So here's a longish one shot from me.

I...honestly am not sure how good or bad it is, but hopefully you guys will like it.

Reviews, feedback, criticism...whatever you want. Just gimme gimme gimme!

Cheers

Alex


Rumor has it

Hermione Granger hummed a happy tune as she hurried to her Charms Class. She was having a rather nice day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, she'd racked up forty points for Gryffindor in her first class alone and had at least a week of homework to get started on. Yes, life looked pretty grand to Hermione Jean Granger. Suddenly, as she went skipping down the corridor to her Charms Class, she happened upon a strange, almost unnatural sight. Being the bright and curious girl she was, she stopped to take a look.

Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy were busy poring over an Astronomy Text, making notes on the movement of planets. A bowl of cherries rested precariously on a stack of star charts and Malfoy reached out to grab one. As he popped in his mouth, he explained some of the finer concepts of star tracking to the Boy Who Lived.

"And that's why you can't track Venus until the third week of November. See?"

"No," Harry replied frankly.

Malfoy sighed. "Honestly Potter, if I didn't have the patience of a saint…"

"I know, I know," Harry grinned "For what its worth- thanks for tutoring me, Malfoy. You have a natural talent for this and I'm... well…"

"Utterly clueless?" Malfoy offered helpfully, dodging when Harry flicked a cherry pit at him. They were so busy with their bantering, they didn't even spot the bushy haired girl give them a look of mild amusement as she went on her way. She had just exited the corridor and was walking along, when she was joined by Ron.

"Hey 'Mione," he greeted in his usual lackadaisical manner. "What's new?"

"Oh, not much" she replied blithely "Just going to Charms next. I wish I had a free lecture to get started on this homework though. Harry has a lot more free classes than I do. I just saw him and Malfoy…"

"What?" Ron bellowed, making a passing first year squeal in alarm and bolt for the nearest exit. The redhead didn't notice. He was too busy shaking his bewildered girlfriend by the shoulders- as if trying to rattle an answer out of her. "What? How? Why?" he demanded, eyes wide in horror.

"Ron!" she shrieked, not a little outraged "Let go of me! Honestly, sometimes you're such a lout!"

"But...but Harry! Malfoy!" he sputtered running after her, as she went off in a huff "What...what was Harry doing with Malfoy?"

"You realise if you paid half as much attention to your classes as you do to this ridiculous feud, you wouldn't be failing Potions, right? Oh, and not that it matters but they were studying Astronomy. Making out their star charts, I think. Malfoy was doing most of the work. Harry didn't seem to have a clue. He would have if he'd studied the notes I'd given you two but no! You'd much rather be out playing Quidditch instead of practicing for your NEWTS! And they're only eight months away and..."

"Yeah, yeah. More books, less broomsticks- got it " Ron broke in hurriedly before this turned into a full blown lecture. He blurted on, undeterred by her dangerously narrowed gaze. "There's something weird going on here! Why would that ferrety git suddenly decide to help Harry out with Astronomy? What else did you see? There's got to be more!"

"Honestly! Unlike some people, I don't spend my entire life obsessing over Draco Malfoy! You want details? They were eating cherries. Oh, the horror! Find an evil plot in that, why don't you?" With that she turned on her heel, leaving him in the dust.

Ron stared after her, wondering -as he often did- how this had somehow become his fault. He shoved his hands in his pockets and slumped off sulkily. "He could have poisoned the cherries," he mumbled to himself. A flash of scarlet suddenly appeared at his side, and he was joined by his pesky sibling.

"Wotcher, brother mine," Ginny grinned "I see you've pissed Hermione off before lunch. New record, is it?"

"Don't you have someone else to bother?" Ron demanded.

"Ah, but you're family. Special and all that," she retorted with a grin "So what did you do to set off our resident Saint Mione?"

Ron scowled. "Oh, she's mad at me because I asked her why Harry was busy making out his star charts with Malfoy instead of with her. And she got all pissy because I just...suggested that Malfoy probably has an ulterior motive or summat. Can you believe that? And then she went off on about how Malfoy was doing all the work and Harry was clueless and I still say those cherries are poisoned! Poisoned, I tell you!"

With that, the Weasley boy took his own cue to skulk off, leaving a stunned, open mouthed sister in his wake.


"There you are!"

Dean looked up from his copy of The Quibbler and grinned at Ginny. "Hello there, princess," he began but she had already hoisted him up and was dragging him out of the Great Hall. For a princess, she had quite an arm on her.

"Ginny!" he protested with a wince "That's my arm! I need it to play Quidditch and stuff!"

"Oh, shut it!" she snapped, looking around furtively. No one could hear what she had to say. Dean seemed to have finally caught on because his brow was furrowed with concern. "You all right there, Gin?"

"No," she replied in a near whisper, turning to him with large wide eyes. "Can you keep a secret?" she asked him. Dean could rarely refuse the pretty redhead anything so he nodded.

Ginny swallowed and let it all out. "Hermione told Ron that she saw Harry and Malfoy star gazing and making out in the Astronomy Tower! And Malfoy was hand feeding Harry succulent cherries! Oh, and he wants to take it up a notch if you catch my drift and he's got loads of experience, but Harry is totally clueless, pretty much a virgin. Promise me you won't tell a soul! You can't tell anyone! The whole thing is top secret."

Dean nodded dumbly and puttered off, mentally resolving that the next time Ginny had a secret he would stay far, far away. A man could only take so much.

"Oi Dean, wait up there!" Seamus Finnigan called cheerfully as he caught sight of his fellow Gryffindor "I just got meself another detention for firing up a cauldron, would you believe it? And..."

"I have to tell you something, but you can't tell anyone!" Dean finally blurted, unable to keep it under wraps anymore. Well, he had kept it quiet for all of forty seconds. "Especially Ginny or…" he winced slightly "Harry and Malfoy"

Seamus nodded in silent agreement and gestured to him to continue. Relieved, Dean launched into his own version of what had happened between the Gryffindor and Slytherin.

"Harry and Malfoy were out star gazing and things got really hot and heavy. They started making out and, Merlin you won't believe this mate but...but..."

"What?" Seamus urged "What happened?"

"Malfoy popped Harry's cherry!"

"My ears!" he bellowed, clapping his hands around his head as if his ears had been physically violated.

"Shut it!" Dean hissed, "You want everyone to know what happened?"

Seamus shook his head numbly and lowered his voice. "Harry's a virgin?" he managed finally.

"Not anymore," Dean said with a grim look "Poor bloke had no clue what he was doing, but I have it from a reliable source that Malfoy was real gentle like. Bloke may look like a ferret but turns out he's a real tiger between the sheets..." he added as if it physically pained him. Then, his eyes widened as another thought struck him. "You think they're going to be an item?" he moaned "Merlin, what if they get married or something? And..."

"Hang on, hang on a second! How do you know this?" Seamus demanded.

"I heard it from Ginny who got it from Ron who heard it from Hermione who saw the whole thing!"

Seamus blanched. "She watched Malfoy and Harry do that?" he confirmed somewhere between shock and horror. Dean nodded silently and Seamus shuddered. Merlin! And she seemed like such a sweet girl too. It's always the quiet ones. With that sobering thought, he attempted to pull himself together and started to leave, assuring Dean that he wouldn't tell a soul and frankly he'd much rather forget hearing the whole thing himself. And he meant it. He would have gone so far as to try and pull off a Self Obliviate Charm, but then he caught sight of Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil...


And they thought the War was bad. Hogwarts had never been in such a state of confusion. There was yelling, screaming, name calling…it was anarchy. House rivalries had descended into mini wars with even the normally neutral Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws finding it difficult not to take sides.

"No, no, no! You have it all wrong!" Justin Finch-Fletchley sputtered indignantly "Potter took Malfoy's virginity in the cloakroom and now they're betrothed and moving to France to invest in a little cherry plantation!"

"That's cock and you know it, Justin," Ernie MacMillan just had to put his two cents in "Malfoy seduced Harry Potter by tying a cherry stem into a knot with his tongue. They hooked up and Potter lost his virginity to Malfoy in the Astronomy Tower. Merlin, get your facts straight, won't you?"

"Look who's talking!" Lisa Turpin cut in with a glare "Malfoy has been wooing Harry ever since the War ended. They made love in the Astronomy Tower and they're getting married in June but rumour has it, that they're going to elope. And I have it from a very reliable source that they're moving to Canada in the fall!"

"That, my dear lady is where you're mistaken," Blaise Zabini, of course had to slither his way into the argument "As always, every house gets its wrong except Slytherin. This is how it really happened. Malfoy lured Potter on to the Quidditch pitch under the cover of darkness with promises of star gazing and- ah, how do I out this delicately- buggered him senseless. But it ended badly because Potter had no idea how to please a man. Not that I'm at all surprised, by the way."

"You're full of it! Harry knows what he's doing!" Ron contested hotly, coming to his friend's defence at once.

"How would you know, Weasley?" Blaise demanded with an evil grin, making the redhead go scarlet to the roots of his hair and mumble about sick, sick Slytherins.

"I still say they're eloping…"

"No they're not! They're moving to a cherry farm in Spain …"

"Africa! Merlin, how many times…"

"They got caught in a herd of rampaging Wrackspurts and now they have to consummate in the nearest cherry orchard to appease them. Or they'll go through the rest of their lives losing their keys and missing important appointments!"

The entire hall stopped yelling, to stare at Neville.

"What?" he mumbled, going slightly pink "I heard it from Luna!"

Hermione had had enough of this. "Listen to me, all of you!" she demanded, situating herself in the middle of the warring factions "Nobody is getting married or…or whatever Neville said! So just shut up a minute and let me explain!"

"Well of course you know what happened, you little voyeur" Pansy Parkinson remarked snidely "You actually watched Draco pop Potter's cherry!"

"I did not!" Hermione shrieked as Ron swayed slightly.

"Oh, did you now?" Blaise perked up; looking her over with apparent interest "I never picked you for the kinky sort, Granger. What a naughty girl you turned out to be…"

"Hey!" Ron snapped, finally coming to his senses "Her face is up here, Zabini!"

Blaise smirked and continued to leer at Hermione who groaned and buried her face in Ron's shoulder. And the world continued to go to hell. The chaos had descended to a dull roar by now, with only a few words and phrases tumbling out of the vortex of madness.

"Potter buggered Malfoy!"

"Malfoy fucked Potter!"

"Quidditch Pitch!"

"Astronomy tower!"

"Cherries!"

"Pineapples!"

"Wrackspurts!"

"Shut up, Neville!"

Outside the West entrance, one blonde and one brunette stood absolutely shell shocked, surveying the horror silently. In their hands, they held a set of Astronomy notes and to their absolute mortification, cherry pits. Malfoy looked slightly paler than usual as he nudged Harry meaningfully and tip toed towards the nearest alcove without the yelling crowd noticing him. Harry followed quickly, blushing profusely as he did.

"We should be safe from the madness here," Draco commented as he put up a Silencing Charm.

"Uh…" Harry managed.

"Eloquent as ever, Potter," Malfoy sniped lightly. They stared at each other for a little while, still flushed and awkward. Then Malfoy dropped his cherry pits. He grinned slightly, and so did Harry. Then he started to snigger and Harry couldn't help it. In a minute, both the boys were practically on their knees, howling with laughter.

"Oh Merlin, c-can you imagine? Where the hell did they come up with this shite?" Malfoy blurted, tears of mirth streaming down his face.

"D-did you hear that p-part about the cherry orchard?" Harry managed

"What orchard?" Malfoy sputtered, wiping tears from his eyes "I was still reeling from buggering you senseless on the Quidditch Pitch. Oh Merlin… my stomach. I can't breathe. Oh, I can't breathe…" He reached for Harry's arm to support himself and promptly landed on the Gryffindor. For some reason, this was atrociously funny as well and they descended into gales of laughter again, holding on to each other as they did.

Finally, they calmed down somewhat and sat in silence, Malfoy leaning against Harry's arm. For some reason neither boy noticed, and if they did they didn't say anything.

"Well, at least you knew what you were doing," Harry mock teased the blonde, breaking the silence "Thanks for taking such good care of poor, virginal me."

"You know I would, right?"

Harry looked up, slightly taken aback. "What?"

Malfoy bit his lip, looking both uncomfortable and attractive. "If...if we did hook up, hypothetically of course, I would be careful. You know, with you." He stared steadily at Harry, almost defensively as if daring him to laugh or tease him about it. Harry only smiled and put a hesitant arm around the blonde. "Thanks," he said. "For what its worth, I'd take care of you too."

"I know."

"Hypothetically, of course."

Malfoy's lips quirked. "Of course," he agreed.

They weren't laughing anymore. Harry swallowed as he watched Malfoy. His silver eyes were bright against the afternoon sun and his smile was boyish and shy at the same time and Harry was very aware that if at this very moment, someone suggested he snog Malfoy senseless in a cherry orchard or the Astronomy Tower or whatever sodding place, he would be very inclined to said snogging. Malfoy seemed to have the same idea, because he lowered his lashes- those pretty, pretty lashes- and leaned closer. Harry felt the soft lips touch his just a minute before his brain went into overdrive and soon he was automatically reaching for the blonde, pulling him closer, drawing him towards his body with hands and teeth and tongue. Draco melded against him willingly, breaking away only when the need for oxygen became too overpowering.

"You and me?" Harry whispered hesitantly. It seemed too good to be true.

"Rumour has it," Draco replied with a grin. "Oh and can you keep a secret, Potter?"

Harry nodded, leaning in closer.

"MacMillan wasn't wrong about that cherry knot trick."


Reviews, please! Thanks for reading!