H/D, post OotP.
"He could not lie to himself; if he had known the prefect badge was on its way, he would have expected it to come to him, not Ron. Did this make him as arrogant as Draco Malfoy? Did he think himself superior to everyone else? Did he really believe he was better than Ron?"
- Harry Potter and The Order and The Phoenix
Feedback makes me happy.
Harry isn’t used to feeling clumsy, especially when it comes to Malfoy, he muses, trying to sleep the first night back from Hogwarts.
He’s usually confident of himself – of his skills, his friends, his inherent goodness and well meant intentions; over Malfoy’s inherent flawed, petty smallness.
He can beat him anyway, in any way you’d care to mention.
He wins more matches, house points and friends than Malfoy has learnt to dream of.
He can easily defeat him in a fight – using fists, or wands, or words.
He’s better at studying, and with girls, and more people care when he has nightmares or his scar hurts than if Malfoy died.
Even when he suffers, he’s somehow nobler, he feels. He knows that had Malfoy received a detention with Umbridge, he’d have immediately gone whining to the first willing ear he could find.
Harry worries over serious problems –Dumbledore and The Order’s refusal to treat him like an adult, the prophecy hanging over his head, Sirius…he thinks, before quickly returning to Malfoy.
Malfoy, who has been spoilt and cossetted all his life, and whose problems are like him – petty, small and unimportant.
Even his grief over his father has the repellent aura not of a human being in pain, but a child who’s had his sweets taken away. Like Dudley when Uncle Vernon snapped at him and refused to let him watch The Great Humberto. Appalled that anyone could deprive him.
While Harry’s mourning the only real family he’d ever known, Malfoy was probably upset that he wouldn’t be getting pocket money until his father returns from Azkaban.
When Harry curses him, he doesn’t even use his best ones, the ones he practises with the D.A.
He wouldn’t risk jailtime by Crucioing Malfoy (even if he knows that post-Umbridge, Fudge wouldn’t dare question the returning conqueror Dumbledore’s protégé, The Boy Who Lived.)
And though he briefly considered Legilimency, if only for the entertainment value, and likely embarrassment factor for Malfoy; who probably dreams of pathetically mundane things - pugfaced Parkinson naked, being Head Boy. Maybe winning a match for once in his miserable life, or Hagrid getting fired. Nasty, spiteful wishes.
But he wouldn’t waste the energy Legilimency takes from him on Malfoy.
He uses the weakest, pettiest curses he can think of, leaving Malfoy oozing helplessly. He and his goons can’t even move, so Harry and his friends hoist them onto the luggage racks. Ernie and Justin take Crabbe and Goyle, while Harry shoves Malfoy, who’s knees seem to have turned to jelly along with the rest of him, as they buckle beneath him.
He looks up at Harry mutely, his expression a mixture of glaring impotent rage and pitiful pleading. When it comes down to it, Malfoy’s a coward, still frightened of the dark, former leader of the pack baring his neck for the new alpha dog, though he likes to think he’s Harry’s arch-enemy.
Malfoy squeezes his eyes shut in humiliation, lets out a gasping sigh, and oozes all over Harry’s hand.
Harry scrubs his hands and Dudley’s old oversized pyjamas in the sink of Privet Drive, hoping Aunt Petunia won’t wake, and wishing he weren’t so clumsy when it comes to Malfoy.