Disclaimer: I own nothing! I'm just playing with JK Rowling's toys.
Author's note: This could potentially be read as pre-slash but it doesn't have to be. I'm not really sure what I was thinking when I wrote this to be honest!
Rated to be safe.
There was a rumour going around that Harry Potter did not wear pants. No one knew who had started it, but everyone had heard it.
Draco Malfoy did not believe it. Potter was too painfully innocent to walk around school without underwear. And he was clearly a virgin; in which case, how could anyone know what Potter wore beneath his trousers. Or didn't wear. Potter's roommates were far too loyal to betray their golden boy like that.
So, Draco did not believe a word of it, yet...
Draco glanced up as Potter sauntered into Potions half a minute before the class started.
...yet Potter was different this year. His clothes, if not exactly the height of fashion, at least fitted him for a change. Draco would even go so far as to say (though not aloud, obviously) that there was a certain sense of style that had been seriously lacking from Potter's previous attire. And he seemed to have developed a confidence about him, which he had been sadly lacking in the past. These facts gave Draco reason to pause.
Maybe, just maybe, the rumours were true. And this was a situation Draco simply couldn't abide by. He had to know, one way or the other. So Draco set out to find the truth.
He began in the library. He politely asked Madam Pince where he could find a book on revealing spells, and she helpfully pointed him to the correct section. He quickly passed over books such as 'Revealing Spells for Dummies' (he was cleverer than that) and 'Revealing Spells for Mummies' (he shuddered at the thought of that one, having no desire to see the half preserved remains of a three thousand year old corpse. The fact that the book was actually aimed at stressed mothers searching for either lost children or toys entirely escaped his notice). He briefly considered 'Hidden Things and How to Find Them' but after a quick look at the contents page he realised it was more aimed at the witch or wizard who had a bad habit of losing things. (He briefly considered sending it to Longbottom but decided he wasn't worth the bother.)
Beginning to get frustrated, he moved onto the next shelf, which appeared to be more promising. At least it contained books with titles such as 'Revealing Black Magic' (he didn't look close enough to release it was actually designed to assist in the hunt for hidden chocolates) and 'Reveal!' (which was in fact a bound collection of muggle magazines that had been misfiled).
Twenty minutes later, however, Draco was sat on his bed, curtains spelled shut around him, 'The Great Big Book of Revealing Spells, Charms and Potions for the Intelligent Witch or Wizard' open in his lap. He had been somewhat put off by the rather exuberant title at first, but a quick look at the contents page had been more encouraging.
Flicking past the introduction, Draco read through the first few spells. Most of them were aimed at discovering items or persons that had been magically hidden, but the spell on the fourth page looked more promising.
The spell was designed to reveal the existence of an item by making said item glow blue. It was particularly for locating missing objects but its complexity allowed it to be used when searching for something one had never seen before. Pleased, Draco quickly memorised the spell, before casting it on his teddy (Dinky). The blue glow which instantly surrounded the bear was actually rather pretty, but it didn't stop him from apologising to Dinky afterwards. Draco hadn't meant to scare him.
Draco was relatively satisfied that the spell worked, but still, he had known that Dinky was there. To truly test it he would need to search for something that he didn't already know existed.
Drawing back the curtains of the bed, Draco peered thoughtfully around the room. He considered searching for hidden snacks, but that seemed fraught with problems. Considering who his roommates were, the likelihood was that the number of sweets alone probably equated to more than the number of students in the school. No, he needed to choose something there could only be one of.
Suddenly he smirked. Casting the spell, he quickly let his eyes search the room. Sure enough, there was a blue glow coming from the recesses of Blaise's four-poster. So it seemed Pansy's boast about leaving her knickers in Zabini's bed was true. Not that it proved anything of course, but it was good ammunition nonetheless.
Content in the knowledge that his spell worked, Draco left his dorm to head to the great hall for dinner. He was so wrapped up in his thoughts that it was a minute before he realised that he was no longer alone in the corridor. Leaning against the wall a little further on was Potter and a bunch of his friends.
Struggling to contain his glee, Draco surreptitiously reached for his wand and began casting the spell. He was no more than halfway through the rather lengthy incantation when he was hit with a jelly-legs jinx, a bat bogey hex and a silencing charm all at the same time. When he finally managed to pull himself to his feet, the Gryffindors were long gone.
Three days later, Draco was sat on his bed, nursing his right hand which still stung from the hex Potter had sent his way. He didn't know how, but the Gryffindor hero seemed to be able to sense Draco's intentions even before he had cast a single spell.
He had attempted to cast the revealing spell at least six times since he had first discovered it, only to be thwarted at every turn. It was ridiculous. How could Potter possibly know what Draco was planning? He couldn't. It was as simple as that.
He sighed in resignation as a quick glance at his watch alerted him to the fact he had less than five minutes to get to his next class on the other side of the castle. He would try one more time, and then it was back to the drawing board. He wasn't sure how many more unexpected attacks he could handle.
Fortunately, by the time he arrived in charms (which this year was with the Gryffindors) the class was already up and practicing the latest spell required for their NEWTs. In the chaos Draco easily managed to slip into his seat unnoticed and get out his wand. Pointing it at the cymbal playing clockwork monkey he was trying to charm into performing a concerto, Draco replaced the words of the charm with his revealing spell. He waited for a moment, surprised to find that he was still standing, before glancing around the room.
He almost crowed with joy when he spotted the familiar blue glow. Clearly the rumour was... still a mystery. The blue glow was surrounding Weasley's hips. Startled, Draco's eyes shot to Potter who was currently across the room speaking to Finnegan, seemingly oblivious to the attention his friend was beginning to attract.
Quickly, Draco mentally ran through what he knew. One; the spell was worded to apply specifically to Potter's pants only. Therefore, two; Weasley was apparently wearing Potter's boxers (which was slightly weird and something Draco really didn't want to think about). Three; Potter's arse was blue glow free. Four; Draco had no idea if the spell worked on multiple items, so the Potter situation was still unknown. And five; if the spell did work on multiple items, then the rumour was true.
Later that evening Draco sat glaring at the glowing pillow in front of him. It seemed that the spell only worked on one item at a time. Specifically, the closest item to the caster matching the description in the spell. So Draco was no nearer to discovering the truth than he had been when he started.
There was no way he was going to risk casting the spell again. Potter had taken to hanging out with Ginny Weasley again and Draco had no intention of being on the receiving end of one of her bat bogey hexes ever again. He expected his previous experience was already enough to scar him for life.
With a frustrated huff, Draco reached into his trunk to retrieve the revealing spell library book. Flicking past the chapters on spells and charms, Draco began to read the potions section.
There were a few potential options. One was a variation of a truth potion, similar to veritaserum but less potent (and less likely to get him in trouble) but it involved asking questions. And it would seem rather odd if Draco suddenly started asking Potter's friends, or even Potter himself, if the Gryffindor wore underwear. Draco decided it might be best to leave that one for the moment.
Another was a temporary invisibility potion, and that definitely seemed like an option, but the fortnight of brewing was a rather significant drawback. And there was the fact that Draco would still have to engineer a situation in which he'd be able to see the results to discover anything.
The best option Draco came across was a dissolving potion that destroyed fabric but was harmless to human skin. But whilst Draco's desire for the truth was rapidly becoming an obsession, he didn't really want to see the truth. Besides, there was also the risk that the potion would dissolve through anything that may be beneath Potter's trousers and give unreliable results.
Eventually, Draco had to accept that potions were probably not the answer (though he started brewing the invisibility potion just in case). The few other possibilities all involved getting Potter to drink it and after his experience with the revealing spell, he was somewhat reluctant to even attempt it.
Draco flicked back to the chapters on spells and looked through more carefully trying to find something that at least consisted of a shorter incantation. He briefly considered invisibility spells, wondering if perhaps he could cast one on Potter's trousers (but that had the same drawback as the dissolving potion). He considered casting it on himself, but then noticed the postscript warning that the spell was not for use on living things.
Vanishing spells were out for the same reason. There was little likelihood that the spell would extend to anything beneath the trousers, but it did mean attempting to cast a spell at Potter (something he wasn't quite ready to try unprovoked). Frustrated, Draco abandoned the book, instead heading for Snape's potions store to collect the ingredients for the invisibility draught.
Draco spent the next couple of weeks (while brewing the potion) attempting various other options. A potions class in which they were brewing a version of the dissolving potion gave Draco the opportunity to 'accidentally' spill his potion over Potter, but the results had been unhelpful to say the least.
Potter had lost the entire front lower half of his robes, his trousers and half a sock. But the remaining fabric of his robe combined with his shirt hid more than enough to protect Potter's modesty, and more importantly, his secret. The fact that Potter had then lunged at him had also landed them both in detention, which had hardly helped matters.
Draco also attempted a few of the spells (under the cover of practical charms lessons) but also with useless results. The vanishing spell hit Potter's shirt instead of his trousers thanks to a badly timed nudge from Goyle. And whilst the ensuing chaos was somewhat amusing, it was not something he could risk attempting again.
The invisibility spell had a similar result. Only Granger managed to get between he and Potter and it was her skirt that was suddenly rendered invisible. Whilst the information that virginal Granger wore lacy black thongs beneath her school uniform appeared to go down rather well with a large proportion of males in the class, Draco was too frustrated by his failure to really notice.
Finally, the invisibility potion was ready, and decanting it into a silver hip flask (the last step of the brewing process) Draco headed out of the dungeons in search of Potter.
Draco eventually tracked the Gryffindor to the quidditch pitch, where Potter was practicing alone for the upcoming Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw match. Grinning evilly, as was his wont, Draco hid behind the locker rooms waiting patiently for Potter to return to the ground. It was not a long wait, and moments later Draco was downing the potion before slipping into the changing room behind Potter.
The sound of the shower running met his ears as soon as he entered the room and he quickly hurried over to the pile of clothes on the bench. He lifted the robes to find… nothing else.
Suppressing a groan, Draco looked quickly around the room wondering where Potter had stashed his clothes. The wall of lockers gave him a pretty good idea. He was about to start searching when he heard the water cutting off. He almost ran for the door, before realising Potter wouldn't be able to see him.
Then Potter walked round the corner, still dripping, with a towel slung low around his hips. Draco watched patiently, trying to shake the slightly uncomfortable feeling that came with watching Potter walk around essentially naked. Potter walked over to one of the central lockers and pulled out his clothes. Draco inched forward unconsciously. Finally, He was finally going to…
At that moment, Draco caught sight of his reflection in the steamed up mirror. His reflection. Surely it couldn't have already been half an hour? A quick glance at his watch confirmed what he already knew and Draco panicked. Without even glancing at Potter to see if he'd been caught, Draco shot from the room, running full pelt back towards the castle.
Draco was at his wit's end. He had been foiled at every turn and he had run out of ideas. Reaching once more for the spell book, Draco opened it on a random page. His heart leapt as he took in the spell on the page in front of him. Of course! How had he missed it?
Reaching hurriedly for the crumpled sweet wrapper beside him, he transfigured the foil into a rather nice looking pair of silver framed glasses. Another whispered spell and Draco had his very own pair of X-ray specs. And now, it was just a matter of time.
The following day in potions Draco decided to put his new glasses to the test. Pretending to look for something in his bag, Draco ducked under the desk and slipped them onto his nose. It would not do for him to be seen wearing glasses. He was no four-eyed git.
Still hidden by the table, Draco looked up quickly and very almost passed out. Removing the glasses as if they had burned him, Draco climbed heavily back onto his chair, feeling rather green.
What had been a straight view across the classroom had been unexpectedly blocked by Pansy Parkinson on her way to the ingredients cupboard. And seeing through Pansy's skirt was not an experience Draco had ever wanted to have. Didn't the girl know what a razor was? He shuddered horrified, trying to erase the image from his brain.
It was not until much later that Draco worked up the courage to try the glasses again. This time he hid in an alcove waiting for Potter to pass, the glasses firmly wedged onto his nose. He had done his research and he knew that Potter was attending detention alone. He would therefore be alone when he returned to Gryffindor tower.
What Draco hadn't anticipated was that Potter's friends would be waiting for him.
Again the glasses were torn from his face as he was suddenly confronted by the image of not one, but two Weasleys effectively without their clothes. And of course, bloody Potter was safely hidden behind his friends as he sailed past Draco's hiding place.
The following day, Draco followed Potter out of the great hall after dinner. It was the first time that day that Draco had managed to catch the other boy alone and he was not going to miss his opportunity. He kept a safe distance away, ducking into classrooms and behind statues whenever Potter slowed or turned his head.
The fifth time Draco found himself hiding behind a suit of armour Draco decided the time was nigh. Digging the glasses out of the depths of his bag, he slipped them onto his nose, before cautiously sticking his head around the metal concealing him. Potter had vanished round the corner.
Cursing, Draco stepped out from behind the tapestry, continuing his journey down the corridor. He reached the end and glanced both ways before belatedly realising that Potter had eluded him once again.
Falling back against the stone wall, Draco glared sulkily at the opposite wall. A month. He had been trailing Potter for an entire month to find out the truth and he was no closer now than he was then.
A sudden chuckle broke through his thoughts.
"Didn't think you'd give up that easily."
Draco scowled as he looked up at the Gryffindor who had materialised beside him.
Potter chuckled again, "Nice glasses, Malfoy."
This time when Draco's gaze snapped up to look at Potter it was with an entirely different intent. He had forgotten he was still wearing the glasses.
The reason for his forgetfulness became clear the moment his eyes locked on Potter's hips. The spell had worn off and Draco was left wearing nothing more than an ordinary pair of glasses.
Growling, he tore the specs from his face and threw them on the floor. Draco Malfoy did not wear glasses.
"So why have you been following me Malfoy?"
"What?" Draco was outraged, "I have not been following you, Potter. You self-absorbed, arrogant, bastard."
"You're one to talk." Potter's voice was light. "And you have been following me. Now tell me why."
Draco opened his mouth, then closed it again when he suddenly realised he was about to tell Potter the truth. What was wrong with him? It was almost as though Potter had spiked his pumpkin juice with veritaserum. But Draco had just outright lied to Potter's face, so…
"Its Hermione's spell actually." Potter spoke, answering the panic that had begun to spread across Draco's face. "Similar effect to veritaserum with the added advantage of not requiring the, uh, victim to ingest anything. Not quite as powerful perhaps, but strong enough. Now Malfoy, why were you following me."
And to Draco's complete humiliation he felt his mouth opening and the words spilling out. Fortunately he only found himself telling Potter about the x-ray specs in his attempt to disprove the rumour. But that was bad enough.
Draco couldn't bring himself to look at Potter, instead fixing his gaze on his shoes and trying to calm the fire burning in his cheeks. He tried to block out the sound of Potter's laughter but it was a losing battle.
"You know, if that's what you wanted to know, all you had to do was ask."
Draco's gaze shot up at the sound of Potter's voice. He shuddered slightly as the other boy smirked at him, a lewd expression on his face until suddenly Draco's eyes widened almost comically. Potter's hands had dropped to his belt buckle, right there in the middle of the corridor.
"What... What are you doing?" Draco stammered staring horrified as Potter finished with his belt and began unfastening the buttons of his jeans.
"Showing you your answer." Potter grinned. "Problem, Malfoy?"
Draco froze for a second, eyes glued to Potter's fingers. And then, with a high-pitched shriek that wouldn't have sounded unusual coming from Pansy Parkinson, he bolted away, the echo of Potter's laughter following him down the corridor.
As he ran, all Draco could think of was the brief glimpse of sooty black curls that Potter had revealed; proving once and for all that the rumour was most definitely true.
And as Draco collapsed exhausted onto his bed, he found himself passionately wishing that he had never found out after all.