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A simple ring

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2nd POV:

 

“C’mon (Y/N), or we’re going to be late!” Ron yells from the door of the Great Hall.

“Just a second!” 

You hurriedly grab your bag and dash to the front of the Great Hall, reaching Ron. You start walking, catching up with Harry and Hermione. 

“I’m telling you, Harry, dittany is not just some ‘common plant’!” Hermione exclaims, mimicking Harry’s voice during ‘common plant’. “It has various attributes, useful in Herbology and Potions! No wonder you weren’t accepted in the Advanced Potions class. Even Ron did it, even though he didn’t even study!” The girl ends with a huff and puts her hands to her chest, folding them neatly in front of her. 

“But, ‘Mione, why do plants need to have different attributes, why not just one?” Harry pushes his glasses further up his nose and frowns in confusion. 

Hermione sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose. “Oh, Harry, just ask Snape or Sprout, I’m sure they’ll be delighted to answer your never-ending questions.”

You look at Ron, eyebrows raised. He shrugs and salutes them, making your presence known. “Hello guys. What are you talking about?” He moves next to Hermione, interlacing their fingers as he always does when walking.

“Oh, don’t even get me started, Ron. Harry here is clueless; doesn’t know a thing about potions,” Hermione rolls her eyes.

You hit Harry in his side with your elbow to get his attention. He looks confused at your loop-sided smile and raises an eyebrow. “Oh, is he?” you tease and put your left arm on your hip. 

You see Harry roll his eyes, but smile in the end. He is so pure sometimes, you swear to Merlin.

“So, where next, ‘Mione?” you ask the bushy haired girl, knowing that she has memorized your time table since the beginning of the school year.

“We’re off to Advanced Potions. Snape said we’re doing something never done before. I am so excited!” Her eyes shine in the sunlight, excited for the upcoming class.

You rub your chin intrigued. “I wonder what that is.”

Just as you say that, a figure knocks your arm off of its place. A speck of white crosses your eyesight, but quickly disappears. 

“Hey! Watch where you’re going!” you shout behind him. The force that crashed was pretty strong, so only a Quidditch player could have that force. And since there are very few girls playing – and most of the girls are polite and respectful – only a boy could be behind that gesture. 

“How rude of that person,” you hear from behind.

You turn around and see Hermione’s eyebrows almost touching. “It’s alright, maybe he was in a hurry. You know, since we have only 5 minutes spare.”

You see her eyes bulge out of their sockets. “Oh, Merlin. Come, (Y/N). Come, Ron. Or we’re going to be late for class. Bye Harry!” She ushers and takes a hold of both your arms and sprints down the hallway. 

You arrive just in time. As Hermione opens the big black door, a strong scent of peppermint, parchment and some exquisite parfum hits you in the face.

What the bloody hell. 

You look confused around the dark room. Your eyes settle on the big desk in the middle of the classroom. On top of it is a cauldron and steam is rising from it. You take a step forward, only to be stopped by a strong grip on my shoulder. You jump in place and start to turn to see the owner of the hand, only to be stopped by the cold and stern voice of your professor.

“Now, Miss (L/N). No need to step over that line. Unless you want detention, of course, and a private room in the Hospital Wing.”

You frown and look down to see a sign that reads: ‘Step any closer and you’ll wish you were never born.” 

You nod and take a seat at one of the only unoccupied desks. YouI position your bag next to the chair and slide in the seat, taking some pieces of parchment and your quill out of it. You sit straight and wait for the lesson to start. Coincidentally, you chose a desk that’s in the back of the classroom.

“Now that we are almost all of us, I would like to announce our lesson for today. As I hope you can all see, in the middle of the room there is a cauldron containing–“ Snape is rudely interrupted by the front door, meaning the person is late and the future occupant of the seat next to yours. “So glad you could join us, Mr Malfoy. Take a seat.”

The boy follows suit, not uttering a single word. He pulls the chair, screeching the floor, earning some protests from his classmates. He gets his notebook and a quill and diverts his attention to the front of the class. 

“As I was saying before being so rudely interrupted,” he throws one glance in your direction, “I was about to announce that today we are studying Amortentia, known as the most powerful love potion in the world.” 

‘So that was the smell from the beginning of the lesson.’

“Now, who can tell me what color–“ you immediately zone out. You don’t really like Potions, but You need it for your NEWTS. And with Hermione as your best friend, how can you fail?

After a couple of minutes of thinking about Christmas, you hear screeches and students talking. You look up and see students heading to the shelf of ingredients, some lighting the fire below their cauldrons and some just talking. You look at Malfoy to see what he is doing and see him light up the stove. 

You breathe in, feeling a bit anxious as this is your very first time saying something to Draco Malfoy. “Um, excuse me, but what are we supposed to do?” you turn to face him completely.

He only raises an eyebrow, and smirks. “Not paying attention, are we?”

You sigh. “I got a bit distracted. Could you answer my question please?”

Once he successfully lights the stove, he turns to you. “You can make yourself useful, partner, and gather the ingredients for the Memory Potion. We’re going to be here for some time.”

Nodding at him, you turn again to look at your book for the ingredients.

Jobberknoll feathers.

Stewed Mandrake.

Powdered Sage.

Galanthus Nivalis.

It can’t be that hard if there are only four ingredients, right? 

Oh, Merlin, how wrong were you.

After trying to make the potion yourself for three bloody times because Malfoy vehemently refuses to work, you sit down on your chair calmly. “Malfoy, so help me Merlin, if you do not help me right now, I might just pour it down your throat,” you clench your jaw angered.

Sensing your anger, he says in a small voice “fine” and gets to work. you watch him read the instructions and start the potion. After adding the feathers to the boiling water, he begins to stir the potion. Watching his hands move in circles as you hold your head up propped on your hand, you start to zoom out, following his simple silver with small emerald stones ring. 

Even if it’s the first time you see the ring, you feel a sudden pull towards it. You feel attracted to it. It’s very simple, very modest. And this is what intrigues you even more. 

Draco Malfoy, the Slytherin prince, is one to always brag and to show off his riches and status. But, this ring tells a completely different story. It’s barely noticeable, hidden under some bigger and eye-catching rings. It embraces his finger with a thin strap of silver, and on top of his finger lay in a line three emerald stones, embedded in the metal. 

‘It’s very nice,’ you think as you stare at it. You suddenly start to wonder about its history; why is Malfoy wearing it? And why does he seem like he’s hiding it, or just steering the attention away from it?

“Agham.”

With a cough, you’re pulled back from your little daydreaming. You focus your eyesight, looking at your partner. 

“Did you do it?” you ask, sharply.

He stares at you a few moments, before nodding. “Yes, I did do it. Thank you for your input,” he crosses his arms and sneers.

You breathe in. “I tried, but I failed. Thank you for finishing it, though,” you find yourself ignoring his remark, smiling at him friendly. 

Malfoy furrows his eyebrows, but says nothing. “Will you give Snape the potion? It’s the least you can do.”

“Of course,” you nod. “I shouldn’t be long.”

You get up, eyeing the vial with potion in it. You grab it and start to head towards Snape, that’s at the back of the classroom. 

You reach him and hand him the vial, not muttering a word. The professor only nods, scowling as usual. You return and check the clock: you have 15 minutes until class is over. 

So, you being a friendly person, you decide to make conversation with your partner when you get back.

You sit back down, noticing that Malfoy is writing something on his parchment. 

Trying to gain his attention, you decide to praise him. “You finished the potion quickly, did you know how to make it beforehand?”

The boy glances at you, then continues to take notes. “Yes, something like that,” he mumbles. 

You lean forwards in your seat. “Then why didn’t you help me in the first place?” you ask again, with a soft voice. 

“Because I didn’t want to.” 

You feel your heart beat faster, sensing the warning in his tone, telling you to back off. But, you being stubborn, continue. “I assume you watched me work, can you tell me where I made the mistake?”

Malfoy puts his quill down. “Who says I’m giving you my time of the day?”

You shrug. “Nobody. Did you check on the potion while I was making it?” you ask him again, switching the words. 

“Yes,” he sighs, “I did.”

“Can you tell me where I made the mistake?” you repeat the question, truly wanting to know. 

The Slytherin looks at you, before groaning and getting up, reaching you with a few steps. “It’s right there. You rotated clockwise, it’s supposed to be the other way,” he points to the instructions with the finger that has the silver ring. 

“What? I couldn’t have made such a mistake…,” you laugh, not believing your reckless mistake. You take a look closer to the piece of parchment, seeing that he is right. “Oh blimey,” you mutter under your breath. 

“Yeah, be careful next time. You could end like Longbottom; in the Hospital Wing,” the boy states, starting to go back to his seat. 

You look at the ring one more time and decide to speak up. “Malfoy,” you say.

He turns again, raising an eyebrow. 

“I want to tell you something,” you swallow. “Um,” you start. 

The Slytherin’s gaze hardens. “Just shut up, you shouldn’t even be talking to me, and I can’t lower myself to your level. I would drown if I did,” he spits out. 

Your eyes widen, not expecting such venom from him, so suddenly. You just look at him, shocked, and turn your head, but not entirely; you could still catch a few glimpses at the ring. 

Malfoy returns to his seat and continues writing, bouncing his right leg. The ring is on his dominant hand, and you can see his right hand move up and down as he writes his thoughts on the parchment. 

You gulp, taking a book out of your bag as well, pretending to read. But, the only thing you do is look at the ring and wonder how it got into Malfoy’s hands. Not that he wasn’t worthy of such a simple object, but it did raise some questions for you. 

You get so lost in your thoughts that you don’t see Malfoy noticing your stare, looking at you with guilty and sad eyes. He shouldn’t have bursted like that, but he can’t risk people gossiping about his new found good mood. 

Not even if you’re the one bringing it to the surface. 

After some time, you shake your head, just in time to hear Snape dismiss the class. Chairs screech as students rise one by one, happy and relieved that the lesson is finished. 

You start to gather your belongings, not noticing that your partner hasn’t even got up. You don’t even spare him a glance as you walk behind him, heading to the door where Hermione and Ron wait for you. You reach them and exchange smiles, and only when you’re stepping out of the classroom do you dare to turn your head, hoping to catch a glimpse at the ring that intrigues you. 

You do see the ring, but you also see gray eyes, staring at you. Malfoy wears a poker face, making it impossible for you to read what he’s thinking or feeling. 

Without thinking you smile, and step aside, leaving a confused and shocked Slytherin rooted at your desk. 

Next morning you arrive at breakfast quite late, having trouble falling asleep. 

Hermione is the first to sense this. “Are you alright, (Y/N)?”

You sigh, reaching for some sausages. “Yeah, I’m good. Just had some trouble sleeping.”

“That’s not good. You should go see Madam Pomfrey, she must have something to help you,” proposes Harry.

“No, it’s alright Harry,” you decline. “It’s probably because of the Amortentia potion, I heard it might cause some after effects,” you try to justify and to get the others to drop the subject.

Ron chews as he shrugs, “if you say so.” He swallows, “but if you need anything, come find us. We’ll be happy to help.”

“Yes, Ron is right,” adds Hermione, “we’ll always be by your side.” Harry looks at you and nods in agreement. 

You smile fondly at them. “Thank you guys. You know the same applies to you,” you remind them. 

“Yes, yes we do,” confirms Ron, grinning. 

You continue to eat, casually talking now and then.

From the corner of your eye, you see Malfoy looking in your direction, almost expectantly. You glance back at him, only to have him hold your gaze. You lift one corner of your mouth and raise an eyebrow, questionably. 

He just continues to look at you, unbothered.

You shake your head, returning to the conversation. 

There are only a few minutes left, when the owls come in, each holding something. You look at them: hundreds of marvelous creatures delivering mostly letters. You always get excited when they arrive, always having hope that one will set a letter in front of you, but this rarely happens. 

When most of the owls fly towards the exit, you glance back down at your empty place, sighting. You knew there would be nothing for you, so why raise your hopes high?

As you reach for your glass of pumpkin juice, you see a brown owl with darker tones of brown stripes fly towards your spot. 

You look at the bird, fascinated by the power that it holds, its dimensions and the orange eyes that seem locked into yours. You lose your breath when the owl drops something in front of you, landing perfectly between the plate and your chest. You glance down at the small silk bag, and back at the owl that hoots as it exits just how it entered: majestically. 

“Oh my, (Y/N)! Who’s that from?” Hermione asks you, curious. You look at her and see a spark in her eyes. She always has one when she’s excited. 

“I… truly don’t know,” you mutter, baffled.

Harry now turns to face you. “You don’t? Maybe you should ask the DADA professor to look at it before you open it.”

You shake your head, looking at the bag. “I think I’ll take my risks.”

You touch the bag, feeling the green silk massage the tip of your finger. You have a very advanced instinct, and you suddenly feel two eyes set on you, as if they can burn through you. 

You glance up, to your right and catch Malfoy looking at you. He quickly averts his gaze downwards, poking his beans with his fork. 

You frown, not understanding his behavior. Only mere minutes ago you were gazing into each other’s eyes. 

You ignore it and give your attention to the bag. You take it in your hand, feeling something in it. You furrow your eyebrows again, catching Ron’s attention. 

“What’s with that face?”

“There is something in it… something not very heavy and,” you feel at the bag, “round?” 

Harry interjects, reaching for the bag, “Maybe I should give it to Dumbledore.”

“No!” you say, pulling it further away from him. “You won’t do it, Harry.” 

You don’t listen to his reply as you untangle the two strings, stretching the top of the bag. You eye the inside, your breath catching in your throat. 

At the bottom of the silky bag, on top of some white parchment, sits the same silver ring with emeralds. 

“No… way…,” you mutter, not believing your eyes. 

“What?” comes Hermione’s quick question. 

You glance at her, seeing her halfway on the table, halfway standing up. “It’s just… something I didn’t expect. Just a letter from home, nothing more.”

“Really? That must mean something,” says Harry, looking at you with worried eyes. 

“Yeah, it must,” you shift your focus from Harry to Malfoy, who is looking at you intensely. 

You don’t know what to do, or how to react. You know that any reaction would bring unnecessary attention to both of you, and you wouldn’t want to cause a scene. Especially after Malfoy just gifted his ring to you. 

You smile at him, and he just nods in acknowledgement.

This morning, you exit the Great Hall with a smile on your face, holding the bag in your hand.

The first class you have is Transfiguration. You arrive in class and sit at the back of the class, choosing a free desk, but this time willingly. 

You’ve always been good at Transfiguration, always studying ahead and practicing in your free time. So, you don’t stress yourself as you open the bag and pull out the parchment. 

McGonagall enters the classroom, and you quickly cover the paper with your hand. Once she passes, you unfold it and start to read:

‘Partner,

I saw you look at the ring, but with no accusing or disgusted face. It feels refreshing. 

Accept this as an apology for my behavior yesterday, it was uncalled for. 

I bet on every penny I have that it looks better on you anyways.

Signed, 

Your partner’

You smile, not expecting this. You were assuming it would be anything but an apology. You clearly see a different side of Malfoy now. 

The classroom door opens, and you turn around to see who it is. 

You exhale happily when you see the silver hair, your heart starting to beat a bit faster. In the next second, you look quickly around the class to see if there are any seats free, and to your delight you find the one next to yours to be the only one. 

Malfoy does the same, and just glances at you as he starts to walk in your direction. He pulls his chair as silent as possible, sits down and fetches everything that he needs. He doesn’t look at you again.

Without any second thoughts, you get a new piece of parchment and start to write:

‘Dear partener,

Apology accepted. 

I will try to honor the ring as best as I can, I can tell it means a lot to you. 

Thank you,

Your partner’

You look at the note and nod to yourself, taking one of your favorite bracelets off of your hand. It has black and dark green stones, hoping he will accept it and cherish it as you will his ring. 

You place both of them back in the silky bag, tie it, and you push it towards him as gently as you could. 

You glance at Malfoy eyeing the bag. He looks at you questionably, and you avert your eyes to the object on the table. He catches on and undoes the ribbon, pulling the note and bracelet at once. 

His eyebrows raise, taking the bracelet gently and inspecting it. After he’s done, he picks up the parchment and reads the note, a poker face glued to his face.

You bit your lip in anticipation, starting to wonder if you have crossed a line. When he turns to face you, you expect to see Malfoy red in the face, wand in hand and threats spilling out. 

Instead, you are met with a soft smile and a twinkle in his eyes. He nods, accepting your gift as well. 

You breathe out of relief, smiling too. You take the ring from your bag and place it on the pointer finger of your right hand, exactly where it stood a day ago. 

Malfoy does the same, placing the bracelet on his left wrist. 

The lesson goes smoothly, with both of you stealing glances at the other and biting back smiles.