“Good night, you lot. I’m for bed,” announced Draco, rising from Grimmauld Place’s kitchen table and making for his bedroom.
The rest of the company exchanged bemused looks.
“It’s only half past eight, Fangs,” called Ginny.
“Yes, well, I have things to do in the morning,” Draco did not look back as he passed through the doorway.
“I’ll bite,” said Harry after a moment and followed him.
Harry found Draco’s bedroom door locked when he reached it and tapped on it to no response but a whispered swear word and a little quick scrabbling. “Draco?” Harry tapped again. “It’s only me.”
“I’m already sound asleep,” Draco called back, sounding half annoyed and half on the verge of laughter.
“You don’t want your hot chocolate, then?”
After a brief, deliberating pause, Draco muttered alohamora, and the door popped open.
Harry entered the room and shut the door behind him.
“Where’s my hot chocolate?” demanded Draco, who was sitting cross-legged in the middle of his fourposter bed.
“I haven’t made it yet,” said Harry comfortably, taking a seat on the end of Draco’s bed, “Are you-” Harry paused, and looked around, frowning. He could hear that funny scrabbling sound again, despite the fact that Draco was sitting quietly on the bed, not doing anything to produce that sound.
“Am I annoyed with you for your want of scruples? Yes, of course I am. Will that be all?”
“Hey, shut up a moment, do you hear that?”
“No,” said Draco loudly. “Do I hear what?”
“Like a little running sound?” Harry persisted. “Like. Dnno. Rats or pixies maybe? Is it coming from the walls?”
“I don’t hear anything except you,” said Draco even louder.
Something sharp and invisible had landed on Harry’s knee and then rushed past him with a sensation of soft hair and a sort of chirping sound.
“Circe’s tits, Harry Potter, you’re going to give me heart failure with all your shouting!”
“There’s something in the room!” Harry jumped to his feet in the middle of the bed and looked up at the hangings. “There might be more of them; I think they’re invisible! Go and get the others!”
“Relax, Harry. It’s nothing like that,” Draco slid off the bed into a crouch beside it and lifted the edge of the bedding where it brushed the floor. “Are you down there? Did bad old Harry Potter frighten you as well?”
“Draco!” Harry laughed despite his utter confusion, “What horrible creature have you found or sneaked into my house? Did Luna give it to you?”
Draco paused in the chirruping sounds he was making from halfway under the bed to blow a raspberry at Harry, then made a little aha! of triumph, “There you are, lovely! Want to come out?” He crawled backward out from under the bed, and emerged, with dust in his hair and something invisible clutched in his arms.
“What on earth is that?”
Draco performed the counter Charm for a Disillusionment spell, and suddenly his sharp, mysterious armful of nothing was a half-grown black cat with a dusting of golden fur and orange eyes, “Harry, I’d like to introduce you to November. November, this is the bane of my existence, Harry Potter.”
Harry laughed and reached out to stroke the cat’s ears, “You’re always so fucking mysterious for no reason.”
“Or maybe you find everything I do intriguing for no reason.”
“Maybe it’s both,” Harry agreed. “Why’re you hiding a cat in your bedroom?”
Draco answered all in a rush, petting the cat fiercely as he did, like she might be torn from his arms before he finished speaking, “I found her on my way home from bringing you lunch at the bookshop today. She was half frozen and half starved, and I couldn’t just leave her there to die in a skip, could I?” He glared at Harry, “I was only trying to come up with more convincing-”
“You don’t need to convince me,” Harry interrupted gently. “Of course you couldn’t leave her there to die in a skip. I didn’t know you liked cats.”
“I’m not used to. Rescuing,” answered Draco a little stiffly.
Harry nodded, and after a moment’s thought, he pulled out his wand and conjured a smallish basket lined with cushions, “Do you think she’d enjoy the kitchen hearth?”