What do you do when you know something's bad for you
and you still can't let go?
Harry opened his eyes at the sound of the floorboards creaking beside him. An invisible pair of lips descended on his own and he smiled into the ghostly kiss.
"You're late," Harry said, watching the air in front of him shimmer as Draco Malfoy emerged from beneath an invisibility cloak.
"No, you're just perpetually early, Potter." Draco smirked, tossing the cloak onto the bench.
Harry sat up and playfully shoved Draco in the chest, an exaggerated pout on his lips. Draco grabbed his wrist with an evil grin and hauled him to his feet, pinning his arm behind his back.
"Ow!" Harry cried, struggling against the tight hold. He kicked out his right leg behind him and hit Draco directly in the shin.
Draco let go of his arm with a yell and Harry took off for the exit, turning in the doorway to cheekily stick his tongue out at Draco before bounding down the stairs. He leapt over the last three steps and sprinted off across the dew-covered quidditch field. He stopped and turned after awhile to see how close behind Draco was, and was confused when he saw no one there. Suddenly an invisible body collided with him and they were both sent sprawling onto the grass.
"Oomph!" Harry grunted as Draco fell onto his chest, knocking the wind out of him.
Draco rolled off of him and pulled the hood of the cloak back from his face as he laughed loudly.
"It's not funny!" Harry gasped angrily. "I think you broke a rib."
"Let me see, you big baby," Draco said, with a roll of his eyes.
He grasped the bottom of Harry's t-shirt and carefully lifted it up, revealing Harry's smooth, pale torso. He was surprisingly gentle as he thoroughly probed Harry's ribcage.
"Nope, not broken," he concluded with a superior smirk.
"Feels like it," Harry muttered, yanking his shirt back down.
Draco flopped onto the ground beside him, the two staring up at the sky silently. Draco reached out for Harry's hand, but Harry snatched it away grumpily.
"Stop sulking, Potter," Draco sighed in annoyance. "You're the one who started it."
Harry ignored him and continued to stare up at the sky.
"Fine, I'm leaving."
Draco stood up and threw the cloak on the grass before turning to head back to the school. Harry immediately felt foolish and turned to call Draco back, but his eyes caught sight of someone walking out of the entrance doors of Hogwarts.
Harry grabbed the invisibility cloak and ran after Draco, throwing the cloak over them as he shoved him to the ground.
"Shhh!" Harry hissed, watching the dark figure move closer.
"It looks like Filch," Draco whispered, when he saw what Harry was looking at.
Filch walked to the edge of the quidditch pitch and held up his lantern, squinting into the darkness with his beady eyes. Mrs Norris stood at his feet and stared straight at Harry and Draco lying on the grass.
"I swear that cat can see through invisibility cloaks," Harry muttered.
"I always hated that cat," Draco whispered, glaring at Mrs Norris.
The two boys held their breath as Filch finally turned and went back into the school, Mrs Norris following along behind.
Harry expelled his breath in relief.
"Now who's breaking ribs?" Draco asked, rolling onto his back and looking up at Harry.
Harry smiled in embarrassment and neatly folded the cloak on his lap. "I guess we'd better go."
"Yeah," Draco reluctantly agreed with a sigh.
Harry stood up and extended a hand to Draco.
"We never have enough time together anymore," Draco said wistfully, as he took Harry's hand and pulled himself up.
"I know," Harry sighed, wrapping his arms around Draco and laying his head on the Slytherin's slightly higher shoulder.
Draco held Harry close as they stood together, simply enjoying the comfort of each other's embrace. Harry nuzzled into Draco's neck, pressing his lips to the soft skin, and Draco closed his eyes, tightening his hold on the precious Gryffindor in his arms. Harry raised his head and Draco leaned down to brush his lips across Harry's, savouring the taste of his sweet mouth. They kissed each other tenderly and without hurry, their troubles melting away, if only for the moment. Draco placed one last kiss on Harry's lips before pulling away.
"Time to go," he said.
Harry nodded and bent down to pick up his cloak.
"Do you need this again?" Harry asked, holding out the bundle of silvery fabric.
"No, you take it tonight."
They clasped hands and slowly made their way to the school, reluctantly separating in the Entrance Hall and going back to their own dorms.
Harry hurriedly dressed the next morning, racing down to the common room before anyone else was even awake. He rushed out of the portrait hole and ran all the way to the Room of Requirement. Draco, who had been lounging in a comfortable armchair by the crackling fire, immediately got up and greeted Harry with a quick hug.
"Look at what they gave us today!" he said, taking Harry's hand and pulling him towards a small dining table for two.
The table was completely covered with food, including fresh scones with jersey cream and strawberry jam, finger sandwiches full of salmon, cucumbers, and egg salad. A three tiered, silver serving tower stood in the middle with cream puffs, fruit tarts, pastries, and chocolate squares neatly laid out. A silver teapot sat beside a jug of water, two tea cups, and a bowl of sugar cubes.
Harry smiled and plopped down in one of the chairs, wondering what to eat first. Draco smiled at the child-like anticipation on Harry's face and sat down in the chair opposite him. He poured them both some tea while Harry dug into the still warm scones and jam.
"People are going to wonder why I hardly eat anything at meal time anymore," Harry said, his mouth full.
"Ugh, that's disgusting, Potter. Swallow first and then talk."
Harry glared at him and kicked him under the table.
"Ow! Hey, it's still sore there from when you kicked me last night," Draco grimaced, rubbing his shin under the table.
Harry merely continued to chew and look at Draco pleasantly.
"Well? Aren't you going to apologize?" Draco asked.
Harry waited a few seconds and then swallowed. "You told me not to talk with my mouth full."
"Are you going to apologize now?"
"You'll be sorry," Draco threatened.
He suddenly grabbed one of the lemon cream puffs and threw it at Harry, who turned his head to one side and the cream puff exploded on his cheek. Globs of lemon filling were now stuck to his face and hair. Harry leapt up and grabbed a salmon sandwich, he jumped onto Draco, pushing him backwards into the armchair and smearing the salmon paste into the immaculate blond hair.
"You are so dead, Potter!" Draco shouted.
He shoved Harry to the floor and sat astride his chest to reach up to the table and grab the pot of strawberry jam.
"No, not jam!" Harry cried, his smile fading in panic.
Draco grinned and dipped his hand into the sticky substance. He smeared it into Harry's thick hair and down his face to his chin. He then pulled the collar of Harry's robe out and tipped the rest of the pot down his shirt.
"Ahhh....." Harry screamed, struggling desperately.
Draco started to howl with laughter and Harry was able to throw him off. Draco rolled onto his back, still laughing, as Harry sat up and reached for the chocolate squares. He intended to stuff them down Draco's throat, but he accidentally knocked over the silver teapot and scalding hot tea spilled out and splashed over his arm.
Harry yelped in pain and clutched his arm to his chest.
"Harry!" Draco cried in alarm, sitting up and kneeling beside the hunched over boy. "Let me see."
Harry straightened up and carefully lifted his wet sleeve, the skin beneath was extremely red and starting to swell. Draco took out his wand and held it over the burnt skin.
Harry instantly felt a cooling sensation tingle along his arm and hand. The skin turned blue for a second then disappeared, taking all traces of the burn with it.
"Thanks," Harry said gratefully, rubbing the newly healed skin.
"Anytime," Draco smiled, pocketing his wand again.
Harry looked over at Draco and laughed at the clumps of pink salmon in his hair.
"You should see yourself," Draco smirked, looking at the red goo covering most of the skin on Harry's face. He leaned forward and kissed the corner of Harry's mouth, flicking his tongue out to gently lick off some of the jam. "You're a mess," he murmured, continuing to kiss his way around Harry's lips and cheek.
Harry chuckled and lay back on the floor, taking Draco with him. He wrapped his arms around Draco's back and tilted his head as Draco kissed his way down Harry's throat, stopping at the collar of his robes. Draco sat up and quickly removed Harry's robe and jumper, gazing down at the trail of jam running down his pale chest. Harry wrapped his hands in Draco's silvery hair as the Slytherin bent over his task, moaning quietly as Draco's tongue swept over his sensitive skin, leaving a trail of goose bumps in its wake.
He pulled Draco back up and kissed him deeply, the taste of strawberries strong on his tongue. Draco rolled them over so that Harry was on top and wrapped his legs around the Gryffindor's waist. They both moaned into the kiss. Draco ran his hands over Harry's naked back as Harry attacked his throat with tiny bites and kisses.
Suddenly, the little silver clock on the dining table began to chime incessantly.
"Shit," Draco swore. "We're going to be late for breakfast."
They quickly scrambled to their feet and Draco grabbed his robe from the chair as Harry pulled his jumper back on over his head. Draco transfigured a spoon into a comb and tried to get the worst of the salmon out of his hair. Harry dipped one of the cloth napkins into the water jug and wiped his sticky face and hair.
"I'll go first," Draco said.
Draco strode over to the door and peeked out. "All clear," he announced, looking back at Harry.
"Wait!" Harry shouted. He ran over and hugged Draco tightly.
"You're such a goof." Draco smiled affectionately as he ruffled Harry's hair.
Harry pulled back, embarrassed.
Draco lifted his chin and kissed him lovingly on the lips. "Don't ever change," he said. "Meet you at lunch?"
"Right." Harry nodded.
"See ya later, Potter."
Draco opened the door and quietly snuck out into the empty hallway. Harry counted to one hundred before following. They arrived separately in the Great Hall and sat with their respective houses, without so much as a glance in the other's direction.
"Where've you been?" Ron asked as Harry sat on the bench beside him.
"Just taking a walk," Harry answered casually.
"Harry, you've taken a walk almost every morning since school started," Hermione said suspiciously, buttering a piece of toast.
"It helps to clear my mind after concentrating on my Occlumency all night," Harry lied.
"How's that going by the way?" Ron asked, slapping a large stack of pancakes onto his plate.
"Great, I haven't had a nightmare since...er...."
"Since when?" Ron asked, pouring syrup onto his pancakes.
"Since July," Harry said quickly. He had almost said since he and Draco had gotten together.
"Is that when you and Professor Dumbledore started your lessons together?" Hermione asked absently, biting into her toast and flipping through the Daily Prophet.
"Yeah, pretty much," Harry answered, glancing up at the headmaster. "Hey, who's that?"
Ron and Hermione followed Harry's gaze to the head table where a strange boy was talking to Dumbledore.
"Don't know," Ron said with a shrug.
The boy looked to be around their age, with light brown hair and a tall, slim build. Professor McGonagall suddenly walked through the side door carrying a stool and a tattered old hat.
"What's going on?" Dean Thomas asked. "Why is McGonagall bringing out the Sorting Hat?"
Professor Dumbledore stood up and addressed the school. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but as you can see we have a new student. His name is Ethan Fiori and he is transferring from Beauxbatons. His family has decided that they would prefer Ethan to finish his last year of school here at Hogwarts. He's originally from a wizarding village nearby so he does speak both English and French fluently."
Harry watched Ethan during Dumbledore's speech and felt sorry for him, he was clearly embarrassed about being the centre of attention.
"I can sympathise," Harry thought to himself.
Just then, Ethan caught Harry's eye and smiled tentatively. Harry smiled back warmly. Draco frowned as he watched the exchange, feeling hatred boiling up towards the new student.
"If you would just take a seat, Ethan." Dumbledore smiled reassuringly. "Professor McGonagall will now place the Sorting Hat on your head."
Ethan nervously sat down on the stool.
"He'd better not be sorted into Gryffindor," Draco growled under his breath.
Professor McGonagall walked over and as soon as the hat touched the top of Ethan's head it shouted -
The Slytherin table erupted into cheers, except for Draco, and Ethan made his way over to the end of the bench near the sixth and seventh year students.
"Excellent." Dumbledore beamed. "Enjoy the rest of the day and please help Ethan feel at home."
"No problem there," Lavender said, gazing appreciatively at the handsome new student.
"Maybe he can teach us some French," Parvati said, and the two girls burst into giggles.
Ron rolled his eyes at Harry, but Harry couldn't help noticing that Ethan was rather attractive. His eyes wandered down the table to Draco, and he noticed that the blond was eating breakfast with a very sour expression on his face. Harry frowned, wondering what was wrong.
Ethan had only sat a few seats down from Draco and he could hear every word the new boy was saying to his housemates.
"So what's it like here?" Ethan asked.
"It's okay, you'll like Professor Snape. He's the only decent teacher here, most of them favour Gryffindors," a pale, seventh year girl answered.
"Stupid Gryffindors, think they own the school," Blaise Zabini grumbled. "Do you play quidditch, Ethan?"
"I was seeker of my team back at Beauxbatons."
"Oh, well we already have a good seeker. Right, Draco?"
Draco looked up and Ethan smiled at him.
"That's right, guess you'll just have to watch from the sidelines," Draco smiled icily.
Crabbe and Goyle chuckled obediently on either side of him.
"I don't mind," Ethan said, nonplussed. "I hear the Slytherin-Gryffindor rivalry is pretty intense."
"It is, but this year we're going to kick their ass," Pansy Parkinson smirked. "Gryffindor had to make some replacements last year, and let's just say that the new players don't know one end of a broomstick from the other. Plus, they don't have Potter anymore."
Draco glanced over at Harry, he had forgotten about Harry's quidditch ban. He hoped that Dumbledore would let him play again this year.
"Potter? Harry Potter?" Ethan asked, looking at Pansy.
"Yeah, he was sentenced to a life-long quidditch ban last year. Good thing too, Draco hasn't been able to beat him once yet."
Draco glared at her.
"Which one is he?" Ethan asked.
They all turned to look at Harry as Pansy pointed him out.
"The cute brunette?" Ethan asked, smiling at Harry.
Draco felt his blood boil and he clenched his jaw in anger. The rest of the Slytherins turned to gape at Ethan in shock.
"You can't be serious!" Pansy exclaimed. "Potter, cute?"
"Definitely." Ethan nodded. "Look at him - great hair, gorgeous eyes, and a brilliant smile."
"I suppose..." Milicent Bulstrode said slowly, tilting her head and squinting at Harry.
"And he plays quidditch, so he probably has a fantastic body," Ethan added with a grin.
"I'm going to pretend that this conversation is not happening," Blaise said, rubbing his temples.
"Listen, Ethan," Pansy said seriously. "You can date whoever you want, boys, girls, whatever, but not Potter. You're a Slytherin now and I think the universe would collapse in on itself if a Slytherin ever dated the boy- wonder."
"Is he single?" Ethan asked, ignoring her.
"I give up," Pansy said throwing her hands in the air.
Draco ground his teeth together, jealously coursing through his entire body.