Chapter 2

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"You want me to tutor Malfoy?" Harry asked in surprise.


Professor Slughorn nodded. "Yes. Mr. Malfoy has been lagging behind in his studies. Severus told me to give him more leeway given that he is having some issues at home." He explained. "I thought that a tutor would do him good and help him get back on track."


"Professor, with all due respect, I don't think that's a good idea," Harry said. "It's only been a month of classes. I'm sure he'll catch up."


"I don't want him to get too far behind to the point that he can't make up the work."


Harry was grasping at straws at this point. "But I'm a rotten teacher and Malfoy and I aren't on the best terms." To put it lightly.


"Nonsense! I'm sure you will do just fine. And I am well aware of the rivalry between you two. That's why I think it's an even better idea." Professor Slughorn smiled. "A good friendly competition in a sense."


Harry wanted to argue further but he remembered Dumbledore's words earlier, to get on Slughorn's good side.


"Okay, yeah, Professor. I'll tutor him."


****


"This is a bloody outrage!" Draco seethed, pacing around the Slytherin common room. "That slug wants me to get a tutor? And for potions of all subjects! With Potter! Slapping me in the face would have been less insulting!"


Blaise leaned back on the couch, abandoning his homework, knowing that he wasn't going to get it done anytime soon. "Why don't you just refuse?"


"I was going to but Snape forced me to agree!" Draco ran his fingers through his hair, tugging on the strands. "He said that I had to keep up appearances or some shit. It's all utter bullocks!"


"Well, go to a few tutoring sessions and get your marks up as quickly as you can." Blaise reasoned. "Once your marks are up, you won't have to be tutored."


Draco scowled at him. "That's not the point, Zabini. This is an insult that I will not stand for!"


Blaise rolled his eyes. "It's your fault for letting your marks drop."


"You know perfectly well why I've been distracted," he hissed.


"I know," Blaise said, his voice softening. "Maybe this tutoring will be good for you."


"With Harry bleeding Potter, I highly doubt it."


****


Harry met with Draco in the Potions classroom after dinner. Slughorn had let them use it for a few hours after dinner on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those would be the days Harry would be tutoring Draco.


Harry set the Half-Blood Prince's potion book on the desk, hesitant to show Draco it. He didn't want to show Draco but he wasn't sure how he was supposed to tutor Draco without its tips and tricks. Maybe Draco won't ask where he had gained his knowledge. Harry could only hope.


Draco all but slammed his book down on the desk as he took a seat across from Harry. Draco glared at him.


"Let's get one thing clear, Potter," he growled. "I don't need tutoring. Potions is one of my best classes and the only reason that my marks are slipping is because of personal reasons."


"I heard," Harry said and at the small flicker of shock that flashed in Draco's eyes, he elaborated. "Professor Slughorn said that you have some issues at home."


"That slimy git knows nothing," Draco snapped. "And he shouldn't be divulging any personal information about his students to anyone. Especially, not you."


Harry rolled his eyes. "He didn't tell me anything besides that."


"It's a good damn thing because if he had, his ass would be fired before he could even blink."


Harry was growing tired of Draco's bitching. "Can we just get this over with? I thought we'd start on the potion we'll be brewing next week—"


"I already told you that I don't need tutoring," Draco cut in.


Harry threw his hands up in frustration. "Then what the bloody hell are we doing?"


"I'm only here because Snape is forcing me and I'm sure you're only here because of Slughorn. My marks are down because I haven't been putting in the work so I intend to use this time to work, quietly."


Draco flipped his book open and started to read.


"But—"


"Quietly."


Harry scowled. 'I could easily tell the professor that you refuse to put in the work or cooperate."


Draco looked up. "Do you want to tutor me?"


"No, but—"


"Then this is a win-win situation. Use this time to study or whatever it is that you Gryffindors do for fun."


"You're a real prat," Harry growled and stuffed his book back into his bag.


Harry stood up and Draco looked up at him.


"Where do you think you're going?" Draco asked.


"To my dorm since you obviously don't need me."


Draco clenched his jaw and stared at Harry like he couldn't believe he could be so dense. "And what if Snape or Slughorn decide to drop in? We've got to at least pretend that you're tutoring me."


Harry slumped back into his chair. "This is ridiculous."


"For once I agree but I'll get my marks up soon enough and then we can stop this stupid charade."  

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