Title: I don't actually know, yet. This bit: "Snowflakes & Herbology"
Rating: PG-13/R, for now
Pairings: Harry/Draco (Y)
Summary: [Maah I don't know what to put here. Here's something Flay wrote about it.] The particularly snug fit of Harry Potter's new jeans has a bizarre effect on his nemesis. [HA. That'll do.]
Disclaimer: No, I don't, unfortunately, own the characters.
Warnings: No big ones yet. But, you know. Slash.
PS BIG LOVE TO MY BETA FLAY [tritschtratsch] WHO IS SUPA-AMAZING. Yeah.
And also Anemone, who we love.
I didn’t like them. They made my legs look weird. But Hermione had said I should buy them, so I did.
It all began the day I first put them on. It must have been the weekend, because I didn’t get up until about ten, when the sun started to shine through the dormitory window. I wore them downstairs into the common room, where everyone who saw them started to laugh. Even Neville, who would normally go along with what ever we did, even Hermione who told me to buy them, even Ginny – who, as I stormed out through the portrait-hole, muttered: “I like your jeans… but…” her eyes wandered downwards, “they’re a bit… snug, aren’t they?”
All my homework was back in the common room, so I had nothing in particular to do out in the corridor. If I was going to change, I needed to go through the common room to get back upstairs, and out here, just about everyone could see me wearing them. I clearly hadn’t thought this movement through very well, but I stubbornly decided not to go back in. Anyway, I thought, as I sat down on a bench in a nearby courtyard, nothing could be quite as humiliating as being back in the common room.
As soon as the thought had entered my head, Draco Malfoy came sweeping around the corner, heading straight for me. I tried to shrink back into the wall, but he saw me immediately. He stopped and stared at me from a distance, his eyes, too, travelling downwards. He walked towards me, slowly this time, without looking up at my face, and smirked. “Nice jeans, Potter…” he drawled, when he eventually looked up at me through his eyelashes.
I expected him to leave, after that, and wanted him to, so I could go and change as quickly as possible, but he remained in front of me, arms folded, with that smirk on his face. I said nothing, scowling back at him.
Rays of morning sunlight shone past the pillars and cast a yellow glow onto the stone at Malfoy’s feet. There was a shriek and happy shouting coming from somewhere back in the castle, muffled by the thick walls, but amplified by the silence in the courtyard. Malfoy sighed, and brushed the hair out of his eyes, obviously realising that I was going to say nothing, and that making fun of me would produce a considerable less enjoyable result than if I had been in the mood to react.
He spun round to walk back in the direction he came from, and seemed to freeze, mid-turn. The sunlight shone through his fair hair, creating a halo of light around his head, and for a second his body was outlined, his figure visible as a thin silhouette. In that moment, he didn’t seem the irritating, derisive, invincible Malfoy that I knew. He suddenly looked very fragile.
Then his foot hit the stone floor, and suddenly it was Malfoy again, strutting back down the corridor as if he owned the place. He disappeared around the corner and I was left staring at the space where he had been.
How strange, I thought, and that was all. I shook my head, and walked back to the common room, busy worrying about homework and this pair of ridiculous jeans.
And that was all that happened, for a while. Malfoy ignored me in classes, but that was normal. Hermione worried about exams, though there was no need, and Ron didn’t, though he probably should, and I was caught up and concerned about a whole host of things that seem very insignificant, looking back on it. There were lessons, and essays, and books, and detentions, and just occasionally breaks at the weekends, where we all met up and complained about it all.
It was almost Christmas, and the last weekend before Hermione went home for the holidays. Thick, heavy snow had begun to fall, and rather than trudging over to The Three Broomsticks, we went into The Hog’s Head, which was much closer. Ron had looked slightly crestfallen at the prospect of a visit to Hogsmeade without seeing Madame Rosmerta, but it was snowing quite hard, and we’d hurried inside anyway. We sat at a small table in the corner, as far as Hermione could manage from a loud gaggle of Slytherins, who were clustered around a table littered with empty glasses and bottles of firewhisky. Sitting slightly apart from the main group on a wobbly stool, with, I noticed, a bottle all to himself, was…
“Malfoy? What’s he doing here?” said Ron, looking over at him. “I thought he hung out in the dungeons… and I had no idea he had any friends…”
“Oh, Pansy Parkinson just dumped him,” said Hermione, as if this was common knowledge.
Ron looked more confused than before. “He was going out with Pansy Parkinson?” Hermione gave him a withering look, and the conversation moved on. I listened to them, vaguely, talking about the marks they’d received for a potions essay, but all the while could see Malfoy over Ron’s shoulder, looking at the floor, and talking to no-one. After a while, he got up and stumbled out the door. None of the Slytherins took any notice at all. I wondered whether he’d even make it back to Hogwarts… and had visions of him falling over in the snow, and not getting back up.
I jumped, and suddenly realised Ron had asked me a question. He frowned at me. “You… feeling all right, mate? You’ve gone all quiet…”
“Yeah, I… actually… I’m going back to school. You stay here. Enjoy yourselves.” As I hurried out the door, I saw the looks on their faces – confused and anxious – but, even though I felt I should be, I wasn’t really bothered. I didn’t really care what they thought.
Opposite the pub was a grassy slope, covered in a thick blanket of snow, except for a trail of winding footprints. I followed them up the hill, and found Malfoy standing very still, halfway down the other side. His hair was fluttering in the wind. Snowflakes had settled on his eyelashes, and landed on his parted lips. He didn’t turn round, so I continued down towards him, sliding slightly, and bumped into him. He looked up at me blankly, and I realised I didn’t really have anything to say. There was no justification for my following him here… telling him that I’d wanted him… safe, sounded incredibly stupid. I opened and closed my mouth a few times.
“I heard… Pansy Parkinson dumped you?” I’m not sure why I said that. Something had to be said, I suppose. But that was probably the worst thing to say.
“Now… now look here…” he said, swaying slightly, and grabbing my shirt collar, not apparently angry, but certainly animated, “It was… it was a mutual…” But I never got to hear what it was, because as he took a step towards me he slipped, sending him tumbling down the hill, pulling me with him.
I hit the frozen ground hard, and Malfoy landed with a thud right on top of me. He moaned, and lifted himself up a little so that his face was only inches from mine. He looked slightly dazed, as if he wasn’t quite sure how the situation had occurred. I was very aware of how close he was to me, our legs tangled, our noses almost brushing together, and his hips resting gently on my own. Suddenly I noticed how hard my heart was beating, and that I was breathing very fast. He stayed there for a while, looking confused and childish, and then suddenly seemed to understand what was going on, what he was doing, and he quickly rolled off me.
He sort of stumbled upwards, as if to stand, but tripped and fell almost immediately, landing softly on the snow. He shuffled around, and, with much difficulty, ended up cross-legged on the cold ground. He hiccupped, pulled his robes around him, and remained there, hunched up against the wind, and sniffling quietly.
I sat up, slowly, and brushed the snow from my arms. It occurred to me that there could be people watching, and I looked around frantically, but we were in a small depression in the hills, hidden from view in a snowy hollow. The snow fell silently, and as the hills seemed to stifle any noise from the village, the only sound was my heavy breathing.
“I’m cold,” said Malfoy quietly. His delicate hands were visible, clasping his robes in an attempt to keep warm. They had gone very pink, and were trembling slightly. He hiccupped again.
I stood up, and went to stand next to him. He looked up at me, his mouth a little open. “I’m… I’m going back to school…”
He digested this statement slowly, then extended a cold hand up towards me. For a second I didn’t realise what he meant by this gesture, it seemed very friendly, as if we knew each other well, and liked each other very much, but I grabbed his hand and pulled him upright anyway.
We walked up the hill together, slowly, Malfoy still swaying, to such an extent that I had to hold his arm to keep him from falling. We didn’t say anything, then – not on the street back to Hogwarts, not in the grounds, not even back in the entrance hall. There was almost nobody about, which was just as well, since the sight of us – us – almost linking arms together, was… strange… if not suspicious. We were quiet, but it wasn’t awkward, I don’t think. It was a peaceful sort of silence, even if it was caused partly by the fact that Malfoy was hardly capable of proper conversation. The sun had begun to set, although it couldn’t have been past about five o’ clock, and the twilight caused peculiar shadows to be cast across the snowy ground. The odd lighting brought out the angles in Malfoy’s face. He was still looking innocent, and beautiful, for the time being… but then, he was probably too drunk to do anything else.
We reached the stairs in the entrance hall, where I had to go up to reach the Gryffindor common room, and he would have to go down. I paused, wondering what he would do, wondering what I should do, but he seemed to understand his surroundings suddenly. He broke free from my grasp, and started downstairs without even looking back at me. But he was only on the first step, when he realised that this wasn’t what people normally do, and he spun back towards me. I’ve never been sure what happened next, whether it was an accident, or he had some idea of what he was trying to do. I was obviously closer behind him than he realised, and so as he turned, we collided in a kind of clumsy kiss. He drew back, still looking as blank as ever. I opened my mouth, but, finding nothing to say, closed it again. There was a pause, then he smiled shyly, and uncertainly, and went down the stairs. I stood, stunned, at the foot of the stairs, watching him stumbling downwards, until he disappeared out of sight.
I went straight up to the dormitory, skipping dinner. I didn’t really feel like talking to Hermione or Ron – for a start I had no good explanation for leaving the pub earlier. I lay awake for a long time, wondering about the day, about Malfoy. I thought this might be a turning point, or the start of something – but then, I wasn’t even sure if he’d remember any of it.
I waited anxiously for our next class together, but when it arrived, he pushed past me in the corridor, and ignored me all through the lesson. Everything was just the same as before. I never saw him alone, only in lessons, or passing in the corridors, and so we could never really speak… that is, if he wanted to speak at all. I couldn’t approach him, I didn’t have anything in particular to say, and anyway, I had no idea what he thought of me. Maybe nothing at all.
It seemed most likely that nothing would happen at all, and then, on the last Thursday of term, we had a herbology lesson together.
Normally, we stayed well away from eachother, working on opposite sides of the greenhouse, but today, despite protests from the whole class, professor Sprout assigned us partners to work with. Ron, much to his delight, was paired up with Neville, Hermione with a big, grumpy-looking Slytherin girl, and I was put with Malfoy. He groaned, but didn’t protest any more than that. I went and sat next to him on one of the tall stools in the corner.
Professor Sprout began to explain what to do, and I tried to pay attention, though not very hard. Malfoy, on the other hand, made no effort to listen at all, looking immediately bored. He reached over me to get a pair of pruning shears from the desk, and as he stretched, his thigh brushed between my legs. Unlike me, he didn’t seem to notice, and began using the shears to cut notches into the desk. I tried to look relaxed, and to concentrate, but by now I was definitely not listening any more. When I did manage to tune back in, I realised I’d missed the whole explanation, and we were supposed to be starting.
Trying to look as if we knew what we were doing, we cut of random leaves from the small shrub we had been presented with, barely speaking except when completely necessary. For a whole hour, we worked in almost complete silence, until Professor Sprout came to see what we had been going. She stared at the shrub in dismay.
“What have you boys been doing?”
Malfoy looked from her to the shrub, and back again. “…pruning?”
She looked at him crossly. “Well, everyone else has almost finished… whereas you…” She sighed loudly, and turned to leave.
Malfoy folded his arms and leant against the greenhouse wall. “So?” he muttered under his breath, obviously a little too loudly, as Professor Sprout spun back round, looking furious.
“Do you want detentions?” She yelled, looking flustered. She looked at me warningly – me. I hadn’t done anything wrong.
“But…” I started, “Well, you can’t, anyway, it’s the last day tomorrow…”
“Then you shall have to have them tonight,” she said, huffily. “Stay behind after class.” I groaned as she left, not so much because of the detention, but because that was it with Malfoy. Sure enough, he shot me a dirty look as if it were all my fault, and slumped back onto his stool, scowling.
But Professor Sprout did not give us detentions. She gave us a brief talk about how important concentration was if we wanted to do well in our exams, and let us go, only five minutes after everyone else. It was only after she let us out of the greenhouse that I realised that Malfoy and I were finally alone, walking up the slope to the castle.
It was already very dark, and cold. Hundreds of stars were becoming visible, scattered across the sky, and even as I watched, new stars were appearing. And then, still staring upwards, I tripped over. I managed to stay upright, but Malfoy had seen, and was giggling. He smiled, and shook his head.
“…What?” I asked.
“What?” As soon as it came out, I regretted it. I’d sounded very suspicious, very harsh. Malfoy looked a little taken aback, and I hastily tried to fix it. “No, I mean… not, I didn’t mean…I… um…” He raised one eyebrow as I trailed off, looking amused. He turned back to face the castle, but I kept my eyes on him. For a little while we walked in silence, then he glanced over to see me staring at him still, and suddenly grabbed my waist, pulling me towards him. With his other hand, he drew his fingers through my hair, and pulled my face right up close to his, so I could feel his breath on my neck. In a way it was overwhelming – suddenly he was all I could see, his cheeks pink with cold, his eyes fluttering closed, his lips opening to meet my own. They were cold, and soft, and delicious, and though the kiss was beautifully slow, I was excited and nervous, to the point where it was overwhelming, and I had to pull backwards, gasping in the cold night air. I was completely speechless – only a few moments ago I was worried that I had ruined anything that had ever been between us. This - this – was more than I could have hoped for, more than I’d dreamt of… or, at least, almost more than I’d dreamt of.
We stood facing each other, me, shocked and dizzy with happiness, and him looking slightly tense.
He took my hand, about to pull us together again, but then faltered, and dropped it. A flicker of doubt was visible in his face; he looked like an affectionate child that was being ignored.
“This… this is what you wanted, isn’t it?” He sounded cautious, and he spoke quietly. He looked at me anxiously, and looked very vulnerable and delicate again. This was the Malfoy who sat cross-legged on the ground with snow on his eyelashes, whose hair was lit up in the morning light, this was the Malfoy I cared about.
He stood with his beautiful eyes wide, trembling a little, and I wrapped my arms around him, burying my face in his fair hair. He held onto me gratefully, and now his doubt had been removed, he was just as confident as before. He slipped one hand around my waist and up under my shirt, and brought his lips up to my ear. He gave me one soft kiss, and then began to lick and bite down my neck, gently at first, but then harder, and faster. As he kissed, he began to tug at my hair playfully, and the hand at my waist crept downwards. I just gasped, and clung onto him as tightly as I could, not wanting to spoil it, not wanting to wake up and realise it was all a dream. But just as his hand reached the button on my trousers, there was a noise in the distance and he stopped. A light flickered on and he pushed me away from him, so that we stood opposite once again. I could hear him breathing, see his eyes flicking nervously back down the hill. It was unbearable to have him so close to me, without being able to touch. Back by the greenhouses, Professor Sprout was clattering around with watering cans and buckets. Malfoy turned away from me, running his hand through his hair, and then continued to walk up the hill. I stood still for a moment, stunned, and then jogged to catch up with him.
We walked in silence. Malfoy’s hands were in his pockets, his eyes on the ground, but I could see that he was smiling. We came into the entrance hall, and again reached the foot of the stairs. This time he flicked the hair from his face, folded his arms across his chest, and looked me up and down. He smirked. “Some other time, maybe,” he said, and he skittered down the steps, his robe billowing out behind him.