During breakfast the following morning, Draco gazed over the Gryffindor's table and obtained a fellow prefect's eyes before nodding at the door. Once Granger comprehended his request, Draco stood up and parted the Slytherin table. Five minutes following his exit of the Great Hall, said prefect appeared. "What is it?" she questioned, suspicion playing its turn in her eyes.
Impulsively, Draco glanced around before gesturing her towards an vacant corridor. She trailed after him without word. When the scene seemed safe to discuss, he began: "How can I get him to trust me?"
Granger blinked, but for the moment, remained silent. This made Draco uneasy.
What if Granger didn't believe him yesterday when he admitted that he had a crush on the Golden Boy? He chose to talk again, but this time, he spoke in a soft voice. "I honestly like him."
That seemed to persuade the bushy-haired Gryffindor for the time being. Granger let out a sigh, then stated, "you need to befriend him."
A frown dawned upon the white-blond's expression. "He'll think that I've gone mad."
She gave him a pointed look. "Talk to him in Potions. I'll sit by Ron so that the only seat open is by you."
The Malfoy heir considered the idea for a moment before agreeing. After all, it seemed like a fair idea. A smile quirked on his lips. He was eternally grateful for someone as sharp as Granger. "You're brilliant."
The Gryffindor flashed a smile. "I've been told."
Hearing her boastful agreement, the blond figure scoffed, but he couldn't keep himself from grinning. The plan might actually get him to talk to the Chosen One without spitting rude comments back and forth. After thanking the other for her clever idea, Draco made his way to his class.
The day dragged by sluggishly for Harry. This was mostly because he was desperately trying to ignore Hermione ( just in case she brought that matter up again ) but by third period, he realized that she was avoiding the subject. Which was completely fine by Harry. After all, if she brought it up, Ron would interrogate what she was babbling on about and that would not end pretty.
As the last class of the day approached, Harry felt his stomach turn. He knew that Malfoy was going to be there, and ever since Hermione told him that he was in love with him, the atmosphere that surrounded him and the other became awkward rather than repulsive. Harry couldn't even glimpse at the white-blond straight anymore ( that was a horrible pun, Harry told himself ).
Much to his poor luck, he, Hermione, and Ron were one of the last to arrive. And Hermione acquired the seat by Ron, which was also the last seat left on the Gryffindor side ( previously, Hermione always sat with a Slytherin ). Ron had also acknowledged this exchange and glanced over to Harry questionably. They both shared a confused look, but the two knew that asking Hermione to move was out of the question. Plus, Snape was getting impatient. "Mr. Potter, if your insist on simply standing there, then close the door so I do not need to acknowledge your presence."
Flushing from embarrassment, Harry shuffled towards the only seat open— and that was the seat next to Malfoy. After sitting down, the ravenet male tried his hardest not to spectate the other figure, but it was difficult, considering that his crush was sitting a few spaces away. Harry couldn't help but peek. And when he did, his emerald eyes caught sight of an angelic figure— Malfoy sat in a poised position with his left arm stationed at rest on the desk while his right arm was propped up. His delicate fingers lingered near his right cheek. He wore a lax expression ; his eyebrows were barely furrowed and his mouth was pressed into a fragile line. Realizing that he was staring, Harry feverishly turned his gaze away and tuned in on what Snape was reciting.
"Instructions are on the board." With a flick of his wand, the Potions master made the extensive wall of text appear. Everyone around turned to their partners and instantaneously began to whisper about the assignment. A few got up to get their needed supplies. Harry, on the other hand, sat idle and focused on the words transcribed on the chalk board. They were supposed to brew some sort of odd draught that he never heard of before.
Harry's breath caught in his throat as he heard the voice of the Slytherin Prince. His mind wiped blank on what he should vocalize in return. When he couldn't think of anything to reply with besides 'Malfoy', he switched his sights from the black board to his partner.
Malfoy was observing him, his tempestuous gray eyes greeting his emerald ones. Harry could sense his heart hammering against his chest and his mouth running dry. Thankfully ( or perhaps unthankfully ), the prefect continued, "shall we get started?"
The tone of the white-blond's voice was shockingly not an usual sneer, but rather, it was soft and favorable. This tone petrified Harry ; he had never heard the other speak in anything but a sneer. This was definitely an unexpected change.
Nonetheless, Harry nodded, still wordless.
"I'll get the supplies." Malfoy gave him what seemed like a small smile before ushering to the supply room. Harry, in the mean time, tried to process what just occurred. Malfoy was actually . . . friendly. Suspicion road over Harry's thoughts. Malfoy was onto something— it wasn't everyday that the other had a change of heart. But what would Malfoy make out of this? What was his plan? To become his friend and then hand him over to Voldemort? Presumably so. Harry made a mental note to be more attentive of the other's actions.
When Malfoy returned with the ingredients, he positioned them at the end of Harry's desk. "Mix four ounces of cold water with six tablespoons of lemon juice," the Ice Prince started to read while completely overlooking Harry's existence for the moment.
Harry watched as Malfoy filled the half of the goblet with water before turning to him with a vacant expression. "Mind passing the lemon juice?" Extracting his gaze away and peering over the supplies, Harry grabbed the small cup of lemon juice. When he held it out to the Slytherin, Malfoy didn't take it. Instead, the white-blond handed him a tablespoon. Harry blinked. Beside him, Malfoy chuckled softly. The sound of the prefect's alluring laughter enforced Harry's stomach to flutter, but the ravenet male immediately waved it aside before it could get any worse. "It is a partner project," Malfoy reminded him.
The Gryffindor returned his gaze to the lemon juice before hastily scooping a few spoons in. A few moments later, he comprehended that he had forgotten to count. Green eyes peered at the potion. It didn't seem to be doing anything. Half-consciously, Harry put another spoon in, but when he tried to add another, Malfoy stopped him. "That was six."
Embarrassed, Harry returned the spoon to the other, who continued to stir and add a few other items. Harry watched, memorized, as Malfoy brewed nearly the rest of the potion. For once, the other wasn't shoving him aside or making him cut up all the roots. Harry appreciated this, but it felt odd doing nothing but sitting and watching ( even though he wasn't precisely watching the potion being formulated ). His eyes strayed on the blond figure until the Slytherin looked back at him. Caught, Harry glanced elsewhere.
"Potter, is there something you want?" Malfoy's voice was masked with uncertainty and barely a hint of a scowl. Harry shook his head and swiftly modified the subject before the other could question why he was staring. "What else do we need to do?" As the answer to his question, Malfoy reached over and grabbed the peppers, his hand grazing Harry's in the process. And because of the slight interaction, a tingle of some sort shot pierced Harry's hands and ran into his fingertips. Malfoy, though, didn't seem to be affected by this since he pulled back and handed Harry the spiceless peppers.
Mindlessly, the ravenet male accepted the items, and after reading the board, acquired the butter knife and began to cut the red pepper into eighths. But he grew nervous since Malfoy was observing him rather intently.
"Cut it quickly so the scent doesn't stick to the blade," the prefect instructed in a faint murmur. Harry complied, but the way he was dividing the pepper still didn't seem to gratify his partner. Malfoy leaned over and placed his hand over Harry's. In response to this move, the Golden Boy's body tensed.
"Quick and precise," Malfoy muttered next to him.
Harry sensed his cheeks growing warm as he watched their hands move the blade in sync to accurately cut the pepper into precise slices. It felt like eternity before the Slytherin had shifted away to put the bits into the potion.
Harry, though, was still in a state of shock from the fact that Malfoy just performed such action. Even if this was a joke, he was definitely taking it too far by leering this close. What exactly did Malfoy want? His eyes centered on the Slytherin prefect once more. Whatever the other was anticipating, Harry made sure not to fall for it— but if Malfoy continued being close, not falling could be out of the question. After all, he had already fallen for the boy himself.
Harry swallowed and wheeled his sights back to the front. Next to him, the white-blond finalized their draught and obtained a worthy grade in return. And fortunately for Harry ( who received the same grade ), the bell rang at that exact moment.
In a blur, he got up, scooped all his possessions into his bag, and ushered out of the room. Ron and Hermione caught up to him moments later, both masking faces of confusion to why Harry had fled. In return, the ravenet male merely remained inaudible until they reached a nearly vacant corridor. After surveying the area to make sure no one was eavesdropping, Harry voiced his presumption. "I think Malfoy's up to something. He wasn't himself today."
"Maybe he was exhausted," Hermione piped in.
Harry shook his head. "He didn't sneer or insult me . . . just oddly helpful." The Golden Boy frowned dimly at the thought. "What do you reckon he's trying to do?"
Ron, who strolled beside him, shrugged in answer to his question. "Be your friend so he can easily give you over to You-Know-Who?" Harry agreed to that, but Hermione contradicted the thought. "Malfoy wouldn't do that." Harry wanted to believe her, but— "He's a Death Eater, 'Mione," Ron grumbled as he accessed the Gryffindor common room.
Hermione huffed as she tailed him in. "Maybe he just wants to be nice for a change. Now, if you excuse me, I have homework to do before dinner." When Hermione parted, Harry turned to Ron and mirrored his questionable expression.
Draco couldn't sit undisturbed. He was fanatically awaiting the arrival of the Gryffindor prefect to hear what she had to say— or rather, what Harry had said to her about him. Becoming anxious, the white-blond stood up and embarked on a journey around the library. When he finally acquired sight of the bushy-haired female, he ushered over.
After the not-really-warm-but-fair-enough greeting, she transferred him a handwritten note. Excitement streamed through his fingertips as he opened the folded parchment.
'He thinks that this is a part of a master plan to capture him— it's not, is it?'
Draco's expression fell as he tucked the note into his pocket. "It's not," he replied with a hint of vacillation in his voice. "I wouldn't . . . I just admire him, Granger."
Granger heaved a sigh before sitting down and motioning him to do the same. Draco sat down across from her with his gray hues gazing down at his hands. He didn't speak, and for some time, Granger didn't either. But when she decisively did, his attention returned to her. "Tell him."
His heart froze for a moment. Tell Harry his feelings— his emotions— his everything? "No," Draco countered while attempting to wave off the soft flush in his cheeks.
Granger gave him a look before fishing out piece of parchment with a quill and sliding it over to him.. "Write it down, then."
He stared at her in unreasonable skepticism. "He won't believe me."
She tilted her chin up modestly. "Try."
With a faint scowl, Draco took the parchment and printed his brief confession. After he scrawled down the concluding word and lifted the quill's tip from the paper, Granger snatched it up and read over it. It seemed to pass her test since she tucked the note in her pocket and informed him that she was going to place it in Harry's book. Draco hesitated and contemplate whether to ask for the note back or not, but the Gryffindor prefect was already bagging her items.
"I hope you're not manipulating Harry. He's already going through a lot. He doesn't need someone who's going to play with him." The moment proceeding her words, she turned and vanished behind the book shelves.
Draco desperately fought against tailing said female and convincing her that he was not toying with the Golden Boy. Yet, that idea was abruptly waved off when he lost his nerve— he had stated many times that he liked the ravenet male. She didn't seem to entirely believe him, but she was helping him out. Draco couldn't complain about that.
"Harry, may I borrow your potion book? Lavender has mine."
Harry glanced up from the armchair he sat in. "Uh, sure, 'Mione." Picking up the large textbook, he handed it to the other. Hermione beamed and took the book from his hands. "Thanks, Harry!" After she sank into her armchair and emerged herself in her homework, Harry turned to Ron ( who muttered something about her not asking for his ). Deciding that it was best not to reply, he returned his sights to his Transfiguration essay.
The sounds of scribbling and pages turning consumed the air for some time. Though, ten minutes later, Hermione called out Harry's name. Homework temporarily forgotten, Harry peered up at his bushy-haired friend. A small fraction of a folded parchment was in her hands. Harry blinked. "What's that?"
Hermione contributed a small shrug before handing the note over. Having both sets of eyes on him, Harry opened the parchment.
It was a short note, but the words written on it made him ice on the spot. "What does it say?" Wordless, the Golden Boy handed the note over to his redheaded mate. Ron snorted after reading. "Someone's gone bonkers," he commented before delivering the small piece of parchment to Hermione. Her interpretation contradicted Ron's: "Looks like your have a secret admirer," the Gryffindor prefect piped as she handed the note back to Harry. He read over the neat scrawl again. "S'prolly one of Harry's stalkers," Ron interjected. To this, Harry merely nodded. Hermione, on the other hand, seemed to disregard their agreement and asked, "who do you think it is?"
Tucking the note away, Harry shrugged. "Probably a first year."
Potion class the next day mimicked the previous day's setting. Harry found himself seated next to the Slytherin Prince. Again. The only thing that differed this time was that Malfoy was actually trying to construct a conversation with him. And it all started with "hey, Potter." Needless to say, Harry felt very awkward in his place— he wasn't sure whether to go along with the conversational lines or to bite a retort, so he remained silent. At one point, Malfoy paused his pitiful attempt in trying to strike up a conversation. His pale hands, which were working on the potion, halted as well. Blinking, Harry glanced up to meet the Slytherin's gaze.
"Are you mute, Potter?" There was a faint sneer within that question, which made Harry relax a bit. Aside from that, he sniffed. "No. I'm just not wasting my breath." For a split second, an unknown emotion flashed across the other's face, but he said nothing in return. Harry watched as the prefect returned to his work. A few moments later, he gazed over to the desk where Hermione and Ron toiled. Or rather, just Hermione, since Ron seemed flustered from cutting the roots. Neither looked in his direction, and Harry knew better than to try to get their attention.
He shifted his gaze back to the his partner who was now writing down the answer to the questions on the board. After a bit, Malfoy slid his parchment over to Harry. Harry blinked at the fancy transcription before quirking a brow at the Slytherin. Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Copy it, Potter. Or you'll fail this class."
Suspicion returning but instantaneously shrugged off, Harry began jotting down the explanations the white-blond had written down. Half-way through, he paused. A frown passed the ravenet male's lips. The handwriting was oddly familiar. Where had he seen Malfoy's handwriting? Even though he wanted to think about the mystery more, Malfoy was ushering him. "Hurry up. We need to turn it in before the bell sounds." Casting the musings aside, Harry hastily scribbled down the rest of the answers before giving Malfoy his parchment back.
As the end of class approached, Harry got up and tailed his two best friends out of the dungeons. A few paces ahead, the pair were conversing on how Ron failed to add in the correct amount of roots in the potion and evidently demolishing it, which cued a very pleased potion master ( since he could give them both zeros ). Harry, on the other hand, tuned out of the conversation and desperately tried to recollect why the handwriting was so familiar.
The answer smacked him in the face like a ton of bricks. It was from the note Hermione unearthed in his textbook. And his textbook was out yesterday throughout Potions class. Malfoy could have easily placed it in when he wasn't looking. But he was watching the whole time . . . perhaps he dozed off.
Shrugging the thought off, Harry urgently caught up to his friends to inform them about his recent discovery. "I found out who wrote the note," he started breathlessly. Hermione and Ron both turned their attention to him. "A first year?" Harry shook his head to Ron's question. "Malfoy wrote it." Excitement had flowed through his veins the moment he spoke his thoughts out loud.
Ron gazed at him questionably. "Malfoy?" The redhead snorted. "Leave it to Malfoy to pull something as ridiculous as this." Harry's pleasant emotion fell. Yes. Of course. Leave it to Malfoy to play a joke like this. And he had truly hoped that— Harry annihilated his thoughts before they could go more in depth. "Yeah," he replied, "leave it to Malfoy."
Drifting off, Harry ambled in silence to the Gryffindor Tower while Ron chattered away about how bothersome it was to cut the roots precisely. When the trio entered the common room, Harry branched off to his room to rummage yesterday's trousers for the note. It didn't take long for him to locate it.
His emerald eyes flickered over the words. 'Harry— this might come as a surprise, but . . . I admire you.' There wasn't a signature or anything. His lips pressed into a firm line. Knowing the Slytherin, Malfoy would pull something like this musing that it would be hilarious to watch the Golden Boy's reactions. Harry frowned at his own mind and proceeded to crumble the note in his hands before hurling it into the waste bin. He was already trying to accept the fact that he was in love with a particular white-blond ( according to Hermione )— and Malfoy was definitely not helping by leading him on in this sort of manner. Attempting to knock away his thoughts, Harry stripped out of his robes and prepared himself for bed.
AN: Well. It's longer than the last chapter! :3 Hope you guys enjoy this chapter, since you all deserve it by reviewing last time. Cookies and Drarry plushies to you ~ Reviews still make my day. C:
Edit: As pointed out, "ravenette" was feminine. That was a mistake on my part. I've fixed that! Although, I am rather fond of the word "ravenet", so I'm keeping it in this story. BUT if it does bother most of you that I use "ravenet", please tell me. C: