Title: Staircase

Author: Cat Samwise

Author e-mail: samwise@012.net.il

House: Astronomy Tower

Category: Drama, Romance

Keywords: Draco, Harry, slash, the Weasleys

Spoilers: None, but you have to know the relationships between the characters

Rating: PG

Pairings: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy

Summary: Ron goes to Harry's house warming party. But when he comes he finds who else, but Draco Malfoy sitting on the staircase. What is he doing there? Warning: very mild slash!

Disclaimer: Characters in this story which appear in the Harry Potter novels belong to JK Rowling, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros. and Scholastic. I don't make, or intend to make money of them.

Author's Note: I'd like to thank my betas- Fatboy not slim, Just Silver, Sakpana and Martyn (also known as Bel).

Warning: This story contains SLASH. If you don't like it, please, don't read it. It's very mild but it's still there.

Don't say I didn't warn you :D

~*~

He stopped looking anxiously at the building. His brothers were parking the car. Or at least trying to, it seemed like there were lots and lots of people but not enough room.

He looked at his watch. It was half past five. Their invitation was for six. He felt very uncomfortable in that street, but he felt even more uncomfortable going in. All his mother's idea, she asked them to come earlier and help Harry.

House warming party, yeah, right. Harry must have lived there a year now. Harry had avoided seeing them, all of them, wrote lots of letters though. He was like that. He'd tell them everything new and old, interesting and not very much so. Ron pondered over the last thought for a while. No, Harry probably hadn't told them everything. There were subjects he avoided like hell, his job, for one, and where he lived. His love life too, his mother had asked him several times, but Ron wasn't that interested in it either.

Now he was going to, tell them, that is. His latest letter said he had something to tell them, everyone. He invited all, all of the Weasleys and Hermione.

Ron stood waiting for his brothers and wondering what was so important that Harry wanted to tell them all at once.

"Are you coming?" Fred's voice cut into his thoughts.

Ron nodded and joined the twins. They had grown out of their joking-self since they opened their world-famous joke shop. They were much more serious now, more collected. In one word, they knew what they wanted. A fortunate thing, because no one else did.

Ron shook his head to clear it out a bit and concentrated on finding Harry's building.

"What number is it, George?" asked Fred.

"How should I know? Ron's got the address," answered George.

"No I don't!" protested Ron. "I gave it to you"

"Oh, wait," cried out Fred. "I've got it. "The other two men groaned. "It's number 4, apartment number 6."

The three found the place soon enough, getting into the building was a different matter.

"The door is locked," stated Fred.

"No way, genius," retorted George.

"Well, do you know how to open it?"

"We can't use magic, so no. Do you?"

"No. Ron, care to help us?"

"You push the button with number '6' next to it," answered Ron.

"And the door will open?" asked George.

"No," Ron answered, annoyed. "Then you have to talk to Harry and tell him it's you and then he pushes a button in his flat and then the door will open."

Fred and George stared at him. "How do you know this?"

"I used to date Hermione, remember?"

Fortunately, before they started pushing buttons the door opened and one of the other residents came out. Ron seized the moment and he and the twins went in.

"How far up do you think he lives?" asked Fred.

"Well, we're going to find out," said Ron. "There's no elevator." His brothers looked at him sheepishly. "Oh, just come on."

He turned away from them and started going up the stairs. One floor… Two floors….

"Is it any further up?" complained George out loud.

"Just one more floor," answered Ron.

"How do you know?" asked Fred.

"I used my head," said Ron, feeling very much like a kindergarten teacher. "There are two apartments on each floor, how many floors do you have to go up until we reach number '6'?"

"Oh," said the twins, feeling stupid.

On the last flight of stairs the three found their way blocked. A man was half-sitting, half-lying on the stairs just in front of number 6; they could see the silver number on the door from where they were standing.

The man on the floor was wearing a Muggle suit; a black briefcase was standing between him and the door. They couldn't see his face because of his blond hair, which was shadowing his eyes because of the angle in which he held his head, reading a book.

Fred cleared his throat. The man lifted his head and everybody looked stunned for a moment.

Then Draco Malfoy, for it was definitely he, lifted his sleeve and looked at his watch, a slight puzzled expression covered his features.

"I thought you were supposed to come at six," he said.

That didn't help Ron at all, not to mention Fred and George whose mouths were hanging open.

"Wha - what are you doing here?!" Ron managed after a few moments.

Draco shook his head. "Harry won't let me in. He learned some new locking-spell, so I'm stuck here. And so are you, as a matter of fact," he added thoughtfully. "Might as well take a seat." Then he moved his legs from the upper stair and continued reading.

The three Weasleys were staring at him. "What are you doing here, Malfoy?" Fred finally found his tongue.

Draco sighed, closed his book, and murmured something about people not letting other people read a bloody book and put it in his briefcase.

He looked up again and said very slowly- "I am sitting here because Harry locked me out. There is no way of getting in, so I'm waiting."

Ron was shaking with fury. "Get the hell out of here, Malfoy!"

"And why would I do that?" asked Draco calmly. He didn't move one inch.

"Because, apparently, you can't get a clue," George joined the conversation. "Frankly, I have no idea what you'd be doing here in the first place."

Draco opened his mouth to answer, but then he looked like he understood something and sprang to his feet.

"He hasn't told you anything yet," he was talking to himself more than to them. "You don't know anything!"

Ron, Fred and George watched him, amazed, as he walked to the door and started banging on it.

"Harry!" Draco called through the door. "C'mon! Some of your friends are here, and they'll kill me!" There was no reaction from inside, but the three Weasleys had to lean on a wall from amazement.

Draco, of course, didn't stop. "Harry! I've been out here for the last hour, let me in!"

Still no reaction, but the door of apartment number 5 opened and an old lady looked out.

"Is anything wrong, sweetie?" she asked Draco.

"No, thank you, Mrs. Simons," answered Draco. "I forgot the key, and I think he can't hear me."

"Oh, all right then," said Mrs. Simons and smiled. "Have a nice evening you two."

"Thank you," Draco smiled back. "You as well."

She closed the door and Draco turned back to Harry's. "If you don't open the door in the next five minutes, I'm calling the ministry!" Then he kicked the door and sat on the stairs again. "Why did you come this early anyway?"

Ron was so shocked that he actually answered him. "Mum told us to come and see if we can help."

Draco smiled. "Never seen Harry cook, has she? Don't worry, it'd be the most delicious thing you've ever tasted. God only knows where he learned to cook like that."

Ron could detect a note of admiration in his voice and a lot of other notes that his brain just wouldn't digest, so he let it be.

They stood, except Draco who was sitting, silently for a while. Then they heard someone else coming up the stairs.

A few minutes later Hermione came up behind Fred and George. She was smiling.

The smile tentatively left her face when she saw the seen in the stairway. "What are you all doing here?" she asked.

"He," said Ron gesturing to Draco. "Said that Harry won't let him in, frankly…" but he was cut off.

"Why won't he let you come in?" asked Hermione, surprised.

Draco shrugged. "Said it was a surprise and wouldn't come to the door anymore. I've been here since five!"

"Oh, my poor thing," Hermione made a face. "Tried to pick the lock or something?"

"Wouldn't do no good. I thought about calling the ministry but figured they wouldn't be of much help. By the way, why are you standing? I've got a feeling that bloke inside is going to keep us here until six. Take a seat." He gestured to the stairs. To the complete shock of Ron, Fred and George, she did.

"Hermione…?" tried Fred, but she wasn't listening.

"How are you, anyway?" she was saying to Draco. "We haven't had much time to talk recently."

"Mhmm," Draco nodded. "Not much new though. Got a really big case at work, top secret." He paused for a moment. "I'll tell you everything about it later." Hermione laughed. "Harry's got some new stuff. I swore I won't tell anyone, he wants to tell you himself." Hermione made a puppy face and Draco lifted his hands in defense. "I promised!"

Hermione giggled a little. "OK, I'll leave you alone."

"I won't," smiled Draco. "I've heard you've got someone new!" Hermione blushed scarlet. "You do, don't you! Tell me! I want to know everything!"

"Draco!" Hermione half-hissed, half laughed. "I'll tell you later." Draco pouted but nodded his agreement.

"Hermione!" Ron finally got her attention. "What the hell are you doing?!"

"Well, if you haven't noticed, or if you're that dense - I'm talking," she answered.

Things became rather strange between Ron and Hermione after they broke up. They were (surprisingly) still best friends, but they had some subjects (really strange ones) that they generally avoided, or tended with extreme delicacy.

Fred pushed Ron to the back, trying to avoid unnecessary shouting and a free show for the neighbors. "Hermione," he said in a pleading voice. "Please, tell us why you're so friendly to him?"

"Um… I had some time to get to know him better," she answered. "Plus, I know some things you don't."

"But why do you know them, and I don't?" Ron again.

"Not on purpose, I swear," she said apologetically. "And I swore not to tell anyone."

"Thank god you didn't," added Draco under his breath.

They, again, sat in silence. No one knew what to say in this unexpected situation. Suddenly Draco jumped to his feet and took his briefcase.

"Finally!" he said and went to the door, which to everyone's surprise opened.

"It's bloody time," Draco was saying. "I've been here…" but he stopped talking abruptly and the people in the stairway heard something heavy fall down.

Since Draco had entered the apartment and she couldn't see anything, Hermione sprang to her feet as well and walked to the door, the three Weasleys behind her. When they looked inside, Hermione smiled and the Weasleys just gaped in astonishment.

Harry was leaning on the door and looking at Draco. He was wearing a simple pair of blue jeans and a gray T-shirt. He was smiling and his eyes were sparkling behind his small designer glasses.

Inside, the room, which was very beautiful and warm, was decorated with lots of balloons and small confetti, which exploded every few moments in a shower of colorful paper and ribbons.

"What's this?" Draco choked out of himself. "Why – Christmas isn't until next month, what are you doing?"

Harry smiled. "Dray, you have an awful memory. What date is it today?" The couple was obviously oblivious to the four people just outside the apartment watching them in astonishment.

"It's November 14th. Harry, what's going on?" Draco appeared to be completely bewildered. "What does it matter what day it is today? It's almost six, all the Weasleys are going to show up here soon."

Harry was nonplused. "I'll walk you through this. What happened today 5 years ago?"

"We were in our 7th year, your point?"

"Dray!" Harry sounded playfully annoyed. "I won't let you inside until you figure this out!"

"Why does Harry keep calling Malfoy 'Dray'?" whispered Ron to Hermione, not realizing what he was doing.

"Oh, you'll see," she giggles to herself. She appeared to be the only person who actually understood what was going on.

Draco, in the meantime, was looking hard at Harry. "The 14th does sound familiar. Why don't you give me clue?"

Harry shrugged and smiled mischievously.

"Does it have to do with our anniversary? But we only got together 3 years ago in April." There was a collective gasp from the three Weasleys at the door. "Is it about one of those fights you always had that I keep forgetting?" Harry shook his head and Draco took a step towards Harry. "You have at least tell me if I'm getting warm."

"Oh, you're hot alright, but that has nothing to do with this." Ron found that very disgusting.

"Fine!" Draco threw his hands out. "I give up! I have no idea what you're talking about!"

Harry detached himself from the door. "It's the day you came up to me and said you were sorry." Draco gasped softly, amazed. Suddenly, he crossed the distance between them in one stride and threw his arms around Harry, who, in turn, gathered Draco into his arms as well. A moment later Harry lifted Draco's head and kissed him full on the lips.

That was, actually, how the rest of the Weasley family found them - at the foot of their apartment, kissing like there was no tomorrow.

But they did break off eventually and Draco blushed a little when he looked from Harry's chest to the people standing in front of their door.

"Um…" he said. "Would you like to come in?"

~Fin~