Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction created by and for readers of the Harry Potter books. No copyright or trademark infringement was intended, and all of the characters, situations et c. belong to, though aren't limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc, as well as being the original fiction work of J. K. Rowling.
A/N: I must offer my deepest apologies for the lateness of this chapter; the fates, apparently, were less than permitting, and my internet died the night before the last post was due. As it has only been resurrected today by the powers of the Internet Pixie who visited me earlier, I have taken this opportunity to post this now, before the fates realise what has happened and cut me off again. As before, this chapter is dedicated to all who reviewed, I thank you sincerely, and special thanks go to those who have added Pulling Pigtails to their favourites. Seventeen of you, in total, which is amazing! Because there are so many of you, I won't list you here, but I hope you all know how much I appreciate your encouragement and I hope you enjoy the end.
The Naked Truth
The night before the match, Draco abruptly cut their meeting short just half an hour into it.
"I will need to be well rested so I can play my best," Draco announced haughtily, glaring as Harry began to laugh and kiss his nose playfully.
"Is that why you could never beat me? Because you were up the night before, 'not resting'?" Harry questioned, placing his hands on his hips and forcing his voice to sound at least half-reprimanding, even as he held back another fit of giggles. He would not giggle again; it was just not proper decorum for a boy to be prone to the giggles.
"And if it was?" Draco asked slyly, shifting back to rest against the wall. He arched a brow as Harry's expression dropped the sense of concentration on the containment of his giggles.
"If it was then you have no reason to lose tomorrow's match, meaning that if you do, you had another reason, aside from me, to be 'not resting'," Harry retorted, his voice growing dangerous.
"I should win," Draco said, placing his arms around Harry's waist and pulling him closer. "And not because this is the first tryst I've cut short, but because I'm not playing you."
"Stay," Harry pleaded as Draco moved to pull away, but the word came out as a faint hiss, causing Draco to lock eyes with him almost desperately. Harry was about to apologise for his slip into Parseltongue, when Draco suddenly pounced forward and captured his lips in a hot kiss. Even as Harry pulled back to breathe, he was not freed of the assault, finding his neck had fallen victim instead.
"Say more, Harry, please," Draco begged, grinding slightly into Harry's hips. Grinning at the sudden turn of events, Harry happily obliged, hissing nothings into Draco's ear and delighting in the complete lack of resistance his boyfriend now put up.
Reversing their roles, Harry found himself devastating Draco's pulse point, allowing the vibrations of his sibilant tones to massage the now sensitive skin. His hands roamed wildly, stroking and tugging as he laid claim to Draco's body.
"Mine," he hissed, teeth biting as hands slipped behind Draco and groped the familiar territory of his arse.
"Harry! You have to… You have to stop so I can go," Draco whined, his voice uncontrollably high.
"You don't want me to stop," Harry muttered against his skin, grazing it with his teeth and forcing a gasp of air from Draco's lips, which he moved to swallow.
Pulling away and breathing heavily, Draco struggled to retaliate. "You're right, I don't, but I do want to rest for my game tomorrow." He released a sigh of disappointed relief as Harry stepped back, placing a chaste kiss on his lips before sauntering across the room.
"Good luck with that, by the way. You know you have to win so we can play each other later, right?" Harry threw over his shoulder as he checked the corridors for safe passage.
"I know, and thanks, Harry," Draco responded quietly, causing Harry to throw him a brilliant smile before disappearing.
Fifteen minutes later, Draco was sneaking down to the dungeons, smiling goofily into the dark, as no one would witness him wearing such a degrading facial expression. Harry was already ensconced in his Gryffindor bed, contemplating the use of a certain charm to alter the colours and emblems on most fabrics, including towels.
Both boys fell asleep looking forward to the match the next day; one was looking forward to playing his first game that year, the other was excitedly anticipating the match's end.
The cheering in the stands had long since faded, Slytherin's win only echoing in their changing rooms with delighted whoops. The sound of thousands of pairs of feet slowly ascending the hill to the castle could be heard through the thin walls in the lull between giddy shouts, and it was soon obvious that the Quidditch stands had been emptied. Draco Malfoy was strutting up and down the aisles between benches, congratulating his teammates lazily and making no effort to begin changing, even as some were already ready to exit to the Great Hall for dinner.
Harry Potter lay in wait silently, masked by his invisibility cloak, and grinning at his accurate prediction of his boyfriend's reaction to his Quidditch win. It wasn't until the changing rooms had emptied completely, and Draco thought he was alone, that he began to strip his clothes to step into the shower. Resisting the urge to peek, because seeing Draco's naked body would likely disrupt his plan, Harry concentrated on locating Draco's locker, carefully completing his task before leaving behind his calling card and making his own way up to dinner.
Draco had heard nothing, and was happily singing in the shower about Slytherin's win, taking a further ten minutes to wash and condition his hair before he would even consider drying it. Stepping from under the stream of water, he shook the droplets from his hair, grabbing his wand and waving it over himself to remove the bulk of the moisture before turning to his clothing to redress himself. Upon seeing the contents of his locker, his eyes widened in shock, before narrowing angrily. Hands grabbing the calling card hastily, Draco muttered mutinously as he felt the blush that Harry had promised him making its way across his cheeks.
"Oh, come on, Harry! Give us a clue at least," whinged Ron, with a chorus of agreement amongst the table.
"You'll find out just what I did soon enough," Harry replied smugly, enjoying the shocked reactions of his friends.
"You've already done it?" questioned Seamus, a wide grin spreading across his face at Harry's nod.
"You haven't hurt him, have you?" Hermione asked, her tone slightly worried as she considered the consequences of such an action.
"No, he's not hurt. I might have damaged his pride a little, but nothing more than that," Harry assured her, grinning wildly at his own cleverness.
"Harry, I don't like that grin," Hermione admonished. "I want you to tell me –"
"Harry James Pigtails Potter!" screeched across the hall, echoing madly and pulling everyone's attention to the doors, which had swung open to admit the one person who hadn't made it to dinner yet.
"Does that tell you what you wanted to know?" Harry murmured quietly to Hermione, nodding at Draco, though he received only shocked silence in reply.
Draco Malfoy, victorious Seeker of the first Quidditch game this season, stood framed in the doorway, a beacon of flushed embarrassment that clashed with his only attire: a Gryffindor scarlet towel adorned with a prowling gold lion.
His bare feet pounded across the stone floor until he stood directly in front of where Harry was sat, separated from him by only a table. His hair was still slightly damp and clung to his pink cheeks as though trying to cool them. If this was the case, the effort was failing miserably.
The picture of serenity, Harry simply quirked an eyebrow at Draco. "Pigtails?" he queried calmly, despite knowing he had the attention of everyone in the hall, teachers included.
"Yes, 'Pigtails'," Draco spat. "It seemed a fitting nickname."
"It is rather fitting, I just wondered," Harry mused, tilting his head as though considering it.
"I – You… That's just not the point," Draco spluttered, outraged that he had slipped and publicly called Harry the name he had privately attached to him.
"It isn't?" Harry asked innocently, his eyes growing wide as though realising something. "No, I suppose it isn't, really. Do continue, Draco."
Half of the students in the hall, who had been holding their breath for the exchange thus far, choked on hearing Harry address Draco so casually. Nobody seemed capable of reacting yet, waiting to see how events would play themselves out. Except Dumbledore, who had happily conjured some sherbet lemons and was sitting back to enjoy the show.
"You are the most… I mean, how you can just sit there… Unbelievable…" Draco incoherently continued his rant. His heart was thundering as he stared at Harry, who was smiling at him as though this was a normal exchange between friends. Draco attempted to rein in some control again, taking a huge shaking breath before continuing.
"Potter, where have you put my clothes?" he asked dangerously, his eyes narrowing as though to emphasise just how serious the situation was. If Harry had attempted to reply, it would have been drowned in that moment.
As though Draco's question had been what had informed them of just what was going on, a huge wave of realisation swept across the hall. As realisation set in, bouts of laughter exploded from every table, until eventually every student and a large proportion of the teachers were laughing at the ridiculous situation.
At the sudden outburst of noise, Draco achieved the frightened look of a rabbit with its ears pinned back. His frantic gaze settled on Snape, eyes appealing, but the appeal went unnoticed as the Potions master snorted in humour himself, struggling to fully maintain control in the giddy environment. He was distracted entirely from his godson's plea by the ongoing battle he was fighting with his lips, which where rebelling to form a smile that he would not permit. Desperate, Draco turned back to Harry, who was merely smiling smugly.
"Got you blushing," Harry mouthed, his smile softening at Draco's apparent embarrassment. He shook his fringe out of his eyes and allowed himself to assess Draco's body with a growing blush of his own.
He had not considered at any point when forming his plan that, as a result of many of their trysts, not only would Draco's body be on show, but also the marks he had left behind on it. Draco noticed Harry's stare, and glanced down to appraise the scratches and bite marks himself.
Quirking an eyebrow at Harry's growing embarrassment, finally seeing a possibility for control, Draco turned slowly, presenting Harry with his back, which was covered in red welts, glancing over his shoulder to see how Harry reacted.
Harry's mouth had dropped open in surprise; he had had no idea just how violent he was, and being presented with a net of marks he had produced was a harsh way of telling him. Before he could even think of a response, Ron spoke up over the noise.
"Bloody hell, Malfoy! It looks like you've been attacked by a wild animal!" At Ron's rather loud outburst, many of the students quietened once more to hear what would be said.
Still addressing Harry, Draco snorted, "Yeah, a lion would describe it."
Not willing to back down, Harry retorted, "It's better than snake bites, I suppose."
"Perhaps, Pigtails," Draco now took on the relaxed tone. "It is a shame that no one ever got 'round to fixing that hair of yours properly."
"I don't think pigtails were quite my style," Harry said dryly, watching warily as Draco pulled out his wand from who-knew-where beneath his towel.
"No, they weren't really. I'm sure I could come up with something a little better, given the chance," Draco replied smoothly, now twirling his wand thoughtfully and eyeing Harry's hair.
"Harry, we'd better go!" Hermione hissed, pulling his arm, but Harry shook his head, unwilling to back down.
"Knowing the hours you spend on your hair, primping and coiffing, I fear you'd be styling a full-length beard by the time you'd finished with my hair."
Draco looked for a moment as though he was going to respond verbally, but suddenly, he lifted his wand and shot out a spell at Harry. The silvery-green light danced momentarily with Harry's hair, before tugging it strongly, causing an unusual tension at the roots. When the light faded, Harry had the distinct impression that he would no longer like his hair, an impression induced by the horrified faces of everyone at the Gryffindor table.
Whatever Draco had done had lengthened his hair, so Harry could see a little of it out of the corner of his eye. What he could see was certainly not the black to which he had been accustomed. Instead, his hair was streaked green and silver. Shaking the longer fringe away from his face, Harry scrunched his nose in concentration before he retaliated with a gold and scarlet hex that whipped around Draco, replacing his towel with his robes.
Grinning, Draco assumed there must have been a mistake with the hex and turned away happily, calling out that he had won this round. Watching him stalk proudly out of the hall, giggles broke out again at his exit as people took in the words 'I Love Harry Potter' embroidered in glittered gold lettering on the back of his cloak, stark against the black background.
Harry wondered idly how long it would take Draco to realise the problem with his cloak. He had assumed that everyone in the great Hall sniggering quietly, including a great many of the Slytherins, would have clued his boyfriend in, but apparently it would take a while longer.
Relaxing back into his seat now that he was no longer anticipating attack, Harry continued eating his meal, a smug grin gracing his face between bites. Slowly everyone around him began to do the same, and eventually dinner was restarted.
Surprisingly, the teachers refrained from commenting, apparently deciding that the boys were competent in punishing each other. Or, in the case of the majority, just finding the situation too amusing to begin dishing out punishments. Dumbledore acted as though the entire show had been for his benefit, grinning merrily, chattering at the other teachers who were still in somewhat of a daze.
"Well, Harry, I'm glad you didn't do something dangerous, but you could still get in trouble –" Hermione began to reprimand Harry, but her voice was drowned by the burst of congratulations form the Gryffindor boys.
"That was bloody brilliant, Harry; I would never have thought of nicking his clothes!"
"Merlin, did you see his face when he stormed in? And he looked terrified when everyone started laughing, like he didn't know what laughter was!" Seamus snorted suddenly. "I wouldn't be surprised if that was true."
"The towel, mate; that was a beautiful touch! Attention to detail there, bloody fantastic!"
And on it went, all flying over Harry's head like a ducked Bludger as he munched on his shepherd's pie, mind wandering over the matter of Draco's cloak, and just when he would find out.
"What about your hair, Harry?" Hermione asked in concern, suddenly, eying the Slytherin coloured style falling down to Harry's shoulders.
"Um, I dunno, really," replied Harry unconcernedly. "It doesn't really bother me because I can't see it."
Hermione took this as an instruction and conjured a mirror, hovering it just in front of Harry's face. Sighing, Harry dropped his fork, looking up to examine his reflection.
"Brilliant!" he exclaimed before he could help himself, causing those around him to stare at him in shock.
Ignoring them for a moment, Harry continued to appraise his hair, which still fell clumsily in tufts around his head, only now it reached his shoulders at the back, and his fringe fell over his eyes continually. The length looked good on him, but Harry could not help but find himself distracted by the colour.
Draco had somehow managed to change Harry's hair to the exact colour of his eyes from root to tip, with silver highlights shimmering as he moved his head. The overall effect was quite impressive, and Harry found himself liking it despite himself.
"What do you mean 'brilliant,' mate?" Ron said, head tilted in confusion as he tried to see what Harry could possibly like about his predicament.
"What? Don't you think the colour brings out my eyes?" Harry asked in mock hurt tones, pouting and fluttering his eyelashes as he flicked the fringe out of his face.
Grinning, Hermione spoke up, "I must admit that he was right when he said he would be able to fix your hair Harry. It's never suited you as much as it does now!"
"Of course I was right, Granger." No one at the Gryffindor table had noticed Draco's return, too busy laughing at Harry's antics to hear the dead silence that had fallen like a blanket over the hall at the sight of the blonde, who would likely be enraged. Now, they all turned to face him, laughter dying on their lips.
"So you appreciate your new style, do you, Potter?" Draco sneered, his tone light despite the harsh expression.
"Uh, yeah I do actually. Thanks," Harry grinned, shaking his hair out of his eyes again and actually managing to sound grateful.
Draco shook his head slightly at Harry's antics, fighting to keep his own grin from forming. "And here I was thinking I would have to come back and fix it to stop your little Gryffindor head from imploding from the nasty Slytherin colours," Draco patronised.
"Nope, it's fine," Harry replied happily. "How about you? Problem with the robes?" This was said with a little more caution. Harry almost winced as he awaited Draco's response, and was aware that everyone around him was also anticipating an explosion.
Draco raised an eyebrow, drawing out the tension as he slowly moved to unfasten his cloak, swinging it round so that he could look at the embroidered words. He allowed his hands to join his eyes in the inspection, and there was a thundering silence in the hall as everyone awaited his next word.
At the head table, Dumbledore was wondering how exactly one could extract a lemon drop from a paper bag without a rustling noise taking effect. He frowned lightly as an answer evaded him, before he performed a wordless charm to Silence the bag before moving to enjoy his sweets, his eyes once more refocused on the confrontation taking place amongst his students.
Further down the table, Snape was praying that the Slytherins would not be caused embarrassment by Draco's reaction. If he squealed like a girl, Snape might be forced to Obliviate the entire hall, and he was rather adverse to the effort involved in that idea.
Draco opened his mouth to speak, and was acutely aware that everyone in the room shuffled forward in their seats to get a better view; everyone except Harry that is, who had instead shuffled backwards so as to enhance the distance between himself and Draco. Smirking slightly at this reaction, Draco fixed Harry in his gaze, watching the boy wither further into his seat.
Finally growing slightly tired of milking the situation, Draco drawled his answer, "Actually, the quality of this embroidery is not too awful. I think I could live with it."
The shocked reaction, Draco found, was very amusing, and served well as a form of revenge on all those who laughed at him earlier. Harry looked confused and slightly frightened, as though he would love dearly to question Draco, but was terrified that such an investigation would leave him castrated. Shooting Harry a feral grin, Draco reminded his boyfriend that he had reasons for not wanting to aid him in becoming a eunuch, thus giving Harry the courage to voice his question.
"And the nature of the embroidery? The, um, choice of words doesn't bother you?" Harry said tentatively. He knew Draco was quite enjoying being the centre of attention, and was worried what the climax of the show might be. He was not to be disappointed either, he found.
"Well, it was a little crude, admittedly, darling, but I find that exposure to blatancy is one of the consequences of dating a Gryffindor. You were hardly subtle last night, so it was not much of a surprise. Fortunately, I am finding myself quite accustomed to your blatancy, and tricks like today's are quite worth it for the results I get later." Draco finished by leering at Harry rather suggestively, and Harry flushed such a shade of pink that a flamingo would feel ashamed of itself in his presence for failing to match.
The entire hall fell about laughing at the implications behind Draco's words, and their obvious effect on Harry. He could hear gasping comments to the strain of "Oh, good one, Malfoy! You and the Golden Boy!" and "Nearly had me going then! How preposterous that they might be together!" and the like.
Harry felt his face slowly cooling and was for the most part ignoring these comments, as well as the kissing faces Ron made in between bouts of laughter. Draco was not reacting in the same way. He found that he was growing irritated that no one believed what he had said, as well as feeling possessive as people eyed Harry appreciatively, imagining the situation Draco had described.
Leaning across the table, pushing through Granger and Weasley to do so, and thus hoping desperately for a shower, Draco grasped Harry's hands in his and pulled, somehow managing to get Harry on his side of the table without too much disruption. Everyone was still laughing at Draco's words, and Draco was certain he had a way to shut them up. Harry backed away from the predatory grin that beamed down on him, only to find an arm had snaked around his waist, the hand at the small of his back successfully preventing his escape. Staring up in fear at Draco, Harry scrunched his eyes shut, awaiting some blow or other.
His eyes started open as he felt familiar lips over his, before fluttering shut again, his own arms reaching up to wrap around Draco's shoulders as he eagerly returned the kiss.
The laughter in the Great Hall shrank to one, Dumbledore still chuckling merrily to himself as he observed the slack-jawed expression on most of his pupils, and a number of his faculty.
Harry was oblivious to anything except Draco's probing tongue, the sensation of it flickering over the sensitive roof of his mouth drawing a moan that was immediately swallowed, though not unheard by the others around him, such was the heavy quiet. Draco grinned into the kiss, and finally pulled back.
"I think I win this round, Pigtails," he murmured against wet lips, his explanation cut short as a tongue passed over his own lips, effectively quelling his desire to speak. As he leaned forward, however, Harry leaned back.
"I don't think so, darling," Harry replied, and finally pulled completely away from Draco before turning his back and walking out of the hall. Draco pulled a face, confused at how Harry could possibly have construed that situation as a win on his part and following him out of the hall, his gold and scarlet hair bouncing with his movement, and capturing the attention of everyone in the hall, who were still too shocked to react.
"Really, it was quite lucky that he wasn't a Gryffindor," Dumbledore commented lazily. "Those really aren't his colours."
Following this pronouncement was an awed silence, split suddenly by the high-pitched squeal that Snape had dreaded.
"Harry, what in the name of Merlin's beard did you do to my hair."