Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
Caught Red Handed
Harry glanced at the band of boys hiding in the bushes with him. This had to be one of the stupidest things he'd ever done, he decided, glancing up at the ancient, yet majestic stone structure before him; Malfoy Manor.
"Well, go on, then." Fred and George said as one. Their words were meant to be encouraging, Harry was sure, but the twin mischievous grins on their freckled faces canceled it out.
"Yeah." Seamus agreed, winking at Dean, "We'll be waiting for you right here."
Harry glared at the cheerful boy, mumbling to himself, "Where it's safe."
"Oh, come on Harry, it's not that bad." Ron put in his two cents, "All you have to is get in, nick something, then get back out. No problem."
The wide grin the redhead was beaming in Harry's direction slipped off his face at his best friend's sullen, 'I'll-get-you-back-for-this' look. "If it's so bloody easy, why don't you do it." the smaller of the two hissed back vehemently
Ron's eyes widened comically, and his hands rose defensively in front of him as he began a litany of protests.
The other boys snickered at him, and Fred turned his amused grin on Harry, "I don't think so Harry. This is your dare. You agreed to it, you have to do it. Alone."
Harry glowered at him for long moments, but he knew it wouldn't do him any good, he was in a real pickle this time, and there was no way out of it either.
Grumbling under his breath in self pity, Harry plonked down on the soft red dirt behind the bushes they were using as camouflage and began untying his shoes.
"Why are you taking off your shoes, Mate?" Ron's voice intruded on his pity-party. Harry's almost glowing green eyes raised slowly to his closes friend's face, to find the boy giving him a funny look. Harry ignored it, scowling with obvious displeasure.
"If I'm to go gallivanting around in that stone fortress without getting caught they I will need to be quiet, and these shoes are anything but quiet." In fact, Harry's shoes were so old and tattered that they squeaked annoyingly whenever he took a step, While he was used to the sound, he was willing to bet it would sound very out of place in such an obviously high class setting.
Ron's face flushed about as bright as his hair under the midday sun.
Once Harry's shoes were set neatly aside he crouched next to the others, peering past the dense cover of leaves onto the blank canvas that was the Malfoy grounds.
Most would think this was the easiest part, but Harry wasn't fooled. That emerald lawn was a death trap if he ever saw one. The long strip of grass stretched out before him was illuminated by a web of lights planted in the ground. If anyone just happened to glance out of any of those many, many windows while he was sneaking across, he was done for.
Despite this he looked at Fred for his signal; he was a Gryffindor after all, not a cowardly Snake.
"You know what you have to do, right?" George asked, his own eyes scanning the scene with a practiced eye. Harry gave a stiff nod, "Good. We'll see you when you get back, and if you get caught…"
He trailed off, but his twin had no problem picking up where he left off, "your on your own,"
Harry snorted, he expected no less-spineless, the lot of them. Ignoring his audience, Harry crept carefully around the bushes. He paused long enough for one last, searching look over the grounds. Finding nothing of import he started forward.
Harry moved swiftly over the flat landscape, keeping close to the ground in a vain attempt to blend in should someone look out a window. His outfit was a faded grey, perfect for blending with the shadows provided by the house, but it would do him no good out here where he was lit up like a bloody Christmas tree.
He wished he'd been allowed use of his invisibility cloak, but the twins had been adamantly against the idea. "But that's cheating," They had declared in overdramatic, scandalized voices.
So his cloak had remained behind, locked in his trunk in the cupboard under the stairs. Sadly, they had insisted he do this the muggle way and had taken his wand from him as well. Harry resented them for that, just the tiniest bit, since it had only been mere luck that Uncle Vernon had not confiscated that with the rest of his belongings.
Harry was very lucky indeed, he discovered, having made it across the sea of green with absolutely no problems whatsoever. Just a few more feet and he'd be off the lawn completely and safely hidden in the shadows of the manor.
The black haired boy grinned from ear to ear and sped up his pace. The grin slipped from his lips when he felt his foot land in something soft and disturbingly squooshy.
Harry froze, chills of disgust racing up and down his spine Slowly he lowered his eyes to his feet, moving the offended foot cautiously up.
His nose crinkled in disgust, as his eye took in the goopy mess clinging wetly to his, now ruined sock. Muttering curses under his breath he swiftly stripped the stinky material off his foot and tossed it aside carelessly. There was still a damp spot in the center of his foot and he was sure it smelled nasty, but there wasn't much he could do about it at the present time.
Carefully placing his foot on an unsullied piece of ground he quickly discarded his second sock (he would have felt silly waltzing around with only one sock on). He sent a mental curse back at the boys hiding on the edge of the property, why had no one thought to mention that the Malfoy's owned a dog?
"What is he doing?" One of the twins whispered in disbelief when Harry froze, feet from the relative safety of the house.
No one answered as the small black haired boy started dancing from foot to foot, discarding his socks in the process. All the boys snickered at the sight, but none could come up with a reason for this seemingly random display.
Once Harry was rid of the sullied articles of clothing he moved to one of the many windows lining the ground floor. He glanced to the side nervously before he pushed the glass open and slid inside.
The room he fell into was completely dark despite the light pouring in through the open window. Harry couldn't see his nose on his own face let alone the rest of the room. Bottle green eyes swept around his surroundings as he waited for his eyes to adjust. It didn't help much, all he could see in the inky blackness even blacker spots where he assumed the furniture and other objects in the room where. From the little he could see the room looked to be crammed full of junk.
After several minutes of silence passed and no improvement seemed to be forthcoming, he decided he'd better get a move on, the longer he stayed in one place, the larger the chance that he would get caught. And Gryffindor or no, he did not want to be caught skulking around Malfoy Manor.
Cautiously inching his way through the thick gloom that enveloped the room, Harry began his trek for the door…if only he knew where exactly it was located. Assuming it would be located somewhere in front of him he started in that direction.
He hadn't gone far at all before he came to a jerking stop as his foot caught on something. Caught off guard, he overbalanced. His arms wind milled through the air on either side of him in an attempt to keep from toppling over. Instead the sleeve of his loose robes caught on something as well and he ended up pulling some type of table down with him.
There was a loud crash, and the sound of glass shattering.
Harry rose with dignity and limped forward again, tripping over invisible objects and cursing impressively with every step. He was mildly surprised someone hadn't heard all the commotion and come to investigate, but he wasn't about to start double guessing his good luck-he'd just go with it and hope it held out.
Three more overturned tables/benches(he wasn't sure exactly what everything was in the thick darkness), two stubbed toes, one bruised thigh, and copious amounts of noise later Harry was able to escape from the cursed room.
The pitiful amount of light in the narrow walkway he emerged into hurt his eyes, but he ignored that, especially since he couldn't see much in the first place. Scowling in irritation, the black haired Gryffindor snatched his glasses from his face and set about cleaning them on his shirt. It didn't work.
Grimacing at the state of his shirt he heaved a sigh and slammed his useless glasses back on his nose so he could deal with his ruined shirt. He wasn't sure what he'd managed to spill on it, but there was a large, growing stain covering much of the torso of his robes and clinging to the material of his shirt beneath (though how it managed to stain the black fabric Harry would never know. Aside from the disturbing stain the robes were riddled with tears, and the sleeve was dangling piteously from the seams. It was little more then rags by that point.
Dropping the robes from his shoulders he peeled the shirt off his back, tossing it into a dark corner for some poor house elf to find and get rid of. He kicked his robes into the little pile and headed down the dim corridor.
A few moments after Harry had vanished into the tall white building another figure entered the scene. The boys in the bushes started cursing the moment the lights started glinting off his white-blond hair. The aristocrat paused in his brisk walk, his eyes fastened on something lying on the grass.
Crouching down, Draco delicately lifted one black article of clothing between his thumb and forefinger for closer examination. One blond eyebrow arched skyward in his surprise as he stared at the sock dangling from his fingers. What in the good name of Merlin, was that doing there?
Letting the cloth slip back to the floor Draco glanced around the grounds with narrowed eyes before turning his attention to his childhood home. It would appear they had a trespasser; a burglar perhaps, or maybe an uninvited Death Eater?
Draco drew his wand and stalked towards his home, studying it silently for any sign of forced entry.
He didn't have long to wait before a loud crash came from inside one of the rooms. He slid silently towards the sound to find one of the lower windows ajar. There was no light from inside the room and he vaguely wondered why the person didn't use magic to remedy that.
After a few moments the door opened and he saw a dark shape enter the hall, muttered curses following behind them like a trail of bread crumbs.
A smirk crept over Draco's lips, despite his bemused thoughts, before he stealthily slinked through the window himself. "Lumos." He muttered, giving a light flick to his wand.
The young Malfoy surveyed the disaster that had once been a freakishly neat potions lab with an amused quirk on his lips. What a clumsy little thief.
Father would be furious, and Severus horrified. Draco could picture them now, and it only caused his faint amusement to escalate.
The young blond moved into the hall as silent as a shadow; his sharp grey eyes picking out a peculiarly shaped object in a dark corner that he didn't remember being there before.
Curiously, he nudged it with his foot, when nothing happened he bent down for a closer look. He was taken by surprise to discover it was the remains of a once black shirt and a ragged looking robe. The faint stench of burnt cloth wafted up from the material and Draco was fairly certain that one of the potions that had been carefully stacked on one of the lab tables had been upended on it.
Straightening to his full height, Draco looked off in the direction his uninvited guest had moseyed off in. He chuckled to himself, amusement sparkling in his eyes, that crazy little thief was slowly stripping!
Harry walked aimlessly for a good five, possibly ten minutes just admiring the place. The interior screamed 'money', and was by far the most elegant building Harry had ever been in. There was a distinct Medieval feel, it wasn't as strong as Hogwarts, of course, but it was still present.
The Malfoy family, he could see from the generations of family portraits lining the walls, all looked remarkably alike with white blond hair, silverfish eyes, aristocratic features that during their younger years looked rather pointy, but matured into a masculine sort of beauty as they grew older. Harry had already noted this phenomenon in his school yard rival, not that he was about to admit it to anyone.
After ten minutes of examining the interior of the manor, Harry finally remembered what he was there for. With a shake of his head he figured he'd better get started, his dawdling was liable to get him into trouble.
The question now was, where should he begin. He had no idea where Draco Malfoy's room was located, that was his target after all, and the Mansion was beyond huge. He needed to find something belonging to the youngest blond, nick it, and get out of there before he got himself caught. The best way to go about doing that, he figured, was to take something from Draco's room otherwise he could never be sure if it belonged to Draco personally, or the family as a whole.
Now, to find said room.
That was easier said then done, and Harry ended up wandering around again, hoping his luck would prevail and he would stumble onto something useful. The problem was the mansion was not small by any stretch of the imagination, and he had no idea where exactly his path was leading him.
It didn't take a genius to realize he was lost.
Grumbling to himself about 'rich people and needing maps to get around their houses,' He sullenly leaned against a wall -to think, he assured himself (Harry wasn't inclined to pouting like a girl).
He was starting to get nervous, too. He had no way of knowing how long he'd been on his mission, but it felt like forever. He didn't have time to waste, but even if he did find what he was looking for he had no idea how to get back out again.
Lazily swiveling his head around, his eyes locked on a door directly across from him. It wasn't the first door he'd stumbled across by any means, and he was pretty sure that it did not lead to Draco Malfoy's personal chambers (the door was too plain for that). But Harry was getting desperate.
Maybe, he thought as he pushed off the wall and headed for the door, just maybe he could take something from this room and tell everyone he'd got it from the git's room. They'd never know the difference.
There was no doorknob so it was safe to assume there would be no lock. The door opened silently and he slipped into complete darkness for the second time that night.
His fingers fumbled over the wall next to the door searching for a light switch as his eyes squinted into the darkness. A low noise from deep within the shadowy recesses of the room gave him pause, it was a low, rumbling growl.
Harry froze, his eyes scanning the room frantically for the hidden creature. He felt like the biggest idiot on the planet; the Malfoy's were a notably dark family. It wasn't to hard to believe they could have monsters lurking in wait for trespassers.
Harry swallowed thickly, the hairs on the back of his neck and all along his arms were standing on end. Whatever it was couldn't be that bad. He'd faced a Cerberus, Dragons, Dementors, Death Eaters, and Voldemort himself. Whatever was in that room with him couldn't be as bad as all that.
Or so he told himself…yeah he didn't believe it either.
The growling was becoming louder, crawling closer. The sound had taken on a high pitched grinding as well, sending shivers down his spine.
Breaking from his state of frozen panic, he frantically backpedaled out of the room, almost tripping in his haste. His movement must have set the beast off, and it charged forward. Eyes wide, and heart pounding, Harry slammed the door, the loud THUD from the other side made him jump. Then, to Harry's horror, the door swung outward again, followed by a ball of fur, fangs, and claws.
Harry yelped and dived out of the way, but the thing was too smart for that, it twisted, using it's momentum to push off the wall instead of simply hitting it. The next thing Harry knew the monster had sunk it's teeth deep into his pant leg, snarling and spitting in it's mad craze.
Wide green eyes stared down and the canine in surprise, he'd thought the thing was at least two times that size! His heart now returned to it's regular pace, the boy-who-lived shook his leg in annoyance, trying to dislodge the furry leach.
The canine snarled and camped down harder, shaking it's head (which in turn shook it's whole tiny body) and refusing to relinquish it's hold on it's prize.
Harry didn't exactly have the time to indulge the cretin, but at the same time those teeth did look pretty sharp. Harry winced, yes, it was a hard decision, but one that had to be made. Harry was used to sacrifice anyway. Relinquishing his trousers to the beast, he figured that he could 'borrow' a pair from Malfoy…surely he wouldn't miss them.
Harry was more jumpy then ever now, striding through enemy territory in next to nothing. His eyes darted around, taking in every shadow and praying that he didn't run into one of the residents of the house. Harry didn't think he could take that kind of humiliation.
It wasn't long after his encounter with the greedy mutt that he came to a large room. On the far side was a huge painting of the current Malfoy family. It must have been done a few years before they had started school at Hogwarts, the smirking Draco looked to be around five years old. Harry had to admit that the pointy little brat had been…adorable. There was no other word for it.
There were two other entrances to the room, one was an archway that lead further into the house the other was a door. It was different from all other doors Harry had encountered so far, for one It was painted a brilliant white, with twining silver-green vines and leaves.
It was a start, at least.
Harry never made it to the door, though. As he was crossing the room, his already sore toe snagged on something (he didn't really care what at the moment-his bloody toe felt like it was on fire!)
Yowling like a wounded animal, Harry clutched his wounded foot, fighting to remain balanced. Unfortunately, Harry wasn't very coordinated on only one foot and before he knew what was happening he found himself on the floor. It was at this moment of utmost embarrassment that his eye caught on a figure standing in the very hall he'd just vacated.
Harry could feel the world around him crumble into nothing.
Before Draco even rounded the corner he could hear the sounds of a struggle. He'd been following the strange little thief around the manor (he didn't seem to have any particular direction planned and when Draco thought he knew where they were headed the person would take a random corner and Draco would be confused once more.)
He'd caught a few quick peaks at his intruder as he'd stalked them through the manor. It was a young man, about his own age with familiar messy black hair. There was no telling for sure who it was, but he had a sneaking suspicion anyway.
As he got closer to the corner he could hear the familiar snarling of his mothers precious lap dog. He'd never liked the thing, and the feeling was completely mutual. The monster had a nasty tendency to tear up all his favorite pairs of pants and even a few of his more expensive dress robes (when it could get it's grubby little paws on them).
"Fine, take them." He heard the thief hiss, then footsteps hurrying further down the hall.
Draco turned the corner in time to see a slim, near naked form disappear around the next corner. Silver eyes trailed down to the mutt, snarling and spitting, it's tiny teeth planted firmly in the plat pair of trousers the boy had shed in his haste to escape the deranged poodle-not that Draco blamed him, the thing was a menace!
Carefully edging around the psycho pooch, whose wide insane eyes followed him with an intensity that was disturbing.
"Uh, good dog?" He said hurriedly, praying it would decide one pair of pants was more then enough to gnaw on and leave Draco's alone.
The dog curled back one black lip at him, then returned to reducing the piece of clothing to rags; resuming his snarling and growling along with it.
With great relief Draco hurried after the thief once more. When Draco finally caught up it was right outside his bedroom. The thief, whom Draco suspected was one Harry Potter, was dancing around doing the funky chicken, cursing and clutching one of his feet as he hopped around wildly.
Draco was not at all surprised when the clumsy oaf overbalanced and went flying to meet the floor. A slow wicked smile spread over Draco's face as he took in the current situation. Harry Potter was in his manor, alone, practically naked, and with no wand in sight. This was too good an opportunity to pass up.
A quick glance at his surroundings led him to the ornamental swords handing on a wall nearby. It may have been used as decoration, but they were very real, and very sharp. His smile slid into a wolfish grin as his fingers curled around a silver hilt.
Draco swung around to face Potter, who by then had finally caught sight of him. A look of pure horror was branded on his handsome features, "Now, this is a delightful surprise, Potter. To what do I owe this…honor?"
Harry fervently wished the ground would open up and swallow him whole. The was the single most embarrassing experience in his whole sixteen years.
"I came to collect something Malfoy." Harry said honestly, eyeing the sword pointed in his direction and grimacing to himself. It looked awful sharp, and Harry wasn't very fond of pointy objects, they tend to hurt when applied to tender flesh.
"Oh?" Malfoy drawled, "Something of mine? What could someone as lowly as I possess that the Great Harry Potter could want?" A perfect blond eyebrow arched, but Harry really had no time to contemplate how sinfully good the blond looked when he did that, he had to think.
"That sword yours, Malfoy?" He asked suddenly, a plan formulating even as the words left his lips.
The blond frowned, obviously taken off guard by the random question." Yes, Potter, it is." He answered with a quick glance to his blade, "Now stop dawdling and answer the question, what are you here for." As he spoke Harry rose from his sprawled position at Malfoy's feet. Emerald locked with silver and he smiled slowly at the pureblood wizard. This seemed to disturb Malfoy greatly because his scowl increased in intensity just a notch and he took a half a step back.
Harry's courage grew at his rival's obvious uncertainty, and he rested a hand lightly on the tip of the sword. Carefully avoiding the edge, Harry dragged his fingers up the silver blade, slowly stepping towards his rival. He needed something to distract Malfoy. It had to be big, something that would shock the blond and give him time to make his retreat.
Only one thing came to mind.
When he was close enough that their chests brushed lightly when either one drew a breath Harry lowered his lashes and said in a low murmur, "But Malfoy, I wasn't avoiding the question." Before the blond could move away Harry snaked a hand behind the Slytherin's neck and yanked him forward, crushing Malfoy's lips with his own.
Malfoy's stunned expression was well worth the effort and he was just about to smugly pull back when, to Harry's complete surprise, Malfoy's eyes slid closed and he leaned into the kiss. One of his long fingered hands tangled in Harry's messy black locks while the other settled like a burning brand on Harry's bare lower back, drawing the slightly smaller boy inevitably closer.
For a moment Harry was the stunned partner, long moments of burning pleasure dragged by before he came back to himself and decided he'd better find some way to get the upper hand back- and quick. He had the sword now, so all he had to do was make Malfoy distracted enough to let him get away.
This was easier said then done, Harry had to not only gather up every scrap of Gryffindor courage he had, but also had to gather up his shattered self control. Instead of pulling away, Harry deepened the kiss, battling the Slytherin for control.
After what seemed like an eternity he finally pulled away, his lips remained mere inches from Malfoy's panting mouth, "Thanks for the sword Malfoy." He whispered, then rushed off, face flaming red, in what he hopped was the exit.
Poor Draco never new what hit him.
"What's taking so long?" Fred muttered, getting more nervous by the second.
"Malfoy caught him, that's what." Ron whimpered mournfully, "The prat knew he was there the moment he stepped on the grounds. He's probably torturing him as we speak."
George rolled his eyes, "This is Harry we're talking about here. He's more of an escape artist then Houdini."
"Who's Houdini?" Ron wondered, distracted for a moment, when Dean cried out, "There he is!"
All heads swiveled around to stare at the form running pell-mell towards them. Five sets of eyes bugged out as they took in their fearless leader.
"Harry!" Ron squawked.
"What happened to your clothes?" The twins gasped.
Dean and Seamus were speechless, and Seamus was drooling just the tiniest bit.
Harry glowered at them, brandishing the silver sword threateningly, "We are never going to talk about this again." He hissed.