Title: Bet Your Arse (01/02)
Rating: Overall R
Warnings: This is H/D slash. No likey no readey. Creaturefic, major protectiveness and er… FLUFF
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.
Author's Notes: Written for bryoneybrynn's b'day. It's not a continuation of the previous two, but hopefully it will be just as satisfying. It's on two parts because there's a bit that's niggling me in the second half and, since she's on a sort-of hiatus, I'm not in a hurry. hehe!
Summary: Draco hates Steven McCormack, the only Hufflepuff able to get under his skin because he has the one thing Draco will never have. But he still manages to get involved in a dangerous bet that can change his life. The stakes are high. Either he loses and leaves school, or he wins McCormack's boyfriend, the one and only Harry James Potter...
He's doing it on purpose, Draco thought, as he watched Potter lean over the bench in the stands with his arse sticking up in the air. He was handing something to his boyfriend. Draco rolled his eyes and tried to focus on the students slowly beginning to file out from the stands. Soon though, his eyes travelled the small distance back to the Gryffindor stands where Harry Potter was talking to Steven McCormack, the Hufflepuff seeker that just won the game. Draco wanted to snap his neck apart. A warm hand suddenly encased his own and the distraction caused him to first look down and then across at his friend.
"None of that Draco, you know how homicidal tendencies go in your family." Pansy was sipping on some light green cold drink she'd brought with her on the staunching April afternoon. She'd been drinking it for the past hour so Draco knew it was charmed to refill whenever she reached halfway. The straw was lime green, to match the drink he guessed, and she was drinking from it delicately lest she spill any on her green robes. He rolled his eyes.
"Yes, vampires do tend to go a bit overboard, don't they?" Draco shut his eyes as her partner in crime spoke up from his other side. He swore they had the same tendencies as the Weasley twins to finish each other's sentences. It was bloody annoying. Merlin knew why he kept Blaise and Pansy as his friends.
Gregory leaned forward from his space behind Draco and next to Vincent. "Is there someone you want hurtin' Draco? Could we do it? You know your dad doesn't want you getting into fights anymore, you could seriously hurt somebody now." Draco dismissed all of them and dropped his head into his hands. These people were only looking out for him, he reminded himself. He just couldn't help it. Every time he saw McCormack he just wanted to squeeze and squeeze at his throat until he stopped breathing...
But... they were right. Since he'd come into his inheritance last year he'd had to stop instigating fights because, as he'd realised pretty early on, his punches – well, they really packed a punch. Not many got in his way anymore and, this time, it had nothing to do with his father. More his great, great, great, great-Grandfather.
"I hate him," he said looking back out at the Gryffindor stands where there was some definite snogging going on.
Blaise sighed surreptitiously glancing at the offending pair. "Yes, we know."
Draco let out a woe-is-me sigh this time and looked away. "I don't mean Potter."
Pansy smirked around her straw and took a look over at the profanity happening at the red painted stand. "Yes, we know."
McCormack was seriously getting on his bad side. If he was in any way appealing to Draco's palate he would have taken a bite out of him by now. Of course, instead of stopping he just kept on going. And going, and going...
McCormack got right up into his face by the entrance. It was well past curfew and Draco wondered at the boy's intellect especially since Draco was a Prefect. He smirked to himself and crossed his arms tuning back in to what the plebeian was barking. "People like you need to leave. You should have been expelled the night you changed."
Draco raised an eyebrow. He'd been on his way to the forest for a bite to eat when this idiot had just hollered at him from the steps. Only the knowledge that the bastard would have kept following him out there...
Dammit, I should have kept on going, he berated himself mentally.
"If you'll excuse me." He made to walk around him but McCormack stopped him with a hand on his arm.
"I'm not done with you yet, Malfoy." Draco shut his eyes and gritted his teeth, he felt his canines elongating as his anger grew. It was against school rules for him to kill the fool but... he was hungry dammit. He hadn't eaten all evening.
"Unhand me." Draco cringed even as the words came out of his mouth. Who the hell said that anymore?
Apparently, McCormack was thinking along the same lines. "Wow, you really are archaic." His hand, however, remained on Draco's arm. Draco really didn't want to get expelled but if McCormack didn't remove his arm, Draco was going to break it off. The anger swept up on him fast and strong but, like his father had trained him over summer, he tempered it expertly. "Do your parents speak that way too? I can just imagine your mother-"
McCormack's words were cut off seconds later when the boy was suddenly slammed into a wall. Draco, still rooted to his spot in the centre of the corridor, watched the boy fly as if in slow motion and heard his exhalation of breath. He knew instantly from the sound that at least one of his ribs was fractured. McCormack was groaning in pain but Draco hardly heard it, a keen satisfaction whirling its way through his mind and up his spine. His anger abated a little and with it his attacking stance straightened. He considered just going out to get his meal but he figured it would look bad if he just left him there, appealing as it sounded.
He began walking through the corridors to the hospital wing, his need to drag the bastard behind him calling to his magic. He didn't need to look behind to know the Hufflepuff was floating along behind him.
He was seriously hungry now but Pomphrey had told him to stay where he was as she called the Headmaster. Merlin, this was not his night. When Dumbledore arrived in his sweeping dressing robe, he noticed Draco's condition first and came to sit next to him. Draco was surprised. He'd thought Hufflepuff's ranked higher on Dumbledore's list of priorities.
"When was the last time you ate, Mr. Malfoy?" he asked worriedly. His light brows furrowed in concern.
Draco sat up straight. Even though he'd been taught control, he was not able to withhold the gravelly sound of his voice. "Just before lunch, sir."
Dumbledore nodded and sat down next to him. "Judging from your appearance, am I right to assume you were on your way outside when this incident occurred?"
Draco knew what he must look like, his now lighter than normal eyes and extended canines would be making him look wilder right about now. Those traits usually came out when he acted purely on instinct so they would most likely be seen when he hunted or if he was angry. Draco nodded to give the Headmaster an answer. "Yes sir." He looked down to his hands. The veins that ran under the skin of his wrists stood out in stark contrast. He pulled his sleeves down to cover them.
"Young Mr. McCormack, what was he doing out of his bed, Poppy?"
Poppy Pomphrey blinked as if she hadn't thought of that before. Draco narrowed his eyes at her and then looked away. Of course no one would think to wonder about that. Draco must have sought the bastard out in the, Ugh, Hufflepuff Tower, he thought with a wince. Oh yes, he must have dragged him from bed to the entrance hall – all so he could attack him for no bloody reason. Draco rolled his eyes. "He has not been able to tell me Dumbledore. He was unconscious when Mr. Malfoy here brought him in."
Dumbledore wandered around his thoughts for a few seconds before turning to Draco with a smile. "Hmm. Mr. Malfoy, you wouldn't happen to know how to use a Pensieve, would you?"
Draco lay back in bliss on the blanket they'd spread out on the castle grounds. His fingers ran through the grass at the edges, the blades tickling the pads of his fingertips. Students from other Houses were out in the sun too, enjoying the last of it before exams began. Next week was study week and not many of them would get another chance to roam the castle grounds again. He let his eyes wonder along the plush green grass, seeing the wide berth his group had been given before shutting them again. McCormack had apparently spread it around school that Draco had attacked him. Draco, naturally, just rolled his eyes at it all and continued on with life. As Pansy put it, the fucker wasn't worth it.
Daphne was combing her fingers through his hair talking to Pansy, who sat under a parasol as she leaned against a large smooth boulder she'd cushioned with a charm. Blaise was lying down on his stomach in front of Gregory and Vince who were playing a game of cards. They'd been forbidden from playing exploding snap because it had made them all jump one too many times, taking away from the serenity of the rare afternoon's peace. It was a free period after lunch for all of them, something which only happened on a Thursday but usually they always had something to do. Draco closed his eyes smiling a little at the feeling of the fingers running along his scalp. A shadow suddenly made its presence known behind his eyelids. He frowned.
The conversation had stopped too. "My, aren't we all red and crusading, today." Draco was surprised to hear Blaise's voice. He thought the boy was asleep. He certainly hadn't been part of any conversations Draco could hear.
Draco's eyes snapped open. Harry Potter stood watching him curiously with an entourage of Gryffindors behind him. Draco tilted his head to look at him properly.
"Harry wants to know why you attacked his boyfriend!" Weasley said. Draco cocked an eyebrow at the Weasel and then went back to watching Harry's face. He looked a little irritated that Ron had spoken for him, his mouth open as if he were going to say the exact same thing. Draco's eyes ran along the bunch of misfits, probably there only to solidify their claim that they didn't care who Potter dated 'as long as he was happy'. He rolled his eyes.
"Does 'Harry' have a mouth of his own or is his proxy speaking for him today?" Pansy said from under her umbrella where, yet again, she sipped at a delightfully fruity drink. This time it was sky blue. Apparently they were fruit drinks mixed with a potion to promote dieting. Draco had rolled his eyes at that. Dieting potions had come out on the market a little over a month ago. All the celebrities were using them and Pansy had decided that she would too. He'd read the ingredients that came with the green drink. Now, Draco didn't even want to know what went into the blue one.
He sighed and sat up, resting on his elbows, feeling fingers fall from his scalp in the process. He'd been enjoying the nice comb through Daphne had been giving him, too. Due to the major detangling she had been doing for the past half hour, his hair fell effortlessly around his shoulders as he sat up properly and waited for Potter to speak.
"Why did you attack Steven?" Harry said lamely, knowing he sounded stupid because Ron had already asked the question. He heard Pansy snort and saw her look in the opposite direction as she shook her head at them all.
"Fucking ridiculous," Blaise said and turned his head over in his arms.
Draco rolled his eyes. "I did not attack your McCormack," he said refusing to call that waste of space anything else, anything even remotely intimate. "He made the first move. All I wanted to do was hunt. He wasn't even supposed to be out of bed."
Pansy giggled. "What do you think he could have been doing out so late, hmm?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "Pansy, don't be crass." He looked back to Potter and his merry band. "He instigated it when he started talking about my mother. If you must be a hypocrite," he stressed, because everyone knew you didn't talk about Harry Potter's parents without ending up in the Infirmary, "start there to solve your problems." He stretched out once again on the blanket.
Ron scoffed. "Of course, blame the Hufflepuff."
"Don't we all?" Draco heard Blaise say and smiled. Draco even heard member of the Gryffindor Avengers snickering.
"Believe what you will," he said. "Dumbledore already has my memory of the events."
"Dumbledore?" Harry said a little lost for words.
"Heh," Draco scoffed. "Figures he wouldn't tell you that slice of information. He was unconscious when the Headmaster came into the hospital wing, which is where I brought him in – by myself, mind you. People who attack you don't usually do that but I suppose he didn't tell you that either. The Headmaster saw the state I was in, because I hadn't eaten since lunch, a fact of which your boyfriend didn't care about, obviously."
"You'd think a core course like DADA covered Vampires for sole amusement, wouldn't you?" Blaise commented with his head still turned away, though it was obvious he was still very much aware of the conversation. Draco pointed to himself as if to say 'duh'.
"I told him to let me go, he would not and then he insulted my family, my mother in particular. I hit him, a fact of which I have already apologised for because I do know better and honestly he just isn't worth my bother. If he wants to continue escalating rumours, let him know he can have at it. I have better things to do with my time." He got up and dusted himself off. "I think I've had enough sun for the day. I'll see you guys inside." He picked up his cloak and walked around the group of Gryffindors, heading toward the castle.
"He wouldn't do that."
Draco rolled his eyes. "Whatever Potter, it's your life. Waste it how you will." Potter had followed him up from his resting spot. Draco sighed. All he wanted was some rest. They'd called his father in to figure out what to do last night as well. He was never going to hear the end of it. The word 'control' had come up a hundred times in the conversations following. Draco just wanted to get away from it all.
Harry moved around to be in front of him, stopping Draco in his tracks.
Draco cocked an eyebrow. "You do realise there is open space around you, stepping in front of me won't impede my progress."
Harry raised both eyebrows. "Wow, now that's some vocabulary." Draco actually felt himself blush. "Must mean I've begun to piss you off." Draco stopped and stared at him. "I've spent most of my school-life on your bad side, you think I won't recognise you speak differently to different people?" Harry crossed his arms. "I also realise that you could move faster than I could breathe and therefore if you wanted to, I wouldn't see you for dust." Harry smiled. "Fact of the matter is, you still haven't moved."
Draco just waited. "Look, Potter. If you're here to ask the same questions all over again just fuck off, alright? Everything on me already hurts because I didn't get a proper meal last night and I'm feeling very cranky because your wonder boy caused my parents to be called in to decide what to do with me. Dumbledore already took my side of events and I'm very sure that if I was deemed a 'rogue vampire who attacks innocent boys sneaking out of bed for trysts with their boyfriends' for no reason I'd have been expelled already, okay? Just leave off, I'm really tired."
Harry had begun to frown at that, but his reply was cut off when he heard, "Harry!" He turned sharply to see who was calling him.
"Oh, for fuck's sake." Draco said out loud and turned away in disgust. He didn't even need to turn to see who it was.
"Harry," McCormack finally said as he reached them. He snagged Harry in a quick kiss before turning eyes of stone to Draco. "Is he bothering you?" he said gesturing with his head.
Harry went a little red around the ears showcasing he was embarrassed. "No, Steven, we were just talking." He put his hands in his pockets.
Steven nodded a little, as if he was deeming it safe enough for Harry to be there. Draco gave a mental roll of the eyes. The boy was an idiot, what the hell did Potter see in him? "Malfoy." Draco just stared at him. McCormack stepped forward in front of Harry. Their heights were relatively the same so the twit didn't seem too intimidating standing next to the brunet across the way, but, in reality, McCormack was taller than the vampire. The only comfort Draco had was that a flick of his finger could kill him if he wished it to. "Are you deaf, or don't you have manners? I just greeted you."
Draco cocked an eyebrow. "What do you want, a medal?" He saw Harry roll his lips into his mouth to stifle a smile and his eyes danced at the thought of amusing him.
McCormack narrowed his eyes at him. "Weren't you supposed to stay fifty feet away from me?" he said loud enough for Harry to hear.
Draco smirked. "I'm sure you'll find Dumbledore's orders stated it the other way around, Steven. But, since you're with your Promised Divine, I'll leave. I need a lie down anyway."
As he turned away, he saw the narrowed gaze that followed his movements. "Bet you do. Most vampires sleep through the day to work off all the exhaustion from attacking people in the night. You shouldn't be an exception."
Draco rolled his eyes. "Whatever," he said and kept walking.
He could hear the informative tone Potter was using as he walked away. It was so different to Granger's, less 'know-it-all-y'. "Vampires rest during the day, they don't necessarily sleep. The books say they're meant to be nocturnal," he heard Harry say and smiled a little to himself at the fact the golden boy had studied him. "Besides, he attacked because he wasn't eating and because you insulted him, Steven. Not because he wanted to."
An irritated breath met Harry's words. "So, what? Because he couldn't get a midnight snack, he took it out on me?" McCormack chuckled. "Harry, you are very naive if you think he didn't do it because he wanted to. If that's how he is in a few hours, I'd hate to see him in a whole day."
"Steven stop it." Draco was practically at the school entrance when he realised why Potter was telling McCormack to stop so vehemently. An arm grabbed him, turning him around.
"I bet you couldn't last a day."
Draco looked down at the hand that was holding onto him. He wanted to break it off. "I see you haven't learned." He slowly took his own hand and flicked each of McCormack's fingers quickly with his own, causing the boy to shake out his hand in pain. Draco hoped he broke them. "Unlike some people and their mouths, I do have some self restraint." Harry was watching him strangely, like he'd never seen him before and Draco knew it was because his eyes had changed during the exchange. He had no control over that, this bastard always brought out his bad side.
"Oh," McCormack laughed, seeing the change in him, "prove it. Go a few days without anything and see how much self-restraint you have."
Both Harry and Draco watched him like he was crazy. Did he know how dangerous that was? "Are you mad?" Harry said to him his voice lowering an octave in his anger. Draco wondered if it was wrong to be turned on by it.
McCormack wasn't watching Harry though, he was watching Draco. "Are you scared?"
Draco's face became sombre and serious. McCormack sure knew what buttons to press. He wanted to say you wish but, somehow, saying that to anyone but Potter seemed unidentifiably wrong. He settled with, "What exactly is in it for me?"
The Hufflepuff opened out his arms. "Anything you want."
Draco cocked an eyebrow. "Anything?"
"Yes. If I win and you don't go five days, you're gone. Dumbledore won't expel you but he can't say anything if you want to leave." He was ignoring Harry's looks that told him he'd gone too far. "You don't belong here."
This was an opportunity, Draco knew, but the circumstances were way too dangerous to contemplate. He had to get McCormack to back out. Draco narrowed his eyes keenly and looked at Potter. "Fine. If I win, I get your boyfriend." He smirked waiting for Harry's reaction.
Harry's face turned beet red as his mouth opened. "What!"
Draco turned his head to him as if he was only now realising he was there. "You heard me Potter. Why don't you and your Mr. Man discuss that over-"
"Done." McCormack held out his hand for Draco to shake it ignoring Harry's even louder outburst. Draco was surprised to say the least. He'd thought that was a definite deal breaker. He only realised what McCormack was thinking when he looked in his eyes. They were mocking him. He didn't think he was serious.
He thought he was bluffing. Oh McCormack, you sad, sad bastard. If only you knew.
It couldn't be that hard, Draco thought. He could use this as an opportunity to train himself. If something ever happened to him, and he couldn't get food, he would have to go through the same thing. It was sound reasoning. Draco shook the bastard's hand, taking pleasure in the not-quite-covered grimace he saw when he nearly crushed it.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" Harry smacked the man on his chest, causing him to recoil as he held his hand.
Draco ignored them both. "We start in the morning, I presume. That means Tuesday is the day to call it?"
McCormack nodded. "Tuesday." With that Draco walked off. If he was going on a fast, he'd have to prepare.
Later that night, Draco left the castle and made his way to the forest. He figured if he stuffed himself full he wouldn't be so hungry later on. Besides, Pansy and Blaise were nagging him for being stupid and there was only so much of that he could take. He looked around through the trees and then truly looked around using his senses. He loved to hunt in the forest, the animals here were smart. It was a benefit from living in a forest that was sentient all on its own. In order to have any advantage he'd have to go high. Looking up, he spotted a branch about fifteen feet above him and jumped for it, pulling himself up. Quickly, he undid his robe and hung it there by his feet and then jumped to another branch a few feet higher. There was a snap and Draco's eyes were up in an instant. It was a deer. Deer tasted good-
"Shit." Draco's eyes darted to the right where he'd heard the voice and narrowed when he didn't see anything. He took a deep breath and breathed out in surprise. Potter. He could smell him but... Where is he? Listening carefully, he tracked the sound of footsteps, his eyes following his ears. He leaned forward and then jumped. The twenty foot drop from the tree was clear and he landed cleanly on his feet, his eyes searching the area before him. They narrowed on the sharp intake of breath behind him and he spun quickly wrenching at the air. An invisible cloth gave way to his grasp and fell to his feet. Harry Potter stood there startled. Draco sighed.
"What do you want?"
Harry bent to pick up his cloak and dusted it off before slinging it over his shoulder. Draco thought it looked weird that bits and pieces of his left side were missing but he didn't say anything no matter how disconcerting it was. "You need to call off this bet."
Draco walked off. "I believe that line should be spun to your other half, Potter."
Harry looked angry. "I tried talking to him. He won't do it unless you do."
Draco turned to face him. "What - upset your powers of seduction don't work anymore?" Then, his eyes narrowed. "You thought you could make me break faster than him, is that it?" He scoffed. "You're good but you're not that good, Potter." He walked up a small incline intent on disappearing over it.
Harry called out to him to make him stop. "No, look – it's stupid. Why are you even doing it? You said just before that he wasn't even worth your time. Why change your mind so suddenly?"
Because of you, you complete idiot. Draco walked back down the incline looking at the brunet with interest. "What do you see in him Potter? You deserve so much more than him. Even I would be better than that prick."
Harry raised his eyebrows. "And you think you can give me what I deserve, when you're the one who brought me into this stupid bet in the first place?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "I brought you in to make him back out. He wasn't supposed to accept it. If he were any kind of Hufflepuff at all, he would have been shocked and dismayed." He smirked. "Like you were." He held in a grin at Harry's deep blush.
Harry narrowed his eyes at him. "You're being absolutely ridiculous. You're going to kill yourself, you realise? Most vampires can't go three days let alone five. If you don't die of thirst, you'll be expelled."
Draco turned and began walking back up the incline. "Careful, Harry. Almost sounds like you care." He turned back. "I suggest you get back up to the castle. I came out here for my last meal before I start 'fasting'. Don't want you to be unlucky enough to be dessert, do we?" With that, he disappeared over the other side.
It had been three days already. Three days and Harry couldn't believe what was happening. Draco was pale. Much, much paler than usual and Steven, Ron and his friends all thought it was funny. The only partner he had on this was Hermione. She thought it barbaric what Steven was putting Draco through. She also thought it idiotic that Draco had even agreed to the foolishness to begin with. She'd thought him more mature than that. Since he'd come into his inheritance last year they'd heard neither head nor tail of the boy. He never instigated anything; he stayed away from any and all altercations. He'd even quit playing Quidditch, his new abilities being deemed an advantage over the competition.
Harry almost missed the boy's presence around him all the time.
He wasn't coming to the Dining hall anymore, probably because his state of hunger would be instantly recognisable to the teachers. Harry shut his eyes tight. He couldn't take it anymore. He got up and walked resolutely to the Slytherin table. He ignored the calls and the looks and just sat down between Gregory and Vincent. The talk hushed and heads swivelled in his direction.
"I need to talk to him," he said looking directly at Blaise and Pansy who, for lack of better words, were Draco's keepers.
Blaise paused the progress of his fork and stared at him blankly, Pansy put down her drink. "Pansy, I think I'm hallucinating."
Pansy's eyes narrowed. "No, you're not," she said absently. "Go away, Potter." She made shooing motions with her hands.
Harry just folded his arms on the table. "I need to talk to him, give me your password."
All Slytherins within hearing range paused, and then started to laugh. All except Pansy and Blaise. Blaise placed his fork down and stared at him some more with his back straight. "You're an idiot."
Pansy was surveying him intently her eyes still narrowed in thought. Then, she shrugged. "He isn't in the dorms." At Harry's frown of confusion she elaborated. "He goes walking to take his mind off things every evening. He likes high places."
Harry nodded in thought before checking his watch, getting up and leaving the Hall.
Unfortunately, Draco stayed in the common room that evening, not trusting himself out in public. He'd tried to study, to no avail, and hissed whenever the lack of blood in his digestive system edged his canines. After dinner, when the masses returned to their dorms, Draco lay down on the sofa in the common room stretched out lazily. He was so tired. He couldn't concentrate on his studies anymore and his skin was turning paler than normal. Two more days left. He'd been quoting this mantra to himself all day. It was a good thing this was a study week. He would have hated to deal with this and go to classes as well. He turned over onto his back where he was positioned on the sofa, his head turning on the cushion. He was too lethargic to do anything else. His stomach hurt constantly now and all he wished for was it to stop.
His hand unconsciously massaged his abdomen. "I need a drink."
Not missing a beat, Blaise answered, "Glad you finally noticed." He didn't even look up from his book, showing just how much he wasn't concentrating on it.
Draco rolled his eyes. "No, not yet," he said with obvious difficulty. "I need to get my mind off that. I need a drink and, by Merlin, if I don't get it in blood I'm getting it in alcohol." He stood up. "Get your coats." Pansy and Blaise watched him retreat to his dormitory to get his cloak. They surveyed the Slytherins left in the Common Room and shook their heads at them.
"We'll go this time."
They were practically carrying him back to the school four hours later, the restriction on magic outside of school stricter now that exams were around the corner. As they helped him trip up the stairs, they saw Potter walking back to his tower. "What the hell?" he said as he saw them coming through the front doors.
Pansy stared at him. "What, does nobody listen to the rule of curfew anymore?" she said and looked him up and down. "Do you and your boyfriend take it in turns to sneak out then?"
Harry, shifting, ignored that and rolled his eyes. "Oh, like you can talk?"
Pansy seemed to sense he wasn't biting. "We're with a Prefect," she said using her hand to demonstrate their Prefect's presence, in all his passed out glory.
Harry really wished he could cock an eyebrow like most of Slytherin seemed to have bred into them. "Your Prefect can hardly walk because... why can he hardly walk?" he said staring curiously at the man whose head fell forward, his hair obstructing his face.
Blaise readjusted Draco's arm. Draco's head bobbed up and down with the movement. He debated a second on whether or not he should tell him and then shrugged mentally. It was obvious anyway. "He's drunk."
Harry's eyes widened a fraction. "What?" He took in Draco's state of unconsciousness. "Are you sure you shouldn't take him up to the infirmary? Alcohol poisoning can be really harmful to a Vampire's bloodstream." He ignored their looks and walked up to the blond. He raised his head with two fingers under Draco's chin. Opening one of his eyes, he saw how bloodshot they were. "How many times has he done this?" he asked.
Pansy and Blaise looked at each other. "Well..." Pansy began slightly unsure. "Since this bet began just tonight."
Harry narrowed his eyes at her words. "And before the bet?" Surprised looks greeted him this time. "I've had enough arguments and cryptic conversations with him to know I always have to read between lines with you people. I've adopted it myself actually, it's a great way to not lie." He crossed his arms waiting for an answer to his question.
Both of them flummoxed, Blaise managed a, "He..." before sighing. He gave in. "Only when he's upset."
Harry crossed his arms. "How many times would you estimate?"
Blaise frowned. "What are you, a MediWizard?"
Immediately, Harry backed up a pace. "No. Why would you say that?" He chuckled a little nervously and then turned around. "Come on, you have to take him to Pomphrey." He turned back the way he came, making his way toward the Infirmary.
Pansy narrowed her eyes. "Why do you have to come?"
Harry turned back a few paces in front of them. He smiled. "Do you want his drunkenness overlooked or not?" He waited for their silent conversation to end and walked on when they began to follow him.
Pomphrey was putting away a bunch of needles when Harry walked into the Infirmary. "Oh Harry, pet, did you leave som-" She then saw who followed behind him. "Oh dear, what do we have here?" she asked worriedly and gestured toward a bed.
"He's been drinking," he said as the School nurse began checking his pupils. She knew better than to check his vitals, those things were pointless when dealing with Vampires. As soon as she pulled up an eyelid, Poppy gasped suddenly and pulled away from Draco as if she'd been burnt. "When did this boy last eat?" she said dismayed.
Harry knew he couldn't look at the other two. "It's funny you should ask that."
Poppy watched him, her eyes narrowing at his round-about answer. "Really?" she said sharply. "I do hope the answer is not as hilarious." She crossed her arms.
Harry sighed, not really knowing where to go with this so he just cut straight to the chase. "Madam Pomphrey, we just need to know how to get the alcohol out of his system."
She watched him carefully, and then swept her eyes over the pair of Slytherins standing by Draco Malfoy's bedside. "I sense I do not even want to know what's going on."
Pansy, finally, spoke up. "You don't."
Poppy cocked an eyebrow and then rolled her eyes skyward. She stood in silence as if she were debating over something in her head. Finally, after some moments, she gave in and sighed. "The only way to get the alcohol out, Mr. Potter," she said walking over to a supply cupboard and opening the doors. Harry frowned as he watched her, "is to get blood in." She surveyed them all before calling Harry over. Once he was within hearing range, she began to speak quietly. "I am beginning to see there is much more here than meets the eye." She looked over at the still form of the Vampire on her Infirmary bed. "Three stages have already passed. Fact of the matter is, if he does not eat soon, he will die." She frowned, her gaze settling on Harry once more. "I do not condone this but I know you well enough to know if it were so incredibly dangerous, the Headmaster would already know. I am trusting you, Harry," she said quietly. She handed him a cloth bag, one of three he knew were in supply cupboards for difficult cases.
For the past three months, Harry had been training under Poppy Pomphrey in the field of medicine, an avenue he hadn't thought of before, but found he had a talent in. Every other week night, he'd take classes with the school nurse to prepare himself for the one and only extra course he would ever volunteer to take: 'Medical Wizardry'. Because of this, Harry knew that every medical professional had a cupboard like this. Harry, personally, had a cupboard in the Infirmary reserved just for his medical emergencies and, thanks to his sessions with the nurse, he now knew his way around it so he knew the bag he held contained three pints of his own blood, donated by him on days he had nothing else to do.
He'd woken up more than once to find himself hooked up to one of them through an Intravene spell. It usually only happened, though, when Poppy was not able to get him to swallow a blood replenishing potion. It wasn't often but it had happened before and Poppy was a woman who liked to be prepared. Harry stared down at his bag. Case in point he thought to himself. He found it funny, that not two hours ago, he'd just started his lessons on intravenous drips using a model Pomphrey had from St. Mungo's. It was surprisingly easy, once he got over the fact if he missed a vein it would screw it all up.
Poppy soldiered on though and picked up a blue bottle Harry recognised from the days he'd donated the contents of the bags. "Once he has woken up, you must get him to drink. This" she said gesturing to the bag with her eyes, "will guarantee he gets the nutrients he needs and ensure he doesn't kill you once he gets his jaws in but unless there is oral intake...
"I don't care why he hasn't been getting any food. I don't want to know and frankly, only because it's you, am I not asking based on duty anyway. All I know is, it has to stop." She gave him the small blue bottle and turned to their audience ignoring their jump as if they'd been trying to listen in. "A vampire not eating is extremely dangerous. The fact he's tried to replace it with alcohol is incredibly foolish. Now scatter, I want no ties to this whatsoever."
Harry stopped them as they got outside. "Follow me." He turned in a direction that had absolutely nothing to do with either the Slytherin or Gryffindor dorms. Pansy stood away from the three boys and paused when Potter led her two friends away.
Blaise and Pansy looked at each other as they suspiciously followed. "Where exactly are we going?" Blaise asked him.
"There is no way that he can be around anyone, especially when I give him these." He gestured to the three bags of blood and the long thin tube Pansy held. She looked down at them not for the first time seeing Potter's name on them. She had an uneasy feeling in her stomach, not sure how she felt subjecting Draco to this, especially knowing how he felt about him. "I'm taking you to a room I know but all the stairs we have to take, we might get caught. There are passages we can take. No one will see us and, this way, Malfoy won't lose the bet."
Pansy stopped short. "You don't want him to lose?"
Harry turned to her, the light weight of Draco between himself and Blaise not much to dwell on. "This bet is stupid and dangerous. I don't care about him winning or losing, but he doesn't deserve to be expelled, nor does he deserve to die because Steven is an idiot. This whole thing is completely mad." He continued on his way inadvertently tugging Blaise along. "I'm actually a little disappointed Malfoy fell for the bait in the first place." He scoffed. "Steven is just as stupid with all the bullshit he's been spewing about Malfoy not belonging here because of his nature. He seems to have forgotten one of my father's – and my – best friends just happens to be a fucking werewolf. Bastard," he added gruffly as he and Blaise navigated a narrow set of steps.
Pansy and Blaise were thinking over what he said and, by the time they reached a pale coloured stretch of wall and Harry handed Draco's arm over to Pansy to pace in front of it, they'd reached a decision.
Harry held open the door that suddenly appeared and the group walked inside. "You can put him down on the bed. I need to set this stuff up." Pansy let Blaise take over and watched as Harry started unscrewing and connecting the thin tubes.
She glanced at Blaise as he put Draco down, the ease with which he did it showcasing Draco's light weight. It made her stomach tie up in even more knots of worry. A returning stare from Blaise told her of his worry too. She saw him glance at Harry and then nod at her before his gaze drifted back to his friend passed out on the bed.
Making up her mind, Pansy cleared her throat. "Potter, there's something you need to know."