Title: Paper Fetish
Pairings: one-sided (?) Harry/Draco, implied Ron/Hermione
Notes: How could I NOT be inspired by Draco doing origami? EDIT May 16: Took out A/N at the end, fixed italics.
Ron scowled at the note on the table. "Bloody hell, doesn't Malfoy EVER give up?"
The origami tiger growled at the redhead in response, attempting to bite off his fingers when they ventured too close.
"OW! Harry, it bit me!"
Harry couldn't help but laugh. "At least he stopped sending spiders, Ron, be thankful for that."
"It's a rather ingenious mechanism, isn't it?" Hermione asked, picking the note up by the tail. "It attacks anyone who tries to open it except the recipient." Indeed, when she passed it to Harry, the tiger yawned loudly and curled up in his palm. "One must wonder where he learned such intricate origami, though. Are you going to put it with the rest?"
"I suppose," Harry replied absently, stroking the artfully folded paper until it purred like a kitten. He had a whole menagerie of these origami notes now, tigers and kangaroos and miniature dinosaurs that still acted like they were lords of the earth. There was also an aviary; a cage filled with cranes and delicate butterflies, mostly. They liked to flutter around, so he got them something taller.
Ron glared at the peacefully sleeping tiger. "Why do you keep them, anyways? Why not just read 'em and chuck 'em?"
Harry couldn't bear to throw them out, that's why. They were so charming, and he didn't want to ruin them only to read what were surely juvenile insults. However, that was not an answer that would satisfy Ron, and Harry knew it. "Well," he replied carefully, "if I read them, then he wins, doesn't he? He gets to insult me to his heart's content. But if I keep them, and enjoy them, and don't ever look at what's inside..." he shrugged, "I suppose that'd be about the last thing he wants done with them, don't you think?"
A grin broke out over Ron's face. "Yeah," he said slowly, as if realization were dawning, "yeah, that'd drive him nuts! He'd hate it if you actually liked them!" He hit his friend on the back, nearly making Harry's glasses go flying across the room. "Bloody brilliant, Harry!"
Ron's curiosity was so very, very easy to satisfy. From the look on Hermione's face, though, she wasn't buying it. "How does Draco know whether you've read them or not?" she asked, cocking an eyebrow.
"Goodness, I'm tired," Harry said quickly, desperately trying to change the subject. "I think I'll head off to bed. You coming, Ron?"
Ron's glance darted ever so subtly towards Hermione. "Actually, I think I'll, y'know, stay up for a bit. Not quite ready to hit the old hay yet." The tips of his ears began to go very scarlet, and so Harry didn't let the other boy see his smile as he wished them goodnight. Ron was so bad at the whole secret dating thing.
Harry walked up the familiar staircase to his dormitory, the same room he'd slept in for his six previous school years. It was empty save for himself, and at ten thirty on a Saturday evening that was not a very surprising fact. He made his way to his four-poster and, kneeling on the floor, pulled out two mid-sized cages from beneath the bed. He could've kept them in his trunk, he supposed, but if the flying ones got loose he'd have a mess when he went to grab a book, and so under his bed they remained.
The tiger was reluctant to leave Harry's hand when he tried to dump it in with its brethren; it gave him a hiss before hopping through the opening at the top of the cage. Immediately, the tiger and a lion he'd received a few weeks earlier began attacking a dainty little deer that had arrived the first week of seventh year.
"NO!" Green eyes went wide as he tried to pull the predators and prey apart. Odd, he thought idly in the back of his mind, how they've never attacked each other before.
It was, of course, too late. "Oh, you've killed him!" Harry proclaimed, heartbroken, as he stared at the little paper corpse in his hands. "What do I do with him? Do I bury him? Flush him down the toilet?"
Read the note?
Harry blinked. Now that he'd thought of it, curiosity gnawed at him. He'd wondered at the tenacity with which Malfoy sent him these notes, wondered what could be so important as to warrant them finding their way into the Gryffindor common room once a week. And why the origami? Surely it took more care and effort than Draco was willing to waste on him to fold these notes so carefully, intricately.
"Maybe just a peek," Harry whispered, giving in.
Potter, the first line read in Malfoy's delicate, almost feminine script, it's very rude not to read notes when people go to all the trouble of sending them to you.
"My apologies, your highness," Harry muttered.
If it weren't for the fact that I'd ordered them all to attack Weasley on sight, I'd wonder whether you'd gotten these at all. The paper cuts reassure me.
"Oh, Ron'll be delighted to hear about that, Malfoy."
You must not be reading them, then, because certain things I've said in previous notes should have earned me scowls at breakfast. Others should have prompted very odd stares, at the least.
"Odd stares? What are you going on about?"
If you'd read my notes from the past years, and had half a brain under that mop of yours, then you would know by now that I love you. Since you haven't mentioned it thus far, I'm going to assume that it's safe to proclaim here.
Harry stared at the words in silence for a few moments before he could continue. His eyes were wide, his mouth agape in an "o" of surprise.
He loved him. Draco Malfoy, pride of Slytherin, son of Lucius, was in love with Harry Potter. A Death Eater's son was in love with the Boy Who Lived.
Surely, it must be some sort of joke.
I know you have ways of finding me, if you ever read this. Don't come, Potter, unless you have something to say.
The Marauder's Map. He had it, in the bottom of his trunk, wrapped in his invisibility cloak. Neither Harry nor Ron had found occasion to use it that year. He used it now. He hoped he knew what to tell Draco when he found him. He wondered what exactly fueled his haste.
Harry bolted down the hallways, map in front of him. He'd not even bothered with the cloak, he didn't care who saw him tonight. He shouted the password at the statue guarding the entrance to the Slytherin common room, then nearly bowled over a group of first years in his haste to get to the stairs leading to the boys' dormitories.
Seventh Year, the plaque affixed to the third door proclaimed. Harry slammed it open and then closed again when he crossed the threshold.
Draco Malfoy looked up from his copy of The Standard Book of Spells (Grade Seven) and smiled faintly. "Ah, Potter," he said softly, icy blue eyes locking on to Harry's green ones, "I see you got my note."
And suddenly, Harry knew exactly what to say.END