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05 July 2007 @ 01:51 am
My Fic For The Deathly Hallows Challenge :)  
I'm so braindead now. x_X I hope this fic is coherent.

Title: Within These Walls
Author: Harmony (Silver Harmony)
Characters/Pairing: Harry/Blaise. Surprise, surprise.
Rating: PG-13.
Word Count: Approximately 1,498.
Notes: Response to the Potent Serpent Deathly Hallows Challenge of 2007. This fic shows one of the ways that I’d probably like Harry and Blaise to interact – if they do interact – in the final book. It's my take on the way Harry would come to discover that Blaise isn't really like the other stereotypical Slytherins (even though we know that already *winks*).
Feedback: Very much appreciated. I value all feedback, especially when they tell me what you think and/or what I can do to improve. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the story.
Summary: He returned, even though he'd sworn he wouldn't, and everything seemed to be the same.


***


He’d sworn that he wouldn’t come back, but he did.

The corridors weren’t very different; nothing had changed even though he hadn’t been there for some time. The same rough stone walls, as cold as ever. The same dancing shadows, made by the flickering torches and their tongues of flame. The same soft, ringing echoes of his own footsteps, crunching against the floor. It was the same in every way in which he’d grown used to it, the same as how he’d always known it to be in the six years he’d been there.

He held the crumpled parchment close to him, careful to make as little noise as possible underneath the veil of his invisibility cloak. He was already late, but he could not bring himself to quicken his pace, opting to make his way slowly, instead; he couldn’t help but examine everything along the way, to notice how everything in his surroundings had remained the same since he’d left it behind. He knew that McGonagall was waiting for this crucial piece of document. But every time he reminded himself of this, another part of him kept telling him it could wait.

Harry couldn’t really admit to himself that he’d missed this place, the place which he’d come to call home. He had been so convinced back then that he wouldn’t return. However, as soon as he had heard about the increasing interception of letters and the urgent need for this piece of parchment to be delivered to the Headmistress, he had raised his hand and volunteered to do it before he could even stop himself. It had surprised everyone, without a doubt. It had surprised himself most of all.

So there he was, walking through the same, unchanging hallways, feeling the same, familiar icy air blowing against his skin.

He turned a dark corner and began to make his way through a shortcut. There were no portraits in this particular corridor of the school, and it had always unsettled him – but then again, anything that was too close to the Slytherin area of Hogwarts often unsettled him. The fading away of the snores of the sleeping portraits behind him still gave him the same, uneasy feeling it always had, the uncertainty that came with entering a dark passageway thereafter unaccompanied. The further he walked, the less torches there were, creating more shadows on the wall; he couldn't help but feel just slightly vulnerable, alone in this place.

He took off his invisibility cloak, letting it drop to the floor, and stuffed the parchment into his pocket. It crumpled even more, but that didn’t really faze him. His own feeling of security was more important at this stage. He was just reaching in to withdraw his wand, absent-mindedly, when a soft voice interrupted him.

‘Well, well. A sight for sore eyes.’

Harry jumped. He whirled his head around to look at the figure behind him: standing in the shadows was a figure he’d come to know somewhat in the past year – Blaise Zabini, whose gaze was both hard and curious. Harry mentally cursed himself for being too careless. He watched as the dark-skinned boy crossed his arms; at once, he knew that he had gotten himself into a situation he could’ve avoided. The invisibility cloak lay so close to his feet, the cloak that he would not have taken off if he'd known that this was about to occur. He lifted his gaze, disliking the way Slytherin’s crest stood out all too strongly against the jet-black fabric.

‘…What are you up to, Potter?’

‘That’s none of your business,’ Harry snapped, and made to move off. However, in the blink of an eye, Zabini swept over and blocked his way, standing in front of him.

The Slytherin stretched out an arm and pressed his palm against the stone wall.

‘You haven’t been here all year,’ he hissed, and the tone of his voice was so low and slippery that Harry felt like there was a snake curling around his neck, suffocating him. ‘And now, here you are. Gracing us with your presence, from nowhere. I think that seeing as we’ve crossed paths, it is my business.’

Harry inched away, but knew that there was no way in hell he would let himself give the impression that he was intimidated. He glowered at Zabini, snarling, ‘Who do you think you are? We don’t even know each other. I don’t owe you any justifications, any answers, or any explanations; you don’t know the faintest thing about me. And what about you, slinking around here after curfew?’

The Slytherin shrugged, although his unfriendly expression did not change. ‘I was bored. I went to get some fresh air.’

That was not the answer Harry had been expecting. He was struck speechless at first, surprised at the honesty. However, he regained his senses shortly after and forced himself to be wary; he scowled and reached for the wand in his pocket, but Zabini caught his wrist, gripping hard.

‘Staying away from school must have made you stupid,’ he sneered, his eyes gleaming hostilely. ‘Do you want both of us to be caught, you complete fool? You're always acting before thinking.’

Harry ripped his wrist away from Zabini’s grasp and started rubbing it with his other hand, as though the Slytherin’s touch had burned. ‘McGonagall’s expecting me to come,’ he retorted, narrowing his eyes. ‘If we get caught, you’re the one who’ll get the flack for it.’

Zabini snorted.

‘Oh, I see. Anti-You-Know-Who business.’

The former Gryffindor stared furiously, somehow stung by the words. He didn’t like the way he had stupidly revealed his intentions to Zabini without meaning to, and he didn’t like the way the Slytherin had laced only the faintest trace of self-satisfaction in his voice in response to it. Furthermore, he didn’t like the way the other boy was just standing there calmly, either, while his own anger was flaring up on the inside. He knew that Zabini had gotten under his skin, had affected him, had won one against him, and he simply hated it.

‘Ah,’ the Slytherin uttered, raising both his eyebrows in a delicate mock-surprise. ‘Was I right?’

Harry glared fiercely at him.

‘…Sorry. Did I touch some kind of nerve?’

‘You sound completely stupid even when you’re trying to be smug,’ Harry growled, a little more savagely than he’d expected. ‘You couldn’t even say his name.’

Zabini looked at him impassively, his face far more excruciatingly composed and neutral than the former Gryffindor would’ve liked.

‘I could care less, actually. I’m off,’ the Slytherin answered in a completely unruffled manner, turning slightly, making ready to move away. ‘Go on and work yourself up over nothing.’

Harry all but spluttered in disbelief. He had wanted a reaction, and had not been able to successfully draw it out of Zabini. On the contrary – the tables had been turned and Zabini had drawn the reactions out of him. He had not even realized when the importance of his task had slipped from his mind, half-forgotten. He stood there, fuming at the sight of Zabini swiveling on his heel, and feeling enraged that the Slytherin had actually looked his nose down at him with what he knew was a legitimate reason.

In the midst of his anger, however, something about what the dark-skinned boy said niggled away at his mind. He scowled. From the little he knew of Zabini, he was vaguely familiar with the boy’s intimidating quietness, his devastating calmness; Zabini was nothing like Malfoy, who was much more impetuous and quicker to wag his tongue. Yet at the same time, Harry found something strange about the way he had claimed that he could care less, and the way he was actually going to leave Harry there without a second thought, without asking any more questions. The former Gryffindor had the funny feeling that there was something else underneath these words and actions.

The moment the Slytherin took one step away, Harry sprang forward and grabbed the boy’s elbow, whirling him around severely.

‘Whose side are you on, anyway?’ he demanded.

Zabini looked at him stoically, one eyebrow raised. He pulled his elbow out of Harry’s grip and sniffed; his expression was incomprehensible, unreadable. Harry actually found himself trembling, breathing hard in curiosity and frustration. There was something about all this that was getting to him, and it aggravated him that he couldn’t figure it out, that he couldn’t grasp the concealed meanings of this conversation.

Those shadowy eyes, gazing at him, bore a depth that he couldn’t decipher.

‘I don’t owe you any justifications, any answers, or any explanations,’ he uttered in a low voice. ‘You don’t know the faintest thing about me.’

And he swept away into the darkness of the shadows, leaving Harry alone in the silence of the hallway; the cold air settled around him, and it was as if no one else had ever been there.

The corridors, after all this, still didn’t look very different.

But something within these walls had changed.
 
 
 
Mara: Housemara_202 on July 4th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
Wow. That was great! :D

I love your writing style. It's so wonderfully descriptive. And I love that it's something that could actually happen in the book. Your Blaise is fantastic.
Silver Harmony: Sunshinesilverharmony on July 5th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback! Yeah, I deliberately wrote it so that it could kinda happen in the book - I just hope that JKR was nice enough to give our boys as much interaction time :D
randomiciclegabo0 on August 20th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
I loved this piece. It's incredible.
Silver Harmony: Missing Yousilverharmony on August 20th, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you very much. ♥ It's just a pity that there's no possibility of this happening in canon anymore. XD