Harry's knuckles were crusted over with blood. He'd ask Hermione to fix them in the morning - she was always better at healing charms.*
Leaving the top of the North tower was easier than scaling it, that was for sure. Harry felt nearly numb - like he'd left all his feelings - all of them - up on the rooftop. It felt serene, peaceful even. Harry went down the stairs with the silent surety of a young man used to cats.
Harry just wanted to go to sleep.
Unfortunately, the universe seemed determined to laugh at him today. Harry turned the last bend of the way down from the tower, only to nearly run into Draco Malfoy. As they were both out well past curfew, Harry stared at Malfoy, baffled.
"Malfoy, what are you-" Harry started, almost on autopilot. Then he forcibly stopped himself, giving a sigh from his heels. "You know what? Never mind. Whatever it is, I'm not dealing with it now."
Harry went to move past Malfoy, but the platinum blond moved, just enough to stand in Harry's way.
Harry gave a five second long sigh, rubbing his eyes, and only just remembering that Malfoy would pick up on his bloody knuckles.
Blessedly, Malfoy didn't say anything about that. Instead, he smirked, and asked, "Oh, come now, aren't you even a little curious about how I knew to wait for you here?"
Harry stared flatly at Malfoy. "You. were looking. for me." In bafflement, he shook his head, tossing black hair into his face. "Whyever for?" Harry didn't really know what he looked like, without staring in a mirror, but Malfoy flinched. In tones lacking humor or any other emotion, Harry thought, Bully for me, I broke his facade.
"To ask if I'd done wrong, and if so, to make it right." Draco Malfoy said firmly.
Almost despite himself, Harry studied Malfoy, up and down. Absently, Harry wondered if this was how Snape looked sometimes - Harry certainly felt dead enough to have absolute zero eyes, even if his were grass-green not inky-black.
Tired, and worn out, Harry found the inner wall of the tower and leaned against it, "What could you possibly have done wrong?" The question was impregnated with dry wit, the sound of a Gryffindor that know Slytherins are always doing something wrong.**
"The bet," Draco Malfoy said, eyeing Harry.
Harry shook his head - sending his hair cascading into his eyes, and then nodded, "It was a bad idea, but it was my idea." Harry turned brightly cold eyes on Malfoy, who seemed to be trying to exude all the calmness that Harry lacked.
In tones etched with chagrin, Draco Malfoy said with a piscine voice used to water and waves, "I thought you were asking about something... you already knew."
Harry somberly shook his head. "And what, I was asking to expose your ignorance?"
Draco looked a little unsure of himself, "Something like that," he smirked.
Harry had no answer to that, and was a little startled when Malfoy turned those storm-grey eyes on him. "You shouldn't have pried."
Harry Potter gave Malfoy an incendiary look.
Malfoy had a light smirk on his face when he spoke next, "Shouldn't have poked the bear. There are some questions even Slytherins know better than to ask."
Harry closed his eyes and counted to ten, looking balefully at Malfoy, who he wanted to escape immediately.***
"Some secrets are meant to stay just that." Malfoy's eyes nearly sparkled with amusement, that light smirk on his face that Harry suddenly wanted to pound into the dirt.
Harry's hands turned into fists, and he turned to meet Malfoy's gaze head on, "You think I don't know that?" he hissed.
"You're a Gryffindor," Malfoy said, as if this explained anything, "Heads hard as rocks, and with enough determination to sometimes forget to check if they're wrong." Malfoy smirked something that was almost a smile. "Well, my work here is done."
Malfoy took two steps away from Harry before he turned around. Now what? Harry fumed. I just want to get to bed.
*Yes, Harry does remember she doesn't have her wand.
**wrong, not evil. Distinction.
*** Malfoy escape Potter, to be clear.
[a/n: Any guesses about why Malfoy's not leaving? Malfoy didn't manage to mention how he knew where Potter was.
Leave reviews. This was a pretty bad time to talk with Harry, Malfoy's lucky he's not sporting a shiner.
For everyone who's forgotten: Malfoy's a Death Eater. He thinks Snape is on his side.]