Harry sighs as he nears the potions classroom walking next to Ron and Hermione. They have potions with the Slytherins today and that’s usually dreadful, but since Harry is halfway through this year, he’s pretty used to it. Hermione walks in first and Harry waits until after Ron walks in, following her, before he walks in himself with another sigh. Snape is already standing at the front of the classroom, glaring at them as they walk to their desks. Harry looks up and locks eyes with Malfoy, who’s sitting in the desk to his left. Malfoy sneers at him and Harry rolls his eyes, looking away.
How’s your arm?, Harry thinks about saying, since the blond just recently had a Quidditch accident their last match, as a way to irritate Malfoy, but then thinks against it. For one, Malfoy would probably not get irritated from it, he’d probably start crying about it, and for two, he would much rather not have a detention with Snape, thank you very much. ”None of you Gryffindors are late today, surprisingly,” Snape drones, looking at all of them with raised eyebrows. Harry would like to say that no one is usually frequently late, as he’s suggesting, but thinks about the consequences again and just settles for an eye roll. Luckily, and surprisingly, Snape doesn’t catch him.
“Today we will be making the Animarum Potion,” Snape continues. ”Tell me, what are the effects of this potion?” Hermione almost immediately raises her hand. Snape scans the room, looking straight at an anxious Hermione then continuing to search for anyone else. ”Potter.” Harry can't say that he's surprised;Snape just usually waits a little bit before he starts a criticizing spree just for Harry. Snape looks at him, his eyes glinting maliciously. ”Why don’t you tell us what it does?”
“Er…” Harry says after a minute then pauses, blushing a little and rubbing the back of his neck. Hermione looks disappointed as Harry searches his mind of anything on the Animarum Potion, everyone looking at him expectantly. ”I think Hermione told me once that it has something to do with souls?” Snape looks shocked for a second then sneers at him. Hermione looks proud.
“For once, Mr. Potter is correct. The Animarum Potion does have something to do with the soul, but what?...” Snape quickly scans the room, looking for his next victim. ”Weasley!” Ron jumps, blushing up to his hairline, obviously not having been paying attention to anything that was said.
“Um… er…” Ron stutters and Harry hears Malfoy snicker beside him. Harry glares at the blond, who smirks back at him. Hermione mutters something Ron's way, probably just to inform him on what's going on. ”Doesn’t it… strengthen the soul?”
“Incorrect! Ten points from Gryffindor,” Snape says and Harry fumes. He answered a question correctly and doesn’t get a reward, but then Ron gets asked a question that they haven’t ever learned and he gets punished for it? Ron ducks his head, murmuring curses under his breath, and Hermione reassuringly pats his hand under the desk. ”The Animarum Potion is completely different and more complex than Mr. Weasley here thinks. It actually has the power to swap souls temporarily, but the spell can only be countered by a certain condition…”
“So, basically, a body swap?” A Slytherin asks from the back of the class and Harry would bet his last galleon that Snape would’ve hexed the student for speaking without raising their hand if they were a Gryffindor. Snape speculates this for a moment.
“You could put it that way, Mr. Jones. Ten points to Slytherin for good analyzation.” Harry nearly bangs his head on the desk repeatedly.
△ △ △
“Alright,” Ron says, scanning the potions’ textbook. ”A pinch of fairy wings.” Harry uses two fingers to pinch a few fairy wings into their cauldron which makes an almost immediate reaction out of the potion, the color turning from a light brown to a light pinkish blue. ”Stir it counterclockwise.”
“Doing alright there, Potter?” Malfoy all but shouts from across the room, catching a few peoples attention. Harry rolls his eyes, continuing to stir the potion and ignoring Malfoy. One of the things Malfoy hates the most. Harry is not going to let Malfoy’s foolish remarks get to him or distract him from his goal. Snape promised whoever brewed this complex potion correctly, he would grant them a small vial of Girding Potion, a potion dealing with stamina, which would be excellent to use before a big game of Quidditch. This is the nicest Snape’s been all year and he should really do rewards like this more often;Harry might actually start liking and tolerating this class more. Like Hell if he’s going to pass up this opportunity because of Malfoy. Snape probably thinks and expects Malfoy to get the Girding Potion anyway. ”Oi, Potter! You got cotton in your ears?”
Harry throws him a rather rude gesture, basically telling him to bugger off, that rewards him with a deduction of 10 Gryffindor points from Snape. Harry glances at Malfoy, who’s smirking, and not at all racing to get his grubby hands on that Girding Potion. Why would he? Snape probably had him practice weeks before he planned on teaching it.
“Ignore him, Harry,” Ron grumbles and throws in a dragonfly thorax as Harry continues to stir. ”Alright, you can stop stirring.” He stops and looks over Ron’s shoulder to see the next instruction. ”It says to let it heat until it turns a mustard yellow.” Harry is sort of sad to see the now pretty light blue potion fade, but watches nonetheless as it turns a rich mustard yellow, to his dismay. Such an ugly color. ”We only have a few more things to do before we’re done!”
“Any idea on what color it’ll be after we’re done?” Harry asks, a little flurry of butterflies erupting in the bottom of his stomach. Ron looks at him with a smirk.
△ △ △
“And we just have to let it sit for a few minutes….” Ron trails off. Harry anxiously glances at Malfoy, who seems to be about a little bit ahead of them but, Harry is still happy to say that the potion’s final resting color is a light purple. ”Until it turns a shade darker… Harry, we did it! Surprisingly. Now, hurry up! Put it into the vial and show it to Snape before Malfoy does!”
Harry quickly scoops some of the potion into the vial and looks over at Malfoy, who’s already calmly placing the cap on his vial. Without thinking, Harry starts to walk fast towards Snape without capping the vial. What? He won’t spill it. Besides, even if he does, he’ll make sure to drop it away from everyone. Malfoy looks over and sees what Harry’s doing and starts walking fast towards Snape as well. Malfoy catches up to Harry quickly since he has longer legs and Harry goes to bolt around the corner and accidentally crashes into Malfoy, who gasps and drops the vial at their feet. Snape looks up at the commotion and gets up, heading for them. Malfoy snarls at Harry.
“Now look what you did, Potter!” He hisses. ”You just had to-” Harry feels something wet in his hand and looks down. The potion got onto his chest and is most likely seeping through his thin button-up and maybe even into his chest itself. It is a potion of the soul. His skin starts to uncomfortably tickle. Through all of this, Malfoy is still going off on his rant. ”I mean, your potion isn’t even the right shade of purple. It’s supposed to be darker and is described as more of a plum purple. Yours looks like grapes for Merlin’s sake. Besides, how did you even manage to make this complex potion that seems to be way beyond your ability? Weasley obviously couldn’t be much help, so it must’ve been Granger? Or did the mention of a reward involved get you motivated enough to actually succeed for once? And Merlin, you’re lucky my perfect potion didn’t touch us otherwise we’d be in deep trouble-”
“Malfoy, look,” Harry says once he notices that Malfoy too has the potion on his chest. Malfoy rolls his eyes and looks down. Then looks back up at Harry with wide eyes. All Harry thinks before he suddenly sees black is, oh no.
△ △ △
“What potion were you working with today, Severus?” Albus asks Snape, his hands clasped behind his back and turning to him.
“The Animarum Potion,” he says, studying a sleeping Draco. Albus scans the room absentmindedly.
“Ah, the potion of souls,” Albus whispers. ”So… is this going to be an issue? Did it…”
“I do not think the potion affected them since it did not touch any of their skin. Potter’s potion didn’t seem to be the right color anyway. They should be… fine.”
“Are you absolutely positive, Severus?” Madame Pomfrey, beside Potter’s bed, asks, concerned. ”What do we do if you’re wrong?”
“I am not wrong,” Snape snaps, leaving Pomfrey aghast, then sighs and adds, ”Besides, even if Potter’s potion did work, it is curable and should be quick at that.”
“Well, what is the cure?” She asks. ”I’d like to know so I can get it ready as soon as possible.” Snape glances at Dumbledore, who looks back, then looks back at Pomfrey. He spins on his heel and walks out of the Infirmary doors without uttering a word.
Draco wakes up to yelling and chaos. He glowers at the ceiling and wonders what idiot had the audacity to wake him up and why. It is rather strange that the Slytherin common room would even be chaotic. He sits up and rubs his eyes with his hands. Only to hit a pair of round glasses. With a furrowed brow, he slowly takes off the glasses and immediately recognizes them as Potter’s. Old, slightly broken at the bridge. What in Merlin’s name happened? Why does he have on Potter’s glasses? He then notices that his hands are broader and have a tan, something his hands would never have. Draco’s heart starts beating rapidly as he looks around to see he is in fact in the Gryffindor tower. He reaches up and tangles his tan hand into messy curls. It hits him then. Potter’s potion worked. That means that he’s in Potter’s body and Potter’s in…
“Arg!” Harry hollers as he accidentally falls off of his bed that felt way comfier than usual. He fights to untangle himself from… green blankets? He hears a deep laugh and looks up to see Blaise Zabini looking down at him and shaking his head. What is he doing in the Gryffindor tower?
"About time you woke up,” Zabini says with another laugh then throws a pillow at him.
“Hurry up and get dressed so we can go to breakfast.” With that, he walks away. We? Harry gets up and brushes off himself, as if he really needed to and-
Why are my hands so pale? And are those Slytherin robes?! What is going on?
Harry thinks about what possibly could have happened then remembers with wide eyes-
The Animarum Potion.
He rushes to the bathroom, pushing past a Slytherin who was about to go into the bathroom, causing the Slytherin to exclaim,”Damn it, Malfoy! Every morning!” Harry ignores the git and nearly collapses in front of the mirror, clasping the counter so hard his knuckles turn white, if that’s even possible. When he looks into the mirror he lets out a gasp, almost falling over from the sight. His features are exactly like Malfoy’s now. Sharp, perfect, and graceful. He stares back into Malfoy’s silvery eyes, still not able to believe it. It worked.
Oh no , Harry thinks, dreading that that means Malfoy is in him . Wait. That didn’t sound right. In his body, he means. Er… Malfoy’s soul is inside Harry’s body. Malfoy is probably making fun of him right now. Pinpointing all of his flaws. Ugh.
“Draco? Are you ready yet?” Zabini asks, knocking on the door.
“Yeah, other people would like to go to the bathroom too,” the other Slytherin snaps.
“N-no, not yet,” Harry stutters. He sees Zabini’s shadow step closer to the door.
“You alright?” Harry never thought Blaise Zabini, an emotionless Slytherin, would have concern for him . Well, duh. He’s Malfoy right now and apparently they’re best friends or something.
“Just… Just…” Harry pauses then thinks, what would Malfoy say? ”Just doing my hair, of course.” Harry cringes. Malfoy most likely would not have said that, but, then again, he was never good at role playing. Let alone Malfoy. Zabini stays there for a second before he leaves slowly. Harry sighs in relief then stops. Oh, Merlin. What is he going to do?! Well, first, he needs to find a new set of robes because that’s what Malfoy would do, right? His- Malfoy’s robes that he has on right now could probably use a good wash. Okay, he’ll go outside, in the Slytherin boys dormitory , and let that git who’s waiting have his turn while he tries to find Malfoy’s wardrobe and look like him while he’s at it. Great.
Draco gets up with a sigh, a little worried that Potter will screw everything up. He’ll just have to catch Potter somehow before he can do any serious damage. Wait. Draco is absolutely positive that there is an abandoned classroom not that far away from The Great Hall. If Potter actually follows Draco’s schedule, he should go right past there. Perfect. Who cares if Potter is late to his first class? He’s usually late anyhow. Draco hears a holler come from the common room downstairs and nearly jumps out of his skin. Until he realizes that the hollering is directed at him.
“Harry James Potter!” Granger hollers. ”Wake up or we’re going to miss breakfast!”
Draco rolls his eyes and gets out of bed. It’s easy to find something to wear since Potter’s style isn’t really difficult. Potter usually never wears his robes anymore. Just a white button-up with the sleeves rolled up, sleek black pants, and his Gryffindor tie. How he manages to still look good is beyond him-
Never mind. Draco slips on Potter’s clothes, trying not to invade Potter’s privacy, and walks into the bathroom. Good Lord. His hair is a mess . Draco happens to find a comb in Potter’s things and runs it through his messy curls a few times. It’s hard to make it look like, well, Potter -like since Draco is so used to spending hours upon hours to perfect his hair. Draco looks into the mirror. Good. If he could keep his mouth shut then he could seriously pull it off. Well, maybe especially if he got rid of the little hip jut he’s doing right now, but he can fix that. He’ll just have to temporarily get out of that habit.
“Oh, good, you’re awake,” Granger says, suddenly standing at the doorway. Draco holds back a sneer in her direction, wondering how many other times she invaded Potter’s privacy.
“Yeah, mate, I’m starving,” Weasley says, peeking over her shoulder. He supresses an eye roll then thinks of something Potter would probably say. Draco grins at them with a little chuckle.
“Okay, jeez, why are you guys in such a rush?” He asks.
“I’m starving ,” Weasley says instead of getting suspicious. Nailed it. But Granger’s looking at him a little strangely. Of course she is.
“Harry,” she says slowly, analyzing him.”Your hair looks neater today…” Damn it!
“What do you mean?” He asks with a furrowed eyebrow, running a hand through Potter’s messy curls once again. He has to admit, the curls feel softer than you’d expect and Draco is annoyed to admit that he likes the feeling of it. Granger studies him again then steps back.
“Okay. Let’s go then.”
Harry edges his way down to the Slytherin common room where Parkinson and Zabini are waiting for him on the couch.
“About time,” Zabini says, standing up.”We’re going to miss breakfast if…” Zabini looks up at him and stops, his eyes widening a little. Parkinson looks up at him, also shocked.”Did you… forget something?” Harry then notices that they’re both looking at-
His hair! Shit! He totally forgot about his hair and that was probably one of the most important-
“Rough night?” Parkinson asks with a smirk then jumps up swiftly, grabbing him by the arm and dragging him back up stairs.
△ △ △
Parkinson mostly works in silence as she fixes Harry’s- Malfoy’s hair, but then she looks at him with a smirk and says, "So, I reckon the potion worked then, huh, Potter?” Harry’s heart immediately picks up the pace.
“Of course it didn’t, Pansy,” he says although he said “Pansy” a little weirdly. "Did you see Potter’s potion? Besides, it didn’t even touch our skin. Stop joking around. I just had a bad night, is all.” Pansy gives him a look then hums, not necessarily convinced, but also letting him know she’s not going to push it any further. Surprisingly. But then she looks at him and smirks.
△ △ △
“There we go,” she says then gestures him to stand and analyzes him. ”Not really a “Draco” outfit, but he’ll come to you about that later.” Her lips curl into a wicked smirk.
“What are you talking about?” He asks but she just pats him on the cheek. Flinching away from her touch, he really wishes she answered that question. How is this not a “Malfoy outfit”? White button-up, Slytherin tie, and black pants. What’s wrong with that? He couldn’t find more robes (and didn’t really try hard to find them either), so he just stuck with this. Harry usually wears something like this anyway and he looks fine. He also rolled the sleeves up out of habit. ”Forget it. Let’s just go to breakfast.”
△ △ △
After a rather awkward breakfast and staring over at Malfoy (a.k.a. himself) as he sat at the Gryffindor table, eating so unlike Harry it wasn’t even funny, Harry walks out of the Great Hall and looks both ways. What’s Malfoy’s first class today? He vaguely remembers it being Charms… “This way, Potter,” Parkinson whispers in his ear as she walks past him, swinging her hips. Harry sneers at her and is surprised how easy it is. Parkinson smirks and gestures for him to follow her again.
He sighs and walks behind her instead of beside her, hanging his head low. ”He goes to Charms first.” Harry is at least a little satisfied that he got it right. Parkinson rounds the corner and Harry goes to follow her, but is suddenly yanked into another room. ”ARG!”
△ △ △
A hand covers his mouth to shut him up and Harry looks up to see his own eyes staring up at him. But they’re narrowed.
”Shut up, you git!” Malfoy snaps. ”Are you trying to let all of Hogwarts hear you?!” Yep, that’s definitely Malfoy. Harry just stares at him as Malfoy takes a step back and looks Harry up and down. ”And what in Merlin’s name are you wearing?! You look ridiculous!”
“No, I don’t!” Harry exclaims and gets a harsh “ssh!” from Malfoy. Harry lowers his voice and says, ”What are you talking about? I’m pretty sure this looks fine…”
“Yeah, and I’m pretty sure you’re half blind and need to get a new prescription,” Malfoy hisses, narrowing his eyes again. ”Everyone probably knows that the potion worked by now with what you’re wearing as me .” Malfoy looks up at Harry’s hair. “Well, at least Pansy did my hair for you.”
“How do you know I didn’t do it?” Harry asks, crossing his arms. Malfoy gives him a look. ”What?”
“You could barely get the outfit, thank Merlin you didn’t touch my hair.” Harry glowers at him.
“Shut it, you screwed up too!” Harry says then points at Malfoy’s hair. ”I can tell you combed it.” Malfoy raises his eyebrows at him.
“So, you’re telling me that you have a comb, but never use it?”
Harry blushes and mumbles, ”My fingers are usually enough.” Malfoy laughs. Harry is surprised that Malfoy doesn’t stop at the sound. As if Harry’s own laugh was familiar to him. Harry wonders what Malfoy’s laugh sounds like… You know, not his mocking laugh; an actual, genuine laugh .
“You brush your hair with your fingers ? No wonder it’s such a mess!” Harry blushes again and Malfoy’s eyes twinkle. He didn’t know Malfoy could do such a thing or be so amused. The Slytherin Prince is actually showing emotion , Harry thinks sarcastically and holds back a snort. ”You’re going to have to quit with all the blushing if you want to pull this off.” Harry feels his face heat up more.
“I can’t help it! If no one embarrasses me then I should be able to handle it,” Harry replies and is a little smug that he’s the taller one now. ”So, anyway, how did you do? Did anyone suspect you?”
“Of course not! Well, except for Granger. She was a little suspicious of me because I made your hair a little neater than usual.” Malfoy rolls his eyes and Harry smiles. ”Anyway, I have a plan and you’re going to help me since you got us into this mess.” And just like that, Harry’s smile vanishes.
“I got us into this mess?” He says, glaring at him.”Well, how about you? You started running towards me like a maniac so I couldn’t have a moment of happiness. You seriously couldn't just let me have it, could you? Besides, Snape probably would’ve said the same as you and make up some excuses as well. If you just waited you would’ve had the satisfaction of seeing me be humiliated and get the Girding Potion as well.” Malfoy frowns slightly.
“When you put it that way, you almost make me feel guilty. But I still think it’s your fault and not mine. Besides, what were you going to do with that Girding Potion anyway?”
Harry stays silent for a moment before muttering, "Quidditch.”
“Like you need it,” Malfoy mumbles then shakes his head, sighing.
“So, what’s your plan?” Malfoy smirks, almost as wicked as Parkinson’s, and starts to lean close. Harry’s eyes widen and he leans back. Malfoy narrows his eyes at him.
“Look, I know my nostrils aren't used to your peasant smell yet, but you’re just going to have to deal with the stinging-”
“Hey!” Harry exclaims, his face starting to painfully burn, and clenching his fists while glaring at him.”I don’t have a peasant smell!”
“Anyway, back to my plan,” Malfoy says, remaining close to Harry.
“Er, do you have to stand so close? I’m starting to get uncomfortable…” Harry says, gulping and looking down at Malfoy. Or himself. Whatever.
“By the nearness of your own body?” Malfoy chuckles. ”And yes, I have to stand close to you because I hear McGonagall’s boots clicking. Do you want to get caught?”
Harry shakes his head and whispers, "Well, hurry up and get this over with then.”
“I’m going to sneak into the library tonight and look around for a book on the Animarum Potion, so we can figure out how to cure it.”
“That’s great, but,” Harry says, ”why don’t we just tell the professors that it worked?” Malfoy waves a hand at him.
“Please, we don’t need them. Besides, Sever- Snape told me about said potion before.” Of course he did. ”And he told me that there is a cure for it and it is rather simple, unlike the making of the complex potion.”
“Okay…” Malfoy smirks again.
“Scared, Potter?” Harry rolls his eyes.
“You wish. No, I’m not. I’m all for it; I just wanna know how long this cure will take.”
“Didn’t you listen to a word I said? I said he just told me the cure is simple, not what the cure is!” Harry cocks an eyebrow.
“I don’t know! That’s why I need to get to the library tonight.”
“Or we could just ask Snape.”
“No! If he didn’t tell me then, he probably wouldn’t tell me now! He’ll probably just give me a book on it and leave, as always.”
“Well, that’s still good, right?” Malfoy sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose, eyes closed, shaking his head with a sigh.
“Don’t you get it, Potter?” Malfoy mutters, looking down at the little space between both of their feet. "I want to figure it out myself. I don’t need him and I surely don’t need you. Forget everything I said. I’ll just do it myself.” Malfoy turns his back to him and starts toward the door. ”I’ll tell you what I found out tomorrow-” Harry grabs his wrist before he reaches the door.
“Wait,” Harry says and is surprised Malfoy actually listens. ”I want to help you. You’re right, this is all my fault and I can only make it up to you by helping you tonight. Besides, I got a better idea then just sneaking out.” Malfoy is silent for a minute before turning around and looking at him, raising an eyebrow.
“And what is that?”
“I have an invisibility cloak.” Harry smirks at him smugly. Malfoy’s eyes nearly bug out of his head.
“You what ?”
“I-” Harry starts then remembers he had an invisibility cloak. Well, it’s still his, but not in Malfoy’s belongings, of course. He’ll just tell Malfoy where it is… ”In my trunk, I have an invisibility cloak. Hard to miss.” Malfoy gives him a look, arching an eyebrow with crossed arms. Harry waves a hand at him. ”Anyway, that’ll make it easier to get to the library. We still have to be quiet though.” Malfoy rolls his eyes.
“Of course. I’m not daft, Potter.”
Draco sighs as he sits down in Transfiguration, Potter’s last period of the day. McGonagall doesn’t necessarily have them do anything today, just drones on and on about something that Draco isn’t paying attention to. He’s busy reassessing his plan in his head over and over again. With Potter’s invisibility cloak (that he’s eager to try on), the plan will be much, much easier. Unless Potter is lying, of course;as a way to boost his ego. But it’s not like he’s never snuck out after curfew for a “quick” visit to the library, so it won't be difficult even if the git Potter is lying. Draco’s mostly nervous about the cure; whatever it is. Usually potion cures are either embarrassing or painful. And Draco’s leaning more towards it being embarrassing because Dumbledore is a sucker for seeing children getting embarrassed apparently. This whole Animarum Potion requirement was just a mistake waiting to happen. It probably has its effects every year and Dumbledore probably just drinks it all in.
“And Mr. Potter, are you even listening to a word I’m saying?” McGonagall says suddenly, staring his way sternly. At first, Draco starts to look around for Potter then thinks, feeling more than unintelligent, Oh yeah. I am Potter.
“Of course I am,” he says smoothly, not missing a beat.
“Oh? Then what does Crinus Muto do?” She asks, raising her eyebrows at him.
“It transforms hair. The style of the hair, or even the color. Or both.” Draco clamps his mouth shut. Damn it. Potter would not have said that ! But he was just trying to save his own skin and-... arg! McGonagall’s eyebrows almost disappear into her hairline.
“Well, someone has been studying,” she says and looks a little proud. ”Very good, Potter. Ten points to Gryffindor.” Even though that was points to not his own house, he smiles smugly and looks over. Only to see Granger looking at him with an expression mixed with shock and suspicion.
Draco, leaving Weasley and Granger in the dust, starts to skitter down the hallway to the dungeons. Until he remembers that he can’t go into the Slytherin common room now and sighs. He still has to deal with Weasley and Granger for a few hours until he gets to see Potter. Or, himself, whatever. At the realization of being able to talk to Potter after all day makes his heart quicken as he starts to get more anxious and impatient. Off to the putrid Gryffindor common room.
△ △ △
As he suspected, the Gryffindor common room is full of chaos. Shouting, cheering, and banging. Weasley is playing chess with Finnigan, who seems to be losing. Half of the crowd gathered around Weasley and Finnigan are cheering Finnigan on, who’s already a lost cause as it is. Draco rolls his eyes. These Gryffindorks need to learn how to really play chess. To his surprise, Weasley is actually decent. If these Gryffindors were smart, they would cheer on the one who’s winning, no matter if they like them or not. Then you could feel as if you’ve accomplished something when they finally win. Plus, it’s never bad to just lie and say that you knew they were going to win all along. Not only would that add to you having good judgement, people would start to follow you more than their friends. Mostly. Draco looks over at Weasley and sees Granger sitting in a recliner chair in the corner of the room, reading a book. An urge to read rises into his chest, but he knows he can’t. Well, not in public anyway. Does Potter even know how to read?
“And Weasley takes the win again!” Weasley exclaims, blocking Finnigan’s king. ”Check and mate.” Weasley crosses his arms and smiles smugly at Finnigan, who doesn’t seem to be enraged about his defeat. Draco raises his eyebrows.
“Bollocks,” Finnigan says with a smirk then gets up.
“Alright, who’s next?” Weasley asks, looking around. His searching eyes seek out Draco and he smiles. ”Harry, how about you?” Draco's skin crawls at the proposal, but he obliges anyway. He’ll just fake a lose. A blind man can even tell that Potter’s no good at chess. Draco sits across from Weasley, who’s wearing a smirk that is more smug than before. ”Ready to lose, Harry?” Draco rolls his eyes.
“You wish.” Draco could beat Weasley with his eyes closed.
“Alright then, you first.”
△ △ △
Halfway through the game and his competitive blood is already starting to boil inside of his chest. He could just… win. A win that looks like an accident… And he could say that he just got lucky… Draco smirks at Weasley, who moves a knight forward after evaluation. Draco effortlessly eliminates Weasley’s knight, causing some to gasp.
“Fair enough.” Weasley looks up at him, unaffected by Draco’s move. He raises his eyebrows, surprised. That was Weasley’s last knight! What kind of plan has Weasley created? Draco suppresses his eyes to narrow at the red head. He’ll figure out his idiotic plan soon enough. Someone like Weasley is bound to slip up.
“Hey, Draco, ” Parkinson says, saying Malfoy’s name with extra emphasis, as she’s been doing all day; as if to let Harry know that she knows. How brilliant of her , he thinks sarcastically. Harry was never good at this whole “acting” thing. That’s where Hermione came in. Well, she wasn’t much of an actress, but she can come up with a quick enough act that is brilliant enough to fool anybody.
“What?” He hisses, looking up at a smirking Parkinson, who’s lounged on the Slytherin couch. He sets down the book he was pretending to read (since he noticed that Malfoy seems to read in his free time). ”Can’t you see I’m trying to read?” Parkinson laughs, along with an eye roll, and says, ”Sorry to burst your bubble, honey, but even Blaise could see that you were only pretending to read.” Zabini looks up, throwing Parkinson a look.
“What did I do?”
“Anyways,” Parkinson says, propping her feet on the couch arm, laying her head in Zabini’s lap, who doesn’t even look up from the gesture. ”So, what’s the plan?” Harry glances back down at his book then back up at her.
“What are you talking about?” He asks, pretending to be annoyed. Hopefully at least that’s convincing. Parkinson raises her eyebrows at him.
“Potter, did you know that acting isn’t really your thing?”
You don’t say?
Harry, without answering, picks back up Malfoy’s book and continues to read. Parkinson looks satisfied nonetheless.
“You know, being in here without having to hear a “Potter rant” is kind of nice,” Zabini says suddenly. Harry’s ears heat up and he fights not to ask what in Merlin’s name he’s talking about.
“It is, Blaise,” Parkinson says, and Harry can feel her gaze resting upon him, almost positive there’s a smirk on her lips. ”It sure is.”
△ △ △
After eating in The Great Hall, once again stuck in another awkward situation (and also staring at “Malfoy”), Malfoy slipped him a small piece of parchment so discreetly, Harry barely knew he received the parchment in the first place. Now, alone in the men’s bathroom (he didn’t know anywhere else secret!), he slowly opens the small parchment to find a small, very neat scrawling on it.
Meet me in the first floor corridor quarter after ten. If you are late, I will either assume that you fell asleep or Filch found you. Don’t be mad at me during detention (or when you wake back up) for not being able to tag along because, remember, it was your fault, not mine. And... Even though I shouldn’t have to tell you, I feel as though I should: Don’t get caught.
~ Draco Malfoy
Harry rolls his eyes, smiling a little, and pockets the parchment, walking back out, ready to be done with this whole charade already.
△ △ △
Harry finally reaches the first corridor, thankfully alive, after having to slowly progress to said spot, casting a Muffliato everytime he thought he heard a footstep or just a noise in general. A sad attempt to not getting caught, but, for one, he doesn’t have Hermione to ask and, for two, he doesn’t have his invisibility cloak. Which, due to this experience (that reminds him of his first year, although he didn’t get almost caught this time), makes him appreciate his invisibility cloak a whole lot more now. He looks around, not seeing “himself” in sight, or anybody, really. Well, he’s kind of glad he doesn’t-
A warm hand clamps over his mouth rather aggressively, the “kidnapper” hissing in his ear, ” Ssh! Shut up! ” Harry, annoyed, yanks Malfoy’s hand off of his mouth and glares at him.
“Well, next time you’re going to do that, why don’t you warn me first?” He whispers fiercely at the other boy. Malfoy blinks.
“I honestly didn’t think you’d get this far.” Harry shoves him in the chest. Malfoy smirks at him.
“Shut it! I can be sneaky too!” Malfoy cocks an eyebrow at him, but seems to decide not to continue the discussion further. Lucky for him. Harry realizes the proximity of Malfoy to him and takes a step back. Only for his back to meet hardwood. He suddenly realizes what they’re in. ”Err… why are we in a broom closet ?”
“Potter, if you can’t deal with being this close to me, you can just forget about sharing the cloak with me and finish your little stroll there.” Then, Malfoy winks . At him! What in Merlin’s-
Harry’s face heats up immediately, spreading across his face like a wildfire.
“Did you just -” Harry starts then Malfoy’s hand covers his mouth again, silencing him.
“Ssh, I think I hear Filch,” Malfoy whispers in his ear and - why did Harry just shiver?! Is he cold or… Not so light footsteps pass “their” broom closet, a shadow appearing under the doorway, along with the shadow of a cat that plenty of students would love to give a nice kick. As soon as the sound of Filch’s footsteps fade, Harry slaps away Malfoy’s hand.
“Would you stop doing that?! ” Malfoy smirks at him again, not saying a word, then draping Harry’s cloak over the two of them. It’s a little short on him, which is annoying, since Malfoy’s so bloody tall. ”Bollocks! You’re too damn tall to fit!”
“Alright, calm down,” Malfoy says, chuckling a little, then fishing out his wand, muttering an incantation.
“What did you just-” Harry starts then sees his feet, that were visible under the cloak, disappear. ”Oh. Thanks.” Malfoy hums and re-pockets his wand.
“Let’s go,” Malfoy whispers, slowly opening the door to the broom closet, Malfoy’s shoulder rubbing is against Harry’s arm, which annoyingly reminds him how much taller Malfoy is from him. But he may exaggerate their height difference a bit much. Malfoy is taller than him by maybe about 4 or 5 inches, but… it still irritates him a little and makes him feel short. They walk in silence as they reach closer and closer to the library, carefully opening the doors, and walking inside. Malfoy leads them back to the Restricted Section then stops Harry by placing a hand on his stomach, which grows warm.
“Okay, we have to be extremely careful when dealing with books in the Restricted Section. Some will indeed help us get caught by screeching or trying to bite us. Maybe even, annoyingly, crying to-”
“I know ,” Harry hisses before Malfoy can go any further. Malfoy looks at him with wide eyes, taken aback.
“You’ve… you’ve been here before?”
“Of course I’ve been in here before!” Harry whispers then stops, realizing how that sounded. Malfoy narrows his eyes at him. ”Er, I mean, I came here in my first year, looking for a book on Nicolas Flamel… I used my cloak, of course.”
“ Nicolas Flamel? ” Malfoy looks away from Harry and at the floor, thinking. ”Oh, right! Nicolas Flamel made the Philosopher’s stone. You found out about it, had to dig deeper like the little curious bugger you are, then that whole charade happened.” Harry blushes then mutters, ”Thank you, Hermione .” Malfoy gives him a cheeky smile that soon goes away. He frowns.
“You think of me as Granger ?” Of course the jerk would look offended. Harry glares at him.
“Yes, do you have a problem with that?”
“Not really, no.”
“You’re such a jerk , Malfoy, I- wait. What? You… you don’t… care ? Even though she’s a… and you’re a…” Malfoy smiles at him.
“No, I just hoped you’d appreciate my humor a little more but, instead, you compare me to Granger , who’s got less humor than a sack of potatoes.”
“Hey,” Harry says, gently slapping Malfoy’s arm. ”She has her moments.” Although Malfoy just kind of insulted her, Harry can’t help but smile. Malfoy doesn’t care about Hermione’s “blood” anymore. Or is he just lying, trying to get Harry to trust him?
“Okay, let’s go. We don’t have all night, you know,” Draco says, leading Potter over the rope that separates the “non-restricted” section from the Restricted Section. He lets out a silent sigh and looks over to see Potter already scanning the book titles, as if this section was familiar to him.
It probably is , Draco thinks sourly and crosses his arms, watching Potter’s every move. Potter stops and stands on his tiptoes to reach a higher shelf then realizes he doesn’t need to do such a thing right now. He blushes a little and Draco bites back a smile. Before he realizes exactly what book Potter is reaching for.
“Don’t. Touch. That.” Potter looks at him, startled.
“Oh. Well, how about…”
“ No !” Draco whisper-shouts before Potter can get even a foot from said book. Probably one of the worst of them all. Draco cautiously looks around them then sighs, rubbing his forehead, saying, ”Look, how about you just don't touch anything?” Potter glares at him, muttering complaints and insults, sulking until he’s behind Draco. ”Okay. We only have so much time before Filch comes back. Do you happen to know the time? Of course you do, you have my watch.” Draco shakes his head at himself.”What time is it, Potter?”
“Why do you…?” Potter starts then stops, blowing out a breath of air, and checking said watch. ”It’s 40 after ten.”
“Damnit, we should’ve come sooner!” Draco mutters. ”He’ll come back in twenty minutes!” Potter looks at him, lips slightly parted, a questioning look inside his own silver eyes.
“How do you know all this?” Malfoy looks away from the other boy.
“I come here a lot. Kind of a routine, you know? Surprisingly, Filch follows a certain schedule. He might catch more people if he didn’t, changing his route every night as to not be predictable…. Anyways, every night, Filch first makes his way into the library. He leaves after having a good look around, which is around 25 after ten. He comes back to the library every 35 minutes… Trust me, I made sure.”
“Okay…” Potter trails off, then adds,”I think we still have enough time to find the book then leave before Filch comes back…” Draco crosses his arms.
“Take a good look around this section then say that again, to my face.” Potter looks around, a blush slowly forming onto his cheeks, deflating. Then, suddenly, Potter brightens a little, looking up at Draco.
“Wait. You know where this book is, right?”
“Potter, if I knew where the damn book was, why would I ask for your help?”
“Why did I even ask for your help in the first place?” Draco mumbles, earning a shove from Potter.
△ △ △
“Ooh, how about Secrets of the Darkest Art ?” Draco pinches the bridge of his nose.
“No, Potter, this potion has nothing to do with the Dark Arts.”
“Oh. How about Moste Potente Potions ?” It takes a little bit for Draco to process what Potter just said, since he’s been saying useless titles for a while now.
“Yes! Moste Potente Potions ! Why didn’t I think of that?! Oh, I’m so stupid!”
“I know that Polyjuice Potion is in there, so I thought…” Draco looks at Potter.
“How do you know that?” Potter blushes, bashfully twirling the end of his shirt around a finger.
“Well… I… er…”
“Never mind, I don’t want to know.” Draco reaches up to grab the book, but remembers that he’s shorter now and stands on his tiptoes. He actually would’ve reached it if he was just a few inches taller. Actually, now that he thinks about it, the Animarum Potion isn’t exactly gruesome, just complex… Oh, well. Might as well check.
“Malfoy…” Potter whispers cautiously, causing Draco to look back at him. ”I heard someone come in.”
Draco scrambles for the book, nearly stumbling backward, and tosses the cloak over both of them, making sure to make Potter’s feet invisible again.
“Okay… he’s by the doors, so,” Draco mumbles under his breath, thinking of all the fast routes out of here quickly in his mind. He actually knows of a path that leads right to the dungeons, actually. But not inside the Slytherin common room, of course. Draco quickly walks down the path, Potter following right behind him, scanning the books.
The book… the book… where is it…? Oh, why do I always lose my mind when in a panic-
Draco hurriedly clutches the book, yanking it toward him quietly.
“What are you-” Potter starts to whisper then sees the bookshelf starting to move, opening a dark pathway that is only lit by torches. Potter’s mouth forms into an ‘o’ then his eyes widen. Draco only forgot one thing. The book shrieks when it feels threatened.
△ △ △
They both look at each other with wide eyes as the book screeches so loud, Draco feels as though his ears are going to bleed.
“Students out of bed!” Filch shrieks, almost as loud as the book. Draco’s heart beats faster as Filch’s footsteps make their way towards them.
“Uh… Quick! Let’s, uh, hide behind that bookshelf or something!” Draco whisper-shouts, pointing at said bookshelf.
“Malfoy, we’re hidden, remember?”
“Oh… right. Er, but he could still knock into us! Come on!” Filch cackles, reaching where they were just standing as soon as they walk towards the bookshelf. Mrs. Norris scans the area with her big, red eyes, trying to sniff them out. Filch looks around as well, until his eyes land on the open passageway.
“Ah, a clever one, eh? Must not be their first time here… but this’ll surely be their last!” Filch smiles at Mrs. Norris, who’s already starting to head down the passageway, sniffing. ”Yes, my sweet. Sniff them out…” When Filch’s footsteps and voice fades, Draco sighs in relief.
“That was close.”
“Yeah,” Potter says, looking at him. Then, Potter smirks.
“Oh, nothing.” Potter smiles down at the carpet. ”I just never thought you’d be such a pansy when in “risky” situations like this.” Draco glares at him, feeling his face heat up. The blush is spreading across his cheeks like a wildfire, burning his skin as well. He wonders how Potter blushes so much, considering he has to deal with this burning sensation.
“Oh, shut it! You were the one looking like a deer in headlights!”
“Well, at least I didn’t almost wet myself!”
“I did not! At least I was thinking! While you sat there thinking of all the excuses you were going to say for your reason being here after curfew, I was thinking of a way out!” Potter holds his hands up in surrender.
“Okay, I believe you.” Potter smirks again and mutters something under his breath. Draco fixes a narrowed gaze on the other boy.
“What did you just call me?”
△ △ △
“Where are we going to read this thing anyway?” Potter asks, a little louder than Draco would’ve preferred, looking at him.
“Somewhere… private…” Draco trails off, thinking of all the possibilities.
“The closed girls bath-”
“No. Blasted Myrtle’s in there.”
“So? She seems to like me, annoyingly enough. She won’t tell anyone about us, I swear.”
“No, it’s not that. She just greatly bothers me.”
“Oh. True…. Erm… the Prefect’s bathroom?”
“What’s with you and bathrooms?!” Potter blushes, backing away from Draco a little, and rubbing the back of his neck.
“I’m sorry! Those are the only private places I really know!”
“Are you kidding me?”
Draco sighs. ”Never mind. How about we just go to bed and come back to the library tomorrow? I’m whipped.” Potter, as if agreeing, yawns.
“Okay, sounds like a plan,” he says, stumbling toward the path to the Gryffindor tower then turns around, smiling sheepishly. ”Right.” Draco softly chuckles under his breath, watching him head down the path to the dungeons.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to… walk you there?” Draco asks, causing Potter to stop, but not look back at him. ”Filch was headed down that way, you know.”
“No, I’m fine,” Potter says, turning around and grinning at Draco. ”Besides, if I get caught, it won’t be my problem but yours .”
“You-” Potter laughs quietly and says, ”I would be daft to do that, Malfoy. I know you’d seek revenge after you found out.”
Draco mutters under his breath, crossing his arms. Potter smiles at him, his eyes twinkling, and about to round the corner. He raises a hand and waves.
“Night, Malfoy.” Draco, shocked, slowly holds up his hand and waves back.
“Night, Potter,” he says, the words feeling strange on his tongue. He likes it. Potter smiles again and disappears. Draco, suddenly feeling giddy and… happy , wraps the cloak tighter around himself, a wide enough smile on his lips that would make someone question his mental health.
Harry wakes up at the crack of dawn with a yawn, not having to use an alarm anymore since he’s so used to waking up at this time. 5:00 a.m. on a Friday is always his favorite time of the week. At 5:00, he gets his broom and goes to the Quidditch field. Not to practice, but to just fly . Fly around the field, the wind blowing through his hair, begging his broom to go faster and-
Bollocks! I don’t have my broom right now and, funnily enough, nor do I have my hair.
Harry sulks, declaring his Friday now spoiled because of that stupid potion, and crosses his arms, wishing he was back to his old self already.
Wait… Malfoy has a broom… I bet he wouldn’t mind if I...borrowed it.
He can’t fix the hair thing, since Malfoy’s hair is thinner and posher than his, but this’ll just have to do.
△ △ △
As Harry walks out to the Quidditch field, he scans the field and breathes in the smell he’s grown to love. Giddily, he hops onto Malfoy’s broom and kicks, zooming into the air. He can’t help a smile from forming on his lips as he feels a little wind blowing his hair around. While looping around one of the goals, he wonders what Malfoy is up to right now. Probably sleeping , Harry thinks, rolling his eyes at himself. But… what if Malfoy stayed up later and read about that potion without him? Harry frowns, for some reason, hoping Malfoy actually went to sleep and didn’t read it without him. He wants to help. Besides, surprisingly, Malfoy isn’t so bad… He actually likes-
What is he saying ? Just because Harry found out that Malfoy can actually be nice sometimes, doesn’t mean he still doesn’t hate him. Malfoy is a git and caused Harry and his friends hell for years. He called Hermione a Mudblood. He made fun of Ron’s family and lack of wealth. Harry frowns, now a little irritated that Malfoy had to do this to him. The Malfoy Harry knew before was cold, aloof, a major git, an arsehole, racist… but… The Malfoy Harry knows now is… funny . “The New Malfoy” can be kind and caring. He can smile and laugh. It seems as though he… likes Harry (and not like that, Malfoy’s straight) and...
Oh, damn Malfoy and all these mixed feelings.
Harry buries his face in his hands as he thoughtlessly flies through a goal’s loop and swivels around. Forget it. Harry is going to enjoy this flight. He’s going to clear his buzzing mind and fly around this field until it physically kills him. Which seems to be nearly impossible, so, Harry will take it.
△ △ △
Harry flies around for another good 20 minutes before he sees someone walk onto the bleachers and stare right at him. Harry stops and cocks an eyebrow, looking at this mystery girl, the warm sun glinting off her light brown hair, and-
Merlin, that’s Hermione!
Harry’s eyes widen as he stares back at an irritated looking Hermione, thinking about quickly landing and making a run for it. But it’s no use. Hermione will hunt him down if she has to. Shit. He shouldn’t have come out here as Malfoy, but… he needed to fly. It, sort of, calms him. Just having a few minutes to be able to feel the stress built up inside his chest peel away as he soars into the wind is… everything. Hermione gestures for him to fly over to her, impatiently tapping a foot. Harry sighs and quickly flies over to her, stopping in front of where she is, but far enough away to be out of reach of a possible smack.
“You know, I started to suspect that it was true, but I still can’t believe it.” Harry thinks about putting up his version of “The Malfoy Act”, but decides against it. She already knows. ”Why didn’t you tell us, Harry?” Harry sighs again and looks away from her, looking down at Malfoy’s broom with its unfamiliar ridges and scars. He traces a scratch by the inside of his thigh and breathes out slowly.
“I don’t know,” he mumbles. ”I just… I didn’t really want you to know.” Hermione looks a little hurt at his confession, making him regret saying it.
“Why not?” She asks quietly. ”You don’t have to be embarrassed, Harry. Even though it’s Malfoy that you are right now, I know you’re still my friend and I don’t care. If you told me sooner, you might’ve been back to your old self by now. Being Malfoy for a whole week ? I couldn’t imagine…”
“I’m not really embarrassed, per se,” Harry mutters, rubbing the back of his neck, and a contradicting blush forming on his cheeks. ”Don’t you think Ron’ll make fun of me? And wonder if the whole school finds out? And-”
“Really? That’s why you didn’t tell us?” Hermione rolls her eyes and mumbles under her breath, ”Boys.” She sighs. ”The Animarum Potion can be very dangerous, Harry. I read once that you only have a limited amount of time before your stuck in that body forever. Malfoy’s body, Harry. I want to help you.”
You’ll be stuck in that body forever.
“Okay. Meet me in the library after your last class. Make sure to bring Ron too.”
△ △ △
Harry marches into the library and sees Ron and Hermione sitting at the table the trio usually sit at when they go to the library. Hermione smiles at him and waves him over. Ron looks at her as though she’s crazy then looks past Harry to see if she’s looking at someone behind him. Hermione must’ve not told him yet. Harry holds up a finger and walks in a different direction, looking for Malfoy. Or himself. Whatever. Ron’s gaze follows him until he disappears from his sight, leaving Ron more confused than ever. Finally, Harry finds Malfoy at the back corner of the library, by a window, the sunlight glinting off Harry’s black hair. Once Harry reaches Malfoy’s table, Malfoy looks up at him and says with raised eyebrows, ”Oh, you finally decided to show up.” Harry, without saying anything, sits across from Malfoy, a little satisfied he has yet to open the book. He wonders how he’s going to break the news to Malfoy without making him upset…
“So, shall we get started?” Malfoy opens the book and starts to quickly scan the table of contents with his finger. Before Malfoy can flip to the page, Harry stops him by setting his hand on top of Malfoy’s. Malfoy slowly looks up at Harry, an unreadable glint in his eyes, and a raised eyebrow.
“Malfoy, wait, I have to tell you something…” Harry says, taking his hand back and looking out the window. Which has a perfect view of the Quidditch field. It seems as though it’s calling his name.
“What is it?” Malfoy asks, looking at him.
“Well… er…” Harry bites his lip, not necessarily used to the softness of it. ”I…”
“Did you tell them?” Malfoy asks, looking at him with an unimpressed look.
“How did you know?!”
“Oh, please, Potter, I know you’d tell them sooner or later.” Malfoy rolls his eyes.”You tell them everything . That’s where you and me differ. My friends and I actually know the definition of privacy and respect each others.”
That’s where you and I differ.
“Well… I went to the Quidditch field this morning and Hermione went there too. She knows I wake up every Friday at five and… she found out. Knowing her, she suspected it already and…”
“You used my broom?” Malfoy asks, arching an eyebrow. Harry blushes.
“Yeah, I hope you don’t mind.”
“No, it’s quite alright. Anyways, can we start now? Your confession is great and all, but I’d really like to get this over with.” Harry glares at him.
“They’re actually here. Right now. And they’re expecting me. They want to help. Well, Ron doesn’t really know, but…” Malfoy sighs.
“Alright. But they’re going to have to come back here. We can’t open a book that’s supposed to be in the Restricted Section right in front of everyone.”
“Wait. Really? You’re accepting it?” Harry asks, surprised.
“Yes, Potter, I am. I’ll have you know, I’m only dealing with your blasted friends for you.”
“W-what?” Harry stutters, blushing to his hairline. Malfoy blinks at him.
“Honestly, you’re so deaf, Potter,” he says, looking up at him. ”I said that I’m only dealing with your blasted friends so I can get this done and over with.”
“Oh.” Harry chuckles. ”I could’ve sworn you said…” Harry shakes his head at himself and starts to walk back to his friends. He swears he sees Malfoy smirk out of the corner of his eye.
△ △ △
“You guys have to go at the back of the library with me since we have-” Harry starts before he’s interrupted by both Hermione and Ron.
“ We ? Oh, please don’t tell me Malfoy’s with you.”
“Okay, what is going on?! First, ‘Mione’s all happy to see you, Malfoy, and now you’re being all nice and want us to join you at your table?!” Harry fights back a smile at Ron’s outburst. ”Oh, you think this is funny?! I’ll show you something-”
“ Be quiet, Mr. Weasley, or I’ll have you thrown out! ” Madam Pince hisses at Ron, her eyes narrowing. Ron blushes and mumbles sheepishly, ”Sorry.” Hermione sighs.
“I’m sorry, Ronald, I should’ve told you earlier. That’s not Malfoy, Ron, that’s… Harry .” Ron looks at her with raised eyebrows.
“Is this some sort of joke? Don’t make me laugh.”
“No, Ron, she’s telling the truth,” Harry says, taking a step toward him. ”Remember when we made the Animarum Potion and what happened with me and Malfoy? Yeah, well… Our potion worked.” Ron looks at Harry skeptically, looking somewhat convinced.
“Alright,” he says.”Then if you’re Harry… what’s my favorite Quidditch team?”
“The Chudley Cannons, of course.”
“Favorite food?” Harry smiles.
“Wait. Do that again.”
“...What?” Ron studies him with a half-closed gaze.
“....Smile.” Harry forces a smile.”No, a real one.” Harry thinks about what he thought Malfoy had said just recently and smiles again, a little sheepishly, blushing as well.
“Harry! It is you!” Suddenly, Ron is tightly embracing him with a grin, making Harry grin as well. Hermione smiles and shakes her head. ”I thought something was wrong with you since you’ve been awful quiet lately and acting a little strange.” Ron rubs the back of his neck after letting go of Harry abruptly. ”Well, now that I think about it…” Ron groans loudly. Madam Pince clears her throat warningly. He blushes and lowers his voice to a whisper. ”I’ve been talking to that blasted git Malfoy all week! That’s why “you” beat me at chess! It was not because of luck! You never beat me at chess !” Harry smiles, cocking an eyebrow. ”I’ll explain later. Anyways, why didn’t you tell us, Harry?”
“I’ll also tell you later. We gotta go. Malfoy’s waiting.”
“Malfoy?!” Ron and Hermione say, glancing at each other.
Draco sighs as he flips to page 264 in Moste Potente Potions , waiting for Potter’s putrid friends to arrive, along with the git himself. He almost can’t believe that he handled… that situation so easily without repercussions. Draco’s almost proud of himself.
“ This is so weird ,” Draco hears Weasel whisper and looks up.
“Yes, yes, precisely, now would you please sit so we can move this along and I don’t have to bear you two any longer?” Draco waves a hand at the seats across from him. Weasley glares at him.
“That’s Malfoy alright.” Draco gives Weasley a smug smirk, proud that anyone can tell who he is by his clever spiel . Granger just rolls her eyes and sits. Weasley sits next her, looking as though he wants to say something else and Potter stands by Weasel, awkwardly looking at Draco. Draco looks up at him slowly and says, ”Well, Potter? Are you going to sit?”
“Oh.” Potter blushes a little. ”Right.” He moves to the chair beside Draco and sits, nearly hanging off of the chair, and putting as much space between them as possible. Draco frowns a little and skims the description of the Animarum Potion and…
“It doesn’t even say anything, exactly, on the potion. It just says how to make it!”
“Well, no wonder,” Granger says, after reading the title, ”You guys have Moste Potente Potions , which is a book on how to brew advanced potions.”
Draco glares at her and retorts, ”Anyone with half a brain would know that, Granger, stop trying to show-off useless information everyone already knows. What book doesn’t have the purpose of the precise book inside?”
“Actually, Malfoy, not a lot of people would know that since the book is, I don’t know, restricted . So, you’re wrong on that part, and not many would be able to see the purpose of the book since it’s in The Restricted Section ! So, why don’t you show some decency for once?!” Weasley fumes, glowering at Draco, who glares at him back, sneering.
“Oh, yes, Weasley, why don’t you say that louder so the whole school can hear you!”
“Do you want me to? Because, newsflash, you’re the one who took it! ”
“And that is where you’re wrong, Weaselbee , Potter actually helped me retrieve it with his cloak.” Draco smirks smugly at Weasley, glancing at a surprised Potter. Weasley and Granger both look at Potter, beyond shocked. Potter smiles at them sheepishly.
“You helped Malfoy ? Why in Merlin’s name would you do that?!”
“Hey, you would do the same thing if it meant getting back to normal!”
“Harry’s got a point,” Granger whispers in Weasel’s ear. Draco suppresses a frown in Potter's direction although he’s not sure why. He knew this, whatever it was, was never going to last nor was it ever real in the first place.
Harry messed up. He can tell. By Malfoy’s expression, anyone could tell. But what he really did is the actual question…
Malfoy mostly stopped consulting Harry after that day. Harry is horrified to admit that he kinda… misses the git. Malfoy snuck back to the Restricted Section a few days later, frustrated, and Harry watches as Malfoy, from the other side of the Gryffindor common room, (which, thanks to Ron, he got in. Parkinson wouldn’t stop harassing him and he was home sick), slams the next book he got closed and sighs, rubbing his temples.
“What the hell are you doing in here, Malfoy?” Harry looks away from the real Malfoy and at the idiot who said that, already used to being called “Malfoy”.
“Why don’t you mind your business?” Harry sneers. ”Imbeciles like you shouldn’t be even attempting to delve into what us intelligent people, such as I, are doing. It may make you short circuit from the complexity. Now, we wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?” Harry smiles smugly at the git, thinking that he’s finally caught the “Malfoy”. The other Gryffindor rolls his eyes and marches away, muttering a rather colorful set of vocabulary about the Slytherins under his breath. Harry slumps into his chair after his only source of “entertainment” (Merlin, he really caught the “Malfoy”) leaves. Ron and Hermione went to dinner, which Harry passed on since he isn’t really hungry and he… sorta… hoped to be able to talk to Malfoy. What has happened to him?! Harry hates Malfoy! Right? Speaking of, he glances at Malfoy, who has his head in his hands. That’s it. He’s done trying to figure out what he did wrong. Harry gets up, determined, and marches over to Malfoy.
“Malfoy,” he says firmly, standing up straight.
“What do you want?” Malfoy snaps, not even looking at Harry.
“Okay, what did I do?” Harry snarls, clenching his fists. Malfoy glances at him groggily.
“What are you talking about?”
“What am I talking about ? Well, how about the fact that the past three days you’ve been avoiding me and brushing me off?! I thought we were working together on this?” Harry sort of whined the last sentence, embarrassingly enough, and hopes Malfoy doesn’t say anything about it. He blushes.
“I’m surprised you noticed, Potter,” Malfoy says with an eye roll. ”I just figured since you’ve only been helping me so you could get “ back to normal ” that we didn’t need to interact at all.” Malfoy turns his back to Harry, reopening the book, pretending to look busy.
“Seriously? This is all about something as stupid as that?” Malfoy ignores him, flipping through the pages of the book. ”Stop pretending, I know you still didn’t find anything.” Malfoy freezes and slowly looks at Harry with narrowed eyes.
“Well, I don’t see you even trying help. You’re just waiting for me to give you something or for me to help you.” Harry opens his mouth to object but then stops, a little sheepish.
“Well, I can’t really do anything without my invisibility cloak,” Harry mutters. ”Or you…” Malfoy looks up at him again, shocked.
“What do you mean by this?” Malfoy asks Harry, cautiously looking at him out of the corner of his eye. ”Is this supposed to be some sort of truce or something?”
“So… What do you say?” Harry asks, trying to hide his blush and holding out his hand towards a startled Malfoy. ”Friends?” It’s as if Harry just said the magic word. Malfoy’s eyes widen and his eyes… light up a little.
“F- friends ?”
“Yeah.” Harry clears his throat and nods down at his hand. ”Huh?” Malfoy pushes Harry’s hand away, making his heart sink. Harry goes to walk away when he hears Malfoy say, ”I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself, thanks.” Harry looks at a now smirking Malfoy, his heart nearly leaping out of his chest. Does that mean they’re… friends now? Suddenly, a wave of laughter hits him and he bellows over, for some reason, laughing harder than he has in a long time. Even though Harry is not familiar with the soft sound coming out of his mouth, he doesn’t stop. Soon, Malfoy joins in and then they’re both laughing concurrently.
△ △ △
“So, what’s wrong?” Harry asks, sitting in the chair across from Malfoy, who sighs at the question.
“Nothing I’m doing is working!” Malfoy groans. ”It annoys the hell out of me. I got all of the books I knew that were on potions and I even looked in the “regular section”! They all were either unhelpful or useless!” Not knowing what else to say, Harry says, ”Er… It’s … okay, Malfoy. We’ll figure something out.” Harry awkwardly pats Malfoy’s back then backs away.
“I don’t know what else we can do! Let’s see, we checked the Restricted Section, although our time was limited, and... What else could we -” Malfoy abruptly stops his train of thought and, out of nowhere, smirks .
Malfoy doesn’t say anything. It looks as though he’s putting together an elaborate plan in his head.
“I’ve got an idea.” With a smirk like that on his face, this is sure to be a plan Harry isn’t going to enjoy.
△ △ △
“Tomorrow, you’re going to go into Snape’s office after your last class and pretend to be me, as you’ve been attempting to for these past few days.” Harry’s heart stops.
“Oh no . No, no, no, no, no, no, no . I can’t, Malfoy! I-” Harry stutters in response, making Malfoy chuckle.
“Don’t worry . Here, I’m going to cast a spell on you so that every time you do or say something stupid, you’ll feel a sharp pain in your wrist.” Harry winces.
“Yeah, that makes me feel a whole lot better now. I didn’t even know there was a spell like that.”
“Yeah, it’s called the spell for dummies who make a lot of mistakes,” Malfoy jokes with a smirk. Harry grins back and shoots back, “Well, then, you must use it frequently on yourself.” Malfoy stares at Harry blankly before throwing him the bird then proceeds to continue telling Harry his “brilliant” plan. “I’ll stand just outside the door too. All you have to do is ask Snape about the potion. Just say you were curious about what the cure was since he never got around to telling you. If he asks why you’re suddenly so curious, say that you just wanted to know since it could have possibly happened to you just recently and what would you have done if we did switch bodies? Okay?” Harry’s brain hurts and he feels himself panicking.
“This isn’t going to work! Snape has some kind of 'Potter-detector' and -"
“You’ll be fine, trust me.”
△ △ △
The next day. Saturday; The Great Hall.
“So, Draco,” Theodore Nott says, sitting across from Harry and pushing the scrambled eggs on his plate to the side. Harry becomes more anxious. ”I witnessed you get up early yesterday, which was odd… I-”
“Just practicing for Quidditch!” Harry says quickly and nearly pulls out his wand (which is actually his since Malfoy and him switched a while ago) to curse himself. Nott looks up at him, cocking an eyebrow.
“I don’t care what you were actually doing,” Nott says quietly, glancing down at Harry’s hand. Harry looks down as well, following his gaze, to see he’s studying Malfoy’s ring. Over the past week, Harry has become quite fond of said ring and considered multiple times taking it as a souvenir before they change back to their normal selves. But even he knows that that would be absurd. For one, it’s Malfoy’s ring and for two, that would imply something that Harry would not like to point out. ”It’s fine.” Harry gives Nott a small smile, which seems to make Nott dart his gaze somewhere else. ”Anyways, I was wondering if you’d come to Hogsmeade with me tomorrow?” Harry suppresses a blush and clears his throat a little, Nott looking at him hopefully, who then adds quickly, ”As friends, of course. If you, perhaps, thought differently?” A blush slips past Harry’s control and colors his cheeks a little.
“No, of course not. I just… I might be busy… tomorrow…” Especially if this new plan does work.
“Oh? Who is it?” Nott takes a swig of his pumpkin juice, which reminds Harry of how thirsty he is.
“Who is what?” Nott cocks an eyebrow at Harry and slowly smirks. It annoyingly reminds Harry of Parkinson. ”Fine. Don’t tell me who your new lover is.”
“N-new lover?! ” Harry sputters and stops himself from saying, Malfoy’s had past lovers? This is a normal thing? Nott grins, showing Harry perfect, white teeth, which causes Harry to suddenly realize how good-looking Nott actually is. Great. Time to add another hopeless, little crush to Harry’s list of, well, hopeless little crushes . But who said Harry has a crush on Nott? He just noticed that Nott is rather… handsome .
“So, there’s no one? Are you sure?” Nott raises his perfect eyebrows, taking another sip of his pumpkin juice. ”Holding out for a special someone, huh?”
“What are you talking about? ” Harry asks, irritated. Nott laughs and Harry almost misses Zabini and Parkinson, who didn’t show up to breakfast for some reason. They didn’t embarrass him as much. Or question his current “love interest”.
“Meet me at two?” Nott suddenly asks and Harry pauses, looking at him. Harry actually wouldn’t mind having a small date with Nott that meant nothing, but… wouldn’t that mean Nott took interest in Malfoy? Fancied him? A whole new wave of conflict nearly knocks Harry over. Then, he sighs.
“Two should be fine.”
△ △ △
“Can you believe that insufferable Granger had the nerve to suggest Magical Drafts and Potions ?” Malfoy rants into Harry’s ear as they walk down the hall together. Harry is only half listening as he thinks about what just recently happened. Should he tell Malfoy? ”She acts as though she thinks I need help and don’t know what I’m doing!”
“Um, that’s nice and all, but I need to tell you something,” Harry says, looking at a fuming Malfoy, who ignores Harry. He kinda figured the same. Harry has also picked up that when Malfoy is angry, he tends to go onto a full-on rant until he gets all his anger out, ignoring everyone and everything until he has said what was needed to be said to satisfy.
“Then, she began to talk about how this could become permanent if we didn’t find the cure! Well, what dunderhead doesn’t know that?! Besides idiots like Weasley and Longbottom, of course.” Harry opens his mouth to defend Ron and Neville, but is cut off by the outraged blond. ”The audacity! She also suggested that if that “doesn’t work”, I should try Advanced Potion Making! How idiotic can she be?! I’m more than 100 percent sure that a complex, dangerous potion such as the Animarum Potion wouldn’t be in a book that us students are provided with, open for our amusement! Sure, it’d give the professors a laugh, but more than half, if not all, would not condone it for such reason!”
“Oh, sure , let’s just be completely mad and check in a textbook that would most likely not hold such a dangerous, permanent potion! For such a “bright witch”, your bloody friend can sure be an idiot, Potter.” Malfoy sighs, shaking his head, then pinches the bridge of his nose.” Malfoy, I would like to suggest Magical Drafts and Potions. It just might tell you the cure on-” Malfoy clears his throat mockingly -” If that doesn’t work, how about you and Harry try Advanced Potion Making? Ha! I’m-”
“Malfoy! ” Malfoy then looks at Harry, his eyes narrowed.
“What? ” He hisses. Harry is a little embarrassed to tell Malfoy now…
“Well, I just…” Harry clears his throat. ”I just wanted to tell you that…”
“Well, what is it?” Harry is a little surprised that Malfoy sounds genuinely concerned. Maybe he’s faking it?
“Well…. I’ve been asked to go to Hogsmeade with… someone… tomorrow. Is that okay?”
“Seriously?” Malfoy says, seeming angrier than before.”You stopped me just to tell me that you’ve got a date tomorrow?” Malfoy rolls his eyes and Harry blushes, almost wishing he hadn’t told Malfoy. ”Well, congratulations , Potter. I hope you have a nice date. Is that what you wanted?” Malfoy stares at Harry, who is silent and searching for words, then rolls his eyes again, walking in front of Harry. He grabs Malfoy’s robes, stopping him.
“Wait.” Surprisingly, Malfoy doesn’t move. ”It’s not a date . We’re just going as… friends .” Malfoy is silent for a while before he asks quietly, ”Who is it?”
“Who the bloody hell is taking you on a date to Hogsmeade tomorrow?!” Harry lets go of Malfoy, concerned, and wondering why Malfoy seems to be getting angrier by minute. Malfoy sighs and rubs the creases on his forehead, lowering his voice once again, ”I’m sorry. It’s not you that I’m angry at.” Harry’s heart does this weird flip-flop thing that leaves him conflicted.
“It’s Nott,” Harry mutters. This time, Malfoy’s the one who’s confused.
“Theodore Nott. He’s the one who asked me to Hogsmeade tomorrow. As friends.”
“...Oh.” Malfoy is silent during the rest of their walk to the library.
Theo?, Draco wonders later in his (Potter’s) dorm. Theo never asked me to Hogsmeade before… Oh, Merlin, please don’t tell me he suddenly developed feelings for me? Draco groans, plopping down onto Potter’s bed. I mean, I did have a slight crush on Theo, but that’s considered history now… Draco thinks about how Potter’s and Theo’s “little hangout” is going to go, numerous scenarios running through his head, and shivers, a mixture of jealousy, regret, and anger spreading at the pit of his stomach.
Pansy already told me that she knew… so does Blaise, but… does Theo? Draco’s heart stops. Wonder if Theo does know and has a crush on Potter instead of me and figures this is the only way he can get to Potter? The only way to finally catch Potter, reel him in? I mean, Theo is a great guy, but… he can’t have Harry. Not on my watch. Well… I don’t necessarily deserve Potter either… Oh, bloody hell!
Draco sighs and gets up, his eyes catching his most favorite thing of Potter’s (besides the boy himself, of course).
△ △ △
Dear Mr. Potter,
Here is the following plan (as a refresher) that will take place at seven o'clock sharp, so make sure to be on time :
- You will actually meet me (on time, mind you) in the corridor that contains Snape’s office.
- You will refresh my memory of the plan, so I am reassured that you know what you’re doing.
- I will expertly place my special spell on you.
- You will walk into Snape’s office, after knocking politely first (tip : I usually knock thrice on Snape’s door. It’s kind of our "secret code" now).
- Snape will invite you in and you’ll remain standing (his chairs are uncomfortable anyways and I usually always stand in his presence).
- “What seems to be the issue, Draco?” [or some sort of form of “What’s wrong?”] “I was just wondering if you could tell me more on the Animarum Potion? You see, I know we just recently learned it in class, but you never did get to telling us the cure for said potion. I’m curious because it could’ve just recently happened to me …” [hopefully that’ll be good enough for him]. No stuttering or blushing!! Be confident. He’ll definitely know it’s you if you’re all embarrassed and all! Why don’t you take some Felix Felicis with you, Potter? [I’m joking].
- He’ll either tell you the cure or give you a book on said potion (expect the latter).
- You thank him and walk back out, where you hand me the book (but wait until we walk further down the hall before; he might become suspicious)
[I have decided that] we’ll go to the Gryffindor Common Room (
I can tell you miss it andjust in case you want to tell your putrid friends) to find the cure. Mission accomplished.
Your clever accomplice,
P.s. You know what? That Felix Felicis wasn’t such a bad idea…
Draco sets down his quill, capping his ink, and walks down to the Owlery. Once he reaches said place, he greets his owl, Caspian, with a treat while tying the letter to his foot. Caspian hoots happily and Draco finishes a perfect knot, stroking Caspian’s soft feathers.
“Take this to Potter and there will be more where that came from.” As soon as Draco said “Potter”, Caspian gave him a look. ”What? Oh, you already knew the drill, did you?” Caspian hoots once again and nips Draco’s fingertips playfully. Caspian did take a liking to Potter’s owl, Hedwig, as well. Draco sighs. ”I know. Hey, why don’t you show Hedwig you’re interested, then we’ll talk.” Caspian glares at him then takes off into the air, leaving him chuckling. Speaking of Hedwig, she’s perched onto the window sill above Draco and seems to be studying him with her large, piercing, yellow eyes. Draco takes another treat out of his pocket and sets it beside him, aware of her gaze watching his every move. As he begins to walk out of the Owlery, he is happy to look back and see that the treat is gone.
Harry gulps as he nears the corridor that contains Snape’s office, glancing back down at Malfoy’s watch again. Well. He’s here. He made it on time, shockingly enough.
“Malfoy? Where are you?” Harry whispers.
“Right behind you,” Malfoy suddenly says, behind Harry, nearly making him jump.
“For crying out loud-!”
“Ah ah ah, there’s no time for bickering, Potter,” Malfoy says, holding up a hand. ”Now, I believe you’re supposed to reassess the plan now?”
“Er, okay… You’ll place the spell on me then I’ll walk into Snape’s office. I’ll ask him about the potion because “I’m just curious” and all that nonsense. He’ll either tell me or give me a book on it. Then, I will successfully walk out of his office with the book, give it to you, and we’ll go to the Gryffindor Common Room. Mission accomplished.”
“Good, but you forgot something, Potter.”
“What? What did I forget?”
“Your manners , Potter.”
“Oh, right. I’ll knock politely then thank him afterwards.”
“And how many times will you knock?”
“And like this.” Malfoy demonstrates by knocking on Harry’s forehead, who is surprised that Malfoy actually knocked gently. Maybe it's because this is his body he's hitting. ”Some type of beat is not necessary.” Harry blushes.
“I just figured you were the type to do such thing.” Malfoy looks as though he wants to pat Harry on the head, but doesn’t. Harry smirks.
“Now, if you’ll excuse me-”
“Not so fast. I still haven’t put the spell on you.” Harry winces, knowing it would’ve been too good to be true if Malfoy had forgot that step. He practically memorized the plan, does he seriously still have to have that stupid spell on his back? To Harry’s surprise, Malfoy puts the spell on quickly, then nudges him towards Snape’s office.
“Yeah, yeah.” Malfoy gives Harry a thumbs up then steps further down the hall, so Snape doesn’t see him as well. Harry sighs and knocks thrice on Snape’s door, after a moment of hesitation, just as Malfoy had said. Instead of just simply saying, “Come in” or “The door’s open”, Snape opens the door himself, peering down at Harry. Harry becomes anxious once again, wondering if Snape already knows just by looking at him.
“Draco?” Snape says, looking surprised. Harry suppresses a sigh of relief.”What business do you have here? Is something wrong?” Harry is shocked that Snape actually sounds… concerned . He clears his throat.
“Um-” be confident, no stuttering. -”I wish to discuss an important matter with you in your office.”
Damn it! Malfoy isn’t that formal!
Snape raises his eyebrows and Harry is sure he’s going to call him out at any moment. It feels as though an eternity passes by before Snape opens his mouth and says,”Of course. Please, come in.” Before Snape lets him in, however, he looks out into the hallway and spots Malfoy.”Potter! What are you doing lurking the halls like that? Get out of my sight before I start to remove points!” With that, Snape walks back inside his office. Harry looks back at Malfoy, who shrugs with a smirk. Harry shakes his head then walks inside as well, automatically closing the door behind him. Snape carelessly waves at a chair in front of his desk. ”Sit.” Harry does as he says, realizing how stupid he was before. This isn’t so bad.
“Now, what would you like to … discuss with me?”
Harry fights from saying “Er” before he says, ”I would like to know more on the Animarum Potion.”
“The Animarum Potion?” Snape stands and fishes out a book. No. This is too easy. Snape is bound to do something… more. Unless Malfoy comes to Snape’s office regularly for books and this is an old routine? ”Here, this should help you.”
“Thank you. I was rather curious,” says Harry as he takes the book from Snape’s hands. Well, tries to, at least. Harry looks up at Snape, wondering why he has a such a tight grip on the book. Is this one of his prized possessions or something?
“Lying to me again, are we, Potter ?” Snape hisses through gritted teeth, glaring down at Harry. Harry’s heart stops cold.
He knows! Oh, Merlin, he knows! Was it because of me or… did he find it out himself?
“Honestly, Potter, how daft do you think I am? It was obvious right from the start. 50 points from Gryffindor for not coming to authorities first and risking dire consequences that will affect others more than you, selfish boy.” Harry glowers at him and mutters, ”I think 50 is a little unnecessary.”
“Oh? Do you wish me to take more?”
“Well… Then you have to take points from Slytherin as well! Malfoy is the one who came up with the idea to-”
“I will believe no such lies, Potter. Now, take the book and leave my office at once before I put you through further consequences.” Harry opens his mouth to say more then decides against it, taking the book and leaving, willing himself not to slam the door shut. Malfoy emerges from around the corner with raised eyebrows, watching Harry walk towards him.
“That was quick, Potter. How did it go?” Malfoy whispers, shocked. Harry shoves the book towards Malfoy, leaving Malfoy even more shocked. ”What’s wrong?”
“Let’s just go. I’ll tell you in the common room,” Harry mutters, walking in the direction of the Gryffindor tower.
Potter collapses down onto the couch. Draco is surprised to see that the common room is empty (which is odd) and sighs, gracefully sitting beside Potter, crossing one leg over the other, and setting the book onto his lap.
“Snape knows. He knows that the potion worked.” Draco looks up at Potter with a cocked eyebrow. He sighs, leaning back into the couch, and says,”I figured that he would find out sooner or later. He seems to always figure “mysteries” out. But at least he didn’t tell anyone else and is letting us figure it out ourselves.”
“Are you kidding me ?!” Potter says furiously. ”Is that all you care about?! I’m done with all of this already! I bet we’d already be back to normal if we told Madame Pomfrey in the first place!”
“Potter, I’m sorry-” Draco starts with a frown, only to get cut off by the Gryffindork.
“He took fifty points , Draco!” - Draco flinches, wondering why Potter would suddenly just use his first name, so casually. He tries to stop his heart from beating so loud. - “ Fifty sodding points from Gryffindor and didn’t even touch Slytherin even though it was your idea ! And-” Potter abruptly stops with a huff, crossing his arms. Draco can’t help, but smile. ”This isn’t funny-” Then, it looks as though Potter finally realized what he just called Draco.
“Did you do that intentionally or by accident?” He asks, still smiling, and raising his eyebrows.
“It doesn’t matter,” Potter mutters, blushing, and continues, rambling, ”besides, the whole last name thing even though we’re friends is kind of annoying and I’m exhausted and-” Draco laughs.
“It’s okay . I’m not offended, I don’t need an explanation.” Potter looks at a still smiling Draco.
“So, are we going to call each other by first names now, or…?”
“I’d really like it if we did… Harry .” Draco likes to actually be able to say the name aloud without a sneer; to say it casually. As if they were really friends . Potter - Harry smiles and Draco ignores the “whoosh” his heart gave. It's still really weird that his heart is reacting like this to himself. He wonders if the feelings he has for Harry are so strong that it doesn't matter who's body Harry is in, his heart will react the same. ”Anyways, don’t worry about Snape. Since it’s the weekend, we can just avoid him cautiously.” Harry leans back into the couch as well and looks at Draco with a sigh.
“Yeah… Just think, it’s almost over. All of this will finally be over. Then, we can go back to how things used to be.”
Then, we can go back to how things used to be…
Draco frowns, looking down at his now clasped hands, and wonders what Harry truly means. How it used to be? Well, they’re no longer enemies (to Draco’s knowledge), so… Are they no longer going to be friends after this? A feeling of dread fills his stomach. Harry will be able to hang out with his Gryffindor friends and may not find time to spend with Draco or would prefer hanging with his friends. Wonder if Harry is only acting all friendly with Draco because he can’t really hang out with his friends without giving all of this away?
“D - Draco? Can I ask you something?” Draco turns towards the other boy, terrible thoughts still running ragged through his mind.
“What is it?”
“How come I didn’t feel any pain? What I said first to Snape was extremely stupid, shouldn’t I have felt something ?” Draco smirks.
“Oh, Potter, how daft can you be? Did you seriously think I’d put a spell as dangerous as that on you?” Draco says, surprising the Gryffindor.
“Really? I thought… Why not?” Harry asks, cocking an eyebrow in Draco’s direction.
Because I don’t want to hurt you.
“Because I’m not as stupid as you, apparently.” Harry glares at Draco, who laughs.
△ △ △
Shortly after, Harry falls asleep with his head on Draco’s shoulder, his breath tickling Draco's cheek. Draco smiles softly at the gesture and dares to place a kiss on the Gryffindor’s forehead (even though he basically just kissed himself… which is weird, but not as weird as he had imagined). Draco swears he saw the Gryffindork smile a little in his sleep after the small kiss, but shakes his head. He must be imagining things. Curling up onto the couch, careful not to disturb the other boy, Draco opens the book he now happily has (surprisingly, thanks to Harry) and looks through the table of contents for the certain potion that got them where they are now. He hopes Harry won’t mind if he reads a little without him.
Harry wakes up to Draco whispering in his ear to wake up. He opens his eyes with a, “Hm?” and stretches, wondering where he is for a second. Then, he realizes exactly where he is.
Oh no. I must’ve fell asleep! Did anyone see me in here? Did Draco read without me?
“Don’t worry,” Draco says with a chuckle. He must’ve read Harry’s expression. Harry is rather expressive. ”No one saw you yet. That’s why I woke up, actually. It’s five in the morning and some might be waking up soon, but I have picked up that Gryffindors like to sleep in, as do I.” So, Draco can read minds now?
“Did you get any sleep?” Harry asks a smiling Draco. It’s something about the way that Draco’s looking at him that makes his heart warm. Or is Draco just extremely narcissistic?
“Of course I did. Sleep is very important to me, you know.” For some reason, the thought of sleeping on the Gryffindor couch next to Draco makes Harry blush. Draco cocks an eyebrow at him. ”Why are you blushing?”
“Um, no reason!” Harry says quickly, which earns a wide smile from Draco (which makes him blush more), then asks, ”Did you read any of the book without me?”
“Yes, I did. I hope you don’t mind,” Draco replies softly, looking everywhere, but at Harry’s gaze. Harry’s heart sinks just a little bit. ”But if it makes you feel any better, I didn’t read the cure yet. I figured we could read that together later in the library… After your date with Theodore, of course.” Oh . Harry blinks at Draco. He actually forgot about that. To be honest, he doesn’t really feel like going anymore, no matter how handsome Nott is. For one, he might give all of this away because he still didn’t master being Draco Malfoy yet and for two, Harry is rather awkward around people he doesn’t normally hang out with or know.
“Oh yeah,” Harry says then reaches up and touches his hair.”Do you think you could help me fix… your hair?” Draco smiles.
Draco sighs as he checks the time after finally finishing his hair, Harry complaining about how long it was taking. Draco had told him not to rush perfection, which earned him the bird. He sort of dreads spending the day alone, after Potter leaves. Unless he could somehow sneak to the Slytherin common room for a quick chat with his friends? Otherwise, he’d have to “hang out” with Harry’s friends and it’ll be even more dreadful now than before since they know it’s him. Granger would be annoying as always and Weasley will be gloomy and hell. No, thank you. But maybe, just maybe, he could follow along with the plan he thought of earlier, which includes Harry’s invisibility cloak… No, that’s a terrible thing to do. Spying on his friends…. But he just wants to see what Theo’s up to...
“It’s a quarter past seven,” Draco sort of mumbles to himself then adds, ”we might as well head down to breakfast, don’t you think?” Harry nods, nearly almost ruining Draco’s hair by reaching up to brush his fingers through it then stops, thinking better than that. Harry bites his lip instead; Draco smiles to himself and heads for the dormitory door, making sure no one’s in the common room first, of course.
△ △ △
Draco enters the Great Hall with a sigh, Harry departing from his side and heading for the Slytherin table. Watching him go, Draco hopes that this is going to be the last time he has to sit at the Gryffindor table with Harry’s friends. Draco sits beside Weasley this time, to his dismay, but he did this only so he could watch Harry and Theo. Usually, Draco would have to feign enjoying sitting next to Granger because that’s where Harry always sits, which Draco isn’t sure why, but… Weasley doesn’t even give Draco a glance as he sits and takes a swig of pumpkin juice. Granger opens her mouth as if she would like to greet him, but then decides against it, looking down at her lap awkwardly. Draco smirks, satisfied that he doesn’t have to fake being Harry all that much during breakfast. Finally, a chance to enjoy being in the Great Hall ever since this charade occurred. Draco carefully bites into his toast, careful not to drip butter onto himself, Weasley abolishing his eggs. Draco beings to wonder why Weasley’s eating said eggs with such ferociousness, then decides he doesn’t care for the reason and fixates his eyes on himself.
For some reason, Harry woke up feeling extremely tired although he actually went to sleep early last night. Sort of feeling sluggish, Harry enters the Great Hall and sits at his usual spot. Nott doesn’t say a word to Harry, but repeatedly glances at him. Perhaps Nott wants to talk about “their plans” later in private. Zabini and Parkinson are actually here today, but are surprisingly silent. They keep glancing at Nott, which is odd. Well, Zabini is doing most of the glancing. It seems as though Parkinson keeps trying to catch Harry’s eye just to smirk at him. Which is extremely annoying.
“So, do you guys have any plans later?” Parkinson asks, winking at Harry.
“No,” says Zabini after a silent beat. He looks as though he wants to say more, but doesn’t.
“How about you, Draco ?” Parkinson asks, immediately looking at Harry with a wild look in her eyes. Harry glances at Nott, who’s Adam’s apple bounces up and down. Which is alluringly distracting…” Draco…?”
“Er, no,” Harry replies quickly without thinking. Nott’s dark, brown eyes fix onto Harry with no emotion whatsoever. Parkinson smirks once again (what a surprise).
“Oh, really? A little birdie told me that you have a date at Hogsmeade today,” Parkinson says, studying her perfect, black nails.
“Well, I am going to Hogsmeade with someone today,” Harry says, rolling his eyes. ”But we’re just going as friends .” Harry glances at Nott, who has a hint of a mysterious smile on his lips.
△ △ △
Harry walks out of the Great Hall from yet another awkward breakfast, wondering why Nott has not said one word to him. Has he forgotten? Or was it just a joke and Harry has yet to catch onto it? Well, if it wasn’t a joke, Zabini and Parkinson were there… Maybe he wants to keep this “date” (what else do you call it besides a “play-date”? An “outing”?) private?
That’s just bloody ridiculous, Harry thinks glumly. Hogsmeade isn’t exactly a “private” place .
Harry sighs and rounds the corner, only to be yanked into an abandoned classroom. Only this time he isn’t as annoyed as usual; he’s gotten used to it. Harry smiles; he’s never been this excited to see himself. Well, evidently, but… oh, nevermind that.
“Sorry about that.” Wait. Harry’s smile fades as he looks up to see Nott instead of Malfoy. Well, at least he doesn’t have to look at his own face as they talk now. And it’s a very pretty face at that. Well… They’re probably just going to talk about the “date”, right? Either that or Nott’s going to call it off. Nott grins, cocking an eyebrow at Harry. ”Spoil the mood, did I?”
“No,” Harry starts, but Nott holds up a hand, still grinning, flashing those perfect teeth.
“I gotta say, I’ve never seen you so happy before, Malfoy .” He winks at Harry.
Bloody hell, does he know too?!
“May I ask what you were so happy about?”
Merlin, what do I say? I was happy about the “date” later! No. Too sappy and un-Malfoy like. I’m just in a good mood? No. I thought you were someone else? Although it is true, that is rather rude. Even for Malfoy.
“I was…” Harry trails off as Nott studies him expectantly. Harry internally panics. He always gets nervous around pretty people. It was the same with Cedric; being more awkward toward him was sort of like a routine for Harry. After they became friends, Harry had found it easier to talk to him. He had never had it easier talking to Cho, though.
“Too personal?” Nott smiles and waves a hand at Harry. ”I respect that.” Harry quietly sighs in relief. ”Alright, I bet you’re wondering why I… “yanked” you back here. Some who might’ve witnessed the act may have believed the reason to be for either maiming reasons or, perhaps… erotic issues needed to be dealt with.” Nott grins at Harry once again but, this time, it also contains a suggestive smirk. Harry fights back a dominating blush and barley succeeds. He still feels a small fraction of heat coated on his cheeks though. ”Anyways, I just wanted to talk about … later.”
“What about it?” Harry asks. Nott rubs the back of his neck, suddenly nervous.
“Just wanted to know if you were still coming…”
“Of course I am,” Harry says, raising his eyebrows. ”Why?”
“I was just making sure you were still for it.”
“I’m all for it,” Harry says, smiling the “Malfoy smile”. Smiling, but not overdoing it. Showing a small fraction of teeth and, instead of looking stupid, you actually look overly appealing. ”Besides, I need to get out. Being stuck in here sometimes makes me feel cramped, you know?” Nott smiles.
“So, I’ve been meaning to ask you, Malfoy, if you looked through the book I had suggested to you?” Granger asks, glancing at Draco. Draco holds back a sigh.
“No, I haven’t.”
“Oh.” Granger seems surprised that Draco didn’t actually take her recommendation into account. As if Draco has ever really listened to her before. ”I could go get it for you, if you want me to. I already know where it is located in the library and I’m heading there anyway-”
“I know where it is located too, Granger,” Draco hisses.
“Oh.” Granger presses her lips together, glancing at Weasley, who rolls his eyes. Being a burden to these two is Draco’s specialty. ”Have you tried-”
“I already have the book that contains the cure.” Draco really didn’t want to tell them, but… they were going to find out sooner or later. Besides, Granger was really helping Draco’s headache worsen by being extra annoying.
“You… You what ?” Weasley asks, glancing at a wide-eyed Granger.
“You have the book that contains the cure yet you’re still-”
“Yes, Granger, I’m still “Potter”. -”
“Look, we know you enjoy being Harry, but-” Weasley starts.
“Shut it , Weasley, or I’m going to hex those delicate jewels of yours. That is, if they even exist.” Weasley glares daggers at a satisfied Draco, turning beat red from anger and humiliation. Granger even blushes a little herself.
“Anyway , I … promised to read the cure with him later. He has … “important” matters to intend to first. Don’t fret. We’ve got it all under control.”
“Malfoy, I believe that more “important matters” involves this cure. Surely, Harry can wait? Perhaps a reschedule?”
“No, that won’t do,” Draco replies. ”I… have plans as well, actually, to be honest." Draco wonders if they can tell he's lying. Since he decided to resist spying on Harry and Theo, he has absolutely nothing to do. Maybe spying on them isn't a bad idea after all. "Besides, I’d rather have him attend this “affair”. Otherwise, I would have to and…” Draco frowns, knowing that isn’t the true reason. Granger cocks an eyebrow and crosses her arms.
“So, basically, what you’re saying is that Harry is running an… errand for you, so you don’t have to do it?” Draco waves a hand at her.
“Don’t be so daft, Granger, I have a certain plan. To experiment.”
“What you’re going to “experiment” is the two of you being stuck into different bodies for the rest of your lives because you’re being foolish now. If you have the cure now, why don’t you read it, Malfoy?”
“Oh, stop being so… anxious . Like I said before, and I’ll say it again, we have everything under control.”
△ △ △
Draco sighs and plops down onto the Gryffindor common room couch. He has to admit, once this is all over, he’ll miss this room the most. Besides Potter, of course… Draco thought he would always hate said place, but it grew on him. He loves the warmth that oozes from the room. He loves the roaring, crackling fireplace. He loves the soft, red furniture. He loves waking up real early in the morning to curl up on the couch and read a book (which he doesn’t get to do much anymore since he’s Potter…), the crackling fireplace enveloping him in welcoming, comforting warmth. Honestly, this room has earned a special place in Draco’s heart, right next to the Slytherin common room...
“Heya, Harry,” snaps Draco out of his stupor. He looks over to see Seamus Finnigan smiling at him. Draco didn’t even know he was here.
“Hey, Seamus,” Draco replies with a small “Harry” smile, after clearing his throat and sitting up straighter.
“Is everything okay?” Finnigan asks, cocking an eyebrow. ”You look awfully exhausted…”
“Yup,” Draco says with a nod, popping the “p”. ”Everything’s fine. Just a little tired since I didn’t sleep well last night.” Which isn’t a complete lie. He stayed up late to read and got so lost into it, he lost track of time. At three in the morning, he went to bed, only to be up for about another hour thinking about the book, not able to sleep. What’s odd about it, though, is that Draco doesn’t feel exhausted, he just looks exhausted.
“Well, it couldn’t have been from nightmares because I wasn’t woken up from screaming,” he responds, sitting beside Draco on the couch. Draco gives him an odd look.
“What do you mean? Just because I have nightmares doesn’t mean I’m always screaming.” Finnigan gives Draco a smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes. It’s almost as if he feels bad for Draco. Well, Harry.
“Believe me, Harry, everyone knows when you have a nightmare.” Finnigan rubs the back of his neck, his eyes avoiding Draco’s. “You let out this blood-curdling scream, looking as though you’ve just seen a ghost. Your skin turns this awful color within a heartbeat. And there are occasionally tears in your eyes.” Draco feels his eyebrows furrow. Of course he had heard that the Potter boy had nightmares frequently, but he didn’t know that they drove him to screaming.
“Surely, they can’t be that bad.”
“Oh, they are.” Finnigan swallows. “It scares the lot of us.” He looks at Draco with raised eyebrows. “You really think they’re not that bad?”
“I…” He trails off, thinking of what he could possibly say. “No.” Finnigan keeps studying his expression. “I mean…”
“Harry,” Granger says, suddenly walking into the common room. She says the name slowly, as if she were substituting it to quotation marks. Syllable by syllable and everything. Weasley is standing next to her, looking more awkwardly lanky than usual.
“Hey, Hermione,” Finnigan says with a smile.
“Hey, Seamus,” she replies and Weasley watches them closely as they exchange smiles. Draco suppresses the urge to roll his eyes. Weasley must be too daft to realize that Finnigan is focused on someone entirely different; who doesn’t even happen to be the same gender as Granger, mind you.
“Anyway, Harry ,” Weasley says, clearing his throat. Is it possible to smite the two of them without looking suspicious? “We need to talk to you.”
“About what?” He asks.
“Potions,” Granger mutters. That’s their new secret code for ‘the Animarum Potion’. Evidently, it’s not that difficult of a secret code.
“Okay,” he says with a sigh, standing. Finnigan seems to be watching his every move. “Bye, Seamus.”
“See ya, Harry.”
Granger and Weasley lead Draco out into the hall. Since it’s a Saturday evening, the halls are practically deserted. They shouldn’t be disturbed.
“So, did you read about the cure yet?” Granger asks in a hushed whisper even though the hall is completely empty. The only ones who are listening are the portraits. The Fat Lady seems to have fallen asleep.
“What do you mean ‘sort of’?” Says Weasley, cocking an eyebrow.
“Well, I was supposed to wait for…. Potter, but I decided to read ahead a little bit. Merlin knows he’ll be upset, but I got sick of waiting. Like you said, the potion can have permanent effects and I’m not wanting to be Potter anytime soon.”
“That’s good you did that, Malfoy. Where is Harry, by the way?”
“On a date,” Draco says with utter annoyance.
“On a what ?” Weasley nearly shouts. Granger slaps his hand.
“He’s on a date ? How the bloody hell could he go on a date when all of this is happening?! He’s going on a date as you! ”
“Yes, Weasley, I think I already know that.” Draco rolls his eyes. “I don’t know when he’ll be back by. Theo likes to take his time.”
“Theo ? As in, Theodore Nott ?! He’s going with a Slytherin ?!”
“Who the bloody hell else would he go with?!”
“I don’t know, someone not evil ?”
“Would you shut up, Weasel?! ”
“Don’t call me ‘Weasel’, Ferret! ”
“That’s enough !” Granger snaps and Weasley backs down. But he still has his narrowed gaze fixated on Draco. He sneers at the ginger boy. “Now, Malfoy, would you care to tell us what you learned about the effects?” Draco sighs, looking away from the Weasel boy and at the wall.
“It said that the potions’ effects can be resolved by the kiss of the one you love.”
“How does that work?”
“Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. For example, if Harry were to… be kissed by the one he loves, his soul would be reminded of who he truly is and where he really belongs.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” Weasley says.
“Weasley, this whole potion doesn’t make any sense.”
“Okay,” Granger says, tapping a finger to her lips. “So, basically, the potion causes the soul to become … misplaced and becomes confused as where it should be?”
“Wait, wonder if you’re not in love yet? Or wonder if you’re in love but the one you love doesn’t feel the same way?” Weasley suddenly asks. “Would their … kiss still save you?”
“That’s only an issue you would have, Weasel,” Draco responds with a sigh. Weasley goes to pounce on him, but Granger stops him with a hand.
“That’s how far I got.”
“We should go read more. Can we? Join you, that is.”
“I promised Potter I would read some with him…”
“Malfoy, we don’t have time to lose! For all we know, it could already be too late.” Draco presses his lips together. What’s better? Upsetting Harry to save him, or feigning to have the ability to save him? Draco knew he was doomed after having read only a small fraction on the Animarum Potion. He has the same issue that Weasel had asked about. Not only is he too cowardly to make a move, even if it meant saving himself, he is sure that the Potter boy doesn’t, nor would he ever, reciprocate the same strong feelings that Draco has. But he still wants to try.
△ △ △
Granger crosses one leg over the other, balancing the book on her thighs. Weasley is looking at the book over her shoulder. Draco decided to look out of the window, already well knowing that Granger isn’t going to absorb the information quietly. She is going to read it aloud.
The sky looks gloomy today; gray clouds upon a light blue sky. Draco reckons it will rain soon. He wonders if it’ll destroy Harry’s date.
Draco had always liked when it rained. It always gave him fond memories of childhood at the Manor, where he could live a carefree life. He remembers how happy his mother was in those days. His father was less paranoid and tense. He remembers going to the gardens with his Aunt Bellatrix (he called her “Aunty Bell” then) to scare his father’s peacocks mad. That was before she lost her mind. On rainy days, he would find time to spend with his mother to paint with her upon lush canvases. He would even try to scare the house elves, running rampant through the endless halls. Draco frowns. But those days are long gone. The Manor is a dark place now.
“I guess we’ll just pick up where you left off,” Granger says softly, clearing her throat. “‘The Animarum Potion can be extremely risky, even if the solution seems very simple. The soul can occasionally become lost after the kiss of the one they love due to the original body being undetectable, which is more rare than the other reason, or the one they kissed is only false love. If it is false love, one is either in denial or thinks that they are in love with said person. ’” Granger turns the page, clearing her throat again. “‘As one may know, one cannot be under the effects of this potion as long as they wish unless they would like the effects to become permanent. After a period of time, the soul can become weak because it is not where it belongs. The body that contains the uncongenial soul will start to become physically weak as a cause…’ ” She trails off and slowly looks at Draco, who has already turned to look at her due to shock. “Malfoy… Weren’t you saying earlier how…” It looks as though she has forgotten how to breathe.
“Give me that,” Weasley says, frantically tearing the book from her hands, his eyes darting across the page. “‘If the body is under this condition for too long, one will fall into a temporary coma. One can still be saved, however, by a lover’s kiss. If both bodies are under a coma and neither of their lovers know how to save them, they will reawaken in 12 hours sharp, permanently stuck within one another’s bodies, their souls having readjusted to their new home.’ ” Weasley slowly looks up at Draco, who’s uncontrollably trembling. Granger looks like she might cry.
“We need to find Harry,” Draco says. “We need to find Harry .”
Harry stares out into the deep depths of the Black Lake, pulling his knees up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. Nott picks a blade of grass out of the ground, caressing it between two fingers. He occasionally finds a pebble within the grass and flicks it into the lake. Abandoning the blade of grass and searching for pebbles, Nott leans back on his arms with a sigh. Harry looks over at him.
The expression on the other boy’s face is sort of unnerving. His dark brown eyes have turned into a lighter, softer shade. His expression is soft, full of wonder and observation. His lips have moved from their usual downward position to upward. It’s unnerving because Harry had never seen someone like Nott look so peaceful.
The Black Lake is quiet.
Harry would say, on a normal day, that it’s too quiet. But the Black Lake has never been a hotspot, nor does it ever attract attention or trouble. Now that Harry thinks about it, the Black Lake seems to be a place to think and become peaceful, not to cry your self-pity away. Well, the lake can be used for that reason, but Harry feels it’s more honorable to not do such a thing.
The Black Lake should be observed by wandering eyes. It should be a place of solitude, to finally be able to find peace. Like how flying is for Harry. It makes him feel free and alive. To have the whole sky at your fingertips, to be able to bask in the sunlight, is one of the most wonderful feelings Harry can think of.
“I wonder if we’ll be able to watch the sun set,” Nott says, glancing at Harry, then returning back to admiring the view.
That would be a sight to see. Harry wonders if the Black Lake will still remain it’s dark color even if it’s illuminated with the bright sunlight of the sun.
“Have you ever seen the sunset over the Black Lake?” Harry asks, looking over at Nott, and ends up watching his every motion.
Nott swallows, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down, then shakes his head.
“I’ve never seen a sunset in general.” Harry gapes at him.
“You’ve never seen the sun set?” Nott looks at Harry, a small smirk on his lips, then looks back at the water. “This would be your first?”
“This would be my first,” Nott echos, nodding. He looks over at Harry, smiling again. “Honestly, do I look like I go outside all day in the sun?”
Harry rakes his gaze around Nott; he studies his face and Nott as a whole, really. His dark brown hair is falling into his eyes, which are an even darker brown. So dark that they almost look black. The color of his eyes and hair really makes his pale complexion pop out. His lips are more red than they are pink. If Harry didn’t know for sure that they don’t exist, he may have suspected Nott to be a vampire. As cliché as that sounds.
“No,” he says quietly.
Harry doesn’t understand how anyone could isolate themselves from the sun. For him, that would be practically impossible. He loves the feeling of sun on his skin, in his hair. To be in the darkness … really isn’t enlightening at all. Night drives Harry to think of … well, dark thoughts. Sunlight doesn’t make him forget of all the dark things, but it helps take his mind off of it.
“How about a sun rise?” Harry asks, turning to towards Nott. “Would you like to see that?” Nott looks at him and smiles again, his perfect teeth practically glowing behind his red lips. Ever so slowly, he reaches toward Harry’s face and gently tucks away a loose strand of hair. (Which is odd. Draco’s hair never seems to go out of place). He feels himself blushing. Nott sighs after quickly rubbing Harry’s cheek with his thumb and pulling away.
“It would only remind me of all the responsibilities and expectations I have for the day and for every day coming.” Harry frowns.
“But why would you want to see the sun set then?”
“Because it would remind me that there’s still hope.”
“That would mean you’re in an endless loop of stress and reassurance.” Harry furrows his eyebrows. “That doesn’t make any sense.” Nott chuckles and reaches over to pat Harry’s thigh. He nearly jolts away from the sudden touch.
“Life doesn’t make sense, Harry.” Harry’s heart starts to pound so loud he wonders if Nott can hear it himself. He opens his mouth to protest, but Nott simply holds up a hand, shaking his head. “Be quiet. I think it’s about to happen.”
△ △ △
Lying upon their backs, they stare at the sky in adoration. Pink streaks, along with orange swirls light up the wonderful sky. Yellow dots are scattered across the horizon.
Harry hadn’t seen the sun set in a long time. This one was definitely worth the wait.
He turns his head to look at Nott, who still has a face full of wonder and admiration. That’s the type of effect the sun setting (or rising) has on you. It leaves you breathless, hoping to see it again, wishing to see it again. Nott’s hair is cascaded in the grass, his eyelids are half closed, lips parted. Harry wonders if this is how he always looks when he’s in awe. Nott realizes Harry is staring at him and turns his head over to stare back.
“Was it how you thought it was going to be like?” Harry asks softly and Nott adverts his gaze, but doesn’t turn away. He shakes his head in response. Which is unlike Nott.
Harry yawns, rolling onto his back, marvelling at the sky once more. He feels his eyelids start to droop as his body is coaxed to sleepiness from another yawn.
“I’m exhausted,” he says. “Maybe we should be heading back to the Slytherin dorms.”
“I might have to carry you,” says Nott. His voice is soft and light. “You look as if you’re going to fall asleep any minute now.”
“Carry me then.”
Harry looks at Nott again and finds his expression to be troubled rather than the captivated look he had just moments before.
“I hope this doesn’t mean that…” Nott trails off.
“That it’s too late.”
“Too late for what?”
“Don’t play dumb, Harry.”
“Stop calling me that!”
Nott reaches over to drag his knuckles along Harry’s forehead, as if checking for a fever. He’s still wearing the same troubled expression.
“Don’t fall asleep.”
Harry thinks it’s too late for that.
“Where did Harry go on his date?” Granger asks, jogging to catch up with Draco, who is only merely speed-walking.
“It doesn’t matter,” he replies and Granger furrows her eyebrows. “They should be back in the Slytherin dorms by now. The sun has set.”
It still hurts Draco that Harry hadn’t even kept his promise of coming back to him and reading along with him the cure to this blasted potion. But that doesn’t matter, none of that matters now. What really matters is that Harry is safe.
“So, wait,” Weasley says, his long legs able to keep up with Draco just fine, “We’re just going to bust into the Slytherin dorms and search every bed for where Harry might be?”
Granger scrambles to keep up with them, muttering complaints of her much shorter legs under her breath.
“You’re saying it as though we’re invading somewhere we shouldn’t be.”
“That is what we’re doing, aren’t we?”
“Technically, yes.” They descend down the stairs, their quickened footsteps echoing. “Besides, we won’t be searching all of the beds, you complete oaf. He’ll be sleeping in mine.”
“How are we going to be able to get in?” Granger asks. “Surely, they won’t open the door if we just ask politely. Do you have the password?”
“Let’s hope it’s still the same as last week’s,” Draco mutters as they walk up to the portrait of a sleeping Salazar Slytherin. He steps closer and realizes that Weasley and Granger do so as well. Looking back at them, his eyes narrow. “Do you mind?”
Draco swallows as he taps on the frame, immediately awakening Salazar Slytherin. His piercing gaze bores into Draco.
“You three do not look like one of my Slytherins. What brings you here?”
“We have come with the hopes of being granted to enter, along with having the knowledge of the password.”
Salazar Slytherin raises his thin eyebrows.
“Oh? Then what is the password, daring Gryffindor?”
Draco hisses it under his breath. He can feel Weasley and Granger inching closer.
Salazar Slytherin looks surprised, but impressed.
“That is the correct password. However did you gain the knowledge?”
Draco swallows again.
“Because I am a Slytherin under the effects of the Animarum Potion. And I have come to help my Gryffindor companion be released from the effects, as well as I.”
“Who do you seek?”
“Harry Po-” Draco stops, shaking his head at himself. “Draco Malfoy, sir, or myself, if I might add.”
“Although I do not feel like I should believe you, I will allow you to enter. But only you, not your Gryffindor friends.”
Weasley and Granger start to make protests almost immediately, but Draco shoots them both a look that could kill, shutting them up.
“I will be right back. Here.” Draco pulls Harry’s invisibility cloak out of his bag, tossing it to Granger. He’s not sure it’ll fit on them both, but he’s sure that Granger is smart enough to cast an invisibility spell on anything that’s visible. “Just in case it becomes past curfew.” Granger looks shocked, as well as Weasley. They are probably surprised that Draco would be considerate enough to do that. He turns back to Salazar Slytherin, who seems to be gazing at Draco with a look of approval.
“You may enter now.”
“Thank you, O Great One,” Draco says with a slight bow. Weasley snorts from behind him and Draco shoots daggers his way. Salazar Slytherin smirks then the portrait swings open.
Draco steps inside.
△ △ △
As Draco walks within the Slytherin common room, Draco feels something surge in his heart. He had missed his true home. So much.
But now is not the time to catch up with anything or anyone. He has to find Harry. Wherever the git is.
“Potter? What do you think you’re doing here?” Pansy asks from across the room. Draco had forgotten that she was a night owl. Well, he didn’t forget, but he didn’t necessarily think that he’d run into anyone either.
“Where’s Malfoy?” Draco asks smoothly. Pansy smiles, tapping her bottom lip with a finger. Draco realized how much he had missed her, as well as the Slytherin common room and dorms, but sometimes she could be really annoying. She likes to stall on things, but only to annoy you. Draco watches as she sighs and licks her lips, resting her chin in her perched hand.
“I have no idea where he is,” she says, leaning away from her arm so she can drag her nail back and forth along the couch arm. He was hoping she wouldn’t say that. “But he isn’t here. All I know is that he left with Theo.”
“Do you know where they’d be now?” Draco asks. He knows they should no longer be in Hogsmeade; not at this time of hour or day. Theo likes the nighttime so he can only imagine that they are possibly wandering the school grounds and studying the stars. Pansy licks her lips again, shifting within her seat.
“My only guess could be the Black Lake. Theo loves it there.”
How come I didn’t think of that? It was so obvious!
His heart starts to pound within his chest. He swallows, nervous and worried from what is to come. Wonder if they’re not there? Where else would they be? That doesn’t matter now. Draco has to go to the Black Lake anyway. They have to be there. He starts to rush back to the portrait but stops before passing back to look at Pansy. She’s smiling, studying her nails.
“Thank you, Pansy,” he says, without thinking, then stammers, “I-I mean, Parkinson.”
“I missed you, Draco.”
△ △ △
“Change of plans,” Draco says, plucking the invisibility cloak from Granger’s grasp. She startles, her eyes widening in his direction. Ignoring her, he starts back up the stairs.
“Where are we going?” She asks, quickly following behind.
“Yeah, where’s Harry?” Says Weasley, obviously not catching on that he isn’t here.
“Wasn’t there. Pansy told me where she thinks he might be.”
“And where is that?” Granger asks as soon as Weasley says, “Pansy ? As in, Parkinson?”
“Yes, Weasley, who else?” Draco snaps at the red-headed boy, who flinches in response.
“And you trust her?”
“She’s my best friend, of course I trust her!”
△ △ △
Stepping outside onto the now soft ground, Draco quickly rushes over to the Black Lake, hoping that Pansy’s assumption was correct.
“Where are we going?” Granger asks again, for the fifth time. Draco stops at the edge of the Black Lake, searching the grounds for two bodies. Lying, standing, whatever position. But he doesn’t see anyone. All he can hear is the soft sound of the crickets chirping, fireflies scattered among the school ground. The Black Lake is quiet. There are no voices to be heard. Just utter silence.
“Here,” Draco breathes.
“I don’t see anyone,” Granger says quietly. Weasley doesn’t say a word, just stares out into the water. His expression is so full of suffering and sadness, along with malice, that it scares Draco.
But the fact that Harry isn’t here scares Draco even more.
“Where is Harry?” Weasley asks softly. His fists are clenched, along with his jaw. “Where is Harry?”
“Does it look like I know Weasley?!” Draco exclaims, rounding up on him. His eyes start to water and Draco knows he’d be able to control his emotions easier if he were back to normal. It doesn’t help that he can physically feel his body starting to get weaker and he needs to get to Harry. Quick. Wherever he is. “The only place I know where he was was Hogsmeade, and he certainly can’t be there now! It’s closed ! Do you have any idea where he’d be, Weasley? Huh? Because I’d really like to hear it.”
Weasley says nothing, clenching and unclenching his fists. His eyes are darting back and forth along the ground, as if he were thinking frantically.
“The Infirmary,” Granger suddenly says quietly. “If Harry had passed out with Nott there, I would imagine he’d take him to the Infirmary.”
“Yes, Granger, you’re a genius!” Draco says and she blushes. He awkwardly reaches over to pat her on the shoulder.
Weasley walks past them, striding towards the doors, obviously taking the lead on this one.
10 minutes ago
Harry struggles to keep his eyes open as Nott scoops him up into his arms. Nott is cold, which is everything but what Harry imagined he’d feel like. He starts to walk towards Hogwarts and Harry swivels his head around to look.
“What are you doing?” He asks, looking back at Nott. Nott looks down at him, an unreadable glint within his eyes. His jaw is set and his expression looks determined.
“I didn’t think you were serious ,” Harry says and a small giggle escapes him.
“I’m not taking you to bed,” says Nott. They’re walking down the Hogwarts halls now. Nott’s footsteps sound abnormally loud. Harry’s eyebrows furrow.
“Then where are you taking me?”
“You’ll find out soon enough.”
Harry feels himself becoming more confused by the minute. But he finds himself not caring when his head starts to dip. His eyelids droop dangerously low.
“Hey, stay awake,” Nott says suddenly, patting Harry’s cheek. A watery smile forms upon Harry’s lips. Nott’s eyes are frantic. If Harry didn’t know any better, he would say that Nott was worried.
“Why can’t I sleep?”
“Because you need to stay awake. For me.” Nott rounds the corner quickly. Harry can see the Infirmary from a distance. “For Draco.”
“Draco?” Harry asks sleepily, his eyelids drooping half-closed. Nott starts to ruffle Harry’s hair. He imagines to keep him awake.
“Draco wouldn’t want you to go to sleep,” Nott responds softly, running his fingers through Harry’s hair. This gesture only encourages Harry’s sleepiness. Nott notices and caresses Harry’s face, patting his thumb on Harry’s jaw.
“Because Draco cares about you.” Harry’s eyebrows raise.
“Draco cares about me?”
Nott doesn’t answer as he enters the Infirmary. Madame Pomfrey rushes to Nott, taking a look at Harry.
“What happened?” She asks, worry dripping from her tone. Her voice starts to fade out as Harry’s sleepiness begins to take over. He looks up at Nott through almost-closed lids. Harry can see his mouth moving but it’s like no words are leaving them. His eyebrows furrow once more, but lazily go back to their former state.
Everything is quiet.
Harry’s eyes, finally, drift closed.
Scared for Harry; for himself.
If Harry is in the Infirmary, that means he had passed out. Which means that he’s in that blasted temporary coma.
Which means everything from now and the future is hopeless. Harry didn’t know of the cure; bloody hell, he didn’t really know anything about the potion itself. It’s not like he can kiss anyone while he’s in a coma. Well, they could kiss him. Would that still work, even if he’s not awake for the kiss? Draco isn’t even sure who Potter loves, if he’s ever fallen in love, that is. Who does Potter love?
The thought makes Draco’s heart sink.
Is he in love with Granger? Weaselette? Should he only be assuming girls? Harry is straight, right?
Draco shouldn’t even be feeling victorious about, maybe, knowing of Harry’s destination when he has no idea what to do. The fact that Draco is in love with the one who is currently stuck inside his body makes this whole potion even more difficult than it already is. The book said nothing of that.
This is all hopeless.
△ △ △
“Granger,” Draco says, his voice straining, “you did read everything on the potion, correct?” Her eyebrows raise as she looks over at him. They are nearing the Infirmary and Draco’s throat is getting drier and drier by the minute. Weasley is walking so fast that even Draco is struggling to catch up with him. It’s only making his legs weaker than they already are. He wishes they could slow down… But he has to get to Harry. To at least be assured that he’s safe.
“Yeah, of course,” she answers after a beat. “Why?”
Maybe he should just let it out now. Let all of his worries and long-kept secrets flow out of him.
He’s just so tired. So very tired.
“I…” He starts.
But he’s too much of a coward, no matter how tired he is.
“What are we going to do?” He says instead, glancing at her. Her wild curls are bouncing with her every step. “When we get there, I mean.”
“I was hoping you’d know,” she mumbles.
“Does Potter…” He swallows. “Love anyone?”
She presses her lips together and Draco braces himself. But then she shakes her head.
“Not to my knowledge, no,” she says. “I mean, there was one point in time when he thought he was in love with Ginny. And Ginny had been so obsessed with him as a child, she thought that maybe she loved him too. But it didn’t really work out between them; they decided they were better off as friends.”
Draco had never been so relieved. Although that claims Draco’s situation as even more hopeless.
“How about you?” She asks, looking at him. “Shouldn’t you have kissed the one you love by now?”
“Wouldn’t my soul become lost if I did? Potter is still in my body.”
“Oh yeah. Well, shouldn’t you be getting your love anyway? Bring her, or him, to the Infirmary? But… Oh, what are we going to do for Harry ? I mean, would platonic love work?”
“I don’t think so.”
She shakes her head, her eyes looking wild as she seems to be deep in thought. She pauses.
“Malfoy… are you getting tired?”
“A little,” he lies. He feels like he’s going to collapse within minutes. But he’s going to stay awake. For Harry.
Weasley rushes into the Infirmary, Granger quickly following behind, as he collapses to his knees at Harry’s bedside.
Draco stops at the doorway, blood rushing to his ears, his heart constricting at the sight of Harry. He looks so peaceful, his lips slightly parted, as he sleeps. But it feels as though this is equivalent to Harry breathing his last few breaths.
Theo immediately stands up from his chair, studying Draco’s expression.
“Thank Merlin you’re here.”
Draco slowly walks to the edge of Harry’s bed, his footsteps sounding disoriented to his ears.
“How long has it been?” He asks quietly.
“About fifteen minutes.” Theo pauses. “Draco, can I talk to you for a second?”
Draco would like to have a talk with Theo too. A little bit of an explanation would be nice.
Theo leads him outside, turning around to look at him, and crossing his arms.
“You go first.”
“Do you have…” Draco pauses, thinking through this carefully. He should be beside Harry right now, not talking. He’s done enough talking. “Feelings for me?”
Theo smiles, as if he saw this coming.
“No, I’m not interested in you or Potter, actually. I just, maybe, wanted to give you a hint,” he replies, shrugging. “And I like to mess with you.”
“Give me a hint? All you did was make me jealous and even more desperate than I already am.”
“Did you not hear the ‘I like to mess with you’ part?”
“I’m being serious, Theodore.”
“So we’re going to full names now?” He sighs. “I thought that, I don’t know, maybe me taking him on a date, with your knowledge of said date, would provoke you to make a move. But I should’ve known better.”
Draco sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose.
“Theo, even if I did ‘make a move’, that wouldn’t have helped Potter! I love him. He will never like, or even love , me back.”
Theo shrugs again.
“Hey, I’m not a Potions expert. I just knew that the cure dealt with something about love, as does everything, and you obviously love him. So.”
“It doesn’t work like that.”
“Well, I know that now.”
Draco licks his lips slowly, swallowing again.
“Does Potter… love you?”
“Honestly, Draco, you jump to the worst conclusions. How is it possible to fall in love within a day?”
“You don’t believe in love at first sight?”
Theo gives him a look.
He looks back into the Infirmary. At where Harry is laying, his beyond worried friends supporting him by his bedside. He should be there, too. Even if he has no idea what to do. He can’t do anything.
“I don’t understand how you can do it,” Theo suddenly says quietly, obviously having followed Draco’s gaze. Draco looks back at him, cocking an eyebrow. Theo doesn’t look back at him. “You’re so in love with him… yet… you do nothing about it. You just sit back and stare, wasting away in desire and hopelessness.” Draco casts his eyes away to the floor, but doesn’t say a word. How could Draco do anything? “What do you fear? Rejection? Ruining your reputation? Being hated by others for your confession? So what ? It will hurt, yes, if you are rejected and are hated for who you are, but isn’t this worse ? You’ll always be in love with him. You can’t change that, Draco. But can’t you think on the bright side for once? Wonder if your feelings are reciprocated? Wonder if he doesn’t exactly love you, but he at least likes you? Wonder if your reputation isn’t touched and everyone supports you? Did you think about that?”
Draco doesn’t think optimistic thoughts because they only end in hopeless disappointments. That’s how he knows that Harry will only ever think of Draco in a platonic way. Well, he used to only think of Draco in an ‘enemy’ way, but that isn’t the point.
He looks up to find Theo staring at him.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to finally let loose?”
“Even if I did…” Draco whispers hesitantly. “It wouldn’t save Harry.”
Theo rolls his eyes, probably thinking Draco hadn’t listened to a word he had said, then shrugs.
“Maybe your love is strong enough to save both of you.”
△ △ △
Walking back into the Infirmary, his heart pounding painfully, he stands beside Granger.
“What did you talk about?” She asks.
She was crying. You can hear it in her voice.
“About what we can do,” Draco says and realizes it’s a mistake as soon as he said it. She looks up at him, her eyes rimmed with a deep red.
“What can we do?”
Draco waits a beat, wondering what he could possibly say.
“Well, we bring the Weaselette, of course.” He pauses, a lump lodging itself in his throat. “ … And I get my love.”
He can feel Theo shaking his head.
“But he doesn’t love Ginny, I already told you that,” she replies slowly.
“Well, what else can we do, Granger?! We’ve run out of options!”
“But, in the book, it said-”
“Is it possible that I could save Harry?” Weasley asks. Draco rolls his eyes then pinches the bridge of his nose. Again.
“That’s platonic love, Weasley,” he says then raises his eyebrows at the red-headed boy. “Unless, I’m only assuming?”
“Of course it’s platonic, he’s only my best friend!” He exclaims, standing to face Draco. “I would do anything to save Harry. Even if that meant…”
“You people are acting like this is death bed.”
But he doesn’t blame them. He is acting the same way too. Looking back at Theo, who gives a subtle nod, he sighs, stepping toward Weasley.
“Move aside, Weasley,” he says quietly. Suddenly, Theo is beside Draco, wrapping a supportive arm around his shoulders.
“You have to do it,” Theo whispers in his ear.
“I know,” he says, barely able to hear his own voice. “I hope this works.”
“You’re going to have to pull a Sleeping Beauty.”
Draco’s furrows his eyebrows.
“What’s a sleeping beauty?”
“What’s going on?” Granger asks slowly, glancing between the two of them. Draco looks at Theo, who’s already looking back, then shrugs his arm off of his shoulders. He stands up straighter, trying to feign determination, although fear and worry is running through his veins.
“Alright. Weasley, Granger, out,” he says, taking ahold of the curtain.
“What-” Weasley starts but Theo gently takes him by the shoulders and leads him out of the curtains’ way.
Draco looks up to find Granger staring. He doesn’t ask why, or try to get her to leave quicker, just stares back. A moment of understanding passes between them.
Draco watches as, he believes to be realization, dawns in Granger’s eyes.
“It all makes sense now,” she whispers. “You love him.”
She doesn’t say it as a question. Draco swallows then, slowly, nods.
Without another word, she steps away from Draco and stands besides Weasley, leaning into him. Theo gives Draco an encouraging nod.
With that, he closes the curtain and looks back at Harry. Or himself. Whatever.
“Here goes nothing,” he mutters then slowly bends down enough that his lips are hovering over Harry’s. He’s about to kiss his own lips. With Harry’s.
Ever so slowly, their lips touch.
And something had never felt so strange and relieving at the same time.
Then all Draco sees is black.
△ △ △
Draco wakes up with a jolt, a sheen of sweat coated on his forehead, as he scans his surroundings.
He’s in the Infirmary. Theo, Granger, and Weasley are in the same spots as he remembers them being last. They look up at him then look at each other, obviously shocked. They seem to be waiting for something…
“Where’s Harry?” He asks, his heart thumping loudly and his ears ringing.
He feels… different.
A grin slowly spreads on Theo’s face. Granger smiles as well, practically bouncing with joy. Weasley looks like he doesn’t know what to do with himself.
Theo rushes to Draco’s side and embraces him, squeezing so tight Draco can barely breathe. He taps Theo on the shoulder, as if it were a silent notice that he’s crushing Draco’s lungs. Apologizing under his breath, he loosens his grip.
“What’s … going on?” Draco asks, slowly looking at them all. Then, he asks again, “Where’s Harry?”
“Here.” Draco hears a silent croak from the floor. He wiggles out of Theo’s grip, which had loosened even more so after hearing the voice, and peers down at the floor.
Harry’s lying there, on the floor, holding his head as if he had a migraine. Maybe he does. But it’s Harry . The actual git himself, flesh and blood. Nobody’s soul was lost. No more being stuck in each other’s bodies. It worked . Harry is safe . And Draco could never be more happy.
“Potter… What are you doing on the floor?” He asks, struggling to keep a smile off of his face. Harry sits up, still holding his head.
“Dunno. Woke up here,” he replies. “And I thought that we agreed to remain on a first name basis?”
A grin slips out of Draco. And he finds himself not caring. Harry looks up and smiles back.
“Harry!” Weasley suddenly exclaims, most likely still unsure if it had actually worked. It had seemed pretty impossible. Granger and Weasley rush over to Harry. Weasley is the one to help him up, then immediately crushes him into a bear hug. Moreover, the hug turns into a group one, containing the whole trio.
Draco glances at Theo, who glances back. Theo wrinkles his nose, grinning again.
“Hey, you just squeezed all the air out of my lungs just moments ago.”
“Draco Malfoy, defending the Golden Trio. Oh, what a sight to see.”
Draco slaps his arm.
Theo looks at him then smiles again. Draco doesn’t think he’s even seen Theo smile so much. But, then again, Theo can be a “smiley person” if you provoke him enough. Draco smiles back.
“It worked,” Theo says, looking back at the still hugging trio. Harry is trying to escape them, laughing, but they keep pulling him back for more hugs, telling him how much they missed him; how scared they were for him. Draco feels his heart flutter at the sight of Harry. His smile, his laugh, his voice. When Harry smiles, the edges of his eyes crinkle and Draco loves to see it. It makes a smile want to rise out of him.
“It did,” Draco says with a slight nod. He can’t stop smiling. “I don’t know how, or why, but it did.”
Theo turns back to look at him.
“Maybe he loves you?”
Draco’s smile fades.
Theo sighs at Draco. He seems to do that a lot. Maybe it’s because he can be very disapproving of Draco, no matter how much he supports him.
“Draco, you’re impossible,” he says, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Why won’t you allow yourself to be happy ?”
Draco looks down at his folded hands that are in his lap, pressing his thumbnail into his pale skin. It’s sort of strange to not see a tan complexion now. But he’s glad to be back to his original self.
“Wonder if it doesn’t work out, even if he does reciprocate the same feelings?” Draco asks so quietly, he wonders if Theo heard him. Theo stares at the wall for a long time before he lets out a breath.
“Relationships are supposed to be rocky; they have their ups and downs, believe me. What matters most is effort and love . If you really love him, you would try your best to be with him. Sometimes it’s going to be tough, but you’ll have to believe in him, in yourself. You have to try , Draco. Otherwise… you really will waste away.”
Draco avoids Theo’s gaze, looking back down at his hands, nipping at his bottom lip. If only Draco was brave enough to do something . All he does is fear the worst, thinking pessimistic thoughts. But wonder if Theo is right? Wonder if Draco should really take a chance? Wonder if it’s the only one he has?
“You know, unless you tell him…” Theo trails off, rocking on his heels, and licking his lips. “He may never know of what you did. You saved him from living a completely different life; a lie. You saved him, and yourself. But he will never know that you kissed him to save you and him unless you tell him yourself. You know that, right?”
2 months later
Harry sighs and sits back across from the Black Lake, leaning against a (safe) tree and crossing his ankles. He watches as Draco buries his face in his hands, shoulders shaking from laughter, as Theo talks to him, grinning along with his silent laughs. Ron is busy stuffing his face with ham sandwiches that Dobby and Winky had made for them, with their request, of course. Hermione is sitting beside him in the grass, chattering to him occasionally. Parkinson and Zabini are busy fooling around the lake’s edge; well, that’s what Parkinson is mostly doing, anyway. Zabini is just there to watch as she dips her toes and fingers into the water. She says she’s trying to tempt the mermaids and dark creatures below. (Easy for her to say, Harry had thought to himself. She’s never seen them face-to-face like I have; that doesn’t stop him from also thinking that she’s just substituting that as an excuse).
It was her idea for all of them to hang out during the weekend. It’s so strange that after all that happened between the trio of Gryffindors and quartet of Slytherins, that they are all friends now. All because of some stupid potion Harry never wants to hear of again. Well…
He looks back at Draco, who’s smiling and nodding to Theo’s spiel, and then thinks that maybe that certain potion wasn’t so bad after all.
It brought enemies together, bonded them even.
“Heya, Harry,” Ron says, suddenly plopping down beside him and sighing. Harry looks over at Ron and smiles.
“Hey, yourself.” Ron starts to pick at a scab on his knee then clears his throat, swallowing. “How are you and Hermione doing?” He looks over at Hermione, who smiles, and smiles back. Ron looks back at Harry, eyebrows furrowed.
“We’re good. Why?”
“I just… wanted to know.”
“Okay… How are you?”
“Good.” Harry nods, pressing his lips together. “Good.”
Parkinson suddenly screams, jumping up from out of the water. Zabini is too busy laughing at her to listen to her insisting that she felt something touch her foot. He catches Ron’s eye and rolls his eyes. Ron returns the gesture, smirking, as if they were silently communicating.
Although Ron was rather reluctant in becoming friends with the Slytherins, he soon became very close with Zabini, Hermione with Parkinson. All of the Golden Trio love (he can practically hear Ron correcting him with the word “like ”) Theo. And Harry… Well, he has bonded with Draco, evidently.
As if Draco could sense that Harry was thinking about him, he looks back at Harry over his shoulder, a mischievous glint in his eyes and a smile on his lips.
Harry smiles back.
△ △ △
The Gryffindors and Slytherins are all sitting in a circle now, munching on ham sandwiches (Ron ate most of them), and talking about nonsense.
And when Harry says “nonsense”, he means nonsense. Parkinson seems to be keen on the idea of talking about recent hookups, mistakes, and drama all by itself.
“So, Dean and Ginny hooked up again, I heard,” Parkinson rambles, smirking and leaning forward, looking directly at Harry. “Doesn’t that make you jealous, Harry?” Harry makes a face. He may have been jealous when he was deeply attracted to her. But that’s all history now.
“Why would I be jealous?” He asks. “It’s her life.”
“Yeah, but you two had a little history going on there,” she continues. Harry shrugs.
“I’m over her.”
“Yeah, Pansy,” Theo says, barking out a laugh. Harry sees him elbow Parkinson out of the corner of his eye; she just mouths, what? . His eyes narrow. “Anyway, let’s talk about other things rather than romance.” Parkinson opens her mouth. “Or drama.” Her mouth slowly shuts. Hermione is hiding a smile beside her. The group falls quiet as, it seems, Theo thinks of what to talk about. “So, I’ve been studying Astrology a little more lately and I found some information on star signs. It’s very interesting that people came up with the concept that each and everyone of us, even Merlin himself, were born at a certain time for a reason. The planets are aligned in a certain way, as well.”
“Why are you so interested in Astrology?” Ron asks, leaning back on his arms. “All that stuff is nonsense.”
Theo smiles, his eyes twinkling. They usually do that when he’s intrigued.
“You’re a Pisces.”
Ron casts his eyes to his lap then back up at him.
“... What’s that?”
“See?!” Theo exclaims, leaning forward. “Astrology does that ! Even if you think it’s all nonsense, it grabs your curiosity immediately!” Ron blushes. Hermione gives him a reassuring pat on his shoulder, rolling her eyes, and grinning.
“Theo, can we be relieved of your incessant nerd talk for at least a day?” Zabini asks with a small smirk, picking at a blade of grass.
Theo smiles again, instead of being offended or upset. Because he gets more amused when you tell him things like that, rather than upset.
“Fair enough. Was there something you wanted to talk about, Zabini?”
Zabini gives him a look.
△ △ △
Only an hour into their little hangout, they had already run out of snacks. (Everyone had immediately blamed it on Ron, who just blushed in response). Theo began to complain about how hungry he is, causing Zabini to go back inside to scavenge some treats.
Draco sits beside Harry, who is leaning back against the tree again, with a sigh. Harry studies his expression. He seems happy.
Even though this is supposed to be something like a ‘get-together’, something that is guaranteed to get your clothes dirty, he is wearing a white button-down that’s tucked into black dress pants. Harry begins to wonder if Draco even owns casual clothes. Ever since they became friends, Harry had never seen him dressed casually.
Draco wipes his hands on his pants then brings his knees up to his chest, hooking his arms around them. Harry is still watching him, but he doesn’t seem to notice.
“Draco?” Harry says, looking down at his lap, then glancing up at Draco. He’s already looking.
“What is it?”
“I…” Harry pauses, licking his lips. This has been messing with him for a long time. “When you found out the cure…” Draco tenses. He usually always does when said thing is mentioned. “You never told me what you did.” Harry shouldn’t care. He really shouldn’t. He doesn’t even care about the potion, what it could have done if Draco didn’t cure him from whatever fate he was headed towards, but he can’t seem to let go of this. “What was the cure, Draco?”
Draco looks away from Harry, clenching and unclenching his jaw, swallowing. Harry waits, studying Draco. He wonders why Draco is so reluctant when it comes to him telling Harry the cure. What could be so bad about it?
“The cure is…” Draco trails off then clears his throat. “Love. That night, we were clinging onto any option that seemed rational. According to the book, basically, the people affected by the potion had to be kissed by, or kiss, the one that they love. Granger had said that you were never in love before, so there seemed to be no hope for you, or me.” Draco pauses. “But…” He swallows again. “We had acted on one option blindly, hoping it would work; which it did, evidently.”
“What did you do?” Harry asks quietly.
“There happened to be someone who loved you.” Draco licks his lips again, avoiding Harry’s gaze and watching the lake. “Granger had found them out, Theo proposing the idea. It was crazy, hopeless, but it worked.”
Harry’s heart begins to race as he continues to stare at Draco, sorting out the possibilities.
One hopeless possibility seems nearly impossible. But Harry hopes to Merlin that it’s right.
“It was you,” Harry says quietly, “wasn’t it?”
Harry feels a small smile form on his lips as Draco looks up at him slowly, silver burning into forest green.
“Thank Merlin, you’ve brought food!” Theo suddenly exclaims, rushing toward Zabini, breaking both of the boys’ trance.
“And a little firewhiskey,” Zabini responds, smirking and shaking the bottle of firewhiskey in the air. Parkinson’s eyes light up.
△ △ △
“So, you and Granger have a thing now, right, Weasley?” Theo asks, snatching the firewhiskey bottle from Parkinson and taking a swig. They’ve been passing it around the group as if it were a game. Harry had just stopped taking swigs because he feels the echo of drunkenness and Harry has dealt with enough migraines recently, thank you very much. Ron blushes and glances at Hermione, who’s smiling and blushing. Parkinson narrows her eyes at Theo.
“I thought you said we weren’t going to talk about romance?”
But Theo ignores her.
“We’ve been dating for a month now,” he answers.
“I’m pretty sure we all seen this coming from a mile away.”
The bottle comes back to Harry and he takes it, only to pass it to Zabini, who gratefully takes a large gulp. When it’s finally passed over to Ron, he takes a small sip, a blush still coated on his freckled cheeks, then he reaches around Hermione to Parkinson. Hermione would have refused anyway, Ron and Harry both know that. She had explained to them that she not only hates the taste, but hates the sensation of being drunk as well.
“How come you don’t want any, Granger?” Parkinson asks after passing it over to a sheepishly grinning Theo. (Harry’s pretty sure that he’s getting drunk; he wouldn’t be surprised if he were, he was taking bigger swigs than Zabini and Parkinson both). Hermione shakes her head, her wild curls trembling under her sudden movement.
“I don’t understand how any of you want any. The taste is horrid, being drunk is not only embarrassing, but dizzying, and what’s in store for you when you finally wake up? No, thank you.” Parkinson smiles, rolling her eyes.
“I think you’re just embarrassed by the fact that you’re a lightweight.”
Only Theo, Zabini, and Parkinson are passing the bottle around now.
“I am not!” Hermione exclaims, her face turning a bright red. Parkinson laughs.
“Then prove it, ‘Mione,” she slurs, smirking at her. Hermione huffs, snatching the bottle from her.
“Fine, I will.”
Harry’s eyes widen as he watches Hermione take two swigs of the firewhiskey, wiping her mouth, then handing the bottle back to her. Parkinson seems satisfied. Ron and him share a look.
“Alright, I think that we’ve all had enough firewhiskey,” Ron says, plucking the bottle from Theo’s grasp, who frowns.
“Weasley, the bottle is almost empty, we might as well finish it,” Parkinson says, shrugging.
“If anything, you don’t deserve to have anymore. You provoked Hermione into doing something she didn’t want to!”
“I was only having fun.” Ron glares at her, but Hermione nudges him, smiling.
“It’s okay, Ron,” she says softly.
“But…” Ron trails off, blushing. Hermione kisses his cheek, only causing his blush to spread like a wildfire.
“Aw, you two are adorable.” Theo practically swoons. Hermione beams. Harry looks over at Draco, who glances back, and they both share a smile, sniggering under their breaths. Theo immediately turns to them, grinning wickedly. “What are you two lovebirds laughing about?” Draco blushes a little, shutting up as soon as the words leave Theo’s smirking mouth. Harry had never found the grass more fascinating.
“I smell sexual tension,” Theo continues in a sing-song voice, slightly rocking back and forth. Although Harry’s face is burning painfully, he manages to look Theo in the eye.
“For one, sexual tension doesn’t have a smell,” he says.
“I’m not finished.” Harry pauses. “And, for two, there isn’t any sexual tension here. Not between us anyway.”
“Ooh, touché,” Theo responds, winking at him.
“Enough with this love talk,” Zabini says. “It’s making me sick.”
Theo smirks, waving a hand at him. Zabini raises his eyebrows.
Harry looks over at Draco, who’s studying the hands that are clasped in his lap.
“You’re just saying that because you don’t have anybody,” Theo taunts. Zabini gives him a look, cocking an eyebrow. He then raises his chin up in determination.
“I could easily get anyone I wanted,” he answers. “But I don’t need anyone.”
“Ouch, thanks. You could’ve told me you didn’t want me as your friend.”
Zabini rolls his eyes.
The circle falls silent again. But it’s not an awkward silence; it’s more comforting than that. Hermione rests her head on Ron’s shoulder. Harry looks over at Draco, who’s gaze darts away as soon as he looks. Harry smiles to himself, wondering why Draco is acting so shy all of a sudden. Ever so slowly, Harry’s fingers inch towards Draco’s. He grasps his hand and gives it a gentle squeeze. Draco’s hand is motionless for moment, before Harry feels him softly squeeze back.
Theo is marvelling at the stars, soon lying on his back to study them.
Harry thinks about what Theo had said. About sunsets and rises. About gained responsibilities and hope for a better tomorrow. Harry realizes that what Theo had been really trying to say is that it’s okay to mess up; that you should never lose hope. Take chances, enjoy yourself. But never abandon your friends or family, the ones you care about most, because you feel like you didn’t meet your own standards or intentions. It’s just life.
And as Harry looks at Draco, he begins to understand why.
△ △ △
The group begins to pack up, yawning and muttering complaints and promises of a next time, heading back to Hogwarts. Zabini takes the lead, which he always seems to do. Parkinson is drunkenly slouching into Hermione’s arm as they walk together, Ron firmly holding Hermione’s hand, gently swinging their joined arms back and forth. Theo gets up with a sigh, stretching out his long legs (all Slytherins seem to be taller than Harry and it’s unfair), and yawning.
“You…” Theo starts then gets interrupted with his own yawn. “Guys coming?”
“Yeah,” Draco says, immediately standing up and starting to follow Theo. Harry stands up as well, his heart starting to beat a mile a minute. He has to talk to Draco. To figure out what they are, what they’re doing. Harry doesn’t just want to forget this ever happened between them.
“Draco, wait,” he says and the pale boy stops. He turns around to look at Harry. There is worry in his eyes and Harry wonders if Draco is unconvinced that he feels the same way. “Can we talk?” Draco nods then clears his throat.
“Yeah, Harry, of course.”
“Um…” Harry trails off then takes a step toward him. Draco glances up at Harry, but continues to look at his feet. Gingerly, Harry takes Draco’s hand within his own, softly rubbing his thumb along Draco’s smooth skin. “What is this? What are we?”
Draco swallows then answers in a whisper, “I don’t know. What do you want to be?”
Harry cups Draco’s face in his hands and those silvery eyes meet Harry’s. He seems to be trembling underneath Harry’s fingertips.
“This,” he whispers back, caressing Draco’s cheek.
Harry had intended to talk; he really did. But it doesn’t help when Draco’s beauty is illuminated by the moonlight, causing Harry to go speechless and run out of things to say.
“Do you mean it?” Harry can barely hear the soft tone escape Draco’s lips. He raises his eyebrows.
“Of course I do. Why wouldn’t I?”
Draco casts his eyes to the side.
“... I don’t know.” Harry sighs.
“Draco, if I didn’t want this, why would I be talking to you now?”
“Because you feel like you have to.”
Harry leans forward to rest his forehead against Draco’s. Draco closes his eyes.
“I feel like I have to tell you that I feel the same way about you.”
Draco opens his eyes in surprise. Harry leans away from Draco and rubs his thumb across Draco’s bottom lip, causing his lips to slightly part. Butterflies erupts in Harry’s stomach. A blush forms along Draco’s cheekbones.
Harry gently grabs Draco's chin. Draco gasps softly.
And then Harry closes the distance between them.
The end <3
I hope you guys enjoyed the story, even though I'm not so sure about it aha.
Thank you so much for reading !!