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The Eighth Horcrux

The badge.

Alexandra starred down at the “P” pinned to her robes. She’d been fairly surprised when the badge arrived with her school supply list. She’d never wanted to be a prefect. Prefects should be like Astoria Greengrass; someone who finds great pleasure in brown-nosing and telling others what to do. Yet, somehow, it was Alex who found herself in the prefect carriage, receiving instructions from Pansy Parkinson and Draco Malfoy—of all people—on how to be leaders at Hogwarts. The more Alex thought about it, Malfoy and Pansy becoming Head Boy and Girl didn’t come as much of a surprise, really, seeing as the Headmaster made those decisions, and Snape had always been privy to favoring the students in his house over everyone else.

To Alex’s enjoyment, Derek Vaisley was chosen as the male prefect for Slytherin. He was one of the few people in Alexandra’s year she could actually tolerate. He was very clever and funny, and came from a strong, pure-blood family. Also, he wasn’t bad looking. Overall, Alex concluded, the idea of patrolling the corridors late at night with him didn’t seem bad at all.

Pansy stood in the middle of the carriage as she addressed the room—she’d been talking for at least 15 minutes straight. Sixth and seventh years sat together, within their houses, while all the fifth-year prefects were crammed together in the back corner. Pansy had taken her attention away from the whole room, and was now staring directly at Alex and the other seven students sitting around her. For whatever reason, Malfoy suddenly appeared interested in the conversation now. Before he’d been resting against the door with his hands over his chest. Now, he’d taken several steps forward and was standing directly behind Pansy, his hand resting on her shoulder.

“I’m going to be pairing each of you with one of the more experienced prefects in your house.” Pansy said, her eyes darting between them all. “They will act as your mentor for the first few months, helping you transition from a regular Hogwarts student to a leader of the school.”

Alexandra inwardly groaned. She didn’t want to be a leader, she liked being a normal student. It was aggravating enough that she had to patrol corridors, oversee decorating, and babysit first-years on rainy days, but now she had to do it under the supervision of a nitwit.

Pansy began pairing everyone off, mostly pairing girls with girls and boys with boys. She saved Slytherin for last, and Alex silently hoped she’d be paired with anyone but Parkinson herself. Alex and Pansy had never gotten along. Pansy liked to think she had control over all the girls in Slytherin, but Alex had made it clear, on several occasions, that wasn’t the case with her. Alex figured Pansy would pair herself with her just out of spite. She could only imagine the kind of torture Pansy would put her through all in the name of prefect training.

“Vaisley,” Pansy said, and Derek stood, waiting to hear who would be his advisor. “You will be paired with Sebastian Harper.”

Harper was a quiet sixth year. Alex didn’t know much about him, but he didn’t seem too horrible.

“And, finally, Brooks.” Pansy said. Alex didn’t stand. She stayed seated with her legs crossed at her ankles, her hands underneath her thighs. Pansy narrowed her eyes. “I will be your-”

“I will be your mentor.” Malfoy interrupted. He took a step forward, positioning Pansy behind him; he didn’t appear to notice the death glare she was giving him.

“Draco I don’t think-” Pansy tried to retaliate, but he quickly shut her up with a wave of his hand.

“You shouldn’t have to worry about mentoring anyone, darling. You already have so much on your plate. Let me do this for you.” Malfoy said, giving Pansy’s shoulder a squeeze. It was obvious she wanted to refuse, but the look Malfoy was giving her suggested that wasn’t an option.

Alexandra stared at the pair, blankly. She wasn’t exactly sure what was going on between them, but she was slightly satisfied to know she wouldn’t have to spend any extra time with Parkinson. Although, having Malfoy as her mentor wasn’t ideal either. She didn’t know him too well, but what she did know wasn’t particularly pleasing.

“Everyone report to your scheduled carriages and begin patrolling the corridors. Pay close attention to younger students, and instruct them to put on their robes 30 minutes before our decent into Hogsmeade.” Pansy said a few minutes later. She was still visibly frustrated, yet was no longer trying to argue with Malfoy through facial expressions.

Alexandra could feel Malfoy looking down at her, but she stared straight ahead, doing her best to avoid eye-contact. He was at least a foot taller than her, and probably weighed twice as much. Alex was used to being smaller than everyone else, but something about Malfoy—whether it was his confidence or age—made him seem so much bigger than her; it was almost intimidating, although she’d never say that out loud.

Abruptly, Malfoy started out of the carriage with Alex on his heels. They walked almost the entire length of the Hogwarts Express without sharing a single word. Alex wanted Malfoy to speak first. He was supposed to be mentoring her after-all. Earlier he’d seemed so eager to take Alex under his wing—he’d practically fought Pansy for the opportunity, but now things were becoming awkward.

“Are you going to give me any instruction or is this prefect-mentoring-thing as pointless as I’d assumed?” Alex asked, gaining a quick smirk from Malfoy before his expression fell flat.

“We’re only patrolling the corridors now,” he said, his grey eyes glancing from one compartment to the other. “It’s pretty self-explanatory. Just make sure students aren’t jinxing each other or muggle-dueling—things like that.”

Alex rolled her eyes. This was the epitome of why she didn’t want to be a prefect. Caring about what other students were doing and reprimanding them for their actions wasn’t something she was interested in. Her main focus was herself, and she hated anything that took away from that.

“So,” Alex said, slowing her pace. Malfoy did the same, the pair eventually coming to a stop. Alex turned her head to look up at him; it was the first time she’d made eye-contact with him all day. “Why’d you want to be paired with me so badly?”

Malfoy furrowed his brow, and pressed his lips together in a tight line. Alex never took her eyes off him. She was determined to know the answer, even despite his initial silence. Finally, he spoke.

“I want to get to know you.”

Alexandra laughed loudly. “Is that what they’re calling it now?” She asked before starting back down the hallway, her mane of blonde hair whipping behind her. She heard him shout something after her, but by that time she was too far away to actually understand him.

A few minutes later, Malfoy reappeared at her side. Again, they walked without speaking. Malfoy stopped to scold students a few times, and he even gave two students detention for snogging in the laboratories. Alex avoided doing any disciplining or work really until the end of the trip.

“Go ahead and tell these last few compartments to start gathering their things.” Malfoy said, leaning against the wall. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Also, make sure they have their robes on. We’ll be arriving soon.”

Alexandra lifted her brow and turned away from him. Sure enough, when she peered out a window, all she saw was darkness. Time had passed rather quickly, surprisingly. She did as she was told and knocked twice on the next compartment’s door before opening it and stepping inside. The room was filled with Slytherin seventh-years.
Alex inhaled deeply before speaking. “Get your things together, we’re almost there.” She eyed the group of them, making sure they were each properly dressed for arrival. Just as she was turning to leave, she caught a glimpse of a familiar face. For only a moment, she froze, but quickly gained her composure and turned toward Blaise Zambini. She forced a smile, “hey.”

“Alexandra,” Zambini said, standing up. He reached for her hand and kissed the back, yet she remained unfazed. “It’s good to see you again.”

Alex nodded her head instead of replying. He continued to look at her, his eyes moving up and down her body. She felt an uneasiness in her stomach.

By now Malfoy had entered the room. His mates, Crabbe and Goyle immediately jumped to their feet, but he instructed them to sit back down with a wave of his hand. He placed his hand on Alex’s lower back, and leaned to whisper in her ear. “You’re taking too long. Let’s move on.”

Alex nodded, and ripped her hand from Zambini’s grasp. She quickly left the room with Malfoy close behind her.

“You know Zambini?” Malfoy asked as he shut the compartment door behind him.

Alex shrugged. “We’re in the Slug Club.”

“You’re in that?” Malfoy asked, his tone slightly accusatory.

“Of course I am.” She replied, but Malfoy’s expression wasn’t satisfied. When he continued to remain silent, she spoke again, “I’m half-Veela, Malfoy. Besides the amount of guys lining up to ‘get to know me’, my lineage also gets me invites to exclusive school clubs.”

Alexandra couldn’t tell if Malfoy picked-up on the amount of sarcasm in her voice, but she didn’t stick around to find out. She hated the way people treated her because her mother had been a Veela. While some people might find the attention flattering, Alex found it annoying. She wasn’t a mythical creature, she was a witch, and she hated been viewed as anything else.

After instructing the last couple compartments to get their things together, Alex waited with the other prefects until the train finally arrived at Hogsmeade. Alex then helped escort the first years towards the Black Lake where Hagrid and a few dozen boats were waiting. Somehow, to her pleasure, she’d lost track of Malfoy among all the chaos. She hoped he’d finally realized how idiotic the whole ‘mentoring’ thing was, and had left her to figure things out on her own. She began helping some of the smaller students into the boats. It was interesting to see how excited they all were for school to start. She remembered feeling the same way five years ago, but for her own reasons. Anything that took her away from her father and step-mother for almost an entire year would have been exciting to her.

“Be careful,” she said as one little boy leaned over the edge of his boat.

“Look at this!” he squealed, pointing at something in the water. Another boy hurried to see what all the fuss was about, causing the boat to rock.

Alex reached towards the boat, trying to stop it from tipping. “Hey, don’t do that-” she said before her foot slipped and she stumbled into the water.

The lake was deep and cold. She couldn’t touch the bottom and it hurt to move. Her lungs filled with water as she struggled to stay afloat. Panic started to seep in, she’d never been a strong swimmer. Suddenly, a pair of arms wrapped around her, bringing her to the surface. Before she could see who’d helped her, everything went black.
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