Disclaimer: See prologue
Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~
AN: We're getting closer to the grant final.
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Sunday, 3rd November 1996
Opposed to what Harry told Draco, he did not go down to the Great Hall for dinner, instead he went into the direction of the owlery. In his forth year he'd found a small room, probably an abandoned teacher's office, that was just to the right of the small staircase that led up to the owlery. It was there where Harry sat down on the comfy chair behind the desk, looking out of the window as he though about the harmless kiss he gave Draco minutes ago.
I kissed Draco, he thought in wonder and disbelieve, leaning his head back against the backrest as he smiled. I really did it! Harry closed his eyes and let the positive flow overwhelm his body. The kiss felt so different compared to the kiss he'd given Cho and he'd only given the blond a kiss on the cheek.
Draco did not look upset did he? Harry asked himself, panicking for a moment. No, he looked more liked he was in shock. Like me, he thought with a laugh.
Now the only question is if I should try and see if Draco would also like to take our friendship a step further? he wondered, drumming his fingertips against the armrest of the chair. There are so many things to consider. Who can't my life for once not be complicated? Harry groaned in annoyance.
There was the obvious rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin house at Hogwarts. While being project partners for Potions stopped his house mates from wondering why he spent time with Draco, it did not stop them from saying things like “Poor Harry, you really must have rotten luck to get Malfoy as your partner” to Harry when he came back from a session with Draco in the library.
Then there were also Sirius's comments, such as “Snivellus is obviously abusing his position as a Professor to torture you by partnering you with Malfoy.” To Harry's great relief, he'd been able to stop Sirius from torturing Draco during DADA in revenge by telling him that Draco was not only very friendly to him and but also very good in Potions. And when Sirius heard that because he and Draco submitted the same potion and consequently had to receive the same grade, Snape was forced to give Harry an Exceed Expectation or even an Outstanding for his potions, Sirius was happy with glee. “Haa, his plan backfired!” he shouted excitedly. Harry wisely omitted that he still received only an Acceptable or even Poor for his written essays on the potions they were brewing as Snape could grade them independently from Draco's essays.
And not to forget the reaction I would face from Skeeter, Harry thought. She surely would love to write an article about us. She would be more than happy to remind her readers about her article on his Dragon Pox Immunisation before she went on to drag up mine and Draco's past. And even Hermione would not be able to stop her from writing it, Harry thought, irritated.
Of course, he could not forget about the whole Voldemort and his Death Eathers issue. Regardless what the papers and the Ministry said, Lucius Malfoy was definitely a Death Eater. And while he was sure that Draco did not want to follow the Dark Lord, or at least torture innocent people, Harry did not even want to think about what Lucius Malfoy would do when he heard that Harry Potter was dating his son. If I and Draco even become a couple, Harry thought in resignation. The more I think about it, the more reason I find why we will never start dating. Harry sighed, his good mood from fifteen minutes ago gone. And here I was feeling so good about the kiss.
There's no helping it. I'll need to see how it develops. Maybe Draco doesn't even like me as more than a friend, Harry thought as he got up from his chair and slowly made his way to Gryffindor tower.
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Tuesday, 19 th November 1996
The next two weeks passed without any drastic changes to their previous routine. He and Draco still met in the Room of Requirement at least once a week to read a Muggle or Wizarding fairytale story. And while neither of them mentioned the kiss on the cheek Harry had given Draco, both boys unconsciously, or not so unconsciously, moved to sit closer on the sofa as they read the fairytale or just talked about school and Quidditch.
One time, when Harry and Draco were shar ing a table in the library doing their Potions and Charms homework, Hermione had joined them. Since Draco had not insulted her even once this year ─ at least not to her face ─ Hermione thought she would give the blond a chance. Harry had told her how well Draco could explain some of their potions' quirks, allowing him to better understand why the potion needed to be brewed a certain way. And as Draco had also treated Harry unexpectedly well during the brunet's Dragon Pox immunisation, she saw no reason not to believe that Draco Malfoy had finally grown out of believing everything his father preached and became his own, independent man.
Seeing as he was working peacefully with Harry, Hermione asked if she could join them. Not only was Harry's happy face an amazing reward for her, but she also hoped that with her welcoming Draco, the blond would know that the light side would be there for him whenever he needed to escape his Death Eater father. With how it look ed , the time for Draco to decide for a side would not be t o o far into the future. But she did not share any of her war-related thoughts with Harry, to grateful that her best friend for once seemed to be in a good mood.
As for their three month long Potion project that would end with the Christmas holidays, Harry and Draco ha d received an Outstanding for their Sober-up Potion and their written reports were rewarded with an Outstanding and Exceed Expectation. What Snape must have been drinking to give Harry anything higher than Acceptable, Harry did not know.
Draco suspected that it was due to the short talk he had with Snape. The blond thanked him for receiving the time consuming Sober-up Potion and mentioned that Harry was very clad for Draco's in detail explanation of the brewing process, saying that he felt like he understood Potions better. Severus probably saw it as another way for Draco to get into Harry's good graces and wanted to help him by giving Harry a better grade. But he did not tell Harry any of his assumptions.
As for their third potion, they had not received the Polyjuice Potion like Draco had first suspected. When they'd handed in their Sober-up Potion, every pair had received a skin healing potion. To be more precise, each group had either received the Rameses* Skin Healing Potion or the Adelram* Skin Healing Potion. Many students were excited that this time they would be able to ask half of the class for help if they had some trouble with their potion instead of being on their own, or only having one other group who received the same potion.
Draco and Hermione were very sceptical about the potion. Knowing Snape, these two potions had to be either very time consuming, difficult to brew or have another disadvantage. As Draco and Harry received the Adelram and Hermione and her partner the Rameses potion, they decided to do their research on the potions individually. By the end of the day, both groups had come to the same conclusions. Both potions were much easier to to brew than the Polyjuice Potion. The tricky part of the potions was that the kind of skin wounds either potion healed depended on the moon phase it was brewed under. Severus, of course, left out that detail as he distributed the pieces of parchment with the potion's name to his students.
The Rameses and the Adelram Skin Healing Potions cured the same four skin diseases: chilblain, burns, psoriasis and skin rash from allergic reactions. However, the phase of the moon during the brewing process to gain the same healing effect differed between the two potions. For example, if the Adelram potion was supposed to heal burns it had to be brewed starting from the full moon to the new moon, for the Rameses potion it needed to be brewed from the new moon to the full moon.
Wondering which of the four subtypes he and Harry were supposed to brew, Draco looked once again at the slip of parchment they'd received from Severus. There, in the middle of the parchment stood ~Adelram Skin Healing Potion~. Draco had to look at the far right corner of the parchment, where he usually placed his thumb to see ~to cure chilblain~ added in a smaller handwriting below the potions name.
“ So, which variation are we brewing?” Harry asked Draco.
“The chilblain one,” Draco answered.
“Okay,” Harry said, searching for the reference of this version in the Potions book in front of him. “If one desires the Adelram Skin Healing Potion to cure chilblain, the potions has to be brewed in the period from the waxing to the wa n ing moon. To gain the possibly best result, it is advised for the full moon to be the half-time point of the brewing process. Nevertheless most brewers instead arrange the eleven day long brewing period according to their personal schedules ,” Harry read out loud. “ So let's first find out when the next waxing moon is and then see which day would be the best to begin brewing the potion.”
As it turned out, the day where the waxing moon began was the 18th November, a Monday. The full moon was on the 25th November. If they went with the suggestion to have the sixth brewing day on the day of the full moon, the would be brewing the potion from the 20th to the 30th November. Unfortunately, the 30th was also the day where Slytherin played Quidditch against Hufflepuff. Since Harry did not want to finish the potion on his own, they decided to start brewing the potion on Tuesday, the 19th November. Which is why Harry and Draco where currently in the Room of Requirement, setting up the cauldron and the ingredients they would need tonight.
It was during their one hour long dinner break, when Draco decided to do something about their current standstill. He too had been effected by Harry's spontaneous kiss two weeks ago and since then had noticed how Harry had decreased the space between them while he read a fairytale out loud to the two of them. While the distance was still too large to be called cuddling, Harry and he had both moved inside the other's personal space.
While he was the only one out of the two of them who still remembered that he and Harry did had sex when the brunet had been under a high fever during the Dragon Pox immunisation, Draco did not know if Harry also liked man and him in particular when he was not delusional. After all, according to Hogwarts' rumour mill, Harry had only ever kissed the Ravenclaw Cho Chang. And she certainly was female.
So, to find out if Harry, when he was the master of all of his senses, also liked the male gender, Draco brought his newest issue of Seeker Weekly. As they both leaved through the magazine, Draco started to add some comments like “Doesn't she have nice legs?” and compared Harry's reaction with those to “I bet he works out five times a week to get such strong shoulders.” Luckily, the current issue also include a feature on the Norwegian Karasjok Kites, whose Chaser Tore Thorstvedt resembled Draco slightly.
Draco was happy not to hear Harry say something along the lines of “How should I know, I'm not gay,” when the blond made reference to male Quidditch players. When Harry's cheek turned red as Draco pointed out how fit Tore Thorstvedt was and Harry began to stutter about them needing to continue the potion, Draco could only think, How cute.
Later that night, as Draco was back in his dorm, he happily thought, Apparently not everything is lost. But then he remember the task the Dark Lord had given him. While he did not want to be closer to Harry because of Voldemort, he started to fear what Harry would do if he ever found out that Draco had received such a task. Will Harry believe me, if I tell him that I just used the task as a pretence to not get killed by the Dark Lord while I truly wanted to become his friend? the blond wondered. While they had developed a friendship, Draco was still well aware of their past five years and how much Harry could resemble an erupting volcano when he was angered. Last year's destruction of the Headmaster's office after Harry believed that Black was dead is a prime example for this. Why can't my life for once be uncomplicated? Draco thought, unknowingly resembling Harry's thoughts from two weeks ago. Successfully forgetting all about his father's plans to make him the Dark Lord's boy toy.
If only Harry and Draco could have foreboded how complicated their love life or the lack thereof would become come December, they probably would have worked up the courage to be truthful with each other and enjoy the short time of happiness while it lasted.
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Rameses: means 'Son of Ra'. Ra was the ancient Egyptian sun god.
Adelram: 'Lord of Darkness' comes from two Germanic words, “adel”, which means 'noble', and “hraban”, which means 'dark or raven'.
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AN: A big “Thank you” to those who are still reading this story even if the updates are a long time apart and the chapters are short and unbetaed.
Next: The boys buying each other Christmas presents during the Hogsmead weekend .