Astronomy Tower
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
Slash Romance
Multiple Eras
Published: 06/14/2003
Updated: 09/28/2003
Words: 53,207
Chapters: 11
Hits: 178,233

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 07

Chapter Summary:
I am SICK of Good-Little-Innocent!Harry.... Enter Playboy!Harry and his Overinflated Ego, a challenge, a bet with Slytherin-Sex-God!Draco, a few Cunning Plans, some serious humiliation, and a lot of laughs! This chapter: More Quidditch, spectacular faceplants, the Infirmary, hex-wars and Detention! rah!
Author's Note:
I'm FINALLY back with another chapter! I'm so sorry it's taking me so damned long, but uni is trying to EAT me so i'm forced to spend rather a lot of time fending it off with a large stick! Fret not, chapters eight, nine and epilogue are well on the way and will be up soon! (yes, i swear....no, no, please...put that whip away...away i tell you!)

All Bets Are Off

Chapter seven


Professor Minerva McGonagall sat primly in the teachers' section of the Quidditch stands, wringing her hands and watching the sky with something akin to trepidation.

Despite the result of the previous match, Slytherin and Gryffindor were still the two top teams on the ladder, and as a result, were playing one another in this evening's final, undertaken, as according with tradition, on a Monday night rather than a Saturday morning.

However, neither team seemed to know or care about the day or the time. In the air, it was, as always, an absolute blood bath.

Gryffindor was twenty points down, and McGonagall was getting ready to throttle Keeper Ron Weasley, who had just let in two goals which could have been easily blocked because he was staring down at the stands where Hermione Granger was dancing about, waving her scarf like a cheerleader and wearing a skirt that was hardly there at all. Evidently, her poor boyfriend was quite unable to cope. Of course, Ron's poor performance could have had something to do with the fact that he had only been released from the hospital wing this morning, following his consumption of Harry's botched Shagmesidewaze potion the previous Friday. According to Poppy Pomfrey, it had been touch and go for a moment there. Watching the red-haired git ponce about in the air in a most useless manner, Minerva thought bitterly, she'd much rather it had been 'go'.

Beside the brooding Minerva sat a smouldering Professor Snape, who was murmuring under his breath with every play. As Harry Potter deftly dodged a Bludger and kicked the Quaffle out of the hands of a Slytherin Chaser into the arms of a hovering Ginny Weasley, all the while looking absolutely cool and suave; still keeping enough time in reserve to watch for the Snitch and shoot a megawatt smile at his legions of fans, who wilted, Snape said something that sounded a lot like 'clucking little brass-pole'. Minerva shuddered to speculate.

"Really, Severus," she intoned severely, "you do get so involved in these games."

Snape shot her a venomous look. "Don't think I didn't hear what you called Malfoy just now when he took out that Creevy boy, Minerva," he said snidely, making McGonagall flush.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she said airily, and turned her eyes back up to the sky.

"Perhaps," Snape went on bitchily, "you're nervous about the outcome of today's match. Slytherin is ahead, after all, and Potter has been decidedly off the past few days - "

"Harry Potter is not the only player on the Gryffindor team, Severus," McGonagall said.

Snape scoffed.

"And furthermore, Mr Potter is playing well up to his usual standard," she continued, watching the scarlet blur in question as he pulled out from a spectacular feint that had tricked Malfoy into following him within inches of the ground. Malfoy was not so lucky and put his face in the dirt, much to the dismay of the Slytherin supporters. They gave him a cheer as he pulled himself up and re-mounted his broom, zooming up to join Potter in the air, only to find him malevolently laughing his arse off.

Snape glared. He was still sore about his wasted galleons. And still wondering with enormous, if covert, interest about the little insert that had been repeatedly, and, Snape thought, most likely accidentally, included in Potter's last essay. Did Potter really fancy Malfoy? As in Draco Malfoy? To what extremes of delusion was Harry being driven by this bet? thought Snape musingly. He almost felt sorry for the poor git. Then Harry nearly kicked Draco's broom out from under him, and Snape experienced instantaneous reversal of emotion. "Little prat....just like his father....showing off like that...horrid git..." he muttered vindictively.

Minerva affected not to notice. "I assume you are unhappy with the outcome of your recent foray into the underground student gambling ring that has been established at Hogwarts?" she asked with amusement.

Snape grunted noncommittally.

"I have, of course, turned a blind eye to the fact that you deliberately went out of your way to force feed Mr Potter an aphrodisiac potion in pursuit of your own financial gain," she continued blithely, pretending not to notice the ugly flush that branded the normally sallow Potion master's cheekbones.

"You seem awfully cheerful about my failure, Minerva," Snape growled. "A vested interest, perhaps? I don't remember seeing your name down on the list, but there were an awful lot of 'anon' entries, any of which could have been you."

"Really, Severus. Do I look like the kind of person who would become involved in such nonsense?"

Snape smirked. "Yes," he said, watching her carefully.

Minerva McGonagall just smiled serenely, and returned her eyes to the drama in the sky.

* * * *

Harry and Draco circled each other in the air like tiger sharks (funny, human-looking, flying ones), just waiting for a sign of weakness before plunging into attack. They glared at each other, trading vicious shoves and even the odd punch whenever they got close enough to do so. Harry was bleeding from a Bludger hit to his shoulder, Draco from a nasty-looking gash in his cheek, and both boys were hollow-eyed and fierce, watching one another with barely repressed savagery. Tension came off them in waves of electricity; an elemental, feral sort of violence that cracked between and around them like a stockwhip. There was no foolish, laughing banter or seduction between them today. There was nothing but blind hatred and even blinder desire; pride and longing and vicious, brawling lust.

They pretended they were playing Quidditch. Every so often, one or both of them would make a quick token search for the Snitch, or a half-hearted feint. But always they would come back to each other's fiery, intent gaze, not certain what they were looking for, but finding it there anyway.

Suddenly, Harry saw the Snitch hovering near the Slytherin goal and exploded into motion, brushing by Draco as if he were a stuffed animal of some sort and looping toward the glittering golden prize with undaunted focus. He was dimly aware that Draco was close upon his broom-tail, and stretched out low against the stick, driving his Firebolt to greater speed. Still Draco gained, better broom-power speaking for itself as he inched up on Harry slowly, but steadily. Both reached straining hands to the Snitch as it hovered mischievously near a goal hoop. Draco put on a last burst of speed and closed with Harry at the last second.

Their fingers closed around the golden ball in unison, and they slowed, both holding the Snitch tightly, both thinking for an instant that they'd won it. Stopping, they stared at each other for a second, wide eyed, and then Draco's narrowed and he tried to pull the Snitch toward him, viciously yanking Harry and nearly pulling the other boy from his broom. Harry hung on and hauled back, and then it was on for young and old, with punches and insults being thrown about madly as they traded shove for yank, push for pull. It was quite violent.

Draco gave one last ferocious yank on the Snitch, but instead of resisting, Harry went forward with him. With a horrible shift in gravity Draco felt his momentum catch up with him and he slid off one side of his broom.

"Harry," he whispered, fingers slipping from the Snitch to grasp blindly for Harry's robes and missing by a scant half-inch. Harry, still off balance from the shove, whipped a hand out to him but it was too late. With wide eyes, Draco was suddenly falling in a long, agonising, bizarrely graceful arc, thirty feet straight down. Damn you, gravity, he thought irrelevantly, and almost laughed at the sheer idiocy of it. He wasn't laughing moments later when his progress was abruptly halted by collision with the unforgiving surface of the pitch. It hurt, so he passed out.

He didn't get up.

Oh fuck, Harry thought as he fought to regain his balance, his face absolutely white.

"Draco?" he whimpered, zooming down to the ground where his ex-nemesis lay twisted into a terrible parody of normal, one leg obviously broken, one shoulder absolutely dislocated, and one side of his ribcage definitely staved in. He looked like a fallen angel who had missed the ground and landed in hell. Oops, right?

Harry fell to his knees and stared at the other boy, holding his broomstick awkwardly against his side, oblivious to the chaos that had overcome the stands and the pitch. Draco lay very still. Harry reached out a tentative hand and felt Draco's chest, and the relief he felt when he found it rising and falling slowly was absolute. Agonising. He wondered idly if he was going to cry. It seemed an odd sort of thing to do, really, but still his eyes stung. God, if Draco died...

Suddenly Harry felt rough hands seize him and attempt to drag him away.

"No!" he shouted, fighting for freedom like a trapped lion. "No! I won't let him die! I won't let you take him!" He was absolutely hysterical. He looked around wildly, seeing a blur of concerned and angry faces and red and green and silver and gold, all clashing chaotic hues that seemed to shimmer through the tear-haze as he fought to get back to Draco's side because suddenly that was all that really mattered.

"Jesus he's strong," the Slytherin keeper muttered to his looming team-mates, hanging onto a furiously struggling Harry by the tips of his fingernails. "Help me out here you prats! He's fucking unstable!"

Then there were more hands and they were dragging him backwards and away and the last he saw of the boy he loved was the tousled blonde hair before the teeming green and silver of Draco's house-mates hid his slumped form from view.

* * * *

Draco awakened blearily, blinking like an owl in the dim, pre-dawn light. He was very hot, and attempted to kick his heavy blankets away, but this made such intense spasms of agony shoot up his right leg that he stopped immediately. He tried to sit up, but this caused some sort of knife to twist into the region of his tenth rib, as well as a sympathetic, excruciating twang of pain in his left shoulder and arm. He gritted his teeth, but all this accomplished was a sting in the muscles of his jaw and neck. So he rolled his eyes skyward, which hurt his eye sockets, and subsided with a small sigh, which was similarly agonising.

Suffice it to say that Draco was in quite a bit of pain.

He managed a small groan without too much trouble, and was surprised when Harry Potter's face popped up from the ground somewhere and appeared at his bedside, wearing a worried expression and looking for all the world like a sleep-tousled, wide eyed, dark-haired Florence Nightingale, only prettier.

Draco decided he could cope with that view every morning.

"Where am I?" he whispered in confusion.

"The infirmary," Harry replied, watching Draco with concern. Harry really had no idea what he was doing here. At Draco Malfoy's bedside. Where he had been all night, unbeknownst to the hospital staff, sleeping on the cold stone floor with his head pillowed on his scrunched up Invisibility Cloak and keeping one eye open to make sure his supposed worst enemy didn't die during the night. It was very....odd. Made particularly so by the rather...er, interesting things that Draco had whispered and groaned in his delirium, and again later in his sleep. The words 'Harry', 'yes' and 'oh, right there' had come up rather a lot more than Harry suspected was usual, and he stored this information away in his mind with a slight smirk.

"I don't need to ask why I'm here," Draco murmured painfully, pulling Harry out of a pleasant reverie. "Judging by the way I feel, I imagine I was run over repeatedly by the Hogwarts Express, and then savaged by a rampaging band of rabid Hinkypuffs. I'm only surprised the staff bothered to salvage my wrecked and ravaged corpse."

Harry managed a laugh.

"But I am wondering why you're here," Draco continued sleepily. "I mean, if this is one of those fantasies where you and I...well, you know, and I wake up beside you, surely the infirmary is a rather kinky location choice? And the sado-masochistic self-pain induction thing is a new development. I'm not sure I'm enjoying it so much. I think my tibia has relocated to somewhere in my thorax and it's quite agonising, actually."

Harry grinned. Trust Draco Malfoy to be cracking jokes when it had been less than twelve hours since he had used his face to break a thirty-foot fall into the ground, and in so doing fractured pretty much every bone they had a name for.

"D'you...well, that is...d'you remember anything that happened?" Harry asked tentatively, pitching his voice low so as not to alert the hospital staff of his presence. In truth, he had not meant to stay all night. When he had snuck in the previous evening, he had consoled himself that he would just stay a few minutes to ensure that Malfoy wasn't going to snuff it, and then leave. But Draco had looked so young and lost and vulnerable in his poky little hospital bed, his face paler than the cream-coloured sheets and his body twisted awkwardly amidst the bedclothes, that Harry had been quite unable to tear himself away.

Draco furrowed his brow, and then hurriedly desisted as it hurt too much. He tried to think, but that was similarly excruciating, so he decided to just not do anything until someone saw fit to come and put an end to his agony.

"Why am I not anaesthetised?" Draco asked plaintively. "I'm in pain here. Some bollocks fantasy this is...no sex, agonising pain and no sodding drugs. I want out."

"Shush," Harry said with a smile. "Don't whinge, it's unbecoming."

Draco sulked and replied with something that sounded a lot like 'fur-cough'.

"Why are you here, you git?" he then asked with a pout that was adorable and made him look about twelve.

"I was worried..." Harry started, unsure whether or not to tell Draco about the accident and his own causal role, in case it precipitated some kind of psychotic episode or coronary failure.

"Don't know why. You hate me," Draco sulked.

Harry didn't know what to say to that, so Draco took advantage of his silence to start thinking again. He found it didn't hurt as much this time. He wondered why he was really here, and then, all of a sudden, it all rushed back upon him like a crashing wave of reality upon his ravaged mind and body - the match, the screaming crowd, chasing the Snitch, and then...then Harry, the air and the ground in remarkably quick succession. He winced. And then scowled furiously.

"I can't believe you have the fucking nerve to be in here after what you did to me yesterday, Potter," he spat hissily, debating whether or not it was worth the probable agony to attempt to lift his hands and strangle his nemesis.

Harry looked surprised at the sudden turnabout, and then shamefaced.

"Come to see the results of your handiwork?" Draco continued in a thorough strop. "Wouldn't put it past you, you fucking sadistic prat. I'm surprised you didn't bring all your Gryffindor thugs, make a real sodding party out of it. 'Hey look at Malfoy, he's living proof that a functioning skeleton really isn't required for survival...' Maybe you should go get them. I mean, where's the fun in taking the mickey out of an injured guy when there's only one of you to appreciate your non-existent Gryffindor wit?"

"Draco, would you shut up for a second?" Harry hissed.

Draco subsided with a pout.

"I'm here," Harry said patiently, "because I felt bad about what happened, and I wanted to make sure you were okay."

"Evidently I am not okay, you blind, moronic, useless fucking idiot. However, odds are two to one that I will survive, so you can take your fucking pity elsewhere, wonder-boy, because I neither need nor want it."

Harry stared at him.

"You're still here," Draco stated with a dramatic sigh, as if he couldn't understand why Harry refused to acquiesce to his demands. "Isn't it bad enough that you got the Snitch and managed to send me to the hospital with several fractured body parts and a probable internal haemorrhage? D'you really find it necessary to gloat? I thought you were supposed to be noble."

"I am noble," Harry said defensively.

"Well, do the gentlemanly thing then, Potter, and fuck the hell off," Draco shouted, bringing sounds of alarm from the hospital staff common room.

Harry deliberated for a second, but the sounds of advancing teachers and nurses set his feet in motion. "If that's how you want it, then fine," he spat dramatically, swirling his cloak about him and turning with a theatrical flourish before flouncing out the infirmary door.

Sodding ungrateful prat, Harry thought grumpily as he made his way back to the Gryffindor dorms.

Sodding gloating prat, Draco thought as Madame Pomfrey clucked and fussed around him like a mother hen, and then made him swallow something that tasted like rat piss mixed with lighter fluid.

It was only after he was left alone fifteen minutes later that Draco began to wonder just how long Harry had been by his bedside.

Draco had, after all, been known to talk in his sleep.

* * * *

It was basically all-out warfare once Draco finally got out of the infirmary.

Draco, still angry about the Quidditch fiasco and limping ostentatiously, found himself hating and loving Harry in equal measure. Harry, still pissy about the way Draco had reacted to the Quidditch fiasco, unfortunately couldn't help being far more in love with Draco than in hate, although if one were to judge by his actions, one might not have figured that out. I suppose nothing says 'I love you' like a hybrid furnunculus-petrificus hex thrown at you during breakfast.

Hexes and curses of the non-magical variety flew between and around them like little darting arrows of tension. They really smouldered at each other in every class they shared, spending hours at a time locked in a mutual glare of hate and want and anger and lust and agony. They never lost an opportunity to shove, punch or otherwise physically injure one another, at one point having to be separated by Ron, which was really saying something. Needless to say, the poor red-headed git ended up in the infirmary on that particular occasion. It was really quite tense and stressful.

All the angst came to a head in McGonagall's NEWT-level advanced Transfiguration. As the rest of the class was immersed in morphing various body parts into inanimate weapons, Draco 'accidentally' turned Potter's left arm into a purple sparkly three-fingered vibrator, and Harry 'accidentally' turned Draco's head into a pretty flowered vase.

McGonagall reacted predictably.

"You two come here!" she shouted amidst the laughter of their classmates, and they scurried to obey. Draco had more than a little navigational difficulty due to the fact that, as a vase, he now had slightly less visual acuity.

They stood in front of her desk sullenly, shooting each other malicious looks. Well, Harry shot Draco malicious looks, Draco just stood there simmering in a very vase-like manner.

McGonagall glared at them, and then waved her wand and returned their body parts to normal.

"What is the meaning of this?" she asked loudly, her wand jumping about in a vaguely disturbing manner.

Harry and Draco erm'd for a good minute before McGonagall lost her patience.

"Well?!" she shouted.

Harry spoke up. "It was an accident Professor," he said suavely, giving McGonagall his trademark debonair grin. Draco rolled his eyes and groaned. Harry shot him a filthy look.

McGonagall raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, Professor. It was completely an accident that Potter's arm turned into a sex toy. What I meant to do was turn it into a bicycle, to remind our dear Mr. Potter what happens to people who allow everyone a ride. Alas, my transfiguration skills were simply inadequate to the task," Draco said with an absolute straight face.

"And I was only trying to return Draco's head to its appropriate size, but its astounding swollenness defeated me." Harry drooped his own head in pretended dismay, hiding his grin.

"I'm very sorry about the whole thing," Draco said with a smirk.

"Yes, and I'm very sorry about Malfoy's stupid face. Still, one cannot right all the world's wrongs in one try," Harry said, looking earnest.

McGonagall lost her temper. "That is quite enough. You will both serve detention tomorrow night. I had thought that you two had put the worst of your animosity behind you. You are, after all, seventh years now. I expected better. I am most seriously disappointed in the both of you. Now go away and resume your seats, and if I hear another peep out of either of you, I will not hesitate to transfigure the both of you into Bludgers for the next Quidditch match - I assure you, after being hit about for several hours by the Hufflepuff Beaters, you will be regretting your transgressions."

"Yes, Professor," Harry and Draco said in unison, and then with much death-glaring, they returned to their seats.

"Git," Harry spat under his breath at the blonde across the aisle.

"Wanker," Draco returned with great maturity in a vicious whisper.

"Not lately," Harry murmured with a smirk.

"Not interested," Draco lied.

"Prat," Harry growled.




"Bitch," Harry finally hissed with a smug smile.

Draco looked astonished, and then burst into laughter.

"Draco Malfoy!" McGonagall shouted. "That's it! You will see me after class!"

Draco shot Harry a venomous glance, only to find Potter gazing at him with an intense sort of loathing-filled expression on his handsome features.

Draco returned his eyes to the front of the room.

Didn't want Potter seeing the hurt.

* * * *

"You have got to be joking," Harry groaned under his breath, his eyes wide with astonishment and fear.

"No Mr Potter, I assure you I am extremely serious," McGonagall replied with a small smile. "Your recent immaturity warrants this kind of punishment."

"With toothbrushes? I mean, it's a little Marine-Corps-slash-penal-colony-cruel-and-unusual, isn't it?" Draco chimed in, determined to put up just as much of a show as Potter, although secretly, he was nothing but amused.

"I really don't think anything less would make a sufficient impression upon either of you," McGonagall said with another little smile.

She had just informed them that their detention would be spent cleaning the Quidditch communal shower floor. Together. Alone. Without magic.

Harry was obviously remembering their previous encounter in this location with abject terror.

It was all Draco could do to keep from pissing himself laughing.

"Isn't their any other tile surface I could be cleaning?" Harry asked nervously. "I mean, I'll clean anything! Anywhere but here!"

McGonagall raised a semi-surprised eyebrow. "Would you care to share your particular objection to the Quidditch showers, Mr Potter?" she asked disinterestedly.

"Erm," Harry burbled, shooting a glance at Draco which was studiously ignored.

"Well then..." McGonagall said briskly.

"D'you really think it's wise to leave us alone together?" Harry interrupted desperately. "We might kill each other."

McGonagall gave him a superior look. "Well, it would certainly solve many of my problems, Mr Potter. What makes you think that particular scenario wasn't precisely the outcome I had planned for tonight?"

Harry looked adorably confounded. Draco snorted.

"Your wands," McGonagall said with a sigh, holding out her hands. Draco and Harry reluctantly handed them over.

"I'll return at midnight, so see that you're done by then. Enjoy yourselves, boys," McGonagall said with a suggestive wink that should have made Harry pause and think a little, but was ineffective because Harry was staring at Draco with an expression that clearly screamed, 'Oh for fuck's sake, someone give me a God-damned BREAK!' She then turned in a flurry of tartan and sashayed out the door.

The silence was quite silent, really. And prolonged. Harry stared at his toothbrush as if it held the answers to all of the mysteries of the universe. Draco, however, stared at his with his lip curled in disgust, as if it were something particularly slimy that had somehow crawled into his salad.

After an interminable pause, Harry sighed and walked to the far, far side of the large room and slumped to his knees, scrubbing at the floor in a desultory manner. He looked the absolute picture of misery, and Draco felt a sudden pang in the region of his heart.

Draco followed Harry slowly, falling to his knees in front of him and scrubbing at a spot less than an inch from where Harry's brush was circling so industriously. He was so close he could feel the heat coming off Harry's body, smell the gorgeous spicy, clean scent of his aftershave, and feel his thick dark hair falling to intertwine with his own blonde locks. Draco knew he was being deliberately provocative, but he couldn't seem to help himself. He wanted to be close to Harry, regardless of the situation, or the consequences.

Harry, still feeling guilty about Quidditch and not in the mood for any further confrontation, immediately got up without looking at the other boy, and relocated to the other side of the room.

Draco followed and knelt beside him once more.

Harry moved.

Draco followed.

Harry moved.

Draco followed.

This went on for quite some time.

Finally, Harry dragged his eyes from their fixed mark on the floor and found Draco's own, slightly mocking, grey ones right in front of his.

Harry sighed wearily. "I don't want to fight, Malfoy," he said. "I'm too sodding tired. Just leave me alone, will you?"

Something in Draco twisted at the morose, exhausted tone of Harry's voice.

"You want I should give you a massage?" Draco asked innocently. "It works wonders for fatigue." Hey, he wasn't a saint. Just because he loved the guy, didn't mean he wasn't going to keep up with his careful plan of seduction. Of course, this had much more to do with the fact that he was climbing the walls with wanting the idiot Gryffindor, than the fact that he stood to make a lot of money off the end result. But why tell the truth when a bollocks lie will do instead?

Harry stared at him as if he'd grown a second head. Then he laughed. It was the most mocking, scornful laugh Draco had ever heard. And that, given that Draco had lived his whole life with pimp-boy Lucius Malfoy, was saying something.

"You say that as if you think I'd actually ever let you lay a hand on me, Malfoy," Harry drawled viciously. "Which is ridiculous, really. I might catch something."

Draco recoiled, stung. And then rallied with relief. Really, all this touchy-feely emotion with regards to Harry was putting him off-balance. It was nice to get back to good, old-fashioned, hate-filled bickering. "Might catch yourself enjoying it, that's for sure and for certain," he said suggestively.

Harry huffed and rolled his eyes silently, unable to refute that basic truth.

Draco continued devilishly, "Of course, if you prefer, we could do what we did last time we were in here..."

Harry snergled and went on scrubbing.

"Did you just snergle?" Draco asked incredulously, then went on, "Weird though it was, I'm gonna let that one slide. But only because you look so very appealing on your hands and knees."

Harry gave him a filthy look.

"Of course, I'm all in for missionary, so on your back is just as good," Draco continued with a very pretty smirk.

Harry closed his eyes against that particular mental picture.

Draco went on in a more calculatedly sexy voice, "Or perhaps you'd rather I was on mine...?"

At that, Harry started, and looked up at Draco with something akin to despair in his eyes. "I'd rather," he spat through gritted teeth, "you left me alone."

"Oh, how wildly unexciting, Potter," Draco camped. "Are you certain? I mean, here we are, all alone in this lovely little room, with its lovely little tile floor, all sorts of possibilities, wouldn't you say? No-one to hear me scream?"

"I had you figured for more of a whiner, actually," Harry muttered irrelevantly, and continued to scrub.

"Only one way to find out," Draco smirked with a sense of deja vu. Why did he feel as though he and Harry were just running in circles?

Harry was silent, and Draco pouted. Consistent rejection will do that to a guy.

More seduction, less talking, Draco thought purposefully. "Is it hot in here?" he asked innocently and flung off his robes dramatically, the swish of fabric drawing Harry's attention.

Draco smirked, meeting suddenly hot green eyes with amused grey, and then started seductively fingering the top few buttons of his shirt.

Harry squeaked and looked hurriedly away, attacking the floor with his toothbrush as if it were responsible for all the evils of the world.

Draco laughed.

"God I hate you," Harry groaned under his breath and stood to give his aching knees a rest.

"I love you, too, Potter," Draco said lightly, the slightest tremor giving away the underlying truth to the statement.

Harry gave him an utterly unreadable look and continued to scrub as if his life depended on it. Minutes passed. Then more minutes. You couldn't have cut the tension with a meat cleaver. Unless you wanted to end up with a very blunt meat cleaver. It was quite tense.

Finally Harry stood with a groan and stretched, arching his tired body and making saliva pool in Draco's mouth. Oh yum, he thought, eyeing the hard, taut lines of Harry's body, the strip of tanned skin at the hipster waistband of his jeans that was revealed as he lifted his arms into the stretch.

Harry caught Draco staring and smirked just a little, which was all he was capable of at this juncture. "You could help me, you know," he said. "This work'd go a lot faster if both of us were doing it."

"Both of us doing it is exactly what I had in mind, Potter," Draco said and grinned devilishly.

"Oh for sodding Christ's sake," Harry exploded temperamentally. "Is that all you fucking think about? The fucking bet?! Give it up already, Draco!" He gestured wildly about with his toothbrush, looking like he was onstage declaiming Yeats or something.

Draco, who had quite forgotten about the bet for the past few hours and was simply acting on his own personal agenda, suddenly woke up.

Harry continued. "I mean, aren't we past this by now? Why are you pushing it? Is it really about the money? Or are you just set on fucking humiliating me at every sodding turn?! I thought after the fucking Potions incident, we had established that there is no way that I am going to fuck you during this month?"

"And after this month?" Draco asked hesitantly and not entirely on purpose. Really, you'd think after seventeen years his mouth would've learned to listen to his brain before opening.

Harry blinked. Of all the things Draco could have said, that was possibly the last thing Harry had expected. Excepting of course, 'I am pregnant with Hagrid's child and we are to be married within the week'. Second last, then.

He opened and shut his mouth several times before finally saying, "What do you think?"

Draco furrowed his brow. "It can't exactly go on the way it was before, can it? I mean, I've seen you naked..."

Harry looked dumbfounded. What the hell was the idiot on about?

"Perhaps we should call a truce," Draco said.

"A truce?" Harry asked weakly. "A truce?" His voice was deceptively mild.

Draco prepared himself for an explosion of some kind.

"A fucking TRUCE?! What would be the sodding point?! After everything you and this fucking bet have put me through, Malfoy, you really expect me to be....to be friends with you?!"

When he put it that way, Draco thought, it didn't sound like such a good plan.

"Not friends so much," Draco said, knowing full well he was digging himself into a hole but being strangely unable to stop himself. "Just not enemies so much either."

"We are enemies, Malfoy," Harry said bleakly. "Make no mistake about it. No-one but my enemy could have thought up a worse or more appropriate form of torture than this." Harry was not referring to the going-without-sex-thing. More like the falling-in-love-with-totally-inappropriate-boy-thing.

Draco was suddenly angry. "God, could you be any more shallow? A single month without sex and you seem to think that's enough justification for the kind of hatred you hold for Voldemort or something."

Harry blinked in surprise at his vehemence. "You obviously have no idea how much I've been suffering, Malfoy," he said truthfully.

"And you think I haven't?" Draco said before he could stop himself.

"Truthfully, no," Harry said, misinterpreting his statement, much to Draco's relief. "I can't lose this bet, Malfoy. I really can't."

"Would it really be so bad?" Draco asked seriously, and for a second Harry found himself considering it. No, the whole shagging Draco part really wouldn't be so bad. But the aftermath....

"You don't know what's at stake," Harry said bitterly. "It's more than you can imagine."

"Oh yes, your precious reputation as Gryffindor Sex God extraordinaire," Draco spat disgustedly. "I couldn't possibly even begin to appreciate what the loss of that kind of status might do to your fragile ego."

Harry frowned. "That wasn't what I was talking about," he muttered, and started to turn away.

"Right," Draco drawled sarcastically. "What else could you possibly stand to lose?"

My heart, Harry thought but prevented himself from saying by a very large effort of will. He was turning into rather a git about this whole thing, he thought. He was suddenly very tired of playing these fucking mind games.

Still Draco continued. "It's not like you couldn't afford to pay me out, so there must be something else involved...maybe there's someone special that'd be unimpressed if you shagged someone as gorgeous as me - oh, wait, I forgot that that isn't possible; the day the great Sex God Harry fucking Potter actually falls for someone is the day I become Prime Minister of Muggle Britain! You couldn't save yourself for someone special if your fucking life depended on it! You're incapable of love, aren't you, Potter...?"

Draco trailed off as he realised he had lost his point somewhere in the middle of a bitter, angst-boy rant about Harry's inability to commit, and was suddenly very frightened that he might've revealed too much.

"And what business is it of yours?" Harry asked angrily, wishing very hard indeed that Draco would just stop hitting him with barbs that were so fucking well aimed. "You aren't my fucking keeper...last I checked you weren't even my friend! You aren't anything to me, so why are you so very interested in my affairs?"

Draco was silent.

"Perhaps you're so dissatisfied with your own life you feel justified in prying into mine?" Harry said with a false, musing tone that rang with campy psychiatric undertones. "Or perhaps you're just a really horrible fucking git with too much time and not enough things to do."

"Or perhaps I..." Draco started temperamentally, and then stopped himself.

Harry looked at him expectantly. "You what?"

"Perhaps I think we should maybe get back to work," Draco said lamely, suddenly too tired to fight anymore.

Harry looked deflated. "Whatever, Malfoy," he said dully, and crouched dutifully.

"Finally he submits to my will," Draco claimed dramatically to the room at large.

Harry scoffed.

"One day you might," Draco said defensively.

"So we're back to this," Harry groaned dejectedly. "Why don't you just go ahead and say it, Malfoy. 'I want you Harry you big sexy stud guy...and I promise, it has nothing to do with the fact that I stand to win a whole hell of a lot of money should you decide to fuck me...it's all about chemistry, baby, I swear'..." The sentence was such an absolute mockery of the truth that Draco was compelled to laugh.

Harry frowned. "What? Isn't that how things usually happen in this scenario?"

Draco shook his head and laughed some more. "Big sexy stud guy?" he finally asked, no small amount of incredulousness in his voice.

Harry grinned. "Others have said it before you, rest assured."

Draco's mouth dropped open. "Really?" he asked with surprise.





"Get to work."

Draco kneeled morosely and started scrubbing.

He grew bored almost immediately.

"You know," he said conversationally, "I've never had sex in a shower room before."

Harry moaned quietly.

"I hear it's quite hot and wanton, really. All that sultry running water and cool tiles and goosebumps and..." He trailed off invitingly.

"Not interested," Harry lied tightly.

Draco was looking with great interest at the sexy curve of Harry's thigh, and found himself quite unable to stop himself from running a hand up the length of it. "You sure? Might be fun..."

"Oh for absolute fuck's sake! I have had it!" Harry exploded and stood suddenly, hauled Draco up with him, and shoved the blonde against the nearest wall.

"So that's a yes?" Draco asked breathlessly.

Harry just growled and slid his hard body into Draco's, and Draco's eyes widened as he realised just how interested Harry was. The Slytherin was instantly overcome with desire. He let himself moan a little and arched his hips into Harry's just enough to let Harry know that he wasn't the only one suffering.

"Draco," Harry whispered in his ear, pressing his hot, taut form right up against Draco's, making the blonde curve into him like hot fudge and groan with agonised want.

"Hm?" Draco mouthed, lips grazing Harry's neck. He tipped out his tongue to taste the sweet salt of Harry's skin and breathed the spicy, gorgeous scent of him, feeling dizzy with desire and love. Harry shuddered and came so close to surrender, knees giving out and eyes closing in pleasure. But then his resolve hardened and he did what he had to. It couldn't go on like this. He couldn't go on like this. It hurt.

"Do me a favour?" Harry asked, his hands sliding into both of Draco's against the wall, fingers intertwining sweetly. He moved one of Draco's hands to where their slender hips slid against each other so pleasurably. Draco couldn't help but grind against their joined hands and his head fell back against the wall

"Anything," Draco couldn't stop himself from breathing.

Harry grinned and closed Draco's fingers around the Slytherin's own straining erection.

Draco opened heavy-lidded, desire-sleepy eyes and looked at him with surprise.

"Go fuck yourself," Harry said, and turned and walked away.

* * * *

Minerva McGonagall pulled back from the inconspicuous hole in the wall of the Quidditch showers, very flushed. She huffed with disgust, and then stalked quickly to the door, slipping through and closing it silently behind her. She stepped behind a shadowed corner of the building and watched as Harry exited after her in a rush. Her brow furrowed as she watched him aim his wand at his own groin and whisper some kind of charm, and then stalk away, robes billowing in the moonlight.

As soon as she was sure he was gone, she allowed herself a breathy moan.

"Ooo-er," she whispered, fanning herself with her tartan hat.

Really, there was a very big something to be said for necking teenage boys.

It took Minerva some time to come to terms with the extremely hot scene she had just witnessed, and then she realised two things. Firstly, she had just successfully blown several hundred galleons on today's wager. And secondly, Harry Potter had just completely skived detention.

She frowned and re-entered the room quietly, expecting at any moment to run into Draco Malfoy also deciding to leave. What she saw surprised her. Draco had slumped to lie spread-eagled on the cold tile floor, looking the absolute picture of dejection and disappointment. Even as she watched, he pulled himself up morosely, picked up his toothbrush and started scrubbing at the floor with a resolute sort of persistence that suggested he would most likely be there all night. Doing Potter's detention. Without saying a word.

Minerva was not a stupid woman, but even she was at a loss to figure out what exactly that meant.