The Spy Who Loved The Boy Who Lived
“Master, it is done.”
Voldemort’s red eyes swiveled to look at the speaker. The gathered Death Eaters quailed beneath his malevolent and inhuman stare.
“Good,” he whispered. “Show me.”
They dragged their captive forward eagerly. Obviously weak, the cowled figure moved with the jerky motions of one who was under the Imperius Curse. The person could only stand because of the support of the two masked goons who bracketed him. One of them pulled back the hood that covered the victim’s face.
“Excellent,” he hissed. “You know your job, child?”
A vicious prod from one of the guards resulted in a groan and a defeated nod.
“Good. You are perfect for my purpossse. A pureblooded ssspy to help me defeat my enemies. This wasss a plan worthy of a Malfoy.”
A figure that had been shrouded in shadow to the right of the creature bowed.
“Now. You shall return to the shadows and when I have need of you, you will remember, child,” Voldemort whispered. “You shall bring me Harry Potter! Until then, forget thisss. Obliviatus Partialus!”
The cowled figure staggered for a moment and then straightened, appearing confused.
“Go now,” Voldemort said, with a dismissive wave of a clawed hand.
The mystery spy, face again concealed, was hauled out of the room and the ceremony continued, none of the participants seeing the hidden observer who was watching the proceedings with growing horror.
Harry watched as the new first-years were sorted into their houses. He and the other house prefects stood ready to escort them to their house tables and then to the dorms. He glanced over at the Slytherin table for about the twentieth time. Yes, his nemesis was still oddly missing.
Draco Malfoy had been named Head Boy, much to Ron’s chagrin. The Slytherin had thrown a huge party at the end of last year to celebrate. Harry knew it was a source of pride for him, which made it doubly suspicious that he was not present.
Harry wondered if it had anything to do with Voldemort. Maybe he should be on the outlook for the Dark Mark on the blond’s arm? He really hated to think that way, but Malfoy gave him little choice.
Glancing down the table, his eyes locked with Hermione’s and she smiled. Harry smiled back and then glanced at the empty spot where Ron should have been sitting. She followed his gaze and then shrugged. She obviously didn’t know where the third member of the Gryffindor Dream Team was either. It was unusual for Ron to be late to anything involving a meal, although Ginny was also missing, making it likely that this was a family issue rather than anything more sinister.
Fortunately, at least Ron claimed it was fortunate, Ron was not a prefect this year and did not have to be present for the Sorting Ceremony. He had spent the previous year and a half telling Harry and Hermione how he wanted to have fun his final year at Hogwarts, and remaining a prefect did not fit into those plans. His parents had not been happy, but Ron had opted to give up the position his last year, and Dumbledore had reluctantly allowed it.
As “Zabini, Elena” was sorted into Slytherin and walked sedately over to join her brother and his friends, the door opened and Draco walked in.
Harry’s eyebrows shot up. Draco looked amazing. He had grown taller over the summer, filled out nicely, and several girls (and not too few boys) stared at him dreamily as he glided over to the Slytherin table and sat down between Parkinson and Blaise Zabini. He inspected the new Slytherin first-years and didn’t seem surprised at any of the faces.
They’re probably all old family friends, Harry thought cynically. Almost as if he’d heard the thought, the Slytherin looked up and across the room, straight into Harry’s eyes.
The two young men held the gaze for a long moment, and then they both looked away. Harry was oddly shaken. Usually his staring matches with Malfoy had some level of malevolence to them, but not this time. This time the other man had simply looked at him inquiringly, as if truly seeing him for the first time.
Harry sighed to himself. It had taken a lot of introspection to sort through his confused emotions in his sixth year but, with some help from Fred and George Weasley, he had finally come to the conclusion that he was gay. With that realization, the world had seemed to open up. And, it explained his strange fascination with Oliver Wood during his first year at Hogwarts.
But Wood was gone, and now Harry had a new obsession. Harry glanced at Draco again. Merlin, why does he have to be so damned hot? he thought. Figures that my mortal enemy is the one who makes my body sit up and take notice. I wonder what Malfoy would think if he knew he starred in my wet dreams...
The sound of laughter broke the spell, and made Harry look up to the professors’ table. As Dumbledore concluded his welcome speech with the usual warnings, “... Forbidden Forest... die a horrible death... bla bla bla...” as Harry characterized it, the summer night sky twinkled to life on the ceiling to the “oohs and ahhs” of the first-years, and the feast began.
Harry looked over his new Gryffindors. They were a boisterous lot, and they would fit right in. He grinned as a mini food fight broke out at the end of the table. It looked like they had a new set of mischievous twins on their hands.
He glanced at Hermione, who was rolling her eyes and trying not to laugh at their antics.
When the feast was over, Dumbledore made several additional announcements, including identifying the Head Boy and Girl for all the first-years. Hermione smiled serenely and stood on introduction. Draco stood and waved majestically amid the loud cheers of his house.
Professor McGonagall came over to welcome her new Gryffindors, and as she was speaking, Harry looked up to see Ron and Ginny walking into the Hall. He waved happily and answered Ron’s grin with a big one of his own.
“Hey, Harry! I’m just gonna grab some food before it all disappears,” Ron said and started to make himself a plate. Harry shook his head. Still the same old Ron.
As the feast drew to a close, the prefects prepared to escort their new first year members to the dorms. Harry got ready to leave the Hall, and as he started guiding the younger students towards the staircases, Harry felt eyes on him. He looked over his shoulder to see Draco, Blaise and Pansy all staring intently at him. When they saw him looking back, the unholy trio turned as one and exited the room, ushering students before them.
Wonder what they’re up to now? Harry thought, and then the moment was lost as Ron clapped him on the shoulder and started chatting.
“How was your summer, mate?” he asked, mouth still full of pudding.
Harry shrugged. He’d been stuck at the Dursleys again, as he was every summer, although this one had actually been tolerable. They had pretty much left him to his own devices, even going as far as to take a holiday out of the country for a couple of weeks. Harry had had the entire house to himself then, and he and Hedwig had taken advantage of the freedom.
As he filled Ron in, he noticed that his friend didn’t say much about his own summer break. Harry didn’t pry, figuring it might have been a bit harried with members of Ron’s large family popping in and out at whim.
It was still relatively early by the time the Gryffindor prefects had gotten all the first-years tucked into bed satisfactorily.
“What do you want to do now, guys?” Hermione asked. “I have an hour before I have to show up at the Headmaster’s office to go over Head Girl duties. How about a quick game of Exploding Snap?”
They all nodded enthusiastically and set the game up in the Gryffindor common room. Soon the cheerful sound of an intense Snap game could be heard ringing through the Gryffindor dorms. Harry forgot all about the odd Slytherin behavior from before.
Ron, Hermione and Harry walked into Double Advanced Potions with some trepidation. They were greeted with the sight of Malfoy, Zabini and Parkinson, leaning over Professor Snape’s desk, talking to him in furious whispers.
All four pairs of eyes turned immediately towards the Gryffindor group, and the Slytherins scattered, the seventh-years all going to their seats, Snape standing to start the class.
“What was that about?” Harry whispered to Hermione. She shrugged, as puzzled as he was.
“Another Slytherin plot, probably,” Ron muttered darkly.
“Ten points from Gryffindor for disrupting the class, Mr. Weasley,” Snape said with a sneer. Ron’s mouth snapped shut.
“You will need to be careful what you do and say this year,” the professor continued, glaring at all the Gryffindors. “I had to be persuaded to accept most of you into my class. One infraction and you will be summarily dismissed.” Snape smiled nastily as if looking forward to that day.
Ron paled. He needed this class to qualify for Auror training, and he’d been counting on Hermione and Harry to help him to survive it.
“Today we shall be making Veritaserum,” Snape continued, turning away after one last malevolent look at Ron. “This is a difficult potion, and I would recommend complete attention to your methods. Pick up your ingredients list from my desk.”
Snape prowled around the room as he continued his lecture. “You shall test your potion on a partner when it has been completed. Granger and Parkinson, Zabini and Weasley, Potter and Malfoy. Proceed.”
The students collected their supplies and silently set to work. Harry brought all his supplies over to Malfoy’s desk and set them up, and then worked slowly and methodically to make the potion. Over the years, Harry had discovered that if he emptied his mind and concentrated solely on the task at hand, he could manage to make a reasonable facsimile of the intended potion. Not that Snape had ever acknowledged his improvement, but at least he had stopped losing house points for his efforts.
Silence reigned in the class as Snape stalked back and forth, checking each team’s progress.
Harry and Draco worked side by side with a minimum of problems. Harry hadn’t had high hopes that the Slytherin wouldn’t try to sabotage him, but Malfoy was surprisingly easy to work with. Apparently, Potions was important to him, and he took the subject seriously.
When their potions were finally inspected, Harry escaped relatively unscathed, but Ron was not so lucky. Blaise flat out refused to taste the redhead’s potion, which was a sickening green, and looked nothing like the colorless liquid the rest of them had produced. After sniffing it and inspecting it, Snape agreed with that decision. He gave Ron detention after relieving him of twenty five points for Gryffindor.
When Harry finally took Draco’s potion, it tasted vaguely like peppermint.
No one seemed to be too adversely affected by anyone else's potion, although Parkinson did make a fuss at having to take Hermione’s. Blaise took his own, much to his smug satisfaction.
Ron had been shuttled into another room to redo his potion while the rest of the class was given their next assignment.
“The next potion requires two people working simultaneously to make it,” Snape announced. “The Dreamless Sleep Potion requires exacting methods and two pairs of hands. Decide who is doing what before you start the preparations. You shall pair up in the groups that I previously indicated. I shall work with Mr. Zabini.”
Snape’s eyes glittered, and Harry wondered what was coming.
“Remember. You have now all taken truth serum. This might be a good time to get to know your Potions partner better.” The man smiled and Harry thought he almost looked pleased with himself.
Harry got a speculative look on his face. This might also be the perfect time to do some investigating.
They divided the tasks equally and set to work. Draco was chopping up the echinacea root when Harry started his questioning. He figured, why be coy? He would just ask what was on his mind.
“So, what were you three discussing with Snape when we came in earlier?”
Draco looked up from his task with a raised eyebrow. He seemed to be debating with himself about whether or not he should answer, then he finally spoke.
He actually answered, Harry thought, amazed.
“What about me?” he continued, when it became obvious that Draco wasn’t going to volunteer any more information.
Draco shrugged, and started to crush the amber pebbles.
“Why is it so important to you, Potter?” Draco finally asked, pouring the crushed stones into their shared cauldron.
Harry rolled his eyes. “Because I’d like to know if you junior Death Eaters have an actual plot against me, or if it’s just the usual Slytherin shenanigans,” he said.
“Like I would tell you?” Draco retorted.
“You have to tell me. You just took truth serum,” Harry said.
Draco smiled. “I just took your truth serum,” he clarified. “For all you know, you did it wrong, and I could be lying to you right now.”
“I did not make it wrong!” Harry whispered furiously.
Draco smirked. “Fine. Then what we were discussing was how to warn you about the latest plot the Dark Lord has come up with. And believe it or not, none of us are junior Death Eaters.”
As Harry stared open-mouthed at the other man, Snape stalked up to their table. “If you do not assist with that potion, Mr. Potter, it will not be made successfully, and I shall award Mr. Malfoy full points and you none. Get to work!”
Harry jumped and started chopping up the gnats.
As Snape strode away and went back to Zabini’s table, Harry turned to Draco once more. “You don’t expect me to believe that?” he said quietly, as he measured the next ingredient.
Draco shrugged again. “What you have to ask yourself, Potter, is how well do you trust your potion making abilities? If you believe that you made the truth serum correctly, then I have to be telling you the truth. And if that’s so, can you afford to ignore what I just told you?”
Harry pursed his lips. He knew he had made the potion to the exact directions, and it had looked and smelled exactly like Draco’s potion. Snape had not commented when he had turned in his vial, and he was sure that the professor would have said something if it had not been correct.
“All right. Let’s say I believe you,” Harry said finally. “Why would you care? And why would you want to warn me?”
Draco smiled, but kept looking at the cauldron and stirring. “You think we all want to follow some insane old wizard who wants to take the Wizarding world back to the Middle Ages, Harry?”
Harry was surprised to hear his first name fall so naturally from Draco’s lips.
The Slytherin continued. “I might be pureblood, but I like the modern conveniences as much as the next bloke. And honestly? I couldn’t care less if someone’s Muggle-born or not.” He grimaced. “I know enough purebloods who can’t think their way out of a paper bag, and I know plenty of Muggle-borns who would be an asset to any family.”
Molten silver eyes rose to meet his. “And frankly, having met the Dark Lord, and having met you, my Slytherin winning instincts say, go with you.” Glancing back at the cauldron, Draco said, “Hand me the crushed dragon wing, will you?”
Harry handed it over and took over the stirring as Draco intoned the spell over the bubbling mixture.
“I... I honestly don’t know what to say,” Harry finally said, as Draco set the timer.
Draco shook his head. “You don’t have to say anything. What you have to decide is, do you trust your truth serum? If you do, then you know that I have to be telling the truth. And, if you want to hear about what’s being planned, then we’ll need to agree to cooperate.”
Harry nodded. True enough. He glanced over towards Hermione who was, oddly enough, in a deep, whispered conversation with Pansy. Then he glanced at Snape who was watching them with a look of satisfaction in his eyes.
“Did Snape plan this?” Harry blurted.
“Plan what?” Draco asked, decanting the potion carefully after the required amount of time had passed.
“Plan this whole ‘truth serum confession’ thing,” Harry said, holding the vial while Draco poured.
Draco smiled again. “Who confessed to anything, Harry?” he asked.
The blond smirked at the frustrated sound that came from Harry’s throat. “Maybe he did,” Draco said, relenting. “Maybe he figured that this was the perfect opportunity for us to finally talk. But does it matter if he did plan it? It worked, and now you know that there are some Slytherins on your side.”
Harry shook his head. He had a lot to think about.
“I have one question for you, Harry,” Draco said after a long pause.
“Are you and Granger dating?”
Harry gaped at the other man. “Wha... Not that it’s any of your business, but no, we’re not. Why?”
Draco shrugged. “Just wondered,” he said casually. “I guess the coast is clear then.”
Harry’s mouth fell open. Draco Malfoy was interested in Muggle-born Hermione Granger? That was just... not fair, Harry decided. Here Draco was, so hot that he made Harry’s teeth ache, and he wanted Hermione?
“Ron will kill you!” Harry warned, as Draco packed up his stuff.
Draco’s amused glance fell on Harry’s face.
“You mean you’re dating Weasley?” he finally asked.
“What? No!” Harry squealed. Wait? Did that mean that Draco was interested in him?
Draco leaned close as Harry’s confused mind struggled to put the facts together. And does he have to smell so good? Harry thought helplessly.
“Granger is not my type, Harry,” Draco said softly, his breath teasing the Gryffindor’s ear. “You are. Am I your type?”
Harry really wanted to say no, but the Veritaserum wouldn’t allow it. “I... um...”
Draco winked and smiled. “No need to answer,” he said. “I think I know already.” The blond walked away whistling as Harry stared after him.