DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter. I am not making any money from this. I'm doing it for the sheer joy of writing, and the need for a few good laughs. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it!


HANDCUFFS, Chapter 1

"WHAT?" Harry and Draco yelled at the same time.

Professor Flitwick, for one, didn't look the slightest bit ruffled. In fact, he almost seemed mildly amused. "I said there's nothing I can do. I'm amazed, but Neville's locking charm is exemplary, if a little bit over- enthusiastic."

"Enthusiastic?" Harry choked. "ENTHUSIASTIC? That's what you're calling it?"

"Well, I'd say compared to his endeavors of the past, this is exceptional performance for him. Even the twenty-four hour timing charm was perfectly included." Flitwick was almost beaming.

Harry glared at the tiny professor, then over Flitwick's shoulder at Neville, who was seemed simultaneously embarrassed and scared. He had a reason to be scared; Harry was seriously considering killing Neville just then. Strangely, that would have put him in agreement with Malfoy, possibly for the first time in his natural existence. Malfoy, however, was also the second person he wanted to exterminate at the moment. Unlike Neville, who Harry could simply ignore until the heated bloodlust subsided, Malfoy was stuck just a little bit closer to Harry.

Yanking his left fist into the air, Harry also dragged Draco's right hand aloft, eliciting a protest from the other boy, which Harry ignored. Joining their wrists was a shiny pair of handcuffs. "This is NOT a classroom experiment!" He shook his fist to emphasize his words. "I'm handcuffed to Malfoy! You've got to do something about this!"

Draco jerked the cuffs roughly, pulling Harry slightly off-balance. "It could be worse," he sneered. "I'm handcuffed to you. This is revolting."

Harry turned towards Draco, pulling the cuffs hard to the side. "Shut up, Malfoy. Your slimy Slytherin arse is the last thing I want to be stuck with right now."

"At least my arse is a fair sight prettier, you pathetic little prat," he spat.

"If you like your arse so much, why don't you bend over and kiss it goodbye before I strangle you?"

"Boys! Please!" Professor Flitwick was hopping up and down waving his hands frantically. "Let's not have a fight over nothing, shall we? This is only temporary. Here, go down to Dumbledore's office. You'll need to make arrangements for the night."

Both the boys looked as though they'd been punched in the stomach. Draco spoke first. "For the night?"

"Well yes," Flitwick replied simply. "You are going to be stuck together overnight, you see..."

"I am NOT sleeping in the same room as Malfoy!" Harry howled.

"You could always use a severing charm to remove your hand, Potter." Draco glanced down along the length of his nose. "Besides, with your chewed-up fingernails, you might be doing yourself a favour."

"How about I do everyone a favour and use that severing charm on your neck, Malfoy?"

"Boys!" Flitwick jumped in again. "I'll let professor Dumbledore know you're on your way up, so he'll be expecting you. Please, try not to kill each other on the way there."

Harry muttered something under his breath that included the phrase "...hide the body..."

He glanced across the room at Ron and Hermione. Ron was looking utterly mortified at the prospect of being stuck to Malfoy, and seemed as though he was ready to kill the Slytherin for Harry. Hermione's face was pinched with worry. The sound of cracking knuckles from the other side of the room pulled Harry's attention to Crabbe and Goyle, who were both flexing their massive arms as though preparing to remove Harry's hand themselves... manually. Pansy Parkinson was wrinkling up her nose and scowling. With a quick glance back at his friends, Harry nodded to try to reassure them that he'd be fine, although he wasn't quite sure that was true.

Steeling his jaw, he suddenly spun towards the door, whipping Malfoy around and half-dragging the other boy behind him.

"Watch yourself, Potter!" Malfoy hissed as he steadied his stride. "Don't try anything stupid."

With another harsh tug on the cuffs, while brushing his right hand against his wand, Harry snarled back, "Stupid, like letting you live through this?"

Behind them, the door to Professor Flitwick's classroom slammed shut.

"No, stupid, like this." Draco pulled his cuffed hand across his body, dragging Harry directly into his path, allowing Draco to jam an elbow into Harry's ribs.

"Ouch! You insufferable bastard!" Harry cursed as he resumed his stride, shooting looks of pure venom at Draco. "What the deuce is wrong with you? Cut the crap and maybe Dumbledore can get us out of this mess. I don't need to be stuck with you any longer than necessary."

The boys were plainly putting as much distance as possible between them as they walked.

"For once, Potter, I'm almost inclined to agree with you," he sniffed as the boys began making their way up the main staircase towards Dumbledore's office. "Not that I have all that much faith in Dumbledore's ability to fix anything."

"Don't you talk about Dumbledore like that, Malfoy!" Harry balled his fist and swung it sharply into Draco's wrist, simultaneously hitting Draco with the cuff as well.

"I'll talk about that incompetent Mudblood lover any way I damn well feel," Draco growled. "And don't you touch me, Potter. I don't need your Mudblood contaminated body coming in contact with mine. You might not have washed your hands since you last touched Granger."

"THAT'S IT!" Harry roared as he launched himself on Draco, swinging. His fist connected solidly with Draco's temple with a satisfying thud. Harry's satisfaction was short-lived as a fist crashed into the side of his own jaw, stunning him for a split second. As fast as he could blink, he brought his arm up and ran straight forward, shoving Draco hard against the wall and jamming his forearm tightly against his opponent's neck, temporarily pinning him. Draco's foot shot out and caught Harry in the side of the knee, sending a wave of pain up his leg. He grabbed Harry's shirt and made to swing Harry around and shove him against the wall, but he was caught in the momentum by the awkward handcuffs, the motion caused the boys to overbalance.

Harry saw the look of shock and terror racing across Draco's face, and was quite certain it mirrored his own as he felt himself tip over backwards and begin tumbling down the stairs. Their pained yells mixed indistinguishably as they collided with every step, and each other, the entire way down the flight, cracking elbows, knees, and heads against hard stone stairs and soft flesh. Finally, the boys came to a crashing halt at the bottom of the stairway.

From somewhere in the haphazard tangle of limbs and damaged body parts, a faint moan escaped and a tousled blond head of hair moved slightly. The boys had landed more or less side by side, with Draco's shoulder crushing Harry's arm, and Harry's legs thrown over Malfoy's. Draco moaned again and tried to get up, but his body seemed to protest the attempt. He reached over carefully and prodded the boy next to him, but received no response. Another prod, no reaction. "Potter?"

Harry's ears were ringing loudly, and nothing in the world could possibly add to a headache more effectively than Malfoy's voice. Slowly, he opened his eyes to receive a very blurry view of Draco's face, much closer than he ever would have appreciated. Attempting vainly to ignore the headache and the nausea, he squinted at Draco and whispered hoarsely, "I'm going to kill you."

He couldn't quite hear Draco's reply. In the background, he thought he heard a man's voice yelling in anxiety, rapidly approaching footsteps, but even that wasn't quite penetrating the fog around his brain. The blood was rushing loudly in his ears, while sound and sight and even the sense of touch began to feel distant and detached. The last thought he had before he passed out was the sweet notion of wrapping his hands around Malfoy's neck and ripping his throat out.


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