Harry sighed for the umpteenth time. His chin was getting sore from resting the weight of his head on his hand. He rolled his eyes to his left and saw the profile of his enemy. The dreaded. His potions-partner-through-punishment.
The blonde was staring ahead but his eyes were not focused on their professor, who was currently droning on and on about the potion they were to be producing for assessment at the end of the lesson; a simple healing potion. The monotone drawl finished and Malfoy seemed to come to again.
"Get the ingredients, Potter," Malfoy barely turned his head in Harry's direction, a slight frown on his face. Harry glared but quickly decided it wasn't worth the effort of arguing and pushed himself to his feet, making his way to the ingredients cupboard. A quick glance to the board at the front of the class told him all that he had missed whilst spacing out. Ron was at the cupboard too, lingering a little to talk to Harry.
"Sorry mate," Ron looked at Harry with genuine sympathy.
"S'okay," Harry shrugged his shoulders and kept his eyes ahead of him. He had a feeling that if his eyes met Ron's, he would throw himself and his ginger friend's feet and beg him to switch partners with him. Ron was lucky enough to get paired with Hermione, "It's my fault for not paying attention to Snape and talking."
After a few pushes from some impatient Slytherin's behind them, the pair decided to return to their seats with their gathered ingredients.
"What took you so long?" Malfoy glowered at Harry, who unceremoniously dumped the items in his arms on to their desk, much to Malfoy's displeasure.
"Ron was there, he was offering me his condolences," Harry smirked at the blonde as he sat down, pulling the fresh Gardenia petals towards him. An arm shot out and grabbed Harry's hand before he could touch the white petals. Harry's eyes focused on the thin fingers of Draco Malfoy, his eyes slowly following the arm up to rest upon the Slytherin's face, which was surprisingly harsh-looking.
"Don't touch a thing. I don't want to fail potions because of your errors," Malfoy glared at Harry, his tone deadly calm. The Gryffindor tried to focus on Malfoy's words but his attention kept drifting down to the unnaturally cool fingers gripping his wrist.
And before Harry could respond the fingers were gone and Malfoy had pulled the petals towards him, using a knife to gently remove any imperfections in the perfectly white blossoms.
The raven haired boy sighed and rested his shin on his hand again, looking around the room. His eyes rested on Ron and Hermione, working together in silence but comfortably. Gently brushing against each other occasionally, smiling softly together. Harry was about to sigh again when Snape's icy voice reached his ears.
"Don't think that you will be receiving the same mark as Mr. Malfoy for this assessment, Potter. If only you would be able to focus," He put extra emphasis on this word, "on the potion as mush as you do on Weasley and Granger." Snape folded his arms across his chest, smirking down at Harry. The Gryffindor blushed and looked down at his desk, feeling the eyes of the class on him.
"Sorry, Sir," He mumbled and picked up a knife, pulling daisy stems towards him. Malfoy was smirking also. He had even placed his own scalpel down to pay full attention to his favourite Professor humiliating his worst enemy.
"Don't mess those stems up, Potter," Malfoy picked up his blade again, as soon as Snape turned to chastise Neville, although the blonde carefully watched Harry's movements. "They need to be exactly four millimetres each and-"
"I know, Malfoy," Harry grumbled, chopping the stems a little roughly. He glanced quickly at the board at the front of the class. He looked down at their potion and noted that Malfoy had successfully completely the first three steps. He threw in the stems and stirred three times clockwise, once anti-clockwise, another three clockwise. Wait. Was that a fourth stir? He quickly glanced down at the potion but it seemed to be changing a nice green colour, which the instructions on the board stated it should.
Harry sighed in relief and pulled the next set of ingredients towards him. Next to him, Malfoy gently lowered the petals in to the potion, which hissed a little and steamed but turned the required colour. The blonde frowned and quickly threw a suspicious glance at Harry, but kept his mouth shut.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief and began preparing the root in front of him. He striped it of its smaller roots and rubbed away any dirt he found. Malfoy was busy stirring the potion precisely, Harry lost track of his movements. He slid the prepared root over to the Slytherin and watched Malfoy inspect his handiwork.
"I don't get why I won't receive the same marks as you," Harry's chin returned to his upturned palm now that his hands had nothing to do, "I contributed just as much as you did." Malfoy rolled his eyes and rubbed a speck of dirt from the root that Harry missed.
"It's because you are a-" The sentence was left unfinished. Malfoy had plopped the root neatly in to the potion and an unexpected reaction was occurring. The liquid in the cauldron was hissing violently, turning an alarming fuchsia. Malfoy's eyes widened dramatically, which Harry would have laughed at if the potion hadn't just started spitting and emitting and awful howl.
In a swirl of black robes Professor Snape was upon them, glaring at Harry dangerously.
"What did you do?" His eyes were shooting daggers at the Gryffindor, who held his hands up in innocence.
"I just prepared the Ginseng root, like it told me to on the board-" Harry started, but was quickly interrupted by a furious Snape.
"Can't you read, boy!?" Snape pointed behind him in the general direction of the board. "It clearly stats Burdock root-" Snape himself was cut short by a small shriek of despair from Hermione, who was pointing almost hysterically at the potion, which was now bubbling over and turning the flames underneath the cauldron silver.
Snape spun around and marched back to his desk to retrieve a stabiliser tonic, but before he could empty the contents in to the vicious potion it had exploded with an echoing bang. The contents covered both Harry and Malfoy and sent them flying backwards.
Ron and Hermione rushed forward to help Harry up, whilst Crabbe, Goyle and Parkinson hastened towards Malfoy. With his friend on either side of him, taking hold of an arm each, Harry was hoisted to his feet. He felt Ron patting him down and glanced over at the Slytherins, where Pansy Parkinson was taking the opportunity to rub Malfoy down.
Strange. There wasn't a drop of potion on Malfoy. Harry glanced down at himself and his robes too where free from potion.
"Harry, are you okay?" Hermione's timid voice sound from his right.
"Yeah, sure. I feel fine," Harry gave his friends a reassuring smile before a shadow fell across them. Snape loomed over the trio, a truly murderous look on his face.
"Potter, one hundred points from Gryffindor for your utter stupidity," Snape barely seemed to be controlling himself, "Get to the Hospital Wing, now. You too, Mr. Malfoy," Snape breathed heavily through his nose and turned his back to them.
"This is your entire fault!" Malfoy stomped dramatically up the stairs to the Entrance Hall.
"What the hell?" Harry glared and stormed after the blonde, "Ginseng root and Burdock root are practically the same thing!" He bashed his shoulder against Malfoy's as he overtook him at the top of the staircase. The Slytherin growled and pulled the other boy backwards, forcing him against a wall. His hands slammed on either side of Harry's head.
"Don't touch me, Potter," There was a truly dangerous look in Malfoy's eye. His head was incredible close the Harry's. The raven haired boy tried to create more distance between them but the wall and Malfoy's hands prevented much movement.
Harry's palms tingled.
And then Malfoy was gone, walking quickly down the corridor to the Hospital Wing, rubbing his palms lightly together.
Upon reaching the Hospital Wing and explaining what had happened to Madam Pomfrey, the medi-witch gave them a though checking over. However it appeared that the potion had had little to no effect on the pair.
They were quickly sent away and arrived at the Great Hall in time for dinner. Harry and Malfoy threw a final glare at each other before heading their separate ways to their House tables and friends.
"What happened, Harry?" There came a chorus of questions from his fellow Gryffindors. Harry smiled awkwardly and sat between Seamus and Ginny.
"Well, I picked up the wrong root from the ingredients cabinet and that seemed to have caused a problem," He shrugged his shoulders and laughed along with Ron, Ginny, Seamus and Dean. Hermione, however, was looking cautious.
"Mixing up ingredients can be really dangerous, Harry," She scolded, "You could have been seriously hurt!"
"Oh, lighten up 'Mione," Ron smiled roguishly at the girl, slipping a hand under the table to rest on places the Harry didn't want to think about. Ginny shifted next to him, seemingly pushing as much of herself against him as appropriate in the dining hall. Harry pretended not to notice and instead found himself scanning the Slytherin table for Malfoy.
The blonde was obviously under a question based attack from his own group, who would all laugh as one when Malfoy would pause after answering their questions in an obviously funny manner. Several faces would turn and snigger in his direction. No point pondering what they were talking about then.
Just as Harry was about the discreetly shuffle away from Ginny, his eyes locked with steel grey. It felt like Draco Malfoy was staring right in to his very soul. Harry felt a thrill race up his spin and goose bumps erupted over his arms.
Next to him Ginny was giving him a sultry look. Perhaps she thought she had caused the reaction. But at that moment, Harry couldn't give a crap. Only one thought was running through his head.
'My God, Malfoy has pretty eyes…'