So, I'm alive. I did say I'd never abandon this, and it's taken 2 years, but it's proving true. I've gone back and edited previous chapters for grammar/flow/spelling (Beauxbatons!) and the plot is starting to happen.
I haven't written this in so long for reasons, and if you really want someone venting at you, you can ask in a signed review or a PM. :)
Diss the claim: If I owned Harry Potter, I'd never work with anything else. I don't own it and I don't make money off it. I'm no fiction pimp.
Despite recent troubles, this fic is still just as dedicated to its Non Innocent Angel as ever.
Warning(s): preslash, OOC!main characters, ridiculousness for the sake of ridiculousness, insanity
"I wonder if Lavendar(1) would want to go to the ball with me," Ron thought aloud, hanging off Harry's shoulder like a limpet, in his ongoing effort to stay between Harry and Draco.
With a snort, Hermione shook her head, "Even I heard her screaming about you taking advantage of her wuv to hide your real feelings. I'd have a better chance with her than you."
"There's an idea," Ron realized, ignoring Harry's unkind snickering, "You need a date. I need a date. Wanna go to the Yule Ball with me, Hermione?" Abruptly losing any amusement from the situation, Draco and Harry gave him a double sided gape, cornering him with their surprise, as Hermione turned a brilliant crimson. "I mean, I think we're both going to be here this winter holiday."
"S-" She seemed to choke for a moment, before clearing her throat, "Sure." Scuttling away, Ron watched her go with furrowed brows.
"Do you think she's okay?" Catching sight of Harry and Draco's faces, Ron added, "Are you guys okay?"
"Spiffy," Harry managed, and Draco regained enough force of mind to take advantage of Ron's distraction and remove him from between them with a quickened pace. The redhead caught up, walking on Harry's other side.
"I don't know what's wrong with people, lately," Ron scratched his head, "You guys are all friendly, Hermione's being weird, Seamus is stalking me-"
"I'm not!" Someone called behind them.
"- and Lavendar believed Seamus over me. Everything's off."
"I'm on ya side, Ronnie boy," Sean piped up from the depths of his bookbag, and Ron just gestured at it in a silent, See what I mean?
"It's not all bad, I mean, Hermione came around, and Sean is… something," Harry looked away, not needing to see the tongue stuck out of Ron's bookbag to know it was there. "Plus, making friends isn't bad, either, you know? You and Draco could make-" He stopped, cleared his throat, lips twitching, "You and Draco-" A beat of silence, and Harry was laughing, "I can't say it. I just…" The laughter took over, and Draco slid his free hand over Harry's forehead.
"The thought that you'd even suggest a Weasley-Malfoy friendship worries me," he muttered, checking for a fever. Despite his own actions, he was still surprised to actually find one. "You're burning hot," he blurted, and the two Gryffindors favored him with a lingering stare. A scowl, "I mean, you're feverish. I thought your hands were a little warm, today."
"Oh, no," Ron backed off slightly, "I can't miss any more class than I already have! Don't infect me!"
"Ha, ha, weasel," Draco rolled his eyes, "I'm fine, and I've been in much closer proximity to patient zero, here, for quite some time." They'd stopped in the middle of the hall, and students were flowing around them, "We should go to Madam Pomphrey."
"I feel fine," Harry defended, smile fading, "It's not like I have any other symptoms."
"You're been sort of stumbly, lately," Ron put in helpfully from a safe distance away and Harry fixed him with the evil eye.
"Like I didn't notice myself," Draco interjected, "If Pomphrey says you're fine, you're fine." At this point, Draco had begun to push, moving Harry back down the hall in the direction of the Hospital Wing, and the brunet reluctantly complied. Calling back a promise to tell the professor where they were, Ron skedaddled the other direction, gleefully escaping any possible contagion.
"Ricky's right," Harry muttered, "You are a mother hen."
"Stop writing my cousin."
"I can't find anything wrong with you physically, Mr. Potter," Pomphrey admitted, her readouts and diagnostic spells coming back with zilch, "It seems your temperature is just elevated. I'll give you a fever suppressor for now, but if your temperature spikes again when it wears off, you'll need to come back here." She took in Harry's complacent nodding and turned cheerfully to Draco, "If his temperature spikes again when it wears off, you'll need to bring him back here."
"Hey!" Harry protested, but it fell short when the two turned and raised an eyebrow at him in perfect sync. His voice dropped a few decibels, "I'm not that bad…" He fought not to react when Draco absently squeezed his knee in mock consolation. When had his hand gotten there?
"Of course not," Draco agreed in overly exaggerated sympathy, and Harry plucked the other's hand off his knee irritably, checking Pomphrey wasn't paying them attention as she retrieved the proper potion and saying,
"You do remember I'm gay, don't you?"
"Are you saying I should treat you differently because of that?" Draco gasped, covering up the spike of glee that he might have affected Harry with his actions, "Harry Potter, are you endorsing bigotry?"
For someone that flushed with fever, Harry did seem fairly focused as he searched Draco's gaze, coming to some conclusion he grinned, "Not quite bigotry. You must treat me as royalty, actually. For I am King of Gay Sorcery."
"What a coincidence," Draco laughed, "I am King of Charming Charms. It's such a serendipitous meeting of royalty."
When Pomphrey bustled back, the two were 'majesty'ing each other and giving regal nods between every other sentence. She looked down at the dosage of fever reducer and turned around to get a higher concentration.
"…Well, if you stir counterclockwise above the cauldron three times, you'll make it. Plus, after class lets out, the potions run away, anyway. I know. I helped. Sometimes, though, I don't have- um- I don't have time. So that's that." Something seemed to occur to the speaker, who continued, oblivious of the incredulous eyes swinging his way, "Oh, if the thing smokes, it's 'cause there's swimming happening in the potion. Like, um, like a fish can. Or Dudley. I can't, though. I can't swim. That's not what I was talking about… In the potion, the swimming can, um, can be caused by adding… A thing. Oh, and you can- I think it's a humdinger," Harry finished, to the stares of the entire class, and for once, Professor Snape was as silent as the rest of them. Normally, he'd accuse a student who gave an answer that nonsensical of tomfoolery or idiocy and kick them out, but the glazed eyes and fixed stare told him a different story. "What?" Harry asked, becoming aware of the silent weight of the stares upon him.
"I think he's reacting to the fever reducer, Professor," Draco decided, still staring at the Gryffindor unsteadily standing beside him.
"I think you're repelling the far-off randomizers," Harry shot back.
"It shouldn't… cause that," Snape muttered, continuing in a volume closer to his usual drawl, "It's more likely it's worn off."
"We've only been through one class since he got it," Draco protested, and for a moment, Snape's brow furrowed, but it passed quickly enough.
"You should all be able to perform the stasis charm I taught you last month," he informed the class and waved a hand at the doors dismissively, "Class is postponed. I suggest you mark where you were in your preparations and leave. There will be no unsupervised brewing, or the potion will receive a T. Come with me, Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Potter." He didn't bother sticking around to see if any dared disobey him (who would?) and left the classroom, Draco following with Harry in tow.
Harry drew his conclusions, "Is this a field trip?"
"No, Potter," could be heard simultaneously with, "Yes, Harry."
The two Slytherins glanced at each other, and Draco shrugged uncomfortably, turning back to Harry and continuing, "It's a potions field trip, but you'll have fun, anyway."
"Potions doesn't have field trips," Harry pointed out, almost astutely, and for a moment, Draco feared Harry would realize they were going back to the Hospital Wing and put up a fuss, but he brightened, "This must be a Slytherin field trip!"
Draco could almost feel the Professor inwardly cringing.
"Are we going to talk-" Harry's speech devolved into a series of hisses and Draco took a wild guess.
"No, we're going to talk to humans." A hissed reply forced Draco to say, "And I can't tell what you're saying when you speak like that."
"I said, 'That's okay, 'cause snakes aren't all that great at conversation. They like talking about food too much.' Then I asked what we were gonna do if we weren't gonna do what I thought we were gonna do." Mistaking the concerned glances sent his way, Harry elaborated, "Parseltongue is a very complex language." Snape snorted in surprised amusement, turning away as if to hide it and wiping any mirth from his expression.
Sifting out what Harry wanted to know from what he'd said, Draco responded, "We're going to… Help out a friend. It's a community service field trip." The other student, Gryffindor as he was, perked up.
"Alright, then." Of course, the tradeoff for his continued complacency was the betrayed expression as he recognized the door of the Hospital Wing. "You lied to me."
"No, I didn't," Draco maneuvered Harry to a bed and sat them on the edge of it, "You just didn't interpret correctly."
"The scar has it," Harry murmured nonsensically, and Draco's eyes darted involuntarily to the fringe covering the lightning bolt that graced Harry's forehead. He reached up and brushed it out of the way on a hunch.
"Holy mother of inflammation," Pomphrey said from just behind Draco, startling the poor Slytherin into a minor heart attack. She poked the violently red scar with her wand, "When did it start doing that?"
"I don't know," Draco admitted helplessly.
"Smooth and green," Harry put in.
"Well, you two are useless," Pomphrey replied with an out of place smile, patting Harry on the shoulder, "Did the fever start today?"
"Forest," Harry tried again.
"Fores- the second Task? You've been having fevers since the second Task?" Draco demanded, and Harry stuck his tongue out dazedly. In his state, Draco wanted to grab hold of it and give it a good yank as punishment. Why hadn't Harry told him? Why hadn't he noticed?
"The Jade might have interacted with the spell residue from his scar," the mediwitch hummed thoughtfully, "I don't know why I didn't think to check for it."
"None of us did." The previously forgotten potions master had folded his arms over his chest, "I'd suggest using the fever reducer without the strengthener, for now. Unicorn mane might be reacting poorly with the dark magicks in his scar and from the Jade."
"Maybe leprechauns," Harry shrugged, and this time, Draco was fairly certain it wasn't a hidden message.
"Maybe," he said, instead of pursuing the point, and soon Pomphrey was pouring a potion down Harry's throat and demanding they remain in the Hospital Wing overnight. Despite wanting to protest that he still had another class to get to, Draco forced the remark down; Harry was already wobbling and he wasn't even standing up. From what he remembered about fever reducers, the unicorn mane both strengthened the healing and held off the drowsiness the other ingredients would usually induce.
Clearly, Harry was not going to be awake very longer. Regardless of how obscenely light the other boy was, Draco didn't think he would be able to carry both Harry and his books. Pomphrey was already wandering over to her office, maybe to update Harry's files on this sparkling new development, but Professor Snape was lingering. Draco fixed him with a questioning look.
"I'll have someone bring by your work, Draco," he said, looking over the two of them with a strange expression. The informal address bled out tension Draco hadn't known he was holding.
"Thanks, Uncle," Draco replied quietly, intensely aware of Harry's head drooping to his shoulder. Perhaps sensing Draco's desire to keep from waking Harry, Snape nodded, briefly touching Draco's head in a gesture almost like patting a dog before he left, and making Draco stifle a snicker.
Good boy, Draco. Bye, now. In his head, Draco could almost see Professor Snape holding his robe above his knees so as to sprint faster from the oncoming feelings. As intuitive about emotion as his godfather may have been, comfortable with affection, he was not.
"Gotta be a dark elf," was mumbled into Draco's shoulder by a more-awake-than-Draco-thought Harry, before the light snoring started up that meant Harry had slipped into a deeper sleep.
"You already lost that bet," Draco reminded him near inaudibly. Harry's response was to sneeze in his sleep. Draco cringed, now he just had to burn everything he was wearing.
"Visiting!" Someone exclaimed cheerily, and the bed bounced as they leaped onto it.
"Killing," Draco was about to turn away from the sound, but laughter erupted above his head and under his ear. Peeking upwards, he saw a healthy Potter sending joy beams down at him, and realized he must have sunk down the bed, to be in this position. On the heels of this realization was a second, and Draco's cheeks burned as he hastily lifted his head from Harry's chest and sat upright beside him.
It was one thing to allow that sort of physical affection when they were alone, and quite another when anyone else was around.
A blur of blond deposited himself across their laps, Harry grabbing Draco's hand just in time to keep the jostling from separating them and Draco thanking all that was holy that neither of them had any morning issues to traumatize the little idiot who'd just appeared. Ricky smiled up at Harry, "Hello, handsome."
"Hello," Harry tweaked the young Lestrange's nose with his free hand, "What are you doing here?"
"Well, when I'm told my cousin is being held in the Hospital Wing at his school, like any good cousin, I'm concerned," Ricky explained, practically vibrating in place with enthusiasm for his own cunning, "And when that cousin is competing in such a dangerous game, I would, obviously, take measures to be allowed to see him. Also, Tonks likes me." He switched the target of his wide-eyed gaze, "Aren't you happy to see me, Draco?"
"It's better than a curse in the face," Draco muttered.
"You're better than a curse in the face, too," Ricky cooed.
"I've actually had a curse in the face," Harry thought aloud, and Ricky rolled up and off of them.
"So, I guess you'd know," he decided, "You can be the authority on whether something's better or worse than it, now." A thought occurred to him and he perked up, "I don't have to listen to Draco, now!"
"Children," Draco threatened, wand out and pointing between Ricky's legs before anyone could blink. He was an only child due to his own magical maneuverings, after all. Strangely, his father was too proud of the infertility curse to work on removing it.
"I still have to listen to Draco, now!" Ricky repeated in the same tone, and the wand went away. He cocked a head at them, "Also, I was supposed to tell you something."
"Something about extending the Tournament?" Ricky mused to himself, "Since there are more Champions, there are more Tasks?" He made a wobbly gesture with one hand, "My memory of it's sketchy, but there's supposed to be an announcement at the Yule Ball, too."
The two Hogwarts students gaped at him in horror.
"'Yay,'" Ricky prompted, as if the two were just being slow on the uptake, "More fun and games, am I right?" At their continued silence and the sudden facial tick Draco seemed to have developed, Ricky trailed off weakly, "Hoorah…?"
(1) The color is Lavender. The name is spelled differently because she bothers me.
Short, but getting back into the hang of this story.
Will be updated! Hit that story alert!
*Draco and Harry muses look up, emaciated and terrifying, from the corner*
She dare not neglect us agaaaain