House Colours

Chapter Six

Chapter 6:

The sun shone through the small window, lighting up the Slytherin dormitory. The students groaned pulling covers over their heads to block out the intrusion. Draco rolled over so the rays hit his back warming his cool skin, yawning he gently opened his eyes. The sunlight had yet to reach the final bed in the room, Harry continued to sleep peacefully. Draco knew that none of the others could see he was wake, nor tell he was watching Harry. Relaxing Draco allowed his eyes the pleasure of absorbing every last detail that was Harry Potter.

Harry’s robes lay at the bottom of his bed, his school shirt now evidently creased from his sleep. His Slytherin tie hung loosely around his neck, portraying his attempt at undressing. What time had he gotten back? Draco frowned seeing Harry hadn’t even removed his shoes. His eyes jumped back up to Harry’s face, his frown disappearing as they settled on Harry’s mouth. His tongue darting out over his lips Draco remembered their brief contact with Harry’s. How he wished for more, but it was too risky now. The others would no doubt see and Harry could wake any moment. Sighing Draco continued to watch Harry sleep, pushing down the urge to join him.

Suddenly a pillow hit Draco on the back of the head. Bolting up Draco turned angered that he had been disturbed. Sending a glare at Blaise Draco reached down the side of his bed and picked up the pillow, returning it with as much force as it was thrown at him. Blaise caught it easily, a tired smile on his face.

“What?” Draco hissed, it wasn’t like Blaise to wake up early on a Saturday. Usually Draco had to bring breakfast to him. As though he’d read his friend’s mind Blaise replied tiredly.

“I’d like to get back to sleep as quickly as possible, so if you could answer your bloody owl it’ll be greatly appreciated.” Blaise placed his pillow back in its correct position before collapsing onto his side, his face now obscured to Draco.

Draco directed his gaze to the single window in the room, surprised to now not only see but hear the giant bird. Its huge claw scratched persistently at the window. Jumping out of bed Draco placed a finger to his lip as he reached up to the handle. The owl jumped back slightly, allowing Draco to swing the hatch outwards. As soon as there was enough room the owl squeezed through and glided over to Draco’s empty bed. Draco quickly pulled the window shut, his body shivering at the bitter window that had slipped through. Racing back to his bed Draco sat himself in front of the owl that dropped the letter in its mouth; Draco leant over to his side table where he hid owl treats in the top draw. Scattering some on the oak table Draco picked up the letter as the owl hopped over and enjoyed its reward. Turning the envelope over Draco frowned when he saw his family crest, his eyes slowly turned to the owl hungrily gulping down the treats.

He’d never seen him before, his father and mother usually sent Bartok when they wrote to him. Returning to look at the letter Draco’s frown increased, however his parents never wrote to him over the weekend. Their letters always came with the morning post during the week. Panicking slightly Draco tore open the letter, his heart beat faster when he saw his father’s handwriting. It was never good when his farther wrote.

Dear Draco,

I hope you’re doing well and have settled back into Hogwarts. Not many get the chance to go back and with bonus opportunities, do not waste it. Furthermore it has come to my attention that Harry Potter has been changed to Slytherin house for a month, is this true? I overheard Weasley complaining to a few of the school governors at the start of the week, I had hoped to receive a letter from you informing me instead of reading the gossip that Skeeter woman wrote in the Prophet.

No matter, if this is true I hope you’ve tried to befriend the boy. Our family name does not hold the honour and fear it once did, but if people see that Potter has befriended and trusts us, this can all be restored. I want to have weekly updates on how your relationship is going. Do not fail me my son. Your future and the family name depend on this.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Your Father.

P.S Your mother is well and sends her love.

“I’m sure he’d be pleased to hear you don’t just want Potter as a friend, you want him in your bed!” Blaise’s voice appeared beside Draco causing him to shout in shock. Blaise ducked out the way of Draco’s arm before sliding in next to Draco.

“Shut up!” Draco hissed, quickly checking that none of the others had woken up. Blaise rolled his eyes as he watched his friend panic.

“Honestly Draco you think I’m that dumb? I’m not Goyle or Pansy!” Blaise wiggled his wand in front of Draco. “I do use my brain you know.”

Draco looked sceptically at his friend, unsure whether to fully trust his friend’s charms. Sure Blaise was one of the best after Granger, but he was also the slimiest person he knew, he could have easily set up an undetectable recording charm. Deciding there was nothing he could now do Draco turned back to look at the letter. His stomach did a flip, his father wanted him to get close to Harry, so if he was to pursue the boy he’d have his father’s acceptance...no his father wanted Harry as a family friend. Surely he wouldn’t like for Draco to gain Harry as a lover, he cared too much that he produced a suitable heir for the family line.

“At least you have his permission to get closer to Potter, wouldn’t have to worry about what other’s thought, as I don’t doubt many of their parents would be thinking along the same line. Wouldn’t be suspicious to try get into his trousers now, though when you end it you best be gentle, remain on good terms with him. Can’t have daddy finding out about you playing around, damaging the ‘good’ Malfoy name” Blaise laughed as he nudged Draco playfully in the side. Draco slowly nodded his head, his eyes moving to Harry’s face. Blaise’s laughter faltered.

“What is it? Don’t you want to try Potter in bed...” Blaise looked between Harry and Draco, his voice almost silent, “Oh no...”

Draco dipped his head, a sigh escaping his lips as he heard the realisation in Blaise’s voice.

“Draco you can’t...why...“Blaise groaned as he shook his head in frustration, “Why now? After all these years of obsessing over him why now do you decide you ‘like like’ him? Why couldn’t you treat it like all those others? Fuck them and get over them?”

“Because it’s not like all those other times! I don’t just want sex with him...yeah I want to touch him but...I want to hold him...protect him. I want more than a quick one night stand Blaise, why can’t I have that?” Draco returned to look at Harry, he wished he could scoop Harry up in his arms, have Harry snuggle into his chest instead of that stupid pillow.

“Because you’re a Malfoy!”

“And? I can have relationships too you know!” Draco frowned, sending a glare over his shoulder.

“Right so you only have a school girl crush on Potter right now, fine! And then what? Potter returns the feelings and you date. Perfectly acceptable. Five years down the line, you’ve fallen madly in love with each other. Then what? You’re a Malfoy! From day one of me knowing you, you told me your job was to produce an heir! Which is why you’ve always snuck behind your fathers back and fucked those other girls and guys, but you made sure to detach yourself! Because you knew that five years from now your father is going to arrange a marriage for you to produce an heir! How the hell will Potter fit? He has the wealth, the correct blood lineage, despite a few hiccups, but one crucial thing...he doesn’t have the correct body parts! He’s a guy Draco, he can’t get pregnant!”

Blaise stared hard at his friend, searching the grey eyes. He needed to make his friend understand before he got himself hurt. Draco held his friend’s gaze; Blaise’s words ran through his head. He was right; he couldn’t be with Harry and fulfil his parent’s wishes.

“But who says it’ll last that long? Heck I don’t even know if Harry returns my feelings!” Draco tried to smile, but it felt too fake so he collapsed back into his pillows his face becoming emotionless.

“Did you not hear me when I told you you’ve been obsessed with Potter for years?” Blaise crept closer to Draco, “Draco it’s been obvious that you’ve always had a thing for him. Hell I thought it was some sexual tension shit, but that doesn’t stay with you for that long. And now you’re admitting you have some crush or whatever, this is dangerous!”

Draco stared down at his hands, his father’s signature stared up at him, his mother’s love piercing into his heart. A small movement out the corner of his eye caught Draco’s attention, glancing Draco felt his heart stop. Harry’s emerald orbs sparkled back at him.

“You can’t do this Draco. Push away these feelings for Potter, forget they ever existed. Befriend him as your father asked, but that’s it! Think of the future, your loyalty needs to be with your family.” Blaise’s warmth left Draco as their silent bubble popped. Draco watched as Harry shut his eyes and yawned, never having truly seen Draco before him. He could feel his heart aching, although he didn’t know exactly what he felt for Harry, Draco knew it was something that could be special.

“You’re right,” Draco turned back to the letter in his hand, his voice a whisper. He couldn’t hurt his family anymore; his priority to them came before his feelings for anybody else.

Harry pulled on one of Dudley’s old jumpers he found at the bottom of his trunk. The sleeves fell far past his hands as the body engulfed him. Harry didn’t care; it was his favourite piece of clothing when it came to lazy Saturdays in Hogwarts. The red material had faded from the numerous of washes it had endured.

“Potter, we’ll meet you down in the Great Hall,” Blaise shouted from the door. Harry nodded in his direction as he looked at Draco who stood beside Blaise. The blond stood with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face, he eyes glared hard at the floor before he sighed irritably and pushed past his friend. Blaise’s smile dropped from his face as he raced after Draco.

Confused Harry turned back to his trunk, the dormitory was now empty. Quickly he pulled out the marauders map, wand in hand he tapped and muttered ‘I solemnly swear that I am up to no good’. The map came to life.

His eyes adjusted quickly to the hundreds of dots that raced across the surface, pulling at the required pieces Harry finally stopped as he spotted Gryffindor Common room. Smiling he was happy to see that both Ron and Hermione walked side by side out along the corridor towards the Great Hall. Harry again raised his wand but paused. He’d assumed Draco and Blaise would have already been near the Great Hall but was surprised to see them instead inside one of the potion rooms. Tapping the map again Harry tucked the now blank parchment between two heavy books. Shutting his trunk Harry stood and headed down into the common room.

Descending the stairs Harry was lost in his thoughts, should he spy on Draco and Blaise? He could feel his stomach twist as thought ran through his head of what they could be doing in the classroom together, alone.

“Harry!”

Harry was pulled into a powerful hug, a mess of black hair found its way into his mouth causing him to splutter. Pansy pulled away a large grin on her face. Harry tried to return a smile, however his was much more strained and smaller.

“What’re your plans for today?” She asked sweetly, her arm slipped into his. She pulled him in tightly to her; Harry stopped himself from trying to pull away. At least she was trying to be...nice?

“I’m not too sure Park...Pansy. Most likely see what Ron and Hermione are doing. Why’d you ask?” Harry guided them towards the Common Room entrance, hoping to escape her clutches sooner rather than later.

“Oh really? I was hoping you’d fancy spending the day with me, Blaise and Draco. That’s if Draco snaps out of his foul mood! Really you men have more mood swings than us girls! Anyway what you think? Fancy seeing what us Slytherin’s get up to on weekends?” Pansy looked eagerly up at Harry.

Suddenly feeling trapped Harry’s eyes darted up the corridor, praying someone would come and save him. But no such luck, the corridor was empty. Turning back to look at Pansy Harry could feel his cheeks burn even before he opened his mouth.

“I was really hoping...”

“Oh please Harry! Wouldn’t it be grand for us to get to know each other? Become friends? That is the whole point of this house change after all?”

“Maybe this afternoon then? I promised Ron and Hermione...”

Pansy sighed dramatically and pouted, “Fine, but you promise me that you’ll spend this afternoon with me, Blaise and Draco?” She fluttered her eyelashes up at Harry as they stepped into the entrance hall. Harry nodded.

“Don’t tell me it’s her!” Ginny’s voice ran through Harry turning his blood cold.

“Her? I do have a name you know!” Pansy let go of Harry’s arm as she advanced upon Ginny. Harry watched the two girls; both were of similar height, Ginny only just taller. Both had a reputation for their fiery temper. Students slowly past by, hoping to hear their argument for any juicy gossip.

“What have you started now Potter?” Blaise chuckled. Harry turned to the Slytherin shrugging. Truth was, he didn’t know what the reason was behind the argument. It was then Harry remembered Blaise had been with Draco, in an empty classroom, alone. Harry looked quickly at Blaise’s clothes, catching himself he turned away. What was he doing? What did he care what they were doing? It was then that someone brushed quickly past him; Harry watched the back of Draco as he walked straight into the Great Hall not giving anyone a second glance.

“If I find out you’re the one who Harry’s sleeping with...”

“You’ll what? Honestly Weasley you’re pathetic! You dumped him and now that he’d moved on you’re going around like you still own him!” Pansy flipped her hair and turned away from Ginny leaving the younger girl speechless. Ginny could only watch as Pansy marched over where Blaise and Harry stood, grabbed their arms and dragged them into the Great Hall.

“That Bitch!” Ginny stomped her foot against the stone floor and stormed back up the stairs. Harry watched her go, suddenly feeling even guiltier about kissing her last night. Dropping his gaze Harry followed Pansy and Blaise towards the Great Hall.

“Harry!” Ron shouted. Ron and Hermione raced down the stairs, eager to reach their friend before he disappeared further into the hall. Ron released Hermione’s hand to reach out and grip Harry’s, causing him to jump in surprised as Ron’s finger’s entwined with his.

“Didn’t you hear us shouting?” Hermione pulled both boys out of the doorway and to the side of the hall; the noise in the hall engulfed them forcing them to step closer to hear one another.

“No sorry. What’s wrong? We’re still okay for today right?” Harry panicked as they glanced at one another. His heart sank as they spoke, were they ditching him already?

“Well Hermione got fooled into tutoring Neville this morning, Slughorn demanded it...”

“And Ginny’s scheduled a sudden Quidditch practise for this morning,” Hermione shrugged.

“Put you’re not on the Quidditch...”

“Oh she placed me as Keeper last night.” Ron grinned, “Came into the common room, flustered about something...”

“Yeah asked if I was busy tomorrow, as in today, said she needed to talk about something, but I told her we’d made plans with you...”

“Then she told me I couldn’t because I was now Keeper and had practise.”

“So we wondered how about we just do something this afternoon.” Hermione smiled hopefully at Harry, her eyes drifting over to where Neville sat waving at her.

“I can’t,” Harry sighed, Ron’s and Hermione’s smiles vanished, “I promised Pansy that I’d spend this afternoon with her and the others...”

“You what? You’re ditching us for...”

“That sounds great Harry!” Hermione elbowed Ron in the side, causing her boyfriend to frown annoyed at her, “It’s good to see you’re getting along with them.”

“You know I’d rather spend time with you two though, don’t you?” Harry hesitated, he suddenly remembered that Ron still held his hand and squeezed it reassuringly. Ron slowly turned back to look at him, his frown fading. Smiling Ron nodded and pulled Harry into a quick hug.

“Of course we do you great numpty!” Ron laughed, “Look you’re most likely going to be straight onto the team when you’re back so why don’t you join me to practise? Bet the team would love to see you there.”

Harry glanced over at the Gryffindor table, he was actually unsure that they would want him there. Looking back at Ron’s hopeful face Harry nodded, unable to refuse.

“Brilliant! We’ll just have to catch up later or tomorrow,” Hermione smiled, “Well I better grab something quickly before Neville explodes with excitement!”

Harry watched as his friends walked over to the Gryffindor table, Neville gave him a small wave before speaking to Hermione. Smiling again Harry headed for his own table.

Draco quickly dropped his gaze back to his plate, the scrambled eggs suddenly turning his stomach. Dropping his fork he picked up a dry piece of toast and chewed, the bread stuck to his throat as he tried to swallow. He had to forget any emotion attached to Harry, had to banish them. Dammit! Why was he getting so worked up about Weasley holding Harry’s hand? It was obvious that there was nothing but friendly comfort in it! Weasley was with Granger for Merlin’s sake!

Draco tensed as Harry slipped onto the bench beside him; inwardly groaning Draco caught himself from leaning into the warmth Harry radiated. His senses suddenly became clouded with everything that was Harry. He could smell Harry, hear only his laughter, licking his lips Draco could still taste and feel Harry’s lips on them. Draco snapped his eyes shut, only to open them seconds later, the image of Harry still swam within his vision. And then it was all gone.

Draco watched Harry walk back across the hall, watched Weasley swing his arm over Harry’s shoulders and those feelings of jealousy resurfaced. Draco gripped the edge of the table to prevent himself from jumping up. Look away Draco, just look away he thought, look away now you weakling!

Draco’s eyes were forced back to the plate holding the scrambled eggs. Feeling nauseous Draco pushed the plate away with a sigh. Pansy sipped her juice, watching Draco with a careful eye.

“Something wrong?” She asked, placing down her goblet gracefully.

“Nope” Draco replied lazily, “Everything’s wonderful, perfect in fact.”

Pansy raised an eyebrow; she was used to Draco’s sarcasm, it was a daily occurrence in her life, although the cause of his current mood was still very much unknown.

“I received a letter this morning...”

“Congratulations!” Draco clapped his hands causing Blaise to chuckle.

“A letter from my mother!” Pansy huffed, “She wants me to make friends with Harry, and Millicent received one similar from her parents too. I was wondering whether your parents had sent you one too.”

Draco sighed heavily, his head felt ten times heavy than before as he nodded. He cared nothing for this conversation, he needed simply to get out of here and go for a nice quiet walk. Clear his head, set things straight in his mind.

“What did I tell you Millicent? I bet they’ve all been chatting and planning like little old ladies, “Pansy laughed as Millicent slide up the bench closer to them. Draco watched her disgusted as she opened her mouth to agree, only for her breakfast dribble down the side of her mouth.

“Did you get one Blaise?” Millicent spluttered, more food flew across the table. Blaise scowled as the foreign pieces of toast now scattered over his food, slowly he folded his knife and fork neatly before replying.

“No, my mother didn’t choose a side remember. She doesn’t particularly need help when it comes to social standing, so whoever I choose to befriend or not to befriend means nothing to her.”

“Right, anyway” Pansy dismissed Blaise’s comment with a flick of her hand, “We were thinking our parents have a point. Being friends with Harry would help with our families social standing, but imagine how having him permanently in Slytherin would benefit us! People wouldn’t worry about us all being the next Dark lord with him graduating from the house, plus since Harry has been at Hogwarts Gryffindor haven’t lost the House Cup! With him in our house we’ll have a shot at winning it!”

“Plus he could play Seeker on the Quidditch team,” Millicent interrupted.

“And before you have a hissy fit Draco, you know you always preferred Chaser! You only became Seeker to better Harry.” Pansy stroked Draco’s hand reassuringly, a toothy grin on her face.

“What about Potter’s friends?” Blaise gestured towards the Gryffindor table where Hermione and Neville still sat; Hermione had now produced a piece of parchment and quill. Neville nodded along as she scribbled down notes for him.

“He isn’t about to decide he’d rather have them as competition is he.”

“This is stupid,” All three turned to Draco, “Har...Potter isn’t about to leave Gryffindor for Slytherin just because we all start being friendly to him. He’s a stupid Gryffindor through and through.”

Draco stood and stormed out of the hall, glaring at the table of red as he left. Why did they want Harry to stay with them? He belonged in Gryffindor, with stupid Weasley and annoying Granger.

“Potter? I thought he was calling him Harry?” Pansy asked. Blaise shrugged and quickly rose.

“Come on let’s go back to the common room, calm him down before he curses some poor first year.”

Draco knew they’d follow him; it was why he’d headed back to the common room. Save time on the lecture Pansy would have given him when she eventually found him. Dropping onto the leather couch Draco closed his eyes, pleased that Harry no longer grinned back at him. His body relaxed as he welcomed the darkness and quiet. All he had to do was be friendly to Harry during lessons; Harry would no doubt wish to spend free time with his friends rather than around him. The month would be over in no time and Harry would return to Gryffindor, meaning he’d hardly see him just as before. Draco was shocked at himself, why did that thought sadden him so? He’d had Harry around him for a week and he already dreaded him leaving. Draco thought back to before, waking up to the empty space before him instead of Harry’s bed. The constant bickering in the corridor with Harry, the way butterflies would dance in his stomach at the thought of having a lesson with Harry. Draco sat up. His mind thinking over his earlier feelings. Since when did people get butterflies around the person they hated? He never did with Weasley. Draco thought back over the way he used to taunt Harry, do whatever and say whatever it took to get the boys attention, even for a second. How he used to memorise Harry’s timetable, convincing himself it was to help with a future prank and aid him in tormenting him further.

Draco thought back to what Blaise told him before; he’d been obsessed with Harry for years! Had he always liked Harry? Surely not? But his dislike had begun the moment Harry refused his friendship, chosen Weasley instead. Draco could feel his blood turn cold as his thoughts turned to Weasley, the emotions he felt earlier when Weasley touched Harry. Oh Merlin! That emotion wasn’t something new, Draco found he’d always felt that way since that day. He’d gone out his way to hurt Weasley simply because he was jealous! Jealous that it was Weasley laughing with Harry, touching Harry, knowing Harry’s secrets, hearing Harry’s fears, everything that should have been his! The same was with Granger, of course she was muggle-born which he despised but he’d never minded her the first term of their first year. Secretly admired her brain, which was until...until she became friends with Harry.

The common room door opened allowing Blaise, Pansy and Millicent to enter. Draco quickly sat up straight, dismissing his thoughts.

“Look I told you he didn’t run off onto the grounds!” Pansy rushed over and sat beside Draco, Blaise and Millicent took the seats opposite.

“You going to tell him or...?” Blaise sat lazily back into the couch, his eyes closed as he spoke. Pansy nodded excitedly.

“I know you think it’s useless us trying to get Harry to want to be a Slytherin, but we have to try right? For our parents! Anyway, I got Harry to agree to spend time with us this afternoon! Isn’t that great?”

Draco’s eyes widened slightly as he stared at Pansy’s face. Was this girl trying to send him insane?

“I was thinking how about we take him down to the Quidditch field and we play a small game?” Pansy clasped her hands over Draco’s, looking around at the small group.

“With five of us?” Blaise asked, hiding his smirk as Pansy again looked at the four of them.

“Well we could always ask Nott, I’m sure he’d be up for it!” Millicent pointed at Nott who at that moment looked up from the Daily Prophet, sending them a glare.

Suddenly they all looked over at the common room entrance as the door swung open, slamming against the stone wall. Harry marched in, the air around him crackled from his anger, Weasley raced in after him.

“I’m sorry Harry!” Ron made to grab Harry’s arm but Harry stepped out of the way. They’d stopped beside the couches, clearly oblivious to the Slytherin’s.

“How was I supposed to know what happened between you two last night? It wasn’t like you were going to tell me was it!”

“It was a mistake!”

“Whatever! That’s between you two, I’m not about to choose between my best friend and my baby sister. She’s Quidditch captain Harry, it’s up to her who’s allowed at practise.” Ron sighed heavily as Harry’s anger vanished. It wasn’t Ron’s fault, it was his own, “Look I got to get back, and we’ll meet up later. Chat then okay?”

Harry nodded and watched Ron rush back out the common room, the door slammed shut behind him. Chewing on the inside of his gum Harry began to turn back around, it was then he noticed the group of Slytherin’s sat watching him. Blood rushed to his face.

“Er...sorry about that...“Harry inwardly cringed as he stuttered; he was such an idiot sometimes. What did he have to apologise for anyway? This was his common room now. Running a hand through his hair Harry turned to headed for the dormitory stairs.

Pansy quickly turned to Draco, elbowing him hard in the side. Draco hissed in pain, unsure whether the annoyance was because of Pansy or how dismissive Harry had been to them. Draco sent her a questioning look causing the girl to tut in exasperation. She rushed to her feet, Millicent followed, brushing out the creases in her top.

“Harry, are you okay?” Pansy battered her eyelashes, her hands clasped together in concern. Harry paused and glanced over his shoulder, a weak smile on his face as he nodded.

“Great!” Pansy and Millicent both rushed forward, taking Harry’s hands in theirs, they pulled him back over to the couches. Harry stopped himself from shouting out in pain as both of his arms were nearly pulled out of their sockets before being thrown down onto the leather couch. Harry was grateful Draco pressed himself against the arm allowing Harry to miss him by inches. Millicent had released his hand, returning to her seat opposite them, Pansy however continued to grip him, her fingers tracing softly over his skin.

Draco’s anger directed itself towards Pansy; never had he wished to hit the girl so much in his life. Harry was far too close for him to simply ignore him. His senses were once again filled with the boy, Draco felt like he was drowning. Shaking his head he forced himself to focus on something else, anything else! Harry slouched back causing Draco to glance in his direction. It was then his eyes saw Harry’s hand entwined with Pansy’s, her other hand tracing soft loving circles up his arm. Draco gripped the leather arm, his nails scratched into the material.

“Right, seeing how you’re free now how about we all hang out now?” Pansy leaned her head on Harry’s shoulder, oblivious to Draco clawing at the couch.

“I don’t...” Harry fidgeted, edging away from Pansy.

“Oh please! We thought we could go have a small game of Quidditch! Please say yes! You did promise!” Pansy lifted her head allowing Harry to see her pout. Again Harry edged away from her, his eyes darting to Blaise who starred in his direction an amused expression on his face.

Draco was fully aware of Harry closing the distance between them, stealing the inches of air between them. Draco could not move, already pinned against the arm of the couch he could only watch as Harry came closer. A part of Draco wanted to wrap his arms around the boy, pulled him into his lap, tear Pansy’s undeserving hands from Harry...

Draco bit his lip to stop a whimper escaping his mouth as Harry pressed up against him. When had he closed the last remaining space? Draco was aware of his body leaning into Harry, turning to grab the boy. Draco could see Pansy leaning in closer to Harry, reaching her face to his, forcing Harry to press even harder into Draco.

“Come on Potter, me, Draco and Pansy against you, Millicent and...Nott?” Blaise had sat up straight, waving his hand at his friend. Nott gracefully rose from his seat and slumped over to the group. Harry and Draco both gave a sigh of relief. Pansy sat back in her seat allowing Harry to sit back up. Draco suddenly was aware of how cold his body felt without Harry’s warmth against him.

“Fancy a game of Quidditch?” Blaise stood stretching; Nott appeared to consider the offer but quickly gave a short nod of his head. His eyes wandered over the group, hesitating when he saw Pansy.

“What are the teams?” Nott’s voice was rough from not having been used that day.

“Don’t worry me and Draco will put up with Pansy. You get Millicent and Potter.” Blaise pointed at each person as he spoke, Nott’s smile widened at hearing the news.

“No Goyle then?”

“He’s stuck in booster classes with Flitwick, won’t be out until dinner.” Draco pushed himself off from the couch, clenching his hands together.

“Brilliant!” Pansy also jumped to her feet, “You guys go get your brooms, me and Millicent will get some from the Quidditch closet and we’ll meet you down in the courtyard.”

Draco didn’t wait to see the girls leave; instead he walked calmly to the dormitory stairs. His hand wrapped around the banister, he was conscious of the fact it shook violently. Pull it together Draco! You don’t feel anything for Harr...NO! Saint Potter! It’s a stupid crush that will be gone within days.

Harry gripped his Firebolt, his teeth chattered from the cold. It hadn’t been this bad earlier! However he’d been in the winter sun the other side of the castle before, far away from the lake and the bitter wind that past over it. Harry wrapped his free arm around his body, jumping up and down to get warm.

Draco, Blaise and Nott stood casually, seemingly not affected by the cold wind. Harry shook his head; they all wore thin jackets with no gloves or scarves. How was it possible for them not to be cold? Harry glanced down at his hands, they were turning a bright red, numbing drastically fast.

“Hey guys!” Pansy and Millicent walked up to them, brooms Harry recognised from his first year in their hands. They were both dressed a lot more sensibly, black coats fluttered in the wind with green scarves, their hands snug in sliver gloves. Harry was increasingly aware he was the only member of the group not wearing green but red.

“Took you long enough!” Draco spat.

“Well, so-r-r-y! We had to get past the Gryffindorks and their pig of a captain. Accused us of spying on them.“Millicent folded her arms; the broom hit her in the head as she did. The group tried their best to hide their laughter as she blushed, muttering under breath.

“Did you get a Quaffle?” Nott looked them up and down seeing the absence of the ball.

“No, they were using them all,” Pansy pulled out her wand, “But no worry. We’ll make our own!”

She handed her broom to Millicent before bending down and picking up a small stone. She allowed it to drop into the palm of her hand before giving her wand a quick flick. Harry watched as the stone slowly began to expand, its muddy skin brightened until it matched he faded red of his jumper. Soon enough Pansy was holding the ball with both her hands, a victorious smile on her face.

“What about hoops?” Nott questioned, looking around at the empty landscape.

Pansy’s smile faded slightly as she too looked around.

“For Merlin’s sake!” Draco pulled his own wand out from his jacket, pointing up into the sky he drew a perfect circle with his arm, as soon as he was finished a blue circle appeared. Draco repeated the action; the new circle faced the old on the opposite side of the field.

“Only two?” Harry couldn’t stop himself from asking. Draco continued to look at the circles, ignoring his question. Harry frowned at his immaturity.

“Right, Pansy you’re with me and Draco. Potter, Nott, Millicent you’re the other team. You are allowed only one Keeper; meaning only one member of your team can guard the hoop at any one time. First to...ten shall we say? Wins.” Blaise mounted his broom, “Got it?”

The others nodded and soon they were all up in the air. Harry closed his eyes, enjoying the feeling of flying. He’d almost forgotten how exhilarating it was. The wind no longer felt cold against his skin, his heart pulsed with so much joy he was sure it would explode. When he opened his eyes his enjoyment almost disappeared as the Quidditch stadium came into view, he could small figures fly around doing drills set, their gold and red uniform almost seemed to sparkle, gloating, showing him what he no longer had.

“Potter you be chaser with me, Millicent you be Keeper.” Nott appeared beside him, Millicent not far behind. Harry turned his back to the stadium. Concentrate Harry.

“Why because I’m fat?” Millicent growled.

“No because I’m a chaser and Harry has good reflexes and the fastest broom here!” Harry caught the admiration in Nott’s voice; something he never thought existed in the boy. “Do you want to beat them? Blaise and Draco always win!”

“Always?” Harry looked over to the other team, already in position waiting. Blaise tossed the home made Quaffle between his hands impatiently, Pansy circled the hoop and Draco...Draco stared out across the lake. His expression appearing far off disconnected with the others.

“Always!” Nott allowed the word to stretch from his lips as long as possible, giving Harry a hard stare to exaggerate his point even further. Millicent muttered that she would be Keeper before flying off in front of the hoop. Harry and Nott joined Draco and Blaise in the middle.

“So kind of you to finally join us!” Blaise teased gripping the Quaffle. Harry could feel the adrenaline pump through his veins, Goosebumps spread over his skin. He never felt like this when he played Quidditch with his friends, not even when he played matches against Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. It was one reserved only for Slytherin’s. Harry looked across at Draco; he still was staring out across the lake. Suddenly a strong gust of wind raged past them, causing them to grip their brooms.

“Let’s start before it chucks it down!” Nott shouted. Nodding Blaise pulled out his wand and levitated the Quaffle up into the air.

“Start at your hoop!”

The four boys raced back to their hoop. Harry wondered how they would play; he knew their sly moves from watching them against Gryffindor and the other houses. But what where they like when it was against their own house, playing for fun. Blaise slipped his wand back into his jacket signalling to the others that they had seconds before the Quaffle dropped. Another gust of wind caused them to sway slightly in the air. The Quaffle dropped.

Not used to racing after the ball Harry watched as it fell.

“Go Potter!” Millicent shouted. Blinking Harry threw his entire body against his broom urging it on. Harry was surprised at how quickly Nott had reached the Quaffle; Blaise was neck and neck with him as they both held out their hand. Suddenly Blaise turned his broom, his shoulder slammed into Nott sending him flying backwards. Nott scrambled to keep hold of his broom as it spun. Harry’s mouth fell open, they were friends! Teammates! Gulping Harry kept his eyes on Blaise as he tucked the Quaffle under his arm, seemed this game was going to be as brutal as all the rest.

“Draco!” Blaise slipped the Quaffle behind his back, knowing exactly where Draco was situated. Draco held out his hands ready to grab the ball. His mind clear, the only time he could forget the worries of his life. He intended on enjoying himself, even if only for a couple of hours. The Quaffle fell and Draco knew it would land comfortably in his hand that was until a blur of red passed inches from in front of his broom.

“Yes Potter!” Nott cheered, flying past Draco.

“Fuck!” Draco muttered turning his broom. Harry had gained a far distance, Nott and Blaise behind him. He could only watch as Harry expertly curled the ball around Pansy and threw the hoop. Harry punched his fists triumphantly in the air. Draco watched mesmerised.

An hour later and the score had crept to 3-2 lead to Blaise and Draco. Harry slipped a hand under his jumper; the cold comforted his bruised side. This was why Harry preferred Seeker; he was out of the main game where all the injuries happened. Harry mentally made a note to allow Nott to tail Blaise from now on; a different side came out when Blaise was caught up in competition, one that cared nothing about elbowing and kicking. Not that Harry had much of a choice tailing him; Draco seemed set on guarding Nott, allowing Harry to pass him without a care.

The Quaffle fell and Harry set off, his Firebolt miles ahead of the others. His arms stretched out his comfortably caught the ball; laughing Harry released his broom to shift the ball into a more secure hold.

“Look out!”

Harry looked up in time to see Draco flying at him.

Draco watched Harry catch the ball, his heart soared hearing him laugh. Shaking his head Draco mentally scorned himself, he’d lost track of how many times he’d found himself swooning after Harry in the last couple of minutes, never mind the entire game!

“Look out!” Draco snapped his head up, Harry’s eyes met his. They’d both continued to fly straight at one another. Draco tried in vain to turn his broom but they were going at such a speed they slammed into one another. Draco’s sweaty hands slipped from his handle as he fell backwards. He could only watch as his broom grew further away, his vision suddenly becoming obscured as Harry fell with him. Without thinking Draco reached out, his hand tightening around the soft material, he pulled Harry tightly into his chest, his eyes snapping shut waiting for the inevitable.

They skidded across the muddy earth a few feet before stopping, pain shot through Draco’s back as it collided with the ground. His heart raced, how had he survived? Draco opened his eyes, blinking away white dots from the pain. He could see his and Harry’s broom hovering in mid-air, their friends diving down to them. Draco looked down at the body he gripped tightly within his arms. Harry’s face was buried deeply into Draco’s chest; his breathe seeping through Draco’s thin shirt and danced along his skin.

“Harry? Are you okay?” Draco breathed his voice barely audible. He watched Harry’s scruffy hair dance in the wind, waited for Harry to speak, move. But he didn’t. The other’s had landed beside them, Pansy dropped to her knees, tears glistened in her eyes.

“Draco are you okay?” She stroked Draco’s hair, her hand shaking. But Draco didn’t hear, his entire essence was focused on Harry, on the body that lay in his arms. The pain in his back suddenly disappeared as his mind blocked out the other’s concern and the bitter wind attacking his body. His heart beat faster as he waited, Harry’s breathes against him came slow and steady.

“Harry!” Draco unknowingly stroked his hand up and down Harry’s back as his other arm pulled Harry even closer to him. He needed some sort of response, anything to let him know Harry was okay. He didn’t care what the other’s thought of his actions, didn’t care if they guessed his feelings for the boy in arms. He just cared that Harry was okay; he needed for him to be okay.

Slowly Harry lifted his head, his face scrunched up in pain. His glasses had slipped off when they fell, the intensity of his emerald eyes now clear. Gently he pushed against Draco’s chest, clumsily falling back against it when Draco’s arms resisted his movement.

“You okay Harry?” Draco asked, leaning his head closer to Harry’s. He watched as Harry’s eyes widened in shock and realisation. Squinting back at Draco Harry nodded.

“Yeah...what happened?” Harry looked up into the sky, and then back down at Draco. Suddenly his mind quickly caught up, jumping up Harry broke free from Draco’s embrace. The cold wind pierced painfully into their skin, causing them both to shutter.

“Why did you do that?” Harry stared down at the blur he knew was Draco, his cheeks flushed that his body ached to be back in the embrace. He knew he sounded ungrateful; Draco had tried to protect him! Nott tapped Harry on the shoulder causing him to jump; his glasses were pushed into his numb hands.

“Are you okay?”

Harry pushed on his glasses; he could now see the concern on Draco’s face as well hear it. Harry nodded, apart from the bruise he knew had formed on his side from Blaise, Harry hard received no injury from the fall.

“What about you Draco?” Pansy watched, the tears now falling down her face. Draco ignored her, relief washed over him. Harry was okay. Draco started to try push himself to his feet, the pain he’d ignored for so long bolted up his back, demanding his attention. Wincing in pain Draco carefully stood straight, his heart fluttered at the concern on Harry’s face.

“We need to get you to the Hospital Wing! Immediately,” Pansy placed a hand on Draco’s back, only to pull back when he shouted in pain, “I’m sorry Draco!”

“It’s fine!” Draco gritted his teeth as he tried to pull off his jacket, the rough material irritated his back causing more pain. A gasp from Harry made him pause. Harry stepped closer, his eyes wide and fixed on Draco’s back. His white shirt was now crimson with blood, guilt hit Harry.

“Come on, Hospital Wing now!” Blaise grabbed Draco’s arm, ignoring his shouts of pain, “You lot sort this out and take the brooms back to the common room. I’ll take Draco to Madam Pomfrey and we’ll meet you there.”

Pansy hesitated, Harry knew she wanted desperately to go with them, he felt the same pull to be with Draco at that moment but she refrained and nodded sadly. Nott and Millicent had already begun to collect the brooms that had been discarded.

Draco glanced over his shoulder sending Harry a small smile, how he wished he was coming with him. Harry smiled back; he’d thank Draco later when he’d gotten his injuries sorted. Harry turned his back to the retreating Slytherin’s; Harry placed an arm around Pansy as she continued to sob.

“Do you think Harry should get checked over?” Draco turned back to Blaise who still had a firm grip on his arm.

“Why? He said he’s fine,” Blaise finally let go of Draco as he rolled his eyes at the comment.

They climbed the steps into the castle, students parted for them easily. Whispers followed them as they past and people saw Draco’s blood stained shirt. Ignoring them Draco lifted his head proudly, although he immediately regretted it as more pain escaped from his back, he could feel new blood drip down his back from his sudden movement.

“What was that all about?” Blaise leant in closer to Draco, “Why didn’t you pull out your wand to prevent yourself from getting hurt instead of trying to be some knight in shining armour? You’re lucky me and Pansy were quick enough to try and slow your fall otherwise you’d be mush”

Draco shrugged, knowing his friend was angry and he doubted he’d be able to give him a good enough answer. He thought back to that short moment when time had slowed down and he’d seen Harry falling with him. Draco knew that if it happened again he’d choose to protect Harry rather than himself, he couldn’t bear to see the boy hurt. Stopping Draco sighed,

“I can’t do it Blaise,”

Blaise turned, glancing up the staircase and back at Draco, “It’s only another floor you baby. You’ve walked this far, I’m not carrying you!”

“No!” Draco stepped forward, “I can’t forget how I feel about...”

Blaise’s hand enclosed over Draco’s mouth causing his last word to muffle into nothing. Passing students slowed, interested in Draco’s declaration. Draco frowned at his friend and tried to swat his hand away.

“Shush! Do you want it to become public knowledge who you’re crushing on?” Blaise lowered his hand, sending a glare at the students. Draco also glared.

“I can’t forget how I feel about You-Know-who!”

Blaise’s mouth fell open as he gaped at Draco; the students around them huddled together. Draco raised an eyebrow in confusion.

“You do not do favours for blonds’ you know!” Blaise turned, Draco rushed to follow him, his back cried out for him to stop.

“What?”

“You-Know-Who? Really? Your parents are ex-Death Eaters and you choose that of all phrasings.” Blaise clapped his hands sarcastically causing Draco to roll his eyes. Rather people thought he had a crush on some dead guy than they know how he felt about Harry.

“But seriously, what about your parents?”

They paused outside the Hospital Wing; Draco stared at the large door. What about them? Surely they’d want him to be happy? But when had they ever cared about what Draco wanted? His mother maybe, but his father?

“I’ll just have to talk them round I guess...”

Draco pushed open the door; the smell of antiseptic filled their noses. They were momentarily blinded by the amount of white within the room.

“Honestly Mister Malfoy, if it isn’t Mister Potter it’s you!”

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