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“You’ve got to be joking,” growled Draco, his eyes narrowed to slits, his pallid face twisted into a sneer. “I am not sharing a tent with Potter!”

They were sat on the Knight Bus, on their way to Cornwall, a historical place where supposedly Merlin had visited whilst going on a shopping spree to collect herbs thousands of years ago. Merlin, the founder of wizards. Draco wasn’t even sure if Merlin had ever existed - perhaps he was just a rumour, a fairytale made up by parents to tell naive children at night time. Whatever it was, it was an excuse to get away from Hogwarts for a field trip, a pleasant change from sitting inside a stuffy classroom, listening to Professor Binns rattle on bout pointless History of Magic. Admittedly, he had been quite looking forward to it until Snape announced the list of students he had conveniently paired up for sleeping arrangements. Hell, that man was a bastard.

“I’m no more happy about the situation than you are, Malfoy,” Harry rebuked him coldly, shifting in his seat alongside the Weasel, who was looking bewildered at the thought of sharing his quarters with Vincent Crabbe. He cast his emerald eyes up in the sinister shadow’s direction and frowned pleadingly. “Sir, are you trying to make us as miserable as possible?”

“May I suggest you keep quiet, Mr Potter?” Snape replied icily, the odour of his unwashed body drifting lazily towards them in a repugnant waft. “Unless, of course, you would like to spend the rest of this trip sitting on the bus, guarded by one of the teachers for your immature behaviour.”

“Anything would be better than sharing a tent with him,” grumbled Harry, but Snape pretended not to notice. With another lurch the bus shot to their destination, Snape falling forwards with it, toppling in a black-robed heap, his ankles sticking out awkwardly. Harry sniggered amusedly, rapidly vanishing the expression from his face as soon as a glower formed on Snape’s sallow, dark-tunnelled face.

“Can you believe this?” Draco turned to his best friend, Blaise Zabini, who was busy packing up his game of Exploding Snap. “I actually thought this trip was going to be fun, despite the boring lectures we’d have to go to, but no, Scarhead always has to come along and spoil it. It’s quite ridiculous.”

“Yeah,” agreed Blaise, not really listening. “He is a bit of an idiot, isn’t he?”

To which the question led an invite for Draco to rant on about how much he detested Potter.

They scrambled out of the bus and collected their trunks, Harry and Ron glancing around the area apprehensively. It was pretty much deprived of anything interesting - a flat layer of land - green, green and more green, with a faded inch of grey sky and a cliff that tumbled off to the heaving breath of the bitter blue sea.

“Um, sir,” said Harry, passing a sideways glance to the ghost, Professor Binns, who was eying the land eagerly as if it was a gold-mine. “What are we actually here to see?”

“This is where Merlin himself once stood,” replied the wraith irritably. “Don’t be so insolent boy, how many times do I have to tell you?”

“But it’s just a stretch of land!” Exclaimed Ron with disbelief, his disappointment visible in his eyes. “I thought there’d at least be a shop, or one of those Muggle theme parks or something.”

“A theme park?” said Hermione disgustedly. “Ronald, don’t be so ridiculous. This is a historical landsite, not a play area!”

“A historical landsite?” Smirked Ron disapprovingly. “Hermione, all I can see is grass, grass and more grass.”

Harry smiled at their innocent bickering and watched Malfoy with weary eyes. He wondered how on earth he was going to put up with the blonde haired for one night. Alone. In a tent. The thought repulsed him.

He couldn’t help but smirk at how much he intended to piss the Slytherin off.

After lunch Ron handed him a small box containing home-made rockets of some kind.

“What are they?”

“Fireworks,” grinned Ron. “I nicked them from Fred and George, you know, to set them off outside Snape’s tent in the morning and wake him up or something. He’d wet himself!”

“Thanks,” said Harry, taking the box and shoving it into his robe pocket, not quite sure what he was supposed to do with them.

They spent the remains of that day exploring the, er, grass, Professor Binns sighing in pleasure as he walked the grounds and watched the movements of the green blades in the capturing clasp of the wind. They set up their tents with magic, but had to work with their partners.

“Great,” moaned Harry. “That means Malfoy.”

“Yes, that means me,” snarled Draco, moving forwards to shove him out of the way. “And it also means you are doing all the work.”

“Oh, I don’t think so,” smiled Harry sweetly, dumping down his trunk and sitting down on the grass. “I appear to have, er, lost my wand.”

“Oh, how convenient,” snapped Draco sarcastically, his silver eyes flitting across to where Harry was sitting. “Why don’t you try looking up your -”

“GET THE TENT PUT UP IMMEDIATELY!” Roared Snape pointlessly, strolling past and noticing them lazing around. “Dinner will be served in half-an-hour, and then it will be dark. Unless you’d like to sleep outside like a dog, Mr Potter, I suggest you MOVE.”

“Oh, that’s right,” retorted Harry, standing up and putting his trunk aside, brushing the creases from his trousers. “Just ignore the fact that Malfoy’s not doing anything either and blame the whole thing on me.” He pulled his wand out of his pocket and set to work, waving it in annoyance at the blasted piece of material, muttering charms that would extend its measure inside.

They ended up with a very lumpy mound that didn’t look like a tent at all.

“What is that?” Draco enquired disdainfully, his voice dripping with frustration. “I am not sleeping in there.”

“Well then sleep outside,” Harry returned hotly, striding in and dumping his trunk down on the floor. He had to admit, it was a mess. There was little room inside, and the whole thing was uneven.

“Harry,” giggled Hermione, peeping her brown curly head through the doorway and smiling at him with amusement. “Is this supposed to be a tent?”

“Oh, shut up,” his anger finally gave way. “This is not helping. If you can do it better, then you make it.”

“Alright,” she smiled, waving her wand and literally transforming the entire thing. The tent shifted in shape, colour and appearance - the space a lot more spacious, with draping curtains, windows, a high ceiling so they didn’t have to crouch and hit their heads, and two beds spaced a few meters apart from one another. He eyed it all with amazement and turned to Hermione with disbelief.


“No problem.” She disappeared again, her presence swapped for that of a Malfoy. He chose the bigger, more comfortable bed and sat down with a sneer.

“I can’t believe this is happening. Potter, get your trunk out the way.”

Harry ignored him and started to unpack, his back towards Draco. He was tired of this stupid, ridiculous place. What the hell was the point in it? Whose idea was it anyway? Judging by Draco’s glowering face he was thinking along the same lines. Harry threw his clothes and toothbrush aside, turning just in time to see Malfoy pull something rather remarkable from his bag, and hilariously funny!!

“Malfoy - is that a teddy bear?”

“No,” the youth defended himself rather too rapidly, diving the toy back in his bag. Harry quickly reached for his wand and frowned in concentration.

“Accio, teddy-bear.”

And sure enough, the stuffed toy came floating towards him. Harry caught it in his arms, much to the humiliation of Malfoy. It was brown with dark eyes, outstretched arms and a sad face, enough to make one’s heart-melt - if they had been three years old. Harry was amused to find that the bear was wearing a hand-made wizard’s robe, a badge saying -

“Mr Snuggles?” Exploded Harry, unable to control his laughter. “Malfoy- you’ve got to be joking!”

“Give that back right now!” Raged a red-faced Slytherin, diving for him with his fists raised.

“Did your mummy give this to you?” Mused Harry, waving the bear about in mid-air. “Do you kiss him goodnight? Do you talk to him like a friend? Do you -”

“If you want me to smash your face in Potter, you’re certainly going the right way about it,” snarled Draco, his eyes glazed with tears of embarrassment.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” replied Harry sarcastically, “it’s just -” His stomach was beginning to hurt with laughing, “it’s a TEDDY!”

Before Draco could stop him, Harry raced for the tent door, diving out and into the grassy area. “Hey everybody, Malfoy’s got a teddy! It’s called Mr Snuggles!”

The faded grassy area went deadly silent before being pierced with a chorus of laughter, drowning out the sentence Draco produced in pure deadly wrath.

“I’m . . . going . . . to . . . KILL YOU!”

“Maybe, but not today,” smiled Harry pleasantly, throwing Malfoy the teddy, who clutched at it affectionately, and then turned redder with shame, disappearing back into the tent with nothing less than hate.

“Dinner,” announced Snape, his voice icy cold against the warmth of laughter. “Now.”


He’d have to figure out a way to get Malfoy out of the tent.

Dinner had been . . . interesting. At least Harry had been allowed to sit with his friends, Ron still sniggering over the fact that Malfoy owned a teddy-bear. The actual food itself was revolting - a mushy bean curry, flavoured with spices that burned one’s mouth off.

“See you soon?” The waitress had called after them hopefully as they wandered away with their class-mates.

“Oh, yeah, sure,” smiled Harry sweetly in a sugary voice. As they got further away, he muttered to an appalled Ron, “Not in this lifetime,” who sniggered and snorted with amusement.

Now, inside the tent, Draco was nothing less that fuming. Throwing his things about, he carefully tucked Mr Snuggles up inside his bed and began to get changed.

“Don’t watch me,” he snapped sharply when he caught Harry’s straying eyes passing him.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Malfoy,” sighed Harry distractedly. “As if I’d want to watch you get changed.”

“Get out.”

“What?” Enquired Harry in disbelief.

“I don’t trust you, you’ll look.”

“Oh, for Merlin’s sake, ferret, just get changed!” Harry sighed, losing his patience.

Malfoy scowled but quickly tore off his clothes and shrugged into his pyjamas. Harry had to admit, the boy looked innocent and harmless in his soft grey pyjamas, his hair falling softly over his eyes, chewing absently on his thumb-nail. With a laugh, Harry changed and crawled into bed, picking up his copy of Quidditch Through The Ages and leafing through it under the light of his wand.

“Turn that light out,” demanded Draco, lifting his head slightly from the pillow. “I want to sleep.”

“No,” growled Harry impatiently, his voice a little taut. “I’m reading.”

“And I’m sleeping.”

“Then sleep.”

“I can’t, not with the light on.”

“Oh for god’s sake!” Exploded Harry, standing up and throwing his book aside, turning out the wand and then scrambling back into bed. “Happy now?”

“I’ll only be happy when you’re dead to this world.”

“Oh, well thank you,” he replied sarcastically. “Isn’t that nice and polite. Watch it Malfoy, or I might have to confiscate Mr Snuggles until you can be good again.”

“Oh ha.”

“Did you know Malfoy, that this place is full of monsters?”

Malfoy squinted at him through the darkness with a wrinkled nose. “You what? Don’t be so ridiculous, Potter. The only monster around here is that ugly Mudblood bitch you call a friend.”

Harry gritted his teeth to bite back the anger. “Oh, sure Malfoy, no monsters . . . You carry on thinking what you like.”

There was a short silence before the boy answered him. His voice was stretched thin with curiosity and a slight sickening fear. “What . . . monsters?”

“Oh, you know, the legendary ones that live under the cliffs, in the caves. They’re called Shriklons. When it creeps closer to midnight they wake up and crawl up over the cliffs in search of their prey. People say that they only select one meal a night to share between them, and are very clever at weaving their sounds. The victim is the only one who can hear them, so the rest of us get a peaceful night’s sleep. That’s the thing see, when the victim starts to scream in the Shriklon’s jaws, we can’t do anything to help them, because the Shirklon is both invisible and unhearable to us.”

“I’ve never heard such a load of rubbish in my life.”

“Oh, sure. Well, night then.”

He had the pleasure of seeing Draco clutching more tightly to Mr Snuggles.

Harry smiled to himself, wondering why out of everyone he had got paired off with someone as intolerable and repulsive as Draco Malfoy. The night air was cool and drifted in slowly through a gap in the tent doorway. He yawned and sprawled out across the bed, the covers thick and warm about him, like a layer of protective extra skin, soft as snow. The scent of dewed grass glistened in the atmosphere and he sighed out his contentment.

A crack. A bang. A leaking noise disturbing their silence.

“What was that?” Demanded Malfoy, sitting up abruptly and glancing about with wide-eyes.

“What was what, Draco?” Harry asked innocently with amusement laced in his voice.

“That - that noise - didn’t you . . . didn’t you hear it?” The Slytherin stared at him with horrified disbelief.

Harry stretched contentedly, making a show of his carelessness. “I didn’t hear anything, Malfoy.”

“Oh,” murmured the blonde, looking a little humiliated. “Maybe I just imagined it then.”

Harry shrugged. “Maybe.” He turned over and feigned sleep, wand still clutched in his hand. A deep silence ran throughout the room, in which Malfoy’s breathing seemed to become more and more restful until he was drifting into sleep. Harry grinned. Perfect.

Crack! Bang! Thud!

“What the hell?” Malfoy sat up with a panicked look written all across his fearful, white face.

Harry yawned and faked annoyance. “Is there something the matter? Some of us are actually trying to sleep!”

“Oh come on, you can’t pretend you didn’t hear that . . . Potter?” He sounded vaguely terrified. “What were you saying about those creatures? The Shirklones?”

“Shirklon,” Harry corrected him swiftly with a yawn.

“Yes, well, what of them?”

“I told you. They select a victim and are invisible to everyone else. Then they crawl into your house, tent, haystack - wherever it is you’re sleeping - and eat you alive. I’d imagine its quite painful.”

“Oh,” mumbled Malfoy, another bang erupting, louder this time. “And, er, how does one, er, get them off one’s trail?”

Harry stifled and laugh and strangled a smile, turning to gaze at Draco with total seriousness in his face. “Well, Malfoy, I suppose there’s nothing for it but to run naked around the campsite three times and then jump off the cliff into freezing cold water. It will wash away their scent of you, and you have to stay out all night before returning in the morning, just to make sure. Shirklon are nocturnal. Why do you ask?”

“Oh,” whimpered Malfoy, clutching his teddy-bear to his chest and standing up to pull away his pyjama shirt as Harry set another firework off outside the door with a wave of his wand. “No reason. I was just curious and . . .” he abandoned his trousers carelessly. “I’m going for a walk.”

“At this time?” Grinned Harry. “Naked?”

Draco shrugged and nodded as another firework exploded, louder and closer this time. He squealed and jumped at the sound of it, darting to the door like a startled rabbit and disappearing into the night.

Harry laughed hysterically, lying back into his bed, summoning both Malfoy’s duvet and pillow to keep him an inch warmer, snuggling down and grinning uncontrollably. At last he could have some peace and quiet, and revenge for Malfoy’s insults and pranks on him for the previous years.

Chuckling, he drifted off to sleep, trying to imagine the faces of all the other students when Draco Malfoy reappeared in the morning, cold, shivering, dripping with water and naked, with Mr Snuggles tucked firmly under one arm.

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