"Nothing would more contribute to make a man wise than to have always an enemy in his view." -Lord Halifax
Resolutions: Chapter One
The students who remained at Hogwarts over the winter holidays were now gathered in the Great Hall, around one long, lone table, feasting and celebrating the fast-approaching New Year.
The enchanted ceiling didn't show the sky outside tonight; Tonight, it was lit by the fireworks of the New Year traveling across the world, a chain reaction rippling with loud shouts in thousands of tongues, and soon, English.
At the Gryffindor clique of the table, Ron was trying to keep Hermione awake to watch all of the New Years happen and he was failing remarkably in his effort. She was drowsing even before their New Year, despite the food and chatter and the sparkling cider that still flowed amiably.
Harry Potter was finishing his meal and watching Ron's various attempts at keeping their friend intact by whispering promises of sneaking chocolate-covered strawberries from down in the kitchens, which was rousing her slightly.
Not the thought of strawberries, of course, but the indignity caused by the thought of the house-elves slaving over their work was awakening her S.P.E.W. rage. Harry was sure that they'd be bickering right up until the countdown.
Ginny and Luna Lovegood were giggling over something, pouring over a Quibbler edition together and pointing at something, apparently very amusing. He wasn't going to ask.
Slowly, his gaze led him past his feuding friends and the tipsy professors who were laughing uproariously about something Professor Flitwick had said, the poor man blushing beet-red to the roots of his white hair, past the quieter Ravenclaws to the surly-looking Slytherins, one in particular.
Draco Malfoy was sitting a bit distanced from the rest of his House, and he had stayed over the holidays for a reason Harry didn't know- he'd never done it before, after all. He was looking pale and withdrawn, despite the rich food served over the past week and the late, lazy mornings.
His friends had been seated a few spots away from him, and had already fallen asleep next to their plates, before Malfoy had kicked their chairs and sneered at them. "How disgraceful. Go back to the common room and get some sleep, you dogs." Harry had watched with amusement as they hightailed it out of the Great Hall without protest, and now the blond was sitting alone, mulling over his cider and ignoring the fireworks exploding above his head.
Making a quick decision, Harry slipped out of his chair, his friends too occupied to notice, and plunked himself in a chair across from Malfoy's. He hadn't felt hatred or even anger for the blond all year, and he was curious as to his lack of hexes and half-hearted insults.
"What in bloody hell are you doing here, Potter?" Malfoy snapped as red sparks lit his part of the table.
"Hey." Harry flashed him a disarming grin, grabbing a glass of cider for himself. "Just thought you were looking a little lonely, so I came to visit."
"Why thank you, Potter, I'm just terribly delighted. Now why don't you go up to the Astronomy Tower and jump off so I can enjoy my drink in peace?" The Slytherin drawled, his gray eyes flashing.
"No. We've know each other how many years, Malfoy, and fought so many pointless battles because we were different. Why not try something interesting for next year? Our joint resolution. Get to know me, and I'll try to get to know you, and maybe we won't kill each other." Harry spoke reasonably, calmly. He was serious, Draco realized. A smirk graced his face as he scrutinized the dark-haired boy across from him.
"You do know who you're dealing with, right Potter? A Death Eater's son, your arch-enemy. Your mind, by any chance, isn't increasingly stupid by alcohol or the constant presence of Weasel?"
"My mind is crystal clear, Malfoy, and if you're willing to do this, it's going to be 'Harry' and at the very least, use Ron's full last name. Get it, friend?" Harry narrowed his eyes dangerously.
What am I getting myself into? Draco thought hopelessly, feeling a bit foggy for some reason at the sharp gaze of those vivid green eyes. "Then it's 'Draco' to you, Harry." He said, drawing out the name, trying it out. He could have almost sworn that the Gryffindor had shivered.
"Do we have a deal, then?" Harry said, surprised, and feeling a little hopeful.
"Yes, and don't plea drunkenness tomorrow as a way out. Malfoys follow through to the end." Draco said sharply. He wanted this, now.
"Deal. That's something I'd like to see." Harry grinned.
The countdown began as the ceiling showed London, filled with people and fireworks and the hall echoed with noise.
Hermione sat up, rubbing her eyes sleepily as Ron smiled, finally victorious in stopping her lecturing about House-Elf rights.
"Me too." Draco said quietly, wondering just what tomorrow was going to be like. The entire dynamics of his world had shifted when Potter had sat at his table tonight.
They clinked their glasses together as the countdown finished, and the Hall filled with fireworks.
"Happy New Year!" Londoners cheered, sloshing their sodas and beers in their partying happiness.
"Happy New Year." Harry smiled at him, his eyes impossibly green, making Draco feel an odd, foreign sensation in the pit of his stomach.
"Happy New Year, and I'll see you tomorrow, Harry." Draco gave a quick, lopsided smirk as he brushed a hand through his hair and headed quickly out of the Great Hall before Harry's friends spotted him fraternizing with the enemy, his cloak billowing.
He wasn't as sure about the course of the year as he'd been earlier in the day, feeling like even the marble of the floor could change unexpectedly and leave him as confused as he was now, as the New Year began.
Comments, criticisms? I love feedback. Have a Happy New Year, everyone!