Author's Notes

-I used the class schedule for OotP. Maybe I was being a dork, but I couldn't find one for HBP. Not that it really matters that much in the story…

Chapter 2 – Monday, 7 October 1996

"Hey, look. Golden Boy's coming to breakfast all alone," Blaise said, scorn evident in his voice. "They must be having another lover's spat." Blaise laughed at his own joke, joined readily by the surrounding Slytherin students.

Draco glanced up from his anxious fiddling with his breakfast, only absently aware of the additional sly comments made by his housemates as he watched Potter walk to the Gryffindor table and begin serving himself foodstuffs.

"Scrambled eggs," Draco thought to himself. Potter always served those first.

"Bacon next, 5 strips and 2 slices of toast." So far so good, a normal day. No bacon meant Potter was queasy which meant, in turn, that he was either fighting a headache or was suffering from lack of sleep, or both. Not a good day to approach him.

"Now, is it still strawberry or has he calmed down enough for marmalade? Or is he going for the grape?"

Potter had been annoyed the past three weeks solid, who knew at what, but Draco could tell by the flavor, and amount, of jam on his toast. Marmalade was an even-tempered day and Potter would do his best to not be riled by anything people said to him. Strawberry meant he was annoyed at people, usually his so-called friends, once again invading his privacy or pushing him into the Golden Boy mold. The amount of strawberry jam showed just how annoyed he was.

Three weeks ago Potter had come to breakfast and slathered a hideous amount of strawberry jam onto his toast. Draco still wondered just what it was that had upset Potter so much – he hadn't heard a thing through the gossip mill. The amount of jam had been steadily decreasing, but it was still strawberry. Of course, it was usually strawberry. People were stupid when it came to Harry Potter and Potter obviously realized it. Still, three weeks solid of strawberry was a new record.

Potter coming to breakfast alone was definitely a sign of his mood. However, it was pretty much a toss-up as to which end of the spectrum his mood had swung. Being still annoyed, his friends could have said something stupid (again) and sent him straight to the grape jelly. Draco always stayed away from Potter on grape jelly days. People thought it was coincidence or luck that Draco was never the brunt of the worst aspects of Potter's temper. Draco never enlightened them. He reckoned if they didn't figure it out themselves then they deserved the boy's wrath.

On the other hand, coming alone to breakfast could mean that Potter had come to terms with whatever was bothering him and had decided he didn't need to worry about pleasing his friends and would reach for the orange marmalade. Draco wished Harry had more marmalade days – he truly didn't need his fickle friends.

"Yes! Marmalade! Thank Merlin!" Draco rejoiced in the privacy of his mind.

Draco had been waiting for a marmalade day to give his note to Harry and had been getting more and more desperate as the days went by and it was still strawberry jam the other boy put on his toast. Draco was running out of time.

He had spent the first week after his godfather's revelation doing what he supposedly did of his own inspiration, i.e. reading Lifecycle Magics, brewing the necessary derivative potion, casting the appropriate spells and redoing his star chart. It had actually been rather interesting. He recognized that his actions were mostly procrastination over thinking about choosing a transition partner, but he didn't feel too guilty. He had needed the time to get over his shock.

He had spent the next two weeks going over everyone he knew and evaluating whether he would want, or could tolerate, their presence during his transition and forming a lifelong bond with them. He had come to the rather frightening conclusion that there really wasn't anybody in this school, or out, with whom he wanted a transition bond. No one except his godfather – which was completely out of the question as Severus would likely be killed for his part in the duplicity…and the only person he had ever wanted to be a part of his life – Potter – the boy who had rejected him so many years ago. The boy he fought with on a regular basis. The boy he insulted because he had to and because he still hurt from the rejection on the train. Of course, he did realize that he himself was partly responsible for Harry's rejection; he had come on rather strong and snobbish. He had been stung and angered by Weasley's comments and lashed out. Not his best moment. Still, perhaps it had been for the best. The both of them probably would have been worse off if they had become friends then.

The next week had been spent gathering his courage and his faith to write his request to Harry and the time since then in waiting for a marmalade day. Draco desperately, desperately hoped that the note, letter really, that he had written to Harry would convince him of Draco's sincerity and that Harry would be able to put aside everything bad that had happened between them and consent to being his transition partner. The letter had been hard to write, in a way; Draco wasn't used to spilling his feelings to anyone but Severus. In another way, though, it had been simple and even cathartic; he had told Harry things he had wanted to tell him for years. He had apologized for being an ass and asked once again, in a nicer tone, for Harry to be his friend. To be there for Draco when no one else would. To allow Draco to be there for Harry when no one else could be bothered to truly understand their hero. Maybe his prayers over the last two weeks since he had made his decision to ask Potter would be answered. Hopefully the gods didn't hate him so much as to deny him this one thing.

Later that evening a bemused Harry sat in his curtained off and privacy spelled bed turning an envelope over and over in his hands. Nice stationery, expensive, with his name on it, in Draco Malfoy's handwriting. He remembered earlier that day when he had received it. He, Ron and Hermione had been leisurely walking to History of Magic after breakfast and Draco and his pet goons had come around the corner at the last moment, running into them. It had obviously been deliberate. Draco had remarked in a snide, superior voice, "Can't be bothered to watch where you're going, Potter?"

Malfoy's goons had laughed and Draco had sneered. But the look in Malfoy's eyes hadn't been one of malice; it had been one of desperation. And he had felt Malfoy place something in his hand. Instinctively, Harry had hidden it and responded with a slightly annoyed, "As much as you can, Malfoy." Harry had walked off, surreptitiously placing the object in his pocket.

And now he sat on his bed, wondering just what was going on.

Suspicious, he had cast several scanning spells on the miniaturized letter – no magic except the residue of the shrinking spell he had countered. What could Malfoy possibly want that desperately? And from him? Harry finally opened the envelope, pulled out several sheets of parchment, and began to read.


Thank you for reading my letter despite what, I am sure, are several rather founded suspicions…

Half an hour later found Harry once more turning an envelope over and over in his hands, having replaced the enclosed letter after reading it several times. I ask, with the utmost sincerity, that you consent to being my transition partner…he couldn't believe what Malfoy was asking of him. He was, truly, beyond shocked that Malfoy had even considered him in that capacity, much less asked him.

Actually, he was beyond shocked by a great number of things in Malfoy's letter. I confess to being sorely hurt by your rejection of me…I admire your sense of self-control…I am certain we could be better friends to each other than any others that currently hang upon our apron strings…

Really, he was surprised the most that Malfoy recognized just how often he had to reign in his temper. He found Malfoy's…Draco's…Jam-Scale of Potter's Moods to be absolutely the most hilarious thing he had ever heard. He was glad for the silencing spell on his bed because he had laughed himself almost silly at Draco's explanation. He then had felt an immediate sense of admiration at Draco's observation skills. No one else, as far as he knew, had a clue that he existed in an almost constant state of annoyance. Still, even he himself hadn't realized his moods were so reliably indicated by the jam he chose to put on his morning toast.

"If only for that," he thought bemusedly, "I would acquiesce to Draco's request. In gratitude for paying attention to and knowing me so well even, or especially, from afar. How could I refuse? Especially considering my own transition."

Harry quickly wrote a short note and put it in his Care of Magical Creatures book to pass to Draco tomorrow.