Shut It Potter
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When Harry came back to the common room he stopped to say thank you to Neville who was chatting with Ernie Macmillan, Hannah Abbott and Terry Boot. Neville stepped away from the group to pull Harry aside and told him that students he had escorted with Filch were mostly quiet on the way back. Only muttering to themselves about their detentions.

"I don't think they will try anything again. Plus they were scared shitless that you and I showed up to help Draco rather than them," Neville finished, giving Harry a lopsided smile.

Harry clapped him on the shoulder, "Thank you Nev. It means a lot that I didn't even have to ask you to come with me."

Neville looked down to his shuffling feet, which amused Harry. His dorm mate had grown into quite a figure during 7th year, and his confidence had bloomed under the pressure of leadership. Somehow though, Neville still seemed too shy to take a compliment.

Harry dropped his hand and started to make his way back to the group before Neville's hand shot out and gripped Harry by the arm. Harry looked back, confused.

"Um- you-" Neville said, stumbling through the two words without eye contact.

Harry waited.

"You should, ya know, um, you should freshen up a bit," Neville's halted words only furthered Harry's confusion. Harry stared at him until Neville said, "Just have a go in the loo before you talk to anyone else."

Bewildered, Harry went to the spare bathroom next to the common room tea station. When he caught his reflection he turned a brilliant shade of red, and even the blush didn't hide the marks up and down his neck. He proceeded to cast several Episkey spells at the love bites. "Bloody fucking vampire, he's lucky it felt so good getting those marks" he said, giving his reflection a guilty smile. Harry was thankful that Neville had seen him, rather than Ron or Hermione.

An hour passed while Harry sat with the group of eighth years, sharing stories from the summer and learning about everyone's room set up. Neville was roomed with Blaise Zabini, who had already started trying to persuade Neville into more stylish clothes. Hannah was with Hermione and the two of them had spelled the large mirror in the room to show their class and homework schedules. Terry Boot was bunking with Ron, they had plans to set up a betting pool to see if Terry could beat Ron at chess before Christmas break.

"How about you Ernie?" Harry asked.

Ernie sighed heavily, "I'm rooming with Malfoy," he said meekly. "He says I'm his emotional support Hufflepuff."

There was a strained silence until all of them broke into laughter except for Ernie who offered a small smile. Hannah gave him a side hug saying, "This will be a true test of your house abilities my friend."

When Harry got back to the room it was dark and the curtains around Pansy's bed were drawn. Harry cast Lumos then cast Sequor and let go of the wand which followed him around the room, lighting his path. He quickly changed into the t-shirt and flannels that he'd dropped earlier and slid into bed. Once he was comfortable he started to pull the curtains closed.

"Potter?" Pansy said, pulling back her curtain to look at him. The only light in the room came from his wand.

"Yeah?"

She was quiet for a moment and then said, "I know you don't take gratitude well, but, thank you for wanting to help me tonight."

"Oh, yeah. No problem," Harry replied, trying to 'take it well'. "You know, it was mostly Draco, if I'm honest."

Pansy sat up in the bed and narrowed her dark eyes at him, "What did you say?" she asked, words cutting through the air like glass.

"Don't be upset," Harry said quickly, hoping to soothe her. He couldn't understand why she would be upset about Draco getting the credit, he deserved it. "He was brilliant, he had them all tied up by the time I got there. Didn't even need my help, really."

"Oh, shut it, Potter," Pansy said, pointing an accusing finger, "You fucking kissed him, didn't you?"

Harry was gobsmacked. How did she know? Fuck! Should I lie. Draco and I didn't even discuss telling anyone. His frantic thoughts spun through his mind.

"I-" he tried, and then closed his mouth and swallowed against a dry throat. "How…" he trailed off.

Pansy balled her hands into fists and pressed them against her eyes, muttering, "Of all the self sabotaging, idiotic, unbelievably stupid," her rant gave way to a growl of frustration and she threw herself back against the pillows. The room went silent.

"Pansy?" Harry said, when he couldn't take the silence anymore.

She looked over at him but didn't reply. That was ok though, Harry was the one who needed to say something. The thought of telling her this made his heart flit about wildly in his chest. He took a deep breath.

"Look, I know it's probably a shock, or seems crazy to you, but I really like him. Not just for a distraction, I'm not using him," he said.

Harry looked up, hoping what he said would help, and found she was smiling. It was not a nice smile, then a peel of laughter filled the room. Harry had to lay there completely baffled, and wait until she had collected herself.

"A shock!" she managed to say, once her laughter had settled. "Salazar's knickers, Potter. I can't believe how dense you are." Pansy took a calming breath and looked back at Harry, "Only an oblivious Gryffindork is capable of being in denial about the obsession, much less sexual tension, between the two of you," she said in a tone reminiscent of Hermione's matter-of-fact speeches. "I am not shocked. I am concerned that you two will kill each other, but more than that I worry about what everyone else will do when they find out."

Pansy turned over, facing away from Harry and spelled her curtain closed.

At least she didn't seem quite as mad at the end of that, Harry thought, and cast Nox. Then he laid awake, staring at the ceiling and thought about her words.

****

The next morning, Harry got into it with Pansy about escorting her to breakfast. Eventually, Blaise and Draco showed up to their room, drawn by the shouting.

"I've got this one, Savior," Blaise said to Harry with a charming smile. Then, turned to Pansy and led her from the room with a hand on the small of her back.

As Pansy passed Draco her dark eyes narrowed. A flash of surprise crossed his features briefly, which was quickly replaced by a smug smirk.

Once Pansy and Blaise were gone Harry said, "Pansy knows. I didn't tell her though," he looked at the floor, considering his words. "Well, I did, but not on purpose."

"It only took her one conversation, Potter? " Draco said, amused.

"I'm not even sure what I said that gave it away."

"She is smarter than you are, and far more capable of picking up on tells."

Harry glared up at him, "I'm not stupid, Malfoy."

Draco rolled his eyes, "Oh come off it. You wouldn't be offended if I said that Granger is smarter than you."

Harry grimaced, "Well, obviously. Hermione is smarter than everyone though. I'd be dead if it wasn't for her."

"So then," Draco said, "does Granger know too?"

Harry shrugged, "She doesn't know about last night, but she's figured out how I-" he cut himself off biting into his cheek.

Draco smiled, "How you what, Potter?"

Ron came through the doorway, stopping just short of running into Draco. "Oi! What are you doing in here?"

"Ron," Hermione's voice came from behind him, "don't be rude." She squeezed past him and stepped into the room, looking between Harry and Draco. Clearing her throat, she said, "We are going to miss breakfast. Let's go."

Hermione pulled Ron out of the room with Harry and Draco following. Harry whispered over to him, "Come for a walk with me Friday night? We can go to the lake."

Draco's grey eyes seemed to assess Harry for a moment, then he gave a small nod.

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