"Potter, could you be any more disgusting?"
Harry looked up from his breakfast. His plate had a small heap of scrambled eggs, some grilled tomatoes, and a piece of toast. The other piece was in his hand, with dots of butter melting into the crevasses. He didn't see anything to complain about, so he carefully put his knife down and turned an inquiring eye toward Malfoy.
Malfoy stared pointedly at the knife. It was on Harry's plate. The small smear of butter still left on the knife was well clear of the table. Harry doubted even Aunt Petunia would have found anything to complain about, assuming Harry had been allowed butter in the first place.
Malfoy sniffed and took an elegant bite from his croissant, then patted his lips with his linen napkin. Harry wondered if he'd had it brought from Malfoy Manor, along with the special extra-soft sheets, the special hair potions that were carefully aligned on one of the shelves in the bathroom (behind the ward that administered a stinging hex if you tried so much as to touch them), and the replacement bed-curtains that thoroughly blocked out the light from Malfoy's bed.
If Harry had known that coming back to Hogwarts meant rooming, not in Gryffindor, but in the new Eighth Year dorms just a bit down the corridor from Ravenclaw Tower, he probably still would have returned. His friends' plans regarding Hogwarts had influenced Harry's decision, but not as much as the fact that he no longer knew what he wanted to do with his life. He felt adrift, now that the destiny that had ruled his life since birth was fulfilled. Another year at Hogwarts, the first and only place he really considered home, was exactly what he needed to get his thoughts in order, and figure out what he wanted to do now that he had a life expectancy worth noting.
He had known he'd have some friends at Hogwarts with him. Hermione had returned to complete her schooling, but Ron chose instead to help George with the shop, much to Mrs Weasley's dismay. Harry privately thought it was great, both for Ron, who had been away from his family all last year, and for George, who was a bit lost, even more than Harry himself.
A few others of his year, like Neville, were also taking the year over, Neville because he had spent too much of the year hidden in the Room of Requirement to feel confident of passing his NEWTs. Hermione was the only Gryffindor girl, and roomed with a collection from the other three houses.
It was odd not to be sharing a common room with Ginny, and even odder to be sharing a few classes with both her and Luna, as they were both taking a mixed bag of sixth and seventh year classes. It was beyond strange not to hear Ron's snore every night.
Strangest still was that living in the Eighth Year dorms meant living and eating with Draco sodding Malfoy. Harry suspected if he'd been sorted into Slytherin, he'd probably be barmy by now, having to deal with the prat every day. They'd been allowed to eat breakfast in their common room, and it was easier than rushing to the Great Hall every morning. They all had more in common with each other, after the battle, than with most of the younger years. It was great to be able to sit with all his year-mates. Except for Malfoy.
Malfoy hadn't been that way at the beginning of the summer.
A full complement of Death Eater trials had come and gone over the summer resulting in the imprisonment of the Death Eaters who remained among the living after the battle of Hogwarts. Malfoy Senior was in Azkaban. Harry had spent a good chunk of the summer testifying in one trial or another, including those of all three Malfoys. Narcissa and Draco Malfoy's trials and Snape's posthumous trial were the only three where he testified on behalf of the accused. It had all been necessary, had been the right thing to do, despite the fact he really would rather have hidden away somewhere, away from the gawkers and autograph-seekers.
Both at the trials and in the visions he'd had all last year, he had seen Malfoy at his lowest point, cowed and shaken, afraid for his life, afraid for the lives of his parents... He had seen how little Malfoy wanted to be part of Voldemort's reign, despite what the Slytherin had said in school.
Harry wondered where that person was now. The Malfoy he had to live with was the most preposterous, irritating, annoying person Harry'd ever had to live with, with the possible exception of the Dursleys.
Harry sighed, reaching for his second slice of toast, grabbing his knife to dip in the butter again.
"Scourgify!" Malfoy hissed the word, and Harry's knife was again spotless as it descended into the butter. "I'm sure a little consideration is too much for the Hero of the Wizarding World, Potter, but I do not choose to eat your crumbs." Malfoy folded his napkin and put it carefully beside his plate, then stalked out of the room.
It would be a long year.
Poor Harry. A bit of Odd Couple humour to offset the post-war trauma.
This is one of a small pile of old one-shots I found and thought I'd post. Let me know what you think!
Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, and Hogwarts (and the entire wizarding world) belong to JK Rowling. I just wish I could live there.