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 32 - Brewing and Dancing

Chapter Summary:
A bored Draco is an interesting Draco....

Brewing and Dancing

Saturday, Hermione, Harry, and Draco set up Hermione's cauldron in her emptied wardrobe, then spent several hours in the Chamber of Secrets, trying to open the box of Diricawl feathers. It was Harry who finally pointed his wand at the box and said "dodo." He was as surprised as the others when this caused the box to open.

Draco, though he claimed it was actually quite unusual for Diricawls to home in on their missing feathers, quickly caught them in a magical net of his own.

"That will both bind them and obscure them." He picked up the box. "And I'll leave this somewhere Snape will find it. Shall we start after dinner?"

Hermione shook her head. "The Anchor potion takes twenty-eight hours to brew, and then it can be moved to the Anchor position. It must be moved to the Anchor position before thirty-five hours, from start of brewing, have elapsed. I can't move the potion tomorrow evening, because I have a prefects meeting, as do you, Malfoy. We should start it tomorrow, by two o'clock at the latest, so we're moving it the next day, after classes."

Harry tried to remember the brewing instructions. Draco beat him to it.

"We need to actively attend it for seven hours, right?"

"Yes. We need to add the ingredients in concert, and then it must be stirred exactly three times, once by each of us, exactly once an hour, for seven hours."

"Then it sits warm for seven hours, then frozen for seven hours, then thawing at room temperature for seven hours." Draco completed.

"Right!" Hermione smiled happily at Draco's knowledge of the lesson. Harry tried not to roll his eyes.

"So we should finish it no later than nine o'clock at night, and no earlier than two in the afternoon, if we're to move it by six the next day."

"Yes. Would you rather miss lunch or dinner?"

"Lunch, definitely."

"Let's meet to prepare ingredients at ten and start at eleven," Harry suggested. "We'll finish at six, and have some leeway as to when we move it on Monday."

Accordingly, Harry, Hermione, and Draco met in Hermione's room after breakfast on Sunday, and sequestered themselves there, with a silencing charm on the door. Hermione set the password lock she usually used for privacy, and they started brewing the potion. Adding the ingredients took only a few minutes, but they decided not to leave until the stirring portion was complete. After all, as Hermione pointed out, "one can be delayed."

For the first two hours, they mainly discussed the potion and did homework. A few minutes into the third hour, Hermione stood, stretched, and yawned.

"Do you mind Muggle music, Malfoy?" she asked.

Draco shrugged. "I really wouldn't know, Granger," he drawled. After a moment of silence, he looked up and flashed a quick smile at her uncertainty. "Really, I wouldn't. It is your room, you know."

Draco didn't seem to mind the music. Harry was rather intrigued that Hermione had a CD player -- he wondered if it ran off batteries, or if Hermione had found some way to power it with a charm. She put on something Harry found vaguely familiar, and thought was rather old. After a few minutes of discreet bouncing, Hermione looked down at Harry.

"Dance?" she asked, blushing.

"I'm awful," Harry confessed, blushing as well, but scrambling to his feet. "Ron won't mind?"

"Ron won't dance with me, so he's no right to complain," Hermione said firmly.

The music was fun. Harry bounced and moved to it, and thought he might figure out a way to really dance to it, if it was just he and Hermione. However, there was Draco, lying on his stomach across Hermione's bed, his head propped up on his hands, watching them with open amusement.

"Didn't anyone teach you how to dance, Harry?" Draco drawled, with something like his old smirk. He sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. "Doesn't look like you know much better, Granger. You're letting down the reputation of your house, you know."

"What?" Harry, glad of a chance to stop, did so. "Are Gryffindors supposed to be good dancers?"

"You know, like in the rhyme by Hillaria of Kent," Draco said. He rolled his eyes at their blank expressions. "Honestly! You're both practically Muggles! You do know who Hillaria of Kent was, at least?"

"She was a 12th and 13th century British witch, famous for her work in charms of illusion, and pioneering integration of Roman technique with Celtic and Saxon materials," Hermione answered promptly.

Draco chuckled. "Well, that's not all she was famous for! She also went through lovers at an alarming rate. She's been romantically connected with most of the intellectually influential wizards of her time, and a few of the other witches. I once saw a treatise advancing that Gregory the Hunter was homosexual -- they didn't record that sort of thing, then, it was apparently too scandalous -- which listed as an argument that no contemporary account romantically linked him with Hilaria of Kent. She also conceived a plot that was intended to cripple the Muggle Church in Europe. It didn't -- but it did have a huge affect on the nature of the church -- well, so I've read. I don't know much about Muggle religious history."

"What did she do?" Hermione asked, frowning.

"Gave someone a 'vision.' Some Italian kid she found passed out drunk. I don't remember his name -- I've just read her account of what went wrong."

"Anyway, Hilaria went to Hogwarts, and she wrote a little poem about the Houses, for her daughter, when her daughter was in school. I've read the original, which is in Latin, but I don't remember all of it. The common modern, unattributed, translation, is this:

Hogwarts girls are sane enough,
but sadly Hogwarts men
Uphold the nature of their House
to Hell and back again.

So my daughter, thus I teach --
choose not less than one of each:

For ballroom, joust, and fields of war
bold and courtly Gryffindor,
but for the cradle and the hearth,
true Hufflepuff instead.
Ravenclaw may bring home gold and
parlor discourse well uphold,
Each of these, my darling girl,
but Slytherin to bed.

Harry burst out laughing. Hermione blushed and giggled slightly.

"That is the best your house gets?" Harry teased. "You're a good tumble?"

"You'd rather do a gavotte, then be slaughtered?" Draco countered cheerfully.

"I don't even know what a gavotte is."

"It's a bit old. You should at least learn some basic ballroom steps, though. That will stand you in good stead for most of the last three centuries, including a fair bit of current music, once you isolate the beat."

Draco stood up, walked over to them, and surveyed them critically.

"You first, I think," he said to Hermione. "You know more, and you don't need to know as much, so I think I can manage." With that, he bowed politely. "May I have this dance, Miss Granger?"

The hand he held out to Hermione trembled slightly, but his face was politely blank. Hermione nodded very slightly, and extended her own hand to meet his. Harry watched, astonished, as Draco took Hermione's hand in his own, and slipped one arm around her waist. Draco was touching Hermione, and rather closely, with no outward show of disgust.

"Let's try something that doesn't require too much precision," he said, in a voice slightly higher than his usual tone. "Mirror me. Side, side, back, forward."

"Side, side, back, forward," Hermione muttered, as she attempted to match the motions to the beat. "Is that it?"

"Do that until it's smooth, then just let me move you a bit more."

"But I won't know what to do!"

"Trust me." Draco almost managed a smirk.

Harry backed up to the bed and leaned against it, watching. The dance style was straight out of a black-and-white movie, but did work to the music, which might have been popular when his parents were dating. Suddenly, Hermione spun and burst into delighted laughter.

"There!" Draco grinned. "Didn't you know what to do, then?"

"Oh yes!"

Draco moved Hermione in and out of spins and turns. They tangled and needed to stop for explicit instruction when he attempted to do something complicated that involved looping arms over each other's shoulders. For a moment, he had her nested in front of him in a cross-armed embrace that Harry was certain would have had Ron in a rage, then he spun her quickly out of it. At the end of the song, she collapsed beside Harry, laughing giddily, and Draco stood, flushed and proud, in the center of the room.

Draco looked at Harry. "You next," he said, with a trace of challenge in his voice.


"Well, you won't learn from watching, will you? And she can't teach you." Draco stepped forward, held out a hand to Harry and bowed. "May I have this dance, Mr. Potter?"

Hermione, Harry thought, had gone quite giggly. Blushing, Harry took Draco's hand, and stood awkwardly, waiting for Draco to do something else.

"Right arm around my waist," Draco instructed.

Harry managed to do this. He had an panicked impulse to twist away, but managed to remain as he was positioned. Draco, he suspected, would tease him for acting like a Muggle. Harry wasn't quite sure what the wizarding world thought of boys dancing together, but he remembered two of the seventh year boys dancing together at the Halloween Ball. When he pointed the couple out to Hermione, she had slapped his hand down and told him to act like a civilized adult. As Hermione tended to have a better grasp of wizarding mores and culture than Harry did, he assumed their behavior was not considered unacceptable.

With Draco, Harry managed the basic step that Draco had done with Hermione, but after that were quite a few more complicated instructions which Harry couldn't figure out at all. Finally, he balked.

"Why is this so complicated? You just did things with her!"

"But I was leading. Now I'm trying to teach you to lead. You do want to be able to dance with girls, don't you?"

"I suppose, but I don't have any idea what it is I'm trying to do!"

Draco scowled. "Oh, look! Here, I'll lead for a bit, to demonstrate. Don't get too used to it, though, or the two of you will trip over each other. Switch arms. No, not around my waist. Up at my shoulder." He smirked. "Like a good girl, Potter. Now, I'm leading, so you start stepping the other way. Let's do that until it's comfortable."

A minute later, Harry found himself spinning as Hermione had done, and barely bit back the same sort of laugh. It reminded him of nothing so much as dizzying games he had played in primary school.

"Did you catch how I did that?" Draco asked.

"I have no idea," Harry confessed.

"I brought this hand up --" Draco squeezed Harry's right hand -- "and pushed slightly with the other. A reasonably sensitive partner, even if untaught, will react appropriately, just as well-bred green horse will respond to pressure on a bit. I'm going to do it again. Note my hands, this time."

The rest of the hour was spent in dancing lessons -- Draco with Hermione, Draco with Harry, then a rather awkward Harry and Hermione. The awkwardness was silly, now, rather than embarrassing. Harry didn't even mind that Draco laughed when he and Hermione lost hold of each other and both went staggering back. Hermione, after a few tracks, found an album that she and Harry felt better matched the dance style, and replaced the newer one with that.

While Harry was attempting to dance with Hermione, the lights flashed. Draco lost no time in diving under the bed. Harry and Hermione continued to dance. They were kind of getting the rhythm, Harry thought, and besides, the lights had flashed when the visitor was at the first stair. He or she still needed to knock.

The door opened. Harry completed taking Hermione through a spin before looking over. Ron was standing in the doorway. Of course, Ron knew Hermione's password, Harry thought, so he didn't need to knock.

"Hi Ron," Hermione called breathlessly.

Ron stepped inside. "Hi."

"What's up?" Harry asked, managing a two handed spin that caused Hermione to laugh breathlessly. They lost a couple of steps and had to jump back in at the start of the next pattern.

"Just ... wondering what you two were up to."

"Just dancing," Harry answered. The music came to a wavering close. He kept Hermione spinning until the last note, then gathered her triumphantly in his arms. "Beautiful Hermione," he whispered into her ear, though he was aware of Ron's annoyance. The last note quavered to a close. Hermione dove for the CD player and shut it off.

"Sorry, Ron," she said. "What did you want?"

"Just ... I... You weren't at lunch. Wondered if you wanted to take a break?"

"Can't," Hermione answered. A flash of displeasure crossed Ron's features. "Sorry, but we're busy."

"I can see that." Ron looked coldly at them. "You've been busy a lot, lately."

"We're working on a potion," Hermione said defensively. "It needs to be tended by the original brewers, rather frequently. We can't leave for a few hours, yet."

Harry sighed. "Sorry, Ron. It's my fault." He continued, as if oblivious to Ron's jealousy. "These kids asked me for help -- because I'm Harry Potter you know, and of course it was Hermione who could actually help -- so we're brewing this thing for them, and it's kind of complicated. Don't worry about it. We'll be done by Wednesday."

"I'm gone Thursday," Ron answered.

"Me too," Hermione said. "But I'm coming back on the first train, on Tuesday."

"I was thinking of returning then, too," Ron said. Harry couldn't help but notice that Ron looked at him while he said it.

After the potion had been stirred for the last time, Draco put on Harry's cloak and left, accompanied by Hermione, who said she would open the portrait hole for him on her way down to dinner. Harry said he would meet her in the Great Hall, but wanted to go up to his room, first.

When Harry entered the sixth-year boys' dormitory, he found Ron lying on his bed. To his relief, no one else was present.

"Hi," Harry said.

"Hi." Ron continued to stare at the canopy above his bed. Harry stepped inside and closed the door softly behind him.

"Er... Ron?"


"There are two things I think I ought to tell you."

"Tell away, then."

Ron still hadn't looked at him. Sighing, Harry crossed to his own bed and sat on the edge of it. "First," he said, "I am not moving in on your girlfriend."

"Oh really? What do you call it then?"

"We were dancing. We were enjoying it. That's all."


"Second, I think you should know..." Harry took a deep breath and let it out, surprised by how shaky he sounded. He forced himself to stretch out, as if he was relaxed, and was pleased to feel the lie grow real. He allowed a bit of his annoyance to turn to malice as he smiled. "If I wanted to steal your girlfriend," he said softly, "I know just what I'd do. I doubt it would take more than a week."

Ron looked up at that. Harry smirked at him.

"Since when are you a lady's man, Harry?" Ron growled.

"I'm not. But she's bored, and you don't pay any attention to what she wants. It wouldn't take much of someone who does -- who tells her she's beautiful, and asks her to dance, and notices the sparkle of her hair in the firelight." Harry pushed against the bed to stand, and shrugged. "Just a warning. I won't, but someone else might. If I were you, I'd start dancing with her."

"Thanks for the advice," Ron said sarcastically.

"That's what friends are for, right?" Harry commented. "Coming to dinner?"

Ron sat up and looked at Harry. "Are you serious?" he asked.

"Completely. I am not interested in Hermione -- not like that -- but if I was, I believe I could take her from you. If you don't work at being a better boyfriend, someone will. In case you haven't noticed, she's beautiful, talented, and sensible, and I'm sure plenty of our fellows would consider her a fine catch."

"Actually, most people find her too intimidating."

"She's gotten more discreet, Ron, even if you haven't noticed. She doesn't bludgeon people over the head with her cleverness, anymore. Draco was saying half of their Arithmancy class would be after her if she was a pureblood. That she's not dissuades the three Slytherin boys, and one of the Ravenclaws. He says all the other boys, and one of the girls, have been falling over each other to show her how smart they are."

"Get out of here," Ron snarled.

Perversely, Harry flashed him a cheery smile. "I'm on my way."

Harry headed down to dinner. Hermione, despite several minutes lead, was not there. He watched the door anxiously until she entered, a few minutes later, accompanied by Dumbledore. The headmaster sat at the staff table, and Hermione came over to Harry.

"I talked to him," she whispered, as she scooped beef and vegetables onto her plate. "I said I don't think it's doing any good to continue punishing you, and he told me he had already decided that it has accomplished as much as it will. I think you're going to get a reprieve, soon." Under the table, she removed the magical compass from her pocket, and passed it to Harry. "And I set this at the door to his office. Draco should be able to use it to find the right set of windows."

"Thanks, Hermione. You're amazing."

Hermione blushed and busied herself with dinner.

Harry did not need to wait long. After dinner, he was summoned to Dumbledore's office. The headmaster told him, in front of a disapproving Professor McGonagall, that his punishment was lifted.

"Please try to remember," he added, "that this does not exempt you from the normal Hogwarts rules. You are still expected to stay on the grounds, to stay out of the Forbidden Forest, and to be in your dormitory at night. Do you understand?"

"Completely, sir."

Harry could not help thinking that he was already committed to breaking those rules the next evening, and the one after that. He, Hermione, and Draco needed to bring the Anchor potion to the Shrieking Shack to sit for a day, then return to create the Portkey there.

Chapter 33 -- On Blood and Breeding