The First Task
It may have been the adrenaline, it may have been the dragon, it may have been Ron’s recent betrayal. But as Harry circled and drew the dragon’s head into the air, away from its clutch of precious eggs, his eyes fell on the stands of spectators, and on Malfoy in particular.
He was sneering, the git, like always. His ‘Potter Stinks’ badge glinted on his chest, his face was propped in his hand against the railing, looking for all the world like he was too bored to live, watching Harry get almost eaten by a dragon.
What a prat. What a condescending, elitist prick. But in that moment, dragon on his tail and gold glinting below him, the only thought in Harry’s mind was that he wanted to keep Draco Malfoy.
The revelation echoed around his brain and followed him as he dove for the egg and sized it and clutched it to him, as he flew out of the stadium, as the dragon was subdued and his arm healed. His mind was on Malfoy.
“There he is,” Harry said suddenly. Hermione looked curiously at him, Ron frowned.
“Malfoy?” he asked. “Has he done something to you, Harry?”
Malfoy was talking with Crabbe and Goyle a the end of the hallway, his smirk absent for once, a Potter Stinks badge glinting on his bag.
“Um,” Harry said to Ron and Hermione. “Hey, Malfoy!” he said to Malfoy.
Malfoy looked up, sneer in place. “Potter and his sidekicks, what a nice surprise.”
Harry stopped a few feet from him. “Hey. Go to Hogsmeade with me this weekend?”
Bafflement cleared even the smirk off Malfoy’s face. Shocked noises emerged from Ron, Hermione, Crabbe, and Goyle, almost simultaneously.
“Excuse me, Scarhead?” Malfoy’s eyebrows drew together in a mask of incredulity.
“Hogsmeade,” Harry repeated. He took care to control his smile.
“Harry, what are you doing?” Hermione hissed. Harry ignored her.
“What is this, some kind of pathetic trick?” Malfoy asked. “Trying to catch me off guard?”
“No,” Harry said, “I want you to go to Hogsmeade with me.” And that was the gist of it, really.
Malfoy snorted. “What, Potter, are you a poof now? Won’t that be a headline for Rita Skeeter to get her claws in.”
“I don’t know,” Harry said. “I just know that I want to take you to Hogsmeade. This weekend. Saturday.”
“I know when this weekend is!” Malfoy hissed. “God, Potter, you are such an imbecilic, asinine nitwit! Why in the name of Merlin would I want to go to Hogsmeade with you?”
“Well,” Harry said calmly, considering it, “you probably think about me a lot? Because you made all those buttons. When you think about it, that’s more than a little poof-ish.”
Malfoy gaped at him, face furious but tinged a little red. Behind Harry, Ron snorted, probably in spite of himself.
“But mostly because, you prat, I’m asking, and I think you’re curious.” Harry smirked triumphantly and crossed his arms. “So?”
Malfoy spluttered. “I—that is—entrance hall, noon, and if you’re late I’ll hex those horrible glasses right off your face. Crabbe, Goyle, come on.” Malfoy spun around without waiting and flounced off.
“You’re paying, Scarhead,” Malfoy said, approaching Harry and then passing him by, walking purposely out the entrance hall. A Potter Stinks badge was affixed to his robes.
“I know,” Harry said, grinning. “I was thinking the Three Broomsticks.”
“Adequate,” Malfoy sniffed. “Where’s the terrible twosome? I thought for sure they’d never let you go off with me alone.”
“I persuaded them,” Harry said, catching up with Malfoy.
“Ha, I’m sure. Probably had to hex them from following you, those two Neanderthals.”
“They’re my friends,” Harry said, frowning.
“Yes, you’re a Neanderthal too, don’t worry, I haven’t left you out. I thought it went unsaid, is all.”
They walked in silence to the Three Broomsticks, garnering quite a few disbelieving looks. They claimed a small table in the corner.
“What would you like?” Harry asked. “Butterbeer?”
Malfoy snorted. “As if. I’ll take a sprite soda. And dear god, get us something to eat.”
“Alright,” Harry said, and ordered a butterbeer, a basket of chips, and a sprite soda from Rosmerta. As he had expected, the soda was the most expensive drink on the menu. He brought everything back to the table and sat.
Malfoy pulled his soda towards him and took a few sips, then sat up straight and stared at Harry. “All right, Scarhead, why don’t you tell me what’s happening here.”
“What do you mean?” Harry asked, popping a chip in his mouth.
“You can’t expect me to believe you just up and decided to ask me out. What’s your game? Are the deluded duo a part of it? Have you brought me here to humiliate me somehow?”
“You’re right,” Harry said. “I do have motivations for bringing you here.”
“Ha,” Malfoy said. “I knew it, you gigantic wanker.”
“I was luring that dragon in the first task,” Harry said. “I was at the peak, about to make a dive for that egg. And I looked over and saw you, and ever since, I can’t stop thinking about you.” He nodded decisively and ate another chip.
“Thinking…that you want to hurt me?”
“That I want to be with you,” Harry said.
“Potter. You know we’re enemies, right?”
“’Course,” Harry said. “You’re downright foul to me on a consistent basis. And I’m no better in return. Maybe we could be foul to each other in closer proximity, though.”
Malfoy tapped the edge of his glass rapidly with a nail, staccato pings echoing between the two boys.
“My father won’t like it,” he said eventually.
Harry frowned. “Right. And you are your father’s copy.”
Malfoy frowned right back, leaning forward on his elbows. “If there’s one thing you’ll learn about me, Potter, it’s that I’m not my father’s minion, no matter how much it appears. Let’s get that down quick.”
“That’s good to hear,” said Harry, leaning his chin on one elbow and tilting forward to match Malfoy. “So what do you say?”
“You’d better be ready for howlers,” Malfoy said, and smirked. Harry smirked right back.
The Second Task
Harry surfaced with a gasp, pulling Draco and Gabrielle up with him. The crowd exploded around him, and he shut his eyes against the suddenly tremendous light of the sun.
He knew the moment Draco woke by the unholy splashing and spluttering. “Potter!” Draco snapped. “What the fuck! My father is in that crowd!”
Harry opened his eyes and spun to look at the livid boy. His dripping hair fell into his face, his expression was apoplectic.
“I’m the bloody thing you’d miss most?” Draco demanded. “How utterly wretched.”
“Oh, and who would you have rescued, hm?” Harry asked, eyebrow raised.
Draco flushed a pale pink, then caught sight of Gabrielle. “Who’s this?”
“Fleur’s sister,” Harry said. “Fleur was caught by the grindylows, I couldn’t just leave her.”
Draco rolled his eyes so hard it looked like they would fall out. “For Merlin’s sake, Scarhead, Dumbledore wouldn’t have let her die.”
Harry frowned. “Whatever. I still couldn’t leave her.”
Draco sighed and reached out to pet Harry’s wet hair down. “You’re hopeless. Even when it’s wet it sticks up. Let’s get to shore, prat, and dry off. You can face my father, though. I’ve been through quite an ordeal, I don’t think I’m up to speaking to anyone right now.” Affecting a tortured air, he led the way towards the shore.
The Third Task
“I don’t want you to do this,” Draco said, slow and hard. He had tugged Harry to the corner of the champion’s tent and crowded close.
“Why?” Harry asked.
“I don’t trust it. I don’t trust the hints my father keeps dropping in his letters. I certainly don’t trust that old coot to ensure the safety of some death trap maze.”
Harry leant his forehead against Draco’s. “I can’t just withdraw. They wouldn’t allow it.”
“If you could, would you?” demanded Draco. “For me?”
“Yes,” Harry said, and meant it.
Draco surged up and kissed him, and it was like lightning had struck Harry’s whole body, freezing him before he melted into it. After a second Draco pulled away, still looking solemn.
“Don’t make our first kiss a goodbye kiss, Scarhead,” he said sternly.
Harry nodded. “I won’t. And I trust your instincts. Whatever’s about to go wrong, I’ll come back alive. And you’d better be waiting, understand? I’m not above flying my broom to Malfoy Manor and flying back with you behind me.”
“If I’m not at your side the second you get out of that maze, you’d better believe a rescue mission is in order,” Draco said. “Now go win that cup for me. I rather fancy dating a Triwizard winner.”
Ron and Hermione burst into the hospital wing, rushing to Harry’s bed. Draco was in a chair next to him, bent over the mattress, his hands clasped together and shaking.
“Draco,” Hermione said, pulling up a chair on the opposite side. To everyone’s surprise, Ron pulled a chair right next to Draco’s, and, after some consideration, clasped a bracing hand on his arm.
“Alright?” Ron asked.
Draco didn’t answer, just shook his head.
“They’ve declared Harry the winner,” Hermione said, chattering just to fill up the silence. “The Diggorys are in Dumbledore’s office. Snape is standing guard over that horrible Crouch man—I’ve never seen such a light in the Professor’s eyes, let me tell you. But nothing else can really happen until…well, until everything settles.”
Draco’s head bent lower. “My father wasn’t there.”
“What?” Ron asked.
“Harry told me…right before he fell asleep. My father didn’t answer the Dark Lord’s summons.”
“So…what does that mean?” Hermione asked.
“One doesn’t just betray the Dark Lord and stay neutral. My parents will throw their resources behind Dumbledore and Harry. We’re officially allies.” Draco looked up and grinned weakly at them. “Aren’t you lucky to have us.”
“Immensely,” Ron said, smiling as well.
(And An Epilogue, With Parents)
“I want an explanation!” Sirius erupted, staring at Lucius Malfoy. “I cannot, will not believe this bigoted peacock of a man, a decades-long Voldemort supporter, just up and decided to switch sides! Bugger Dumbledore’s good word!”
“Sirius—” Remus said.
“I agree,” Molly Weasly said, putting her hands on the table. “I’d like to believe, but to be honest, I’m having a bit of trouble doing it.”
Lucius sniffed. “Dumbledore’s word should be good enough for the likes of you.”
“The likes of us?!” demanded Sirius. “The likes of the people who fought against you fourteen years ago!”
“Just give us a reason,” Arthur Weasley said. “Something.”
“You want a reason?” Malfoy snarled. “I’ll give you a reason! That man’s godson!” He pointed at Sirius. “And the fact that my son is infatuated with him, and has, with his ever-so-subtle hints about emancipation in his letters, made it effectively clear that Narcissa and I had to choose between supporting the Dark Lord and foreswearing our child!” He stood, breathing heavily and gripping his cane like he wanted to smack someone with it. “There is my reason, Black,” he said tightly.
There was silence for a minute. Then:
“Well,” said Remus, standing up. “Welcome to the fold! Cup of tea?”