Chapter 2 - Defense Success and Failure
Potions had gone relatively fine and the next class was Charms which Ron didn't see as a good class for trying to get those two together. The last class of the day however was Defense Against the Dark Arts. Ideas were already swarming Ron's head with how to get them to work out their aggression against each other. It would be like muggle marriage counseling but with wands and dangerous spells that would almost kill someone. Oh well, who said muggles did anything the fun way.
The class filed into the room. Normally only people who chose careers in Defense had to take the class, but after the whole Voldemort fiasco, the ministry declared that the class was mandatory. Remus Lupin had been able to take the job back with the other teachers taking over during 'that time of the month'. Ron was aware that Remus knew of the rivalry between Harry and Draco which should mean that pairing them up for DADA in some capacity would be relatively easy. After all, learning about spells and dueling tricks from seeing two rivals face off against each other was an excellent way to learn.
The class started simply enough and then Ron got his wish.
"Would anyone like to volunteer to demonstrate a duel with the spells you have all learned in the past six years?" Professor Lupin asked with a kind smile.
Of course, Hermione shot her hand up first and Ron did everything in his power trying not to roll his eyes. As much as he adored his dear friend, she needed to settle down and not volunteer for everything. It would put a serious wrench in his plans if Lupin chose her and someone else to demonstrate the duel.
"Professor Lupin, I was thinking that perhaps Harry and Draco could demonstrate for us." Ron said, clearly ignoring the sneer from Malfoy since the other used his first name, the completely incredulous look from Harry, and the confused looks from his potions partner Blaise and other best friend Hermione.
"That is an interesting suggestion Ronald. May I ask why you have chosen it?" Professor Lupin asked with a rather curious expression on his own face.
Ron inwardly did a little dance as he continued speaking. "Those two have been rivals for years. I am sure that they each know a vast majority of spells and counter-spells, whether from family or Voldemort himself. It would be a fantastic lesson for all of us to watch them duel together." and a perfect opportunity to let them work out a bit of that unresolved sexual tension… err… animosity towards each other, Ron thought as he looked at Professor Lupin to see if his reasoning would be accepted.
Remus blinked mulling over the possibility. It was true that both Harry and Draco had been affected by the war in some way before Hermione had found that spell which ended it quite effectively. Those two would have the best knowledge due to training from family, friends, and the like, but it could also get quite dangerous. Still, the ministry wanted them taught and prepared in case another Voldemort came into existence and it would make for a decent match he supposed.
"I do believe you would be correct, Ronald." Professor Lupin said with a smile. "Would Harry and Draco please come down here with me? Everyone else, please use the strongest shield charm that you know in case of a runaway hex. Now, do you two remember the slight bit of a dueling lesson from your second year?"
When both students nodded, he continued to speak. "Good. I believe you are all set. I trust both of your judgments on spells to use, but will add the rule of no unforgivable curses and no curses that would cause either of you to miss the rest of the school year due to the severity of them. Both Light and Dark spells are allowed to be used as long as they don't fall within the first two rules."
Once he was done both Harry and Draco moved to face each other giving the customary bow before a match.
"This shouldn't take too long." Draco said twirling his wand a little as he looked at Harry. Lupin was busy making sure that everyone had their shield charms up before they began.
Harry smirked. "Of course it won't. It'd be better if you just give up now Malfoy. We all know that you can't beat me."
Draco barely raised an eyebrow. "Over confident aren't we, Potter? Though I suppose hearing that I've had quite a bit of training wouldn't get through that thick Gryffindor skull of yours."
"Oh I heard it Malfoy, but I don't think you could pull it off." Harry said wand at the ready. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Lupin send up the sparks so they could begin.
And begin they did…
Harry barely managed to move to the side of a hex that put a hole in the wall. He glared at Malfoy who seemed to be mockingly apologetic at the hex he sent and then sent one of his own that didn't hit Draco but shattered his shield charm. Draco's eyes narrowed as he began sending charms and hexes in the other's direction getting as good as he gave.
Ron was mentally cheering. Seriously, if this wasn't the middle of class then he would probably get up on a table and dance as if he had one too many shots of firewhiskey. His Potions' plan had been a flop but the DADA one worked almost perfectly. He would have to deal with his sister next and work on convincing her that she should break it off with Harry, but right now he was going to enjoy his small victory.
Too bad victory never lasts long.
Ron was so busy having a mind party at the fact that he got Harry and Draco to interact in class that his shield lowered due to his distraction. Therefore, Ron did not notice two stray hexes flying towards him causing him to be knocked to his feet with a massive headache and unable to see properly. He barely heard Professor Lupin calling for an end to the duel and instructing someone to carry him up to the hospital wing. Ron didn't recognize who was carrying him but he didn't mind at the moment because he had at least gotten them to duel.
A few hours later, Ron laid there with his eyes closed feeling noticeably better than he had when the curses had struck. There were voices around his bed and he wasn't sure what to make of them.
"Harry, I am telling you that something is very wrong with Ron. I mean he basically volunteered you to duel Malfoy, of all people!" Hermione exclaimed.
Harry sighed. "Well now I have to work with Malfoy in Defense Against the Dark Arts, unfortunately. At least, you get to work with someone from our own house. Then again I suppose I can tease Ron because he is stuck working with his Potions partner again."
Madam Pomfrey came in to tell them that they had to be a little quieter in which they both nodded to agree.
Ron, however, was smiling internally and fighting to keep the smile off of his face where they could see. He did it! Harry and Draco were partners for DADA and even though it came at the price of him going to the hospital wing, Ronald Weasley would count this as a success. Now all he had to do was get them together and keep them together by any means necessary. As he drifted back into sleep, he thought of his strategy for having Ginny question her relationship with Harry.