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The unknown strife by VipersCroon
Chapter 1 : Monday I
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1

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Harry eyes the person not far down the table.

They have contrasting houses unity seating arrangements now, imagine: Snakes to the lions, ravens to badgers - and mix the lot like that was just real fun. Even the benches are spelled for the purpose. If more than fifty percent of one house wants to claim one table as their own some random students of said dominant house are being puffed off their seats by magical airbags – made of real air – not letting their butts anywhere near the wood again. Both Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables are 50/50 all the time, yet they get along anyway. As for the dramatic lack of snakes late off it's rather 50/15 and 50/0 with the Gryffindor Slytherin unity. It looks quite pathetic somehow. But at least Hogwarts is trying to make a point with the get along hex, how students call it.

There is that unitiy which is everyone with no green tie tolerating those who wear one. And who in turn are surprisingly well-behaved in tolerating being tolerated. One would have thought grudges might have blossomed once the snakes showed up after everything they, well - on both ends for that. But it appears the war left peoples' minds too sober to be having passionate outburts of resentful fits. The leftover cluster of Slytherin students even issued a kind of statement once the contrasting houses was a thing: Without a word they gave their own table up and crowd themselves at the old Gryffindor since. Not conquering, though. More like alright, we got it, there you go all, there. Maybe it is that what helps not hating them too much. A sign of good will. Or maybe it's that poor, little first year girl that cried her little soul out after being sorted into Slytherin at the start of term.

Things are not optimal yet, but they are better than they could be. It's a start.

However, as Harry Potter that morning not quite stares at but rather observes that particular person down the once Gryffindor table an all too familiar suspicion is making him frown. And this is not him being the only one left nursing a grudge, it's just: Draco Malfoy may only be innocently having his breakfast porridge but something seems to be so wrong with just the way he's having it.

His movements are too slow as he lifts the spoon from his bowl, his eyes are drifting off as if in thought (in scheming?) and he seems so distracted actually (by a plan probably, by an evil one?) that he only manages to keep his lids open as long as to surveil his snail-paced food-lifting facewards so it'll go properly up into his mouth and not his nose. Once a load sits safely on his tongue his eyes nudge shut again and he's back in whatever Ex-Death-Eater-Revenge-Masterplan occupying his mind. He takes like minutes to suckle the porridge off his spoon, finds the bowl blindly afterwards and only then glances again, repeating the weird ritual.

Harry is not having a passionate outburts of resentfulness. The git is obviously up to something. Again. By God, again! How dare he after everything? Even a snot by birth should know when to stop messing about and keep his head down in gratitude – gratitude for not sharing his father's fate in Azkaban, gratitude for having survived at all. Yet there he sits. Scheming. Harry knows it with every fibre of his -

"Oh, Fortuna's fortunate tits", Blaise Zabini moans out loud all of a sudden, "will you stop teasing the silverware like that, now will you, Draco? Slimy oat flakes are not quite the epitome of sex, yet here I swear I feel like watching soft porn."

The scowl contorting Malfoy's face is absolutely not amused. He's turning pink to the roots of his hair, eyes popping snubbed.

Harry, much as many other students in earshot, can't but flinch and act as if he hasn't even paid attention at all. Some daring others snigger, though.

Not that Zabini doesn't have a point. Harry only so manages not to burst out laughing, especially after the whole morning long having gravely busied himself with analyzing this, Malfoy's so-called food slutting. Harry is still quite convinced of his up-to-something theory. Yet the random memory of Malfoy's middle name, and in a perfectly ridiculed version to fit the moment, is not helping him much to focus on being serious again.

Draco Luscious Malfoy.

If only he had the bully balls, he'd absolutely bring that up now.

"I am just dizzy, fuck you, and I'm trying not to make a mess", is what, after a weighty period of silent glaring at his fellow snake Zabini, Malfoy hisses in defense. Loud enough for everyone to catch, goes without saying.

Zabini scoffs. Harry does, too, the few seats away. Because Malfoy's statement was either the most ridiculous excuse for daydreaming/-scheming he's ever heard or just and plain the truth. He would be damned if he did not listen up now, and that he has to indeed as the conversation of the Slytherin boys drops down to a very private volume instantly.

"No good from Pomfrey?"

"Wasn't there."

"Why, though? You should? If you can't even eat you cannot attend classes-"

"She will think I am reacting to the potion. I'm not, though."

" ... but you could be, you know that."

"She won't give me any more, then."

"What would be right if you're reacting badly w-"

"I'm not! I'm just a bit unwell. And I need the - I cannot afford to go without. I need to sleep. I do not sleep. Without."

"I know, drama queen. Dorm mates, are we two or not? Still I think that you're a moron."

"Think you're ugly, so."





And that's it. Zabini flashes an involuntary grin at the lost banter, slowly blinks his eyes with a sigh and drops it. They don't talk much interesting after that.

I do not sleep, though.

Of course that is what stays in Harry's mind and lingers just a moment too long. That's nothing you just say. Not an excuse, so. His instinct tells him truth. Harry feels promptly reminded of his own nightly terrors, even now after the war vivid like when they just started. But Malfoy having such? It's uncomfortable to think about. He doesn't want to sympathise over mutual nightmares or whatever might be keeping his old nemesis from sleep, no, not with him - but having suspected something evil from the poor bastard while he's just having a bad time ... yet then again, who's not nowadays? They're all having a bad time. Recovering.

"Hey mate", chews Ron suddenly, "you finished? I stuffed myself in high speed to be early for class. You know we have Potions in that new classroom now, and Mione threatened me well as she ran off that either I be early enough to grab a good seat in the front with her or I can partner up with whatever late boob I end up in the back with. You better be early, too, unless you want to land in the ambush - you know that's usually viper's land."

With that Harry's freckled companion through life and death throws a hazy glance towards the nearest anyone with a green tie.

Not that there are so many.

Harry just sighs, cracks a smile at the thought of how he could possibly have missed an overly excited Hermione storming away from beside him (because that's where she sat last he checked – when exactly was that again?) and gets going with his friend.

Down the hall he passes Malfoy's back. Shoots him another unsure glance. And slightly shakes his head.

Up to something. Dear. As if.

He should give it a rest. It's almost as if Harry can't handle not being attacked anymore. Like he was downright aggressive lately when no one was acting weird on him for last month's bomb … the bomb he threw then. Not even Malfoy ever yanked his chain for it. He didn't yank it altogether since this eighth year started, reconsidered now.

Harry frowns, unhappy and not knowing why.

Am I waiting for that shit to start again? Or really, something worse?

No. Life after Voldemort is not dangerous. And it's okay. Harry would give it a rest. They should all give themselves, actually.

Even with Sleeping Draught if needed.




NEXT TIME: The 8th year students are headed for their Monday's Potions class. Surely there won't happen anything out of order, now will there? Like Draco having to teach instead of Slughorn. Like a monstrous seashell thing humping his arm while he tries. Like Harry Potter breaking the holy unwritten law of their temporary peace - with actually being nice, and right in Draco's face, the prat, how dare he?
Of course the legendary Malfoy/Potter vendetta blooming anew from this won't lead to any problems at all ...

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