Nobody ever asked my birthday

Three Against One

Thursday was a peaceful day - or it was until Harry went into the Room of Requirement.

He saw Draco Malfoy there, standing over a lab bench, chopping herbs.

"We're supposed to be training Defense," Harry said, slightly stiffly.

Draco nodded, "Just waiting for you forgetful Gryffs to show up."

"Malfoy, do yourself a favor and stay away from Hermione's schoolwork." Harry said, smiling pleasantly, "Cleaning you up off the Library floor would ruin Ms. Pince's opinion of my good name."

Draco nodded, then looked up, and smirked, "Wise words, thanks Potter." And that was the thing about Malfoy - for all that he was an arrogant berk, he did actually know how to take advice. Ron didn't, generally speaking. Harry was well aware that he, himself, had problems with that - if he didn't, he might have listened to Snape's 'None Of Your Business.' Snape seemed to say that a lot, actually, now that Harry thought about it...

Hermione walked in, her nose in a book as usual, and then stopped. "Malfoy, why are you chopping up the ingredients for Wolfsbane?"

Draco Malfoy said, simply, "Potions' Apprenticeship, remember?"

Hermione, being Hermione, immediately started off on a series of complaints, about how Snape would never show her things, and somehow, in the middle of the rant, Malfoy had turned her around to explaining what Flitwick was teaching her.

Harry, however, wasn't really listening.

Wolfsbane. The word froze Harry Potter in his tracks, as he tried to do some very simple arithmetic. It had been one thing to cultivate a 'sort of' friendship with Malfoy - he wasn't awful, not really. And learning about how he fought made sense.

... but teaching him Wolfsbane? First thing?

That had some very, very unpleasant implications that Harry was not going to think about right now.

Well, he'd see how far he got, anyway.

Ron bumbled in after Malfoy had carefully wrapped up his chopping.

"Three on one?" Harry asked, twirling his wand between his fingers.

"You're on!" Hermione said, and then it turned out that everyone behaved as if they were the "one" - which was hilarious, impractical, and really not the point of this training.

Harry didn't really care. After Malfoy's hair had been turned singed black, and Hermione's hair had gone straight, and Ron had developed some spots and a dancing problem, Harry just laughed at them all. He'd confined himself to "just defense" when it became clear what was going on.

When everything had been set to rights, the three of them said in unison, "Harry."

Harry began to dance. It was the only dance he was really good at - wit and charm were fine, he supposed, but they didn't get you out of trouble where he'd come from. Quick feet, sure balance, and blind faith that the floor really was there - those had gotten him free time and again.

And so Harry spun, and shielded, and shot a curse from behind the shield. Dark or Light, fighting was no game. Malfoy wasn't afraid to use spells "formerly considered legal" (at least once he'd verified that Granger wasn't going to tattle).

[a/n: Malfoy's prudent. He's not going to get in trouble when he has the Dark Mark on his arm, guyz.

Guesses as to what Snape's up to?

Tomorrow is Potions Class...

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