Authors notes: I want to thank my BETAs Koorime and ChibiBecca. I would also like to appologise if people start craving cookies oo; Oh, and this Fic is set in Bath, Wiltshire, my hometown, so sorry if it sounds like a travel brochure at times ^^
Draco looked around the room.
It was actually larger than the muggle part, but not quite as well laid out, conforming to wizard eccentricities rather than muggle convenience. There were rows of shelving, containing pretty much anything a witch or wizard could need, as this happened to be the only store in town, but the shelving was haphazard and prevented anyone from getting a clear view of the room..
He saw movement to his right and, knowing no one else had come in over the past hour or so that he had been here, Draco headed towards Potter.
Harry headed for the rear of the room when he closed the door, hoping, still, that Draco hadn’t seen him and that if he had, that he wouldn’t bother him. He really wasn’t in the mood for a fight at the moment.
This part of the store was actually rather interesting. There was a smell of old books about the place that reminded him greatly of Hermione after she’d spent hours in the library.
He looked around at the shelving and was almost instantly fascinated, there were a few things here that, despite spending the past six and a half years in the wizarding world, he still hadn’t seen before.
He walked along the shelf, muttering the names of things under his breath, trying them out to himself.
“Mucklebone powder, essence of Black Rain, Mocksey toes, euw, Goblin bogies.”
He stopped and stared at the unlikely jar of goo.
He couldn’t imagine what potion would require Goblin bogies, but then, he probably didn’t want to know. He turned to continue down the shelving again and found himself face to face with the blonde Slytherin, who was smiling rather disarmingly.
Harry stopped, shocked.
“Uh, hey, Malfoy.”
Malfoy raised one perfectly manicured eyebrow, “Is that all you have to say, Potter? I’m surprised, where are the scathing remarks? The attempts at cutting jibes?”
Harry moved round him and continued down the aisle, breaking the uncomfortable eye contact that had been forced on him.
“I’m not in the mood, Malfoy; I’m just trying to do some shopping, can we quit with the antagonism for once?”
It was Draco’s turn to be stunned. He stood shocked for a moment, all coherent thoughts leaving his mind, then turned and watched the raven-haired Gryffindor walk slowly up the aisle, muttering the names of the potions ingredients on the shelves to himself.
As Harry turned the corner and disappeared from view, Draco shook himself and followed. He found Potter a moment later looking through the books a few aisles down the row. He was looking at each of them as if he’d never seen anything like them before.
He watched as Potter ran a finger down a spine, then as he removed the book and flipped it open.
“What do you want, Malfoy?” He hadn’t even looked up.
Draco folded his arms with a defiant expression.
“What are you doing here, Potter?”
Potter green eyes flicked in his direction, “I told you, I’m shopping.”
Draco rolled his eyes, “You know what I mean, what are you doing HERE, in Bath?”
Potter closed the book and looked at him, “Why?”
He was wrong; Malfoy had changed a little over the past three weeks. It seemed almost impossible, but the damn boy seemed to have grown a little, they were now practically eye to eye with each other.
A small graceful shrug, “Curious.”
Harry sighed and replaced the book, “My Uncle won a holiday here for two weeks, I was forced to come along because one of his work mates wants to meet me.”
He turned away again and continued perusing the books, he was looking for something Hermione may like for Christmas, even though it was a good few months away, but he wasn’t sure if she already had the ones that looked vaguely interesting.
Draco watched him as he moved down the aisle, inwardly seething at the way Potter was acting, but also trying to think how to start a conversation with someone he hadn’t been civil with since the third time they’d met. He rolled his eyes at himself; he was seventeen years old and couldn’t for the life of him think of how to talk to Potter. Though possibly it was the years of antagonism that caused the mental block.
Draco scowled at himself and tried to think of something to say to Potter, just for the moment, he couldn’t think of anything. He was stumped. At school he always had remarks, comments and insults ready and waiting on the tip of tongue whenever he saw the boy, but here, with no one around, nothing came.
He went for broke, “So, what are you doing anyway?”
Harry looked up from the book he was flicking through. He gave Draco a blank look for a moment, then shrugged, “Trying to find something Hermione doesn’t have.”
Draco arched an eyebrow, “In the books section? I’m sure that mudblood has read everything in existence by now.”
Potter’s forehead crinkled in a frown, “Don’t call her that, Malfoy.” He snapped the book in his hands shut and left the books section, leaving Draco to himself once more.
Harry found the jokes section and moved over to it, looking for anything Ron may like, though he was slowly coming to the conclusion that maybe a muggle present would be a better idea.
Ron wasn’t as enthusiastic about muggle stuff as he father was, but he still liked the odder things, ‘such as that bubble gun’ Harry thought, thinking of going back and actually getting it.
He knew, also, that in making that hateful remark about Hermione, Malfoy had been half right. Hermione probably wouldn’t want a book, she’d probably prefer something more useful, such as a wand repair kit, or a set of potions utensils, or, well, something.
As he looked at the shelves upon shelves of joke items, he became more sure that Ron would prefer the bubble gun, and decided that he should get Hermione’s presents some other time.
As he turned to leave, he saw Malfoy looking at him, well, looking daggers at him, but he did his best to ignore the blonde and left through the door into the muggle section.
He paused when he saw the jewellery and stopped, looking at the pendants and pendulums, some of the things in there looked rather nice. Maybe Hermione would like something like this?
It wasn’t anything practical, or useful, but still, Hermione was a girl, right?
Harry looked at the wide collection of gemstone jewellery, wondering which she’d like best. He didn’t know much about girls in general, his only experiences with them, in nearly seventeen years of life, had been with Cho in fifth year, and a very short relationship with Hermione herself mid-way through sixth before, well, just ‘before’.
Arrgh, even Ron would have done better than this.
He finally saw a bracelet he thought she’d like, a silver chain with amethyst stones laced into it. It looked like a good Christmas present, so he pointed it out to Henry and passed over the five pounds that it cost.
The store’s owner made a passing comment about lucky girls, and wondering who she was, but Harry only nodded, pretending nonchalance at the ludicrous, on so many levels, idea of him and Hermione.
As he left the store, he found himself wondering about Malfoy.
Why had the boy, well, man now really, been almost civil? When he had seen him, Harry had been so sure the blonde would start a fight in the middle of the store. He had been so sure in fact, that he had been rather shaken when nothing more than the remark about ‘mudbloods’ had happened.
It was a mildly interesting conundrum, but he wasn’t going to let himself think too much on it, Malfoy had proved on more than one occasion that anything he did tended to have some sort of ulterior motive.
He looked at his watch, it was nearing seven thirty. He hadn’t realised he’d spent all day out, he’d barely registered the time passing, even when he had stopped and spent an hour in Mac Donald’s eating lunch and watching people through the top floor window.
He decided to buy Ron the bubble gun and then head back to the hotel and wait in the foyer; Draco Malfoy and his strange behaviour could wait until another day.
He didn’t notice the pale eyes watching him as he hurried up the alley.
Harry sat at his table, alone, eating the meagre, but surprisingly tasty meal, the Dursleys’ had bought for him. Of course, the only reason it tasted any good was because this was a posh restaurant, and the chef was probably an overpaid expert.
He looked over at his Aunt, Uncle and cousin, briefly wondering how their first day had been, then shook himself and looked back down at his plate. He was going to be hungry tonight, despite the way it tasted, good thing he had eaten only one of the cookies.
He heard raucous laughter and looked up again, the Dursleys’ were laughing at some private joke, but quite loudly. He caught his cousins’ eye briefly, and the bigger boy frowned, grinned as if at Harry’s misfortune, and looked away again.
Harry fumed slightly at the injustice of the world, then got back to finishing his meal, ignoring his relatives with all his might.
As he ate, his mind turned back to Malfoy and his strange behaviour in the wizard shop only an hour or so ago.
That hadn’t been like him, on any other occasion Malfoy would have revelled in finding Harry alone, just so he could torment him. But not today it seemed. Today Malfoy had seemed unable to even think straight.
He wondered what it meant for a while and slowly came to the conclusion that it had probably been the lack of any of his Slytherin house mates within shouting distance, as that had nearly always made Malfoy falter.
With that as sorted as it was going to get, Harry turned his mind to trying to figure out how to get his door key off of either Vernon or the receptionist.
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