Title: Strange Bedfellows: A Comedy of Assumptions
Author: Mad Maudlin
Email: mekamorph@yahoo.com
Catergory: Humor, and a little romance
Keywords: Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, slash, 5th year
Rating: PG-13.
Spoilers: Teensy ones for books 2-4
Summary: Murder, mayhem, madness and Malfoy! Harry and Hermione face down an unexpected conspiracy, a possible nefarious plot, wild rumors and much, much worse to save their best friend from a terrible fate...right?

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

In other words, they're not mine; talk to the nice Scottish lady.

A/N: WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! This fic contains SLASH (male-on-male) SITUATIONS! Boys kiss boys! Boys do a lot more than kiss boys! It's SLASH! If this is the sort of thing that might offend you, do not read any further! I have a right to speak freely, but you have a right not to listen. So exercise your "Back" button! Bill put 'em there for something...

Strange Bedfellows:

A Comedy of Assumptions

by Mad Maudlin

"We all go a little mad sometimes."
-Norman Bates, Psycho

1 / Rolling On the Floor

"WEASLEY! POTTER! GRANGER!"

"Oof!"

"Malfoy started it, Professor!"

"Did not, this oaf attacked me!"

"Liar!"

"Shut up!"

"They were trying to kill me!"

"Liar!"

"We were trying to stop Ron killing him, Professor!"

Snape glowered at the breathless mass of student bodies in front of him. Hermione was very flushed and panting heavily; Harry still had hold of Ron's shoulder and his glasses were askew; Ron was scowling and had, with great trepidation, begun to probe a shiny purple bruise rising on his left cheekbone. Malfoy, sprawled opposite them, was pinching a bloody nose and glaring with utmost loathing at the trio of Gryffindors opposite him. Ron was returning it with special vengeance.

Snape glowered a bit more, then said softly, "Congratulations, Mr. Potter. You and your friends have cost Gryffindor ten points each. Miss Parkinson, will you please escort Mr. Malfoy to the hospital wing and see to it that his nose is taken care of?"

"I'll take care of his nose," Ron growled.

"Watch your tongue, Mr. Weasley, or I shall make it thirty each."

Hermione caught he breath. "Professor, what about Ron's eye?"

"What about it, Miss Granger?" Snape swept back to his desk.

The other Gryffindors glared through the greasy rafts of smoke filling the dungeon as Harry, Hermione and Ron got back to their feet. Or, at least, tried to; Harry discovered rather too late that he'd twisted his ankle in his haste to separate the combatants, and had to be helped to a seat. The Slytherins snickered at this.

"Honestly, Ron," Hermione whispered as they returned to work on their potions, "you're going to get expelled if you keep letting him get to you like this."

"That'd be fine, so long as Malfoy goes, too," Ron said.

She made an exasperated noise in the back of her throat. "You almost sound as if you enjoy rolling around the floor with that little ferret..."

Harry noticed that Ron got a very contorted look on his face, and did not respond.

When the lesson was over, Snape had made a satisfactory number of pithy comments about the quality of Neville Longbottom's Stupidity Serum, and Pansy Parkinson had returned to announce with great drama that Madame Pomfrey was keeping "poor Draco" in the hospital wing for the rest of the day, Harry and Hermione climbed to their feet (or foot) and prepared to visit the school nurse themselves. Hermione knelt down and performed a simple Binding Charm on Harry's ankle (now swollen to the size of a grapefruit) to make it less painful to walk on. When she was done, Harry picked up his bag and said, "Come on, Ron, let's go...Ron?"

He turned, and realized that his redheaded friend hadn't gotten up when the bell rang. Instead, Ron was leaning over in his seat, reading something off a crumpled sheet of parchment. He had an unhealthy gleam in his eyes. "Ron?" Harry prompted again.

Ron jumped to his feet and shoved the parchment in his pocket. "Yes! What! Huh?" He looked very rapidly from Harry to Hermione, ears flushing pink.

"We're going to the hospital wing now," Hermione explained gently, as if she were talking to a small child. "To get your face and Harry's ankle fixed."

"Oh! Right!" He snatched up his bag and marched right out the door.

Harry looked quizzically at Hermione. "Do you think he hit his head while they were rolling around down there?" She shrugged