"I didn't do it."
They were the first words out of Harry's mouth, and he immediately wanted to cringe at how guilty they still managed to make him sound.
He could feel stares searing into his skin, astonished, incredulous, livid and calculating eyes that made his skin crawl, laser-beaming him from every side.
"You moron!" came the icy response. "You have no idea the damage you've caused! Do you?"
Harry clenched his fists, torn between defiance and mortification, scrambling to his feet as the furious blond heir stalked towards him. The whole scene around them had frozen, and Harry just wanted to melt somewhere in horror and hide there, even as part of him wanted to protest that the bastard had knocked into him and that it really wasn't his fault at all.
"I presume you're about to tell me," he muttered.
"You insolent little shit –"
Harry backed up a step, heart pounding in his chest.
"I didn't mean it like that!"
"I'm a Malfoy, I could have you expelled. My father runs the Board of Education, you know."
There was a really bad feeling in his chest.
"I'll pay you back!" he growled, holding his hands up in a placating gesture. "It was an accident, bloody hell."
Mercury eyes narrowed.
"And how are you going to do that? You have no idea how much these jeans were worth – £18,000! Damien Hirst, limited edition, only eight in the world and personally gifted to me. And what did you do? You spilled your drink all over them you CLUMSY IDIOT!"
… £18,000? For a pair of jeans?
Harry couldn't help but gape, mouth suddenly unbearably dry.
"I'm really, really sorry? You could take them to the dry cleaners?" he tried.
The expression he got for that was absolutely murderous.
"Do you have £18,000 on you?" Malfoy sneered. "You look like you can't even afford a pair of Levis if that hideous, over-sized piece of denim you have the audacity to call trousers is anything to go by."
Harry flushed, eyes flashing, even as his mind filled with panic. He took another step back, more from the two hulking figures flanking the heir than from the fuming blond.
Hermione looked on with an awful sympathy, as did Ron, before her eyes widened.
Harry realised why as his next step brought him careening into someone behind him – and please god don't let them be wearing a stupidly expensive shirt or something! Only to be surprised when a pale arm wrapped around his torso to stop him from overbalancing.
"Calm down, Draco," a familiar voice purred. "I'm sure we could come to some kind of agreement here."
Hogwarts was a very prestigious school, and Harry knew he was lucky to even be able to attend.
It wasn't that Hogwarts didn't cater to those that weren't especially rich, powerful or intelligent, but … it was famous for students of that merit. The Slytherins, most notably.
They let the 'ordinary' people in too, and then there were the scholarship students – who tended to be nicknamed the Ravenclaws by their peers. They got in for their exceptional grades. His best friend Hermione Granger was one of them.
He got in through his family. The Potters had been murdered when he was very young, only a baby, but apparently the name still carried some weight because he'd been singled out by the Headmaster when he was applying and taken to a separate interview room.
Harry didn't like to think that the only reason he'd got into the school was because of the family connections of a family he'd never even known … but he knew it was probably true.
The attacker had never been identified, but he'd made off with the family fortune that was for sure, so he didn't exactly come under the category of rich, intelligent or powerful.
But connections apparently still counted for something. That was how the Hufflepuffs got in, loyalty and affiliation to a larger family or company. Not that Hufflepuffs had no power of their own; there was a Diggory in seventh year whose father had a successful job, high up in the Immigration office.
He'd been here for five years, at Hogwarts, and most of that had passed quietly. Well, relatively, he did have a bad habit of getting in trouble. He did his work though – he had to, or he'd get kicked out. He was what you might want to call a 'Gryffindor'. Gryffindors were the students the school accepted because whilst they weren't all-round geniuses like the Ravenclaws, showed potential in another field. Or, perhaps, in his occasion, were charity cases whose parents had once been friends with the Headmaster.
He supposed Hogwarts was all about self-interest, with the reflection of talented students upon itself, but it was an honour to graduate there and liable to get you into most careers without difficulty if one had attended. And he really needed that boost in life right now.
So even if the place was full of rich, super smart, power-crazy kids and their lackeys, he'd tolerate it. He just couldn't help but wonder if he could have been one of them, if the … circumstances of his childhood had been any different.
It was probably bad to just wish to get it over with in relative peace without pissing off the brat of any high-standing society member, but he couldn't help but wish for it anyway.
He had two more years, and then, then he was finally done!
It wasn't that he didn't love Hogwarts, he had good friends here, and if one ignored the Slytherins everything was a-okay.
If one ignored the Slytherins.
He should have known it would all go wrong somewhere.
Which brought him back to Damien Hirst jeans, his life being ruined by having pissed off a high-standing, snot-nosed society brat … and Tom Riddle's arm wrapped around his chest.
Tom Riddle was the prince of Hogwarts School. Rich, talented, genius, and already running his own powerful company which he'd made for himself, he was perhaps the most famous figure in the school.
Everyone knew him. Even if Harry kind of wished he didn't, right now…
"What's your name?" came the voice at his ear, and Harry straightened himself firmly, sincerely hoping this wasn't going to get worse.
"Harry. Harry Evans."
He'd never known the name Potter before he came here, and by the time he learned it, it seemed too weird and required something he could no longer live up to.
"Well Harry, Harry Evans, I think it's about time we took this somewhere more private, don't you?"
Harry opened his mouth to protest that too, not particularly sure he really wanted to be hauled off somewhere more private, without witnesses, where he could be discreetly murdered.
It seemed he didn't get much choice in the matter. With a snap of the so-called Slytherin Heir's fingers, Malfoy's two lackeys – Crabbe? Goyle? – stepped up, sweeping him up out of the dining room and into … an empty classroom?
He was getting murdered in an empty classroom?
He was shoved away, rather roughly, and glared as his back hit a table.
A pair of jeans was so not worth this! Malfoy shouldn't even have been wearing them if they were so important. Who the hell wore £18,000 jeans to school?!
His unease only grew as he eyed the figures in front of him.
Malfoy, of course – still fuming, teeth gritted, eyes cold. Blaise Zabini, as composed as ever. Rabastan and Rodolphus Lestrange, Orion Black and Zevi Prince.
And then Tom Riddle.
He sort of wanted to throw up. He really didn't like the way the latter was eyeing him up, or the way they were all scrutinising him, and he clenched his fists determinedly, jutting his chin out.
They were the elite of Slytherin, and none of the so called Slytherins had reputations to be laughed at.
"I'll pay you back for the jeans when I have a job," he tried. Perhaps the twat should have watched where he placed his feet if he didn't want to trip someone into ruining his precious designer trousers!
"Doesn't get me my jeans back now," Malfoy started, only to pause as Riddle held up a hand. The seventh year was smirking softly, a gleam in his eyes.
"I see no reason he can't start paying us back now, simply for the inconvenience. Our club needs an errand boy, does it not?"
Was this some kind of twisted joke?
"The Hogwarts Host Club … you may have heard of us. We entertain the young ladies and even gentlemen of Hogwarts. Nothing too overt, just conversation. We're gentlemen after all, not prostitutes."
"No way?" Tom murmured, raising his brows. "You have £18,000 then?"
"No, but I can pay him back for his bloody jeans when I have a job in a few years," Harry growled.
"We could also get you kicked out." Tom studied his fingernails idly.
Harry's eyes narrowed dangerously, and he could almost feel himself shaking with rage, feeling utterly trapped.
"Why do you care so much? They were his bloody jeans!"
"I look after my friends," the boy smiled, all too pleasantly in a way that somehow sent a chill down his spine. He glared for several long moments, teeth gritted.
"Fine," he snarled, finally. "How much will this knock off my debt?"
"Depends on your performance," Riddle returned smoothly. "I'd start by adjusting that attitude of yours. And then we'll get rid of those glasses and find you some more suitable clothes. Rodolphus, Rabastan, take care of it."
And that was how he ended up in the Hogwarts Host Club.
Jeans definitely weren't worth it.
A/N: So, I still can't afford to write more crap, but hey. I needed to get this plot bunny out - inspired by the anime Ouran High School Host Club, if you've heard of it. Absolutely hilarious, I was crying with laughter. This isn't going to be a long fic, I don't even know if I'm just leaving it at this or not - just throwing it out as a teaser to clear my head. Might continue if you guys are interested :)
It's very random. Sorry. I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING WITH MY LIFE ANYONE!