Summery: Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter have always hated each other, and always will. After all, they are complete opposites and have had an ongoing rivalry since the very beginning of their first year at school. But, when boys keep bumping into each other and certain truths come to light, they find that maybe they aren't as different as they'd always presumed and don't hate each other as much as they'd always thought. HP/DM PreSlash

Scoffing quietly to himself over the blatant discrimination displayed towards Slytherins by the general populace, Draco Malfoy--Slytherin fucking royalty if ever there was--stalked his way through the dungeons, a sneer marring his otherwise nearly angelic looking features. He still couldn't believe that the uptight, anal retentive, 'holier than thou' McGonagall had given him detention for simply pointing out the quite obvious fact that Granger is what is more commonly referred to as a muggle-born, though he himself preferred the term 'mudblood,' for that's what she was. She had no magical lineage and no knowledge or training in the way of magic before coming to Hogwarts. It was a disgrace.

Turning a corner he abruptly came crashing to the floor as one Harry Potter, boy-who-lived and rival who he had made it his personal vendetta to ridicule every chance he got, came barreling into him, knocking him to the hard, stone floor. Speaking of disgraces…"Potter! What in Merlin's name do you think you're doing! Get off of me this instant!" Draco was outraged, and rightly so. Of all the things that could have gone wrong today...he should have guessed that he would have had the misfortune to run into Potter--quite literally this time--on this already horrible, unnervingly disastrous day, of all days.

"It's not like I actually want to be anywhere near you, Malfoy," Harry declared vehemently, quickly righting himself as he glared down at the blonde haired boy. The sound of footsteps coming from the hallway Harry had just fled from caused him to turn around abruptly, eyes going wide as he frantically searched for somewhere to hide. "Shit!" he swore, lunging toward a nearby storage closet and ducking inside.

Draco raised an eyebrow at the display, wondering at Potter's unusual show of cowardice. What could possibly be so bad that--his question suddenly received an answer as he spotted Colin Creevy as he came hurtling around the corner, camera in hand and at the ready. A sudden flash momentarily blinded Draco as the boy snapped a shot of him.

Lowering the camera, Creevy let out a disappointed sigh. "I thought you were Harry…" he spoke dejectedly, glancing around the hallway to see if he could spot the elusive 'boy who lived.'

"Thank Merlin I'm not," Draco uttered with a disgusted shudder as he sneered at the annoying mudblood. Drawing his wand from his robe pocket, Draco deftly recited, "Accio camera," looking upon the filthy muggle device with derision as it landed in his waiting hand. "What are you, some sort of stalker?" Malfoy questioned rhetorically, not expecting to receive an answer.

He heard Creevy stutter for a moment, trying to form some sort of reply, but ignored him. Dropping the camera purposefully to the rough, stone floor, he cast "Incendio," watching with morbid amusement as the camera burst into flames. Draco smirked cruelly as he eyed the horrified fifth year gingerly gathering the charred and mangled remains of his device. "Be glad that's all I did…" Malfoy threatened, watching with sadistic glee as the mousy haired boy ran back the way he had come as if the hounds of hell were nipping at his heels. "Severus would be proud…" he decided aloud, smiling in a self satisfied manner.

Turning toward the cupboard where Potter had taken refuge, he yanked open the door, smirking at the sight of his rival cozied up in the minuscule space with a mop and broom at either side and his unruly hair filled with cobwebs. "You can come out of the closet now," he quipped, smiling in perverse amusement as Potter glared at the insinuation.

"Yeah, you wish," Harry replied acidly, dusting off his robes and futilely attempting to rid his hair of the nasty spider webs that now adorned it. He was about to turn and walk away, preferably in the opposite direction of the way that Colin had taken, when Malfoy suddenly spoke, stopping him dead in his tracks.

"You owe me, Potter," he declared, in all seriousness. Harry felt incredulity swell within him as he scoffed in shocked outrage and spun around to face the pompous blonde.

"I don't owe you anything, you self righteous bastard!" Harry defended, finding Malfoy's audacity horribly ridiculous.

"I got Creepy off your tail," Malfoy informed his rival as if it should be obvious, "And for that, you owe me."

"Really?" Harry raged, growing angrier with every word that came out of Malfoy's mouth, "And what exactly do I owe you for chewing out one of my own housemates?" he asked with biting sarcasm, daring Malfoy to answer.

"All I'm asking for is an explanation," Malfoy informed him straightforwardly, no trace of a hidden agenda evident in his words. Although Harry didn't like the thought of giving into his rival, he couldn't see the harm in answering his question, and if anything, he was curious as to why the Slytherin had asked in the first place.

"An explanation? I should think it was fairly obvious. Colin was chasing me with that damn camera of his and trying to get more pictures of me to add to his collection. I swear that guy--" Harry was abruptly cut off mid sentence as Malfoy butted in.

"I wasn't referring to that," Malfoy dead panned, sighing in a way as to suggest that Harry was rather daft for not having realized.

"Then what on earth are you on about?" the brunette questioned in annoyance, not really in the mood to deal with both a stalker and a complete asshole in one day, not to mention having to deal with them one right after the other.

"First year, on the train. I offered you my friendship and you turned me down. I want to know why," Malfoy demanded, grey eyes practically boring holes into Harry's green ones.

"Are you still sore about that? I mean really, you were an arrogant little prick, what did you expect me to do? As if we ever could have actually been friends anyway," Harry replied shaking his head in disbelief at the fact that Malfoy had even bothered to ask, especially after all these years.

"You'd be surprised," was all Malfoy said in response, and Harry got the feeling that he wasn't just talking about them being friends. After letting his words sink in for a moment, Malfoy continued, concluding the encounter. "When you come up with a real explanation, let me know," he said in parting, no disdain, no arrogance, no nothing along those lines.

Harry watched in bewilderment as he turned around and headed farther into the dungeons, presumably going to the Slytherin dormitories. The odd encounter almost left Harry wishing that he had just let Colin catch him, at least then he wouldn't have had all these questions troubling his mind.

"Harry! HARRY!" a voice rang out in frustration, waking Harry from a rather bizarre dream where he had been saving London from being eaten by a giant, rampaging blast ended screwt. He idly wondered in the confusion of transitioning from a state of sleep to the state of wakefulness how a legless creature could rampage before coming to his senses and finally realizing that it was Hermione's yell that had awoken him and that she had been shaking him rather violently in an attempt to get him up.

"So that's what was causing the earthquake," he mumbled in sleepy realization, letting out a loud yawn and stretching rather catlike in the cozy nest of his covers.

Hermione glared. "I have been trying to wake you for at least ten minutes now," she chastised, hands on her hips and looking rather disgruntled. Harry had the fleeting thought that Hermione was doing a rather good impression of Mrs. Weasley before his friend's words finally started to sink in.

"Shit!" he exclaimed, leaping from his bed as if it had been set ablaze right under him. "What time is it?" he questioned, making a mad dash for his clothes and books and everything else he would need for classes. "Hermione, have you seen my potions text?"

The girl merely let out a light laugh, clearing her throat to get Harry's attention and upon receiving it informing him with a great deal of amusement that it was Saturday. After stopping to consider whether this was true or not, Harry suddenly let out a loud groan as he came to the conclusion that it was.

"Why'd you have to go and scare me like that?" he questioned irritably, "And why couldn't you have just let me sleep in in the first place?" Glaring at Hermione weakly, Harry made his way back to his bed, plopping himself down upon it and drawing the curtains noisily shut.

Hermione huffed indignantly, not about to let all her hard work go to waste. Just as she was about to stalk over, rip the curtains open, and berate Harry, Harry's muffled voice suddenly was heard from his enclosure.

"Damn it, Hermione, now I can't go back to sleep!" he complained, sounding as if he was speaking into his pillow. The curtains were opened, framing Harry's sleepy countenance, his hair falling haphazardly about his face with tufts sticking out every which way. The sight caused Hermione to laugh despite her slight anger, which only made Harry glare at her indignantly. "Are you laughing at me?" he demanded sourly, to which Hermione only laughed harder.

"Yes, I am," she answered straightforwardly, now in good humor, "Which should please you since it means that I'm not yelling at you instead."

Harry grumbled, rising from his bed and padding across the wooden floor to his trunk, where he proceeded to root around searching for something decent to wear. Suddenly, Harry halted in his movements, a horrifying thought coming to mind. "Hermione, you didn't just drag me out of bed so that you could have someone to study with you in the library, did you?" he questioned his friend, turning to glance at her imploringly, hoping it wasn't the case.

Hermione crossed her arms over her chest, suddenly defensive. "Of course not, Harry, don't be silly," she spoke, knowing that it did sound like something she would do (and had done in the past). "I just thought that you would want to go to Hogsmeade and not waste the day away by sleeping through it all."

Harry visibly relaxed, a smile breaking out across his face as he hurriedly began to sort through his clothes again. "I can't believe I completely forgot that it was a Hogsmeade weekend!" Harry cried out in excitement over his shoulder, suddenly thankful for Hermione's rude wake up call.

"Well, personally I can't believe you forgot, either," she declared, watching curiously as Harry threw various articles of clothing over his shoulder in obvious disapproval. "It was all Ron would talk about yesterday, going to Fred and George's shop and all of the brilliant sweets they had and how we would all have to go with him today," she continued, rolling her eyes at Ron's behavior. "Speaking of Ron, he's waiting for us in the common room with the rest of your roommates."

Harry listened with half an ear as he glanced around in obvious disappointment. Turning back towards Hermione, he glanced up at her with a pout. "Hermione, can I ask you a question?" he inquired.

Hermione raised an eyebrow. "You just did ask me a question, though you may ask me another," she replied, emphasizing his incorrect grammar usage. Harry rolled his eyes before looking pleadingly back up at his friend.

Sighing in helpless frustration, he smiled hopefully: "Can you please help me pick out something to wear?"

"Pansy, if you do not cease your incessant blabbering this instant, I swear to Merlin that you will be disinvited from the Yule party this year," Draco threatened, his anger dangerously close to boiling over with even the slightest provocation. He wasn't usually this short tempered when it came to dealing with Pansy and her irksome tendency to blather on and on about things that he could truly care less about, but he'd been having a bad day--well, a bad weekend really.

He had probably failed his transfiguration test, on top of which he had gotten a detention from McGonagall. Then there was the whole incident with Potter…although wrecking Creevy's camera had been rather fun. For the life of him, Draco couldn't figure out why he had asked Potter about the 'incident' back in first year--sure, he was curious to know why Potter had had the audacity to reject him and was still rather miffed about it (no one, after all, refuses a Malfoy anything), but that was no excuse.

His father had always taught him to not reveal anything to an enemy that could potentially be used against him; it is after all common sense to avoid doing so. Potter is the enemy. And the fact that Malfoy actually cared about what the 'Golden Boy' thought of him could end up coming back and biting him in the butt. Not that he would ever say anything that crude aloud. But were they really enemies? Sure, they were rivals and there had always been this contention between them, but…their rivalry wasn't so much them hating each other because of the (upcoming) war as it was them simply squabbling like schoolboys or, almost like…siblings?

The thought struck him as somewhat odd and made him stop a moment to ponder whether it was really true or not. Before he could do so, though, Pansy's whinny voice suddenly cut into his thoughts, bringing him back to the present and his current trek toward Hogsmead. "Drakey! Dr-r-a-a-key! Are you listening to me?" the blonde girl questioned in mild irritation, having noticed Draco spacing out during her long spiel about all the new outfits she was going to buy at Spellbound, the current forerunner in hip young witch and wizard attire.

Becoming annoyed, though somewhat thankful to be disturbed from his musings, Draco lazily batted Pansy's waving hand away from his face. "I can hear you, if that's what you're wondering. After all, who couldn't? But am I listening? That would be a no," Draco responded indifferently, trusting Pansy to know him well enough to not be offended by his disinterest in her wardrobe.

"Oh, come on, Draco. You're no fun," Pansy pouted in mock hurt, "Don't you want to get some new clothes?" Draco did have to admit that the girl had a point. Usually, he did like to shop. And he happened to have a very good sense of fashion, if he said so himself. He wasn't really in the mood to shop…but then again, he wasn't really in the mood to do anything but brood. Maybe shopping would cheer him up a bit…It was worth a try he supposed.

"Fine, Pansy, I'll go with you to the bloody clothing shop," Draco relented, rolling his eyes as Pansy suddenly seemed to come to life, grabbing his hand and proceeding to drag him along behind her, babbling away at a mile a minute.

"Harry, I know you don't like shopping, but if you really want me to help you pick out a decent outfit, then you are going to have to get some decent clothes to choose from first," Hermione stated logically, in her no-nonsense tone. Harry desperately wished to put up some sort of resistance, but knew better than to do so when Hermione was in one of her 'moods.'

Glancing pleadingly at Ron, who was merely watching the scene with amusement, Harry felt his hopes of Ron getting dragged along with him slowly slipping away. "I think Ron needs some new clothes too…" Harry suggested not so subtly, smiling in what was supposed to be an innocent manner at both of his friends.

Hermione, however, was not buying it, and Ron looked like a deer caught in the headlights. "I…uh…I kind of…well…I told the rest of the guys that I would meet them at the Quidditch store…so, yeah," Ron stuttered out, hastily making up a plausible excuse.

"I wasn't going to try to rope you into going, Ron. There's no need for you to lie to me, or attempt to lie to me," Hermione chastised with annoyance, shaking her head at Ron. Despite Hermione's disapproval, Ron seemed relieved.

"Oh, umm, right…I'll just be going then," he spoke awkwardly, giving Harry a pitying glance and a half shrug before heading off.

"Some friend he is," Harry mumbled irritably as he followed Hermione down the cobbled street.

Hermione wasn't paying him any mind as she contemplated where they should go first. "Let's see…Oh, I know! Come on, we're going to Spellbound; I saw a sweater there the other day that would look perfect on you," Hermione proclaimed with excitement, grabbing Harry's arm and hurrying him along toward their newly decided destination.

"Sheesh, Hermione, do you have to drag me the whole way there?" Harry complained, rubbing his sore arm as Hermione abruptly released it, smiling in apology. Harry rolled his eyes. "A little over zealous aren't we?"

"I'm just excited," Hermione defended herself, glancing at Harry in annoyance, "I would have thought you'd be happy that I want to help you pick out some new clothes."

"Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for your help, but you're kind of scary when you get all focused on something, you know?" Harry replied, shrugging slightly to let Hermione know that he didn't mean for the comment to be taken as an insult, but rather just as a fact of life.

Hermione frowned a bit, though she could see his point. Letting out a sigh, she conceded. "I can't help it," was her explanation, one which Harry knew to be true. Turning abruptly, Hermione pushed open the door leading into Spellbound, Harry having not even realized that they had reached the store already until she did so.

A bell chimed, signaling their entrance, as Harry cautiously looked around. He had never been inside the store before--it was relatively new after all--although he had heard some things about it. It was supposed to be really trendy and hip, with the latest fashions; not that Harry would have any idea as to what those were.

He felt kind of out of place and intimidated by the atmosphere, glad that Hermione was there to help him out. He had never really been shopping for clothes before, except for when he'd been dragged along when his aunt went to pick out 'Duddy-kins' outfits, which didn't really count. Glancing around at all of the brightly colored lights and fashionable merchandise, Harry couldn't help but feel extremely uncomfortable in his own ragged hand me downs.

Noticing his discomfort, Hermione hastily grabbed his hand, lightly guiding him to the boy's side of the store. Stopping in front of a display, Hermione pointed out a dark green sweater. "That's the sweater I was telling you about," she commented, glancing at Harry and trying to gauge his reaction. "I think it would look absolutely amazing on you," she added, releasing her friend's hand so that she could search through the rack of sweaters for the right size.

Turning back around, sweater in hand, Hermione noticed how very out of place her friend felt. She was glad when a sales associate approached.

"Can I help you find anything?" the young witch asked politely, shifting her gaze from Harry to Hermione as if unsure of which one she should address.

Hermione smiled in gratitude, while Harry chewed on his lip nervously, avoiding eye contact. "Yes, actually, my friend here could use a whole new wardrobe and he needs some help finding outfits that would suit him. He's never really done this before," Hermione explained, smiling as the girl glanced at Harry kindly before nodding.

"No problem," the girl responded, tilting her head and examining Harry, who blushed at the attention, before nodding her head in a decisive manner. "I can think of quite a few outfits that would look nice on him. My name's Zillah, by the way," the girl spoke, smiling in a friendly manner at Hermione and then Harry in turn.

Hermione smiled back, greatly relieved. After all, she was no shopping expert herself. "I'm Hermione and this is Harry," Hermione spoke, introducing them both somewhat awkwardly, noticing as Harry fidgeted embarrassedly.

"Nice to meet you. Okay, right this way," Zillah responded, heading toward the back of the store, "I'll just take your measurements and get you situated in a fitting room and then bring some clothes back for you to try on."

"For Merlin's sake, Pansy, I do hope your joking," Draco spoke quite seriously, staring at the item Pansy held up in front of him. "There is no way in hell I am trying on snakeskin pants," he declared, crossing his arms and glaring at his so called 'friend.'

Pansy looked highly disappointed, her shoulders slumping as she let out a dejected sigh. "Come on, Drake, it'll be fun...and I'm sure they'd look really sexy on you," Pansy informed, smirking slyly as she added the last part.

Looking at the pants once more and trying to decide whether or not they would indeed look sexy on him (although the point was moot since everything looked sexy on him), Draco came to the conclusion that either way he was not going to give in to Pansy and her whims. "I already have plenty of things to try on, Pansy. Besides, I wouldn't be caught dead in those."

Pouting slightly in a last ditch attempt to have Draco reconsider, Pansy unhappily shoved the pants back onto the rack. "Fine, Drakey, but don't think I'll forget this," Pansy whined, glaring slightly at her friend.

Rolling his eyes, Draco wondered why on earth he was still friends with the often annoying girl. "Whatever," was all he said, the threat not really deserving of an answer.

"I guess I'm ready now, let's go get a dressing room," Pansy spoke, heading towards the nearest sales associate so that they could be let into the rooms. Draco followed demurely after her, taking note of the few other Hogwarts students milling about the store.

"I don't know Hermione...they're kind of tight and I'm not really sure I'd feel comfortable wearing them," Harry announced, looking himself over in the mirror.

"I'm sure it's not that bad, Harry. Now open up and let me see," Hermione demanded, knowing that Harry was the last one to make decisions about clothes and what not.

The door slowly opened a crack and Hermione pushed her way inside before Harry could change his mind. Looking at the green sweater she had picked out and a pair of dark grey trousers that actually fit her friend the way that pants were supposed to, Hermione smiled in excitement.

"You have to get those, Harry, they look really good on you. I know they're not what you're used to, but they look really nice and I am making you get them whether you want to or not. Now try on the next outfit," Hermione announced bossily, pointing to a pair of loose fitting medium wash jeans and a band tee.

Harry rolled his eyes at Hermione's behavior, shoving her out of the room before complying to her wishes. After a minute of fumbling about in the fitting room, Harry had finally managed to dress himself. "I think I like this one..." he decided, speaking both to Hermione and himself. Opening the door for his friend before she could demand it of him, Harry let Hermione enter the room.

"You look good, Harry," Hermione informed him, smiling happily as she examined the clothes. "You should see it from the back, too. Come on, they have a 180 degree mirror out here," Hermione said, grabbing Harry's hand and pulling him out the door before he could even respond.

As Hermione yanked him forward a tad more roughly than she had intended, Harry nearly tripped on the thick carpet beneath him, instead stumbling slightly before running into someone who had been walking by. "I'm so sorry!" Harry hastily apologized, his cheeks reddening in embarrassment as he righted himself before glancing up to the person he had bumped into.

He was about to continue apologizing, when the words suddenly died in his throat. Caught completely off guard, he simply stood there staring, mouth hanging open with a dazed look gracing his features. Standing before him was none other than Draco Malfoy, the last person he had been expecting to see, though with his luck he shouldn't really have been all that surprised.

"Don't you ever look where you're going, Potter?" the blond Slytherin sneered, glaring down at his long time rival who happened to be a few inches shorter than him (a fact which he reveled in). "It's almost as if you want to run into me," Malfoy continued, raising a blond eyebrow in a questioning manner and smirking down at the shorter brunette.

"I do not!" Harry adamantly defended, glaring in righteous indignation at his rival. Coming to the conclusion that getting into a fight with Malfoy in the middle of a nice store would not be the best of ideas, Harry brushed past the boy, heading over towards Hermione.

Malfoy wasn't quite ready to let him go yet, though. "Finally decided to get some fashion sense?" the blond ridiculed, smiling pompously to himself.

Harry glared over his shoulder, offended but unsure what to say in response. "Whatever, Malfoy," he huffed, starting to walk away once again before throwing a parting comment over his shoulder. "Interesting that you should notice, though. Now what does that say about you?"

Malfoy snorted bemusedly. "Don't flatter yourself, Potter. Your clothes were so atrocious that one would have been hard pressed not to notice. If I hadn't known better, I would have sworn you were a house-elf."

Turning around in a flash of indignation, Harry found himself growing angrier at Malfoy's words than he would have liked. "At least I'm not a rich, pompous, spoiled little brat like you." Before Malfoy could respond Harry had turned around and swiftly walked to the mirror on the other end, ignoring the now irate blond.

"Can you believe the nerve of him? To call me a 'rich, pompous, spoiled little brat'? He's one to talk. Just because he's the bloody 'boy-who-lived' everyone caters to his every whim. Yet he has the audacity to accuse me of being pampered?" Draco ranted, pacing back and forth on his dorm room floor as Pansy lounged on his bed and pretended to listen.

Although she would never admit it, she did have to agree somewhat with Potter on this one. Draco was a bit spoiled. Understatement of the century. Of course, she was spoiled too, a fact which she couldn't help but love, but at least she realized that she was spoiled. Draco, however, seemed to be somewhat clueless to the fact. Not that anyone really wanted to be the one to have to try to get that point through to him. Slytherins, if nothing else, had a very strong sense of self-preservation.

As Draco continued to rant, Pansy continued to mutter the occasional 'umhmm,' 'I know,' 'stupid Gryffindors,' etc. that Draco expected of her as her mind began to wander. Her thoughts drifted to her new purchases as she wondered whether her new shirt would go well with the pants she'd bought a couple weeks back.

"Pansy, are you listening?" Draco asked with irritation, fairly certain he already knew the answer as he watched his friend stare off into space as if in concentration.

Hearing the slight rise in tone, Pansy surmised that Draco had asked her something, and although it was probably just another rhetorical question, she replied with one of her standard responses. "The audacity," she intoned darkly, inflicting her voice with slight indignation as she pondered what shoes she should wear with the outfit.

Draco glared at her. "I know you're not listening, Pansy," he deadpanned, coming to stand directly in front of the girl and shaking his head as he noticed that even now she wasn't listening.

"Ummhmm," Pansy mumbled, before realizing that her name had been said in that last sentence. Coming back to reality she was startled to see that Draco was right in front of her. "Uh...what was that?" she asked sheepishly, hoping that Draco hadn't noticed the fact that she hadn't been paying any attention whatsoever to what he had been saying.

Huffing irritatedly, Draco merely shook his head. "Nevermind. I'm going for a walk," he announced, turning and leaving before Pansy had a chance to protest.

"Hey, Hermione, would you mind taking this stuff up to my dorm for me? I'm getting kind of hungry, think I'll head down to the kitchens for a quick snack," Harry informed his friend.

"Are you sure? We could go drop these off and then go down to the kitchen together," Hermione suggested, halting in her steps and turning toward her friend with a questioning glance.

"No, that's okay. I don't mind going by myself. Besides, I know you're just dying to get started on that essay McGonagall assigned," Harry teased, smiling as Hermione rolled her eyes, not bothering to deny the very true observation.

"Yes, well...I guess I'll see you later then," Hermione conceded, gathering Harry's purchases (most of them made at her insistence) into her arms and proceeding to head up to Gryffindor tower.

Harry turned, heading in the opposite direction as he made his way down the two flights of stairs that they had already climbed, moving toward the kitchen. Although it had been awhile since he'd been there, his feet remembered the familiar route well; Harry felt he could have made it to the kitchen in his sleep if he'd had to.

The two minute walk gave him some time to think, mostly about his unexpected encounters with Malfoy the past couple days. It was sort of odd really; they had been doing fairly well so far this year at avoiding each other and staying out of trouble. Both of them had grown up enough to realize that it was just easier not to have to deal with one another, though there was a part of Harry that missed their exchanges.

Shaking his head slightly in a vain attempt to clear it of the ridiculous thought, Harry dwelled upon their surprise encounter the previous day. Looking back, it was actually quite funny. Harry still couldn't believe that Malfoy had actually destroyed Colin's camera, although it did seem like something that the ill tempered Slytherin would do. He felt bad for his housemate...but deep down there was a part of him that just wanted to kiss Malfoy for getting rid of the camera for him.

Umm...actually, erase that last part there. The thought of kissing Malfoy was more than a little disturbing, although he was somewhat thankful to the boy (a fact he would never admit to). He still couldn't believe that Malfoy had the audacity to say that he owed him, though. It wasn't as if the Slytherin had done that for him. That would have been beyond weird. No, Malfoy had done that for his own perverse amusement, as per usual...but, whatever.

Running into his rival at Spellbound had, in many ways, been even stranger than running into him in the dungeons. Seeing the blonde in the dungeons was expected, almost anticlimactic. But seeing Malfoy in Spellbound, well that had just been strange. Sure, it was a Hogsmeade weekend and Spellbound was a popular place, but he hadn't prepared himself for the possibility that he might run into Malfoy there (quite literally), especially after having run into him just the day before.

Then the blond had had to go and make completely unfounded accusations, insinuating things that Harry couldn't even believe the blond would think let alone say aloud. The boy was absolutely infuriating. The notion that Malfoy was still wondering why he hadn't accepted his friendship popped into Harry's head unbidden, the thought making him laugh out loud. As if they ever could have been friends. They would have killed each other before that ever happened.

Finally coming up to the painting of the bowl of fruit that hid the entrance to the kitchen, Harry tickled the pear, shaking his head in slight amusement as he wondered vaguely whether the whole wizarding world was completely bonkers. Grabbing the handle that appeared, Harry opened the door and let himself in, pausing as he stepped inside to take a deep whiff of the enticing smells wafting in the air.

A sudden squeak broke the moment as Harry was suddenly attacked by what he could only presume was Dobby, the house-elf happily hugging him around the knees, the highest point he could reach. Harry chuckled lightly as he rolled his eyes.

"I is so happy to be seeing you again, Harry Potter sir!" Dobby squealed, letting Harry go as he bounced up and down in excitement, his ears flopping with the movement from underneath what must have been at least three knit hats which Harry could only assume were the ones that Hermione had made a couple years back.

Harry smiled amusedly down at the elf. "It's nice to see you again, too, Dobby," he spoke sincerely, shaking his head slightly as Dobby's large eyes began to water at his words. Before Harry could attempt to console the elf, another voice broke in, causing Harry to start.

"I never thought that even you would stoop so low," the unmistakable voice of Draco Malfoy sneered from where Harry now noticed him sitting with biscuits and tea at one of the large wooden tables. "Really, Potter, befriending a house-elf?"

Harry glared icily at Malfoy, unable to believe his horrible luck. Trelawny had told him the other day that he was cursed; he was beginning to think that she might actually be right for once. "Not all of us are pompous, good-for-nothing, assholes like you, Malfoy," Harry replied, though he wasn't really in the mood for another argument.

"Yes, and not all of us can be goody-two-shoe Gryffindors like you, Potter," Malfoy spoke condescendingly in reply, seemingly unfazed by Harry's assessment of him.

"Look, Malfoy, I'm not really in the mood to get in another tiff with you, so if you don't mind I'm just going to get some food and leave and we can pick this up some other time," Harry forced out, gritting his teeth as he did so. As much as he hated to give in to Malfoy, he really didn't want to have to deal with this right now.

Malfoy raised an eyebrow, his expression indicating that he could hardly believe what the Gryffindor had just said. "Actually, Potter, I do mind," he spoke, letting his words sink in and smirking as Harry glared incredulously at him before continuing. "In fact I'm glad we ran into each other again, although thank Merlin it wasn't literally this time. After all, you owe me an explanation," Malfoy smiled predatorily, nodding his head in the direction of the bench across from where he was sitting, indicating that Harry should take a seat.

Scoffing, Harry let out a slight, humourless laugh. "You can't be serious," he spoke with disbelief, eyeing Malfoy with trepidation, as if he would suddenly jump up, yell 'Got you!' and proceed to drag him off to be deposited at the Dark Lord's feet.

"I assure you, I am," Malfoy spoke in all seriousness, "Believe it or not, I simply wish to have a little 'chat' with you, Potter. You aren't scared of a simple conversation with me, now are you?" the blond chided, smirking as Harry grudgingly sat across from him.

"Well, this is lovely," Harry spoke sarcastically, glaring at his rival, who only seemed oddly amused by his acidity. A sudden movement spotted from the corner of his eye caused Harry to turn, though it only turned out to be Dobby.

"Would Harry Potter sir like some tea and crumpets?" Dobby questioned eagerly, seeming to be excited at the prospect of serving Harry, which he probably was.

Harry nodded, noticing that Malfoy was looking at the house-elf with blatant disgust. "Yes, Dobby, that would be very nice. Thank you," Harry spoke, smiling slightly at the elf, who bowed before scurrying off.

"Although I didn't think it possible, you've proven to be even more of a disgrace to the wizarding race than I had thought," Malfoy intoned, sipping his tea as if his comment had been nothing out of the ordinary.

That, more than anything else, pissed Harry off. "Listen, Malfoy, if you want to talk, then talk, but don't sit here and insult my friends," Harry spoke somewhat threateningly, though Malfoy merely rolled his eyes.

"Friends? You consider a house-elf your friend? Is there anyone or anything that you won't make friends with?" Malfoy asked with derision, shaking his head at the Gryffindor as if he considered him a lost cause.

"That's it, I'm out of here," Harry informed his rival angrily, berating himself for even sitting down in the first place. Just as he stood to leave, though, Malfoy stopped him, letting out a sigh of exasperation.

"Look, Potter, I'm sorry, okay? I'll be good, just sit back down," Malfoy demanded, having to force the half-assed attempt at an apology out through gritted teeth, as if it pained him to do so.

Harry, having never heard the blond apologize for anything, figured that it might be worth giving Malfoy another chance. "Fine, but if you say or do anything else that I don't like, then I'm leaving," Harry announced, glaring at his rival before sitting back down.

"Yeah, yeah," Malfoy acknowledged, waving off Harry's threat as he took another bite of biscuit before proceeding. "Have you given any thought to what I asked you?" Malfoy questioned, raising an eyebrow at Harry as he waited for a response, sipping nonchalantly at his tea.

Harry sighed. "That again? Listen, Malfoy, I gave you a perfectly reasonable answer before. I know it's probably hard for you to believe that someone would actually turn you down--though Merlin knows why anyone wouldn't turn you down--and that you most likely had never been denied anything before in your life, but you were a jerk. End of story," Harry attempted to get through to the Slytherin, who in his opinion was being rather daft.

"You know what, you are unbelievable. I was probably the first person to even talk to you. Remember the robe shop? And that was before I even knew who you were. Do you honestly think that anyone would have even given you a second glance if your name wasn't Harry Potter?" Malfoy fumed, staring with such intensity at Harry that he found himself almost believing the boy. Almost.

"You are the one who is unbelievable. Sure, you talked to me for two seconds in the robe shop, big deal. It was only after you found out my name that you came along offering your friendship. You are such a hypocrite," Harry ranted, angry at the mere suggestion that he only had friends because he was the 'boy-who-lived.'

"Even with those ridiculous spectacles, you are still blind, Potter," Malfoy spoke in what would have been considered wisdom coming from anyone else. Coming from Malfoy, it was merely insulting.

"You think I'm blind? You walk around spouting all this nonsense about how purebloods are the best and how anyone else is inferior, yet you look up to some monster who is nothing more than a vindictive, murdering, half-blood who has a grudge against muggles because he was rejected by his muggle father," Harry hissed, watching with pride as Malfoy's face screwed up into a look of confused disbelief.

"What on earth are you talking about, Potter? Everyone says you're crazy, but I never believed it until now," Malfoy attempted to write off what Harry had said as no more than a delusion or something made-up in a cheap attempt to get back at the Slytherin.

"Believe whatever you want, Malfoy. Think I'm crazy if it pleases you. But everything I've said is true. Go ahead and look it up yourself. Voldemort is a half-blood. Just. Like. Me," Harry announced with pleasure, reveling in the utter denial portrayed on Malfoy's face.

Concluding that the Slytherin would need some time to come to terms with that parting shot, Harry promptly made his exit, nicking a few crumpets on his way out.

Hardly anyone went to the library on a Saturday evening. There were a few exceptions of course, usually consisting of a handful of the most studious of Ravenclaws and, naturally, 'know-it-all' Granger. Draco himself had been to the library only once on a Saturday when he had been studying for his OWLs, but that had been the only time. He could honestly say that he had never seen the library so dead before. It was almost scary.

He didn't give much credence to what Potter had told him about the Dark Lord, though he could see no reason as to why the Gryffindor would lie about something he knew Draco would just find out to be false. Then again, Draco didn't see a reason behind a lot of the things that Gryffindors said or did.

Deciding that the history section would probably be a good place to start, Draco made his way toward the back, wandering around a bit before he found what he was looking for. Passing a row of dusty old tomes that had obviously not been used in ages, vaguely wondering why a spell hadn't been used to keep them from gathering dust, Draco paused as he came to a section containing more recent history.

Idly glancing at titles, he passed by a few books before finding one that might be of some use. The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts it read. Draco scoffed at the stupidity of the title. It made it sound as if there was only one time throughout history where a Dark Lord had been in power, which of course was a bunch of bollocks.

Taking the book down from its shelf, a task in and of itself considering that the tome had to weigh at least 20 pounds, Draco lugged the text to a nearby desk tucked discretely into a corner where he doubted he would be disturbed. Flipping to the contents, he scanned the page, eye catching a section that seemed pertinent to his search. "The Rise of the Slytherin Heir."

Turning to the indicated page, which happened to be over 500 pages into the text, Draco skimmed through the contents until he spotted something that seemed of interest halfway down the page.

"...the true identity of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named remains somewhat of a mystery, though one known fact is that he graduated from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he was in Slytherin house. There are many theories as to whom exactly was the former student that became the Dark Lord. The most prestigious of witches and wizards cannot agree, though the most popular and perhaps most plausible speculation has been produced by Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts' current Headmaster, renowned for his defeat of the Dark Lord Grindywald.

"According to Dumbledore, You-Know-Who is a former student of his, one Tom Riddle. In an interview Dumbledore stated that: 'Riddle was always a bright and attentive student, almost suspiciously charming and somewhat of a mystery. He received top marks in his year and was Head Boy. He was a Slytherin, of course, and although little is known of his mother, I can only presume that he is Slytherin's heir passed down from her side. After graduation he disappeared and, as Tom Riddle, has not been seen since.'"

Draco stopped reading there, thoughts spinning. He had heard the name Tom Riddle before, though exactly when and where now eluded him. He wasn't sure that he could trust anything that Dumbledore said, the old coot being off his rocker and all, but he figured that looking into this Tom Riddle character a bit more couldn't do any harm.

"Hey, mate, what's wrong?" Ron questioned, just now getting back from Hogsmeade with Seamus, Dean, and Neville entering through the portrait behind him.

Harry shrugged, glancing with interest at the bags that Ron was carrying, noting the triple W insignia on the side that stood for Weasley's Wizard Wheezeys. "Just had a bit of a run in with Malfoy is all," Harry attempted to downplay the incident. "What'd you get?" he questioned, gesturing toward the bags in an attempt to change the subject.

Ron wouldn't have any of that, though. "Stupid ferret," he growled, "Did you hear what he did to Colin? Burnt his camera to a crisp. Bloody git." Ron stormed over to the couch where Harry was sitting, dumping his bags on the ground and plopping himself in a seat, hardly noticing as the rest of the group headed off to the dorm, Harry waving at them as Ron fumed.

"Didn't you say you wanted to smash that camera yourself?" Harry questioned his friend, shaking his head slightly at his hypocrisy.

Ron looked at his friend as if he had grown a second head, the unspoken 'Whose side are you on?' quite clear. "Sure, I hated that blasted camera, but I mean, Colin's a Gryffindor...Don't tell me that you think what Malfoy did was okay?" Ron questioned, looking somewhat shocked.

"No, of course not, but I mean, it's not so bad..." Harry reasoned, unsure as to why exactly he was actually trying to defend Malfoy of all people.

Ron looked at Harry as if he couldn't believe that he had heard him right. "It's Malfoy, Harry. Of course it's bad," Ron explained as if it should be obvious. Harry, somewhat reluctantly, nodded his agreement.

"Yeah, I suppose you're right, Ron," he conceded, giving his friend a half-shrug and a small smile.

"Of course I am," Ron declared, as if offended that Harry would think any differently. "I may not be Hermione, but that doesn't mean that I can't be right about things every now and then," Ron announced.

"Yeah, speaking of Hermione..." Harry trailed off, glancing up at the staircase leading down from the girls' dormitories. Hermione was coming down to the common room, bookbag over one shoulder and attempting to read a book as she walked.

"Oi, 'Mione! What're you doing?" Ron called by way of greeting, causing Hermione to put a marker in her book before closing it and stuffing it into her bag.

"I'm just going to the library," she informed the rest of the trio, glancing at both of them inquisitively. "Care to join me?"

Neither Ron nor Harry seemed too keen on the idea, despite the fact that they both had homework that they needed to get done. Ron was the first to voice his opinion. "Hermione, you must be crazy if you think there's any way that I would be caught dead in the Library on a Saturday night," Ron informed his friend without remorse. Hermione merely rolled her eyes at the typical response, glancing hopefully in Harry's direction.

"Well...I...I suppose I do have that essay for potions I should be working on..." Harry suddenly remembered, knowing that he should probably get some of it out of the way as soon as possible. It was going to be a bloody nightmare and he really needed a good grade on it if he was going to pass Snape's class with a decent grade.

"Great, then, let's go," Hermione spoke up, happy to have somebody willing to be her study partner for once.

He couldn't believe it. That stupid bloody Gryffindor had been right after all. Tom Riddle, a.k.a. Lord Voldemort, muggle-raised half-blood and Slytherin's Heir. The idea was absolutely ludicrous, preposterous, unbelievable. Yet, it made an odd sort of sense.

Despite his father's opinion on the matter, Draco had always thought that, like Dumbledore, Voldemort had a few screws loose. Draco promoted the idea of pureblood supremacy, of course, but to kill all those who weren't of pure blood seemed a bit...extreme, to say the least. And with muggles outnumbering wizards an estimated 1,000 to 1, the idea was not at all plausible or practical either.

It was obvious that Voldemort had a personal vendetta against muggles, that he was using the Slytherins' well ingrained notion of muggle inferiority to gain support for his revenge. It was ridiculous really, when you thought of how easily he had persuaded others to join him with promises of power and prestige. Couldn't the Death Eaters see that their Lord didn't give a shit about them? All he cared about was himself. Then again, that was sort of the typical Slytherin mindset: Every man for himself.

Draco too had that same motto, yet...he wasn't a heartless bastard like most people thought he was. After all, why shouldn't he just worry about himself; he was the only one who had ever bothered to do so. His parents, of course, cared about his welfare, but only for the soul purpose of having an heir and keeping up appearances. It's not like they really cared about him or anything; not like parents were supposed to anyway.

To tell the truth, Draco had always been jealous of people like the Weasleys, with their happy, loving family. He resented them for having something that he could never have, something that he had never even realized he'd wanted until he saw it, saw how different things could be, how much better.

Sure, they were dirt poor, but it didn't seem to bother them too much. And besides, there were certain things that money couldn't buy, certain things that were more important than fancy clothes or the latest Firebolt model. That was something that his father didn't seem to understand.

Lucius understood greed, influence, fear; but he didn't understand that he couldn't buy friendship for his son. Not that Lucius thought that his son actually needed friendship. No, friends were for the weak and gullible; what Lucius thought his son needed were...alliances.

Why his father had thought that allying his son with Goyle and Crabbe was a good idea, though, Draco would never know. He supposed they came in handy for intimidation purposes, but they were absolutely useless otherwise and couldn't hold a decent conversation to save their lives.

He had Pansy and Blaise, and they were a bit better, but he couldn't really relate to them. There were certain things that he didn't dare share with them because he was afraid of just who the information might be passed on to. He liked them well enough, but if push came to shove, he was fairly certain that they would chose themselves or their families over him.

So, in truth, Draco didn't really have any friends. Not any real friends anyway. Of course, he doubted that any of the other Slytherins did, but it was still a bit depressing. He had always wondered what it would be like to have someone he could count on, someone that he wouldn't have to watch his words with.

Whatever Potter may have thought, Draco really had wanted to befriend him. For the first time in his life, he had actually wanted to do something for himself, whether his father wanted it or not. Sure, he had probably gone about it in the wrong way, but still...

He knew that there was really no use dwelling on it anymore, but he just wanted to know why. Why the first time that he was actually sincere about something he got shot down. Why it hurt so much to be rejected by someone he had hardly spoken two words to.

The current train of his thoughts was beginning to depress Draco, and he really didn't want to have to think about Potter or anything having to do with him anymore. Besides, he was done with his research; he should probably be heading back to the common room anyway.

Levitating the books he had been using into their proper places, he gathered his stuff together and headed toward the front of the library. If any of his friends asked, which he doubted they would, he would tell them that he had been working on his potions essay.

Coming out from behind one of the many rows of bookshelves, Draco suddenly stopped dead in his tracks. Entering the library and heading straight toward the section he was now hiding in, were Potter and the mudblood. Great, just bloody great.

Potter, the bane of his existance and currently the last person he wanted to see. Not to mention Granger, resident know-it-all and the reason for his detention with McGonagall Monday afternoon.

Not wanting to have to deal with either of the two at the moment, or ever again if he could have had his way, Draco attempted to conceal himself behind a row of books, hedging his way back toward the direction from which he had just come. With any luck, he would be able to avoid the two Gryffindors long enough to think up and then execute a plan of escape. Of course, with his luck lately, he would probably, instead, end up running smack dab into Potter. Again.

"I'm going to go look for a book on animigi," Hermione informed Harry, gesturing in the general direction of the transfiguration texts. Harry nodded his head in acknowledgment.

"Alright, I need to find something on the history of potions making, so I guess I'll just meet you back at the usual spot," Harry responded, letting out a sigh at the thought of the agonizing hours of research ahead of him.

"Okay. Oh, by the way, I used The Progression of Potions Making Throughout the Ages by Irvine Livingston as the main resource for my paper," Hermione provided helpfully, receiving a thankful smile from Harry as they parted ways.

Although he was most certainly not looking forward to writing his essay, especially since Snape would probably give him a bad grade no matter how much time and effort he put into it, Harry was glad that he was getting a good start and that he had Hermione here to help him. He wasn't sure just what he would have done had she not continued with potions; it was bad enough that Ron, Seamus, and Neville had decided not to take the class, although Dean thankfully hadn't dropped out.

Not that Harry could blame his friends for quitting potions as soon as they had the chance. If he didn't need the class for his intended career path of being an auror, he would have been all too happy to never have another potions lesson in his life. Although, it wasn't really the class itself that was so bad, more the fact that Snape was the teacher and that most of the students taking the class were Slytherins. Malfoy, of course, was in the class, along with many of his Slytherin friends. Enough said.

Malfoy being the last thing he wanted to think about at the moment, Harry poured his concentration into finding the book Hermione had mentioned. He wasn't really sure where to start, but he decided that the history section would probably be a good bet. Now he just needed to find L for Livingston.

He passed by the A through G row and was just about to pass the H through K row as well, when something, or rather someone, at the far side of the section caught his eye. Curious as to who would be in the history section of the library on a Saturday night besides himself, Harry decided to check it out. Perhaps it was another person from his potions class trying to get a start on the essay. Probably some Ravenclaw.

Maybe they could work on the essay together if he was right in his assumptions; he certainly wouldn't mind getting a bit of help from one of his Ravenclaw classmates. Sure, they could be a bit pompous at times, but they were nice and usually willing to help out when it came to schoolwork, as long as the person they were helping wasn't completely clueless.

Mind made up, Harry set off, intent on finding out just who the mysterious person meandering through the history section was. He just hoped to Merlin that it wasn't a Slytherin.

Of course, Potter being the pain in Draco's ass that he was, the stupid bloody Gryffindor had just had to head right to the very row he was trying to use as cover. Thankfully he was quick and had managed to run to the back of the section and hide behind the far end of the shelf where Potter, hopefully, wouldn't be able to spot him. He only hoped that the git hadn't already done so.

Despite being a Slytherin, Draco wasn't used to sneaking around; he usually just went and did what he wanted, consequences be damned. He wished now that he'd had a bit more practice at being stealthy, but it was too late for that now.

He wanted to peek around the corner of the bookshelf to check and see if Potter was still nearby, perhaps even on the very same row that he was hiding behind, but he was afraid that he would be spotted. Although not usually one to shy away from confrontations, especially not when his long time rival was involved, at present, running into Potter again was the last thing he wanted to do.

Holding his breath and staying still, he listened for any evidence that Potter was nearby. When dead silence met his ears, he figured that Potter must have moved on. Thank Merlin! Feeling confident enough to check and make sure, he peered around the corner of the bookshelf. Big mistake.

Apparently Potter had not moved on and was thinking along the same lines as Draco himself was, trying to listen for footsteps. So, instead of his gaze meeting that of an empty aisle between the bookshelves, Draco came eye to eye with Potter's emerald green gaze. Shit.

Their gazes locked and both were too surprised and startled to move away. Getting a hold of himself, Draco silently cursed his bad luck before deciding that as long as he and Potter were here together and by themselves, they might as well have a nice little 'chat' about what he had just discovered thanks to Potter's prodding.

Grabbing Potter's arm, Draco proceeded to haul him back to the corner he had used to do his research, not even bothering to explain himself. At first, Potter was too shocked to do more than wordlessly allow himself to be dragged along, but after a few moments, the Gryffindor suddenly halted in his tracks, yanking his arm away from Draco and giving the blond his best glare.

"What the hell do you think you're doing, Malfoy!" Harry questioned, incredulity lacing his voice as he stared in angered confusion at his rival.

Malfoy simply rolled his eyes, letting out a long suffering sigh. "What does it look like I'm doing, Potter? I'm taking you over to a desk so that we can sit down and have a nice little talk," Draco explained, managing to restrain himself enough so that only the barest hint of sarcasm could be heard.

"Look, if you're going to grill me about why I rejected you in first year again, then don't bother, because I already told you why--" Harry ranted, getting fed up with Malfoy's continual questioning of him lately, though he was cut off before he could finish his tirade.

"Potter! This isn't about that! I've got something serious that I need to discuss with you. Something that I don't think either of us would like anyone to overhear," Draco intoned, his voice deadly serious as he glanced around to make sure that no one was listening in.

Sensing the severity of the subject from Malfoy's tone and actions, Harry, against his better judgment, decided to hear him out. "Fine," he ground out in acquiesce, keeping his voice low due to a bout of paranoia transferred to him from Malfoy.

Draco was relieved by the answer, though surprised at the ease with which he had gotten Potter to agree. Not bothering to give a verbal reply, he simply nodded his head and continued to lead Potter to the secluded study corner.

"I told you what I found out, Potter, but I bet there's a lot that they don't put in the history books. I want to know; I need to know. Who is Voldemort?" The question sounded simple when Draco put it that way, though it was anything but, and both boys knew it.

Harry simply stared at Draco for a few moments, studying him, trying to decipher whether the question came from a true desire to gain all the information he could before making a decision about his stance in the upcoming war, or whether...whether he was a spy. Despite the fact that he rarely allowed himself to trust anyone anymore, Harry felt fairly certain that Draco was no spy, if only because any information he could give him about Voldemort would be completely useless to the Dark Lord.

"Alright, I'll tell you what I know, although I don't know much. You already know that Riddle's father was a muggle born, which made Riddle a half-blood. Anyway, from what Dumbledore told me, when his father found out that his mother was a witch, he left her. She died shortly afterward, so Riddle was put in an orphanage. It must have been tough. I mean, Grindywald was gaining power in the wizarding world and then there was World War II going on in the muggle world...Anyway, Riddle didn't even find out he was a wizard until he received his letter. I don't know much else except for that he hated having to go back to the orphanage every summer, but had no choice. He was Head Boy, smart, apparently pretty well liked..." Harry trailed off, shrugging his shoulders to let Draco know that there really wasn't much more to say.

They lapsed into a moment of silence, Draco digesting the new information and Harry once again contemplating the uncanny similarities between himself and Tom Riddle. It was Draco who eventually broke the silence.

"I guess it's no wonder why he turned out the way he did," Draco pondered gravely, "But that doesn't give him the right to take revenge on a whole group of people who didn't even have anything to do with what happened to him. It also doesn't give him the right to take advantage of the Slytherins' predisposition to hate muggles. They may be inferior, but that doesn't mean we should go out and kill them all. Besides, purebloods shouldn't have to suffer being led by a half-blood."

Harry seemed shocked by Draco's revelation, the thought of the son of the Dark Lord's right hand man voicing opinions going against Voldemort almost too much to hope for. The last two comments were a bit against his own thinking, but Harry was willing to let them slid for the time being.

"Does this mean that you're not going to take the Dark Mark?" Harry questioned, dreading what the answer might be, though unsure why he cared so much about it.

Draco took a moment before answering. "I don't know that I really have a choice..." he spoke, his expression hardening as he looked away.

Harry didn't really know how to respond to that, but he did know one thing for sure. "You always have a choice," he said sincerely, continuing as Draco turned his gaze back on him. "Turning your back on Voldemort may cost you your fortune, your family, your friends, everything. But you could still do it. You just have to decide whether or not it would be worth giving all of that up."

Hesitating for no more than a few seconds, Draco came up with an answer. "It would. If I was forced to become a Death Eater, then none of it would matter anyway. I just wish that I could get away from it all..."

"Me too." Harry raised his gaze, locking it with Draco's. Although they'd never realized it before, they had more in common than met the eye.

"You know what, Potter. As much as I hate to say this, I'm actually kind of glad I ran into you," Draco announced, smiling slightly at the boy seated across from him, feeling for the first time in his life that there was someone who actually understood.

Harry smiled in response, surprised that after all of these years they had finally been able to get over their differences...and realize that maybe they weren't so different after all. "Yeah, I'm glad we bumped into each other, too."

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yep, another story. For those of you reading my other pieces, yes I am going to be updating them again sometime soon. Anyway, I hoped you liked this fic. I'm probably going to be writing a sequel to it where Draco and Harry hook up. Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions, feel free to voice them. ;)