All of the students in the Great Hall spun around in shock to see Professor Blake running in through the double doors as fast as she could. “There’s a huge mountain troll in the dungeon!” She was panting and shaking so much, one of the older students stood up to support her before she collapsed.
The rest of the Great Hall remained frozen for a few more minutes. Then, there was an uproar. Students screamed, fighting to stand up fast. Stiles looked over towards Scott at the Hufflepuff table. His best friend shot him a panicked look but made no action to move.
The room froze at Professor Morell, the deputy headmistress’, yell. When they were all silent, she nodded towards the headmaster. Professor Deaton stood to address the room.
“Prefects, if you would lead your house back to their dormitories. The teachers and I will head down to the dungeon and take care of the troll. Please, do be as quiet as possible.” He motioned for the prefects to lead the students out. The students stood up slowly and wandered around to their designated areas. While the Slytherin prefect was distracted, Stiles slipped beside Scott in the Hufflepuff line. If any of the other students noticed, they didn’t say anything. They were probably too distracted by the idea of a troll being loose in the school to worry about much else.
“How would a troll even get in the school?” Scott asked.
Stiles shrugged. “It shouldn’t really be possible.”
Scott frowned in confusion and Stiles realized that, once again, Scott wouldn’t know anything about trolls or magical creatures, being muggle-born and all. “Trolls are really stupid.” He explained. “And they don’t usually trek this far away from their homes. Probably Peeves or one of the older students let it in as some kind of Halloween joke.”
They continued walking with the rest of the house, until Scott grabbed Stiles’ arm and pulled him to a stop. “Derek.” He whispered, looking worriedly at Stiles. “He doesn’t know about the troll. We need to find him.”
Ah, yes. Derek Hale. The know-it-all, broody Hufflepuff that had been a real pain ever since Stiles and Scott had first met him on the Hogwarts Express. It seemed like he lived to correct them, scold them, or just scowl in their direction in Transfiguration, Charms and Potions. Long story short, Stiles was not a fan. And that was before the ‘incident’ on the third floor.
Jackson Whittmore, douchenozzle extraordinaire, had strutted over to Scott to harass him about their disagreement on the Quidditch field, when Jackson had taken Greenburg’s Remembrall and Scott had flown off after him to get it back.
Stiles, who had moved to the Hufflepuff table earlier in the night, jumped up to defend his friend. “Yeah, you’re all big and tough now that you’re in front of the whole school.” He’d said. “Bet you wouldn’t be as confident all by yourself.”
Jackson crowded in his space. “You’ve got a big mouth, Stilinski.” He growled. “Fine. I challenge McCall to a Wizard’s Duel.”
Scott frowned, looking really confused. “A wha—”
“He accepts.” Stiles cut in quickly, wanting to spare Scott the embarrassment of not knowing what a Wizard’s Duel was. “I’m his second.”
Jackson smirked. “Danny is mine. Meet us in the trophy room at midnight.”
After Jackson had left, Derek got up from the table to move closer to them. “Please tell me you idiots are doing what I think I heard you’re doing.”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “If you mean kick Jackson Whittmore’s butt at a Wizard’s Duel, then yes. Not that it’s any of your business.”
“What is a Wizard’s Duel?” Scott asked. “And what do you mean you’re my second?”
“It’s just a magical duel between wizards. The seconds are there in case the first person dies.” Stiles shrugged. Scott’s eyes widened in fear. “Don’t worry.” Stiles chuckled. “We’re first years. The worse you’ll do is shoot sparks at each other.”
If it were possible, Derek’s scowl deepened. “Do you realize the kind of trouble you’ll get into if you get caught?” He asked Scott. “You could lose house points for all of us!”
Scott had the decency to look worried, while Stiles groaned. “Really, dude? You don’t want to see Jackson Whittmore put in his place?”
“Not at the expense of everyone else!” Derek shot back. “Just, don’t do it, okay? It’s a bad idea.”
Of course, they’d ignored him.
And, of course, he’d been right.
Jackson had set them up. When Stiles and Scott (and Derek because, according to Scott, he’d followed him out the door, still trying to convince him not to go, and gotten locked out of the common room) arrived at the trophy room, there was no one there. Except for Meredith, Brunski the caretaker’s stupid cat.
And there were loud footsteps heading for the door. “Run!” Derek whispered, pushing the pair towards the set of doors at the other end of the room. They ran through the corridors, narrowly avoiding Peeves, until they came to a locked door at the end of a dead end hall.
“Great,” Derek groaned, “we’re going to get caught.”
Stiles snorted. Not on his watch. He pulled his wand and pointed it at the door. “Alohomora!” The door clicked and swung open. He pulled Scott and Derek into the room and closed the door as quietly as possible. He let out a sigh.
“See?” He said, leaning his head against the door. “I told you not to worry.”
Scott’s voice was shaking and, when Stiles looked up, he and Derek were staring fearfully at something behind him. He turned slowly, both curious and terrified.
There was a horrendous three-headed dog in the center of the room –scratch that, corridor, because they were in the forbidden corridor Deaton had warned them about at the beginning of the term. Each of the heads was focused on one of them, their teeth bared and their mouths watering. A hand wrapped around Stiles’ wrist, and he couldn’t tell if it was Scott or Derek. Honestly, he didn’t think he could take his eyes off the dog if he’d wanted to. That’s how he spotted it.
There was a trapdoor underneath the dog’s paw. So that was what Deaton was hiding. He thought with a grin.
Suddenly, he was pulled from the corridor, the dogs finally lunging at them when the door closed in its faces.
He walked back to the Hufflepuff common room with Scott and Derek, content to stay there the night instead of risking getting caught on the way back to the dungeons. And, of-freaking-course, Derek had something to say.
“That was so stupid! I can’t believe you two dragged me into that and almost got us killed!”
“I just want to know why there’s a giant three-headed dog in the school!” Scott said. He still seemed dazed from the encounter. Stiles strutted ahead of them proudly.
“You two didn’t see it?” He asked. He knew good and well they didn’t, but he was never one to resist rubbing knowledge into people’s faces, especially Derek Hale.
Derek frowned. “See what?”
“The dog was standing on a trapdoor. He’s guarding something.”
They stopped at the Hufflepuff common room’s entrance. “Guarding what?” Scott asked. Stiles shrugged and stepped into the common room after Derek.
“Look,” Derek growled, rounding on them once the door closed. “I don’t care what the dog is guarding and I don’t care about your little feud with Jackson. All I care about is keeping the house points I earned and passing classes. If I find out that you two decided to pull something like this again, I will rip your throats out…with my teeth.”
He stopped up the stairs towards the boy’s dormitory and Stiles let out a low whistle.
“I thought that Hufflepuffs were supposed to be friendly.” Scott had chuckled at that and they’d moved on, theorizing about what could’ve been under the trapdoor.
So, it was safe to say that Stiles and Scott didn’t get along with Derek. In fact, Stiles wasn’t sure if he liked him at all. Which is what made the stab of guilt to Stiles’ now had in his gut weird.
According to Isaac Lahey, one of Scott’s roommates he’d entranced with his puppy-eyes and heart of gold, Derek had locked himself in the boy’s bathroom not long after Transfiguration class and hadn’t left the rest of the day. Apparently, some jerk had said something mean about him that he’d overheard.
Stiles, unfortunately, was that jerk.
“He’s a nightmare!” He’d said as he left class with Scott. Which, was the truth. “Honestly, it’s no wonder why he’s alone all the time. I can’t imagine anyone would want to be his friend!” Okay, that may have been uncalled for, but he was upset, okay? And Stiles Stilinski wasn’t exactly known for having a good brain-mouth filter.
Someone pushed past him, hard enough to bruise, and Stiles felt guilt when he saw it was Derek Hale himself. “I think he heard you.” Scott said. Which, thank you, Scott. He hadn’t noticed.
So, it was only right that he and Scott (yes, Scott. He was guilty by association), went after him to warn him about the troll. Of course, that was before they spotted it at the end of the hallway. Scott grabbed Stiles’ arm and dragged him behind a stone statue of a griffin, waiting for the troll to pass by.
Only, it didn’t.
It went into the boy’s bathroom at the end of the hall.
The troll was unconscious on the ground when Deaton, Morell, Coach Finstock, Professor Yukimura, and Professor Harris, who Stiles noticed was walking with a suspicious limp, rushed into the boy’s bathroom. The teachers looked over the scene with shocked expressions on their faces. Stiles, Scott and Derek stood above the creature, battered slightly, but relatively unscathed. The bathroom, on the other hand, was in shambles –stalls were smashed to pieces, toilets ripped from the floor, sinks shattered. And, in the center of it all, a very large, very smelly, three-ton mountain troll was sprawled out on the floor, a lump the size of Stiles’ foot growing on his head.
When the teachers finished their examination of the room, their attention turned to the three boys. Beside him, Stiles could see Scott hang his head guiltily and Derek tense up. Coach Finstock was the first to speak up.
“What were you three knuckle-brains thinking?!” He yelled, running his hand over his hair. “There’s a huge freakin’ mountain troll on the loose and, what, you decide to just wander around the halls? If I were 20 years younger, I’d…I’d punch you!”
Stiles frowned. “Coach, that doesn’t make sense.”
The coach snorted and threw his hands in the air. “It does to me!”
Morell stepped forward to lay a hand on Finstock’s shoulder. “I’ll take it from here, Bobby.” The coach nodded and stepped back, leaving Morell staring at the boys.
“What happened?” She asked calmly. Her eyes bore into them, and Stiles wondered if she could read their minds. He swallowed hard.
“It’s my fault.” Stiles and Scott both stared at Derek, shocked. “I went looking for the troll. I thought, maybe, that if I found it and stopped it myself, that maybe…” he sighed and hung his head. “But I was wrong. If Scott and Stiles hadn’t come looking for me, I would be dead.”
Stiles nearly choked on his own spit. Was Derek Hale lying for them? “When they found me, it was already attacking me.” Derek continued explaining. “They didn’t have time to get help. Scott jumped on its back and shoved his wand up its nose, and Stiles used Wingardium Leviosa on the club to knock it out.”
Stiles and Scott were too shocked to speak, but the teachers seemed to accept Derek’s story. Morell nodded.
“That was a foolish thing you did, Mr. Hale.” She said. Her voice was at a steady volume, like always, and honestly, it creeped Stiles out a bit. “If you’re uninjured, I’d like to ask you to walk outside with me, while the headmaster has words with McCall and Stilinski.”
Derek hung his head and followed the deputy headmistress out, glancing back only once to smile back at Scott and Stiles. Once he was out the door, Deaton cleared his throat.
“That was some thing you two did.” He smiled in that way that made Stiles think he knew more than he was letting on. “I would like to award ten points to both Slytherin and Hufflepuff. There aren’t many first years that can take on a full grown mountain troll and live. Now, catch up with Mr. Hale and go back to your common rooms.”
Scott and Stiles nodded quickly and ran from the room before the headmaster changed his mind. Derek was waiting for them, looking nervous and embarrassed, but grateful.
But from that moment on, Derek Hale became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.