DRARRY SLASH! Harry/Draco You no like, you no read!
The door at the end of the corridor loomed in front of them, and Draco fought the urge to turn and run back down the hallway and towards safety. He usually tried to avoid danger, when at all possible. In order to stay alive, one didn't usually poke around in perilous situations and tried to avoid being noticed at all costs.
But Potter was counting on him not to be a complete coward.
Swallowing hard, he reached out and grabbed the ring on the door. With a cry, he let go of it and danced backwards, looking down at his hand for damage. There was none, although Draco had sworn he could feel his hand burning when he touched the ring. Potter reached out and nudged the ring with his knuckle, hurriedly pulling back as he too felt the burning sensation.
"Will it actually burn my hand?" asked Potter, staring in challenge at the ring.
"It doesn't appear so, although that bloody well hurt!" Draco glared at the ring.
It soon proved that even if they wrapped their hands in cloth, it still sent bursts of pain through their hands, same as before.
Potter unfastened his wizard robes and pulled the muggle shirt he had underneath over his head. Draco was momentarily distracted as miles of smooth skin was displayed right in front of him. Potter twisted the shirt into a semblance of a rope and looped it around the door handle. Grasping the shirt, he used it to pull the door open, and the two of them slipped through. The weighted door closed behind them.
Once through, Potter struggled back into his shirt, much to Draco's disappointment.
"What the hell is that?" Draco, who was now undistracted by half-naked Potters demanded, surveying the room in front of them.
"It looks like an obstacle course."
"I know that, Potter! Why is it here?"
Potter was silent, and for that, Draco was glad. He was already contemplating turning back the way they'd come. They were standing on a ledge above a thirty foot drop, and in front of them was a set of bars obviously meant to be swung across. He looked over the edge. There was a pool of water at the bottom, but that did not mean he wanted to fall in it. Potter reached up to touch the bars. Remembering the door handle, Draco leapt forward.
"No, wait!" He grabbed Potter's hand.
Potter froze, looking with wide eyes at where Draco's fingers were curled over his own. Draco tried to swallow around the lump in his throat. Potter turned his large, green eyes on Draco, blinking questioningly at him.
"What?" he asked.
"I just thought it might be like the door," Draco explained, looking away.
"You didn't want me to get hurt?" Harry said, the beginnings of a smile flickering around the corners of his mouth.
"Oh, never mind!" Draco snapped, reaching up and grabbing the bar.
There was no burst of pain, and the bar remained solid. Draco sighed in relief, then scowled as he remembered that they had to cross these stupid bars with water thirty feet below him. Of course, no one said he had to imitate a bloody monkey. Grasping the bar, he turned himself upside down and got his knees hooked around the bar above his head. He pulled himself through the gap in the bars, so that he was sitting on top of them now.
"Malfoy, what are you doing?" Potter asked, looking up at him. "We have to swing across!"
"No, I bloody well don't." Draco stood, a tad shakily, and began walking across the bars, holding his arms out for balance. "This is faster anyway, right?"
"Wait, Malfoy, don't leave me here!" He felt the bars vibrate as Potter followed him.
As soon as they were back on solid ground, the bars disintegrated. Draco leaned over and looked down.
"There's no way back, now," he reported.
"Let's just keep going," Potter said, rubbing a hand through his messy hair. "Look, we have to climb up that wall with the netting, and at the top there's another ledge. We can use that knotted rope to swing across to that other knotted rope, jump onto that ledge, shimmy across that narrow ledge, and then we're home free!"
"That's all we have to do," Draco said flatly, feeling cheated.
"Yep!" Potter said happily. "Let's go!"
Draco did not want to be climbing this stupid netting. It wasn't attached to the wall that well, and it dipped every time one of them pulled themselves up to another handhold. Draco's knuckles kept banging on the wall as Potter scaled the net above him. He wasn't made for this physical exertion! Potter was already at the top, and he was looking down at Draco expectantly.
"Come on, Malfoy, you have to hurry!"
Draco knew that. There was a time limit, and if he fell asleep while climbing or swinging on one of these stupid obstacles, he would probably die.
"Just go on without me!" he yelled back, shaking the sweaty hair out of his eyes.
"No, I'm not leaving you behind!"
Draco took a deep breath and climbed faster. Potter reached out and helped him onto the ledge, and Draco lay there for a moment, gasping. Potter was already up and surveying the next obstacle, in which they were expected to swing on a rope fifty feet in the air. Then grab another rope and swing to that one. This was ridiculous!
Potter was already going. He'd grabbed the rope and he swung out into empty space, using the motion of his body to swing further out, towards the other rope. Draco watched him, feeling helpless to do anything in the event that Potter fell. Thankfully, Potter managed to grab the other rope and transfer himself over without any problems. In no time at all, he was on the other side, looking back at Draco.
Draco went over to the edge, leaned over, and immediately got such a sense of vertigo that he nearly fell straight of the ledge. He sat down and closed his eyes, breathing in deeply. His stomach was clenched into enough knots that he was sure his intestines could be used as a rope.
"Malfoy, are you okay?" Potter called, voice worried.
"Shut it, Potter," Draco said, climbing to his feet.
He reached out and grabbed the rope, desperately keeping his eyes on Potter's face across the chasm he had to cross. He swung out, felt his weight hanging on to the rope for dear life. Don't look down. Don't look down. He swayed his weight to gain momentum, then reached out and snagged the other rope. Carefully, he transferred his grip to the other rope and let go of the first.
He got a foot on the ledge, but was starting to swing backwards and away from the ledge when he felt a hand fist into his jumper and an arm go around his waist. A moment later, Potter flung himself backwards, Draco in his hold. The two of them tumbled to the ground, panting, Draco trembling at his near-death experience. Draco clung to him, fisting his hands in the front of Potter's shirt and burying his nose in Potter's neck. Potter's scent was warm and musky. It was nice.
"Thanks, Potter," he managed to gasp out. "That was close."
"It's just this narrow ledge here that we have to shimmy across." Potter indicated a ledge that was about a foot across.
"Is this a bad time to mention that I don't have much of a head for heights?" Draco asked, squeezing his eyes shut again.
"How can you be scared of heights after playing Quidditch? We have to get across this ledge, unless you want to stay here for the rest of your life." Potter sighed and rubbed his eyes tiredly. "Look, there's a crack here that you can stick your fingers in and use as a handhold. Just close your eyes and shimmy across after me, okay?"
Draco nodded, not quite able to bring himself to speak. This was ridiculous. He should have just left when he had the chance. How did they know Draco was afraid of heights? Who the hell was this mysterious "they" anyway? He wanted to tell Potter that there was a world of difference between being in control of a broom and dangling in midair without a wand, but he was afraid that if he opened his mouth, he'd be sick.
He berated their kidnapper in his head the entire way across, concentrating on his rage at being in this situation rather than the long drop below him. He only opened his eyes when he felt Potter's hand, warm, on his shoulder. He felt free to collapse on the last ledge for just a moment while Potter examined the door in front of them.
"This is the only way out," Potter said matter-of-factly. "That means we have to go through it."
"Well, what are you waiting for then, Potter?" Draco stood and walked over to the door. "Let's do it."
They pushed it open together.