!!! WARNING: Spoilers for OotP !!!

Author's Note: Not sure whether this will be slashy. Right now its pre- slash, I think. The idea just popped in my head and I had to go with it.

It is a somewhat clich├ęd romantic situation but I've only read about it described in a het environment. So I wondered what would happen when you put two boys in a stuck elevator instead.

+

+

+

Stuck! - The Elevator Story

By Katanes Dreamer

+

Harry Potter waited patiently in front of the long row of golden grilles.

No one else was around at the moment. Being full, the previous lift had taken up everyone but him.

And now he was left waiting for the next one.

He had arrived in the Ministry of Magic building just a few minutes ago, through the Floo Network.

He checked his tie for the second time and smoothed the crease in front of his neatly pressed white shirt.

The thin black tie felt a little constrictive around his neck and the shirt was a little uncomfortable and stiff against his skin, but he wanted to make a good impression.

And he just didn't feel right wearing his T-shirt today, somehow.

Ever since he had made known to McGonogall last year that he wanted to become an Auror after leaving Hogwarts, she had been extraordinarily supportive.

In fact, she was the one who arranged for Moody to give Harry some of his time today.

Moody had agreed to allow him to spend a few hours in the office with the other Aurors; watching them work. Moody also promised to let Harry sit in on their daily meeting (though he mumbled something about them usually falling asleep after lunch).

Harry smiled inwardly as he thought about Mad-Eye Moody accosting him at odd moments whilst he was walking along Hogsmeade. At first, Harry had felt a little strange at the older man's habit in following him, but over time it had become a comforting sort of ritual and they had fallen into an easy habit of chatting amiably while Moody takes a hold of his elbow firmly as he steered him around the streets.

It had been now over a year since Sirius had died and Harry had had a difficult time getting over the immense loss of his godfather.

But, since then he had also spent more and more time with the Weasleys. The twins had named him the most famous and honourable patron of their store and thus he had been spending inordinate amounts of his free time in their weirdly wacky store; which was amazingly crammed with odd tricks and unique yet disturbing knick knacks.

It had reminded Harry immediately of the non-linear cosiness of The Burrow and he had felt immediately at home from the first time he had stepped in.

Moody, Lupin and Tonks were also around him so regularly that he had much less time to be alone.

And to feel sorry for himself and think about Sirius.

He still sometimes cried into his pillow in the middle of the night, though much less than he used to.

Slowly but surely, over the months, he had started to smile and laugh again.

He knew that all of them; along with his best friends Ron and Hermione had flanked him and hardly left his side out of love and protectiveness and for that he felt very touched and blessed.

Under McGonogall's coaching, he was also doing well in his studies so far this year, and she had told him she'd be quite surprised if he didn't do well in his NEWTs.

Which was a huge part of why he had been given this opportunity, in the first place. And although he felt a little strange to be given a step ahead any other potential candidates who wanted to be Aurors too; he knew he couldn't turn it down.

A clattering suddenly interrupted his thoughts, a lift was coming down finally.

The grille squeaked a little as it opened for him.

He stepped in, and looked at the panel of buttons.

He still remembered that the Auror Headquarters was at Level Two.

He pressed the small button in the wall.

Just as the doors were closing shut, a clear male voice rang out from the lobby.

"Hold the lift!"

Loud footsteps were rushing towards him.

He instinctively pressed the button to open the doors again.

And a figure squeezed through the gap in the grille and flung himself next to Harry.

Harry couldn't help but stare at the boy.

The boy who had thrown himself into the lift. Who was now panting slightly, leant back against the wall, his eyes closed as he exhaled breathlessly.

The white-blonde hair, that slim face, the pale skin.

*It can't be!*

"Malfoy?!"

The grille clanged shut. And the lift started moving up slowly.

The eyes snapped open immediately and widened in shock and dismay as they took in The-Boy-Who-Lived.

"You!"

"Yes, me! What are *you* doing here?"

"Press five for me, will you?" Draco interrupted.

Harry pressed the button quickly and snapped back immediately to the boy.

"Well?" he demanded.

"Well what, Potter?"

"Why are you here?" he said angrily, his hand automatically going to his wand pocket.

"It's none of your business." Draco replied in a clipped tone.

The lift stopped at a floor and a cool female voice announced - "Level Seven, Department of Magical Games and Sports, incorporating the British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters, Official Gobstones Club and Ludicrous Patents Office."

The grille opened with a squeak to let in a very disgruntled looking wizard who kept on Apparating and Disapparating every few seconds.

Harry couldn't help but blink at the strange sight momentarily.

Three paper aeroplanes darted in and went through the man's head before he became solid again.

The wizard pressed 6 on the panel before his finger disappeared again. Harry could hear him grumbling under his breath.

The lift doors closed again with a clatter and the planes buzzed around busily above them.

*Inter-office memos* Harry remembered Arthur Weasley's words the first time he had seen them.

Harry looked over at Draco again and frowned.

He seemed to be picking a stray thread on his cable-knit sweater and ignoring Harry.

A few seconds passed and the lift stopped jerkily at the next floor.

The three of them automatically grabbed the side of the wall that was nearest as they tried to keep themselves balanced.

The voice announced; "Level Six, Department of Magical Transportation, incorporating the Floo Network Authority, Broom Regulatory Control, Portkey Office and Apparation Test Centre."

The grille seemed to be stuck for a moment and refused to open. The wizard grumbled and tried to punch the Door Open button except that his finger disappeared again.

Harry reached over and pressed the button for him.

After a long pause, the grilles parted finally.

The wizard quickly got out; relieved.

One of the aeroplanes darted out after him and into an open office door. Two more aeroplanes flew in.

Harry pressed the Door Close button on the panel.

*It's Five next. Guess Malfoy will be leaving without answering any of my questions.* Harry realised, with a trace of disappointment.

The lift started to move jerkily down with a heavy groan and shudder.

The light from the lamp overhead them flickered.

Once.

Twice.

And then, without warning, the lift jerked back sharply downwards a foot.

And completely stopped.

The lamp went out.

And they were in complete darkness.

All Harry could hear was the heavy breathing from himself and Draco across from him.

After a few seconds, he shakily withdrew his wand from his pocket.

"Lumos."

A bright bluish glow emanated from the tip of his wand and he squinted as his eyes adjusted to the dim light.

"What the hell happened?" Harry asked, looking accusingly at Draco, as if the boy had somehow caused this.

"Well, apparently the lift has stopped, Potter."

"I know that. But why?" Harry looked at the panel and started punching the Door Open button a few times.

When that didn't work he tried pressing random buttons on the panel, trying anything that would make the lift move again.

"Just a suggestion, Potter," drawled Draco, "But, you might want to try pressing the alarm button. That's the big red button at the top with the word 'ALARM' on it."

Harry looked up and sure enough, there it was.

"Oh." He said feeling embarrassed and pushed it.

Silence.

"Erm, shouldn't this be louder?" Harry asked, keeping his finger pressed on it.

"Oh, for Merlin's sake! Move aside, Potter." He pushed the dark haired boy roughly back as he reached up and pressed the alarm button himself.

He punched it a few times before turning back to Harry.

"It doesn't work." He stated glumly.

"Really." Harry crossed his arms and glared.

Draco leaned back against the wall and cursed silently under his breath.

"You bring me such bad luck, Potter. Though it comes as no surprise." Draco said, shaking his head and exhaled wearily.

He moved a hand to the back pocket of his pants and withdrew his wand.

"Hey!" Harry was immediately on guard and pointed his still glowing wand at Draco's face.

"I am not going to hex you, Potter!" Draco yelled.

Harry looked at him doubtfully, suspicion still in his green eyes as he lowered his wand slightly.

"Just watch yourself there, Malfoy. One wrong step."

"What? One wrong step and you'll put me in Azkaban too?" Draco challenged, his eyes furious.

"Maybe." Harry said, his lips a thin line.

Draco scoffed. "You're such a pompous prick, Potter."

He lifted his wand, pointed it upwards and muttered. "Volaticus Lucernos."

In an instant, tiny glowing moth-like creatures started fluttering from the tip of the wand and towards the ceiling, circling them overhead.

Harry gaped as he stared at them.

Most of them were vivid green and yellow, but Harry spotted one strikingly blue one and a couple of red ones in the mix.

The closest thing to them that he could think of was-

"Fireflies." He said out loud, with some awe.

"Close enough." Draco said, putting his wand back in his back pocket.

"They're a children's spell actually, strictly for entertainment purposes. But I thought they might be easier than you holding up that pitiful wand all day."

Harry's mouth twitched.

"Right. Thanks." he mumbled.

"Finite incantatem." He spoke and the light from his wand was extinguished.

They were left under the light of the dozens of creatures fluttering silently over their heads.

The moving colours and lights cast strange shadows in the lift and Harry watched them for a while, spellbound.

"You really are a simple creature, Potter."

"Oh, shut up."

Draco sighed.

He looked at the slim silver watch on his wrist and groaned. "I don't believe I'm going to be late today. Of all days!"

Harry looked at his own watch and worried too.

Moody was expecting him soon.

"How long will we be stuck here?" he asked.

"How the bloody hell should I know? You're the hero here, shouldn't *you* be getting us out?" Draco spat out.

"I'm not Superman." Harry frowned.

"Super-who?"

"Never mind."

Silence.

"Look, sooner or later, someone waiting for the lift will realise that it isn't working, and they'll call someone. Right?" Harry ventured again, a trace of hopeful optimism in his voice.

Draco looked at him.

"I suppose." He paused, "Except, that there are 11 other lifts in that lobby and on every floor serving this building. What are the chances someone will notice *this one* hasn't moved?"

Now it was Harry's turn to groan. Malfoy had a point.

"We could be in here for a while, Potter. You might as well get used to it."

And with a resigned sigh, Draco hitched up the legs of his pants slightly and started to sink down to the floor of the lift.

He sat down, with his back resting against the wall.

He took out his wand and rested it beside him so that he could sit comfortably.

Harry looked at the blonde and noticed for the first time that he had on well-fitting black denim jeans on instead of pants.

Whatever else you might say about Draco, he also dressed remarkably well for a teenage boy.

Even Harry had to admit, the light tan cable-knit sweater looked very expensive and its turtleneck collar suited Draco's slim pointed face and light hair very well.

*He could be a model.* Harry thought inanely as he looked at Draco's lean form before him.

The boy had stretched out one leg across the floor and kept the other one bent at the knee towards his chest.

He seemed to be able to feel Harry's eyes on him.

"Hasn't anyone ever told you that its bad manners to stare, Potter" he said, not looking up.

Harry blushed and looked away.

He mimicked Draco's move earlier and hitched up his own pants slightly before sinking down to join the Slytherin on the floor.

*Might as well get comfortable.* he thought as he loosened his necktie and closed his eyes briefly.

Was it just him or was the air getting a little warm?

He opened his eyes to see Draco observing him intently.

"So, Potter. Care to tell me why you've actually dressed *unlike* an orphaned vagabond this morning?"

Harry flushed slightly at the insult.

He knew that he didn't give much thought to the clothes that he wears, but growing up with the Dursleys; he hadn't had much choice or knowledge on the matter.

In fact, Hermione had to drag him to a Muggle shop to get him a proper shirt and tie for today. She had even knotted his necktie for him.

He hadn't a clue where to begin and Ron had been just as perplexed as he was.

"Shut up, Malfoy." Harry responded in kind.

"Your comebacks are getting wittier by the year, Potter." He said dryly and rolled his eyes.

"What about you? What are you doing out of school?"

"If you must know, Dumbledore gave me express permission to miss classes this morning because I had some urgent business to attend to. Official business." He said smugly.

"What business?" Harry asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.

"Tell me what you're doing here first."

Harry bit his lip and considered for a moment before answering.

"Fine." He relented.

There really wasn't much else to do, and they could be stuck here for hours.

"I'm to spend a few hours with the Aurors. Observe how they work, you know, see the practical side to it."

Draco lifted his eyebrows questioningly.

"McGonogall arranged for it. Since I told her during career counseling that I might like to become an Auror after graduation." He finished, looking at Draco to see his reaction.

He expected sneers and a well-placed insult.

But instead the boy just nodded and placed a hand on his knee.

"I can see that." He acknowledged.

"You can?" Harry blurted out in disbelief.

"Don't get excited Potter. I only meant that it's just like you to go after one of the most unattainable positions there is, achieve it despite all odds, perform *ridiculously* well at it and then be even more admired and swooned-over by your teeming masses of scar-worshipping fans." He said sarcastically.

Harry shook his head and fumed silently.

He heard Draco snigger.

"You know what, Malfoy?" Harry finally found his voice, "I just might. And who knows, when I become an Auror for the Ministry, it might very well be me who arrests you and puts you in Azbakan for the rest of your miserable life."

"I'd like to see you try." Draco said coolly.

"Don't be so cocky. After all, it worked for Lucius, didn't it?" Harry added.

Draco clenched his jaw and stared at Harry.

"Don't you even speak his name. You have no right." He whispered tensely.

Harry met his eyes and blinked, unsure.

He had known that he would touch a nerve when he chose to mention Lucius's name but now he felt a certain regret at his words.

After Lucius had escaped the poorly guarded prison almost a year ago, he had gone into hiding.

No one had seen hide or hair of him since, and there was some speculation that he might have been killed by the Dark Lord, for his failure to retrieve the prophecy in the last battle.

All the rumours aside, Harry had not truly known what Draco had gone through the past year.

Did he really think his father was dead and gone?

To his credit, the boy had been his same old hideous self, but there were times when Harry would look over and see a faint glimmer of sadness creep into the boy's eyes when he thought nobody was looking, and his guard was down.

"I'm sorry. That was uncalled for." Harry said softly.

Draco held his eyes for a while before looking away.

The tension faded.

They sat in silence for a few minutes.

"You still haven't told me what you are doing here, Malfoy." Harry broke the silence.

"Now, I don't recall ever saying that I would." Draco said slyly, a smirk on his lips.

"Fine, Malfoy," Harry said, exasperated, "You can be such a child sometimes."

He took his glasses off and started wiping them on the edge of his tie, feeling a little sulky and trying not to show it.

If Draco didn't want to share, then Harry wasn't in any way going to beg for it.

"Okay," Draco sighed, "For the interest of not dying of boredom, I will tell you." He looked at Harry and blinked.

The boy had taken his glasses off his face.

And sitting in such close proximity, Draco was startled to see the sheer clarity of his green eyes.

Most people with green eyes also had a brownish or yellowish tint in them, but Harry's eyes were such a clear crystal green that Draco was reminded of a piece of broken green glass that he had found on the seashore when he was six.

He had been fascinated by it then and kept it in a small box, where he kept all of his little treasures and keepsakes.

He was older now and knew that it was intrinsically worthless, just a part of a Muggle bottle.

But he had kept it still.

He thought it was beautiful.

"Well?" Harry knitted his brow questioningly.

Draco tore his gaze away with some surprise.

Always, he had mocked the silly little girls who would fawn over every occasional photo of Harry Potter published in a magazine or the Daily Prophet.

But in this light, he can sort of understand why they had been so enamored by him.

He wasn't classically handsome or even pretty.

But his face had a certain openness to it that was disarming. And Draco noted that his large eyes were framed remarkably with thick sooty lashes, making his eyes appear more dramatic in their colour.

His hair was also always messy and unkempt, falling this way and that over his forehead.

Draco doubted very much whether Harry had even had his hair styled once in a salon. But Draco had to admit that it had a nice glossy look to it and was thick and lustrous.

He also had very nice skin, and while other teenagers were griping and whining about the occasional spot, Harry never had to worry.

"Are you stalling or something?" Harry asked again when Draco kept quiet.

"Oh. Uhm, right." He fumbled and pushed the sleeves of his sweater up to his elbows.

It was starting to get a little warm, he thought.

"What did you have to do on Level 5?" Harry prodded.

He glanced at Draco's bare upper arms and started to unconsciously unbutton his cuffs.

"International Magical Office of Law." Draco stated. "I needed to finalise on a legal matter regarding my father's assets and property."

"My mother has been trying to get his assets transferred to me and to herself for the past few months. But, it couldn't be done because according to a Wizarding mandate, we had to wait a year for him to be declared legally dead and not missing."

"And now he is." Draco finished matter-of-factly.

Harry goggled. He didn't know what to say for a few moments and they sat in silence yet again.

"I'm sorry." Harry said.

"Why?"

"Well...you did say he was..." Harry trailed off, feeling uncomfortable.

"Dead?" Draco shrugged, "Nobody knows for sure. But at least now, me and Mother can keep the house and everything we own for sure. Otherwise, the Ministry could always seize his assets because of any number of security reasons they can think of. And if that happened-we'd be out on the street."

He looked at Harry without a trace of emotion.

"I suppose now you will tell all your little friends. Weasley and that Mudblood. Ugh. And all those times I called Weasley poor, too. He'll love it when he finds out how close Draco Malfoy was to being homeless." Draco laughed mirthlessly.

"I won't tell anyone if you don't want me to, Malfoy." Harry said.

Draco appraised the boy before him with narrowed eyes and scoffed, "Of course, the old Gryffindor honor and all that. Lucky me." He said ungraciously.

"You never change, Malfoy."

"And why should I?" he challenged, with a wide smirk, "When I am already so perfect in every way, Potter?"

Harry shook his head and folded up the long sleeves on his shirt methodically.

Draco looked at him and fingered his thick sweater with a frown.

"It *is* getting warm, isn't it?" he asked. "I thought it was just me."

"Nope. Me too." Harry exhaled and loosened his tie even more till he could pull it up and over his head.

He tossed the black strip of cloth beside him and ran a hand through his hair easily.

They sat in silence for the next hour.

+++++++++