Word Count: 818
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: They say a dog is man's best friend. Draco has a new best friend.
Start at the beginning - Meow
Sequel to A New Approach
Draco couldn't decide if he was frustrated or flattered by Potter's antics. The Gryffindor, instead of having given up as Draco originally assumed, was now employing a new tactic.
Things started out simple enough. Draco would spot an animal that could only be Potter, in Animagus form, across the grounds or at the base of the Quidditch stands; but Potter was never there when Draco arrived at the place he'd seen the black dog. The first few times this happened, Draco thought that he was just seeing things but soon Potter was everywhere. He was in courtyards that Draco passed through, waiting for the Slytherin between classes, and wandering random corridors that Draco happened to use. Potter almost had to be using a Time-Turner to be in so many places at once.
However, anytime Draco tried approaching him, Potter would disappear back into the crowd. Draco soon got used to seeing the black dog and, little by little, Potter started coming closer. Soon the Gryffindor puppy was escorting Draco to meals, sleeping at his feet in the library and playfully stealing Draco's quills as he tried to study by the lake. One night the blond even found Potter curled up, fast asleep at the end of Draco's bed. He briefly considered kicking him out, but in the end he just scratched behind one of the dog's ears and slipped under the covers.
Most people simply thought that Draco had been given some sort of rare Crup breed as a pet. He did not dissuade them from this idea. A few students, like Pansy and Granger, gave the dog more speculative looks but, for whatever reasons, they held their tongues on the matter.
A month passed quickly by and Draco didn't realize quite how much he'd gotten used to Potter's company. Until Potter disappeared.
Draco woke up on a cool October Saturday to find that the Gryffindor was not in his usual spot at Draco's feet. That was slightly unusual since Potter tended to spend weekends almost exclusively with Draco these days. Still, the Slytherin did not think too much of the matter. He dressed and headed to the Common Room, fully expecting to see his furry friend waiting for him outside the entrance to the Slytherin dorm. Draco had never bothered to question how Potter got into Slytherin. For one thing the dog couldn't have answered him, and for another he found that he didn't much care as long as Potter stayed in his Animagus form. A Gryffindor dog in the Common Room wasn't a big deal, a Gryffindor student was another matter.
The corridor was empty when Draco stepped out and he frowned a bit. By the time he reached the Great Hall worry was making him irritable. How dare Potter plague his steps for weeks on end and then disappear? He grunted at his housemates as he sat down for breakfast.
Blaise glanced around. "Where is your shadow, Draco?"
"Drowning in the lake for all I care," The surly blond replied, spreading copious amounts of marmalade on his toast. The door to the Great Hall opened and Draco's head automatically jerked up. Granger and Weasley entered but Potter was not with them. Draco glared and returned his gaze to his meal.
He missed Pansy's calculating look, but he definitely heard her when she said loudly, "So, Blaise, as I was saying. I hear Potter's been injured."
Draco tensed but did not immediately fall for the bait.
Blaise looked confused. "You weren't... ow! Oh, oh yes, Potter. Right. Injured at Quidditch practice last night, I hear."
"That's no surprise," the blond said nonchalantly, "Everyone knows Potter is clumsier than a Hippogriff in a crystal ball shop. He'll be his usual obnoxious self in no time, I'm sure." He returned to his meal with a smirk, pleased at how well he'd handled himself.
"I don't know about that," Pansy replied, "He took a pretty bad blow to the head. Madame Pomfrey looked him over but said there was nothing to be done until he regained consciousness."
"Regained consciousness?!" Draco yelped and was immediately annoyed when he saw the flash of triumph in Pansy's eyes. He'd played right into her hands.
The dark haired girl grinned at him. "Yes. They say none of the normal spells will wake him and after trying all night Poppy finally had his friends take him back to his dorms so he could be comfortable. Weasley and Granger are supposed to be watching him."
Draco's eyes shot to the Gryffindor table where the two people in question were in the middle of an angry discussion. "But they're right over..."
"I don't see Longbottom. Maybe he's watching Potter instead," Blaise piped in.
"LONGBOTTOM?" Several heads turned at Draco's outburst but he did not seem to notice. "If you'll excuse me. I have a... Potions paper to work on."
With that he fled the Great Hall.
Next: What's New Pussycat?