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The Tale of Two Rings
Rising of the Order
I can't believe that I am spying on him again! Why can't we just be together? "It's because you're too stuck up to apologize to Harry and his friends and take a chance on being nice to them." The thought stabbed at me and I shuddered at the thought of being nice. Instead, I was spying on the little tart again and for unknown reasons, he was wearing only his boxers. I watched as he made his way towards the Forbidden Forest, wondering why he was going there dressed the way he was. "Why is he going there at all?" I asked myself quietly. Silent and curious, I crept along behind him, admiring him from a distance. Suddenly, a werewolf pounced from the cover of the darkened brush and lunged at Harry, knocking him to the ground. Tossing away rationality and acting instinctively, I drew my wand and began casting hexes. Each hex seemed far more powerful and advanced than they should have been. I didn't question, I acted. With a barrage of hexes swarming around it, the werewolf retreated into the darkest corner of the forest. Harry had gotten to his feet and was running towards me.
"Draco, you saved my life!" The words seemed to flow to smoothly from him. I was trying to accept the quickness of it all, when he pressed his mouth to mine, his tongue begging for entrance.
I bolted upright in my bed, my smirk pasted on my face. Climbing from my bed, I walked to the mirror and looked at myself. My hair was unmanaged and went in every direction, but my thoughts went directly to Harry. Fighting these intrusions has proven to be of no use, so I have learned to live with them and ignore them whenever I am around him. Now all I needed to do was to prevent myself from staring. I centered my thoughts. His birthday was tomorrow and, with any luck, my gift would have reached him by then. I quickly got dressed, ran a comb through my hair, grabbed my money pouch and headed straight for Diagon Alley.
I stepped from the bank, glad to have that part of my plan behind me. The trolls in the bank always troubled somewhat. They seemed a little too nasty at times. I had just finished transferring a large portion of my father's money into mine, making a small withdrawal in the process. "Next time, he will not leave the key so easy to find." I mumbled to myself as I headed to the owl shop. After buying an owl and a new book of parchment, I headed out in search of a new place to call home. I first thought about Hogsmeade, but that would never do. I had until my father checked his vault to get settled. This gave me extra time, because my father would first need to find the key to the vault. I figured that I had a week or two before I would have to deal with my father's wrath, and I had plans on being well hidden by then. Hogsmeade would do, after all. All I needed to do was find a place for sale or rent and settle in! The journey was not long on the Knight's Bus, but it was rough and I was exhausted by the time I arrived. I reminded myself not to use magic because of my age, as walked the road in search of places either for sale or rent. After a few hours of wandering, I came across what looked to be the ideal place. It was a medium sized place that would do well. I silently wondered who the owner was as I approached the door and rapped on the knocker. Eventually, an old woman answered my knocking. It was perfect! She looked like a naive old woman. "Madam, is your house for sale, or did I read that sign out front wrong?" I flashed a smile.
Her eyes met mine and then scoured the perimeter for other signs of life. When she was satisfied that I was alone, her gaze returned to me. "Hon, I don't think that you can afford it. Now run along." She began to close the door. Jabbing my foot between the door and the doorframe, I dropped the bag of galleons at her feet, spilling a few onto the floor as it hit.
"How much?" I asked in my drawl, my smile pasted on my face.
Stooping over, she picked up the bag and began counting the coins. "Why child. Wherever did you come up with such a large sum of gold?"
"My father asked me to look for a house in the area." I flashed her the innocent child smile. The one that says children never lie. If she only knew!
"Well, if you give me five hours, I'll have finished moving out. I already have another place. I've only been staying here until the old place is sold." she informed me, rubbing her hands together greedily. I got the feeling that she was trying to muscle me out of my gold.
"But you failed to inform me on the asking price." I mention to her. "There is well over three thousand gold galleons in that bag and I am almost sure that this house is not worth that much. You wouldn't want my father getting mad at me for coming home with nothing but a key to show for all that gold. Surely, he would take his wrath out on me and I would most certainly be in pain for weeks." I put on the most frightened that I could muster, which wasn't very difficult. If my father ever found me, pain would be the least of my problems. The look that the elderly give you when they are caught in the act of scamming a child is rather priceless.
"Now, don't you worry your little head about it. I'll only take about a thousand from the bag, and leave the rest to you and your father." she said, her tone more apologetic. For the most part, she was true to her word. Upon my return to the house in five hours, she and all of her belongings were long gone. In the center of the floor, sat my bag. Crossing the floor, I squatted and opened it to count my change. She has left it full of rocks and I had to laugh at myself for being so easily fooled. Apparently, she wasn't so naive after all. That night I slept on the floor with nothing more than two house keys and a deed to keep me company.
I awoke to the feeling of something landing on me. It wasn't heavy enough to hurt but enough to startle me from my slumber. Opening one eye, I reached for my glasses and forced myself to put them on. It was far too early for me to rise, but I did so because I knew that my birthday presents would be arriving soon. I had left the window open so that their arrivals would not peck on the pane of glass and wake the entire room. The gift that had landed on me was a small box. Attached to it was a letter with a strange seal on it. The seal was that of a Silver Dragon that seemed as though it had been enchanted to shimmer. I quickly opened the letter and read it.
Dear Harry -
I am out of paper so whatever I write, I am stuck with. I am sorry if this letter is too long for you. You don't know me, but I sure do know you. You infest my dreams and poses my every waking minute. I cannot close my eyes without seeing your beautiful face. 2 years since I heard of your fainting. This is not easy for me to write, but it would be much harder to say in person. I love you. Damn! How I love you! Stop haunting my dreams! I would be honored if you would wear the ring that you will find enclosed. Should you decide not, I will be hurt, but I will understand. I made it myself.
Yours forever -
The handwriting was familiar, but I couldn't place it. I set about opening the small box that had come with the letter. With the box opened, I set my eyes on a beautiful ring and my jaw dropped. Who would like me enough and be skilled enough to make something this beautiful? I gently removed it from the box and slipped it onto the ring finger of my right hand. It tingled slightly, at first, but then stopped as suddenly as it had begun. It almost felt as if it belonged there, comfortable. I moved to the rest of my gifts and began to open them.
In a flash, I was awake and on my feet in seconds, excitement coursing through my body. "He put the ring on." I mumbled excitedly to myself. Closing my eyes, I muttered the command words. "His sight, my sight, by the high ruin of sight!" Suddenly, I was seeing through his eyes.
Ron has given me a new little bauble or trinket in the shape of a marble. It is supposed to detect dark magic and glow a bright purple whenever it does, but like everything else that I get from Ron, it must be defective, because it does not stop glowing. Hermione sent me a book entitled "Hogwarts: A History." I think that she is hinting at something. The Weasley family sent a cake and Hagrid sent me a letter wishing me a happy birthday and telling me that he would not be at school this year, due to some business that he was taking care of for the headmaster, and to be careful without him around. I enjoyed all the presents that I had received, including the marble that continued to glow a bright purple. I set them all in my trunk and, fingering the ring on my finger, headed downstairs for breakfast.
I opened my eyes and muttered a single word. "Retainest." After a brief look around my new home, I decided that another trip to Gringott's was in order. I would need furniture and school supplies and I headed out hoping that my father had not yet found about the theft of his money from the vault.
Later that evening, I had returned to the house and had spent most of the day putting away my purchases. I had gone through most of my father's money by now. The wizard who enchanted the house had cost me a pretty penny, but the house was now unplotable and anyone inside, undetectable with magic.
I spent the majority of the summer getting to know the little town and sending out messages to people on a select list that I had created. Nine names in all. It was time for me to create my own little Order, my private crucible of power. I would make the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters look like flower pickers. None of the nine knew of my true identity, but all accepted my offer without question, so as the onset of school drew closer, I would be able to separate the loyal followers from those who would see me fail. In addition, none of the nine knew the names of the other's and knew me by my signet only. Each of the nine also received a uniform of sorts, red robes embroidered with a dragon in black velvet on the front left breast, a black clock with a silver dragon on the back for the boys and a gold dragon for the girls. I completed the outfit with a mask for each member for our meetings, informing them that secrecy was necessary in order to maintain privacy in the event that there may be a Death Eater amongst our number.
Each member had received a necklace from me and the final step in my plan was to link each necklace to my ring.
I had to keep up appearances, but my thoughts returned to the "Order of the Dragon". I, of course, would be the High Dragon and each of the nine I had chosen would be Dragoons. Each of them, in turn would become Dragons in due time. My thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of Crabbe and Goyle. For the most part I ignored them until one of them mentioned that we go find Potter and Weasley and enjoy some afternoon entertainment. In keeping up my appearance, I stood up coolly and without a word, followed them out the door.
It did not take long to find them. After all, they always seemed to gather in the same compartment on the train every year. I hesitated at the door, listening to the conversation for a moment, before I opened it.
" I hear we are going to have a very good defense against the Dark Arts Professor." chimed Hermione.
"It looks a though we'll have to make do without Hagrid this year as well." I stated flatly, my thoughts returning to the letter I had read earlier, regarding him working for the headmaster.
"Oh? Where is he going to be?" asked Ron.
Before I could answer Ron's question, the door slid open to reveal the cold stare of Draco Malfoy. His voice was equally cold. "Isn't that obvious Weasel? Dumbledore finally wisened up and gave the halfer the boot." That sneer was still pasted to his face.
"Shut up, Malfoy!" barked Ron. Hermione had a bemused expression on her face and it took Ron to explain it. "Still as arrogant as ever, even if you don't have two pennies to rub together." The glint in is eye told me that he was enjoying this. He continued. "What was it that your father didn't tell you because he thought it might hurt your ego?" With those words spoken, Ron threw a Wizardling paper at Malfoy, obviously thrilled at the turn of events. Draco caught the paper and scanned it quickly. Something caught his eye and he began to read it, giggling as he did so.
"Looks as though Ron finally got more money than me." he snorted as he tossed the paper back to Ron.
Ron opened and closed his mouth as if to say something, but said nothing. "Close your mouth Weasel, before you catch something." quipped Malfoy. With that, he turned and left the compartment.
As I headed back to my compartment, I basked in the enjoyment of the past few moments. The newfound knowledge that my father was still in the dark about me and his money was definately a highlight. He had not even noticed that I had been gone for most of the summer. The remainder of the journey to Hogwarts was uneventful.