Title: The Mask
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the idea. J.K. Rowling owns all the characters, Hogwarts and everything but the idea.
"Really Harry, you should just ask someone, get everyone off your back." Hermione flipped a page in her huge book and looked up, "Figuratively speaking that is."
"Got that Hermione. But there really isn't anyone I'm all that interested in." Harry sighed, spinning his wand and having bubbles come out.
"Mate, half the school would be willing to go with you. Just pick someone." Ron sighed, reaching across the table to brush the hair away from Hermione's face, which earned him a small smile from Hermione.
Harry tried not to sigh in aggravation, "Haven't you listened to me? I'm not interested in anyone."
"Well then don't complain about the hoards of girls following you around." His bushy haired friend snapped.
This time a sigh did come out of Harry's mouth. He laid his head down on his arms and scowled. Ever since Dumbledore had announced that on Halloween they would be having a masquerade ball, girls of every year and of varying attractiveness had been following him around, badgering him about who he was going to ask to go with him.
He hadn't found anyone interesting, or attractive enough to go with. He knew that each of them just wanted to go out with the Man who'd saved them all. It was rather annoying. Harry knew he should just ask someone to go, and then the hoards of girls would back off. But all his usual choices, Luna, Ginny, and Hermione all had someone to go with.
With another sigh, Harry gathered his books and shoved them into his bag. He stood, "I'll see you guys later in the common room." And he left without another word.
Unfortunately he'd only gotten a few floors up before a group of girls spotted him and began to not-so discreetly follow him. With a loud groan Harry bolted up the next flight of stairs and hurriedly walked three times in front of a blank wall. A door appeared and he bolted into the room of requirement.
The room was small, with a small fireplace, a large couch and a small table with a bottle of firewhiskey and a book with detailed stories about quidditch matches. He sighed happily and picked up the bottle and the book and brought them back to the couch with him.
He took a long swig off the bottle and opened the book, his throat burning from the whiskey.
Harry hadn't gotten very far into the book when the door opened; a tall, thin figure threw himself inside and then slammed the door shut with a curse. With an amused eyebrow raised Harry watched the boy push back his white blonde hair and then turn.
When the boy saw Harry sitting on the couch, he cursed and buried his hand in his pocket, pulling out his wand. Harry rolled his eyes, "Relax Malfoy. I'm not looking for a duel; I'd kick your ass anyway so it would be rather pointless.
Malfoy rolled his eyes at Harry but lowered his wand, "You wish Potter. What are you doing in here anyway?"
"Hiding from persistent girls, isn't it obvious. What're you doing in here?" Harry grinned and took another swig off of the bottle.
"Is that firewhiskey?" When Harry nodded, Malfoy moved closer to the couch. Harry held it out for him and the other boy took it with a grateful sigh, "Oh, I suppose I'm here for the same reason."
Harry wasn't all that surprised; besides himself Malfoy was the most eligible bachelor. He'd grown up a lot in their seven years at Hogwarts, grown taller, leaner, his blonde hair had grown out a bit, and his bony structure had grown into a rather sophisticated and elegant profile. And it did help that he was filthy rich, in high society and even though Harry hated to admit it, he was charming and flirtatious and rather brilliant.
With a sigh, Harry shook his head, "Girls."
"I quite agree, Potter." Malfoy said as though he didn't like the fact that he agreed with Harry about something. "I don't understand why they think they all have rights to me, I bet you understand that don't you Potter. I've seen those groups of girls following you around, why don't you just ask someone?"
"I'm not interested in any of those girls."
"Oh no? Who are you interested in?"
"Why, are you going to use it against me once we leave this room?" Harry asked, his eyebrow rose when Malfoy snorted and dropped himself onto the opposite end of the couch, the bottle of whiskey hanging loosely in his hand.
"No. I won't use it against you." Malfoy shrugged out of his robes and shrugged again, "You know I think we've grown out of this hexing each other, and ruining each other's lives every chance we have, don't you? I mean were adults don't you think we should act like it?"
"Are you proposing a true Malfoy?"
With a charming laugh, Draco nodded, "I suppose you could say that."
Harry though for a long moment and then a grin broke out across his face. He was having the oddest day, with all the girls chasing him and now he was here, talking about a truce with his up to now rival, Draco Malfoy.
He reached out, his hand open. Draco looked taken aback, but put his hand in Harry's making them both shiver when a weird zap ran through them. "Okay, truce." Harry smirked.
"Well now that, that's done. Who are you interested in Potter." Malfoy stretched out on the couch, and had a curious smile on his face.
Rolling his eyes, Harry reached out for the whiskey and took a drink, "No one actually. Everyone here is rather dull and only interested in me because I'm the savior of the world." Harry snorted and took another drink.
"And because you're quite dashing." Malfoy said nonchalantly.
Harry blushed, "whatever…And you? Any lovely Slytherin chits you're interested in?"
"Heavens no. I've gone through all the girls in Slytherin; they're all rather dull as well."
"All the girls? Really?"
Malfoy laughed, "Yes Potter, all the girls."
"Blimey." Harry's eyes were wide; sure he'd heard that Malfoy was sexually driven and that he'd had a lot of sexual partners but all the girls in Slytherin. Okay he'd logically deduced that Malfoy had probably only been with the girls in the fifth year and up, but blimey that was still a lot of girls.
Malfoy laughed, "So how long are we going to hide in here?"
"I was thinking until dinner at least."
"You're really going to torture yourself by going into the great hall. You're braver than I am." Malfoy frowned when he realized he had actually complimented Harry.
For some reason that fact had an effect on Harry as well, he grinned and bit his lip, "Well then what are you going to do about dinner?"
"Kitchens of course."
"Mind if I join you?"
"Not at all, after all were not enemies anymore are we?" Malfoy raised his eyebrow at Harry. He pulled the bottle out of Harry's hand, "But you must stop drinking, you can't wander around the castle drunk."
"It would probably make dealing with all the girls easier." Harry shrugged.
"Nonetheless." Draco tucked the bottle on floor.
"You're so proper." Harry laughed, "Are you always like that?"
"Yes I am. Perhaps you should try it."Malfoy drawled.
"And ruin your idea of me as a rough, vulgar and hideous boy?" Harry chuckled, his head a little dizzy.
"I do not think you're vulgar or hideous."
Harry felt an odd sense of smugness at that statement, "Well, nice to know."
Malfoy rolled his eyes and smirked, he stood and held out a hand to help Harry up, "Come along you drunkard."
Harry took Malfoy's hand, surprised at how soft and elegant the hand and fingers were, "I am not drunk." But he stood anyway and followed Malfoy out of the room of requirement.
"Harry where have you been? We've been worried sick!" Hermione said her face red.
Ron rolled his eyes at Harry behind her, "I haven't, I mean you killed you know who, I think you can handle yourself around Hogwarts." But when Hermione narrowed her eyes at him he looked away.
"Oh Malfoy and I were hiding in the room of requirement, then we went to the kitchen to get dinner." Harry shrugged, waiting for their reactions.
Hermione's face fell into a shocked look and Ron looked outraged, "Malfoy? The room of requirement, the kitchens?"
"Yes, yes and yes." Harry collapsed into his favorite chair by the fireplace.
"But…But why?" Ron asked his eyes wide.
"We were both hiding from fanatical girls. Plus we sort of, made a truce."
"A…A truce?" Hermione asked with a bemused look. She settled into the chair next to Harry and studied him closely.
"Yeah, we decided that we were way too old to act like the children we were when we met in Diagon Alley. And I mean after the war and everything, we aren't the same people." Harry flipped through his charms book, in an attempt to look like he was studying.
"Are you sure he isn't playing a trick on you Harry. Making you think you're not enemies anymore and then doing something dreadful?" Ron asked slowly, his knuckles Harry noticed were turning white on the grip he had on his wand.
"Of course I'm not completely sure that's what he's doing, but I'm willing to give him a chance."
"But why?" Ron sounded like he was getting mad.
"Because, Ron he's one of the few people who would understand what it's like to be me."
Ignoring Ron's wounded face was easier when Hermione spoke up, "That's quite true you know. He's famous because of his families' involvement in the war, he's very smart and he's incredibly handsome, as well. Girls treat him just like they treat you. So it's understandable that you both would understand each other so well."
Ron gave her a very thunderous scowl and stomped away. Both Harry and Hermione winced when they heard the door slam behind him. "Well perhaps I said too much…" Hermione said weakly, her eyes still on the path that Ron had taken.
"Perhaps?" Harry laughed once. "Bloody hell, it's not like Malfoy and I are best friends, we just don't want to hate each other anymore. What's so wrong with that?"
"He probably thinks that you will choose to be best friends with Malfoy." Hermione sighed and pulled his charms homework to her. "You misspelled…" And she listed off all the things he'd done wrong with his homework.
He blanked her out and thought about what Ron was thinking about his and Malfoy's relationship. Harry blushed at the thought of relationship and corrected himself, 'their friendship.' He didn't think that he and Malfoy would become a best friend that was just unlikely. But you never know they could become friends at least.
'We'll see…' Harry thought with a small smile.
Funnily enough, Harry and Malfoy actually met up in the room of requirement every other day. And soon they fell into a comfortable friendship, they could talk easily after the second time of getting together and they teased each other constantly and Harry was surprised that even though they argued, the arguments usually ended with them laughing.
"Draco stop hogging the firewhiskey, you prat." Harry laughed and threw the pillow at Draco.
Draco raised his wand and the pillow flew away from him, he took a drink off the bottle and then handed it to Harry. "The balls tomorrow. Still haven't picked anyone?"
Draco sighed, "No… I mean I like someone but it is so not gonna happen so I'm not even considering asking."
Harry frowned and pushed back his hair, "Draco, if you like this person I'm sure they'll say yes. And if not then they're totally daffy."
Draco blushed, "We'll see."
With a laugh Harry took a drink off the bottle, "Draco you're blushing, you must like this girl."
A surprised look crossed over Draco's face, "Wha- Oh yeah… Whatever Harry."
"It's true Draco." Harry laughed, "I don't see why you don't just go for it. She's bound to adore you. You're funny, smart and sort of…dashing."
"Sort of? Well thanks." Draco stood, "I should be getting back to the common room. See you tomorrow at the ball?"
"Not sooner?" Harry asked standing too.
"I feel like I've been neglecting my friends, so no." Draco pulled on his cloak, "But I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Yeah, see you." Harry sighed and took a drink from the whiskey.
Draco smirked at him, "Don't get drunk. Bye!" And he left.
Harry sighed, feeling suddenly very alone. He put the bottle down and stretched out on the couch, still smelling the sweet, yet musky scent of Draco in the air. He wasn't excited about the ball. All the girls would stop following him and Draco around and he wondered if that would jeopardize their new found friendship.
He left the room of requirement a little while later and walked without really paying attention to where he was going. So when he bumped into someone he cursed and helped her up. Luna blinked owlishly up at him, "Oh hello Harry, nargles got you?"
"Huh? Oh maybe Luna, sorry." Harry mumbled.
"That's alright; it's always nice to bump into people. Makes them realize that I'm here." Luna smiled up at him.
Feeling a little awkward Harry looked down, "So I heard that you and Dean are going to the ball together."
"Oh yes. I was quite surprised when he asked me, but I happily accepted. I think I might be enamored with him. Have you found anyone yet?"
"Er no…I haven't really found anyone yet."
"Is it because you don't want someone superficial? I'm afraid that a lot of people here are quite superficial, quite sad actually."
"Well yes. I can't really tell who likes me for me."
"Oh but I know of someone who likes you for you." Luna beamed. "But I don't know if the jitter bugs will ever allow them to ask you."
Even though Luna was a little weird, she was usually right so Harry stopped and said, "Really, who?"
"Oh I couldn't tell you. But don't worry it will all work out I'm sure. True love always does." She smiled up at him and patted his shoulder. Then she skipped away leaving a very dazed Harry behind her.
Harry grinned, someone liked him? The real him? And Luna was convinced that it was true love. That was interesting Harry laughed. He couldn't wait to tell Draco about Luna's revelation. He knew that Draco found Luna completely interesting, even though half the time he was confused by her.
With a snort Harry, started walking again, he was sure that Draco would just roll his eyes and call Luna mad.
The next day Harry grimaced and sandwiched himself in between Ginny and Hermione and hoped their presences would deter the hoards of crazy women still chasing him with a new found desperation. Another girl came up to him and Harry groaned, "Nope sorry, I'm not taking anyone."
The girl pouted but bounced away, back to the Ravenclaw table. Harry rolled his eyes when Ginny and Hermione laughed, but when he caught Draco's amused glance across the great hall. He discreetly flipped Draco off and the Slytherin laughed, his eyes twinkling.
When the hall hushed all of a sudden, Harry looked up. He saw a flash of white above him and was surprised when a warm, fat dove landed in front of him. It dropped a white envelope in front of him and cooed at him. Everyone looked at him and Harry blinked in surprise. He reached out and took the envelope; he looked it over and saw that it didn't have a name or anything written on it. He slid it open and pulled out a folded bit of parchment.
He unfolded it and blushed, he read,
I adore every inch of you. You're wonderful and beautiful, and I simply didn't have the nerve to ask you to the ball. Not that I could get through the hoards of girls that are constantly surrounding you…I hope that this note isn't disconcerting. But I couldn't help myself.
I think I could be in love with you Harry and if it doesn't bother you too much, I'll make my presence known at the ball tonight.
Until tonight my Gryffindor prince,
P.S Where the rose tonight and think of me...
Harry blushed deeper and smiled, the note was sweet, he could tell who ever had written it had been extremely nervous but that just made it all the sweeter. He wished he knew who wrote it though. The dove cooed and Harry looked up just in time to see it turn into a single red rose.
He picked it up and grinned after smelling its sweet scent. "Wow…"
"Who's it from Harry?" Hermione asked her eyes wide and twinkling.
Harry watched everyone in the hall practically lean in to listen to his answer, even the teachers seemed quiet. "I don't know… It doesn't say."
Hermione took the letter and read it, "Oh it's so sweet."
Harry took back the letter. He wanted to be the only one to read it. It was the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for him. He smelled the rose again and looked around, wondering who the secret admirer was. And even though everyone's eyes were on him he noticed that one pair of dark grey eyes were not. Draco it seemed didn't care about Harry's love letter, and for some unknown reason that made Harry very frustrated.
Harry looked up and smiled at the grey eyes twinkling down at him, Hermione pulled Ron away so they could talk. "Hey Draco. I got a rose, see." He held up the rose, and wore a smug smile.
"I do see. How generically lovely." Draco smirked at Harry's scowl. They walked slowly up the corridor to charms but waited outside the class, so they could talk.
"It's not generic, I think its romantic, and I even got a letter."
"Oh? How cute. A secret admirer how… sneaky. Why can't they just tell you who they are, seems a little suspicious." Draco's smirk grew deeper.
"It is not! It's r-romantic and sweet. And I happen to adore it." Harry scowled again. Why was Draco putting down his letter and rose so much?
"Defensive much? You don't even know this person, they could be totally mad."
"Why are you putting it down so much? It was brilliant."
"I'm sorry. Okay it was…nice."Draco grinned, his eyes sparkling with mischief.
Harry poked him playfully, "I think you're jealous Draco."
"Jealous? And why would I be jealous?"
"Because I got a romantically brilliant letter and rose." Harry tapped the rose against Draco's nose.
"I prefer real people to a piece of parchment Harry."
"Oh so does that mean you moved in on your mystery girl?"
Draco snorted, "Perhaps I've made a move on the person I'm interested in."
A painful burning filled Harry but he just pasted a fake smile on his face, "That's…That's wonderful Draco I'm happy for you."
"Are you?" Draco's eyes searched Harry's deeply.
"Of course." Harry fake smiled again. "Wanna smell my rose Draco?"
Draco rolled his eyes and grinned goofily, "I'd love too."
So Harry lifted the rose and Draco leaned in to smell it, his hand closed over Harry's and that same warm feeling zipped through their bodies. Harry blinked, but watched Draco sniff at the rose. "Beautiful." Draco said softly when he pulled back.
Harry coughed and nodded once, "Oh um, yes."
"Come on Harry, you'll be late for class!"
Harry jerked back, and resisted the urge to snap at Hermione, "I'm coming." And when Draco snorted at his use of the words Harry blushed and muttered, "Oh you're so mature…"
But Draco just chuckled, "Go on Harry, you don't want to be late do you?"
"Alright. See you tonight?"
"Yes, you'll see me tonight." Draco winked and walked away.
Harry watched him and then hurried into charms, his mind spinning.
Harry stood outside the Great Hall, his hand pulling nervously at his black dress robes while he looked over the crowd to see Draco or his secret admirer at all. But of course he didn't, everyone was wearing masks due to the fact that it was a masquerade ball. His own mask was plain, black and covered half his face. He kind of loved the fact that no one could really tell who he was unless they were right in front of him.
The doors to the Great Hall opened and everyone slowly spilled in and then let out a collective gasp when each of their masks and robes changed, and a spell was put on them so that they couldn't tell who each other were. Slowly they realized that if you told other people who you were then those select people would be able to see them for who they were.
However Harry quite enjoyed the fact that no one could tell who he was, he only hoped that his secret admirer would notice that he was wearing the rose he'd told him to and would be able to tell it was him. He was trying to look over the crowd again when he felt a warm hand brush against his shoulders. He jumped and turned but whoever it was had already disappeared. He audibly gulped and decided to get a drink. He was just pouring himself a glass of wine when the next touch happened, this time it was a finger up his spine. He could tell it was the same person, from the same warmth in the hand. He gasped and almost dropped his glass of wine.
Again Harry spun around to see who was there and again the person had disappeared. He sighed in frustration and wondered if the person touching him was his mystery person. He shook his head and went to talk to Hermione and Ron, who were the only people he recognized.
Over time the touches became more and more bold, starting to go down his back lower and lower, then around his waist, his hip, his navel, the back of his thighs, and the back of his neck. And each time he couldn't catch even one glance of the person.
He felt his body grow tight, his heat grew and he was very frustrated. He'd never been so aroused in his entire life. He didn't care who the person was anymore, he just needed to know who it was. He needed to be touched with honesty and to see the person who was touching him.
And so when the next touch came, this time to the back of his wrist, he used his quick seeker skills and grabbed the hand touching him and held on firmly. He chuckled and turned. He blinked in surprise and studied the boy standing in front of him. His robes were completely white, as was his mask, he had a long red feather sticking out from one side of the mask and the underside of his cape was blood red as well.
Harry tipped his head to one side and bit his lip. He knew he should feel shocked that the mysterious person was a male that he was turned on by the boy so much. And that now he was still very attracted to the boy, wanted to feel him.
"You…You sent the letter, the rose?" Harry asked, tightening his grip on the boy.
The boy simply inclined his head and shocked Harry by pulling him close. When the music suddenly changed to a waltz and the boy pulled Harry into the dancing position and began to lead them in the dance. Harry was dumbfounded but allowed the dance to continue.
Out of the corner of his eye he could see the crowd of masked figures watching them dance and blushed furiously and ducked his head. The boy holding him, made a move like he was going to let him. But Harry looked up, "Don't stop."
The boy inclined his head again and they moved steadily. "So who are you?"
But the boy dipped him and avoided his question. Harry didn't let that get to him. He just closed his eyes and felt the boy's body pressed into his, felt his hand on his waist, his middle pressed into his, their hands holding each others. And he loved it.
When the boy dipped him and the crowd started to clap, Harry blinked and realized where they were again. The boy above him pressed his lips lightly against Harry's and Harry moaned quietly. He'd never kissed a boy before, not even thought about it. But it felt so nice, so right. His lips were strong and full but incredibly soft too.
Then they were standing and the boy stroked his hair softly and then pulled away. Harry's eyes stayed closed for a long moment but and when he opened them the boy was gone. "No." he whispered scanning the crowd for the white robed figure.
He saw a flash of white edging out onto the balcony and followed it, ignoring Ron and Hermione's calls. He edged out onto the balcony and saw the boy facing the grounds, with his hands on the ledge. Harry edged forward and stood next to the boy, "Who are you?"
The boy looked at him and didn't say anything. Harry tipped his head to the side and moved closer. Slowly the boy raised his hand and cupped the back of Harry's head. The moved closer at the same time and brushed their lips against each others. Then the boy was pulling Harry closer and the kiss grew deeper, needier.
When a tongue brushed ghosted across his lips, Harry gasped in surprise. No one had ever kissed him like that before. He was shocked but he let the boy slip his tongue in, let him rouse his tongue into reacting as well. The boy seemed pleased when Harry's mouth moved with his because his heart beat wildly against Harry's chest and he clutched him tighter.
Then Harry was being pressed up against the ledge and his mystery lover's body was aligned with his and his middle was being ground into by a strong, warm and full grown. Harry groaned and tipped his head to the side when the lips moved from his mouth to his neck, teasing and stroking the sensitive skin there.
"Mmm." He moaned, his hands wrapping around the boys neck and felt teeth nip his skin. He took the initiative and pushed his leg in between the other boys. He rubbed it up into the boy's groin and felt how hard he was.
The boy gasped sharply and pulled back, he heard a passion filled voice say, "Not yet, Harry."
And the boy pulled back and pressed a light kiss to Harry's lips. He couldn't seem to help himself because he licked Harry's lips and nipped at Harry's tongue when it reached out to lick his. He pulled back and straightened Harry's robes. He stepped back and pressed his heel to his groin and groaned loudly.
"Don't…Don't leave not yet." Harry said reaching out for him.
The boy took his arms and pushed them lightly to his sides. "I'll be around."
Harry watched him leave, his body tense and shaking. He ached to run after the boy but knew he'd most likely already melted into thin air. He touched his still overly sensitive neck and felt wetness on it from where the boy had been kissing and sucking and from the rawness and delicious pain he was feeling he knew he probably had a purpling love bite.
He leaned back against the ledge and put a hand over his heart. He was in shock, he hadn't thought he was gay, but he'd just made out with a guy. And found it completely arousing. He didn't care what people thought about him but he was slightly worried about Ron and Hermione's reactions.
Just thinking about the warm arms holding him, the firm lips on his, and his green-apple breath pushing against his, made Harry shiver. He took a deep breath and took several wobbly steps back inside. He looked around and drifted out of the ball, he felt when the glamour faded from his face and walked up to the common room. The night was so perfect he didn't want anything to ruin it, didn't want to take a chance that something would happen and completely ruin his night.
So he just went up to their room and fell straight back onto his bed. He flicked his wand and the curtains closed. Harry closed his eyes and drew up the memory and the feel of the mystery boys lips against his.