A/N4: There is an early hint who is going to win the game, well, for everyone who saw 'Olympia of the Animals'. 3. Hold your Tongue Draco Malfoy leisurely circled the pitch; one eye on the Bludger soaring straight towards him, the other on his opponent, Harry Potter. One might think he was going cross-eyed, but practise was the keyword here. The rain had gotten lighter; the water drops that were drizzling down were so fine as if pressed through a strainer. However, this didn't do Draco any good, as the now nearly fourteen years old boy felt the water tracing over his neck into his Quidditch robes, drenching his clothes beneath. Water-repellent robes or at least body milk was added to the water-repellent hair gel. Thinking a bit more in advance would be a fabulous idea; Draco was a Slytherin after all, wasn't he? Cunning little snakes with nothing but their own advantage in mind; that should ring quite a few bells. The sharp swishing sound brought Draco back to his problem at hand: A quite dangerous looking Bludger that was almost in his face. His own advantage shouldn't quite contain a free face rearranging. Whatever others might say, Draco always found himself quite adorable with the sweet, even a bit girly, features and the fine, silky, blonde hair, if he did think so himself. Rearing back his right hand, Draco smashed the bat down onto the Bludger with all the strength he could muster. It didn't prove to be quite enough, though. As the vibrations ran through the bat, over his arm and into his core, Draco gasped in pain. He'd never imagined it to be quite that strenuous to fight off a ball with a stick. He should have trained with it earlier before suggesting the game to Harry. Maybe the fact that the ball was made of solid iron and that the bat, which wasn't an official Quidditch bat, didn't absorb the hit quite efficiently made all the difference. Twenty-five centimetres diameter iron meant a dead weight of ... five kilos. Five kilos? That couldn't be. It had felt as if the ball weighed ten times as much. Nearly as much as the petit Slytherin's weight. Said petit Slytherin coughed delicately. Then, he struck out at the Bludger again – holding the bat safely with both hands this time and pressing his knees to the broom's sides – and sent the ball careening downwards. Draco's bones quaked and again he couldn't quite stifle his pained gasp. Why did it always look so simple when the Beaters fought off the Bludgers? That could just not be true. Were they all so strong or was it him that was too weak? "Eep!" the distressed Slytherin shrieked as the Bludger once again soared towards him. Narrowly avoiding a direct hit by doing a Sloth Grip Roll by accident, Draco breathed a short lived sigh of relief. He now hung upside down off the broom, hands and feet gripping tightly onto it, feeling the blood rushing to his head and making him dizzy. It was a whole new point of view – literally – as Draco cast a quick glance at Harry, who searched the pitch below him for the Snitch. Obviously, he wasn't having any success so far. Under any other circumstance, the Slytherin would have gladly taken the opportunity to watch his Love in his element, but due to the tiny fact that this really nasty Bludger was apparently after his neck, Draco didn't really have the nerve to relax and do so. If he only could throw the ball a bit farther, it would leave him in peace, at least for a while. Then, it would take after Harry, but the Boy-Who-Had-Always-Been-Stronger-Than-He-Appeared could surely manage. Draco hadn't chosen Harry for his good looks alone, naturally, though the boy was quite a looker. Being able to defend himself as well as Draco (the blonde boy blushed prettily) was a major plus point for Harry, too. Draco tucked the bat safely under his chin and quickly climbed back onto his slightly bucking broom. He didn't have much time to stabilize, as the Bludger already swished back. Draco sighed as the Bludger flew quite a distance away when he hit it squarely in the middle. However, Draco was still the nearest player, and so the ball would fly straight back to him. After making sure that there was still no Snitch in sight, Draco's mind wandered back to the boy beneath him, and he giggled at the suggestion of the oh so innocently starting thought. Innocent was exactly what he was. Draco, the Innocent Slytherin. It had a nice ring to it, but it didn't fit his hard earned image too well. Oh well. Harry would have to be the innocent one, then; at least for their environment. Draco frowned thoughtfully. That would suit him fine today, as he still hadn't decided what he was going to demand as his prize. Harry's exclamation that he wouldn't run around naked in the Great Hall had ricocheted Draco's mind into overdrive, tantalizing scenes and forbidden possibilities swirling around in his head. His mind knew that he would never dare voicing any of these thoughts as a request for his prize (Draco, the Innocent Slytherin, was far too shy and inexperienced in these matters of heart to be so straightforward), but who said those dreams of his would never come true? Nothing against a spurring incentive. Draco closed his eyes, sighing dreamily, and imagined himself asking for at least something; a chaste kiss, perhaps? That wouldn't be much, true, but a beginning. A sweet beginning, hopefully. Then, he frowned. Draco had planned out his part fairly thoroughly, but he hadn't the slightest idea how Harry might react. It was true that Draco knew Harry loved him, but how would the Gryffindor respond when he realised that he'd walked right into the trap? Would he take it lightly and just enjoy being finally together with his crush, or would his temper flare like it had done so often already? At least, Draco need not worry whether the recorded scene he'd watched one week earlier had been authentic. The mirror's fear for her survival ensured that. Draco's silent mulling was abruptly interrupted as the Bludger suddenly materialized seemingly out of thin air, before him. If Draco had known more about Muggles, he would have thought the Bludger resembled a cannon ball and he'd play the role of the to be conquered ship. Hopefully, he wouldn't sink and drown. Even if Draco's skills at being a Beater weren't exceptional, he was one of the best Seekers, and his reflexes were nearly as fast as the ones of a tiger beetle. He ripped the handle of his Nimbus 2001 sharply to the left and shot a few metres downwards, tightening his grip on his bat and readying himself for another hit. Unluckily, though, the Bludger had other plans and changed directions a tad too fast even for Draco, and then the iron ball smashed right into the tail of his broom. The force of impact nearly knocked the Slytherin off his broom, and only his death grip on the handle prevented a real accident. The lower part of his body, however, didn't have the same grasp. Draco let out a strangled shriek (and wondered fleetingly how it came that he went through nightmare after nightmare and Harry didn't even seem to notice) and crashed back down onto the broom, straddling the stick. For one moment, the world appeared to freeze in place, no motion registered to Draco's mind, no sound could be heard, as the colours swam before the Slytherin's eyes, and then it came crashing down. The bat fell from his limp fingers, as pain lanced through his groin, sharp needles piercing him in what Draco was convinced had to be comparable to Crucio. "Ah," he gasped, and his voice sounded only a bit too high. "Now I'm never going to have children of my own ..." Deliberately ignoring the fact that he was gay and that male pregnancies weren't that common, anyway. Maybe his godfather could help him with that. "Thank Elliot Smethwyck," he breathed, then. He (well, his Cushioning Charm rather) was the only reason why he didn't have to seriously fear for his potency. That could have ended nastily. Draco rearranged himself slowly on his broom, wincing as the pain spiked again in his most sensitive area. That had been rather embarrassing, and painful to boot. "Uh-oh," Draco murmured, as he realised that he hadn't his bat anymore and that the Bludger would soar back towards him again soon. That could end nastily, as well, and Harry's words sprang back to his mind. 'Fighting off the Bludger with his bare hands'. No, that was definitely not a good prospect, especially as his whole body was still throbbing from the last time he'd hit the ball with his bat. "Great," Draco grumbled. "Where's my hero when I need him?" A quick glance downward, and even from the distance, Draco could see that the Gryffindor's expression was more determined than ever. Oh, wasn't that rich? Draco, very soon to be Draco Malfoy-Potter, being assaulted on end, fearing for his very life, and where was Harry Potter, conqueror of Voldemort and rescuer of tiny kittens? He didn't seem too intent on saving Draco's life, as focused on the Snitch as he was. The blond growled and wished he hadn't lost his hold on the bat. Then he could have thrown it after Harry and hopefully created a bump or two on his head. Although Draco didn't want to risk permanent brain damage, he would really like to teach the Gryffindor a lesson or two in decent behaviour towards his boyfriend. Draco reached for his wand and pointed it at his fallen bat. Knowing that Harry had most likely not seen the Snitch yet and just wanted to demonstrate his sophisticated Wronski Feint move, Draco muttered, "Accio-" Then, a flicker of gold caught his gaze, and Draco's eyes snapped open in surprise. How was it possible? Every other time, the Snitch was more than merely elusive. And Harry was heading in exactly the right direction. Draco's eyes bulged even more and had now more or less the size of saucers. If Harry caught the Snitch first, then Draco's ingenious plan would go up in smoke. He'd spent seven precious days of his life working it out and under no circumstances would he give Harry the chance to spoil his fun. Freshly determined, Draco gripped the handle of his Nimbus and leant forward, urging it on to fly as fast as possible. The broom gave a sudden lurch and the boy squeaked in fright at the bucking. The Bludger that had crashed into the tail obviously had influenced its flying ability quite a bit. Risking a quick glance backwards, Draco blanched considerably. Twigs peaked out at the end in nothing that resembled a strictly scientific order, and the broom didn't look like the flying tool anymore Draco always prided himself in owning, but resembled more a thoroughly used sweeping broom. Draco's fingers clamped around the wood spasmodically, and like in any other good clichéd near-death experience, pictures of his previous life flashed before his inner eye. There were far too few really happy ones he realised with regret, deciding that if he survived this devious ride, he would do anything to change just that. However, Draco shouldn't really fear for his very life, maybe for his lunch, but definitely not his life. Riding on his jerking broom with a maniac Bludger hot on his tail, soaring towards Harry, who had quite a start to the Snitch, Draco couldn't think of anything he'd rather do at the moment. Harry's gaze was fixed solely onto the Golden Snitch that tried to escape the hunting boy, swishing from side to side, but due to Harry's experience with Quidditch, the tiny ball most likely didn't stand a chance. The Snitch flew in Draco's approximate direction, so all the Slytherin had to do, was to head directly towards Harry, and if he was fast enough, they'd meet halfway. The Nimbus gave another unpredicted lurch, and Draco gritted his teeth. At this rate, he was never going to make it. He had to be faster- There was a splashing sound, and Draco blinked in surprise. Then, he blinked again and loosened his grip from the handle to touch his face with one hand, the other still in place to guide the racing broom. He was covered in mud, the soaked earth tracing his cheeks in thick lines. Not in the slightest mood for a mud mask, Draco wiped his face on his sleeve roughly. He didn't have any time for this; it was all he could do to not scream in annoyance. Was the whole universe conspiring against him? There had to be someone who put all the obstacles in his way to prevent him from getting his Harry. Tears of frustration pricked up in his eyes, but Draco bravely swallowed them down, refusing to let the evidence of his weakness spill over. He would only go that far in humiliating himself for Harry, and crying drew that line. Draco rubbed his dry but suspiciously sparkling eyes with his right hand, banging his wand, which was still in his hand, against his forehead. He snorted, as he realised why the mud had landed on his face. As he'd tried to summon his fallen bat, he'd only uttered an "Accio," so he'd summoned the bit of mud that had lain beside the box, as his wand hand had wavered shortly, when he had seen the Snitch. Draco sniffled but didn't want to give in. He lay completely flat against his still occasionally bucking broom, urging it on to move faster. Miraculously, Harry hadn't caught the Snitch yet. However, the Gryffindor would change that soon, from the looks of it. If the Boy-Who-Lived did want something, nothing could defy him; for long, that was. Draco smiled grimly, before his smile turned into a frown, as he contemplated how he still could manage to turn the tables to his favour. He knew it wouldn't be exactly cheating. Harry, on the other hand, would in all likelihood not be inclined to let Draco get away with his planned next move. It wouldn't be exactly fair, either. However, Draco certainly didn't care that much for that. Didn't everyone say, everything that was fair about him, was his hair, anyways? So, why don't prove them right, once and for all? Harry could complain all he wanted, after he had done his deed. Nodding to himself (if he was anything, it was determined), Draco pointed his wand at his broom and muttered, "Adessa!" A spout of energy surged out of the tip of his wand towards his broom, bright white light enveloping it, as the Slytherin felt how the wood became warmer by the second, the energy within increasing steadily. Draco's eyes widened slightly as he realised his mistake, but the Nimbus 2001 already gave a huge lurch towards the Snitch. The pale boy thanked all the deities that would listen to him that he hadn't lost the hold on his wand like he had on his bat, as his broom, still being noticeably damaged due to the Bludger incident, raced unsteadily towards its destination, shaking Draco about quite thoroughly. Blonde hair, wet from both rain and nervous sweat, clung to his forehead, partially falling in his eyes, and Draco wondered if the Cushioning Charm would wear off in the next moments, just to spite him and thus adding to the catastrophes he'd had to endure already. He must have been really bad in his last life, there wasn't any other explanation for his recent streak of bad luck. Draco pressed his wand to the wood, as he gripped the broom handle tightly, his knuckles whitening. He didn't dare to remove one hand from the broom to tuck his wand away, he might never know the end of the story at the rate he was racing. The Snitch was near, so very near, he could almost touch it if he were really elastic. Potter was near as well, his eyes shooting daggers at him, glowing disconcertingly in the misty air. His face was set in a tight frown, as he lay flat against his Nimbus 2000 to achieve the smallest air resistance. The dark-haired boy was also very fast, Draco would admit as much, but his broom was inferior to the Slytherin's Nimbus 2001. Taking into account that Draco's broom was slightly damaged and now hexed to fly faster, it should be balanced out, so that both brooms were equally fast now. Draco was afraid to breathe, as Harry drew closer still, the Snitch mere centimetres ahead of him, but his hand barely not reaching it, no matter how much he stretched his fingers. Harry was near enough for Draco being able to count the sweat drops on his brow, and the Slytherin gulped. Didn't the Golden Boy realise they'd crash any second, if he were not to alter his course? While part of Draco felt flattered (well, Harry did want to be near him, after all), the other, more logical part of what was left of his lovesick mind, told the Slytherin to jerk the handle and thus prevent another nasty accident. The two parts of his mind aside, there was still his pride, and that told him, he wasn't a coward; never would he be the one to tuck his tail between his legs first. He had a reputation to live up to, however damaged it may be from the incident in the Forbidden Forest in their first year that had left him screaming and fleeing like a frightened Hufflepuff, or the fact that he couldn't even stand his man when a girl decided to beat him up. Now, that was an improvement of his mood. Perhaps he should consider a career as a Muggle clown. Anyways, the point was, he'd never pull back first, except maybe- The Snitch stopped dead in its track, freezing in its place for one sole fleeting heartbeat, and then it shot straight upwards into the sky. Draco reacted immediately, jerking the handle back forcefully and tailing the fleeing ball. Wrapping his legs around the broom, the boy couldn't help gliding down a few centimetres, but thankfully the bushy tail put a stop to his slide. His knees bumped against Harry's, who'd reacted on time as well – not that Draco would have expected anything else from him – and was now flying upwards, facing the Slytherin while doing so. The Gryffindor gritted his teeth and hissed something, but Draco couldn't decipher it, as the wind roared too loudly in his ears. His robes flapped wildly in the wind, tangling his legs, but Draco didn't even notice. Harry's right hand pressed his bat to the handle to keep control of his broom, as his left one reached out for the Golden Snitch, which buzzed exactly in between him and Draco, ever so near but never quite near enough to be caught. Draco crooked his elbow around the broom for more leverage, cramping his left hand around the handle, and then he stretched as far as he could, reaching for the Snitch with his right hand. Harry snarled something that sounded suspiciously like "Cheater," and Draco realised with a start that the wand was even now in his fingers. He still could reach the Snitch. However, he didn't have the time to tuck his wand away safely; Harry's own fingers were dangerously close to their goal. Draco considered his options in a split second. Then, he let go of his wand, feeling it sail slowly down to the ground, and reached for the ball. He nearly sensed the delicate wings flutter against his glove, as he finally felt resistance in the air. Yet, as his fingers tried to clamp down onto the Golden Snitch, they threaded themselves in another set of small digits. Draco gasped out loud, and he vaguely registered Harry's echoing intake of breath, as he found the Snitch trapped between their intertwined fingers. It caught the Slytherin totally off-guard, and Draco nearly stopped his broom mid-air, were it not for Harry. "Malfoy," the Gryffindor shouted into his face. "Are you completely off the rocker? We're flying vertically! You know what that means? When you stop so abruptly, you're going to be hauled towards Mother Earth faster than you can say 'dumb brain', you dumb brain!" "Thanks so much for the hint!" yelled Draco back, twisting his broom handle around and forcing a disgruntled Harry to do the same. "Malfoy, damnit!" Harry cried, his hand gripping the Slytherin's now harder than before. His entire right arm was slung around his broom to hold him in an awkward position, lying flat against the hard wood, left arm held at an odd angle and linked with Draco's right hand, that trapped the Snitch. "Are you trying to kill me? Because you're doing a pretty good job so far!" His breath came in quick gasps and his cheeks were tinted pink; whether from the exercise or from his nearness, Draco could only guess (and hope). "And would you please-" he growled, yanking his arm, "-let go of me!" "You wish, Potter!" retorted Draco with a tuck of his own. The Slytherin was far more comfortable in his position, floating slightly above Harry. "You let go of the Snitch! I won!" "What are you dreaming about at night?" Harry managed to get into a more comfortable position, sitting up and pulling Draco along with his broom towards him. The blond struggled to get up as well, holding his balance, but never letting go of the golden winged ball. "I won fair and square, Potter," Draco snarled, covering up for his blush. Why did Harry have to ask what he dreamt about at night, anyway? "Surely your ancient Gryffindor honour codex forbids you to claim victory when you are only second?" "Fair and square?" repeated Harry incredulously. "I saw you, Malfoy! You used a charm to enhance the speed of your broom! That wasn't exactly fair, was it?" "We agreed on Quidditch rules, remember? And enhancing one's own broom is not against them. I am not allowed to hex you or your broom, but it never states anything about hexing myself or my broom." Draco smirked in his smug fashion. "This is such a tiny difference about playing dirty and playing to win, Potter. And it wasn't even against the rules." "But it was unfair!" "Life's not fair!" the Slytherin snapped, his temper finally gotten the better of him. "Live with it. And now do give me the Snitch!" He tried to loosen Harry's fingers, but the dark-haired boy refused to give in. "Let go! I won and I demand that you give me the Snitch!" "You didn't win, Malfoy! I touched the Snitch first, so I'm the winner!" "Nonsense! Let go, will you?!" Draco and Harry both pulled and ripped at each other's hand, but neither was willing to back down; they had both fought too hard for this success. And neither was really keen on finding out what the other had in store for them, should he really win and demand his prize. Draco, however, was a tick more determined and sly than Harry, and he put all his eggs in one basket. Pulling strongly on Harry's hand, the Slytherin closed the distance between them and pressed his mouth to the Gryffindor's, catching the other boy, as intended, by surprise. It happened and ended so fast, Draco hadn't really the chance to enjoy the softness of Harry's lips, when he had felt a slight pressure from the other momentarily. It was over entirely too soon, as Harry jerked away, letting go of Draco's hand in the process, and thus letting go of the Snitch, as well. Draco's smile of triumph was only half due to the fact that he now held the tiny ball trapped in his palm. He longed to touch his finger to his lip, to close his eyes and revel in the memory of his first kiss, but most of all, he longed to do it again. "Okay, that was dirty," Harry growled, wiping his mouth on his sleeve, making Draco frown. 'Oops,' the blond thought, then, and wiped the mud from his mouth. Yes, Harry was right, that couldn't have tasted too nice. Yuck, actually. Not the best first impression in a long row of bad first impressions. "I win, you see?" Draco grinned. "Yeah, I see," said Harry lowly. "You're the same cheating bastard as ever!" "I. Did. Not. Cheat!" "Then, how come-" "-you didn't win?" Draco finished Harry's sentence. "You're so conceited. You know what? I don't care what you think, at all. I will prove you, though, that I won!" With a sneer worthy of Snape, the young Slytherin held out his hand with the Snitch, palm up. Pressing a hidden button on its side, Draco threw the ball a few metres into the air, where it started to buzz around again immediately. "The Snitch will now fly straight to the one who won the last game." He crossed his arms over his chest in a haughty manner and wished he'd at least still his wand. He felt uncomfortable, unprotected even, as he neither had his wand nor his bat at his disposal, and now even the Snitch was out of his hand. Well, at least that would be reversed soon enough again, when the ball flew back to him, confirming he was the winner of the game. Draco tried to imagine how Harry's eyes would widen when he demanded a kiss – and a second one at that – as his prize. He grinned. He actually beat Harry Potter to the Snitch. The realisation left him beaming with pride. Now, at least, he knew he was worthy of his Love in every way that mattered. Alas, it weren't Harry's eyes that widened, when the Snitch spiralled down to the winner of the last game. Draco gasped in disbelief, as Harry held out the tiny ball triumphantly. "Like I said, I touched it first!" Something inside the Slytherin broke and he couldn't even appreciate Harry's smile. The victory was his, as always. And Draco lost, as always. The Snitch couldn't lie. "That's ... that's not fair," Draco found himself murmuring, referring to his plan. How come, everything he tried went wrong? "Life's not fair," shot Harry his own words back at him. "Live with it." Draco's throat constricted, as he silently cursed the fact that not even this small but meaningful victory was meant to be his. He shouldn't have let his hopes get so high, in any case, it would teach him a valuable lesson. Draco set his features into a grim mask and descended as quickly and gracefully as his bucking broom allowed. He heard Harry, no, Potter calling after him, but he paid the Gryffindor no mind. He needed his wand back, otherwise he would go crazy. Draco landed beside the now motionless Bludger. He shivered, realising how close it had gotten to them before they ... before Potter had caught the Snitch and thus ended the game, deactivating the Bludger, as well. Draco tried to ignore his own confusing thoughts, tried to pay no heed to Potter, as the dark-haired boy landed beside him, and he picked up his wand and summoned the trainings box to himself. It must have been a sign of sorts. He wasn't supposed to get together with his Harry, and while he piteously doubted that he would ever get over his first and only Love, he could imagine Harry forgetting about him well enough. He was the Boy-Who-Lived-More-Than-Once, after all, he could as well be the Boy-Who-Loved-More-Than-Once. There was no one who could resist his concentrated charm ... Draco mewled in self pity. "Now, Malfoy," said Harry. "No need to cry over such a tiny match." Draco fixed the other boy through narrowed eyes. "I'm not crying," he spat, and fought to not belie his words at any second. "I just have something in my eye and it burns!" "Sure," Harry said softly, obviously not buying his lie, but not keen on teasing the Slytherin about it, either. "So ..." "So?" snapped Draco sharply. His nerves were strained and he was having a hard time trying to control his temper. "I believe, I won, then." "Surprise, surprise," mumbled Draco bitterly. "Don't be so pricky about it, Malfoy. I simply was better this time." "Last time, this time, next time! Where's the bloody difference?" Draco yelled, throwing his hands out to illustrate his point. "It's always the same with you, Potter. I wanted to win this game, just this once! But would you let me? No!" "Would you have been happy if I'd let you win on purpose?" asked Harry quietly, his eyes still round in a mixture of astonishment at Draco's outburst and compassion for the distraught blond. Draco growled low in his throat, embarrassed by his own emotional eruption, and snatched the box, which had finally arrived, out of the air. "That's not the point!" he said, throwing the box to the ground, not caring if he damaged it. "What's the point, then? And why did you want to win precisely this time, anyway?" Draco pressed his mouth into a thin line to keep his bottom lip from trembling. Why did Potter have to torture him in such a manner? Wasn't it enough already that he had made a fool out of himself more often than he cared to count that day? Did the Gryffindor actually have to add salt to the already throbbing wound? "What do you want?" growled Draco slowly, eyes fixed on a spot somewhere above Harry's left shoulder. "An answer would be nice." "You demand an answer as your prize for winning the game?" Draco's eyes fixed onto Harry's, surprise radiating off him in thick waves. Harry's brows were slightly raised, causing the blond to frown suspiciously. Was the Golden Boy playing with him? Whatever for? Draco was getting sick and tired of the whole ordeal, and he just wanted it to be over already. He let out a slow breath and crossed his arms over his chest in a protective gesture, as if he thought Harry would rip out his heart at any second now. "Maybe," said Harry lowly. "It depends." "That's not how it works, Potter. Say what you want, so this ridiculous game is finally over. It's getting cold out here, and I want back inside." Potter had a calculating gleam in his eyes, making Draco shudder inside. "If that's the case," said Harry, causing the Slytherin to frown. Was the Boy Hero actually whispering shyly? And was that a blush creeping up his neck? Before Draco had the time to wonder what it all was about, though, Harry went on, "Then, I want the same thing you would have asked for." Draco gasped, blushing madly and spluttering incoherently, before he finally found his tongue again. "What?" he croaked, trying to keep his gaze locked with Harry's, even if he would have done nothing more gladly than mount his broom again and flee. The situation was totally out of his control, and he didn't like it one bit. On the other hand, however, if Harry wanted to accomplish the same thing as himself, Draco would grit his teeth and live through it. "I-I, um, well," the Gryffindor stuttered, giving a tentative smile and taking a small step towards Draco, whose heart beat already in his throat. "Judging by your expression, I think I can guess what you wanted. And," he took a deep calming breath, "I'd like it, as well ..." "D-do you, now?" Draco asked, shuffling his feet. "Yeah, but only if it's going to be more than one kiss." Draco gulped and nodded shakily. "One kiss is not enough. I really want-" "Me too!" interrupted Harry relieved, cheeks burning. His mind reading ability was uncanny, to say the least. "Me too ... Draco." "Okay ... Harry." The name rolled smoothly off the Slytherin's tongue, and it sounded as right as his own name coming from Harry's mouth. Draco cocked his head slightly, taking a hesitant step forward. He could practically feel Harry's body heat engulfing him, or maybe it was his own impeding nervous break down. He was actually going to kiss Harry Potter, Love of his Life. His knees threatened to buckle, and he wondered fleetingly if a Jelly-Leg Jinx felt similar. Warm breath ghosted over his face, as Draco closed the gap between them. The first timid (and 100 % consensual this time) brush of lips erased every further logical thought from the Slytherin's mind. It was as soft as the first time, softer even, and sweet as ambrosia, as he didn't have to fear to be rejected (or the taste of mud). The blond felt a cautious touch at his waist, and he stepped deeper into Harry's embrace, circling the other boy's neck. There was a tingling rush of power surging through every part of Draco's body; it felt like some kind of magic. And it felt like heaven and coming home at the same time. Draco revelled in the protective hug, angling his head a little and pulling the slightly taller boy closer to him. It could have lasted five seconds or five years for all Draco knew, but time wasn't important anymore, in either case. "I believe I heard an angel singing," Draco said dreamily, euphoric bells still ringing in his ears. "Only an angel?" teased Harry. "It was divine, so maybe it was God himself." "Did he have Alan Rickman's voice?" "Who?" "Never mind." The blond sighed in content, as he nestled his face into Harry's neck, not willing to let go of his Love just now, when he finally got him. There was a small nagging voice in the back of his head, telling him that the students could return from Hogsmeade any moment now, but Draco didn't really care. Everything that mattered was Harry who sheltered him against the cold world outside. "Draco?" murmured Harry, pressing his lips to the silky, blonde hair. "Hmm?" came the lazy reply. Draco was in bliss; he'd really like to stay like this forever, with no cares for their environment. "Since when did you ...?" "Love you?" Draco chuckled at Harry's sharp intake of breath. He raised his head and smiled shyly at the Gryffindor. "I can't really remember. It's been quite a while, actually. And ..." Draco's heart sped up as he felt Harry's arms tighten around him in a possessive manner, letting him feel more secure and cherished than ever before in his life. "I've loved you for a long time myself," Harry said softly, his eyes gleaming in proof to the statement. "Why did you, I mean, how did you know how I would react to the challenge and the prize you wanted? Did I let something on or was it only wishful thinking on your part?" he asked, then gasped at Draco's guilty expression. "You knew! That's why you wanted to win the game no matter what! But how?" "You'll not like it." Draco lowered his head in embarrassment and tried to wriggle out of the embrace. Now that he was going to tell Harry the truth – however reluctantly – he should bring a bit of distance between them as a matter of safety precautions. One never knew. Better safe than sorry. "Hey," Harry murmured, not letting Draco go. "I'm not going to get mad. Look where it got me, so it can't have been bad, can it? Come on, you know, you can tell me ..." Draco bit his lip uncertainly at Harry's prodding, then sighed in surrender. "I spied on you. Through a magical mirror in the Slytherin bathroom." Draco kept his face hidden in Harry's neck and waited for his answer. Great. Now he had to think the Slytherin was not only the son of the Death Eater Lucius Malfoy, his single tormentor of the last months, but a maniac stalker to boot. Harry, however, only laughed, squeezing the blond in his arms and kissing his head repeatedly. "You're crazy." Draco heard the affection in his words and smiled. "So are you." "Well, then we match perfectly, huh?" And Draco couldn't agree more. A/N5: A Bludger is made of iron(!) and has a diameter of 10 inch. With these statements, one can calculate everything quite quickly: 10 inch = 25.4 cm. Volume = 8.58 cubic cm. Specific gravity = 66.93 g/cubic dm. Mass = 574.24 g. 'Weight' = 5.63 kg. There is no charm mentioned to keep the Bludger from killing one player during a game, only that the bat is enhanced. If the ball hits you full force, you may say bye-bye. A/N6: 'Adessa' is from the Latin word 'adesse' which means 'to help'. It serves as opposite to 'Impedimenta' which is from 'impedimentum' meaning 'to hinder'. A/N7: Alan Rickman was the Voice of God in 'Dogma'. For matters of simplicity, I chose God to be a He.
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