Chapter 18 - Traps and How to Spring Them

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"Okay, what is this all about?" Pansy asked as she walked into the classroom they had chosen for the clandestine meeting.

It was nearly midnight and they'd all snuck out separately, having arranged the gathering by note.

"Harry and I are leaving the summer classes for a while," Draco said, once Ron had closed the door.

"So the sabotage is aimed at you?" Pansy said, looking directly at Harry.

He nodded.

"But that's not how we're going to spin it," he said.

"If the person doing this realises we're on to them they might just stop," Draco said.

"And that's bad why?" Ron asked.

"Because we want to catch them," Harry replied.

"We think this is Ministry sanctioned," Draco added.

"Fudge," Hermione said.

It seemed they were all of a like mind when it came to Ministry incompetence.

"Merlin's balls," Pansy said as if she was just realising something, "they're testing their hero."

"That was our conclusion too, Pans," Draco said with a nod.

"The moronic fools," was Pansy's conclusion on that.

"Fudge tried to have my wand broken once," Harry said. "He's been petrified of me ever since I tried to tell him Voldemort was back."

"He probably wet himself when he found out what you are," Pansy said, shaking her head.

"So you think it's one of the Aurors?" Hermione asked, pulling them back onto the main subject.

"The headmaster thinks one of them is an Unspeakable undercover," Harry said.

"That would make sense," Hermione agreed. "The saboteur has been using hideously complicated magic."

"I thought Dumbledore arranged everyone though," Ron pointed out. "Didn't he check them?"

"He said there were a few who were forced on him," Harry revealed. "I get the feeling he had to compromise to make the summer school happen."

"Also typical of Fudge," Hermione said.

Harry wasn't going to disagree with that.

"So the official story will be we are having our own classes because of Harry's unique abilities," Draco said.

"But?" Pansy asked.

"We will also be circulating the rumour that it's actually because I went totally ballistic after the latest incident and demanded Harry be taken out of the line of fire," Draco added.

Pansy lifted her eyebrows and slowly nodded.

"Makes sense," she said, "and we're here because?"

"The atmosphere is very tense because of what's been happening," Harry stepped in now. "If it looks like I'm being dragged out of things because of what the Gryffindors might see as Slytherin cowardice, it could wreck any peace we have going on at the summer school. We want you to make sure that doesn't happen."

Pansy looked over at Hermione and Ron, who were looking back at her. It wasn't as if everything was all sweetness and light between them yet, but the open hostility was gone.

"While you two paint targets on your backs, I suppose?" Hermione asked after a moment.

"Dumbledore has a plan," Draco said. "Don't worry, I'm not about to let Harry endanger himself any more than necessary."

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