Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 303

Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy entered the Halloween Ball arm in arm, one in the finest of robes, and one in muggle regalia*

Conversations died, in a long, slow ripple, as people caught sight of them. Even the music stopped. Couples would turn to see, and Harry Potter thought he heard a girlish squeal. He hadn't seen any of his friends yet, and he was vaguely starting to worry.

Everyone heard the falling glass.

Harry, who'd kept his face straight the whole time, said, "How appropriate. We should always remember sadness in the midst of great joy. Now let's Smile and Dance!" Harry was fairly certain that the musicians had merely picked up on their cue, not that they were listening to the Chosen One order them around.

"I'll lead," Draco Malfoy said, as he put his hand on Harry's hip, the other on his shoulder.

"I don't know how to follow." Harry Potter said.

"That's why I'm leading," Draco Malfoy said, sounding cross. "Now watch my feet, do as they do, and don't step on them."

Harry'd never felt anything like it, to be honest. Draco had actually spent years learning to dance. He made it look easy. Stranger still, he made Harry Potter look good. It was all in the cueing, the hand gently turning Harry...

Snape stormed up to them, and from the look in his eye, was only barely restraining himself from grabbing them both by the scruffs of their necks, and then hanging them out the window. "What is the meaning of this?" Snape hissed, and even if no one else could hear over the music, Harry knew they were getting curious stares. "And don't give me that lie that you've fallen for each other. I know perfectly well you're both straight." Harry's mind halted at that thought, because he really, really didn't need to know how Snape knew that. Of course, having found such a distressing thought, his brain wanted to fixate on it. Entirely counterproductive, really.

Draco Malfoy had his mouth open, no doubt to say something smarmy and deflecting, when Snape loomed over them both, his long-fingered hands planted between their shoulder-blades, as his face pressed forward. "Is this some sort of political statement?" Draco Malfoy's face tried to pale, but -of course- he was naturally very near an albino, so it didn't so much turn paler as turn blue.

Harry Potter, for similar but very different reasons, blaunched. He knew better than to speak-

Draco Malfoy, however, hadn't learned that lesson. Chastened, he said, "No, sir."

Snape's voice cut like a serrated knife, leaving wounds that wouldn't mend, as he very softly said, "Do you have any idea what your father will do, if he learns of this - this prank?"

"Please, sir," Harry said, "I hadn't realized..." Harry immediately wanted to call the words back - what was he doing, standing in front of Draco when Snape was in a temper? Snape actually liked Draco. Stupid Gryffindor Impulses.

At nearly the same time, Draco Malfoy said, "I lost a bet, sir. This was the price."

Looking down at his feet, Harry Potter said, softly, "I figured the girls would stop chasing us if they thought we weren't interested,"

"You will excuse me, while I go catch some miscreants before they send this to the Daily Prophet," Snape snarled, striding off with his robes swirling behind.

Draco Malfoy still seemed frozen, but he found his voice enough to say, "He means Parkinson and Creevy."

"Parkinson? But isn't she one of your friends?" Harry Potter said.

"Doesn't mean she doesn't want to be a reporter." Draco Malfoy smirked, weakly, "And I have to admit, this is news."

"Creevy will take pictures of anything. He'll take triples if it's of me, though," Harry Potter sighed.

"I wouldn't worry about it," Malfoy said, "Snape's word is solid."

From the Great Hall, where the younger students were having their Feast, came the Scottish cry, "They did WHAT?" The entire dance listened to McGonagall's cackling laughter.

[a/n: Anyone bet who just told Minnie? There are all sorts of reasons why this was a Bad Idea.

Second post of the day, please review! I never know when humor works, and when it doesn't.

This is one scene that I've been dying to post. I know it may seem a little like something poached from a slash piece, but I'm not going there.

Also, to steal a line from Doctor Who: Penny in the air.]

*It's just a suit. But try telling the purebloods what the difference between black tie and white tie is. They still believe in being "dressed" (Which is 1700's terminology, and people were perfectly happy to receive guests undressed - as in, in a simple tunic or nightdress. Well, at least Ben Franklin was, but we all know he was a born Hellraiser, and spun Simple American into a woman's fantasy.)