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FIC: The Pursuit of Happiness (and Harry, somehow) [2/?]

Title: The Pursuit of Happiness (and Harry, somehow) [2/?]
Rating: M
Category: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Genre: Romance/Humour
Summary: Sometimes, happiness comes around unexpectedly. Then again, so does love. Draco Malfoy pursues Hermione Granger, but somewhere along the way, he falls in love with Harry Potter. Now how did THIS happen! DMHP slash
Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership over any of the characters that are recognizable in this story, that is, Harry Potter and any affiliated characters, which are copyrighted to J.. There is only the plot for me. And my imagination.



Previous Chapters: Prologue | Chapter 1


Chapter Two: Training for Disasters

Once they'd both settled on the password 'Furunculous Fairies', (actually, it had been more of Sir Jean's suggestion than their own) they discovered that Sir Jean could actually step aside, revealing a panel which opened up when the suit of armour had shifted. Harry nudged his way past Malfoy and stepped into the room first, the blond behind him grumbling all the way.

Harry stopped short in his amazement, causing Malfoy to run headlong into his backside.

"What! Potter, you idiot! Get your fat arse out of the doorway and move aside!" Malfoy snarled in irritation as he shoved the Gryffindor to the left. He, too, stopped, and glanced about the room with a curl of his lip.

"A bit... bland, but it'll have to do," Malfoy sighed dramatically as he threw himself into a plushy armchair. The room was decked out in neutral colours, mostly whites and light browns, thankfully, but here and there were the tell-tale signs of a Slytherin and Gryffindor partnership.

The floor underfoot was mostly timber, but there were comfortable looking rugs in the sitting area. Two armchairs that sat opposite each other, a coffee table and rather large couch, between them – the set took up the majority of the living room, which was to the left of the entrance way. To the right was just a wall that ran all the way to the other end, except for a break halfway which he presumed would lead to their private rooms.

Draco remained seated, staring moodily into the fireplace which was already lit, courtesy of the house elves, no doubt. Harry ignored the blond and continued to further investigate the dorm.

Further down the other end of the rather lengthy room was what Harry supposed would be the study area. A huge, L-shaped desk took up the entire corner, stretching across the span of one wall. Two chairs were tucked in neatly beneath the desks. Harry guessed that he and Draco would have to be sharing the study space, but at least they'd be facing different walls...

Both desks were empty, so that meant that they'd have to claim a desk and set it up with their supplies themselves. Harry turned back to see that Draco had already disappeared from his position on the couch. He figured that the blond must have already retired to his room.

The break in the wall obviously must have lead to the private rooms. He made his way to the space and was faced with a short hallway; a dead end, save for two doors on opposite sides and a portrait of a sleeping boy on a haystack.

There were brass plaques on the doors – one that said D. Malfoy, obviously not his, and the other was engraved with H. Potter. He pushed the door open without a glance at Malfoy's door and closed it behind him.

This time the room showed more of an obvious Gryffindor theme. The floor was carpeted with red and gold, but in more subdued tones that made him feel relaxed. The walls were bare, not a portrait in sight. To his left was a small bedside table with a lamp, which stood beside a four-poster bed that resembled his own back in Gryffindor Tower (actually, Harry suspected that this bed was his own) and on the other side of the bed was his trunk.

Opposite his trunk, pushed up against the corner of the room was a small desk and chair, which was beside a large looking wardrobe that ran along the entire wall. Harry sighted a letter on his desk. Never one to ignore his letters, Harry slid his nail beneath the wax seal and pulled out the crisp note from the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.

Harry,

I trust you find the dorm and private room to your liking. Do settle in as soon as possible. I know this may be slightly difficult with Mr. Malfoy only a few feet away in the other room, but unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change the situation.

The election of the school prefects and Heads is not mine to make. I understand your experience with goblets in the past was completely unexpected and unsolicited-

At this, Harry snorted, thinking back to his fourth year and the unforgettable Triwizard Tournament.

-but trust me on this one, there was no chance of anyone being able to manipulate the votes, as all students in the seventh year are up for election in Head duties.

The goblet chose both you and Mr. Malfoy because it decided that the both of you, working together, would be the most beneficial team for the school. I have to admit, I myself had doubts at first, but I'm sure that when you and Mr. Malfoy set aside your differences, you'll be able to see that the both of you actually work quite well together.

What did surprise me, however, was that there were two Head Boys elected for duty. Quite unusual indeed.

Regardless, I'm sure that the two of you will find your seventh year to be the most exhilarating yet. If the pressure of the duty becomes too hard on you, remember, you have the support system of the prefects and the Hogwarts' faculty behind you. We are here to help, so do not be afraid to seek it.

And please remember, Harry, do your best to avoid getting in trouble.

Sincerely,

Albus Dumbledore

Headmaster

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Harry only needed to read the letter once before he tucked it back into its envelope and stashed it away in his bedside table. A glance at his watch signified that it was already after-hours and he couldn't be stuffed to transfer his clothes into the wardrobe. There would be no chance of visiting Ron and Hermione in the Gryffindor common room-

Unless...

And please remember, Harry, do your best to avoid getting in trouble.

Well, if he was going to avoid getting into trouble...

He glanced at his trunk, where his Invisibility Cloak lay folded beneath many layers of clothing.

He might as well do his best.
---
 
"Ron. Ron," Harry hissed in his best friend's ear once he'd gotten to Gryffindor Tower and had taken his cloak off. He was right about the bed in his new quarters being his own from the Boy's dorm. The four remaining beds in the room had been shifted so that it was more spacious.
The red-headed male swatted at Harry's head in his sleep and groaned when Harry prodded his neck.

"Wha... Harry? What are you doing, mate?" Ron asked groggily and he shifted so that Harry could sit down beside him.

"Well... I wanted to talk to you, that's all. How's dorm life without me?" Harry asked him cheekily, a wide grin spreading across his face. Ron looked rather cross for a moment, before he seemed to remember something and laughed quietly.

"Well, had you had the opportunity to be here earlier, you would have walked in on Seamus and Dean cornering poor Neville." A nod from Ron towards said boy's bed caused Harry to give the boy in question a side-long glance. The others rarely pulled the curtains of their four-poster beds shut, unless they were getting up to unmentionables...

"Yeah? What for?" Harry asked, pulling a pillow out from under Ron so that he could rest on it comfortably from its position in his lap. Ron bit his lip for a few moments, trying to quell the burst of laughter that would have surely woken up the other boys.

"Well... you know how Seamus and Dean were... experimenting with each other all of last year, yeah?" At Harry's nod, Ron continued, "Well, they ended up getting together over the summer holidays and they wanted to, and I quote, 'Spice up their sex life.' Unfortunately for poor Neville here, they thought that including the poor kid in their experimentation was the answer."

Harry shook his head in mock pity and grinned up at Ron. "And how are you and Ms. Granger coming along?"

Ron flushed red and playfully socked Harry on the arm. "Shush, you! If you must know, Ms. Granger and I are currently at a very frustrating point in our not-so-together 'relationship'," Ron used his fingers to mark inverted commas in the air. "Sometimes I just want to shut her up and kiss her and-"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay, okay, Ron! I really don't need to know what you envision yourself and Hermione getting up to!" Harry blocked his friend's quiet laughter with his hands. The two friends quieted and fell into a comfortable silence.

Ron watched Harry fidget nervously, wringing the corners of his pillow between his hands. "Harry, you're going to rip my pillow to shreds if you don't stop that. What's wrong?"

Harry gave Ron a glance before glancing out the window beside his bed. "Well... I could start off with the fact that I'm Head Boy. That, in itself, is something that's wrong. I can't get into trouble without them putting more pressure on me."

"Why didn't you just turn it down?" Ron frowned, shaking his head. "Then they could have picked out a girl. Though I doubt anyone would want to suffer in the presence of Malfoy-" Here, Ron stopped short and visibly paled. "Mate... you have to share a dorm with him, don't you?"

"Problem number two," Harry sighed as he ducked his head into the plushy softness of Ron's pillow and then repeatedly bashed his head (rather ineffectively, considering that it was a pillow) into it.

"Look on the bright side. I'm sure that whatever unfair stunts that Malfoy will pull on us, you'll be able to fix right back up!" Ron grinned, and promptly looked confused when Harry groaned and continued his head-bashing.

"You've been hanging out with Hermione a little too much..."
---

Harry returned to his dorm well in the early hours of the morning, only to find Malfoy sitting on the couch reading a book.
"Isn't it a bit late to be reading?" Harry asked, trying to seem nonchalant as he slid the Invisibility Cloak off. There was no way he could have masked himself from Malfoy now – he'd already walked through the entrance.

"Isn't it a bit late to be sneaking around the school?" was the retort, and Harry could hear the malice behind the words. "Off to see your Weasel-boyfriend again, have you?"

Harry snarled and slapped the book out of Malfoy's hands, earning him a glare from the blond. "Don't talk about Ron like that, Ferret Face!"

"I'll do whatever I damn please, Scar Head!" Malfoy scowled, his hand twitching for his wand.

"Then so will I," Harry replied, trying to keep his voice calm but the fury that bubbled within him didn't allow such a thing. "I'm going to bed."

"I'm not your keeper," was the cool answer before Malfoy effortlessly summoned his book and retreated to his room. Harry glared daggers at the retreating back before he scoffed and returned to his own room, slamming the door in the process.

---

Needless to say, the confrontation with Malfoy that morning had easily set Harry's once-soaring mood well into the negatives, causing him to snap and bark at anyone who dared to annoy him.
Nearly every Slytherin, a few Ravenclaws and very little Hufflepuffs had jeered at him, saying that he was undeserving of the Head Boy role. The Hufflepuffs, mainly because some of them still hadn't gotten over the events that had occurred nearly three years ago; the Ravenclaws, because they believed that someone with more intelligence should be representing the student body; and the Slytherins because... well... they hated him, for lack of a better word.

But the Gryffindors, every single one of them, had Harry's back, which was enough for him. Today was the training day for the Head Boys and the Prefects.

Ginny Weasley and Colin Creevey had succeeded in becoming the Prefects for the sixth year Gryffindors and Harry was thankful, for once, that he actually knew the two quite closely. He recognized a few of the other Prefects, but unfortunately, was unable to put a name to a face.

Once the introductions were all good and done (Harry and Malfoy having to endure an outburst from the female Ravenclaw sixth year, who was angered by the fact there wasn't a Head Girl; she thought it was sexist), the Heads of House, Professors McGonagall, Snape, Sprout and Flitwick, were there to oversee the running of the day.

McGonagall, Sprout and Flitwick took charge of the Prefects, leaving Snape (unfortunately for Harry) to debrief Harry and Malfoy on their duties once again.

The day was rather tiring but enjoyable, nonetheless. Malfoy acted as his usual self, throwing in snide remarks whenever possible without detection. Snape had actually given them scenarios and awarded them for correct answers, to which he gave the easier ones to Malfoy (A student is caught wandering the corridors at night. What do you do?), and the more difficult ones to Harry (A Gryffindor is caught stealing potions ingredients from my private stores. Should you keep it a secret or report it to me?).

Not wanting to cause trouble, Harry bit down the anger he felt towards Snape (and Malfoy, who sniggered in the background) and answered in the way that would best placate the professor. Snape merely raised a brow before reluctantly awarding Harry two points to Gryffindor.

They rejoined everyone for lunch in the Great Hall, where he was immediately bombarded with questions by an excitable Hermione (it was the first day of classes after all) and an exhausted-looking Ron.

"Harry, Harry! How's your day been so far? My goodness, classes have begun and I'm already falling behind in my revision!" Hermione continued to fret, and Harry nodded numbly, knowing that Hermione wouldn't hurt him if he didn't respond. "Harry? Harry!"

"Huh?" said boy glanced up from his plate of fries and blinked blearily at Hermione.

"What...? Sorry. I'm just really," a yawn, "tired, s'all."

Hermione immediately frowned, glancing from Harry, to Ron, and then back to Harry yet again. "What did you two get up to last night?" came the suspicious question. "You both look like you stayed up."

"We did," came Ron's reply as he moodily stabbed his own fries with a fork and proceeded to shovel the food into his mouth. "And as soon as Harry left, I got jumped on by Dean and Seamus here."

Harry quirked an eyebrow at Ron, who rubbed his eye tiredly, completely unaware that he'd had his hand resting in the tomato sauce. Dean and Seamus were feeding each other and Harry felt a slight... envy of them. Not because it was them, but because at least they had each other.

And sooner or later, Ron and Hermione would have each other too. He felt strangely left out of the loop. Harry glanced up, looking past Hermione's shoulder to see Malfoy at the Slytherin table, his eyes trained on the back of Hermione's head. Harry's eyes narrowed.

'What the hell is Malfoy up to?'

The uneasy feeling in his gut continued to grow until he heard Hermione's voice calling out to him. Just in time, too, since Malfoy seemed to sense someone else watching him and his eyes averted from Hermione to Harry. Their eyes met for a moment, in which Harry was the first to break away.

"Sorry, Hermione. What did you say?" Harry asked politely, feeling decidedly full and pushing his plate away.

"I said, what about you? Why are you so tired? I mean, I know I saw you at breakfast, but you looked a lot better then than you do now," Hermione told him, daintily biting on a lettuce leaf. Harry grimaced.

"Are you on a diet?"

"No," was the quick reply. "Don't change the subject, Harry."

"Right then... well, I got back from Gryffindor Tower, barely avoided Snape-" here, Harry shot a nervous glance at the dark-haired man eating lunch at the Head Table "-and then came back to my room, only to have Malfoy insult Ron and then launch into an argument with me."

Beside him, Harry could feel Ron tense and Hermione pointed out that the redhead had tomato sauce smeared all over the left side of his face. Surprisingly, Ron only wiped it off quietly and resumed eating without a word. Harry and Hermione exchanged glances and then Hermione prompted Harry to go on.

"Well, you know that I have my training day today. So all the Prefects were with McGonagall, Flitwick and Spout, while Malfoy and I were stuck with Snape," Harry spat out bitterly and decided that he was hungry again. Beside him, Ron snorted and almost choked. Harry, used to this happening whenever bad news and food were within Ron's proximity, handed him a goblet of pumpkin juice.

"Thanks, mate," came the strained reply as Ron proceeded to guzzle down the drink.

Hermione's lip curled and she turned her head attentively back towards Harry.

"So far, he's been putting me and Malfoy in scenarios, and being totally unfair while he's at it. The git makes my blood boil, I swear. I wouldn't be surprised if he and Malfoy were having clandestine meetings in his private quarters..." Harry sniffed and decided that he needed a drink.

"Harry! Really, that was unnecessary. And a relationship between a teacher and a student is so completely wrong!" Hermione chided him as she finished her lunch and began to search through her book bag for something. She pulled out a mirror and began to self-consciously check herself out in the reflection.

Ron nudged Harry discreetly. Hermione never bothered to check if she looked alright in the middle of the day. Sure, she'd head to the bathroom to see if she still looked tame after a day of classes, but she'd never actually carried a mirror around with her before.

Now if it were say, Lavender Brown or Parvati Patil, Harry wouldn't have been concerned. But it was Hermione. And Hermione didn't care about her looks, not in a vain manner, anyway.

Hermione placed the mirror back in her bag once she was satisfied, and went back to scolding Harry. "And really, Malfoy and Professor Snape? That's so completely vile."

"Better than me and Malfoy," Harry bit back, feeling his stomach flip in disgust. And then he knew the comment that was about to come up next.

"Or Harry and Snape," Ron muttered, but loud enough for the other two to hear. "Oh god, please tell me I did not just think that!"

He then proceeded to bang his head against the table, and Harry - despite his urge to vomit - had enough sense to pull the plate away before Ron's head could connect.

"Actually, now that I think about it," Hermione began slowly, giving Harry and Ron enough time to exchange horrified glances. Whenever Hermione 'thought about things', it wasn't usually good. "Harry and Snape together does have its merits. If we completely disregard the fact that he's a teacher and that they hate each other, I can see a romance in the making."

"Yes, but that's what make Harry and Snape, Harry and Snape. Snape's a teacher, you can't change that, and they hate each other, and I doubt, highly, that you'd be able to change that," Seamus chirped in, deciding to push himself into the conversation. Beside the Irish boy, Dean agreed wholeheartedly.

"Still... I think I'll start to invest some of my time in story writing," Hermione mused, her eyes glazing over, indicative of the fact that a thousand and one thoughts were racing through her head at that moment.

Ron, unfortunately, didn't have the sense to pull the plate out from under Harry before his best friend decided to bang his head against the table.
---
 
Harry didn't know how they'd ended up in a conversation about him and Snape, but once lunch was done, Harry couldn't look the man in the eye without feeling the need to laugh, or be sick.

Thankfully, McGonagall took over Snape's duties, unfortunately unleashing him on the newly elected Prefects.

The Head of Gryffindor wasn't biased like Snape was, so unfortunately, Harry hadn't been able to earn some easy points like Malfoy had done with the Head of Slytherin.

McGonagall started to explain the point system to them and how many points were reasonable enough to reward and deduct in a situation. She gave them examples and explained to them that points couldn't be deducted if, for example, they were doing something other than being on duty and happened to mutter it aloud. She mentioned something about being in the presence of the student and that points couldn't be taken out of spite.

Harry resisted the urge to inform her that Snape had been doing just that since Harry's first day at Hogwarts. But McGonagall seemed to sense this and quickly informed the both of them in a subtle way (which Harry suspected was more for him than for Malfoy), that a point deduction could only happen if they happened to be doing something wrong.

Ah, good old McGonagall. Always defending the staff. Harry felt mild annoyance towards his Head of House before she launched off into another explanation, this time, for detentions.

Looks like this session would be a while...
---

At dinner, Harry sat beside Hermione this time and opposite Ron. He was horrified to learn that Hermione had already started a rough draft of a short novella she had started during her free period.
"Don't you usually use your free period to study more? And besides, what were you saying about student/teacher relationships before, huh?" Harry whined while Ron kicked him under the table. He lifted his head in time to see the futile warning before Hermione had started to talk about her newest project.

"I'm still going to be running S.P.E.W on the side, but I think this one would be more worthwhile for me. Did you know that Muggles write stories for their favourite books, movies, games, and television shows?" Hermione grilled them, her eyes sparkling with delight, "It's called fanfiction. I didn't think you two would be interested in it, but it's really fun to do. And my first ever fanfiction is going to be about a teacher and a student who hate each other, but the professor has to get married to his student, so both can avoid the machinations of the Ministry of Magic. I'm still ironing out a few plot holes, but otherwise, it's looking quite promising."

"Let me guess, the student's name is Harry and the professor's name is Snape?" Ron asked dryly, trying his best to keep his dinner in his stomach and not regurgitated onto his plate. Hermione had the grace to at least blush before she took on a cheeky demeanor.

"And so what if they are? I happen to like my idea, thank you very much," Hermione sniffed before she pointedly turned away from the two boys and returned to her dinner.

Harry blanched when Hermione wasn't looking and sent Ron a panicked look from across the table. Ron could only give him a helpless look and dug into some juicy, fried chicken.

Harry reached across the table to pile some pasta onto his plate, only half-listening to the conversations that took place around them when the trio had fallen silent. He began to eat his food absentmindedly and was almost startled out of his seat when he'd accidentally grabbed Neville's fork to eat and the boy cried out for him to stop.

Hermione shot him an amused look and Harry felt a sinking sensation in his gut when she pushed her plate away and pulled out a notebook and pen. That, he figured, must have been where she wrote her story, her fanfiction. Grimacing, he returned to his dinner.

"Harry, Harry! You have pasta sauce all over your cheek," Hermione admonished him for his messy eating habits. "Honestly, you, Ronald, and my father are all the same. Such messy eaters, men are."

As she continued to tsk and fuss over him, to the point where she, embarrassingly, began to wipe the white cream off his face, Harry happened to glance up and his eyes connected with, who else, but Malfoy.

The blond had an odd expression over his face and his eyes were glazed over, oddly. He seemed to be in a trance, or in deep thought. Finally, after a moment, the spell that was on Malfoy seemed to be broken and when he realized that he and Harry had been staring at each other from across the Great Hall, he sneered in disgust and went back to his dinner.

Harry didn't even have the chance to glare.
---

'What the bloody hell is wrong with me?' Draco thought to himself as he ate his pasta slowly. He then realized that he and Potter had been eating the exact same food and promptly decided to change to roast instead.
The changing of his food only served to distract him from his thoughts for a moment before they returned in full force.

He'd been watching Granger, no, Hermione, talking animatedly to Scar Head and Weasel. A part of him wished that he was sitting at the Gryffindor table just so that he could hear her voice properly and know what it was that had gotten her so excited.

It was only when she turned to scold Potter for something that he had noticed his rival staring absently into his own plate with white cream smeared across his lips and lower cheeks.

He was disgusted when certain scenarios began to flash through his mind, replacing the white pasta sauce with something else.

He was horrified when he felt the tell-tale twitch and subsequent stirrings in his groin.

And was mortified further when he realized that he'd been caught staring at Potter...

By Potter himself.
Tags: draco/harry, fanfic, myfic, rice_ball247
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