Outside the bathroom, Harry pressed his ear against the door. He could not hear anything. He very quietly pushed the door open.
Draco Malfoy was standing with his back to the door, his hands clutching either side of the sink, his white-blond head bowed.
"Don't," crooned Moaning Myrtle's voice from one of the cubicles. "Don't ... tell me what's wrong ... I can help you …."
"No one can help me," said Malfoy. His whole body was shaking. "I can't do it ... I can't ... it won't work ... and unless I do it soon ... he says he'll kill me ...."
Harry's eyes widened as he realised just what Malfoy was doing. He was crying, actually crying. Harry felt like he couldn't move. He simply stared at Malfoy from the door.
Draco shut his eyes, letting his chin fall to his chest. Tears continued to stream, but he couldn't look at himself anymore. "I am dead."
Harry was unsure of what to do. He could just walk away, forget about what he had seen, but for some strange reason his feet wouldn't move. He was terrified that Malfoy would see him. Harry knew that he would never like to be caught crying, especially by one of his enemies. He felt the entire situation would be very awkward if Malfoy were to turn around.
Draco leant forward, turning on the cold tap and cupping his hands under the flow. He splashed the soothing water on his face, trying to wash away any evidence of this weakness.
Harry came to himself then. He took a quiet, tiny step backward, hoping that he wouldn't draw Malfoy's attention, but ....
"What are you doing here?" came the voice of Moaning Myrtle.
Harry froze again and his eyes shot over to where Malfoy was standing.
Draco looked quickly up into the mirror and saw Potter at the door. He scowled and turned, hand on his wand, but not yet casting. "What do you want, Potter?"
Harry immediately went defensive. "This is the loo. What do you think I want?" he said harshly. He tried to make sure that nothing indicated he had heard Malfoy crying at all. He stepped fully into the room and began to make his way over to one of the cubicles, despite the fact that he didn't actually have to go.
Draco frowned, not quite believing Potter. Unable to think of anything better to do, he crossed his arms over his chest and leant back against a sink.
Harry looked at Malfoy out of the corner of his eye as he crossed the room. Was Malfoy just going to stand there? Harry reached the stall and closed its door behind him.
"You should tell him to leave," Myrtle said to Draco haughtily. "He doesn't have any business being in here. He probably only came to give you grief."
"I can handle Potter," the blond told her.
Harry ignored Myrtle and forced himself to piss a little. He found it quite strange that Malfoy had been talking to the ghost and crying in the first place.
"Well, of course you can handle him," Myrtle continued in a sympathetic voice. "But you shouldn't have to deal with that right now." She looked like she wanted to pet Draco's hair.
Draco nodded. "I know, but leave us for now. Okay?" the blond told her.
Myrtle's eyes narrowed slightly, and she put her hands on her hips. "Well, fine," she said huffily. "If you don't want me here." She gave Draco an offended, nasty look, but still didn't seem to be leaving.
Harry reached and flushed the toilet, hoping to get out of the bathroom while Malfoy spoke to Myrtle.
Myrtle floated above Draco for another moment, but when he seemed to be quite serious about her leaving, she turned angrily and floated through the wall of the cubicle that Harry was in, just as he was zipping his trousers back up.
"Oy!" he exclaimed.
She threw him a nasty look as well before disappearing down the toilet, wetting Harry's shoes. Harry let out an angry sound. Cursing Myrtle, he turned and exited the stall. Malfoy was still standing at the sinks. Harry walked over towards him to wash his hands. He avoided Malfoy's eyes and wished that he would have just left when he'd had the chance.
"So, Potter," Draco sneered, "why have you been following me?"
Harry's eyes shot to Draco for a second, but shot back just as quick. "I haven't been following you," he said, trying to work some disgust into his voice.
"Sure, you haven't ..." Draco drawled. "You just happen to be wherever I am these days." He stepped behind Harry, putting himself between him and the door.
Harry finished washing his hands and grabbed a towel to dry them, aware of Malfoy's movement. He paused for a moment and slowly turned to face the other boy. "I haven't been following you. You've obviously either been seeing things or only paying attention when I'm there." Harry couldn't very well admit that he thought Malfoy was up to something.
Draco stepped forward, close to Harry, and looked down at him. "Like on the train," he said quietly. "Lurking about all the time. Not very Gryffindor, that. One would almost think you fancied me or something." Draco's hands were on his hips, and there was a strange smile on his face as he looked down at Harry.
Harry narrowed his eyes. "Funny that that's the conclusion you come to," he said angrily, trying to step around Malfoy and leave. Something about the boy was unnerving him, and he wanted to get out of that bathroom.
Draco stepped with Harry, continuing to block his retreat. "Come on, Harry," he said, smiling amusedly. "What is it with you this year? You haven't been spending much time with the Weasel or the Mudblood lately."
Had Malfoy just called him Harry? Harry shook that thought from his head and glared at the boy in front of him. "It's none of your fucking business who I spend time with. Get the hell out of my way." He tried to step around Malfoy again.
Damn, but Draco loved it when Potter flushed like that, loved his green eyes flashing. Nothing made him feel better than getting a reaction out of the other boy. Draco's smile widened and he continued to step in Potter’s way, this time forcing him back a bit with his own body. "In a hurry?" he drawled. "Wouldn't it be easier to just ask me for whatever it is you want?"
"I don't know what the fuck you're playing at, Malfoy. Get out of my way, you bloody ponce." Harry tried, once again, to get away from Malfoy, becoming angrier with every passing second.
Potter angry just flat worked for Draco. He grinned, raising his eyebrows. He grabbed Potter’s arms, shoving him back against a wall. Draco couldn't reach his wand, but neither could Harry. It suited Draco just fine, since he was taller than the other boy. "I thought Gryffindors were supposed to be bold," he said, laughing, "but mostly you lot just seem oblivious."
Harry was quite shocked when Malfoy grabbed him. "What the – what the fucking -" he spluttered as he struggled to get away. His face flushed bright red with anger.
Draco gasped. He knew he shouldn't be doing this. Hell, Potter would probably hex him after, but if you are going to die anyway, he thought, why not at Potter’s hands rather than the alternative? He pressed his body against Potter’s and brought his lips down over the other boy's.
Harry's eyes widened almost comically. He could NOT believe what Draco Malfoy was doing. It was wrong, and, Merlin, it couldn't be happening. Harry turned his head away forcefully and, gathering up all his strength, he pushed Malfoy away from him. "WHAT THE BLOODY FUCK WAS THAT?!" he shouted, the sound of his own voice ringing in his ears.
Draco let go of Potter's arms when he was shoved back, reaching for his wand in case he needed to defend himself. "Just testing," he teased, giving Harry a smirk and a raise of his eyebrows.
Harry wiped the back of his hand over his mouth and spat on the floor. "Just testing?! What the fuck is that supposed to mean?!" he asked, barely able to wrap his mind around what had just happened to him.
Draco shook his head and leant against the wall. "Run along now, Potter. Your friends might actually notice that you're missing. Wouldn't want them to find us together."
Harry wiped his mouth again and glared at Malfoy, breathing heavily. He crossed the room to the door, trying to ignore the strange feeling in his stomach. Then he turned back and threw Malfoy one last disgusted, terrified look. "You're fucking mental," he spat, before disappearing from sight.
Draco's posture relaxed and he really rested against the wall for a minute. "Yeah, I suppose I am," he whispered.
Harry walked quickly up to his common room, wringing his hands and feeling like the world had flipped upside down. He tried to get his homework done, but he couldn't focus; he nearly jumped out of his skin when Ron asked him if he was preoccupied with Malfoy again.
He ended up going to bed early, dreading seeing Malfoy the next morning.
Draco slept badly. Well, truth be told, that was nothing new. He hadn't slept well since he had been taken before the Dark Lord the previous summer. And dreams involving Potter were not exactly new either. But in the past few months they had been getting even more intense. He woke early, gasping again. He gave up any pretence of going back to bed and went directly to the shower.
By the time the rest of the house was up, Draco was cleaned, dressed, and sitting in the common room, trying to catch up on the homework he had been ignoring. It was bloody hard to study when you expected to die anyway. Finally, he closed the book and made his way to breakfast.
Despite going to bed early, Harry'd got up late. He hadn't slept well and was still very tired. He considered skipping breakfast all together, but couldn't bring himself to be afraid of Draco Malfoy, even if he had done something more terrifying than anything he'd done before. He went down to breakfast with Ron and Hermione. He saw Malfoy there, but quickly looked away, the strange feeling in his stomach starting up again.
Draco glanced over at Harry. Often. It really wouldn't surprise most people, as he always did keep an eye on the Gryffindor. He was amused to notice that Harry seemed to be trying to avoid looking at him.
Harry ate little and didn't speak much. Hermione kept throwing him concerned looks, but he wouldn't answer any of her questions. He finally got sick of sitting at the table and set off early for Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Draco saw Harry leave breakfast. Having arrived there early himself, he was more than ready to go. He got up to make his way to class as well.
Harry stuffed his hands into his pockets, slowly walking along the corridor. It was silent and he was thankful for that; however, it wasn't silent for long. He soon heard the footsteps of someone walking along behind him. He turned, thinking that Ron and Hermione had followed him, but it wasn't them. It was the last person on earth he wanted to see right then.
"All by yourself and early to class," Draco drawled. "Maybe we should check the Polyjuice supplies."
Harry flushed at the sight of Malfoy as the feeling in his stomach returned full force. "Is there a reason why you're following me around now?" he asked angrily, keeping a safe distance away.
"Sure, there is." Draco laughed and leant against the wall with one shoulder. He couldn't stop grinning at the look on Potter’s face. He had always enjoyed upsetting the other boy. Now he found himself wondering again if there might be more mutual feelings than anger.
Harry raised an eyebrow. This was so infuriatingly wrong! Malfoy wasn't saying things that Harry expected. "Well?" Harry asked impatiently. "What the fuck do you want?"
"What do I want?" Draco laughed again. "Well, there are lots of things I want, Potter. Could you be more specific?"
Harry rolled his eyes and sighed angrily. "You just said you were following me. Why? What do you want?"
"Well," Draco stepped forward, toward Potter, lowering his voice as if what he were about to say should not be heard, "there is this," he drawled. "This is where the Defence Against the Dark Arts class is. And, probably because the old man seems to take some kind of perverse pleasure out of it, we always have the class together."
Harry narrowed his eyes and took a step back. "Don't try and pull any more ... fucking shit on me again," he said nervously. He couldn't even bring himself to voice aloud what had actually happened.
"Rather I hit you than kiss you. Is that it?" Draco smirked. "Surely that wasn't your first?"
"Yes, I would rather have you hit me than kiss me, and no, it wasn't my first. Not that it's any of your fucking business," Harry spat coldly, crossing his arms and wishing the bell would ring already, even though he knew it was still a while before class.
"Such language from the wizarding world's Chosen One?" Draco tsked. "The Daily Prophet should be notified."
"Fucking sod the fuck off," Harry said purposely, leaning back against the wall. Draco Malfoy was not a normal human being. He had kissed Harry without any warning and now he was acting as if it hadn't happened. It was a fairly big deal to Harry!
Draco walked closer, looking down at Potter for a minute. He couldn't decide if Potter was on the verge of hitting him or crying. "You don't like it either, do you?" he asked in a strangely quiet voice.
Harry narrowed his eyes as Malfoy came near him. "Don't like what?" he asked dangerously. He was tempted to take a step back, but he didn't.
The smile had faded with the sudden realisation, and it was a thoughtful Draco who looked down into angry green eyes. "What the wizarding world expects of you," the blond answered in that same quiet tone.
That threw Harry for a loop. "Why would you ask me that?" he said, some of the bitterness leaving his voice.
Draco stood with a slight frown on this face and continued to stare at Harry as if he had never seen him before. "I always assumed you liked being their Golden Boy," he said.
"Yeah, well, you don't know anything about me," Harry said quietly, but forcefully all the same. He really didn't know why he was having this conversation with Draco Malfoy of all people.
"And I suppose you think you know all about me, do you?" Draco's smirk was back, but seemed softer. He leant against the wall next to Harry.
Harry raised his eyebrows. "Well, I did, but you've managed to confuse me greatly within the last day," he admitted wearily. "I used to think you were an evil little bastard. Now I think maybe you're a mad, evil little bastard." He wasn't being completely serious, but he sort of meant it; he very much meant the "mad" part.
Draco nodded, grinning. "I think my father would take issue with the last word of that," he said with a laugh. "And given my looks, it would seem inaccurate." He shrugged. "Not sure about the rest."
Harry rolled his eyes, amazed that he and Malfoy were doing something that faintly resembled having a conversation. "Are you sure you're not the one who's taken Polyjuice?" he asked.
Draco laughed and then rolled his eyes. He glanced past Potter and then pushed off from the wall, adopting a more familiar pose. "Heads up; here come our classmates," he whispered. "Back to usual now."
Harry looked at Malfoy confusedly. He didn't move from his place on the wall. Sure enough, he heard voices from down the corridor and was soon joined by Ron and Hermione. He looked over at Malfoy.
Malfoy's classic sneer was in place before the others got in sight. "Here are your reinforcements, Potter." He managed to make Potter sound derogatory again. And then he turned and headed into the classroom.
Harry followed Malfoy through the door and took his seat at his usual table with Ron and Hermione. Snape came striding in soon after. Everyone fell silent. Harry's eyes were still focussed on Malfoy, and he was so confused.
Draco stole a glance at Harry, but then tried to focus on Snape. The last thing he needed was for Snape to figure out something had changed.
"Harry," Hermione whispered from next to him. "Take out your parchment. You know Professor Snape always starts with a lecture. Malfoy's not going to jump up and declare his allegiance with You-Know-Who in the middle of class. Honestly!"
Harry gave her a disgruntled look and did as he was told, trying to put Malfoy and his strangeness out of his mind for the moment.