AN: This was written in a frantic couple of days in Germany in place of going sightseeing. Pfft. But I had fun writing it despite the epic amounts of confusion it produced, and it's my first HD fic so I hope you all enjoy it just as much :)
Disclaimer: Shyah, I tota- nowaigaiz. Srsly.
[EDIT] Divider-Computer warfare. I apologise.
.: Doing it Properly :.
On Monday, Hermione notices something startling on her way out of the Great Hall.
"Harry," she says.
"Your trousers have descended."
He looks surprised and glances down. "Oh. So they have."
Ron is torn between looking somewhat ill and looking highly amused.
Hermione tilts her head. "And Pansy is staring at you."
Harry pauses in readjusting his clothing, Ron decides on 'ill', and everyone turns their expressions into that of disgust and makes a noise that sounds vaguely like 'Eur…'
The next morning, Hermione notices something else startling. Daphne Greengrass is also staring. She decides not to point it out to Ron to save his stomach, or Harry to save his mind, and frowns suspiciously.
She keeps one eye on Harry's trousers as he eats.
It happens again the next morning, only now Blaise is staring as well, and that makes her frown even more. When Harry's trousers are dropped for the third time in as many days, all she really wants to know is why Draco Malfoy isn't staring.
She narrows her eyes and blocks out Ron's ranting about the person who dares to humiliate Harry so.
She looks down. "Only unbuttoned, but that's not what I was going to say."
He shoots her a concerned look as he readjusts himself, then invites her to continue.
"Why are the Slytherins glaring at you all the time?"
Harry snorts. "Oh I don't know. 'Because I exist' seems like a safe bet."
Ron looks back and forth between his friends with growing disbelief as Hermione just spaces out into thought.
"So," Harry says, "what have -?"
"Am I really the only one here who thinks it's weird that we keep catching Harry with his pants down?"
They both turn to him.
Ron pushes a palm to his forehead.
"Don't go there. Please."
Ron pokes Hermione in the side and says in an attempted whisper, "Oi. Whozzat?"
She follows his finger and replies, "Astoria Greengrass."
Ron 'hmph's. "Why is she looking at us?"
"Why are they all looking at us is a more appropriate question. And why are you suddenly so interested in them rather than -"
"And why do I keep losing my pants? Ginny, laugh and I'll hex your face off."
Hermione simply spoons more porridge into her mouth and 'hmm's slowly while Harry tries to re-buckle his belt.
He sighs. "Well, at least I remember to wear underwear now."
Ron clears his throat.
"Hermione," Ron sighs. "It's happened again."
She looks over her shoulder. "Yes, I see."
Harry considers employing the spell Hermione taught him, but quickly decides that he probably wouldn't even trust Dumbledore himself with a wand near his nether regions, and pulls his trousers up the old-fashioned way. "I'm going to have to buy some new underwear, aren't I?"
A snide voice from behind says, "I've been trying to tell him that for years."
Ron's eyes snap towards Malfoy. "You've had an opinion on his underwear for years?"
Harry tries not to react too strongly as Malfoy just snorts, "I only have your best interests at heart, Weasel."
Ron bursts into loud, bellowing laughter - "Sure, Malfoy. Sure." - and Harry diverts his attention to ignoring Hermione's thoughtful look.
It's almost second-nature by now.
"I can feel it, you know."
He still refuses to turn a wand on it though.
Harry isn't sure when he last blinked, but he's pretty sure the image of the back of that blonde head is burned so hard into his retinas by now that he wouldn't be able to tell if his eyes were closed or open anyway.
He thinks he should probably stop, but it's only half an hour later when he hears Hermione's voice and is reminded of her terrifying observational skills that he actually turns away.
She's probably seen by now anyway.
"Potter, you really should learn to dress yourself in the mornings."
Harry groans inwardly, really not in the mood, and retorts, "Or maybe it's that you've finally achieved your childhood fantasy of undressing me."
And he does feel sort of guilty amidst the howling Gryffindor laughter that follows.
"Merlin," Ron breathes. "Those Slytherins can stare, ey?"
Hermione stares right back. Harry looks down and feels a settling sense of dread.
"Really, Malfoy. You could just ask me to take them off. We wouldn't be in this situation if you'd just done that in the first place now, would we?"
Malfoy sneers and motions to say something no doubt wounding, but Ron cuts him off with "No point asking, his head's too far up his arse to be able to see anything anyway."
And Harry is too busy feeling guilty about not feeling guilty about sniggering to notice Malfoy's reaction.
"I thought you two were, you know, getting along. Of a sort."
Ron looks appalled. "Him and Malfoy? Hermione, no longer hexing each other at every available opportunity does not mean 'getting along'."
Harry busies himself with his essay. He does not write 'Malfoy' instead of 'mushroom', and Hermione does not notice.
Harry glances down at the scrap piece of parchment that arrives on his desk.
Harry chews the end of his quill.
"I have an idea," Hermione says.
"No shit," says Ron.
She hits him with her book, then rounds on Harry. "You did something," she states.
Harry blinks. "I probably did," he agrees, leaning back so his chair is balancing on two legs.
"To the Slytherins."
He rolls his eyes. "What time period exactly are we looking at, here?"
She blows a stray hair out of her eyes. "Last Monday was the first time you lost your trousers -"
"Well actually -"
Harry hits him. There are some things that even Hermione doesn't need to know.
"- and the first time we noticed all the Slytherins trying to start a staring competition with us. So. Malfoy."
Ron supplies "Is a git" at the same time as Harry struggles to breathe through the tea he's just inhaled, the front two legs reconnecting with the floor with a loud smack. Hermione looks smug. Harry cringes on the inside. There is a very long silence.
"Harry James Potter," she says sternly.
"Hermione… J. Granger," he replies, a somewhat vacant form of stern.
"Your hair looks fantastic," Ron offers. "Have you done something different?"
Hermione turns to him, delightfully surprised. "Oh! Oh, thank you, Ronald. I've got this wonderful new stylist back home - Muggle, of course - and…"
Ron winks as Harry slinks away, and turns back to give Hermione his full attention. Harry can tell by the way his eyes have glazed over that he's really just imagining her naked.
"So," Ron pants, struggling to touch his toes. "What did you do recently to deserve this kind of special treatment?"
Harry glances over at his friend, rolling his neck and stretching his arms out, and says in an awed sort of voice, "Look at you, mate. Has Hermione been giving you a work-out or what?"
Ron goes bright red and barely smothers a self-satisfied grin, patting his toned stomach proudly. "Nah, it's this new training program I've started. Every morning…"
And Harry touches his toes with a blissful smile.
Harry almost thinks it's died down, then -
"Seriously, mate, this is just getting ridiculous."
"I know exactly what you mean, Weasley," comes an exasperated voice from somewhere to the left, and they both give Blaise raised eyebrows as Harry returns his trousers to their original position.
"Potter," that familiar, greasy sneer says. "Really. I would've thought you'd learned by now that you can't just drop your pants wherever you like."
Hermione clicks her tongue, Harry rolls his eyes and thinks 'much to your disappointment', but it's Pansy who says "You never were very good at dealing with emotional trauma, were you, darling?"
Harry does not like the look on Hermione's face, and he decides that it has been happening far too often lately.
"You're staring again," Hermione sing-songs.
"So are you," Harry retorts.
"Yes, but I'm calculating how much force my hex would need behind it, at which velocity it would have to be travelling, and exactly what inflection I should put on the last consonant in order to inflict the maximum amount of discomfort, and also how quickly I can attain an expression of absolute innocence so as to avoid accusation."
Harry is floored. "Oh."
"Also your trousers are down again and for the life of me I can't figure out which one of them did it."
"You were talking to Parkinson yesterday."
Ron gasps, splutters, so outraged he doesn't know what to do with himself.
"Yes. She's quite nice, really." She doesn't look at him. "Very informative."
"Hermione…" Harry ventures quietly.
He breathes in. "You're right."
"I did do something."
"Well, to be fair, he-"
They settle into a contemplative silence, and Ron glances back and forth between them before folding his arms and shrinking down in his chair.
Suddenly, Ron has a very panic-inducing thought, and he says loudly, "They're not plotting to kill him, are they?"
Hermione gives an undignified snort. "Of course they are, Ronald."
"Oh." He watches them for a moment. "But… Blaise-"
Hermione pats him on the head as Harry dissects his pie with utmost interest.
Harry takes in a very deep breath, tells himself that he either tells her or she concocts some mostly-true story with Parkinson that somehow manages to be a thousand times more mortifying, and launches into it.
"See, Hermione, I have this habit of… er… not explaining myself."
"And - I - well, for instance, let's just say, totally going out on a limb here, absolutely nothing to do with the current situation at all… Have you ever known me to - to tell someone how I feel before - uh… snogging them?" he finishes, voice growing smaller and smaller until it is little above a mouse's squeak.
Hermione turns the page of her newspaper. "Yes," she muses. "Pansy and I decided that you did appear to have that tendency."
"Maybe someone just wants to see Harry naked," Ron announces over breakfast.
Hermione sprays water everywhere, Harry chokes on his sausage, then his pumpkin juice, and spends so long gagging to catch his breath that he misses the conversation's conclusion and is relieved to find it has moved on to Hermione's Muggle stylist.
Then he sees that Malfoy has chosen now of all times to join the staring contest, and he chokes on his pumpkin juice all over again.
"Harry," she sighs.
"Oh, buggering hell," he grumbles.
"You have the power to stop this."
"I will not grovel to a Malfoy."
"But you'll drop your pants for one."
Ron's eyes go wide. "Harry!"
"Really, Harry, you wouldn't know subtle if it body-bound you and slapped you in the face with one of the Giant Squid's tentacles."
He has the decency to look affronted. "I probably would, you know."
"Then stop staring."
"Oh give it up. You're just as bad as them."
Harry shuts his mouth with a determined snap.
When Harry pulls his trousers up for the third time in an hour, he suddenly finds himself feeling very decisive, and the next thing he knows he's holding one Draco Malfoy against a dirty broom cupboard shelf and saying "Even Ron's figuring it out."
Malfoy is carefully confused. "Maybe there is a brain in there somewhere."
Malfoy then looks genuinely furious. "I hate you," he says simply.
If there wasn't that hint of defiant humiliation in there, Harry might have believed him. "Feeling's mutual," he murmurs.
Draco stares at him, and Harry's trousers fall to the floor in a cloud of dust. He raises a fine eyebrow, "Evidently not," and strolls back into the hall.
"I have the power, Hermione."
She stares. "Harry, what -?"
"I can fix it." He almost sounds surprised at the realisation as he gets to his feet.
Ron pumps a lazy fist in the air and says something that could be "Good fairy" as he continuously shovels porridge into his mouth.
Harry nods his thanks anyway and strides over to the Slytherins. He grabs Malfoy by the expensive collar, yanks him up and forces them to face each other.
"You know this probably won't help," Malfoy tries to scowl.
"Well. Let's do it properly this time then, shall we?" Harry replies happily.
And then they are kissing far too indecently for an audience, especially one the size of the Great Hall, and Ron suddenly feels spectacularly ill. Hermione and Pansy roll their eyes at each other, Blaise and Daphne resume their conversation, and it is only when someone - probably Ginny - wolf whistles at a piercing volume that the couple breaks apart.
Draco stares, looking thoroughly snogged. "By 'properly' do you mean that I'm not allowed to remove your trousers now?"
Harry snorts. "No, I mean not in the corridors."
Draco almost looks disappointed, until Harry leans forward and whispers something in his ear that makes him frighteningly happy, and Ron mutters "I think I just threw up in my mouth."
Later that night, with Harry disappeared to somewhere that Ron really just doesn't want to think about, he says in total disbelief, "Is that - did that really happen?"
Hermione doesn't pause in writing her essay. "Yes," she says bluntly. "Again."
Ron stares, the sick sensation returning with a vengeance, and splutters, "What do you mea-?
"Have you been working out?" She squeezes a forearm with convincing fascination. "You look amazing…"
Ron sits up a little straighter, opens his mouth to gloat, and Hermione smiles to herself.
.: END :.
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