AN: I'm so sorry! This chapter took me a looooong time, partly because of exams and stuff, but mainly because I got really perfectionist and wasn't satisfied with anything I wrote. In the end I just went with :] Thank you so much for all the lovely reviews, and for suscribing/favoriting this story! I have to say, I do a very dorky happy-dance whenever I see them. So this chapter is almost as long as the previous two combined to make up for the delay! Also, can you gues who 'Ace' is before the end of the chapter?
Draco smiled in his state of half-wakefulness at the soft tingly feeling on the tip of his nose, his cheek. "Morning, Ace . . ." he mumbled through his sleep. He'd never admit it out loud but he loved being woken up this way. The pressure on his nose became less pleasant, more persistent. He groaned and turned his face slightly, not ready to get up anytime soon. "Ace . . . gerroff—OW!" he exclaimed as he felt a stabbing pain in one eye. "THE HELL?" Draco yelled, now fully awoken by the pain and indignation. Of course, Potter couldn't wait to start tormenting him, he thought exasperatedly. The Gryffindor was standing right in front of his face, his tiny prodding hands were obviously what had woken Draco up.
"Finally! Come on get up already!" the Gryffindor said impatiently.
"You fucking poked my eye!" Draco said sitting up angrily.
"Yeah well, you weren't getting up any other way. Come on, I'm starving." He said.
"You're starving?" Draco asked in alarm, reaching a hand to his hair to assure himself it was all still there. "On a scale one to ten how hu—" he stopped as soon as he saw the mini-twat doubling over with laughter. "I'll take that as a sign you're not passing out of hunger anytime soon" he said flatly.
"Ah, the look on your face" Potter said, still in titters "Who's 'Ace' anyways?" he asked more seriously.
"No one" Draco snapped. "What time is it?" he asked, looking around, noticing that the dormitory was empty apart from them.
"Not late, your bodyguards went to breakfast pretty early and Zabini left me to wake you up" Potter said.
Damn Crabbe and Goyle and their glut, couldn't wait ten more minutes to go eat. Draco got up, grabbing his school clothes and headed towards the bathroom.
"Wait, where are you going?" Potter called, still on Draco's bed.
"Some of us still have the decency to shower every once in a while Potter"
"Yeah, I thought I might try that out for a change" the boy said sarcastically. "Come on, where am I showering?" he asked expectantly. Draco stared at him dumbfounded. This was going to be a problem.
"Dunking you in a glass of water won't cut it?" he asked almost hopefully. When he only received more glaring in response he sighed.
"Time to get creative Potter" he said picking up the little hero by the pajamas, ignoring his protests as usual and went into the bathroom. Inside, he lightly deposited Potter on the sink counter and scanned his surroundings, beginning to form a plan. Draco shrank a bottle of shampoo, conditioning potion (not his own luxuriously scented kind of course, the generic one that Crabbe used), soap and a towel, and carefully set the now miniature items on the counter. He found a small stone soap dish, carved with decorative snakes. Potter was watching him curiously but Draco paid him no mind.
"Defodio" he said, gouging a small hole at one end of the dish, also making it slightly deeper. Draco placed the altered dish inside the sink, carefully angling it so that it didn't cover the drain. He tested it out, opening the hot water faucet, and the jet of water directly hit the soap dish, and easily drained out of the hole Draco had carved. He had to suppress a smug grin. For an improvised shower it wasn't half bad.
It was strange, doing all this for the precious little Boy-Who-Lived should have made him feel like a house elf, but all he felt now was an odd sense of pride. Then he glanced down at Potter, who didn't look at all impressed, eyeing the sink skeptically. Well, now he felt a bit like a house-elf.
"What are you waiting for Scarhead, get in" he snapped, leaning back on the counter, one hand on the faucet handle.
"I'm not showering in front of you!" Potter said hotly, crossing his arms.
"God no!" Draco said dramatically, looking at Potter in alarm and disgust. "Believe me the last thing I want is an eyeful of your tiny little co—"
"Ugh! Alright, just don't . . ." Harry sputtered, cringing and covering his face. Draco laughed cruelly, knowing he had probably hit a nerve. Potter's nether regions were obviously as pathetically small as the rest of him and that filled Draco with vindictive glee. He vaguely wondered just how small it was now, and just how much it had shrunk. He cocked his head slightly, still down looking at Potter.
"Malfoy? You wanna close your eyes now?" the subject of his mental estimations said awkwardly after a long moment.
"Right" Draco said, shaking those thoughts away and covering his eyes. He really has no reason to be contemplating the size of his sworn enemy's penis, now does he? After what felt like a long time, as Harry showered and Draco stood there in slightly bemused silence, Potter told him to turn off the water.
"Okay you can look now" Harry said once he had on his newly shrunken school clothes on. He had to (begrudgingly) give Malfoy credit, he was really good at the whole resizing thing.
"Finally" Draco grumbled before turning away and pulling off his pajama shirt. Harry couldn't tear his eyes away from the vast expanse of pale white skin that was his back. Well it's not like I can look anywhere else Harry thought. How can I? From down here it's taking up my whole point of view.
"You better not be watching Scarhead" Draco warned, interrupting his rationalization.
"As if I'd want to . . ." Harry muttered turning away. It's not as if he actually wanted to look Harry repeated to himself. It was just mild curiosity that made him peek at Malfoy's naked form as he stepped into the shower. Mild curiosity that made him stare at the pale perfection that was the blonde's back, legs and ohgod, DracofreakingMalfoy's arse before the boy disappeared behind the shower curtain.
Thinking of what had happened when he had woken Malfoy up, Harry couldn't help but wonder if anyone had ever really touched that pale skin. Who was 'Ace'? Why did Malfoy think that Harry was her (or him?) in the morning? It was as if he was accustomed to waking up to this mysterious Ace character. It could be a house-elf but Harry couldn't imagine the Slytherin boy remembering a servants name, much less saying it so affectionately. More likely Malfoy was dreaming, maybe Ace was a pet name for a girlfriend. Not that he could imagine Malfoy giving anything a pet name out of affection rather than scornfulness.
Harry was still trying to recall if Pansy Parkinson had any nicknames when he heard Malfoy step out of the shower and get dressed. Harry looked steadily at the opposite wall, until he was caught by surprise and Malfoy scooped him into his hand, ignoring Harry's complaints as usual. They bickered all the way out of the dungeons and by the time they reached the Great Hall, Malfoy was threatening to stuff him in his pocket all day if he wouldn't shut up.
Harry braced himself for the reaction of his fellow students. He wasn't sure what would cause more of a riot, the fact that he was small enough to ride Mrs. Norris around the castle or that Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy were walking in together. Well, at least no one thought he was offing muggle-borns this time. Malfoy strutted through the double doors, and they were met with a wave of murmurs, gasps and even a few shrieks from every table except the Sytherins'. Several people were standing up to get a better look, and before Harry could see what was happening a small crowd was forming around him and Draco. People from all houses, even a few ghosts and all Harry could see were their waists as he instinctively backed away from them, into Draco's chest, feeling smaller than ever.
"Merlin Harry! Are you all right mate?"
"I'll kill ye' for doing this to Harry ye' little-"
"Oi, what's Malfoy doing with a toy Potter?"
". . . so cute! Can I hold him Draco? Please?"
"ENOUGH! Back off, all of you!" Draco shouted and his voice reverberated in Harry, close as they were. Harry wondered if that meant Malfoy could also feel how fast his heart was beating. Probably not.
"I'm responsible for the little twat while he's in this mess and as much as I resent having to do this, none of you lot will get in my way, understood? Good". And with that Malfoy was off again, the crowd having magically dispersed. Harry didn't know whether to feel grateful, embarrassed or annoyed, and ended up with a confusing combination of the three.
Ron and Hermione caught up to him though, undeterred by Malfoy's threats.
"How are you holding up mate?" Ron asked him.
"I've been worse" Harry offered.
"If anyone is mistreating you Harry—" Hermione started.
"I'm not completely helpless Hermione" Harry lied. "I'll be fine, just as soon as I get some breakfast" he said with small smile.
"Come on then" Ron said, and he held out his hand, apparently expecting Malfoy to give him Harry. Instead he just snorted.
"As long as I'm stuck with Potty, he stays where I can keep him out of trouble" he said.
"Harry should sit with his friends, Malfoy" Hermione said angrily.
"Nothing's stopping you" the blond drawled, and he turned towards the Slytherin table. Ron and Hermione didn't follow, and Harry couldn't really blame them.
Malfoy took his seat next to Zabini, across from Crabbe and Goyle and deposited Harry next to his plate. Harry would've looked longingly over to the Gryffindor if he had been able to make it out. Even though the Slytherins were keeping a reasonable distance, due to Malfoy's threats, their leers and amused looks reminded Harry only too sharply of his dream. He shivered slightly when he remembered Malfoy whispering in his ear. Just a dream he thought firmly, but he was still wary of any teacups.
Before Harry could get too paranoid though, he was distracted by the most amazing view in front of him. A platter of fruit with grapes bigger than his head, pieces of toast wider than he was tall, bacon that seemed to stretch on for miles, GIANT sausages, rolls, kippers, muffins taken straight from his starvation-induced fantasies at the Dursleys. He felt his mouth water as he watched Malfoy hastily fill a plate up with a little bit of everything (no doubt anxious to keep him well fed).
Harry happily dug in and was oblivious to everything around him until the mail came and two owls, one dark eagle owl, and a fair grey barred owl gracefully landed in front of him. He almost cried out and clutched his half-eaten bacon strip defensively, immediately feeling foolish. The Gryffindor had to remind himself he had faced much worse monsters than these tremendous birds. They each carried identical black envelopes with opulent silver crests, that seemed lethal somehow to Harry. He looked up at Malfoy, who opened the first one with a carefully controlled expression, but Harry didn't miss how his hands trembled slightly, probably imperceptibly to anyone who wasn't Harry's size.
Maybe his father wrote to tell him he would get him out of his punishment Harry thought hopefully. A shadow crossed Malfoys's face as he folded the letters back, his grey eyes darkening. No luck Harry thought bitterly, and went back to his giant bacon.
"How bad was it?" Zabini asked.
Harry perked up his ears, but Malfoy didn't offer a reply, only sipped from his cup of coffee. He probably doesn't want to talk about it in front of me Harry thought, his curiosity immediately piqued. Zabini seemed to realize he wasn't going to get anything out of Malfoy and instead turned his attention towards Nott.
Malfoy, Harry noticed, was strangely quiet for the rest of breakfast and on the walk to class. The silence didn't last though, on their way out of the Great Hall they were met with a wild eyed Oliver Wood, accompanied by Fred and George.
"Harry!" Oliver cried out, horror struck. "I didn't believe it . . "
"Don't worry Oliver," Harry said, touched by the apparent concern. "I'll be back to normal soon"
"Yes, I'm sure, but how soon Harry? I wanted to start practice as soon as possible, when will you be able to fly?" he asked urgently. Harry's face fell. It hadn't even crossed his mind that he wouldn't be able to play quidditch, but it was obvious he couldn't for now. Yet another reason to hate the slimy git that put him into this mess.
"Err, Dumbledore reckons I'll be fine in a month or so" he said finally.
"A month? A month?" Oliver repeated, on the edge of hysteria and began muttering to himself about plays and statistics.
"A crying shame, truly" Malloy said dryly.
"No worries Harry" Fred said while George slowly passed him and Malloy. "You'll still have time to practice before our fist match" Fred continued, a mischievous spark in his eyes. "Maybe you can talk to Dumbledore about arranging Gryffindor's first match later in the season"
Harry nodded, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw George's hand sneak something into Malfoy's bag as he walked by.
"Well, good luck Harry, hope the slimy git doesn't whine you to death" Fred finished, winking at him before joining George outside the Hall. Harry grinned, eager to find out what kind of prank they pulled on Malfoy.
On their way to Potions, Harry expected snide comments about the Weasleys and the Gryffindor team, but Malfoy was still, quiet, not taking part in his friends' conversation. This sent Harry into speculation. Was it because of the letters? Was he thinking about this Ace character? Damn, Hagrid was right, he was too curious for his own good. Now he was determined to play closer attention and find out.
But he couldn't find anything out if the pratt wasn't talking. Malfoy had truly out done himself, finding a way to be even more annoying to Harry. Somehow his silence was even worse than his usual haughty drivel. Harry tried complaining, insulting and finally pinching to get a rise out of the stony Slytherin. But he didn't achieve much apart from a few curses and eye rolling. It was maddening.
Potter was going about something, probably about how this was all his fault, but Draco barely registered it. It was like all he could hear were the same cold lines over and over again . . . he closed his eyes to try clear them from his head, and focus better on the lesson. . Snape was droning on and on about antidote theory and was bound to give them an essay on the subject. Potions was his best subject but if he didn't concentrate and take notes he'd end up like Longbottom. Potter, the ungrateful little shit, wasn't even trying to take notes with the little quill and paper Draco had shrunk for him.
Golpalott's first law states that every poison, pure or blended, has at least one corresponding antidote. The nature of this antidote depends on the interaction of different prope— Draco set down his quill and brought a hand to his temple. It was no use, he'd borrow Theo's notes later. His father's letter kept repeating itself in his mind.
Your pettiness could very well cost me my social standing, my position at the ministry, my very freedom. You are to stay at school for the holidays as your time would be better spent finding a way to compensate for the damage you inflicted upon your family and quite frankly I couldn't stand to look at you. You have disgraced the Malfoy name.
The words washed over him like icy water. He had expected a lecture on discretion from his mother, maybe a few stern words about following rules from his father but he also thought that he's be rather pleased with his son for disabling Harry Potter. Nothing like this. His father might have high expectations, but he'd never been so disappointed, so disgusted in him before. At first, he didn't understand. How exactly had he jeopardized his father? Then he read his mother's letter.
My Dear Draco,
I am sure it is not necessary to further berate you for your senseless, irresponsible and foolish mistake, as your father has undoubtedly taken care of that in his own letter. I am writing to you, because you do not fully comprehend what your action may cost us. Your father neglected to tell you, but the incantation he taught you was of his own invention. It was completely inappropriate for him to teach you such things at your age but I am afraid his pride in his own creation and his desire to pass it on to his sole heir overruled his better judgment. I hardly need to stress for you how grave the repercussions of teaching such magic to a minor would have, much less what would happen if the Ministry knew your father had created the unauthorized dark spell himself. For whatever reason, Dumbledore has decided not to report this incident, and you will give him no cause to change his mind. My son, I cannot fully blame you, for you were entrusted with a weapon you could hardly comprehend. However I do hope you understand the precarious position you have put our family in and proceed with the utmost caution.
What was he going to do now? He knew he had screwed up, he hadn't realized just how much. This was bigger than possible expulsion and baldness. His family could lose everything. All because of one stupid, stupid moment Draco mentally cursed himself for, over and over. His He had to make up for this somehow. I'll make sure Potter is so pampered he'll have nothing to complain about. I'll beat that mudblood Granger on every damn test. I'll catch the snitch every game, if it kills me and lead Slytherin to the cup. I'll— None of it would be enough though. He'd shamed his family and there wasn't anything he could do about it now. But he had to try. Just as he picked up his quill with newfound determination, a folded piece of paper landed discreetly on his desk. Before Potter could get a good look at it Draco snatched it away and opened it under his desk. Snape probably noticed (not much escaped his cold stare) but it's not like he wanted to take points from his own house.
The note was from Theo. He, Blaise and Draco often used enchanted parchment like this one to talk in class or in detention. Even though he was always off in his own world and didn't regularly hang out with Draco's group of Slytherins, Theo was one his oldest and closest friends. He was also far too perceptive for Draco's taste.
What's up Draco? You look like Ace does whenever you have to leave for school –TN the note said. Whatever Draco wrote would appear on Theo's parchment and vice versa.
Somehow, I highly doubt it –DM
Yeah, I guess that'd be hard. Seriously though, is it because of your parents?
Draco considered lying or ignoring him, but he trusted Theo, he was one of the few people he knew who would keep these things private.
Yeah, father was unbelievably pissed off -DM
He'll get over it soon enough, don't worry. At least it wasn't a Howler –TN
Can you really imagine him sending a howler? So improper! –DM
Of course, your mother would never allow it –TN
Ha, she'd pry it from his hands if she had to. Now go back to taking notes, or else I'll have no one to borrow them from –DM
I thought you were taking notes –TN
Shit . . . -DM
Draco went back to his notes, with a slight smile, the weight of the letters in his pocket slightly lessened.
For the rest of his classes, Draco did his best to concentrate, but it was becoming more and more difficult and Potter was becoming more and more of a nuisance. It was like he was trying to piss off. Come to think of it he probably is Draco thought as he adjusted the size of Potter's Charms book for the third time, after he had insisted it was still too small.
Finally, it was time to meet the headmaster in his office. Here's hoping he's changed his mind about this punishment Draco thought, with little real optimism.
"You're going the wrong way" the little bugger said petulantly.
"Just because you're his pet, doesn't mean you're the only one who's been to Dumbledore's office" Draco replied.
"But apparently I'm the only one who remembers the way. If you take that corridor it'll take us twice as long" Potter insisted.
"I'm surprised you can even tell where we're going from down there" Draco bit.
"I'm surprised you can see past your own nose enough to walk properly"
"I'm surprised you've managed to go so long without signing an autograph, I know you live off that attention"
They went back and forth like this untill they reached the end of the corridor, where Draco used a little known shortcut that took them almost straight towards Dumbledore's office. Once they were standing in front of the great big gargoyle, they realized they didn't know the password.
"Err, he usually uses candy names. Chocolate frog?" Potter offered.
"Sugar Quill?" Draco tried.
"Bertie Bott's every flavor bean" Harry said.
"Ice Mice!" Draco said, starting to lose patience.
"Peppermint hummbug!" Harry tried again. Somehow this was turning into a contest, and Draco was determined to come up with the password first.
"TOOTH FLOSSING STRINGMENTS!" Draco shouted.
"MALTSERS!" Harry bellowed.
"What the hell are maltsers?" Draco asked distainfully. He never did find out though, because just then Dumbledore himself stepped out of his office with an amused expression.
"Really boys, you could have knocked instead of shouting random sweets. Never mind now, come in, Severus should be here soon with the potion" he said, and stepped back inside. Draco followed, set Potter on top of the headmasters desk (more delicately than he usually bothered to) and took his seat.
"Now, how has this arrangement been working out? Tell me how you've been adjusting Harry"
"I'd really much rather be back at Gryffindor, Sir" Potter said.
"I understand Harry, but you haven't answered my question. Has Malfoy made sure your needs are met and you are comfortable?" Dumbledore asked. Draco wanted to interrupt but he was silenced with a hand.
"I guess . . . I have all my things, food, a shower, but I can't be completely at ease among Slytherins"
"I sincerely hope that will change Harry. This seems to be going quite well regardless. Any other concerns?" Dumbledore said cheerfully. Draco had to keep himself from facepalming. Quite well my arse he thought.
"What about quidditch? I can't practice like this sir, I won't be prepared for our first game" Potter said.
"Yes, I thought of this Harry, and arranged for the first match of the season to be between Slytherin and Hufflepuff instead of Gryffindor" Dumbledore answered.
"What about me? I can't exactly take Potter to practice with me" Draco said.
"I suppose you can leave him under another's care for those short periods of time" Dumbledore allowed "Provided you can trust someone with the matter"
"Yes sir" Draco said.
"Good, is that all? Yes? Ah, that would be Severus, come in" Dumbledore said. Snape entered the office with his usual unimpressed expression. He held out a tiny vial filled with rich, iridescent, green substance.
"Why can't I just down a bottle of skele gro an be done with it?" Potter asked. Draco rolled his eyes and Snape looked as if he dearly wished to.
"Because Mr. Potter, it is not only your bones that have become miniscule, your entire body has. If you were to 'down a bottle of skele gro' your bones would outgrow your flesh and burst from your body. I think you will prefer this method" Snape said barely keeping back the sarcasm. He carefully handed Potter the little vial, which must have been like a large bucket to him.
It took several minutes for the little wizard to finish the potion (during which a few of the portraits started chanting 'chug, chug!'). When he finally finished it his whole body gave a slight shudder and his eyes went out of focus for a few moments.
"All right Harry?" Dumbledore asked.
"Yeah, it's loads better than skele gro"
"I should think so" Snape said, and with a nod towards Dumbledore he left the room.
"Off you go now" Dumbledore said giving them several strange yellow candies as they left. "And Draco, I'm glad to see you taking this more seriously" he added his a serious look in his direction.
What does he know? Why is he keeping all this quiet anyways? Draco wondered warily.
They made their way back to the dungeons in near silence. It seemed the potion made Potter pretty sleepy, a great improvement over the demanding little bugger he had been earlier. In the common room, he found Blaise and Theo playing a game of chess.
"Hey, how's the little tyke?" Theo asked casually, while Blaise was intensely concentrated on the pieces in front of him.
"Insufferable" Draco said, ignoring the slight pinch it earned him from Potter. "Can you watch him for a bit? I want to go fly"
"For crying out loud, I'm not a baby!" the little Gryffindor said indignantly.
"And yet you need a babysitter" Draco muttered.
"We'll watch him" Blaise said, looking up with wicked interest.
"But if anything happens to him—" Draco started.
"You'll show us a new dimension of pain" Theo finished for him.
"Exactly" Draco said, leaving Harry on the coffee table. He gathered his broom and headed to the grounds. Strictly speaking this wasn't quidditch practice, but he really needed some time on his own and flying was the best distraction from his problems. He raced around the castle, across the black lake, faster than thoughts of Potter, the letters, his father, could bring him down.
Harry was resting comfortably on a throw pillow, watching Zabini and Nott's game with mild interest. He probably shouldn't have felt so relaxed in the company of two Slytherins who had no reason not to hurt him other than that Malfoy had told them not to, but the potion took too much energy out of him to be paranoid and suspicious. He laid back examining his outstretched hands, trying to see if they had grown any. Eventually he got tired of that and told his babysitters as much.
"I'm bored" he said.
"Then fill in for my bishop" Zabini said, just as one of his horses was brutally smashed by Theo's queen.
"I think I'll pass on that one" Harry said dryly.
"So, you never told us, how did you manage to get Draco out of bed so early?" Nott asked. Harry was surprised by the honest question and responded after a moment.
"Threatened his hair. Is he always such a pain in the morning?" Harry asked.
"Before he's had his coffee, yeah" Nott answered.
"Waking him up is a hazardous task. I'm so glad that's your problem now" Zabini said.
"Can't you just leave him to wake up on his own?" Harry asked.
"We tried that once. Just once . . ." Nott said darkly.
"He missed breakfast, and therefore coffee. It wasn't pretty. Trust me, never get in the way of Draco and his coffee" Zabini said.
"Check mate" Nott said with a grin. Harry had to chuckle at Zabini's horrified expression as he checked the board. Harry played the next game against Nott, and lost almost as spectacularly as Zabini. Still, wizard chess was a lot more exciting when the pieces battling it out in front of you were just about your size.
It was hard to believe, but Harry found himself actually having fun with the two Slytherins. Yesterday, hell a few hours ago he would have thought it impossible. I guess even Slytherins can surprise you Harry thought. He certainly wasn't complaining if it meant his time here would be easier. Since they were getting a long reasonably well, he decided he could ask Nott and Zabini something.
"Hey, do you know anyone called . . . Ace?" Harry asked. Nott and Zabini exchanged amused glances.
"Why do you ask? Where'd you hear that name?" Nott asked, stifling a grin.
"Err, Malfoy called me that when I was trying to wake him up" Harry said, feeling like a bit of an idiot when Nott and Zabini cracked up. "What? Why is that so funny?"
"It's just that," Nott said in between sniggers. "Ace is," he trailed off into laughter.
"Ace is his bunny!" Zabini burst out laughing.
"Bunny? As in . . ." Harry processed.
"Pet rabbit" Nott confirmed.
"Draco bloody Malfoy, evil, Syltherin has a pet bunny" Harry said in disbelief.
"And I have pictures" Zabini said gleefully.
When Draco finally made his way down to the dungeons he was cold and exhausted but less tense than he had been all day. Untill he was met with one of strangest things he had ever seen.
Blaise, Theo and mini-Potter laughing together like they were old mates or something. It died down when they saw him come in.
"Whatever, I'm going to take a shower" Draco said, after staring at them incredulously for several moments.
"Hop to it!" Blaise said, and that set them off again.
Thank you so much for reading this extra long chapter! I really hope you enjoyed it. What did you like? What did you hate? Please tell me, so this story can improve :]