Seven Steps -4-
tags: eighth year, drarry, swearing
Story inspired by the wonderful @sillysaddass
Step 2: Greet him in the hallways so he remembers you exist.
Draco couldn’t sleep and was running late for breakfast. He was finishing the knot of his tie on the way, not paying attention, and nearly ran into someone.
“Watch where you’re going, ferret,” Weasley snapped.
Draco hesitated, giving his rational mind just enough time to take control. He took a deep breath and stepped to the side, careful not to look directly at the Weasel and let his temper get the upper hand, “Pardon me,” he murmured.
He felt his eyes drawn to Potter’s shock of wild black hair and locked eyes with him. By Merlin’s grace, Potter’s eyes were the loveliest shade of green.
Draco swallowed the lump in his throat and nodded to Potter, “Good morning,” he said, his voice mostly steady and quickly stepped past them into the great hall.
He moved quickly, hoping to outpace the growing heat on his cheeks, sitting at the end of the Slytherin table. He tossed a few pieces of toast on his plate and picked up the teapot.
“What was that?”
Draco jumped, tea sloshing out over his plate and soaking his toast. Draco frowned at the mess and carried the frown up to Potter, glaring back at him, one hand braced on the end of the table.
“Seriously, Malfoy, what are you doing?” Potter demanded.
Draco wasn’t sure if this was against the rules of their plan but was fairly certain silence would only infuriate Potter. “Breakfast.” He looked down at his soggy plate and vanished the ruined toast.
“Not that. What’s with you? By the door?” Potter gestured back to the entrance.
Draco picked up a fresh piece of toast and deliberately set it on his plate so he would have something to look at other than Potter. He did his best to respond as if Potter were a ministry official or a solicitor, “It’s polite to greet someone you know.”
“Then in class lately,” Potter went on with another sudden gesture.
Draco felt a flutter of anxiety in his gut, “Yes?” he asked, picking up the neglected teapot and filling the cup in front of himself.
“You’ve been sitting next to me!” Potter said.
Draco’s stomach clenched, he held his breath, “Am I bothering you?”
Potter hesitated, his brow furrowing. He looked down the table and was suddenly aware that all of Slytherin was staring at him, along with much of the other houses. He took a step back, “We’ll finish this later,” he said quietly and stomped out of the hall, a storm of whispers following in his wake.
Draco breathed out.
He had no idea what he would have done if Potter had said yes. If he couldn’t even get close to Potter, the plan was over. He wasn’t certain if it had even begun, or if this was only an exercise in futility.
“Move.” Pansy said impatiently to the second year sitting next to Draco, “Take your plate and go. Hurry up; I haven’t got all day,” she waved her hand, practically sitting on the twelve-year-old trying to scramble out of her way.
“Did you hear everything?” Draco managed.
“Everyone did. Potter wasn’t exactly subtle, not that he ever has been,” Pansy said, taking a handful of grapes and popping one in her mouth. With her free hand, she dropped a cube of sugar and a dollop of cream into Draco’s cup and dragged it closer to him in a rattle of wood on china, “Drink.”
“I don’t-” Draco protested.
“Feel like it. I don’t care. You’ll drink your tea and have some toast, two or three slices,” Pansy plucked two more slices of toast and dropped them on his plate, “You’ll be whining about being starving halfway through charms, and we both know it.”
Draco knew if his anxiety got the better of him he might lose his appetite for the rest of the day. Still, he took a few bites and washed it down with a sip of tea.
“It’s not as bad as it seems,” Pansy said, popping another grape into her mouth.
Draco sulkily chewed on the edge of his toast, “It seems quite bad.”
“You would think that,” Pansy said, utterly unimpressed, “but Potter wasn’t angry. Impatient and annoyed, maybe suspicious but at least he wasn’t angry, and that is an improvement.”
“An improvement,” Draco repeated flatly.
Pansy threw a grape at his head and missed quite badly, “When you’re starting at the bottom of the shit pit, covered in shit, anything is an improvement.”
“You’re disgusting,” Draco said, trying not to smile.
Pansy smirked with pleasure, “Thank you. Now finish your fucking toast.”
♡ Tags below ♡