Hijack Me! Story Title: Chance Encounters Author:bemygoodday Rating: PG right now Pairing: H/D Length : 2700 Time Period: Post-Hogwarts Canon Compliant: Compliant through HBP Summary: Harry is re-introducing himself to the social world while he adjusts to the changes in life after Voldemort. On top of everything, Draco Malfoy shows up unexpectedly. Warnings: none yet Disclaimer: All recognizable characters are property of JK Rowling and Warner Brothers, no profit is being made off of this story.
"I don’t. Want. To. Go. –I can’t dance and it only makes me look dodgy sitting at a table looking out on everyone else.” Harry crossed his arms over his chest in exasperation.
“C’mon Harry,” Ron whined. “What ever happened to the great Harry Potter and his unmatchable sense of adventure? You’ve hardly been out of this flat of yours for the past year.” He paused, looking at the bookshelves around Harry’s flat with distaste. “And don’t try to tell me you’re getting enough adventure in your Wonderful World of Books, Harry. I’ve picked up a few and they’re bloody boring!”
“It’s true Harry.” Hermione piped in, though a bit meekly. “Ever since you broke it off with Ginny, you’ve been a bit of a shut in.”
“My life –and let me stress the ‘my’- is quiet. I like my life. I like not dancing at nightclubs with questionable virtue. I like reading a chapter from whichever ‘boring’ novel I’m currently reading before I go to bed; my bed, where I sleep. Sleep! Did you know that I sleep now? Alone. And I like it that way!” Harry uncrossed his arms, which were previously resting across his chest and let them fall to his side. “I know you only want to see me happy. I know you think that going out to this club tonight will be the beginning of me going out to this club with you every Friday night. I also know, Hermione, that you think I am bound to find some nice young lass one of those Friday’s and be happy. What you are missing, both of you, is that I am happy now. I don’t need to be cuddled up to anyone to feel alive now that the war is over. I respect what you guys have. I do. I just… it isn’t what I want. I thought when I broke up with Ginny –I thought that at least that bit was clear.”
“It was. I mean… it is. We just –Ron, help me out here?” Hermione threw a begging glance at Ron.
Ron shrugged. “We miss you Harry.”
Harry didn’t know what to say to that. After Hermione and Ron were married Harry spent less and less time with them. It wasn’t so bad when he was with Ginny, it’s easier to be around a couple when you are a couple yourself, but the pressure to follow in their footsteps –to marry Ginny, when he knew it wasn’t what he wanted- had led to the break up. Being a third wheel for all of eternity was another one of those things Harry knew he didn’t want.
“Look. I know we don’t see each other as much as we used to. Ask me again next week. Give me a little time to warm up to the idea, instead of coming here and trying to drag me out by my toes.” Ron blushed at that. “I promise not to turn you down next week –good enough?”
“Yes, and, thank you Harry. We really do miss you.”
“See you then.” And with that, Ron apparated away.
“Harry, before I go too, I want you to know, I know things were strained after you broke it off with Ginny. But listen –now that Ginny has moved on, Ron has too. I think he was just waiting for proof that his little sister was going to be O.K. He wants to see you live again. We both do.” Then Hermione was gone too.
Harry was glad they were finally gone and that he didn’t have to go to that forsaken club. Although, he’d only managed to stall the inevitable for a week. Truth be told, he had already been there late one Thursday night, only about a month after he broke it off with Ginny. Tons of these clubs had popped up all over wizarding Britain as soon as Voldemort fell. But ‘The Post’, the club Hermione and Ron frequented, was the most popular. Themed nights that took your mind from anything real was it’s big appeal. Other clubs tried to mimic the feeling of fantasy surrounding the club, but like they say, there is nothing like the original.
Harry was lucky, or not, he supposes that out of all these clubs he picked the most elite without even knowing it. Something about wizard clubs, was that opposed to the muggle clubs Harry had visited, they didn’t only intoxicate you with heat, alcohol, and the sway of bodies, but they also possess a thrum of magic that resonates between all of the bodies, working it’s way into every crack of vacant air.
Harry was overwhelmed almost immediately the one time he visited ‘The Post’. The magic thickened air had him heading to the bar from the get-go to find something cold and decent to take the dull ache from behind his eyes. Ever since he had his last encounter with Voldemort, Harry had a certain sensitivity to magic. He could feel it all around him and the more power there was bouncing around a room the harder time he had concentrating. Which, would explain why, on that particular night, Harry didn’t notice until he was already mashed against a body that someone had led him away from the bar and onto the dance floor. He tried with no success to be able to focus on moving away, but the magic in the air left him feeling weak. Swaying along with the body –whose arms were holding him not only up, but also close- was too easy to argue with. It took a tongue and a deep voice in his ear, matched with a demanding hardness pressed to his thigh to realize that he was dancing with a man. A man, who apparently wanted a bit more, then merely a dance. Harry weakly made his way from said man and out of the club. The open air cleared his head significantly and devoid of much surprise he realized he had been followed out.
“So- Your place or mine?”
“What?” a beat “No! I’m sorry – I don’t really know what happened in there. I don’t –I’m not really –I just need to get into bed.” The man smiled until Harry added “Alone.”
“Tease” the man muttered as he made his was back into the club.
With all of Harry’s luck, it was that moment that he noticed the almost overtly colorful sign on the door stating “Gay Night – Every Thursday”.
At least no one there had noticed who he was. The Prophet would have a field day with that type of information.
He had a week then, to get his bearings together and head back to the club with his friends. At least it would be a Friday.
The week had gone by so quickly that Harry hadn’t even noticed it was Friday until Hermione called to warn him they would be apparating to his flat in the next hour. He spent a few minutes trying to come up with excuses not to go but eventually he agreed with himself that a promise was a promise.
He took a fast shower. Glanced at himself in the mirror and decided he could go without a shave and walked to his closet. He sifted through his clothes for a bit before deciding on the same red T-shirt and faded denims he wore every time he went out.
Ready to go, he noticed he still had a good ten minutes or so before Hermione and Ron would be showing up. Without any patience to wait idly he decided to have a look in the fridge.
Just as he was popping a piece of cheese into his mouth he heard the familiar ‘pop’ of apparation.
“I’m in the kitchen!” Harry shouted around the cheese in his mouth.
Hermione and Ron appeared in the doorway, Hermione giving Harry a dissatisfied once over. “Honestly, Harry. Is that what you planned on wearing?”
Swallowing his cheese Harry looked down at himself to make sure there were no obvious stains on his clothing. His search came up spot free, so he threw a confused look at Hermione. “What?”
“Come on.” She said, not giving him time to question where they were going, she grabbed his elbow and made for his bedroom.
Harry looked over his shoulder as he was being dragged down the hallway to give a pleading look to Ron. Ron simply threw his hands up in a helpless manor then turned and sat heavily in the armchair facing the fireplace. Harry made a mental note to have a very important conversation with Ron later, including the words ‘prat’ and ‘git’.
“Sit” Hermione ordered nodding toward the bed while opening the closet.
Harry hesitated -then complied due to the futility of it all. “Does Ron let you pick his clothes out for him?” He managed in what he felt was an appropriately annoyed tone.
“Yes” Hermione answered simply, inspecting a shirt before she shoved it back on the rack.
Harry made a mental note to add the word ‘whipped’ to his meeting with Ron.
Hermione was finally satisfied and set a black button down shirt and some dark denims next to Harry. “Those will do, but I must say, your selection is sparse, Harry.”
“I can’t wear this!” Harry exclaimed.
“And why not?” Hermione asked, placing her hands on her waist.
“Well, firstly, these jeans don’t fit right –I only bought them to get away from the sales lady who kept ogling my arse. And, ‘B’, I mean… secondly, this shirt is for work. It’s a dress shirt.” He held the shirt up for emphasis. “See? It has buttons!” pointing to each button in turn.
Hermione looked at Harry with dismay in her eyes for a moment before speaking slowly. “Harry, I’m going to ask you a question now… and I want you to answer it honestly.”
Harry got somewhat worried at her tone. “Yeah?”
“Have you ever worn a shirt with buttons anywhere besides work?” At Harry’s dubious look she threw her hands in the air. “Hopeless!”
Thirty minutes later and head swimming with Hermione’s Do’s and Don’ts of Fashion, Harry stumbled out of his room feeling a bit dizzy; a satisfied Hermione trailing close behind. Who knew Hermione was a fashionista? Harry would have never guessed based on the sight of the hat’s she had made for the house elves so long ago, ‘like little spots of mold’ as Ron had put it.
“Took long enough mate.” Ron said as he stretched, then stood from the chair.
Harry plainly glared at him and headed for his shoes, muttering under his breath. He reached his hand out to his trainers but stopped when he heard a tut over his right shoulder, and seized his work shoes instead.
Finally assembled up to par, the three apparated one after the other to the alley next to the club.
Upon arrival Harry almost choked at the site of a line around the block.
"We'll be out here for hours!"
"Not with The Boy Who Lived in tow" Hermione said before grabbing Harry and Ron each by an elbow and dragging them to the front of the line.
"Good to know you wanted me here for the company."
"Oh, don't be like that! We would have wanted you to come regardless." Hermione said, "Besides, you're the one who complained about the line."
Once they were inside Harry and Hermione went in search of a table while Ron got drinks.
"All right there Harry?" Hermione asked with her 'concern voice'.
Harry tried to hide his discomfort with all the magic in the air. He never did get around to telling anyone about his new found sensitivity. It wasn't that he didn't trust them, but everyone seemed so relieved after Voldemort was gone, Harry didn't want to give anyone a new reason to worry. Besides that, Harry wasn't sure if the illness he felt was permanent. Over the past year he had become slowly used to it, sometimes, if there were only a small group of people in the room, he could sort it out, assign magic to people, and learn to ignore or hone in on certain threads. He always knew when one of his friends were near, and which ones specifically, by the magic they radiated.
"I'm fine; just… it's a little crowded in here, yeah?"
Ron couldn't have come any sooner. Harry was afraid Hermione wouldn't buy his lame excuse.
"I know you haven't been out in a while mate, so allow me to fill you in." Ron said as he placed a drink in front of Harry, "Those over there?" He said pointing, "Those are people. That thing they are doing? It's called dancing. Questions?" He must have noticed the semi-glare Harry was giving him. "No? Good. I'm taking this one for a spin!" He finished, grabbing Hermione buy her hand and leading her out to the floor.
Harry spent the next 15 minutes concentrating on ignoring the magic in the club. He found that once he acknowledged a thread of magic, he had an easier time adjusting to it's pressence. He almost thought of it as a child who pulled on your sleeve untill you gave it the attention it seeked.
He found Ron and Hermione on the dance floor, completely engrossed in each other. They had the same intensity in their eyes that they used to have in school, only now, they weren't fighting.
"Merlin, they look happy" He said to himself.
"Talking to yourself in public Potter? Why, whatever would your adoring public think?" the snide tone was impossible to misplace and Harry found himself turning reluctantly to the sound.
"Malfoy." Harry stated. He noticed a woman standing a few feet away from them, looking at Draco anxciously. "What brings you here?"
"I had some business to attend to," he motioned over his shoulder to where the annonymous woman was standing, "Her father is Sinclair Waxworthy, he works for the ministry in the Claims and Aquisitions Department. I wouldn't mind getting some of my families hierlooms back from the ministry."
Harry looked over at the woman standing there again. She didn't carry herself like a woman, more like a girl. She seemed unsure of herself, awkward. And her magic, Harry noted, was rather weak. She wasn't really ugly, but she wasn't exactly beautiful either and Harry new better then to think Malfoy would be caught dead with her if there was nothing to gain.
"A business transaction then. Can't say I'de put it past you." Harry marked with distaste.
"Some of us do what we have to Potter, I would have thought you could understand that." Malfoy answered. He almost looked hurt before he turned away beckoning the girl to follow, leaving Harry behind.
Harry thought about what Malfoy had said and it unsettled him. There was a time when all Harry did was what he had to. It was a time marked with pain and loss and he didn't like to think about it. He did a lot of things he wasn't proud of, they all did things they weren't proud of, but Malfoy knew; Malfoy was there when Harry killed Snape. Suddenly not feeling like being out anymore Harry found his way over to Ron and Hermione on the dance floor.
"Come to join the living mate?" Ron asked.
"Actually, I think I'm going to get going. You two can stay here. I had a busy morning and I really am knackered. I'll catch you later." He failed to mention his run-in with Malfoy as to avoid any questions that might lead to answers he didn't feel like going over at the moment.
"But Harry-" Ron started before Hermione cut him off.
"It's alright Harry. We know you were reluctant to come out with us in the first place," She directed the words to Ron, more then to Harry himself, "We don't want to rush you into anything. Have a nice sleep. I'll talk to you tomorrow."
"Thanks Hermione, Ron." He nodded to them before he headed home for the night.