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04 September 2009 @ 08:44 pm
None So Proud  
Title: None So Proud
Author: reynardine
Rating: PG
Pairings/Characters:  Genfic-- Theodore Nott and Draco Malfoy friendship
Summary:  Set during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Theodore Nott tries to keep an eye on his friend Draco Malfoy once Draco joins the Quidditch team, but...
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and its characters and settings belong to J K Rowling and her publishers.  This is a work of fanfiction and no profit is being made save that of enjoyment.



When the rest of the Slytherin Quidditch team had returned from their first-of-the-year practice without Malfoy in tow, Theodore Nott began to get suspicious.

He'd kept a watch on from the beginning. Not that he was one of Malfoy's crowd of flunkies and toadies, like Crabbe and Goyle and the rest of the lot from their year. But he'd known Draco since they were tots and while he wasn't close to him, he had no problem with him, either.

The boys in the second-year Slytherin dorm had known about Malfoy getting the prized Seeker's position on the House Team, even before the so-called “open tryouts”, because they'd seen the Slytherin Quidditch robes that Draco had tried to stealthily unpack their first night back. He'd sworn them to secrecy on the matter, though, saying that it would be his hide if word got out before Marcus Flint, the House Quidditch Captain, was ready to make his announcement. Certain proprieties must be seen to have been observed.

It took a bit of judicious questioning, but Theodore eventually got the real story—Malfoy's father had struck a deal and bought him a place on the team, with a gift of 7 very expensive top-of-the-line broomsticks.

All things being Slytherin, he doubted that any hard feelings would last for long, but there were bound to be a few ruffled feathers. Malfoy was prudent to keep Crabbe and Goyle at his side—they were big for their age and if nothing else, could be depended on to back him up or run for help in a pinch. But Theodore felt he probably should also keep an eye out for Malfoy, just for a few days, until the furor of the announcement died down. Just in case.

But there was a hitch he didn't consider. The team itself.

As he lounged on one of the leather couches in the common room, partially hidden behind his latest library find (Dissection of Common Curses: A Beginner's Manual), his eyes narrowed as the Quidditch Team members made their way in through the hidden stone door. Wet hair, clean robes—fresh from the showers, he thought. They were all there: Flint, Derrick, Bole, Pucey, Montague and Bletchley, but no Malfoy. And they were laughing, as if they shared a secret joke—even Pucey, who tended towards humorless, had a grim smile playing on his lips.

Theodore decided that a trip to the locker rooms near the Quidditch Pitch might be in order. He'd always wanted to see what they looked like, anyway.

The lockers rooms were about as boring as one might expect lockers rooms to be, but what he found inside was interesting indeed. Crabbe and Goyle were both lying flat, their arms and legs totally straight. Theodore looked down at them for a moment and noticed that their eyes seemed to be able to follow him easily enough. Very interesting.

It was probably one of those “Full Body-Binding” curses that he had been just reading about. If that was the case, he might be able to free them himself and not complicate matters. But first, he needed to find Malfoy.

He didn't need to look far. One of the showers was still running and Draco Malfoy lay there, half-dressed, bruised and bloody and crying like a baby. Theodore pursed his lips. This wouldn't do. This wouldn't do at all.

“Malfoy?” he ventured, taking a step closer.

To his credit, Malfoy immediately bit down on his lip and brought down the cries to a bit of sniffling here and there. “Nott? That you?”

“Hmm. You didn't come back with the others.”

“Obviously.”

He knelt beside the other boy and tried to help him turn over. “Initiation rite or something?”

“Something like that, yeah.” His blood-shot grey eyes dared him to say anything further on the matter.

“Can you get up?”

“Can't stay up. Ankle's broke. Wait until my father hears...”

“Wait until we get you to the Hospital Wing and then we'll talk about that.” Theodore stood up and pulled out his wand. “Let me see if I can free up Crabbe and Goyle. I think between the three of us and a broom, we can get you up there without making a fuss.”

“What?! Oh, there'll be a fuss, you can depend on that!”

He shook his head and went back into the locker area, where Crabbe and Goyle lay. A few flicks and “Finite's” later and the two boys were back on their feet, looking murderous.

“They jumped us! Our own Housemates!” Crabbe's soft voice had a tremor of one betrayed. Goyle just shook his head in mute sadness. Theodore felt a bit sorry for their loss of innocence. They must have really believed in the whole House Unity line that Professor Snape preached when they all first entered Slytherin last year. He knew better—he had his father's experience to draw upon.

“Crabbe! Goyle! Get in here and help me up!” Malfoy seemed back in usual form, but Theodore knew they'd have to have a talk and very soon.

It was a close thing, but between them, the boys did manage to maneuver Malfoy back from the Locker Rooms to the Hospital Wing with no one the wiser. Fortunately, it was dinner time and everyone was in the dining hall—except Madam Pomfrey, who was forcing a potion down a first-year student's throat and lecturing her at the same time.

“Next time, Miss Stanford, let us know ahead of time if you have any known food allergies! Prevention is much easier than Purging Potion, that you can be sure of!”

The girl had barely time to nod before her face went white and she went diving for a nearby basin. Madam Pomfrey sighed and patted her on the back, then turned to glare at the boys.

“Now what's happened here?”

“My stupid teammates...” Malfoy started.

“First Quidditch practice,” Theodore interrupted smoothly, ignoring Malfoy's startled glare. “Took a very bad tumble off his broom—plus some bludgers, of course.”

“Bludgers! They should be outlawed!” The nurse hissed as she stripped off the wounded boy's robes and began to examine his skin. “Those bruises! Well, I've got some salve that will help with that. And what's wrong with your leg?”

“My ankle, they...”

“Broke in the fall, I wouldn't wonder.” she said, and then turned on Crabbe and Goyle, who were standing very much in her way. “You boys, what are you doing here?”

“Helping Draco?” offered Crabbe, hesitantly.

“Yes, well, you can help by going to fetch Professor Snape from the Great Hall. He'll have some paperwork to do on this.”

Crabbe looked very reluctant, but pulled Goyle along and disappeared outside the doorway.

It was not long before Professor Snape appeared, in his usual cloud of black billowing robes, looking very out-of-sorts. Theodore had managed to prevent his own banishment from the Hospital Wing by engaging Madam Pomfrey in conversation about Quidditch injuries. He now knew far more than he ever cared to learn about the subject. Malfoy, after trying a few times to bring the conversation around to the truth about the incident that had caused his injury, had given up once he perceived that the school nurse was not going to be swayed from her favorite diatribe of the dangers of Quidditch and Why It Should Be Banned For All Wizards Under The Age of 30.

“Ah, Professor. I'm almost done here, just need to get the paperwork for you.”

“Thank you,” he anwered automatically, and then stopped her. “Madam Pomfrey, is there a reason that Nott is sitting up here with Malfoy? He's not on the Quidditch Team.”

“Nott said he's related. What was it, again?”

“We're second cousins on my mother's side,” he replied. The nurse nodded her head at him in approval and bustled off to her office.

Professor Snape lifted his eyebrows.

“It is true, sir.” Theodore muttered, defensively.

“I don't doubt it,” the professor replied. “I, myself, am a second cousin to Mr. Malfoy, on my mother's side.”

The boys goggled at him.

“Once removed.” he amended. But his pleasant demeanor soon cooled. “Now, will you please explain what is going on here? 'Quidditch injury'?”

“Those bastards...”

“He fell off his broom...”

They both started at once and then Malfoy pushed Theodore hard. “Will you shut up about that broom story already? I don't fall off my broom! They cornered me and...”

“You fell off your broom.” finished Snape, flatly. “I think we'll all agree on that point.”

“WHAT? My father...”

“Would say the same thing and you know it.” The professor's long fingers drummed along his arm impatiently. “Wouldn't he?”

Malfoy looked stricken for a moment and then bowed his head.

“Professor, your paperwork?”

“Right here. How many forms are those? Surely not all of these are mine...” Snape's voice faded as he followed Madam Pomfrey into her office.

Malfoy was still staring at the floor. Theodore reached out his hand, but then lowered it.

“It's alright, Nott. I won't say anything. Quidditch accident and all that. Happens all the time.”

“Yeah.”

“Probably have to spend the night here. Tell the guys, will you?”

“Sure.”

“Don't make a big deal of it.”

“No.”

He got up then, and headed toward the door.

“Theo?”

“Yeah, Draco?”

“Thanks.”

And he shared with his friend a bittersweet smile, full of the kind of mysteries that are kept in the dungeons of Slytherin, where none fly so high that they are not dragged down into the dust. Glory is for Gryffindors. Slytherin keeps its secrets.

FIN



Comments welcome.  I'm fairly new to writing HP fic, so am still looking for my fic "voice" so to speak. :-)  Written for a prompt for the 31_days community.
 
 
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Iliana: Fight Backroyalty25 on September 5th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC)
I loved the way you developed Theodore and Draco's friendship. I initially didn't think I would like this story because of the summary. I personally never considered Theodore and Draco friends (since in canon it's made quite clear that Theodore's a loner), but this story makes it believable so it works. I'm glad I decided to give this story a chance because I like the writing style you're developing here. I don't think it's going to take you long to find your fic "voice". Keep up the good work!
I just hope there's another Arnold where I go nextexx_cecilegr on September 6th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
I LOVE this. Theodore is a character I've been thinking about a lot lately, and I love your take on him and his relationship with Draco. Thank you for writing and sharing!
Vega Blackvegablack62 on September 6th, 2009 07:37 am (UTC)
This came off as very real to me. I liked the writing and the developement.