Slash Drama
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire
Published: 01/15/2002
Updated: 06/11/2004
Words: 116,388
Chapters: 15
Hits: 191,616

Love Under Will


Story Summary:
In their 5th year, Harry and Draco choose to be with one another; but the story--and the battle-- is just beginning...

Chapter 04

Author's Note:
Info on points raised throughout the story will always be chapter-specific; look at the end of each chapter for notes as necessary.

Love Under Will

Part Four: Reviewing the Situation


Chapter 4: Reviewing the Situation

"Have I been standing up too close or back too far?"

--Alan Jay Lerner, "Gigi"

It was one of the strangest sensations of Harry Potter’s life to be looking forward to Potions.

And yet he was. As pissed off as he was about serving detention and losing Gryffindor 50 points because of Malfoy, he was looking forward to Potions with him now. He couldn’t explain it, and he sure as hell wasn’t keen on analyzing it, but something had happened the moment he’d seen Malfoy with that plant. He’d been so totally at ease, totally natural, so unguarded and real—completely unlike every preconception Harry possessed about his worst enemy. Ever since that morning Malfoy had been stuck in Harry’s head like a tune he didn’t quite know. In fact, Harry had a strong suspicion he’d been missing the melody altogether.

He and Malfoy didn’t bother to greet one another as Harry slumped into his seat beside the Slytherin. "You’re always late, Potter," said Malfoy disdainfully.

"You don’t have to run down ten floors to get to the dungeons, do you?" Harry retorted, out of breath. He hated to admit it, but Malfoy did have a point. He was late to class more often than he cared to acknowledge. On this occasion, fortunately, Snape was busy barking at Neville, and did not notice him.

"Well, while you were running across Hogwarts, the others have already started on the second half of their serums," snapped Malfoy, irritably pulling the stopper of their half-made potion and pouring it into a sieve. The thought flashed through Harry’s mind that Malfoy hadn’t slept much last night, and he couldn’t help wondering if he’d been up all night thinking about Harry the way Harry’d been up all night thinking about him.

"Just hurry up and start mixing the wolfsbane in with the nettles while I record the measurements. I’ve already laid it all out for you."

Harry was on the verge of snapping back a challenge to Malfoy’s bossiness, but at this last bit he was thrown off. He blinked at the ready potions ingredients. "Why?"

Malfoy cast him a look that very much reminded Harry of Hermione, rolled his eyes, and went silently to work. Harry bent over the jar of nettles, wondering if Malfoy had always been this serious about his schoolwork and he’d just never noticed it.

Maybe there was a lot he hadn’t noticed.

Harry thought back over what he knew of the Slytherin—had they only known each other just over four years? It seemed like Malfoy had always been there, trying to outdo Harry at all costs. He realized to his alarm that he was a very good student. It was the same kind of surprise he’d felt the previous evening, when Malfoy had displayed how much he excelled at his particular brand of wizardry. He never went out of his way to prove himself as Hermione did, but he certainly could be counted on to know what he was doing. Harry’s mind whirled with a slow, dawning—respect?—for his archenemy, who yesterday had not only conjured a highly advanced type of magic, but also been the only person among them who could undo it. Not even Hermione could counteract it, and that was saying something. Then there was the fact that Malfoy had actually had the grace to undo the spell. Malfoy hated Ron even more virulently than he, Harry, hated Malfoy. Even though Ron had looked absolutely terrified, backing off was still the last thing Harry had expected Malfoy to do. Harry wasn’t sure he would have called the tarantula off Malfoy in the same position.

Then again, Harry was no longer sure about anything where Malfoy was concerned.

Harry’s contemplation ended abruptly with an explosion from the back of the room, followed by the all-too-familiar sound of breaking glass. He didn’t have to turn around to know whose table had produced the calamity; a startled, scared yelp was instantly followed by Snape hissing, "Does your incompetence only increase with age, Longbottom?"

"Professor, it wasn’t Neville, Goyle knocked a vial over into the—"

"I do not need to hear your excuses, Mr. Finnigan, for Mr. Longbottom’s pathetic attempts in this class. You and Mr. Weasley will help him clean up this mess as quickly as possible—and 10 points from Gryffindor for his sheer clumsiness."

Harry, who hadn’t turned around to look because he was too embarrassed for Neville, watched as Malfoy tossed a glance over his shoulder, shook his head, and said with a smirk, "Poor, stupid Bongbottom. He’s such a squib, he probably got a lightning rod instead of a wand at his Choosing."

Harry blinked. He didn’t enjoy displaying his ignorance in front of Malfoy, but he felt compelled to ask anyway. "His what?"

Malfoy looked at him. "It’s easy to forget you’re not a Muggle, Potter," he remarked lazily. Harry wondered why he hadn’t used the dreaded ‘M’ word instead. "A Choosing is a rite all established wizarding families put their children to when they’re young. A lot like your Muggle christenings." Harry nodded, listening, surprised at how casual Malfoy was being. He really looked almost….pleasant. Even…

My god.

Draco looked good.

Strange tremors ran through Harry, which he thought it best to ignore.

"At the Choosing," Malfoy was informing him, "the family gathers together and a reputable wand-maker presides over the ritual. It’s a very ornate ceremony, really complex. The wand-maker basically allows the wand to choose the child. The kid’s too young to have a say in the process so it’s all about determining the inherent natural abilities the baby possesses. It can take several days to choose sometimes, going through all those wands. You probably would have gone through it yourself if your parents hadn’t died."

Harry allowed himself an inward shudder at how naturally Malfoy had just referred to his parents’ murder, but he let it pass and asked instead, "If it’s such a big deal, why didn’t you do it?"

"I did," Malfoy answered shortly, gazing at him.

"But on the day we met, at Madam Malkin’s, you said your mother was looking at wands for you." Harry stopped. The image was suddenly as clear as if it were yesterday. Malfoy, his sharp features grown more angular and more handsome over time, was sizing him up with that same expression of half-disdain, half-curiosity he’d had when they were trying on robes together. After five years, Harry wondered why he remembered the moment so well.

From the look on his face, Malfoy was asking the same question. But he only responded, with some pride, "The wand I received at my Choosing was too powerful for a first-year. My father never let me touch it—always kept it locked away til I was ready to use it. That day we met, my mother just took my measurements to Ollivanders and got a standard wand there. I’d never even seen the wand meant for me til this summer."

Harry glanced again at the wand lying on Malfoy’s side of the table. It was a sleek, beautiful wand, made of ebony, well over a foot long. Funny he’d never noticed it before—it did indeed look powerful. Studying it, he realized suddenly that it must have been responsible for the size of that spider the night before. After all, Malfoy had been just as unprepared for that as anyone. It made sense now, Dumbledore’s asking if it had been working properly, especially if he hadn’t had the wand long enough to really get used to it…

He found himself twirling his own holly-phoenix combination in his fingers. Dumbledore must have known Malfoy had a different wand: he was the only one who knew how unique Harry’s own wand was. Did he know that Malfoy’s had been locked away from him? A voice popped into his head: Mr. Ollivander’s, saying ominously, "Powerful, very powerful, and in the wrong hands…"

Could Malfoy’s be the sort of wrong hands into which a wand like Voldemort’s could fall?

Harry looked full into Malfoy’s eyes, his gaze so direct that the other boy pulled back from it and distractedly started rearranging the items on his side of the table. A faint tinge appeared in the pale, smooth cheeks, and Harry found himself staring, enjoying the added attractiveness the tiny flush lent an already attractive face.

Wait, what are you doing? He’s still Malfoy, you know.

Harry pulled himself away from his study of Malfoy’s features with a start. He didn’t mind having physical reactions to boys now and then; and Malfoy oozed haughtiness so carelessly that sometimes, in his private musings concerning the Slytherin, Harry had to admit that he couldn’t tell whether it was appalling or appealing. That realization had freaked him out, but he didn’t mind it; it was just a bit of passing lust after all. But this time the feeling was different: urgent and unsettling, just like every other thing about Malfoy this week.

Harry didn’t know why, but lately, even before their encounter with the rose, Malfoy had been on his mind more than anyone, even his parents. All throughout this year at school, whenever he ran into Malfoy—and just like always he was constantly running into Malfoy—the echo of his threat to Hermione flashed through Harry’s brain and sent a fresh surge of loathing over him. Sometimes looking into those weirdly beautiful golden-gray eyes, Harry would be overcome with a sudden murderous urge to throw Malfoy on the ground and choke him until the life slowly ebbed out of him. It was a frightening, exhilarating image.

It bothered Harry that he was capable of such hatred, but it bothered him even more that, even beyond what he felt for Voldemort, he could feel such incredible passion for Malfoy. The slimy git wasn’t worth it. After all, this was the same Malfoy who had tried to have Buckbeak killed, who had gloated over the return of Lord Voldemort, and who routinely wished Hermione dead.


An idea began to stir within Harry. Malfoy was all talk. Hagrid’s near-firing had been his father’s doing. Malfoy had just sat back, faking his injury and gloating. Sure, he hated Harry’s friends. But he’d never really done anything to any of them except shoot harmless spells at them. It was Ron who always seemed to snap and lunge first at Malfoy, whom not even a direct assault by a hot-blooded redhead could ruffle. His hatred for Muggles didn’t seem to matter—after all, he teased Neville just as mercilessly as Colin Creevey. And then there was his remark on the train. Did Malfoy really feel that way about all Muggles, or did he just lash out at Hermione because she was the only student smarter than he was?

He’d seen Malfoy earlier on in the snowball war attempting to rescue Millicent from Parvati’s stranglehold, and rescuing anyone was a very un-Malfoy-like thing to do. But so was calling off that spider before it attacked Ron, and covering for Harry in front of Snape, and readying Harry’s potions for him…and listening to beautiful, Muggle music, when he thought no one was watching…

Harry suddenly felt as though he were back in the golden mist at the Tri-Wizard Tournament and his world had been crazily upended.

"Potter." Malfoy’s drawl, sharp but not harsh, pulled him back to Potions. Harry looked over at him. Malfoy was giving him an odd, half-wary, half-concerned look as he reached across the table for Harry’s half of the Deathjoy Serum, which had been bubbling ominously for the last few minutes. Harry realized he must look amazingly stupid zoning out in front of Malfoy, but the Slytherin said nothing, only casting him that strange mixed look as he poured the two halves of the potion together.

There was a flash of bright green light that made Harry’s hair stand on end as the brew mixed and foamed in front of them. "What is it?" Malfoy asked him quickly, and a crazy, strange thrill ran through Harry at realizing he’d been right: there was an unmistakable note of concern in his voice.

Harry didn’t know what made him reply the way he did; Malfoy was confusing him, and so was his own reaction to Malfoy’s tone. "I…it’s the color of Avada kedavra," he said softly. He saw no noticeable change in Malfoy’s countenance, but his long, delicate fingers went rigid on the table beside him. He seemed to be waiting for more, and he was regarding Harry so seriously Harry couldn’t help but continue, "Yesterday when you conjured that Dementor—"

"It was a boggart, Potter, not a Dementor," Malfoy interrupted him. "I wouldn’t have conjured the real thing." There was a slight pause after he said this, and, as if he didn’t want to seem too nice, he added with a scowl, "I don’t want to win a wizard’s duel because my opponent faints on me. It turned into a Dementor."

Harry’s eyes narrowed. "But my Patronus made it disappear. That couldn’t have happened with a real boggart."

"Potter, I know what spell I used," Malfoy snapped; then he blinked. "Patronus. Is that that thing you shot at us that time Flint tried to make you fall off your broom?"

"Yes—you mean to say that wasn’t your idea?"

"Of course it was my idea," Malfoy answered with an arrogant toss of his head, still offhandedly, "to dress like the Dementors. Sabotaging you to begin with—that was all Flint."

Why do I believe him so implicitly? thought Harry, believing him implicitly. And why did the boggart he summoned act like a real Dementor? Was that because of his wand too? Or did he really mean to do it? His head was spinning, and the intensity of Malfoy’s gaze made his cheeks burn; none of which was helping his confusion. "I interrupted you," said Malfoy shortly. "Go on."

Harry began, "The dementors used to make me faint because—" He cut himself off. He’d never told this very personal information to anyone but Professor Lupin, not even his best friend—and here he was half a breath away from revealing it to his worst enemy. He looked up hesitantly to see a mirror of uncertainty in Malfoy’s silver-flecked eyes as he waited for Harry to finish. It was somehow natural, even reassuring. "Whenever they come near me I can hear my parents being murdered by Voldemort," he ended in a rush.

He expected immediately to be overwhelmed with shame for having revealed his weakness to Malfoy. He did not expect to feel a kind of instantaneous relief, even clarity. Instead of berating himself with a ‘why did I tell him that?’ he found himself asking, why didn’t I tell him that before?

Malfoy was looking at him, his expression unchanged in its seriousness, except for his eyes, which had widened a bit, and darkened considerably. He seemed to be replaying events from his past, checking what Harry had just said against his own memory of the Dementors. A flash of something very much like sympathy darted through his features, and for half an instant, Harry was positive Malfoy was going to apologize for having mocked him for being afraid in the past. The idea stunned him as much as if Malfoy actually had—but Malfoy said nothing, only continued to return his gaze with a wordless understanding.

As they locked gazes the connection that always bound them together seemed to intensify. Harry liked it, this feeling of warped camaraderie between himself and the only person in the world who could produce within him the strongest emotions Harry had ever known. Blind rage, yes, but also euphoria—beating Malfoy for the Snitch to win the Quidditch Cup had been the happiest moment of Harry’s life. Would it have been so important if he hadn’t beaten Malfoy? he wondered, and instantly, looking back at that coolly composed face, knew the answer. The silver hints in Malfoy’s eyes had turned to a murky gray that seemed to mask him, thoughts and all, entirely from Harry’s knowledge. Then again, he’d always been a mystery.

I’m just now realizing how much I don’t know.

And…how much I want to know.

"Mr. Potter, Mr. Malfoy, may I remind you that while you enjoy your little telepathic stand-off in lieu of another wizard’s duel, your Diabolution Solution is waning?"

The two of them jerked away from their study of the other’s face, and quickly began busying about their work. Snape cast Malfoy a very strange look, and Harry knew he was wondering what in the world his prize pupil had been doing gazing deeply into the eyes of his rival. The thought of that gaze trained on his face again, burning through him, sent a shiver through Harry, and he turned away to scribble notes hastily on his parchment. Beside him, he heard Malfoy’s collected voice answer with a hint of sarcasm, "Potter and I’ve just been having a heart to heart, Professor." Harry could see his raised eyebrow, the ever-present smirk, without having to look. He knew that look of Malfoy’s by heart—only this was the first time thinking about it had ever done anything other than make Harry want to throw Malfoy a punch to the jaw. "But don’t worry," Malfoy continued lightly. "It won’t happen again."

With a stab of chagrin, Harry realized he was disappointed at that prospect.

Don’t do this, Harry. Don’t even think about it.

He put his bewildering mix of emotions regarding Malfoy aside and focused instead on a far more familiar feeling where his golden-eyed enemy was concerned: resentment. After all, no matter what Malfoy might or might not be, he was still responsible for Harry having detention that evening—and Harry hated detention.

Even if it was with Draco…


Author notes: The chapter title comes from the song of the same name from the musical Oliver! by Lionel Bart. The quote is from the musical Gigi by Lerner and Leowe. Thank you so much to all readers who have provided feedback and encouragement. Detention soon...