And Then There Were Two (The Smooth Machiavelli Remix)
by Voleuse

Remix of And Then There Were Two by Niu.

Things weren't running smoothly with the Gryffindors, as far as Draco could tell. At least, not with the Gryffindors he gave a damn about.

Harry Potter. Hermione Granger. Ron Weasley.

The Terrific Trio, he inwardly dubbed them, with sarcasm. When he wasn't using more colorful terms, that is.

He could see them, huddled around their meals as usual, and it's easy enough to ignore the random gruntings of Crabbe and Goyle. The Great and Marvelous Harry Potter hadn't noticed it yet, but the other two were holding hands under the table. When Harry bowed his head to his glass, they shared a look, and smiles too wide to be simple amusement.

Draco managed not to roll his eyes.

Merlin save him from Gryffindors in love; they were breeding self-righteousness into an actual trait.


Three days later, the duo was separated, and Harry looked ready to spit tacks.

Draco felt especially pleased with the soup that day. At least, that's what he told Crabbe and Goyle when they asked why he was laughing.


The next morning, Ron and Hermione held hands again, and Draco wasn't surprised when Harry stormed politely from the Gryffindor table. He wouldn't have stayed either, had his breakfast companions giggled with such obscenity. He barely tolerated words from Crabbe and Goyle. It was easy enough to ignore their protests when he left the table.

It was also easy for Draco to beat Harry to the lake. By the time Harry appeared (predictably moping), he had already been gazing artfully at the waters for ten minutes.

Harry looked a little uneasy to see him, but he nodded and walked past without saying anything. Draco followed him, arranged himself, again artfully, on the grass, and hid a smile when Harry looked confused.

"Ever wonder," Draco mused aloud, "how things would have been if you and me had been on the same side?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I don't mean me being on your side, obviously," he clarified, "but what if, that day on the train, when I warned you about the WeasleysÖ" He trailed off, waiting for Harry to fill in the blanks. The Spectacular and Photogenic Harry Potter wasn't always quick on the uptake, but he usually caught on, given time.

"You mean," Harry answered slowly, "what if I'd made friends with you first?"

Draco nodded. Good Harry. He'll deserve a treat later on.

"I suppose this war would be turning out quite differently," Harry said, and Draco decided he didn't want to talk about that at all.

"Yes," he affirmed, "and you'd still have your best friend."

"What?" Perplexity was a good look for Potter.

"Oh come on," Draco laughed, "it's obvious that Granger is too in love to bother with you anymore and as for the Weasel, well he'll take it any way he can get it." He paused for a moment, letting Harry roll the idea of violence through his head; the knee-jerk Gryffindor response to everything.

Harry didn't move, as expected. Not quite so Gryffindor, after all.

"He doesn't get as many offers as you and I, Potter. He's not in our league." Weasleys generally weren't, though young Ginny was shaping up into something quite different.

"He's my best friend, Draco." He sounded hesitant, and Draco congratulated himself on flattery well said.

"Is he really? Is that why he told you all about him and Granger?" Draco was quite sure Harry hadn't been told a thing. "Is that why you're out here on your own and he's petting his girlfriend?"

Chances were that Weasley wasn't; Gryffindor courage didn't extend in that direction. It was a delightful needle, though, if not an image Draco wanted to contemplate. Neither did Harry, it seemed.

"What am I supposed to say Malfoy? What do you want?" Potter also looked good when flustered and angry, and Draco made a mental note to evoke those emotions more often. "You want me to admit that I'm all on my own now? I'm not part of the Trio anymore?"

"I'd rather you kissed me," he drawled in reply, "that'd be far more succinct, don't you think?"

Draco was the one who initiated the kiss, but he wasn't surprised when Harry kissed him back.

Everything happened according to his plan, and plans, for the most part, ran smoothly for Slytherin.

At least, they did for Draco.


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