Bunty stared at the food on her plate. Mashed potatoes.
Were the House Elves trying to kill her? Mashed potatoes three times this week.
She wasn't going to complain though. Who in their right mind would complain about having their favorite food three times a week?
She glanced over the tables at Pansy and Draco.
They were on the outs right now, and Pansy looked rather sullen.
It was a Hogsmeade visit and Bunty had an idea.
She finished eating and stood up. She had maintained a decent relationship with Pansy, mostly because Draco had told Pansy to keep her mouth shut. Although, in the last two years, Pansy seemed to consider her a friend. Bunty approached her and smiled slightly.
"Hey,you busy today? I want to hang out. "Bunty said. Pansy seemed to mull the opportunity over in her head, before nodding.
"Sure. Meet me outside the Great Hall before we go. "She said, setting her fork down.
"I'll see you then." Bunty nodded.
Bunty was bundling up her jacket, staring at the portrait.
Being a Ravenclaw,she decided, must be more acceptable than Hufflepuff or Gryffindor,because she hadn't been disowned. She trodded down the stairs, carefully choosing her words in her head.
There were things she wanted to tell Pansy. Things she needed to tell her.
She smiled at Pansy when she saw her. The older Slytherin was in a winter coat and boots, not much different from Bunty's.
Once they had settled in at a table in the Three Broomsticks, Pansy's questions began.
"Why do you stick around Loony Lovegood?" She asked, taking a sip of butter beer.
"She's nice...And she keeps the undesirables away. "Bunty replied.
"Muggle borns,blood traitors, people who only want to be my friend because I'm a Malfoy." Pansy nodded.
"That's smart. "
"How are things with Draco? " Bunty noticed that Pansy's face darkened.
"They're..." Pansy began. She couldn't lie to Bunty. "We've broken up again. I think for good this time. He seems so distant lately. It's like he's looking at me,but not,you know,seeing me. I don't know what's wrong. " Bunty frowned.
"I'm really sorry, Pansy. I am." She said. Pansy took a sip of butter beer and looked down.
"Bunty? Do you think that Draco actually, you know...Loves me,cares about me? "Pansy asked.
"What do you think? "Bunty replied.
"The truth is, I don't think your brother loves anyone or cares about anything except you. "Pansy said, sinking into her seat.
"I can't change him." Bunty replied quietly.
"I'm not asking you to. "
Then silence fell between them.
Bunty drank the rest of her butter beer and sighed.
On the road back to Hogwarts, Bunty and Pansy were still silent. Neither had any idea how to talk to each other after such a painful conversation. Bunty was called away to Luna once they got back to the castle and Bunty gave Pansy one last pitying look before departing from her side.
She had intended to make Pansy feel better, not make both of them feel horrible. Maybe it was a mistake to hang out with Pansy today. Bunty wasn't good at perking people up or making things better. She was a Malfoy, it wasn't what they did. When Bunty saw her brother in the hall, he looked strange. Like he hadn't slept in a long time. She felt concern well inside of her for her older brother.
He gave her a forlorn gaze and continued walking. Bunty chased after Draco, her familial instinct taking over.
"Draco! Draco!" She was calling after him. He stopped for a minute before turning.
Once upon a time in her first year, Bunty had attempted to cling to Draco for protection and comfort,but, in a very elderly brother fashion, he had pushed her away. At this moment,however,he looked so vulnerable and needy.
"Yes,Bunny?" He asked, quietly, employing her childhood nickname.
"Are you...Are you alright?" She queried.
Instead of answering her, he opened his mouth to speak and when the words wouldn't come, he shut it again. He looked at her for a moment, before embracing his baby sister tightly. Bunty hadn't been hugged by him for a very long time and it was only pure instinct that caused her to return it.
Something was definitely wrong with him. While Bunty had a good idea of what was wrong, she still couldn't piece it together.
The Dark Lord had asked him to do something. Her parents would not say what, and she had not been included in the discussion because the Dark Lord didn't want to employ her as of yet.
He had said that while it was commendable for Lucius and Narcissa to offer her to his service, he had no productive use for her at present. Bunty knew her parents were trying to regain the Dark Lord's trust. He had been so displeased when Lucius was discovered and put in Azkaban.
Prison had changed her father drastically.
Yes, he was still snide and proud, but for the first time in Bunty's life, she saw her father show weakness. He returned from Azkaban a shadow of his former self. He had become quiet and circumspect. He spent long hours in his room, just pacing,studying his position.
For the first time, her father's faith in his master faltered.
If her parents were scared, Bunty too, was scared.
Not only had the task given to Draco shaken him, made her brother question everything he had ever know, it disturbed her parents.
And there was Bunty, caught in the middle of it all, wondering.
Her time too, would come. Her services would be required and she would be called to prove herself in the Dark Lord's mission.
The thought made tears spring to Bunty's eyes. This task was tearing Draco apart.
"Draco, I don't know what's wrong, but you're scaring me." Bunty said weakly.
"I'm scaring myself." He replied softly, stroking her soft hair.
"What has he asked you to do, Draco? Please, can't you tell me?" Bunty was pleading now.
"I have to kill Dumbledore."
Armed with such shattering knowledge, Bunty trodded back to the Ravenclaw common room. She sat down by herself and pulled her knees to her chest.
There was a reason her parents didn't tell her what Draco's task was. And this, this was it.
Because it would shake her to her core, it would chill her to the bone.
It would break her heart.
Not the part about Dumbledore, she would shed no tears over the headmaster.
But that Draco, her flesh and blood, would be asked to do the unthinkable. To leave his youth behind him so abruptly.
Draco was many things. Proud, rude and high strung.
But not a killer.
Never a killer.
Chapter 2: Two
The Author recommends listening to Carry On by FUN.
Bunty strolled down the corridor to the Ravenclaw Tower. She suddenly stopped when she heard someone calling her name.
"Bunty!" She turned to see Luna walking towards her. Bunty smiled.
"One of the Gryffindor's has been cursed and Harry says that he thinks your brother is involved." Luna reported.
"But,I didn't see Draco..."
"You wouldn't have. He was in the Three Broomsticks. You told me you were going to the Hog's Head. Besides, you couldn't have even heard. It was done really quietly." Luna patted her shoulder. Bunty smiled again, though half-heartedly.
By dinner, Bunty was beginning to worry that Draco had been involved in cursing Katie Bell.
He had acted quite paranoid since the news got out. Bunty remembered their parents teaching them the Imperious Curse when The Dark Lord came back. He would know how to make Katie carry the cursed necklace to Hogwarts without raising suspicion.
'Oh,Draco',Bunty thought nervously,
'What have you done?'
Chapter 3: Three
The Author recommends listening to Clarity by Zedd.
Bunty was fixing her tie in the mirror when Pansy entered the lavatory. She smiled at Bunty, before attending to her hair.
"Pansy?" Bunty began.
"Yes,Bunty?" Pansy answered.
"Do you think Draco is...Is trying to,I don't know...prove himself? To the Dark Lord,I mean. " She asked.
"is this about Katie Bell?" Pansy sighed.
"Yes...and no. He's just so different lately. " Bunty said.
"I know...I think Draco isn't sure where your family stands with Him and wants to get back in His good graces." Pansy explained. Bunty nodded.
"Do you think he did it....Cursed Katie Bell?"
Pansy exhaled deeply.
"What's sad is that last year, I could tell you in complete confidence whether he did or didn't. Now...I just don't know him anymore. "Bunty swallowed.
"Neither do I."
Bunty trotted up to Ravenclaw tower, worried. The fact that the two people closest to Draco couldn't understand him anymore was troubling.
She had rarely seen him with Crabbe and Goyle any longer. Which, despite their sycophantic nature, at least indicated that Draco was feeling like himself. Bunty wondered if his mission was taking a toll on him.
The Dark Lord had given her poor brother an impossible task.
Draco Malfoy was no murderer.
And The Dark Lord knew it, too.
Bunty arose the following morning with a stomach ache. Draco looked even more sick than the last time she had seen him. He sat alone at the Slytherin table. Bunty caught Pansy's eye and smiled. Once she sat down, Bunty sunk into her thoughts.The Dark Lord would not change his mind, would not back down from the decision. That Bunty knew.
Bunty made her way to her first class, Divination. She was lost in her thoughts, tossing between Draco,Luna and Pansy.
The latter had been crossing her mind more often than not lately. Bunty didn't honestly know how she felt about Pansy Parkinson anymore.
Bunty had never really had feelings for anyone before,boy or girl. It was strange, to look at her and have the sensation of being on a broom in a tailspin.
Worse yet, was having these feelings and having no idea how to tell Pansy. It was quite the dilemma. As Bunty sat down in Divination, Professor Trelawney was mumbling about horse hair all over her classroom.
"Letting a horse trapse all about the place, stinking up my office and attracting the bloody flies in Christendom. "Bunty chuckled.
The day went rather fast after that.
Soon, it was morning again. Being that it was Saturday, Bunty decided to debut the outfit her Aunt Bellatrix gave her. The shirt was a white camisole, covered by a black cardigan with a cape and grey leggings. It was a slightly odd outfit, but Bunty didn't mind.
"What.Are. You. Wearing? "Pansy chuckled.
"Don't laugh at me, my aunt gave it to me." Bunty crossed her arms as though she was pouting, but smiled.
"It's not that bad." Pansy admitted.
" Thank you. " Bunty smiled.
walking down by the lake when Pansy turned to her.
"Be honest...Do you know what's bothering Draco? " She asked. Bunty met her eyes
"Pansy...I wish I could tell you. I want to tell you. What he's doing, if he fails or is discovered,my family...We'll be in danger".
"It's that bad?" Pansy's face darkened. Bunty nodded.
"He's punishing us because our father was caught."She admitted.
"Oh,Bunty. " Pansy's face fell.
"It's alright. I can just take whatever comes. " Bunty shrugged.
"But you shouldn't have to. "
"I know. "
Bunty sat down at the Ravenclaw table for lunch, taking a cracker for her soup. She was quite distracted.
How was it that this time six months ago her father was one of the most important people in the Ministry of Magic?
How had they fallen so far from grace?
It was all his fault,Bunty decided.
It was Harry Potter's fault that her family all respect in the Wizarding World. If he wasn't such an insufferable do-gooder, her father wouldn't have been at the Ministry that day. Or,at least, he wouldn't have been caught.
It wasn't fair!
Draco had been agitating Harry Potter for the past six years, but now Bunty had a personal vendetta against the boy-who-couldn't-sneeze-without-the-ministry-offering-him-a-tissue.
He'd ruined everything Bunty had ever known.
And she hated him for it.
It made her angry that he lived a charmed life, but if Bunty did half of the things that he did, she'd be expelled.
Bunty was not her brother. She was the queen of the Stink Eye, but she could never be so upfront about her dislike.
When it was finally Monday again,Bunty made a point of glaring at the Golden Trio.
Her motions skidded to a halt when Luna pointed out that she, too,had been at the Ministry when her father was caught.
"Bunty, I understand that you're having a difficult time adjusting to things, but Harry is my friend. I don't want to have to choose between you. "
Thus,the vendetta ended as quick as it began.
Their first class was potions. Professor Slughorn may have been the former head of Slytherin,but he enjoyed Ravenclaw. Mostly because it was usually quiet when they worked.
Ravenclaws had Lazer focus and were viscous when they were interrupted. Bunty thought that this was part of the reason her parents were not too upset about her not being Slytherin.
A Ravenclaws sharp wit and focus were a coveted asset to a Slytherin's cunning. Such a thought slightly frightened Bunty.
Their potions work was simple. They were making an antidote. After completing hers,Bunty turned in a vial for Professor Slughorn's inspection.
In Bunty's perspective, there was usually a few minutes left before the end of class with this group.
What was her next class?
Defense Against The Dark Arts,with Professor Snape.
Whom,she had noticed, had been keeping an alarmingly close eye on both her and Draco. Whatever his reason, Bunty was sure it had something to do with Draco's mission.
They were learning about Jinxes and Hexes (Which Bunty was sure Snape was more experienced in than he let on.) Specifically, the stunning jinx.
Personally, Bunty wouldn't mind using one on Crabbe or Goyle sometime.
The lesson was long and drawn out(mostly because Professor Snape had to enunciate every. Fricking. Syllable.)
Bunty wondered if he knew what a contraction was...
Chapter 4: Four
The Author recommends listening to Ironic by Alanis Morissette.
Bunty sat down in the Great Hall. Her eyes glanced over at the Slytherin table. Thankfully, it was Saturday. Her brother looked dead nonetheless. There was suddenly a hand on her shoulder.
"Bunty? " She turned to see Pansy.
"Can I talk to you after Breakfast? "She asked.
"Sure. " Bunty smiled.
"Great. It's really important. "
While Bunty was confused, Pansy had looked like she was at the end of her rope. She wouldn't refuse a decent conversation. She ate her eggs and toast quickly. She met Pansy in the Entrance Hall.
"Hey. " She smiled. Pansy nodded.
"It was Draco. He cursed Katie Bell. " She said.
"What? "Bunty asked, confused.
"He did it."Pansy repeated.
"He told me. "
"Oh,are you two...Back together? "She asked. She was happy if they were,albeit...
How did one explain liking the idea of something while simultaneously loathing the entire thing?
She liked Pansy. She could accept having a crush on her brother's girlfriend, but living with it...
"No. I told him that you knew what he'd done and he kind of asked/told me if you knew that he cursed Katie Bell. " Pansy said.
Bunty considered this for a minute. Cursing Katie was not part of his mission for The Dark Lord. What bearing did Katie have on this?
"Thank you. Pansy. " Bunty nodded.
The Slytherin grabbed her arm
"Bunty, there's something else I want to tell you. " She said.
Pansy hesitated, meeting her eyes. It was a few minutes before she answered.
"I think...I think I have some time to help you with Divination. " She said quickly. Bunty smiled.
"That's great, than-"
"But we have to go now. " Pansy said, dragging her to the library.
"OK. " Bunty mumbled. Pansy led her behind a bookshelf and made sure that they were alone. "We should start revising. "
"Shut up about that for now. I have something really important to tell you. " Pansy muttered. Bunty nodded.
Pansy looked at her for a long time, before pulling her into a sitting position.
"Bunty, I've been with Draco since my first year. But, this year we separated. Not because he was sick of me, that was part of it I guess. But it was mostly because I realized this summer that I. ..I'm a Lesbian. " Bunty's mouth hung open for a minute.
"You...You like girls? "She asked.
"That's what I said. " Pansy nodded. Bunty swallowed.
"I never thought " She mumbled.
"Bunty,there's something else. "
She hesitated again.
"I was wondering if you knew if Madam Pince would let me take a look at some archives? "
Bunty's heart sank.
"Yeah,probably. " She mumbled.