CHAPTER 8: POTTER ON THE PROWL
DRACO – REVENGE, MALFOY-STYLE (PART DEUX)
It was Saturday at 7:00 PM. Draco was sitting in The Three Broomsticks, eating pub food and having drinks with his new ‘girlfriend,’ when he first noticed Potter and Ginny Weasley arrive. Draco snickered and gazed back over at the pug-faced, piglet Parkinson swooning in front of him… Her aroma was nauseating and the taste of her saliva still rotted at the pit of his mouth. Ugh! It was really disgusting… He would never kiss her again… But that last kiss was definitely worth it.
Draco originally had no intention of kissing that repugnant wench; he was in Hogsmeade as a cover for some stupid scheme that Pansy was pulling on one of the Weasleys. But everything changed when he saw Potter scampering down High Street. When he looked at Potter, he felt… aroused. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN! Draco sneered at Potter malevolently… he didn’t know what else to do. He couldn’t control his emotions. What kind of curse had Potter put on him? He had to get even. Right then and there. And then he had a brilliant idea… Draco leaned over and kissed Pansy on the mouth.
And then Raggedy Ann showed up and levied a bunch of pathetic insults at him and Pansy… as if her words could undo the damage that he had just caused. Maybe if the ignorant wretch could afford a dictionary she might have done a better job… for even Ginny Weasley knew that Draco Malfoy had the last laugh. It was his finest revenge, and no one, not even she, would steal his glory.
A tiny Scop Owl flew into the bar and dropped a letter on Draco’s lap. The letter had the words “confidential” written on it. Draco glanced over at Harry and Ginny having drinks at a table in the corner. Potter was probably still licking his wounds… that pathetic, four-eyed freak. Draco opened the letter cautiously.
I’m sure you deserved a purple heart for kissing that disgusting beast… and I’m sure there are more deserving blokes to waste your affection upon.
Yes, I did say ‘blokes,’ because I know that you’re gay and I have evidence to prove it.
So now you have two choices. One, you will excuse yourself from dinner and meet me at the back of The Three Broomsticks in ten minutes so that we can have a little chat about ‘playing fair.’ Come alone. If you bring that pug-faced wretch, the deal’s off.
Or two, you can call my bluff, and spend the next year convincing your Slytherin cronies that you really aren’t a raunchy pig bottom. The choice is yours…
Tick, tock, tick, tock. What’ll it be, Malfoy? I’ll see you in ten minutes.
Draco was livid. THAT MANIPULATIVE BITCH!!!! She was dead! DEAD! Draco looked back at the letter, but it had already disintegrated. What was he gonna do? Would he call her bluff? She didn’t have any evidence on him… and he wasn’t gay so…
“What was that all about,” Pansy asked.
“Oh… uh… nothing,” Draco said nervously.
But what if she did have some evidence? It couldn’t hurt to see what she had to say. Draco turned to see if Ginny was still there, but she and Potter were already gone. He had no choice. Draco waited ten minutes, excused himself from dinner, and crept around the side of The Three Broomsticks to meet Ginny Weasley for their ‘little chat.’
But instead of finding Ginny, Draco found Potter… in the arms of Oliver Wood! MERLIN’S BEARD!!! HE WAS SET UP!!! THAT BITCH!!! Draco wanted to run or scream or stamp his feet or, at least, hex somebody… but instead he just stood there… transfixed. And then Potter kissed Wood on the mouth.
A feeling of excruciating pain surged through Draco as he watched the two kiss. He felt terrified… violated… hurt… replaced! This wasn’t supposed to happen! Potter was supposed to be a good little Gryffindor and go cry to his pathetic friends about big, bad, mean Malfoy. He wasn’t supposed to get even! It wasn’t fair! Draco was supposed to have the last laugh… he wasn’t supposed to be the one who cried… the one who felt vulnerable and empty… the one shattered by the horror of the kiss. Draco blinked back tears. Potter wasn’t supposed to hurt him… Potter wasn’t supposed to make him feel so alone…
HARRY – REVENGE, POTTER-STYLE (PART DEUX)
Harry gazed unsteadily into Wood’s evocative, hazel eyes. He was dizzy… almost seeing double. His mouth was still wet from their intense kiss.
“You sure you’ve never done this before, Harry?” Wood asked coyly.
“Maybe I have,” Harry responded in a sultry voice. What the fuck was he saying? He didn’t usually speak like this…
Wood cracked a faint smile. “I’d like to see you again. How about Friday night… 7:00 PM?”
“Sure,” Harry replied. WHAT? Did he just accept a date with Oliver Wood? I mean… Wood definitely knew how to kiss but… Sex education from a bloke named Wood just sounded disturbing…
“Meet me at Merlin’s End,” Wood cooed, “unless you’d rather go back to my flat?”
“Merlin’s End?” Harry asked, confused. “Is that a pub?” And why did he care; he’s definitely not going! Well, probably not…
“It’s the local gay bar in Hogsmeade… It was originally called Rawhide, but some of the locals objected. It’s a great pub, but a wee bit hard to find. It’s unplottable and hidden away behind the Fidelius Charm.”
“So how am I supposed to find it?” Harry asked.
“GINNY?” Harry shrieked, turning red in the face. What did she have to do with this? Oh for heaven’s sake…
Wood suddenly looked pale and unnerved. “I’ve gotta go, Harry. Quidditch training starts at… uh… dawn. Yeah, I’ll see you… Friday.” CRACK. Wood Apparated before Harry had a chance to interrogate him further.
Suddenly Harry had an epiphany! Was it a coincidence that:
a) Ron and Hermione just happened to decide not to show up for dinner,
b) Ginny just happened to excuse herself from dinner,
c) Wood just happened to be standing outside waiting for Harry, and
d) Malfoy just happened to decide to wander around the back of The Three Broomsticks alone?
GINNY SET HIM UP!!!! HE WAS GOING TO KILL HER!!!
Harry froze. What had he done? WHAT HAD HE DONE?!!! DID HE JUST KISS OLIVER WOOD IN FRONT OF DRACO MALFOY?!!! OH - MY - FUCKING - GOD!!! Harry turned to see if Malfoy was still there, but the ferret was already gone.
Harry was ruined! Malfoy knew that he was gay… He was going to destroy him! He’d tell everybody! The whole school probably knew by now! And, even worse, had Harry stooped down to Malfoy’s level? Was he so outraged by Malfoy’s kiss that he’d sacrifice his integrity… that he’d use his body… that he’d use Oliver Wood to get even?
Something didn’t make sense… Harry didn’t understand his own behavior. Even if Ginny had set him up, he was the one who had kissed Wood. He made that choice willingly… But why? Something was controlling his emotions… his behavior. Images of Harry’s intense kiss flashed before his mind. Yes, Wood was good looking. Yes, it was nice to have an attractive bloke interested in him… But that wasn’t why he kissed Wood. He kissed Wood because he wanted to get even…
The Sorting Hat was right; he would have done well in Slytherin. But the Sorting Hat placed him in Gryffindor for good reason – because he chose to be there. It was his choices, not his predispositions, that made Harry a decent, brave wizard. What happened? Where was his bravery now? What had he become? Was he the type of spineless coward that would sink to the level of a bloody Slytherin in order to get revenge? NO!!! He was not the type of bloke to use people… well, at least, not after Cho.
WHERE THE FUCK WAS GINNY?
DRACO – THE WALK OF SHAME
Draco Malfoy was seething. He was so angry that his whole torso ached from frustration. That Bitch Weasley had set him up! Potter had beaten him! Draco’s face flushed pink as he begin to climb the hill up to Hogwarts castle. He was so livid that tears welled up in his eyes and he didn’t understand why…
“Hi, honey,” cooed Pansy Parkinson from a few yards away. “Who’d you have to meet?”
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” Draco shouted at her. He wiped his eyes. He was absolutely in no mood to deal with her.
Pansy turned white. “Drake… Drakey-Poo, are you all right? What happened back there? Oh honey…”
“I SAID LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!”
Pansy staggered backwards, stunned. “Oh, all right,” she whimpered.
Draco climbed the hill alone. He would destroy Potter! By sunrise, everyone in school would know that Potter was a bloody fudge-packer! Better yet, he would contact Rita Skeeter directly and give her the exclusive story! This would be Malfoy’s true revenge… He would get even!
Suddenly, another Scop Owl flew over to Draco and dropped two letters at his feet. Draco picked up the letters and opened the first one.
Doesn’t your own venom taste good? Hmm… You must have loved watching Harry slip Wood the tongue… It was so romantic, and the best part was that it didn’t include you… But I’m sure that doesn’t bother you because you’re ‘straight,’ right? Maybe next time you’ll think about your actions before you try to hurt one of my friends. Which reminds me…
I’m sure that you’re seriously considering ‘outing’ Harry to the Wizarding World as retaliation for tonight’s events. So, I’d like to chat with you a bit about my concept of retaliation.
I know that you were almost expelled for challenging Harry to a Wizard’s Duel, and that the reason you weren’t kicked out of Hogwarts was because the Headmaster did not inform the Board of Governors of your indiscretions.
Now, I know the Board would LOVE to hear about how the son of an infamous Death Eater got involved in not one, BUT TWO duels within less than one week at Hogwarts. But I don’t think that you want them privy to this information.
So, I’ll make you a deal - you keep your big mouth shut about Harry, and I won’t tell my brother, who works as the Junior Assistant to Minister Fudge, about your reckless behavior.
I’m glad we understand each other.
The letter self-destructed in Malfoy’s hands. DAMN HER! Shaking, Draco opened the second letter.
You have failed your first mission, but the Dark Lord has decided to give you another chance. Meet me by the Whomping Willow on Friday, September 13, at Midnight. You’ll receive your next instructions in person.
Draco laughed and his eyes glimmered devilishly as Bellatrix Lestrange’s letter crumbled to dust. Maybe there would be another way to exact his revenge…
GINNY – THE WIZARD’S KAMA SUTRA
Ginny arrived at The Hog’s Head at 8:00 PM on Saturday. The bar was grungy, and Cho looked slightly uncomfortable as she waited for Ginny at a secluded table in the back. Ginny bought two butterbeers from the old bartender and carried them over to the table, handing one to Cho.
“Hi Ginny, I got your owl,” Cho said. “What d’you want to talk to me about?”
“Cast a silencing spell,” Ginny replied. “This is confidential.”
Cho raised her wand. “Silencio!” she said. She looked at Ginny, waiting for her explain why they were meeting in secret.
“I need you to make Hermione Granger very jealous,” Ginny cooed.
Cho’s eyes lit up. “Reeeeeeeeeeeeally. What d’you have in mind?”
“I need you to date Ron.”
“Your brother? But… why?”
“I have my reasons,” Ginny said. “All you need to know is that it would make Hermione crawl up a wall to know that you dumped Harry and now are pursing her other ‘best friend.’”
“But why would I do this? I’m dating Michael Corner.”
“Well, your sex-life isn’t exactly spectacular, is it?” Ginny cooed.
“HOW D’YOU KNOW THAT?” Cho shrieked defensively.
“Because I dated Mikey… and I dumped the frigid bastard months ago because he wouldn’t give it up!”
“You mean, he wouldn’t have sex with you, either?” Cho replied, stunned. “I… I thought it was just me.” Tears welled up in her eyes. “I mean… I’ve had the most horrible luck with men!”
“I know,” Ginny said, handing Cho a tissue.
“NO, YOU HAVE NO IDEA!” she sobbed, grabbing the tissue. “I - HAVE - HAD - THE - WORST - LUCK - WITH - MEN!!! MY FIRST BOYFRIEND WAS MURDERED, MY SECOND ONE WAS QUEER, AND MY THIRD ALWAYS HAS A BLOODY HEADACHE – AND PEOPLE WONDER WHY I’M ON LITHIUM?!!!”
Ginny gave Cho a ‘too much fucking information’ look, but Cho was obviously not paying attention. She dabbed her eyes with the tissue, sobbed a little, and then suddenly tensed up…
“Oh my God,” she gasped. “I… I told you about Harry… I swore I’d never tell…”
“I already knew,” Ginny assured her. “I pined after that chap for three years, remember?”
Cho laughed. “Oh yeah… So, I guess I wasn’t the only broad that fell for the curse of the pink wand… Isn’t it a shame that Harry’s gay. I mean, you know what they say about blokes with a big wand…”
“Which one?” Ginny teased. She gave Cho a ‘you opened the door; I walked on in’ look.
Cho turned crimson, then giggled. “The one that’s 11 inches long…”
“That sounds like a broomstick to me, sweetheart,” Ginny purred.
Cho laughed. “Unfortunately the only wand I saw was made out of wood. I never saw the other… You didn’t… um… happen to… see it, did you?”
“Maybe,” Ginny whispered.
“WHAT?!!!” Cho replied, aghast.
“It’s a long story,” Ginny cooed. “One that I’ll only tell after a few more drinks…”
“Hey, excuse me… Barman… Over here!” Cho called facetiously. She looked back at Ginny. “I don’t believe you… You didn’t see Harry’s other… um…”
“Would you like me to let you in on a little secret?” Ginny asked. Cho nodded. Ginny leaned over and whispered in her ear. “If you want to ride a bent bloke’s broomstick, you’ve gotta use magic…”
Cho giggled, then suddenly paused mid-giggle. “Would that work?”
Ginny pulled out her copy of The Wizard’s Kama Sutra: Sex Spells for the Desperate, Dateless and Debilitated. She had just received the book on Friday from an adult bookshop in Knockturn Alley, and the manuscript was already heavily tabbed. Ginny opened it to a tabbed page.
“Well, it could… but it depends on how queer he really is. If he’s a vagitarian who dabbles with sausage links on the side, then the ‘Erecticus’ spell might suffice. But if he’s so bent that he’ll faint at the sight of a vagina, then you might want to use the ‘Erecticus’ spell in conjunction with ‘Petrificus Totalus’ or the ‘Body-Bind Jinx’ to ensure compliance.”
Cho and Ginny exchanged coy glances and then they both burst out laughing.
“Isn’t that a slight liberty deprivation?” Cho asked playfully.
“Maybe,” Ginny replied. “But men always say that ‘no’ means ‘yes,’ so I don’t understand why an independent, assertive witch can’t adopt their standard for consent.”
“I’m not even goin’ there,” Cho giggled. “But can I borrow that book?”
“That all depends,” Ginny replied, “on whether you agree to help me with my plan…”
“But why d’you want me to date your brother?” Cho asked.
“Well, if you pursue Ron, Hermione will become really jealous. And then I might be able to induce her into starting a preemptive strike.”
“So, in other words, you want me to help you get Ron and Hermione together?”
“And why would I do that?” Cho asked.
“Well, I might be able to solve your problems with Mikey Corner,” Ginny grinned, waiving her tabbed, leather bound book.
“Deal,” Cho said, her eyes twinkling deviously.
HARRY – REVENGE, GINNY-STYLE (PART DEUX)
It was 9:00 PM on Saturday night. Harry waited in front of the Prefect’s Bathroom, boiling. He was going to murder Ginny with his bare hands. Was she coming? She’s always in that damn bathroom… Suddenly, Harry saw Ginny gossiping with Moaning Myrtle as she climbed up the stairs.
“Hi Harry,” Ginny said, waving at him.
“Ginny, we need to talk… ALONE!” Harry barked adamantly.
“Myrtle, could you give us a few minutes?” Ginny said. Myrtle nodded, stuck her nose in the air, and flew away.
“Pine fresh,” Ginny whispered, approaching the Prefect’s Bathroom. The door opened. They walked into the room.
“Are you all right, Harry? You look a bit flushed.”
“HOW DARE YOU,” Harry screamed. “YOU HAVE THE UNBRIDLED AUDACITY TO SET ME UP, AND NOW YOU ASK ME IF I’M ALL RIGHT?!!!”
“Well, are you?”
“NOOOOOOOO!” Harry was livid.
“Funny, and I thought you came here to thank me,” Ginny remarked.
“What? Why would I thank you?” Harry asked. “Should I thank you for manipulating me into kissing Oliver Wood in front of Malfoy? D’you realize that Malfoy is going to ruin me? The whole bloody school probably knows what happened by now!”
“Malfoy’s not going to tell anyone,” Ginny assured him. Harry looked unconvinced. “He has a crush on you, you git,” she asserted. “Why else would he kiss Pit-Bull Parkinson while staring directly at YOU? That would be like me snogging with Snape right in front of Neville, only Neville would probably be too oblivious to notice.”
“I… what?” Harry gasped. “Malfoy doesn’t have a crush on me! You don’t know what you’re…”
Ginny rolled her eyes. “And denial is a river in Egypt.”
Harry glared at her. “Okay, even if it were true that Malfoy… whatever… which it’s not… How d’you know that he wouldn’t be so angry that I kissed Wood that he would ruin me out of spite?”
“Because I blackmailed him. That ferret-face isn’t talking to anyone…”
“I see you’ve thought of everything,” Harry sneered sarcastically. “Have you no shame?” This conversation was not going the way Harry had planned. He needed to regain control of it immediately!
“YOU LIED TO ME!” Harry shouted, changing the subject. “You promised me that if I helped you with your scheme to reinvent Ron, you wouldn’t tell anyone that I was gay… but obviously that didn’t stop you from having a little chat with Oliver Wood!”
“Actually, I promised you that I wouldn’t tell anyone at Hogwarts, and I didn’t break that promise. Yes, I spoke to Wood – but I talked to him in Hogsmeade, and he is no longer a student at Hogwarts, remember? He graduated three years ago.”
Harry looked at Ginny crossly. “Have you ever thought about becoming an attorney?”
Ginny ignored him. “Further,” she continued, “I didn’t tell Wood that you were gay; he already knew. He was the one that suggested that I tell you that I knew you were gay…”
“WHAT?!!” Harry shrieked.
“Calm down, Harry,” Ginny said. “It’s not a big deal. We’ve only had drinks a couple times at Merlin’s End since I returned to Hogwarts.”
“A couple times! We arrived at Hogwarts on the 1st… Today is the 7th!”
Ginny rolled her eyes. “It’s been a busy week.”
Harry was livid. She was controlling the bloody conversation. He needed the upper hand! “Tell me, Ginny, what did you promise him? What did you promise Wood in exchange for his ‘services?’”
“I didn’t need to make any promises, Harry,” Ginny replied. “Wood’s always been attracted to you. You’re a catch… How many blokes can claim that they gave ‘The Boy Who Lived’ his first kiss?”
“That wasn’t my first kiss,” Harry sneered.
“Okay, your first kiss… with a man,” Ginny replied.
“It wasn’t that, either.” Well, not really, he thought, remembering his accidental kiss with Malfoy…
“REEEEEEEEEEEEEALLY!” Ginny perked up. “Do tell…”
“Oh shut it!” Harry stammered, still fuming. This was ridiculous! She was manipulating him… even now!
“How did you do it?” Harry barked. “I… I’m still baffled. How did you manipulate me into snogging with Oliver Wood in front of Malfoy?”
“I didn’t need to manipulate you, Harry. You wanted to kiss Wood, especially in front of Malfoy. As I recall, Wood said that you were the one that initiated the kiss. All I did was give you and opportunity and an audience… you did the rest.”
Harry blushed and took a few steps back. Ginny was right. He had initiated the kiss. “I… wasn’t thinking… I mean… He practically threw himself on me…”
“What I don’t understand,” Ginny retorted, “is how you have the nerve to kiss Wood out of your own free will, and then blame me because you’re not proud of your own actions. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a bath.”
Harry stared at Ginny… stunned. She was right. He should leave now. The conversation was obviously over. Ginny turned on the water in the jacuzzi and quickly turned it into a pineapple bubble bath. Harry watched her. Something wasn’t right. This was too easy. Ginny always covered her bases… She wouldn’t take the risk that Harry might not kiss Wood. There was always a back-up plan. But what was it? Harry thought back to the scene outside The Three Broomsticks. He remembered being dizzy… seeing double. And then he remembered the peculiar taste of his butterbeer…
“You… you put something in my drink,” he stuttered. “I know you did… You had to… to make sure that I would kiss Oliver.”
Ginny gave him a ‘no shit, Sherlock’ look. “Of course I did, you git,” Ginny confessed. “I drugged your butterbeer.”
“YOU DID?!” Harry screeched.
“I slipped you an aphrodisiac,” Ginny explained. “Calm down! You’re so God Damn frigid I had to make sure…”
“I… can’t… believe… what… I… am… hearing!!” Harry screamed. “YOU DRUGGED ME?!!! I… just… am appalled!!”
“Really, but you had no problem drugging Ron’s beer last night so that the stylist could trim his hair,” Ginny chided.
“That’s… different,” Harry said defensively.
“Is it?” Ginny questioned.
“Well, yeah. Ron’s hair was a total mess. And… er… if Ron didn’t like the cut, he could… always grow it back… with a potion.”
“Right,” Ginny replied. “Well, you’ve been a total mess lately… And if you didn’t like the kiss, I’ll gladly give you some mouthwash. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a bath…”
“Not until you answer one last question,” Harry stated adamantly. “Why was this scheme so important to you?”
“Because I wanted to get even with Malfoy…”
“And since when did you care about him? I thought it was Parkinson that you were after…”
“Because you’re in love with him, Harry. And he had no right to hurt you… After that stunt he pulled with Parkinson, I knew damn well that you wouldn’t do anything about it. Because that’s not your nature… You’re decent… But, unfortunately for Malfoy, I have no problem giving the flaming ferret a large helping of what he deserves… And boy did he deserve it!”
Harry had paled ghost white. He looked like he was about to faint. “I… I can’t believe you know about Malf… I mean…”
“Harry, don’t get me wrong… I can’t stand that conceited little piece of slime. But you’re family to me… and if he’ll make you happy then… so be it. This is all part of the master plan, see. Malfoy had to be deflated. Now he knows that you’re gay and that he has competition. Now he’s vulnerable. Now it’s time for you to make your move. You should pounce on him in detention on Monday night!”
‘Oh my God,’ Harry thought. How did this turn into sex advice from Dr. Ginny! Ugh!!! He had to regain control of this bloody conversation!
“I… I… but… why?” Harry asked. “Why d’you care? Why is this any of your fucking business? Aren’t you suppose to be shagging Neville, or something? What about your love life? Don’t you have better things to do than screw with my head? I cannot believe you did this! I can’t believe this… You have the nerve to tell me how I have to deal with my problems… What about yours? You’re life isn’t perfect! Who’s the next unattainable bloke that Dr. Ginny’s gonna pursue? Hmm… Severus Snape?”
“Leave me out of this,” she replied nervously.
“No, I don’t think I will,” Harry responded. Now it was time to give her a piece of his mind. “You had no right doing this to me! You’re selfish Ginny! Everything’s about you! I’m sure in that one dimensional brain of yours, my love life somehow factors into your scheme to shag Neville, and you know what… IT MAKES ME SICK! So, I hope you’re happy. Now I am even more fucked up than I was before. Thanks for being such a great friend…”
Harry got up and staggered over to the door. YES! This was perfect! He finally had the upper hand in this damn conversation! Harry was ready to make a dramatic exit when Ginny said:
“I still love you, Harry…”
Harry froze in his tracks. He turned, stunned, and looked at Ginny. She had tears in her eyes. BUGGER!
“I… I still love you,” she said. “And I… just wanted to help you. Harry, I know that you’re been hurting. I’m not stupid. I know that you blame yourself for every bloody problem that you can’t control. I know that you blame yourself for Sirius’ death. I know that you blame yourself for not saving Cedric. And I know that you blame yourself because you’re gay, and because you think that everyone is going to reject you if they find out that you have a crush on Malfoy. But I hate to tell you… you’re hurting your friends, too. It hurts us to watch you walk around in a melodramatic stupor and act like you’re about to slash your wrists… like you should’ve died fifteen years ago. It hurts us to know that you don’t trust us enough to talk about your problems. And it hurts us to know that you think that we would reject you.”
Harry was numb. He was not expecting this…
“And so, you’re right,” Ginny continued. “I am selfish, because it would make me feel better to see you happy… to know that you don’t have to fight every bloody battle alone. And so, hex me because I thought that maybe… just maybe… if you came out of your God Damn shell for a few hours… if you actually kissed a guy that was interested in you… then, God Forbid, I might see you smile again. Then maybe you’d realize you are attractive… that you do deserve somebody… and that you do deserve to be loved. Because I still love you, Harry. And I want what’s best for you. And, if that damn ferret will make you happy, then that’s what I want to see happen…”
Ginny wiped the tears from her eyes as Harry watched her, stunned.
“But, I’m just the villain, right?” she maintained. “I’m just the horny, castrating bitch with an agenda? Harry, I’m not that one dimensional. Of all people, I expected you to know that…”
Ginny stood up, shaking. She angrily wiped her eyes as she shoved Harry aside and opened the bathroom door. Suddenly, she gasped. Hermione was standing in the doorway, paler than a ghost. Oh my God, Harry thought, they forgot to use the silencing spell… Ginny and Harry stared at Hermione, mortified.
“I… I just wanted to use the loo,” Hermione said nervously.
HARRY – POTTER ON THE PROWL
Harry walked outside of Hogwarts Castle over towards Hagrid’s Hut. It was now Monday night, and Hagrid would be administering detention.
Harry glanced up at the windows of Gryffindor Tower to see if Ginny or Hermione were looking out. The windows were dark. They were probably on Prefect duty right now, Harry mused. Harry hadn’t talked to either of them for almost forty-eight hours. He would have to speak with both of them soon.
Harry was amazed by how much had happened since he arrived at Hogwarts for his sixth year. It had only been one week since he dueled with Malfoy on the Astronomy Tower… since they had ‘accidentally kissed,’ and yet it seemed like at least a month had passed. Fortunately, Harry was no longer having traumatic visions of the taste of Malfoy’s blood, but instead those visions had transformed in mildly erotic fantasies that he would rather not think about.
Truth be told, Harry was still horrified about what had occurred on Saturday. He couldn’t believe that he had kissed Oliver Wood in front of Malfoy, or that both Ginny and Hermione knew that he has a crush on the flaming ferret! Harry was so upset on Sunday that he spent the whole day working on Potions and Divination assignments (his favorite classes) while hibernating in his dorm room! Dobby brought him his meals so that he didn’t accidentally run into Hermione or Ginny in the Gryffindor Common Room.
But the most disturbing part of the weekend was the reoccurrence of his nightmares. Harry had horrible dreams on both Saturday and Sunday nights. Ron said that he had been screaming in his sleep… but Harry couldn’t remember what he was shouting about.
Harry arrived at Hagrid’s Hut and looked around. Hagrid was nowhere in sight. Suddenly, Draco Malfoy walked out from behind the hut and faced Harry. Harry did a double-take. MALFOY WAS GORGEOUS! Oh my God, something was definitely different. His hair was no longer in that ridiculous Mullet style. Now it was a silky, white-blonde, shoulder-length mane. Draco was wearing his finest clothes. The light of the full moon reflected off of his soft pale skin, pointed nose and plump red lips. Even his eyes looked different… they were almost… silver. Harry literally closed his mouth so that he wouldn’t start salivating…
What the hell happened to Malfoy? Then it dawned on him… Dr. Ginny was right! Damn her! Everything she said about Malfoy was true. He needed to be deflated by Harry. He needed to feel vulnerable. And now that he realized that he had competition, he went out of his way to make himself look really hot. But did that make this a date?
Harry looked at Malfoy; Malfoy glared back at him. He was probably waiting for Harry to make the first move… Harry really needed some of Dr. Ginny’s Magic Beer right about now.
“Er… hi,” Harry said awkwardly. Okay, that just sounded dumb.
Draco didn’t dignify Harry’s salutation with a comment. Instead, he just gave him a ‘if that’s the best you can do, I’m going to be celibate for the rest of my life’ look.
Harry mustered up the courage to try again. “That’s… er… nice… hair,” Harry stammered.
Draco responded with an ‘I am going to be celibate for the rest of my life’ look. Finally, Draco broke the ice.
“Where’s that stupid, great oaf?” Draco snarled coldly. “Does he expect us to wait here all night… like servants?”
“His name’s Hagrid,” Harry growled back. “And yes, this is detention, so he can make us wait as long he bloody well pleases!”
Draco looked back at Harry, slightly surprised by his outburst. Great, Harry thought, now this date… I mean conversation… was really going badly.
Suddenly, a bandy-legged, ginger tabby walked up to Harry carrying a brown paper bag in his mouth. Curious, Harry took the brown bag from Crookshanks and opened it as the cat scampered away. The bag contained a bottle of butterbeer and a note.
I thought this might ‘spice up’ your evening. Pounce, pounce…
Harry grinned and drank most of the beer. It tasted funny; it was definitely laced with an aphrodisiac. Draco watched Harry curiously, obviously unsure why Hermione’s cat brought Harry a beer during detention.
“D’you want some?” Harry asked innocently.
“Sorry, I’d rather not share your spit, Potter,” Draco replied, clearly irritated.
“Suit yourself,” Harry continued.
Harry already felt more confident now that the aphrodisiac had kicked in. It was as if drinking Dr. Ginny’s Magic Beer allowed him to free his mind and take risks that he would never otherwise consider. When he drank Ginny’s beer, he didn’t think about all of the consequences of his actions. He didn’t worry about the fact that he and Draco were both blokes, that Draco’s father was a known Death Eater who plotted to have him killed, or that Harry’s best friends might be appalled by his outlandish behavior. Instead, Harry’s impulsive, aggressive, predatory side came out… and Potter was definitely on the prowl tonight!
“Hullo Harry... Malfoy,” Hagrid said striding toward them from the Dark Forest, Fang at his side.
“Yeh ready ter go into the Dark Forest?” Hagrid asked enthusiastically.
“Dark… Forest…?” Draco repeated nervously. Draco gestured to Harry to give him the rest of his beer. Harry handed it to him and Draco downed it.
Hagrid continued. “Yeh, a Thestral’s been injured, and yeh need ter find it an’ send up green sparks. Then, I’ll come and find yeh.”
“But how’re we supposed to see an invisible Thestral in the Dark Forest at night?” Draco stammered.
“Welcome ter detention,” Hagrid grinned, handing each boy a gas lamp. “Harry can see ‘em. I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
Draco looked around nervously. Harry realized that Draco still was the same terrified little boy who was afraid to look for the injured unicorn in the Dark Forest during their first year at Hogwarts.
“Go on,” Hagrid gestured to the boys. “I’ve got ter give Fang his flea bath.”
Harry and Draco wandered down a cobblestone path into the Dark Forest. It was difficult to see in between the dense, black trees. Draco was obviously very nervous. Harry waited for him to say something… but after fifteen minutes it was clear that he would have to make the first move…
“I’m sorry,” Harry said.
Draco turned to him, surprised. “For what?” he asked.
“For kissing Oliver Wood in front of you… It was really inappropriate.”
“Potter, you can suck off the entire team, for all I care,” Draco scoffed.
Harry didn’t respond. There was an awkward silence until Draco said, “And since when did you start caring about my feelings?”
“Since you got all dressed up for our date,” Harry replied coyly, biting his bottom lip slightly.
Draco tensed up. “What the fuck are you talking about, Potter?” he snapped.
“This is our… second date, isn’t it?” Harry asked, putting his arm around Draco’s shoulder. Draco shoved him away. “The way I see it,” Harry continued, “the Midnight Duel was, in fact, our ‘first date,’ which makes this our ‘second.’”
Draco looked at him horrified. “Well, obviously you need to check yourself into a psych ward, Potter. Because I have a girlfriend… if that’s any of your business.”
Okay, the little fairy was playing hard to get. Harry could play this game. He laughed. “Doesn’t she need a leash?”
Draco’s face flushed pink with embarrassment. “I wouldn’t talk, Potter. I’m not the pathetic groupie that bottoms for Puddlemere United.”
“How d’you know I’m a bottom?” Harry replied playfully.
Draco paled. “Can we just find the fucking Thestraaaaaaaaaaaaal?”
Draco had tripped over the injured, invisible Thestral and flew into the darkness. Shit. Harry scampered over to him and extended a hand to help him up.
“Well, you found our Thestral,” Harry joked.
Draco dusted off his robe and gave Harry a dirty look. Draco took out his wand and was about to send up green sparks when Harry grabbed Draco’s hand and pushed him up against the trunk of a large black tree. A werewolf howled in the background. Draco was alarmed, but he didn’t resist. Harry moved in for the kiss…
“I don’t want Wood’s sloppy seconds,” Draco scoffed nervously.
“That’s funny,” Harry grinned. “And all this time I thought that he got yours…”
Draco paled at the notion that he had, in fact, kissed Harry first; he clenched Harry’s hand apprehensively. Harry watched his reflection in Draco’s silver-grey eyes enlarge as he leaned forward, minimizing the distance between them. Draco looked like a terrified virgin sacrifice just waiting to be ravaged. ‘Does that mean he’s a virgin?’ Harry wondered. There was only one way to find out… Harry inched forward, poised to strike…
“Harry, yeh foun’ her already?” Hagrid called from a distance.
BUGGER! BUGGER! BUGGER! Harry looked at Draco and gave him a ‘Did you send up green sparks?’ look. Draco shook his head and quickly shoved Harry off of him so that Hagrid wouldn’t find them in a compromising position.
“I followed yeh just in case yeh ran into complications,” Hagrid joked, tending to the injured Thestral.
Great… just what Harry needed… a bloody chaperone! Harry looked over at Draco, who was acting like nothing had happened. Harry smirked; it was going to be an interesting month.
RON – THE PREMONITION
Ron woke up on Tuesday morning with a sharp jolt. Somebody was screaming… ‘Was that Harry, again?’ he thought, half awake. Ron glanced at his clock unsteadily. It was 5:45 AM. Jesus Christ.
“Blimey Harry, are you okay?” Ron croaked, half-asleep.
Harry wailed again from his bed, obviously still entranced in a dream. Dammit, this was the third night in a row, Ron grumbled. Ron was slightly bitter. Harry had arrived back from detention with Hagrid fairly late last night, and then he had kept Ron up talking until 3:00 AM, so this was too bloody early to wake him up!
Ron staggered over to Harry’s bed to make sure that he was all right. Ron opened Harry’s bed curtains and found Harry curled in a fetal position – his body completely tense. Harry started to writhe and then suddenly screamed, “HELP ME!!!”
“Harry, mate, wake-up!” Ron shouted, shaking Harry’s convulsing body. But Harry was still asleep. Harry tossed and turned madly as Ron kept trying wake him up. Ron panicked; he didn’t know what to do. Suddenly, Harry’s shaking stopped, and he opened his glassy eyes.
“Mate, it’s okay,” Ron assured him. “It was just a dream… I’m here… It’s okay…” Ron searched Harry’s vacant expression to see if he had understood him. Harry looked terrified… fragile. He was definitely a shadow of the boisterous bloke that sauntered in from detention only a few hours ago. Suddenly, Ron noticed blood oozing down Harry’s cheek. His scar was hemorrhaging…
Ron grabbed a shirt from the nightstand and tried to staunch the blood, but the wound wouldn’t stop bleeding. Harry watched Ron dress his wound, but didn’t speak.
“It’s okay, mate,” Ron continued nervously. “I’ll… uh… go get Dumbledore… Just… stay here.”
As Ron was about to leave Harry’s bedside, Harry grabbed his arm. Harry’s hand was freezing. Ron turned around, waiting for him to say something. Harry gazed at Ron weakly for a few moments and then whispered:
“More of us are gonna die, you know… I dreamt it.”
END OF CHAPTER 8