A/N: Well. Been a while, hasn't it? But hey, I was busy what with being unemployed and such, and then getting my new job with Princess Cruises and all with the training... Anybody want to take a European cruise with me next fall? Fifteen dollars a day! ANYWAY! This didn't exactly turn out as planned, and in the tradition of the first part, is unbetaed. The end is less sarcastic than the rest of it, mostly because I wasn't in a sarcastic mood when I finished it today. Perhaps one day I'll go back and change it, and then get both parts betaed. For now they stay as they are. All errors are my own, and I cherish them, unless they are glaringly painful. Anyway, onward!
Slip of the Tongue
Disclaimer: See previous chapter.
Draco paced his room swiftly, trying to come up with a plan to salvage what had happened that afternoon. When the realization had come to him about what had actually come out of his mouth as opposed to what he meant to say, the horror that had set in had been indescribable.
But let me try anyway. Imagine, if you will, going to class. Looking down at yourself and discovering that you're as naked as the day you were born. With an embarrassing tattoo on your chest. And toilet paper trailing from your foot. Add to that the fact that you're having the worst hair day of your life, and you are now required to do an oral examination in front of the class in a subject you've never studied. Then you can imagine some of the mortification that coursed through Draco's very being.
"Damn it all to the pits of hell," Draco cursed, "it wasn't supposed to happen like that! There was supposed to be yelling, Har… Potter groveling at my feet, begging for forgiveness, and then I was supposed to laugh at him or something. I can't believe I botched a routine operation like that!"
Draco's pacing stopped abruptly; he sank down onto his bed and put his hands over his face.
"Why me?" he muttered.
You see, Draco had a secret. A very closely guarded secret. A secret known only to Draco's subconscious mind for four years. And now that secret was known to his conscious mind as well. Draco was in love with Harry Potter.
Draco's subconscious had kept the secret so well, that Draco didn't even have an inkling of an idea that he could possibly harbor such feelings. Neither toward another male nor toward a male that happened to be Harry-bloody-Potter. And the more he thought about this newly revealed information, the more it made a sick sort of sense to Draco. It was no wonder he felt strong feelings toward the Boy Who Lived. He was in love, but he didn't realize it, and it came out instead as another strong feeling: hate. Twisted, yet logical. Needless to say, a certain blond boy was not handling the revelation very well.
Absently, Draco reached toward his wand and cast a locking spell in the general direction of his door. He most definitely did not feel like going down for dinner. He didn't thing it was prudent (read: was too scared) to face Har… Potter this soon after their confrontation. Besides which, his face had seemed to want to turn himself crimson whenever he thought about the goings-on in the Great Hall earlier, and Draco didn't know what to do about that. He hoped that he didn't have a skin condition.
'You're bloody blushing, get over it,' something in the back of his mind screamed at him.
'But Malfoys don't blush,' he moaned back mentally.
'I suppose they don't shit or piss either,' was the internal reply.
'Bugger off,' he told the nagging thoughts.
"And I've officially lost it." Draco sighed heavily and lay back against his pillows.
"Draco? Darling, are you coming down?" The syrupy-sweet voice of Pansy Parkinson floated through the locked door and Draco cursed himself for not having thought of putting a silencing charm on the door as well.
"I'm feeling somewhat under the weather today, Pansy, so I'll just stay in here and rest." For good measure Draco threw in a fake, yet somehow convincing, cough.
"Oh, I hope you feel better darling. And congratulations on telling Potter off today!" The final comments were accompanied by the sound of retreating footsteps.
"Potter. Bloody hell. I'm never leaving this room again." The covers were pulled over a blond head, and a curious sort of groaning sound was heard every few minutes after that.
Well, it seems as though Draco wanted to be boring at that moment, but who could possibly blame him? I mean, after finding out a secret that had been kept from yourself for a good portion of your life is rather traumatizing. After all, if you can't trust yourself, then whom can you trust?
Nobody, that's who.
Draco didn't leave his room at all that night or the next day. He begged off his Friday classes by faking sick, and since that didn't usually happen (no matter what Draco was feeling, he always went to class if only to taunt Harry Potty), nobody questioned his motives.
Anytime somebody walked by Draco's door, he braced himself for that person barging in (he forgot that he'd locked his door magically) and making fun of him for what he'd said. Nobody had been around the Great Hall (not even the ghosts), but gossip had a way of finding its way around the school. Of course Harry… Potter… whatever… would have told his friends about what had transpired, and Draco knew for a fact that the weasel couldn't keep a secret to save his life, especially when it came to something humiliating about Draco.
Each time nobody knocked, or opened the door, each time the footsteps tapped themselves away from him, Draco died a little with relief.
Of course, his house could be waiting for him to show his face in the common room before they began their fun-making. You know, to lull him into a false sense of security and spring it on him when he was most vulnerable. It's what Draco himself would have done.
And so Draco Malfoy continued to cower in his room like a sissy girl. Of course if you called him a sissy girl you'd find yourself bald and with scorpions hiding in your bed. But what he doesn't know can't offend him.
It wasn't until around lunchtime on Saturday when Draco's stomach dictated that he get the hell out of bed and feed it something. This demand took the form of a rather loud and embarrassing rumble followed by a pitiful gurgle. And so Draco dragged his carcass out of bed and made himself presentable, not being able to say no to his poor neglected stomach.
Even Draco can't resist his own charms.
Anyway, he warily creptup to the Great Hall in time to slip in unnoticed with hoards of other students answering the call to feed. He fully expected at any moment to be spotted and turned upon with demeaning taunts and vicious laughter. After all, it's what he would have done.
When he made it to the Slytherin table with no incident he was slightly relieved. No one had spotted him, but now he had to face his housemates.
"Hiya Draco, how're you feeling?" Blaise asked him, and Draco braced himself for the impending taunt. He waited, and internally cringed.
"Draco darling, are you feeling ok?" Pansy's voice reached him, and it was filled with concern. Draco waited for the postscript of inevitable mockery. When neither was delivered, Draco voiced his confusion.
"Is that all you two have to say?"
"We're sorry that we didn't give His Majesty the proper respects on this fine afternoon." Blaise rolled his eyes, while Pansy giggled at the comment.
"Honestly Draco," she took a sip of pumpkin juice, "I thought you'd gotten over the 'treat me like royalty' phase already."
"No, that's not it," Draco tried to keep the burgeoning feeling of hope out of his voice, "I just thought that you two would have something to tell me, seeing as I wasn't in classes or at meals yesterday."
"Nothing terribly exciting," Pansy replied to this, "I have your homework assignments for you though."
"You did miss out on a girl fight between a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw yesterday," Blaise added. "Considering who it was between, it was surprisingly spirited. And hot as hell to watch." He leered in Draco's general direction.
"Oh, who won?" Draco's attention was wandering away from the conversation now that it looked like he was in the clear, and was already trying to come up with reasons why Harry… screw it… hadn't told anyone. His eyes found their way over to the Gryffindor table, and inevitably to the person in question.
Harry seemed to be joking with his housemates. He wore the residual grin left over from a joke telling, and those around him were still giggling. Draco rested his cheek in his hand and stared unabashedly at the object of his affection, hoping it would be taken as him scheming. He was in his own little world for a good amount of time doing a little daydreaming about Harry and a bowl of whipped cream before being jostled back into reality.
No, Draco hadn't come to terms with his apparent love for his enemy, he was imagining Harry drowning in the cream while he gleefully cackled in the background (well… cackled probably wouldn't be the correct word, as Malfoys never cackle; but we'll leave it for the purpose of description). So what if his imagination just so happened to picture Harry mostly unclothed? That just meant that Harry would be more humiliated. Mmhmm, that was it.
And if you'll come with me, I have a lovely piece of property to sell you in Egypt with a beautiful view of the river.
"Hey, Draco, Potter's looking over here," Blaise nudged Draco in the ribs, earning a half-hearted glare.
"What are you talking about? He's paying attention to his groupies." Draco tried to cover the fact that he'd been staring by grabbing a roll and taking a large bite out of it.
"Ew, Draco, that was disgusting!" Pansy looked at the disgruntled blond boy with a combination of shock and distaste on her face. "I didn't know you were capable of being that… uncouth."
"I didn't know you were capable of using large words, Pansy," Blaise shot back at her in Draco's place, saving Draco the trouble of replying with a witticism with a mouth full of bread.
Draco hurriedly swallowed, making sure not to choke (that would be unseemly and very un-Malfoy), and glanced back at the Gryffindor table. Sure enough, Harry was not paying attention to anything anywhere near Slytherin territory. He turned a smug look on Blaise.
"You must be hallucinating, Zabini. Because unless Potter has developed the ability to hide when he's staring at someone, which I know he hasn't because I caught him staring at you in potions last week when we were paired, then he's been completely focused on the other Gryffindorks."
There was a short silence before Blaise burst into laughter. "Oh my God Draco, I can't believe that you've been watching Potter that closely," he managed to get out between laughs. Draco went pink.
"Yes, well, all part of 'know thy enemy' and all that." He was trying to be convincing, he really was. It was too bad that he made the mistake of looking over at Harry again, only to find him looking back in the direction of the three conversing Slytherins. Unfortunately, the discovery of Harry looking at him caused him to go even pinker. Which in turn caused Blaise to laugh even harder. By that time, Pansy's giggles could be heard in chorus with Blaise's.
'Oh bother, there's that skin condition again,' Draco thought despairingly as he buried his face in his hands. He could feel the eyes of the entire school on him, but most especially Harry's. They felt like they were burning a hole through the top of Draco's head with the intensity. Not that Harry Potter had the ability to do that, but Draco wouldn't put anything past the Boy Who Lived, not even eye-lasers.
It took a few minutes for Draco to regain his composure, but when he did he looked just as composed and unruffled as ever. His cool gaze swept over his kingdom, and any he caught still snickering he leveled a glare at. The Slytherin table was soon silenced with the exception of a few titters from Blaise.
"Well Zabini, now that I've had my humiliation for the month, I'll be taking my leave. I do expect an apology, in writing, placed on my bed along with a gift to show that you're truly sorry. You know the password. And if there isn't anything there this evening, then you will be sorry." Draco stood, and his eyes once again looked over his housemates. Nothing was said, but the meaning was absolutely clear – laugh at me again and you'll regret it. He inclined his head and left the table with a princely demeanour, every inch the Malfoy everyone expected.
Inside, however, Draco was trembling like a leaf in the wind. He was terrified that Blaise had stumbled upon his secret –
'There is no secret! There's nothing!' he angrily told himself.
– and that he was to be humiliated even more. Of course, he'd deal with it; he would have to in order to save face. But, that would have to wait to be worried about until he actually knew that someone knew something, even if there wasn't anything to know. First things first, though, he had a curiosity to satisfy. Draco strode confidently over to the Gryffindor table and plastered his smirk on his face.
"Potter. A word?"
All conversation at the table suddenly stopped with the arrival of the cocky blond.
"Oh, Malfoy. No screaming at me in public this time?" Harry's face was neutral, but his eyes showed a spark of amusement. Those lovely eyes, always hidden by those ugly glasses, but if one gazed deeper…
It was lucky that Draco had autopilot programmed into his brain, and that the default setting was 'scathingly witty banter.'
"Been there, done that. Now am I going to have to drag you with me?"
Ok. Autopilot is never as good as the real thing.
Harry's eyebrow rose. "May I ask what this is about?"
"We had a conversation the other day, and I have a few things to add. Now, seeing as this conversation is not meant for public ears," Draco sneered at the defensive Gryffindors, who had all tensed and were readying themselves for what seemed to be an inevitable battle, "I thought that we could find somewhere less public to conduct it."
Harry cocked his head to the side and sized Draco up before finally nodding lazily.
"I suppose I could indulge you," he said, cutting off any protest from his comrades before they could begin, and standing at the same time. "Lead the way."
Draco smirked at Gryffindor, as if to say 'See, no one can deny me,' and started heading toward the door. He didn't bother looking back to see if Harry was following him, making it seem like he was confident that no one would be able to stand him up. In actuality he had to fight the urge to look back and make sure that Harry was following him, and not hanging back to tell someone what the whole thing was about.
The blond expected to relax somewhat when Harry fell into step beside him, but a different sort of nervousness settled over him instead. They both walked silently, Harry following Draco's lead, as they wound their way through the castle. Draco honestly had no idea where they were going as he hadn't thought this far ahead, and hoped to stumble upon something that would work fairly soon. Harry seemed to sense this lack of preparation, and after a few minutes took charge.
"Oh for crying out loud, come with me."
Harry led Draco on a purposeful route, none of the slow, stalling meandering from before. Not long after, Harry slowed in front of what seemed like a blank wall across from one of the stupidest tapestries that Draco had ever seen in his life. Not knowing what to do, the blond followed the brunet's pacing steps, trying to keep his thoughts on the task at hand and away from whipped cream andnaked Harry.
A door appeared where the wall once was, and Harry opened it, stepping aside to allow Draco inside first. With a haughty sneer, Draco accepted the invitation and walked through the doorway. What he saw caused his mouth to go dry. There was a large, fluffy-looking bed standing prominently in the middle of the floor, an overstuffed couch off to the left with a coffee table in front of it, and on the table was a large, chilled bowl of whipped cream.
So much for Draco thinking of something else.
"Welcome to the Room of… Jesus, Malfoy, what were you thinking of?" Harry had joined Draco in the room, assuming that his choice of 'a comfortable place to talk' would be delivered, but finding something else altogether. Draco snorted indignantly, trying hard to hide his awkward embarrassment.
"What are you insinuating, Harry?" He flung an arm toward the bed. "That I was the one who decorated this place? If anyone should be blamed for this, it should be you!"
"Excuse me? I'm sorry, but this room provides whatever you need, and since I was thinking something along the lines of a casual parlor, it would be assumed that you were the one who botched it." Harry was torn between irritation at Draco for his ignorance and amusement at his obvious discomfort.
"I… well… what I was thinking is none of your business," Draco spluttered. Harry grinned and walked to the coffee table.
"Hmm, whipped cream," he took a finger full of the fluffy white stuff and sucked it off slowly, "you're either hungry or horny."
"I didn't come here to discuss sex with you," Draco ground out, desperately trying to change the subject before he was forced to say something that could be considered stupid.
"Ah yes, we were to continue that little 'conversation' from Thursday." Harry sat on the couch and crossed one ankle over the opposite leg (giving Draco a lovely view of his crotch through his trousers) and resting his arms over the backrest. "Please go right ahead. I'm all ears."
The moment that Draco was able to tear his eyes from the delicious sight laid before him (and after promising himself that he'd poke his eardrums out for even thinking of anything of Harry's as delicious), Draco's mind began functioning. It told him that he was acting ridiculously, and that Harry was probably taking advantage of his peculiar behavior.
Draco's natural arrogance finally kicked in, and he crossed his arms over his chest. A half-smirk adorned his lips as he regarded Harry, and after several minutes of this scrutiny Draco was pleased to see that Harry started squirming.
Ah, he hadn't lost his touch, just his mind.
"Tell me Harry," Draco started, scowling slightly when he saw Harry's mouth quirk into a smile at the use of his given name, "why haven't you told anyone?"
"Huh? Told anyone what, Malfoy?" Harry feigned innocence, and Draco's scowl deepened.
"You were there, you heard what I said."
"I'm not sure what you're talking about. Perhaps you could repeat what you… okay, okay!" Harry gave up the innocent act and put his hands up in defeat when he saw that Draco was particularly volatile.
"Well?" Draco forced himself to calm.
"I didn't feel like telling anyone." Harry's hands lowered, and he affected a neutral expression.
"What? You have the opportunity to ruin my reputation handed to you on a silver platter and you don't take it? You're a fool."
"I do have the ability to keep a secret. And even though you didn't ask me not to tell anyone, I figured that you wouldn't want me to."
"Oh, you saved my honour. How very… Gryffindor of you." Draco couldn't resist the barb.
"You know, if you'd rather I told, then there's a hall full of people who'd love to hear…" Harry was starting to get irritated with Draco, and rose from his seat, heading toward the exit. Draco blanched.
Harry paused in his steps, and turned back to look at Draco with one eye. "Yes, Malfoy?"
"I... that is to say, I would appreciate if you wouldn't tell anyone, please Harry." Draco fidgeted with the cuff of one sleeve on his robe, and refused to look at Harry's face. He couldn't believe that he had been reduced to begging, but he would rather endure humiliation with one person who would keep their word about not telling anyone than with a whole group of people who would torture him for the rest of their school days. It was a pretty close call, though.
And really, given the choice, he'd prefer that he could pick magical nonexistent door number three: pretending that nothing had happened and moving on with his life.
"Was that just a civil request that I heard come out of your mouth, Malfoy?" Harry asked sardonically, turning himself around and sauntering back over to Draco, who slowly backed up against the advance until his back hit a wall. "...Draco..."
Draco's eyes widened comically when Harry said his given name. He'd only heard it once before, back in their first year before Harry had taken to saying 'Malfoy' with such malevolence. He wished then that he didn't have to go through with this confrontation, that he could simply run back to his room and never return. Because Harry's lips were so very close, and he couldn't concentrate on anything but the way they looked when they formed the syllables for his name.
"Bugger," Draco sighed, not even bothering with denial any more. It wasn't getting him anywhere, and therefore was useless to him. He slid his gaze from Harry down to the carpeted floor and tried to concentrate on something other than the rather sudden appearance of adrenaline in his veins.
"Pardon?" Harry asked, leaning a hand against the wall near Draco's head, effectively trapping the blond boy. Draco shook his head violently.
"Don't make me say it, please..." Draco's voice quavered ever-so-slightly. The poor boy was coming out of the denial hard, and would rather have done it without witnesses, to uphold some semblance of pride and vanity. Harry wasn't about to let him just get away with that, though.
"Draco," Harry tried once again, noticing a slight tremor run through the boy he was addressing, "what are you going on about?"
"I love you, okay? Are you happy now? You made me say it, now leave me alone!" Draco tried to push Harry away so that he could escape the derision and scorn that he was sure was going to follow him, but Harry wouldn't let him go. The dark-haired boy caught Draco as he passed by and held him to his chest. Draco struggled valiantly against the confining arms, but Harry held on.
"Draco," Harry said, his mouth near Draco's ear, "hold on, stop struggling."
"No, I don't need to stay here and listen to you mock me."
"You prat, just shut up and listen to me for a minute!" Harry held Draco closer and gently kissed his ear. Draco, unable to believe what had just happend, jerked his head suddenly to the side and smacked Harry in his nose. "Ow!"
"You deserved it! I can't believe you're taking advantage of me!"
Harry looked affronted, though Draco couldn't see him. "I was not taking advantage of you! I... just couldn't help myself."
"Oh, that's low, Potter. You couldn't simply humiliate me with words, you had to make it worse with actions as well?"
"Shut up! Draco, don't you ever just stop talking and let other people say something?" Harry shook Draco slightly, and Draco grunted noncommittally. "I've been trying to work up the nerve to tell you that I fancy you for months!" Harry exclaimed when Draco didn't say anything more.
Draco stiffened in Harry's arms. "You're having me on," he whispered. Harry shook his head. "Yes you are!"
"No, Draco. I most certainly am not."
"Well what a fine way of showing someone that you fancy them! By ignoring them?" Draco finally succeeded in wrenching himself away from Harry and turned to glare at him viciously. Harry looked sheepishly at the ceiling.
"Yes, well that was Hermione's idea."
"Yes, she knew that I fancied you, and that I was probably never going to tell you. So she pushed me into this... 'plan' thing she thought up. Apparently she thought that you perhaps fancied me, too -- I didn't believe that at the time, by the way -- and that all you needed was a push to get the ball rolling. So she told me to ignore you for a while. Turns out that it worked; though when you came stomping into the library the other day I thought that all I had accomplished was pissing you off." Harry paused in his story, apparently reliving that day.
Draco hadn't relaxed any, waiting for a trap to spring and for either someone to jump out and yell 'gotcha!' or for himself to wake up. He crept away from Harry, until something solid hit his knees and he sat down, belatedly realising that it was the bed. His face flamed and he moved quickly over to the sofa. 'Stupid skin condition! I hope there's a potion to fix it.'
"I didn't think I had much of a chance until your Freudian Slip..."
"Never mind, muggle psychology thing. But you yelled 'I love you!' at me. And, well... here we are." Harry shrugged and Draco stared.
"Here we are? What's that supposed to mean?"
"Err, what do you want it to mean?" Harry tentatively moved over to the sofa and sat next to Draco, making sure not to touch him.
Draco opened his mouth to reply, but shut it quickly when he realised that he didn't have anything to say. In truth he didn't know exactly what he wanted. Though thoughts of whipped cream still lurked in the edges of his mind...
Draco's brow furrowed and he squrimed uncomfortably under the weight of Harry's expectant gaze. He knew that the brunet was expecting some sort of answer out of him, but he didn't know what to give him. In a fit of nostalgia, though, he nudged Harry sharply in the side and offered his hand.
"Hi, my name is Draco Malfoy, you can call me Draco."
A smile spread over Harry's face, and he took the hand and shook it vigorously. "I'm Harry Potter, you can call me Harry."
Draco smirked. "Now that we have the pleasantries out of the way, what say you to taking care of this rather convenient bowl of whipped cream with me?" He leaned toward the table and scooped up a fingerful, slowly streaking it down Harry's cheek.
"Why you little bugger!" Harry shouted, scooping up a handful and smearing it all over Draco's triumphant face. Draco sputtered and coughed, and in a hasty decision grabbed the bowl and upturned it over Harry's head. Harry screeched and flailed, flinging cream in all directions. Draco set the bowl aside, and it lay forgotten as the blond proceeded to rub the mess into Harry's hair and clothing. If either of them had stopped to listen, they'd find that Draco was giggling like a giddy schoolboy, though he'd have vehemently denied it.
It was a long time before the two of them settled down, sticky and bedraggled. One of Draco's arms was resting comfortably on Harry's knee, while Harry had an arm draped casually over Draco's shoulders. Small laughs escaped their lips between intervals of silence.
"Hey," Harry finally said, breaking the silence, "you have some cream on your lips."
"What are you talking about, there's cream everywhere!" Draco threw back. Harry smiled at him, and leaned forward, kissing him gently. Draco looked flustered when they broke apart.
"There, I think that took care of it," Harry whispered. Draco shook his head.
"No, now there's some on your lips."
Both of the boys spent a lot of time 'cleaning' each other of the cream on their lips, prolonging their first kisses as long as they could. They were chaste, a mere touching of lips and sweeping of tongues over sweet cream. When they separated, Harry licked Draco's nose affectionately, and Draco slapped his arm.
"If anyone asks, you're the one who was smitten with me, and I was civil but aloof."
"Whatever you say, Draco."
Took me long enough, eh? Don't even ask about the ending. It wasn't what I originally had planned, but I really didn't feel like writing the original, and I had to do something with the cream. It turned out inordinately fluffy, but I've been craving brain candy lately, and this falls under that category. Now let's see if I can finish anything else! Stay tuned!
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