Draco’s stomach dropped as the bottle stopped spinning.
No. It couldn’t be. There were thirty people in the room. At least. HOW could it have landed on him? And on the first spin?! It had to be more than a coincidence! Someone must have rigged the game! Especially as his partner was him too! This just couldn’t be happening. But as the crowd giggled, laughed, taunted, and whispered animatedly around them, the harsh reality became undeniable.
Draco swallowed. Icy cold flooding through his body as his stomach clenched, millions of horror scenes swirling through his mind as the excitement level in the room rose around him. No-one seemed to notice that the world had stopped turning, or that suddenly there was a frantic thumping in his ears. Even his counterpart, who was apparently under the impression that he didn’t have to pay attention to the game at all! As Draco watched, the idiot lazily slugged back gulps of his drink, blissfully unaware of the life changing event currently speeding towards them.
“Potter and Malfoy!” Dean Thomas crowed to Draco’s left, the sudden and disgraceful display of jubilance rattling his already frayed nerves so badly he almost threw up there and then. As he took in a deep, supposedly settling breath, comforting himself with the idea of throwing a Bat Bogey Hex at the abomination of a man, Potter finally blinked blearily at the group. Fucking twat.
“Huh?” he grunted, sounding as educated and coherent as a bloody mountain troll.
“You’re up for your Seven Minutes in Heaven, Harry! With Malfoy!” Finnegan cackled. “Can’t wait to see how this goes!”
“Remember, you’re meant to be kissing, not killing!” the Weasel chimed in.
I’ll kill you in a minute, Weasel, Draco thought to himself through the waves of dizziness. Why had he agreed to go to the party with Pansy? Nothing the bint ever suggested was a good idea!
“Oh har bloody har,” Potter took another swig of his Butterbeer. “What does that mean again?”
“Oh for heaven’s sake, Harry! Do you ever pay attention?” Granger huffed, her exasperated tone almost matching Draco’s feelings. How could the dolt not know?! How could he sit through party games without committing every rule of the game to memory? How did the new ways to embarrass yourself becoming a legal requirement not send with terror flooding through his veins? Didn’t the ignoramus have secrets for Merlin’s sake?! But of course, the saviour of the bloody world wouldn’t worry about that! Just like he didn’t seem to worry about anything nowadays, coasting through life on his fame from defeating You-Know Who.
Ever since the beginning of the year, Potter had been entirely insufferable, making his past years of self-assuredness and blatant disregard for the rules look almost pleasant to endure! Now, the pillock barely took notes in lessons, swanned around the castle as if he didn’t have a care in the world, and brooded quietly in what Draco presumed to be an attempt to master the ‘sultry sulky’ look Pansy was always rabbiting on about (which, judging by the number of sickening fan girls and boys that flocked to coo over him every time he so much as blinked, was working).
It was revolting. It was unfair. And it was downright annoying. Everyone knew Potter wasn’t ever going to have to lift a finger again, but he didn’t have to flaunt it in everyone’s faces! Not when some people were barely able to walk 100 metres without having hexes thrown at them, or when their parents were rotting in Azkaban, or moving to fucking France to escape hate crimes. Every time he saw that frown on the stupid Scarhead’s scarred head, the urge to slap the glasses right off his pathetic face surged through him. Though, right now, the longer the prick stared at their classmates, utterly ignorant, the longer Draco got to stay on this side of the cupboard door…
“You and Malfoy have been chosen to go into the cupboard over there, which will be locked from the outside for seven minutes. During that time, if you fail to snog, you will have to forfeit.” Alas, Granger was intent on educating him all too fast. Draco swallowed as cheers and whoops erupted from his classmates again, a chill running down his spine.
“You’re expecting me to kiss Malfoy for seven minutes?”
Potter’s voice was flat, disbelieving, and entirely unimpressed, like anything besides defeating a maniacal evil overlord wasn’t worth his precious time anymore. Still, for the briefest of moments, a glimmer of hope sparked in Draco’s stomach. Maybe Potter would refuse to play, recount their years of hatred, play the saviour card, force them to take the forfeit, and save Draco the humiliation and anxiety of suffering through the entire ordeal.
He held his breath, hope fluttering ridiculously in his stomach as he watched Potter’s every move, trying to keep his expression neutral. But as everyone nodded, wolf-whistled, and yelled their approval, and Potter merely sighed, downed the last of his drink and stood, that glimmer of hope drowned in a deluge of despair.
“Coming Malfoy?” How did the idiot sound so calm?! Bored even?! Why didn’t he care that he was forced to do horrifically embarrassing acts just because some vulgar idiots decided it would be fun?! How was this not giving him palpitations? Or at least sparking his stupid Gryffindor sense of adventure?! And why was he, Draco, wondering all of this whilst sitting there like a dumb flobberworm with everyone staring at him expectantly?!
“Just waiting for you to catch up, Potter,” he quipped, trying to stand up with as much poise and elegance as possible, though he felt like a flustered chicken about to be plucked. A few titters of laughter hit the air. But as The Boy Who Lived rolled his eyes and began sauntering towards the cupboard, completely at ease, leaving Draco no choice but to follow. He didn’t have time to fantasise about torturing them. He had a cupboard to sit in.
With every step towards it, instinct screamed vehement protests. His heart rate soared even higher, his pulse hammered harder, and horror scenes of every possible thing that could go wrong plagued his mind. He couldn’t do this. He couldn’t spend seven minutes in a dark, tight, enclosed space, kissing with Potter. He just couldn’t! It was too risky, too close to too many secrets that would entirely decimate his entire future more than the Ministry already had! Yet here he was, walking into his fate, apparently willingly! All the work he’d done to hide the truth, pass through life without drawing attention to himself, just to have a semi-normal existence, all of it would be made obsolete in seconds! Who knew what would happen once the truth was out?! Just the thought of it made his stomach churn!
He had to say something. Stop walking. Refuse. Feign an excuse. But if he did, there would be questions, jokes, taunts, and he couldn’t risk anyone figuring it out - even if he thought that no one but Granger realistically had the brain power to do it. So when, barely a second later, Potter stepped into the cupboard, Draco didn’t even hesitate before following suit, hands clenched into fists in a futile attempt to stop them shaking.
With a final, knowing grin directed at Potter from Longbottom, which Potter missed entirely, too busy staring broodily at his worn trainers, the door closed and locked ominously, and darkness enveloped them. There was no doubt about it; he was fucked.
Chapter 2 as promised! Please note I've updated the tags, there is a panic attack, so don't trigger yourselves <3
Thanks to Katerine for the beta!!!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The musty smell of the cupboard choked him. A tight band settled around his chest. His heavy, strained breaths echoed in the silence.
He was in hell.
He gulped in a few, sharp breaths of stale air, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the gloom as deafening silence filled his ears. There were no sounds from beyond the cupboard. No murmur of voices, no hint of laughter. They might as well have been miles from civilisation, entirely alone, locked in together. Just the thought made him shiver. He was just trying to take another, steadier breath, when Potter’s voice shattered the silence, making him jump out of his skin.
“So what, Scarhead?” he spat. It was more venomous than he’d intended, the words leaping from his mouth before he could stop them. But he couldn’t help it; each heartbeat felt like a rabid hellhound jumping in his chest, desperate to escape.
“We’re in here to kiss,” Potter stated in the same bored, matter of fact tone. As though it was perfectly obvious, and wasn’t a completely terrifying sentence to utter.
“So?” he repeated again dumbly, trying to keep his voice level.
“ So ,” Potter huffed slightly, “Are we going too or not?”
Breath caught in his throat as thoughts, thick and fast, swirled around his mind, ice flooding through his veins. What on earth should he say?! He couldn’t kiss him! He absolutely couldn’t snog the Saviour of the Wizarding World. Especially with everyone out there waiting! But he couldn’t just tell him that, either! He’d look like a coward! And why the fuck was Potter so relaxed about this?! So detached?! Like it was nothing! Weren’t Gryffindor’s supposed to be reckless and enthusiastic at ungodly things?! Why was Potter just standing there in the dark, waiting for him to answer, as if he’d just asked him if he wanted more pumpkin juice?! And why was he growing more dizzy, nauseous, and sweaty by the second?
“Malfoy?” Potter’s impatient voice came again.
“WHAT?!” he whirled towards the voice, panic hurtling through him.
“Jesus Christ calm down would you?! I just wanted to know if we’re going to kiss or not, no need to take my head off! You could have just said you don’t want to kiss, you bastard!” The sound of Potter sliding down a wall reached his ears as the prick continued ranting.
“-God I thought we were done with the whole enemy thing, my mistake!”
Potter’s tone was biting, hurling petulant comment after petulant comment at him, just as self-centred and mopey as always. But as Draco’s breathing spiralled out of control far too fast, the annoyance that usually surged through his veins was engulfed by overwhelmed by a flood of terror. Just as Potter let out a particularly aggrieved sigh, signalling what could only be the start of yet another childish brooding episode, a gasp slipped through his lips.
Fuck, breathe, Draco, breathe! An undignified sound escaped him as he tried to fight the panic clawing at his chest. The weight of Potter’s gaze rested heavily on him, even in the darkness.
“The word you’re looking for, Malfoy, is ‘sorry’.”
‘ Fuck you, you oblivious, pathetic idiot!’ Draco wanted to scream. But Draco couldn’t reply; outside the cupboard people were waiting, counting down the seconds until their lord and saviour emerged, desperately hoping that he would be dishevelled and disoriented from seven minutes of sensational snogging that absolutely couldn’t happen. Yet even though they could forfeit, even though Potter wasn’t disappointed, and even seemed prepared for the fact that kissing might not have been an option, if they didn’t kiss, there would be questions.
Why hadn’t they kissed? What stopped them? What had they done instead? Why had they spent their seven minutes in complete silence, ignoring each other? Why couldn’t the two most famous enemies, besides Potter and Snake-face, put aside their differences for a few measly minutes of carnal pleasure! It was almost unbearable to even think about!
Yet still, what kind of a Malfoy would he be if he couldn’t deal with a few stupid questions? Irksome and immature as they would be, Draco knew he could deal with them if he had to. All he’d have to do was throw a couple of hexes at people, they’d soon get the idea that he didn’t want to talk about it. No, the questions wouldn’t be the issue. It would be the wondering about how to ‘help’ them kiss in the future, the plans and schemes that would be put into place, the constant pressure to give in and just get it over with. If he didn’t, if he refused time and time again, people would start questioning what was wrong with him, coming up with theories to explain his odd behaviour, analysing each of his past relationships, determined to find out the truth...
Another barely stifled gasp fled Draco’s lips at the thought, dizziness sweeping over him so violently that he almost stumbled over thin air.
He couldn’t let people ask questions, couldn’t give them any reason too; it was just too dangerous. No, the easiest thing to do would be to just kiss Potter, and get the whole thing over and done with. That would avoid everything. No forfeit, no questions, no pressure. He just had the small matter of the overwhelming urge to throw up whilst hyperventilating to deal with...
“Malfoy?” Potter’s abrupt, testy voice interrupted his monologue, sending another violent flood of panic through him. Shit he wasn’t ready for this! Who was he kidding? Everyone knew he wasn’t brave! And he was a disaster at hiding his feelings! Everyone knew that! How was he going to suddenly mask everything and stick his tongue down Potter’s throat?! He could barely drag in a bloody breath and all he was doing was standing in a dark cupboard, for Merlin’s sake! Fuck!
“Malfoy, are you okay?” The barest hint of something other than boredom or annoyance coloured the prick’s words, though Draco couldn’t focus long enough to decipher what it was.
‘Of course I’m not okay, you utter fuckwit!’ he screamed as his legs moved of their own accord, stepping back from the sound of Potter’s voice, searching desperately for an escape. Almost immediately, his back hit the wall, and suddenly the darkness seemed closer, more oppressive, like it was trying to suffocate him.
Fuck fuck fuck. Gasps, short, rapid, and shallow gripped him, far too loud in the quiet cupboard.
“Are you… Are you having a panic attack?”
‘Excellent observation skills, Potter! What was your first clue?!’ he screamed internally. Not that he wanted to admit the fact that he was completely falling apart in front of not only his enemy, but the man who was also the Golden Boy of the entire Wizarding World, of course. He’d much rather spend an entire year eating socks that were fresh off a House Elves foot, actually. Still, as each second became more painful than the last, every breath becoming harsher as dizziness overwhelmed him and his mind filled with blank, white noise, he could only gasp ever louder, ever faster, in the silence.
Light suddenly flooded the dingy cupboard, stinging his eyes as he swayed dangerously on the spot, the ever-frowning Potter emerging from the darkness.
Even as Draco’s instincts howled in protest, the Gryffindor quickly crossed the little distance between them until he was standing directly in front of Draco, emerald eyes staring into Draco’s, watching him carefully. Completely at the mercy of the panic attack, Draco could only stare back, a single, desperate thought managing to form through the haze.
Thanks for reading! Planning to have have chapter 3 soon!!!