Not Quite Donne (nqdonne) wrote in midnight_slash,
Not Quite Donne
nqdonne
midnight_slash

Fic: Cho Must Die a Horrible, Painful Death (pro/1/2/?)

Hello! I'm new to the community (love the site!) and wanted to post my story, just to see what people think, etc. This is just the start - it picks up in later chapters, which I will post shortly. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Title: Cho Must Die a Horrible, Painful Death
Author: NQDonne, nqdonne
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Cho’s messing Harry about leads him to consider… other options (aka: Draco Malfoy).
Genre: Humor/Angst/Slash.
Pairing(s): Draco/Harry (plus Harry/Ginny, Harry/Luna kissage in chapter one)
Disclaimer: Unfortunately not mine. Sad, really.
Archive Permission: Just ask :)


Prologue: “Mission - Snog-a-lot”

In the grand tradition of angsty teenagers, Harry Potter lay in his four-poster bed, unable to sleep and thinking philosophically (as much as a seventeen year old can) about his love life. And he came to the conclusion that it, quite simply, sucked.

And indeed, it did. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, lived a life devoid of all the pleasantries associated with love, lust, and quick shags. Of course, this was all Cho Chang’s fault, though Harry, ever kind-hearted and noble, wasn’t apt to admit it to himself. He refused to see himself as the Rebound from Hell, though he didn’t exactly look back on his relationship with Cho lovingly. The Rebound from Hell happened during Harry’s fifth year at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Cho, fresh from suffering the death of her boyfriend Cedric, was looking for some attention, a shoulder to cry on, and a little nookie. And who better to fulfill her needs than the Boy Who Saw Cedric Diggory Die?

Harry had been enamored with Cho Chang since his third year, when the little floozy tried to throw him off during a Quidditch game by smiling and winking at him.

So, Harry’s fifth year was filled with awkward kisses (salty from Cho’s crying over Cedric); public arguments in cafes over Harry’s nonexistent relationship with Hermione and Cho’s questions about Cedric; and Cho’s yanking Harry up and down like a yo-yo.

Sixth year was no better. Harry gave up on girls, essentially, not wishing to deal with their perplexing emotions and mood-swings. He still noticed them, of course, but when they would give him the eye or come over to flirt with him, he would go all cold and find a way to high-tail it out of the area as soon as possible. It was awkward, but not having to deal with another wayward crush made his life decidedly easier.

After a while, the girls of Hogwarts caught onto the idea that Harry simply wasn’t interested, and they ceased trying to gain his favor altogether. All in all, this left Harry with the status of being ‘permanently romantically unattached,’ which meant that, aside from Ron and Hermione’s company, he was alone much of the time.

Thus, in his seventh year, Harry, having grown into his lanky figure and now sporting a rather attractive physique, finally came to the realization that his love life sucked, though it was in part due to his own desire to cut himself off from things.

Further pondering his love life, Harry shifted in his bed, finding the bed sheets hopelessly twisted around his legs. He hated nights like these, when he just couldn’t sleep. Whether it was the thoughts that kept him up or if he delved into his thoughts because he couldn’t sleep, he didn’t know.

Nonetheless, he settled back into his meandering thoughts. It all seemed rather hopeless. When he wasn’t interested in dating anyone, every girl in the school (and many hundred that he didn’t even know, through owl post) threw themselves at him. Now, when he was ready to “jump back in” (so to speak), there wasn’t a girl willing to get within a ten mile radius of him.

Sure, it was of his own doing, but he was feeling increasingly lonely. Sure, he had Ron and Hermione, but it’s not like he could snog either of them. Or, at least, he certainly didn’t want to. Especially considering that they seemed to be currently snogging each other, and the idea of a threesome was rather… um, unappealing to him.

Harry felt pathetic picking over these silly details. He should have other, more important things on his mind - like how and when Voldemort was going to kill him. It wasn’t like he needed a girlfriend, or anything; he just wanted to connect with somebody after being lost in his dark world for so long. He’d bombed out miserably with Cho, hadn’t fancied anyone since, and was lonely as a result. He wanted a girlfriend, or at least someone with whom to snog a bit.

Harry pondered his dejected situation quite often, especially when he couldn’t fall asleep, which was nearly every night. He was rapidly becoming a full-fledged insomniac, not exactly because he couldn’t physically sleep, but because he didn’t want to. Though he’d practiced and strengthened the skills necessary to excel in Occlumency, he was still anxious that Voldemort would creep into his subconscious once more. Even if his mind wasn’t invaded by the Dark Lord, Harry still had chilling nightmares when he slept.

Harry was never much the “great thinker” (that was Hermione’s role), but hundreds of sleepless nights had left Harry the time to develop several interesting, albeit potentially crack-pot, theories on his life.

Firstly, he decided, the “Boy Who Lived” could never live a normal life, if he were fated to live at all. He was destined to save the world or die, or both, so either way he wasn’t exactly suited to most social company. These incredibly dark thoughts controlled him at times, though his friendship with Ron and Hermione would always save him from going over the edge. This didn’t mean that he didn’t occasionally go on bitter ranting binges, where he would hurl hurtful statements at them. He may have grown up a good bit since fifth year, but he was still apt to hold his emotions in until they boiled over and he exploded.

They always seemed to stick by him, though. Nonetheless, with the onset of their romantic relationship, they had grown apart slightly. Harry stopped telling them some of the more intimate thoughts that swirled around his head. There are just some deep, disturbing thoughts that you don’t share with friends, even best friends.

Moreover, the only person Harry ever felt he could really talk to was dead. Sirius had been the closest thing that Harry had ever had to a parent. Sure, Mrs. Weasley was a parental figure, but not like Sirius had been. And Harry certainly couldn’t ignore the fact that he wasn’t her child. He wasn’t anyone’s child anymore. He was fast becoming a man, a man with very little hope for his future.

His friends loved him, sure, but it wasn’t the kind of love that he reckoned he needed – the unconditional kind that survived through the worst storms, or in his case, wars. There wasn’t anyone with whom Harry could let go of the walls he had built up, and just be himself. He needed to find someone who truly understood him, and the position that he was in. Well, for the time being, at least, he would settle for someone to snog.

The question remained: with whom could Harry mess about?

Harry considered his options. Anything below sixth year would be considered pedophilia, (well, the sex anyway), so that left him with a small handful of sixth and seventh year girls. Hermione was out of the question (unless he could magically banish the image of Ron and Hermione fooling around under the Invisibility Cloak from his head). Her roommates, Lavendar and Parvati might be possible, but neither of them were exactly known for particular substance or fidelity. Ginny was an ever-present option in Harry’s mind, though Harry reckoned she was completely over him and wouldn’t appreciate “emergency love life resuscitation sex” if she weren’t.

But Harry needed to find someone, after all, he didn’t want to die a virgin. That was the very thing – Harry was very inexperienced and had almost no clue what he was doing, even with himself. He was determined, nonetheless, to figure things out; for if he didn’t succeed, he would subsequently be the only red-blooded seventeen year old boy at Hogwarts and possibly in the whole of England who hadn’t shagged his socks off. In fact, he was most likely the only boy in the UK who had barely reached 2nd base with himself. It was really quite embarrassing.

And considering that Harry was English (where 16 is legal), this fact was particularly pathetic. So, the mission was a complicated one. Harry needed to find a suitable girl with whom to hook up so he could give kissing another go (snogging Cho had been truly heinous, on so many levels) and so he could be devirginized. Of course, for Harry, this was a real contradiction. Snogging randomly was one thing, but sex (especially virgin sex – awkward glances, movements, and leakage) hinged upon trust, and Harry didn’t trust anyone.

So, Harry decided to detour from loftier goals, and stick to the “Snog-a-lot” plan. It’s truly scary what one hormonally-crazed insomniac can come up with.

***

End Prologue


Chapter One: Delusion and Getting to Know “Little Harry”</b>

"Jesus Christ! What the f*ck did she just do with my tongue?" Harry was mid-kiss with Ginny Weasley, who had been surprisingly open to the idea of snog-testing with Harry.

Dear God… she bit my tongue. Ginny’s kinky. Ginny! Bad mental images, bad mental images… Oh wait… kissing. Uhhhhh… mmmmhhnnn…. Weird. Don’t open your eyes, don’t open your eyes, don’t open your eyes…damn it! She’s looking at me. Why is she looking at me? Am I supposed to be doing something? Woah! There’s her tongue again. What should I do with my tongue? Oh… um… okay, no. That was not good. Tongue definitely not the way to go. This is so… gross. It isn’t supposed to be gross. It’s supposed to be all… romantic comedy, pent-up attraction good. Gah! Can’t breathe… air, air, AIR!!!!” Harry broke from the kiss, out-of-breath and incredibly freaked-out. Dean had told him that Ginny was quite good at this - a “vixen”, he had said. But what Harry had just experienced was… weird, in a word. Mind you, it didn’t even come close to being as bad as kissing Cho, but it certainly wasn’t any better.

“Harry?” Ginny asked, raising her eyebrow slightly as she looked at Harry like he was an escaped mental patient. “You okay?”

“Um, yeah,” Harry answered, trying to smile and shuffling his feet slightly. “I just… needed some air,” he finished.

“Oh, I… see,” Ginny said, still not quite convinced that Harry wasn’t suffering from a brain contusion, or something. It certainly couldn’t be the other option: that Harry was the first man in history to not respond to her kisses.

“Yeah,” Harry continued, “I was never much of a consistent “breather,” you know.” (Ginny had no idea what the hell he was talking about) The prattling went on. “I, um, tried out for the school swim team once, but I was rubbish at breathing underwater.” Harry chuckled uneasily. “Yeah… I’ve got to, you know, do something. Now. Away from here. Bye!”

Harry left Ginny’s room in a rush, desperate to escape her skeptical stare. “Oh well,” Ginny thought, “maybe he’s gay.”

Indeed. Miss Weasley had a point. Not that Harry was clued into it… yet.

***

“Dear Lord, that was terrible,” Harry muttered to himself once safely inside his own dormitory. Harry couldn’t quite figure out why it was terrible, mind you, but these things aren’t exactly cut and paste, so we can hardly blame him. Anyhow, yes: Harry was confused. The kiss had started out fine - Ginny had gingerly pressed her lips against his, whilst pressing one hand against his chest, effectively pushing him up against the wall, as her fingers ran from his stomach over his shoulder to grasp the back of his neck. (Ginny, you see, is a bit… domineering. *teehee*) After a brief moment, Ginny ran her tongue along his lips, urging him to part them. He got the message, and reluctantly concurred. Ginny had started to French Harry, which, theoretically should have thrilled him, but did not.

The lively redhead’s oral talents had done absolutely nothing for Harry Potter. Just like with Cho, there were no butterflies flitting about his stomach, he felt no goosebumps, and his thoughts never once wandered upon words such as “yes,” “good,” or “bloody hell!” (in the good sense). These would have been, Harry figured, appropriate reactions to a kiss. Ron had always described a slight tingling feeling whenever he kissed Hermione. Dean and Seamus were insistent that they went all numb and felt incredibly sated whenever they were snogging (though Harry wasn’t sure if they were talking about snogging each other or not). Instead, Harry felt nothing but ambivalent awkwardness. In effect, he felt absolutely nothing.

This worried Harry. He could explain away his misgivings about kissing Cho. She had, after all, been crying over Cedric at the time. Not exactly a libido enhancer. He could not, however justify feeling nothing whilst Ginny was kissing him.

Maybe I should just try it with another girl” Harry calculated. “Yes. That’s it. Another girl… I mean: Ginny is like a sister to me. That’s probably why kissing her was so weird.

On the other hand, perhaps Harry was very talented when it came to delusional justifications. But on with the story. In consideration of Harry’s “sister-feelings theory” (prat), Harry decided that he should seek to snog-test with someone he hadn’t known since he was eleven.

This left very few possibilities. Parvati and Lavander were no-go, as were most of the Hufflepuffs with whom he had always shared Herbology. It also ruled out all of the Slytherin girls. If you’re as bad at logical deduction as Harry appears to be, it will take you, say five minutes to figure out that this left only Ravenclaw.

Harry considered an incredibly short list of contenders, considering that he knew very few girls outside of his year who qualified as being ‘legal.’ Eventually, he settled on Luna Lovegood. He had, afterall, known her for a good time (two years), but had come into her acquaintance after his hormones had begun to rage. Plus, he liked her. She was odd, but very nice. He could certainly relate to her. Surely, he would enjoy kissing her. Harry approached Luna one day after seeing her sitting by the lake, starring off into space. He explained his situation (kind of) and she agreed to snog-test with him.

Kissing Luna was very different from kissing Ginny. Luna may have had her head in the clouds, but when she kissed Harry, her hands were down his pants. And all over him, for that manner. She was a surprisingly tactile person, for someone who was off by themselves reading most of the time.

The kiss began awkwardly enough. Harry stood about foot away from her and held a look of apprehension and terror in his eyes. Luna smiled a half-smile at him before she closed the space between them, suddenly plundering Harry’s lips with her own.

Harry found her lips to be slightly slippery, probably from whatever she had on that made them taste of cherries. She was insistent, but not demanding. All the while, her hands roamed all over his body; she particularly keen on easing her hands underneath his clothing and fingering Harry’s sweaty but soft skin. It felt weird having another person touching him like that, but it didn’t bother him.

Then she loosened his belt buckle and moved her right hand into his trousers. Harry started at her touch, but she held him firm in their kiss by her left hand, which sat at the small of his back.

She found the opening at the front of Harry’s boxer shorts, and moved her hand inside to explore. Harry shifted uncomfortably, though he couldn’t quite move away from her. She changed the focus of her lips from his mouth to the sensitive area of his earlobes and neck whilst fingering his flaccid member with her fingertips.

Harry gasped as she made contact and awaited the moment where he would respond, but it never came. After a moment, Luna gave up, shrugging her shoulders as she moved her mouth back up to meet his. She placed a few gentle pecks on his lips and pulled away, smiling at him. Instead of saying something, she just continued smiling.

Harry managed a sheepish grin. “Um, thanks,” he spouted and he took off towards the castle, buckling his belt as he went.

This raised (well, not exactly) a new issue with Harry: a girl (an attractive girl, no less) had had her hand on his penis, and he hadn’t felt the least bit aroused. This problem went way beyond kissing. Harry feared that he might be… sexually dysfunctional. He needed a new plan.

****

Harry was in a weird place mentally as he moved his hand further up his thigh. Masturbating was one thing, but masturbating with a purpose was another. This was Harry’s brilliant new plan: wank off and figure out what (or who) did it for him, so to speak. Thus far, he had no clue what the hell he should do. Normally, he would just feel horny and… just do it. He couldn’t, for the life of him, recall what he had thought about when he’d done it, so he was scarcely in the position to coax himself into masturbating by “the usual” lurid thought or image.

Harry urged himself to think, furrowing his brow and drumming his fingers on his upper thigh. He tried to come up with ‘sexy thoughts.’ Starting with what he knew, his mind drifted from Cho’s sleek, long hair to her flirtatious eyes, and then to her salty tears as she cried over Cedric. That obviously wasn’t going to get him anywhere, so he switched to lurid images of Ginny.

He recalled all the times Ginny had grinned after performing a particularly naughty hex, usually on Fred and George. She was really quite pretty, Ginny, even if she did remind him a bit too much of Ron. His mind almost wandered into the dangerous territory of ‘Ron,’ but Harry steered himself away from it by thinking back on his kiss with Ginny. Had she really bit his tongue? How odd. He could only imagine what she was like in the bedroom, kinky, wearing leather and spanking Dean… Bad idea.

Luna was probably safer, as he had no mental images of her interacting with anybody other than himself. Not that he had put in a stellar performance with her the day before. She’d touched him in ways he imagined any boy should like, but he hadn’t been able to respond. He tried to will himself to, but to no avail. Similarly, at the moment, thinking about Luna touching him was doing nothing. Harry sighed with frustration. He was still down, way down.

“Dammit, Harry! You’ve only an hour until Quidditch practice, get a move on!” Harry exclaimed to himself. For the most bizarre reason, this began to work for him. “Woah!” He grinned and reckoned that he must have a secret schedule fetish, or something. Schedules made him think of Hermione, and he considered that he should maybe be snogging her. He subsided again. Obviously Hermione was a no-go. He dissected his previous statement bit by bit in his mind. Quidditch practice. In an hour. Schedule. Flying on a broomstick. Finally somewhat at attention, Harry hand snaked down below the waistband of his boxer shorts.

“Mmmnnnn… yes. Much better,” he muttered. Harry began to fruitfully stroke himself. Now, Harry wasn’t a big boy, so to speak. Contrary to the, um, *images* one gets in fiction that Harry is built like a formidable porn star, in this Potterverse, he’s average. Delightfully average, to be specific. He ran about 6 & ½ inches long and a slightly above average 2 inches in girth. So, Harry was a happy boy. Especially at the moment.

“Mmmmmmaaayeeeahhh… ride that broom!” Harry coaxed himself further with his naughty Quidditch. In his mind, he was flying high above the pitch, with random people playing their respective positions below him. Suddenly, Cho was flying at his left. She looked so… sexy riding that broom. Masturbation-fantasy-Cho giggled. Harry grinned as he shifted to a swift pumping motion.

“The Snitch!” Masturbation-fantasy-Harry went into a sudden dive. He glanced on his right and found himself flying neck and neck with Malfoy, battling it out for the Golden Snitch. “Dammit Malfoy! Get the fuck out of my… aaaaahhhh!”

Thinking about Malfoy was apparently a real turn on for Harry, because the intense sensations he was experiencing increased, as he became solid as a rock. “Shit! Malfoy? Oooh… yes. For the love of God!” Harry was very confused, but his masturbation fantasy was too far-gone to stop. He and Malfoy were racing towards the Snitch. Harry could almost feel the wind as it blew across his skin and sent his robes billowing out behind him. Glancing at Malfoy, he noticed that his pale blond hair was whipping about; he had obviously skipped his usual application of hair gel. He reminded Harry of a superhero, for some reason.

Harry extended his arm, reaching for the Snitch. Malfoy approached from Harry’s side and reached out his hand, brushing Harry’s slightly. His touch was soft but the shock of it cut at Harry’s skin like a razor blade. Draco looked him straight in the eyes with his ice-blue stare, and caught the Snitch. “Ahhhh…. Yes! Yes!”

Harry calmed down after the last sensation of release washed over him. “Jesus fucking Christ! Malfoy?” He suddenly felt the urge to shower. He felt somewhat… dirty.

“Dirty in a good way?” His inner-voice asked him. “No fucking way!” Harry proclaimed, but aloud. “Get a grip on yourself, Harry. Talking to yourself is not a good sign.” Harry’s inner-monologue resumed, though he couldn’t be sure whether it was his deluded conscious or nagging subconscious mind that was speaking.

Harry grabbed a towel and headed off to the Prefects’ bathroom, glad that Ron had given him the password in a moment of guilt (over being chosen Prefect instead of Harry) and intense fear (when Harry threatened to tell Hermione that Ron fancied an erotic evening which consisted of Ron tied to the bed and Hermione with an array of dildos at her disposal). He found the room thankfully unoccupied, rushed inside, and turned on a few taps at random. Peeling his clothes off, Harry wondered about what had just happened. Had he really fantasized about Malfoy? Malfoy and Quidditch, yes, but why had his presence seemed to… urge Harry along?

“Dear God…. What if I’m gay?” Harry exclaimed out loud, dropping his pants on a chair by the tub.

The mermaid on the wall, who had been simpering at Harry and waving, started shuffling towards the edge of her painting and was shooting Harry some awkward and confused glances.

Harry settled into the pleasantly warm water of the bath and took a moment to gather his thoughts. He couldn’t like boys… could he? He’d always seemed to like girls, like Cho. Cho was lovely. Well, she was until he got to know her. But he’d certainly liked other girls…

Harry racked his brains for other females after whom he had lusted. Compared to his infatuation with Cho, he didn’t reckon he’d ever lusted after another girl. “But just because I haven’t liked girls other than Cho, doesn’t mean that I like boys,” he murmered to himself. The mermaid on the wall snickered. Harry shot her a nasty look and returned to his relaxing bath.

For a half hour, all that could be heard in the Prefects’ bathroom was the reverberating ‘drip, drip’ of one of the faucets. Harry sat in silent contemplation, as he tried to wash his earlier thoughts from his mind, but they had already pervaded his senses too deeply and would not let him be.

“Malfoy.” Harry finally spoke. His voice sounded oddly disjointed in the marble bathroom. “Draco Malfoy.” Harry furrowed his eyebrows and cried out suddenly, “Arrrghh!” He immersed himself underwater with a splash. At this point, it was not so much that Harry might fancy boys that upset him, but the fact that he appeared to fancy Malfoy in particular. He was a spoiled, cruel, poncy git. One shouldn’t fancy a shag with spoiled, cruel, poncy gits, Harry was sure.

Harry shut his eyes and took himself back to the image of Malfoy from earlier. The cold wind had brought a slight blush to Malfoy’s otherwise pale cheeks. It made him look almost human. And his hair had looked so soft and touchable. Soft and touchable… like his hand. That was Harry’s favorite part of the whole fantasy – touching Malfoy. Harry was sure he had felt sparks when Malfoy’s fingers grazed his hand, even though it was all in Harry’s head.

Harry had no idea where to go from here. He’d never officially learned sex education, not at Muggle school, not at Hogwarts (in the sense of a class, though he and his dormmates had had more than a few conversations on the subject), and certainly not at the Dursley’s. Dudley got the “birds and the bee’s” talk when he and Harry were about twelve, but Harry had only heard snippets of it from the landing. Uncle Vernon had noticed him skulking there and shot him a scathing look that told Harry to get back upstairs to his bedroom. And the only opinion of homosexuality that Harry had ever heard was Aunt Petunia’s mutterings about “those freaks” when a gay couple had moved into the neighborhood. They didn’t stay long.

Moreover, Harry didn’t know anyone who was gay, or at least not anyone who had admitted it. He’d heard that Dean and Seamus occasionally snogged, for the sake of experimentation, but Harry had never been so bold as to ask Ron to experiment as well.

How was he supposed to know if he was gay, if he had no idea what being gay meant? Sure, maybe he fancied boys – maybe - but what was he supposed to do about it? He reckoned he should figure out what being gay meant before he jumped to any conclusions. Could you get that kind of information at Hogwarts? Did the library carry those kinds of books? This required research, but Harry was crap at research. Research was something more on Hermione’s vein.

“Hermione!” Harry exclaimed. The plan man had a yet another plan: he had to talk to Hermione.

End Chapter One



Chapter Two: Gay As Blazes

“Um, Hermione?” Harry questioned his friend hesitantly. It’d taken him a week to both get Hermione alone and to gather up the courage to approach her with his dilemma. Admitting to your best friend that you might be gay wasn’t exactly the kind of thing you looked forward to.

Hermione glanced up from her study materials. “Yes, Harry?” She smiled sweetly, but her eyes indicated that, if it wasn’t important, she would prefer to return to her studies.

“I, um,” Harry glanced around the library apprehensively. It was mostly empty, but he wanted to keep his conversation with Hermione private, so he pulled up a chair next to her and scooted as close as he could without being invasive. “I need to talk to you.”

Hermione cast him a bemused look, entertained by his statement of the blatantly obvious. “I’m all ears, Harry,” she grinned.

Harry smiled sheepishly, trying to put himself at ease and think of how to phrase his problem. “Well, I think I like somebody, you see…”

A glint of interest danced in Hermione’s eyes; she was no gossip, but she loved juicy bits of information about her nearest and dearest. She resisted the urge to coax him along with a soothing phrase, he’d probably get nervous and stop telling her altogether.

“But, it’s not exactly the sort of person I’ve been attracted to before,” Harry continued, “I, uh, I wanted to get your opinion on it.”

“Go ahead, Harry,” Hermione cajoled, “Who do you think you like?”

“Um,” Harry averted his eyes from hers not about to blithely profess that it was Malfoy that held his interest, “it’s a – a bloke, you see.”

“Oh,” Hermione’s eyes widened in surprise, “well, that’s okay Harry. There’s nothing wrong with liking boys.” She reached over and touched his hand reassuringly.

“I know that, Hermione. It’s just… I’m not even sure if I am…” he hesitated, “gay,” he finished, looking around to be sure no one was listening. He leaned in closer and spoke almost at a whisper. “I don’t know if it’s just this one boy I like or all boys. I thought you might… know things. Like books about it.”

“Harry,” she said quietly, “they don’t really make books that can tell a person if they’re gay.”

“That’s not what I meant, Hermione,” he sighed, “I don’t know very much about what being gay involves. How can I know if I’m gay if I don’t even know what being gay means?”

“Oh,” Hermione smiled weakly, mentally searching for the best way to handle the situation. “Well, I’m not exactly an expert on the subject, but I’m sure I could help you figure something out.”

“Thanks, Hermione,” Harry let out a weary sigh.

“Maybe we should talk somewhere a bit more… private,” she suggested as she began collecting her things.

Harry nodded resolutely and rose to follow her out of the library.

**

Hermione led Harry outside to a grassy knoll by the lake. They both sat down and Harry gulped.

“Harry,” Hermione began cautiously, “how long have you thought you might be gay?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Harry picked at his cuticles distractedly, “a week or two?”

“A week or two?” Hermione looked at him, aghast. “So I really am the first person you’ve come to about this?”

“Well, yes Hermione,” Harry answered. “I wasn’t getting anywhere trying to figure it out by myself. How the hell should I know what all of this means?”

Hermione winced. He was getting angry, like he had in fifth year. “What is it that made you start thinking that you might be gay?”

Harry took a deep breath, attempting to quell the anger that was rising in his throat. “Well, I tried kissing girls, but it did absolutely nothing for me. And then when I was… um, you *know*,” he made a gesture and Hermione wordlessly mouthed ‘oh’, her eyes widening in understanding, “I kinda started thinking about this bloke….”

He trailed off. Hermione peered at him expectantly. Obviously she needed more information, so he continued.

“And it seemed to really… you know, *work* when I thought about him, and ever since then it’s been like ‘all blokes, all the time’ in my mind. I can’t stop thinking about them, well *him* really.”

Hermione reached over and gingerly touched her hand to his. “Can you tell me who it is, Harry?”

“I, uh,” he choked, “um, I don’t think so. It’s a bit… embarrassing.”

“Embarrassing?” she repeated. He nodded. “Oh. Then is it someone we know?” He nodded again, casting his eyes down on the ground.

“Oh, Harry,” she scooted closer to him and asked at practically a whisper, “is it Ron?”

“Ugh!” he jumped back suddenly, startling her, “No! God, Hermione… do you really think I would fancy my best friend? That’s just… wrong.”

"What's wrong with fancying Ron?" Hermione demanded indignantly.

Harry chuckled slightly, “Absolutely nothing, Hermione – as long as it’s you doing the fancying and not me.”

“I, I…” she blushed ferociously, “alright, fine. You know, so now you get to tell me your secret crush.”
“Your liking Ron was hardly a secret, Hermione,” Harry answered her, smiling for the first time since their conversation began.

For a moment Hermione remained silent as she thought of all the boys of their acquaintance. A knowing look dawned on her face. “Harry, is it Neville?”

Harry looked like he would be sick. “Thanks, Herm. Now I'll never get those images out of my head.”

“Oh,” she sulked, visibly racking her brain for possibilities. “Um… Justin Finch-Fletchley?”

“Seriously, Hermione,” Harry rolled his eyes, “You have no faith in my good taste, do you?”

She simply cast him a confused look.

“He has a weird… jaw thing,” he answered with a shudder.

“Seamus?” He shook his head.

“Dean?” Another no.

“Um… Blaise Zabini?”

“You’re kidding me, right? He’s far too feminine for my tastes,” Harry scoffed.

“A lot of girls – and boys – fancy Blaise Zabini,” Hermione said defensively, and Harry suspected she might be one of those girls.

“Yes, Hermione, but he talks to himself. He’s weird.”

She huffed in annoyance. “Fine. You don’t like feminine guys, so… Crabbe?”

Harry actually retched.

“Goyle?”

“Ugh!” he jumped up from his seat. “You’re disgusting Hermione! Those two are just… revolting.”

She continued, “Ernie Macmillan? Colin Creevey? Dennis Creevey?”

Harry began to look increasingly agitated.

“Oliver Wood? Fred & George Weasley? Professor Snape?”

Harry screwed his eyes shut and balled his fists together. “Malfoy!” he shot out, refusing to open his eyes to look at her.

“Excuse me?” she pondered, thinking she hadn’t heard him correctly. “You’ll have to say that again, Harry, ‘cause I could have *sworn* you just said ‘Malfoy’.”

Harry’s face felt hot and he was sure that he was blushing. He shuffled his feet. “I did.”

For a moment Hermione was speechless. “Oh, wow. Wow,” she paused. “*Malfoy*, Harry? Are you mad?”

He turned from embarrassment to indignation. “What? This from the girl who likes Ron and Blaise Zabini? Please!”

“What’s *that* supposed to mean?” She jumped up to face him, her hands on her hips.

“Well,” Harry mused, “at least my crush is hot.”

“Ron is hot!” she stamped her foot.

“I don’t think so,” he answered, crossing his arms against his chest.

“Oh, please. If you think that fancying Malfoy amounts to having taste, then you can hardly comment on Ron.”

Harry eyed her keenly, “Are you telling me that you don’t think that Malfoy is attractive? I’ve seen the way you look at him, so don’t lie.”

Hermione opened her mouth, but didn’t say anything for a moment. “I… can appreciate his aesthetic beauty,” she continued carefully. “But that doesn’t mean that I fancy him.”

“Sure,” Harry countered, “and all that fighting that goes on between you two doesn’t get you all hot and bothered?”

“No!” she exclaimed, “I’d reckon that’s more your reaction, Harry, if you’re having masturbation fantasies about him.”

“I…” Harry tried to protest, but she was right.

“So this is why you think you’re gay?” she settled back down and motioned for him to sit as well.

“Well, yeah,” he shifted uncomfortably as he sat down. “The first time I… thought about him in that way, I was trying to think about Cho and it just kinda… ended up that way.”

Hermione nodded, urging him further.

“And now, since then, it’s been like I’m suddenly attune to him, cause I notice him all the time… how he moves, his facial expressions, what he’s wearing. And I think about him all the time, and at first it really scared me… but now it doesn’t seem wrong. It feels… right.”

Hermione sighed. “Well, Harry, it’s like I said – there’s nothing wrong with being gay. Mind you, the fact that it’s Malfoy you fancy is a bit disturbing, but that’s beside the point. Do you fancy other boys as well? Or is it just him?”

“I don’t know, Hermione. I think it may just be him.”

“Well, you said that you tried kissing other girls, right?” Hermione tried to rationalize the situation, per usual. Harry nodded his assent. “Maybe you should try kissing boys.”

“I thought about that.” Harry let out an exasperated sigh. “But the only person I can really see myself wanting to kiss is Malfoy.”

“Then maybe you should,” she stated simply.

“What?” Harry looked frightened all of a sudden.

“Kiss Malfoy, I mean,” she continued. “It would certainly give you a clue as to whether you really fancy him.”

“Hermione,” he protested, “I can’t just kiss Malfoy. What am I going to do, lock him in a room, snog the hell out of him, and memory charm him before he can say ‘what?’?”

“Sounds like a plan,” she answered.

“Ugh,” he groaned as he buried his head in his hands. Why did she have to be so logical about everything?

**

Harry really wasn’t keen on ‘the plan.’ In fact, he was rather convinced that none of his plans worked very well, and considering that this was the most difficult plan he’d ever come up with, it was bound to fail.

Still, he felt somewhat reassured by his chat with Hermione. She had gone on to tell him that her uncle was gay, and that he said that being homosexual was pretty much like being heterosexual, save a few physical details.

“It all boils down to attraction and love,” she’d said. “And neither of those are gender specific.”

She’d been understandably fuzzy on the physical specifics, but had promised to find a book to help him out, as she was sure there were some. If all else failed, she said her uncle would be more than happy to speak to him.

But now, as he sat in Transfiguration staring at the back of Malfoy’s head, he wasn’t sure he’d have the guts to do what he needed to. They were mortal enemies. You don’t ask mortal enemies to step away for a chat with you in an empty classroom.

Moreover, would he actually have the courage to stick his tongue down Malfoy’s throat? He was crap at snogging girls, so how on earth should he go about snogging Malfoy?

And say that he pulled it off, and snogged Malfoy. Then what? If he wasn’t affected by him, then Harry would have a new problem: was he gay or was the Malfoy thing just a fluke? And if what he suspected would happen did, and Malfoy did it for him, he could hardly launch into a relationship with him. If he did everything right, Malfoy wouldn’t even remember the snog.

In front of him, Malfoy let out a sigh and swept a piece of hair behind his ears. He really did have lovely hair; soft and wispy. Harry almost absentmindedly reached out to touch it, but stopped h imself as he felt Hermione jab him with her elbow. Now that she knew his problem, she was keeping an eye on him. If only she could arrange his little meeting with Malfoy. Alas, Harry knew he’d have to figure that part out for himself.

End Chapter Two
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