Title: Dragonpox and Flying
Rating: Chapters will vary but the story in general will be somewhere around PG-13 or a soft R.
Summary: Harry has a problem with minding his own business, and Draco has a secret.
Author's Notes: I am not exactly certain that Harry's Invisibility Cloak survived Deathly Hallows and don't feel like looking it up... if it didn't, pretend it did.
Set in the mythical extra year - in my little world, McGonagall is Headmistress.
Oh, and reviews make me so happy I could cry xD
Chapter I: Curiosity and the Lion
The first morning Harry noticed that the blond was not at the Slytherin table for breakfast just as now-Headmistress McGonagall stood and cleared her throat to make an announcement.
"I regret to inform you that Draco Malfoy has contracted a very virulent strain of dragonpox, and has been removed from the student body. I must ask that you respect his quarantine and do not attempt to seek him out until he is well." She nodded sharply to show she was finished and sat back down.
Hermione, of course, immediately erupted into a recital of everything she knew or had ever read about dragonpox, while Ron, his arm around her, added occasional comments like "Yeah," "My cousin had it for three months, it was bloody awful," and "Hope the bastard's enjoying it," whenever she paused for a breath.
Harry, however, did not join in. The entire situation seemed rather suspicious to him. If Draco Malfoy was really sick, why was he still here? Especially since most of the student body had treated him like Hippogriff dung since the beginning of the year - why not take the excuse to leave?
Although Harry had testified on his behalf during the summer at one of the many trials, the fact that Draco had not killed Dumbledore was seen by many people simply as a result of Severus Snape getting there first. The Malfoys were lucky to have escaped prison, and many of the students seemed to think that it was their job to make up for that. Harry had seen more tripping hexes and jelly-legs jinxes in the last week than his entire other six years at Hogwarts.
That night, in the dormitory, he closed the curtains around his bed and muttered a "Lumos" to his wand, then unfolded the Marauders' Map and whispered "I solemnly swear I am up to no good. Where is Draco Malfoy?"
The map went blank, and then two words appeared: Not found.
That was when Harry began to think something was wrong.
He began carrying the map with him, checking it when he woke up in the morning, between classes, during lunch - each time, the same message came up: Not found.
He didn't tell Ron or Hermione about it - they seemed to have completely dismissed the matter. As a matter of fact, nothing seemed very important to them anymore, at least nothing other than each other. Harry had listened to them banter ("I love you." "No, I love you more." "Oh no, I love you more!") so much that he found himself actually doing his homework in the common room at night, just to try to block out the ridiculous sappiness.
He almost regretted breaking up with Ginny - she would have at least provided a distraction. But during the summer, he had realized upon spending more time with her that while he loved her, he wasn't in love with her. There was something missing.
Thankfully, she had realized the same thing, and the breakup was amicable - but now that she had begun dating a Ravenclaw, she didn't spend as much time in Gryffindor, leaving him alone to deal with the lovebirds.
Finally, after a week of checking the map time and time again, Harry was about to give up. Perhaps there were wards on wherever Malfoy was in the castle. Maybe he'd gone home after all.
That night, he stayed up late doing his homework, then sleepily asked the map one more time to find Draco Malfoy. "Not found" displayed again, and he yawned, took off his glasses, tucked the map under his pillow, and rolled over to sleep.
That night he dreamt about the fragmented soul of Voldemort, flayed and crying in the train station. He awoke with a start and found himself covered in sweat, hands clenched into fists. Lighting his wand to straighten the sheets, he took a few deep breaths and then tried to clear his mind - a pointless exercise now that Voldemort was gone, but a comforting one nonetheless. As he turned over to go to sleep, he heard paper crackling under his pillow, and pulled out the map annoyedly. He almost shoved it out the curtains, but out of the corner of his eye, saw that it had changed. He pulled it closer and summoned his glasses.
A tiny dot labeled "Draco Malfoy" was the only thing showing on a section of map labeled "The Astronomy Tower". It was near the edge and not moving.
Hurriedly, Harry summoned his invisibility cloak and slipped out as silently as possible - Neville made a faint noise in his sleep as Harry stepped on the creaky board just before the stairs.
He kept looking at the map as he navigated the hallways, trying to get to the Tower as quickly as possible. The dot didn't move, and he hurried his pace. There was something going on here, and he wanted to know what it was.