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 09 - In and out the Windows

Chapter Summary:
Harry displays his Gryffindor nature
Author's Note:
This is a pre-OotP fic, previously posted on fanfiction.net. Imagine an intervening fifth year that was slightly less traumatic and ended in the death of Arthur Weasley. (But Percy did just what he did in OotP!)

In and Out the Windows

Harry woke late, to sunlight streaming in the narrow windows. A stripe of it had settled across his eyes and pulled him back to consciousness. Harry groaned and turned over in his comfortable bed. He'd meant to settle back to sleep, but in the next bed was Draco Malfoy, fully dressed and groomed, and lying up on one elbow, watching him.

"No wonder these things have curtains," Draco commented. "I'm amazed you managed to sleep this late."

"Sorry," Harry said, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. "Have you been awake long?"

"About an hour," Draco said. He yawned. "But not very awake." He reached over to his bag and pulled the Honeydukes packet from it. "Let's have the pumpkin pasties -- that will do for breakfast."

And in fact, they did quite well. Afterwards, while Harry was changing into his robes, Draco went back to the window seat and looked out.

"This is amazing. Do you ever see anything happen by the forest?"

Harry thought about Sirius and Crookshanks.

"Occasionally," he said. "The deep forest creatures, though -- centaurs, unicorns, giant spiders, those things -- don't come that close to the edge." He grinned. "I saw when Hagrid was setting up the Niffler class -- I was wondering all day why he was turning a new vegetable bed."

Draco nodded. "Good way to keep an eye on him. Is that why you trust him so much?"

Harry stared. "Draco...." He thought about how to explain Hagrid. "Look," he said firmly, "Hagrid was the first person I ever remember being nice to me. He gave me my first ever birthday present, right before I started here -- Hedwig. He took good care of me when I was first accepted here, and I learned later that he was the person who got me out of the wreckage when my parents died and brought me to Dumbledore. I've never had any reason not to trust him."

Draco looked astonished. "Well, he --" he began uncertainly. He stopped. "You'd never got a birthday present till you were eleven?!"

"Never," Harry said. Because Draco was still staring, he ended up telling the story of his eleventh birthday, starting with the letters from Hogwarts, Uncle Vernon's increasingly mad efforts to keep Harry from the letters, and his rescue by Hagrid on his birthday itself, complete with birthday cake (also a first) and sausages cooked in the fire, and Dudley's pig tail. Harry hadn't told the story since it had become long enough ago to be simply absurd, and he played it up, trying to bellow like Uncle Vernon under the rain of letters, and managed a good enough impression to have Draco on the floor with laughter.

When they had finished gasping, and Draco had picked himself up and settled back on the window seat, his normally perfect hair a bit tousled, he met Harry's eyes and smiled. Not smirked, Harry though, actually smiled, so that the corners of his eyes showed the change.

"Very well then," he said, magnanimously. "I won't torment the giant, unless he deserves it." He frowned slightly. "I'm not putting up with Blast-Ended Skrewts, the way you three did."

"That's fine," Harry said. He smiled. "That's great."

Draco turned away and opened the window. He looked down at the far-off ground, and flinched. Then he looked out, back to the forest. Hagrid was just leaving his hut, Fang bounding happily beside him. Draco looked down again. A slight smile played slyly about his lips.

"You know," he said, "you could fly out of here."

"It's too narrow," Harry objected, looking at the window.

"Well, you'd need to get up on the sill, then mount your broom in the air," Draco said casually. "But that's not too difficult. I wouldn't suggest it to Neville, but I'm sure you could manage it."

Harry poked his head past Draco to look out the window. He looked down ... and down. He decided he probably could fit through the embrasure, but not comfortably. He'd need to stand and step sideways. He stood up and tested the thickness of his body against the space.

"Well, I could get through, but I wouldn't have space to turn forwards."

"The broom is going to be parallel to you anyway," Draco said, as if this were obvious. He smirked as Harry stepped down. "Don't tell me my Gryffindor is scared!"

"Of course not," said Harry absently. He thought, again, about seeing Crookshanks with Sirius. If he'd been able to get down there quickly. . . .

Harry got his broom out of his trunk and stood up on the sill, again. Draco, to his surprise, drew back, moved quickly to the next window, and poked his head outside. Harry ignored him. This would need to be fast, he thought, or he'd panic. He put the broom outside the window. It was difficult to force himself to hold it with only one hand, but he needed to brace the other against the embrasure. The wind outside the tower window was fierce, though it didn't look bad below.

"Harry," Draco called. He said something else, but the wind carried it away. Harry ignored him. With one hand tight around the hovering broom, he stepped sideways off the tower ... and plunged downward.

Two sets of windows lower, the broom was with him. He matched the plunge, then pulled out of it, still well above the castle walls. He zoomed up in a dizzying rush of exhilaration, past his windows, with Draco Malfoy still hanging half out of one, clutching his wand. Harry flew three times around the tower, waiting till his grin had faded enough that he thought he could talk, then went back down, to hover by the window.

"That was great!" he crowed at Draco. Draco's usual pallor seemed to be overlaid with a slight ashen tinge, and he was visibly shaken.

"Harry," he said hoarsely.

"You should try it! It's brilliant. I don't think I can get in, this way, though. Go down to the common room and let me in? The windows are bigger."

"Yeah," Draco croaked, and vanished into the tower. Harry swooped around, remembering belatedly to keep the tower between himself and the place he had last seen Hagrid. In less than a minute, he heard Draco calling, and saw an open window below. He glided in and landed triumphantly on the carpet.

"That," said Draco fiercely, "was idiotic. I thought you'd die."

Harry blinked. Draco was visibly upset, almost angry.

"You told me to," he said.

"Yeah? So? Hasn't anyone ever warned you not to do every stupid thing your friends tell you to do?!"

"You said it was easy."

"Well, I lied, okay? I didn't think you bloody do it! And then you ignored me when I told you not to, and all I could do was wait there, hoping I could cast Leviosa in time. . . ." Draco broke off, and turned away. "Stupid, Potter," he said quietly.

"Well, it was fun," Harry said quietly. "You should give it a try. It really wasn't hard."

"You are mad, you know that, don't you?"

"Go on, now, Draco," Harry urged teasingly. "Your turn. I'll wait with my wand out, if you like."

"I am not jumping out of a tower window!"

"But it's fun!"

Try as Harry might, he could not persuade Draco to mount his broom out the tower window. Eventually, they went down to the pitch, and flew there until lunch time. After lunch, they had only a few hours until the train came. Most of the students went to the library to finish up homework. Harry and Draco went up to the Astronomy Tower, from which they would be able to see the train arrive. A light snow had started.

"I'll miss you," said Draco.

"We can still meet in the Chamber."


"Every other night, again?"

"I guess. Tomorrow?"


"I'll bring the cognac," Draco suggested.

"Oh, thanks."

Chapter 10 -- The rest of the students return