Word Count: 548
Disclaimer: Characters are the property of JK Rowling, et al. This drabble was written for fun, not for profit.
Author's notes: (1) Beta-ed by dysonrules
(2) X-posted to harrydraco, hp_creatures and hp_animagus
Summary: Harry researches his new plan of attack.
Start at the beginning - Meow
Sequel to Grumpy Kitty Needs a Nap
Harry turned the page of yet another ancient tome and sneezed as a cloud of dust erupted from the parchment. He was pretty sure he heard one of the other books say, Bless you. Opening up another volume, more carefully this time, he scribbled down a few notes and then sighed. His idea had seemed brilliant a few days ago, but Harry was quickly discovering that the information he needed was not nearly as prevalent as he had hoped.
The Gryffindor leaned back in his chair, working the kinks out of his back as he did so. He suddenly realized he'd been sitting in the library far longer than he had intended. Harry grinned as he packed his books away, thinking about his best friends' reactions to his strange behavior of late. When he'd first started disappearing for his 'tutoring sessions' Hermione had been cautiously pleased. Ron of course thought he had a girlfriend so he would grin and wink every time Harry slipped away. Now that Harry was spending his afternoons in the library instead they were baffled.
At first Ron suspected it was another ruse, until they discovered Harry at a corner table, alone, surrounded by books. His best mate had speculated to Hermione, in front of Harry, that Harry's new study habits were some sort of coping mechanism after he'd been dumped. Ron was sort of right.
Hermione had taken one look at the various books on magical creatures Harry had been pouring over and immediately got a knowing gleam in her eye. Harry guessed she would figure out what he was up to soon. He hoped that he would have things sorted out with Malfoy by then. He'd been tempted to ask for Hermione's help on this project; he was sure she would be pleased with his unique approach.
Harry looked down at the meager list he'd compiled and sighed again. Sadly, most of the books in the library dealt with magical creatures. There was only so much useful information to be had from books like "Your New Kneazle and You" and "Raising Crup Pups". Except for one small pamphlet shoved haphazardly between two leather bound encyclopedias there hadn't been very much about normal, non-magical cats and dogs.
Still, the pamphlet had given him a few good ideas. He never would have thought of the "Introduce your cat to the dog's scent before you allow the animals to meet face to face." Malfoy had already met him face to face of course but after their kiss in the Room of Requirement he'd bolted. After several unsuccessful attempts to talk to the blond, Harry decided to try a different tact. That's where "Old Dogs, New Cats: How to Make Your New Pets Get Along" came in to play. If Malfoy wouldn't talk to him like a human, Harry was going to communicate with him like an animal.
Harry had already left one of his Gryffindor t-shirts in Draco's dorm so that the Slytherin could get used to his 'scent'. Now it was time for step two. "Place the animals in the the same room for brief periods of time. Be sure both animals have an escape route." Would Malfoy run a second time? Or would a more gentle introduction to Harry's presence soothe his nervousness?
Next: Draco's Best Friend