Hello! (hides in the corner) I'm alive! So, I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry that it's late, and not even completed (hence the part A) and I couldn't even come up with a good title for it, and I don't even particularly like it – but with the cliff-hanger I left last time, I needed to update. And since my plethora of exams and assignments and sleepless nights are finally over – including a week of holiday time! :D The next update will be much quicker than this one, I swear. It'll even be a funny one.
Thank you for everyone reading my story, and reviewing, the beautiful malpensante that translated my story :) You guys all make my days
Oh, I do not own Harry Potter – it belongs to J. . I do not make a profit from these stories, it's merely for a bit of fun, and to hopefully entertain others.
Chapter Thirty – Saturday, Part A
Everyone ducked as one of the vases shattered, sending shards across the room. Harry sighed, rubbing a hand through his hair. Draco had returned.
"That fucking bitch!" He snarled, snapping his wand at the next vase, scowling as it exploded near a clutter of second years. They yelped, scrambling backwards quickly. "How dare she? That arrogant, insufferable, bitch!" He spun around, eyes scanning for something else valuable to destroy, snarling when he couldn't find anything of worth.
It was mildly amusing when Parkinson transformed one of the couches into another vase, which exploded before it could fully morph. The way they were going, Slytherin would soon be exhibiting a minimalist style of decoration.
"You do not own Mister Potter." He mocked, snarling. "The fuck I don't!"
"Meeting went well, then?" Zabini asked dryly, quickly holding his hands up in submission as Draco turned towards him. He backed away a few steps, as if he was cornered.
"Well? It went bloody marvellous." Draco sneered, "The failure of a headmistress suspended me."
"What?" The three Slytherins seemed shocked. It was as if they hadn't spent fifteen minutes with the blonde.
"Had a few choice words with her, did you?" Harry asked from the couch, proud that his voice seemed normal again. He wasn't quite ready to snort, like he wanted to, but it was an improvement. Zabini had found him in a weak moment that he was hoping to ride out in isolation. And instead of keeping a secret, or acting like a normal bloody Slytherin, he had escaped into the common room to tell the one person Harry didn't want knowing. Of course, Harry wasn't deluded to believe that Draco wouldn't notice his absence, but later was always preferable to sooner, in Harry's regard.
Draco had demolished the room, ran off in a haze, and returned to obliterate the room again. He looked livid, and worse, when those silvery eyes turned to Harry, panicked. Bloody Zabini.
Draco blinked at Harry, face calming somewhat. He sighed, gritting his teeth furiously as if restraining the onslaught of appropriate swears that needed to be released into the world. "I may have hinted, subtly, that she was in the wrong."
"I implied that there were several other available options which she shouldn't overlook."
"I brought to her attention several examples that she hadn't connected to your case."
"…I called her a daft fucking cow and tossed her parchment into the fireplace."
"There it is." Harry forced a smile on his face; it was a half-arsed attempt, and the Slytherin knew it. He approached the couch, either oblivious to the way the other students scurried from his way or, more likely, not caring.
"I compared her to her senile old coot predecessor, and got his portrait to agree with me." Draco continued, slumping tiredly onto the couch, eyes blazing. "I may have threatened her a few times. The usual."
"I told you not to go." Harry replied quietly, trying not to notice the fifty pairs of eyes staring at him from around the room. It seemed like none of the Slytherins were in bed at the moment, second night in a row. Harry sure brought entertainment to the common room. "She's not listening."
"To anyone." Draco snarled, clenching his hands. "Except that utter moron of a Healer." He growled to himself, glaring at the fire. "Think. Think. There has to be something else we can do."
"I don't want you to-"
"Potty, so help me-!"
"Listen to me!" Harry snapped, swallowing as furious eyes swivelled to meet his. Draco could glare all he wanted, it wouldn't change Harry's mind. Bloody hell, he was an emotional fucking rollercoaster. He was upset one moment, livid the next. The both of them. And if this was Harry's last weekend at Hogwarts, he didn't want it to end like this! "I don't want you doing this. Fighting with her isn't going to change her mind, and I don't want you embarking on a useless task. You know why others don't know. Don't throw it in my face now."
Draco studied him coolly, eyebrows raised. "I don't care."
And with that, he turned back to the fire, frowning, thinking.
"What the hell do you mean you don't care?" Harry snapped again. Didn't care about him? Didn't care about what he wanted? Didn't care he was being a colossal prick?
"I don't care what you want." Draco clarified easily, without sparing him as much as a glance. "You're deluding yourself if you think I'm just going to sit back and watch you leave."
"You're deluding yourself if you think I have any possible chance of staying here!"
"You're not going anywhere, Potter!" Draco snarled, flinging himself from the lounge. Merlin, he was upset if he was able to just show it to his entire house. This wasn't 'Malfoy' behaviour. "I won't let them."
"I don't think they'll consult you." Harry replied quietly. "In fact, I think the decision has already been made."
Draco spun towards him. "How can you be so calm about this? Do you want to go back to…there?"
How dare he?
Harry glared, pushing himself off the lounge so they could stand neck to neck. He wasn't getting a disadvantage here; it was his life they were arguing about. "I needed time to get my mask on." He growled. "It's on. This is life. Get over it."
"So you'll just meekly waltz back there, will you?" Of course he wouldn't. He would prefer to refight Voldemort than to ever place a single step back into that horror.
"I wouldn't go there, no." Harry grumbled, "I own a house."
From the widening of Draco's eyes, that was worse. Harry could understand that, too; Grimmuld place wasn't exactly people abundant. At least he would have Kreature to speak to. It was downright depressing.
"If you're implying what I believe you're implying," His voice was barely a whisper, "I'm going to throttle you in about five seconds."
Harry blinked at him, refusing to answer. He didn't know what he was implying, but if he wasn't at Hogwarts anymore, if he wasn't with Draco…what use were the diagnostics? What was the use of prolonging his life if he had to spend it in a secluded room?
Draco growled to himself, eyes narrowing when Harry glanced towards his clenched hands. Bit instead of chocking him like he promised, he spun back around to face the fireplace, grabbing the clock that sat there and hurling it against the wall.
Harry took it as a good indicator to flee to his…to the Slytherin dormitory. He had to pack, after all.
Blaise swallowed tightly, glancing between the closed dormitory door and the panting, livid Draco that was leaning against the fireplace. Christ, but he hadn't seen Draco this...he didn't even know how to describe it. It was a peculiar combination of panic, hurt, and pure unadulterated fury.
He glanced around the room, taking in the incredulous, downright frightened expressions of his housemates. No one was within a five metre radius of him, Blaise included. He was pacing like a caged animal, snarling, obliterating anything he got his hands on.
It must be a nice feeling: to love someone so much that they didn't care about anything else. His Newts? Disregarded. The fact he had been suspended, and would have to explain to the ministry why he had broken his parole? Insignificant. Potter not living with him?
His mask had melted.
Blaise didn't think there was a measurement for Potter. He was…worth, in itself. Worth everything.
It must be nice.
"It's illegal to not provide education to a willing student." Blaise said, trying not to wince as that silvery glare settled on him. "Could we perhaps use that?"
"I've heard something like that." Pansy piped up, hurrying forwards to transfer his furious glare. "Like, if the student is already enrolled, you can't just kick them out for no apparent reason."
"They have a reason." Draco snarled, simply not seeing how they both took another step backwards.
"Yeah, but where do they expect him to go? Not Dumstrung, obviously. Overstate? You can't force someone to move to attend school; I've read about it in some bloody history book. There have to be liable alternatives, and, well, no offence but I don't think other schools are likely to open up their arms, given the…uh, situation. It's some law, trust me. I'll find the book."
"Potter's an adult." Another student piped up, a fourth year boy. He shuffled uneasily at the attention, probably because he was supposed to be in his room, and not eavesdropping, and not obviously eavesdropping. "He doesn't have parents. Don't they have to inform guardians if you've been suspended? No guardians, it isn't a regular case, is it?"
"My father's on the school board." A first year drawled, a perfect imitation of a younger Draco. "I can get him to put in a good word, or fight with McGonagall on the matter. He has influence in the ministry."
"He could always hide in his invisibility cloak." Theo said quietly to Draco, so half the room couldn't hear. The other half did, by their astonished, jaw-dropping expressions. "How can they remove him, if they can't find him?"
"He could stay in the room of requirement." A third year girl said, flashing a smile at Theo, of all people. "We could connect a passageway to the kitchens for food, and no one would be able to get in."
"If you were willing to go to the prophet, we could make an article to show Hogwarts is discriminatory towards sick kids. It's illegal. Put the pressure on."
Blaise snapped his head around to stare at the first year. How the hell did he know? And how dare he just blurt it out for anyone to hear? But Braxton just stared flatly back, immune to the four Slytherin eighth years that were calculating his disappearance. No one else seemed to notice the slip, but continued giving options.
"We could set a mandrake loose in the Headmistresses office." A second year girl said quietly, blinking as they all turned to stare at her. She shrugged, but glanced away. "Just wanted to contribute."
"Don't." Her friend said with a smirk. "Never again."
"We could all get our relatives and friends to send Howlers to McGonagall."
"Well, Draco?" Blaise said quietly, blinking when the room silenced immediately. Usually it would take Pansy, or Draco to silence the room. They respected him, sure, but not like the others. Having the power to shut them up…
It was fantastic.
Blaise had to withhold his grin.
"You heard him." Draco replied as equally quietly, but his eyes had lost some of their…murderous gleam. A good sign, if any. "He doesn't want help."
"Tch, I thought we decided he was a Slytherin." Blaise snorted, raising his eyebrows. "Slytherins don't get to decide what they want. And they get it regardless."
Draco stared at him coolly, as if considering. It made him want to squirm, really. He was scrutinizing him, as if he didn't understand. Surely Draco knew that they didn't despise Potter?
"I need parchment."
The room was a flurry of movement, scrambling to get ink, parchment, scribbling down ideas. Plotting, just like the old days. Everyone smirked.
Harry sighed as the bed sunk besides him, warmth flooding into his back and around his shoulders. It was the middle of the night by now, probably closer to dawn. Two days left at Hogwarts.
Soft lips touched his throat, smirking through the kiss.
Harry could happily spend the next two days right here.
"Draco, what is going on?" Harry asked him for the umpteenth time that morning, voice almost pleading, with a hint of morbid curiosity. He knew it had to do with him, wished it didn't, and needed to know what it was. Draco smirked; he wasn't going to tell him.
Breakfast had started at least half an hour ago, and the hall would be buzzing with curiosity. The perfect time to talk to McGonagall.
Slytherin travelled as a pack, walking in lines together; no one spoke. No one smirked. The occasional eye sparkled with excitement before it was squashed under a mask. This was going to work; Draco could feel it. Alone, he couldn't convince McGonagall. With a horde of Slytherins' conniving minds working together? It was possible. At least, a chance was in the air. And if they didn't win, it didn't matter. They would get the satisfaction of ruining both Hogwarts, and McGonagall's reputation. It would be worth it.
"Draco, whatever you're planning, don't. Okay? I'm asking you; don't."
"Hush, Potter." Draco drawled back, restraining his smirk. "You're ruining the effect."
Harry groaned besides him, a soft slapping sound implying he had just hit himself in the forehead. It would be worth it.
He was worth it.
"You're sending him away?"
Minerva sighed, taking another sip of her morning tea. She never expected a furious Malfoy to storm into her office last night, nor did she expect to have to suspend him. He brought it upon himself; she had warned him, multiple times, to maintain a little decorum. He just kept pushing though, kept yelling, and wouldn't stop snapping. He had torn the papers from her hands, flinging them into the fireplace. He had slammed his hand on the desk, waking all the surrounding portraits. How was she supposed to act, with an audience? He had forced her hand.
"Is this your idea of a deranged joke?"
She sighed again, rubbing a hand to soothe her headache. She hadn't slept last night, the young Malfoy's tantrum echoing behind her eyes. And Harry's…Merlin, she hadn't expected him to plead with her. He was the Boy Who Lived; the boy that had faced Voldemort with a sneer head to head. And yet, he hadn't been able to summon the courage to not cry. It was as if she was the enemy; couldn't he see she was simply trying to help him? It would be safer for him at a hospital. Hogwarts didn't have the equipment, or manpower to keep him healthy anymore. The entire situation was out of her control.
"You push, and push, and push! Congratulations! He's finally snapped!"
She grimaced at the tea; it had turned lukewarm. Too many factors distracting her, today.
Minerva glanced at the most palpable distraction; the empty Slytherin table.
Breakfast had begun half an hour ago, and yet no one from Slytherin House had appeared. Perhaps Mister Malfoy's temper had blocked the entrance to the common room? Unrestrained magic often had dangerous consequences; he may have inadvertently sealed the entrance, or caused a blockage. It had happened before.
Oh, how she wished that was the case.
"He has nothing else, you daft bat!"
She glanced around the room, taking in the other students. Most seemed well, and happy. A few were scribbling in forgotten homework, cheating off of their friends. Others were laughing, spilling orange juice along the tables, squealing when it splashed over their laps. They were happy. They needed happiness, especially after the war. A little normalcy couldn't possibly be the wrong action. If she had to remove one student for his own sake, and preserve the others…yes, this was the right choice. Her students were happy.
"This is his home; it's the only thing he has left! He's already lost his friends, his magic, his life; you can't take his home away because of your own obstinate insecurities!"
Minerva ignored the huff of disapproval besides her; whilst the hall chatted away, noisy as it should, the Professors' table was silent. There was a rift between Professors, and she hadn't the knowledge to repair it. Some thought it was cruel to send Harry away, and whilst Minerva understood their sentiments, it was too apparent they were letting their attachments to Harry get in the way. If it was any other student, they would agree this was the suitable choice. The rightful course of action.
"Harry is your student, too. He doesn't need much; just a roof."
Thank Merlin Hagrid was travelling with Madam Maxime, else the table would be overturned by now. As it was, Sybill hadn't stopped throwing distasteful glares down the table; Minerva was certain she was reading the misfortunes to befall her in the tea leaves. Shame.
She expected this behaviour from Sybill; she was a little unusual at times. But the others! Filius hadn't said a word all morning, to anyone. Pomona was shaking her head sadly, sitting with Sybill on the other side of the table and nodding to the 'readings' with apparent careful consideration. Horace had his arms crossed, and kept huffing at her. Horace! He acted terrified of Potter half the time, leaving the room when Harry's name was mentioned. Now he was acting as if she had committed a crime against him! These were her friends; why didn't they support her when she needed them to? Did they truly disregard how difficult the decision was for her?
"Has another student been harmed because of his disease? Because of his disease, not his spells?"
The door swung open, hardly catching an eye. Within seconds, it had the entire hall.
What were they up to now?
They walked like a horde, in practised lines two by two. Not a hint of amusement on any face, nor distinction in expression. From first year to eighth, the same cold, indifferent anger radiated. Not a single Slytherin looked anything other than the cold purebloods they had been raised to be. The hall hushed immediately.
She could have groaned when she saw Draco Malfoy leading the pack, a careful disinterest flickering through his mask. Why did the others offer anger, and he indifference? What distasteful plan had he concocted now?
"Don't give me that. They went through a war; they have the stomach for a little blood."
The students paced up to the front of the hall, finally stopping. They milled around where they had to wait for their House Test. None of the nervousness they displayed then was present now. In fact, they seemed quite defiant; arms crossed, anger glowering from their faces. None were impressed.
Minerva sighed inwardly, straightening in her chair. She would have to deal with them as subtly as possible, if it was possible to end this subtly. They had brought a horde of furious Slytherins to the front of the hall, standing arrogantly and proud before the other students. This wasn't about to be hushed.
Draco Malfoy, of course, strode forwards, with a few other students filing in behind him. Oddly enough, his friends didn't follow. The students that approached were one from each grade, each carrying parchments of varying sizes. What on earth were they planning?
"Mister Malfoy, you were suspended last night." Best to get in first, and demonstrate this little display did not irk her. "Do not make the sentence increase."
"Mother is collecting me Monday." Mister Malfoy shrugged, unperturbed. "Surely you wouldn't leave a student homeless until other arrangements have been made?" His tone was aloof, uncaring. And a direct link to his argument the night previous.
"As long as you keep quiet." Malfoy's eyes narrowed slightly, but his tone didn't change. He gestured to the people behind him. One by one, they deposited the papers on the table in front of her. All maintained eye contact. They weren't ashamed of this display, not in the slightest. Without a word, they returned to the horde. It didn't escape her notice that there was one from each year group; a subtle hint that it was a collaborative opinion? Unlikely, given none of the students other than Mister Malfoy knew of Harry's condition.
"She restrains him in a bed, flips a switch, and downs bourbon in her office. I'm the one doing what's best, considering the situation. I'm the one that sits by him when he screams."
"What is all this?" She asked, picking up one of the parchments. It was a rather long parchment, with a list of names etched into every available space. Different handwriting throughout the parchment, as if each student had something to contribute. Names?
The next parchment had a number; three hundred and sixteen.
The third, a…
The third, a draft of an article to send to the Daily Prophet, claiming Hogwarts was an institute of discrimination, particularlydirected towards the saviour of the wizarding world. So. Blackmail.
She glanced up to meet cold eyes. "This number?"
"The amount of howlers you'll be receiving by lunchtime."
"Is that a threat?"
"This isn't a threat." Malfoy raised an eyebrow, seeming to look down on her. "It's merely a proposal."
Minerva scoffed, shoving the papers away. She didn't need to read the rest of them; they would be the same tripe as the first three. The Slytherin house was blackmailing her. Their headmistress. They could all be expelled for this. Really, was this course of action necessary? Did they actually believe it was having an effect on her? That she would tremble, and give into a bunch of teenage demands? She had survived through the Carrows' tormenting the school; she wouldn't bend under the pressure of some students.
"The decision has been made."
"Modify it." He nearly growled that, blinking as if in surprise. Neither expected such…anger. He blinked, shaking his head slightly, the mask flitting back into place. His voice turned into a near whisper; he flicked his wand easily, silencing the area. "Harry will travel to Mungo's on Tuesday evenings, receive his diagnostic, and return. That way Pomfrey isn't…affected. All he asks is to be able to stay at his home."
"And why isn't Mister Potter speaking for himself?"
"If Harry was speaking for himself, you would get your way." Malfoy scoffed, crossing his arms angrily. His knuckles were white, clenching at his robes. "He's about ready to give up, no thanks to you. I'm not quite that ready. You've heard our proposal."
Why didn't they understand? "You haven't made a comment about the protection of the other students. They are my priority, Mister Malfoy. Having Harry here puts them at risk."
"A risk?" His teeth clenched together, a snarl crossing his face. "Lupin was a werewolf; diseased. He was a dangerous threat to the students, and yet you allowed him to teach. Harry doesn't even want to learn; he just wants to be here. His condition doesn't affect anyone dangerously other than himself."
"Professor Lupin's condition was-"
"Untreatable, but manageable. Just like Harry's."
There was a snort of approval from down the table, silenced as Minerva's eyes snapped along it. How dare they approve of their arguments? This was nothing more than a confrontation, and blackmail. Proposal indeed!
The edge of Malfoy's lips twitched, restraining a smirk. The arrogant boy. "This isn't another useless argument, though. Why bother bringing in evidence, or reason, which will just be ignored? We've come to show you the consequences of exiling the saviour of the wizarding world from Hogwarts."
"A proposal." Malfoy replied just as quickly, tone shifting back to one of disinterest; if only he could get his eyes to seem dull too; they shone in comparison. "Harry is our friend. Would you expect anything different of Gryffindor, if they were still in contact? A little tantrum?"
He shrugged, unperturbed. "This is the draft we've drawn up for the prophet, explaining your discriminative actions to Harry; it's not as if you owe him your lives. These are the howlers that should be arriving by lunchtime; just the people that responded to our owls. Short notice, you understand. This particular list is of the names of influential people on the Hogwarts Board, which are either influenced by or have relations with particular students in Slytherin. The other papers are drafts of various instances wherein Harry stays here without your knowledge or approval. And these," He gestured to his classmates. They each reached into their robes, pulling out an envelope each. Glancing at Malfoy's one had her wary; her name was scribbled on it. "Are our official declarations of withdrawal from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
Someone dropped their goblet; juice spread across the table unhindered.
Minerva said quietly, ensuring her voice was deadly. If her gaze didn't have them running, her voice would. "None of you would take any such drastic action, not without consulting your parents first. They wouldn't approve." They were bluffing.
"It would take time to notify our parents; in that time, we would be gone. What will our parents think? Can you imagine the wrath of every Slytherin mother? Stuff of nightmares, really. A quarter of your school; vanished. There goes your funding, largely contributed by, oh, yes, Slytherin families. As shown by the parchment labelled five." He was helpful by pointing this parchment out, a fake smile slithering across his face.
Minerva clenched her teeth, glancing over the students. How dare they? Hogwarts wouldn't survive without that funding. Each Slytherin stood tall and determined. They scowled grimly; they would do it. In an instant.
"This is disgusting." She hissed, shoving the vile parchment away. "That you would sink to this."
"It is disgusting." She glanced up at his cold tone. "That we've had to resort to this. We can handle the bullying, and downright hatred. We understand that. We can…respect it, to a degree. None of us are proud by our parts in the war." They shouldn't be. "But watching Potter be rejected time and time again, this entire year, when he needed anyone…we will not stand idly by as he is thrown from his home. For Merlin's sake, he hasn't done anything! It's not as if contracting the disease was done on purpose!"
"Do you think I'm proud by what I have to do?" The table rattled as she shoved herself to her feet. "Have to do? There is nothing else to be done! For the safety of my students, for all of my students-"
"Save Potter from himself!" Malfoy shouted back, growling. "Isn't his safety paramount? Why does it seem to be utterly disregarded when it comes to you?"
They stared at each other, neither willing to glance away first.
"There was a reason Harry was so quick to discard his red tie for a green one." He said quietly. "You've heard our propo…our threat. Harry Potter is allowed to stay at his home, or you lose a quarter of your school."
"Your suspension is extended until Friday."
"I'm taking that as an indication we don't have to disappear." He turned, disregarding her. "I'll inform Harry."
"Minerva," Filius, of all people, interrupted her, placing a hand on her arm. "I think we have to discuss this. All of us."
Malfoy flicked his wand; for a moment, nothing happened. The hall was as silent as before. And then the whispers began, the rumours, the conspiracy theories. Minerva sunk back into her chair, watching as the Slytherins slowly departed from the hall. None looked back. None even hesitated.
A glance around the room; everyone was whispering, frowning, giggling. They all assumed, correctly, that Slytherin was going to be punished for the blatant insubordination. However…
Neville Longbottom stared at the doors, a pensive frown on his face.
"Harry Potter needs to be here!"
Luna Lovegood was shaking her head sadly, her magazine dropped on the floor.
"I need him to be here!"
A first year Hufflepuff stared at his plate miserably, pushing it away.
"I have every right! He's mine, damn it! Harry Potter belongs to me!"
And the Slytherins. Traitors that they were…not one spared a smirk, or a smile the entire time they were in the hall. Even Malfoy's pathetic attempt couldn't be considered a smile…more of a grimace. They all looked…wretched.
Her students were unhappy.
If her decision had affected other students like this…Merlin, what anguish was Harry going through?
"If you throw him out, and subject him to that filth of a hospital again-"
"This had best not end in a threat, Mister Malfoy."
"…you'll have killed him. He's going to give up the moment he's alone. Please, I am begging you!"
How could she possibly live with herself, after this?
Harry snapped his eyes to the door, trying to summon as much infuriated anger into his frozen expression as inhumanly possible. That pureblooded arse had cursed him as soon as they had reached the hall, sparing enough time to flip him from his face onto his back before continuing on. Prick. Surely Harry was worth more than the five seconds it took to curse him, and the slight hesitation to roll him over off of his face.
The jinx released him, allowing Harry to spring to his feet, glowering. "Bastard."
"I've heard worse." Draco drawled, a hint of a smirk flickering onto his face. Harry paused, mouth opened with another insult ready to hurl towards the git; and he couldn't, not with that strain of a smile. That grimace was usually reserved for Harry; why had it made an appearance on Draco?
"What did you do?" Came out instead. He wished he had thrown the insult with the condescending shake of the head he received as a reply. "Hurry up and tell me; if it's to do with me, I have the right to-"
"We gave McGonagall our demands." He…actually replied. What the hell? "We keep you, she keeps her school. A fair trade."
Harry tried not to punch the blonde git; it was a struggle. "I thought I told you to drop it." He managed to speak without grimacing, surprisingly. "I'm not worth a school."
"Not this school, certainly." Draco started away, ignoring the huff from Harry as he was forced to follow or give up the conversation. And by the blank stare he received when he walked besides the blonde, it seemed he hoped Harry would stay in the hall. Prick. "Not another word, Harry." He spoke quietly, flicking his eyes away quickly. "Revert back to your ignorant state, and disregard it."
"I thought you didn't like denial." What had been said, that made Draco look like that? Harry didn't like it; his Malfoy was supposed to be temper, snark retorts, and the occasional hint of a smile. Not blank. He didn't get a response.
They crossed to the doors, neither speaking. Harry, for the life of him, didn't know how to make the mood brighter. He wasn't in the greatest of moods either; how was a moderately depressed kid supposed to cheer up the enigma that was Draco Malfoy? Mission impossible. If he threw in a joke, he was likely to be decapitated right about now.
Ugh, but he didn't want to go to Hogsmeade. It wasn't the nicest of days; it was overcast, with a chill in the air. Ideal, given the temperament of both boys. He needed a nice quiet day to wallow in the library. But Draco was heading there without a second thought. If he mentioned it, the git would get angrier.
Harry huffed to himself, kicking a rock as the descended the path; given that it was breakfast time, they would be the first ones there. The best booth in the Three Broomsticks was calling for him. It wasn't too early, was it?
Harry frowned and sighed, blinking when he finally noticed Draco. He was watching him from the corner of his eye; infamous eyebrow raised.
"…I don't like it when you think like that. It never bodes well for me."
Harry scoffed, incredulous. "The face of pure evil." He gestured to his face grandly, smacking the blonde as he replied.
"Precisely. Now, what made your poor brain believe it could attempt to think again?"
Harry didn't even know why he spent so much time with this git. All he did was irritate, mock, or insult him. "I was trying to come up with a conversation that didn't involve you ripping me apart."
"Hmm, you didn't succeed." But the ghost of a smirk was twitching in his eyes, just beneath the surface. "What were the options?"
"I was going to crack a joke."
"That would have ended with your ultimate demise."
"I figured that. Thought we could go drink first-"
"At this time of morning?"
"At Madam Puddifoot's. Have you heard of it?"
"Three Broomsticks it is."
Harry chuckled, jamming his hands into his pockets. Where had the disappointment gone? In moments, he was fine again. Not happy, but alright. Merlin, was he going to miss these jabs with Malfoy.
And regret made a triumphant return.
He sighed again.
"Harry, if you continue to sigh, your arse is going to be acquainted with my foot."
"The ultimate flirt, you are." It was an effort not to smirk as the blonde head whipped around to stare incredulously at Harry. Pompous git. "I'm just…not in the right frame of mind for Hogsmeade today. All those bloody happy people, skipping around and being…happy."
"I would rather just spend the day inside. Preferably the library. Maybe sleeping. The perfect way to spend a horrible day. I just…don't want to have to talk today, you know?"
Of all the possible answers, he didn't expect Draco to snort in amusement. Amusement? Bring on the apocalypse.
"I see your mind is working up to its usual standards." He smirked, grey eyes twinkling. If Harry had the slightest inclination of what he was referring to, he would have jumped him just for the mirth radiating in those silver pools. Merlin, he had some fantastic, pretty eyes. "We agreed to complete a number from your list. Remember?"
What was possibly left that involved Hogsmeade?
"…You're…getting me drunk?" He asked, frowning as the smirk grew. "Alright, I forgot. Tell me."
"Tch, I know my list by heart. It won't take long."
"Take as long as you need."
Harry frowned, flipping through them. Most involved Hogwarts, or muggle things. He supposed the points could be knocked off by doing some serious damage in Hogsmeade, but why risk it, when Draco was aparantly fighting through his teeth to keep Harry at school?
Number twenty? Nah, the Shrieking Shack didn't count.
Number eleven? Bar tales, maybe?
Nine was definitely possible, but according to Draco, wrong.
The blonde prat was snickering now, as they headed to the Three Broomsticks. Harry didn't see how it was funny. Slytherin humour; he would never understand the strange dialect. He forgot some plans. Big deal.