All recognized characters belong to J.K. Rowling
Everything else is mine.
R – for violence, language and adult content
Contains male/male pairings- That's SLASH... you know, GAY
Harry Potter and the Parliament of Dreams
Chapter 10 – The Illusion of Truth
Justin was released early that day so that he could go back to classes. Madam Pomfrey told him to return to his dormitory when classes were complete and then continue his schedule as normal. He was to report back to her periodically so she could assess his emotional state.
Percy spent all day Friday reading books and resting. Several hours after dinner, he leaned back and thought about everything that had happened in the last couple of days.
After the cold night sleeping on the floor in the Great Hall, it was almost a pleasure to be back in the Infirmary. He thought about how Justin was starting to get very attached to him. They had been having very long and very deep conversations about all manner of topics.
Percy took note of the fact that Madam Pomfrey left Justin alone and that he had been able to work out a lot of his feelings by simply talking with Percy.
Percy, for his part, had also greatly enjoyed the conversations he had with Justin. Percy felt, for the first time ever, at ease with another guy. Percy had always compensated for his insecurities by being a strict rule following know-it-all. With Justin, he was finally able to drop that façade.
Percy realized suddenly that he loved Justin. He had never considered himself gay before. Analyzing everything critically, he cataloged all the feelings he had for different people for as far back as he could remember. Besides Penelope, he was attracted, at one point or another, to a number of females, and now that he was admitting it, a number of guys as well. Oliver Wood and Terrance Higgs both came to mind.
Okay, so I love Justin. Is that a bad thing? He’s gay. I guess I am. We can see where this leads, can’t we?
Percy heard a person and looked up from his thoughts. It was Dumbledore.
“Good evening, Mr. Weasley.”
“Good evening, Headmaster.”
“As you no doubt have been told, Minister Fudge has transferred you to Hogwarts to assist us here,” Dumbledore started off.
“Yes, sir. It is a pleasure to be back. This place is like home,” Percy said with a smile.
“I have a new assignment for you, Percy,” Dumbledore said quietly.
“Anything I can do to help, sir,” Percy said with a smile.
“I’m going to set up some Auror training for you. This will consume most of your time. However, you will also be doing some instructing yourself. With all that is going on, it will be very critical that we train a few special students a lot harder than the rest. Do you understand?” Albus asked.
“I think so sir,” Percy replied instantly thinking of Harry Potter.
“Good. Now, I have set up a flat for you here in the castle. It is located fairly close to the Hufflepuff dorms,” Dumbledore said, his blue eyes twinkling merrily.
Percy blushed as red as his hair.
“I’ve noticed that you and Mr. Finch-Fletchley have gotten fairly close. I want to thank you for helping him through his difficult times,” Dumbledore said sincerely.
“It’s nothing that I wouldn’t do for anybody sir,” Percy said, still blushing.
“Be that as it may, Justin is another talented young man here at Hogwarts and having a qualified wizard, and more important, a friend, helping him through these times is very important. He became completely unglued, and I don’t want to see that again.”
“I’ll do my best sir. I think I have… well…” Percy trailed off.
“I know, Percy. Why do you think I set up a flat for you near Hufflepuff?” Dumbledore replied, grinning.
“Thank you sir,” Percy said, blushing deeper.
“Right. You’ve been here long enough so I think it is best to get you settled into your new home,”
“Thank you sir,” Percy said as he stood up.
Dumbledore led Percy through the halls to an area not far from the Hufflepuff House entrance. Dumbledore stopped in front of a portrait of a red-haired wizard. He grinned wildly at Percy before turning to the portrait and saying “Sir Godric Weasley.”
“Got it on one, old chap,” the portrait replied and swung open.
Percy passed through the portrait hole behind Dumbledore. He found himself in a fairly comfortably sized flat. There was a common room, a bedroom, a bathroom, a small kitchen, and an office. Percy was very pleased with it.
“Your great-great-great grandfather was a professor here. He taught Defense Against the Dark Arts and was head of Gryffindor House. This was his flat. It has been in storage all these years, but I figured that a Weasley would truly appreciate it,” Dumbledore said while looking at Percy’s wide eyes.
“Thank you sir. It is wonderful,” Percy said while looking around the flat.
“I’ll ask that you keep student all night visitors to a minimum, if you could,” Dumbledore said with his eyebrows raised.
Percy blushed again.
“That is not to say that you can’t have someone sleep over. It would be best if that occurred on weekends only, though,” Albus smiled.
“Thank you sir, for everything,” Percy replied.
“Percy, you were one of Hogwarts’ best students in years. It is a pleasure to have you with us again,” Dumbledore said warmly.
“Thank you sir.”
“You will, of course, be joining us at the teachers table for your meals from now on,” Dumbledore said, nodding to himself.
“I’ll see you at breakfast then, sir,” Percy replied.
“Good night,” Albus replied as he turned and headed out of the portrait hole.
In the faculty wing of the castle, Remus had just settled back in his favorite chair in front of the fire when there was a knock at the door.
“Enter,” he shouted over his shoulder.
“Why Moony, not even going to get up to answer the door?” Severus said as soon as he walked in.
“Not when I know it’s you, Sevy,” Remus said dryly.
“May I have a seat then?” Snape said quietly, while pointing to the available seat by the fire.
“Did Albus inform you of the discovery that Mr. Potter and Mr. Malfoy made last night?”
“Albus has informed me that Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Potter are now allowed to roam the halls,” Severus said, attempting to bait Remus.
“You bloody well know why, Severus,” Remus replied.
“I don’t see a problem with Draco wandering the halls, but I really don’t want to see Potter doing it,” Snape grumbled.
“Must you be so damned contrary all the time Sevy? It’s unbecoming.”
“Stop calling me that,” Severus growled.
Severus groaned, “All right already wolf man.”
“As you wish, grape man,” Remus said with straight face.
“Why was it I made peace with you?” Severus said with a smirk on his face.
“Probably so we could have these interesting conversations,” Moony deadpanned.
“That must have been it. I came to see you for a reason.”
“You always do,” Remus trailed off, becoming serious.
“Albus would like to bring Percy Weasley, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy into the Order,” Severus said, all hints of humor gone.
Remus sat up straight at that, “Is he sure?”
Severus nodded, looking serious, though not dour.
“Harry I can understand, as he has faced Voldemort so many times and survived. Percy, while rather more academic than others, is still a very good wizard and very loyal to his father and to Dumbledore. Justin is a solid student and is quite dependable. I understand that Arthur and Molly are trying to adopt him and his brother.”
“Has Draco shown a change of heart for sure?” Remus asked.
Severus look thoughtful for a long moment before answering, “I think Mr. Potter’s influence has been positive for Draco. Finding them together in Godric Gryffindor’s flat increases those odds significantly. Albus has confirmed that they are connected, as we have both seen for ourselves.”
“Most interesting. Do you support their induction into the Order?” Remus asked bluntly.
Severus was very slow to reply, “I think it might work out.”
“Then I will support it as well. Was there anything else, Severus?”
“Yes. The Headmaster wished for me to inform you that our Dueling Classes will be combined on Sunday.”
“Testing what they know already, are we then?” Remus asked.
“Yes. I pity the fool that stands off against Potter,” Snape said snappishly.
“Was that a backhanded comment to Harry, Severus?”
“Yes. That boy has an amazing knack for surviving things when he is in well over his head.”
“Thank Merlin for that,” Remus said.
“Aye. We’ll need that bloody lad to get out of this,” Snape said, looking quite upset that he admitted it at all.
Remus looked at his watch, “It’s getting quite late Severus and I need to get some rest.”
“Good night to you then,” Severus replied, standing up.
“Pleasant dreams to you, Severus,” Remus said, a slight twinkle in his eye.
It was very early the next morning, when Harry rolled out from under a weight that was covering most of the upper half of his body. It took a few moments for him to realize what that weight was. He turned a brilliant shade of red when he did.
Did he really… hmm? His thoughts slammed to a halt when Draco whimpered.
Harry turned and pulled the other boy into his embrace, cuddling with him. Draco sighed deeply in his sleep. Harry smiled, feeling very content. He slowly drifted back to sleep.
He slept for a few more hours, until just after sunrise. Draco was still tucked in tight with him, and Harry thought it felt wonderful just to hold the other boy like that. He did suddenly think it would be prudent for him to be back in his own bed, however.
He gently shook Draco awake.
Draco stirred from his sleep and popped one gray eye open to look back at Harry.
“We need to get up Drac…”
“Why?” he yawned out.
“So we can get to our own beds and help reduce the chances of us being caught together,” Harry responded reasonably.
“You have a point, amazing as that is,” Draco grumbled back.
“Thank you for um… last night,” Harry said, suddenly turning bright red and ignoring Draco’s little jibe.
Draco smiled a predatory grin at Harry, “The pleasure was all mine, Potter.”
Harry smirked, “I very much doubt that, Malfoy. As your…oomph…”
Draco cut Harry off by locking his lips over the raven-haired boy’s lips.
Harry finally pulled back after a minute, “If you are going to do that every time we get into a discussion, then you’re going to win every time.”
“I know,” Draco smirked back.
Harry whacked him upside the head with a pillow.
“Hey! What was that for?” Draco demanded in mock-anger.
“We need to get back to our respective rooms. I’ll be down on the Quidditch pitch after breakfast. Would you like to chase the snitch?” Harry said, with his eyebrows raised.
Draco raised his eyebrows in surprise, “The golden snitch?”
“Of course, what else would I have met?” Harry replied slyly, wiggling his eyebrows.
“Smart arse,” Draco smiled.
“And then some,” Harry smiled back.
“Let’s go. Play along at breakfast, okay?”
“If you say so, Draco,” Harry replied.
They got out of bed and dressed on opposite sides of bed. There was a lot of staring going on as they each dressed. As soon as they were done, they both left the flat together and then separated to make their way back to their own dormitories.
Harry walked up to the Fat Lady and said the password.
“Out early today dearie?” she asked sounding puzzled.
“Yes, I came back to get Ron for breakfast.”
“Have fun then dear,” she said, as she swung open for him.
Harry made his way quietly into his dorm. He stripped down to his boxers, grabbed his towel and toiletries and went straight to the shower. He stripped completely and stepped into the stall, turning the taps so the hot water was as hot as he could get.
Harry stood under the hot water spray, letting the steam soak the weariness out of his bones. He quickly soaped himself up and washed his hair and then rinsed. He then went back to just standing under the hot water.
He was surprised when he heard his curtain slide open and he felt someone behind him. He turned to see who it was.
“Seamus, what the bloody hell are you doing?” Harry asked sounding somewhat amused.
“I wanted to talk,” the Irish boy responded.
“And you couldn’t think of a better place to talk to me?” Harry asked incredulously, not looking at Seamus’ nakedness.
Seamus was enjoying the view he had of the water beading up and rolling off Harry’s pert backside. “I needed to talk privately.”
“Get talking then and stop staring at my arse,” Harry said, turning pink.
“But it is so nice,” Seamus said while reaching out and copping a feel.
Harry swatted his hand, “It’s not yours to touch.”
“Oh well,” Seamus replied brightly, “I wanted to know why you set Mickey onto me.”
“He needed someone else who would be willing to give him the attention he needed,” Harry said with a light shrug. Harry turned around to fully face Seamus, pulling the other boy under the water with him, when he saw him shivering.
“That’s much better,” Seamus said, soaking up the hot water himself and enjoying his nearness to the naked Harry.
“Don’t get too used to this closeness. Do you like Mickey?” Harry asked.
“Yes, he is a sweet kid. He’s great fun to cuddle with, and he certainly needs the attention. He gives me something to focus my considerable energy on.”
“He does at that,” Harry replied with his eyebrows raised. “What are you doing up so early?”
“I heard you come in,” Seamus said with his eyebrows raised. “Something you want to tell me about Harry?”
“Are you a shirt-lifting arse bandit like me?” Seamus asked with a silly look on his face.
“A what?” Harry asked confused.
“I read it in a muggle story. Are you queer?” Seamus clarified.
“Yes,” Harry said quietly.
“Good,” Seamus said reaching for Harry’s little Harry.
Harry whacked his hand again, “Hands off Seamus. I’ve already got somebody.”
Disappointment clear on his face, Seamus asked, “Who is it then? Ron?”
Harry laughed, “Ron? Are you joshing me? He’s so straight I don’t think anything could bend him. He does have a nice arse though, doesn’t he?” The last was said while wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.
“Why doesn’t it bother you to be naked like this?” Seamus asked suddenly.
“Muggle primary school forced us to shower after activity period. It was a big communal shower. Good for lad watching though,” Harry winked.
“I should think so.”
“You’re not doing anything with Mickey are you?” Harry asked as he started stepping out of the shower.
“Only what Mickey wants. He’s still a little young, but he loves to cuddle. That is enough for me right now. He’s a very loving lad but I’m not sure he is even gay.”
“I don’t know either, but just be nice with him. Justin packs a mean punch. So does Ron, for that matter. The Weasley’s will be adopting them I think, which will give Mickey a whole brood of big brothers.”
“Aye, a valid point that,” Seamus replied, thinking of the consequences of doing something stupid.
“I’ve got to run. I’ll see you at breakfast. Try not to make it a habit of joining me in the shower,” Harry said stepping outside the curtain, drying off. He stuck his head back in a moment later, “Nice arse, by the way, Seamus.”
Seamus flushed a bright red. It might have been the hot water though…
Harry went back to the fifth year dorm looking very happy and upbeat. He dressed quickly and got ready to head down to breakfast. Ron was just waking up. Harry walked over to Ron’s bed and stuck his head inside.
Ron’s nightshirt was open, exposing Ron’s developing chest and a small patch of red hair near the bottom of his belly, leading to the treasure below. Harry was feeling playful, so he wolf-whistled, causing Ron to sit bolt upright.
“Good morning Ron,” Harry said with a grin.
“Bloody cheerful this morning, aren’t ya?” Ron grumbled.
Harry blushed and then said quietly, “Thanks for covering for me last night.” He pointed to his bed, which still had closed curtains.
“No problem, mate,” Ron told him. “I don’t suppose you’ll let me get dressed?”
Harry rolled his eyes, “Of course, Red.”
Ron swatted at him, but Harry ducked out just in time. Harry went down to the common room and stood in front of the great fireplace, soaking up the room’s atmosphere.
Ron appeared about ten minutes later, his hair still wet, but looking sharp. “Should we wait for Hermione?”
“Why? I’m all ready Ronniekins,” Hermione said, joining them from her own dorm.
“Shall we go to breakfast then?” Harry asked.
Ron held out his arm in a ‘you first’ gesture. Harry went on his way. Ron and Hermione followed him, a few steps behind.
Draco arrived back to his dorm quietly. He grabbed his shower stuff and headed to the shower. The showers in the Slytherin dorms were a little different than Gryffindor however. Due to some forgotten incident, the shower stalls here had both hard doors and curtains, so that the person showering was relatively safe from unwanted guests in their shower stall. Draco locked his stall as he entered, cranking the hot water tap to full open, moderating it only slightly with the cold-water tap.
‘Who’d have thought that the Boy Who Lived didn’t wank himself off?’ was the first thought that streamed through Draco’s head when he recalled the previous night.
‘I guess I am corrupting him’ he thought as a large smile formed on his face. He blushed red remembering how embarrassed he was in the dark last night. He was very glad that it was dark when he did that. Judging by the heat coming off from Harry’s skin, Draco thought that Harry had been blushing as well. He hoped so.
Draco quickly finished his shower and got dressed for breakfast.
Ron and Harry were sitting side-by-side talking about Quidditch with Hermione sitting across from them, going over some of her notes
“We’ve got O.W.L.s in just over nine months,” she admonished them.
“Blimey, Hermione, don’t you think we can wait a little while before we start in on those?” Ron asked.
Hermione leveled a look at Ron that caused him to quiver a little.
“All right then, Hermione but Harry and I will wait a bit,” Ron said confidently.
Harry nodded and Hermione rolled her eyes.
Harry had just starting telling Ron how he wanted to go out to the Quidditch pitch and fly around, searching for the snitch, when Draco sauntered into the room. He ambled up to the Gryffindor trio, with a classic, oily Malfoy smile on his face.
“Going to practice staying on your broom again, Potter?” Draco drawled out.
Ron’s face scrunched up in barely controlled rage, and only Harry laying his hand gently on Ron’s under the table prevented Ron from exploding forthwith. Ron caught a quick wink from Draco and didn’t look quite so murderous.
“I don’t have any troubles doing that. I’m going to practice catching the golden snitch,” Harry replied. He grinned madly when Draco blushed at the emphasis on the golden snitch.
“I don’t suppose you’d like to make a wager on who could catch it faster?” Draco snarled back.
“How do I know you won’t cheat?” Harry asked, playing along.
“Bring Weasel and Granger. You can let Granger hold the money though,” Draco said giving Ron a sideways look.
Ron was still angry and blustering, but Harry’s hand kept him restrained.
“After breakfast then. We’ll meet you on the Quidditch pitch,” Harry said confidently.
Draco smirked and stalked off to the Slytherin table.
“What the bloody hell was that about, Harry?” Ron demanded as soon as Malfoy was out of earshot.
Harry smirked, “Date.”
Ron turned white and coughed a few times.
Harry gave him an evil grin and then winked at Hermione who looked up from her scrolls. She laughed shortly and then went back to working.
“I can’t believe you want to have anything to do with that slimy git,” Ron said, shaking his head.
“I don’t have much of a choice,” Harry said matter-of-factly, shrugging his shoulders.
Ron shook his head and went back to eating.
Harry went back to eating as well, only to be interrupted again a short time later by the arrival of mail. He received three letters.
“I see you got a lot of mail today,” Ron said looking up.
“It looks that way,” Harry said while quickly reading through it all.
“Anything interesting?” Hermione asked, setting aside her work again.
“There’s a letter from Hagrid inviting us down to his hut for tea this afternoon. There is one from Dumbledore summoning me to a meeting after dinner and oh my…”
“What?” Ron asked looking worried.
“I can’t believe it…” Harry said staring at the letter.
“Give it here, Harry,” Ron asked.
Harry handed it to him.
Ron read it and whooped, “Congratulations Harry! I can’t believe how lucky you are!”
“What?” Hermione demanded.
“Harry’s been made Quidditch team Captain,” Ron told her with a mixture of pride and jealousy.
“That’s right… Harry, you’ll have to decide who to replace for chaser and for keeper, since Alicia has left the team and Oliver Wood graduated,” Ron said, looking hopeful.
“Yes, but I’ll have to meet with Madam Hooch and Professor McGonagall to discuss the arrangements,” Harry replied, looking thoughtful.
“With team captaincy, you’ll have to study harder for O.W.L.s,” Hermione pointed out.
“I’m sure I can rely on you to help me keep everything straight,” Harry replied, giving her a puppy dog look.
“Harry, don’t do that. I’d help you anyway,” she added quietly.
Harry smiled at her.
Seamus and Mickey arrived to the table at that point and dropped down next to Hermione.
“Top of the morning to ya Ron,” Seamus said.
“Good morning, Seamus. You’re awfully cheery this morning,” Ron grinned back at him.
“I had a nice shower this morning,” he grinned devilishly at Harry.
Harry coughed the orange juice he was drinking out.
“You ok, Harry?” Ron asked looking concerned.
“Aye. I’ve just had too much Irish humor this morning is all,” Harry said in a fake Irish accent while mock glaring at Seamus.
“Who? Me?” Seamus smirked back. “I wonder who they will make team captain for Quidditch this year. I was thinking of trying out for a position as chaser.”
“Harry is captain,” Ron said, smiling.
“Is that so, mate?”
“He just got the letter,” Hermione added.
“Excellent. Are you going to try out too Ron? With both your brothers already on the team, we can make it a Weasley team,” Seamus said with a grin.
“I was thinking of trying for keeper,” Ron said looking seriously back and forth at both Seamus and Harry.
“We need to get going. It looks like Malfoy has finished his breakfast too.”
“What’s going on?” Seamus asked, his eyes narrowing.
“A private wager between Malfoy and I,” Harry replied.
“Good luck then,” Seamus said.
“Good luck, Harry,” Mickey piped in.
“Thanks guys. I’ll see you at lunch.”
Fred watched as the trio left and then turned towards the teachers’ table. He made eye contact with the Headmaster and gave several short signals. The Headmaster nodded almost imperceptibly and Fred went back to his breakfast. The whole message was conveyed in less then three seconds. Fred joined the rest of the Gryffindors as they left for their dorms after finishing breakfast.
Seamus was talking rather loudly about the bet that was occurring between Malfoy and Harry Potter. That attracted the attention of several Slytherins, whom were also leaving at the time.
“Mr. Finnegan, did you say that there was a wager going on down at the Quidditch Pitch?” Professor Hagrid boomed out over the student’s heads.
“That sounds a might interesting if you ask me.” The look gave everyone caused most people to scatter and go about their business.
But not quite everyone.
Harry, Ron and Hermione went back to Gryffindor tower. Hermione waited in the common room while Harry and Ron ran upstairs. Harry grabbed his Firebolt and Ron grabbed his omnioculars from his trunk.
“Ready?” Harry asked them when they came back.
“Let’s go then,” Ron told them.
Together, the trio walked down to the Quidditch Pitch. They were the first ones there. Draco arrived a few moments later.
Draco looked around suspiciously before saying anything, “Good morning. Sorry about earlier, but I have to keep up appearances to survive in Slytherin.”
Ron looked clearly stunned.
“Weasley… Ron. I care… no… I love Harry more than you can imagine,” Draco said slowly, with a sincere look on his face.
“Granger… Hermione? Could you hold this for a few minutes to give Harry and I a chance to warm up on our brooms? I haven’t been on a broom in so long,” Draco said while handing Hermione a golden snitch. The snitch itself was still in its dormant state.
Harry looked over at his friends and nodded. He mounted his broom and kicked off into the sky.
He soared high into the sky, adding more and more speed, zooming up to a few hundred feet above the pitch. He nosed the front of his broom down and added speed. He made a quick vertical dive to gain even more speed and then made a wide looping curve over the pitch. The adrenaline rush he felt was clearly visible on his face, as Ron noted through his pair of omnioculars.
Hermione was watching Draco. He had a look of almost orgasmic bliss on his face, his mouth opened in an “O”. Hermione did a double take.
She gently reached out and touched Draco, who shook himself from his feelings.
“What’s going on Draco?” she asked with something approaching concern.
“Harry and the link between us. I wonder if he feels that every time he gets on a broom?” Draco was babbling.
“I think he does,” Ron whispered, replaying the look on Harry’s face, and then handing the omnioculars over to Draco.
Draco watched the replay then drawled quietly, “Aye, that look says what he was feeling. Hmmm.”
The last bit was stated as Harry flew overhead in sharp aerobatics. Draco shuddered again.
Draco jumped onto his own Nimbus 2001 and kicked himself smoothly into the air. He soared high and then came back down to do a quick lap of the entire Quidditch pitch. Harry was sort of drifting through the air when Draco did this, a look of near rapture on his face, from Draco’s adrenaline rush.
They moved so that they were facing each other, high above the pitch, but close enough to talk quietly with each other loud enough where they could hear, but not the people on the ground.
“Do you feel it too?” Harry asked, with a look of calm reverence on his face.
“The rush and the rapture you felt? Yes. I’ll assume then that you felt what I did, when I flew?” Draco drawled quietly back.
“It looks like we have gotten a bit of an audience,” Draco said, indicating the walkway from the castle.
The look that Hagrid had given people had caused most to scatter as he had hoped. Several people had refused to and it looked as if they were going to go down to the Pitch. So, he followed his instructions from the Headmaster, and went there himself. The students all clumped around him and a little noise from him whenever they tried to separate from the group was enough to bring them back.
The students walking with him were from several of the houses. Crabbe, Goyle, both Finch-Fletchleys, and Seamus were all in the group. The only thing preventing the normal student sniping was the presence of the hulking half-giant professor.
Harry and Draco both flew gently down to the pitch together, landing near Ron and Hermione. They all waited together for Hagrid and the students to walk up.
Hagrid’s booming voice sounded from across the pitch, “I hears ya are having a bit of a wager. I wanted to come and see fer myself.”
“Great dumb beast,” Draco muttered under his breath.
The cold look that Harry shot him could have frozen molten steel. Draco nearly backed up a step.
Harry turned to welcome Hagrid, “Hi Hagrid. I got your invitation for tea this afternoon. We’ll be there after lunch.”
“Aye, that’s a good lad,” Hagrid boomed out as they finally reached the place that they were standing.
Crabbe and Goyle wandered over to stand behind Draco. Draco turned to converse with them. Justin was on one side of Mickey and Seamus was on the other.
“Hi Justin,” Harry started, “are you feeling better?”
Justin smiled weakly, “Madam Pomfrey said that fresh air and time with my brother would do me good. We were out walking when we saw you flying so we joined up with Hagrid who was already on his way here.”
“We still need to talk later,” Harry smiled.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Justin said honestly.
“What is the wager?” Hagrid boomed out.
“Potter says he’ll be my servant for a week if I can beat him. If he beats me, then I have to be his servant,” Draco said condescendingly, on the fly.
Harry grinned at the hidden implications, while both Ron and Hermione exchanged surprised looks.
Hagrid smiled and cast a wink towards the three friends, “I’m betting four butterbeers on Harry then.”
“I’ll put four butterbeers on Draco,” Goyle spoke up.
“I will as well,” Crabbe said.
Justin looked a little pale and declined to bet.
“I’ll bet on Harry,” Seamus said.
Mickey went over and pulled his brother into a hug. Justin stood there and held him.
“Right then, eight butterbeers to the winner, to be collected next Hogsmeade weekend. Can you make a note of that Hermione, just to keep everything square?” Hagrid asked.
“Get to it then lads,” Hagrid said.
Draco and Harry looked at each other and launched back into the sky.
“You sent Hagrid down to make a wager?” McGonagall asked, shocked.
“I told him to keep an eye on what was going on. Mr. Weasley thought it important enough to signal me in the open. It was a good way to get adult supervision down there,” Albus replied.
“But encouraging betting?” Minerva said, still harping.
“Would you rather the other students were unsupervised? Severus tells me that Mr. Crabbe and Mr. Goyle, while not our brightest students, seem to be very loyal to Draco Malfoy. They were apparently told to avoid him, but have already reverted to their normal behavior. I’m informed that young Draco helps them study so that they can pass. As you no doubt recall, there has been frequent clashes between them and Ron Weasley. Hagrid was able to scare off a great number of students and the rest will be properly supervised. Perhaps they too will be convinced to join us.”
“There are many paths to the side of light,” Albus said, shrugging his shoulders.
“If you say so, Professor Dumbledore,” Minerva replied.
Albus smiled. “I’m sure everything will work out.”
They both stopped talking and watched the fire as the images of Draco and Harry were projected in front of it. The monitoring spells that the headmaster used were quite effective.
End of Chapter 10
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