Our favorite students spend the day in Hogsmeade doing some early Christmas shopping. Draco takes out his aggression on Ron, Harry finds out about the First Task, Madame Maxime flirts, Sirius catc...
Harry sat at the end of the Gryffindor table with his usual group of friends, blinking the sleep from his eyes and nursing his mug of coffee.
"Remind me again why we couldn't go to Hogsmeade later?" he yawned.
Draco nodded blearily. "I'd like to know that as well."
With exaggerated patience, Hermione repeated herself yet again. "We're going to Hogsmeade in the morning because Ginny, Viktor, and Fleur haven't seen the village yet."
Harry looked at her blankly. "Right."
"Oh, just drink your coffee," she said brusquely, rolling her eyes.
Fleur giggled. "I do not think you could part 'im from 'is coffee eef you wanted to." She turned to Ginny. "We are going to 'ave a girl's shopping day, Ginevra," she said gaily. "I am taking you to ze clothier's- /comment s'appelle ce magasin/?"
"Gladrags," Draco mumbled.
"/Merci/, Draco." She turned back to Ginny. "To ze Gladrags."
"I heard they have really nice robes," Ginny said. She bounced in her seat with excitement.
Harry lowered his mug. "Take the money out of my account, Gin," he said. "I put your name on the vault."
"Harry! Really?" she asked. "But-"
"We have the money to spare," he interrupted. He turned back to his coffee. "Just tell them to charge it to vault 687."
Ginny seemed like she was going to refuse, but Draco stepped in quickly. "G.W., did you forget whose ring you're wearing?"
She shook her head. "No, but-"
"It's Harry's job to take care of his fiancÃ©e. Get used to it."
Ginny blushed. "I should be used to this by now," she said, embarrassed.
"It's not like I'm used to it," Harry said. They shared a small smile.
Draco rolled his eyes and reached for the jam jar. "Anyone up for some early Christmas shopping?"
"I have something I need to get at the bookstore," Harry replied. A mischievous light shone in his eyes. "There's a muggle book I want to buy for a friend of mine."
"What are you up to, Potter?" Draco asked.
Harry mimed zipping his mouth shut. "Nuh-uh. I'll be keeping this one secret, thank you."
Ginny, Draco, and Hermione exchanged wary glances.
"If you say so, Harry," Hermione said dubiously.
Harry merely took a deep drink from his coffee mug. "Oh, but I do." He turned around in his seat as Hermione's face lit up.
"/Dobre den/," Viktor said heartily, leaning over Harry's shoulder to smile slightly at Hermione. She blushed and smiled back at him.
"Dobre den/, Viktor," she murmured. "/Kak dela?"
"/Ladno/," he replied. He grinned at her briefly. "Are we ready to go to Hogs-meade?"
"Is Hogsmeade ready for us?" Draco muttered to Harry.
Harry snickered into his coffee cup. He shook his head slightly in answer.
"Yes, of course," Hermione said. She pushed back from the table and looked expectantly at the others. "Well? Are you coming?"
Draco and Harry groaned. "Coming," Draco sighed.
"Yeah," Harry echoed. "Right behind you."
Fleur threw her head back in laughter and looped her arm through Ginny's as they walked out of the Great Hall. "/Ma cherie/, did you know when you were getting engaged zhat your intended was so very-/comment le dites-vous/?-so lazy?"
Ginny looked over her shoulder and winked at Harry. "I had a suspicion," she said, giggling.
Harry pulled a sour face at Draco. "Give her another girl to gossip with and she turns into an utter brat," he muttered.
"I'm just glad she and Cassie aren't the same age," Draco replied.
They both shuddered at the thought and hurried to catch up with Viktor and Hermione.
Draco watched Harry do his best to ignore Weasley in the crowded pub. The ginger-haired arsewipe was sitting with their yearmates from Hufflepoof-Macmillan and Finch-Fletchley. He shook his head in disgust. No big surprise there. Everyone else but a few Badger Blowhards are sick of listening to him.
Weasley's voice rose above the chatter inside the Three Broomsticks. "Everyone knows he's just doing it because he's the Boy-Who-Lived."
Harry ducked his head and fiddled with his soupspoon. Ah, shit. Weasel, don't you know when to shut up?
Draco caught Theo's eye, and the wiry boy wended his way through the crowd to sit with them. "Harry, Draco," he said in greeting. He turned to Harry. "I need to talk to you. Someone said you were studying Latin in your free time, and I thought we could get a start on those new spells."
"Ahh-" Harry said, startled. He put his spoon back in his soup bowl and visibly cheered up. "Yeah. I've thought of a couple that might be handy, actually. I was wondering if the combination of confercio and a jabbing motion with the wand might compact liquids into solids-"
"Like potions?" Theo interrupted.
"Yeah," Harry said. He leaned forward. "D'you have a quill and parchment?"
Draco stood, satisfied that Harry was well distracted. "If you'll excuse me," he said, "I have to go see a Hufflepuff about a Weasel."
"Draco," Harry said warningly, but sighed at the look in his friend's eyes. "Don't do anything...permanent, alright?"
Draco smirked. "Would I do that?"
He turned and made his way to Weasley's table before Harry could answer him.
Weasley looked up and grunted at him. "Go away, Malfoy," he said angrily. "You aren't wanted here."
"It's a public building, Weasel," Draco said smoothly. He braced himself against the table and leaned into Weasley's face. "Of course, that means that if you don't feel like talking to me outside, I'll just say my piece here. Loudly."
Weasley rolled his eyes but stood up. "I'll see you blokes back at the school, right?"
Finch-Fletchley and MacMillan nodded.
Draco glared at the two Hufflepuffs. "Did you two ever bother to think about the fact that Diggory's great pals with Harry? If he doesn't care, why the hell should you?"
/Excellent/. They squirmed in their seats at his words. He bowed mockingly to Weasley and swept an arm toward the exit. "After you, Weasel."
By mutual agreement, they trudged out to the fence outside the Shrieking Shack, heads bowed against the chill November air. Draco stopped and stared at the old haunted house, gripping his wand and attempting to control his temper. I must not kill Girl Weasley's brother. Murder is wrong. Harry would be angry. No matter how stupid the prick is-
"So what is it, Malfoy?" Weasley asked. He was leaning against the tree, arms crossed. He looked insufferably smug.
Maybe if I stop just short of murder? Draco growled and shoved him-hard-against the trunk of the tree.
"Ow! What're you on about, then?" Weasley snapped.
Draco jabbed the point of his wand into the soft area below Weasley's jaw. "You know what they say about Slytherins? How we all come to school knowing more curses than they'll teach us by our OWL year?" he whispered.
Weasley nodded fractionally, wincing as the movement forced the wand tip further into his neck.
Draco grinned. "It's true," he lied.
Weasley slumped against the tree trunk. "I'm listening, Malfoy," he muttered.
Draco pulled back and crossed his arms, scowling at the tall redhead. "You've been a real piece of work, you know that? It doesn't even matter to you that the Dark Lord comes after him almost every year. All you care about is that you have Harry all to yourself, and that he doesn't have anything better than you."
"That's not true," Weasley protested. "I'm happy the Dursleys aren't being prats anymore-but-how else would his name end up in the Goblet? He has to have asked someone-or-or something..." he frowned.
Draco covered his eyes with his hand and counted to ten slowly. "Weasley. You stupid redheaded weasel git. Just because you want fame and glory doesn't mean that Harry wants fame and glory. Idiot." He heaved an exaggerated sigh. "You say you're his best friend. All right. Then get your head out of your arse and realize that he's going to be in danger this year."
Weasley stared at him, slack-jawed. "Danger?"
"Yes, Weasel, danger. They've designed the Tournament for students in their NEWT year!" he hissed. "I swear to Salazar, if you don't apologize to him by the First Task, I'll make you regret being born."
He slashed his wand at Weasley and left him in a leg-locker curse before heading back down to Hogsmeade, not paying any attention to the swearing filling the air behind him.
Harry caught sight of Draco on the path ahead, twirling his wand and whistling cheerfully. "Have a nice chat?" he asked facetiously.
Draco grinned. "If you want to call it that, you can," he said with a laugh. "I'm not sure if we ever came to an agreement, though."
"They get their stubbornness from the Prewett side of the family," Harry told him. "Missus Weasley's a right terror sometimes." He shifted his shopping bags from his left hand to his right, shaking out his tired hand.
"Oh, what did you buy?" Draco asked. He peeked inside the bag from the bookstore before Harry could pull away, and stopped dead. He let out a choking laugh. "No way, Potter."
"Mm-hmm." Harry kept walking. "Come on, I want to get this all put away and get started on my homework. I ran into Hagrid earlier; he says he wants to show me something tonight."
Draco shook his head and gave him a half-admiring, half-shocked look. "Will the Dark Lord be amused, or will he try to kill you when he gets his Christmas present?"
Harry snickered. "Depends on how he interprets it, I suppose."
"Only you, Harry," Draco said, laughing. "Only you."
At eleven thirty at night the portrait door to Gryffindor tower opened and shut quietly, as if a breeze were moving the frame out of place. The Fat Lady snorted and turned in her painted armchair, but didn't wake.
Harry released the breath he didn't realize he'd been holding, then jumped a foot when his mobile phone's heartbeat came to life in his trousers pocket. He swore silently to himself at his nerves and checked the screen as he moved down the hall under his Invisibility Cloak.
Hry r u at the F.F. yt?
Harry rolled his eyes and sent a quick reply back.
No u bldy idiot im stl in the cstl. ill cl u wn i can.
He smiled to himself. Who'd have thought that the most self-serving Slytherin in his year would have such hidden depths?
He tugged the hood of his cloak further over his face and picked up his speed as something creaked in the distance. /Merlin, the castle's creepy at night when you aren't exploring it with friends/. He breathed a sigh of relief when he caught sight of Hagrid through the window next to the door that led to the courtyard. He slid through the door and pulled the hood back a bit. Hagrid beamed at him.
"'Didn' think yeh were comin'" Hagrid said, hurrying forward. "Keep yer cloak on, Harry, yeh'll need it."
Harry noticed Hagrid's state of dress and forgot all about his friend's vague statement. "Er...Hagrid? What on earth are you wearing?"
His friend was wearing an immense, hairy yellow jacket, and had slicked his hair back into a part with what appeared to be copious amounts of lard. Then the smell hit Harry's nose, and he fought not to gag at the scent of the musky cologne. Used car salesman was the first thing that popped into Harry's mind. He tried desperately not to laugh at his old friend.
Hagrid flushed. "Eh, 's nothin'" he muttered. "Never you min', Harry, alrigh'?"
"Alright, Hagrid," he agreed faintly.
Hagrid gave a harrumph and said quietly, "Now follow me, an' stay quiet, min'." He nodded in emphasis and led the way to the paddocks at the edge of the Forbidden Forest.
Harry's eyes widened as he caught sight of another very tall individual. Did Hagrid invite me on his date? he thought incredulously.
Madame Maxime smiled at Hagrid as they approached. "Rubeus, you 'ave not told me where we are going," she said playfully.
"I promise yeh'll like it, Olympe," he replied. He swaggered a little.
She cast an admiring glance at him.
Harry clapped a hand over his mouth and laughed silently.
"Shall we, m'lady?" Hagrid said gallantly. He offered her an elbow.
"Ooh, Rubeus, you are such a gentleman," she purred, placing a bejeweled hand delicately in the crook of his arm. He flushed.
"It's, eh, jus' this way," he stammered.
Harry bit his lip to keep the laughter in.
Olympe smiled like the cat that ate the hairy yellow canary.
Harry flung himself down in front of the Common Room fireplace just before one in the morning. Merlin. If I don't tell Cedric, he's so screwed. He closed his eyes and concentrated on breathing.
Seeing the dragons had been startling. No wonder they don't want people below seventh year entering, he mused. And what if I hadn't been a Parselmouth? It would've been 'so long, Potter.' I'd have been 12 stone of dragon food. A whooshing noise in the fireplace made him look up.
"Harry!" Sirius said. "What in Merlin's name are you doing competing in the Triwizard Tournament?"
Harry shook his head. "I don't know about Merlin, Sirius, but Voldemort-" Sirius grimaced "had someone enter my name under a fourth school. If I had a choice, I wouldn't do it, but it's my handwriting, so it's a binding contract. I'm stuck."
"Is there anything you need for the competition?" Sirius asked. "I can always sneak into my family home to get you some of the advanced spellbooks I have."
"No offense, Sirius," Harry said, "but I'd rather err on the side of caution where the Black Family Library is concerned."
His godfather grinned. "Smart lad. The offer's there if you need it, though." His head shifted in the coals, and Harry got the impression that he was getting comfortable in front of the fireplace at his end. "Now! Tell your old Padfoot everything. Why did I have to learn about this engagement from the Daily Prophet, eh? What's new with my godson?"
Harry settled down in front of the fireplace and prepared for a long, difficult, enthusiastic discussion.
"I told him about you," Harry told Voldemort. He sat heavily on the ottoman, sighing with relief.
"Told whom?" the Dark Lord asked. "My traitor? Your godfather?" Red eyes narrowed at him speculatively. "You're in an interesting mood."
Harry smiled briefly. "Why, Voldemort, I didn't know you cared," he shot back.
"I don't," was the immediate response.
"Sure, sure," Harry said dismissively. He grinned at the Dark Lord's derisive snort. "To answer your question, I told my godfather. I tell Sirius almost everything."
"Does he like playing at being your father, Potter?" Voldemort said maliciously.
Harry looked at the wallpaper and counted flowers until he had his temper under control. "You bastard," he said quietly. "Sometimes you just have to go too far, don't you?"
"We had a lot in common when we were in school, didn't we, Potter," Voldemort said, eyeing him in contemplation. "Brilliant, orphaned boys, surrounded by friends who could never truly understand us."
"Yes," Harry said, staring back. "But where I see magic as a tool and friendship as a gift, you see friendship as a tool and magic as a weapon."
Voldemort smirked. "To each his own."
"And look where it got you," Harry pointed out.
"Why do I let you visit me during your dreams?" the Dark Lord asked.
"Because you think it's entertaining," Harry said. "And I'm willing to bet you're looking for a weakness."
Voldemort cackled. "Not half-bad, Potter."
Harry offered him a lopsided grin. "Want me to let you know how the First Task goes? We have to get an egg from a dragon."
"You'll be twelve stone of dragon food before you get your wand out," Voldemort said scornfully.
Harry laughed. "I was just thinking that. We'll see, though." He stood up. "I ought to get some real sleep."
"Get lost, Potter," the Dark Lord said, smirking.
Before Harry started to fade, a thought came to him and he turned back to the chair the Dark Lord was lying in. "I bought your Christmas present today," he said. "Don't kill Hedwig when I send it to you in a few weeks, alright?"
He left in a burst of laughter. The last thing he saw was a sputtering, scowling Dark Lord.
a/n: HA! I UPDATED MY STORY! FINALLY! happy dance
anyway...can anyone guess what the book is that Harry's giving Tom? g it makes me laugh...
comment s'appelle ce magasin: what's the name of the store?
Ma cherie: my dear
Comment le dites-vous ?: how do you say it?
And the Russian!
Dobre den: hello
Kak dela: how are you?