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Deluded Fairy Tale by Cara Nicole Luvitz

Format: Novel
Chapters: 52
Word Count: 102,725
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Contains Slash (Same-Sex Pairing)

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lucius, Voldemort, Draco, Pansy, Ginny, Blaise (M)
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 03/09/2008
Last Chapter: 09/02/2009
Last Updated: 09/02/2009

Summary:



Amazing banner by LittleMiss at TDA.

Sometimes you love something so much that it hurts to leave it, but you must. Sometimes it hurts too much to hold on to that thing you love. And sometimes you let go of what you love because it hurts. But then, just sometimes...you get it back and live happily ever after... Once upon a time, there were two lovers who had everything--until the war tore them apart. This is their story--told through their eyes.


Chapter 1: Chapter One
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I needed to get out of there, to leave before I changed my mind. He put up a good front, seeming to be strong throughout the whole ordeal. The only thing that proved otherwise was his eyes. Damn those eyes.

“I do love you, Harry,” I whispered, my face buried in his neck. “I would have stayed with you until the end.” I pressed a kiss to his neck and could have sworn I’d heard a sob escape. When I pulled away and stood up, he was staring at the floor. It was better that way, not as hard to leave as I had thought, though my hand still hesitated on the doorknob. Yet, somehow, I managed to push myself through, and I walked out the door, closing it behind me.

No matter how thick the wood, I was still able to hear him break down. The pain communicated through his sobs was unbearable. I sank to the floor, my back pressed hard against the door, and let the tears fall. There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t stay with him, yet it hurt so bad to end it. This was the only way, there was no going back.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be our fairy tale, complete with our own happy ending. What had gone wrong? It most certainly had started out as a fairy tale…

♥ ♥ ♥


Only a month into term, and I was already unable to concentrate on anything but him. Harry Potter had a strange power over me. When I saw him, I fought a losing battle to look away. On the steadily increasing occasions when our eyes met, it was like electricity coursing through my body—I couldn’t look away. He was everything to me, my one desire, my single fantasy—the one thing I could never call my own.

That was the hardest thin for me to accept, I think. When you grow up the way I did, when things are handed to you on a silver platter, it’s hard to accept that you can’t have something you so strongly desire. But, somehow, I did drive it into my mind that he wasn’t attainable. It helped to distract me….temporarily.

Then quidditch started. Things got harder, my schedule filled up, and there were few times when I saw him apart from classes. Our first match came around—Slytherin VS Gryffindor, how typical. It was hard enough not to stare at him in class, and then you put him in a quidditch uniform on a broom….concentration would be impossible.

At the start of the match, we shook hands—the two of us being captains. (God, what I’d do to have his hand in mine again.) And then the match started. I was nearly knocked off my broom twice—that’s what I get for paying more attention to him than the game. He spotted the snitch soon after, and I followed him willingly after it. It was then that the Slytherin beaters decided to join in the game.

My heart nearly stopped when the bludger hit him. I couldn’t breathe as I watched him slip from his broom. It was the screams of the crowd that brought me back into reality. Without even thinking, I went into a dive. Once I was level with him, I pulled him up onto my own broom.

“Harry?” I had asked, holding him tightly to me (a glorious feeling, I might add). “Harry, are you alright?” No answer. He was unconscious—of course.

The whistle blew, and I landed, pulling him off with me and laying him carefully on the grass. He was surrounded almost immediately by the scarlet and gold clad Gryffindors—and I was pushed aside, clearly unwanted.

The game was postponed until further notice, much to the disappointment of my team. I couldn’t care less. I was too worried about the black-haired boy being escorted to the Hospital Wing. I knew then that I was in over my head…

♥ ♥ ♥


The owl wasn’t something I had expected to see. In fact, when the snowy white bird landed in front of me at breakfast that next morning, I thought I was delusional. And when I read the letter it had delivered, I was sure I was dreaming. Either that or I’d died and gone to heaven. I didn’t even bother to finish eating. My heart was beating fast as I hurried off to the Hospital Wing.

I entered cautiously, amazed to find him alone. I had expected Weasley and Granger to be at his side, as they always are. But they weren’t. He was sitting quietly by himself, staring at the bed spread. I walked slowly towards him, beginning to wonder if he had really sent for me, or if the letter I still held in my hand was nothing but a prank set forth by a fellow Slytherin. And then his eyes met mine, and my breath caught in my throat. His eyes always had that effect on me. It was so easy to get lost in the green depths, and I never wanted to look away.

“You came,” he said quietly. I nodded, unable to speak. He motioned to the chair beside his bed. I sat slowly, finally looking away from him. “They told me what you did.”

I looked up at him, judging his expression. He was unreadable, as he so often was. I met his eyes again, and I saw the true emotion. He seemed grateful.

“You saved me. Why?”

“I…I don’t know,” I replied. “I couldn’t just let you fall. You’d have been killed.”

“Never stopped you before.” His voice was cold. “You hate me, remember?”

“I don’t…” I changed my mind last minute. “I don’t want you dead, Potter.”

“What do you want, then?” The question confused me, and he must have read this in my face. “You intrigue me, you know it?” I looked at him curiously. “It’s so hard to tell what you’re thinking. You’ve no tells.”

“I’m sorry.”

He laughed. “I want answers, Malfoy.”

“Answers to what?”

“Well, for starters, why did you bother to save me? You could have had the snitch.”

“I didn’t want the snitch. What good is a victory if it costs a life?” I replied coolly, leaning back in my chair. It was surprisingly easy to talk to him. “Why are you being so civil?”

He grinned. “Hard to get answers out of you if we’re hexing each other.” He had a point. “What are you thinking?” he asked, most certainly noticing the faraway look on my face. (My mind had been toying with the fantasy of kissing him, as it often did.)

“Nothing,” I replied. He looked at me thoughtfully, and then shrugged. “Why am I here?”

“Was that one for me, or were you asking yourself?” he questioned, grinning.

“Let me rephrase—why did you ask me here?”

“I told you I wanted answers.”

“But there’s more to it than that. You’re avoiding something.”

“And how could you tell that?”

“You’re eyes give away everything, Potter.”

“Call me Harry. I’m tired of all this last name bullshit.”

“Alright, then—Harry it is.”

“And you’re right, by the way. There is something else.”

I looked at him expectantly. He didn’t continue. “And that would be?” I asked.

“I—”

Madame Pomfry’s office door opened and Harry stopped abruptly.

“It’s past visiting hours!” Pomfry exclaimed. “Out!” She pointed at the door. I knew it would be best not to test her. When I reached the door, I gave one last look to the boy of my dreams, lying alone at the far end of the room.

♥ ♥ ♥


We didn’t speak again, not for the next month or so. And then Halloween arrived. Ever since our 5th year, a new tradition had been set forth for that night. The bravest in our year would meet in the Room of Requirement for a game of truth or dare. Only recently had the invitation extended to every house, which made things much more interesting. Now, earlier in the year, I’d already resolved not to go. It was a childish game, I’d told myself. No point in wasting my time, right? Wrong. Somehow I found myself in the Room of Requirement that night.

Things started off pretty normally. I sat back in a corner, avoiding eye contact with anyone. It was the only way to ensure that you wouldn’t be picked for anything. And then the door opened, and a familiar voice reached my ears. Looking up, my heart rate increased as I spotted him. He had come in with Finnegan and Thomas, no doubt brought by force. They took seats, and I did my best to avert my eyes. Why does he hold such a power over me?!

A few hours passed, and it was nearly midnight as Justin Finch-Fletchley took his turn.

“Harry!” he exclaimed. “Truth or dare!” All eyes turned to the black haired boy, mine included.

“Hmm....” Harry looked thoughtful for a moment. “Dare!” he exclaimed. I grinned to myself. He was cocky and sure of himself—I was intrigued.

“Alright then….” Justin glanced about the room, no doubt searching for another victim to participate in what he considered the ultimate dare. I held my breath as his eyes stopped on my corner of the room. “I dare you to kiss Malfoy!” An odd mixture of laughter and gasps filled the room. Harry’s eyes locked on mine, and I could feel the heat rising in my face as he grinned and stood.

“No problem,” he said. The triumphant grin faded from Justin’s face. It was obvious that he’d expected Harry to back out. The crowd was silent as Harry walked to the center of the room and stopped, never once taking his eyes off of me. “Come here, Malfoy,” he called.

All eyes turned to me and I thought I might die right there. I pushed myself out of my chair, trying my hardest to steady my nervous trembling as I made my way across the room to him. I stopped, still a good foot away from him. He smirked—actually smirked—at me and stepped closer, until he was just inches away. His hand came to the back of my neck, the other on my waist, pulling our bodies together. I breathed him in. It wasn’t fair. No one should be allowed to smell that good.

“Get on with it, already!” It was Finnegan. I turned to glare at him, but Harry’s gentle touch brought me back to face him. Our eyes met, and I read something in his that I hadn’t expected to see. Was it happiness, excitement—maybe both—but it didn’t matter because his lips were on mine and then his tongue was in my mouth—.It felt like hours that we stood there, the room faded away, I forgot about everyone around us as I wrapped my arms around his waist. I was in heaven—and then he pulled gently away from me, looking into my eyes again. The room came flooding back, as did my embarrassment as the crowd wolf-whistled around us.

We separated—me back to my corner, him back to his—and didn’t make contact again the rest of the night, much to my disappointment. I continued to glance at him every few minutes, hoping against all odds that he would be looking at me, too. But his eyes were always elsewhere. He seemed not to notice me at all. I was crushed.

The crowd thinned and disappeared around two-thirty. I was one of the last to leave, staring gloomily down at the floor as I headed in the direction of the dungeons. I reached an empty corridor after a bit, glad to be alone. I leaned against the cold stone wall, sliding down to sit on the floor, and buried my face in my arms. I could have kicked myself when I let out a sob. It was stupid to let him have this effect on me. He was just Harry Potter—a stupid boy.

But that was just it—he was Harry Potter, the stupid boy that I had a stupid crush on. It just wasn’t fair. How could anyone make me feel so wonderful and so terrible all at once?! I took a deep breath, doing my best to hold in the tears that were still threatening to escape. A hand touched my arm lightly, and my head snapped up in an instant, my breath catching in my throat. And he was there, looking perfect and wonderful and it just wasn’t fair.

“Are you alright, Draco?” he asked. My heart skipped a beat when he said my name. And then I remembered the reason I was sitting there in the first place, and put on my best sneer.

“Go away, Potter,” I hissed, shrugging away from his touch—and wishing immediately that I hadn’t. He looked angry for a moment, then calmed again.

“Tell me what’s wrong. I know there’s something. Spill.”

“Like I’d honestly tell you.” It was an automatic response, and I couldn’t hold it back. I sighed and shook my head, looking down at the floor. “I’m sorry, Harry.”

“Don’t apologize. Just tell me what’s wrong.”

“I can’t.”

“Yes you can.” I looked up at him—big mistake. Damn him and those eyes! They could make me tell him anything. “What’s got you so upset? Was it something that happened in the game?”

“Sort of.” He looked expectantly at me, but I wasn’t about to give in that easily. If he wanted answers, he was going to have to work for them. “Can we not talk about this right now.”

“Alright,” he said. I expected him to walk away, but he surprised me—yet again—by sitting down next to me, his back also against the wall. “You know,” he began, “I never finished what I was saying in the Hospital Wing.”

“No, you didn’t,” I replied, doing my best not to make eye contact, while at the same time trying to resist the urge to reach out and touch him.

“Should I take the opportunity to finish now?”

“If you’d like.”

“I would.” He smiled, a genuine smile. I’d never received one of those from him—it was breathtaking. “Where did I leave off?” He looked thoughtful for a moment, his eyes lighting up in remembrance. “Oh, yeah.” He grinned. “I was gonna tell you something important. But not here.” He stood and offered his hand to me.

“Where are we going?” I asked, letting him pull me to my feet.

“First empty classroom we find,” Harry replied, pulling me after him. Once inside an empty room with the door shut tightly behind us, Harry released my hand (my heart sank a bit there) and turned to face me. “I’m going to tell you this now, but not until you tell me why you were so upset.”

“Must I?” I groaned. I had hoped we were past my former depression.

The grin returned to his face as he laughed. “You didn’t honestly think I was going to let you get off that easy, did you?”

I sighed and looked up at him. “It was stupid, really.” He was at my side, looking supportively down at me, and gesturing for me to continue. “It was over…over that dare, actually.” I could feel the heat rising in my face and knew I must be blushing like mad.

“Did it make you that uncomfortable, Draco?” Harry asked soothingly. He was so close to me, and he smelled so damn good. I was finding it hard to concentrate.

“It’s not that exactly…Look, I’m not telling you anymore until you’ve said what you keep putting off.”

“Stubborn, aren’t we?” He was smirking again. Damn him for stealing my signature move—and for making it look so damn sexy. “Guess we’ll just have to say it at the same time, then, won’t we?”

“What?!”

“Come on. On the count of three, you’ll say why the kiss upset you, and I’ll say what I’ve been trying to tell you. Deal?”

I looked nervously at him. This would have to be a complete leap of faith. If I told him that I liked him, I would be risking everything—my pride, my happiness, his opinion of me, this new-found friendship between us. Was I really stupid enough to risk all that? Apparently so, because I nodded.

“Alright, then. On three.” Harry grinned. “One……Two….” I took a deep breath, closing my eyes tightly and waiting for that final number to leave his lips. “…Three!”

“I like you.”

“I like you.”

A thick silence hung in the air. I opened my eyes cautiously after a few moments, praying he hadn’t run out of the room. He was still there, but he looked different, slightly embarrassed. He was blushing. God, he looks good when he blushes—so cute and vulnerable. His eyes met mine and we stayed like that, in silence, for what seemed like forever. Harry placed his hand against my cheek, leaning in close to me.

“You mean it?” he whispered, his breath warm against my neck.

“Yes,” I breathed, still in awe over this moment. It was a dream come true, for me, anyway. I’d never imagined that it would actually be happening—Harry Potter was standing here with me, telling me he had feelings for me, just as I did for him. It was unbelievable.

“I’ve liked you for the longest time, Draco,” he murmured, his lips brushing my jaw. “I’ve just never had the courage to tell you.” He pulled back to look into my eyes, his thumb brushing lightly across my lips. “Can I—?”

I nodded and managed an incoherent breath of ‘Yes’. And then he was kissing me again, and I lost all track of time…

♥ ♥ ♥


Now, my friends had known for quite a while that I was gay. It’s a little hard to deny when you’re caught ‘relieving tension’ with a copy of Quidditch Weekly. I didn’t exactly mind them finding out, once I got over the initial shock of being caught. It saved a lot of awkward conversations, and I had someone to support me.

Being gay isn’t an easy thing, especially in a world where pure wizard bloodlines are disappearing. If you’re openly gay in the Wizarding world, you automatically surrender to being an outcast. Again, I didn’t really mind. Let them say what they want. It was my life, and I was going to do what bloody well made me happy.

Harry, however, was a different story entirely. He hadn’t come out to anyone yet (with the exception of me, of course). He seemed absolutely terrified of what the world would think, which struck me as rather odd. Here was this amazing boy who’d done so many incredible things—including publicly denouncing the Ministry of Magic—and he was afraid to tell people he fancied boys over girls! Harry was the last person I’d expect to be afraid of something as small and as trivial as his sexuality.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t really as simple a thing as I make it out to be. He was, after all, a celebrity and a source of hope for the entire Wizarding world I can see where the pressure might come in.

Our first few days together were spent secretly in the Room of Requirement. We talked, mostly about Quidditch or school, anything but our personal lives. Neither of us was ready to discuss the history between us or our families. It would be hard for him, I knew, because he couldn’t remember his family—he’d never been given the chance to know them, after all—and I wasn’t about to discuss my father with him.

I’ve always known Harry was full of surprises, and the first of many came on the Friday before a Hogsmeade weekend. We were sitting together in the room of requirement, finishing up our homework so we could have the next two days together without worry.

“I think I’ll tell Ron and Hermione tonight,” he said as casually as though he had been commenting on the weather. I looked up from my Arithmancy essay, slightly startled by this sudden decision. He was staring intently. “What should I say to them, Draco?” His question caught me even further off guard. I was silent for a moment, desperately searching for a helpful answer. I was unsuccessful.

“What do you want to say to them?” I asked. It was all I could think of to say.

His eyes dropped back down to his paper as he nervously fingered his quill. “I don’t really know…,” he whispered. It was then that I realized what he was feeling.

“You’re afraid of what they’ll think,” I said. He blushed lightly. “Harry, that’s—”

“Stupid, I know. “

“No, it’s actually quite reasonable.” His eyes slowly rose to meet mine. “You’ve every right to be nervous about it. I was terrified when Blaise confronted me.” I reached my hand across the table to grasp his. He turned his hand over, our palms meeting lightly.

“I’m worried about what Ron will say.” His eyes fell down to our clasped hands, where my thumb was gently rubbing the back of his hand. “I’m afraid he’ll hate me.”

“He won’t hate you, Harry. He might be a little upset at first, and maybe a little apprehensive, but it’ll pass. He’ll just need a little time to get used to the idea.”

“You obviously don’t know Ron.”

“Maybe not, but I do know that he’s your best friend. And if he really cares about you, he’ll accept it. He’ll be happy for you, Harry.”

Green eyes met mine, and I could still see the persistent traces of fear that lingered there. I gave him a reassuring smile, hoping it was more convincing than it felt. “Is it true what they say? Does it really feel good to tell someone?”

I smiled and nodded. “Yes,” I answered truthfully. “It feels really good to tell someone. Like a weight’s been lifted off your shoulders.” He smiled, seemingly convinced. I glanced up at the clock. “Eleven thirty,” I announced. “We’d better head back.”

Harry nodded and placed his still unfinished potions essay back into his bag. We walked to the door together, hands still clasped, and stopped to say goodnight. Harry’s arms came around my waist as he pulled me into a hug.

“Good night, Draco,” he whispered, pressing a kiss to my neck.

“Good night, Harry,” I replied, smiling, “and good luck.” He smiled back before slipping out the door and heading up the hall towards Gryffindor Tower.

♥ ♥ ♥


I wasn’t surprised when the snowy owl delivered me a letter the next morning. Though, I had to admit that Harry’s absence at breakfast had me concerned. His letter didn’t ease my worries.

Draco,

As you’ll have noticed, I’m not at breakfast. I couldn’t stand
the thought of sitting at the Gryffindor table after what happened last
night. I’ll spare you the details for now. Meet me outside the Shrieking
Shack at 11:30. I need to talk to you.

Harry


I frowned slightly at his words, and cast a glance at the Gryffindor table. Weasley and Granger were there, of course, but neither seemed happy. The mud blood was looking quietly down at her plate, and the redhead looked as though he would kill the next person who looked his way. I shook my head in disgust.

Things obviously hadn’t gone well. I could only imagine how rejected Harry was feeling now. His friends certainly hadn’t taken the news as well as I’d hoped. They were going to make the whole affair difficult, and that wasn’t what I wanted—what Harry needed.

♥ ♥ ♥


Eleven-thirty found me wandering up the hills to the Shrieking Shack, utterly terrified of what I would find there. I had no idea what to expect from Harry. The letter hadn’t given much indication as to how he was dealing with it all, so I was going in blindly.

I rounded the last curved, coming now within sight of the house. He was waiting there for me, standing alone by the gate. From the distance, he seemed well enough, his expression solemn as he looked at me. I was still too far away, however, to see his eyes. They would hold the only answer I could trust.

Harry seemed to know that was where I would be looking for the truth, because he averted his eyes from mine when I reached him.

“Hey,” he said, giving me a small awkward smile.

“Hey,” I replied. He turned and opened the gate, motioning me in before him. we walked to the door in silence. He made a point to keep his eyes away from mine, apparently set on hiding how he felt for as long as he could. That was what worried me the most.

Harry pulled open the front door and let me slip past him into the old house. I looked around the room, taking in the dirty, run-down appearance of the furniture, walls, and carpets. I couldn’t hold back the slight grimace as I turned back to face him. He mumbled a quick locking charm on the door and slipped his wand back into his robes, turning at last to look at me.

The pain and sadness reflected in his eyes stunned me. He let out a deep, frustrated sight, and shoved his hands awkwardly into his pockets. His eyes drifted to the floor, and I knew he was looking for the right place to being. I figured I could help him a bit.

“How did it go?” I asked. He didn’t look up, he didn’t move, he didn’t speak. The silence was killing me—I had to know. “Harry?”

Pained green eyes met mine, and I’d never felt so bad for anyone in all my life. He looked like a lost, unwanted little puppy standing there in that dismal setting. I watched in horror as Harry fought to hold back the tears threatening to spill from his eyes. I’d never seen him cry before—he always seemed so strong.

“Oh, Harry,” I whispered, pulling him into a hug. He wrapped his arms around me, holding me tight.

“It was awful, Draco,” he murmured, burying his face in my neck. “Ron hates me.”

I pulled back from his, silently wiping a tear from his face. “Sit down,” I said. “Tell me what happened.”

We moved to one of the old sofas, and I ignored the rising cloud of dust as we sat down. I waited patiently as he wiped his eyes and took a deep breath before looking up at me again.

“After I left you,” he began,” I went back to the common room. Ron and Hermione were there, bickering—as usual—over homework Ron hadn’t finished. I pulled them aside to a corner where we wouldn’t be disturbed and put a silencing charm around us, just so the others wouldn’t hear, you know?” He paused and I nodded for him to continue, taking his hand supportively. Harry took another deep breath and surged on.

“I told them I’d been thinking a lot lately, about who I was—who I wanted to be. Hermione, of course, seemed worried about what I was going to say—she’s been like that a lot lately. Anyway,” he sighed. “I told them, basically straight out, that I was gay…” He looked up at me, an amused smile on his lips. “Most awkward silence of my life.” I smiled back.

“What did they have to say?” I asked, still hoping for a miracle. The happiness that had momentarily brightened his face disappeared instantly, and he was back to the lost puppy look.

“That’s where it went bad, actually,” he said. “Hermione, being the kind of person she is, asked me if I was sure. When I answered yes, another silence followed. But, she told me she would support me, and that she’d stand by me no matter what.”

“Well, that’s good, isn’t it?” I asked, relieved slightly by Granger’s quick acceptance. The grim look in Harry’s eyes wiped all traces of that slight relief away when he looked at me.

“Yeah, her reaction was great. But Ron…”

Weasley. I had forgotten about him. This was what had us both nervous in the Room of Requirement that night. And, from the sound of Harry’s voice and the look in his eyes, it obviously hadn’t gone well.

“What happened, Harry?” I asked, unable to take the suspense any longer. “What did he say?” Tears were filling his eyes again as he undoubtedly replayed the scene in his mind.

“He was angry,” Harry answered. “He started yelling—at me for being gay, and at Hermione for supporting me.” He paused to wipe his eyes, and then continued. “He said it was unnatural, that just the thought of it was disgusting. He told Hermione that supporting me was just as bad, and told me that I was going insane. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so upset.” The tears were beginning to fall faster now, and my heart went out to him. this was far worse than I ever could have imagined.

I couldn’t resist any longer; I pulled him into a hug, holding him as tightly and as closely as I possibly could.

“He really hates me, Draco,” Harry whispered, burying himself in my arms.

“He doesn’t hate you, Harry,” I replied. “He just needs time. He’ll come around, you’ll see. He’ll realize how much of a git he’s being and feel bad about it.” I rubbed his back lightly as I felt the tears hitting my skin. “He doesn’t hate you,” I repeated.

Harry nodded and pulled back, looking into my eyes. “I’m glad I have you, Draco,” he said. “I don’t think I could do this without your support.”

I smiled, but couldn’t think of a response, so I just kissed him. It seemed alright with him—he responded enthusiastically enough, running his tongue along my bottom lip. He was begging for entrance, and I let him in, never wanting this perfect moment to end.

♥♥♥♥♥


Chapter 2: Chapter Two
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]







The time I spent with Draco those first few weeks was the most amazing experience. He seemed to really understand me, to be able to connect with me on a level higher than anyone before. His support in my actions was incredible. It was something I’d never expected to see in him. His faith in my abilities, my choices was so thorough, so unrelenting that it utterly astonished me. Never before had anyone given such strong support in the decisions I’d made.

More incredible, still, was how well he listened to me. He would ask me questions and actually listen to what I had to say instead of feigning interest. He took my opinions into careful consideration, always doing his best to see my side of things. He showed more care and concern towards me than I’d ever imagined him capable of.

The thing I appreciated most, though, was that he let me make my own decisions. Within the first few days we were together, I told him I hadn’t told anyone that I was gay—that I wasn’t ready to tell them. He actually understood! He told me I had all the time in the world, and that I shouldn’t rush it. Draco said to make sure that this was how I truly felt, to be absolutely positive before I told Ron and Hermione. He wanted me to wait until I was ready.

So few people in the world allow me to think on my own like he does. I’m so used to being told what to do, when and how to do it. It’s frustrating beyond imagination—he gives me a break from that. It’s such a relief to have an escape from all the pushing and prying in my personal life.

It’s odd, though, how we could go from being life long enemies to lovers in only a few days. Lovers…that’s odd to say when Draco’s involved, yet it feels so right. I’ve never felt this way about anyone—not Cho, not Ginny—only him. Stranger yet is how I find myself missing him when he’s not around—how I long to see him, talk to him, kiss him. He brings me comfort in ways I can’t even begin to describe.

♥♥♥


That day in the Shrieking Shack, when I told him about my coming out to Ron and Hermione, he seemed so sincere in his concern for me. It was more real than anything—not that no one else cares for me. I’ve seen people concerned and worried about me thousands of times, but this was different. I could feel his concern. It’s an amazing feeling, really, to know just how much someone cares for you—just how much they love you.

Alright, love may be a bit strong for that, seeing as we’d only been together a total of three weeks, but it certainly felt strong enough to be love. My attraction to him, that is. He radiated beauty, brightening every room he entered. There really was only one word to describe him—perfect, and what made that better was that he was mine. I know that sounds overly possessive, but in all truth, he was mine.

That first kiss we’d shared in the Room of Requirement was a dream come true—for both of us, I think. I loved the look of confidence he put on as he walked towards me, though I could still see his slight nervous tremble. I did my best to look confident, too, like it was no big deal that I was about to kiss the most gorgeous being I’d ever laid eyes on.

I have to admit, I was scared to death of what was going to happen. Not that kissing anyone’s a big deal or anything—after all, I’d kissed Cho before—but somehow, this seemed entirely different. It wasn’t that he was a bloke—actually, that didn’t bother me one bit—it was that he was Draco Malfoy—the guy I dreamt about kissing, night after night. It’d wished for this to happen—thousands of times, actually—and then it was happening, just like that.

He stopped, a good two feet away from me, I remember, and I had to laugh. It was so adorable how he tried to keep up his cocky appearances when I could see just how nervous he really was. I stepped up to him, wondering slightly what to do next. I fought the desire to touch him, giving in at last. My hand brushed his cheek—his skin was so soft—and placed my other on his waist. He didn’t object, only stared into my eyes.

I realized then just how gorgeous his eyes are—like a smooth, glistening crystal lake—and I lost myself in their depths. The spell was broken, however, when Seamus called out from behind me and Draco turned his head to give an answering glare. I pulled him back to me, gently, and gave one last glance to his gorgeous eyes before closing mine—and placing my lips softly on his.

I’d only intended it to be a quick peck, to make it seem to the other like it disgusted me, but when our mouths connected, it was impossible to break away. My lips started moving against his, and, after a moment’s hesitation, he started kissing back. I barely noticed when his arms went around my neck, pulling me to him and closing the last little gap between us. Our bodies fit together perfectly—like we were made for each other. I couldn’t help but imagine that we were.

Our lips parted almost simultaneously and we started to explore each other a little more. His mouth was so warm—I’d never imagined how great it would feel to kiss him. It was perfect, just perfect—and then it was over. Cat calls and whistles circled the group as we parted, moving back to our separate corners. I was too afraid to look at him for the rest of the night—afraid that I would see him laughing at me, making jokes with his friends—or worse, not looking at me at all.

♥♥♥


I left the part a few hours before Seamus and Dean, not wanting to torture myself with his presence any longer. I made my way up to the common room. It was empty, and, not having any interest in sleeping, I sat in one of the armchairs near the fire. I stared blankly into the coals, not seeing anything around me, and replayed the scene in my mind. I longed to know what Draco had been thinking when we’d kissed. Was he telling himself to act interested, as a joke on me? Or was he thoroughly enjoying it, just as I had?
Realizing the latter was nearly impossible, I slumped down in my chair, pulling my knees up to my chest and hugging them close to me. It just wasn’t fair, how much I liked him. It wasn't fair that he could probably never like me. It wasn’t fair that I was stuck with him in my head, that I was mesmerized by the way he kissed, and that I could never have that experience again. It just wasn’t fair.

♥♥♥


I heard Dean and Seamus come back around three. Despite the late hour and their obvious exhaustion, they were just as loud as they were at any other time. I tried not to listen in, but when the subject involves you, sometimes the temptation is just too great.

“I can’t believe they dared him to kiss Malfoy,” Dean was saying.

“I can’t believe that he actually did it,” Seamus replied, laughing. “Or that Malfoy complied…”

“Did you see the look on Parkinson’s face when he did, though?! It was classic!”

“Yeah, but the way he got up and just walked over there—no complaining or snide remarks—just all cocky and sure of himself. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?”

“Wonder what, exactly?”

“Well, if he was maybe looking forward to it, you know?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Think about it, mate! He obviously enjoyed himself! Did you see the way he was clinging to Harry?”

“Are you saying you think Malfoy’s….queer?”

“It’s possible, isn’t it? And for that matter, Harry didn’t seem too reluctant either.”

“Harry’s straight, though. He would have told us if he wasn’t, right?” Dean coaxed.

“Hey, you never know…,” Seamus answered, closing the door behind them as they entered the dorms. The rest of the conversation was lost to me, and I sat pondering what I’d just overheard. Could it be true, what Seamus had said? Could Draco really be gay? My heart beat just a little bit faster at that thought, and I did my best to calm it down. I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I’d just try to forget about it. That wouldn’t be so hard, right? Wrong.

Unable to sit and battle with myself to keep him off my mind, I slipped out of the portrait hole. A walk around the castle would do me some good, help me clear my mind. Maybe then I could get some sleep without Draco Malfoy in my dreams. I grinned at just how unlikely that would be, and headed off towards the stairs to the sixth floor.

♥♥♥


What happened after I found him sitting there in the hall, well, it’s still unbelievable—even to me. Learning that he really did have the same feelings that I did—that he really did like me—I’ve never known such joy as I did then. I couldn’t help but kiss him again after that. Finally being able to hold him close and have him hold me back was a great feeling, one that I still find difficult to explain.

♥♥♥


A few days after the afternoon we’d spent together in the Shrieking Shack, I was dealt a week of surprises. I was on my way to Herbology, minding my own business (replaying the previous night’s visit with Draco in my mind) when I was suddenly pulled off into a side hall. I turned, slightly confused and wondering who in the world would be doing this, to find Hermione standing behind me.

Before I could say a word, her arms were around me in a tight embrace. I hugged her back, after a moment of hesitation, still incredibly confused about the whole situation. It was a while before I finally realized that she was crying.

“Hermione, what’s wrong?” I asked, pulling back from her to look in her eyes and wipe a tear away.

“I’m so sorry, Harry,” she said. “About Ron—about everything!”

“Hermione—”

“You know I support you, and I’ve been trying to convince him. He’s just so stubborn, you know. I—”

“Hermione!” Her mouth snapped shut abruptly as she looked at me. “It’s alright. It’s okay.” She looked at me a moment longer, and then threw her arms around me again.

“Oh, Harry! I really am sorry about all of this. He has such awful over reactions. I’m so sorry about what he said—I hope you know he didn’t mean it.”

“I’m not so sure about that…”

“Harry, he does love you. You know that, right?” I nodded vaguely. “He just needs some time to get used to it. It’s difficult for him, you know. He was hoping… Well, he was hoping you’d end up with Ginny…”

“I think a lot of people were,” I whispered. I’d forgotten about Ginny. I hadn’t told her anything yet, but Ron’s reaction had sort of frightened me away from coming out.

“I’ve wanted to talk to you all week, but I couldn’t ever get you alone. I tried to find you in the common room, but you always seemed to disappear after dinner…” Her eyes brightened considerably, as if she suddenly realized something. It was then that I wanted to run to class, and never look back. “Are you seeing someone?”

I could have killed myself as I felt my face grow warm. She gave me her sly little smile and looked at me seriously.

“Is that it, then?” she asked. I looked at the floor, not wanting my eyes to betray me. “It is! Who is it, Harry? Please tell me!”

“I…I can’t.”

“Harry!”

“I can’t, ‘Mione. I’m sorry. We haven’t told anyone yet, and I’m not sure if we’re ready to,” I explained. “I promise that you’ll be the first person I tell.”

“Oh, thank you, Harry!” And then she was hugging me again, this time so tightly I could scarcely breathe.

“Hermione!” I gasped. “Hermione—air!”

“Sorry,” she exclaimed, realizing her mistake and pulling away.

“It’s alright.” I smiled. It was good to have her back. “C’mon. We’re gonna be late for Herbology.”

♥♥♥


Having Hermione back was amazing. I hadn’t realized just how much I’d missed her—even her nagging about homework was a welcome comfort. She never complained once, however, when I left the common room in the evenings. She’d simply give me a wink and go back to what she was doing.

When I told Draco what had happened with her, he was ecstatic. He went on and on about how glad he was that she was supporting me—that it was important I had someone on my side of things. I simply grinned at him, still stunned at how incredibly supportive he was being about all of this. I kissed him—silently thanking him for being so wonderful to me.

As we sat together that night in the Room of Requirement, my arms wrapped around him, I told him that Hermione knew I was seeing someone—that she had asked who it was.

“And what did you tell her?” he asked, looking fondly up at me.

“I told her I couldn’t tell her yet—that I didn’t think we were ready to tell anyone,” I answered, smiling down at him as I stroked the hair away from his eyes. “I wanted to talk to you—to make sure you were ready for it to be out—before I told anyone.”

“Aw, you’re sweet.” He leaned up, kissed me lightly, and then laid back down with his head against my chest. “You’re too good to me, you know it?”

I laughed. “I think you’ve got that mixed up. You’re too good to me.”

He looked thoughtful for a moment, then shrugged. “Whatever you say.” I grinned and pulled him closer to me (no matter how tightly I held him, it was never enough). “Anything different on the Weasley front?”

I sighed, shaking my head. “No. He’s still not talking to me, and from what I understand, Hermione’s getting the same treatment.”

Draco shook his head. “That’s unbelievable. I don’t understand what could possibly drive him to act like this.”

“It’s the whole thought that we’d slept in the same room together, that we’d showered together in the locker rooms—that he’d changed in front of me before. It scares him.”

“I get that—I mean, Blaise and I had done all of that, too. But, he never acted like that around me. He was perfectly at ease.”

“Well, Blaise is a bit more level-headed than Ron.”

“True…” He was quiet for a moment, then sat up, turning to sit beside him. “Does it upset you?”

“Does what upset me?”

“The fact that he’s being such an arse about it all?”

It was my turn to shrug. “I don’t know. I’ve known him long enough that it doesn’t surprise me anymore. I’m used to his mood swings—he’s had several periods of not speaking to me, but he always comes around in the end. I expect he’ll do the same with this eventually.”

“You’ve got so much faith in him. It’s amazing—I don’t see how you do it.”

“It’s simple—he’s like my brother. Ron’s the closest thing to family I’ve ever known, and I…well, I suppose I love him.” I looked up, my eyes locking with a pair of glistening silver ones—and I was drowning again.

♥♥♥


My second surprise of the week came on Thursday—when Ginny came to meet me in the common room that night after dinner.

“What’s going on with you and Ron?” she asked, completely ignoring the fact that I was working on a particularly long essay for Snape (which I gladly put aside). “It’s been nearly a week now, and he’s still not talking to you.”

“Been that long, has it?” I replied, sarcasm dripping from my words. She wasn’t amused.

“Harry, what’s going on?”

I sighed, knowing that there was no way to divert her once she was fixed on a subject. “He’s upset because he learned something about me that he finds….disagreeable.”

She nodded, understanding too well how her brother tended to over react. “I expect it was just something stupid, right? Sort of like the whole Triwizard deal?”

“Well, it’s a bit more than that, actually…I…”

“Yes?”

“I’m gay.” I was afraid, at first, to look up at her—after all, I hadn’t really had the best of luck in coming out in the past.

“You’re gay,” she repeated. I nodded, still staring down at the table. “That’s all that’s upset him?”

My eyes snapped up to meet her and—she was smiling at me?! I must be delusional…or else she was. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, it’s a stupid reason to be angry, isn’t it? You like boys—big deal.”

I stared at her in awe, and she laughed. “I wish Ron had had this sort of reaction..”

“What did he say, then, when you told him?”

“He sort of…well, exploded.”

“Ah, yes, that usually is Ron’s way of handling things…Oh, well. He’ll come around soon enough. Meanwhile—I’m happy for you, Harry, and I’ll be there to support you.”

“Thanks, Gin.” She hugged me, and it was at that moment that the portrait hole swung forward, giving way to Hermione’s entry.

“Harry!” she exclaimed, seemingly surprised. “You’re still here? It’s nearly seven…”

“Oh, bloody hell! I forgot,” I replied. “Sorry, Ginny, but I’ve gotta go.”

“Where are you off to?” Ginny asked, a curious light brightening her eyes.

“I’m…I…I’ve got a date.”

“Oh! So, who’s the lucky guy?” I blushed and she laughed. Hermione looked from one of us to the other. Ginny, upon noticing this, filled her in on the conversation she’d missed. I slipped my books back into my bag as quickly as I could, pulling it up onto my shoulder and heading towards the portrait hole.

“Oh, and, Harry—” Ginny called. I turned to facer her, one foot already in the hall. “Don’t stay out too late…” And she winked. I grinned at them both—Hermione and Ginny, my support system. I waved to them and headed off towards the room of requirement. Things were looking up after all, it seemed.

♥♥♥


The third and final surprise came on Saturday morning. I was just about to leave the common room for breakfast, when I felt a light tap on my shoulder. I turned, and, in an instant, was face to face with Ron.

“Could I…erm,” he mumbled, his eyes fixed on the floor. “Could I talk to you for a second, mate?” He nodded towards the stairs to the dorm, indicating the conversation’s need for privacy.

“Sure, Ron,” I replied.

He nodded and led me silently up the stairs. Once inside the dorm, he closed the door and turned to face me.

“I, er…I wanted to apologize for the way I acted the other night…and, well, all week, really,” he said, eyes drifting occasionally between me and the floor. “It was stupid of me to say those things to you…It was just a shock, I guess.

“You’re my best mate, Harry. I never saw this coming. I always thought…well, you and Ginny, you know…I just never expected this.” I opened my mouth to reply, but I was drowned out by the sudden burst of babbling exploding from him. “Not that it’s bad, or anything! I just didn’t see you as…Not that it makes a difference what I think! If you want to be queer…you go ahead and be queer!”

“Ron—”

“You can’t let my opinion on things stop you. Not that it bothers me or anything! If you like blokes, then, I guess whatever makes you…um…happy works, right? And—”

“Ron!” The babbling cut off short at my laughter. “It’s alright,” I said, trying to control my continued giggling. “No harm done.”

“You…you mean it?”

“Yeah. You’re my best mate, after all. Your friendship means a lot to me…as would your support…?” I looked at him hopefully, and after a moment he grinned.

“Yeah, Harry. You’ve got my support in this, too.”

And we left for breakfast together, everything seemingly right in the world.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 3: Chapter Three
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“I want to tell them I’m seeing you,” Harry said to me one evening while we sat together in the on the couch in the Room of Requirement. I laughed.

“Slow down, Harry!” I exclaimed. “For Merlin’s sake, do you want Weasley mat at you again so soon?”

“Who says he’ll be—oh.” He seemed to realized just who I was to his friends—the enemy. Even though his opinion of me had changed greatly, his friends’ had not. They still saw me as the same git who used to make their lives hell. And even though I hadn’t taunted them once in the past few months, they weren’t about to accept me as Harry’s friend, much less his lover.

“I wish they could see you the way I do,” Harry said, leaning against me. I put my arms around him, pulling him closer. “You’re a lot different than everyone thinks.”

“I don’t know whether to take that as a compliment, or an insult,” I replied.

“It’s a compliment, trust me. Most people really don’t have the best opinions of you. They just think of you as a spoiled little rich boy.”

“Well, you might not have noticed, but I sort of am a spoiled little rich boy.”

“But you’re not that at all!” he exclaimed, turning to face me. “Everyone sees you as a miniature clone of your father, and you’re not!”

“I’m more like my father than you know, Harry.”

“Draco, I’ve met him on several occasions. You’re nothing like Lucius.”

I smiled at him. It was hard for me to argue with him about these things, because I could never hold my opinion against his. It was just another one of those strange powers he held over me.

“Do you think we could tell them before break?” he asked. I snapped back to reality, not realizing I’d been in a trance of any sort.

“Most definitely,” I replied, smiling again. “I don’t think I could stand keeping it a secret for much longer than that. I’m pretty sure Blaise and Pansy have already started trying to piece it all together.”

“Hermione and Ginny have been trying, too.” He grinned, resting his hand on my chest as he spoke. “So far all of their guesses have been way off.”

“As have Blaise’s. He doesn’t seem to be putting very much effort into it, though.”

“Same as Ron. I don’t think he even knows I’m seeing anyone. He’s not too good at picking up on things like that.”

“You’ll need to tell him, you know. It will be better that way, when we go to tell them we’re together, I mean.”

“You’re right. I do need to tell him. Maybe I’ll drop a few obvious hints when he and Ginny are in a room together. She’ll be more than happy to fill him in.”

I grinned, imagining how the conversation would play out, and pressed a kiss to his cheek.

“Draco?” Harry whispered.

“Yes?” I replied.

“Do you think your friends will like me?”

“Once they get to know you, like I have, they’ll love you.” We were quiet for a moment, and questions sprouted off in my head, brought on by what he’d asked me. “Do you think your friends will,” I paused, searching for the appropriate word, “approve of me?”

Harry frowned a bit at my choice, then shrugged and replied with a simple ‘no’. At my look of disappointment, he launched into an explanation.

“They’ll never approve, I’m sure,” he said. “Will they even like it? No. Will they accept it? Eventually. They’ll have trouble trusting you at first, and I’m sure there will be plenty of arguments between you. but when they see that being with you has changed me, that it’s made me so much happier, they will accept it. I know they will.”

I smiled and pulled him closer to me. We sat in silence a few moments longer, content to indulge in the comfort each other’s presence brought. It wasn’t until the clock struck midnight that we realized just how late it was.

“We should head back,” Harry said. “If Filch catches us out, we’ll be far past curfew.” I nodded, pulling him along with me to the door. Our bodies met as we embraced, and I kissed him deeply, loving the feeling of warmth it brought to me.

“Night, Draco,” he whispered, kissing my neck.

“Good night, Harry,” I replied. He smiled, kissing me one last time before he hurried off down the hall.

♥♥♥


A few weeks of utter bliss passed by, and before we knew it, we’d been together almost two months. By this time, we’d grown so close that it’d become difficult not to spend every moment together.

It was well in to December when we finally decided to tell our friend we were together. Now, that sounds simple enough, but, in ways, it would prove to be more difficult than coming out in the first place. Harry and I had been enemies for so very long that everyone saw us as simply that. No one expected that relationship to change, much less evolve into us becoming lovers.

I have to admit that I was nervous about what Blaise and Pansy would think of it all. We had spent so many years mocking the Gryffindors together that they were bound to see it as betrayal. On the other hand, they were incredibly supportive of me, and had been all through the start. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a big deal after all. There would be only one way to find out.

I approached them the next afternoon, reminding myself of the plan Harry and I had set forth the night before. Blaise, I knew, was out by the lake, so Pansy was sure to be with him. Where Blaise went, Pansy followed. I found them both there under our usual tree.

Pansy smiled and waved cheerfully as I made my way across the cold, yet surprisingly snow-less, grounds. Blaise, always the bookish one of the group, didn’t look up from his reading as I sat down.

“How are you lot, then?” I asked, lying back on the cool ground.

“Not so bad. You?” Pansy replied, still beaming at me.

“Fair, I suppose.”

“Going to see your mystery man again this evening?”

“Planning on it, but I won’t be going alone.”

“Whys’ that?” Blaise asked, finally joining us as he snapped the now finished book shut. Both of them looked suddenly intrigued, most likely trying to guess what the reason could be.

“Well,” I began, drawing out my answer to annoy them, “I know you’ve been trying to guess who I’m seeing. You’ve been way off on all of your assumptions, and it’s really coming quite annoying. So,” I sat up, leaning back on my hands as I looked at them, “how would you lot like to meet him tonight?”

From the looks on their faces, you’d have though I’d told them it was raining sweets. I’d barely finished my sentence before Pansy had pounced, the force of her hug knocking me backwards again. The sound of Blaise’s laughter echoed over us.

“Pansy…Pansy! Can’t breathe!” I exclaimed. She grinned and climbed off of me. Blaise offered a hand to pull me back up. I accepted it gratefully. “So,” I began, brushing the dirt off the back of my robes. “I take it that’s a yes?”

“Would it be anything else?” Pansy asked, still beaming at me like an idiot. The bell chimed in the distance, signaling the end of our free period. I stood, brushing any excess dirt off my clothes before offering a hand to Blaise.

“Just tell me one thing, mate,” he said as I pulled him to his feet. I nodded to him. “He’s not a Hufflepuff, is he?”

I laughed and clapped him on the back as we headed towards the school.

“You’ll see, Blaise,” I replied. “You’ll see.”

♥♥♥


I met Harry at seven-thirty, in one of the corridors on the fourth floor, and we walked together to the room of requirement to meet Blaise and Pansy. He was nervous, I could tell that right away. I stopped him just outside the door; Blaise and Pansy’s muffled voices could be heard inside, no doubt running last minute theories past each other. Harry’s eyes were fixed on the floor, trying to hide his nerves as he fought to still his slightly trembling hands.

I smiled and brought his face level with mine. I took his hands and pulled him to me, holding him close.

“Don’t worry, Harry,” I whispered, pressing my lips to a place just below his ear. “They’re going to love you, I know it.”

He nodded and smiled tentatively. “I’m just a little nervous about spending the evening in a room full of Slytherins.” I chuckled.

“Don’t worry about them. Blaise is against violence, and Pansy has terrible aim. You’ll be easy to protect.”

Harry grinned and nodded. I pressed my lips gently against his, and he relaxed fully. With that accomplished, I took his hand and we stepped into the room of requirement, quietly shutting the door behind us.

“I knew it!” Pansy exclaimed, running to meet us. She threw her arms around Harry’s neck, nearly knocking him backwards into the door. “I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!”

“Alright, we get it,” Blaise called from across the room. He rose from his chair, setting his newly acquired book down as he came to stand beside me. “You guessed he was seeing Potter, and you were right. Now would you let the poor bloke go? He’s turning blue!”

Pansy, realizing just how tightly she was hugging Harry, released him and stepped back with a giggle to look at the two of us standing together.

“Oh, just look at them, Blaise,” she cooed. “They’re so adorable together.”

Blaise rolled his eyes and offered a hand to Harry, who took it cautiously. “I’m glad to see you’re not a Hufflepuff,” he said, grinning. “It’s comforting to know Draco has better taste in men than Pansy.” He either didn’t see the glare Pansy shot him, or chose to ignore it.

I was relieved to see Harry smile, and knew that my assumption would be right. Pansy and Blaise would support me no matter what.

“Shall we sit down then?” Pansy asked, obviously still thrilled over having guessed correctly.

“Might as well,” Blaise said, moving back to his previous seat. Pansy followed, skipping to one of the other chairs. Harry and I made our way over as well, hands still clasped.

“You’ll want to be comfortable for Pansy’s interrogation,” I whispered to him. He grinned.

“I heard that!” Pansy called.

“Pansy, dear, I’m afraid that I don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about,” I replied as I sat down on the sofa, pulling Harry down beside me. Pansy grinned and looked at us as if we were the most fascination thing on the planet.

The silence was heavy, yet only slightly awkward. Harry seemed to relax more and more with each passing moment, and soon he was leaning comfortably against me, much to Pansy’s delight. By the time the first five minutes of the evening had passed in total silence, Blaise had returned to his book, Harry was perfectly at ease and lying with his head in my lap, and I was feeling fairly content myself as I stroked his hair back from his eyes. The only one who hadn’t moved an inch was Pansy. She sat in the same position, staring intently at Harry and I.

“Alright,” she said, finally breaking the silence. “I simple have to ask you this.” Harry sat up, leaning against me again and giving his full attention to Pansy’s oncoming question. “How exactly did you two get together?”

Harry and I exchanged glances, his asking permission to tell the story, and mine granting it.

“It all started after the little get together here on Halloween,” Harry began. “I’d left early and went back to the common room alone. I heard Seamus and Dean come in, and I heard them talking about what had happened between Draco and I.” He paused, smiled at the memory (just as I did), and then continued on.

“I couldn’t sleep, so I headed out for a walk to clear my mind. That was when I found Draco alone in one of the corridors…” He looked at me tentatively, unsure of how much I wanted him so say.

“It’s alright, Harry,” I said. “My crying is nothing new to these two. They’ve seen it several times before.” He smiled before returning to his story.

He told them about the conversation we’d ahd in the hall, and then in the classroom. Pansy let out a rather high-pitched ‘Aww’ when he mention the kiss we’d shared afterwards.

It most certainly wasn’t anything near a romantic love scene from any novel I’d read, but I noticed Blaise looking up from his book every now and then. That in itself was a rare occurrence.

Light conversation filled the evening from then on. My friends did their best to learn all they could about Harry in the time the four of us spent there. When the clock struck eleven, the decision was made to end the little get together in hopes that we could all avoid Filch on the way back to our common rooms.

“You go on ahead,” I said to my friends. “I want to say goodnight to Harry.”

“Oh, right,” Pansy replied, winking. Blaise rolled his eyes and latched onto the sleeve of her robes.

“Come on, Pans,” he mumbled, dragging her along down the hall.

I didn’t even have a chance to turn around before Harry’s arms curled around my waist from behind, his lips pressing against my neck.

“This was fun,” he said, hugging me closer to him.

“I told you they’d love you,” I replied, turning to wrap my arms around him as well.

“Pansy more than Blaise, it seems.”

“The thing with Blaise… Well, he’s not really that talkative. He’s the quiet little bookworm of the group,” I explained, kissing his forehead. “He seemed fairly at ease with you, though.”

Harry shrugged, leaning in to kiss me goodnight. I held him close, not really wanting to go back to the cold dungeons. He was so warm, and I was more than content to stay, even if it meant detention. He pulled back gently, giving one last soft kiss to my lips.

“See you tomorrow?” he asked, looking hopeful as we walked towards the door.

“Of course,” I replied, hugging him again. “Good night, Harry.”

“Night, Drake.”

I smiled at the new nickname he’d established for me. Harry grinned, too, and kissed me one last time before heading off to Gryffindor Tower.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 4: Chapter Four
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]







The evening with Blaise and Pansy went off surprisingly well, once I got past the general nervousness and Pansy had stopped trying to hug the life out of me. I have to admit that I was surprised at their reactions.

All that was left now was to tell my friends we were together. Oddly enough, I was even more afraid of what would happen at this encounter. For as long as we had known him, Draco had been labeled the enemy. Surely my accepting him as anything but would be seen as betrayal in their eyes.

Ron was going to be furious, and probably wouldn’t speak to me for quite some time. Hermione and Ginny were supportive, yes, but would they be of this? I highly doubted it. They would be upset with me, too, and perhaps a little disappointed. Would they stop talking to me as well? I didn’t think I could bear losing all of them at once.

But it didn’t matter. It had to be done anyway. They deserved to know the truth. Even if they didn’t speak to me at all over Christmas, the truth would be out and my conscience would be clear.

It was the next morning that I decided I would ask my friends to meet Draco—right after I told Ron I was seeing someone.

♥♥♥


Alright, I have to say that I was utterly terrified when I sat down next to Ron after quidditch practice that afternoon. It was going to take a fair bit of skill to explain this all in a way that would get the point across without inciting his anger. If I wanted the three of them to meet Draco that night, then it would be best for Ron and me to be on speaking terms. This was, I thought, as good a time as any. We’d just finished a brilliant practice, in which he’d played at his best. He was in a decent mood—I might as well use that to my advantage.

“Hey, Ron,” I began, checking one last time to make sure the rest of the team had left. Ginny was in the corner, brushing out the tangles in her hair from the wind. She waved, and I smiled back. I waved her over to us, deciding that this sort of situation may require back-up.

“What’s up, mate?” Ron asked, turning to look at me as he shut the door to his locker. I watched Ginny sit down across from us, then turned back to face him.

“We need to talk.” He quirked an eyebrow, then shrugged and sat down.

“Shoot,” he said. I took a deep breath, knowing that it was now or never.

“You know how I’ve been gone a lot—in the evenings, I mean?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I…um…Do you know where I’ve been going?”

He looked thoughtful. “To tell you the truth, I haven’t had a clue.” I smiled.

“Well, I’ve….I’ve been in the room of requirement.”

“Every night?” I nodded. “But, why?”

And there it was. The moment I’d feared all week. “I—um…”

“He’s been meeting someone there,” Ginny offered. “Someone he’s been seeing for a while.” I smiled, silently thanking her for her help. She grinned back. Ron looked confused, as I knew would probably be the case. It was going to take a great deal of explaining.

“I’ve been….” I paused, searching for just the right words. There really was only one word to describe what Draco was to me. “I’ve been meeting my boyfriend.”

That did it. He understood now. His face turned a bright crimson, but—strangely—not from anger. He seemed almost embarrassed about it.

“You’re….you’re dating someone?” he asked almost tentatively. I nodded. “How long have…?”

“Almost two months.”

He nodded vaguely, and then turned to Ginny. “You knew…?” She nodded. “Hermione as well…?” He didn’t seem angry, not in the least.

“Yes, Ron,” Ginny replied.

“You aren’t angry, are you?” I asked. “About not knowing, I mean.”

“No, no. It’s not that…I just….” He stared down at the floor, rubbing the back of his neck nervously. “It’s still just a little shocking, is all. I mean, I knew you’d date someone eventually…I just…I’m still getting used to it all.”

“I know, Ron,” I replied. “I know it’s probably still hard for you…I just thought you deserved to know where I’ve been running off to.”

“Yeah….,” he said slowly. “Yeah, it is hard, but…I am happy for you, mate. That you’ve found someone, you know?”

“That’s good, then, because I want the lot of you to meet him tonight.”

Ginny, bursting with excitement, gave me a quick hug before running off to tell Hermione the good news. Ron and I walked back to the school together in almost complete silence.

♥♥♥


At seven-thirty, I met Draco in the same place as the night before. He was very nearly just as nervous as I had been, though he hid it fairly well. His only tells were the slight tremble in his voice and the way his hand tightened in mine as we approached the Room of Requirement. I didn’t blame him for being afraid.

I was too. The evening with his friends couldn’t have gone better. They took to the idea of us dating immediately, but I couldn’t see Ron, Hermione, and Ginny doing the same. Their hatred of Draco still raged on, and I didn’t think their opinions would change just because mine had. Ron and Ginny, I knew, tended to hold grudges, and though I was no exception in most cases, it wasn’t a promising characteristic when it came to the whole ‘enemy-turned-boyfriend’ situation.

We stopped outside the door, and the urge to hug him was just too strong to ignore. I pulled him to me, wrapping my arms around his neck and holding him as close as I could. I hadn’t the faintest clue what would happen when we stepped through that door. Yelling I could handle, anger I could deal with, but I knew how Ron’s mind worked and how rash his actions sometimes were. If he hurt Draco…that was the one thing I wouldn’t be able to forgive.

His lips were warm against mine as he kissed me, bringing me back to reality.

“Are you scared?” he asked, pulling me tighter against him. I nodded, smiling when he did.

“It’s stupid, I know,” I replied, pulling back just slightly to look into his eyes. He shook his head.

“It’s not stupid, Harry.” Draco paused for a moment, and then continued on with a light of seriousness in his eyes. “I am, too.” I grinned.

“You’re kidding?” He shook his head. “Big, bad Draco Malfoy is afraid of a few Gryffindors?”

“Well, when those three Gryffindors happen to be armed and two of them have an overly extensive knowledge of spell work, yes. I’m terrified.”

“Don’t worry,” I said, kissing his forehead. “I’ll protect you.” He grinned and we kissed again, pulling each other in tightly. I pulled back again and took his hand. “Ready?”

“No,” he replied, “but if we don’t go in now, I don’t think you’ll ever get me to.” I smiled and turned, reaching for the door. He pulled me quickly back to him. “Wait.”

“What is it, Drake?” I asked, looking into his eyes. He seemed somehow even more nervous than before.

“There’s something I need to tell you, in case I don’t make it through this little get together.” The last bit was meant to be a joke, I knew, but that didn’t stop the sense of fear from rising in the back of my mind. “Anyway, Harry,” he continued, bringing my attention back to the matter at hand. “I want you to know that, well…I love you.”

I think my heart may have actually stopped for a moment or two when he said it, because I could have sworn that I’d somehow made it to heaven. I struggled to find my voice; my Draco was waiting for me to say it back—and, god, I wanted to. I’d never felt anything this strong for anyone—ever, and it hit me so suddenly. So many times I’d tried to explain what I felt, so many times I’d searched for just the right words, but there really was only one that fit—love. I knew that now, and I fought desperately for my voice. I wanted to say it so badly, needed to, even, but my voice wouldn’t come to me, and he was waiting.

His eyes fell to the floor, and my heart nearly broke just seeing it. “You don’t have to say it back, of course,” he said. “It’s rather soon, after all. I just—” I couldn’t let him finish; it hurt too much, so I kissed him.

“I pulled back, resting my forehead against his, and, finding my voice at last, whispered, “I love you, too.”

Draco sighed in what seemed to be relief, and hugged me close, kissing me once more. I took his hand, and, together, we entered the room of requirement.


“It’s about time, mate,” Ron exclaimed. “We were beginning to think you’d gotten lost.” It was then that he caught sight of Draco. “What’s that git doing here?”

It was quite for a moment; I was far too frightened to find anything constructive to say. Hermione stood quietly between Ron and Ginny, just watching us. Sudden realization hit her, and her eyes lit up with curiosity—and perhaps confusion—as she nudged Ginny, nodding towards whatever had given it away. And then I remembered—Draco and I were still holding hands. Next to the girls, Ron was still ranting.

“Listen, Malfoy!” he called. “If you’re here on some attempt to blackmail Harry because of what he is, you might as well bugger off because—”

Hermione caught his arm, and, reaching up on her toes, whispered something into his ear. It was obvious what she was telling him, because Ron’s face darkened immediately. He looked at us both, his eyes drifting between our faces, our clasped hands, and back again.

“Get away from him,” he growled. When neither of us moved, Ron went for his wand, bringing it level with Draco’s chest. “I said get the bloody hell away from him!” The tip of his wand was beginning to glow as his anger rose, signaling the approached danger zone. He was just opening his mouth to throw out the first hex when something stopped him. It took just a moment for me to realize that I had dropped Draco’s hand…and stepped in front of him.

“Put it away, Ron,” I said, not knowing exactly how I managed to keep my voice so strong. I was terrified, and I knew Draco could probably sense it. His fingertips brushed lightly along my back, helping to comfort me as I tried not to tremble under Ron’s heated glare. Ron didn’t move—no one did. This wasn’t going nearly as well as I’d hoped.

♥♥♥


It took nearly an hour to get Ron calm enough to allow Draco to sit down, and even then, he wouldn’t let him anywhere near me. He was forced to sit, instead, in the chair farthest from me. I sent him apologetic looks from across the room, while Ron sat beside me, brooding. We’d finally convinced him to put his wand away, but he kept his hand in his pocket, wrapped tightly around the handle and waiting for an opportunity of hexing Draco to present itself.

Draco, however, didn’t seem to be willing to take a chance. He sat quietly on the other side of the room, acting the perfect gentleman. He never once complained about how unfair Ron was being (which I had done several times), and only spoke when he was spoken to, which, unfortunately, wasn’t very often. Hermione had tried various times to bring him into the conversation—if only to show support in me, rather than to actually have an interest in his opinions—but Ron cut him out again just as quickly.

By nine, we had fallen into an awkward silence. After a while, Ron stood, mumbled something about the bathroom, and headed for the door, casting a glare over his shoulder at Draco. As soon as the door snapped shut behind him, Hermione sighed and leaned forward, reaching across the space to place her hand on Draco’s arm.

“I’m sorry about the way Ron’s acting,” she said tentatively. “He can be such a git sometimes.”

Draco smiled at her. “It’s alright,” he replied. “I expected as much. From the way he reacted when Harry came out, I didn’t see him as very accepting of things like this.”

“Harry told you about that?” Ginny asked, now suddenly curious. These were the first words she’d said to Draco all evening. Draco looked to me, and I nodded.

“Of course I told him, Gin,” I grinned. “Draco helped me to figure out what I was going to say to you all when I did it.” Both girls exchanged looks of shock, their eyes wide.

“Harry,” Hermione began slowly, “just exactly when did you two start seeing each other?” Draco and I looked at each other as I tried to decide whether or not to lie my way through this. No, they were my friends—they deserved the truth, and that was what they would get.

“Halloween,” I whispered.

“Since the party, then…,” Ginny mumbled. Hermione looked confused, and Ginny went on in explanation. “Fifth through seventh years always get together on Halloween in the room of requirement to—”

“I know,” Hermione cut in. “It’s a prefect’s worst nightmare, that party.”

“Yes, well, Seamus and Dean told me about it, since I didn’t feel like going.” Ginny looked over at me, asking for permission. I nodded to her. “They told me about the dare Justin had given Harry… It doesn’t surprise me that you two got together after that.”

“Wait, perhaps I missed something. What dare?”

Draco and I looked at each other as Ginny fell silent. After seven years in the Gryffindor dormitories, I knew Seamus and Dean’s personalities fairly well, and they were the type to give vibrant descriptions. There was no doubt in my mind that Ginny new every detail of the kiss Draco and I had shared.

I knew I would have to tell Hermione eventually—she was not the type to let matters such as these die out. Even so, I dreaded telling her. She would be angry: first, because our classmates were forcing people to do such things, and, second, because I had done it—just like that, without any coaxing whatsoever.

“You should tell her, Harry.” Draco’s voice drifted across the room. I looked into his eyes, and immediately my fear disappeared.

“Justin dared me to kiss Draco,” I said. “So I did.” Hermione was quiet for a moment, and I could see that she was searching for words. Obviously at a loss, she changed the subject.

“Ron’s been gone quite a long time,” she said.

“Yeah,” I replied, glad to have the conversation off of me and Draco. “Hope he didn’t get too lost…” I found it odd that there was so much sarcasm in my voice as I said that. Did I really think that about Ron? I suppose I did, for the moment, anyway. He had been a complete arse to Draco all evening, and it was most certainly uncalled for.

“I feel just awful sitting here when Ron has the two of you separated like this,” Ginny burst, looking from me to Draco as she stood. “Here, you two take my place. I’ll sit next to captain kill-joy.” She gestured to the loveseat where she had been seated. I opened my mouth to reject her offer, but Draco beat me to the punch.

“It’s no big deal, Ginny, really. I understand his reasoning,” he replied.

“Bull. There’s no reasoning behind it except that he refuses to let Harry be with you. He thinks that if he keeps you separated, the feelings will wane and Harry will want nothing to do with you. Complete rubbish of a theory, if you ask me…”

“Gin…,” I began. She silenced me with a wave of her hand.

“I insist, Harry. You two should be able to sit together.”

I looked to Draco. He seemed nearly as stunned and confused as I was. I shrugged to him, and stood. Ginny grinned as she took my seat, watching as Draco and I sat together on the loveseat.

It felt so good just to be sitting beside him again. I think it was then that I realized just how much I loved him. If I couldn’t stand being separated from him like that for so short a time, then I must have been in deeper than I’d thought. Not that I would have complained. Being in love was most certainly the greatest feeling I’d ever known, and to know that he felt the same about me—well, that in itself was incredible.

I put my arm around his shoulders, pulling him closer to me. Draco smiled and leaned his head against my shoulder, seemingly content with the arrangement. Just as we had all sank back into our earlier ease, the door opened and closed sharply as Ron made his reentry.

“The loo down the corridor is flooded again,” he announced. “I had to go up a floor to find another, and then there were these two fifth years wandering around and—” he stopped talking as soon as he laid eyes on the two of us together. His face flushed a deep red, and his hands started shaking. “What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing, Malfoy?”

Ginny rolled her eyes at him, and I instinctively pulled Draco tighter against me. The air was tense as Ron stood fuming before us. Hermione was speechless; she looked from Ron to us, and back again.

“Move!” Ron shouted, still glaring at Draco.

“No, Ron,” I replied with a low growl. “He’s my boyfriend—he can sit where ever the hell he likes!” Ron opened his mouth to retort, but Ginny was on her feet in an instant.

“Leave them alone, Ron,” she commanded. “I gave them that seat because I felt terrible about forcing them apart.”

“Stay out of this, Ginny. This doesn’t concern you.”

“It does too concern me! Harry’s my friend, too, and he deserves to be happy. And if Draco’s the one that’s making him happy, then I say to hell with the anti-Slytherin views we’ve had all these years. Why not let them be together? Why not let them be happy?”

“Oh, that’s just a bloody brilliant idea, Gin!” Ron roared. “Let’s let them continue on with this little game until Malfoy gets bored. What happens then, eh? What happens when he breaks Harry’s heart?” He looked around at all of us. “I’ve seen him hurt too many times, and I won’t see it again. I wouldn’t trust this little ferret as far as I can throw him.”

“Fine, then, Ron,” I hissed, standing and pulling Draco up after me. “Why don’t I take some of the pressure off your shoulders?” I headed for the door, dragging Draco along with me. “Let’s go, Drake. We don’t have to take this from him.”

“Where are you going? Harry, damn it, I’m not done talking to you!”

“No, but I’m done listening, Ron.” I looked at Draco, our eyes meeting. He was hurt, whether he wanted to admit it or not. I could feel it in the way he looked at me, the way he kept silent through all of this. “We’re both done. C’mon, Drake.”

I headed for the door, ignoring Ron’s ranting and Hermione and Ginny’s protests. I followed Draco out the door, letting it slam shut behind me. My footsteps echoed through the hall as I headed for an empty classroom—one as far away from Ron as possible. I was vaguely aware of Draco behind me. He was so quiet; it seemed to unlike him—he was never this quiet, this outspoken. He always fought back, he always defended himself, but it had been different that night. He had taken all of Ron’s criticism, his insults. I just didn’t understand.

We’d reached the stairs before I’d even noticed how far we’d gone. Across the hall was a door, leading to an old classroom I’d never noticed before. I opened the door and stepped inside. I kicked at the first desk I could reach, sending the dusty books on top flying. Needing to release still more anger, I shoved the desk over, kicking at one of the fallen books. I leaned against another of the desks, my fingers digging into the wood in an attempt to keep them from shaking with my slowly dying rage.

I barely noticed Draco’s footsteps coming closer to me. He placed a hand on my back, rubbing my shoulders and neck, helping to relieve some of the tension there. The anger brought on by Ron’s actions was quickly dissolved by the comforting power of Draco’s touch. I leaned back against him, and he pulled me into a tight embrace, resting his chin on my shoulder.

“Don’t let him get to you,” he whispered, kissing my neck. “Don’t let it upset you this much; it’s not worth it.”

“I know it’s not,” I replied. “I just don’t understand why he has to act like this. He didn’t even give you a chance.”

“And that was just what I expected. If he’d have reacted in any other way, I’d have been worried.” I was confused by this, and it must have shown, because he smiled and turned me around to face him. “Your friends have always been against me, just as you were at one time. I was horrible to them, and you, for as long as we’ve known each other. They had every right to hold a grudge against me, especially Weasley.

“They’ve always known me as the enemy, and now that’s all changing. Suddenly I’m with you, and we’ve gone from enemies straight to lovers. It scares them, Harry. Things are starting to change from what they knew to something so incredibly different that it’s thrown them off. This goes for Weasley especially. He’s your best friend, and he thought he knew everything about you, but that’s all changing, too. He was still learning to cope with the idea that you’re gay, and suddenly you’re dating the man who’s been your worst enemy for seven years. It’s a lot to handle.”

“I know, it’s just…” I sighed, stepping away from him to sit on the edge of the desk. “Your friends took it so well, I just hoped that, maybe, mine would, too. I guess I was wrong.”

“Our friends are different people, Harry,” he said, stepping closer to take my hands in his. “To tell the truth, I was terrified of what Blaise and Pansy would think of us being together. We’d spent so many years tormenting you, and now I’ve changed that around. I was sure they’d see me as a traitor to them. I was wrong, and we were lucky.”

“Still, they’re so supportive of you, Drake. I have to admit that I’m more than a bit jealous.”

“You’ve got support, too, you know. Hermione and Ginny would back you in anything.”

“Ginny more than Hermione, I think. She still didn’t seem to keen on the idea of you and I together.”

“It takes time, Harry. You have to have patience. I’ll admit they took it much better than I’d expected—with the exception of Weasley, of course.”

“How do you translate all of that as a good reaction?”

“Well, at least I’m still alive.”

“True,” I said, grinning and pulling him even closer to me. He stood in between my legs, his hands moving to my hips. “You’re all in one piece, and there doesn’t appear to be any bodily injuries. No harm done, then, I suppose.”

“None at all.” He leaned closer to me, his breath hot across my lips. I couldn’t resist the urge any longer—I had to kiss him. I pressed my lips to his, asking for and gaining entry to the wet heat of his mouth as I pulled him still closer. Then it all became clear to me: The world was like hell sometimes, but here…this was heaven, and Draco was my guardian angel.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 5: Chapter Five
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Even though the night with Harry’s friends hadn’t gone well, and Weasley didn’t talk to him for days afterwards, it was the last thing on our minds as we sat together in the room of requirement. This had become our officially get away—I thought of it as a sort of oasis that only we knew of; our personal paradise—and it remained so even on this evening, which was to be our last together until we returned from Christmas holidays.

Despite the joyous prospect of getting to see my mother again after nearly four months, I didn’t want to leave. At school, I’d been living a fairy tale, one that I never wished to part from. Despite my undying affection for Harry, I couldn’t help but fear that things would be different when we returned. It was an absurd idea, and I’d no clue as to where it had come from, but it was there nonetheless.

And so this fear danced cruelly through my mind as I sat holding Harry that evening. The fire crackled before us, bathing the room in a warm comfort that I was vaguely aware of; my thoughts were elsewhere.

“What are you thinking about?” Harry asked, brushing a few stray hairs away from my eyes. “You seem rather distant, Dray.” Over the past few days, my nickname had shortened down to that one simple syllable, which I found rather cute of him to do.

“Just about break,” I replied, “and how much I’m gonna miss you.”

“Aw, I’m gonna miss you, too.” He kissed me, pulling me closer to him and running his fingers through my hair. “The Burrow’s gonna be awkward with Ron in the mood he’s in. Not to mention my plans to tell the others about us.” I smiled. It was amazing to see how much more confident he’d gotten in his sexuality. He was now planning to tell the entire Weasley clan that he was gay, which neither of us would have imagined him doing a month ago. “I wish I could take you with me.”

“Yes, because that would go off brilliantly.” I smirked. “Though, I do admit I’d love to kidnap you and take you home with me. Mum would love to meet you.”

Harry smiled and snuggled down into my chest. “I’d love you meet her, too, someday.”

“You will, and you two will adore each other, trust me.” I was quiet for a moment, then snapped my fingers as something came to mind. “That reminds me,” I said. “I’ve got something for you.”

“What?” Harry asked, sitting up slightly. “What do you mean?”

“I’ve got something for you, a sort of Christmas gift, I suppose.” I smiled at him, pressing a kiss to his forehead.

“You…you do?” he whispered, seemingly in awe. I nodded, amazed at this reaction.

“Is that alright?” I asked. He nodded, still looking rather shocked.

“I just…I guess I wasn’t expecting anything. You really should have spent any money on me, Dray.”

“Don’t worry. I didn’t actually spend anything. This is something I thought might be rather special.” I’d come up with this idea a few weeks before hand, but was still rather nervous about it as I toyed with the silver ring on my finger. I took a deep breath, sliding it off of my hand and holding it in my palm. “I was wondering if…well, if you’d maybe want to wear my ring…” I held it up for him to see, the fire reflecting brightly from the silver band and seeming to glow from inside the emerald set into it. I hadn’t noticed until then just how well it matched his eyes. He didn’t say anything for a long moment, and I feared the worst. And, of course, the rise of that fear in the back of my mind brought me to babbling, which I always do when I’m nervous. “I know it’s a juvenile little fifth year thing. You don’t have to wear it, I just thought—”

My speeding flow of words was cut off quickly when his fingers pressed against my lips, stilling them as he raised his other hand. There, already on his finger, was my ring. “I’d love to,” he whispered.

How he’d done it without me noticing, I would probably never know, but that didn’t matter to me now. I pulled him to me in a hug, bringing his fingers away from my lips so that I could kiss him. We pulled back, both of us grinning rather stupidly at each other. Harry laid back down beside me, and my arms went around his waist, pulling him closer to me.

“I wish I’d known about this,” he said, looking down at the ring as it glistened in the firelight. “I feel bad not having anything for you. I’ve never been in this sort of relationship before, and I guess I just didn’t realize…”

“Harry, you’ve given me the greatest give I could ever ask for,” I replied, hugging him tighter. “You gave me you.”

He smiled and turned to snuggle into my chest. I kissed the top of his head and reveled in the feeling of immense comfort that his presence brought to me.

“I love you, Draco,” Harry whispered. I grinned.

“I love you, too.”

♥♥♥


The dorms were a mad house the next morning as everyone prepared for their departure. The students left in flocks from the Great Hall, all heading off to the carriages with their trunks trailing after them. Blaise, Pansy, and I left together, and I couldn’t stop myself from looking back over my shoulder at Harry, who was sitting with the others. Our eyes met, and I wished desperately that we could leave together. But, seeing as the rest of the school had no clue as to our relationship, we both agreed that riding with our separate groups would be the best idea. We would meet up later on the train to spend our last few hours together until we arrived at King’s Cross.

Harry smiled at me from across the room, and I blew him a kiss when I was sure no one else would see. His grin grew wider, and he returned the favor. And then we turned the corner, and he was gone.

♥♥♥


The carriage ride to Hogsmeade Station was a quiet one. Blaise was buried in his book, and Pansy, wrapped in a tight ball of excitement, sat quietly bouncing in her seat. I, on the other hand, sat staring gloomily out the window, thinking back on the time Harry and I had spent together over the last two months; and, now, I would have to spend the next few weeks without him. it was not something that I was looking forward to.

“Cheer up, Drakie!” Pansy exclaimed, grinning at me. “You’re making me depressed.”

I smiled faintly at her. “Sorry, Pans,” I replied. “I was just thinking about something.”

“You’re really going to miss him, aren’t you?” She gave me a knowing look as she leaned across the carriage to pat me arm. I nodded. “You really like him, don’t you?”

I blushed and nodded again. “I love him.” She grinned broadly, and Blaise looked up from his book. “Just being away from him is torture.” I ran a hand through my hair, trying to banish the embarrassment I felt at the conversation. Blaise’s eyes followed my hand.

“Where’s your ring, mate?” he asked. The heat returned to my face almost immediately.

“Oh, um…Harry has it,” I mumbled.

“Why does Harry have your ring?”

“He’s wearing it.”

Pansy’s grin grew even wider. “Isn’t that adorable, Blaise?” she squealed, reaching across the carriage to hug me. “I’m so happy for you, Draco.”

I smiled. “Thanks, Pans.”

“So, what’d he give you?” Blaise asked, closing his book for the first time all morning.

“Nothing.”

“Nothing? That doesn’t seem like a fair trade to me.”

“He doesn’t need to give me anything, Blaise. He’s given me him—that’s all I’ll ever need.”

“Aw!” Pansy cooed. “That’s so sweet!”

Blaise rolled his eyes at her. “You think every word he says about Harry is sweet.”

“Well, they mostly are, aren’t they? It’s so obvious how much Draco cares for him. And they’re adorable together. You have to agree on that.”

Blaise opened his mouth to reply, but closed it quickly again when the carriage pulled to a stop. I got out first, helping Pansy down after me. She headed off to the train while I stayed behind to wait for Blaise.

More of the carriages were pulling up around us, and I noticed Harry stepping down from one of them farther along. Our eyes met, and both of us smiled at nearly the exact same time. Ginny stepped down next to him, noticed Harry’s grin, and followed his eyes along the line of carriages to me. She smiled and waved. I was suddenly aware of Blaise standing next to me. He smiled and waved back.

Ginny pulled Harry off along the path, Hermione and Ron leading the way. Blaise gripped my shoulder, chuckling at the stupid grin still plastered to my face, and steered me toward the waiting train.

“You’re one love-struck puppy, mate,” he said, grinning. I felt the heat rise in my face, but I wasn’t going to argue—I knew he was right.

♥♥♥


Blaise and I forced our way through the crowded train cars searching for Pansy, who had gone ahead to find an empty compartment. A door slid open a ways down, and a familiar head of long, smooth black hair popped out, looking up and down the car. She caught sight of us and waved, grinning.

“Over here, boys!” she called. Blaise and I made our way over to her, slipping into the compartment as she slid the door shut after us. “What took you lot so long? I was beginning to think you’d gotten lost.”

“Lover-boy here caught sight of his boy by the carriages,” Blaise explained, elbowing me playfully as he sat down by the window. “Took forever to get him moving again.”

Pansy grinned and sat down next to him. I took my place across from them, brining my legs up into the seat and resting my head against the window. The train pulled away from the station not long after that, heading off to King’s Cross—a journey that meant excited bits of staring out the window for Pansy, valuable reading time for Blaise, and hours of boredom for me. Therefore, it was no surprise when I started to grow restless. When it finally got to be too much, I stood and pulled some clothes from my trunk.

“I’m gonna go change out of these robes,” I said. Pansy nodded and smiled before turning back to the window. Blaise didn’t seem to have heard me.

♥♥♥♥♥




Author Note:

Short chapter, guys, I know, but I'm on a roll here and needed the next bit to switch to Harry. :D Chapter Six will be up as soon as I can get it to you, but I'm leaving for Texas on Thursday for Mum's graduation, so I don't know how much I'll be able to get done. Thanks so much for all you who reviewed! Your comments and suggestions mean a lot! Also, if anyone's interested in making some chapters images and such for me, I'd greatly appreciate it! Thanks again, guys, and keep those reviews coming!

~Cara~


Chapter 6: Chapter Six
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I was thoroughly bored as I sat watching Ron and Ginny’s game of Exploding Snap. I longed for time to move faster as I checked my watch for the hundredth time, finding, once again, that only two minutes had passed since the last time I’d looked. I sighed in frustration—it was only five after nine.

Hermione watched me over her book, smiling at my impatience. She glanced over at Ron, and, finding him still wrapped in the game, lowered her book and leaned across the space between us.

“What time are you meeting him?” she asked, keeping her voice low so that Ron wouldn’t hear. He blew up whenever Draco was mentioned.

“Ten,” I replied. “I wish the clock would move a bit faster… No offense.” She smiled.

“None taken. You could go change out of your robes, you know. That might help to kill a bit of time.” I hadn’t thought of that. My robes were irritating, and I was sure Draco would probably change as well.

“Thanks, ‘Mione,” I said, standing to dig through my trunk. “That’s a good idea.”

“What’s a good idea?” Ron asked. They had finished their game, leaving Ginny triumphant for the third time in a row.

“I’m gonna go change out of my robes,” I answered, searching for a decent set of clothes. He nodded vaguely and launched into another game with Ginny.

♥♥♥


Ten o’clock finally came around, and I hurried off to find Draco, dressed in my favorite pair of jeans and the best-fitting t-shirt I could find. For some odd reason, the idea of meeting Draco in anything other than my school robes had me terribly nervous. I’d even attempted to get my hair to lie flat, something I’d deemed impossible long ago.

It took me a few tries, but when I finally found the compartment he’d been waiting in, I froze. My hand rested on the door, and I took a deep breath before sliding it back—and I lost all train of thought. There he was, looking absolutely perfect as he turned to face me, half smiling and half smirking. I felt suddenly underdressed as I looked at him in his neat black trousers and slightly form-fitting emerald silk shirt.

“Wow,” I breathed. I was sure that no one had ever managed to look as gorgeous as he did then. His smile grew wider and even more charming as he stepped over to me, sliding the door shut and pressing me against it. Our lips met, and I couldn’t stop my arms from going around his neck. My fingers tangled into his hair as we moved away from the door. His hands caressed my back and waist, occasionally slipping down to my arse. But I didn’t mind it, because this moment was far too perfect to interrupt.

“Gods, I love you,” I whispered, sighing as he kissed my neck. He pulled back, still grinning.

“I love you, too,” he replied. I kissed him again, wishing our afternoon here together could go on forever.

♥♥♥


“You look amazing, you know that?” I told him as we sat together in the compartment. Draco smiled.

“Thanks,” he said.

“I feel a little underdressed…”

“You’re fine, Harry. I love these jeans on you.” His hand ran along my thigh down to my knee, sending shivers up my spine. “They make your arse look great,” he whispered, breathing hot across my neck. I laughed.

“That’s why I bought them,” I replied, grinning. “I still wish I could have some nicer shirts, though. I’m tired of Dudley’s hand-me-downs.”

“Perhaps I’ll take you shopping with me sometime.”

“That would be brilliant.” We smiled at each other, and I caught myself drowning in his eyes. He kissed me, our mouths moving together, tongues brushing—and then the compartment door slid open and someone cleared their throat. We broke a part quickly, my face flushing when I turned so see Blaise standing in the doorway.

“Sorry to interrupt,” he teased, winking at Draco. “Pansy’s gone off on Prefect rounds and such. You don’t mind if I sit with you lot for a while, do you?”

Draco looked to me and I shrugged, still embarrassed at being caught snogging him. He looked back to Blaise and grinned.

“Alright,” he said. “I suppose you can, but I’m not sharing him.” He winked and grinned. Blaise laughed and sat down across from us, opening his book.

“By all means, continue!” he called. “Don’t mind me.” Draco aimed a playful kick at him, and Blaise laughed before becoming quickly enthralled in his book. O sat staring into my lap, wishing I could make my embarrassment go away. Draco took my hand, lacing his fingers with mine and kissing my temple. I smiled at him, and leaned my head against his shoulder.

It wasn’t long after that the compartment door slid open again, this time giving way to Ginny’s entry.

“Do you boys mind if I join you?” she asked. “Ron and Hermione went off on Prefect duty and it’s terribly boring sitting by myself.

“Not at all,” Draco replied, smiling. He introduced her to Blaise, who lowered his book momentarily to shake her hand. At noon, the four us bought sandwiches from the trolley and ate together. I was amazed at how well Ginny and Blaise were getting along; she even got him away from his book long enough to play a game of Exploding Snap—a game which she lost.

“Those two are getting along well,” Draco whispered to me as we watched the game. I nodded in agreement. “I’ve never seen Blaise like this before. He usually read all the time. It’s been years since we’ve gotten him to play anything.”

“Sounds like Ginny may break him of that, then,” I replied, snuggling closer to him.

“That would be a miracle.”

♥♥♥


The afternoon went off brilliantly, and continued to when Pansy joined us around two.

“Well, look at this,” she said as she entered the compartment. “Having a party with out me, are you?”

“You know it,” Blaise replied, not looking up from his game. Ginny smiled up at her, reaching over to shake Pansy’s hand and introduce herself.

“Weasley…,” Pansy mumbled. “Isn’t your brother a prefect?” Ginny rolled her eyes.

“Unfortunately, yes,” she replied. “That git is indeed my brother.” Pansy laughed, her eyes moving to where Draco and I sat together. She winked at us, her eyes giving a strange glisten.

“Mind if I join, since Blaise so unthinkingly left our compartment unattended? It’s probably been overrun with first years by now.”

“Not if you’re gonna be like that, you can’t,” Blaise teased, winking and moving over to make room for her.

And just when I was beginning to think things were perfect, shouting echoed down the aisle, heading in our direction. The compartment door slid open with aloud bang—and gave way to a fuming Ron Weasley.

“What the hell is this?!” he shouted. Hermione appeared behind him, looking out of breath as she placed one small hand on his shoulder.

“Ron, please,” she said, trying to pull him away from the compartment. “This isn’t necessary.”

“The hell it isn’t! Ginny, Harry, come on.” Ginny was on her feet in an instant, her anger easily matching her brother’s.

“And just who died and made you boss?” she exclaimed. “I’m not going anywhere—and neither is Harry.”

“Damn it, Ginny! I’m older; therefore, I’m in charge!” She didn’t move. I felt Draco’s arms tighten around me, his fists clenched and jaw set. He had no intention of letting me go. “It’ll be a week’s detention if you don’t go!” Ron growled. Ginny tossed her hair defiantly and stormed out of the compartment, shoving Ron roughly as she passed. “Let’s go, Harry. You, too.”

“Ron—” Hermione began.

“That’s not fair!” I shouted. “Why should I have to go? You’re not in charge of me, Ron!”

“He’s got a point, Ron—”

“I don’t want you hanging around these snakes!” Ron replied.

“These are Draco’s friends, Ron. That makes them my friends, too.”

“And that’s another thing!” Ron continued as if he hadn’t heard a word I’d said. “I don’t want you anywhere near that bloody ponce either.” Pansy was on her feet instantly.

“You go too far, Weasley!” she shouted. Ron ignored her, staring at me and only me.

“He’s got you confused, Harry. He’s making you believe you’re something that you’re not.”

“And what’s that, then?” I asked, getting overly irritated. He’d gone too far, insulting Draco like that.

“He’s got you thinking you’re…that you’re….”

“What? Gay?” Ron was silent. My blood had reached its boiling point. “I thought we were past this, Ron!”

“You’ve got a problem with Harry being gay, then?” Pansy asked. “There’s nothing wrong with it, you know.”

“He’s not queer, damn it!” Ron bellowed. “That git has got him under some sort of spell!” He gestured violently to Draco, who tightened his hold on me again. “This is all just some sort of ruse to get Harry to let his guard down! He’s gonna get you killed, Harry!”

“That’s it!” Pansy went for her wand, and Blaise grabbed her wrist quickly.

“It’s not worth it, Pans,” he said quietly. “He’s not worth the trouble.”

“Did you hear what he said, Blaise? Did you hear what he said about Draco?!”

“We all heard him, Pansy,” Draco breathed. If he was pissed off, he was doing a great job of hiding it. “You two should go back to the other compartment, see if you can run off those first years. I’ll meet you there in a few minutes.”

Pansy opened her mouth to object, but Blaise shook his head and pulled her out of the compartment with him, nodding a farewell to me as he passed. I was on my feet as soon as the door shut behind them.

“What the hell was that all about, Ron?” I growled. “Everything was perfect until you showed up!”

“Are you insane, Harry?!” Ron replied. His anger hadn’t subsided a bit. If anything, it seemed to grow as he stood there glaring. “Hanging around with a load of Slytherins?! They’re dangerous! You know their parents are probably all Death Eaters!”

“That’s bullshit, Ron, and you know it. What’s it matter to you who I hang out with anyway?”

“I’m trying to protect you, Harry! Gits like Malfoy will end up getting you killed!”

Gits like Malfoy? What the hell is that supposed to mean?!”

“You know damn well what it means!” We stood glaring at each other, and the train seemed to shake uncontrollably. Then I realized—it wasn’t the train. It was me. Draco stood and wrapped his arm around my shoulders, pulling me close to him. I laid my head on his shoulder, my hand on his chest, and let him comfort me.

“Get your filthy hands off of him, Malfoy!” Ron shouted. I looked up at my supposed best friend, my anger returning quickly.

“Shove off, Ron!” I replied. “Draco’s my boyfriend. He can touch me whenever the hell he wants. He doesn’t need your permission.”

“I’m trying to help you, Harry—to keep you safe!”

“I don’t need your protection, Ron! What I need is your support.”

“I can support you if you really think you’re gay, but I will not support this affair you’re having with Malfoy!”

Affair? Is that what you think this is? Damn it, Ron! I love him! Are you really too blind to see that?” The compartment was silent. Ron’s anger mingled with a look of shock, while Hermione stood quietly behind him, watching. Draco’s arm slipped from my shoulders, taking my hand instead. Ron shook his head, as if clearing it of some invisible fog.

“Come on, Harry. Come back to the compartment with us,” he said quietly, turning towards the door and ushering Hermione out before him.

“No,” I replied firmly. He stopped and turned back to face me.

“What?”

“I said no. I’m staying with Draco.”

“Harry—”

“Maybe you should go.” His voice was so quiet, I barely heard him. I turned to Draco, who was looking down at the floor.

“What?” I asked, not wanting to believe what I’d heard.

“I said you should go.”

“Draco, no. He’s got no authority over me.”

“He’s your best mate, Harry. That’s all the authority he needs.”

“But, Dray…” I was begging, and it was pathetic. What was stranger still was that I didn’t care that Ron and Hermione were seeing it. Somehow, I didn’t mind showing them how weak this man made me—how much I longed to be with him.

“Go on, Harry. I’ll see you after break.” His eyes met mine, and he seemed serious. Was he really going to say goodbye like this?

I let Ron pull me from the compartment, my eyes still locked with Draco’s until my hand slipped from his….and the door slid shut.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
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I made my way back to the other compartment alone, and in silence. I felt terrible, sending Harry off like that. It hurt him to have to say goodbye that way. I didn’t even tell him I love him. I felt like an arse, but I resolved to make it up to him. I would find him when the train stopped, and I would give him a proper farewell.

Pansy hugged me when I entered the compartment. She was still ranting about how unfair it all was, and how much of an arse Ron had been. Blaise rolled his eyes, patting me on the back as I sat down next to him.

“Who does he think he is?” Pansy continued. “Weasley had no right to separate the two of you!”

“Pansy, give it a rest, will you?” Blaise cut in. She glowered at him.

“You can’t tell me this doesn’t bother you, Blaise!”

“Of course it does, but there’s nothing we can do about it now. Violence solves nothing.”

“But—”

“He’s right, Pansy,” I said quietly. “Harry and I both knew what we were risking this afternoon. Ron probably won’t speak to him all of break now.”

“I don’t understand how he can—”

“I can,” Blaise interrupted. “We were awful to them, especially Weasley. It’s no wonder he still doesn’t trust us. That will take a fair bit of time.” I nodded in agreement, and then stood to hug Pansy.

“I understand you’re upset by it,” I whispered. “You’ve always been protective of me.” She smiled.

“You’re the closest thing to a brother I’ve ever had, Draco,” she said. “I’m only looking out for you. I hate to see people treat you unfairly.”

“I know. But don’t let this one bother you. It’ll work itself out in the end. It’ll have to, because I don’t intend on ending things with Harry any time soon.”

She grinned and nodded, sitting down in the empty seat across from us while I returned to my place next to Blaise. Pansy stared out the window for a few moments before sighing and turning back to me.

“At least you got to say goodbye to him, right?” she said cheerily. Her good mood faded when I didn’t say anything. “Weasley did let you say goodbye, didn’t he?”

“Not in the way we wanted,” I answered, looking out the window to avoid making eye contact. “There were a lot of things I didn’t get to tell him….a lot of things I didn’t get to do.”

“That filthy little—”

“But it doesn’t matter!” I said hurriedly. “I’m gonna find him when we get to King’s Cross, and I’ll say goodbye properly then.”

♥♥♥


The train pulled to a stop at a little after five, and I rushed from the compartment to find myself a chance of catching Harry. I found their train car, and hid in one of the empty compartments, waiting for him to pass by. Hermione and Ginny passed by, followed by Ron. A few moments later, Harry followed, and I slid the compartment door open, pulling him in with me before closing it again.

He turned, bewildered, to face me, and grinned broadly. I grinned back and he pulled me into a tight hug.

“I was afraid I wasn’t going to see you again before we left,” he said.

“Did you really think I would say goodbye to you like that?” I replied. He shook his head, and I kissed him. “I love you, Harry Potter.”

“I love you, too.”

“I’m gonna miss you….so much.”

“Me too. I’ve grown so used to having you around all the time. I don’t know what I’ll do for the few weeks.”

“I’ll write to you, I promise. As soon as Father leaves on business, I’ll send an owl.”

“I’ll be waiting for it.” We kissed again, and I pulled him tighter to me as Ron’s voice echoed down the car, calling Harry’s name.

“You need to go,” I said. “We can’t have him finding us and getting angrier.” Harry nodded, looking into my eyes before kissing me a third and final time. “Happy Christmas, Harry. I love you.”

“Happy Christmas, and I love you, too, Dray.”


♥♥♥

Blaise and I said goodbye to Pansy on the platform, watching her run off excitedly to meet her parents at the entrance to the muggle station. A rather stuffy-looking wizard in black robes nodded curtly to us as we approached. The chauffer—father must be home.

“Master Draco,” the wizard cited, bowing slightly to me. He looked to Blaise, bowing again. “Mr. Zabini.”

“Gabriel,” I began, drawing the man’s attention back to me. “I do believe mother told you Blaise would be joining me?”

“Of course, sir.” I nodded.

“Good.”

Gabriel stepped forward to take our trunks, loading them onto a single luggage trolley and pushing it ahead of us toward the exit.

“I hate it when he sends the formal escort,” I mumbled, keeping pace with Blaise as we made our way through the crowd of muggles.

“Don’t we all, mate,” Blaise replied. He would be spending the first week of break with me while his parents were away, and I was grateful for his company.

♥♥♥


The ride home was a short one, and the manor could soon be seen on the horizon, rising gracefully on its hill overlooking the well-manicured grounds. I caught a glimpse of one of the curtains on the second floor moving as we pulled up in front of the house. Blaise and I left the car and headed for the doors while Gabriel took care of our trunks.

The door opened at our approach, and a tiny house elf appeared behind it, bowing to us as we entered. I pitied the poor thing, the way it was forced to serve us like that. It wasn’t right, the way the elves trembled before us—all because of my father’s cruelty towards them.

Movement on the stairs brought my attention away from the cowering elf, and my eyes connected with those of my mother. She looked so beautiful in her white dress with the gold embroidery, the one she always seemed to glow in. Her eyes lit up when she saw me, her hand coming to cover her heart.

“Draco,” she breathed, and smiled brightly. We met at the bottom of the stairs, pulling each other into a hug. “Darling,” she said. “How I’ve missed you.” I smiled and hugged her tighter.

“I’ve missed you, too, Mum,” I replied. She turned to Blaise, one arm still around my shoulders. He smiled at her and stepped forward, letting her pull him into a hug as she released me.

“It’s good to see you again, Blaise,” she said.

“You, too, Mrs. Malfoy,” Blaise replied. “Thank you again for letting me stay here.”

“Nonsense! You know you’re welcome anytime. I know Draco enjoys your company.” Gabriel entered, setting our trunks inside the door before leaving again with a bow. “Well, you boys must be starving. Dinner will be soon; why don’t you both go upstairs and get settled?” Mum said, smiling at us. “I’ll call you when things are ready.” We nodded, heading upstairs with our trunks.

♥♥♥


Father had left not long before Blaise and I arrived, and didn’t return all evening. This gave us a peaceful evening with my mother, and no strife to the house elves. Though it felt good to be home again, I couldn’t help but feel as though something were missing. I laid awake for hours that night, thinking of Harry and hoping he’d had a decent evening. I missed him already, even though I’d only left him a few hours ago. I had just started to replay memories of my afternoon with Harry, when a knock on my door brought me back to the present.

“Draco?” It was Blaise. “You still awake, mate?”

I sat up, flipping on the light beside my bed. “Yeah, Blaise,” I called. He stepped in, closing the door again behind him.

“I just got an owl from Mum,” he said, sitting down on the side of my bed. “Their trip has been cut short—they’ll be home early tomorrow morning, and they’d like me home then as well.”

“Well, Mum will be disappointed to see you go,” I replied. He nodded, then looked at me quizzically.

“What are you doing still up?”

I blushed and grinned. “Couldn’t sleep.” He raised an eyebrow, and I continued on in explanation. “I was thinking about Harry.”

“Missing him already, eh?” I nodded. “Somehow that doesn’t surprise me. You seem to really care about him.”

“I do,” I replied, staring down at the bed. “I’ve liked him for years.”

“I’m happy for you, Draco. It’s good to see you’ve found someone. We were worried about you for a while, you know.”

I smiled. “Thanks, Blaise. I don’t know what I’d do without you and Pansy. You two are my support system.”

“Some one has to be.” He winked and headed for the door. “G’night, mate.”

“Night.”

♥♥♥


Blaise left us around nine the next morning. Mum was sad too see him go, just as I had predicted, and made him promise to come back Christmas Eve for the party. The Malfoy family Christmas party was legendary. Countless friends and relatives, along with a few of my father’s most important Ministry contacts, gathered at the mansion for this incredible ball. The house was always packed with people, and socializing with most of them was torture. Over the past few years, I’d taken to inviting Blaise and Pansy, which gave me an excuse to ignore other guests. It seemed that this year would be no different.

Mother and I ate lunch together, Father having stopped in to pick up a few things before heading off again to do Merlin knows what. Things had been peaceful all morning, and she was asking me all sorts of questions about school. I chose this as the best possible time to tell her about Harry. Now, Mum had known for a while that I was gay. I had told her not long after coming out to Blaise and Pansy. She, however, was the only one who had known about my feelings for Harry, which I had hidden for the past year.

Both of us were against my father’s beliefs in the Dark Lord—and both of us wished Harry to win the war. So, naturally, she’d found the idea of my liking Harry perfectly acceptable, and had encouraged me to do something about it, not to mention the times she’d comforted me when it all seemed too much to bear. It only seemed fitting, now, that I tell her the good news.

“Mum,” I began, taking a deep breath. She looked up at me, smiling. “You remember talking about Harry, don’t you?” She nodded.

“Of course, darling,” she replied. “In fact, I was just going to ask you about him. How is it all going with him?”

“Fine, fine…Well, not exactly fine…more like brilliant, actually.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. I um….We’re kind of dating.” Se was silent for a long while, staring at me in a loss for words. Suddenly, she was on her feet and moving towards me, and then she hugged me.

“I’m so happy for you, Draco,” she said. She sounded as though she were crying. “You be good to this boy. You love him, and don’t you ever let him go without a fight.”

“I will, Mum,” I replied. “I will.”

“Well,” she said, pulling back from me and wiping her eyes. “This calls for a celebration!” She sent one of the house elves in pursuit of a bottle of wine from the cellars. “Now, you simply must tell me how this all happened!”

And so I told her everything—from the first kiss Harry and I had shared in the room of requirement to our final goodbye on the train. She smiled whenever I blushed at a memory, or whenever I started to describe what he made me feel.

“My son—dating the Boy Who Lived!” she exclaimed when I had finished. The house elf returned at that moment, carrying slightly dusty bottle of wine. “How I do wish I could meet him now,” Mum continued, taking the bottle and pouring us both a glass.

“You will, Mum.” I took one of the glasses from her. “And he wants to meet you, too. He told me himself.” She blushed, giving a shy smile before recovering herself and raising her glass.

“To Harry, then. And you’re new-found love.”

“To Harry.”

♥♥♥


Father was home for dinner that night, which, though it may sound awful, was a little unfortunate. Mum and I had spent a terrific day together discussing my time at school, not to mention my time with Harry. She thought my “Christmas gift” to Harry was sweet, but warned me not to let my father see that the ring was gone. It wasn’t an important trinket, nor very valuable, but I had worn it every day since I had gotten it, and its sudden disappearance would raise suspicion. Needless to say, I kept my right hand hidden throughout dinner.

My father, for as long as I could remember, had never been one for family conversation unless he wanted something, or was nagging me to join the Dark Lord, and offer which I refused whenever asked. This evening was no different. Dinner was a silent affair, except for the slight clatter of plates and my father’s occasional outburst when the house elves displeased him.

I was relieved, therefore, when he left the table and headed for the stairs, no doubt on his way to lock himself in his study. The tension in the room lifted tremendously as the door closed behind him, allowing Mother and I to feel as though we could breathe normally again.

♥♥♥


“Mum,” I said quietly as we sat sipping tea after dinner on my fourth night home. “When do you think Father will head off again?” It seemed as though I hadn’t talked to Harry in centuries, and I was dying for a chance to write to him.

“Not till after the party, I’m sure,” she replied. “It shouldn’t be too long after that, I wouldn’t think.” She gave me a knowing look. “Wanting to write to Harry?”

I nodded. “I miss him so much, Mum. It almost hurts to think about how long it will be before break is over and I get to see him again.”

“I’m sure you’ll find the days moving quicker soon enough.”

♥♥♥


And they did. The following week was passed fairly quietly. I avoided my father whenever possible, doing my best to stay nearly invisible when he was home. On occasion, I would hear him ranting as I passed his study on my way from the library to my room. I cringed as I heard the frightened squeak of the house elf that had in some way angered him. I longed to stop him, to burst through the door and through the strongest hex I could think of. One day, I vowed, I would do just that.

Christmas Eve came and went, taking the party along with it. I stuck to Blaise and Pansy as my company, avoiding my aunt Bellatrix and any other confirmed Death Eater that happened to look my way. There would be no discussion of my joining the Dark Lord on this evening.

♥♥♥


Father left two days after Christmas, heading to Bulgaria on ‘business’, as he called it. (Mother and I both knew it was some sort of mission for Voldemort.) It was that very evening that I sat down at my desk, the fire burning warm and bright in the fireplace across the room. Snow fell lightly outside the window as I pulled a few fresh sheets of parchment from one of the drawers. I dipped into the ink well, set the tip of my quill to the paper, and began the letter I’d been waiting so long to write…

Dearest Harry…

♥♥♥♥♥




Author Note:

Chapter seven! YAY! Chapter eight is done as well, so it'll be up soon as well! So, other very special news---I've been made a Trusted Author!!!!! YAY! For the those of you who don't know what tha means--it's basically a reward to me for following the ToS. It also means no waiting for validation! So, what I need now is some help. It's a big responsibility to follow the ToS so closely, and I'm terrified that I'm gonna screw it up and lose my rank. So, if you're interested in helping me, let me know via owl or review. I'm wanting someone I can email chapters to before I post so that they can double check to make sure I meet the ToS. Please, guys. Need help!!!! Thanks so much! You're a great bunch of readers!
~Cara Nicole Luvitz~

Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
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For the first time in seven years, I couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over. I missed Draco so much, and every day without news from him was like torture. For the first time ever, the Burrow seemed to be the loneliest place. Ron was moody and quiet for the first few days (around me, anyway), though his mood did lighten after that. Ginny was by my side as always, doing her best to cheer me up and help me to get my mind off Draco’s absence for a while. Nevertheless, something still didn’t seem right without him.

Christmas Eve was rather quiet. Remus was the only one joined us for dinner. I’d thought about making my announcement that evening, since we had all been gathered, but something about the comfort and happiness of the occasion stopped me. If I did it then, it would ruin the comfortable feeling, and would soon turn the entire holiday to a grumpy chaos. I resolved to wait until New Years.

It was just a few days before then that it arrived—my letter from Draco. I nearly burst with joy when I saw the owl on the window sill. It was addressed to me, of course, my name written out in Draco’s familiar scrawl. I wasted no time in opening it.

Dearest Harry,

Merlin, how I’ve missed you! I’ve practically been counting down the days until Father left and I could right to you. How was your Christmas? I wish I could have been there to spend it with you. I’ve been terrible bored, and feel as though I’ve read nearly ever book in our library. (There really isn’t much to do at the manor except read and think of you.)

I’ve told Mother of us being together. She’s thrilled, Harry, though I’m surprised I haven’t driven her insane with all my talk of you. She’s asked me nearly every question there is about you. I wish you could meet her, Harry. I know you’d lover her.

There are so many things I want to ask you. It’s rather hard to find a place to start. What of your plans? Have you told the Weasleys yet? I wish I could be there when you do it. I’m proud of you, you know. You’ve gained so much confidence in this. It takes guts to come out and let yourself be that vulnerable to someone. Few people have that sort of courage.

I wish I could be with you right now. Things are so boring here, so empty. I miss our nights together in the room of requirement. I miss holding you. I miss talking to you. I miss kissing you. It hurts to be away from you for this long. I wish the break would hurry up and end!

There’s so much more I want to say, but I can’t find the words to say it. I feel as though I’m rambling and getting nowhere at all in the process. I’ll leave it at this then, I suppose. Write soon.


I love you.


Draco


I smiled as I read the last three words, my fingers trailing lightly over his signature. I read through the letter several times more, just glad to have some bit of contact from him. I had just headed to my trunk for parchment when Ginny stepped into my room knocking lightly as she entered.

“Dinner’s ready, Harry,” she said, smiling. She looked down and saw the letter in my hand. “Is that from Draco?” She seemed rather excited. I nodded.

“Just got it, yeah,” I replied. She beamed and hugged me.

“See? I told you he would write. Have you written back yet?”

“No, I was just going to, but I suppose it will have to wait now.” She looked at me as if in apology. “It’s alright. I’m still thinking about what I want to say, anyway.”

She smiled again and led the way out of the room. I moved to lay Draco’s letter down on the table next to my bed, but folded it up and slid it into my pocket instead, deeming it too important to leave behind at the moment.

♥♥♥


“Come on, mate,” Ron begged. “One quick game of exploding snap!”

“No thanks, Ron,” I replied, backing towards the stairs. I’m tired. I think I’ll just go to bed early.”

“It’s only seven-thirty! Come on, Harry!”

“Leave him alone, Ron,” Ginny said, coming to the rescue. “I’ll play a few rounds with you.” She seemed more than happy to oblige him, but Ron was rather reluctant. He’d yet to win a game against Ginny since Fred and George had taught her to play.

“But…”

“Go on and get things set up. I’ll be there in a minute.” Ron trudged gloomily off to the sitting room. Ginny turned back to me with a sly and knowing look in her eye. “Now, you go straight upstairs and write to Draco!” she said in a rather terrific impression of Mrs. Weasley.

“Thanks, Ginny,” I replied. “I didn’t know how I was going to get out of that one.”

“Any time. Now, get going! And send Draco a hello from me!”

I grinned and hurried up the stairs to my room (Fred and George’s old one). With the door closed tightly behind me, I moved to my trunk, pulling out parchment and quill, and laid down on my bed. I read through Draco’s letter once more, left it unfolded next to me for reference later on, and started my letter.

Draco,

I’ve missed you so much. Things at the Burrow are so quiet—I’m tired of it! I feel alone without you here to talk to. Christmas was boring, and I mostly couldn’t wait for it to be over with. I hope yours was a little better than that. I’ve been thinking of you a lot, too…Nearly every moment of every day.

I’m glad to hear your Mum approves. I hope I get to meet her someday, too. I haven’t told the Weasleys yet. I’ve decided to wait until New Years. Remus will be here again, and that will make it easier. I’m nervous, I have to admit. I wish you could be here. Your presence alone gives me courage. I feel as though I could do anything with you by my side.

Ron’s been rather moody, at least whenever you’re mentioned. Ginny’s supportive as always, and she helps to cheer me up when I start to miss you a little too much. She says hello, by the way. I’m ready for the holiday to be over. I miss you, and I can’t wait to see you again. Can we meet on the train?

It feels as though it’s been years since I saw you…I miss you, Draco. I’ve dreamed about you, you know. And I think about that afternoon on the train a lot, too. (Only the parts before Ron turned up.) I’m ready for another day with you. I’ll see you soon. Wish me luck with the Weasleys!

I love you, too.

Harry


I read it through a few times, just to be sure it was exactly the way I wanted it, before folding it up and sliding it into the waiting envelope. I took my time in writing his name on it. His name looked so beautiful; I had never noticed that before. It seemed absolutely perfect. Just like him, I thought. I shook my head, clearing it of the flood of sentimental thoughts.

I looked to Hedwig’s cage. It was empty. Of all the times for me to let her out to hunt… I supposed the letter would just have to wait.

♥♥♥


When I woke the next morning, it was to a quiet hoot from the corner. I opened my eyes slowly, confused by the sound, and nearly jumped with joy at the sight of the snow white owl perched on the back of the chair.

“Hedwig!” I exclaimed. I hurried out of bed, snatching up my letter to Draco from the bedside table. Hedwig seemed slightly startled by my excitement in seeing her, but seemed to calm when she saw the letter in my hand. “Take this to Draco,” I said as I attached it to her leg. “And be nice to him, alright?” She hooted softly, and nipped lovingly at my fingers before taking off out the window.

I smiled after her, watching until she disappeared on the horizon, before checking the clock. Eight-thirty. Mrs. Weasley would be making the call for breakfast soon enough. I dressed, and fought with my hair in the mirror. Giving up at last, I set down the comb. A glint of silver caught my eye, and I looked down at Draco’s ring resting lightly on my finger. The number of times I’d looked at it since he’d asked me to wear it…well, I’d lost count.

I still felt bad, not having anything to give to him. I’d looked everywhere I could think of when I’d made a last minute shopping trip into Diagon Alley with the Weasleys. Ginny even helped me search, but nothing caught my eye. Nothing seemed special enough to match the level of commitment that the ring expressed. And so, I had returned empty handed.

Footsteps coming up the stairs were the sound that drew me from my thoughts, and I took my eyes from the ring as I headed for the door. Mrs. Weasley was standing outside Ron’s door, calling for him to wake up or she would give his share of breakfast to the chickens. She smiled at me as I headed for the stairs.

“Good morning, Harry, dear,” she said cheerily.

“Morning, Mrs. Weasley,” I replied.

“Hear that?” she called through Ron’s door. “Even Harry’s up and dressed already!” I chuckled as I descended the stairs, listening to her bicker through the door with him.

I entered the kitchen, and found Mr. Weasley already at the table, reading the Prophet. I sat down a few seats away and poured myself a glass of orange juice. Mr. Weasley cleared his throat roughly and folded up the paper, laying it beside his plate. He took a sip of his coffee, and then smiled broadly at me as he set the cup back down.

“Morning, Harry. You’re up early,” he chirped.

“Yeah, I guess so,” I returned.

“She still fighting with Ron?”

“Yeah.” I grinned and we both laughed.

“What’s got you two in such a good mood?” Hermione asked as she came in and sat down across from me.

“Just my son’s ability to sleep through anything,” Mr. Weasley replied, standing up as he downed the last of his coffee before heading towards the stairs. “Morning, Ginny,” he said once he reached the hall.

“Morning, Dad.” Ginny’s voice preceded her into the kitchen as she came to sit next to me. “Morning, Hermione. Harry.”

“Good morning,” Hermione sighed, pouring a glass of juice and glancing at the cover of the Prophet.

“Did you finish your letter, Harry?” Ginny asked, looking to me. I nodded, setting down my glass and wiping my mouth.

“Sent it off with Hedwig first thing this morning,” I replied. She grinned and winked beginning to fill her plate.

“Wait…Letter?” Hermione cut in, looking at me. “You’ve heard from Draco?” I nodded and held up the letter, which I still insisted on carrying with me. She smiled. “Do you mind if I…”

“No, I guess not. Don’t be embarrassed though. He gets pretty mushy in some parts.” I winked. She took the letter and read through it, smiling at parts and blushing at others. She looked quickly up at me when she reached the end.

“You two are getting pretty serious, aren’t you?” she whispered.

“What do you mean?” Ginny asked. Then I realized—the last three words on the paper. I love you. They didn’t know about all of that. Ginny was reading it before I could snatch it back. Her eyes grew wide and she looked up at me, a smirk playing across her lips. “My, my. Our little Harry’s growing up.”

I blushed deeply and took the letter from her, folding it up and putting it back in my pocket before any further comment could be made. The next few moments were spent in rather awkward silence. We could hear Mr. and Mrs. Weasley both fighting to get Ron out of bed above us. It was Ginny who broke the silence.

“How long have you two been using the l-word, then?” she asked, trying to look innocent as she took a bite of eggs. I cleared my throat and fought to rid myself of the embarrassment I felt.

“Um…since the night he met you lot,” I replied quietly. I looked up at them after a moment, searching for a reaction. There wasn’t much of one to go by.

“Who said it first?” Ginny questioned, seeming more interested in the conversation now than she had before. Perhaps a little too interested, I thought.

“Um…H-he did.”

She seemed pleased with this answer and patted my arm. “I’m happy for you, Harry. It’s good to see you with someone.”

“Thanks, Gin,” I replied. Hermione, however, still seemed reluctant.

“You know I don’t really have a problem with you seeing Draco,” she began. “As long as he’s good to you, and being with him makes you happy, then that’s all that matters. But…”

Here it comes.

“What I’m trying to say is that you should just be careful. I’d hate to see you get hurt…Either of you, for that matter.”

I hadn’t expected the last bit, and it caught me a little off guard. “You…you mean that?” I asked. She smiled and nodded.

“Draco seems like a nice enough guy… And it’s obvious that you trust him. That should be—and is—good enough for me.”

“Thanks, Hermione. That means a lot. I just wish we could get Ron to see things the same way.” A loud thump echoed down the stairs.

“Speak of the devil…,” Ginny mumbled. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley came into the kitchen at that moment.

“About time,” Mrs. Weasley grumbled. “That boy would sleep his life away if we gave him the chance.”

“I’ll have a talk with him,” Mr. Weasley replied, kissing her cheek. “I’m off. Big day at the Ministry.” He waved to us and headed off out the door. Ron could be heard stumbling down the stairs a few moments later. He entered the kitchen, still in his pajamas and looking as though he was still half asleep.

“Morning, Ron,” Hermione said cheerfully as he sat down next to her. He grunted in response and I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. Breakfast went on in almost complete silence. When the dishes had been cleared and set to washing themselves, Ginny turned to Ron and me.

“Well, boys,” she said. “What would you two say to a bit of quidditch?”

Ron’s face brightened considerably. “I’m up for it! How about you, Harry?”

“I—” I began, but Hermione cut me off.

“Not you, Ron,” she corrected. “You’ve yet to finish that essay Snape set.”

“I thought he was kidding. What kind of teacher sets homework over the holiday?”

“Snape,” Ginny and I said together.

“But…but…Harry!”

“Sorry, mate. I’ve finished mine.”

He gave Hermione a sour glare, slumping down in his chair and crossing his arms. Ginny giggled and turned to me. “How about you, Harry?”

“I don’t know. It’s a little cold. Don’t you think?” I replied.

“That’s what coats are for!”

I laughed. “Alright then.”

“Meet you out there.” She hurried up the stairs. I stood and headed for the same direction.

“Have fun,” Ron called sarcastically. “Lucky bastard.” The last part was a mumbled undertone, but it wasn’t quiet enough for the sharp ears of Mrs. Weasley.

“Ronald Weasley!” she shrieked. I couldn’t help but laugh as I headed upstairs. I pulled on my coat and picked my Firebolt up out of the corner of my room. I glanced out the window, part of me hoping for a glimpse of a returning owl on the horizon. I shook the crazy thought from my mind. I didn’t know where exactly Malfoy Manor was, but I knew that it was far enough off that Hedwig couldn’t make the journey there and back in the short amount of time she’d been gone.

Patience, Harry. Patience. You see what you do to me, Draco? That last thought made me laugh. I missed him; I had since I’d left him on the train. Merlin, I’m really in over my head. If things go badly here…I shoved that thought from my head immediately. That won’t happen. I love Draco…and he loves me.

A loud thump against the window brought me out of the conversation I’d been having in my mind. A second snowball hit the glass, and I slip open the window, sticking my head out into the cold air. Ginny was standing in the yard in a thick wool coat, her broom lying in the snow beside her.

“You coming down or not?!” she called, grinning. I grinned back.

“I’m coming!” I replied, closing the window and picking up my broom from the floor. When I passed through the kitchen, the silence within it seemed almost deadly. Hermione had disappeared, no doubt having fled during the aftermath of Ron’s cursing. He sat quietly staring down at the table, his face still pale form the telling-off he’d received, and Mrs. Weasley’s angry muttering could be heard echoing in from the pantry. I patted Ron on the shoulder supportively as I passed. He didn’t move an inch.

♥♥♥


It was colder outside than I’d expected, and the snowball that hit me in the side of the head when I emerged from the warmth of the house didn’t help. Ginny’s laughter echoed from behind the garden wall. I stooped low to the ground, scooping up a handful of snow and packing it into a tight ball.

“That’s cheating, you know!” I called. “You have shelter, and I’m stuck in open ground.”

“Not my fault you chose a bad spot to have a snowball fight!” she called back.

“I was told there would be flying! You tricked me!”

“It’s all that Weasley charm coming out in me!”

“No, I think it’s all the Fred and George coming out in you!”

Her head popped up over the wall, and she stared at me in mock anger. “How dare you—” She stopped short when the snow I launched hit her in the face. I laughed, and was therefore unprepared when another ball of snow flew at me, hitting me squarely in the chest. I ducked the next one and grabbed my Firebolt, taking off into the grey winter sky.

“Cheater!” Ginny yelled from the ground. I laughed and flew a bit higher, making circles over the garden. Within moments, Ginny was flying alongside me, her Cleansweep matching my speed fairly well, considering its age. We flew for a while, maybe an hour or so, and then Hermione appeared below us. We landed next to her.

“Mrs. Weasley says to come inside and warm up a little. She says there’s hot chocolate waiting in the sitting room,” Hermione announced. It didn’t take any further convincing to get us inside after that. Mrs. Weasley could get us to do anything if there was hot chocolate as a bribe.

Inside, Ron was slumped in a corner, staring at a large, blank piece of parchment. I could only guess that it was his Potions essay. He let out a groan as Ginny and I threw our coats over the back of the couch and sat down. Hermione followed after us, sitting down in one of the arm chairs across from the fireplace.

“Hermione, this is murder,” Ron whined. “Couldn’t you just help me a little?”

“No, Ron,” she replied smugly.

“Why not? You helped Harry!”

“Yes, well that’s all Harry asked for. With you, it’s not help unless I write it all for you.” Ron groaned again and let his head fall onto the table.

“If you’d spend half as much time actually doing the work as you do complaining about it, you’d be done by now,” Mrs. Weasley comment as she entered the room, setting down a tray of steaming mugs. She handed one to each of us, and left the room again.

♥♥♥


The following day, New Years Eve, dawned bright and cold. Hedwig had returned sometime in the night, though, to my disappointment, empty handed. I shook it off as I heard Mrs. Weasley coming up the stairs. I gather my clothes and headed for the bathroom. If I moved quickly enough, I could get to the shower before Ginny.

A door closed behind me as I made my way down the hall. I quickened my pace, knowing that it was Ginny who followed me. Soon, we were running down the hall and a flight of stairs. I rushed into the bathroom, closing the door tight behind me.

“Harry!” Ginny groaned, kicking the door.

“You snooze, you loose, Gin!” I replied, turning on the water.

By the time I made it downstairs, Fred and George had already arrived, and were sitting at the table with the others. Ron seemed thoroughly irritated at their presence, and it was obvious to me that they had been poking fun at him.

“Morning, Harry!” Fred said.

“Morning, Harry!” George echoed.

“Morning,” I replied cheerfully, stretching. “That shower felt nice.” I sat down, my eyes going to Ginny. She stuck her tongue out playfully.

“Well, then,” she began, standing. “Now that you’re done using up all the hot water, I suppose I’ll go have my shower.” I smiled and started to fill my plate.

“Finished that Potions essay yet, Ron?” I asked, elbowing him lightly.

“Nearly, I guess,” he replied, shoveling a forkful of eggs into his mouth.

“He’s only finished half,” Hermione put in, not looking up from the Prophet. Ron glowered at her.

“So she says,” he mumbled darkly.

♥♥♥


I waited all that morning, and for a decent part of the afternoon, for any sign of a letter from Draco. There wasn’t one. It irritated me slightly. (I was far too impatient.) He’s just busy, I told myself. After all, you didn’t write back to him as soon as you got his letter. He’ll write. Give him time. I relaxed a fair bit after that, spending the rest of my day visiting with Fred and George.

Remus turned up around six, just in time for dinner. The conversation around the table was light and airy as everyone ate their fill. It wasn’t until we moved into the sitting room for desert that I started to grow nervous. The time for me to give my announcement was fast approaching. Before I knew it, the clock was striking eleven. Butterflies began to swarm in my stomach, and I began to feel slightly dizzy. Ginny’s hand on my arm helped to steady me, and her supportive smile calmed me ever so slightly.

Later, as the clock struck midnight and we wished each other a happy New Year, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley shared a kiss, and the twins each pressed a kiss to Ginny’s cheek. Ginny climbed up onto the couch, and kissed my cheek as well, pausing to whisper in my ear.

“I’m sorry Draco couldn’t be here to kiss you.” She grinned and winked at me, and I couldn’t stop myself from blushing lightly. But, as things started to settle own again, and Mrs. Weasley brought coffee and hot chocolate in to us all, the butterflies came rushing back and I was just as nervous as I had been before. I was terrified of what they were going to say. Ginny, apparently deciding that now was as good a time as ever, cleared her throat to gain everyone’s attention.

“I think Harry has something he wants to tell all of you,” she said. I shot her a look, my eyes wide. She smiled and took my hand, showing me her support. I turned back to look at everyone else. They were giving their full attention to me, and Mrs. Weasley was smiling sweetly at me. My eyes moved around the room, pausing on each and every one of them as I tried to put the jumble of words in my mind into a coherent sentence. My eyes snagged on Remus’s, and he held my gaze for a long time, curiosity and a vague light of understanding reflected in the deep brown depths.

“What is it, Harry?” Arthur Weasley asked, setting his coffee down beside him. Fred and George sat forward just a bit in their chairs, joining together in choruses of “Yeah, Harry!” and “C’mon, Harry!” I took a deep breath, smiled nervously at them, and started to explain things in the best way I could.

“I…um…,” I mumbled. This wasn’t a very good start. I cleared my throat, rubbing the back of my neck unconsciously. Ginny squeezed my hand, urging me one. “You know that I think of you all as family…And, well…I want to thank you for opening your home and your lives to me for the past seven years. It’s mean a lot, knowing I’ve got people in this world who actually care about me.” Mrs. Weasley looked as though she were already on the verge of tears as she smiled at me. I smiled back.

“I’ve…I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few months…and I’ve come to…well, I suppose you could call it a decision.” I swallowed, preparing myself for the biggest part. I wished now more than ever that Draco was here, and that he was the one holding my hand instead of Ginny. Her help was brilliant, but somehow not the same. “I’ve already told Ginny, Ron, and Hermione this decision, but I feel as though you should all know it, too. Like I said, you’re family to me.” I closed my eyes, breathing in and out slowly, before opening them again and looking around at everyone. “I’m gay.”

Ron snorted into his hot chocolate, having been the only one of my three friends who didn’t know this was coming. The rest of the room was dead silent. I waited in fear for someone to say something, anything…Anything but silence. Mrs. Weasley was the first to speak.

“Harry, dear,” she said quietly, waving me over to her. I stood and she pulled me into a hug. “You’re so very brave, dear.” She kissed my cheek and smiled brightly at me, wiping her eyes as Mr. Weasley came to shake my hand.

“Very brave,” he echoed. Fred and George exchanged looks, grinning at me like loons before pulling me down onto the floor with them and ruffling my hair as if I was three.

“You’ve got our support, Brave Harry!” they exclaimed, laughing. When they finally released me, I stood and let Mrs. Weasley pull me into a second hug before she gathered the dishes and hurried off to the kitchen.

“Harry,” Remus said quietly, coming to stand beside me. “Can I have a word?” I nodded.

“Yeah, sure,” I replied. He led me out into the hall.

“That was a very brave thing you did, Harry,” he told me. “Your parents would be proud of that courage. So would Sirius, and so am I.” He smiled, placing his hand on my shoulder.

“Thanks, Remus,” I murmured, amazed by his support. This evening had gone far better than I’d ever expected. “That really means a lot. The support from everyone is just…amazing.”

“You seem surprised by that.”

“To tell you the truth, I sort of am. I’ve been so scared about what everyone would say…It’s not an easy thing, coming out.”

“I should think not. But you’ve done a fine job of it, Harry. And know this—you’ve got people who care deeply for you here. They would go to the ends of the earth to protect you, and they will support you in anything you do.”

I nodded. “I know.”

♥♥♥


We all slept late the next morning, and I didn’t make it down for breakfast until nearly ten. It didn’t much matter, seeing as Ginny and Ron both followed me in. Hermione was already at the table, and Mr. Weasley had already left for work. We sat in sleepy silence for quite a while, each of us slowly eating away the drowsiness that still hovered over us all. I had nearly finished eating when Ron finally spoke.

“What was that all about last night?” he asked quietly. The three of us turned to look at him questioningly.

“What are you talking about, Ron?” I replied.

“You know what I’m talking about—the whole coming out thing!”

“They deserved to know.”

“Yeah, just like I bloody well deserved to know you were going to do that. I looked like a fool!”

“Oh, heaven forbid you embarrass yourself, Ronald!” Hermione snapped. “You do that on a daily basis! Harry put himself out there at the mercy of us all. He didn’t tell you about it because he knew you would try to convince him not to do it. He did what he thought needed to be done. And, in my opinion, he did the right thing.”

“Why do you suddenly think that everyone is interested I n your opinion?”

“Ron!” Ginny exclaimed. Hermione looked hurt.

“Well, she—” Ron began.

“Ronald Weasley!” Mrs. Weasley’s voice was harsh. She was standing in the doorway, her hands on her hips. She beckoned to Ron, who sulked off to meet her. They disappeared into the pantry, and, though their voices were muffled by the door, it was easy to tell that Ron was being scolded again. Ginny shook her head violently, still fuming. I stood and hugged Hermione, who looked as though she might cry.

“Thanks, ‘Mione,” I said quietly. “That meant a lot.” She smiled faintly, her eyes still slightly watery.

“Don’t listen to that git, Hermione,” Ginny put in. “Ron’s an arse, that’s nothing new.” Hermione nodded and wiped her eyes, before looking up at us and grinning widely.

“What do you two say to an afternoon in the snow?” she asked. Ginny and I grinned at each other.

“I’m in,” Ginny replied. “How about you, Harry—ready for a rematch?”

“Only if you’re ready to lose again!” I called, running up the stairs to get my coat. They followed quickly, the incident with Ron forgotten.

♥♥♥


After a rather violent snowball fight, one which we later deemed a three-way tie, we set about building a snowman—something neither of us had done since we were very young. When it had been completed, we stood back to admire it…or, rather, to poke fun at it.

“Its mouth is crooked,” Ginny noted. I shrugged.

“I wasn’t concentrating on getting it straight,” I replied. “Besides, you’ll never notice it with that Harpies jersey. It takes the attention away from everything else with its awful color.”

Ginny looked at me incredulously and shoved me into a snowdrift. Her laughter cut off short as I pulled her down into the snow with me. She threw a handful of snow at me, and a playful brawl broke out between us.

“Oh, you two!” Hermione exclaimed, trying hard to hide her laughter. She stopped suddenly, staring off into the distance. “You guys…look.” She pointed off onto the horizon. Ginny and I stood, and looked off in the direction she indicated. There, heading towards us, was a rather proper looking owl—one that I’d seen before.

“It’s Darius!” I exclaimed, stepping forward and holding out my arm to the owl, which landed lightly there, offering up the letter it carried. The girls stared at me questioningly. “He’s Draco’s,” I explained. They nodded in understand, watching as I took the letter from the owl. Having done its job, it flew off once more, heading back home to its master. “And this,” I continued, “is from him.”

“Ooh, a note from the lover!” Ginny cooed. She grinned, and snatched the letter from my hand, running a few paces away and unfolding the paper, beginning to read.

“Ginny! That’s not fair!” I exclaimed. “Come on! I haven’t even read it yet!”

“Ginny,” Hermione joined. “Harry’s right. Give it back to him and let him read it first.”

Ginny sighed and walked back to us, handing me the letter. “You’re no fun,” she said, and headed for the house. “You’ll like what he’s written, though, Harry. From what I saw, it’s very sweet.” She smiled and disappeared inside. Hermione turned to follow after her.

“Are you coming in, Harry?” she asked.

“In a minute,” I replied. She nodded and left me, the door closing softly behind her. I swept the snow from the top of one of the garden benches and sat down. And there, alone in the quiet of the snow, I began to read.

Harry,

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write. Father made an unexpected trip home and I haven’t had a chance to reply to you until now. I certainly choose the oddest times to write letters don’t I? (Eleven-thirty on New Years Eve, by the way.) I suppose you’ll be telling the Weasleys this evening. I wish you the very best of luck, Harry. And I send all of my love and support to you.

I miss you so much. Your letter, though comforting, has only made me miss you even more (if that’s possible). Only a few more days of break and then we can be together again. We most certainly can meet on the train. I was going to suggest that, but it must have slipped my mind when I was writing before. Name the time and the place, and I’ll be there.

I dreamt about you last night—about the time we first met. Do you remember? It was that day in Diagon Alley, nearly seven years ago, at Madam Malkin’s. If anyone had told me then that the boy I spoke to in that robe shop would one day be the love of my life, I would have called them insane. But, here we are—and I love you more than anything in this world. Strange how things work out sometimes, isn’t it?

It’s so strange…just last year we were at each other’s throats nearly every day…And now…now I find myself able (and willing) to tell you anything. I miss you, above all people, when I’m alone. You’re the one I think about all the time, the one I dream about at night, the one I long to hold…to kiss. Gods, I love you, Harry. I realize that I say that a lot, but I want you to know that I mean it every time.

Alright, now I know I’m blabbering and making no point whatsoever. The clock’s just struck midnight here… So, I suppose a ‘Happy New Year’ is in order. There’s so much I want to say to you right now, but I’ll keep it short. Just know that I miss you, and that I love you. And that if I was there right now, I would be kissing the living daylights out of you. I will see you very, very soon. Write to me, Harry.

I love you.

Draco


The letter was long, nearly three pages. Yet, somehow, when I got to the end, it didn’t seem long enough. I suddenly found myself wishing that his words would go on forever. Ginny was right—it was sweet. So sweet, in fact, that I found myself wiping away a few stray tears as I read through it a second and third time.

“Harry!” Mrs. Weasley’s voice ran out across the otherwise silent garden. “Come inside, dear! You’ll catch your death out there!”

“Coming, Mrs. Weasley,” I replied. I heard her close the window, and took the opportunity to wipe my eyes before heading back inside.

♥♥♥


“Can’t I read it?” Ginny begged as she sat on the edge of my bed that night.

“I don’t know,” I began. “Parts of it are rather private.”

“Please, Harry?”

“You’re not going to give up on this, are you?” She shook her head. “Alright, fine.” She clapped her hands excitedly as I tossed her the letter. “Don’t tell Draco you’ve read it. I don’t know how he’d feel about everyone knowing what he’s written there.”

She didn’t seem to have heard me. Her eyes scanned the pages quickly, taking in Draco’s neatly written words. Even Hermione’s knock at the door didn’t hinder her. I let Hermione in with us, checking to make sure Ron was still snoring down the hall before closing the door quietly. Ginny’s eyes flickered up to meet mine as she let the letter drop to the bed.

“Oh, Harry,” she whispered. She seemed, then, at a loss for further words, so she hugged me instead. Hermione looked down at the discarded letter with interest.

“May I?” she asked. I shrugged.

“Might as well,” I replied. “Everyone else has. She picked it up and read it through slowly twice, maybe even three times, before she looked up at me again.

“He’s very sweet,” she said. I nodded, smiling. “And he really does seem to love you.”

“He does,” I added. “And I love him, too…maybe even more than he knows.”

“Yes, well…I’m happy for you, Harry. Really, I am. Only…” She sighed, looking up at me with an unreadable light in her eyes. “Just promise me that you’ll be careful. I know that you trust him.” She said this just as I opened my mouth to speak, knowing exactly what I was going to say. “And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t,” she continued. “I just…I’d hate to see you get hurt—either of you.”

This I…hadn’t expected, and it brought me to a loss for words. It took several long, quiet moments of staring down at the bed before I finally found something to say. I looked up at her, smiling.

“Thanks, ‘Mione,” I said. “That really does mean a lot to me…And I know it would to Draco, too.” She smiled and hugged me. Ginny’s overly hyper bouncing was the thing to ruin the moment.

“Aren’t you excited, Harry?” she exclaimed. “Only for more days of break—and then you and the lover boy will be together again.””

“Four days?” I repeated. “Is that really all that’s left?” She nodded enthusiastically. I had thought there was at least one more week of torture without Draco before we went back, but this news brought on a whole new level of happiness. Four days until I could see my Draco again. Four days until I could hold him—four days until I could kiss him. Ginny must have been able to tell what I was thinking, because her sharp elbow to my ribs was accompanied with a knowing smirk.

“Planning what you’re going to do when you see him again?” she asked playfully. “If it were me, I’d go for something along the lines of snogging him senseless.” I threw a pillow at her, grinning and all the while thinking that ‘snogging him senseless’ seemed like a very, very good idea.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
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The second letter from Harry arrived the morning after Darius returned home. It seemed that I’d grown far more impatient over the past few weeks. I’d spent every hour that morning since I’d woke pacing the length of my room, waiting for the snowy owl to arrive at my window. And the bird didn’t disappoint me. I was reading the letter before it even had a chance to take off again.

Draco,

I’ve told them. I still find it hard to believe just how well they’ve taken it—and how supportive they all seem to be. It’s incredible, and the evening went off better than I thought it would, though I still wish you could have been here. It would have made me much less nervous.

I miss you, too—more and more each day, if you can believe it. The break from school work is great, but being away from you for so long is torture. Would eleven-thirty be too soon to meet up? I’ve no idea how we’ll define a meeting place, so I suppose I’ll leave that up to you.

I do remember that day when we first met. I’d never have thought that we would end up together, either…but I’m glad that we have. I’ve been happier these past few months than I have in a long time, and I owe it all to you.

I love you, too…probably more than anyone knows. Happy New Year to you as well, and I wish I could have kissed you when the clock turned as well. I suppose we’ll just have to make up for it when we see each other, won’t we?

I love you, and I’ll see you soon.


Harry


I grinned, folding the letter back up. Three days, I told myself. Only three more days. I opened my trunk, burying the letter under a pile of robes—right next to the first one he’d sent. I’d already packed everything I would be taking back to school the night before when I’d had trouble sleeping. (Thinking of Harry and the seventy-two hours I had until I would see him again had pushed the rational thought of sleep from my mind.)

I gave myself a once over in the mirror before heading downstairs to breakfast. Mum was already there waiting for me.

“Morning, Mum,” I said, kissing her cheek as I passed. She smiled up at me as I sat down across from her.

“Good morning, darling,” she replied. She sat quietly for a moment, watching as I filled my plate. “You’re in a good mood this morning. Get a letter from Harry?” I nodded.

“We’re meeting at eleven-thirty on the train.” She’d been following the written conversations Harry and I’d been having quite closely, asking for details on what both of us had written.

“Good. You’ve been moping around here the past few days. I’m hoping that seeing this boy again will perk you up a bit.” I smiled and returned to my breakfast, knowing she was right.

♥♥♥


The three days passed quickly, much to my surprise, and before I knew it I was walking through King’s Cross to Platform 9 ¾. Mum hadn’t been able to see me off, so I had to settle for Gabriel. He followed behind me, pushing a trolley with my trunk and Darius as we stepped through the barrier and onto the platform. The man loaded my trunk for me, despite my insistent pleas that I could do it myself. And then I sent him off, scowling as he bowed in farewell.

I walked around the platform for a bit after that, not really wanting to go sit in a compartment by myself. That was how I met up with Blaise and Pansy, who came through the barrier practically together. Pansy, of course, attacked me with hugs while Blaise stood to the side, shaking his head.

“I’ve missed you so much, Draco!” Pansy said, finally releasing me.

“You just saw him a week ago,” Blaise interjected, dragging his trunk toward the train.

“Yes, well, a week is a long time!”

I rolled my eyes at their bickering and grabbed hold of Pansy’s trunk, towing it along after Blaise. We stowed them away and were just stepping onto the train ourselves when movement near the barrier caught my eye.

Red hair had just appeared over the crowd, followed by bushy brown—Ron and Hermione. Which meant…yes! Long, glossy red hair appeared now, followed by endearingly messy black. Harry. I pulled from my pocket a paper crane and, raising it in the palm of my hand, blew it towards him. It fluttered away over the crowd, and I smiled as I watched, remembering a time I’d done something similar in third year. I had a feeling he would like the message this one held quite a bit more than the other.

♥♥♥♥♥


Chapter 10: Chapter Ten
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I followed Ginny through the barrier and down the platform, chuckling as she skipped along. She seemed almost more excited about my seeing Draco again than I was. Alright, maybe not; I was pretty excited, yet that same fluttering sensation. Of nervousness was still there, too, though I couldn’t imagine why. Perhaps it was because we hadn’t seen each other for so long and I was nervous about what would happen when we saw each other again.

It didn’t matter. The thoughts were driven from my head when I saw the paper crane fluttering over the crowd towards me. It landed in my out stretched palm, and I thought I caught a glimpse of sleek blonde hair disappearing onto the train. I grinned and stowed the crane in my pocket for safe keeping until I got a chance to read its message.

I followed the others to an empty compartment where we loaded our trunks. Ron and Hermione left us then for Prefect duties, and Ginny and I were both grateful. She had seen me slip the note from Draco into my pocket and now begged me to read it—or, rather, to let her read it.

“I think I can handle it, Gin,” I said, pulling the crane from my pocket. I unfolded it slowly, partly to tease Ginny and partly because my hands were shaking far too much for quick movement. When I succeeded in getting it open, I found that it was indeed Draco’s familiar scrawl written across the page.

You chose the time, you can choose the place. Eleven-thirty. Pick an empty compartment—I’ll find you.

D.


“D? He can’t even sign his whole name now?” Ginny exclaimed. She’d been reading over my shoulder.

“It’s probably in case it got intercepted or something,” I replied, reading it again. “How he thinks he’s gonna find me, I’ll never know. He’ll have to search the entire train.”

“He’ll find you, of that I’m sure.” Ginny looked at me in silence for a moment, her nose wrinkling. “You’re not wearing that to go see him, are you?”

“What are you talking about?” I asked, looking down at my jeans, trainers, and t-shirt.

“Nothing. It’s just…hm…” She turned and began digging through my trunk.

“Hey, Gin! What are you doing?” I jumped up, trying to pry her away from the trunk. “There’s private stuff in there.”

“Ah, there we are!” She pulled out the shirt she’d bought me for Christmas. “This will do nicely. Now…about the jeans…”

“Hey, Draco happens to like these jeans on me, thank you!” I could have slapped myself for saying that. She smirked.

“Alright, then I suppose the jeans can stay, but you really should change your shirt.”

“I still don’t understand—”

“Harry! Think about it. You’re dating Draco Malfoy. Don’t you think you out to look like you go together?”

I shrugged, knowing that was exactly how I felt on most occasions. We really didn’t look like we belonged together. I was the poor kid in over-sized hand-me-downs and he was the rich kid in designer clothes. I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to look more like I fit in with him. I took the shirt with a sight and changed into it, tossing the other one into my trunk.

“There,” Ginny said, looking me over. “Much better.”

“It’s too small,” I complained, pulling slightly at the fabric.

“It’s supposed to be. It’s form fitting.”

“Yeah, well, it’s annoying.”

“You’ll get used to it. Besides, you look good. I think Draco will like it.”

There was no use arguing with her. She was just as stubborn as Ron, if not more so. And so, at eleven-thirty, I left the compartment in search of an empty one further down the train. One where Draco and I could be alone.

♥♥♥


I’d looked through most of the train before I finally found an open compartment. I was just sliding the door open when movement at the other end of the car caught my eye. I looked up, only to find Draco checking compartments at the other end. I stood there, waiting for him to see me. When he finally did, he smirked and headed right for me. I slipped into the compartment I’d found and he followed, closing the door behind us before turning to face me.

I practically pounced on him, my arms wrapping around his neck as our lips crashed together. I pushed him up against the door, sighing contentedly into his mouth as his arms came around my waist, pulling me closer. He pushed back off the door, guiding us over to the middle of the compartment. Our tongues caressed as he pulled me tighter against him. It felt almost as thought he were afraid to let me go. I realized that I was having the exact same feeling as I tightened my hold on him, my fingers running through his hair.

“Gods, I’ve missed you,” he said, finally breaking our kiss. I nodded in agreement, still to breathless for words. He sat down, pulling me along with him. “Tell me about your Christmas. I want to know everything.”

I told him about coming out to the Weasleys, and even described in detail the snowman Ginny, Hermione, and I had built together. He smiled as he listened, occasionally nodding, but he didn’t interrupt me once. I told him about Ginny and how much fun we’d had together, and how she’d pulled me out of several mini-depressions when I started missing him too much.

“Remind me to thank her,” he said. “I was hoping someone would look after you while we were apart.” He smiled and pulled me closer to him. “I love you, you know it?”

I nodded, snuggling back against him. “I love you, too.” We kissed and I laid my head on his shoulder, loving the feel of his arms wrapped around me. “How was your Christmas?”

He was quiet for a moment, and then shrugged. “Boring, really.”

“It couldn’t have all been boring.”

“But it was.”

“Surely something entertaining happened? Tell me about your mum. What’d she say when you told her we were together?”

“She was thrilled. She told me to be good to you, and to never let you go without a fight.”

“That’s…that’s really sweet.”

“Yeah. She’s good at saying things like that.” He was silent after that, so I pressed him further.

“And?”

“And what?”

“What else happened? I know you didn’t just sit there staring blankly at the wall the entire time!”

“Nothing interesting happened. There was the usual overly-extravagant Christmas party we throw every year. Merlin knows that was boring. I hung with Blaise and Pansy the entire time. Other than that, it was uneventful.”

“You said in one of your letters that your dad had made an unexpected trip home. How did things go with him?”

“I’d rather not talk about my father, if you don’t mind, Harry.” There wasn’t even a pause for thought before he said this, meaning that he’d been ready for that question. I let the subject drop. We sat in silence for a while after that as I searched for something to say.

“Did you have any trouble getting away from Pansy and Blaise?” Alright, it was a stupid question, but I was desperate to get him talking again. He smiled and shook his head.

“Pansy had already headed off on Prefect rounds and Blaise got a new book for Christmas. I don’t think he even realized I was leaving.”

I smiled. “Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.” He pulled me closer to him, and it was only a moment later that we hard the sweet trolley coming down the aisle towards us. “Mmm,” I whispered. “A chocolate frog would be brilliant right about now…”

Draco chuckled. “Well,” he said, “I’d say now would be your change to get one.” I grinned at him and stood, moving out of the compartment and down to the trolley. It was good thing I’d had a fair bit of money with me, because I returned to the compartment with a good deal more than I’d originally intended.

“That’s more than just a chocolate frog!” Draco exclaimed when I’d dumped my arm full of purchases on the seat across from us. I shrugged and picked up a package of Bertie Botts.

“I’m hungry,” I replied, struggling to open the package. “I didn’t eat very much at breakfast this morning.”

“And why’s that?” he asked, opening the package for me.

“I was too excited about seeing you again.” He smiled and scanned the pile of sweets.

“Did you buy out the entire trolley?!”

“No. Only the good stuff.”

“And apparently the chocolate frogs were the best, eh?” He was gesturing to the twelve that lay in a heap in the middle of the seat. I nodded.

“They’re my favorite.”

“I can see that.” I pooped a bean or two into my mouth and went on digging through the box to find a few more seemingly safe ones. “You’re gonna make yourself sick eating all this.”

“That’s why I was gonna share with you.”

“I see…” He looked curiously at the pile of sweets before choosing a licorice wand for himself.

The pile slowly grew smaller until only about two-thirds of it remained. This I slid into my pocket for later, leaving out a single chocolate frog to satisfy my craving with. I offered a piece to Draco, but he smiled and shook his head.

“No thanks,” he said. I shrugged and popped it into my mouth, closing my eyes as I savored the taste. There were lips on mine as soon as I swallowed the chocolate, and a skilled tongue was soon slipping into my mouth. I groaned and let him in, digging my fingers into his hair. How I’d made it through the three weeks of break without this I would never understand.

Draco pulled back, leaving me completely breathless. He placed a light kiss on my lips, his tongue slipping in for one last stroke against mine before he moved to my neck, kissing a trail up to my hear. His breath was hot against my skin, making me shiver.

“Chocolate tastes better this way, I think,” he whispered.

“Does it?” I asked, kissing his throat. He groaned and nodded. I smiled as our lips met again. We were so wrapped up in each other and this incredibly perfect moment that neither of us heard anyone enter the compartment.

“Is that all you two do?!” a voice asked. Draco was the one to break the kiss.

“Hello, Blaise,” he said, turning to look at the other boy. “Can we help you with something, or did you just come to intrude?” He grinned to show he was joking.

“I got bored,” Blaise explained, sitting down across from us.

“What happened to your book? You seemed pretty enthralled with it when I left.”

“Finished it.”

“You just started it!”

“Yeah, and know I’ve finished it.”

“I’ll never understand how you do it.”

“You’d find you have time to do lots of things if you can keep your mind and your lips off Harry long enough.” Blaise gave me a wink as Draco tossed him a playful glare. “Besides, it’s not like you were doing anything important here.”

Draco rolled his eyes and sat back, turning to look out the window. I sighed and looked down at the floor. For once I wished Blaise hadn’t intruded.

“See that?” Blaise asked me, gesturing to Draco. “I’ve pissed him off.” Draco let out a deep breath and pulled me closer to him. I smiled and laid my head on his should as his lips pressed a kiss to my hair. It wasn’t long after that Pansy joined us. I couldn’t help but feel frustrated at this. Blaise and Pansy were great, and we really seemed to get along well…but I hadn’t seen Draco in three weeks, and all I really wanted was to spend the day alone with him. That wasn’t really too much to ask, was it?

Yet, at the end of the day, I was glad that they’d joined us, for Pansy found an opportunity to really prove her worth. This came about an hour after she joined us.

“Believe it or not, I had a real purpose for intruding on your afternoon together,” she said to us.

“You mean you weren’t just bored?!” Draco exclaimed, looking at Blaise. Pansy chuckled.

“No, no. I have a present for Harry. Well, both of you, I suppose.” She tossed me a package. I looked over at her, completely stunned. She’d gotten me a present? Pansy rolled her eyes at my expression. “Don’t give me that!” she exclaimed. “Just open it!”

I did as she said, and Draco and I exchanged confused looks as the gift was revealed. “Blank parchment,” Draco said, taking a piece to examine.

“Thanks?” I forced questioningly.

“Oh, honestly, you two!” Pansy exclaimed. “And you call yourselves wizards! It’s enchanted!” She took the piece I still held and pulled a quill from her pocket. “You write something on one sheet.” She scribbled something down. “And it shows up on the other!” Sure enough, ‘Happy Christmas’ had just appeared in Pansy’s until scrawl on the parchment Draco held. “It makes note passing much easier.”

“This is incredible,” I said, taking the parchment back form her. I turned to Draco. “A piece for each of us, then.” He smiled.

“Wait a minute!” Blaise cut in, looking to Pansy. “You’re a bloody Prefect! Aren’t you supposed to be stopping note-passing during classes instead of encouraging it?” Pansy shrugged.

“What the professors don’t know won’t hurt them,” she said. I was definitely clad she’s showed up now.

♥♥♥


I, regrettably, had to say goodbye to Draco and the others when the train pulled in to Hogsmeade Station. I wanted nothing more than to share a carriage with the three Slytherins, but I’d been gone for nearly the entire trip, and Ron was already going to be pissed. I bid farewell to Blaise and Pansy, and Draco, ignoring Blaise’s playful look of disgust, pulled me tight against him for a kiss.

“I love you,” he whispered.

“I love you, too,” I replied, smiling up at him. He pulled me in for a last kiss before I headed off in search of my friends.

♥♥♥


Hermione and Ginny seemed to be in a rather foul mood when I entered the compartment—and that told me that Ron had already been ranting about my absence for quite some time. Ginny seemed to perk up slightly when I arrived, and she immediately set into a full interrogation about my afternoon with Draco.

“Were you glad to see him again?” she asked, grinning.

“Definitely,” I replied, pulling my robes on. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to see someone.”

“Did you go through with your plan?”

“You mean the one where I snogg him senseless?” She nodded. “He must have ahd the same plan, because he beat me to it.” She grinned and patted my arm, pulling her trunk down from the luggage rack. It was then that Ron chose to make his reappearance from changing into his uniform.

“Look who decided to finally grace us with his presence!” he scoffed. “Been off with the ferret, have you?”

“Ron!” Ginny exclaimed. “Draco’s a nice guy. You’d see that if you just got over your bloody pride and realize that things have changed!”

“He’s a sodding ferret and that’s all he’ll ever be!” Ron shouted. “I don’t want you near him, Harry!”

“I don’t care what you want, Ron!” I replied angrily. I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself before I spoke again. “Can we not do this right now, please? Can’t we just go one night without an argument about Draco?”

“I think that’s a splendid idea!” Hermione cut in. “Now, come on. We’ll miss the carriages if we stay here much longer.” Needless to say, it was a very quiet carriage ride.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 11: Chapter Eleven
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I lay in bed that night staring up at the canopy as I listened to the others settling in around me. Blaise yawned as he passed my bed on the way to his own.

“All settled in for dreams about Harry?” he joked, lowering his voice so no one else would hear. I smiled and shrugged.

“You never know,” I replied. He grinned and sat down on his bed, still looking over at me.

“You look like you haven’t slept in a week, mate. Things going alright?”

“Fine.” I was lying through my teeth, and we’d know each other long enough that Blaise caught it immediately.

“Is it your dad?” he asked, his voice dropping even lower. I sighed and rolled onto my stomach, running a hand through my hair. “You know you can tell me anything, Draco.”

“I know,” I replied. “It’s just…” I sighed deeply and looked up at him. “Harry asked about him today.”

Blaise was quiet for a moment, and then asked the seemingly obvious question. “What’d you tell him?”

“That I didn’t want to talk about it. It seemed like the right idea at the time, but… I don’t know. I guess I feel bad about not talking to him. He’s told me nearly everything about his life; he’s been so open about it all and I just… I’ve barely told him anything.”

“Maybe you should talk to him about what goes on with you and Lucius.”

“Yeah, that’d go over real well.”

“Harry knows your dad’s a Death Eater, though. Right?”

“Are you kidding? The whole world knows that—they’re just too scared to do anything about it.”

“But if he knows already…? I guess I just don’t understand the problem.”

“My father being a Death Eater, and then him wanting me to do the same… They’re just two different subjects.”

“But you don’t want to be a Death Eater, right?” I shook my head. “Then that’s what Harry’s gonna hear. That’s the part he’s going to care about. Look, it’s ultimately your decision, mate. But I think it might help you out a bit if you talk to him about this.”

I nodded, knowing he was right, and stared down at my pillow in silence for a moment. “Thanks, Blaise,” I said quietly. He smiled and nodded.

“Anytime, Drake.”

♥♥♥


I still had a terrible time trying to sleep that night. I’d hoped that being back at school and seeing Harry again might improve my sleeping habits. It didn’t seem to make a bit of difference, and I found myself lying awake at odd hours in the morning. I watched the pale strip of light from the moon fade away and the bright light of the morning sun come to take its place.

It wasn’t until six that I finally accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to get anymore sleep, and I rolled out of bed, gathering my clothes and heading for the shower. I had showered, dressed, and made it downstairs with my bag before Blaise and the others had even managed to crawl out of bed.

I was the first person in the common room, which didn’t surprise me at all. Pansy was the first to join me. She didn’t seem surprised to find me up already.

“Good morning, Draco,” she said happily, coming to sit next to me. “Blaise still in bed?”

“He was when I left the dorm,” I replied, smiling. I fought the urge to yawn. Pansy would only worry if she found out I wasn’t sleeping. It was the way she’d always been. She looked at me oddly, almost as if she knew anyway. She was just opening her mouth to say something when loud bouts of shouting echoed down the boys’ staircase.

The shouting continued for a bit, occasionally rising in volume. Blaise’s voice came echoing down, suddenly much louder than the others. The door slammed and Blaise stalked down the stairs, muttering under his breath. Not a sound could be heard from the dorm now.

“Bloody sodding wankers,” Blaise mumbled angrily as he crossed the room to join us. “I swear—one more bit of nonsense like that and they’re sleeping with the fourth years.”

“Vince and Greg again?” Pansy asked. Blaise nodded haughtily. “What was it over this time?”

“Merlin knows what! Probably something stupid, like it always is.” He turned to me. “I swear, you’re the only one that can control them, Drake.” He looked at me, as if suddenly seeing something that alarmed him. “You alright, mate?”

“Yeah,” I replied, nodding. “Just had trouble sleeping, that’s all.” Blaise and Pansy exchanged glances. “It’s nothing, really! I’ve just gotta get used to being back in the dorm is all. It was a lot quieter at the mansion without Crabbe’s snoring.” Blaise groaned in agreement.

“It was horrible last night, wasn’t it?” he exclaimed. “Do you think we could put a silencing charm on him?”

“I don’t know that it’d do any good,” I said, grinning. It felt good to be joking around with him. Break had been so boring, so lonesome. It felt good to be back in the company of friends…and to be able to see Harry again. Speaking of which….

“Don’t you think we should be heading to breakfast?” I asked, watching as groups of students left the common room. Pansy and Blaise both nodded, picking up their bags. We headed for the door, a grin crossing my face as a plan formed in my mind.

♥♥♥


I ate breakfast quickly, my eyes glued to the Gryffindor table where Harry sat with Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. They latter caught sight of me several times, eventually nudging Harry and whispering something in his ear. He turned towards my table, his eyes scanning it as he searched for me. Our eyes locked when he found me, and I found myself drowning in the warm green depths, even at this distance.

Oh, the incredible powers you have over me, Harry Potter, I thought, smiling to myself. I winked at him before turning back to my breakfast. I watched out of the corner of my eye as he grinned and turned back to his own plate.

I waited around for a bit, biding my time until I thought he was done. They’d be leaving soon. Time to put my plan into action. I stood from the table, picking my bag up. Blaise and Pansy gave me odd looks.

“I’ll see you two in Defense,” I said, heading for the door. Neither of them said a word. I think they both knew I was plotting something, They’d both seen me watching Harry, after all.

I slipped out into the entrance hall, and crossed to the broom closet around the corner. I set my bag on the floor, cracking the door open just slightly, and giving myself a good view of the hall. I didn’t have to wait long. I could hear voices coming closer and soon long red hair came bouncing into view.

It was just the two of them. Ron and Hermione were nowhere in sight. This is gonna be easier than I thought. I opened the door and stepped into the hall. Ginny’s cheerful bouncing stopped when she saw me, her face spreading into a wide grin.

“Malfoy,” she said, winking. I grinned back.

“Weasley,” I replied, returning the wink. Our gazes turned to Harry at the same time. He looked as though he were fighting the urge to pounce on me right there. My smile widened a bit. Better not keep him waiting too much longer. “You don’t mind if I borrow Potter for a moment, do you?”

Ginny, if possible, grinned even wider. “Of course not!” she said, giving Harry a playful push in my direction. “I’m sure he’d be glad to have you borrow him.”

I grinned and led Harry into the closet, shutting the door behind us. I turned to look at him, a smirk playing across my lips. Harry dropped his bag next to mine. He moved closer to me, smiling in the darkness.

“I was hoping I’d get to see you before class,” he said, his hands running up my arms and across my shoulders as he wrapped his arms around my neck.

“Were you?” I asked, my arms moving around his waist. He nodded, reaching up to brush his lips against mine.

“I’ve missed you,” he whispered. Our lips met, and the kiss was stronger this time. I pulled him tight against me, loving the way our tongues moved together as the kiss deepened.

I pushed him slowly back against the wall, bringing one of his hands from my neck and pinning it to the wall as well, our fingers entwining together. He raised his chin, giving me better access to his throat as my lips moved along his jaw and down to his neck.

“I love you,” I whispered, pressing a kiss just behind his ear.

“I love you, too,” he said, the words coming out as a slight moan when my lips trailed down his neck again. “Is this going to be a regular morning occurrence?” he asked as I pulled back, looking down into his eyes.

“That depends,” I replied. “Do you want it to be?” He shrugged.

“I think I could definitely get used to it.”

I grinned and kissed him again. A soft knock on the door brought us back to reality.

“I really hate to interrupt,” Ginny’s voice called from outside, “but the others are all starting to leave the great hall, and we’re all going to be late for class if we don’t hurry.”

Harry and I exchanged glances as he let out a deep sigh. “There goes paradise,” he said, picking up his bag from the floor. I smiled and kissed his cheek as I shouldered my own bag.

“This was fun,” I said. He grinned.

“Yeah. I’m thinking we might have to make it a regular event.”

“Well, we can discuss that later. We’ve got to head for class.”

“McGonagall will kill me if I’m late the first day back.” He headed for the door.

“Harry?”

“Yeah?”

“You got your half of Pansy’s gift with you?” He nodded. “Keep it close.” I gave him a wink. He grinned, coming back over to kiss me.

“I’ll talk to you later, then?” he asked. I nodded. “I love you, Dray.”

“I love you, too.” He smiled and opened the door a crack, checking to see if the coast was clear. I grinned stupidly to myself as I watched him slip out the door. Merlin, that was brilliant.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve
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I spent the first ten minutes after I arrived to Transfiguration checking the parchment almost nervously. I was suddenly so desperate to hear from Draco, despite the fact that I’d only seen him a few moments before. The morning snogg session was a surprise, I had to admit, though one that I most thoroughly enjoyed. I only wish we’d had more time. Damn classes for starting so early.

McGonagall began her lesson, but I wasn’t listening. I vaguely saw Hermione taking notes, the thought registering somewhere in the back of my mind that I would need to look at hers later, or else get copies from Draco. I glanced up at the bored, half-heartedly trying to at least seem as though I was paying attention. I caught a flash of black out of the corner of my eye and looked down at the parchment, grinning as I watched words appear in Draco’s neat hand writing.

Miss me?

I picked up my quill, scribbling a reply as his words faded away.

Of course. It was a few moments before words appeared again.

Sorry it took me so long. Nott wanted help on that Potions essay Snape assigned over break. I swear, it’s a miracle he gets any work done on time with the way he procrastinates.

I know how that is, I wrote. Ron’s the same way.

What are we learning about in Trans. today? Something interesting, I hope.

I honestly don’t have a clue. I haven’t been paying attention.

You’re so helpful.

Aren’t I? How about in Defense? Anything good?

Something about Inferi. Nothing we haven’t learned, I’m sure.

I’d just set my quill to the paper to reply when more words appeared in place of those that had just faded.

This morning was fun. Think we should meet up again after lunch?

I grinned broadly and wrote, I definitely think we should meet after lunch. Where at?

Same place.

Sounds brilliant.

Essay in Defense. Thought I should warn you.

Another? How long?

12 inches. Not too bad, but still a pain.

We’re getting one in Trans. too. I hope Snape goes light on us.

Does he ever?

No. I sighed out a regular bit of parchment, scribbling down the assignment. When I looked back down to the note, there was a message waiting for me.

I have to go. We’ve got time to work on our essays and Nott keeps asking for help. I’ll see you later, alright?

My spirits fell a bit as I read it. Okay. Talk to you next period?

Can’t. Potions. Snape’ll be breathing down our necks. How about the period after? I’ve got Charms.

And I have Potions.

Oh.

Yeah.

I guess I’ll see you after lunch, then.

I guess.

Cheer up, Harry. It’ll be well worth the wait. I promise. I love you.

I love you, too, Dray.

♥♥♥


Potions was hell. Snape had us working on some complicated form of a sleeping draught, and that resulted in various point deductions from both Gryffindor and Hufflepuff for our mistakes. If that wasn’t bad enough, he set an essay as well. Essays in three classes—and the day was only half over.

The morning seemed to drag on forever, and when lunch came, I was nearly running to the great hall. I ate little, but mostly watched Draco at the Slytherin table. He seemed to be helping Nott with his essay again. He’d look up at me ever so often, smile apologetically, and then turn away again when Nott asked him a question.

I vaguely noticed Ron and Seamus trying to bring me into their quidditch discussion. Draco was leaving the great hall. I stood from the table, mumbling a quick excuse about the bathroom and reassuring Hermione that I would see her in Charms, before hurrying off after the blonde.

I rounded the corner and was pulled into the broom closet, a pair of lips pressing desperately against mine. I grinned and wrapped my arms around his neck, my fingers running through his hair. Draco pulled me closer, his tongue slipping deftly into my mouth. I let out a low moan as my back hit the door. Draco finally pulled back, both of us gasping for breath as he rested his forehead against mine.

“I told you it’d be worth the wait,” he whispered, smirking. I grinned and nodded.

“It most definitely was,” I replied. “Now come here.” I pulled him to me, my lips brushing his again. “I—” Kiss. –“love—” Kiss. –“you—” Kiss—“so much.”

He grinned and pulled me tight against him, kissing my cheek. “I love you, too.”

♥♥♥♥♥




AUTHOR NOTE:
You guys are gonna kill me if I keep posting short chapters like this, aren't you? Sorry, but this is the only way I end up getting it all out. It's hard to write a story in two first-person points of view. Anyway, yeah...This chapter didn't get us far, I know, but the next one will. And I promise I'll make it longer, okay? :D Thanks for reading, guys. You rock!

Chapter 13: Chapter Thirteen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]







The rest of the week passed the same as that Monday had. Harry and I met after breakfast and lunch, and passed notes during class. And the teachers continued their constant onslaught of homework. By the time Friday rolled around, we’d been assigned at least on essay for every class.

Harry and I met that night in the room of requirement, each with a mountain of homework. We worked on it together, helping each other when needed. By nine-thirty, I was exhausted. I still hadn’t managed a decent night’s sleep all week and working on Binn’s History of Magic essay for two hour straight wasn’t helping matters.

I yawned and stretched, tossing my quill down to give my hand a break. Across the table, Harry was still trying to finish his Charms essay. He didn’t seem to be doing so well.

“This is murder!” he exclaimed, throwing his quill down and pushing the roll of parchment from him. “I can’t look at it anymore.” I smiled and moved to the couch, motioning for him to join me. We laid side by side, our arms wrapped around each other.

“This is just the break I need,” I said, grinning. He smiled back and snuggled closer to me.

“Me, too.” We were both quiet for a moment before he spoke again. “I really don’t want to go back to the common room. I’m tired of listening to Ron rant about me seeing you.”

“I’d imagine that gets a little annoying.”

“A little?”

We smiled and laid there a while longer. It wasn’t long after that when I realized Harry’d fallen asleep. He looked so peaceful, and I couldn’t bring myself to wake him. I simply closed my eyes instead, and let the sound of his heartbeat lull me to sleep.

♥♥♥


We woke around eight that next morning, and at practically the same time. He seemed surprised to see me, and I nearly laughed at the look on his face.

“I think we fell asleep,” he mumbled sleepily. I smiled and nodded.

“I think so,” I replied.

“Ron’s gonna kill me.” He seemed concerned, but only for a moment as he shrugged this thought away. “Oh, well.”

“I’ll have you know that this was the best I’ve slept since before break.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I don’t know why. Maybe because I was with you…and the fact that this couch is slightly more comfortable than my bed.”

Harry laughed and pressed a light kiss to my lips. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

“We should probably head back before Ron sends a search party.”

“Yeah. I’m sure Pansy will have a nice long list of questions for me when Blaise tells here I didn’t come back last night. Should be fun.”

Harry grinned and stood, stretching as he let out a yawn. I sat up, running my fingers through my hair. I rolled my shoulders, stretching out my back. Harry piled his books into his bag and picked his robes up from the back of the chair. I stood to meet him as he walked to the door.

“I love you,” I said, pulling him to me in a kiss.

“I love you, too,” he replied, hugging me tight. “See you later?”

“Yeah.” He nodded, hugging me again before heading off back to his common room.

I sat down at the table, pulling my abandoned History of Magic essay back to me and picked up my quill. I stayed there for another hour or so to finish it and the last of my own Charms work. At nine-thirty, with all of my work completed, I could find no more excuses to stay. It was time to face Blaise and Pansy.

♥♥♥


They were waiting for me when I got back to the common room.

“Where’ve you been, mate?” Blaise asked with a grin. “You didn’t come back last night. We were worried.”

I blushed and avoided his eyes as I sat down near the fire, dropping my bag to the floor. “I was in the room of requirement,” I replied. “With Harry.”

Blaise raised an eyebrow. “Big step for you two, isn’t it? You’ve only been together what? Three months? I didn’t see Potter as one to go all the way that quickly—”

“What?!” I exclaimed, shaking my head quickly. “No, no, no, Blaise. We didn’t…no!” Blaise looked skeptical. “We were working on homework and took a break and just…fell asleep.”

“Is that what they’re calling it these days?”

“Oh, Blaise!” Pansy exclaimed, slapping his arm. “Leave him alone. If he and Harry did do something, who says he’d want to tell you about it?”

“Nothing happened!” I shouted, growing more and more annoyed with each passing moment. Pansy and Blaise exchanged grins as I let out a groan. I knew coming back to the common room was a bad idea.

♥♥♥


The next week passed nearly the same as the one before. The professors loaded us up with homework each night, the only real benefit being that Blaise and Pansy didn’t have enough time to bug me about Harry. He and I met again on Friday night, not expecting things to go any different than usual. We were in for a surprise.

I found him outside the room of requirement, which was odd because he usually waited for me inside. He seemed surprised to see me. I could feel his shock in the way he kissed me.

“Something wrong?” I asked. Harry looked from me to the door and back again.

“I…I thought you were in there…,” he replied.

“What?”

“I thought you’d beat me here and opened the room first.”

“No…I’m just—wait, you didn’t open it?”

“No. The door was here when I got here.”

“Someone’s taken our room, then?”

“Guess so.” We were quiet for a moment and a light of disappointment shone from his eyes as he looked at me.

“What are we gonna do?” I asked, my fingers brushing his wrist. He shook his head.

“I dunno,” he replied sadly. It was at that moment the door opened to reveal…Blaise?

“You lot coming in, or what?” he asked, leaning against the door frame. Harry and I exchanged glances, both of us stunned, before we turned back to Blaise.

“What…what are…” Harry’s mouth didn’t seem able to form the words he wanted to say. Blaise grinned and looked over his shoulder, calling into the room behind him.

“They’re too confused to come, Pans,” he said. “I can’t get them to leave the hall.” Pansy appeared next to him, smiling widely.

“Come on, you two!” she called to us. “We don’t bite.”

Harry and I exchanged glances, both of us still rather confused. He looked to Blaise and Pansy, and then back to me. I shrugged and took his hand as we walked into the room together.

“About time you lot got here!” a voice called from across the room.

“Ginny?” Harry said, eyebrows rising in surprise. Sure enough, Ginny was sitting in one of the arm chairs by the fire, Hermione curled up in the one next to her.

“Hi, Harry!” Ginny grinned, waving cheerily. She nodded to me, grinning even wider. “Hey, Draco.”

“Ginny,” I replied, smiling politely. Hermione smiled uncomfortably. What the hell is going on?

“Sit down, you two!” Pansy exclaimed, sitting down in the last remaining arm chair. Blaise took a seat at one end of the sofa, leaving room for Harry and I to sit down as well.

“What’s going on?” I asked. Harry nodded; he’d been trying to put the same question into words.

“Whatever do you mean, Draco?” Pansy returned, trying to seem innocent.

“You all knew Harry and I were meeting here tonight, so this wasn’t coincidence.” They were all silent. I turned to Blaise, whose face was plastered with a smirk. “Are you lot chaperoning now?” Blaise chuckled, Ginny joining in after am moment.

“We just thought we’d have a little sleep over is all,” Pansy answered.

“A sleep over?”

“Yes. Blaise and I have hardly gotten a chance to get to know Harry’s friends and this just seemed like a good opportunity.” She pointed to a few bags in the corner. We’ve all brought our things, including changes of clothes for both you and Harry, thanks to Blaise and Ginny.”

“How did you even manage to organize all of this?”

“Hermione and I are both Prefects, you know. We started talking and the idea for a get-together came up. We thought a sleep over seemed like fun.”

I sighed, shrugging as I pulled Harry towards the sofa with me. We sat down together. He leaned into me after a moment, his arm coming around my waist as he laid his head on my shoulder. I caught sight of Blaise out of the corner of my eye as he made a face and crossed his arms.

It took a few minutes of awkward silence before the conversation actually picked up. Pansy and Ginny did most of the talking. Blaise, after a while, pulled a book from his bag. Hermione, catching sight of the title, initiated a discussion over its contents, having read the book twice herself. Harry and I watched in awe as our friends, people from two different worlds, came together and bonded quickly. He looked to me, eyebrows rising in surprise as friendly conversation buzzed around us. I smiled and kissed his cheek, pulling him closer to me. Perhaps this evening won’t be so bad after all.

By eleven, everyone seemed to have loosened up a good deal, and it was then that Pansy brought out six bottles of butterbeer, passing one to each of us. The conversations bubbled into one, and things took a turn for the worse. We somehow got onto the subject of embarrassing things from our past, and before I knew it, Blaise had started telling the story of when I came out.

“You’re lucky you were brave enough to come out on your own, Harry,” Blaise said, taking a large swig of butterbeer. “We had to practically drag Draco out of the closet. I still remember the day when we first knew—”

“Blaise!” I exclaimed, knowing where his story was leading. “Please, don’t!”

“Come on, Drake! It’s a funny story!”

“It really isn’t. And since when did this become ‘embarrass Draco night’?”

“About five minutes ago, mate. Anyway, as I was saying…” I groaned and buried my face in Harry’s shoulder. He chuckled, kissing the top of my head as his arms came around me. It seemed to go on forever, and Blaise was obviously bent on making my embarrassment last as long as possible.

“So, I walk into the bathroom,” he continued, grinning widely. “And there he is with his trousers down and a copy of Quidditch Weekly in his hand.” Laughter echoed around the room. I didn’t even have to look up to know that Harry had found it amusing. I could practically hear the grin spreading across his face. I could hear him fighting to hold back his laughter. I looked up and punched him playfully on the arm.

“Shut up!” I said. He laughed and hugged me close.

“I just have one question, Draco,” Ginny called. I turned to face her. “Was it that chaser, Dolohov, from the U.S.?” Laughter echoed around us. I grinned and shook my head.

“Nah, Dolohov isn’t really my type,” I replied, and turned to Harry, our eyes meeting. “I prefer the dark-haired, green-eyed seekers.” Harry grinned and kissed me. The room settled down after that. Hermione yawned and looked at the clock.

“It’s going on three,” she said. “Think we should call it a night?” There were nods of agreement around the room, and six sleeping bags appeared in the corner. Everyone took turns in the small bathroom the room had provided us with, and eventually settled down into their sleeping bags.

Harry and I set up our beds just a few feet apart, close enough for us to talk quietly while the others slept. Lights went out soon after, only one remaining across the room where Blaise sat up reading. Echoes of ‘goodnight’ were called out around us and silence fell. Harry and I laid on our sides, facing each other and holding hands.

“This was actually pretty fun,” Harry whispered. I grinned and nodded.

“Yeah, it was,” I replied. “Pansy and Hermione had a good idea.”

“I wish I could have talked to you a little more, though.”

“There’s always tomorrow.”

“Yeah…..Dray?”

“Yeah?”

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

The light on the other side of the room went out, leaving us in total darkness.

“Night, mates,” Blaise called to us.

“Night.”

“Night, Blaise.”

We laid in silence for a few moments before I heard a sleeping bag unzip and someone crawling towards me. Warm lips pressed against mine and I wrapped my arms around Harry’s neck, pulling him closer. We broke apart after a moment or two, and Harry started to crawl back to his bed.

“Wait!” I said, grabbing his arm. He turned back to me, and I could just make out his face as my eyes started to adjust in the darkness. “This is stupid.” He looked confused. I unzipped my sleeping bag and moved over to make room for him. “C’mon.”

“Are you serious?” he asked, sounding hopeful. I nodded. He grinned and crawled in with me, zipping up the sleeping bag and wrapping his arms around me. “I’ve missed this all week,” he whispered, pressing a kiss to my lips.

“Have you?” He nodded. “Me, too.” We cuddled up together, soon drifting off to sleep as we laid there wrapped in each other’s arms.

♥♥♥♥♥






Author Note:

Alright, not my best chapter, I know. It’s difficult to do two different stories at once, you know. Anyway, I’m gonna take a tiny—TINY—break from this one and work on my other one because my ‘Hearts’ readers will have a conniption if they don’t get another chapter soon. (Just kidding, guys) So, I’ll get my thoughts organized and be back to this baby soon. Thanks so much for all of the reviews, guys. I really appreciate it all.

Cara Nicole Luvitz


Chapter 14: Chapter Fourteen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]







When I woke up that next morning, I didn’t even bother opening my eyes. I snuggled deeper into Draco’s arms, reveling in the feeling of warmth and protection I felt in his embrace. I whispered his name sleepily, burying my face in his chest. His arms tightened around me.

“Morning, love,” he whispered, kissing my hair. He gave a contented sigh as he held me tight to him. Low voices drew our attention from across the room. The others are up, then, I thought.

“Anyone know when that happened?” Ginny asked quietly.

“Harry crawled over there not long after I went to bed,” Blaise replied distractedly. I could only guess that he was reading again.

“They look so adorable curled up together like that,” Pansy cooed. I could just imagine Blaise’s eyes rolling at that exact moment.

“I have to admit that I agree,” Hermione said. “We were all a little reluctant when they got together, I think. But now that I see how happy they are….I guess it worked out for the best.” I smiled, glad she was accepting things. “I’m happy for them.”

“They’re lucky,” Ginny went on. “They’ve each found someone to really care about them.”

“I wish some of the other sods around here were more like them,” Pansy sighed.

“You know what they say—the good ones are either taken or gay.”

“Those two just happen to be both.” There was quiet laughter amongst them, and Pansy let out a gasp. “Look! Drake’s waking up.”

I opened my eyes to find a pair of sleep-clouded grey ones looking back at me. Draco smiled at me, and leaned forward to give me a kiss. I smiled and wrapped my arms around him, pulling him as close as possible.

“I think we have an audience,” he whispered, his breath fluttering across my ear. I pulled back and rolled over to look at the group sitting at the table in the corner. They waved. I grinned and waved back, turning to Draco again. He raised himself up on his arms, gave one look to our friends, and pulled the sleeping bag as far over our heads as it would go. “Thought I’d give us a little privacy,” he said, pressing his lips against mine. I opened up to him, letting him explore every part of my mouth in a gentle kiss. “I love you,” he whispered.

“I love you, too,” I replied, kissing him again.

“Are you two coming out, or are you just going to leave breakfast all to us?” Ginny called. We didn’t reply—our mouths were otherwise occupied. We heard footsteps coming closer.

“Come on, mates! I’m bloody hungry!” Blaise was saying, his voice coming closer. In an instant, the sleeping bag was pulled down, giving them all a view of our snogg. “Ah! My eyes!”

Draco and I broke apart as we joined the others in laughter at Blaise’s embarrassment. “That’ll teach you to interrupt me when I’m saying good morning to Harry!” Draco exclaimed, grinning widely.

“I’m going to go and wash my eyes out now,” Blaise said quietly, heading for the bathroom. Draco sat up, pulling me along with him. He turned to the others, all of them still seated around the table.

“You lot don’t mind if I finish saying good morning, do you?” he asked with a smirk. Pansy and Ginny grinned, shaking their heads. Hermione blushed deeply and dropped her eyes to the table. Draco nodded and looked to me, pulling me closer and pressing his lips against mine again. The bathroom door opened behind us.

“Is it over?” Blaise asked. He caught sight of us again and groaned. “Oh, for Merlin’s sake!”

Draco pulled back in laughter, taking my hand and pulling me up with him as he stood. “I guess that’s all for now love. Don’t want to give Blaise a heart attack.” I grinned and hugged him. “We’ll continue this later,” he whispered. I nodded in agreement and kissed his cheek.

“C’mon,” I said, pulling him towards the table. “Breakfast. I’m hungry.”

♥♥&heart;s


“That was fun,” Hermione said as they all prepared to part ways.

“We’ll have to do it again some time,” Pansy agreed, smiling brightly.

“Are you coming, Harry?”

I looked up at Draco, his silver eyes flashing hopefully as his hand tightened on mine. “I…I think I’m gonna stay here with Drake for a while,” I replied. Hermione opened her mouth to object, but closed it again at looks from both Ginny and Pansy. She smiled and nodded instead.

“See you later, then,” she said, heading for the door. Ginny waved to us.

“Have fun, you two!” she called, giving us a wink as she left. Pansy gave us both hugs.

“It was good seeing you, Harry,” she said.

“You, too,” I agreed.

“See you later, Drake.”

“Bye, mate!” Blaise called, ushering Pansy out of the room. Draco and I continued to stand there in silence for a few moments before he turned and headed over to the sofa.

“Well, that was fun,” he said, sitting down. I smiled and nodded, sitting next to him with my back against his chest. He wrapped his arms around me, kissing my hair. “Not sure if I’d agree to do it again too soon.”

I shook my head, laughing. “No, definitely not,” I replied. “I prefer to spend my evenings alone with you.” He smirked and pressed a kiss to my lips. We were quiet for a few moments before he spoke.

“I want to talk to you about something,” he said. I gave him a small smile.

“Like what?” I asked, snuggling close to him.

“My father.” I pulled back slightly, looking him in the eye as my smile faded.

“Dray, you don’t have to—”

“No, Harry. This is something I need to do. You’ve been so open with me, and it seems like you’ve told me everything about you. I’ve done nothing but block you out, and that’s not right.” I sighed and leaned back against him, knowing that once he set his mind to something there would be no use trying to change it. “I felt so horrible that day on the train when you asked me about him and I pushed you away. I should have opened up to you, let you know from the start, but…I guess I’m just afraid of what you’ll think.”

“Never be afraid of that, Draco,” I said, holding tightly to him. “I love you—nothing could ever change that.”

“I love you, too.” He kissed the top of my head. “What do you want to know? I’ll tell you anything.”

I was quiet for a few moments, thinking long and hard for questions. He’d given me free range to ask him anything I wanted, and now I needed to choose the most important questions.

“It’s odd,” I said. “Now that I’ve got the chance to ask you anything, I can’t think of any decent questions.

“Don’t stress over it, love,” he replied. “I’ll tell you whatever you want to know. Just ask me whatever comes to mind.”

“I guess I’ll start with the question I asked you on the train.” He nodded, almost as if he knew that would be my question. He took a deep breath and cleared his throat, preparing himself to answer.

“My father, as I’m sure you know, is a confirmed Death Eater.” I nodded, but didn’t interrupt. “The night he came home over break, we got into an argument. He claims that as a Malfoy, I have a certain honor to uphold. He wishes for me to join the Dark Lord as soon as I’ve finished school.”

“What?!” I shrieked, turning to face him. He remained calm, looking at me solemnly. “You can’t, Draco! You can’t join him!”

“I don’t intend to. Joining You-Know-Who was never in my plans. Mum and I are against the war—and everything my father is fighting for. Our loyalty lies with Dumbledore and the Order….and with you, Harry.”

“Your…your father…what’s he like?” I asked tentatively.

“The only word I can think of that properly describes him is arsehole.” Draco smiled half-heartedly, but it quickly faded when I didn’t give the same reaction. “He’s the type of person who thinks he’s right no matter what.” He looked over at me, an odd light in his eyes. “In a lot of ways, we’re very much alike, me and him.”

“Don’t say that,” I mumbled, snuggling as close to him as I could. “Don’t you ever compare yourself to him unless it’s to show how much better you are than him.”

“Harry…” He sighed.

“No, Dray. I won’t hear it. I won’t listen to you make yourself out to be a copy of him—because you’re not, alright?”

“Okay,” he whispered, smiling slightly. “It’s sweet how concerned you are about this, love.” I blushed and nodded, burying my head in his chest. “I love you.”

“I love you, too, Draco.” I smiled as he kissed the top of my head and hugged me tighter to him. “I appreciate this. You opening up to me, I mean.”

“I promise to be more open from now on, alright? I’ll tell you whatever you want to know. I promise.”

♥♥♥


Ron wasn’t happy when I got back to the common room. He’d apparently just found out where the three of us had been all night—and who we’d been with.

“What the hell were you thinking?!” he shouted to us. Hermione seemed sincerely upset at his anger, and Ginny didn’t look as though she really cared. I didn’t know what to think. Part of me felt bad for lying to Ron all the time—he was my best mate, after all—but another part of me was tired of listening to him rant. He’d told me he would support me in my choice, yet now all he did was complain about it. That didn’t seem right to me. “They’re sodding Slytherins, for Merlin’s sake!” he continued, his arms waving wildly as he paced before us.

“And what’s house got to do with it?” Ginny exclaimed. “We’re friends with Luna! She’s not in Gryffindor!”

“That’s entirely different—”

“No, it’s not, Ron. You just want it to be. What do you have against them? They’ve been nothing but kind to us all year, and all you do is snipe about them. If Harry and Draco are going to be together long-term, then it’s only right that we make an effort with Blaise and Pansy.”

“They’re not going to be together long-term because Harry’s going to end it, right mate?”

The room grew unnaturally quiet as three sets of eyes turned to me. My eyes narrowed in confusion as I looked at Ron while searching for a reply.

“Is that what you want, Ron?” I asked quietly. “Is that really what you want me to do?” He didn’t answer. I felt my anger bubbling to the surface as I watched him. “I’m finally happy for the first time since Sirius…and now you just want me to go and throw that all away because you’ve got something against the bloke’s house? It’s not happening, Ron!”

“It’s not just his house. It’s that… well, he’s Malfoy, Harry! Have you forgotten everything he’s done to us?”

“No, I haven’t forgotten it, Ron. But I have forgiven him, just as he’d done for me. We weren’t exactly affectionate to them, if you recall.”

“No, but they deserved it!”

“Bullshit!” A painful silence followed. “Look,” I sighed. “I love him, alright? He makes me happier than I think I’ve ever been. When I’m around him I fell…complete. I know that sounds corny, but it’s true. Nothing you or anyone else says could change the way I feel about him, alright?”

I turned and headed for the stairs, leaving the three of them alone in the dorm as I descended to the packed common room.

♥♥♥♥♥





AUTHOR NOTE:

Alright, I know I said I wouldn't be posting on this again until I got another chapter up on 'Hearts', but I've hit a bit of a snag on that and I had ideas that would not rest for this one. So, you've got a bit of a treat here, I guess. My 'Hearts' readers are gonna kill me, mind you. But...yeah. Here you go. The quote in the summary, I hope you realized, was supposed to be from Ron's point of view. Yeah. Anyway....Here you go. Enjoy. More chapters soon, I promise. Also, I had a friend over a few days ago and she gave me a BRILLIANT idea for a Drarry...I can't post it here, due to possible violation of the terms of service. But, when I get it up, I'll...um...somehow let you know, I suppose and tell you where I post it, if you're interested. See you, mates! Thanks for your support and all your great reviews!!!!

Chapter 15: Chapter Fifteen
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The following week passed surprisingly quickly. Harry and I met on Friday night. The homework load had lightened slightly, much to our relief. We’d finished our work by nine, and so we laid together on the sofa discussing our week and occasionally stealing a kiss.

“I could do this forever,” Harry whispered, his head resting on my chest.

“So could I, but, unfortunately, it’s going on ten. Filch will be out soon. We should be heading back,” I replied.

“I don’t want to go back.” Harry tightened his hold on me. “Ron’s been in a foul mood lately. It’s made the dorms hell.”

“He’s really not happy about us being together, is he?” He shook his head. “Hey.” I lifted his chin up so that our eyes met. “He will come around. I promise.” He smiled and I kissed him lightly.

“That may be true,” he said, sitting up as I climbed off the sofa and picked up my robes,” but until then, I’d rather avoid the common room as much as possible.”

“So stay here tonight.”

He shook his head. “No, I couldn’t stay alone.” He watched quietly as I pushed my books into my bag. “Dray?”

“Yeah?”

“Would you…erm…would you mind staying with me?” I looked at him, smiling at the blush that crept up his neck.

“I’m gonna go back to the dorm,” I said, shouldering my bag. His face fell. “I’ll grab a few things and be back as soon as I can, okay?” He grinned and jumped up to hug me, planting a kiss on my lips.

“Thank you, Draco,” he murmured, his arms wrapped tightly around my neck and his face buried in my chest.

“It’s no trouble. I’ll be back soon.”

♥♥♥


“Hey, mate,” Blaise said as I entered the dorm. He was sprawled across his bed with a book in his hands. “I was wondering when you’d be back.” He watched me pull an old rucksack from under my bed and begin stuffing clothes into it. “Where’re you going?”

“I’m staying in the room of requirement,” I replied.

“Why are you taking two sets of clothes?”

“Harry’s staying, too.”

“And that constitutes the need for two outfits why?”

“He’ll need something to wear tomorrow, won’t he?” I shoved my pajamas into the bag and paused for a moment before adding a second pair. Harry would need something to sleep in, after all.

“Going for round two, are you?” Blaise asked with a smirk. I groaned and threw the bag onto my bed, kicking my trunk shut.

“Damn it, Blaise!” I exclaimed. “Harry and I are not shagging!”

“Alright, alright! Calm down.” He chuckled. “I’m only yanking your wand, mate. You better get going, Drake. Filch’ll be out soon. We can’t have you getting detention and leaving poor Harry all alone.” I smiled and picked up my bag, heading for the door as he clapped me on the back.

“Fill Pansy in for me, will you?” I asked, opening the door. “I don’t want her worrying when she can’t find me in the morning.”

“Will do. You might want to lock the door tonight. She’ll probably try to make a visit in the morning.”

I grinned. “I’ll be sure to charm it well, then.”

♥♥♥


“You’ll never guess what Blaise said to me when he found out where I was—oh.” My words caught in my throat when I entered the room of requirement. A door led off from the left—to the same attached bathroom from the sleep over. In fact, the whole room reminded me of the sleep over—apart from one aspect.

In the far corner, instead of the empty space where we’d set out our sleeping bags, there was now a large four-poster with burgundy curtains and dozens of pillows. The fire had been built up, and the room seemed to so warm and perfect. I stared at in awe, committing each detail to memory, though the reason for this memorization wasn’t clear to me. Harry stood from the sofa and moved over to meet me, staring down at the floor and only glancing up occasionally. His ears were red, and he was rubbing the back of his neck nervously.

“You made some adjustments, I see,” I said when he reached me.

“Erm…yeah,” he replied, looking around. His eyes stopped on the bed, and his gaze immediately dropped to the floor. “I…I hope the bed’s okay…I mean, I just thought, you know…The room just sort of put it there, you know…”

I smiled and kissed him, bringing his babbling to a stop. “It’s brilliant, love. I don’t think I could have taken another night on the floor, and the sofa really is too small for both of us.”

Harry smiled and nodded. I moved further into the room, setting my rucksack down on the table and pulling out one set of pajamas. These I tossed to Harry, smiling slightly at the look of confusion on his face.

“I thought you might like something other than your uniform to sleep in,” I explained. He smiled at me.

“Thanks, Dray. This is…great.” I nodded.

“Go change.” He headed off towards the bathroom, and I stood there, just watching him for a moment. The click of the door shutting brought me back to reality and I pulled out my own pajamas, beginning to change myself.

I had changed out of my trousers and was just pulling my shirt off when I heard the bathroom door slowly creak open. It didn’t close again, and I knew he was watching me. I looked over my shoulder at him, grinning as his eyes dropped to the floor in the embarrassment of being caught. I pulled my shirt over my head, chuckling slightly as he blushed.

I turned to face him and cleared my throat. His eyes came up to meet mine as I stepped over to him.

“I’m sorry,” he said hurriedly. I didn’t mean to—” I shook my head.

“Don’t apologize,” I replied, wrapping my arms around his waist. His arms came around my neck, pulling us closer together. “You’re my boyfriend, Harry. You’ve every right to look.” Harry grinned and kissed me. The clock on the mantle struck eleven, and the sound drew us from our kiss. Harry yawned.

“We should get you to bed,” I told him. “Don’t want you falling asleep on your feet, do we?” We walked together to the bed. “Which side do you want?”

“Oh…er…it doesn’t matter,” he answered. I gestured to the bed, telling him to take his pick. “This…this side is fine, I guess.” I nodded and moved to the other side of the bed. I climbed in and laid down, Harry following after a moment. The lights flickered out with a wave of my wand, which I then set down on the bedside table.

The only light in the room came from a mixture of the dying fire and the silvery glow of the moon. I could barely see him in the poor lighting, but it didn’t take much to see that he was nervous.

“You alright, Harry?” I asked, sitting up slightly.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” he replied.

“Do you want me to sleep on the sofa or something?”

“No, no!” He sat up quickly, reaching for me in the darkness. I took his hands in mine, ending his search. “I’m just…nervous, I guess.

I smiled, kissing him softly. “It’s alright, love. Nothing to be nervous about.” I laid back down. “Come here.” He laid down next to me, and we each wrapped our arms around the other. “I love you.” My lips pressed against his hair and I felt him smile against my chest.

“I love you, too,” he whispered.

“Goodnight, Harry.”

“Night, Dray.”

♥♥♥♥♥



AUTHOR NOTE:

Okay, a rather short chapter, I know. Again, this story has managed to drag me away from ‘Hearts’. I’ve still not updated it!!! GAH!!!! Anyway…it doesn’t matter because I find this story much more fun to work on. : ) Here it is. Another chapter soon, I promise.


Chapter 16: Chapter Sixteen
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Needless to say, Ron wasn’t happy when I came back the next morning. I’d grown used to it by now. His mood had been growing steadily worse over the past few weeks. It hurt to see him so angry with me, but I knew he would simply have to learn to cope in his own time. I had no intentions of ending things with Draco.

What I’d said to Ron was true—I’d never been happier at any point in my life than I was at the moment. Knowing that Ron wanted me to end it all and go back to the depression I’d been in before Draco and I started dating hurt more than anything. I knew he’d only said that because he was angry, and he rarely thinks before opening his mouth, but it hurt nonetheless. It upset me even more that he was so resentful toward my relationship with Draco. He’d never given Draco a chance, after all.

When he found out I’d spent another night with Draco, he didn’t speak to me for three days—which, when I actually thought about it, was really an improvement over the ranting and screaming that usually made up our conversations.

Seamus and Dean, I knew, had picked up that there was something rather major going on. It was after one particularly rough argument with Ron on Thursday that they finally confronted me.

“What’s going on with you two?” Dean asked, nodding in the direction of the stairs that Ron had just disappeared down.

“It’s nothing,” I mumbled, throwing myself down on my bed.

“Oh, come on, mate,” Seamus exclaimed. “We’re not stupid, you know. Something’s going on, and we feel that we have a right to know what it is.”

“Do you?”

“Yeah! We have to listen to it, after all.

“Sod off, Seamus. I don’t want to talk about it.”

Dean shot him a look. “You know you can tell us anything, right, mate?”

I nodded. Maybe Dean was right. Maybe I should tell them what was going on. They had a right do know, didn’t they?

“Ron’s pissed at me,” I began. Seamus rolled his eyes.

“We noticed that much,” he said. Dean elbowed him.

“Let him finish,” he hissed.

I smiled at them. “He’s pissed because…well, I’m gay.”

“I told you!” Seamus exclaimed, giving Dean a playful shove. “I told you that he might be!”

“Yeah, yeah. Congratulations.” Dean looked to me. “So this whole thing is going on because Ron doesn’t like the fact that you’re into blokes?”

“Well, not exactly… He said he was fine with it, but he’s…well, he’s not fond of the bloke I’m seeing.”

“So that’s why you’ve been disappearing so much…and, I’m guess, why you haven’t been sleeping here on weekends.”

I blushed and nodded. “I’ve been meeting him in the room of requirement.”

“Well if you dating this guy has Ron’s knickers in such a twist, then he must really be something. A Slytherin?”

I nodded, looking to Seamus. “Care to take a guess?”

His blue eyes met mine, sparkling with an odd light that I couldn’t place. “Malfoy?” he asked. Again, I nodded. He grinned. “Seriously?” He looked at Dean as I nodded a third time. “Damn, I’m good!”

“How long have you and him...?” Dean asked, watching me curiously.

“Since Halloween,” I replied. “Now you know why Ron’s so pissed at me.”

“I can see why that might…yes…” He trailed off, staring down at the bed for a moment before looking back up at me. “Are you happy with him? Malfoy, I mean.”

I nodded. “Very.”

“I noticed you’d been in a better mood…when you weren’t fighting with Ron, anyway,” Seamus announced. “You must really like the bloke.”

“I love him more than anything.” They sat there staring at me for a while—Seamus grinning like a loon and Dean looking at me with what seemed to be a new, higher level of respect. “Alright, alright! Stop it! You’re making me feel weird. And don’t let Draco know that I told you, okay? At least…not until I’ve talked to him.” Seamus’s grin grew wider. “What?!”

“I’ve never heard you call him Draco before. It’s cute.” Despite my best efforts, I blushed.

“That’s all I call him now. That and ‘Dray’, but that’s only when I’m talking directly to him, usually.”

“And what’s he call you, then?”

“‘Harry’. And lately he’s been calling me ‘love’ a lot. It’s rather endearing, really.”

“I can’t believe it. Harry Potter’s melted the Ice Prince!” Dean exclaimed, smiling brightly.

“What’s he like in bed?” Seamus asked. Dean hit him hard on the shoulder. “What?! Everyone’s wondering the same thing! So, c’mon, Harry! Is he really the sex god every one says he is?”

“Why does everyone think we’re shagging?!” I exclaimed. “If you must know, Draco and I haven’t exactly…gone that far yet.” Dean and Seamus exchanged looks, eyebrows raising before turning and grinning at me. “Would you stop looking at me like that?!” Seamus smiled clapped me on the back before the leaving the dorm. Dean soon followed.

I was thankful for the time alone. I could help but think how odd it was that everyone thought Draco and I were having sex. We’d only been together around five months, after all. Or was that the reason? Were people expected to have gone all the way when they were in a relationship for that long? I had no clue. Cho had been my only other relationship, after all, and that had been a complete disaster.

My stomach did a nervous flip. Was Draco really as experience as everyone thought? The idea was rather intimidating. I groaned in irritation and moved off the bed, heading down the stairs. I needed to find Ginny.

♥♥♥


Alright, so talking to Ginny seemed like a good idea when I was alone in the dorm, but I was kicking myself when I finally sat down across from her. She smiled up at me while I sat shaking before her.

“What did you want to ask me, Harry?” she said. I gulped and took a deep breath.

“Oh…um…just…just something about dating, I guess,” I stuttered. I wasn’t starting off well.

She raised an eyebrow. “You’re coming to me for dating advice? I’m honored! What’s the question?”

I sighed, figuring it was best just to get it over with. “How long are you supposed to be together before you have sex?”

Her eyes grew wide, and I watched as she tried to hold back her laughter. “Well, um…I don’t think it matters how long you’ve been together,” she said. “It’s more about when you feel you’re ready.” Ginny looked at me seriously. “Why? Does Draco want you to—”

“No, no. It’s not that,” I cut in. “I was just wondering because…well, everyone seems to think that he and I are having sex, and I was just wondering if it might have something to do with how long we’ve been together.”

“Harry, people are thinking that because of how happy you two are together and how in love you seem to be. And part of it may be because of whom Draco is and all the rumors going around about him. Who’s been asking?”

“Erm, well, Blaise keeps asking Draco if we’re having sex, and it was practically the first thing out of Seamus’s mouth—”

“You told Seamus?”

“Seamus and Dean, yeah.” She gave me an odd look. “They were asking why Ron was so pissed. I figured they might as well know the truth. “She shrugged, apparently seeing my point. “I’m nervous, Gin. I mean, if Draco and I do happen to…what if the rumors are true? What if he really has all of this experience? Do you know how intimidating that is?”

“I think I understand where you’re coming from, Harry, but just think about what else Draco being experienced could mean.” I could have kicked myself when I felt the heat rise in my face. She laughed. “Well, don’t think about it too much just now, alright?” I nodded furiously, trying to banish the thoughts from my mind. “Don’t let it get to you, okay? And don’t let anyone or anything pressure you into something you’re not ready for.”

“Thanks, Gin.” I smiled, hugging her before heading off up to the dorms.

♥♥♥


Another week came and went, and with it the start of April—the end of which would mark the sixth month of Draco and I dating. This fact excited me, simple because it was my longest relationship to date and because I could see no immediate end in sight for it.

Friday night at last, and it found me on my way out of the common room. My bag was more stuffed than usual, what with my books and the addition of pajamas and clothes for the next day. Draco and I had decided that we should make Friday nights in the room of requirement a tradition. I was headed there to meet him when something stopped me just inside the common room. Or, should I say, some one?

“Ron,” I said, looking at the redhead standing before me.

“Hey, Harry,” Ron replied, attempting a smile. “I…um…I want to apologize for how much of a git I’ve been.” It was a half-hearted apology, but it was an apology all the same.

Hermione was sitting in one of the chairs by the fire, smiling at us both. When she saw me looking at her, her eyes dropped back to her book with remarkable speed. So she’d been talking to Ron about this? That didn’t surprise me one bit.

I turned back to Ron, who looked up at me curiously. “Aren’t you gonna say something, mate?” he asked. I shrugged.

“Well I’m not going to say that I forgive you,” I replied. His face fell into a look of slight anger. “I’m not saying that I never will. I’ll forgive you eventually, but it’s gonna take more than you saying you’re sorry. You’re going to have to realize that…” I looked around the crowded room and dropped my voice to a whisper. “You’re going to have to realize that I love Draco, and you’re going to have to accept it, Ron. You don’t have to agree with it, and I certainly don’t expect you to like it, but you’re going to have to get over yourself and give him a chance because I don’t intend for things to end between me and him anytime soon.

He nodded vaguely and turned to Hermione, giving her an ‘I told you so’ glare as I walked past him and out of the common room.

♥♥♥


By my third weekend with Draco, all nervousness had disappeared. I felt more at ease with him than I’d ever felt with anyone before.

We were lying in bed together that night, the lights out, leaving us in almost complete darkness. I was lying on my side, facing him, just barely able to make him out in the darkness. I smiled as his hand brushed my hip. Pushing myself up onto my arms, I leaned over him and pressed my lips to his. I felt him smile against me before his mouth opened and his tongue ran softly over my bottom lip. His hand slipped up under my shirt.

“Draco,” I groaned, arching back into the touch. My hands moved down his chest and across his stomach. I loved the feel of his muscles—Quidditch had done him good. I opened my mouth to him, groaning as he explored me with ease. I flattened my body against his, deepening our kiss as the hand under my shirt traced intricate patterns on my skin.

My lips moved to his neck, kissing, sucking, and nipping at the skin there. Draco groaned and arched up against me, the fingers of one hand tightening in my hair, pressing me closer to him. He let out a moan as I bit at the place where his neck met his shoulder.

“Merlin, Harry!” he whispered, his breath coming in heavy pants. His hand tightened on my back, and I didn’t doubt that there would be bruises from his fingertips. I straddled his waist to give myself better balance, and unintentionally rolled my hips against him. He bucked up, and I stilled my movements when the hardness pressed against me.

I looked down at him, unsure of what to do. He was panting heavily, and I watched as his eyes fluttered open. They were practically glowing with desire as he looked up at me. In an instant, I was on my back with him leaning over me.

‘This is it,’ I though. Draco and I were going all the way. ‘Gods, I want this so bad…Don’t I?’ And then I panicked. Was I really ready for this? He was staring down at me with those lust filled eyes, looking absolutely gorgeous—and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go all the way with him. I had to say something.

“Draco, I—” Soft lips pressed against mine, cutting off all coherent train of thought. He pulled back after a moment, eyes still closed and warm breath ghosting across my skin.

“Goodnight,” he whispered, pressing a kiss to my forehead, just over my scar. He laid down next to me and his hand soon found mine. Our fingers entwined together almost simultaneously.

I laid there in the darkness, listening to his now steady breathing, and wondering what had just happened. Draco’s grip on my hand loosened, and I realized he’d fallen asleep. I yawned, suddenly feeling extremely tired. I rolled over on my side, releasing Draco’s hand to wrap my arms around him instead.

“Goodnight, Dray,” I whispered, kissing his cheek and closing my eyes, letting myself drift off to sleep.

♥♥♥♥♥



Author’s Note:

Alright, so there you are! Chapter sixteen, just like I promised! Chapter seventeen is going to take a little longer since I have to re-write part of it because it doesn’t fit the ToS. So, you can probably guess what’s coming up! Anyway, I’ll have it up as soon as I can. Oh, and a BIG thank you to Pingo for reading through this chapter for me and checking it with the ToS. Your help has been amazing!
Cara Nicole Luvitz


Chapter 17: Chapter Seventeen
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I woke with Harry snuggled into my chest. I smiled and kissed the top of his head, hugging him to me. Harry sighed and buried himself deeper in my arms.

“Morning,” he mumbled sleepily, bringing another smile to my lips.

“Morning, love,” I replied, lifting his chin so that I could kiss his lips. He kissed me back with surprising force, as if our lips’ meeting was all he needed to be fully awake. Our tongues tangled together as my hands explored his back like they had the previous night. Harry was the one to break the kiss, and we grinned at each other.

“Now you’re awake,” I whispered. He nodded, blushing as his stomach growled. “And apparently hungry.” I laughed. “What do you say to some breakfast?”

“Sounds brilliant,” he replied. He sat up as I crawled from the bed, heading for my bag. “Draco?”

“Yeah?” I asked, digging out my clothes.

“I’m sorry…about last night, I mean.”

I looked up at him. He was staring down at the bed, avoiding my eyes at all costs. I sighed and dropped my clothes on the table, moving over to sit beside him.

“Harry, I really don’t understand you sometimes, you know?” I lifted his chin until our eyes met. “Why are you apologizing?” He shrugged. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“I know, I’m just…sorry, I guess, for getting you all…and then not…you know…”

I smiled. “Don’t worry about it, love. If you remember, I was the one who stopped things.” I kissed him lightly. “So, don’t beat yourself up about it, okay?” Harry smiled and nodded. I started to go back to my things, but a warm hand on my arms stopped me.

“Dray?” Harry said, looking up at me with those bright green eyes. I sat down and turned back to him, taking his hand in mine. “Why did you stop things?” he asked tentatively. “I mean…it was kind of obvious that you wanted it…” I chuckled, brining a hand up to brush a few stray hairs away from his eyes.

“Because you weren’t ready,” I replied. “And before you ask—I could see it in your eyes. They give away everything, remember?” He smiled.

“You stopped just because of me?”

“Of course I did! I’m not going to push you into anything you’re not ready for, Harry. It’s true—I want to make love to you, but not until you’re ready for it, too. I’ll wait for as long as it takes because I love you. It would kill me if we made love before you were ready and you ended up regretting it. I don’t want that to happen.”

Harry nodded and pressed his lips to mine. “Thank you,” he whispered. I grinned and kissed him back.

“C’mon,” I said. “Let’s get you fed.”

♥♥♥


“I can’t believe this Arithmancy homework!” Blaise was saying as we sat together in the library during our free period on Tuesday afternoon. “Sinistra is insane! What’d you get for number six, Drake?”

I smiled down at the parchment before me as Harry’s messy scrawl faded away. I snapped back to reality as Blaise waved his hand in front of my face.

“Hello! Earth to Draco!” he called.

“What?” I asked, tucking the enchanted parchment away under my book.

“Think you could stop passing notes with your lover boy long enough to give me a hand here?”

“Oh, yeah, sure. What do you need?”

“Number six on the Arithmancy work.” His eyes scanned the parchment. “And twelve…and maybe thirteen as well… Would you put that thing away and help me?!”

Madame Pince glared at us from a few tables down. I fought hard to hold back my laughter. “Here, mate,” I said, handing over my Arithmancy work. “Mine’s done. Just use it and give it back to me tonight.” I pushed my books into my bag and stood.

“Where’re you going?” Blaise asked, pausing in his process of copying my answers.

“Meeting Harry. I’ll see you in Charms, alright?” He rolled his eyes and waved me off, returning to his work. I grinned and left the library, practically running down the two flights of stairs to my meeting place with Harry.

♥♥♥


Five weeks had passed since Harry and I had started sleeping together in the room of requirement. I was amazed to see how much he’d loosened up around me. The original awkwardness was no longer there, and he was now comfortable enough to change in front of me. We didn’t discuss the incident from a few weeks back. I think Harry was still a little embarrassed about it.

“Do you realize,” I asked as I kissed along his jaw and down to the base of his throat, “that we’ve been together nearly six months?”

Harry nodded. “I was…just thinking about that the other day,” he gasped, fingers tightening in my hair as I sucked hard on a place just below his ear. “Gods, Drake.”

I smirked and kissed a trail back up his neck to his slightly-parted lips. I slipped my tongue in, groaning as he immediately kissed back. I straddled his hips, my kisses moving down to his neck, pulling out a moan from him as I nibbled lightly on his ear. His fingers tightened in my hair, drawing me closer to him.

“Make love to me,” he whispered. I pulled back from him, looking into his eyes.

“W-what?” I replied, wanting to be sure I heard him correctly.

“Make love to me,” he repeated. There was a moment of silence as we looked at each other, my eyes searching his.

“Are…are you sure?” I asked. He nodded, smiling slightly. “Absolutely positive?” He nodded. “There’s…there’s no going back if we do this…”

“I know, Draco. I know…” He kissed me, obviously as an attempt to pull me back into our activities. It didn’t work. I pulled back, still uncertain. “Draco, listen,” Harry whispered. “I love you. And sex is something you do with the person you love, right?” I nodded. “Well…” He shrugged.

“But…Harry…”

“Draco, please. I want to do this with you…unless you don’t want to?”

“It’s not that, I just…I want you to be sure.”

“I am.”

I nodded. “Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Okay,” I mumbled against his lips as we kissed again. His hands trailed down my chest, my stomach, coming to grasp at the hem of my shirt. He started to pull it up, having some difficulty in doing it without breaking our kiss. I pushed back from him, pulling the shirt over my head and discarding it quickly beside the bed before moving back in to claim his lips once more.

“I love you,” I whispered, moving back down to kiss his neck.

“I love you, too,” he breathed, arching up off the bed as I pulled his shirt off of him, letting it fall to join mine on the floor. Our mouths connected again, tongues sliding together as we explored each other. I felt his hands slip down my chest, across my stomach, and down to my belt. He started fumbling with it, trying to get it undone without looking at it. I chuckled, moving my hands down to help him. I sat back, breaking our kiss as I pulled the belt from my hips and tossed it away.

“Thanks,” he mumbled as we connected again. I nodded, pushing him back onto the bed. My hands traveled down along his shoulders, his stomach, loving the feel of his soft skin under my fingertips. They slipped down to his trousers, and he took in a shuddering breath as I undid the button and zip, pulling them down. And then I set about pulling mine off. When they had joined the pile already growing on the floor, I moved up the bed, trailing my fingers across his chest.

“Nervous?” I asked. He nodded, giving me a sheepish smile as a light blush colored him. “Me, too.” I kissed his cheek. He turned to meet me, our lips moving together. We broke apart after a moment, together removing the last bit of clothing that separated us. I straddled him again, both of us gasping as we touched, skin to skin, for the very first time.

“Have…have you ever done this before?” Harry whispered, moaning slightly as I kissed along his jaw and down to his neck. I shook my head, sitting up to look at him. “How’re we…” His cheeks flushed as his voice trailed off, and he gestured between us. I laughed.

“Well, I may not have done this before,” I replied, pulling the back of his hand up to meet my lips. “But I think I know enough about how it’s done to get us through okay. We just need something to use as lube…” I looked around, searching for anything suitable for our purposes. Appearing, seemingly from nowhere, on the bedside table was a bottle of lotion. Not exactly the same, but I guess it would do. I picked it up, showing it to Harry. He grinned.

“I love this room,” he said, leaning up to press a kiss to my shoulder. I smiled and opened the cap, squirting a fair amount of the lotion into my hand.

It was slow going. I was as gentle as I could be, and still managed to hurt him. He would tense up every so often, and I’d have to work to get him relaxed. But when he finally did…. It had to be one of the most incredible feelings I’d ever experienced. It hurt him at first, but a change of angle had him arching up into me.

It was…amazing. Being with him like this, so intimate, so close… It was a night I was sure I would remember for the rest of my life. It had to have been the most amazing thing I’d ever experience. There was a whirlwind of sensations and emotions that I couldn’t even begin to describe. It washed over us like a huge wave in the ocean, bringing with it our release. We toppled over the edge together; my strength gave out and I collapsed on top of him. Harry didn’t seem to mind, and for a while we simply laid there, basking in the warm glow of climax.

When my heartbeat began to slow back to a normal pace and I was finally able to catch my breath, I laid beside him. I stared up at the ceiling, wiping the sweat-drenched hair from my eyes and thinking back on what had just happened. The feeling of Harry’s hand in mine, lacing our fingers together, was what brought me back down to earth. I turned to look at him, and nearly laughed out loud. He did look quite comical after all, with his hair even messier than usual and his glasses slightly askew. Not to mention that the light in his eyes practically screamed ‘I’ve just had mind-blowing sex’.

I rolled over to him, pulling off his glasses and setting them on the bedside table. We grinned rather stupidly at each other, and then met in heated kiss. I rolled on to my back, bringing him along with me. He laid his head on my shoulder, his hand resting on my chest as we settled down for some much needed sleep.

“I love you,” he whispered, snuggling closer to me. I smiled, tightening my hold on him.

“I know,” I replied. “I love you, too.”

♥♥♥♥♥



Author Note:

Sorry it took so long, guys! The next few will be up quickly, seeing as I've already got them ready and waiting!!!! I hope you enjoy!!!!!

Chapter 18: Chapter Eighteen
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I was awake before I opened my eyes, a grin crossing my lips as I remembered the dream I’d had. I had been in the room of requirement with Draco, and we’d just settled into bed. We’d started kissing, and then things got slightly heavier, and I’d asked him to make love to me. He’d been hesitant at first, and I’d found that rather sweet, and then he’d agreed. It had been the most incredible dream—so vivid and realist. But it couldn’t have been real…

I shook my head, opening my eyes—and my breath suddenly caught in my throat. I was in the room of requirement. Draco was there. I felt my pulse quicken as silver eyes slowly opened to meet mine. He smiled when he saw me, and I couldn’t help but grin- he looked so cute when he was still half asleep.

“Morning,” he mumbled sleepily.

“Morning,” I replied. His arm came around my waist, and I let myself be pulled closer to him. He placed a soft kiss on my lips before laying his head back down. One of his hands came up to stroke the hair away from my eyes. His skin smelled good, like… Like the lotion we’d used in my dream, I thought. Then I realized—he wasn’t dressed…neither of us were. My eyes grew wide as I slowly began to understand.

“Something wrong?” Draco asked.

“We…we made love last night…,” I whispered. He nodded, a smile playing on his lips. “I thought I’d dreamt it.” I pulled out of his embrace unintentionally, moving to lie on my back. “I can hardly believe it.”

He sat up, looking worried and slightly upset. My thoughts went back to the night before, and I realized what he was thinking.
“No, no no!” I said hurriedly, sitting up as well. “I don’t regret it. I just…it was so incredible. It’s hard to believe that something so amazingly brilliant was real.” He relaxed a bit, and I pulled him to me in a kiss. “It was the best night of my life,” I mumbled against his lips. He grinned and pulled me close again, his mouth moving roughly against mine as our tongues slid together.

We pulled back, both of us slightly breathless. Draco sat back against the headboard, and I snuggled in next to him. Our hands slowly found each other while his fingers traced lazy circles along my side.

“It’s Saturday,” he said suddenly. I nodded. “We have the entire day together. So, what are we going to do?” I started shifting around a bit, pausing when a dull ache shot through me.

“Apparently not much,” I replied, sitting back against him. He chuckled.

“Sore?”

“Very.”

“You probably will be…for a few days, at least.

“Days?” I groaned. He chuckled again, grinning and nodding. “Good thing I don’t have quidditch any time soon.”

“It won’t hurt like that every time, you know. After a while the pain will probably stop all together. It’ll be better next time.”

“Next time? You mean…you would do that with me again?” He nodded. “I wasn’t too horrible for you?” He laughed, pulling me tight against him.

“It’s not like I’ve got anything to compare it to. And no, it wasn’t horrible. It was amazing. I would do it again.”

“Really?”

“Of course. I love you, Harry. You’re the only person I’d do that with.”

I smiled and kissed him. “I’d ask you to go again,” I said, “but I don’t think my arse can take it.” He grinned. I snuggled closer to him. “I need a shower.” He laughed.

“You sure you can stand up long enough?” I shrugged.

“Probably not, but I still need one.”

“Then why don’t you take one?”

“It’s more comfortable here.” He smiled.

“You go have a shower,” he said, “and I’ll get us some breakfast. Deal?” I nodded. “Okay.” We sat up and he climbed out of bed first, pulling on his boxers and tossing me mine. I pulled them on slowly, wincing at the twinge movement caused. Draco came back to the bed, now fully dressed, and kissed a trail along my jaw to my ear.

“I love you,” he whispered.

“I love you, too,” I replied, wrapping my arms around his neck as he kissed my lips. He pulled away, winking at me before crossing the room and disappearing out the door.

I smiled after him and slowly made my way across the room to the bathroom. I turned on the water, shucked off my boxers, and slipped into the shower. Standing up for so long was uncomfortable, but the hot water made up for it, and for a while I just stood there, letting it run over me.

♥♥♥


When I made it back out to the other room, Draco was waiting with breakfast, just as he’d promised. He looked up from the cup of coffee he held, and smiled as I approached. He didn’t miss the slight limp and flinch as I sat down.

“That bad?” he asked. I nodded.

“Don’t worry, though. I’ll be fine,” I replied, taking a drink of the pumpkin juice before me.

“I’m a little worried about you limping around school all week. Blaise and Ginny know that we’ve started to get a bit more…intimate. They’re gonna know what happened.”

I groaned and buried my face in my hands. “I didn’t even think about that,” I said. “That’s gonna be murder. Ginny’ll be asking me every question she can think of—and if Hermione finds out! Oh, Merlin. That’ll be the lecture of the century. I really don’t want a sex-ed lesson from her.” My rant ended as Draco started laughing. I looked up at him, wondering how he could be laughing at a time like this.

I glared at him and his laughter ceased as he stood and moved over to stand behind me, his arms coming around me. “Don’t worry so much, Harry. Things are gonna be awkward, yeah. But just think—you’re not the only one with overly involved friends. Think of what’s gonna happen when Blaise and Pansy figure it out.” I grinned broadly, imagining the look on Blaise’s face.

“That’s gonna be good.”

“Yeah. You’re not the only one that’s gonna have his hands full. I’ll be suffering just as much as you.” I nodded and kissed him.

“I’m sorry. I’ll shut up now.” He smiled, hugged me tight, and returned to his seat.

♥♥♥


“You scared me, you know,” Draco said as we sat together on the sofa after breakfast. “Earlier, when you said that you thought it was a dream. I thought you were going to say we shouldn’t have done it.”

“I’m sorry,” I replied, resting my head on his shoulder. “I didn’t mean to scare you…I’m not great at thinking before I speak.”

“So I’ve noticed.” He smiled and closed his eyes, leaning against me.”

“Drake?”

“Hm?”

“You said before that you’d never…that last night was the first you’d ever…”

“Yeah.”

“Well…”

“You think it wasn’t?”

“It’s not that, I just…Well, it seemed like you knew just what you were doing. I just wondered if maybe…”

“You know, Harry,” he said, looking at me with a slight smirk playing on his lips, “you can learn at lot more from books than you think.”

My jaw dropped slightly, and I couldn’t help but stare at him in disbelief. “You learned all of that from a book?” He nodded, grinning widely.

“The year I came out, Pansy bought me a book for Christmas. It taught me pretty much everything I needed to know. It even came with a bottle of lube. If I’d known we were going to…” A light blush crept up the back of his neck, and I smiled, leaning over to kiss his cheek, wrap my arms around him.

“I love this,” I said, “just sitting here with you. I don’t want this day to ever end.” His arms tightened around me, pulling me as close to him as possible.

♥♥♥


The trip back to the common room was a long one. I was sore still, and the two flights of stairs didn’t help much. I was hoping that the common room would be fairly empty so no one would be around to see me struggle up to the dorms. For the most part, it was empty—except for the three people I least wanted to see at that moment.

Seamus and dean were in the middle of a game of chess, Ginny watching closely from the sidelines. All three of them looked up at me when I stepped into the common room.

‘Great, just what I needed.’ I attempted a smile, giving them a small wave before starting my slow migration towards the stairs.

“Hey, Harry,” Ginny called cheerily. “How was your night with Draco?”

I could have kicked myself when I blushed. “It…it was great.” Seamus smirked.

“That great, huh?” he asked, grinning. He raised an eyebrow as I blushed a deeper shade of red. Dean elbowed him.

“Leave him alone, mate,” he said. “Can’t you see he’s tired?”

“Yeah, I am, actually. I think I’m gonna head up. See you lot later,” I mumbled, heading for the stairs as quickly as my sore muscles would allow.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 19: Chapter Nineteen
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I made my way back to the common room, unable to keep the grin from my face. I passed through the packed common room as quickly as I could, giving a nod to Pansy when she waved to me. Blaise was the only one in the dorm, which didn’t surprise me in the least. He was sprawled across his bed with a book in his hands, as usual. He looked up as the door closed behind me, eyebrows raising at the grin on my face.

“Hey, mate,” he said. I nodded to him, moving across the room to my bed. “Have a good night with Harry?”

“Yeah,” I replied, tossing my robes over my trunk and toeing off my shows.

“Did you shag him yet?” My grin widened as I flopped backwards onto the bed. Blaise’s eyes widened as his book fell to the floor. “Bloody hell. You did shag him!” I nodded. “Well…?”

“Well what?”

“How was it?”

“Incredible.”

“Well it must have been, the way you’re grinning.”

“I’m in deep, Blaise. I’ve never felt like this about anyone before.”

“Aw, our likkle Draco’s growing up!” He stood to pick up his book, reaching out a hand to ruffle my hair. I laughed and batted it away. “Just wait until Pansy finds out.”

“No!” I exclaimed, sitting up. My grin was gone, and I fixed him with an expression of utter seriousness. “You can’t tell her, Blaise!”

“She’s gonna figure it out.”

“If she does, she does. But you can’t tell her.”

“Alright, alright! I won’t tell her anything right out, but if she drags it out of me by force…”

“I’ll forgive you. She’s got ways of getting things out of people, I’ll give her that.”

“Yeah, it’s scary as hell sometimes.” Blaise’s voice trailed off. His eyes suddenly snapped up to mine, a grin lighting his face. “I can’t believe it—my best mate shagged the Boy Who Lived.” I smiled.

“Don’t go flaunting that, alright?”

“How was he?”

“I’m not giving you details, Blaise.”

“Believe me, I don’t want them.” He shuddered to get his point across. “Just a simple good or bad, that’s all I’m asking.”

“Brilliant. He was brilliant.”

“So there’s to be more shagging in the near future, then?” I threw a pillow at him, laughing as it hit him in the face. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

“I grinned and laid back, staring up at the ceiling, letting my mind wander to thoughts of Harry.

♥♥♥


“Ginny knows,” was the first thing out of Harry’s mouth when he stepped into the room of requirement the following Friday. I looked up from my Ancient Runes essay, watching as he made his way across the room, throwing his robes carelessly across the back of the nearest chair.

“Hello to you, too,” I replied.

“Sorry,” he said, pressing his lips against mine.

“Now, what about Ginny?” Harry groaned and flopped down on the sofa next to me.

“She figured it out. Seamus has, too, for that matter. And if Dean doesn’t know, he will shortly.”

“If it’s any consolation,” I said, putting my arm around him, “Blaise knows, too.” I kissed his neck. “Asked me if you were any good, too.”

“Did he?” I nodded. “I guess that’s not as bad as Seamus. He wanted details.”

“Did you give them to him?”

“Of course not!” I chuckled, kissing him full on. His fingers dug into my hair, drawing me closer. We kissed passionately for a few moments before his lips trailed down my neck. “Does Pansy know yet?” he asked between kisses. I shook my head as best I could, lifting chin to give him better access as I stifled a groan.

Merlin, Harry,” I whispered, arching up into him as his fingers trailed down my chest. “If she—gods—pounces on you randomly in the hall, you’ll know she finally drug it out of Blaise.” He snorted, moving to nip at my ear.

I heard the clock chime in the background. Was it really seven already? “Homework, Harry,” I whispered as his continued his assault on my neck. I couldn’t hold back the moan as his teeth grazed along my collar bone. He was practically sitting in my lap now, which was doing nothing for my self control. “C’mon,” I breathed. “Sooner we get it done, the sooner we can go to bed.” Harry grinned, kissing me before sitting back and pulling his bag towards him.

I don’t think I’d ever finished my homework so fast.

♥♥♥


“Remind me to thank Pansy for that book,” Harry said as we laid together, catching our breath after making love for the second time that weekend. I grinned, kissing him. His fingers wove their way into my hair, holding me to him when I started to pull back. We broke apart after a while longer, and I laid back down. My hand found his, brought it to my lips. Harry smiled and looked at the clock.

“Eleven-thirty,” he said. “We could just make lunch.”

“I’m still full from breakfast,” I replied, which was true. “I’ll probably just go back to the common room and wait for Blaise and Pansy.” Harry nodded, sitting up.

“You may not be hungry, but I am.” He smiled and moved to sit on the edge of the bed, bending down to scoop his boxers up off the floor. I watched the delicate curve of his spine until I couldn’t resist the urge to touch him any longer. I sat up, trailing my fingers along the smooth skin of his back, pressing my lips to his shoulder. Harry sighed and leaned back against me, his head turning to capture my lips with his own.

‘I love you,” I mumbled, burying my face in his neck to breathe in his scent.

“I love you, too.” He stood to pull on his jeans before sitting back down to tie his shoes. I wrapped my arms around his waist, kissing his neck as I hugged him from behind. “You’re affectionate this morning.”

“Would you rather I not be?”

He turned to kiss me. “Course not.”

♥♥♥


Harry and I stopped just around the corner from the Great Hall to say goodbye. He pulled me into a tight hug, his arms tight around my neck as his lips found mine.

“I’ll see you later,” I said, giving him one last sqeeze.

“I love you.”

“Love you, too.”

“See you later.”

“Yeah, have a good lunch.” I watched him as he headed off to the Great Hall, a smile playing on my lips. I shook my head, turning towards the dungeons.

♥♥♥


Blaise and Pansy were in the common room, much to my surprise. I grinned broadly, making my way towards them.

“Hey,” I said. “I thought you’d be at…” My voice trailed off at their expressions. Blaise was looking at me with the most somber expression, and Pansy had been crying. “What?”

“Draco,” Pansy choked, tears filling her eyes again as she stood to hug me. “I’m so sorry.” I wrapped my arms lightly around her, turning to Blaise with a look of confusion.

“What’s going on?”

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 20: Chapter Twenty
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I entered the Great Hall with a smile still plastered on my face. I waved to Ginny and Hermione, who were seated across from Seamus and Dean. They were the only ones left at the Gryffindor table. I grinned wider, making my way over to them.

“Morning,” I said cheerily, sitting down next to Seamus. Hermione looked up at me incredulously.

“Why aren’t you with Draco?” she asked.

“I just left him. He said he wasn’t hungry. He was going back to the…” My voice trailed off. They were all staring at me that way.

“You don’t know, do you, mate?” Seamus asked quietly.

“Know what? What are you talking about?” They all exchanged glances, and Ginny glanced up at me, nodding to the folded Daily Prophet in the middle of the table. Dean handed it to me, pointing out the page I apparently needed to see—the obituaries. I scanned the page, not recognizing a single name and beginning to wonder what it was I was supposed to see when—“Oh, god,” I breathed. There, beneath the photo of a smiling blonde woman was the name I was supposed to recognize. Narcissa Malfoy.

My eyes flashed to the Slytherin table, searching it for Blaise and Pansy. They weren’t there.
‘They’re telling him,’ I thought. I looked to the others, and Ginny nodded towards the doors, telling me silently to go. I stood and hurried from the Great Hall. I made my way across the entrance hall and down into the dungeons in search of Draco.

♥♥♥


I had no clue how I would’ve gotten into the Slytherin common room if I hadn’t run into Pansy on my way there. She’d been on her way to the Great Hall to look for me.

Blaise was just coming out of the dorms when we entered the room. “Oh good,” he said quietly, seeming relieved. “She found you.”

“Where is he?” I asked quickly. He nodded to the door he’d just come out of. I hurried past him, closing the door behind me. Draco was sitting on his bed, legs drawn up and face buried in his arms, much like he had been when I’d found him in the hall that night so many months before. “Draco?” I called softly. He raised his head, eyes coming to meet mine as tears rolled silently down his cheeks. The sight of it broke my heart.

I was across the room in seconds, pulling him into my arms as I sat down on his bed. He sobbed into my chest, his hands clinging to my shirt. “Shh, shh,” I whispered, rocking him gently as my hand rubbed through his hair in an attempt to calm him.

“She’s gone,” he whispered, his breath coming in tear-filled gasps. I sat back against the headboard, pulling him into my lap and kissing his temple as he laid his head on my shoulder.

I felt awful. I wanted to say something to comfort him, make him feel better. I didn’t have much experience with this, and I didn’t know how to calm him down. This was terrible—the man I loved was hurting, and I was powerless to stop it.

♥♥♥


Blaise came to check in a few hours later. Draco, having cried himself into exhaustion, was asleep in my arms. Blaise smiled sadly at me, a gesture I returned. He stood beside the bed, looking down at Draco’s tear stained face.

“Poor bloke,” he said quietly. “No one deserves this, especially not him.” I nodded in agreement, unconsciously stroking the hair back from Draco’s face. He stirred slightly, his eyes fluttering open to look up at me.

“Hey there,” I whispered. “We were just talking about you.” He sat up slightly, wiping his eyes before looking up at Blaise.

“Hey, mate.” Draco nodded slightly in reply before closing his eyes and laying back down, one of his arms draped across my stomach. I wrapped my arms around him, one hand returning to stroke his hair as I pressed my lips to his forehead.

“What time is it?” I asked, looking to Blaise. He glanced at the clock.

“Just after seven,” he replied.

“Already?” He nodded.

“Do you need to head back?”

“I don’t know.”

“Stay.” The quiet voice startled us, and I looked down to find Draco staring at me. “Please,” he whispered, his arm tightening around me. I looked at Blaise.

“The others all know what’s going on,” he said. “They’ll understand that Draco wants to be alone. I can put a silencing charm on the bed so you two can talk if you want. They’ll never know you’re here.” I nodded, smiling my thanks as I kissed Draco’s hair.

“Just let me get some things from the tower, alright?” I whispered. Draco nodded and I kissed his hair again, hugging him tight against me. “I’ll be right back.”

“The common room’s packed, mate,” Blaise said as I stood from the bed, moving to dig through my previously discarded robes. “They’ll all see you if you go out that way.”

“I’ve got that taken care of, Blaise,” I replied, finally finding what I’d been looking for. I wrapped the cloak around my shoulders, smirking when I saw Blaise’s look of amazement. I moved back to the side of the bed, kissing Draco’s forehead and brushing a few stray hairs away from his eyes. “I’ll be back soon.” He nodded and my heart wrenched as I watched him curl into a ball, wrapping his arms tightly around himself. ‘I’m so sorry, Draco. I wish I could make it all go away.’

♥♥♥


I practically ran to the common room, and when I got in, I didn’t pull off my cloak until I was safely in the dorm. Dean looked worriedly over at me as I headed straight for my trunk.

“Is he okay, mate?” he asked. Seamus came out of the bathroom, glancing at me and coming to stand beside Dean.

“He’s really upset,” I said distractedly as I shoved pajamas and an extra set of clothes into my old rucksack. “I’m staying with him tonight.”

“In Slytherin?” Seamus questioned, eyebrows rising. I nodded.

“He asked me to. Blaise is taking precautions, setting up silencing charms and such. He doesn’t think the others will even know I’m there.”

“That’s good, then,” Dean replied. “At least you won’t be jumped by a dorm full of Slytherins while you’re trying to comfort him.”

“Ron’s gonna be pissed,” Seamus said suddenly. Dean and I both turned to look at him. “He’s been looking for you all afternoon. Hermione and Ginny have been having a time with him.”

“I forgot about Ron,” I replied, shaking my head. “There’s nothing I can do. Draco needs me, and that’s my first priority.”

“That git’s always your priority.” The voice startled all of us, and we turned to find Ron standing in the doorway. “You’re always with him.”

“Ron, I’m sorry,” I said. “Draco needs me right now—”

“What, did he break a nail?”

“His mum died, Ron!”

Silence hung heavy in the air, drowning all of us. Ron didn’t reply to me. His eyes dropped to the floor awkwardly, and for the first time in months he seemed at a loss for words. I sighed, shouldered my bag, and picked my cloak up off the floor.

“I’m staying in the Slytherin dorms tonight because he asked me to,” I explained. “He needs me there with him right now. I don’t expect you to understand, Ron. You don’t even have to care, just….let me go, okay?” He nodded vaguely and stepped aside.

“See you later, mate,” Seamus said quietly as I passed.

“Give Draco our condolences,” Dean added. I smiled slightly.

“I will,” I replied. I gave one last look to Ron before heading back down the stairs. Hermione and Ginny met me at the bottom, both giving me a tight hug. They didn’t ask where I was going; they already knew.

“Hug Draco for me, okay?” Ginny said.

“I will,” I replied. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” They both nodded, watching me as I walked quickly across the common room, and out through the portrait hole.

♥♥♥


It didn’t look like Draco had moved at all since I left the dorms. He was still curled in a ball, arms around his chest and head buried in the pillows. He looked up at me when I came in. His eyes were read and sore-looking. He’d been crying again.

I sighed, setting by bag down on the floor and only pausing long enough to stuff my cloak into it before sitting down on the bed, pulling him into my arms. I felt hot tears hit my skin, and I pulled him closer, kissing the top of his head.

“I’m so sorry, Draco,” I whispered. “I wish there was something more I could do. I wish…I wish I could take it all away, because I would do it in a heartbeat.”

He snuggled deeper into my arms. “She would have loved you.” It was barely a whisper.

“I’m sure I would have loved her, too. I know she loved you, more than anything.” He nodded, sniffling slightly.

“I can’t believe she’s gone. I feel so terrible. I should have been there.”

“Draco….there was nothing you could have done, love.”

“I could have tried.”

“Draco, listen to me. Don’t start blaming yourself. Your mum wouldn’t want that, and you know it. It wasn’t your fault—there was nothing you could have done.”

“He killed her. I know he did.”

“Who?”

“My father.”

“Draco—”

“She didn’t want me to join them. She used to stand up to him. I remember hearing them fight, remember seeing the bruises from where he’d hit her. I was always afraid to leave her alone at the mansion. I was afraid something would happen. And now…”

He let out a deep sob, and I pulled him close. “Shh….Shh, it’s okay.” I kissed his cheek, stroking his hair back off his face as the door opened. Blaise stepped in the room, pulling out his wand.

“The others want to head in,” he said. I glanced at the clock. It was going on ten. “I thought you might like a chance to change and such before they get in.” I nodded.

“Thanks,” I replied. He smiled and moved off to the bathroom, giving Draco and I a bit of privacy. “Let’s get changed.” Draco nodded, sitting up and moving to the end of the bed to pick his pajamas up off of his trunk. I watched him sadly for a few moments before standing to pull on my own pajamas. Blaise joined us when we’d finished, and helped me to place a few silencing charms around Draco’s bed so that the two of us could talk if we wanted to.

“I’ll let them know it’s safe to come in,” he said, heading for the door. “Oh, and I apologize ahead of time for Crabbe’s snoring. It’s murder.” I smiled.

“Can’t be worse than Ron’s,” I replied. Blaise left us, and I sat up to pull the curtains closed around the bed. I leaned back against the headboard, and Draco was in my arms almost instantly. He was asleep just as quickly. I yawned, suddenly realizing just how tired I was myself. It wasn’t long before I’d drifted off as well.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty-One
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I watched Harry’s eyes flutter open in the morning sunlight. He blinked a few times, and I handed him his glasses. He smiled appreciatively and mumbled a sleepy thank you. He pulled me into a hug, kissing my forehead. I smiled and snuggled deeper into his chest.

“Feeling any better?” he asked. I shrugged.

“I suppose,” I replied. “I don’t think I’ll be crying anymore. There’s just nothing left.” Harry sighed, hugging me closer. We sat in silence for a few moments before I got up the courage to ask the question playing on my mind. “Is Ron upset?” I suspected I already knew the answer.

“Yeah, he was a little pissed, but he’ll get over it.”

“I shouldn’t have made you stay.”

“Oh, Draco. Listen to me. Ron’s a git when he doesn’t get his way. He’s always upset about something, so don’t start feeling guilty.” He sighed, kissing my hair. “You were there when I need you to be,” he whispered. “What kind of boyfriend would I be if I abandoned the man I love when he needed me most?”

I smiled. “I love you, too.” I looked up at him, letting myself drown in his eyes for a few moments before pressing my lips against his. The door opened a moment later, and we listened to the footsteps moving towards us.

“Draco,” a voice called. “It’s Blaise, mate. Are you up?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “We’re up.” The curtains slid open on one side of the bed, and Blaise smiled awkwardly at us.

“This came for you,” he said, holding out a folded bit of parchment with my name across it. I sat up, taking it from him and staring down at the neat handwriting.

“It’s from Dumbledore,” Harry announced. “I’d recognize that handwriting anywhere.”

“Dumbledore?” I repeated, amazed. What would Dumbledore what with me? I could only imagine it had something to do with Mum.

“Go on and open it, mate,” Blaise urged, sitting down on the edge of his bed. I broke the seal and unfolded the parchment. The words blurred as my eyes filled with tears again. Thinking of Mum had brought the reality of the situation rushing back.

“Harry,” my voice cracked. “I can’t…” Harry wrapped an arm around me, his hand rubbing the small of my back as he nodded and took the parchment from me.

“Dear Mr. Malfoy,” Harry began. “Please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother. I think that we should talk. Please come to my office at one pm. Till then, Dumbledore.”

The room was quiet, yet the silence seemed to echo around us. I wiped my eyes, sitting up a little bit to look at Harry and Blaise.

“I suppose I’ll be going to see Dumbledore, then,” I said. “What do you think he wants to talk to me about?”

“Probably wants to make sure you’re doing okay,” Blaise answered.

“He’ll ask if there’s anything he can do,” Harry added. “If I know Dumbledore, he’ll want to do all he can to help. At least…that’s how he was when Sir—my godfather died.”

I nodded. “I don’t want to go alone.”

Harry smiled. “I’ll walk you there,” he promised. I smiled, hugging him.

“I’ll, um…leave you two alone,” Blaise said awkwardly. “Oh, Drake—” I looked to him. “You should really come out and see Pansy before you go. She’s been worried sick.”

“I’ll do that,” I replied. “Thanks, Blaise—for everything.” He nodded and left the room.

♥♥♥


One o’clock found Harry and I standing at the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. For the first time I could remember, I was actually afraid to go before the headmaster. Exactly why this was, I couldn’t tell. Dumbledore had never given me reason to fear him before, so why was I suddenly terrified?

Harry took my hand, threading his fingers through mine, giving it a squeeze. It helped, having him there with me. His presence gave me strength and courage when I felt as though I had neither.

“I can’t go up with you,” he said quietly. My heart sank. I had hoped he would go with me. I felt as though I need him there or I might break down. He must have been able to feel my disappointment, because he squeezed my hand tighter, looking around to make sure there was no one else in the corridor before pulling me into one of the more shadowed alcoves where we wouldn’t be seen.

Harry wrapped his arms around me, holding me tight against him as he kissed my temple, my cheek, just below my ear. “I love you,” he whispered. “And I’m sorry this happened. It’s not fair. Merlin knows I don’t want to thin of you being alone right now.”

“I love you, too,” I replied, hugging him close. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I wouldn’t’ be able to get through this without you.”

He smiled. “What are boyfriends for?” I laughed and kissed him. “Meet me after dinner,” he said, stepping back out into the hall. “I want to know how it goes.” I nodded and looked around before kissing him again. “Good luck, Draco,” he whispered as I stepped onto the staircase heading up to Dumbledore’s office.

I paused just outside the door, leaning against the cold stone of the wall as I took a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever waited in the next room. I was just raising my hand to knock, when the door swung open. Dumbledore stood smiling before me, his blue eyes shining like they always did.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Malfoy,” he said. “Please, come in.” I stepped into the room, and heard the door close behind me. Dumbledore moved back to his desk, sitting down behind it. He motioned to one of the chairs before it. “Please have a seat.” I nodded and sat down, feeling extremely out of place. “I’m very sorry to hear about your mother. She was a bright young woman, and a very talented witch.”

I was silent. What was I supposed to say, after all? Dumbledore was quiet for a few moments, looking sadly at me. He cleared his throat, folded his hands on top of the desk. “I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve asked you here. As you probably know, there’s to be a funeral service for Narcissa on Tuesday. I’ve made arrangements for you to attend, should you wish to do so.”

I looked up at him, hope filling me. I’d been afraid that I wasn’t going to get to go to the funeral, and so would miss out on my chance to say goodbye. “Thank you, sir,” I said quietly. He smiled and nodded.

“Of course, there are certain concerns,” he continued. “It is suspected that your mother’s death was one of foul play.” I nodded. It was widely known that my father was a Death Eater, and I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought him capable of murder. “It is for this reason that I cannot allow you to go alone. I will send you, therefore, under the care of your godfather.”

“Godfather?” I repeated, confused. I had a godfather? “But, sir, I—” The door opened behind me, and I turned to see who entered.

“Sorry I’m late, Albus,” Professor Snape said as he entered the room, closing the door behind him.

“Not at all, Severus,” Dumbledore replied. “We’ve just come to you in our conversation.” He motioned to the empty chair beside me. Professor Snape took it, sitting stiffly as he turned to look at me.

“Have you?” he asked, looking me over. My eyes dropped to the floor, uncomfortable under his gaze.

“Mr. Malfoy, may I introduce your godfather.”

“But, sir, that’s impossible. I…I don’t have a godfather,” I replied, avoiding Professor Snape’s gaze. “Surely mother would have told me—”

“Narcissa did not tell you because Lucius forbid her to,” Professor Snape cut in. “That, and she hoped I wouldn’t’ be needed.”

“As did we all, I’m sure,” Dumbledore added. “I will allow you to attend the funeral, but only under Professor Snape’s care.”

“Yes, sir,” I replied.

“Very well. You may go, unless there is anything else you would like to ask?”

“No, sir. Thank you.” I stood to leave. A hand on my shoulder stopped me.

“Come down to my office, Draco,” Snape said, standing as well. “I have a few things I want to discuss with you.” I nodded and followed him down to the dungeons.

♥♥♥


“Take a seat,” he said, motioning to the chair before his desk. I obeyed, simply because I knew there would be no way to escape before he’d said what he wanted to say. “Your mother and I were close friends, in our years at school and afterwards. I was honored when she chose me as your godfather. Little did I know I’d actually be needed.” He sat down, leaning back in his chair as he looked me over for the second time that afternoon. “You’re a lot like her, you know.” I looked up at him for a moment, still not saying a word. He shook his head.

“Anyway,” he continued. “We’ll have to take a fair bit of precautions on this trip. Lucius will be there, that much we know for certain. And who knows how many death eaters he’ll have at his side. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes another attempt to get you to take the mark.”

I looked up at him, startled. “Yes, yes, I know about it. Narcissa and I had several discussions on the matter.”

“Excuse me, professor, but…just how much do you know?” I asked tentatively.

“Near everything, I suppose. Aside from this.” He leaned across the desk. “How long have you been seeing Potter?” I looked up at him, eyes wide, and practically felt the color drain from my face. Had he used Legilimency on me without me noticing? “Relax. You would know if I had invaded your mind. I saw you giving Potter a thoroughly non-vocal farewell in the hall this afternoon.” I blushed deeply, looking at the floor. “We leave at midnight tomorrow, and we will return at the same time on Thursday. Be packed and in the entrance hall by eleven forty-five. You can you go.”

I stood and headed to the door, pausing just inside it. “Thank you, sir,” I called. “For everything.” He nodded and waved me off. I wandered back towards the common room in search of something to occupy me until dinner.

♥♥♥♥♥



Author Note:

Yeah, a rather shoddy chapter, I know. The next one probably will be as well, just warning you. :) I promise I'll work hard on the next few, though, okay? Alright, now I've got a few things I thought you might all like to know. I re-wrote chapter 17 for ToS reasons, remember? Well, I know there are quite a few of you who might be curious as to what the original was like, so if you want to read it you can find a second posting of 'Deluded Fairy Tale' at FanFiction.net. You'll find the original chapter there, and there may be a few differences in later chapters, depending on how I'm feeling when I write them, lol. Along with 'Deluded Fairy Tale', you'll also find my new Drarry 'A Lot to Explain' that couldn't be posted on HPFF because of the ToS. Look it up if you're interested. Alright, I'll end this little paragraph of ramblings. Chapter 22 up as soon as I can, I promise!


Chapter 22: Chapter Twenty-Two
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After dinner, I went straight to the room of requirement to wait for Draco, where I spent the next half hour pacing back and forth. It was odd to see just how worried I was about all of this. I knew Dumbledore would only want to help, but there was a strange feeling of apprehension in me that I couldn’t begin to explain. It was almost as though I though something terrible was going to come from all of this. It was a ridiculous fear, and it was gone from my mind as soon as the door opened and Draco stepped into the room.

I rushed to his side, kissing him and holding him as close as possible, never wanting to let go. His arms came around me, wrapping me in his warm embrace.

“How did it go?” I asked.

“Alright, I suppose,” Draco replied as we sat down on the sofa together. “Dumbledore’s letting me go home for the funeral.”

“That’s brilliant.”

“Yeah, it is.”

“Is…I mean, will your father be there?”

“Yes.” He must have seen the fear in my eyes, because his arm tightened around my shoulders, drawing me closer to him as his lips pressed against my temple. “I’ll be okay, Harry. Dumbledore wouldn’t let me go if he thought I would be in danger.” I nodded, knowing he was right. “Besides, he’s sending Professor Snape to look after me.

“Snape?!” All of my confidence in Dumbledore suddenly disappeared. I knew Snape was only pretending to be a Death Eater, and that he was really a spy for the Order, but that didn’t mean I trusted him any more than I had before. “That makes me feel loads better. How does Dumbledore know he’ll even step up to the job if he’s needed? He doesn’t give a rat’s arse about any one but himself.”

“He’s my godfather, Harry.”

“Oh…” I suddenly felt terrible. I was always letting my tongue get away from me. I swear it had a mind of its own. “I’m sorry…I didn’t know.”

“Up until a few hours ago, neither did I,” Draco replied, smiling. “It’s alright. I know you and him haven’t had the greatest history together.”

“You can say that again.” We were quiet for a while before another question burned its way into my mind. “How long will you be gone?”

“We leave tomorrow at midnight, and we’ll be back around the same time Thursday,” he answered, looking over at me tentatively.

“That’s a long time.” He nodded. “You know I’m going to be worrying about you every day you’re gone, right?”

“I figured you would, yes. I don’t suppose telling you I’ll be fine will make any difference?” I shook my head, smiling. “I didn’t think so.”

“I wish I could go with you,” I whispered, snuggling closer to him and burying my face in his chest.

“I knew you would say that,” he said. “I would love to take you with me.”

“I’m gonna go down and see you off tomorrow night.”

“No, Harry.”

“Draco, please. I can’t go to the manor with you, at least let me have this much, okay?”

“I don’t want you to end up with detention because of me. If Filch catches you—”

“He won’t catch me. I’ve got the cloak, remember? Please, Draco.” He sighed, but nodded. I hugged him tight. “Thank you…If you’re worried about Snape finding out—”

“He already knows.” I raised an eyebrow and he smiled. “He saw us kissing outside Dumbledore’s office this afternoon.”

“Oh…I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. He really didn’t seem too bothered by it. I’m not sure he cares if I’m gay.”

“What about you being with me?”

“I don’t know, but I don’t care either. All that matters is that I’m happy—that you and I are happy together. The rest of the world doesn’t matter to me.” I smiled and kissed him, holding him close to me as we watched the fire together.

♥♥♥


For the first time in my life, I didn’t want classes to end, and for the first time they seemed to be flying by. I didn’t want dinner to come, because afterwards I would be saying goodbye to the man I loved and watching him leave one of the safest places in the magical world to step into the very jaws of the Dark Lord. That was one thing I didn’t want to see.

When dinner did arrive, I ate as slowly as I could in the hopes that it would help to postpone Draco’s departure just a bit longer. I kept my eyes on him all through the meal. Blaise and Pansy were sitting on either side of him, whispering things to him every once in a while. I smiled to myself, glad he had such supportive friends like them. I knew myself how important they were to have at a time like this.

These thoughts were driven from my mind when a hand gripped my shoulder. I looked up into Ginny’s eyes as she smiled worriedly down at me.

“Are you coming back to the common room, Harry?” she asked. I looked around the Great Hall as the tables started to empty.

“Yeah, I am,” I replied, shaking my head clear as I stood. “At least for a while.” Ginny nodded, and I followed her out of the hall in silence.

♥♥♥


Midnight couldn’t have come sooner. By eleven-thirty I was running through the empty corridors and taking the stairs two at a time in my haste to get down to the entrance hall. It was a good thing Filch had gone to bed, because I doubt the invisibility cloak did much good as it fluttered wildly behind me.

I pulled it off as soon as I had reached the bottom of the staircase. Dumbledore was there talking to Severus, while Draco stood quietly beside the doors. His eyes connected with mine as the cloak fell to the floor and he grinned widely.

“Harry!” he called, hurrying over to me. I pulled him into a hug, smiling as I felt that familiar sense of warmth and comfort come flooding back. “I thought I told you not to come.”

“Did you really expect I wouldn’t?” I asked. He shook his head, pulling back to take my hand. The sharp clearing of a throat drew our attention back to the professors still standing across the room. Dumbledore was watching us with that odd knowing light in his eyes, while Snape looked as though someone had placed an item with a particularly foul odor under his nose.

“Mr. Potter,” he sneered, “what, might I ask, are you doing out of bed?”

“I’m sorry, Professor,” I replied, squeezing Draco’s hand tightly. “I just wanted to say goodbye.”

“And you couldn’t have done that before curfew?”

“Now, Severus,” Dumbledore cut in, his voice as smooth and kind as always. “Surely under the circumstances this one instance can be overlooked?”

Snape made a face, clearly not thrilled with this ruling. “Very well,” he said stiffly. His gaze moved away from us as he fastened his cloak. “Hurry up, Draco. We’ll be getting a late start as it is.”

Draco nodded and turned back to me with a deep sadness in his eyes. It almost hurt to see it.

“This is it, then,” he said quietly. I smiled slightly and pulled him into a hug.

“This is almost worse than Christmas holiday,” I mumbled, burying my face in his neck. “Only this time, I’m going to worry about you every minute you’re gone.”

“And I’ll be worrying about how much trouble you’re getting in while I’m not around.” I could practically hear the smile in his voice. He pulled back from our hug, one hand coming up to stroke my cheek. “I love you,” he whispered.

“I love you, too,” I replied. His lips pressed against my forehead, my cheek. “Draco…Snape will see.”

“I don’t much care.” His lips brushed my ear before they met my own in a searing kiss.

His lips moved in time with my own, his tongue slipping deftly into my mouth as we held each other close…and the world faded away. Suddenly, I didn’t care that Dumbledore and Snape were there watching. I didn’t care that Draco was walking right into his father’s waiting grasp. Right then all that matter was that we were together—alive and madly in love. I could have spent an eternity like that, just relishing in those few passionate seconds.

Snape cleared his throat sharply. “That will do, Draco. Come along,” he sneered, turning to open the doors.

Draco pulled back, stroking back my hair as he looked in to my eyes. “I love you,” he said.

“I love you, too,” I replied. “Here. Take this with you.” I pulled off the ring he’d given me to wear so many months before. He shook his head as I placed it in his palm.

“Harry—”

“Please, Draco. For luck.” He smiled and hugged me close.

“I’ll be back soon.”

“Be careful.”

“Always.”

“Draco!” Snape hissed impatiently.

“Coming! Goodbye, Harry.”

“Bye,” I whispered, letting his hand slip from mine as he walked away out the doors. Dumbledore and I stood on the steps together, watching until the darkness swallowed them.
‘Good luck, Draco,’ I thought. ‘I love you.’

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 23: Chapter Twenty-Three
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It felt odd being at home. The mansion seemed so cold, so unwelcoming without Mum around to brighten the rooms. I hated it. It was nearly one when we arrived, and yet my father hadn’t returned from a day of ‘business’ in London. This news didn’t surprise me at all; and I was glad he was away. His absence meant I would be allowed one night of peace before what was to be one of the hardest weeks of my life began. Though how much rest it would really hold remained a mystery.

Severus left me in the main hall with orders to go straight to bed and get as much rest as I could. I did as he told me and headed upstairs to my room, collapsing on the bed as soon as the door had clicked shut behind me. I rolled onto my back and stared at the ceiling, trying my hardest not to think about the coming week. I turned my thoughts to Harry instead, remembering our farewell.

I would give anything to have him here with me, I decided, curling up under the blankets in an attempt to block out the cold. It didn’t help when the chill came from inside me, running like ice through my veins. I missed his warmth already, and the bed felt so empty without him beside me.

My eyes caught sight of the ring on my finger, and I slowly reached out to stroke the stone gently. I wished he’d kept it with him. It felt almost wrong to have it…almost like a sign of things to come… I shuddered as the chill ran up my spine with those thoughts, and shook my head in an attempt to dislodge them. I looked at the clock. Two-thirty. I needed to sleep. Tomorrow was going to be a long and trying day. Tomorrow, I would bury my mother. I tried not to think it over as I rolled onto my side and fell into an uneasy and dreamless sleep.

♥♥♥


I was up and dressed even before the sun had risen up over the horizon. I hadn’t slept much; maybe three hours or so, but it was all I could manage in the eerie and chilling silence of my welcome-less home.

Severus came to fetch me around eight. He wasn’t surprised to find me up. From the looks of it, he hadn’t slept at all. We took breakfast in the dining room. My father didn’t join us.

At nine we left the manor and crossed the grounds to the private cemetery at the far corner of the land. A great mass of black robes awaited us there; various friends and family members gathered like crows to mourn the loss. My father was nowhere to be found.

There was a Wizarding priest who said a few words about death and loss. His speech was lost to me as I stared at the deep mahogany casket, and tried not to think about how it was my mother inside of it. I barely noticed he’d stopped talking until a few of the men moved forward to lower her into the ground.

A hand gripped my shoulder; I didn’t have to turn to know it was Severus. I watched as the top of the casket was lowered beneath the surface. The crowd of mourners started to drift away, heading back to the mansion. I stayed behind for a few moments, even after Severus has left my side.

The reality of the even had finally come: my mother was gone. Never again would I see her bright smile except for in faded photographs and distant memories. This realization would have hurt any other person so deeply, but it did nothing against me. For now, I was numb to the pain.

♥♥♥


The entrance hall was deserted when I reached the house. Voices echoed out to me from the sitting room down the hall. I didn’t even spare the door a glance as I made my way upstairs. I wasn’t in the mood for guests offering me their condolences. I didn’t want nor need their sympathy. All I wanted was to be alone. Severus would find me when I was needed.

I headed for my room, but as I passed a side hall, something pulled me off the original path. My footsteps echoed in the deep silence as I approached the end of the hall, and stopped before the last door on the left. The library. No wonder I’d felt drawn here. It was Mum’s favorite room.

I opened the door and stepped inside in one swift motion, not bothering to close it behind me as I looked around the room at the massive shelves lining the walls. Each was filled from floor to ceiling with books, each of them lined perfectly like soldiers at attention. It had started raining outside, I noticed as I moved to the windows. A steady drizzle fell in large drops against the glass, blurring my view of the gardens.

It was cold in here, too. And just like the rest of the house, the chill seemed to come from inside of me. I shivered and drew my wand, jabbing it at the fireplace. Flames sprung up quickly and I could almost feel their warmth already.

I moved across the room to the desk, running my fingers along the smooth glossy top. The glitter of the ring on my hand in the firelight caught my eye. It made me think of Harry, and how much I missed him. I’d thought about writing him, but the risk of my father intercepting the owl was too great.

My father. Somehow everything seemed to boil down to him. If it wasn’t for him, I could write to Harry. If it wasn’t for him, Harry could have been here with me. If it wasn’t for him….Mum would still be alive. I hated my father. There was no other explanation for it, no other word to describe how much I loathed him. It was because of him that I was miserable.

“I thought I might find you here.” The voice startled me back into reality. I turned to the door to find Severus looking in at me. “The guests have left…and your father has arrived.” His voice held an odd tone that I couldn’t place. It worried me. “He’s waiting in his study. He asks you meet him there immediately.”

Oh. No wonder he seemed so solemn. I gave the room one last look before following him out into the hall, closing the door behind me.

♥♥♥


The walk to my father’s study seemed to take even longer than I remembered as the anticipation and fear rose inside me. I knew what my father wanted, and I was sure Severus knew, too. He believed he would finally get what he wanted now that Mum was gone—and what he wanted was for me to join Voldemort.

I could see the door up ahead, could hear the voices echoing from behind it—my father’s, and a woman’s I would recognize anywhere.

“Bellatrix,” I muttered. Severus nodded and reached up to rap smartly on the door.

“Enter,” my father called. He seemed incredibly at ease for someone who had just lost their wife. He turned to Bellatrix as Severus and I entered the room. “Leave us.” She nodded and headed for the door, grinning evilly at me as she passed. The door clicked shut behind her, leaving the three of us alone in silence.

There were no chairs before my father’s massive desk, so we were forced to stand before him under his calculating stare. I fought the urge to look at the floor, and focused on keeping eye contact with him. I would show no weakness. I would give him no evidence of the fear that I felt.

“I’m glad to see you returned home,” he said stiffly. His voice was cold and hard as ice.

“How could I not?” I asked. “Had to say goodbye.”

“Yes. Your mother’s death is….regrettable.”

Regrettable?

“But she blinded you to so many valuable opportunities.”

Only if you count a Death Eater’s mark valuable. Then again, he would.

“And it is with her passing that a light is cast once more upon these opportunities, giving you another chance at them. A chance which I urge you to take.”

Translation—A chance which you will take.

“Yes, Father,” I replied obediently. It wouldn’t hurt to try and remain on his good side.

“I’m glad you agree. I’ve already arranged it all.”

“Arranged what, exactly?”

“The ceremony.”

“Ceremony?”

“You will join the Dark Lord, Draco. You will take his mark tomorrow night.”

“Tomorrow?!”

“Lucius, perhaps it’s a bit soon?” Severus cut in. “Perhaps we should wait until he finishes school?”

“If I didn’t know better, Severus, I’d say that it sounds like you don’t want Draco inducted into our ranks.”

“It’s not that, I assure you.” How can he keep his voice so steady when he lies? The skill astonished me. “What use will he be to the Dark Lord? He hasn’t learned enough—”

“He has learned all that is important! What other information he needs isn’t something that fool of a headmaster will be able to teach him! The Dark Lord will arrive at dusk. I suggest you be ready.” He waved us away, and Severus gripped my arm tightly as he pulled me from the room.

His grip did not slack in the least as he led me to my room. The door slammed behind us with a sharp thud, and he pushed me away from him.

“Pack your things,” he muttered. I looked at him, stunned.

“What—?”

“Pack your things! We leave at midnight.”

“Where are we going?”

“Back to the school. Lucius won’t come to interfere with Dumbledore.

“We can’t just leave!”

“I will not fail my duty! I promised your mother I would protect you.”

“We can’t! They’ll know you helped me, and they will kill you. You’re position with the Death Eaters is far too important to betray for me. The Order needs you to be in their good graces.” My entire body was trembling with fear. What are you doing?! my mind screamed. Don’t stay! Go back to school where it’s safe, where Dumbledore can protect you…and where you can be with Harry.

If you go, Severus dies.

If you stay, you become one of them.

Can you really go on living with his death on your conscience?

What will Harry think?


“We stay, Severus,” I decided. “And tomorrow…. Tomorrow I join Voldemort.”

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 24: Chapter Twenty-Four
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Tuesday was stressful and reckless. I couldn’t concentrate in classes—I was too worried about Draco. Hermione noticed my distraction and offered to copy out her Transfiguration notes for me. I appreciated the thought, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to work on the two foot essay McGonagall had assigned with or without them.

The hours seemed to drag by, and I was afraid that if the rest of the week passed this slowly then I would go insane with worry by the time Draco came back on Thursday.

I spent the long, lonely hours after dinner staring out the window that overlooked the quidditch pitch. It was still raining out; much like it had been all afternoon. I wondered vaguely if it was raining where Draco was. Then again, it most like was.

I longed to be there with him, to comfort him if and when he needed it. I missed him, missed his warmth when he slept next to me at night. I was so sick of worrying already, and only a day had passed. If things continued on like this, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it through the rest of the week.

Two more days, I thought. Just two more days and then he’ll be back. He’ll be just fine, you’ll see. As comforting as these words sounded, they didn’t take away the thick knot of fear that had settled into my heart.

I looked down at my hands, running my fingers unconsciously over the bare place where Draco’s ring had rested the night before. I almost wished I’d kept it with me. It felt so odd not having it, like part of me was missing. I didn’t like that feeling at all.

♥♥♥


“Harry, are you sure you’re feeling alright?” It was the third time Ginny had asked me that in the past half hour.

“He’s just worried,” Hermione answered for me. She patted my arm from across the table. “I’m sure he’ll be alright, Harry. Dumbledore wouldn’t have sent him if it wasn’t safe.”

I nodded, knowing she was probably right, but it did nothing to banish the sense of dread that grew stronger every moment. Lucias Malfoy was ruthless, that much I knew. Draco had told me countless times about the arguments he’d had with his father, about the punishments he’d received for disobeying… I didn’t think someone like Snape would be able to stop him from getting what he wanted—and that was what scared me the most.

“Come on, mate!” Dean exclaimed, pushing my still-full plate closer to me. “You have to eat something.”

“Yeah, or Draco will think we starved you!” Seamus added, nudging me in the side.

“I’m not hungry,” I mumbled, pushing the plate away again and resting my head in my arms on top of the table. I watched Ginny and Dean exchange worried glances before Ron shoved his way onto the bench between the girls.

“Morning!” he said quickly, filling his plate with everything he could reach. He glanced at me as he reached for a piece of toast. “What’s wrong with him?” he asked, acting as though I wasn’t there.

“He—” Dean began. Hermione silenced him with a quick look.

“He hasn’t been sleeping well,” she finished. It wasn’t really a lie—I hadn’t been sleeping well. My nights were haunted by dreams of all the horrible things that could be happening to Draco.

“Oh,” Ron replied, not caring in the least. I sighed and buried my face in my arms. Is it Thursday yet?

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 25: Chapter Twenty-Five
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Wednesday seemed to drag on and fly by all at the same time. Severus and I spent a good part of the morning arguing. He wasn’t proud of my decision, as honorable as it might be. He said I was being foolish, that walking straight into the lion’s den would solve nothing. Severus begged me (or, at least, got as close to begging as he ever would) to go back to the school where Dumbledore would protect me, and where even Lucius had no control over my life.

“You’re seventeen,” he said, “a legal adult. Lucius has no power over you.”

Regardless of that fact, I knew my father would never give up until he got what he wanted—or until I was dead.

“I’ve made my decision, Severus,” I told him for what seemed to be the thousandth time. “I won’t change it. Voldemort will be here this evening—it’s too late to run now. They’ll know you helped me.”

He wasn’t satisfied with my answer, and I could feel the frustration radiating from him in waves as he left the room. I didn’t see him for a long while after that, and it gave me time to think over what I was about to do. Perhaps that wasn’t the best thing.

Being alone for so long, my thoughts drifted to Harry. I missed him so much that it hurt, and I wondered vaguely if he were thinking of me, too, though I knew he would be. We’d been practically inseparable since we’d started dating, and being away from him for so long was painful. It hurt even more to think about how he would react when he found out…No. I wouldn’t think of that now. There was no other way out of this—I wouldn’t trade Severus’s life. Harry would understand….I hoped.

♥♥♥


Severus came to fetch me at 11:30. The house was dark. How he managed to lead us down the halls, I’d never know.

“I’ll tell you this now, and only once,” Severus whispered quickly as we headed towards the stairs to the third floor. “You know already how accomplished of an occlemence the Dark Lord is. You’re skilled for your age, Draco, but not nearly skilled enough. It should be obvious, then, that you’ll need to do all you can to not think of Potter.”

I nodded.

“Hide the memories as far back in your mind as you can.”

“I will,” I replied quietly as we reached the top of the stairs. There was a light up ahead, a soft glow of candles shining under the door to one of the old sitting rooms we never used. We stopped just outside the door, and Severus spoke without turning to face me.

“You’ll go before them all, and kneel at his feet. You’ll recite the oath.”

I nodded, drawing forth the words from the back of my mind. I’d worked to memorize them all afternoon.

“You’ll drink from the cup they give you, and he’ll say his bit…and then he’ll mark you.”

I nodded again, unable to suppress the shudder that coursed through my spine. The reality of what was about to happen seemed to be catching up to me now. Fear ran like ice through my veins as the door swung slowly open to give way to the dark sight before me.

Blood red candles lined the walls, casting eerie shadows about he room. Death Eaters had been arriving throughout the afternoon, and now they stood, black-cloaked and ominous, in two rows. Their towering forms created a dark pathway through the middle of the room. At the far end stood a small table holding two more candles and a goblet I could only guess was meant for the ceremony. Beside it stood a throne.

I took a deep breath and stepped into the room. Severus left me to join the others, and I wished desperately that he could have stayed by my side. I could feel their eyes on my as I moved towards the throne. I tried to ignore them, clearing my mind and setting forth my wall like I had practiced so many times this afternoon.

After endless moments of deepening silence and discomfort, I reached my destination and kneeled before the empty throne. I fought to keep my heartbeat steady and to hide the fear threatening to show itself in my actions. Fear would be an embarrassment to the Malfoy name—and embarrassment was not something that pleased my father.

Something moved behind me, and I tried hard not to shudder as the snake slithered past, its smooth skin brushing against me. The low hiss was what startled me the most—because it didn’t come from the serpent beside me. It came from the dark shadows behind the throne. The snake slithered willingly, almost joyously, into the darkness. The hissing continued, now doubled as though they were conversing. And just as abruptly as it had begun, it stopped and silence fell in the room once more.

“Nagini tells me our young recruit shows no sign of fear in my presence,” Voldemort’s chilling voice spoke from the darkness as he stepped into the dim light. The snake was draped around his shoulders now, its tongue flitting out as it whispered into its master’s ear. “Or perhaps he’s just a talented actor.”

He sank with dark grace into the throne, resting his hands on the gold arms. He waved vaguely to me and I bowed my head and prayed my voice had not left me.

“I hereby pledge my fidelity and loyalty to the Dark Lord Voldemort. From this hour forth my life, my wealth, and my blood are but tools for my master.” I was amazed at the strength my voice held. It gave away not one ounce of the fear I felt inside me. “I am not ashamed to proclaim my blood purity, and shall always be in service to my lord. I will live by this pledge until death forever separates me from my master.” With slightly shaking hands, I pulled up the sleeve of my robes and raised my left arm before me. “I present my left arm, as solid proof that I am a follower of the Dark Lord.”

I raised my eyes to his, holding the fiery gaze despite my desire to look away. The corner of his mouth twitched in a slight smirk as he nodded to the Death Eater standing to my right. He stepped forward and took the goblet from the table, raising it to my lips. Without a second thought, I drank—and nearly choked. Absinthe. I closed my eyes tight as it burned down my throat. At long last, they pulled the now empty goblet away and my eyes connect with Voldemort’s once more as I wiped my mouth on my sleeve.

He reached into his robes, drawing forth his wand, and I closed my eyes as he pressed the tip against my skin.

“Morsmordre!” The words fell from his lips with a practiced ease, and I had to clench my teeth against the pain. It felt as thought my arm were on fire, and the flames were burning hotter, deeper with every passing moment. It continued to burn, even after Voldemort withdrew his wand and they all left me alone in the darkness. I fell, no longer having the strength to hold myself up. It was Severus who caught me. And as I slipped into unconsciousness, it was Harry’s name I whispered.

♥♥♥♥♥




Author Note:

Special thanks to Starving Author and long_live_luna_bellatrix for their help with Draco's pledge. I couldn't have finished this chapter without you! And another special thanks to those of you who are such dedicated readers! Your reviews mean so much!


Chapter 26: Chapter Twenty-Six
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My heart nearly stopped when I saw him at breakfast the next morning. He’s back! He’s really back! I ate quickly, my eyes flitting to the Slytherin table every few moments to be sure he hadn’t left yet. When he did leave, I was on my feet in an instant and following him out the door.

“Draco!” He turned when I called his name. I was practically running across the entrance hall. He took my hand when I reached him, looked around to make sure no one would see us, and then pulled me into the broom closet where we had met so many times before.

I threw my arms around his neck as soon as the door was shut and pressed my lips to his in the same instant. I broke our kiss and buried my face in his neck.

“I’ve missed you so much,” I whispered, my arms tightening around him. “I’ve been so worried.”

“I’ve missed you, too, Harry,” Draco replied, stroking my hair. There were so many questions I wanted to ask him, but for now this was all I wanted. Holding him close was what I had missed the most. “Harry, we need to go.”

I nodded and kissed his neck, his cheek, his lips.

“Meet me tonight?” I offered, hugging him one last time. “In the room of requirement after dinner?” He nodded.

“I’ll be there,” he said, kissing my hand.

I watched him leave, and begged time to pass quickly.

♥♥♥


My re-established happiness seemed to cheer everyone up. Hermione smiled at me from time to time as we sat through lesson after lesson. She shook her head and tried to keep from laughing as she watched me growing steadily more and more impatient with each passing hour.

“I have to admit,” Seamus said as we ate lunch in the great hall, “it’s good to see you smiling again, Harry. It was starting to worry me.”

I grinned and looked over at the Slytherin table for probably the thousandth time. My eyes connected with Draco’s, and for a split second I was able to see the sadness they held. His eyes dropped back to the table as my smile faded. Something wasn’t right.

I frowned slightly in concern as I watched him drop his fork and flinch in pain as he pulled his arm to his chest. He’s hurt, I thought. That son-of-a-bitch Lucias did something. I was just getting ready to go over to him when Snape stepped up to the Slytherin table. He said something and Draco stood, following him from the hall. What the hell..?

♥♥♥♥♥





Author Note:

Yes, another transition chapter. I know, I know. I'm sorry it’s so short, guys, but I promise it's just until I can get things moving. The next chapter will be a long one, I promise. I’ve got a HUGE research paper for English class due and it’s hard to work on both. My project has to be turned in around the second week of December, I believe. So just a few more weeks of delays, I hope. I’ll get chapter 27 up as soon as I can. Thanks for all your reviews!

Cara Nicole Luvitz


Chapter 27: Chapter Twenty-Seven
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I followed Severus out of the Great Hall and into the dungeons, all the while fearing what the conversation would hold once we reached his office. Beneath the sleeve of my robes, the Mark was burning against my skin. Severus told me this would be normal for the first few weeks, that the pain was almost constant when the Mark was fresh. So why was he calling me to his office now?

He let me into the room before him and gestured to one of the chairs before his desk. I sat down slowly, cautiously. My hands were shaking so bad.

“Do you know why I called you here?” he asked as he paced back and forth behind the desk. I shook my head.

“I’ve no idea,” I replied. “Something to do with the Mark?”

“Yes….and no.” Severus stopped his pacing with his back to me. “Have you seen Potter yet?”

“I…I spoke with him this morning, yes.”

“And was he glad to see you?”

“Very.”

“I was afraid of that.”

“W-what?”

“It has to end, Draco.”

“What do you--?”

` “You have to stop this affair with Potter. It’s far too dangerous.”

“But…No! There has to be some other way.”

“There isn’t, Draco. There simply isn’t. There are certain….regrets that come with the taking of the Mark. You are often forced to let go of the ones you love. It happens to the best of us.”

“Severus…I don’t understand. Why…?”

“Because the chances of Voldemort finding out are far too great. It would endanger your life, as well as Potter’s. He would see you as a way of getting to him.”

“Then we won’t let him find out! I’ll keep the walls up. He’ll never see it.”

“We can only wish it was that simple, Draco. Your occlumency isn’t skilled enough to match against the Dark Lord. He’ll break through your walls with the greatest ease. No matter how hard you fight him, Draco….he will find out in the end. He always does.”

“But he doesn’t see through you! You hide information about the Order from him all the time.”

“Because I have had practice.”

“Teach me.”

“Teach you? It would takes years to teach you everything you need to know to defend yourself against him.” He sighed, sitting down at last. “I’m sorry, Draco. Truly, I am. If there was another way, I would have found it. I know…I know this isn’t easy for you.”

“Severus….” I could have kicked myself when I felt the first tears fall. “Please don’t make me do this…Please. It will kill him.”

And then he did something I would never have expected of him. He stood from his desk, came to my side…and he hugged me. Though, I suppose it didn’t particularly count as a hug. His arm was thrown around my shoulders, but it seemed awkward for him, and it only lasted a moment before he was back in his seat. The bell tolled, signaling the end of lunch.

“You better get to class,” Severus commanded, breaking the awkward silence between us. I nodded and stood, wiping my eyes as he followed me to the door. It wasn’t going to be a good week.

♥♥♥


I met Harry after dinner, just as I had promised I would. It took me a while longer to get up the courage to open the door than I had thought. I’d spent all afternoon working on what I would say to him, how I would end it. So far, I’d come up with nothing. I was going in blind.

He was there waiting for me, just like always. He looked up at me and grinned so widely that I thought my heart my burst from the pain that filled it at the sight. I couldn’t do this. I just couldn’t hurt him… And then the thought came to me. Harry dead on the ground with Voldemort standing over him…and it would be my doing. No. I couldn’t let that happen either. I had to explain it to him. I had to.

“Hey,” he said, grinning even wider as he stood and hugged me. I wrapped my arms tight around him, pulling him as close as possible. I breathed in his scent, realizing just how much I had missed him….and how much I was going to miss him when it was all over. I kissed his neck, his cheek, his hair, all the while hugging him closer and tighter than I ever had before.

“I love you,” I whispered. “I love you so much.”

“I love you, too,” he replied, and I could hear the confusion in his voice. “Dray….Dray, what’s wrong?” He started to pull back, but I shook my head and pulled him close again. I kissed him full on, exploring him and tasting him for what would very likely be the last time. When the kiss ended, he held me back, looking into my eyes. No matter what I’d told myself before hand, I couldn’t keep the tears back as I looked at him. It was just too much. I turned away, staring at the wall, not really seeing anything.

“Draco?” he called softly. “What’s wrong?” I took a deep, shuddering breath when I felt his hand on my shoulder. “Draco?” I turned my head to look at him over my shoulder. My eyes closed as his lips pressed to my cheek, kissing away my tears. Strong arms wrapped around me, and I leaned willingly back into his embrace. “What’s wrong, Dray?” Harry asked for the third time.

“I’ve done something terrible, Harry.” My reply was so soft, I’m amazed he heard it. “You’re going to hate me.”

He laughed. “I could never hate you, Dray. Besides, it’s not like you’ve gone off and joined the Dark Lord.” I cringed at the irony of that statement; it didn’t go unnoticed.

Harry turned me around to face him, and my eyes immediately dropped to the floor. His warm hands brought my face firmly, but gently, back up to meet him.

“Draco, tell me what’s going on,” he said. His eyes were serious, all traces of humor gone. I nodded, bringing my hands up to cover his as I pulled his left hand to my lips, lightly kissing his palm, his wrist. I tried not to think that it would be the last time I would ever do this.

“Can we sit?” I asked. He smiled and nodded, leading me to the bed. He pulled me down beside him, never once releasing my hands. He waited patiently, rubbing the back of my hands with his thumbs. I took a deep breath and brought my eyes up to meet his, letting myself drown in their warmth.

“This…this isn’t easy to explain,” I told him, looking back down at our clasped hands. “I’m not quite sure how to word it all.”

“Take your time,” Harry replied, smiling slightly. I nodded, breathing deeply as I thought over what I was going to say. It was now or never.

“I’ve told you about what goes on with my father—about his wishes for me after I finish school.” Harry nodded, no doubt recalling all the times we’d discussed my father’s wishes for me to become a Death Eater. “You know what he’s done in the past to try to persuade me.” He nodded again. “And you know how persistent he’s been lately.”

“You said it’s been getting harder to, well, fight back, for lack of a better term,” he said. I was glad to see just how much he remembered, how much he understood. It made the whole situation a lot easier to handle. “Is it getting worse?” he asked.

“I guess you could put it that way.” He had no idea just how bad it had gotten. He frowned slightly, releasing my hands to pull me against his chest. His lips pressed a kiss to the top of my head, his warm breath ghosting across my neck to send chills rippling down my spine.

“It’ll be alright, Draco,” Harry whispered. “There’s only a few weeks of term left. You can come live with me after that, and he’ll never find you. He’ll never be able to hurt you again. I won’t let him.”

His promise was incredibly enticing, and I very nearly accepted these terms, giving up on my original plan. I shook these thoughts from my head immediately. I had to do this. It was my only choice…

I pulled away from him reluctantly, shaking my head I as I did. “No,” I said. “It can’t work that way, Harry—it won’t. As much as we want it to…it could never be that simple.”

“You’d rather become a Death Eater or die, then? Weren’t those the options Lucius gave you? Join or die?” he growled. “I can’t—I won’t—just sit back and watch that happen. I love you too much for that.”

“It’s not your decision, Harry. It’s mine. And I love you too much to put you in that kind of danger.”

“But, Draco, Grimmuald Place is hidden, invisible to everyone but the Order. There’s no place safer, besides Hogwarts.”

“It doesn’t matter anymore,” I said, standing and moving to the window. “The decision’s been made; there’s no going back now.”

“But—wait, what do you mean there’s no going back?” He was getting far angrier than I’d ever intended for him to be. “You didn’t let them…You didn’t join him, did you?” His eyes were dark and accusing, and it hurt to see that darkness directed to me. I turned back to face him, slowly rolling up my sleeve as I did.

His face darkened considerably when he caught sight of the mark on my arm. He turned away, disgust radiating from him in waves.

“Why?” he exclaimed. “What the hell were you thinking?! Do you have any idea what you’ve done?”

“You think I don’t know?!” I yelled back, unable to take his ranting any longer. “Do you think I’m stupid, Harry? That I would go into this without considering what the cost would be? I love you, Harry. I love you. And I did this to protect you.”

“Protect me? How’s my boyfriend becoming a Death Eater supposed to protect me?”

“You don’t know what he’s like, Harry.”

“I think I’ve faced Voldemort enough in my life to know what he’s like, thank you!”

“I’m not talking about the Dark Lord! I’m talking about my father. If he were to find out about us—and believe me, he’d find out—do you know what he would do to you? If he found out you were the reason I wouldn’t join him, do you know what would happen?” I paused, staring deep into his eyes, doing my best to get my point across. “He’d kill you, Harry. I couldn’t stand to see that happen. I can’t live in a world where you don’t exist.”

“So you’d rather join the Dark Lord? You’d rather become the enemy?”

“Than see you dead? Yes!”

“That’s stupid.”

“I’m tired of seeing people die to protect me, Harry. Mum did it, and that nearly killed me.” I sighed, moving back towards the bed to sit next to him. “I couldn’t bear to see it happen to you, too. I won’t let it. You’re all the happiness I have left in this world. Don’t ask me to risk all of that…”

“I’m sorry,” Harry whispered, pulling me to him in a hug. “I just don’t want to lose you because we’re on different sides of the war.”

“I’ll always be yours, Harry—no matter what happens.”

♥♥♥


I gave it my best effort in trying to avoid Severus over the next few days. As a Slytherin, I should have been well trained at slipping past undetected. But Slytherin or not, the man was older, and therefore more clever and cunning than I. It didn’t take long for him to corner me.

“Have you done it?” he asked coldly.

“I’ve told him, yes,” I replied. He saw through my words quickly enough, forcing his way through the wall I’d set forth in my mind to keep him out.

“You didn’t end it?!” he exclaimed. “I’ve told you, damn it! I’ve told you how things were to be done, Draco!”

“You didn’t see him, Severus!” I shouted back. “You didn’t hear the condemnation in his voice when he’d learned what I’d become. I was far too glad for him to finally accept me to go through with the rest of it.”

“Do you know how dangerous this connection you have with Voldemort is? Do you know what it could mean if the Dark Lord finds out about your little affair with Potter? Do you know what it could mean for him?”

“Yes! Yes, I know, alright?” I threw myself down into one of the chairs before his desk, staring down at the floor. “You don’t understand just how difficult this is for me. I love him, Severus. It’s not easy to end it all.”

His face softened as he looked at me and he sighed, coming to kneel beside me. I looked up at him, reading the concern—and sympathy?—his eyes held for me.

“It’s never easy to say goodbye, Draco,” he said softly. “I lost someone I loved very much the last time Voldemort gained power. I never got a chance to say goodbye, to explain things…” His voice faltered for a moment. He cleared his throat and brought his eyes back up to meet mine.

“The way things have worked out, Draco, the way it’s all unfolded—you have that chance to say goodbye. You have the opportunity to tell the one you love why things are the way they are, why you have to leave them. More importantly, you have one last chance to tell them you love them before fate tears you apart. That’s something I never got to do, and not a day goes by that I don’t wish I’d had that chance.”

It took a few moments for me to realize he had finished speaking, and even longer for the words to sink in so that I could fully comprehend their meaning. I knew he was right, of course. I’d known all along that he was, only refused in my stubborn mind to listen to him.

I knew how much it would hurt Harry if I simply blocked him out. I couldn’t stand to see that pain reflected in his eyes fro the rest of the year. It was bad enough to have to leave him in the first place, but to do so without tell him why….No. Harry deserved better than that. He loved me—and that constituted an explanation.

♥♥♥


Harry and I were to meet again that Thursday night. I got to the room of requirement a good hour early, settling in to prepare myself for what I was about to do. I’d looked forward to many things while I’d been with him, and even imagined how some of them might play out. Never once did I think that this would happen. The door opened and I watched him enter.

“Hey,” he said, smiling.

“We need to talk,” I replied. His smile faded and he nodded, sitting down beside me.

“Alright.” His eyes dropped to my arm, where I was lightly fingering my mark. “Is this about…” I nodded. “Let me see it.”

“What?”

“Just let me see…” He took my arm in his hands, looking intently down at the skull and serpent on my skin. “What is it, Draco?”

“This mark,” I said, pulling my arm away from him, “it has powers. It…it helps the Dark Lord to use occlumency on us, especially over distances. It makes it easer for him to get into our minds.” I paused, looking up at him. He was listening intently, his eyes not leaving mine. “I’ve been blocking him out. It’s getting harder. I can only hold him off for so long, before he breaks through. I’m just not strong enough. When he does get through…he’ll see everything, Harry—everything we’ve done together. He will use me to get to you.”

“What are you saying?” A light of pain came into his eyes. He knew where this was going. “You aren’t….you’re not gonna…”

“Harry, I’m sorry.” He closed his eyes, shaking his head.

“No, it’s not fair. It doesn’t have to be like this.”

“There isn’t any other choice, Harry. I’ve tried. God I’ve tried so hard to find another option…there just isn’t one. This is the only way I can protect you.”

“No. It’s not over. It can’t be. There has to be something else…”

“There isn’t. I don’t want to do this, but I don’t have a choice.”

“No! I love you! Damn it, Draco, I love you!” He pulled me to him, kissing me. I didn’t kiss him back. I pulled him to me, hugging him. I needed to get out of there, to leave before I changed my mind. He’d put up a decent front so far, but I knew him. It wouldn’t last. His eyes were already filling with tears. I didn’t think I could bear to see him cry.

“I do love you, Harry,” I whispered, my face buried in his neck. “I would have stayed with you until the end.” I pressed a kiss to his neck and could have sworn I’d heard a sob escape. When I pulled away and looked up, he was staring at the floor. It was better that way, not as hard to leave as I had thought, though my hand still hesitated on the doorknob. Yet, somehow, I managed to push myself through, and I walked out the door, closing it behind me.

No matter how thick the wood, I was still able to hear him break down. The pain echoing through his sobs was unbearable. I sank to the floor, my back pressed hard against the door, and let the tears fall. There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t stay with him, yet it hurt so bad to end it. This was the only way, there was no going back.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be our fairy tale, complete with our own happing ending. Damn my father. Damn the Dark Lord and this stupid war. And damn me for being so bloody noble. Why hadn’t I listened to Severus? Why didn’t I run before they’d had a chance to mark me? I’d still be with Harry.

But Severus would be dead…and it would be your fault. Could you really have gone on knowing that? I couldn’t have, I knew that much. I would have felt responsible for it, and it would have haunted me for the rest of my life. But so will this. Maybe things would have been better if I’d never started seeing Harry. If things had just stayed the way they were, if we’d gone on pretending to hate each other….Then I wouldn’t have hurt him.

‘I’ve been happier these past few months than I have in a long time, and I owe it all to you.’
Harry’s words came back to me now with a jolt. That was a bit of a good thing, wasn’t it? I’d managed to make him happy for a while. That was something he most definitely deserved after all he’d been through. Yeah, but breaking his heart in the end has hardly helped matters, has it, you bloody sodding bastard! I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to talk to someone…Blaise? No, he won’t understand. Pansy? No, she’ll kill me for breaking up with Harry. That only leaves one person. I needed to see Severus.

♥♥♥


The door to his office swung open almost immediately after I knocked, as if he were waiting for me. He looked own at me, stepped aside, and let me enter.

“You’ve done it, then?” he asked, closing the door and taking up the seat behind his desk.

“Yes,” I whispered. I looked up at him. “I’ve never felt so terrible in all my life.”

Severus sighed and stood, moving over to me. He placed a hand on my shoulder. “I know it’s hard, Draco. It’s always hard to give up the ones we love. But this is the only way we have of protecting him…I still don’t know if it’s enough. You’ll have to do your best to forget all of this.”

“That’s impossible.”

“Then you’ll have to lock it away somewhere in the farthest corners of your mind. Don’t let him through to it.” I nodded. He moved back to his chair, all forms of compassion gone. He never wanted to seem like he cared…it bothered me. “There are roughly two months of term left,” he said, his words dragging me back to reality. “After that, you’ll be fully in his service. I’ll do my best to keep an eye on you, when I can. But I’ll be making trips back and forth to pass what I can to the Order. You’ll be mostly on your own. Can you handle that?”

“I…I think so.”

“Good. You’ll need to make yourself scarce. We don’t want his attention drawn to you for any reason. It’s easier to hide things in your mind when he’s not deliberately searching it. And you’ll have to do your best to avoid Potter for the rest of the year.”

My eyes snapped up to meet his, and I nodded.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 28: Chapter Twenty-Eight
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I stayed there, alone in that room, for a few hours, trying to get myself under control. It was harder there, I think, since we’d spent so much time together in that room. I finally stood and headed for the door, but made the mistake of looking back. The bed caught my eye, and everything came flooding back—the first nights we’d spent together, the feel of his lips on mine, the warmth of his arms around me…the night we’d first made love… I shook my head, leaving the room behind for good, and closing the door. AS far as I was concerned, that would be the last time I would enter that room.

♥♥♥


Going back to the common room wasn’t the best idea. I learned that as soon as I had entered. It was fairly empty, apart from Seamus, Dean, Neville…and Ron. I tried to make a straight shot for the dorms, wanting to avoid as many questions as I could. Ron had other plans.

“Hey, mate, how about a game of chess?” he asked cheerfully, heading over to me. I shook my head, not trusting my voice to answer. “Alright, exploding snap, then. Seamus got a new set he wants to break in….” He kept talking, but I stopped listening as I caught sight of Ginny coming down the stairs from the girls’ dorm. She would be able to tell something was wrong. I had to get up to my dorm. “…and he things he can beat me. But I told him he doesn’t stand a chance!”

“Damn it, no, Ron!” I shouted, sick of listening to him. He stopped abruptly, staring at me in shock. “I’m just not in the mood…” I pushed passed him, hurrying up the stairs to the dorms and slamming the door shut behind me. I dropped down on top of my bed, squeezing my eyes shut tight in hopes that it would all just disappear and things would go back to the way they had been.

There was a light knock at the door. Ginny. I knew she would be the one to follow me. I didn’t feel like talking. She knocked again, and I ignored it. The door opened. Damn me for not locking it.

“Harry?” she called softly. I heard her shut the door and step across the floor towards my bed. “Harry, are you okay?”

“Go away, Gin,” I said, my voice shaking. “I don’t feel like talking.” She appeared around the curtains, sitting down on the edge of my bed.

“What’s wrong, Harry?” I shook my head. “Did something happen?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “Draco sodding Malfoy happened.”

“Did you two get in a fight?” I shook my head.

“It’s over, Gin.”

“Oh, Harry. It was just a little fight, I’m sure. It’s no reason to say it’s over.”

“No, it wasn’t a fight….He broke up with me.”

Her mouth opened and closed a few times as she searched for something to say. She grasped, my hands, pulling me up to a sitting position so that she could hug me.”

“I’m sorry, Harry,” she whispered. I didn’t trust myself to say anything—I knew I’d start crying again if I did. I’m here for you, Harry. We all are.”

♥♥♥


The last two months of term seemed to drag on. Every time I saw him, it seemed as though my heart would break all over again. The first week was the worst. I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep. It wasn’t long before even Ron caught on. When he’d found out what happened, he’d been angrier than I’d ever seen him, and that was saying something. Ginny and Hermione had to stop him several times from hexing Draco in the halls.

I kept waiting for things to go back to the way they had been before when he would make snide comments in passing, but he never did. In fact, he didn’t speak to me again the rest of the year. I found that slightly odd. Maybe he was afraid I would hex him if he tired to talk to me. I didn’t blame him—I probably would have. The N.E.W.T.S came and went, along with Hermione’s frantic studying. By the time the final feast of the year rolled around, I’d cheered up considerable, despite the ache I still felt inside whenever I saw him.

I joked around with Seamus during dinner, trying to make the best of things. Ron and I headed straight upstairs after the feast to finish packing. He blabbered on about the conversation he’d been having with Dean at dinner while he tossed things haphazardly into his trunk. I was actually making an attempt to clean out the mess of broken quills and crumpled parchment that littered the bottom of mine before I piled everything back into it.

“Our last night at Hogwarts,” he said, beaming down at me. “Can you believe it, mate?” I shook my head, smiling as I pulled another piece of parchment from my trunk. I glanced down at it, and it felt as though my heart stopped beating. I could vaguely hear Ron still chattering on in the background, but his words didn’t register in my head. My eyes scanned the paper, and I felt them filling with tears. The signature at the bottom of the letter blurred.

“You okay, mate?” Ron’s voice finally broke through the haze of memories. I nodded, wiping my eyes before crumpling the letter and tossing it into the fire. I watched as the edges turned black and crumpled into ash, the flames enveloping the neat signature at the bottom of the page. Draco. Ron sighed, understanding. “You know, I’ve really got no problem with hexing his arse if it would help you.”

I smiled and shook my head. “That’s alright, Ron. He’s not worth it.”

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 29: Chapter Twenty-Nine
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My last morning at Hogwarts; I’d pictured this day so many ways over the past few years. I’d imagined leaving with my friends, glad that I would finally be able to leave the mansion, and hopefully create an escape for Mum as well. And then, more recently, I’d imagined leaving with Harry so that we could start our life together at Grimmuald or wherever he wanted to go. As long as I was with him, it didn’t matter where we were. He was all I need.

But now, after this unexpected turn of events, I would be leaving alone, only to return to the one place I’d longed to escape for the past four and a half years. I would return to the mansion where my father waited, and where I would take up my place in Voldemort's ranks.

I wasn’t going home. No, home was with the one I loved. Home was with Harry. And that was the one place I could no longer be. ‘It’s gonna hurt like hell to leave this place,’ I thought, tossing another stone into the still black waters of the lake. I would not only be leaving behind the place where I’d spent the last seven years of my life, but I’d be leaving behind all these memories of my relationship with Harry. It just wasn’t fair.

I turned as footsteps approached me. Pansy smiled as she came to my side, looking out over the water for a moment before turning back to me.

“I’m going to miss this place,” she said. I nodded.

“Me, too.”

“I’m gonna miss us terrorizing the first years down here,” a voice called. Blaise was making his way towards us now. He sighed and shook his head as he stopped on the other side of me. “Good times, good times.”

I smiled. “Only you would think so, Blaise.”

Pansy wrapped her arms around my waist, giving me a side-ways hug. I put my arm around her shoulders, hugging her back.

“I’m sorry things worked out this way, Draco,” she whispered. “We were all hoping you and Harry would be together forever.”

“So was I,” I replied. “Funny how fate works with that, eh?” We stood in silence for a few moments longer. Blaise was the one to break it.

“We should head towards the gates. The carriages will be leaving soon.”

We didn’t say anything, only followed in silence. Pansy and I each kept an arm around each other on the walk back. I helped her into the carriage before me, pausing as flaming red hair caught my eye. Ginny was walking with Harry, her arm linked with his as she made jokes. He was smiling, something I hadn’t seem him do in the past two months. ‘At least he’s happy,’ I thought, though I knew that knowledge would never be enough. Blaise put a hand on my shoulder, drawing me back from my thoughts.

“C’mon, mate,” he said quietly, stepping into the carriage. “Let’s go.” I nodded and climbed in after him. I sighed as the door clicked shut behind me, closing off my last glimpse of the one I loved.

♥♥♥


Only a month out of school and already my life had become hell. The Manor was always full of Death Eaters, and the whole house seemed to be overcast by a dark shadow. There was no freedom left there, no joy. Wherever I went, I felt as though I were being watched. Even when Father wasn’t home, there was always someone else in the house that seemed to be keeping an eye on me constantly. Bellatrix and Rudolphus moved in, and my aunt’s constant outbursts concerning the Dark Lord were growing far more annoying with each passing day. The silence in my rooms was unbearable, and I was missing Harry more and more every day.

I did my best to follow Severus’s orders, keeping memories of the relationship Harry and I’d shared locked deep in the back of my mind, focusing all of my power on keeping it hidden from the Dark Lord’s prying mind. It wasn’t easy, and I hadn’t expected it to be. It was getting harder to keep him off my mind. The longer I spent away from him, the more I started to miss him until not thinking about him became impossible.

It was at night that I missed him the most. My bed seemed so empty, so cold. I missed sleeping next to him, holding him in my arms and feeling his heartbeat against me. It’d brought me to tears on more than one occasion, and I felt so pathetic when it did. Harry wasn’t crying over me, that much I knew. He hated me. I tried to use this as incentive to hate him back, but it didn’t work. I only sank deeper into my depression.

I saw Severus only occasionally, maybe once a week—twice if we were lucky. He was keeping busy passing information to the Order. I’d thought several times about asking him for news of Harry, but held my tongue when he congratulated me on the growing strength of my occlumency. If I brought up Harry, it would only cause trouble.

During the first week of my second month home, my father brought news that there would be a meeting with the Dark Lord in two days—and I would be attending. Needless to say, I was terrified. I’d seen quite enough of Voldemort for my liking, and knowing that I would be forced to spend an entire evening in his presence didn’t bring me the same joy as it brought Bella.

“You’re first official meeting with the Dark Lord,” she cooed as we prepared to apparate to the meeting place. “You should feel honored, Draco. He has shown great generosity in accepting you into his ranks.”

“I am,” I lied. I, of course, hated the fact that he’d allowed me to become a Death Eater. If my father weren’t his right-hand man, I was sure I would have been turned down. If only life could have been so kind….

♥♥♥


That meeting was the cause for nightmares weeks afterwards. Sitting in the presence of the Dark Lord for so long was terrifying, and I found myself longing to run from the room. Severus was what kept me in my seat. He sat across from me, and, though he mostly kept his attention on the Dark Lord, would look at me every so often. Our eyes would meet, though not for long, and it seemed to calm me. It was almost as if he was silently telling me to relax. Believe it or not, I did.

I sat in silence, listening as various Death Eaters gave reports of their doings. I listened, with particular interest, when Severus spoke, though I learned nothing more than he’d already told me. The Order was lying low, biding their time, following things closely, and keeping ‘the boy’ hidden.

There was a prolonged silence when Severus finished, and I found myself hoping that he was the last and we would be able to leave soon. I was dead wrong.

“Thank you, Severus,” the Dark Lord’s chilling voice called from the head of the table. “And now, to further business…” He stood, pacing back and forth behind his chair. I could see Bella following his every move, enthralled as always with her master. “What is our purpose?” he asked, seemingly to himself. “We purge the world of all those unworthy of living. We create for ourselves a world entirely built of pureblooded wizards, as only the world was meant to be.”

There were nods and sounds of agreement around the room. The Dark Lord raised a hand, and silence fell. “And how do we achieve this goal?” Voldemort continued. “By removing those who stand in our way. Dumbledore. The old fool has taunted me for far too long. We will not take a direct path to him—no! He will expect that. Instead, we strike at his heart.”

He turned, his hands clenched into fists and resting on the table as he leaned towards us all. “We will move to those he holds dear—his precious mud-bloods!”

There were cheers around the table—all but Severus and I were in agreement with Voldemort’s plans. The Dark Lord moved back to his chair, waving a hand to the man on his left. “The list, Peter.” Peter Pettigrew stood from his chair and left the room quietly, returning a few moments later with a roll of parchment, which he handed to Voldemort with a bow. I watched as the list was unrolled. It was long. My heart jumped to my throat as I looked at the few names I could see from the distance. I knew those names.

“Sarah and Alexander Creevey,” Voldemort read. Death Eaters around the table seemed to know the name, their fists clenching in anger. Creevey. Hadn’t there been Creeveys at school? Colin and…Nigel, was it? Yes. The older one carried around that camera…. “They shall be the first to go. But who to send?” The Dark Lord grinned terribly as he looked around at us. “The Lestranges, yes. Yaxley, of course…” He named several others, but I’d stopped listening by then. The Creeveys! He was going to kill the Creeveys! Severus knew them; surely he wouldn’t let this happen!

“Lucias, yes, yes….One more ought to do…Ah, how about our newest recruit?” All eyes turned to me. Bella cackled from the corner.

“Yes, My Lord,” she cooed, grinning at me. “A perfect initiation for dear Draco.”

I looked around me, taking in the horrible looks of approval I was receiving. My father was impossible to read. He was either pleased—or very, very angry. My eyes rested on Severus. He hadn’t been expecting this—he was upset. Oh, gods. What have I gotten myself into?!

♥♥♥


“You’ve got to do something!” I exclaimed. “You can’t just let them be slaughtered, Severus!”

“I can’t tell the Order now! It’s too soon! He’ll know someone betrayed him, Draco!” Severus replied.

“The Creeveys, Severus!”

“I know who they are, Draco.”

“How can you just—”

“It hurts, Draco. It does, believe me. It’s the worst part of all of this, knowing someone innocent will die and there’s nothing that you can do.”

“I can’t do it, Severus. I can’t kill them!”

“And you won’t have to. You need only go. You won’t be expected to kill—I know that much.”

“Severus…”

“I’m sorry, Draco. I’m sorry for all of this.”

I sighed. We would leave tomorrow at sundown—heading to the Creevey home to rid it of its inhabitants. It wasn’t right. It just wasn’t right.

♥♥♥


I’d never been more terrified than I was that night as I paced my bedroom, waiting for the fateful hour when I’d be called to duty. I paused as I passed the window, looking out through the glass as the sun sank behind the trees.

“Draco!” My father’s voice echoed loudly up the stairs. It was time. I picked my wand up from the dresser, tucking it into my robes as I left the room, closing the door behind me. I made my way down the stairs slowly, deliberately trying to post-pone the moment that I knew was coming. Very soon I would be watching fellow students die at the hands of the people waiting for me downstairs. It was not something I was looking forward to.

♥♥♥


What I saw that night, and on several other nights over the next four months, will haunt me for the rest of my life. The destruction I witnessed, the total desecration of the houses and lives that were wrecked, will fill my nightmares for years to come. And the death….the blank stares of the lifeless eyes and the looks of terror etched forever into their faces are permanently burned into my mind. When I close my eyes, I can see them—Colin and Nigel Creevey, Michael Corner, Terry Boot—all from school, and now all dead, along with their parents. And I’d been there when it happened—I’d watched them die….and I’d done nothing to stop it.

I thought I’d known what war was like, what it meant to see people dead—but I’d had no idea. It’s worse than anyone could ever imagine—and it affects you on such a high level…you’re never the same.

♥♥♥


After the blood-filled night that resulted in the death of the Corner family, I slipped into a deeper depression than ever before. I didn’t speak—not to anyone but Severus, and I was fairly quiet around him. I ate little. I just didn’t have an appetite. I couldn’t sleep. The nightmares kept me away.

Every night I would relive the murders…and every night I would see my classmates killed again and again. I watched the light leave little Nigel Creevey’s eyes as the Killing Curse hit him in the chest. What hurt the most was that he’d seen me. I had watched the recognition, and then the horror come to his eyes as he looked at me. I had been the last thing he’d seen before he died.

I felt terrible, which is probably the biggest understatement in the history of the world. I would lay in my bed for hours, staring at the ceiling and wishing I’d made a different choice—that I’d not given in to my father…that I’d stayed with Harry. This is where Severus found me the next time he visited—nearly two weeks after the Boot murders.

♥♥♥


He knocked lightly on the door, but I didn’t get up. I didn’t make a sound. He came in anyway, knowing that I wouldn’t answer. I didn’t move from my place on the bed, and I knew that he didn’t expect me to. He stayed there by the door, telling me what he news he could, and apologizing for not coming sooner.

“I was held up. Remus insisted on gathering the Order together for a meeting so I could discuss what I knew with all of them. The murders have hit them hard—”

“Pointless killing,” I whispered. “That’s all it is. There’s no reason for it. They’re innocent, every last one of them.” I turned to face him, tears slipping from my eyes. “I can’t do this anymore, Severus. I can’t stand to see another innocent family killed.”

He moved to my side as I sat up, wiping my eyes. His arm came around my shoulders, hesitant, but still comforting all the same. “You’re right, Draco,” he replied quietly. “It was wrong of me to make you go through with it all for this long. Get up and pack. I’m taking you away from here.”

I looked up at him, slightly confused. Was he serious? “Where?”

“Someplace safe. Someplace I know they’ll look after you.”

I didn’t have to be told twice. I stood and pulled a bag from beneath my bed, shoving every bit of clothing I could find into it, along with a few things of sentimental value. Severus paced back and forth before the door, pausing occasionally to watch me or tell me to hurry.

“Take only the necessities. They’ll be able to provide you with anything else you need once you’re there. I hope Molly doesn’t mind an extra body in the house.”

“Molly?”

“Weasley.”

“You’re taking me to the Weasleys?”

“Yes. I’m placing you under care of the Order. They know the situation with you, I’ve told them everything. Remus won’t turn you away, this much I know.”

I couldn’t help it—I rushed to him, hugging him tightly. He stood still for a moment, probably in shock, before I felt a light pat on my back. He held onto my shoulders, pushing me away from him and back towards my bag.

“The others won’t be happy—Potter least of all. But there’s no other place I can think of that….”

I didn’t hear anything else he said for quite a while after that. ‘The others won’t be happy—Potter least of all…’ I was going to see Harry!

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 30: Chapter Thirty
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Ginny and I were sprawled across my bed (George’s, really) playing chess, with Ron watching the game closely and Hermione reading in the corner, when we heard the conversation echoing from downstairs. The four of us exchanged glances before racing to the door and slipping out onto the landing, going down the stairs as quietly as we could.

“—they’ve done to him. He needs protection, Remus. I didn’t know where else to bring him—”

‘Snape,’ Ginny mouthed. I nodded in agreement. We crept slightly closer, straining our ears to hear what was being said in the next room.

“—notice he’s disappeared, and what then?” Remus was asking. “What will happen when they find that he’s gone? They’ll look to you, Severus!”

“I can handle them. As my godson, his safety is my first priority. I promised Narcissa I’d look after him.”

I could practically feel the color drain from my face. I knew who they were talking about. Ron, Hermione, and Ginny all turned to me, their eyes wide.

“—sure about this, Severus?”

“Please, Remus. There’s no other way. Please.” I’d never heard Snape beg before. Remus sighed.

“Do you have the room, Molly?”

“I…I…” Mrs. Weasley stumbled. “Arthur?”

“We can’t just turn him away,” Mr. Weasley said. “I’m sure we can manage it, dear.” There was a few moments silence, and then Snape spoke again.

“I have to be off. They’ll be suspicious if I’m gone too long after this. Draco, could I have one last word?” The door opened, and a stream of light flooded in from the kitchen. The four of us backed slightly up the stairs as Snape came out into the hall, followed by a painfully familiar blonde.

“You’ll be safe here. I’ll make contact again as soon as I can,” Snape said quietly, fastening his cloak. Draco stared down at the floor. “Be on your best behavior. Molly and Arthur have a full house as it is, and it’ll be a strain on them to take in another.” Draco nodded. “I’m sorry I let things go as far as they did, Draco. I’m afraid that I’ve let your mother down.”

“You…you haven’t.” Draco’s words were so soft that I could barely hear them. “She’d be thankful for everything you’ve done for me….I’m thankful.”

Snape placed his hand on Draco shoulder, just for a moment, before turning and leaving the house. Mrs. Weasley came out into the hall as the front door closed.

“Come into the kitchen, dear, and I’ll get you something to eat. You look half starved.” Draco turned and slowly made his way back to the kitchen. The door shut, and the hall was taken back to darkness. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and I made our way back up the stairs, the three of them moving back to the same places as before we’d left.

“Why the hell is that git here?” Ron exclaimed. “Mum must be insane for letting him stay.”

“Surely you know your own mother well enough to realize that she would never turn away anyone in need,” Hermione cut in.

“But he’s a Death Eater!”

“You heard what Snape said, though. He needs protection…And besides, Remus seems to trust him enough…”

“Harry?” Ginny’s voice brought Ron and Hermione’s argument to an abrupt end as they turned to look at me. I was still standing just inside the door, staring down at the floor with my fists clenched at my sides and my jaw set. “Harry, are you alright?” I looked up at her, a flood of thoughts streaming through my mind.

That bloody arse! How dare he show up here!

He looked so weak…

He’s a git! A bloody sodding git who deserves to die!

He looked as though he hadn’t slept in weeks…

How dare Remus let him in like that!

I feel rather sorry for him…


I wasn’t sure what to think, obviously. I thought I’d gotten over him in the past 5 months, but I suppose that all changed when I saw him again. He did look rather sickly, as though he hadn’t eaten in days…But he deserved it, right? I mean, he was a Death Eater, after all. But you know the story behind that, Harry. You know it wasn’t his choice.

“Harry? Are you okay?” Ginny was on her feet, moving towards me. Ron and Hermione looked worried. Just as Ginny was reaching out to touch my arm, I turned, hurrying from the room and heading for the bathroom. I let the door slam behind me as I leaned on the vanity, my hands clutching the counter top with all their might. I looked up into the mirror, meeting the emerald green eyes of my reflection.

“Get a grip, Harry,” I told myself. “He broke your heart. You have every right to hate him.” But the time you spent with him was incredible. So you still have a right to love him, too…Right? I groaned and backed away from the vanity, sliding down the wall and burying my face in my hands. I didn’t look up when the knock sounded on the door, nor when it opened and Ginny came in, kneeling beside me. Her hand reached out to touch my shoulder, and as it did I let out a sob.

“Harry…” I looked up at her, and she seemed to blur through my tears. She pulled me to her, hugging me. “Shh, it’s okay, Harry.”

“No…no it’s not okay,” I mumbled. “I don’t know what to think, Gin.” I pulled back, wiping my eyes. “I don’t know whether to hate him or feel sorry for him.”

“What reason have you for feeling sorry for him?” she asked.

“Did you see him?! He looks terrible…”

“What reason do you have for hating him?”

“Are you—he broke my heart, Gin!”

“And how did you deal with that?”

“I was depressed for weeks, remember?”

“But you got over it? You let it go?”

“Yeah…eventually, but that doesn’t mean it stopped hurting!”

“What’ve you done since then, Harry? You’ve been here, haven’t you?”

“Yeah…”

“You’ve been here with me, Ron, and Hermione—you’ve been surrounded by people who love and care about you! And where’s he been? Locked away in a house full of Death Eaters, watching Voldemort kill dozens of innocent people! And all the while, he’s had to cope with the fact that he gave up the one person he ever loved for that life—gave up the one person he loved so that he could protect them.

“I’m not saying that you should get back together with him or anything, but maybe you should think about this for a while…try to see things from his point of view. And maybe you should talk to him.”

I looked up at her, our eyes meeting, and knew that she was right. She helped me up off the floor and I wiped my eyes before heading downstairs to talk to the man I’d resolved to hate for the rest of my life.

♥♥♥


Ron and Hermione were standing on the landing when Ginny and I left the bathroom. Hermione hugged me, and Ron clapped me on the back.

“Gonna be alright, mate?” he asked. I nodded, and turned towards the stairs. “Where’re you going?”

“Downstairs.”

“And do what?”

“Talk to him.”

“Why?!”

“This is just something I need to do, Ron.” I started down the stairs, stopping when I heard Ron following. “Stay upstairs, Ron.”

“But—”

“Ron, please.” I continued on my way. He didn’t follow.

♥♥♥


“Percy’s room should do just fine for you, I think,” Mrs. Weasley was saying when I reached the bottom of the stairs. “It’s nothing special, of course…but it should do. I’ll go and put fresh sheets on while you finish eating. I dodged behind the door as it opened, not really knowing why I was hiding from Mrs. Weasley. I watched her start up the stairs before taking a deep breath and stepping into the kitchen.

He was the only one left in the room, sitting alone at the table. He was terribly thin; I could see that right away. His movements were slow and tired as he ate—rather half-heartedly, it seemed. Part of me wanted to go and hug him, and the other part wanted to hit him. He glanced in my direction after a while, and did a double take as he realized someone was actually standing there. His eyes grew slightly wider as he looked at me, his face going paler. Our eyes connected, and I couldn’t look away.

We stayed like that for quite a while, just looking at each other. He always used to tell me that my eyes gave away everything, but I had no idea what he would see now. A mixture of anger and sympathy, of hatred and love—yes, love. Despite everything that had happened, I still loved him. I didn’t think anything he could do would ever change that. But the pain he’d caused me was enough to keep me angry at him. I turned, abandoning any plans of talking to him, and left. I headed back up the stairs, leaving him alone behind me.

♥♥♥



Chapter 31: Chapter Thirty-One
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

It was awkward being in the Weasley house. Molly didn’t really seem to know what to say to me, and Arthur was barely home. Harry seemed to avoid me every day since our encounter on my first night there. Ginny would smile nervously when she saw me; she almost looked as though she wanted to speak to me, but found herself at a loss for words. Hermione didn’t seem like she knew what to do and Ron only glared. I could hardly blame them. I’d pretended to be a nice guy; I’d gotten together with their best friend, seduced him, seemingly used him, became a Death Eater, and then dumped him. Yeah, I’d hate me, too.

Meals were especially awkward. Everyone was so wrapped up in their own conversations that I was often forgotten. I didn’t mind it. I learned a lot more just listening that I would have if I’d joined in. for instance, I’d learned that Ron had finally gotten up the courage to ask Hermione out. (There’d been a running bet through Slytherin about how long it would take.) On the few occasions when Molly would try to bring me into the conversation as well, only she and Arthur seemed capable of finding anything to say to me. The others all became deathly silent.

I grew used to this after a while, and simply made my part in the conversation short, allowing the others to loosen up and start talking again. Molly didn’t seem pleased with this, but she never said anything against it.

I did, however, find the Burrow to be a great improvement over the manor. The feeling of being held captive was gone, and I was free to roam the house and garden, but the loneliness remained. I longed to talk to Harry; there was so much that I wanted to say to him, if only he’d let me.

♥♥♥


I didn’t see Severus again until after my second week at the Burrow. It was good to see him, partly because I wanted news and partly because it felt good to have someone who would actually talk to me. The others had quite obviously noticed that I was missing not long after I left. And, of course, my father wasn’t happy.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in such a rage,” Severus said as we sat together on a bench in the Weasley’s garden.

“And that’s saying something,” I added quietly. He smiled. It was good to see him smile. I hadn’t seem him do that since…well, actually, I’d never seem him do that. “Do they suspect you?”

“I don’t think so. Not yet, at least.”

“That’s good.”

“Yes.” He was quiet for a moment, looking around him. “Molly tells me you’ve been well behaved.”

“She said that?”

“I think quiet was the word she used, but with you those terms generally go hand in hand.” I smiled and nodded. “And I heard you and Potter haven’t spoken to each other.”

I shook my head. “He’s been avoiding me. I don’t blame him. He has every right to hate me. And he does, I know it. I can see it in his eyes.” Severus’s hand came to my shoulder, squeezing it ever so slightly.

“A lot’s happened in a short amount of time,” he said. “It’s a lot to handle—for all of us, I’m sure.”

“I just wish he would talk to me,” I whispered. “There’s so much I want to tell him…So much I want to explain to him…”

“You’ll get your chance, Draco.” He stood, his hand leaving me as he looked towards the house. “I need to be going.” My eyes snapped up to him.

“You just got here!”

“I know, and I’m sorry. You know how difficult things are, Draco. I’ve got to keep the Dark Lord’s suspicion away from me. I’ll visit you again.” I nodded, and we said goodbye. I watched him walk up the hill a ways before apparating off. I headed back to the house for dinner, knowing it would be soon.

♥♥♥


It was just as week four of my stay at the Burrow was fading into week five that things started to change. It began with Ginny knocking on my door. I let her in, of course, though the general idea of her coming to talk to me still seemed incredible.

“So,” she began slowly as we sat across from each other. “How are you, Draco?”

“Uhm, alright, I guess,” I replied, still trying to figure out why she was here. “A bit lonely, but…”

“Yes, well, I’m sorry for that. I should have been more friendly.”

“I understand why you weren’t, though. It’s hard enough to be friendly to a Death Eater, let alone one who hurt your friend so badly as I did.” My throat tightened at the mention of Harry, and I wondered what in Merlin’s name could have made me bring it up.

Ginny was looking at me sadly. “It hurt you, too, though, didn’t it?” I nodded.

“More than you know… But I didn’t have any other choice. I had to end it—it was the only way I could keep him safe. The connection Voldemort held with me was too fresh, too new….I wouldn’t have been able to hold him off for long if he tried to search my mind. I couldn’t let him see that I was with Harry. It would have….” I couldn’t say any more. The tears were already falling, and speaking would only make the situation worse. I stared down at the floor, mentally kicking myself for being so weak And then I felt the bed sag as Ginny sat down next to me, and I felt her arms wrap around me.

“It’s alright, Draco,” she whispered. “I understand why you left. I would have done the same in your place. And so would Harry.”

I shook my head. “No,” I said softly. “Harry wouldn’t have done it in the first place.”

“Maybe not, but I know you didn’t do it willingly, did you?”

“No. Severus told me to leave, he offered to bring me back to Dumbledore for protection…but they would have killed him, Ginny. I…I couldn’t bear to have his blood on my hands, too.”

“Did you tell Harry this?”

I shook my head again. “I never got the chance. He won’t listen to me now….I still love him.”

♥♥♥



Chapter 32: Chapter Thirty-Two
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]








I heard voices as I passed Percy’s old room, which now served as Draco’s. I couldn’t help but stop to listen—it was Ginny’s voice I head.

“Have you told him this, Draco?” she was asking.

“I’ve tried, Gin. I’ve tried so many times,” Draco replied. He sounded as though he’d been crying. “He won’t listen. He’s so angry—he hates me.”

“He doesn’t hate you, Draco. He’s just upset. Harry really loved you, and he thought he was going to lose you forever. That was hard on him.”

“I know it must have been. I was hard for me, too. I love him, gin. I never stopped loving him, but I just need him to understand that. I don’t know how I’ll ever get to tell him.”

I leaned back against the wall, my arms folded tightly across my chest. So he claimed to still love me, eh? Arsehole, I thought. Does he honestly think I’d believe that?

“You do need to tell him, Drake,” Ginny continued. “He does love you—so much. He’ll forgive you if you explain things, I’m sure.”

I threw an insulted look at the closed door. How dare she?! Who is she to tell him that I’ll forgive him?! I could never forgive him for what he’s done!

You don’t mean that. You’d forgive him. You know you would.

No, he blew it. I gave him my heart and he tore it to pieces. That’s beyond forgiveness.

He still loves you, Harry. That must mean something.

Hell no! He just wants a shag. That’s all.

That’s harsh.


I groaned quietly and dug my fingers into my hair as my eyes shut tightly in frustration. I was sick of the voices arguing in my head—mostly because I didn’t know which one to listen to. Both made good points—Draco had hurt me, and that was hard to forgive. Yet, hadn’t he just said he still loved me? That he’d never stopped loving me? He thinks that I hate him. I don’t hate him…do I? I was angry, that was for sure, but would I really go so far as to say that I hated him?

I didn’t know. There were so many things that I was unsure of these days. I just needed an answer, that was all. Where I would find them—that was another mystery. I turned my attention back to the conversation just as I heard footsteps. Ginny was coming towards the door.

“Talk to him, Draco,” she was saying. “I’ll get him to give you a chance.”

“Thanks, Gin,” Draco replied. He was crying again. “I appreciate this. I’ve felt so lonely recently. It feels good to have a friend again.”

I could practically hear Ginny smile. “What are friends for?” The doorknob started to turn and I took off towards the stairs, bolting down them to hide the fact that I’d been eavesdropping. I rounded the corner to the kitchen, bursting into the room and leaning back against the pantry door as I fought to catch my breath. I heard footsteps coming down the stairs—Ginny. I hurriedly sat down at the table, trying to make it seem as thought I’d been there the entire time. She came into the kitchen and smiled at me, taking a seat across from me.

“Hey, Harry,” she said cheerily. I forced a smile.

“Hey, Gin,” I replied. There were a few moments of rather awkward silence as she looked around the room, and then suddenly back to me.

“I want to talk to you about something, Harry.”

Here it comes, I thought.

“It’s about…we’ll, it’s about you and Draco, really.”

This is gonna be hell.

“Why haven’t you talked to him since he came back?”

I froze. I didn’t know what to say. I knew the answer, of course—I was pissed at him, and that drove all thoughts of reasonable conversation from my mind when I saw him. But could I really tell her that?

“I just…haven’t got around to it,” I said. Give me a break—it was the first thing that came to my mind! She looked at me doubtfully.

“Harry, I know that’s not true.” I sighed and stared down at the table. “He thinks you hate him, Harry. Draco is still thoroughly in love with you, he wants to apologize for what he’s done and explain it all to you, but he’s afraid to tell you any of that because he thinks you hate him. I know that’s not true, Harry. I know you don’t hate him, but he doesn’t understand that. You need to tell him.”

“I can’t, Gin. I don’t hate him, that much is true, but I can’t just go up and start forgiving him for everything he’s done. He really hurt me. I’m pissed at him—that’s why I haven’t spoken to him yet. If I try to, I’ll just blow up on him. It’s still too fresh.”

“It’s been nearly eight months, Harry. You told me you’d gotten over it.”

“I thought I had! I really thought I’d gotten over everything that happened with him, that I would just be able to move on and forget it all. But the night he showed up here…it all came rushing back to me so fast… You saw how I was that night. I didn’t know what to think, or what to do. There were so many different voices in my head trying to tell me what I thought of him—it was driving me insane. It’s still like that when I see him. Half of me wants to apologize to him for being such an arse, and the other half wants to put him through so much pain and misery that he’ll never forget what he’s done to me.”

“He’ll already never be able to forget that, Harry. It hurt him so badly to leave you. You were all he wanted—all he needed, even. If he could have avoided joining Voldemort, he would have.”

“And how couldn’t he have avoided it? He chose that path, Gin. I will never be able to forgive him for that.”

“Harry—”

“No, Gin. I’m done.” She sighed and stood, heading for the door. She paused beside me, her hand on my shoulder.

“If you don’t think that you can forgive him yet, then that’s fine,” she said quietly. “But at least give him a chance to explain things to you. You might think you know everything that went on, Harry, but there’s so much you haven’t heard yet. Just talk to him…please? He needs you to listen. You need you to listen.” Her hand left my shoulder, and she was gone.

♥♥♥


The lot of us woke to thunder the next morning, and by nine it had started to rain. From the way it came down, you’d have thought it hadn’t rained in months and the flood gates had finally been opened. It was set to be a boring day for those in the Burrow. Ron had been the lucky one. Remus had borrowed him to help with some sort of errand, leaving the rest of us behind to endure a day of boredom.

Mrs. Weasley set us all with chores—her way of giving us entertainment. I was stuck with the dishes, and I ended up doing them without magic to pass the time. Malfoy, it seemed, had gotten an easy job. He’d been paired with Ginny to fold the clean laundry and take it to the appropriate bedrooms. Since there’d only been about a day’s worth of clothes for everyone, their job had been finished quickly, leaving them to do whatever they wanted.

I thought this over angrily in my head as I started drying the dishes. It was still pouring outside, the rain coming down fast and hard in large droplets. I sighed and started putting everything away. I reached up to one of the top shelves of the cupboard to put away the last few plates, my eyes glancing out the window.

A blur of white caught my eye and I turned to look back out the window, rolling my eyes at the sight before me. There was Malfoy standing in the middle of the garden, his arms stretched out wide and his head thrown back, a grin on his face as the rain poured down on him. I shook my head, and, turning away, paused as a thought came to mind. And then, not even knowing the reason why, I headed for the door, letting myself be pulled along by whatever reasoning had decided on this path.

♥♥♥


His back was to me as I approached him, traipsing through the wet grass and shivering slightly as the cool rain hit me. I stopped about twenty feet away from him, watching as he grinned widely, water running down his face.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I called. He turned to face me, his hands running through his hair before dropping his arms to his sides. The grin faded from his face. “You’ll catch your death out here, you sodding idiot!”

“So you’re talking to me know?” he asked after moment, not taking his eyes off of me.

“Obviously,” I said, rather distractedly. The heavy rain had soaked through his white shirt and I had to fight to keep my eyes from traveling along his body. “You’re a sodding idiot, Malfoy.”

“You said that already.” We were both quiet for a few moments. “So we’re back to the last names, then, are we?” I didn’t answer, just simply turned on my heel and headed back towards the house. “Harry—wait!” I stopped and turned.

“What?!” I snapped.

“Just hear me out.” I snorted in annoyance, crossing my arms. “Things don’t have to be like this.”

“And how the hell are they supposed to be?! You bloody broke my heart, Malfoy! So if you think that you can just come waltzing back in and sweep me off my feet, then you’ve got another thing coming!”

“Harry, I’m sorry. I never wanted to—”

“Oh, shut it! You never really loved me! You were just biding your time!”

“Harry, I—”

“Sod off!”

“Harry!” I started back towards the house. “Listen to me, damn it!” I turned, the rage in his voice halting me. “I did love you!” he shouted. “I never stopped loving you! Don’t you see that?! What I did was for your benefit! It was the only way I could keep you safe! Yeah, it hurt like hell to leave! Merlin knows I never wanted to do it!

“If things had gone the way I wanted them to, then I’d never have left. We’d still be together, living at Grimmuald right now! All I ever wanted was you, Harry. I don’t care about anything else. But when I heard that being with you was putting you in danger…. Gods, Harry. That nearly killed me. Leaving you behind—that nearly killed me, too.”

“So why the hell did you do it?!” I screamed, not able to take it any longer. There were too many things that I’d kept locked up for far too long, and they were all rushing to the surface at once. “I don’t sodding care if it would have put me in danger! Every breath I take brings me a step closer to danger! My life’s full if it—I’m used to that!

“But when I finally had something good—when I finally had someone I was in love with…. Damn it, Draco! I lost that! You were the only thing that mattered to me, and I bloody lost you! All my life, Voldemort’s managed to take away everything that’s ever meant something to me—my parents, Sirius….and then you! Do you know how sodding miserable I was?!” I paused, catching my breath. The look on Draco’s face was one of pure anguish. It was hurting him to hear all of this, to learn just what I was feeling. Part of me burned with satisfaction, the other half screaming to hold him.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered.

“Sorry?” I repeated, anger rising back up in me. “Is that all you can bloody say?! Sorry doesn’t cut, Malfoy!”

“What the hell do you want me to say, Potter?!” I stiffened at the use of my surname. His eyes were cold as he looked at me, and it brought to mind a memory of a few years back when all we’d done was fight with each other. Was this what it’d come down to? “I’ve told you a thousand different ways why I left, and still you do nothing but bitch about it! I’m sorry! It’s in the past! If I could go back and change what I did, I would! But that’s not an option.”

“Then you better fucking find a way to make it up to me, eh?” I hissed, turning towards the house for the third time. “Because until you do, I want nothing to do with you.”

“So that’s it then?! You’re just going to go off and sulk? How typical! You’re so fucking bitter, Potter!” I turned quickly and let all the anger I’d held inside for so long come rushing out as my fist connected with his nose. He doubled back, one hand coming up to check for blood.

“Harry James Potter!” Mrs. Weasley called from the doorway. I gave Draco one last glare before heading back inside for the verbal bashing I knew was waiting for me.

♥♥♥


“What on earth were you doing?!” Mrs. Weasley shrieked, her eyes hard with anger. I looked down at the floor, unable to meet that cold stare. “Draco is a guest here, and—”

“He bloody started it!” I exclaimed, not able to hold my tongue.

“I’ll have none of that! Upstairs, now!” I turned and stomped up the stairs, vaguely noticing the sound of the door shutting as Draco came in. I stopped at the top of the stairs, more out of reluctance to obey so quickly than wanting to hear the conversation in the kitchen. “Come here, Draco,” Mrs. Weasley was saying. “Let me have a look.”

“I’m fine, Molly, really,” Draco replied.

“I’m sorry about the way he acted.” I snorted. Like she had any right!

“It’s okay, honestly. Where is he?”

Don’t do it, I thought. Don’t bloody tell him a thing.

“He’s up in his room,” Mrs. Weasley replied hesitantly. I cursed under my breath and headed for my room, slamming the door violently so that they would be able to hear it downstairs.

Maybe that’ll keep him from coming up here, I thought. I thought wrong. It wasn’t a few moments before there was a soft knock on my door. I groaned and kicked the mattress. The knock came again.

“Yeah, alright!” I called, wrenching the door open. Draco looked up at me apologetically. “What?!”

“I wanna talk,” he said. I snorted and threw myself down on the bed, glaring at the wall.

“Yeah, well I don’t, so just fucking sod off, alright?” The door shut after a moment and I sighed with relief.

“Harry, I—”

“Don’t you ever listen?!”

“I’m trying to apologize to you, damn it!”

“You’ve done that already! I don’t want to hear it anymore, Draco!”

“I’m not here to apologize for leaving you, because I’ve done that several times now and it hasn’t done a bit of good! I’m here to apologize for the things I said out there. I didn’t mean it. You’re not bitter.”

“You’re lying.”

“Alright, so maybe I am. Maybe you do seem a little bitter, but can I blame you? I hurt you, and I really am sorry for that. I know I’ve said that so many times, and it probably doesn’t seem like I mean it…but, I do. I really do.” He was quiet for a moment, and I could hear him shifting around nervously. “I never meant to hurt you. It’s not what I set out to do, though I know it probably seems like it. I really did like you—loved you, even—and all I wanted was to be with you.

“Sometimes fate has an odd way of dealing things out, and it’s not always fair. Sometimes is hurts the people we love most, and all we can do is say that we’re sorry—even if they don’t believe it. I’m sorry that my father was bent on me joining the Dark Lard. I’m sorry I was weak and gave in. Most of all, I’m sorry that this war tore us apart, because that was the one thing I promised myself not to let happen. Looks like I let us both down, eh?”

“Yeah,” I said, sitting up and looking over at him. “You did. You fucked up big time. You ruined both our lives, and all you have to say for yourself now is those same words—I’m sorry. It’s not enough, Draco. It’ll never be enough. I loved you more than anything, and that was suddenly all ripped away from me. That’s something I might never be able to forgive, and I’ll certainly never forget it.”

“Tell me what I can do, Harry. Tell me how I can make it up to you. I don’t want you to hate me.”

“I don’t hate you.” Our eyes met, his holding a faint light of hope. “But I want to know why. I want to know why you chose that path, Draco. Why didn’t you take up another plan?”

“If there’d been any other way, then Severus would’ve—”

“Snape?! Yeah, he was real helpful! He managed to fuck things up even more!”

“Don’t talk about him like that! He’s done nothing but try to help! He knew how much I loved you! If there had been any way we could have stayed together, then he would have found it. But there was nothing, Harry—nothing. I’d tried so many times to come up with another option—I searched every possible loophole, but there was none.”

“Why’d you do it? Why’d you join him in the first place?”

“You think I wanted to?! You have no idea just how bad things got with my father, Harry. It was join or die, just like you said.”

“Why didn’t you run? Why didn’t you come back? Dumbledore would have helped you. I would have helped you!”

“Severus offered to take me back to the school, but that wasn’t an option. They’d have known he helped me. They’d have killed him, Harry. And then the Order would have lost their spy and I would have lost one of the last few people who cared about me. I
nearly took that offer. Believe me, I definitely considered it, but I knew I couldn’t live with Severus’s death hanging over me. It would have been my fault. There was no way I could go on with that on my conscience.”

“I…I didn’t know.”

He shook his head. “It’s okay.” A silence fell between us, and I took the opportunity to look him over, a million thoughts racing through my head. He was still gorgeous, just as he always had been. He wasn’t nearly as proud-looking as he used to be. The stiff ‘I’m better than you’ look was gone completely, and he seemed almost self conscious as he stood before me. His eyes still glistened when I looked into them, his soft blonde hair falling gracefully into them like it always did.

It was then that I realized why I had so much trouble staying mad at him—I was still head-over-heels in love with him. Nothing was ever going to change that, I realized. Nothing he did could ever make those feelings go away—and I would never be able to stay mad at him for long. His eyes dropped to the floor, breaking my chain of thought as I came rushing back to reality. He sighed and reached a hand toward the door.

“I’ll go,” he said. “I just wanted to….apologize.”

“Draco, wait.” He looked up at me, watching as I stood and moved toward him. I looked into his eyes, drowning in their depths. There was no use, I was powerless against them. “Damn those eyes,” I whispered.

“What?” he asked quietly. I shook my head and pushed his back up against the closed door, my lips pressing tightly against his. I pulled back after a moment, searching for his reaction. He seemed surprised, but the look was wiped from his face as he pulled me back against him.

Our mouths crashed together, lips parting and tongues battling fiercely, making it seem more like a fight than a kiss. My hands, moving of their own accord, clung to his shirt, my fingers deftly flicking each button open as his hands slipped under my shirt. His hands felt good against my skin and I sighed deeply, leaning further into him as he wrapped his arms around me, pulling me tightly against him.

The kiss began to soften, to turn more passionate—and that was when I realized just exactly what I was doing. I pulled away quickly, burying the little voice in the back of my head that screamed in protest.

“I can’t do this,” I said, turning my back to him.

“Harry—” he began, stepping forward. I felt his fingertips against my back and shrugged them off, moving out of his reach.

“How do I know that you won’t just leave again afterwards? I gave you my heart once, and you broke it, Draco.” His eyes met mine, the most solemn expression lighting them. “How do I know you won’t do it again?”

“Harry, I…” He faltered, his eyes falling to the floor as he leaned back against the wall. He looked so tired—how long had it been since he’d had a decent night’s sleep? He sighed deeply and tried again to gather his words. “You have to try and understand. I needed to let you go. That doesn’t mean I wanted to.”

I was doubtful, not trusting or believing a word he said—and he knew it.

“Do you remember the last thing I said to you that night, Harry?” he asked, looking slightly hopeful.

I thought back on the night he’d left me. Despite the countless times I’d tried to forget it, I still remembered every moment, every word. “You said you loved me,” I replied.

He nodded. “I meant that, Harry.” He stepped closer to me, tentatively reaching out to me. I didn’t pull away this time. “When I said it then, and when I say it now—I love you.” One of his hands came to my neck, the other resting lightly on my hip. I never stopped loving you, Harry.” His breath was warm as it fluttered across my neck, sending chills down my spine.

“I know why you say you left,” I told him, still locked in his warm embrace, “but that does nothing to assure me that you won’t do it again.” He pulled back to look into my eyes, searching for some sort of clue as to what I was thinking. I gave him nothing. “I need to know you won’t run off again in some noble attempt to protect me. I need to know that you’re not going to desert me again.”

“I never intend to leave you like that again. I’m with you forever, Harry. I’ll be at your side until the end.”

“Promise me.”

“I’ll do more than promise. I’ll show you.”

I grinned and pulled him to me, pressing our lips together once more. My fingers went back to their previous task of removing his shirt. As it fell to the floor, my hands moved over his chest, his arms—simply loving the feel of having his skin beneath my fingers once more. He tugged lightly at the hem of my shirt, and I lifted my arms, allowing him to pull it over my head. And then our bodies were connected once more. We fit together perfectly, and, by now, there was no doubt in my mind that we were meant to be together.

We fell to the bed, and I let out a low moan as he bit at my neck. I knew that the Weasley’s could probably hear us downstairs, but I didn’t care because we were together again—and that was all that mattered. The world could have ended at that moment and I wouldn’t have cared because he was here. My Draco had come home, and I was never going to let him go again.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 33: Chapter Thirty-Three
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I stroked Harry’s hair back from his eyes, smiling as I watched him catch his breath. His head lay on my chest, his hair drenched with sweat and sticking to my skin.

“I forgot how incredible that is,” he said, grinning up at me. I smiled back, hooking my hands under his arms and pulling him up towards me.

“Come here,” I whispered. His grin widened as he pulled out of my grip and crawled up to me, pinning my arms down as he straddled my waist to kiss me. He sat back, grinning down at me. I watched his smile fade, however, as he looked away from my eyes. I followed his gaze…to the mark on my arm. He trailed his fingers over it.

“It doesn’t suit you,” he said. I smiled, sitting up to meet him in a kiss.

“I love you so bloody much,” I mumbled against his lips. He laughed as I rolled us over and pressed kisses along his throat.

“I love you, too.” Our eyes locked, and it was in that moment that I realized just how much I had missed him. “What time is it?” I glanced at the clock.

“Nearly five.”

“Dinner will be soon.” I nodded. “We should get back out there.”

“What do you think they’ll say?” Silence fell as I asked the question on both our minds.

“I dunno.” Harry reached up to stroke the hair back from my eyes. “But you know what? I don’t care what they think. I’ve got you back. That’s all that matters to me now.”

I smiled and kissed him, threading my fingers through his hair. “I need a shower.” Harry laughed.

“I think you have just enough time for that before dinner.”

“Mmm. Brilliant.” I pressed one last kiss to his lips before sitting up to pull on my boxers and jeans. I shivered as Harry’s fingers stroked my back lightly. I felt the bed shift as he sat up, and then the soft caress of his lips against my skin.

“Love you.”

“Love you, too.”

“Always?”

“And forever.”

♥♥♥


The water felt good, though I’m amazed I even registered that much—my head was to busy replaying my last hour with Harry. I definitely hadn’t expected things to go so well. I’d been afraid he wouldn’t be able to forgive me, that he’d still hate me for what I’d done to him. Yet, he had forgiven me—and he still loved me.

I turned off the water and dried myself off, wrapping the towel around my waist as I stepped from the shower to get my clothes. I pulled on my jeans and wiped the fog from the mirror. I paused, catching the reflection of my mark in the glass.

‘It doesn’t suit you.’ I knew Harry’s words were true, but I still wished there was some way to erase the memory of what I’d done.

I ran my fingers through my hair, using them as a brush. I had just reached for my shirt when I heard the shouting. I recognized Harry’s voice instantly, and the other wasn’t hard to guess. Ron.

I picked up my shirt and opened the door, not even bothering to put it on before stepping into the hall. Harry and Ron were at the other end of it, arguing heatedly. Their topic wasn’t difficult to guess.

“I didn’t think you would be stupid enough to go back to him!” Ron was shouting. Harry looked as thought he were about to cry.

“I love him, Ron! What do you expect?” he replied.

“How could you possibly still have feelings for that selfish, slimy bastard who hurt you so badly before? He’s a Death Eater, for Merlin’s sake!”

“He’s not a Death Eater!”

I cleared my throat sharply, cutting off whatever Ron was about to say. They both turned to look at me: Harry with a mixture of relief and worry, and Ron with burning hatred. “What’s going on here?” I asked, my eyes not breaking from Ron’s unmoving stare. He glared at me for a few moments longer, shook his head and moved down the hall, purposely bumping into me as he headed for the stairs. I watched him leave before turning back to face Harry.

I crossed the distance between us quickly, placing my hands on his waist to pull him closer. He was staring at the floor, refusing to meet my gaze. “Harry?” He didn’t look up. I lifted his chin up until his eyes met mine. He was crying. I wiped the tears away, pulled him into a hug, and kissed the top of his head. “Don’t let him get to you,” I whispered. “He just doesn’t understand.” Harry pulled back slightly to look at me.

“He doesn’t even try to understand,” he said. “All he sees is the mark. He doesn’t take the time to actually know you.”

“He’s trying to protect you, Harry. I would do the same in his place.”

“I don’t need him to protect me. Not from you.” I smiled and pulled him back in for another hug.

A throat cleared gently behind us, and we turned to face Ginny, our arms still wrapped around each other, as though letting go would end everything. She smiled at us, a genuine smile that told us she was glad we were back together, that she was happy for us.

“Sorry to interrupt,” she said. “Mum says dinner’s ready.”

I smiled back at her, pulling Harry slightly closer. “Thanks, Gin. We’ll be down in a minute.” She nodded, turned towards the stairs, and cast one last smile back over her shoulder before heading back downstairs.

“She seems supportive,” Harry said, our eyes meeting. I nodded.

“I think she is.” He smiled back, pulling me close for a kiss. “C’mon. Let’s go to dinner.” I turned toward the stairs.

“Um, Dray?”

“Yeah?”

“Don’t you think you might wanna put that on first?” He gestured to the shirt in my hand. I smiled, pulling the shirt over my head.

“Good idea. I knew there was a reason I chose you.” I winked and took his hand. He pulled it away as we headed for the stairs, moving instead to wrap his arm around my waist. I put my arm around his shoulders, kissing his cheek as we descended the stairs.

♥♥♥♥♥




Author's Note:

Alright, so there it is. Sorry it took me so long. Well, I don't know how long it will take for the next chapter. It is the holidays, after all, and I've got a lot filling up my schedule. However, I'll work on it at all possible times and get it up as soon as possible. Mean while, this I suppose is your Christmas present. :) Happy Christmas to you and yours!

Cara Nicole Luvitz

Chapter 34: Chapter Thirty-Four
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Dinner that evening was awkward. No one seemed to know just what to say to Draco and I. Hermione seemed too embarrassed to even look at us, which was the exact opposite of Ron; his eyes never left us, casting a constant glare over us both. Ginny, however, smiled at us from across the table, showing her support to us while her mother simply tried to keep the peace. I don’t think Mrs. Weasley really knew what to say. I couldn’t help but wonder just how much they had all heard this afternoon.

I tried not to show my discomfort, though there is no doubt in my mind that it showed clearly. The air in the room was heavy, suffocation. I twisted my napkin in my hands, needing a way to focus my attention on something other than my discomfort. Draco’s hand covered mine, stilling my nervous movements. I looked up at him, melting at the beauty of the smile he gave me. I knew at that moment that with Draco by my side, I could get through anything.

♥♥♥


The night dragged on and on, almost to the point where I thought it would never end. At long last, everyone dispersed and headed upstairs to bed. I laid in the dark, staring up at the ceiling for nearly two hours. The silence and awkwardness of the evening had had a strange effect on me. At midnight, after having tossed and turned for three hours, I left my room and ascended to the third floor.

Draco’s room was dark and so quiet, I was sure he must be asleep. I crossed the room as quietly as I could, and sat down on the edge of the bed. Draco turned to face me, wide awake in the darkness.

“Hey,” he said quietly. “What’s wrong?”

“Can’t sleep,” I replied. He smiled and sat up slightly.

“Good. Then I’m not the only one.” He moved over, making room for me as he lifted the blankets. I smiled and crawled in beside him, wrapping my arms about his waist and laying my head on his chest. I felt his chest rise and fall as he sighed. “Well, dinner was interesting.” I groaned while he let out a chuckle.

“That was the most awkward meal of my life,” I said, closing my eyes and listening to the even rhythm of his heartbeat. “I’m glad you were with me, though. I don’t think I could have gone without having a nervous breakdown if it wasn’t for you.”

“In case you’ve forgotten, I’m the reason things were so awkward tonight.”

“How much do you think they heard?” He laughed.

“Quite a bit, I’d imagine. Silencing charms would have been a good idea, I think.”

“We didn’t stop to think long enough to set silencing charms.” I smiled, looking up at him. “I’ve missed you…so much.”

“I’ve missed you, too.” I stretched up to meet him in a kiss before snuggling back into his chest.

“I love you,” I mumbled sleepily.

“I love you, too, Harry. Sleep well.”

It was by far the best night’s sleep I’d had in months.

♥♥♥♥♥




Chapter 35: Chapter Thirty-Five
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]






Waking up with Harry in my arms was something I had most definitely missed. When I opened my eyes and saw him lying there beside me, his head on my chest, I was speechless. He always seemed so peaceful when he slept, as though nothing in world could disturb him. I smiled as he snuggled deeper into my arms, mumbling my name in his sleep.

“I love you, Harry James Potter,” I whispered, kissing his forehead.

“Love you, too,” he mumbled. I watched his eyes flutter open.

“And here I thought you were asleep.” He grinned lazily.

“I’m full of surprises.”

“That you are, love.” I kissed his nose before meeting his lips in a warm good morning kiss.

♥♥♥


Thankfully, breakfast was a much more light-hearted affair. The awkwardness of the night before seemed to have faded almost completely. Hermione still blushed slightly when she looked at Harry and me, but she smiled as well. Even Molly was cheery, seeming to have forgiven us for the previous afternoon’s events. She was happy for us, but did ask that we refrain from doing it again. Ron, however, hadn’t forgiven us. He was still angry, though he didn’t glare at us all morning. It was an improvement, at least.

“While I have you all here, I have something to tell you,” Molly said, sitting down at the end of the table to eat her own breakfast. We all looked to her expectantly. “Nymphadora and I are going to clean at Grimmuald today. We’re nearly finished there.” She looked to Harry, smiling as his eyes grew wide. “It’ll be suitable for living in by the end of the week.” She paused, waiting for the anticipation to meet its full mark. “Fred and George will be home Friday. Do you think you can be packed by dinner that night?”

Harry grinned and stood to hug her. “Thank you, Mrs. Weasley,” he said, “for everything you’ve done for me.” He kissed her cheek, causing a slight blush to rise in her face.

“Nonsense!” The bell sounded down the all, and a few of us jumped at the sound. “I’ll bet that’s Dora. Ron, would you get the door, please?”

Ron grunted and left the table, heading down the hall to the front door. He returned a few moments later, followed by Remus Lupin and a woman with bright pink hair. Ginny stood from the table and rushed to hug the woman, who smiled brightly at her. Hermione soon joined them.

Harry was soon caught up in hugs from both Remus and the woman. I smiled awkwardly and stood to shake Remus’s hand. The woman looked at me for a moment or two, and then smiled, stepping up to me and offering her hand.

“Draco,” she said, shaking my hand. “It’s good to finally meet you.” I nodded, trying to seem like I knew what she meant. “You look so much like Narcissa. I never met her, but Mum has pictures everywhere. She was fond of her sister.” Then it clicked.

“You’re…you’re Andromeda’s daughter!” I exclaimed. She smiled nodded. “Tonks, right?”

“Yes.”
Harry grinned and came to stand beside me, taking my hand. Tonks smiled even wider, nudging Remus. He smiled slightly, and nodded, looking to Molly.

♥♥♥


Tonks and Molly left soon after, while Remus stayed behind with us. Ginny and Ron headed outside with their brooms for a scrimmage match while Hermione sat in the garden to read. Having nothing better to do inside, Harry and I followed, sitting beneath a tall maple as we watched the match. Harry sat between my legs, his back against my chest with my arms wrapped around him.

“This time next week we’ll be at Grimmuald,” he announced. I smiled, nodding.

“Excited?” I asked.

“Very.” He turned his head to look at me over his shoulder. “It’ll mean far more privacy for us.” He grinned suggestively and I laughed, kissing his lips and resting my chin on his shoulder. I closed my eyes and breathed deep the smell of the cool fall air.

It was Hermione’s call that brought us back to reality. A regal-looking barn owl was soaring towards the house. He slowed down, landing lightly on the back of the bench Hermione had been sitting on only moments before. In its beak was a letter from Hogwarts, addressed to Ginny. She and Ron landed just a few yards behind us. She was grinning brightly as she headed for the owl. After she had broken the seal and began to read, however, her grin faded to a look of disappointment.

“They’re closing the school,” she said.

“What?!” Harry exclaimed, taking the letter as she offered to him. “Dear Miss Weasley,” he read aloud. “We regret to inform you that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will not be opening this year.” He looked up at us all for a moment before returning to the letter. “Due to recent events, we do not find ourselves able to provide adequate protection for the students and therefore must close our doors indefinitely. We apologize for this unfortunate decision. Sincerely, Minerva McGonagall.” He looked up angrily. “This isn’t right. Dumbledore would never allow this.”

“Unfortunately, he would,” a voice called. Remus stepped from the house, coming towards us with a sympathetic look. “This was Dumbledore’s decision.”

“He would never close the school!” Harry argued. “Dumbledore would do everything possible to keep it open.”

“This time was different. Voldemort's recent killing spree has taken a toll on Albus, as well as the rest of us. The school would be far too large a target.” From the look on Harry’s face, I could see he wasn’t satisfied with that answer. “Come inside,” Remus said, turning back towards the house. “We’ll get some lunch.”

♥♥♥


After lunch the five of us headed upstairs. Harry was still angry over the news of Hogwarts’ closing. It wasn’t a surprise to any of us that this became our topic.

“It just doesn’t fit,” Harry said, pacing back and forth across the room. Ginny and I sat beside each other on the bed, watching him for a bit before exchanging worried looks. “Dumbledore wouldn’t just close the school down.”

“He would if there was a good reason to,” Hermione put in from her place on the floor next to Ron. “The students’ safety comes first. It’s like Remus said—Hogwarts is an open target for Voldemort's attacks. The students aren’t prepared to defend themselves, and there aren’t enough professors to look after them all.”

“Then he could ask the Ministry for Aurors!”

“Harry, you know as well as the rest of us that Voldemort has contacts inside the Ministry. We can’t trust any of them.”

Harry sighed, knowing—just as we all did—that she was right. He turned and launched a vicious kick at the dresser beside him. Hermione jumped at the sound, looking around at the rest of us. Ginny looked toward the door, and then back at Hermione and Ron. They nodded and stood. The three of them left the room. Ginny paused, casting a supportive smile at me before closing the door behind her.

I stood and moved to Harry’s side, placing a hand on the small of his back in a feeble attempt to comfort him.

“I’m sick of this, Dray,” Harry whispered. “I’m tired of Voldemort ruining everything that’s good. I’m sick of this fucking war!” He jerked away from me, moving to sit on the bed. I sighed and went to sit beside him.

“It’ll end soon, Harry,” I said. “Voldemort's hold on this world won’t last forever. Besides, things always get worse before they get better.”

“And what would you know about it?” he hissed. His voice was cold, much like it had been the night he’d learned I had taken the Mark. “You don’t know what it’s like to lose everything.”

“Voldemort has taken things from me, too.”

“You didn’t lose your family! You weren’t there the night Cedric died!”

“I lost Mum. And for a while, I though I’d lost you, too.”

“It’s not the same.”

“How is it different?”

“It just is! You don’t understand.” I sighed, standing.

“Fine. I’ll let you sulk, since that’s obviously all you’re interested in doing,” I said, my voice low and menacing. “But don’t you dare tell me that I don’t understand loss.” I started for the door.

“Draco—” he choked, grabbing my wrist to hold me beside him. He looked up at me, his eyes glistening with the beginnings of tears. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, barely audible. “You’ve gone through a lot these past months, more than I could probably deal with. I shouldn’t have said—” His voice cracked. I sat down beside him, reaching up to wipe away the tears that had begun to fall.

“Shh,” I whispered. “It’s all right, love. I know you didn’t mean it.” I rested my hand against his cheek. His own came to cover it, pressing my palm closer against his skin. “I love you, Harry.”

“I love you, too.” I pulled him into a hug, smiling as he buried his face in my chest.

♥♥♥


Fred and George arrived at the house late Friday afternoon. This was the first time I’d seen the twins since their final year at Hogwarts. Surprisingly, they seemed very interested in meeting me. I think Harry was slightly worried about this introduction, fearing I would become the object of their pranks. He didn’t expect me to match them joke for joke, however, and a beautiful friendship formed.

Molly still wasn’t trusting enough to allow Harry and I to share a room, so George would take the extra bed that had been set up in my room, while Fred occupied his own bed in Harry’s room.

The anticipation was growing as the hours passed. I’d spent the first few hours after lunch packing the few things I’d brought from the Manor. It was a small job, which I was thankful for. I didn’t envy the others their packing jobs.

After I’d finished packing, I went in search of Harry. I found him sitting alone on a bench in the garden. Smiling, I slipped outside, not even bothering to find shoes. I made my way towards him, and he turned to smile at me as I came up behind him.

“Is this seat taken?” I asked, gesturing to the place on the bench beside him.

“It is now,” he replied. I sat down and looked around me.

“It’s beautiful out here,” I said.” He nodded.

“Yeah, it is.”

“It reminds me of the manor. The grounds were my favorite part of it, I think. I used to spend nearly every day of summer outside. It was brilliant because father hated nature, so he’d never come looking for me outside. He used to scold me because I’d go without shoes and walk through the grass barefoot. There was even this little pond I’d swim in, too, whenever it got hot. He used to say I was acting like a child, and I’d always tell him that I was a child, so I had an excuse. He didn’t like that.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk about Lucias so much,” Harry said.

“I’m sorry,” I replied, realizing that I must have been boring him.

“No, it’s good. I like hearing about your life. You’ve never told me much about it before.” I smiled. “Wanna go for a walk with me?”

I nodded. “Yeah, that’d be great.”

“So, keep going,” he said as we walked hand in hand through the grass.

“What do you want to know?” I asked.

“Everything. Anything you want to tell me.” I was silent for a moment, searching for someplace to begin. There was so much that I suddenly wanted to tell him.

“Whenever Father would leave on some sort of trip or such, he’d always say he didn’t like leaving without having a man in charge of the house. I would tell him that I was a man, that I could take care of things, and then he’d say that the house elf was more of a man than I was.”

“That’s terrible.”

“He was right, though. I never wanted to be in charge of things. I wanted to be off somewhere else, you know? To be free. I suppose that’s because I never really had a childhood. Whenever I wanted to play, I was told to grow up and act like a man. My father wasn’t the type of person to spend time playing with his child. I never got to read stories with him or play quidditch in the back yard. I was always alone.”

We stopped walking and Harry turned to me, full seriousness in his expression. “You’ll never be alone again,” he said, “that much I can promise you. We have each other now.” He took my other hand so that he was now holding them both. “We’ll play quidditch in the back yard together.” I laughed.

“He’s the reason I’ve always wanted children. I wanted to be a better father to them than he was to me.”

“You would be.”

I smiled and we stood there for a moment, just looking at each other. It wasn’t until Molly opened the window and called us to dinner that we looked away.

“We should head back in,” I said. Harry nodded.

“Yeah. I’ve gotta finish packing after dinner.”

“If you wouldn’t put it off until the last minute…”

We smiled at each other for a moment, looking into each other’s eyes again before turning and heading to the house.

♥♥♥


I was up before the others that next morning, and I dressed quickly, making sure I had all of my belongings together before stepping into the hall. Molly met me there on her way to wake everyone else up. I offered to help her, and headed off to the room Harry and Fred were sharing. Fred sat up sleepily as soon as the door opened.

“I’m up! I’m up!” he said, obviously thinking it was Molly. When he saw it was me, he simply rolled his eyes. “Should’ve known.”

I smiled as I passed him. “Harry still asleep?” I asked. He nodded, laying back down. “Hey, Molly sent me in to wake you lot up.” He waved his hand at my words and rolled over. I shook my head and made my way over to Harry’s bed. He looked so peaceful when he slept, and I hated to wake him. I sat down on the edge of the bed and leaned over him, pressing a kiss to his forehead. Green eyes fluttered open and he smiled, reaching up to give me a sleepy kiss.

“Time to wake up, Harry,” I whispered.

“Our last morning at the Burrow,” he mumbled, yawning. “I’m gonna miss it.” I nodded in agreement. “But you know what I’m not gonna miss?”

“What?”

“All this sneaking into each other’s rooms and such. At Grimmuald, we’ll be able to do whatever we want.” I grinned and kissed him, our tongues sliding together.

“And you know what I’m not gonna miss?” Fred called. Both of us turned to look at him. “Listening to you two snogg while I’m trying to sleep!” I laughed, watching as Harry threw a pillow at him before pulling me back down to capture my lips once more.

“I love you,” he whispered.

“I love you, too,” I replied, pressing one last light kiss to his lips before standing. “Come on. Time to get up.” He groaned and tried to pull me back down onto the bed.

“I’d rather stay here,” he mumbled, reaching up for a kiss.

“Oh, for Merlin’s sake!” Fred exclaimed, jumping out of bed. “Would you to sods just go already?!” He threw Harry’s pillow back at us before grabbing some clothes from the foot of the bed and stalking out of the room, the door slamming shut behind him.

“I think we pissed him off,” I whispered. Harry nodded, smiling.

♥♥♥


The rest of the morning was rather hectic as everyone hurried to eat and get their things ready for the journey to Grimmuald. I could feel myself growing more and more excited with every passing moment. I was about to move to the house Harry said we’d live in together after the war. I was dying to see it, knowing it would be incredible no matter what. Harry seemed amused by my excitement. He kept smiling at me all through breakfast that morning as I bounced anxiously in my seat.

Fred’s mood lightened after he ate, though he kept passing Harry and I dirty looks all through the morning. George was smirking at us every once in a while, which told me that his brother had told him everything. Remus and Tonks had joined us for breakfast and would help with the move later on. Ginny seemed just as excited as I was, her constant flood of conversation filling the room. Molly recruited the twins to help carry out the luggage, pulling them away from the table. Harry, noticing the empty seat beside me now that George had left, moved to sit next to me, taking my hand in his.

“Are you excited, love?” he asked, kissing my cheek. I nodded.

“Very,” I replied. “I can’t wait to see this place.” Harry smiled.

“Don’t get your hopes up too much. I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.”

“Impossible.”

♥♥♥


At ten-thirty, the long awaited moment arrived. With all baggage loaded into the trunk of the magically-enlarged Ministry car, we took our last looks at the Burrow—the place that had been my home now for nearly three and a half months. It really was a sad moment for all of us. Harry had practically grown up there over the summers, and leaving it was definitely a hard thing to do. But, the prospect of being in Grimmuald again seemed to cheer him up a bit as we all climbed into the back seat. We fit comfortably, and Harry even had room to wrap his arm around my shoulders and hold my hand in his.

“You’re going to miss it, aren’t you?” I asked, leaning my head on his shoulder. He looked down at me and nodded.

“Yeah, I am. I love this place,” he replied. “It holds so many memories…old, and new.” His arm tightened around my shoulders. “The Burrow brought us back together—it’ll always hold a place of honor in my heart.” I smiled and kissed him. I kept it short, however, knowing that Ron was watching my every move. He’d been like a second shadow since the moment he learned Harry and I were back together. It hurt to know that he didn’t trust me, but I could hardly blame him. Harry kept reassuring me that Ron would come around, though I knew he was beginning to doubt it himself.

♥♥♥


An hour later and the car pulled to a stop along the side of a street lined with tall houses. The door opened and we all climbed out, Harry taking a tight hold of my hand. We stood on the sidewalk while Arthur and Remus started unloaded things from the trunk. I looked around me, taking in the street and everything in it.

“Which is it, Harry?” I asked quietly. Remus looked over at us, and Harry nodded to him. He turned to face me, taking both of my hands.

“Remember how I told you that it’s invisible to everyone but those who know where it is?” he replied. I nodded. “You need to listen to me very carefully, okay? Memorize what I’m about to tell you.” I nodded again. Harry dropped his voice low and moved forward to whisper in my ear. “The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number 12, Grimmuald Place, London.” He searched my eyes. “Got it?” I ran it through my mind a few times before nodding.

“Yeah, got it,” I said. He grinned and kissed me. We turned back to the others just as Remus and Arthur were setting the last bag on the sidewalk.

“A month of cleaning it’s taken to make this place hospitable again!” Molly was saying to Tonks. “It’s seemed like ages, but well worth the work, I suppose.”

“Are well all ready, then?” Arthur asked, looking around. Everyone nodded, and Harry’s hand tightened on mine. “You all know what to do, then.”

“Think about what I just told you,” Harry whispered to me. I closed my eyes, thinking hard about what I’d just memorized. The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number 12, Grimmuald Place. I opened my eyes, my jaw dropping in awe as a door appeared between numbers 11 and 13, followed by an entire house that seemed far more ancient than those surrounding it. Harry grinned and kissed my cheek, drawing me out of my state of surprise.

Everyone grabbed hold of their own luggage, and began pulling it up the front steps and into the house. I set my things down a little way inside the door and moved farther into the front hall, staring around me in amazement. Harry dropped his things next to mine and made his way over to me.

“Welcome home,” he whispered, his arms wrapped tightly around me. I smiled and we kissed, drawing each other closer.

“Oy, you two!” Ron exclaimed. “Do you two have to do that right here in the doorway?” We broke apart, and I could feel the heat rising in my face. Harry smiled and took my hand.

“Come with me,” he said. “I want to show you something.” He led me up the stairs and down a hallway to one of the bedrooms. He pushed the door open and gestured for me to go ahead of him. I stepped into the room. It looked as though no one had been in it for quite some time, but then again, the entire house looked that way. “This…is our room.”

Our room?” I replied. Harry grinned and nodded.

“What do you think?” He stepped over to me and wrapped his arms around me again.

“I think Ron’s not going to like this arrangement.”

“It’s not Ron’s house. It’s mine—ours.” He smiled sweetly before kissing a trail along my jaw to my neck. “And that means we can do whatever we want here, and he can’t say anything about it.” I groaned quietly, lifting my chin to give him better access as he ran his tongue along my throat. I pulled back and looked around the room.

“I wonder if the bed’s any good,” I said. “Think we should test it?” He grinned and pulled me close again, our lips locking as he guided me backwards. My legs hit the mattress and we fell back onto the bed, never once breaking our kiss. I moved up to rest against the pillows and he settled between my legs, pressing urgent kisses down my neck.

“I love you,” he breathed, his hands grasping at my shirt.

“I love you, too,” I whispered, capturing his lips with mine.

“Oh come on!” a voice called. We broke apart and turned towards the door to find—Fred. “You haven’t even been in the house five minutes and you’re already going at it like a pair of wild monkeys!” He was standing just inside the doorway with Harry’s trunk in front of him. He pushed the trunk across the room to an empty corner as Harry sat up.

“Where’s Drake’s stuff?” he asked, looking around.

“Last I saw Ron had it.”

Harry and I exchanged looks before both of us leapt off the bed and ran quickly down the stairs. We nearly collided with Ron at the bottom as he was dragging his trunk towards them.

“Where’s Draco’s stuff?” Harry asked.

“In his room,” Ron replied shortly, trying to push past us. Harry stepped in front of him again.

“Which is where, according to you?”

Ron nodded around the corner towards a door on the left side of the hall. Harry rushed past him and I followed, smiling and shaking my head. The glare Ron shot me as I walked away after the brunette didn’t go unnoticed. Harry reached the door before me, and wrenched it open. Sure enough, there was my bag—sitting on the floor of a particularly filthy broom closet. Harry shook his head and pulled my bag out into the hall with us before closing the door again.

“He’s an idiot,” he mumbled, shouldering the bag and heading back towards the stairs. “Come on.”

♥♥♥


I spent a good portion of my afternoon unpacking my things and making sure everything was in its place—and Harry spent it making sure everyone else was settled. When he came back to our room just before dinner, he did nothing but complain about unpacking.

“There’s so much in here,” he groaned, digging through his trunk. “I don’t think I have the patience or the willpower to put it all away.”

“We could’ve done it together, you know,” I called from the bed. I was lying there watching him as he started hanging up his shirts in the wardrobe.

He stood there for a moment, staring at my half of the closet. “They’re color coded!” he exclaimed, laughing and turning to me. I just smiled and nodded.

“It makes it easier to find what you’re looking for,” I replied. He shook his head and shoved a few more things in before shutting the door and moving on to fill the drawers of the dresser.

“You’re too organized for a bloke.”

“Gay, remember?” I pointed to myself, grinning.

“Me too, but I’m not like that.”

“We are two different breeds, Harry. Why we’re together is sometimes still a mystery to me,” I joked.

“Opposites attract, you know,” he replied, coming to the bed and laying down next to me as he pressed a kiss to my lips. I smiled and pulled him to me. He rested his head on my shoulder, one arm flung haphazardly across my stomach while my hands traced circles on his back. “Yep, I could definitely do this for the rest of my life.”

“Just this?”

“Just this.”

“Dinner’s ready.”

“How do you know?”

“Ginny’s standing in the doorway.”

Ginny was indeed standing in the doorway, smiling over at us. Harry turned to face her, and smiled back.

“Draco’s right,” Ginny said. “Mum sent me to give the dinner call.”

“We’ll be down in a minute,” Harry replied. Ginny nodded and left us, tossing one last glance over her shoulder. “Think she’s happy we’re together?”

“Definitely,” I decided. We smiled at each other and left the room, heading down the stairs. Harry grabbed my hand on the way down, lacing his fingers with mine.

“I love you,” he whispered, kissing my cheek.

“I love you, too.”

♥♥♥♥♥




Chapter 36: Chapter Thirty-Six
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The move to Grimmuald Place was a brilliant change. It was an interesting experience, having my own house. It helped immensely to have Hermione and Ginny there. Without them, the place would have been in far worse condition than it was by the end of the week.

The move meant almost complete freedom for Draco and I. I was glad to be sharing a room with him—it was somehow comforting to have him beside me at night. I felt safe in his arms, as though he could protect me from anything.

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley came by every Sunday for lunch, though we all knew it was so Mrs. Weasley could check up on us. She probably would have been by every day if Arthur didn’t stop her. She seemed satisfied, however, as she glanced around during each visit.

Once the general inspection was finished, however, she joined the rest of us in the sitting room just off the main hall for a chance to talk. It was times like these that I really began to notice just how much everyone had warmed to Draco. He wasn’t ignored or pushed out of conversations like he used to be.

There also seemed to be no aversion to our displays of affection. We could hold hands, kiss, even snuggle up together on the sofa, and no one would say a word against it. Ron didn’t seem thrilled about it, but he never once complained. Though, that may have had more to do with the “little talk” Hermione and Ginny had had with him the first week at Grimmuald.

No matter the reason, I was glad for the peace. I loved Draco, after all, and it hurt for someone as important to me as Ron was to show aversion to him. I knew Ron still didn’t trust Draco, but I still held a faint spark of hope that that might one day change.

♥♥♥


“I love this,” I said to Draco one night as we were climbing into bed. “Having this place all of our own, being able to live the way we want to. It’s brilliant.” He smiled.

You are brilliant,” he replied, kissing me. “And I love you.”

“I love you to.” Yeah, I could definitely live with that arrangement. I wrapped my arms around him, snuggling down into his chest as he stroked my back almost absent mindedly. I smiled as his lips pressed against the top of my head.

“Pansy would die if she saw us now,” he said suddenly. I looked up at him. he had a far away look in his eyes. “She slapped me after she found out I’d broke up with you, and the reason for it.” I frowned slightly.

“That’s awful,” I whispered. He shook his head.

“I needed it—deserved it, even. She cried and hugged me after that. She would have gone to you as well if Blaise had let her.”

“Why didn’t he?”

“He didn’t think a Slytherin would be appreciated in Gryffindor territory, let alone the best friend of the bloke who’d just broken their golden boy’s heart.”

“He was probably right about that one.”

“Yeah, he usually is.”

“Have…have you heard from them recently?”

His expression changed to one of complete numbness. “No,” he answered. “Not since we said goodbye at King’s Cross.”

I stayed silent, having no clue what I should say. So I said the first thing that came to my mind. “I’m sorry.” He smiled and kissed my hair.

“Not your fault, love. Goodnight.”

“Night.” I couldn’t help but feel slightly guilty all the same.

♥♥♥♥♥





Author Note:

Thought you guys might be interested in knowing that I have a new fic up on FanFiction.Net. I can’t post it here because of the ToS, but it is up on FF. Check it out (“A Lie Upon Your Lips” by Cara Nicole Luvitz).

Read and review!

Cara Nicole Luvitz



Chapter 37: Chapter Thirty-Seven
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Harry’s question about Blaise and Pansy disturbed me somehow. It had been nearly four months since I’d last seen them. Why hadn’t I heard from them? It wasn’t like them to be so distant. I was so used to receiving letters from Pansy every week that anything other than that just seemed unnatural. These thoughts were so disturbing to me that they kept me awake. I laid in the darkness for over an hour, listening to Harry’s even breathing beside me. ‘At least one of us is getting some sleep,’ I thought as I slipped quietly from the bed and headed downstairs.

The light was on in the kitchen when I opened the door, and I found Hermione placing a kettle of water on the stove. She smiled at me.

“Trouble sleeping?” she asked. I nodded, sitting down at the table running a hand through my hair.

“Yeah,” I replied. “Harry’s out like a light, though.”

“Doesn’t surprise me.” She brought two mugs over with her and sat down across from me. “He’s got a lot of excitement in his life now. He’s been dreaming of living here for the past year and a half.”

I smiled. “I don’t blame him. After what he went through with those muggles, I’d be ready to get out on my own as well.”

“From what I’ve heard, things in your life weren’t so great either.”

I shook my head. “People tended to think I had it a lot better than I did. I mean, why wouldn’t they? I’m the sole heir to the fortune of one of Britain’s richest pureblood families. Life should be heaven.” She looked sadly up at me.

“That’s what we all believed,” she admitted. “Ron only just learned the difference. It’s greatly changed his feelings toward you.”

“Yeah, I’ve noticed the change. Still doesn’t trust me, though.”

“He’s just protective is all. He’s the same with all of us.” The kettle whistled behind her and she hurried to retrieve it. “He’ll warm up to you,” Hermione finished as she poured water into each mug. I thanked her and took a sip, letting the tea warm me from the inside out. I’d only just returned the steaming mug to the table when the screaming began.

We both looked up at the same time. I knew that voice.

“Harry,” I whispered. We were one our feet in a second, each racing towards the stairs. I took them two at a time and reached the landing just as Ginny reached the last step on her way down from the third floor. Ron was just behind her.

I threw open the door to our bedroom. Harry was thrashing wildly on the bed, crying out as if in excruciating pain. I was at his side in an instant, searching desperately for a way to wake him up. I grabbed him by the shoulders, trying to hold him still.

“Harry, wake up,” I called. His eyes stayed closed, though he quieted slightly at my touch. “Harry, love, please! Harry!” I was louder this time and his eyes snapped open as he sat up jerkily. He was panting and sweating, and his eyes held a light of terror that I’d never seen in them before. I sat down on the edge of the bed and he turned to look at me before throwing himself in my arms. The others moved into the room slowly, gathering at the end of the bed. Hermione sat beside me, rubbing Harry’s back lightly in attempt to calm him.

“Was it another one of the visions, mate?” Ron asked. Harry nodded. Hermione frowned and turned to Ginny.

“Go and floo Remus,” she said. Ginny nodded and hurried out of the room. Hermione then turned to Ron. “Go light a fire in the downstairs sitting room. I’ll go and make us all some tea.” Ron opened his mouth to object, most likely against the idea of leaving me alone with Harry. But a look from Hermione was enough to keep him silent. In a moment they were gone, leaving us alone in the darkness.

I tightened my hold on Harry’s waist, stroking his hair back from h is face. He was shivering, despite the heat I could feel radiating from him.

“Come one, love,” I whispered. “Let’s go down with the others.” He nodded vaguely and stood with me. Together, we descended the stairs to wait for Remus.


♥♥♥



“You’re sure it wasn’t just a dream?” Remus asked. He was sitting across from Harry. I held Harry’s hand in my own, silently providing my support. He shook his head.

“It wasn’t a dream. It was too real,” Harry replied. Remus nodded.

“What happened in this vision?”

Harry’s hands started shaking slightly as he began to tell us what he’d seen. “He was really angry. He was yelling about someone betraying him. There was a man and a woman. He killed them.”

“Did you know who they were? Had you seen them before?”

He shook his head. “No. Voldemort said he’d granted them clemency once, but he wouldn’t be so merciful again.”

“Can you tell me what they looked like?”

“I didn’t get a very good look at the man, but the woman…she had long dark hair. She looked oddly familiar—like I’ve seen her when she was younger.”

An idea suddenly came to my mind. “Did…did she have brown eyes?” I asked quietly. Five pairs of eyes turned simultaneously on me. Harry nodded slowly.

“Do you know who it is?” Remus asked. I looked down at the floor.

“I think so,” I whispered. “Jasper and Elizabeth Parkinson.” My eyes connected with Harry’s, and I saw the question in their emerald depths. “Pansy’s parents.”


♥♥♥



The obituary appeared the following morning. The details of their death were left undefined. The article said nothing about Pansy.

Harry felt guilty for some reason. He kept apologizing to me, almost as if he felt it was his fault the Parkinson’s were dead. Remus had informed the rest of the Order of Harry’s vision, and within a few days Severus arrived at Grimmuald Place. It had been nearly two months since I’d last seen him at the Burrow, and his arrival brightened my mood considerable.

“I have some news for you,” he said as we sat together alone in the sitting room. “I think it’ll cheer you up quite a bit.” I looked expectantly up at him. He said, with full seriousness, “I know for a fact Pansy was not present the night of her parents’ murder. No one’s quite sure where she is; she seems to have disappeared. But there is no doubt in my mind that she is alive and well.”

I smiled. “Thank you, Severus,” I replied. “You have no idea how worried I’ve been about her.”

“Don’t fret too much, then. I’m no expert, but it seems to be having a terrible affect on Potter.” I nodded.

“He thinks it’s his fault they’re dead.”

“Doesn’t surprise me. Potter often blames himself for things like this. He still hasn’t forgiven himself for Diggory’s death, and it’s sure to be the same for Black’s.”

“Can you blame him, though? Sirius was the only family he had—those muggles don’t count.” I shuddered, recalling all the stories Harry had told me about what the muggles had done to him. Severus’s mouth twitched upward in a smile, and he stood.

“I think you and Potter are more alike than anyone knows.” His hand rested lightly on my shoulder for a moment. “Believe it or not, I’m happy for you.” And then he was gone, leaving me alone with a smile on my lips.


♥♥♥



It took several days of talking and one night of incredible sex for Harry to realize I wasn’t angry with him. I even succeeded in convince him it wasn’t his fault, though the news of Pansy’s escape might have had a slight hand in that accomplishment.

With this tragedy behind us, the next few weeks were quiet ones. There was no more news of attacks, no more visits from Remus or Severus. If anything, things were almost boring. Until that night.

Remus had taken me aside the day we moved in to Grimmuald Place. He told me the Order was worried about how safe this living arrangement would be, how much protection the house would hold for Harry without Order members around. He told me he trusted me, and that he knew I would protect Harry at any cost—and that was exactly what he trusted me to do.

It was midnight when I woke up. At first, I wasn’t sure what had disturbed me—until I heard a door slam. Someone was inside the house. I reached for my wand on the beside table just as Harry’s eyes fluttered open. He looked to me, confusion in his expression.

“Dray, what’s going on?” he asked groggily, sitting up as I stood from the bed.

“Some one’s in the house,” I replied shortly, already heading for the door. “I’ll check it out. Stay here.”

“I’m not letting you go alone!” He threw back the covers, reaching for his own wand. I was back at his side instantly, pushing him down onto the bed.

“Stay here,” I repeated.

“But—” My look silenced him, though his glare communicated his feelings wordlessly. I pressed my lips against his in apology. And leaving him behind me, I headed for the hall.

Ginny met me on the landing outside the bedroom, and together we began the search. We descended the stairs as slowly and as silently as possible, looking all around for signs of the intruder. A step creaked behind us, and we turned quickly, wands at the ready. Hermione looked apologetically down at us, her own wand drawn and ready. We crept down the rest of the stairs, stepping into the entrance hall.

A figure stood in the shadows at the far end of the hall, their back to us. I muttered a spell under my breath and the tip of my wand lighted. As we approached the figure, I pushed the girls behind me and raised my wand up higher. I stopped about five feet from the intruder.

“Turn slowly,” I commanded. They did, and my heart skipped a beat. Black hair, blue eyes… “Pansy?”

Pansy smiled brightly, running to hug me. “Draco!” she exclaimed, kissing my cheek. “It’s so good to see you! Remus told us you’d be here.”

“Wait, us?” She nodded and the four of us turned as voices reached our ears from behind us. And there was Ron, holding Blaise back the back of his robes, his wand even with his throat. “Blaise!” Blaise waved slightly, then looked at Hermione.

“Hey Granger, you mind calling off your Weasel?” he asked.

“Ron let him go,” she obliged. Ron grudgingly released him, and Blaise nodded his thanks before grinning widely and coming to hug me.

“Got yourself in a good crowd, haven’t you, mate?” he asked. I grinned and nodded.

“The best,” I replied. A stair squeaked behind us, capturing our attention. I smiled and made my over to them, looking up at Harry as he tried to sneak down. “Don’t you ever listen?” I laughed. “Come downstairs, love. We have company.”

I held my hand out to him and he took it as he reached bottom of the steps.

“Who is it?” he asked quietly.

“Come see.”

We rounded the corner to the hall, and Harry’s eyes lit up at the sight before him. A grin crossed his face as he looked from Blaise and Pansy to me, and back again. Pansy came to hug him, smiling happily at our clasped hands.

“When Remus told us where you were,” she said, looking between us, “I’d hoped it meant you were together again. It’s good to see I wasn’t wrong.”

“You’ve been to see Remus?” Harry asked. Blaise moved to stand beside Pansy.

“Before they were killed, the Parkinson’s sent Pansy to me, knowing they were in danger,” he explained. “We took off and went into hiding. After we heard news of the murders, we went to Remus. He said he could protect us, and he sent us here.

“We would have waited till morning, but the thought of seeing Draco again was far too tempting,” Pansy added. Draco smiled before Pansy continued. “I hope we’re not imposing.” Harry shook his head.

“Not at all,” he replied. “This place is huge. There’s plenty of room. Take your pick.”

With that, Blaise and Pansy were led upstairs, and as we returned to bed, Harry and I shared a sly smile as we noticed what room Blaise had chosen.

“He’ll be in for a surprise,” Harry whispered as we headed for bed. I smiled, wrapping my arm around his shoulders and kissing his hair.

“That he will, love,” I replied. “That he will.”


♥♥♥♥♥




Chapter 38: Chapter Thirty-Eight
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Having Blaise and Pansy around did wonders for Draco. Of course, he seemed happy before, but now it was a rare occasion when you didn’t see him smiling. Three days flew by and Blaise still seemed oblivious to the significance of the room he’d chosen. Ginny had noticed, however, and joined in our little joke by dropping playful hints to him, though he never seemed to catch on—not until his fourth night at Grimmauld, anyway…

Fuck, Harry!” Draco cried as he collapsed on top of me and rolled off to the side. We laid together, catching our breath and each grinning breathlessly at each other like complete saps.

“I love you,” I whispered, taking Draco’s hand and entwining my fingers with his own.

“Love you, too,” he replied. There was a thud against the wall and we both turned to look at it.

“Thanks loads for that, Drake!” Blaise called through the wall. “I always wanted to know what it sounded like when the Slytherin Prince and the Chosen One shagged!”

I laughed. “Anytime, Blaise!” Draco replied, grinning. “Anytime.” He pressed his lips against mine, and I forgot all about Blaise.

♥♥♥


I woke to the feel of soft lips on my throat. I hummed happily as Draco’s kissed trailed up my neck and along my jaw line, finally ending as he covered my lips with his own.

“Good morning,” he whispered, nipping at my ear.

“Morning,” I replied, opening my eyes. I took in the sight before me and chuckled. Draco’s hair was sticking out in every direction, and his eyes glistened with a faint light of lust. He grinned, pressing a kiss to the end of my nose.

“You’re so cute when you’re half asleep,” he said, kissing my cheek, my eyes, and finally my forehead. I smiled, slipping a hand along his chest and down his side, resting it on his hip as I pulled him closer to capture his lips with mine. I could feel him pressing against me, and I rolled my hips up against his, teasing him. Draco groaned his appreciation and began to trail kisses down my neck, nipping at the base of my throat before moving down my chest.

“I need a shower,” I whispered. I looked down at him, running my fingers through his hair. “Care to join me?” Draco pressed a kiss to my stomach before looking up at me with a mischievous grin. He stood from the bed and picked up his wand from the table, waving it in the direction of the master bathroom. I heard the water click on, and then Draco was offering his hand to me. Together we disappeared into the steam-filled bathroom. Draco pushed me up against the wall as soon as the door was shut, his hand gripping the waist band of my boxers as his lips assaulted mine. I groaned against him, thrusting my hips against his.

“You taste so fucking good,” Draco hissed, nipping at my ear. I grinned and pressed my lips against his again as we set a hard, grinding pace together. Draco hummed appreciatively and then pulled back, tugging me along into the shower with him.

♥♥♥♥♥




Chapter 39: Chapter Thirty-Nine
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Harry and I headed down to breakfast together, hand-in-hand (as usual). We paused outside the kitchen door, however, listening to Blaise complain about us.

“Some one wanna tell me why I’m the one who gets stuck with the love birds all the time?” he asked.

“Whatever do you mean, Blaise?” Ginny asked mockingly. I could practically hear her smirk.

“I was minding my own business last night, reading a bit before bed, and all of the sudden they’re going at it next door!” Blaise explained. I grinned mischievously at Harry, who winked back. “Not only did I have to hear it once, but they shagged twice last night! How the bloody hell did I get stuck next to them?”

“You did choose that room, Blaise,” Pansy reminded him. She sounded as though she was enjoying his torture as much as the rest of us.

“Speaking of which,” Hermione cut it, “where are those two? They never sleep this late.”

“Probably too tired after last night,” Pansy suggested.

“Maybe they’re resting up to give you another performance tonight, Blaise,” Ginny added. Laughter rolled out of the room. Harry and I took this as our cue to enter.

“What’s got you lot in such a cheery mood?” I asked. “Blaise do something funny?” The laughter struck up again as Blaise turned a deep enough red to rival Ron’s hair.

“Stop teasing him, love,” Harry said, kissing my cheek. I sighed and nodded, smirking slightly as I watched Blaise’s face slowly return to its normal colour. Harry left my side and poured us each a cup of coffee. I took the coffee from him, at the same time wrapping my other arm around his waist and pulling him back against me, drawing him in for a kiss. I rested my head on his shoulder, nuzzling his neck and breathing him in before trailing my lips along the soft skin of his throat.

“Get a room!” Blaise called.

“Ours is getting a bit boring,” I said, looking at him. “Think we could borrow yours, mate?” Blaise’s face turned bright red again, his eyes dropping to the table as the others laughed. I stepped back from Harry, my hand moving to the small of his back as I kissed his shoulder.

“I’ll be over in a minute, love,” Harry said, smiling at me. I nodded and moved to the table, sitting down across from Blaise and Pansy. I watched out of the corner of my eye as her hand brushed his, brining a slight smile to his lips as he glanced up at her. It wasn’t until she took a drink, however, that I noticed the ring.

“So,” I began as Harry took his seat next to me. “When’s the wedding?” The room went completely silent as Harry, Ginny, and Hermione all turned confused looks on me. I watched as Blaise took Pansy’s hand, squeezing it gently. Still, no one said a word. “When were you planning on telling me? I didn’t even know you were together.” I kept my face as emotionless as possible. It took all my strength to keep from smiling when Blaise cleared his throat nervously.

“We…we were afraid you’d be upset,” he said quietly.

Upset?” I stood and stepped around the table, reveling with pride in the fact that every set of eyes followed me. “Why in the hell—” I paused, letting the tension build as I stopped behind their chairs, kneeling down to their level—“would I be upset?” I grinned widely, pressing a kiss to Pansy’s cheek. “Congratulations.”

I could practically feel them all relax as I pulled Pansy, and then Blaise, into a hug. The others soon joined me in congratulation them.

“Why did you think I’d be upset?” I asked, returning to my seat.

“We just thought it might be awkward,” Pansy said.

“Please! I’ve known you liked Blaise for years! And he’s been drooling over you for the past two! I figured it was bound to happen at some point.”

“So….you’re not angry?” Blaise asked. I shook my head, still grinning.

“Of course not. I’m thrilled.” Blaise sighed in relief, wrapping an arm around Pansy’s shoulders and kissing her hair.

Harry’s hand brushed against my knee. I dropped mine from the table, cover his. He turned his hand palm up, entwining his fingers with mine as we shared a small smile.

♥♥♥


Remus and Tonks came for a visit that night, and Harry somehow talked them into staying for dinner. They remained for a while after, even, talking in the sitting room with all of us. I was helping Harry with drinks when the flames in the fireplace turned a bright green and Mad-Eye’s head came spinning into view.

“Remus!” he said quickly. He sounded anxious. “I’ve just spoken to Arthur. He told me you were here.”

“What’s going on, Alaster?” Remus asked, kneeling before the hearth.

“Things are getting serious, Remus. Voldemort’s numbers are getting stronger every day. He’s doing things—things he couldn’t do last time.

“What do you mean? What’s happened?”

“They’ve killed Dumbledore.”

The silence hung heavy on the air and for a moment it was if everything in the world had stopped. I could feel Harry shaking next to me, and I looked up at him. His face was pale, and he looked almost sick.

“Harry—” I caught him as his knees gave out and lowered us to the both to the ground, cradling him against me. “Shh…it’s alright, love. It’s okay.” I rubbed his back in an attempt to calm him down, my other hand brushing the hair away from his face while he sobbed into my chest, his entire body shaking with the force. His hands clung to my shirt, pulling me as close as possible, as if he were afraid he may lose me, too, if he let go.

Across the room, Ron was holding Hermione tight against him as she cried, too, and Ginny sat staring into emptiness, her face paler than I’d ever seen it before. Pansy’s knuckles were white from the tightness of her grip on Blaise’s arm. Silent tears rolled down Tonks’s cheeks, and Remus put his arm around her, his conversation with Mad-Eye long since finished.

It’s impossible to say how long we all stayed like that. For all I know, it could have been hours or just minutes. All time seemed to have stopped as pain flooded the room—pain for the loss of the greatest headmaster Hogwarts had ever known.

♥♥♥


The following days were quiet ones. The reality of Dumbledore’s death seemed to echo in every room. We barely heard from anyone at all. They were making plans to strike against Voldemort, to hunt down the Death Eaters responsible for the murder, and to bury the greatest wizard of our time.

We weren’t going to the funeral, not one of us. Remus said it was far too dangerous for us to be seen there—that someone might let something slip.

I think that’s what upset Harry the most. Dumbledore—his mentor, his friend—was gone, and he wasn’t even getting a chance to say goodbye. He was quiet around everyone else, and rarely spoke to me when we were alone. There were several nights that I held him in my arms while he cried himself to sleep. I wanted so badly to help him, to ease is suffering some way, but there seemed to be nothing that I could do.

I hadn’t known Dumbledore like Harry had. I hadn’t had that close connection. I felt so useless there with him grieving and my having no way of helping him through it. I felt like a prisoner, forced to watch the one I love suffer…and there was nothing I could do.

♥♥♥♥♥




Chapter 40: Chapter Forty
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The news of Dumbledore’s death ripped through me like a knife to the heart. I was in more pain those next few days than I had been since…well, we won’t go there. Dumbledore had always seemed so strong, and his death made me realize that if he couldn’t stand against Voldemort and win, how could I?

It hurt that Remus wouldn’t let us go to the funeral, but it hurt even more to see what kind of pain this was all putting Draco through. I knew he hated seeing me so upset, and I knew he felt helpless against it. He wanted to make all my pain go away, I knew he did, and the fact that he couldn’t made him suffer along with me.

The initial shock wore off after a while, giving way to so many other things—anger being the strongest. It wasn’t fair that Dumbledore had died and the rest of us had lived, stuck here in this mess of a world. I hated the fact that Voldemort had gotten away with this, that no one had been there to stop it…that I hadn’t been there. My own guilt and rage boiled inside of me until I couldn’t take it anymore.

I blew up on Draco one day. I’d never felt worse in all my life. It was just after lunch, and I’d isolated myself from the others, escaping to our bedroom to be alone for a while. Draco had come up the stairs to check on me after I’d been gone for a couple of hours. He brought a couple of sandwiches since I’d skipped lunch.

“I thought you might be hungry,” he said, showing them to me.

“I’m not,” I replied flatly. He nodded and set the plate down on the dresser. I laid there, staring up at the ceiling, listening to his footsteps as he came closer, and then the bed dipped slightly as he sat down next to me.

“I’m sorry…about Dumbledore, and about everything. I wish there was something I could do.”

“Yeah, well, there isn’t.” My voice was cold. He either didn’t notice or chose to ignore it.

“We could talk about it.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Remus said it might help if—”

“God damn it, Draco!” I shouted, sitting up so quickly that he jumped. “I don’t care what Remus says. I don’t care how sorry everyone is or how much they wish they could help. They can’t! As much as they want to, they can’t! I don’t want to talk about it! I just want to be left the fuck alone!”

In the split second that his eyes met mine, I saw the most overwhelming flood of hurt reflected out to me. He didn’t say anything to me, only nodded and stood, walking to the door. He gave me one last sorrowful look over his shoulder…and then he was gone.

♥♥♥


I sat alone in the room for a few more hours, glaring down at the bed while the voice argued in my mind.

‘It’s not his fault, you know. He was only trying to help.’

‘I don’t want help. I just want to be alone.’

‘He’s hurting, too. Can’t you see that?’

‘We’re all hurting.’

‘He hates seeing you like this. When are you going to get over yourself and see that?’

‘I do see it.’

‘Then why are you still up here? Stop being such a selfish git and go apologize!’


I took a deep breath, lying down and burying my face in the pillow. I screamed, letting all my anger and frustration flow out as the pillow muffled the sound. I sat back up after a few moments, feeling a great deal better than I had before. I caught sight of the plate of sandwiches on top of the dresser, and a new wave of guilt swept over me.

I pushed myself off the bed, shutting the door behind me as I left the room and descended the stairs in search of Draco. It was time I apologized to the man I loved.

♥♥♥


When I found him, he was standing in one of the old sitting rooms with his back to the door, staring up at the tapestry of the Black family tree. His fingers brushed over the embroidered picture of Narcissa, down the silver line connecting it to the picture of him.

“I used to stare at that picture for hours,” I said. He turned to face me as I stepped towards him. “Back in fifth year when I first started realizing that my attraction to you was something stronger than hatred, I used to sneak down here every night and just look at it for hours, thinking of you and how my dreams of being with you were completely unrealistic. I never thought we’d be standing here looking at it together.”

He didn’t say anything, and my heart sank as my feeling of guilt grew. We stood there for a while, both of us avoiding each other’s eyes. In the nearly ten months we’d been together, not once had there been a silence as awkward as this one, and it was killing me.

It went on for a while longer until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I threw my arms around his neck and buried my face in his shoulder s the last few unshed tears made their escape.

“I’m so sorry, Draco,” I choked. He pulled me tight against him as he rubbed my back. “I shouldn’t have screamed at you like that.”

“Shh,” he whispered. “It’s my fault, I shouldn’t have pushed you when you said you didn’t want to talk.”

“No it’s my fault. You were right. I do need to talk about it, but everything’s just so raw. Putting up walls is my way of dealing with things like this.”

“And I should have respected that wall.”

“I don’t want you to respect it!” I said, pulling back to look into his eyes, my hands resting on either side of his face. “I want you to tear down the walls and drag me back out into the open. There are so many relationships where people just keep their feelings locked up inside them. They never discuss them. I don’t want us to be like that, Draco. I want to be open with you about everything, but I’m gonna need your help to do it.” He nodded.

“The same goes for me.” He brought a hand up to brush away my tears, smooth my hair. We shared a slight smile, a short kiss, and then he hugged me to him.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

♥♥♥


Things improved over the next few days, and our lives slowly returned to normal. As the pain of Dumbledore’s death began to fade, it was slowly replaced with something else—love. The house practically overflowed with it.

Blaise and Pansy were nearly inseparable, and we expected Ron and Hermione to announce an engagement any day. I felt a little bad for Ginny; all of us were paired off, and she was alone most of the time. It never seemed to bother her, however, and she was as cheery as ever.

“I’ve come to a decision,” Draco said one night as we sat in bed together. I looked up at him quizzically.

“Oh?” I asked. “What kind of decision?”

“There’s something missing in our relationship.”

“Something missing?”

“Yeah. I mean…when I look at Blaise and Pansy, and Ron and Hermione, there just seems to be something missing from our relationship that they have.”

“Like what?”

“I want to marry you.”

I was silent for a moment, just looking into his eyes. “Was…was that a proposal?”

“A rather shoddy one, but yeah.” He smiled, blushing adorably. “Here, let me try again.” He pulled a ring from his hand, the same that I had worn before at Hogwarts. The emerald gleamed brightly in the moonlight. “Harry James Potter,” he began. “Will you make me the happiest man in the world? Will you marry me?”

I nodded, fighting frantically for words. “Yes, yes. A thousand times yes,” I managed to choke out. Draco grinned and pulled me into a fierce kiss.

“Here,” he said, pulling back, “before I lose this.” He slid the ring onto my finger and I kissed him again.

“I love you so much,” I whispered.

“I love you, too.”

“Hold on, I have something for you.” I slid out of the bed, moving over to the dresser and digging through one of the drawers.

“What are you looking for?” he asked, coming to stand behind me, his arms wrapped around my waist.

“This,” I replied, finally finding what I’d been searching for. I turned to face him, still wrapped in his embrace. I held up the ring I’d found buried at the bottom of the drawer. He smiled, kissing me lightly as I grabbed his hand and slid the ring onto it. “It’s not much, but…”

“It’s beautiful.”

“Remus gave it to me a while back. It was my dad’s.” His eyes snapped up to mine, and he started to pull the ring back off.

“Then I can’t take this. It’s too important.”

“It’s mine to give to the person I love—and that’s you.” He looked hesitant. “Please, Draco.” He nodded and slid the ring back on. I wrapped my arms around his neck, kissing him. We went back to bed, and I laid my hand on his chest and his arms around me.

“I understand that a wedding before the war is pretty much impossible,” he said. “But after…”

I nodded. “Right after,” I agreed. We smiled at each other, shared one last quick kiss, and drifted off to sleep.

♥♥♥


Needless to say, both Ginny and Pansy were ecstatic when they heard of the engagement. Blaise and Hermione were happy as well, hugging us both when we gave them the news. Ron didn’t say anything. He glared at Draco, only for a moment or two, and then simply shrugged, looking away. It was a much better reaction than I’d expected, and I was rather proud of him for the way he took the news. It gave me a renewed sense of hope that he still might accept Draco one day. Though whether or not that day would come soon remained a mystery.



Chapter 41: Chapter Forty-Two
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The Order held a meeting that next week, and since Grimmuald Place was the largest, safest place, we played host. The lot of us, being of age, joined them, though Molly disagreed with it. It was a somber atmosphere with Dumbledore’s absence. Remus stood for a few moments, looking around at us all.

“Most of you know the reason for this meeting,” he said. “But for those of you who don’t, we’ve received news that Voldemort is planning another attack. The intended victim’s are Desmond and Anna Finch-Fletchy.”

“Justin,” Harry whispered. Remus nodded.

“We, of course, will send a group to protect them. This is the goal of our meeting. Who will go?”

At the other end of the room, Moody stood. Several others followed, along with Tonks, who stood at Remus’s side. I looked across the table at Blaise, who saw the question in my eyes and nodded. We stood together, and all eyes turned to us.

“I won’t sit by and let Voldemort kill another of our friends,” Blaise explained to those with questioning looks. The looks turned to me.

“During my time in Voldemort’s service I heard of many plans to murder people I’d gone to school with,” I said. “Never before did I have the chance to stop it. Now that I do, I won’t simply pass it by.” I felt a hand on my arm. I didn’t look down. I knew it was Harry; I could see him shaking his head out of the corner of my eye, silently pleading with me.

Remus hesitated for a moment, and then nodded. “We leave tomorrow,” he said. The meeting was officially dismissed. Harry grabbed my arm tighter, pulling me towards the door. I followed him without complaint, knowing very well that the verbal lasting I was about to receive would come whether I was ready for it or not.

“What the hell was that?!” he exclaimed as the door shut behind us.

“Harry—” I began. He cut me off.

“You promised me, Draco! You promised me you would never leave me again!”

“This is nothing like that and you know it!” We stared at each other for a moment, catching our breath. “I have to do something, Harry. I’m not going to sit and wait around anymore. I’m sick of it! I never told you this, but…when I was with the Death Eaters, Voldemort sent me on the first few killing sprees. Michael, Terry, the Creeveys—I was there, Harry. I watched them die… The worst part of it…. You remember Dennis, don’t you?” he nodded. “He saw me. The look of recognition and horror on his face, watching the light leave his eyes when they killed him…that’s something I’ll never be able to forget.”

“I…I didn’t know,” he whispered, tears spilling from his eyes.

“I know you didn’t.” I looked at him for a moment before sighing and opening my arms. “Come here.” I hugged him tight against me, letting him cry in my arms like I had so many times before. “I won’t just sit around and wait for it to happen again. I have to do something to help. I’m sorry if it scares you Harry, but I have to help Justin and his family. I owe him my life.”

“How do you figure?” I pulled back, wiping the tears form his face and smiling.

“He gave me you,” he whispered. “Remember?” he smiled and nodded, taking a deep breath. “I promise I’ll come back to you. You aren’t going to lose me like this, alright?” Harry nodded again and hugged me as I pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Besides, it’ll give me a chance to thank him.” He laughed and kissed me, wrapping his arms tighter around my neck.

“I love you so much,” Harry whispered.

“I love you, too, Harry. Forever and ever.”

♥♥♥


Dinner was quiet that evening, and when it was finished no one lingered together in the sitting room. Pansy and Blaise went off to spend time alone together, and Harry and I did the same. We were all afraid of how tomorrow’s mission would end. We would either return victorious, or not at all.

It was still a sore subject with Harry. He didn’t want me to go. He was scared—and there was no denying that I was, too. I pulled him close to me as we laid together that night.

“I don’t like this, Dray,” Harry whispered. “I don’t want you to go.”

“I know, love,” I replied. “I know.”

“I thought I was supposed to be the one with the hero complex.” I smiled, rubbing his back lightly and pressing a kiss to his forehead.

“You still are. This….this is just something I have to do.” I hugged him tighter to me, kissing his cheek. “I love you. You know that, right?”

“Of course,” Harry answered, sitting up. “I love you, too. I just….I have a really bad feeling about this.” I sighed and sat up, hugging him around the waist.

“I’ll come back, love. That you can be certain of—I will not leave you like this.” I kissed the back of his neck, rubbing his shoulders.

“Draco—”

“Harry, please.” He sighed and rolled over onto his stomach. I kneeled beside him, placing my hands on his shoulders. I started squeezing, working the tension out of his muscles all along the length of his back. I heard him moan and smiled. “Feel good?” I asked.

“Mmm, yeah,” Harry replied, relaxing beneath me.

“Told you.” I leaned down, pressing a kiss to the back of his neck, just below his hair. He groaned. I massaged for a while longer, fighting the urges building inside me. I gave in at last, pressing kisses down his spine. Harry gasped and arched back into me.

“Draco…” My fingers trailed along the waistband of his shorts, and he turned to look at me. “Draco. I just want to spend time with you. No shagging tonight, please.”

“This isn’t a shag,” I whispered, kissing his lips—and I wasn’t lying. I had no intention of carrying out one of the heavy, rough sessions that usually made up our love life. No—this was going to be different. This was to be a slow, sensual love-making—like the way it was our first night together. Tonight, I would show him just how much I loved him, because as much as I hated to admit it, I was terrified of what the following day would bring. If, God forbid, something happened to me, I wanted Harry to have this night to remember, to cherish. I wanted him to be able to think back on it and know that I loved him more than anything, to know that he was the only one I ever wanted.

Harry groaned but rolled onto his back, yielding to me. I deepened our kiss, licking tentatively along his bottom lip, asking permission instead of forcing my way through. He seemed surprised, but parted his lips willingly. I explored him for a bit, gently, committing the taste of him to memory and wondering if he were doing the same. My hands slipped down across his chest, his stomach caressing the muscles there—much like I had that first night. He arched up against me, partly against his own will, I think.

I took my time in removing his shorts, kissing along every inch of his body I could reach while effectively avoiding the area that begged for attention. I nuzzled his thigh, breathing in the musky scent of him. I kissed the inside of his thigh, his hip, one nipple, and then the little indent at the base of his throat. Our lips met again, and he arched his hips up against me. His hands came to my hips, stroking over my bare skin and dipping down in the waistband of my shorts.

“Draco,” he whispered, his eyes shut in pleasure. I pulled back, reaching for my shorts as his eyes fluttered open. Green met sliver as we looked at each other, and I felt myself melt into the emerald depths. I pulled off my shorts, tossing them to the floor. His hands were on me in an instant, running over my back, my hips—anything he could reach as he pulled me closer to him and captured my lips with his. “Love you—want you,” he panted, his hips arching up into mine. I nodded, pulling back and fetching the lube from the bedside table.

“Draco!” he called when he came, my name quickly turning to a moan as he rode out his pleasure. I wasn’t far behind him.

“I love you,” I whispered, kissing along his neck to his shoulder as I laid down next to him.

“I love you, too,” Harry replied, wrapping his arms around me and snuggling into my chest. I smiled when his breathing slowed to that of deep sleep, and let all worries about the coming day disappear as I watched the peaceful look on his face. I gave him a tight hug and then let myself succumb to the persistent call of sleep.

♥♥♥


The next day was rough. Harry barely left my side. He was always reaching out to touch me, as if he found it painful to break contact. I knew he was just worried, and I didn’t blame him. I was, too. Hell, that’s the biggest understatement of the year—I was terrified. Every time I saw him, the thought that I might not live through to see him again pushed its way into my conscience.

I managed to escape from Harry for a few moments (with the help of Ginny) so that I could talk to Blaise. He was preparing for the trip, making sure his wand was ready and looking up a few last minute jinxes.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think you and Harry were joined at the hip,” he said, looking at me in the mirror.

“Yeah,” I replied. I was lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling. “He’s really worried about this…And so am I, for that matter. I’m terrified something’s going to happen to me and I’ll leave him here alone. I don’t want that to happen, Blaise.”

“I know you don’t, Drake.” He sat down beside me, leaning against the headboard. “I worry about the same thing, you know. I keep wondering what will happen to Pansy if I don’t make it.”

“That’s something I don’t understand—why are you even going? You should be here with the others. It’s too dangerous to be going with us. What if they recognize you?”

“I could ask you the same thing. And I’m going because someone has to look after you. I’ll need to be there to take a curse for you when it’s needed.” He smirked down at me, and I smiled.

A knock sounded on the door, and Remus slowly opened it. “Blaise, Draco,” he said, nodding to us. “Time to go.” Blaise nodded, standing and offering a hand to me.

♥♥♥


The hall was silent as we all said our goodbyes. Tonks was hugging Ginny and Hermione, Blaise and Pansy kissing and saying whispered farewells in the corner, and Harry and I stood staring at each other like idiots. His eyes were filling with tears already, and I didn’t think I’d be able to stand it if he cried—I hated to see him cry.

“Harry, I—” He cut me off by throwing himself into my arms. I felt him shake as he sobbed quietly into my shoulder.

“I love you,” he whispered, clinging to me with all his might. I held him tightly, kissing his cheek.

“I love you, too, Harry,” I replied. “I will come back to you. I swear.” He nodded, pulling back just enough to look into my eyes. I wiped a few tears away, pressing my lips against his gently.

“We need to get going,” Remus called. I vaguely took notice as Blaise separated himself from Pansy and made his way to the group standing before the door. Ginny, Hermione, Ron, and Pansy were standing a little way across the hall. Harry and I were the only ones left in the middle of the room. “Draco—”

I nodded and started to pull back from Harry, leaning my forehead against his. “I want you to take this,” I whispered, pulling off the ring he’d given me. He shook his head violently when he realized what I was doing.

“Draco, no!” he exclaimed, pushing it back towards me when I offered it to him.

“Harry, please,” I said, placing it in his palm and wrapping his fingers around it. “I don’t want anything to happen to it. I’ll be back for it, I promise you.” He nodded, wrapping his arms around my neck.

‘I love you so much. Please be careful.”

“I’ll do my best, love.” I kissed him.

“Draco—” Remus called. I ignored him, drawing out my moment with Harry just a bit longer.

“Drake, mate, seriously!” Blaise shouted. I pressed my lips tighter against Harry’s, hugging him for all it was worth.

“Draco, the portkey!” I pulled back from Harry, staring into his eyes for one brief moment before turning and launching myself at the group by the door. I gave one last look to Harry before placing my hand on the portkey and watching Grimmuald Place spin out of sight.

♥♥♥


I sat on the edge of the Finch-Fletchley’s kitchen counter, rubbing my now-empty ring finger self-consciously.

“Feel weird not having it on?” Blaise asked, leaning against the counter next to me. I nodded, smiling slightly.

“Yeah, it does,” I replied.

“Don’t worry. It’s only for a couple of hours. You’ll be getting it back soon.” I grinned at him.

“I hope so.” A throat cleared across the room, and we looked up to find Justin watching us from the doorway. “You should be in with your parents,” I told him. He shrugged and moved towards us.

“I had to talk to you first,” he said. “You know, I was really surprised to see the two of you here.”

Blaise smirked. “Thought we’d be on the other side, eh?” Justin shrugged again, looking down at the floor. “Don’t feel bad. Just about everyone at school expected it, I imagine.” Justin nodded.

“They did. There was a running bet in Hufflepuff, actually.”

“Doesn’t surprise me. Well, I’m off to find Remus. See what’s taking so bloody long. Later, Drake.” I smiled after him.

“See you, Blaise.” Justin looked up at me curiously before hopping up onto the counter next to me.

“I’m especially surprised to see you here,” he said. “We all figured you’d join your dad.”

I laughed. “Yeah, everyone did, really,” I replied. “I’m not much of the Death Eater type, though. Something about killing innocent people just doesn’t seem right to me.” Justin laughed. “I owe you, you know.”

“How so?”

“For that dare back in school.” He raised an eyebrow. “You’re the reason Harry and I are together.”

“Really?” he asked, grinning. I nodded. “Amazing.” I smiled.

“Harry says thank you, by the way.”

“You’ve seen him?”

“I’m living with him.”

“Merlin, you two are really serious, aren’t you?”

I nodded. “We’re engaged, Justin.” He smiled.

“Congratulations. You managed to bag the Boy Who Lived. That’s quite an achievement.” I laughed and nodded again.

“Yeah, I suppose so.” Remus came in at that moment, telling Justin he needed to join his parents so that they could seal off the room. He bid farewell to me, told me to give Harry his best wishes, and left the room.

♥♥♥


Remus set us up in groups of three and sent us to rooms all over the house. Blaise, Tonks, and I headed off to the back sitting room to wait for the start of battle. The room was dark, and we were all scrunched together behind the sofa in a decision to take the Death Eaters by surprise. Blaise caught me fingering my empty hand again, and nudged me, smirking. I smiled and stopped my fidgeting. A bang like the smashing in of a door grasped our attention at that moment.

“Right on time,” Blaise whispered. I gripped my wand tighter. Glass shattered across the room, and we could hear footsteps as the Death Eaters entered. We waited quietly, straining our ears for Remus’s lead. We heard him yelling curses through the house and leapt up from behind the sofa at the same time, each of us pointing our wands at a different Death Eater. Blasts of light lip up the room as the jinxes fired off around us and the battle began.

We fought our way through the four Death Eaters in the sitting room before pushing our way out into the hall to aid Mad-Eye and McGonagall against the five there. I recognized several of the Death Eaters as their hoods fell during battle. Among them were Crabbe and Goyle’s fathers, Yaxley, and my uncle Rudolphus. It was the latter who recognized Blaise, and threw a jinx while his back was turned. He was down in an instant.

“No!” I shouted, stunning the Death Eater nearest me and rushing to Blaise’s side. I checked briefly to see that he was still breathing—he was—and then turned to face the one responsible. My uncle recognized me instantly, and growled viciously, his wand raised. I fought him off as best I could, meanwhile keeping my protective guard over Blaise. One of the spells hit me, sending me flying back against a china cabinet, shattering the glass. A sharp pain pierced through my side and I vaguely felt the sticky warmth of blood against my skin before Rudolphus was on me again.



Chapter 42: Chapter Forty-Two
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I was sick of waiting, sick of wondering what was happening. I wanted to know that Draco was alright. I wanted him back in my arms. Ron and Hermione were together on the sofa, his armed wrapped around her in comfort. Ginny was pacing across the room, biting her nails nervously. I sat by myself in the corner, staring down at the ring in my hands.

I will come back for it. I promise you. ‘You bloody better well do it, too,’ I thought. A hand touched my shoulder, and I turned to look at Pansy, who smiled down at me.

“I know you’re worried about him,” she said. “But there’s not much need to. Draco’s good with a wand—he won’t go down easily. Those Death Eaters will have their hands full with him.” I smiled slightly.

“Thanks, Pansy,” I replied. She nodded and patted my shoulder before moving back to her seat by the fire.

♥♥♥


The sun was just creeping up over the horizon. Hermione was dozing lightly with her head resting on Ron’s shoulder. Ginny had stopped her pacing and was sitting on the floor, staring into the fire. Voices struck up loudly in the hall and brought us all back to reality. Hermione woke with a start, looking around at us all before the lot of us jumped up and hurried out to see them all.

It was like a mad house. Remus, McGonagall, and Mad-Eye were all trying to get the wounded someplace to be healed. Ginny was rushing to hug Tonks. I stood on my toes, searching frantically through the mad rush for any sign of platinum blonde hair. There was none. My heart sank into the pit of my stomach, tears filling my eyes and threatening to spill over.

‘He isn’t here,’ I thought. ‘Why the bloody hell isn’t he here?!’ My fist clenched tightly around the ring in my hand as tears poured from my eyes. ‘He promised me. He promised.’

The front door banged open, and there was a mad rush to get to whoever it was. My eyes were shut tight against the pain of my loss. I didn’t care who had entered—until I heard the voice.

“Sorry, got held up,” the voice said. My eyes snapped open and I watched as Remus took Blaise from Draco, supporting his weight as he moved him into the sitting room. Pansy hurried after the two of them to check on her fiancé. I stared straight forward at the blonde, feeling the tears running down my cheeks. He looked to me, the slight smile on his lips fading when he caught sight of my tears.

I was shaking so badly, I knew he must have been able to see it from where he was standing. He hurried to me, wrapping his arms around my waist just as my knees gave out. Draco helped me over to the chair at the side of the hall, kneeling before me and wiping the tears away from my face.

“Shh, shh,” he whispered. “It’s okay, love. I’m here. It’s alright.” I flung my arms around him, holding him as tightly as I could. He hugged me back, stroking my hair in an attempt to calm me down. It helped.

“Don’t you ever do that to me again!” I exclaimed, kissing every bit of him that I could reach. He nodded.

“I won’t. I swear I won’t.” His lips pressed against mine frantically, as if he had been waiting for this moment all night. My arms tightened around his waist and he winced, gasping. I pulled back and looked down at him. His shirt was stained scarlet with blood.

“You’re hurt!” I said. He shook his head.

“It’s nothing.” I gave him a look and pulled him up to his feet, leading him up the stairs to our room.

“Bed, now,” I ordered, moving to our bathroom for towels and water. “And take off your shirt.”

“Harry, this really isn’t—” he began.

“Shirt, now!” He sighed and started unbuttoning his shirt. I saw him wince as he peeled the fabric away from his body. The blood had glued the shirt to his skin. “Oh my god.” His side was caked with blood, so much so that I couldn’t even see the actual wound. “Get on the bed.” I moved across the room and set the water on the bedside table.

“What about the blankets?” he asked.

“I don’t care about the fucking blankets,” I growled, pushing him down onto the bed. He sighed and laid down, finally realizing that I wouldn’t take no for an answer. I wet one of the towels, dabbing lightly at his skin. He winced on occasion whenever I hit the wound. “You had me scared to death, you sodding bastard. What were playing at, anyway? Why didn’t you come back with the others?”

“Like I said,” he gasped. “I got held up. Ow!” I wiped the last bit of blood away and inspected the cut. It wasn’t as bad as I’d originally thought—only about three inches long. I waved my wand over it, muttering a few healing spells and watching as the skin healed over, not even leaving a scar.

“There,” I said, setting my wand down. I pressed a kiss to his stomach and he smiled, pulling me up to meet his lips.

“I love you,” he whispered. “I thought about you nearly the entire time.”

“Did you?” He nodded. “I was worried sick about you.” I pressed his hand to my lips, glancing down at it. His ring. I reached into my pocket and held it up for him to see. “I think this belongs to you.” He smiled and I slipped it on his hand.

“I told you I’d be back for it.” I grinned and kissed him.

“I better go down and see if they need any help.”

“I’ll go with you.”

“No. you’re tired. Stay here and rest. I’ll be back soon.” He looked reluctant but a kiss bent him to my will and he laid back on the bed. I smiled at him one last time before closing the door behind me and heading downstairs to help Remus.

♥♥♥


Draco was still asleep when I came back upstairs. I laid down next to him, wrapping my arm around his waist. He groaned and snuggled back against me.

“Hey,” he whispered, turning to face me.

“Hey,” I replied. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“S’okay. How’s Blaise?”

“Snogging Pansy, last I saw.” He grinned.

“Good to hear he’s made a full recovery, then.” I smiled, pressing a kiss to his lips as he relaxed further into my arms.

“Draco,” I whispered, my chin resting on his shoulder.

“Hm?”

“What happened? At Justin’s, I mean. How did you get hurt?” My fingers trailed over the bare skin where I’d healed him just hours before.

“I was protecting Blaise,” he replied. “He’d been hit with a jinx and was out. I stood over him and took on the Death Eater who had put Blaise out of commission.” He paused for a moment, looking up into my eyes. “It was my uncle, Rudolphus. The bastard recognized me. He hit me with a pretty powerful jinx, sent me flying back into a cabinet. The glass shattered and a piece must have stabbed into me. I didn’t have enough time to analyze it—Rudolphus was on me again in an instant.”

Draco looked at me worriedly, which means he must have seen the fear in my eyes. “They know who you’ve sided with now.” He nodded, raising a hand to brush the hair back from my eyes.

“I’m glad they know,” he said. “It’s time my father learned where my loyalties lie.” He pulled me closer, his breath ghosting over my skin. “If only he could see where it is my hear lies, as well.” His lips brushed against my jaw, sending glorious chills up my spine.

“And where is that?” I asked, my voice husky.

“With you,” he said, placing himself on top of me. “Always with you.” I groaned as his lips connected with my throat. He moved along the skin—nipping, sucking, licking. I pushed my hips up against his, my fingers digging into his hair and pulling him closer.

“Merlin,” I breathed. Draco sucked hard at the base of my throat, rolling his hips down against mine at the same moment. “Draco…” His name came out as a low groan. I brushed my lips against his ear, my hips thrusting up into his to make my arousal known. “I want you.”

He groaned, his eyes shut in pleasure. Draco nodded, sitting up and straddling my hips. He picked his wand up from the bedside table, throwing a locking spell at the door and muttering a silencing charm before tossing the wand to the floor and running his hands beneath my shirt.

I arched my back and lifted my arms, helping him to pull the shirt over my head. His lips trailed kisses down my throat, my chest. All thought of the war and Lucias faded into the back of my mind, seeming immensely less important than the moment at hand.

♥♥♥


“Dray, I’ve been thinking..,” I said, sitting up after we’d been laying together a few hours.

“’Bout what?” he asked, sitting up as well.

“Us….and I…I don’t want to marry you when the war is over.” He froze, his eyes staring into mine, flooding with a mixture of confusion, and then hurt.

“You don’t…” His voice faded as words abandoned him. He wasn’t taking this the right way.

I shook my head quickly, taking his hands in mine. “That came out wrong,” I said. “I don’t want to marry you when the war is over because it’s not soon enough for me.” Draco raised an eyebrow, still confused. “I want to belong to you. I want the world to know that I love you more than anything. I want to be your husband now, not later. Love is the strongest weapon we have against Voldemort because he’s never known it. I want you by my side for now, and for always. This war could last for years. I don’t want to wait that long. I want to marry you now.” He smiled, sighing with relief.

“You had me scared for a minute there,” he said.

“Sorry.”

“It’s alright.” He laughed, kissing me lightly. “A big wedding isn’t a good idea, love. Making it public would be extremely dangerous. There are too many people who want us both dead.”

“It doesn’t have to be a big wedding; we don’t even have to announce it. We can do something extravagant afterwards—a vow renewal or something for the public. This would be for us. That’s all that matters anyway, right?”

He nodded. “Yes…who would we get to do it?”

I practically pounced on him, hugging him tightly as I pressed my lips against his.

“Thank you,” I whispered, brushing my lips against his jaw.

“You’re welcome,” Draco returned, smiling. “Did you think I would say now?” I shrugged.

“I didn’t know what you’d say.” He hummed thoughtfully, seeming to accept my answer as he laid back, pulling me down with him. “As far as the service goes,” Is aid after a moment of thought,” we could always ask Remus and Tonks who married them. It was a fairly quiet thing.”

Draco nodded, “Good idea. We’ll ask them later. Right now, I want to spend some time alone with the most gorgeous man in London.”

“Ah….when’s he getting here?” Draco laughed and kissed me. It was all it took for me to forget about the war once more—at least for an hour or two.

♥♥♥♥♥




Chapter 43: Chapter Forty-Three
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Remus and Tonks were the only ones to stay for dinner at Grimmuald, and it was only at Harry’s insisting that they obliged. It was during this dinner that Harry and I chose to voice our decision to marry before the war instead of after.

“We were wondering,” Harry said as he looked at Remus and Tonks across from us, “if it would be possible for the official who married you to do the same for us.”

Tonks smiled brightly. “Of course he could!” she replied cheerily. “He’s an old friend of my family. I’m sure he’d be honoured.”

“It’s a dangerous idea,” Remus put in. “It wouldn’t be smart to tell the public about your relationship.”

“This isn’t for the public,” I countered. I took Harry’s hand, looking at him for a moment before returning my attention to Remus. “This is just for us.”

“That’s so sweet,” Pansy cooed from the other end of the table. Ginny and Hermione nodded in agreement.

Remus smiled. “If it’s what you want, then we’ll talk to him.”

“Thank you, Remus,” Harry said, smiling brightly. I leaned over to kiss his hair, wrapping my arm around his shoulders.

♥♥♥


Harry went to bed early that night. It’d been a long day for him, after all, and I knew he didn’t sleep anymore than I did the night before. It was just like him to stay up worry.

The rest of us didn’t make it too long either. I bid goodnight to Blaise and Pansy and headed upstairs around nine. The hall was dark, and I didn’t know anyone was waiting for me until I was grabbed from behind and shoved hard against the wall.

“Listen up, you son of a bitch,” Ron hissed. “I’m only gonna say this once. If you fucking hurt him again, I’ll make you regret the very day you were born!” He pushed me harder into the wall, pressing my face against the wallpaper. “Got it, Malfoy?”

I nodded roughly. “Got it.” Ron released me with a little more force than was necessary, and stalked up the stairs without looking back. I shook my head and headed upstairs.

I stepped into the bedroom and smiled at the sight before me. Harry, apparently having read himself to sleep, had left the lamp on, illuminating his peaceful face just perfectly. I removed his glasses, setting them on the table, along with the book he’d been reading. I shut the light off and undressed as quietly as I could before slipping into the bed beside him with my arms wrapped protectively around him.

“I love you,” I whispered, kissing his hair before slowly drifting off to sleep.

♥♥♥


We heard from Tonks after only two days—Reverend Folski had agreed to marry us. It’s hard to tell just who was more excited—Harry, or Ginny and Pansy. The girls were ecstatic over the news, and I quickly began to suspect them of something. They often ventured off to some empty room together, and could almost always be found whispering delightedly to each other. I paid little attention to them, however, as my wedding day approached. Harry and I had decided to write our own vows to each other instead of using traditional ones. Tradition had never really fit us, after all.

It was a great deal harder than I’d thought it would be. There were so many things I wanted to say to Harry, but the words wouldn’t come to me. There was nothing that seemed to describe my love for him—the words weren’t strong enough. After several failed attempts I simply gave up, resolving to recite the vows straight from my heart when the time came. It would mean more that way.

Harry seemed to have no trouble writing his. He’d written them completely over the course of a single hour. I watched him read through them once or twice before he set down his quill, folding and sealing the paper before tucking it into a drawer.

“How in Merlin’s name did you do that so quickly?” I asked.

“It was easy,” he replied, coming to join me on the bed. He straddled my hips, resting his hands on my chest. “I’ve known for quite a while what I wanted them to say.”

“You never cease to amaze me, love.” He smiled and bent down to kiss me. A throat cleared from the doorway and Harry and I looked up to see Hermione looking in at us.

“Sorry to interrupt,” she said, smiling, “but Severus is here.”

I nodded to Hermione, smiling back. “Thank you,” I replied. “Will you let him know I’ll be down in a minute?” She nodded and left us. I looked up at Harry, resting my hands on his hips. “Well, love, it seems as though I’ve been called away.”

Harry sighed. “It looks that way,” he said quietly. He was so adorable when he pouted.

“I doubt he’ll be here long. This is probably just a quick stop on his way back to Spinner’s End. It won’t take all day.” Harry nodded.

“Go on, Dray. It’s been a long time since his last visit. Don’t keep him waiting.” I smiled and kissed him before sliding out from under him and heading downstairs.


Severus was waiting for me in the sitting room. I sat down across from him, and he told me what little news he could of the Death Eater’s plans. Apparently, my father had disowned me—going as far as planning to deny me my inheritance. I didn’t mind. The Malfoy fortune was blood money, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

“I’ve heard you have your own news to tell,” Severus said, looking down at the ring on my left hand. I smiled up at him.

“You already know!” I exclaimed. He nodded.

“Nymphadora has never been good at keeping secrets.” He rested his hand lightly on my shoulder for a moment. “I’m happy for you.”

“Thank you.”

“When’s the wedding?”

“Saturday, actually.”

“Saturday.” I nodded.

“You will come, won’t you?”

“You want me to?”

“Well, yeah…I mean, Remus and Tonks are great, but they’re more of Harry’s family than mine. I’d like for you to be there, Severus.” He looked at me for a moment or so.

“I’ll see if I can make it.” I grinned widely and had to stop myself from hugging him. Severus wasn’t the hugging type. “I have to be going. My chances to leave are becoming less and less. Things are picking up out there.” He paused, standing just inside the door. Severus looked back at me over his shoulder. “You’d do well to avoid many trips out into the public. We’ve been ordered to kill you on sight.”

“What happens if they find out you’ve been helping me?”

“Let’s not find out. Goodbye, Draco.”

I watched him leave, a knot forming in my stomach. I was beginning to fear for his safety.

♥♥♥♥♥




Chapter 44: Chapter Forty-Four
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I expected the days leading up to the wedding to drag on, and yet they flew by. Before I new it, I was dressing Saturday morning and waiting for Remus and Tonks to arrive. They would go with us, not only for introduction purposes, but also to act as witnesses. Draco had told me about his inviting Snape. I didn’t mind, really. I had rather hoped Draco might find someone to go. Snape was the closest thing to a father that Draco had now, much like Sirius had been for me.

Remus and Tonks arrived at the house at twelve and from there the four of us apparated to Reverend Folski’s home. We’d chosen it over the church, deciding it would be a far safer location. The reverend was not what I was expecting. He was tall, nearly Draco’s height, with chestnut hair and sparkling blue eyes. And he was young—not past twenty-five, I was sure. He was easy to get on with, and Draco and I were both happy with the choice.

“Well,” he said after the introductions had been made and we’d gotten to know each other a bit, “shall we get down to business?” He grinned brightly at us, and led us all into the sitting room. Remus and Tonks seated themselves on a sofa at the side of the room. I watched Draco glance back at the door for a moment before I stepped over to him, resting a hand on his shoulder.

“You want to wait for him, love?” I asked. He shook his head.

“No,” he replied, smiling at me. “We’ve waited for this day long enough.” I smiled and kissed him lightly. He took my hand and together we stepped up to a still-smiling Reverend Folski.

“Dearly beloved,” the reverend began, “we are gathered here today to join these men in marriage. They have come here to express their love and be bound together for life. If you would please turn and face each other and clasp hands…” Draco and I did as he asked, and within seconds I was lost in the liquid silver depths of Draco’s eyes. “Marriage is not to be taken lightly,” Folski continued. “It is a binding of souls and hearts, one which can never be broken. Harry James Potter, do you take this man to be your husband, for bettor or for worse, in good times and bad, to love and cherish until death do you part?”

I grinned up at Draco, squeezing his hands tightly. “I do,” I answered.

“Draco Orion Malfoy, do you take this man to be your husband, for better or for worse, in good times and in bad, to love and cherish until death do you part?”

“I do,” Draco replied, smiling down at me.

“May I have the rings, please?” Draco and I reached into our pockets, handing over the same rings we’d worn for our engagement. Proper wedding bands were something that would have to wait until after the war. Folski held them in his hand, looking down at them. “May these rings be a sign of your love and commitment to each other. Harry, if you would please place your ring for Draco on his left hand and recite the vows you have written for him.” I took a deep breath and pulled the piece of parchment from my pocket, breaking the seal.

“Draco,” I began, smiling up at the blonde before me. “Our lives run in parallel, side by side, yet together. With continued love, friendship, and trust, I take joy today in committing my life to yours. When you need me, I will be there. When your strength fails you, know that mine will always be there for you. Side by side, step by step, our journey together begins here, from this day forward—till death do us part.” With these words, I slipped the ring onto his finger.

“Draco, please place your ring for Harry on his left had and recite the vows you have written.” Draco took the ring that Folski offered and looked at me, his silver eyes connecting with mine.

“Harry,” Draco began, his voice soft. “I don’t have anything written. Not matter how long and how hard I tried, nothing seemed to fit. I couldn’t find words strong enough to describe my love for you…until now. With this ring, I give you my promise of honesty, trust, and devotion. When you need strength, I will offer mine. When you need words of encouragement, I will listen and provide support. When you need solace and the silent speech of love, I will understand. I place you in my heart today, before all others. You are my best friend and everlasting companion. Whatever road we travel down, I will always be at your side. In return, all I ask is that you never give up. With this ring, I interlock my heart with your forever.”

He slid the ring onto my finger, raising my hand to brush his lips against it. I watched out of the corner of my eye as Tonks wiped away a tear.

Reverend Folski smiled down at us before clearing his throat and getting back to the matter at hand. “Harry, Draco, today you have recited your vows and exchanged rings. I wish you the greatest happiness in your life together. May your love for each other continue to grow over the years. By the power vested in me, I welcome you into the bliss of marriage.”

Draco and I grinned at each other as he pulled me close. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed my lips against his. Remus and Tonks burst into applause.

“I love you,” Draco whispered, resting his forehead against mine.

“I love you, too,” I whispered back.

♥♥♥


The four of us arrived back at Grimmuald an hour later. Remus and Tonks followed us up the stairs, and Draco reached forward to open the door. A loud cheer of ‘surprise’ met us, and we grinned around at the hall full of people. Nearly all of the Order was there, along with a few friends from Hogwarts. Ginny and Pansy came forward to hug us.

“I knew you two were up to something,” Draco said, kissing Pansy’s cheek. Blaise shook his hand.

“Congratulations, Draco,” Pansy said from his side.

“Who would have thought,” Blaise began, “that Draco Malfoy—the Slytherin sex god—would be the first of us all to tie the not? And to Harry Potter, no less.” He grinned at us both. “Of course, I suppose it’s Draco Potter now, isn’t it?”

Before either of us could reply, Blaise was pushed aside and replaced by a beaming Mrs. Weasley.

“Congratulations, boys!” she exclaimed, catching us each in a warm hug. Mr. Weasley followed behind to shake our hands. A line soon began to form as people moved forward to offer their well wishes. I was met with a hug from Luna, as well as handshakes from Neville, Dean, Seamus, and even Justin, who had managed to join us for the celebration. Hermione hugged Draco and I, her eyes glistening with happy tears.

We were soon ushered into one of the larger sitting rooms, which had been cleared of nearly all the furniture. At the head of the room stood a table, on top of which rested the most beautiful cake I’d ever seen. I put my arm around Ginny and Pansy in turn, thanking them both for doing this for us. Mrs. Weasley moved us not-so-subtly towards the cake. Draco and I relented and moved forward to cut it together. A camera flashed from some where in front of us as we cut out the first piece together.

The evening passed with laughter and conversation, the room not quieting until Draco and I took the dance floor. Music started up and I turned to look at Ginny. She shrugged and grinned. I smiled back at her, mouthing a quick thank you. Only a few months after Draco and I had started dating, Ginny and I had been listening to a muggle cd that Fred and George had given her for her birthday. It was on that afternoon that we had found a song that seemed to fit Draco and me so perfectly—and Ginny had remembered.

Draco smiled and pulled me closer to him and we started to move slowly in the center of the room. The camera flashed again, but I didn’t think to look at who it was. I had eyes only for the man who held me.

“I never thought this day would come,” Draco whispered. I looked questioningly u at him.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because how could someone so wonderful, so pure as you ever fall in love with me, a Death Eater’s son?”

I smiled and wrapped my arms around his neck, resting my forehead against his. “I will always love you,” I whispered and pressed my lips against his.
♥♥♥♥♥




Chapter 45: Chapter Forty-Five
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Our reception lasted long into the night. It was nearly three in the morning when Harry and I finally made our way upstairs. I watched Harry for a moment or two after we entered our room. He’d been positively glowing all day. He grinned as I stepped towards him.

“You’re a married man now, Mr. Malfoy,” Harry said, wrapping his arms around my neck as I pulled him closer.

“That I am,” I replied. Our lips met and I tugged at his shirt, pulling it free of his jeans and slipping my hands under the fabric. He sighed in contentment, pulling back to press kisses to my throat as he unbuttoned my shirt and slipped it from my shoulders. Our lips met again, this time more forcefully.

A door slammed downstairs, shattering the moment. Loud voices reached our ears. Pansy came running into the room a moment later, looking frantic.

“Draco, it’s Severus!” she exclaimed. “He’s hurt.”

I was out of the room and down the stairs in an instant, Harry and Pansy following close behind. I followed the glow of light ahead into the sitting room. Remus and Tonks were there, along with Arthur and Molly Weasley and Mad-Eye. They were gathered around the sofa. Tonks looked up as I entered. Molly moved forward to usher me from the room. I dodged her and went straight to the sofa.

It was there that I found Severus, his shirt stained with blood and a pained look in his eyes. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and looked up into Harry’s emerald gaze.

“Draco…” The sound of Severus’s voice brought my attention back to him. “I’m sorry,” he said, his voice barely a whisper.

“It’s not your fault,” I replied. “What happened?” I asked, turning my gaze on Remus.

“They found out that he’s been working for us,” Remus answered solemnly. “They tried to kill him.”

“This is my fault,” I whispered. Severus shook his head weakly.

“I knew the risks when I turned on Voldemort. The Order needed a spy, and I was best suited at the time,” he said.

“You’ve done well, Severus,” Moody cut in. “Now it is our turn to help you.”

“If you will leave us,” Tonks began, “Mad-Eye and I will look him over and see what needs to be done to heal him.”

Remus nodded and with the help of Molly and Arthur, ushered the rest of us from the room. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Blaise had joined us now, and they were led from the room as well. We were taken to the kitchen and told to have a seat while Molly made us tea.

Remus sighed and sat down at the end of the table, running his fingers through his hair tiredly. Harry slipped his hand into mine and smiled slightly at me. The corner of my mouth twitched up a bit in return.

“Voldemort has finally secured an army that satisfies him,” Remus announced. “He has declared war on us. He will march on Hogwarts in two days time.”

The silence in the room was thick. None of us looked at each other. I focused my gaze on Harry’s hand holding tightly to mine.

“We’re…we’re gonna fight, aren’t we?” Blaise’s voice drew us back together. All eyes turned on him. “I mean, someone has to, and we’re all part of the Order. So well be fighting, the lot of us, right?”

Remus nodded. “Yes, that is the plan.”

“Remus—” Molly began. Remus held up a hand to stop her.

“The choice, of course, is entirely up to each of you. We won’t force you to fight, and no one will say a word against you if you don’t.” He stood, looking around at each of us. “For now, you should all rest. Leave your decisions until tomorrow. You can give us your answers when we prepare to leave.”

Harry and I looked at each other, both already knowing the other’s decision. He would go, and I would follow, just as I had promised I always would. I would be with him when Voldemort fell.

♥♥♥


We were all waiting in the hall when Remus arrived the next morning. The lot of us had decided to go, and had packed in silence early that morning. Remus looked around at us all, smiling sadly at the little gathering. We wasted no time in leaving. McGonagall had sent a portkey that would take us inside the grounds.

I watched Harry look around at the home we had shared for the last few months with a light of sadness in his eyes. He didn’t think he’d be coming back. He didn’t have to voice this fear; I could feel it in the way he moved, see it in his eyes. I knew he didn’t expect to live through this battle.

I touched his shoulder lightly and he turned to look at me, forcing a smile to hide his worry. We joined the others and placed our hands on the portkey. The clocked chimed eight and the portkey gave a jolt. I watched as Grimmuald Place spun out of view to be replaced with green grass, a stone pathway, and a familiar castle rising up in the distance.

♥♥♥




Chapter 46: Chapter Forty-Six
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It was odd being back at Hogwarts. The school itself hadn’t changed a bit, and yet it felt so different. There was an eerie, foreboding silence that seemed to echo down every hallway. It seemed so empty without the buzzing life of students.

As I looked around, it became apparent to me just how much people truly cared about this place. When I looked in the eyes of my friends, I could see them reminiscing, recalling all the memories made and trials gone through. I glanced out the window and across the rounds. Over there was where Ron, Hermione and I would make fun of Snape, and over there Hermione decked Draco in third year. ‘I was so mad at him them,’ I thought. ‘Now I’m just madly in love.’

I squeezed Draco’s hand, and he looked up at me. I could read his eyes like the pages of a book. He was afraid that something would happen to me. I knew that we couldn’t live without each other. I knew that we couldn’t live without each other. Seeing the fear and love in his eyes inspired me, and I know I would fight until the end of time for him.

By now the great hall was filled with students and professors standing side by side, ready to fight to the death. I saw kids everywhere from Ginny’s year to Fred and George’s, even a few from Bill, Percy, and Charlie’s. I stood there, shocked. You could feel the anger fear, and love radiating in the room. The mix of emotions was making me dizzy. I leaned into Draco and he looked down at me worriedly.

“You alright, love?” he asked.

I nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine,” I replied. He could tell I was lying almost instantly, but he let it go. He knew I would tell him when I was ready.

I looked around the room again, taking a mental picture of it all. I knew that after this war most of these people would be dead. I was terrified of losing my friends, afraid to lose the love of my life. My mind buzzed with a million questions. How will we make it through? How many will we lose? Will we win? And then, the most horrific question of all came forth. Will Draco and I make it out alive?

I pulled Draco closer to me. He looked up and I kissed him. It was sweet and slow, passionate and fiery, a mix of all the things I wanted to say but couldn’t find the right words or the courage to say it.

“I love you,” I whispered, pressing my forehead against his.

“I love you, too,” he replied, hugging me tightly. We turned to face the place where the professors’ table once stood. Now McGonagall stood in its place. She cleared her throat and the room fell silent. I could feel the warmth of Draco’s arm around my shoulders, pulling me tight against his side.

“War is upon us,” McGonagall said. Her voice echoed around the hall, cutting through the silence like a knife. “Voldemort has made his declaration, and his army will march on Hogwarts in two days’ time.” She looked around at the crowd of teachers and former students before taking a deep breath and continuing. “Rooms have been prepared all around the castle to accommodate each of you. I strongly suggest you all go and rest. The next few days are going to be long ones.”

With these final words, she stepped down and disappeared through the door behind her. A low murmur filled the room as people began to file out. I felt Draco’s arm slip from my shoulders, his hand coming to grasp mine.

“Come with me,” he whispered, his breath warm against my ear. I nodded and he turned, leading me through the crowd and away from the great hall.

♥♥♥♥♥



Author Note

Sorry this one's taken so long, guys. I hit a bit of a road block with McGonagall's speech. It's still not up to my usual standards, but at least it's finished, right? Next update should be quicker, I hope. : ) Hope you enjoy this one! Review please--your comments are very welcome!!!!!!

Chapter 47: Chapter Forty-Seven
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I led Harry through the entrance hall and up the stairs, away from the clamoring noise of the crowd. We journeyed, in silence, down corridors and up flights of stairs until—at last—we reached the top of the Astronomy tower. It was deserted, just as I had hoped it would be. I pushed the heavy wood door open and pulled Harry out into the cool, clear evening air.

The moon lit up the grounds well, and the stars shown brightly, reflected on the still surface of the lake. I let go of Harry’s hand, moving to the edge of the castle to look out at the oh-so-familiar terrain.

“This is where I used to come to think,” I said, my back still to Harry. He was silent, listening. “Mostly about my father and his plans for me. And then, more and more often, someone else crossed my mind.” I turned to face him. He watched me closely, his emerald eyes glittering in the moonlight. “I used to spend nearly every night up here, thinking of you and dreaming of what life would be like if we were together.” I stepped up to him, taking his hands in mine and pulling him closer. “I never dreamed it could be so wonderful.”

I smiled as he blushed. I place a hand under his chin, lifting it until his eyes met mine.

“I love you so much, Harry—more than anything in this world. You are my life.”

“I love you, too,” Harry choked. I wiped away a tear as it made its way across his cheek. “I’m scared, Dray.” I pulled him close to me, holding him tight and stroking his hair.

“Shh,” I whispered. “It’ll be alright, love. I promise you. We’ll make it through. This is not the end.” This seemed to comfort Harry, but it did nothing to ease my own fears. Despite my confident and soothing words, I still felt uneasy about the coming days. I’d lost so much already—I didn’t think I could live if I lost Harry, too. Just as I had told him, he was my life, my best friend, my everything. If I lost him…life would mean nothing.

♥♥♥


Harry and I made our way back down into the castle, heading for the room we’d been assigned. A group of former Hufflepuff and Ravenclaws from our year were gathered in the hall. One of them latched on tightly to my arm as we passed, whipping me around and pulling my sleeve up harshly, revealing the mark on my skin.

“Does McGonagall know we’ve got a Death Eater in our midst?” the boy hissed. “Should’ve known you’d join the Dark Lord, Malfoy. You always were one to follow in your father’s shadow. Tell me, is Daddy proud of his little snake?”

“Is there a problem here, Michaels?” a voice asked from behind me. Harry looked down from Steven Michaels to where his hand held my wrist tightly. “Let go of him.”

“He’s a traitor, Potter,” Michaels exclaimed, jerking my marked arm roughly.

“He’s no such thing. Draco’s on our side.”

“Bullshit. You-Know-Who probably sent him here to kill you. Are you really gonna trust him?”

“I trust him with my life.”

“He isn’t one of us!”

“And what are we? Yes, Draco is marked. Yes, once he did serve Voldemort, but he saw the wrong in that decision. He’s a sworn member of the Order now.” Michaels opened his mouth to retort, but Harry cut him off. “I vouch for him, Michaels. If my word isn’t good enough for you, then perhaps you should take this up with Remus. Now get lost.”

Michaels cost one last lingering scowl at me before he and his group of cronies disappeared around the corner. Harry turned to me, concern filling his eyes as he looked down at the red marks on my wrist left by Michaels’s hand.

“Are you alright, love?” he asked, stroking my cheek. I smiled.

“I’m fine, Harry,” I replied. “And you were brilliant.” Harry grinned and kissed me.

“You’ve stood up for me before. I figured it was time I returned the favor.”

I smiled. “C’mon. Let’s get to bed. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.” Harry nodded, slipping his hand into mine as we continued on down the hall towards our room.

♥♥♥♥♥



Author Note
Sorry this has taken so long! Hopefully the next few chapters will move more quickly. : ) Read and review!!!

Chapter 48: Chapter Forty-Eight
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Little sleep was found that night and the next for the occupants of Hogwarts. Preparing for war wasn’t anything we had ever anticipated doing. The younger volunteers were being trained in basic defensive spells, giving Neville and Luna a chance to relive the glory days of the DA.

Draco, Blaise, and Hermione spent their time brewing basic healing draughts with Slughorn. Potion work was something I loved watching Draco do. He was so concentrated, so alert—and graceful, even—that I could have watched him work all day. Unfortunately, I was ushered off to help Remus and a few other Order members with preparations.

Little did I know, these ‘preparations’ consisted of feeble attempts to convince me to go to a safer location. In other words, they wanted me to hide like a coward.

“Absolutely not,” I said, staring hard at Molly and the others trying to convince me to leave. “I won’t run off to safety and leave the others here to fight in my place. It won’t happen.”

“I told you it was useless, Molly,” Remus called. “He’s got too much of James in him to run away from a fight.” Molly ignored him.

“For Merlin’s sake, Harry—this is no time to play the hero!” she exclaimed, hands on her hips as she gave me that famous Mrs. Weasley look.

“I’m not playing the hero.” I sighed. “Look, I have just as much right to be here as anyone else. This school was my home for seven years. I’m not going to walk away when it needs defending. The people I love are here. I’m not going to leave them standing against Voldemort’s army.

“You remember the prophecy, don’t you? I’m the only one who can kill him. It’ll be a pointless massacre if no one finishes him off. Do you really want that?”

The room was silent. Molly’s face softened into a look of slight shame. Remus smiled at me from across the room.

“Well,” he said, “now that that’s settled…”

And just like that, the conversation changed to actual preparations. There was no more talk of my leaving.

♥♥♥


Lunch was a welcomed break for everyone. Draco arrived from the dungeons smelling of all sorts of exotic potions. I hugged him when he met me outside the great hall. We sat with Hermione, Ginny, Blaise, Pansy, Ron, Luna, and Neville. As we filled our plates, I told them about my meeting with the Order.

“Mum wanted you to leave?” Ginny asked incredulously. “Does she not know you? Surely she wouldn’t think you’d actually agree to it?”

“I don’t know what she thought,” I replied. “But I’ve told them I’m not going. I won’t leave you lot to have all the fun without me.” Draco grinned, pressing a kiss to my hair.

“So how’s training going?” Hermione asked, turned to Neville and Luna.

“Well I suppose,” Luna replied in her dreamy voice. “Though we’re not nearly as good of teachers as Harry was.”

I blushed slightly, smiling appreciatively at her words.

As we finished our lunch, I couldn’t help but notice the way Ron was watching Draco and I. It wasn’t with the anger and resentment I was so used to seeing. It was filled with curiosity and interest. The idea astonished me, but I couldn’t help but wonder if Ron might actually be warming up to the idea of us being together. As we dispersed back to our separate jobs, I couldn’t help but smile as I followed Draco down into the dungeons. Perhaps there was still hope to be found in this whole desperate situation. I only hoped I would live long enough to see the outcome.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 49: Chapter Forty-Nine
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Storm clouds darkened the sky the morning of the proclaimed battle, giving the sense of impending doom to all of us. The castle was a silent, somber place. The reality of what was happening finally seemed to sink in, wiping away any bit of cheer or humor that had existed the day before.

Harry and I kept each other close by, not wanted to be without each other more than necessary. Just about everyone seemed to be in the same mind set. The halls were full of groups of friends, families, couples—no one was seen on their own.

Groups were stationed on the battlements throughout the day. As the evening rolled around, Harry and I took our turn with Ginny and the others. Remus was waiting for us when we reached the top of the stairs.

It had finally started to rain. The thunder crashed around us as we scanned the horizon for signs of Voldemort’s army. At eight-thirty, just before we switched with the next group, Ginny gave a cry from around the corner. We rushed to her, Remus in the lead.

“What is it, Ginny?” he asked.

“There!” she said, pointing out across the grounds towards the forest. There in the center of the trees shone a bright green light. A bright flash filled the sky—and above the trees glowed the Dark Mark.

Harry gave a cry as he dropped to his knees, a hand pressed over his scar. A circle formed around us as I kneeled next to him. Remus pushed his way to the center.

“It’s him,” Harry gasped, eyes shut tight against the pain of his scar. I knew what he was feeling—my arm felt as though it were on fire. “His army is marching on us now.” Harry’s eyes opened, and he stared hard at Remus, his eyes a sharp piercing green. “There are thousands of them, Remus. We’re out numbered.”

Remus seemed frozen in shock for only a moment, and then he was back, calling out orders to us all.

“Alright, the lot of you—back inside. Ron, I want you to tell McGonagall everything, and have her gather everyone in the entrance hall,” he said. Ron nodded and hurried off, casting a worried glance at Hermione as he started down the stairs.

I helped Harry up as the others headed for the stairs. “Are you alright, love?” I asked, brushing the hair back from his eyes.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” he replied. “You’d think I’d be used to it burning by now.”

“Burning is the one thing you’ll never get used to. My arm feels as though it’ll burst into flames any second.”
Harry’s eyes moved to my arm as he pulled up my sleeve. We both gasped at what we saw. The mark was dark as night, the skin around it red and raw. Harry looked up at me, his eyes full of sympathy.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll be fine.” I took his hand and led him down the stairs.

♥♥♥


The entrance hall was filled with people by the time we arrived downstairs. Harry and I pushed our way through the crowd to stand beside Hermione and Ginny.

McGonagall stepped forward, trying to calm the crowd and instill a bit of hope and courage in them. Her efforts were lost as shouts from outside the closed and bared doors rose above her voice. All eyes rose to the doors, listening with rapt attention to the approaching army. Small explosions like distant thunder shook the doors as the Death Eaters tried to break through. The protective charms McGonagall and Flitwick had cast the day before held strong, protecting everyone inside.

I glanced around me, taking in the terrified faces of our army. Half of them were still under age, many barely 15. It was a stark contrast to the army gathering just outside the doors. I closed my eyes to the young faces around me, knowing that soon most, if not all, of them would be cold, lifeless. Death was waiting for them just beyond those doors.

Another explosion, this time much stronger, shook the whole room. The doors groaned in protest. They weren’t going to hold much longer.

“Wands at the ready!” Remus shouted. The atmosphere in the room tensed incredibly as everyone drew out their wands. Harry’s hand tightened in mine.

“Whatever happens,” he whispered, “know that I’ll love you forever.”

“And I you,” I replied.

A last explosion shattered the doors, giving entry to Voldemort’s army. The battle for Hogwarts had begun.

Screams rose around the room as the Death Eaters attacked. People began to scatter. Chaos claimed the room. Harry’s hand left mine as we rushed into battle.

I threw out every spell I could remember, ducking, dodging, and blocking curses left and right. There were already a great number of bodies on the floor. I fought the urge to look down, knowing I would recognize half of them. Spells rebounded off the walls, one of them brining down half of the staircase. I threw myself out of the way, cringing at the pained shrieks of the unlucky Death Eater caught in the falling stones.

Another approached him, raising his wand. I reached for mine, only to find it had fallen three feet to my left—far out of reach. The Death Eaters lips began to form an incantation. In a blinding flash of red, he fell. I turned to find Ron Weasley behind me, wand still raised. He extended a hand to me, helping me up from the floor. My amazement must have shown on my face, because he grinned as he handed me my wand.

“Harry seems pretty fond of you,” he said. “I figured it’d be in my best interest to keep you alive—at least until he gets bored with you.” He winked, and I clapped him on the back. Together we returned to the battle raging around us.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 50: Chapter Fifty
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As quickly as they had come, the Death Eaters retreated to the forest, leaving Hogwarts alone with its defenders. Bodies littered the floor, twice as many of us as Death Eaters. Those weren’t good odds.

McGonagall gave orders for all of our dead and wounded to be taken to the room of requirement. People moved about, hurrying to obey. I scanned those still standing, searching for that oh-so-familiar blonde.

“Harry! Harry!” I turned to find Seamus calling to me from across the room. “Help me get Dean upstairs, mate. Those bastards got him good.” I hurried to help him, still searching for Draco as I went.

We made it too the room of requirement with little trouble, avoiding the part of the staircase that had fallen. I left Seamus and Dean alone and continued my search. I found Hermione first, helping to heal the wounded.

“Have you seen Draco?” I asked her. She shook her head.

“Not since the fighting started,” she answered. Her eyes moved past me, looking over my shoulder. “Ron!” she exclaimed. I turned as she ran past, throwing herself into Ron’s arms. My heart sped up as Draco stepped from behind him, eyes scanning the room. His face flooded with relief as he spotted me. We met each other halfway, pulling each other close.

“I thought I’d lost you,” I whispered.

“Sorry,” he replied. “Ron and I were helping Remus and Mad-Eye get rid of the dead Death Eaters.”

“You mean you and Ron actually worked together?” I joked, happy to have him back in my arms. Draco nodded, grinning.

“He save my life out there.”

“Did he?”

“Mmhm.”

“Remind me to thank him later.” I smiled, pressing my lips against his. A chilling laugh froze everyone in the room.

“Foolish defenders of Hogwarts.” Voldemort’s voice boomed out across the grounds, echoing off the walls. “Now you have tasted war, have seen death. It doesn’t have to go on this way. Hand over the boy, and your lives will be spared. You have one hour. At midnight, we strike again and no one will be spared.”

As the voice died out, screams rang out around the room. Draco’s arms tightened around me. “That bastard won’t touch you,” he hissed. “He’ll have to go through me first.”

McGonagall and the other professors tried to calm everyone. Remus laid a hand on my shoulder. “Don’t worry, Harry,” he said. “You’re safe here.”

Hermione called for Draco’s help. He brought my hand to his lips before going off to assist her. I looked around the room, taking in the sights and sounds. So much death… Everywhere I looked, people were mourning for the friends and loved ones they had lost. In less than an hour everyone else would be dead, too. In my mind I saw the images: Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Blaise, Pansy—all dead. And Draco, hair and clothes stained in blood and dirt, his body cold, broken…his eyes pale and lifeless…No. I shook the thought from my mind. I couldn’t let that happen. I couldn’t let them die knowing there was a way to save them. My mind made up, I moved toward the door. I took one last look at Draco, leaning over a wounded Ravenclaw sixth year. I took a deep breath, holding back the tears as I left the room and walked away from everyone I loved.

♥♥♥


The grounds were deserted. It had stopped raining and the clouds had cleared, giving way to the bright light of the crescent moon. I entered the trees in silence, giving one last look to my home away from home. Hogwarts looked just as it had when I was at school. It was hard to believe so much devastation had filled the once warm and welcoming halls.

It was dark inside the forest, the thick trees blocking all light from the moon. I walked straight into the blackness, heading for the center of the forest. I tried hard not to think about the people I had left behind, or what Draco would do when he found out I was gone. As if in answer to the question, a voice rang out in the night. A voice I knew well, calling my name again and again. I felt the icy chill of Dementors as they swept past me, heading for the forest’s edge.

“Don’t hurt him,” I whispered. “Please.”

♥♥♥


It felt as though I’d been walking forever when I finally saw the light up ahead. I paused at the edge of the fire lit clearing filled with Death Eaters. At the very center stood Voldemort in all his malicious glory. The anticipation in the clear was thick. Voldemort began to pace impatiently back and forth.

“The boy has five minutes,” Rudolphus Lestrange called.

“My lord,” a familiar voice spoke up. My blood ran cold as Lucias Malfoy stepped forward. “My lord, Potter obviously isn’t coming. Perhaps we should finish things now?”

“You dare speak out against my orders, Lucias?” Voldemort hissed, turning on the blonde. “I know Potter. I know the way he works. He won’t allow innocent people to die for him. He will be here.”

Taking this as my cue, I stepped from the trees. “You know me well, Voldemort,” I called. All eyes turned to me, many of them filled with shock at my sudden appearance. “I’m right here. I came to you willingly. Now you must honor your word. Let the people at Hogwarts go free.”

Voldemort grinned darkly, pleased that his plan had worked. “Harry Potter,” he taunted, walking a circle around me. “You’re desire to play the hero never disappoints.”

“I’m not playing the hero. I’m doing what’s right—what I should have done a long time ago.” Voldemort chuckled darkly.

“I think there’s someone else who should share in this moment.” He raised a hand. From the trees behind him came a loud crunching and crashing as someone was dragged unwillingly forward by three armed Death Eaters.

“Hagrid,” I whispered, despair filling me as I watched my old friend be pulled from the trees. “Let him go!”

“Harry!” Hagrid exclaimed. “You shouldn’ ‘ave come, Harry!”

“Silence, you oaf!” Voldemort hissed, flicking his wand towards the half-giant. Hagrid fell silent under the spell. But that didn’t stop his eyes—his pleading, begging eyes.

“Let him go, Voldemort!” I said, my attention returning to the Dark Lord.

“Oh, we will, Mr. Potter. Have no fear. First, I think, he should share in your downfall.” He turned to address his Death Eaters. “Remember this night, for it is a night that will go down in history. It is the night that Harry Potter surrendered to Lord Voldemort!” Cheers went up around the clearing as Voldemort turned to face me, wand in hand. “Good bye, Harry Potter. Avada—”

‘Draco, I’m sorry,’ I thought. Images flashed quickly through my mind. A first kiss, the first time we made love, our engagement, our wedding—a bright smile, pale blonde hair, shining silver eyes. ‘I love you.’

“—Kedavra!”

A flash of green, and everything went black.

♥♥♥♥♥



Chapter 51: Chapter Fifty-One
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I helped to heal several people, my heart going out to everyone who had lost someone close to them. I knew the pain of that loss, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

I finished my work and stood, scanning the room in search of Harry. He was nowhere in sight. Ginny was standing by the doorway, looking as though she were lost.

“Ginny,” I said, my hand resting on her shoulder. She turned to look at me, a rather far away look in her eyes. “Have you seen Harry?”

She shook her head, my words seeming to bring her out of her trance. “I haven’t,” she replied. “Is he missing?”

“I haven’t seen him since…” I froze as the memory hit me hard. “Since Voldemort’s announcement.” Ginny’s eyes met mine, and for a moment I knew we shared the same desperate thought. “What time is it?” Neither of us paused to look at the clock. We ran blindly through the corridors, down stairs, all the while with one goal in mind—we had to find Harry before…I swept the thought from my mind, focusing on the path ahead.

We rounded a corner, nearly colliding with Ron.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“Harry’s gone,” Ginny explained.

“What? Gone where?” We didn’t have to answer. Ron knew the answer as he watched me take off down the last staircase, bolting across the entrance hall, and sliding to a stop just outside the castle. The grounds, lit by a bright sliver of moon, were empty. I stood, catching my breath and searching desperately for any sign of the man I loved.

“Harry!” I called, my voice the only sound piercing the night. “Harry! Harry!” I screamed his name as loud as I could, begging him to come back to me. I started to move down the steps, ready to search every inch of the forest for him. Strong arms held me back, pulling me into the warmth and light of the entrance hall. Dark shapes floated out of the forest’s edge, bringing with them the deep chill of death. Dementors. A patronus in the form of an otter shot out past me, driving the creatures back into the shadow of the trees.

I screamed, fighting against the arms that held me, pulling me away from the doors—and away from Harry.

“He’s gone, Draco,” Blaise’s voice whispered calmly in my ear. “It’s too late.”

“He’s not gone!” I screamed, still struggling to be free. “We can still save him. Harry!” The school clock began to chime, signaling the end of Voldemort’s allotted hour. “No!”

Footsteps could be heard on the stairs as those well enough to fight prepared to make their final stand. Little did they know, their hero had already gone to make it for them.

“Come on, Draco,” Blaise whispered. “We have to go with them.”

“Do it for Harry, mate,” Ron added, his hand still resting on my shoulder. I nodded, making my way with them into the crowd.

I pushed my way to the front of the crowd, the others right behind me. The Death Eater’s stood in a mob before the castle, and I caught sight of my father at Voldemort’s side. I didn’t look at him for long—Hermione’s scream drew my attention.

Hagrid was making his way through the group of Death Eaters, a limp form in his arms. My breath caught in my throat as he laid the body carefully on the ground, letting out a sob as he did. I took in the sight of the body—black hair, glasses, scar.

“No…” My voice was barely above a whisper. I felt my body shaking violently and was amazed my knees hadn’t given out yet.

“Your hero is dead!’ Voldemort exclaimed triumphantly. “All hope for victory is lost. Join us, and we will spare you.” Sobs echoed around me. ‘No, no, no, no…’ The word rang repetitively in my head. “Harry Potter was weak and foolish for believing he could defeat me. Do not make the same mistake.” My jaw clenched as I looked into Voldemort’s burning red eyes. My grip tightened on my wand.

Hands gripped each of my arms as Ron and Blaise tried to hold me back. I pulled out of their grasp easily as I charged forward, wand raised.

“Avada—”

“Crucio!” Voldemort’s spell stopped me dead in my tracks as the pain ripped through my body. I dropped to my knees, my wand falling to the ground as I cried out in agony. The curse lifted after what seemed like an eternity. I lay there gasping for breath, my eyes shut tight against the tears threatening to spill out. Not tears from the torture of the curse, but from the pain of my heart ripping in half I opened my eyes and let the tears fall. Lying beside me was the man I loved. Still, silent…gone.

“Draco Malfoy,” Voldemort called, pacing before me. “How lovely to see you again.” I ignored him, pushing myself onto my hands and knees. “You didn’t have the courage to be a Death Eater, to follow in your father’s footsteps, so you went off and joined the Boy Who Lived. How pathetic. Look where it’s gotten you! You are nothing.”

Again, I ignored him as I crawled to Harry’s side. I brushed the hair from his face with trembling fingers, not caring that there were hundreds of people watching, Voldemort and my father included. I pulled him into my arms, cradling him against my chest as I pressed my lips against his forehead.

“Well, well, well,” Voldemort hissed. “What have we here?” He grasped my left wrist tightly, raising my hand for all to see. He looked to my father. “Tell me, Lucius. Did you know your son was married?” He released my hand, looking down at Harry. “And to the Boy Who Lived, it seems. How tragic that you now hold his lifeless body in your arms.” He grinned terribly, reveling in my pain. “Crucio!”

I cried out as the pain tore through me again. My arms tightened around Harry, my fingers digging into his skin. The spell lifted, leaving me panting, my head on Harry’s chest. Voldemort’s laugh, followed by that of a hundred Death Eaters, echoed around me. Yet, it was a much softer sound that drew my attention, and it came from the body in my arms. Was that…yes. A heartbeat.

I buried my face in Harry’s neck, doing my best to hide his face from view.

“What the hell are you playing at, you bastard?” I whispered. “You’ve had me scared to death.”

“Sorry,” he whispered back. “Don’t let them know I’m alive.”

“Okay.”

“Can you get to your wand?”

“No.”

“Use mine then.” I slowly slid my hand to his waist where I knew his wand would be hidden in the waist band of his jeans. “Aim for Nagini. On three. One…two…” I grasped the wand tightly, ready to draw it. “Three!”

“Sectumsempra!” I shouted, raising the wand even with the snake wrapped around Voldemort’s shoulders. And then I was on my feet and running back towards the castle with Harry at my side. His voice rang out clearly, cutting through the confusion like a knife.

“Everyone back inside! Now!”

And they obeyed him, all of them rushing back up the steps and through the doors into the entrance hall.

“Get into the Great Hall and be ready to fight!” he shouted as people started pushing their way towards the specified destination. “This ends tonight!” I gripped his hand tightly and he turned to face me.

“I thought I’d lost you,” I whispered, brushing my fingertips along his cheek.

“You haven’t lost me. I’m still here. I always will be.”

“Never do that to me again.”

He smiled. “I won’t,” he promised. “Come on. We’ve got a war to end.”

♥♥♥♥♥




Author's Note:

Had you scared for a moment there, didn't I? *smirk* Well you can all thank reviewers "A Huge Fan of Deluded Fairy Tale" and "Evangeline" for this chapter, seeing as they are the ONLY ONES who reviewed with a reaction to Harry's death. Really, people. Tsk tsk. *wink* I'm just kidding. Thank you to all who have stuck with this story. It's winding down now, I'm sad to say. Final chapter up soon.

With love,

Cara Nicole Luvitz

Chapter 52: Chapter Fifty-Two
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Author's Note

Here it is, mates. The final chapter. I've grown and changed a lot since beginning this story, and it's helped me through the rough times in the past year. Thank you to Laura and Taylor for being editors for me, and to Jordan and Kayla for putting up with me while I complained about writer's block. Last but not least, I want to thank all of you, my readers. Without your kind words and criticism, this story would not be as great as it is. For all of you who have stayed with this story to the end--thank you. I love you all.

And now, without further delay, I give you the finale of Deluded Fairy Tale.






The great hall fell silent as Draco and I entered. Looks of amazement followed me as I made my way to the platform where the head table once stood. Draco gave my hand a tight squeeze before he let go, smiling proudly up at me as I stood before the crowd.

“Tonight is a night that will go down in history,” I said, looking around at them all. “It is the night that house rivalries ended.” I watched as Ron patted Draco on the back. “It is the night that the world banded together, and it will soon be the night when Voldemort’s tyranny ended!” Cheers went up around the room—just as the Death Eaters made their explosive entrance.

Spells and screams filled the hall, bringing back the fierce sense of battle that had possessed us all before. I watched as Lucias Malfoy made straight for his son. I stepped forward, pulling out my wand with every intention of helping Draco. A chilling voice stopped me in my tracks.

“You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you, Potter?” Voldemort hissed.

“The best of us are…Tom,” I replied, turning to face him full on. He sneered.

“I quite enjoyed killing you the first time. I expect I’ll enjoy it all the more now!”

Our battle began, and it was as if my mind went on auto pilot. Over the years I had battled this man so many times that it no longer required conscious thought. It was routine, second nature. I wondered desperately how Draco was fairing against his father. I felt the familiar push of Voldemort’s mind against mine, searching for access. I called up the lessons Draco had given me over the past few months, and with my new found strength in occlumency I managed to push him back, denying him entry to my thoughts.

“You’ve finally learned to guard your mind,” he hissed. “We will see if you have learned to guard your body.”

“Oh, but I’ve learned much more than that!” I replied, and with a flick of my wand, part of the ceiling started to fall, the heavy stones creating a wall between us. This bought me a moment or two to find Draco in the crowd. He and Lucias had fought their way to the side of the room. I watched as Draco advanced, firing off spell after spell in quick succession. I saw his face full of determination as he set his eyes on his father.

The sound of moving rubble drew my attention and I turned to find Voldemort advancing on me once more. I returned to my fight, mentally wishing Draco the best of luck and praying I would see him again when this fight was over at last.

I lost track of time after that. Voldemort came at me faster and harder than he had before. It did finally occur to me that the room around us had grown quiet, and I knew that they were watching us—whoever they were.

As of yet, I didn’t know which side had prevailed thus far. When Voldemort fell, as I was determined would be the end result of this battle, I didn’t know if I would turn to the crowd to be greeted with praise or to a hundred wands aimed at my chest. At the moment, I didn’t much care. Either outcome would favor me. I would either live the remaining years of my life with Draco in a war-free world, or I would die within moments of my triumph and spend eternity with the man I loved.

Flashes of light when off around us as we threw curse after curse at each other. I was beginning to wear out, but thankfully, so was Voldemort. Neither of us moved as quickly as we had before.

“Enough play,” Voldemort hissed. “Avada Kedavra!”

“Expellilarmus!” I shouted. Our spells connected with a force almost blinding. We struggled against each other, each wishing his spell to over power the other. I thought of Draco, and the time we’d shared. My old determination returned. If he was watching, I could not let him see me fail. I gathered up my last remaining strength, willing it through to my spell. I could feel the power growing and multiplying within me, building up until it seemed it would consume all of me.

For a moment time seemed to slow. The blinding light of our connected spells faded till it was nearly gone, and in the blink of an eye it burst out blindingly, enveloping us both in its light. A moment later it was gone, and I stood on the platform alone with Voldemort dead at my feet.

The room was quiet as I turned to the crowd, ready to learn my fate. My friends looked up at me from the sea of astonished faces. Applause rippled forward, filling the room with joyous noise. Voldemort was gone, our world was free.

I watched as Draco pushed his way to the front of the crowd, stepping up onto the platform with me. He reached out a hand, stroking my cheek fondly as his other rested lightly on my waist. He smiled in relief before pulling me tight against him and sealing his lips over mine. At that moment, I didn’t care that everyone was watching us, or that a gasp of shock was going up around us. I was alive, and so was Draco. We were in love—and nothing in the world could separate us. For the moment, I was content.

The End



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