Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Warning: This story will contain slash between Harry and Draco. If you don't like it don't read it. If you do, this is my first time so I will do my best. Also, the story is a little AU. Hope you enjoy.
Chapter 1: Homework and Confrontations
"I can't believe Snape assigned so much on the first day!" Ron's voice boomed through the library as he made his way grudgingly over to the table where Harry and Hermione sat.
"Mr. Weasley! Shh!" Madam Pince warned the distraught redhead from around the corner. Harry and Hermione couldn't help but smile at their friend's antics.
"Sorry," Ron blushed as he whispered, turning to face his two friends, "but you have to admit, mate, this is pretty bad even for Snape."
"The Potion's essay…yeah," Harry agreed, "I don't think I've heard of most of the potions he assigned."
"That's because they are all very advanced, Harry," Hermione informed, "I read about some of them over the summer. I have to admit, I'm surprised we're starting them so early in the year. However, at a time like this – with Voldemort and the Death Eaters clearly planning something – I think Snape might actually be on to something." She smiled at the realization. It made perfect sense to her. Anything that could be used in the war against Voldemort should be taken advantage of.
"Hermione," Ron interrupted his girlfriend with a chuckle. "Tell me you didn't spend the summer studying advanced potions?" he pleaded, but her only answer was a confused look that seemed to say, "Of course. What else would I have been doing?" Ron simply sighed and instead decided to try to seek out some more interesting information from his best friend. "So, how was your summer, Harry?" Harry became noticeably uneasy at the comment, suddenly becoming very interested in his glasses.
"I don't know. The Dursleys were still a little freaked out about what happened last summer with the dementors. I think they wanted to make a point out of making me as miserable as possible," he admitted to his two best friends.
"I'm sorry, Harry," Hermione told him sympathetically as she placed a comforting hand on his arm.
"Yeah, mate," Ron added. "You can always come visit me, you know. My mom loves it when you come over. Seriously, I think she likes you better than me sometimes," he joked, causing Harry's boyish grin to once again grace his features.
"Yeah, thanks. At least I won't have to put up with it for much longer," Harry told them hopefully, trying to keep his voice down.
Madam Pince had been eyeing the trio menacingly since they arrived, although Harry could admit they did look a little suspicious talking in the library with no books open at their table. Ron and Hermione followed his gaze.
"Let's get out of here. I'm starving," Ron suggested, receiving a nod from Hermione.
"You guys go ahead," Harry insisted. "I want to at least get a start on this. I'll meet you in a little bit."
"Are you sure?" Hermione asked, but Harry nodded resolutely.
"Okay, see you in bit then, mate," Ron said as he took Hermione's hand and led her out of the library.
Harry smiled to himself before turning to his Potions list and letting out a heavy sigh. This was going to be a very long couple of weeks.
It was a long list, but fortunately he had to choose only one of the potions for his essay. However, Snape had made it very clear to the class's dismay that they would be very difficult to research, and most likely, the library wouldn't contain much information on any of them. They were, after all, rare potions. That greasy git had looked right at Harry as he'd said that too, a wicked gleam in his eyes. It just made Harry's blood boil remembering it!
"These are advanced potions and very rare at that. Very little is known about them so don't expect to copy the text out of some book in the library. You will be…disappointed," the bat like man had declared as he stalked about the room. Then he glared icily at Harry, "Of course, that means you will all have to actually use your heads when it comes to researching. However, I expect that may be too much to ask of some of you, isn't that right, Potter?"
It made Harry absolutely sick to remember his response to that obvious insult: "Yes, sir." Yes, Sir! What the hell had he been thinking? But of course, Snape had caught him completely off guard. It should have been no surprise that Snape would single him out like that. The snarky professor did it damn near every day, after all. Still, for whatever reason, he hadn't seen it coming. Maybe it had just been that last potion on the list – Love Binding Potion. There was something intriguing about that name. Harry couldn't quite place the feeling, but he felt as though he needed to know what it was. It was as if it somehow pertained to him. As if it was somehow connected to his life. And then that git Malfoy had laughed at him with that cocky little smirk of his. Oh, how he hated Malfoy! Why couldn't he have just stayed a ferret? Now, at least that was somewhat of an improvement. Harry chuckled at the memory before turning back to the list and circling the last potion.
Love Binding Potion. Snape had said that was the most difficult one on the list. But…maybe Harry could use that to his advantage. It meant that none of the other students were likely to choose it. Then he wouldn't have to compete for books (if he could find any anyway). Still, Snape had gloated that the essay was really only the beginning of this ridiculous project. In fact, Harry figured they would be expected to brew these potions at some point. What if Snape meant it was difficult to brew? Then what would Harry do? And what kind of potion was it? Would he have to test it on himself? Somehow, that didn't sound too appealing.
It took at least fifteen minutes for Harry to locate a book about binding potions. First he had looked for love potions, but the Love Binding Potion wasn't listed in any of them. But that made sense. It couldn't be a traditional love potion; those were far too common and far too easy. Binding potions were very rare, though. In fact, there was only the one book about them in the entire library. Now to find love binding…love binding… love binding…
Love Binding Potion
Harry frowned at the book. Of course he would choose the most impossible thing. He had expected at least a chapter on the potion, but there was less than half a page. He started reading the ingredients list first.
"Love Binding Potion
1 Unicorn Hair
6 Rose Petals
4 Drops Morning Dew
2 Dragon Scales
2 Large Seashells Filled with River Water
1 Drop of Blood Each from Two Lovers
6 Crushed Pumpkin Seeds
1 Rindill's Feather…"
Harry stopped there. Rindill's feather? What the hell is a rindill's feather, he thought to himself. Deciding it was best to just ask Hermione, he was about to put the book away when something caught his eye. Someone had lightly circled the word "Rindill" and drawn a line from it. Written in the margin of the page in soft yet erratic feminine handwriting was, "What the bloody hell is a Rindill!" Harry couldn't help himself; he started laughing hysterically right there at the table, earning him a sharp shush from Madam Pince. He did his best to pull in his laughter and look back at the delicate, but very angry, writing. I was thinking the exact same thing, he thought to himself. He moved to close the book, but then thought better of it. Taking out his quill, he added underneath the delicate writing, "You got me. Let me know if you find out." Then he closed the book, and put it back in its place.
Crabbe and Goyle walked securely at his side as Draco Malfoy strode out of the Great Hall. It was always so hard to enjoy his meal when he had to see that know-it-all mudblood and the Weasel looking all cozy together at the Gryffindor table. Just pathetic. And so disgusting! What will their kids look like, Draco mused. Hmmph. Buck-toothed, frizzy, redheaded nitwits that talk too much and think they know everything but really have the Weasel's IQ. That sounded about right. Well, that was their own business if they wanted to produce a rabbit hole full of frizzed out weasels. Draco just didn't want to have to see them going at it in the Great Hall. Not that they really were, but still. At least if he ever had his own children there would be enough Weasleys to pick on. But then again, Draco didn't think he ever would; it wasn't likely with the secret he kept.
But he had no choice. His father could never know the truth. No one could ever know. It would only make him bait for the Dark Lord. He was a pureblood, and in pureblood families like his the most important thing was to keep the bloodline going. He was expected to do as his ancestors had done. Find a beautiful pureblooded wife and produce beautiful pureblooded heirs. So there was no way Draco could ever let anyone know that he was pretty damn sure he was gay. He could just imagine his father's reaction. First, he would try to beat it out of him. Shove the Dark Lord's teachings down his throat. Threaten to disown him, to kill him, even to hand him over to the Dark Lord. And when it failed, which of course it would because Draco couldn't change who he was, his father would surrender him to his Lord and he would be made an example of. So there were really only two things he could do: he could hide that part of himself and do as he was expected to do, or he could die. Either way he felt he was dying – and that made him so damn angry all of the time!
And then there had been the Weasel and Granger – obviously in love. Oh good grief! It just wasn't fair! He could never have that. It just wasn't right. But wait…HE was DRACO MALFOY. He was the prince of Slytherin. He didn't need love. That crap was for Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs. Not him. He was above all that mushy stuff. One day, he would be the most powerful Death Eater of them all. Respected, just like his father. A wicked grin crossed his face. Everything would be just fine after all.
"Draco, do you realize you look like you want to kill something right now?" Crabbe interrupted his reverie. Goyle snorted his agreement.
"Well, I suppose I am feeling a little murderous," Draco drawled. "Now if only Potter were here."
And then, suddenly, there was Harry Potter rushing down the hallway towards the Great Hall, clearly running late.
"Well, if it isn't Scarhead. We were just talking about you, weren't we?" Draco asked his two companions with an evil yet mischievous glint to his voice. They grunted approvingly, obviously glad to get the chance to see their leader hex Potter into next Sunday.
"Not now, Malfoy," Harry warned angrily. "I actually want some dinner tonight."
"Well then, Potter, you should have been on time," Draco taunted. "What's the matter? Little Scarhead hasn't learned to tell time yet?" His two thugs chuckled stupidly at their leader's side.
"You know what! Just shove off, Malfoy!" Harry demanded as he pushed past the blond Slytherin.
However, there was no way in hell Draco was going to make it that easy. He pulled his wand out of his robes and aimed it at his nemesis. Harry was quicker, though. After all, he had come to expect that kind of foul play from Malfoy.
"Expelliarmus!" he shouted, disarming a very pissed off Draco Malfoy. Then he turned and walked into the Great Hall to join his friends.
"Bloody hell, Potter!" Draco hollered after him. Crabbe and Goyle sighed loudly behind him, disappointed that they hadn't witnessed something a bit more exciting. "Oh, shut it!" Draco ordered sharply. "I'm going to the library to work on my essay."
Once Draco arrived at his usual table in the library, he pulled out his assignment sheet and glared at his Potions list. The Love Binding Potion. That was the one he had chosen. He didn't know why. It did sound a little sissy. However, his godfather said that it was the most difficult. It would be a great way to impress him and make Potter look pathetic. Well, more pathetic than usual. And how hard could it possibly be? He wondered what evil he could use it for. His father would like that if he did something really evil, especially if it was to Potter. Or maybe he could use the spell on himself. That way he could produce an heir. Of course, it couldn't really change him, but if it could make him believe he loved whatever social-climbing, heartless, snake of a pureblooded woman his father would approve of, then maybe he could at least think he was happy until the day came when he finally died. Hmm, but that didn't seem likely. It wasn't a love spell. It was in the binding book. So what exactly did it do? He would have to find out.
He pulled out a thick, blue book from one of the shelves. The book on binding spells. He had been looking at it earlier, but he had gotten stumped on the ingredients list. There was some weird thing that he'd never heard of. He'd have to do more research. What was it? He flipped to the appropriate page. Rindill's feather. Nope, he had never heard of that. Some rare creature no doubt.
Then his eye shifted over to the little "temper tantrum" he'd had when he first saw the list. "What the bloody hell is a Rindill!" He blushed slightly at the words. It was a little embarrassing. What would people think if they saw the perfectly composed Slytherin prince having an anger management crisis with a text book? He took his quill out and prepared to scratch it out when he saw handwriting he didn't recognize. "You got me. Let me know if you find out." he read.
What was this? Was someone making fun of him? No, it seemed sincere enough. But who wrote it? Someone smart enough to tackle the most difficult potion, he considered. Mudblood? At this thought, Draco inspected the handwriting more carefully. Too messy to be Granger. Obviously male, in Draco's opinion. Hmm…then maybe someone stupid enough to bite off more than he can chew. Potter? But no…there is something almost…flirtatious about this writing. Golden Boy Potter is so pathetic and clueless he wouldn't know the first thing about flirting. Thank Merlin! Draco mused, disgusted at the thought. No, there was something decidedly Slytherin about this whole thing. Yes, that was it! A Slytherin.
Draco took a moment to think about what his next course of action should be. I shouldn't do anything about this, he chided. I mean, I'm pretty sure this is a bloke. I already decided to follow my father and the Dark Lord. I can't…but…DAMN IT! With that, Draco pulled out a piece of paper and began to write.
Suddenly, a horrifying thought struck him.
"Oh Merlin! What if it's Crabbe or Goyle!" he shouted.
"Shh!" Madam Pince reminded him. Draco looked back down to his paper. Nah, those idiots don't even know how to spell. And so Draco wrote his note to the mysterious student who was clearly sly enough to impress Snape by doing the most difficult potion. The student that was so much like himself. The student who would maybe understand him.
"This assignment is dumb! The potion is the most worthless thing I've ever studied! And this book is so old I might as well use it in place of mold to make a potion that's actually worth something! Hope you're having better luck."
Okay, so maybe not the kindest reply, but to get any kind of response from Draco Malfoy should be considered a great honor. He then tucked the note into the book, placed it back on the shelf, and went to ask Severus what a rindill was.