- 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: 04/22/2005Updated: 07/30/2008Words: 247,857Chapters: 31Hits: 79,195
- 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 Summary:
- A morning exchange of words, morning stiffies, jewellery research, and more fighting. All in a week's work for our beautiful British men.
- Author's Note:
- Alrighty! I got this out MUCH faster than I anticipated, yay! I'm not sure how long it'll be until the next chapter, but I've already started work on it. I had a lot of fun writing this one, so I hope you enjoy it! (By the way, sorry about chapter twenty...FA has said it's online in my story management, but it obviously was not. Please visit my site or email me if you're wondering why it's taking so long.) Many profuse thanks go out to
Chapter XXI - Bumps in the Road
Ronald Bilius Weasley had spent the previous night, after a wonderful dinner, musing to himself as Hermione dozed peacefully by his side; exhausted by the flurry of making a meal for eight very hungry men and three young women, and stuffing herself full with said meal.
They had gone upstairs to spend some time together, feeling nothing more than the need to be near each other. Neville politely grabbed his things before escorting Luna home for some alone time of their own, and Seamus and Ginny had curled up in the lounge, obviously made up and watching contently as Owen, Kevin and Dennis tried to beat each other at Exploding Snap.
Ron had placed a gentle kiss in Hermione's hair, and she murmured sleepily and settled down again. Absently stroking his fiancée's hair, Ron had mused about the night's events. He wasn't stupid; he'd seen his captain's adoration for his best friend, and his uneasy aloofness when Malfoy was mentioned. Ron had almost liked the idea - here was someone who would share his feelings on the matter of the stupid little ferret - Mikhail was clearly jealous of Harry and Malfoy's strange friendship; which meant he cared a great deal about Harry. And Ron knew all about jealousy. He was a master at it...and covering it up.
So, he told himself, the reason he was currently heading around the cobblestone path on a dreary cold Sunday to Number Three was purely to gloat. Ron had some bragging rights, after all - he told Harry that Malfoy was no good for him - and currently, Harry and Mikhail seemed to be sailing along just fine, if he did say so himself. And Ron knew that Harry wouldn't parade around his happiness in front of Malfoy (the poor boy still had feelings for the bloody albino), so Ron felt it was his duty as "Malfoy-Irritator" to do the job for his friend.
Besides, even though it was a terrible thing to do (and Ron had promised to be more civil, and at least acknowledge Malfoy's changes of character), the look on that pointy face when Ron told him that Mikhail spent the night would be priceless.
Ron almost cackled.
It was nearly noon, but the sky was dark with heavy grey clouds; drizzling water like the concept of the Earth being dry every once and a while was horrifying. A bit of a light wind whipped in from the sea, bringing the tinge of salt to the air. Ron loved living by the sea; it felt so much more freeing than the cramped homeliness of the Burrow. And, as much as he missed all of his family, he was happy to be out on his own, as well. Pretty soon, he and Hermione would be living in a flat in London; together, married, and all on their own. It was terrifyingly exciting.
Stomping up the uneven wooden steps of the dormitory cottage, Ron planted a self-satisfied - or would-be satisfied in a few minutes - grin on his face and knocked on the door.
Zabini opened the door, and immediately, there was a scowl on his face. "Weasley."
"Are you going to tell me why the hell you're here, or are you just going to stand there? Come to study with an unsuspecting Ravenclaw?"
"You sure are snappy. What's with all the hostility? I'm just coming over to have a word with Malfoy."
Zabini cocked an eyebrow. "Does he know you're coming?"
"No, but do you normally take his appointments?"
Rolling his eyes, Zabini replied, "Looks like you found some wit since Hogwarts." He stepped back and gestured upstairs with his head. "He's upstairs, in his room."
"He has the dorm rep room, right?" Ron confirmed as he stepped past the threshold.
"Yes, he's our dorm representative, though it's not like they've ever met."
"What's there to meet about? We do manage to all get along now, don't we?" Ron turned and headed up the stairs.
"Indeed." Zabini cocked his head.
He was pleased to see that Malfoy's door was open, so he walked right up to the doorway and leaned against the doorjamb.
Malfoy looked up through his fringe from the book he was reading. "Weasley, I don't remember inviting you over. What do you want?" Malfoy said in a flat tone.
"You. Are. An. Idiot." Ron said wistfully.
Malfoy's blank and pointed expression didn't change. "And what, pray tell, led you to that rather biased and fictitious conclusion?"
"You let Harry go, for one. But I'm sure you know that I'm actually happy about that. He and Mikhail are getting on quite famously. You were an idiot to let such an unbelievably brilliant bloke go."
"But, like you just unnecessarily reminded me, you're pleased with that. Now, is there a point to your inane drivel?"
Ron didn't let Malfoy's subtle insults bother him. "Because as much as I'm pleased with it and with how happy Harry seems to be with Mikhail, I also know that he misses you. He cares about you, for some strange reason, and I'm here to make sure you don't fuck things up. For both of you."
Malfoy shifted, sitting up straighter. "Weasley, you are making absolutely no sense."
"Mikhail doesn't like you."
"I know that."
"So, watch out for him. Don't let him come between you and Harry. Harry would be too torn if he had to choose between his boyfriend and you. He really likes Mikhail."
"Well, good for him. And don't worry your freckled red head about it. I can handle Chaikovsky."
"Look, Harry cares for you almost more than he's willing to admit; and I don't want anything to continue making him unhappy."
"I thought you just said he was happy. You contradict yourself."
"Okay, let me amend. He's happy to a point. His feelings for you fuck that up."
"Again, no sense, Weasley. If I'm ultimately what's fucking things up, then why do you want me around? Or do you? Not that I really give a shit, and not that I'll bother to listen, but what exactly are you trying to tell me?"
"Stay around. Just...don't let Harry fall for you, Malfoy. He could have a real chance with Mikhail; as soon as your fucked-up sudden dumping of him stops upsetting him." Ron sighed, suddenly unsure just why he had come over. "You make Harry happy somehow, Malfoy. He needs you somehow. Just don't fuck it up."
Malfoy studied Ron for a moment. "That bothers you, doesn't it?"
"That Harry needs me. You feel like he's replaced you."
Ron glared. "No, I don't, actually. My relationship with Harry is far different than yours. It's built off more than a reconciled enmity. We trust each other, and we're there for each other no matter what. We're not afraid that one of us will leave the other for another best friend. If you want to play mind games with him, then I suggest you put Harry straight so you can both go your separate ways."
Malfoy turned back to his book. "Thanks for letting me know. Now, will you get the hell out of my room?"
"You don't believe me, do you? That Harry's happy with Mikhail. You think that it won't work out, don't you?"
"What I think or want or believe is irrelevant. Believe what you want, Weasley. I answer to no one but myself."
"Mikhail stayed over last night. Did you know that they had a nice big dinner with everyone? Only a week and they're spending the night with each other." Yes, that was more like it, Ron thought. Focus on irritating Malfoy.
Malfoy set his book down. "Oh? So that equates to happiness now?"
"Well, if they didn't like each other a whole lot, then they wouldn't spend the night together, would they?"
Malfoy cocked an eyebrow. The only change in expression since Ron had arrived. "You might want to re-confirm that with Harry, Weasley. It seems your intuition is off."
"What the fuck does that mean?"
"That I know more about what happened in that room last night than you do."
"What, did Harry come over or something? He was still asleep when I left..."
"No, he didn't come over. I went over there last night to see if Harry wanted to hang out. Since I saw his candles were lit, I levitated myself up to his room to get his attention. I saw quite a bit of what happened, including that Harry pushed Mikhail away just as soon as things were getting heated. I'm assuming that Mikhail didn't leave because they fell asleep in each other's arms; Harry practically crying on his shoulder. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have important research to do, and you're wasting my time." He picked up his book again.
Ron was livid and shocked nearly speechless. But not entirely speechless. "You spied on Harry? You asshole!"
"I wasn't intending to, Weasley. It just sort of happened. So, either Mikhail's going too fast for him - which I've already talked to both of them about, by the way - or, something's going on that Harry won't tell us about. Or me, at least. Now, it's none of my business what really happened last night, unless Harry wishes to come and talk to me about it. I suggest you think the same. Now leave."
Ron stormed for a few moments, lost at what to do. Finally, with a huff and an unnoticed glare at Malfoy, Ron left, feeling particularly pissed at Malfoy and worried about Harry. Had his freezing thing happen again? Why was Malfoy acting so nonchalant? Did he really not care about Harry that much? Fuck, he didn't know. But it was something to mull over.
Because no one else was going to.
Harry woke with a slight shiver, goose pimples rising on his flesh. He burrowed himself deeper into his...wait a minute...why were his covers heated, heavy, and only on his back? Wiggling slightly and cracking open his eyes, Harry realised very sleepily that he and Mikhail must have fallen asleep at some point last night. Mikhail hummed in his sleep and pulled Harry closer. It was so nice to wake up next to someone, Harry thought. He didn't want it to end.
"Morning," Harry whispered.
"Mmm, morning, sexy," Mikhail murmured in his ear, kissing the dip of skin behind it.
Harry felt the tips of his ears burn red. "Thanks for the compliment, but you're lying."
"You don't know how crazy you make me, Harry," Mikhail replied.
Choosing to ignore the comment and let the conversation drop, Harry wiggled in the opposite direction, sitting up and shivering again. "It's cold, isn't it?"
A new flurry of cold air brushed over Harry's shoulders. Turning, Harry spotted his bedside window was opened a crack, allowing the cold October air to creep in. "Gah, how did that get open?" He stood and moved around the bed to close it. "Was it open last night?"
"Not that I remember," said Mikhail. "Now come back to bed. I'll warm you up."
"What time is it?"
"Too early. The sun's barely up."
Harry murmured 'Tempus', and rolled his eyes as his Snitch-clock told him it was nearly eleven. Kneeling on the bed, he looked down at Mikhail.
He definitely looked sexy in the morning, Harry thought, unsure if he had a good definition of 'sexy'. He looked down at a large expanse of skin that bordered on that fine line between creamy and lightly bronzed; short, dark hair, spiky and flat in amusingly appealing places, and his brown eyes hazy with sleep and something like desire. He looked hungry, for obviously something other than food, and Harry wasn't sure if he felt put off by it, or merely stunned.
Mikhail sat up and moved in to kiss him. Harry pulled back slightly, saying, "I've got morning breath."
"Don't care," said Mikhail, moving in again. Harry let it happen, feeling uncertain about where he and Mikhail stood. Didn't Mikhail remember their conversation last night? Weren't they supposed to be backing off? He pulled away. "Mikhail..." he started.
"I know. But I thought I'd get in one last kiss before we abstained for a while." Harry smiled at that. "Do you still feel like you might not be gay? Or bi, I mean?"
Harry looked again at Mikhail's well-muscled torso. "No, I think I'm still attracted to guys."
Mikhail smiled devilishly. "Ah, well that's one thing we don't need to worry about, then."
"Yeah." Harry gave him one more quick kiss. "I'm going to go take a shower."
"Alright. Do you want me to wait around or...?"
"Or join me?" Harry smirked, getting off the bed.
Chuckling, Mikhail said, "Actually, I was going to say 'leave', but if you'd rather save water..."
Harry laughed. "That's fine. You can stay right here, love." Harry grabbed a towel from his wardrobe and a fresh set of clothes from his closet. "Be back in a few."
As he left, Mikhail saw, or thought he saw, a strange flash of bluish-green light on the jade around Harry's neck, followed by silvery lines across Harry's back. Scars I've never noticed?
Mikhail lay back, thinking about his boyfriend. It wasn't hard to see how wonderful Harry was. Especially considering all he'd been through. He tried so hard to make sure the people around him were happy and that he didn't burden them with his own problems. Mikhail didn't even want to think about what Harry's family did to him; it made him want to find the sorry bastards and try a few Unforgivables.
Shaking the horrible thoughts from his mind, he heard the shower running and thought other thoughts of Harry. Mikhail really wasn't sure how to define his feelings for the Seeker; he knew some of it was just pure animal magnetism to Harry's spirit--his personality. And quite a bit of it was purely sexual - but Mikhail had never really noticed any of the other members of the Quidditch team, knowing full-well they were all straight. It had been a few years since his last boyfriend, and Harry was the only one that Mikhail had had any real yearning to be with.
Which was why it was so frustrating and so arousing at the same time. Harry tried to give so much; as much as he could, and it only left Mikhail for wanting. Merlin, he could feel the uncomfortable tightness in his trousers, and it didn't have anything to do with the fact that he slept in them last night. He placed a hand over the bulge, and pressed down, using just a little bit of friction. Heat flared in his belly as thoughts of Harry naked in the shower flashed through his mind. Quickly, hoping to be done before Harry came back (and was it okay to jerk off in your boyfriend's bed when he wasn't there?), Mikhail unfastened his trousers and pushed them aside just enough to have room for movement. It didn't take long, and Mikhail was hard and moving fast, twisting his free hand in the duvet and pushing his head back into the pillow.
"Harry-" he panted. So close. So, so close. Was Harry doing this too? Jerking off in the shower? The very thought brought Mikhail to his full. "Harry!" he choked out. Air burned his lungs as he breathed heavily, and his hazy post-orgasm vision cleared to see his very real fantasy standing at the foot of the bed.
Harry stood there, absolutely stunned, yet strangely aroused at the same time. Watching Mikhail touch himself for the last few minutes was extraordinarily embarrassing, and so incredibly erotic. He couldn't look away. Hearing his name panted from Mikhail's throat, and watching his bicep flex and his hand moving so slick and fast, and oh god, Harry was going to come in his new, clean pants right now, if - and oh Merlin, Mikhail was coming, and oh no, he was looking at Harry...
"Oh, Merlin, Harry, I didn't think you'd be back..." Mikhail whispered before charming his mess away. "I'm sorry."
Harry blinked. "Sorry? Why are you-" he cleared his throat, "-are you sorry?" Oh, his jeans were feeling awfully uncomfortable, and he was sure it was noticeable. Harry wasn't sure if he'd like to pounce on Mikhail, or pretend he hadn't seen a thing.
Mikhail quickly tucked himself back in his trousers, fastened them back up, and shuffled into a sitting position. "Because I... 'cause I jerked off in your bed..."
Harry swallowed, and tried for some humour to save him from whatever else he was likely to do. "Well, I've done that plenty of times, so it's not like my bed's unfamiliar with the notion." Bolt or pounce.
Mikhail chuckled uncomfortably before murmuring, embarrassed, "I still feel ashamed."
Harry stared meaningfully at Mikhail. "Don't be." Dropping his dirty towel and clothes, Harry stepped up onto his trunk and up again to his bed. Pulling off his shirt, he dropped to his knees, reaching forward to unfasten Mikhail's trousers again. "I want to give you a blow job. Tell me how to make it better." Pounce.
"Harry, you don't have to - I mean, we decided to stop - don't feel obligated just because-"
"Shush. I want to."
"Mikhail, I'll stop myself if it becomes too much. I always have before. But I want to do this." Harry leaned forward and kissed Mikhail hard. He pulled away and immediately dropped down, pulling open Mikhail's trousers and pants, exposing his boyfriend. Harry looked at it with interest, the second penis (or third, really), that he had ever taken an interest in. Taking a deep breath, Harry lowered his head and started to give his boyfriend a blowjob.
Mikhail sucked in harsh breaths and Harry continued his ministrations. Mikhail's moans rose and ebbed in waves, urging Harry on with throaty notes and exuberant sighs.
Harry didn't want to, but he pulled away to say, "Am I doing alright?"
Mikhail raised his head and replied breathily, "More than. Keep going. I'll let you know when I'm going to come."
Harry reached up with his free hand and stroked Mikhail's chest as he bent down and resumed his task.
"Oh...yes... Harry... Oh Merlin, don't stop - that feels so good-"
Harry found he was enjoying the taste and the pure act of sucking Mikhail off. It was never an adolescent-fevered fantasy of his, to suck dick, but ever since Raven gave he and Draco that book, and Harry started liking Draco, and then went down on him as well, it was something he was very sure he would always like doing. Mikhail tasted and smelled very good, and Harry couldn't even remember what Draco smelled like.
Mikhail was panting harder now, and Harry was sure he was close. Harry himself was aware of the pre-come stain developing on his own jeans.
"Harry, I'm getting close, I'm going to-"
Harry choked, coughing as Mikhail came in his mouth and it hit the back of his throat and tickled his tonsils. The same thing happened when I gave Draco a blowjob, Harry belatedly remembered. He licked his chin, hand, and cleaned Mikhail. He sat back on his haunches, looking down at his boyfriend, who was lying there with his eyes closed, breathing heavily. His cheeks, neck and chest were flushed pink, and his nipples were hard. Harry appreciated Mikhail's Eastern European beauty and loved that he could make someone else feel so good.
"I'm assuming it was good?"
"Harry, there are very few men who will detest getting a blowjob, no matter how good or bad." Mikhail opened his eyes. "But yes, it was good. For your first time, you're a natural."
Harry smiled shyly and glanced away. Yes, for my second time, I seem to be very good. He buttoned Mikhail back up and moved forward and braced himself on either side of Mikhail's head. "Any pointers to make it better?"
Mikhail grinned. "Watch your teeth a bit more, maybe, but it's not so bad. And touching my balls some is always helpful."
That made Harry blush. "Noted." He watched Mikhail watching him, trying to figure out where to go from here. They obviously hadn't stuck to the "platonic" relationship bit for very long, but Harry really wasn't looking forward to going through anymore freezing spells and conflicting feelings. Taking a breather might help clear his head. But the occasional blowjob didn't seem like such a bad idea.
"I should probably get dressed again. I have an owl to send to Remus, and one to Sleekeazy. I need some new shampoo."
"Remus? Who's he?" Mikhail asked as he ran his fingers up and down Harry's ribcage.
Harry wriggled under his touch. "That tickles. Remus is an old family friend. I don't know if you were at Hogwarts when he taught Defence Against the Dark Arts, but he's sort of the last surviving friend of my parents. Ever since Sirius, my godfather, died when I was fifteen, and since I never really had one, he's been like a father figure to me. And...he's a werewolf."
"Oh, I see. I don't think I know him." Harry couldn't quite tell if Mikhail was uncomfortable with that information or not, so he rushed to clarify.
"He was bitten when he was very young. He takes Wolfsbane every month, so he's not...well, I wouldn't say he's not dangerous, but he's not wild. He's the gentlest person I know."
"I believe you. So, when do I get to meet him?"
Harry sat back, allowing Mikhail to move out from under him and sit up himself. "I think he's coming to our next home match. You can meet him then."
Mikhail smiled. "Perfect." Leaning forward, he held out his hand until Harry took it. "Harry...with what just happened, do you...would you still like to back off mostly, like I suggested last night?"
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I think that would be best. I don't mean to lead you on, and I really do like, you know, being with you, but yeah, it would probably be best if we weren't caught in a situation like this for some time."
"Alright. Whatever you need." He squeezed Harry's hand. "However long you need."
"Thank you, Mikhail."
Mikhail kissed Harry on the cheek, and stood up, gathering his discarded clothing and sloppily putting it back on. Harry followed, putting his shirt back on, and charming his jeans clean and dry.
"I'll see you tomorrow?" Mikhail asked.
"I already miss you."
Harry turned a pretty shade of pink, to which Mikhail chuckled and planted another kiss in his hair. "Goodbye, Harry."
As he watched his boyfriend leave, only one thought came to Harry's mind. My boyfriend really is the soggiest bloke I know.
20 October 2003
Potter's Truth; Potter's Someone
An Interview by Luna Lovegood
Sitting down with Mr. Harry Potter is always a pleasure, and even more of one when I get to ask him questions. Being a friend of the Boy-Who-Lived always brings new surprises, the least of which is news of romance.
Many might remember, nearly ten years ago, when there was information pertaining to Harry Potter and Hermione Granger's love affair littering the papers. None of which was true of course. Quality publications, such as The Quibbler, had no part in such rumours, of course. So upon Harry telling his closest friends and roommates a newly discovered part of his life, I grabbed the chance to give him the courtesy of telling the truth, knowing how much he hates publicity and knowing the effect the information would have on the public if in the wrong hands.
Our interview as conducted on October 14, 2003, is recorded below.
LL: So Harry, you told us last night during dessert that you had some 'probably upsetting' news. Do you wish to make that news public? And was it good?
HP: Uh... what?
LL: Your dessert? Was it good?
HP: Um, I guess it was okay. Wait... What was the question again?
LL: Oh yes, your news. Do you want to make your news public?
HP: Might as well. I know it'll come out sooner or later. I... (pause) After many years of not knowing what really to make of myself after the war, I realised something very important. I was missing the one thing most everyone around me had--someone to care for.
LL: And did you find someone?
HP: Not at first. I found myself attracted to both men and women though.
LL: This probably comes as quite a shock to our readers. I know that you surely shocked some of your friends with this news.
HP: (shrugs) It kinda came as a shock to me too. I thought there was something wrong with me. But I couldn't stop thinking about women and men in a sexual way.
LL: Did you pursue a relationship with anyone you know?
HP: No. I was still rather confused about the whole idea of who I was attracted to, let alone how to date or pursue anyone.
LL: Is there anyone you like right now?
HP: (blushes) Well, a few. But the main surprise to me was when someone I that I didn't know liked guys kissed me. Out of the blue. I sorta freaked out about it, I guess. I wasn't expecting it. I keep thinking I must have been missing the signs or something.
LL: Did anything come of it?
HP: Er...yeah. I thought about it all weekend, and the next time I saw him, I asked him to be my boyfriend.
LL: Really? Congratulations! That was awfully brave of you.
HP: Yeah, I guess. I think it was pretty brave of him to kiss me when he wasn't sure if I was even gay or not.
LL: So are you gay? Or still undecided?
HP: No, I know I like men. But I like women too. So I guess I'm what you would call 'bisexual'.
LL: Then the young witches of Britain still have a chance?
HP: (chuckles) Sure, if I get to know them.
LL: So who is this lucky wizard that has your attention?
HP: (smiles) Mikhail Chaikovsky.
LL: Isn't he your Quidditch Captain?
HP: Yes. And I thought about that. But, well, how much favouritism can he give me, really? It's not like I'm on the reserve team, and besides, he's a fair bloke. He's actually going to let Draco Malfoy seek for this next game, from what I gather. Mikhail is a strong captain and an excellent Chaser, and is all about giving equal opportunities to those players who really work hard to become better.
And, our other team mates don't seem to mind. About our relationship, I mean.
LL: I'm glad to hear that. Do you and Mikhail have any plans for the future? And how about those showers?
HP: Unless you count... wait... what?!
LL: Those showers. They must have a nice view.
HP: (blushes) Um, I don't think I'm at liberty to discuss that.
LL: (smiles dreamily) Oh, well then about your plans.
HP: (laughs nervously) Unless you count dinner later this week? No. Not yet. We haven't even been together for a whole day! But we'll see. It's my first real relationship, actually, so I'm even more unsure about all of that than I am of the fact that Mikhail's a guy.
LL: Well, I wish you happiness, Harry. You deserve it.
HP: Thank you, Luna.
Official Charges Against Skeeter Revealed!
As recorded by the Department of Wizarding Law, and reported by Belinda Marrowstar of The Daily Prophet
Official charges against former Daily Prophet columnist Rita Skeeter by Misters Harry Potter, Mikhail Chaikovsky, Draco Malfoy and their law-wizards were revealed today by the Department of Wizarding Law.
Just a week ago, The Daily Prophet released an article written by Rita Skeeter claiming the sexual orientation of Harry Potter, Mikhail Chaikovsky, and Draco Malfoy, implying inside information on the relationships between the three men. The Daily Prophet is being charged with Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress by printing the article. The Daily Prophet editor, Byron Stanwick, denies any charges of negligence against the beloved British newspaper.
The charges against Rita Skeeter are as follows: three counts of Defamation of Character via Libel, three counts of Invasion of Privacy, one count of use of her unregistered Animagus form, three counts of using her unregistered Animagus form for spying into the private lives of the three prosecutors, three counts of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and one count of Trespassing on school property after being banned.
This is certainly a long list, and one must wonder if Rita Skeeter will be able to stand up to the charges. The most shocking of which is that she has an unregistered Animagus form, a beetle, with markings around the eyes like spectacles. Now many readers know just how she's been getting her information all these years. Stanwick denies to comment as to whether he will re-hire Ms. Skeeter if she is cleared of the charges.
A trial date has yet to be set.
"That was a great practice today, Harry. You really pushed me up there."
"That was the point, Draco," Harry grinned. "Need to keep you up to speed for your big debut on the first."
"Are you really sure Chaikovsky is going to let me play?"
"Yes, now will you quit asking? You're good, Draco. Better than. You're fantastic! You just need someone other than me to tell you that."
"Malfoy, that was a pretty good run. Keep it up," Meghan, the team's manager said, passing by the boys with the Quaffle in her hands. Draco passed off the Snitch to her.
"See?" Harry said.
"Yeah, yeah, Genius."
Harry unclasped his outer practice robe from his neck. Draco caught a flash of what must have been the necklace he saw Harry wearing the night before. "What's that?" he asked nonchalantly, gesturing to Harry's neck.
"Sorry?" Harry touched the jade pendant as they stopped in front of the locker rooms, Mikhail and Meghan a few feet away, talking quietly. "Oh! This is a necklace that Ginny gave me last summer after she went to China."
"I've never seen you wear jewellery before. Is it magical?" Draco asked, raising an eyebrow at it.
"Er...I don't know. I don't think so. I haven't noticed anything particular about it. And I've been trained to notice all kinds of magical signatures and auras. Not just because of the war, but because of Medi-Wizard training."
"Could I look at it? Maybe it's meant not to be noticed by the wearer."
Harry pulled a face. "I'd rather you didn't."
Draco frowned. "Alright," he said cautiously. "Do you know what the symbol means?"
"Ginny said it means 'luck'. I think."
"Hm. Well, you should find out."
"I was planning on it."
"Hey babe. You did well out there today," Chaikovsky said, coming up behind Harry and giving him a kiss on the top of his head. Putting his arms around Harry he said to Draco, "You too, Malfoy."
Draco saw through the farce of Chaikovsky's compliment. He knew it was true, but he obviously didn't mean it, either.
"Thanks," Draco replied flatly.
Turning to Harry, Chaikovsky said, "Well, love, I'm going to hit the showers. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Yep. See ya." Chaikovsky kissed Harry on the cheek this time, keeping his eyes on Draco's. The blond returned the glare.
Watching Chaikovsky walk away, Draco asked, "So, how's your relationship going?"
Harry shrugged. "Well, I suppose. I think we managed to find a way around my...problem."
"Yeah. We're going to try to not be alone together. Slowly work things up, I guess you could say." He looked at Draco. "I'm sorry if talking about this makes you uncomfortable."
Draco shook his head. "I'm happy for you."
Harry smiled. "Thanks Draco. That means a lot."
Draco nodded. "I just want you to be happy."
"You and everyone else." Harry sighed. "Let me grab my things, and I'll walk you home."
As Harry disappeared into the locker room, Draco contemplated what to do with his knowledge of Harry and Mikhail's relationship. The fact that he had been spying, and even cracked the window open to hear, wasn't something he was keen on sharing, nor particularly proud of.
Just be his friend, a voice sounding suspiciously like Weasley echoed in his inner ear.
Yeah, yeah, Weaslebee. I'm trying.
Harry came out the next moment. "Ready?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "You know I only shower at home. I come with what I need."
"Don't you hate being all hot and sticky for so long?"
Draco shrugged. "I'd rather shower at home. What about you? Don't you usually shower with the boys?"
"Not really. I usually wait for them all to get done."
"Scars," Harry murmured.
"Oh." Draco paused. "Why not just go home, then?"
"I don't know. I like the quiet echoes of the locker room after everyone's gone I guess. Left over habit from Hogwarts."
"Hm," Draco hummed understandingly.
"So, did you read Luna's article?"
"In that quack rag? No, not yet. And I'm not sure I should need to. I know what happened."
"Do you?" Harry teased.
"Yes. We messed around, I pushed you away, you got with Chaikovsky."
"Is that all it was? Messing around?"
"No, Harry, of course not. You know it was more than that." Sigh. "Did you read the charges against Skeeter in the Prophet?"
"Yeah, Hermione showed me. I didn't realise she could be charged with so much. I don't even know what half of it means, exactly."
Draco's grin was feral. "Defamation of Character is written or spoken injury to a person or organization's reputation; Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress is a claim for intentional conduct that results in extreme emotional distress; and Invasion of Privacy is a violation of the right to be left alone. Our law-wizards will take her and the Daily Prophet for all they've got."
"You're really enjoying this, aren't you?"
"Come on, Potter. Screwing over the enemy is what I do best; it's what I strive for with every waking breath. You of all people should remember that."
Harry smirked. "Indeed. Well, this is your stop. I'll see you tomorrow, Draco."
As Draco watched Harry walk away, he wondered if the green-eyed man knew just what life was getting him into.
The redhead looked up from her pasta. "Yeah, Harry?"
"Do you remember what the symbol on my necklace means?"
Ginny looked down to Harry's neck, squinting at the amulet like she couldn't quite place where she had seen it before. "Oh, hey, that's the necklace I got you last summer. You're wearing it!" she beamed.
Harry smiled back. "Yeah. I like it. But do you know what the symbol means?"
"Hmm... I'm pretty sure the man said it meant 'luck' or...well, I'm not sure. My Cantonese isn't all that great, and his English was terrible. That, and he seemed to be spouting philosophy and random Buddhist sayings. Why don't you look it up?"
Slightly dismayed at the thought of unrelated-to-school research, Harry nodded. "It's next on my list."
"...is Ginny sure she didn't get the pendant from a Kappa? They're rather tricksy. I heard a man bought a pretty stone ring from one that turned his skin into stone whenever he felt angry, and didn't turn him back to normal until he managed to calm himself down. But on the other hand, that saves someone from doing anything out of anger that they might regret later..."
"And then there are Pokémon. There's all kinds of those creatures, and they can do all sorts of things..."
"Like one can manipulate lightning, and another one just sits there and sleeps. Oh! And there's always-"
"You're distracting me."
"Oh, I'm sorry. Forgive me."
"It's alright...just...um, keep your comments for later, alright? When we're not in the library."
"Can do, can do."
A few silent moments passed before Harry huffed and shut the book he'd been reading. "There's nothing. I can't find anything on Chinese symbolism. Isn't this a university? Shouldn't there be a plethora of books on every subject?"
"Have you tried a dictionary?" asked Luna quietly, not looking up from her parchment.
"A dictionary? What on earth for?"
But Luna didn't get a chance to answer as five owls came bearing down on their study space. They all scrambled to try to get to Harry first, feathers flying every which way and beaks snapping.
"Alright, alright! One at a time. And keep the noise down, we're in a library," Harry admonished the birds.
Thankfully, none of the letters were Howlers, but Harry had an idea of what they were about. Responses to Luna's article. Oh, and one strongly-worded response to Harry's charges against Rita Skeeter. He sighed. "Thanks," he told the birds, and they all flew away without replies.
"Fan mail?" asked Luna.
"Sort of." Harry double-checked them for curses and the like, and then continued opening them, scanning them all quickly. "Oh, Merlin, someone's proposed to me!"
"Proposed what? A sit down dinner in your honour?"
"No, Luna. Of marriage."
"Oh, yes. I've gotten one of those too. See my ring?"
Harry's head swivelled around to stare at the colourful ring adorning Luna's hand, speechless. It had just about every semi-precious stone Harry had ever heard of. And probably a few he hadn't. It was like a fruit basket of sparkling jewels set in a two-toned band. "What?" Harry asked incredulously.
"Yes, yes. Neville's asked me to marry him." Luna leaned in conspiratorially. "I think he got the idea from Hermione."
Harry sat there in shock, his own proposal forgotten. "When did this happen?"
"Oh, let's see...Saturday night?"
"And you haven't told anyone?"
"I've told you."
"But why haven't you announced it yet? Like at dinner last night?"
"Because Neville wants to tell his grandmother first."
Harry nodded understandingly. Neville's grandmother was one woman who didn't like surprises, not that much could probably surprise her...she'd be alive long after they were all dead, in Harry's opinion. That woman was just never going to die. Harry had never met anyone with so much will power and such a stubborn streak. Well, except Ron, maybe.
Shaking his head, Harry turned to Luna and said, "Congratulations, Luna. I can't wait for the wedding."
"And I can't wait for yours."
"Who said I was getting married?"
"Well, didn't you just get a proposal?"
"Well, yes, but not from anyone I want to marry, or even know."
"Oh, that's too bad. I was sure blond, green-eyed children were in your future."
Harry frowned. "And how do you know that?"
"The tartspikes told me."
Harry rolled his eyes. Loony Lovegood. As much as he loved her to death, her ability to be more than a little kooky sometimes really made for an ineffectual conversation. So, he changed the subject.
"Have you gotten any reviews about your article?"
On Friday, Harry went to Quidditch practice anticipating the line-up Mikhail was going to announce that day. He arrived on the pitch, and said hello to his other team mates, giving Draco a knowing grin.
"Alright, boys, lets get through our warm-ups and then I'll announce the players for the next game."
They all swooshed up into the air, flying laps and playing tag. Once back down on the ground, Mikhail ran them through one lap jogging around the pitch, then some light stretching, sit-ups and push-ups. Afterwards, they all gathered around, and Harry sidled up next to Draco to give silent moral support. Draco's fingers brushed his, and Harry gave in to the temptation and squeezed Draco's fingers before quickly releasing them.
Harry grinned in Mikhail's direction as he listed the line-up off.
"Keeper--Weasley; Chasers--Darby, Strader, and I; Beaters--Scanton and Smytheson; and Seeker--Potter. Now, everyone up in the air!"
As everyone moved to re-mount their brooms, Harry's anger exploded in a wave that stilled all motion. "You said you were going to put Draco in this game!"
Mikhail held Harry's gaze steady. "I decided against it."
Draco watched the scene unfold; stone cold and right down pissed that Chaikovsky would let his personal feelings get in the way of the game. Not that one would have noticed how Draco was feeling. He planted a completely blank and passive look on his face.
"Bullshit, Mikhail! You didn't place Draco because you don't like him. Well, I refuse to play, so you're just going to have to let Draco."
"Harry, we really don't have time for this. I made my decision-"
"And it's unfair, and you know it! Draco's just as good as me, if not better-"
"But he's not you, and he's not better."
"It doesn't matter. I'm not playing. I refuse the position."
"And I'm the Captain, and what I say goes."
Meghan stepped in. "Guys, you're acting a little childish-"
"I don't give a fuck, Meghan," Harry spat. He glared at Chaikovsky. "Mikhail went back on his word, and I don't like liars."
"I never promised you Malfoy would play. I said I'd think about it. And I did."
"Like fuck you did. You can't play favourites, Mikhail. You have no right not to place Draco because you don't like the fact that he and I are friends-"
"Drop it, Harry," Draco said quietly. "It's not worth breaking up your relationship with Chaikovsky for."
Harry whirled around. "Don't you care, Draco? I thought you wanted to play."
"I do. But I can't force the Captain's hand. It's okay. You can play." Draco just wanted to stop the silly argument before it implicated him and Harry of messing around, not to mention it was just stupid. Chaikovsky wasn't going to change his mind.
"I don't want to," Harry replied flatly. He turned to Chaikovsky. "You'll just have to do with out me, Captain. I'm not playing, or coming back to practice." He pushed past all of his dumbstruck team mates and walked back towards the locker rooms for his things.
"So you're just quitting the team?" Chaikovsky called to him.
Harry turned and yelled back, "You can't make me play, Mikhail. And if you're only left with one Seeker, what will you have to do when the next game comes in a week?" And with that, Harry stalked off the pitch, leaving everyone in his wake uncomfortable and surprised. Harry Potter loved Quidditch. That was something that had never changed.
Chaikovsky stared after Harry for a long moment before saying in a low voice, "Everyone back in the air. Except Malfoy."
Chaikovsky turned to Draco as the eleven other players soared into the air, Weasley trailing behind, but eventually following. "I don't like that your relationship with Harry is influencing him so much."
Draco fought the urge to cross his arms defensively. "And just how is my relationship with Harry influencing him so much? Or any of your business?"
"You have some type of control over him, Malfoy. I know it's not Imperius, otherwise he wouldn't be with me at all. You want him for yourself, and I think he knows it, so he's trying not to hurt you. He's being nicer to you than you deserve."
Draco laughed. "You really are paranoid, you know that? It's just like you said, Chaikovsky. Harry's with you. He's upset at you because you disappointed him. He likes you for whatever reason, and you let him down. I won't deny that he's trying to protect me; that we're good friends, but I have no control over him. If I do, it's all in his head. He was the one who was so sure you would let me play." He shrugged. "I had a feeling you wouldn't. As much as it pisses me off, I'm not blind to your unwarranted animosity, unlike Harry."
"Don't insult him."
"I'm not. I'm just stating a fact. Harry doesn't always want to see what's in front of him. It's caused him a lot of heartache in the past."
"I wouldn't have thought you'd have known that," Chaikovsky sneered.
"Just because I hated him, doesn't mean I didn't notice things. Know thy enemy." Draco picked up his broom. "Besides, I think it's rather childish of you to make this all about me and my relationship with Harry when you have a team to lead. You made your decision, so stick with it. You are the Captain."
"Don't you dare mock me, Malfoy."
"Then don't let your personal feelings get in the way of you being Captain to the Quidditch team," Draco snarled.
"Well, you're bloody going to be Seeker now, so aren't you happy already, or do you need more? Trying to take Harry too?"
Draco just shook his head. "You're rather insecure for a know-it-all Ravenclaw, aren't you? And yes, I looked up your family background. Know thy enemy," Draco sneered, reminding Chaikovsky just why it was Malfoy put him off so. "Harry likes you, you twat. Fucking get that through your head. I swear you were really a stubborn Gryffindor," he muttered before plastering a fake smile on his face. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I seem to have lost my practice partner, and I need to go find our little hero. And somehow remind him that he just had a very public fight with his boyfriend as well as his captain. Good day." And Draco brushed past Chaikovsky, headed straight for the woods where he saw Harry duck into nearly ten minutes ago when no one was looking.
Headed for the cove... Draco thought, sighing. This was going to be a long night, if he had to get Harry to come back to Quidditch and had to take Raven out too.
The things I do for love.
A/N: Okay. Again, I'm never sure how long I'll be for the next chapter, but I do have the chapter summaries finished, so things should generally move more smoothly. School's getting out for three weeks, but I also have work and clients I will be working with. After that, it's my last quarter at school, and then I graduate, so I can absolutely make no promises about anything, only keep you updated (which you can be, if you join my mailing list. :hint hint:). I got my first piece of fanart! Yay! It's a little pixel art of Raven. Go there and enjoy! (Thank you koritsimou (Weiss Kittyn)! Email me! I'd like to put it on my site!) http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y80/hororen/Raven.jpg P.S. Lavender27 - PLEASE leave an e-mail or something so I can reply to your review! I was trying to find some way to tell you to go to the other sites to find chapter twenty! It's been out for a while now, sorry! That goes for anyone who reviews and is a guest! Leave me some way to contact you!