Harry frowned. He was certain he had left it hanging over the end of his bed. He knelt down and looked under the bed just in case but there was nothing, not even dust bunnies thanks to the diligent house elves.
“Neville, have you seen my hoodie? The red one I was wearing yesterday?” Harry asked.
“He’s down in the common room,” Neville said, not bothering to look up from his little windowsill garden.
Harry’s brow furrowed in confusion, “What?”
“Malfoy’s down in the common room,” Neville said absently. He glanced up at Harry’s prolonged silence and shrugged, “Who else would take it?”
“Thanks,” Harry said hurriedly, heading out of the room and down the hallway to the common room.
Sure enough, there was a red-clad figure laying on one of the couches by the fire. He was slumped down so his neck was at an awkward angle he’d come to regret later, hood pulled up and hiding most of his ridiculous blond hair, sleeves pulled down over his fingers. He had a book balanced on his chest about three inches from his face. Harry rather suspected that Draco was in dire need of a pair of reading glasses but would rather die than admit it.
Harry walked over, stopping in front of the couch to demand, “Give it back.”
“No,” Draco said flatly turning a page and squinting at the tiny type.
Harry sighed and scrubbed his hand through his hair, “Come on, all the rest are being washed.”
“I know,” Draco said smugly.
“You’re the worst, why are you like this?” Harry groaned.
Draco twitched an eyebrow up, “Have you met my father?”
Harry frowned and grabbed the bottom of the hoodie Draco was wearing.
“What are you doing!” Draco sputtered, his book falling on his chest as he grabbed Harry’s wrists, pushing back down.
“Taking. my. hoodie. back,” Harry said through gritted teeth.
He pushed up harder and Draco pulled down. The book slid to the floor with a thump. Harry climbed onto the couch, a knee between Draco’s legs. The hoodie along with Draco’s shirt rode up his chest as they struggled. Draco raised his free foot and braced it on Harry’s shoulder to shove him back and Harry furiously leant against it. Until Draco’s foot slipped and Harry tumbled onto Draco in a heap that left them both breathless.
“Fuck,” Draco groaned, “Are you made of lead, Potter?”
Harry tried not to laugh, he really did, but Draco’s pouty frown pushed him over the edge and he started laughing so hard he had to hold onto the couch to keep from falling off.
Draco rather unsuccessfully fought down a smile, “Arsehole.”
Sitting at a small table nearby Ron groaned, “Merlin, they’re doing it again.”
Hermione smiled fondly, her chin propped on her hand, “I think it’s cute.”
“This is torture. I’m going to the library,” Ron said, shoving his parchment in his bag, “They don’t even realise, how do they not realise?”
“I’ll come with you,” Hermione smiled, twirling her wand and sending all her books and parchments neatly into her bag, “They’ll figure it out eventually.”
“And then they’ll be worse!” Ron grabbed his bag, “You know they will be!”
Hermione smiled and took Ron’s arm, “You’ll be fine, I promise.”
“Potter. Potter. Potter!”
Harry looked up from his plate across the table at Draco with a frown, “What? I’m right here, you don’t have to shout, you twat.”
“Then answer the first time,” Draco sniffed.
Harry rolled his eyes, “What do you want?”
“Do you want my potatoes?” He pushed his plate halfway across the table.
Harry frowned at them, “What’s wrong with them?”
“There’s nothing wrong with them. You ate some of them, you daft wanker.”
Harry made a face at him, “What’s wrong with yours then?”
“Merlin save me,” Draco muttered, briefly pressing his fingers to his forehead. “I just don’t want them.”
“Don’t you like the roasted potatoes?” Harry asked.
“No.” Draco said flatly, “Now do you want them or not.”
Ron leant over and pointed at Draco with his fork, “Liar. I’ve seen you eating them.”
“On occasion,” Draco said stiffly.
“They’re one of your favourites,” Ron went on mercilessly.
Draco glared at him, “Well today they’re not.”
“They’re Harry’s favourites too,” Ron said.
“So?” Draco said.
“They’re the first dish to run out,” Ron said with mounting frustration, “You could just be honest and say you got them for him.”
Draco gave him a cold look and then turned away like Ron had ceased to exist. He picked up his plate and dumped the potatoes onto Harry’s plate and then stood up. “It’s not my fault you’re too scrawny,” he said and marched off.
“Hey! I am not!” Harry yelled after, standing as well. He went to follow and hesitated, glancing at his plate and quickly shovelling down the potatoes before running after him.
Ron slowly dropped his forehead onto the table with a thump, “They’re going to be the death of me… If I don’t strangle them with my bare hands first.”
Hermione patted his back sympathetically, “Well, you tried.”
“I thought the eighth year game was finished?” Hermione asked as she came down to the front of the stands and sat next to Ron on a bench.
Ron nodded, slightly leant forward as he watched the two figures hanging motionless above them, “Yeah… we played without seekers, first to three hundred. Afterwards, those two stayed to play a seeker game.”
Hermione craned her neck up, “Malfoy and Harry?”
“Harry’s caught it twice. Malfoy was pissed and tried to leave but Harry talked him into one more game.” Ron never took his eyes away from them as they slowly circled above.
Then Draco dived, his eyes locked on a shining golden movement below. Harry followed instinctively, with a curling sweeping turn that brought him closer, pushing his own dive deeper for more speed, closing the distance between them. Draco glanced back and then flattened himself to his broom with a scowl of determination. Harry was nearly at his side as they raced along the pitch, both of them fixated on the little golden ball. The snitch veered right, away from Harry, and Draco turned with it, his whole body stretching out into the turn, lunging out and- he stopped, slowly pulling his hand towards him, only the snitch’s little golden fluttering wings visible from his fist.
“He did it!” Hermione cried.
Ron cupped his hands around his mouth, “Good on ya, Malfoy!!”
Draco looked over at them briefly, eyes wide with shock, and then back down at the snitch in his hand.
Harry flew over, nearly knocking them both off their brooms as he threw his arms around Draco in a boisterous hug, “Merlin! That was amazing!”
Ron blindly reached out for Hermione’s hand, grasping it tightly.
Hermione’s eyes widened, “Do you see-?”
Ron nodded, his voice croaked out, “He’s blushing. Malfoy’s blushing. I think he’s finally realised”
Hermione squeezed Ron’s hand and they glanced at each other for just a second before their eyes were torn back to the scene in front of them.
Draco’s cheeks were flushed pink. His expression warred between confusion and embarrassment and that was being overtaken by a realisation that made his whole face turn red. He ducked out of Harry’s grip with a desperate half-heartedly complaint of, “Get off me, Potter,” and quickly descended onto the pitch, practically throwing himself off his broom and nearly running back towards the castle.
Ron and Hermione leant over the railing. Harry landed as well, looking utterly confused. He called after Draco as he ran to try and catch up but Draco ignored him.
“Thank Merlin, one of them has finally figured it out,” Ron said with a sigh of relief.
Hermione smiled briefly, “Yeah but… it’s Malfoy.”
Ron grimaced, “and he’s a coward.”
“And Harry’s awful when it comes to romantic stuff. He may never realise it, not if Malfoy’s trying to hide it,” Hermione added.
Ron stood, keeping hold of Hermione’s hand as they made their way out of the stand, “At least there’s hope now.”
“Maybe we can help things along?” Hermione suggested.
Ron glanced over and grinned, “I mean, we pretty much have to with those two.”
Draco frowned at his wand. The defensive shield they were practising was one of the most difficult and most powerful. Draco managed to cast it about one out of five times and he had no idea what he was doing wrong. He couldn’t possibly be more annoyed.
“Oi, Malfoy, you having trouble with this shielding spell?” Weasley asked.
Draco was wrong, he could be more annoyed. “I’m fine, Weasley,” he said, straightening his back and pretending he was perfectly confident. He didn’t want help, especially from a giant carrot of a human being.
Weasley cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted across the room, “Harry! Over here!”
Draco felt his cheeks start to flush and glared furiously at Weasley, hissing under his breath, “What are you doing?!”
Weasley gave him a jolly grin that was absolutely the most infuriating thing he had ever seen.
“What is it?” Potter asked as he edged around Seamus and Dean.
Weasley threw an easy arm over Potter’s shoulders and steered him over to Draco, “Our good friend, Ferret-face here, could use a little help, can’t quite get the hang of this spell.” He smiled like a jackal, smacked Potter on the shoulder hard enough to make him stumble and then hurried back to Granger.
Draco very much wanted to strangle Weasley with his own tie.
“You’re having trouble?” Potter asked.
Draco frowned, “No, of course not.” He nervously adjusted his grip and carefully cast the shielding spell. Nothing happened.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Potter tilt his head slightly to the side.
Draco gritted his teeth and quickly tried again. The shield poured from his wand in a haze of blue light at circled him in a sphere. He smirked triumphantly, “There, see? I can cast it perfectly fine.”
Potter was still looking at him in that curious puppy sort of way that made Draco want to blush.
“Can you do it again?” Potter asked.
He did not know if he could do it again. He really, really wanted to. He was fairly certain he’d die of embarrassment if he couldn’t. Draco practically held his breath as he tried the spell again. His wand made a rather horrifying fizzling sound and spat out a few blue sparks. Draco felt his face go hot.
“I see,” Potter said in a rather amicable teachery sort of way that indicated he hadn’t realised in the slightest how utterly mortified Draco was at that moment.
Then before Draco could say something, blame it on a headache or a stumbled syllable, Potter moved behind him, wrapped his hand around Draco’s wand hand.
He gently held onto the back of Draco’s hand, moving his wand in the small sharp movements the spell required, “I noticed that this spell works best if its cast as quickly as possible, so all the movements have to be very compact but still precise. Like this-”
Draco could feel Potter’s chest pressed to the back of his shoulder, their arms pressed perfectly together all the way down to his perfect gentle hold on Draco’s hand. He couldn’t focus on a single word coming out of Potter’s mouth, he couldn’t see his wand move, just the seam where their two hands met. Draco’s face felt so hot he couldn’t stand it.
He pulled away from Potter and practically ran out the door, mumbling something about being sick.
Hermione bit her lip, watching the furrow on Harry’s brow as he turned on his heel to watch Draco leave. “It was a good try,” she murmured out of the corner of her mouth, touching Ron’s forearm briefly, “I think we need a different tactic.”
Ron frowned, “What do you think then?”
“I have an idea, just let me talk to Harry, okay?” she said.
Ron nodded, “Alright.”
“Have either of you talked to Harry lately?” Neville paused to ask on his way out of the common room, his arms full of a faintly quivering fern.
Ron and Hermione looked up from the homework at Neville and then exchanged a look.
“What’s up?” Ron asked, “Seemed alright the last time I saw him.”
Neville nodded back towards the dorms, “He’s up there, pacing. I had to leave because he was agitating Matilda.” he looked down at his fern with a furrowed brow.
Ron looked over at Hermione, “It’s time?”
Hermione nodded. “I’ll talk to him,” she said, carefully marking her place in her book and putting it away.
Neville watched all this, his head cocked slightly to the side, “Need any help?” he offered hesitantly.
“I’ve got it,” Hermione said confidently.
Neville shrugged, “Well, I’m gonna head to the greenhouses so Matilda can socialise. It should calm her down.” He gave them a wave as he left.
“You sure you don’t need any help?” Ron asked Hermione.
Hermione shook her head, giving Ron a faint fond smile, “Later. This is just to push things in the right direction. It won’t take long.” She pushed her hair back, set her shoulders and marched up the boy’s dorm.
Inside, Harry was indeed wearing a hole in the rug, walking back and forth, staring at the floor blankly as he gnawed on a ragged thumbnail.
“Hello, Harry,” Hermione said, making her way to Ron bed in the middle of Harry’s pacing circuit and sat on the edge.
Harry stopped pacing, his head jerking up, “Hermione? Err, Hi?”
“Trouble?” Hermione asked.
“Uh, well,” Harry sighed, his brow furrowing again, “I- No?”
Hermione waited patiently.
“Maybe?” Harry said, a touch helplessly, pushing his hand through his hair, “I think I’ve done something wrong but I don’t know what.”
“What happened?” she asked.
“It’s Draco,” His hand, having done its duty to make Harry’s hair stand nearly straight up, smacked back down to his side, “He’s been avoiding me. Won’t talk to me. He hasn’t even been stealing my jumpers. I must have done something, or missed something…” he frowned and went back to chewing on his thumbnail.
“He fancies you,” Hermione said.
Harry froze, his eyes going wide, “Wha-?”
Hermione barely resisted rolling her eyes, “He fancies you,” she repeated, taking care to emphasise each word.
“He can’t- That doesn’t- There’s no way!” Harry sputtered.
“Seems obvious to me. Ron as well. You’ve never been very good at noticing when someone likes you. Or-” she said pointedly, “when you’ve developed a crush yourself.”
Harry stared at her mutely.
Hermione stood and primly straightened her robes, “So, of course, Malfoy’s going to avoid you. He’s probably scared. You’ve only ever fancied girls before so he doesn’t even have hope that you might like him back.”
“There’s no way…” Harry repeated numbly, still staring blankly at where Hermione had been sitting as she made her way back down to the common room.
Ron turned his chair as she walked over, “Did it work?”
Hermione sighed, sliding back into her chair, “ “Hard to say. At the very least he’ll be interpreting the information he gets through the correct lens.”
“What?” Ron’s brow furrowed.
“I mean,” Hermione said, “when he sees Malfoy being smitten, he’ll know instead of being confused and utterly wrong. Then he just has to work out his own emotions.”
“I know, but there’s really no way to hurry it along. ” Hermione patted him on the shoulder and took her book out again.
“They just need to spend more time around one another,” Ron said, forcing himself upright and grabbing a blank piece of parchment and his quill, “That’s all.”
“So I was thinking, for the eighth year quidditch teams, we could see if any other sixth or fifth year players wanted to join, just to fill out the roster,” Ron said, gesturing animatedly with his hands as they made their into the great hall for lunch.
Harry brow furrowed as they sat, “But we have enough players-”
“Enough people who can fly.” Ron said loading up his plate, “Just because Zabini knows how to use a broomstick doesn’t mean he has any talent, or interest for that matter, in being a chaser.”
“I suppose…” Harry conceded, his brow furrowing further. He glanced around, trying to figure out what seemed off.
“So-” Ron paused to shovel some sort of green bean concoction into his mouth- “wif a few fifh years and sifs years we can-”
Hermione sighed and leant in front of Harry to say, “Ron please finish your food, then talk. No one wants to see the process.”
Ron made a vague mph sound as he dutifully closed his mouth.
“That’s it-!” Harry pointed to Ron and Hermione on either side of him, “the two of you aren’t sitting together!”
“Like I want to be stuck listening to Ron go on about quidditch, I mean really,” Hermione said shortly, already digging a massive book from her bag and charming it float in front of her so she could read as she ate.
Ron shrugged and gestured for Harry to get some food. He still felt a prickle of unease at the back of his mind but he did his best to ignore it and began filling his plate.
“Malfoy!” Hermione called out, waving her hand like she did when she wanted to be called on by a professor.
Harry froze, staring blankly at his plate, his ears straining to hear what they were saying.
“Have you read Killgow’s Art of Potioneering?”
“I have,” Draco said warily.
“Excellent,” Hermione said, and as Harry glanced over, saw her grab Draco’s arm and pull him into the seat beside her, “I have some theories-”
She disappeared into potion theory, talking about compound reactions and differential magic effects, all of which Harry would have needed years worth of private tutoring to even know half of what she was saying. Draco was following her with nods and interjections, moving to a different page of Hermione’s book with a flick of his wand to highlight whatever point he was making.
It wasn’t until Draco glanced over at Harry and caught him staring that Harry realised he was staring and quickly looked back at his plate. He felt his cheeks grow hot and silently cursed himself. He ate a few bites of food to give himself something to do so that he wouldn’t be tempted to glance over again.
It was all Hermione’s fault.
Every since she had said that Harry couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Before he had been planning to talk with Draco, to try and figure out what he had done wrong. Now he didn’t know what to do.
Ron leant forward, suddenly entering Harry’s line of vision and making him jump. He called over to Hermione, “Hey, Mione, I was wondering if you’d look over my charms paper before I turn it in.”
Hermione pulled herself away from her discussion with Draco and frowned at Ron, “You should have asked earlier. How are you going to fix anything rightbefore class?”
Ron shrugged guiltily, “You could, check my spelling? If I’ve put something stupid in I could scratch it out.”
She sighed, “Fine.” Hermione stood and with a deft swish of her wand, Her plate leapfrogged over Harry’s and his slid underneath, her book dutifully moving back over her plate, now in front of him. “Trade places with me, Harry?” she said, already moving in a way that suggested her words were more or less a formality.
Harry hesitated, shooting a desperate glare at his best friends as he realised the source of all his unease was this- whatever they had planned. He reluctantly moved down a seat next to Draco.
Draco who was eating, or moving his food around on his plate in a very focused manner. He didn’t even look over as Harry took his new place.
Harry grabbed up a bread roll, very slowly cutting it in half and then smearing too much butter on it before setting it down on his plate, feeling too nervous to actually eat it. “Done much flying?” he asked, just to break the unbearable tension.
“No.” Draco said stiffly, “Studying, mostly.”
“Oh. Right.” Harry said faintly.
“We have exams coming up, as I’m sure you’re aware,” Draco said without any inflection whatsoever.
“Yeah…” he absently started to pull his roll apart with his fingers, “Never too early to get a start on those.”
“They are the most important exams of our lives.”
Harry nodded, as he glanced over, he noticed that Draco hadn’t eaten what little he had put on his plate, all of which looked worse than the bread roll mess on Harry’s plate. At least he had eaten something when he was trying not to stare. Harry looked at Draco himself and noticed faint shadows under his eyes and worried that he was looking thinner than before.
“Would you like the tea pot?” Harry asked, knowing that even in his worst moods, Draco always at least had tea.
Draco looked over and for just a second their eyes met, before Draco turned away, squeezing his eyes shut like he was in pain. “It’s fine. No tea. I’m fine.” He stood up and grabbed his bag, “Not really hungry anyway.”
Harry watched him leave, a tiny squeezing pain lodging itself in his chest. “Has he been eating much?” he turned and looked at Ron and Hermione who were watching him intently, no charms paper in sight, “Do you know? He looks thin.”
Ron shook his head and added a shrug.
Hermione said, “I don’t know but I haven’t exactly been watching Malfoy’s eating habits.”
“Not very well,” A light airy voice piped up from Hermione’s other side. Luna leaned into view, “I think Draco’s worried about something.”
Harry grabbed his bag and stood up, “I’m just gonna go to the kitchens. Maybe I can convince the house elves to send him something…” he hurried off, his friends watching him go.
“He hardly ate anything himself,” Ron said.
“I think your plan sucked.” Ginny draped her arms around Luna’s waist and rested her chin on Luna’s shoulder.
Ron frowned and said testily, “What do you know about anything.”
“Anyone can see what you two are up to,” Ginny said.
Luna smiled, “I think it’s sweet. Harry and Draco will be so happy once they’re together.”
“If you can manage a plan that isn’t utter rubbish,” Ginny said, raising an eyebrow.
Ron’s frown deepened into a glower, “It’s not like it’s going to work out all at once, is it? It’s like a chess game and in chess, how you move your pawns is just as important as how you move your queen!”
Ginny opened her mouth to retort but before she could say anything, Luna reached over and gently tugged on Ginny’s earlobe which had the strange effect of making her blush and go entirely silent. Luna turned back to Ron and Hermione, “What Ginny means is that we would like to help.”
“We have an idea,” Ginny added.
Luna nodded, “It’s quite good.”
“Ready?” Ginny murmured under her breath.
Luna nodded with a bright smile.
Ginny glanced over at Draco sitting in a chair nearby in the eighth year common room, reading a rather massive book held rather close to his face. He was one of four people in the common room at the time. No one gave the two seventh years much notice, they tended to come around the eighth year dorms quite often.
Luna elbowed her gently with a don’t give it all away look. Ginny helped her set up the ladder they had found and propped it against the wall.
Floating up against the ceiling were a dozen brightly coloured christmas baubles. Both Ginny and Luna looked up at them. Ginny put her hands on her hips, doing her best to hide her impatience.
Luna put her arm through Ginny’s holding it loosely, “Do you think we should transfigure a net maybe?”
Ginny shrugged but started looking around for something handy to transfigure.
They both turned when they heard footsteps approaching from the dorms.
Ginny fought down her grin.
Luna smiled as she always did and waved, “Hullo, Harry.”
Harry waved back a little awkwardly, “Uh, Hermione said you needed help?”
Luna nodded and pointed up towards the ceiling, “I accidentally charmed my favourite baubles to float.”
They all craned their necks up to look at the peacefully drifting ornaments.
“Couldn’t you just fly up on a broom?” Harry asked.
“Surprisingly, brooms don’t work here.” Ginny sighed and added a little sarcastically, “Can’t imagine why the Headmistress wouldn’t want students flying around their common rooms.”
“And you can’t just levitate them down,” Harry added.
“Oh no,” Luna said with concern, “They’re very fragile.”
Ginny went over to the firebox and grabbed a piece of kindling, transfiguring it into a butterfly net as she walked back to them, “I was going to get them down myself but Luna said I couldn’t.” She thrust the net into Harry’s hands.
“You have a game tomorrow,” Luna said, “It’s better to be safe. Besides, Harry’s much better at being injured.”
“Thanks,” Harry said ruefully. He looked the ladder over with distrust. He asked Ginny, “You’ll hold the ladder?”
Ginny nodded. Still holding her wand thoughtfully, she cast a lighten weight charm over Harry, “Just in case. I’ll be able to catch you,” she grinned and winked
“My hero,” Harry muttered, carefully climbing the faintly squeaking ladder until he was near the top of the high ceiling. He held on with one hand, his jaw clenched, as he stretched the net out and very carefully caught a bauble and pulled it down to himself. He removed the floating charm and took a few steps down to hand Luna a bauble. He repeated this eight more times, looking a little annoyed at he gave Luna the tenth one.
“Why did you charm these to float in the first place, Luna?” Harry asked.
Luna carefully took the blue glass orb and put it away in a fancy wooden box, “I wanted to make them dance,” she said matter-of-factly.
Harry rolled his eyes, “Right, of course.” he huffed a sigh and climbed up for the eleventh, scooped it up and swung the net down to let Luna pull it out herself, while he leaned against the top rung.
“Thank you for helping, Harry,” Luna said, holding the green bauble between two hands.
Harry shrugged, lifting the net up to catch the last one. It had drifted the furthest and in order to get the net close enough he had to lean out and off to the side, holding onto the very bottom of the net’s long pole.
There was the tinkling sound of something glass falling onto the floor.
“Oh-!” Luna reached after the green ornament even as it quickly rolled out of reach.
“I’ve got it,” Ginny said, and let go of the ladder.
Without Ginny to hold the ladder in place, it immediately began to tilt. Harry jerked back trying to grab on to the top rung with both hands, his sudden weight shift made the ladder bounce off the wall filling the air with the sound of creaking wood scraping across stone.
“Watch out!” Ginny yelled.
And there was- if Harry had been of a mind to look for it- a slight push, that sent the ladder plummeting over too fast to be caught by a levitation spell.
Draco who had been reading, was now standing, his book thrown to the side, his wand falling from his hand as he reached up, grabbing hold of Harry as he fell towards him. Even with a lightening spell, they both ended up on the floor with the wind knocked out of them. The ladder bounced off Harry’s back and slid to the floor with a clatter.
Harry groaned, pushing himself up into a sitting position with careful stiff movements.
Draco stared fixedly at the ceiling, a little frown and a faint flush on his face, “At your leisure, Potter.”
Ginny and Luna glanced at each other, sharing a look of relief that everything had worked out.
Harry nodded as he shoved the ladder over and got off Draco, kneeling beside him and rubbing his forehead as he offered Draco a hand to help him sit up.
Draco hesitated and then took Harry’s hand with a sigh, “Did you hit your head?”
Harry shook his head, “I’m fine,” he was looking Draco over, “Are you okay?”
“Other than being squashed by an oaf, yes,” Draco said.
Harry nodded thoughtfully.
Draco huffed and looked around, retrieving his book from where he had dropped it.
“You caught me,” Harry said softly.
The tops of Draco’s cheeks pinked, “So? Was I supposed to let you knock yourself unconscious?” he said it dismissively, turning away and pushing himself to his feet.
“Thank you,” Harry said just as quietly, looking slightly stunned.
Draco spared him a single nervous glance before sitting back in his chair and opening his book in front of his face so his expression was hidden, “You should get some bruise cream from Pomfrey.”
“I- yeah,” Harry said pushing himself to his feet and making his way toward the common room door. He paused to ask Ginny, “Do you still need help or-?”
Ginny furrowed her brow, dropping down and then jumping up into the air to grab hold of the bottom of the net, still floating half off the ground. She pulled it down and took the purple bauble out, “Nope, we’ve got it. Sorry about letting go of the ladder.”
Luna pulled herself out from under a couch with the green ornament, “You were wonderful Harry! You fell so gracefully, like a wounded duck.”
“Yeah, sure,” Harry said, wincing slightly as he pulled open the common room door and made his way out into the hall.
Luna tilted her head to one side, curling a strand of blond hair around her finger, “Do you suppose Harry was hurt worse than he said?”
Ginny looked over at Luna’s expression, reading it only as she could, before adding a bit loudly, “Hard to say. You know Harry, he never complains.”
There was a muffled swear behind them and then Draco pushed past looking furiously annoyed as he followed Harry outside.
Ginny grinned and cast a patronus. No sooner had it disappeared down the dorm hallway than Ron and Hermione came running out.
“How’d it go?” Ron asked.
“Did it work?” Hermione said at nearly the same time.
“I think it went very well,” Luna said airily.
Ginny nodded and told them everything that happened.
Ron and Hermione exchanged a worried look.
“Is Harry hurt?” Hermione asked.
“Nah,” Ginny said with a flip of her hand, “bruised a bit, sure, but that’s it. I cast a lighten weight charm on him, he practically bounced.”
“And Draco will look after him,” Luna said.
“It was adorable really,” a voice said sarcastically from behind them.
The group turned to where Blaise, Pansy and Theo were all sitting on one of the longer couches.
Pansy frowned and kicked Blaise lightly on the ankle, “It was cute.”
“Yes, Pansy,” Blaise said dryly, “You know what I mean.”
“Just tell them,” Theo said distractedly, his quill skittering across a foot of parchment that was nearly filled with his sharp small handwriting.
“We were wondering if you’d consider a different sort of tactic,” Pansy said.
Blaise smirked faintly, “A more Slytherin sort of plan.”
“A whot-?” Ron said.
Hermione said carefully, “What are you talking about?”
Pansy rolled her eyes dramatically, “Getting Draco together with your Boy wonder, of course.”
“It’s terribly obvious what you’re doing,” Blaise said.
Theo hummed in agreement, “Not subtle at all.”
“The Hufflepuffs have probably figured it out by now,” Pansy said.
“And…” Hermione quirked an eyebrow with a lopsided smile, “you want to help?”
“We want to see Draco happy too,” Pansy said, a little affronted.
Theo carefully wiped his quill off, picked up the parchment and held it out to them, “And we your need assistance to pull it off.”
“What do you want, Pansy?” Draco asked bitterly, pulling his cloak around himself more tightly as a bitingly cold wind gust of wind swept of over them on the Hogwarts grounds.
“Nothing wrong with a little fresh air, is there?” Pansy said primly.
Draco’s expression darkened, “You hate fresh air and pointless exercise. If you’re going to lie to me at least try to be a little more clever about it.”
Pansy was quiet for a moment, the only sound was the faint crunch of the thin layer of snow, frozen hard overnight, melting in places under a brilliant late winter sun that seemed to be promising an early spring.
“You’re in a shit mood. I wanted to help,” Pansy said, “and you happen to like long, pointless, moody walks.”
That seemed closer to the truth although Draco could tell Pansy was still hiding something. Blaise was the only one who could lie to his face and get away with it.
“They’re not moody,” Draco retorted, on principle.
Pansy snorted inelegantly, “Whatever you say, sunshine.”
They followed the path along the bank of the lake, to the edge of the forest and back again. Right before they were meant to head back into the castle, Pansy veered off, walking out onto the small dock that, as far as anyone knew, was only used for the first years boats on the very first day of every school year.
“What are you doing?” Draco grumbled but followed her out onto the creaking wood, ducking his head into his scarf as the wind whipped across the black lake.
“It’s our last year,” Pansy said quietly.
Draco rolled his eyes, “Sentimentality doesn’t suit you.”
“I didn’t say I would miss it,” she said sharply before her expression softened, “Just, a lot has happened here. It’s strange to think we won’t be coming back.”
Draco’s nose wrinkled but he kept his mouth shut, not particularly wanting to encourage Pansy one way or another into any sort of conversation that would increase the amount of time it would take to get back to the warm castle.
“I don’t want to have any regrets,” Pansy was saying, turning to him, “You know, Draco?”
He raised an eyebrow, “If you’re done reminiscing like a soppy Hufflepuff?”
She frowned at him, “Oh, just use a warming charm if you’re cold, you ninny.”
“Or we could just leave,” he said pointedly, none-the-less taking out his wand to replace the waning warming charm he had cast before they left. He turned the tip of his wand to himself, the words of the spell on were on his lips when his feet slid out from under him.
He had one breathless moment of utter terror as he fell backwards where the world seemed to be holding its breath. He hit the water. He hadn’t the time or thought to hold his breath and the bitingly cold water over his head filled his mind with panic. His feet touched the bottom and he pushed to the surface and took a deep gasping breath. The water was only chest deep.
It was so cold it hurt.
Draco’s fear and panic was instantly replaced with pure and utter fury.
Someone was running up the dock and he expected to see Blaise or Theo, laughing their tits off. It was neither. In fact, Pansy seemed to be conspicuously missing and Potter was running up. Another plot.
“Are you alright?” Potter asked breathlessly and held out his hand to pull Draco up onto the dock.
“Do I look alright to you?” he snapped, slapping Potter’s hand away and walking slowly up to the shore.
Potter brow creased with worry, “I could help you out.”
“Then you’ll be wet as well and I’m entirely certain that’s just what they want,” Draco said. He didn’t bother stopping at the shore, just aimed himself at the castle doors. He was already shivering so badly his whole body seemed at risk of shaking itself apart.
“They?” Potter asked, walking along side him.
“Your wand is missing?” Draco asked, taking note of the fact that his wand had been taken or was on the bottom of the lake.
Potter patted down his jacket, then unzipped it to check his inner pockets with growing urgency, “It’s- It’s gone!” He turned on his heel, staring back the way he had come, trying to decide whether to go back and look. It took him only a second to catch back up with Draco.
“You wouldn’t have found it anyway,” Draco said shortly.
“Later,” Potter said stubbornly, “It’s more important to get you dry again.”
Draco felt his chest tighten into an ache and had to close his eyes for a moment. Never before in his life had he ever imagined kindness could be so painful. “You w-wouldn’t have found because it’s not there,” Draco said, “Whoever you were with- Weasley probably- t-took it when you weren’t looking.
“How did you know I was with Ron?” Potter hurried a few steps ahead to hold the door open for him and then quickly closed it behind them, “Why would he-?” he asked, his brow furrowing.
Draco peeled off his scarf and dropped it on the floor of the hallway.
Potter reached down to retrieve it.
“Don’t bother,” Draco said slowly unbuttoning his cloak with shaking hands, “The elves w-will get them. It’s their job.” His cloak slumped to the ground in a wet soggy heap.
“We should get back to the dorm, find some warm clothes.”
Draco was trying to get the smaller buttons on his robes undone but was shivering so badly he couldn’t keep hold to manoeuvre them through the small holes.
Potter stepped closer, “Here-” he pushed Draco’s hands out of the way and began undoing the buttons at Draco’s throat.
Draco shuddered but not from the cold. “The dorms will be locked. The common room is probably empty.” There would be a roaring fire and a small couch set in front of it though. He frowned as he became more and more certain. It was just the sort of romantic garbage Pansy was likely to think up. Blaise would have gone along with it because he’d think it was hilarious and Theo would help just because he liked making elaborate plans.
Draco pushed Potter’s hand away as soon as he was done. Draco turned his back as he pulled his wet robes off and left them in the pile by the door. His button up and slacks clung to him like a second skin. He was still unbearably cold.
“Why would they lock the dorms?” Potter asked.
Draco sighed, clasping his arms around himself as he made his way up the stairs. Really it was no wonder Potter had barely managed one romance. Anyone with half a brain would guess the plot by now at least.
Potter followed him, “If the dorms are locked, then where are you going?”
“Hospital wing,” Draco said shortly.
Potter didn’t respond.
When Draco dared to glance back at him, he looked torn and confused. It made Draco’s heart ache all the more. Draco looked away and kept his eyes fixed in front of himself and on his destination. He refused to indulge in hopeless fantasy and impossible dreams.
“Oh dear, what happened to you?” Pomfrey asked as soon as he stepped inside.
“I was pushed into the lake,” Draco said. The batty woman immediately looked at Potter. “Not him,” Draco said impatiently, “It was a former friend I plan to poison in her sleep.”
“There will be none of that, Mr Malfoy,” Pomfrey tutted, taking out her wand and casting a drying spell and then a warming spell over him in quick succession. “Stay put, I want to get you a pepper-up, just in case,” she said as she hurried back to her potion stores.
Draco left out a breath of relief and absently brushed his hair back with his fingertips. The water had left it wavy.
“Does your hair normally do that?” Potter asked in a strangely quiet voice.
“When it’s wet and dries wrong. It’s atrocious.”
“It’s nice,” Potter said.
Draco felt himself start to flush and turned his head away so no one could see, “You would think that, agent of chaos that you are.”
Pomfrey bustled back and pressed a small vial into his hand, “Here you are dear.”
Draco quickly took the potion with a grimace and handed the empty vial back, “Now, seeing as I was nearly killed and greatly traumatized, I shall be staying here overnight.”
“The water wasn’t even that deep,” Potter said, with a faint smile of disbelief.
Draco glared at him, “Shut up, Potter.”
Pomfrey sighed and shook her head briefly, “If you must, Mr Malfoy.”
Draco inclined his head to her, “Thank you.”
“Only because I know there’s no getting rid of you once you’ve got the idea in your head and I’m not in the mood for your dramatics today,” she said with a patronizing smile, “I’ll get you some pyjamas, pick whatever bed you like.”
The springs squeaked as Draco sat on the nearest bed and began undoing the laces on his boots.
“You’re really going to stay here?” Potter asked, shifting his weight uneasily.
“Yes.” Draco said stiffly, pulling off one boot and set it neatly on the floor.
Potter shifted his weight again. He was picking at his cuticles. “I just…. I want to apologize,” he said tentatively.
Draco paused from pulling off his other boot and shot Potter an icy glare, “For what?”
“I don’t know, anything? Everything?” he shrugged, looking upset, “I just want things to go back to normal between us, you know?”
Draco dropped his other boot. It hit the floor with a thud that filled the whole room. The twisting pain in Draco’s heart felt like it had been pierced with ice. “There’s no normal to go back to,” he said flatly.
“What?” Potter asked, his eyes going wide.
Draco clenched his teeth and turned his head away, picking up his boot and carefully setting it beside the other in a neat pair. “Leave me alone, Potter. Can you do that?” he said softly, “Just stay away from me. Tell your friends to stay away as well, and mine if you see them.”
“Don’t,” he cut Potter off, his eyes beginning to ache with growing tears even as he tried to blink them back, “I’m tired of this. Of all this.” He squeezed his eyes shut and waited until he heard Potter walk away, the door shutting behind him.
“Do you suppose they’re okay?” Hermione asked nervously.
Blaise leaned back against the headboard of Draco’s bed, turning the page of his magazine, “No one’s going to die from falling in three feet of water,” he said languidly.
Pansy was laying across his legs looking completely at ease despite the fact that it couldn’t have been comfortable, “It wouldn’t have even been an issue if we had gone with my first plan,” she said..
Ron frowned and shifted uneasily on his own bed, letting himself lean against Hermione’s shoulder, “We’re not locking them in a closet.”
“Absolutely not,” Hermione echoed.
“Oh, but it’s so good,” Pansy pouted, dropped her head back so she could look at Ron and Hermione upside down, “It always works in my books.”
Blaise rolled his eyes without looking up.
Hermione sighed and bit her lip, looking over her shoulder at the door for about the twentieth time.
“Good grief, how many romance novels do you read, anyway?” Ron asked.
Pansy shot him a sour look that didn’t quite work upside-down, “None of your business, Weasley.”
“Do you think three bottles of fire whiskey was enough for a party?” Theo asked, looking up from the homework he was working on, “I still think four or five would have been a better amount.”
“We’re just trying to distract them for an hour or so,” Blaise said absently, “We don’t need the whole dormitory utterly blitzed.”
“Next time,” Pansy said, sitting up with an excited grin, “We ought to lock them in a bedroom, with only one bed.” She raised her eyebrows expectantly and let them fall when it didn’t get the reaction she had been hoping for.
Ron had gone red, “I don’t think- I mean that’s a bit-” he broke off and cleared his throat, pointedly looking away at a window.
Pansy tsked, “You’re such a prude. Besides-” she drew out the word mockingly, “-I was only thinking about a little cuddling, waking up wrapped in each other’s arms, that sort of thing.” She smirked, “Seems like you’re being the pervert here.
“I am not!” Ron shot back, even redder still. “I don’t read romance novels, how was I supposed to know!”
Hermione said, “This isn’t a romance novel and in my experience boys are horny all the time. So they might very well- you know- in that situation.”
Pansy shrugged, “Well if they get together, they’re going to fuck anyway.”
Ron choked and fell into a coughing fit.
“Such a prude,” Pansy said pointedly.
Blaise smirked faintly, looking over the top of the magazine, “We all know you’re a virgin, Pansy.”
Pansy blushed faintly and smacked Blaise’s thigh, “Shut up, Blaise! At least I can talk about sex without turning into a raspberry!”
Blaise looked over at Ron, “I’d say he’s more like a tomato.”
Pansy curled her lip, “I don’t like tomatoes.”
Ron glared at the both of them.
Hermione cast a tempus, “It’s been nearly two hours. That’s long enough isn’t it?”
They all looked at one another.
Finally, Hermione just got up. She went to the door and pulling the chair away that they had jammed under the handle and pulled it open. She gasped faintly and stepped back as Harry, who had been sitting against the wall opposite, stood up.
Harry stepped into the room, looking over the five of them.
Pansy scrambled off the bed, “Where’s Draco?”
Blaise dropped his magazine and sat up.
Harry walked over to Ron and holding his hand out, “My wand.”
Ron quickly pulled Harry’s wand out of his robes and handed it over sheepishly, “You, uh, dropped it?”
“No, I didn’t,” Harry said a little bitterly, “It was you lot behind everything, wasn’t it? The lake and ladder and getting us to sit next to each other.”
There was silence.
“We were just trying to help,” Hermione said quietly.
Blaise stepped around the beds, “Where’s Draco?”
“The hospital wing,” Harry said and added sharply before they could talk over him, “he’s fine. He just didn’t want to see any of us.”
“Us?” Ron straightened, “Not you too?”
Harry’s expression crumbled and he looked away, “I know how he feels.” He sat heavily on the edge of his bed, kicking off his shoes. “No more schemes,” he dragged his gaze up to look at each of them in turn, “No more plans, no more helping,” he finished bitterly. He pointed his wand at the heavy brocade curtains around his bed and they snapped closed around him, followed by the unnatural stillness of a silencing spell.
Hermione bit her lip, “Ron-”
Ron stood and went over to her, wrapping Hermione up in a hug.
“Fuck,” Blaise said quietly.
Pansy balled her hands into fists. “This isn’t how it was supposed to go at all!” She sniffled and ran from the room, wiping her eyes.
Blaise glanced at Ron and Hermione and then quickly followed Pansy.
Theo gathered up his homework with a sighed and trailed after them, saying just before he left, “Well, it was fun while it lasted.”
“We’ve ruined it haven’t we?” Hermione said, her voice muffled in Ron’s shirt.
Ron squeezed her a little tighter.
Harry sighed and looked through his trunk again, in case he had missed something the first three times he had looked but no such luck. All his hoodies were gone. He stood, letting his trunk fall closed with a clunk and went over to his bed, pulling up the sheets and looking underneath. He hadn’t worn any of them for ages not since things had started to go bad with Draco. He winced at the thought and the ache lodged firmly in his chest tightened.
Harry looked over at Neville, “My hoodies.” he frowned faintly, “but it’s fine. I’ll just wear one of my knit jumpers.”
Neville tipped his wand up, the fine mist that had been spraying over his plants stopped. He murmured and incantation and looped his wand over the little collection of plant, encasing them in a bubble like a miniature greenhouse. “Why not just steal one of Malfoy’s?” he suggested, “He’s always stealing yours after all.”
Harry grimaced, looking over at Draco’s empty bed, “No. We’re not… on good terms.”
Neville’s eyebrows rose slightly in surprise, “You two had a fight? Well, I’m sure you’ll work it out.” He looked over his plants again and gave a little nod before turning away, “Do you want anything from the kitchens?”
Harry shook his head, smiling weakly, “No thanks.”
Neville left and Harry realized he was still staring at Draco’s bed and pulled his eyes away. He stopped though when he noticed a green jumper laying over the end of Draco’s bed. It was darker than Slytherin green and was finely woven, unlike his jumpers from Molly.
Harry nervously edged over to Draco’s bed and ran his fingers over the jumper. He had never felt something so soft. He glanced around the empty dorm before picking it up and holding it out in front of him. He just- He really…
Harry pulled his tee-shirt over his head and dropped it on the floor, pulling the green jumped on, careful not to stretch it. It was just for a second, he told himself, just to see how it felt. He ignored how hard his heart was pounding. It was soft and warm, he ran his hands down the front and shivered. Harry pulled the collar of the jumper up and dipped his nose into the soft cashmere, it smelled like Draco.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his reflection in the large windows along the wall and turned. He stared at himself and couldn’t help remembering all those time Draco would steal his hoodies, stretching out the sleeves to pull them down to cover his hands, pulling the hood over his head when he was sulking.
The pain lodged in Harry’s chest that had been growing for weeks, squeezed with an ache that brought tears to the edge of his vision. He knew what it was now. The name of this feeling.
Harry squeezed his eyes shut, “I like him.”
It was only a whisper but it seemed to fill the room.
The door shot open and Draco stormed in, “- whoever you are, going through my things, I’m going to hex your head so far up-” he froze at the sight of Harry.
And Harry flushed feeling entirely caught out, embarrassed and nervous.
Draco swallowed hard, taking Harry in from top to bottom.
“I- I just-” the words caught in Harry’s throat.
“That’s my jumper,” Draco said, sounding a little dazed.
Harry grasped the hem, “Sorry. I’ll take it off.”
Draco crossed the space between them in a few long strides, grabbing Harry’s wrist with a little shake of his head.
Harry held still, Draco’s hand like a burning brand on his skin.
Draco studied him a small painful furrow between his brows. “You look like you’re mine…” he murmured softly.
Harry’s breathing hitched.
Draco jerked his hand away with a start, shaking his head like he was waking from a dream. “I- I was-” he stopped and took a step back, then another, his body twisting towards the door.
“Don’t go!” Harry burst out, darting forward to grab Draco’s arm, “Please, I-”
“I can’t do this,” Draco said, his voice taking on a frantic edge, “I can’t be your friend anymore, I can’t- It’ll kill me,” his voice cracked and he tried to step away, pull his arm free.
Harry grasped after him, catching Draco’s hand and pulling him back. He wove their fingers together, “What about-”
“Harry,” Draco pleaded. His hand was starting to shake and Harry only held onto it tighter.
“What about more than friends?” Harry said, “What if-”
“I don’t want your pity,” Draco bit out, his eyes sharp and clear even as his breathing came out ragged and short, just short of gasping.
Harry’s grip loosened and Draco jerked his hand back, quickly retreating a few steps and rubbing his hand like it burned. He kept Harry’s gaze for just a second and then spun to the door.
“I like you,” Harry said.
The door handle rattled faintly under Draco’s hand but he made no move to turn it or move at all. Harry’s words had seemed to have frozen him in place.
Harry took a quick deep breath to try and catch up in this race his heart was running, “I know I’m slow. I should have figured it out ages ago but I have now and I-” he swallowed, breathless and light headed all over again.
Draco dared to look at him, his eyes shining with unshed tears even as he clenched his jaw defiantly.
Harry looked down at himself, clad in green, a green the same shade as his eyes. He clutched at the delicate fabric as he looked up at Draco, “I am yours, Draco.”
Draco’s hand fell off the handle and his whole body wavered like he might fall down.
“And maybe-” Harry said faintly, “-you might be mine?”
Draco jaw clenched, “You are slow, and stupid, and utterly ridiculous.”
Harry had to keep himself from smiling but didn’t quite succeed, “Yeah.”
“And full of yourself,” Draco added.
“Draco-” Harry wavered forward and then was moving forward and Draco met him halfway, wrapping him up in his arms.
He slid his hand over Draco’s back, the other clutched his shoulder. He could feel Draco brush a tentative hand over the nape of his neck, his cheek pressing tight to his hair like he was something precious Draco thought he had lost forever.
Draco pulled back just enough to cup Harry’s cheek, turning his head to pressing their lips together. Harry clutched him a little bit tighter, eyes fluttering shut as he kissed back until his knees felt weak.
Draco pulled back, murmuring against his lips, “Of course I’m yours, moron.”
Harry reached up and brushed the tears from the corners of Draco’s eyes. Draco closed his eyes, leaning into Harry’s touch.
“Why are you wearing my jumper anyway?” Draco asked, stiffly pretending he hadn’t had his tears brushed away.
“Well,” Harry hesitated, taking the opportunity to kiss the corner of Draco’s mouth, who turned his head to pull Harry into a full, proper kiss. “I couldn’t…” he kissed him again, biting Draco’s bottom lip gently, “find any of my hoodies so…”
A faint flush rose on the tops of Draco’s cheeks.
Harry’s brow furrowed slightly, “What?”
“I might have stolen them,” Draco confessed.
“Why?” Harry asked.
“Longbottom suggested that I ought to, to get you back for…” he trailed off.
Harry’s eyes widened, “Neville was the one that suggested I take your jumper! And this one was one laying out on the end of your bed-”
“I never leave my clothes lying about,” Draco said, “And Longbottom was the one that told me someone was going through my clothes.”
The both hurried to the door and yanked it open, more shocked than surprised to see Neville leaning against the door frame.
“I thought you were going to the kitchens,” Harry said lamely.
Neville smiled and pushed himself up, “Yeah, I just thought I’d make sure you two weren’t interrupted.” He looked down where Draco was still holding onto Harry’s waist and Harry had grabbed hold of Draco’s arm, “I think I’ll bring back something sweet, to celebrate.” He gave them a cheerful wave and left.
Harry and Draco looked at one another, their expressions of astonishment turning to grins as they leaned against one another and laughed.
❤ -The End- ❤
“I'm just saying they don't know-”
“And we can get them back before they know,”Draco finished. He carefully sorted through his trunk and took out three carefully folded hoodies, one of which he pulled on before returning the other two to Harry.
Harry took the hoodies and tossed them haphazardly over the end of his bed, “Exactly! Revenge!”
Draco snorted, “Revenge.”
“What!?” Harry said testily.
“Nothing,” Draco grinned, “I like it.” he stepped closer to Harry, grabbing the hem of his green jumper to pull him closer, “I've missed you.”
“Oh. I-” Harry said softly, flushing slightly, “I have too.”
Draco kissed him, pulling back with a smirk, “Now, shall we get to plotting? Any brilliant ideas?”
“Well...” Harry mused, tugging absently on one of Draco's hoodie pull ties, “They were talking about locking us up in a room together after the whole lake thing.”
“Locking them in a room together?” Draco hummed, “I can't see that doing anything other than annoying them.”
“...Yeah, want to throw them all in the lake?” Harry suggested.
Draco laughed, “I would like that, but I have no idea how we'd do it.”
“I suppose we could just douse them all as they came back to the common room,” Harry said.
Draco blinked and smirked wickedly, “Actually, there's this spell I researched recently, I couldn't do it on my own but if we cast together-”
“What does it do?” Harry asked.
“Just a little rain,” Draco said enigmatically, “We'll trap them in a room together; we can set the foci beforehand and cast from outside.”
“I know a good room,” Harry said, pulling the mauraders map out and opening it to point out the room in question. They located their friends on the map, Ginny and Luna out on the pitch, Pansy and Blaise in the dungeons, Hermione and Ron in the library.
“Can you send messages with your Patronus?” Draco asked.
Harry nodded, “What shall I say?”
“I'll think of something,” Draco said, leading the way out of their dorms.
“Harry! Malfoy!” Neville called, “the house elves gave me a whole chocolate cake!”
He had set a massive frosted cake in the middle of the largest table in the common room.
Harry and Draco looked at each other.
“Can you put a preservation charm on it, Nev?” Harry said.
Draco pulled open the common room door, “We're just going to go collect everyone and then we'll be right back.”
Neville nodded, “Yeah sure, don't be to long.”
“Harry?” Hermione called as she pulled open the door and stepped inside. It was a smaller room that looked like it might have been a classroom a long time ago. Ginny and Luna were sitting on top of the only two desks that were left in the centre of the room, angled together in a V.
Ginny looked over at her, “Hermione? Did Harry send you a patronus too?”
“Yeah,” She nodded, walking over to them, “He said he wanted to talk about what had happened and that he thought I was right.”
Luna tilted her head to the side slightly, “Our message said he wanted our help to win Draco over.”
Hermione's eyes narrowed slightly in suspicion. She spun towards the door as it opened again, expecting Harry, and instead finding Pansy, Blaise and Theo, looking around warily.
“Did you get a patronus from Harry?” Hermione asked impatiently, “What did it say?”
Blaise frowned slightly, “He wanted our advice on what to say to Draco. What's going on?”
Hermione hurried past them to the door, grabbing and turning the handle to no avail, “Locked.” she took out her wand, starting with the simplest unlocking spells.
“Who would-? What's going on?” Pansy asked, starting to sound nervous.
Ginny slid off her desk, “Harry, of course.”
“Potter? The Golden Boy?” Blaise asked.
Hermione snorted, “He can be very petty and vindictive when it strikes him.”
“He heard what I said, about locking them in a room didn't he?” Pansy asked.
Hermione was about to start on the more complicated unlocking charms when she felt something like... a rain drop-? hit her forehead. She looked up, The high ceilings were full of dark ominous storm clouds tinted in greens and purples.
The downpour began. Within seconds they were all wet and would soon be soaked.
Pansy yelped, pulling out her wand and cast an umbrella charm. Her wand sputtered a bubble of protection the size of an egg shell before the spell broke.
Hermione put her wand away, pulling her robes up so they covered her head, “Don't bother. I researched this spell once. We won't be able to cast while it's raining.”
“Potter took revenge,” Theo said thoughtfully, pulling his robes up like Hermione had to shield himself as much as possible.
Hermione shook her head, rain soaking through her robe plipped onto the top of her head, “I very much doubt Harry would ever bother to look up twelfth-century battle magic from the goblin wars.”
“Draco would,” Blaise said grimly, his arms wrapped tightly around his chest and beginning to shiver.
“And Harry would have the power to cast it,” Hermione said.
Ginny pushed her hair back and wiped her face, “So they're working together?”
“Seems like it,” Hermione said.
Pansy was a dripping miserable mess, “The lake thing was a mistake," she said with chattering teeth.
“You think?” Ginny said sarcastically.
Pansy glared at her, “You all agreed-”
Water splattered up over all of them. Luna smiled from the puddle she had just jumped into right in front of them, her eyes widening innocently.
“That's it, Lovegood!” Pansy sputtered furiously, rushing Luna like she was going to strangle her with her bare hands.
Luna ran off, her laughter trailing after her like a string of bells.
Hermione dropped her robe with a sigh, letting the rain pelt her hair, slowly soaking the fluffy curls flat and dark. She smiled as Ginny ran around the desks to intercept Luna, standing in front of her like a shield as Pansy tried to dodge around her.
Blaise chuckled quietly. He snuck around Pansy's back, ringing an arm around her waist and picking her up all in one smooth movement. She shrieked in protest, kicking out at the air with a string of expletives that would make a sailor blush.
Luna ringed her arms around Ginny's waist, hugging her from behind, “My hero,” she said, pressing a kiss to Ginny's neck.
Ginny turned in her arms, fingers tangling in Luna's hair as she kissed her.
It wasn't all bad in the end, Hermione figured. She did resent Ron begging out, being sensible and not getting involved for once, but only a little.
Hermione glanced over Theo who hadn't moved.
The rain had soaked through Theo's robe and was dripping steadily onto his head. He looked completely unamused. “This sucks,” he muttered.
Hermione burst out laughing.
The rain finally stopped and between the six of them they managed to dry Hermione enough with weak drying charms so she could cast an unlocking spell to get them out of the classroom. They all trudged up to the eighth year common room in silence.
The noise of the common room dropped as they stepped inside looking like drown rats or, in Hermione's case, a frizzy one. Then rose as everyone cheered for their arrival, clapping and laughing as the door slowly swung shut behind them.
There was a party happening, with cake and butterbeer. The cake was almost entirely gone except for seven slices laid out on plates with a bottle of butterbeer for each one.
“You're late!” Neville said, then his eyes widened, “What happened?”
Before any of them could answer a lazy drawl echoed, “Yes, you're terribly late.”
“So late,” Harry said, biting his lip to keep from laughing.
The two of them were sitting together on a small couch, Draco had thrown one leg over Harry's knees. Draco pointedly put an arm around Harry's shoulders and raised an eyebrow.
“Finally!!” Ginny yelled.
Luna smiled, “Congratulations.”
“No thanks to you lot,” Harry said with a laugh and pointed at Neville, “He's the one that managed it.”
The group stared at Neville.
Neville shrugged and with a tiny pleased smile.
Pansy scowled, “I'm still sorry about the ”lake thing”-” she finger quoted, “-and I'm happy for you, Draco. But also, you're dead to me.” She stomped back to her dorms.
Her departure was heralded by Draco good-naturedly flipped her off with both hands.
Theo grabbed a plate and butterbeer, “We're even now, right?”
“Good,” Theo said and walked over to the fireplace asking Millicent to use a drying spell on him.
Blaise glanced after Pansy and then shrugged, grabbing a butterbeer, “I have to admit, that was good.”
Draco grinned smugly, “We know.”
Blaise snorted and turned until he spotted Seamus and Dean, “One of you have some fire whiskey to make this more interesting?” he held up his bottle as he made his way over to them.
Hermione sighed and walked around to Harry, bending down to hug him briefly, “I'm happy for you.”
“Thanks, Mione,” Harry said with a grin.
“What, no hug for me, Granger?” Draco said archly.
Hermione smirked faintly, raising an eyebrow and then leaned over and gave Draco a very definite sort of hug.
When she let him go, Draco was frozen in dismay, “I didn't mean it, Granger!”
“Better get used to it,” Hermione said.
Draco frowned, “You can't threaten me.”
“She wasn't threatening you,” Harry said, “Hugging is not a threat.”
“Sounded like one to me,” Draco said suspiciously.
The common room opened again and Ron stepped inside, his brow furrowed, “What's going on? Something happen?”
Hermione closed her eyes briefly, “You have no idea.”
“What's with the roses?” Harry asked as he came into the common room.
Draco flushed faintly, tugging on a pale blue petal until it fell off, “It's for you- From my mother-” he grimaced at the small bouquet wrapped in a white ribbon, refusing to look Harry in the eye, “I mean my mother picked them and sent them.”
Harry fought down a grin, “So are they from you or your mother?”
“From my mother,” Draco said.
“For me?” Harry asked, “Did you tell her about us?”
Draco flushed, “I did no such thing,” he shot a glare over to where Pansy and Blaise were apparently reading out of the same trashy romance novel.
“What? It's not like she dislikes me?” Harry said, stepping over and trying to take the bouquet.
“That's not the point!” Draco said jerking it out of reach, “I had a plan to tell her slowly over time and warm her up to the idea!”
Harry raised an eyebrow, stepping around Draco to try and grab the flowers, “Seems like she likes the idea well enough to me.”
Draco turned again, lifting the flowers overhead, “And these are her favourite roses, she's not just supposed to- to-!”
“To what-!?” Harry laughed, dancing around Draco trying to grab the roses.
Draco kept moving the flowers out of reach and rather suddenly they were playing keep away, the reason for why entirely lost of the both of them. Harry finally just grabbed Draco around the shoulders, holding onto him and trying to drag his upraised, flower holding arm down within reach. Realizing he was about to lose, Draco reacted instinctively and threw them. Into the fire.
“You-” Harry said, staring at the fire and then back at Draco who was wide eyed at what he had just done, “That's the stupidest thing I've ever seen.”
“It's- I-I-” Draco spluttered, staring at the blackening roses.
Harry laughed, “I can't believe-! You just threw them!”
“This is- This is your fault,” Draco said with desperate conviction.
“Is it now?” Harry said, raising an eyebrow. “I'd say, you owe me a bouquet.”
“I am not buying you roses,” Draco said.
Harry licked his lips and smirked suggestively, “I suppose you could repay me another way.”
Draco slipped his hands around Harry's waist with an echoing smirk, “I might be amiable to such a proposition.”
Ron slowly let his head thunk down in the cradle of his arms, “I regret everything.”
“You knew it would be like this,” Hermione said absently, “You told me yourself back when it all started.”
Ron groaned loudly in self-pity. Before he could complain further, he was hit by a stinging jinx that startled him up from his chair followed by an incarcerous that wound him in thin white rope from head to foot. He stayed upright for just a second before toppling over backwards onto the floor with a yelp.
Harry and Draco slowly lowered their wands and walked over to him.
“I was joking!” Ron groaned.
Draco raised an eyebrow with a smirk, “Terribly sorry, Weasley, but we owe you one.”
Harry turned to the room in general, “Wanna help us throw him in the lake?”
Ginny shot to her feet with a wicked grin, “Yeah! Absolutely!”
“Count me in!” Pansy said, pushing her book into Blaise's hands.
Draco shot her a look, “Really, Pansy?”
“What? I already apologized for the whole lake thing!” Pansy said, edging through the chairs and tables to where they were all standing.
“You can't throw me in the lake!” Ron said, wriggling against his bonds, “Hermione! Save me!”
Hermione was biting her lip trying not to laugh. She cleared her throat and very nearly managed to say in a straight voice, “You can't throw him in the lake.”
“Hermione!” Ron said, sounding wounded at her lack of conviction.
Draco looked down at Ron contemplatively, his smirk didn't so much fade, as it did grow, “Keep your pants on Weasley, we're just taking the piss.” He leaned over and whispered something into Harry's ear, who grinned and whispered to Ginny while Draco passed on his message to Pansy.
“Hermione!” Ron said in alarm, struggling even harder.
They all drew their wands, holding them low in front of their crotches, and cast aguamenti.
Four streams of water splashed over Ron who spluttered, “I hate you all! What are you five years old? Hermione!”
Hermione bit her lip even harder.
The wands were put away and Ron was released from his ropes. He stood up, wet and unhappy, “You-” he pointed at Harry, “-are a terrible friend!”
Harry shrugged, “It was good fun.”
“And you-” he pointed at Ginny, “traitorous blood-kin-”
“Aw, I love you too, Ronikins,” Ginny said sweetly.
“And you-” he looked at Hermione, “-were supposed to save me!”
Hermione choked down her giggles, “I wouldn't have let them throw you in the lake!”
Ron glared at all of them, sulkily casting a drying spell over himself and collecting his things from the table, "I'm going to the library."
Harry looked over at Draco with a huge grin, “That went well.”
Draco nodded. He bit his lip for just a second then impulsively took Harry's hand, threading their fingers together, “Spend easter hols with me?” he blurted.
“Here? Or... with your parents?” Harry asked.
Draco's cheeks tinted pink, “Mother would be happy to have us but either would be fine.”
Harry smiled faintly, “On one condition-”
“-you spend one day at the Burrow with the Weasley's.” Harry said and raised one eyebrow in challenge.
Draco bristled faintly, lifting his chin, “I can manage one day.”
“Alright, owl your Mum and tell her we're coming then,” Harry said with a smile.
Draco nodded and added quietly, “and I apologize about the flowers.”
Harry stumbled out of the floo, his head still spinning through his body was not. Draco caught his elbow and steadied him.
“Thanks,” Harry said weakly.
As soon as Harry had stopped wobbling, Draco let go of him to go over to his mother and hug her tightly.
“Hello, Mother,” Draco said quietly.
Narcissa smiled and smoothed her hands down his sleeves, “Draco. I'm so pleased you decided to spend the spring break with us.”
Harry fruitlessly tried to pat down his hair, “Err, thank you for letting me stay.”
“Of course,” Narcissa said stepping over to him and giving a Harry a brief hug before he could even react, leaving him feeling stunned. “I'm sure Draco has told you but Lucius is under house arrest and no longer allowed to use magic.”
“I don't want you to think for even a second you're not safe here,” She went on, leading them through long winding halls, “Did you get the flowers I sent?” Narcissa asked.
“No. Draco threw them on the fire,” Harry said, with a little bit of vindictive glee.
Draco glared at him, “I was provoked!”
Narcissa tsked, “Draco.”
“Next time just send them to Harry. I'm not an owl,” Draco said sulkily.
Narcissa ignored him and pulled open a set of double doors leading into a large sitting room with tall windows and knobbily furniture that was all in pale blues and creams. The room smelled strongly of fresh varnish and fabrics. Draco and Harry sat on a stiff couch together, Narcissa in a chair opposite. The table in front of them was set for afternoon tea.
Lucius was sitting in a tall-backed chair nearly pushed back into a corner reading the Prophet.
“Hello, Father, “ Draco said.
Lucius let the paper dip slightly to look at Draco and nodded to him, “Draco, welcome home. Are you prepared for your NEWTs?”
“Of course,” Draco said, he gestured beside him, “Harry's here as well.”
Lucius glanced at Harry, his eyes narrowing and then rang a little hand bell beside his chair. A house elf appeared, was given a quiet order and disappeared, only to reappear with tray, with two cotton balls on it. As they watched Lucius took the cotton balls off the tray and began carefully pulling them into tufts which he then shoved into his ears until they poked out of his ears like little clouds.
“Don't mind Lucius,” Narcissa sighed, “He's just being dramatic.”
A grin dawned on Harry's face, “So that's where you get it from.”
Draco's eyebrows shot up and he shoved Harry's shoulder, “How dare you!”
Harry laughed, “It's true isn't it!” He grabbed Draco's wrist, pushing Draco away as he tried to up the ante with a pinch or a smack. They grappled fruitlessly against one another, Harry laughing, Draco trying to pretend he was annoyed.
“Gentlemen, you are eighteen are you not?” Narcissa said.
Draco pulled and Harry tried to twist, sending Harry off the couch and onto the ground with a thud. He never managed to stop laughing.
Draco grinned, sparing Narcissa a glance, “What was that, Mother?”
Before she could answer, Harry sat up, grabbed Draco's arm and dragging him down with him and sneaking a kiss while they were tangled together.
“Potter!” Draco squawked in outrage.
Harry laughed, “Shouldn't have let your guard down!”
Narcissa sighed, leaning back into her chair with a smile, “Never mind.”
“Our heroes have arrived!” George crowed as they stepped out of the floo into the Burrow.
There was a cheer and Harry and Draco were pulled into the crowded living room.
George hugged Harry tightly and clapped Draco on the back so hard he staggered, “Ginny's been telling us all about your match-making disaster!”
Draco steeled himself.
Bill leaned forward in his seat, “They actually dropped you in the lake?”
“Yes,” Draco said and added with brittle sarcasm, “It was delightful.”
“I'm more interested in that magic dampening rain you two conjured,” Charlie said.
“It was awful,” Ginny groused.
“Yeah but do you think it might work on dragons?” Charlie asked.
“Aw come on!” George said sitting on the arm of Charlie's chair and shoved his shoulder, “What about taking a piss on Ron? That was golden!” He laughed at his own pun.
“Are you talking about that again?” Ron groused as he came down the stairs, “Can't we just be done with that?”
“Ron.” George said with all seriousness, “We're going to talk about you getting pissed on for the rest of your life.”
“It was water!” Ron threw up his hands.
The conversation began to run together as arguments and jibes filled the room.
Harry leaned against Draco's arm, “So, not so bad right?”
Draco wrinkled his nose, “That remains to be seen.”
“It's only one day,” Harry reassured him.
“I suppose,” Draco said.
Charlie pushed through the mass of Weasley's, “So that spell you two used-”
Harry zipped up his jacket as he slipped outside the Burrow, finding Draco out next to the garden wall, “Almost everyone's gone home now.”
Draco lifted his chin slightly, “I simply wanted to see the stars.”
Harry snorted, “Sure.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” Draco asked.
Harry reached over and took Draco's hand, “Nothing. It's nice out here.”
Draco looked back over the black landscape, chilled and damp in the early touches of spring, “It wasn't all that bad really,” he said, “Bill and Charlie were interesting and... Percy, was it-? he was inoffensive.”
Harry laughed, “Yeah, he's that.”
Draco took a deep breath, “I'm quite certain I can manage it again.”
“Yeah?” Harry said a little breathlessly.
“Well, it's the sort of thing we'll be doing in the future, together,” Draco said, hazarding a glance over at Harry.
Harry smiled, his heart feeling like it was too big for his chest. He squeezed Draco's hand, “Yeah, together.”
Thank you for reading~♡