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Less Thinking, More Kissing by DrarryLibrary
Format: Short story
Chapter 1: Part 1: She Knows
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Fifth year. It’ll be great, they said. You’ll finally be an upperclassman, they said. You’ll get the recognition you deserve! This would be true for anyone else in my year, anyone that hasn’t already had to deal with four years of ‘recognition’. A perfect example happens to be sitting at the Slytherin table surrounded by his ever-growing gang of scum: Draco Malfoy. Another year only means another wave of younger kids to rope into his anti-Harry Potter fan club, and he loves it.
Too late, I realize that I’m staring at Malfoy and he catches my gaze, causing my cheeks must redden. Draco’s expression changes from it’s usual sneer to a blank stare back at me. Crabbe or Goyle- Honestly, I still have trouble telling a difference because they’re both so big and stupid and usually referred to within the same sentence- jostles Malfoy in the side. Malfoy breaks eye contact with me to probably hiss some snide remark at the one responsible for bumping him. I avert my eyes down to my food, just so that my unruly hair will offer my eyes some coverage.
I only partially hear Ron and Hermione arguing about something Snape did that was “disgustingly gruesome” or “completely and unnecessarily rude to Neville” in class. I haven’t been much attention in that class, lately. Potions with the Slytherins for the 5th year in a row is a testiment to Dumbledore’s dry sense of humor.
“-Isn’t that right, Harry?” I lift my head to see Hermione and Ron both looking in my direction unanimously. Something hits my knee- probably Ron kicking me under the table.
“Er - come again?” I ask, not having heard a word of what they were arguing about. I glance from Ron whose eyebrows are raised and eyes are wide open as if to say please-take-my-side, to Hermione who looks like she knows that she’s right and probably is. She sighs.
“Well, never mind that,” Ron eagerly changes the subject. He must have realized that she was right, whatever they were arguing about. “You alright, Harry? You’ve been kind of…”
“Distant lately,” Hermione finishes.
“Well..” Ron and Hermione are my best friends. They knew I was gay before I even decided to tell them (that’s a story for later) and we’ve all nearly died for each other at least once before. But, could I really tell them the single thought running through my mind?
“You can tell us you know,” Hermione says, smiling ever so slightly. Why was she acting like she knew? Everyone knew Hermione knew everything, but there’s no way she could possibly know this. Could she? I can feel my heart climb into my throat.
“What exactly do you need to tell us?” Ron looks skeptically from Hermione to me, sounding upset at being left out, again.
“I- er- I like…”
“Mhmm?” Hermione urges and tilts her head. I feel something hit my leg and assume that Ron’s kicking my shin, again. I’ll be sure to complain about the bruise tomorrow.
“I like- er- to watch people... sleep,” I stutter and immediately regret doing so. Hermione face-palms and Ron’s face scrunches up in a mixture of shock and disgust.
“Come again, mate?” he says, the corners of his mouth turned down. Immediately, I know I have to leave before Ron begins to realize that I'm lying or Hermione tries to force the words from my mouth.
“Well, I think I better hit to the library. Midterms are coming up, y’know?” I say quickly and stand from the table.
“That’s in three months, Harry,” Hermione says, rolling her eyes and huffing. She’s has definitely caught onto my escape plan. When I turn to walk away, I can hear Ron whispering.
“He’s a bit of an odd one lately, don’t you think Hermione? He seems to be acting sort of funny, doesn’t he?” states Ron’s concerned voice. Before I can hear Hermione’s answer, I walk through the door of the Great Hall and turn a corner. She wouldn’t tell Ron… right?
Chapter 2: Part 2: Another Word
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I absent mindedly make my way through the halls to the library, buried so deeply in my thoughts that I almost fall right into Crabbe/Goyle, blocking the hall and accompanied by their leader, Draco Malfoy. I have no time to pull out my wand or say a snide remark, because Malfoy catches me by surprise and grabs at the collar of my shirt with both hands.
“You…” he says, hand shaking slightly and knuckles clasped tightly around the front of my robes. Usually when Malfoy gets angry enough to lash out at me, it's because of something I did or said to provoke him. This time, however, I have no idea what I’ve done to make him go off so easily, but boy I wish I did. Could be useful in the future.
“You…” he repeats, only with more animosity. “Going around spreading rumors, are we? Think it's fun, Potter?”
“What are you on about this time, Malfoy?” I say, sounding only mildly interested. I would say I'm scared of what he's going to do, but honestly I could do with some good hexing right about now. Anything to keep Hermione away and stop her prying for even a few hours.
“Oh, you know exactly what I'm talking about, Potter. You and your friends just go around these days telling things to any scrappy loon that will listen…” he lowers his voice, “Things that couldn't be less true?”
“SHUT IT!” he says in a brusque outburst. Crabbe/Goyle hustle forward to help Malfoy, but he holds up his wand-holding hand to stop them. I open my mouth to speak, but he gives me such a challenging look, that I instantly close it. He inches his face ever closer to mine and whispers in a wavering voice.
“Well, guess what, Potter? Hate to break the news, but I'm nothing like you. Nothing,” he says forcefully and takes a deep breath to steady his voice. “And if I ever hear anyone but that Loony Lovegood girl say anything about us-”
“Honestly what are you talking about?-” I begin to inquire, but Malfoy continues as if I never said a word.
“Then, I’ll kill you before anyone else does,” he finished breathing heavily. He releases my robes and just when I think his fury is over and he begins walking away, Malfoy says one last thing over his shoulder.
Malfoy practically spits the word at me. Crabbe/Goyle really do spit at my feet just for good measure. At the mention of such a vulgar word, I can feel myself slip into a silent rage, red in the face and nearly shaking. Malfoy attempts to cool himself, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so dishevelled. Not even after Mad-Eye Moody turned him into a…
“Ferret,” I say barely above a whisper and smile slightly through the pit of anger rising from my stomach. I know Malfoy heard by the way his mouth drops open. His initial shock is replaced by his previous state of anger, then shifts to a smirk. Next thing I know, Crabbe/Goyle each take one of my arms, drag me backwards to the wall of the hallway and hold me there. Malfoy slowly strides to where I’m pinned against the wall, his hands clasped behind his back. The smug look on his face is undeniably seduc… stupid. I mean stupid.
“Bet you would like to curse me, wouldn’t you, Potter?” He gets in my face again, too close for comfort, but I don’t back off. That arrogant smirk. “Or perhaps kiss me?” Malfoy hisses and raises an eyebrow. Crabbe/Goyle snigger in agreement. He tilts his head slightly, expecting a response.
“If this if your way of asking people out, I’d say you haven’t had much practice,” I say, with a hint of challenge. The smug look is immediately wiped off of his face and I can practically see the rage fill his expressions, again.
“Shut it, Potter,” Malfoy sneers.
“Or maybe Mummy and Daddy won't let you date? Too scared that you’ll muck up your precious Malfoy blood line?” I know I’ll pay for being smart, but I don't care. The look on his face right now is priceless.
“Or perhaps-” Before I can say something else I’ve been holding back for 4 years, Malfoy reaches into the pocket of his robes, tears out his wand and points it at my chest.
“Say another word, Potter.”
“Petrificus Totalus,” he says. Immediately, I can feel my muscles tense and limbs snap to my sides.. I try and open my mouth or wiggle my finger, but I’m completely stiff. If it weren't for the prude prats holding me up, I definitely would've fallen.
“Draco, what are we gonna do with him?” says the deep voice on my right. Being petrified is a good excuse for staring, so I take this opportunity to really look at him up close. At least closer than staring at him from the back of the classroom in Potions or the next table over in the dining hall.
Draco Malfoy… what's there to say? He’s a strikingly platinum, slicked-back blonde with milky unblemished skin and sharp features; pointed well-groomed brows, a defined nose, alert grey eyes speckled blue, high cheekbones, chiseled jaw, dainty baby pink lips that move as he speaks from only a few feet away... Of course, it wasn't always this way, he once was that little boy on the train with cheeks just a bit fuller and hair just a bit shorter. He has changed quite a bit. Unfortunately, I still look like the same lanky boy from that very first day at Hogwarts, only quite a bit taller.
"... And I bet that idiot Filch and his stupid fur ball are on their way to punish us for using magic in the halls as we speak, that useless Squib," Malfoy says, and I'm immediately snapped back into reality at the mention of two things: Filch and punishment. Malfoy continues his train of thought out loud.
"So, I think we must take him with us. Unless you two have a better idea?" Malfoy says. The faithful freaks shrug and shake their heads in response. No sooner, we begin to make our way to what could only be the Slytherin Dungeons.
Chapter 3: Part 3: Petrified Potter
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Malfoy and his dirty dogs do a terrible job of trying to hide where there supposedly ‘secret’ dungeon is. This coming from someone that’s petrified, being carried by two mindless minions and too preoccupied with the back of Malfoy’s head and soft-looking neck to really pay attention where they’re going. It’s not like the location of the Slytherin Dungeons are really a surprise to me though; I’ve been here once before.
Malfoy mutters something to the wall, a word he and most Slytherins see as paramount to all, and the stone wall slides open, revealing the underground home of the Slytherins. A green glow tints the entire room and gives it an eerie feel. Since it’s during meal time, the place is also deserted, only adding to the emptiness of their common room. Thank goodness I got sorted into Gryffindor.
“Where do we put him?” One of the gargantuan gorillas asks. I can almost hear the conflicting thoughts in Malfoy's mind and the perpetually blank state of in the idiot ignoramuses’.
“Give me a second, I’m thinking. Maybe you could try it sometime?” He purses his lips, trying to go over his options. The barbarian bears decide that it’s a good time to set me down on the couch, while they wait. I stare at the ceiling of the common room and hear a little bit of whispering. I know for a fact that Malfoy would never confide in the dumdum dolts, and hear no grunts in response, so I think it’s safe to say that Malfoy is talking to himself. Interesting.
“Well, we uh - we can’t let the other Slytherins see him, now can we?” Malfoy says as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world, and for all these incredulous idiots know it very well could be. “Right, then it’s settled. Follow me, boys.” The oblivious oafs don’t give a second thought, or perhaps even a first, as they grunt in agreement.
The demented dollops pick me off the couch and hoist me from the couch to follow Malfoy up a staircase to where I assume the dormitories will be. I could be wong, since when Ron and I were in here in our second year, we didn’t manage to get any further than the common. At the top of the staircase, the dormitory door is ajar and I can see very tidy beds that resemble the Gryffindor ones, only with green and silver details. However, just as we approach the door, we take a sharp left and where there should be a wall, Malfoy continues up a second flight of stairs. Are they leaving me to die in the attic? Are there ever attics in the towers?
At the top of the stairs, Malfoy approaches a green door with a silver ‘M’ and snake embellishing it. He puts his hand on the door handle and I can hear it immediately unlock. He twists the handle and pushes open the large door into an even larger room. Although I’m relieved that it isn’t an attic, I’m alarmed to find that we walk into the most grand bedroom I’ve ever seen on the grounds of Hogwarts.
The spell must be starting to wear off now, because I can just barely crane my neck around to get a quick glance at the private Malfoy bedroom: the dark-polished wooden furniture, a fireplace surrounded by a full size couch, matching chair and a coffee table, a chandelier dangling from the center of the high ceiling and silver plated decorations hanging from the deep green walls. At the center of it all was a large four poster bed with sheer black drapes hanging from three sides and a large headboard of black velvet against the wall. There must be an enchantment on the massive windows too, because there was an absence of mucky green light from the outside.
“Just set him down here,” Malfoy says, gesturing to the couch with a wavy of his hand. The narcotic nitwits do what he says and carry me to the couch. He shrugs off his robe a hangs it on a silver coat rack by the door. When he turns around sees the pesky pair still standing there, he sneers, “Well, go on, then. Get out.” The catastrophic chumps are unsurprisingly confused at first, then shuffle out of the room. Malfoy closes the door after them and sighs. I hear his footsteps approach as he nears the fireplace and sits in the plush chair across from the couch I’m laying on. He crosses his legs and arms and sits back, staring at me.
By now, I’ve fully gained back control of my neck and upper torso, but continue to keep a blank expression and stare straight ahead at the ceiling. I’ll wait for my feeling to come back fully… then what? Am I supposed to ask him if I may pretty-please leave? When I wished to be in Malfoy’s bedroom, I didn’t quite think it would go down like this.
“You can still hear me can’t you? Blink twice if you can.” Malfoy leans forward, elbows on his knees as he lamely attempts to communicate. I make a point to not blink until my eyes begin to water, which is quite a while later. Even then, it’s only once.
“Even petrified, you’re still a twat, Potter,” Malfoy huffs. There’s a mild sense of pride in being able to push Malfoy’s buttons so easily. I momentarily forget that I’m ‘petrified’ and smile, but quickly try and wipe it away before he sees. His stare is so intense, it’s no use.
“Why you little…”
“Little what? Last time I checked we were the same height.” I say and prop myself up on my elbows. I have full feeling in my upper half now, so there’s no point in lying down anymore.
“One of the many ways you compare yourself to me, I assume?” Malfoy fires back, acting almost nonchalant. He sits back, clicks his tongue and asks, “Would you like tea?”
“You trying to poison me?” I ask, completely serious. He pulls lips into a tight, fake smile.
“Why would I ever do such a thing?” He snaps and two piping cups of tea appear on the table, accompanied by sugar, milk and all of the tea cakes you could imagine, on a silver platter. He leans forward and begins dressing up his tea, before sitting back and taking a cautious sip. “Come on, Potter. If I was going to kill you, I would have done it already. Why waste time with tea?”
His semi-logical explanation, but mostly the tea aroma filling the air is enough to make me give in. I sit up as best as I can without being able to move my legs, pick up the teacup and give it a taste. Any smart comeback I had before slips away and is replaced by the warm feeling of a delicious tea.
“No cream? They say you’re daring, Potter, but I never knew this is what they meant,” Malfoy says sarcastically with a arrogant glint in his eyes.
“Usually, at the Dursley’s I wouldn’t get any tea but what was left over, so I’m used to it being strong,” I sputter out before my brain catches up. Why did I just say that?
“Ah, what a sob little story,” he tries to smirk, but I can see the slight twitch in the corner of his mouth.
“Er - I didn’t want to say that.”
“Of course you didn’t. See, I said I wouldn’t kill you, but I never said I wouldn't use a potion on you.” He pulls a tiny bottle out from his shirt pocket and sets it on the table. It’s labelled as Veritaserum.
“You put it in my cup?”
“No, you prat. I put it in the tea.”
“Well, er, you’re drinking the tea?” I say and I know I sound like a confused idiot, but at this moment that’s accurate. Why would he be drinking the tea?
“I am. Very good, Potter,” he says with a roll of his eyes. So, this is his way of being fair?
Chapter 4: Part 4: Truth Tea
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I set my tea down on the table in front of me. What’s Malfoy up to?
“Don’t like the tea, Potter?” Malfoy raises an eyebrow and takes another slow sip from his steaming cup.
“I do. I just - What you think you’re playing at, putting a truth potion in the tea?” I look him straight in the eye; he gulps.
“We’re going to play a little game. I like to call it ‘Spill your guts’. Haven’t had anyone interesting to play it with before now,” Malfoy smiles and sips his tea. If he’s still drinking the tainted tea, he must not be very scared of the truth. That makes one of us.
“How do we play?” I know there’s no point in trying to avoid his little game, so might as well get it over with.
“Eager, are we?” he finally sets down his teacup and meets my stare with the same intensity. “Well, we’re going to play a game of magical chess - I assume you know how to play? - If one of your pieces gets destroyed, you Spill Your Guts. Simple,” Malfoy snaps again and our tea cups are moved aside to make room for a chess board. The only problem with this is that I’m terrible at chess, magical or otherwise. Ron has been more than welcome to this fact since we met in first year.
“I'm not good at chess,” I blurt. Malfoy only nods and the corner of his mouth twitches. Did he almost smile?
“Your move.” He says, sounding anxious to start. Malfoy and I take turns moving in silence, the tension and focus growing with every move. Neither of us want to be the first to spill, but eventually I make a stupid move and Malfoy immediately snatches up my pawn.
“Ha!” Malfoy says, forgetting to keep his composure while caught up in the game. He clears his throat, “Uh- I mean...”
“What's your question?” I ask, trying to keep my voice from showing any signs of fear. I’m Harry Potter, slayer of dragons and sworn enemy of Lord Voldemort. Why does one little question potentially asked by Draco Malfoy seem so terrifying?
“What is it like to be related to such terrible Muggles?” he asks, with no hint of malice in his voice. He seemed genuinely curious, although he could have asked in a less Malfoy way.
“The Dursleys? Oh, completely awful,” I slightly laugh as I answer, relieved that he didn't ask a more brooding question. It seems funny that of all things he could ask, he wonders about my Muggle relatives? I go to make my next move, but Malfoy makes a grab for my hand and pipes up.
“That's all you have to say? That they're awful?” his grip on my hand doesn't seem to loosen, and it takes even fiber in me to pull my hand back into my lap. This is going to be a long game of chess.
“Correct me if I'm wrong, but you already asked a question and I did answer it,” I point out.
“No, Potter. You didn't answer. You gave a vague response-”
“But, a response is an answer. Is it not?” I say and wait for an objection that never comes. I make my next move and, unsurprisingly, it seems to have been the wrong one. His pawn smashes my knight to smithereens, and he focuses back on me, looking very pleased with himself, right where we left off before.
“Why exactly are they so terrible?”
“Well, there are millions of reasons. How many would you like?” I say and my mind immediately starts sifting through a library of reasons stored away for a time like this.
“As many as you see fit,” he sits back, ready to listen. Why does he even care about how terrible my muggle life is?
“Well, for starters I slept under the stairs for a bit- well, more than a bit, I guess. It was more like 11 years or something - but I recently got moved to a room upstairs. It's not much better though, they usually lock me in there for days at a time and give me scraps of food through a pet door they had to install,” the Veritaserum seems to have given my mouth a mind of it's own because I tell my mouth to stop, but it keeps going. “And my cousin, Dudley,” Malfoy stiffens when I mention my pig cousin. “He’s bullied me for as long as I've been without magic. From punching me to calling my names li-” I cover my mouth in an attempt to muffle it.
Malfoy reaches across the table and tries to pry my fingers from my mouth. I know what I was going to say; I was going to go mindlessly blab about Dudley calling me gay this summer, mentioning Cedric Diggory as my boyfriend. I never denied the statement, but merely avoided it all together.
Malfoy made it clear when he called me a name in front of the prideful pickles that he knows of my orientation, but I’m sure this would be a terrible time for that little fact to be brought up. I back up out of his reach and do my best to keep him from my mouth- never thought I'd think that- and only remove my hand when my mouth decides to stop talking. I look back at Malfoy, who's resembling a child that just got denied of a sweet.
“Would you like to share with everyone?” he crosses his arms, looking adamant to hear what my mouth had to say.
“Er, I think it's my turn,” I quickly change the topic, hoping he’ll let me get away with it. I briefly glance at Malfoy and see him silently sulking, but letting me continue to play, nonetheless. The surprises just keep rolling in and I manage to capture one of Malfoy’s pawns. I look up and see that his frown only deepens in disapproval at the turn of events.
“I really didn't think you'd see that,” he sighs.
“Why, because I wear glasses?” I say and, out of habit, my hand adjusts the rims that have settled too low on my nose.
“No, because you're stupid,” he says in a monotone. A small smile creeps onto his lips, and I realize that Malfoy is joking. Although it's a rare - almost unheard of - occurrence, I could get used to it. “Well then, go ahead. Ask away.”
“Uh…” I think for a bit. There are hundreds of questions I've been dying to ask Malfoy for years, but suddenly my mind has been drawn to a blank. I scrape up the first semi-logical thought that comes to mind.
“Er - do you... talk to yourself?” I know the answer, but hearing him admit to this would definitely confirm that he is under the influence of Veritaserum. His face becomes distorted, and I imagine that he’s trying not to answer. There's a long pause before he spits out a response.
“Yes,” he admits and looks physically pained in doing so. I nod and smile, knowing that he definitely is under the influence of the potion. We continue playing in a more relaxed manner, and when he manages to smash another one of my pieces, I feel less worried of whatever question will be thrown my way.
“So, these… Dursleys? Don't they know who you are? I'd think they'd be proud to have such a famous wizard in the family,” he sounds only half-heartedly bitter at the mention of my so- called ‘fame’.
“Actually, that's probably the reason they decided to starve me in the first place,” I force a laugh to make it sound less brutal, but it's an honest theory I have. Killing me over the summer would be easier for them than having to watch me come back to Hogwarts.
“Is that why you always look sickly when you come back from summer holiday?” Malfoy asks with a furrow of his brows and a slight downturn of his expression.
“Is it that noticeable?” I never thought it was a big deal, but surely I must lose a lot of weight over the summer if even Draco Malfoy notices. Wonder why he hasn't made fun of me for it before.
“To me, it is,” he says and I can't tell if he sounds condescending or concerned. He seems to be completely ignoring the rules of the game. However, since he made up the game, I’ve come to the conclusion that the rules simply don't apply to him. I decide that it's easier to answer the second question than to argue with him.
“Yes, although that's after a couple of weeks of Mrs. Weasley’s hospitality,” I look towards the fire for a moment to try and push away the negative feelings towards the Dursleys that threaten to cloud my mind. I can feel Malfoy’s eyes on me. I take a deep breath.
“Let’s continue, shall we?”
Malfoy nods and makes his next move in silence. We go back and forth for a while, taking turns strategically moving our pieces. Malfoy’s turns take much longer than mine, but I know that's what makes him such a valiant opponent. He tends to take his time studying the board while I just make the first move that won’t get me captured. I find myself paying less attention to the game and instead more attention to Malfoy; his lethargically slow movements, the way a crease for between his eyebrows when he's concentrating, his hands moving through his hair, only to make it fall out of place slightly more than before, the fire light reflecting from his hair and softening his normally pointed features.
“Merlin, Potter are you paying attention?” he says, looking annoyed. Was he talking?
“Er- no?” I say, but mostly because of the Veritaserum.
“It’s your turn,”he says, looking bored and picks up a freshly filled cup of tea. I look at my previously empty cup and see that it's also been refilled.
“Oh-oh sorry,” it takes a moment for the words to actually process. Then, I quickly panic and make my next move without a single thought. Malfoy scoffs and swiftly smashes another one of my pieces, looking pleased. A sour taste of loathing suddenly enters my mouth, I absentmindedly reach for the tea to wash it out and take a large swig.
“So, you like watching people sleep, Potter? That's a bit creepy if you ask me,” he says in a smug tone. I momentarily forget what it means to swallow and choke on the tea. The cup makes a loud clank on the table as I clumsily place it down and try to control an oncoming fit of coughs. Malfoy sits, watching me struggle to gain my composure, with mixed emotions. When I finally manage to breath again, I don't know what to say. Why on earth would he think that?
“No,” I answer truthfully. My mind draws a blank to situations in which watching people sleep could’ve been mentioned.
“What? Surely I heard you wrong, Potter?” he states firmly, looking confused.
“No, I really don't like to watch people sleep,” my mouth repeats the answer. This only makes Malfoy's face contort into a sneer.
“That's impossible. I know you said-”
“How do you know I said that to Ron and Hermione at dinner?” I question, the thought suddenly occurring to me. After racking my brain for anything about watching people sleep, it dawned on me. It’s the lame excuse I gave Ron just a few hours ago instead of telling him that I like- never mind that.
“How did you hear me say that?” I ask again, becoming more and more impatient as every second passes with no answer from Malfoy. His face has gone pale.
“I-” he hesitates, picking his words carefully, “I didn't… exactly- I'm not the one who heard you say it?” He ends on a curious note, seeming surprised that he answered the question in the most vague, but truthful way possible.
“Then who told you?” I demand, gripping the armrest of my seat. Malfoy mutters something about not asking questions unless you get the opponent's piece. I take a deep breath to calm my mind and continue playing. I make a move I know to be safe after checking multiple times. Malfoy's mind must be muddled after the shock of the last question, because he makes a stupid move and I get a chance to continue my investigation.
“Who told you?” I repeat quickly. Surely Ron and hermione wouldn't tell him, would they?
“One of the Slytherin first years recruits hiding under your table,” Malfoy slurs, obviously trying to hold back the words. His eyes go round and, because of their grey hues, resemble the moon glinting from outside the windows. I slump back in my chair and think about what he's said.
A voice in my head, oddly resembling Hermione, says Well, he’s obviously telling the truth. Another familiar, but unsure voice says But, surely we would've noticed, wouldn't we? There's no way Malfoy could do that, could he? Hermione pipes up again, Well, getting kicked under the table more than once is an unlikely. Perhaps it wasn't kicking after all? Ron scoffs, Come off it, Hermione. My inner Ron and Hermione begin bickering, as per usual, and I brush the voices from my head. She's right, of course. The bumps I felt on my shin must've been Malfoy's clumsy spy.
“So, you’ve been spying on us? For how long?” My blood runs cold at the thought of Malfoy's spy overhearing other things, in what was thought were private conversations: the D.A., any news about Sirius, my predicted coming out to Ron and Hermione… Malfoy again turns to silence and I find my knuckles going white from clutching the arm of the couch too tight.
“How. Long. Have. You. Been. Spying. On. Us?” I demand. If I was going to admit it, this is the most intimidated Malfoy's ever looked.
“Since the first week back. A-after the first years were first sorted,” he sputters. So there's a chance Malfoy's spy never heard anything about me… seeing as it was one of the first things from this summer I had to get off my chest. But, this would also explain why Malfoy seemed to know so many things that we were sure to only whisper between ourselves, during the noisiest of meals.
Malfoy shifts to lean forward in his chair, ready to make his next move. He tentatively looks at me, silently asking for permission. I nod with my arms crossed over my chest and one of my hands still rubbing my chin, deep in thought.
Malfoy and I take silent turns as the game gets steadily harder. Now, it’s a common occurrence to be looking two or three plays ahead in order to stay safe. My head’s hurting from the unexpected strain it’s being put through. I’ve never tried this hard at magical chess. Usually, I’m alright with just letting Ron win, but this time it’s different.
Eventually, the game reaches a deadlock where any wrong move could mean having to sacrifice a secret. At my next turn, I strategically set my Rook up for slaughter, knowing that if Malfoy’s Bishop does take the bait, I'll quickly sweep up his attacking piece with my Queen. When I finish my turn, Malfoy scoots forward on his chair and hunches a little over the chessboard. He rests his head on his palm and I watch Malfoy's fingers thoughtfully glide along his lips and tickle his chin. When Malfoy notices the move I made he catches my eyes, his eyebrows raised slightly.
“Bold move, Potter.”
I shrug a shoulder, a smile tugging at my lips.
“I like it,” he says and flashes his gleaming white teeth while doing so. As predicted, Malfoy’s Bishop glides across the board and annihilates my Rook.
“Well, well. Another question? I seem to be running out, I've asked so many,” Malfoy says haughtily and leans back in his plush chair.
“Quit your gloating, Malfoy. Get on with it,” I bite. He's starting to annoy me- then again, when does he not?
“Feeling feisty, are we? Well…” he smiles. “Speaking of feisty, I hear that you've been giving Ms. Umbridge some trouble?”
I nod grudgingly. Anger swells in my chest at the mention of that terrible toad’s name.
“Well then, what do you do in her detentions?”
“That’s it? Surely there's more?”
“You didn't let me finish…” I hesitate, but Malfoy’s eyes widen slightly, urging me to continue. “I write lines… with blood.”
“Whose blood?” Malfoy’s voice tightens slightly.
Instead of answering, I hold out the back of my left hand for Malfoy to see. The skin there is not quite healed from my last detention with that facetious frog.
Malfoy silently examines my hand and an audible gasp leaves his lips. My eyes drop to the chessboard, embarrassed. Then, I feel a soft touch on the back of my hand, tracing the letters that spell I must not tell lies.
“That's… Ms. Umbridge wouldn’t do that. She can't do that,” he says incredulously.
I shrug and look up. His fingers still graze the back of my hand, absorbed in the engravings. It would be so easy to touch his hand back, to reach out and take it in mine. But, I'm frozen in place.
“That's terrible,” Malfoy says. “You've told Dumbledore, I’m assuming?” Malfoy’s face contorts at the mention of the headmaster.
“No,” I answer as a jittery feeling, beginning at Malfoy’s fingers caressing the back of my hand, begins to creep up my arm. I'm forced to pull my shaking hand back into my lap.
“No? Well, why not? Surely, Umbridge can be fired for using a torture device on students?” Malfoy says, feigning concern. He idolizes Umbridge. Why would he ever want her fired? Malfoy makes no sense.
“Why do you care?” I say, a sudden anger rising in my voice. “I thought you loved that nasty women. Or is that just another one of your facades?”
“Facade? What ‘facade’ are talking about, Potter,” Malfoy says with his fingers digging into the arms of his chair. A feeling of anger in the air thickens, hovering over our heads.
We keep an intense stare while my mind runs through possible responses: Oh, you know. The one that you’re just another tailored, well-dressed, perfect Malfoy son. The one that you’re too shallow to hold regards to others’ feelings. The one that you’re a ruthless boy with a smart-mouth and a quick tongue. No, there’s got to be more- there is more- that what Malfoy shows on the outside. I know it.
Instead of provoking Malfoy further, I turn to the coffee table and continue playing. As per the plan, my Queen knocks Malfoy’s baited Bishop from the board and it smashes at my feet.
“So, how’d you end up with this bedroom?” I ask in hopes to keep the questions light and settle the storm verging to break through. I can see his mind slip away from being angry and into a more relaxed state.
“It’s been in the Malfoy family for generations,” he snaps. His back instantly straightens and shoulders broaden at the mention of his ancient pure-blood family. “As you are well aware, every Malfoy that came through Hogwarts is bound to be a Slytherin. So, when my great-great grandfather came to this school, he found this room and claimed it.” He scoffs and continues.
“There’s a legend in the Slytherin house that you have to speak Parseltongue to be able to unlock the front door. Really, all of the doors- including the bathroom- are bewitched to open for the Malfoy bloodline even when locked. No one can really tell a difference between French and Parseltongue, so I just speak a little French to the door when anyone’s watching-”
“Wait, you speak French?” I interrupt. My curiosity has gotten the best of me.
“Bien sûr je parle français, idiot (Of course I speak Freanch, idiot),” Malfoy answers in a smooth tone, switching seamlessly from English to what I assume is French.
“Did you just call me an idiot?” I ask, and a smirk appears on his face.
“Oui. C'est drôle de te regarder essayer de comprendre ce que je dis (Yes. It's funny to watch you try and figure out what I say),” he says, the words rolling off his tongue like a foreign music to my ears. Part of me is annoyed that I can’t comprehend a word he’s saying, but the intrigued part of me silently pleads to hear more.
“Pardon, I didn’t quite get that last bit,” I joke and cup my hand around my ear to ‘hear better.’
A small laugh bursts from Draco’s lips. It’s a short lived sound of pure euphoria and I make sure to commit it to memory. I’ve never heard him laugh at anything but a snarky joke before.
“Je crois que je t'aime bien (I think I like you),” Draco murmurs softly, almost to himself.
“What was that?”
“Si je t'embrasse (If I kiss you)...”
“Oh, right. I definitely got it that time,” I attempt to joke gain in hopes of hearing Draco’s wonderful laugh, but I only receive a feeble smile.
“Si je t'embrasse, je ne pense pas que ce serait sage (If I kiss you it wouldn't be wise),” Draco sighs and says no more.
I gulp awkwardly, not knowing why he suddenly seems so solemn. “So, basically this room’s a hand-me-down?” I ask, reverting back to the original question
“What’s a handy down?” Draco says, thankfully switching back to English.
“I hope you’re kidding,” I say annoyingly, but find myself instantly longing to hear him speak more French. At least I now know why it’s called a love language.
“Why would I be kidding?”
I sigh and hold my head in my hands for a second. What a spoiled brat.
“Well, if it is a hand-me-down, then you’re not the one that decorated it?” I ask.
“I may have, well, improved it over the years. I began by purging the place of my family member’s portraits. They were always screaming at me or each other for something…”
“What about that bed?” I point over his shoulder and his face scrunches in confusion.
“What about it?”
“I mean…” I stifle a laugh. “Who put the curtains there?”
“What’s wrong with the curtains?” he cranes his head over his shoulder to look at the sheer black curtains framing his bed. As he turns back, a noticeable pink glow graces his cheeks.
“I don’t see anything wrong with them. They’re just…”
“I quite like them. So, you should just shove a cork in it, Potter,” Draco says, either offended or embarrassed. Probably both.
“I’m sorry,” I laugh and the words clearly hold no real apology. “They’re really quite nice, very elegant actually- ow!” Draco threw one of his chess pieces at my face and it hit my square on the forehead. The piece, a pawn, falls to the ground while squeaking profanities at Draco and then scuttles off under the couch.
If it weren’t for the cursing pawn, I wouldn't have remembered that we’re in the middle of a chess game. I look down at the significantly more empty chessboard, void of all but a few pieces.
“Can we quit?” I ask. It’s tiring work to continually monitor what I say, think about the chess game and try not to oogle at Draco, all at once.
“Why would we do that?” he says and his eyes sweep over the chessboard. As he continues to play, I rest my cheek in the palm of my hand, knowing that I have to give Draco what he wants.
After a few turns, I’m beginning to resemble Draco. The time it takes for me to think becomes lengthier. My face is close to the board, constantly shifting to get better views of the plans Draco is secretly waiting for me to walk into. I look up and notice that Draco’s eyes have already been settled on my face.
“What?” I push my glasses up, mostly for an excuse to momentarily hide my face from his.
“Nothing,” he shakes his head slightly. I’m sure he would’ve prefered to stop there, but under the influence of the Veritaserum, he continues. “I’m just, um, watching.”
“Watching…” I ask in a questioning tone and furrow my eyebrows.
“Yes. Watching for… You know. For tactics,” he fumbles for the right words.
“Right,” I say, still unsure. I instruct my knight to capture Draco’s pawn, and it throws Draco’s piece over the side of the table. I give a quick ‘hmph’ of approval and think over questions to ask. A very obvious thought occurs to me, it’s part of the reason we’re even playing this game in the first place.
“How did you get this Veritaserum?” I say and pick up the small vial from the table. I hold the potion up to the light coming from the ceiling and study it. Many people have tried to use this potion on me for many reasons, but this is by far the most terrifying.
“It was really quite easy, actually. I was basically given to me,” he holds out his hand for the bottle and I drop it into his grasp. He looks at the potion and laughs.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, when Ms. Umbridge wanted a little persuasion for your questioning, Snape was happy to oblige. He called me to his office to deliver the Veritaserum to Ms. Umbridge. Before I left, I swiped a potion that looked similar to the Veritaserum and switched the labels. Of course, Umbridge had no idea and Snape’s trust in me remained…” he smiles, “unwavered.”
“Huh…” I say, stumped at Draco’s cleverness. I’m sure Hermione would even be impressed to hear this.
“Glad I did. Came in handy, didn’t it?” Draco focuses back on me and slips the bottle into his pocket.
“Sure. But, Snape-”
“Professor Snape,” he interjects.
“Professor Snape,” I continue, “told me that it’s forbidden to use Veritaserum on another student. So…”
“How did I manage to get away with it?” he says arrogantly, causing me to roll my eyes.
“Sure,” I say grudgingly. “Not exactly how I would’ve worded it, but same idea.”
“It’s not so much me, as it is the fact that we’re in this room,” he leans forward in his chair, his hands move with his explanation. “The Malfoy generations have performed innumerable amounts of counterspells and created barriers for most any rule in the school code. I’ve even done some myself,” he adds, tilting his chin up.
“Uhuh. So, the rules don’t apply to you, basically?”
“Well then, nothing new,” I smile challengingly.
“Are you implying that I’m spoiled?” Draco’s eyes narrow
“At least you’re not dull.”
“So, now I’m smart?”
“What? I didn’t say that,” I try and win back this conversation, but Draco’s already began playing our game of chess, again.
Draco’s queen chases one of my last pieces from the chess board, leaving my King nearly defenseless and surrounded by Draco’s army in checkmate. Even though I was anticipating this loss, it still hurts my pride to admit to it. The opposite effect seems to rest in Draco’s features- winning only boosts his already abundant self esteem.
“Well,” I sigh in defeat. “Good game.”
I hold out my hand for him to shake, but Draco crosses his arms.
“The game isn’t over yet, Potter,” his back straightens and his nose points skyward.
“What do you mean?” I ask feverishly.
“Well, since I won. I get to ask you three last questions and you have to answer all of them,” he says. “It was in the rules, weren’t you listening?”
“Funny, I don’t remember that bit,” I say bitterly. Well, only three more questions… what damage could he do in three questions? He hasn’t brought up anything majorly serious yet.
“Do you have a crush on…” he pauses and my heart skips a beat. This is it. The question I’ve be dreading. I knew it was only a matter of time before he ask-
“...Cho Chang?” Draco finishes. I scoff, knowing that I let my nerves get the best of me.
“What? Pff, no.”
“Alright. What about Ron Weasley?”
“What about Ron?” I asked confused.
“Do you like him?”
“Ron? Of course I like him, he’s my best mate!” I yell. It’s true, and just so happens to completely avoid Draco’s question at the same time.
He mutters to himself, and I try to make my escape.
“Right, well I better be off then,” I say and stand.
“Ah-ah,” he tisks and holds up his hand, pointing to the chair. “Sit, Potter.”
I return to my seat silently.
“Always a good boy, Potter,” Draco adds. “Just like your godfather.”
“Dogs bite, Malfoy” I roll my eyes at his childish remark. Only one question left.
“Well, I suppose I should ask,” Draco says, sighing in a mocking way.
“Ask what?” I’m worried by the mischief in his voice.
He smiles wickedly, “Top or bottom?”
"I- What? I-I um..." I stutter as a nervous feeling engulfs me.
"It's only a joke, Potter. Merlin, you should lighten up," Draco scoffs.
The strong aroma of tea and occasional cracks from the fire begin to wash over me and help settle my nerves. I can feel my eyes becoming heavy, suddenly remembering how long today has been and how late it must be.
“I should go,” I say and rise to my feet.
“You can’t leave,” Draco says quickly. He stands as well to be at eye level with me.
“Why not? I’m tired and it’s much past curfew-”
“Right!” Draco’s hands flying up frantically. “Curfew! You-You can’t leave because it’s- uh- it’s already past curfew. If you get caught roaming the halls by Umbridge, well… I think it’s safe to say that she’s just looking for an excuse to expel you.”
“Well, I suppose. But-”
“And what about Filch or Mrs. Norris? Hmm?” he cocks his head questioningly. “ I heard that that Squib has been dying to use his torture devices on people since the Weasley twins got away.”
“And Professor Snape. He’s got it out for you- if you’ve been too dull to notice,” he pointedly states and crosses his arms. Does he seriously mean that I’m going to have to stay here?
“Okay, okay! You’ve made your point,” I sigh. “So, what do you suggest I do?”
“Stay here,” he states bluntly.
“What? No way,” I scoff.
“Alright, then maybe you can stay in the common room? Perhaps the dorms? I don’t see anything possibly going wrong with Harry Potter being found in the Slytherin Dungeons,” he says. Draco’s obviously right and I grudgingly admit it.
“Good,” Draco smirks and turns away on his heel. What have I gotten myself into?
Chapter 5: Part 5: Midnight Memories
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“Harry... you could have saved me, y’know,” says a ghastly pale figure, his back to me.
“I-I’m sorry. I never thought tha-”
“It’s all your fault that I’m dead,” the figure, with broad shoulders and a familiar voice, begins walking away. Every step he takes echos in the vast darkness surrounding us.
“No, no… Stop. Wait!,” I try running to him, but it’s as if I’ve been petrified again and can’t move. “Please, don’t go!”
“You didn’t even try, did you?” the figure, Cedric, looks over his shoulder. “You probably wanted me to die.” His face holds no emotion, but his words cut through me like daggers. I know what’s going to happen; I see this death nearly every night. I want to scream, I want to warn him of what’s coming... but my words are lost to the darkness around us. Why can’t he just hear me? Please, hear me.
“Kill the spare (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire),” says a man that appears to my right, clutching my shoulder. I can feel myself crying. I cry from rage, from devastation, from terror - from pure hatred.
“Don’t kill him! Please…” I turn and beg Voldemort to not kill Cedric. I fall to my knees, clutching the robes of the man that has already killed so many, all because of me, “Just kill me instead. Please, please, please,” I look up and meet Voldemort’s red and stoney eyes, “Kill me. KILL ME!” Voldemort smiles.
“It’s already been done,” he whispers and I hear Cedric’s body limply thud to the ground, dead in its tracks.
“Harry,” says a voice above me. I feel someone’s hands grasping my shoulders and my stomach drops. Voldemort. My eyes snap open, but the world is blurry without my glasses. The whitish figure grasping my shoulders tightens its grip as I start to fight against it.
“YOU KILLED HIM!” I rasp. My throat is dry and feels like someone has been trying to tear my vocal cords out all night.
“Woah, woah, woah. Look, it’s me,” says the voice, slightly shaking my shoulders to grab my attention. I feel the cool metal rims of my glasses being shoved over my eyes and the world instantly becomes clearer. I’m able to focus on a worried blond boy leaning over me. For the first time in my life, I’m grateful to see Draco Malfoy.
“Harry,” Draco’s fingers gently rest on the rims of my glasses, brushing against my temples. I look at his face and he looks back at me, a frightened expression clouding his features. I feel like my lungs will collapse from my shallow, irregular breathing. A cold sweat coats my skin as silent, hot tears wet my cheeks. My heart's still pounding against my chest.
“It was only a dream,” he whispers. “Just a dream.” His breathing is slightly labored after having to fight off my maddened panic. My hands reach for something to hold onto, something to make sure this is real. They find the soft silk of Draco’s pyjama sleeves and grip it tightly. Draco’s here. He’s real. This is real. I look around and gather my surroundings: a low burning fire, empty tea cups on a coffee table, a large curtained bed across the room. Draco’s bedroom.
“I… I…” Words linger on the tip of my tongue, but never reach my lips. My stomach drops. Cedric. My eyes clench shut to keep from filling with tears again, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Draco says. I realize that I’m still gripping his expensive night shirt and let go.
“I’m sorry...” I repeat, too dazed to say much else.
“Will you stop apologizing, Harry?” he sighs, more relieved than genuinely annoyed. He releases my glasses and I sit up, leaning back against the arm of the couch. Draco taps my legs, so I cross them to make room. He sits on the couch in front of me and my hand massages the dull throbbing on my forehead.
“You were screaming,” Draco’s eyes flick to my face as he speaks, wide-awake and alert. He looks like he has more to say, but waits for a response.
“Was I?” my voice comes out as whisper, but it sounds amplified in the silence of the night. I can’t imagine how loud the screaming must have sounded…
“If you’re worried that you woke anyone else, don’t be. These walls have noise barriers,” he assures while looking appreciatively around the room. I store that statement in the back of my head for review in a better state of mind and nod. We sit in silence for a few moments and I can feel his eyes burning into my head as I hide my face beneath my fringe. I wipe away the sweat and tears, too mentally occupied to feel embarrassed about crying in front of Draco.
“I - um,” he hesitates. “I woke up and you… were you having a nightmare?”
“You never said you had nightmares.”
“You never asked,” I say and meet his gaze. Now that my breathing has slowed and I’m feeling slightly more self-aware, I realize that I haven’t thanked Draco.
“Thank you. Y’know for…” I trail off. What exactly did he do?
“Never thought I’d see the day that The Great Wizard Harry Potter thanks me,” he says with a disarming half-smile. I appreciate his attempt to lighten the mood, so I try my best to laugh. It comes out as a single, lame sound.
“Heh…” I let the crackling of the dying fire fill the lull in conversation. I take a deep breath, knowing what I have to say next.
“You don’t have to explain anything, Harry,” he says, but I know he want’s to know what happened in the dream and I want to tell him.
“It was about Voldemort. He killed Cedric Diggory,” Draco grimaces. At the mention of Cedric or Voldemort, I can’t tell. I look at what’s left of the extinguished fire.
“You said… You wanted someone to kill you. You instead of Cedric, then?” Draco says, voicing his thoughts aloud, as he puts the pieces of the puzzle together himself. The sympathy that washes over Draco’s features is even more emotionally perplexing than the smile I long to see.
“Even though he’s gone, I still think about him every day and… if that wasn’t enough, he likes to visit at night,” I say, without a second regard as to why. Maybe it’s left over side effects from the Veritaserum or maybe just my subconscious kicking in, but I do want Draco to know.
“Diggory or… You-Know-Who?” he asks.
“Well, the thought of one tends to eventually bring the other along,” I answer bitterly. Again, Draco is stuck silent for a while before speaking.
“I don’t know what to say, Harry.”
“Me either,” I sigh. Another long silence is interrupted by a sudden thought of Draco’s.
“Well, that settles it. You can sleep in the bed.”
“I don’t- er,” I can feel my cheeks becoming warm, “I don’t think we’ll fit?” It was a total lie. The bed was big enough for Hagrid, let alone the two of us, but I become flustered at the thought of sharing a bed. And with Draco of all people? “But if you want to…”
“Not both of us, you twat. Just you,” he says. “It’s enchanted for a dreamless sleep. I’ve always had nightmares growing up so when I moved away from home to come to Hogwarts, Father thought this was a perfect solution.”
“I never knew that.”
“No one does, so tell anyone and I’ll have your head by sundown,” he flashes that lazy half smile that I’ve grown so fond of these past few hours in the Malfoy Private Bedroom.
“C’mon. We’ve got to get to bed,” he says, rising to his feet and walking over to a dresser. He pulls out a pair of fresh silk pyjamas and lays them on the bed. “That should be more comfortable than your uniform. Bathroom’s over there.” He waves over his shoulder to a door by the dresser where he stands.
It only just now occurs to me that I’m still in yesterday’s clothes and the pyjamas look softer by the second. I pick them up, make my way pass Draco and quickly change without glancing around the bathroom. When I come back out, Draco has brought a pillow over to the couch I previously was sleeping on. He also picks up the blanket I kicked away as I slept.
“I see you enjoyed that,” he throws the blanket onto the couch.
“Was that there when I fell asleep?”
He shrugs and gestures to the bed.
“It’s all yours. Although, a fair warning? The drowsiness takes effect immediately when you lay down,” he draws open the curtains and leans against the bedpost with his shoulder. “Works wonders, though.” I scoff, and it soon turns into a yawn. The urge to sleep guides my body to brush past Draco and climb into the softest, most wonderful bed I’ve ever touched. The sheets feel already warmed and welcoming, the pillows engulf my head and the soft blankets feel heavenly against my tired body. The bed smells of something familiar- something good- and I can feel my eyes begin to droop, but there’s one last thing I have to do.
“Draco?” I say as the sleepiness begins to pull me away from reality.
“Mmm?” he hums and draws the two sheer curtains together.
Chapter 6: Part 6: Talking Shower
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“Potter,” says a voice I’ve heard all too often these past couple of days. I open my eyes to a very blurry Draco leaning over me and shaking my shoulder. “Get up, Potter.” He stops shaking my shoulder once he sees that I’m awake and I reach past him to grab my glasses off of the night stand where I set them last night… Last night?
“Wh - what time is it?” I sit up and take a moment to gather my bearings. A warm feeling engulfs me when I think about last night; I know it’s not the fire because the night has reduced it to dark coals.
“It’s nearly time for breakfast. You’ll want to get up.” Draco says.
“You don’t know what I want…” I mutter inaudibly. I push the heavy duvet back and swing my legs off the edge of the plush mattress. As I rub my eyes, the sleep fades and memories of what took place mere hours ago become clearer. Looking back now, last night feels more like a dream.
Draco openes his mouth as if he’s going to say something, but he hesitates a moment before closing his mouth and walking away, leaving me alone with my thoughts. Light spills through the enchanted windows and I see Draco’s room in a different light; literally and figuratively. The cozy feeling from the night before has been extinguished along with the fire. I realize just how foreign this place is from the usual dorms and how spoiled Draco must be. I watch him begin to fix up his hair in the mirror, knowing that it might be a while before we leave if he hasn’t perfected his white-blond hair yet.
“If you’d like to wash up, you can use the shower,” Draco says, looking at me over his shoulder in the mirror and waving to the door to the bathroom. I must look like a mess.
“Er… thanks,” I make my way past Draco and push open the door to the bathroom. Now that I’m in less of a rush, I take a moment to admire the interior of the Private Malfoy Bathroom: silver plated knobs and faucets liter the room and reflect the light coming through a large window taking up nearly the whole wall opposite of the door. A bathtub resembling a smaller scale version of the one in the prefects’ bathroom sits beneath the window, looking out onto the Hogwarts grounds. To my left, there’s a marble counter with a sink and large mirror. To my right, a shower with glass walls surrounds a gargoyle head, which I assume must be the… shower head. The stone head on the wall looks slightly odd in such a lavish room.
I undress and wrap a towel tightly around my waist. I look around for a knob to turn on the shower, but the tile walls are bare.
“Uh…” I touch the nose of the gargoyle. Nothing happens. How do I turn on this damn shower? I try searching the walls for an invisible knob, but find nothing. I also try kicking the wall, but nothing happens besides a sharp pain shooting up my shin and a loud thud echoing in the bathroom.
“What are you doing?” says a voice from the door. Draco knocks, “Can I come in?”
“Wait… er- I mean,” I have no idea what I’m telling him to wait for. I shoot a quick glance to the counter where I set my clothes down, but they seem to have disappeared. I know I set them down there…
“I’m coming in,” he says as the door cracks open - did I lock it?- and I grip the towel a bit tighter around my waist.
“Having trouble?” says a very amused Draco. He leans against the doorframe, arms crossed and lips pressed together tightly to suppress a grin.
“The shower- er… I can’t seem to figure it out. And, where are my clothes? I set them down just there…” I say and gesture to towards the counter while silently cursing the bathroom.
“Oh, I forgot to mention,” he says as the corner of his mouth twitches into a smirk. “The bathroom cleans everything up. If you left them, they’re probably being washed as we speak. As for the shower, you just have to tell it to turn on. I thought you could at least figure that out.”
“Oh,” I can feel the heat begin to rise in my cheeks, partially from my stupidity and partially because of how embarrassing it is to be standing in nothing but a towel in front of Draco Malfoy with a throbbing toe and a terrible case of bed head.
“Best leave you to it, then,” he says and begins closing the door. “If you need anything, just call.” The door shuts and I turn to the head on the wall.
“Turn on you sorry piece of-” I say through gritted teeth, and immediately am hit with a stream of cold water. I throw off the now soaked towel and begin to wet my hair. The cool water washes all traces of sleep from my body.
“Piece of what?” I hear echo in the bathroom. I throw the sopping wet towel back around my body, in case anyone is present, and wait for the voice again. I initially think it’s Draco standing at the door again, but when I look he’s nowhere to be seen.
“Who said that?” I look around, but the bathroom is empty. I swear I can hear Draco sniggering outside the door.
“Look up, you ungrateful boy,” the female voice says again. I do, and am met with the Gargoyle’s stare. It blinks. I yell and hear his laughter ringing outside the door. That little…
“Little what? My master deserves the upmost respect, Harry Potter,” says the gargoyle. I know for a fact that I didn’t say anything besides ‘Draco’ so how did-
“I can hear your thoughts, boy,” he gargoyle interrupts. “I hear any thought in The Shower. After all, this is where the deepest thoughts take place, so they must be shared.”
“Er… right,” I say.
“A stranger has never stepped foot inside this shower, Harry Potter. So I must ask, under what conditions is a - please do excuse the foul language- Gryffindor doing in The Shower?”
“I stayed the night and Draco said I could-”
“Stayed the night, did you say? Stayed the night?” her voice rose with every word. “My Master let you stay here?”
“That’s right,” I say. Why does it seem that she’s so shocked? And how does she even know me? I look around the bathroom to distract myself. Something in the mirror across the bathroom catches my eye, and I turn to see a pale, shaggy black haired, lanky boy looking back at me. I do look sort of sickly, don’t I?
“Oh, Mr. Potter,” the gargoyle's shrill voice interjects. “You mustn’t be so negative towards yourself! Well, maybe it’s normal at your age. My master thinks such negative thoughts, so- oops! It seems that I’ve said too much,” she laughs a terrible sound of grinding rock. However, the water becomes warm, and I assume that she must be warming up to me.
“Ah, well… thank you for the advice,” I say and try to keep my mind blank. But after a few minutes I begin to wonder. So, does she mean that Draco thinks negative thoughts about himself or me? If Draco has shared thoughts with this Gargoyle-
“Ms. Gargoyle to you, Mr. Potter. And yes, if you must know, he shares his thoughts quite frequently. But, ah- ah no, I’m afraid I will not be sharing any more. Especially not with you of all people.” Me of all people? Well, besides being Draco’s biggest rival and him hating me, what is here to know?
“Oh, there’s plenty you don’t know, Mr. Potter,” says Ms. Gargoyle in a know it all way.
“I am not a know it all, boy!” she says and the water begins to run scalding hot. “How dare you ever think-”
“Turn off,” I interrupt in the middle of Ms. Gargoyle’s rampage and she shuts off. I step out of the glass door and find a dry towel waiting for me on the counter where my clothes disappeared from. I begin to dry off and hear murmurs of voices outside the door. I wrap the towel securely around me before pressing my ear against the door to hear better.
“I’ve said a million times, the shower turns on and off when it pleases. Leave it be!” says Draco’s muffled voice, sounding annoyed.
“But, we heard voices,” says one of the noobish nuggets Draco calls his cronies. The voices become clearer and the two pairs of heavy footsteps become progressively louder, trailed by the quieter, longer strides of Draco. They’re coming to look in the bathroom.
“I’m telling you, no one is in there!” Draco yells, almost warning me of what’s coming. Just as the door swings open, I side step and press as far into the wall behind the open door as possible. I even suck in my stomach, which is being jabbed by the door knob, precariously wedged between the door and adjacent wall. There’s a sigh of relief from Draco.
“See? No one, you idiots,” he snaps. A short silence is followed by two grunts of approval from the witless wankers before the door shuts again, and I finally allow myself to breath. They really are stupid. There’s faint murmurs outside the door, followed by a door slamming and angry footsteps marching back to the bathroom. The handle rattles then, remembering his manners, there’s a knock.
“Are you, uh, covered?” he says.
“Yes, but-” the door opens and Draco walks in; I can practically see the smoke puffing from his ears.
“Oh, the nerve of those two. They’ll definitely be hearing about this at breakfast,” he fumes. Draco throws a pair of trousers and shirt at my chest and continues to pace the room.
“Yes, no problem,” he says unconsciously before continuing his rant. “They march into my room wondering where I was because I didn’t meet them to walk down to breakfast- honestly, can they not just walk down themselves?- and then practically storm the place and rush to the bathroom to see who’s in here. I mean, can you imagine what they would’ve thought if they saw you in here? Oh-”
“Yes, yes. I could imagine,” I roll my eyes and clutch the fresh clothes to my chest. “Now, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to put some clothes on.”
“Are you really asking if I mind or…”
“Get out,” I snap in a monotone and watch Draco slide from the doorframe. He smiles, ducks out of the room and shuts the door carefully behind him. I dry myself and dress quickly, not wanting Malfoy or any other talking bathroom features to suddenly pop in, and run my hair through the towel to dry it.
Unsurprisingly, when I look at my reflection in the mirror I see that my hair has settled into its natural untidy state and my cheeks are flushed a healthy pink. Right now is the most alive I’ve felt and looked in the past few weeks; not giving a thought to that terrible Umbridge, lessons with Snape or the Order. It also couldn’t have hurt that last night was the best sleep I’ve had in ages. The dark circles that have been brooding under my eyes seem just a bit lighter today.
I leave my towel on the counter, knowing the bathroom will clean itself, and enter the bedroom to find Draco kneeling over the fireplace, staring into freshly ignited flames. Draco is so focused on the fire that he doesn’t seem to hear my footsteps at all as I begin to cross the room.
“Draco, is there someone behind you?” says an uneasy, sharp voice from the fire. I stop and quickly duck behind the nearest place to hide which happens to be Draco’s bed. I can easily recognize the uptight voice as belonging to Draco’s father - Lucius Malfoy. Although it’s hard to admit, Draco has an uncanny resemblance to his father; the whitish-blonde hair, upturned nose and sharp face. If Draco were to settle his face in more of a disgusted frown and age a few decades, one would have trouble distinguishing father from son.
Draco quickly glances over his shoulder, and his eyes search the room until they land on me, peeking out from behind his bed. When we make eye contact, Draco smirks and nods ever so slightly. I can’t tell if it’s to me or his father and for a fleeting second, I think Draco is going to tell his father that it’s me. He turns back to Mr. Malfoy’s head in the fire and says in a straight tone, “There’s no one there.”
“Funny, I thought I- never mind. You know the means of my call,” Mr. Malfoy says, looking as if he is crunched for time and would much rather be doing anything but having a conversation with his son.
“I do,” Draco replied shortly with a slight nod.
There was a long pause.
“So, you are well, then?” Mr. Malfoy inquires, not sounding the least bit interested.
“Yes,” Draco says automatically.
“Doing well in your classes?”
“And I assume you are continuing to help Ms. Umbridge keep a handle on things at Hogwarts? Been keeping an eye on that Potter boy? He’s been-”
“Yes, of course.” Draco says impatiently, his voice rising suddenly.
“Do not snap at me, boy. I would think you’d be better at holding your tongue, knowing the consequences,” Mr. Malfoy says intimidatingly in an icy voice.
“I’m sorry, sir,” he says flatly. I risk a glance around the bed post and see Draco in the same spot as before, now standing with his fists clenched tightly behind his back.
“Very well. I’ll expect to see you same time tomorrow, as usual,” says Mr. Malfoy quickly, wanting to cut the conversation to an end. I’d do anything to have just one swing at him-
“Yes, sir,” Draco says, cutting my out of my violent thoughts.
“Goodbye, Draco,” he says and just like that, the fire returns back to normal. I hear Draco mutter some sort of delayed goodbye, then draw a long, wavering breath. I walk over and join him by the fire, leaning my shoulder against the mantel of the fireplace and crossing my arms. Draco is first to speak.
“Sorry you had to listen to that,” he says through gritted teeth, his jaw clenching and unclenching.
“Well, I’m sorry you had to talk to that,” I say, gesturing where his father’s head was seconds ago. I always thought Draco was so loyal to his family name, but right now it couldn’t seem less true.
The boy standing before me has his fists tightened into white-knuckled balls. Draco looks malevolent, as if he’d like to punch something rather violently and I take a step back by instinct - I’ve had too many run-ins with Dudley’s fist to be incautious - although I immediately feel bad in doing so.
Draco sees me back away and his face falls, all anger seeming belittled.
“I’m not going to hit you,” he says softly, which seems like such a silly thing for Draco Malfoy to be telling me. However, I can’t say I fully trust this slightly frightening Draco and his sometimes inconsistent actions, even though I want to.
“I-I know,” I lie.
“You think I would hurt you?” Draco says, sounding sullen. He hiding his hands in his pockets and looking gravely disappointed in himself.
“Well- er… I mean, you have before,” I point out, trying to reason. He looks at me and, naturally, I look at the ground.
“Yes, but that was before,” he says obviously.
“Er… right,” I say, “Before.” I don’t really know what Draco thinks he’s clarifying, but his spirits seem to pick up a little. In the silence that follows, I can hear his stomach growling.
“Let’s go eat.”
Chapter 7: Part 7: She Knows, Again
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Walking to the Great Hall for breakfast is awkward, to say the least. This late into the morning everyone is already gathered and enjoying their breakfasts, leaving Draco and I as the only two roaming the deserted halls. There’s a different air between us now. Last night felt somewhat fluid and playful. Draco and I didn’t have to follow our prosaic roles as enemies in the confines of that hidden, dimly lit private bedroom. We could throw insults back and forth along with little bits of private thoughts- it was easy.
This morning, however, in the broad daylight with nothing like Veritaserum as an excuse to overshare or a fireplace to cozy next to, Draco is acting different and I’m sure the same could be said for me. Now, it seems as if a wall has appeared between us, one that’s less easy to break through.
Both of our minds must be wandering, because we manage to let the shifting staircases get the best of us, ending up lost more than once. The entire time I’m hoping that Draco will stop and say something, anything to the shorten the distance growing between us. As the clanking of dishes and echos of chatter become louder, my hope begins to dwindle.
Just then, Draco clumsily clears his throat. “So…”
“Yes?” I ask too quickly, making it clear that I was waiting for him to speak.
“I think I should wait out here for a few minutes. You know, so people don’t think anything stupid,” Draco announces hurriedly. He smooths the front of his robes, as if a wrinkle may give away that I just spent the night in his room.
“Oh,” I sigh, trying not to sound disappointed. “Right.” I turn to walk away, but Draco’s voice interrupts me.
“Oh, and… Potter?”
“What?” I question, becoming slightly irritated. Last night, we were on a first name basis and now we’re back to this? I know that I’m probably hungry and coming off of a bad night’s rest, but I can’t help the slight annoyance that seeps into my mind.
“Remember to cover up the tie,” Draco says, while motioning to his own tie wrapped neatly around his neck. Draco had to let me borrow one this morning along with the rest of the school uniform. The only difference in what I’m wearing now is a tie that is silver and green, not my normal Gryffindor colors.
“Yeah, no problem,” I snap a little harshly. I hitch up my robe to cover my neck before walking brusquely though the doors, ignoring to odd glances and whispers beginning to buzz in the air. When I finally find my seat I sit next to Ron, slamming my hands down on the table. Ron’s dozing head jolts off the table, and it takes him a few seconds to recognize my face.
“Harry!” He yells. “Thank goodness you’re alright. We had no idea where you were last night and I was-” Ron stifles a yawn. “I was up all night waiting for you to come back, wasn’t I Hermionie? She said I shouldn’t worry, but after everything that’s happened I wasn’t to sure you were going to come back from… wherever it is that you were...” Ron’s eyes sag tiredly through his whole explanation, causing a wave a guilt to wash over me.
“I’m sorry Ron. I had no idea…”
“That’s alright, mate,” he says and begins stuffing his mouth heartily full of breakfast scramble.
“Where were you last night, anyway, Harry?” Hermione inquires smartly. She was so quiet, I almost forgot that she was sitting right across from us.
“Well, hello to you too, Hermione. I’m doing just great this morning, and yourself?”
“Yes, it’s quite clear that you’re doing great, Harry. No new nicks or bruises, no scratches or tales of near death adventures. It’s seems to me that you’re perfectly and completely fine, right?”
“Yeah…” I say apprehensively. I’m not really following what she’s trying to get across. Clearly neither is Ron by the way his mouth hangs open, allowing crumbs to fall freely.
“So, if you really are great and all, you weren’t out fighting monsters,” she raises a finger to point at me.
“No,” I shake my head.
“You weren’t out fighting Lord Voldemort,” she ticks off a second finger. Ron winces and cowers away from Hermione, although I think it’s from a different reason than mentioning Voldemort.
I can only shake my head again.
“And you weren’t out fighting that nasty Umbridge Lady,” she raises another finger and clasps her hands in her lap in a very Mrs.-Weasley-like way.
“No” I mutter.
“Well, that’s a shame really. That women could do with some good fighting…” Hermione looks wistfully at her pile of eggs on her plate. Then, very suddenly, she focuses back on me. “But that’s not the point. If you weren’t out doing any of those three things last night, then you had no reason to be out after-hours. I am a prefect, you know. If I had any sense at all, I would take points from Gryffindor…”
“Hermione, no! You can’t!” Ron erupts, hysterically shaking his head.
“You wouldn’t do that, Hermione,” I gasp.
“Oh, I would. But, perhaps I can let it slide if you tell us where you were last night,” Hermione says with a smile, knowing I’ve fallen victim to her perfect setup. Her eyes flicker down to my uniform, as if it could be hiding any hints. I remember the Slytherin tie wrapped neatly around my neck and tighten my hold on the robe covering it. When Hermione sees my hands around my neck and robe, her eyes narrow.
“What’s on your neck?” she says and sets down her fork.
“What are you talking about, Hermione? Have you gone mad?” Ron questions.
“Hermione don’t,” I say and swat her hand away when she reached for my robe, nearly unveiling the green stripes hidden beneath. Why did I even put on this stupid tie?
“You’re clearly hiding something, Harry. And if you won’t tell me what then I’ll have to take 10 poi-”
The doors to the Great Hall burst open, causing a cool rush of air to brush at everyone's ankles and the room to fall silent. Draco struts in, takes long and slow strides as he makes his way to the Slytherin table, his chest inflated and nose pointed up. Just before he sits, he holds up a hand and says, “Don’t let me keep you all waiting. Dig in.”
This causes his cronies surrounding him to snicker and the rest of the students to simultaneously roll their eyes. The conversations pick up again, and when I look back at Hermione, she’s sitting with both elbows on the table, her chin resting on her folded hands in mid air. A small smile creeps onto her face.
“I knew it,” Hermione sighs, looking contempt with having seemingly come up with the answer.
“Knew what?” Ron looks from Hermione to me wildly. My hands start to sweat while they grip my robe. She couldn’t know.
“Must’ve been an eventful night, hm?” Hermione entices. “Perhaps the school has a new couple, now-”
“Come off it, Hermione,” I say while trying to sound assertive, but falling just short of embarrassed. “Nothing happened, alright?”
“Yes, I’m sure nothing happened,” she said with a wicked laugh, causing Ron to go red.
“What? What do you mean? Where were you, Harry?” Ron looks between us and I stay silent.
“Isn’t it obvious, Ron? Our little Harry, here, stayed the night with-”
“With Cho. I stayed with- er- Cho,” I interrupt, trying to deter Hermione’s atempts at ruining my life.
“But that’s impossible. There’s no boys allowed in the girls dorms, plus Harry doesn’t know where the Ravenclaw tower is,” Ron scoffs. “Fat chance there.”
“Hermione helped me find it and get in. Isn’t that right, Hermione?” I smile and look back at her. If Hermione insists upon knowing everything, then at least I can pull her down with me.
She glares at me, “Oh, yes. I forgot about that small detail,” she rolls her eyes and continues eating. “So, Harry… How are you and Cho doing?”
Ron looks at me, waiting to be ‘filled in’ on this new information.
“Oh, not much has happened. We’ve kind of just been talking,” I say truthfully, whether talking about Draco or the real Cho.
“Well, that’s good. Perhaps you should go talk to Cho? She didn’t look too happy walking in late this morning,” she says wisely. She glances at Ron to see if he picks up on any of her hints, but he’s busy downing a glass of pumpkin juice.
“Maybe I will,” I say, although I know it’s far from the truth. Suddenly, I feel something hit my leg and a memory from last night registers.
“What are you guys even doing? Is it really what you want or are you just playing with fire?” she says very seriously.
“I… I don’t know. We had a great time last night- no, nothing happened like that- but this morning he-she” I quickly correct myself, causing Ron’s head to pick up and focus on the conversation. “She wasn’t really talking to me at all. It was kind of…”
“Dreadful?” she finishes, sounding like she knows exactly what I’m going through. She glances quickly at Ron before focusing back on me.
“Yes,” I sigh. “And I don’t know what I should do.”
“Well, you should talk to her. Soon, before it’s toon late?” she says, nibbling at her toast. She’s so good at covering up Draco with Cho, she even has me wondering if she’s really talking about Draco. Then, she gestures to her tie and raises her eyebrows. It takes me a second, but I realize that my- well, Draco’s- tie is showing completely. I hoist my robe higher around my neck.
“You think I should talk to her? Right now?”
“Right now,” she nods. The thought of talking to Draco right now makes my stomach tighten, but I know Hermione's right. I have to do this today, before it’s too late.
“Hold on, I have an idea,” I say and drop my fork, hearing it hit the ground. I lean under the table to pick it up and find myself face to face with a little Slytherin first year.
“Why, hello there,” I say and smile.
“Harry Potter!” the little boy shrieks. Once he regains his composure from the initial shock, his face contorts into a rancorous expression, “I don’t talk to half-bloods like yourself,” he spits.
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever,” I roll my eyes. “Listen, I know you’ve heard everything we’ve said so far. Now, there’s one last thing I want you to tell Draco when you report back to him.”
“I will not do anything you say,” he scrunches up his nose and crosses his arms. Was I this annoying in my first year?
“Just tell Draco to meet me at the Room of Requirements, okay?”
“I don’t take orders from you, Harry Po- ow!” he shrieks as Hermione’s foot roughly connects with his ribcage. Two loud clatters of forks being dropped are followed by Hermione’s and Ron’s head ducking under the table
“Hermione, how the bloody hell did you know-”
“I’ll explain later, Ron,” Hermione says impatiently and turns to the little boy she just kicked.
“I suggest you pass the message along, or my leg might have another spasm,” Hermione hisses. The rancorous look in her eyes is enough to make the boy cower away.
“Alright, alright. I’ll tell him,” the little boy says as he rubs his side sorely.
“Good decision, I’d say,” Ron pipes in.
The boy opens his mouth as if to say something, but decides against it. He insteads begins crawling away towards the slytherin table, dodging legs underneath the table. Hermione, Ron and I watch him leave before snatching our dirty forks from the ground and resurfacing above the tabletop.
“Nice work, Hermione,” Ron says a little timidly. I’m sure the intense stare that Hermione gave the little boy is still fresh in Ron’s mind.
“Thanks, Ron,” Hermione says brightly with a full smile. “But, now I think Harry has some place to be?” She looks at me expectantly, eyebrows raised and hands folded to rest on the table.
“Oh, right,” I say and look at my plate. My body feels as if it has been electrified, buzzing with excitement and anxiety.
“Well, aren’t you meant to be going now, Harry?” Hermione says carefully.
“Yes,” I say, but make no effort to leave the table. I can feel my nerves beginning to get the best of me.
“Harry, you’ve got to go before it’s too late,” Hermione states firmly, as if reading my mind.
“You’re not backing out, now, are you? ‘Cos, It’s a little late for that, isn’t it?” Ron questions exasperatedly.
“But, we’ll… be alone…” I say quietly.
“Well, we can come with you if you’d like,” Hermione says and begins to stand.
“No- no!” I grab her hand and sit her back down, “That’s… that’s not necessary. I can go on my own.”
“Well, if you insist,” she smiles smartly at me from across the table. How did she manage to get me begging to go alone?
“You’re a wicked woman, Hermione,” Ron says in a state of awe.
“Thanks Ron. You’re just full of compliments today,” Hermione beams at Ron in her stroke of excellence.
Ron turns to me and whispers to me as I leave the table, “I don’t know how she does it, mate. She’s quite good, that Hermoine”
“Yes,” I mutter grudgingly. “Yes she is.”
Chapter 8: Part 8: Meeting Malfoy
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As I leave the Great Hall, my stomach is left doing somersaults. I hear my footsteps echo in the empty hallways in tandem with the rapid pounding from my chest. My head is swimming with questions as my feet carry me mindlessly to the Room of Requirements.
There’s still time to turn back and forget the whole thing. Right?
Will he even show up?
How the bloody hell does Hermione know everything?
I make it to the 7th floor, pass the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy and reach the barren wall of the concealed door. I walk past it three times, but what do I need? Just a place to meet Draco, one that’s quiet and we can’t be disturbed in…
A large, pink wooden door appears and I reach out, swinging it open. My jaw drops in disgust and embarrassment. This is not what I need in the slightest. The room looks as if Valentine’s Day threw up all over the walls, leaving the stench of love and pink frills in its wake.
I shut the door and sigh. I can’t talk to Draco in there.
I kick the door and the force makes it rattle. The door quickly shrinks, but when it reappears it’s narrow and no longer pink. Instead, the door is old looking and beaten down. I shrug slightly to myself; at least it’s not pink.
When I open the Room of Requirements for the second time, I’m greeted by a small broom closet I’ve become very accustomed to hiding in with the Weasley twins. I’ll take a broom closet over that terribly decorated Love Room any day. I step inside and shut the door and the room becomes dark. It’s a tight squeeze; this room must have it out for me.
Now, I wait and listen for footsteps coming down the hall. I know what I want to say to Draco, but it’s never that simple. Words never come easily around him. Why did I ever think this was a good idea?
Suddenly, the door tears open causing a whirl of wind to cover my eyes with dark hair and my robes to float around my ankles. The silhouette of a tall boy stands in the doorway, looking into the cramped room.
“This has got to be a joke, Potter,” Draco says, practically growling.
“Get it or you’ll be seen,” I say, but he’s already moved into the cramped space and slammed the door shut. The room becomes dark again, and I struggle to grab the wand from my pocket, accidentally elbowing Draco in the ribs- “Ouch!” - in the process before muttering an incantation.
“Lumos,” I say, a small light illuminating the closet. Draco leans back against the wall across from me, but I’m very aware of our knees brushing and a slow breathing in the silence that follows.
“You wanted to see me?” Draco begins. He looks around, seeming very interested in the broom closet. His eyes land everywhere but on my face.
“Yes,” I say. That’s a good start, Harry. Isn’t it, Hermione? says an encouraging voice in my head. He makes Grawp’s English sound very impressive Hermione says, sounding disappointed. Hermione, don’t be so rude! And with that, they begin to bicker. Real helpful, guys.
“And… Are you actually going to tell me what’s going through your head for once?”
“Er- yes,” I say, but this time find it in myself to keep going. “I want to talk about what happened last night, before it’s too late-”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Potter. Nothing happened last night,” he snaps before I’m even given a chance to finish. The aggression suddenly engulfing his voice and contorting his face surprises me. I try to take a step back, but only bump into the wall. This damn room.
“Bu- what do you mean? I only wanted to talk,” I stutter, clearly thrown off guard. “And obviously you do too, or you wouldn’t have come,” I say, the initial confusion slipping from my mind and molding into anger. Why is Draco always so infuriating?
“Harry, listen to me, because I’m only saying this once,” Draco takes a shuddering breath, trying to control himself. He inches forward in the close confines and the intimidating nature of his features forces me to keep eye contact with him. I shouldn’t have told him to come.
“I am nothing like you,” he says. “And I never will be, no matter how hard you try to change that. So, you can stop messing with my head-”
“What- what are you talking about?” I say, my cheeks becoming heated. I can feel my blood begin to boil.
He stays silent and there’s a dangerous pause in the conversation.
“I’m not trying to change anything about you!” I yell, angry that he’s accusing me of something nearly impossible. Change Draco Malfoy? How could I? How could anyone?
“Last night wasn’t real. Whatever you thought happened… it didn’t,” he says, and I can tell the anger is beginning to seep from my skin and enter his.
“You‘re a liar,” I spit the words and try to push past Draco. I need to leave this place. I shouldn’t have tried to talk to him. I knew it would never happen.
“I’m not like you,” he repeats, trying to keep me in place. Whatever point he’s trying to get across by saying that he’s not like me, it’s not working. The only thing he’s doing successfully is making my temper rise.
“Would you stop saying that, you prick,” I shove his shoulder, and I’m sure his head hits the wall behind him. Good. I hope it hurt.
“Well, I’m not,” he pushes in retaliation and my back slams into the cold stone wall. This isn’t how this meeting was supposed to happen.
“Spit it out, whatever you have to say, Draco. I’m sick of waiting for you.”
“That’s exactly it!” He yells incredulously, holding out both hands as if the words I spoke were gifts in his palms. “You’re just waiting for me to crack, aren’t you?”
“Do you even hear what you’re saying? You’re not making any sense!” I clench my fists and see red. I begin to turn away from him, towards the door.
“I’m not- I’m not… gay,” he says loudly, emphasizing the last word as the veins in his neck seem to pop out from his translucent skin. He clutches my upper arm, holding me in place a step away from the door. Why is he so adamant to say this?
“Let me go,” I say weakly as my eyes fall to the ground, too ashamed to look him in the eye. It’s like he’s trying to hurt me- physically and mentally. It’s working, and I just want to leave. This was a bad idea. It’s all my fault that we’re here in the first place.
“Let me go,” I repeat, my voice barely above a whisper. It feels as if every word he has spoken has been a blow to the stomach, knocking the wind out of me. His grip on my arm loosens and his hand drops to his side. I see his expression fall and seize the opportunity to escape this terrible, wretched room. Draco opens his mouth, but I’m out the door before he can do anymore damage. This is all my fault.
I walk in quick strides away. I feel the hot tears begin to collect at the bottom of my eyes, blurring my vision. How could I be so stupid? I turn the corner of the corridor and lift my glasses from the bridge of my nose, wiping my eyes on my sleeve.
“Harry!” an urgent voice echoes down the hall from the Room of Requirements. I can hear the door slam shut and long, heavy strides of Draco running down the hall. What more could he possibly have to say? I keep my head down and continue walking. Maybe if I just ignore him, he’ll find that publicly embarrassing me isn’t necessary at the moment.
“Harry, stop,” he says, grabbing my arm again. This time it’s a gentle touch, but I violently brush it off.
“Don’t touch me,” I say and begin to walk faster. He’s just playing with my emotions, now.
“Harry, hold on a second,” Draco sounds desperate. It’s as if the hateful words we both said just moments ago never happened. The only evidence of the terrible things that were said is the dull throbbing in my chest.
“Please, leave me alone,” and a few tears roll down my cheeks, feeling cool against the hot skin. He jogs to stand right in front of me and stops. I try to move past him, but he doesn’t budge. When all else fails, I look to the ground dreading whatever he has to say.
“I’m sorry,” he says softly.
“Like hell you are,” I say and try to shove both of his shoulders out of the way, but he catches my wrists. He draws them together, encompassing my wrists and hands in his. My head drops to rest on my clenched fists that Draco holds against his chest. I shut my eyes, trying to shut out how warm his hands are, or how I can feel his chest rise with every soothing breath he takes, or how I can feel his heart thump hard and quickly against my fists.
“Harry…” he says and I can feel his face inch forward, but my eyes remain closed. What the hell is happening?
“Look at me,” he says, and I can feel the words leave his lips. My eyes quickly obliged and I’m alarmed to see Draco’s face so close, smiling back at me with that disarming half-smile.
“What are you doing?” I say, leaning away, but he leans forward as I do. This isn’t really Draco. The true Draco was just screaming how much he hates me. This must be a dream.
“This,” he says and quickly closes the gap between us. His lips barely touch mine in a salty, forceful kiss for just a second before I push at his chest with my hands he still holds. I struggle to pull away, but eventually do, shocked at the recklessness of what he’d just done. I feel the air leave my body, even after only a small kiss. Draco looks confused, but his breathing is labored like it took great efforts to… to kiss me?
Thoughts flood my brain and I quickly push all but one away. One involving Draco, kissing and nothing more. This is right. He knows it’s right. It feels so right.
I look into his eyes, our heads mere millimeters apart. He looks confused and surprised; probably surprised at what he had just done and confused at what I had done to stop it.
“Come off it. Will you, Harry?” Draco says. I know he’s anxious for a response, but I seem to be having trouble finding my voice. I think it fled the scene along with my sanity.
“I understand,” he adds quickly. “After everything I just said…” Draco looks down and lets go of my hands, but I don’t move them from his chest. Instead, I move my right hand to brush his hair out of his eyes and linger in the soft tufts of blond for a moment. I’ve wanted this for so long, and now that it’s here… I can’t let it get away.
“You don’t understand a thing, Draco,” I say and barely finish my sentence before my lips are on his again. My eyes fall shut, under the intoxicating spell known as Draco Malfoy.
His hands find the wall behind me and he props himself against it, a hand on either side of my head. This time, the kiss is slow and I can practically taste the need spilling from Draco’s mouth and the way it moves. His lips are silky, and feel plumper than they look, as they press against mine.
Everytime I imagined kissing Draco, I imagined it rough and sloppy. However, actually living it was a completely different experience. Never once did I imagine his hands being so gentle or his lips so kind. I never imagined that he would trail his fingertips down my arm, leaving goosebumps in its wake or my hands tangle into the perfect hair I’ve admired for so many years. Never once did I imagine how good it would feel to know that someone wants you back.
I don’t know exactly how long it lasts, but I know it isn’t long enough before our lips separate breathlessly. My eyes remain closed, not wanting the moment to end, and his forehead presses against mine. Draco’s here. He’s real. This is real.
“Harry,” Draco says raspily as he backs away slightly. My eyes reluctantly open to look at the boy standing before me: He’s a strikingly platinum, messy-haired blonde with glowing cheeks tinted red and soft features; relaxed brows, dazed grey eyes speckled blue and swollen, pink lips.
I just kissed… Draco?
“You… You just-” he stumbles over his words.
“What’s the matter - snake got your tongue?” I say, cracking a smile.
“No,” he says becoming defensive and slightly more red in the cheeks. He stands back, shoving his hands in his pockets, leaving me leaning against the stone hallway. I cross my arms over my chest and look at him admiringly.
“So does this mean you’re sorry?” I joke with Draco, ready to give him a little bit of a hard time. “That you’d like to apologize for saying you’re not-”
“Watch how you end that sentence, Potter,” Draco steps back and leans against the wall opposite of mine. A group of Hufflepuff girls turns the corner into our once deserted hallway, I must not have heard them.
Draco stares as if throwing knives in their direction while we wait for them to pass, but I’m thankful for the momentary interruption. As my head clears, the thoughts suddenly begin to flood in. I just kissed Draco. Well no, he kissed me. We kissed each other?
The Hufflepuffs begin giggling and whispering as soon as they pass, and I begin to realize how weird this must look.
“Well… What does this mean?” Draco asks, turning his attention back to me as soon as the Hufflepuffs’ laughter is out of hearing range. I can tell he’s becoming slightly frustrated when a slight crease forms between his eyebrows as he anxiously tugs at his bottom lip with his teeth.
“I don’t know what to think,” My eyes lingered on his lips before turning to their safest place; the ground. When I glance back up, Draco’s smiling.
“Maybe you should think less for once, Potter.”