Disclaimer: I don't own these characters; they all belong to JK Rowling and etc.Chapter Nine: Harry Turns Ten
// Draco woke up to a shrill scream, and with lightning speed, he was out of his bed and peeking out of his door – looking out and surveying the hallway. He saw a dark figure sweep past him, but thankfully, because it was so dark the dark figure just walked briskly down the stairs with footfalls that brought a shiver up Draco's spine. When Draco could see the shine of his fathers hair disappear entirely, he decided to act with caution; tiptoeing down the third floor of the Malfoy Manor to his parents bedroom.
"Mother?" He whispered urgently from the doorway, and with a pounding heartbeat in his chest, he listened intently for any signs of response from his mother. When none was received, he swallowed audibly and ignored the messed up sheets displayed so stylishly on the elegant bed, and he was about to give up hope, when suddenly, a small sound could be heard from the bathroom.
Acting quickly despite his nervous state, Draco closed the master bedroom door behind him as he made his way to the master bathroom. The bathroom door was closed, but he doubted it was locked. Seeing shadows flicker across the floor in front of him, Draco cleared his throat, cautiously tapped his knuckles on the bathroom door, and spoke in a hushed voice, though he had no reason to do so, "Mother? Are you in there?"
He received no answer and looked over his shoulder -- paranoid that someone would be there, but of course, no one was. His mother still wasn't answering and Draco could feel his heart sink down to his stomach. With whatever bravery only he could muster, he pushed open the door slowly. Draco closed his eyes when he saw what lay before him.
On the floor was his mother in her most beautiful crimson dress. But that was not the only one that was crimson – for there was blood running down the side of her pale forehead. Draco acted quickly - he already knew what to do - and got a wash towel from the closet. Rinsing it thoroughly with cold water, he tried to ignore the look of pain on his mother's face, and he just prayed silently that she would not slip into unconsciousness like last time. Draco bent down beside her, and brought her head to his small lap, and with gentleness no one would ever expect him with, the ten-year-old Draco Malfoy stroked the side of her face while eradicating the blood.
Draco didn't bother to look at the dress, which was torn at the hip, nor did he bother to look at the bottle of highly valuable wine located near the bathtub. He didn't bother to cry, because his tears would be wasted, and after all, Malfoys don't cry. Ever. Not even when their mother was on the floor for the fifth time in the last two months, and their father was off drinking with his companions and other women he could get his hands on.
In other facts he didn't ever want to dwell on, his father had struck again… and not for the last time. //
With sweat running down his forehead and the realization of having another energy-draining dream, Draco Malfoy swallowed silently before he opened his eyes. Absently, his fingers clenched the bed sheets as he looked hazily around, and with his heart beating madly in his chest; he inhaled before he exhaled loudly.
Draco was pulled out of his morning haziness when he heard water being turned on in the bathroom. Turning slowly to the source of the sound, his brows furrowed when his eyes passed the empty cot on the other side of the room. When realization hit him, he rolled his eyes and acknowledged that Harry had slept in Draco's bed last night.
Instead of trying to fall asleep again, he sat up groggily and looked at the clock on the side of his bed. The clock read 5:02 AM, and Draco would have groaned if he had the energy.
He looked away from the clock when he heard the water being turned off, and watching the bathroom door quietly, didn't even notice the coincidence of them both being awake at about the same time. When the door opened, he was greeted with a surprising sight.
A trembling boy stepped out of the bathroom looking around quickly, and Draco watched intently as Harry spotted him from as far as the bathroom. The Slytherin, without having to think about it, knew that Harry's glasses were on the bedside table beside him. Harry, looking so obviously older than yesterday, walked briskly to where Draco was sitting on the bed, and before Draco had time to blink, Harry had leaped on him.
"What-," Draco had started out, but his words died on his lips as he felt Harry quiver on his lap. Barely realizing how the Gryffindor had seated himself on Draco's lap so quickly, Draco blinked at not knowing what to do. Hearing something unrecognizable from the other mouth he tried to push Harry back, but the boy just wouldn't let him.
"Harry, this is absurd." Draco drawled quietly into Harry's hair, and the malice usually present in Draco's voice was gone entirely. Harry's embrace tightened, and when Draco put a hand on Harry's back to try and comfort him, only then did Harry stop quivering restlessly. Draco waited for what was to come.
"I'm sorry," was said in the quietest voice Draco had ever heard from the boy, and because it was said so meekly, Draco wondered what was the deal. From the corner of his eyes the Slytherin noted absently that the sun had not seeped through the curtains; so he shifted back on the bed while continuing to hold Harry, and lay down on it, taking the boy with him.
"For what?" Draco asked with honest curiosity, and soothingly, he ran his hand up the spine of the boy's back. Harry stayed quiet for a moment - Draco didn't know why – but when he could feel the renewed shaking of Harry's head, Draco realized he shouldn't pursue. And he didn't.
Sighing dramatically because of the boy's delayed response, Draco propped himself up on his elbow and with Harry in his arms, the Slytherin maneuvered his way until they were both under the covers, with Harry still holding him - instead of the other way around. Brows furrowing yet again because of Harry's persistent grasp, he was about to push Harry away from him once and for all – when he stopped and realized something. Draco didn't move for a moment, but instead, the Slytherin felt the gentle rise and fall of the Gryffindor's chest. Turning his face to look down, he realized that Harry had fallen asleep, once again.
Draco didn't even get his answer. Rolling his eyes and out of habit, he slowly and tenderly pushed Harry away. He laid his head on the pillow, and disregarded the enjoyment of the soothing peacefulness that surrounded them in favor of watching the innocent face before him. Draco's gaze flickered from the boy's eyelashes to the scar, and with a start, he realized, he was looking at it; not that it was a bad thing, looking at the scar, but he realized then and there, Draco didn't look at it like he had all those years before. This time, Draco looked upon that scar with nothing but honest, humble interest – with no ill perseverance behind it.
He snapped his eyes away quickly from the zigzag line, and looked at the bed sheets under them. Draco decided then he would talk to the boy about what made Harry so upset when he awoke hours later, but as for now, it was still five o'clock in the morning, and he still had time to sleep.
Draco's eyelids drooped heavily and he closed his eyes decisively. He was aware that a hand was snaking around his middle – Harry's hand, no doubt, and a face acquainting itself on his chest, Harry again – and with a small sigh, he buried his face in Harry's hair, and slept.
Ignoring the pitiful grumbling in his stomach, Draco still felt sleepy when he awoke to the sounds of birds chirping off in the distance. He would make sure to have someone kill those birds sometime in the near future.
He shifted ineptly within the embrace he was kept in, and he looked down to find himself staring into big, green, very big eyes. Blinking because of the unexpected sight, he pushed himself away entirely until he was no longer touching Harry. The space between them was not exactly extensive, but it gave Draco enough to be comfortable.
Harry, on the other hand, stayed where he was and the look he was giving Draco almost made the blond Slytherin ask what the hell he was gawking at. Neither of them spoke in the silence, but Draco was itching for some kind of noise. Harry didn't look like he was going to speak, because he had a sad, thoughtful look on his face, so Draco broke the silence in his stead.
"What?" was the only word he could ask. Uncomfortable, he moved further away from Harry, but he laid his head back down on the pillow. Harry offered him a small smile before he leaned in towards Draco, and Draco, being curious as a cat, leaned in as well.
"I'm sorry," Harry said, and Draco was hit with recognition of what happened earlier in the morning. Draco gave the Harry a curious, thoughtful expression before he put on a hearty sneer.
"For what?" he asked plainly, in a soft voice despite the sudden irritation that was building up inside him. He should have already known what Harry was sorry for, and not knowing that fact made him feel vulnerable. Harry locked his gaze with Draco, before he spoke.
"I'm sorry about… your mother…" Harry trailed off. Draco watched closely as flickering emotions ran across Harry's face – unidentifiable to Draco, and he was momentarily shocked that Harry knew anything about his mother… especially since he had a dream about her earlier. Too weird.
Draco refused to believe that Harry knew anything, so he turned over to sit up.
"Potter, make some bloody sense." Draco said quickly with escalating annoyance, and, even if he couldn't see what Harry was doing, he could feel the shifting on the bed. Harry's head appeared in the corner of his eye, and a soft, soothing voice (which made him even more bothered) rang through his ears.
"The dream… y-your mothe-," Harry started off, but he was cut off by the sudden uptight look on the Slytherin's face.
"Stop it." Draco whispered, but his voice rose as he spoke, "Stop doing this. Thi-This potion should know the bloody meaning of privacy." He looked at Harry, and he forgot he was speaking to a ten-year-old, "Whatever it's doing, stop it. I can handle things myself, and I don't need Harry-Sodding-Potter to come along in this savior-bloody-way and try and make it right again, okay? So, leave it alone – whatever you're going to say, Potter, just leave it alone."
He stood up at the moment he finished, and disregarded the heartbroken look on Harry's face. At the moment, like so many times before, he couldn't stand that face.
Moving towards the closet, Draco didn't have time to comprehend that someone was following him. Before he had time to turn around, Harry was already in front of him – with a furious expression.
"No! You listen to me, Draco Malfoy!" Came a high, enraged voice before him. Draco blinked at the expression that Harry was giving him, but it only took seconds before Draco retorted, "Get out of my way, Potter."
"No! I won't!" Harry yelled, and Draco was about to snap back, but Harry was already talking.
"You're my friend, Draco!" Harry cried out and started talking animatedly with his hands waving around (almost knocking Draco off his feet), "I was trying to help you! Remember when you told me it was going to be okay when I got that bloody nose? A bloody nose doesn't hurt like...like the things about parents do… but remember?" His gave Draco an expectant look, "So don't do that!"
Draco watched as emotions ran across Harry's face quickly, it almost took his breath away to see how spirited Harry was. The words slowly sank in, but when they fully settled in him, he signed and turned away, knowing it was a lie. The lie was that, no, Harry and him were not friends – and Draco doubted Harry would want to be when this whole incident was over.
"Okay?" Harry lip trembled as he looked up at the Slytherin, but Draco sighed and reached out to pull Harry closer to him. The brunette didn't resist, but when Draco squatted in front of Harry, the Gryffindor boy looked like he was regretting his harsh tone.
"I-," Draco started out, but Harry interrupted.
"I just wanted to help."
Draco sighed, and bowed his head. He didn't exactly know how to phrase his words, so, instead, he squeezed Harry's hand and stood up slowly. Regarding Harry with an unreadable expression, he said slowly and surely, "I know."
He decided to talk to Harry later. And with that, he let go of Harry's hand, and made his way to the bathroom.
As they walked down the stairs, Draco ignored the quiet tittering coming from his fellow housemates. Harry walked behind him quietly, and Draco surveyed the room to see who was present, and who was not. His eyes caught hold of the back of Pansy's head, and with a sinking feeling, he looked anywhere else but at her.
Wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible – and to ignore his girlfriend completely – his eyes caught sight of the door ahead of them, and with the door reminding him of the exit, Draco Malfoy made his way there as quickly as he could.
A voice could be heard throughout the common room – and without looking around to see who had called him, his heart sunk low to his stomach as he heard the crisp footfalls come closer behind him. Clenching his fists together absently and trying to ignore the gaining strides, he picked up his own pace and made his way to the door.
"Draco! Wait, darling, I need to talk to you!" Pansy's voice came up behind him, and Draco cursed himself for not being fast enough. Unable to avoid her any longer, the blond Slytherin whipped around and crossed his arms over his chest stubbornly. Looking as intimidating as he could get, he narrowed his eyes at her and scowled fiercely. He wasn't one to forget childish incidents.
"What, Parkinson?" He growled low in his throat. Draco disregarded that Harry made his way behind him, glowering at Pansy. Draco could feel plenty of eyes on them, but he chose to ignore it. Stare all you want, plebeians, he said to himself.
"Draco," Pansy cooed, but kept her distance. Her eyes looked apprehensive about talking to Draco, but Draco admired her courage to do so in such a public place. "Draco," she said again, "I would like to talk to you about yesterday."
He raised an eyebrow that she even bothered to do so. Sneering disapprovingly, he replied, "Well, go on. Make it quick, because I don't have time for such foolishness."
If she was irritated, intimidated, or rattled, she did not show it. Instead, Pansy blinked dramatically and, before Draco could realize what was about to happen, teardrops had fallen down her cheeks.
"I-I wanted to apologize about yesterday, my darling." She sniffed, and Draco could feel a blush rise to his cheeks, "And I wanted your forgiveness for my imprudence."
Pansy brought out an outrageously pink handkerchief from her pocket and dabbed the corner of her eyes with it. Draco studied her eyes closely (since the shockingly bright pink made it's way there) and noticed that there was twice as much mascara on her eyes as there usually was. The mascara left a stain on her face, and Draco backed up uncertainly. He had never seen Pansy cry before, and if it were just to convince him that she was truly sorry, he admired her for her courage to perform in front of several other Slytherins.
Shocked, he glanced at Harry from the corner of his eyes. Harry was looking at her skeptically (Draco could tell by the way Harry rolled his eyes) but other than slight irritation the boy had no facial expression. Harry looked at him, and then looked away just as quickly.
When Draco returned back to look at Pansy, she was still dabbing her eyes with the handkerchief. Glad that they were so close so that no one could hear them, he leaned in, and spoke.
"Pansy, I don't know what to say." He frowned that he had been caught off guard. He never realized that Pansy would take such desperate measures for the sake of her reputation. "But…"
At this, he looked at Harry again, before looking at the rest of the common room. Everyone present was caught staring at the small, quiet scene, but when the blond's eyes caught theirs, they turned away hurriedly.
Draco sighed, but kept his expression composed. With deliberate ease and somewhat forced sincerity, the blond teenager looked at his girl friend, and said with resoluteness, "We'll talk about this later."
Almost to make sure that he had said what he had, Draco continued in an uncertain voice, "All right?"
Pansy seemed to want to disagree for a moment as impatience ran across her tear-streaked face, but other than that, she smiled widely.
"Yes, Draco, love, of course!" She replied, surprisingly pleasant. Beside him, Draco could hear a small sound of disbelief, but he chose not to look at Harry at the moment. Draco gave her an unsure nod and took a step back, and before Pansy could ask where he was going, he said distractedly with a wave of his hand, "I'll be back later."
He turned away before anyone could make him change his mind, and Draco was out of the Slytherin common room with a dramatic swish of his black robes, not bothering to look behind him to see if Harry was following – which Harry was, of course.
And, as he walked, he wondered what had just happened.
"Hey, Draco?" Harry asked eagerly. They both had finished lunch with an alarming fast pace (especially once Draco saw Pansy and Blaise walking inside).
"What, Harry?" Draco drawled once they had escaped the Great Hall, and shrugged his expensive black robes off. Inside the castle was stifling and stuffy, and Draco couldn't bear it. The Slytherin dungeon seemed like a desirable location to unwind and take a nap because of the chilly atmosphere – but Draco knew what awaited him there if he went. He didn't exactly want to speak to Pansy just yet.
Draco and Harry both made their way out of the castle, and Harry asked the inevitable.
"What can we do today? It's so hot in there, but we should do something cool!" The Gryffindor exclaimed happily, and Draco couldn't stop the next thing that came from the brunette's mouth, "Let's do something! How about dumping ice over our heads!"
Draco almost snorted, but he composed his self. Instead, he raised an amused eyebrow and drawled out, "Creative ideas… it makes me wonder what you Gryffindors do when you're very bored."
Draco laughed to himself, but shook his head when Harry gave him a confused glance. Harry waved his hand (Draco's brows furrowed as the gesture reminded him of himself) and rolled his eyes, "Well, what do you suggest then, hm?"
Draco continued to walk, but Harry was right in a way. They had to do something refreshing, because it annoyed Draco that there was no easy way to get cool. Suddenly, an idea came to mind, but someone interrupted his thoughts.
"How about ice cold water? We could dump that over our heads!" Harry grinned at him, and Draco laughed despite his resolution not to do so. Chuckling to himself, Draco shook his head again and slowed down his footsteps.
Turning to look at Harry, Draco drawled with an arrogant smirk, "Care to go swimming, Harry?"
If a smile could cure the world of all the illnesses, Draco was sure Harry would have cured it. Draco's heart swelled with pride when he realized that he had done that. Harry pushed up his glasses on his nose and Draco would have sworn that Harry was going to cry with glee or something.
"Swimming it is, then." Draco stated, and without another word, he turned around and started to walk towards the lake. Completely forgetting about Pansy, but with Harry's smile directed towards him (which, for some reason, gave him a great feeling), he smiled to himself. Things were suddenly looking better.
"Potter, come here." Draco commanded, and crossed his arms in front of his bare chest. Draco was already in the water, and he sighed irritably as Harry touched the water with his toe. The brunet (Draco scoffed at the obvious absence of the Gryffindor courage) looked at the water distrustfully.
Clad only in his boxers (Draco figured he could carry his underwear later and go commando style), Draco waited impatiently as Harry took an uncertain step, to where the water barely covered his feet.
"Har-ry." Draco drawled.
"I don't know how to swim." Harry said quickly, and the only Gryffindor courage remaining vanished as Harry completely got out of the water. Harry looked at the water uneasily, and Draco rolled his eyes.
"Fine. You stay there," Draco motioned to the shore, "And I'll swim and be cool." Draco, then, fell back into the meadow of rippling, clear liquid. Finally, finally¸ feeling relaxed and cooled off by the water, he allowed himself to emerge fully in it before he came to the surface and opened his eyes.
Looking around as soon as he resurfaced, Draco's brows furrowed instantly. Something was different. The blond had seen the ten-year-old just a second ago, then when he submerged himself completely in the water for less than five seconds and resurfaced… Harry was gone.
"Draco!" Draco heard from the right, and turning to the source of the voice, the Slytherin exhaled as he saw the Gryffindor. Harry had seated himself on the wooden dock a few feet down the shore, and his feet were dangling off the edge of it.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Draco swam to the dock and when he was near it, he stopped and floated. Giving Harry a disapproving look – though, it wasn't a big deal – he drawled, "So you're just going to stay there? I thought you wanted to get cooled off."
He was quite surprised with Harry's response, but more so, of the distain in Harry's voice.
"Draco, I told you." Harry pushed his glasses up his nose before brushing some hair out of his eyes, "I don't know how to swim. Don't you listen to anything I say?"
"I have half the mind not to." Draco grumbled. Harry suddenly grinned at him, and scooted further along the edge, so that his feet were emerged in the water. Draco swam closer until he was looking right up at Harry.
"I'm going to pull you in, you know." Draco spoke lowly, even if he really wasn't going to. Harry just shook his head and replied, "You wouldn't."
"I would." Draco stated, and moved to pull himself up on the dock to sit beside the Gryffindor. Harry made room for him, and in less than three seconds, Draco was sitting beside him, dripping wet. The blond ran a hand through his silky hair before he shook it – and water flew everywhere.
"Ew! Draco!" Harry sputtered, and when Draco looked at him, the Slytherin laughed at the critical expression on the Gryffindor's face. Harry took off his glasses to wipe them, but when he realized that he hand nothing to wipe them on, Draco laughed at the defeated look on Harry's face.
"You're such a priss, Harry, even at ten." Draco muttered to himself and elbowed Harry at the side. Harry frowned at him and put his glasses behind them.
"Come on, you know how to float, at least?" Draco asked as he looked out into the lake. He saw from the corner of his eyes that Harry was shaking his head, and he inwardly sighed.
"It was useless to come out here, then." Draco stated plainly, and plopped back in the water. He ignored Harry's crushed expression, but he turned around when Harry spoke.
"Well, maybe… can you teach me, then?" Harry asked uncertainly, and Draco frowned instantly.
"Potter, I'm not a bloody professor." But, nonetheless, Draco held out his hand. Draco never noticed that he had gone back to calling Harry by his last name, but Harry didn't seem to either. The blond Slytherin waited patiently as Harry looked puzzled, but slowly, the Gryffindor got what Draco was implying. Harry scooted as far as he could go on the wooden dock, grasped Draco's extended hand, and gently plopped into the water.
Now, only being shoulder height in the water (with his toes squiggling in the sand under him) Draco held Harry's hand firmly. As soon as Harry was in the lake, Draco lifted him up under the armpits to keep him above water. He could see the increasing uncertainty in Harry's eyes, but Draco decided to mention it.
"You all right there, Harry?" Draco exhaled as pulled the boy closer to him. Harry immediately gripped his shoulder blades, but Draco was too busy concentrating on bringing Harry to shallow water.
"You want to know something?" Draco mused, "We all thought you were going to drown during fourth year." Unexpectedly, Harry just gripped him tighter. Draco found this quite amusing that Harry could be frightened out his wits over such an unrealistic thing.
"Professor Snape told us you stole gillyweed out of his storage closet," Draco said calmly as he brought Harry closer to the shore. When the water reached his waist, Draco gently tried to let Harry down (and Harry, a bit shaken by the thought of drowning, clung to him tightly).
Draco didn't pursue, though. In fact, he was having too much fun talking to the Gryffindor boy. "The Weaslette was practically crying when you went over the time limit." Draco smirked and continued, "She kept on begging Finnigan to do something. We could see her bawling from where we were sitting."
Draco noticed after he spoke that Harry didn't comment. Harry had let go during his speech and was floating in the water, looking up at him and listening.
"I don't have a girlfriend." Harry made a disgusted face. Draco felt Harry grab his hand before the boy completely submerged himself in the water. In less than five seconds, Harry had emerged and shook his head like Draco had previously done on the dock.
"Trust me, Potter, you do." Draco muttered to himself, and was glad Harry didn't notice. Instead, Harry just looked at him – with water dripping down the side of his face – and smiled gently.
"You're even better than a girlfriend, Draco! I don't need a girlfriend when I have you as my friend." Harry stated shyly, and Draco blinked. Draco watched as a red flush crept up the boy's face at the statement.
Draco drawled while trying to ignore the blush, "Let's just teach you how to swim, and then we'll talk about women." And with that, Draco patted Harry's head, before he dunked it under water.
"They're probably talking about you." Draco drawled as he noticed that Harry was looking across the Great Hall at Hermione and Ron. While the rest of the hall was usually energetic on a Saturday evening at dinner, Ron and Hermione were anything but. The two Gryffindors at the other end of the room looked like they were engaged in a deep quiet conversation, and every once in a while, Hermione would glance over her shoulder and look at Harry searchingly.
"I don't care what they think." Harry gently replied, but even as he said that, Draco could tell otherwise. If the Gryffindor sitting beside him was telling the truth – Draco would have known from his tone of voice. Harry's shoulders drooped slightly, and his expression remained the same – troubled.
Draco nudged Harry at the side with his elbow before drawling out, "How about you eat the rest of your dinner with them, yeah? I'll meet you in the Slytherin common room after."
"It's okay, I'll just stay here." Harry said quickly, and Draco sighed. He nudged Harry's side again, and he made sure Harry looked at him. Draco could tell, that even if he was the caretaker, Harry also missed the two others, which came quite as a surprise. (Draco slowly realized this upon an early observation). Gryffindors, bah, Draco thought to himself. Frizzy hair, Weasel, and Potty, the inseparable trinity.
When Harry looked up at him with big, green eyes, Draco just shook his head. "Did I leave you when we were in the lake earlier?"
Of course, Draco didn't. Quite surprised with himself, Draco had not messed around with Harry's mind during their swimming session. In fact, after he dunked Harry under the water, he got down right to the swimming lesson. By the time that Draco had wondered what time it was, it was forty minutes before dinner was to be served. With wrinkled fingers and a very jubilant Harry, they rushed out of the water and made their way to change clothes in Draco's room.
"No, you didn't." Came Harry's answer.
"Right, I didn't. Now, you've spent too much time with me today, and I think your other halfwits want your company as well. Otherwise, they would stop looking over here, got it?" Draco frowned when he finished and popped a piece of fruit in his mouth.
"Can I just stay here with you?" Harry said, and tucked his head. When Harry realized that it couldn't go any other way, he stood up dejectedly and gave Draco one last sorrowful look.
"Oh, come off it, Potter." Draco drawled and pushed Harry in the direction of the Gryffindor table. When Harry didn't move, Draco sighed and said, "I'll meet you in my room, all right?"
"Do you promise?" Draco turned around and gave Harry a curt nod before returning to his desert. He didn't see Harry's small smile, or the way the brunet skipped to the Gryffindor table.
I promise, Draco thought, and popped another fruit in his mouth.
Walking with hands in his pockets, Draco made his way to the Slytherin common room. Up ahead he saw the Circe painting and, even at this distance, and involuntary shiver ran up his spine when a malicious smile crept up her face.
"Circe." He said as he passed by, but he wouldn't have said anything if he was not alone. He could see the Slytherin common room entrance up ahead, but a low, seductive whisper made him stop.
"Draco Malfoy…" Someone sibilated behind him. Turning around, he raised an eyebrow at the empty hallway, but his eyes caught the painting near him. Circe had seated herself in a luxurious chair at the side of the frame and, being somewhat curious, Draco moved closer.
"You know my name, painting?" He addressed the seductress. Her eyes gleamed in the torchlight, but other than that, she didn't speak at that instant. Instead, a knowing smile stole across her features and she looked at the left side of the frame – where her potion bottles were located.
"Do you sing him a lullaby before he goes to bed, Draco Malfoy?" She looked at him, but he just frowned absently. She crossed her legs, and Draco saw the slit at the side – where Circe's pale skin gleamed.
"No, I don't. Why?" He asked, inquisitively. Her expression didn't change – she kept on looking at him with a frightening smile. If he weren't so curious, he would have left because the smile scared him so. Being alone in a darkened hallway with only one torchlight, Draco didn't feel quite so safe. You never knew what could happened at Hogwarts.
"I would have sung it to Odysseus, love." She whispered, and, for a second, Draco was caught off guard. Not only because she had called him a pet name, but… the tone of her voice made Draco think of her words carefully.
"What does that mean, painting?" He addressed her again, and Draco followed her gaze to the painted potion bottles at the other side of the painting. When she didn't reply right away, Draco looked back at her – but to his surprise as well as agitation, she was gone.
I would have sung it to Odysseus, love, she had said. Draco shook his head at the mysterious Circe, and concluded: Odysseus was very lucky to get away from her.
He shook his head and turned around sharply, making his way to the Slytherin common room entrance. After drawling the password, he entered the cool atmosphere with nothing more than a scowl. Brushing past several first years going to their rooms, Draco wandered aimlessly to where the couches were located – but he wouldn't have gone there if he knew who was sitting on the couch.
"Oh, Draco, love, I've been waiting so long for you to show up!" Draco's brows knitted together as saw Pansy make room for him on the couch. Draco carefully walked over to her. He didn't sit down right away, but when Pansy patted the seat beside her, he thought, As long as she doesn't drone on and on. I don't feel like being bored on a Saturday night.
"Oh, Draco, I've been so worried about you all day!" Pansy sighed dramatically and fluttered her eyelashes one too many times. Draco watched as Pansy leaned forward and put her hands over Draco's, and looked in his eyes, before she continued, "I was so worried."
Draco congratulated himself on not rolling his eyes; instead, he remained perfectly still and waited for her to finish. She didn't disappoint him.
"I was acting like Tracey the other day," she sniffed, and squeezed their hands, "I was just scared that Potter would hurt you."
"Hurt me, Parkinson?" Draco gave her a look.
"Yes, well, he has you wrapped around his little finger, and, because I don't know anything about the potion like you do, I was so sure he would hurt you in some way." Pansy sniffed again. Draco couldn't quite tell if she was just … putting on a show, or what. Draco uneasily shifted in his place, but he just shrugged at her explanation (or excuse, he thought).
"Parkinson, it's not only that." Draco thought of pulling his hands away from under her own, but decided against it. Her nails looked pretty sharp. "I don't think I can do this anymore."
This time, Pansy looked frightened. Without having a chance to blink, Draco found himself being smothered by Pansy's breasts. She had seated herself on his lap (or, more of, leaped on his lap) with her arms around Draco's head.
"P-Parkinson!" He breathed, but he couldn't see anything else but black. Closing his eyes and putting his hands on her hips, he pushed her back, and inhaled. He was sure he knew how it felt to be raped by a maniac woman.
"Oh, Draco! No, we must try again!" Draco cringed at the overly sentimental tone in Pansy's voice. The blond tried to push her back to the couch, but she just wrapped her arms around his neck tighter. "Please, for me? I really don't want to loose you!"
Draco shook his head because of Pansy's behavior. He was just glad that she didn't act this pathetic when they were in front of other students in different houses. Inhaling deeply, his hands found her shoulders, and with that, he pushed her away until there was enough space between for him to be comfortable.
"Please, my little bunny?" Pansy purred, and before Draco was able to act outraged at such a foolish pet name, he found that his lips were pressed firmly against Pansy's. He tried to pull back, but the more he pulled back, the more she pressed forward.
He made a noise of protest – which, of course, Pansy took as a sign of encouragement, and she slipped her tongue between his lips rather rudely. He found this to be an invasion to his privacy – but this might be the only way to keep her happy and quiet.
Pansy grinded their hips together as her tongue curled around his own. Now he knew exactly how it felt to be raped by a woman. Though, in the back of his mind, he wondered when the good feeling was supposed to come, because he sure didn't feel anything. He had heard of Zabini's and other older boy's exploits, and how there was supposed to be this good feeling, but Draco felt nothing. His hands were placed on her shoulders, and he was about to push her away – but her tongue had become surprisingly gentle. In fact, she was pulling back entirely.
"Please?" She whispered, and Draco blinked hazily as she pecked his lips. When he looked in her eyes – he didn't see what he saw the other day. In fact, Draco saw what he had seen during his fourth year. Sheer adoration on her part.
Draco didn't know what caused him to lean forward, but he did. When his lips touched Pansy's, Draco opened his mouth and let her tongue push past his lips to stroke his own. He felt her surprise, but he disregarded doing anything about it. Draco settled back into the couch, and she fell with him – tongues interlocking together.
But it didn't feel special. In fact, he didn't feel anything that he wanted to feel. But he didn't tell her that as she petted the hair on the nape of his neck, or as her fingers ran over his chest to his stomach. Draco pulled back when he had to breath, but she just plunged back in as soon as he caught his breath.
What am I doing? He thought, but even if his mind was thinking one thing – his body was thinking another. Though, his body did appreciate the trail of her fingers.
"Draco?" Someone said, but Draco was too busy snogging Pansy to wonder who said it. Though, in the back of his mind, something told him to stop kissing her. He opened his eyes while continuing to snog her – and his heart sank to his stomach.
Harry was standing in front of them with conflicting emotions running across his face. Draco broke the kiss quickly – he didn't hear Pansy's growl of frustration - and tried to catch his breath. He reached out a hand to touch Harry's shoulder – but Harry stepped back quickly as if Draco's hand would burn him. Before Draco had time to do anything, Harry ran away in the direction of his room.
Pansy, not noticing anything out of the ordinary, tried to kiss him again (her fingers were already making themselves at home under his shirt) when he turned his face to the side. He ignored her dumbfounded expression, and pushed her off of his lap entirely. The expression on Harry's face was imprinted in his mind – and with the potion still running through Harry's system – he knew anything was possible. He ignored her indignant cry, and stood up shakily.
"Parkinson, I have to go, but I'll see you in the morning." He said as he straightened his robes. He hurriedly walked out.
Pansy watched as Draco fumbled on his way to his room. Her brows furrowed together when she watched him, and she looked around quickly to see who might be watching. Thankfully, no one was there in the common room at the moment to see the embarrassing situation, and she sank back into the couch. But she smiled when she realized something. Smiling cruelly at the thought, she said to herself I have you back, Draco Malfoy, and this time, you're not getting away. When we get out of school, everyone say hello to Mrs. Pansy Malfoy.
She had never felt so smart.
Harry looked down the hallway and wondered if this was the corner that if you went around it would lead you to the Slytherin common room. Nervously, Harry looked behind him before his eyes caught hold of the one and only flickering torchlight. He squinted and adjusted his glasses as he looked down the hall – and his heart surged with relief as he saw the common room entrance. Walking quickly (and not looking back), he completely passed the Circe painting.
He didn't notice her eyes on him as he went past, or the intensity of her observation. As he walked to the common room entrance, he didn't see her write in a diary with fancy penmanship. In fact, Harry didn't see her spiteful smile.
He also didn't see what she wrote. The words, 'It works' were not to be seen by anyone.
Harry said the password hurriedly and slipped in the common room. For some reason he couldn't quite place his finger on, it never felt like home. Draco's room felt like home – but the Slytherin common room had never felt like it. Harry tossed the thought out of his mind as he glanced around the room. He was headed up to Draco's room, but he was distracted by a noise to his right.
Turning his head around to see what it was – Harry stopped in his tracks.
Draco and Pansy… were kissing. Harry had seen them kiss before – but not like this.
Harry's first instinct was to run over and pull Pansy off of Draco, but, when Harry looked more closely, Draco seemed to enjoy it. In fact, when they broke the kiss - Harry could feel himself trembling, and he suddenly felt so cold and alone.
"Draco?" Harry asked quietly, and before he had time to comprehend what he just did, Draco was looking at him, breathless. Harry gulped, and when Draco extended his hand – Harry ran.
He pushed passed several students descending down the stairs and ran blindly up it. Almost tripping at the last one, he saw Draco's door ahead, and ran straight to it.
But it was locked.
Licking his lips, Harry tried to think of somewhere else to go, but then, he realized, he didn't know anywhere else to go. If he went back downstairs, Draco would be sure to stop him. If he went into another room, others would be sure to hurt him. He couldn't trust anyone more than Draco.
So, Harry waited.
When Draco found Harry leaning against his door, he slowed down to a stop. Harry insisted to look at the ground, even if Draco was sure Harry knew he was there. Clearing his throat experimentally, he made sure his eyes kept in contact with Harry's as the boy looked up.
"Move, so I can unlock the door." Draco commanded softly, and Harry shuffled to the side, dropping his gaze. Draco brushed passed the Gryffindor and unlocked the door with a small practically inaudible click.
He moved aside, and Harry walked past him without a word. Draco watched from the doorframe as Harry went soundlessly to his cot, and curled up in a small ball, unable to face Draco even if Harry didn't do anything.
Draco watched Harry quietly. He observed the tensed body on the smaller bed, and he sighed hopelessly. Draco knew that he should talk to Harry about it; whatever it was. If it was the kiss, or the way he had looked at the Gryffindor, Draco didn't know.
But a thought crossed his mind. Why do you even care? Remember who that is? Harry-Sodding-Potter? Enemy since first year? Rivals since who knew how long? Do you remember that, Draco? Feeling the emotion start to build up, Draco's gaze became a glare. That's right. You don't care. You don't have to care – because you were doing what couples do. You were kissing your girlfriend. The girl who everyone thinks you will marry.
Draco ignored the last stray thought now and made his way to the bathroom without a word. Once he was inside, he stared at himself in the mirror and frowned.
"What were you doing with her anyway?" he whispered to the reflection. He looked into his own gray eyes and sighed at the unanswerable question. He started to get ready for bed, pushing thoughts of her out of his mind. He could still remember her distinct fragrance and taste – but as he deemed it, it was nothing exceptional. Where was the spark he wanted to feel? He didn't even understand her nowadays anyway.
"I want to feel something." He whispered his reflection. When the silence carried on, he smiled unnaturally and ran wet hands through his hair.
Then his thoughts drifted to the boy on the opposite end of the bathroom door. He wondered if Harry was still in a curled up ball on his makeshift bed. Maybe the Gryffindor was crying. Perhaps he was asleep. Who knew? Who cared? He certainly didn't. That's probably the last thing he did. He didn't care.
He was startled out of his thoughts when he heard a loud *thunk* coming from outside the bathroom. He frowned instantly when he realized his hand was on the doorknob faster than he thought was possible. He jerked it back instantly. You don't care, remember?
He waited moments before he opened the door, carefully and slowly. Instead of looking in Harry's direction, he looked at the wall opposite of the boy. He didn't notice what Harry was doing, and he did not care as he pulled back the covers and laid his head on the pillow – looking skyward.
You do not care. Draco fidgeted. What if Harry wanted to sleep on his bed tonight? Draco wouldn't let him, of course. Just like he didn't let him the other nights. But you do not care. He forced himself to let his eyes remain on the ceiling instead of looking over to see what Harry was doing.
Then, startled, he realized something. Tonight was his last night with Harry. Tomorrow, Harry was eleven, and Harry would eventually have to stay in the Gryffindor tower. It made perfect sense now that Draco thought about it – Harry was eleven when he entered Hogwarts, and since Harry was now eleven, he would have to go back.
You do not care. Draco bit his bottom lip and before he drawled out into the near-silence, "Turn off the light."
He could feel the Gryffindor was somewhere on the floor. You do not care. He shifted a bit on the bed before he said, "Go to sleep."
"I'm… not tired." Came the answer, and Draco would have replied if his curiosity didn't get the better of him. He shifted a bit on the bed until he was facing Harry, and what caught his eyes surprised him.
Harry was leaning against the cot behind him, flipping through a large book. It was leather bound, and from where Draco was lying down, he could see the pictures wave animatedly at the boy who was looking at them. Draco looked to the side where Harry's trunk was wide open – and that was what probably caused the thunk earlier.But you do not care, remember, Draco?
"What are you doing?" He asked, pushing away the reminder. He could see Harry look up at him cautiously before looking away just as quickly. When Harry didn't reply right away, Draco didn't persist. If Harry wasn't going to bring up the Pansy thing, then neither would Draco. He didn't have to anyway, because he didn't care how Harry felt.
They remained in silence for a while before Harry flipped another page. Harry looked at the page for a long time; which made Draco ultimately curious. Draco would never admit his heart almost skipped a beat when Harry spoke.
"Who are these people, Draco?" Harry whispered. The Gryffindor's gaze remained passive as his eyes lingered on the particular page. With deliberate leisureliness, Harry's eyes locked themselves with Draco's.
"Bring it up here, I can't see it from where I am." Draco stated calmly as he watched the Gryffindor stand up and walk slowly to him. Harry turned around before he reached Draco's bed and sat down, his back leaning against the metal frame of Draco's bed.
Harry moved the book to his right and looked up at Draco's face. The Slytherin's eyes riveted to the picture secured in the book and inched closer to get a better look. He was given a sight he didn't get to see often. Before him was unmistakably Lily and James Potter, holding a baby Harry in their arms.
So this is what you looked like before you got that scar, Draco thought to himself and leaned forward. He let his arm rest on Harry's shoulder gently as his hand traced Harry's picture's face.
"That's you." He stated, before his finger traveled to Lily Potter's face, "And that's your mother." His voice softened, "And that's your father." As he let his hand trail across the picture, he studied each person silently. Harry looked so much like his father, but his mother's eyes reflected his soul.
"Where are you?" Harry asked quietly, leaning his face against Draco's arm.But you don't care.
"It doesn't matter." Draco stated and pulled his arm back. He could feel the candle start to bother his eyes, so he blew it. He could feel Harry turn another page before him, and he barely recognized Harry shifting below him.
"Harry?" Came Draco's reply without irritation. When he opened his eyes, Harry was kneeling beside the bed, looking at him. They didn't speak at first, but looked at each other.
"Can I sleep in your bed tonight?" Came the inevitable question. Draco should have known it was coming, but he just remained expressionless. He was surprised to hear that Harry had more to say.
"Sometimes…" Harry explained in a whisper, "I can feel when I'm going to need you near me." Draco was startled by the revelation of the ten-year-old, but he waited until Harry was done. "And I feel it tonight. Can I sleep in your bed?"
Say no, because you don't care. Remember?
"Just tonight, and tonight will be the last time." Draco stated as resolutely as he could, and made room for Harry to lie down. It didn't matter anyway – it would be the last time. Ever.
Harry put the book carefully in his trunk, shut the lid, and blew out the candle. Draco could see a figure moving towards him, before he felt the bed shift with the added weight. Draco kept his eyes open as the darkness overwhelmed them both.
There was silence.
Draco closed his eyes at Harry's voice, and turned around to face the ceiling. He whispered back quietly, "What?"
"It won't come again. I promise." Harry whispered, and shifted.
You don't care, Draco.
"What won't come?" Draco asked, honestly curious. He could feel sleep start to come and surround him, but he held on as long as he could.
"The dream of your mother. It won't come again…" The Gryffindor trailed off and Draco could feel blankets being pulled up. He remained silent for a moment before he replied unsurely.
"How do you know?" He whispered.
"Trust me." Harry whispered, and Draco could tell it was closely followed by sleep.
You don't care.
Draco inhaled gently, and absently clenched his fingers together for an unexplainable reason. When Draco finally fell asleep, he barely noticed that Harry's hand was holding his thumb, and he barely noticed the words on Harry's lips.