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 17 - Dares and Discoveries

Chapter Summary:
Further adventures with Muggles

Dares and Discoveries

After the last trip to the Muggle village, Draco had remarked, idly, that it might be pleasant to have more than an hour until the shops closed.

"And then, there's watching the Muggles," he commented. "They sort of do things. Other than run and scream, I mean. It's interesting. Like going to the zoo," he added hastily, at Harry's raised eyebrow.

Harry had therefore suggested a daytime expedition, which would be trickier, with a simple broom flight back after dark. They left right after Saturday's breakfast, with a packed lunch. First they walked to Hogsmeade via the tunnel, then slipped out into the countryside under Harry's cloak, then flew up the hill, zigzagging through the trees of a narrow wood. From there, Harry ventured out under the cloak, which was difficult to hold over himself while flying, until he found the closest bus stop on the road. He went back to Draco, and they walked there, which took over an hour. After that, they wrapped both brooms in the invisibility cloak (carrying them, they were aware, looked rather odd), took the bus into town, then set the compass to Harry's Firebolt, and tucked the bundle of brooms up on a ledge in an alley.

Draco had brought an Aging potion, this time, which brought both of them comfortably into their mid-twenties, and easily able to walk into an off-license and buy whatever they wanted. After a bit of browsing, Draco choose a bottle of Alsacian wine and another of pear brandy before picking out a cognac. Harry, as usual, had to pay for all of it, because Draco had forgotten to bring Muggle money. This time, however, Draco apologized nicely, and put the liquor in his own satchel. Harry dragged him into a another shop for chocolate-covered biscuits, pop, and crisps. Eventually, they returned to the alley and made the awkward and dangerous flight under the invisibility cloak up to an open church steeple. The floor was set less than a meter below the edges of the gothic openings, three on each side, that ringed the small floor, and the chains holding the bells above it looked rusty from disuse. Draco cleaned the floor with a quick spell and they settled down comfortably. Harry opened the crisps and pop.

"Think anyone spotted us?" Harry asked.

"Not for long enough to believe it," Draco replied confidently. He tasted the pop and took a second to stare at it, then shrugged and had more. "Still, I wouldn't want to do that again. Not sharing it. We're here until dark." He opened his bag. "Want anything?"

"After I'm done with this."

"Which do you want, after?"

"The cognac? If it's okay to open it."

"I don't mind. I don't have snifters, though."

For all that, Draco had brought along two elegant silver goblets. He poured some cognac into each, then resealed the bottle with a spell. He joined Harry at the openings on the west side of the steeple, and they looked out over a strip of shops two streets wide, a school, playing fields, and a narrow public green that ran along the edge of a flooded river.

For a long time, they watched the adults walking and children playing by the river, and the occasional people leaving or entering the church, which seemed to be hosting a small event. Occasionally, Harry would look over at Draco to see if he had resumed his correct age, yet. Harry had almost finished his first glass of cognac when Draco nudged him.

"The aging potion has worn off."

"So it has!" Harry agreed. He was surprised at what a relief it was to see Draco his proper age.

"So, about these cards you use to prove your age..." Draco advanced.


"What do they look like?"

"Well," Harry tried to think how to explain what he knew of Muggle identity cards. "There's not a standard one. Any place will accept a passport. Some schools have their own. Some stores might take a driving license, but some won't, because they don't have photographs on them, so you could have someone else's."

"Do you have any of those?"

"No." Harry shrugged. "I'm not really a good person to ask about Muggle things. I'm not allowed to do much." He laughed slightly. "They keep me locked up half the time."

"What?!" Draco exclaimed. He brought his voice down. "You said -- I mean, back when we were writing, you said there were locks, but I rather.... Do they still?"

Harry smiled slightly. "There are five padlocks on the outside of the door to my room. They unlock them when they want me out to do something." He glanced down, then met Draco's eyes. "I'm dangerous, I am. One of those freaks." He said it to be funny, but his voice shook with tension, even now.

Draco sat back. He looked pensively at Harry. "Why don't you want to kill all of them? I would."

Harry shrugged. "It would be like killing all wizards because your father is horrid. I know better." Daringly, he added, "You know better."

"So you know enough Muggles you like that it's okay?"

"I don't know many Muggles, actually," Harry admitted. "I'm not allowed. But some people have been kind to me, when they could. And I watch people, when I have the chance. The majority of Muggles, like the majority of wizards, aren't wonderful or awful -- they just kind of are."

"Huh." Draco leaned back against the wall between the open arches. "Well, back to identity documents. I have a challenge for you."

Harry rolled his eyes, but could not repress a smile. "What?"

"I want you to fly down and get me something that is used for proof of age, so I can look at it."

"Draco..." Harry protested. "I'd have to steal it from someone."

Draco smirked. "Yes." He glanced down, pale eyelashes briefly obscuring his piercing gaze. "But you can return it, after I'm done." He turned around and looked out one of the windows. "How about that girl, there?" he asked, pointing to a young woman who was just settling down on the grass with some food and a book. Her rucksack sat near her on the grass. "Get her bag. I'd like to see what else they carry, anyway. She'll be there for a bit, so you can bring it back before she leaves."

Harry considered this. The thought of going through someone's personal things made him uncomfortable, but a session of Muggle show-and-tell might improve Draco's opinion of Muggles. It certainly couldn't make it any worse. He looked back at the girl. She turned a page, and took a bite from a sandwich.

"Okay," he said. He was pleased with the flicker of reaction that crossed Draco's face. Harry put on the cloak, took up his broom, and stepped out on to the roof.

Taking the bag should have been easy. It was a stationary object, with handles, yet, tens of times the size of a Golden Snitch. On his first approach, Harry found he was wobbling slightly, and he passed by and returned more slowly.

Not enough alcohol to affect how I walk affects how I fly. I must remember that.

On the second pass, he coasted down at a leisurely pace and was able to scoop the rucksack up and under his cloak. The girl, to his relief, didn't even notice. He hoped he could get it back before she did. He flew back up, and deposited the bag on the floor. He and Draco sat cross-legged on the floor, on opposite sides of it, and Draco began taking things out.

"A book," he said to the first, large item. "What's it about?"

Harry took the book and looked at it. "Er... it's a physics text. Muggle science. I never learned any of it, because I've been at Hogwarts, instead." Draco removed two more books, one that claimed to be Maths, but was full of symbols Harry had never seen, and one of Psychology. "That's the science of how people think," Harry explained.

"There is no science to how people think."

Harry grinned. "That's been argued, I believe."


"A notebook."

"I can see that, but why do the pages have lines on them?"

"I don't know. So you can't cheat by writing large?"

Draco removed a rectangular object with numbers on the front. "This?"

"It's a calculator. It does math for you." Harry took the calculator, found the 'On' button and entered '2' '+' '2' '='. "See?" he said, as the display came back with '4'.

"Useful, I suppose." Draco pulled out another rectangular object. "This?"

"Cigarettes." Thinking back, Harry could not recall ever seeing cigarettes in the wizarding world. He was fairly sure he had seen pipes, though not frequently, at the Leaky Cauldron.

Draco peered at the package and sniffed it. "Are they for --" He pulled one out and recognized it. "Ah -- these are those things they walk around with in their mouths."

Harry nodded. "Like a pipe, but without the pipe part."

"What are they like?"

Harry shrugged. "Don't know; never had one. They're horribly bad for you."

Draco peered into the bag, again. "Well, she's got three packets of them, and that's the end of the large stuff." He upended the rucksack and shook everything remaining out onto the floor. He questioned Harry about lipstick ("To put on your lips. No, for a girl to put on her lips! It's to make the color more intense.") various other makeup items, a small battery-powered torch, a packet of cat treats, pens, pencils, markers, rubbers, and (much to Harry's embarrassment) condoms. Draco's two favorite items were a folding mirror and a lighter. Harry found the lighter trickier to use than he expected. It took him a few tries to turn the wheel fast enough to show Draco how it worked.

"For light?" Draco asked, puzzled, as he played with starting and stopping the flame. "But she has that pointer thing."

"For starting the cigarettes," Harry explained. He looked out at the girl. She had finished the first half of her sandwich, and was still contentedly reading her book.

Draco took out a cigarette and held it out, then put the lighter to it. Harry burst out laughing. "What?" Draco asked.

"You need to inhale through it while you do that, I think."

"Oh." Draco thought. "Yes, I've seen that. The man outside the shop where you bought the crisps...." He tried again, properly, exhaled the smoke quickly and cleared his throat. "And the point to this is?" he asked wryly, making a face.

Harry shrugged. "It's a drug of sorts. Supposedly it feels nice. Some people find it calming. It's addictive, so if you do it enough, you won't care much that it's bad for you."

Draco took another mouthful of smoke and blew it out ostentatiously . "Fun for playing dragon with, I suppose." He held it out to Harry. "You try."

Harry, reluctantly, took the cigarette. He took a shallow mouthful, breathed it out, then tried a deeper breath. He wasn't getting the coughing fit people claimed one would, he realized. He handed the cigarette back to Draco.

"What do you think?" Draco asked.

Harry shrugged. "Not as bad as I expected, but not worth getting used to."

"Hm. Agreed." Draco pointed his wand at the end of the cigarette. "Exstinguere," he said, and it went neatly out. Draco tossed it into the corner and began to repack items, starting with the books. Harry thought with amusement that the girl was certain to notice that her bag was better organized than it had been.

"We didn't find any identity cards," Draco noted.

"Probably the front pocket. No, keep packing. I'll empty it." Harry opened the small pocket in the front of the rucksack. It had a wallet, more pens and pencils, and a few other small items.

"What's this?" Draco picked up one of several paper packets and ripped it open. It contained a narrow cardboard tube with a string hanging out of it.

"I haven't any idea," Harry admitted. Draco held up the object so that the string dangled. He swatted at it.

"Cat toy?" he guessed.

"Let's see." Harry put the object down on the floor and tapped it. It rolled in an interesting way. Sufficient pulling on the string separated a vaguely mouse-shaped thing from a cardboard telescope. "Could be," he said, "but why would she be carrying cat toys?"

"Why is she carrying cat treats?" Draco countered, shrugging.

Harry glanced out the nearest arch.

"Uh oh. She's just noticed." The girl was turning in place, looking around her spot. Harry opened the wallet and grabbed a student identity card and a driving license out of it. "Check these out, quick, so I can get this stuff back to her before she runs off to report it stolen."

Draco frowned at the cards, then picked up the mirror and held it so that he could see the cards in it. He pointed at the mirror with his wand. "Laquio," he said. As he snapped the mirror shut, Harry saw that it was still displaying the cards. "I'll need to keep this," Draco advanced.

"The mirror?"

"Yes. So I can check the cards later. Okay?"

"Fine. She can get another one." Harry held out his hand for the cards, and put them back in the wallet. The girl was standing up, now. Harry hurriedly shoveled items back into the pocket. He looked up to see Draco pointing his wand at one of the paper packets.

"What are you doing?"

"Improving it. It will wiggle, now, when it's hit."

Harry rolled his eyes, but let Draco put the charmed item back in the pocket. He took off with the rucksack, and flew in front of the girl. He dropped the rucksack one step down a short flight of stairs leading to the road, then hovered above to watch. The girl nearly tripped over it. Harry watched her snatch it up, then frantically begin to check its contents. He fled back to the steeple.

"Were you entertained?" Harry asked solicitously, as he dropped the cape.

Draco smiled. "Quite," he said. Harry poured himself more cognac and wondered why he was trembling now. It had worked out all right. Except.... "I ought to report you to the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts department," he teased.

Draco smirked. "It's just a cat toy, Potter. She may never even notice. And it's a weak charm -- it will wear off in a day or two."

"Huh." Harry looked down at the girl. She had the rucksack swung over one shoulder, and was heading off towards the shops. So that's all right. He scanned along the grassy area by the river. The afternoon had worn on, and there were fewer people walking there, now. Harry saw three children and a dog on an island a short way out in the flooded waters. He suspected they were stuck. Slowly, Harry bagan to smile.

"I have one for you," he said.

"One what?"

Harry pointed. "See those kids?"

"The ones that got stuck in the river?" Draco sounded amused.

"Yes." Harry looked haughtily at Draco. "You will go rescue them, and the dog."

"I will?!"

"You can use magic, but nothing they notice as such." Harry tried to smirk like Malfoy had. He thought he probably had done pretty well. "You have an hour."



Draco bit his lip and looked away, up at the bright sky. Harry thought he was trying not to smile. "I suppose," he drawled, finally. "Lend me your cloak, then."

After Draco flew off, Harry knelt at one of the openings and watched for him to appear below. He briefly wished he had brought Susara -- it seemed odd to be without her now, but he had been afraid the flying might get dangerous, if they were spotted. Draco emerged from the bushes near the church, and walked jauntily down to the river. He called over to the stranded children. Harry drank his cognac and watched.

After a bit, Draco continued upstream, walking slowly and occasionally stopping to examine trees, fallen trees, and pieces of debris. After about fifteen minutes, he stopped at a tree that had half-fallen, but survived, so that it was now growing almost horizontally out over the water. Harry watched him point his wand at the exposed roots of the tree. Afterwards, the tree came loose when he jumped on it. Draco managed to get back on the bank rather than falling with it, but he was splashed head to foot. He looked back up at the steeple and made an obscene gesture. Harry laughed.

The tree tumbled downstream. Harry thought Draco took control of its movement, although he could not see, from his angle, whether or not Draco drew his wand. The tree simply moved too perfectly to be at the mercy of the current. In a few minutes, the top was lodged against the little island, and the roots stuck in the shallows by the shore. Draco sauntered down and called over to the kids.

The oldest, a boy, was over in a minute. He was a head shorter than Draco. The next, whom Harry thought was a girl, followed quickly. Then the boy went back. Harry could see a very young girl still on the island. She was holding something that moved -- perhaps the dog. Draco edged out onto the tree, until he was nearly to the island. For a while, he stood there, then he began to back up. He seemed to be helping the girl, who was still holding something, which kept her from steadying herself with the branches. The boy came behind her, holding onto her arm above the elbow.

They were nearly to the shore when the girl's bundle squirmed loose and fell into the water. It got swept downstream, clear of the branches, enabling Harry to see it was, indeed, the small dog. The girl on the shore ran along beside it, but Harry did not follow her progress, because the girl on the tree either fell or jumped after the dog. Harry watched the thin branch she grabbed on to bobbing wildly up and down from her weight. Draco bent a second branch into her reach, and the girl slowly inched up the larger branch until she was close enough for the boy to grab.

After they made it to shore, Harry scanned for the other girl. She was quite a distance downstream, but had gotten the dog out, somehow. It was scampering merrily around her, as if the whole thing had been a smashing doggy adventure, while she strode grimly back to where they had started. Harry looked back there, and was shocked at what he saw.

Draco was down on one knee, one hand on the little girl's shoulder and the other holding one of her hands. She leaned into him for a moment. Harry watched, bemused, as Draco folded over his cloak and draped it over the wet child. He took one of her hands, and the boy the other, and they led her downstream. She broke away from them when she saw the other girl and the dog. Draco strolled along, apparently in conversation with the boy, until they caught up. He then reclaimed his cloak, and started back to the church.

Chapter 18 -- Confessions