Draco Malfoy had exulted in his ability to blackmail himself into Potter's gang's actual training sessions.
The ones with the gloves off.
Potter had seemed to stop coming, however - Draco wasn't quite sure if it was because he'd been assigned too many detentions, or if the stress from finally trying to cram in 5 years of Potions in under a month had simply made the boy crack.
Still, Draco knew he was nothing if not a resourceful lad. If he needed to speak to Potter, he would make the time. By barricading Potter in a room, if necessary.
Luckily, that proved not to be the case - as Malfoy's questions were on matters of some urgency.
Draco strategically entered the Room of Wonder first, making sure to specify a good hiding place (not great. A great hiding place you might never emerge from).
Once there, Draco lurked. Or, not to put too fine a point on it, he steamed. The Chosen one had been hiding things, just like a rat. Well, Draco thought with venomous glee, he was about to find out that dungeon dwellers knew an awful lot about catching rats.*
Harry Potter entered with his usual gormless look. He balanced himself on his toes - it said something that he'd entered the room like a wandless student - and then started bouncing up and down on them, aiming pointless fisticuffs at imaginary targets.
"What are you doing?" Draco Malfoy drawled out, stepping out of his hiding place. It would, hopefully, look like he'd appeared out of thin air.
"Warming up," Harry said curtly, shooting Malfoy an annoyed look.
"Well, stop," Draco said, crossing his arms. Slytherins were supposed to be cold as ice, but the look Draco Malfoy sent the bespectacled git would peel paint. Or boil blood.
Harry turned toward Malfoy, swinging half a punch at him - before he caught sight of Malfoy's bright eyes.
Instantly, Harry pulled back, onto his heels - he gulped, which was gratifying. The so-called Slayer of Voldemort, afraid of a mere look from Draco Malfoy. "Okay," he said, after a moment.
Draco Malfoy slitted one gimlet eye at Harry Potter, "Why didn't you tell me that Gin Weasley** and Neville Longbottom, combined together, make a near-masterclass brewing team?"
"What?" Harry Potter yelped, nearly dropping his wand. He crossed his arms across his chest (classic defensive posture), and lifted his chin, "What makes you think I knew anything about that?"
Draco Malfoy leaned forward, and nearly hissed, "How could you not know the capabilities of your own dormmate? Of your paramour?"
Harry Potter blinked, stunned speechless.
It was that very bafflement that shoved Draco into re-evaluating his earlier conclusions. He'd gotten around to tearing down the second -
Harry broke in, "Fuck, I bet they didn't know, either! Not even mind-readers can pull ideas out of someone's head, when they haven't had them yet!"
Feeling his head spin slightly, Draco took a step back to keep his balance- not so much responding to Harry (and his fists) intruding into Draco's space...
Harry closed his eyes for a moment, and then asked, "When did you figure this doozy out?"
"In the two weeks before Yule." Draco Malfoy said, shoving his hands in his pockets, and trying for a nonchalance that he didn't feel. "I didn't want to believe it, truth be told." That was an absolute monster of a lie - Draco had wanted to sing - finally, finally, the Menace of Potions Class was turning out to be competent. Draco knew down to the very last potion how many of his perfect potions had been destroyed through inattention due to Flying Projectiles, Overflowing Cauldrons...
*Draco is such a poppinjay isn't he? There aren't rats in Hogwarts Dungeons!
Draco sez: No, there aren't. I grew up playing in the Malfoy dungeons. Rats aplenty, there.
**Malfoy has an allergy to nicknames like Ginny. Ron, fine. Ronny, bad, Freddie bad. If he could find any plausible 'adulting name' to call Potter, he would.
[a/n: Draco isn't a very nice person, and his ego gets stroked a lot, regardless of interactions with the Wizarding World's Saviour or not.
yes, he sees Longbottom being competent as a reason to celebrate.
Leave a review? This isn't the only thing Draco has to talk about.]