Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 118

Hermione Granger and Harry Potter stood silently still, their mouths hanging open. Of all the possible paths Draco Malfoy could have taken out of a situation where he was spying on them, this wasn't in the handbook. It was so far from being in the handbook that it might as well have been on red Mars. They were both too busy studying him to look at each other.

"If I'd known this was all it took to strike you dumb, I'd have mentioned it earlier." Draco drawled, and Harry mentally filled in the substance behind the lie - Draco was uncomfortable with them staring at him like that (tough luck, bucko), even if he was slightly enjoying having the Gryffindors at a loss for words. He'd certainly never have suggested this unless it was important - critical even.

"What drew you to that conclusion?" Harry asked, wanting to pace around Draco Malfoy - his response to a probe like that would tell Harry a lot.

...

And because this was a very flexible configuration of the Room of Requirement, Harry's wish became reality. Of course, then he had to actually ask himself if he really wanted to be that much of an arse, just to get some information. Malfoy could be a cipher if he wanted, Harry was dead certain, but Harry figured that when you were on the business end of two highly powered magic users, that might not be the best time for going all blank. With luck, Malfoy would figure that out too.

Besides, he could always pace a bit later. If, say, Malfoy was proving uncooperative.

Draco finally started talking, and Harry mentally chided himself for falling into a "thinking space" - that was dangerous when you were around enemies. And Draco Malfoy certainly didn't count as a friend. Or an ally, or anything practical and helpful. "He's going to want me to report. On you." Draco said, shifting uncomfortably, and then abruptly halting, shoving his hands in his pockets. "I can learn some of what you can do from the Study Group."

Draco took a swift pace forward, gesturing at the two on-edge Gryffindors. "But this?" Draco ran his hand through his hair, and said, "This is serious. This is the sort of thing that you don't want Him knowing about, ever."

Harry knew Draco's analysis was right, but before he could say something, Hermione's narrowed brown eyes found Draco's. "Whose side are you on?"

"My own, of course." Draco Malfoy drawled.

"Seems a bit self-serving." Harry challenged, more curious to see what Malfoy might say than anything else.

"Just because I haven't found something worth dying for, Potter..." Draco Malfoy said with a snap.

"Are you not going to serve Voldemort?" Hermione said.

"I'm going to do whatever gives me the best chance of surviving." Draco Malfoy drawled, implacably calm. Harry thought, Well, you and your family, right? Not quite so self-serving then, is it?

"That's a no on defecting, then, is it?" Harry Potter asked, surprised at how honey soft his own voice was.

Draco nodded. "Now, about that obliviation... Should I close my eyes?"

[a/n: Draco, slgihtly less of a putz in this episode. Pity it won't last.

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