Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Hermione Granger Severus Snape
Drama Slash
The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire
Published: 07/17/2003
Updated: 08/11/2003
Words: 114,996
Chapters: 43
Hits: 388,758

Snakes and Lions


Story Summary:
When Ron and Hermione get together, they notice only each other. A nightmare prompts Harry to return alone to the empty Chamber of Secrets, and leads to a new look at an old enemy. Harry enjoys the company, but with Bellatrix LeStrange actively hunting him, how far can he trust a Death Eater's son? (H/D -- mostly friendship, progressing to mild slash) Sixth year. Rated R for unseemly behavior (drinking, stealing, and Dark Arts), occasional cursing (the non-magical sort), and off-screen violence.
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Chapter 39 - The Dragon in the Sky

Chapter Summary:
As the end of the holiday nears, Harry waits for a sign

The Dragon In The Sky

As the Easter holidays progressed, Harry grew increasingly anxious. He did most of his homework up in the dormitory, where he would sit in the window seat, facing the Hogwarts gates. It was not an ergonomic position for writing, and his back ached by Monday. By the Saturday before the end of the holidays, he had not slept a full night in a week and could scarcely bring himself to eat. Even Dean, in the two days he had been back, had noticed there was something wrong.

"I don't want to talk about it," was what Harry answered whenever anyone asked him what he was upset about. He'd started the week saying "I'm fine," but by now that was so clearly untrue as to be absurd. Seamus Finnegan, who had been returned by his parents on Wednesday night, had not pressed the point, but had resumed working up in the room with Harry. Harry didn't know whether he was more irritated that he was being watched, or touched that Seamus cared.

Harry sat at the window, looking out towards the gates, trying to pretend he was working on his Defense Against the Dark Arts essay. It was the last night of the holidays; the last night something could happen. Harry thought that Draco could have been wrong -- perhaps Lucius merely wanted him home to keep an eye on him. Of course, he couldn't keep down the thought that perhaps their plan had failed -- or perhaps Draco had decided, after some time at home with his parents, that he was willing to become a Death Eater, after all.

In some ways, Harry thought, that would be worse than the plan failing and Draco getting killed. Draco would be here, his enemy again, and Harry would see him the day after Death Eater raids, and wonder whether or not he had been there, and if he had killed anyone, and if he had enjoyed it.

Harry shuddered, and Susara shifted on his arm.


," he said.

To the side, Seamus twitched.

"You do that too much, now,"

Susara scolded. "Are you sick?"


Harry said. "Draco is in danger." He stroked her golden scales gently. "You were for me to talk to when he was gone, he said."

"Is he gone forever?"

"I don't know, beautiful."

"Harry," Seamus said weakly. "Do you have any idea how creepy that sounds?"

"Sorry." Harry looked over at Seamus, who actually left the desk and came over to sit, facing Harry, on the window seat. Seamus looked searchingly at Harry.

"If you were to tell me now," he said, 'that you were fine, I would not believe you."

"I haven't tried," Harry pointed out.

"I'd noticed." Seamus looked down at the dark wood, then up again. "Harry," he said kindly, "don't fret over Malfoy."

Harry stared. "How do you know it's Malfoy?" he asked, astonished.

"Well, you've been like this since he left, haven't you? And you're wasting away like a man that's lain with a Sidhe."

"A what?"

Seamus waved his arms vaguely in front of him. "A ... a sort of fairy. Not the real kind, the kind in folk tales, before they became harmless, wee things. The Sidhe, the Fair Folk, the Gentry -- beautiful creatures, pale as moonlight, cold and soulless. . . ."

Harry had to smile. "First," he said, "Draco is not soulless. Second, I haven't 'lain with' him."

"Really?" Seamus's eyes widened in astonishment. "A blow to what everybody knows, then."

"What!" Harry yelped. "People think I'm ... er ... bedding Draco?"

"What else would we think?" Seamus asked reasonably. "The only good thing to say about him is he's pretty." He looked curiously at Harry. "Do you mean it?"


Seamus, to Harry's surprise, frowned at Harry's reply.

"Might be you should, then," he said.

"What? Why?"

"Get it out of your system," Seamus advised, nodding. "Bugger the git a few times, and you'll realize he's nothing but a sweet bit of arse."

Harry goggled. "Seamus!" he managed finally. Seamus looked at him quizzically.

"What?" Seamus asked innocently. "Was that too vulgar?"

"Yes! Besides, I like Draco."

Seamus twitched. "Well," he said carefully, "that's what worries us. If you just wanted to screw him, that would be fine. Half the sixth years would, provided they could get him kissed by a Dementor first. That you might like him -- that's frightening, Harry. If you like him, we start thinking it may be it's time to stop trusting you. The last few years may have gotten to you."

"He's better than you think," Harry protested.

"Harry. Don't you know what Draco's father is?"

"I know," Harry growled. "I've watched him crawl to kiss the hem of his master's robe. But that's not Draco. Draco's all right, really."

"I see." Seamus was smiling again. "He's playing an act for everyone but you?"

"Pretty much."

Seamus laughed. "Ah, just bed him, Harry. You'll be over it soonest that way."

"I don't want to bed him!" Harry insisted.

Seamus rolled his eyes. "Well, how about bedding yourself, then," he suggested lightly. "You look like death warmed over."

"I'm waiting."

"For the train tomorrow?"

"For sunrise."

Seamus scowled. "Bed," he ordered. "Now."

Harry was too tired to argue. He decided he'd just get up once the others were in bed and asleep. Still dressed, he lay down on his side, keeping his face towards the window. He could see what he thought was the right section of sky. . . .

The small clearing was ringed with figures in black -- hooded, masked, and cloaked. In the middle, a tall, thin figure stood, his misshapen face gleaming white as bone. Two others stepped forward, into the ring. One, like the those in the ring, was hooded, masked, and cloaked. The second was a bareheaded youth. His fair hair gleamed silver in the moonlight, and his pale eyes glittered like stars. The hooded figure stepped back to leave him alone in front of the master.

"Draco Malfoy," Lord Voldemort said, his voice high and cold.

The youth inclined his head. "My lord," he said respectfully, his clear words ringing through the night. "I am honored by your summons. How may I serve you?"

"With all your life, your soul, your will," the dark lord hissed. The youth raised his head still higher.

"All at your command, my lord," he said.

"You will take the Mark."

"Gladly my lord," the youth said. He glanced down. "However, there is a complication."

Voldemort's red eyes closed to slits at this oddly conversational pronouncement. "Complication?" he repeated coldly.

"You have certainly heard of my companion at school, my lord," the youth said.

The snake-faced man hissed wordlessly.

"He has given me a token, my lord, to protect me from you."

Tight laughter rose from the ringing figures. The youth reached under his collar and pulled forth a cord.

"I may need your help to free myself of this, my lord." The youth loosened the binding about the object on the cord. Voldemort bent closer. Draco slid his fingers down the cord and to the uncovered object. "Idiot Mudblood," he spat. He vanished.

Harry woke gasping with pain. His scar burned like a fresh brand. Stumbling, he rose from the bed and staggered to the window. A spray of silver sparks rose beyond the gate and shaped itself into a rearing dragon. Harry fell to his knees before his trunk and threw it open. The Firebolt was on top, as it had been all week. He took it and climbed up onto the window seat. The pain was fading, now, and his movements were surer.

"Harry?" An urgent whisper cut through the dark as Harry stepped up into the window embrasure, his broom held out before him. He recognized Seamus's voice.

"Go to sleep," he urged. "I'm fine."

"Get down!"

"I've go to go. Don't worry. Done it before." Harry heard Seamus stumble out of bed. Frantically, Harry threw himself clear of the window and onto the Firebolt. As he plunged downward, trying to find the union with his mount, he heard Seamus's scream fading behind him.

Harry didn't have time to worry about Seamus, and what he may have thought. He caught the broom and brought it back up, angling around the castle. He found the windows he had determined belonged to Dumbledore's office. They were dark. Harry tried not to think about the things that could go wrong -- Dumbledore's sleeping quarters might not be near the office, Fawkes might not be willing to fetch the headmaster, the windows might be proofed against sound from outside....

He reached the phoenix window and banged on it. A few seconds later, he banged on it again. A light flickered behind the thick, textured glass, enabling him to see vaguely though it. Something red moved towards the window -- Harry could not tell if it was Fawkes, or a part of Dumbledore's robes. He hammered a third time. Glancing behind him, he could see figures approaching rapidly through the air, several of them, with one smaller and out in front, looking smaller still for how flat he lay to his broom.

Something on the far side of the window clicked. The glass-paned panel rotated in. Harry shot through the embrasure, relieved to find he fit easily.

"Harry?" a mild voice queried.

Harry stumbled from his broom. He could hear the rush of air behind him. "Down!" he yelled, as he tackled Dumbledore. A spell crackled outside the window, and Draco, screaming and convulsing with pain, shot through the space and crashed into the chair by Dumbledore's desk.

"What!" Dumbledore cried, but Harry was on his feet, slamming the window shut. Not waiting for an explanation, Professor Dumbledore pulled out his wand and, pointing it at the window, muttered a quick charm. A light flared around the frame.

Draco groaned.

"Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Potter, if you would --"

"Death Eaters, sir," Draco said suddenly, twisting to his knees. "At least five of them. They followed me on to the grounds --"

Dumbledore rose. He looked down at Draco, his brows drawn in puzzlement. "Your arm, Mr. Malfoy."

Harry would have misunderstood, he thought, but Draco quickly pulled up his left sleeve and showed his arm to Dumbledore. The headmaster bent to run his hand along it, his eyes closed in concentration. Abruptly, he straightened.

"Neither of you are to leave this room, do you understand?"

"Yes sir," Harry said. Draco nodded.


Dumbledore murmured something to Fawkes, who promptly vanished. Then, moving unusual quickly, he left the room. The door clicked shut behind him. A few minutes later, they heard McGonagall's voice announcing that all students should report to their common rooms and stay there until contacted by their head of house.

Harry sank to the floor and leaned back against the desk. Draco was still on his knees, trembling.

"Cruciatus?" Harry asked.

Draco nodded mutely.

"Here," Harry motioned him over, and Draco crawled close enough to reach. "You're safe," Harry murmured. "It's all right, now." Draco leaned against him and wept.

It was a few minutes before Draco's breath steadied. Despite worries about what was happening outside, Harry couldn't help but think about his conversation with Seamus. He looked down at Draco's bent head, and breathed slightly on Draco's pale hair, making it shift and glimmer in the lantern light. Draco was dressed in voluminous black clothes that showed nothing of his body, but Harry could feel it, currently pressed rather warmly against his side.

He twitched.

"I know what you're thinking," Draco said, lifting his head and shifting slightly, so that his upper body was no longer against Harry's.

"Oh?" Harry did his best to sound confused.

"We really should look. I just don't want to."

Harry redirected his attention toward the window. There was a suddenly flash from outside, then a series of crashing, scraping noises that sounded distant, but loud. Pushing Draco from him, Harry ran to the window. He couldn't see through the uneven glass. He put a hand on the latch, but Draco stopped him.

"Something --"

"No, Harry." Draco pulled out his wand. "Claritas," he said, and the glass grew so clear as to be invisible. Harry rolled down the wick on the lantern and turned it to face away from them. They looked outside.

One of the greenhouses had collapsed. Around it, people on broomsticks swooped and dove, sparks flew from wands, and several long-armed creatures leapt and clutched. Harry saw one of the fliers become entangled in vines from another's wand, and plummet from his broomstick to the quiris below.

After that, the battle changed to a rout. Two of the three remaining Death Eaters, distinguishable by their loose black robes, turned to flee, and two of the staff turned to pursue them. It wasn't until the pursuers returned, perhaps summoned back, that Harry realized the remaining Death Eater, who was standing in conference with the school's defenders, must be Snape. The fight was over. A number of people were still standing, and he could see shapes that might be bodies on the ground. As he watched, someone set one of the shapes, now clearly a body, floating in the air, and began to walk it up to the castle.

"I'm safe, then," Draco said flatly. "Nothing to do but wait for the bill." He slid down the wall to sit on the floor, and leaned his head back, his eyes closed. Harry studied him.

Yes, he is beautiful,

Harry thought. But I've always known that. It doesn't matter, does it?

"I just hope none of the staff were killed," Draco said tonelessly, after several minutes of silence. "Dumbledore will hate me."

Harry laughed.

Draco's eyes flew open. "Is that funny?" he growled.

"I was just thinking I must be the most shallow person in the world, the way my own thoughts were going, but you may have beat me out for it."

"I wasn't expecting them to chase me all the way to here!" Draco protested. "They were supposed to give up and leave!"

"Maybe the quiris wouldn't let them."

"Those ... things were quiris?!" Draco shuddered. "No wonder you were pulling back!" He let out a long breath. "Could be. I never told Father about them. What were you thinking, then?"

Harry shook his head. "Not now."

"Tell me."


"Come on, Harry. I want to know!"

"Later, Draco. I mean it. This is not the time."

Draco scowled. At that moment, however, they heard the whisper of voices on the spiral stair. Draco stumbled to his feet. Dumbledore opened the door and stepped inside, and Professor Horsyr followed, her fair hair and gold robes streaked with black ash and her wand emitting an unusual golden light. Draco pressed back against the wall.

Dumbledore passed Harry and Draco and took a seat behind his desk. He gave the lantern more wick, lit the fire in the grate with a quick wave of his wand, and settled back.

"Perhaps, Mr. Malfoy," he said wearily, "we should start with your account. Please excuse me, but you are not a person I expect to see fleeing Death Eaters." His eyes traveled once down Draco's Death Eater robes. "Especially dressed in that manner."

Draco nodded nervously and stepped forward. He opened his mouth, but didn't seem able to say anything. After a moment, Dumbledore turned his attention to Harry.

"Mr. Potter?" he asked.

Harry moved forward and tentatively rested a hand on Draco's back. "Draco?" he whispered. "It's your story. Go ahead."

Draco nodded wordlessly, and shifted closer to Harry. Dumbledore's eyes flicked briefly between them. Harry wondered if Dumbledore was part of the "everyone" who assumed that Draco was his lover. It seemed unlikely that the old wizard would be that easily mislead.

"I --" Draco started. He swallowed. "My father, sir. . . ."

"I know many things about your father," Dumbledore said mildly, "including that he pursued you onto the Hogwarts grounds tonight. Please continue."

Draco nodded. A portion of his usual poise seemed to return to him. Harry wondered how deeply Draco was conditioned against betraying his father's secrets.

"When my father ordered me to come home for the holidays, Professor," Draco said, "I was certain he intended to present me to the Dark Lord. I ... I had decided I didn't want to do it, sir. I don't want to be ... one of them. Not really."

"I am a bit surprised," Professor Dumbledore said mildly, his eyes again moving to Harry, "but pleased. However, escaping from Voldemort is not an easy task."

"Harry helped me, sir. And ... and Hermione Granger." Dumbledore's eyes widened noticeably at that, but he did not comment. "We made a portkey that brought me to the Shrieking Shack, where I'd left my broom. Then I apparated to the gates, signaled Harry, and flew here. I was afraid he wouldn't see..."

"I had a vision," Harry contributed. "As I often do when they meet. I saw Draco being presented -- very deferential, Draco; it felt like a nightmare -- then he touched the portkey, and I woke with my scar burning, and I saw the dragon in the sky. So I took my broom and jumped out the window -- I'm afraid Seamus woke everyone, sir; he saw me and screamed -- and flew here to try to get you to open the window before Draco arrived."

"I see. What happened as you entered, Mr. Malfoy?" Dumbledore asked.

Draco tensed. "Father hit me with a Cruciatus Curse," Draco said. "Sir."

"You were fortunate not to fall."

"If I hadn't been on my way through the window, I would have died. You know that. So do I. I'm sure he did, too."

"Perhaps he realized you would make it through the window."

A high-pitched bark of laughter greeted that idea. Draco stopped himself, and coughed. "Perhaps. Not likely, but perhaps."

"Well." Dumbledore leaned forward. "Draco, I have both good and bad news for you, and I do not believe the two can be separated. All at once, then: One of the Death Eaters who pursued you, Mr. Goyle, died." Draco whimpered, then caught himself. His face went expressionless. "Two others were captured -- Mr. Nott, and your father."

Draco made no sound this time. He nodded comprehension, but his pallid face stayed blank.

"You have my protection from Voldemort for as long as you wish it," Dumbledore concluded. "Draco," he said gently, "I must ask you: will you testify against your father?"

Draco went completely stiff. For a long time, the room was silent. Harry didn't think anyone breathed. His own chest ached by the time Draco whispered, "Yes."

Dumbledore inclined his head. "Thank you, Draco. I know it is not easy for a Malfoy to publicly oppose another Malfoy, but Lucius must be stopped."

Draco's pale eyes flashed upwards. "He is mad!" he spat suddenly. "He has always been ruthless -- always taken what he wanted, damn everyone else, but since his lord has returned, he has gone completely mad. He'll torture anyone, for nothing but to prove he has no mercy. He cares for nothing but the Dark Lord's will --"

Draco broke off, shuddering. Professor Horsyr crossed to one of Dumbledore's cabinets and took a large bar of chocolate from it. She gave half of it to Draco.

"Draco," she asked gently, "have you received the Cruciatus Curse before now?"

"Yes," Draco whispered. Harry saw Dumbledore's jaw clench momentarily with anger. A second later, the headmaster had returned to looking quietly concerned.

Professor Horsyr merely nodded. "I thought you were recovering rather quickly." She gave a single square of the chocolate to Harry and another to Dumbledore, then took one herself, and nibbled at the edge of it. Absently, she ran her free hand through the air a few inches from Draco.

"I don't expect you can pet a quiri, now," she commented, frowning.

"No," Draco admitted. He looked anxiously at her. "Father's been catching up on my training, this week."

"Oh," she said. "Dear." She looked at Harry. "Harry, sweetie, cuddle him a bit more, will you? He needs that as much as the chocolate."

Which, Harry thought, was a true Professor Horsyr solution. He wondered, once more, if her regard for physical contact was innate, or acquired during her travels. Feeling rather awkward, Harry shifted his arm from Draco's back to his side. Draco stiffened briefly.

"Sorry," he whispered.

"For what?" Harry whispered back, tugging slightly. "Relax, now."

Draco relaxed against his side. Harry thought how seldom he noticed Draco was smaller than he was. Pushing the thought away, he looked up and met Dumbledore's gaze. For the first time this evening, a flicker of the headmaster's usual merriment twinkled in his eyes.

"What now?" Harry asked.

The twinkle died. Dumbledore surveyed Draco. "He can't go back to the Slytherin dormitory," he stated. "Even I could not keep him safe, there." Dumbledore sighed. "Take him back to Gryffindor, tonight, Harry, and tell anyone who objects that these were my orders. I trust our house not to do him permanent harm. Tomorrow, when we have sorted out the damage, I will devise a more acceptable long-term solution."

In the corridor, Harry put his arm back around Draco, who accepted the touch without comment, or indeed, any apparent notice. In his other arm, Harry carried both their brooms and Draco's cloak.

"Come on, now," Harry said. "I'll protect you." Draco nodded. Harry wished he'd say something about ridiculous Gryffindor heroes, but the Slytherin said nothing at all as they climbed the deserted stairs up to Gryffindor tower. Finally, they reached the portrait of the fat lady.

"Higgledy Piggledy," Harry said firmly. Draco snickered, which Harry found immensely cheering.

"And your friend, dear?" the fat lady asked, swinging open. Harry didn't answer her. The two-thirds of Gryffindor that was not away for the holidays were all gathered in the common room, and had all turned to look at the opening. Harry climbed through and pulled his charge after him.

For a split second, Harry was aware of everyone staring at him, some angry, some merely shocked, then ....

"Draco!" Hermione Granger dashed across the room, and grabbed Draco Malfoy into a hug. "I've been so worried!"

Hesitantly, Draco brought his arms up around her, then pulled her fiercely tight against him. "They chased me," he whispered, his face hidden in her unruly mass of hair. "Mr. Goyle died, and Father was captured, and I'll have to testify against him ..."

She held him.

Harry snuck a glance around the room and decided this might have been the best entrance they could have made. Everyone was too astonished to maintain any hostility. Even Ron hadn't managed to make it out of shock to jealousy.

Draco rubbed his face against Hermione's shoulder and stepped back. She stepped back as well, leaving a conventional social space between them. She turned to Harry.

"He can't stay here --" she began.

"Dumbledore's orders," Harry said, in a voice intended to carry. "He can't go back to Slytherin. It's only for one night -- Dumbledore says he'll make other arrangements in the morning."

Hermione sighed and rubbed her forehead. "Very well." She smiled at Draco. "Come have a seat, then."

Ron had started to recover. "Why can't he go to Slytherin?" he demanded. "That's where he belongs."

Draco, halfway across the room, stopped and sighed. "Because," he said clearly. "I refused the Mark."

A little buzz of whispering met this statement. Draco ignored it, except to raise his voice slightly. "I could have survived that," he said, "but these idiot Death Eaters decided to chase me all the way to Dumbledore's study. Goyle's father died, so he'll be out to kill me for personal reasons, and Nott's uncle was captured. I might be able to manage that, as well, but Father was captured, so any Slytherin who supports the Dark Lord -- and I'd put that at least half of my House -- will be out to kill me."

"Why kill you?" asked Ron. "I mean --"

"So I can't testify." Draco looked steadily at Ron. "I'm the best witness the prosecution will get. I can tell them what he's taught me, what he's shown me, what he's done to me.... the Dark Lord will be weakened if my father is convicted. Lucius Malfoy's name and money and pedigree have an influence far beyond the reach of the Imperius Curse. There are people who will do whatever Father says is best for the wizarding world -- no fuss, no Unforgivables."

"Cornelius Fudge," Harry said.

Draco nodded. "He was one. There are still others." He shuddered and stepped closer to Harry. "So I must dishonor my name to destroy his power," he muttered.

"If your name is dishonored by you saying what he did, it is not you that dishonored it," Hermione said sharply.

Draco looked at her, his head high, with almost his old arrogance. "A Malfoy does not criticize another Malfoy in public," he said. "It is not done."

Harry took Draco's hand and tugged on it. "Come here, Dragon," he coaxed. "Sit."

Hermione was moving all her books off a section of couch, creating sufficient room for Harry and Draco to sit on one side of her. Ron settled warily back in an adjoining chair.

"I know I've heard your father take you to task in public," Harry said mildly. He tried settling an arm around Draco's shoulders, again, and Draco shifted compliantly back against him.

"It's not the same, Harry. You know that."

"I know. But what's your alternative?"

Draco snorted. "Let him off, and wait for him to kill me. No, Lightning, I'll testify, thank you." He looked over at Hermione, who had resumed reading. "Incidentally, Granger?"

Hermione didn't look up. "Hmm?"

"Thank you for your help, Hermione. If you wish, I'll stand up at dinner tomorrow and say you're the cleverest pupil at Hogwarts."

Hermione giggled. "That's sweet, but aren't you in enough trouble?"

"I suppose. Perhaps I should wait until I find out where I'm sleeping."

A few minutes later, the portrait hole swung open. Draco straightened, and Harry moved fractionally away from him, so they were not quite touching. Professor McGonagall entered the common room. Dirt smudged her cheek, and strands of hair had escaped from her bun, but she wore a clean robe and pointed hat.

"Good evening," she said. "Sorry to have everyone out of their beds. As you may know, the school was attacked, tonight."

There were murmurs, but no exclamations. McGonagall looked around the room, and spotted Draco.

"Yes, then," she said. "I'm sure our Slytherin guest has told you how it happened. Rest assured, none of the Hogwarts staff were critically injured. However, both Professor Sprout and Professor Flitwick will be in the hospital wing for a few days, and Greenhouse Two was destroyed. After breakfast tomorrow, and for any Herbology and Charms classes you have scheduled on Monday or Tuesday, please report to Greenhouse One for salvage and rebuilding assignments.

"For now, you should all go to bed, so you are well rested for the work tomorrow. Mr. Malfoy, you will find your trunk and a sleeping bag up in the sixth year boys dormitory. Please behave yourself while in Gryffindor Tower."

She peered curiously at Draco for a moment, then started to turn away. Draco stood up.

"Professor McGonagall?"

She regarded him over the tops of her glasses. "Yes, Mr. Malfoy?"

"I ... I wanted to apologize about the notebook, Professor. I... It was my carelessness to let politically fatal information get into something I was using in public, not yours. But if you'd read anything I wrote about ... about him, I wouldn't have had a chance."

Professor McGonagall looked almost sympathetic. She nodded. "I understand, Mr. Malfoy. And I apologize for assuming otherwise."

McGonagall left. Hermione immediately gathered her books, and began the thankless task of herding all the students back to bed.

Chapter 40: During a brief lull, Draco and Harry talk.