“I’m going back to England,” Draco murmurs, resting his hands on Harry’s chest. “I won’t see you again.”
The sand is damp and coarse beneath their feet and Draco curls his toes into it. The horizon is steadily claiming the sun, casting long shadows across the beach. Harry and Draco are standing near the dock, leaning up against one of the wooden support columns. It smells of algae and salt and Draco finds himself leaning a bit closer to Harry, breathing in the subtle scent of musk and smoke that seemed to permeate from his skin.
Harry tilts Draco’s chin up with his forefinger. Draco’s heart stutters as he meets Harry’s eyes—those green eyes had caused his brain to short-circuit on the day they met.
“Don’t talk that way, Draco.” Harry brushes his thumb across Draco’s cheek.
“But it’s true. I’ve had the best summer of my life and now I have to go away. It’s not fair.”
Sure fingers stroke the hair at the nape of Draco’s neck, angling his head to the side. Harry’s mouth covers his and Draco closes his eyes, his hands grasping the front of Harry’s shirt and pulling him closer. Harry slowly backs him up against the column and slides a warm hand down to his waist, then to his hip. Draco lets out a soft noise in the back of his throat when Harry’s hand shifts to Draco’s lower back, pushing their hips together.
As if suddenly remembering where he is, Draco pulls back and opens his eyes. Harry’s dark, thick lashes cast shadows across his sharp cheekbones and if he had the time, Draco could count the faint freckles on Harry’s nose. There’s a slight bump near the bridge—Harry had explained it had broken and he hadn’t gotten it set right. Draco wishes he could hear every one of Harry’s stories, wishes he had the time to get to know everything about Harry.
His heart aches with the impossibility of it.
“Harry, don’t spoil it,” Draco says, slightly amused, pulling Harry’s hands away from the curve of his ass.
“Draco, it’s only making it better.” A dimpled smile stretches across his face and Draco can’t help but return it.
Harry reaches up to brush a wayward lock of hair from Draco’s brow, then presses a soft kiss to his forehead. Draco’s throat aches with unshed tears as he thinks of leaving Harry, of never seeing him again.
“Harry,” Draco asks, reaching up to run his fingers through Harry’s inky hair, “is this the end?”
“Of course not,” he responds resolutely. His thumb runs across Draco’s bottom lip. “It’s only the beginning.”
Rydell High is a tall, proud establishment with white walls and red trim. A flag pole stands high in the front of the building and there are rows of neatly groomed bushes lining the sidewalks. The school itself is sandwiched by a parking lot and a football field.
As it’s the first day of school, the campus is swarming with students and teachers. In the parking lot, spaces are becoming scarce and bright yellow school buses are pulling up. Some students are chatting in groups, comparing summer vacations, but most are making their way up the steps of Rydell, searching for their classes.
“You don’t eat this,” Dean snickers, grabbing the paper bag from Theo’s grasp, “you bury it.”
“Hey,” Theo grabs it back, “that’s a homemade lunch.”
“Your old lady drag her carcass outta bed for you?” Blaise teases, flipping up the collar of his leather jacket.
“She always does it first day of school.”
Seamus grins. “Big deal.”
The four of them wear matching black leather jackets, “T-Birds” emblazoned in white on the back. They all have their hair slicked back and have similar swaggering gaits.
“Ron!” Seamus calls. “Over here!”
They all turn to watch the red-head light a cigarette on his way over. He had been talking to the Pink Ladies, a clique of popular girls of which his sister, Ginny is a part of. They all wear matching pink bomber jackets.
“Where were you all summer?” Seamus asks as they all clasp hands and pat each others backs.
“What are you, my mother?” Ron grins, taking a drag.
Ron exhales and slicks his hair back. “Working. More than you can say.”
Students walking up to Rydell part for the five of them, none of them wanting to start anything with the T-Birds. The five boys are either oblivious to the inconvenience they’re causing or are enjoying the power they have over their peers.
“Working?” Theo raises a brow in disbelief.
“Yeah, working. Lugging boxes at Bargain City.”
Blaise sniggers. “Nice job.”
“Eat me.” Ron scowls. “I’m saving up to get some wheels.”
“Wanna hear what I did?” Seamus asks.
“No.” Theo flicks Seamus’s ear.
“Hey, there’s Harry!” Dean exclaims, pointing near the front doors of the school.
Harry is wearing dark jeans, a black t-shirt that stretches over his chest, and a T-Birds jacket. He’s leaning his arm against the wall, a cigarette between his lips, convincing a blushing girl to do his homework again.
He turns when he hears his name called, brow raised, then grins upon seeing his friends. Harry says something to the girl he’s talking to—he thinks her name is Romilda, but he’s not certain—then makes his way over to his friends, who meet him halfway. They all clap him on the shoulder or back and ruffle the collar of his jacket.
“Hey, Mr. Casanova, you seen anyone decent over there?” Blaise slings an arm over Harry’s shoulder.
Harry takes a drag, exhaling with a smirk. “Nah, same old chicks and guys. Everybody’s made them.”
“So what’d you do all summer?” Dean asks.
“I was hanging around at the beach.” Harry wiggles his eyebrows. “You know.”
His friends laugh and Seamus clasps his shoulder. “I know what you mean. It’s tough with all those chicks hangin’ around you.”
“The only thing that hangs around you are the flies,” Blaise reaches over and musses Seamus’s hair, causing the other boy to bring up his arms to swat Blaise’s away.
“How was the action down at the beach, man?” Ron diverts the conversation back to Harry, who tosses his cigarette to the side.
“Whew,” Harry says, leaning on one hip and using a hand to smooth down his hair, “it was flipping.”
“Yeah?” Dean looks hungry for details. “Crazy?”
“I did meet this one guy,” Harry divulges, flipping up the collar of his jacket. “He was sorta cool.”
“You mean he puts out?” Seamus teases, high-fiving Dean.
“Come on, guys, is that all you think about?” Harry rolls his eyes, but his mouth is quirked.
“Freakin’ A,” Seamus laughs. The bell rings as Dean slings his arm over Seamus’s shoulders and the six of them slowly make their way up to the school, laughing and jostling each other, smoke billowing behind them.
“Do I look okay, Luna?” Draco asks worriedly, adjusting the collar of his shirt. He’s clutching his books to his chest.
“Sure, you look good.” Luna smiles at him reassuringly.
“I’m really nervous,” he admits.
“You look terrific.”
Draco’s pale eyes take in the school looming before them. “So, this is Rydell.”
“Yep,” Luna nods and links her arm through Draco’s, pulling him along. “You’ll love it.”
“I loved the last school I was at.” He sighs. “I wish I was there right now.”
Behind them, pushing themselves off the hood of a pastel pink car, are four of the Pink Ladies. They’re walking in a straight line, up to the school.
“Well, here we are again,” Pansy grumbles, running a hand over her sleek black hair.
Hermione grins, flipping her frizzy hair over her shoulder. “But this time we’re seniors.”
“We’re gonna rule the school,” Ginny proclaims, causing the other three girls to laugh.
“Daphne, that is so adolescent,” Pansy sneers.
The blonde girl looks up from where she’s pulling a Twinkie from her purse. She rolls her eyes at Pansy. “We are adolescent.”
“We don’t have to flaunt it.” Pansy pulls a bright red lipstick from her bag.
“Okay, girls,” Ginny says, smirking and popping the collar of her jacket. “Let’s go get ‘em.”
“Geez,” Seamus scowls, looking over his schedule. “Every teacher I got this year has flunked me at least once.”
The six of them are hanging out in the hallway, smoking and avoiding going to homeroom.
“You’ll spend your time in McGonagall’s office,” Blaise chuckles.
“She’ll wish she’d never seen me,” Seamus swears.
“Yeah?” Theo raises a brow. “And what are you gonna do?”
“I just ain’t gonna take her crap,” Seamus says, shrugging. “I don’t take no crap from nobody.”
All the boys look up as Principal McGonagall steps out of the office, a stern expression on her face. They all quickly put out their cigarettes on the lockers behind them, but she doesn’t seem to even be paying attention to the other five—just Seamus. His face is steadily turning more and more red.
“Oh, hello, ma’am,” he stutters slightly, putting on a charming smile.
“Shouldn’t you be in homeroom?” She questions, raising a severe brow.
“I was going for a walk,” he explains, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jacket.
“You were dawdling,” she says accusingly.
“That is no way to start a new semester, Mr. Finnigan,” McGonagall chastises. “Perhaps a session of banging erasers after school would put you on track.”
“Yes ma’am,” Seamus stutters. His brow has a sheen of sweat on it.
McGonagall purses her lips when Seamus doesn’t do anything. “Do you plan to stand there all day?”
“No, ma’am,” Seamus quickly says. “I mean, yes.”
“Well?” McGonagall looks almost amused. “Which is it?”
“Good,” she says, straightening her back. “Now, move.”
McGonagall shoots one last look at Seamus, then strides down the hall. Seamus scowls at her until she disappears into a classroom.
Pushing himself off the row of lockers, Harry leans toward Seamus, a smirk on his face. “I sure am glad you didn’t take any of her crap, Seamus.”
The other four burst into laughter and Seamus shoots them dirty looks.
“You would’ve told her off, huh?” Ron teases.
“No, ma’am. Yes, ma’am,” Blaise mimicks.
“Aw, c’mon, screw off.”
Their laughter is heard through the hallways as they make their way to class.
“Did you guys get a good look at Potter this morning?” Daphne asks, placing her tray down at their table. She drapes her jacket over the back of her seat before sitting down. “Lookin’ pretty good, huh, Pans? He’s a stone fox.”
“That’s ancient history,” Pansy rolls her eyes and examines her nails. They’re bright red, like her lipstick, and perfectly manicured.
“History sometimes repeats itself,” Hermione points out, taking a bite of her apple.
“She has a point,” Ginny agrees. “Besides, I saw you looking.”
The cafeteria is loud and crowded and smells vaguely of burning oil and body odor. Seats for the Pink Ladies have been guaranteed since the clique was made official, before the five of them even enrolled at Rydell. The Pink Ladies have always had the table near the windows, overlooking the football field. To sit there without a jacket or invitation was undoubtedly social suicide.
“Hey, you guys.”
“Hey, Luna.” Ginny scoots over to make room for Luna and the blond boy behind her.
He’s wearing a crisp collared shirt and a sweater vest. His hair is neat and so blond it’s almost white. The boy has sharp, almost pointy features, but they work and form an altogether very handsome face. His eyes are large and dove gray.
“This here is Draco Malfoy,” Luna introduces. “That’s Pansy, Ginny, Daphne, and Hermione.” Draco smiles at each of them, the apples of his cheeks blushing. “He just moved here from London, England.”
“How are things there?” Daphne asks.
“Fine, thanks,” Draco’s smile is tentative.
Pansy frowns. “Daphne, are those new glasses?”
The blonde grins and pushes the thick lenses higher up the bridge of her nose. “Yeah, just for school. Do they make me look smarter?”
“Nah, you can still see your face,” Pansy bites back.
“How d’you like school, Draco?” Ginny shoots him a friendly smile.
“It’s definitely different,” he says with a chuckle.
Draco’s brows raise in confusion as the five girls groan in unison. He turns his head toward the voice, just in time to see a girl with dirty blonde hair and blue eyes skip up. Her hair is slicked back in a bouncy ponytail and she’s wearing a collared shirt, sweater, and poodle skirt.
“Lavender Brown, the bad seed of Rydell,” Pansy mutters to him before turning her face upward and planting a big, fake smile on it. “Hi,” she says loudly, with too much emphasis.
“I love the first day of school,” Lavender gushes.
“The biggest thrill of my life,” Pansy agrees sarcastically.
“You won’t guess what happened,” Lavender continues, unaware of Pansy’s annoyance.
“Probably not,” Pansy smirks.
“The nominees for student council are out.” She smiles and rocks on the balls of her feet. “Guess who’s up for vice president?”
“Who?” Ginny asks, humoring her.
“Me!” Lavender beams. “Isn’t that the most?”
“The say the least,” Pansy says snidely.
“The very least,” Daphne adds.
“I hope I don’t make a poor showing,” Lavender sighs.
“We wish you the best of luck, don’t we, girls?” Pansy shoots her a winning smile.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed,” Daphne winks at Lavender, earning a pleased expression.
Lavender seems to notice Draco, as her eyes widen and she nearly jumps in the air upon her eyes landing on him. Her cheeks flush and she shakily tucks a lock of stray hair behind her ear.
“Oh, you must think I’m such a clod for not introducing myself!” She rushes over and snatches Draco’s hand. “Hi, I’m Lavender Brown. Welcome to Rydell!” She’s staring at Draco and shaking his hand for an unnecessary amount of time.
He gulps and smiles awkwardly. He now understands the shared groan between the girls.
“So, what did you do this summer?” Luna pulls Draco’s attention away from Lavender, for which he’s grateful—she looks rather put out.
“I spent most of it at the beach,” he reveals. “I met a boy there.”
“You hauled yourself to the beach for a guy?” Pansy shoots him a disapproving look.
Draco shrugs. “He was sort of special.”
“There ain’t no such thing,” Pansy says resolutely.
“It was really romantic,” Draco argues. “He tried to save me because I got a cramp while swimming, then he got a cramp in the process.” He finds himself smiling just remembering.
“Wow,” Pansy deadpans, “so romantic.”
“Did you guys french?” Daphne leans forward, eyes wide.
Grinning, his face heating up slightly, Draco nods. Squeals erupt from everyone but Pansy.
“How old is he?” Luna asks.
“He just turned eighteen.”
“Does he have a car?” Ginny’s resting her chin on her hands.
Draco nods. Now that he’s talking about it, he can’t seem to get memories of Harry out of his mind. His heart clenches, but he swallows down the heartbreak. He’ll just appreciate the memories for what they are—memories.
“He sounds real nice,” Luna says, putting her hand on his shoulder.
“True love and he didn’t lay a hand on you? Sounds like a creep.” Pansy is frowning.
“He wasn’t,” Draco insists. “He was a gentleman. We were in love.”
“What was his name?” Daphne wonders.
“Harry,” Draco says, “Harry Potter.”
The four of them, including Lavender, all giggle. Pansy smacks Hermione’s arm. Draco’s brows raise in confusion, but Pansy puts a hand over his.
“Well, I think he sounds peachy keen. Maybe, if you believe in miracles, Prince Charming will show up again someday. Somewhere unexpected.” Pansy stands, slinging her purse over her shoulder and taking her tray. “See you later. Come on, girls.”
Lavender leaves, her voice carrying behind her, and Ginny, Daphne, and Hermione stand and follow Pansy out of the cafeteria. Draco turns to Luna, who’s working on her strawberry yogurt.
“Do you really think so, Luna?”
Luna gulps, unable to meet his wide eyes. “Sure.” Clearing her throat, she picks up her tray and links her arm through Draco’s pulling him up with her. “Erm, Draco, I think we oughta get to class.”
Draco allows himself to be dragged along behind her.
“Any of you see that new dude in registration?” Theo asks, lighting a cigarette.
The T-Birds are lounging on the bleachers by the football field, smoking, drinking, and making fun of the football players. Dean is combing his hair back and Seamus and Ron are devouring a ham and cheese sandwich.
“He’s a fox,” Blaise nods. “What about that other new chick, though? The freshman?”
“Jugs bigger than Annette’s?” Dean asks.
“Nobody’s jugs are bigger than Annette’s,” Seamus says seriously.
“Hey, I wanna hear about what Harry did at the beach,” Theo exclaims, just remembering. They all turn to Harry, who’s sprawled out, a cigarette between his lips, his eyes half-lidded. A can of beer, concealed by a brown paper bag, is in his hand.
“It was nothing.” Harry waves it off.
“Sure, nothing, Harry. Right?” Ron wiggles his eyebrows and grins.
“You got in his pants, right?” Seamus asks.
“C’mon, tell us,” Dean goads.
“What can I say?” Harry asks, standing and taking a drag from his cigarette, holding it between two of his fingers.
“What’d you guys do?” Theo questions.
Harry shrugs. He recounts a few highlights. “He got a cramp so I saved his life—he nearly drowned. I took him bowling in the arcade.” Harry took another drag. “I saw him almost every day.”
“Every day, huh?” Blaise grinned. “You guys were pretty close?”
Harry chuckles. “Somethin’ like that.”
“How far’d you get?” Seamus’s eyes are wide.
“We made out under the dock,” Harry says smoothly. “You can use your imagination, Seamus.”
“So what happened, then?” Ron frowns.
Harry takes a swig of his beer. “It ended. I told him we’d still be friends.”
His friends’ chatter seems to fade into the distance as he takes another drag, big gray eyes and pale blond hair taking over his mind. He finds himself wondering what Draco’s doing now, whether Draco still remembers him. He knows that Draco’s wealthy and comes from a good upbringing. Even if he hadn’t had to go back to London, it never would have worked between the two of them. They’re too different.
Nonetheless, Harry finds himself wishing he could see Draco again, to give it a shot or just to hear his laugh.
Sighing, Harry puts out his cigarette. “Let’s get to class—I’ve got Snape next.”
“What a grueler.”
Harry, Theo, Blaise, Dean, and Seamus are hanging around near the outskirts of Rydell’s parking lot, close enough to the football field that they can hear the pep rally that’s going on. Harry is leaning against a car, smoking with Blaise, and the other three boys are messing around, laughing and obnoxiously mimicking the Rydell cheers.
“Hey, watch out, pinhead!” Blaise calls out to Seamus, who quickly gets out of the way.
They all watch as Ron pulls up in a beat-up car. There are multiple dents, it’s sputtering, and the paint is chipped, beginning to be replaced with rust. Ron puts the car into park, then hops out, spreading his arms and gesturing to it.
“Well, what do you think?”
Harry steps up and observes it, then grins. “What a hunk of junk.”
They all start laughing, but Ron is undeterred.
“Wait till I give it a paint job, soup up the engine. She’ll run like a champ.” He smirks proudly. “I’m racin’ her at Thunder Road.”
“Thunder Road?” Seamus asks, disbelief evident.
“Yeah, you wanna make somethin’ of it?” Ron scowls.
“I wanna see you make somethin’ of this heap,” Dean teases.
“You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’,” Ron threatens half-heartedly.
The rumble of an engine echoes throughout the parking lot and they all turn their heads toward it. A sleek black car with fire decals drives past and Harry narrows his eyes and clenches his fists at the sight of the boys in the car.
“What are Scorpions doing here?” Theo sneers.
“Think they wanna rumble?” Seamus is bouncing on the balls of his feet, his fists clenched.
Dudley Dursley and his crew, including Piers Polkiss, roll by, jeering at them. Harry moves to go after them, anger flaring in his chest, but Ron puts his arm out, keeping Harry back.
“If they do,” Ron says, emphasizing the ‘if’, “we’ll be ready.”
Harry exhales deeply, then lights a cigarette, turning back to the car. The other boys follow his lead. He runs his hand along the side.
“If you fix up this car, it could be make-out city,” he says with a grin. “A hunk or chick’s gonna have to put out before they even get in.”
“You’d better believe it,” Ron smirks.
“Hey, Potter. I got a surprise for you.”
Harry turns around at the unexpected sound of Pansy’s voice, raising his brows. She’s got a cigarette between her fingers and her Pink Ladies jacket draped over her shoulders. As usual, her lips are bright red and her black hair is in a sleek bob.
“Oh, yeah?” Harry pops the collar of his jacket.
“Yeah.” Pansy quirks her lips.
Harry shares a look with Ron. Before he can process what’s going on, Pansy is pulling someone out from behind the other four Pink Ladies. Harry’s eyes widen and his jaw slackens. He would recognize those eyes anywhere.
Draco looks torn between confusion and shock. “Harry!”
“What are you doing here?” Harry asks, pure delight bubbling up in his chest. “I thought you were back in England.”
“We had a change of plan.” Draco’s beaming at him, his smile gleaming in the dusk.
“I can’t—” Just then, Harry seems to realize the odd looks his friends are giving him. Blaise’s brows are raised, as if he can’t believe what he’s hearing, and Seamus looks like he’s waiting for the punchline to some joke. The reality of the fragility of his reputation hits him and he gulps, realizing that he’s the leader of the T-Birds. He has an image to maintain. He clears his throat and lets a cocky smile slide onto his face. “—that’s cool, baby. You know how it is. Rockin’ and rollin’ and whatnot.”
His heart feels like it’s being stabbed, but Seamus and Dean are sniggering now and Theo is clasping his shoulder. Harry’s pulse is pounding in his ears.
“Harry?” Draco’s eyes are filled with confusion and hurt. Harry wants to reach forward and pull him into his arms.
“That’s my name, don’t wear it out.” He chuckles and barely recognizes himself.
“What’s the matter with you?” Draco’s cheeks and the tips of his ears are reddening. Harry wants to grab his hand and pull him away from everyone, to drag him off so it’s just the two of them again, free of any expectations, free of feeling the need to impress his friends.
“What’s the matter with me? What’s the matter with you?”
Draco’s hurt is slowly turning into anger. “What happened to the Harry Potter I met at the beach?”
Harry doesn’t even know what he’s saying anymore. It’s like he’s watching a car crash, but is helpless to stop it. “Well, I do not know. Maybe there’s two of us, right? Why don’t you take out a missing-persons ad or try the Yellow Pages? I don’t know.” His friends are laughing and the Pink Ladies, with the exception of Pansy, are shooting him dirty looks.
“You’re a…a fake and a phoney,” Draco says, shoving Harry’s chest, causing him to stumble backward a bit. “I wish I’d never laid eyes on you.”
His friends ‘ooh’ in the background, but Harry can’t focus on anything but the hurt and anger in Draco’s stormy eyes. He wants to stop him as he turns and walks away, trying to get as far away from Harry as possible. He wants to run after Draco and apologize, assure him that it wasn’t him, that he’s not like that, that his friends just get in his head sometimes. He wants to do something, but is forced to just watch him leave.
Harry’s heart feels like it’s just shattered.
“So he laid his eyes on you, huh, Harry?” Seamus grins.
“Bet that’s not all he’s laid on him,” Dean snickers and the rest of his friends join in.
Running a hand through his hair, Harry puts a cigarette between his lips. He walks away from his friends, wanting to be as far away from them—at the moment, they’re just reminders of his stupidity.
“Hey, Harry! I got a car, remember?” Ron calls out to him.
“Come on, Harry,” Blaise shouts.
Letting out a deep breath, Harry turns and walks back to the car, shoving Seamus out of shotgun and claiming it for himself.
“Who’s got beer money?” Ron asks. “I swiped my brother’s ID.”
“Hand me a ciggie,” Pansy reaches her hand out and Hermione puts one between her fingers.
“Yeah, me, too,” Daphne takes one as well.
“Want one, Draco?” Hermione asks, a kind smile on her face.
“No, thanks,” he declines. “I don’t smoke.”
“You don’t?” Ginny’s brows raise.
The six of them are lounging in Luna’s room. After the whole fiasco with Harry and the other T-Birds, Luna had insisted upon Draco sleeping over and spending the night with friends. It had taken a bit of work to convince his parents, but they had surprisingly relented.
“Go ahead, try it. It won’t kill you.” Luna holds her lit cigarette out to Draco, who tentatively takes it.
Shakily, he brings it to his lips and inhales. A foul taste fills his mouth and lungs and he starts coughing and sputtering. Tears are brought to his eyes and he coughs, holding the cigarette back out for Luna.
“Oh, I forgot to say, you shouldn’t inhale unless you’re used to it,” Luna says apologetically.
Draco gulps and takes in the aftertaste. Bad idea. It reminds him of Harry, who always smelled and tasted faintly of smoke. It makes Draco’s chest clench and he blinks away tears of anger.
“How about we get the party goin’?” Pansy hops up on the bed, a bottle of wine in her grasp. Daphne, Ginny, Luna, and Hermione let out cheers and woops and Draco rubs the back of his neck awkwardly.
He’s sitting in a pastel pink beanbag near Luna’s bed and Luna’s on the floor beside him, leaning against the beanbag. Hermione is lounging on Luna’s windowseat, her eyes skimming across the pages of a book, and the other three girls are on Luna’s ruffled bed, passing the bottle around.
“Hey, Draco didn’t get any wine,” Pansy notices.
“Oh, that’s okay,” Draco assures her, shaking his head at her offer of the bottle.
“I bet you never drank before,” Pansy smirks.
Frowning, Draco picks at an imaginary piece of lint on his sweater. “I had champagne at my cousin’s wedding once.”
“Ring-a-ding-ding!” Pansy announces sarcastically.
“What’s wrong?” Ginny asks, offering the bottle. “We don’t got cooties.”
Pushing his doubts away, Draco takes the bottle from her, earning a pleased smile. He doesn’t think about it as he takes a gulp and he’s so startled by the sweet taste that he takes another. The five girls are giggling happily as he swallows and holds the bottle out for someone else to take.
“We’ll make a Pink Lady out of you yet,” Pansy says with a grin.
“Hey, I think I heard something,” Hermione says, her brows furrowed. She pulls Luna’s curtains aside and lets out a small gasp. “How’d the guys know we were here?”
“What?” Luna demands, hurrying over to the window. “They can’t come up, my folks’ll flip.”
Even Draco stands to crowd around the window and see what all the fuss is about. Ron’s beat-up car is in Luna’s driveway. Four boys are squished into the backseat, each holding a bottle of beer. Ron sits in the driver’s seat, smoking a cigarette and laughing at something, and Harry is in the passenger’s seat, looking irritated, taking deep drags of a cigarette. Draco ignores the part of him that can’t help but admire Harry’s beauty—he looks like some sort of angel. A dark angel, but an angel nonetheless. Perhaps a fallen one.
“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m gonna get my kicks while I’m still young enough to get ‘em,” Hermione announces with a grin, pushing Luna’s window open.
“What’s she gonna do? Shinny down the drainpipe?” Luna asks, eyes wide.
“I think that’s what she’s doing,” Pansy says, sounding almost proud.
“Hey look, there’s ‘Mione,” Theo nods his head toward Luna’s window.
A slim girl with frizzy hair is climbing down. She jumps the last couple of feet, then brushes herself off and makes her way over to the car.
“Swell bunch, rushing to help a lady,” Hermione says sarcastically.
“Lady? I don’t see a lady,” Seamus teases.
“Hey, shut up,” Ron growls.
Hermione leans against the side of the car, by the driver’s side. “What’s up, Ron?”
“You got a lot to offer a girl,” Hermione says, a coy smile on her lips.
“Yeah, you know it.”
She turns her attention to Harry, who looks utterly bored. “What say you, Harry?”
“You’re lookin’ good, ‘Mione,” he says, tilting his head to look at her.
She smiles, like a shark. “Eat your heart out.”
Harry shakes his head as he stands, climbing out of the car. He flicks away his filter, then takes a cigarette from behind his ear, lighting it. “Sloppy seconds ain’t my style.”
“You going to flog your log?” Hermione calls out, her eyes tight.
“It’s better than hanging around with you dorks.” Harry makes his way down the street, eventually only illuminated by the bright red burn of his cigarette. He wants to be alone.
Ron forces the other four boys out, ignoring their protests, then gestures to the passenger seat, shooting a grin at Hermione. “Your chariot, my lady.”
Harry stands with his hands on his hips, surveying the damage to Ron’s car. There’s a massive dent in the back, causing it to look even worse than before—Harry hadn’t thought it was possible, but he’d been proven wrong.
“Fuckin’ Dudley,” Ron scowls, slicking his hair back. “I’m gonna wring him. He hit it last night, when I was with ‘Mione.”
The other T-Birds hummed in agreement. They were all looking at the car.
“We just gotta bang out the dent,” Ron insists, changing the subject. “It’ll be good as new after that.”
“The problem’s not the dent,” Blaise says, “it’s this rubber-band engine.”
“The problem’s your mouth,” Ron snarks.
“Hey, Ron, you got any Scotch tape?” Seamus teases.
“Hey, big stuff,” Harry nods his head toward Seamus. “What do you drive, huh?”
The smaller boy straightens up, obviously ruffled. “I drive.”
“Yeah? How ‘bout you?” Harry turns to Dean.
“Who, me?” Dean looks almost sheepish.
“Yeah,” Harry raises a challenging brow.
“What about Theo?” Dean asks, turning the attention to the other boy.
“Well what about Blaise?” Theo quickly diverts.
“Well, I…” Blaise trails off.
“That’s what I thought.” Harry puts his hand on the hood of the car. “C’mon guys, this could be a major piece of machinery.” He grins. “With some overhead lifters, four-barrel quads, chrome-plated rods, this could be Greased Lightning.”
Ron chuckles and lets out an excited woop. “That’s what I’m talkin’ about. Guys and chicks’ll cream.”
“Make out city,” Seamus says with a wide smile.
“C’mon, guys,” Harry ruffles Dean’s hair. “Let’s get to work.”
The Frosty Palace is crowded, as usual. Cars are filling up the parking lot and the joint is swarming. Harry lights a cigarette before entering, taking a deep breath and slicking his hair back. The rest of his friends bound inside, but Ron lingers, raising a brow.
“Harry, what’s up?”
“Huh?” Harry tucks his lighter back into the pocket of his leather jacket. “Oh, nothin’. I’m cool.”
Ron doesn’t look convinced. “You still thinking about that guy?”
“You nuts?” Harry laughs it off, feeling oddly guilty about lying to Ron. “C’mon, let’s go inside.”
The other four guys have already claimed their usual booth in the back, right near the jukebox. As Harry makes his way over, he sees a flash of white-blond hair out of the corner of his eye. Pulse thrumming, he tries to subtly stand on his toes in order to confirm his suspicions.
His heart plummets.
Sitting a couple of booths away is Draco, looking all cuddly with one of the Rydell cheerleaders. She’s smiling at him like he hung the sun and they’re sharing a milkshake. Harry finds himself comforted by the fact that Draco looks at her politely, but distantly. He’s wearing a light blue sweater that brings out his light eyes and pale skin. He’s stunning. Harry realizes he’s staring and clears his throat, compelling himself to walk over to the table his friends are sitting at.
“How’s it hangin’?” Blaise greets him.
Harry forces himself to look away from Draco and pay attention to his friends.
“Okay, the meeting is in session,” Dean announces, slamming his hand twice on the table for good measure.
“Know what I heard?” Theo asks. “Last year the fuzz had Thunder Road staked out.”
“Everyone got hauled to the clink,” Seamus agrees.
“No one’ll catch Greased Lightning,” Ron asserts.
“Yeah?” Blaise grins.
Harry watches as Draco stands and makes his way over to the jukebox, his date left alone, looking rather pleased with herself nonetheless. Harry hates her. He doesn’t even know her and he hates her.
“I’ll be right back,” Harry says, standing up to make his way over to the jukebox.
He doesn’t listen to his friends’ replies, instead trying to hurry over as quickly as he can. Right as he’s about to make it, Lavender Brown steps into his path, beaming at him so widely it looks painful.
“I can’t talk right now,” he says, certain she’ll be put off by the finality in his voice.
“What are you doing later?” She’s holding onto his biceps and Harry feels his pulse quicken as Draco looks over.
“I can’t talk, all right?” Harry removes her hands from his arms and steps around her.
Draco has looked away by the time Harry makes it to the jukebox. He’s selecting a song, the space between his brows furrowed slightly. Harry wants to reach up and brush his thumb over it, smoothing out the wrinkles, but he knows he has no right.
“Hi, Draco.” He leans against the jukebox and pops the collar of his jacket, hoping to look good.
“Oh,” Draco says, glancing at him, “hi.”
“How are you?” Harry pushes, tilting his head and trying to make eye contact with him.
Draco won’t bite. “Fine, thanks.”
“That’s good.” Harry gulps and slicks his hair back, wetting his lips and trying not to stare at Draco like a fool. “Listen, I’ve been meaning to talk to you for a long time.”
“About what?” Draco’s voice is dripping with boredom, but the fact that he’s still standing before Harry gives him hope.
“About that night at the pep rally. The way I acted, that was terrible.” Draco doesn’t say anything, doesn’t even look at Harry. “It wasn’t me, you gotta know that.” Harry backtracks. “It was me, of course, but it wasn’t me.” Harry struggles to find the words. “You see, Draco, I got this image, right? And—”
“That’s why I’m glad Yvette is such a simple girl,” Draco interrupts, looking over toward his date, Yvette.
“Simple’s right,” Harry agrees, not able to hide the scowl on his face. She’s pretty, with curly brown hair and bright blue eyes. Harry wonders if Draco finds her more attractive than him. “Too bad her brains are in her hair.”
“Jealous, are you?” Draco finally makes eye contact with Harry, looking at him through pale lashes. Harry’s heart skips.
“Jealous?” Harry lets out a humorless chuckle. “Oh, c’mon, Draco, don’t make me laugh.”
“Well, what have you ever done?” Draco asks, crossing his arms over his chest. “She’s a cheerleader. Do you know how much commitment that takes?”
“C’mon! I can run circles around those pom-poms,” Harry insists.
“I’ll believe that when I see it,” Draco’s tone is dismissive and he shoots Harry one last look before walking away, back to Yvette.
Harry tucks his hands in the pockets of his jacket, taking drags of his cigarette. He takes off his shades as Coach Hooch walks over. She sighs upon seeing Harry, shaking her head and massaging his temple.
“Let’s start with the first rule,” she says, gesturing to Harry’s cigarette. “Cut it down to two packs a day.”
Letting the cigarette drop to the floor, Harry puts it out with the heel of his shoe, wanting to be cooperative—after all, Coach Hooch had agreed to meet with him. He pulls the pack from his pocket and tosses that and his shades onto the table.
“What sort of athletics are you interested in?” Harry shrugs, feeling rather overwhelmed. “Well, first thing’s first, you have to change.”
“Well, that’s why I’m here, you know,” Harry explains, “to change.”
She shoots him a wry smile. “I meant your clothes, Potter.”
“You can’t expect to do any physical activity in those tight jeans and that leather jacket of yours.”
“Actually, Coach, you’d be surprised—”
“Locker rooms, Potter.”
After changing out, Coach Hooch first leads Harry to the basketball court. He frowns and crosses his arms over his chest at the array of looks the other boys are giving him: mainly confusion, disbelief, and fear.
“Fellas, I wanna introduce a new man. This is Harry, let’s give him a tryout.”
One of the boys tosses the ball to Harry and it slams against his chest almost painfully. He grabs it and puts it under his arm, then points to the boy. “You better watch it.”
“All right,” Coach Hooch says, interrupting, “all you have to do is dribble the ball, then put it in the basket. Think you can do that?”
“Can I do that?” Harry scoffs.
Coach Hooch blows the whistle and Harry dribbles down the court, his eyes on the ball so he doesn’t mess up. One boy runs by and grabs the ball from Harry, dribbling away with it. The boys who are supposed to be on his team shout at him to get the ball, so Harry runs after him. He tries to take the ball, but the boy keeps pivoting and moving up and down. Frustrated and beginning to get bored, Harry pulls his fist back and punches the boy in the stomach. He groans and lets go of the ball, leaving Harry to grab it for himself. He smiles, feeling rather pleased.
Coach Hooch blows her whistle and Harry spins around, brows raised.
“What’d I do?” He demands.
“Is he kidding?” The boy he punched is doubled over.
“Oh boy,” Coach Hooch sighs. “Let’s try something else.”
She leads him to the gym, where wrestling mats are set up. Harry’s nose crinkles at the smell permeating from the mats. He instantly wants nothing to do with this. A mountain of a boy is standing near the mat and Harry’s not stupid, he can connect the dots.
“Are you crazy?” He demands. “There’s no way I’m wrestling with that guy.”
“Maybe if you just give it a try—”
Coach Hooch sighs, then seems to light up. “There’s a lot of other sports that are no-contact.”
“Yeah, like what?” Harry puts his hands on his hips and frowns.
Harry quirks a brow. “What do you mean, running? Just like running?”
“I mean something that needs endurance. Something that needs stamina. Like long-distance running. Cross-country running.”
Harry chews on the inside of his cheek, crossing his arms over his chest. “That could be cool.”
“Good,” Coach Hooch smiles and pats him on the back.
Draco is standing near the bleachers, talking to Yvette, when he notices someone familiar running on the track. He doesn’t believe his eyes when he sees that distinctive dark, greased-back hair. Harry is wearing shorts, beat-up running shoes, and a Rydell Athletics t-shirt that stretches tightly across his chest and broad shoulders.
It seems that Harry catches notice of Draco at around the same time, as he continually looks over, his green eyes drinking in Draco and narrowing at Yvette. Draco can’t help the quirk of his lips.
“Hey, are you even listening to me?”
Blinking, Draco turns back to her and lets a smile slip onto his face. “Yeah, sorry.”
She begins talking and Draco nods along, trying to follow, but his focus is drawn back to Harry, who’s now leaping over the horses, the muscles in his legs flexing.
He doesn’t need to be a genius to work out the fact that Harry has taken up track not less than a week after their conversation. Draco feels his chest warm and buzz with the knowledge that Harry had taken his words to heart, that he was trying, that he cares.
Draco is basking in this knowledge when Harry’s toes catch on the last horse, sending him sprawling. Without thinking, Draco sprints down the bleachers, ignoring Yvette’s protests, and runs to Harry, who is pushing himself up with pink ears and a filthy scowl on his face.
Harry looks up, eyes wide, and Draco watches as heat floods his face, settling in his cheeks, making his eyes look even greener with the contrast. Harry quickly straightens up, then resumes his scowl and turns away from Draco, walking over to the fallen horse and righting it, ignoring his skinned knees and palms.
“Harry, are you all right?” Draco tries. Harry’s mulish frown doesn’t waver. “Harry, at least talk to me.” Draco knows Harry’s just being stubborn, as he’s embarrassed by both Draco’s dismissal of him in The Frosty Palace and by the fact that Draco saw him fall. “The least you can do is talk to me after the way you treated me.”
That does exactly what Draco had hoped—Harry’s brows shoot up and his eyes widen as he turns around to face Draco.
“The way I—” he starts, then slicks his hair back, out of both habit and frustration. Draco bites his lip to hide his smile. “Draco, I told you I was sorry.”
“Got you talking,” he says smugly.
Harry’s mouth opens, then closes. He tries to repress a smile, but is unable to. Standing before Harry, Draco is hit, once more, with an uncontrollable wave of affection for him.
“You sure you’re okay?” Draco questions, reaching for Harry’s wrist and flipping it over to examine his raw palms. Harry’s pulse flutters beneath Draco’s fingers.
“Yes, I’m fine,” he insists, ducking his head. Harry clears his throat, looks at Draco through his dark lashes, then glances over to where Yvette is talking to two of her friends, looking upset. “You still dating that chick?”
Draco shrugs and traces small circles on the inside of Harry’s wrist, around his pulse. “Well…”
Harry’s face falls and he chews on his bottom lip, almost pouting. Draco can’t help but stare, entranced by Harry’s attractiveness. He wants to lean forward and kiss his frown away, to smooth out the knit in his brows, but that would be rather inappropriate.
“You taking her to the dance?” Harry looks almost afraid to hear the answer.
“Well, that all depends,” he says, trailing off.
Green eyes flick up to his. “On what?”
Draco meets his gaze meaningfully. “On you.”
“On me?” Harry looks hopeful and a boyish grin is tugging at the corner of his mouth.
“Yeah.” Draco shoots him a smile.
Harry leans forward and slings his arm around Draco’s shoulders. He leans his head back to glance at Yvette, who looks affronted. With a pleased smirk, he puts his mouth right beside Draco’s ear, sending a shiver down his spine.
“She can stag it,” he murmurs smugly.
The Frosty Palace is packed, as usual. It seems everyone had the same idea as Harry, for which he’s annoyed. He wants to be alone with Draco, where he can let Draco see the real him, not the one he’s expected to be around his friends and peers.
Draco looks stunning, as usual. He’s wearing a soft, light gray sweater and jeans that hang just right on his narrow hips. His hair is only slicked down enough to keep it neat and it’s difficult for Harry to keep his hands to himself, to keep from running his fingers through it. Draco looks like an angel and doesn’t that just make Harry want to corrupt him.
It feels right to have Draco’s hand in his and Harry’s stomach is filled with butterflies that always seem to emerge when Draco is near. He hasn’t experienced anything like it since his first kiss and first time doing it, both of which were a while ago, and it’s almost overwhelming. Harry’s not used to feeling so much affection for someone, at least romantically. It terrifies him.
He pushes his nervousness to the back of his mind as he and Draco step into the joint, then wants to groan when he sees his friends, laughing and joshing around near their typical booth. Harry wants to leave.
“Draco, let’s go someplace else,” Harry says, already moving toward the door.
“Why?” Draco’s eyes are filled with confusion.
“Because we can’t be alone here, that’s why.”
Misunderstanding Harry slightly, Draco shoots him a half-amused expression. “Harry.”
Realizing this isn’t going to work, Harry relents. “Okay.”
Keeping his eyes on the other T-Birds, Harry ducks past a booth, pulling Draco along behind him. He keeps low, swooping to the back of the joint, where he hopes they won’t be spotted. Draco is laughing softly, allowing himself to be dragged along to the two-person table. Harry ducks into a seat, Draco copying his swift movements and playing along as he slips into the seat across Harry.
“You nearly pulled my arm out of the socket,” Draco pants, massaging his shoulder.
“Sorry, I didn’t want to miss this table. Best one.”
Still worried about being spotted, Harry unfolds their menus and props them up, creating a barrier between them and the T-Birds.
“What are you doing?” Draco looks suspicious now, cocking a perfectly arched brow.
“Nothing,” Harry says. “Just want some privacy.”
Poppy comes up to their table with her pad and pen. Harry’s well-acquainted with her, as he’s at The Frosty Palace often. She’s a sort of mother figure in his life, whom he occasionally turns to for advice. “What’ll it be, kids?”
“Cherry soda, please,” Draco says politely.
“Harry?” Poppy raises her brows at him.
“I’m not very hungry,” Harry informs her, glancing at the menu. “Give me a double polar burger with everything and a soda with ice cream.”
Draco laughs, delighted, and his eyes sparkle. If Harry could capture the sound and image and get drunk off of it every night, he would in a heartbeat.
“Sounds good,” Draco says with a grin. “I’ll have the same.”
“You got it.” Poppy takes their menus and ruffles Harry’s hair.
“Hey!” He protests, quickly smoothing the sides back down.
“You’re funny,” Draco chuckles, his eyes still light.
Harry grins and reaches forward, taking Draco’s hands in his and smoothing his thumbs over Draco’s soft skin. “No, you are.”
“Hey, how ya doin’, Harry?”
Harry suppresses a groan as he sits back in his seat and looks up at Seamus, who’s grinning. Dean and Theo are pushing a couple of tables over to join with Harry and Draco’s and some of the Pink Ladies are pulling up chairs.
“Hi, Pansy. How are you?” Draco asks as Pansy pulls up a chair next to him, smoothing her hair down.
“Peachy keen, jellybean.” Pansy winks at him and pulls a compact from her purse, flipping it open and fixing her makeup.
“Greetings, pals and gals.” Blaise announces his presence.
“You got any quarters?” Ron asks Hermione, sitting down beside Harry and digging through his pocket.
“I thought guys were supposed to pay on dates,” Hermione grumbles.
“What if it’s two guys though? Or two girls?” Daphne takes a seat next to Pansy.
“She’s gotta point.” Ginny walks over, her armed linked with Luna’s, slurping a milkshake.
“See, the way we do it is we split the check,” Theo explains, squishing himself into the same chair as Blaise.
Dean hums. “Seam and I just switch off.”
“Bet that’s not the only thing you switch off on,” Pansy says slyly.
“Yeah, you know it,” Seamus winks and Dean shoves him.
Harry wants to put his head in his hands—he doesn’t know why he thought he and Draco would have had even a chance of privacy in The Frosty Palace. Thankfully, Draco looks happy enough, listening to their friends with amusement.
“Here you two are,” Poppy says, placing he and Draco’s food in front of them.
“Thank you,” Draco says with a smile.
Poppy beams at him, then turns to Harry and says, “Keep this one.”
Harry’s cheeks flush and he ducks his head so his friends won’t see.
“Anyone wanna chip in for a Dog Sled Delight?” Seamus asks hopefully.
Ron nudges Hermione. “Wanna split an Eskimo Pie?”
She shoots him an irritated look. “All you wanna do is eat.”
“You guys are going to the dance, right?” Blaise asks Harry and Draco.
“Yeah,” Draco smiles.
Pansy turns to face him, lowering her compact. “It sucks having to be around the same boring pinheads for longer than necessary, but oh well.” She rolls her eyes. “It’s cool, I guess.”
Draco frowns slightly. “Do you think they dance differently here than at home?”
“Don’t worry,” Harry assures him. “I’m sure it’ll be great.”
Draco smiles at him and Harry can’t help but smile back. He catches Theo’s eye and Theo is giving him an odd look. It makes Harry feel self-conscious. Clearing his throat, he stands.
“Let’s get outta here, Draco.”
Sensing Harry’s discomfort, Draco stands, and says his good-byes. Harry tosses a bill on the table, then catches Poppy’s eye and gestures to it so she knows.
Draco and Harry enter together, their hands clasped. The cafeteria has been set up for the dance and there are red and white streamers—Rydell’s colors—decorating the ceiling. A table is set up near the back with punch and refreshments and there are already couples dancing. A few single students are sitting on the outskirts of the festivities, looking bored and dejected, waiting for someone to ask them to dance.
It’s difficult for Draco to stop staring at Harry. He looks sharp, without his scuffed boots and T-Birds jacket, and his suit hugs him in all the right places. The two of them are matching—Harry has a black suit with silver trim and Draco’s wearing a silver suit with black trim.
“Want to get some punch?” Draco offers.
Harry grins. “Don’t know if you wanna drink that. I’m pretty sure Seamus and Dean’ve spiked it.”
“What?” Draco’s eyes widen.
Harry shrugs. “Do it every year.”
Draco stands on his toes, looking above the crowd at the refreshments table. Dean is standing in front of the punch bowl, slicking his hair back and looking nonchalant, while Seamus is leaning over it, his actions blocked by Dean. Draco feels simultaneous surges of both disbelief and fondness.
“That’s awful,” he states, though he knows his voice is filled with amusement.
He looks over at Harry, expecting to see him watching Seamus and Dean as well. Instead, Harry’s eyes are on Draco, staring at him with a soft expression. As soon as he realizes he’s been caught, Harry glances away, and slicks his hair back awkwardly. The tips of his ears are turning pink. Draco’s heart blooms.
Draco leans into Harry’s side and fights the urge to kiss him then and there.
“C’mon,” Harry says, his voice thick and his ears still red, “let’s dance.”
“Lead the way.”
Harry is attempting to keep tabs on all the T-Birds, out of habit. He’s anxious, due to Dudley Dursley’s presence. Apparently, Hermione and Ron had had some sort of falling out and were now trying to spite each other, as Hermione’s date is Dudley and Ron’s date is Tracey Davis, the girl Dudley has been having an on-again-off-again relationship with for the better part of a year. She’s a bombshell, but she’s catty and thrives on drama.
He spies Seamus and Dean grinding behind Principal McGonagall. Theo and Blaise are going to town on the punch and trying to convince Ginny and Luna to try it. Harry grins as he watches Ginny say something to them, then pull Luna to the dance floor. He spots Pansy and Daphne slow-dancing with their arms around each other, rolling their eyes and shooting Dean and Seamus dirty looks when the two of them are told by Principal McGonagall to “keep some room for Jesus.”
“Hey, Harry,” Ron calls Harry over. Harry lets Draco lead them over to where he’s standing with Tracey.
Apparently, Ron doesn’t know of Harry’s past brief acquaintance with his date. “Harry, Draco, I want you to meet Tracey.”
“How you doin’, Harry baby?” She leers at Harry and he smiles tightly.
“Fine.” Harry avoids looking at her. He can feel Draco’s eyes on him and finds himself wondering why his luck seems to be running out. “Let’s go, Draco.”
Harry pulls Draco away, back to the dance floor, and avoids looking at Draco. He can still feel the weight of Draco’s stare.
It’s difficult not to stare back, but not for the same reason. Harry doesn’t know if Draco realizes how devastatingly handsome he is. His features are aristocratic and almost ethereal. He knows that Draco caught him staring earlier and that knowledge is enough to help divert his attention when he finds himself looking at Draco for too long.
“Who’s that girl?” Draco finally asks.
“Tracey Davis,” Harry answers.
He glances down to see Draco’s brows knit. “Ron didn’t say her last name. How do you know her?”
Harry shrugs it off and looks away. “Just a girl I know, that’s all.”
He can tell Draco believes him, but pretends he doesn’t notice the elephant in the room. He doesn’t know how to explain to Draco that he gained his reputation for a reason, but that he was trying to be better. For Draco.
Draco is quiet for the rest of the night.
“C’mon, Draco, I told you on the phone I was sorry. I don’t even know what I did.” Harry has his arm resting on the back of Draco’s seat.
They’re sitting in Harry’s car at the drive-in, watching some movie called The Blob. Harry isn’t sure what it’s about, but Draco had said it sounded good.
“I know you did.” Draco turns to Harry. “I still think you went with her, though.”
Harry runs his fingers through his hair. “I did not go with her, I just…went with her.”
“It’s the same thing,” he says with a frown.
“No,” Harry protests. “Look, it was in the past. I don’t care about her.”
Draco fiddles with the hem of his sweater. “Yeah, well what if you say that about me one day?”
“It’s not gonna be like that,” Harry insists. “You gotta believe me.”
Draco doesn’t say anything. He just stares straight ahead as the movie starts.
Sighing, Harry settles back into his seat. He racks his brain for something, anything, to prove to Draco that he’s not just a fling. His eyes fall upon the ring on his hand and he glances at Draco, then at the ring again.
Being as sly as possible, he tries to pull the ring off his finger, but it won’t budge. He gulps and gets a better grip, attempting to twist and pull it. It still doesn’t give. Harry’s chest heats up in slight panic and he rungs is fingers through his hair, greasing it up, before attempting to pull it off again. Thankfully, it twists off with a pop.
Harry breathes a sigh of relief, then clears his throat and wets his lips, glancing over at Draco, who’s still staring mulishly at the screen.
“Hey, uh, Draco.” Harry hopes he doesn’t sound as nervous as he feels. “Would you wear my ring?”
Draco’s eyes light up and he turns to Harry, his brows high and his mouth in an ‘o’. His eyes lower to the ring Harry’s holding in his right hand. “Harry, I don’t know what to say.”
“Say yes.” Harry’s chest is tight with anticipation and he’s smiling hopefully.
“Yes,” Draco says, beaming, taking the ring from Harry. He stares at it, then kisses Harry on the cheek. “This means so much to me.”
Harry grins at Draco as Draco takes hold of Harry’s hand, maneuvering it so Harry’s arm is slung around Draco’s shoulders. He feels dopey with happiness, with the warmth radiating from Draco. He doesn’t think Draco wears cologne, but he always seems to smell like soap and mint, scents which have become comforting to Harry.
‘It crawls! It creeps! It eats you alive! Run—don’t walk from…THE BLOB!’
He looks away from the movie. Draco has slipped Harry’s ring on his finger and is watching the screen. The colors dance across his gray eyes.
Harry slowly edges closer. Draco shoots him a questioning look, but doesn’t say anything. Eventually, Harry turns his head and looks at Draco, willing him to turn his head too. After a minute or so, Draco seems to get the hint. He raises a brow, then his eyes drop down to Harry’s lips.
Slowly, so Draco will have time to pull away if he doesn’t want to, Harry leans in. Draco stays frozen and his lips mold to Harry’s. He pulls back slightly after the first kiss, making sure it’s okay. Draco’s eyes are closed and his lips have parted. Harry leans in again, a bit more purposeful, and brings a hand up to cup Draco’s jaw. Draco makes a soft noise in the back of his throat and kisses Harry back, their lips moving in sync.
Confident, due to the fact that Draco’s kissing him back, Harry lets his other hand glide down Draco’s side. Their mouths are sliding together and Harry can hear his pulse accelerating, can feel it thudding against his chest. He slowly moves his hand down Draco’s hip, curves it around Draco’s ass.
“Harry!” Draco pulls back, his eyes wide, his lips swollen, his cheeks bright red.
“Don’t worry, no one’s watchin’—” Harry tries to lean in again.
The shock quickly turns to anger and Draco shoves Harry away, scooting over and pushing the door open. He steps out and slams the door shut.
“Draco! What’s the matter with you?”
“You think I’m just gonna stay here with you in this…this sin wagon?” Draco straightens out his sweater and starts walking toward the exit, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Draco, you can’t walk out of a drive-in!” Harry protests.
Draco ignores him, then proceeds to prove him wrong.
“Well, isn’t this swell?” Blaise grins and puts his hands on his hips, surveying Ron’s car.
It’s gleaming with a new paint job and looks good-as-new. There are multiple new parts and it’s been worked on for hours. Ron had painted shining lightning bolts going across the sides.
Theo runs his hand along the car. “It’s as hot as the parts on it.”
“Hey!” Ron objects. “We didn’t steal all of it.”
“Yeah, Seamus backs him up. “Some of it is donated.”
“Pfft,” Dean snorts. “Donated.”
“Hey, shut your mouth.” Ron swats at him with his rag. “Just wait ’til Thunder Road.”
Harry lights a cigarette. “You could still change your mind.”
“Flag goes down in three hours,” Ron announces, popping the collar of his jacket, “and Greased Lightning strikes.”
Dean, Seamus, Blaise, and Theo whoop and Harry pats Ron on the back.
“Hey, Harry, can I talk to you?” Ron asks quietly.
Harry shoots their friends a look—they’re cracking jokes, not paying attention—then nods and allows Ron to lead him to the side. He takes a drag of his cigarette as Ron lights his own, then waits for Ron to speak.
“Hey, Harry, uh, we been friends for a long time, right?”
“You remember the drive-in the other night? The one Draco ditched you at?” Harry shoots him a look and Ron quickly continues. “The movie with the duel, the guy’s best friend went with him as his lieutenant, his second?”
Harry nods. “Yeah. So?”
“Well, I thought that,” Ron slicks his hair back, “you could maybe be my second at Thunder Road.”
A wide grin threatens to split Harry’s face. He chuckles, then playfully punches Ron’s shoulder. “Yeah, man.”
“Yeah?” Ron’s blue eyes light up and he grins back, practically beaming.
Ron engulfs Harry in a hug that smells like smoke and grease. They seem to realize where they are at the same time because both of them quickly clear their throats, then step back, self-consciously slicking their hair back and taking drags of their cigarettes. The other four boys are watching them.
“Listen, I’ll pick you up at three, all right?” Ron clears his throat again and swaggers back to Greased Lightning.
Draco sits on the side of Thunder Road, where’s he’s fairly sure Harry won’t spot him. He can hear the conversations and see everyone—the Pink Ladies had shown up as well. Dudley Dursley and the rest of his Scorpions are baring their teeth at the T-Birds. They make Draco nervous for Harry and his friends.
“—good, ‘cuz we’re racin’ for pinks,” Dudley growls.
“Pinks?” Harry looks unamused.
“Pinks, punk. Pink slips. Ownership papers.” Dudley Dursley looks like an overgrown bulldog. He has no respect.
Harry nods, smiles humorlessly, then launches himself at Dudley, fist raised, face twisted. Draco gasps and leans forward, wanting to do something despite being hundreds of feet away, but Ron has it handled. He holds Harry back and says something to him. Dudley laughs as Harry shakes Ron off, then pops the collar of his leather jacket and lights a cigarette, his jaw clenched in anger.
Pulling his knees up to his chest, Draco wraps his arms around his legs and rests his chin on his knees. He can see Ron talking to Harry, then Harry patting him on the back. Seamus is sitting in the driver’s seat of the car, fiddling with something indiscernible.
Draco watches as Ron walks over to the driver’s side, then drops his lighter. He swears, then bends down to pick it up. Seamus seems to deem right then as the appropriate time to exit the vehicle, as he pushes the door open forcefully. It collides with the side of Ron’s head, the sound echoing sickeningly, and sends him sprawling to the ground.
“You moron!” Theo shouts, punching Seamus in the arm.
“Quick, put this under his head!” Luna shrugs off her pink jacket and bunches it up, shoving it into Blaise’s arms.
Blaise does as he’s told, propping Ron’s head up on his knee, using the jacket to cushion it. Ron isn’t moving. Harry kneels over him and runs his fingers through his hair worriedly. Draco realizes his hand is over his mouth and his brows are raised high with concern.
“Harry, he’s out cold,” Daphne says.
“What’re we gonna do?” Seamus is panicking, pulling at his hair and looking guilty as all hell.
“Ron, talk to me, buddy.” Harry is lightly slapping the side of Ron’s face, trying to get him to wake up.
Draco can hear the Scorpions laughing and his fists clench in anger. Thankfully, Ron lets out a groan, audible even to Draco, and blinks up at Harry.
“You okay?” Harry attempts a smile.
“Yeah, I’m okay,” Ron tries to sit up and lets out another groan, falling back onto Blaise’s knee. “I’m fine,” he insists, seemingly more to himself than anyone else.
“You can’t drive,” Hermione interjects.
“No, really, I’m all right,” Ron protests, attempting to sit up again. Once more, he almost falls over and Blaise and Harry have to catch him. “Crap, I’m seeing two of you, man.”
Harry’s face sets. “Hey, you want me to drive for you?”
Ron contemplates this for a few seconds before letting out a sigh and dropping his gaze. “Yeah.” He clears his throat and nods. “Yeah.”
“All right,” Harry turns to Blaise and Theo. “Help him up.”
They do as they’re told, leading him to the side of the road. Draco watches as Harry slides into the car, then drums his fingers on the wheel, taking deep breaths and closing his eyes. Draco feels like his heart is being clenched—fear for Harry is gripping him.
“To the second bridge and back,” Dudley says with a smirk. “First one back wins.”
“Haul ass, Harry,” Ron calls out.
Harry and Dudley both power their engines, then cruise over to where—of all people—Tracey stands, hands high in the air. She blows a kiss to Dudley, who revs his engine. Show off.
With a downward swoop of Tracey’s arms, the cars are off, kicking up clouds of dust behind them. The T-Birds, Pink Ladies, and Scorpions are all cheering and shouting and Draco finds himself smiling despite the worry stewing in his stomach.
Harry’s in the lead with Dudley right behind him. Draco watches with bated breath as Dudley swerves his car into Harry’s creating an awful screeching noise. His eyes widen and his muscles tense, but Harry merely flows with it and steps harder on the gas, urging the car to go faster.
As soon as he reaches the second bridge, he spins the car around. The turn is so sharp that Draco worries the car will flip over.
Luckily, it remains stable and shoots back toward where everyone is waiting. Dudley is close behind, the front of his car sliding up next to Harry’s side mirrors. As Harry approaches, Draco can see his face. His brow is furrowed and his absinthe eyes are focused intently on the road. His jaw and muscles are clenched, creating hard lines of definition, and he looks beautiful. He looks ready to be sicked on the world.
He zooms past Tracey a split second before Dudley, then gradually slows the car, turning it back around and stopping by their friends. Everyone is cheering and patting him on the back, filled with adrenaline. Draco can hear Seamus start to sing.
“For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow!”
Draco smiles, the excitement contagious. He can’t take his eyes off of Harry, who’s grinning widely and raising his arms victoriously.
He loves him.
The realization doesn’t hit him. It gently blankets him. Looking at Harry, watching him grin and let Ron sling an arm over his shoulders, Draco doesn’t know if he ever had any hope of not falling for Harry. He highly doubts it.
Startled, Draco is pulled from his thoughts as he looks up at Luna and Pansy. He had been so caught up in his musing that he hadn’t even noticed their approach. Luna is beaming at him and Pansy is smoking a cigarette, her lips quirked.
“You gonna say congratulations to lover boy?” Pansy asks with a smile.
Draco runs his fingers through his hair. “No, I don’t…he should have his moment.”
“I’m sure he’d enjoy it a lot better if you were there,” Luna offers.
Draco contemplates something for a second or two, then looks up at them. “Do you guys think you could help me with something?”
“Yeah, of course,” Luna says.
The football field of Rydell has been completely transformed by booths and carnival rides. Every year, on the last day of school, Rydell has a carnival celebrating the graduation of the seniors. This year is no different.
“I don’t believe it,” Seamus gripes. “How could we flunk phys ed?”
Dean shrugs. “I didn’t even know I was taking phys ed.”
“Is that…Harry?” Blaise’s brows are high.
The five of them look up to where Blaise is pointing. Strutting past the pie-throwing contest is Harry, in a red and white letterman jacket.
“You gotta be kiddin’,” Theo says as Harry approaches.
“What is this? Halloween?” Dean looks to be in shock.
Seamus doesn’t look convinced. “Who’d you swipe it from?”
“While you tools were out stealing hubcaps, I lettered in track,” Harry says almost proudly, straightening his jacket.
Ron is staring at Harry. “Harry Potter turned jock?”
“That’s right, I did,” Harry smiles, though his eyes are tight with determination.
Seamus frowns. “What you doin’? Desertin’ us?”
“You guys can’t follow a leader all your lives, can you?” Harry slicks his hair back and rubs the back of his neck. The other T-Birds look dejected. “Look, you guys know you mean a lot to me, but Draco does too. I’m gonna do anything I can to get him.”
Harry knows that he needs to prove to Draco that he’s willing to change for him. Draco deserves someone good and caring, someone he can feel good about taking home to his parents and someone who isn’t unpredictable. He wants to give Draco all of that. He wants to convey to Draco how much he needs him—
“Um, Harry,” Ron says, his voice distant.
Pulled from his contemplation, Harry looks up at his best friend. Ron, and the other T-Birds, are staring at something behind him. Their jaws look about ready to drop.
Ron points to something behind Harry and Harry turns, wondering what has all his friends in shock.
He doesn’t recognize him at first, standing near the fun house with the Pink Ladies flanking him. Draco’s platinum hair is slicked back and curled at the top—typical greaser style—and he’s wearing tight black jeans, an equally tight black shirt, and a leather jacket. Harry has a sneaking suspicion that it’s his T-Birds jacket and that simple fact makes his mouth water. He has no clue how Draco had even managed to swipe it. Draco has a cigarette between his obscene lips and he blows the smoke out carelessly.
Harry feels like he’s melted, like someone will need to come by and mop him up later. His mind is in overdrive, trying to wrap itself around what his eyes are showing, and he’s working to keep from getting too hot and bothered.
He doesn’t even realized he’s moved until he’s standing before Draco, eyes wide and jaw slack. “Draco?”
Molten eyes meet Harry’s, causing his heart to violently skip a beat. A cocky smirk curls his full lips and he leans forward to exhale. Harry, barely thinking, inhales the smoke Draco just blew out, then tilts his head and exhales it to the side. Draco’s smirk widens beautifully.
The Pink Ladies have conveniently wandered off to where the other T-Birds are standing. Harry can’t stop staring at Draco, who flawlessly resembles a fallen angel.
“You’d better shape up,” Draco orders, in lieu of a greeting. His lips are still curled. “My heart is set on you, so you’d better not screw this up.”
“You’re the one that I want,” Harry swears. He’s never felt more sure of anything in his entire life.
For the first time, Draco kisses him.
He feels like he’s flying.