Harry sat on top of one of the tables in the quiet room He swung his legs absentmindedly, trying not to think about why he was there. And that he was alone. When was Malfoy coming? They had agreed to meet here after lunch, and he was nearly twenty minutes late. What if he wasn't coming? What if he and his mates were laughing hysterically in the Slytherin common room right now, cackling at the immense stupidity of Harry Potter? What if he had been caught coming, and told someone the reason he was headed to the fourth floor? What if Hermione and Ron figured out that he had lied to them and came looking?

He felt a stab of guilt and bit his lip. He shouldn't have lied to them. But how could he not? He couldn't tell them the truth. He had no choice. They wouldn't understand. You never did try, though, that reliably nasty part of his brain hissed at him, you should have just told Hermione when you had the chance, and been done with it. You couldn't have, a far nicer part soothed, you couldn't have told them. This isn't just your problem, it's Malfoy's, too. His internal argument was quickly put aside when the boy in question entered the room.

"Hey," Harry said. Malfoy gave him a look. "What?"


"Well, if it was nothing, why did you give me that look?"

"What look?" Harry did his best imitation of the look. "Oh, that look. No reason."

"No reason?" Harry tried out his "dubious" look again, to mixed success. Shutting the door gently behind him, Malfoy rolled his eyes.

"None at all. You don't have to analyze every facial twitch of mine, you know."

"I am not—" Malfoy held up his hands, and Harry fell silent, without knowing why. There was no reason for him to obey Malfoy's unspoken mandate; maybe it was just habit. Malfoy fussed with one of his sleeves for a few seconds, then brought his eyes back to Harry.

"What did you want to discuss?" Harry eyed him.

"Me? You're the one who wanted to meet." Malfoy rolled his eyes again, making Harry feel very stupid.

"Well, yes, I suggested meeting. But you agreed; ergo there's something you'd like to talk about." Of all the…Harry almost growled aloud with frustration. Trust Malfoy to twist everything around, and make it his fault. Fine. He wasn't going to play Malfoy's little games today.

"I just wanted to—" he broke off. What did he want? To make it go away. But that couldn't happen. The kiss…it happened. He couldn't wish it away, and he couldn't magic it away, and he certainly couldn't talk it away. What could the two of them really accomplish here? Exchange a few insults, a few glares, but nothing would change. They would still have kissed. They would still be trapped in this awkward place between hatred and…whatever this was. Or, at least, Harry would. He had no idea how Malfoy felt about any of this. He stared at the other boy, until Malfoy was the one who bristled. He came forward, until he was only a few feet from Harry.

"Hello? Are you in there, Potter?"

"Hmm?" Malfoy sighed and rolled his eyes.

"If you have something to say Potter, get out with it. You're wasting my time. I have—"

"Oh, stuff it," Harry snorted dismissively. "As if you have better things to do." Malfoy looked like he wanted to respond, but instead settled on pouting instead. Harry continued watching him, but instead of glaring at the whole of Malfoy, his eyes suddenly focused, like a Muggle camera, on those pursed lips. It was…No. He couldn't think it, wouldn't think it, he didn't believe it, didn't think it. He certainly didn't, he couldn't, as if…adorable. He felt the side of his mouth twitch. God, he wanted to smile. Smile at Draco Malfoy and his pouty lips. It was disgusting, and demeaning, and sweet Merlin he looked appealing.

There was nothing either boy could do. One moment Harry was sitting on the desk and Malfoy was pouting at what he obviously thought was a safe distance. The next, Harry was on top of him. He wasn't sure when he had moved, or how he could have closed the gap that quickly, but thought was rapidly slipping away from his brain. The heat between them was palpable for a few seconds before Malfoy managed to raise his hands to Harry's chest and shove him solidly backward.

"Honestly!" Malfoy wiped furtively at his mouth with his robe and made an exaggerated gagging motion, sticking out his tongue and rolling his eyes back. "What is the matter with you?" And Harry was suddenly furious.

"It's not my fault! I can't help it! It's you, you standing there with your blasted little sexy pout. I just can't take it!" He was prepared to rant for several more minutes, but the way Malfoy was so gently biting his bottom lip stopped Harry short.

"You think my pout is sexy?" Harry searched him for mockery, for a trap stealthily laid into the words, but found nothing. He sighed and nodded.

"Yeah. Guess so." Malfoy was usually good at masking feelings he didn't want others to notice, but Harry saw pleasure that was almost shy flash across his face before he started scowling again.

"Well, that's no good. You really must stop it."

"Stop what?"

"Finding me irresistible." Malfoy stroked his hair with a flamboyant sigh. "I realize it is nigh impossible, and I do understand your helplessness in the face of my charms, but there's really no other way."

"You could stop being attractive," Harry snapped back. Malfoy shook his head so that his hair flopped artistically, and hit his melodramatic stride.

"Potter, would you ask that owls stop being feathered? That a wand stop being wooden? That the giant squid stop being—" he paused for a moment, unsure of how to complete his analogy—"inky?"

"S'pose not," Harry said, trying to keep his tone somber while his lips persisted in their quest to twist upwards. Malfoy shook his head sadly, but there was a happily devious light in his eyes.

"Then you should know better than to ask such a thing of me." Harry wanted to laugh, but he suddenly realized what was going on here. He was having a civil conversation with Malfoy. This wasn't arguing, or bickering, or even sniping. This was bantering. Cheerful, almost friendly, banter. Banter was not something to be exchanged with pure enemies, and that thought sobered Harry immediately.

"What are we going to do, Malfoy?" The sparkle in Malfoy's eyes died. He inhaled and straightened.

"About what, Potter?"

"Us," Harry had nothing but a truthful answer. "We can't just keep going on like this." It was the perfect opportunity for a quip, but shockingly, Malfoy didn't make a comment. He didn't say anything at all. He looked down at his pale hands as though they were particularly interesting today. Finally, he brought his eyes up to meet Harry's, and Harry was surprised how relieved he was that they were tired and resolved.

"It's not as though we…like each other, right?"

"Definitely." Harry was quick to agree.

"Which means this—this, thing, we have…it's just hormones and whatnot."


"We're just going to have to show our hormones that there's nothing here." Malfoy was so earnest, it was scary. Harry had never seen the other boy act so unguarded.

"How do we do that?"

"Easy," was what Malfoy said, but the suspenseful pause while he took a deep breath made Harry think that the solution was anything but. "We have to kiss."

"What?" Malfoy's face twisted immediately, and Harry was almost thankful to see a familiar, derisive expression on the blonde's face.

"Don't be such a girl, Potter. It's not like I want to have to touch you again, but would you rather keep having those…sensations?" Harry shook his head vehemently. "Alright then." Malfoy took a step forward, and Harry took an instinctive step backwards, the backs of his knees brushing the desk. Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Come on, Potter, unlike you, I'm not going to bite." Harry felt himself blush, but when Malfoy started forward again, he stayed his ground.

His heart was pounding madly. Dread, of course. Fear. Panic. Malfoy looked calm, and Harry envied him immensely. How could he approach so dispassionately, as though he were doing some everyday task like returning a book to the shelf? It wasn't fair. Now Malfoy was here, right in front of him. Because Harry was taller, he had to incline his head a little so that Malfoy could reach him. An instant before they met, Harry saw a quick flash of Malfoy's tongue, licking his lips. The knot of tension in Harry's stomach loosened slightly. Malfoy was just as nervous as he was. He had no time to think any other thoughts, because that was the moment their lips met.

The kiss held none of the hunger and pressure of their other kisses. It was hardly a kiss at all, by many standards. Only the slightest press of soft lips together. But it was electric. Harry started to lean forward, just as Malfoy leapt backwards, as though the power they both must have felt had been a physical spark.

"Right," Malfoy said, and he seemed twitchier than Harry had ever seen him. "Glad we got through that. No more worries, right? All over and done with. Over and done. Done. Right." He started to back away and stumbled slightly, bumping into a chair or two on his way to the door. He fumbled behind him for the handle, and when he found it he nearly re-closed the door on his leg, such was his hurry to get out of the room. Harry could only watch blankly.

Author's Note: Short chapter after a long wait, I know. I am shamed. But this scene was very difficult for me to figure out, and tough to write. Ah well. Hopefully the next bits will come a little easier.