“I once lived in a place where the opinion of others mattered. It
suffocated me, nearly broke me. So you’ll understand me, Feyre, when I
say that I know what you feel, and I know what they tried to do to you,
and that with enough courage, you can say to hell with a reputation. You
do what you love, what you need”
Harry’s head snaps up. He looks over at Malfoy, who hastily buries his face in his parchment again.
“What is he playing at, staring at you like that?” Ron mutters grumpily.
“Dunno.” Harry has been wondering that himself. Okay yes, they had kind of a reputation for staring at each other. But lately it was… different.
“What is he even scribbling on his parchment? Class hasn’t even started yet!”
Harry snickers at Ron’s tone.
“Mate, relax. Just ignore him,” he tells his friend, very well aware that he will probably spend the next hour doing the exact opposite.
He catches Malfoy several times studying him intently with narrowed eyes. Whenever their eyes meet, Harry could swear Malfoy’s cheeks turn a bit rosy before he breaks eye contact. Harry feels his own cheeks heat up involuntarily at the sight.
When class ends, Harry packs his things deliberately slow. He even tells Ron to head off to the Great Hall without him.
“I’ll be right behind you,” he grins. Ron gives him a skeptical look, but shrugs and heads out of the classroom. When most of the students are gone, Harry picks up his last book and tries to be discreet about watching Malfoy out of the corner of his eye. He’s collecting several rolls of parchment, spread over his desk. Harry glimpses something strange and a little gasp escapes his mouth.
“Is that…” Harry can’t believe his eyes. “Is that me?”
Malfoy’s eyes are impossibly wide as Harry approaches him and makes a grab for the piece of parchment he has spotted his own face on. Malfoy tries to snatch it away, but Harry is quicker. Always has been.
He stares at it, a strange feeling washing over him. It’s not a big portrait or something, it’s more like a doodle on the edge of the parchment.
“Huh. You’ve improved since third year,” Harry murmurs.
“What?” Malfoy snaps.
Harry looks up to meet his gaze.
“Well, I remember a rather unflattering drawing of me on my broom.”
And there it is again. This time, Harry’s standing so close that there is absolutely no doubt - Malfoy is blushing!
“I admit, that drawing was quite unfortunate,” he drawls.
“Well, it was meant as an insult, so -”
“It wasn’t an insult,” Malfoy interrupts him.
What? Harry stares at him, not sure he heard correctly. Malfoy seems to realise his mistake and suddenly looks very alarmed.
“I mean, obviously it was an insult. What else would it have been?”
He snags the parchment from Harry’s fingers, hastily stuffing it into his bag. The scowl on his face doesn’t convince Harry as he marches out of the classroom.
Harry traces a finger along the desk Malfoy has just been sitting at, a grin spreading on his lips.