Title: Bright Pink iPods
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Pansy/Draco (fleetingly)
Summary: It seems that all the other Order adults are lazy arseholes and the Worst Problem Ever has fallen into Harry’s lap.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Swearing. Het.
Word Count: 5,143
Author's Notes: I love you, Mysterious Betas C. and M. Mary - I’m reallyreallyreally sorry! I know you wanted UST, perhaps pr0n, angst and adventure, but the plot kind of grew and grew and ate up all that. Plus, I kind of spectacularly fail at writing all of the above. At any rate, I hope this pleases…
Though it is an absurd time to be out, a lone figure is moving rapidly through otherwise empty streets. He is more than a little shifty, mostly due to a bright pink, possibly brand-new iPod video in his possession.
No one is surprised by his presence or by what he holds because no one is awake, nor do they care who walks around at night.
Except one nutcase household.
Harry Potter happens to live there. He never says it to their faces, but he’s pretty sure that his housemates have crossed the line from simple safety procedures into the dark realm of paranoia. Harry himself can’t remember exactly how many wards and enchantments protect the general vicinity of the headquarters. Or how many times he’s stood guard during the long night.
It’s been a while, but the evil Timetable of Doom has reared its ugly head once again and Harry’s got Thursday’s graveyard shift.
At around one o’clock in the morning, one of the outer wards was tripped. Harry could tell because WWN (Wizarding Wireless Network) had just switched hosts from Girl With Squeaky Voice to Guy With Husky Purr. Consequently, it was with some reluctance that Harry clambered out of the Order’s sagging sofa to turn off Guy’s soothing vibes.
Harry waited in silence, fingers crossed, and hoped that the night’s intruder would just keep walking.
No such luck.
The heavy, uneven footsteps came to a halt on the other side of the door.
Two quick knocks were followed by four slow ones. Standard entry code: I Know Where I Am And I’m Allowed In.
Harry unlocked the door and came face-to-face with Alastor Moody.
Instantly, Harry was hit by an overpowering feeling of dread – Moody being particularly notorious for his long, odious lectures.
Dread, that is, until Harry saw the iPod in Moody’s hands.
Now, just two days ago, Harry had hit the big one-seven and Moody hadn’t bothered to attend. Therefore Harry really could not be blamed for jumping to conclusions, flailing and bouncing just a bit, and trying to hug a very shocked and frightened visitor.
“What in Merlin’s name do you think you are doing, boy?” Moody growled, pushing Harry away. “Ex-Aurors command respect!”
He pushed past quickly and proceeded to walk inside, footsteps thundering, and generally disturbing the silence until he reached the kitchen. Here, he settled himself into his usual seat, courteously keeping his elbows off the giant dining table. Harry flushed furiously and sat opposite.
“Sorry about that,” Harry said, eyes fixed to a spot on the ground.
“No apologies! They’re a sign of weakness.”
“That’s the way. Now, to business.” Moody pulled out his flask and took a swig. “I will be brief,” he declared. “I have seized someone who knows the location of the last Horcrux.”
Startled into forgetting his embarrassment, Harry found himself suddenly interested. He pushed his glasses back up his nose. “Sir...?”
Moody’s eye stopped scoping out the room and settled on Harry. “Yesterday I apprehended Draco Malfoy.”
Harry paled visibly.
Moody held out the iPod video (80 GB!!). “But he’s been of no use so far.”
Uncertainly, Harry took the iPod from Moody’s hands, the bright pink metal surprisingly cold to his touch. Harry looked up, meeting Moody’s stare. “You don’t mean to say that this iPod is, um, Draco Malfoy?”
Moody’s eyes locked on Harry’s. “That is exactly what I mean.”
Harry chuckled softly, looking from the iPod back to Moody and shaking his head. “But why isn’t he dead?”
“We don’t know for certain. Perhaps his father begged for it – perhaps it was his dying wish and Voldemort acquiesced, though cruelly. By transforming the younger Malfoy into this crude Muggle device, he was mocking Lucius’ love for his son.”
Harry let loose a bark of mirthless laughter. “That’s seriously fucked up.”
“And of course, it would torture the boy to watch his father die.”
Harry looked at the iPod again, fiddling with the buttons (to no response) and tentatively touched the empty headphone jack. “How do you know that this isn’t a normal iPod?”
“It isn’t.” Moody stared at him sternly. “You knew it yourself.”
Harry raised an eyebrow. “I see.”
Moody suddenly stood up. “I said I would be brief, and I was.” He took several quick paces to the door, Harry following closely.
“Good luck,” he said, stepping closer to the door.
“Good luck?” Harry asked, offering the iPod back to Moody.
“You keep that,” Moody opened the door quickly. “Did I mention that you’re to figure out how to turn him back?” At Harry’s confused look, Moody quickly stepped out the door. “Constant vigilance, Harry!”
The door shut in Harry’s face just as he finally connected the dots. “Wait, Moody - ”
Harry heard the distinct pop of Disapparition and dropped his hand from the doorknob, sliding to the floor. “Shit.”
After a few moments of anguish, Harry threw the iPod/Malfoy at the wall opposite. It hit with a dull thunk.
“Damn you.” He breathed heavily.
Harry glared at the piece of metal in disgust. It glimmered dimly in the yellow light, remaining annoyingly unresponsive. After a time, he resolved to simply ignore it for the moment, and accio-ed the Wireless into his hand. Finding that Guy With Husky Purr was still on air, his mood lifted considerably.
Breakfast at 12 Grimmauld Place was much like breakfast at the Burrow. Except that, currently, a terrible war raged on.
Harry, Ron and Hermione were huddled at one end of the giant kitchen table, talking loudly. An exhausted-looking Remus Lupin sat at the other end, trying to read the morning’s Daily Prophet.
“So let me get this straight,” Ron said. “Draco Malfoy, bane of our lives for six long years, who, last we heard, was a Death Eater working against us, has apparently changed his mind, got turned into an iPod thing and wants us to turn him back?”
Harry nodded slowly. “That sounds about right.”
Ron sighed and sank back in his chair. “Why did this all fall on you again?”
“Ron,” Hermione said, sending an annoyed look in his direction. “This is a good thing! After all our sitting around, hoping that a miracle will fall in our laps, we’ve finally got one! This is exactly what we need; this is another step closer to the end of this stupid war. This is a godsend!”
Harry averted his eyes, unable to ignore her reasoning. Ron, however, ploughed on. “But Hermione, this is Malfoy we’re talking about! You know the one, he got us detention whenever he could, he made us miserable, he brought about Dumbledore’s death, and he tried to kill me!”
“Yes, but he wasn’t right in the head back then, was he? He was under all that pressure – he didn’t really have a choice. As for Dumbledore, well, Harry’s said it himself so many times – Malfoy was never going to do it. Snape did,” Hermione said.
“Snape only got there because Malfoy let him in! Besides, he was probably Malfoy’s safety net – if Malfoy couldn’t do it, Snape would, and they’d still get the glory.”
“Actually …” Harry started, before rethinking his point and shutting his mouth again.
Hermione shook her head. “Malfoy never had a choice. He had to do it or his family would have died.”
Ron threw his arms up. “And they died anyway!”
“He never knew that though,” Harry said thoughtfully. “Even if he did, well, would you ever just let your parents die?”
This stopped Ron for a moment and Hermione beamed at Harry. “Exactly! Even though Malfoy is an awful git, he didn’t want his parents dead.”
There was a pause as Ron processed this.
“Okay,” he said. “Say that we do help Malfoy and he’s completely fine, how do we know he won’t go running back to Snape? To You-Know- er, to V-Voldemort? I mean, they’re all he has left anyway.”
“He wouldn’t go back to them, not after we’ve helped, and not since they turned against him,” Hermione said.
“I don’t know about Snape though,” Harry muttered darkly. “Snape was Malfoy’s mentor, wasn’t he? And he’s the one that really helped Malfoy – he killed Dumbledore for him and he didn’t kill Malfoy’s parents. Snape’s pretty much his family. Snape could convince him to return to their cause.”
It was Ron’s turn to look victorious.
Hermione frowned. “He knows where the Horcrux is, so we have to turn him back to get the information out of him. If he somehow gets out and runs off, we’ll know we did all that we could – he’s our only real lead so far and we don’t actually have a choice.”
“Yeah, but, why do we have to do it?” Ron asked. “Seems like all the work in this bloody war always falls to Harry. They could’ve gotten the Aurors to do it, or the Ministry, but no, Harry has to. Why should we?”
“Harry wouldn’t have it any other way, that’s why,” Lupin said, finally giving up on reading the newspaper. “We all know, Alastor especially, that Harry wouldn’t hear of any other person taking a Malfoy project. We skipped the inevitable arguments and decided to just let you three do it.”
Harry’s mouth hung open.
“He wouldn’t!” Ron said. The words fell on deaf ears.
“That’s not all,” Lupin continued. “We think that since your blood runs through Voldemort’s current body, you’d have an easier time unscrambling his magic. It’s an extraordinary advantage.”
Harry waved his hand grandly and exaggeratedly over the iPod, to no response. “You’re just making this up,” he said disdainfully.
Lupin threw him a cryptic look and smiled tiredly. “You’ll figure it out sooner or later.”
“Now,” he clapped his hands together and looked at all of them intently. “Have you started thinking of ways to undo the transformation yet?”
Harry never thought that he’d ever need Mr. Weasley’s help to find the last Horcrux, or at least never in such a bizarre way.
He shifted uncomfortably, and tried to look inconspicuous. Difficult, given that Mr. Weasley was wearing a business suit and Wellingtons and that they were blocking an entire aisle of an electronics store.
“So Harry, you’re basically asking me to make these Muggle things work with magic in and around Grimmauld Place, am I right?” Mr. Weasley asked, examining a random iPod dock.
Harry dumped a few more iPod-related things into the shopping trolley. “If it’s possible.”
Mr Weasley beamed. “Of course it’s possible!”
“That’s great then,” Harry pushed the trolley to the nearest checkout. “We really needed someone to do this.”
Mr. Weasley helped load the stuff onto the counter, not noticing the strange looks the cashier was giving him.
“Here,” Mr. Weasley handed the checkout lady a thick wad of Muggle money and took a couple of bags of their stuff.
He was nearly at the door when the lady stopped Harry. She struggled to not look amused. “Here’s your change.” In a lower voice she added, “Your uncle is very eccentric.”
Harry noticed that she held out rather a lot of notes. He smiled and leaned in conspiratorially. “Keep it.”
As the lady started to protest, Harry picked up the rest of his shopping and caught up to Mr. Weasley outside.
He sent Harry a sideways glance. “She’s rather pretty isn’t she?”
“I suppose,” Harry said, keeping his eyes on the sidewalk. The problem with Mr. Weasley was that, although Harry and Ginny had broken up on good terms, he secretly (and obviously) thought Harry was still in love with his daughter. “Not really my type though.”
When Mr Weasley sent Harry a piteous look, Harry sniggered a little on the inside. As if.
They walked in amiable silence until they reached the gloomy door to number 12, Grimmauld Place, and Mr. Weasley took everything inside while Harry struggled to get the door’s wards back up again.
When he was done, Harry joined Mr. Weasley at the dining table. “Do you think you can do it?”
Mr. Weasley smiled in response and began to explain the several alternative spells that would achieve their goal. How Muggles were so clever, how they found such a great substitute for magic and how easily electricity could be substituted with magic. Soon enough, Mr. Weasley was ranting on about ingenious inventions and Harry found himself hard-pressed to stay interested.
He may have breathed an audible sigh of relief when Ron and Hermione came back.
“No, Ron, I’m telling you…” Hermione was obviously Proving A Point to an unhappy and not-listening Ron.
Ron himself kept nodding miserably behind the giant stack of books he held and quickly made his way over to Harry.
Hermione held up three fingers and began ticking them off. “These house-elves deserve better conditions, better pay and more choices.” Mr. Weasley looked at Hermione mildly, but didn’t say anything.
Ron turned to Harry, clearing his throat. “So, what’s all this stuff?”
Harry shrugged. “It’s for Malfoy. You’ve got the books?”
Hermione’s eyes lit up and she began to rummage through the large pile of books. “We got everything that might be of any use at all - iTunes manuals, iPod guides,” she held up the books as she spoke. “We bought the odd Advanced Transfiguration stuff - ” Hermione moved a large tome and Harry caught sight of a small, tattered book. He squinted at its cover and made out the word ‘Inanimagi’.
Harry interrupted: “What’s an Inanimagi?”
Hermione tore her eyes away from the stack of books and looked at Harry. “Where’d you pick up that word?”
Harry shrugged and indicated the small book at Hermione’s knee.
“Oh,” Hermione said. “I really doubt that this book will help. An Inanimagi is a wizard who can transform into an inanimate object. It’s a one-way street – the wizard cannot resume his human form, and, as an inanimate object, he stays inanimate. Obviously Malfoy wouldn’t bother with this, and from what we know, Voldemort did the transforming.”
Clank. Harry, Ron and Hermione turned to see Mr. Weasley pick up an iPod charger from the floor. He looked up at the Trio and beamed. “I’m done.”
“Brilliant!” Harry said, clapping his hands together. “So it all works? We don’t have to do anything?”
Mr Weasley shook his head. “It should all work, but if you come across any problems, then I’m happy to help.” He gathered up his things, “However, Molly’s expecting me now, and I really do have to go.”
When Mr Weasley left, they wasted no time in getting to work: Hermione read the manuals while Harry and Ron installed iTunes (evidently it was a very challenging installation).
By the time they’d got the basic grasp of everything iPod, Malfoy was fully charged.
Harry reverently unplugged him from his charger, stuck an ear bud in his ear (Hermione took the other), and carefully flicked the ‘hold’ switch left.
The screen lit up and Harry, Ron and Hermione huddled together, the better to see what would happen next.
It was decidedly anticlimactic.
As the Apple logo faded away, the iPod turned straight back off, claiming ‘low battery’.
“What,” Harry said, plugging the iPod back in, “the hell does that mean?”
Hermione frowned, “It probably isn’t really a battery problem. Maybe Malfoy’s still in there but he doesn’t want our help?”
“That’d be typical,” Ron muttered darkly. “The evil git.”
Over the next week, Harry checked religiously on Malfoy, but always to the same response. Ron and Hermione had made excellent headway through the many books they’d bought, although they still hadn’t found a solution. If Malfoy didn’t open up, then it looked like they wouldn’t be getting anywhere soon. With each passing moment, Ron grew more and more frustrated with their lack of headway.
It was about 1am and Harry was, for the umpteenth time, trying to coax Malfoy into cooperating. Ron was also awake and he’d read the same sentence on Transfiguration over and over for about fifteen minutes.
Suddenly, Ron slammed his book shut. “Harry.”
“We aren’t going to get anywhere if Malfoy doesn’t want us to.”
Harry looked up from Malfoy and smiled reassuringly. “He’ll give in.”
“He’ll give in?!” Ron repeated, voice peaking unnaturally. “He will not give in, because he doesn’t want us getting the credit for turning him back! He doesn’t like that he’ll be in our debt and he probably wouldn’t like to actually help the right side for once!”
Harry blinked and looked completely calm. “When we turn him back he’ll tell us where the Horcrux is, so he won’t be in our debt. Besides, not helping us means he’ll have to stay here, in our presence, indefinitely. If Malfoy thinks as you say he does, he won’t be able to stand us for very long. He’ll give in and let us turn him back.”
“Malfoy is a stubborn bastard. He’ll stand being in our presence if it means he gets the last laugh.”
“No. He won’t.” Harry was getting himself worked up, “if he was like that, he would’ve killed Dumbledore.”
“He didn’t kill Dumbledore because he didn’t have the guts to!”
“He didn’t kill Dumbledore because he didn’t want to kill!”
“He was planning to, and he wanted to, but he wussed out in the end!”
Harry’s nostrils flared, “maybe it’s harder to do something when it’s right there in front of you. Maybe it’s not until then that you realise what you’re really doing. We’re going to stick with Malfoy, and he will give in.” Harry put the iPod away and climbed into his bed, the redness in his face subsiding, “even if he doesn’t, Hermione thinks she’s about worked everything out.”
“Okay then,” Ron said cautiously, still a little alarmed at Harry’s outburst. He settled into his blankets, extinguished his light, and tried to go to sleep. It took a little longer than usual, but soon enough Harry was listening to his loud snoring.
Harry closed his eyes. When he opened them again it was not, as he had hoped, a new day. For some reason, the room was slightly illuminated. Harry got up with the intention of fetching a glass of water, but as he put on his glasses, he realised that the source of light was Malfoy.
Malfoy seemed to want attention.
Harry reached over and disconnected the iPod from its charger.
When the Apple logo faded away this time, the screen read something like: memories, knowledge, morals, settings, shuffle, backlight and so on and so forth.
Harry suddenly felt wide awake. He plugged the ear buds in and watched, kind of amazed, as Malfoy led him through ‘memories’, to ‘videos’ and selected what looked like ‘How I Got Turned Into a Fucking Muggle iPod’.
For the next ten minutes, Harry’s eyes never left the screen. For the first time ever, he was seeing things from Malfoy’s perspective without feeling disgusted.
Harry watched from Draco’s point of view as Snape killed Dumbledore. He heard Snape’s explanation: that it had to be done, and for both their sakes. He saw a terrifying Voldemort, no doubt at the height of his powers, declare that Draco had to be punished, and severely – at a later date. He watched as Snape worked with Draco and taught him about the Inanimagi, he understood why they chose a Muggle object. Harry watched Draco down a mysterious potion before meeting Voldemort, saw the determined set in Draco’s jaw as his father was brought out, begging that Draco live, saw the last moments of sadness in Draco’s eyes, just before he transformed and then everything turned black.
“Draco Malfoy,” Harry whispered, “why don’t you untransform?”
Again, Harry was being redirected. He got to ‘notes’ and Malfoy was far more animated than he should be.
If you think that I choose to be this small and this vulnerable, I don’t believe you should be given the responsibility of ending this war. No I am not staying like this because it feels good, not that it does – it feels like I’ve been crammed into a four inch suitcase, if you must know. I just can’t work magic so I can’t turn back. That’s your job. If you could get on with it anytime soon, that would be good.
“An Animagus can turn into their animal and back at will, so if you want to turn back enough, you will. I mean, you’re not inanimate at all.”
The previous message was getting backspaced and Malfoy appeared to be typing out a new one.
Have you ever been crammed into a suitcase, Potter? Anyone who has will want more than anything to get out. Oh shock, horror, I am still an iPod.
“Um,” Harry said. “Hermione will probably be more helpful.”
Again, more backspacing, Oh and Princess Hermione will help when she feels like it? Not at a more convenient time of, say, now?
Harry remembered exactly who this iPod was and frowned. “We haven’t been sleeping enough as it is.” He then added venomously, “I still hate you.”
Yes, yes, my hate for you could blot out a thousand suns. Old news, Potter. But I know something new… Granger and Weasley are worried, and I wonder why.
Harry thought about what Malfoy implied. Why would Ron and Hermione feel reason to worry about him? Unless they were still not over his sexuality thing.
Harry flushed, “That’s none of your business.”
I’m making it my business. Give a trapped boy some food for thought. I’ll even let you go through my archives – it’s a fair trade, yes?
Harry started to shake his head, and Malfoy must have sensed the imminent denial because he started to lead Harry back to his main menu, through to ‘memories’, ‘videos’ and then a movie playlist titled: ‘My Greatest Hits’. Malfoy made no move to direct Harry from there, so Harry tentatively selected the title ‘Pansy #6’
Obviously it was just a memory. Pansy and Malfoy were just talking, and about things of no consequence too – Millicent’s unusually high marks in some potions project, Blaise’s most recent bed-partner…
Harry must have done something, because a horizontal bar (less than half-full) appeared and suddenly the scene changed. Instead of Pansy and Malfoy in the Slytherin Common Room, the scene showed Pansy and Malfoy doing much more than talking.
Harry’s eyes widened considerably and his eyebrows shot right up into his fringe. It wasn’t that he hadn’t known about Pansy and Malfoy – he’d have to be living under a rock to not know that. It was the fact that Malfoy would actually have a girl with such an unfortunate face.
Although - perhaps - Malfoy’s own good looks did partially make up for his partner’s lack.
Sure, Malfoy was an annoying twat, but Harry could still appreciate the curve of his jaw and the nice fullness to his lips. After all, Harry was a nice, hot-blooded, seventeen-year-old boy – all passable reasons for ogling his childhood enemy. Sort of.
Malfoy had Pansy pressed up against the wall and he had her arms pinned above her head. Her eyes were shut and her mouth hung open in a slight o as Malfoy licked a trail up and down her neck, stopping occasionally to suck at her skin. Their clothes had been flung carelessly on the ground and Harry could see exactly how much Malfoy, erm, appreciated this.
Harry shifted uncomfortably in his bed – for some reason (and it’s no surprise, really), he was reacting far too strongly to this. He pulled the ear buds out of his ears and Malfoy (the iPod one) took him back, step by step to ‘notes’. He did this rapidly, but Harry still caught sight (in the same list as Pansy #6) the title ‘Blaise #17’.
Malfoy had more to say:
Tit for tat, you remember? So. Why are Weasley and Granger worried about you?
This time Harry just smirked. “As if.”
He put the iPod back to charge and got out of bed. He was going to take a nice long shower. And maybe have a quick wank.
The next morning, Draco Malfoy reverted back to stubborn low-battery mode and Harry knew why. The nosy bastard.
“Look, it’s obvious he doesn’t want help.” Hermione said, twiddling with the controls. “Are you positive you weren’t dreaming?”
“That’s wonderful, people are doubting my sanity. Again.” Harry rolled his eyes. “No I was not dreaming, mostly because when I dream it’s about Voldemort and when it’s about Voldemort it’s a nightmare.”
Via the miracle of peripheral vision, Harry noticed Ron mouthing urgently for Hermione to humour him. This did not help lift Harry’s mood.
When Hermione decided to mouth something back, Harry interrupted. “He wanted to know what you were worried about me for, okay? I said it was none of his business, because, you know, it isn’t.”
Hermione blinked. “What?”
“He’s being an arsehole again because he wants to know what’s up with me,” Harry said.
“He knew we were worried about you?” said Ron. “Just so you know, we weren’t really worried, we were more…”
“Surprised?” Harry offered.
“Surprised,” Hermione confirmed. “I think we should just tell him, I mean, it’s not that big a deal and it’s not like he can say anything. He is a pink iPod.”
“No big deal for you,” Harry said resentfully. “It’ll be huge for Malfoy, and then maybe Rita Skeeter will somehow get hold of it and it’ll be huge for her too and by the end of it the whole world will know and they’ll also be mind-blown.”
Hermione ignored him and picked up Malfoy. “We were worried,” she said very clearly and slowly, “about Harry because he broke up with Ginny. That’s not all...” She trailed off.
Harry added sulkily: “He’s also gay.”
Hermione beamed. “That wasn’t so bad was it?”
To Harry’s annoyance, the iPod turned back on.
Surprisingly, there was no mocking of any sort; just Malfoy snidely cooperating with Hermione. She had more than enough on her plate.
Harry and Ron, though, were useless and stuck with nothing to do. Somewhere along the line they’d begun to play Wizard’s chess.
About three games later (in which Harry still lost spectacularly), Hermione resurfaced, still looking ticked off but kind of pleased.
“Snape and Malfoy have been planning this all along, can you believe?” she said, gesturing violently. Harry and Ron nodded slowly. “Snape thought that Malfoy becoming inanimate was his best chance of survival, and in case Malfoy, in his transition to iPod, lost his magic, he made a potion that would ensure the un-transformation.”
Harry had sort of guessed this from what Malfoy had shown him the other night. “And…?”
“All we have to do is reset the iPod.”
Harry and Ron straightened. “What?”
“But for safety reasons we should probably do this at St Mungo’s,” Hermione added. “Malfoy won’t be any help if he’s a bizarre iPod-Wizard hybrid.”
“So you know how to reset?” Harry asked.
“Of course I know how to reset!” Hermione snapped, moving to the door. “I didn’t spend a week reading all about iPods just to forget everything.”
Ron tried (unsuccessfully) to hide his guilty look.
“The plan is,” Hermione said, holding the door open and ushering the boys through. “That we’ll be in the Emergency Ward when we reset him, so if anything goes wrong we have immediate backup. Meet you there.”
Hermione Disapparated. Ron and Harry both exchanged shrugs, before following suit.
Harry Potter never really liked hospitals. What with the white, sterile halls and the reverberating screams and cries of strangers in pain. It was really depressing.
He was here, oh-so-selflessly, because of Malfoy. The git better appreciate it.
“I bet you Malfoy’s made it more difficult than it seems,” Ron said. “Evil git probably password-protected his stupid un-transformation.”
Hermione shushed him and motioned that they huddle in.
Harry didn’t hold his breath when Hermione pushed the Menu and Select buttons. Of course not. He totally didn’t give a damn if Malfoy stayed an iPod forever.
Six seconds later they were still huddled around the iPod and Hermione looked decidedly edgy. “Come on, come on, come on,” she muttered.
“Let me try,” Harry said, taking the iPod from her.
He pushed the two buttons.
Afterwards, Harry would say that the moments just before Malfoy came back slowed down, he’d say that time hung in suspension just before everything synced and came crashing back into normal time.
Time didn’t, of course. There had just been a sudden strong, hot breeze and Malfoy was suddenly sitting on Harry. He smelt bad, had a foot-long beard going and his clothes were ratty. Kind of hot, if you like the hobo look.
“Well?” He said, looking sideways at Harry. He then promptly passed out, his head hitting Harry’s with a loud clack. Harry didn’t seem to mind.
St Mungo’s staff are amazing. They’re sparkly and smiley all the time.
It is their duty.
They were pretty quick at getting Malfoy a room and fixing up his hygiene (the beard was the first thing taken care of). They ran a preliminary check and Malfoy was in pretty good shape. Sure, the relatively new healer was shaken badly by the Dark Mark, but it was probably nothing worse than all those other people who came in cursed or splinched.
Harry forced Ron (and sometimes Hermione, but, you know, not that much because this is men’s business) to stay at the hospital while they waited for Malfoy to come around. Ron was happy to stay the first week, but he lost a lot of enthusiasm in the days following.
“Oh hey, I think he’s moving,” Harry said, looking up from a potentially disastrous chess match. “Two weeks though, is a bit much.”
Harry and Ron moved to loom over Malfoy.
Malfoy groaned and slowly opened his eyes. Presumably, he saw them, because he squeaked, closed his eyes again and pulled the pillow over his head.
Ron poked him. “Malfoy.”
Harry poked him. “Malfoy?”
“Okay let me guess,” he muttered, not moving. “You want to know where the last Horcrux is?”
“Well, yes,” Harry admitted.
“And also why you were a pink iPod,” Ron added. “That’s a bit suspicious.”
“It’s not like I had a choice!” Malfoy said, finally sitting up. “And you can’t say anything to any of my friends or I’ll tell them about Harry!”
Then Malfoy realised how un-cucumber-ly cool he’d been.
“Um,” Harry said. “That’s very mature, Malfoy. Anyway, don’t you owe us thanks?”
Malfoy glared. “If you Order people did your damn research,” he blushed a bit here. “You’d know that any markings or colourings are a personality trait.”
Harry looked at Malfoy strangely. “So the pink meant..?” He trailed off.
“Obviously.” Ron said. At both Harry and Malfoy’s strange looks, he coughed awkwardly. “Anyway. Where is the last Horcrux?”