A/N: Censored version here in You'll find the 'rougher' one in restrictedsection . org.
WARNING: Slash (Harry x Draco) and grotesquely implied Ron/Ginny. Don't read if you don't want to. I'm not holding a gun against your temple.
Round the Twist
It was two weeks before graduation, and Harry Potter was feeling considerably fantastic. The late afternoon sun was shining outside in the horizon like never before, and the lake glimmered under its bright orange beams. Stifling a yawn, Harry staggered closer to the shore, trailing his bare feet across the slightly moist grass. It was Sunday, almost the last Sunday he would ever spend at Hogwarts.
There were no shadows around Harry, if not counting his own. No shadows caused by the trees, or big rocks, or birds in the sky; the clearing where he was walking was bathing in pure sunlight. Even the threatening shadow of Lord Voldemort had dissipated, being now replaced by golden daffodils and dancing hays. Harry was finally free of all the darkness that had haunted him for so long, and he was enjoying himself immensely.
"Trying to woo us in that ugly faded T-shirt, Potter? How pathetic, really."
Harry closed his eyes in irritation before finally glancing up at his right. There, sitting on a rich green blanket with Blaise Zabini and Theodore Nott, was his only remaining shadow.
"Malfoy," he recognized the smirking blonde.
"The one and only."
"Yeah," Harry smirked back. "Now that your precious mommy and daddy are dead."
The silver-grey eyes narrowed into mordant slits. Harry could feel the forthcoming snowstorm and felt satisfied.
"That's it, Potter! I'm going to make you pay for that comment!" Draco snarled.
"How much?" Harry asked, looking particularly curious. "I think we're talking about at least five hundred galleons, seeing as they confiscated your family's fortune after good old Voldie's demise. Am I right?"
"You... You...!" Draco was so infuriated he couldn't get out a comprehensible sentence.
"Cat caught your tongue?" Harry looked smug. "Poor baby."
"Duel, right now!" Draco growled, and stood up.
"Duel?" Harry raised an incredulous brow, almost laughing. "Duel?"
Draco stepped determinately closer, pursing his lips. "You heard me, you pussy-whipped bitch. Duel."
"Draco, mate, do you really think that's wise?" Theodore Nott spoke up, averting his eyes from the Witch Weekly magazine he was happily reading. "You know how Potter just killed the Dark Lord a few weeks ago. Your chances against him..."
"...are just as good as ever." Draco interrupted his friend with a stinging glare. "Want to be my second?"
"No, thanks." Theodore smiled sweetly.
At Draco's poisonous hiss, he explained that he just had no wish to get his balls hexed off. No offence, of course.
"Yes, well, you always were such a wimp!" Draco growled, raising his chin defiantly. "Blaise?"
"Would love to, but I don't think Hermione would like the idea," Blaise grinned cheekily, toying idly with his long black hair. He'd started dating Harry's friend some time ago, and didn't want to risk angering the attractive brunette because of the ever-boring feud that was going on and on and forever on between the Potter and Malfoy representatives. It was getting rather bromidic, to be honest. Even watching Goyle eating Flobberworms was beginning to sound more exciting.
Draco felt plain murderous, and didn't even try to hide it. He was gritting his teeth together and pondering which one of his friends he should curse first -literally. A nice little Crucio would teach anyone not to mess with a Malfoy. After all, he had inherited a remarkable skill for that particular curse from his mother's side of the family tree, his auntie Bellatrix having been superior at performing it.
"What do you need a second for?" Harry harrumphed, sounding irritable. He hadn't picked up this fight just for nothing, now had he? He needed to vent out, right now. It had been already several days since he had last fought with the blonde prat. And now they were losing valuable time for the sake of mere formalities. "We could always battle without them. You know, they always were such a distraction, anyway."
Draco turned his attention to Potter, forgetting his useless friends for a minute. He glared at the Gryffindor, who was now examining his nails in an infuriatingly tranquil way. How rude! Ignoring the ancient Rules of Duelling so easily, just like some stupid Muggle would do. He told this out loud to the black-haired boy, enhancing his displeasure with a well-placed, haughty sniff of his pretty pointy nose.
Harry only laughed and suggested Malfoy was just scared. This nonsensical proclamation, of course, threw the Slytherin into a fit of vicious sputtering, which also included an elegantly subdued urge to twine hands around Potter's throat and strangle the Gryffindor blue. "Fine! No seconds then, you uncultured beast!"
Harry simpered victoriously. Malfoy really was a sparkling personality.
"Alright, let's go then!" Draco said impatiently. "Back to the castle. I don't want any unwanted eyes, if you don't mind. After all, what I have planned for your demise would surely send me up in Azkaban if anyone could prove I was involved."
Harry watched with amusement and vague interest as Draco started to march towards the large gates of the Hogwarts fortress. The expensive yet already somewhat worn out robes were billowing graciously behind him, making his moves look very neat and light. His shoulders, however, were tensed with expectation, and his fists were balled with anger.
Smiling brightly, Harry followed him.
The corridors were relatively empty. No wonder really, seeing as the day was free from school and the weather outside was so brilliant, inviting the students to wander across the Hogwarts lands. Draco and Harry walked side by side, ascending the staircases in silence.
That is, until Harry started a new argument out of sheer boredom.
"You know, Malfoy, maybe we should just skip this duel, go to Hogsmeade and buy you some new clothes. Your robes seem to have seen better days... or maybe not, considering how shabby they look. What have you done with them?"
Draco cast him an icy glare. "First off, what I do with my robes is none of your business. Secondly, they look just fine."
"They look like shit."
"Curious that you should say so, Potter. After all, you see Weasley in those ugly rags of his every day. You should be used to seeing poverty by now."
"Not when it's associated with you." Harry glanced at the Slytherin sideways. "You always were such a prissy, perfect little glamour boy."
Draco hissed. "Yeah, well that was when my father was still alive making sure I could afford to be the pretty fucking hot glamour boy that I am."
"Too bad he died, then." Harry sighed, however there was a small smile dancing on his lips.
"Fuck off." Draco was seething. "At least I got to know my father in the first place."
"Ouch, that really stung," Harry sneered. "Oh, wait, no it didn't. You really should invent some new insults, Malfoy. Your touch is slipping."
"And you certainly wouldn't want that, now would you?" Draco looked sneaky. "Unless my touch was slipping down your pants, that is, you poofter."
Harry gaped. "What! I'm not a poofter! Malfoy, that was just nauseating!"
Draco grinned. "I know. Still thinking something weird about my famous touch?"
"More than ever." Harry shuddered. "Just keep your weird thoughts to yourself, thank you. I'm telling you."
"Where are we going, anyway?" Draco changed the subject. "I'm dying to hex your mouth into your ass."
"There's an unused and unfurnished little room on the fourth floor," Harry said. "It's just perfect for our damage-reflecting intentions. You approve, or not?"
For the lack of a better suggestion, Draco approved. "Fine."
"Good." Harry bit his lips. He had left unmentioned that this particular room used to be the home of the Mirror of Erised back in their childhood years, before the expensive piece of silvery glass was moved into the secret room guarded by Fluffy and Devil's Snare and various ugly Chess pieces. But why should he tell this all to Malfoy? Malfoy wouldn't understand any of it anyway, the stupid git.
"It's right there," Harry pointed the wooden door at the far end of the hallway. "Prepare for your demise, Malfoy."
"I was born prepared," Draco smirked. "For your demise."
Upon approaching the door that would lead them to their new duelling haven, they started to hear weird noises; muffled noises, such as groans, whines, screams and silent muttering.
"What's that?" Harry asked, in a hushed voice. "I thought nobody except me knew about this place."
"You think too much of yourself again, Potter, as always. This is perfectly public area of the castle. I'm sure you are not the only one allowed to use this room."
"That's not what I meant!" Harry hissed. "It's just that I've never seen anyone in here, and I come here pretty often, to think about... things."
"Think about things? Oh, that was so lame. Just admit it, you come here to wank!" Draco said, and immediately looked as if he'd turn sick at his own words.
"Shut up, Malfoy!" Harry growled. "Let's see who's in there."
Draco grabbed Harry's sleeve. "No fucking way! That's being nosy, and Malfoys are never nosy."
"You were nosy already before you were born, Malfoy, so stop pretending to be what you're not." Harry edged closer to the door. "Now... Let's just see who is inside. Maybe, if we know them, we could ask them to leave so that we could finally get to business. And by business I mean duelling, and nothing else, you dirty slut. So, what say you? Are we going in or not?"
Draco looked pained, but eventually relented. After all, he'd rather not fight in the corridors where some over-eager prefect could find them and detect points. Especially now when Slytherin was in lead of the House Cup. "Oh, alright, whatever!" he sighed. "But I swear to Merlin, Potter, if it's Dumbledore and McGonagall shagging, I am going to press charges on you for intentional psychical violence."
"Oh, eew! How gross! Malfoy, would you please stop saying those things?" Harry grimaced.
"Just get on with it, Potter!" Draco pushed Harry from the back. "Open the damned door already."
Harry did as he was told, and whispered a silent Alohomora. He smiled at himself; it was probably the first time in two years he used a first-year spell, again. He diminished the glint of melancholy from his eyes, and proceeded to push the door ajar.
What greeted him and Draco was a sight neither of the young men would ever have wanted to see.
Ronald Weasley was leaning over a red-haired girl, impaling himself with vigour into the tinier body beneath him. The girl was screaming and moaning, and when she turned her face towards her audience, Harry and Draco immediately recognized her as Ron's little sister, Ginny. The girl's eyes widened when she realised she was caught, but it was too late; Ron's animalistic growl told everyone that everything was now over.
Draco forcefully grasped Harry's upper arm for support and shuddered. He looked very pale. "Potter... I'm gonna throw up."
"M-me too!" Harry managed to gargle.
"Let's... Let's just get the hell away from here," Draco whispered.
Harry stared at the scenario in shock for another few seconds, until he saw Ron licking his lips. "Yes. Let's go. Now."
They both turned around and ran like hell to the nearest toilet.
Ten minutes later found both boys sitting on the lavatory's white-tiled floor. For once in his life, Draco Malfoy wasn't worried about his robes getting dirty. Shabby was one thing, since he had no money to buy new clothes anymore, but dirtiness was something he could still avoid. But, as it was, he was now leaning against one of the wooden cubicle doors, staring blankly ahead of him, not minding the slightest that the hems of his precious garment were soaked and tainted with something indefinable and brown.
"I think I'm scarred for life."
Harry was sitting next to him, their shoulders not quite touching, and was breathing very shallowly. His eyes were closed, and his skin looked slightly green. They had both emptied their stomachs only moments ago.
"Me, too," he replied, brushing a nervous hand through his stubborn, black locks. "And here I thought I'd seen it all."
They both returned to keeping quiet, but neither of them made any move to leave. Actually, it was the first time Draco actually was glad that Potter was there with him, reassuring him that he was not going insane, and that he had indeed seen correctly: Ronald Weasley had been having sex with his own little sister, Ginevra.
"Uhh... I still don't feel very well," Harry groaned.
"I can't blame you." Draco gave a short glance at the brunette. "That was fucking disgusting."
"Yes, yes it was."
"I take it that you didn't know about this little affair, Potter?"
Harry stood up and swayed towards the wash basins. "No, and I would have been perfectly happy never finding out."
Draco watched how Harry removed his glasses, opened the tap and splashed cold water across his face. "You look like shit," he commented.
Harry glared at him, water dripping from his eyelashes. "I feel like shit, so I guess it's no wonder."
"As do I, if truth be spoken," Draco muttered, and heaved himself up, as well. "I could have lived without having that image embedded into my brain. Hell, even father torturing Muggles was more pleasant to watch."
Harry glared at him another time. "I'll bet."
Draco went to stand next to Harry and looked at himself through the mirror. His silvery-blonde hair was sticking up in unpleasant angles, and his lips were swollen. His eyes were still gleaming with tears that always came with the nasty business of vomiting. "I look as if I had been crying."
"I wasn't far away from it," Harry confessed with a slurry mutter. "Do you understand at all how horrible it is to find out that your best mate is... is... I don't know what he is."
"Yes, well... Uh... I could imagine my best friend, Theodore, with his little sister, but I'd rather not, thank you. And no, I don't know what to call Ronald Weasley, either. It's not like he's a child rapist or anything, they're both over sixteen. And, as far as his sister was concerned, she seemed to be enjoying the whole ordeal."
"Please, Malfoy, please... I don't beg you very often, so listen to me carefully... Please, don'ttalk about it anymore."
Draco looked at Harry, his eyes searching for something. "You had a thing for that little Weaslette, didn't you, Potter?"
"What?" Harry frowned. He knew he wasn't being very eloquent, but didn't care.
Draco met Harry's eyes through the silver surface of the mirror, and smirked. "I asked you if you were interested in Ginny Weasley."
Harry turned around and met the steady Malfoy gaze in real. "Why would you think that?"
Draco shrugged. "Just a rumour that has been going around. Mind you, I would've thought you wouldn't waste your money in that kind of a girl. She and her family are only trying to benefit from your wealth, the Weasleys are."
"Don't talk about them that way! They're good people, nothing like you!" Harry snarled.
"And do good people fuck their family members?" Draco asked, sneering sarcastically.
Harry looked a little pained. "Well... I don't know. Do they? This is a wizarding community, and I'm not yet fully aware of what is natural here and what is not."
"I tell you, Potter, fucking your little sister is not natural, not even here. Nor is fucking your big brother. Or any brother or sister for that matter. Let alone your parents. Ugh... I'm gonna be sick again."
Harry watched in half-amusement how Draco swirled around, dropped on his knees and dragged himself on all fours towards the toilet seat, mumbling something across the lines of 'disgusting and warped, I'm gonna get a permanent head-ache'.
"Well, okay," Harry sighed, and went to lean to the doorframe of Draco's cubicle. "I'm somewhat relieved to know that it is not natural. And yet, it would have made things so much easier if it were. After all, Ron and Ginny..."
"Be quiet! I'm trying to wipe that image out of my brain, Potter!" Draco snapped, and coughed some more of his lunch out of his system.
"Sorry," Harry snapped back, and turned to face the mirror again. "Ugh... What a day..."
Harry leaned against the sinks and examined his face for a while. He hadn't looked at himself properly since last autumn, and now it was nearly July 1998. The War during the winter months had made him both forget and remember who he was. Forget that he was just Harry, and remember that he was the Boy Who Lived. Forget that he was a human being, and remember he had an ugly scar.
Harry's eyes flickered to his forehead, where the said lightning-shaped scar was still visible on his skin, now shining vivid red and being as sharp as a whip strike. The blemish had gotten like that after he had killed Voldemort. How long ago was it, again? A couple of months? Yes... Not so long ago. And yet it already felt like a distant dream.
Harry frowned at his image. Then he sighed. He was not happy with what he saw. He looked so much different from the other boys he knew. A freak, like Aunt Petunia always had said. He was short and slender for his age, and he had exceptionally large, green and -he shuddered at the sudden thought- girly eyes. And, on top of it all, those eyes were rimmed with thick black lashes which Hermione was always so envious of. His dark hair had grown long during the winter and the spring, and now it fell smoothly over his ears, reaching his shoulders in an ever-tangled mess. His skin was pale, just like Malfoy's, because neither of them had really gotten a touch of sun during the past dark months of the War. Vaguely, Harry wondered if Malfoy's skin was as scarred as his was, underneath the covering clothes.
"Potter, you didn't honestly think that the wizarding community would accept incest, did you?" Malfoy asked, returning from the toilet.
"I don't know. Maybe?" Harry shrugged, and stopped tormenting himself with self-pitying thoughts about his weird appearance. "After all, in this world, witches and wizards can fall in love with half animals, too."
"I don't really believe in that." Draco went to wash his hands and his mouth. "It's just some twisted form of sex. It has nothing to do with actual emotions."
"Well what about Hagrid? His father was a wizard, who had a relationship with a giantess."
"Yeah, well," Draco curled, spit out the water and then wiped his mouth with a towel that Harry absent-mindedly handed to him. "If I remember correctly, his mother left both him and his wizard father when Hagrid was only a little kid. So much for real love."
Harry thought about Draco's words for a moment in quietude. Then he knotted his brows and looked at his shoelaces. "Well how about gay people? What is the wizarding community's idea about gay couples?"
"Gay couples, Potter?" Draco gave a laugh, and examined Harry's face with interest. "My, my, are you afraid that people start keeping you as a bigger freak than what you already are, if they learned you liked boys instead of girls?"
"Malfoy, I never said I was gay. I just asked, uh, sort of in general."
"Well, then." Draco smirked. "Sort of in general, I am happy to announce you that wizarding folk seems to accept gay couples pretty well. But, of course, there are exceptions."
"Exceptions like what?"
"Those who come from the mudblood families," Draco explained. "They've learned their way of thinking from the Muggle community, and therefore they can't understand that same sex couples can be just as happy as heterosexual couples."
"Understandable," Harry commented.
"Another reason for me to dislike mudbloods, and occasionally even half-bloods," Draco shrugged.
"So now you're saying that you're gay yourself, is that it?" Harry quirked a brow.
"Experimental would be the right word, I think," Draco admitted.
"Ah," Harry didn't hide his hilarity. "Experimental."
Draco glowered. "Don't let your imagination fly too high, Scar-head. For your information, I have never had any sort of interest towards giants -or giant squids -or any kind of animals, for that matter. I'm just saying that Malcolm Baddock is gay with Terry Boot, and their activities have made me, ah, a little bit curious."
"So... Are you saying you want to try gay sex?" Harry was plain mirthful.
Draco looked haughty and angry. "Maybe."
"Do you have anyone in mind?"
"Really?" Harry grinned. "Who?"
"I don't feel comfortable talking about my private life with you, Potter," Draco huffed.
"Aw, come on," Harry teased. "We have such a good start already!"
"I didn't know we needed a case of accidental voyeurism on Ronald Weasley's sex life before we could manage a conversation without ripping each others throats out."
"Malfoy! Don't remind me!" Harry cried out, looking ill. "You're so evil!"
Draco might have chuckled, but found the thought rather ill, as well. "Sorry."
"Now, tell me, and fast," Harry grumbled. "Who's the man you'd like to have sex with?"
"You need to get yourself a life, Potter."
"I'm constantly trying," Harry quipped, and flashed a wide grin.
"By inquiring dirty facts about mine?" Draco raised both of his neat brows.
"So you admit you have some dirty facts to spill," Harry rubbed his hands together. "Now we're getting somewhere."
"You're impossibly pathetic, Potter."
"I know," Harry simpered. "So tell me. Who's the man that has caught your interest?"
"You just have to make a guess, until you get it right. And I doubt you ever will," Draco smirked.
"I never knew you were so interested in my sex life, Potter. Jealous?"
"I'm not. I'm only asking because I'm curious to know who the poor victim of your seduction skills might be."
"I assure you, Potter, he is most definitely not poor. I do not socialize with lower class."
"You twist my words," Harry rolled his eyes. "But anyway, this little piece of information rules out at least Ron, then."
"Potter!" Draco looked seriously disgusted.
"And... It can't be Seamus, either, seeing as he's just the sort of half-blood type who's prejudiced against same-sex couples," Harry continued. "Let's see... Can't be Baddock or Boot if they're already dating... Neville's definitely not your type... and I couldn't imagine you with Dean, either, unless you were after huge, black cock."
"Potter!" Draco sputtered.
"Ah, I guess that's a no, then? Hmm... Who else? Crabbe and Goyle... Definitely no," Harry added hastily when seeing Draco's revolted look. "Theodore Nott?"
"Would I really want to spoil my relationship with my best friend?" Draco asked.
"It wouldn't necessarily spoil your relationship," Harry mused.
"So, you're saying that if you were interested in trying gay sex yourself, you'd be comfortable sharing the experience with Weasley?"
Harry visibly shuddered. "Ugh, no, I wouldn't. Especially not in the light of recent, ah, events."
"I'm not hearing you," Draco closed his ears with his fingers, and started to hum.
Harry couldn't help it: he chuckled. Malfoy was acting so funnily, so... humanly. Harry grabbed the Slytherin's wrists, moving the hands back down from his ears, and grinned. "Okay, okay, Theodore is having an on-off relationship with Lavender, anyways, so it can't be him. Blaise? Maybe you're jealous of Hermione?"
"Blaise isn't bad, but it isn't him," Draco admitted. "Nice face and hair. And slender build."
"Hmm. What about Justin Finch-Fletchley?"
"No! Not that bloody ugly farmer!" Draco scrunched up his nose. "Damn. I regret I ever suggested you start guessing the one. It's getting unnerving."
"Well, you can always stop me by telling me," Harry offered.
"I could also stop you by leaving this bloody toilet," Draco pointed out.
"And I would follow you wherever you went," Harry threatened. "This is too good to miss."
"Oh, so now I'm too good to miss?" Draco wriggled his eyebrows. "And here I thought you weren't interested in guys, Scar-head."
"I never said I wasn't interested in guys," Harry looked sly. "But I never affirmed that I was, either."
Draco stared. "You're not making any bloody sense here."
"I'm not trying to," Harry crossed his arms, and looked gleeful.
"Look," Draco narrowed his grey eyes. "It's not fair that I should tell you who I'm interested in, if I don't get the same information from you in return."
"Alright," Harry looked meditative. "If you tell me yours, I'll tell you mine."
"So does that mean that you have also developed an interest towards some guy?" Draco asked a weird sting in his voice.
"Some guy, some girl, what does that matter?" Harry asked. "But I promise you, he or she is not an animal."
"Not even a half-breed? Because, if they are, I don't want to know," Draco looked resentful.
"Not even a half-breed," Harry promised. "I think we've had enough disgust for one evening, as it is."
"Do you reckon they saw us, by the way?" Draco looked slightly upset.
"I hope not," Harry grimaced. "I really don't want to hear their explanations."
"I do think Ginny saw us," Draco mused. "She looked right at us."
"Well that's her nightmare, then, and not ours," Harry grimaced.
"How are you going to face Weasley tomorrow?" Draco wondered. "I'm sure I wouldn't be able to even sleep in the same room with him, anymore."
"You wouldn't have been able to sleep in the same room with him in the first place, were his interests normal or not, Malfoy."
"But you're right," Harry continued. "I'm not sure how I can see him anymore. I'm certain that I can't keep the green colour crawling back on my face at the mere sight of him."
"But you can't avoid the confrontation, either," Malfoy looked evil. "I, on the other hand, have no problems ignoring your best buddy in the future."
"Just wait until you two get into a fight, again," Harry reminded him. "Then, you'll even have to touch him, if you consider punching him back."
Draco's face fell. "You're right. That will become a problem."
"So, do we have our bargain?" Harry changed the topic, of which Draco was more than grateful. "Do we exchange our secrets or not?"
"I'd rather not," Draco admitted. "Let's get out of here, at least. This lavatory lightning doesn't look good on me, and I'd rather not spend any more time close to our discarded dinner."
"Okay, but I'm not letting you off the hook just yet," Harry sneered when he followed Draco out of the door. Their original reason of being together, namely the duel, was completely forgotten. "I want to know your secrets."
"Trust me, you don't," Draco muttered, so quietly that Harry didn't catch it.
They walked down the corridor towards the hall where the moving staircases were. Everything was eerily quiet around them, and Harry began to feel uncomfortable. "Malfoy, you don't happen to know what time it is?"
"Um," Draco absently glanced at his wrist-watch -a magically improved Muggle Rolex, Harry noticed with a smile. "It's nine thirty-six."
"Shit, it's six minutes past the curfew," Harry hissed. "How long were we in that toilet, again?"
"Too long," Draco replied. "Listen, Potter..."
"Hush!" Harry suddenly whispered, and put a hand over Draco's mouth. "Footsteps. It's probably Filch!"
"Your imagination is definitely running too hi..." Draco started muttering against Harry's hand, but then stiffened. There were footsteps approaching them.
"Where do we go?" Harry looked frantically around.
"Back to the men's room?" Draco suggested, and started to retreat.
"Oh, goody," Harry looked dissatisfied. "So we're going to spend the whole night in a toilet?"
"Better than spending it next to the Weasel, anyway," Draco murmured. "Besides, it won't be the whole night, you stupid ass. We'll only have to wait until the route is free again."
"What if that ugly squib checks out this place, as well?" Harry asked when they silently closed the bathroom door behind them. "There's nowhere to go hiding in here."
"You could always try flush yourself down," Draco suggested, gesturing towards the toilet seats.
"Ha bloody ha," Harry stuck out his tongue. "I'll just cast a few distraction charms on the door, and perhaps a locking charm. That should do it."
"Distraction sounds fine, but locking? I don't think so. I don't want to be locked in any space with you," Draco shuddered.
"Why not?" Harry pouted, while casting the charms. "Afraid I might bounce you, Ferret?"
"Ferret isn't a very good mocking name, Potter. I'll have you know that ferrets are usually considered cute."
"Oh, so you have spent time asking people what they thought about ferrets?" Harry snorted with merriment. "You never asked me, though."
"Alright, I'm asking you now."
"Don't bother," Harry laughed, shoving his wand back into his pocket.
"Why not?" Draco looked annoyed. "Are you saying that ferrets are not cute? Or is it just because of me?"
"This conversation is very disturbed, Malfoy," Harry pointed out.
"Yes, but can you blame us? The happenings that have brought us having this conversation were even more disturbed."
"Malfoy, don't remind me."
"So answer my question."
"Really. You're so insufferable But I guess I'll amuse you this time," Harry simpered. "Yes, I think ferrets are quite cute. Especially my own little snow white one."
Draco blinked. "Pardon?"
"His name is Dragon," Harry dreamily continued. "I know, I know, quite unoriginal, but I thought it was fitting, for some curious reason..."
"Potter, you have got to be joking... Right?"
Harry shook his head. "Nah-uh."
"Potter! You do not have a white ferret as a pet!"
"Yeah, I do, actually," Harry had a hard time to keep his face straight. "I found him last winter. He was injured on the battle field... some Death Eater's curse had accidentally hit him. So... I took him home afterwards. He made me smile, you know... He reminded me of the good old days, if you catch my meaning. Ah, well. I thought it was a good idea. Although, now I must keep a constant eye on Hedwig so that she won't eat him."
Draco looked ashen. "You're so sick, Potter."
"Welcome to my world, Malfoy."
"Somehow I don't regret anymore that you didn't want to befriend me in our first year."
"You actually regretted it?"
"No. Yes. I don't know. Maybe sometimes."
"Oh, really?" Harry looked genuinely interested. "Like when?"
"Like..." Draco seemed to ponder. "Potter, I don't want to talk about this."
"You don't like to talk much about anything, do you?" Harry looked calculating.
"Not my sex life, no, and definitely not my occasional moments of artificial nostalgia. How about Quidditch or some other safe subject?"
"Boring," Harry sighed. "I've had you telling me that you want to have sex with another man and that you think ferrets are cute. How can you expect me to settle down to Quidditch after that?"
Draco looked sour. "Alright, fine! I'll give you something interesting to talk about! Tell me about the final battle. Tell me how you killed Voldemort. It was never printed in any paper, because you never gave any interviews. Even the Ministry doesn't really know, now does it?"
Harry flinched. "I don't want to talk about that," he whispered.
"But I want to know!" Draco insisted, with a whining tone. "And I think it's a high time you released that pressure from your shoulders."
"I... I can't." Harry swallowed a lump that had formed in his throat.
"See?" Draco poked Harry's chest angrily. "There we are. In the same situation. You don't want to tell me, but I insist to know. And I don't want to tell you, but you insist me to tell. How's that fair?"
"Don't be ridiculous!" Harry protested. "The War is an entirely different thing than your sex life!"
"Actually, it isn't, because they're connected," Draco snarled. "I realised during The War that I might actually be interested in men."
"Oh, so does fighting get you off? Does pain get you off?"
"Yeah, it does, actually," Draco's eyes lit up, as if he realised this just now. "It really does."
"Not the only one."
"Whose side were you on, anyway?" asked Harry, his voice very tired. He leaned against the wall and let himself slide it down, until he was sitting on the cold floor. "I never had the time to find out."
Draco raised a brow. "Whose side I was on?"
"Yeah," Harry looked at the blank, white floor tiles in front of him. "You know, in the War. I remember that I saw you briefly on the battlefield, but I never knew whether you were one of us, or one of them."
"Potter, I was a Healer Candidate. I was impartial."
"In a war, you can't be just impartial!"
"Yes, you can," Draco said. "I healed many of your friends. But I also healed my aunt Bellatrix and uncle Rabastan."
"I see," Harry said, quietly. Then he seemed to be thinking hard, if anything was to be said about his furrowed brows, and come to a conclusion. "But you didn't heal Voldemort."
Draco looked affronted. "Of course not. You were supposed to get rid of him, weren't you? Healing him would have outrageously fought against that end, don't you think?"
"So, basically, you were on our side." Something weird flashed in Harry's green eyes.
"Basically, I was on my own side, Potter, thank you very much," Draco looked snooty.
Harry only looked at him intently for a few seconds, and then turned his face away, smiling.
"Is Filch gone already?" Draco asked, ignoring Harry's disturbing grin. "It's getting damn cold in here."
"I don't know. I'll go check."
Harry tiptoed closer to the exit, removed the charms and cracked the door open. The hallway beyond seemed to be empty. "I guess he's gone. What's the time?"
"It's almost ten."
As if on cue, the flames of all the candles and torches flickered out. The lavatory and the aisle were left in a complete darkness.
"Fuck! Lumos!" Draco breathed.
A tiny shimmering orb of light emerged on the tip of Draco's wand. Harry suddenly found himself quite astounded by the sight that greeted him. Draco's eyes glimmered in the semi-darkness like two gems, and they actually managed to make Harry a little uneasy.
"What?" the blonde frowned at the brunette.
"Uh... Don't light up the torches. That would only serve alerting Filch back here," Harry said, absent-mindedly. He was suddenly so mesmerized by the sharp, silver-grey gaze that he could not think straight. The dim lightning formed a shimmering aura around Draco's pure-white locks, and the milky Malfoy skin glowed like the brightest moon. It was like watching a creature that was the whole embodiment of light, wrapped in the cloak of darkness.
"I wasn't even going to. I'm not stupid." Draco dryly replied. "Let's get out of here, shall we?"
The illusion shattered and Harry let out a breath he had been holding. "Yeah. Let's go."
They silently moved along the aisles, alertly listening to any suspicious sounds. They hardly dared to breathe properly. The faint glow of Draco's wand was the only source of illumination, and it only barely prevented them to get lost. Harry didn't want to light up his own wand, out of fear that it might be too much. The portraits on the walls were snoring silently, and Harry didn't want them to wake up.
"Turn left here," Harry whispered to Draco. "That corridor leads to the staircases."
The blonde stiffened a little, feeling Harry's breath tickling his sensitive skin. He hadn't realised they were so close to each other. "I know where I'm going, Potter," he hissed back. "I know this castle at least as well as you do."
"That, I doubt," Harry snorted, thinking about the Marauder's Map and the secret passages it showed. "You know nothing about this castle, except the classrooms and the dungeons. I've never seen you venture, say, into the third floor corridor on the right hand side, for example."
"I recall that old goof Dumbledore declared it forbidden on our first year," Draco sneered. "He said that everyone who would go there would die a painful death. Of course I haven't gone there. Unlike you, I have always valued my life."
"Yes, you always were such a wimp," Harry chuckled.
"I am not a wimp!" Draco spat.
"Oh, yes you are," Harry was silently laughing. "I remember our first detention together, in the Forbidden Forest..."
"I was only a kid!" Draco protested. "And it was my first time in a forest of any kind!"
"And what about Buckbeak? That hippogriff Hagrid once had? I remember you were dead scared of that one."
"I wasn't! Not until it tried to kill me!"
"You insulted him!"
"Well it was a great, ugly brute!"
Harry, despite himself, couldn't be offended. Instead, he laughed even harder.
"Shut up, Potter, or do you want us to get caught?" Draco elbowed Harry in the ribs.
"You made that sound, like, very disturbed," Harry giggled. "Get caught! As if we were doing some nasty things to each other in an abandoned classroom and Sprout, wearing only fishnet stockings, would burst in with naked Snape."
Draco turned around and met Harry's bright eyes. "Potter. You are the only one here who's disturbed. Very, very, very, very disturbed."
Harry looked right back at him, a defiant sparkle in his irises. "And somehow I get this odd feeling that you like me because of that."
"I do not like you," Draco looked irritable, but slightly unsure. Then he continued his way. "Come on, I want to get to my dorm room sometime during this evening, before I find myself trapped and chained on Filch's office wall."
"Now who's being disturbed?" Harry retorted, but followed the platinum-haired man with good compliance.
They found the staircases not much later. Luckily one was already waiting for them, and they jumped on the steps with silent hurry. The staircase started to move immediately after, going downwards and to their left.
"We'd better kneel down," Harry whispered. "And you'd better put that light out for a moment. This is very public area, and one of the professors might see us here. I know for a fact that at least Snape has the odd habit of wandering in the dark corridors during the nightly hours."
Draco did as Harry told him to do; after all, it was a good suggestion. This particular area of the castle was so lofty that even the smallest light could be seen very easily and from far away. Not to mention it could wake up the sleeping figures in the paintings that hung on the walls of the staircase hall. Draco moved to bend his head, and his robes brushed against Harry's as they leaned down against the stairs, in order to hide from the possible prying eyes.
"I don't like this," Draco mumbled. "These steps are dirty. My clothes..."
"Malfoy, you just crawled on the toilet floor a while ago. I don't think your clothes could suffer any more, even if you threw them at a blast-ended skrewt."
Malfoy didn't know how to reply to this very truthful notion, so he was silent. At least until a neat little spider scuttled in front of his nose. Draco winced and let out a strangled scream, jerking backwards so hastily he nearly fell over the edge of the stairs. He really would have, had Harry not been fast enough to clutch his robes with his fists. Quickly, Harry pulled Draco against himself and told him to shut up.
"We're nearly there," he hissed angrily, his breath warm against Malfoy's neck. "Don't make such a spectacle out of yourself. It was just a spider. You don't need to risk our necks just because of a fucking spider!"
"I hate spiders, Potter," Draco muttered. His whole body was tense against the Gryffindor. But it was such a surprising and promising position, lying there half across Potter's body, that he really had difficulties tuning on his usual shields. Trying to find an easy way out, he decided it was safest to continue with the spider-theme and ignore the present. "Besides, it was exceptionally ugly."
"Shows what I already knew, then. You're a wimp, just like I told you a minute ago." Harry sharply nudged Malfoy back against the cool, stony steps, not showing much tenderness. Obviously he had realised their supernatural proximity as well, and wasn't too thrilled about it. "Now be silent!" he hissed.
Draco shot Harry his trademark glare, but restrained himself otherwise. He knew Harry was right. It had been just a little spider, and it really was ridiculous to get caught by Filch because of a stupid, uncontrolled fit of arachnophobia. Yet, in all his sudden perceptiveness, he couldn't deny the fact that he had never really seen a spider so close up before and it honest-to-Merlin had been extremely ugly.
The staircase slowed down when it reached one of the second floor landings. Harry grabbed Draco's arm as he ushered them quickly into the shadows of the corridor. The air around them had turned a few degrees colder compared to the fourth floor, which really wasn't surprising, seeing as the warm air always searched its way upwards. The chill slithered beneath their robes, reminding them to bring cloaks along next time. Not that there would be a next time, of course.
"Come on, only a couple of turns, and we'll find the stairs to the Entrance Hall," Harry whispered. "From there, we'll both find an easy and hopefully safe way to our dormitories."
"Good, I was beginning to get tired of this stupid hide and seek." Draco was drawling with his most bored manner. It quite didn't succeed, taken that his heart was hammering very wildly. "Well, then. I should probably say it's been an interesting evening, Potter, but I really can't," he continued. "And I guess you know what incident I'm referring to."
Harry gave a long and steady sideways look on Malfoy. "Yeah. I suppose 'interesting' isn't exactly the right word for what we witnessed tonight."
They found the massive main staircase at that very moment, and rushed the steps down, almost competing who would be the first to reach the marble hallway floor. Of course, Potter-the-Invincible was a fracture ahead of Malfoy-the-Loser. Panting, they both turned to face each other for the one last time. Malfoy looked very pale in the moonlight that seeped through the Entrance Hall windows. The Slytherin hourglass twisted the silvery glow into a greenish blush that crept along his aristocratic cheekbones, making him look slightly sick. Harry's face, instead, remained colourless in the dark shadows that were cast by a set of large armour.
"So..." Harry began. "Good night...mares."
Draco's mouth turned into a wry smirk. "At least I won't have to face them in reality, unlike some people I know. Not tonight."
Harry grimaced. "Oh, joy, thanks for reminding me."
"That's what I'm here for," Draco smiled an awfully artificial, superficial smile. "You can always count on me."
"Yes, I can always count on you being an ass."
"That's because I have such a nice ass, in case you haven't noticed," Draco grinned, patting his left cheek a couple of times in a playful manner.
"Narcissistic brat." Harry rolled his eyes, yet didn't deny Draco's statement. He didn't know how to lie properly. "Well, get along with you. Rush to the dungeons where you belong. If I'm not dead before the sunrise, I'll see you at breakfast."
"Oh, you'll be just fine. Surely Ickle Ronniekins won't kill you for finding out his little sordid secret," Draco tried to soothe Harry, still supporting the infuriating smile. "I think."
"I'll be fine as long as I can prevent myself from jumping out of the window without my Firebolt," Harry replied sinisterly. "Gryffindor Tower, you see, is pretty high, and I don't have wings, even though many of my Quidditch fans have said so."
Draco groaned, however he was smiling. "Now who's narcissistic? Anyways, I'm off. See your tortured face at breakfast, then."
They nodded their goodbyes, and Draco turned towards the dark staircase that led from the main hall to the Slytherin half of the dungeons. Harry, instead, turned around on his heel and began to tiptoe up the very same stairs he had just descended. He would never admit it to himself let alone Draco that he had just escorted the Slytherin as far as he had, just to make sure the blonde git could make it safely to his rooms. Call it a habit he had learned from his dearly beloved Uncle Vernon: he would do anything just out of the 'pure goodness of his heart'.
However, not a minute went by before Harry heard running footsteps following him.
It was none other than Malfoy, panting heavily, his cheeks flushed with the exercise. Harry blinked, and stared. He was experiencing the same reaction than in the toilets before: he was overcome by wonder. Never during his years at Hogwarts had he seen Draco Malfoy so alive, so enticingly human, so real, so imperfect and perfect at the same time.
"It's that stupid fucking cat!" he was gasping. "It ambushed me in one of the dungeon passageways! She wouldn't let me past her, and now she's alerted Filch, I know it!"
"Malfoy, just calm down," Harry laid a hand on the blonde's shoulder -an involuntary gesture he couldn't avoid doing for some reason. He squeezed that slender yet firm shoulder encouragingly. "Are you sure it was Mrs. Norris, and not any other cat?"
"I see you don't trust my intellect much," Draco hissed, angrily. "Well then, judge for yourself. That rotten minx is standing right behind you."
"Oh, shit!" Harry gasped, jumping a few steps backwards. He countered Mrs. Norris' ember eyes with a mixture of annoyance, fear and challenge.
"Um..." Harry thought about their chances for a split second. "RUN!"
They darted in the direction of the classrooms, not really paying attention to where they were going, just as long as it was far away from Mrs. Norris. Naturally, outrunning a cat was an impossible task, so they did their best to distract the mangy beast. First, Draco shot a spell over his shoulder and created a wide waterfall that streamed down from the ceiling. It soon created a wall between them and Mrs. Norris, and the cat ceased hunting them for a few seconds. Harry ushered Draco into one narrow stairway and glanced back at Mrs. Norris, who was now walking back and forth in front of the watery cascade. Cats didn't like water, he realised. However, Mrs. Norris seemed to overcome her fears sooner than a normal cat would, and jumped through the translucent water wall. Harry groaned, and then ran. Obviously Mrs. Norris' close-hand experiences with the Basilisk had somehow mutated her typical cat instincts, or something.
The next diversion was created by Harry: he conjured up two hundred mice in the hallway they were currently trespassing. This might have been a good idea, if not for the fact it only lead to Draco nearly climbing up his arm in disgust, and Mrs. Norris completely ignoring the products of his hard work. Yet the mice slowed the cat's pace down just a bit, so that Harry had time to drag Draco into another passage before the dreadful feline noticed.
"Why did you have to bring me into this, again?" he growled, his eyes shining venom green in the darkness. "It wasn't like I was getting caught! You could have dealt with that stupid cat on your own!"
"Well, I was just being generous! I thought I'd invite you into the sequel of this very adrenaline-eliciting adventure as well, seeing as you already were in the first part." Draco replied.
"How very thoughtful of you," Harry looked murderous. "I wouldn't have wanted to miss it at any price."
"Of course not," Draco agreed. "You're getting to spend more time with me."
"Don't be delusional, Malfoy!" Harry steered them down the narrow stairs at their left. "Just because you haven't strangled me yet doesn't mean we're friends now."
"Who ever said I wanted to be friends with you, Pot... ah! Blind alley!" Draco swirled around, desperate. "You're a fucking terrible guide, do you realise?"
Harry only smirked. "Told you. You don't know this castle shit."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" Draco yelled. He didn't even bother to keep his voice down, anymore. If anything could be decided from the distant noises, Mrs. Norris and Filch would be there any second, and they had no way to escape.
Harry leaned his back against the portrait on the wall, raised his hand over his shoulder and pressed his finger against one of the portrait's fruits. Then he began to tickle it.
"Potter, what are you doing?" Draco was nervous. "You've gone mad. That's it! First Weasley and Weasley, and now Potter tickling a painted pear! No, wait, it's not you who's gone mad. It's most obviously me. Please, just kill me now. That's what you've wanted to do for a long time, and here's your fucking chance. I won't stop you. Just kill me, Potter, and I'll be happy to die at least while still being relatively sane."
Harry sighed at Malfoy's frantic outburst. After fighting seven years with Malfoy, one had slowly gotten used to this kind of madness. Honestly. "Sanity has nothing to do with you, Draco, and you know it."
"Well, yeah, thanks to you and your bloody gorgeous stupid fucking Gryffindor ass!" Draco outright shouted.
Harry only looked at Malfoy meaningfully and leaned against the painting. The secret door opened behind his back, he promptly grabbed Malfoy's collars and threw the Slytherin inside. Then he slammed the gangway closed again, and turned to his companion, looking threatening.
"Are you finished? Good. Now, these here are the kitchens. Mrs. Norris can't get in here, but I'm not sure about Filch. So, we're not staying here. Follow me."
Draco, who had just regained his composure after Harry's manhandling, was standing wide-eyed in the middle of the crowd of just-awoken House-elves who were staring back right as wide-eyed as he was himself. "Kitchens? Kitchens! Potter, I'm a Malfoy, and Malfoys are never..."
Harry let out a strangled moan and went yet again to grab the snobbish blonde from his robes. "Come on!"
Harry dragged the Slytherin all the way down the course between two of the four majestic tables, until they reached the far end of the room. There was nothing that could have given them temporary shelter: no closets, no storage rooms, not even a damned refrigerator. Yet, there was still something that happened to catch both Harry and Draco's eye. It was a small, house-elf sized, round wooden door. The door, however, immediately proved to be an impossible obstacle for one of the escapees.
"No way in hell. I'm not going to go in there. I'm not going to go through that door, and there is no power on this earth that could make me." Draco was nearly spitting on Harry's face in his abhorrence and rage.
Harry inhaled deeply, trying to calm himself, and laid his hands on Malfoy's shoulders. "Alright," he said. "Listen to me. You have two options. Two options only. One, you drop on your knees like a good boy and crawl through that door, and I will follow you. Two, I am going to kick your ass, then force you to bend down and push you through that door, and then I will follow you. Now, how's it going to be?"
"I'll tell you how it's going to be! I'm going to stay right here," Draco growled, pointing at the rocky floor. "And if you like that house-elf shit-hole so much, you can kiss my ass and bloody crawl in there yourself. And better yet, never come out again!"
"Don't be ridiculous, Malfoy! As if I'd let you stay behind! You hardly know how to keep your trap shut already, I can't even imagine how much about this night you'd blabber on to Filch in case he found you and threatened you with his, oh, I don't know, let's say the pimp cane he manufactured right after seeing your father's one!"
Draco shuddered with badly disguised disgust and also with not-so-well disguised arousal. Angry and authoritative Harry was a horrible turn-on.
"I can't let you mention my name," Harry continued, severely, squeezing Draco's shoulders very hard. "I don't want detention, do you hear me? So stop this fucking insane shit right now.Crawl through that door, and we'll both be happy."
Draco laughed, sarcastically. "Show me your pimp cane, Potter, and I'll be your personal slave. Until that, you can eat my shit."
Quite unexpectedly, Harry raised his hand and slapped Draco harshly on his left arse cheek. Draco yelped in surprise, as did a few surrounding house-elves.
"What the fuck, Potter!"
"That was my pimp cane, Malfoy. Now, unless you want to get better acquainted with it, I suggest you start moving."
Draco seriously pondered his options for a few seconds. He didn't know Potter had such kinky treats. On the other hand, he wouldn't mind getting a few more slaps, but the gathering lower-class audience kind of spoiled his mood. Besides, somebody was already beating the entrance portrait to the kitchens; their time was out.
"Fine," he hissed, eyes gleaming, and dropped on his knees. Then he tilted his head towards Harry, his white long hair falling softly across his eyes. He might as well have licked his lips. "Good?"
"Mmmh," Harry unknowingly bit his lower lip, watching Draco with ferocious intensity that might have had something to do with lust.
Draco smirked. "Follow me, then."
They clambered through the narrow gangway, Harry right on Draco's heel. It was very dark on the other side, but Draco soon cast a quick lumos spell that illuminated the room. They found they had ended up in a cleaning closet of sorts, and it was surprisingly a small, human-height room. There was also another normal-sized door on the wall opposite to them.
"I guess we made it," Harry breathed in relief, and marched towards the exit. "Come on!"
However, when he reached the door handle, it wouldn't stir.
"Let me guess," Draco drawled, crossing his arms tiredly. "It's locked, and we're trapped in here."
"Well... You could say that, yeah."
Draco moaned out loud. "Don't you ever use your brain, Potter? No? Then at least use alohomora!"
Harry scowled nastily at the blonde, but took the advice nonetheless. "Alohomora!"
But nothing happened. The door remained locked. Not even Draco's furious attempts of martial arts had any effect on it.
"Great, now what?" Harry kicked the wall. "Any other brilliant ideas?"
Draco narrowed his eyes. "I don't like your attitude."
"I don't care!"
"Well, then. We'll just wait here until we're free to crawl back to the kitchens."
"Oh, fuck! I forgot... You don't think the house-elves will tell anyone about us? If they do, we're screwed."
Draco let his arms unfold, and leaned gracefully against the small table that stood behind him. "Let's make sure they won't. Winky!"
Surely enough, a small potato-nosed creature Harry recognized as Dobby's friend Winky appeared in front of them with a soft popping noise. "Yes, Master Malfoy?"
"Would you make sure everyone in that room keeps their mouths shut about me and Potter in case anyone asks? You didn't see us, you didn't hear us, and you most certainly don't know where we are. Understood?"
"Winky understands, Master Malfoy. But Winky needs to hurry. There is someone coming already, sir."
"Then hurry. Go!"
Winky disappeared from sight, leaving an open-mouthed Harry and smug-looking Draco behind.
"And how do you know Winky?" Harry asked, amazed.
"Oh, please. As if you didn't know she used to be Barty Crouch's elf. She head stories about my family from Dobby, and obviously liked what she heard. In the beginning of the fifth year, she came to me and requested to be my personal servant. Of course I didn't refuse."
Harry looked annoyed. "She liked what Dobby told her about you and your family?"
"Quite so," Draco grinned. "After all, we Malfoys are very affable and generous by nature."
"Don't make me laugh!"
"Shush!" Draco suddenly put a finger across his lips. "Listen!"
There were loud, shouting noises coming through the house-elf sized doorway. Harry recognized one of the voices as Filch's, but wasn't sure about the other, feminine one. He glanced at Draco, who mouthed 'Irma Pince' in a silent whisper.
Harry sneaked closer to the door, knelt down and pressed his ear against it. Draco did the same, and soon they were face to face, both listening to the clamour on the other side. They heard Winky and Dobby both trying to assure Filch that they had not seen a single student that night. Madam Pince was wondering why the house-elves were up at such an ungodly hour, if this wasn't the case, to which some of the elves quite truthfully answered that they had lost their sleep when somebody had started to beat the portrait door. Here Madam Pince blamed Filch from being disable to handle magical items with respect, and by the sounds of it, marched out. Filch was yelling after her. Harry and Draco smirked at each other. Wash there a lovers' quarrel going on? Their faces turned pale with revulsion.
"Good," Harry whispered. "They're soon gone."
"Don't be so sure," Draco grimaced. "Listen."
Indeed, Filch was giving orders to someone, most obviously Mrs. Norris. He told the cat to stay the rest of the night in the kitchens, making sure no students would come down to steal a snack. At the same time, he ordered Dobby to bring the mangy cat some warm cream and fresh herring. Then he mumbled something unrecognizable, and finally left the room.
"Shit, shit, shit!"
"Calm down, Potter. Cats have excellent hearing." Draco sighed. He stood up and cast a Silencing Charm on the small door. Then he flicked his wand again and conjured up a series of floating and burning candles. "We might as well make ourselves comfortable. I suspect we're going to stay for awhile."
Harry closed his eyes in annoyance. "Right."
Draco looked at him derisively, and conjured himself a fluffy pillow. He set the pillow on the floor near the round house-elf sized entrance, and seated himself comfortably down on it. "I'm going to keep an eye on that door," he informed. "You can just do... whatever you usually do when being trapped. I don't care, as long as it won't involve me."
Harry shrugged, and walked towards the rickety-looking table. It was really old, he assumed, because the tabletop was decorated with two carved names, Salazar Helga. Harry could feel himself getting grey hair at the mere thought of the great Salazar Slytherin hanging out with the greatest Hufflepuff of all time. Shaking his head tiredly, he turned his eyes at the nearby chair. It, at least, looked a little bit more like a normal chair than something that was once used to satisfy Helga Hufflepuff's questionable needs.
The false impression was shattered when he sat on it. Literally.
"Bloody hell!" Harry yelped, his bum hitting the hard floor with a thud. The splintered wood was everywhere around him.
Draco started to laugh like a maniac.
Harry groaned and stood up, massaging his arse cheeks with both hands. "Ouch. That really hurt... Malfoy, stop laughing!"
"Malfoy! I mean it! I'm going to strangle you if you don't shut up!" Harry shouted. "It bloody hurts! And what's more, now I'm going to get two big shiners on my arse!"
This mental image sent Draco over the edge of hysteria, and he was soon out of control. The pained look on Harry's face, the flushed cheeks and the limping walking style did absolutely nothing to kill his mirthful mood. And counting in the fact that he was also very tired, the chaos was complete. He laughed, and laughed, and laughed some more.
Harry didn't wait ten seconds before bouncing on Draco, twining his dusty hands around the blonde's neck and pushing him against the floor. "Stop that idiotic laughter, you stupid prat, or I'm going to kill you, do you hear me?"
Draco coughed and tried to swallow, and then laughed again. "S-s-sure, I hear you, Potter! Muwhahahaha!"
Harry started to bang Draco's head up and down against the floor. Fortunately for Draco, the newly conjured pillow was still underneath him, softening the blows.
"Stop it, stop it, stop it! STOP IT!" Harry roared.
"I-I-I can't!" Draco wheezed. Tears of hilarity were forming in his eyes, making them look like liquid silver. "I CAN'T!"
Harry stopped his manhandling and watched Draco's flushed face in quickly fading anger. Actually, now that he thought about it, his little mishap was rather funny. But what was even funnier, was the sight of Draco Malfoy, unable to stop laughing. The usually perfectly cold and detached features were now twisted into blushed cheeks and shiny eyes, not to mention the rarely seen smiling mouth.
Harry began to laugh himself, as well. "Oh, what the hell," he sniggered, mounting off Draco's taut stomach. "This is something I thought I'd never see. You, being so genuinely amused about something and without malicious intent behind it all. "
"Potter, show me your arse when those shiners have formed, will you," Draco smiled.
Harry smiled back. "I don't think so, Malfoy. What would you do? Take a picture or get another laughing fit?"
"Both, I'd imagine."
Harry rolled his eyes, and leaned against the wall. Then a long, deep yawn shook his entire body, making him shiver afterwards. "Damn. I'm tired."
"Yeah, well, it's no surprise. It's already quarter to midnight. And we had breakfast at seven today."
"Mmmh." Harry yawned again.
Draco watched in disbelief how Harry closed his eyes without hesitation and snuggled more comfortably against the wall. After a few minutes, his breathing had calmed down to smooth, steady inhales and exhales, and his head slumped forth. The foolhardiness of that Gryffindor! Draco could have hexed him so easily right now, were he inclined to do so. Instead, Draco just sighed and settled down beside Harry. He positioned the pillow more securely underneath him, and relaxed. He raised his eyes at the low, spider-web covered ceiling, and concentrated on keeping himself awake.
An hour dragged by, during which Harry snored contentedly. Draco tried to ignore the little noises the Gryffindor was making, however unsuccessfully. He was looking at Harry all the time, taking in all the detail of his face, especially the vivid scar. He almost had the urge to touch it, but realised he really didn't want to wake up the Gryffindor. Instead, he just ghosted his fingers over Harry's high cheekbones. This resulted in Harry murmuring something indistinguishable and changing his position so that he was leaning his head against Draco's shoulder, his black hair falling like a curtain against the skin of Draco's neck. Draco gasped with the tickling sensation, feeling something starting to burn in his lower abdomen.
Draco stood up, alarmed, and gently laid Harry's head on the pillow. He started to pace around the room, and finally came to halt in front of the human-sized door. He eyed the door angrily. Why wouldn't it open up? He didn't want to spend another minute with Potter in the room. The atmosphere was getting a little suffocated, at least in his finely tailored trousers. Then he got an idea.
"Winky!" he whispered, snapping his fingers.
The house-elf appeared again, looking a little sleepy. "Yes, Master?"
"Is Mrs. Norris still in the kitchens?" Draco asked.
"Yes, Master, it is."
"Alright." Draco sighed, and then smiled. "Well then. Can you tell me why this door won't open up?"
"This door is locked from the outside, sir. It opens not from the inside," Winky explained.
"Ah," Draco narrowed his eyes. "Then why won't you be a good little house-elf and go outside and open this door for us, hmm?"
"Winky would do it right away, sir, but afraid it can't." The creature looked miserable. "There is a charm only a wizard can open it."
"What? Why?" Draco was annoyed.
"Dobby says this room was a detention room in Salazar's time. And they wouldn't have house elves helping students out, sir."
"Pretty stupid, really, seeing as there's an exit right over there," Draco snorted and pointed the little round door. "Go Salazar. No, wait! I bet it was that bloody stupid Gryffindor's idea."
"The small door was not there then, sir. It is new. Master Filch did it last year." Winky twisted her fingers in nervousness.
"Whatever," Draco massaged his temples. "So... Can you get us out of here or not?"
"Winky can help Master Malfoy out if Master will come back to the kitchens. But then the cat will see him."
Draco growled in despair. "Argh! Get out, you insufferable useless vermin! Bring me at least a cup of hot chocolate."
"Yes, Master!" Winky happily stated, and disapparated.
Draco kicked the door in his anger, and went to sit on the table that surprisingly didn't fall apart. He didn't know it, but Harry had woken up a while ago, and was now watching him intently. Draco looked really uncomfortable and nervous. He smoothed back his white hair more than twice in a minute, and was constantly chewing his lower lip.
"Why didn't you ask her to bring me one, too?" Harry finally asked, making the Slytherin jump with fright.
"Don't do that, Potter! You nearly gave me a heart attack."
"I thought you said, not so long ago, that you wanted me to kill you?" Harry smirked.
"Hmph. At least you could do it more creatively, say, like casting the A.K. at me. Who knows, maybe I might survive and become The Boy Who Lived II? Only that I would become even more popular than you, given that you're more powerful than what Voldemort was."
"Malfoy, that was so lame."
"I'm just so bored!" Draco grumbled. "Here's nothing we can do."
"We could always conjure up a toilet seat, you could lean over it, and I could tell you merry stories about the Weasleys' home life."
Draco gasped in abhor. "Potter, you are evil. You should have been in Slytherin."
"Yes, yes I should," Harry nodded absently. "Oh, well. Since we're here, without anything to do, we might as well try to get some sleep. Just like I was trying to do, not a minute ago. Until you started shouting at Winky."
"I'm not going to sleep if you're here," Draco looked disdainful. "You would stab me in the back before I could properly close my eyes."
"Would I do that?" Harry asked, smiling sweetly, pretending innocence.
"The question is, could you do that. And yes, yes you could." Draco brushed his fingers through his hair once again. He pushed himself away from the table, and walked to a very derelict-looking chest of drawers that stood in one corner. It was dusty, and made of nearly black mahogany. Draco grabbed one of the drawer handles with badly covered distaste, and pulled it open.
"What?" Harry shot the blonde an angry glare. "Don't shout."
"Look what I found," Draco grinned, fishing out several, large green bottles of some questionable-looking liquid somewhere from the dark depths of the mahogany desk. "If this isn't Filch's secret stash, I'll nail my balls on Hagrid's door."
"Very disturbed mental image, thank you, Malfoy," Harry said, scrunching his nose. "And I'm not drinking that."
"Suit yourself, you pussy," Draco shrugged. "Myself, I'm going to drink myself in a state of near oblivion, and maybe then I might be able to forget your presence in the room."
Harry gave a dry laugh. Once again that evening, he came to realise Malfoy wasn't wholly sensible. Why would the git want to pass out from drunkenness, if he one minute ago wasn't even ready to sleep in his company without making a scene about it?
"You're mad, did you know that?"
"If I am, it's because I have to be in this close proximity with you." Draco shuddered, disgusted, and took the first swig from the bottle.
"I hope it's poisoned."
"You don't mean that, surely," Draco smiled in a sugary way. "What would you do with my dead body, then? Dump it at the bottom of the lake? Wait, no. Of course not, since we're locked up in this damned room, and you can't get away any more than I can. You'd have to spend the entire night with my corpse here, and in the morning you'd be accused of brutal murder. Is that what you want, Potter?"
Harry stood up and grabbed the bottle from Malfoy's hand. "You're right, fuck this. I might as well get drunk as well. Just hearing your voice makes me want to empty the whole bottle in one."
Draco smirked. "That's what I thought."
They settled down again, next to each other on Draco's fluffy pillow. Harry threw one leg over the other, whereas Draco pulled his knees against his chest.
"You think we have to stay here long?" the Slytherin asked.
Harry looked pensive. "Don't know. Possibly the whole night."
Draco looked very discontent, but didn't say a word. His mind was working but partly, so tired he was. His eyes wanted to go shut, but he couldn't allow it. He feared he might snore in his sleep and thus embarrass himself. Not to mention there was still the threat of Harry chopping his head off with a three-feet-long rusty scimitar, in case he let his guard fall down.
Harry's brains, instead, were more perceptively occupied. He glanced at Draco every now and then, thinking about how different they were from each other. The first definition was that he was good, and Malfoy was bad. Next, he was thinking of how he was so dark and Malfoy was so impossibly fair. In the metaphorical sense, the colours were the opposite way around. Furthermore, he was brave and Malfoy was a coward. He was polite, whereas Malfoy hardly knew how to not insult people. Was there anything at all in common between them? Was there not one chance for them to get along with each other, in this world?
"Malfoy... Why do we always fight?" Harry asked, drawing circles into the dust on the floor with his index.
Draco looked surprised, and tilted his head so that it was leaning against his knees, his face towards Harry. "Why? Do you think we shouldn't fight, then? I mean, does it bother you or something?"
"Yeah, it actually does," Harry admitted. "Come, now. We must agree on something. We must have something in common."
"Oh, yeah," Draco agreed. "We've got a lot of differences in common."
Harry thought about Draco's words for a while, and then frowned. "That was a foul trick, Malfoy."
Draco only smirked. "I'm surprised you caught it."
Harry couldn't help himself, and he laughed. He took a new sip from his bottle, only to find it nearly empty. He examined the label with interest. "Best of Rubeus Argus."
Draco sputtered, nearly choking on his own drink. "WHAT? Don't tell me those two are together?"
Harry grimaced. "How many times I have to tell you, Malfoy? Don't be so sickening!I already thought we established the fact Filch gets it up with Pince. This," he gestured at the bottle, "is probably just a joint project of his and Hagrid's. I mean, they both fancy strong liquids, as we know."
"This stuff, however, isn't very strong," he muttered. That's why he decided to drink some more.
Another hour and half passed by, during which Harry tried to come up with something, anything that would connect himself and Draco. Draco used the same hour doing exactly the opposite, just to his own amusement. Near to two o'clock in the morning, the conversation was turning rather ridiculous, due to various reasons that had something to do with lack of sleep, excitement and unlabelled alcohol.
"I... I've always wondered... Your hair, it's so abnormally white and, well, shiny. It must be, uh, it must feel very weird. Can... Can I touch it?" Harry asked.
Draco glared at him for several seconds, trying to make the other boy out. "If you must," he finally grunted, looking suspicious.
Harry reached out his left hand and brushed the fingers through the snowy locks. It was just a quick, tender touch, but it still succeeded to make shivers run down Draco's spine. Harry frowned, and did it again.
"You know, it feels like water, somehow," Harry decided. "Runs through the fingers so smoothly one hardly even notices."
"Alright," Draco agreed, although a little grumpily. "Happy, now? Done touching my hair, are you?"
Harry smiled. "You know, you are quite cute. Especially when you're pouting."
Draco looked flushed and irritated. "I'd like to be considered handsome, or attractive, rather than cute."
"You're so damn vain, Malfoy," Harry laughed. He wondered what was moving behind those steel-grey eyes that had suddenly gone somewhat glassy.
"Of course I'm vain," Draco drawled. "All Malfoy's are vain. They have the right to be. They are all very good-looking. It's in the genes, you know. Pure genes."
"Inbred genes, if you want to know my opinion," Harry shrugged. "Besides, beauty can only get you so far. Beauty is one of those things that will never last forever."
"What are you saying?" Draco sounded bored, and a little tipsy. He allowed his gleaming eyes to roam languidly over the brunette's exquisitely built frame, shamelessly appreciating the other man's lean and delicately small form.
"Well, I happen to know that most people value the actual person within, as well," Harry explained, idly fingering with his sleeves, not noticing Draco's insatiable gaze. "If you're all rotten in the inside, then even your beauty can't save you from ending up dying miserable and alone."
"That would be awkward, indeed," Draco smirked, "if the person in question didn't want to die miserable and alone. As for me, I think that's exactly the way I would like to go, myself. Not causing trouble and tears to my family and friends, not suffering from their inadequate pity. You see, as far as pity is concerned, self-pity is the only form of pity that should be appreciated. It allows you to gain a sort-of exhilarating, martyr-like feeling of pure, innocent and underserved sorrow. Damn, but I love to dwell in self-pity every now and then. Don't you? It's actually kind of releasing."
Harry looked at the blonde man beside him, green eyes wide with surprise. "Malfoy, did you know you sounded almost like a real human being, just now? I never knew you harboured any reasonable philosophical opinions in that thick, haughty skull of yours."
"For your information, I've read a lot of enlightening books during my summer vacations at the Manor. My mother is, well was, a great admirer of Austen, Proust, Moliére and Oscar Wilde."
"I don't even pretend to know who those people are," Harry snorted.
"I didn't even expect you to," Draco snorted right back. "Unsophisticated brat."
"Well, I know Oscar Wilde," Harry mused, trying to remember what books Aunt Petunia had on her bookshelf. "But he was a Muggle... What? Is the Great Draco Malfoy, Heir to the Malfoy throne, reading Muggle literature?"
"Shows what you know," Draco smirked. "If he was a Muggle, I'll eat my broomstick."
"I'd rather you stuck it up your arse, you insufferable know-it-all," Harry grumbled.
"That really somewhat contradicts my idea of proper gay sex, Potter," Draco replied, smiling craftily.
Harry perked up on this one. "Are you finally going to tell me who it is? The person who you'd like to do that sort of things with?
"No," Draco glared. "Stop bugging me about it."
"You're the worst coward I ever knew!" Harry snorted.
"I am not," Draco looked insulted.
"Yes, yes you are," Harry looked resolute. "Otherwise you would have told me already."
"No," Draco breathed, in a menacing half-whisper. "I am not a coward."
"Oh, yes?" Harry narrowed his eyes, and leaned forward. He poked Draco in the chest. "If you're not a coward, then prove it!"
"I will," Draco said, and grabbed Harry's collars in his anger.
"How?" Harry smirked at Draco, their breaths mingling together due to their sudden closeness. "You don't have the guts to do anything that could be counted as real bravery."
"Oh, yeah?" Draco's voice was a threatening hiss.
"Yeah," Harry replied, in the same manner.
"Alright, so tell me," Draco's breathing was deep and ragged by now. "What do I have to do?"
"Oh, I don't know," Harry cocked his head. "You decide, and I'll see. And remember... Besides it has to be something very demanding and foolhardy, it also has to be something you can't bribe your way out of. Not that you have much money, anymore, but still."
Draco ignored the intended pun, and turned serious. "Hmm. Whacking Mrs. Norris's head off with a shovel is out of the question, then."
"Yes. And so is everything that has to do with asking Snape a favour, or using the Unforgivables on somebody."
"Alright," Draco seethed. "You think I can't come up with anything that would pass your criteria, huh? Well, how about this?"
Draco clutched Harry's black, messy hair with his trembling fingers, and pulled the Gryffindor against himself, sealing their lips together. He used his tongue to open Harry's mouth that was slightly open from surprise, and flicked their tongues together for the briefest moment, until finally nibbling Harry's lower lip gently before releasing him.
Harry, for once, was completely speechless.
Draco smirked evilly, and retreated from the other boy. "Bet you didn't expect that!" He sounded superior, without a trace of humiliation or embarrassment that usually might follow this kind of situations, where the receiving party had not responded in any way.
But, then again, maybe Draco had some sixth sense that told him Harry had a raging hard-on in his pants at the moment.
"Malfoy..." Harry whimpered, shivering under the after-effects of the sudden onslaught. "What... what was that?"
"Why, trust you not to recognize a passionate kiss, even if it's bestowed upon yourself, Potter," Draco raised a brow. "What are you, still a virgin? Surely not."
Harry slowly touched his lips with his shaky fingers, and swallowed. "As a matter of fact, Malfoy... I'll have you know, although I probably shouldn't, that this was the first kiss I've had since my pitiable attempts with Cho Chang in our fifth year."
Draco's grey eyes widened. "What? You mean to tell me you haven't kissed anyone since fifth year? Then you're more pathetic than I already thought you were."
"Whatever," Harry muttered. He was, admittedly, a little ashamed. But then he gathered himself, and met Draco's piercing grey eyes with a new challenge. "That kiss, by the way, didn't count," he said.
"What do you mean, it didn't count?" Draco gave a derisive snort. "Of course it counted."
"No it didn't." Harry argued. "You were drunk."
"What's that got to do with anything?" Draco was dismayed. "It totally counted!"
"No way," Harry crossed his arms, glaring daggers at the Slytherin. "You were drunk, and therefore the effort was much easier to make than if you'd been sober."
"Oh, yeah? Well I'll do it again tomorrow, when I'm sober."
"It still won't be any good, not anymore," Harry waved his hand dismissively. "Now you've tried it already once, and the excitement is gone. There's no challenge left in it, anymore. You'll have to come up with something else, something better."
"The hell I will," Draco's eyes sparkled with irritation, and he leaned dangerously close to Harry's face, again. "I bloody well kissed you just now, Potter. It isn't something I do every day. I tell you, there's plenty of challenge left."
"Well... Maybe, if you did it both sober... and in public," Harry mused, tapping a finger to his lips, ignoring Draco's burning eyes less than two inches away from his own. "The Great Hall. Tomorrow at breakfast."
Draco hesitated only a brief moment. "Alright. I'll do it, if that's what you want."
"I didn't say anything about wanting. However, if you're really up to it, if youreally will do it, I must admit you've got some balls after all."
Draco leaned so close Harry could smell the alcohol from his breathing. "Eight forty five sharp. Be there."
Harry suppressed the urge to lean in and capture those moist, pouting lips with his own. He couldn't possibly let Malfoy know he'd done quite the impression on him; otherwise the gloating would never end. Harry cleared his throat. "I'll be there. And, if you do it, I promise you. To lessen your embarrassment, I'll even kiss you back."
"That sounds like a deal," Draco smirked, and retreated again.
"Yeah," Harry agreed, smiling a little. Then his thick, black brows furrowed in confusion. "Um, Malfoy? Why are we making deals again?"
Draco didn't seem to understand their behaviour any better, and shrugged. "How the hell should I know? Was your idea, I'm sure."
"Most certainly wasn't," Harry slurred. "I don't get stupid ideas. And making a deal with a Malfoy can't be considered anything else but very stupid."
"Well, actually, it could be considered suicidal, too," Draco thought out loud. "Bloody Baron told me. The Grey Lady died because of a deal she made with one of my ancestors."
"I can believe that very easily. You're all back-stabbing sneaky bastards."
"At least I'm the first one who's willing to use other devices than knives for that said stabbing. If I ever got a chance with, well, him."
"Ew, you pervert. If you're not going to tell his name, you might as well shut the fuck up about it."
They fell into a companionable silence, during which Harry emptied his umpteenth bottle of booze, and Draco opened his zillionth. By now, they both had discovered to their utter disappointment that it was not firewhiskey or anything of the sort, but some sort of spiked butterbeer instead. How embarrassing for Filch and Hagrid, really. However, despite this little drawback, Harry still felt very hot under the collar, and not wholly because of the lack of high-tech ventilation. He loosened his tie with lazy fingers and threw it across the room. Draco had already shrugged his school robes off, and was currently wearing only a white collar shirt and grey trousers that were so snug only someone like Malfoy could get away with them. Harry found the whole sight quite distracting, really; the way the white shirt clung to Malfoy's skin, showing off the fine muscles beneath and the ripple of trouser canvas whenever Draco's legs moved. He hadn't really given it much thought before, but Malfoy actually wasn't that bad looking, for a bloke and for an evil git.
"See something you like, Potter?" Draco arched a brow, craning his neck seductively, his white-blond hair tousling against the tiles of the wall.
"Perhaps," Harry replied absently. "At least my mind's off the Weasleys."
"Don't you dare bring that subject up again," Draco snapped. "See, now you got me in a foul mood again."
"Don't worry, I can handle it," Harry stifled a yawn. "I'm used to you being a cranky-arsed bitch."
"I'm not cranky," Draco denied. "Seeing you just usually makes me want to hit something and hard."
"Yeah, I've kind of noticed. And usually it's my face."
"It's just... well. Why do you always have to be so damn perfect?"
"Perfect? Me? Don't make me laugh."
Draco looked at Harry's every expression calculatingly. "I wasn't joking, you know. I'm actually kind of jealous of you, although I will never admit that to you. You've always been surrounded by people who love you, unlike me. You've always had real friends, unlike me. You're the greatest wizard of our time, and you've beaten Voldemort... You're the hero everyone worships, now. Nobody worships me. Not that I'd like that, particularly, but at least I'd like to have someone who didn't think I was a Healer only because I failed as a Death Eater candidate. I'd like to be you, sometimes. Well, most of the time. You've got everything I've ever wanted. And, on top of it all, you have to be so damn good-looking, too."
Harry listened to the blonde, eyes wide with shock. They had never talked about their animosity before this night. Not seriously. They had just fought, as simple as that. Draco had always picked up a fight over nothing, and Harry had been more than happy to go along with it, being able to vent out some of his unreleased tension at the other boy. And now... It all seemed somehow very stupid, suddenly.
"You think I'm good-looking, do you?" Harry caught Draco's last remark, not wanting the conversation to turn too serious. "Yeah, right. As if I'd believe you. I happen to know, thank you very much, that I'm a dull-looking four-eyed freak."
"What makes you say that?"
"What makes me say that?" Harry repeated. "Funny that you should ask, having been mocking me about my appearance for full seven years."
"It wasn't for real. I was just trying to get your attention."
Harry laughed scornfully, and finished his drink. "Honestly."
"Honestly!" Draco assured.
"You don't even know what that word means."
"I'm serious here, Potter," Draco said, with an unnervingly quiet whisper. "I think you're very pretty."
"Pretty is a word one uses to describe a woman, Malfoy. That's not really a compliment, is it, for a boy?" Harry said, kicking the empty bottle away from him.
"I thought it was a compliment. I like pretty boys."
"Besides, I'm possibly the shortest guy in our year. Hell, I'm even shorter than many of the girls. That's not exactly very fetching, is it?" Harry continued, sounding dejected.
"Well, it depends," Draco smiled slowly. "I like it when you're shorter than me."
"No surprise there. It's all to your advantage in our fights."
Draco was smiling. "Yeah. I guess it really does give me some benefit when we aren't using our... wands... to battle."
Harry looked at the Slytherin dubiously, but didn't ask what that sly look meant. The alcohol in his system was making him feel a little funny, no matter how little he had enjoyed it, and he needed to concentrate on staying even remotely sensible. "I have girly eyes," he blurted out, remembering his earlier musings about his own appearance in the toilet. "And an ugly scar on my forehead."
"If you want to hear my opinion, that ugly scar of yours is actually quite a turn on. And, as to your eyes, I'd give away a large part of my inheritance if I could get eyes like yours. So green, so radiant green. And I've always wanted dark eyelashes."
"Malfoy, don't feed me bullshit. Firstly, you don't have much inheritance. Secondly, why would you want to change anything about your appearance? You just said, not very long ago, that you have every right to be a haughty arsehole just because you're a Malfoy and ten times more handsome than any of the other blokes in our school. Surely you know that you're the target of nearly every lust-crazed teenage girl in this school."
"That would be all fine and well, I admit, if it indeed were the females I'm trying to attract."
"Well, I'm sure you have quite an effect on the males, as well. There's no-one in this school who wouldn't want to have your looks. Even Ron once said... Uhh, I'm not going there. La, la, la... I didn't say anything just now."
Draco, amused, handed his own bottle of alcohol to Harry, who took a long, grateful swig from it. Then the Slytherin stood up and stretched out, knowing full well that his shirt was rising just so that it revealed his toned abdominal muscles.
Harry's gaze was so burning that Draco could feel it creeping across his skin. Perhaps his efforts weren't completely fruitless, after all? Could it be possible that Harry was interested in him, even in the slightest? At least the boy was curious, if not anything else. Experimental, Draco reminded himself, with a smirk. And, Draco had yet to meet a person who couldn't be persuaded by good arse-licking. Not necessarily in the rhetorical sense only. Even though he hadn't gotten much field experience. Thus far.
"Do you reckon someone will find us before morning?" Harry asked. "Or are we supposed to sleep in this dingy closet?"
"How the hell should I know," Draco shrugged, pacing around the small room. "It's been already four hours, and no-one's missed us so far."
"Aren't your friends worried about you? Won't they alert Snape?"
"Even they're not that stupid," Draco said. "Alerting Snape in the middle of the night requires a certain streak of masochism, and I'm sure none of my friends would sacrifice themselves so cruelly because of me."
"I don't understand what the big deal is. Snape never sleeps, anyway, so it's not like they would be waking him up, or anything."
"It's not about waking him up, you dimwit," Draco grimaced. "It's about interrupting his nightly sessions with Trelawney."
Harry was positive his skin had turned shallow olive green. "Come again?"
"Do you really want me to repeat that?" Draco cringed.
"On second thought, no, I don't. I've had enough traumatizing eye-openers for one night."
Draco drummed his fingers on the tabletop while passing it by. Then he turned around, to look at the odd paintings on the wall. They were not very good, and even less interesting, so he let his gaze drop to the ground, where he measured a couple of floor tiles for a moment.
Harry watched him in fascinated silence. "Hey Malfoy?"
"Tell me... Do you think you are really gay? I mean, honestly."
Draco sputtered in outrage. "Of course not, Potter! What makes you think that?"
Harry gave him a meaningful stare.
Draco returned the stare with an agonized, frustrated look, and tossed his hair back. "Well maybe I am. A little."
"A little? What does that mean? You either are, or you aren't."
"Never heard of bisexuality, Scar-head? I am bisexual, that's what I am."
"Malfoy, that's utter and complete bullshit, and you know that." Harry crossed his arms.
"It's not bullshit! I am telling you, I am bisexual."
"Oh, yeah? I'll eat Snape's shoes if you can honestly say you have been even remotely interested in one single girl in our school during all these seven years."
"Well..." Draco looked a little pained. "This school has an exceptionally ugly assortment."
"You think Hannah Abbott is ugly? Or Lavender Brown? Hell, I am going as far as to admit even Pansy the fucking Parkinson is rather attractive. Malfoy, don't try to deny it. You're as gay as it comes, and you know it. Just look at you!"
"What about me?" Draco pouted.
Harry sniggered. "Well, first, you wash your hair with baby shampoo. I know. I heard it from Hermione who heard it from Blaise. Secondly, your fingers and neck are just about to snap under the weight of your collective rings and necklaces. Thirdly, even Professor Lockhart wasn't so frantic about the condition of his fingernails. And furthermore..."
"Potter, just shut the fuck up."
Harry watched Draco's angry face. It was pale, but the candlelight made it glow with a golden sheen. The ash-grey lashes seemed incredibly long, suddenly, and they were shadowing a pair of eyes that were sparkling with many different emotions. During these darkest hours of the night, Harry had come to learn a few things about Malfoy he had never known. He had come to learn that there was a genuine, frantic heart beating inside Draco's chest, reflecting such emotions as insecurity, disdain, bitterness, melancholy and disappointment. Yet there was one feeling Harry hadn't yet found in Draco's heart, so deep down it was buried.
"Malfoy, have you ever loved anyone?" Harry asked, with a quiet tone.
Draco looked contemplating. "Define the concept."
"What do you mean define the concept?" Harry was confused.
"Well, did you mean to ask me if I loved my parents? Or my friends? Or somebody else?"
"Oh." Harry bent his head in slight confusion. "I... I meant, well, if you've ever loved... somebody else."
"No," Draco smoothly answered, before he could even consider his words. "Only you."
The silence that followed this announcement was enough to make hair's growth sound noisy. Harry's wide, green and, yes, girly eyes were wide with evident astonishment, and his mouth was hanging half open. He was watching how Draco Malfoy just slowly began to realise what he had let out of his mouth.
"I... I just didn't say that last bit out loud, right?" Draco hoarsely asked, looking sallow and horrified and ready to die.
Harry cleared his throat and shook his head. "Um. No. Of course you didn't. I didn't hear a thing. What did you meant to say again?"
Draco felt his throat closing up. "I... I meant to say that... that... I've never... ever..."
He seemed to be unable to continue.
"Draco, is there something I should know?" Harry asked, pushing himself into a standing position, dusting his robes seemingly nonchalantly. He also removed his glasses, wiping them on his sleeve, and positioned them on a nearby shelf.
Draco's eyes flickered with fear. "Don't kill me," he whispered.
Harry stepped closer. Draco felt his body starting to shudder with uncontrollable panic, and he shoved his trembling hands into his pockets. For all he knew, Harry was as straight as McGonagall's spinal column, and wouldn't probably handle this sudden revelation very well at all. He would probably accuse him of molestation, and would dirty his already rotten reputation by telling the Daily Prophet that he was a screaming mad pouf. But not before he would beat him unconscious, first. He wondered when the first blow would come.
"Malfoy," Harry whispered and reached out to touch Draco's cheekbone.
Slithering his fingers down towards the chin, Harry smiled up at Draco. "It was me, all the time," he realised. "The secret boy."
Draco didn't look Harry in the eyes. "Yes."
Harry leaned in closer, nuzzling his nose against Draco's temple. "I knew it."
"You..." Draco gulped. "You did?"
Harry grabbed Draco's chin firmly between his fingers, and turned the Slytherin face to face with himself. From this near proximity, Harry could distinguish those long, ash-grey lashes one by one, as well as the little, almost indistinguishable angel kisses along the ridge of Draco's nose.
"And... And what happens now?" There was evident fear of rejection in Draco's eyes.
"What happens now..." Harry mused, playing with Draco's hair with his fingers that had somehow found their way through the silken locks. "What happens now..."
Draco shivered when Harry closed the distance between their mouths and kissed him ever so lightly on the lips. It was like a butterfly wings flapping against velvet, like honey being poured on basilisk hide. The touch was so light and so very intense at the same time that it made Draco lose the capability of holding himself up. Harry seemed to notice this, and slid his firm hands around Draco's waist before the Slytherin could actually fall.
Draco sighed into the kiss, and closed his eyes. Yes, he really did have strong feelings towards the Gryffindor. There was no denying them. Although he really had tried. Hell, he had really tried. He had even meddled with Black Magic in his most desperate days, but was saved from unintentional suicide by Snape's unexpected interference. Draco had long thought he was going to go mad, but had eventually accepted the fact that he was head over heels infatuated with everything that was and went with Harry Potter. Potter seemed to hold some kind of strange, omnipotent power over him, and he was like spellbound to the black-haired man. After struggling for so long, he still couldn't find his way out of the web the Gryffindor had unconsciously weaved around his heart. Not that he even wanted to. Not any more.
Draco frowned, waking up from his sappy musings. This wasn't how it was supposed to happen. Malfoys were never the receiving party. They were the controlling one. Draco was born to be the hunter, not the prey. Overcoming his brief slip-up, he rolled them around so that Harry's back was leaning against the wall.
"Don't play with fire, Icarus," he breathed against Harry's lips. "The wax might melt off your wings and you might fall from the sky."
Harry bent his head and gave gentle kisses along Draco's neck. "Oh, but you're not fire, Malfoy. You're ice. And... mmm... you're melting. Do you want to be the sea where I'm supposed to drown, after I fall?"
Draco found his hands shuddering with strange, overtaking emotion and he desperately shoved them into Harry's back pockets, making the Gryffindor snigger. Draco found it exceptionally rewarding that Harry had been paying attention in his History of Magic lessons for once; Greek Witchcraft and Mythology had been the spring's last subject. Harry reciprocated Draco's movements by sliding his own hands beneath the Slytherin's shirt, touching the warm skin with cold fingers.
In slow progress, which included many gentle touches and desperate whimpers, Draco peeled the shirt off Harry's lean torso and let his hands roam across the Gryffindor's skin.
"You're so beautiful," Draco whispered, adoring Harry with his eyes that were glazed with desire. "So fucking beautiful."
Harry snorted, sounding bitter. "Might I point out there's a collection of scars across my shoulders, back and stomach."
"Yes, indeed there is... So hot..." Draco's voice was shivering. Gently, he traced some of the old injuries before he kissed Harry's mouth softly, and then quite suddenly lifted the smaller boy into his arms. He lifted Harry carefully on Salazar and Helga's table, which surprisingly still didn't break, and laid him caringly down. Harry found himself lying on his back, his bare skin touching the chilly wood. Draco trailed his hand along Harry's ribs, watching him intently.
"You really sure about this?" he asked. "I mean, we're both a little tipsy right now. I wouldn't want you to regret this in the morning."
"I've done many fool things in my life," Harry smiled. "I'm already used to dealing with the awkward morning afters."
Draco scowled. "Yeah, well I'm not."
"I don't actually care. Just get on with it," Harry snapped, and stared at Draco's neck lustfully before attacking it, his fingers moving Draco's necklaces out of the way of his burning lips. He started ripping off Draco's shirt while kissing him underneath his chin and moving towards the delicate hollow just below his ear.
Draco grinned, pulled away and fumbled for his wand. At Harry's concerned expression he explained, "Don't worry. I just need to do this one particular spell before we continue."
"What spell?" Harry sounded slightly irritated.
"The Protection Charm, of course. Against any... sexual diseases."
"Are you saying you've got diseases?" Harry's head shot up in alarm.
"No, of course I don't!" Draco looked offended. "That's because I always, no matter what, use protection."
"Well, you don't need protection with me!" Harry slapped the wand out of Draco's hand and it clattered on the floor far across the room. "I don't have any diseases either."
"How can I be sure? Considering our history, Potter, I wouldn't be surprised if you told me tomorrow you have AIDS or some other Muggle virus."
"Such a mood spoiler, aren't you," Harry sighed, despairingly. "I can't have anything because I've never been with anyone before, alright? Now get on with it, you stupid git!"
However, Harry's impatient pleas of some action went totally ignored by Draco, who was now staring down at the Gryffindor with a shocked expression.
"Malfoy!" Harry whined, and shivered at the loss of skin contact. "What now? Oh, fine! Use the damned protection if you must! Here's my wand, use it. Go on. But please do something RIGHT NOW, before I change my mind about this."
Draco stupidly looked at the wand Harry had shoved into his fist. "Potter."
Harry nearly cried with frustration. "What?"
Soon, Harry found that he was in heaven with Merlin and Morgan and other such stupid non-existent gods. Draco leaned down and coaxed Harry into a very deep, almost desperate kiss, pouring all his soul into that intimate touch. He had always dreamed Harry would be somewhat inexperienced, but he had never, ever dreamed he could still be completely untouched. In every way. The thought literally made his whole body tremble with suppressed emotion, and he was secretly thankful for Harry's eager hands distracting him so he wouldn't embarrass himself by starting to cry of sheer euphoria. Or wanting to river-dance on the rickety chiffonier in the corner. Or do some other stupid thing like that.
Not that he knew how to river-dance, anyway, so it would have been twice as embarrassing.
Things processed very nicely, and soon Draco found himself making love to Harry slowly and gently. However Harry proved to be very impatient, which led to Draco being somewhat not-so-gentle with him, if not outright rough. Harry didn't complain, though; he was actually enjoying every single second of Dracos hands on his flesh, his movements inside of him. Harry tried his best to comprehend why he hadn't done this before, and although he was somewhat incoherent with passion, a small voice inside his head told him it was because this was Draco Malfoy. And as the entire school knew, Draco Malfoy was mostly unattainable –especially to Gryffindors. Especially to Harry Potter.
Yet Harry couldn't have done this with anybody else. And by the looks of it, Draco was thinking along the same lines. The question remained, would they have ever reached this conclusion without experiencing the excruciating moments of today, and more importantly, would they have acted upon it.
Suddenly, through the haze of his wanton lust, Harry somehow heard a creak coming from the direction of the larger door. Turning his head, he saw though his glazed eyes that there was a young man standing in the door way. More precisely... It was Ron, clutching the Marauder's Map in his hand, looking horror stricken.
Harry's cheeks flushed, and he quickly pictured the sight Ron must currently be seeing: Harry Potter, the greatest Gryffindor and the saviour of the world being mercilessly fucked into the table by none other than Draco bloody Malfoy, the offspring of evil. Yet, Harry couldn't but feel even more aroused by the idea. Imagining what was going on in Ron's head when Draco worked his magic on him, Harry decided it was just what Ron deserved after his own stunt in the afternoon with Ginny.
Harry smiled a satisfied smile at his best friend and, Draco's strokes finally sending him over the edge. His gleaming eyes never left Ron's face. He was vaguely aware that he had moaned Draco's name out loud, and that Ron's expression had gone from horrified to pale deadness. Draco hadn't seen the red-head, but was still giving his whole and undivided attention to Harry's beautiful body underneath him. Harry decided, with a tired but happy smile, that now he was even with Ron. Although, just in a sudden urge to inflict permanent damage to his friend's brain, he decided he wasn't quite finished.
With a final, meaningful look to his best friend, he turned his face away and searched Draco's lips his own.
"Oh, that feels so good! Come for me, baby. Come for me!" he moaned against Draco's mouth, completely loud and clear for anyone in the hearing range to hear. And then he kissed Draco, profoundly, despairingly, devotedly.
Draco came within seconds, pleasantly surprised by this adoring onslaught. Harry closed his eyes, smiling brightly, and smoothed Draco's platinum hair with gentle strokes.
"Yes... That was so good... So good..." he whispered in Draco's ear.
When consciousness slowly returned to him, Harry fixed his eyes back on the door. Ron was not there anymore. It wasn't that surprising, really. After all, he and Draco hadn't stayed very long either, after witnessing the events Never-To-Be-Mentioned-Again-Between-Them. Harry let out a laugh, and shook his head in disbelief. This really had been the weirdest night of all weird nights. Harry turned his attention to the doorway again, and suddenly realised that it was slightly ajar. Obviously, Ron had left so quickly that he hadn't remembered to close it. Which was good, of course; there was now their route to freedom.
"Draco?" he asked.
No answer. Draco was lying on top of him, immovable.
"Draco? Come on, wake up," Harry groaned, and tried to push the Slytherin off him.
"Meh? What?" Draco mumbled. "Lemme sleep."
"No!" Harry laughed. "Wake up, you bloody ponce! Look! The door's open and we can finally get out of here!"
Draco yawned and cracked his eyes open. Such beautiful eyes, Harry thought.
"The door's open?" Draco asked, looking very haggard. "How did that happen?"
"Oh, I don't know. Maybe it was open all the time."
"Damn well it wasn't. Shit, what if someone walked in on us when..." Draco paled.
Harry snorted with amusement. "Maybe... But unfortunately, you will never know. However, there's one thing that is sure. If we don't put some clothes on and get the hell away from here, we'll get caught butt naked by Filch and the students in the morning."
This thought seemed to wake up the Slytherin completely, and he staggered away from Harry. "Good point."
They dressed themselves hurriedly, Harry taking a bit more time than Draco since he had more discarded garments to find and put on. After that, they quickly left the small room. To their surprise, they found themselves in the first Hufflepuff corridor. Only one set of stairs up, and they would smoothly arrive in the Entrance Hall.
"Isn't this nice? No more running about the castle, it seems." Draco looked pleased.
Harry silently agreed. He, too, was rather relieved to find there were no more adventures ahead of them. The morning sun would rise in a couple of hours, and they both really needed to get some rest. Harry followed Draco up the stairs a few steps behind. When they finally reached the Entrance Hall, they stopped in front of the giant hourglasses, once again that night.
"Well, then." Harry said, shoving his hands into his pockets.
Draco shuffled his feet, not looking at Harry. "Yeah."
A silence enveloped the pair, making Harry feel worried and Draco uncomfortable.
"Um," Harry started again. "I suppose I'll be seeing you in the morning at breakfast?"
Draco suddenly looked up and laughed, looking at Harry predatorily. "Oh, yes, you'll be seeing me."
"That's good," Harry didn't know if he should smile or be doubtful. "I guess."
Draco winked at him, and with a swift turn left towards the dungeons. "Eight forty-five, Potter. Eight forty-five sharp. And don't touch the porridge."
"Why?" Harry frowned.
"Because I don't really like the taste of it."
A/N: I have yet to decide whether I write a sequel or not. Meh. I'll think about it.