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A Weather Of The Eye

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"Ron? Has Harry come back yet?"

"Hm? No, he said he lost that lucky clover Seamus gave him in the match. A little daft to look for it in the field if you ask me, but." A shrug. "Why?"

"Because I just saw Malfoy sneaking back that way."

"What?"

"Come on, we'd better make sure Harry's all right."

"You're sure he was going this way?"

"Yes, of course I'm sure."

"I don't see either of them anywhere, Hermione. If that bastard's hurt Harry, I swear--"

"You don't suppose Harry would let Malfoy lure him into the woods, do you?"

"Come on, Hermione, Malfoy probably jumped him from behind or something. You know he wouldn't have the nerve to face Harry in any kind of a fair fight."

"Well, then they have to be somewhere around here--"

"Unless Malfoy apparated them away."

"He's not licensed yet!"

"Like that would stop him? For all we know, he's handing Harry over to Voldemort right now! Damn it, why did I let him come back here alone? I should've expected Malfoy to be looking for a chance like this--"

"Stop it! It's too soon to panic. Look, we haven't even checked the bleachers--you look at the ones over there, I'll check these."

"Right."

"What was -- Ron! Ron, I heard a groan! Harry? Harry, is that you?"

#

"Please tell me that's not Granger."

"Oh hell. Quick, we've got to--"

Running footsteps. "Harry--" Shocked silence.

Dryly, "Too late."

"Hermione, is he all...right..." More shocked silence.

"In case you two hadn't noticed, we're rather in the middle of something here. Do you mind?"

"Malfoy, you sick bastard! What did you do, put an Amanthus charm on him or something?"

"I don't find it necessary to spell people into my bed, Weasley, unlike--ow!"

"Stop being a jerk on reflex."

"He started it!"

A faint voice, "I think I'm going to wait out front."

"At least one of you has a brain--ow!"

"Ron, would you, um, please--I'll be out in a minute."

Grimly, "If you aren't, I'll come back and wring that bastard's neck for him."

"The perfect ending to a perfect day." Rustle of clothing. "Well, this was nice while it lasted, Potter. See you around."

"What? Where are you going?"

"Pardon me for not staying around so Weasley can have the fun of defending your outraged honor. Besides, you can tell them whatever you like more easily if I'm not there."

Quietly, "All I'm going to tell them is the truth."

"What, that I blackmailed you into bed three weeks ago and have been screwing you daily and twice on Sundays since then? Yes, that should do quite nicely."

"Will you stop it? I'm going to tell them that we're...seeing each other."

"That's a new word for it."

"I'm going to hit you again. Why can't you let this be--"

"--something it's not?"

"Something it is. Draco--"

"Right. And when your precious Ron and Hermione tell you they won't have anything to do with you until you drop me?"

"They wouldn't do that."

"No?"

"No. And if they did, I'd tell them to go to hell."

Bitter laughter. "Then you're a fool. It's more than I'd do for you."

"You'd drop me if Crabbe or Goyle found out?"

"Yes, you idiot. If they found out, my father would know inside a day. I don't fancy being disowned."

"Your father's a Death-Eater. If you're really planning to be on his side, you're going to have to be ready to kill me, not just dump me."

Silence.

Softly, "Well? Are you ready to do that?"

Silence.

"That's what I thought."

"Go to hell--mmmph..."

"Mmm."

Steps approaching, soft on the grass. "Right, Malfoy, that's it--ack."

A sigh. "Ron, you have awful timing, d'you know that?"

"Harry, you're kissing him. You're kissing him!"

"He's my boyfriend."

"He is?"

"I am?"

"Yes, you are! No, no arguing!"

"I don't get a say in this?"

"No, you don't."

"Fine. But if you're expecting flowers and chocolate, you can give up right now."

"Oh really? What about that edible paint you got last week--"

A strangled noise of protest.

"Er, sorry, Ron."

"You're both under some kind of spell, aren't you? Hermione! Get over here and help me!"

Yelled, "Are they dressed?"

"Yes!"

"Potter, I don't care if he is your best friend, I'm going to kill him in a minute."

Muttered, "Get in line. Ron, we're not under a spell! We're. Um. We're in love."

"We are not!"

"Shut up, Draco, we are so."

"I think I'd know, don't you?"

"You do know, you're just scared to admit it."

"When you've finished deciding my emotional state, do feel free to let me know."

"I will."

A small voice. "Harry--him?"

"He's really not a bastard, Hermione. He just tries to act like one."

"He does a bloody good job of it, too."

"Quiet, Ron. Harry, I--I'm not even going to pretend I have any idea what you see in him, but--if you're sure--"

Horrified, "Hermione! You can't be serious! This is Malfoy we're talking about here."

"Yes, don't let the fact I'm standing right in front of you have any impact on your conversation, Weasley."

"Ron, I know what I'm doing."

"No, Harry, you don't! I don't care how you feel about him, he's just using you -- probably getting his rocks off planning how to hurt you."

"Actually, I'm just in it for the sex--ow! Harry!"

"You're not helping!"

"Neither is he, and you're not hitting him!"

"He's further away than you are."

"Go stand next to him, then!"

Weakly, "I'm starting to think you two really are in love."

"Wonderful, now Granger's an expert on my feelings too."

"Harry, please, you can't be serious about this. You can't!"

Quietly, "I really am, Ron."

"I can't believe you. After everything he's done? No--no! I don't want to hear you defend him to me. It would make me even sicker to my stomach than I already am."

"Ron--"

"Hermione, if you're crazy enough to give him another chance, go ahead. When the two of you come to your senses, you know where to find me."

"Harry--I'm going to go after him." A pause. "I hope you're not making a mistake."

"I'm not, Hermione."

Footsteps leaving.

"Famous last words."

"Shut up, Draco."

A sigh. "Well, that was a mood-killer. I think I'll head back now."

"Draco--"

"You can't really want to after that little scene."

"I just--could you--hold me?"

Silence. "Why not? I'm doomed already."

Shifting fabric and a quiet sigh, then another.

"It'll work out."

"No, Harry, it won't. My father will find out eventually, and if by some miracle of restraint he doesn't kill me, he'll throw me out of the house."

"If he loves you--"

"Now what gives you that idea?"

"What?"

"He doesn't give a damn about me. I lost my illusions on that score some time ago."

"Then what do you care what he thinks?"

"What the hell would I do if he threw me out?"

"Live, like anybody else! Is being rich that important to you?"

A bitter laugh. "That's easy for you to say, I suppose. You're the golden boy of half the wizarding world. Do you really imagine that anyone would give me a job? The ones who are afraid of my father wouldn't dare, and everyone who isn't hates me."

"We-we'd work something out."

"Is that an invitation to become your kept lover? No, thank you."

"We could move to the States. No one would care about your father there."

Sarcastically, "We? You're proposing to move across the ocean to be with me?"

"I'm not losing you. I don't care what I have to do."

"You're a romantic idiot. We're not even out of school yet. You'll get tired of this before graduation."

"I'll get tired? Not you?"

"I meant us both."

"Right. Look, Draco, I know how I feel. I've had crushes before, and this isn't one. I'm not going to get tired of it."

A sigh. "Of course not."

"Is it so hard for you to believe I might actually be in love with you?"

"What's not to love? Aside from the dubious character, the ties to Dark wizards who want to kill you, the vicious streak, the--"

"Just stop it! I love you, okay? And you're not evil in the least -- sorry if that ruins your self-image."

"Fine! Delude yourself if you want to, but leave me out of it!"

"Can't you say it? It's just three words."

"Damn you! What are you trying to do to me? My family, my home, my friends--isn't that enough? Do you have to take--everything?"

Bewildered, "Draco, what are you talking about? I don't want to take anything--"

"The hell you don't! The person I am can't be with you. Not--not like this. You're asking me to be someone else. And when I've finished rewriting my life to suit you, what the hell am I supposed to do when you do leave?"

Silence. Whispered, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean--"

More silence, then a deep breath. "No, of course not. Never mind, it's none of your affair. I'm behaving like a child. I can walk away if I don't want it to happen."

"No--Draco--"

"I need to get back. It's been too long, I'll be missed."

"Wait--Draco--"

"I'll see you tomorrow."

"...oh hell."