Celebration for the Claret and Blue

Summary: On the way to Hogwarts for his Sixth-Year, Dean finds himself in unexpected company. Warnings for slash. Harry/Dean.

Rating: M

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters here.

Dedicated to the reviewer who suggested I do a Harry/Dean. I can't find a transcript of our brief exchange, so I'm sorry that I couldn't credit you with this pairing. Do drop me a PM if you think it's you (o:

Note: Harry's come straight from the Privet Drive. He gets Sirius' will, but does not follow Dumbledore to recruit Horace Slughorn. Nonetheless, Slughorn will still be teaching Potions. Warnings for slash.

Dean lay propped against the window sill, artfully slumped in the corner seat. His one free hand with its chewed-off fingernails tapped muted notes on the padded rim. Beside him, his other hand was held hostage by the same person who'd been babbling in his ear for the past hour. He could hear the words, certainly, but couldn't bring himself to listen to her say them.

Instead his mind replayed songs about bubbles, pretty bubbles that flew so high, to touch the sky…the roar of a crowd, the chant of a familiar chorus. He remembered the soreness of his throat as he screamed his approval, one of thousands, drenched in sweat and grime and loving every second of it. He'd left that behind for-

There was a game in December, at least, that he just might catch, and tapes waiting for him in his room when he came home for Christmas. His mother was good at catching things like that. He wondered if anyone in his dorm would share his enthusiasm for football- Seamus, Halfblood that he was too, had completely turned his back on the Muggle world. Ron and Neville were both Purebloods. That left just Harry-

The compartment door slid open, and speak of the devil. Harry Potter stepped in. He didn't sit though, just glanced apologetically at them both as he closed the door behind him.

"Ron's coming. You might want to scoot over, Ginny."

His voice was kind when he said this. Ginny pouted, not quite willing to relinquish the stranglehold she had on Dean's hand, but eventually she obeyed Harry, anything at all for Harry Potter.

Strange, how just two months ago that thought would have driven him up the wall. Now Dean didn't know what to think of it at all- or rather he did, but it was nothing, absolutely nothing at all.

Blood rushed to his hand as Ginny finally released it, and he unconsciously sighed in relief, smudging his sweaty palm on his trousers and massaging all the knots of tension that'd built up. He didn't quite notice the budding outrage on Ginny's face.

Harry was laughing.

"Dean," he warned, "if you're not careful-"

"If you're not careful you'll find yourself dumped," she tartly snapped, not a moment too soon as the door slammed open for Ron and Hermione.

The bushy-haired girl frowned at him. "Honestly, Ron. There isn't a need to throw the door open like that."

Ron, though, resolutely ignored her, and stumbled into the cabin to sit beside his sister. His cheeks still pinked when Hermione joined him on his other side.

"Hey mate, are you seeing someone?" Ron asked Dean eagerly. "Who's the bird? She fit? Wosser name? We know her?"

Ginny blushed looked like a tomato, and Dean just blinked, unable to think of a suitable fib. Harry's elbow dug into his side, and that made him think of West Ham, and football, and-

"Muggle," he blurted out. "She's a Muggle, so no, you don't know her." He ignored the question about her 'fitness'. Ginny's face inflated like a beet, and he made a mental note never to pair beet colours with the Weasley ginger hair, unless he wanted to go for a sort of mental expressionist look.

She narrowed her eyes at him, and Harry caught it. He winced sympathetically, making Dean suddenly aware of just how much warm body was pressed against his.

"Well, you were on the verge of being dumped anyway," he murmured. Their shoulders were touching, and their arms lay against each other. Their knuckles were kissing, and Harry's thigh felt overheated beside his. Ron was goggling at them.

"You know her, mate?" he squeaked.


Harry wasn't given a chance to answer before Ginny stood up in a furious huff and stormed out of the compartment. Ron and Hermione watched her go with large eyes.

"Eh- prefect's meeting?" Harry suggested weakly. It was a terrible lie, but somehow the two believed it, and Hermione instantly began harping on Ron. "We're going to be late if we don't leave now," she nattered. "Ginny had the right idea in going early." She was so concentrated on Ron that she completely missed the guilty wince that crossed her other best friend's face. Finally she got the grumbling redhead on his feet. "We'll see you later Harry, Dean."

That left the two of them in the cabin. Alone.

"Thanks," Dean croaked, "for that." He waved his hand vaguely at where Ginny'd been sitting, and then cleared his throat. It'd been nearly an hour since he'd last spoken; Ginny hadn't given him a chance to at all.

Harry smiled. He didn't move to the seat opposite, but merely remained pressed against his side. Dean found himself preferring Harry's solid warmth to Ginny's finger-lock. "No problem. Was the least I could do. I do have some experience after all," he pronounced loftily. "Remember that singing dwarf valentine in Second-Year?"

The reminder has Dean gasping for breath, he was laughing so hard. "Remember it?" he burst out. "How could I forget?" He grinned. "Yeah, she does come on a little strong sometimes."

Somehow, Dean should feel uncomfortable discussing his girlfriend's past infatuations with said-past-infatuation, but he could only think that he hadn't been this relaxed since that last West Ham game.

He glanced down at Harry. "…what're you doing Christmas break?" he asked.

Harry raised his eyebrows. "Blimey, we haven't even had our first date yet, and already-" He waggled his eyebrows wickedly, making them both laugh.

When Harry finally recovered, he gasped out, "Well, I do the same thing I do every Christmas, Dean- try to take over-"

"Last year's attempt was spectacularly fail," Dean said dryly, "although I suppose Umbridge would agree."

Harry laughed softly, but there was a vein of sadness in his face that he couldn't quite hide. "Spectacularly fail would be right," he said. "My godfather died that night."

Dean was struck by how ill-equipped he was to handle a situation like this.

"I'm sorry," he said, hesitantly touching Harry's hand, lying so near his own. "You'll were- close?"

Harry smiled. "I didn't know him very long, but we were as close as we could be, given the circumstance."

"Well, West Ham's playing during Christmas break, and if you'd like-"

Suddenly Harry was laughing again. "Thanks, Dean." His hand was covering the upper part of Dean's arm.

Dean realised how close they were to each other. Harry was looking out the window, still pressed to his side, but when he felt Dean staring at him, he glanced at his roommate's face out of the corner of his eye. The side of his mouth twitched upwards in a smile. Maybe that was what made Dean tip Harry's chin up with a finger and kiss him.

A stolen kiss in an empty compartment graduated to a stolen grope in a locked, silenced, and warded empty compartment. Harry's harsh breathing sounded better than even 'The Bells are Ringing', and his mouth was sweeter than the taste of victory. Dean absently thanked the god of West Ham and Fine Art that they hadn't changed into their robes yet. Trousers were infinitely much easier to undo when not covered by a winding sheet.

He gasped when Harry took his cock into hand, and then touched it to his own. They muffled their groans with each other's mouths as they rubbed off against each other. The friction made almost a welcome pain. Harry slicked his hand with their pre-cum, and wrapped his fingers around both their pricks. Harry's was shorter, thicker, blunter, and Dean thought he'd quite like to draw it. His own was flushed a dusky rose, and a bit on the long skinny side. Then his balls seized up and he swore, "Fuck-"

He came all over Harry's hand, which made him cringe. Then Harry groaned and his own jizz sprayed over that, and Dean didn't feel quite as bad about it as before. He took his clean hands and laid them on either side of Harry's face, and kissed him, softly and deeply, using his lips and tongue to softly massage against the other boy's. Slowly drawing back, he found himself arrested by vibrant green.

Harry gave him a crooked grin, his face still sweaty and flushed. "Got your wand ready?- not the limp one." He raised his hand, spattered with their combined release. "I could really use a cleaning charm. Or I could-"

Harry raised his hand higher, and Dean's eyes widened. Oh no, he wouldn't-

The pink tongue he'd just licked was currently licking jizz from his thumb, and oh yes he would.

Dean found himself drawn in, and took a cautious taste from Harry's middle finger. The other boy shuddered. Wanting to see that response again, Dean wrapped his lips about the tip of Harry's finger, and sucked. As for the taste, he'd tasted worst Bertie Bott flavours, although he'd hate to think of watching a First-Year pop a jizz-flavoured jellybean by mistake-

Harry cleaned off his thumb, and moved to the flesh part of his palm. Dean lapped at the back of his knuckle. At some unknown sign they both leaned forward again, sliding their tongues against each other. It was electrifying, to think of what he'd just done, knowing the taste was on his tongue, on Harry's, that he was tasting them both, that there was still the remainder of their feast in Harry's open hand. It made the bottom of his belly curl, and he moaned into Harry's mouth.

Then Harry said the words, "I want to fuck you," and that brought Dean up short.

"Wh-what?" he stammered.

The look on Harry's face was rueful now, but he was looking at his hand. "I really do need a cleaning charm now," he mourned. Then he furrowed his brow, obviously focused on his hand, and said, "Scourgify!" His hand was immediately clean.

He looked up to see Dean staring at him with a hint of awe and confusion in his face.

Dean decided to broach the easier subject first. "Harry, that's really powerful magic…"

Harry shrugged. "It's nothing," he said.

"No, Harry, that's wandless magic, I don't think you understand-"

"I understand absolutely fine, thanks very much!" Harry snapped, the expression of his face twisting powerfully. "I understand that whatever it is, it wasn't enough to save my godfather, so it's absolutely nothing!" He turned away from Dean, taking his warmth with him. There was only the sound of Harry's harsh breathing.

Dean touched the side of Harry's face. "Is this all because of your godfather then?"

Harry's head whipped about so fast Dean was sure he'd gotten whiplash. Harry just stared at him, his eyes nearly as round as the frames surrounding them. "Is it?" he asked. "I don't know. Maybe I'm just acting out."

Dean summoned up a smile that was a lot braver than he was. "Well, sex is still sex, isn't it? It's all a mate's got on his mind, eh?"

Green eyes looked at him as if they'd never seen him before. "How much do you want this?" he asked curiously.

The dark tone of his skin couldn't quite hide the flush of embarrassment. "Enough," he said gruffly, avoiding Harry's eye.

Harry just sighed, and turned, leaning back against him, head resting against his shoulder. "Harry?" he asked cautiously.

There was a smile playing about the edges of his lips. It's fine," he whispered. "It's enough to know that you're willing to be…vulnerable, for me." He opened his eyes again, and the bright green was calm. "I won't push- didn't mean to test you, but I had to know, know if you were willing, if you were for real-"

Dean thought this was all a little crazy. His steady of nearly six months had just non-verbally broken up with him, and in an hour he'd gotten further with his roommate of five years than he'd ever gone with her. He hated to think how he'd enjoyed it so much more.

"You're mad," Dean said bluntly, "but that's okay."

The train's slowing told them they were reaching Hogsmeade, and neither of them had changed. They took a look at each other, trousers undone and their limp pricks hanging out, and couldn't help but laugh.

"Are you two going together?" Ron blurted out in a moment of surprising clarity when he next saw Harry and Dean, standing beside the carriages, almost indecently close. Harry was staring at the thestral and Dean was staring at him. Harry rolled his eyes and hauled Ron into a carriage after him. Luna clambered up on his other side.

"Ron, mum's the word," Harry said.

"But you said you had a bird!" he cried, stabbing his finger accusingly at Dean.

"I lied," Dean said dryly.

"Congratulations," Luna said.

"Thank you." Harry smiled,

"Con-congratulations? You're getting bonded?" Ron gulped, looking fit to faint.

"Would you mind terribly much?" Harry asked.

That drew the redhead up short. "Eh- well, no, not really. It's just sort of surprising, really. Came out of left-field and all-" He squinted suspiciously at them. "How long did you say you'd been going together?"

"We didn't," Harry said flatly.

Dean took pity on their roommate and replied, "Bout two hours now, wouldn't you say, Harry?"

"Eh-" Harry scrounged up his face in thought. "I'd say two hours sounds about right."

Ron went pale under his freckles. "And you'll want to bond already?"

Harry suddenly broke into a grin. "Nah, you bloody tosser, we're just pulling your leg."

He sighed in relief. "Whew. That's good then. It's right shocking you know, but just because it's you two. Homosexuality's pretty common here, and pretty accepted, but I guess you'll didn't know that, being Muggle-raised and all. Wait." He glanced anxiously at the two of them, and then steeled himself against the words.

"You'll- neither of you- wouldn't have happened to fancy me- in the past- ever- right?"

Harry and Dean exchanged a long look. Luna was smiling happily.

"Well, come to think of it, maybe that's why I found that redheaded nude model in my drawing classes over the summer so fit-"

"I'd actually wanted to ask you to the Yule Ball, Ron-"

Ron really did faint this time.

During the Sorting Feast, Harry excused himself to go the bathroom. Five minutes later, Dean excused himself as well. He found Harry sitting on the basin rim, staring at the row of urinals along the wall.

"So are we going together then?" Harry asked, still not looking at him.

Dean shrugged, going for nonchalant. "I brought an inflatable football with me this time round. We could go take over the Quidditch pitch, like, and convert them all into West Ham fanatics. Of course, if I ever even hear you breathe the name Tottenham…" he trailed off faux-dangerously, the smile in his eyes belying his threat.

It made Harry laugh. "It won't be safe, though," he warned. He finally turned and his green eyes bored into Dean's skull. The taller boy suddenly realised just how much weight was on his friend's shoulders- and how much actual weight he'd lost over the summer.

"I can't guarantee anything, especially how this last year turned out. It's proved that nothing's safe, no one is. There are traitors everywhere. I don't know who to trust, can't trust anyone at all-"

"Woah, Harry, just- just hold it, for a moment, will you?" He flung up his hands as if to physically stop the tirade. "You don't have to think about that all the time-"

"But I do," Harry hissed. "You think anyone out there will let me forget?" He swung his arm out in a wide arc to encompass everyone waiting for them back at the Great Hall.

"No- that's- what I'm saying is, there shouldn't be any Chosen One bollocks between us."

Harry stared at him for a long while. Then he let out a snort. "Chosen One bollocks. I'd like to hear you tell Dumbledore that."

Dean grinned. "Is that a dare?"

Green eyes went wide. "You wouldn't."

"Dare me then," he taunted. "I'm daring you to."

"Fine, do it."

"You're on. What do I get?'

"I beg your pardon?"

"It's a dare, right? So what do I get once I've done it?"

"I didn't get anything when you dared me to dare you to tell Dumbles to stick it."

"You don't get anything because that last sentence of yours was too bloody confusing." Dean rocked back on his heels, and grinned at his roommates. "So, come on, what do I get?"

Harry sidled off his seat on the porcelain rim and sauntered over to him. "What would you like?" he asked, using one hand to drift up Dean's hip and grip his waist.

Just as he'd done in their compartment at the Hogwarts Express, he tipped Harry's chin up to face him. "Hmm," he considered.

Harry gave him a rather lecherous grin. "How about you get a little preview, eh?" He simultaneously grabbed Dean by the crotch of his pants while blindly using his other hand to magically lock the bathroom door. Dean didn't have time to marvel at another offhand show of wandless magic, since Harry'd shoved him back against a bathroom stall.

He undid the front of Dean's trousers with one hand and then sank to his knees.

"Oh god," Dean muttered, abruptly realising just what the hell Harry was up to. "Harry-"

Cold air hit his prick for a bare second before he was swallowed by a warm wet mouth.

Later that evening, when they were both seated back at the Gryffindor table, Dean could only blame Harry- with that smug look on his face, tongue laving his bottom lip with just the flash of white teeth, thumbing off a smidgen of something suspiciously creamy from the edge of his mouth, and then that tight swallow that echoed in his ears- it was entirely Harry's fault for what happened next.


Dumbledore looked surprised, as did many of the surrounding students, deservedly so. As far as any of them knew, he and the headmaster had never once exchanged even a word of greeting.

Dean could feel Harry's burning grin against the side of his face. "That Chosen One stuff is a lot of bollocks," he said point-blank.

The two boys were nearly doubled over against a hall.

"You're mad, you know that?" Harry gasped out when he'd gotten his breath back. They were laughing so hard the tears made it hard to even see. In the shock that permeated their little group after Dean had said his piece, Harry had leapt up from his seat and yanked him out of the hall. Two corridors down, they'd burst into laughter and hadn't been able to stop since.

"You're not all there yourself, y'know! I wouldn't actually have done it if you hadn't- well," Dean started defensively, even as he was still wiping the tears from his eyes. "But honestly- did you have to wipe your mouth, just like that, at that moment?" Even the mere mention of it made his cock twinge in his pants.

"Ha! Always knew you were a sack of shit, Dean!" Harry crowed victoriously, and Dean kissed him to shut him up.

Sixth-Year was a ball. Harry was acting it out in every way he knew how. Unfortunately, though, for some reason, his grades were better than ever. Since they'd changed Potions Professors, both he and Ron were accepted in the N.E.W.T. level class, although they didn't have the supplies required. Slughorn allowed them to root around the old stacks for books, but Harry just said, "I'll just mooch off Thomas, sir, if you don't mind."

"Leech off me, most like," Dean muttered under his breath, although he didn't bother to hide his smile.

"I think the word you're looking for is 'suck'," he murmured as he walked past, groping his arse.

Harry did order supplies for both Ron and himself though, and smacked his best mate across the head when he tried to refuse. Still, the redhead had managed to procure an old Potions text that had, apparently, belonged to someone called 'The Half-Blood Prince'. The man turned out to be a bloody genius. At the end of their first lesson, Ron actually won the bottle of Felix Felicis from Slughorn by 'impressing him with his ingenuity'.

Hermione, of course, was incensed. Ron then took to carrying the book around in his pocket just to pick fights with her. He, unfortunately, despite being a genius at chess, was still at that stage of emotional growth where pulling girls' pigtails meant you liked them. Dean despaired of their ever getting together- or for Ron's ever getting together with anyone- for the other person, of course.

As for the bushy-haired true genius herself, she'd been in a sort of funk ever since Dean and Harry had come out. It was almost like she was upset that they were getting some when Ron was too blind to see what was right in front of him. And now that Ron had to show her up like this, especially in a subject he was renowned to be useless in-

Harry did not look forward to being anywhere in their vicinity anytime soon, and had taken to cloistering himself with Dean.

Neville had congratulated them with a shy smile that reminded Dean, somehow, of Luna Lovegood. He mentioned this to Harry and the shorter boy immediately blackmailed him into helping him matchmake the two. Seamus was acting a little all out of sorts as well, but they just blamed it on his being Irish.

Ginny's response didn't really bear any thought. She'd gone ballistic once she found out, of course, but they just ignored her, and put Silencing charms on her every time she came near them. Ron, and even the twins had been a little unsure about going to those extremes, but once they'd heard a couple of her tirades, they hastily agreed.

They'd been nastily surprised at how filthy their baby sister's mouth had become over the years. There was a reason why she was a natural redhead, after all.

Snape was as nasty as ever, even worse this time since he'd finally gotten the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts. Harry, however, just ignored him, taking the back seat with Neville and Ron and looking up at the blackboard with lazy eyes. Snape could rile him up all he wanted in class, but as long as he didn't respond, the man couldn't fault him for it.

Of course Snape tried to pick on his next favourite victim, Neville, but it didn't work on the Longbottom heir as much as it used to. Battling his parents' torturer had give him the confidence boost he'd sorely needed.

Then Snape had tried it with Ron, but Harry just told him to think of Snape's face once he saw Ron's Potion midterm scores, and the redhead had never been able to look at the greasy git with a straight face since.

The four of them became a sort of quartet, although clearly Harry and Dean were going together. The Pureblood duo didn't mind as much, having been brought up in a society that openly advocated homosexuality, but Seamus apparently had issues. Rumour had it that he'd actually fancied Dean, but no one ever actually said anything, so they put that out of their minds.

Dean had also smuggled in a whole carton of charcoal-coloured clove cigarettes in his trunk, which Harry, and then the other two, began to shamelessly take advantage of. They hunkered down by the rocks near the lake, and finished off half-a-pack between them each time. They didn't spoil themselves too much, as they were all budding sportsmen, but it made a good indulgence.

Hermione, of course, didn't approve. She rarely approved of anything these days. Harry had tried to talk to her once, to have her tell him what was going on, but the girl was just an utter wreck. Her hair was frizzier than usual, and her hazel eyes were almost constantly bloodshot. She'd lost a ton of weight since term had begun, but it didn't make her look attractive. Instead, it rather reminded Harry of Aunt Petunia.

"It's Ron, isn't it?" he asked finally.

"Wha-what?" she appeared bewildered, but there was a hint of wildness in her eyes that told him the truth.

"'Mione, if you'd just come right out and tell him you fancy him-"

"I do not fancy Ron Weasley!" she loudly exclaimed, and then blushed as red as a Weasley once she realise how loud she'd spoken. Luckily they were in one of the private cabals sequestered deep inside the library, and it was still early enough in the semester that no one was around, not even the Ravenclaws.

She scrubbed her cheeks till they were pink. "I do not fancy Ron Weasley," she repeated in a smaller voice, but she just sounded like she was trying to convince herself.

Harry patted her comfortingly on the back. "It's painfully obvious to the rest of us, even if Ron's eyes've been switched with his bal…"

He trailed off at the look Hermione was giving him. "You don't think Ron's noticed, have you?" she asked weakly.

"I could tell him for you if you'd like-"

"No!" Hermione looked even more frazzled at that suggestion. "You can't say a word! Promise me, Harry, you can't say anything!"

Dubiously, he agreed, and they sat there for a while in silence.

"I should probably get back to my essay."

"Right. I'll just…go look for Dean or something."

Harry didn't know when his best friend had become a stranger to him, and swore he'd do everything he could to change that back.

"You wouldn't dare."

"Remember what happened the last time we were playing at dares, mate? Who came out the loser on that one, eh?"

"No one did, you prat. Actually, if anyone did, it's me. I had to coerce you into doing it by blowing you before you ever did anything!"

"Fine, whatever. Seriously though, this time I'm telling you, I'd go through with this."

"I think you're a bloody wanker."

"I happen to like jizz just fine, thanks. Anything a little extra gives me the heebie-jeebies."

"Heebie-jeebies? Who even says that anymore? I've got to be the least up-to-date person at Hogwarts and even I don't say heebie-jeebies-"

"Alright, alright, I got it, now shut up and lend me your cloak, will you?"

"Hey. Harry?"

He turned to see Neville stumbling up behind him with Ron.

"What's it, Nev?"

"Where's Dean at?"

"Eh?" He made a show of looking around for the taller boy, ignoring the invisible figure groping his arse. "Haven't a clue. Probably decided to skive off. Well, wouldn't blame him. It's Binns, after all."

"Oh. Alright."

Hermione huffed at the black boy's non-appearance, but she couldn't chew him out when he wasn't there, and Harry made it a point to sit across from her so she couldn't chew him out either. He felt a touch on his knee, and casually spread his legs apart under the desk, making sure his robes were well-draped over his thighs. If Dean did this right, even if his prick stood fully erect and proud, it should all be hidden in the other boy's invisible mouth.

Artist's fingers undid the top button, and the buttons down his fly, taking care to linger over every inch downwards. Fuck, but the boy's hands were cold! He glanced about nervously when Dean pulled his cock out, shuddering for more than one reason, and then bit his knuckle as the fantastically talented boy swallowed him to the root.

He suddenly heard a whispered sticking charm, and found his hips glued to his seat; he sagged back in relief, knowing it would've been hell trying to keep his hips from snapping forward every time Dean's tongue found a particular spot, just like that one ooohhhhh…

That boy's tongue should be declared the eighth wonder of the world. Harry didn't even want to know how many exes he'd gone through to learn the things he knew, but damn, could he do them. Dean slid him down the back of his throat, and he hurriedly turned a retarded gurgle into a slightly more intelligent cough. Ron was as oblivious as always, but Neville was looking at him worriedly.

"Mate, you alright? You're awful red."

Harry forced a smile and waved his attentions away, too strained to even answer. Up from the front, Hermione scowled at him for disrupting the class. Harry wanted to retort and ask her how she'd handle paying attention in class with someone blowing you beneath the table and oooohhh…really, that boy's tongue should never be used for anything else other than oral sex, ever again. Well, maybe not for anything that didn't have anything to do with sex. Shit, shit, shit-

He barely managed to rap his fingers against the side of the desk before he shot his load off. Thankfully, Dean's mouth was still wrapped about the head of his cock. Now all he had to worry about was his boyfriend not choking to death on his cum…

Dean fell into step with them some five minutes after Binns' class, whistling cheerfully. Harry kissed him briefly in greeting, secretly relishing in the taste on his tongue.

"Hey stranger. Where've you been?"

"Eh- had a- a bit of an oral problem, you see."

Hermione overheard and perked up at once. "An oral problem?"

Dean immediately dissolved into a coughing fit, and his cheeks were as red as they could get. Harry fought not to laugh and stuttered out, "Well, i-it's not really his t-teeth, you see. Uh-his-uh-it's his tongue."

"Oh." Hermione looked disappointed at that. Harry solemnly patted her on the shoulder.

Ginny, unfortunately, cornered him the next day on the way to the Great Hall. Harry grit his teeth and sloughed on, determined to skin Dean for not taking his brunt of this. For some reason she was harping on and on about re-starting the D.A.

"-and Dumbledore thinks it's a good idea, too-"

"Why should I give a rat's arse about that?" he asked rudely.

"Harry!" Ginny admonished. "Professor Dumbledore only wants what's good for you. Besides, with the D.A., you'd be able to get the training you need-"

"That has nothing to do with you," he snarled so fiercely she momentarily looked startled. "Piss off, Ginny, this is none of your business." He picked up his pace and hoped she'd just stay there, stunned, but that was obviously too much to hope for. She came bounding after him, looking irate.

"Harry, of course it's my business! I came with you to the Ministry last year, after all-"

"Yeah, and what good did that do?" he spat bitterly. "Besides, I told you not to come. It was your own choice that brought you'll there. You don't even have any right to ask this of me."

"Harry James Potter!" They'd come to the corridor just outside the Great Hall. "Stop being so selfish! When did you become like this?"

He spun about and nearly stabbed her through the throat with his finger. "Become like this? You mean have a life to live?"

"Th-that's not what I meant-"

He ignored her stammers and stalked off angrily. "What's so selfish about wanting to live my life?"

"It's for the greater good, Harry-"

"Greater good?" he parroted. Students passing them by stopped to watch with wide, unbelieving eyes. They nudged their neighbours, telling them to spread the word. "Greater good for who? Tell me that. Who's it for, me or you?"

"Harry, this is all of us-"

"Us. I love all these abstracts you keep coming up with." They were surrounded by a full audience now. Ginny's eyes flickered around nervously, but Harry didn't appear to even notice Dean coming up behind him with Neville and Ron. "Tell me, did Dumbledore write your script? You should fire him and find someone better, because it's just too bloody predictable. Full of shits and giggles is what it is. So what, Ginny? Do you honestly think your life is worth more than mine?"

His blunt question caught her off-guard.


"Maybe your dad's then, put it in a little bit more perspective for you. Would you die for him? Would you ask me to die for him? Tell me, do you want me to die so you can live? Tell me, is that what this is all about? Is that what this is? Is that it? Is it? Is it?"

Ginny, terrified beyond reason, suddenly burst out, "Sometimes…sometimes…someone has to die for everyone else to live!"

Silence reverberate around the stunned room.

Sure, people had thought it, but no one had ever dared to voice it out like that. They shrunk away from the callousness of sacrifice, disgusted by its very thought.

"Well done, Gin-Gin," he mocked, "always knew you had it in you." He backed away from her, holding his hands up in mock-surrender. "At least now you know what you want. At least now I know what you want. Tell me," he continued, still backing away from her, "what if it was you? Would you die too?"

She gaped at him, nonplussed. He sneered at her.

"Didn't think so."

He whirled about and cut a swath through the gathered crowd. Dean caught him by the hand. Harry only glanced at him, but allowed the taller boy to pull him off to one side. Slowly, their audience began to dissipate, leaving Ginny Weasley standing there outside the Great Hall in tears.

During the dinner meal, Dumbledore stopped at Gryffindor on his way to the staff table.

"Mr. Potter, I would appreciate your presence in my office after you are finished."

He was about to walk away, clearly expecting no argument, when Harry's voice sounded from behind him.

"For what, sir?"

He sounded perfectly polite. No one could fault that, even when they all knew just how insolent he was really being. The entire Great Hall held his breath waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Miss Weasley came to me about your disagreement this afternoon-"

"Did she really?" As one nearly a thousand heads turned to look at the youngest Weasley, who nearly crumpled under the pressure. It looked like she'd been crying even more than Cho had, and that was saying something.

Just before Dumbledore was about to answer in the affirmative, Harry tilted his head to the side and asked, "'Mione? I thought in-house disagreements were meant to be handled by the Head-of-House. No disrespect meant, sir."

Of course everyone knew that last statement was a bald-faced lie.

If anyone knew the Hogwarts Charter back-to-front and upside-down, it was Hermione. "That's right, Harry," she replied, looking pleased that her old friend had at least brushed up on his reading.

"The Heads-of-Houses generally run the day-to-day affairs of the school. The headmaster is supposed to look after the administrative details only, and usually has contact only with students in leadership positions." She looked at him apologetically. "I'm sorry about that, Harry."

He would've been Quidditch House Captain this year- if last year's ban had been revoked. As things stood, Katie had been the only other choice as she and Harry were the last two members of the Gryffindor Dream Team still attending Hogwarts.

Harry shrugged. "Dean can console me later." The students that overheard this were startled into laughing. Dumbledore looked annoyed at how he was losing control of the situation.

"Mr. Potter, be that as it may, I still require your presence in my office after the evening meal."

"And I asked what for, sir." The hall was deathly quiet now. "You have yet to give me a valid reason for this."

"You need to be informed of your duties."

"Whatever duties could you be talking about?"

"You know your duty, my boy- you are the Chosen One."

"Oh, did you know?" Harry asked conversationally. "What Dean said the other day- about the Chosen One being utterly bollocks- that I'd put him up to it? Oh, yes, that was entirely me. And I completely stand by that fact."

"My boy, the prophecy-"

"Yeah, that old thing. The one that said I had to kill Voldemort or have him kill me. The one that you thoughtfully told me you'd known all along right after I'd just watched my godfather die!"

"Mr. Potter-"

"What, going to tell me I could've stopped it all if only I'd learnt Occumency properly? Between your periodic checks 'for my own good', Voldemort, and your pet Death Eater mind-raping me all last year, how the hell could I have ever stood a chance?"

Snape looked incensed while some of the staff were reeling back in shock.

"But you were banking on that, weren't you?"

Harry's voice suddenly dropped, and everyone in the hall instinctively strained forward to hear him. Dumbledore's bright blue eyes darted around him. "Mr. Potter, this is neither the time nor the place for this conversation," he said firmly. "If we could move this to my office-"

"Why in the world would we want to do that?" Harry asked, eyes wide in faux-innocence. "Thanks to your careful orchestration, everyone within these walls knows that some batty chit thinks I've got to save all their sorry arses. It's their lives as much as anyone else's that's on the line. They've got every right to hear this. Don't you think?"

At once cries rang out from all parts of the hall, demanding that they continue in plain view, although more for the gossip value than any true sense. Dumbledore was helpless in the face of his students. What remaining morals he had wouldn't allow him to raise a hand against them all, not even to Obliviate them 'for their own good'.

"With my godfather dead, my parents long gone, who else would I have to turn to for help but you, the great, grand Albus Dumbledore, defeater of the big bag boy Gellert Grindelwald." Harry's lips twisted derisively. "The way I see it, my godfather had no choice but to die for your plan to move on. Another one of your unfortunate casualties, eh? How many more of them are there, buried beneath your throne?

"You put me on a pedestal I never wanted because my parents died." He drew back, and raked his eyes across the captivated crowd.

"Now I'm telling you, and all the bloody rest of the lot, save your own damn arses! You want a hero, go look in a flipping mirror. Heroes are made out of circumstance thrust upon them, because those they love were put in danger. And I'm telling all of you now, I don't love a goddamn one of you. There are maybe five people in this room that I'd died for, and trust me, if you're smiling hopefully and thinking it's you, let me save you the trouble: it isn't."

Harry's eyes were a blazing, violent green unsullied by the thick lenses over his eyes. "Bloody hell, I don't even know the names off most of you!"

McGonagall recalled herself enough to bark out, "Mr. Potter, watch your language! Ten points from Gryffindor!"

Harry startled everyone by laughing. "You see?" He stabbed his finger at his startled Scottish Head-of-House's direction. "That takes guts. Standing up to someone who basically tells you he doesn't give a rat's arse whether you live or die. That's what you've all got to find for yourselves, because I sure as hell don't give a rat's arse about a worthless bunch like you lot, who'd sell out someone else just to save your own damn hide."

His words rang emptily in the hall.

"Just one last thing.

"I said there were several people I do, fortunately or not, care for. I also do know, that there are more than a handful of people within these hallowed walls-" the 'no thanks to someone' rang loud and clear within all their heads, even if he hadn't said it out loud "-who can and may go running to Voldemort with this information." He smiled very sweetly at all of them, ignoring the collective flinch that went out when he spoke the Dark Lord's name.

"And to all those people, I have a message.

"Not if but when I find out just who exactly you are, and what you've done, and something happens to them, I will come after you. I will find you, and I will catch you. I will then flay your skin from your flesh and make you eat it. Every scrap you vomit or excrete out I will force down your throat again, until there is nothing left hanging on your bones but muscle and sinew. And then I will sit there with a bag of crisps and watch you bleed to death." The light, almost conversational tone was violently at odds with his threat.

"Consider yourselves warned."

Malfoy's voice drifted over shakily from the Slytherin table. "And if nothing happens to them?"

Harry's lips curled into a smile. "As long as they remain untouched, I have no involvement in this conflict. And trust me, I will know which side takes them. In that event, I think it's pretty much a given that I will immediately default to the opposing side."

Nearly half the faces of everyone present turned white. They had all known that a fully-trained Harry Potter would be the turning point in this war. The Light had had their hooks in him for the longest time, but the Dark hadn't quite minded, because he'd been little more than an ill-trained overpowered dolt up to this point.

But now this Harry Potter was someone they were all unfamiliar with. The sheer power he had at his disposal was nearly intoxicating. And here he was publicly announcing that he was abstaining from the conflict entirely.

This wasn't the brainless twit who had mindlessly defied death at each turn and blundered through life with all the subtlety of a rhinoceros on steroids. This was the Harry Potter who was still flush from his victory at the Department of Mysteries, having served a whole armada of Death Eaters their arses on a platter, successfully Crucioed, if even for a short while, the craziest murderous bitch Voldemort had at his employ, and landed a cushy Malfoy tushie in Azkaban.

Even Draco had enough self-preservation to not confront him and damn as hell not provoke him.

"As you see, sir, I'm afraid these clandestine meetings in your office will have to stop. Think of the rumours, especially since you'd been regularly having me up there since I was eleven."

There were blanches all round. Seamus stared at him with wide eyes.

Harry slipped back into his seat without turning about. He picked up his goblet of pumpkin juice and gently swirled it around. "It'd be a pity for the school to be drawn into the conflict, don't you think?" he asked loudly. Everyone seemed to be straining to catch every word that fell from his lips. "After all, it's a place for education, the scions of the future. I'd hate to see any magical child deprived of their basic right of education."

Those same faces paled even more.

Harry looked at Dean thoughtfully. "Don't you feel like conversation's a little sparse tonight?"

Harry was lying down with his head in Dean's lap in an obscure part of the library when Malfoy suddenly appeared past the far corner. He tensed, but Harry's hand on his arm had him slowly subsiding, although he let Dean's fingers rest cautiously on his wand. He watched Harry tilt his head up to look Malfoy full in the face.

"What is it, Malfoy?"

Dean looked the Pureblood heir over with critical eyes and noticed right off the bat that this year had not been kind to him. Granted, the semester was nearly over, and they'd be having their midterms next week, but even the most die-hard Ravenclaw muggers didn't look as peaked as Malfoy did. The bruises beneath his eyes were nearly violet, and the hollows under his stark cheekbones were a moulting grey.

The blond handed the boy in his lap a thick envelope. The paper looked crisp and clean and pricy. Taking it, Harry's eyes flickered to the envelope, and then back up again. "Is this from who I think it is?"

Malfoy abruptly sighed, and rubbed tiredly at his brow. He looked remarkably imperfect. It wasn't like him to show this sort of weakness, and instead of its usual, carefully slicked back do, his bleached hair tumbled limply over his fingers as he sought to erase the coming headache.

"You've changed, Potter." Even Malfoy's voice sounded thin, weak, as though he were stretched out over something far greater than his magnitude. "It's been obvious to us all. There are- others- of us, who've been keeping tabs on you all year."

"Reporting, I assume?" Harry's voice held no inflection in it.

Malfoy just nodded, too exhausted to argue any further. "He's willing to enter into terms of ceasefire with you, and you alone." Harry's eyes shot up in a silent question. "Ten persons, Potter. That's all he's willing to give. And they can't be involved any more than you."

Harry nodded, and rested back against his chest, satisfied. "If those are the only terms, then we have an agreement." Dean carded his fingers through the messy locks,

"Why don't you just read the damn thing, Potter?" Malfoy demanded irritably.

Harry rolled his eyes at him. "Stop being such a ponce and wearing my name out, Malfoy. Just sit down, will you? No one's going to leap out of anything and hex you."

As the blond gingerly sat, sniffing at the shoddy workmanship of the library chairs, Harry pulled the missive out so the two of them could read it together. Basically, the terms were what Draco had stated.

"Why did you have us read it?" the smaller boy asked, confused. "It's pretty much verbatim what you said."

Grey eyes widened in shock. Harry peered suspiciously at him. "You thought he'd slip a clause in, wouldn't you?"

Malfoy was too stunned to even deny it. "I-I didn't think he'd take my suggestion."

Dean let out a low whistle, going over the terms of the ceasefire again. "Your suggestion? Unfortunately, I find myself impressed."

Harry shot him a grin over his shoulder and elbowed him. "Oh shut it, Dean. Even Purebloods have their uses." He turned back to Malfoy with the same grin on his face. The blond had been about to deliver a withering verbal blow, but when he saw the look on Harry's face, he faltered somewhat.

"I think Harry's offering a little ceasefire of his own, Malfoy," Dean said gently, giving the Pureblood heir a little nudge in the right suggestion.

"Oh. Alright." Shakily, he held out a slim pale hand. "Truce?"

Harry took it and gave it a firm shake. "Truce."

"Oh, look at the two of you, all grown up-"

"Shut up, Dean, before we both hex you."

"Did you ever think it'd end like this?"

Dean looked at him disbelievingly. "I didn't even think it'd start the way it did. Of course I had no clue how this would end, except with either or both of us in a pine box."

"I don't think they quite ship 'em out in pine boxes anymore, love," Harry gently said. "The wizarding world has a habit of cremating the bodies."

"Oh." He shrugged, still not quite caring. He hadn't been terribly interested in coming to the funeral, but Harry had managed to bribe him here with a quickie before this, and the promise of another one during the sermon.

"Do you at least have a clove to make this wankjob go by faster?"

Harry sighed regretfully. "You think 'Mione would honestly let us? And if only this were a wankjob. That would make things so much bett-"

"Shhh!" Hermione hissed at them from the row in front. Ron, sitting beside her and holding her hand, glanced at them and shrugged apologetically, waggling his eyebrows for their code of 'what can you do about her?'

They were attending the funeral of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, held at the end of their Sixth-Year, at the cusp of their Seventh. It had been a bit of a rollercoaster to get there, and Harry knew he had better things to ride, but he supposed it was worth it- for the greater good, of course.

Dean had got them those tickets for the game that past December, and Harry followed him home for the Winter Break for an absolutely mind-blowing time. When term was slated to open again, they made their way back, still flush from the West Ham victory over Tottenham, and radiant as hell from the sex during, before, and after the after-party. Their ears were still ringing with off-key tunes, but they'd never felt happier.

So of course, Malfoy had to come and spoil it all.

He'd informed them, a little nervously, that this was not an appeal for permission but rather a courtesy message from his lord. Several key Death Eaters would be infiltrating Hogwarts with the intent to take out Albus Dumbledore. Harry had told him very clearly that as long as the students remained untouched, he would not hear, see, or say anything.

Malfoy had a rather predatory smirk on his face when he left.

Of course, Harry then proceeded to snog the life out of him, so Dean remembered very little after that point.

Three weeks later, they were rudely interrup- awoken in the middle of the night when insane laughter echoed off stone walls. Harry had been incensed that Voldemort had allowed the mad bitch into a castle full of schoolchildren, and once he'd seen the ashen look on Neville's face, Dean couldn't help but agree. They'd immediately grabbed the invisibility cloak and made their way up to the astronomy tower, where the laughter had come from.

Ron and Neville scurried off behind them. Seamus had been missing from his bunk when they'd woken up. They could only hope he hadn't been caught in the crossfire. The Dark Mark was already long branded in the night sky.

Oddly enough, they came across Snape duelling against Ginny, of all people. They were shocked to see the baby Weasley successfully cast a Cruciatus on Snape, causing their hated Potions Professor (that was what they'd always think of him as, having finally gotten the Defence Against the Dark Arts post or no) to writhe screaming on the ground. Incensed, the man managed to break her curse and snarl, "Sectumsempra!" at her.

Ron's eyes had widened with shock, and he'd grabbed Harry and exclaimed, "Snape's the half-blood Prince!"

The man spun about, surprise clear in his dark eyes. The distraction dearly cost him, however, when Ginny's well-aimed cutting curse popped his head clear from his shoulders.

Suddenly they realised Ginny was lying on the ground, covered in blood from three large gouges in her chest.

"How'd you know Snape was the half-blood Prince?" Harry demanded.

"That curse- 'Sectumsempra'! It was written in the margins," Ron hurriedly explained, even as he hovered about his little sister, casting any charm he thought would help and settling on 'Impedimenta'. The wounds nearly stopped bleeding altogether, but they wouldn't close. Luckily for them, Ginny had fallen into a faint after having cast her killing stroke on Snape.

"If he made up that spell, he might have a counter-charm for it," Harry said. "Quick, check the margins."

Ron whipped it out of his pocket and began riffling through its pages. "Oh, no," he moaned, "there's writing in all the margins-"

He was abruptly cut off mid-complaint when Neville smacked him sharply across the head. "You know this book front-to-back, you git! Where's the first place you'd look?"

Ron had begun to scowl, but then immediately flipped to the very back and pointed out a tiny scribbled word near the bottom. "There, rejuvenatus. But I don't-"

"Rejuvenatus, rejuvenate," Dean cut in. "Harry, you cast it, before this git lets his sister bleed to death."

Ron's face nearly exploded in anger, but Harry had already cast the spell, and they all gaped as her wounds closed up seamlessly, and her ragged breathing eased into a painless sleep. The four of them glanced at each other.

"Well, guess that settles it," Neville said, trying for brevity. They didn't have time to see Ginny to Madam Pomfrey, so they stowed her in an alcove and disillusioned it, before hurrying up the astronomy tower.

"What do you think Ginny was doing with Dumbledore?" Ron panted while they shot up the stairs.

"The same thing they do every night- oof." Harry didn't get very far before Dean elbowed him in the gut. "Damnit, Dean, stop trying to slow me down!"

Ron looked horrified. "No!" he exclaimed, stopping dead in his tracks. "She wouldn't!"

The other three froze as they all came to the same mind-numbing conclusion.

"No Ron, she didn't," Dean hurriedly assured the redhead, while trying to erase the previous image from his mind, of Dumbledore and his ex-girlfriend- no, stop, stop, mind, damn it, he said stop!

"Harry was just trying to be a prat. It was a Muggle thing."

Now both Purebloods looked horrified. "You mean Muggle girls Ginny's age usually-"

"No!" he and Harry had both yelled together. Just then, a platinum blond head poked its way around the curve of the tower.

"Oh," he drawled, "I thought it'd be you lot. What's all the racket about? Are you looking for Finnegan? He's safe with us."

"Eh- just- wait, what, Seamus?" Harry exclaimed. "He's a Death Eater?"

Draco seemed surprised Harry'd drawn blanks on that. Even Ron seemed somewhat startled. "What, you didn't know?"

"Hadn't the foggiest," he mumbled.

The Malfoy heir snorted derisively. "And to think I was actually worried when you started threatening people earlier this year." Harry shot him a steely look, and he held his hands up, eyebrows raised.

"Alright, alright, was just kidding. So you weren't looking for Finnegan; then what were you lot on about?"

"Well, we were just trying to figure out why my sister and Dumbledore would have been out prowling around the castle this time of night?" Ron concluded lamely.

Draco looked startled. "Obviously, the old coot had to find someone to be his new little hero. What else could it-" then it hit him with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, and he looked even paler than he had when Harry issued his threat all those months ago before Christmas.

"That- that's disgusting," he said finally. "Weasel, how could you even think about it? Your own sister?"

The redhead at least had the grace to look abashed.

Malfoy let out a full body shudder. "The first thing I do once I get home is to have someone Obliviate this conversation from my mind. Anyway," he said, obviously wanting to change the subject, "have you'll seen Snape? I came down to look for him since he was taking unusually long. He said he'd deal with the Weaselette-" At Ron's flinch he snapped.

"By Merlin's Sacred Testicles, will you get your damn mind out of the gutter! No wonder Granger thinks you're hopeless and immature!"

"Wuh-what?" Ron turned milk-white, and all his freckles stood out starkly against his skin. "Sh-she does?"

The blond rolled his eyes. "Everyone knows she fancies the pants off you, and would actually jump you-" he shuddered again "-given the chance, if you'd pull your head out of your arse once in a while. Once in a while. She isn't even asking for a time limit. Rather too generous of her, if I do dare say so myself."

Before Ron could get lost in his fantasies of Hermione, Neville hurriedly put in, "Actually, we just came from seeing Snape and Ginny. I'm afraid Ginny dealt with him instead, although I can't say I'm sorry to see him go."

Draco's eyes were wide. "You mean he's dead? Weaselette killed him?"

Harry nodded. "Yup. Cutting curse." He drew his finger across his neck to illustrate.

Draco was obviously impressed. "Your family might actually be redeemable, after all," he told Ron. Before the redhead could break his nose, he turned to Harry and said, "Oh, by the way, we finished what we came here to do."

"Turned out well?"

"Yeah. Snape killed him, actually."

"No shit. Maybe Gin-gin will get her little twenty minutes of fame after all."

Neville was looking at Draco with trepidation. "Why aren't you more upset about his death?"

The blond looked thrown by the question. "What, Dumbledore's? I've been planning his death since the summer; why in the world would I be angry now that it's all finally over?"

Dean rolled his eyes. "Not Dumbledore, you git. He meant Snape, why aren't you more pissed over Snape's death."

The other blond timidly nodded. "He was your godfather after all."

Draco ignored the various exclamations with dignity, one of them being Ron's signature foot-in-mouth comment of, "Woah! The greasy git was the flying ferret's godfather?" and proclaimed loftily, "He was in love with a Mudblood," like that explained everything.

Dean looked at Harry, and the two of them shrugged at each other. Must be an inbre- he meant Pureblood- thing.

"Oh, by the way Draco, before you leave- what the hell is your insane bitch of an aunt doing in a school full of children?" Harry demanded. "What in blazes was he, mad when he sent her here? How in the name of Merlin's bloody balls did you get them here anyway?"

"I had a pair of Vanishing Cabinets," the blond explained, running a hand casually through his hair. "And he sent her here for a good reason. He knows she's a mad bitch. He sent her after McGonagall."

Four pairs of eyes widened. "Wha-"

Draco smirked and shrugged. "He knows she's a mad bitch, so he sent her after McGonagall," he repeated slowly, willing them to understand. Their eyes widened in realisation. "They always need to be put down."

And thus concluded the illustrious career of the fabled Albus Dumbledore. He was being buried on the Hogwarts grounds, of course, but it wasn't much of a funeral when his own phoenix wouldn't even appear to light the flame on his bier.

After Dumbledore's death and Lestrange's re-capture, everything had seemed very quiet. But, as Draco told them, having become almost an awful a gossip as Pansy, Voldemort was quietly having his people take over the Ministry from the inside. The changes would come gradually, but swiftly, and the rest of the wizarding world wouldn't know what hit it.

Ginny had gotten her five minutes of fame, of course, but her interview with the Daily Prophet in the Great Hall had been ruined by Hermione's ear-piercing scream of, "YES!" when Ron finally asked her out on bended knee with a bouquet of magnolias.

They'd been sappily together ever since and made the rest of Ron's dorm mates gag whenever he came back all googly-eyed and precious.

Dean yawned. Rufus Scrimgeous, the new Minister for Magic, was rumbling on about something of the goodness of something else. He wasn't really listening, and he'd been unfortunately convinced that scratching his balls in public was vulgar behaviour.

"Could we go now?" he asked plaintively. "Seeing flowers sprout would be more interesting than this, and there's that match against Sheffield that I would throw a fit to get to."

Harry smiled against his ear. "How about I talk you into sprouting in your pants right here? Or perhaps I could interest you in a game of...sprouting."

"How about the two of you shut it where others can hear you!" Draco hissed from his seat on the left.

"Oops," Harry said carelessly, not looking the slightest bit repentant. He glanced around discretely. "Think we can slide off without anyone noticing?"

Draco rolled his eyes at his naïveté. "You're the bloody Boy-Who-Lived, Potter; you're never going to be able to 'slide off' without anyone noticing."

"Will the lot of you just shut it!" Hermione demanded louder, although her voice was still lowered. "Try and have some respect for the dead!"

The four boys, including Neville sitting on Dean's right, all glanced at each other in complete bewilderment. "But we have none," Neville said blankly. Hermione just threw her hands up and turned back, cuddling resolutely against Ron's chest.

Eventually Neville and Draco got so tired of hearing the two of them whinge that they cast disillusioning charms on them, stole Harry's invisibility cloak back from Hermione as she'd confiscated it for 'outrageous behaviour' (Harry was convinced that she was just jealous they were getting more than she was), and then shoved them in the direction of the Forbidden Forest.

Harry stretched his back and popped his neck not two feet away from Dumbledore's dead body, delighting in everyone's inability to see him. He drew out a half-open pack of cloves and handed one to Dean. He sighed as he pulled out a regular Muggle lighter from his pocket.

"Pity his bird ain't here to help us light 'em up, eh?" Harry was too busy trying to keep the wind from extinguishing the flame to actually comprehend what he said. Then he froze, aghast, and looked at his lover.

Dean had thrown his head back and howled with silent laughter.

"I didn't," Harry begged, "please tell me I didn't-"

"Hate to break it to you, sweetheart," Dean smirked, patting him degradingly on the cheek. "But you did. You just said it was a pity Dumbledore's coc-"

"Hey!" Harry snapped, clapping his hands over the side of his head. "Virgin ears here! And I meant Fawkes, his phoenix, not the other- the other...thing." He gave a full bodied shudder, and Dean laughed even harder at the way his riotous hair seemed to ruffle up even more than usual. Thankfully or not, that shudder seemed to drive away all thoughts of Dumbledore's...bird. Harry was determinately rubbing his hands together and smacking his lips, eying Dean's crotch is a predatory way that had the other boy actually regret going commando.

"Right, sex. Now, where were we?"

I hate to call this crack, but there were some definite elements in here (o: I would love a review! Cheers.