Thief is Such a Harsh Word, Harry
Warnings: This story is AU, non-magic and slash Draco/Harry later on..
Setting and characters: The story is set in the 18th Century, 1700's London, hence the pickpockets. I felt like a change from the obvious character roles. Draco: rich, high-society etc. Harry: simpleton, no preconceived notions of people because of who they are etc. Thus, I have made Draco the lower-class thief and Harry the upper/middle-class character living a normal life no struggles because I think that's what their personalities fit better. Draco has the perfect sly, mischievous style to fit the role of leader of a band of criminals. And then Harry fits well into the upper-class life, gets by fine, kind, friendly etc. Anyone else with me on this? Meh. Just read and you'll see what I mean.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything JK and the story may hold some hints of Tamora Pierce and Oliver Twist neither of which are my own creation.
Draco signalled to Blaise with a small nod as their target came into his sight. He pushed off the wall he was leaning against and began to follow him down the street. It was a bleak day and the rain would be hitting soon, he could sense it in the air. Draco's eyes flicked to the left across the road to the other cobblestone path where he could just make out the form of Goyle leaning against a lamppost in the centre of the busy street, cap pulled down shadowing his face.
Up ahead he could see Pansy not letting their target from her sight, though it wouldn't be too hard to lose him. Draco had pointed him out to them a street back. He was a young man with flaming red hair. He was walking with another young man with dark hair who he had been having a very animated conversation with the whole while the Slytherins had been tailing him. The conversation was clearly about money as the redhead would keep pulling his wallet from his pocket, opening it and showing the brunet its contents while smiling in disbelief.
Draco rolled his eyes at the man's stupidity as he fell in behind the pair. Anyone with a dash of sense would know how unwise it was to flash money in public- especially with all those bloody thieves around- Draco smiled to himself. It had been just yesterday when he was making his way back to the brotherhood's hiding counting the day's 'earnings' when he had been stopped by a man.
"A respectful looking lad like yourself should know better than to show that kind of money around here," the man had a kind face, but looked as though he hadn't eaten in a while, his jacket was worn and tattered at the edges. "One shouldn't think those bloody thieves are only going to go for easy targets and that you'll be safe. I heard a strapping lad like yourself was robbed bare just last week, so watch yourself, son."
Draco had nodded a thanks to the man and slipped the money back into his coat pocket.
It was a rule of the brotherhood to dress well, fit in with the public. This had been the seventh time Draco had been stopped and warned to stay on the look out for himself and his comrades.
No one else had ever been warned so when it happened Blaise made it his duty to point out how ridiculous it was that Draco took so much pride in his appearance and was constantly mistaken for someone of upper-class. "You're a thief Draco-"
"Thief is such a harsh word," it was Draco's favourite saying, "I see myself as a modern day Robin Hood. You're my merry men, and I'm your heroic leader."
"Only by birth," Blaise pointed out grinning.
"Blaise, we all know, if it hadn't been by birth I would still be leader anyway. And as leader it is my duty to look better than my followers, the way a king dresses better than his subjects. I think that's where Robin and I differ, honestly, the bloke should be told green should be worn more sparingly." Draco stated inspecting his nails
"I believe Robin Hood also stole from the rich to give to the poor, not stole from the rich for his own personal wealth," muttered Blaise.
Draco laughed, "True."
"But as I was saying, Draco you dress better than all the thieves in London put together, Christ, most of society for that matter."
Draco raised an eyebrow and rose from his chair, "And what's wrong with that?"
Blaise watched the silver eyes bore into him as the young man advanced on him. "Nothing," Blaise quickly looked to the ground away from the gaze, "nothing."
"Good," the blonde smiled. The Slytherins were all best friends but when the time came he still held power over them all. Draco turned to the rest of the room, grinning, "Tomorrow," he announced, "there'll be no solo work, we'll hit the streets as one."
And here they were. Behind the redhead Draco was close enough to hear his conversation with the brunet.
"But honestly Harry, look at it," he pulled the wallet out again.
The brunet, Harry, glanced at the money, smiled kindly and nodded, "Mmm."
"I've never had this much money in my life. Can you believe it? Fred and George are going to so envious when I show them. Said I could never hold a job, did I tell you Harry?"
"Yes, several times," said Harry laughing.
"And now I'll finally be able to ask Hermione out for dinner, buy her something special, no longer look like I can't even afford a decent shoe-shine. Oh god, Harry it's going to be great. She can't reject me now."
"She won't be able to resist you, mate."
The redhead beamed with pride and pulled his money out again to check it wasn't all a dream.
"Ron, put the money away," Harry muttered in a hushed voice.
"Thieves don't go for people like us, and if they did, they wouldn't attack in the middle of the day." Ron began to count his money again.
"Ron, just put it away," Harry wasn't going to risk the chance of Ron being robbed of the money he had worked so had for.
"You're being paranoid," said Ron huffily, "nothing's going to happen to it."
"I think," said a drawling voice from behind. "That you should listen to your friend."
Harry and Ron stopped abruptly and turned. Behind them stood a young man with white-blonde hair and cunning silver eyes.
"I'll do what I like with my money," said the redhead, "No thief's about to rob from me."
Draco looked Ron up and down, his lip curling in distaste at the shabbiness of the young man's clothes. "You seem so sure of that."
"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Ron, eyes narrowing, taking a step towards the blonde.
Draco smiled, "Nothing."
Harry decided to intervene before his best friend lost it at a total stranger just for giving him some good advice. "Ron, just put your money back in your pocket. I'm sure nothing's going to happen to it but it's better to be safe than sorry."
With much glaring at the two other boys, Ron pocketed the wallet. Draco took note of which pocket before looking back at the brunet, flashing a sly grin and disappearing into the crowd.
"Creep," muttered Ron.
Harry watched as the man disappeared. There was something about him, something he couldn't quite put his finger on. He shook his head, tossing the thought aside.
"Who did he think he was telling me what to do with my mo-" Ron was cut short as he suddenly went stumbling forwards.
Harry looked down to see Ron blushing profusely, lying on the path with a girl on top of him.
Another young man was standing over them looking down at the two shaking his head. He had olive skin and dark hair, "Honestly Panse, be careful where you're going. You practically crushed the poor gentleman."
The girl blushed and looked apologetically at Ron. Harry raised an eyebrow at the young man's comment, there was no way the girl could have a crushed Ron she had a delicate figure and couldn't have weighed much at all.
The olive skinned man held out a hand and pulled the girl to her feet then pushed her away into the crowd. "I'm so sorry, sir," he held a hand out to Ron, "You'll have to excuse Pansy, never looks where she's going. I hope she hasn't caused you any inconvenience."
"No, none at all," said Ron still blushing from having the girl on top of him. He let the man pull him to his feet but then started to protest as he began to brush his coat down.
"Oh, you don't have to do that, it's just a bit of dirt-"
"No no, I insist."
Ron shot an awkward look at Harry who shrugged.
Blaise finished dusting off the redhead's coat, tipped his cap grinning and walked off into the crowd.
"Well that was strange," muttered Ron.
"It certainly was…" said Harry. "A bit coincidental don't you think?"
"What do you mean?" asked Ron. "Harry?"
Harry began pushing back through the crowd in the direction the girl and boy had gone. Ron ran after him.
"What are we doing?"
"Don't you think," said Harry, "that it's a bit odd that you've been flashing your money around and when you finally pocket it, you're knocked over. You tell them you're fine etcetera, but still he insists on dusting off your coat, the coat you just pocketed your money into. Don't you think that's all just a little too much to be a coincidence?"
Ron went white and frantically shoved his hand into his pocket, hoping against the odds Harry was wrong. He swallowed- he wasn't.
"C'mon," said Harry, he could still see the young man up ahead.
The pair broke into a sprint and as if sensing their presence the young man turned back, saw them and began to run too. He turned the nearest corner and dashed down the alleyway, Harry and Ron in hot pursuit.
Blaise could hear their feet echoing down the alleyway just behind as they hammered against the cobblestone path. He risked a look back before taking his next turn. They were only a yard or so back, hopefully Crabbe and Goyle were in position.
"There he goes," yelled Ron, though he needn't have as Harry had seen the young man turn the corner as well. They pushed past a couple getting into a coach and dodged a group of women.
"Bloody hell," yelled Ron, "GET OUT OF THE WAY! STOP, THIEF!"
The effect was instant. The busy street stopped frozen, looking around in alarm; then as suddenly as they had stopped everyone began to panic, running in all directions, screaming, falling to the ground, the street became chaotic.
Ron let out a frustrated yell.
Draco stood in a doorway watching the scene unfold. He couldn't help but laugh as the redhead yelled the infamous line "Stop thief!". When would they ever learn that line was more of a nuisance than it was worth? But who doesn't want chaos in a good street chase? He caught Crabbe and Goyle's eyes and nodded, the two set out.
Harry and Ron pushed roughly past people, getting pushed themselves by people running in all directions. Suddenly rough hands grasped Harry's arms from behind and he felt himself being dragged back through the crowd.
"What the hell?" he heard Ron yell. "Get off me!"
Draco smiled as he watched the pair struggle in Crabbe and Goyle's grasp and Blaise disappear around the corner. He'd be back with Pansy in the hide within the minute.
The brunet, Harry was his name wasn't it, was giving up a good fight. Goyle had taken several kicks to the crotch but was still holding on to him despite the pain. Draco had to admit Harry was doing well, very well. But he really shouldn't have spat in Goyle's eye. Goyle drew his fist back and glanced at Draco, who shook his head, Goyle rolled his eyes, dropped the raised fist and let go of his captive. Crabbe did the same.
Ron and Harry fell to the ground winded. Harry rubbed his head and felt around for his glasses. He found them and put them on, looking in the direction the thugs had gone but there was no sign of them.
"Bloody hell, Harry," said Ron sitting on the path shaking his head in disbelief. "My money, my bloody money...I'll never see it again."
"You seem so sure of that." It was the voice that had uttered the same words just before.
The blonde stood before them, smiling, Ron's wallet nestled in his palm. "My-my wallet. How did you...?" said an astonished Ron.
Harry looked at the blonde inquisitively.
"Trick of the trade. Now, I believe you were just saying you'd never see it again, yet here it is." Draco held up Ron's money, gesturing to it. "So it seems you were wrong, just like you were wrong to say...what was it again?" Draco put his hand to his temple and tilted his head to one side as though thinking. "Oh that's right!" he announced, "Thieves don't go for people like me and even if they did, they wouldn't attack in the middle of the day. Those kind of preconceived notions bring you nothing but bad luck."
"You bastard! Give back my money now!" yelled Ron jumping to his feet.
"I don't think that's going to happen," Draco sneered at the redhead.
"You're a thief?" asked Harry. Draco was surprised to find no hatred in his voice, just plain curiosity.
"Of course he's a bloody thief, Harry!" spat Ron. "Just look at him, he practically screams criminal."
Harry frowned, the blonde looked nothing like a criminal, his appearance was immaculate and he was very handsome.
"Thief is such a harsh word, Harry," said Draco looking the brunet over for the first time. He raised an eyebrow, he wasn't bad looking for an aristocrat.
"Not for people like you," said Ron.
"Is that so?" Draco turned back to the redhead, stalking towards him, eyes narrowing. Ron began to back away. "It may surprise you to know that I often feel guilty about taking people's hard earned money, but it's people like you," he stabbed a finger into Ron's chest, "Those who think they're untouchable by us, who loath us with no real cause to, who feel they're better than us. It's the satisfaction of taking the money of people like you, that makes me love what I do."
Draco glared at the redhead, before shoving him forcefully into the wall. Ron whimpered and slid down it. The blonde stared down at him in disgust before looking up and smiling at Harry. "Farewell, Harry."
Harry watched as he walked to the end of the alleyway and vanished into the crowded street beyond.
A/N: I've had this idea in mind for a while though there's a few things I'm not sure of- wallets in the 1700's? Can anyone help me there? I couldn't figure out what to call them, money pouches or something. meh, ahwell.
Well, I'm gonna see what kind of response I get before continuing. If it ain't good, I'll probably keep writing it for myself but won't bother posting and I'll get back to my other story in my other account. Thanks for reading the beginning of hopefully more if it's what you guys want. So until then.