Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Hermione Granger Severus Snape
Drama Slash
The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire
Published: 07/17/2003
Updated: 08/11/2003
Words: 114,996
Chapters: 43
Hits: 388,758

Snakes and Lions


Story Summary:
When Ron and Hermione get together, they notice only each other. A nightmare prompts Harry to return alone to the empty Chamber of Secrets, and leads to a new look at an old enemy. Harry enjoys the company, but with Bellatrix LeStrange actively hunting him, how far can he trust a Death Eater's son? (H/D -- mostly friendship, progressing to mild slash) Sixth year. Rated R for unseemly behavior (drinking, stealing, and Dark Arts), occasional cursing (the non-magical sort), and off-screen violence.
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Chapter 05 - Holiday Fun

Chapter Summary:
Christmas, snow, and Malfoy

Holiday Fun

Christmas morning was depressing. Harry tried to sleep late, but Hedwig kept crashing against his window. Finally, he got up and let her in.

Opening his presents wasn't as much fun with no one to talk about them with. He had the usual new jumper from Mrs. Weasley, and collectible Quidditch cards from Ron, including a complete set for one team, though not the Chudley Cannons -- Harry suspected that would require Ron to get two full sets, as he wouldn't give away his first. His best present was from Hermione. It was a spherical compass that you could set to point back to anything. Harry set it to his bed, just to wander around and see it work.

At the end of Christmas dinner, Dumbledore asked all the sixth and seven year students to stay. That left Linda from Gryffindor, three of the Ravenclaws, Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, and Harry. Harry found himself glancing at Malfoy, who ignored him.

"Now," Dumbledore said, "you are still at school, but it is the holidays, and I feel some extra freedom is in order. You all have my permission to travel to Hogsmeade, as you wish, during daylight hours." Someone cheered. Harry grinned. "By sunset, you are all to be back in the castle. Is that clear?"

Everyone nodded. Several people, Harry included, murmured their assurances.

"Very well. Happy Christmas, and enjoy your holidays." As the students turned to leave, Dumbledore added:

"Harry? Would you stay a moment, please?"

Later that night, Harry wandered down to the Chamber of Secrets. That was odd, he thought, as he moved along the now-clear tunnels. He'd somehow managed to turn the nightmare into a place he hung out. He wasn't sure if Malfoy would bother with it, tonight, but the Slytherin was already there, sucking on toffee and playing with a miniature, lightning-laced cloud that floated between his hands, and sent flashes of brilliant, bluish light across his pale face.

"Happy Christmas," Harry said.

"And yourself," Malfoy returned absently. "What did you get?! My parents sent me this storm-light, and cakes, and a book of debilitating potions, and all sorts of things, and my aunt gave me toffees and chocolate, like always."

"Mrs. Weasley gave me a jumper," Harry answered, "as always, and Hermione gave me a sort of magical compass that you can prime to point to a particular thing, Ron gave me a set of Quidditch cards that's complete for one team, with some of three others, and my godfather sent me a book on Animagi. Fred and George sent a bag of their new inventions -- I'm not sure I want to touch those, just yet. Perhaps if I get very bored."

"What about the Muggles?"

Harry smiled weakly. "Dryer lint. Honestly, I don't know why they bother. Two years ago, it was a single toothpick."

"It's some sort of spell," Malfoy said absently, his attention still on the cloud. "That will do for ritual."

"Malfoy -- They're Muggles."

Malfoy frowned and looked up. The lightning gave him a small shock. With a curse he disabled the cloud, which turned into a small grey ball, and he sucked for a moment at the side of the injured hand. With the hand holding the ball, he waved Harry at the toffee. Hesitantly, Harry took a piece. He hoped it hadn't been doctored with any debilitating potions.

"So what did Dumbledore want to say to you?" Malfoy asked. Harry suspected this question, and wanting to show off his new toy, was why Malfoy had bothered coming down. He wondered if Malfoy was envious, or if he hoped Harry had gotten into trouble.

Harry shrugged and sat down. "Since Lestrange has stated that she's out to kill me --"

"You can't go to Hogsmeade," Malfoy guessed.

"I can, but he wants me to be with another student at all times." Harry let his annoyance at that show a minute, then stretched back, looking at the faraway, dark ceiling. "Strange as it may seem to be asking a Death Eater's son to come guard me from the Death Eaters...." He glanced over at Malfoy, who was watching him coldly. "Want to go into Hogsmeade with me? Tomorrow?"

"A long walk in the wet snow," Malfoy said mockingly. "How inviting, Potter."

"Walk?" Harry laughed. "Honestly, Malfoy -- you and I own the two best brooms in the school! And a quick flight -- in the brilliant winter cold -- sounds inviting to me, especially if there's a hot drink at the other end of it."

Malfoy actually smiled.

"Yes," he said thoughtfully. "Yes, I could enjoy that."

The rushing air was cold, but the bright sunlight so beautiful that Harry could not suppress the desire to go fast. He streaked ahead of Malfoy, who immediately set chase. To his surprise, Harry found in the straight, flat race, Malfoy was inching closer. Harry leaned as close to his broom as he could. He felt like he was sledding, without touching the ground. The snow should be flying up around him ... Grinning, Harry moved lower, closer to the powdery snow.

The gates, hung with icicles, was near, and Malfoy but a broom's length behind. Harry dipped lower still, until his feet were nearly touching the white powder. Then, quite suddenly, he pulled up the front of the broom, letting the twigs cut down into the snow for several yards of forward motion. Malfoy yelled.

Harry went higher again, and turned to see Draco Malfoy. The blond was covered, head to toe, in powdery snow.

"Potter, you ass!" he screamed.

Harry grinned, but his smile faded as Malfoy whipped out his wand. The spell caused a large crack behind Harry, and he turned to see a large icicle, broken from the great gates, coming at him like a spear. Harry yelped and started to fly. He dodged the first pass of the icicle easily, but then it began to turn for a second run. Harry whipped out his own wand and pointed it at the gate. A second icicle came loose and sped towards him, but this one was under his control. Harry flew up, fast, then dove, getting some distance between himself and Malfoy's icicle, then he paused to regain control of his own icicle and brought it up to Malfoy's. The missiles crashed. A cloud of glittering shards descended from the impact. Harry brought what was left of his icicle against what was left of Malfoy's.

"Ya!" Malfoy yelled.

They did it again, then again, until no icicles of worthy size remained, and the lawn before the gates glittered as if it was strewn with diamonds. Malfoy flew up to hover by Harry. He surveyed the dazzling scene in silence, for a while. He seemed to have forgotten his earlier rage.

"Brilliant," he breathed. "Like a field of broken glass."

Harry snorted. "I'd thought diamonds," he said.

Malfoy looked at him oddly.

"Let's go, Potter. I'm wet and freezing, thanks to you."

He took off, and Harry followed. They didn't stop until they reached the door of The Three Broomsticks.

They drank a warm butterbeer apiece, and Harry enjoyed actually browsing in Honeydukes. He found a sweet he hadn't seen before -- one that was enchanted to stay just out of reach until you wanted it enough.

"Like chasing your food, Potter?" Malfoy asked, with some amusement, as Harry bought a bag of the elusive confections.

"As long as I win," Harry remarked absently.

Malfoy's eyes widened. "Why Potter," he drawled, "what a positively Slytherin reply."

Harry felt himself blushing brilliant red. He didn't want to talk about houses with Malfoy -- not just yet.

"Where else shall we go?" he asked.

They spent much of the next week together -- flying, going into Hogsmeade, and talking about people. The first day, they arranged to meet at the Quidditch pitch after breakfast, and, by unspoken agreement, continued with that every day until the weather turned grim.

That day was dark with sleet. Harry, after some internal debate, headed down to the pitch anyway, but there was no one there. The changing rooms were dark. He took refuge at Hagrid's hut on the way back.

"Come in, come in," Hagrid roared. He drew Harry through the door with a pull that hurt Harry's shoulder. The moment he was inside, Harry forgave him. Hagrid's fire was cheering, and the hut warm. Hagrid took Harry's cloak and pushed him gently towards the hearth.

"What yeh be doin' out in this weather?" he asked. "Can't yeh see it's not fit for a stroll?"

"I just ... I was just going down to the pitch," Harry confessed. "Habit."

"And yeh'd be flyin' in this?" Hagrid asked. His beetle-black eyes were almost hidden by the furrowing of his brow. "Or lookin' for someone ter fly with?"

Harry looked into the fire, hoping his sudden shamed blush was hidden by the glow.

"I've seen yeh with Malfoy," Hagrid said grimly. "No good comes o' his sort, yeh remember that. Never been a Malfoy that weren't bad as they come, an' I've seen how he torments you -- an' Hermione."

Harry stared into the flames. "His sort" again. He supposed it had more meaning here than it usually did.

"He's my fun for the holidays," he said lightly. "Anyway, he hadn't said he wasn't meeting me, so I had to check. He'll tell me I'm an idiot Gryffindor, as usual."

That night, Harry worked on his Potions homework in the cheery common room until the questions of Davey, the second-year student, mostly concerning the disastrous Triwizard Tournament, grew too annoying. He packed his books, parchment, ink, and quill into his school bag and headed down to the library. Malfoy was not there. On impulse, Harry continued down to the chamber.

Harry came in sight of Malfoy in the corridor outside Myrtle's bathroom. Malfoy whirled at the sound of footsteps. He was visibly relieved to see Harry.

"No cloak, tonight?"

"No cloak."

They went into the bathroom and down into the pipe. At the bottom, they walked along the tunnel to the true entrance.

"Want to see how it works?" Harry asked. "It's kind of neat."

At Malfoy's affirmative reply, Harry closed, then reopened, the chamber. Draco Malfoy watched, openly awestruck, as the circling snake caused the others to retract out of its path. He and Harry were in the chamber itself before he spoke again.

"What did you say at the door?" he asked.

"Open," Harry said.

Malfoy shivered. "What's that like, talking to snakes?"

Harry shrugged. "The first time wasn't bad. That was a boa constrictor."

"A pet?

"No, an exhibit. I was at a zoo, with my cousin Dudley. He's awful -- you can't meet him, you'll think he validates your anti-Muggle prejudice."


"Later. Anyway, Dudley had been banging on the glass, yelling at the snake to move, and when he gave up, I stayed and apologized to it. It answered me, and I didn't know what to say. I hadn't known I could talk to snakes. So I asked him about Brazil."

"You what?"

"Well, the plaque said he was Brazilian. He pointed out that it also said he was born in captivity. Then Dudley was worse, and I made the glass go away, just by accident, you know, as wizard children will."

"So what did the snake do?"

"Ah -- he thanked me and took off. People were screaming all over the place. It was a very strange day."

Malfoy grinned. "Strange," he repeated.

"Yeah. The second time was the one you set on me."

"Sor-- It was meant to be impressive."

"It was fine -- would have been, if Lockhart hadn't been there. That time, though, I was just yelling an order."

"What was it?"

Harry shivered. The scene rose before him -- the great, angry snake, his eyes fixed on Justin. "Leave him!" he commanded, again.

"I was hoping for it in English, Potter," Malfoy drawled.

Harry pulled himself back from the memory. "Sorry. I said 'leave him,' that was all."

"What other snakes have you met?"

Harry shivered again. He remembered being bound to Tom Riddle's headstone, Cedric's body in his sight, with Nagini slithering near.

"I haven't really talked with a snake since the boa constrictor. I heard the basilisk, whispering 'kill!" as it slid through the pipes, and I kept getting in trouble following the sound. I heard Nagini, speaking to her master, as he held me tied to his father's headstone." Harry shuddered. "It's rather put me off snakes, actually."

Malfoy was looking at him with wide eyes. "Nagini is the name of the Dark Lord's serpent," he said.

"Yeah," Harry replied. "That one. Bloody huge, poisonous, nasty thing that was promised me for dinner."

Malfoy looked uneasy. When they settled under the torches in the Chamber, and Harry took out his homework, Malfoy jumped at the opportunity to help. He seemed relieved to be discussing potion ingredients and the influences of changes in preparation, rather than his father's master. Harry listened, asked questions, and wrote until his seat was sore from cold. He put aside the parchment, and stood to stretch.

"Am I going too fast for you?" Malfoy taunted.

"This place needs chairs," Harry returned. Malfoy scowled.

"If you know the Contraction Charm, by all means, bring some down. It's a tricky spell though -- so easy to break things."

"There's a Contraction Charm to make things smaller?" Harry asked.

Malfoy looked at him as if he was a Martian. "Yes," he said, finally.

Harry frowned at the space. "Muggles have some chairs that are inflatable," he offered.


"Like a balloon. You fill them with air. They're not elegant, but they're comfortable enough."

"How would we get them down here?"


Malfoy laughed. 'Might be worth it. We can't play on the pitch once the other students are back. Can you buy these chairs?"

Harry shrugged. "I don't even know where we are. Is there a Muggle town nearby?"

Malfoy stared. "We're not supposed to go past Hogsmeade."

Harry rolled his eyes. "Malfoy, we're not supposed to be out of our dormitories at night."

Chapter 6 -- In Muggle territory