DRARRY! You no like, you no read
To Harry's horror, Malfoy spent the rest of the day meticulously cataloguing who turned what colour on a piece of parchment. He managed to catch a glimpse of it over lunchtime, while Malfoy sat in the Great Hall with his friends, furiously scribbling, and glancing around once in a while to take another look. He caught Harry watching him, and smirked at him. Harry's cheeks flared with heat and he quickly ducked back out of the Hall before Malfoy could figure out what was going on.
As for himself, there was an alarming amount of purple directed his way, and it was no wonder it had taken so long to pick Malfoy out of the vast multitude. In fact, Malfoy wasn't even the only Slytherin to be purple, although all of Malfoy's yearmates were red.
Sometime in the afternoon, the mint glow faded, and he heaved a sigh of relief.
"Hey, did yours fade already?" Ron asked over dinner.
"Yeah, mate, it did. Do you think they really work?" Harry asked, still worried.
Ron shoved another dinner roll in his mouth and nodded. "Sure, but there's really only one way to be sure. We should take another one."
Ron glanced over at Hermione, who had seated herself next to Ginny rather than either of them. Harry could tell that Ron wasn't sure whether Hermione really liked him and wanted to test it out to be certain. Harry could have told him that he was pretty sure she did, but he wanted to have an excuse to see for himself if they were wrong.
"We might as well, we did say we'd test them thoroughly," Harry nodded decisively. "They gave us a whole bag of them, after all."
He dug around in his satchel and pulled them out, tossing one over to Ron and popping one into his own mouth. He was so distracted by the flare of colour that danced up around everyone that he didn't see Malfoy until it was too late.
Harry supposed he should have realized that Malfoy would be hanging around to try and get one up on him, but he hadn't thought of it until right now.
"Give those here, Malfoy!" he demanded angrily, teeth clenching.
"I think not, Potter," Malfoy smirked at him.
Harry stood, ready to duel with his nemesis over the issue when Snape loomed up, standing between the two and looking back and forth between them.
"I see your temper has got the better of you again, Potter," he said, eyebrows raised.
"Malfoy took my mints, Professor," he growled, glaring at Malfoy, who looked far too pleased with himself. "Give them back, Malfoy!"
"Now, now Mr. Potter. You should learn to share," Snape smiled slickly, sharing a smirk with Malfoy.
"That's not fair, sir," he tried, knowing it was futile.
"I could always give you another detention, Mr. Potter," Snape said, taking Malfoy by one shoulder and steering him back towards the Slytherin table.
"What a git," Ron snarled from beside him, slumping back into his seat. "I hate the pair of them!"
Harry nodded miserably, knowing that Malfoy was definitely clever enough, in spite of being a complete wanker, to figure out the puzzle. He'd have all the data he needed if he even had only one other person to test it out on. He had an entire bag of the mints at his disposal and would no doubt put them to good use.
The real problem was not Malfoy figuring out what they were used for, since the twins were going to start selling them at the shop. It was that Harry turned up purple for Malfoy.
Hang on. He frowned and turned around to where Malfoy and Snape were standing by the Slytherin table. The two Slytherins were examining the bag of mints and seemed to be hurriedly discussing them, their heads close together. Malfoy was still purple.
Snape was green.
Harry stared in fascination, certain that the mints weren't working properly now. The mints were telling him that Snape was a friend. He'd been so distracted by Malfoy being purple that he'd completely overlooked the fact that Snape was green. That wasn't possible, he absolutely loathed Harry! This was the proof then, that the mints weren't working.
He had to tell Fred and George right away.
"Ron," he hissed. "What colour is Snape to you?"
Ron turned to him, rolling his eyes, then did a double take. "Mate, he's green. I thought for sure he'd turn up red, cause he hates our guts. I was so preoccupied with Hermione's glow being purple, I didn't really notice anyone else's colours..."
"We've both been distracted," Harry admitted. "What do we do? They can't be working right, not if Snape is turning up bloody green!"
"We'll owl the twins tonight," Ron promised.
The next morning, Harry waited anxiously for signs of Pig returning with the twin's response. He was already nervous, and it didn't help that Malfoy kept shooting him suspicious looks. He thought that maybe the mints weren't working like they were supposed to, and Malfoy might have figured out what they were actually doing. But it wasn't as if he could just ask Malfoy.
He was busy watching Malfoy, so when Pig arrived, he didn't notice until the small owl had flailed into a jug of pumpkin juice and sent it all over Harry's front.
"Sorry, mate," Ron muttered, grabbing the letter from Pig while Hermione tutted and spelled the mess away with a wave of her wand.
Harry watched Ron's face as he scanned the letter, and felt disappointment rise in him when Ron's face twisted in a scowl.
"They don't know what's up, mate. They're sending us some more, so we can try and figure it out ourselves. They said they'd try it out too, from their end."
"Problem?" Hermione asked, raising an eyebrow from behind the book she'd brought with her to the breakfast table.
Harry and Ron exchanged a glance.
Ron heaved a sigh. "Well, you see..."
That night, Hermione was sketching out a similar diagram to Malfoy's categorizing what colours everybody were from both Ron and Harry's point of view. It was taking her ages, even with use of magic, to cross-reference them all.
"So, to both of you, Snape is green."
Harry nodded sleepily from his position next to the fire. Ron had already told her his part, including the part where Hermione was purple for him. Afterward, he'd been flustered and fled up to the sixth year dorms, saying he was tired and was going to sleep.
"And the Slytherins are red?" Hermione bit her lip. "I can see why that would be."
"Not everyone," Harry admitted. "A few of them are purple. Actually, an alarming amount of people on this chart are purple for me."
Harry listed them off, wondering whether he should tell her about Malfoy.
"Is that all?" she asked, frowning down at her list.
"Harry," Hermione admonished. "I need a complete set of data if I'm to figure out what's going on!"
Harry sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "There's one other person of mine who is purple. But I warn you, it doesn't make sense to me."
Hermione nodded and waited, quill poised.
"It's Malfoy," he whispered, voice low so that no one would hear. "Malfoy is purple. And that's not all that worries me."
Hermione leaned in closer, sensing his discomfort.
"When Malfoy stole the first mint, he listed off a few people around us and what their colours were." Harry took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I was purple for him, too."
Hermione's eyes widened in shock. "Are you sure, Harry?"
"Yes," Harry dipped his head briefly in a slight nod. "He turns up purple, for more than one mint. I don't understand, Hermione. Why would both of us be purple?"
"I don't see a pattern yet," Hermione frowned and bit her lip again, fiercely. "We'll have to wait until we get more data. Sorry, Harry, we'll have to wait until the twins send us more mints."
Harry nodded, but the twinge of worry in his gut was growing stronger the longer the mystery went unsolved.
Hermione was on the case now. It was only a matter of time until this was sorted.
This is what he told himself, but he still couldn't sleep that night.