Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the other characters for that matter. If I did, I'd obviously have a bit more money than I do right now. Wouldn't that be nice... :-)
Author's Note: This story all started with a nice, sexy Harry and Draco dream I had a few weeks back. Future Harry/Draco slash, and maybe a bit of other slash too, depending on where I go.
(.2010 – I think I've fixed all the minor errors...hopefully. Let me know if I've missed any, I don't have any one going over this with me. :D)
Chapter One: Mind the Gap
"Excuse me. Coming through." said an unconvincing, androgynous voice on the left. Or was it the right? The tunnel was packed with dozens upon dozens of people, Harry couldn't tell if the voice was even directed at him at all. Deciding it not worth getting worked up over, he put it behind him and kept on through the tunnel at a half-run, now only bothering to notice important signs and his location. He was already late enough, he didn't have time to dilly dally.
Naturally, Harry forgot that the tube line he had planned on getting on was closed for the weekend. They were always doing that crap – closing stations and whole lines for maintenance. Leaving people like Harry to find another route to their destination. Making his life just that much more difficult.
Not that his life was that difficult, it surely wasn't easy, but it definitely could have been worse. It had been much, much harder before, and his current state was a breeze compared to his adolescence. All he wanted to do now was get to the pub where Ron and Hermione were probably impatiently waiting as quickly as possible and later strangle Ginny.
He preferred to get off at Euston Square, since he liked to avoid the Kings Cross St. Pancras station whenever possible, but of course every line that connected to Euston Square had been shut down temporarily. Although, the tube station at Kings Cross was a tad closer than Euston to the pub, so he'd just have to deal with it for one evening. As late as he was, it made more sense.
Of course, he could have always just Apparated to the pub. He could have arrived ages ago. He could have been the first one there! Unfortunately, Harry didn't like to do every little thing the wizard way. Sometimes he just wanted to go through life completing tasks like muggles. Like ordinary people. He'd long since accepted the wizarding culture obviously, but growing up with the Dursley's didn't exactly allow for a normal muggle upbringing. He felt like he missed out on many regular muggle experiences. Harry was determined to complete his mental to-do list of muggle activities, and that just happened to include riding on the London Underground on a regular basis. He couldn't just hop on once in a blue moon and expect that to suffice as living like a Londoner; he insisted on actually traveling like a local. Besides, all that walking kept him quite fit!
But since his original route had been canceled, he needed to come up with a detour. Stat. Hastily moving towards a map on the wall, Harry quickly scanned the lines and tried to decide what the most logical new route would be. He'd have to switch to the Central line at Oxford Circus, ride that for two stops until reaching Holborn, then swich to the Piccadilly line and ride that until it came to Kings Cross. Easy.
Luckily for him, it was past seven pm, meaning that the after work rush to get home would be relatively over. Meaning the trains wouldn't be as busy. Or so he hoped. Either way, the packs of commuters wasn't going to hinder Harry from getting to the pub the old fashioned way. He wouldn't succumb to Apparation.
Twenty minutes later, Harry found himself walking into Sylvie's, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible. He spotted Ron right away, his flaming red hair always a dead giveaway.
"What the bloody hell took you so long?" Ron demanded, although not sounding quite as angry as he tried to come off.
"Sorry mate, you know I don't like to Apparate much." Harry went on to explain the delay and didn't look forward to explaining it for a second time once Hermione returned from the ladies room.
Waiting for Hermione to return, Ron rambled on about this and that, Harry not particularly listening. Not that he didn't care, he just didn't feel like caring. But only a moment later, Hermione strode back to the table and Harry told the story all over again with less enthusiasm.
"Well, I think it's great that you didn't get frustrated and give up. Most people would have come across the station, taken one look at the closed sign, and Apparated away in a huff." Hermione said, looking at Ron as she said the last bit.
"Hey, just because I'm impatient-" Ron started to argue, but Harry cut him off. Ron never used the Underground. He liked to blame it on the time it took to Apparate opposed to the time it took to take the train, but Harry knew that Ron just couldn't figure it out. He could barely remember how to use a telephone after all these years!
"You guys talk to Ginny today?" Harry asked, changing the subject. He'd had enough Underground for one evening, he couldn't stand to hear another word about it.
Ron and Hermione looked at each other, unsure of what to say. It was clear that they had indeed talked to Ginny, any moron could have figured that out.
"Yeah, I thought so." Harry assumed, before the two even had a chance to reply. "She's an absolute nutter. Sorry Ron, but she's taken this too far."
"I know mate." Ron agreed.
Hermione sat next to Ron opening and closing her mouth as if to say something. She didn't want to say anything too rash or hasty. But she had to admit, Ginny was making a huge mistake.
"I can't believe she's ran off with that wanker. Just because you didn't want a rotten kid. I mean, you two aren't even married!" Ron continued, apparently he'd taken Harry's side. "And that Zach, who does he think he is agreeing to this absurdity!"
Harry shrugged his shoulders and went to take a gulp of his drink, when he realized he hadn't even ordered one yet. "Um, sorry guys, first things first. Want anything?" He cocked his head towards the bar, indicating his motive.
"Nah, I'm good mate." Ron replied. Hermione shook her head no, but Harry could see that she was running low on her beer and opted to buy her another one anyway. Harry and Ron insisted on firewhiskey, the circumstances calling for something a little more potent.
However, Harry didn't want to get too smashed tonight. He still needed to make some rational decisions. Like where he was going to live.
"You know you're more than welcome to move in with us." Hermione offered. "I've been telling you this for ages. It isn't like we're runnning out of spaaacce." she slurred a bit at the end, her speech becoming slower and louder. She was definitely a lightweight.
"I don't know guys, it w-" Ron cut him off.
"Look mate. It isn't like you'd be imposing. You're our best friend." Ron paused for a moment to think of a way to convince Harry. "Look at it like one of those muggle things on your list. Muggles live in flats with their mates all the time."
"Yeah, flatmates." Hermione suggested.
"Stop! You guys!" Harry had to laugh. "I know that people live with each other. It isn't exactly breaking news. I just don't want to impose on your little love nest."
"You wouldn't be." Ron and Hermione said together.
It took a bit more convincing to get Harry to agree to move into Ron and Hermione's house, but it really was the only logical option at the time. It wasn't like he would be able to find a whole new flat on such short notice. But he couldn't go back to his current place. Ginny was still there. The memories of Ginny were still there. Zach was probably going to be there. Zach was probably going to be there with his tiny dick in the air, putting the moves on Ginny. And Ginny was -
"Harry, listen. Just go back to our place and Ron and I will go to your flat and gather up all your things. It shouldn't take us very long. I know you don't want to go in there." Hermione insisted. She really was great. Harry smiled and knew that he was in good hands. Hermione and Ron were more than capable of shrinking all of his belongings into small boxes and transporting them to their house in one trip. They were the only two people he trusted well enough to see and go through all of his things. He hadn't even trusted Ginny enough to let her see everything. This was probably for the best.
If Harry was being honest with himself, he had been unhappy with Ginny for months. Just the though of having sex with her made him want to run away and hide. And kissing her? Forget it. Cuddling? Ugh. Of course she was beautiful, but that wasn't enough to get his blood flowing or his heart racing. She didn't do anything for him. And apparently she'd noticed his lack of interest, and he didn't do enough of anything for her either.
Walking out of the pub into the crisp autumn air, he found a safe place to Apparate. Ron and Hermione's living room was just the place he wanted to be right now. He made himself a cup of tea and snuggled onto the sofa, patiently waiting for his friends return, wallowing in his own head.