the reluctant lobotomist (fourfreedoms) wrote,
the reluctant lobotomist
fourfreedoms

And she, the prodigal son, finally returns to this story

[ mood | I have to pee, I thought that was worth remarking on ]
[ music | We Didn't Start the Fire-Billy Joel ]

Title: Nobody But You
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling, mass marketing goddess and much else besides, still owns these characters. My hostile take-over never came to fruition.
Summary: Harry and Draco continue to run circles around each other although the most unlikely events are conspiring to get them together.
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Chapter: 4/?
Genre: romance/humor
Rating: pg-13 for naughty dreams
acknowledgments: thank you, Colleen. For everything.

Previous chapters can be found here

Now, on to the main event:

Harry was not wearing the wardrobe Claudette had bought for him. He wasn’t using the expensive shower gels or hair styling products. He certainly wasn’t wearing any of the “man” jewelry she’d foisted upon him either. No way. His own clothes were fine, shabby as they were.

He wasn’t exactly sure why the Malfoys felt like he needed to dress better. Claudette’s feeble attempts at explanation hardly served to clear up his confusion. He’d have thought they’d want to laugh at his lack of fashion, if anything. He felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, and that was no good. Next they’d be carting him off to sleep with Lucius while paying him ridiculously high sums of money. Whatever drug the Malfoy family was on, it was clearly detrimental to their rational-emotive functions. In fact, with the exception of Draco, they seemed to be going out of their way to be nice to him. Well, Lucius’s brand of nice left a lot to be desired. However, Harry was fairly certain it was a step up from how the tall icy blond supporter of evil dictators had treated him before.

Well, whatever. Harry was wearing his own clothes and that was final. Harry eyed himself in his bathroom mirror. It wasn’t that he didn’t look good in the expensive black cashmere sweater and jeans. Hardly, this was all about choice. Harry was not going to have his choice robbed of him, and so he set about stripping off the outfit. He’d just gotten the jeans off, when he started to smell smoke coming from his bedroom.

Wondering what on earth the crazy purebloods could be doing now, Harry threw the bathroom door open in only his boxers. Claudette smiled sunnily over her shoulder at him, blocking his view of whatever she was burning with her body. He glared at her, wondering what she was up to, when he saw one of his shirt sleeves peeking around the hem of her robes.

“Agh! Merlin!” he shouted, shoving the girl out of the way in the rush to get to his smoldering clothes. “You set my clothes on fire!” he practically wailed out after long seconds of staring at his clothes in stunned silence.

Claudette nodded, her expression grave. “It had to be done, Harry.”

“Had to be?—you insane borderline schizo!” Harry snarled trying in vain to put out the fire with extinguishing charms. “That’s it! I knew all that inbreeding made your lot entirely crazy!”

“Harry—” Claudette started, affronted.

“Don’t try to reason with me, you nutty wombat!”

Claudette’s mouth snapped shut, wondering slightly at Harry’s insult.

The furious raven-haired man eyed daggers at Claudette. “I won’t do it! Fine, burn all my clothes! I still won’t wear that ridiculous wardrobe.” He waved an arm in the direction of all the designer bags and boxes that littered one corner of the room. “I will simply wear this!”

Claudette kept her mouth closed, her expression slightly sheepish as she looked Harry tentatively up and down. Okay, so maybe she should have told Harry before she immolated his garments, but she had no idea he’d go completely starkers before wearing the nice clothes they’d spent the better part of the day wearing. Before she knew what had happened, Harry had marched out of the room still dressed in only his boxers.

Claudette was left with a pile of ash and very little clue of how to proceed next. So she did the first thing that came to mind, which in retrospect really was very stupid.

*

Lucius was just sitting down to enjoy the paper and a cup of afternoon tea, when the Potter boy came strolling into the parlor in little more than navy blue pants. He spat out the mouthful of lapsang souchong he’d so readily drank and stared at the insane young man who plopped down on the chaise lounge and picked up the arts and leisure section.

“Potter, is there something you’re trying to say to me?” Lucius said in a strangled voice, setting his tea cup down.

Harry turned to the other man as if noticing him for the first time. “No more bloody clothes!” he grumbled before turning back to his section of the paper.

“Yes, my capacity for observation was not impaired by the sight of you—you—” Lucius shuddered, “in such a state of undress! My question is why!”

Harry tossed the paper aside, and glared at the elder Malfoy. “I don’t have to answer you!” he replied angrily, before rolling off the chaise and stomping out of the room.

Lucius blinked at the spot the savior of the wizarding world had formerly occupied. That was his son’s true love?

*

Draco sat comfortably in his favorite plushy chair in the solarium in the east wing. Pansy and Blaise were talking to each other over tea, as he brooded in his own world. Ever since the event-that-was-so-distasteful-and-horrible-it-shall-never-happen-again, he had been in a terrible mood.

Pansy and Blaise had come over earlier this morning, both without invitations, because Draco’s house elves made the best Sparkle Cakes and tea to be found and also because they were rather fond of their remote friend. Draco was pleased, because it released him from the engagement of shopping with Potter and the tedious joke who called herself his relation. Draco’s mood had lifted slightly at the idea of Potter spending the day with Claudette all by himself as she dragged him around the best stores in London. However, it had been a short lived joy, as thinking of Harry had only reminded him of the event-that-was-so-distasteful-and-horrible-it-shall-never-happen-again. Pansy and Blaise had merely gorged themselves on the baked goods and pretended to goad the blond into some form of conversation. They were used to these moods of his, and also completely unwilling to expend the effort to coax him out of them.

Pansy was just discussing the musical arrangement for the upcoming masquerade when they heard shouting in the hall.

“If you come within in ten meters of me I swear to all that is holy you will not live to see another day!” Harry’s deep voice carried easily through the house.

Pansy turned to Draco, her expression perplexed. “Who on earth is causing all that racket?”

“I told you Harry Potter showed up here, and due to extenuated circumstances cannot leave. I imagine he’s abusing my cousin at the moment.”

“Yeah, but why?” Blaise said around a mouthful of sparkle cake.

“Have you met Cordelia—excuse me, Claudette? The girl’s enough to drive stone round the bleedin’ bend!”

Pansy put down her teacup. “Draco! Don’t dodge the subject.”

Draco only smiled tightly at his friends and grabbed the last sparkle cake.

“I’m not joking, Claudette!”

“Rather loud, that one,” Blaise said dryly, and Draco unconsciously fingered his lips as he stared off into space. The shouting outside the room stopped, to be replaced by the thundering of feet down the hall way.

Pansy started, slopping tea over herself. “Merlin, it sounds like an army out there.”

The door flew open and Claudette came dashing in, gasping like she’d just run a kilometre. Harry was only a few steps behind, wearing the barest minimum required for decency, the tea drinkers soon noticed. Claudette dashed around a high backed chair in an attempt to ward off the extremely angry Gryffindor.

Harry sighed. What would Claudette do after she’d run through all his possessions? Start on him next? She was rather adept at breaking, burning, and entirely destroying things.

While Harry thought up his next course of action, Blaise and Pansy were staring pointedly at his physique. Draco had quite determinedly trained his attention out the window. Harry paid them no mind, he crossed his arms and tried to make his tone as light as possible.

“All right, Claudette. I’ll wear the new spectacles, just let me have the old ones for old times sake, okay?”

Claudette hadn’t budged after he’d said his piece but before a few seconds had passed she’d inched her way out from behind the chair. Before she’d gotten more than a foot Harry had hit her with enough stunning spells to freeze her through till the end of the school year.

Harry walked over to the frozen Claudette, plucked the glasses out of her fist, and walked out of the room, completely nonchalant about being dressed in only boxers.

“Well, I think that answers the question of whether or not we’re related!” Draco said after a long moment of silence to his immobile cousin. “How on earth could you fall for that?” Draco sneered in disgust.

“Er, should we just leave her there?” Pansy asked Draco, wondering what on earth had just happened.

“Yes, it’s a public decency to have her shut up for more than two minutes.”

“So, about Potter’s body . . .” Pansy changed the subject as they all turned away from Claudette, ignoring her stationary presence. Pansy had been rather fascinated by all that golden skin and sleek muscle Potter had displayed.

Blaise groaned, shifting in his chair. “Can we not go there?”

Pansy giggled at her straight friend and then sighed dramatically. “Shame that he’s Potter.”

Draco felt a weird feeling taking hold of the pit of his stomach that felt rather like jealousy. Ignoring it, he turned to Pansy and said sardonically, “And that he’s gay.”

“What? How do you know that?” Pansy asked, suddenly intrigued.

Well, I had his tongue down my throat, less than 24-hours-ago, and he was definitely enjoying himself, but you know, I could be wrong, Draco said in his own head, saying aloud, “I make it my business to know these things.”

*

Harry was still in his boxers when dinner had rolled around. Narcissa’s mouth had nearly dropped to her feet when she’d seen the tall boy entering the dining room. She’d looked to Lucius to explain it, but he’d merely shaken his head and sat down in his chair at the head of the table. Harry seemed completely disinclined to explain it himself, so Narcissa looked about the room one last time, sighed and began to eat her Duck Confit.

They were halfway through the salad course when Narcissa put down her knife and fork. “Where’s Claudette?”

Harry had the good grace to look slightly sheepish, but Draco cackled evilly. “Harry stunned her in the Solarium about four hours ago!” Maybe, if Draco was lucky, Narcissa would start a fearsome tirade against the unwelcome guest. He ignored the part of him that said he was being a little ridiculous by relying on his mother to taunt the other boy.

He was sorely disappointed.

“And you left her there?” his beautiful mother shrieked at him. “That really defies all conventions of good manners, Draco Alexander Malfoy!”

“She’s an absolute—”

“That’s immaterial!” she had worked herself into a towering rage at this point. “You do not leave guests of the manor stunned in the solarium for four hours! Especially not family! You will retrieve her right now, young man.”

Draco blew out a gust of air through his nose before carefully getting to his feet, and going off in search of Claudette.

“Lucius! We cannot continue to let Draco act this way towards Claudette.” Narcissa turned to her husband.

Lucius looked up from spearing a tomato on the end of his fork. “Yes, I suppose that was in slightly bad taste.”

“You suppose?” Narcissa turned back to her food, hacking wildly at the greens on her plate as Harry tried to conjure another means of escape.

“Claudette is a little overwhelming,” Lucius pointed out, as he munched on a cucumber.

“She’s your own flesh and blood!” Narcissa protested. Harry found her use of that argument a trifle amusing in a very morbid way considering she’d sold out her own cousin, Sirius, to Lord Voldermort.

Lucius shuddered. “I had some how managed to forget that, darling!” Lucius bit back acidly. Harry was inching his way out of the room, as the couple sparred back and forth. The Malfoy family really was turning out different than he’d expected. He’d always pictured them sitting at their mile long dinner table comparing the merits of different crystal for the wine glasses. How wrong he was. Instead the internal politics seemed almost as complicated as the war going on outside the doors.

*

Harry had escaped the dining room only to hear the telling shouts and crashes of Claudette and Draco interacting. One minute he was walking down the hall back to his allotted rooms, the next he was standing in a pair of boxer shorts in the middle of a battlefield. The entire stretch of corridor looked like it had just been the victim of an intense bombing campaign. Claudette was currently pinned to the ground by twining vines while Draco was zapping a hoard of paper cranes that kept attacking him.

Claudette struggled against the vines, craning her neck to see him. “Harry—”
A tense pause where a vine threatened to cut of her air supply. “I won’t light anymore of your things on fire. Just please wear the wardrobe.”

As she talked at him she hurled two more jinxes and a curse at her cousin who retaliated with a hex of his own.

“Yes, do, Potty,” Draco retorted grimly as the battle continued. “I’m rather traumatized by the sight of you in so little clothes.”

Harry rolled his eyes. “Is that what you call it now? Traumatized?” Harry shook his head and left them to duke it out.

“Don’t forget the masque, it’s only six days away!” Claudette called after him. Harry waved a hand at her. He was going to bed. Early. He’d think about wearing those clothes tomorrow. Today he just wanted to forget where he was for a little while.

*

Strong, long-fingered hands kneaded his shoulders, pressing on the knots of muscle, trying to pummel the tension out. It was painful and at the same time exquisite. A deep chuckle sounded in his ear when he moaned.

“You get yourself so worked up sometimes, love.”

He didn’t respond, merely let the hands continue their work on his taught body. His cock was hardening against the sheets and he had to resist the urge to rub against them. A tongue ran down his spine and he couldn’t help arching into the touch, the laugh again and a smacking kiss just above his tail bone.

“I love it when you come undone.” He didn’t respond, merely reveled in the sensation of delicate fingers running up his ribs and back over his shoulders again. He turned over underneath the legs that straddled his hips and leaned up on his elbows to kiss the man kneeling over him.

The fingers ran down his chest, reaching for his cock.

“I love you, my beloved psychopath,” Harry said as the fingers tightened around him. Lips on his earlobe, sucking and pulling, sent shockwaves straight to his cock. It wouldn’t be long now.

“Of course you love me, Harry.” Another chuckle. “Come for me.”

*

Draco didn’t like to admit to himself that he’d quite enjoyed the show the raven-haired boy had put on in protest to the burning of his things. He prepared himself to be very glad that Harry would finally appear at breakfast in regular clothes all the while being very disappointed in a secret part of himself he didn’t often confront.

However, Harry didn’t even show up to breakfast at all so Draco needn’t have even bothered.

He did, however, run into Claudette, who appeared even more manic than usual. Her hair was in disarray and her favorite French designer robes were absent. Her eyes were rimmed with fatigue and she blinked blearily. Draco had never seen her so disheveled in his life, and he wished for a moment that he had some means to capture the moment, but alas, there were none. Aside from the incongruities in her appearance she was also acting very strangely. Not that Draco claimed to know the nuances of Claudette’s personality, but he did find it odd that she simply brushed by him in the hall and didn’t even try to insult him once.

Draco was blind-sided. What on earth was going on with her? Maybe the French had come up with a new drug, and because it was French she’d found it too irresistible to resist.

No, that was a stupid excuse. There were two things he could do at this point. The first was to talk to her and find out what exactly had her acting so strangely. That, however, was a ghastly option that Draco believed he would never voluntarily attempt unless under threat of death. And that was still a toss up. The other more feasible and appealing option was to break into her rooms.

He wasn’t exactly sure what he would find there, but he was positive that it was going to be incriminating. Malfoys were good at this sort of espionage. Except, of course, Claudette, who stomped and was entirely too obvious ever to bear the Malfoy family name. He wasn’t sure why his parents put up with her or why his mother even liked the miniature elephant. Subtlety was a skill to be prized, and Claudette, without doubt, did not possess an ounce of it.

Draco knew pretty much every unlocking spell in the book. He liked going places he didn’t belong. Crabbe and Goyle always used to want to steal things from the other students back at Hogwarts when he’d first found out about the appeal of breaking in. Draco had just wanted to screw up Harry’s rooms. He’d learned as much as he could about lock-picking spells, door-blaster charms, and transfiguring keys to fit all manner of locks in the hopes that one day he would be good enough to get past all the Gryffindors and trash that idiot Potter’s dorm.

However, Draco began to enjoy breaking in, and his goal of destruction had been lost to grand schemes of just going places that were barred to him. He stopped taking Crabbe and Goyle on his little trips after the first few times. They always managed to mess everything up, and they never understood why he went.

He would make adventures out of it—see which Professors’ offices he could crack into (he’d never even thought to try Dumbledore), which prefects’ bathrooms he could get past without the password. Soon, the spells were too easy, and he actually, shock of all shocks, turned to Muggle lock picking. Draco imagined he would make a splendid thief. Although nobody ever had anything he wanted to bother taking, it wasn’t about that.

Needless to say, Claudette’s door, a door that was only slightly warded and was part of Draco’s own house, proved to be little resistance to him. He was inside in under two seconds and he sighed in disapproval at his cousin. Surely, she, a Malfoy, should know how better to protect her privacy.

Well, it just lent credence to Draco’s theory that Claudette had been switched at birth.

Her room was a gaudy mass of paintings of the French countryside that she’d brought with her when she’d come to stay. An entire other wall was devoted to the art of Toulouse-Lautrec. Draco snorted in disgust. How utterly predictable.

She had her jewelry strewn across one table. Most of it was old family heirlooms that each held a malevolent buzz of power in their jeweled facets and sinewy metal workings.

Draco inspected a brooch. “Interesting,” he said aloud as he stared at the dragon curling around a gigantic purple stone. He wondered what on earth she had it for. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the incriminating evidence that he was looking for. Unless, that is, Claudette had been possessed by a necklace and that was why she was acting so unlike herself. While Draco could hope, he was also a very practical person. It was highly unlikely.

A silvery glimmer caught the corner of his eye and he turned to the old-fashioned alchemists’s work bench straight out of a Muggle fairytale Claudette had set up against one wall. How completely affected and ridiculous, the haughty blond thought as he strolled over. Only she would find a magician’s table a suitable place to actually do whatever madcap stuff she got up to.

He looked into a blank scrying pool that shimmered with the remaining effects of whatever potion had been used to amplify Claudette’s viewing process. Draco thought it must be shimwings from the way the water sparkled at him. It must have been important for her to use something so expensive as shimwings to help her conjure whatever images of the future she was searching for.

Well, Draco thought, scrying wasn’t that unusual. It certainly wouldn’t put her into the rabid bear state he had witnessed as she passed him. Another little bowl caught his eyes.

A Dream Caster.

Ahah. He had her now. Dream casters always drained the power of the user no matter what they did. It was why they were so dangerous and so very illegal. Well, that and the fact that sending people nightmares and other such things could be very detrimental, but the Malfoy family never worried about things on that end.

Draco practically cackled in mad glee. If he stuck his wand into the dream caster it would show him the last dream that had been conjured up. Plunging his hawthorn wand in with a little too much alacrity he was immediately swamped by Claudette’s spell.

He saw himself writing with Harry on a bed, moans wrenched from their parted lips and bodies sliding together with the ease of long practice. Draco watched as Harry and himself playfully fought for dominance on the bed, their bodies clearly not strangers to each other.

Draco felt himself growing hard at the sight and quickly jerked his wand out of the Caster. There was something sick about getting turned on from watching yourself get it on. Draco shuddered.

Who on earth was Claudette sending these dreams to?

Argh! That damn geis. Of course, she was trying to soften Harry up and make him more receptive to Draco. Draco wanted to wretch, his breakfast roiling painfully in his stomach. As he stormed out of his cousin’s room in a towering rage, he tried to tell himself that it was about how disgusting Harry and he were together, and that it had absolutely nothing to do with Claudette’s cavalier dabble in messing with Harry’s mind. After all, why should he care if Harry went stark-raving mad? It wasn’t as if Draco liked him. Or thought he was hot. Or wanted to fuck him just like the dream version of himself had.

He threw the door to Harry’s room open, striding furiously over to the bed. Harry was still asleep, naked, it appeared, although the cover didn’t allow for him to tell for sure. He grabbed the other boy’s shoulder, completely prepared to tell him, in spite of how mortifying it would be, exactly what Claudette had done.

Harry moaned at the contact, shifting on the bed, muscles rippling gracefully and Draco swallowed. Why couldn’t Potter wear some damned clothes? He shook Harry roughly, but Harry didn’t awaken. He turned over, back arching off the bed, and lips parting to form a perfect “o”. Draco shook him again, a feeling of dread beginning to overtake him.

Harry wasn’t waking up. Claudette had horribly bungled the dream cast and now Harry was locked inside of it. That idiot. Harry twisted on the bed, his biceps flexing and fists clenching. Draco turned away, trying not to get distracted at the sight of Harry looking so utterly debauched. Draco did not want in Harry’s pants or lack thereof. He didn’t. That was just some stupid shite Claudette had cooked up to torture him.

He sat down at the side of the bed whipping his wand out in a practiced motion and pointing it at his own throat. “Sonorus,” he muttered quickly, before taking one last glance at Harry, whose dark eyelashes formed beautiful crescents upon his high cheek-bones.

Draco shook his head to clear it and then took a big lungful of air. “CORNELIA—CLAUDETTE MALFOY, OR WHATEVER THE BLEEDING HELL YOUR NAME IS TODAY, I WILL HAVE YOUR HEAD ON THE SHINIEST FUCKING PLATTER IN ALL THE LAND IF IT’S THE LAST THING I DO!”

Draco’s voice boomed over the entirety of the manor. The neighbors nearly forty kilometers away could hear it with perfect clarity. Narcissa winced from where she was overseeing the house-elves attending to the roses and tried desperately not to think about what Draco and Claudette were getting themselves up to now.

Lucius, who sat in a high-backed chair in his sumptuous and very impressive study, sighed in his exasperation. Well, never let it be said that his son didn’t have flair. Lucius shook his head and went back to pretending to read the Daily Prophet.

Claudette bolted upright from where she’d been pushing her porridge around on her plate in the dining room. For once, she was absolutely positive she’d done nothing wrong to Draco. The frog she’d put in his bed certainly should not have necessitated such outrage from her admittedly hot-tempered cousin.

“HOW COULD YOU CALL YOURSELF A MALFOY?” Draco continued, his voice taut with rage. “IF YOU DON’T APPEAR IN HARRY’S ROOMS WITHIN THE NEXT FIVE BLEEDING SECONDS I WILL SCOOP OUT YOUR ENTRAILS USING YOUR BREAKFAST SPOON!”

Perhaps Draco had a particular aversion to frogs, although surely she would have made note of it before. She dabbed at her mouth carefully, before getting up and rushing to the other side of the east wing. Of course they had to stash Harry at the opposite end of the bleeding house, she thought as she ran down the long corridors and passageways.

She arrived at the dark-haired boy’s room wheezing and hacking. Draco was leaning up against the bed where Harry lay tangled in the sheets. His murderous expression was enough to show her that he wasn’t joking about his threat.

“You screwed up, you stupid bint!” Draco snarled, snapping to his feet, his former stentorian voice gone. “You created a stupid vision and then got him bloody lost in it! What kind of amateur are you? And who are you to go about making up that bollocks and shoving it into his head?”

Claudette sighed. So he had found out about that. That made more sense than her frog idea. “Making up that bollocks? I never!”

“Oh, shut it! You obsessive little cow!” Draco responded heatedly. “You’re harping about that when he’s stuck in a bloody dream?”

“I didn’t make it up!” she insisted, crossing her arms. “I saw it in the future!”

A vase literally popped next to Draco, shards spraying everywhere. His expression had gone deadly calm, although his hands had gone white-knuckled with tension.

“Fix it, Claudette,” he said to her, deathly quiet, wand gripped in one fist. “Or I’ll fix you!”

“Not until you admit you’d be cute together,” she snarled back.

Draco closed his eyes. “Potter and I have been trying to murder each other for years, Claudette,” he enunciated his every syllable very clearly. “I’m not exactly sure why you seized upon him as a perfect marriage candidate but it’s not happening!”

“I didn’t make it up, Draco,” she turned from him. “The threads that bind you are very strong.”

“Because we live to destroy each other!” Draco retaliated.

“But you shouldn’t!” she whined. “You could be so good together!”

“At what exactly? Finding new and inventive ways to torture the other? Yes, excellent recipe for romance!” Draco shook his head. “Fix it back!”

She sighed. “Accio Dream Catcher.”

The Dream Catcher came flying through the door only seconds later, causing Draco to dive out of the way to escape a braining.

From his position on the floor he looked up and said, “I suppose that’s my punishment for the trunks.”

“Huh?” Claudette asked, as she whisked the flying bowl out of the air.

Draco made a face at her. The idiot bint had the memory of a bleeding goldfish.

“Ex pergeus!” she shouted, and shoved her wand into the bowl. The purging spell took affect immediately: Harry’s eyes snapped open and his body jolted upright in bed.

“What the—” Harry looked at Draco, who was still lying on the floor and Claudette, who was holding a bowl with a very naughty expression. Harry clutched his stomach and rolled over to the side of the bed before dumping all the contents of his stomach out onto the carpet.

Draco tried to deny that a hurt feeling was welling up in the pit of his stomach at the thought of Harry being so disgusted by an act of congress with a Malfoy that he lost his lunch. Claudette caught his expression.

“It’s just an after-effect of the spell,” she interjected.

“It shouldn’t be!” he protested, watching Harry continue vomiting. He made a face at Claudette. “You are so incompetent!”

During a pause in his retching Harry looked over at the bowl Claudette was carrying, knowing what it was immediately from all the charms lessons he’d had.

“You interfering looney!” Harry burst out.

“Yes, yes, I think we established that.” Draco smiled at Harry, his face freezing the minute that he did it.

Harry eyed Draco after the vomiting ended. “What do you think the fastest way to kill her would be?”

“Hmm, there’s a lake on the manor, or do you think drowning is too kind a punishment?” Draco pulled himself to his feet, dusting his fine cambric pants off.

“Fire, there should be lots of fire!” Harry replied as he reached for his wand to clean up the mess he’d made. Claudette made a whimpering sound, immediately dashing out of the room at the idea of two such powerful and inventive wizards coming after her.

The two boys laughed at her hurried exit and then broke off, staring at each other and realizing that they, the world’s worst rivals, had shared a moment.

“So, uh, I don’t suppose you saw what was in that dream . . .” Harry trailed off.

Draco turned away, feeling his face heat and not wanting to show the other boy. “Ahem—yes. Rather shocking, really.”

“I know. You called me a love muffin!”

“What?” Draco turned back to Harry, his horror evident on his face. “I did no such thing!”

Harry laughed at the blond boy, only to get a charmed pillow to his face. Draco shook his head at the Gryffindor and left the room. Harry sighed. Some things would never change. Although, it startled him a little that he might want it to.

He pulled himself out of the bed, deciding that the heavy satin sheets the Malfoys used on the beds were too hot, and that he would be well served by going out and buying some in Wiltshire the minute he got a chance. That is, if Claudette could stop ruining his life for five minutes.

He was stumbling around the bedroom, trying to formulate a plan for the day, when a noise interrupted his thoughts. Hedwig was tapping against his window, very insistently, looking, insofar as an owl can, exasperated.

He quickly tugged the huge glass plate window open and she soared in above his head, dropping a rather large pile of letters on the bed. He walked over to the bed, giving her a look for not just giving them to him. She could be very temperamental at times.

He picked the pile of letters up, gesturing at her with them. “Hedwig, go to the mews, I’m sure they’re very well provided for.”

The owl gave him one last reproving look, probably for being so stupid as to stay at said Malfoys’ house, and then sailed back out the window. Harry sighed and began sorting through his mail. There was one letter from Ron, one from Hagrid, three from Hermione, all wondering where he had disappeared to. He knew they would never believe the truth, and they would certainly never believe that he couldn’t simply leave either, but such was life.

Harry laughed over Hermione’s harried letters, each one becoming more and more insistent that he give over his geographic whereabouts at once or goodness knows she’d never help with his potions homework again. He dashed of a quick reply full of reassurances with the brilliant scarlet ink that he found on the desk in his room. He hoped to Merlin that she wouldn’t send him a howler about how stupid she thought he was. He didn’t think that the Malfoys would take very kindly to one going off in their house.

To Ron he wrote an even less detailed note, trying his hardest to make sure that he sounded perfectly fine, otherwise Ron would, doubtless, call in the Weasley cavalry. And that would be bad. He remembered the last time Mr. Weasley and Mr. Malfoy had come into contact. It had not been one of the better days of his life.

Harry was just writing the last flourish on the missive to Hagrid when a swirl of fabric behind him caught his attention. There was a large floating cloak drifting about his room.

“Gah!” He jolted upright in his chair at the desk.

“What?” the cloak replied, clearly startled by Harry’s response.

“You!” Harry pulled out his wand.

“Me, Sir?” The cloak did it’s best to look affronted.

“No, the other cloak floating around my rooms!” Harry yelled back, wand still leveled upon the black cloth.

“I beg your pardon, sir!” The cloak appeared to draw itself up. “I am not a cloak! I am a Sending and very auspicious personage I might add, sir.”

Harry had read about Sendings somewhere, perhaps one of the times that he’d actually attempted to crack one of his History of Magic tomes open, and he let his wand droop slightly.

The sending crossed its cloaked sleeves. “If you’re going to be like that, sir, I shan’t stay here any longer!”

Harry, who desperately wanted to point out that he’d never invited the Sending in to begin with, just nodded. The sending glided over to the desk and snatched up Harry’s finished letters.

“What are you—” Harry started.

“I’m bringing them to the mews, sir,” the sending interrupted. “Unless, of course, you wasted a good deal of parchment and don’t actually want to send them.”

“Oh, sure,” Harry said, comprehension dawning behind his eyes. “Well, if you don’t mind?”

The Sending swirled about the room. “It’s not a question of whether or not I’ll mind, but whether or not bringing them to the mews are within my capabilities.”

Pulling on a shirt and wondering why exactly he felt so self-conscious around a floating cloak, Harry asked, “Well, can you then?”

“Of course I can, sir!” the sending practically snarled. Harry blinked but said nothing in reply. The sending made a disgusted sound and left the rooms in a huff, muttering about insults to his personage, injuries rendered, and other such nonsense.

Harry sighed. What was it with this house?

*

tbc

Tags: fanfiction, harry potter, harry/draco, slash
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