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Accio My Heart

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"We are going to rule that fucking rock tower!” Louis slams the neon green shot glass back onto the table and pumps both fists in the air. “Bring more shots, universe, we are about to fucking own you!” 

Harry looks down at the table, littered with glasses that look like animals. Something that used to hold firewhiskey tries to breathe fire but can’t manage it. It’s so cute Harry wants to die. He pockets it, stealthily. The club can’t possibly mind. It is a tiny dragon, it deserves a tiny home in Harry’s pocket. 

Louis is banging on the table now, his face red and excited. “C’mon, lads, traditional cheer, all together now!” He brings another drink to the centre. Harry knows the words by heart and he shouts along with them. “Seventh year, drink more beer, fuck your NEWTs when liquor’s clear!” 

It’s a Gryffindor cheer. Obviously. 

They knock back their drinks, whooping. The five of them have been planning this night all summer. It’s sort of half end of summer bender, half Liam’s 18th birthday, and all hedonism, all let’s drink as much as we can because tomorrow we’ll have curfews. The boys had needed to do quite a bit of persuading, but in the end all of their parents had agreed to let the lads take the Knight Bus to London and stay over at Harry’s sister’s tiny flat. It’s the 31st of August, the night before the Hogwarts Express takes them up to Scotland for their final year at Hogwarts. 

Harry is positive that his mum knew they weren’t exactly going to play Exploding Snap and eat chocolate frogs tonight, but he’s of age now. Sure, he can’t Apparate yet — his birthday came too late for last year’s lessons — but he can do magic outside of school and he can vote and he can drink himself absolutely sick in this loud, crowded club. Harry’s pretty sure it is called the Horny Hippogriff, but that’s an image he doesn’t really want in his head, so he focuses on the shots instead. 

Harry grins at nothing in particular. Shots are aces. Clubs are aces. Everything is aces. “I love you guys,” he says, with immense feeling. 

“You’re okay,” says Niall promptly, shrugging stone-faced for an entire three seconds before laughing hysterically and pelting Harry with peanuts. 

“We love you too, you nut,” says Liam, warmly. Liam isn’t nearly drunk enough for someone whose birthday was two days ago. Harry says as much. 

Louis nods enthusiastically. “Harold you are a wizard and a scholar. You will ace all of your NEWTs and be put in the Hall of Lords.” 

“That’s not how that works,” says Zayn, who had paid attention in Muggle Studies. 

“You’ll get crowned by the Duchess of Kentshire,” continues Louis, unabated. “You’ll have a ship named for your majesty and everyone will call you your lordness.” 

“Yeah, really not how that works,” says Zayn. 

“You’ll have a vote over all of England and most of Ireland, so that’s Niall’s kidney and left knee and his liver made of leprechaun tricks, and you’ll sit in a very fine throne.” 

“Actually, House of Lords doesn’t have a vote anymore,” says Zayn. 

Louis waves a hand. “Irrelevant, Malik. Haz, I’ll get you a drink whilst I’m up, how’s that.” 

Harry knows Louis will end up drinking his drink, but he says thank you anyway. Louis and Liam disappear off to the bar. Harry looks towards the mass of pulsating bodies in the centre of the room. “Do you guys wanna dance? I wanna dance.” 

Zayn never wants to dance, and Niall is busy writing lewd things on peanuts. Harry goes off alone. 

The lights pulse in time to the beat of the music and Harry feels warm, sexy. He wants to dance with someone. He wants to have sex with someone. Drinking turns him into a bit of a slag. Well. A bit more of a slag. He can’t be blamed. It’s the night before Hogwarts and it’s a nightmare to pull there, where everyone knows your business. 

Harry dances with a brunette girl with a gigantic Slytherin tattoo and a boy who looks suspiciously like someone who Louis had knocked off his broom once a few years back and a few people he honestly couldn’t remember if asked. The air is thick and hot and Harry’s a little sweaty, pushing his mass of hair out of his eyes when someone catches his eye across the room. Someone is tall, with big quiffy hair, and looking way suaver than he should considering he has about six umbrellas in his brightly coloured drink. He’s looking at Harry. Harry likes it when people look at him. Harry doesn’t like to wait, though, much, so pretty much immediately Harry is weaving through the crowd. 

“Hi,” Harry says, when he finally gets there. He wants to say something sexier, more mysterious, but the man’s eyes are really nice up close. 

“Hi,” says the man, looking amused. He has a nice voice. The man’s friends are laughing at him, Harry’s pretty sure. 

“I like your umbrellas,” says Harry, twisting his mouth into something more flirty.

“I like my alcohol to be location-appropriate,” says the man, with a big grin. “London-y. Filled with rain and regret.” He’s weird. Harry likes that. 

“Can I have one?” 

The man hands one over, and Harry tucks it behind his ear. “Good?” he asks, looking up into the man’s face for approval. The man reaches out and tucks it more securely amongst his curls. His hand is big, long fingered and deft and the touch makes Harry light up like a lumos. Harry feels very good about every decision he has ever made. 

“Lovely,” the man pronounces, pulling his hand away a beat too late. “I’m Nick.” 

“Harry,” says Harry. Harry grins up at him and Nick grins down at him and it gets weirdly intimate weirdly fast, like Harry’s known Nick for years and years and years. They probably would have gone on grinning at each other like loons had Nick’s friend not leaned over and poked Nick in the side. “Jailbait, Grimshaw,” she says, but she’s laughing. Harry blushes. He can’t help it. Nick is really fit. 

“Sod off, you,” says Nick, yanking his gaze away from Harry with almost physical effort, and shoves his friend. She rolls her eyes and walks off, leaving the two of them alone. Well, club alone. That’s like alone, but with more humans.

“So, Harry.” Nick tastes his name like it’s caramel, rolling it through his mouth. “What brings you to this sordid slaphole?” 

“Mate’s birthday,” says Harry, half-lying, “Is it really called the Horny Hippogriff?” 

“I know,” says Nick, eyes going wide. He has this voice that sounds like it’s teetering on the edge of a laugh, in a nice way. Harry really likes it. “Not something you really want to be thinking on of a night out, right? I did Care of Magical Creatures, I know what those things do in heat.” 

“Me too. Care of Magical Creatures, I mean.” Harry winces at himself and laughs, feeling sort of off kilter. He’s not that smooth but he’s usually smoother than this. “We had to see them breed once. Had nightmares about those sounds for months.” 

“Like very sexual carhorns, they are. A regular symphony of murderous copulating angels,” says Nick dreamily.  

“A chorus of hexed rhinos,” agrees Harry. 

“A carolling club consisting purely of trolls with laryngitis.” 

“A band made up of merpeople out of water.” 

“I think I’ve seen that band, actually. They play in Shoreditch.” 

Harry’s response is cut off by a sharp pain in his thigh. “Ow,” he says, and retrieves the culprit from his pocket. The tiny dragon shot glass blows smoke out of his nostrils, grumpily.

Nick laughs,  sudden and pleased. “What,” he says, “is that.” 

“Hubert,” says Harry, showing Nick, “He’s a shot glass.” 

Nick looks at him for a long minute, grinning big and delighted like he had found a pot of leprechaun gold that hadn’t disappeared at the end of the night. “You’re a good’un, Harry. And Hubert. Hi, Hubert.” Nick strokes Hubert with a long, careful finger.

Harry is pretty sure he had intended to flirt with Nick better than this, but whatever he’s doing seems to be working. Hubert snorts and rubs his snout against Nick’s nail, doing whatever dragons do instead of purring. Me too, Hubert, thinks Harry. Me too.

Some amount of stupid jokes and countless umbrellas later, Harry and Nick are spilling into the loo of the Horny Hippogriff, giggling, pulling the door of a stall shut whilst Harry tries to remember a good locking spell that won’t backfire. It’s still weird and exciting to be able to do magic in not-Scotland. 

“Here, let me,” says Nick, hooking his chin over Harry’s shoulder and sliding his hand down Harry’s wand arm. He plucks the wood from Harry’s fingers and waves it. A glimmering purple loop eases the door shut, winds around the lock and then disappears. Harry blinks. It’s normally weird when other people use his wand, and it doesn’t work that well, usually, but that felt good. Easy.

“My wand likes you,” he says. 

“I know,” says Nick, smirking. He tucks Harry’s wand back in his trousers and presses the heal of his palm against his crotch. Harry is hard, and Nick’s got his arse flush against Nick’s front so Harry can feel that Nick is too. He hitches a breath. 

“Ha,” he says, weakly, not sure if he wants to press back or forwards, and doing an aborted combination of both, “Penis jokes.” 

“Penis jokes,” agrees Nick genially, breath hot in Harry’s ear. He unzips Harry’s jeans and wraps long fingers around his dick. Harry melts, his head knocking into Nick’s collarbone. “C’mere, Harry. Let’s do penis jokes together.” 

Harry turns around in Nick’s grip and launches himself at him, tugging at Nick’s hair and licking hotly into his mouth. He twines his limbs around Nick’s with a tight hold like the Giant Squid, like he can’t get enough of Nick, like he can’t get enough of this. It doesn’t feel like a first kiss, it’s too good and has just the right amount of biting and Harry’s making all these choked, needy sounds he can’t control. Harry thinks vaguely they should probably do a silencing charm. Nick doesn’t seem to mind, though, kissing him back hard enough to make him tremble, both hands sliding underneath Harry’s pants to grip the flesh of his arse. 

“God,” he pants, helplessly, “God, Nick.” 

“Yeah,” says Nick, choked, “Yeah, c’mon.” 

“What do you,” asks Harry in between kisses, “What do you want to do, I —” Nick sucks a bruise low in his collarbone. Harry had forgotten he’d worn such a low cut shirt and thanks every deity he has ever considered worshipping that he had. “Oh, fuck, Nick.” Nick has really good teeth, is the thing, and Harry really, really likes biting. They buck up against each other, the rough material of Nick’s jeans rubbing harsh against Harry’s dick. Harry bites his lip hard, digging his nails into the back of Nick’s neck. “I wanna blow you.” 

Nick makes a strangled sound against Harry’s chest. “Fuck, yeah, alright, yeah,” he says, returning to bite at Harry’s mouth. 

Harry sinks to his knees and looks up at Nick, who looks a bit as if he’s been on the receiving end of a stunning spell in the last two hours. Harry runs his mouth over the bulge in Nick’s jeans, letting the red of his lips drag against the rough, just to see him make that face again. 

Jesus,” says Nick, knocking his head against the wall. 

Harry smiles, and unzips Nick’s trousers. He doesn’t tease — they’re in the loo, and they don’t have a silencing charm up and Harry doesn’t know Nick well enough to know how good his locking spells are — but takes him in his mouth right away, getting a feel for the heft and the salt of him, how Nick will twitch if Harry slides his tongue this way or that. Harry knows he’s good at this. There’s not a lot to do in boarding school, sometimes. Even a magical boarding school. 

“Good, that’s good,” says Nick, breathless. He’s a talker. Harry likes talkers. “You’ve got such a mouth, fuck, Merlin’s balls.” 

Harry pulls off with a pop and a cheeky smile. “Sounds a bit old and hairy,” he says, grinning, “but if you’re into that I could do a glamour…” 

Nick groans again. “Oh my god, shut up and keep doing that,” he whines, moving his hand to Harry’s hair and tugging. Harry’s eyes slide shut, and he makes a low hum of approval. Harry sucks Nick into his mouth again, twisting his wrist and taking him deep. Nick seems to have gotten the memo and is pulling at his hair a little bit, still talking, low and encouraging. Harry’s really hard, palming himself and making too much noise when he feels Nick start to pulse, the orgasm building. Nick tugs at his hair to warn him but Harry stays where he is, determined, and when Nick comes Harry takes it all, swallowing and lapping at him through the aftershocks. 

Harry sits back on his heels when he’s done, swiping a thumb underneath his lip and sucking off the remnants. 

“Merlin,” says Nick, with feeling, looking down at him. Harry grins. “Get up here, you, c’mon.” Nick pulls Harry up to his feet and kisses him, tastes himself on Harry’s tongue. “Fuck, the things I’d do to you if we had the time,” he says, with a predatory look in his eye that goes straight to Harry’s dick. Nick knocks him against the wall, nipping at Harry’s swollen lip. He grips Harry’s cock with a sure hand.

“What things?” Harry asks, breathy, unable to resist. Harry can feel Nick smile even though he can’t see it. He’s not sure how he knows Nick well enough already to know that about him, but he’s positive that he’s smiling. 

“I know lots of spells, young Harold,” says Nick, low, in his ear, “I got very, very good NEWTs.” Nick rubs his thumb over the head of Harry’s cock and Harry squeaks. It’s not exactly dignified, but now is not the time to care. “And I like to use that knowledge.” 

“You wanna fuck me?” pants Harry, resting his sweaty forehead against Nick’s shoulder. Nick’s still wearing all his clothes, which seems unfair. Harry is too, but the point stands.

Nick bites Harry’s earlobe. “Yeah, babe, I wanna fuck you,” he says, his voice a rumbly whisper that makes Harry tingle all over, “I wanna take my time, though, make you wait. Make you beg for it. Tie you up and give you my fingers for hours until you’re stretched and sweaty and desperate for my cock.” 

Harry moans, low. Nick’s voice is so good and his hand moves slow and steady over him, coaxing the orgasm from his belly. “You like that, hmm? Me too. You’d look so good on my bed, pleading. ‘Please fuck me, Nick. Please.’ So demanding.” Nick bites Harry’s neck, licks over the mark. Harry is shaking now, breathing shallow and rapid. He’s so close. 

“And then?” asks Harry, barely getting the words out. 

“And then, I’d slick myself up and give it to you. Drive my cock into your arse. It’d be slow, you’d still be so tight, but so ready for it.”

“Hard?” asks Harry, trembling, the wave building, the crest of his orgasm within his grasp. 

“Yeah,” says Nick, capturing Harry’s mouth in a bruising kiss between words. Nick’s free hand tilts Harry’s head to a better angle. Nick is pretty much holding him up at this point. Harry feels so good it’s like his intestines are melting. He wants Nick to jack him off forever. “Yeah, yeah Harry. I’d fuck you as hard as you want. And you’d love it, wouldn’t you, you’d fucking love it. You’d take it so well, I know you would, you’re so good.” 

That’s it for Harry and he comes all over both their clothes with a choked cry, Nick stroking him calmly through it. Harry breathes hard for a moment, closing his eyes against Nick’s neck. “That rhymed,” he said, finally.

Nick laughs, pulling away. Harry’s gratified to see that Nick also seems slightly overwhelmed. If Nick feels anything like Harry, his bones are more jellyleg jinx than, like, bone material. 

Nick takes over the straightening up process, deft with the cleaning spells and buttoning Harry’s trousers for him. He takes the spell off the door and guides him in front of the mirror (blessedly silent, for once) where he fixes Harry’s hair with gentle fingers. Harry can’t do much but blink contentedly. Nick runs his thumbs over Harry’s cheekbones when he’s done, his face that strange mixture of helpless fondness and bemused surprise that had haunted it all night. 

“Well,” says Nick. They look at each other for a minute and then crack up, dissolving into  giggles. 

“Well,” agrees Harry, when he’s recovered enough to form words, “Um, I actually should get back to my mates. But. You’re great.” 

“You too, Harold. Harry… Sorry, What’s your last name?” 


“Styles,” repeats Nick, running the name through his mouth. “Harry Styles. Well, that was lovely, Harry Styles.” 

“Do you live in London?” 

“Used to. ‘Fraid not now, though. I’m just in town for a bit, headed to a new job up north soon.” 

“Oh,” says Harry, feeling sort of disappointed even though he’s not going to be in London tomorrow, or for months, actually, so it doesn’t matter. “Well. You should look me up, if you’re in town again.” 

“Will do, Harry Styles. You have a lovely night.” Nick’s grin is crooked. “Say bye to Hubert for me.” 

Harry had forgotten about Hubert. He checks his pocket and, yes, the shot glass is still there. He beams at Nick, reaching up a little to kiss him again. Nick looks a little dazed when he pulled back. Harry likes that. It makes him feel better, more on kilter. “Bye,” he says, finally, close to Nick’s face. Nick manages a smile and Harry darts out of the loo before he does something dumb like ask where Nick’s staying tonight because if Harry doesn’t make it to Gemma’s she will probably flay him and feed his remnants to dragons. 

Well, not really. But it would be a close call, and he would not be surprised if it happened.

They’re all hungover on the Hogwarts Express the next day. Harry spends most of the trip asleep on various shoulders and at the end Harry forgets his robes and his cat on the train and Zayn waits for him, sneaking a cigarette whilst the rest of the carriages roll on to the castle. Once he’s finally situated — or, really, as situated as Harry ever can be — Harry plans on charming Hagrid into taking them up late. Hagrid loves Harry. Harry likes to visit him and coo over his pictures of deadly animals. Harry is looking forward to showing Hagrid Hubert. 

“So where’d you get off too last night?” Zayn exhales smoke away from Harry but it still manages to get into his face. “You missed a massive one. Louis set off like fifteen fireworks and Li had to talk a Hitwitch out of taking him into custody.” 

Harry tries and fails to keep from looking spectacularly smug. 

Zayn gives him an eloquent look that says 'oh I see' and also 'you slag' and also 'you adorable scamp I’ve always admired and loved you best of all our housemates'. It’s all in the shoulders. 

Harry shrugs, faux-bashfully. 

Hagrid takes them to the castle like Harry knew he would. Hagrid thinks Hubert is fantastic and they talk about dragons for a while until he leaves Harry and Zayn outside the doors to the Great Hall with identical bruising thumps to the back. 

“So who was it, then? You slag.” Zayn bumps him in the shoulder. Harry bumps him right back, and they have a brief scuffle that results in Harry’s tie getting completely mussed and Zayn frantically trying to fix his hair before they go in.  

“You know that bloke I was talking with? The one with the—” Harry makes the universal sign for quiff. Zayn shakes his head, and also looks offended, fixing his. “Oh, yeah, well. He was cool, like.” 

“Cool, like,” parrots Zayn, as if he were the king of loquacious commentary, ushering him into the Great Hall. It’s noisy, the buzz of reunion in the air and Harry feels really, really good, really happy. He didn’t think he’d be excited to be back but he is. The night sky looms above them, thick with stars. It’s all so sweet and familiar that he has to headbutt Zayn really hard to let his feelings out. Harry has a lot of feelings. He always has had.

“Shut up. He was, okay. Really, really fit, and funny, and tall, and he did this thing with his tongue and he — holy fuck.” Oh fuck. Oh, shit

Harry nearly falls over. No, no, he does fall over. He falls over and catches himself on a Hufflepuff he vaguely knows and whilst trying to apologise to him he falls over again. Harry feels like a swarm of doxies is breeding in his stomach. He feels like he is about to give birth to a Hippogriff. He feels like a thestral will shortly emerge from his nostrils. He feels like he maybe shouldn’t have taken Care of Magical Creatures for NEWTs. 

It doesn’t matter. There is literally no magical creature simile that will suffice because there, at Hogwarts’s long oak staff table,  gesticulating dramatically with a forkful of chicken, is Mega Fit Nick From The Club. Who is is now his professor, presumably. 

Holy shit.

Harry can see the exact moment that Nick notices him because his giant beaming grin goes out like a deluminator and he looks like Harry feels. Like there is a stampede of Hungarian Horntails in his large intestine. Like there is an augury hatching in his chest cavity. Nick’s eyes are cartoonishly wide and Harry is both pleased and troubled to note that he continues to be very, very fit in that charming offbeat way that Harry can never get enough of. The whole of Hogwarts seems to fade into the background for a minute as they stare at each other like idiots and a whole generation of rowdy flobberworms throw a leavers eve ball in Harry’s gut. They’re probably Gryffindor flobberworms. They’re energetic enough.

“Oi. Earth to wanker!” Zayn smacks him on the head. Even through all the hair, it hurts. Zayn is an arsehole. Harry tears his gaze away from Nick’s and forces himself to look slightly less like a complete idiot. Zayn seems not to care what has gotten Harry to lose his shit, though, and he just gestures towards the Gryffindor table. “C’mon, let’s get seated, I’m bloody starved.” 

Zayn leads him through the Hall. Harry trails like a lost duckling, minimally aware of his surroundings and probably picking up bruises from all of the shit he keeps bumping into.  He keeps looking over his shoulder at the Staff Table. After those few moments of shock, it appears like Mega Fit Nick is simultaneously laughing and crying. His hands are over his face, so it’s a bit difficult to tell, but his shoulders are shaking pretty hard. Professor Longbottom is prodding him in the shoulder. Nick bats him off, shaking his head. With his hand removed it’s easier to tell that he is laughing, although it is rather a desperate kind of laugh, hysterical with horrified eyes, not one that looks particularly fun. Still, it’s infectious and even across the hall it makes Harry want to laugh too. Nick looks like he’s saying ‘of fucking course’, or, possibly, ‘a mucking horse.’ Harry’s watching Nick so attentively that he doesn’t notice they’ve reached their destination. He bumps headlong into Zayn and nearly falls into the lap of a third-year called Annie. She looks thrilled. 

“Oh, sorry,” he says, trying to catch his balance again and failing, knocking over Annie’s pumpkin juice. “Sorry, sorry.” 

“Harold,” drawls Louis, “Late and destructive, what are we going to do with you?” Louis is sat at the best spot at the centre of the table like he knows he’s king of Gryffindor now and is celebrating his ascent to the crown. There are at least fourteen lower years who seem simultaneously terrified and in awe of him. Harry is familiar with the feeling. 

Harry still feels off kilter but he does his best charming smile as he squeezes in next to Zayn. “Love me,” he says, promptly. They all chorus into exaggerated awwws, and Niall throws a Cornish pasty at his head. Harry doesn’t duck well if only because he’s busy craning said head to look at the staff table again, where Mega Fit Nick from the Club continues to wear staff robes and have a mental breakdown, looks like. 

“You all right, Haz?” asks Liam kindly, adjusting his Prefect badge. Harry flinches and turns away from Mega Fit Nick from the Club Who Is Now His Professor, Apparently (Holy Shit). Liam’s kind eyebrows are doing their kind eyebrow thing. Harry is pretty sure kind eyebrows are the number one reason for Liam’s Prefecture, along with how any of the rest of them would be rubbish. Liam says he’s relieved not to be Head Boy but they all think he’s secretly a bit put out. 

“Yeah, fine, just uh, new term! Last year! Ride with the hippogriffs, swim with the Giant Squid and all that, y’know,” rambles Harry with a manic kind of laugh. He starts shovelling food into his mouth just to prevent more things from coming out of it. Things like, oh hey, so, I shagged that mega fit professor last night. Things like, oh, hey, I really want to shag him again. Oh, god — "A new job up north." Harry had thought he meant Manchester. 

It is a mark of their friendship that Liam just nods wisely, unfazed by this nonsense. A mark of what Harry is unsure, but it is definitely some kind of mark. 

“And getting off to a grand start it is, too,” says Louis with a very evil sort of smirk. That is Louis’s only kind of smirk. Zayn snickers, equally nasty. 

“Oh no, what did you do?” moans Liam, doing his best to look concerned. He is a terrible actor. He just looks elated. This is why he is not Head Boy. 

“Let’s just say that Slytherin is in for a treat this evening.” Louis rubs his hands together and actually cackles. 

“We’re turning their entranceway into a swamp,” says Zayn in the bored voice he uses when he is actually not bored at all. “With mosquitos.” 

“Gonna smell like arse,” adds Niall, cheerfully, “Wankers.” 

“Oh no,” says Liam tragically, “This is terrible. I should go and warn their Prefects.” He doesn’t move. He’s clearly thrilled. “Will there be swamp animals? I think alligators would be ideal.” 

“Lou, I thought you were gonna tone back the house rivalry thing?” asks Harry through a mouthful of pie, “Remember how you agreed that it was an artificial conflict that only caused more problems? And also how you were almost a Slytherin? And also how most of them are your mates? And how we had 83 combined detentions last term?” 

Louis shrugs. “I got bored. Pacifism is for the weak. Petty rivalry is for winners.” 

Well, Harry tried. He turns his attention back to trying to sneakily look around the heads of his housemates for glimpses of Mega Fit Nick From The Club Who Is Now His Professor, Apparently (Holy Shit). Harry’s very sneaky. He could go pro at stealth. He would have made a great Slytherin, probably. 

“Haz why’s it look like you’ve swallowed a neck twisting twirlie?” Niall pokes him in the side with a bread roll. 

Harry glares at Niall. Maybe he’s not that stealth, but he is aces at glaring. He’d win glaring House Cup. 

Niall laughs. “Don’t pout, you big baby, I was just asking.” 

Well, whatever. At least Harry’s pretty. He’s very, very pretty. He does his best charming smile and, appeased, Niall turns back to his meal. 

Zayn and Louis are still plotting (Liam vacillating between anguished pleas and sensible advice about which charms are most durable to use for the water), so Harry takes advantage of the distraction to talk to Niall.

“So who’s the new bloke? Next to Fincham?” he asks, trying for studied nonchalance. He sounds like a third-year whose voice is changing. 

Niall shrugs, looking over. “New Defence prof,” he says through a mouthful of corned beef, “Grim somethin. Awkward name for that, innit? Foreboding.” 

“Shaw,” answers Harry, miserably. “Grimshaw.” 

“Yeah, that’s it. Seems a bit weird. Dunno. Anyway, you coming for Swamp Do? Should be a laugh.” 

Harry does not want to come to Swamp Do. Harry doesn’t like house rivalry and his sister was a Slytherin and he likes most of them anyway. Harry wants to hide under his bed, or call his mum, or write in to Witch Weekly’s advice columnist 'what do you do when you’ve shagged your new Defence professor and also you’re a bit rubbish at Defence and really need a passing mark and also you still think he’s fit and also really nice and funny?'. Harry also knows he does not have a choice in this. 

“Yeah,” he says, still looking at Nick, who is still having a breakdown, “Yeah, alright.”