Title: A Slytherin in Gryffindor Clothing

Author: mahaliem

Chapter 7

The rain was still falling hard as Draco ran his hands over his father's body, searching for indications of life, but finding none. Biting back sobs that threatened to rack through him, he pulled the body close, holding Lucius' head in his lap, seeing the telltale signs of the Avada Kedavra curse. With shaky fingers, he brushed back long blond strands from the noble face.

"No Minister of Magic in this life for you, either, Father."

He was back in his own world, and from all indications, his world had gone mad. There were shouts coming from somewhere to the left of him and he could see blurry figures trapped in the downpour along with flashes of magic. The war with Voldemort had finally arrived.

Gently, he placed his father on the ground and rose to his feet.

"But this time, I will avenge your death."

He strode past clusters of duelling Wizards as he hunted for his target. The sight that greeted Draco when he found the object of his search filled him with a cold rage.

Harry was clutching a sword to his chest as he writhed on the ground, doing his best to shake off the Cruciatus curse that Voldemort was using. Blood was running from Harry's scar, trickling into an eye, half-blinding him, and then moving on to run down his cheek into his robes.

His glasses were gone; his robes were tattered and covered with mud.

Carefully, Draco took aim.

Hitting Voldemort in the back with "Stupefy".

The Dark Lord stilled for a moment before spelling it off, and spun to face Draco. A look of astonishment crossed his face, before it returned to its normal hate-filled expression.

"I thought you were as good as dead, young Malfoy, or I would have stayed to finish the job." He fired off a curse and Draco leapt to the side so that it narrowly missed him.

"You killed my father." Draco threw a hex of his own, which Voldemort pushed aside easily.

"The fool died trying to protect you." A sudden look of comprehension passed over Voldemort's face. "Don't tell me another parent's sacrifice saved their child?"

"You really are a blockhead, aren't you?" Draco shot off another hex that was quickly knocked aside. "I'm not the Draco you fought earlier."

He dodged Voldemort's next hurled spell and gave him his best sneer.

"I'm his evil twin."

With a look of fury, Voldemort let loose a volley of spells, which Draco was forced to roll on the ground to avoid. The edge of one hit his left forearm and pain shot up his shoulder. Ignoring the blood that began to seep into his robe from the now useless limb, Draco aimed his wand at Voldemort's robes and shouted "Incendio". The flames flickered and hissed in the rain before being quickly snuffed out by a counterspell.

Another curse hit Draco, and this time he heard one of his ribs crack. A third curse sent him spinning in the air to land on his stomach in the mud.

The Dark Lord stepped forward until he towered over him. "Look at you, young Malfoy. In the mud. Again. But this time your father cannot help you. Who's going to save you now?"

Voldemort raised his wand and opened his mouth to destroy Draco, then stopped. His eye widened frantically as the tip of a sword emerged from his chest. He tried to magic it away, but his wand dropped from useless fingers as Harry pushed the sword further into his back and through his heart.

A harsh gasp sounded as Voldemort took in one last rush of air. With desperation, Draco lifted his wand and spat out, "Silencio."

With his last curse silenced, Voldemort died. The body crumpled to the ground.

"One should never ask questions that one doesn't want to know the answers to," Draco commented before closing his eyes in pain and weariness.

Draco heard, rather than saw, Harry plop down next to him. After a moment, he forced his eyes open and looked at his saviour.

"In the back, Potter? How incredibly Slytherin of you."

"Racing to the rescue, Malfoy? How Gryffindor of you."

Draco snorted. "As much as I enjoy trading insults with you, I do believe there's still a war being waged." He struggled to push himself up on his knees.

Harry glanced around. "Actually, it appears to be winding down."

"Oh thank god," Draco sighed, allowing himself to drop back into the mud. Mud was good. Comfy. A bit cold, but he'd heard it did wonders for the skin.

It was only when he heard Harry laugh next to him that he realised he'd been babbling aloud. He gave him his most baleful gaze, then gave it up as being too exhausting.

"So, what do you suppose we should do with this git?" Harry said, pointing at Voldemort's body.

"I'm voting for the traditional method. Chop off the head, burn the remains, then scatter the ashes over consecrated ground."

"Right," Harry said bitterly. "It wouldn't do for him to pop up again."

"And if he does, we'll nip it in the bud. Make him Longbottom's Potions partner. That would destroy him, once and for all.

Another laugh, this one sounding just a hairsbreadth away from a sob escaped from Harry's lips. Draco pushed himself up to a sitting position and shifted closer to Harry, putting his right arm around shoulders that were now heaving in reaction and pulling the dark-haired head to his chest.

"It's over, Potter." Comfortingly, he alternated between rubbing and patting Harry's back. "Let it out," he whispered in Harry's ear. "It's over now."

Draco felt hands creep around his sides and cling to him. His hurt rib protested, but he refused to acknowledge the new pain. Together they rocked each other, mourning their losses. The noises around them become more and more sporadic and the rain lessened until it was only a drizzle.

From afar, Draco heard Granger and Weasley's voices shouting "Harry!" Harry must have heard it too, for he lifted his head in response. Pushing away from Draco, he stood up. After a moment of struggling, Draco stood as well.

"Just a minute, Potter," he said as Harry began to walk in the direction the voices were coming from. Finding a small patch of robe that could almost be termed clean, he used it wipe at Harry's blood and tear-soiled face. "You're a mess. Even more so than usual, and I never thought that was possible. Mustn't give your fan club a fright."

"Draco," Harry began. "I want to thank you for....for..."

"Harry!" Ron shouted, then spun Potter away from Draco, grabbing him up into a strong hug. "Thought you'd been done in for sure."

Granger came running to them and flung herself against them. "I was so very worried."

Draco stood, looking at the trio. His mind knew that these people were not his friends, but his heart leapt at the sight of all three of them. Alive.

With a cry, he pulled Hermione into his arms and embraced her.

"Draco?" she said, a bit unsure.

"Stop that, Malfoy," Ron said huffily.

"Right." Draco immediately released Hermione and spun to hug Ron.

"Malfoy! Hey....Malfoy, you're bleeding."

"How observant of you, Weasley. And people say you're just a pretty face. No, wait, they don't."

"Um...Harry, is this the Malfoy that hates us or the Malfoy that says he's our friend?" Ron asked over Draco's shoulder.

"I think it's the one that hates us."

The sounds were fading away and everything was slowly going black, but Draco could still hear Ron's voice near his ear.

"Good," Ron stated. "That other one was driving me bonkers."

When Draco fainted, Ron managed to catch him in his arms.

* * *

Draco awoke to find Harry leaning over him, studying his torso, which still bore faded marks from their time spent alone together in Hermione's room.

Reaching out, he grabbed Harry's collar and yanked him forward so that he fell on top of him, their faces almost touching.

"Missed you," he whispered, then pulled Harry's mouth down to his.

Harry seemed strangely unresponsive, his mouth remaining closed, so Draco captured his bottom lip with his teeth and bit. When Harry let out a gasp, he took advantage and thrust his tongue in, running it along teeth, exploring the roof, twisting and dueling with Harry's tongue until he was forced to pull back in order to breathe. He nuzzled into Harry's neck, panting. .

"Love having my tongue inside you, Harry." He ran his hands down from Harry's neck to his arse. "Love being inside you." He moved a hand between them and began to stroke Harry through his clothing. "Love you inside me."

With an exclamation of shock, Harry scrambled back, falling off the bed and landing on his rear in an effort to get away.

"Holy shit, Malfoy!"

Draco looked at the boy, who was wearing a stunned expression, and saw that this Harry had a scar on his forehead. He glanced around and realised he was lying on a bed in the infirmary, healing from injuries sustained in his duel with Voldemort. He'd been kissing the wrong Harry. "Damn."

Potter continued staring at him from his place on the floor and Draco rolled his eyes.

"Don't worry, your precious virtue is safe. Didn't realise it was you. I won't make that mistake again."

Harry got to his feet, still careful to keep a large space between them. "You called me Harry when you were...you thought I was him, didn't you?"

"Him?"

"Just like there was another Draco here, you were somewhere else, weren't you?" Harry's voice got louder as he became more confident that he was right. "The place the other Draco talked about. A place with a different Ron and Hermione and...me."

Draco shifted uncomfortably on the bed as Harry moved closer. "I said I wouldn't make that mistake again."

"You and he, the other Harry, you were...were..."

"We fucked," Draco snapped. "Do you understand, Potter? We fucked and that's all there was to it" The lie tasted bitter and stung Draco's tongue. "Now, go away and leave me in peace."

"That's not all there was. It couldn't be. Not from the way you spoke, not from the way you just kissed me, the way you touched me."

"Oh, for pity's sake, Potter, grow up. I felt you against me, too, and don't give me that line about your wand because for all the talk about the Great Harry Potter, your shaft is no eleven inches. I felt you against me, responding, and it wasn't about some deep abiding emotion, was it? Unless you have a confession of undying love to make."

Harry scowled. "You're a fool, Malfoy," he said, before striding furiously away.

Draco was forced to agree.

* * *

His time in the infirmary had caused him to miss his father's funeral. Dumbledore, as Headmaster, came by afterwards to inform him of the particulars of the service, which had been sparsely attended. Draco noticed how aged Dumbledore looked, as if his life had leaked out of him in drips and drabs. He wondered how many condolence calls he'd had to pay on his students and how many funerals he'd had to attend.

Draco received a package from his mother, giving him detailed instructions on what papers to sign to ensure his inheritance, but giving nothing in the form of comfort. Unlike the Malfoys, with their last minute shift in loyalties, the fortunes of several families were now being held pending investigations. Draco supposed he should be thankful for those circumstances, but was unable dredge up any gratitude.

When Madam Pomfrey deemed him fit, the first thing Draco did was visit the dungeons.

Snape was examining his store of potions when Draco slid into the room. He turned, arching an eyebrow.

"I would expect for you to be using your time studying for the NEWTs, not bothering your professors."

"Why'd you do it?" Draco asked.

"Pardon me?"

"Oh, I haven't decided if I'm going to pardon anyone yet. Why did you, Dumbledore, and McGonagall do the Spell of Necessity?"

Snape's usual expression of distaste dropped, as surprise claimed him. "How did you become aware of that?"

"I don't think you're following this conversation, Professor," Draco sneered. "I'm asking the questions, you're answering. Now tell me why."

Snape swallowed, then gave a short nod. "I suppose we owe you that much." Gathering his robes around him, in addition to his dignity, he moved to his chair and sat down. He indicated for Draco to sit down, as well, but Draco remained standing.

"As you've no doubt discovered by now, I was a spy. Voldemort was growing more powerful. I'd learned that there was to be an attack on the Hogwarts, although I was unable to obtain an exact knowledge of when or how. It was deemed that I should be seen as taken by surprise, as well."

"I thought it was always fairly common knowledge that one day it would come down to Dumbledore versus Voldemort."

"Yes, but what wasn't known is that Voldemort's powers had continued to increase while Dumbledore...Dumbledore is quite old. Even with Harry's potential, we were unsure of the outcome."

"So you did the Spell of Necessity," Draco said coldly.

"Yes. When nothing seemed to happen, we concluded that it hadn't worked. We were much too busy preparing for the upcoming battle to pay attention to the change in the normal squabbling of Gryffindors and Slytherins."

"What happened exactly?"

Snape scowled. "I don't know exactly. I do know that your father escaped from Azkaban There are indications that his first action was to approach you, presumably to have you join him."

"But it wasn't me he ended up talking to. It was a goody-goody Gryffindor who thought of his father as a hero. The situation must have been quite painful. For both of them."

"Undoubtedly." Snape shrugged his shoulders. "The end result is what matters. Your father chose to protect you, weakening Voldemort in his defiance, and by his defection, turning the tide. Your subsequent return prevented Mister Potter's death, allowing him to strike the killing blow."

"Do you have any idea of what you did to me? To Harry? Do you even care?"

"We saved the world, that's what we did. Casualties were impossible to avoid, sacrifices needed to be made."

Draco slammed the door on his way out. As a casualty of the war, he felt he had the right.

* * *

"Malfoy – wait up."

Hearing Potter call him to as he left Snape's classroom, Draco purposely increased his pace in the opposite direction, in no mood to deal with anything or anyone at the moment.

"Malfoy," Harry said impatiently, having run to catch up and now pulling him around by his arm to face him. "I want to talk with you."

"Pity. I have no desire to talk with you." Draco moved to leave, but was hauled back by Potter.

"I heard that you're helping the Crabbe and Goyle families. Paying for lawyers to contest the loss of their estates," Harry accused.

"That's no business of yours."

"I'm making it my business. Their fathers were Death Eaters."

"Their fathers are dead. Vince and Greg are my friends and did nothing wrong."

"They deserve to be punished."

"My, my Potter, I'm impressed. Filling the void, already, are you?"

Harry stepped back, unsure of the mocking tone of Draco's voice. "What do you mean?"

"You've obviously decided that you should be the one who decides who deserves what. Which includes throwing widows and orphans out of their homes and off of their land. Ding, dong, the Dark Lord is dead." Draco swept into a low bow in front of Harry, then lifted his gaze to Harry's startled face. "Long live the new Dark Lord."

"That's...that's..."

"What, Potter? Not fair? Sorry, but I didn't know there was supposed to be any fairness in this discussion. Or any fairness in life, for that matter."

Harry's face was pale as he stared at Draco.

Draco sighed. "Speaking of fairness, I must go study for the NEWTs. Again. Remind me to find out what idiot decided to postpone them because of the war. I owe him a serious thumping."

* * *

Sitting in the Great Hall that evening, Draco started to count the empty spaces at the various tables, but soon lost track. Every table had lost someone, but most of the spots could be attributed to the student returning home after a death in the family. Across the Great Hall, he could see Potter sitting at the Gryffindor table. Their eyes met for a long moment, before Ron said something and Harry glanced away.

This is what he'd wanted at one point, Draco thought. He was back at the Slytherin table where he belonged. Harry was again a stupidly brave Gryffindor, Ron was a prat, and Hermione was a know-it-all. Everything was as it should be.

Except it wasn't.

Looking down the table, the remaining Slytherins were quiet and subdued. In fact the mood of all of the students in the Great Hall was so somber that it bordered on depressed. Everyone was speaking in whispers, as if afraid to raise their voices.

Noticing Zabini trying to appear as if he wasn't watching Bulstrode, while she also pretended not to watch him, Draco decided that their relationship had ceased to be amusing. He couldn't sit there and watch them shy away from making their feelings public anymore.

"Blaise," he said loudly, "are you ever going to tell Millicent how you feel about her, or shall I?"

Millicent and Blaise's heads swivelled in a flash to Malfoy.

"Fine. I'll do it." Draco said, not giving Zabini a chance to answer. "Millicent, for the past two years, Blaise has had a crush on you. No, not a crush, that doesn't come close to explaining the extent to which he's acted like a moron around you. It must be love. Only that can justify his level of idiocy."

Millicent's eyes went to Blaise, who was looking as if he'd just been petrified.

"And Blaise, you must realise that Millicent returns your feelings or you would surely have been pounded into the consistency of pudding by now for all of your antics." As the pair sat there in shock, Draco began to lose patience. "Zabini stand up. Bulstrode, you stand, too."

With wariness, they followed his direction.

Draco nodded with satisfaction. "Now both of you go to the end of the table. Good. Zabini, kiss her and I'd better see some tongue or I'll hex you both."

Blaise, with some trepidation, took Millicent in his arms and gave her a light kiss. For a moment, they stared at one another, and then she kissed him back. The kisses that followed became more passionate.

The Slytherin table began to applaud and whistle as the couple continued to kiss. By the way the two of them were acting, Draco figured he was going to be a godfather to a little Draco or Dracana within nine months.

He glanced over at the Gryffindor table and saw that Weasley and Granger were watching Zabini and Bulstrode with expressions of shock and approval. Potter, however, was staring at him. Draco smiled at Harry.

Things were going to change there as well.

* * *

Humming, Draco walked to the Quidditch pitch. He'd finished the NEWTs in record time. They'd been quite easy, especially since they were exact copies of the ones he'd taken in the other world. He was positive he'd scored higher than anyone else. Ever.

Draco was almost there when he heard running behind him and his name called, so he turned around.

"Potter, this is getting to be a nasty habit of yours, tagging along after me."

"I wanted to talk with you again."

"Fine." Draco indicated that they should move to the stands where they sat, not next to each other, but not too far apart, either.

"The other day, after we argued--" Harry began.

"Which I won."

"I mentioned it to Ron and Hermione. Ron called you names--"

"The idiot."

"And Hermione was quick to say it was all nonsense. But then they looked at me funny."

"They've both always been funny looking."

Harry swatted Draco half-heartedly on the shoulder. "I'm serious. It was like they were thinking that it might be possible. That I might actually...I don't know...become dangerous."

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Potter. Is that what's got you so wound up?" Draco rolled his eyes and stood. "I only said it to mess with your mind. You're not going to turn into a Dark Lord. You're not Dark Lord material."

As Draco left the stands and headed for the broomshed, Harry followed him.

"You don't know that. You don't know anything about me."

Draco whirled to face him. "You're wrong, Potter. I know everything about you. I know that you like strawberry jam on your toast and hate grape. I know that you nibble on the ends of your quills, then are embarrassed by the tooth marks. I know that once you've made up your mind about something, that's it, whether it's to accomplish some impossible task, or who your friends are."

Moving closer, Draco lowered his voice to a husky whisper. "I know more about you than you can ever imagine."

Harry blinked, confused for a moment, then pushed Draco back a few inches while shaking his head.

"You know him, the other Harry. Not me."

"Perhaps. But it does make me curious to find out how much is the same."

Draco licked his lips, and was pleased when Harry seemed mesmerized by the action. "I wonder if you'll moan if I bite your shoulder and if you'll whimper when I lick your chest. I wonder if you'll have that same musky smell. I wonder about how you'll feel shuddering under me. I wonder about the taste of your skin, your sweat, your mouth, your cock, your arse. And I wonder about the look you'll have in your eyes when you're lost to lust and arousal and belong entirely to me. If that look will be the same look you're wearing now."

Swallowing hard, Harry stepped further away from Draco. After he got his breath back, his eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Are you messing with my mind again?"

"Possibly." Draco turned away and opened the broomshed, wasting no time as he grabbed both his broom and Harry's. He noticed that Harry had stayed firmly outside. Exiting, he tossed Harry's broom to him.

"Fancy a ride?" he said with a leer.

"You were kidding, weren't you?" At Draco's smirk, Harry glared at him. "I don't know how you managed to get along with that other Harry of yours without him wanting to kill you."

"Actually, we didn't always get along. We had our share of fights."

"Surprise, surprise. What did you fight about?"

Draco couldn't help the malicious smile he wore when he answered. "Our biggest fight was when Harry was jealous that I kissed Snape." Kicking off, he soared into the sky leaving Harry behind, dumbfounded.

"Hey!" He heard Harry call behind him. "Are you still messing with me?"

* * *

"You can't do this," Harry shouted that night at Draco, who was currently lounging on the couch in the Gryffindor common room.

The room had been full of Gryffindors when Draco had first entered, to the surprise of everyone. After telling Brown that he was impressed that she wasn't concerned with that unsightly blemish developing on her cheek, then informing Thomas that Peeves had somehow discovered where he was stashing his artwork, then looking at Longbottom in a way that made Neville rush for the door, there had been a mass exodus. The only ones that remained were Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco.

"You can't barge in here whenever you feel like it," Harry continued.

"Barge? I do not barge. Ron, you're my friend, do make yourself useful and stop Harry from insulting me."

"I'm not your friend. And stop calling me Ron."

'No, you're not my friend, are you Weasley? Would you like to be? I'll pay you."

"You can't buy Ron's friendship," Hermione said, outraged.

"No you can't," Ron agreed, then added, "How much money were you offering?"

Hermione elbowed her boyfriend in the ribs.

"I wasn't thinking of anything so crude as money," Draco drawled. "I thought perhaps you might like tickets to see the Chudley Cannons play."

"Wow!" Ron exclaimed. Hermione glared at him and so he quickly feigned disinterest. "I mean my friendship isn't for sale."

"Season tickets, in fact," Draco added.

A whimper escaped from Ron and he clamped his mouth shut.

Draco smirked. "With the use of the Malfoy box during at least one play- off game."

Ron spun to face Hermione. "Please. It wouldn't be like I'd be best friends with him or anything."

She shook her head.

Sullenly, Ron turned to Draco. "My friendship isn't for sale. Now please excuse me while I go to my room and bang my head against the wall." With one last pleading glance at Hermione, who again shook her head, Ron went up the stairs.

"How about you, Miss Granger? Is your friendship for sale?"

Hermione sniffed. "Absolutely not."

Draco rose from the couch and approached her. "As my friend, you could visit me at Malfoy Manor. Do you know what we have at Malfoy Manor?"

"No, nor do I care to know."

"We have a library."

Hermione's eyes widened, but she said nothing. Draco continued his enticement as he moved closer.

"Do you have any idea how many books there in the library at Malfoy Manor, Miss Granger?"

"I do not."

Draco leaned forward so that he could whisper in her ear. "Neither do I."

Taking several steps away, Hermione raised her hand and pointed her finger at him. "You...you are an evil person."

"I'm not. Truly I'm not. Well, yes, I suppose I am, but if I was extremely evil, I would have mentioned the vaults."

"Vaults?"

"Yes, where we keep the rarest and most unique books we own. Some volumes, I believe, might actually be one of a kind."

Hermione's mouth dropped open.

"Also in the vaults are stacks and stacks of scrolls written by centuries of Malfoys who believed their lives were so important that their memoirs should be preserved. Imagine the history. Imagine the knowledge. Imagine the conceit."

"My..." Hermione took a deep breath, then continued. "My friendship is not for sale. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go help Ron."

With a flare of her robes, Hermione escaped up the stairs. Draco smiled as he watched her leave, and then turned to face Harry.

"Don't even think about it, Malfoy. I can't be bought."

Draco stalked towards him, his soothing voice belying the warmth in his eyes. "What a pity."

He moved closer and Harry fought the urge to step back. Draco was slightly pouting and Harry refused to acknowledge how his mouth seemed endlessly enthralling.

"I was saving the very best for you," Draco murmured.

Their faces were within inches of each other now. Harry swallowed hard. "What?"

Draco's mouth came even closer.

"Me."

His breath brushed across Harry's lips and Harry quivered with anticipation. It would take only a slight movement forward for their mouths to meet. He could almost taste Draco. Almost feel him against him.

Draco pulled away and it took Harry a moment to process the fact that they weren't going to kiss. That feeling was definitely, definitely not disappointment, Harry decided firmly.

"Too bad, Harry Potter. It might have been fun." Draco said as he headed for the door. "Oh, and remember what I said a few days ago about your virtue being safe?"

Harry nodded.

"I lied." With a wink, Draco left.

After the door shut behind Malfoy, Harry wondered if Ron and Hermione needed any help banging their heads on that wall.

* * *

At breakfast the next morning, Draco smiled as he sat down next to Harry, who only groaned a bit at his presence.

"What are you doing here?" Ron asked around a mouthful of eggs.

Draco handed a plateful of pastries to Ron, who absent-mindedly helped himself to two of them.

"I thought the lot of you would be pleased to bask in the presence of the student who scored perfectly on the NEWTs." He reached for the tea and poured himself a cup.

"You cheated." Hermione said.

Draco placed both hands over his heart, as if swearing an oath. "I took the NEWTs straight forwardly and honestly. Both times."

"There should be a rule against that." Hermione huffed.

"Yes, shouldn't there," agreed Draco pleasantly, giving her his most charming smile before turning it on Harry. "And how are you this morning, Potter?"

The smile made Harry feel strangely warm, so he covered it up with belligerence. "Why are you here, Malfoy?"

"I wanted to discuss our date. For the Leaving Ball."

Ron, who had been drinking juice, spat it out in reaction. Hermione got a bit of muffin caught in her throat. Harry turned bright red.

"I won't...I mean I'm not dating you. I'm not even gay."

"Of course, you're not, Potter. You're bisexual." Draco moved closer so that their faces were mere inches apart, his breath teasing over Harry's skin, his voice a low, husky murmur. "Now about our date."

Underneath the table, Harry felt Draco's hand slide onto his thigh and let out a small yelp, which caused Hermione and Ron to give him puzzled looks.

"I...I can't go with you. I already have a date with...with Ginny." Harry lied, spying Ron's sister further down the table.

Hearing her name, Ginny turned to Harry.

"We have a date for tonight, right Ginny? Right?" Harry urged, rolling his eyes at Draco, hoping Ginny would back him up.

"Tonight? Oh, right...tonight. Yes, Harry and I are going together."

Draco's hand crept a few inches further up Harry's leg when he leaned forward, staring hard at Ginny. "But that was before you came down with that horrible, disfiguring rash."

Sensing the threat, Ginny gave Harry a little "I tried" shrug and went back to her breakfast.

"That's right, she did, " stammered Harry. "Which is why I then asked Lavender."

The hand was getting to dangerous territory now, territory that was growing by the second.

Harry, seated next to Lavender, nudged her until she turned away from Parvati and looked at him. "I was just telling Draco that I asked you to the Leaving Ball," he blurted out.

Lavender studied Harry's desperate face for a moment, then nodded. "Yes, he did ask me. It was quite romantic."

"Which is why," Draco said in a menacing voice, "you were so terribly disappointed when those dire predictions came out about what would happen to you if you went with him.""

"Oh. Right. I forgot about that. Sorry, Harry." Lavender quickly turned back to her friend.

Frustrated, Harry glared at Draco. "Are you going to threaten everyone I plan to go out with?"

The hand underneath the table cupped him, then squeezed lightly.

"Am I going to have to?"

Harry closed his eyes and let out a small groan. "Fine. You win." Harry opened his eyes, ignoring Hermione and Ron's horrified gasps. "Malfoy, will you go with me to the Leaving Ball?"

"Why, Potter, I thought you'd never ask." The hand was removed and Draco stood up, flashing a wide smile. "Come for me around eight. Oh, and Potter, do try and make an effort with your hair. I have standards."

Life was easier, Harry decided, when Voldemort was after him. At least all Voldemort wanted to do to him was kill him.

* * *

The stares had stopped. Now there were only a few sidelong glances and whispers that followed Harry and Draco as they stood next to each other at the Leaving Ball.

Although Draco had issued the most grievous threats he could think of if anyone was impolite to Harry, he still made sure that he was ready to go when Potter showed up at the Slytherin dormitories.

He complimented Harry on his robes and manfully bit back comments on the rest of his appearance. Harry, however, had not returned the compliments despite the fact that Draco had done his best to be even more devastating than normal.

That pattern continued once they entered the Great Hall. Draco would say something he deemed polite. Harry would ignore it. He'd tried asking if Harry wanted punch or a canapé, no reply. Draco had even gone so far as to state that Granger and Weasley made a handsome couple. Again, silence. Finally, Draco had had enough.

"Come now, Potter, I realise that my glowing presence has rendered you speechless, but do try and grunt once in a while, so that I'll know you're still sentient."

"Go to hell, Malfoy."

Draco tried to school his features, but couldn't at hearing the echo of the other Harry's words. He could feel the blood drain from his face and could see Harry staring at him in confusion. His grace disappeared as he stumbled back.

"I'm...I'm sorry, Potter" he stuttered.

Harry looked astonished as Draco turned and made his way to the doors, but Draco didn't care. He needed to get away, needed to breathe. He headed out the doors and kept going until he came to the field near Hagrid's hut where in another world, he and Harry had slain the basilisk, where he and Harry had kissed. Breathing hard, he stared at the sky, wondering how to make the pain go away.

He heard a noise behind him and realised he'd been followed. It had to be Potter, still doing his bit to save everyone.

"What's wrong?" Harry asked quietly, coming to stand next to him.

Draco wanted to lie, wanted to come up with some scathing comment that would send Potter scurrying back to his friends, tail between his legs. He opened his mouth, wanting to emit a venomous comment, but instead a sob choked out, which he quickly stifled, but not quickly enough.

"Draco? Tell me."

"G-Go to hell, Malfoy, was the last thing the other Harry said to me." Draco heard Potter's harsh intake of breath. "I'd found out that the spell that had sent me there was wearing off. I had to tell him, warn him. He...he thought I was abandoning him. That I wanted to leave him."

Draco let out a shuddery exhalation. "I would never have left him, if I'd had a choice."

Reaching out, Harry placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.

Draco continued to stare at the sky. "I shouldn't have done this. Shouldn't have coerced you into coming to the Leaving Ball with me. You're not him. I know that. I just...just wanted to make it better somehow. Better for me. Better for him. God, he was in so much pain."

"He'll get over it," Harry said quietly.

"You don't know that." Draco gave a rueful, bitter laugh. "I don't even know if I'll get over it."

"The other Draco...he wasn't so bad."

Draco turned to Harry and lifted an eyebrow. "Is that supposed to make me feel better? Thinking that he'll be fine substituting me with my twin?"

"Well, isn't that what you were trying to do with me?"

There was a long pause before Draco answered quietly. "Perhaps." Once again, Draco stared at the stars. When Harry's hand on his shoulder pulled him closer, into an embrace, it surprised him, but he said nothing. It felt comforting, standing there, and holding each other, the music from the Ball drifting out from the Great Hall.

Harry cleared his throat and pulled back a fraction. "Malfoy, seeing as to how you roped me into this date, we probably should make the best of it, don't you think?"

Draco shrugged, so Harry continued.

"This is my last Ball at Hogwarts and I'd kind of like to dance. Dance with me?"

"I don't take pity, Potter. Or give it, for that matter."

Harry moved so that Draco could see his face. "This isn't pity. Dance with me."

Retreating out of Harry's arms, Draco shook his head. "I won't."

Harry closed the distance between them. "You will."

There was a familiar look of determination on Harry's face. It was the look that said nothing was going to stop him and a hum of anticipation went through Draco. Of course, he wasn't going to make it easy on Potter.

He took another step back and Harry followed with a step forward.

"No."

"Yes."

As Draco began to step away again, Harry grabbed him by the hips, pulling him forward, leaving no room between their bodies.

Leaning close, he whispered in Draco's ear, "Dance with me," before capturing the lobe in his teeth, nipping it. His lips nibbled at the soft skin covering Draco's jaw, then moved to taste the flesh of the neck. "Dance with me," he repeated, his voice muffled.

A moan escaped from Draco when he felt Harry's teeth lightly bite his skin.

Damn, Draco thought, Harry fights dirty. He let a grin slowly spread across his face. "Since you've begged so nicely, I suppose I will," Draco drawled.

As they headed back to the Ball, giving each other speculative looks, Draco decided that this relationship might work out, after all.

* * *

"The last thing I remember was my father dying to save me." Draco sighed. "I do hope Harry, the other one, managed to make it through."

Harry was visiting him as he lay on his bed in the infirmary recovering from wounds received in another world. School was out and most of the students had packed and left already. Draco suspected that the only reason Ron, Hermione, and Harry were still around was due to him, and he was quite grateful for it.

"I'm sure the other Draco helped him," Harry's reply was quiet and firm.

"I'm not so certain. That Harry seemed to dislike me with great intensity. I got the impression that the feeling was mutual."

Harry leaned forward and took Draco's hand in his. "Trust me. He was helped."

Draco looked pointedly down at their joined hands and Harry slowly withdrew his hand.

At one point, the other Draco had evidently given Hermione a letter that explained about the different worlds. When Harry had found Draco the night of the storm, broken and bleeding from several wounds, and moaning about Voldemort, the letter had been helpful in discovering what must have happened.

Later, after he'd gained consciousness, he'd been a bit bewildered by the fact that his girlfriend now belonged to his best friend and that everyone knew he was gay. He was gay, but it was strange for it to be considered an accepted fact of life.

It hadn't taken him too long in the other dimension to realise that his counterpart was also gay. That first night, when he'd told his fellow Slytherins that he was going to bed, he'd received a quite interesting and detailed offer of company from a male sixth year.

Now, as he recovered, Ron and Hermione visited him often, usually accompanied by Harry. This time, they'd left him alone in Harry's company, wearing sly smiles that caused him to suspect that the other Draco had done a bit more than making a general announcement of his sexuality.

"It was the strangest thing, really," Draco said. "I kept trying and trying to convince them that I was on their side, but the more they rebuffed me, the more antagonistic I became."

Tentatively, he placed a fingertip on Harry's unmarked forehead.

"You, the other you, had a scar shaped like a lightning bolt caused by Voldemort. I told him that it must actually be the letter "N", and it stood for nitwit."

Harry suppressed a laugh. "I'm sure that went over well."

"Even worse, each day afterwards I greeted him with a new insult beginning with N. Numskull, nimrod, nincompoop."

Unable to hold it back any longer, Harry began to laugh. After a moment, he managed to control it enough to speak. "I can't imagine why they didn't immediately rush to you with open arms."

Draco sniffed, "Yes, it is quite difficult to understand," then smiled. "I truly acted impossible. And all I wanted was to be Harry's friend."

For a moment, they both looked at the covers on the bed, avoiding the others' eyes.

Draco had fuzzy memories of a distraught Harry leaning over him in the rain as he writhed in agony from his injuries. As he'd healed there'd also been several times when he'd managed to open his eyes to find Harry stationed in a chair next to his bed, rubbing his elbow, just as he was now. Draco decided that the constant elbow rubbing must be a nervous habit.

"You and the other Draco...you were friends with him, weren't you?" Draco ventured slowly.

Harry swallowed hard. "We were more than friends. Much more."

"Oh." After a pause, "Would you consider, perhaps, being friends with me?"

"I think we could try."

"Seeing how you're a Slytherin, should I list you under sycophants or goons?" Draco smirked and Harry's breath caught in his throat at the familiar sight.

Finding a spot on Draco's arm that wasn't covered with bandages, Harry punched it lightly.

"Ow!" Draco rubbed at his arm, pretended the blow had hurt. "You're very physical. Goon, it is."

"Git," Harry said affectionately.

"Prat."

Maybe, Harry thought, maybe this relationship might work out, after all.

* * *

Epilogue – One year later

"Potter, get a move on. We're supposed to be there soon."

"I'm not going." Harry stood against the bedroom door with his arms folded across his chest as he watched Draco get dressed to go out. "It's going to be full of Slytherins."

"Of course, it will. The baptism of my goddaughter and namesake will naturally be well attended."

"I can't believe Blaise and Millicent named her after you."

"I can't believe that the baby's cute, in total defiance of her breeding."

"I don't care how cute she is, I'm still not going. Do you know how they treat me?"

Draco's eyes narrowed and his tone switched from teasing to menacing. "Has someone threatened you?"

"I wish," Potter said and Draco noticeably relaxed. "Threats I could handle."

"Then what is it? I go to all your little Gryffindor gatherings and make nice with your friends."

"You never make nice, Draco. If you did, Ron wouldn't love the way Percy, George, and Fred make themselves scarce whenever you're around."

"Just because I had that Rebounding of Pranks charm on me—"

"Actually, I think it was the time you hexed George and Fred to get erections every time Percy walked into the room."

"Well," Draco said, smiling at the memory, "Percy Weasley is a fine figure of a man. Besides, it's not just Ron who likes me. You know that Hermione adores me. I believe she wants to have my babies."

"If you mean 'books' when you say 'babies', you might be right," Harry grumbled. He let out a frustrated sigh. "Did you know at that last week's dinner, Pansy actually patted me on the head?"

"Is that all, Potter? They simply like you. After the great, heroic Harry Potter gave an impassioned speech praising notions of forgiveness and unity in the Wizard community, their lives became much easier."

"They don't act like they like me. They act more like...." Harry looked suspiciously at Draco as the truth dawned on him. "They act like I'm a pet."

Draco began coughing. "Really? I'm sure you must be misinterpreting their actions."

"I don't think so. It would explain the 'you're a good boy' remarks I've been hearing."

"You mean you haven't been a good boy?"

Harry advanced on a smirking Draco. "What did you tell them?"

"Nothing. Truly it was nothing. I might have said something about how you fetch my tea for me each morning and greet me every day when I arrive home from work and that...that perhaps everyone should have a Gryffindor of their own."

Harry pushed Draco. Hard.

"You know," Draco continued, laughing, "for companionship and protection. Not too bright, but highly trainable."

Harry pushed Draco again; causing him to fall onto the bed, then quickly straddled him. The laughter dropped from Draco's face to be replaced by lustful anticipation.

"Not to mention how incredibly affectionate they tend to be." Draco threaded his hands through Harry's hair, and then pulled him down so that their mouths met.

They ended up arriving late for the baptism, flushed and unkempt. It was only afterwards that Draco realised that the robe he'd thrown on wasn't his. It belonged to Harry.

He was once again a Slytherin in Gryffindor clothing.

Draco decided that he could live with it.

The End

I would like to thank my two betas, Aoibhail and A Boy for all of their hard work.

I would also like to thank everyone who reviewed. I love feedback and have been so thrilled by the response all of you have given my first Harry Potter story.

Additionally, if you have any questions or comments that you'd like for me to address, my e-mail is mahaliem@yahoo.com or you can leave your e-mail address in your review and I'll try to get back to you.