Disclaimer: Harry Potter and it's affliates are the sole property of J.K. Rowling and company. I don't not lay claim to any characters or refrences in this fanfiction. I do, however, lay claim to my plot line. So keep your meat hooks off! Kay?
Warnings: May contain Slash in later chapters, including a possible lemon/lime. Rated for language and future innuendo. Not for the kiddies and with good reason! Always remember... don't like, don't read.
Authoress Ramble: Hah! I told myself I would finish this chapter even if it killed me, and look! Look! It''s done, and I'm not dead... yet. Enjoy.
The Effects of a Good Polyjuice Potion
The Surname vs. The First Name
Harry sighed and set the book back on its shelf. His boredom levels had reached an all time high, and he had nothing to do for the next hour until the library would close and he would be expected back up in the common room for bed.
Of course he dared not go back to the common room prematurely, otherwise he faced the wrath of Hermione in a bad mood, and her waspish attitude of late was beginning to grow on his nerves. No, better to just stay and be bored than to sit and be hounded for every small speck of something that was not okay with the world (and wasn't his fault).
"Mr. Potter! Stop moping about and find what you need! Either pick a book or leave!"
Harry jerked around to face Madam Pince looming over him with strict, beady eyes, and he nodded foolishly. Plucking a random book with a strange gold binding on the spine, he went to the tables and sat, trying to appear busy until the vulture like woman stopped watching his every movement. Almost as soon as she moved to antagonize another student he shoved the book away from him and opted for staring at the ceiling.
Life at Hogwarts had grown dull. His two biggest problems of late were Hermione's attitude and the Polyjuice Potion that had everyone feeling a little frazzled. He ran a hand over his eyes and tried to keep his mind on other things, like the upcoming Quidditch match or the graduation that was coming over the horizon. Neither subject had any appeal so as Harry left his arm to drape across his eyes, he focused on nothing—rather than drifting back into the negative—and fell into a subdued moment of total quiet.
It was not to last.
"Potter. What a coincidence seeing you here."
Harry jumped at the unexpected voice and swiftly turned to face the speaker. "Malfoy." He said contempt dripping in every syllable. "Do you make a point of stalking me to make my life miserable?"
Malfoy chuckled breathily. "You always seem to think everything's all about you. I simply came to have a quiet study session, and lo and behold here you are."
"Go away." Harry said bluntly, throwing his arm back over his eyes.
There was an empty silence, and for one hopeful minute Harry thought he'd managed to drive off his evil enemy. Sadly mistaken, he jumped almost a full foot into the air when Malfoy put his chilly pale hand at the nape of his neck.
"What are you doing? Don't touch me!"
"Mr. Potter! Shush!" Madam Pince scolded him from behind a pile of books.
Harry glared daggers at Malfoy as the Slytherin laughed maliciously under his breath.
"I take it Madam Pince doesn't like you very much." Malfoy said with an airy wave of his hand. "Pity. Though I get the feeling she doesn't care much for anyone."
"Will you go away?" Harry hissed.
"No." Malfoy responded, all traces of teasing gone from his face. "I don't think I will."
Harry rolled his eyes and snatched the strange black book from where he'd tossed it on the table. The cover had gold embroidery and gold metal etched into the black leather. Bottle it Up: A Complete Wizards Guide to the Art of Bottling Potions Made to Tamper with Emotion. Harry sneered at it, but opened it to the first page anyway, trying to immerse himself in the subject matter completely.
"You know, I'm not entirely looking forward to becoming you." Malfoy commented out of nowhere.
"What?" Harry snapped, looking up from the book.
"That blasted potion. I don't much like the prospect of becoming you for… any amount of time really. And who's to say Severus doesn't give us an extra bit to taste and has us looking like each other for longer? No offense but I don't fancy an afternoon as Harry Bloody Potter."
"The transformation only lasts for an hour, at most. He'd have to force it down us every hour to have it last a whole afternoon." Harry replied, almost absently.
"Potter, you seem to know so much about this damned potion." Malfoy said curiously. "Why is that?"
"It's all in the book." Harry replied quickly, ducking his head behind the black and gold book in his hands.
"Really now." Malfoy said skeptically.
Harry glared at him over the top of the cover. "Read it for yourself."
"I think I will."
"Fine." Harry dearly hoped that he would be right and all the information he was letting slip would be in the potions book.
Harry ducked back behind the book and tried to focus solely on the words printed on the crackling paper. They were hand-written in a tight calligraphic scrawl that he found hard to make out and had a hard time caring to try. Eventually he set it back down with a huff.
"Annoyed, irritated, bored," Harry listed off sarcastically. "One of the three. Pick your favorite."
"You're always so testy, why don't you just relax?" Malfoy asked, seeming to be truly interested.
"I don't get a chance to relax." Harry retorted. "I don't have the time or the ability."
"You should take some Calming Draught. That stuff will lull you right out."
"Thanks but no thanks; I need to keep my wits about me. There's something about having a homicidal maniac out to kill you that just doesn't make being doped up on potion seem appealing."
"Suit yourself," Malfoy said quietly. "I think you needn't be so worried though. What's the chances that the Dark Lord will come raining down with the fury of death in his eyes on the one night you aren't completely sober?"
"One in a million." Harry replied. "But that one is still a chance I'm not willing to take when it comes to a choice between living and dying."
"Your point has been made."
"The library is closed, boys." Madam Pince said in her raspy squawk of a voice behind them. "Back to your respective houses, and mind you don't go starting any trouble." She watched them suspiciously as they packed up and left down the corridors.
"Oh yes, because I simply can't go one night without beating the shit out of you." Malfoy said scathingly when they were out of ear-shot. "You'd think we can't be civil."
"We can't. Usually." Harry sighed, folding his hands behind his head as he walked. "Being that our grades in potions depend on each other, I think we've been enforcing an unspoken truce. I think its scaring people."
"It doesn't mean I still can't hate you." Malfoy replied. "But for the sake of the grade, I'll mellow out."
"You have been mellowed out, Malfoy." Harry pointed out.
"Watch it, Potter."
They took a few more steps in silence. "Why do we always do that?" Harry asked on an impulse. "Call each other by surname, I mean."
"I call everyone I don't particularly trust or like by last name. Or some sort of fucked up nick-name." Malfoy said with a smirk.
"I have no reason. I just do."
"Because first name terms with an enemy is just weird?"
"Something like that, probably." Harry replied, losing interest. What did it matter what he called Draco Malfoy. As long as they were enemies, Malfoy was probably the most courteous name the blonde could possibly expect.
"So what are we going to do about Snape and his evil scheme to turn us into each other?" Malfoy asked after a few more minutes of silence.
"Does it really bother you that much to be me for five minutes, Malfoy?" Harry asked, truly curious.
The Slytherin shivered, a look of disgust crossing his face. "Any amount of time as a the bloody Gryffindor Golden Boy bothers me, Potter. I actually don't fancy not being myself for even a moment. It's not just you. Imagine turning into Pansy Parkinson, or Goyle... or Longbottom, Ugh!"
Harry looked around, without realizing it they had wandered down to the grounds, halfway between the Quidditch Pitch and the lake. Almost as though reading each other's thoughts they simultaneously sat on the grass in a swirl of robes. Malfoy ran his fingers through the grass while staring back at the castle. Harry watched his perfectly smooth skin in the moonlight, almost silvery with its pallid coloring. There was something pretty about his face, a calm that wasn't normally there.
Harry shook his head and hurled himself backwards on the grass, tired but not willing to make up an excuse to leave and return to the dormitories.
"What's wrong Potter?" Malfoy asked, sounding distracted.
"This feels weird." Harry responded. "Why aren't we fighting? Why aren't we arguing?"
"Grades." Malfoy offered quickly. "It's all for the sake of the grades."
"I don't think that's it. We could start a fight right now, and you and I would be fine enough to participate in the next potions lesson. So why don't we? There's no one around to stop us."
"Not willing to risk a detention?" The blonde sounded unsure of himself now.
"I would gladly take any number of detentions for the chance to hit you."
"What a violent nature you have Potter." Malfoy said in his most reprimanding voice, though still sounding just slightly uneasy.
"Not tonight though."
Malfoy chuckled. "I'll start a fight if it makes you feel better."
"That's okay. I think we'll live without it."
"Perhaps we will."
They were quiet for a long time. Harry found himself drifting easily in the moment, his eyes finding his favorite constellations in the night sky. It was almost like being alone, but then there was suddenly movement and he tensed, immediately ready to fight.
Malfoy was lying down as well, maybe five feet away. "What are you thinking about Potter?"
"I'm wishing I wasn't me."
"That's interesting. Why?"
"Because then I wouldn't have to worry about saving an entire race of people. Or dying. Or dooming the world to the source of pure evil."
"Do you really worry about it all the time?"
"Every minute of every day."
Malfoy whistled. "How do you get anything done?"
"I push it to the back of my mind. The worries are on replay continuously in my head, even when I'm thinking about something completely different."
"Potions class, Voldemort, homework, Voldemort, dinner, Voldemort, sleep, Voldemort." Malfoy said sarcastically.
Harry laughed. "You're unbelievable."
Malfoy shot him a look. "Why Potter, I didn't know you were so infatuated with me."
Harry snorted. "You know what your problem is Malfoy? You think everyone loves you."
Malfoy raised himself up on one arm, almost mirroring Harry's exact position. They had closed the distance between them by about two feet. Harry was starting to feel claustrophobic. His rival's eyes were smoldering with dangerous fire. "You don't like me, Harry?"
The air changed, suddenly there was nothing but tension between them, and one wrong move could end the truce they had so carefully cultivated. There was a pause, and Harry's eyes got a little wider. There was a threat in that tiny sentence, somewhere, but the use of his first name threw him.
"I like you when you're not being an asshole, Draco."
The silence was uncomfortable. Malfoy narrowed his eyes and pushed himself to his feet in a movement almost to quick for Harry to catch. The space where Malfoy had been seemed so empty in almost hurt, and Harry had to take a deep breath and remember where he was before he could look up at the Slytherin.
"I think we should go to our own house dormitories."
"Do you now?"
"You forget that I'm a Prefect Potter. I can order you if that makes a difference."
Harry looked at the grass then stood up slowly, brushing the grass and dirt from his robes with slow, precise gestures. When he looked up, he almost jumped. Malfoy was only six inches away, staring him down. Harry stood tall, not leaning away from the close proximity.
"You could order me to do anything you want Malfoy, but it doesn't mean I'm going to obey."
The double-entendre was not lost on the snake of Slytherin House. He grimaced. "You wish."
Harry stepped closer, his mouth close to Draco's ear, almost touching it as he whispered. "So do you."
"Harry! Harry!" Someone was shaking him.
Harry shook his head and looked up with bleary eyes. His glasses were askew, and he was confused. There was a drop of slobber on the corner of his mouth and his cheek felt abnormally hot.
"Harry, you should go to bed, get some real sleep."
He looked around, suddenly realizing he had been slumped over his History of Magic Essay, he was still in the Gryffindor dormitories.
It had been a dream.
He felt a shiver crawl up his spine… a strangely vivid dream, even more vivid than he would have ever cared to see.
He looked at Hermione's face, wondered if any of it had been real. The look of Malfoy's skin in the moonlight, the easy silences between them, they'd seemed so real at the time.
"Come on Harry." Hermione said quietly, easing him out of the chair.
He lifted himself off to bed, silently praying that he just had an over-active imagination. Getting dressed in his pajamas, crawling between the covers of his four-poster bed, he clenched his eyes shut.
Tomorrow was Potions, and it was not going to be easy.
Authoress Ramble: You thought it was real, didn't you! Didn't you! Well, didn't you? Tell me what you really thought by clicking my favorite blue botton just a few centimeters down from this lovely ramble. Go on. You know you want to...