Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Original Female Witch
Slash Drama
Harry and Classmates Post-Hogwarts
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix Quidditch Through the Ages
Published: 04/22/2005
Updated: 07/30/2008
Words: 247,857
Chapters: 31
Hits: 79,195

The Bet


Story Summary:
It all started with a little bet. "I bet you can't do it." "Do what?" "Seduce him." Draco Malfoy's never been one to back down from a perfectly do-able bet. But when that bet involves Harry Potter? Draco's realising that this bet isn't as cut and dry as it seems, nor as easy... AU post-war, post-Hogwarts, Harry/Draco/OC

Chapter 11

Chapter Summary:
Draco goes for a walk, and winds up talking to himself. The result of him stupefying someone undeserving, and walking in on Ginny and Seamus. Involves laughter, tears, rough-housing, and a bed. You do the math. ;)
Author's Note:
First of all, I want to thank my beta for this chapter, Eva, and my hooked-by-the-neck temp-beta, Jesse, the love of my life. Both of them had to deal with the multitude of questions and problems with this chapter, and I kept re-reading it and changing it even more on them! And especially to Jesse, who hates fanfiction, but agreed (reluctantly) to beta this and the next few chapters for me. Of course, I had to keep reminding him to read it (he's such a bloody procrastinator), but I'm grateful he did. He's the residential psychologist, and I had to make sure that where I was going was making sense, not to mention he's a guy, and I can always use a guy's opinion. We actually fought about a certain plot point for a good fifteen minutes, but he was right, and helped me work out all the bugs...so!


The Bet

Chapter XI - Revelations


That night found Harry sitting at the edge of the cliff at the alcove, dangling his legs and gazing silently at the dancing coloured lights. For some reason, Harry decided to forgo the usual trip to the beach, and come to the alcove instead, mulling on thoughts that he had so far neglected in recent weeks.

As the lights swayed in a gentle rhythm, Harry sighed for the fifth time in the twenty minutes he had been there; letting the soft, yet biting breeze sweep across face. Tonight was quite cold, and Harry could smell rain in the air: a testament to the dying of summer and the birth of autumn.

Earlier, when Harry had been talking to Draco, trying to convince him to take the Seeker position for the next game, he hadn't even noticed until it was too late that he was talking about things--people--that he really tried hard not to think about normally, and had, for a little while now, not thought of at all. Harry didn't understand why, when he was with Draco or Raven, he always talked about things that he hadn't talked about before, or things that he hadn't talked about with Ron or Hermione in a long time. He didn't understand why he felt so comfortable with them. What made it so easy to open up to them, let alone anyone, when he had a hard time thinking about it to himself?

And Harry realised, that he had no real answer.

Perhaps it was because Raven had let him know, that someone outside his normal circle of 'family' cared about him, and worried. Especially when they had no reason to. And Malfoy...Draco, was even more puzzling. Yet here the two ex-rivals were, calling each other by their given names, joking around with each other, actually trying to become friends...telling each other things that neither of them probably ever thought they'd tell one another. Harry remembered clearly, only a week ago, when Draco had told Harry what he had been through in Sanctuary. He remembered even more clearly, that Draco had held him when he cried. He felt the utter relief, sadness, and overwhelming emotions that no words could describe as he remembered when Draco had told him that he needed him. He needed him to just be Harry.

And Harry realised something that he had probably always known, but never took the time to think about, was that Draco had never really been disillusioned by Harry's status in the Wizarding World. Sure, he probably grew up with the tales of the Boy-Who-Lived, but once that spurned friendship happened, Draco held no admiration for Harry. He probably saw me as no more than a scraggly little brat, much like what I thought of him, Harry thought. Could my refusal of him really be the reason he hated me so much? Just what had he known about his father's allegiances?

Harry supposed that that was why he had re-introduced himself three nights ago. To try and start over, although it was probably hardly needed. Draco and Harry had been getting along relatively fine, and had already agreed to try and change the status in their relationship. But the air had been so uncomfortable in that room, and Harry had extended his hand in an almost joking manner, knowing at the same time, the underlying seriousness of the gesture. Harry had felt that the gesture would mean more to Draco than words, knowing that words can be taken back, but actions cannot. Especially with the circumstances that seemed to be arising. Raven's obvious taking to Harry, and the modelling...Harry knew that it was no wonder that Draco was still feeling...insecure, for lack of a better word, at the situation. Harry didn't think he would have handled it as well as Draco had.

And just why was he letting Draco into his life? Harry still couldn't figure that one out. Although he supposed that the reason was similar as to why he felt so comfortable around him and Raven, recently. They knew each other, but didn't. They knew enough to know the person, yet not enough to quell the itching of intrigue.

He knew he decided to model for Raven because it was something different; something none of his friends would ever think Harry would do. He didn't think that his friends would approve, but honestly, what did it matter if his friends approved? He could do whatever the hell he felt like doing, even if that meant spending a night naked in front of his ex-rival and his girlfriend. It wasn't their life he was living, after all.

And he had a feeling he was falling for Raven, not just because of her beauty, or her personality, but because she seemed to be the only other person who was true around him anymore, save for probably Draco. She didn't tiptoe around him, she told him the truth, and didn't bother to hide behind lies and whispered conversations about him. She actually appreciated him, and respected the fact that he had been through so much, while his friends seemed to just want to forget about it. Which in truth, Harry thought he wanted to do too. But he never really could. He just hid behind his studies and false smiles, forcing himself not to think about it. But then he'd have nightmares, and when he'd wake, he'd go down to the beach, and think maddening thoughts until he was too numb from the cold to do so anymore.

Harry sighed again, and glanced back at the woods behind him, not quite willing to admit that he had probably come to the alcove in hopes that Draco would be there. Although why he'd need to see one of the people who was occupying his thoughts, he didn't know.

Shaking his head at his stupidity, he stood and brushed off his jeans, rubbing a bit of feeling back into the numb skin of his arse. If I'm cold, there's no way Draco will be out here. He's too much of a ponce, Harry thought wryly. He wasn't sure if sitting out there for an hour or so helped him think at all, or helped him figure anything out, but looking at the twinkling lights he noticed that there weren't as many out that night. It's probably because the moon's changing. Harry sighed and looked up at the waning moon.

Everything's changing.


It was after the tenth pebble thrown that Draco gave up at trying to get Harry Potter's attention. He obviously didn't want to be bothered, and didn't want to talk; so Draco, feeling slightly more than a little miffed, headed to the alcove by himself.

Draco knew that Harry probably didn't feel like talking about whatever had made him leave so abruptly that evening, but that didn't make him feel any less put out at Harry's behaviour. And here we were, making more progress. It's only a matter of time before I'll be expected to... Draco was finding it hard to think about the bet as just a bet anymore. When did it change? Why can't I think of Harry as just a bet anymore? Bloody hell, I'm getting soft.

But then there was a little voice in the back of his head that insisted that perhaps the reason wasn't so much that he was getting soft, but that he had changed a long time ago.

So what? Raven's changed, Blaise has changed. We've all changed. You can't go through all that shit without coming out unscathed. Draco sighed inwardly. And besides, even though I didn't know her all that well at Hogwarts, Raven's changed, and she's still a manipulative little bitch. 'Which you secretly like,' the other voice told him. Yeah, well...I am who I am, after all, and not even Potter can change that.

'Didn't I just say that you already had changed?'

"Shove off," Draco muttered bitterly out loud, becoming quite annoyed at the sudden arrival of the voice of reason in his mind. The point was, that even though he had changed, that didn't mean that he still couldn't be self-serving and an all around bastard. He'd never lost his snarky attitude, after all.

'But this isn't exactly self-serving is it?' The Voice chimed in. 'You're doing this because Raven wants you to...at least, that's what you keep telling yourself. Unless...you're counting the sexual gratification you'll get out of it, not to mention the gloating rights to say you stole the Boy-Who-Lived's virginity...'

Shut up! Draco snarled at himself. Harry's a human being, dammit!

'Has that ever stopped you from being an ass before?'

That's not the bloody point. I know that now, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let all the energy and life-sacrificing shit I've done the past few years go to waste.

'So you're saying that you actually like Harry, and want to get to know him? That you'll tell him when the time comes to...complete the bet?'

Yes. It was said with such a force; he knew he shut the other voice up. But he had a sneaky suspicion that it was laughing at him. So he stopped walking, suddenly hit with the realisation that he just used reverse psychology on himself. Is that even possible?

"Holy fuck," he muttered, shaking his head and continuing on his way.

The next second he tensed, stopping again as he heard a loud crunching noise just a few metres away. And it was coming closer.

Taking a second to get his bearings, hoping whatever it was, a red deer, a...badger; would just pass him by. But he took out his wand out of habit anyway, quietly shuffling behind a tree and waiting to see if he needed to take drastic measures.

Whatever it was was definitely coming closer, Draco decided, and he held his own breath, concentrating on the sounds of the...thing. It was crunching and shuffling through the leaves without abandon, not making too much noise, but far enough to be heard. Draco thought he could hear it breathing, a soft sighing sound that made Draco think about what it was.

Chancing a glance around the rough trunk of the tree he was currently leaning against, he looked to see if his growing assumption was true. What he saw was a flowing black figure against the dark grey of the woods around it, moving towards him at a medium pace. A strange bolt of frightened panic shot through him--was it a Death Eater? Someone who had never been caught coming to finish a traitor off? Not thinking about anything other than the immediate fight and flight options that lay in front of him, Draco quickly stepped out from behind the tree and pointed his wand at the figure.

"Stupefy!" he yelled, and the figure immediately crumbled to the ground.

Taking a few steps forward hesitantly, Draco approached the figure with much caution. As his eyes kept adjusting to the darkened lighting in the forest, he came immediately to the realisation that he was staring at a pair of trainers. Very familiar looking trainers.

He just stupefied Harry Potter.

"Ho-ly FUCK!" Draco swore loudly, clenching his jaw in frustration, feeling a heavy rock of panic drop into his stomach. "Goddamn son-of-a..." Crouching down, he quickly cast ennervate on Harry, who gasped awake in shock. Draco's apologies bubbled out of him in a rush of panicked emotion.

"Oh God, Harry. I'm so sorry. I didn't meant to; I thought you were a Death Eater...oh fuck, I'm such a fuckin' moron..."

Harry, who was altogether disoriented upon wakening, was strangely able to come to the conclusion that his sudden blackout and sequential disorientation was the doing of the panicked figure of Draco hovering over him. He groaned slightly, gurgling an 'it's okay...' and placing a hand on his forehead, before trying to sit up.

Draco immediately moved to help him, placing a hand on his back. "Merlin, Harry, I really am sorry..."

Harry waved him off though, still feeling dizzy and a little sore from falling to the ground so suddenly. Moving his hand to rub the back of his head a little, he said, "Malfoy...it's fine, really. I think...I think I can understand. After all," he smiled wryly, "we share common enemies now."

The stricken look on Draco's face softened up slightly. But then a smirk eased onto his mouth and he replied, "What have I told you about calling me 'Malfoy'?"

Harry made a face. "Sorry. Draco."

Draco grinned. "That's better."

They paused there for a minute, gazing at each other, before Draco moved, looking away and gripping onto Harry's forearm. "I supposed we should get you back to your dorm, huh?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah." Using Draco for leverage and balance, Harry heaved himself up from the ground, keeping a grip on Draco for a second, just to get his bearings and let the dizziness pass. "Thanks."

"It's the least I could do."

Harry released Draco's arm and dusted himself off. He started forward tentatively, gaining more confidence as they kept walking, Draco beside him.

"So..." Harry started, "you were headed to the alcove?" He glanced over at the other man.

Draco nodded. "Yeah. Actually, I had stopped by your place to see if you wanted to come, but I thought that perhaps you just...didn't want to," he ended in a soft voice, very glad for the cover of night to hide the flush he could feel coming over his face.

"Oh." Harry replied, not really sure what to say to that. Did Draco really want to see him?

"But," Draco said in a lighter tone, "it seems that I was mistaken, and that you were already there."

"Yeah, I just...needed somewhere to think."

"Moving in on my territory, Potter?" Draco joked.

"It's Harry. And no, I'm not trying to. Actually...I was kind of hoping you would show up," he admitted, a blush creeping up on his cheeks. "Although I wasn't quite expecting that kind of welcome," he added wryly.

Draco snorted. "It's not my fault you like to slink through the woods in the middle of the night, scaring the shit out of ex-Death Eaters."

"I was not slinking!" Harry defended indignantly.

"Yes you were. And you would have done the same thing, Harry."

"What? Stupefy anything that moved?" Harry said sarcastically.


But Harry shook his head. "I don't think so, Draco. If the situation had been switched, I would have used my magic to find out if you would have intended me harm."

Draco paused. "You mean...that thing you did the first time we came out here? When you recognised the badger?"

Harry looked back at him, and nodded. "Yeah."

Draco started walking again. "That's a neat trick, Potter. Sorry, I mean Harry. Merlin, that habit's hard to break."

Harry nodded. "I understand."

They walked in silence a few moments before Draco said, "Do you think you could show me?"

Harry smiled. "My 'trick,' you mean?"

Draco chuckled. "Yeah, your 'trick.'"

A minute or two later, they emerged from the woods, the light from the waning moon filtering through the edge of the trees, casting everything in a bluish glow.

"So...er..." Harry started, "I guess I'll-"

"Can I come up?"

Harry blinked. Malfoy wanted to come up? To his room? "Er...sure. I guess that's alright. It's not too late, yet."

"I won't stay for long, I just...wanted to talk a bit longer." Draco glanced to the ground, and then flickered his silver-grey gaze back up at Harry.

A sudden nervous twitter jumped through Harry's stomach, and he wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Turning around, he guided Draco towards the patio doors of Number One, noting that a light was still on inside the lounge. Opening the door and stepping inside with Draco right behind him, he saw Seamus and Ginny snogging on one of the couches. Upon hearing the door open, they jerked apart and looked over at Harry, their eyes wide and their cheeks flush with embarrassment.

"Oh! I'm sorry you guys, I didn't mean to interrupt..." Harry said, and quickly averted his eyes. He heard Draco close the door and move out from behind him to look at the scene. The red on the two freckled faces drained to white as they paled at he sight of Malfoy standing next to Harry.

"Malfoy..." Ginny breathed, her face quickly going back to the red of embarrassment.

"Hmm...I didn't know you two were dating...is this a new thing?" Draco replied smoothly, seemingly unfazed by the couple's discomfort.

"Malfoy," Seamus started, swallowing hard, completely ignoring Draco's question.

There was an uncomfortable silence for a moment, and then Harry glanced over at Draco. "Well. Um...were just going to hang out for a little while. Up in my room."

Ginny's eyebrows shot up at this, and when it seemed as though Seamus was going to say something either in confusion or protest, she put a hand on his arm. "It's alright, Seam. I don't think Malfoy's going to hurt him."

Draco took a hold of Harry's arm and started forward, leading Harry towards the foyer and stairs. He gave Ginny and Seamus a meaningful glance as they walked by. "I wouldn't dream of it," he said effortlessly, although to Harry it looked as if he were trying to hold in laughter.

"See you guys later," Harry called over his shoulder as he and Draco left the room.

"Don't wait up for us!" Draco put in, and grinning, the two men scrambled up the stairs and into Harry's room, where Harry quickly shut the door behind them, casting a spell to light the candles and a silencing charm. They looked at each other for a moment before bursting out in laughter.

"Oh my god, did you see their faces when they saw you?" Harry panted.

"Finnigan looked like he was going to die of embarrassment!"

"Ginny too!"

They laughed for a few more minutes, before finally settling down on the side of the bed, lying side by side.

Harry kicked his shoes off before saying, "God, I hope that never happens to me, I think I really would die."

"Not much of an exhibitionist, Harry?" Draco joked, sitting up and untying his shoes.

Harry sat up, blushing. "Er, no. Even if I was, I've never had the opportunity." Why the hell did I just say that? To cover up his embarrassment, Harry reached over to place his wand on the bedside table.

Draco's eyebrows rose. Jeeze, he really is a virgin... "Never had the opportunity, eh? C'mon, I'm sure you have tons of girls lined up to please the Boy-Who-Lived." He took off his shoes and placed them side-by-side on the floor.

Harry's embarrassed visage turned quickly into a frown. "No. I don't."

"Really?" Draco said in honest surprise, looking over at Harry.

"Yes, really."

Draco wasn't quite sure what to say to that, so they sat in silence for a few moments. Finally, Draco decided to try and change the topic. "So, Harry...I wanted to ask you...if you..." Merlin, why is this so hard? It's just a stupid question.


"If you wanted to talk about what was bothering you earlier." There. I said it.

"What do you mean?"

Draco swallowed. "Earlier, after Quidditch...you seemed rather abrupt in your departure. Was there something bothering you?"

Harry stood up suddenly and went to his dresser, staring at his reflection in the mirror. It was closed off, but his eyes seemed haunted, Draco noticed in concern. Harry's tone was almost monotone, barely masked with false nonchalance. "No, there was nothing bothering me. Why do you ask?"

Draco stood as well and came to stand behind the dark-haired man, looking over his shoulder. Gazing at Harry's reflection, he looked straight into his eyes and said, "I know there's something bothering you, Harry. You might be able to hide your emotions from your other friends, but your body and your eyes give everything away."

Harry sneered. "What the hell do you know, Malfoy? You hardly even know me!" What a presumptuous asshole...

Draco could feel the rise of impatience build in him at Harry's sharp tone, but masterfully held it down. "You said earlier that you needed somewhere to think, so you went to the alcove. I know you never went there before I showed you where it was, and you even admitted to wanting to see me. You wanted to talk to someone Harry. About something. What is it?"

Harry whirled around the face the Adonis standing behind him. "Nothing! Why can't you understand that I don't want to talk about it!"

Draco crossed his arms and idly raised an eyebrow in question. "I think you're lying to yourself, Harry."

"Fuck you! You know nothing!"

Draco stepped forward and placed a hand on Harry's shoulder, and ignored the little flinch that was Harry's response. "I think you need to calm down," Draco said with a little force. "I'm not trying to force it out of you. I'm just letting you know that if you need to talk to someone, about anything, I'll be here, waiting."

Harry shifted uncomfortably under the silvery gaze. "I..." He wasn't sure what to make of the man standing in front of him. Draco Malfoy wasn't supposed to act like this...all friendly and...caring. Even if they had started to become friends...it couldn't just be that easy. It would take some time.

But Harry was tired of taking time.

He was tired of no one noticing that he wasn't okay, even if most of that was self-imposed. He was tired of waiting for someone to do just what Draco had just done, what Raven had also silently done, by offering their friendship. Letting him know that they cared. It wasn't that Ron and Hermione didn't ask him if he was okay from time to time, but when they ran into a wall, they left him be, assuming that he'd come to them when he was ready.

And Harry had spent a long time building up his walls higher and higher, so that no one could get over or past them, but Draco was the only one willing to dig under them. To really make sure he was okay.

Because he wasn't. He hadn't been for as long as he could remember, and the past few weeks in all their newness and dizzy exploration of newfound friendships had only distracted him. He still had nightmares. He still showed everyone fake smiles. And he hated it. He wanted it to end.

Trying to swallow his sudden despair down, he looked up into Draco's eyes and said in a whisper, "It feels too soon to talk to you like this, but..." he bit his lower lip. "I know you've shared some pretty horrible stuff with me, and I...I need to. I need to talk about this. I know that. But it's hard."

Draco squeezed his shoulder. "I understand. You don't have to do it now if you don't want. We can just...talk. About whatever."

Harry nodded, and Draco moved over to sit on the bed, leaning against the headboard and stretching his legs out in front of him, crossing his ankles. Harry followed, shrugging off his jacket and throwing it on top of his trunk. Moving around to the other side of the bed and settling down next to Draco, it became apparent that neither man had anything to say. They sat in silence for a moment, Harry fidgeting with his hands and Draco chewing on his bottom lip.

In an act that could be called fairly uncharacteristic, Draco suddenly took a hold of one of Harry's fidgeting hands and laced their fingers together. Harry looked up in shock to Draco's face, taking in the worried look in the cool grey eyes.

"Draco..." Harry glanced down at their hands, worrying his own lip now, and looked back up with crystals hanging in his eyes. As he blinked and a tear fell down his cheek, he gripped Draco's hand hard and choked out, "I feel like it was my fault." He brought his hand up and rubbed the tear away.

Draco cocked his head and said softly, "What?"

"Their deaths. Cedric, S-Sirius, Colin, Dean, Padma...Pansy. Everyone. It doesn't matter what side they were on. No one should have died."

Draco's brows furrowed. "Harry... Do you really believe that all of that was your fault?"

Harry grimaced. "Yes, and no. Their screams and faces haunt my dreams, Draco. I logically know that there was nothing I could do, that I didn't kill them myself, but..."

"You still feel guilty."


Draco suddenly smirked. "It's amazing that we never talked earlier, Harry. I think we have more in common now than I'm even willing to admit."

Sadly, Harry chuckled softly at that admission. "You know, Draco, I think you may be right." Then he sighed heavily. "So you feel guilty too?"

"How could I not? I may not have killed tons of wizards...people we knew...but I still killed people. A lot of people. I was so sickened by what I saw...what I did...I was in bed for days with a self-induced flu. My father thought I had caught a nasty muggle illness when we went to..." Draco shook his head. "And I let him believe it. I couldn't bring myself to let him down like I did in school, to tell him I wanted out." He snorted. "He was so proud of me, and kept telling me that the Dark Lord was very pleased with my work. Hearing that only made me feel more sick."

Harry nodded. "I think I felt sick all of the time." He suddenly looked up at Draco. "Draco...I'm wondering...did you mean it? Killing all those people? I mean, you must have, you can't cast the Killing Curse or any of the Unforgivables without meaning it."

Draco looked down at their intertwined hands and unconsciously traced little circles on the back of Harry's hand with his thumb. "I...I did," he admitted quietly. "But as the night went on...I wavered. I cast the Cruciatus Curse, and the Imperious Curse...and forced the muggles to kill themselves."

Harry's eyes widened, and his mouth dropped open in shock. "What?"

"Yes. I forced them to do it with their guns and their knives, while I turned the other way. By the end it was the only way to get through it." Draco's voice was nearly emotionless, as if he was telling the story under the influence of Veritaserum. He turned to Harry's frozen face. "You have to understand something about me, Harry. I grew up thinking muggles and anyone associated with them were scum. Lower than animals on the food chain, so to speak. They were to be brought to servitude if not entirely wiped out, because pureblood wizards are the only beings worth being on top."

"Oh, Draco...that's sick."

Draco nodded and looked away again, to the far wall. "I know. After killing mothers and children, fathers and babies...I realised that I never understood how I could think that way. I still don't understand it. I've accepted it, though, that it'll always be apart of who I am, even if I don't agree with it anymore. It's...taken a long time to come to grips with the fact that I really believed all that shit my father told me, but I did, and it made sense, the way he explained it. It really did." Draco paused. "But it doesn't now, and the experience I had that night...it showed me just how wrong I was. How wrong I had always been." Draco turned back to Harry. "And for that, Harry, I am eternally sorry for everything that's happened between us in the past."

Harry squeezed the hand interlaced with his own. "I should be sorry too. I didn't help. I never stopped it. I disliked you the moment I saw you in Madam Malkin's, and I hated you from the moment you insulted Ron. If I could have been a better person about it-"

"No, Harry. You were right to refuse my friendship. You wouldn't be who you are today if you hadn't. Yes, I'm sorry I was such an asshole, and that I didn't really help matters for you any, but things couldn't have turned out in any other way. If they had..." Draco shook his head. "I don't even want to think about how things might be different. I was an asshole; I didn't deserve your friendship, Harry. You chose the right path. It just took me a little longer is all," the blond said wryly, giving Harry a sad smile.

Harry furrowed his brow, but smiled back, squeezing the hand in his again.

"I think," Harry started slowly, "I think the important thing is that you did choose the right path, Draco. You and Blaise and Raven. The fact that they helped you too, when no one else would...I think that shows you who your true friends are. They chose to help you, and in so doing, chose the 'right' path themselves." Draco looked over at Harry, and felt warmed by the sweet reassurance shining in the Gryffindor's jade eyes.

His eyes really do betray everything... Draco thought, and felt himself smiling back at the man, who, until recently, had such a negative connotation in his life. "Thank you," he said earnestly.

Harry smiled the brilliant smile that dazzled Draco's mind. "You're welcome. It's the least I could do." And the two men chuckled and reverted into their own thoughts, still holding each other's hands.

After a few moments of comfortable companionship, Harry shifted and turned to Draco. "Draco, can I ask you something?"


"Well...I was wondering...why is it you've told me all these...personal things about what's happened to you? I mean...a week ago, when we were at the alcove... You've always seemed like such a guarded person. Why'd you tell me all of that? We hadn't even agreed to become friends yet." Harry glanced down between them. "And this," he held up their intertwined hands, "I haven't thought much about it 'til now, I mean, I noticed it, surely. But you were the first to hold my hand two weeks ago...do you really feel that comfortable with me?" It almost seemed like Harry was going to go on, but Draco held up his free hand in halting gesture.

"Whoa, Harry. That's quite a lot of stuff to address. Let me start at the top before you overwhelm me." Harry blushed and looked down, adopting a sheepish expression. Draco smiled at this and said; "You asked why I told you all those things about what happened in Sanctuary?" Harry nodded. "Well, Harry...to be honest, I'm not sure why I told you those things. It just felt like...the right thing to do, I guess. You asked me a question, and I answered it, albeit with more length than I probably needed. You're right, I normally am a very guarded person, but that night..." Draco trailed off and shrugged. "That night I just felt like talking about it. I haven't talked about it in a while. Or really, at all."

Harry took this pause to interrupt with a related question. "But you said...you said you needed me to...keep interacting with you the way I always had. So that you could...keep your sanity. No offence or anything, Draco, but it seems to me that you were admitting a weakness."

Draco smiled wryly. "You're right. I was admitting a weakness, wasn't I?" But Draco shrugged. "To be honest, I hadn't even really thought about you that way until that night. It was like I was figuring it out as I was talking to you, does that make sense?"

The Gryffindor nodded. "Yeah, I think so." There was a small pause, and then Harry asked, "So I'm your weakness?"

Draco contemplated for a moment before replying, "Yes. I suppose you are."

Harry didn't have anything to say to that, but Draco filled the silence with, "So...what was the next question?"

Harry thought for a moment and then responded, "Erm...something to do with this," he raised their hands again slightly. "Why you did it."

"Oh," Draco said, averting his eyes. I can't very well tell him the first time was because of the bet...and the second time was all him, so... Draco looked down to their hands, the pale and the bronze of the skin contrasting nicely against each other as their fingers wove in and out. It felt--and looked--natural. Even the contrast between Harry's more masculine-looking fingers, and Draco's rather feminine ones looked natural next to each other. "I...I don't know, Harry." Draco looked up into the deep green eyes. "I honestly don't know." He looked back down to their hands. "But I...I don't mind. It doesn't seem weird to me, I'm not sure why. Although it bugged me when I heard you and Raven had held hands...isn't this something only lovers do?" he asked Harry tentatively, glancing back up at him.

Harry's eyes widened slightly and he flushed, quickly escaping Draco's silvery gaze. "I...er...y-yes...I suppose so. Hermione said that 'just friends' don't hold hands like this. It does seem rather intimate," he replied nervously. "I've never really held anyone else's hand before...you know, other than Raven's..."

"I haven't really either."

Harry's head shot up. "What? Not even with Raven?"

Draco shook his head and shrugged. "We don't really need to walk around holding hands to show affection. Sometimes we hold hands when we're alone...but never in public."

"I find it hard to believe that Draco Malfoy hasn't ever held hands before. Haven't you had other girlfriends?"

"No, not really. A few...lovers, maybe, but I'm not someone who shows a lot of outward emotion, Harry. You should know that. That stuff's meant to stay rather private, I've always felt."

"Me too."


"Yeah, I've always hated having other people know all about my personal business. It's one thing when it's Ron and Hermione, they're my best friends, but everyone else always wants to know what's going on with the sodding 'Boy-Who-Lived', and it's fucking annoying."

Draco laughed. "Yeah, I remember all those articles by Rita Skeeter...talking about you and Granger...those where hilarious!"

Harry frowned, but good-naturedly. "We never dated, you know. She's always been head-over-heels for Ron."

"But still..." Draco trailed off into a yawn. "Maybe I should go soon."

"Yeah...I should change for bed," Harry said, untangling his fingers from Draco's and moving off the bed to stand.

"Do you want me to leave?"

"No, that's fine," Harry said as he stretched and walked over to his dresser, where he pulled out a pair of sweats.

Draco stared unabashedly as Harry pulled his shirt over his head and threw it on the floor, before unfastening his jeans and slipping them off, stepping out of them and leaving them in a heap. Then he slipped on his pyjamas, a pair of red flannel pants with little gold-coloured Snitches stitched into the fabric. Draco was half expecting them to move, but they didn't, to which he was strangely relieved. He didn't think he needed the extra distraction of Golden Snitches zooming around Harry's pyjamas to keep his gaze on the Golden Boy of Hogwarts. He could stare well enough on his own.

Oh Merlin, Draco's mental voice sighed. He...he's... Gorgeous? Beautiful? An amazing blend of sexual masculinity that had Draco wondering in an unprecedented moment of self-consciousness if he had that appeal? Hell, Draco wasn't sure, but whatever it was, Draco knew he should leave, and soon. Before he fucked everything over with his slightly neglected and never satisfied sex drive. Draco mentally snapped himself out of it, averting his eyes for a second. I'm attracted to Potter, but that's all! He's barely even my friend, dammit! I...I... But Draco's train of thought promptly de-railed when Harry eased back down on the bed next to him, laying down on his left side and facing Draco.

Harry, completely oblivious to the affect he was having on his newfound friend, was a little surprised when Draco suddenly turned to get off the bed, bending down to put his shoes on. Alarmed, Harry sat up slightly. "Draco? Are you leaving?"

Draco paused, but didn't turn around. "Yes."

"Oh." After a moment of semi-tense silence, Harry asked, "Did I...did I do something wrong?"

Draco paused again. "No. I'm just... It's late, and I should probably get back."

"Oh. Okay," Harry nodded. Well, it's no surprise, Potter. You just changed into your pyjamas yourself; he probably thinks you want him to go home... "You don't have to go, if you don't want to. I was just...trying to get more comfortable." Oh, that sounds good, Harry. "I just didn't want to fall asleep in my clothes is all," he quickly added. Did that sound any better? Somehow I don't think so...

When Draco finally swallowed the lump in his throat enough to speak, he said suggestively, "Jeeze, Potter. Are you this messy about everything?" Draco turned around and smirked at Harry's confused expression. When Harry still looked confused, Draco gestured to the mess Harry had left on the floor.

Harry snorted. "Everything, Malfoy? What exactly are you suggesting?" he asked as he moved to slide off the bed past Draco, but Draco stopped him with a hand on his arm.

Kicking off the one shoe he managed to get on, Draco raised an eyebrow and pointedly glanced down at Harry's crotch.

Harry caught Draco's look and blushed madly. Clearing his throat, he said, "Oh. Um...well..."

"So, what is it, Harry? Messy? Contained?" He leaned forward and whispered in Harry's ear, "Are you quiet, or do you scream?"

Harry shivered pleasantly as the hot breath hit his ear and neck, choking on the intake of breath he had taken in when Draco leaned to whisper in his ear. He looked over at Draco, who had a mischievous grin on his face, and quickly realised that he was being teased. Narrowing his eyes and adopting a smirk himself, Harry launched himself at Draco, tackling him to the ground.

Draco, caught completely by surprise, let out a loud squawk, and an 'oof!' when he landed on the hardwood floor. Harry and Draco immediately started wrestling on the floor, gripping at each other and punching and twisting anything that came into reach. They were both enjoying the rough-housing tremendously, which was saying something, seeing as Harry had only had this kind of contact with people when he was being bullied, or fighting in the war; and Draco hadn't ever really done this, save for maybe that time in fifth year...

Harry, at one point, had Draco pinned beneath him, a solid grip on one arm and his other forearm across Draco's chest. "So, what do you think, Malfoy?" he challenged.

Draco mockingly glared up at the Gryffindor. "I think you're a screamer, Potter," and kicked Harry off of him.

But Harry managed to keep a hold of Draco's arm, and proceeded to twist it behind the Slytherin's back. "I'll show you 'screamer,' Malfoy," Harry taunted.

Draco ground down on his teeth, determined not to scream. But he let out a little squeak anyway, and Harry laughed harder. "Fuck you, Potter," Draco bit out, swinging around and punching Harry in the stomach.

Harry fell to the ground and Draco continued to punch and pinch his ex-rival. Harry struggled beneath him, and managed to roll them over a few times, until they ran unto the side of the dresser. They both grunted in pain, but kept at it, letting out frustrations as well as having fun; being rough, but never really hurting each other.

"You fight like a girl!" Harry jibed.

"I'm refined, Potter! Unlike you, so of course I don't know how to fight the muggle way..."

And when Harry had managed to get Draco in a headlock, Draco choked out, "T-time-out!"

"I have you in a headlock! You're not allowed to call a time-out!"

"You have the advantage of not having any clothes on, Potter. I am currently wearing a heavy jumper and slacks. Let me take some of it off for Merlinsakes!"

Harry reluctantly relented, still keeping his guard up, and watched as Draco pulled off his black jumper and socks and threw them in the corner. Once Draco was only in his slacks, Harry launched himself at the pale man again, where they wrestled for another fifteen minutes before giving up, collapsing next to each other on the bed, both sweaty and chests heaving, legs dangling off the side.

"Man, we should have done that ages ago," Harry panted.

"Yeah, but if we had, we would have come out a lot worse than just a few bruises, Harry."

Both men looked over at each other, smiling stupidly delirious smiles and started laughing.

"Gods, I don't think I'll ever be able to move again. I already feel sore from Quidditch, and now I'm exhausted," Draco said, struggling to pull himself up.

"Well..." Harry said, "You could just sleep over if you want. I don't mind. It's well past midnight anyway and..." he yawned, "we're both tired."

Draco, who was currently leaning on his elbows, looked down at Harry in question. "You sure?" He asked, immediately thinking of how he could use the situation to his advantage, although he wasn't sure if he would.

Harry nodded, yawning again. "Yeah, it's fine." He moved up on the bed, manoeuvring himself to the top, pulling back the covers and slipping under them. "Get in." Then he whispered the incantation to extinguish the candles in the room.

Draco stood, removed his slacks, and pulled back on the covers on his side, slipping into the cool fabric. "I didn't mention this before, Harry, but Gryffindor red?" Draco gestured to the comforter and shook his head. "Merlin, you really are a lion."

"Oh, shut up, Malfoy. I'd almost say the same thing about you...except I don't think black is a Slytherin colour." Harry took off his glasses, setting them on the bedside table before turning to face him.

"It should be." Draco responded, snuggling down next to Harry and facing him. "Black, silver and dark green. You can't go wrong. But red and gold?" Draco tutted. "So tacky."

"You're such a ponce," Harry said affectionately.

"And you're such a plebeian," Draco retorted in kind.

They smiled at each other, and Harry's eyes fluttered shut. "Goodnight, Malfoy. I mean Draco," he said sleepily.

"Goodnight Potter."



Draco laid there for a while, watching Harry's breath slow as sleep finally claimed the some-what naïve young man. He really is good-looking, Draco thought, not quite able to call Harry beautiful, even in his head. Although he was, in his own way.

Tentatively, Draco raised a hand, ghosting his fingers over Harry's shoulder, not quite letting himself touch the tanned flesh. He followed the path down Harry's arm and back up, and then Harry rolled over onto his back, catching Draco off guard, freezing him in panic.

But it didn't seem as though Harry woke, so Draco allowed himself one more light touch; across the man's sparsely haired chest, lingering in the soft curls before resting lightly over Harry's heart. Oh Merlin...

Draco wasn't quite sure what he was feeling, but it wasn't necessarily uncomfortable, unlike the realisation that he didn't know what it was. It felt like a constantly changing thing, and the blond didn't know what to make of it.

Just as Draco was letting his eyes drift shut, he felt Harry's hand touch his, almost trying to scratch or rub at the spot Draco's hand had been touching. Draco froze again; ready to take his hand away, when, in his sleep, Harry's fingers loosely snaked over and between his, holding Draco's hand in a loose embrace. Draco smiled at this; his and Harry's fingers intertwined, resting on the Gryffindor's chest; and finally he let his eyes flutter shut and his mind rest.

Author notes: Ok, wow. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed here. This chapter and the next few are pretty heavy and full of all kinds of emotional stuff and realisations, but also some fun too. I really hope you all liked this chapter, because, damn, was it a pain get perfect. (Many many debates between Jesse and I on this one. And he hates fanfiction! But he loves me, so hey...it's all good. :D )
I can't wait to get your reviews on this chapter!

Added (again, in case anyone's been missing it):04.09.06
Okay...I'm getting rather tired of everyone thinking that my story is a rip-off of "Cruel Intentions". I've written notes about this at FanFiction.net, but perhaps I forget here. I DID NOT INTENTIONALLY USE THE SAME PLOT. I totally forgot the movie existed, until someone pointed it out after I posted chapter five or so. Any similarities are COMPLETELY COINCIDENCE. So please stop telling me I'm ripping something off, when I had no intention of doing so. Besides, "Cruel Intentions" is a rip off of Dangerous Liaisons, an old play.