A Subtle Courtship


"I mean, if you think about it," said Teddy, "Snape's single."

"And he should stay that way," retorted Pansy. "Can you imagine how potentially devastating it would be if our Head of House actually had a love life?"

"What, because he wouldn't be on call to slip you contraceptive potions in the middle of the night?"

Pansy flushed; blotches of red flared up along her neck. "I never...! And you make it sound as though the professor and I have an illicit relationship!"

Teddy mimicked her shock, placing a hand over his heart. "I never!" He rolled his eyes. "God knows you don't need contraceptives, Parkinson; you just bother Snape at night because you keep hoping for an illicit relationship. But somehow, I doubt you're his type."

"What, and you are?" Pansy flipped her hair, suddenly shameless in the manner of all Slytherins whose ploys had been revealed. Her flush had vanished, as if by magic. "Like you need all those concentration charms you keep borrowing from him. Which is cheating, by the way. Especially before the exams."

"And since when was cheating a bad thing?" Teddy bared his teeth. "To woo a snake, you have to be one."

"I'm ten times the snake you are."

"Are not."

"Am so."

"Are not."

"Now, now, children," said Draco, wading into the common room in the absinthe-green nightgown that everyone pretended not to notice, and that no one dared to comment on. "Stop fighting over our fearless leader. It's pathetic."

Pansy and Ted shot him a joint glare.

"Like you aren't after him," accused Pansy.

Draco raised his eyebrows. "I'm not," he replied, coolly. "Snape's taken, anyway."

"What?" Teddy sat up on the dark carpet, wearing a scowl almost as dark. "No. Our intelligence has failed to report - "

"Oh, our intelligence. By that, do you mean the listening spells, the tracking spells, the see-through spells, the bribed House Elves, the invisibility potions, and, last but not least, our very own spy network of Animagi, disguised as dust mites and, on one memorable occasion that will never again be repeated, potions ingredients?"

Pansy exchanged glances with Teddy. "Well, yes."

"Ha." Draco stretched out on one of the sofas, digging his long toes into the cushions, as luxurious as a cat's paws. "You do realize that this is the Head of Slytherin we're talking about? A man that has been the sole target of fledgling Slythercrushes for nearly two decades?"

"I see your point," Teddy muttered. "But I still can't imagine who it might - "

"Dumbledore," interrupted Draco, and watched two pairs of eyes widen. "Surely it's obvious, isn't it?"

"No," said Pansy, sounding even more horrified than Teddy had done. "Just. No."

"And why not?" snapped Ted. "Does he have conform to your heteronormative ideals of - oh, god." He dropped his head onto his hands. "Dumbledore. I can't compete. I can't possibly..."

"He is the most powerful wizard of our time," said Draco, quickly adding, "after the Dark Lord, of course. Can't fault Snape for his strategic thinking. Or his taste."

"And everyone knows that Dumbledore's flaming gay," concluded Ted, glumly, all the ire bled out of him. "I think I'm going to go hang myself from the giant chandelier in the Great Hall, as a gesture of my doomed and wildly passionate love."

"Not if I get there first," Pansy mumbled, sounding as put out as a post-orgy candle. She got up from where she'd been lolling about with Teddy on the carpet, and staggered vaguely in the direction of the girls' dormitories.

"Draco," said Teddy, after she had gone, "you wouldn't be lying to us, would you?"

"You can confirm it for yourself, if you like. Ask Snape."

"I can't just ask - "

"No? What a pity. Find a way to infiltrate his defenses, then. Who knows, he might even reward you with a kiss."

Teddy glowered. "Fine. And I suppose you found out because he's your godfather, and everything?"

"Precisely." Draco tipped his head back against the arm of the sofa, smirking. "Christmas dinners, family visits - one picks up on a few things."

"Cheat."

"Pot," said Draco, in their usual farewell.

"Kettle." Teddy hopped up from the carpet, planted a somewhat accusatory kiss on Draco's forehead, and left for the boys' dormitories, instead.

"Hm." Draco closed his eyes, letting his smirk melt into a very quiet, very private smile. He'd eliminated the competition. "To woo a snake, you have to be one," he echoed Teddy, and sighed.


fin.


Notes:

This little story is dedicated to frostheavens, who asked for: "Draco-centric gen fic, focused on him and his Slytherins and their adoration for Snape." You got it, babe! Well, almost. I don't know whether this qualifies as gen or just really weird pre-slash, but it's got Draco and two other adoring Slytherins! And Snape, of course, in absentia. (Thank god.)

I'm sorry, Professor Snape. No, really. (Don't kill me!)