Disclaimer: I own nothing recognisable to the general public. Harry Potter and all of his compatriots belong to JK Rowling and her publishers.

Warnings: Rated M for a reason; SLASH (Male/Male relationship); slight OOC; Alternate Reality; and, believe it or not, NO Mpreg (quite a feat for one of my stories!)

Pairings: Harry/Blaise, past Harry/Draco, past Harry/Oliver Wood; twinge of Ron/Hermione; implied Ginny/Pansy Parkinson.


"Blaise! Blaise! Have you heard?" The tall, dark skinned man turned to see who was calling him. He was taken off guard as a red-headed dervish ran into him, almost knocking him off of his feet. She was followed, at a more sedate pace, by a dark haired woman, who hugged him tightly.

"Ginny...Pansy, to what do I owe this pleasure? And what am I supposed to have heard?" Blaise Zabini returned Pansy's hug and gently pried Ginny Weasley from around his waist. He was a beautiful mix of African and Italian, with dark, soulful eyes and short cropped wavy black hair. He knew he was gorgeous and made no effort to hide his pride in that fact.

"Draco broke things off with Harry!"

Blaise stilled, barely breathing. "Are you certain this time? The last time you said that, Harry and Draco were seen the next day shopping for rings."

"This time, I'm the one who was witness to it, Darling." Pansy looked up at her friend. "Draco said that Harry was boring and needed to liven up before he would consider going out with him again. That was about 3 weeks ago. Harry's left his house for the first time since then, just today. Ginny and I convinced him to have lunch with us. I don't think I've seen him quite this down in years."

Blaise led the two women to a table at a curbside restaurant. He ordered drinks, knowing what they liked, and then looked at Ginny and Pansy. "What does this have to do with me?"

Pansy looked at Ginny, then back at Blaise. "Here's your chance. You've been waiting since seventh year for this." Ginny nodded repeatedly, making Blaise wonder how much sugar laced caffeine she'd had that day.

"Ladies, as much as I appreciate the thought, I really don't want to try to clean up after Draco. Potter's got to be pretty messed up, right about now."

"Blaise, don't try to back out of this. You know you want Harry; you've wanted him for years. Now, with a little bit of patience, he can be yours." Pansy smiled at him, noting the slightly hopeful look in his eyes.

Blaise's heart sped up at the thought. "How? If he's still moping over Draco, how am I supposed to catch his eye?"

Pansy smiled again, showing teeth, and that worried Blaise; it never boded well when Pansy smiled with teeth. "A little bit of subterfuge and Harry will be falling all over you. It won't take long before he realizes that you are so much better for him than Draco ever was."

Blaise leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. "What kind of subterfuge?"

"Simple," said Ginny, leaning forward too. "Let him think that you're going to help him get Draco back." When Blaise's expression darkened, she sat back in her chair. "I'm not saying that you'll be doing that, you're going to be helping him get together with you."

"Alright, now I'm intrigued. Explain."

The women told him that the best way to get Harry to work with him would be to get him to think that Blaise was going to help him get back together with Draco. Blaise would say that he could help Harry by making Draco jealous. While that would be one of the results, that wouldn't be the result they would be working toward. He would escort Harry around, making sure that Draco saw them together, touching and maybe snogging. He could take Harry shopping for new clothing, something Harry had never allowed Draco to do. Blaise would have to put up with the press following them around, but it would help to get the message across to Draco that Harry had moved on.

"But what if Potter decides that he wants Draco more than me? What do I do then? I'm not going to invest my heart in something only to have it broken later on. That's the only reason I've never approached Potter before; I'm not willing to open myself up to that kind of hurt."

"Give Harry a little bit of time, once he sees how real you are and how fake Draco is, it'll be obvious, even to him, how well you two suit each other. Draco thinks that he's just going to run right back to him, but Harry told us today that he has no intention of doing that. All we have to do is suggest that a little jealousy will work wonders and Harry will be there, hook, line and sinker."

"But if he has no intention of running back to Draco, how will jealousy work? I don't understand the logic."

Ginny smiled at him as if he was a small child. "He still wants to be with Draco, but doesn't realize how bad Draco is for him. Once he sees how good you are for him, any thoughts of being with Draco will go out of the window. He admitted that he always thought you were handsome, so if you play on that, he'll fall into your lap."

The mental images that phrase brought to Blaise's mind were extremely arousing. True, he wanted Harry, but was he willing to risk his heart for someone who might go running back to his ex at the slightest hint of interest from the other? Was the possible outcome worth the potential pain? Yes, Blaise decided, it was worth it.

"Alright, let Harry know that I might be interested in 'helping' him make Draco jealous. Who's Draco with now, anyway?"

"Oliver Wood." Pansy's sneer was telling.

"Harry's ex?"

Ginny nodded. "The same. Draco figured that he would try Oliver out for a while, just to see what had Harry all over him right after he graduated. That's one reason why Harry was so down about this. It's one thing to break up with someone to go out with someone new, but to then go out with your ex-boyfriend's former lover? That's just wrong on so many counts."

Blaise nodded, beginning to formulate a plan in his mind. With just a little effort on his part, Harry could definitely be shown how much better than Draco Blaise was. Not only that, but Blaise truly cared for Harry, he wasn't out to get what he could from the saviour of the wizarding world.

"See if he'll meet me here tomorrow at noon. He and I can discuss plans then. Tell him that he has to be willing to try, or it won't work."

The two women nodded and rose, Blaise stood with them and bid them goodbye, his mind already moving on to plans of how to make this work in his favour.