by Kathryn Andersen
Fandom: Vorkosiverse/Harry Potter (fusion)
Characters: Miles, Ivan, Draco Malfoy
Word Count: 790
Prompt: Harry Potter (AU): Miles and Ivan are students at Hogwarts
Author's Notes: Written for the bujold_fic fest in 2008. Thanks to JB for brainstorming.
"Make way for your betters, half-goblin," Draco Malfoy said, sweeping down the corridor with his shadows, Crabbe and Goyle, in tow.
Miles bit back the reply he wanted to make. My mother was cursed when she was pregnant! Malfoy knew that full well; who knows, it could have been his blasted father who'd cast the curse. Everyone knew that Lucius Malfoy had been a Death Eater. Instead, Miles drawled, "Can't you do better than that, Malfoy? But then, you got the brains of a Veela as well as the looks." He gave a theatrical sigh. Would Malfoy take the bait?
"And you're so desperately intelligent, Vorkosigan?" Malfoy returned.
Miles buffed his nails on his robes, trimmed with the same green and silver as Malfoy's. "Next week's Transfigurations test says that I am."
"Transfigurations isn't important," Malfoy said.
"So you think you can't get an Outstanding for the test?" Miles said.
"Of course I can!"
"Care to make a little wager on that?" Miles asked.
"Ten galleons I can," Malfoy said.
"I'm not talking about pocket money," Miles said. The Malfoys were obscenely rich, but the Vorkosigans were rich as well, if more well known in Europe than in Britain. "I was thinking something much more valuable, if intangible. Whoever does better in the test owes the other a favour - no questions asked."
Malfoy smiled. It wasn't a nice smile. "I'll make you do something... terribly embarrassing."
"If you win," Miles said.
"Cousin Ivan!" Miles called out. His cousin was in the midst of a gaggle of Gryffindors, probably talking about Quidditch. It was just after breakfast, so the wild beasts had been fed, but that didn't mean one didn't take precautions.
Ivan broke away from the group and came up to Miles. "Embarrass me in front of my fellow Gryffindors, why don't you? Why did you have to be sorted into Slytherin, Miles?" Ivan complained.
"Because I'm ambitious and cunning," Miles said. "Would you rather be in Durmstrang? Or mother's old school in California that she wanted to send me to?"
"Aunt Cordelia is strange," Ivan said. "And not just because she's muggleborn. Did you know that she uses crystals?"
"Of course I know that, Ivan, she's my mother," Miles said. "I need a favour."
"Of course, you always do," Ivan said. "Why should I do what you want?"
"Do you want Malfoy to get what's coming to him?" Miles said.
"You're fighting with Malfoy? Are you insane?" Ivan said. "Either one of Crabbe or Goyle could break you like a toothpick."
"Which is why I'm using brains against brains," Miles said. "I need you to distract Professor McGonagall after Transfigurations today. Delay her from going into her office. Ten minutes should do it."
"You're not thinking of cheating, are you?" Ivan said.
"Cheating? Me? I wouldn't dream of it," Miles said. In a softer voice, he said, "I'll explain everything later."
Miles caught sight of Draco Malfoy out of the corner of his eye and smiled.
Draco silently followed Vorkosigan after transfigurations. Sure enough, he made straight for McGonagall's office, and came out after five minutes. Cheating, was he? Well, two could play at that game. No reason he couldn't use Vorpatril's distraction for his own ends.
Cautiously, he entered the office. Ah. There on the desk, slightly askew, as if it had been replaced in a hurry, was a parchment. Draco picked it up. Yes, it was the test all right. Quickly, he noted the contents. This would be a coup - it looked like the professor was concentrating on the alternate readings, the ones nobody would be preparing for. But he would be prepared.
And he'd beat that half-blood, and make him squirm.
Miles was grinning as he left the classroom after the Transfigurations test, Ivan in tow. He paused in the corridor, waiting for Malfoy to exit.
"Well, Malfoy, I guess you owe me a favour," Miles said. "Imagine, a Malfoy barely passing a test! Amazing!"
"I'm not going to do you any favours, half-goblin," Malfoy hissed.
"Defaulting on a bet?" Miles said. "Not what a true pureblood would do. A gentleman honours his agreements."
"What do you want?" Malfoy said.
"I'll let you know," Miles said.
"But Miles, how did you do it?" Ivan asked him later.
Miles grinned. "I did it the easy way. I didn't cheat."
"You didn't cheat? What was all that with McGonagall's office, then?"
"I wanted Malfoy to think I was cheating. Plus, I put a fake test paper on her desk," Miles said. "Dissappearing ink, so McGonagall wouldn't know about it. If Malfoy thought that was the real test paper, well, he shouldn't have been cheating, should he?"
"You're downright dangerous, you are," Ivan said.
"Never underestimate the cunning of a Slytherin," Miles said.