Ch. 6- "Friendship..?"
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.
Something between Harry and Draco had changed subtly.
Neither of them was quite sure what it was, but Malfoy took to scowling at Harry rather than seeking him out to actively aggravate him, and Harry found himself glancing over towards the other boy during class more often in puzzled speculation. In fact, he found himself more wary of Kyle than his other Slytherin nemesis. The taller boy creeped him out a little with his cryptic comments and eerie habit of showing up at the oddest times. He still couldn't figure out if the boy was rooting for a friendship between himself and Draco- and if he was, what were his reasons? Did he think Draco would be able to twist Harry over to the ways of a dark wizard? Or did he genuinely want Malfoy to have a friend? He decided it was probably safer to just assume the worst, and simply avoided the strange boy whenever possible.
Of course Hermione and Ron were quick to pick up on this strange turn of events. Ron pestered his friend about it for a little while, but Hermione, with a puzzled frown, managed to keep her questions to herself. Harry knew they were both just worried about him, wondering if the two Slytherins had threatened him in some way, but nevertheless Ron's questions began to grate on his nerves over time. A little miffed by Harry's refusal to explain his strange behavior, Ron was quick to turn his irritation on who he considered to be the source of the problem one day after Potions class.
Hermione edged over to the desk Harry shared with Ron with her books clutched to her chest. "Ready to go, Harry?" She glanced around. "Where's Ron?"
Harry quickly collected his parchment and quill, dumping them into his bag with his books. "He ran ahead," he explained. "Said he had to do something real quick and he'd meet us in a minute."
Hermione frowned as they walked towards the door. "Something to do? I don't know, Harry... he's been acting really uptight the past few days."
Harry shrugged, shifting his bag to his other shoulder. "He's just mad cuz I won't tell him why me and Malfoy aren't at each other's throats everyday."
Hermione frowned at him, looking as if she wanted to say something.
"There he is," Harry said hastily to cut her off, pointing to the front of the classroom where Draco sat. The Slytherin was seated in his chair still, calmly packing his things as Ron stood stiffly before his desk, eyes narrowed.
"Uh oh," Hermione muttered under her breath. "We'd better grab Ron before Malfoy's goons try something."
"Yeah." Harry followed her quickly to the front, watching Crabbe and Goyle as they rose from their seats and began to jeer at Ron, not quite touching him as they taunted him. The shorter boy ignored them, heated gaze locked on Malfoy.
Finally the pale boy rose, offering Ron a dispassionate look. "What do *you* want, Weasley?" he demanded carelessly, as if just noticing the other boy's precense.
"Something fishy's going on with you and Harry," Ron said in his customary blunt fashion. "Are you blackmailing him with something?"
Draco blinked, caught off guard. "What are you babbling about?" he demanded after a second.
Ron put his hands very deliberately on the desk and leaned over so he was glaring right in the other boy's face. "Talk, Malfoy," he growled. "You mess with Harry, you mess with me."
"Ron-" Harry edged around Crabbe and seized his hot-tempered friend by the shoulder. "Wait. You've got the wrong idea.."
Ron shrugged him off impatiently, still glaring at Malfoy. "Knock it off, Harry," he snapped. "Quit trying to handle everything by yourself."
Draco's eyes had flicked towards Harry, but they turned back on Ron again at the redhead's comments, and his lips curved in that familiar, predatory grin as he tilted his chin back just slightly in insolence, bangs spreading across his forehead and revealing his eyes as he sneered down at Ron. It made him look handsome and very dangerous. "I don't know what you're talking about, Weasley," he purred, "but if it's a fight you want, we can settle this right here and now."
"No!" Harry exclaimed, grabbing Ron's arm again. Hermione was already gripping Ron's other arm, shooting a wary look from Crabbe to Goyle. "Ron, trust me, it's not what you think," Harry said quickly, striving to get his friend to look at him. "Malfoy didn't do anything wrong. Come on, we're going to be late for class."
"You just wait until Christmas," Ron said suddenly, jabbing a finger at Malfoy. "We'll see who's the fool then."
Draco, who had been turning to leave, paused and studied him suspiciously before turning his narrowed eyes on Harry. "Is that so?" he demanded quietly.
Ron's eyes flashed with triumph. "That's right." He shook himself free of his friends' hold and picked up his bag. "Come on, Harry. Hermione. Let's go."
They followed him quickly from the room. Harry glanced once over his shoulder before he stepped through the doorway and caught Draco watching him. Turning away quickly, he hurried to walk beside Ron.
"I'm being serious, Harry."
"So am I," Harry said stubbornly. "Nothing is wrong. It's exactly the opposite. Why can't you just drop it?"
Ron scowled at him. "Because I'm worried about you, Harry! How do you know that git isn't planning something?"
They were in the Gryffindor common room later that night, a little past curfew. Everyone else was in bed, but Ron had cornered Harry, totally unsympathetic about the other boy's tiredness, and had proceeded to put him through the third degree.
Harry rubbed wearily at his eyes with the back of his hand, sprawled on one of the comfortable chairs. "Drop it, Ron," he sighed.
Ron's face grew pink with irritation. "You know, you don't have to act like this," he snapped. "Me and Hermione are just worried. You know better than anyone else what an ass Malfoy is. Why all the sudden are you two looking at each other all funny like you can't decide whether you're enemies or buddies? He even *avoids* you." He brightened suddenly. "Did *you* blackmail *him*? Is that what this is all about? C'mon, tell me."
"NO," Harry said, a little loudly. "I told you, NOTHING'S wrong! Remember how I told you how I hauled him off that stair?"
"Yeah, I still can't believe you didn't just let him fall," Ron admitted ruefully, scratching the side of his nose.
"So maybe that snapped him out of it or something," Harry said, lifting his hands helplessly. "Maybe he doesn't hate me so much anymore because I saved his stinking life. How should *I* know how his twisted mind works? Geez, Ron."
"You don't have to act all mad about it," Ron muttered rebelliously.
"How do you expect me to act?" Harry retorted irritably. "I asked you to drop it and you wouldn't. And now you know. Maybe Draco and I aren't going to be enemies anymore. I don't know. Now will you leave me alone about it?"
Ron sat up straight, staring at him, agast. "Harry," he said slowly, "did you just call him DRACO?"
Harry blinked at him. "I dunno. Did I?"
"..Oh." Harry shrugged uncomfortably. "Guess I keep hearing Kyle and those goons call him it so often and it slipped out."
Ron shook his head, still staring at him. "What the hell's up with THAT? You guys buddy-buddying now behind everyone's backs?"
Harry's temper stirred. He was tired, irritated, and sick of the whole thing. "Maybe you should spy on me from now on and make sure I'm not doing anything you don't approve of, then," he said nastily.
Ron's eyes narrowed, his face reddening in anger. He rose to his feet abruptly. "Oh shove off, Harry," he shot. "Do whatever you want with your NEW friend. I don't care anymore." He turned and stomped his way up to bed.
Harry groaned and buried his face in his hands. This was just what he *didn't* need right now. Another fight with Ron like in their fourth year.
Except this time it was going to be over the dumbest thing in the world.
And that was one Draco Malfoy.
Author's Notes: Arigato, minna, for all the kind reviews!! ^___^ I'm glad you like this story! And I'm sorry for such long delays and short chapters..... *kicks writer's block in the arse* To make up for it I'll hurry the snogging along, ne? ^_~ mwahaha.. Next chapter: The day of the X-Mas Ball! XD
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Chapter 12 + Epilogue