Disclaimer: JK owns everything, almost.
AN: This is my first story ever in english. It's rated M for later chapters. If you don't like HP/DM or M/M-slash - don't read. No one's forcing you.
A huge thank you to Herr Sten, who have given me tons of ideas, and to my BETA Jerry (don't know her user name here on FF, though), both terrific writers! Check out Herr Sten's "My sweet Prince", right away.
CHAPTER 1 – IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THIS
I can't believe this is happening to me. It's not fair, Draco thought angrily to himself and dawdled on his way over to the table on the other side of the dungeon. The musty air in the clammy so-called classroom was starting to fill with murmurs between the paired up students. Some of them getting along just fine, others not very happy, but surely they all would endure two hours of teamwork with the other person.
But enduring two hours of Harry "oh I have a higher purpose with my life" Potter and his total lack of talent in the subject made him feel like vomiting. They weren't precisely the best of friends to start with, and to actually have to work as a pair with a guy who was even more full of himself than he himself was. And had a friend that was a disgrace to the wizarding world, dating a muggleborn though he had blood as pure as Draco's… He just couldn't understand how this could actually work without ending with a duel, a sudden death or, perhaps, a fistfight. Draco hoped it wouldn't be the latter, since he wasn't Goyle who could probably mangle a dragon if he got the chance.
Potter sighed and scanned the room through his glasses, obviously irritated already and probably somewhat impatient. His trademark wasn't exactly known to be: think before you act, rather vice versa. Potter seemed to spend a lot of his time being impatient or restless. Or hating on Draco. Well, that was at least mutual.
Yeah, this day couldn't get a better start.
"Why were you taking so long? We're way behind now!" Potter snapped as soon as Draco was within earshot.
"Well why didn't you start ahead then, if you need so much extra time? Being a Longbottom, are we?" Draco drawled and put his bag down beside the uncomfortable chair.
Potter was already pissed, and if he knew Golden Boy well enough - and he probably did when it came to the subject, "How to best irritate" - a fight with either fists or wands wasn't very far away. Potter got furious for nothing, and even though Draco himself was good at handling people, Potter always got to him, irritated him and made him want to throw any vase or plate within reach into the nearest wall.
Potter had always had that ability, and he'd never understood why.
"Just get started, will you?" Potter clenched his jaw, obviously determined not to snap and get through class without fights and/or possible deaths.
Draco put his books and ingredients on the table, hoping they would get everything right and wouldn't have to spend several hours writing an essay about their lacking skills in potions. Even though Slughorn had Potter as one of his favorite students, if not the favorite student, Draco wasn't one of them and he didn't doubt that any mistake would be blamed on him.
"Where do I start?" He tried to sound bored and ignorant, hoping to piss Potter off enough to make his face all red with anger, but not too angry, because Draco really liked his nose intact and its current shape.
"The third paragraph, second row. I've already chopped the black beetles." Potter didn't even look up, too busy with whatever he was doing now.
Draco glanced at the page Potter had in front of him and opened his book, searching for paragraph three. At first he'd thought Potter had done a ton of work already, but soon realized that the first one-and-a-half paragraph was only background information and instructions. He didn't bother reading them. If he did something wrong, Potter would correct him, considering how many years he had spent with that know-it-all Granger.
He picked up the box of glowing caterpillars and started cutting them in half, slicing and throwing them into the boiling potion. A disgusting smell rose from the purple liquid along with a nasty sound as if he threw water into a fire. Slighty worried, he scanned the page for "expected effects" and read the few lines carefully. Nothing about the nauseating smell, or the sound. He glanced at Potter. No reaction. Probably nothing to worry about then.
Draco mentally shrugged and started to peel the black onion, listed second after the glowing caterpillars. He was bored. Potions had never been one of his favorite subjects and since Snape preferred Defense Against the Dark Arts, it had been even more tiring.
Slughorn was such a high-hat and always ended up all nostalgic, bragging about all his famous friends that sent him gifts weekly. The man was hard to stand even with his mouth shut. And that was not very often.
He let his mind wander, thought about last year's chaos and Voldemort's defeat. Potter was more of a loner now, and at the same time a hero in the wizarding world. It was like he wasn't comfortable with the attention. He faked it good. Sometimes Draco almost believed him when he almost fled from first years wanting to take a picture with him, or Whatshisname Creevey, but they all knew it was false modesty. Potter had been a show-off since first grade when he'd saved Longbottom's Remembrall, making Draco look like a fool and making his way into Gryffindors quidditch team as the youngest seeker in a century at the same time. As if denying Draco's friendship hadn't been enough on the train during their first trip to Hogwarts. That had been the trigger to set off the never-ending fight between them.
Yeah, Potter was full of himself. No doubt.
He glanced over to Potter's book and raised one eyebrow when he realized that Potter had scribbled all over the pages in nearly not readable writing. Didn't Granger kill for such crimes? Maybe that's why they spoke less to each other nowadays.
They worked in silence, side by side, ignoring each other. Pretending the person next to them didn't exist and at the same time feeling the urge to say something rude rise between them. Something, or someone was going to snap any second.
He could hear Potter's breathing, could see his hands in the corner of his eye, working hard to chop the roots as fast as he could, his fingers dangerously close to getting their fair share of chopping. It was uncomfortable and because of that he didn't even care about getting all the juice out of the Mandrake buds. Potter was making him nervous, and he didn't like people making him nervous. Especially not Potter.
Time passed slowly. It felt like three hours when the clock told him he had endured thirty minutes. Whispers were flying around the room, talking about them. Eyes were watching them, some of them worried, some amused. They all knew there was going to be a drama when both Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy were involved.
He caught Potter staring intently at him, angered. Oh hello drama!
"What?" he said slyly, raising an eyebrow and avoided Potter's gaze. Eye contact wasn't his thing. It always made him feel awkward.
"Why aren't you doing anything?" Potter said accusingly and narrowed his eyes.
"I am." Draco nodded towards the knife in his hand, which he used to squeeze the juice out of the buds.
"Doing what? Taking a break? You've been sitting there with that stupid look on your face and the knife in your hand for the last ten minutes or so. I wouldn't call that doing something," Potter snapped. Flitwick would have used the word: enraged, to describe Potter's state of mind.
"Really? Because that's the only thing I've seen you do lately, since Weasels baby sister dumped you last year." He watched Potter's face and the glint in his eyes when he suddenly understood the insinuated message about his sex-life – or lack if it – in Draco's reply. An indescribable feeling of satisfaction rushed through his body when Potter's face slowly turned red.
"Wow, Potter, and I thought slow-mindedness wasn't a communicable disease. Spent too much time with Longbottom?" He smirked and saw how Potter tried to control his temper, clenching his fists in his lap and chewing the inside of his right cheek.
"Don't you ever talk about Neville…or Ginny like that, ever again. You don't want to know what I'll do to you if you do." Potter glared at him with eyes sparkling behind his glasses.
"There's an awful lot of doing here, don't you think?" Draco leaned forward and spoke in a theatrical whisper. "It's kind of inappropriate, Potter."
Potter threw everything on his cutting board in the cauldron and obviously didn't bother if it was chopped or not. Frankly, Draco didn't care either. The potion started boiling heavily in the same second as the last root touched its surface. Draco forgot all about harassing Potter, and Potter in turn clearly didn't care about what had been said between them just a second ago. They were both staring at the sizzling liquid that smelled worse than ever, almost causing Draco to suddenly vomit were he sat.
"What did you do?!" he squeaked and stared at Potter who seemed to be just as panicked as he was.
"I didn't do anything! What did you do?"
If it had been a minute ago, Draco would have let out a nasty comment about Potters fixation with doing people…or things.
"I just asked you! If I'd done something I wouldn't have asked you!" He didn't even care that his voice was all high-pitched and so not masculine at all, because the liquid was splattering outside of the cauldron now, threatening to hit them any second.
"It's not supposed to do this!" Potter gestured wildly towards the cauldron and the raging potion that tried to break free from its iron prison.
"No, really Potter?" Draco couldn't help but to get all sarcastic over such a stupid stating of the obvious-comment. "It's not supposed to do this, are you sure? I definitely thought it was supposed to go completely haywire and smell like a dead fish!"
Just as they were about to draw their wands, or perhaps fling their fists at each other, Draco didn't really know, Longbottom walked passed them, possibly with his mind in another world. He discovered the raging potion too late, and jumped screeching as far away from it as he could.
Draco saw it happen as in slow-motion. Longbottom's feet tripping on Potters damn bag and falling backwards, kicking in panic. One of his thick, clumsy feet hit the cauldron, and caused it to wobble on its stand. Longbottom reacted instinctively and tried to get further away from the boiling potion, kicking the cauldron again in his hysteria.
Potter must have seen it before Draco did, or maybe he had better reflexes. Draco saw the cauldron tip over, causing the liquid to practically burst out of it in a wave of hot, sizzling black concoction. And it was going to drench him completely; causing Merlin-knew-whatto him, since it wasn't the potion they were supposed to create. The same second as he realized that he was screwed, a strong hand grabbed his left wrist and pulled his arm hard, causing him to fall over on his back behind his chair, only being able to watch the potion missing Potters body by a mere inch and drenching their linked wrist and hand in burning hot liquid, causing both Potter and him to scream in agony.