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Run, Devil, Run

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Disclaimer: This piece of fiction is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made, no copyright or trademark infringement, or offense is intended. All characters depicted in sexual situations are above the age of consent.

A/N: For Not Hardly, whose candid reviews made me laugh and who gave me the fantastic prompt for this story. I kind of merged the two that she gave me, but I won’t give anything else away! A bit angstier and darker than Grasser, but it’ll definitely have some humor in it as well. Named for a Ke$ha song that a South Korean girl group has re-recorded that I can't get out of my head, I'm ashamed to say... Enjoy! Readers and reviews are, as always, greatly loved and appreciated.

~*~

It was a terrible day for anyone who happened across the likes of Draco Malfoy. The sun was shining, a light summer breeze swept through the castle, the students of Hogwarts were fast approaching exams, and Draco Malfoy was in a blind rage that left even his closest friends terrified for their safety. It had been gaining steam for some time now; first he’d taken a ridiculous number of points from Gryffindors for things like “being ginger” or “breathing,” then he’d turned on the other Houses, hexing indiscriminately to the point where even Slytherins refused to join his crusade. When Draco Malfoy was happy, everyone was happy (the Slytherins were, at any rate). But when Draco Malfoy was in a foul mood, everyone knew it.

“Blimey, the fuck’s his problem?” Seamus exclaimed as he and the rest of the fifth-year Gryffindors left the Charms classroom to find an irate Malfoy terrorizing a first-year girl into hysterics. Apparently she’d dropped an ink bottle that had smashed and soiled the hem of his robes. Catching sight of Harry glaring at him across the hall, Malfoy snarled.

“All right there, Scarhead?” he growled, clenching his wand so hard that his knuckles whitened.

“As a matter of fact, Malfoy, I’m not,” Harry shot back, glowering. Hermione rushed over to console the weeping girl, whom Malfoy had apparently entirely forgotten about as soon as he’d caught sight of Harry. “Whatever your problem is, you need to get it sorted. You can’t just go around traumatizing whoever you feel like just because someone shoved your Nimbus up your arse.” Mutterings around them grew in the hallway until they were surrounded by a dull buzz and Professor Flitwick came out of the classroom, possibly to see what was causing the commotion.

“Mr. Potter? Mr. Malfoy? Is there a problem?” he blustered, looking so thoroughly uncomfortable about mediating an argument that his face burned crimson.

“No, Professor,” Harry replied shortly, watching Malfoy turn and walk away in a swirl of robes. He wasn’t fool enough to pick a fight in front of a professor, but Harry got the feeling that whatever was going on, it wasn’t about him personally. He, Ron, and Hermione set off for Gryffindor Tower, where they had a free period scheduled for studying.

“Gone completely mental, hasn’t he?” Ron asked, looking incredulous. “I thought that first-year would have to be shipped off to St. Mungo’s, she was in a right state!”

Hermione looked uncomfortable. “Even for Malfoy that was nasty; do you suppose it was more than just the stress of exams?”

“I don’t know, and I don’t care,” Harry said flatly, stopping in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady, whose mouth was full even as she engaged in a conversation with her friend Violet. She was gesturing wildly, knocking her wineglass from the table, and fell beneath the painting’s frame in a fit of giggles with her feet in the air, surrounded by voluminous skirts. “Pumpernickel pasty.” The portrait swung forward to admit him as she toasted him, the rest of her body still hidden from view as Violet cackled.

The common room was full of students muttering to themselves and grimly poring over reference books. There were small plates of food everywhere from students who hadn’t even left the room for meals, and a small first-year girl was muttering to herself with wide eyes, swishing and flicking her wand as though her life depended on it.

“Oi, Hermione, can I get those notes from Binns’ lecture on the Mermaid Massacres from you again?” Ron asked, giving her what he must have thought was a jaunty, winning smile.

No, Ronald, when are you going to learn to pay attention?” Hermione asked looking quite exasperated, though they each knew she’d end up giving in.

“It’s not my fault I’m not as clever as you, and you’re so much better at summarizing things than I am, and I’ve got the penmanship of a troll, and—”

“Oh, save it,” Hermione said sharply, though she couldn’t hide a small smile as she rummaged through her bag for the necessary pages. Ron thanked her profusely the entire time until a seventh-year from a nearby table told him that she’d shove the notes somewhere he’d never be able to read them if he didn’t shut his face, at which point he went silent, his face burning.

Harry left them and hurried up the staircase to his dormitory to take a quick nap, though he knew he’d regret not studying for his Potions essay later ("the Elixir of Morality is effective yet still highly dangerous under certain conditions—discuss"). He opened his curtains to slide into bed and yelled in surprise when he landed on top of something that was already sitting in it.

“Harry Potter must not be angry with Draco Malfoy,” Dobby whispered anxiously, clutching what Harry recognized as the filthy black sock with which he’d been set free from the Malfoy family. Memories returned to him; memories of Dobby lamenting how the Malfoy family ordered him to carry out extra punishments or had otherwise treated him horribly.

Harry blinked. It took him a moment to register what Dobby was talking about, since Malfoy was more often a bastard than not, but he remembered their exchange earlier that day with renewed annoyance. “What do you mean, I shouldn’t be angry with him? He’s been a prick to me for nearly five years, now he’s gone round the bend terrifying anyone he can get his hands on. I’ll say whatever I like to him, thanks.”

“Dobby is knowing things about Draco Malfoy,” the house-elf said mournfully, bowing his head. The tone of his voice was hushed, as though afraid he’d be overheard, and his eyes kept darting back and forth across the room while he wrung the sock ever tighter. “Bad things. Draco Malfoy is… Is wanting to stay at Hogwarts.

Blinking again and trying to understand how this was in any way his problem, Harry rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand. Apparently he wasn’t going to get a nap after all. Bollocks. “Is that supposed to mean something to me?”

Dobby’s mouth fell open as though Harry had committed some grievous personal wrong, his bulbous eyes filling with tears. “But Harry Potter is the most brave, the most noble! Dobby’s old masters are bad Dark wizards, Draco Malfoy is not a bad Dark wizard, and he is not wanting his family now, sir! And Master Draco is liking—” Dobby stopped dead in the middle of the sentence, looking horrified as his eyes searched the room. It was unclear whether he was more upset over his usage of Malfoy’s old title or whatever he’d been about to say, but he went wild. Without warning he grabbed the lamp from Harry’s bedside table and began beating himself over the head with it, yelling, “BAD DOBBY! BAD DOBBY!

“Stop it, Dobby!” Harry shouted, wrestling the lamp away from him. Dobby bowed in a lop-sided fashion, his eyes going cross-eyed.

“Dobby thanks Harry Potter, sir, for his great kindness. Dobby almost told Draco Malfoy’s secrets, sir,” Dobby said dazedly, and Harry’s eyebrows drew together.

“What secrets? What’s he hiding? Is it about Vol—” One of Dobby’s eyes twitched violently. “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, then?” Harry asked, rolling his eyes. Dobby craned his neck as the sound of footsteps began beating their way up the stairs and disappeared with a CRACK! when Seamus entered the room before Harry could ask anything else. It was quite possibly the most bewildering exchange he’d experienced with Dobby yet, and that was saying something.

“Talkin’ to yerself, Harry?” he asked good-naturedly, dumping his books on his bed before shrugging off his robes in preparation for the nap that it looked as though Harry had to deny himself. “Careful now, or yeh’ll end up in a wing in St. Mungo’s wit' Malfoy!”

Perhaps, Harry thought to himself, mulling over his next course of action, that wasn’t entirely out of the question. It was times like these when his “saving-people-thing,” as Hermione had once called it, was downright maddening.

~*~

The next day found Malfoy in a much better mood; indeed, he was back to laughing with his clearly relieved friends at the table the next morning at breakfast, and Harry snuck glances at him in-between bites of egg. There was no obvious explanation for this switch in demeanor, and the one time he managed to catch Malfoy’s eye he was treated to a display of one of Malfoy’s more prominent fingers. Malfoy’s expression soon turned to one of inexplicable fear as an owl emblazoned with the Malfoy crest flew to his table carrying a thin letter and dropped it at his plate before swooping off.

With trembling fingers Malfoy slit open the envelope, oblivious to his happily chattering housemates, and read the letter enclosed within it. With each passing second his face lost color and only Pansy Parkinson seemed to have noticed; she whispered to him in undertones but he shook his head and got up from the table, waving her off.

“Harry, it’s none of your business,” Hermione murmured, casting a knowing glance at him. She sighed when he excused himself from the table to follow Malfoy; he couldn’t have gone far, he’d only just left, but Harry didn’t see him in the Entrance Hall. Echoing footsteps from a nearby corridor told him that Malfoy had decided to return to the dungeons; he pulled his Invisibility Cloak over his head—he’d taken to carrying it everywhere since Malfoy had begun acting oddly—and followed him in quick pursuit.

Basilisk fangs,” Malfoy hissed at the wall Harry recognized from his second year, and the wall opened to form the passage to the Slytherin common room. The wall began closing as Malfoy’s footsteps died away and he hurried to slip inside before it closed. The Invisibility Cloak didn’t catch in the wall but it was a near miss, and he fell over whilst trying to regain his balance. Once in the common room he made the familiar trek once more to the Slytherin boys’ dormitory, where Malfoy was sitting at the edge of his bed with his head in his hands.

Without saying anything, Harry tried to creep towards one of the other beds, but a high-pitched whistling noise filled the air as a Secrecy Sensor on Malfoy’s nightstand began vibrating wildly. Malfoy immediately jumped up, wand in hand, and shouted, “Who’s there?” Harry attempted to stay silent but jumped and swore when Malfoy cast a curse that shattered one of the lamps near him. “Potter? How the fuck did you get in here? I could have you expelled, you arsehole!”

Harry cautiously removed the cloak and faced Malfoy, his wand out at well. Malfoy’s eyes widened when Harry stowed the cloak under his robes, as though mentally piecing together how exactly Harry had gotten away with half of the things he’d gotten away with. “Listen, Malfoy, I just—”

“You just what? You just followed me like a tit and invaded my privacy, not to mention your infiltration of my dormitory? Wait until I tell Professor Snape—”

“Go on and tell him then, there’s fuck all he can do,” Harry shot back, trying to hide how unnerved he felt. In truth Malfoy was absolutely right, he was bang out of order and could very well be expelled for it. He didn’t even have any evidence of wrongdoing; Malfoy had just left breakfast… Could’ve been going to use the toilet, for all he knew… Merlin, he really hadn’t thought this one out. But Harry had never been one to back down, and this was no exception.

“Oh yes, I forgot, you’ve got your precious Dumbledore lapping at your arsehole. That Mudblood-lover was the worst thing to ever happen to this school, and now he’s fighting all of the famous Potter’s battles for him. Prince Potter, Ponce Potter, Perfect fucking Potter, can’t even tie his fucking shoes without ten wizards bending over to do it for him,” Malfoy snarled, spitting out parodies of Harry’s name with a vengeful spite he hadn’t yet encountered from Malfoy. In fact, Malfoy seemed to have forgotten all about telling Professor Snape anything, so intent was he on insulting the object of his scorn. “Even your fucking parents—”

“You shut your fat mouth about my parents!” Harry roared, pulling his wand hand back in preparation to cast a curse. “You’ve got no idea what it’s like—”

I have no idea? Your problems are nothing more than the superficial moans of a teenage girl compared to what I’m facing this summer! At least you’ve got somewhere to go home to, I can’t go back! I can’t even—” Malfoy shouted, and stopped suddenly, his face going white. “Just… Just leave me alone, Potter!”

“Why can’t you go home, then? Have your house-elves gone on strike? Hermione would love to hear that,” Harry said, laughing mirthlessly. If he’d been paying closer attention he might have noticed the wet sheen to Malfoy’s eyes but at this point he didn’t care, not after the attitude Malfoy had been subjecting everyone to for weeks. “You’re spoiled, you’re nothing but an arrogant, rich—”

“Shut up!” Malfoy cried, his typically composed face tight and pink with fury. “Just shut your mouth! You think it’s so easy being me? Do you?

Harry was stunned for a moment by this argument. How could it not be easy being Malfoy? He had the best of everything, he had both of his parents—granted, his father was a bastard, but his mother didn’t seem so terrible—Snape didn’t live to see him unhappy, he had friends… What could possibly be so difficult about Malfoy’s life? “Yeah, yeah I do!”

“Why don’t you find out then, with all that Gryffindor bravery of yours?” Malfoy spat, his eyes glittering dangerously. He turned his back on Harry to walk quickly to his wardrobe. A murmured series of Unlocking Charms opened the doors which revealed a cavernous inner compartment, housing three large cauldrons which stood perched inside, their contents bubbling and giving off wisps of steam.

“What—… What are those?” Harry asked nervously, and Malfoy shot him a feral grin.

“You only need to worry about this one,” he said softly, gesturing to the largest of the three. It sat in the middle with contents like mud, bubbling gently, and Harry knew it on sight.

“That’s Polyjuice Potion,” he said in a strangled voice. Suddenly he felt very unsure of his footing. What exactly was Malfoy suggesting? That they trade places? Certainly not.

“Take ten points for Gyffindor,” Malfoy said softly, smirking. “Go on, then. Haven’t you ever wondered what it’s like to be me? If it’s really so easy, it shouldn’t be a hardship on you. There’s about a month's worth here for both of us.”

Harry decided he didn’t want to know what Malfoy was doing with two months worth of Polyjuice Potion; truthfully, a small corner at the back of his head had always wondered what it would be like to be Malfoy. Brilliant at Potions, doted on by his House and his parents… He didn’t see the harm in it.

“Why not?” Harry said, displaying an outward show of bravery that he didn’t remotely feel. Something didn’t feel right, but he didn’t dare show any weakness in front of Malfoy.

“Brilliant,” Malfoy said quietly, and the predatory look on his face gave Harry the awful sinking feeling that he’d just made a deal with the devil. The analogy wasn’t far from the truth, he thought, as Malfoy conjured two glasses and filled them each with a small measure of potion. Malfoy pulled one of his hairs from his head and dropped it into one of the glasses where it fizzled shortly, turning the potion a metallic silver. He crossed the room to yank a hair from Harry’s head and dropped it into the other glass; in seconds the potion shone a clear, bright gold. “Go on, then.”

“But Malfoy—” Harry said desperately, a deep lurching in his stomach telling him that this was a horrible idea.

“What?” Malfoy barked, his face livid, though there was a brief flash of desperation in his eyes as he shoved Harry’s glass forward. “Do you want me to go to Professor Snape? He hates you more than I do, he’ll see you’re expelled for this! Is a month as me really worse than that?”

Harry set his jaw in grim determination, raising his glass to toast Malfoy. Malfoy’s lips thinned in a triumphant smile as he raised his own and tilted it back, swallowing with a pained grimace. Instantly upon swallowing the potion Harry felt his skin begin to melt and stretch; his arms and legs shot outward by a few centimeters, his nose lengthened, and his robes were suddenly far too roomy for his slim frame. The glasses perched on his nose suddenly made his vision fuzzier, more distorted, and he took them off with a pale hand whose slender fingers were manicured to perfection.

Malfoy groaned from across the room as his own body shortened and thickened, his hands covering his face as he leaned against the wardrobe for support. The platinum hair he prided himself on became a shaggy brown mess and he groped blindly for what Harry suspected were his glasses, which he got close enough to Malfoy to hand over.

Being Malfoy was the oddest sensation; even as he looked in the full-length mirror across from Malfoy’s bed he didn’t believe it. Malfoy stood next to him in his body inspecting Harry’s build and stripping with impunity when he discovered that his robes were too tight.

“Hand over your robes, Potter,” Malfoy said in that defiant tone of his that sounded entirely wrong coming from Harry’s mouth, holding out one of Harry’s hands. He stood with a lack of any form of self-consciousness in silk jocks, and Harry was irritated to see his face looking at him in a way that suggested he was stupid and only barely suffering his presence.

“I’m not that rude; ask me nicely and I’ll consider it,” Harry said, grinning when Malfoy scowled.

“Please-may-I-have-your-robes-Potter,” Malfoy bit out, grumbling when Harry shrugged off his robes and stood before him in jeans and a t-shirt. It was odd to see his own face dimly register surprise. “You wear Muggle clothes under your robes?”

“Not all of us enjoy going around practically naked, Malfoy,” Harry replied blandly, smirking. He glanced at the mirror—yes, now he looked more like Malfoy. “Are you just constantly optimistic that new conquests are going to pull you into broom cupboards all over the castle? Horny little ferret, aren’t you?”

“I suppose you’ll find out soon enough,” Malfoy shot back, and the grin on his face was enough to make Harry’s falter. Was he serious? He couldn’t be serious. “By the way, Potter, we’ll have to cross paths again in a week.”

“Why?” Harry asked, taking off the jeans that were now too short for him and the shirt that was a bit too tight across the chest and handing them over before pulling Malfoy’s robes on. He felt naked without his clothes on; something about just wearing robes didn’t feel… Right. It was awkward; what if they gaped? But Malfoy’s robes had inner clasps that fastened all the way down. Oh. Well, that was that sorted, then.

“The potion only lasts about that long, I’ve found certain ingredients that alter the composition of the potion which not only make it fast-acting but also longer lasting. Certainly makes it less of a bother to have to remember to take it on time every hour… So aside from giving you three weeks’ worth of potion, I’ll need to give you the password to the wards that allow entrance to my room. Not to mention the Manor. Or did you forget that the summer holidays are nearly upon us?” Malfoy asked, raising an eyebrow as his lips turned up at the corners in a way that suggested he knew perfectly well the significance of the length of time they’d agreed to.

Harry’s jaw dropped; he couldn’t believe he’d forgotten that the summer holidays were so soon. But maybe he could just not take the potion at the end of the week, maybe—

“Don’t even think about going back on this, Potter,” Malfoy said with a grim smile, shutting his wardrobe and performing a complicated series of Locking Charms that Harry didn’t catch. “The potion won’t wear off until three hours after the Hogwarts Express has left King’s Cross; you’ll already be at the Manor by that point.”

Harry’s stomach sank and his eyebrows creased; he noted dimly how odd it was to see Malfoy perplexed about anything. “You want to be me so badly that you’d spend three weeks with Muggles unable to do magic?”

“I don’t want to be you,” Malfoy snarled, though the animosity didn’t appear to be directed at him. “I just want to be anyone but myself, and you were the only one stupid enough to take me up on it.” With that obscure parting phrase Malfoy turned and walked back towards the common room in a swish of robes, and Harry couldn’t help but grin.

“Hey, Mal—Er, Potter!” Harry called, and Malfoy turned back around with one eyebrow raised, not responding. Harry caught up to him and held out his Invisibility Cloak, against his better judgment. With a hushed exhale Malfoy took it reverently, inspecting the shimmering cloth. “If anything happens to it I’ll kill you, but Ron likes to borrow it to go down to the kitchens and nick food. He might get suspicious if you don’t have it.” Malfoy raked over it with his eyes, nodding, though it didn’t appear as though he was actually taking in anything Harry said. “Also,” he began shortly, and Malfoy finally tore his eyes from the cloak as he tucked it into Harry’s robes, “try not to walk like you’ve got your wand shoved up your arse.”

“Pardon me for having proper posture,” Malfoy muttered, though he couldn’t hide a grin. “And take care of Crabbe and Goyle, will you? They’re decent blokes really. Dumb as a bag of bezoars, but they’ll do whatever you tell them.”

“Cheers,” Harry said, and they stood there awkwardly for a moment before Malfoy shoved past him and disappeared down the corridor from the common room. Harry noticed the time on one of the clocks on the wall and panicked as he rushed to his Potions exam, which he was currently fifteen minutes late for. They had double Potions exams with the Sly—… Er… Gryffindors today, and he didn’t even want to imagine what Snape would do to him for it. Come to that… What was Malfoy’s exam schedule? He’d just have to get it in Potions.

It dawned on him with cruel irony that he was more worried right now about Snape’s reaction to his lateness than he was about three weeks at Malfoy Manor. Forgetting Dobby’s warning, forgetting his looming exams, forgetting everything but what the first three weeks of summer would hold, he rushed to Potions like his life depended on it.

If only his parents could see him now…