“The movements, precise and delicate, make; performed with great care, lest you cause a mistake!” squeaked the little man, stood on his desk and flicking his wand in rhythm with his words. A shock of white hair surrounded his small face, wire framed glasses circling his eyes. His face hinted at something vaguely Goblin in his ancestry. Professor Flitwick demonstrated the correct movements with almost bewitching skill.
The rest of the class copied the motions, with varied degrees of success. Several of the students produced nothing and fortunately, for once, this was the worst of their results.
Draco Malfoy lounged back in his seat, sharing a smirk with his fellow Slytherins; they quietly laughed at the other students, not even bothering to copy the movements themselves. Apart from one – Vincent Crabbe waved his wand frantically, producing nothing but air. Draco, noticing Crabbe acting like an idiot, kicked him squarely in the back.
Draco let his head loll back, ignoring Crabbe’s annoyed glare. Flicking his blond hair out of his eyes Malfoy stared at the ceiling. His eyes became unfocussed as Professor Flitwick moved on to teaching a different charm. As much a he respected Flitwick’s teaching ability, Malfoy was still bored of Charms. Third period of the day and this was a double! He couldn’t wait to get out of here so he could see about Quidditch practice. He had a great idea for Slytherin’s first game against Hufflepuff this year. He knew that…
His thoughts were interrupted, when he heard Professor Flitwick speak: the tone was one of surprise and cut through Draco’s musings. Looking down again, Malfoy stared at the bushy-haired witch at the front of the class, who was the focus of everyone’s attention suddenly.
She was holding her wand and staring at the tip, like it had turned into some form of monster. Her eyes were huge, as if she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Hermione Granger, for the first time in living memory, as far as Draco was concerned, appeared stunned into silence.
“Um, Miss Granger,” said Professor Flitwick hesitantly, “we are attempting the Banishing Charm, my dear. What seems to be the problem?” The little teacher gestured towards the cup that Hermione was supposed to be sending across the room to Seamus. It had not moved at all since she had received it from the Irish boy earlier.
“Like this,” Flitwick continued, patiently, moving his wand gracefully. “Now, you have seen the right motions… simply move your wand and use the incantation; Depulso! Now, try again.” He smiled encouragingly, though Draco could see he was surprised at having to coach Hermione. Malfoy glanced at Neville Longbottom, the prime candidate for the “most likely to screw up a spell” prize if ever there was one. For once the clumsy idiot hadn’t melted himself or anyone around him. The blond wizard gave a grunt of amusement; there truly was a first time for everything, he mused.
The whole class held their collective breath, captivated by this scene. Harry sat next to Hermione, staring at her as if he didn’t know her anymore. Malfoy could feel a massive grin on his face but could do nothing about removing it.
Hermione Granger, little Miss-Know-It-All of the fourth year (and every year preceding, he mentally acknowledged), was having difficulty!? This was priceless! Once in a lifetime comes twice in one class, he thought with glee.
Hermione was slowly turning red; with anger or embarrassment Draco couldn’t tell, but he could see that she was uncomfortable under everyone’s scrutiny. She shifted her shoulders and cleared her throat. Her wand moved in graceful lines. “Depulso!” Hermione said, firmly.
The cup, resolutely, did nothing.
Draco could barely breathe. He was desperately trying to stop himself from laughing, but some of his stifled snorting must have been audible as Hermione turned rage-filled eyes towards him. Professor Flitwick glanced over at him too and Draco raised a hand in apology.
“I’m sorry, Professor Flitwick,” Draco said, recovering himself and sitting back on the bench, “but I found it so incredible that Miss Granger couldn’t cast the charm, that I nearly choked on my own tongue.” Malfoy turned his smug grin in Hermione’s direction as his fellow Slytherin’s laughed. He loved the anger in her eyes; the brown, hard pools promised dismemberment and death to one Draco Malfoy.
“Indeed, Mister Malfoy,” squeaked the Professor, “as are we all! Perhaps you could show us the correct method?”
“With pleasure, Professor,” Draco drawled. Sneering, he glanced at Hermione. “What you did was wrong, Granger,” he said, smugly as he demonstrated the correct wand movements. He would die a happy man at that moment, if Granger’s head exploded from the sheer agony of being bested in the classroom. He longed to see it! Almost ached with the feeling of victory! “Depulso!” he said, sending the cup that rested in front of him, spinning across the class and into Professor Flitwick’s hand.
The Slytherins in the class started to clap, along with a few of the others, but Draco only had eyes for Hermione. The look of anger and disbelief on her face was incredible! The wand between her hands flexed, as she put undue pressure on it, until Harry put a hand on her elbow. Draco merely raised an eyebrow at her before acknowledging the applause from his fellow classmates.
“Well done, Mister Malfoy!” Flitwick enthused, “Ten points to Slytherin and well deserved indeed. That was a perfect casting. Very well done, young man.”
Malfoy basked in the attention; his fellow Slytherins congratulating him and Hermione Granger seemingly on the verge of tears. This day just couldn’t get any better!
“So, Draco,” asked Flitwick, when the clamour died down, “how did it feel?” The little Professor was stood on his desk once more.
“It felt really good, Professor,” Draco said, with a smug look in Hermione’s direction. His grin faltered a little when he saw a small, secret smile on her face but he soldiered on. “Just to be able to rub that snooty Gryffindor’s nose in it; show her that I’m better than her and put that little Mudblood in her place…”
His voice was drowned out by the gasps of horror. Several of the Gryffindor’s stood, wands held ready, shocked at Malfoy’s language. Even the normally even-tempered Flitwick seemed surprised.
“Mister Malfoy!” the tiny man exclaimed, “I will not accept that sort of language in my class! 10 points from Slytherin.” Waving his hands then, he gestured for everyone to settle down and resume their seats. “Now, calm down everyone. Remember, Mister Malfoy was under the influence and so is not aware of what has occurred. Still… no excuse for such language!”
Draco turned his gaze on the little man, a questioning look on his face.
“Now,” Flitwick continued, “the daydream charm produces short visions of pleasant events, things that the “victim”, as it were, would like to see. They seem quite real for the time but slowly fade as reality sets back in. Clearly Mister Malfoy saw something involving Miss Granger, in which he came out on top.” The Professor turned to look at the Slytherin side of the class once more. “Now, how did it actually feel, Draco? Please, describe it to the class.”
The blond boy’s jaw dropped; he could only mumble and stutter for a long time as he tried to comprehend what had just happened. “But... Granger… she…” Malfoy’s mouth was dry and he could barely speak.
“Yes?” encouraged Flitwick. “It is natural that the daydream involved her, Mister Malfoy, as she cast it on you. It is a difficult Charm to master, Miss Granger, but you cast it perfectly. Ten points to Gryffindor!”
The sharp bang, as Draco hit his head on the desk in frustration, made Hermione laugh out loud.
Merlin, I hate that Muggle-born bitch, Malfoy thought, bitterly.