A Slytherin in Gryffindor Clothing
- Story Summary:
- Draco hits his head and wakes to find himself in another world where he's a Gryffindor and Harry Potter is a Slytherin.
- Chapter Summary:
- Draco and Harry must work together to battle the danger that has come to Hogwarts.
- Author's Note:
- Thank you to Aoibhail and A Boy for all of their hard work beta reading this story.
The day the Progiscor would rise dawned bright and sunny. Not a cloud was in the sky and the birds were chirping merrily.
"Damn!" Draco swore as the spell he'd aimed at the birds to make all their feathers fall off missed. He leaned farther out of the window and adjusted the angle.
"What are you doing?" Ron asked from behind him while munching on an apple.
"Their twittering is annoying. I mean to put an end to it."
"They're just happy, I guess."
"Exactly. This must be stopped."
Ron yanked Draco back inside the dormitory, causing the spell to misfire, hit the roof of the astronomy tower and shatter a few shingles. The broken shingles slid down to crash to the ground less than a yard from where Longbottom stood. Leaning out the window in time to catch Longbottom now staring with fright at the sky, Draco smiled. At least it hadn't been a total loss.
"Just 'cause Harry dumped you, that's no reason to be hexing poor innocent creatures. Did you know it took Hermione over an hour to move Seamus' nose back to where it was supposed to be?"
"Potter didn't dump me."
Ron took a final bite, then tossed the apple core into a trash bin six feet away and grinned. "I should so have been a Chaser instead of a Keeper."
"I have never been dumped. I am genetically incapable of being dumped."
"Do you think if I used a time turner, I could go back and be a Chaser?"
"It's only a setback. A slight one at that."
"That's what I believe. Could try something new. Chasing and Keeping are entirely different things."
"Yes, that's a good point, Weasley" Draco eyed him speculatively. "Never thought of you as being much of thinker."
"I think of a lot of things. Sometimes."
"Well, I've done the chasing part. The keeping part just needs some work." Draco glanced at the clock. "The others will be here for our meeting soon. I should probably give my hair another hundred brushstrokes. Want to look my best when Potter gets here. Make him realise what he's missing."
As Draco left, Ron had a confused look on his face. "Chasing? Keeping? I thought he always played Seeker."
* * *
When Crabbe, Goyle, and Potter walked into the Gryffindor seventh year boys' dormitory, Draco greeted them warmly, acting the part of the perfect host. He showed them where to sit and offered them something to drink, all without kicking Potter as hard as he could. Sometimes his self-control amazed even him. He managed not to snog Harry, either. Obviously, his self-control was bordering on legendary.
It was a close call about the snogging, though, when Harry ignored the chairs to take a seat on Draco's bed instead.
Doing his best to not think about Harry on his bed, Draco opened his trunk and pulled out a sack.
"Earlier this morning, the house-elf Drippy--"
"Dobby," Harry corrected automatically.
"...brought me the items I requested. " Draco extracted five muggle cameras from the bag and handed one to each of his co-conspirators then placed the sack, still partially full, on the floor. As Crabbe, Goyle, and Weasley examined the cameras, he explained. "Remember, you are never to look at the basilisk's stare directly. That'll kill you. You can, however, survive if you look through one of these. You'll be petrified, but that can be cured."
"It's highly unlikely that will come to pass," added Hermione. "We should really only see the back of the creature."
"Quite right." Draco pulled a crude map of Hogwarts he'd drawn that morning. At the sight of it, Harry looked a bit uncomfortable, but said nothing. Pinning the map to the wall, Draco pointed to a spot on the second floor. "This is the girls' bathroom where the opening to the Chamber of Secrets is. Ron, you're responsible for making sure walls are transfigured that block all but the correct corridor leading from this bathroom. Goyle, you'll station yourself on the first floor and do the same thing. Crabbe, on the ground floor, you'll wall up everything but the way leading to the door to outside. We're herding him, gentlemen."
The boys nodded solemnly.
"Do it just the way we practised and it'll be fine," Hermione assured them.
"Afterwards, you are to ensure that the wards on the castle are still intact, and the door to outside is again barred, then meet Hermione in the Astronomy tower. In the meantime, Harry is to fly over the site where the final battle was fought and wait for the Progiscor to show. Once it does, using the Flying-Replying devices, he'll inform Hermione and me that it's headed toward Hogwarts then fly back to join Hermione in the tower. At that point, I'll lure out the basilisk."
Draco turned to Harry. "Remember, you're my back up. If things go wrong in the Chamber of Secrets, you're to get the basilisk out of there." Draco smiled sardonically. "The basilisk shouldn't be too dangerous by then, having just eaten."
Harry tensed, but nodded his understanding.
"They're planning to round everyone up at dinner and send them off to the dungeons. How do we get out of that?" Ron asked.
"We don't go to dinner."
A few whimpers were heard from Goyle and Crabbe at that statement.
Ron scratched his head, thinking. "But won't we be missed?"
"That's already been handled, Weasley," Draco stated, refusing to look at Harry as he said it. "Sunset is at eight fifty-one. I expect all of you to be at the Astronomy Tower ten minutes beforehand."
More nodded heads. Draco looked around at the group, letting his eyes settle on Harry for a moment, before moving on.
"You might want to spend the time until then wisely."
At Draco's words, Ron moved from where he'd been standing by the window toward Hermione, wrapping his arms around her and drawing her close. Crabbe, Goyle, and Harry stood and headed for the door.
Draco watched the trio exit in silence before turning to face Granger and Weasley.
"I'm going to go to Hagrid's now."
Ron began to pull away from Hermione. "Would you like some help silencing the roosters so their crowing doesn't kill the basilisk too early?"
"I think I can manage a simple silencing spell." Draco looked at Ron's face and gave him a conciliatory smile. "But thanks for the offer."
Alone, Draco walked down the stairs, through the common room, and out of the Gryffindor tower. He'd just stepped outside the castle walls when a shadow fell on him. Squinting a bit in the bright light, he saw that it was Potter.
After a moment's hesitation, he walked past him towards Hagrid's hut. Harry stood there for a few seconds, before hurrying to his side and matching his pace.
"I want to talk to you, Malfoy."
"Unless you've decided to trust me, don't expect me to listen." There, that certainly established that he wasn't desperate to have Harry back. He could play hard to get.
When Harry began to slow, as if he weren't going to pursue the matter, Draco decided that there was such a thing as playing too hard to get. "You're perfectly welcome to try to convince me, however."
Once again, Harry moved to keep up with him. For several minutes they walked in silence until Draco couldn't stand it anymore.
"My word, Potter, I'd forgotten what a scintillating conversationalist you are."
"Hey. I'm trying to think of how to start."
"The usual way is to take a breath, open one's mouth, and emit sounds."
Potter bumped his arm into Draco hard. Draco bumped him back.
"Git," Harry murmured.
"Prat," Draco insulted him back.
A few more moments of silence followed before Harry cleared his throat. "It goes against precedent. A Potter trusting a Malfoy."
Draco turned to face him, puzzled. "Precedent? Explain."
"You know, my father, your father."
"No, I don't know."
They'd arrived at Hagrid's hut, and Draco rapped hard on the door. When there was no response, he breathed a sigh of relief. He didn't have to lie about why he wanted to see the chickens. Not that he objected to lying. He just objected to what Hagrid might do if he thought Draco had designs on his flock. He knocked once more, just to be sure, and then headed for the fenced area where the poultry was located, Harry close at his heels.
"Why are you doing this to me?" Potter asked angrily. "Is this revenge for me not trusting you? You're rubbing this in my face?"
Draco spun to face him. "If I wanted revenge, you'd be bleeding right now. So let me repeat. I don't know what you're talking about."
Harry glared at him mutinously. Turning his back on him, Draco pulled out his wand and waved it over the flock.
"Excerno masculus," he commanded.
The chickens began to separate until there were two groups, hens and roosters.
Again, Draco waved his wand. "Silencio." He uttered another spell and flicked his wand. The roosters stilled immediately. Harry quirked an eyebrow up in questioningly.
"Wouldn't want to have to scurry around trying to find one to make it crow to kill the basilisk when we might be in a hurry," he explained. "Now," he said, pointing to Harry, "talk."
Harry shuffled his feet in the dirt. "My family was in hiding from Voldemort. When told that your father, with Crabbe and Goyle, was switching sides, my father didn't believe it. My mother did. She ended up dying. He ended up being labelled a coward."
Staring unseeingly at the nearby Forbidden Forest, Harry continued. "A few years later, he paid some Muggle relatives of my mother's to take care of me and took off. He visits me. Once in a while."
"Your father wasn't a coward," Draco said firmly.
"Right." Harry scoffed. "It's what everyone says. I've heard it whispered behind my back too many times to mention. They wonder if I'm going to turn into a coward, too. I'm going to show the world that I'm better than he was. Show them all that I'm not a coward. Show them that--"
It dawned on Draco that ambition was why Harry had been sorted into Slytherin - a driving need to prove to everyone that he was a person of consequence. He also realised that by calling Potter a coward in their fake fight days earlier, he'd inadvertently stumbled on an insult that cut deeply.
It really was too bad that one couldn't make a career out of getting under Potter's skin. He clearly had a true talent for it.
In any case, Potter's little rant wasn't solving anything and Draco decided it was time to take control of the situation.
"Could you shut up and listen to me? Your father wasn't a coward, he was smart."
Harry stopped talking and stared at Draco in shock.
"Yes, smart," Draco continued. "Do you really suppose my father had any interest in saving Muggles? Please. Oh, I have no doubt that my father thought Voldemort was a growing crazier, but that wasn't important, either. What was important, was what was always important to him: power. "
Draco gave a bitter laugh. "He almost pulled it off, too. Hero of the Wizarding World, and all that rot. Too bad he fouled it up by dying. If he'd lived, he might've been Minister for life."
"How can you know that? Your father died when you were a baby."
"Trust me, Potter, it's true."
"There's that word again. Trust." Harry sighed. "You know, telling me that my father was right not to trust a Malfoy is not really a convincing argument for me to trust you."
"Maybe not. But I'm not my father and you're not yours. Listen to your instincts, Potter, and make up your own mind."
Spinning on his heel, Draco turned away from Harry and started towards the castle alone. After a few steps, he changed his mind and returned. Still angry that Harry didn't trust him, he kicked the other boy hard in the shin.
Legendary self-control was all well and good, but it was not nearly as satisfying as hearing Harry yelp.
Again, he headed towards Hogwarts. On his way back, he passed a group of house-elves. One began to wave to him, but he ignored it.
* * *
The sun was just beginning to set when they met in the Astronomy Tower in case there were any last minute questions.
Everyone had been looking at one another silently for a moment when Harry spoke up.
"I just wanted all of you to know that no matter how this turns out, I'm proud of being a part of this group." He clapped Goyle and Crabbe on the back, then shook hands with Ron and Hermione. When he reached Draco, he was met with a sneer.
"Cease the sentimentality, Potter."
"I was just thinking if--"
Nodding, Harry stepped back. Goyle and Crabbe shook hands with Ron and Hermione also. Crabbe gave Ron a quick glance, then leaned over and kissed Hermione briefly on the cheek, before heading down the stairs with Goyle.
Ron and Hermione, were gathering each other close, when Draco poked Potter in the side.
"Come on. I'll fly with you down to the gates. Give the lovebirds some privacy."
A few minutes later, they landed on the grass outside the gates of Hogwarts.
"Now remember, Potter," Draco admonished, "You're only supposed to let us know when the Progiscor is headed this way so I'll know when to open the Chamber. There's no need for you to get close to it."
Harry nodded his understanding.
"And if I don't...don't get the basilisk out of the Chamber of Secrets, then it'll be up to you."
"I know," Harry said, then added, "Draco, you never told me quite what the Parseltongue words we were practising meant."
"That's easy, Potter. The second phrase I taught you means "Open up". You'll need it to get into the Chamber."
"And the first phrase?"
"Remember, I told you that I practised with garden snakes?" When Harry nodded, Draco continued. "Well, I had to get them to come out in the first place. The phrase means "Come and get a tasty treat."
Harry's eyes widened.
"You idiot!" he shouted. "You utter moron!" Harry grabbed Draco by the robes and hauled him close. "You meant it when you talked of luring the basilisk out. You just never said that you were the bait."
"Well, truthfully, I was hoping the ham might do the trick, but if it doesn't work, then I suppose--"
Draco's voice was cut off by Harry's mouth pressed to his. He'd only just started adjusted to the feel of it, when Harry pulled back, green eyes fierce.
"Don't die, Malfoy," he snarled. "Don't you dare die."
With a groan, Harry moved his mouth to Draco's neck. A moment later, Draco felt the sharp sting of Harry's teeth on his flesh, marking him. Harry raised his head.
"You're mine, Draco," he vowed. "You don't die."
With a swish of his robes, Harry turned, mounted his broom, and was in the sky before Draco could catch his breath.
With an unsteady finger, Draco traced the wound Harry had left on his neck. He'd often wondered what might have happened if Harry hadn't rejected him when they were eleven. Now he had some small idea and the entire notion was a bit unsettling.
Overwhelmed. He would have been completely overwhelmed. By a Gryffindor. Draco wasn't sure if that would've been a good or bad thing.
* * *
With his broom in one hand and the sack of supplies in the other, Draco entered through the door he would soon be leading the basilisk out of. Crabbe was in a corridor, off to the side.
"What's wrong?" Draco asked, seeing Crabbe's upset face. It wouldn't do for anyone to start having a case of nerves at this point.
"We missed supper, but you can still smell it," Crabbe said mournfully. "There was roast chicken for dinner. My favourite."
"Vince, tomorrow I'll take you into Hogsmeade and buy you two roast chickens. Agreed?"
Nodding his head, Crabbe stepped back and walls rose up around Draco, blocking all the corridors except for the one leading out of the castle and up the stairs.
Going up the steps, Draco noted that the charms Hermione had placed on the staircases to keep them from moving seemed to be working.
On the next floor, he encountered Goyle, who looked glum.
"They had chicken for dinner tonight. Wouldn't have minded that for my last meal."
"I'm taking Vince out tomorrow night for a meal to make up for it. Suppose if you came along, it wouldn't bankrupt me."
Goyle stepped back and more walls rose up.
Silently, Draco headed up the last flight of stairs to find Ron waiting for him.
"I have something to ask you," the redhead began.
"I know, I know. I'll buy you a roast chicken, too."
"Not what I was going to ask, but thanks. What I was wondering was exactly how you got us out of tonight's round-up. I haven't seen another soul anywhere. No staff members tracking us down, neither."
"You really want to know, Weasley?"
"Wouldn't have asked if I didn't."
Draco took a deep breath. "I kissed Snape."
Ron's mouth dropped opened. His eyes bulged.
"Now put up your walls," Draco ordered. "Harry should be contacting me soon."
Getting a grip on himself, Ron nodded, then stepped back. Right before the walls appeared Draco heard Ron whisper to himself, "Blimey, no wonder the thought of a basilisk doesn't scare him."
Entering the bathroom, he quickly found the basin that had the snake ornament, then, pulling the Flying-Replying from his sack, he placed the round piece in his ear.
"Hermione, I'm ready" he said and was rewarded with the sound of her voice.
"Good." Hermione answered. "Harry just checked in. He's circling over the spot where the final battle was, but there's no sign yet of anything strange."
"Potter?" Draco said tentatively and let out a held breath when he heard a voice answer him.
Frustrated that they were so far apart, Draco felt a strong desire to rip the device out of his ear and throw it against the wall. Knowing that would serve no purpose, he kicked the wall of the bathroom instead.
"You're not supposed to be here," he heard a whiny female voice state. "This is the girls' bathroom. You're not a girl."
Folding his arms, Draco faced the spectre of Moaning Myrtle. "What was your first clue?"
"Draco?" he heard Hermione ask through his earpiece. "Whom are you talking to?"
"No one important. Just Moaning Myrtle"
"No one important?" Myrtle screeched. "You're a wicked boy. I'd report you if anyone would listen, but does anyone pay attention to me? No."
"Maybe you should report me," Draco said after a minute. "And I know just the chap you should talk to. There's a portrait of a gent in the Library, blond hair the same color as mine, but longer, blue eyes like mine, rather handsome. He's the one you want to complain to."
"Definitely. But don't be put off if he says anything insulting. He's terribly shy. Especially when confronted with a lovely young female, such as yourself. I assure you, keep talking to him and after a few years, you'll have a steadfast friend forever."
A grin spread over Moaning Myrtle's features and she quickly disappeared through a wall.
"Draco, isn't that portrait in the Library of your father?" Harry asked.
"Why, yes, Harry, I believe it is."
Cheered, Draco was humming a little tune when an unearthly shriek poured through his earpiece. The high-pitched sound made Draco immediately bend over and cup his head in throbbing pain. He could hear Potter's harsh gasps in reaction to the noise and Hermione's whimpers.
"It...it's the Progiscor." Harry's voice was ragged.
"I hadn't guessed." Draco made the effort to drawl. "Now get back here."
"It's pretty big," Harry described. "Twice as tall as Hagrid but rather round. Grey with lots of arms that look like elephant trunks, one eye, one mouth. No legs though. It sort of flows and...Oh, shit!"
"Potter!" The lack of answer caused fear to burn through Draco. "Potter!"
Another shriek sounded, louder this time, shooting white pain through Draco's brain. Instead of ripping out the earpiece, he put his hand over it, as if to keep it in place.
"Potter are you there? Damn it, Harry! Answer me!"
The time that passed could have been seconds or minutes. It didn't matter. It felt like an eternity to Draco.
"What's wrong?" Draco demanded.
"Nothing. Nothing to w-worry about. It was just moving towards Hogsmeade. But not anymore. I'm...I'm heading back to Hogwarts now."
At the sound of Harry's shaky voice, Draco's knees felt weak and wobbly in relief.
"Good. I'll see you when this is all over, Potter."
Straightening his shoulders and taking in several cleansing breaths, Draco turned toward the basin that would lead to the Chamber of Secrets.
"Open up," he hissed in Parseltongue.
The sinks moved and an opening appeared in front of Draco. Reaching into his sack of supplies, he pulled out the large ham and rope. Quickly he tied the end of the rope to the bone emerging from the ham and lowered it into the opening, uncoiling it slowly. More and more quantities of rope kept disappearing into the darkness and Draco had to cast a spell to make it longer.
"Come and get a tasty treat," he hissed, yanking the rope to make it jerk.
Nothing happened. He hissed the entreaty again, louder, but still there was no pull on the rope.
Holding his broom tightly in one hand, he knew there was no helping it. He was going to have to go in. He was going to have to enter the Chamber of Secrets.
The slide down the passageway was completely unexpected and he decided that if he ever got back to his own world, he was going to thump Ginny Weasley on the head. If she felt compelled to tell tales of Potter's heroics, the least she could do is be completely accurate in the details.
He recoiled the rope as best as he could, whipped out his wand, uttered a quick lumos, then pocketed the wand again. With his Nimbus in one hand and the ham in the other, he started forward.
When his shoe crunched against something, he looked down in disgust at the skull of a small animal and said "Nasty thing." When he found the shed skin, his pale skin turned paler. It was gigantic. Potter had fought this thing in his second year? His eyes shifted from the enormous size of the skin of the basilisk to the small ham in his hand.
Tossing the ham onto the ground, Draco huffed in irritation. "I knew Longbottom would've been a better lump of meat. But, no, I try being nice. Try not to have someone eaten. And what do all those laudable values and traits do for me? Screw me over, that's what. It truly sucks to be a Gryffindor."
Marching onward, he travelled through twists and turns of the tunnel until he came upon a set of doors with snakes entwined on them. The snakes had emerald eyes that glittered in his wand's light and Draco could tell that the stones were of high quality and quite valuable. He hissed for doors to open and they swung back.
With a flick of his wand, Draco cast a spell for the room to light up. Placing his wand back inside his pocket, he looked around. Pillars of snakes were carved on each side of the walkway. The ceiling overhead seemed quite high, meaning he was probably much deeper beneath Hogwarts than he'd first supposed.
At the end of the pathway, he saw a large statue that seemed to be of Salazar Slytherin.
"And people call me vain. I haven't created a monument to myself. At least not in the last few years."
It was as he began to walk towards the statute to examine it more carefully when he heard a whisper of scales. Pulling his wand from his pocket, he whispered, "Accio rope." The ham on the end of the rope wouldn't be much more than a mouthful for a serpent of the size that shed skin indicated the basilisk to be, but it was better than nothing.
The rope appeared and Draco gulped. The ham was gone. Another slick slide and rustle confirmed Draco's fear.
The basilisk was behind him.
Trying to avoid any sudden movements, Draco mounted his broom. He could hear the noise better now. It was definitely coming from behind him, and he fought the urge to look.
The light he'd cast when he'd first enter the Chamber of Secrets still flared and Draco could see his own shadow flickering on the wall of the cavern. Another, larger shadow, appeared on the wall and steadily became more distinct as it got closer. When the head raised up, poised to strike, Draco kicked off on his broom.
He felt his robe snag on something and for a few terrible seconds, he hung motionless in the air, before it ripped and he flew free. Racing forward, he aimed for the right side of the statue. He could hear hissing from the rear as the basilisk gave chase.
Swooping around the back of the statue, he closed his eyes for several precious seconds as he headed back towards the entrance to the Chamber. Opening them, he found himself on a collision course with one of the pillars and dodged to the side, narrowly missing it, before continuing out through the entrance of the Chamber of Secrets.
Hissing his enticement for the basilisk to come and get him, he soared through the tunnels, past the skin, past the bones, then upwards. The twisting turns and spirals slowed him down and he could swear that he felt moist hot breath on his back.
As he flew into the bathroom he shouted triumphantly "Harry, Hermione, it's working! The basilisk is following me."
"Harry's still out there!" The near panic in Hermione's voice came over loud and clear through Draco's earpiece.
"It was going into Hogsmeade. I had to stop it," he heard Harry say.
"Potter, I told you--"
"There's something wrong with Harry's broom," Hermione said, interrupting Draco's rant.
"It...a tentacle hit the bristles. Acidic, I think. It ate away at them," Harry explained. "I can't go very fast and I can't go too high.
Draco was already reaching the first floor. In less than a minute, he'd be out the door with the basilisk right behind him, heading straight towards Harry and the Progiscor.
"Harry, as soon as you see me, I want you to shut your eyes."
"But how will I fly if I can't see?"
"I'll guide you."
Draco was flying down towards the ground floor now. The heavy weight of the basilisk thumped and thudded on the staircase as it pursued him.
"Damn it, Potter, trust me!"
The door to outside was ahead of him.
"I-I trust you, Draco."
With a burst of speed, Draco soared out into the night air. The full moon lit the landscape and immediately he scanned his surroundings for signs of Harry.
The scene before Draco made his heart race. There wasn't much left of Potter's broom, only a few bristles left in the tail. The Progiscor was so close to him that Draco knew it was probably only Harry's rare skill at flying that had enabled him to arrive back at Hogwarts and kept him alive.
"Potter, I want you to think of a clock. Right now, you're facing twelve. I want you to head for ten o'clock."
Hermione's worried voice came through the earpiece. "Draco, that might not be a good idea, he'll be heading for--"
"Do it, Potter. Hermione, how far behind me is the basilisk?"
"Fifteen yards. Maybe less."
Damn, Draco thought. It was much too close. He leaned over his broom and sped up.
"Potter, when I tell you, I want you to get as low as possible to the ground, skim the grass if you can."
Draco watched as Harry got nearer and nearer. "Now, go low. Lower. Move it lower, Potter." Harry was only a foot from the ground as he flew. "Good. That's low enough."
Harry skimmed under the branches of the Whomping Willow before it could react. The Progiscor was not as lucky. As the tree attacked the creature, Harry began to pull comfortably ahead.
"Now I want you to head toward two o'clock and start rising. A few feet more. That's good. Hold that course. Hermione, basilisk distance."
It wasn't much, but it would have to do.
"Potter listen carefully. When I tell you. I want you to stop, then swing down so that you're holding onto your the broomstick with just your hands."
"What?" screamed Harry.
From the rapidly closing distance, Draco could see Harry's eyes squeezed shut. He hoped he timed this right. The Progiscor had made it past the Whomping Willow and was heading Harry's way.
With no hesitation that Draco could see, Harry stopped his broom and swung over the side, letting his body dangle in the air. Slowing his speed down to almost nothing, Draco aimed for Harry. Letting go of his broom with both hands, he grabbed the boy, and pulled him onto his own broomstick in front of him.
"Ten yards!" Hermione was shouting. "Eight."
With the Progiscor in front and the basilisk behind. Draco pointed his broom toward the sky. The extra weight caused it to react sluggishly.
"Six. Move it! He's almost on you."
Higher they rose, until they were out of striking range of the basilisk, Draco figured, but the Progiscor was looming ahead. The grey tentacle-like limbs were stretching up and the monster was opening its maw of a mouth.
The scream that it emitted made Draco's teeth rattle. He could feel Harry shudder in front of him and remembered that this was the third time Potter had heard it at close range. The sound seemed inescapable, sending chills up his spin.
Three of the tentacles unfurled towards them. He and Harry weren't quite high enough. He'd done it wrong, somehow, and not only was he going to die, he'd managed to kill Harry as well.
The tentacles reached out, then stopped, frozen. A loud crack sounded. Then another.
Taking advantage of the stillness of the creature, he changed his angle and soared over the Progiscor. He could hear Hermione shouting.
"You did it. It's dead. It has to be. The basilisk killed it."
Draco slumped against Harry's back in relief. "Thank Merlin. Now all we have to do is swing by Hagrid's and get one his roosters to crow while the basilisk feasts." Turning to the left, he could see the hut, with the fenced area for the chickens ahead. He couldn't wait for this to all be over.
"Something's wrong," Hermione's voice cut through his thoughts.
"What is it, Granger? The Progiscor's dead, right?"
"Yes, but it's the basilisk. It's not eating it. It stopped and inspected the corpse for a moment, but now it's following you again."
"It should be okay," Draco reassured her. "We're almost at Hagrid's. We'll just unsilence these roosters and..."
"What's going on?" Hermione asked when Draco's voice trailed off.
"The...the roosters. They're gone."
In front of them was the spot where he'd silenced the roosters, then spelled them to stay still. There was nothing there now but a few feathers left on the ground. Then it hit Draco.
The house elves headed for Hagrid's this morning. Chicken for dinner.
The roosters that were supposed to crow and kill the basilisk, saving the day, were now being digesting by the student population of Hogwarts.
"Do something," he heard Harry say fervently.
"Can you transfigure something into a rooster?" Draco asked in desperation.
"No. Can't you?"
"Draco, the basilisk is beginning to close the gap," Hermione shouted.
There had to be a way. There had to be.
With sudden insight, Draco headed to the field near Hagrid's hut and the Forbidden Forest. When he reached the centre of the field, he stopped, hovering a few feet above the ground.
"What are you doing Draco?" he heard Hermione shout. "Get out of there!"
Draco stayed where he was.
"It's almost there. Oh, dear god. It's right behind you."
Draco kept them in their place, hovering over the ground. He could feel the basilisk's breath on his neck. He heard a long, loud hiss, and shivered.
Hermione was crying. "Please Draco. I don't know what you're doing, but please get out of there."
He felt Harry lean back against him. "Draco, you know I trust you, right?" he whispered. "I was wondering if you wouldn't mind me trusting you at about thirty feet in the air?"
"Wait. Please wait."
Harry paused, then nodded. Draco felt something brush the back of his robes. It had to be the basilisk's tongue. Smelling him. Tasting him.
Another hiss came, this time right next to his ear. Draco wondered if he'd miscalculated again.
"Something's happening." Hermione's voice was filled with surprise and wonder. "The basilisk seems to be weaving."
Please, please, please, Draco pleaded silently.
"It is weaving!" Hermione voice was astounded. "It's...the basilisk is lying down. It just keeled over."
Letting out a deeply held breath, Draco slumped in relief against Harry.
"What happened? Is it dead?" Harry asked.
"Asleep? How did you manage that?"
Without saying a word, Draco lifted up Harry's hand and ran a finger over a still healing scar. A scar Harry had received from a bite.
"The shandle-pops," Harry said.
"The shandle-pops," repeated Hermione, understanding at last. "They excrete a substance under the full moon that in large doses is an anesthesia."
"Ten points for Gryffindor," Draco muttered. "Come on, Potter. We really should kill it before it wakes."
* * *
They'd flung their robes over the basilisk's face before getting to work, just in case it happened to open its eyes.
Draco had transfigured two boulders into axes. He handed one to Harry, who gave it a funny look.
"What were you expecting, Potter? The Sword of Gryffindor?"
Harry had smiled in response, and then got to work decapitating the basilisk.
Bloodied, they later slumped next to the headless body.
"You did it, Malfoy. Despite all the things that happened, your plan worked."
"Amazing, isn't it?" Draco shrugged. "Well, I suppose there's a first time for everything."
Harry sat up straighter and turned to stare at his friend. "What do you mean by that?"
"It's just that I don't think any of my plans have ever worked before. In fact," Draco confessed, "most tend to be unqualified disasters."
"You've never had a plan work before?"
"No. I don't think I have."
"Yet, you came up with this. Roped all of us into it with you. Got us to all risk our lives. Kissed Snape for some reason I still haven't yet fathomed, and don't even think that I've forgotten about that, all for a plan that you didn't think would work?"
Draco considered the question for a minute, then nodded.
"Yes, I did."
The scream Harry gave was loud and long and ear splitting.
Potter could've given lessons to the Progiscor, Draco thought.
Being tackled to the ground by him, however, was so very much better than being eaten, Draco decided. Though with the way Potter was nibbling at him, there might not be much of a difference. Being snogged until you practically lost consciousness due to a lack of oxygen was quite delightful, too.
Absolutely none of which even compared to the feeling of Harry rubbing against him until his whole body felt as if it would go up in flames. Draco closed his eyes and revelled in the sensation. When he opened his eyes a moment later, they widened.
"Harry," he asked slowly to the boy currently panting against his neck as he thrust against him. "Do you suppose any of the shandle-pops substance might have got on us?"
"Hmmm. Maybe. Oh god, that feels good."
"Do you think that the substance can cause hallucinations?"
"Don't think so," was Harry's gasped reply.
"Then Dumbledore and McGonagall really are standing over us with a centaur, a goblin, and an elf?"
Harry let out a yelp and rolled off of him, and Draco sighed in disappointment.
"Good evening Mister Potter, Mister Malfoy," greeted Dumbledore. Smiling, his eyes flickered to the body of the basilisk, then back to them. "It seems you've had quite an exciting night."
"Actually, we were just getting to the good part," Draco snapped as he stood up, ignoring Harry's squeak coming from behind him. He grabbed Harry's hand and pulled him to his feet. "Now, if you'll excuse us, we need to get back to our rooms. I do believe we may have missed curfew."
Turning his back on Dumbledore, McGonagall, and the others, who seemed to find it all quite fascinating, Malfoy dragged Potter back to Hogwarts at a furious pace. At the door to the castle, they ran into Ron, Hermione, Vince, and Greg on their way out.
"Draco, Harry, we were so worried," Hermione opened her arms to embrace them, but Draco ignored her to push onward, towards the dormitories.
"Yes, we're alive. Yes, everything is fine," Draco said as he passed them. Their friends looked to Harry for explanation, who only shrugged at them as he was pulled, stumbling, after Draco.
Ron hurried to catch up with Draco. "You okay? Didn't go barmy again, did you?"
"I am not barmy. I have never been barmy. But I will rapidly become barmy if Harry and I continue to be interrupted."
Hermione let out a little giggle, which she was too slow to stifle. Draco, still not slowing his pace, swivelled his head to give her a murderous look, followed by a gleam of speculation.
"Granger, as Head Girl you have your own room, right?"
"Good. Harry and I are using it. Please see that we're not interrupted."
Within minutes, the door to Hermione's room closed with a resounding thud.
Vince, Greg, Ron, and Hermione stood outside for a moment until the sounds coming from the room caused them all to feel vaguely uncomfortable and slightly perverted.
Hermione tossed her hair back and looked down her nose at the three males who towered over her. "Tomorrow is our last full day to study before the NEWTs. I expect for all of us," she glared a bit at that part and the three shuffled their feet, "to do well. Meet me at the Library immediately after breakfast if you wish to study together."
Turning on her heel, Hermione departed. Ron looked at Crabbe and Goyle.
"Don't know about the pair of you, but I'm famished. Either of you fancy a trip to the kitchens?"
With enthusiastic nods of affirmation, they headed to get something to eat, discussing everything that had happened that night, except for Draco and Harry's current activities.
Draco was busy discovering that having a bit of Gryffindor in a Slytherin could be an extremely pleasant experience. The reverse also proved to be equally enjoyable.
* * *