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Turning Over A New Leaf

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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of these characters. I make no profit in writing this story and do this for the sole purpose of my own and (hopefully others') enjoyment. All names and characters are property of J. K. Rowling, her subsequent publishers, and Warner Bros. Harry and Draco are 18 in this fiction.

Turning Over A New Leaf

 

In her seventh and final year at Hogwarts, Ginny Weasley was unsatisfied. She and Harry were supposedly back in their relationship, which would seemingly have gone back to normal after the war once Harry and most of his year had returned to complete their educations after having taken the previous year off from school. Despite this supposed good turn of fortune, there was something definitely missing from their relationship. It wasn’t just that Harry wouldn’t have sex with her, Ginny reasoned. It was more than that. He refused to even discuss the topic, which Ginny found abnormal, to say the least, coming from an eighteen year old boy.

“I just don’t understand, Harry,” she said one evening, the subject once again having come up. “You said it’s not that you want to wait for marriage, so what is it?”

Harry sighed. “Why does it always have to be about this? Why can’t we just… enjoy each other’s company?”

“You don’t even look at me like I’m desirable anymore. It’s important, Harry,” Ginny said, turning on her heel to leave.

“Ginny—” Harry reached an arm out, attempting to prevent her from leaving.

“No, Harry. I think we need a break from this. Until you can talk to me honestly about this instead of continuing to avoid the topic,” Ginny said, struggling to keep her voice even. She walked passed Harry quickly and exited the common room.

~

“So, wait, tell me again,” Hermione said to Harry over breakfast the next morning.

“She said she wanted a break,” Harry said distantly, picking up a blueberry from his plate and popping it into his mouth.

“Did she say for how long? Does she want to date another person?” Hermione pressed, looking at Harry and trying to make eye contact.

Harry ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t know, Hermione. She wasn’t clear.”

Hermione stirred cream into her coffee and laid her spoon on the saucer before raising her mug to her lips and taking a sip. She looked contemplative as she lowered her cup back onto the saucer. “Well, I suppose there’s a way to find out,” she said after a minute.

Harry looked up at her. “What do you mean?” he asked quickly.

“I mean, I wasn’t really intending to go… what with Ron being away for the weekend, you know, I thought I could catch up on some studying,” she began. Harry looked at her expectantly. “There’s a party, I’m sure you’ve heard—in the Room of Requirement. They’re thrown by the HSU and apparently they’re quite fun. There was one last term and many of the students attended.”

The HSU, or Hogwarts Student Union, was a new organization created after the end of the war in an effort to bring about more unity among the Hogwarts students. They organized events and started several student interest groups, including the Wizards’ Chess team, who Ron was away with for a weekend tournament in Wales.

“So we should go, you mean? Will Ginny be there?” Harry asked, curiously.

“Well I mean, if you wanted to, I would!” Hermione said with a kind smile. “I hope Ron won’t be too disappointed to have missed it.”

Harry chuckled slightly. “Hermione, Ron’s probably going to get plastered with the team tonight anyway. He won’t mind if we have a little fun without him.”

Hermione gave her best disapproving look, and then laughed. “Well then, we’ll have to get you prepared, Harry,” she said, taking another sip of her coffee. “The theme is Muggle dress, so if you want we can Apparate to the nearest Muggle shopping mall to pick up a few things.”

Harry was feeling a sense of renewal already. Getting out of the castle for a change would be nice. His mind was still trying to process Ginny’s words from the night before. On one hand, he thought she would always be the one for him, but on the other hand he had to admit that he had become too comfortable with things. The more he had tried to wrap his mind around sex with Ginny, however, the more his body had rejected the idea. Harry chalked it up to a shaky mental state since the war, but somehow he knew something was wrong with the idea as a whole.

~

Two hours later Harry and Hermione made their way to the Apparition point just beyond the Hogwarts grounds. Due to the special circumstance they were in as “eighth year” students, they were allowed to leave during the weekends as long as they had Ministry-approved Apparition licenses. Hermione knew of a Muggle shopping mall about twenty-five miles away that they were going to go to.

“Ready?” Hermione said, holding out her hand. Harry grabbed her hand and she twisted with a crack and Harry felt himself lurch forward. They landed at the edge of a parking lot, thankfully away from the immediate eyes of any Muggle shoppers.

A huge structure sprawled in front of them, and Harry was stricken by the sheer number of years it had been since he had been in a shopping mall. “I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought clothes at a non-wizarding shop,” he said, laughing.

Hermione smiled. “Well, hopefully we can find something good for the party! I asked around and apparently most people dress nicely, but still relatively casual. Since this is specifically Muggle themed we’re supposed to look as Muggle as we can… which should be funny to see what those students from Wizard-only households consider to be Muggle,” she said, grabbing Harry’s arm and pulling him toward to buildings.

Harry was amazed by the sheer variety of Muggle clothing styles from store to store. It was true that he had never really paid attention to fashion, but it seemed that he was even less preoccupied with Muggle fashion now after having spent the majority of the past eight years in the Wizarding world. He and Hermione spent hours trying on clothes and shoes and had a late lunch in a nearby bakery.

“Thanks for this, Hermione. I needed it,” Harry said as they exited the bakery, shopping bags in hand. He realized that he hadn’t thought about Ginny at all since they had been shopping.

Hermione smiled knowingly and patted his arm. “I know,” she said, as they walked toward the Apparition point. “I knew it would be good to get your mind off of it. Plus at least if she’s at the party tonight she’ll see what she’s missing!”

“Hm, yeah. Maybe she will,” Harry said, holding out his hand. “Ready?” Hermione took his hand and, checking to make sure no one was watching them, they Apparated back outside of the castle.

“…if you hadn’t taken forever, Blaise, we would have an adequate amount of time to choose the perfect outfits, but as it is—Oh, Potter. Granger. Out shopping?” Draco Malfoy stopped in front of them surrounded by his entourage. Ever since their return to Hogwarts, Draco had maintained his attempt to be oddly civil to Harry and the other Gryffindors. Privately, Harry suspected this has to do with the fact that he had saved Malfoy’s life during the war, but he had never voiced this aloud.

“Er, yeah,” Harry said awkwardly. “We had to pick up some things for the HSU party tonight.”

Malfoy sighed exasperatedly and turned to his fellow Slytherins. “You see? Even Potter and Granger had the sense to get their shopping done early! Now it’s nearly half past four and I am going to have to shower before the party and we’ll have to get something for dinner and—“

“Draco, just calm down,” Pansy said evenly, her mouth twitching with amusement. “You don’t have to be such a ponce about everything, you know.”

Malfoy opened his mouth, and then, as if thinking better of it, closed it. Harry and Hermione exchanged glances, feeling awkward.

“Well then,” Hermione said diplomatically, breaking the moment of silence. “Good luck with your shopping. It wasn’t too crowded when we left so hopefully it won’t be bad for you. I suppose we’ll be seeing you tonight at the party!”

“Right, see you, then, Granger, Potter,” Malfoy said, flashing a quick smile. He really was trying, Harry thought. Blaise, Pansy, and Goyle waved as Harry and Hermione made their way back to the castle and the Slytherins made their way the opposite direction.

“These encounters with the Slytherins seem to become increasingly more odd,” Hermione said, laughing lightly as they made their way up the huge front steps of the castle.

Harry nodded, “Agreed. You can tell they’re really trying to make an effort to be nicer, though. It’s not like the really need to, though.”

“I agree,” Hermione said. “Maybe they’ll lighten up under the, er, atmosphere of the party tonight.”

“What do you mean?” Harry asked, confused.

“Well, it’s supposed to be kept a bit of a secret, but there will be alcohol. Basically everyone’s of age since its supposed to be seventh and eighth years only… I think the staff sort of turns a blind eye to it, though. The HSU does more good for inter-house unity than has been done for years,” Hermione explained.

Harry had never been drunk before, per-say. There had been a few times over the summer after the war when he’d gotten tipsy during celebrations, but he’d always been surrounded by adults that were practically family, so there had never been any occasion for him to become inebriated to the point that would probably be standard for a party full of seventeen and eighteen year olds.

When Harry and Hermione got to the Gryffindor common room they found that most of their housemates were lounging around discussing their prospects for the party that night.

“What about this one?” Seamus Finnegan was saying, holding up a garish purple t-shirt with a tye-dye peace sign on the front.

“Gods, no,” Parvati said, wrinkling her nose. “How do you really expect to pick up a girl in that?”

“Harry! Hermione! Out shopping were you? Let’s see what you got!” Neville said, noticing Harry and Hermione’s arrival.

“Oh, well…” Harry began, embarrassed now that ten pairs of eyes were now on him. He reached into the first bag. “Well, I got these jeans… they’re a bit slimmer fitting than normal…” he pulled out a pair of dark wash denim jeans.

“They’re skinny jeans, but not ridiculously skinny” Hermione said to Parvati and Lavender, who nodded appreciatively.

“And I got these two shirts, I’m not sure which one I’ll be wearing tonight…” Harry said, pulling out one simple soft cotton green and black striped v-neck t-shirt and a similar solid red t-shirt. “And shoes…” he said, rummaging into a third bag and pulling out a box containing a pair of stylish brown leather boat shoes.

“I approve!” Lavender said, clapping her hands together. “Simple yet stylish. What about you, ‘Mione?”

Hermione showed off the loosely fitting red tank top and structured black bell skirt, both of which gained the approval of the other Gryffindor girls.

As his housemates excitedly chatted about the party, Harry let his mind wander off. He thought back to the earlier encounter with the Slytherins. It would surely be interesting to see them all in the context of the party. Harry resolved to let them know that they didn’t need to try so hard to gain his approval. After all, they had all spent nearly seven years in school together.

~

Around 8:30, Harry and most of the other Gryffindor seventh and eighth years went up to the tower to get ready for the party. Harry jumped into the shower, wanting to feel clean and fresh if for the party. In case you see Ginny, he reminded himself as an afterthought. As he soaped his back he found himself inexplicably remembering Malfoy earlier—“and I am going to have to shower...”—before mentally shaking himself. Of course Malfoy would be showering, too, around this time. Just like half the boys in his year. Perfectly normal.

~

“Harry, you look great. Really,” Parvati said to Harry when he descended the stairs from the boy’s dormitory down into the common room. She was wearing a short, flowy crème dress and chunky black heels, which made her tall enough to lean in and whisper directly into his ear, “Hermione told me about Ginny. I’m so sorry.” She leaned back and looked into Harry’s face meaningfully. Her brown eyes were wide, which was amplified by the smoky black makeup around them.

Harry shrugged and managed a grin. “Thanks, Parvati. But I’m fine, really. And you look great yourself.” Harry was thankful when Hermione and Lavender came out of the girl’s dormitory and Parvati became distracted by gushing over Lavender’s outfit. Hermione managed to remove herself from the group and approached Harry.

“Harry, I’m sorry I let it slip to Parvati and Lavender—“ she began in a mock-serious tone.

Harry laughed. “They would have found out sooner or later, I’m sure. You look nice.”

“Thank you! As do you. The striped shirt was a nice choice, the green really brings out your eyes,” she replied.

~

When the rest of the Gryffindor seventh and eighth years were ready, they made their way toward the Room of Requirement as a group, around 9:00. Harry felt a prickling anticipation in his stomach, which seemed to be echoed by the rest of the group based on their excited chatter. When they finally reached the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy the door materialized almost immediately, as if the Room knew they sought it.

Harry stepped into the room after Neville. The music had a danceable beat and there were neon lights in the different house colors that cast a strange glow on the students in the otherwise dark room. Harry noticed a large table with an even larger quantity of alcoholic beverages to one corner, and decided that it should be his first destination.

“D’you want anything to drink?” Harry asked Hermione over the heavy bass of the song.

Hermione nodded, “Just anything, whatever you think I’d like!” she half-shouted over the music as Harry maneuvered through the crowd toward the table. Harry was surveying the multiple bottles of alcohol when he felt the presence of someone behind him and turned around.

Malfoy stood, stopped in his tracks when Harry had turned around. His face quickly transformed from surprised to a calm and harmless smirk. “Potter,” he acknowledged Harry, stepping around him up to the table and reaching for a large bottle of Firewhiskey. Harry watched Malfoy pour some into a plain shot glass. Malfoy seemed to notice that he was being watched and looked up at Harry. “Shot?” he asked, picking up another shot glass and gesturing towards Harry.

“Er… sure,” Harry said, watching Malfoy pour some of the amber liquid into his glass. Malfoy was wearing a solid black button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up nearly to his elbows. His black jeans were similar in style to Harry’s own jeans, but Malfoy’s seemed to be even tighter fitting. Harry swallowed, unsure of why his heart seemed to be beating so irregularly.

Malfoy handed Harry a shot glass with an amused smile playing across his lips. “Cheers,” he said, raising his glass to Harry’s. Harry felt the warmth of the Firewhiskey settle into his stomach pleasantly. Harry set down his glass and watched Malfoy lick his lips before placing his own glass next to Harry’s. “Well, Potter,” Malfoy began, his eyes meeting Harry’s, “I suppose I’ll be getting back to—”

“Wait,” Harry blurted without thinking. Malfoy raised an eyebrow. “Er, well, it’s just… I mean, I need to get a drink for Hermione. Any recommendations?”

Malfoy stared at Harry for a moment with a strange expression on his face, which was almost immediately masked by another harmless smirk. “Of course,” he said. “I know just the thing.” He reached for a dark purple liquor and mixed it with something clear and fizzy. “Pansy loves these,” he added after seeing Harry’s puzzled look.

Harry took the tall glass from Malfoy. “Thanks,” he said, grateful he had managed at least some composure for the first time in their encounter. Harry reached for the Firewhiskey and poured another two shots in his and Malfoy’s empty glasses. “To show my gratitude,” he said, feeling bold. He passed one glass to Malfoy, who accepted it. Harry leaned a bit closer to clink their glasses together, “Cheers,” he said in a low voice.

The pleasant burn of the Firewhiskey once again coursed through his insides. “I’ll see you around, Malfoy,” Harry said, setting his glass down and turning to go find Hermione and deliver her much-delayed drink.

“Harry, where have you been?” Hermione exclaimed when he found her again at last on the middle of the dance floor with Lavender.

“Ran into Malfoy,” Harry said, trying to keep his voice nonchalant. “He made this for you, here,” Harry passed her the purple drink and she tentatively took a sip.

“Mhmm, it’s quite delicious actually.” Hermione said, passing the drink to Lavender to try. She turned to Harry. “You were talking to Malfoy, then? How did he seem?”

“He was fine,” Harry said, remembering how Malfoy had managed to remain cool and collected throughout the entire exchange while he, Harry, stumbled over everything he said like a first year.

“Well, that’s good,” Hermione said. She leaned in closer to his ear, “Ginny’s here, with Michael Corner right now. Don’t look yet.”

Ginny, Harry thought for the first time that night, fighting with the impulse to turn around. Hermione must have sensed his urge and tightened her hand on his arm. “Come on, Harry, you can dance with us,” she said, dragging him over to where a few of his other housemates were dancing in the middle of the floor.

~

Harry was drunk. Several trips to the drinks table and a few hours of dancing later, he found himself next to Malfoy at the drinks table once again, though this time Pansy Parkinson accompanied him.

“Malfoy,” Harry acknowledged, and then, turning to Pansy and taking her hand, “Miss Parkinson,” he said with mock-chivalry, kissing her hand.

Pansy giggled before taking her hand back. “Potter,” she said very seriously. “I think you’re drunk!” Malfoy was looking at him oddly again, as though he was trying to figure out a tricky Arithmancy problem. Pansy looked between the two of them. “Alright Draco, I’m going to go find Blaise. Harry Potter,” she smiled, turning to Harry, “Adieu.”

Harry smirked at watched her retreating figure for a second before he noticed Ginny approaching the drinks table with Michael Corner. “Quick,” he said to Malfoy, stumbling closer to close the space in between them. “Act like you’re talking to me!”

Malfoy laughed lightly before pouring himself another shot of Firewhiskey and opening a Butterbeer for Harry. “I think you’re done with the Firewhiskey,” he explained when Harry pouted at this substitution. “You’ll thank me in the morning,” he added, eyes dancing against the neon lighting of the Room.

Harry watched as Malfoy downed the shot, paying attention to how his throat muscles worked to swallow the liquid. Harry found himself swallowing although he hadn’t taken a sip of his Butterbeer. Perhaps it was a good idea to slow down with the alcohol, he thought. Malfoy set down his glass and grabbed Harry’s hand, “Come on, Potter, let’s--”

“Harry!” Ginny said as she made her way up to the table. Harry froze and turned around to face her. “Having a good time?” she asked, her eyes flickering between Harry and Malfoy.

Harry belatedly realized that he was still holding Malfoy’s hand, and quickly dropped it. “Er, yeah,” he said. “But, if you’ll excuse me, er, I was about to go back to the dance floor. Um. Have a nice time!” Harry nearly tripped over himself as he turned to Malfoy, who was watching the scene with a bemused face.

“Oh my God, I am such an idiot,” Harry said, burying his face into Malfoy’s shoulder once they were out of sight from Ginny. Malfoy laughed and continued to lead Harry toward a sitting area away from the dance floor.

“You’re fine,” Malfoy said, as they sat down together on a couch. “She was too busy drooling over you to pay attention to what you were saying.”

“You think?” Harry said absently, “Is it bad that I almost don’t care what she thinks?”

Malfoy seemed to freeze, but quickly covered it up. “I mean, no. Maybe you need a change,” he said, making an effort to sound nonchalant.

“We should really be friends,” Harry blurted, moving closer up to Malfoy on the couch. “All the Slytherins, I mean. No needs for animosity, yeah? You’re a good bloke, Malfoy. Draco.”

Draco laughed again, it sounded like bells. “Sure thing… Harry,” he said, smiling at Harry.

Harry was now close enough to smell Draco, who smelled of an intoxicating mix of expensive soap, peppermint, and alcohol. Or maybe Harry was just intoxicated. He nuzzled into Draco’s neck, “Smells nice,” he said, his voice muffled by Draco’s skin.

Draco released a breath harshly, as though he hadn’t been breathing properly until then. Harry’s hot breath against his neck made him shudder, and he fought back the urge to moan. Did Potter know the effect he had on people? Draco wondered as he tried to will down his almost painful erection.

“Draco…” Harry murmured against Draco’s neck, and Draco thought he might come if he did that again. With a strangled groan, Draco pushed Harry back against the couch and climbed onto his lap, not caring who saw. Harry’s eyes were wide, and when Draco rolled his hips so that Harry could feel his hard length, Harry moaned and tipped his head back.

It seemed like almost an eternity before Draco’s mouth was on his, and when they kissed Harry thought he had never felt something so erotic. Harry knew they were probably being watched, but he didn’t care. When Draco’s tongue swept across his lips, begging for permission to enter his mouth, Harry moaned loudly despite himself.

“God,” Draco said in a harsh whisper against Harry’s mouth, “I’ve been hard for you all night.”

Harry moaned again and reached his hand in to cup Draco’s obvious bulge. Draco whimpered against Harry’s mouth and shamelessly thrust into Harry’s hand, desperate for more friction.

“Oh, get a room, will you?” An angry voice snapped, bringing Harry and Draco back into reality. They stopped kissing. Ginny Weasley stood over them, and Harry could see that behind her many other pairs of eyes were watching the interaction. “I mean, honestly, Harry, you could have told me,” she said passively, with a hurt look in her eyes.

"Ginny--" Harry said, as Draco climbed off of his lap. Harry readjusted his shirt and stood up, wavering a little on the spot before leaving to follow her out the door into the corridor.

"It's not that I would have cared, you know," she said when they were outside in the cool airiness of the castle. She folded her arms over her chest, her eyes blazing against the flickering torches that surrounded them. "It would have explained a few things if I had known," her voice shrank with hurt that she was trying to mask.

Harry ran his hand through his hair; it was remarkable how sobering the cool air was to his temperament. "I don't..." he began, struggling to find the words, "When I came here tonight it was because it was Hermione's idea... I didn't... I mean, I should say, I never meant for this to happen. I never expected Malfoy-- it just happened. I've never even thought that I might be..."

"Gay?" Ginny provided helpfully. Harry nodded, feeling his cheeks warm with blush. "Harry," she began, her voice quavering. She stepped forward and embraced him and he hugged her back, feeling secure against her thin arms and small frame. Ginny stepped back, wiping a single tear from her eye and smiling. "It just, I don't know, it's almost a relief..." she laughed hoarsely. She smoothed out the skirt of her short black dress and smiled up at him.

"You're beautiful, Gin, really. I never deserved you anyway," Harry said lightly, testing the newly broken tension between them. She smiled sadly at him.

"We can talk about this whenever you want to, you know," she said, grabbing both of Harry's hands. "But now I think there's someone you should be getting back to."

Harry was a whirlwind of emotions. He leaned in and kissed Ginny on the cheek in silent thanks, and turned toward the tapestry where a door was already forming for his reentrance. Crossing his fingers that Draco would be understanding, he swung open the door and returned to the party.