Ch. 3- "Quidditch"
Notes: This fic will probably be kind of long... bear with me if there are lapses between chapters, as I do have a career that exhausts/frustrates me quite often. I have never written HP fanfiction before, either, so sorry if I do the characters OOC or something.. ok, scratch that, there will be OOCness. This IS a slash fic, after all. =p And I think this is my first non-anime fanfic, too... o_O scary...
Thanks to Mami-san for beta-ing the fic- goddess knows I'm too damn lazy to spellcheck my own junk. @_@
I got the title frum the song of the same name from "Fushigi Yuugi"- it's Soi's song, I believe.
Warning: This is a Draco/Harry SLASH fic. Don't like that, bugger off. -_- And for those of you who despise Draco, I understand.. ^.^; He IS quite the shithead... but I can't help but like this couple. Also, if you haven't read all 4 current HP books, this fic will most likely contain spoilers. You've been forwarned.
"Shove off, Malfoy," Ron snapped.
"Very mature, Malfoy," Harry observed, rolling his eyes as he and his friends edged around Crabbe and Goyle, who took up a good half of the hall. "Move over, will y-" As he slid around Crabbe, he bumped into him on accident. The bigger boy turned and reached out immediately, seizing him by the front of his robes. Harry gave a yell as he was lifted easily off the ground a good few inches. Hermione squealed in surprised fear.
"Put him down!" Ron hollered.
Malfoy was laughing hysterically.
"What d'you think yer doin' bumpin' into me, eh?" Crabbe growled, glaring right into Harry's face. The sparkle in his eye gave away that he was enjoying the excuse to torture the smaller student. "You better apologize, hadn't ya?"
Harry tugged uselessly at the big hairy arms, twisting as much as he could in an attempt at escape. "Let go of me," he said loudly. "Put me down, you big gorilla!"
"Gorilla?" Crabbe's face grew red with anger. He turned, lifting Harry higher as if to throw him down the hallway. Harry's heart leapt into his throat.
Hermione yanked her wand from her robes, pointing it at him, mouth already open for a spell.
To everyone's shock, it was Draco who stepped in.
He reached out, giving his lackey a lazy kick in the leg, arms crossed over his chest. "Don't be stupid, Crabbe," he snapped. "You tryin' to get us in trouble by throwin' Mr. Popularity against a wall?"
Crabbe twisted his head over his shoulder to look at him, looking confused and a little put-out that his fun was being interrupted. "But-"
"Drop him," Draco barked.
Harry grunted in pain as Crabbe loosened his grip instantly, dropping him unceremoniously on the cold stone floor. Nearby students were keeping their distance, watching with wide eyes and muttering to each other.
"Come on," Draco said shortly, turning with a snap of his robes. "We've got better things to do than stick around and hear these fools."
Kyle flicked Harry an amused glance before following his old companion, and Crabbe and Goyle hurried to catch up.
"Harry, are you ok??" Hermione shoved her wand back in her robes, dropping to a crouch beside him, her face anxious.
Harry nodded and winced. "Yeah, I think so."
"Those damn ogres," Ron growled, going around Harry's other side to grab his arm and help him to his feet. "They should be in a zoo, not a school. All right there, Harry?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," Harry muttered, dusting off his robes, his face heating up. Everyone in the hall was still staring, so he bent over to collect the books he'd dropped to avoid their eyes. Just his luck he'd had a whole hall full of classmates to witness Crabbe's stupid show of strength against him.
Hermione caught on and turned on the students, hands on her hips. "Well, what are you all looking at?" she demanded. "Aren't you going to be late for class?"
The younger students quickly continued on their way, and after a few moments the others followed.
Harry straightened, books held under his arm, and he and his two friends continued down the hall towards their next class.
"Are you going to the Christmas Ball?"
Draco glanced up sharply at the unexpected question. "What are you talking about?" he demanded.
Kyle continued to look straight ahead, lips quirked with mirth. "The Christmas Ball. Are you going?" He glanced sideways at his slightly shorter companion, eyes hooded. "That fight you and your father got in right before school this year was pretty big... So are you still going home, or are you spending Christmas here? If you are, you might as well go to the ball."
Draco scowled, hand rising instinctively to his neck, which was covered by his scarf. "Why would I want to go to that stupid thing?"
"Well I can think of at least *one* reason," Kyle purred.
"And what is that?" Draco snapped impatiently.
Kyle tapped the side of his nose, grinning. "Why, so you can invite Cho Chang, of course."
Draco stared at him, nonplussed. "Why would I want to do that?" he asked after a moment. "I don't care about that girl."
"No," Kyle admitted, still smirking, "but Harry does.. or so I've heard."
Draco arched his brows. "I heard some kind of rumor fourth year," he said slowly, frowning as he thought over what Kyle was implying.
"Wouldn't it just crush his ego to no end," Kyle said quietly, "if she were to go to the Ball with *you* instead of Potter?"
Draco's lips curved in a cruel smile. "It would, wouldn't it?"
Kyle chuckled, clapping the other boy on the shoulder. "In any case... good luck in the match Tuesday."
"Quidditch?" Draco sneered. "I'm going to pound Potter into the dirt."
The day of the awaited Quidditch match between Slytherin and Gryffindor arrived all too quickly. Draco was strutting around like a horse at the show, listening to the praise and encouragement of his fellow classmates with a smug smirk in the halls and in class.
By the time the students were dismissed to attend the game, Ron was practically begging Harry to pull some wild stunt that would belittle Malfoy before the entire school.
"I'll think of something," Harry promised, more to get his friend off his back than anything before hurrying after his team mates to get changed into his Quidditch gear.
He had just barely managed to pull on all his gear and snatch up his Firebolt when Ebony was seizing him and dragging him by the arm to catch up to the rest of the team, who were already assembled by the doors, awaiting their introduction.
Just then the new announcer, Colin Creevey, cried over the megaphone in his high-pitched excited voice, "And now- I give you Gryffindor!"
Ebony shoved the doors open, and her team flooded after her onto the field amidst wild cheering from the majority of the crowd- all except the Slytherins, of course, who were booing loudly.
"And on this side of the court.." Colin continued, with much less enthusiasm- until Professor McGonagall sent him a sharp look. "Er, Slytherin!"
The Slytherins erupted in cheers as their team emerged from their own dressing room, their new captain- who happened to be Ebony's cousin -marching smugly in the lead.
Dennis gave a quick reminder of the game's rules and then called the seekers of the opposing teams to come to the center of the field and shake hands as their teams assembled in their places behind them.
Harry reluctantly strode towards Malfoy and extended his hand.
Draco's eyes flashed as he smirked at Harry, grabbing his foe's hand in a crushing grip. "We'll see who's the better seeker, Potter," he promised in a murmur.
Harry refused to wince at the painful grip. He glared back. "You've got that right, Malfoy," he muttered right back.
Draco released him, and Harry stepped back, letting his hand fall by his side and pretending it didn't feel like it'd been bruised. Malfoy's grip was surprisingly strong- probably from years of holding tight to a broomstick for dear life in Quidditch.
Harry mounted his broom and kicked off into the air. A moment later gold flashed before his eyes as the golden snitch was released, and his grip tightened on his broom handle as he sent Malfoy a determined glare, waiting for the whistle to blow.
"And there they go!" Dennis Creavy cried exitedly. "Slytherin has the quaffle-"
Harry tuned out what the other boy was saying, more intent on his task. He glanced left and right, keeping a sharp eye open for the snitch. Not far away, Draco was doing the same, watching him out of the corner of his eye in case Harry spotted it first.
For nearly ten minutes the snitch stayed out of sight as a furious game went on below. Slytherin's Keeper had been just as tough a trainer as his cousin, and his team was neck in neck with Gryffindor in points. Harry could see Ebony practically ripping her hair out in anxiety and frustration.
"Harry, heads up," one of his team mates hollered abruptly-- too late.
Harry had to make a frantic grab for his broomstick as a bludger cannonned into him, nearly knocking him off. He spun upside down on his broom, hanging on for dear life as the bludger continued on its way only to be smacked aside by a Gryffindor beater.
As Harry prepared to right himself, he saw a quick movement, and then Draco was darting straight for him, aiming below him.
Harry tilted his head back until the world was upside down and at long last spotted the snitch- buzzing merrily below him. Draco was nearly on it, swooping in almost directly below Harry.
Harry acted instinctively.
Dropping his legs from the broom, he let them swing down, right in front of Malfoy at the last second. The snitch flitted off instantly, and Malfoy yanked back frantically to avoid a collision.
The Gryffindor fans erupted in howls of approval.
'Yes!' Harry thought gleefully. 'There's your stunt, Ro-'
Malfoy had pulled up too sharply. He crashed into Harry, catching him completely unawares, and he yelled in fright as his grip on the handle slipped. Draco was pulling back hastily, ducking underneath him again, and Harry made a frantic grab for his broomstick again.
"He'll be killed!" Dennis was squealing over the megaphone in a panicked voice. "He'll die if he falls from that hight!"
Malfoy seemed to be hesitating as he watched Harry's two-second struggle, as if unsure of what to do in the face of such an emergency.
'I hate you,' Harry wanted to shout, 'but *I* wouldn't just sit there and watch you fall to your death!!'
"Somebody get him!" Ebony was shouting.
Harry's fingers slipped free.
He yelled in uncontrolled fear as he plummeted through the air amid shrieks from the watchers--
For all of five seconds.
He landed in a very undignified, tangled heap in the lap of Draco Malfoy.
"Bloody hell!" Draco snarled in a startled mix of fury and panic as he nearly lost control of his own broom and almost tipped them both off. "POTTER!!" he yelled angrily, one hand latching instinctively onto the other boy's scarf and yanking him closer to balance them out, the other jerking the broom handle up from its almost-dive.
Harry grabbed the front of Malfoy's jacket in a frantic gesture as he felt them tilt forward then sharply upwards. "Shit!"
"Damn you, Potter!" Malfoy was raving, face strained as he fought to regain control. Below, the crowd was gasping with fear, the game at a momentary stand-still. It was a long drop. It would be a miracle if they fell and survived.
Finally Malfoy managed to regain control, and they straightened. For a moment they didn't move, but simply sat tangled as their hearts raced and they panted in the aftershock of their near-death experience.
"Get the hell off," Draco snarled after a moment, pushing Harry off of him- but not too roughly. He didn't want to go through another balancing act.
"Thanks," Harry breathed automatically, already holding out his hand. "Accio, Firebolt!"
His broom flew obediently to his hand, and he climbed aboard, drifting upwards and away from the other seeker. 'He just saved me,' Harry thought dazedly, barely hearing the relieved cheers of the fans over his still-pounding heart. 'I almost died and Malfoy, of all people, saved me.' He glanced around distractedly for the snitch, tightening his grip to stop the trembling in his hands. 'I thought I was dead meat. Ron and Hermione must have almost had a heart attack,' he thought dryly. Draco was already flying away from him in search of the snitch, ignoring him. Below them, the game resumed.
The wait for the snitch was not so long this time, and it was Harry who spotted it first. He leaned low on his Firebolt and rocketed towards it even as Draco saw him move and turned to follow.
Draco was fast, but Harry's Firebolt was faster, and he had a head start. He reached out, pratically leaning over the end of his broomstick, and snatched the tiny golden snitch from the air.
He came to a halt and held the fluttering orb above his head triumphantly as the game halted and the Gryffindor fans roared in victory.
"Harry!" Hermione jumped her friend the minute he strode from the field, hugging him tightly. "You were nearly killed!" she yelled frantically, right in his ear.
"Cripes, Hermione," Harry protested, pushing her off. "You trying to deafen me?? Anyway, I'm fine! Calm down."
Ron shook his head, grinning, still looking a little pale, his freckles standing out starkly. "Geez, Harry... You really scared us back there. Lucky Malfoy was right below you to act as a cushion." He laughed.
Harry spotted Professor McGonnagal hustling towards him and groaned. "She's probably convinced I've broken something," he said, pointing her out. "I'd better get out of here before she catches me."
"We'll cover for you," Hermione promised.
"Wait." Ron grabbed him by the sleeve, pointing. "Look, there's Cho," he whispered excitedly. "You just barely got away with your life and still won. You're the man of the hour, Harry- now's the perfect chance!"
Harry stared at him blankly. "Chance? For what?"
"Go ask her to the *Ball*, you nitwit," Ron hissed, giving him a shove. "Hurry! Me 'n' Hermione will distract McGonnagal."
Harry flushed, but turned and ran over to where he could see her sleek dark hair, still clutching his broom. 'Just go up and ask her, don't even hesitate,' he thought firmly, hoping to God he didn't look as nervous as he felt. 'Just DO it.'
"Uh- Cho?" he called as he approached.
Cho looked up at his voice, and her friends glanced at each other, giggling, before tactfully retreating a few feet. "Harry." She smiled at him as he stood before her, hesitating despite his mental coaching. "I'm glad you're all right. I thought you were going to fall. Great game."
"Uh..thanks," Harry mumbled, feeling his face begin to heat up again. "Hey, uh.. Cho, do you... Do you want to go to the Ball with me?" he asked, voice almost inaudible.
Cho looked a little surprised, but the apologetic and almost rueful look that crept into her face told him the answer before she even spoke. "Oh... I'm sorry, Harry. I've already been asked to the Ball."
Harry almost didn't want to know, but he asked anyway, his voice wooden. By who?"
"Um.. Draco Malfoy."
"That weasling GIT!" Ron exploded the minute Harry told him the news.
Harry shrugged, reaching for the box of Every Flavored Beans Dennis had bestowed upon him with typical hero worship at some point during the small party that had taken place in the Gryffindor common room after the game.
"Malfoy doesn't care for girls," Ron ranted. "I'll bet he only asked her because he knows you-"
"Ron," Hermione said sharply, and he shut his mouth quickly. Some of the students were still lounging in the common room, and they both knew Harry would be mortified if his crush on Cho was made public.
"It's not like he asked her to go out with him," Hermione said placatingly to Harry, who was staring sullenly at his Beans without eating them. "Just to the Ball. He's just trying to get back at you for making him look like a fool in the game."
"Yeah, you did make him look pretty stupid," Ron agreed with a grin, crossing his arms over his knees. "That was awesome, Harry. Er, except for the part where you almost died, I mean."
Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Oh," one of the third years said suddenly, popping his head up over the back of the couch to look at them. "You're talking about the Ball?"
"Are people already getting dates?" Neville fretted.
"It's kind of early," Lavender said, looking up from her homework.
"Soon all the good girls will be taken," Dennis Creavy said, looking suddenly alert from where he'd been dozing before the fire. He sat up and looked around hopefully at the girls. They all were careful to avoid his eye.
"That's right, Harry," Ron sighed, then leaned forward, lowering his voice. "You'd better find someone quick this time so we don't have the crummy dates we had last time."
Harry nodded reluctantly, and glanced up as Neville headed towards Hermione, looking shy.
Ron saw him, too, and turned to her quickly. "Hermione, wanna go with me to the Ball?" he asked abruptly.
Hermione looked surprised, but she nodded. "Ok," she agreed, blushing just a little.
Harry looked around and spotted Ginny sitting on the stairs petting Pigwidgeon. "Hey, Ginny," he called, "you want to come to the Ball with me?"
She looked up quickly, flushing a deep crimson. Her voice was squeaky. "Y-yes." She ducked her head quickly, trying to hide her smile.
Hermione flicked Harry an appreciative look. "That was nice, Harry," she murmured so the other girl couldn't hear her. "She's been hoping you would ask her."
Harry shrugged uncomfortably and didn't answer.
"OK, Harry," Ron said, clapping his hands together. "Now we've got to think of a way to get Malfoy back. You've got to humiliate him in front of *everybody* at the Ball." He grinned wickedly.
"Oh, Ron," Hermione said in exasperation.
Harry arched a brow. "Sure," he agreed readily. "Any ideas?"
"Plenty," Ron said, chuckling. "You have to dance with Cho, though. At least do that. Cut in on them, you know? The whole 'may I have this dance' nonsense. He'll be so mad."
"Er, Ron," Harry reminded him, "I can't dance all that great."
"We'll help you, Harry," Hermione offered.
Ron stared at her. "We?"
"Yes, 'we'," Hermione snapped. "I can show him how to dance with a girl, but you're going to have to help him learn how the guy is supposed to lead and all that stuff."
Ron opened and shut his mouth.
Hermione turned to Harry. "We can do it in the library if you want," she said quietly so no one else could hear. "We could use the Invisibility Cloak and do it at night so you wouldn't have to worry about anyone seeing."
Harry wasn't too keen on the idea of going to the Ball in the first place, much less learning how to dance. "Uhh.. that's all right," he said quickly.
"Harry," Hermione said firmly, jabbing him in the chest. "Do you want to give Malfoy another reason to tease you? Come on, it will be easy. It shouldn't take more than a couple of nights. What do you say?"
Harry shrugged helplessly, even as Ron waved his hands frantically behind Hermione to tell him to turn down her offer. "OK," he said meekly. "You've got a point."
"Great," Hermione said, rising to her feet and dusting off her robes. "We can start tomorrow night."
"Good going, Harry," Ron grumbled as Hermione headed towards her room.
Harry looked at him, a little puzzled by the other boy's obvious reluctance. "You don't have to do it if you don't want," he offered.
Ron shrugged uncomfortably, glancing away. "No, I'll help you," he muttered. "Just... oh, never mind." He stood abruptly and walked off.
Harry sighed, reaching up to remove his glasses and rub his temple. Sometimes his friends confused him more than Malfoy did.
He frowned to himself as he replaced his glasses.
When he had landed on Malfoy.... had the other boy simply been unable to move in time?
Or had he caught him deliberately?
The conversation he had had with Kyle ran through his mind again and he chewed on his lip pensively.
'Well, there's only one way to find out for sure,' Harry thought stubbornly.
'I'll ask Malfoy tomorrow.'
Author's Notes: eh... in Ch. 1 when I mentioned Draco's best class as being DADA, I meant Potions... ^.^;; Amiko had a brain fart... Sorry about the typo!
And sorry for the delay before this chapter... I think my muses periodically go on strike..
Also I'm working very hard on a manga- doing the whole shebang: screentones, inking, etc. cuz I'm trying to get it published. So please bear w/ me.. ^.^;
I am so lazy... see how short and abbreviated my quidditch game was? -_-;; sorry sorry... I couldn't make myself write a long, drawn-out game. this fic is about draco and harry, not quidditch. =p so sorry to those of you who were expecting a long, dramatic game. ^.^;;
This chapter was pretty shitty and I apologize.
And thank you all so much for your wonderful reviews~ ^__^ They are what feed my will to write.
..Sad, isn't it? -_- Amiko is pathetic.. blehhh
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Chapter 12 + Epilogue