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The Tale of Two Rings
Lost in thought
What the hell was I thinking? My life is over! I knew that being a Death Eater could bring me power, but I didn't want to serve under anyone. I wanted it all for myself. But "The Order of the Dragon?" My father still had no knowledge of my disappearance or my deeds. I could return home at once and put this entire episode behind me. The image of Potter returned and chased away every thought of surrender on my part. Gently rubbing the silver ring on my finger, I closed my eyes and whispered the phrase I had long since memorized.
He is so much more alive than I. He has friends that care for him deeply. He has a legion of fans that would fight to the death for him. And what do I have? I opened my eyes and they rested upon Crabbe and Goyle. The both of them were staring blankly out the window of the train as it rushed its way through the countryside. At that moment, I decided that I would leave Slytherin House. I couldn't take it any longer, being surrounded by greed, anger and hatred all the time. Granted, I was no better than most of them and maybe worse than some of them, but I suddenly felt the inability to change in this environment. I would sit down with the Headmaster upon my return to Hogwarts and express my desire to him.
I closed my eyes again, and I was looking through Potter's eyes. I could not hear the conversation, but it seemed clear to me that they were talking about me and how much they hated me. A single tear ran down my cheek, but I did not bother to brush it away.
I opened my eyes, canceled the spell and stood. Turning to my goons, I barked at them. "I am going for a walk. The two of you stay here!" Both Crabbe and Goyle turned at the sound of my voice, then shrugged and returned to the window when I had finished. I made my way back to Potter's compartment.
"You hear that?" Ron said after a moment's silence. "We finally pull one over on him and he manages to insult us nonetheless!" He sounded frustrated, his eyes trained on the open door.
"Us?" Hermione questioned looking over at Ron. "I believe he was addressing you. He never once called me mudblood."
"He seems different," I managed to say, "although I don't know why."
"If I didn't know any better, I would..." Ron's words were interrupted by the reappearance of Draco. "I thought you had left." he sneered at Malfoy, a cold glare in his eyes.
Draco hung his head and whispered something in a mumbled tone. I had to ask him to repeat it to make sure I had heard him correctly. Draco raised his head and looked directly at the three of us. "May I speak to Hermione alone, please?"
"Why?" The three of us chimed together.
"Never mind! Forget I asked!" Draco turned and vanished. Without a word, Hermione rose from her seat and followed him into the corridor of the train.
That was really dumb, Draco! I felt my feet working at a half-run pace on my way back to my own compartment. Suddenly, I was aware of a presence behind me. I slowed, than stopped altogether, turning in time to see Hermione catch up to me.
"Well?" she questioned.
"Nothing mudblood. I forgot!" I amplified the trace of venom in my voice.
"I'm not buying it, Draco. And calling me mudblood doesn't bother me." I begin to fidget under her intense glare. "It's probably hard to work up to it, so just spit it out." I looked at her briefly and then down at my shoes.
"Have students ever changed Houses before?" I asked her in a pleading voice.