21st December 1996:
I accidentally gatecrashed into Slughorn’s stupid Christmas party today. I was trying to be subtle and go to the Room but the idiotic caretaker, Filch, caught me. The idiot grabbed me by the ear. “Ouch!” I howled. But he ignored me. He looked so happy catching me out of bed.
When we reached Slughorn, my eyes widened. It was extravagantly decorated. It was so large. He’d probably used an Undetectable Extension Charm. There was crimson and green everywhere.
I saw Eldred Worple, the author of Blood Brothers: My Life Amongst the Vampires. It was an amazing book. And when I looked closely, he had a vampire with him! Why has he got a vampire here?! He’s a danger to everyone in this party, I thought. Slughorn himself was somewhere speaking to someone in his ear-splitting booming voice.
Who else was he talking to but Potter! And Snape was with him. Goodness, Snape. He’s been trying to interfere in my plans the whole time. It’s such a pain. So I’d stolen the Polyjuice Potion from Slughorn and got Crabbe and Goyle to change into girls and guard the Room while I was working.
Back to the party, Filch wheezed, “Professor Slughorn, I discovered this boy lurking in an upstairs corridor. He claims to have been invited to your party and to have been delayed in setting out. Did you issue him with an invitation?”
I pulled myself free of Filch’s grip.
“All right, I wasn’t invited!” I said angrily. “I was trying to gatecrash, happy?”
“No, I’m not!” said Filch, a statement at complete odds with the glee on his face. “You’re in trouble, you are! Didn’t the Headmaster say that night-time prowling’s out, unless you’ve got permission, didn’t he, eh?”
“That’s all right, Argus, that’s all right,” said Slughorn, waving a hand. “It’s Christmas, and it’s not a crime to want to come to a party. Just this once, we’ll forget any punishment; you may stay, Draco.”
I was frustrated and unhappy but was careful not to show it. I had to get to the Room of Requirement.
Filch shuffled away, muttering under his breath. I composed my face into a smile and began thanking Slughorn for his generosity and started sucking up to him.
“It’s nothing, nothing,’ said Slughorn, waving away my thanks. “I did know your grandfather, after all …”
“He always spoke very highly of you, sir,” I said quickly. “Said you were the best potion-maker he’d ever known …”
Suddenly, Snape said, “I’d like to have a word with you, Draco.”
“Oh, now, Severus,” said Slughorn, hiccoughing again, “it’s Christmas, don’t be too hard —”
“I’m his Head of House, and I shall decide how hard, or otherwise, to be,” said Snape curtly. “Follow me, Draco.”
He led me down a corridor.
“Why’ve you got me here?” I asked him rudely.
Ignoring my question he said “What did you do to the Bell girl? You cannot afford mistakes, Draco, because if you’re expelled —”
“I didn’t have anything to do with it, all right?”
“I hope you are telling the truth, because it was both clumsy and foolish. Already you are suspected of having a hand in it.”
“Who suspects me?” I said angrily. “For the last time, I didn’t do it, OK? That Bell girl must’ve had an enemy no one knows about — don’t look at me like that! I know what you’re doing, I’m not stupid, but it won’t work — I can stop you!”
There was a pause. I felt Snape trying to sift through my brain. I quickly used Occlumency. I’d never felt more grateful to Aunt Bellatrix for teaching me it.
“Ah … Aunt Bellatrix has been teaching you Occlumency, I see. What thoughts are you trying to conceal from your master, Draco?”
“I’m not trying to conceal anything from him, I just don’t want you butting in!”
“So that is why you have been avoiding me this term? You have feared my interference? You realise that, had anybody else failed to come to my office when I had told them repeatedly to be there, Draco —”
“So put me in detention! Report me to Dumbledore!” I jeered.
There was another pause. Then Snape said, “You know perfectly well that I do not wish to do either of those things.”
“You’d better stop telling me to come to your office, then!”
“Listen to me,” said Snape, his voice very low. “I am trying to help you. I swore to your mother I would protect you. I made the Unbreakable Vow, Draco —”
“Looks like you’ll have to break it, then, because I don’t need your protection! It’s my job, he gave it to me and I’m doing it. I’ve got a plan and it’s going to work, it’s just taking a bit longer than I thought it would!”
“What is your plan?”
“It’s none of your business!”
“If you tell me what you are trying to do, I can assist you —”
“I’ve got all the assistance I need, thanks, I’m not alone!”
“You were certainly alone tonight, which was foolish in the extreme, wandering the corridors without lookouts or backup. These are elementary mistakes –”
“I would’ve had Crabbe and Goyle with me if you hadn’t put them in detention!”
“Keep your voice down!” spat Snape, for my voice had risen. “If your friends Crabbe and Goyle intend to pass their Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. this time around, they will need to work a little harder than they are doing at pres —”
“What does it matter?” I questioned him. “Defence Against the Dark Arts — it’s all just a joke, isn’t it, an act? Like any of us need protecting against the Dark Arts —“
“It is an act that is crucial to success, Draco!” said Snape. “Where do you think I would have been all these years, if I had not known how to act? Now listen to me! You are being incautious, wandering around at night, getting yourself caught, and if you are placing your reliance on assistants like Crabbe and Goyle —”
“They’re not the only ones, I’ve got other people on my side, better people!”
“Then why not confide in me, and I can —“
“I know what you’re up to! You want to steal my glory!”
There was another pause, then Snape said coldly, “You are speaking like a child. I quite understand that your father’s capture and imprisonment has upset you, but —”
I couldn’t bear to listen to him for even one more moment. I burst open the door and walked past Slughorn’s office. I went to the dorms and started packing for the holidays.
I hate Snape. I hate Snape, so, so much.
To learn more about Polyjuice Potion, click on the link below: https://www.wizardingworld.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/polyjuice-potion.