The kiss was not what Draco had expected from Harry Potter. Maybe a tender, cautious, insecure, sweet kiss, but not a passionate snog. But hey, he wasn't complaining. He was all for the passionate snogging.
"Um," Harry said, blushing and looking down when they parted.
Finally, Draco thought, he's back to the innocent, ineloquent boy I was expecting.
"Yes, well 'um' might be your choice of word, but I would be more tempted to go with something like 'thanks' or 'now what?'." Draco said, smirking as he brushed some of Harry's hair off his face.
Judging by Harry's reaction, which was a sweet smile and an almost imperceptible quickening of breath, Draco was allowed to do that. More than allowed to, actually. Draco let his fingers trail over Harry's cheek softly, enjoying the look on Harry's face and the fact that he actually closed his eyes and nuzzled closer. Who would have thought? He mused, Harry's a tactile person?
"OK then," Harry began, reaching up and taking Draco's hand in his own, "what now?"
"I believe my exact wording was 'now what', but I'll let it slide," Draco said, grinning a bit at Harry's snort. "I don't know, though, to answer your question. I – that depends what you want."
"I want… I want to see you in the hall and be able to smile at you instead of insult you." Harry said, blushing a little and letting go of Draco's hand.
"I would like that too."
"But it's not going to happen," Harry said matter-of-factly.
"No, you're right, it can't. The Gryffindors would go beserk." Draco said, snorting as he imagined Weasley fainting immediately after seeing Harry and Draco exchange pleasant greetings in the corridor.
"Prat. It's not the Gryffindors that are the problem, it's the Slytherins." Harry said, smacking Draco lightly on the back of the head.
"The Slytherins? They wouldn't be a problem, I've already told them I'm not following their master."
"Oh. OK then." Harry said.
Draco frowned. Harry's lack of reaction could only mean-
"You already knew. How?"
"I – have my ways," Harry said mysteriously, "maybe one day – if you're very, very good – I'll show you."
"Is that a promise?" Draco asked, leaning closer to Harry and searching his face for any sign of emotion. Slight nervousness was mostly covered by excitement and desire.
"Yes," Harry said, closing the distance between the two.
That was more like it. This kiss was what Draco imagined kissing Harry would be like. Soft, tender and as sweet as honey. Romantic.
"What happened to him?" Ron asked, confused.
"I… don't know, Ron. He didn't have his invisibility cloak, we would have seen him put it on. Maybe – maybe he apparated?"
"Hermione, what's gotten into you?" Ron demanded, smacking her not too lightly on the arm. "How many times have you told us that it's impossible to apparate inside the grounds?"
"Um – upwards of twenty?" Hermione said, her tone unsure.
"Rhetorical question, Hermione," Ron groaned, rolling his eyes.
"Huh. But, it is Harry we're talking about. Maybe he was able to-"
"I'm gonna check the map. Accio marauders' map." Ron stowed his wand away again, grabbing the map from the air as it floated towards him.
"He's not on there," Hermione commented, scanning the map with a nifty spell she devised to find someone's name quickly.
"Hmmm. But he can't have left – he would have told us," Ron said thoughtfully.
"Maybe he's in the room of Requirement?" Hermione suggested, "someone in there could have wished for him to be there…"
"That would be a good idea, Hermione, except the only person who knows about the room besides us is-"
"Malfoy," Hermione breathed, eyes widening. "Come on, Ron, let's go!" She shouted, grabbing Ron by the arm and causing him to drop the map as they ran off.
"Accio marauders' map!" Ron shouted as they ran towards the castle. Ron caught the map just as they reached the doors.
Several flights of stairs and a few breathing stops later, Ron and Hermione were outside the room of requirement, but there was no door.
I need to find Harry, Hermione thought, pacing the hallway. When she had gone past three times she looked expectantly at the wall, but there was nothing there.
Confused, she was about to ask Ron for input when she heard an unwelcome voice coming from an adjacent corridor.
"So where's Malfoy then? I forgot to ask him…"
"Shut it, Parkinson. Don't be daft, you never know who's listening."
I need somewhere to hide from the Slytherins, Ron thought suddenly, pacing furiously. He wasn't sure if this was a brainwave on his part, or panic at being discovered by the approaching mini Death-Eaters, but when he stopped pacing there was a door there.
"Come on, Hermione," Ron said, grabbing her by the arm and pulling at the door. It didn't budge. "What the…?"
"Oh, move aside," Hermione huffed, "Alohamora!"
The door clicked open, and Hermione and Ron rushed inside, closing the door behind them with a bang. Hermione, without looking around the room, immediately turned and locked the door before turning around to be confronted with a very pale looking Ron and a very flushed, very ruffled looking Harry and Malfoy.
Ron opened and closed his mouth – no sound would come out. No matter how he tried. He cleared his throat and tried to talk again. Nothing.
"Have you boys been fighting?" Hermione said reprovingly, frowning at Harry first, then Draco. Something was not right here. Why weren't they still fighting?
"N- no," Harry stuttered, refusing to look away from the floor.
"Well, then, what were you doing?" Hermione asked, thinking it was a relatively simple question with an equally simple answer.
Neither Harry nor Malfoy seemed inclined to answer her, and so Hermione turned expectantly to Ron.
He opened and closed his mouth a few more times, then cleared his throat again.
"Ki- kissing," he croaked, his eyes rolling up into his head as he fell to the floor in a dead faint.
Hermione immediately bent down to check him; he was fine, just unconscious. As she was preparing herself for the charm to wake him up, she heard stifled giggling.
She looked up harshly at Draco, and suddenly he couldn't contain his amusement. Letting out some loud belly-laughs, he clung to Harry to keep himself upright. Harry, meanwhile, was looking faintly amused, but mostly worried.
"When did this develop?" Hermione asked Harry. Draco stopped laughing to listen to Harry's answer.
"What? The relationship-" Draco's breath hitched. Relationship? "- or wanting it?"
"Just how long have you wanted this, Potter?" Draco asked, attempting a stern tone of voice but failing dismally when his face cracked into a grin.
"A while," Harry said evasively, "and we only just started it up, Hermione."
"Ennervate," Hermione muttered, "Ron's not going to like this," she said softly as Ron's eyelids began to flutter.
"Hermione – what – happened? I – fainted? Why?"
Hermione didn't answer, looking pointedly at Harry and Draco instead, who were now holding hands and smiling quite sappily at each other.
"Fuck." Ron groaned, "No. Harry, no. I'm sorry, mate. I'm putting my foot down. You can have anyone… Anyone, just not… Smith."
"Uh… Ron? This is Draco. Malfoy. Zacharias Smith is nowhere near here. Thank Merlin." Harry said.
"Malfoy? Huh. Could only see blond – just assumed – you know, since he's gay. Smith, I mean," Ron rambled, rubbing his head. He obviously had some kind of concussion. "Hmmm that's ok then. If it's just Malfoy. Just… stay away from Smith. Both of you. Bastard."
"Ron, are you ok? I think you need to see Madam Pomfrey," Hermione said, not expecting an answer from Ron and not receiving one.
"Thanks, Ron," Harry said, trying not to smile.
"Yes, thanks… Weasel-ey," Draco said, stumbling over his choice of words.
"No problem, ferret. Um, I mean, Malfoy."
"Hmph," Hermione snorted. "Well if you're well enough to purposefully goad Malfoy you don't need the hospital wing. Come on, lets get back outside. We've still got two hours before dinner."
"Sure, 'Mione… Just – help me up, yeah?" Ron said, looking towards Harry and Draco and – to their astonishment – winking.
"Ok Ron." Hermione said, grabbing his arm and helping him to his feet. When he was up, he slid his hand down her arm and grasped hers tightly.
"Lets go then. Coming?" Ron said cheerfully, looking back to Harry and Draco. Hermione looked down at her and Ron's entwined hands and blushed, allowing herself a small smile. Finally.
Harry looked to Draco for confirmation. He nodded. "Sure," Draco said, following Ron's example and taking Harry's hand as he stepped out of the room of Requirement.