Status: active

The Eighth Horcrux

The first day.

Breakfast was practically over by the time Alex and Fiona made their way to the Great Hall. The previous night’s activities made getting out of bed a lot harder this morning. Alex’s gaze immediately stumbled on Malfoy as she sat down at the Slytherin table. Not to really any surprise, he was being spoon-fed porridge by Pansy. Alex rolled her eyes. No one would ever catch her that infatuated over a bloke. There was no reason Malfoy couldn’t feed himself. He was 17 for Merlin’s sake. Pansy was acting more like his mum than his girlfriend, but maybe that’s what he liked.

“Malfoy saves your life and suddenly you’re Astoria?” Fiona asked, pulling Alex out of her reverie.

Alex narrowed her eyes. “Excuse me?”

“You’ve been staring at him since we got here.”

“Hardly,” Alex said, shoveling eggs in her mouth. “My eyes just happened to glance in his direction. I didn’t actively search for him.”

Fiona quirked her brow. “It that so?”

Alex nodded. “Also, he didn’t save my life. I would have been perfectly fine without him.” That was a lie, but Fiona didn’t know that. Honestly, if Malfoy hadn’t happened to walk by the lake when she fell in, she would have probably ended up the dinner of one of its various inhabitants.

“Well, I’m glad at least Astoria thinks it was a life or death situation and that now Malfoy is your knight in shining armour.”

“I know right. I bet I can play it out for at least a month.”

“Or longer. If we can get Malfoy to merely glance at you while she’s watching, I bet she’ll cry herself to sleep for a week.”

Before Alex could reply, Derek Vaisley sat beside her with a stack of papers in his hands.

“Alexandra,” he said, handing her a slip of paper. “Fiona.”

It was their timetables. Alex inwardly groaned. Her schedule was completely full. O.W.L. year was already turning out to be a huge drag.

“They’ve already got you passing out timetables? You must be a natural at prefect-ing.” Alex said, nudging Derek’s shoulder. His cheeks flushed a light shade of pink.

“Yeah, Harper’s more of a learn-on-your-feet type of bloke than a mentor. He really just tells me what to do and then disappears for a while.”

Alex wished she could be so lucky. Instead her mentor was interested in stupid things like building a friendship. “I haven’t gotten to do much yet. Just that stint on the train before getting held up in the hospital wing.”

“Oh my Merlin, of course.” Derek said, his expression instantly becoming concerned. He placed his hand over Alex’s. “How are you feeling? That water must have been bloody freezing.”

She shrugged. “I’ll live.” When her response didn’t appear to reassure him, she continued. “Really, it sounds worse than it actually was.”

“It looked pretty ghastly also.”

Alex quirked a brow. “You were there?”

“Yeah I saw you fall in. I started to go after you but Malfoy pushed me out of the way.” Alex’s eyes widened. This was news to her. Before she could say anything, Derek spoke again. “He looked like he had it under control.”

Alex didn’t need to look at Fiona to know she was giving her major side-eye. Obviously Fiona was wondering the same thing as her, why would Malfoy push Derek out of the way? Alex had thought Malfoy saving her from the lake had been completely coincidental. That he’d just happen to pass by at exactly the right time. Now, she wasn’t so sure.

Derek squeezed Alex’s hand. “Look I’ve got to finish passing these out. Hopefully we can patrol some corridors together later.”

Alex nodded. Before Derek could even get out of earshot, Fiona demanded, “What’s going on with you and Malfoy?”

Alex shook her head. “Nothing. I promise.”

Fiona didn’t appear convinced. “Have you talked to him? Since he saved your life?”

“He didn’t save my life-” Fiona just gave her a look. “I saw him yesterday. He was waiting for me outside the hospital wing—he wanted to see if I was okay.”

Fiona was practically jumping out of her skin. “This is a really big deal. Pansy is going to be mental.”

“Stop, it’s not a big deal-”

“Do you think he fancies you?”

“No way.” Alex rolled her eyes. Fiona was the queen of jumping to conclusions.
By now, breakfast had officially ended and students were starting to file out of the Great Hall. Alex looked down at her time table: double Potions and Transfiguration before lunch. What a way to start the day. She was sure her head would be pounding by noon.

“We should get to class. Slughorn will be very disappointed if we’re late.” Alex said, standing up.

“Disappointed in you, maybe. He doesn’t know my name.”

“Whatever,” Alex said, grabbing Fiona’s wrist and yanking her to her feet. “We want to get good cauldrons don’t we?”

Fiona didn’t object.

Only two classes in, and Alex’s day definitely didn’t feel like the first day back. Instead it felt like five weeks in when every professor was bombarding her with so much material and homework it felt like her brain might melt. This morning alone she’d attempted to make the Draught of Peace potion and tried a couple vanishing spells on snails. Both were extremely difficult, but she hadn’t performed either too terribly. In fact, her potion had been the best in the class. Fiona was always saying Alex should’ve been sorted into Ravenclaw over Slytherin.

Alex was so exhausted she didn’t even bother to look when she heard her name being shouted in the corridor. Instead she kept her eyes straight ahead, focused on getting to the common room so she could skip lunch and take a nap.

Suddenly, a hand gripped her shoulder from behind and forced her to turn the corner into a vacant hallway. Her back pressed to the wall as Malfoy towered over her, his eyes slightly narrowed, and his fingers still digging into her flesh. She shook him off.

“What is your problem-?” she spat, glaring up at him. In a well-lit area, Alex’s eyes were a dark shade of brown, right now, where there wasn’t even a candle in sight, she assumed they looked as black as night.

“I said your name like five times.” Malfoy replied, his tone serious.

“I’m in a hurry.” Alex said, attempting to scoot past him.

Malfoy side-stepped, blocking her exit with his body. He reached towards her, the backs of his fingers brushing the side of her face. “How are you feeling?”

Alex crossed her arms over her chest. “I was great until you physically assaulted me.”

Malfoy smirked. “Don’t be dramatic, and answer the question.”

Alex rolled her eyes. “I’m fine, okay? Never been better.”

“That’s what I like to hear,” he said, beginning to relax now. “For your prefect duties tonight, you will be helping Slughorn with detention. There’s always a lot of first and second years that get a little too excited on the first day.”

“Will you be there?” She asked, lifting a brow.

“No, I have my own business to attend to tonight.”

Alex wanted to know what exactly this business was, but she didn’t want Malfoy to think she was even slightly interested in anything he was doing. Instead she said, “How will I ever mind a detention without my mentor there to instruct me?”

“You’ll survive.” Malfoy insisted. “Plus, Slughorn will be there if you have any questions.”

“Why can’t I do something simple, like patrol corridors?” She asked, thinking of Derek. Hanging out with him would be loads better than a bunch of misbehaving kids.

Malfoy furrowed his brow. “Being a prefect is serious. It’s not an excuse to spend time with your boyfriend.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I told Harper this morning to have Derek Vaisley patrol the corridors this evening. I can only assume that’s why you want to do the same?”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about.” She said, trying to maneuver around him so she could leave. This conversation had already cut severely into her nap time.

Malfoy stepped aside, allowing Alex to pass. He called after her, “Meet Slughorn in his classroom immediately after dinner.”

She didn’t bother turning around. She’d had enough of Malfoy for the day.

The rest of Alexandra’s day wasn’t nearly as stressful as the beginning. Divination, Herbology, and Care for Magical Creatures were as easy as ever, the amount of homework assigned was a little much, but she had until Wednesday to finish, so she wasn’t too worried.

Slughorn allowed his detainees to work on school work during their detention, so all Alex had to do was offer her assistance and answer any questions. By the time she returned to her room, she was completely exhausted. To her surprise, the room was empty. Apparently everyone else hadn’t had as busy of a day as Alex.

After changing out of her school robes and into her pajamas, Alex was about to get tucked in bed when she noticed a letter sitting on her desk. The envelope had a golden, wax seal with the letter “S” pressed into it. It was a Slug Club invitation.

Slughorn was having a back-to-school dinner Saturday night and the cream of the crop of Hogwarts was requested to be there. Alex just happened to be one of those people. At least in Slughorn’s eyes.

She tossed the letter back onto the desk before flopping into bed. She presumed she’d go. It wasn’t like she really had a choice anyway. If she didn’t attend, Slughorn would take it extremely personally, which would assumedly not mean good things for her in class.
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