Lemon Zingers and Strawberry Jam
Part II in the Crush Trilogy
It was going to be a crap day, Harry really didn’t have to be the top of his class to see the signs. He could feel it in his bones as Ron reached across him for the pumpkin juice and his fifth slice of bacon. Yes, the lack of strawberry jam on the table was an omen of sorts, and for once he would have something to tell Professor Trelawney in Divination. Forget about the Grim - toast without jam was lacking; it was sad and scary. It was not what Harry wanted, but he wasn’t going to complain. Harry was always very good about not complaining
Harry had principles; he had standards. Although he had never thought about them in relation to jam before, that was no reason not to start now. Not having his toast the way he wanted, it was no way to start the day, and Merlin only knew what else was awaiting him that he didn’t want to deal with. Actually, he knew exactly what was awaiting him, and having a crush on Malfoy didn’t change anything in Harry’s opinion. Well, it changed some things, as it wasn’t really a crush since Malfoy apparently felt the same, but it didn’t change other things, and Malfoy was going to have to understand that.
Just because Harry had accosted him in the library didn’t give Malfoy free reign to assault Harry whenever the urge over took him, and thankfully the urge had yet to overtake Malfoy at all, but Harry knew it was only a matter of time. He knew this because every time he saw Malfoy, the annoying little git would smirk at him and say nothing. It wasn’t the smirk that was driving Harry mental, it was the saying nothing bit. It wasn’t as though Harry hadn’t been there; he knew what he had done.
Harry knew he had licked Draco Malfoy.
Harry knew he had enjoyed it. He didn’t need the prat to remind him of that every time he turned the corner, and Malfoy was there with his arched eyebrows and his really long fingers that were no longer marred by plasters. And if all that weren’t bad enough, Malfoy had taken to flicking his tongue out and licking the corner of his mouth when he saw Harry, as though Harry needed a reminder of what he had done.
He thought not.
Harry was well aware that this crush thing had finally crossed the line he had never had any intentions of crossing. He knew it was only a matter of time before the entire thing got mucked up -- and it was most certainly going to get mucked up. Not because it was a crush that had crossed the line into something else, but because it was him and it was Malfoy, and it was inevitable. They went together like two things that went together and weren’t supposed to, like Neville and his Vampire Fern or Ron and his ginger-haired love of all things orange. It was too early in the morning for him to be having thoughts about Malfoy at all. Still, there was no more strawberry jam, and he was really not happy, so he reckoned that he might as well wallow in the sentiment. In for a penny, or a sickle, and all that.
“Good breakfast, Potter?” a voice drawled behind him. Actually, the more Harry thought about it, Malfoy didn’t really drawl, he tended to just elongate all his words because he knew it would drive Harry barmy. Malfoy wanted to drive Harry into St. Mungo’s. He was doing a bang up job so far. Those three words alone had crept up the back of Harry’s robe and over the collar to dance along the neck of his shirt. It was only a matter of time before Malfoy’s voice started doing indecent things to Harry in public.
“Sod off, Malfoy,” Ron snapped before Harry could answer for himself, although with his mouth full of eggs it sounded more like ‘surf’s up, milady,’ and that was why Seamus sniggered. That had to be why because really it was funny, and since Harry sniggered as well it probably covered up Malfoy’s response. A response which Harry had no doubt was biting and appropriate, but really Harry didn’t want to think about Malfoy and biting as he had enough problems with the licking - just not with his strawberry jam, which was actually rather sad.
It was only a figment of Harry’s imagination that Malfoy had jam on his mouth again.
Snape was hovering, and that was always a bad sign.
The fact that Harry thought of Snape’s hovering as a sign was also a bad sign in and of itself, because obviously Harry had been listening one time too often in Divination. Next he would be hanging around the Astronomy tower talking about Venus being pear-shaped and Mars doing odd things. He might as well dye his robes lavender and look into an incense-scented cologne like the one that Neville had mistaken for hair oil. The smell of patchouli still made Harry slightly nauseous, and obviously it was only a matter of time before his planets aligned wrong and he foresaw his own death by Sneakascope or something equally insipid.
Yes, insipid was a good word but insane was better, and it was exactly how Harry was going to start acting if Snape didn’t stop glaring at him as though he were going to start shouting ‘Avada Kedavra’ in class. Not that that was a half bad idea; as Harry had no doubt that at least a few people in his class were already sporting the Dark Mark, but he couldn’t be thinking about things like that with Malfoy sitting to the left of him, and Snape literally breathing down his neck in a very non-sexual way. Truth be told, Harry really couldn’t do much of anything but take notes about potions that no one would ever even think to use and look as though he were fascinated by his parchment and ink which had been blue at the start of class but was now green. A very brilliant emerald green which he did not find amusing at all.
First the jam, and now the ink; it didn’t take a genius to figure out what was happening. All the same, Harry had licked Malfoy so perhaps he deserved it. What he did not deserve, however, was Snape’s glare. There was a word for Snape’s glare: disconcerting. It was extremely disconcerting, but not as much as the realization that Malfoy’s right hand seemed to be migrating across the desk at a rather slow but insistent speed, and Harry knew exactly what was coming.
It was not fair.
“Don’t even think about it,” he hissed as quietly as possible, which considering the lack of further glares from Snape and Hermione must have been rather quietly.
Yes, he had let his tongue get away from him. Yes, he had liked it, but if Malfoy was going to actually touch him in Potions then they were obviously both doomed to detention for the rest of their time at Hogwarts. It wasn’t right. Harry didn’t want to do detention with Snape. Having said that though, detention with Malfoy was not much higher on his list. Not if Malfoy was going to touch him in public and then lick at the corner of his mouth when Harry couldn’t lick him back.
Malfoy glanced at him, but his head didn’t seem to move. “Don’t know what you’re on about, Potter,” he retorted rather softly, despite the steadfast movement of his hand.
“Malfoy, no,” Harry insisted a bit louder than he had intended. After a moment of consideration, and what was a furtive look that really wasn’t furtive, Harry gave up and moved his hand towards Malfoy’s.
How Malfoy was managing to make it look as though he was writing when he obviously wasn’t was something Harry was going to have to look into at a later date. Malfoy was right-handed, but that hand was currently trying to molest Harry, and Harry didn’t want to know where Malfoy’s left hand had got to because it certainly wasn’t moving the quill.
“Whatever it is that you two are so engrossed in, I hope it’s important enough to warrant your detention this evening, Mr. Potter,” Snape’s voice rang out, and the entire class turned around. Even the sympathetic looks from Ron and Hermione couldn’t lessen the evil thoughts that Harry felt sure were written all over his face. Instead he simply groaned and Malfoy snickered. It was short-lived when Snape continued onward. “That would apply to you as well, Mr. Malfoy.”
There was a good kind of sticky and a bad kind of sticky. The good kind of sticky generally involved strawberry jam and toffee apples and treacle and lots of other lovely foods. The bad kind of sticky inevitably involved labour and Snape and Filch, and Harry could have done without the latter in the same way he happily did without the Dursleys. Of course, Harry could have done without the detention as well, but that was what he got for having a crush on Malfoy in the first place.
He had kept reminding himself of that as they spent the better part of four hours cleaning Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum off the underside of the Trophy Case, and the underside of all of Snape’s desks and McGonagall’s desks and Flitwick’s and possibly every desk in the entire castle. Harry lost count after they had visited every class he was in and still weren’t done. He was never going to chew gum again in his entire life. His neck hurt from the odd angles they had to use to lean under the desks, and while the entire experience was horrific, the fact that they hadn’t been allowed to use magic was just sadistic. But that was Snape.
Of course, there was the small satisfaction of Malfoy not knowing how to use a spatula to scrap off the gum, but that was a miniscule victory, and it was obvious that if they were ever going to spend any time together without killing each other, Harry would have to take more pride in those. He would think on it more later, as opposed to thinking on it now when all he wanted to do was go to sleep. The fact that he had been yawning for the last hour probably clued Malfoy in to that fact, but Harry wasn’t going to stick around to find out. There was only so much he was willing to suffer for anyone, no matter how good they tasted.
“Good night,” Harry offered as they stood at the entrance to the Great Hall, preparing to go their respective ways. He turned to go, not really looking for Malfoy to say anything because they had exhausted any sort of conversation they had about ten seconds after the detention had started. It was quite clear that having a crush on someone did not mean you had anything in common or anything to talk about, so Harry was more than willing to simply do his work and watch Malfoy do his. He had done a lot of watching.
“You have something on your face, Potter,” Malfoy remarked to Harry’s back, which caused Harry to stop where he was as whatever was on his face certainly wasn’t Drooble’s. All the gum they had encountered that evening was so hard it could have easily been melded together as an improvisational Bludger.
“Don’t suppose you want to lick it off, do you, Malfoy?” he inquired with a smile that he was rather thankful Malfoy couldn’t see.
There was another pause, and Harry blinked at least fifty times before Malfoy answered. His voice was a lot closer than Malfoy had physically been when Harry had turned to go to the tower. “Maybe after you take a shower and get washed,” Malfoy said quietly, the breath from his mouth warm against the nape of Harry’s neck. “Even you aren’t that appealing after crawling around on the floor for four hours.”
Harry had to laugh at that. “I’ll remember that,” he said before continuing on his way. He would be thinking about what Malfoy had said when he was in the shower, and he was going to have to think on some other things while he was at it.
If it wasn’t a crush anymore then eventually he was going to have to figure out what to call it
The box on top of his Charms textbook was the only disturbance to his things, and truth be told Harry could only be glad. Students weren’t supposed to leave their belongings lying about to be pinched or hexed, but it was a Charms book and he couldn’t be bothered to drag it about with him when he didn’t have to. If he had been Hermione, he would’ve taken his book with him and studied at lunch and in the loo and quite possible in the shower, but thankfully he wasn’t her, and there was only so much studying that Harry could take. Being in the library was penance enough, although if the contents of the box turned out to spiders or mini-Voldemorts he would have to amend his thinking.
‘If you tell anyone I bought you these, I’ll have you belching slugs in my house colours until you graduate,’ the card said, and Harry had to grin. Not that he didn’t believe the card, but the sentiment could only have come from one person. Opening the box, his nose was attacked by the scent of lemons and sugar and Harry really did like Lemon Zingers. He felt his mouth water in expectation.
“So, d’you like them?” a voice inquired from his right, and he bit his lip hard to keep from being too obvious about his pleasure, but really, Lemon Zingers.
“Oh, they’re all right,” he replied as he unwrapped the wax paper and lifted one out.
A hand slammed down on the box, loudly, and Hannah Abbott jumped in her chair three tables down. Harry turned towards Malfoy and gave him a look, if he had squashed Harry’s Zingers there would be trouble. “Just ‘all right’?” Malfoy hissed, his nose wrinkling in a way that Harry was not going to find adorable, even if he had to spend the rest of his life writing that down on a blackboard.
Waving the Zinger under Malfoy’s nose, Harry pretended to think hard. “Well, they’re nice out the box and what have you, but they seem to taste better with jam.”
The look on Malfoy’s face was priceless, and Harry fought hard not to burst out laughing then and there, library policy or no. “Lemon Zingers with preserves?” Malfoy finally said, his voice scaling up in the manner of the long suffering and much maligned. “Strawberry, right?”
“Obviously,” Harry replied as he broke a piece off the treat and chewed thoughtfully. He had no idea how Malfoy knew he liked Zingers, and he really didn’t care. Correction: he didn’t want to think about how Malfoy knew because that would involve thinking about other things and having conversations about them. Having conversations was not supposed to come in the beginning of a relationship. That came later, after you had mastered the art of not threatening and taunting each other every five seconds.
“Anything else you’d like, your Highness?” Malfoy inquired, his tone somewhere Harry almost thought of as ‘uncertain.’
“Yeah,” Harry said, swallowing and licking his lips. “I mean yes,” he corrected as Malfoy’s eyes narrowed and fixed on his mouth.
“I see, and what else would you care for?” Malfoy said.
“To call you by your first name,” Harry responded rather promptly as he held the other half of his treat up to Draco’s mouth and waited expectantly.
Draco considered the Zinger and the look on Harry’s face before answering. “I think we can do that,” he said before biting into the Zinger, and chewing thoughtfully. “You do understand that this entitles me to lick you whenever I want though, right?”