The silence that Draco craved after hours of listening to incompetent children was ruined by a horrible clang as the staff door collided with the wall. He didn’t have to look up to know who it was, only one person behaved with little dignity.
“Potter, what are you doing? Don’t you have a class to teach? Or have you become tired of the nonsense that makes up your own lessons.”
He glanced up and couldn’t stop a smirk from forming at the sight of Potter’s outraged expression.
“Excuse you.” A hand was placed one hip. “I will have you know that Divination takes patience, requires discipline and the craft has been passed down since the beginning of time.”
Draco rolled his eyes as he took off his reading glasses and arched a brow. “Do you honestly believe in the stuff you teach?” He had reluctantly been curious about that for ages, ever since he discovered Potter’s choice in studies during their university years.
Potter pulled out a chair and flopped down with little to no grace. When he placed his dirty boots on the table and crossed his feet, Draco wanted to wince. Would an ounce of decorum kill him?
“I’ll tell you what I tell my students.”
Draco already regretted ever asking.
“Divination is what you make it. The energy you put into it, will be the exact energy you get out of it.”
“And what the bloody hell does that mean? If you believe hard enough then it’s real?”
Potter shrugged once. “I believe in Divination far more than I believe in society.”
There was a lot wrong with the logic, but Draco didn’t want to linger long enough for a conversation to take place. Spending time with Potter always resulted in a headache, and he didn’t need to be an expert in Divination to know why.
“What are you doing here?” Draco asked in an attempt to change the subject. The last time Potter started in on everything wrong with the government, three hours had passed and so did Draco’s plans to get drunk and break in his new dildo.
“My classroom is a blizzard right now. I sent my students to the library for practical work.”
Draco empathized with Potter. The weather had been extreme both inside and outside of the school; storms, heat waves, cold fronts and a number of other horrors faced them on a daily basis. McGonagall had said it was a side effect of reinforcing the wards. Every 100 years or after the castle goes through a rough time, the wards needed to be fixed. After all of the teachers helped add to the wards for the 100-year renewal, the weather had begun to act up. The normal mild weather hiccups had started out tame but quickly grew into a nightmare.
McGonagall had said she had experts looking into the problem, but it was clear she assumed it would pass over on its own. She didn’t seem troubled by the weather at all. Probably because she didn’t have to suffer through it—the Headmistress office and quarters were unaffected. The lucky bint.
“Practical work?” asked Draco curiously. “What are they doing? Reading palms?”
A small scoff could be heard. “No, that’s child’s play. I have them learning Alomancy.”
Against his better judgment, Draco asked, “What’s that?”
“I’m not surprised you don’t know what it is,” Potter said with an obnoxious wink. “It is a rather ancient form of Divination.”
When Potter paused for a dramatic effect, Draco wondered if it would be possible to kill him and blame it on a student. Surely, it wouldn’t have been the first time a student cracked under the pressure—there had to have been precedent somewhere.
“They are divining through salt.”
Salt? The image did nothing for him and he had to wonder if Potter had finally gone mad.
“The context made it worse,” he said as his forehead pinched. “How do you see the future through salt? Are they throwing it at each other?”
“In a way.” It was said with half a shrug. “Salt is either thrown in the air and patterns are looked at as it falls, or salt residue from a premixed solution can be examined in a bowl.”
Salt. Potter was teaching his students to throw salt at each other. Lovely.
“How are you a teacher again?”
Potter scowled, but Draco didn’t really care, riling up Potter would always remain his favourite pastime.
“I went to university just as you did. I did the three-year residency just as you did. I’m just as qualified to teach as you are,” said Potter, tone clipped and anger in his eyes.
Part of Draco would never understand why Potter would waste his time with Divination. Especially when he had a natural affinity for other subjects. What could divination honestly provide him?
“It’s just hard to fathom that it means anything.”
When Potter’s brows arched, Draco knew he shouldn’t have spoken up at all.
“And you think your class means something?”
Draco sat up straighter as he glared darkly. “Ancient Runes is a sacred—”
“Theoretical text, with little known facts that are based off transcribes from people who are long dead,” Potter interrupted with his arms folded across his chest.
“Not only is it based on nothing but the word of stuffy old men who lived thousands of years ago, the translations have been skewed over time. There is no saying that the runes you are viewing now are the same runes that were once there.”
Draco narrowed his eyes. “At least runes are real and tangible. You can see a rune, translate them and tell a story. Tell me, Potter, what can your Divination do?”
“How about you let me worry about that?” It was said with a small quirk of his lips, and Draco didn’t trust him at all.
“Fine by me.” He didn’t want anything to do with Potter’s fanciful thoughts and baseless ideals. Divination could rot for all he cared.
As he picked back up the report he had been reading before Potter barged in, a thought came to him.
“If you sent your students to the library, then why are you in here and not in your quarters?”
When mischievousness entered Potter’s eyes and a slow smirk formed, Draco groaned. “You came in here to purposefully annoy me?”
“No, that’s just a bonus.”
“I honestly hate you.”
Potter’s smirk melted into a smile, and Draco had to look away. What was the dichotomy? How could they argue one minute and then tease the next? Was there even a meaning? He wasn’t sure, and he didn’t want to think about it.
“No, you don’t.”
Draco scoffed. “You presume to know what I think? Or did the salt tell you this?”
A small laugh had Draco shaking his head. He wasn’t sure why Potter found him funny when everyone else would have taken offence. Where was the correlation and why did he care?
“It wasn’t the salt,” Potter said as he pulled out a small pouch. “But we can go ahead and give it a try.”
Before Draco could object and tell Potter that he didn’t want to try any form of Divination, a handful of salt had been thrown in his face.
He coughed as he tried to wipe the salt crystals off his body and robes. When he looked up, his anger flared at the sight of Potter trying not to laugh.
“And what pray tell me did you learn from that?”
If Potter didn’t have a good prediction, one that spoke of riches and power, he was going to strangle him—consequences be damned.
“The salt told me you are going to have a bad day.”
Draco closed his eyes as he tried to count backwards from ten. It was supposed to be a calming method, at least that’s what his overpriced mind healer taught him.
It didn’t work.
“Potter,” Draco whispered, his tone a breathy hiss. “If you don’t get out of here, a blizzard will be the least of your worries.”
“My inner eye tells me I best be going.” Another wink accompanied his words, and Draco hated him, he truly did.
He waited until Potter left before he placed his head on the table and groaned. He could feel grains of salt on his face, but he didn’t move to get rid of them. The silence didn’t seem as welcoming as it had before.
The door opened, but he didn’t look up, it wasn’t Potter.
“Why is there salt on the floor?” Flitwick asked. “And the table, and—and your hair?”
“Don’t ask,” Draco said miserably. “The answer isn’t nearly as good as you’d think.”
A hum of acknowledgement could be heard, but he ignored it.
“I saw Harry leave.”
“You know he only comes in when you are in here.”
“Don’t start,” Draco said as he lifted up his head. “Potter took all of my energy and I don’t have the mentality to give that the proper amount of disrespect it deserves.”
Filius grinned as he sat in Potter’s recently vacated seat.
“You realize you have salt on your cheek, right?”
“Piss off,” Draco grumbled as he wiped his cheek on the back of his hand. Out of all of the teachers, Filius was the only one who had welcomed him without an ounce of mistrust. They had become fast friends, but that didn’t mean he was going to take his shit.
“He only came in because his classroom is the victim of a blizzard.”
When Filius winced, Draco knew that he had successfully changed the subject.
“I’d prefer the blizzard over the heat wave I had last week. Only so many cooling charms can be applied before it becomes useless.”
“I’ve only had mild hail in my own class,” Draco mused with a shrug.
“Lucky bastard,” grumbled Filius as he pulled out a book.
The more he thought about it, the more Draco realized how grateful he was. So far, he had been lucky enough to avoid any drastic weather. It was about time karma worked in his favour.
“I’m going to the kitchens,” Draco said as he stood up and his stomach growled. He didn’t want to talk about the weather, Potter, or anything else unless it concerned food.
“Harry said something about being hungry as well. Maybe you could make a date of it?”
Draco flipped him off but didn’t bother to turn around and dignify that with a response.
Potter could get bent for all he cared.
“Did you hear about the tornado in the dungeons?”
Draco groaned as Potter walked next to him. He had hoped that by taking the longer route to his classroom that he would have avoided Potter altogether, but it would seem that fate hated him. Nothing new.
“Since my quarters are in the dungeons, yes,” Draco drawled as he sidestepped a student who had books levitating behind them.
He waved his wand and watched as the student dove to catch them. “Wilkins, you know better than to use magic in the corridors, don’t make me take points from Hufflepuff.”
“Sorry, sir!” Wilkins smiled sheepishly. “I was just excited to finally get the charm down.”
“Congratulations,” he said with a small quirk of his lips before he gestured her to continue down the hall. “Just be sure to do it in approved areas next time.”
“I heard about it,” Draco continued when Wilkins walked away, and Potter was still unfortunately there. “Saw it, lived it and took care of it.”
When Potter said nothing, Draco peered up. He frowned at the soft smile on Potter’s face.
“What?” he demanded when Potter continued to stare.
“You’re a softy.” Potter looked over his shoulder to where they had left Wilkins behind.
“Excuse you? Don’t start on any insults this early in the morning.”
Potter laughed, and as with everything he did, he put all he could into it; Potter’s laugh was full bodied, hands just as active as the grin on his face.
“I would have taken points from her.”
“Well, that just goes to show that I’m not as callous as you.”
“Callous?” Potter’s forehead wrinkled as his brows arched. “It’s our job to hold them responsible.”
Draco rolled his eyes. “Your hypocrisy astounds me.” He paused by the entrance to his classroom and held open the door for the few students who had arrived early.
“I distinctly remember a reckless child who did far worse things and had little to no points taken away.”
Potter rubbed the back of his neck as he looked away.
“Well, maybe this is my way of ensuring that won’t happen again.”
A few students who arrived looked between them curiously before entering the room.
“Perhaps you should save it for those who need it. Wilkins may have broken the rules, but did you see her use of the charm?”
Potter tilted his head to the side before he shook it firmly. “What do you mean?”
“Not only were the books levitating, but they followed her as well. That’s not easy to do for a fourth-year charm, and she’s a third year. A practical use of the spell like that will go a long way.”
Draco huffed as he ushered in a few stragglers who appeared to be hovering near the door to eavesdrop.
“Why punish for something as minuscule as that instead of letting her abilities flourish?”
“It’s a rule for a reason.”
Draco checked his watch before he looked to Potter one last time.
“For someone who broke hundreds of school rules in their own time, one would think that you would have realized by now that some rules are meant to be broken.”
A hum left Potter and Draco watched him warily as their eyes locked and Potter searched his face. He wasn’t sure what Potter was looking for, but when a smile stretched, he was positive he didn’t want to know what was found.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Potter whispered before he walked down the hall and out of his line of sight.
Draco entered the room and ignored the curious stares from his students. He stopped near his desk before he sat on the edge.
“Professor Malfoy?” A student asked as they raised their hand. “Are you and Professor Potter friends?”
“As much as you can be with your colleagues,” he answered honestly with a one shouldered shrug.
“I like Professor Potter!” Pearson, a student near the back said as he clapped his hands once. “He’s really cool.”
“Is that so?” Draco asked doubtfully as he folded his arms. He had a hard time seeing Potter as anything but the annoying git he had always been.
“Yeah,” Meyers added. “Our first day, he told us that it didn’t matter whether we believed in Divination or not, because government sanctioned schooling is meaningless anyway.”
Draco held up a finger as his mouth parted, but he lowered it as he shook his head. It wasn’t worth it.
“Do you believe in Divination?”
He winced slightly as he looked at his students. Impressionable youth meant he had to curb his tongue, and that was something that took a lot of patience.
“I don’t not believe it,” he hedged.
“What a copout,” someone whispered, and Draco couldn’t help but snort.
“What I mean,” He amended as he lifted his hands, palms upward. “Is that I am open to the belief that Divination is real, I just haven’t seen any evidence of that.”
When a few students seemed to mull it over, he cleared his throat.
“What I do have evidence of is runes. Let’s go over yesterday’s lesson, shall we?”
Despite whatever Potter preached, the evidence for Divination couldn’t compare to runes, and Draco knew that he held the upper hand.
“I think you are up to something.”
The voice jarred Draco enough that he almost dropped his mug on the ground.
“If that had been full, I would have killed you,” he said as he turned around to glare at Potter.
Potter’s mouth was parted as if he had been about to say something and his eyes looked up and down over Draco’s silk shorts and the unbuttoned shirt that was only on one shoulder.
“You look like shit.”
Draco closed his eyes and tried to count again—it didn’t work, clearly his mind healer was a hack.
“It’s three in the morning. I have early rounds in less than an hour and this is my morning ritual. Mock it and I’ll brew you instead of the coffee I am desperately needing.”
Potter’s brows moved too quickly to be an arch, and Draco was already suspicious.
“Oh?” Potter asked as he took a step closer. “You think I would taste as good as the coffee?”
Draco spluttered as he shook his head in an attempt to understood Potter—it didn’t work.
“You think I would wake you up?” Potter finished in a breathy whisper.
Potter was dangerous, Draco decided. Far more dangerous than a day without coffee, he knew he should have just stuck to tea.
The sound of bustling house elves wasn’t enough to distract him from Potter’s eyes, and he wished he had just skipped his morning ritual altogether.
“Potter, what are you doing here?” Draco wasn’t sure what Potter’s goal was, but he wanted no part in it. Could he even take the flirting at face value?
A flash of disappointment crossed Potter’s face, but before Draco could try and figure out why, the whistle of a kettle went off.
He turned around to quickly combine the coffee powder before he put the kettle back.
“You have about five minutes to accuse me of whatever you came in to accuse me of,” Draco said as he looked back to Potter. “When this coffee is done, so am I.”
“Accuse is a pretty strong word.”
Would there be those that missed Potter? Draco was beginning to doubt that anyone would, not if they had had the pleasure of meeting him.
“What is it you think I have done now?” He asked, not in the mood to mince words. “I’m sure I can form an alibi, it’s not hard to buy people off.”
“I think—” Potter eyed Draco carefully. “Wait, buy an alibi? Just what do you think that I think you have done?”
“I’m not stupid enough to answer that.”
Potter blinked rapidly before his forehead wrinkled. “I’m honestly a bit more afraid of you than I ever was before.”
Draco rolled his eyes before he hopped up on the nearest counter. He ignored the scandalized gasp of a house elf, he didn’t care about propriety when he was still half asleep.
A yawn escaped him as he rubbed one of his eyes. “Whatever you think I have done, I haven’t. If you have proof, tell it to the authorities and they will contact me.”
“Why are you prepared for this?”
“Everyone should be, Potter. You have to know your rights.”
Potter eyed Draco warily and the amusement he got from it was the only reason he allowed the conversation to continue.
“So,” Draco began as he tried to hide a yawn behind the back of his hand. “Do you have proof?”
“Good, then keep talking.” He glanced at the time and sighed in disappointment. There were still a few minutes left before his coffee would be done.
“I just have a suspicion that you might have something to do with the extreme weather we have been experiencing.”
Draco snorted loudly as he tried not to let out a full laugh.
“Of all the things you could have accused me of, you chose the weather.”
Potter rubbed the back of his head as he appeared unsure of himself.
“Well, I’ll admit it’s not the best, but I still think you have something to do with it.”
“And why would I mess with the weather? What could I possibly have gained from it?”
The weather? Draco was honestly embarrassed for Potter. If that was all he could come up with, then Potter had really lost his marbles.
“I hadn’t really figured that out yet.”
Draco glared at Potter as his wand vibrated, and he pulled the kettle towards him.
“Besides, didn’t McGonagall already say what it was?”
“That’s the thing,” Potter said, voice barely above a whisper. “I asked Hermione about it, to see if it was in Hogwarts, A History, and she said no. There was no mention of extreme weather anywhere. If it really happens every 100 years, wouldn’t there be evidence of it?”
“You could have read the book yourself,” Draco pointed out, but he too thought it over. He had known all along that it wasn’t in the book, but a lot of things weren’t—that didn’t mean that it wasn’t true.
“Maybe one day.”
Draco poured his coffee in his mug as he hummed lost in thought.
“You think someone is heightening the weather?” Draco asked as he narrowed his eyes. “And you think that someone is me?”
Potter shrugged but his eyes were watching Draco intently.
“I think you are the least affected. For weeks now we have all been driven out of our classrooms, and yet you have barely been touched.”
Draco glared over the rim of his mug. “As you mentioned earlier, I was in the dungeons when the tornado hit, I have had my fair share of weather issues. Sure, they have been easily manageable, but I haven’t been skipped over.”
“Your weather issues are insignificant in comparison to us.”
“I don’t know what to tell you,” Draco said with an uncaring shrug. “The world sucks, life isn’t fair, and the weather seems to like me better. Tough shit.”
The glare he received in return was the highlight to his morning.
“I don’t care what you think,” Draco interrupted. “I’m not responsible for some stupid conspiracy. I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m not going to waste my time explaining this to you, because you can’t teach the delusional. You can think I’m responsible, I honestly don’t care. Your beliefs are already questionable to begin with.”
Draco downed his coffee and relished the warmth as he hopped off the counter. He ignored the anger and simmering hurt on Potter’s face. Potter didn’t get to act hurt after accusing him, that wasn’t fair.
As Draco pushed on the back of the painting on his way out of the kitchen, Potter yelled after him.
“I’m watching you!”
Surprisingly, Draco shivered at the thought. Potter could watch him, that wouldn’t change anything, but maybe he would like what he saw.
Over the next few weeks, Draco unfortunately saw a lot more of Potter than he wanted to. It seemed as if every turn or twist led him to Potter, but where Potter was, so was Potter’s horrible Divination.
“Do you know the difference between Divination through Tarot cards and regular cards?”
Draco had barely stepped one foot into the staff room when he already wanted to leave.
“No, I don’t.” He wanted to add that he didn’t care to know either, but he was too distracted by the mix of cards all over the table, chairs, floor and even the cards floating in the air. The room was void of anyone else and he wished Potter had been gone too.
“What is this mess?”
“I’m divining—duh. It’s Cartomancy.”
Draco’s fingers tapped against his leg restlessly as he tried to tune Potter out. If he didn’t listen, then it wouldn’t affect him.
“The difference,” Potter continued after he cleared his throat pointedly. “Is the size of the cards.”
There was a pregnant pause that followed before Draco groaned.
“Was that supposed to be a joke?”
Potter grumbled under his breath as the cards in the air fell to the floor.
“I thought it was funny.”
Draco shoved a few random cards off a chair before he sat down. His lips tilted downward as he picked up a card that was unfamiliar. It didn’t look like a tarot card, exploding snap card, chocolate frog card, or any kind of card he was used to. All it had was the letter ‘K’ and hearts on it.
“What is this?”
“That’s a muggle playing card.”
A hum left Draco as he examined the card closer. It didn’t seem to do anything if he poked it, no sounds escaped, and it certainly didn’t explode. If it didn’t explode, then what was the point?
“And you can Divine from this?” Draco asked doubtfully as he tried to send magic into the card to see if that would make it do something. When nothing happened, he sighed.
“Yes. Muggle cards and magical cards can both be used in Divination.”
He glanced up only to frown when Potter looked at him pointedly. “What?”
“Nothing about the weakness of Muggle stuff used in Magical means?”
Draco arched a brow. “Potter, I don’t believe in Divination let alone even begin to care if Muggle things can be used in tandem with magical stuff. More power to them.”
When Potter narrowed his eyes, Draco lifted his hands in a challenge. If Potter wanted him to believe in Divination, then he would need something stronger than Muggle cards and salt.
“I’ll make you a believer,” Potter warned as he opened his arms and all the cards began to slowly move towards him. The show-off.
It wasn’t until Potter was almost at the door that Draco yelled after him.
“You forgot this one.” He held up the Muggle card between his fingers.
“Keep it,” said Potter as he smiled slightly. “That one holds good meaning.”
Draco looked down at the card and wondered if Potter meant that or if it was another joke. Either way, he pocketed the card.
At least it wasn’t salt.
Draco had only been in the staff room for a full minute before Filius broke their newly established golden rule.
“Did you hear about the thunderstorm in the north tower?”
“I thought we decided that no mentions of Potter would take place unless absolutely necessary, and since he’s not dead, dying or here, I don’t see why he should be brought up.”
“I didn’t mention Harry,” Filius pointed out as he opened his arms wide. “Did you hear me say his name?”
“We both know that his classroom is in the north tower. There is no reason to play dumb, it doesn’t suit you.”
Filius huffed. “I will have you know that the Gobstones practice room is also in the north tower.”
A derisive snort left Draco as he levelled Filius with a glare. “No one cares about Gobstones.”
“Technically, I didn’t break the rule,” Filius pressed on. “But now that you mention Harry, I hear he’s giving a lesson near the Black Lake.”
Curiosity spiked, and Draco hated that, hated that Potter could get to him even when absent.
“What is he teaching them?”
He didn’t look up, didn’t want to see the smug expression Filius would have.
“Hydromancy, I believe.”
“Water?” Draco wasn’t sure how one could predict the future by observing water.
“I’m not caught up on a lot of Divination practices, but I do think that one isn’t done too often these days.”
There was a pause as Draco looked towards the window, they weren’t facing the direction of the lake, but he was still curious.
“I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you listened in.”
Draco glared at Filius, who was not looking at him and instead was reading a book.
“For someone as smart as you, you sure are stupid.”
“And what is that supposed to mean?” Draco asked as he folded his arms and deepened his glare. He could feel his forehead wrinkle and he blamed that on Filius too.
“Draco,” Filius said as he closed the book with a snap. “You can be so rigid at times. Facts play so heavily in what you believe that you discount everything else.”
The theoretical beginning had Draco confused. Were they still talking about Potter?
“Facts are important.”
“Yes,” Filius agreed, a flash of annoyance in his tone. “But they aren’t everything. Do keep in mind that every spell at one time was an idea, an idea that no one believed in until it could be proven.”
Draco shifted in his seat as his forehead mellowed and his lips turned downward.
“What are you trying to tell me?” he whispered as he looked down at his fingers. They seemed to be approaching something vulnerable, and Draco wasn’t sure he wanted that.
“Whether it’s Divination or Potter you have a problem with, try to keep an open mind. Sometimes, facts are irrelevant. Even emotions based on nothing can hold more weight.”
“Why are you speaking like him? Did you too learn how to speak in riddles?”
A small chuckle left Filius as he stared at Draco. “Don’t waste your life looking for the status quo when an adventure is just as tangible.”
Draco leaned back in his chair and frowned. “Are you telling me that Potter is an adventure?”
A shrug was his answer and that annoyed him more than anything.
“I’m telling you to live a little. To stop looking for proof in everything. Maybe you need to believe in something you can’t prove.”
“And that’s Divination?”
Filius stood up and Draco worried he wouldn’t find an answer. Was that the point? Was he to find the answer for himself?
“Maybe it’s Potter too.”
The noise the door made as it closed sounded final, and he wasn’t sure what to think of that. Draco wasn’t sure why people cared what he believed in. He was allowed to think Divination was nonsense. He was allowed to think Potter was nonsense.
Facts were real, backed up by evidence and years of effort. What was wrong with wanting to believe in facts? What was wrong with wanting to believe in things that could be proved? If Potter was allowed to believe in Divination, then Draco should be allowed to think it wasn’t real.
Filius’ words didn’t leave, even if he thought it was nothing. There was some truth to them. Plenty of things had once not been believed in until proof later came out. Was it the same with Divination? Could there be proof of its existence?
If so, would that matter? Would that change his mind?
Draco sighed heavily as left the room and walked down the hall. He wasn’t sure if Divination was real, fake or a giant conspiracy, but he was going to find out.
“Every person or object remains as they are until an outside force changes that course. The lake is no different.”
Draco observed Potter’s lecture with as much of an open mind as he could. It was clear that the students were captivated, and that spoke of Potter’s teaching methods more so than the subject.
“The water as it stands has several purposes, and all of those purposes rely on its existence or its ability to remain still. The water is a path that many variables use, and when divining with water, it is up to us to bring the force that will change its course.”
Despite not fully understanding the things Potter was saying, Draco couldn’t help but feel just as captivated as the students. He wasn’t sure where the lecture was going to lead, but he wanted to find out—wanted to know more.
“Hydromancy has many different variations and forms, and I am going to teach you one of the more well-known methods today.”
A slight rustling could be heard over the silent clearing as Potter pulled out several objects.
“I have three small stones and I will drop them one at a time in the water. I want you to not only observe the path of the stone, the path the water takes as they meet, but I also want you to observe the water itself.”
A hand rose in the air before Potter called on the student.
“But sir, won’t the moving water affect the other stones after the first one falls?”
Potter smiled, it was pleased and a little smug, but Draco was too curious to care.
“Exactly. Ten points to Slytherin.”
When one stone was lifted in the air it drew his attention towards the rock in Potter’s hand.
“Each stone represents something, represents why we are divining in the first place, and the purpose of the act. But when you change the course of a path, the path doesn’t remain still enough to keep performing the same acts, one must align with the change if they want to keep up. Which is why we will continue with the remaining stones after the water has been disturbed. Each new stone gives further insight, and that has to be acknowledged.”
Draco wasn’t the only one confused, that much he could tell, but the way Potter presented his words made the impatience to understand disappear. It was almost as if the confusion was just a part of the method.
“Watch closely,” Potter warned as he dropped the pebble.
The anticipation of the action fell flat for Draco. He couldn’t see anything noteworthy as the rock fell and a small splash of water was the end result.
A few whispered exclamations could be heard but it was obvious that Draco didn’t see whatever the students saw.
“Can someone tell me what the water represents in regard to life?”
Potter shook his head slowly, but his lips quirked as if to show it was a good guess.
“5 points to Gryffindor.” Potter gestured to where the water had not fully stilled, and little ripples of water remained moving.
“We are the water while the rocks represent variables, paths and a lot more. When the rock touches the water, it has changed the shape of the water for a brief moment, but the after effects remain visible for quite some time. It is the same way with life. There are things that will shape you all, but that does not mean it will define you.”
A breath left Draco as Potter’s eyes locked onto his own.
“The rock was just one minuscule variable. If you look at the water, you can see how it is trying to reform as it once was. That is important to remember. It is important to realize that whatever happens in life, it is just fleeting, and you can always reform after. But sometimes…”
A second rock fell from Potter’s fingers as his eyes were still on Draco.
“Sometimes, variables happen in a succession that shape your life more so than ever intended. This is normal, and with the ripples of the water, it can even be expected. You see how the ripples move in a similar pattern as they had before? But where the others left off, these new ones are completely different no matter how similar they may look. What does that suggest?”
A few students looked around at each other before a lone hand rose.
“That the new rock followed a pattern, but the result was different?”
Potter tilted his head once as his lips protruded slightly, not quite a pout.
“That’s the simplified version, but you aren’t wrong,” Potter said as his free hand lifted, palm facing the sky.
“Even if the variables are similar, even if they follow the same path and the effects appear to be the same, they aren’t. The water was still moving when I dropped the second rock, that changes the path of the rock already. That is our perspective. If the water is us, then that shows that our perception of the variable will be different, because we are prepared for it. Even if the water was in the process of reforming, it will still have evidence of the pebble. We can see what the last path had been and can better prepare for another one.”
The depth to Potter’s words astounded Draco. It was almost as if the whole lecture was a deep metaphor. He wasn’t sure where Divination actually took place among the comparisons, but the words were well spoken and provoked deep thought. He was reluctantly impressed.
“Not much changes as I drop the last rock.” A small splash could be heard but Draco didn’t look away from Potter’s face.
“The ripples are there from the previous rocks, and they might be hard to distinguish, but we know they are there, we know how they have shaped the water, and that’s all that matters in the end, really.”
There was a small pause as Potter turned to examine the water. Draco wished that he could see whatever it was the drew Potter in, wished that he could understand it on the same level.
“Can you see the rocks?”
“No,” Several students said in unison.
“Can you tell that there had ever been a rock?”
“But you can see the effect the rocks had on the water, right?”
A few mumbled noises of affirmation could be heard before Potter continued.
“What happens when the water comes to a standstill once more? When we can no longer see the evidence of the rocks. Does that mean that it never happened?”
“Does that mean the rocks didn’t have an impact?”
“No,” Potter agreed softly with an equally soft smile as he turned around and clasped his hands. “Everyone in life has their very own rocks that have shaped who they are. They have had many ripples just as the water. Maybe the evidence remains for us to see, or maybe it’s no longer visible, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The pebbles are still there, even if we can’t see them.”
Draco shifted when Potter looked at him once more. Was there a double meaning? Was Potter trying to suggest that he understood Draco’s rocks? Or was it all just too meta and the meaning was lost?
“So when divining for others, yourself or just in general, please keep in mind the severity of a single variable. Keep in mind that what you don’t see is just as important as what you can see.”
Draco looked down at the ground as his brows furrowed and a frown formed. Potter was convincing, that much was clear, but he still felt as if something was missing, a key explanation. Why was Divination so complicated? The lack of factual evidence still got to him, it still left him uncomfortable.
“In conclusion,” Potter cleared his throat before his arms spread and he gestured at the class. “The variables in life can be just as small as a pebble, they can be just as insignificant as throwing a rock in a lake where it will be forgotten in an hour, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to prepare for. Hydromancy is a tool that we can use to our advantage. We examine the path of the rocks and relate it to our own paths. It might not show you what you seek, but it will always give you an answer.”
When Potter separated the class into groups, Draco tried to pay attention to their practical methods, but his mind replayed the lesson over and over. Despite wanting to see the lesson, he hadn’t thought he would learn anything, and yet, part of him felt more profound than before.
Only, he wasn’t exactly sure what that meant.
“Did you learn anything?”
Draco looked up to see Potter pause near the bark he had been leaning on.
“I’m not sure,” he answered honestly. “That was a lot to take in.”
“Perhaps in the beginning, yes,” Potter agreed with a hum. “But with Divination, things aren’t ever what they seem. Hydromancy is rather minimal in a lot of ways.”
Minimal. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know any other methods if Hydromancy was minimal.
“You aren’t a bad teacher,” Draco said as he looked at the students. There were a few that looked just as lost as he felt, but the majority were keen to learn, eager to try their hands at the task. Even if Draco didn’t believe in Divination, it was nice to see students so willing to learn.
“You don’t have to sound so disappointed,” Potter said, and Draco wondered if it was an attempt at teasing. There was no smile, but green eyes appeared lighter than before. Social cues weren’t his forte, but then again, neither was Potter.
“I’m not disappointed,” Draco contradicted as he looked back to the students. “Surprised, but not disappointed.”
“I suppose I’ll take that as a win.”
“Were you ever these students at one point?” Draco asked, unable to make small talk or continue the pointless conversation. He had questions and he wanted answers.
A small laugh left Potter as he shook his head and his mop of messy hair fell into his eyes.
“I was never eager for Divination at their age. I thought it was nonsense. I suppose I thought more like you when it came to the lessons.”
“What changed your mind? Trelawney?”
A snort could be heard, and for once, Draco agreed with him.
“Trelawney is kind, but she certainly wasn’t the reason for my interest in Divination. To be honest, the war changed my outlook.”
The war. An uncomfortable feeling took root and Draco wanted to back away from the conversation. That was a topic that was a hard no for him, it was still hard to talk to his mind healer about, let alone other people.
If Potter found the path he wanted to take due to the war, then that made it far more serious than Draco was prepared to take in. He wanted to deny any thought of Divination being credible, but he couldn’t do that if that meant putting down Potter’s experiences. That wasn’t alright.
So, he did the only thing he could to ensure that denial could still flourish, he walked away, and didn’t look back.
The chill of the corridor seemed more prominent than Draco was used to. A brief warming charm helped but the temperature was unnaturally cold. He debated about whether to put more power into the spell, but if it didn’t work then it would have done nothing but lower his magical reserves.
It wasn’t until he turned the corner and came across snow that he had an explanation. Snowflakes fell instead of natural clumps. That stood out the most and it had him suspicious.
Draco held out his hand and watched the snow melt on his skin. He had never been granted the chance to play in the snow before. As more snow fell on his hands, he couldn’t help but smile.
“What are you doing? Returning to the scene of the crime?”
Draco startled before he clutched his robes and turned around. He sighed at the sight of Potter standing in the corridor with a sack of some sort in his arms. Of course it was Potter. When wasn’t it?
“What crime?” he asked as he eyed him closely. “You aren’t still of the belief that I am behind all of this, are you?”
When Potter shrugged, Draco wanted to gather snow and shove it in his face. Maybe Potter could divine that.
“You are the suspicious one,” Draco said as he gestured to the sack in Potter’s arms.
Potter’s face cleared as he looked down. “Oh, this? This is just bones.”
“The context made it worse.” Draco took a step back and nearly slipped on the snow.
“I’m trying a new diving method and so far, it’s not quite what I thought it would be.”
“And you are using bones?” He had to fight the urge to take another step back, the fear of slipping was the only reason he remained still.
Draco’s face must have reflected some kind of emotion, because Potter huffed and pulled out a few bones as he knelt on the ground.
“I didn’t harm them. Thestrals go for smaller animals and spit out the remains at the edge of the forest.”
“Lovely,” Draco drawled as his nose scrunched up.
“Natural progression, I suppose,” Potter shrugged. “Spatulamancy is Divination of the shoulder blade of an animal.”
Draco took a step forward when he looked closer. “But those are in pieces.”
“Exactly.” Potter beamed at him, and Draco had to focus on the bones instead.
“Fractomancy is Divination of fractal patterns and how that can be interpreted.”
“Fractal?” Draco said with a hum as he knelt on the ground next to Potter. “Wouldn’t something like a snowflake fit that more so than a bone?”
When Potter didn’t say anything, he peered up and leaned away at the expression on Potter’s face. It was calm and filled with something that he didn’t know how to describe.
“Typically, yes,” Potter whispered, eyes searching Draco’s. “But I was hoping to find something in the bones, try something new.”
“Did it work?”
“Yes, just not in the way I hoped.”
Draco’s forehead wrinkled. “Bad news then?”
Potter raised one hand and twisted it slightly, as if to say he was partially right.
“Divination isn’t set in stone. What was once bad news an hour go doesn’t have to be bad news now.”
Curiosity was to blame as Draco asked, “The future can’t be told accurately?”
Potter pulled out more bone pieces and began to examine them as he hummed.
“Depends on your definition of accurate. The present itself is always changing, nothing is constant. How can we expect the future to remain still enough to predict?”
Indecision caused Draco to bite his lip as he stared at the current bone in Potter’s hand.
“I don’t understand,” he whispered, the admission had hurt, but he was too intrigued to remain silent.
“Do you want to?” Potter returned, tone serious enough that Draco glanced up. “Do you care enough to understand? This seems like folly to you, but it means a lot to me.”
Before, Draco would have teased or even made fun of Potter, but there was a vulnerability in Potter’s eyes as they stared at each other. For whatever reason, Divination meant more than just a subject to him.
“Yeah, I care.”
The silence that followed was met with an intense stare and Draco tried not to fidget.
When Potter’s hands went back to picking up bones, he was able to relax.
“The future can be predicted, but the constant changing variables have to be considered when divining.”
Potter nodded once, eyes still on the fractured bones.
“Meeting you tonight is a variable. If I had foreseen my day and didn’t account for you, then it’s not an accurate fortune, is it?”
“But what if I hadn’t lingered in the corridor?” Draco asked curiously. “What if I had continued with the patrol and left the area?”
“Then my future would have not been what my present is.”
A frustrated noise left Draco as he crossed his arms. “Why must you speak in riddles?”
A mysterious smile lifted at the corner of Potter’s lips, and Draco hated it.
“You are the variable regardless of your decision, don’t you see?”
“No,” Draco answered honestly. He wasn’t used to not understanding something, and the knowledge that Potter knew something that he didn’t, didn’t sit well with him.
“Meeting you or not meeting you would have changed my future. If you had not stopped to look at the snow, then I would have not talked to you and gone to my quarters. That is an entirely different outcome. My present has been affected by your decision to linger. That is a variable.”
“But if I’m a variable that changed things, then could you have predicted the outcome? If you had been looking to predict your own day, then taking in me as a variable seems complicated.” He paused as he scratched his temple. “And what about other variables? Wouldn’t other people have affected your day as well?”
A satisfied hum left Potter. “Which is why predicting the future is so difficult. You were just one variable among hundreds of others. If I had gone in with the intent to amend for variables, I think I could have had a general idea of my day, but nothing is ever set in stone.”
“Then why predict if it’s not accurate?”
“It was once accurate.”
Draco didn’t understand, but he didn’t want to admit it, not after already owning up to his previous confusion.
“Things change when variables change,” Potter continued. “Most variables have minds of their own. Since you embody your own will, it’s difficult to predict in the context of my own future. Your choice to stop in the corridor changed my present, it changed what happened, and that can be hard to foresee.”
“Hard but not impossible?” Draco asked in a vain attempt to keep the theory in his mind. Divination required such a deep thought process, one he wasn’t used to.
“Nothing is impossible.”
Draco was beginning to hate the way Potter spoke. Had he taken lessons with Lovegood? Was there a Uni lesson in ‘speaking in a mystical airhead but somehow intelligent manner’ that Draco had missed?
“Did you foresee your day?”
Potter laughed soft and low, barely a chuckle.
“No, I try not to look. Information can be a double-edged sword.”
“Couldn’t the variables change once you know the bad information?”
Potter’s face shuttered briefly, and Draco worried he had somehow said something wrong. “Sometimes even knowing the variables won’t change the outcome.”
Draco fought the urge to throw up his hands in the air.
“Then what is the point? What is the point of Divination?”
The silence that followed was stilted and uncomfortable. Potter wouldn’t meet his eyes and Draco wasn’t sure what he had said that as wrong.
“How about you let me worry about that?”
Before Draco could reply, Potter had already stood up and was halfway down the corridor. He wanted to call out, ask him to stop or at least demand an explanation, but he chose not to.
“You forgot your bones,” Draco whispered to the now empty corridor. He wasn’t sure what to do with them, but he gathered the bones anyway.
He could probably figure out them more so than he could Potter.
Despite the light drizzle that interrupted his lessons, Draco was in a decent mood. The progress of his students was up for the year and when they did well, it made him feel accomplished as a teacher—the one goal he always aimed for.
As Draco stepped into the courtyard, he was grateful for the heat wave that had taken over the previous hurricane of the morning. Due to the chill from the rain, he needed all the warmth he could get.
Laughter rang out and normally, he would ignore it, but it was accompanied by cheers and that intrigued him enough to search among the dozens of students for the source.
Draco paused mid-step unsure of whether his sight was failing him.
“What are you doing?” He asked, unable to stop himself as he stepped forward and examined two students who were twirling repeatedly on top of some form of a diagram. The diagram had letters spread out in a shape that almost resembled a rune, but it was unlike any rune he had come across.
Murphy, a student who had parchment in their lap and appeared to be writing observations down spoke up.
Draco closed his eyes as he inhaled deeply. “Is this some form of Divination?” He already knew the answer but wanted the confirmation anyway.
One of the twirling students stopped suddenly before taking a shaky step forward and falling down.
“Quick! What letter did his knee hit?”
“E, Jackson got an E.”
When that was written on the parchment, Draco looked at the previous letters curiously.
“What exactly is Gyromancy?”
Murphy, looked up sheepishly as she fumbled with her quill.
“Gyromancy is an act of Divination through walking or spinning in circles until dizzy. The letters where they fall will give insight into the future.”
“Mhm,” Draco hummed as he looked at the parchment again. “And Jackson’s future will have an ‘arse’ in it?” He gestured to the letters that had been carefully transcribed.
“Oh, I wasn’t divining my own future, professor,” Jackson said as he tried to right himself with his hands on his head.
“Just the future in general. It could be your own arse, sir.”
A few snickers and one gasp could be heard as Draco stared at Jackson with an arched brow.
“I’ll keep that in mind when I go over your essay later this evening.” His shoulders shook when a panicked look flittered across Jackson’s face.
“Keep doing whatever it is you are doing,” Draco gestured towards the diagrams on the ground and to where one student was still spinning in a circle. “And please share any further predictions, I’m sure Professor Potter would love to hear them.”
“Yes, sir,” Jackson mumbled under his breath as Draco turned to leave.
“And 5 points from Hufflepuff for your cheek.”
The sound of complaints could be heard but Draco ignored them. If all they had to worry about was points, then he was alright with that. That’s the kind of school years he wished he had had.
The next generation would do well, and Draco was proud to be shaping them. Even if that meant being the mean teacher from time to time.
The weather increased in both temperature and tempo in the days that followed, and so did Potter’s suspicious gazes. Draco knew that Potter suspected him, but it was odd. There was no proof, and none of it made sense. Why would he have made everyone in the castle miserable? What would have been the point of that? What could he have possibly gained from it?
It wasn’t until a flash flood hit the kitchens, a windstorm tore apart the Great Hall, a sandstorm struck the Quidditch pitch, and erosion struck the Black Lake’s shore that Potter started watching him closely. He felt eyes on him even when no one was there. Draco knew that he’d have to figure out the mystery of the weather just to get Potter off his back.
However, figuring out the cause of the weather was difficult. Draco had originally tried to observe the weather to see if any kind of lingering magic would show a trace, maybe it could show if someone was behind it versus it being just a side effect of the castle. But staring a cyclone in the face was not only idiotic but it accomplished nothing.
“Don’t ask,” Draco growled as he pushed past Filius. His robes were skewed, his hair was probably worse than Potter’s rat nest that he wore on a daily basis, the wind had kicked up everything and something hit Draco in the face and scratched his cheek.
Observing the weather was quickly scratched off his list.
“What if you track it?” Filius asked after Draco broke down and demanded help.
“How so? I haven’t seen many repeats and there doesn’t seem to be a pattern.”
“But there’s a correlation,” Filius pointed out. “The weather is happening for a reason. If observing didn’t help, then tracking is the next logical conclusion.”
“No,” argued Draco as he folded his arms and eyed Filius a little condescendingly. “You just like statistics and you want me to do the work for you.”
Filius didn’t even bother to hide his amusement. “It’s the Ravenclaw in me. I’m fascinated by the research elements.”
“Then you do it.”
“I’m not that fascinated.”
With absolutely no help, Draco began to track the weather. At first, it seemed entirely useless. He carried parchment everywhere and wrote down everything. If an increase in temperature spiked, he wrote it down. If someone complained of the chill in the air, it was measured accordingly. But as the days went on, it was hard to see any pattern or correlation. It just seemed random to him.
Random except that Draco’s classroom was the least affected.
Was that on purpose? He could see why Potter thought he was behind it, it was suspicious, but there had to be a reason, right? Was it a frame job? Was someone trying to make him appear guilty?
But why? What would be the point? An increase in weather wasn’t something that would harm in the long run. It wasn’t illegal, nor would it really affect him publicly. So what would someone gain by framing him?
“How’s the data coming along?”
“Piss off,” snarled Draco as he flipped off Filius over his shoulder.
“That bad huh?”
Draco sighed as he fought the urge to lie on the ground and throw a tantrum.
“There doesn’t seem to be any kind of favoured weather. Sure, some storms occur more than others but not so obviously that it would be intentional. There are a few that can’t be confirmed due to unreliable witnesses, and the ones I have tracked show no hint at something that can be predicted. The weather appears to be random.”
When Filius didn’t say anything, Draco looked up from his research. Pinched brows and a frown drew his attention. It wasn’t often Filius expressed himself in such a way.
“Perhaps instead of figuring out why it’s happening, you should focus on stopping it.”
“Can you stop what you don’t understand?”
A flash of a smirk had Draco groaning. “You sound like Potter.”
He flipped him off again, not in the mood to dignify that with a proper response.
“There’s a story there,” Filius said, previous frustration gone and only amusement evident. “Have you spent more time with him? Tell me all the details.”
“Have you suddenly turned into the students we teach?” Draco asked with an arched brow. “Why are you wanting to gossip about my love life.”
“Ah,” hummed Filius. “So there is a love life? I’ve always wondered about that. Surely you couldn’t remain celibate forever.”
The sound of the door opening wasn’t enough to distract him from the waggling brows and obnoxious smile Filius had.
“Celibate?” Draco asked, a little aghast. “Where did you get that idea? Just because I don’t share my experiences does not mean I’m not getting dick.”
They both startled as they peered up at a flustered Potter. That was an expression Draco hadn’t seen on Potter since they were in their own school years. A red hue stained Potter’s cheeks and he wouldn’t meet Draco’s gaze. A hand rose to rub at the back of his neck and he shifted on his feet.
“Hello Harry,” said Filius, tone far more amused than Draco thought was fair.
Draco wanted to hide his face in his robes. Of course Potter would arrive at the worst possible time. That was just who he was.
“Filius.” Potter attempted to smile but it was more of a grimace.
“Malfoy,” Potter jerked his head in what Draco assumed was a nod of greeting, but it honestly made him look like a moron.
“Having an early lunch?” Filius asked as Potter pulled out a chair. He hated the way Filius could charm so easily.
“Yes,” Potter said as he placed his chin in the palm of his hand. “Normally I run late for lunch on Thursdays, but a squall took place after my last class. At least it was kind enough to wait.”
Filius and Draco shared a look, something that he knew Potter didn’t miss. He pulled out his parchment and summoned a nearby quill.
“A squall you say?” Draco asked as he wrote that down quickly. “What did it feel like? Excessive wind? Did it last long? Sometimes squalls will bring rain or snow, did that happen?”
An odd noise had Draco peering up at Potter. There was something unfamiliar in green eyes, and he wasn’t sure what to make of it.
“Well?” He prompted impatiently. “I have class in ten minutes and I’d like to track this.”
Potter frowned. “The winds were a bit rough but nothing like the cyclone last week.”
“Cyclone?” Draco asked, his voice higher than normal as he looked over his parchment. “I don’t have a cyclone down here. Filius why don’t I have a cyclone?”
When nothing was said, he glanced up to see Filius had left at some point.
“The fucking bastard. He would leave me here.” Typical.
“What about the rest,” Draco continued. “Snow? Rain? Did it feel average in regard to the other weather?”
“Why? What are you—”
“Potter, I don’t have all day.”
“Well, I suppose it wasn’t worse or better than the other weather. No snow, a light drizzle, but that’s it besides the high wind.”
“Drizzle,” Draco hummed as the sound of his quill could be heard. “What would you say the diameter of the raindrops were? Larger than normal?”
“I don’t—” Potter cut off when Draco glared. “Normal, I think. I’m not sure how to really measure that.”
There was a pause as the only sounds were the light scratching of the quill could be heard.
“I’m sorry, but what’s interesting?” The confusion in Potter’s voice amused Draco but he didn’t look up.
“Would you say it was a gust of wind or more of a blow? Close to a windstorm?”
“Malfoy.” The confusion turned to annoyance, but he still didn’t look up.
When he didn’t say anything, Potter sighed, the frustration clearly audible.
“It was gusts of wind. Not quite a windstorm but it wasn’t mild.”
With a final flick of his wrist, Draco but the finishing touches on the new addition and put away his things.
“Thank you, Potter. You have been of great help.”
It wasn’t until he reached the door that he heard Potter whisper, “But I don’t understand.”
Good. It was about time Potter was the clueless one. It was only fair.
When it seemed as if tracking the weather proved just as unhelpful as observing it, Draco was back to square one.
“Have you thought about what I said?”
“I try not to listen to you at all,” Draco drawled as he dodged several charmed silverware that Filius threw his way.
“I think you should look into stopping it.”
Draco bit his lip as he looked at the plain ceiling. The ceiling of the Great Hall hadn’t worked well since the weather issues began and that was a shame.
“It seems so counterproductive to skip to the end of an experiment. I don’t know why it’s happening and shouldn’t that be established before I do anything else?”
“Why are you so rigid in your methods?” Filius asked as he dabbed his mouth with a napkin. “You are so talented but lack imagination.”
“If I wanted to be insulted, I would have chosen to sit with Potter.”
When Filius grinned, Draco shook his head. Honestly, one would think maturity decreased the older Filius got. He didn’t understand what the fascination with Potter was about.
“What I mean,” Filius continued with a grumpy attitude. “Is that not everything has to be written down in order for you to follow it. It’s not a potion recipe or a rune to translate.”
Draco knew that Filius aimed to teach him something, but the words sparked an idea.
Had he been looking at it wrong the whole time? Should he not have been observing the weather in its basic form? Was there another message somewhere?
Draco shook his head as he pushed his food away and stood up.
“I have some more research to do.”
He ignored the curious gazes from the students and definitely ignored the way Potter tracked Draco’s path with his eyes.
Draco looked at his research, looked at the weather and tried to see it as he would a rune. With runes, the shape was just as important as the history behind it. But with the weather, that was hard to decipher. Was the weather telling a secret? Was it saying something just as a rune would? Did all it need was someone to come along and transcribe it all?
But if so, what was it saying? What was behind the weather?
The more Draco tried to decipher it all, the more he wasn’t sure any of it made sense.
“Are you drawing?”
Draco startled enough that his hand slipped, and the quill drew a line over the rune he had been working on for the past hour.
“Potter,” he growled lowly as he tried to quash the urge to strangle him. “This is ruined now.”
“I’m sorry,” Potter whispered, and surprisingly Draco believed him. Guilt was what he saw when he looked up into Potter’s eyes, and it helped some.
“It wasn’t working anyway,” he tried to reason but the sight of the ruined rune irked him still.
“I—can I help fix it?”
“Runes can’t be fixed once ruined.”
Draco arched a brow and hoped that it showed how stupid he thought Potter was.
“If runes can’t be fixed, what do you do when transcribing old ones? Does that mean they are a waste if you come across an old one that no longer works?”
“Just because it’s broken, doesn’t mean it’s illegible. An ancient rune can still tell a story, it can give insight to what had once been and maybe even help in giving insight when moving forward.”
There was a softness to Potter’s eyes as he sat down. Draco didn’t want soft, didn’t want to be looked at like that—looked at like he mattered.
“I don’t really understand, but I’m guessing it’s only fair since you don’t understand Divination.”
“Those aren’t comparable,” Draco argued as he looked down to his ruined rune. “Runes have a language to them, they have rules and guidelines. Anyone can learn to handle them as long as they want to.”
“And you don’t think the same can be applied to Divination?” There was a challenge in Potter’s voice, and normally, Draco wouldn’t rise to it, but he was tired of not understanding the things that were said—tired of the uncertainty when it came to Potter.
“I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “I don’t know what can or can’t be applied to Divination because I don’t believe in it.”
Something flashed in Potter’s eyes and he couldn’t tell if it was anger or annoyance.
“After everything you’ve seen? You still don’t believe?”
Draco laughed, the sound fake to his own hears. “Potter, I could watch you perform countless methods, do many card or palm readings. I can see you perform them but that’s all I am seeing. I don’t know where your belief is coming from. You give me the end result without ever telling me the prologue.”
“What do you mean?”
He huffed as he shoved his parchment to the side. Clearly, he wouldn’t be getting any work done.
“So far you have shown me the end result of Divination. You’ve shown me what it can do theoretically but you’ve never told me the beginning. I deal in facts, things that I can see and understand, but if I come across something I don’t get, I take it apart and study it.”
“You can do that with Divination.”
“Can I?” Draco questioned. “Because so far there is no evidence of that. If you never give me a starting point, then I’m never going to be able to get it.”
Potter said nothing, but Draco hadn’t thought he would. It was an impasse of sorts. He didn’t have a problem with listening to the nonsense Potter usually spoke, but the bottom result was that Draco didn’t get it—and unless something else happened, he didn’t think that would change.
When Potter remained silent, Draco packed away his things and stood up. If Potter didn’t want to give answers, then he wasn’t going to waste his time asking.
A hand gripped his wrist before he could step away from the staff table. Draco’s mouth parted to snarl something he’d probably regret, but it died on his tongue when he caught sight of Potter’s expression. There was a vulnerability there, and that made him pause.
“Do you remember when you asked me what the point of Divination was?”
He nodded once, unwilling to give Potter more than that, not when he was still annoyed.
“It’s a choice.”
When Potter pulled on his wrist, Draco allowed himself to be guided into a chair next to Potter.
“Choice?” He prompted as Potter fell silent and the hand on his wrist disappeared.
The silence of the room wasn’t stifling, but Draco didn’t like it. Silence wasn’t something Potter did well, it wasn’t something he thought of when it came to him. He almost missed the deafening vibrance that usually represented Potter.
When Potter finally spoke, it was soft, and his voice was strained, but with what, Draco wasn’t sure. “Have you ever experienced a time when you didn’t have the freedom to choose? The freedom to do nothing, the choice to remain still, or the decision to keep going? Have you ever had that ripped away, and sometimes without any awareness?”
The air shifted, and Draco suddenly didn’t want to be in the room. He knew that it was a turning point, whatever Potter said would change a lot of things, and he wasn’t sure he wanted that.
“Yes,” Draco whispered. So much of his life had been chosen for him, decisions he had no say in and the things he thought were his choices hadn’t been done with the full knowledge required.
“Then you understand why the right to choose matters,” Potter whispered, his voice nearly hoarse. “When you have all your choices taken away from you, then sometimes you’ll do anything you can to ensure that that will never happen again.”
Emotion welled up as Draco realized what Potter had meant when he had said the war had been what changed his mind when it came to Divination. Part of him wanted to know what choices had been robbed of Potter, but at the same time, he felt for him, ached for the injustice.
“I think I started out wanting to predict the future so that I could have the choice to say no. I wanted to know what was going to happen so that I could change it if I desired.”
“But it doesn’t work that way, does it?” Draco whispered as he recalled the few times Potter had mentioned that Divination doesn’t always give the answer requested.
Potter shook his head as his hands clenched on the table. “It took me a long time to figure that out. The more I tried to change my future, the more I realized that I wasn’t living in the present. I wanted the choice to choose, but can you have a choice if it’s not with all of the parameters laid out?”
“I don’t understand,” admitted Draco as his forehead wrinkled. “Are the parameters the variables?”
An attempt at a smile relaxed Draco as Potter tilted his head to the side.
“Sort of. When divining, you can’t only look to the future, you have to take in account for the present. The current state of events must be observed before looking into the future.”
“How can you know where you will end up if you don’t know where you began?”
A small nudge to his shoulder had Draco rolling his eyes. It wasn’t exactly his earlier statement, but the sentiment was the same.
“You can’t divine the future if you don’t consider the past and the present. It’s not possible.”
“And you weren’t considering the past?”
A violent shake of a head had Draco concerned. It was clear that Potter didn’t want to talk about it, but he was too curious and selfish to oppose.
“I didn’t want to live in the past and I certainly didn’t want to think about the present. Things were too raw, too open and I just wanted to forget.”
Draco could understand that, he imagined a lot of people wanted the same after the war. He still felt like that sometimes.
“But you can’t forget when divining,” Potter continued. “That’s the biggest thing I struggle with. You have to know who you once were, who you are now and then who you can be before you can predict the future.” That sounded like too much. Was that why not many people took Divination outside of Hogwarts?
“It took me a few years to really understand that. I learned a lot about myself.” A small genuine smile quirked at the corners of Potter’s lips. “I can’t necessarily change the future; every circumstance is different, but the choice is still present.”
“What do you mean?”
Potter sighed, the action more thoughtful than annoyed.
“I can choose to use Divination. I can choose to look into the future. I can choose to change things if I desire. I can choose to do nothing and let nature run its course, or I can try something else. Divination is all about choices and how we use that information for our own decisions. I am in charge of my own future. I am in charge of what I do, and Divination helps me maintain that. No one gets to decide my fate but me. No one gets to manipulate my free will anymore.”
Draco took a shaky breath as he began to understand Potter’s methods. Someone had done Potter wrong, had taken away choices that should always have been his. For some reason, he didn’t think it had been the Dark Lord. Divination was what Potter used to reclaim his life’s choices. Divination gave him the power to choose.
And that meant something.
The more Draco considered it all the more he felt guilty. As much as he understood why Potter chose to further a career in Divination, he still didn’t understand the craft itself.
“Is there ever anything tangible? Is there ever something to see?”
Potter regarded him sadly, and it was a resigned sadness, as if he had given up on him. Draco didn’t like it, didn’t like the way it made him feel.
“Not in the way you are expecting, not if you are going into it with your mind already made up. You have to be susceptible to it, you have to be prepared for the hard work it will take, and above all else, you need an open mind.”
“None of that is me.”
“I know,” Potter said, tone regretful. “I thought maybe I could change your mind, but I don’t think I can, not until you want it.”
Draco looked down at his hands as he glared. “I thought I did,” he whispered. “I thought if I just observed that I could understand it all, but it’s not easy.”
A scoff left Draco as he rolled his eyes. “Everything I know is facts. Everything that makes up my routine is done with the absolute knowledge that I know what I’m getting myself into. I have spent years with the comfort of undeniable certitude of the world around me. I know how things work, and then how they don’t. What I don’t understand is easily learned if given the inclination to change. Learning is the beauty of life, and my methods might be rigid and old, but they work for me. I don’t know how to turn that off, to go against everything I have ever been taught.”
He placed his face in his hands.
“I don’t know if Divination is real Potter. I believe that you think it is, I believe that there is something there, I just don’t know if I can ever see that.”
Silence stretched between them and he was loath to change it, but the longer tranquillity remained, the more uncomfortable it became.
“You don’t have to believe in Divination.”
Draco snapped his head up as confusion coursed through him. There was no judgment on Potter’s face, no lingering disappointment and not even a frown in sight.
“What do you mean? I thought you wanted me to understand Divination.”
A shrug was his reply as a small smile was sent his way. “I think I will always want to convince others of the things they don’t understand, but it’s not my place to do so, and I should have known that already. For that, I apologize, Malfoy.”
“You’re saying sorry?” Draco breathed, surprise the only reason he leaned towards Potter.
“I thought that was obvious.”
Draco shoved Potter until a genuine laugh could be heard. It surprised him that the sound was superior to the silence. Potter knew how to take up space, but he couldn’t complain, not when he liked it.
“I’m not sure you need to,” he returned. “I wanted to look into it, I wanted to try. Even if I couldn’t succeed, I wanted to attempt to understand Divination.”
The small smile that had been remained from Potter’s laugh slowly stretched into a grin. “And that’s why I’m not upset. You tried, and maybe even learned something. That’s all I can ask of anyone anyway.”
“I feel like I have disappointed you,” Draco said softly, eyes unable to look away from Potter.
“Is that something you care about?” The breathy whisper to Potter’s voice drew Draco forward. He wasn’t aware that he had moved until Potter’s face came closer.
“Do you care if you disappoint me?”
“I think I do,” Draco whispered as his eyes searched Potter’s face. He wasn’t sure what the turbulent emotions in his stomach meant, but he certainly didn’t have to be a seer to know what was going to happen next, not when Potter smiled at him like he meant something, not when Potter’s eyes dropped to his lips.
Rational thought left Draco when a flash of Potter’s tongue could be seen before he bit his lip lightly. Merlin.
“Shh,” Draco whispered. “Don’t talk.” That would just ruin it.
He decreased the space between them until their noses touched and he could see the pores of Potters’ skin. It wasn’t as flawless as it looked.
“Merlin you are beautiful.” The admission caused Potter to flush, and Draco wished he had taken his own advice and not said anything at all.
To save himself the embarrassment of saying anything else stupid, he pressed his lips against Potter’s and let that be enough.
Kissing Potter wasn’t what he thought it would be. There was chemistry, but not enough, not what he had imagined and thought over when he allowed himself the chance to fantasize. A brief sense of disappointment filled him, and he couldn’t fathom why kissing Potter wasn’t good.
The kiss ended just as quickly as it began. As he pulled away, he could see the confusion on Potter’s face, and it matched his own, he was sure, but there was no explanation.
Draco closed his eyes. “I’m sorry,” he whispered before he stood up and left. He didn’t bother to collect his things, they didn’t matter, not really, not when he left a lot more than material possessions behind.
Only, he wasn’t sure Potter could give back his emotions.
The more Draco thought about it, the more he wasn’t sure where it had gone wrong. He knew he had wanted to kiss Potter, and he was inclined to think that Potter held skill when it came to snogging, he certainly knew that he had skill. The kiss wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t what it could have been. Only, he wasn’t sure why that was. He tried to think on it, but the more he lingered, the more embarrassed he grew.
So, instead of attempting to figure it out and maybe talk to Potter like the adult he was, Draco decided to avoid him. That would serve no purpose other than to give himself more time. At least he was self-aware enough to know that he was an utter mess, it was something he wasn’t proud of.
Avoiding Potter held benefits. Miraculously, the inclination to procrastinate was gone as he got to work on making runes to try and stop the extreme weather. It was difficult to work and dodge Potter. Every time he was sure he had given him the slip, it seemed Potter would just come right back.
If he didn’t know any better, he would think Potter knew where he was in the castle at all times. As paranoid as that notion was, he couldn’t find another explanation. Every twist and turn he took, it always seemed to include Potter at some point.
Draco walked the corridor towards the North tower warily. He knew that Potter had a class scheduled, but he had gotten wind of a thunderstorm in the area. If he wanted to test out his new runes, then he needed the data and couldn’t afford to let Potter mess that up.
The corridor was clear as he rounded the corner and came in contact with rain, lighting and the booming clap of thunder. Draco placed a warming and repelling charm on himself as he got to work.
Placing runes in an environment as hectic as extreme weather wasn’t a task he wanted to do, nor was he entirely sure he was capable of doing. Those who mastered Ancient Runes and studied the craft should be able to make a sufficient rune, but performing it under such conditions as he was, was advanced, even for him.
“Damnit,” he whispered when the rune vanished under the weight of the magical weather. He pulled out his wand and cast a shield, with added concentration, he was able to transfer the shield to his non-dominant hand and hold up the shield with wandless magic. With his wand, he infused a makeshift rune into the shield in the hope that he could combine a protection charm and a rune to dispel the weather.
Draco sighed when the rune vanished at the same time his shield did. He fought the urge to kick the wall in anger. Why wasn’t it working? Runes had never failed him before. As a last-ditch effort, he raised his wand and tried to singe a rune straight into the stone wall where the weather hit, but a sudden burst of magic caused him to throw up several shields. The wards prevented internal destruction, something he had known, but he had grown desperate.
He really did kick the wall after that. The pain of his toes was hard to ignore but he liked to think he managed it well as he observed the thunderstorm raging on. If he observing, tracking and even attempts at stopping the weather didn’t work, then what else could he do?
What other options were there? And why was he the only one who cared?
“I give up.”
“What do you mean you give up?” Filius asked, tone distracted as Draco watched him take his time in choosing which chess piece to move.
“I mean, I give up,” Draco repeated slowly as he over enunciated. A flick of Filius’ wand had him dodging one of the discarded pawns. “I’m finished trying to figure out the weather.”
“I thought you had consulted experts in your field.”
“I did,” Draco said as he crossed his arms. He frowned at the chessboard. “You didn’t even call out your move.”
Filius rolled his eyes before sarcastically calling out, “Pawn to e5.”
“But,” Draco continued. “They were just as stumped as I was. Of course, McGonagall didn’t seem too concerned about it all when I tried to get her to become interested. She seems to think it will disappear on its own.”
“Something you disagree with,” Filius remarked as he pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes at the board.
“I think it deserves looking into,” Draco said. “I think that it’s important. It’s been months of the blasted weather and no one seems to care but me.”
Draco’s nose wrinkled as he his lip curled downward. “Only because he thinks I’m behind it all.”
Filius snorted harshly. When Draco arched a brow and said nothing, he looked up.
“Oh, you are serious?”
“Do I look like I make jokes on a regular basis?”
Filius’ mouth twitched, and Draco did not appreciate it.
“You aren’t behind the weather.”
Draco felt oddly touched by his words. “Thank you, I knew someone would have to see it my way.”
“There’s no financial or political gain. Maybe if there were, I’d think you were behind it.”
“I hate you.”
Laughter echoed off the walls as Filius moved so much that the chess board fell off the table and the pieces screamed in horror, as if they were falling to their death.
“Damnit,” Filius swore as he waved his wand and the pieces began to levitate. “I was winning too.”
“You were playing against yourself,” Draco drawled. “Of course you were winning.”
“I’m the only one good enough to compete against,” Filius sniffed.
If he had known how dramatic Filius was, he wasn’t sure he would have befriended him years ago.
“Is that why you are so determined?” Filius asked as he put away the chess pieces. “Because you want to prove Harry wrong?”
“No,” Draco said with a frown. “At least, I don’t think so.” Maybe subconsciously he had, but after it had grown to be such a challenge, he wanted to figure it out partly just out of spite.
“Because I think—”
“I really don’t care what you think.”
Filius huffed with a slight glare.
“You would think you would be a lot nicer to your only friend here.”
His lips twitched despite the situation and Draco tried not to show how amused he was.
“When am I ever nice?”
Before Draco could respond, a new voice spoke up.
“I don’t know about that.”
Draco’s eyes widened as his back went rigid. He ignored the alarmed expression on Filius’ face and knew he’d have to explain at some point.
“You can be nice when you want to be,” Potter continued, and Draco fought hard to keep his eyes on the table. It had been nearly a week since the kiss and he wasn’t ready to face the consequences.
“I require proof,” said Filius. “If Draco is being nice, then the end of time has come early, and we should evacuate.”
Potter laughed, the sound just as charming as it ever had been, and part of him hated it—hated that Potter could be charming when his own insides felt like vomiting.
“By all means, continue to make fun of me,” Draco drawled, tone harder than he felt. “I have all the time in the world,” he finished as he stood up, his actions contradicting his statement entirely.
Filius opened his mouth to speak, but Potter beat him to it.
“No,” Draco said softly. “Whatever it is, no.”
He wasn’t ready, wasn’t ready to talk about it, nor did he want to pretend everything was alright when it wasn’t.
Draco wasn’t sure what he felt, but as he left the staff room and found himself face to face with a hurricane in the entrance hall, he finally had a visual reference for the emotions that resided in the pit of his stomach.
At least there was that.
Draco skipped the staff room for the first time since he had been hired and chose to eat lunch outside. He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t done that before, what with the fresh air and the wonders of nature.
“What the bloody hell are you doing out here?” A voice yelled over the high winds and thunder raging.
Oh yeah, that’s why he preferred to eat inside.
“I can tell,” Filius said as he sat down on a log next to Draco. “Why are you out here in the middle of a thunderstorm?”
He shrugged, not really wanting to own up to anything, the guilt was already eating at him.
“You aren’t just avoiding Potter, you are avoiding me too.”
“I’m sorry,” Draco said softly, as he hoped his voice carried over the wind. “I know you, I know you asked him about my behaviour.”
“Of course I did,” Filius said indignantly. “I’m your friend, and I was worried about you.”
The guilt rose, and Draco fiddled with his robes nervously.
“I don’t care that you are questioning things or panicking or whatever it is you are doing. I’m not mad at you for that.”
“You’re not?” Draco looked up curiously.
“I am however mad that you didn’t tell me you kissed Potter! Do you know what I could have done with prime gossip material like that?”
A surprised laugh left Draco as the anxiety melted and he was able to relax—well relax as much as possible in the middle of a storm.
“You know, emotions are just as flighty as Divination.”
Draco arched a brow as he turned to face Filius directly.
“Well you can’t prove an emotion, can you?”
He wasn’t entirely sure that was accurate. Emotions weren’t visible, but they were felt, and they were certainly real. The body was proof of that, the different chemical imbalances from emotions could easily be tracked.
When Draco opened his mouth to argue, a hand in the air stopped him.
“What I mean, is that you can tell me you feel something, but I have no proof of that, I have no way of discerning if you are speaking the truth. I would be trusting your word and only your word.”
“Alright,” Draco said with a nod, that much he could follow. “And your point?”
“My point is that despite the lack of proof of your emotions or the lack of evidence, you are still entitled to feel them. It’s okay that it doesn’t make sense. It’s okay to question things, and it’s okay to be afraid.”
Draco closed his eyes as his shoulders slumped. It wasn’t fair. How could Filius go from laughing at childish jokes to being wise beyond his years?
“I don’t know what I want.”
“And that’s alright,” Filius said as an arm wrapped around his shoulder. “But you can’t just ignore it and hope it goes away.”
“Why not?” he asked petulantly.
“Because then the choice is no longer yours.”
Choice. It all came back to that, didn’t it?
“He might not be willing to talk about it anymore,” Draco admitted as he worried his lip between his teeth. “I ignored him for over a week.”
“Possibly,” Filius agreed readily. “And if it were me, I’d hex you, but Harry is a lot nicer than me.”
A small smile stretched Draco’s lips, and he was grateful that he had a friend in Filius. He wasn’t sure his time at Hogwarts would have been half as enjoyable otherwise.
“What if I ruined it?”
“Then you get drunk, wallow, curse every man on earth and then eventually get over it.”
The blunt truth had Draco sitting up straighter. Filius was right, as always. He couldn’t hide from his problems, not if he ever wanted answers.
“But for what it’s worth,” Filius said quietly. “I think Harry is just as confused as you are.”
That did help, actually. If Potter was confused, then that meant they’d be on equal footing.
“Wish me luck.”
When Filius did no such thing, Draco looked over as he stood up.
“Tell me you aren’t going looking like that?” His face was pinched, lips in a cringe and eyes showing disgust as he gestured towards Draco’s robes.
“What? This is a Guerrero. Cost more than a year’s salary.”
“As horrifying as that is,” Filius remarked with a scoff. “I meant your overall appearance, not your robes.”
Draco looked down, but he couldn’t see much without conjuring a mirror.
“You look like a drowned rat. Your hair is a mess, you look like you’ve been in a thunderstorm.”
“I have been in a thunderstorm.”
“And then there’s your face,” Filius finished as he ignored Draco completely.
“What’s wrong with my face?”
“Nothing, it just looks as it normally does.”
Draco’s eye twitched as he turned around and stormed off.
“I hate you,” He called over his shoulder and harrumphed when he could hear laughter explode around the clearing, the sound louder than the thunder.
Friends, who needed ‘em.
Draco stood in front of the painting that was supposed to guard Potter’s quarters. He wasn’t sure what made Potter special enough to have an entire wing to himself, but he was sure it wasn’t fair. The painting was of a small child who only had eyes for an equally small dog.
“Excuse me?” He said when neither the girl or the dog looked up.
Nothing. He leaned forward in an attempt to examine the painting. Occasionally, artists would design paintings for the sole purpose of extra security and those tended to have a universal entrance with an override entrance. There weren’t any visual hidden openings, but it had been years since he had seen one that did. If it was password oriented, then there would have been some kind of indication. Whether by a talking portrait or symbols placed strategically elsewhere.
The more he stared at the painting, the more it didn’t make sense. The dog and child didn’t appear to be aware of a visitor, not that they were intentionally ignoring him. He hadn’t heard of a painting that was blind in the aspect of not being aware of their surroundings.
Unless… that was the point.
Draco hummed curiously as he held out his hand and placed it on the painting. Such an action would have normally been a mistake, it wasn’t wise to interfere in the original artist’s magic or the painting could corrode beyond recognition. When his skin made contact, he could feel a thrum of magic. That was typical, but instead of any old traces, it was active magic that he could detect.
Oh. It was a ruse. It wasn’t a painting, but a door of sorts. A door that only opened with permission.
With a pulse of magic, Draco pushed hard, as if he was knocking, but only with a breath of magic instead of a rap of knuckles.
Draco stepped back rapidly at the sound. When the colours of the painting moulded into a solid rough texture of a door, he couldn’t help but grin. Despite the success of figuring it out, he was mildly impressed with Potter’s foresight.
A twist of the knob and the door was opened, which surprised Draco. Why would Potter have such a complicated security but not lock or ward the door? What was the point of that? Was it overconfidence? Was he so confident in his abilities that locking the door was ignored? Disappointment overrode any positive thoughts he held previously.
Potter was an idiot.
When he closed the door, he felt more than saw the magic seal the entrance back to what it had been. His eyes were still on the door when a muffled scream had him pulling out his wand as he spun around rapidly, prepared for a fight.
The sight of Potter in a silk dark green dressing robe caused his wand to lower. Despite the toothbrush hanging out of Potter’s mouth, and the idiotic panic on his face, Draco was distracted by the fact that Potter was naked underneath the robe.
“How did you get in here?”
“I knocked,” Draco whispered, eyes on toned legs as he tried not to stare at each inch of skin that was so blatantly on display.
“What?” Potter said, the question barely audible over the toothbrush still in his mouth. “There’s no way you knocked.”
The argument was stupid enough that it pulled Draco’s attention up towards Potter’s face. He ignored the angry expression and brooding eyes.
“Well, I did. I knocked with my magic and the door appeared.”
The anger melted slightly, and he knew that Potter hadn’t expected that.
“What of the wards? How did you get past them?” The question was clearly heard as Potter placed the toothbrush on a nearby cabinet.
“Wards?” Draco questioned as he frowned slightly. He fought the urge to look down, because Potter still hadn’t closed the dressing robe. “There weren’t any wards, I just turned the knob and the door opened. Which is pretty stupid of you if you ask me.”
“Who doesn’t add in extra protection?” Draco continued as he ignored Potter. “Wards would have been a nice addition. That way, not just anyone walks in, you know?”
Potter sighed heavily as he finally closed the robe and tied it far more aggressively than was necessary. Draco couldn’t decide if it was a beneficial or detrimental decision.
“Malfoy, there were wards. Several of them in fact.”
“I didn’t encounter any,” Draco argued. “I don’t know what happened to them, but there weren’t any there.”
“That’s the thing,” Potter said softly. “They are still in place. They haven’t been dismantled.”
Draco turned around as he raised his wand. When the brief touch of magic could be detected, a breathy exclamation left him. There were wards. They were carefully and craftily hidden, something his pride noticed.
“I didn’t do anything to them,” he promised as he turned back around and looked at Potter closely. “I never even noticed them.”
“You weren’t supposed to notice them.”
The confidence to Potter was not attractive. “Then how did I get in?”
“I don’t know.” It was said far softer than the intense fire of Potter’s eyes and the dichotomy would always surprise him.
“What are you doing here?” Potter continued, the soft edge gone.
“Well,” Draco said as he wrung his free hand behind his back. “I wanted to apologize.”
Potter crossed his arms across his chest and his face hardened drastically. Draco was off to a bad start already, and he wasn’t sure why.
“For avoiding me? Or for kissing me?”
“I—” Draco cut off as he looked away from Potter and stared at the wall beyond him. “Both, I think.”
He hated that Potter wasn’t making it easy for him. Feelings were already hard enough; did Potter have to sound so harsh?
“I didn’t know what I felt.”
“What did that have to do with the kiss?”
The question threw Draco, he glanced over but his brows furrowed at the equal confusion on Potter’s face.
“Everything,” He explained. “You are a nightmare on a regular basis. You drive me mental nearly always, and I can’t tell if I want to strangle you half the time or to let the Giant Squid do it for me.”
“Well, that certainly makes me feel better.”
The sarcastic comment was waived away as Draco shook his head.
“But then you open up to me and show me sides of you that I didn’t think I could relate to. Your beliefs never waver and the confidence you have in your abilities are inspiring. You ultimately confuse me at all times and that’s why I panicked. You’re just you, don’t you see?”
“No.” The whispered denial was accompanied by a slow shake of his head. “I don’t understand. So you were confused about how you felt, and that means you are sorry we kissed?”
“I want it to mean something.”
“I thought it did.” There was pain in Potter’s voice, and Draco wished he could explain it better.
“Potter you told me that if you don’t acknowledge the past and present before you divine, that it won’t work, you won’t get what you want out of it.”
The bewildered expression almost caused Draco to smile.
“This is similar,” Draco stressed as he held onto his wand tighter, just for something to do. “I wasn’t acknowledging my current feelings. I was going into it with a jumbled mess in here,” he pointed towards his stomach. “The kiss wasn’t what I wanted because I didn’t know what I wanted.”
The harsh stance softened slightly as Potter stepped forward enough that they were within touching distance.
“You aren’t sorry that we kissed, you are sorry that it happened the way it did?”
“Yes,” he breathed, eyes locked onto Potter’s. Up close and with the dim lighting of the room, he could see flecks of brown in the green irises and such a simple thing wanted to make him smile.
“And now that you are here what has changed? Do you know what your feelings are now?”
“That’s a loaded question.”
When Potter arched both brows and remained silent, Draco knew he wouldn’t be able to joke his way out of anything.
“You still drive me mental,” Draco whispered as he sheathed his hand into the holster up his sleeve. “I still wouldn’t mind seeing the Giant Squid strangle you.”
“But?” Potter asked, the confidence in his voice just as annoying as always.
“I may still not know all of my emotions, but I know what I want, I know that I want whatever mess that you are.”
“Mess?” The teasing tone was a breath away from Draco’s lips and he was too distracted by that to retort properly.
“Be my mess too?”
If Draco wasn’t drunk on the closeness of Potter and the knowledge of what was to come, he would have been offended at the insinuation.
Déjà vu had been expected, Draco thought the kiss would start the same but end differently. Except it didn’t. Potter was the one to make the first move. Instead of the hollow uncertainty of their previous kiss, he felt nothing but over brimming chemistry. The turbulent emotions were still there, except they weren’t warring, they were celebrating. His stomach felt lighter and his heart beat quicker. The mint of the toothpaste wasn't as distracting as he thought it would be.
As the kiss broke naturally, Draco wanted to collect himself, but Potter’s lips moved to his cheek and then his forehead before stopping at the bridge of his nose and then the cycle continued over and over. He wasn’t sure how long they kissed, nor did he care, he just wanted those lips on him in any capacity.
Hands pulled Draco closer as Potter’s lips moved to his neck. A light suction caused a shiver to escape and he wondered if Potter aimed to kill him.
“Fuck,” Draco swore when a tongue tracked his Adam’s apple. Part of him wanted to push Potter away, they had things to talk about, things to discuss, but with another swipe of Potter’s tongue on his neck it was pushed to the side. They could talk later.
“You called me beautiful last time,” whispered Potter, lips pressed to the skin of Draco’s neck. “But I wonder if you know your own beauty.”
“Of course I—” He cut off when teeth nipped his skin. “Of course I do.”
He could feel a smile pressed into his neck, and Draco liked the thought of it not being just the heat of the moment.
“I’ve wanted this for a long time.”
Emotions he wasn’t sure should mix welled up, but instead of suppressing them, Draco let them out, allowed himself to feel something.
“Wanted me like this?”
“I’ve wanted you in any way I could have you,” Potter mumbled as a press of lips accentuated each word.
“I wanted to touch you.” It was whispered as fingers touched Draco’s collarbone. “I wanted to kiss you.” Lips continued a path from his neck back up to his jaw before Draco lost patience and tilted his head downward, so he could capture Potter’s lips in a kiss.
“Can I?” Potter whispered. “Can I touch you? Can I kiss you? Can I—”
“Yes,” Draco exhaled, the sounds far more breathless than he would have liked. “You’re already doing it anyway.”
“What about you?” The question threw Draco, his mouth parted to ask for an explanation, but Potter knew exactly what he was doing with his mouth as it travelled to his earlobe.
“Will you touch me too?”
With little decorum, Draco’s hands rushed forward and eagerly slid them underneath the dressing robe. The light chuckle against his ear had Draco’s body shivering. Potter’s breath was just as warm as the skin underneath his fingers.
“Have you thought about this?” Questioned Potter as Draco pushed the robe on the floor. “Have you thought of me as I did you?”
His ego liked the thought of Potter thinking about him as much as his heart did.
“Yes.” The admittance was easy, it didn’t feel like a weakness. How could it when Potter accentuated his own strength?
“What did you think about?”
Draco shook his head. He wasn’t about to spill his fantasies before he had the chance to take Potter on a date. Not when some of them were wild.
“I wonder if I can guess,” Potter mused, a brief hint of amusement.
“You are the expert in Divination,” quipped Draco as his eyes roamed over Potter’s naked body. “Why don’t you tell me?”
A strong grip to Draco’s biceps was the only warning he had before he was pushed up against the door. He stared up at Potter, partially in a challenge but mostly because he could.
“Is this what you think I fantasize about? Being manhandled?”
A flash of a smirk could be seen, and Draco hated that it was attractive. “Why don’t you tell me?” Potter mimicked, a hint of a tease.
“You’re going to have to try harder than that.”
Potter said nothing as he unclipped the clasp keeping Draco’s robes tied below his collarbone. As the robe fell to the floor, he tried not to think of how much that would cost to clean.
“You seem to not be in a hurry to get undressed,” observed Potter. “I wonder if you like that. You like being fully clothed while I have on nothing?”
The appeal was there, but he couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like if it were reversed. He wanted to feel rough fabric against his skin, wanted to see how little skin Potter would reveal as the night wore on. That was one of his fantasies, but he could get behind the current reality, if that’s what Potter wanted.
Hands bypassed his dress shirt and went for his trousers. The rustle of fabric was loud compared to their soft breathing. When the top button opened, and the zipper went down, only a brief moment where Potter’s hands stilled before fingers pushed them to his knees.
“Nothing underneath? I’m scandalized,” Potter said with a faux gasp as he clutched his chest. “What would the papers think?”
“They would be charmed by my bare arse.”
“And what an arse it is,” Potter whispered as his hands cupped Draco’s arse.
“I’m sure yours is better.”
“Oh?” It was mumbled against Draco’s neck as one of Potter’s hands tilted his head to the side. “Is that another thing you fantasize about? My arse?”
Who wouldn’t? Was that even a question?
“Maybe,” he said instead. “But I thought you were supposed to know.”
“How do you know I don’t?”
The retort had Draco tilting his head back until it hit the door. Potter’s eyes held something dark amongst other things he couldn’t figure out. He had never been able to understand Potter, never able to get what made his mind work, and the chances of that changing were slim. Maybe Potter did know.
“I can’t decide if I want to fuck you, or if I want you inside me.”
Fuck. Draco’s eyes closed at both images. “As nice as that is, and I do want that—” Merlin did he want that. “—I’m not prepped for that and I haven’t been magically tested in over a year.”
“Safe sex, I like that in a partner.”
“I should hope so,” Draco said a touch indignantly. “If you had told me to trust that you are clean I would have hexed your balls off and left you to get off on your own.”
What started off as a chuckle grew into a full laugh as Potter leaned his weight on Draco. The puffs of laughter were loud in his ear, but the thought that he could affect Potter in such a way made it easier to bear.
“You really are something else.”
Draco wasn’t sure if that was a compliment, not when he had seen the weight of the words on both positive and negative connotations.
“You make me want to do so much to you.”
That, Draco could get behind. He arched his back in a silent gesture. “Then what are you waiting for?”
“I wish I could suck you off,” Potter said, the ending more of a moan, and it went straight to Draco’s cock.
“Next time, after we’re tested.”
“Next time,” Potter said more in wonder than an agreement. Draco wasn’t sure how to respond. It was obvious that they still needed to talk if Potter hadn’t thought a next time would take place. Instead of voicing anything, he lowered a hand to lightly scratch his nails along Potter’s chest and stomach, his defined chest and stomach.
A partial groan could be heard when he ran a finger against the tip of Potter’s cock, the sound was better than he imagined, and Merlin, had he imagined. With his other hand, he aimed to take off his shirt, but a near shout stilled him.
“No, keep it on.”
Draco arched a brow as he watched Potter’s eyes travel over his chest. “Is this a partof your fantasy?” Nothing was said in return, but he had anticipated that. If Potter wanted him to keep the shirt on, then he would. He gripped Potter’s cock and relished the gasp that was released.
He could get used to that. As Draco began a slow pace as he jerked Potter off, a hand moved down his body and he inhaled sharply as it got closer to his own crotch.
“You want me to touch you?”
The bastard. Draco jerked his head in what he hoped was a nod.
“Was that a yes?” Potter tsked lightly. “I want to hear you say it.”
If Potter wasn’t so obviously a Gryffindor he would think he held Slytherin tendencies, the pension for mockery was there. Instead of giving in and giving Potter what he wanted, Draco dropped his hand from Potter’s body and arched both brows.
The challenge was clear.
Potter narrowed his eyes. “Fine, I guess we’ll have to do things a different way.”
Before Draco had the time to think let alone speak, Potter pulled the rest of Draco’s trousers off and then spread his legs as one hand held him against the door.
“You wanted me half naked? That’s what that was ab—” His breath caught in his throat and he wasn’t sure what he had been saying as Potter jerked forward and their cocks rubbed together.
“I guess this will have to do,” Potter grunted as his hips continued to softly rut forward. “Since you didn’t want to answer me.”
If that was his reward, then Draco didn’t mind one bit. He winced as there was no smooth glide and only a rough chafe. “Do you have lube?”
Fingers wormed their way to the holster still hidden in his sleeve. The presumptuous move would have gotten anyone else hexed, but Draco was curious as to what Potter what do with his wand. He hoped it would be to conjure a bottle of lube, because his dick would not thank him in the morning.
When a whispered spell could be heard, Draco’s nose wrinkled. “You’re using a lube spell?”
He couldn’t keep the disdain off his face if he tried. “It’s too thin and sticky.”
“Lube is always sticky,” said Potter as he felt his wand pushed back in place.
“Cheap lube is sticky,” Draco corrected as the too thin liquid was applied to both of their cocks. “And not only is the lube you just used free, it has no regulations. Do you know how many accidents happen when the spell isn’t properly conjured? It can morph if not careful and who knows what that will do to someone’s genitals. And another thing—”
The back of Potter’s hand covered Draco’s mouth, and he glared darkly.
“Shh,” Potter whispered. “I could honestly listen to you talk all day, but right now I’d prefer if it wasn’t you complaining.”
Well, Draco always complained, Potter would just have to get used to that.
“Next time I’ll overpay for some stupid fancy lube, but right now, I’m going to enjoy your body.”
With logic like that, he was sold, especially when Potter’s hips picked up tempo.
“Fuck,” Draco swore. The pressure on his cock was good, almost too good. He lifted one of his legs to wrap it around Potter to make the slide of their dicks easier.
“Is this a fantasy of yours too?”
Frottage wasn’t exactly what Draco thought about when he jerked off to thoughts of Potter, but it was the closeness that was second in his mind.
“Being with you is.”
Potter inhaled sharply, but Draco wouldn’t meet his eyes. He wasn’t ready to see what was there, not when things were uncertain for Potter.
Draco’s body spasmed and the action pushed them together harder. “Fuck, you can’t—you can’t just do that.”
The chuckle Potter released turned into a groan as Draco entwined their fingers and arched upward. His eyes closed the closer he got towards a climax. A thrum of magic underneath him had his breath coming in fast pants. He could feel Potter’s magic in the wards, could feel the pull of it as their bodies moved against each other. Draco was surrounded in different forms of Potter and he wasn’t sure he wanted to let that go.
“Harry,” Draco said softly before he tightened his hold on their hands.
“Fuck, you—” Potter groaned louder as his thrusts grew harder, slightly harder than was comfortable, but Draco knew what was to come, knew that Potter was nearly there.
“Are you going to come, Potter? Are you going to give me what I want? That’s a fantasy of mine.”
Potter’s mouth parted, but no sound came out as he came and that alone had Draco groaning out his name. A few small jerks before nothing, and Potter stilled to catch his breath.
A throb of his cock had Draco impatient enough to reach down and start jerking himself off.
“I want to do it.”
Draco released his cock and let Potter take over. He had expected Potter’s hands to be rougher, expected a calloused texture but they were soft, not as soft as his own, but soft enough to notice.
“Not too tight,” he begged as Potter’s pace quickened.
Lips touched his neck and Draco moved his head to the side to give Potter more room.
“I want you to fuck into my hand,” whispered Potter. “I want you to use my hand to bring you pleasure.”
Merlin, Potter really did set out to kill him. Pants left his mouth as he jerked his hip forward. The squelch of the cheap lube wasn’t as prominent as he would have liked, and he knew it was drying. He picked up the pace and focused on the feel of Potter’s hand wrapped around him and the hot puffs of breath on his skin.
“That’s it,” Potter goaded. “Just like that.”
The sound of Potter’s voice so breathless only pushed Draco that much closer.
“Your cock is thicker than I imagined,” Potter continued as he tightened his hold on Draco’s prick for a brief moment. “I can’t wait to taste it, feel the weight on my tongue.”
The image of Potter on his knees as he swallowed down Draco’s cock was enough to send him over the edge. His eyes pinched shut and a loud groan escaped. He didn’t have to look down to know that his come was on his shirt. Perhaps that had been Potter’s goal after all.
“It’s a shame I can’t taste you.”
Draco knocked Potter’s hand to the side as the sensitivity grew too much. “You’ll be the death of me. I know it.”
“No,” Potter argued as Draco pulled out his wand and placed several cleaning charms on them. It wasn’t as good as a bath, but he was too tired for that. “I think it’s the other way around.”
“You really don’t know the charm you have over me?” Draco mumbled as he picked up his robes off the ground. The trousers weren’t important, but the Guerrero robe deserved more than the floor.
When nothing was said, he looked up only to frown at the way Potter wouldn’t meet his eyes.
“Are you leaving?”
With so little context clues, Draco wasn’t sure what was the right answer. People were complicated, and he didn’t like that—Potter was no exception.
“I wasn’t going to, but is that what you want? I can leave if you do—”
“No!” Potter’s head snapped up quickly. “I just didn’t want you to apologize again.”
The robe slipped from his fingers as Draco stalked forward. Green eyes widened but Potter allowed him to place his hands on firm shoulders.
“I don’t regret any of this, I never regretted our first kiss either. I wanted you, Potter. I’ve wanted you at each of those moments.”
Draco rubbed his nose against Potter’s as he wondered where in Potter’s life the uncertainty came from, because it couldn’t just be from them.
“I’ve learned that past, present and future matter when making decisions.”
A slow but stunning smile spread, and it took Draco’s breath away.
“Are you using Divination right now?”
Draco shrugged once as he looked away and he knew his cheeks were flushed.
“The facts would suggest that we will be just fine. Together.”
“You into Divination is doing a lot for me.”
Dork. Potter was an absolute dork. Draco ignored him completely as he wrapped his arms around Potter’s neck and kissed him roughly. He wasn’t sure if he fully believed in Divination, but the results were undeniable. They were undeniable.
A small breeze could be felt as Draco placed a stack of books on the floor of the staff room. He ignored the signs of an incoming storm as he sat down and opened one on obscure runes. There had to be something he could use. After his last attempt at getting an expert to examine the weather failed, he decided that something had to change—something had to give. And that was why he was combing through every possible book that looked like it might help.
Time worked against him as the more frustrated he seemed, the quicker the day passed. He ignored the questions or concerns of the other teachers, with his early class having been cancelled due to a flood, he had the rest of the day off, and he wanted to be productive.
As the day went on, the weather in the room worsened, but it wasn’t anything to leave over, not when it was only tame compared to the usual weather of the castle. When the last of the books on runes provided no help, Draco honestly wanted to throw it against the wall and scream.
He laid on his back and stared up at the ceiling. The clouds that had grown darker over the hours he had spent in the room were moving quickly and he knew it wouldn’t be long before rain came. It would be fitting of his mood, he supposed, at least there was that.
With a dead end in mind, there weren’t many options for Draco. Filius was teaching more lessons and that would normally be his go to when it came to bouncing ideas off each other. If he went to McGonagall he would just be told to let the weather run its course, but he didn’t want to do that, didn’t want to let fate run his days.
Then there was Potter. He could go to him, but there was still a part of Draco that wanted to prove him wrong, wanted to show Potter that he wasn’t behind it, not that he thought Potter still thought that—at least he better not. The problem with going to Potter was that the answers he would get would all relate to Divination in some way, and that was a conversation he would like to skip out on.
As he tried to create a mental checklist of all available options, all that remained was the list of rejects, which Divination was at the forefront of that list.
Could he really go to Potter and ask for advice on Divination? His pride would be wounded, but that wasn’t really a concern. If that wasn’t a worry then what was? He bit his lip as he tried to be self-aware about it all. Growing as a person became limited if he refused to think openly.
Maybe he wasn’t ready to be open for Divination. Believing in it and seeking it out were two different things. If he went to Potter and asked for help, then there was no turning back.
A raindrop to the forehead had Draco sitting up slowly as he wiped his face. Perhaps he didn’t have to go to Potter. Maybe he could try it on his own. The thought alone had him grimacing, but it was better to fail with no witnesses than to succeed alone. If it didn’t work, then he could go to Potter. If it did work, then he could still go to Potter. It was a win-win situation.
Draco had no clue where to start. He thought back over the few methods he had witnessed and didn’t like any of them. Salt was out of the question, he still wasn’t sure how to make a Muggle card work, the rocks in the water were too much work, no way in hell he was about to touch any animal bones, nor was he going to look like an idiot as he spun around in a circle. There had to be other methods.
The bookcase in the staff room held books from all required lesson plans from each teacher, that way if a student came looking for help, any professor could provide help should the one they were looking for be absent. He pulled all the ones on Divination out and went back to the mess he created on the floor.
A book on Oneiromancy was quickly discarded when he realized it was telling the future through dreams. What a load of nonsense. A book on Prophecies had him curious, but he knew that wouldn’t apply, he doubted any prophecies were made about the weather. Pyromancy was out, and when he went to discard that one as well, he realized it was much thicker than the rest. It wasn’t until he looked at the table of contents that he realized there were eleven subdivisions of Pyromancy, Merlin why?
The more books he discarded, the more he became frustrated. What use was Divination if all of the methods were mad? All that was left was an Encyclopaedia of all the methods and a book on Futurology.
Futurology. Prediction of the future based on existing conditions. That one was tame, logical and it appealed to the scholar in Draco. He set aside the Encyclopaedia and opened the book on Futurology.
—By outlining past, current and probable future issues, Futurology can offer minimal assistance but requires the effort of the diviner and uses existing insights when divining. Futurology aims to be a tool rather than the device that will predict the future. —
The more Draco read, the less Futurology seemed like Divination. It was practical observation techniques combined with the skills to put clues together. There wasn’t much to Futurology.
Draco pulled out a parchment as he outlined exactly as the book suggested. He wrote down the past weather issues, the date they began and the history of the side effects. A new line and a new row began the process of outlining the current issues. When it came to the future problems, he wasn’t sure what to write. Logically, he knew the weather wouldn’t disappear on its own unless it was stopped. It wasn’t hard to predict that more weather issues would arise based on past examples, but was that enough?
Was that all Futurology was?
As he stared at the parchment, he couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. There wasn’t enough past evidence to get a complete picture of the future. More drops of rain fell from the clouds, but his mind was too focused to care. He pulled out the Encyclopaedia and blinked rapidly at the first method listed.
No, it couldn’t be that easy. His eyes squinted at the definition. Aeromancy: Divination through interpreting atmospheric conditions. There were many subsets of the method and all revolved around the weather. Could he really divine the weather? Was that possible?
The Encyclopaedia itself didn’t provide much information other than the definition before it passed right onto the next method. If he hurried to the library he was positive there would be a book on it, but a sense of urgency filled Draco the more he thought about it.
It all made too much sense. There had to be something wrong somewhere. It couldn’t all start and end with the weather, could it?
Draco closed his eyes as the wind picked up and the rain stopped sprinkling and became a mild drizzle. He placed his palms in the air and sent out his magic, but instead of trying to stop it, he tried to just feel it, observe it but respectfully.
There was a sense of familiarity, but he couldn’t place it. The magic of the weather pulsed as his own magic entwined. The rain picked up instantly, and that seemed sentient, in a way. Sentient magic was dangerous, with a mind of its own that left little chances of dispersing it.
When Draco went to pull back his magic, he felt the sentient magic hold on tightly, as if it didn’t want to let go. Despite the panic that seized him, Draco let the hold remain as he tried to calm his breathing. There was no ill intent as far as he could tell, and that intrigued him. If the foreign magic didn’t wish to harm him, then why did it want him to stay?
The steady pulse of magic stopped, and that caused a frown to form as Draco tried to figure out what had changed. He had remained still and so had his magic. Before he could recede or move, a small sharp jab of magic caused the breath to leave him.
The sense of familiarity grew and it frustrated Draco. What was the magic trying to tell him? What was so important? It wasn’t until the third rush of magic that he realized it was a formality, a knock. The magic was asking to be invited in.
The same way he had asked to be invited into Potter’s quarters.
As Draco let his magic recede, the foreign magic remained, he felt the energy wrap around him in a cocoon of warmth. When he opened his eyes, the clouds remained, but the rain had disappeared.
The weather was related to Potter’s magic. Of that, he had no doubt. Draco looked down at the outline he made and glanced at the section labelled in the past. The weather had started due to the side effects of the wards, and originally, he had overlooked that since it was shown in history to have been a reoccurring circumstance, but what if it was different? What if something had changed?
Draco rushed out of the room with both the Encyclopaedia and his outline in his hands. He ignored the students in the hallway and dodged Peeves and a suspicious balloon that might have been filled with ink.
By the time he ran up the stairs and made it to the top of the north tower, he was panting and completely out of breath.
Before he could knock, the door opened, and a smiling face filled his line of sight.
“Draco, I was just going to find you.”
“Harry,” Draco panted, his breath still not fully regained.
“Why are you all wet? And is that a Divination Encyclopaedia?”
He nodded sharply as he shoved both the book and the parchment in Harry’s hands as he shoved past and collapsed on an uncomfortable looking bean chair.
“Futurology? What is this? Have you been playing around with Divination?”
“More like struggling,” Draco grumbled to himself. The chair was as uncomfortable as it looked. He felt off centered and an odd lump was underneath his arse.
Harry was staring at him curiously over the parchment and Draco tried to right himself, but the bean chair was lumpy, and he couldn’t sit properly without losing decorum. Merlin, why would anyone want to sit in one?
“I think you are behind the weather.”
Silence greeted him, but Draco expected that.
“Is this because I accused you? You have to know I wasn’t entirely serious. Sure, you could be behind it if you wanted to, but I don’t think you are.”
“As reassuring as that is,” Draco drawled, unimpressed with the half assed apology. “I actually do think you are behind it. Unintentionally.”
“Unintentionally?” Harry folded his arms across his chest and Draco knew that look, knew that he only had a few more minutes before he would be thrown out of the room.
“You helped add magic into the wards for the 100-year renewal, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” Harry said slowly. “You were there, remember? All the teachers were.”
Draco rolled his eyes. Sassy Harry was not impressive. “Did you also help restore the wards after the war?” Sections of the castle had been in ruins and destroyed, the wards would’ve had to have been redone in the restoration.
“Yeah, but that was many years ago, why would that—” Harry groaned as he covered his face and the parchment fell from his hands.
“I put in too much magic,” Harry whispered as he tried to sit on the same bean chair as Draco.
“There isn’t enough room for you—Oi!—get your bony arse on your own damn chair—Harry I swear if you don’t—”
“It’s my fault,” Harry whispered from his new position on Draco’s lap. “I added too much magic and the normal weather issues have been magnified.”
“Yes, it’s completely your fault.”
A jab to his ribs had Draco glaring at Harry.
“Where is the comfort?”
“I thought you’d want the truth, but if you want me to lie to you, I can offer comfort.”
“You are horrible at this.”
Draco rubbed Harrys back lightly in an apology.
“Now that we know what the problem is, I think it will be easier to get rid of.”
“I doubt that,” Draco argued. “The extra magic you put into the castle is sentient.”
An oof of pain left Draco as Harry jerked in alarm. The movement caused the lumpy bean chair to move in a further uncomfortable position. How Harry’s students put up with the chairs was beyond him.
“What? Where are you getting that from?”
“I tried to combine Futurology and Aeromancy and somehow my magic recognized yours in the rain storm I was in when in the staff room. It’s not like normal magic. It knows what it's doing.”
A small smile quickly stretched into a smirk and Draco debated about shoving Harry off of him.
“You tried to do Aeromancy?”
“I did just say that, didn’t I?”
“How did it go?” Harry breathed, eyes bright with a childish glee. “What did it feel like? Did you use a third eye? Or was it minimal and only felt a renewed sense of energy?”
Draco blinked rapidly. “What?”
“Do you feel any different now than before? If you could pick a feeling, would clairvoyant be one of them?”
“No, shut up.”
A huff of air was ignored as Draco shook his head. “All I know is that your magic felt the same as it did when your wards let me in.”
Harry’s forehead wrinkled as he pursed his lips. “You think the two are related? You think the magic in the weather let you into my quarters?”
“I don’t really know what else to think.”
Silence settled around them, but it was comfortable as Harry hummed every so often. Draco knew that he was thinking, and that was alright, his own mind was too active as well.
“I disagree,” Harry said after the minutes passed.
“My wards are strong, Draco. If the magic in the weather is sentient, then it’s separate from my magic and I don’t think it would have merged enough to let you in.”
“I don’t get it,” Draco admitted easily. It was a nice change of pace to own up to a weakness and not face ridicule.
“And it makes sense,” Harry continued as he ignored Draco. “It makes sense why you haven’t had the same kind of weather issues as the rest of us.”
“Explain,” Draco demanded, the impatience harshening his tone.
“I think my magic likes you.”
“I gathered that,” he returned as he thought back to the way the sentient magic wouldn’t let his magic go.
“The sentient magic was once a part of me,” Harry began again. “I was soft on you long before the weather issues started.”
Draco sucked in a sharp breath. “You were?” He peered up through his lashes and closed his eyes when Harry cupped his cheek.
“Yeah.” It was whispered and soft in a way that the volume wasn’t. “I think my magic recognized that and that’s why your classes haven’t been as affected.”
“You like me, that’s gross.” Draco laughed when Harry tried to shove him but due to their position it was easy for Draco to wrap an around Harry and hold on tightly.
“And the wards?” He prompted when Harry fell silent.
“They let you in.”
Draco could feel his cheeks heat up, but it wasn’t often there was a proof of feelings. Filius had been wrong in that aspect. Harry’s words were enough, but even Harry’s magic was proof of his emotions.
“It’s still gross,” Draco teased.
A small laugh could be heard as Harry placed his hands over the ones around his stomach.
“You like it.”
Despite the uncomfortable chair, the uncertainty over the immediate future, the issues regarding the sentient magic and the vulnerability of starting a new relationship, Draco knew he was right where he wanted to be.
“Yeah, I kind of do.”
“It’s just weird!” A harsh whisper could be heard as Draco tried to correct papers.
“Jackson, just because you think you should have been a Ravenclaw does not mean you know everything.”
“I am a Ravenclaw at heart, the hat wanted to put me there.”
“What does that have to do with your conspiracy theory?”
Draco looked up as a few students who were supposed to be studying were whispering amongst themselves.
“It’s not a conspiracy theory,” Jackson argued with a slight pout. “I’m telling you, the weather isn’t normal.”
That piqued Draco’s interest. He knew that both McGonagall and Harry were consulting experts in the field of wild magic to see if the magic could be taken out of the castle without harming anything. The weather had decreased in severity and would sometimes disappear altogether if Draco was sent to spend time with the magic.
“I looked in several history books and they all say that the ward side effects are mild. Mild, Murphy.”
“Right,” Murphy agreed. “But that doesn’t mean someone is behind it. The last ward renewal was 100 years ago, and the Fat Friar said that he thought it was just as bad then as it is now.”
“What would he know? He can’t even remember his own past let alone the present.”
Before Murphy could offer a rebuttal, Jackson continued. “I just think that something is wrong. It doesn’t make sense.” He looked up and caught sight of Draco, who was still listening to them.
“What do you think, sir?”
“I think that if you think something is amiss, that you should look into it.”
Murphy began to grumble as Jackson clapped his hands in excitement. Knowledge was always something Draco believed in, he wanted to encourage his students to go after the things that intrigued them.
“You act like it will be easy,” Murphy said with a nod at Jackson. “You’ve already looked through the books in the library and came up with nothing.”
“Doesn’t mean I won’t find the answer,” Jackson replied, tone defensive.
“Murphy is right,” Draco began quietly as he ignored the way she stuck her tongue out at Jackson. “I don’t think it will be easy to solve, but I don’t think it’s impossible either.”
As Jackson grinned triumphantly and Murphy sighed heavily, he wondered if he was looking at a younger generation’s version of himself and Harry. Their friendship dynamics fascinated him.
“And hey,” Draco continued with a twitch of his lips. “If all else fails, why not try Divination?”
After all, it worked for him.