Title: Office Supplies
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Harry/other implied, Ron/other possible
Summary: Draco is accused of stealing office supplies, but Draco thinks it's Harry who's stealing it. But maybe it's bigger than all of that.
Rating: PG-13 for language
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Word Count: 4758
Author's Notes: 1ightning, I tried to both draw inspiration from the prompts as well as incorporate little bits of things that you enjoyed throughout this fic and keep it light and fun to read, because I started writing it and that’s the way it wanted to be. =) I hope you enjoy it, and it gives you a good few minutes. Also, thanks to my beta, the once and forever great AK.
Draco Malfoy was not having a lovely day. Draco Malfoy was having a decidedly un-lovely day, not that that was anything particularly new, really. In fact, Draco Malfoy was actually having his twenty-seventh un-lovely day in a row. The day that broke the streak had been a downright crap day, because that leaky spot in the roof had finally caved in even through all of the half-hearted patchy handyman magic (not the kind that was so much Draco’s forte), and Draco’s dining room table had been ruined—as well as Draco’s carpeting and Draco’s life. Not that there was much of Draco’s life left to ruin, what with him working as a bloody secretary at the Auror’s office.
It wasn’t a horrible job for--as far as they knew—an ex-Death Eater who went to school through OWL level three years post war. He had originally been a basement receptionist, and worked his way up to be placed in a position where things were at least more interesting, and he was paid a lot better for his discretion. He didn’t hate the job. He didn’t even really hate his co-workers. He had out-grown his hatred of his co-workers. But he had not outgrown hating working for his co-workers. “Messages for Potter. Messages for Weasley.” How Weasley passed his fucking Auror exams was beyond him, really, but he had, and now Draco Malfoy spent forty hours a week and overtime working under two of the biggest prats in the Wizarding World, not to mention their colleagues, who treated him with various degrees of disrespect and loathing at being either in a lower position or Death Eater scum.
Thusfar, however, at least his bosses had been fair. One of his bosses had been fair because she had been paid to be fair. One of his bosses had been fair because he had been friends with Snape. One of his bosses had been fair because she had sat next to his mother in Potions at school, or something. But his bosses had been reasonable, hardworking people, until they upped his wage and moved him to the Auror department, and now he was stuck with Summerbee.
Bartleby Summerbee was barely five feet tall. Draco did not particularly like short people. They made him slouch. Draco Malfoy liked to be tall and imposing. Draco Malfoy did not slouch. Summerbee’s hair was thick and messy and honey blond and his eyes were venomous and his name made Draco think of bumblebees and being sweaty for no reason and all of the things about summer that he didn’t like.
“Mr. Malfoy,” said Summerbee, taking a hard drink of what looked to be orange juice from a tumbler, and wiping sweat from his brow with the sleeve of his robe. “You’ve done well in your time here.”
“And how long ago, exactly, was that?”
“How long has it been, Mr. Malfoy, since you started working here?”
“Exactly.” Summerbee choked a little on a drink of his orange juice, then sputtered, and recovered. “Right, well, the point is, Mr. Malfoy, that in the past five months, we’ve had an insurgence of stolen office supplies.”
“Firstly, an insurgence? Honestly, Summerbee. And secondly, are you accusing me of something?”
“An anonymous someone has noticed the self-inking quill you take home in your robes, Mr. Malfoy, with the official Ministry of Magic seal stamped into the feathers.”
“The one that Cornelius Fudge gave to my father?”
“Do you have documentation for that?”
“It’s a quill.”
“Then I’ll have to give you a write up.”
“A write up? I haven’t done anything.”
“You can’t prove that.”
“You can’t prove that I have done something!”
“I am an Auror, Mr. Malfoy, I decide what people have and have not done. You are a secretary; you decide whether to answer the Floo by saying ‘Good Morning, London Aurors’ Office, how may I help you?’ or by saying ‘London Aurors’ Office how may I help you on this good morning?’ You are the most likely suspect in the case and I am dealing with this in a way that is befitting of this organisation.”
“I thought the Aurors went for truth, justice, and the Gryffindor way?”
“Still stuck on clichés and class houses, Malfoy?” Summerbee chuckled, and had a sip of his orange juice. Draco had strong urge to break Summerbee’s tumbler on his stupid face. “Now, hop along, and don’t make me see you in here again, or it’ll be your job.”
Draco Malfoy was in no way some sort of sordid halfbreed of magical creature, but if he had been, he would have turned into something ugly and gone bloody ballistic on Summerbee’s tiny orange juice chugging arse. But he was not, and also? He did need this job. Not only did he need this job, but deep down, past the Potter, and the Summerbee, and the Weasley, and the fact that he was a receptionist? Draco actually liked what he did.
He answered the Floo and wrote owls and made coffee, but he also filed paperwork, and helped file cases, and helped file paper work, and got to spell check documents, which meant that his nose was in everyone’s business all the time. He knew everything about everything and everyone and he knew it first. Not to mention that he answered the Floo, which meant he got to dictate case priority. If some whiny bint was calling in because there was a ruckus in her garage and then some fit bloke called because someone had scratched his Nimbus Five Million Model? Draco got to decide who got their call forwarded to the department first.
It was petty, but it was true. Draco liked his job because it provided social entertainment and the ability to belittle others. He also liked it because it paid for his new flat that he had had to move into because the landlord refused to fix the roof on the last one. So it wasn’t just that Draco wanted this job. It’s that Draco needed this job. And he would do anything—anything—to keep it.
This is why, perhaps, that when Draco saw Harry Potter put a Ministry of Magic quill behind his ear and walk out the door, he followed him. And he didn’t just follow him down the hall or into the lift, or even out the building. He put a disillusionment charm on himself, tried to look inconspicuous, and stalked Harry Bloody Potter to the atrium, planning to try to track his point of Apparition, but Potter didn’t Apparate, so Draco? Stalked Potter all the way to his bloody flat.
The pathetic thing about it was that Potter didn’t even notice. Of course, Draco had known that Potter hadn’t known he’d existed for years, but you’d think that as a highly trained magical crime fighter, you’d know someone was watching your every move. Then, Potter had always been a bit of a moron, really. Always taking stupid risks and copying his homework. They probably only let him get through Auror training because he defeated the Dark Lord. It wasn’t a bad reason, Draco had to admit, but he still would’ve liked to have seen what he’d got on the written.
“Alright, Carter,” Potter said, as he waved his hand over his lock and his door popped open, “you can come out now.” He went in without looking back.
Draco felt his eyebrow rise. Carter? He didn’t know about this Carter, or about coming out, but he did take the opportunity to come in. Draco walked through the door and felt it close behind him. Potter wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Must’ve gone to change, or was in the other room, or something. Draco said a finite incantatem under his breath, and waited for Potter to come back to him.
And come back he did, completely naked and with drinks in his hand. “I know you don’t like scotch bu—” The drinks crashed to the floor. “Malfoy. What the fuck are you doing here?”
“What’s the matter, Potter?” Draco asked. “Don’t like blonds?”
Potter held his hand out and a pair of blue jeans and his wand sailed into it. He hastily pulled on the jeans, then cleared the mess away with his wand.
Draco tsked, and propped himself against the wall. “You never were that great with wandless magic, were you?” He firmly believed that, too, until he felt his feet lift off the floor and felt his throat begin to tighten.
Potter gritted out, “I got better.”
The invisible grip loosened as Draco fell a couple inches to the floor, attempting to look nonplussed. “So you did.”
“Now, Malfoy,” Potter said, turning his wand on him, “why don’t you tell me why you’re here?”
Draco narrowed his eyes. “Do something you’ve very scarcely done in your life and think, Potter. Have you told your good bloke Summerbee any nice lies about me, lately?”
“My ‘good bloke’ Summerbee? Do you pay attention to anyone other than yourself, Malfoy? Summerbee is the furthest thing from a good bloke that I have. And if I had a problem with you, I’d come take it up with you myself. I always have, haven’t I?”
“I’m sure they call it that in some cultures,” Draco said consolingly.
“You have ten seconds to tell me why you’re in my flat or I’m chucking you out.”
“What else have you taken?” Draco moved closer to him.
“Other than that quill?”
“The four galleon Official Ministry of Magic Self-Inking Quill that you walked out of the office with today.”
“It’s just a quill, Malfoy.”
“A stolen quill that is going to get me sacked if you don’t go and tell Summerbee you’re the one who’s been nicking office supplies instead of me.”
“What? I haven’t been nicking office supplies.”
“Then where did you get that quill.”
Draco suddenly felt gleeful in a way he hadn’t since third year. “Weasley is stealing office supplies? He’s not even poor anymore!”
“Malfoy, shut up.”
“I’ll make you, alright.” Potter drew his wand again. Draco stood ready. Potter watched him. “Well?”
“Aren’t you going to get out your wand?”
“No, I’m waiting for you to hex me.” Potter stared at him blankly. “And then I’m going to go Floo Summerbee and tell him that Weasley’s stealing office supplies, and then I’m going to Floo Granger, and then I’m going to Floo his mum, then I’m going to Floo the Daily Bloody Profit.”
“Malfoy, you little shit, I’m going to—”
“Actually, you know what? Fuck it, I’m going to do all of that anyway. It’s been fun, Potter, really.” Draco turned to leave. “Oh, and, by the way Potter--nice arse.”
Potter was waiting (fully clothed) for Draco when he got to his flat. His was much smaller than Potter’s of course—it doesn’t help when the ministry seizes most of your assets as either evidence or to pay for war crimes, but it was nice, and something much more to his taste.
“Nice place you got here, Malfoy; very manor meets Manhattan.”
Draco wrinkled his nose. “Ew. America.”
“Do I have a sunburn and a trucker hat that says ‘Everything’s Bigger In Texas?’”
“Then neither have I.” Draco hung his coat, trying to feel out the situation and see what exactly it was that Potter was doing there.
“So,” Potter asks, leaning back against the wall, “you’re not really going to call Summerbee on Ron, are you?”
“Depends, really,” Draco smiled.
Potter raised an eyebrow. “Depends on what?”
“On what you can do for me.”
Potter sighed. “What can I do for you, Malfoy?” Draco moved in a little closer, close enough to touch, to entice. “Are you serious?”
Draco nodded, then, halfway through started to shake his head no. “All you have to do is get Weasley to turn himself in. Then I don’t have to look like I’m grasping at straws turning the Golden Boy’s best friend in for slaughter.”
“I’ll talk to him.”
“I’ll come with you.”
“No, you won’t.”
A fire shot up in Draco’s fireplace. He walked toward it.
“What are you doing?”
“Getting the Floo powder.”
“Fine. Put the fire out.” Draco did so. “Give me your hands.” Draco gave him a look. “C’mon Malfoy, I’m not giving you his address; if you’re going, you’re going side-along.”
“Potter. Do you know what happened to me the last time I went side along?”
“You went with a drunk idiot who was paying more attention to licking your ear than to where he was going?”
“I never thought you for a prude, Malfoy.”
“Not the what, the who—I was with Millicent Bullstrode and she nearly splinched us.”
“Millicent Bullstrode? It’s a wonder she can Apparate herself anywhere.”
“So it’s true, Gryffindors are catty.”
“I’m not a Gryffindor anymore, Malfoy.”
“Then stop acting like one. Loyal, righteous, courageous—”
“You’re the courageous one, following a paranoid war hero Auror back to his house with nothing but a bad disillusionment charm to protect you.”
“You don’t really believe that, do you Potter?”
“That you’re courageous?”
“That I’m defenseless against you?”
Potter grinned at him cheekily. Draco Malfoy did not like it when people grinned at him cheekily outside of the bedroom. “Take my hands, Malfoy.”
“Come and take mine.”
Potter rolled his eyes, and took a step forward, or tried to, before tripping over his shoe strings, which Draco had tied together with that wandless magic that Potter still hadn’t quite mastered without getting a constipated look on his face. “Cute, Malfoy. I feel really threatened by your powerful lace tying magic.”
“Perhaps not, but you may feel threatened if we don’t get to Weasley’s soon.”
Potter grabbed Draco around the waist roughly, pulled him in, there was a loud CRACK, and then they were somewhere else entirely.
Weasley’s flat wasn’t bad. It was—quaint, even; homey. A place full of quilts and afghans and fluffy second-hand furniture with photographs of friends and family on the walls.
“You,” Potter said, shoving Draco into the kitchen, “don’t move.” Draco didn’t.
He just stood there, staring at the few dishes in the sink and wondering why there was lipstick on so many of the glasses. He knew Weasley didn’t live with Granger because Granger worked for the Strategical Crime Force Department and her owls got sent to a different address. He had no idea if they were even dating. Hell, he didn’t even care if they were dating. He just knew that it was tacky to go about leaving lipstick all over everything.
Draco was supremely glad that he had not been born a woman. He would’ve been gorgeous of course, with the hair, and the height, and the skin and the bone structure, much like his mother had been. He’d actually looked more like her than his father, except she’d had warmer features, and of course, she knew how to apply her make up and she’d never left lipstick on anything.
“Alright, Malfoy,” Weasley said, bursting in, stuttering and red faced, “what I want to know is what you’re fucking on about, accusing me of stealing.”
“I wasn’t accusing you of stealing, Weasley. I was accusing Potter of stealing. Potter said he got the stolen item from you, which logically leads me to the conclusion that you are the thief.”
“I haven’t stolen anything, Malfoy. You’re out your head.”
“Well, Weasley, unless you either admit you’ve stolen it, or tell me who did, I’m going to have to assume you’re hiding something. The only thing I know is that I didn’t do it, Summerbee thinks I did. When Summerbee finds out it’s missing tomorrow, I’m going to be out on my arse.”
“It’s not even my quill, Malfoy, it’s Hermione’s quill, and Hermione would never steal anything.”
“Sure, she wouldn’t steal a quill but permanently scarring a sixteen year old in the face for the rest of her life is fair game.”
“Actually Malfoy, she found a way to counteract that,” Potter piped up.
“Only to get information from the Death Eaters, which Edgecombe joined, because Granger permanently scared her for the rest of the life… IN THE FACE.”
“You take that back about Hermione!”
Draco shrugged. “I didn’t say it was wrong. If she wouldn’t have been mocked constantly for not being pureblood, I would’ve said I wished she would’ve been in Slytherin.”
Potter gasped in mock-shock. “You take that back about Hermione!”
Draco had the sickening urge to nudge him on the shoulder in camaraderie or something, but Draco Malfoy did not nudge. He was more of a bully than a comrade, really; or an office gossip, or a social climber—comrade was not really one of those things Draco had planned to be.
“That settles it,” Potter said.
“Settles what?” Weasley asked.
“We have to go see Hermione.”
“You can’t take Malfoy to see Hermione. He’ll call her a mudblood or something.”
“Do you know how many Muggleborn Witches and Wizards I’ve worked with in the past three years, Weasley? Not to mention during the war? Hell, do you know how many I’ve worked for.”
“Besides, he just proved that he wouldn’t. Having a Slytherin tell you you’d do well in Slytherin is the highest form of compliment. Though I don’t know why the bloke’s so obsessed with school, still.”
“Because I was well-liked Potter; popular people liked school.”
“Right; anyway, Malfoy, take my hands.”
“Huh?” Weasley asked.
“Malfoy’s going side along.”
“He’s not giving me her address,” Draco added with vocal tone akin to patting Weasley on his hideous red head.
Weasley looked at Potter shiftily. “Right. I’ll just go, then.”
“What’s his problem?”
“Who knows?” Potter laced his fingers through Draco’s, and then they were somewhere else.
They didn’t Apparate directly into Granger’s flat, but rather, into her hallway, probably in case she’d been changing or something.
“What if someone had seen that?” Draco asked.
“All wizarding floor,” said Weasley, knocking.
“Ministry-owned building in London.”
“Coming!” came Granger’s voice from the other side of the door.
“Bet you didn’t hear that often,” Draco muttered under his breath.
“I heard that, Malfoy.”
“Boys, play nice,” Potter said.
Draco held his hands up, prone. “She walked into that one!”
Granger opened the door looking more casual than Draco had ever seen her, a slightly amused look on her face. “I walked into what?”
“You don’t want to know.” Potter hugged her and kissed her cheeks. “Hi, Hermione.”
“Hi, Harry, come in.”
“Ron.” She hugged him, too. She gave Malfoy a precursory look.
Harry held a hand out to him, “And you know Malfoy.”
“Hello Draco,” she said, neatly.
“Hermione, hello.” He smiled back. If she was going to be polite he may as well try it on. Granger it seemed, had matured further than her peers, and despite, of course, scarring Marrietta Edgecombe in the face, had grown up enough to put school girl grudges behind her and at least ask him how his day was if she happened to pass his desk during the day, and acknowledge that he actually had done something positive for the war effort.
She had actually matured almost as much as Draco himself, who managed to get up every morning and make coffee for Harry Potter and Ron Weasley and still maintain his dignity.
“Would anyone like some tea?” she asked.
“Do you have the red kind?” Weasley probed..
“Do come into the kitchen, then,” Granger said.
The three of them sat around the table while Granger tapped a kettle twice with her wand, then sat down with them. “So boys, do what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Hermione, do you remember that Ministry of Magic quill you let me borrow?”
“The one you’ve not given back?”
“Where did you get it?”
“It was given to me.”
“Yes, Hermione, but who gave it to you,” Potter asked. “It’s actually really important.”
“How can it matter, Harry, honestly?” Granger looked at him oddly. The kettle whistled, and she got up to get it, then carried over to the table, then poured tea into four cups. “Help yourselves to milk and sugar.”
“Actually, Hermione,” Draco said, crossing his legs and sipping his tea, playing every inch the gentleman, “it’s actually very important. Summerbee’s sacking people for stealing office supplies.”
Granger gasped, and slammed her tea down onto the table. “That little insect is trying to frame me.”
“So it was Summerbee?” Potter asked. “What’s he doing giving you four galleon quills?”
“What’d I’d like to know is,” Weasley spoke, “since when is taking a quill home a crime? My dad used to take quills home all the time to do paperwork and they’re always making new models. We’ve got a whole box of old ones back at The Burrow. Loads of kids at Hogwarts used Ministry Quills—not to mention Ministry wax sealant and Ministry parchment and Ministry whatever else.”
Draco blinked. “Do you have that quill with you, Weasley?”
“I’ll need it.”
“What for?” Weasley could really be such a fucking idiot.
Draco sighed. “Accio quill.”
The quill came flying out Weasley’s pocked and landed in Draco’s hand. “What the bloody fuck, Malfoy?”
“Ron, wait,” Granger said. “What are you thinking, Draco?”
Draco lay the quill across the table, held his wand over it, made a complicated couple of passes and said simply, “Denudo.”
The quill shook, turned gold and gained five times more volume. The feathers turned to liquid. The end result was a triangle shaped chunk of gold nearly seven inches long, with three separate twistable sections with ruins on every side, the centre showing an Egyptian eye.
“Oh my God, I should’ve known,” Granger said, in awe.
“What is it?” Potter had already picked it up and started turning the two sides, lining up various combinations of ruins, until he reached one that shot out a bright light straight into his bright green genius eyes.
The object fell out of his hand onto the ground, shooting light about the room. “Close your eyes,” Granger demanded. Draco, at least, obeyed, until Granger gave him the go ahead to open them back up.
Potter spoke, “Um, Hermione? I can’t quite see anything.”
“Congratulations, Harry,” Granger said, “you’ve just felt the glory of the power of the sun.”
“That doesn’t sound promising, mate,” Weasley added, from his position under the kitchen table.
“The purpose of the artifact isn’t to blind people. It’s a lock. Harry got the wrong combination. He’ll be fine after a couple of vision correction spells that were invented after Egypt was no longer a major world power.”
“Actually,” Draco said, “I know a spell.”
Granger half-smiled at him, “Do you?”
“You probably wouldn’t know it unless you were from a pureblood family too vain to wear glasses.”
“Doesn’t sound like anyone I know,” Weasley huffed.
“I still can’t see anything,” Harry spoke up.”
“Go do your spell, Draco,” said Granger.
He got up and walked over to where Harry was sitting, on the floor still, where he had leapt out of his seat in the shock of the light in his face. Draco was not looking forward to crawling all over the floor in his nice trousers. Draco Malfoy did not crawl all over the floor (while wearing trousers). But he thought, that maybe, this once, it would be okay.
“Sit up,” he said, gently. Potter obeyed. Hell, if he knew all he had to do was use a pleasant tone with the man to get him to listen to him, he would’ve done it a long fucking time ago.
“Come on, let’s heal you, then.” Draco pulled Potter’s glasses off his face. Blank, watering green eyes staring vacantly at him. It was—heart-wrenching, really, the way he was still like that, like Draco could take it all away; and with a wave of his wand and an incantation, Draco did.
“Everything’s still really blurry,” Potter said, reaching out semi-blindly. His fingers grazed Draco’s cheek, his lips. Draco bit down in the tip of his finger. “Ow, Malfoy, you vicious git!” Potter laughed. “I still can’t really see anything.”
Draco hit him lightly on the side of the head. “That’s because I still have your glasses.” He slid them onto Potter’s nose then stood up and offered a hand down to Potter, whom he helped up. “Can you see?”
“As well as I could before.”
“So you’re still legally blind then?” Weasley said.
“I could fix it permanently if you want,” Draco offered charitably.
Granger smiled. “Harry likes his glasses. They’re his security blanket.”
“That’s adorable, really,” Draco said, “and embarrassing for Potter, which is actually hilarious, and thank you, for that, Hermione, really, but now, I think we should get back at the task at hand.”
“What task at hand?” Weasley asked.
“The task of finding out why Summerbee had an ancient Egyptian artifact disguised as an Official Ministry Quill, why he gave it to Hermione, and why he tried to sack me because of it.”
“Does all work and no play make Draco a dull boy?” Harry asked. Draco looked at him blankly. “From The Shining. You know, Malfoy? The Muggle film?”
“Anyway,” Draco continued.
“Draco’s right,” Granger said, “this is a very pressing issue at the moment. My job or life could be on the line.”
“Are you up for any promotions, Hermione?” Weasley asked.
“Not that I’m aware of, but it’s true that Summerbee could feel threatened. One of my supervisors in retiring soon, and all of the people in my department are rather inexperienced.”
“Hermione,” Potter said, plopping back down into one of the kitchen chairs, “how exactly did he give you the quill? Are you sure he meant to give you that quill at all? I mean, was he fumbling, or anything?”
“I’m not completely sure, Harry. It was weeks ago. I don’t even know how long this has been going on.”
“Five months,” Draco said. “Summerbee said people have been taking office supplies for five months—since he got here, since I was transferred to the Auror department, since the new recruits came in.”
“I agree with Harry,” Weasley said, “what if he didn’t mean to give you the quill he gave you. What if he meant to give you a regular old quill, and to keep this one for himself? So it looks like you’re going about with a stolen quill, and he’s the one taking the transfigured quill. I’ll bet that Eye thing’s worth a lot more than four galleons.”
“Closer to four million,” Draco said.
Draco shrugged. “You can’t put a price on power. Supposedly, once that thing’s unlocked, the power is limitless.”
“I wonder who he was going to give it to,” Potter said. “You don’t think this is Voldemort business? I mean, there are still some Death Eaters who were never captured, and I still think Wormtail thinks he could bring him back.”
Draco had to choices: he could let the moment get really awkward, or, he could speak first. “It doesn’t really matter anyway. You’ve got it now.” He grinned a little, and nudged Potter’s shoulder.
“You do realise, Malfoy,” Potter said, “that you may have just saved the world?” Then he grabbed him by the collar, and kissed him, warm and wet, a little too enthusiastic, not rough enough and a little too much tongue. But it was perfect in its own way, and it kept getting better.
Until Granger cat-called and Weasley said, “Get a room.”
They broke apart and laughed and Granger decided to call for curry while they built their case about Summerbee, which happened to be exactly correct. For the past five months, Summerbee had been smuggling precious artifacts out of the Department of Mysteries and disguising them as office supplies or into the Ministry disguised as office supplies and selling them to the highest bidder. Aside from a sentence in Azkaban, all of his profit was taken as contraband, and he had to give a list of all his buyers.
Because of Draco’s crucial role in solving the mystery, he was promoted to a low-level position in the Strategical Crime Force Department, on Hermione’s recommendation. He has let Harry convince him to find a friend with a television to see the Muggle film The Shining, because all work and no play, does in deed, may Draco Malfoy a very dull boy.