All Bets Are Off
- Story Summary:
- I am SICK of Good-little-innocent!Harry...````Enter Playboy!Harry and his Overinflated Ego, a challenge, a bet, a couple of Really Cunning Plans - and there you have it, "Forty days and forty nights", Hogwarts style. Mayhem ensues! ````Warning: judicious use of Emphatic Capital Letters and idiotic one-liners.
- Chapter Summary:
- I am SICK of Good-little-innocent!Harry...
All Bets Are Off
And so it begins...
Mouth open and just about to utter the password to the Fat Lady, who's eyebrows were raised disapprovingly at the smell of mead on his breath, Seamus Finnigan's head swung around comically.
"Whosat?" he said, only a very little slur in his voice.
He found himself pulled roughly into a conveniently located storage cupboard.
"Lumos," said the voice, and Seamus was rather surprised to find himself quite within shagging distance of Draco Malfoy.
"Whataya want, Malfoy?" he asked, too incredulous to come up with a scathing comment.
"Got a favour to ask you, Finnigan," Draco said with a smirk that could've legitimately been interpreted as a leer if you were a slightly inebriated, ravingly homosexual Irish boy locked in a broom closet with him.
Seamus looked thoroughly overexcited for a moment.
Draco backed hurriedly away. "Not that kind of favour!"
Seamus subsided. "Oh," he said disappointedly. "Well...?"
"I hear you are the man to speak to in this place for all things gambling related. I'm going to be taking bets on a rather...er, unprecedented event, and I need a good bookie with an effective system to do so. I was hoping you might help me," Draco said, in a tone of voice that clearly implied that dissent was not actually an option.
Seamus' eyes lit up for a second at the prospect of a good money-making opportunity. Then he quickly slipped on his poker face.
"And what makes you think I'd help a prat like you, Malfoy?" It wasn't convincing.
Draco smirked. "I wonder if Dumbledore's rather strict ten-week detention policy on student gambling still applies these days," he said conversationally. "I mean, say if I were to tell him that a certain Gryffindor prefect is down at Hogsmeade every weekend laying rather large bets on the ponies with Madame Rosmerta?"
Seamus looked boot-faced.
"Now, don't be bolshy, Finnigan," Draco warned. "I'll not take no for an answer, so be a love and say yes, will you?"
Seamus nodded reluctantly. "And what'll it be, this...event?" he asked, voice belligerent.
Draco smiled slyly. "Ah, I'm just coming to that..."
* * * *
Harry wandered aimlessly. He was quite good at it, actually. He saw his reflection in the window every time he passed it and it was extraordinarily satisfactory every single time. He supposed that at least he looked good, even if it was wasted on the windows of the entrance hall.
He was still thinking about the scene that had transpired earlier with Malfoy. Well, he wasn't actually thinking so much as smouldering. Really, homicidal tendencies made one assume such a sexy expression.
Bloody git Malfoy, manipulating me like that, Harry thought furiously. He wasn't sure whether he was angry or impressed. A bit of both, he admitted to himself. He had to admire how cleverly Malfoy had backed him into a corner. Quiet you, he said to the small voice in his right ear that said he'd much rather it had been a wall he was backed into, and Malfoy's body rather than his words that had pushed him there.
It was an internal battle that he fought daily. Hourly even. Well, it was sort of pretty much every time Harry saw Malfoy. And quite a surprisingly large amount of the time he didn't see him. Harry was winning the fight so far, but it was so very difficult when his nemesis was so adorable and blonde and smug.
Harry shook his head to clear very raunchy images of a vindictive Draco Malfoy from his head. It was distressing, really, how even when he wasn't thinking about anything particularly related to Malfoy, raunchy images of Malfoy would still lapdance through his mind. Yes, very disturbing indeed.
So what now? Harry asked himself. No sex. It really shouldn't be that hard, right? I mean, I went right up 'till fifth year without it. Surely I can survive a month? Harry was upset by how very un-convinced he was, even in his subconscious.
He stopped wandering aimlessly, and started wandering purposefully toward Gryffindor tower. He would sit in his dorm and determine a Plan. All he needed was something good to take his mind off sex for the next month. A Project even. It had been quite a long time since Harry had thought with his head and not his...er, other brain. He hoped the one between his ears still worked satisfactorily.
* * * *
"Right, quiet down you lot!" Seamus' Irish brogue broadened as he raised his voice above the muted roar that was a whole lot of Hogwarts students speculating loudly.
The Slytherin common room fell more or less silent. It was filled to absolute capacity with students of all houses, all of whom wore identical curious expressions. When Seamus and Draco had entered the packed library fifteen minutes ago, talking animatedly, and said they had an announcement to make regarding Harry Potter and a way to make a lot of money, everyone had followed them here, no questions asked.
"Right then," Seamus said with a grin at Draco. "Who here likes money?"
The crowd smiled and nodded, a few voicing their opinions noisily.
"And who here has ever, even if just for a second, wished that The Boy Who Lived would suffer, just a little bit?"
Everyone looked around at everyone else, reluctant to answer either way. Then Whatsername from Hufflepuff, very tearstained and blotchy, spoke up: "Well, I don't know about you lot, but I bloody well would!"
This precipitated a storm of applause; boys that hated Harry for getting all the girls, even if they liked him as a person, girls that had been shagged and then forgotten, girls that had secret, agonising crushes that would never be requited (Ginny Weasley's red head was nodding emphatically), and girls that had been passed over on Harry Cassonova Potter's search for the perfect shag. They all suddenly looked bloodthirsty and excited. Seamus shook his head.
"Well, I'll pass you over to Mr Malfoy then, it's his plan."
Draco smiled elegantly.
"This morning Harry Potter did a very stupid thing," he said with a smirk. "He made a bet with a Malfoy. Malfoys do not EVER lose bets. Because Malfoys cheat and lie and swindle and do pretty much anything to ensure their success."
People looked confused.
Draco continued undeterred. "However, Malfoy's don't JUST win bets. The win them with a whole hell of a lot of style and even more torment and humiliation on behalf of the losing party."
Silence. People were starting to get the idea.
Draco went on, his silken voice turning very slow and emphatic. "I bet Harry Potter that he couldn't go without sex for an entire month."
Disbelieving silence. Then a hysterical roar from the crowd that was as far beyond laughter as death is beyond life.
"Bullshit!" Dean Thomas called out. "Harry Potter couldn't do without sex if he was stuck on a desert island with Voldemort!"
"With Dumbledore!" some wag in the corner amended loudly.
They were getting quite hysterical now.
The suggestions became more idiotic. Draco smiled indulgently and waited it out.
Draco's grin died. He scowled around the room trying to figure out who had said that. He was unsure why the comment had hurt. But that didn't stop the ache in the region his heart should have occupied.
Seamus was laughing with the rest of them, but seeing the murderous expression on Draco's face, decided to shut them up. "Shut it you guys!" he howled. "He's not finished!"
Draco waited for quiet. "Well, now that we've all got that out of our systems..." he drawled bitingly. "Perhaps we can get on with the business at hand."
"Finnigan and myself will be running a day-by-day betting system. Finnigan is in the process of enchanting this parchment," Draco pointed out a huge poster scroll pinned to an eisel in the corner of the room, "Into a binding gambling contract. Once you've put your name down on a particular day, it cannot be erased, nor can the money you pledge be revoked. The money will go into a cumulative pool that will be kept under strictest supervision. If more than one person bets on the day that Potter happens to fail in his resolution, the pool will be divided between them on a weighted average according to the size of their original bet."
Draco nodded at Seamus to take over.
Seamus grinned. "Bets can be placed by speaking your name to the parchment, and placing your money in a charmed box I'll fix up as soon as I can - anyone that thinks of stealing or trying to claim more money than they have actually put in will get a thorough spanking from me, so don't try it. The list of people's names, their bets and the total pool for each consecutive day will be sorted out this afternoon."
A hidden voice at the back of the room piped up, "It might be worth putting an anonymous function charm on the parchment so that people who want to remain nameless can still put money on. It can be enchanted such that their name is only revealed if they win the bet, I read about it in a book called 'Magical Contracts'."
Draco and Seamus looked at each other thoughtfully. That had possibilities. Draco smiled and said, "I like that. Perhaps you could outline the procedure to Finnigan at the conclusion of this meeting Miss...?"
"Weasley," Ginny said, striding forward. She gave a shocked Seamus a saucy wink.
Who'd've thought the little Weasley was a raving sadist, Draco thought in surprise. He recovered and went on swiftly: "Does anyone have any questions?"
"How will we know if Harry's broken his resolution or not?" asked Colin Creevy, hoping someone would volunteer him to stalk Harry with his camera and record all his activities over the coming weeks.
Draco looked superior. "I will be setting up an alarm system in the Great Hall, Library and all four common rooms that will blare out a notice the second Harry...er, deliberately liberates...um, any fluid or whatever..." Draco became flustered for a second, thinking about how Harry might look during that particular event, all flushed and naked and moaning...
OH GOD, Draco thought half-disgustedly. He was obviously not getting near-enough sex. Perhaps he could take advantage of Potter's absence from the dating-game to up his numbers. There were going to be a lot of lonely girls and boys out there with the sex god out of commission.
"And how will you know when that happens?" Creevy persisted, jolting Draco out of his thoughts.
Draco made a silent vow that he would simply stop thinking from this point onward. He was sure it was disturbing his metabolism.
He resumed his mask, and continued: "There is a potion I can develop called Veritactis. The second Harry consumes it, it acts like a tracking device that tells you what he's doing at any particular moment in time. It is a complex potion that requires enchantment as well as ingredient mixing, but basically, the active ingredient is powdered root of Oxalis Canthium in conjunction with a relatively common enchantment used on the..." he paused mockingly "Er, infamous... "Marauder's Map" or most family 'Whereabouts Clocks' - I'm sure you're all familiar with them."
"So leave it to me. I assure you, if Potter even THINKS about getting his rocks off, EVERYONE will know about it."
"Anything else?" Draco asked.
No-one spoke. They were too busy formulating Really Sodding Evil Plans.
"Then I have only a couple more things to add. Firstly, it is preferable if Potter does NOT find out about this." Draco shot a warning look at Pansy Parkinson and Lavender Brown in their respective corners of the room. Bloody Gossips. "Can't have him chucking a hissy fit and refusing to play."
Everyone nodded in agreement.
"Secondly, everyone who is NOT Potter should be told immediately. The more people we've got in this thing, the higher the pot and the more energetic young minds and bodies there are working on ways to torture Potter into giving up..."
Pansy looked deeply excited at the prospect of a good information drop. Draco rolled his eyes at her.
"And finally," he drawled languidly, "Any cheating, lying, torture and/or tactics of seduction that might cause Mr Potter to suffer and hopefully fail in his resolution are strongly...encouraged." Draco gave a chuckle that sounded quite a lot like an evil 'mwahaha'. It was fast becoming a trademark.
Everyone joined his laughter.
This was going to be fun.
* * * *
Harry found it quite difficult to maintain his patented swagger whilst clambering up steps, but somehow he managed it. Arriving at the portrait hole, he gave the Fat Lady a smile and a wink that sent her into a swoon and forced her to swing away from the wall involuntarily. Harry didn't even bother with a password anymore.
He entered the common room and was stopped short by the sight of Ron rolling around on the floor and Hermione sitting in an armchair, watching him with a superior, indulgent expression. Harry was surprised to find the room utterly deserted save for his two best friends.
Thinking he'd accidentally strayed into a bizarre and kinky domination-slash-courtship ritual, Harry started to skirt the room in the direction of the stairs to the dormitories. He was stopped when his ears started working, and he realised that Ron was laughing his skinny arse off. Harry had always secretly prided himself on the curves of his own backside, and so looked upon anything less perfect with superiority.
Harry watched Ron for a second, faintly amused.
He then turned to Hermione with a slightly raised eyebrow. It was one of his better expressions.
"We decided the library was too busy, and came here instead. Pansy came roaring up, just dying to tell us the latest. Draco, er...enlightened her about this morning," she explained, keeping an eye on Ron to make sure he wasn't dying of asphyxiation.
"It wasn't supposed to become common knowledge," Harry said huffily.
Hermione gave him a wink. "So, naturally, the whole school knows about it."
Harry blinked. And then remained silent as Ron gradually retained the ability to inhale. Every few seconds, he would lapse back into hysterical giggles and generally look like an idiot. Hermione's indulgent expression became strained.
Breathing heavily, Ron turned his eyes to Harry. This alone precipitated such a fit of laughing that Harry thought Ron might actually swallow his tongue. So much for a bloody supportive best mate, he thought savagely, and with a mighty mental pout.
"Ron Weasley, if you don't stop that this second, there'll be no sex for you for thirty days either!" Hermione finally burst out.
Ron shut up.
Harry looked incredulously at the pair of them. "You guys are actually having SEX?" he asked in shock.
Ron did a very fine impression of a fire engine. Hermione scowled.
"You may be reigning sex god, Harry Potter, but that does NOT mean you are the only one around here that is getting any!"
Harry mouthed like a goldfish. It was not a good look.
"And furthermore, Ron is an excellent shag!"
"Okay, ew," Harry said. "Besides, I knew that..."
Hermione goggled. "You mean you two have...?" She looked sly, suddenly, and Harry was distressed by the mental pictures she was probably conjuring in that fertile imagination of hers.
"And once more...ew. No, you silly bint, we haven't. Hannah Abbott told me."
Hermione turned on Ron with fury. "Ron Weasley, you told me that it was your first time as well!"
Ron was more purple than red now. He swung round and glared at Harry. "Bloody hell you poncy git, that was supposed to be a secret!"
"Oh. Bollocks," Harry said unrepentently, and grinned at Hermione. "Besides, I thought women liked a man with experience...or rather experiences...?" He shot an evil grin at Ron. That was for the poncy git comment.
Hermione lost whatever hold she had previously had on her temper, and exploded> "Experiences... as in plural?!"
Harry shut his mouth and looked longingly toward the dorms. Perhaps if he made a run for it...
Hermione and Ron proceeded to have a very long and drawn out argument about the merits of lying to protect the feelings of the love of one's life versus absolute honesty and trust being the basis of every good relationship. It ended poorly. Hermione stormed out in the direction of her dormitory.
Harry had long since taken a seat by the merrily crackling fire. Ron came to sit beside him sulkily.
"Could've kept your mouth shut," he muttered accusingly. He then said something that sounded rather a lot like 'cupid chucking custard'.
"Can't be the only one around here who has to be asexual for the next month," Harry said with a sidewise grin. "Figure it'll take her at least that long to forgive you."
Ron huffed and tried to give Harry the silent treatment.
Thirty seconds later: "D'you really think you can manage it?" Ron asked, curiosity winning over sulk in a rather one-sided battle.
"To see the look on Draco Malfoy's face when he is forced to hand over a thousand Galleons?" Harry asked unneccessarily.
"A thousand...?" Ron asked incredulously. "A thousand frigging Galleons! That's what the bet was??"
"Yep. But its more than that. It's about proving that I can actually do something that I set my mind to, you know? Proving that I am up to a challenge, that I am strong enough to control my body and mind, and that I am actually a worthwhile human being..." Harry was becoming tearful and dramatic.
Ron raised his eyebrows.
"Erm, sorry. Carried away with the moment."
"Drama queen," Ron said, without rancour.
They were silent for a moment. Ron started to laugh under his breath.
Harry frowned at him. "What?" he asked belligerently.
"Well, it's just that a world in which you don't have sex is like a world where...I dunno, a world where you and Voldemort sip Margueritas together in Tahiti and talk about who you'd like to shag more, Fleur Delacour or Lucius Malfoy, and Dumbledore is regularly having it off with both Professor Snape AND MacGonagall, and we play quidditch with a Yorkshire Terrier instead of a quaffle!"
"I wouldn't go that far," Harry said with a chuckle. He suddenly turned serious. "You really don't think I can do it?"
"It's not that," Ron said, very quickly indeed. "It's just, well, why would you want to? You have to be the luckiest sod on earth, able to have any girl you want, as often as you want. Why would you give that up?"
"You don't think I can do it, do you!?" Harry said resentfully.
"No, not really," Ron said, laughing.
"Shit. You're bloody right! What the fuck am I going to do?" Harry moaned, flopping down to sprawl elegantly next to the fire, one arm flung across his eyes dramatically.
"Dunno, mate," Ron replied helpfully. "Do know one thing though."
"Whassat?" Harry asked incuriously.
"It's going to be a very LONG HARD month for you!" He corpsed with laughter as if this was the funniest thing anybody ever said.
Harry groaned morosely.
It seemed that pseudo-suggestive sexual connotations were making a comeback.