As Harry set his hands upon the snitch, Draco felt the world shift. It was as if he was being forced to see everything from a different angle – his personal universe of forced austerity was tumbling down about him, and all his thoughts, all his wants, were centred around that impossibly git-faced idiot staring expectantly at him with the golden ball held loosely in his palm. Except Harry wasn't git-faced anymore – infact, Harry was incredibly good looking, moreso than Draco himself; Harry was horribly, wonderfully handsome.
And Draco discovered he wanted Harry – he needed Harry's body, in some loathesomely primitive way. They were disgusting, the images which assailed him; a long stream of infinite perversion that depicted Harry in all sorts of grotesque positions, and they were all the more disgusting because Draco found them intolerably arousing. He threw himself at Harry – he wanted it to stop, now, and at the same time he wanted it to continue – and he needed the snitch, the key to this terrific insanity.
Now, with the snitch back where it belonged, in the curl of his fist, he could only tremble at the memory.
"Do you see what I mean, Draco?" Harry was saying, softly. "That's why everyone's started acting differently toward you. They're not themselves – they're responding to you the way you feel about them."
Lucius crying in his office. Narcissa running from him in the corridor. The house elf with the crayon.
"Except they're feeling and doing things the way you've always wanted to. All those things you keep right in the pit of your stomach, or your heart, or your brain. And they're so overcome with emotion they can't stop themselves from reacting like that to you – you fill them with everything you've ever held back."
Dumbledore smirking as he said the word expulsion, as if he couldn't wait to get Draco out of his sight. Snape gloating over the unfairness of his mistreatments. Trelwaney, and the bitterness in her eyes as she'd slapped him.
"Of course they seem mad. Because every emotion, when multiplied a thousand fold, becomes a madness."
Crabbe and Goyle mercilessly abusing him. Hermione's shreiking curses. Hagrid and his pigs. And Harry – Harry kissing him in the changeroom, and proclaiming a nervous and appalling adoration from afar.
"No!" Draco screamed, pulling the blankets from his head.
"Do you really feel that way about me, Draco?" Harry asked, softly.
"Draco – before this, all I wanted was to maybe – I don't know. Grope you in the showers, or something. Now I think I might love you."
"It's weird. It's as if I hate you, but at the same time I want to be you – I want to be with you, in this crazy, stupid way. I want you to love me, because it burns me that you don't – you won't even be my friend. I want to hurt you for that, but most of all I want to hold you, I want to force you to belong to me, and me alone."
"I keep remembering that time you tried to shake my hand – remember, in the train, when we were going to Hogwarts for the first time. And how different it all would have been if I'd taken it. I – I just want you to be mine, almost in the same blundering way that Crabbe and Goyle are yours, except that you're too smart to be a sycophant – of all the people in the world, you alone might understand me."
Draco was coiled foetally on the bed, his head pressed against his knees. Fragile, hopeless – Harry couldn't stop himself. He moved to sit beside Draco, and put an arm around him, a small and simple hug. Draco didn't push him away.
"I still – fantasise about you, I guess," Harry said. "But it's different. Now I actually want to know what you're thinking. I want to listen to you. I want to make sure you're okay – and I hate myself for wanting it."
"Oh hell," said Draco.
"I'm so sorry, Draco," said Harry.
Draco let out a scream, and burst from Harry's arms, hurling the snitch across the room. It rebounded off one of the walls, and then flew determinedly back. Draco grabbed at it, awkwardly, and began to tear at its wings, but the things were stuck too tightly – it was like trying to pry apart solid metal. Harry watched dumbstruck as Draco struggled with the thing, all his natural grace vanishing as he tugged and jerked. Draco gave up, finally – and threw the snitch again. It bobbed away, then returned to circle his head on its buzzing wings.
"You can't destroy it," said Harry. "The magic which made it far exceeds anything you or I could compete with."
"I have – I have to kill this thing," Draco whispered.
"Yes," Harry agreed, quietly. "Otherwise I think – I think I might hurt you, Draco. Or do something we'll both regret."
Draco wouldn't look Harry in the eye. He doesn't deny it now, Harry thought – even with his pride at stake. Harry felt sick, a sort of despairing hopelessness.
"We'll have to go back to Hogwarts. We can ask a professor what to do with it – they may hate you, but if you gave me the snitch –"
"Draco. There's no other way."
"Snape. Snape doesn't hate me."
"Yes – but you hate him, and so the snitch makes him feel as if he hates you."
"I don't hate Snape. I just – I hate the way he singles me out, as if he's trying to win some credit with my father – not even my father, really, but with the memory of his time with you-know-who. He's a washed-up hasbeen, who's played both sides, and I always thought he'd never received the punishment he deserved." Draco paused. "If I start feeling good things about Snape, will he start feeling good things about me?"
"I think so," said Harry, unsure.
"Right," said Draco, concentrating – his brow furrowed. It was amazing, Harry thought – it had taken Draco only minutes to snap from his tantrum into cool, clear-headedness. Just another reason to respect and admire the boy.. Harry groaned, faintly.
"Why is Snape nice?" Draco thought aloud. "Well, he's always ready to help me out in class. He always encourages me – no one else does that. He's clever, and he knows what's right and what's not; he gotten a second chance and he's made good. He likes me – I know that – he's always at the Quidditch matches, and he gives me what I suppose he would consider a pep-talk before each game. He's really not that bad of a guy, when I really think about it – Harry, leave my pillows alone."
"Er.." said Harry.
Draco rolled his eyes. "You're misinterpreting my feelings," he told Harry, sharply. "The whole sex issue never raised its head in my mind."
"That," said Harry, clutching his pillow, "was a very bad choice of words."
"Get over it, Potter," Draco snapped. "I don't want you as my sex slave. Maybe, deep down, I wanted to be friends with you – close friends, even. I mean, you're popular, and you're moderately intelligent, and you'd have made a decent Slytherin if you weren't so patheticly caught up in all that fight-against-evil idiocy. And it would look good for the Malfoy family to have close relations with the Boy Who Lived."
"So now you're a grand authority on your own libido," Harry grunted.
"I'm sixteen, Potter," said Draco, tersely. "So – I may have had a couple of thoughts – you know, passing speculations on what would happen if you and I did.. something. So what? Hell, I've entertained similar notions about Parvati – but they're nothing I'd consider seriously. I certainly did not fantasise about you begging to play with my wand, or lowering myself in a split-cane basket onto your –"
"Bad, Draco. Bad. Change the topic. Please."
"They're all your fantasies, not mine. Trust you to pervert even the most honorable intent into something so sordid. My word, I wouldn't be seen dead in a lacey black g-string and riding chaps."
"My brain aches just thinking about it."
"It's not my brain that's aching now."
"Please, Draco. Another topic. Let's go back to Snape, okay?"
"If you're sure you can handle Snape too, in your critical condition," Draco smirked.
Harry breathed out. "Thank you. That was a most timely mental picture."
"Not a problem," said Draco, turning away. He walked to his warderobe, and hunted around for a few minutes before withdrawing his broom. Shaking it off a little, he looked back toward Harry. "Up for a ride, Potter?"
"Oh.. oh damn you."
"Mhm. Sorry. My fault," said Draco, with a sigh. "My bathroom's just through that door there. Don't take too long, hm?"
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