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The Best Subterfuge by applecede
The Best Subterfuge by applecede
A/N: Written for Mynuet, who asked for D/G with a happy ending. Thanks for all the fluff and giggles you've given me!
I. The Entrance Hall, ground floor
Draco cursed himself as he hurried down the length of the nearly deserted hallway, turning up the cuffs of his sleeves as he did so and pulling at his tie that had been hastily done. Crabbe and Goyle lumbered ungainly after him, Goyle clutching at Draco’s bag. Late! Late for the first class of the new week. He’d gotten little sleep for the past three nights, and no one had dared to wake him this morning. With his luck, Draco mourned, quickening his stride, all that would be left for breakfast would be a few oily pieces of bacon. His stomach turned and then made an undignified rumbling sound.
The Great Hall was just in sight. Just as Draco drew near, the doors were flung open and a small group of students exited, a familiar redhead at the front. Instinctively, and rather chivalrously, he later thought, Draco tried to veer away, but his momentum was such that he still shouldered the petite girl.
“Weasley trash,” Draco snapped over his shoulder, pausing at the entrance to the Great Hall.
Ginny Weasley had stumbled, but like an athlete, she had caught her balance easily. “Clumsy Malfoy,” she threw back, meeting his glare, and then turned away to hurry to, presumably, her first class.
The rest of her friends exchanged looks of awe and admiration for Weasley, and Draco scoffed, turning his back on them as he went to see if he could salvage anything from what smelled like a delicious breakfast. If worst came to worst, he would send Crabbe to purloin something from the kitchens.
II. Third floor, Charms classroom, Charms corridor
Draco was starving before the end of his first class. Mcgonagall was not amused when he transfigured his porcupine into a pineapple instead of a pincushion. She had caught him just as he was attempting to slice open the fruit with his a la quill-transfigured-into-knife. When he had argued with her, she had told him in no uncertain terms to be quiet, Mr. Malfoy, or I shall be talking to the head of your house and then ended her warning by promptly stripping Slytherin of ten points.
Draco’s humor was not helped by the fact that Potter and his ragtag friends were snickering at him from the other end of the classroom.
“What’s the use of teaching us if she doesn’t let us apply our knowledge,” he was raging after class, lingering near the Charms classroom and lamenting the fact that he wouldn’t have enough time to send anyone (or himself) down to the kitchens before their second class.
Crabbe and Goyle were nodding, and Pansy Parkinson was simpering at him.
“Draco, I’ll have someone fetch a bit of treacle pudding for you, if you like,” she was telling him.
Draco began to reconsider and contemplating agreeing when the Charms classroom began to empty and the students, a sixth year class, spilled out into the hallways. Most of them were intent on getting to their next class, Flitwick had kept them late, but a few darted curious looks at the loitering Slytherins.
“Probably came to steal answers for the Charms test,” voiced a decisive female voice. The girl tossed her hair back over her shoulder. “Come on, Colin, I don’t want to miss whatever surprise Hagrid springs on us.”
Draco was instantly livid, but Pansy tugged on his shirtsleeve, not having noticed the insult, intent on dragging his concentration back to her.
“Draco, are you still hungry?” she said.
“No,” he lied shortly. “Let’s go. We can’t be late for Potions. I refuse to lose us another point, Parkinson.”
Never mind that Snape would have never taken points from his own house, much less from his favorite student. Draco set off abruptly in the direction of the dungeons, hardly listening to Pansy’s scampering and commands that he slow down as Crabbe and Goyle galumphed beside him like a pair of buffaloes.
III. The Great Hall, the lake, and the library, fourth floor
Lunchtime, Draco ate his fill. He allowed himself to indulge in two helpings of chocolate cake and scrubbed the fudge off the top of a third slice with his fork before stretching lazily and rising.
“I’m going for a walk by the lake,” he informed the Slytherins who were waiting for him to finish. “Alone,” he added, in case they didn’t understand.
Draco returned from his brisk walk around the lake feeling much better. His face had been stung from the cold and his fingers were oddly stiff, but he had never felt better. Especially after he found mugs of hot cocoa with obese marshmallows provided in the Slytherin common room.
Seventh year students had more reign over their pick of classes, and on this particular day, the rest of his afternoon was free. He scowled. It was too bad they hadn’t been allowed to choose their classes at the beginning of the year instead of at the end of their previous year. He would have been able to make certain his schedule was much more accommodating.
They had been assigned a heavy load of homework from Potions – Draco was sure it was because Potter had been moronic enough to botch up a simple Delirium Draft – so he had obligingly had a quick dinner before returning immediately to his room.
Half an hour before curfew and his patrol, Draco sidled over to the library. To his disappointment, it was nearly empty of any of his favorite people to annoy and humiliate. Shouts from the window reminded him that there was a Quidditch team practicing, and Draco remembered that it was Monday and Gryffindors always signed the pitch for Mondays. Draco wondered how he could have forgotten. He made it his business to keep tabs on his competition. Also, the last game before the New Year was on Friday, and Slytherin was neck and neck with Gryffindor.
The patrol was uneventful. He had his obligatory verbal spat with Granger when they met in front of the staff’s lounge, and then he went off to an early bedtime.
IV. Greenhouse 2, back row
“Slytherin won’t stand a chance,” announced an imbecilic Ravenclaw, who was either too stupid or too oblivious to the fact that the Slytherin Quidditch captain was within hearing range.
“No,” objected another Ravenclaw. “It’ll be tight. Gryffindor’s Beaters might as well not be on the team. In fact, they’re a liability, what with them trying to kill their own teammates. Potter was drilling them like mad yesterday, and I hear they’ve got the pitch again today, but it’s all moot. The game’s three days away, and those Beaters are still going to be homicidal.”
“Gryffindor’s got Potter, and their Chasers are in top form,” argued the first Ravenclaw.
Draco dug his spade into the large pot before him and overturned the dirt absently, listening hard. Perhaps those foolish Ravenclaws – Ravenclaws! – would divulge a Gryffindor weakness Draco had not already picked out from spying on their practices.
“They sure are,” sniggered Moron No. 2. “Ginny Weasley was the only thing worth seeing during the Hufflepuff and Gryffindor game. Shame, really, the Hufflepuff’s never could have won. Dull game. But that girl – ”
“No,” an eye roll from Moron No. 1, “Katie Bell. She’s got a willowy sort of figure and I heard that that girl can snog. Plus, have you seen the legs on her?”
“Eh, I like Weasley, she’s fuller, you know? More of a bust and all that. Something to grip.”
“Weasley’s got a fine rack, but Bell is the one you want to be watching, mate. Weasley’s got too much of an arse on her, in my opinion.”
After Herbology, Draco shoved the mouthy Ravenclaw right into Goyle, who caught on rather quickly, Draco was impressed, and held onto him while Draco tore into him with threats of emasculation with a fish-scaling knife and death by machete. When the boy was properly intimidated, Draco added that he was very good at killing people and hiding the bodies. He knocked the boy’s head against the back of Greenhouse 2 for good measure and told the boy to use his brain in the future, and generally, left Moron No. 1 in a semi-catatonic state of terror.
Draco felt very pleased with himself. After all, he had just defended the honor of the Slytherin Quidditch team. Didn’t stand a chance…Draco scoffed.
In fact, just for that comment, Draco would make his team train for another hour tonight…especially Crabbe and Goyle. He was doing them the favor; they needed a workout.
V. Trophy room, third floor
“You got detention, Weasley?”
“Get out of here, Malfoy.”
“What did you do to get detention?”
“What are you doing here?”
“What day is it?”
“Wednesday, Malfoy – have you forgotten?”
“Of course not. I was wondering if you intended on getting detention for the rest of this week. There are two more days, you know.”
“Malfoy, what are you doing here? Your patrol is on the other side of the castle. Ginny, your detention is over. You should get back to the dormitory; you only have a few minutes until curfew. Malfoy, are you done with the second floor? You can’t be done; I haven’t finished with the third floor. And I’m sure I saw some fourth years going into the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom.”
“For Merlin’s sake, stop nagging, Granger, I’m going.”
VI. Owlery, West Tower
Draco picked his way gingerly through the straw-strewn stone floor, avoiding the skeletons of little dead animals and owl droppings as best he could. The Owlery was his least favorite place to be, what with the obvious hygienic issues and the sharp, drafty wind that blew in from the windows. And the least the biting wind could do was wipe away the smell. Draco tried holding his breath as he navigated closer to the perches but gave up and took a tentative inhale and almost passed out. Awful. He didn’t see what was so clean and warm about the Owlery. Gryffindors were daft.
Still, this was unavoidable. He didn’t even trust handing his letter to the buffaloes, so he certainly couldn’t use his eagle owl.
Draco scanned the rafters of the Owlery and finally selected a brown owl who didn’t look as though it’d bite his finger off.
Paranoid, he reread his letter. A simple date and time. A small reminder. Nothing incriminating. He attached the letter to the owl and sent it off, watching it swoop out into the open, circle in the sky, and drop down to the Great Hall.
Slinging on his bag again, Draco paused to examine the gray sky. The winter season had come early this year, and tomorrow’s Quidditch match would be one of the few they would have playing on a snowy pitch. He wondered if it would snow during the game. That would be nice. Bright, rich colors against the swirling whiteness of the pitch. He really couldn’t, at the moment, think of anything prettier.
Slinging his bag to his other shoulder, he began the perilous routing of the Owlery as he left the West Tower, whistling to himself as he went.
VII. Boris the Bewildered, beside the Prefect’s Bathroom
Draco emerged from the Prefect’s Bathroom, his fuzzy blue towel draped over his arm, and started, although he was not that surprised.
“You two are still here?”
Crabbe grunted, and Draco shook his head wryly as he casually combed his damp hair back with his fingers. Of all the nights he ought to get a good night’s sleep, it had to be this one. The Quidditch game was tomorrow, moved forward from the usual Saturday to Friday because Saturday was an impromptu Hogsmeade trip. Draco had left Crabbe and Goyle outside the Prefect’s Bathroom, assuming they would be smart enough to understand that he didn’t need their company just then and could wander back to the Slytherin common room on their own. Apparently not.
“Well, let’s go,” sighed Draco with heavy resignation, tossing his towel in Goyle’s face. “Throw that in the laundry room later for me.”
He stopped as the youngest Weasley hurried down the fifth floor corridor towards him, passing the statue of Boris the Bewildered and making as though she was going to pass him to, presumably, Gryffindor Tower. Two bottles of butterbeer were clutched in each of her hands. Draco watched as she drew nearer, and she almost seemed to lift her chin slightly in his presence.
He thought about letting her go unbothered, but then, why the hell not?
Draco snatched a bottle of butterbeer away from her, and for a moment, she seemed as though she weren’t going to let go and he was going to tug her right into him, but then her grip slipped and he pulled the bottle easily from her grasp. Draco took a long swig while Crabbe and Goyle sniggered beside him and blocked him from the hot-tempered redhead.
“This tastes different,” said Draco, shouldering them aside to stare at her, his tone almost accusing.
“I shook cinnamon down it,” she snapped, stretching out her fingers for the bottle.
Draco held onto it tightly. “Ready for the game tomorrow?”
Ginny gave him a haughty look and lifted the butterbeer she held and shook them so that the bottles clinked like the sound of a toast. “Malfoy, what do you think these are for? We’re celebrating our imminent victory.”
Draco narrowed his eyes at her. “Careful, Weasley,” he said in a low voice, “I wouldn’t like to take points away from Gryffindor for cheek to the Head Boy.”
She rolled her eyes at him and jerked her bottle free from him before continuing on her way down the hall.
“Come on,” seethed Draco to Crabbe and Goyle, striding ahead of them.
VIII. Quidditch pitch
Draco was leaning low across the front of his broom, mercury eyes bright with focus and concentration as he scanned the pitch.
A bludger from Crabbe hurtled like a cannonball at player number eight, who dropped down ten feet to narrowly avoid it before rising again. However, in that crucial moment, the Quaffle was missed and picked up by Slytherin Chaser Montague.
“Incompetent bint,” he called derisively from across the sky. “At least try to keep your eyes open. Even amateurs don’t fly blind.”
“Look to your own Chasers, Malfoy,” Ginny snarled back, zooming away back into the Gryffindor flying formation.
The pitch was an uneven landscape of rolling white mounds. Snow had fallen again this morning, and like after every heavy snowfall, the world was silenced, the lake frozen over. The cheers from the crowds were louder than ever, although less full sounding.
Draco lapped the pitch, observing the action of his Chasers and Beaters and Keeper only absently, every part of him straining to see the Snitch and not wasting any energy on hoping for some luck and good fortune. His nerves were taut with tension; he envisioned the Snitch.
He hated how Potter seemed to be all over the pitch, aiding his teammates even while he searched for the Snitch, scattering the Slytherin Chasers to give access for his own, cutting off Draco’s beaters and, on the whole, giving the crowd a reason to cheer for Gryffindor. And meanwhile, the Gryffindor Chasers were wreaking havoc and racking up points.
It all came to a head when Potter was on the other side of the pitch, busily scattering the Slytherin Chaser’s flying formation to clear way to Katie Bell, who passed to Ginny Weasley, who threw the Quaffle as hard as she could through the further hoop on the left, just as Draco saw the Snitch and threw himself after it. When his fingers closed around the small, struggling orb, Draco felt twin emotions of triumph and despair, knowing that the Gryffindor Chasers had made such headway that 150 points was not enough to save Slytherin from defeat.
But at least they had given a damn good fight and a few bruises to the opposing team.
And, Draco contemplated, it was finally Friday.
IX. Head Boy’s room
Draco was freshly showered and was rearranging the items on his desk when the portrait guarding his room swung open and admitted his awaited guest.
“Mm,” she said, hovering just inside the room as the portrait closed behind her. “You don’t seem to be in the ‘towering rage of jealousy and madness’ Ron claimed you were in for losing the game.”
“I caught the Snitch,” he snapped back, crossing his arms as he leaned back against his desk.
She dropped his Invisibility Cloak on his chair, standing close to him. Neither of them made a movement. Finally, Draco glowered at her and flung himself down on his bed, mucking up the carefully made sheets. He sighed loudly.
“Poor Draco,” she said, clucking her tongue. “Had a bad week, did we?”
“Yes,” Draco said sullenly, fluffing out his pillow and pummeling it before he sunk back down onto it, folding his arms across his chest and scowling at the heartless wench. “A very bad week.”
“Go ahead, enlighten me.” She sounded vastly amused, kicking off her shoes. “Tell me just how bad your week was.”
“It was very bad. I need comforting,” he insisted.
“We’ll see. Speak.”
“I was exhausted all of Monday,” he began, eyes never leaving her as she began to undo the buttons of her skirt, “And I missed breakfast.” The memory of that event made him frown in annoyance.
“Poor baby,” she intoned. She moved her hips slightly. The skirt dropped. Her fingers went to the bottom hem of her shirt, and, in a quick movement, had divested herself of the shirt as well.
He glared at her, standing there in her simple cotton knickers and plain bra. “And then, on Tuesday, I bloodied my fists for you.”
“Did you, now?” She went over to his closet and began rummaging through his wardrobe.
“I did,” he insisted, remembering the incident with savage relish.
She tugged his striped rugby shirt over her head, leaving the top two buttons alone and undone. She came to stand at the foot of his bed, looking down at where he sprawled crossly there in his pajamas.
“I had to defend your virtue,” Draco informed her, embellishing the truth.
She raised her eyebrows. “You mean with Michael Corner? Yeah, I can’t believe he’s still rankled that I broke up with him.”
“That was Michael Corner?” Draco cried, aghast. “I didn’t know that!”
“And how did you know it was Michael Corner?” he demanded.
“Words gets around. I heard about the big, bad Malfoy terrorizing a Ravenclaw.”
“I didn’t ‘terrorize’ him, I told him that his opinion had the value of turtle droppings and that you had a better, um, figure, and that you were a better Chaser than Katie Bell,” Draco said irritably.
“Aw,” cooed Ginny, crawled down the length of the bed to him and slipping her arms around his unmoving figure. “Draco Malfoy, my hero.”
“Are you going to be mad at me for the entire weekend?”
“I should kick you out of my room, witch. I don’t get enough sleep on the weekdays with homework as it is. I should be relaxing on the weekends.”
Ginny curled her body around his and trailed a hand across his chest. “Mm. Will you accept an apology for my devilish ways that cost you your precious sleep?” When he remained still, exercising, he thought, a great amount of willpower and stubbornness, she prompted, and he would have sworn that she was all but purring the words, “It’s been a week, Draco, don’t you want to kiss me?”
Draco groaned and rolled her over as he kissed Ginny thoroughly.
X. History of Magic classroom, first floor
Draco burst into the History of Magic classroom, panting slightly. The Slytherins in the room gave a collective double take at his disheveled appearance. Clearly, the usually pristine Head Boy had just rolled out of bed and into whatever clothes happened to be lying around in his room. His Slytherin green and silver tie hung loose around his neck, and his shirt hadn’t been fully buttoned.
“What,” he barked, losing his head and ignoring Binns completely as he threw down his bag in the nearest seat. “It’s Monday morning, wankers, bugger off.”
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.