5: Coming ToMature

"Does Hogwarts get very many transfer students?" I asked Mr. Malfoy as we made our way around the Greenhouses. Every once in a while, he would point things out like that to me and explain what I would be doing there.
 

He scratched his chin for a moment, as if thinking about how he would answer. "No, not at all. We had a couple back when I was in school who switched over after the Triwizard Tournament, but you're the first one in several years."
 

"Oh, I see," I responded, crossing my arms. "So, did all of the transfer students get midnight tours around the grounds by you?"
 

He chuckled, and I wanted to melt. His laugh was addicting. I just wanted to keep making him do it just so I could hear it again. It was a deep, woodsy sound, like his entire being was laughing.
 

"No, I'll have to admit; you're the first midnight tour I've given since I was at school. But, back in the day . . ." he trailed off, as if he'd rather not finish that sentence. I got the feeling that I didn't want him to either.
 

"So, why me?" I asked. Maybe that wasn't an appropriate thing to ask so soon. But I wanted to know, and being blunt was part of my personality.
 

"Ah, well I just figured it would be nice. You seemed nervous before your sorting, and I figured since we'd already met, I'd get you familiar with the place," he answered simply. I nodded my head. There was no harm in that.
 

We were quiet for a while after that. If I were with any other guy than my professor, this would have been really romantic. The moonlight bounced of the Black Lake like a shimmering mirror, and my company was as gorgeous as the scenery.
 

I swallowed the lump in my throat. "So, Mr. Malfoy, what was your time at Hogwarts as a student like?"
 

"Well," he began. "I'm sure you know of Harry Potter, even in The States. He was in my year, actually."
 

I nearly tripped over the grass. He knew Harry Potter?! Oh my God! I was a head over heels Harry Potter fangirl. The famous Auror and defeater of the Dark Lord! I'd read every book known to man with any mention of him in it.
 

"We didn't exactly get along though. I was really a bit of a prat as a kid. As a pureblood Slytherin, I just thought I was better than all the 'blood traitors' and muggle-borns. Even the half-bloods I scorned. It was my upbringing really. My father taught me at a young age that you were nothing if not pureblood. Therefore, I grew up thinking the same thing. I still remember my first day at Hogwarts, me up on my high horse. I tried to convince Harry that he should make friends with me instead of Ron Weasely," he laughed at the memory, and I was absolutely shocked.
 

I'd always heard about discrimination because of blood line, but I'd always though of that happening a really long time ago. It hadn't even been a decade though. I also could not imagine Mr. Malfoy being a conceited prat.
 

"Anyways, Harry told me he 'could tell the wrong sort for himself, thanks.'" he carried on, seemingly pleased that I wasn't saying anything. "From the one, we were sworn enemies. As horrible as I was to him, he always ended up one-upping me, no matter what. I was always jealous of all the attention he got, and I made fun of him because of it. His friend Hermione even punched me in the nose in my third year, not to mention Professor Hagrid's hippogriff clawing me. I was a wuss back then, too. I cried like a baby after my injuries."
 

I couldn't help but laugh at his way with words. Mr. Malfoy was so charming and nice; I couldn't see him as this little kid he was describing to me.
 

"Then, in sixth year, I was recruited into the Death Eaters - You-Know-Who's followers - and my missions was to kill Albus Dumbledore, the-"
 

"-greatest Headmaster Hogwarts had ever seen," I finished, reciting by memory one of the many things I'd read about the great wizard. He was the only wizard (aside from perhaps Harry Potter, himself) that Voldemort had ever feared.
 

Draco nodded his head, pleased, before continuing. "That was the year I was Voldemort's spy at the school. I tried to slip him poisoned mead, and deliver him a cursed necklace, but when it came face-to-face, Dumbledore and I . . . I couldn't do it. I didn't want to murder him, but I thought I had to. My father was in Azkaban for trying to kill Harry and his friends one night at the Ministry of Magic, back in 5th year, and Voldemort was trying to get back at me for my father's stumble."
 

"That must have been awful for you," I whispered sadly, not knowing how else to react. Here this professor was, who I'd barely known for a day, confessing how he was an almost-murderer and that he'd worked for the most treacherous figure in Wizarding History of all-time.
 

Mr. Malfoy just shrugged and kept on explaining. "Severus Snape came out, when I had Dumbledore cornered. Little did I know, then, that Harry Potter was hidden underneath his Invisibility Cloak only a few feet away. Snape killed Dumbledore, like the two of them had planned all along. It was all because-"
 

"I've read the stories," I interrupted quietly.
 

"Oh, right," he nodded. "Well, what they didn't put in the books was the play-by-play. I was whisked back away with Snape to the Dark Lord. It was that night that I decided I didn't want to work for the Dark Lord, and I would do everything I could to get out of it. You can't resign from being a Death Eater, though. Because Snape was actually on the good side, he protected me for the most part. I went back to Hogwarts the next year, but it had been taken over. Not even Minerva McGonnogal as Headmistress could prevent the mayhem that the Death Eater teachers were causing. Harry and his friends had dropped out instead of coming back their 7th year, so they could find the Horcruxes. And they did. I don't know how they managed to do it, when no other grown wizard had been able to.
 

"They came back one night in the middle of my Seventh year, and they were looking for Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem. It was one of the last Horcruxes, and I was there in the Room of Requirements with my friends Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. I caught the place on fire, but not before we lost Crabbe and the Golden Trio grabbed the diadem. I tried to stop it from happening, still under the Dark Lord's orders to protect his soul remnants. I was afraid of what he would do to me if I failed. I spent most of that remaining night fighting against the good side. But when I witnessed Harry Potter kill Tom Marvolo Riddle, I felt a freedom settle over me better than any other feeling I'd ever experienced," he said this last part with a sigh.
 

"I was reunited with my parents that night, and we sat in the Great Hall with the rest of the people who had fought against our side. We were just relieved nobody was firing hexes at us anymore, and the three of us resolved, as a family, to turn over a new leaf. Now that nobody was controlling us anymore, we wanted to try being a normal Wizard family."
 

He was quiet after that, and I knew he had finished.
 

"Wow, Mr Malfoy, that's really . . . something," what else could I say?
 

He looked down at me then, as if just realizing that I was still there. Then, his eyes widened in surprise and remorse.
 

"Oh, God - Sid! I completely forgot that I was even . . . I mean, oops? Well there's my life story for you, eh?" he said, laughing it off. "But bloody hell, I'm sorry for dumping all that on you!"
 

"No, don't be! I mean, I'm pretty speechless to be standing here talking to someone who was so involved with the Harry Potter vs. Voldemort thing, but other than that, I was really glad to listen. It's probably the most truthful thing I've ever heard about that time. I just can't believe you're not in any of the books!" I exclaimed.
 

He rubbed the back of his neck, and even in the dark, I could see the blush on his pearly skin. "My parents and I asked specifically that we weren't put in any of the books. They agreed, seeing as we switched sides in the end, no matter how much money they said we'd make for the publicity. We were too embarrassed to have everybody know about all the mistakes we'd made. Anyways, this conversation is probably not appropriate for teacher and student."
 

I looked down at the ground as he walked. Mr. Malfoy was absolutely right. I was afraid of the moment when he'd realized that I was his student, and not just a friend. Had we even known each other long enough to be considered friends under other circumstances?
 

"Yeah, you're right, Professor. I suppose I should be getting back now, then. Thanks for sharing . . . all that with me. Your secret's safe with me," I muttered, turning around.
 

He grabbed my arm before I could go any further. "I didn't say I didn't want to talk anymore. I was just saying that we probably shouldn't," he amended.
 

"Well I don't want to get you into any trouble." I responded, hating myself for acting this way. But the more I talked to him, the more I knew I was in danger of developing feelings that you're not supposed to have for you teachers.
 

"Uh, don't you want to finish the tour?" he asked hastily. My heart was pounding in my chest. He was asking me to stay. I couldn't say no to that dumb puppy dog face!
 

"I'd like that," I admitted shyly, rubbing my arms.
 

"We don't get many Americans here, you know?" he said as he continued walking. I kept up with his pace, but kept my distance, too so that we weren't brushing arms, but still close enough to hold hands. That is, if we were going to hold hands, which we weren't, because he was my professor, and that would be . . . wrong. Right, that would be wrong . . . right? Bloody hell, now I'm confused. Oh my God. Bloody hell? I've been here too long already!
 

"I noticed," I laughed. "I never saw myself as having an accent, but here I definitely feel pretty out of place. And I'm already picking up phrases like 'bloody hell'."
 

"I like the American accent. It's refreshing and sweet," Mr. Malfoy complimented. I couldn't help but smile. "And you don't need to fit in, per se. Nobody wants to be a clone."
 

"Thanks," I said. "And, I guess that's true. At least everybody's really friendly here."
 

He chuckled. "I bet they are."
 

I raised my eyebrows. "What do you mean?"
 

"Well, I'm just looking at it logically, Sid. You're a pretty girl," he said simply. It wasn't in a creepy, rapist type way. He sounded as if he was stating a casual fact. "The guys here are used to the type of girls that throw themselves at men. You're not like that, and the males - well, they will like that. Trust me, I would know. When I was in school, I probably got around more than I should have. I still regret it to this day. But anyways, I know that the blokes find it attractive when a girl doesn't act like . . . well, a prostitute, sorry to be vulgar."
 

I laughed, trying to hide the jealousy that came over me when he talked about his past relationships. "Well, I'm glad you don't think I'm a prostitute, Mr. Malfoy. What an awful impression that would be on my first friend at my new school."
 

"Friend?" he asked, sounding surprised.
 

My laughing instantly ceased, and I sobered up. Of course, stupid! He doesn't think of me as a friend. He's my professor, and he was just showing me around, like he said. No man in his right mind at his age would be friends with a 17-year-old! That would almost be sick.
 

"I just meant that you were the first person I met here, I mean . . . we're not really, f-frie . . . I have to go. Thanks for the tour, Professor. Sorry to be o-out after hours. I'll see you in class," I stuttered frantically before running off back towards the castle. He didn't try to stop me this time, and I knew I had just made a fool of myself.
 

I held in the tears all the way back to the secret entrance, and I was more than a little surprised to see Rafe sitting there waiting for me. His arms were crossed and he was sitting down, leaning against the wall of the castle, asleep. Aw, he'd waited for me.
 

"Rafe," I whispered as I knelt down in front of him. "Rafe, we have to go."
 

I shook his shoulder until his eyes popped open and he jumped up, yelling "No, Mum! Not the banshees!"
 

I started giggling when he came to, looking around and realizing that he was no longer having a nightmare. His eyes widened in mortification when he saw me doubled over in laughter.
 

"Oh, I'm so sorry, Rafe! That was the funniest thing ever!" I said, settling down, and covering my mouth with my hand, face flushed.
 

"Some thanks I get for waiting around for you," he grumbled under his breath so that I could barely hear it.
 

He said the spell to open up the hole in the lawn where we would go back through the bookcase.
 

"Aw, come on, Rafe. I'm sorry! That was really sweet of you to wait up for me. I'm sorry it took so long. Professor Malfoy wanted to go into detail about my day of classes tomorrow. I didn't' realize you'd be waiting around," I said, pulling the lie out of thin air. He was quiet until we spun back around to the other side of the bookcase and were back in Hogwarts.
 

When I blinked the darkness from my eyes, I ran to catch up with him and put a hand on his shoulder, spinning him around.
 

"What?" he whisper-yelled stubbornly.
 

I leaned in to kiss him . . . on the cheek. "Thank you," I said earnestly, smiling at him and opening my arms for a hug. I didn't' want him to think I was ungrateful, and besides, Rafe seemed much more appropriate for me than the original boy - excuse me, i mean - man I had in mind.
 

He pulled me to him and said "Any time."

The End

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