Diss the claim for me, please.

Hopelessly devoted to Non Innocent Angel.

Warning(s): preslash, OOC!main characters, ridiculousness for the sake of ridiculousness, insanity

Days came and went and the autumn leaves gave up their faltering hold to be swept away in winter's cold breath. The first day snow had fallen, Ron had dragged Hermione, Draco, and Harry outside for a snowball fight, believing he and Hermione would find it easy to crush their handicapped opponents. Turned out that Draco knew a few spells uniquely suited for snowball fights, enabling them to hold their own until Hermione had watched and adapted, beginning to fire back her own magically crafted snowballs, and only fifteen minutes later the Interhouse duo admitted defeat.

In a private aside, the three boys agreed that the use of Hermione in snowball fights would be tantamount to using an atom bomb and that the other side would need to retaliate with the Weasley twins for any chance of victory. The tentative ceasefire between Ron and Draco was peppered with suspicious looks and raised eyebrows, but at least the uneasy peace continued as Hermione was reabsorbed back into the amoeba-like closeness of the Golden Trio as if she had never left.

Draco could almost hear the stretching noise as he dragged Harry over to the Slytherin table so Draco could speak with his own acquaintances. He was pretty sure Blaise had something important to tell him; the dark-haired Italian had been giving him meaningful glances since lunch, when they'd sat with the Gryffindors. He couldn't have just told me at breakfast? Draco pondered irritably. Well, it was possible he just figured something out or received a message from his father or just plain remembered half way through the day.

It was only when Harry muttered, "I'll sit first, then," and plopped down on the Slytherin table's bench that Draco realized they'd reached their destination. He shook his head and shot Harry a quiet, deadpan "sorry" before he followed suit and took his seat at the table of snakes. Blaise finally stopped squirming in his seat and proceeded to shoot Draco more detailed glances, as if he was trying to use some sort of best friend bond to get his meaning across. Draco just smiled and nodded until Blaise stopped with an exasperated expression. Like anyone could read someone's looks so easily.

Harry nudged Draco and glanced up to Dumbledore (who was beginning to stand) and back again with a slight widening of his eyes and Draco grimaced. He was hoping the upcoming announcement wouldn't be about the Tournament, too. When Harry's eyes darted to his food speculatively, it was hard not to laugh and Draco rolled his eyes to assuage Harry's apparent fear that Dumbledore would have a long speech prepared and keep him from his food.

Then Draco realized what he'd been doing, and turned back to Blaise with wide eyes. Blaise crossed his arms over his chest with a little huff, adding aloud, "See? It's possible!"

"Is that what you were trying to say?"


A little obligatory verbal chaos, and just when Draco felt he'd brought the situation under control enough to get whatever-it-was out of Blaise, Dumbledore cleared his throat from the podium. He'd thought the third Task was still under preparation, so it was hopefully unlikely to be declaring what that Task was. Draco was a firm believer in the power of denial (he hastily averted his eyes from Harry's throat to the Hogwarts crest-emblazoned podium behind which, the headmaster stood) and so long as he didn't know what the Task was, he couldn't possibly agonize over the million different ways it could kill Harry and him. Honestly, what they'd been through already had been terrifying. There had been so many ways it could have gone horribly, fatally wrong. An image of Harry lying spread eagle with the open rendings of a dragon's claw painting the ground with blood, or crushed in the mandibles of that monstrous acromantula...

Draco tightened his grip on Harry's hand and Harry sent him a puzzled look and a brief squeeze of the fingers before Dumbledore began.

His eyes were twinkling so it better well be good news. "Students, staff, it's getting to that lovely time of year again when the snow is falling and mistletoe is being enchanted," his twinkle seemed to direct itself specifically at a certain group of students at the Ravenclaw table and an amused chitter of laughter rose up around them, "So, in the spirit of the Triwizard Tournament, we've decided to bring back another old tradition: the Yule Ball. Third years and up may attend, as I'm sure the rest of you will need your sleep, and it will take place in the Great Hall the first weekend of winter holidays." The whole thing was surprisingly logical, for Dumbledore, and he was beginning to step down from the podium when he jumped with an Oh! and quickly leaned back to where he had been, "The Champions will be required to attend and open the first dance." He grinned, as if he hadn't just delivered a previously unknown rule, "Perhaps after some lucky students may encounter myself or Professor McGonagall on the dance floor." The way McGonagall scolded him as he puttered back to his seat was lost in the excited chatter that had exploded from all four tables at the idea of a school dance.

"That's what I wanted to ask you about!" Blaise said, raising his voice slightly to be heard in the sudden increase of noise, "Pansy won't let me take her unless you say so!"

"I'm not her father- I don't care!" Draco replied, also forcing his voice a decibel or so louder to be audible, "How did you even know about this?"

A shark's grin, then, and Blaise wiggled an open envelope in Draco's face, "Your father sent me instructions on watching you carefully during the Ball!" ...What? For an unguarded moment, Blaise could clearly see the storm clouds crash and billow over Draco's expression, and a painfully sharp grin slid over it like the lid on a jar.

A carefully controlled nod of the head, "You've rather given yourself away, haven't you?"

"I- I wouldn't actually do this, Draco," Blaise tittered nervously, "You know I wouldn't stab you in the back like that; your father's just being paranoid." He returned Draco's continuing eerie smile outwardly, while inwardly wondering how the hell he just let his mouth open and inserted his foot so very deeply that he could feel his stomach churning unhappily, "Aw, buck up, Draco; it just means he wu~ubs yo~ou." The scowl was more familiar to Blaise and he relaxed in the warm, welcoming glow of Draco's annoyance. "Aw, can we's protects the wittew Dwaco?"

"Should've eaten with the Gryffindors," Harry whispered nonchalantly, a hint of "neener-neener" in his voice as he popped another cooked artichoke heart into his mouth.

Draco's teeth were suddenly very close to Harry's ear, "Don't make me eat you."

Oh, please, go ahead, Harry blushed before recovering his senses, "Don't be silly, Draco, I am not eatable."

"Edible," Blaise corrected, with a smirk on his face that smugly proclaimed, I know what's going on here.

"Eatable is a purely muggle word," Harry lied, primly patting his mouth with a napkin and acting every bit as snooty as the stereotypical pureblood, "So I suppose I can't possibly expect you to know it."

"You're not funny," Pansy told him without looking away from the lettuce she'd stacked viciously on the tines of her fork.

"I beg to differ," Harry smiled, "I have been told by many a professional I am the utmost epitome of funny."

"In the head," Draco added, matter-of-factly and with no small feeling of vindication when Harry turned a glare in his direction. The resulting argument was bordering on explosive, but Draco couldn't help but love the fact that, the entire time, Harry's eyes would only be on him.