Ch. 7- "An Unwanted Touch"
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.
"Tonight I die." Ron gazed miserably at the fire in the Gryffindor common room.
He and Hermione had been bickering again yesterday, and he wasn't looking forward to that night's Ball in the slightest. And to make things worse, Harry had acted like a selfish git and now the two of them were on bad terms. He scowled at the fire, burrowing himself deeper into the quilt he'd dragged downstairs. The other Gryffindors were milling about, talking excitedly about the Ball, but Ron was ignoring them all.
Hermione was studying by herself in a chair, sullenly ignoring him, and Harry had left early that morning without a word to either of them. 'Probably going to chat with his NEW friend,' Ron thought darkly, glaring at the dancing flames.
"Maybe you should spy on me from now on and make sure I'm not doing anything you don't approve of, then." Harry's words from a few nights ago flitted through Ron's mind, and he frowned. Shrugging out of the warm quilt after a moment of hesitation, he walked upstairs to retrieve something. 'Fine, then, Harry, if you're so innocent..' he thought firmly. 'I'll just check in on you and make sure Malfoy isn't pulling you along by the nose, planning to hurt you. You trust too easily, anyway.' Honest worry for his friend tugged at him, and he headed hastily for the trunk by Harry's bed, feeling only a little guilty for what he was about to do.
Harry stroked Hedwig's snowy white back as he stood at the doorway to the owlery, gazing silently up at the cloudless, bright blue morning sky. He couldn't stop thinking about the strange ideas Kyle had presented to him that night at the lake, and how Malfoy seemed less hostile lately.
Malfoy had admittedly matured, to a point. He was not the snot-faced, cowardly little git he had been in their earlier years at Hogwarts. He could still be an ass, but there was something enigmatic about him still the same. Harry was surprised to discover that a part of him *wanted* to be friends with the sullen boy. If only he wouldn't be so cruel to others...
'Oh, Ron would just love that,' Harry thought with a sudden frown. 'Why is he making such a big fuss over this?' He walked out onto the snowy grounds, watching his breath puff before his face, feet crunching on the shining snow. Pausing by one of the entrances, he lifted his arm, blinking at the outrush of wind as his owl leapt from her perch on his arm, wings beating as she lifted herself into graceful flight. He watched her fly around the grounds for a minute before turning and pushing open the solid oak door, eager to get inside where it was warm. It took him a moment to get his bearings as he walked down the hall- he had never used this entrance before, and he wasn't quite sure where he was. Trusting to luck, he turned down a side passage, keeping his hand on the wall to avoid running into anything as the torches sputtered before magically bursting to life on his passing. His hand dragged across dust and mold, and he pulled his hand back hastily, making a face. He had gone the wrong way. This passage obviously wasn't travelled very often. Turning, he prepared to find his way back.
Voices echoing slightly from further down the hall caused him to pause.
He couldn't distinguish the words, much less the owners of the voices, but his curiosity was piqued, so he turned back and continued slowly down the hall, straining his ears and careful not to tread too loudly. He had eavesdropped so often in the past it didn't occur to him he was moving stealthily to do just that until it was too late. He recognized the voices, now, and they were just around a corner ahead.
"Well, well, Draco... What did I tell you? Potter isn't so bad, is he?"
Kyle. Harry edged closer, holding his breath as he listened.
"Butt out, Kyle." Malfoy's voice was almost a snarl.
"Hey, now, don't act so defensive." Kyle laughed quietly. "You're the one who was too stubborn to attempt to be his friend again after he embarrassed you like that the first day. If you had just told him how you feel, things wouldn't have gone the way they have the past few years, you know." He paused. "Or are you too ashamed of yourself to admit you were wrong? Or is that just your stupid pride again?"
"Shut up!" Draco gave a sudden gurgling sound.
Kyle's voice was quiet. "Don't get a temper with me, Draco," he purred. "You wouldn't like me to tell your dear daddy that you're actually being *nice* to Potter now, would you?"
"Ggg.." Draco's voice was strangled. "Let go of me, asshole, or I'll-"
"You'll what?" Harry could hear the smile in Kyle's voice. "You think you could beat me? I don't think so, Draco. Stop being a git."
"Why you- Hey!"
"What do you think Dumbledore would say if you suddenly stopped wearing this scarf and he saw your little prizes? Hm... This bruise is almost gone, Draco. You'll be able to stop stifling yourself soon."
Scarf? Bruise? Harry took in a sharp breath. Were there bruises that Draco was hiding with his scarf? He remembered suddenly how Kyle had hinted at Mr. Malfoy's heavy hand. No way...
"Fuck you," Draco growled.
Kyle laughed. "If you insist."
"Wh-what!" Draco sputtered. "I told you to quit that!"
"You think I'm joking?" Kyle's voice was amused, and there was a whisper of cloth. "Let me prove to you how serious I am..."
Harry stepped around the corner unthinkingly, his heart racing.
Kyle glanced up at Harry's sudden appearance, arching a brow at him. Malfoy was pressed up against the wall, breathing a little quickly and glaring up at Kyle in a mixture of fury and fear. Kyle had one hand under the shorter boy's shirt, the other wrapped around Mafloy's throat.
Draco shot a panicked look towards Harry at his arrival, his normally pale face growing redder than it had been a moment ago. "P-Potter," he sputtered in furious surprise. "What the fuck are you doing here??"
Harry felt his face heat up at the sight, unable to speak for a moment out of shock. Was Kyle--
"Hello, Potter," Kyle said calmly. "What a surprise seeing YOU down here..." He released Draco and took a step back from him, still watching Harry with a faintly amused look on his handsome face. Draco hastily reached up to cup his palm around the side of his bared neck, glaring from one of them to the other, looking humiliated and angry.
"Leave him alone." The words were out before he could stop them. Harry shut his mouth quickly, staring helplessly at Kyle. Why was he doing this? It wasn't like he owed Malfoy anything. And these two knew each other better than Harry had previously realized. By Kyle's words, it sounded almost like he was threatening the other Slytherin, using his good terms with Mr. Malfoy as leaverage.
Draco stared at him.
Kyle laughed throatily, turning to face him fully. "What did I tell you, Draco? Lion-hearted, this one." His eyes gleamed dangerously as he looked at Harry. "I would suggest you walk away from this one, though, little Potter. This is not your business."
"Leave him alone," Harry repeated, more quietly. "Whatever you're doing- stop it."
Kyle laughed again. "What? You think he doesn't like it?" He flicked Draco a glance, smirking. Malfoy glared back, edging away. Kyle chuckled. "Is it my fault I find Draco attractive?" he demanded, confirming Harry's suspicions. Harry felt his face heat up slowly as he gawked at the taller Slytherin. Was he implying-
"Don't act so contrary, Potter," Kyle chided. "I know you realize what I'm talking about, so don't look at me like you don't believe it." He turned sideways, reaching out quickly to cup Malfoy's face in his palm. "I can play with him as I like. Don't presume to tell me to stop. Just walk away, Potter, and there will be no hard feelings." Draco twisted his face away, baring his teeth in helpless fury, looking torn between fear and anguish. The trapped look that flitted across his face stirred a deep anger in Harry.
He stepped forward, narrowing his eyes at Kyle, who turned to look at him expectantly. "Quit that," he said firmly. "Leave him alone, he doesn't like it. You're sick."
"Sick, am I?" Kyle repeated incredulously. He threw back his head and laughed. "Oh, that's rich, Potter! Are you trying to tell me it's sick because he and I are both males? You can't possibly be that naive."
"It's MORE wrong because he doesn't want it," Harry snapped. "In the end that's all that matters." 'What the hell am I talking about? I've lost it,' Harry thought dazedly. 'I almost sound like I'm DEFENDING gay people, and I'm going up against someone even Malfoy's afraid of. Me and my big mouth.'
Kyle's grin turned predatory. "Little Gryffindor," he said sweetly, "you're tempting me to take actions I'd rather not. Have I ever been bad to you in the past? Why don't you look on it as a favor and just go? As I said, there will be no hard feelings. It will be as if this never happened."
"Shut up, Kyle," Draco snarled quietly, still edging away.
"Be still," Kyle said calmly without looking at him.
"Malfoy," Harry said suddenly. "Come here."
Draco stared at him for a minute as if not sure what to do when confronted by a commanding, straight-backed Potter. Shooting Kyle a wary glance, he finally swallowed his pride and walked towards Harry, giving Kyle a wide berth.
Kyle watched him with an amused look, though his smile was dangerous. He said nothing as Draco stopped and turned to look at him from beside Harry.
Harry glared at Kyle. "If we're going to be on bad terms from now on," he said, "so be it. I don't care to be friends with people who manipulate theirs, anyway." He nudged the boy beside him. "Come on, Draco."
Draco followed him silently back down the hall, glancing warily over his shoulder at Kyle before they rounded the corner. Kyle did not follow them.
They walked down the hallway in uncomfortable silence, neither of them daring to look at the other. Harry let Draco lead the way when they reached the main passageway, following him until finally they reached the more open, familiar halls of Hogwarts.
"Why did you do that?"
Harry glanced sideways at the other boy's sullen tone. Draco was staring straight ahead as they walked, face unreadable.
Harry looked away again, shrugging uncomfortably. "That wasn't right. Kyle shouldn't do that to you."
Draco sneered, his voice bitter. "He knows he can get away with it," he said simply.
"Can't you beat him?" Harry blurted. "I thought you'd gotten so strong.."
Draco flicked him a glance, as if mildly surprised at Harry's admittance to his strength. "He's stronger," he grunted finally. "Faster, bigger. He's beaten me many times. I can't beat him."
Harry snuck a peek at Draco's neck and was sickened to see the faint remains of round bruises along the side of the boy's throat- as if someone had practically strangled him some time ago. "Um.. did your father do that?" he asked hesitantly.
Draco reached up silently and wrapped his loosened scarf around his throat once more, eyes hard. Harry took the hint and didn't press him.
Harry jumped, startled, as Nearly Headless Nick floated across his path suddenly, going right through him. He bumped into a statue and his glasses clattered to the floor.
"Jumpy, Potter?" Draco smirked. He bent down calmly and scooped up the glasses. He turned to offer them to Harry and hesitated, a strange frown tugging at his mouth as he looked at Harry's face.
"Uh, thanks," Harry muttered, taking the glasses and setting them on his nose again.
"You look different without them," Draco remarked.
Harry shrugged. "I can't see for squat without them, though," he admitted ruefully. "Hermione says maybe some day they'll come up with a spell to fix bad eyes."
Draco rolled his eyes, and they continued on.
"Um... are you still taking Cho to the ball?" Harry asked after a moment, as nonchalantly as he could, studiously not looking at the other boy.
Draco shrugged, his face bored. "It was Kyle's idea. And I don't much care for her, so I'll probably just go stag instead."
Harry opened his mouth to protest the heartless action to Cho.
"Besides," Draco said calmly, looking at him, "I'd rather go with you instead."
Kyle brushed his hair from his face as he walked slowly towards the Slytherin common room, a smile playing on his sensuous lips. Well, well... things were progressing quite nicely.
"Napalm," he said almost carelessly, stepping inside as the opening to the common room was revealed.
Very soon it would be time. Harry Potter would prove his worth, and Draco Malfoy would get what he richly deserved. Chuckling quietly to himself, Kyle ignored the other Slytherins and headed to the boys' dorms to get a nap before the Ball.
Harry stared at Draco speechlessly for several numb seconds.
"Joking, Potter," Draco said, snapping him out of it. "Can't you take a joke?"
"D-don't say that," Harry sputtered, feeling his ears grow hot. "That's not funny!"
Draco smirked and continued walking. "You should have seen your face."
"H-hey! That wasn't funny, Draco!"
In the shadows by the statue, the air shimmered, and Ron lowered the invisibility cloak, watching the two boys turn around a corner with a sick feeling in his stomach.
Turning numbly, he headed his leaden steps towards the Gryffindor corridor, feeling ready to retch.
So Malfoy and Harry were friends, after all. And Kyle was a sick gay bastard.
So were Harry and Malfoy....
more than friends?
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Chapter 12 + Epilogue