Golden sunlight streamed in through the gauzy white curtains, falling in gentle rays across a smooth wood-paneled floor and spilling over the tousled sheets of Harry Potter's four-poster bed. The Boy-Who-Lived shifted wearily, emerald eyes blinking open with a flutter of long, black eyelashes, and lay still for a moment, considering. Something about him felt strange, but he couldn't quite put his finger on what it was, though he was carefully reviewing what he could remember of the night before. It wasn't much; a filmy haze hung around his thoughts – a drunken sort of cloud. And then it hit him.
Well, it didn't so much hit him as fondly caress his chest, which it was continuing to do. He glanced down in surprise at the pale white hand draped over his side – the long, delicate fingers tenderly massaging his ribs – and smiled. Whatever this strange feeling was, maybe it wasn't quite so bad after all. Taking hold of the hand and pausing momentarily to marvel at its immaculately manicured nails, he twined his fingers through its and settled it back against his bare chest. A feather-light kiss brushed at his ear, and he laughed quietly, turning to meet the touch with one of his own. A voice whispered seductively in his ear.
A voice that had a decidedly male ring to it.
"Good morning, beautiful."
Harry's blood froze in his veins, and he glanced again at the slender arm lying across his side. The lips were softly nibbling at his earlobe, now – not a bad feeling, but one he would have preferred experiencing with a female. He drew away, and, cringing slightly, braced himself to roll onto his other side, dreading what he might see. Before he could get his eyes to focus, however, those tender lips latched onto his, drawing him in. He couldn't help it, female or male though this person was, his eyes slid shut once more, and he sighed, relishing the wild churning in his stomach. These lips, they were sweet without being sweet, gently biting his lower lip and making his thoughts fog up worse than before.
Groaning in disappointment as the other pulled from the kiss, he willed his eyes open, hands tenderly stroking skin that felt as soft as velvet under his touch. It was the silver-blonde hair that registered first. Then the steely gray eyes – eyes that were too familiar for his liking.
Jumping back with a franticness that sent him crashing to the floor, Harry's stomach heaved and he dry-retched, scrubbing the back of his hand over his mouth. The now all-too-familiar voice chuckled lightly, and Harry watched in horror as the other occupant of his bed propped himself up onto his elbows, eyeing him lustily over the tangle of sheets.
"Malfoy?" Harry sputtered, snatching his glasses off the bedside table and jamming them onto his face. Surely he was mistaken…he had to be.
But he wasn't.
Malfoy grinned, his lips curling up into something that horribly resembled a smirk, and he chuckled again, brushing a stray strand of hair out of his eyes. "Why are you so surprised all of a sudden? You didn't have any objections last night."
Shuddering convulsively, Harry clapped his hands over his ears, willing himself not to believe a word that was coming out of the other boy's mouth. Malfoy's mouth. His stomach heaved again.
"What are you talking about?" he choked, glaring up at Draco.
"Baby, you know exactly what I'm talking about," Draco's nose wrinkled in amusement, and he crooked a finger at Harry. "Now get back up here."
"No way in hell, Malfoy!"
Draco grinned coyly, throwing off the heavy quilt and crawling slowly across the bed towards him. Suddenly, Harry realized – with a new wave of nausea – that Malfoy wasn't wearing any clothes…and neither was he. A panicked wheeze escaped his throat.
"Then I'll just have to come down there."
Loud banging at the door rudely interrupted Harry's frantic search for an escape route, and he stared at it in horror, his heart thudding like a tom-tom. His situation was getting worse every second. First, he'd awoken with none other than Draco Malfoy polluting his bed, and now he was about to be discovered naked, no less, with the aforementioned cretin. This was, by far, the worst morning of his life.
"DON'T COME IN!" Harry shouted, searching hysterically for a way he could wriggle out of this nasty position. Unfortunately for him, however, the distraction of the banging was exactly what Malfoy needed to pounce.
Before Harry could think, Draco's mouth was attached to his once more, stealing away his breath and knocking him roughly onto his back. And, despite his best efforts, Harry couldn't get him off. He was pressed somewhere between the floor and Malfoy's passionately heaving chest, trying not to think of anything below that area. Shoving brutally at the other boy's shoulders as those slender fingers curled into his hair with a will, Harry suddenly became conscious of the fact that Draco was actually much stronger than he was, he was rapidly running out of air…and the door was opening.
"DON'T –" He began again, his voice muffled by Malfoy's mouth, but it was already too late.
Hermione's voice hit him like a sharp kick to the ribs.
"Harry, Ron and I were just wondering if…oh my god, Harry! What are you doing?"
Summoning up all the strength he could muster, Harry shoved Draco off of his chest and scrambled to his feet, making a wild grab for something to cover up with. Horribly enough, the only thing his fingers connected with was the robe of…
"Er…hello, Professor." Harry decided that if he didn't throw up now, there would be no hope for him whatsoever.
Professor McGonagall's face was a picture of fury, her mouth a thin line across her face and her eyebrows diving into angry furrows. Yes, this was turning out to be the worst – and most confusing – morning of Harry's entire life. But all he could seem to do was stand there, shocked and in his birthday suit, with his mouth half open to speak, but nothing to say. Because there, right behind McGonagall, was the entire Gryffindor Quidditch team, fully robed and all wearing matching expressions of disgust. Fred and George looked as though they were somewhere between doubling over laughing, and doubling over sick. Somewhere behind him, Malfoy started to snicker.
"What is the meaning of this, Mister Potter, Mister Malfoy?" Professor McGonagall's voice radiated even more ferocity than did her face. Harry couldn't help but cower slightly. "You were told to wait for the rest of us."
Harry's mouth dropped open in total shock as McGonagall reached up and loosened her hair from its tight bun, letting it fall in ruffled waves around her shoulders, and grinned suggestively at him, fluttering her eyelashes.
"Pucker up, big boy."
Harry awoke with a violent jerk, gasping in ragged breaths as though he'd just been being chased by rabid, wild animals that threatened to tear his throat out. Given the dream he'd just had, he wasn't sure if he wouldn't have preferred the latter – it would have been less disturbing, at least. Snatching his glasses off the side table and ramming them onto his face, he let his eyes dart around the room, searching for any signs of Malfoy. There were none, to his great relief.
An explosive snort from the bed next to him made Harry jump in surprise, and he turned to glare dubiously at Ron's sleeping form. Ron had no idea what kind of suffering he – Harry – was going through at this very moment; he was dozing soundly, and probably having wonderful dreams about…well…whatever it was Ron dreamed about. Probably – hopefully – not the same things Harry himself had dreamt about. Harry's stomach churned as images came unbidden to his mind.
A silvery-haired boy lying next to him in bed. Pale white hands caressing his chest. Malfoy's mouth on his. Malfoy's mouth. Malfoy's mouth.
You didn't have any objections last night –
Harry's stomach roiled nastily, and he suddenly became violently sick over the edge of his bed. Or rather, tried to be violently sick. It wasn't working out too well, seeing as all that he was able to do was gag pitifully. Somehow, his body didn't seem to be mustering up the same shock and disgust that his mind was easily managing. And why not? What could be more disgusting than kissing Malfoy?
Kissing Hagrid? Or Snape? His mind supplied unnecessarily. Bitter bile rose in his throat, and he choked it back, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and grimacing painfully. He was having it bad enough already, he didn't need to think of things like that.
But…Malfoy? Why Malfoy? What did it all mean? Why had he been dreaming about that slimy git, of all people? Having dreams where he found another person in bed with him weren't uncommon to him, but usually the one he found was Ginny Weasley (though he would never admit to it), not Draco Malfoy. It was just unnatural, not to mention incredibly, horrifyingly, and permanently scarringly disgusting.
Harry peered around the room once more, frowning at the sleeping figures of Neville, Dean, and Seamus. A part of him was almost disappointed that he hadn't woken anyone with his yelling – he needed to talk to someone. But, the larger – and more sensible – part of him passionately vowed never to tell a soul about his dream as long as he lived. Never. He didn't think anyone would understand – even he didn't understand.
Baby, you know exactly what I'm talking about…
Harry sighed miserably. It was going to be a long night.
The next morning found Harry tousle-haired, red-eyed, and extremely grouchy. He hadn't slept a wink since his horrible nighttime affair (he scowled in revulsion at his own use of words), and it felt as though he would never be able to again. Ron, however, was whistling merrily as he pulled on his ragged trainers, and Pigwidgeon twittered madly from the perch on his bedpost. Harry suppressed a growl.
"'Morning, Harry!" Ron said brightly, obviously not noticing the menacing expression on his best friend's face. "Sleep well?"
"Oh yeah…best sleep I've had in years…" Harry quipped, tugging his quilt viciously over his head in protest to the cheery sunshine pouring in through his window. What right did anyone have to be cheery at a time like this? It was positively revolting.
"That's good, then." Ron continued obliviously. "Because we've got Care of Magical Creatures first this morning, and you'll want to keep alert, knowing Hagrid." He laughed lightly, as though he'd made some sort of joke. Underneath his covers, Harry snorted derisively.
"Well, I'm off to breakfast. See you there?"
Harry sighed. "Yeah, I'll be down in a minute."
The sound of the door opening and closing was his cue to rip the blankets off his head and glare around the room. He was blissfully alone.
Swinging his legs over the edge of the bed, he climbed wearily to his feet, kicking open his trunk with a resounding bang and digging haphazardly through it for a clean shirt to wear. As he tugged off the one he was currently wearing, the image of Malfoy's bare chest raced through his mind, making his stomach drop into his shoes. Thoughts of Malfoy continued to plague him as he dressed, down the stairs, through the common room, and all the way down to the Great Hall. He wanted to be sick. What was wrong with him?
Hermione, apparently, was not quite as oblivious as Ron was. She, at least, had the decency to notice Harry's pained expression as he sank into a seat directly across from her, half-heartedly helping himself to a bowl of oatmeal.
"What's the matter, Harry? You seem upset." Her voice held the polite, inquiring tone Harry so often found annoying. After all, if her voice didn't show it, he could see in her eyes exactly how curious she was. "Is it your scar?"
He latched gratefully onto the excuse, definitely not wanting to explain the real reason why he was acting the way he was. "Erm…yeah…my scar. Yeah, it hurts." He hoped he didn't sound too suspicious.
"Well, remember what Dumbledore said about V-Voldemort – Oh, calm down, Ron! – coming back. Your scar is bound to hurt more often now…" Harry tuned her out effortlessly, relying on years of experience as he tried to concentrate on the bowl of grayish glop sitting in front of him. It was useless; he couldn't get the thoughts out of his head.
Fixing his gaze over Hermione's shoulder, he easily spotted Malfoy's silver-blonde hair among the surly-looking students at the Slytherin table, unconsciously letting his eyes be drawn to the somewhat pointy face beneath. Malfoy seemed unconcerned and completely – thankfully – unaware to Harry's current predicament, wearing an expression that could have (to the untrained eye) seemed pleasant. But Harry knew better. Only he knew the malice, cruelty, and pure evil that rested beneath those (now that he looked a bit closer) sculpted features, pouty lips, and –
"ARGH!" Harry cried, seriously appalled by his own rebellious thoughts.
"Are you alright? Is it your scar again?" Hermione demanded in an anxious whisper, knocking over a jug of pumpkin juice in her attempts to get closer to him.
Harry quickly slapped the palm of his hand to his forehead, feigning extreme pain. He even added in a little moan, just to be convincing. "Yeah, it really –"
"What's happening? Is it Him? What's He doing?" Ron interjected forcefully, overeager curiosity lighting his eyes. "Is it good news or bad news?"
"He's…" Harry's eyes accidentally flicked back to Draco's face, and he suddenly vividly remembered what it had been like to have those lips pressed against his, bodies tangled in a knot of arms and legs… "…going to be SICK!"
As Harry rushed out through the doors of the Great Hall, one hand clamped tight over his mouth and the other clutching his reeling stomach, he was vaguely aware of several pairs of eyes following his less-than-glamorous escape – especially a certain unwanted pair of steely grays. He quickened his pace.
Ron blinked bewilderedly as he watched Harry's exit, shocked and completely confused, and turned abruptly to Hermione, who appeared to be feeling about the same.
"So…You-Know-Who is going to be sick, is he? I hope it's something serious."
An hour later found Harry with his head in one of the first floor boy's lavatory toilets, miserable and sick, just as he'd predicted he would be. It was, admittedly, not one of his most glorious moments. In truth, he hadn't known a person could vomit so much on an empty stomach. It was a fact he would rather not have learned.
Taking a shaky but deep breath, he slowly struggled to his feet, feeling exceedingly weak in the knees, and made his way over to the sink, still clutching his stomach. His pale, tired reflection peered wearily back at him from the chipped and smudged mirror hanging there.
"You're looking rather peaky today." The mirror said viciously. If it had been a human being, Harry would have strongly suspected that it was a member of the Malfoy family. He glowered at it.
"Thank you for that." He snapped, trying half-heartedly to flatten his flyaway hair. A cold voice behind him made him jump in unpleasant surprise.
"Talking to yourself again, Potter?"
Harry turned hastily to find himself face-to-face with the very last person on earth he'd wanted to see at that particular moment. Draco grinned nastily, leaning casually against the wall of the very cubicle Harry had previously been occupying. He was twirling his wand absently in his left hand and looking rather smug. It was at that moment that Harry realized he didn't have his wand.
"You look terrible, Potter – not that that's much of a change."
"Shove off, Malfoy."
"Why should I?" Rather than focusing on other parts of Malfoy's body that his oh-so-delicate mind might find offensive, Harry glared directly into those iron-gray eyes. This, in itself, was probably not a good idea, as Harry found he could not seem to look away.
"Going to hex me?" he asked coolly, nodding towards Draco's wand as if the prospect didn't frighten him in the least. The other boy shrugged noncommittally.
"What're you doing in here, Malfoy?" Harry demanded, suddenly aware of a bitter taste filling his mouth. He couldn't be sick now – he'd never recover from the public ridicule it would earn him, and he didn't need any more of that. People like Malfoy could turn even something as innocent as being sick into something scandalous and horrible.
Draco's eyebrows quirked up sneeringly. "Look around, Potter. What do you think I'm doing here? Buying shirts?" He made a disgusted sound in the back of his throat as Harry fought off a blush. "Now – if you don't mind – I'd much prefer it if you would just piss off."
Feeling himself going a bit red around the ears, Harry allowed himself only a curt nod and a frown before he began striding toward the door. As his fingers closed around the handle, the sound of trousers being unzipped echoed behind him, and he broke out into a nervous run that didn't stop until he reached the Fat Lady, gasping and wheezing like mad.
"Oddsbodikins!" he panted, massaging a persistent stitch in his side.
The Fat Lady gave him a rather disgruntled look and swung open soundlessly, shaking her head in apparent disapproval of his breathless state. He ignored her and scurried hurriedly through the portrait hole, still breathing hard and starting to become moderately concerned with his mental state. Why was he suddenly behaving so strangely? It had only been a dream, and it was Malfoy, after all. He seriously needed to pull himself together before he…well…fell apart, or something along those lines.
"THERE YOU ARE, HARRY!" Hermione's voice echoed easily across the half-empty common room as she stood to meet him, a pained expression on her face. "You really shouldn't have skipped Care of Magical Creatures just because of your scar, you missed a really great lesson on –"
"Never mind that, Hermione." Ron said impatiently, brushing her aside to grab Harry's shoulders and thrust him into a squashy armchair opposite his own. "Now, Harry, when you say 'sick', how sick do you mean? Is it life-threatening?"
"No, that's not –"
"Oh, only a bit of a cold or something, then? Slight influenza?"
"No, it's really –"
"More serious than that, eh? Well –"
"No, Ron!" Harry shouted, feeling entirely more confused than before. "I just wasn't feeling well. That's all."
"Oh." Ron said, looking slightly disappointed. "You're sure?"
Hermione frowned worriedly, sinking onto the arm of Ron's chair and peering into Harry's face as though short-sighted. "Did you go to Madam Pomfrey?"
"Well…no. I don't think this is the sort of thing she can…er…cure…" Harry replied uncertainly. He really didn't feel like explaining. "I really don't feel like explaining, Hermione."
"But, what do you mean 'you don't think Madam Pomfrey can cure you'? She can cure just about everything." Oh, no. He'd really gotten her interested, now. "In fact, she's been teaching me one or two healing charms in my spare time, and –"
"No, really, Hermione; I don't think she can fix something like this."