Disclaimer: Characters from the Harry Potter Universe belong to JK Rowling and are used without permission but with no intent to defraud.
Author's Notes: Many thanks to my fantastic beta amightypenguin. A birthday fic for the lovely bewarethesmirk.
This story contains SLASH so if you do not like it - or don't know what it is - then DO NOT READ. Thanks :o)
Polishing the Broom
"Oi, watch it, mate, that's my team you're having a go at," Ron said, giving Seamus a half-hearted push into the cluster of Slytherin girls congregated outside the Potions classroom.
The girls shrieked and scattered, but the boys paid them no mind. Seamus grabbed Ron's robes and half-dragged him through the classroom door where they teetered at the top of the steps.
"Ah'm just saying they were shite, is all." Ron tried to pull back.
"They were robbed! It was a bloody penalty and you know it."
Neville dodged around them, quickly heading for the relative safety of his desk.
"Was too. Watch it-" Ron yelped as Seamus lost his footing and they stumbled down the steps into the dungeon, Ron's fists flailing. Seamus ducked back and thudded into the nearest desk sending Potion equipment flying on to the floor.
Hermione tutted as she swept past them, narrowly missing being pummelled by a stray elbow. "Boys," she huffed, taking her seat beside Neville and purposefully turning her back on the skirmish.
Seamus had captured Ron's head in a tight grip and was rubbing viciously at the trapped ginger scalp with his knuckles. Ron, feet dancing on the floor, was trying to buck Seamus off, uncaring of the havoc their scuffle was causing.
The desk shuddered with each jarring thump of their tussling bodies, and the precariously balanced cauldron lying on top was nudged closer to the edge.
Harry, wearily trudging down the steps in their wake, barely had time to take in the scene before the cauldron fell; it dropped like a stone and crashed to the floor with a deafening clang which reverberated off the stone walls.
The room fell silent, the only sound the dying echoes of the fall and the stuttering metallic rattle of the cauldron as it rolled awkwardly across the stone and settled, rocking gently, at Harry's feet.
At least it was empty, he thought.
With a sigh, Harry turned and looked up at Professor Snape, his dark silhouette in the doorway positively vibrating with barely contained wrath.
"Explain the meaning of this outrage." The flickering light of the wall sconces arched shadows across Snape's thunderous expression.
"It wasn't Harry, sir, it was us," Ron said loudly, his face turning beetroot red when Snape's head whipped in his direction.
"Yeah…er…me and Seamus."
Seamus nodded his agreement at Ron's side, straightening his posture under the strength of Snape's glare, bottom lip caught firmly between his teeth.
"Weasley and Finnigan." Their names rolled acidly off Snape's tongue. "I hope the two of you enjoy detention." They groaned, falling silent when Snape narrowed his eyes. "As I said, I hope you enjoy detention. For the rest of the term you shall be spending every Friday night, in here, with me."
"But it's Quidditch practise on a Friday," Ron blurted out.
"Is it?" Snape said. "Well, perhaps you should have considered that before you decided to cavort in my classroom. Or would you rather I deducted points from Gryffindor? One hundred points each seems fair."
A collective gasp came from the Gryffindor side of the room, and Seamus and Ron dropped their heads. "No, sir."
"Then we shall begin this evening." Thin lips began to rise into a sadistic smile when Snape saw their dejected looks. "We are brewing a particularly unctuous potion today and the cauldrons will be quite difficult to clean."
Not even waiting for their nods, his heels clicked on the stone as he started down the steps. "Now, get this mess cleaned up and take your seats. And, Potter," he said, his black eyes pinning Harry, who was trying his best to remain inconspicuous, "do not think I believe you innocent of this matter."
For the first time that day Harry was thankful he was exhausted, it made it so much easier to meet the challenging stare evenly and not rise to the provocation.
Clearly disappointed, Snape continued past him and swept to the front of the class.
It was only then that Harry realised Snape was not alone; following behind, with his arms full of books, was Draco Malfoy, looking maliciously gleeful at the sight of Ron and Seamus clearing up the fallen equipment.
Harry took a step back, out of the other boy's way, and Draco's head turned at the movement. Their eyes locked for a fraction of second; Draco's eyebrow flicked up in challenge even as Harry was deliberately sliding his gaze away.
How could he look so bloody relaxed? Harry wondered. Three months of sneaking about, snatching fumbled kisses in the shadows of the locker room, squashing behind pillars for messy groping sessions always with one eye out for Mrs Norris; Harry was completely and utterly knackered. It didn't help that Draco was getting more and more brazen; he seemed to want people to find out, and Harry wasn't sure he was ready for that, not yet.
A confrontation was one thing he couldn't handle, and he willed Draco to keep on going, relieved when there was no verbal barb thrown in his direction. Ron and Seamus had just finished setting the desk straight, and Harry headed for it, wanting the relative anonymity of the back of the class. Taking his seat, he dropped his bag on the floor at his feet and bent over to pull out a parchment and quill, feeling Ron drawing out the other chair.
Snape's voice cut across the room, making Harry flinch and almost drop the quill back into the bag. "Not there, Weasley, beside Crabbe. And Finnigan, beside Goyle."
"But, sir…." Harry heard Ron voice his objection.
"Make haste, Weasley, before I lose my patience."
Ron was muttering curses under his breath, but grudgingly complied, picking up his bag as Harry straightened.
"Later, mate," Ron said, and Harry smiled sympathetically, looking over to the lumbering Slytherin Ron was to be partnered with and back again.
"I'll bloody well need it."
Hermione was regarding Ron with her typical 'I knew that would happen' expression, and he purposefully ignored her, walking over to the Slytherins. With a lot less subtlety than Seamus, seated two rows in front, he scraped the chair noisily across the floor and thumped down on it, throwing his bag viciously under the desk.
Snape, sorting through the textbooks Draco had carried in for him, did not even twitch.
A disgruntled Blaise Zabini crossed the room and slumped into the seat beside Dean, clearly as pleased as the Gryffindors with the new seating arrangements.
It was then that Harry realised that there was only one empty seat in the class. And that there was only one person still to be seated. So much for a quiet life.
With a sense of impending doom, Harry dropped his head into the cradle of his arms folded on the desk, and waited for the inevitable.
"Excuse me, sir, but where am I to sit?"
"I should think that obvious, Mister Malfoy."
"Beside Potter?" Draco was clearly trying to instil his usual venom into the word, but Harry was certain everyone could hear the lie. He kept his face buried, feeling the eyes of the room focusing on him.
"Yes, beside Potter." Snape was beginning to sound irritated. "I charge you with ensuring his behaviour is tolerable this lesson. Consider it training for your future career. And, Potter," he snapped. Harry lifted his head reluctantly. "Perhaps under Mister Malfoy's tutelage, you may well learn something."
Laughter rippled through the Slytherins, silenced by one glance from Snape.
"Will this count against my final mark, sir?" Draco hadn't moved. "If Potter messes up the potion?"
If he messes up? Harry bristled. Of all the patronising, offensive--
"Don't worry, I'll take your disability into consideration when I assess the final product."
--nasty things to say. There was putting on an act, and then there was just being bloody annoying. If the poncy git thought he was going to get away with that comment, he could think again.
Wait. What? Disability? Snape's word filtered into his brain. He was a disability now?
Harry sunk low in the chair and pulled his folded arms tight against his chest, watching the smirking blond pillock make his way to the desk. Their desk.
As Draco neared, Harry looked past him, focusing instead on Snape and the words he was directing to appear on the board: the details of that day's potion.
The chair beside him creaked as Draco slid into it, and Harry tried not to look, scribbling down the ingredients list for 'Gravitation Oil' on a piece of blank parchment, and attempting to ignore the soft blond hair brushing off his sleeve as Draco bent between them to place his bag beside Harry's.
When a long-fingered hand slid around his thigh and squeezed, Harry gasped, and the quill careened across the paper, leaving a messy trail of ink in its wake.
"That's not a very good start, is it, Potter?" Draco drawled, straightening and bringing his hands to the top of the desk, laying out his own writing materials. "You are meant to write on the paper, not draw stick figures."
Harry glared at the side of Draco's head, aware that eyes were watching them intently and he had to be careful. "The quill slipped," he said through gritted teeth.
A laughter line flickered into existence at the side of Draco's eye then vanished. He was studiously copying down Snape's list in tidy script. "Clumsy, are we?"
"Only when I've got prats like you sitting next to me," Harry muttered under his breath, turning back to his own parchment to attempt to eradicate the mess of ink.
A couple of cleansing charms from his wand and only a light stain remained; the paper was clean enough for writing to be legible, and hurriedly Harry set about finishing his notes.
Snape had begun to speak, a dry monotone guaranteed to have most of the class fighting to stay awake if it carried on for any length of time.
"Gravitation Oil was developed in Italy in the late 1800s by a Sicilian wizard called Andre Bertucci. It is not a pure potion, but rather a potion developed for use on a charmed object, and as such requires an even higher standard of brewing than is usual in this classroom."
Harry looked up obediently to accept the pointed stare. Ritual complete, Snape resumed speaking, and Harry let his gaze fall back to the desk where Draco's thumb was idly flicking against his quill.
"Even the tiniest miscalculation could produce disastrous effects, so I urge you to follow the instructions carefully. Do not deviate from them in any way. I realise that this may a difficult task for most of you, but I urge you to at least try."
The thumb stilled and was replaced a two long fingers that slid along the edge of the quill, thumb trailing in a gentle caress that barely indented the feather. Harry tried to look away, but he couldn't, his traitorous eyes were fixed on the caressing fingers as they returned to the base of the quill and stroked again.
"The oil you are to brew today is only the basic form of this potion. There are thousands of highly secret, patented forms, and once you understand the significance of the potion, you will realise just how important the product is to today's wizarding community.
"Each ingredient plays a vital role in the potion's attributes. Marshmallow root, for instance…"
Draco's fingers and thumb continued their casual caress, and Harry shifted in his seat, Snape's recitation of the ingredients a barely distracting hum on the air. The room was growing warm; he loosened his tie and freed the top button of his shirt, tugging the confining material away from his throat.
The brush of fingertips was mesmerising, and when it stopped, abruptly, it took a few moments for Harry to realise. And to realise Snape was no longer speaking.
Harry pushed his glasses up with the back of a knuckle and looked around the classroom. The Potions master was passing between the desks, handing out what, to Harry at least, looked like short pieces of wood. He laid theirs deliberately in front of Draco and said, "I suggest Potter only handles it under the strictest supervision," before moving across to the Slytherins.
Harry did not even register the insult; instead, he was frowning at what was, indeed, a cylindrical of wood, thicker than a wand and cut at both ends. It looked almost like a…
"It's a piece of broom," Draco said, carefully picking it up in his hands.
"What do we have that for?"
Draco looked at him, amused. "Were you not paying attention, Potter? It's the whole point of today's potion."
Harry scowled. "I might have missed a bit of what he said. Can't you just tell me?"
"Certainly," Draco said with condescending pleasure, "the potion, the Gravitation Oil…"
"I know what the potion's called."
Draco ignored him. "…is used in the broom industry to give brooms precision."
Draco laid the broom piece on the desk and pointed at it. "That will fly – it's been charmed to – but not necessarily in the direction you want." At Harry's obvious continued confusion, he sighed. "Just listen to Snape."
Snape had returned to the front of the classroom and was holding a piece of the wood in the palm of one hand. For once he had the class's undivided attention; even Ron, Harry noticed, was sitting up in his chair. He paid attention.
"Everyone knows the principle behind raising a broom, even if some of you are less proficient than others," Snape said. "If one of each pair – do not pass it to Granger, Longbottom, she's even less skilled than you – could place their hand over the broom. Keep your hand low. I do not want the infirmary filled with splinter-laden students."
He placed his own hand only a few inches about the broom fragment and took a breath. "Now everyone: UP."
There was the barest pause, and then all around the classroom a chorus of 'Up's rang out.
In most cases, nothing happened: Millicent Bulstrode began bellowing, "UP!" at the sedentary wood on her desk, Blaise and Dean mutually glowered at their unmoving shaft, and Ron looked smug as Crabbe's pudgy fingers and monosyllabic grunt elicited no reaction.
Harry watched as their piece of wood jerked spasmodically upwards at Draco's sharp, "Up," and was caught in a sure-fingered grip.
Catching Harry's eye, Draco opened his mouth to say something – smug, if past experience was anything to go by – but the words were cut off with a panicked shriek from Hermione, "Watch out!"
It was the barest shadow falling across Draco's pale features that had Harry's hand whipping out and catching Neville's broom before it embedded itself in Draco's forehead. The blond flinched back, wide-eyed, staring at Harry's white-knuckled grip until Harry let his hand fall to the desk and the wood drop from his numbed fingers. There had been significant force behind the broom's trajectory.
"All right?" he said, and Draco blinked back to himself.
"Yes," he said and paused, the 'thank you, Harry' poised on the tip of his tongue, but they both knew that with the watching audience he couldn't say it. Instead, he turned irritated grey eyes on the horrified Neville and hissed, "Imbecile."
"Longbottom!" Snape bellowed, making Neville cringe into his seat. "Fifty points from Gryffindor."
"But, sir," Hermione argued, "it was just an accident."
"An accident that could have been fatal," Snape snapped back.
"But he didn't mean to-"
"Do you wish to add to the points tally, Miss Granger?" Snape strode towards their desk until he was towering over them both. Hermione, Harry saw when he glanced up, was not cowering; instead, she was glaring up at the professor defiantly.
"It's only fair to give Gryffindor points," she said. "Harry saved Malfoy."
"Potter was lucky," Snape sneered, black eyes resting on Harry, who was too busy rubbing at his reddening hand to care. "I hardly think that luck requires a reward." There was a pause and some surprised muttering from the class. "Yes, Mr Malfoy, you have something to add?"
Harry looked up in surprise to see Draco's hand lowering. "Yes, sir, if I may?" His eyes were fixed on Snape's, conveying, Harry suspected, much more than his words. "Potter's luck did prevent Longbottom's stupidity causing any harm, and my father would prefer that we not be beholden to anyone, for any reason."
"I am loath to award house points for luck, Mr Malfoy."
Draco said nothing; he'd made his point, and to add more would be openly disrespectful of Snape.
Snape pursed his lips in thought, eyeing Neville when he finally spoke. "It would, perhaps, be unjust to penalise you for your normal behaviour, Longbottom. Since I am partially at faulty for expecting you to undertake any task successfully, I shall overlook today's incident."
"Thank you, s-sir," Neville stuttered.
Snape nodded once, and turned away, reaching the back of the class in a couple of long strides and stopping in front of Harry.
Harry resisted the urge to pull his hand away as Snape's cool fingers circled his wrist and lifted it. A wand was pointed at the palm, now scarlet and throbbing, and Snape muttered a series of spells, too quickly for Harry – or Hermione, straining to listen – to hear. Instantly, Harry's hand began to return to its normal colour and his wrist was released.
"Thanks," he muttered reluctantly.
Snape didn't respond, just picked up the fallen piece of Neville's broom and turned back to the startled class, indicating clearly that the incident was over. "We do have a potion to brew today, and unless you all wish to forgo your evening meal, I suggest we get started.
"As has been amply demonstrated, untreated brooms have little control. Today's potion, if created and applied precisely, will allow you to manipulate the broom much more easily. Broom-makers spend years perfecting the blend of these materials, and in Quidditch circles, brewers of Gravitation Oil can command high sums if their oil is particularly fine. This potion is fame and fortune to those who can perfect it."
There was complete silence in the room, everyone staring at the wood in Snape's hand with newfound respect.
"I will be satisfied with even a partial increase in control of the broom," he said. "The secret of this potion is in the application, but I suspect none of you have the subtlety of touch required for anything past basic manoeuvring. The potion itself should be completed within half an hour; you should spend the rest of the time treating the wood, and at the end of the class you shall demonstrate the effectiveness."
He dropped the piece of broom on to Neville's desk as he walked past it. "Begin," he barked.
Harry waited until people had begun to rise from their seats to collect ingredients before turning to Draco.
"What did you do that for?" Harry hissed, aware that Hermione had turned in her seat and was staring at them both suspiciously. She wasn't the only one.
"Do what?" Draco was not looking at him; instead, he was making notes on his parchment.
"The points thing."
Draco let the quill fall to the parchment and twisted around, eyes flashing with irritation. "Because, Potter," he said loudly, "I do not want Gryffindors bleating that they lost house points when the great Harry Potter saved me. This way, I look good. In fact," he smirked, some of the irritation disappearing from his features, to be replaced with something more mischievous that made Harry nervous, "you should be thanking me."
"In your dreams, Malfoy," Harry retorted.
Draco just waggled his eyebrows and began to rise from his chair. Instead of stepping out into the aisle, he slid between their chairs and paused, using the pretence of pulling his robe free to bring his mouth close to Harry's ear. "I dream of your mouth on my cock, Harry," he said and stood swiftly, heading off to collect ingredients, leaving Harry gaping and suddenly wishing he were anywhere but the Potions classroom. Behind a pillar, perhaps, or a locker room, but certainly not the Potions classroom.
"You all right, mate?"
God no, Ron, not now, Harry thought, trying to will the burgeoning erection in his trousers away. He knew he was flushed, and breathless, and all he could do was hope that Ron put it down to the excitement of the flying broom, and not anything more awkward. But then again it was Ron, and he wasn't known for his perceptiveness.
Pulling his chair a little closer to the desk, Harry forced a smile on his face and looked up. "Yeah, I'm fine."
Ron was peering down, and for a moment Harry felt a flash of panic, until he realised Ron was staring at his clenched fist. Obediently he opened up his hand to let Ron see the palm, now almost returned to its normal state.
"Just lucky," Harry repeated Snape's words with a shrug.
"Bollocks to that, mate; it was brilliant. Mind you," Ron said, grinning, "you should have let it slam into the git's head."
"Thank you so much for your concern, Weasley, I'm touched," Draco said smoothly, arriving back at their desk with his arms full of ingredients along with a sharp looking knife. He let them drop on to the desk in front of Harry and said, "Start chopping, Potter."
"You're touched all right. In the head." Ron tapped a finger against his own temple to demonstrate.
"Oh, go away and pester someone else." Draco barely looked at Ron as he took his seat again. "Some of us have work to do."
"Looks like you're getting Harry to do all the work," Ron retorted, and Harry stifled a groan, knowing Ron's annoyance would only serve to entertain Draco and result in them finally losing house points from Snape.
"Ron, it's okay," he said.
Ron looked belligerent. "It's not. Not if the slimy git is making you do all the-"
Snape called out from the front of the class. "Weasley! Sit."
Ron scowled and gave Draco's down-turned head one last deadly glare before heading back to his own seat.
"Good boy," Draco muttered under his breath. Thankfully, Ron didn't hear.
Harry picked up the knife and stared at the bundle of herbs. "So what do you want me to do?" he asked.
Draco turned, a filthy smile on his face that filled Harry with dread, but when he spoke, he only gave Harry instructions for chopping.
Half an hour passed in relative calm. Harry chopped and sliced as Draco directed, putting up with the occasional, "Be careful, Potter," and "Oh, for Merlin's sake could you be any more incompetent?" with only the mildest irritation. His fellow Gryffindors' annoyed looks gradually lessened until they, too, were ignoring Draco's snide remarks. The Slytherins lost interest even sooner, when it was clear Harry was not going to react.
As Harry prepared the ingredients, Draco measured and sorted, and finally their oil was bubbling away in the cauldron, wisps of pinkish steam rising from the top. Unlike most potions Harry had encountered, it barely had any aroma. Across the room, Ron and Crabbe's cauldron, however, was belching out farts of soured grass, and Snape was ignoring their furtive attempts to add perfumed herbs to the mixture.
Harry shook his head and turned to Draco, who was leaning back in his seat, looking suspiciously thoughtful.
"What do we do now?"
Almost lazily, Draco tilted his head and regarded Harry. There was something in his expression that made Harry nervous, and he tried to ignore it. "Now, we apply the oil."
"But it's boiling…"
"No, it isn't," Draco said. "Stick your finger in it."
"You must be joking," Harry leaned across the desk and peered into the bubbling pot. "I can see the bubbles from here."
"Bubbling doesn't necessarily mean boiling." Draco was leaning forwards alongside Harry, hair ghosting off Harry's cheek. Harry forced himself to stay still.
Draco reached out and dipped his index finger into the oil. Harry flinched, expecting to hear a high-pitched squeal, but Draco just calmly removed the finger, now coated with shimmering oil, and turned to Harry, dropping the finger on to Harry's hand and drawing a line across his knuckles. It was barely warm.
Harry pulled his hand back and swallowed nervously, flustered by the touch. "Yeah…er…so, what? We just brush it on the bit of broom?"
"No." Draco looked slightly horrified. "Don't you pay attention? The wood needs to absorb the oil, not just have it slapped on."
"Can you not just drop the broom into the cauldron?"
This time the "No" was sharper. "How did you ever manage in Potions before me?"
I didn't, Harry thought, then immediately felt guilty and flicked a look across to Ron, who was now trying to hide the splodges of bright orange gloop sputtering from his cauldron.
Draco took the piece of broom and laid it in front of Harry. "Dip your fingers in the oil and spread it on the broom."
"But didn't Snape say this was the most important part?" Harry asked, suddenly remembering Snape's words.
"Potter, do you truly think I would allow you to do this if I thought you would mess it up?"
"Just get on with it."
Harry shrugged and let out a breath. "Okay then, but don't blame me if it goes wrong."
Draco said nothing, grey eyes unreadable as he watched Harry reach out and stick his fingers into the oil. Like Draco had demonstrated, the oil was little more than tepid, and Harry lifted his hand, his rough fingers covered with oil.
"Now rub it into the wood," Draco said.
His left hand holding the piece of broom on the desk, Harry brought his oil-slicked fingers from the pot and quickly smeared it on the wood.
"No," Draco snapped, sharply enough that Harry whipped his fingers back. "With a little finesse, Potter."
"Glide the oil across the wood, don't just slap it on like you are smacking the Weaselette's arse."
"Malfoy," Harry growled, aware that Ron had turned in his seat and was glaring murderously at Draco.
"Weasley, pay attention to your own work," Snape barked, and Ron turned away.
Draco was smirking. "What?" he said. "I was just trying to give you a familiar analogy."
"As you wish, Potter. Perhaps, if I showed you?"
"Fine," Harry said, unthinking, lifting his hands away from the broom, and so was surprised when Draco reached an arm out and grabbed his left wrist in a tight grip, pulling it back towards the desk. "Wha-?"
"I'm showing you, Potter." Grey eyes caught his in challenge, and Harry could feel his own cheeks reddening. "It's the best way to learn anything: hands on, so to speak."
Unless he was willing to make a scene, Harry had no choice but to go along with Draco. A quick scan of the room confirmed that no one was paying them even the slightest bit of attention. "Fine," he said, allowing Draco to tug his hand back down.
"Hold the wood in your hand," Draco directed, drawing his hand from Harry's wrist and curling Harry's fingers around the wooden shaft. Keeping his hand cupped around Harry's he said, "And paint the oil on the wood with your fingers. Stroke it."
Harry could feel a warm flush spreading across his body and tried to settle himself. This was part of the lesson, not something to get turned on by; Draco wouldn't dare – he thought back to Draco's whisper earlier and swallowed nervously – would he?
Draco tapped a finger impatiently against the back of Harry's, and Harry felt something flutter in the pit of stomach.
The oil on his fingers was drying out, and so he dipped them once again into the cauldron, bringing them back to the broom with more hesitation than before. This time he slid them along the side of the wood, leaving a shimmering trail.
"Good," Draco said, and Harry felt a burst of irrational pleasure. "And again. But slower this time; you need to massage it in."
Draco's head was dipped, hair falling across his cheeks and obscuring his expression. It was infuriating; Harry wanted to know what was going on in his head, but couldn't ask. All he could do was comply: collecting more of the oil and spreading it slowly along the side of the broom, feeling awkward as he tried to rub it in. He couldn't help it; gentleness wasn't something he was renowned for, and so his attempt at massage looked like he was rubbing in boot polish.
Draco winced. "Merlin, Potter, you're like an ape." He flicked Harry's fingers away and touched the wood with graceful care. "Like this," he said, fingers sliding along the shaft and back, massaging the oil into the wood with his fingertips as he had directed. He dipped his own fingers into the oil, and directed Harry to turn the broom. This time the oil skimmed over the bare wood like butter, pale fingers gliding down its length, tickling the ends of Harry's fingers with each assured stroke.
Harry shifted his feet wider apart under the desk, his trousers growing uncomfortably tight, and couldn't gather enough sense into his head to draw his thoughts elsewhere. All he could do was swallow against a dry throat as Malfoy dipped and stroked, letting out a small whimper as the other boy slid a thumb around the cut end of the wood.
"Wish this was your cock, Harry?" Draco said softly, and Harry's eyes snapped wide. He tried to pull his hand away, but Draco was ready, and hooked his fingers back around Harry's wrist. "Careful, Potter," he said, loudly, "your attention's slipping."
Harry was staring, willing Draco to turn his head, but the blond hair resolutely curtained Draco's face as his fingers kept up their steady movement. The air was stuttering into his lungs and his heart thundering in his chest so loudly he was sure the entire class could hear. Panicked at the thought, he looked around, but everyone was still engrossed in their own work. He saw Snape's head lifting, and black eyes bored into his for a moment before Harry dropped his gaze back to the desk and Draco.
The blond's fingers were sliding along the wood and deliberately across the pad at the base of Harry's thumb with each massaging path. "I want to do this, you know." Draco's voice was low again. "Coat your cock in oil and slide my hand up and down until you're begging me to let you come. You'd like that, wouldn't you?"
"Stop…stop it," Harry stuttered, his right fist clenching, trapped on the desk under Draco's arms. Pinned, Harry realised, and felt himself grow harder.
"Shush," there was a smile in Draco's voice, "or someone will hear you, Snape will hear you, and drag you to the front of the class." His thumb circled the tip of the wood again. "And how would explain yourself? 'I'm hard, sir, because Draco Malfoy wants to put his hand on my cock and make me beg'?"
Harry groaned, more in pained frustration than anything else. Blood throbbed at his temple, and he wanted nothing more than Draco to stop, to let go of his hand, to shove his hand into Harry's trousers and fist his cock and bloody well do some of what he was talking about because otherwise Harry was going to scream out his name and shove the blond prat across the desk and show him exactly what teasing a Potter-
"Oh, for Merlin's sake, Potter, can you do nothing right?" Draco practically shouted the words and let go of Harry's wrist, snatching the piece of broom away and pulling back to his own side of the desk.
Chairs scraped as student whipped around at the noise. Trying to gather his wits, Harry turned confused, lust-filled eyes to Draco and said, "What?"
Draco's cheeks were uncharacteristically tinged with pink, but the self-satisfied grin on his face was pure unadulterated Malfoy. "Perhaps it's best if you observe me doing it properly."
Harry tried to make sense of Draco's sudden change of mood. "But you were…"
"It was obvious you weren't learning anything. You were barely paying attention." Draco said snidely.
"Is there a problem here?"
Snape had appeared at the side of their desk and Harry folded his arms, as though doing so would hide his… discomfort. From the way Snape was eyeing him, he imagined the man could tell something was going on. What if he dragged Harry out into the front of the class and made him- Damn it, Draco, why did you make me think of that?
"No, sir," Draco was answering the Potions master's question. "Everything is fine. Potter, here, was having a problem with applying the potion. He lacks…focus."
"Yes, indeed. It is a critical stage. Perhaps, Potter, you need to listen to Mr Malfoy's instruction more closely."
Harry's cock was aching hard, blood buzzing in his ears, and all he wanted was to be out of the classroom and locked in the nearest toilets for five minutes so he could think straight. It was a struggle to formulate a correct response, but he managed a rough, "Yes, sir."
"Good. I expect to see you giving Mr Malfoy your undivided attention, is that clear? I will be watching."
"Yes, sir," Harry repeated forlornly. This was hell, he was sure of it.
Satisfied, Snape moved from their desk, prowling amongst the students and commenting on the various efforts of potion-making.
Harry let out a strangled sigh and Draco chuckled. "Tense, Potter?"
Harry hoped that his look conveyed the 'tension' he was feeling. "Just get on with the instruction," he growled.
"Very well." Draco smirked. "I want you to take your wood in your hand and do as I do."
Harry frowned. "But you've just taken the broom from me." He spread his oily palms out.
"You aren't listening," Draco said slowly. "I didn't say 'take the broom', did I? Snape told you to pay attention."
"What do you-" Harry's words cut off as his lust-filled brain caught up with the implication of Draco's words. He stared at Draco in horror. He didn't mean? He couldn't?
Draco was quirking an eyebrow and was lazily sliding one glistening finger along the side of the piece of broom. Bloody hell, he did.
"I can't," Harry said roughly, although he wanted to – hell, he wanted to. But not in the middle of the bloody Potions classroom with Snape breathing down their necks.
The finger was twirling, drawing little spirals in the oil. "I can't," he repeated, staring at Draco's hands. "Someone will see." The swirls grew larger, more forceful, and Harry could almost feel the finger on the side of his cock; his sense sucked away with each whirl of touch.
"I hate you," he whispered, lifting his eyes to Draco's, and was satisfied to see them darken with lust – and a little surprise – as the blond realised just what Harry's words meant.
Making sure no one was watching, especially not Snape, Harry slid his hands under the desk and brought his trembling fingers to the zip of his trousers. He was so hard, his body aching, that he feared for a moment even the slightest touch was going to send him over the edge. He thought of Mrs Norris and Filch and took a steadying breath.
Draco was staring at the point where Harry's hands had vanished, and Harry kicked at him with a foot, forcing his attention back to his face. "You were going to show me how to do it properly," he said roughly. "Or was that just bragging?"
Draco smiled beatifically and curved one long fingered hand around the greased broom. "Take hold of your wood," he said. "Be gentle, and try not to grip too tightly otherwise you might damage the surface."
Harry lowered his zip and pulled his eager cock free, sliding one hand around it, warm and rough. The urge to jerk his hand sharply up and down was almost overpowering, but he bit hard on his cheek, tasting coppery blood, and stilled. His eyelids fluttered closed for a second and when he opened them again, all he could see was Draco. "And?" He forced the word out.
Draco's voice was breathy. "And… you move your hand slowly along the shaft, making sure your whole hand coats the surface with oil."
Harry drew his hand down, warmed oil easing his fingers over his hyper-sensitive flesh, and he gasped.
"Rub your thumb around the tip…" Harry was panting now, fighting to keep it quiet, "…the end of the wood. Make sure everything is covered with the oil. You can't miss a spot."
A groan, pained, and Harry's body was hunching forwards.
"Now bring your hand back up, and down, and up, and down…" Draco said quickly, repeating the motion with own hand as under the table Harry did the same, and then Harry was swallowing back Draco's name, clamping his mouth closed on the pleasure as he came hard and fast under the table, his hand suddenly coated with more than oil.
He let his sweat-soaked head fall, trying to breathe. The world had centred to nothing but harsh breaths and Draco's hand sliding over his own under the table, squeezing his fingers.
"Potter, are you ill?" Harry heard Snape's voice, knew he was close, and felt Draco's hand pull away. Lethargically, he tucked himself back into his trousers and lifting his head to blink at Snape.
"You suddenly felt the urge to sleep in my class?"
"No, sir." He couldn't think of a more coherent response.
"So, slumped at your desk with your head lolling is acceptable behaviour, is it?"
"No, sir, I-"
"Silence. I am not interested in your meaningless excuses. If I thought that by sleeping you hampered Mr Malfoy's potion, I would be deducting points, but I suspect it was beneficial."
"Actually, it was, sir," Draco said at his side, and Harry took the opportunity, with Snape distracted, to wipe his hands on his trousers and bring them back to the desk.
"You have completed the potion?" Snape said, sounding somewhat surprised, and he eyed the shining piece of broom in Draco's hand.
Draco considered the broom. "Yes, I think so. I think it's been lubricated sufficiently."
Harry rubbed at the back of his neck with one hand, dipping his head so Snape didn't see the grin that he couldn't stop.
"Very well," the Potions master said. "I think now is a good point for everyone to begin clearing up and placing their broom pieces out for inspection."
Harry bit back a small giggle, and Snape looked at him suspiciously. "Something to add, Potter?"
"No, sir," Harry said.
With a shake of his greasy hair, Snape swivelled on his heel and stepped to the front of the class. "Five minutes," he said loudly. "And then we will see if anyone has managed to surpass my low expectations."
There was a burst of panicked activity as the students hastened to clear their desks and cover their brooms with the oil.
Draco cleared their desk with a cleansing charm, and then cast another in Harry's direction. Harry opened his mouth to protest, but stopped when he felt a pleasant tingle around his groin. He tentatively stuck his hand back under the table and was surprised to find the cloth of his trousers was clean and dry.
"Thanks," he said.
"For what, Potter? Putting up with your inadequacies?" Draco's derisive mask had slipped back across his features, and Harry frowned. What the-?
"Git," Ron spat as he moved past their desk with an armful of scented flowers.
"Return to your seats." Snape waited while the class complied, exuding impatience through every pore.
When Goyle, lumbering slowly back to his desk, sat down, Snape took a step to the first Slytherin desk. "Begin," he snapped.
Millicent hovered her hand over her patchily coated broom and shouted, "Up!" at the top of her voice. The wood quivered but stayed on the desk. She glared.
"Fail," Snape snapped, taking a step to the next desk. "Next!"
Around each desk he went, watching each unsuccessful attempt to raise the pieces of wood with a complete and utter lack of surprise. At Hermione and Neville's table, he forestalled Neville's attempt with a sharp, "Fail," even before Neville uttered a syllable.
Hermione opened her mouth to argue, and Snape stopped her with a pointed finger. "May I remind you, Miss Granger, that I have already shown you leniency today. Be aware that I will not tolerate insubordination again."
Hermione snapped her mouth closed and sat back in her seat, her face scarlet. Oh, God, Harry thought, catching Ron's eye, they were never going to hear the end of it.
Ron fared no better. His wood, like the others, did not rise, but the concoction they had poured on it seemed to give it a mind of its own. Within moments it was rhythmically slamming against the desk, almost as though it were attempting to burrow inside, and both Ron and Crabbe risked bruised fingers trying in vain to pull it back.
"Fail," Snape barked, stilling the broom with a flick of his wand.
Finally, he reached the back of the room, and all eyes were on their table as Draco's glistening hand hovered over their piece of broom.
When Draco said, "Up," the broom lifted smoothly through the air and straight into his hand. Even Hermione looked grudgingly impressed, and Snape blinked once.
He hadn't expected any of them to make the potion work, Harry realised in surprise, and for some reason felt absurdly proud. Of Draco.
"Well done, Mr Malfoy," Snape finally said. "As always I can rely on you to show the rest of the class how it should be done."
Hermione was regarding Draco and Harry through narrowed eyes, her lips pinched. That's not good, Harry thought.
Draco, clearly as surprised as Snape, was staring at the wood in his hand. "Thank you, sir."
"And, Potter," Harry looked to Snape, "perhaps you have learned something today. The class has certainly been much less disruptive than usual."
A pearl of ominous dread settled in the pit of Harry's stomach as Snape continued. "I think, if Mr Malfoy has no objections, you shall continue to work together. Mr Malfoy?"
At Harry's side, Draco sat straighter in his seat. "That's completely acceptable to me, sir. I find working with Potter a stimulating challenge."
Harry closed his eyes in horror. Please, no. He heard Draco say, "What do you think, Potter?" and reluctantly opened them again.
He looked from Hermione – still suspicious – to Snape – dryly amused – past Ron and most of the Gryffindors – filled with horrified pity – to finally settle on Draco.
Grey eyes mischievously glittered with promises of delicious tortures to come.
"Can't wait," he said, and somewhere, deep inside, somewhere near his twitching cock, part of him meant it.