Yes, Professor," Pansy murmured demurely. Snape nodded once, sharply, before leaving.
"Something's got his knickers in a twist," Draco commented.
"Ew, Draco," Pansy muttered faintly. "I don't want to think about the man's knickers."
"Just yesterday you were admiring his bum, and now you don't want to think about his knickers?"
"That was you," Pansy shot back with a smirk. Damn her.
"Welcome to Slytherin House," Draco said flatly. "If you bother asking anyone from any other house at Hogwarts, they'll tell you we're all a bunch of vile, evil little cockroaches with no remorse for who we exploit, and our places in Hell have been reserved ever since we were old enough to talk."
"They're probably right," Pansy said with a shrug. "We don't know, and we don't care. Our House motto is 'admit nothing, deny everything, and make counter-accusations.'"
"A close second is 'if you can smile when something goes wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.'" Draco waved a hand around. "This is the Slytherin common room. As you can see, it's empty. That's because curfew is in five minutes, and students either finishing their homework or doing something nefarious elsewhere. Fellow Slytherins usually don't care what you do unless you get caught."
"Snape will warn you twice if you're caught out after curfew," Pansy added. "Any other professor will dole out punishment as due. Because of the social situations in the wizarding world, many professors will demand what you're doing, so be cautious if you have to be out after curfew. Slytherins have the label of being potential Death Eaters, so getting caught outside after curfew will immediately put you on a list of Students Who Might Be Death Eaters, and then you'll be watched closely."
"Boys can't enter the girls dormitory, which is located to the left," Draco pointed. "However, apparently boys are allowed to invite girls into their dorms, which is the staircase to the right. Either that, or the higher ups haven't quite figured this whole hormonal thing out yet. Either way, if you must have female company and require privacy, it's an unwritten rule for the other boys to vacate the dorm."
"Slytherin House is like your family," Pansy added. "That means even if we don't like someone in this house, we'll rally to their side in an instant. No one else will stick up for us, so we stick up for each other. Don't bother mistaking that for loyalty. We're just as quick to twist the knife on one we don't like."
"Keep the internal quarrels private," Draco said. "We're a close-knit band, and we don't like our inner battles aired to the rest of the houses."
"If you have any questions," Pansy said, "feel free to ask someone that you trust within the House. Prefects are safe bets to getting your questions truthfully answered. It's best that you keep your possessions in your dorm or in your trunk. Slytherins have a strict finders-keepers policy. If one is dense enough to leave his or her possessions out for anyone to find, then it is clear to the finder that one does not deserve it. You should ward your trunk, as well. Some less scrupulous Slytherins will go to lengths to find something to borrow without any intention of bringing anything back."
"Another unwritten rule," Draco said, "is to be patient when someone is not too quick on the uptake. Inbreeding is most likely the culprit to a lot of rampant stupidity around here. If you can't exercise patience, ignore them."
"We'll take you to the sixth year boys dormitory," Pansy said. They took the steps downward and walked down a short hallway before they hit the door marked Sixth Years. When they entered, the dorm appeared to be empty save for Blaise, who appeared to be reading a book before he went to bed.
"Hey, did you know we have two extra beds in here?" Blaise commented, not even looking up from his apparently entrancing passage.
"I noticed," Draco commented dully. "Barton, Yuy, this is Blaise Zabini, the second vainest guy in Slytherin."
"Second only to you, Malfoy," Blaise quipped, glancing up with interest. He made a sour face when he saw the two quiet students. Draco absently noted that he hadn't heard a peep out of them since they entered the common room. "Oh, spirits. More good-looking ones."
Draco smirked at Blaise's displeasure. "Ignore him. He likes to consider himself the cutest boy around, and he feels threatened when there are others to challenge his position. The beds without trunks at the end of them are yours. Your other dorm mates are Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe, Theodore Nott, and myself. Theo's probably out making his rounds with his various prospective girlfriends, so you probably won't meet him until morning. Vince and Greg are... wherever they go when their not here. Probably the kitchens." Or bullying one of the lower years out of their sweets. That was probably the case, since Draco didn't see the two leave.
"Hn," the shorter of the two grunted, walking toward the window and peering out. "We're in the dungeons."
"Technically," Pansy replied. "Only in that you go through the dungeons to get to the common room. We're in Slytherin Tower."
"That's illogical," the taller boy murmured.
"What are you, muggles?" Draco said. He didn't receive an answer. That was alright; he didn't really expect one. "You go through the dungeons to get to Slytherin Tower. What's illogical about it?"
"It's against the laws of physics, for one," the shorter one -Yuy, by Snape's indication- replied evenly. "We came downstairs. We should be below the dungeons, not in a tower."
"Physics?" Blaise questioned nonchalantly. "That's a muggle science. The thing you have to realize around here is that science and magic clash. You're in the wizarding world now. Science doesn't apply here."
Yuy's left eye twitched.
Barton said, "Wufei would be frothing at the mouth at such a declaration."
Oddly enough, Yuy smirked.
"What do you mean, science doesn't apply here?! Science applies to everything!"
Mandy Brocklehurst found herself sighing at the exclamation. Finally, someone who saw where she was coming from. Most of Ravenclaw House consisted of mostly halfbloods and purebloods, so it was hard to discuss the conflicts between hard science and magic with anyone else.
"That's something I've been saying for years," Mandy replied. "I'm muggle-born, and both of my parents are scientists. If it hadn't been for McGonagall showing up at my house personally, my parents would have put off my invitation to Hogwarts as a joke. They can still hardly accept this 'malarkey', as they put it, as fact."
"Hmph," Chang Wufei grunted gruffly, crossing his arms stiffly. "Even something as improbable as magic is hard to dispute when one finds himself casting spells. Even so, I'm sure if someone tried to examine it close enough, magic is, boiled down to the basic principles, still just a science. An undiscovered science, but science nonetheless."
"That's an interesting theory," Terry Boot said, "but it's just that -a theory. Mandy's tried to explain this science stuff before, but most of it really doesn't apply to magic. Take flying, for example."
"Flying? Please. Muggles have been studying aerodynamics since de Vinci's time(3)," Wufei said scoffingly.
"Not on broomsticks," Mandy said with a shrug. "Personally, I think that has something to do with something akin to telekinesis. The more telekinetic one is, the better they fly. The same concept could apply to summoning charms, floating charms, Mobiliuscorpus, and various other spells and hexes."
"That doesn't make sense," Sally-Anne Perks pointed out. "Granger's fairly proficient at Charms, but she is poor at flying."
"Granger's afraid of heights," Mandy argued reasonably. "I've heard her say so. That could influence her ability to fly a broomstick."
"So what you're saying is that one's ability to cast magic is all psychological," Wufei said slowly, clearly turning the idea in his head. "Magic... it's like bending the very laws of reality and testing the fabric of science with one's will and-or mind alone. Tell me, on'na -has either of your parents ever decided to do a full CAT scan of your brain?"
"No," Mandy replied with a small frown. "So you think wizards and witches can do what they do because we use more then ten percent of our brains?"
"Think about it," Wufei said forcefully. "Most of a human being's brain is what we -I mean, muggles call grey matter. If even one man or woman could somehow unlock the mystery of the functions of our grey matter, it's theorized that humans could do extraordinary things. A doctor once told me that an unusual amount of my brain was active, but seemed to be dormant. The Headmaster explained that colonists who had the potential to be wizards couldn't use their magic because they were not part of Earth, where they belong."
"Then, psychologically, we have ties to the earth," Mandy mused. Interesting. "Some scientists have proven that, in cases where caucasians are submerged in sensory deprivation tanks, their circadian rhythm has a frequency of 24 hours and 40 minutes, which is not the rotational period of Earth, but Mars."
Wufei appeared surprised as he glanced over Mandy. "I've heard of that, yes. Taking that into account, I would think that the concept of magic would work on any planet that could sustain life, like Mars once was."(4)
"But not on a colony," Mandy responded enthusiastically, "because colonies, while habitable, are still simulations of day-to-day Earth living."
"Exactly," Wufei said with a nod. He offered his hand to her. "Chang Wufei."(5)
"Mandy Brocklehurst," Mandy said, shaking his hand confidently. She was pleased to find that his handshake was good and solid; most of the time when a man shook her hand, his grip was rather lackluster, as if he was afraid he'd break her dainty wrist should he try too hard. "A pleasure, truly. I've been dying to hash out my theories with someone for years now."
"Glad I could be of service."
Ponoma Sprout was ecstatic. Thrilled. There were no bounds to how happy she was.
Out of all of the new students, she managed to land the one who was less likely to A) commit homicide, B) rant and rave about every little thing, C) be antisocial, and (most importantly) D) blow up one of her greenhouses.
Her poor plants...
In fact, Quatre Winner was the epitome of all things polite, kind, and sweet. The blond was cordial, intelligent, and sociable. With his wide, teal eyes, slight frame, and golden blond hair, the boy had every appearance of an angel. She knew the students of her house were going to adore him, and he was going to make many friends.
She couldn't fathom how someone so courteous ever met Duo Maxwell. The Maxwell boy meant well, he really did... but he was simply too unbridled in his mischief. She could only hope that Quatre's constant presence would somehow curb Duo's untamed desire to unintentionally cause chaos. However, she somehow knew her hope was in vain.
"Quatre," Ponoma said with a smile, "this is Ernie Macmillion and Susan Bones, the sixth year Hufflepuff prefects. Ernie, Susan, this is Quatre Winner. He'll be joining Hufflepuff."
"It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance," Quatre said politely, beaming at Ernie and Susan. Ponoma saw that Susan's heart had immediately melted, and Ernie was taken with the blond's cheerful nature. Yes, Quatre would be a delightful addition to Hufflepuff House.(6)
"Psst. Psst! Ron!"
"Uh...?" Ron lifted his head blearily, resisting the urge to glare at Duo for waking him up. The boy appeared absolutely thrilled about something. The redhead yawned. "What is it, mate?"
"I need your help," Duo whispered. "Have you ever heard of cherry bombs?"
"Are they anything like dung bombs?"
"Erm -no, I don't think so. I need to test out a theory. See, Mione got me thinking about the differences between muggles and wizards, and I want to find out if flushing cherry bombs down the toilet can be traced back to me. You in?"
Ron's interest was piqued. "What do these cherry bomb things do?"
"Make big booms."
Neither Ron or Duo had taken into account that the water pipes of the school were very old, and therefore prone to being weak against said big booms.
"Due to an unexplained accident that resulted in the school's main water pipe bursting, Hogwarts is officially short of water until the problem can be found and fixed. The staff has suggested that in order to preserve our available water supply, students will have to cut their showers into a strict time limit of four minutes."
"Snape will be helping out a lot," Harry whispered to Ron, who was staring guiltily at his breakfast. "He doesn't ever take showers."
Oddly enough, Harry had noticed that most of Duo's friends were shooting him some very suspicious glares, and Quatre was looking towards the American with a sad, disapproving look on his face. Duo was doing very well in ignoring it all, choosing to instead cheerfully woof down his breakfast.
Dumbledore paused in his speech. "One student was thoughtful enough to make a suggestion of his own. In his wisdom, he has said, 'if it is yellow, let it mellow. If it is brown, flush it down.(7)'"
"That's disgusting," Hermione whispered, appalled.
Duo grinned. Harry had a good idea who the thoughtful student was. By the glares that same student was receiving from his friends, Harry also had a good idea who was responsible for the busted pipe in the first place.
"Thank you for listening. You may return to your meal."
And once again began another day at Hogwarts.
(1) I actually cracked open a fortune cookie one day, and my fortune was that. It appealed to my inner comedian and wormed its way into my fic.
(2) This whole dream sequence was something that came from my own fragile little mind a few weeks ago. (The 'fat man' is Buddha, and the skinny men are 'skinny Buddhas', if you didn't pick up on that.) I woke up and found myself caught somewhere between complete amusement that something like this can putt around in my head when I'm practically comatose, and utter horror... for basically the same reason.
(3) Leonardo de Vinci technically developed the first flying machines; the sketches are in his journals. A lot of the prototypes used in attempting to fly came from de Vinci's journals, if I'm not mistaken.
(4) (What did you expect? They're RAVENCLAWS!) It's long, it involves a lot of aerophysics, and it's dry to read about. I find it fascinating, of course, simply by the fact that it's really controversial. I'll try to summarize it for you: white people come from Mars. African-Americans come from Earth. Earth used to be closer to the sun, which is why African-Americans have such dark skin; it was their defense against the sun. Then Jupiter careened into this galaxy, and a piece of Jupiter broke off and became Venus. Venus actually collided with Mars (which used to be where present-day Earth is), therefore destroying Mars' entire atmosphere and decimating the "life" on that planet. (I'd like to point out that life on Mars has been proven; there are small single-celled organisms residing in the dirt there.) Meanwhile, there were white people who'd come to Earth to war with the African Americans, and this left them stranded on Earth. (Technology was apparently more advanced, but completely wiped out during the Dark Ages.) Venus rotated around Earth for several days (in fact, this is where the whole thing about Lucifer comes into play; the 'light bringer' appeared as a bright light in the sky, day and night) which effectively pulled Earth into the orbit it is in today. Venus, made largely of ice, is also responsible for the ice at the poles. See? Controversial. It's not exactly a widely-accepted theory. I live for stuff like this. In any case, it's in an e-book called Biggest World Secrets. If you live for controversy (like I do), or if you're a conspiracy theorist (not really my cup of tea; I already think Fate is out to get me, I don't need the world joining in, as well), and you have time to kill, go and read it.
(5) If you haven't caught it, this entire thing is very phenomenal in regards to Wufei, whose a sexist idiot on his better days. :grins: Since Mandy was basically able to keep up with what he was saying, even going as far as adding her own input, she garnered a lot of respect from him. (Well, a lot considering she's got breasts and no dangly bits.) He probably won't call her "on'na" unless he's vexed. Introducing himself with a handshake is his subtle way of saying "you're worthy".
(6) I took less time introducing Quatre to Hogwarts because I've basically already covered that in previous chapters.
(7) :bursts out laughing: Oh, my God, can you just imagine Dumbledore, of all people, saying this?! :falls to the ground: Oh, it hurts! It hurts so good! Bwahahahahahahahahah!
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