"You're going to regret this, Potter." Draco glared down the length of his wand at his opponent.
Potter glared back, his face twisted into a scowl. "I seriously doubt it."
"Harry!" the mudblood hissed from the side of the room. "Don't do this!"
Draco ignored her and kept his gaze focused on Potter. The Room of Requirement had provided them with a large white circle in the middle of the floor, the perfect size for a proper wizard duel. A bright light shone down on them from an unseen source, casting contorted shadows on the floor beneath them. The walls of the room were lined with curious onlookers from all houses; most of them were whispering encouragement to Potter, of course.
Draco smirked. "This is your last chance. There are no rules."
Potter's eyes hardened further. "I've stood in a dueling circle across from Voldemort and lived to tell about it," he said. "What makes you think you'll do any better?"
The room erupted in murmurs. Draco swallowed, but didn't let his wave of anxiety show. It was probably a lie, or at best, an exaggeration. He would ask his father about it -- as soon as the man was freed.
Zacharias Smith stepped into the center of the circle. Both boys nodded at him, then turned to face opposite directions. Draco heard Smith's shuffling footsteps leave the circle, and waited for the count. "Three... two... one--"
Draco whirled and focused his energy into his fingertips, pressing his hate and anger towards Potter with all his might. He had a spell ready for this, one that would get rid of Potter for good. He opened his mouth and spoke the words -- but he heard Potter's voice, a split second faster, shouting the same spell.
Even as the world swirled around him, he wondered how the hell Potter had learned such dark magic. And how had he cast the spell before Draco?
He felt himself falling, and only then did panic set in. He didn't know what the spell did; the book had only described it as a way to banish an enemy. He opened his mouth to shout, but nothing came out. He couldn't make sense of what he was seeing or hearing, only that he was moving very fast.
And then he landed on his feet.
He heard a strange sort of buzzing sound, followed by a gasp of voices. It hadn't worked. He wasn't dead. He wouldn't have to face his father's wrath for screwing up yet one more--
"Who are you?"
That wasn't Potter's voice. Draco opened his eyes.
He was standing in a room very much like the one he had left, in a circle. The walls of the room were lined with onlookers, dressed in robes not unlike his schoolmates. They were young, too, appearing to range in age from 12 to 20. He recognized none of them.
The buzzing sound caught his attention, and he turned towards the center of the circle. A boy Draco's age was standing there, holding a glowing sword, staring at him through hard eyes. Draco swallowed -- it felt as if the boy were looking right through him.
"Who are you?" the boy repeated. "And where's Ferus?"
"Ferus?" Draco repeated. He couldn't take his eyes off the glowing sword.
"Ferus Olin," the boy said, lowering the sword just a little. "We were... we were going to spar, to settle something, and he just disappeared. Where did you come from?"
"I don't--" Draco began.
"I can't feel him," someone said. Draco nearly started at the sight of the voice's owner, a strange creature with long spindly limbs. It most certainly wasn't human, though it walked and spoke like one. "He's a void."
The people in the room began whispering again, stepping closer. Draco felt panic rise in his throat. They wanted to feel him? He raised his wand and tried his best to look menacing. "I'm warning you... whatever you are, that I can defend myself--"
The boy across the circle raised his hand, and Draco's wand flew into it. Draco's stomach dropped. Wandless magic? They didn't study that at Hogwarts. Maybe he had appeared at some other wizarding school, one he'd never heard of before.
The boy examined Draco's wand, then tucked it into an imposing belt around his waist. He stepped toward Draco, eyes narrow. Draco stood his ground, trying to stretch himself up to appear as tall as possible. The boy was taller than him, with short spiky hair, except for a single braid that trailed over his shoulder. His blue eyes were piercing.
"Anakin, we should tell Master Yoda," the spindly creature said.
The boy didn't take his eyes off of Draco's. "Not yet," he said. "I want to know what he did with Ferus first."
Something about the boy reminded Draco intensely of his father, and he swallowed, hard.
Author's Chapter Notes:
This part written by me (Emma Grant). Originally posted here .