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 08

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: Muchos whining, Slightly Cunning Plans, Those Trousers make a comeback, Leg-locker curses and Harry gets Very Angry....eep!
Author's Note:
Another chapter finally! Warning, warning, things get a bit (okay, a LOT) heated, and i don't want any children getting filthy little ideas! if slash offends you, you're in the wrong place! Snuggles to Beta Skeeter and all the fabulous reviewers who have kept me going all this time - EvilSlytherin, DanielsGirl89, ECS15, Cynic, Edition1013, Kaitlin, LimeGreenDuckee, Aarra, Aja, Zorb, Miss Cora, PotterSister666, Anjalen, RoseWithTHorns, Lunca, Iluvtomfelton125 (don't we all!), Brenna, Michael Malfoy, Jen, Starkissed, Babyducke....there are many more but i'm running out of characters! i love you all, you are my inspiration!

All Bets Are Off

Chapter eight

Love can suck my...

Harry slumped on a couch in the Gryffindor common room, looking the utter picture of morose dismay, and groaned theatrically. Everyone in the vicinity ignored him; this sort of behaviour was becoming relatively common in light of recent events. Nothing to set a boy to groaning like celibacy and forbidden love, all mixed up into one month of living hell.

Day twenty nine, Harry thought to himself with a mixture of elation and terror. Second last day of ultimate torture, and also the day that Draco Malfoy had his name down to win what had grown into a thirty thousand galleon pot. And was the great Harry Potter afraid?

Of course he fucking was! The sexiest boy Harry had ever had occasion to meet was hell bent on seducing him into what would undoubtedly be the most phenomenally amazing sexual encounter known to mankind, and the poor Gryffindor was finding it more and more unlikely that he would be capable of saying no.

Harry accidentally thought about having sex with Draco and was instantly aroused. Despite Harry's best efforts at forcing the contrary, Phantom Draco had become a regular fixture in Harry's mind. His repertoire was sensational. For instance, right now, he had decided to do a very seductive lap dance on the sofa in Harry's subconscious, and was down to a feather boa and not much else, grooving to Nine Inch Nails and looking absolutely fuckable.

Harry groaned again.

Ron took pity. "Alright there, Harry?" he asked mildly.

He received no reply.

"Harry, mate, you there? Harry...? Harry!?"

Harry looked up absently and brushed a black bang from his eyes. "What is it, Ron?" he asked vaguely.

Ron shook his head in exasperation. "Are you okay, mate? You look kind of...well, upset...."

Harry looked amazed for a second, and then started to laugh hysterically.

Ron shared a frown with Hermione, who had reluctantly looked up from her Arithmancy assignment at the manic tone of Harry's mirth.

"Care to let the rest of us in on the joke, Harry?" Hermione asked gently.

"The joke?" Harry asked with a dangerous sort of tone in his voice. "The fucking joke?!"

Hermione braced.

"The FUCKING JOKE, Hermione, is my FUCKING LIFE right now!" Harry exploded.

Hermione gave him a superior look. "Not to be unsympathetic, Harry, but it's just sex. Why is this so hard for you?"

"It isn't just sex, Hermione," Harry replied, subsiding with a sigh. "It is so far beyond just sex that it isn't even funny anymore."

Ron looked mildly interested. "So what is it?" he asked unsubtly, flicking absently through Quidditch World for the advertisements containing stunning female models straddling brooms in a most appealing manner. Oddly enough, Hermione had never noticed this little habit of his.

Harry looked at his two best friends meditatively. He wondered what had changed. The old Harry would've had the truth out in a second: 'I'm in love with Draco Malfoy and he is only interested in seducing me for money and as a consequence my life has become a screaming bint...' or something to that effect. But the holy trinity had somewhere along the line grown apart. Ron had Hermione and Hermione had Ron and Harry...well, Harry had everyone else, severally and together. Which had been okay for a while. But Harry missed his friends and the easy, honest relationship they used to have before everything got complicated. He wanted to tell them about Draco. He wanted to really badly. But how does one start that conversation -- especially with a boy who wouldn't piss on the Slytherin if he were on fire, and a girl that had ignored him for the better part of three years?

All this thinking had taken some minutes, seeing as our Harry was not the fastest thinker in all the world, and by the time he had opened his mouth to respond to Ron's question, the redhead had found his entire interest captured by an article on the new Starburst 3000. Hermione was similarly occupied with her Arithmancy. They had obviously given him up for a madman.

Harry closed his mouth, smiled a very small smile, and then threw an arm across his eyes in a dramatic manner.

Two days to go, he told himself. Two days, and everything gets normal again.

Funny how normal just didn't seem good enough anymore.

* * * *

Ginny Weasley stared up at the betting parchment with despair. She had placed two separate bets over the entire month - one several days previous, which had passed with not even a single seductive skirmish to ruin Harry's day; and the other today, day twenty-nine, the same day as Draco Malfoy and half a dozen others. Ginny was not your average Gryffindor - her run in with, and subsequent possession by, Tom Riddle in first year had left her with a few, shall we say, unsavoury talents and characteristics that might've shocked your average Gryffindor into an early grave - and as such, was quite sneaky and observant. She had noticed early on the smouldering tension between Harry and Draco, and had realised that the gorgeous blonde Slytherin had possibly more chance than anyone else at making Harry fail in his resolution. So she had bet accordingly.

However, it was already mid-morning and Draco Malfoy was nowhere to be found, Harry was mooching about in Gryffindor tower and there was not a skerrick of seduction to be seen anywhere.

Action needed to be taken.

Ginny, for all her, er, unsavoury talents and characteristics, was not, however, an accomplished seductress. She was not going to be capable of seducing Harry herself, particularly if his fancy currently ran in the direction of arrogant, slender, unutterably sexy, blonde boys. Thus she had given up on that idea a very long time ago.

So it seemed that her only option was to give Draco Malfoy all the help she was capable of. Which, given her, er, unsavoury talents, was quite considerable.

The only problem was that Gryffindor tower (and therefore Harry), was locked up tighter than Fort Knox and guarded by a troop of uber-protective friends, an extremely zealous portrait and a extensively complicated password; and Draco, skulking in the Slytherin dungeons as was his wont, had no way of getting up there to utilise his considerable skills of seduction to make them all rich.

What Ginny needed was a Really Cunning Plan. However, when she had gone to the library in order to find a book on Cunning Plans, she had found the entire shelf empty, much to her dismay. She was not to know that Harry Potter himself had taken the lot earlier that day to institute some planning of his own. So she had to content herself with a Slightly Cunning Plan devised all of her own intellect, which was minimal, at best.

What she needed was an ally -- someone in Slytherin who had contact with Draco, and could help her carry out her Evil Scheme. Someone like....well, Blaise Zabini was coming up the stairs from the dungeon, looking surprisingly attractive in a very familiar pair of stolen leather trousers, so she supposed he'd do.

"Zabini?" she asked.

Blaise stopped and gave her a once over, liking what he saw. He'd always had a thing for redheads, and if the brother wasn't available, the sister might do just as well.

"What is it, Weasley? Don't you have better things to do than sit around in our common room and take up space?" he asked scathingly.

Ginny was immediately attracted to him. Something to do with a strange masochistic fascination with men who were cruel, degrading, and otherwise not very nice to her. Odd, that.

"I notice you've a bet on for today," Ginny said mockingly, giving him a derisive once over with her cool brown eyes.

Blaise was immediately attracted to her. Something to do with a strange masochistic fascination with women who had a high likelihood of having a spanking-fetish. Odd, that.

"Yeah, what's it to you?" Blaise said. Really, this arrogance act was easier than he'd thought.

"So have I," Ginny said patiently, thinking how gorgeous and arrogant he was.

"I'm still waiting for a point to be found in this conversation," Blaise replied, rolling his eyes and looking a little like a camel in leather trousers, which was a somewhat surprising visual combination.

"I thought perhaps we could work together," Ginny stated expressionlessly.

"What makes you think I need your help, Weasley? I've got the trousers and the attitude. Harry Potter won't be able to resist me." Blaise tossed his head confidently.

Ginny laughed, and Blaise frowned as his ego was punctured. "What?" he asked belligerently.

"It's just incredibly amusing that you think you have a chance with Harry when Draco Malfoy is in the running," Ginny said mockingly.

Blaise sat down heavily next to her and sighed. "I forgot that Draco was on today. Is he really going after Potter?"

"I assume so, seeing as how they are totally into each other," Ginny replied seriously. Of course, she didn't actually know that Draco and Harry fancied each other, but it sounded good.

Blaise looked surprised. "They...er, like each other? Aren't they sort of like...enemies or something?"

"Yeah, weird isn't it? Like a story or something. Yin and yang, light and dark, good and evil, blah blah blah. Apparently it's all about chemistry, baby." Ginny laughed.

Blaise laughed with her. "So what did you have in mind for us?"

Ginny got a very dark and wicked look in her eye that Blaise liked immensely. She shook herself and moved on rapidly. "You mean us working together? Sure. The way I figure, Malfoy's big obstacle is the fact that he can't penetrate Gryffindor security. Our job, I thought, could be to somehow insert him into the tower so he can go up and do his seduction thing. It'll all depend on timing and rhythm if we're to play it right. Still, if things go according to plan, we remain totally innocent, Harry gets shagged, we get rich, and everyone is totally satisfied. The way I see it, it'll be nice and easy, and an absolute pleasure to work with you. Don't you think?"

Blaise was very hot and bothered after this little innuendo-laden speech. "Sure," he squeaked in what he hoped was a manly sort of way.

Ginny grinned. "Well, have you any ideas as to how we can get Draco into Gryffindor tower without a bunch of Gryffindors tearing him limb from limb?"

Blaise thought. "Well, what about a diversionary tactic? If all the Gryffs come racing out of the tower, you could slide Draco in there without anyone noticing a thing."

Ginny smiled seductively. "What did you have in mind for a diversion?"

"Truthfully, the only thing I can think of is you and I having sex in a stairwell in public. It'd certainly cause a storm," Blaise suggested with a sexy smile.

Ginny pretended to deliberate. "Hmm...sounds okay, let's do it," she said.

"Huh?!" Blaise said, very uncoolly. "You mean you actually...what, right now...?"

Ginny laughed mockingly. "No, you idiot!"


"Points for trying, though. I think that there are probably simpler ways of achieving our ends. What I'm thinking involves a stolen Invisibility Cloak and me giving Draco the password."

"Yeah," Blaise said sulkily. "Well what I'm thinking involves you, me, nakedness, and sex in a stairwell. Possibly also chocolate syrup and spanking, both of which are preferred, but optional."

Ginny grinned. "Flip for it?" she asked, pulling out her lucky Knut.

Blaise nodded. "You call."

"Heads," Ginny murmured seductively, licking her lips in a most sensual manner.

Blaise groaned. "Tits...I mean, tails," he replied un-suavely.

Ginny flipped.

Heads it was.

Blaise growled. "Best two of three?" he asked hopefully.

"No way," Ginny replied with a grin. "I'm off to the dorms to nick Harry's cloak, I'll be back in fifteen. I want you to go and round up Draco, let him know what we're doing. See you in a tic."

Blaise nodded and stood, leather trousers hiding nothing of his attraction. Ginny stood as well and sidled past him in the tight space between their armchairs. She let her hips linger across his longer than was strictly necessary, and he groaned appreciatively.

Really, she thought. There was something to be said for this seduction game after all.

* * * *

She was back down to the dungeons in a trice, having filched the poorly-guarded Cloak from an unsuspecting Harry's trunk with what she thought was upmost stealth. She had stopped breathing for a minute there when she had met Harry coming up to the dorms as she was on her way down, but the poor boy had been shaking his head and muttering about strawberries and bellies and Gryffindor tower, and had passed by her without even the slightest glance in her direction. Which was quite serendipitous, really. If somewhat unflattering.

Arriving back in the empty Slytherin common room (apparently there was some Misbegotten Spawn of Evil Wizards association meeting going on, which had grabbed everyone else's attention), Ginny looked around but couldn't see hide nor hair of either Blaise or Draco.

Snooping was another of her, er, unsavoury talents, and she did so now, looking around stealthily. She found Blaise in his dorm room in front of a full length mirror. He had his back turned to the glass and was looking at his rear-view reflection over one shoulder.

"Blaise!" she exclaimed crossly, "What are you doing?"

Blaise started guiltily. "Sorry, but my arse is just so hot in these trousers, I find it strangely compelling."

Ginny reluctantly agreed. "So did you find Draco?"

"Yeah, he's just showering. He'll be out in a tic. Meantime, why don't you come in and tell me if you think my arse feels as damned good as it looks?"

Ginny obliged. "Yup," she said, copping a double handful and giving him a good squeeze. "Feels pretty damn fine to me."

Just then, Draco sauntered in and was slightly shocked at the image of his second in command and the little redhead with her hands full of his leather-clad arse. His lip curled in disgust. "Zabini, what the hell?"

"Oh, hallo Drake. Just test-driving these trousers."

Draco nodded understandingly. "Just so you know, they looked better on Potter."

Blaise looked crestfallen. "Yeah, well, whatever." He took the cloak from where it rested over Ginny's shoulder and passed it to Draco reluctantly.

Draco took it wordlessly and raised an eyebrow at Ginny.

"You know," she said with interest, "When you do that you look kind of like a girl. A slightly insane one. But it's quite attractive still. D'you think I might be a lesbian?"

Blaise looked wildly interested.

"The password, you silly bint," Draco reminded her with unbelievable mildness.

"Oh, right. Funny you should ask after we were just talking about it. It's 'hot-n-steamy-lesbian-loving'. Ron's choice," Ginny said abstractedly.

Draco smirked. "Thank you."

"Oh, welcome. Good luck with the whole gung-ho-seduction-plan by the by," Ginny said cheerfully. "You do have a plan, right?"

Draco looked scornful. "I don't need a plan, little Weasley. I have charm, wit, a sexy outfit, a body to die for, and the face of an angel. All I need is time."

"Good-o," Ginny said, and turned back to Blaise. "Best get on with it then," she tossed over her shoulder.

"I'll just go, shall I?" Draco said to a non-existent audience and stalked out.

"Now then," Ginny said purposefully to a slavering Blaise. "When you talked before about syrup and spanking, were you serious, or just joking? Because I don't know about the syrup, but the spanking sounds like it could be fun..."

Blaise's mouth dropped open.

Apparently sadism was also among Ginny's, er, unsavoury predispositions.

Suffice it to say, after that afternoon, Blaise Zabini said a thankful prayer at the altar of the God of Leather Trousers (named Paulie, by the way) every evening for the rest of his life.

* * * *

Despite extensive reading on the subject, the most Cunning Plan Harry could devise involved him hiding in his dorm room the entire day. Thus it was that he was lying on his bed at noon on a Saturday, fantasising about Draco Malfoy in various positions of the Kama Sutra.

Eventually, many sleepless nights spent doing the exact same thing caught up with him, and Harry fell into restless slumber. Three guesses who he dreamed of, and the first two don't count.

* * * *

Draco, having used Harry's Cloak to great effect sneaking past the ravening hordes of Gryffindors in the hideously appointed common room, stood in Harry's dorm watching its owner for a very long time. He felt vaguely voyeuristic but was understandably aroused as the other boy twisted and turned amidst sweat-heavy sheets, in evident agony, for the better part of ten minutes.

He wondered with great interest as to whom the object of Harry's thoughts was - the boy was harder than an oak plank, lean body taut and hot with longing, sweat beading upon brown skin and sinews taut as bowstrings standing out at his throat and in his forearms as his fingers clenched viciously around the bedclothes. Harry wore no shirt, and the lean, grooved muscle adorning his chest and abdomen was tight and stretched to snapping point with the tension of arousal and frustration. His hard-on was very much evident beneath tight-fitting jeans, and his eyes were tightly shut as his jaw clenched and thrust upward with tightly-reigned control. In short, he was breathtaking.

Draco closed and locked the door behind him loudly, and Harry's eyes flicked open, his head coming up instantaneously and his stomach clenching in surprise.

Draco shook the invisibility cloak off with a whirl, and paused for effect.

He wasn't disappointed. Harry leapt off his bed as if stung, and stood, gobsmacked, for a good minute.

"What the hell are you doing in here?" he asked finally, shoving his hands in his pockets and kicking at the shagpile in a most adorable manner.

"Just thought I'd return this," Draco said innocently. "You seem to have misplaced it. Wouldn't want it falling into the wrong hands. No telling what a devious soul might try to do with it..."

Harry mouthed ineffectually. He was hard, he was desperate, and Draco was there in his room. This was not really going according to his very, very Cunning Plan.

"And you don't classify yourself as a devious soul?" Harry asked idiotically, damning his Cunning Plan all to hell and trying frantically to think about anything besides his erection and the Slytherin git responsible for it, who was, incidentally, standing quite within shagging distance.

"I am reformed," Draco said piously, and then slanted Harry a wicked look from beneath his eyelashes that proved to be hazardous to Harry's self control.

"Right," Harry said disbelievingly. "And I'm still not so cluey about why you're still here..."

"What, no 'thank you'?" Draco asked piteously.

"Thank you."

"What, no thank you kiss?" the Slytherin asked in exactly the same tone.

Harry looked equally aghast and tempted, and Draco laughed.

"Joke, Potter."

"Yeah, real funny. Look, I was trying to get some sleep. If there isn't anything else..." Harry said quietly.

"There was, actually," Draco said in a tone that boded very, very ill for Harry's virtue.

"I dread to ask..." Harry deadpanned.

"I'm here to finally seduce you," Draco announced.

Harry looked at him incredulously. Then he laughed. "And what the hell would you call all the other recent interactions we've shared up till this point?" he asked with genuine interest.

"Foreplay," Draco grinned.

Harry closed his eyes. "I can't play this game with you anymore, Malfoy."

Draco frowned. "Why not?" he asked plaintively. "It's fun."

"For you maybe. But tell me, how exactly would you feel if your supposed worst enemy was trying to make you do the one thing you absolutely want, which is, oddly enough, the one thing you absolutely musn't do?"

"Well, you are making me do the one thing I absolutely want and absolutely musn't do, so I'd feel like it was fair enough, really," Draco said with circular logic.

Harry frowned in confusion. "And what would that be?"

"To seduce you," Draco said, grinning with triumph.

Harry looked confused.

"I want you, Harry," Draco said, with rare honesty and raw sincerity in his eyes.

"Jesus," Harry cursed. "You really have all the angles covered, don't you? I mean, I could actually believe you -- except I'm not a complete idiot."

"Well, I'd refute that statement, but I don't want you throwing a hissy fit and refusing to sleep with me. I don't think my ego could take any further rejection from you," Draco said, grinning.

Harry winced. "In case you failed to notice, Draco, I am refusing to sleep with you."

Draco's smile deepened. "Who said you get to have a choice in the matter?" he asked, deeply amused. "You don't actually think I'd take that chance, do you? I mean, my ego is very fragile."

Harry frowned. Then Draco put a leg-locker curse on him, and it occurred to him that he should probably be panicking. So he panicked.

"Draco, what the fuck are you doing? This is insane," he squeaked, as Draco advanced on him slowly. Harry struggled, but was quite unable to move.

Draco smirked. "I know. But then, so is the entire concept of me wanting you, and you wanting me, so I rather thought it was appropriate."

"Come on, Draco," Harry pleaded. "Don't do this. D'you really want to have sex with a person who is only involved because you've forced them to be there?"

"By the time I'm finished with you, Harry Potter," Draco murmured seductively into his ear, "Leg-locker or no, you won't be capable of leaving. Or moving. Or even speaking. Which, I must say, will be a great improvement." With a smirk, Draco took the remaining steps and brushed his body up against Harry's, making the other boy close his eyes and whimper.

Slowly, achingly thoroughly, Draco rotated his pelvis against Harry's. The dark-haired boy graduated to a full groan and shuddered against him.

"I don't want this," Harry lied, his voice starting to come in small gasps.

Draco smiled and slid his hips into Harry's again, then slowly trailed kisses up the other boy's collar bone, to his shoulder, and around to the back of his neck, stalking around Harry's still form. From behind him, Draco took Harry's ear in his mouth and concurrently slid a hand firmly down Harry's naked belly.

"Are you certain?" Draco asked, sliding his hand under Harry's trousers and teasing the skin above and around Harry's erection, coming so seductively close but never quite reaching its target.

"No, not really," Harry replied with a moan that made Draco's eyes close with pure want. He slid his hand hard over Harry's shaft, and Harry ground himself into it involuntarily. His breath huffed out on a sob of pleasure. "Oh Christ," he whispered in agony. "Oh Draco, please..."

"Please what?" Draco asked, his lips moving to the nape of Harry's neck and teasing the uber-sensitive skin there with utmost delicacy, quite in contrast to the hard strokes he was administering to that other part of Harry's anatomy with increasing inconsistency as his own arousal started to overcome his co-ordination.

"Please don't do this to me. You know why. I know you know."

"Oh but I don't know, Harry. Why don't you tell me..." Draco invited.

"You make me feel. I don't want it. I can't. Why can't you just stay away from me so I don't have to do this? It isn't fair," Harry whimpered, only just coherent enough for Draco to glean some basic understanding of what he was getting at. So what if the bastard was starting to 'feel'? What about the fact that Draco was being forced to 'feel' absolute, debilitating love in this equation? Was that fair? Was it fair that every moan Harry breathed was going straight from Draco's ears, to his groin, and then to his heart? Was it fair that Draco was all of a sudden starting to wonder why he was really doing this at all?

"Oh, sod it all," Draco said despairingly. This wasn't going as planned. How was he supposed to keep up with his careful plan of seduction and destruction when Harry was just so damned sweet and edible and strangely innocent and shaggable, and was making Draco want so much more than just meaningless sex that shouldn't even be happening in the first place?

This had to end. It had to end now. Because Draco's heart was starting to hurt. And that was not okay at all.

Draco walked back around Harry and faced him. Then, slowly and deliberately, he pushed Harry against the wall behind him and advanced upon the desperately aroused boy with an air of great determination.

Harry practically cowered against the cool stone, his eyes screwed shut in mingled pain and pleasure.

"Don't," Harry whispered, so softly that Draco almost didn't hear him. "Please, Draco. Please don't...I...I won't be able to say no again."

The spectacle of the almighty Harry Potter begging Draco Malfoy for something wasn't nearly as satisfying as Draco had anticipated. The victory tasted ashy in his mouth, and he couldn't feel triumphant, only hollow. He wondered idly when things had changed. The old Draco Malfoy would've been gloating himself into a stupor by this point. What happened?

Harry fucking Potter happened, Draco thought, watching the other boy with slitted eyes, as if it hurt to look.

He took another step and Harry pushed himself back into the wall, as if he might go right through it if he wished hard enough.

Draco released his legs from the curse, and Harry slumped to his knees. Draco's eyes darkened at the possibilities. Enough of that, Draco told himself sternly. First things first.

"I've changed my mind, Harry," Draco whispered, his voice husky with need. "I'm giving you the choice. Tell me you want this. Tell me you want me. Now that I've given you the choice, tell me that you choose this, choose us," Draco held back his own need with sheer force of will and a little sellotape.

Harry looked at him seriously for a long time.

Then he spoke words Draco had never expected to hear, from anyone, in his life. "I never wanted anything more than I want you, right here and right now. It hurts so much I feel like I might die of it. You've won. I give up. Please, I'm begging you. I need you, Draco..."

Draco closed his eyes against the sincerity in Harry's agonised face.

Cursing himself for every kind of fool he took a deep breath and yanked himself away from Harry, taking a good six strides to the opposite side of Harry's dorm.

From his new safe position, Draco surveyed the devastation that he had wrought in the other boy, and felt his heart smote by a mighty blow. God, what had he almost done?

There was utter silence for a good five minutes as each boy struggled to get his body under control, the quiet broken only by the sound of erratic breathing. Draco leaned against the wall and tilted his head backward, eyes closed in something like agony. He opened them reluctantly and looked at the ceiling, unwilling to turn his gaze upon Harry for fear of what he might see.

When he finally did, he nearly wept. Harry was curled into a forlorn little ball against the far wall, his head in his hands and his entire body slumped with dejection and humiliation. He looked broken.

And I broke him, Draco thought miserably. He'd never felt so guilty or wretched in his whole life.

"Harry," he said involuntarily, reaching out an unconscious hand to the other boy in an odd gesture of reconciliation or apology.

Harry raised a stricken face toward him, and even Draco was shocked at the depths of hatred he read in the green-black eyes that bored into his own.

"Get out," Harry whispered.

Draco looked as if he was about to protest, but Harry uncurled himself quickly to his full height, taking an aggressive stance that shouted at Draco to back the fuck up and leave.

Draco took two steps backward toward the door. He had never wanted to apologise more in his whole life. He had an awful feeling that he had just fucked something up that could never be fixed, and it scared him how badly he wished he could take it all back.

Harry turned away. "Just leave, Malfoy. I can't bear to look at you," he murmured, his voice laden with hate and anger and misery and mortification.

"I'm sor..." Draco started, but Harry turned and spat savagely, "Don't even think about finishing that sentence. Just fuck off, Malfoy!"

Draco turned reluctantly and started to walk away.

"Oh and Malfoy," Harry hissed.

Draco turned, suddenly hopeful.

"Make sure you let the door hit you on the arse on the way out."

Draco did.

It seemed like the least he could do.

* * * *

Draco stalked through the Gryffindor common room like an avenging angel, a look of blackest despair etched upon his features.

All heads turned to watch his passage in astonishment: no one had seen him come in because he was covered with Harry's Cloak, so it seemed to them that he had appeared out of nowhere and swooped down upon them like a deadly animal of some sort, to make them all suffer for their sins.

He continued unchecked until the last minute. Just as he reached the portrait door, however, he found his path blocked by a solid phalanx of seventh year Gryffindors. Foremost among them were Weasley and the Mudblood, Seamus-AA-Finnigan and Neville I-should've-been-named-Useless Longbottom.

Draco glared at them.

They glared back.

This lasted some time.

Draco tossed his blonde forelock and drawled, "Fascinating as this little staring-contest-slash-Mexican-standoff has been, I'd love to get out of this place if you don't mind. The colour scheme does nothing for my complexion."

Ron sputtered, Hermione frowned, Longbottom squeaked and moved to let him pass, and Seamus looked as though he didn't agree with the latter statement at all, and instead was giving Malfoy an extremely thorough once over.

"What're you doing here, Malfoy?" Seamus asked with a foxy grin.

"Shopping," Draco said, deadpan. "You?"

"We actually belong here, Malfoy, you git," Ron said and scowled mightily.

Draco looked frosty. "You say that as if it's a good thing."

Ron looked confused. Hermione took over. "What have you done to Harry?"

Draco smirked. "Nothing he didn't beg me for."

Hermione looked confused. Longbottom took over. "If you've h-hurt him, we'll k-k-kill you, M-malfoy." Really, this Gryffindor tag-team conversation was quite bewildering.

"I wouldn't hurt him," Draco said hotly, revealing much more than he meant to.

Longbottom looked confused. Seamus took over. "Sure you wouldn't! You've done nothing but antagonise him since the day you met! He's very vulnerable now, what with this bullshit bet you've forced him into. We won't have you taking advantage..."

"I don't have to justify my actions to a bunch of Gryffindor idiots who require at least four combined brain capacities to carry out a simple conversation. What is between Harry and myself is between Harry and myself. And you're all fine ones to talk about taking advantage - every single one of you has tried to make Harry fail this bet at some point during the month. You, his supposed friends. No wonder he turned to being a sex-maniac if being mates with a bunch of backstabbing prats like you was his alternative. At least he always knew where he stood with me," Draco ranted.

The Gryffindors looked blank.

Draco threw his hands in the air in a gesture of despair. "Christ, it's like talking to a bunch of Fluttering Ferns, only stupider."

"Hey!" Ron protested weakly in a bit of delayed reaction. "Who the hell do you think you are, coming in here and insulting us and our friendship with Harry! We love him! We're his friends! You're nothing to him, Malfoy, except a constant irritation. He hates you!"

Draco tightened his mouth. "He does now, anyway," he murmured inaudibly.

"So what exactly d'you think your business is, being in Harry's dorm?" Ron continued in a threatening sort of tone.

Draco looked down his nose at Ron. Which was quite difficult given the lanky git had a good four inches on him. "My business, you carroty git, was seduction, pure and simple."

There was a short silence.

"Oh," Ron said rather stupidly.

Hermione frowned. "Obviously you were unsuccessful, seeing as how the siren didn't go off, and you're standing in here instead of being in bed with Harry."

Draco was momentarily surprised at how unfazed they were by the prospect of his sleeping with Harry. Then he realised that Harry sleeping with Slytherins was hardly front page news. Harry slept with everyone. Draco was shocked to feel a pang of jealousy at the thought.

"I fail to see how it's any business of yours," he then replied icily. "My success, or in this case, failure, is my concern."

"And it's our money you stand to win," Seamus pointed out.

"Yes, well, you don't need to worry on that score. As our charming Hermione here so recently pointed out, I was unsuccessful, and therefore your precious galleons are still up for grabs."

The Gryffindors shared interested glances.

"I must confess that I'm a little surprised at your lack of headway, Malfoy," Hermione said. "I thought you, of all people, stood the greatest chance of making Harry fail."

"And why is that, pray tell?" Draco drawled disinterestedly.

"Ever since you started this whole bet thingy, Harry has been obsessed with you. He watches you all the time. Ron says he talks about you in his sleep. I mean, we don't go five seconds around here without a 'Malfoy this' or a 'Fucking Slytherin bastard that'. I thought it might have to do with chemistry or attraction. Apparently I was mistaken."

Ron looked suitably horrified at his girlfriend's assertion. Evidently the thought that Harry might be attracted to Draco had not crossed his mind.

Draco, on the other hand, was suddenly anything but disinterested. "And what, exactly, does he say about me in his sleep?" he asked Ron, who went slightly red.

"Just things about sharp instruments and various parts of your visceral anatomy," Ron lied airily.

Draco raised an eyebrow. "Hum."

"Yeah, he did say something weird last night, though. Something about you and a toothbrush? Oh yeah, I remember. He said, 'So many things I could do to you in a shower with a toothbrush, Malfoy.' Dead odd, that. Obviously he's having homicidal fantasies, Malfoy."

Draco smirked secretively. Homicidal his arse. It appeared that Harry was having kinky fantasies about the Quidditch showers and detention. How...interesting. These Gryffindors might prove informative, after all.

"Anything else?" he asked casually.

"Oh, he also said something about strangling you with your Quidditch cords. Of course, he just said 'take them off, Malfoy, so I can get you once and for all', but there's really no other explanation for that sort of statement," Ron continued blithely and very naïvely.

Draco refrained from laughing by absolute force of will. He was trying not to feel too pleased that Harry was going crazy with fantasies about him. Needless to say he was failing miserably.

Catching the smile on his face, Hermione said hotly, "I wish you'd just leave him alone, Malfoy. He doesn't need you putting the boot in at every opportunity. This month has been hard enough as it is, what with Cho and Trelawney and Snape ganging up on him."

"And you lot, too, don't forget," Draco spat.

Hermione blushed.

"Perhaps you should all examine your own motivations before condemning mine. Hypocrisy is so last century." With this last pithy remark, Draco pushed between a very excited Seamus and a guilty-looking Hermione, and made an exceptionally spectacular exit from the room, robes billowing menacingly.

Hermione looked at the others thoughtfully. "Why d'you suppose he was so pleased that Harry's been dreaming about killing him?"

Longbottom looked stupid, Seamus grinned, and Ron sucked his thumb thoughtfully. "I dunno Herm," he said. "Perhaps if hypocrisy is last century, then maybe masochism is on its way in." He shook his head in confusion.

"Or maybe," Hermione said, "He knows something we don't."

"Wouldn't be hard," Seamus said. "We're just idiot Gryffindors after all."

The rest were forced to agree.

* * * *

Harry slept fitfully that night. Body wracked with longing, mind warring between hatred and adoration, he lay in twisted sheets and repeatedly envisioned Draco Malfoy's demise-slash-torture-slash-death-slash-otherwise anonymous, miscellaneous, unsavoury end. It was deeply unsatisfying - Harry's imagination simply wasn't adequate to conjure up appropriate punishments for the sadistic Slytherin bastard. So sometimes he was forced to invent the occasional sex image for good measure, simply to keep himself interested. These were also deeply unsatisfying, but for another reason altogether - in this situation, his imagination was so vivid and life-like that he found himself suffering from an arousal that was an inch away from being instantaneously lethal.

By the time dawn had thrown its stranglehold around the night sky, he had managed to successfully work himself up into a fervour of righteous wrath over the happenings of the previous day. What kind of person pushes another person to the very brink of agony, makes them need and want and fall to their Goddamned knees begging for mercy and release, and then just leaves them there to suffer?

Sick, sadistic, twisted Slytherin fucks. That's who.

Oh, Malfoy needs to pay, Harry thought with upmost violence. He needs to pay.

All morning he simmered on slow boil. In his bed, in the shower, at breakfast, at Quidditch practice, at lunch.

By midafternoon, his rage seethed wildly within him like a ravening beast.

Yes, Draco Malfoy would pay.

Right now, as a matter of fact.

Harry stood abruptly and walked away from his untouched Herbology revision, ignoring the glances of his friends. He marched straight to his room and collected his cloak and one other vital requirement before stalking back down to the common room. Pulling his wand out from his back pocket, he tapped it once to the parchment that shook in his other hand.

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good..."

For an eternal instant, Harry watched the very little dot labelled Draco Malfoy repose statically in a fairly innocuous, unlabelled little square of parchment that Harry knew to be the Slytherin's private room. Glaring at the dot viciously, Harry tapped the parchment again, wiping it blank.

Without a backward glance, he threw on his cloak and stormed out the door.