"Sir," Harry asked hesitantly, once they had exited the Great Hall, "What are we supposed to do while we're stuck like this? I mean, all night?"

Dumbledore did not look back as he walked. "Perhaps you might catch up on your homework."

"But it's a Saturday night!" Harry protested.

"Our potions master informed me today that you seem to be struggling with your current lesson, Harry."

At this, Draco, who had been almost silent save for his gloomy greeting to Dumbledore, began to snicker loudly. Harry elbowed him in the ribs.

Dumbledore continued, "You might wish to spend some time catching up with some extra practice and study."

Draco snickered even louder. Harry glowered at him.

"And seeing as Draco is one of Professor Snape's better potions students, the professor suggested that he assist you with your studies."

Draco choked and half-tripped over his own two feet. "It's not my fault if this prat can't handle his own lessons! I see no reason to assist him."

Harry didn't seem any more impressed with the solution than Draco. "I don't want his help."

Dumbledore came to a halt at the bottom of the stairwell. "It would seem to me then, that you are both wasting a valuable opportunity."

"Valuable?" Harry echoed vaguely.

"Most assuredly," Dumbledore said solemnly. "There are dark times, as I'm sure you're both aware. I would remind you that the hate which is so characteristic of these days is largely due to ignorance."

Draco sniffed haughtily, immediately seeing where Dumbledore was taking this topic. "I am perfectly content to remain ignorant of Potter."

Dumbledore raised an eyebrow with a hint of amusement. "I'm sure you will both find yourselves learning many things about each other tonight."

Harry scowled. "And just what am I supposed to learn about Malfoy? The colour of his underwear and his favourite flavour of toothpaste?"

"That wouldn't be a bad start," the headmaster said simply.

Both boys' jaws dropped simultaneously. "No way..." Harry stuttered.

"Not a bloody chance," Draco echoed.

Dumbledore, however, ignored them entirely and began climbing the staircase. "I requested that the house elves bring up your books and other academic supplies, and they should already have seen to retrieving your night clothes."

Draco froze mid-step, jerking Harry backwards and almost causing them both to fall down the stairs again.

"What's your bloody problem this time?" Harry groaned, flexing his wrist, which was becoming increasingly sore.

Dumbledore continued to climb the stairs sedately.

"I am NOT getting dressed in front of Potter!" Draco bellowed at the back of Dumbledore's head.

Harry certainly agreed with that sentiment. He didn't particularly want to see Draco either... but the opportunity for a random insult was too good to miss. "Why Malfoy? Ashamed of something? Or possibly lack of something?"

Before Draco could reply, Harry had resumed tugging him up the stairs, trying to catch up with Dumbledore.

"I'll have you know, Potter," Draco hissed as he trotted alongside Harry, "That I have ABSOLUTELY nothing to be ashamed of!"

"Sure," Harry snickered.

"However, the skinny little runt that you are, this ought to be a laugh to see."

Harry's face blossomed in crimson, giving the distinct impression that he was about to explode. "I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW...!"

"Gentlemen?" Dumbledore's voice interrupted then, echoing from the corridor above. "I do hope you're not fighting over something as silly as pajamas."

Harry and Draco exchanged brief looks of incredulity before anger once again broke through on Harry's face and he hauled Draco the rest of the way up the stairs at a jog.

"Ouch! My wrist! You'd better be more careful about that, Potter, or I'll..."

"Or you'll what, Mr. Malfoy?" Dumbledore asked innocently as they approached him.

Draco scowled as they arrived in front of the headmaster. "Nothing."

"Indeed," Dumbledore responded. "This is your room for the night." He indicated the oak door beside him with the shiny brass knob. "You must be in your room by 9:00, same rules as would apply if you were in your dormitory. I need not remind you to refrain from fighting overnight." He paused for a response.

"Yes, professor," the boys said automatically, if not enthusiastically.

"Very good, because I will know if you have fought. And now, goodnight." He turned to go.

"Wait a minute!" Draco yelled at once, suddenly looking as panicky as Harry felt. "You're not just going to leave us here, are you?"

"Professor," Harry said, feeling his own heart start to thud nervously in her chest. "I mean, anything could happen!"

Without turning back around, Dumbledore glanced over his shoulder. "Is there any reason I should be expecting something to happen?"

Harry opened his mouth, looking for a response to that, but came up with nothing. He slowly shook his head. "No sir."

"Then goodnight."

The boys stood frozen as Dumbledore retreated down the corridor and disappeared from sight. When his footsteps finally faded away after him, Draco was the first to move, grabbing the doorknob and pushing open the door with an irritable shove. The boys moved timidly into the room, as though some unseen predator was waiting for them in a corner. Of course, what actually had them worried was the potential predator at the other end of the handcuffs.

The room was pleasant enough. Two squashy armchairs and a small, low table sat in front of a fireplace, where a fire crackled merrily on the hearth. The house elves had apparently done their job and had placed two book bags on the table. The room was softened by a tapestry of a dragon on the far wall, a rich burgundy throw rug, and a couple of simple landscape paintings. All in all, it wasn't a bad room, save for the centerpiece. Two twin beds, pushed much closer together than either boy wanted to see, sat waiting for them. One had been made up with a green Slytherin blanket, and the other was in rich Gryffindor scarlet.

"All the bloody comforts of him," Draco said dryly.

Harry snorted and began dragging Draco towards the armchairs. If nothing else, homework could make a decent distraction.

"Wait a minute, Potter," Draco held him up.

"What the hell do you want now?" Harry asked impatiently. Why couldn't this lout just leave him along and make this whole thing as painless as possible?

"The beds." Draco was studying the sleeping arrangements critically.

"What about them?" Harry snapped.

"They're backwards."

"Malfoy, what are you talking about?" The Gryffindor bed, obviously Harry's, was on the right, which was ideal, as Harry preferred to sleep sprawled on his stomach or side.

""With the beds like that, I'd have to sleep on my stomach," Draco sniffed.

"So what?" Harry made another move for the armchairs, only to be held up again.

"I can't sleep on my stomach," Draco explained as though he expected the world to stop and take notice. "It would smush my face into the pillow and that's not good for one's skin." He eyed Harry. "Apparently, you do sleep on your stomach. Terrible pores."

Harry covered his nose, suddenly embarrassed, but removed his hand just as quickly with a smirk. "Studying my face that closely, Malfoy? Very interesting."

Now it was Draco's turn to feel heat rise in his cheeks, and his expression only served to encourage Harry.

"I'm sure you do complete facials every night, Malfoy," he smirked. "I wonder if the house elves remembered to bring up your avocado-cucumber mask. Do you do manicures too?" Harry pulled Draco's right hand up by the handcuffs to get a peek at the nails, which were indeed properly trimmed and filed, before Draco could react.

Draco whipped his hand down, glowering. "Shut up, Potter, and help me change these beds around." He took a step towards the green bed, but Harry stopped him. "They're fine the way they are! Now, if you don't mind..."

"But I can't sleep on my stomach!"

"DEAL WITH IT!" Harry began stoically tugging him towards the armchairs again. "I'm doing some homework!"

Draco pulled hard on the cuffs, almost yanking Harry on top of him, but sidestepping at the last split second. He smirked as Harry regained his composure, then said, in his best authoritative tone, "We're fixing the beds."

Harry drew himself up as tall as he could, which almost, but not quite, put him nose to nose with Draco. "I am not your servant," he said, carefully punctuating every word. "AND I SAID NO!"

Draco was not accustomed to the word "no." He spent every day with Crabbe and Goyle, his perfectly trained Pavlovian goons. Too shocked from having Harry contradict him so strongly to his face, he let himself be dragged to the waiting armchairs.

Harry plopped himself down and began digging through his bag for his inkwell and parchment. Divination. He could do his Divination assignment without having to think too much. The concentration required for Potions was out of the questions, due to the very large distraction sitting sullenly in the chair next to his. He had just unfolded his chart for interpreting prophetic dreams when the Distraction made itself even more distracting.

"You're supposed to be doing Potions."

Harry turned to Draco, who was slouched deep into the chair. "Just so you can gloat about how miserable my work in that class is? I don't think so. All I'm supposed to be doing is homework... and keeping myself from strangling you. Potions was just a suggestion, not an order. Besides, you're not doing anything," he observed. "You can't possibly tell me you've done all your homework.

Draco mumbled something.

"What's that?" Harry said loudly, cupping his right ear with his hand and leaning closer for emphasis. "Can't hear you. Must be going a bit deaf!"

"I said I can't concentrate, you prat!"

"Oh, and I thought you were the resident Potions genius," Harry mocked. "Surely you could do this assignment in your sleep."

"I'm too hungry to work."

The corner of Harry's mouth turned up in a half-grin. "Well, that's your own bloody fault. You said you weren't hungry at supper."

Draco fidgeted. "I wasn't."

Harry raised an eyebrow. This was interesting. "That was twenty minutes ago. If you're hungry now, you must have been hungry then."

"Leave me alone, Potter." Draco tried to keep his voice neutral, but a loud rumbling noise from his stomach gave him away.

Harry snickered at him. "So, you dug yourself into a hole there, Malfoy. Why the hell didn't you eat at supper? The Gryffindor food isn't good enough for you? Might be contaminated by Muggles?"

Draco was going to make a snide comment, he really was, but the mere thought of food caused his painfully empty stomach to churn loudly again. Face pinched, he turned away from Harry and said something just too quietly for Harry to quite hear.

"What did you say?" Harry went into his deaf-grandfather routine again, saying loudly, "My ears must really be going bad on me! Can't hear a word you said."

This time, instead of snapping, Draco turned his head back to Harry slowly, with a pained expression. His voice was purely frustrated when he finally spoke, staring at Harry's shoulder. "I said, I'm right-handed. I can't write with my left hand..."

"And you can't hold a fork straight either? Too embarrassed that you might spill food on yourself?" Harry laughed at him. This was too funny. He had control of Malfoy's strong hand. The boy couldn't even eat without his permission. He was about to make a comment about how he wouldn't be able to brush his hair properly in the morning when something in the Slytherin's expression stopped him cold.

Draco looked resigned, forlorn even. His stomach growled again, and he turned his head away, staring at the fire.

No mistake about it, Harry loved to push Draco's buttons. He adored watching anger contort the boy's face when one of his verbal punches struck its mark. However, here, where they were both stuck in the same place, under the same miserable conditions, where Harry would have liked nothing better than to take out his frustrations on Draco's sneering face, this seemed different.

Harry knew what it was like to be hungry. His uncle Vernon had made damned sure that Harry had become very familiar with the sensation. It was a torment nobody should ever have to face. Granted, Draco had only missed one meal, but the loud growling noises from his stomach didn't lie. He actually was quite hungry, and Harry couldn't stand the idea that he would ever be the cause of someone's hunger. It was too cruel, even to someone like Malfoy.

Gritting his teeth against the idea that he was actually about to be nice to Draco Malfoy, Harry said as neutrally as possible, "Want something to eat?"

Draco picked his head up and stared at Harry in disbelief, which he quickly covered with a skeptical smirk. "And where the hell would one find food at this hour?"

Harry hadn't expected any sign of gratitude from Malfoy, but it didn't matter. "Down in the kitchens," he said simply.

"The kitchens?" Draco's lip curled up and his nose wrinkled in distaste. "But... the kitchen is only suited to servants! Why should I go there?"

Harry had to restrain himself from slapping Draco's mouth for the derisive comment about servants. "Hey, it's your choice, but if you want something to eat, that's the only place to get it."

Draco considered this carefully. Instead of quietly arguing with himself in his head, it was certainly better to argue aloud with Potter. "And if we went there, I'd run the risk of being seen with the likes of you by one of my house mates."

Harry pursed his lips as he thought. Not that he wanted to be seen with the Slytherin either, but he also couldn't be seen sneaking into the kitchens. "Well, it's not like students are allowed in the kitchens anyway. If Filch caught us, we'd have detention for sure. We'd have to sneak down there without being seen."

"Oh," Draco sniffed disdainfully. "And just how do you propose to pull off a stunt like that? As if you could."

At this, Harry flashed a devious grin and stared at Draco, his eyes sparking with mischief. There was no way he would let a challenge like that go unanswered. If Draco hadn't known any better, just then, Harry's expression was the perfect model of a Slytherin. Draco found himself listening adamantly as Harry spoke.

"I have my means, Malfoy. I've know a house elf that owes me a favour. I can get him to sneak up to my dormitory and retrieve..." Harry paused, appraising Draco carefully, as though deciding whether or not to fully divulge his secret. It might be fun, sneaking off around the school. He hadn't done it in a while, and it would be a fine distraction from the other stresses of the evening. Finally, he sighed and submitted. "It's not like you don't already know, because you saw it during our third year... I've got an invisibility cloak."

Draco raised his eyebrows in surprise. It was cunning. It was clever. It was very Slytherin, and if nothing else, Draco was impressed. Not that he wanted to admit such a thing to Potter, of course. But could he trust the Gryffindor? If could be a trick, to lure him to where Filch could find him and then... wait, no. Harry couldn't leave him stranded, because they were stuck together. If one of them went down, the other went down, so Potter was sure not to try anything foolish. Draco felt his stomach rumbling loudly, and felt sure that if he didn't get something to eat that night, he'd pass out. The prospect of such a humiliation in front of Potter was more than enough to decide it for him.

With a sharp nod, Draco allowed himself to mirror Harry's sly grin. "Let's do it."


A/N: Sorry it took me a couple of days to update. I'm currently working on two other major fanfiction projects. I'll admit, this one is only a relatively small project in comparison. If you really like this fic, and want to read some of my better work, go to my Fanfiction.net profile and help yourself! "The Potter Legacy" and "Eclipse" are my BIG projects, and the others are short stories. I plan to post more short stories soon, too, mostly about Harry and Draco. There's something for everyone!

Thank you to EVERYONE who reviewed! It makes my day to get reviews, and it makes me want to write faster. It only takes a few seconds to type a quick review, and it means a lot to any author!