Coveting Thy Enemy
Chapter Five: Analysis and Acknowledgements
Although the rest of the week went by without incident, it wasn’t because everything was pleasant. Craig had apologized to Harry about his childish behavior, and he seemed to be going out of his way to make it up to him. Where Draco was concerned, however, he tried his utmost to be civil, but often failed at being polite. The two seemed to have an agreement that as long as one left the other alone, the other would follow suit. Harry had thought the truce was going to erupt the one time Craig left a new red T-shirt in the washer and all of Draco’s clothing turned pink; Draco of course accused Craig of doing it on purpose, but Harry had smoothed the situation over by offering to buy Draco a few new outfits the next time he was out. Luckily, he still had a sizable amount at Gringott’s, so he wasn’t too worried about appeasing Draco’s expensive taste. As of now, Draco was wearing Harry’s clothing, and although he turned his nose up every time Harry handed him the next day’s outfit, he wore them without complaint. Of course, Harry had to admit that Draco had the uncanny ability of looking sophisticated no matter what he wore.
Anyway, despite the apparent truce that was going on, the tension in his flat was getting thicker by the day. Harry awoke that morning quite late with a headache threatening to erupt behind his temples. Right now, it was just an unpleasant ache, but depending on how the day was going to go, it could turn into a full-blown migraine. It didn’t help matters when he ran into the other two men as soon as he exited the bedroom. Harry’s apartment was situated much like any other apartment in London. The kitchen, living room, and office made up the main space, while a hallway led to the two bedrooms, which were across from one another. The master bedroom had an adjoining bath, but the guest room did not, so Draco was forced to use the bathroom at the end of the hall. Draco was just leaving the bathroom, a towel cinched at his waist, when he had run into Craig, who was on his way to wake up Harry.
Draco, noticing the brown-eyed man staring quite fixedly at his bare chest, smirked and said, “I didn’t think I was your type.”
Craig, ignoring the blonde man’s sarcasm, was instead fixated on something else. His eyes narrowed and he pointed at Draco’s collarbone, exclaiming, “Where the hell did you get that?”
Draco looked down at the spot on his chest where Craig had pointed and fingered the silver chain and pendant. “What, this? I really don’t know. I’ve had it for years, why?”
Craig shook his head. “No reason, its just Harry has one just like it.” Obviously, neither man had noticed as of yet that Harry was standing in the hallway.
Draco snorted, it would seem that Harry’s choice in beaux was just as uncultured as Harry. “I hardly think so. When I had it appraised, the jeweler said there were only two like it. . . OH,” his eyes widened when he realized just what the claudaugh may have symbolized. He had never really thought about it before. He had woken up with it on in the infirmary all those years ago, had taken a liking to it, and had been unable to take it off since. For some reason it had made him seem . . . well, safe when he was wearing it.
Obviously Craig had picked up on the symbolism as well because he turned to quickly leave the hallway, almost running into Harry as he did so. “You better get a shower and get ready, Harry. Hermione and Ron will be here in a half an hour,” he said, deciding to ignore the embarrassing situation that had just occurred. He then went in the kitchen to begin lunch because it was his turn to do so.
Harry had very little to say to the half naked Slytherin standing in his hallway. One reason was because, well his mouth was quite dry at seeing Draco’s bare chest and legs, and the other reason was because he really didn’t know what to say about the presence of the pendant that Draco was still wearing. He himself had painfully taken his own pendant off and placed it in his old school trunk when he had decided to commit to Craig over a year ago, and he really hadn’t realized that Craig knew it existed.
“What does it mean, Harry?” Draco asked softly, still fingering the chain of his necklace.
Harry closed his eyes against the memory of the first and only Christmas he and Draco had shared, and responded in as logical a voice as possible, “You gave it to me on Christmas. They were a set; you wore one, I wore the other. They had a charm of some type placed on them so that if either one of us were in danger, the other would know. That’s how you found me that night Lucius captured me . . .”
Draco nodded in understanding and began to open the door to his room. He then turned back and replied in the same soft voice, “Maybe you should wear yours then. I mean, if you’re supposed to be protecting me, as much as I hate that idea, they could be useful . . .”
Harry sighed, the throbbing behind his temples beginning to strengthen, “All right, just . . . not now. I think Craig’s a little sore about the whole thing. I’ll explain it to him when he’s had time to calm down.” Draco nodded again and went into his room to get dressed. Harry went into the kitchen to get the bottle of aspirin he kept on top of the refrigerator. He had a feeling his headache was going to get worse because he had forgotten that this was Saturday, and Ron and Hermione always came over for lunch on Saturday. He hoped that explaining the whole situation again, this time to them, wouldn’t cause him to have a migraine. It was bad enough that he knew he would now have to explain to Craig why Draco had a scar just like his right over his heart area.
Hermione grabbed a handful of floo powder and hesitated a little, looking at Ron with what she thought was her most pathetic expression. “Do we really have to go?”
Ron smiled, they went through this same conversation every Saturday. “Yes, we have to go, Herm. We’ve been going there every year since graduating from Hogwart’s.”
“Well, can’t we just meet Harry at that little café on Willow Street? You know, the one where we meet him on Wednesdays?”
“No, we’re going to the apartment. I know you don’t care much for Craig and all, and to be honest with you, I don’t know why. But, Harry needs for us to see that we accept his choices. So, we’re going.” Ron shook his head at the irony of the whole situation. Usually, it was Hermione trying to convince him to be supportive, not the other way around.
Hermione’s lips pursed together before she spoke, “I can’t help it, I just don’t like him. He’s too. . . too nice, nobody’s that nice!”
“I never thought being nice was a downfall, Herm.”
“Oh, you know what I mean, Ronald Weasely,” she said, quite exasperated. It was hard for her to explain why she didn’t like the brown-eyed man, but for some reason he just made her nervous. “He’s way too nice to Harry. I mean, he’s so possessive, Harry can’t even walk into another room without him asking where he’s going and why. It’s almost obsessive.”
“I think you need to stop psychoanalyzing everyone you meet, Hermione,” Ron said, in a chastising voice. “He’s not one of your patients. Hell, you barely even know anything about him. Besides, he’s kind, and he treats Harry really well.” Hermione, deciding she had a gift for mediation, had studied to become a wizarding psychiatrist after graduating from Hogwart’s. She now worked at Saint Mungo’s, keeping her own office hours on the fourth floor, which was designated for mental ailments.
Deciding Ron was right, she threw her floo powder in the fire, and said, “Harry’s flat!” Ron did the same, and they both came tumbling out of Harry’s fireplace mere seconds later.
When the married couple entered the living room they exhibited different responses. Hermione was speechless. Ron, not having the gift of tact, put it into words a lot better than she could have, “Oh, FUCK!” he cried, because standing in the kitchen with Harry and Craig was Draco Malfoy.
After the initial shock wore off, Hermione walked over and gave the blonde man a friendly, affectionate hug, which he surprisingly returned. Seeing the questioning look in Harry’s eyes, she felt the need to explain. “Draco and I worked together a while ago. He needed to do some research on abnormal behavior for his book.” She looked at Draco, “Which one was it, the third or the fourth?”
“The third,” Draco replied.
“Okay, the third.”
Harry looked puzzled and a tad upset. “You didn’t tell me about that, Herm.”
“Well, was it really necessary?” Hermione’s eyes spoke volumes. She hadn’t wanted to upset Harry by letting him know she was working with his ex-lover, so she had decided to not say anything at all. Ron knew all about, and he agreed that telling Harry would only cause problems. “Besides, I thought you would have figured it out, since I’m listed in the acknowledgements at the beginning of the book. What was it you wrote again, Draco?”
Draco smiled. When Hermione had been recommended as his source of information, he hadn’t been happy about it. But, the two had come to admire one another’s brains and wit during those couple of months, and he had regarded her with affection ever since. “I think it was: A special thanks to Hermione Granger Weasely, for without whose knowledge this book would not be possible. Thank you, Hermione, for your wit, patience, and for understanding that the past is past and the future is tomorrow,” he quoted by rote memory.
“Ah, that was it,” Hermione said, holding her head up and pretending to bask in praise.
“All right, enough of all of that,” Ron said, “Why don’t you tell us what’s going on?” he asked, looking pointedly at Harry.
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