Where there is talk of ugly people, boozing, and the cooing of mums.
*** Um. I'm pokey and I forget to do things. For uh. Months at a time.
"Do you think one suit will be enough? Well, but how will I know if it's a black suit occasion or a grey pinstriped suit occasion. I'd best bring both. Father says I'll have to wash my own clothes while I'm there. How tedious is that, Harry? I hope whoever I end up with as a roommate doesn't have very many clothes. I shall have to use part of his wardrobe, I expect. I highly doubt they'll provide us with adequate hanging space. I hope whoever I'm sharing with isn't abominable. If he is, you'll bully him into switching, won't you Harry?" Draco rambled as he lay on his bed, head hanging down over the edge, surveying his closet upside down.
Harry had come over to help him pack, but as of yet, they'd done minimal packing. In fact, they hadn't really done anything but sit around, eat fresh fruit, and have a very one-sided conversation about the move next month to school.
"You've been to school before. Is it terrible? Are all of the other students completely stupid? Well, of course they are. You went to public school. East Portlemouth Prep will be much better, I'm sure. Though religion is so tedious. I fear I shall be so incredibly superior in intelligence that I will scare even the professors. What do you think, Harry?"
"I think you talk to much," Harry answered, spinning around in Draco's computer chair. "But I've told you that before. And you'll have to suck it up with your roommate, mate. Dad called in a favour to the headmaster so that Ron and I could have his and Uncle Sirius' old room. Right at the top, too. How wicked is that?"
"Your father hates me," Draco sighed. "I'm sure he does. I'd better be at the top as well. I don't know how I'll stand it if I'm not. I'm sure Father has called in his own favours to ensure it. He used to teach there, you know, until he had to quit because of Mother. It was all terribly romantic. I hope whoever I'm sharing with is attractive. You know how I dislike ugly people. Like Ronald. I don't know how you tolerate him. He's totally barbaric."
"Dad doesn't hate you, he just wishes I'd hit you more growing up so that you wouldn't be a pansy," Harry said frankly, stopping his chair and blinking around dizzily. "And what difference does it make how good-looking someone is?"
"I don't know. I'm just talking. I talk too much," Draco said, feeling suddenly insecure. "And I'm glad you didn't hit me. Do you think people will want to? At school, I mean. Because I talk too much and I'm a pansy?"
"If they hit you I'll beat the shit out of them," Harry answered idly, and having regained his bearings, started to spin again.
Draco smiled, feeling much better, and rolled over to lay on his side instead of his back, propping himself up on one arm and smiling at Harry. "You shouldn't have told me that. Now I shall wield you like Thor's hammer and use you to crush all my enemies."
"I don't know whether to be complimented that you compared me to Thor's hammer, or insulted that you're going to use me," Harry said, stopping himself from spinning again, and pushing his glasses up his nose.
"You should always feel complimented every moment you're in my company," Draco said idly. "I am a fantastic person and that I deign you worth my time is an honour. You should be flattered."
"But you're not vain at all," Harry replied, hopping to his feet and going over to poke the glass surrounding Draco's pet snake. "Maybe you should consider it an honour to be in my company, because not many people have enough patience to listen to you talk."
"Leave Aesculapius alone. She was sleeping," Draco said, frowning as Harry flicked the glass surrounding his small, pure white blizzard corn snake. "I don't come and tap on your window while you're asleep just so I can watch you move about, now do I?"
"Well I'm more interesting than Aessie," Harry said, annoyed, and kept tapping anyway. "And she sleeps all the time."
"You are not. You're boring. That's why she sleeps when you're here," Draco replied, and got up, shooing Harry away from the cage so he could open it, scooping her up onto his hand. "And don't call her Aessie. Her name is Aesculapius."
"I'm too lazy to say that, I told you before," Harry said, flopping back onto the now empty bed.
Draco moved and perched on the edge of the mattress, smiling as Aesculapius curled herself around his wrist. Looking down at Harry, Draco poked him in the side, hard, for daring to be bored in Draco's presence. "Mother and Father went dancing. They probably won't be back until at least two. It's only seven now."
Harry perked up slightly. "And...?"
"That gives us seven whole hours to get drunk," Draco suggested. "If you want. I can make the maid help me pack tomorrow."
Harry grinned. "See, now, this is the side of you that Ron doesn't believe exists," he said. "The side that knows how to have a good time. Lead the way!"
"That's because I like to torture Ronald," Draco said idly as he got up and walked from the room. "I like to make sure he has as little fun as possible any time he's in my presence."
"Why, though?" Harry asked, hopping up and following Draco out the door. "He's a good sort of bloke, you know. You'd like him if you gave him a chance."
"I would not. He's beneath me," Draco replied, voice clipped. He disliked Ronald Weasley on principle. Mostly because he took up so much of Harry's time and energy and friendship, as though the last, like the others, also existed in limited supply. "What kind of alcohol would you like? Sebastien brought some very good champagne when he was here last. There are still a couple bottles."
"Champagne?" Harry questioned, screwing up his face. "Dad says that you should only drink champagne at weddings. Be a real boy, Draco. Drink beer."
Draco wrinkled his nose. "No thank you. And we don't have any beer anyway. If you don't fancy champagne, there's brandy and scotch in Father's study, or Baileys in the coffee cupboard in the kitchen."
"What is it about having money that makes people not drink normal things?" Harry asked. "And I'll drink scotch, then."
"It's called taste," Draco replied, and walked up the hall to the study, lifting out one of his father's crystal decanters and bringing it back into the kitchen. "Here you go. And I'll have a whole bottle of champagne to myself then."
"Are you saying that I don't have any taste?" Harry asked, taking the stopper off of the decanter and then taking a swig.
Draco froze, staring at Harry in horror. "That is exactly what I am saying. You do not drink straight from crystal decanters, you daft freak. Let me get you a glass. Honestly. What are you thinking. Do you want ice?"
"Sure," Harry agreed, grinning. "Dad always says that you're too fancy with manners and things. He about pissed himself laughing when I told him you apologized after I fell off of the garage roof that time, remember, when you'd thought you'd pushed me? He said that he pushed Uncle Sirius down the stairs once and broke his leg, and then punched him while he was healing because Nana was sneaking him chocolate cake to make him feel better."
"Well your father was a miscreant and a menace to his friends and the general public alike. Probably still is," Draco said as soon as he'd returned from the kitchen, a bottle of champagne and a champagne glass in one hand, and a glass with ice in the other. "There. You only really pour enough in to cover the ice. If you put too much, you won't drink it fast enough and the ice will melt and your drink will be watery."
With that, Draco set his champagne flute on the counter and set about struggling to open the bottle.
Harry rolled his eyes and took the bottle from Draco, pulling the cork out in one go. "Yeah, well, your mum seduced her sexual education teacher and then got pregnant on purpose," Harry countered, handing the bottle back. "Least my mum got knocked up by accident."
"Oh, yes, and I suppose that's a positive thing to you, is it? 'You were planned, but I'm an accident. Everyone loves surprises best!'" Draco sneered, taking the bottle and pouring himself a glass. "Don't make me laugh."
"Blah blah blah," Harry said. "Maddy does that, you know. Ever since she figured out that I was born a week after mum and dad got married, she's been rubbing it in my face that she was planned. What a stupid thing to brag about."
"Please don't compare me to your sister," Draco said, pained. "I am not a nine year old girl, thank you, and I am not a Potter."
"Hey now, what's wrong with being a Potter?" Harry asked.
"Nothing. I simply find the idea of being anything but a Malfoy utterly detestable," Draco answered loftily, picking up his glass and his bottle, taking a sip from the former and then topping up his glass with the latter. "Come on, let's sit in the drawing room."
"Which room is that again?" Harry asked, grabbing his own class, and the decanter. "You've got so many bloody rooms; it's hard to keep track."
"The one with the couches and the piano and the television, and not the one with all the windows and the tea table. That one is the sun room," Draco said, walking from the kitchen, through the entryway, into the sun room, and then through the large, open arch and down the two stairs into the drawing room. "I believe it's also called by the names 'sitting room' and 'living room' and other such things, but I prefer drawing room."
"Oh. We call it the living room," Harry said. "And Dad has a den. But that's really all that's downstairs besides the kitchen, the washroom and the laundry room. Much easier to navigate."
"Well, we have all that, though I'd never refer to father's study as a den, as well as a dining room, the sun room, and two spare bedrooms, each with their own en suite. It's not that completely different," Draco said. "Just bigger than yours. And nicer. And more expensive. And much better decorated."
"Show off, much?" Harry asked, sitting on the couch, draining his glass and then pouring himself another. "We can't all come from old money. And Mum and Uncle Remus did a nice paint job on the kitchen, you said so yourself."
"You know I love your house," Draco said, sitting next to him with one leg crossed over the other at the knee, setting the bottle of champagne on the side table. "It's so comfortable. Even if your father hates me. I just like my house better."
"Dad doesn't hate you, for Christ's sake," Harry said, exasperated. "Why do you think that he hates you?"
Draco took another large swallow of champagne and then smiled brightly at Harry. "He's afraid I'll turn you gay, of course. I don't blame him. I am outstandingly handsome. It's a valid fear."
Harry snorted, and then half-choked on his mouthful of scotch. "Afraid you'll turn me gay?" he questioned, pounding his chest to make his lungs work properly again. "Right, first off, you've met Remus and Sirius, right? You know Dad helped them get together, sort of, don't you?"
"It doesn't matter, Harry. He could be head of PFLAG and he'd probably still want his only son to grow up happy and have kids and be successful, at least in some little way," Draco said. "I'm sure he'd be supportive if it turned out you were, but there's got to be that part of him that wants you to be just like him."
"Doesn't mean he's daft enough to think you could turn me gay," Harry said, frowning. He'd never really considered what his dad might say if he was gay, but supposed it didn't really matter, because he wasn't. Least he didn't think he was; he found Chele Bones hot enough, and she was definitely a girl. "I mean, that's just something you're born doing, natural-like. Not something you learn."
"I didn't say it was rational," Draco scolded, downing his glass and pouring another. "What do you think will be the worst part about school?"
"Class, I suppose," Harry answered. "That's certainly my least favourite part about public school, and I can't see there being much difference."
"We'll still be friends there, won't we Harry?" Draco asked after a moment of uncertain indecisiveness. He hated exposing his own vulnerabilities. "It's just that it's you and I on our own so often, and there are so many more people there..."
"Of course we'll still be friends," Harry said. "Don't be ridiculous. How could we not be friends? We've been friends since we were in the womb."
"Well. I'm just making sure you won't be intimidated by my sudden and dramatic popularity. You'll have much more competition, won't you," Draco said, grinning and saying about the exact opposite of what he was thinking. It was a habit he had; a game he played of self-preservation. "Promise me you won't let this depress you. If you start having dark thoughts without me there, I wish for you to come to me immediately, for I am kind and giving and I won't let you perish alone."
Harry started snickering. "Oh, I promise," he said. "At the first sign of depression, I'll... I'll seek you out."
"I realize imitation is supposed to be the highest form of flattery, Harry, but if you wish to sound like me, you're really going to have to work on your vocabulary," Draco said, nudging Harry teasingly with his hand, and then blinking in surprise. "Oh! I forgot I had Aesculapius. Did I ever tell you how I chose her name, Harry?"
"Oh, only about eight-hundred times," Harry answered, draining another glass.
"Oh yes?" Draco asked, voice full of challenge. "Well, unless you can tell me in the next ten seconds, I'm going to inform you again. Honestly, you'd think some of my knowledge and wit would have rubbed off on you by now, considering we've been friends since we were in the womb. You must be exceptionally thick. I'm sorry to have to inform you of this."
"Well she's named after the Greek..." Harry started, but Draco cut him off.
"Your ten seconds are up, honestly," Draco interrupted. "Now. There's this Greek myth about snakes and their healing capabilities..."
"You wasted my ten seconds insulting me!" Harry moaned.
Draco sipped his champagne and smiled sweetly at Harry. "Don't you know it's rude to interrupt when someone is speaking, Harry? Honestly. Now as I was saying. These snakes had special healing powers..."
Hours later, Lucius and Narcissa walked through the front doors happily, laughing together, faces still flushed from all the dancing they'd done. "I swear, we can't be done yet, Cissa. Come with me to the drawing room, and I'll play your song."
"And I'll dance for you," Narcissa said, kicking off her shoes and twirling her way through the sun room. When she reached the drawing room, though, her eyes fell on the couch and she froze. "Oh. How cute."
Harry and Draco were both asleep on the couch, Draco with his face turned into Harry's neck and Harry with one arm thrown across Draco's middle, their legs intertwined. Harry's glasses were skewed on his face, and Draco's visible hand was clutching at Harry's shirt sleeve. There was a very nearly empty decanter on the floor next to them, and a half full bottle of champagne on the side table at their feet.
A short distance away, Draco's pet snake was curled around one leg of the piano, it's white scales in stark contrast to the glossy black of the instrument.
"Well," Narcissa said softly to Lucius, smiling at the sight. "I suppose I ought to call the Potters and tell them Harry's here. He was probably expected home hours ago."
"And no doubt they've called a number of times," Lucius said, smiling despite the fact that the boys had stolen his alcohol. "At least they were using glasses," he muttered, walking over quietly and picking up the decanter and the champagne bottle.
"Shall we let them sleep?" Narcissa asked, following Lucius and picking up both of the glasses before the two of them headed for the kitchen. "Or, I suppose that depends on Lily's reaction."
"Yes. Let them sleep for now," Lucius said. "I should take that snake up to Draco's room before it dies."
"Thank you. You know I don't like the thing," Narcissa replied, picking up the phone and dialling the Potters' number, long since memorized. "It was a lovely evening though, Lucy. Thank you."
"You're welcome, dear," Lucius said, kissing Narcissa on the cheek just as a frantic Lily on the other end could be heard saying, "Tell me he's at your place."
"Yes, he's here," Narcissa said and shooed her husband from the room. "Lucius and I just returned home from a wonderful night out to find your son and mine asleep on the couch, and quite cozy at that. But he's safe, if likely drunk. They got into the scotch and champagne while we were out."
"As long as he's alive, I can rest easy," Lily said. "And James and I can yell at him when he gets home. He's all right there for the rest of the night?"
"Of course. We'll even give him breakfast so he won't be distracted from your reprimands by hunger," Narcissa answered. "And I'll take a picture for you, of the two of them all cuddled up on the couch. It's adorable, and they'll be humiliated about it in the morning, I'm sure. Oh, and don't worry, they're dressed."
Lily laughed. "One day you're going to call me to tell me he's there and say that they're not dressed," she said. "James seems convinced that Harry's as straight as they come, but I'd be willing to put money on him taking after Uncle Sirius."
"I don't know about that, Lily," Narcissa said wryly. "I think Draco is quite enamoured of him, whether he knows it or not. If Harry was gay, they'd probably be shagging."
"Oh, give Harry time," Lily said. "He's just preoccupied with what his father might think. Boys. Anyhow, it's quite late. James'll be over to get him in the morning. Thanks, Cissa."
"Boys indeed. And you're more than welcome. Sleep well, Lily," Narcissa answered, hanging up and walking into the sun room, pulling out the digital camera they kept in the cupboard next to the bookshelves of photo albums. She snapped a few pictures of the boys, and then headed upstairs to find her own man.
Perhaps dancing for him to the music of the piano was out of the question now, but she was sure she could improvise in the bedroom. She may have a nearly grown son, but she wasn't that old yet.