Never before in his life has Draco laid eyes on so many different shades of blue.
"Draco, darling, what about the turquoise?"
Yet another shade of shimmery blue bombards his face as Pansy shakes a skimpy and strappy dress in his face. A rainstorm of glitter and sequins fall into Draco's shirt and eyes. He blinks and scrapes the sparkles out of his eyelids and yanks the dress from Pansy's grip before tossing it to the floor with the amount of aggression he might use if the garment had done him a tremendous personal wrong.
"No, Pansy, Merlin, not that one either!"
For a mere second, Pansy looks affronted at the sight of her clothing lying in a demeaning heap on the floor, right before she brandishes three articles of seemingly similar dresses in front of Draco once more.
"What about this strapless one? I know it might be too cold for Hogsmeade, but I could do a Heating Charm until me and Terry get to the Three Broomsticks. Oh, I can't even decide, but I still think this one brings out my eyes. Don't you think, Draco?"
She holds a deep indigo dress up to her form and curves her bosom into it, whirling around to face her reflection in the mirror propped up by the wall, lecherously tossing a wink into her mirrored face. She giggles, poses, and twirls on the spot before rounding on Draco and flaunting the dress in front of him. Draco inhales a mouthful of silky material and swiftly chokes it back up before hurling it across the room. Pansy crosses her arms.
"I'm not a bird, Pansy, go torture someone else with the contents of your entire closet!" he flings himself histrionically back onto his bed and sprawls across the sheets as if death has marked him for everlasting doom.
"You are so useless!" she screeches, "Even Blaise is nicer than you are, especially when I'm trying to decide on something important like what to wear on dates––"
"Important? Important? Pansy, your arse will look huge no matter what short dress you squeeze it into!"
Pansy manages to intermingle an acrimonious shriek with a gasp of astonishment. She hurls the shortest dress, adorned with frills and lace where one –– in Draco's expert opinion –– doesn't ever need to wear lace, onto Draco's head and briefly attempts to throttle him. When he puts up an aggressive fight and starts resorting to hair yanking, Pansy breathlessly ceases her attempt to use her clothing as instruments of physical torture. Draco refills his lungs with as much dignity as he can muster and is still in the middle of producing an offensive slur of obscenities all aimed at the furious girl in front of him involving words that will jab like swords such as fat and arse and large noseadequate enough to rival Pansy's lunacy when she whips her wand out of her robes and points it straight at Draco's nose.
"You're such an insensitive prat!" she shrieks and emphasizes this statement with a hard poke of her quivering wand in between his eyes.
"Put that away, Parkinson! You can't even perform a good Stinging Hex, how are you supposed to turn me into a nonce who loves dresses!" Draco swats at the wand. Pansy shrieks until his eardrums throb.
"Anything's better than you! I'd rather have an iced cupcake for a friend; at least it keeps its nasty opinions to itself!"
"Your hips don't need more food, Pansy!"
By now, there are a lot of exclamation points in the air, and Draco is surprised that Goyle or Theo haven't ambled upstairs yet to investigate and perhaps instigate a tussle, or for Blaise to holler for the idiots upstairs to keep down the screaming. For years he's been on the receiving end of an extremely affectionate, borderline pesky Pansy Parkinson intent on snaking her way into Draco's heart with an overload of cooing and fussing over him. She's since grown out of her adoration of the boy, something Draco is starting to miss, and replaced her fixation with monthly mood swings complete with tantrums and hyper sensitivity. The mood swings are tolerable only under the circumstance that Draco steers clear of Pansy for a week and lets her weep in the bathroom in between classes and doesn't comment on the poor state of her makeup, but under the unfortunate conditions in which Pansy searches him out and Draco manages to tweak her good spirits, she releases a wrath worthy of Hell's worst thunderstorm.
Apparently, as Draco stares down Pansy's drawn wand, he has not yet learned his lesson to tread lightly around a temperamental Pansy Parkinson.
"Oh, shut up, Draco," she hisses, waves her wand, and with a flash of blitzing light, Draco shuts up.
Draco Malfoy, in the entirety of his eventful, albeit still short existence, has never been rammed without his consent into a situation as sticky, thorny, and humiliating as this.
He's been witnessed by an entire stadium worth of raucously giggling Hogwarts students plunging gracelessly to the ground and wrestling with the tangles of his robes during his unsuccessful attempt to impersonate a dementor to induce fear in Potter and dampen his Quidditch abilities when beneath him, Crabbe's shoulders had quivered and brought the entire scheme to a shaky end. He's been caught by McGonagall's vigilant eyes in the middle of a Transfiguration test when he peered over Blaise's shoulder for the answer to number twelve after a night of sneaking out to play Quidditch instead of study over the process of turning into an Animagus. He's even been caught by a thoroughly flustered Narcissa frozen in the bathroom doorway when she waltzed to the toilet in search of Draco only to find her son releasing some of his pent-up adolescent hormones with the aid of his hand.
However, he is positive that this situation trumps all of the above, and will continue to be victorious in levels of extremity concerning embarrassment in future moments of ridicule to be cursed upon him.
This is probably because Draco Malfoy is currently a cupcake.
Draco never suspected that there would be a time in his life where he would value the usage of limbs more than he currently does. There are no arms. There are no legs. No matter how hard he attempts to summon up the will to wriggle his fingers and toes, there isn't so much as a twitch registered in his very tampered with body.
He remembers the fond memories of his past, when Draco was able to effortlessly writhe atop his sheets when he was frustrated enough with the interminable load of his homework to throw himself to the brink of a tantrum, or finger his wand and make a fork levitate with a mere flick of his hand, or enjoy the simple pleasure of strolling past the lake on a warm day while sneering at Gryffindors. Now, Draco finds himself dreaming of sprouting feet or even stubby stumps for fingers. His desires, however, are given as much consideration as his attempts to plea with the Gods for the return of his free will.
He suspects that his eyes are currently taking shape in the form of two dark chunks of chocolate chips protruding from the top of the muffin, the rest of his body tucked safely into the greasy security of a baking cup. Draco tries fruitlessly to let out a very loud, shrill roar. There is deafening silence.
Very much, Draco wishes not only that he was superb at nonverbal spells, but that cupcakes had the magical capability to perform such spell work. He thinks of his wand, lying abandoned atop his bed, desperately awaiting the return of its human master. Silently, in the corners of his moist, sugary mind, Draco thinks of one million ways to torture and murder Pansy Parkinson.
Women, he thinks bitterly, at lack of being able to blame much else with the exception of the universe, an entity that is most probably thoroughly enjoying the sight of Draco trapped in such an absurd cosmic joke, nasty, nasty creatures.
He blinks his chocolaty eyes, and Pansy's beaming, cackling, hopefully soon to be blotchy and blemished in payback face, looms over him.
"How is my muffin doing?" Pansy coos. Draco hisses up at her as menacingly as a baked good can manage. Pansy reaches out to prod and poke at the sides of his wrapper in a torturous tickle, which miraculously, even as a pastry, Draco feels. He shouts obscenities. Pansy hears nothing and scoops him up into her palm, all the while giggling with the glee of another's misfortune that only a Slytherin could orchestrate with such flawless genuineness.
Draco humphs and crosses his arms, up until the point he realizes that his arms are too nonexistent in the current moment to be used for crossing, the same way his mouth is currently floating as a piece disembodied Malfoy DNA around the dark and mysterious corners of limbo instead of being available for snarling, a much more productive function. In his past of eating through plates of desserts at Hogwarts, Draco has never come across a cupcake sitting on his plate that appeared to be particularly intimidating, but for the sake of his precariously teetering ego, he convinces himself that as a baked good, his appearance is daunting in the least.
"Delicious, Draco, you look," Pansy grins down at him. She seems very pleased with her spell work, her countenance of pure satisfaction infuriating enough to fuel a thirst in Draco that inspires him to suffocate Pansy's throat and leap down it as an entire cupcake to constrict her airway and watch her choke to an untimely death from a first-class seat. When once again, his abilities to move and murder as a cupcake fail to live up to Draco's standards, he continues attempting to appear as threatening as possible to counteract that very disturbing delicious comment.
She leads him into the boisterous clattering of utensils and chatter of the Great Hall before, with great care, she sets him atop the cupcake platter in the middle of the Slytherin table. He would be proud, were it any other situation, of being the cupcake on the peak of the mountain on display for every hungry student to leer at, if it wasn't for Draco's swift realization that the hall was, in fact, littered with famished children.
"Don't let them eat me, you crazy bint!" Draco howls at Pansy, who starts gossiping with Millicent Bulstrode as casually as if she hasn't just set a transfigured Draco Malfoy on display for agonizing munching purposes. Beneath him, Draco feels the smear of another cupcake's icing and instantly feels as if a million washes will never clean his bottom of the dollop of cream now bedaubing the underside of his wrapper. He imagines Lucius or Narcissa catching sight of their son in such a pathetic position, the kind of incident unknowing Muggles find themselves in with Biting Teacups, and sends out a silent thank you of gratitude to whoever decided that his parents wouldn't be observing over this current cumbersome moment in their offspring's life.
Surely, a Malfoy wouldn't be caught in such demeaning circumstances.
His brooding, however, is promptly cut short at the sight of a gargantuan hand sporting beefy stubs for fingers and an enormous palm approaching him.
Draco has never been more mortified to see Goyle. Or rather, see such a small part of Goyle in comparison to his entire rather bulky figure so magnified. His hand, his large and sticky hand, is outstretched and inching closer like an ominous claw intending to grab Draco right around the middle and stuff him into his mouth. Images of horror flit through Draco's brain of being violently mutilated by Goyle's relentless teeth, only to be forced to live the rest of his life in the dark, greasy gloom of Goyle's stomach which is most probably storing hard-boiled eggs from years ago and an entire carrot cake that refuses to be digested.
He wonders, screaming all the while, if after all of the turmoil he's weathered, his ultimate demise is going to be thanks to his moist, fluffy insides and a few ruthless chomps of teeth. He feels quite silly, and hopes being swallowed won't hurt as a boy he once considered an ally and a friend grabs a hold of him. For a fleeting moment, Draco feels pity for all people ever on the receiving end of one of Goyle's punches, squeezes, or even handshakes.
"Goyle, you oaf! You left oily fingerprints all over my Potions essay!"
"Pansy, I swear I didn't!"
By the time Draco opens his hermetically shut eyes prepared for the fatal bite, he notices that Goyle has unceremoniously dropped him back onto his platter and started worrying over Pansy's essay, all the while trying to grab the paper from her to attempt to erase the marks, only increasing the number of greasy prints smattered all over the margins of the parchment.
Well, Draco thinks dryly, reaching to smooth out his robes and collect his composure once more when his lack of hands once more increases the difficulty of the task, that was awfully close. He makes a mental note that when Pansy is no longer ovulating and is out of her enormously dangerous mood swing and is feeling gracious enough to return Draco to his human form to put Goyle on a firm diet that includes a complete lack of cupcakes.
He's still reveling in his close call when a tall boy approaches the Slytherin table and casts a lengthy shadow over the cupcake platter. He points a finger at the muffins, shifts from foot to foot as if standing on a see-saw, and tries to capture the eyes of the smallest, most compassionate looking Slytherin. When he realizes there is none, he stares at the table.
"Er –– can we borrow the muffins from you guys?"
Draco's gaze shoot up to the boy's face and is swiftly bombarded with a mop of fierce scarlet hair and equally red ears burned crimson as he addresses everyone's goblets instead of their grim faces. It's Weasley, one of Draco's least favorite Weasleys, hands twitching by his side to wait for the go to grab the platter and return back to his table of camaraderie and laughter instead of the forbidding aura of the Slytherin table that he's clearly not prepared to take on all by his lonesome.
Draco waits for the onslaught of firm nos and refusals, ending in Goyle yanking the cupcake platter into his grip and the safety of his own arms, and when the first thing to break the silence is Pansy's diabolical giggle, Draco's hopes plummet.
"Of course," she says, much too sweetly to compliment her face, a face which is currently looking very hideous to Draco and his indignant cupcake innards, "take the whole plate."
Goyle whines until Blaise smacks him upside the head. Pansy goes as far to reach across the table and graciously hand over the platter to Weasley's hands, but not before sending Draco one last glare of doom and death.
"Uh, thanks," Weasley says, taking the plate from her and examining the assortment of goods in his hands. Once more, Draco draws himself up in his wrapper and glowers in the fruitless hope that the sight of such a terrifying and murderous cupcake will cause Weasley to rethink the idea of stealing Slytherin's muffins and hastily return the dessert dish.
Naturally, it doesn't work, and Weasley goes sauntering off with the platter in his hand before he slides it between the treacle tart and sugar bowl on the Gryffindor table with a triumphant grin.
"Parkinson just handed it over," says Weasley, clearly fascinated by her apparent compassion.
"Excellent," Finnigan's voice drifts over from Draco's left before the Irish boy reaches over and grabs the banana muffin perched to the right of Draco, "I'll never understand why Slytherin always gets the best cupcakes."
"Neville once told the house elves he likes blueberry muffins and Gryffindor has been getting them ever since," says Weasley, a statement followed by a collective stare by a group of Gryffindors aimed directly at Longbottom, who sinks in his bench a few inches.
"Blueberry's good," he mumbles around his mouthful of buttered bread, "my grandmum never makes blueberry ones."
From Draco's angle, he watches as Granger's hand reaches out and pats Longbottom on the forearm before reaching for one of the pumpkin muffins set atop the Slytherin platter herself.
Draco feels extremely out of place. He's surrounded by shades of red at every angle, whether it be the blinding hue of Weasley's locks of hair or the Gryffindor-themed scarves scattered next to everyone's goblets atop the table. He expects any one of them to start recounting sundry tales of immense bravery for their friends or for Potter to prattle on about how tricky it is to live the lifestyle of the Chosen One, or whatever nonsense it is that Gryffindors entertain themselves with, and instead, is met with innocent, friendly chatter between Thomas and Potter and Granger and Weasley's good-humored bickering. He waits, with a surprising surplus of patience and hope clearly borrowed from a Hufflepuff, for Pansy to prance over to the Gryffindors to reclaim the plate and rid Draco of his misery.
Pansy, however, if she had planned to cure Draco of his role as cupcake, is not rapid enough in her rescue. Weasley's fingers are reaching forward to grab him, gangly and long and covered with Gryffindor germs, even worse than Goyle's, extended and eagerly awaiting the taste of a scrumptious chocolate chip muffin. Draco decides, even in the face of peril, that as a dessert, he can easily be described with details such as delectable, appetizing, and mouth-watering if he can't pull of frightening.
But Weasley's fingers never close around him. Instead, Draco whips out of sight and lets out an emasculate squeal of shock at the sensation of whizzing off the platter into yet another pair of hands.
"Hey!" Weasley's voice rings out with the crisp aura of indignation from the other side of the table, "I was grabbing that!"
"Sorry, mate," Potter is the one who answers, "Rotten luck. You'll get the next chocolate chip one, yeah?"
"I wanted that one!"
"I had no idea."
"Gimme that muffin, Harry!"
"It's mine now."
Draco resists the tempting urge to roll his chocolate chip eyes. At the Slytherin table, there would be no pointless altercations remaining totally innocuous over food. From first year, Draco has mastered a Stinging Hex and has used it on an almost daily basis during mealtimes at the table. After eating for years with Crabbe and Goyle who inhale food as if they are in a constant state of deep starvation, Pansy who steals from other plates, Blaise who casts protection charms over entire serving dishes he claims as his own, and Theo who has the reflexes of a star Keeper, Draco has learned exceptionally efficient manners in protecting his choice of chow. The fact that the Gryffindors don't even draw their wands when they quarrel over who earns the right to possess certain rations of food is already something that Draco wants to burst out in laughter at.
But he refrains, not only because muffins don't have the capacity to laugh, but because there are more important matters at hand. He looks up at the boy holding him captive and curses Pansy Parkinson to Azkaban in a thousand different painful ways. Of all the people to claim possession of him, the universe clearly thought it to fit in nicely with the already thoroughly humiliating joke that is currently Draco's life as a pastry to have Harry Potter to be the one to devour him.
He takes the time to examine him as Potter picks him up. Despite his glorified labels and boosted reputation, there's nothing extraordinary about the boy with the small exception of a resistance to Killing Curses. The state of disarray his hair is always in is something that Draco desperately wants to tame despite the fact that the strands all seem to stick out as if they're all attempting to channel radio signals and might be defiant to combs. His glasses, although appearing as though one well aimed blow to the nose would snap them in the center, are concealing of remarkably brilliant green eyes. Draco's heard gaggles of Hufflepuffs swoon over how lovely it is that Potter managed to inherit his deceased mother's radiant eye color but, as always, dismissed these rumors as rubbish compliments Potter was hardly worthy of.
"You don't even have time to eat that," Weasley's grumpy voice says and interrupts Draco's observations, "We have Quidditch practice."
"Oh," says Potter, "I'll just keep it for later then."
Draco is promptly manhandled into a napkin with yet another indignant squeak, only to then be stuffed into the pocket of Potter's robes to mingle with the dust and assembly of lint there. There is yet another moment in which Draco feels yet another blow to his already weathered ego, a sensation that is quickly losing any foreign touch to it, and watches sadly as he partakes in experiences that no Malfoy should ever be involved in.
He jumps about and bobs along in the dark pocket of Potter's robes as he gets up from the table and heads for the Gryffindor dormitory to drop off his bag, and hopefully, so Draco doesn't have to sit inside a moldy Gryffindor changing room reeking of stink, sweat, and mud, his cupcake. The napkin he's wrapped in, despite the fact that it's draped over his eyelids and is close to suffocating him, is soft and gentle against his baked muffin's skin. He snuggles into it and is about to breathe in the scent of polished broomstick and treacle tart, when he realizes that he's not sniffing out the embedded scent of the napkin, but rather the residue of Potter's acquired odor implanted into the fabric of his robes. As much as a cupcake can, Draco recoils in his wrapper and keeps his nostrils shut against the enticing wafts of Potter's natural aroma.
Through the robes muffling Draco's hearing, he listens to Potter mutter a password to the Gryffindor common room portrait and clambers into it, past the chattering of students spending their lunch period studying for upcoming quizzes and up the stairs to his dormitory. The entire area, even without taking sight of it, is polarized to the Slytherin common room by atmosphere alone. It's warm, cozy, and Draco can perceive the sound of a merry fire dancing away on its logs without even trying to peer over Potter's pocket to see.
Potter's hand reaches into his pocket, pulling out Draco and placing him atop his napkin onto the bedspread. He leans forward, stares directly at Draco's chocolate chip eyes, and murmurs, "Don't let Ron eat you!" before bounding down the stairs to arrive to Quidditch practice on time.
Draco watches his robes billow behind him as he hastens down the stairs and out of earshot, leaving Draco with nothing to occupy himself but to stare around a room that, never in millennia to come, did Draco ever think he would legally set foot into.
The Gryffindor boys' dormitory, he thinks, is just like any other's boys' dormitory with the exception of the vigorous abuse of the color red. It's on the shiny sheets beneath him, it's the tone of the hangings secured on each of Potter's bedposts, and it's the color of the hats and jumpers drooping from Weasley's mess of a trunk. There are rumpled clothes, stacks of textbooks, and posters everywhere. Almost instantly, Draco can identify Finnigan's bed from the bright green shamrock floating above it. Longbottom's nightstand is packed with tomes dedicated to Herbology and potted plants with tentacles feeling blindly into the air surrounding it, one slimy vine wrapped tightly around his bedpost.
In all candor, Draco had expected a behemoth lion protruding from the wall sporting a tangled mane and bared teeth, teeming with Gryffindor pride and roaring at them every morning to alert the dormitory's occupants for the start of their first class. Instead, there's the residual odor of boyish musk drifting about and the quiet sound of a wintery morning chill breezing through the bare branches of tall oak trees waving in the wind outside of the windows.
However, Draco's not focusing on the abstract noises or the sundry decorations adorning the walls adjacent to each boy's bed. The smell of Potter's robes that Draco caught a whiff of while nestled in his pocket is almost overpowering now that he's settled on top of his sheets. What's more horrifying than having to breathe in Harry Potter's odoriferous comforter is not only finding the smell easy to tolerate, but quite pleasant.
As it turns out, Potter's unique and distinctive fragrance is not just limited to superficial odors such as fresh dessert or Quidditch equipment. It's laced with an undercurrent of sweat and a somehow tangible scent of hard work and endless effort, a very wooden aroma of, dare Draco say it, Gryffindor courage intermingled with the sweetness of Sugar Quills. His sheet's don't smell of imported Goblin-made cologne, but only the gentle smell of fresh, soapy shampoo that manages to make all the other odors seem clean. It's almost impossible to imagine so many blends all drifting one from wrinkled sheet, and Draco wonders if he would be able to sniff out the same combination were he to bury his face into the naked crook of Potter's neck. Needless to say, this is a rumination he will not be seeking out to experiment in reality.
Draco is groggily awoken from a slow, languorous nap atop a set of soft sheets to discover that he is a cupcake.
He allows himself a two minute window dedicated to an ardent session of fanatical freaking out in which Draco's composure runs off for a coffee break and fails to return for a good matter of minutes before tranquility is restored in his mind as calmly as possible regarding that the fact that he is a baked good is still accurate.
The silver lining of this incredibly dark raincloud, however, is that he hasn't been brutally consumed in his slumber. He blinks the chocolate smudges of sleep from his eyes and takes in his surroundings.
He's still on top of Potter's bed inside the depths of the Gryffindor boys' dormitory, now eclipsed in the gloom of the rising evening moon. Draco is in the middle of desperately attempting to will his body to twist on the spot and catch a glimpse of the clock ticking away on the nightstand adjacent to Potter's bed. The sound of footsteps dragging themselves up the dormitory stairs saves Draco the trouble.
It's Potter, looking extremely weary even for the aftermaths of an intense Quidditch practice, thumbs rubbing over his eyelids and robes hanging on his shoulders as if boneless muscles are holding up the fabric.
For a moment, the air is thick with the heavy, tangible aura of an awkward, cumbersome wordlessness, and for once after an excruciating day of being transformed into an edible pastry cleverly concealing a boy, Draco is glad that he's not present as a human for this moment. There would surely be consoling morphing into a glorified therapy session and words of comfort, things that Draco flees from like the plague is on his heel. He's had his moments of walking in on Pansy sobbing without reserve onto the Slytherin couch while slobbering over a pillow clutched to her chest and catching the tears blubbering down her front. He's seen Hannah Abbot burst into instant snuffles in the middle of a lecture to bemoan to the entire class about how her stupidity would halt her journey through a successful handful of O.W.L.s. He's even seen Professor Trelawney erupt into unprofessional tears into her myriad of shawls during Umbridge's reign over Hogwarts when her teacher privileges were taken from her. During none of these incidents, however, was Draco overwhelmed with the urge to rush forward and provide comfort, instead opting for absquatulating from the scene, sniggering with Goyle at the sight of emotional weakness weighing down those overloads of estrogen, or refusing to step within a five-foot radius of whoever is weeping in front of him.
Potter, Draco realizes as said boy inches closer to his bed and throws off his robes, doesn't look as deep in the woes of depression as he does thoroughly irritated. Draco's heard plenty of murmurs concerning Potter in the days of his capricious, ferocious outbreaks of rage and tantrums, something all of Gryffindor apparently witnessed firsthand. Potter throws himself down on his bed, narrowly missing Draco by a mere matter of centimeters. A few seconds later, another pair of footsteps reaches the staircase landing and Weasley's apprehensive face appears in the dim light.
"Mate, I'm… really sorry."
There is an almost tangible silence in which Draco, and seemingly Weasley from the guarded twist to his features, wait for the thick tension thick enough to be cut with a Samurai sword and Potter to erupt in a burst of cantankerous yelling and accusing or whip out his wand and start charming every bed into a punching bag for an extensive session of rage relief. When Potter continues to say nothing, instead only flinging his shoes across the room to pile up around his trunk, Weasley speaks once more.
"Ginny, she's just… upset because you didn't choose her, you know?" Weasley is choosing his words as precisely as if each were a lethal bomb threatening to annihilate the entire dormitory, "She doesn't really care that you're... you know. Gay."
Draco abruptly chokes on a crumb from within his own body and hacks it out, chocolate chip eyes blurring at the rough abuse of his throat. His pain still pales in comparison of import to the news he's eavesdropping in on from his disguise as a pastry.
Harry Potter, a boy whose life is already complicated and amplified in destruction enough because of his numerous labels all acquired through nasty rumors fueled by the Daily Prophet and Rita Skeeter's loquacious quill, is willingly enveloping yet another abnormality to his person and flaunting it about with the Gryffindors? For the newspapers to get a hold of Fairy Potter, the Boy-Who-Fancied-Blokes, the Wizarding community would surely explode into interminable murmurs, hardly any of them appreciative of Potter's courageous choice to share the true traits behind his enigmatic face as a hero. Then again, from all of his years of purposefully spreading gossip around Hogwarts regarding Potter, Draco knows firsthand that outsiders aren't keeping open ears for enlightening news pushing individuals in golden spotlights in comparison to the much juicier satisfaction of overhearing about a sticky flaw in the world's champion. He briefly wonders if Potter is brandishing about his newfound homosexuality to reel in attention, something Harry Potter eats for breakfast aside from cupcakes, and then dismisses the idea when he notices Potter's blatant grief from confiding in just the Weasleys.
Draco realizes then that he's actually sympathizing with the Chosen One, the same boy responsible for much of Draco's bitterness throughout months on end all thanks to his refusal to accept his request to befriend him on the train in first year and intensifying animosity following the declination. He wonders if it's because spending a day staring at Potter's sheets and haphazardly organized belongings peppering the floor of the Gryffindor dormitory has erased some of the conceptions Draco previously held of him. Potter does not keep an altar of himself shining in the center of the dormitory surrounded by fresh flowers and shimmering fairy lights. Potter does not boast about his stellar multiple performances rivaling Voldemort or how expertly he maneuvered through all of the obstacles prepared during the Triwizard Tournament. Potter is not the typical poster-boy hero with infallibly even teeth and a pretty girlfriend swooning at his side. Potter is flawed, is irritable with his friends, leaves his cupcakes out to dry in the sun, and is anything but an outlandish misfit by choice. To boot, Draco's mind pipes up with the additional fact that Potter is as gay as a Galleon and does not desire to fulfill the typical family tradition of marrying the Weasley girl and producing enough abundant amounts of redheaded children to fill an entire Charms classroom with just flaming crimson eyebrows.
"Or maybe she does mind," Potter finally says, voice weathered with the exertion of dealing with a disconcerted Ginny Weasley throughout an entire Quidditch practice, "I know you mind, Ron. I can tell every time you talk to me about it."
"I don't mind!" Weasley says, very swiftly, "really, mate. I honestly just didn't know."
Potter ruffles his fingers through his hair and scratches at his scalp with enough aggression to leave nothing but a raw, bald head in the wake of his scraping fingernails. In the end, his hair grows its own brain and puts itself into a state of seemingly unfixable disarray that would make any average comb scream in horror.
"Honestly, Harry! Why would I mind if you're shagging blokes? As long as it's not… me."
Draco will hand it to Weasley that for a boy clearly inept in dealing with distress and confrontations, he's attempting to appease his friend, a task that is losing its drive as Weasley takes sight of Potter's exasperated jaw set and ticking and realizes with a plummet of his organs that Draco can see without any help from x-ray vision that he's just spoken the wrong thing in his effort to provide solace.
"I like blokes, I don't like every bloke," Potter wrestles his hands back into his hair, opens his mouth to release a fresh plethora of bothers loitering in a simmer in the front of his mind, and swallows them back as he closes his mouth and shimmies out of his pants and socks as well.
"Well, Harry, I don't really know how it works––"
"No, no, fine," says Potter, tossing the balled up mass of his wrinkled trousers to mingle with his abandoned shoes in the corner, "Sorry. Night, Ron."
Potter's legs swing over the bed, practically in slow motion, underside of his knee landing directly atop Draco the muffin. He squeals, squirms to no avail, and slowly feels himself being compressed as if stuck between a printing press before Potter yelps and scrambles to his feet to examine the foreign object sitting on his sheets. Slowly, Draco inflates back to faintly the same fluffiness he possessed before as Potter rubs away the grease stain on the underside of his pant leg. Wavering beside the bed left to Harry's, Weasley finally deems the situation beyond his control and accepts its completion before climbing into his own sheets and avoiding his friend's eyes as Harry futilely tries to remove the buttery spot sneering up at his face.
"Shoddy cupcake!" Potter bellows, right before he slams the offending cupcake that, prior to his unpleasant encounter with his Quidditch teammates, he had gone through the effort of stealing out from underneath his best mate's grasp in order to receive the delight of ingesting it himself. Draco bristles and draws himself up after the throb in his bottom from being thumped so brutally onto the nightstand fades into an ache he may have to examine for bruises in the mirror when he's returned to his typical state. Beside him in the darkness, Potter is wriggling his way into bed with as many kicks and shoves to his sheets possible without ending up in a deathly tangle.
His blatant fury only seems to gain fuel when Potter punches his pillow into shape, only succeeding in flattening it beyond submission, something Weasley has expertly caught on to as Draco hears the telltale sound of tentative shuffling and closed hangings.
There have been a few incidents of bad tempers wafting around the Slytherin dormitory. Sometimes, Pansy's horrible temper even drifts over to the boys' side. Sometimes, Draco is the most easily provoked and harassed boy in his year, always ready to release a diatribe of offensive remarks to whoever manages to peeve him enough. Blaise's anger makes itself present in a scarily subtle manner that appears in stage one silence, stage two silence, and stage three world war III. Goyle's rage can be measured by the amount of dents marring his bedpost all created by his whirring fists.
The Gryffindors, however, seem to be masters of brooding. He watches as Potter nestles into his sheets, rolls on his back, and finally settles on his side, eyes on the cupcake in front of him.
His face is dark in the shadows and bathed in the night like spilled gasoline, eclipsed by the dim light only broken by the stray rays of moonlight shining through the flimsy curtains concealing the window nearby. His glasses are now perched side by side with Draco's position, eyes incongruously bare without their spectacles. Even now, with Potter still relaxing the aftermaths of his lingering exasperation, his expression is halcyon. Draco can tell just from catching a glimpse of Potter's eyes that there's a battle working away in the gears of his mind replacing any vestiges of preparation for sleep that are already drawing snores from the redhead a bed to the left. He watches for another fleeting moment, mind buzzing with the thought of Potter experimenting with faceless, muscled boys in the Quidditch locker room through the post-game sweat and musing over how short his lifespan might be tomorrow as a baked good, before he allows his own eyes to close to give way to a fitful sleep.
The birds are just starting to twitter at the morning light when Draco awakens from his endless dreams in which he was brutally devoured and reborn as a premature cupcake-to-be as a bowl of flour in the Hogwarts kitchen being bustled over by the house elves, only to be served to a group of famished Hufflepuffs and recycled all over once more. He blinks the horrifying remnants of his nightmare out of his brain and takes in his surroundings.
The first thing he notices is that he has never before in his life felt in such dire need of a hosing down and vigorous soapy scrubbing. He's developed a very thin layer of dust tickling his nostrils overnight, as well as a crust of aging skin that is slowly working its way to Draco's very core. It's foreign, the sensation of his insides slowly drying of any vestiges of moistness that no human has ever had the pleasure to experience. He realizes, wryly, that this is a privilege of being a stale baked good.
The second thing Draco becomes aware of is that Harry Potter's eyes are staring directly at him.
For a fleeting second, Draco wonders if he's materialized in his own flesh and is now nestled atop a stiff nightstand with actual hands and feet, but then he remembers that during such a situation in which Draco Malfoy appears magically slumbering next to Harry Potter's bed, Harry Potter himself would not be staring at him in speechless silence as if entirely accustomed to the sight of a Slytherin sleeping beside him. Instead there would be hexes and roars of accusation, and since Draco's chocolate chips are still entirely intact, he believes that Potter is merely fascinated with the sight of his old breakfast.
It's a little intense. His gaze is unwavering, as if his green eyes, even more resplendent in the light of day, have never been more awed to watch a lifeless cupcake sit on his nightstand. The concentration of his gaze starts unnerving Draco to the point of him wanting to vanish into the wooden tabletop beneath him up until Potter's eyes snap over to Weasley, recently dressed and fixing his rumpled tie.
"Coming down to breakfast, mate?"
"No," Potter says, motioning vaguely toward his nightstand where Draco sits watching the conversation between the two Gryffindors, "forgot I still had this."
"Isn't it a bit old by now?"
"Maybe," shrugs Potter, jaw set. Beside him, Weasley shifts from foot to foot, clearly still concerned with his obligatory best friend duty to not abandon Potter upstairs alone and start probing as to what has bothered him enough for him to boycott a table full of fresh breakfast food.
"Harry… you know she'll come around. You can still come down to breakfast even if she's there. I know she's my sister, but I won't let her duff around with my best mate over toast."
"It's not about Ginny," Potter clarifies. Draco doesn't need to learn proper Legimency to tell that Potter's lying and is clearly still bothered about last night's incident. In his head, Draco imagines a shouting match in the Quidditch changing rooms where the Weaselette, feeling her dreams of a two-story house with the Chosen One collapse, lets loose a diatribe of homophobia as vicious payback all the while fighting off the attempts to subdue the assault by her brother. In the Slytherin changing rooms, there is always a superfluous amount of grunting and daunting pep talk. The Slytherin Quidditch team runs on pure intimidation to win most of their matches, if not illegal tactics, and doesn't engage in sentimental group hugs before matches as surely the Gryffindors do. Feigning affection on a daily basis is prone to release outbursts now and then, something Potter clearly saw the wrathful side of the night prior. Weasley, shifting from foot to foot, also hardly seems of convinced of his friend's reasoning, but finds little logic in debating it with Potter and with a shrug, shuffles down the boys' dormitory stairs to breakfast.
Outside a window, an owl hoots and passes by with the wave of tawny wings and feathers. Distant enough to be in another universe, the faint sound of noisy Exploding Snap games and students mingling in the common room before class to frantically share essay introductions drifts up the steps. Harry Potter clears his throat.
"Ron probably doesn't believe me," says Potter suddenly, and Draco scans the room for Finnigan's scruffy head rising from his bed or Longbottom emerging from the bathroom door in a towel. When he finds that the dormitory is deserted of all sluggish boys freshly awoken for first period Potions, he swivels his gaze back around to where Potter is still nestled in his sheets to find that his green eyes, still bare of glasses, are aimed directly on Draco.
Once again, he searches himself for hands, feet, or disembodied toes. It's one thing to stare at a muffin and count its chocolate chips, and another to attempt a discussion with it.
"…but it's true," Potter continues, "I don't care if Ginny's down there. I really just... don't want to see anyone."
Draco stares down at himself. He sees a patterned cupcake wrapper instead of a rumpled boy in a Slytherin tie and greasy, sugary clothing smelling of flour and vanilla extract. He justifies that, were he human, Potter would not be commencing a meaningful therapy session with him regarding the secrets so troublesome to the turmoil of his brain that he dare not reveal it even to Weasley, but under normal circumstances, finds it hard to believe that Potter would do the same for an inanimate dessert.
"Hermione has been trying really hard to be considerate ever since I came out to her," he mumbles, eyes wide as cauldron lids on the muffin, apparently hardly concerned that the conversation is one-sided and failing to retrieve any response from the dessert. "She's been great. But she doesn't get it. I don't think she understands that I don't care about how many people talk behind my back, I just care about finding someone who… gets me."
He chuckles. Draco starts feeling the prickles of discomfort lace around his spine and squeeze it tightly. Under typical conditions where he wouldn't be sitting atop Potter's nightstand as a cupcake, but instead cleverly smuggled in to eavesdrop on Gryffindors and come back to the Slytherin common room to boast about all of their rival's nastiest secrets, he would be controlling his sniggers by biting on the sleeve of his robes and committing every one of Potter's word to careful memory to swallow back with relish at the sight of him spilling his homosexual escapade concerns to a cupcake. But here, concealed in a disguise that fooled all of the Gryffindors that Draco didn't consent to, all the while being forced to listen to Potter's woes, this feels uncomfortably as if he's prying in something vital that isn't his place to listen to. As a Malfoy, humiliating others is a delightful pastime that's practically a hereditary habit, but for once, the ridicule falters in the forefront of Draco's witty mind.
"I guess after all the weight of... actually being the Chosen One, it'd be nice to have someone there with me too," he says, "Sirius is gone. My parents are gone."
He trails off, pinning his bottom lip between his teeth. Draco deflates. He knows Harry Potter's history; he was a heroic savior since his diaper-donning years and continues to flaunt around Hogwarts with a cape of victory. He looks at Harry, fixedly avoiding his eyes, and realizes that he doesn't know him at all. The boy he made fun of for being an orphan, the boy whose godfather Draco encouraged his father to turn into the Minister, the boy who he assumed to be one hundred percent knowledgeable about simply because he knew of his deceased family members and the murderer who caused it.
By this point, Draco feels as if he should say something. He doesn't mollify or console people with the grace of a psychologist or a mother, but he knows the time to speak up when he hears its awkward loitering in the room. He opens his mouth, bites back his witty banters, and realizes that even if he had the desire to call Potter a homophobic slur, his tongue is not in the position to be vocalizing words right now anyway.
"This is…" Potter runs a hand through his hair until it's messy enough for birds to nest in and blinks out of his reverie, sitting up, "...ridiculous. You're a cupcake. I'm talking to a cupcake."
He shakes his head as if to clear the vestiges of his temporary lunacy from his faintly sleep-fogged brain and reaches out to, instead of finish his conversation, grab Draco around the middle.
Draco is given no warning with the exception of being stuffed into Potter's mouth almost entirely whole, catching sight of his teeth, rivaling the horror of a set of shark incisors once magnified with Draco's close propinquity, and waiting with hardly contained shrieks for the blow to cause his torturous death.
Pansy Parkinson, dementors will eat your soul!
The bite comes, harder than Draco expected, right into the fleshy part of his lower lip. He realizes, suddenly, that while in Potter's distorted perspective, the boy is merely eating a cupcake past its prime, but in Draco's entirely diverse universe, Potter's teeth are nibbling on his mouth.
It's not a leisurely, agonizing munch, Draco realizes, it's an unorthodox, bizarre facsimile of a kiss. Potter's tongue, wet and warm from the residue of his sleep, is sliding over the pad of his bottom lip, right before he goes in for another chomp.
A nanosecond later, Draco realizes that he's hearing his own audible voice break the silence instead of just the irritated mental monologue he's been living with for hours during his adventure as a cupcake. It's then that he realizes that he has fingers that flex and toes that wriggle and stringy hair that needs the shower as much as he did in his brittle cupcake form falling into his forehead. The whoop of triumph and victory of usurping Pansy's heinous schemes almost rings through the air when he realizes that Potter is still pressed up against him and smells of Gryffindor sheets.
He realizes almost as swiftly as Draco that he's no longer eating a bit of old breakfast, but rather trapping a supple lower lip in the cage of his teeth. There's a loud clack of front teeth bucking into each other, stifled groans of pain, and a stumble apart as fact as if they had been pulled away by invisible ropes tied around their middles.
The yell of success hardly seems appropriate anymore as he realizes that the very action that would have led to his consumption and demise was the incongruous cure to his curse. Draco fiddles with his precious hands returned gratefully back to their owner in one, uninjured piece and tries to explain the predicament in which he wandered the halls of Hogwarts as a cupcake thanks to Pansy's misplaced and inane estrogen-laced frustration. He finds himself being momentarily preoccupied by relearning the magical use of his fingertips, feeling the silky fabric of his robes and the soft skin graced with the presence of growing stubbles on his chin. He touches, touches, and touches, and then he looks up at Potter's horrified face. His fingertips are brushing over his lips as if he's not quite sure what's just happened under his own mouth, eyes raking over Draco's figure like he's never seen a boy before. For a moment, he looks as if he wants to seize Draco by the hair and do it again just because the first time around wasn't very good. Draco wants him to do it again. When he realizes this, he clears his raspy, unused throat and Potter jumps.
"This was not my idea, Potter," says Draco, desperately, and then does what Malfoys do best, and flees.
Even though he is no longer affiliated with them, cupcakes continue to haunt Draco like a gang dementors on his tail.
Freshly showered and relishing in his reclaimed ability to speak by snarling and hollering at frightened first years just to hear the sound of his own sleek voice, Draco is almost humming on his walk down to the Great Hall for an early lunch when he sits down on the bench and finds three plates of fresh cupcakes staring up at him.
They stare as if he has forsaken them. As if he has abandoned his family. As if they cannot understand his utter betrayal. They have raisins and chocolate chips and dried cherries proportionally placed as eyes. At least, Draco sees eyes. Goyle sees food. Blaise sees cupcakes. Pansy sees calories. Draco sees accusatory, imploring glances.
He wonders, as he stares down at the plates, if any of them are humans screaming in pure horror, waiting for the sweet release back out of the world of cuisine and into humanity. He realizes that it's very possible. Pansy surely wasn't done radiating off cantankerous fumes when she finished jinxing Draco yesterday morning and may have victimized other innocent students. He prods a cupcake and wonders if he's staring down at Theo's innocent form. The cupcake looks like Theo. The one next to him looks like Harry Potter.
Draco's tormented thoughts are only interrupted by the shrieking sound of Pansy storming into the hall and scanning the entire place with the precision of searching for a single needle amidst thousands of shoes on the floor. She rushes toward the Slytherin table and almost throttles Millicent Bulstrode.
"Did you eat him?" she screeches, "have you seen a cupcake? I knew I shouldn't have done it! I've killed Draco Malfoy! He's probably been eaten by a Weasley!"
She whirls on the Greengrass sisters, grilling them both for the history of all snacks they have consumed in the past day, and Draco is amused to watch Pansy's remorse in the form of panic for a solid three minutes in which both Astoria and Daphne melt into the floor beneath them before he clears his throat.
"You're a crazy bint," he drawls from the end of his table, "and would be better off as a bowl of Christmas pudding."
There is a moment where Draco cannot breathe as Pansy flings herself across the table and manages to pulverize Draco's ribs and vital organs all in the same crushing embrace. When she pulls back, she appears as if she also harbors the desire to throttle Draco after thoroughly instilling fear in Millicent, already a challenging task, as if it is all Draco's fault that he was transformed into a cupcake free of independent movement and speech and fell from the safety of her grasp.
"You gave me to Gryffindors," he spits, wrangling her back into the seat adjacent to his as opposed to his lap. "Go be ashamed in a corner."
"You weren't supposed to wander off like that! I was worried, you prick!"
She slaps him, but it's pitiful. Her hand is quivering and feels akin to a dead fish laying on his cheek when she tries to hit him. Apparently, Draco realizes, Pansy was under the impression that Draco has just arisen from a life-risking situation and narrowly missed a prepared grave in the process. Draco would agree, considering that he went through many instances in which teeth came close to his body and he believed the end of his life was lingering near dangerously, but refuses to acknowledge such a blatant weakness of fear to Pansy.
"You're a horrible person," he says around the rim of his goblet, "and I should give you the cold shoulder for days."
She whines and tugs on his sleeve, clearly not on board with the suggestion, "I want to hear what happened."
Draco looks down and catches sight of the cupcake bearing resemblance to Harry Potter and finds that suddenly, they all bear resemblance to Harry Potter. He makes out the clear outline of skinny spectacles in the icing on one. Brilliantly green eyes stare up at him from another muffin until he realizes that he's staring into the depths of pistachios in horror.
Pansy is looking at him no longer in the face of shame and utmost guilt, but instead the juice of gossip is watering at her mouth. She must have picked up on the fact that, after being handed cruelly over to the Gryffindor table, he was able to overhear numerous conversations between all of them possibly containing naughty pieces of scandalous rumors. He looks at her face, urging on his words, and realizes rather dryly that the most salacious bit of news he has is the bit of the story where Harry Potter kissed him and possibly did it again and Draco replied by most eloquently taking flight from the dormitory.
At the Gryffindor table, Potter is nowhere to be found. All of his friends are slowly trickling into lunch, Weasley and Granger wandering in suspiciously absent of Potter's presence. For whatever reason, Draco finds it hard to believe that Potter is upstairs now spilling his soul to his hangings or a ticking clock.
He hopes, a small bubble of fear rearing its head in Draco's stomach, that he hasn't sought out revenge on Draco and now has his essence embedded in a cupcake of his own, peering up at Slytherin table and plotting painful payback.
If he found Potter hidden in his dormitory and was forced to plant a wet one on his lips, Draco would most certainly be seeking out vengeance himself. He looks at Potter's empty chair at the Gryffindor table and hopes Potter works on a different mindset when it comes to retribution.
Payback comes in the form of a mousy first year thrusting a folded piece of paper into his hand during a previously languorous evening lounging on the Slytherin common room couch.
He doesn't want to take it when he first looks at it. It could be Professor McGonagall sending him an admonishment attached with a date and time for his detention for missing Transfiguration thanks to his cupcake handicap, it could be a letter from one of mother's owls mixed in with another's mail, or, worst case scenario, it could be Potter's and be infested with horrendous infections ready to spring out and dive straight for Draco's pants. From what he hears, Granger knows how to set up jinxes like a professional and probably wouldn't be averse to helping Potter prepare one if he babbled the story concerning what happened in his dormitory in the morning to her.
"I don't want it."
"You have to take it," the girl insists with an astounding amount of bravado for a first year, "I was asked to give it to you."
When she shoves the paper onto his chest and fixes him with a glare that makes him shiver even when he's looking two feet down at her face, he relents, snarls, and snatches it up. He's about to shoo her so he can dispose of the letter in the fire after spying for a sender's name when her left hand turns up with a cupcake.
"This too," she says, and she promptly plants it straight into his palm without a shred of warning.
Now, Draco is uneasy.
He resumes his seat on the couch, no longer sprawled like a regal cat purring into the cushions, but perched on the end with a stiff rigidity to his spine as he pushes the cupcake onto the other end of the sofa and cautiously peels open the letter.
I have no idea what happened this morning or how much you heard but you need to talk to me. Hermione says the Arithmancy classroom is empty after nine.
Please don't tell anyone.
PS: I'm not the cupcake. It was just a bribe to get you to read this.
Draco looks from the letter to the cupcake given plenty of distance on the right side of the couch. The letter is full of unintelligible scratches, hasty handwriting, and reeks of uncertainty. Draco looks at the small Potter withering on the bottom of the letter. For a moment, he's not certain where the uneasiness comes from and instantly comes to the conclusion that it's a ploy to yank away Draco's guard so Potter can ambush him in the Arithmancy classroom with dungbombs. It's not until the don't tell anyoneprocesses in his brain and he realizes that he was around to listen to Potter spill his heart concerning his preferences in dicks over tits that he dismisses his theory that Potter is up to No Good and bad intentions and is more interested in salvaging his reputation to a school who cares more about gossip than grades.
He looks down again at the earnest reassurances that the cupcake is real and the pleads to engage in an afterhours rendezvous in an abandoned classroom just so Potter can beg on his knees for Draco to keep his mouth shut about his closeted homosexuality. The image is appealing and enough to paint Draco a lifetime supply of smirks on his lips, especially if there will be tears and a surplus of pleases.
Draco narrowly avoids Peeves wreaking havoc in the third floor corridor and provoking Myrtle in the bathroom and Filch wheezing around a corner with Mrs. Norris lurking in his wake. He curses suits of armor, Filch's filthy behind, and Harry Potter all in the same ten minutes during his walk to the Arithmancy classroom by candlelight after curfew.
This is the sort of thing he would do to sneak into the Gryffindor dormitory because Blaise dared him just to return with tales of ridicule and humiliation. This is the sort of thing that he would do because Crabbe is hungry for truffles at midnight and is too daft to find the kitchen without getting caught. This is not something Draco would do to meet up with Harry Potter so he can bemoan about the horrors and stings of being a homosexual student in Hogwarts.
He finds the Arithmancy classroom and pulls out his wand out of necessary paranoia in case a colony of Cornish pixies are flying amok waiting for a human to tickle and torture. The door creaks open and Draco spies a shadow in the shape of a lump of a boy sitting atop a desk.
"Potter," he says quietly, as if being any louder wouldn't be appropriate for the dim atmosphere of the classroom sans lit torches.
Potter swivels on the desk, "Malfoy," he says, and jumps to his feet, "I thought you'd bring your cronies."
"No," Draco says. He should be offended, having his friends just referred to as if they're gang members with a vocabulary consisting of only one-syllable phrases. Instead he sticks to noand stares at Potter.
"Can we talk?"
"That's why I'm here, isn't it?" says Draco. Potter shifts.
"I... I haven't told anyone what happened," he mutters with a surprising lack of audacity for the Boy-Who-Lived, "Probably because I don't know what did happen and I'm hoping you won't tell anyone either."
"That you're gay?" Draco says with no finesse, and Potter winces, "In the closet, are we?"
"Don't rub it in, Malfoy," he says, some of his fervor returning to his voice, "Why were you even hiding as a cupcake in my dormitory?"
Draco shifts on the spot. He had hoped that this conversation wouldn't have arisen and instead, the entire discussion would consist of Potter holding back tears with watery eyes and pleading with Draco for him to keep his silence while brandishing expensive bribes in both hands. He knows that his alibi is absurd, and he's silently thankful that this isn't McGonagall grilling him for an excuse.
"Pansy was angry at me, Potter," he spits, emphasizing all of the consonants in Potter's name to sound like he's enunciating the labels for horrendous diseases including boils and ruptures instead of a surname, "I wasn't sneaking into your dormitory to listen to you and Weasley have a sleepover and braid each other's hair."
Potter fixes him with a dark look that looks rather ominous in the eclipsed light of the darkened classroom before he realizes once more that he has pleading to do instead of reprimanding and drops the foreboding countenance, "It doesn't matter," he finally brushes off, "What matters is that... you were there for a while. And heard a lot. And... I can't have you tell anyone."
"The Chosen One is ashamed because he doesn't want to have two and a half children in the countryside with a witch?"
"Make fun of me later," Potter snaps, and Draco is mortified to already sense an edge of audible desperation tingling at the corner of his voice, "Just please say you won't tell anyone."
He's negotiating with a Slytherin with wide eyes. They aren't very green in the dark; they blend in with the shadows and appear rather stilted in a film of fog. He looks nothing like a hero or even a boy with courage eclipsed in the gloom of the night, but rather a young student with worries as superficial as passing Advanced Potions and hiding his lack of normality from a judgmental group of gossipmonger peers. Suddenly, the image of Potter emitting a torrent of pleases and crying at his feet is no longer very satisfying and any traces of a smug smile to come are wiped from Draco's mind. He's never felt less like a Malfoy before in his life in this dark Arithmancy classroom with Harry Potter.
"No one would care," he mutters, "Your fanbase would just be disappointed."
Potter's shoulders sag in relief and oddly enough, his eyes look greener. Draco looks at the array of chipped desks soldiered into place by his left. Someone has scratched a message into the wood of one of them with their quill. Through the crude handwriting, Draco deciphers the word stinks. His mind supplies him with the memory of fourth year when he found it appropriate to charm badges to spit Potter stinks!at every passing person. They were adequate charms. Blaise, who was normally above the immaturity of being outright offensive to the Gryffindors unless they approached him, indulged in Draco's enthusiasm to smash down any fortitude Potter had mustered up for his entrance to the tournament and mastered the permanence charm on the buttons with Draco.
He looks from the desk to Potter. The badges seem silly now. He remembers hours of laughter thanks to them in his fourth year. He wonders if Potter ever found it in him to laugh over them too. He wonders if he did the same after their almost kiss hours ago.
"Look... I know it was never your business in the first place, but thanks," despite his relief, Potter still looks as if he's sitting on eggshells that are digging into his hindquarters. It's starting to wander over to Draco's insides too.
"Well," he says, "is that all?" He can hear Peeves clattering down the corridor after having clearly deemed his job of creating kerfuffle on the third corridor worthy of catastrophe and wandered down the stairs to continue the chaos. Filch's voice, scratchy and rough like firewhiskey, roars after the poltergeist from hallways away.
"No," says Potter, very quickly. He looks like an awkward teenage boy wringing his hands in front of his crush, ready to swallow his dignity and chance a risk by suggesting a date to Hogsmeade into the air. Draco realizes suddenly that this is actually possible.
"Do you need something else?" Draco's surprised by how civil he hears his own voice being. He should be snapping at Potter to hasten through his words so he can stalk back to the dungeons and into his sheets. The very peaks of his fingertips are tingling as if electrocuted. Potter's eyes seem to only be getting greener. For whatever reason, Draco feels a very quiet apology sitting on the cusp of his tongue. For the badges. For the teasing. For turning into a cupcake and eavesdropping on his life.
"Yes," Potter says, once again almost tripping over his words to speak so swiftly, "When you were –– when you were a cupcake. And I… tried to –– to eat you."
Draco realizes now why Potter looks so incredibly uncomfortable. Draco himself, feels uncomfortable. He feels like a girl being asked to the Yule Ball by a bumbling, adolescent fool staggering through puberty. He feels like he's thirteen, lacking the poise of his father and the grace of his mother and the sneer of all of his ancestors. The sneer, however, doesn't seem appropriate for the time being. Potter's fingers are brushing over his own lips again.
"Oh," Draco mumbles, "that."
"When I kissed you," Potter finally manages to blurt out, "Should I be sorry about… that?"
Potter's eyes are wide and vulnerable once again, just like when he was cocooned in his bed and wishing on two chocolate chips protruding from a stale cupcake for someone to understand him past the point of shallow labels.
"You bit me," Draco mumbles, his hands suddenly on his lips as well, tracing over the skin as if to feel Potter's DNA there, "You should probably be sorry."
"I thought you were… breakfast," Potter says, looking sufficiently chagrined for the abuse he delivered to Draco's lower lip, "You were a muffin."
"Yes," Draco says, and this entire situation is absurd simply because it includes cupcakes and chomps acting as proxies for kisses, and not to mention Harry Potter possibly musing over the degree of excellence and adequacy his kiss with Draco Malfoy possessed, "But I'm a human now."
He doesn't know why he says it, but Potter takes it as a green light. He pounces forward in one lunge of Gryffindor bravery, yet another sparkle of relief evident in Potter's shadowed face as he grabs Draco's pallid face in his hands and pushes the corners of their mouths together.
The first thing Draco feels is shock and panic coursing through his veins as a substitute for blood and pulsing harder than adrenaline as he breathes in the musk of broomstick handles and Sugar Quills, all of it essence of Potter. The second thing he notices is that this is nothing at all like being kissed as a muffin.
His very human hands, that are, for whatever unknown reason that Draco will never confess to a single Slytherin, quivering, grab Potter's waist and fist the fabric of his robes until his knuckles brush against the firm solidity of the small of Potter's back through his jumper, and his very human nose is pressed up against Potter's. His very human lips are not being eaten, but kissed gently despite the cumbersome angle at which Potter is approaching them at. It is a messy, wet, and fast kiss, but when Potter pulls back with shiny lips that exhale a gust of hot breath over Draco's chin and eyes framed with long ebony lashes, he knows it won't be the last.
"I couldn't stop thinking about –– is this –– is this okay?" Potter asks, the thirteen year old boy surfacing again.
"Definitely not, Potter," says Draco, wondering when the breath escaped his lungs to mingle in the air elsewhere, "but it's good."
It is extremely difficult for Draco to expound why this suddenly feels so addictive and right. He's a Slytherin, a Malfoy, and recently, was living life as a cupcake, and now, he's smacking mouths with Harry Potter, the biggest Gryffindor to be born into the Wizarding world since Godric himself.
Potter's tongue, gaining confidence, licks and soothes over the spot where he bit into Draco's bottom lip mere hours before. He wonders if earlier, he tasted of sugar and cupcake icing and if now, he tastes of something else entirely. Harry tastes like a game of Quidditch in the snow and Chocolate Frogs. Draco touches his tongue to Harry's and suddenly, his hands are not just on his waist, but everywhere.
He cannot believe that all of this was because of a cupcake. Because he had the nerve to taunt Pansy's dress collection and then become the subject to her wrath and Transfiguration practice. Because Ron Weasley wanted the Slytherin cupcakes as opposed to the dull ones stationed at the Gryffindor table. Because Harry Potter felt the need to pocket Draco the muffin and reveal to him the worries deep beneath the concern of defeating the greatest dark wizard of the world. Because Draco risked Filch mumbling about torture by thumb stretching while leading him to the Headmaster's office after hours to hear what Potter had to say. But really, it all boils down to the cupcake.
Potter lets out the tiniest noise of contentment as Draco ghosts a hand up his side and is rewarded with being able to practically feel the heat of an erubescent blush warming Potter's cheeks in the wake of his moan. Draco realizes that this is most likely Potter's first kiss with a boy instead of a girl with long hair and a soft stomach. He wonders if Potter prefers the afternoon stubble and unyielding hands over the blushing femininity of a girl, and intent on helping his opinion along, Draco seizes the moment and kisses him harder.
Really, none of it makes any sense. They're Slytherin and Gryffindor arch nemeses, quarreling in class and in hallways since they were innocent eleven-year-olds, intent on being offensive to each other's hair, intelligence, and companions just because it seemed appropriate after a botched attempt to become acquaintances on the train. But they're similar despite all of their blaring differences, and certainly similar enough to understand each other.
Draco still wants to try and trip Potter in the corridors and avoid his first name like an expired carton of milk. He's still going to make fun of Weasley's freckles and Granger's head of bushy hair. And Potter will probably do the same. He'll hide in the closet, roll his eyes when he sees Draco walking with Goyle in the hallway, and he'll defend Hagrid the oaf to the edge of the earth. He has most likely set himself up with the person most likely to drive him over the edge of insanity and then, pull him straight back to reality. He knows that Draco is probably the mirror image for Harry.
Potter's hands are still tentative in their exploration, never breaking the fusion of their mouths. Harry's mouth is wet and warm again and is delivering everything a kiss should be to Draco, even if he's inexperienced in the execution of male on male osculation. It's perfection, even for someone who criticizes flawlessness when it's thrust in his face, and Draco pays his respects to the Lord of Cupcakes.
"This is the craziest thing I've ever done," Potter says, as if reading Draco's entire stack of contemplations, pulling back to refill his lungs with oxygen and stare at Draco in awe as if he's deranged to consider continue touching him.
"Talking to your muffin was less insane?"
"I think it's about the same," he says, but he's grinning, the same grin Draco's seen him throw at the Weasley twins during the aftermaths of a particularly clever prank or at Granger when she's outsmarted the Slytherins in class. Right now it's directed straight at Draco as if they're not enemies, with the same unguarded lack of reserve he used to chat with his cupcake. A tingle of something very special electrocutes Draco's brain and shoots straight south. With his mind sufficiently short-circuited, he abandons all attempts to ruminate and captures Potter's mouth again. He can almost hear his parents die premature, simultaneous deaths of shock and continues to divulge in the palatability that is Potter's mouth anyway. When Draco's hand wanders lower to pull out Potter's tucked in shirt and graze the sliver of bared skin with two fingers right above the tantalizing V of Potter's hipbones, it gets even better.
"So, Potter," Draco murmurs, planting one more kiss on Harry's lips before nipping at the shell of his ear and letting his palm roam over the pad of his tummy, "ever gotten to second base with a cupcake?"
The story, Draco will admit, is not something that Malfoys would put on the inside of a wedding invitation. It is also not something that his mother would parade about to strangers for them to marvel over her son's romantic charisma. It's something that, if Draco has heard correctly, Harry hasn't even fully explained to Hermione and Ron because it is simply too bizarre even for fairytales.
In the years, Harry has tweaked the story in which Draco anonymously sent an embellished basket of chocolate chip muffins to be delivered to Harry's bed only to reveal himself to be the sender of the gift after days of Harry fruitlessly searching for his altruistic benefactor of cupcakes. Draco modifies the story as well for his parents' sake, retelling it in which Harry was the one helplessly stuck as a muffin with stubby, raisin legs hobbling down the second floor corridor when Draco valiantly decided to teach his former foe a thing or two about Transfiguration. Hardly anyone –– with the exception of Pansy who has, remarkably enough, kept her gossipmonger mouth shut even after years of tormenting silence about the incident –– knows the candor behind the now tall tale. Draco, however, will remember until he's croaking out his last wishes on a deathbed of Slytherin silk. It's not easy to remember the day you turned into a cupcake and Harry Potter rescued you with a kiss.
Draco spends every morning marveling at his patience. For a Slytherin, he's spent a whole lot of time in close proximity with an infuriating Gryffindor without beheading him in his sleep. At Hogwarts, whenever Draco was feeling particularly grumpy or Harry was keen to avoid Draco after a rather nasty altercation over who won the last game of chess, they could storm off to their respective dungeons and Towers without hassle. After school, both of them were psychotic enough to agree to live in the same flat where they had to deal with each other's mood swings, tantrums, demands for Chocolate Frogs, and long showers. And yet every morning after Draco awakens and questions what he's doing with this absurd boy seemingly intent on making him gnaw off the roots of his hair, Harry snuggles up to him, sighs into his neck and delivers him a superb hand-job to later be followed with him feeding Draco chunks of homemade chocolate chip muffins which Hermione brings over as a specialty treat that he has grown to devour with the speed of a famished demon that erase any doubts he has about how much he loves Harry Potter.
Which, after doing this for more mornings than he can count on his fingers and toes combined, Draco can only submit to honesty; he loves him. Harry has had his own handful of revelations; sometimes cupcakes are better than men, but sometimes, Draco Malfoy is better than a cupcake.