A little ficlet featuring the fantastic Blaise Zabini again.

What can I say? I love the bloke :)

I don't own Harry Potter, just so you know :-/

The Doppelganger Effect

Blaise had always been aware that Draco was a… challenging person to befriend. Ever since his father had introduced them at Draco's fifth birthday and the little blonde had suggested that they play a game of 'pin the tail on the house elf' Blaise had known he was throwing his lot in with a complete lunatic. After fifteen years of being best mates with said lunatic, he prided himself on having seen it all. There was nothing, absolutely nothing Draco Lucius Abraxas Malfoy could do that would surprise, shock or otherwise horrify him.

He was wrong.

It all started one fine Saturday night…

"So this new fellow of yours" Blaise drawled, lounging on one of Draco's utterly cliché emerald green sofas "What did you say his name was?"

"Alex" Draco replied, preening in front of his reflection and straightening out the imaginary wrinkles on his robes "Alex Seymour. You'll like him. He's adorable."

"I'll bet he is" Blaise drawled, rolling his eyes "And when is Prince Charming showing up for your big date?"

The doorbell rang as if on cue and Draco turned to him with a knowing smirk. "That would be him" he said "I'll see him in. Brace yourself. And try not to drool over my good furniture."

Blaise flipped him off and the blonde left to escort his guest in. The Italian hummed to himself, eyeing a portrait of Valeria the Voluptuous lasciviously before turning his attention back to the doorway.

The next second he fell off the sofa with a yelp. Valeria giggled but Blaise saw nothing funny about the situation. Because Draco had entered, arm in arm with what looked like the spitting image of…

Blaise shook himself, convinced that he was imagining things. He looked up. No. It was still there. In all its black haired, bespectacled glory. He was looking at Harry bloody Potter.

"Merlin, are you all right?" Potter asked, helping him up eyes wide with concern.

"I...er... lost my balance" Blaise managed to stutter out "Sorry about that."

The bloke grinned and Blaise realised that it wasn't Potter. Potter's grin wasn't quite so crooked. Besides, he had brown eyes. Nothing like Potter's ridiculously vivid brand of green. But Merlin, the resemblance was almost scary. No, scratch that. It was very scary. Downright terrifying really, if you wanted Blaise's opinion.

"You must be Blaise" Potter the Second continued "I'm Alex"

"Are you sure?" Blaise demanded. He certainly had his doubts.

"You must excuse my friend, Alex" Draco smirked lacing an arm around Pseudo Potter's waist and making Blaise shudder. "I'm rather proud of my beverage selection and it would seem Blaise here selected one too many beverages."

"Oh, shut up" the Italian snapped. His mind was reeling and he needed to sit down. For a week.

Draco merely raised an eyebrow and turned back to his…date. "Why don't you step outside? I'll see you in a minute."

"Of course" 'Alex' agreed graciously "Wonderful to meet you, Blaise"

"Bye, Potter"

Alex and Draco shot him a confused look each and Blaise merely shrugged as the man left. Draco turned to him with a raised eyebrow. "Well you certainly made an impression" he said "Mind telling me what that was all about?"

Blaise could only gape. "You…you don't see it?"

"I don't see what?"

"You know. It"

"You're confused. Obviously you need rest" Draco concluded, looking rather satisfied at having put a neat and tidy end to this business "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to be off for my date with that gorgeous piece of arse. Don't wait up for us."

Blaise shook his head, still halfway between shock and disbelief. "Believe me, I won't."

Two weeks later, Blaise had managed to put the 'Incident' behind him. And since he was a firm believer in 'lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice' and all that rot, no one could have prepared him for what happened next.

"Did I tell you I broke up with Alex?"

Blaise bolted up at once and stared at Draco. "Really?" he demanded, sounding almost hopeful. "That's too bad" he added unconvincingly.

"Oh, stop it" Draco snipped "You never liked him anyway. Not that I blame you."

"So you do see it!" Blaise exclaimed feeling utterly relieved. Thank Merlin. For a second, he had thought he would be visiting his best friend in St. Mungos.

"I see it" Draco nodded "You could have mentioned it, you know."

"I thought it was pretty damn obvious" Blaise snorted derisively "How could you miss it?"

"I don't know, really" Draco shrugged "It happens sometimes, I suppose."

Blaise nodded. Everyone was allowed one huge lapse in judgement…

"I can't believe I dated someone so short"

Blaise stopped nodding.

"What?" he asked. His voice was deathly quiet.

"He barely came up to my shoulder. Honestly, that just won't do. Thank Merlin Richard is tall."

"Richard?" Blaise said, sitting up and feeling a vague sense of foreboding. "Another date?"

Draco grinned. "We met in Hogsmeade. You'll like him. He's gorgeous."

Before Blaise could demand so much as a picture of this Richard fellow, someone strode in and interrupted them.

"Richard!" Draco exclaimed at the very same instant that Blaise shouted "Potter!"

They stared at each other, wearing identical looks of incredulity. And speaking of identical...

"Excuse me?" The Boy Who Lived to Look like Harry Potter asked cluelessly. His glasses weren't round, Blaise would give him that. Other than that though- black hair, green eyes, the whole shin bang. They could have been twins!

Blaise would have thrown a tantrum of epic proportions if he hadnt been stunned into complete silence. He couldn't believe this was happening again! He had somehow been roped into another one of Draco's Potter Parades!

And he didn't appreciate it at all!

The Italian turned on Draco, scowling darkly. "This is your date?" he snapped "This…this doppelganger? Are you fucking kidding me?"

"This…what?" Draco had the gall to look clueless "Blaise, this is Richard!"

"No. I'm shocked" Blaise deadpanned, eyeing the bloke balefully. He resented this direct assault on his sanity, he really did. "So Rich, what do you do for a living?" he demanded "Work at Gringotts? Play Quidditch? Defeat evil Dark Lords and save worlds?"

"What?" the Potter Poster Boy stuttered, looking infuriatingly lost. Blaise was starting to get really pissed off. How dare he look as dense as…as Potter! As if the resemblance wasn't enough!

"Out with it, man! Have or have you not ever battled a basilisk?" the Italian demanded, caught up in a fury of self righteous indignation. There were far too many Potters in the world for his liking! Where was the justice?

"Draco, what's going on?" Richard asked, turning frantically to the gaping blonde for help.

"What are you on about?" Draco demanded, looking even more confused.

Blaise gaped at him in sheer amazement. "You…you seriously don't see it?" he snapped waving his hand indignantly in the general direction of the now cowering Potter Number Three "How can you not see it? I wish I couldn't see it and I still see it!"

"See what?" Draco snapped "What am I supposed to be seeing, you tosser?"

"Look at the man, Draco! Are you actually telling me that this Richard fellow doesn't remind you of anyone?"

"Daniel Radcliffe?"

Blaise stormed off, without another word.

He flooed into Draco's flat unannounced early next Sunday. They hadn't been on speaking terms since the second 'incident' and Blaise was starting to feel a tad guilty. After all, the bloke was his best mate.

Even if he was an unhealthily obsessed maniac.

So he stumbled in Draco's living room, looking around for the blonde in question. He came face to face with a blonde. Just not the one he wanted.

"Oh, sorry," the blonde apologised. "Didn't mean to startle you"

"No harm done" Blaise replied with a shrug "Are you Draco's…guest?"

The blonde grinned "A little more than that, I hope"

"Merlin, me too" Blaise muttered. Anything that wasn't dark haired, scruffy, skinny or bespectacled was all right with him. Besides, this chap was blonde and stocky. Nothing Potter-esque about him at all.

Blaise loved him like a brother instantly.

"You must be Blaise. Draco has told me so much about you" the heaven sent not Potter said to him. Blaise merely smiled at him benevolently, shaking the proffered hand warmly.

"Wonderful to meet you" he said sincerely "You have no idea how wonderful, really. And your name is…?"

"I'm Larry. Larry Trotter"

Later, Larry Trotter would ask Draco why his friend had left screaming about lunatics and obsessions and way too many Boys Who Lived.

The banging had gone from loud to down right frantic.

"I'm coming, I'm coming for Merlin's sake!" Harry grumbled as he answered the door of his flat, fully intending to yell himself hoarse at the bastard trying to batter his door down.

He never really got the opportunity. Because Blaise Zabini barged in like a man possessed and grabbed him by the shirt collar in less than two seconds.

"You" he spat "are taking Draco out on a date next Saturday!"

"I…what?" Potter asked, looking completely shocked. Understandable Blaise supposed, but he didn't really care. It was this or therapy. Years and years of therapy.

"You heard me. Draco. Date. Saturday" he repeated, breaking it down for Potter. "Be there or you die."


"Not one word, Potter. I can't handle anymore of this, I mean it! If he's going to date you, he might as well date you you. Not other yous. A man can only take so much before he goes stark raving mad! Do you want me to go stark raving mad, Potter?"

"Doesn't seem like it would take much" Potter muttered. Blaise's eyes narrowed and Harry raised his hands in surrender. "I mean, of course Zabini. I'd be delighted to take Draco out next Saturday. Happy?"

"Ecstatic" Blaise sighed in relief, resting his head against the wall "No more doppelgangers" he muttered, half to himself. He felt a certain sense of peace emanating from the very depths of his soul. He had stopped the madness. Everything was going to be all right…

"Right then" Harry managed, still watching the eccentric Italian uneasily "Well if you've had your little episode, I'm going to have to ask you to leave now."

"Why Potter?" Blaise smirked "Got a date here?"

Before Potter could answer, someone joined them in the hall. Blaise felt his throat go dry.

"Harry? Is everything all right?" the blonde, grey eyed slender man inquired with a frown.

"Oh fine" Potter replied with a smile "Just a friend dropping in. This is Blaise Zabini."

The blonde turned to Blaise with a smirk. "Nice to meet you. I'm Derek Malloy."

Blaise fainted.


Hope you liked it.

Please do review, if you did. Also, if you didn't. Criticism is a good thing :)