AN: Sorry for the really loooong break in chapter uploading. I promise to be better at uploading from now on! Enjoy!
"Say, Potter, do you think the time has come to devour another one of those luscious pancakes?" Draco romantically rubbed his stomach and licked his lips, eyeing the round pieces of goodness stacked on a silver plate. The blonde smuggled them out of the Dining Hall today during dinner, accompanied with some maple syrup and a bowl of strawberry jam. All of this was now majestically laid out on the floor of the Astronomy tower, and his companion was currently inspecting one of the larger telescopes.
"I think I'll pass, I'm already a tad nauseated from all of this sweetness." His left eye looked into the telescope. Harry tried to adjust it to point a little bit more to the right, but as it creaked horribly he decided it would be better of untouched, and so he returned to the space in which the Slytherin boy was resting. "But you go ahead if you fancy another one, Malfoy."
"Well, I was thinking, Potter, that it's a bit awkward calling each other by our last names all the time, don't you think?" Draco stopped to take a bite of his vividly decorated pancake. As soon as he swallowed, he continued. "I mean, of course we can't just start referring to each other by first names in front of the whole school, but when we're alone like this…"
Harry extended his right arm out. "Harry, nice to meet you."
Shocked yet amused, Malfoy linked his own right hand with the brunette's. "Draco, the pleasure's all mine."
"So, Draco, turns out you're a bit of a messy eater, aren't you?"
Before Draco had the time to think the situation over, Harry's fingers were already rubbing just underneath the left corner of his mouth, trying to get rid of the dripping syrup. "I think it needs a bit of moisture to come off. Wet your finger and rub it, otherwise you'll stick to everything."
An unknown emotion filled Malfoy's eyes as he licked his left pointing finger and began rubbing on the spot Harry was just touching. Harry has never seen that look in the blonde's eyes before, not that he looked at him that often anyway, but his silver orbs were usually filled with anger or pride. This was new and involuntarily made his stomach turn.
Draco noticed the weird expression on Harry's face. He wanted to avoid the uncomfortable questions at all cost, so he rapidly got up and stuttered. "H-Harry, I think it's time for us to go back to our dormitories… If Filch finds us… I'm not in the mood for dealing with Snape right now."
As blatant as that lie was, Harry decided to go along with what Malfoy was saying. He got up, brushed off the dirt from his buttocks and stretched briefly. Silently, he led the way out of the tower. Neither of the boys spoke until they reached the junction of corridors at which they were to split.
"Good night, Po-… I mean, Harry." Draco was already going down his corridor, the Moon once again illuminating his frame as if it was otherworldly.
"Uhm, yeah, see you in Potions tomorrow." Harry turned on his heel and faster than usual walked towards the staircase which led to the Gryffindors' Common Room. His mind was blank, empty, free of any coherent thoughts. He just passed one step after another, muttered the password, conquered another flight of stairs, changed into his pyjamas and laid down in his bed. The sheets were unpleasantly cold, but it didn't matter. He couldn't sleep anyway, his thoughts having finally returned, they mixed with the image of Draco's eyes back at the tower.
"Where were you last night?" A voice came through the waves of ginger hair, the owner slightly bent over a cauldron with a substance of an undistinguishable colour inside. Ron threw a handful of cockroaches into the pot and stirred. Happy with the result he faced his friend, having received no answer to his question.
"Oh, I was in the dormitory, where else could I be?" Harry answered, snapping out of the mental coma that he was having. He couldn't help searching for the blonde head which should be in the front of the classroom. It was effortless, since Draco was clearly not attending today, the empty space between Pansy Parkinson and Miles Bletchley sticking out like a sore thumb.
"Yeah, I know, Harry, I saw you in your bed." Ron put down the wooden spoon he was mixing the potion with and looked at the brunette with a fierce look in his eyes. "But where were you before that? You only came into the room around two o'clock in the morning, mate, well, me and the guys were talking that maybe you were secretly training for another fight with the Dark Lord."
Harry chuckled at the suggestion, but decided to go along with what his friend thought he was doing, just to avoid the unpleasant confrontations that he would have to deal with if he tried to think of any other excuse. After all, he was not a very good liar. "Yeah, that's sort of what I've been doing." Noticing Snape's piercing look, he quickly chopped up the ginger roots and threw them into the cauldron. "But please, don't tell anyone. Words spread fast around this castle, and I don't want no Slytherins interfering with my preparations."
"Sure thing, lad." The humour swiftly returned to Weasley's face as he cautiously stirred the potion, fifteen times clockwise. "Pass me the unicorn horn, please."
Potter did as asked, and although he felt a pang of regret for lying to his best friend, he was negatively shocked at how easy it is to fool this guy. He was never the brightest crayon in the bunch, but the lack of simple survival techniques was astounding. The brunette made a mental note to not tell Ron anything that is meant to be kept a secret.
Harry paced around the library like mad, pretending, or rather, attempting to find a book on Merlin that was unbiased and not stained with countless blotches of pumpkin juice. His mind, however, was somewhere else completely. He hasn't seen the blonde Slytherin all day, and the boy has not replied to any of the owls he sent. Potter knew that Draco was not exactly in the best mental state, and neither was he, so he worried whether Malfoy hasn't done something stupid to hurt himself. Maybe he passed out from hunger or tiredness? Or maybe he cut himself and bled so much that he fainted, somewhere in the depths of the Slytherins' bathroom?
"Are you looking for anything specific, Mr. Potter?" Ms Pince questioned from underneath her black eyebrows. "Your heavy steps are disturbing the other students."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to…" He looked down and realised he was now in the love potions section. "I'll… I'll come back another time."
It was a stupid idea and he knew it, but the anxiety wasn't allowing him any resting time. With his hands in his pockets he faced the stone wall that served as the entrance to the Slytherins' Common Room, hoping that someone will come soon and he'll be able to investigate.
He felt as if half an hour has passed and he already started dozing off on the floor, his back rested against the wall, when a feminine voice rudely snapped him out of the approaching slumber.
"What are you doing here, Potter?" Pansy eyed him cautiously, her fringe casting a dangerous shadow over her face. "The Gryffindors' Common Room is on the other side of the castle, how about you rest there instead of camping outside our doors, huh?" Potter quickly rose up from the ground and ruffled his hair.
"Sorry, Pansy, but could you please tell Malfoy that I need to see him quickly about that potion we did for Professor Snape?" He cleared his throat and adjusted his glasses. From up close the girl didn't look as bad as all the Gryffindor boys thought. She had a really nice set of cheekbones, he noticed. In response to his request Pansy's eyes first went really wide, but quickly returned to their sneering ways.
"Well, Potter, it might be shocking to you, since you have no parents, but Draco's parents decided to take him out of school for some time." The girl turned around, her robe twirling with her and she spoke out the password. "Confringo!" The stone wall seemed to breathe out heavily as it opened the passage. At the last moment, Pansy turned her head and added.
"But if you're so desperate to contact him, try addressing your owl to his mom, Narcissa."
Harry Potter, aged seventeen, absolutely hated Saturdays at Hogwarts. It was loud and quiet at the same time, there was nothing to do, people just migrated between their respective Common Rooms and the Dining Hall, some of the more adventurous individuals wandering out into the grounds. The brunette wizard, however, was stuck to the windowshelf in his room, trying to spy out an owl coming in his direction but to no avail. He was slowly losing hope. Absentmindedly he traced over the scars he inflicted to himself yesterday evening when the voices came back to him, double force. The Sun was slowly descending on the horizon, the lake looking orange in the colour spectrum, somewhere in the distance one could spy out the octopus' leg sticking out from the face of the water. Next to Hagrid's hut Harry noticed his two friends throwing the fallen, autumn leaves at each other – how silly that looked to him. How could one get any pleasure out of doing something like that?
There was a knock on the door and soon after it opened slightly, a wave of curly, gingery-brown hair stuck into the room. "Hi Harry, there's someone outside our Common Room who is asking, no, demanding to see you right now."
"What, uhm, thanks, Lavender, I'm coming right down."
The girl retreated and Harry quickly got up, pulling down the sleeves of his jumper and almost running out through the doors and down the stairs. He pushed the portrait of the Fat Lady, looking for the person who was awaiting him. Shocked, he realised it was Pansy Parkinson.
"It's about goddamn time, Potter, I've been waiting for over 20 minutes just for one of your stupid housemates to come around, and this…" She looked at the Fat Lady's portrait with disgust. "…person refused to let me in!" Pansy browsed the pockets of her coat and finally pulled out an envelope with that signature green ink decorating it. Harry instantly reached out for it. "There you go. I think you know who it's from, don't you?" She pushed the hair away from her face and sniffed, clearly getting a bit of a cold. "I don't know why the owl delivered it to me, I was just… Passing time in the Forbidden Forest and suddenly an unknown owl descends on me and gives me the letter. The envelope is addressed to you… I didn't know owls could do that." Pansy stuffed her hands in the pockets of her coat and turned around. "You're welcome."
"Yeah, thanks." But Harry's mind was already focused on opening and reading the letter. He decided the Common Room was not exactly the best place to do this, so he decided to hide in the Room of Requirements. Once there he nearly ripped the envelope open and pulled out a white piece of paper, one like the muggles use, rather than the parchment paper the wizards were used to. On it, with the usual green ink the words danced into a song of prose which made Harry's eyes grow wide and his heart clench. Not thinking about the consequences he sprinted back to the Gryffindors' Common Room, grabbed his coat and broomstick, shoved a sack of galleons into his pocket and ran to the school grounds. There, he mounted the Firebolt and only just noticing his two friends running up to him like mad he pushed himself off the ground and flew out into the direction of London.
AN: Reviews and favourites are very, very much appreciated! Next chapter should be up in no longer than a week.