maxine_chan: (HP - HarryDraco paint by Sherant)
Maxine ([personal profile] maxine_chan) wrote2011-09-30 08:38 pm
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FIC: All the Answers - Chapter 21

So this chapter features the first scene that Harry ISN'T IN. Gasp. Haha, enjoy!

Title: All the Answers
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Word Count: 6400
Disclaimer: It's not mine. JKR is the brilliant mind behind HP.
Notes: This is a post-HBP 7th year fic that is not compliant with Deathly Hallows at all. Many, many thanks to my awesome beta, [ profile] lksnarry1!
Summary: Horcruxes, former enemies showing up out of nowhere, and the usual teenage drama on top of it all - Harry isn't sure how he's ever going to make it through all this. But since when has conquering evil ever been easy?

--> All chapters can be found here. <--

previous chapter

~~Chapter 21~~

Harry was in his room reading when Draco burst through the door a few nights later. He jumped at the sudden intrusion, his heart pounding in his chest as he tried to figure out whether or not he should be alarmed. When nothing seemed to be immediately amiss, he sank back against his pillows again and attempted to get his heart rate back to normal.

Ever since Draco had given him his whole ‘I’m yours’ speech, Harry’s heart seemed to like skittering along at an accelerated tempo if the other boy so much as walked past him. It was more than a little disconcerting, not to mention embarrassing. Not that anyone else could tell, but he wished it would stop nonetheless.

Shoving those thoughts aside for the moment, Harry instead raised an eyebrow, watching as Draco glanced out into the hallway and then quickly shut the door, leaning back against it and breathing somewhat heavily.

“…Alright there?” Harry asked. He briefly looked Draco over, eyes lingering on his flushed face and the way his chest heaved up and down. He had to force himself to pay attention when Draco replied.

“Fine,” he said shortly, still catching his breath. “Fucking hell, I only ran up the stairs. This is pathetic.”

Harry frowned. “Is it because of your hand?”

“No,” Draco said without thinking, but then he paused. “…Maybe,” he amended. “If the curse is spreading. Or I’m just tired. Haven’t been sleeping well.”

“…Probably because of your hand.”

Draco scowled. “You’re stuck on this thing with my hand, Potter. I have no idea – could be that, could be nightmares, could be the fact that the Dark Lord is calling meetings every five bloody minutes lately… It’s just – everything. Building up.”

Harry nodded and set his book off to the side. “You’re stressed.”

“Yes. That.”

“I’d tell you not to be, but…I’ve yet to figure out how to accomplish that myself.” Harry drew his legs in so he was sitting cross-legged, leaving half of the bed open in case Draco wanted to sit down. “Why the hurry, anyway?”

Draco grimaced, looking back over his shoulder like he thought someone might try to barge through the door while he was still leaning against it. “Trying to get away from Weasley,” he said. “Suddenly he wants to take me up on my offer to get completely sloshed so I’ll listen to him wax poetic about his sex life.”

Harry snorted and looked amused. “That’s your own fault; you never should have suggested it in the first place.”

“I was just trying to rile him up about you and his sister!” Draco whined. “I made a point to mention you, didn’t I? That we’d all raid the liquor cabinet together? I’m not about to drink with Weasley alone!”

“He’ll get over it soon enough,” Harry said, though he doubted how true that statement actually was. It had been a couple weeks now, after all, and if Ron was getting to the point where he was willing to go to Draco to have someone to talk to about it all, well… Harry had a feeling Ron’s excitement wasn’t going to disappear anytime in the near future. For a moment, he almost felt bad for Draco, but it was a very quick moment. Better him than Harry, in any case.

“Why does he have to talk about it at all?” Draco continued, ignoring what Harry had said and letting his head thunk back against the door. “When Pansy and I did it, I didn’t go running my mouth to anyone who was available.”

“Suppose it’s just what blokes do,” Harry said. Draco shot him a look that was bordering on offended, so Harry quickly amended, “Most blokes, I mean. Not all. Since – well, you didn’t. Obviously. Like you just said.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “It’s not like you were shouting your business from the top of the Hogwarts towers, either,” he pointed out. “And you weren’t all that thrilled when it came out during our Occlumency practice. Maybe we’re both just…private people.”

Harry nodded. “Right. Exactly! We don’t kiss and tell, that’s all.”

“Or shag and tell.”

“…Or shag at all.”

Draco laughed. “No wonder you don’t want to listen to Weasley go on about it.”

“It’s not that,” Harry said. “If it were any other girl – well. Actually.” He paused. “I couldn’t much stomach him going on about Lavender, either, I guess.”

“Too much for your sensitive, virgin ears?” Draco asked, smirking.

Harry scowled. “Oh, shut up,” he said. “There’s probably just something wrong with us.”

“Speak for yourself, Potter,” Draco said. He made a show of running his hand through his hair. “I’m a perfect specimen of a human being.”

Harry raised an eyebrow. “You’re too pointy to be perfect,” he said in a completely serious tone, and Draco gave a loud, overdramatic gasp.

“Excuse you. At least I know how to wear clothes that fit and my hair has seen a comb more than twice in my life,” he shot right back.

“Hey, most of my clothes used to belong to Dudley, it’s not my fault!”

Draco waved him off. “Whatever, Potter. You had Mrs. Weasley buy me new clothes, so there’s no excuse for you not to have your own. You’re just lazy.”

“…I’d rather save my money for more important things, is all,” Harry said, pouting a bit.

“And cheap, apparently.”

“Oh, like it matters,” Harry said exasperatedly. “But seriously – do you think maybe we should have noticed something earlier?”

“About what?”

“About – er…” Harry swallowed. “…I don’t know. Never mind.”

Draco narrowed his eyes a little, watching Harry closely. “You’re acting weird.”

“I know. Sorry. I’m just…” Harry hesitated for a moment, trying to gather his thoughts, and then plowed on before he could change his mind. “Did you ever think maybe you were doing it with the wrong person?” he asked, the words coming out in a rush.

Draco blinked at him. “…No. Not really.”

“But, I mean, you only slept with Pansy twice,” Harry said.

“Because we were at school,” Draco said, in a tone that suggested this should have been obvious. “And – you know, we were young.”

“When did you break it off with her?”

“I can’t remember. Not too long after all that, I guess. She got very clingy around then.” Draco frowned. “What’s with all the questions?”

Harry ignored him. “How long did you two date?”

“Officially? Half a year or so. Potter–”

“So, you were with her for awhile,” Harry interrupted. “Then you shagged…and promptly broke up.”

“…Not promptly, it wasn’t immediately after or anything,” Draco said, somewhat warily. “But yes.”

Harry nodded and chewed on his lip for a moment, wondering how to say what he wanted to say without actually…saying it. “Was it a mutual break-up?”

Draco snorted. “Hardly. Pansy was rather crushed, I think. But then she claims she’s been in love with me since we were eight.”

“So…was the sex mostly just a physical thing for you?” Harry asked. “And not really an – um…emotional thing?”

Draco seemed to think that over, rocking back on his heels a bit as he did. “I suppose,” he said slowly. “I considered her a friend, obviously, and still do, but I guess it didn’t go much beyond that for me. I tried to feel more, but last year… I just didn’t have the energy for a relationship and all that other stuff.”

Harry quirked an eyebrow at him. “Usually all that other stuff goes hand-in-hand with the relationship, you realize.”

“Yeah, well.” Draco frowned. “I just didn’t have the energy for any of it, then. She was exhausting.”

“Right. See?” Harry said. “It’s probably because she wasn’t the right person!” He paused briefly, and then, finally at the part he wanted to get out in the open, he mumbled, “…Or the right gender.”

Draco abruptly froze. “…Oh,” he said after a moment. And then he gave a sharp laugh. “I see what you’re hinting at. Terribly, might I add. You think you’ve got me all figured out, Potter?”

“I’m not trying to figure you out, Malfoy,” Harry said, which was a blatant lie. An unhealthy portion of his thoughts lately were occupied with trying to figure Draco out.

“Yes, you are,” Draco said, and he was glaring at Harry now. “You think you can take the grand total of two people I’ve ever done anything with and make up your mind based on that just who or what I might be into – that isn’t something you get to decide, Potter!” He crossed his arms over his chest in what was purely a defensive gesture. “Or are you just trying to find an explanation? Some excuse for why things happened between us, some reason it can all be blamed on me so you can pretend you didn’t want to do it without feeling guilty!”

“What – no! Malfoy, that’s not what I’m–”

“I mean, for fuck’s sake, Potter,” Draco continued irately, clearly not hearing Harry. “It’s not the end of the world just because you snogged a boy; you’re a teenager, these things happen!”

Harry exhaled noisily, feeling his face go hot again. “They don’t happen to everyone, that’s the whole point I’m trying to make!” he snapped. “Ron saw the same thing we did, with Seamus and Justin, and it barely even fazed him!”

“That’s because he has Hermione,” Draco said, rolling his eyes

“And I had Ginny!” Harry cried. “And yet–!” He threw a hand in Draco’s direction and then immediately caught himself, but by then the gesture was too obvious and Draco’s eyes had gone wide. Harry swallowed nervously and let his hand awkwardly fall.

For a long moment, Draco stood absolutely still with his arms still tight around himself. Harry only risked glancing over at him when he heard him sigh. “You can’t compare yourself to Weasley,” Draco said. “Just because you barely use one brain between the two of you doesn’t mean you’re actually the same person.” He frowned slightly, tilting his head to the side a bit. “Did he say something to you? Has he gone all super traditional pureblood suddenly?”

Harry gave a humorless laugh. “No. He was very supportive, actually. It was frightening.”

“That he was supportive?”

“That he noticed.” Harry shook his head. “I didn’t think there was anything to notice.”

“That’s because you’re an oblivious idiot.”

“Thanks,” Harry said dryly. “With compliments like that, it’s a mystery how I manage to restrain myself from jumping straight into your trousers.”

Draco gave him a faint smirk. “I’ve no idea how you keep away, honestly.”

“Willpower,” said Harry.

“Stubbornness,” Draco countered.

“…Yeah, suppose there’s a good dose of that.” Harry dragged a hand through his hair, and then he gave Draco a long, considering look. “Okay…look, Malfoy, I think–”


Ron’s voice suddenly cut through their conversation, accompanied by some loud banging on the door that had Draco jumping away from it and cursing under his breath. “Shit, give me a bloody heart attack, why don’t you,” he muttered, hand pressed against his chest.

“Oi, Harry!” Ron called again. “Is Malfoy in there with you? I was trying to talk to him earlier and the git practically fled the room, but it’s kind of important…”

“Er…” Harry glanced over at Draco, snorting lightly when Draco shook his head vigorously. “Sorry, Ron, I haven’t seen him!” he yelled back. “Maybe he’s, uh – in the bathroom?”

Draco gave him a flat look. “That’s the best you could come up with?” he hissed, and Harry shrugged.

Ron was silent for a brief moment before they heard him laugh. “Yeah, alright,” he said. “I’ll leave you two alone.”

Harry’s eyes widened and he opened his mouth to deny whatever Ron thought was happening, but the words stuck in his throat as they heard Ron’s footsteps fade away. Now Draco was the one who looked amused. Harry gestured at the door in frustration. “You see?” he said to Draco. “He and Hermione have got some weird idea in their head that – never mind. Forget it. Was there anything else you wanted?”

A pinched, almost hurt look passed quickly over Draco’s face, but it was gone before Harry could say anything about it. He blinked, suddenly feeling absurdly guilty, but kept his mouth tightly shut around the apology that was trying to force its way out.

“There was, actually,” Draco said after a beat. He walked over to the foot of Harry’s bed and flipped open his trunk before Harry could stop him.

“Hey!” Harry said, scrambling to the other side of the bed so he could see what Draco was doing. “Watch it, Malfoy, the Horcruxes are in there!”

“As are your old schoolbooks,” Draco said, carefully pushing things around inside as he searched for something. “And Hermione told me you have – ah! Here it is.” He reemerged, holding up a barely used copy of Hogwarts, A History.

Harry frowned. “Yeah, she got that for me. Why do you need it?”

“Well…” Draco grunted as he pushed himself to his feet, and then plopped down next to Harry on the bed. “Remember that disgustingly handsome picture of our good friend Tom Riddle you were ogling the other day?”

“I wasn’t ogling–”

Draco spoke overtop of him. “You said you were more interested in the portrait of Slytherin he was standing in front of, and I knew I’d seen it somewhere before. Other than in the common room, I mean.”

Harry blinked. “It’s in there?”

Draco nodded and opened the book, flipping through a good portion of it before he found what he was looking for. “There,” he said, pointing at the right page. “It’s the picture they used on the title page for the chapter about him.”

Harry leaned over to look and inadvertently caught a whiff of whatever cologne Draco had on. Or maybe it was just his shampoo. Or…well, Harry didn’t know what it was, but it was distracting and probably shouldn’t smell as good as Harry thought it did. He inhaled deeply, realized what he was doing half a second later, and then instantly wanted to hex himself.

“Now you just have to remember why you thought it was important,” Draco said. He looked at Harry, who gave him a blank stare in return because he honestly hadn’t heard a single word that had just been spoken.

After a moment, Draco raised an expectant eyebrow. Harry hastily cleared his throat and looked away. “…Uh, right,” he said, cursing inwardly. Focus. “Let me see.” He took the book from Draco so he could get a closer look.

“Is it something he’s holding?” Draco asked. “If I recall correctly, Gryffindor had the sword and shield made for him. Maybe that sword just looks similar to Gryffindor’s?” His shoulder bumped Harry’s as he looked at the book, as well, and Harry tried to pretend he wasn’t so bloody close.

“Uh…” Harry cleared his throat. “I – no. I don’t think it’s the sword. There’s something about the shield…” He frowned. “Shit, but what?”

They stared down at the page for a minute longer, and then Draco sighed and sat back. “Well, I’ll leave you to it,” he said, standing up and stretching. Harry very carefully didn’t watch the way Draco’s jumper rode up a bit with the movement of his arms. “I’ve no idea what it could be, and you probably don’t need me here distracting you.”

Harry refrained from denying that Draco was in any way a distraction, because in truth he really, really was. And Harry still wasn’t sure how he felt about that. “Alright,” he said instead. “I’m probably going to bed soon, so I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Fine.” Draco headed for the door. “Night, Potter.”

“Night, Malfoy.”

Harry’s eyes followed him as he left, and he wasn’t surprised when Draco glanced back over his shoulder, saw him watching, and smirked just as the door shut.

He sighed.

Merlin, he was so very screwed.

* * *

Draco let the smirk on his face grow into a full-blown grin as he stood outside Harry’s room. Fuck, the boy was stubborn, but – “He definitely wants me,” Draco said to no one in particular. He shot a furtive glance up and down the hall immediately after, but all the other doors were shut so he was sure no one had heard him. It wouldn’t do to have the others aware of how pleased the thought made him.

Forcing the grin off his face, Draco crossed the hallway to where Weasley’s room was. Hermione had been in her own room earlier when Draco had stopped by to ask if she had a copy of Hogwarts, A History, and he hoped she was still there. He really didn’t want to accidentally interrupt the two of them if she was with Weasley.

After deliberating with himself for a quick second, Draco decided to just man up and go for it. He could handle talking to Weasley one-on-one about…this. Really, he could.

He knocked on the door.

“Yeah, come in!” Weasley replied, his voice sounding slightly muffled.

Draco pushed open the door. “Look, Weasley, I – ahh!” His hands darted up to cover his eyes. “Fuck, Weasley, a little warning next time?!”

Weasley looked at him through the opening of the hideous sweater he was in the middle of pulling on. “What?” he asked, sounding honestly confused.

“Freckles!” Draco said, waving an arm blindly in Weasley’s direction. “Far too many freckles!”

“Oh, come on.” Weasley rolled his eyes and pulled the sweater the rest of the way over his head. “I’m sure you can handle a little skin, Malfoy.”

Draco risked a glance in his direction and couldn’t help sneering at the way his hair stuck up everywhere. “What is that?” he asked, lowering his hands now that his eyes were safe from naked Weasley flesh.

“This?” Weasley picked at the offensive article of clothing he’d just donned. “It’s a sweater my mum made.” At the look on Draco’s face, he added, “They’re comfortable, alright? And warm. And I’m cold.”

“I’ll take your word for it,” Draco said. He shut the door behind him and started to lean against it, but then he paused. “Are you expecting your girlfriend?”

Weasley shrugged. “I don’t know. If she wants to come over, she will.” He blushed slightly. “I…mentioned earlier that I wanted to talk to you and she got all mad at me again,” he mumbled, and Draco snorted at him.

“You’re pathetic.”

“Shove it, Malfoy. What do you want, anyway?” Weasley’s eyes lit up. “Have you changed your mind? I have Firewhiskey! It’s from the twins, but I don’t think they’ve done anything to it…”

“Good God, no,” Draco said immediately. “I have no interest in hearing about your bedroom adventures, Weasley.”

Weasley deflated a bit. “Fine,” he grumbled. “What, then?”

Draco shrugged, crossing his arms and trying to sound casual. “I’m here about Potter.”

“Oh.” Weasley looked slightly pained. “Think I might still have some of that Firewhiskey, then…”

“It’s nothing like that!” Draco said, but he could feel his face go a bit hot anyway. Weasley gave him a doubtful look. “…Well, alright, maybe it is, but – what did you say to him?”

“What do you mean?” Weasley asked. He knelt down in front of the trunk that was situated at the foot of his bed, and dug around inside of it.

“I mean…” Draco waved his hand around absently. “A few weeks ago, I think. After we slept – I mean.” Draco went a darker pink. “After we accidentally spent the night together in the same bed in a very platonic manner.”

Weasley glanced back at Draco over his shoulder for a long moment, and then he sighed and turned back to the trunk. “Malfoy, can you and I just say it out loud and agree that there’s not a damn thing that’s platonic about whatever you and Harry have going on?” He found the bottle he was searching for and made a soft, victorious sound before he stood and faced Draco again. “I’m not blind, you know?”

Draco glared at him. “It’s platonic right now! And if you don’t keep your mouth shut, it’s going to stay that way!”

“So…” Weasley sat down on his bed, pulling his leg up onto it so he was turned facing Draco. “You do want there to be something…not platonic…between you two?”

“Well!” Draco crossed his arms and scowled. He could tell the blush on his face wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. “I don’t know!”

Weasley raised an eyebrow as he unscrewed the top of the Firewhiskey. “I’m not going to help you if you can’t even admit it. Shit, I shouldn’t even help you if you do admit it. I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation.” He took a large gulp of the alcohol and promptly started coughing after he’d swallowed. “Bloody hell,” he choked out. “This stuff is strong.”

Draco half hoped he would turn into a chicken or something, but it seemed the twin Weasley dolts really had left this bottle untouched. That was disappointing. Maybe smuggling their brother alcohol was exciting enough for the two of them.

Weasley was still watching him expectantly. Draco fiddled absently with the hem of his shirt and scowled some more.

“Well?” Weasley asked.

Draco huffed. “I just think if you get to fuck, then so should Potter and I,” he said blithely.

Weasley choked again, but not because he was drinking anything. “You actually want to – do that? With Harry?”

“…I don’t know, I haven’t thought that far ahead,” Draco muttered, going a bit shifty-eyed. “But other stuff?” He shrugged. “Sure. Might as well do something to pass the time around here.”

Weasley opened his mouth to say something, paused, and then tossed back another mouthful of Firewhiskey. “Okay, Malfoy, here’s the thing,” he said, dragging the back of his hand across his mouth. “Harry, more than anything – well, not anything, but – he just wants to be normal. He wants all this Boy Who Lived stuff to be over with so he can get out of the spotlight, find a normal girl to marry, settle down in a normal house somewhere, and have lots of normal babies.”

“Normal, as in, your sister,” Draco said, grimacing, but Weasley quickly shook his head.

“They’re never actually going to happen,” he said. “If Harry wanted to be with my sister, he would fight for her the way she fights for him.”

Draco, absurdly, found himself a bit offended on Harry’s behalf. “You don’t think he’s fighting for her? All this shit with the Horcruxes and defeating the Dark Lord so the Wizarding world can live in peace – you don’t think she’s a part of that?”

“No – that’s not what I meant,” Weasley said. “He doesn’t want her. He broke up with her but Ginny is still clinging to some fairytale belief that they’ll be reunited when all this is over. She keeps trying to get him back, but if Harry wanted to be with her then he’d be with her. If it was me who You-Know-Who was trying to kill, you’d better damn well believe I’d keep Hermione by my side. She makes me stronger just by being around; there’s no way in hell I’d ship her off to Hogwarts where I couldn’t see her every day. It’d feel like a part of me was missing and I’d never be able to focus on what we’re supposed to be doing.” He took another drink after he finished talking and Draco blinked, vaguely impressed that Weasley could admit all that and not seem the slightest bit embarrassed. “Ginny is a pretty clever witch,” Weasley continued. “She’s good with spells – she could actually be useful to have around. Harry just doesn’t want her here.”

“She’s also underage.”

“True. But if Harry had stepped in and said something, my mum probably would have let her stay with us.”

Draco had seen Mrs. Weasley in action so doubted how true that was, but he didn’t say anything. He shifted his weight from foot to foot for a moment before moving to the chair at Weasley’s desk so he could sit down. “So, what are you saying? It’ll be some other girl?”

“I’m saying he won’t go for anything with you if you’re trying to play it off as a just sex kind of thing.”

“What the hell does that have to do with being normal?”

“Normal for him – minus the fact that you’re a bloke. He wants the whole relationship deal. Everything, not just shagging and all that.”

“Did he say that to you?” Draco asked, eyeing Weasley suspiciously.

“No,” Weasley said, snorting. “He denied it all entirely, which is another hurdle altogether. You being a boy doesn’t fit in with all his preconceptions of what a normal relationship is, but I think he could get over that part.”

Draco sighed and tipped his head back, staring at the tiny cracks in the ceiling for a moment. “I don’t get it. Is it a Muggle thing? Because, your family being how they are, I doubt they’d much care. And it’s got to be obvious by now that I don’t. My father, on the other hand, he’d pitch a right fit about it all – but I don’t care about that and I don’t know why Potter would. Maybe his Muggles...?”

Weasley frowned, looking thoughtful. “Hermione said it’s about the same in the Muggle world as it is in ours. Some people care, others don’t. And Harry wouldn’t give a flip what his Muggle family thought, anyway.”

“I suppose not… They’re a nightmare, those people.”

“Yeah, not very friendly.” Weasley glanced over at Draco. “Do you like him?”

Draco remained quiet for a long moment, and then he wordlessly held out his hand. Weasley passed him the bottle and Draco made a big show of wiping the rim off before he took a large gulp. He didn’t cough like Weasley had, though he winced a bit as the Firewhiskey burned its way down his throat. Then he glanced at Weasley out of the corner of his eye. “You know the answer to that, you tosser.”

“Humor me.”

“He’s not as…annoying as I used to think,” Draco offered, and Weasley rolled his eyes. Draco took another sip and then handed the bottle back. “I need you to stop acting like you know there’s something going on with us.”

“Why’s that?” Weasley asked.

“Because you’re scaring him off!” Draco snapped. “If he’s trying so hard to be normal or whatever, then you hinting and being a smarmy know-it-all about something that hasn’t even happened yet is only going to make him keep denying it.”

“…Oh.” Weasley seemed slightly abashed. He took a drink and passed Draco the bottle again. “Sorry.”

Draco let out an agitated breath. “It’s fine,” he muttered. “Just – quit it. It’s like one step forward, five steps back whenever you say something. If you’re right – and let’s face it, you probably are. You know him better than anyone.” Weasley gave him a big grin at that, and Draco rolled his eyes. “Anyway, if you’re right, then he needs to figure all this out on his own. You stop hinting, and…” He trailed off, and then lowered his voice. “…And I’ll stop pushing.” He tossed back another drink. “And then maybe he’ll make a bloody move already.”

Weasley looked at him curiously. “…Have you two – er.” He flushed.

“Have we what?” Draco asked, amused. His head was starting to feel a little fuzzy, but in a good way. And for no reason in particular, he felt like laughing. Maybe Weasley would say something funny.

“Haaave you…you know.” He couldn’t seem to meet Draco’s eyes now. Draco snickered, which made Weasley scowl at him. “You know,” he insisted.

“Have we…figured out the Horcruxes yet?”

Weasley frowned. “No.”

“Have we played Wizard’s Chess recently?”


“Have we tried a bogey-flavored Bertie Bott’s bean?”

No – Malfoy, come on!”

Draco snapped his fingers. “Quidditch!” he declared. “You want to know if we’ve been playing Quidditch! Which is a stupid question, frankly, because you know we can’t leave this bloody house.”

Weasley buried his face in his hands and groaned. “Not exactly the broomsticks I’m talking about, Malfoy, you utter prat,” he ground out.

There was silence for a beat, and then suddenly Draco burst out laughing.

Weasley,” he crowed. “Did – did you just make some sort of veiled allusion to us riding on each other’s – ha – each other’s broomsticks?”

Weasley abruptly turned a deep, tomato red. “No – no! That’s not – I didn’t mean to!”

“Oh Merlin,” Draco said, still laughing. “The answer to that one is obviously no.” He was kind of morbidly curious how Weasley would react now, though, not to mention a little past tipsy, so it seemed like a good idea to go ahead and tell him. “However–”

“I’ve changed my mind!” Weasley said loudly, quickly standing up from the bed and marching over to the opposite side of the room like that would somehow stop Draco from telling him anything. “Bloody hell, it’s like with my sister all over again – I don’t want to know!”

Draco grinned. “Oh, let me tell you about your sister,” he said. “Those two–”

Weasley covered his ears before Draco could continue. “NOT LISTENING. Don’t make me hex you, Malfoy!” Draco let his grin turn into something a little more evil as he took another drink. After a second, Weasley’s face scrunched up in confusion and he lowered his hands a bit. “Hang on,” he said. “How do you know all this? Do you two actually talk about this kind of thing?”

Draco shook his head, which he promptly decided not to do again because the entire room sort of swayed with him. “It was this whole thing – came up when we were practicing Occlumency. …It’s a long story.”

“Oh.” Weasley frowned. “I don’t know how to do Occlumency. Maybe I should learn. You could teach me!”

Draco shot him an incredulous look. “I’m not going to be your training partner.”

“Why not?”

“Because I refuse to see you and Hermione all…” Draco waved a hand around aimlessly. “Naked. And stuff.”

“…That’s necessary to learn Occlumency?”

“It’s a training mechanism.”

Weasley raised an eyebrow. “That apparently you didn’t mind using with Harry.” Draco shrugged, and Weasley gave a soft, disbelieving laugh before walking back over to snatch the bottle out of Draco’s hands. “You definitely fancy him, mate.”

“I do not!” Draco cried, mostly because it was an automatic reaction to disagree with whatever words came out of Weasley’s mouth. “Why would I fancy that scruffy, specky git? You’re delusional, Weasel.”

“Oh, Weasel now, is it?” Weasley just looked amused. “Well then, Ferret-face, answer this for me. Would you really be in here talking to me – me, of all people – about this if you didn’t actually like him? And want him?”

“I’m sorry, did you just call me Ferret-face?” Draco asked, pointedly ignoring the question. “That’s so fourth year, Weasley.”

“Actually, I think it still fits you rather well.”

Draco scowled. “I’m in here because you’re the one with the booze,” he lied. “Of course, now you’re hogging it all.”

“Only because you’re already halfway pissed.” Weasley took another swig and then smirked at him. “Lightweight.”

“Am not,” Draco said stubbornly. Weasley just snorted, so Draco waited for him to raise the bottle to his lips again before he blurted, “Potter and I totally snogged, by the way.”

Weasley promptly spewed out a mouthful of Firewhiskey.

Draco burst out laughing again.

“You – you what?!” Weasley cried. “Malfoy!”

“We snogged, I said!” Draco said gleefully. He stood and grabbed the bottle from Weasley’s suddenly slack fingers, and then quickly danced away when he tried to grab it back. “Also, I stuck my hand down his pants.”

Weasley gave up on the Firewhiskey and just gaped at him. “…Oh my God,” he said weakly.

“And he stuck his hand down mine.”

“Oh my God.”

“It was pretty fantastic.”

“Malfoy – shit, Merlin on a bloody broomstick, I said I didn’t want to – when was this?”

“Forever ago,” Draco replied. “Belgium. He’s treated me like I have the plague ever since.”


“…Actually, we snogged again on the day we went into the Cave of Doom. But that was it.”

“It was that long ago?” Weasley asked. “I knew it, I knew there was something going on with you guys!”

Draco stepped up to Weasley and bonked him on the side of his head with the bottle. “Are you listening to me? There’s been nothing since! NOTHING. I’m going crazy! Do you know what it’s like to be near someone every day who doesn’t want you back?”

“Well…” Weasley gave him a smug grin as he stole the Firewhiskey back. “Not recently.”

“I mean, what do I have to do?” Draco demanded. He spun away and started pacing the length of the room, forgetting about the Firewhiskey entirely now that he was suddenly focused on ranting. “I practically spelled it out for that arsehole the other day. I was pretty damn clear, wasn’t I? I’m yours, it doesn’t get much clearer than that!”

“Yeah, about that,” Weasley said. “Maybe next time, wait until there aren’t other people in the room? The way you two were staring at each other, I was afraid you were going to go at it right there.”

“You could have just left if we had,” Draco said. He crossed his arms over his chest and got a sulky look. “I should have just leaned all the way in.”

Weasley watched as Draco stomped around and he smiled a little to himself. “…Definitely fancies him,” he murmured.


“Nothing. So – hang on.” He upended the bottle and took three long gulps, and then squeezed his eyes shut until the burn passed.

“Steady on,” Draco said, as Weasley swayed on the spot. Weasley shook his head and blinked a couple times.

“Urgh,” he said, screwing the top back onto the bottle. There was still about half of the Firewhiskey left. “Remind me not to do that again.” But then he grinned. “So! This whole – hands in each other’s pants thing. That really happened?”

Draco nodded rapidly. The action made him feel woozy. “Oh yes,” he said. “Definitely happened.”

“That sneaky little git,” Weasley said. He sounded almost proud of Harry, despite everything. “You’d think he would at least mention that at some point.”

“Are you mad? He’ll probably take it to his grave.” Draco trudged over to Weasley’s bed and all but tossed himself onto it.

“Nah, no way,” Weasley said, leaning up against the footboard so he was facing Draco. “I’m pretty sure he likes you, too, Malfoy. For some reason.”

Draco snorted. “He hides it well.”

Weasley made a noncommittal sound and then all at once seemed to notice that Draco was, in fact, lying on his bed. “…Oi. Hey! Up, Malfoy! Gryffindors only in this – this…general vicinity.” He made a sweeping gesture with his arms that was evidently meant to include the bed in its entirety. Draco glowered at him and then did the opposite of getting up: he spread out his arms and legs and tried to take up as much room as he could.

“What’s wrong, Weasley?” he asked, smirking. “You don’t like it when suspicious characters Slytherin to your bed in the middle of the night?”

Weasley blinked at him. And then his brow burrowed. And then suddenly he let out an unexpected bark of laughter. “That…is not funny, Malfoy,” he said, in between chuckles he was trying to stifle. “Nor clever.”

“Whatever, Weasley. I’m hilarious,” Draco said haughtily, and Weasley laughed some more until Draco couldn’t help but join in.

After a minute of this, Weasley seemed to lose his balance for no logical reason whatsoever. He stumbled backwards and tried to grab for the footboard, but he only managed to create a windmill effect as he flailed his arms around and ended up falling back onto his arse on the ground.

This, of course, only set the two of them off all over again until they could hardly breathe from laughing so hard.

Eventually, Draco managed to pull himself over to the end of the bed so he could look down at Weasley, who was flat on his back on this floor.

“So,” Draco said. “Weasley. Tell me about your sexual escapades with Hermione.”

Weasley grinned.

* * *

Harry frowned over at his door for a moment, wondering what the hell Ron was doing at this hour of the night. Probably something with Hermione that Harry really didn’t want to be thinking about. Which was all well and good, but did they have to be so loud?

He sighed, shifting around under his covers into a more comfortable position, and then he crossed his arms behind his head and went back to staring at his ceiling. After studying that picture of Slytherin for half an hour earlier, he still wasn’t any closer to figuring out what the hell about it was setting off his memory. It was incredibly frustrating.

Maybe Dumbledore would know. Harry could take a quick trip over to Hogwarts and ask his portrait. It would definitely be nice to get out of Grimmauld Place for a bit–

…Except he wasn’t supposed to go anywhere. And Dumbledore had probably seen that portrait a thousand times before.

But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t be able to recognize whatever Harry was looking for. Maybe he would know more about the sword and shield; maybe he had some idea of when they’d been lost or where they’d ended up. It couldn’t hurt to ask, right? That bloody picture was the only lead they had right now, after all.

Sleep was starting to creep up on Harry. He was beginning to drift off, halfway into a hazy dream of Voldemort and Dumbledore dueling with the sword from the portrait and the one that had belonged to Gryffindor, when it hit him.

He bolted upright in bed, eyes wide and all traces of tiredness abruptly gone.

Of course.

* * *

Draco stumbled back to his own room sometime later, and the first thing he noticed was that it was bloody cold because apparently he’d left his window open earlier.

The second thing he noticed was the rolled up letter sitting innocently on his nightstand.

The last thing he noticed was the Malfoy seal on the letter.

His father’s seal.


I know that Slytherin joke is not even remotely original, hahaha. But I like it anyway. >.>

More coming soon! I love hearing all your thoughts, thanks for the reviews!!


next chapter

You can also read it at Skyehawke.

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