Big thanks to my beta Alessa and everyone else that has helped me with this chapter!
Note: This fic was originally known as "The Bet", but I decided to change the name with the new revisions!
Close to forty students were sprawled out on the Hogwarts lawns right near the glistening lake. There were two weeks to go til the end of the school year and these students had a day off to celebrate the end of their NEWTs.
It was a sight that the Hogwarts professors never thought they would see: all the houses from that year mixed together relaxing as one. No ugly fights or duels in the making. This was the result of an extremely surprising alliance. Almost two years ago Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, two of the most famous rivals in Hogwarts history decided to put aside their childish arguments and work together to unite the school against Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
The end of their fifth year was heartrending for both boys. Harry was dealing with the loss of Sirius and his knowledge of his role in the war, and Draco had to come to terms with his father's incarceration and his own decision to turn his back on his family, past beliefs and Voldemort. However an amazingly coincidental meeting as they were trying to escape their current lives gave them the chance to hash out past arguments, share their stories and eventually bond together as a strong and loving couple.
Not that there weren't a few spats between the two along the way, after all, five years of fighting was hard to leave behind. But the malice had gone from these fights. Back at school, while Draco worked to find ways to protect his Slytherins from their parents' pressuring them to become Death Eaters and to help them see that most of what their parents had conditioned them to believe was wrong, Harry worked to convince the other houses that the Slytherins weren't the evil people everyone believed them to be. It took a while, but by the time Voldemort stormed Hogwarts, the united school was more than a match for the Dark Wizards.
That had been five months ago, and since then friendships between students of all houses had bloomed without the oppression of war hanging over them. No one knew what it was that changed Draco Malfoy's views, or what convinced Harry Potter to open up to the Slytherins. Almost everyone was extremely confused as to how the two enemies managed to bury the hatchet and to work together so well. By the time the war was over everyone had given up trying to work it out and were just happy that it had happened, as it truly was the turning point in the war.
Only three people in the school had an idea of the background events and one of them was their twinkle eyed headmaster. Dumbledore thoroughly enjoyed all the confusion and had great fun causing two normally very composed war heroes to blush like the school boys they still were by dropping thinly veiled hints at Draco and Harry's activities during events when he felt a bit of levity was needed. Never mind that no one present got the jokes except the two boys, who both wondered if they would really be expelled if they happened to throw a few embarrassing hexes their headmaster's way...
The other two, were brilliant, sneaky, mischievous and extremely loyal best friends to each hero. Hermione Granger for Harry and Pansy Parkinson for Draco had both been a source of great friendship and stability through their school years. They were the only ones to pick up on the signs that the Gryffindor and the Slytherin were friendlier than anyone could have expected. The girls managed to approach each other and strike an alliance to find out the truth.
What they ended up accidentally hearing and seeing was although expected, more than they bargained for. They ended up so flustered and turned on, they rushed quickly back to the boys they both had their eyes on and by the next morning, two new couples, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley and Pansy Parkinson and Blaise Zabini, graced the Great Hall at breakfast.
The girls both flushed as they caught sight of Harry and Draco sitting at the Gryffindor table, but functioning under the fog of new love they didn't notice the identical smirks by the blonde and black haired couple. Fully aware of the mounting suspicions of their best girlfriends Harry and Draco decided on an action that apart from totally shocking the pant off the girls, would reveal their relationship in a way that should guarantee they wouldn't be approached about it and the information wouldn't be shared. They knew the girls would understand they wanted their relationship to remain secret and that the girls would be just too embarrassed to ask them about it. So with a lack of care regarding locking and silencing charms and a very enjoyable time during a night Hermione and Pansy were patrolling, their plans were a success. Although they didn't expect their joke to shock the pants off their best friends quite that literally, they were very happy with the turn of events, considering Ron and Blaise were the best of friends to them also.
Unfortunately Ron and Blaise weren't quite as discrete as their girlfriends and definitely would have stronger initial reactions to the news that their respective best friends were in a serious relationship, so they were left in blissful ignorance.
During the war, Draco and Harry thought it best to keep their relationship a secret from the world as they believed the news would detract from what they needed to do for the students, and for the last five months they had been keeping it secret as they knew the media circus that would occur as soon as the news got out. They were both becoming increasingly nervous though, as they had decided to come out at the end of school party in two weeks time.
A number of factors came together to bring the bet and the hilarious results about: The school's and especially Blaise and Ron's ignorance of the true state of things, Harry and Draco's nervousness about coming out without a prank to diffuse the situation (apart from their other extracurricular activities, both boys had been letting off steam after the war by trying to rival the twins and the Marauders). Other things that brought this about were the growth of Harry's mischievous streak and sometime Slytherin-ish behavior, Draco's ability for subterfuge and a beautiful sunny day where the students had nothing to do but sun bake and muck about with each other.
One thing was for sure, it would definitely be remembered as the most entertaining end of year in Hogwarts history.