A(nother) Harry Potter Story
by Chyna Rose
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling, Bloomsburry/Schoolastic Press, and Warner Brothers Pictures. My Hero Academia belongs to Hirokoshi Kohei, Weekly Shounen Jump, Viz Media, Studio Bones, and Funimation. This work was written for the fun of it and the challenge offered up by NaNoWriMo; no money has or will be made off of it.
It went without saying that out of all five of them, Harry had the worst bad days at work hands down. Even if you didn't count the fact that the risk of having someone die on him (which while thankfully not all too common, still was something that did on occasion happen), he was routinely bled, pissed, shit, and puked on. Not to mention getting yelled at, threatened, and actually attacked. That's not to say that the other four didn't have hellish days at work, or no grounds to complain about them simply because Harry objectively had it worse. Because even Percy - who had a purely bureaucratic non-client facing job - and Neville - who worked almost exclusively with plants - had had days like that (including one rather memorable incident that counted as a Bad Day for both Harry and Neville).
Today it seemed to be Draco's turn for a Bad Day as he collapsed on the couch and let his head fall back onto the back of the couch with none of his usual grace and poise. The decorative pillow he used then used to try and smother himself with was probably overkill and overdramatic, but given the events of the day, he felt that it was entirely justified. Besides, it wasn't like the others would let him actually suffocate - and even if he somehow did manage to pull that off, Harry could always save him.
"Do I even want to know?" Ron asked, offering up a can of Draco’s preferred beer with a careful shake - not enough to turn the beer into a very wet projectile if opened immediately, but enough for Draco to know that the beer was there even if he couldn’t see it thanks to the pillow he held over his face.
Draco just groaned in response, stopping his suffocation efforts. He lowered the pillow just enough to be able to glance at Ron; making gimmie gestures at the beer he saw Ron holding out. Ron tossed Draco the beer and let him take his time before elaborating - or not - on what had happened at work to put him into such a state.
"I wasn’t that bad back in school was I?" Draco asked dramatically apropos of nothing (at least as far as Ron could tell anyway) after he’d drunk a fair bit of his beer; the pillow now laying forgotten where it had fallen when Draco had sat up.
“Well...” Ron began, trying to see if he could apply any sort of context to Draco’s non-sequester through the judicious use of mental gymnastics (which was really par for the course when conversing with the former Slytherin. Privately Ron was convinced that Draco would spontaneously combust and die if he ever had to be straightforward in what he said - conveniently forgetting all the times that the blonde actually was, which admittedly mostly dealt with things like what to get for dinner or what movie to watch during their occasional ‘hey we managed to get all five of us together (until Harry had to bail due to an emergency) so why don’t we just do something together’ movie nights), “you were kinda a pratt when we were kids. But you did manage to grow out of it. Mostly.”
Draco glared at Ron; he was being more rhetorical than not when he’d asked the question, but relented after a bit. Ron was right. He’d been pretty bratty as a kid, what with trying to fit into the very narrow mould his father (and to a lesser extent his mother) had presented him with in the name of Fulfilling His Place in Society. And once he stopped parroting back everything his father said and did and actually started thinking for himself, he’d gotten a lot better on that front. Although to be fair, all of them (except Neville who was just too timid and insecure socially speaking) were right pratts in school - even if the prattishness manifested differently for them. Perhaps it was just the natural status of kids to be utter little shits in one way or another (and Neville was just scary good at suppressing that bit of him). God knew that they’d hardly been the only ones - between the Weasley Twins’ pranking and other mischief making, Ginny’s trigger temper, Hermione’s know it all teacher's pet tendencies (really. Her greatest fear back when she was thirteen had been failing a test), the den of intrigues and machinations that Slytherin had been for generations... It was, however, rather sad and pathetic the way that too many full grown adults never seemed to grow out of that phase.
"Anyway," Ron said trying to get the conversation if not back on track (whatever that was), then at least get it back onto a track, “why are you asking that in the first place?”
Draco nodded. And after finishing his beer he elaborated, “I had to deal with what I swear had to have been the most infuriating bint ever to grace the earth in the history of time. Think some unholy combination of Granger and Pansy at their absolute worst, my father at his most arrogant and snobbish, and ‘Professor’ Umbridge” he started, complete with air quotes around Umbridge’s title of Professor. Technically she had in fact been their teacher - thankfully for only a year back in their fifth year of schooling - and at the time Draco - being the little shit he had been back then - had cozied up to her (mostly to gain a bit of the power she’d been throwing around in her surprisingly successful bid to take over the school in the name of Minister Fudge and because her views and attitudes aligned closer to his father’s for the most part unlike the ones held by most of the rest of the faculty - a fact that had seemed very important at the time). But time and maturity had let Draco see through her traditionalist act to her squishy anti-educational governmental shill center. His godfather, Professor Snape, might’ve held a conservative traditionalist line (as befitted his role of Head of House and alumni statuses for Slytherin, the house best known for that kind of thinking) and been one of the stricter teachers at the school (and perhaps one of the ones with the most well known biases for and against), but at least he’d made an actually effort to not only teach his subject, but teach it to the best of his ability given his natural inability to stand children (not that the fact that his favored subject could be rather volatile and prone explosions and other nastily harmful reactions helped any in that department). It said something when the title of Most Hated Professor changed hands so quickly into a new school year and had been almost unanimously awarded.
Ron shuddered at that thought and motioned for Draco to continue.
“So there I was, evaluating this exquisite black opal and sapphire neck piece, when she just swanned in like she owned the place, dressed head to toe in what’s supposed to pass as designer haute fashion - you know the type; it’s meant to look like it’s a bespoke piece - or pieces in this case - straight off of the Milan or Paris runway but is clearly off the rack from some overpriced chain ‘boutique’ that’s ill fit and doesn’t even come close to flatering what passes as her body type and is so shoddily and cheaply constructed that she wouldn’t be able to wear it more than a handful of times even if she wanted to before it simply fell apart. And it was in the most god awful color you could imagine that completely clashed with her complexion. Not quite the sickening pink that ‘Professor’ Umbridge favored, but...”
Ron (discreetly) rolled his eyes as Draco tore down the woman’s appearance in the way that only he could. For all that Draco had grown and matured since they were in school, he was - and would probably always be - a bit of a snob. It wasn’t completely his fault. He had been raised in a position of wealth and privilege and while he’d managed to break free of his father’s bigoted ways, he never did manage to shake all of the elitist bullshit attitude that entailed. Working at one of the country's more premiere auction houses hadn’t really done anything to help with his snobbish tendencies (mostly it just shifted the focus of it).
“Of course she turns her nose up as soon as she sees Chloe, as if to ask what some poor peasant like her is doing here because clearly someone dressed like that (that is, in something that doesn’t simply scream ‘I’m rich and have money to burn’ but is instead tasteful and well made) can’t afford anything we’d ever have. Nevermind that Chloe is one of our regulars and spends thousands of pounds a year with us and that not only is she part of the peerage, but her husband is well placed in the House of Lords. Because god forbid someone who has money not flaunt it. Not that I think the bint had all that much money, given that she wanted to sell us what she claimed was an ‘authentic antique Native American’ dreamcatcher for a real pretty penny.”
“I know I don’t know all that much about dreamcatchers, but aren’t they made out of things like wood and leather that wouldn’t last that long?”
“Surprisingly they can last a long time - if properly cared for of course. And I didn’t need to use my quirk to see that while what she did have was a dreamcatcher, it wasn’t in any way authentic or antique. First off it was pure pink plastic. Pink tinted fishing line and pleather over a straight up pink plastic ring with a smattering of feathers plucked from some hapless costume boa and beads that wouldn’t look out of place in a seven year old girl’s crafting kit. And she wanted the starting bid to be fifteen thousand for this monstrosity. Of course that fifteen thousand was her being generous and seriously low balling it’s value. Like you can’t find that kind of thing (and of a better quality) for less than ten pounds at most stores. Not that she took our no without a fight. Noooo. She wasn’t suggesting we do this for her while passive aggressively implying that we’d be daft not to accept her ‘generous’ offer. I swear I haven’t known anyone as entitled as her - and you know what kind of circles I used to hang in. And she would. Just. Not. Leave. Until we gave her the deal she wanted. Nor would she stand aside to let us serve anyone else until she was satisfied. Didn’t matter who all told her no either. We had to call the police just to pry her out. The only good thing about all that is that she’s been completely banned so we’ll never have to deal with her again - beyond the supposed lawsuit she’s going to fling our way because we’ll be sorry when we go out of business because we turned down hers and don’t we know who her husband is.”
“Even at your worst, you were never that bad. Sure you kept threatening to have your father find out, but at least you knew how to pick your battles and when to take a loss." Ron pointed out.
Before Draco could reply (not that he had much further to say on the matter), the door slammed as Harry stepped in and made his way straight to the shower his shoes squelching wetly with every step. Because no matter what had happened to make one of the others have a Bad Day, Harry would always have it worse.