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 06 - In Muggle Territory

Chapter Summary:
Harry can't resist a challenge

In Muggle Territory

Despite his assumed nonchalance, Harry wished they could have gone immediately, so he need not worry about Malfoy writing home and having an ambush set up for him. He realized, however, that he did not want to travel in the sleet, and that he needed Muggle money. It turned out that Gringotts had an exchange counter in Hogsmeade for converting Galleons into pounds, and Malfoy took him to do that the next day, which was overcast and frigid, but not actively wet. Harry was amazed at how many pounds he got to the Galleon. The gold he had brought came to well over two hundred pounds. He told Malfoy they would go to the Muggle town the next night, then, in the hall after dinner, changed it to that night.

"You need your compass," Malfoy said.

"I have it," Harry replied, pulling out the object, which was hanging on a cord from his neck. Malfoy nodded.

"Good. We'll stop at the Shrieking Shack and prime it to the gatepost there."


Malfoy smiled. "Hogsmeade is enchanted so people don't walk into it," he said. "So is the school. We have an advantage in that we know they're there, and, of course, we're wizards, but it would still be difficult without assistance. The compass will tell us how to get there, even when our instincts are screaming to veer away."

He smirked at Harry. "Incidentally, I know why you're pressing to do this now. It's a good precaution, and I'll do it, but it's not necessary. I won't tell anyone."

"Wouldn't your father be pleased, though?"

Malfoy scowled. "You'd think so, wouldn't you? But I've thought it before. Fuck him."

The sleet had stopped. Thin clouds slid rapidly across the waning moon as Harry and Malfoy flew -- low to the ground and keeping to cover -- from Hogwarts to the Shrieking Shack, and from there to the west. After twenty minutes of cautious flying, they crested a hill, and looked down upon a bright-lit town at the edge of a dark loch. Malfoy landed, and Harry followed suit.

"There it is," Malfoy said. He sounded nervous. Harry looked at him curiously, and saw him bite his lower lip, turning it dark. Suddenly, Harry understood. Malfoy had been brought up to hate Muggles, but also to avoid them. Hatred of that sort was very close to fear. He had probably never walked into a Muggle area without his parents or guards. Or perhaps, Harry amended uneasily, Death Eaters.

"There's a little ruin." Harry pointed to an old stone building near the town. "We can stash our brooms there, and walk. Come on, now! We probably have only another two hours with any chance of open shops."

They stashed their brooms where Harry had suggested, then walked under the invisibility cloak to the road.

"This is odd," Malfoy said.

"Sharing the cloak? You get used to it."

"Not that. I mean the whole thing. I didn't think you'd do this."

Harry laughed. "What? Why not?"

Malfoy gave an annoyed snort. "Well, you're the Good Boy, right?"

"Oh, do tell!" Harry laughed. "Say that to McGonagall; she'll laugh in your face. I'm well known for being where I shouldn't, Malfoy."

"Really?" Malfoy sneered. "What does the headmaster say about his darling pet?"

"Fawkes?" Harry asked, in assumed innocence.

"What do you mean?"

"Fawkes is a phoenix -- Dumbledore's pet."

"You know what I mean."

"Yeah. I know. I don't think it's right, though."


"He says I'm like my father. As Lupin said, as Snape says. . . ."

"Did your father go where he shouldn't?"

Harry grinned. "My father headed a group that called themselves 'The Marauders.'"

"Marauders?" Malfoy snorted. "Potter, I didn't think Gryffindors used names like that!"

They had reached the road, Harry pulled the cloak off them, and took the time to roll it and stow it in the front pocket of his bag.

"Well, they did. It was my dad, Sirius Black, and a couple others."

Malfoy shuddered. "Black. Now there's a nightmare."

"And just as real as one. He's not that bad."

Malfoy stared. "Potter... Black betrayed your parents. You know that, right?"

"No. It was really Peter Pettigrew.'

Malfoy frowned. Further down the road, Harry could see a bus sign. "I think I've heard the name before," Malfoy said, "but --"

"How about 'Wormtail' -- does that mean anything to you?"

Malfoy flinched. "The Dark Lord's servant?" he asked, uneasily.

"That one. He's Peter Pettigrew. He betrayed my parents. Sirius was set up."

"Oh." They walked. The sign came closer. "Sirius Black is your dangerous friend, then."

"That's right. He's my godfather. He gave me the Firebolt."

"Should you be telling me this?" Malfoy asked cautiously.

They had reached the sign. Harry stopped and began scanning for the next bus. He thought it unexpectedly generous of Malfoy to warn him. "I expect your father knows," he said. "Voldemort certainly does."

"He told me Black betrayed your parents!"

"Consistency helps the plot, I'm sure. He may have even believed it, at the time -- until Wormtail returned." Harry sat on a nearby rock. "Let's stay here. It's less than ten minutes until the next bus, and we'll get in faster that way."

"You need to wait for Muggle buses?"

Harry looked up the road the way they had come. The road curved along the shore, preventing him from seeing far. A sign on the curve of the road warned "Caution -- Black Ice." "Yes. They go on a schedule."

They found a store which carried inflatable chairs, and Harry bought two -- one in neon green, and one in international orange, which was as close as he could get to a Gryffindor color. He found inflatable cushions in gold and silver moire, though, and bought one of each. Malfoy looked on disapprovingly as Harry stood on line to pay.

"Just throw on your cloak and walk out," he whispered. "You don't need to give Muggles money."

"I'm buying these things," Harry hissed back. "I don't mind paying for them."

They left the store with two heavy bags. Malfoy did not offer to carry either of them. In the alcove by the door, Harry transferred the cushions to his pack, which helped a little.

The people they passed stared at them, though most only briefly. Harry had tried to get Malfoy into Muggle clothing, but the closest he would come was an acceptable pair of black cuffed trousers topped with a midnight blue velvet tunic with elaborate silver embroidery at the neck and sleeves. Over that he had a black wool cloak edged in interlocked silver dragons. He looked a bit odd -- beautiful as an old portrait, Harry thought, but odd. Of course, Harry admitted, he hardly looked more normal, if a good deal shabbier, in Dudley's baggy old jeans, cinched in tight as he could get them, and sweatshirt, whose enormity somewhat concealed how the jeans slid down to his hips. Lacking a Muggle coat, Harry also wore a cloak, though just plain school one.

A few doors on from the first store, they came to an off-license. Malfoy paused at the window.

"We're not old enough," Harry whispered. "The Muggle world has rules about that." Malfoy, after a brief glare at Harry, marched in. Apprehensively, Harry followed him.

The shopkeeper noticed them immediately. He would need to have been blind not to have, Harry thought.

"You two eighteen?" he called over. Harry thought it was sort of a friendly warning. Malfoy raised his head as high as it could go.

"That is no concern of yours," he said haughtily.

The man laughed. "Long as you don't try to buy nought, true enough. But I'll be wanting proof of age if you do."

"What does he mean?" Malfoy asked Harry quietly.

"There are -- official documents you get from the government that say what year you were born. He'll require one to sell us liquor." Harry paused. "One that says we're older than we are."

Malfoy frowned, then addressed the shopkeeper again. "Mother would like some cognac," he said, in his perfect, cultured English. Harry tried not to shrivel at the painfully aristocratic tone. "Fleur des Charmes, 30-year, is her favorite."

The shopkeeper glowered. "Never heard of it. Out o' here, I say, or I'm calling in the police."

Malfoy seemed to realize his error. Before he could recover enough to speak, Harry pulled at his sleeve. "Come on, Malfoy," he urged. "This is not home. You cannot buy liquor here, trust me. Let's go."

The baleful eye of the shopkeeper on them, they left the shop, but Malfoy lingered at the window.

"Come on, now," Harry said again. "Let's go."

"No," Malfoy retorted. "I want cognac. I will have cognac."

"We're not attacking them."

"Hardly necessary, Potter. They are only Muggles, after all." Malfoy pulled Harry closer to the window. "I don't know what it would look like. The Muggle names must be different. Do you see any?"

Against his better judgment, Harry looked. Uncle Vernon sometimes bought expensive brandies, and cognac, Harry knew, was a classy type of brandy. He looked for a familiar bottle, and saw one, in a wood and glass display case next to the cash register.

"There, " he said. "In the case."

He had hoped the inaccessibility of the object would discourage Malfoy, but Malfoy's head came still higher. "Very well," he said. "When do they close?"

Harry checked the door, then the clock inside. "In ten minutes."

"Come along, then."

Malfoy led the way down the street, then into the next alley. They followed a narrow track behind the shops.

"Malfoy," Harry said urgently, "I don't think we should --"

"This would be the door, wouldn't it?" Malfoy asked, as if Harry had not spoken.

"Probably," Harry admitted. "Look, I --"

"Alohamora!" Malfoy had pointed his wand at the door. To Harry's disappointment, it responded to the simple charm and opened, revealing a storeroom lined with crates of liquor. Malfoy looked in. "This would be a good time for your cloak, Potter."

"I am not helping you steal brandy!"

Malfoy looked disdainfully over his shoulder. "As you wish, Potter. I wouldn't think you'd like to risk getting caught. . . ."

They heard footsteps. Draco Malfoy darted inside and into an alcove between the crates and the wall. Harry followed, letting the door close behind him.

"Who's there?!" called a voice.

Harry fumbled with the front pocket of his pack, and managed to get the invisibility cloak out and over them, just as the storeroom was flooded with light. Footsteps stalked nearer, and Harry adjusted the cloak to cover the edge of his bags. The shopkeeper looked into their alcove, tested the door, then stomped back to the shop.

"This is brilliant!" Malfoy whispered. "I'm going to have Father buy me one."

Harry whisked the cloak off Malfoy. "I am not," he tried again, "helping with this."

Malfoy turned and smirked at him. "Oh, yes you are, Potter. And it's very amusing." With that, he pointed to a small window above the door into the shop. "Levitate me to there, so I can get my bearings."

Harry considered refusing, but letting Malfoy look seemed harmless, and more than a bit funny. He had discovered the previous year that the attention of the Ministry to magic at the Dursley's house was not common to most places. He levitated the other boy up to the window. After a minute, Malfoy motioned to the ground, and Harry let him down again.

"He's closing up," Malfoy confided. "We'll wait until he leaves, then I'll go open the case."

"They probably have motion detector alarms," Harry warned.

"What are they?"

"It's. . . ." Harry had noticed, the last summer, that his grasp of Muggle science was a bit weak. He supposed he would have learned more about it in Muggle schools. His knowledge of alarm systems was mostly based on a video game Dudley had played non-stop throughout July. "I think it's some sort of beam. You can't see it, but when you cross it, with your foot or something, the alarms go off."

Malfoy thought about this. He looked quite studious, and somehow, rather proper, which Harry found amusing.

"They'll be by the floor, then?" he asked.

"As far as I know," Harry returned, trying to make it clear that asking him about Muggle alarm systems was probably as useful as asking Malfoy about magical housecleaning techniques.

"Good, then," Malfoy answered. "You levitate me over to the case, and I'll open it without going near the floor."

"Malfoy. . . ."

"Oh, come on, Potter! Where's that Marauder spirit?"

"Look. . . ."

"You're not afraid of breaking some Muggle law, are you?"

Unexpectedly, the taunt crystallized Harry's feelings about the matter.

"No," he said. "I just don't approve of cheating people. It's hard enough for wizards without money; it's worse for Muggles. This is expensive, or it wouldn't be in a case. I don't want the owner to lose money."

"I," Malfoy said stubbornly, "want cognac. And you'd like it, Potter -- pleasant and fast."

"Tell you what," Harry offered. "You agree to leave money -- the right amount of Muggle money -- where the bottle was, and I'll help."

"I am not paying a Muggle."

"Would you let me -- leave my money?"

Malfoy looked absolutely scornful. "If you insist."

Harry could hardly breathe while he was levitating Malfoy over to the case. No loud noises started, no lights came on, and no doors opened. He started to relax. A minute passed, then another. Malfoy was having trouble with the door. Harry could feel the knife he had gotten from Sirius weighing down his pocket.

Harry pulled Malfoy back.

"Potter!" Malfoy hissed.

"Send me over," Harry growled, holding out his hand for the money. "I can open a goddamned case."

The cognacs ranged in price from thirty-five pounds to slightly over a hundred pounds in price. Harry took a fifty-pound and a seventy-five pound bottle, which used up most of his remaining Muggle money. He motioned to Malfoy to float him back. In the storeroom, they stashed the bottles in Harry's pack.

"You're brilliant!" Malfoy exclaimed, and Harry found a pleasant glow had taken over his embarrassment. He felt giddy, now that it was over. The alley out back was empty. They slipped down it, then out onto the nearly empty street. The buses had stopped running by now, but Harry remembered their turn.

"Such a surprise, you are," Malfoy crooned. His pale eyes flashed in the harsh artificial light of the street lamps. "I think I like you, even if you do coddle the Muggles."

Chapter 7 -- A visit to Slytherin