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 08

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.


Chapter 8: Aftershocks

Take me as I am
Someone you could know
Even as we speak
You could change your mind

Take me while you can
Even if you shine a light into the mirror
You won't see me any clearer

--"Take Me As I Am," The October Project

The rest of that night was one joyous blur for the members of Slytherin house. No one had ever gotten the Snitch before Harry Potter until today, and Malfoy was the resident hero. He spent a great deal of time being hoisted onto shoulders. He kissed a few girls, even Millicent, who seemed to think the occasion one of the highlights of her life. He told and retold the last few moments of catching the Snitch, ending just before the best part. That part, and everything after, he kept reliving in his mind, trying to accept that what happened had happened, and that he'd really enjoyed it that much.

Of course I enjoyed it. I was humping Harry Potter as thousands cheered.

Draco could think of nothing else. The pleasure of winning the match against Harry Potter faded before the thrill he got deep in his bones whenever he remembered how Harry had felt pressed against him, how his eyes had burned as he looked at him. He didn't want to analyze the whole thing; he was enjoying it too much. He just wanted to keep remembering Harry's expression of desire and want and terror. He had inspired all that in Harry. Draco Malfoy.

It made him crazy with excitement.

The rest of the school seemed to be in shock. The Hufflepuffs were leading in the house tournament for the first time Draco could remember. They didn't know what to do with themselves. The Gryffindors looked miserable, more for Harry than the loss of 100 points or Slytherin's win.

"I just don't understand--Harry's never lost!"

"How could he let Malfoy beat him?"

It'll be good for him, Draco thought, but a part of him kept wishing that he could catch a glimpse of those steely emerald eyes, to be reassured that Harry was still remembering what came after, not just losing to Malfoy. "Do you want me...?" kept ringing in his ears.

He didn't know what was going to happen the next time he saw Harry. But he couldn't wait to see him.

That night Draco dreamed he was chasing Harry on his broomstick, laughing, swooping and diving with him, Harry always just out of reach. he awoke in a stupidly good mood, surrounded by the stupidly good moods of all the other Slytherins (most of whom rarely had a mood that wasn't stupid in some sort). He was unquestionably the house hero. The team had thirsted for a victory over Potter for as long as he'd been playing. Ever since losing the Cup to Harry in their third year Draco had dreamt of the ways in which he would exult in his triumph when he finally beat Gryffindor. Now the fact that he also wanted to go up to Harry in the Great Hall and kiss him until he saw Firebolts made the moment all the more appealing.

Draco dressed with even greater care than usual and made his way to breakfast. A late arrival was part of the act: all the other members of his house, and most of the other students, were seated. A glance at the Gryffindors showed pure dejection from everyone there. Only one figure seemed to be forcing itself straight, held rigid with pride. The sight warmed Draco.

He sauntered into the hall, alone, with only the deliberate grace and confidence of his walk to announce him... and announce him it did. He was wearing his emerald-green Quidditch robes, chosen just to taunt the Gryffindors. Actually, chosen just to present his silver-gold hair and pale complexion in the most irresistible light to a certain Seeker, who was at that moment turning to look at him, his mouth falling slightly open in a gaze of--was that disgust, mingled with faint admiration? Draco hid a satisfied smile. He knew he looked gorgeous, but at that moment, with the eyes of every person in the hall upon him, and Harry's gaze especially bearing down on his figure, he felt a delicious sense of power in his own sex appeal.

The Slytherins announced his entrance with a round of arrogant applause, greeted with boos and catcalls from every side. Harry, he noticed as he tossed his head and strolled to the head of his table, did not join in. Instead he was simply gazing, a hard, intent gaze that Draco could feel even though their eyes had yet to meet. He knew instinctively what Harry was doing. He'd always known, he realized; he'd just never allowed himself to care. Since the whole of Hogwarts had turned to stare, Draco felt that Harry was indulging in a moment of ogling. Draco obliged and gave him something to look at, slinking catlike into a pose at the head of the table. His eyes narrowed. This one's for you, Potter. He didn't dare look over at the Gryffindors, simply because he wanted to so badly, and he knew Harry would sense his eagerness the way he already sensed Harry's eyes on his back.

When the applause--standing ovation from the Slytherins--had ended and his housemates had reseated themselves, Draco pointedly removed his robes. Beneath the green he wore a form-hugging black t-shirt, tucked into his most elegant pair of black trousers. Across the front, emblazoned in emerald and silver, were the words,

I lost to Slytherin.

Making sure everyone in the hall was paying attention he turned casually to place his robes on the back of the chair, displaying the words on the back of the shirt:

...Couldn't handle my stick.

--Harry Potter, Gryffindor Seeker

Astonished gasps swept over his audience, followed by immediate peals of laughter. Malfoy turned back around after a moment, a smirk creasing his features, moving from deadpan to sardonic with one expression. Only then, with roars of laughter and scattered applause echoing from all sides of the room--even from the Gryffindor table--did Draco dare to turn and regard his nemesis. Hermione sat with her hands clasped over her mouth, looking properly horrified, while Weasley, his face red, was gripping his fork, looking prepared to stab Draco with it at any second. Harry, however--

Harry was steel. He gazed calmly back at Malfoy, his expression implacably hard and rage-filled and sexy as hell. It was the same furious intensity of the day before, only it was rife with challenge. It was beautiful. Addictive. Draco grinned at him. Harry didn't flinch.

Draco winked. Harry shut his eyes and turned his back to the Slytherin table.



When Potions came, Harry was already in his seat beside Draco's. Draco went straight to him, sat down, and turned to give Harry his sauciest grin. "I've been thinking, Potter. Maybe you should let me show you a few tips on flying. Brush up those skills of yours."

Harry turned to him and Draco felt lightheaded. He looked as though he hadn't slept at all the previous night; he had a wonderfully raw, glazed-over look--an added attraction. How long, Draco wondered, had Harry been the sexiest person he knew? He wanted him. Right there. Wanted the warmth of his skin, the rumble in his voice, the dip of his throat over his Adam's apple. Wanted his scruffy hair, his lips, his eyes--

And then Draco looked into Harry's eyes and felt something within him crumble. They were dark and full of loathing. He'd never dreamt such coldness could break through someone so passionate. He was the iceberg, not Harry; and yet Harry's eyes were cold fury: a thousand explicit insults in one quelling glance. Draco had only just had time to read and understand the meaning of that gaze before Harry took even that away from him, facing the front again quickly. Behind him Hermione asked oddly if Harry was feeling all right. He ignored her along with Draco.

Draco sat back, stunned, not sure what he had expected, but certain that this wasn't it. Ever since the game, he had been so happy. So happy just admitting that he wanted Harry. For the first time since the detention, he'd felt as though life made sense again. Now he felt bleak reality burst sharply through the giddy Harry-haze of his mind. Harry didn't want him. Harry didn't want him? Impossible. He'd seen the way he'd wanted him on the field yesterday--he knew the boy was turned on. No way was he going to let Harry back away now. He wanted Harry to want him. Harry would want him.

A kind of passion suddenly latched onto Malfoy, indignation mixed with proud desire. So this is how it's going to be, Potter? You practically shove your cock in my face and then think you can act like this? As though nothing happened?

Think again, Golden Boy.

Snape strode in. Draco felt rather than saw Harry tense up beside him, and that same fierce protective urge he'd felt as they collided on their broomsticks overtook him. Snape headed straight for their table and stood before the two of them with his eyes glittering. Around them Gryffindors were wincing, and Slytherins chuckled, awaiting the brutally sarcastic remark about the match that was sure to follow.

Draco fought off a sudden desire to give Harry's arm a reassuring pat. The silly sod looked ready to hex the first person that mentioned Quidditch to him, and Harry was determinedly not looking at Malfoy. He couldn't know how utterly appealing Draco found him in this moment, trying valiantly to stave off his embarrassment and maintain his pride. Always the Potter pride, Draco thought as he looked at him, a tiny smile gracing his lips.

"Well, well, Mr. Potter," said Snape softly, his bony fingertips touching in front of him, "You seemed to have gained some much-needed humility since last night. Mr. Malfoy, I congratulate you on an excellently played game of Quidditch yesterday." Malfoy said nothing, noticing how white Harry's knuckles were as he pressed them against the tabletop. Snape raised an eyebrow at him. "Perhaps, Mr. Potter, you will appreciate the value of tactical brilliance and superior flying now that your lucky streak has run out."

This was too much. Parvati Patil burst out, "Let's see if Malfoy's lucky streak can last 13 games, then, as Harry's has!" and the Gryffindors chorused in agreement.

Above the murmurs and hisses, Draco said calmly, glancing at Harry's silent, stoic form, "We both played an excellent match, sir. Potter and I."

He was sure Harry flinched. Snape nearly glowered at him in astonishment, and Ron Weasley seethed, "Oh, right, now you can afford to be gracious, ferret-face!"

"I didn't say the best man didn't win, Weasel," Malfoy shot back. "Then again, Potter proved his inferiority the day he chose you for a friend."

Draco knew it was a stupid, stupid move to insult Ron when Harry was only a wand's length away from him, but he was trying to get the morose lug to react: to do something, anything, really, that involved communicating with him; and insulting his friends was always the quickest way to achieve that. Malfoy had done it for so long, he'd figured Harry would have caught on by now, would have understood that it was Harry he was trying to get to, not Granger and the Weasel. But if Harry had ever figured it out he never showed it. The swiftness of his reaction as he whirled on Draco, whipped out his wand with one hand, and gripped him by the collar with the other, left Draco a little breathless.

"Don't. Say. Another. Word."

God, how Harry's eyes could blaze.

Serenely, Malfoy gazed back at Harry, trying to get a grip on all the emotions stirring behind those perfectly dorky glasses. God, glasses...

Malfoy, are you really doing this? Are you really mooning over Harry Potter's glasses??

"You may have gotten the Snitch," Harry continued in a low, angry voice. "But you'll never get the best of me."

Yes. I'm mooning. I am definitely mooning.

Malfoy placed his hand over Harry's wand, his fingertips just brushing Harry's hand. Without breaking eye contact he calmly turned Harry's wand the right way around, so that the correct end was pointing at Malfoy. He kept his hand on the wand and said smoothly, "You were saying?"

Snape's quizzical looks at Draco were growing more frequent. Amid the laughter he took points from Harry for disrupting his class.

In the last week alone Malfoy and Potter had lost almost two hundred points for their houses just by being together.

Draco had to admit it was worth the loss.

The lectures on the detested Deathjoy Serum ended and Draco had the pleasure of watching Harry prepare the potion in its final form, correctly this time. Since everyone had been so unprepared for the quiz, Snape had them do it over, this time adding a few drops of blood from an unspecified creature to complete the brew.

Harry, undoubtedly determined to show Snape, or Draco, or both of them that he knew what he was doing, did the whole potion by himself this time. Draco sat silently, while Harry did all the work, noting the slenderness of his hands, the softness of his eyelashes, the way he kept stopping to push his glasses back up on his nose. God...when the kid wasn't being a complete prat, Draco thought, hiding another smile, Potter was downright charming. Not a suave or particularly skillful kind of charm, like the kind Malfoy knew he possessed, but a sweet, natural goodness that made you... made you kind of, well, adore him. He knew Harry could feel his stare, and he also knew how hard the sap was trying to ignore it. He didn't care; he kept right on staring, slowly wearing him down to the breaking point.

Harry glanced over at him, finally, as he reached for a vial. Draco casually tucked a strand of his whiter-than-white hair behind his ear and stretched, making sure that Harry got a glimpse of his forearms. Draco knew a thing or two about body parts, and he knew which ones he should show off. Fortunately for him, he had plenty to choose from at any given moment. So did Harry, but the blasted git didn't realize his frank, natural sexuality any more than he realized how futile it was to act as though their little romp the night before hadn't happened.

I wish he'd look at me. I want him to look at me.

Potter was looking at him again, this time casually glancing at those forearms and trying to make it seem like he wasn't.

He's so innocent, really. Right now he doesn't know what I'm doing to him. He's scared. Is he afraid of me? Is he afraid I'm toying with him?

Are you sure you're not?


Are you sure you're not getting in over your head?


You're a Malfoy. He's a Potter. Like the bad seed and the good earth. They don't mix.

I'm Draco; he's Harry. I want him. That's all I need to know.

You're insane. This is crazy. You're going to get somebody killed.

Draco refused to think about it any further.

The potion had transformed into a beautifully, dazzlingly clear liquid, so smooth and thin you could barely tell it was there. It would dissolve into anything and leave no trace of its presence. It would kill instantly. It would also provide temporary immunity from any affliction, any spell, any curse, dark magic included. Frightening in its beauty, Draco thought. Perfect for Snape to teach; it suited his vindictive sense of aesthetics. Harry tilted his head to measure a bit of it into a mixture of Poisonberry wine, using his left hand to pour while the right held the vial. Draco stood beside him and leaned into him, tilting his head right up against Harry's shoulder on the pretense of measuring the amount in the container.

Harry's vial-hand began to tremble, ever so slightly. So of course Draco did the courteous thing and placed his hand on top of Harry's to keep it steady while he poured. Harry went white. His hand felt cold and hot at once underneath Draco's. Harry's pulse beat at lightning-quick speed, and Draco oh so subtly moved his thumb over it. God, he was enjoying this, Harry's closeness, the heat rising slowly in Harry's cheeks and fingers...

You're going to have people staring, you idiot.

Harry took an unnoticeable breath and slid his hand away. He managed to disentangle himself from Draco, hand him the Diabolution solution, and step away, running his fingers nonchalantly through his thick black hair--all without ever acknowledging what Draco had just done, or even that Draco was there.

Draco felt like growling. Who did he think he was kidding?

He set the potion down on the table a little loudly, and then, out of the corner of his eye, caught Harry watching him. It was just a quick, brief glance, but the message it sent was as clear as it had been before: stay away from me.

Draco suddenly remembered the stinging shame he had felt when Harry had first refused his friendship. He felt a similar kind of pang now, only this time it had edges, and came uncomfortably close to his heart.

Just forget about it, Malfoy. You've had your fun. So you have a crush on Harry Potter. It's just one more thing he'll always have over you.

But he--he feels something. I know it. He's just hiding.

You were more than willing to hide yesterday.

That was before...before I beat him. He wondered if he would even be at this level of awareness had he not stolen the Snitch away from Harry--if maybe the fact that he had finally beaten Harry made him able to admit how he really felt--

How, he knew now, he had always felt.

His frown fell into place and he said nothing for the rest of the class. This was apparently fine by Harry; he didn't look at him until they were dismissed, when he cast him a quick, hesitant glance Draco ignored. Coldness swept over Malfoy, and he picked up his books and left the room with Crabbe and Goyle without chancing a look at Harry.

Behind him, he heard Granger pounce: "Harry, what is going on with you and Malfoy?"

"Hermione, are you nuts? Harry doesn't want to hear any more about Malfoy right now! Sorry, Harry--don't listen to her."

"I don't have anything to say anyway. There's nothing going on. He's just rubbing it in that he beat me."

I'll give you something to rub in.

Without exactly knowing what he was doing, Draco whirled around and faced the trio. "We need to talk, Potter," he said calmly.

Ron, Hermione, Crabbe, and Goyle all stopped dead in their tracks and gaped at him. They'd never actually heard Malfoy address Harry with a sentence that didn't call for an insult in response--and none of them seemed to know what to do about it. Harry, however, paused with a cold look at Malfoy, and walked around him. "I don't think we have anything to discuss."

Malfoy, anticipating this much, leaned into him as he walked past and whispered, "Don't think I won't tell anyone what we were really doing last night."

Harry stopped. His eyes spoke volumes: you wouldn't.

Malfoy's own responded mercilessly: oh, yes, I would.

Glancing back at Hermione and Ron, Harry straightened, gave Malfoy a contemptuous look, and nodded. "I won't be long." Malfoy turned, nodded at Crabbe and Goyle to dismiss them, and strode quickly into a side-dungeon, chilly with frost and dingy from disuse. Behind him he could feel the stares of Slytherins and Gryffindors alike. A quiet heat was rising inside of him as he entered the darkened room. What was he going to say? What could he say? How could he even articulate what was going on in his mind as he watched Harry, when he thought of Harry, when he touched Harry?

Draco suddenly realized he didn't have to articulate anything.

Harry rounded the corner and poked his head in the dungeon after Draco, shutting the door after them and facing Draco with a look of cold disdain. "Well, what is it?"

"I just wanted to remind you of something," Draco said intently, stepping towards Harry, who looked wary but didn't back away.


"This." Draco took Harry's face in his hands.

Harry gasped and reached his own hand up to pry Malfoy's away from him but when their fingers touched he froze. Draco opened his mouth to speak but he couldn't: Harry's presence, the way it felt to hold him again, was overpowering. He wanted desperately to feel Harry's lips against his; yet he stood rigid from fear that if he moved Harry would back away, would scorn him, refuse him, and reject him all over again. He could feel his body, and Harry's beside him, reacting from their closeness, the heat of skin against skin. Slowly he ran his fingers over Harry's cheek, locking his gaze into those beautiful jade eyes. Harry's breathing, already a little ragged, quickened, and as his body tensed under the touch his mouth fell open, and...oh...

Just looking at Harry was heaven.

With a burst of courage, Draco reached for Harry and kissed him so deeply it gave him chills in parts he never knew he had till that moment. Harry's entire body screamed into Draco's with the reaction, and he gripped Draco's arms, fighting with every ounce of control he possessed not to kiss back. Draco leaned into him and dared him to resist, his tongue sweeping into Harry's warm, deliciously salty-sweet mouth with an authority that left both of them breathless. Harry didn't respond, but he certainly didn't pull away, and with a burst of resolve that kept him from giving in to the urge to wrap himself around the Gryffindor and give him the ravishment of his life, Draco finally released him, placing a last kiss gently on Harry's mouth.

Harry gaped at him, reeling. His arms were clinging a bit stupidly to his sides, and he looked as though he'd never recover from the fact that Draco had actually kissed him again.

Cold fear swept over Draco. What now?? He'd just pulled out all the stops, and if Harry refused him now...

...oh, god...

For half a moment Harry seemed to be on the verge of stepping forward and claiming Draco's mouth for his own. He looked back at Draco, beautiful, honest bewilderment gleaming in his eyes. But suddenly, as though he were reigning in all of his emotions at once, his features darkened, and he bit his lip as he removed Draco's hand from his face. "This is nice," he said with considerable difficulty, keeping his voice low and hard, "but it's hardly worth blackmail."

Draco's heart promptly relocated somewhere in the area of his naval.

"Fuck you," he retorted with all the bitterness in his soul.

Harry stared him down for a moment and then nodded. "Right. So that's twice you've told me to fuck off. Nice chatting with you too." But as he turned around Draco gripped his shoulder and forced him to face him.

"Listen, I don't know what you're thinking about what's been going on this week--"

"Oh, and what's that?" Harry snapped. "All I've seen is a bunch of fighting, a couple of kisses, and more fighting. Yeah. That's really a lot to think about, Malfoy."

"Look, is this because I won the Quidditch match?"

"No!" Harry's eyes blazed. "It's about not letting you play this game with me."

Draco flinched. "What?"

Harry gripped the arms that held his shoulder. "This!" he gestured angrily to the air between them, then gave a fierce tug on the front of Malfoy's Quidditch t-shirt, jerking it out of his pants. "This thing that says we won't be happy till we've beaten, ridiculed, humiliated, or pounded the living hell out of one another. The game we've been playing ever since the day we met. You can't just go changing the rules like that!"

"So you'd rather live in a cookie-cutter world than face the possibility that this might be serious!"

Harry's eyes widened. He drew in his breath and took an uncertain step backwards. "There's nothing serious about any of this, Malfoy," he said coolly, his gaze burning into Draco's. "It's just one more way for us to dick around."

Draco froze. He felt his voice leave him. Harry was looking at him as if he wanted to rip Malfoy's soul out for exposure, and yet was horrified with himself for even getting close enough to the Slytherin to try such a thing. His gaze was suffocating in its intensity, but Draco couldn't look away from it. And still, deep inside him, something desperately wanted to be real with Harry, help Harry understand him, and understand the enigmatic mind of the Boy Who Lived.

Harry stood his ground, his eyes flashing in grim determination. "You can't think this is real," he said when Draco stayed silent, "so whatever you're trying to prove by feeling me up every chance you get--"

"You're the one who had the hard-on yesterday, Golden Boy! You're the one who practically jumped me in the astronomy tower and tried to hold my bloody hand in--"

"You're full of shit, Malfoy! You can't pretend what happened didn't happen one day and then try to kiss me the next!"

"Oh, so we're just going to pretend like it didn't happen now because that's what you want, is that it?" Draco snarled.

"What the hell do you want from me, Malfoy?" Harry looked ready to punch him.

"Just make up your goddamn mind, Potter!"

Silence, and then:

"I have made up my mind," Harry said shakily. "I don't want any part of this."

Harry looked as if he didn't believe his own voice. But it was enough for Draco.

"Don't come near me again, Potter," he snarled, fighting back something that felt suspiciously like agony. He couldn't bring himself to say any more, and he wanted desperately to look away; but his pride held his gaze riveted in place against Harry's. He might be humiliated, but Draco Malfoy would never let it show in front of Harry Potter.

Harry nodded in acknowledgment, and then stood there awkwardly for a moment, trying to control his rapid breathing, and like Draco trying to think of something to say. When nothing came to mind and the silence grew overpowering, he swallowed and turned away. He left the room with his dignity thoroughly intact, and just watching him leave made Draco want to shove his fist through the wall. Instead he slumped against it, his mind whirling, heart sinking into a sort of numb oblivion.

On the first day they'd met he'd watched with jealousy and envy as Harry walked away from him the same way. He'd give anything to feel jealous of Harry again. He'd give anything to feel something other than what he felt now: this longing, this steadfast desire for Harry that had arisen from god knew where.

It was stronger than anything he'd ever known. And now he had no idea how to get past it.

He sighed. God, Harry--even with those glasses, you're blind...


For the fifth night in a row, Malfoy couldn't sleep.

Now he sat in the gauzy armchair, looking up at the glass-domed astronomy ceiling. He couldn't stop thinking about Harry. He'd avoided all contact with the Gryffindors for the rest of the day, because even with all his practice at hiding emotion, he didn't have the energy to look into Harry's face without betraying what he was feeling.

It would have been different if Harry had been in denial. It would have been different if he'd been confused and uncertain. But blatant rejection, coming a second time from the only person who had ever refused him, the same person who now made him feel light-headed--that was something Draco could barely comprehend.

He'd gone over and over everything in his mind, for the first time since that damned flower incident. The sleepless nights, the dreams of Harry...the way they'd kissed...it was overwhelming. One week. One week was all it had taken.

And now it looked like it was all over.

He sighed up at the night sky and muttered, "Goddamn you, Harry Potter."

As the sound faded away a noise on the other side of the room caught his attention. It came from nowhere. Draco ducked down in his seat, listening. He knew he wasn't alone, but he wasn't sure what he was with. Cautiously he poked an eye around the corner of the armchair. Whatever it was, it was watching him. Draco felt chills climbing his back and staunchly ignored them. Whatever it was, he wasn't going to let it see him frightened.

He waited an eternity. Maybe there was nothing there after all. Gradually, he began to relax--and then--out of the corner of his eye something moved, as though the very room itself were shivering. He whirled with a soft gasp at the weird shape-shifting in front of him--

and gasped again, this time from a thousand emotions at once.

"Speak of the devil," said Harry.


Author notes: Author’s Notes:

The song quote is by the October Project.

The story of the t-shirt wars: Frances had decided not to allow Draco a proper retaliation in her story for Harry’s little, erm, prank in chapter 2 or Resolution. I think all readers will agree with me that this was in no way fair. Draco needs his vengeance!
Since I had already written my Quidditch match, where Drake actually gets to win for once (about bloody time), I asked her, once the T-shirt Slogans became a kind of phenomenon, if I could have Drake get a little of his own back in Chapter 8. She said yes, and the beginning scene was added to the chapter. Frances is amazing and wonderful and I worship her for letting me borrow the moment and make it my own. THANK YOU. If you haven’t read “Resolution” you must. It’s wonderful. The T-shirt scene alone is one for the annals. Chapter 2 is dedicated to me, hee! It’s like the best guilty pleasure ever.

Disclaimer on the end of LUW 7: I planned it in my mind long before I read Stacey’s Tower With A View, and when I read the first scene of that story my thought was, my god, that’s my Quidditch fight! So any similarities are fully un-intentional.

The ‘thank you’ section from hell:

Franzi, Franzi, Franzi, what would I do without you? I loved what you did with the beta edition of this chapter. I’ve got half a mind to post it as a separate MST of the unedited version. *cackles* Erica, for introducing me to the October Project and being my internet wife; Nancy, for helping me out with a prominent line and doing an impromptu beta session. (Lol: “I Was A T-shirt Beta.”) Nance? “This one’s for you.” *hug* Hurtling glomps to Fran, for allowing me to use her t-shirt slogan idea and run it into the ground; for another impromptu beta session which helped me out immensely; for being just the greatest, sweetest friend and fellow author; and for thinking nice things about me. :) Continuing heartfelt thanks to Ginny, Plu, Constantine, Geralynn, Twilights, and everyone at the Guns and Handcuffs for their boundless enthusiasm and love and ficlets! Thanks to Kickflaw and Durendal for letting me worship them. HUGE thanks to Ali, the genius behind Diagon Alley, for fulfilling a long-standing wish and agreeing to host LUW there in future. Huge thanks to AdiDragon for her energy, art, and friendship. She drew an LUW-inspired pic, among many gorgeous offerings which you can find here.

Special thanks go to Demeter and Mandraco, who have reviewed literally everything I’ve ever written for this fandom, making me feel incredibly loved in the process. To Penguin, Slytherlynx, Audrey Thurston Hirch, and Antenora, all wonderful, amazing writers, among my favorites, who happen to like LUW, and who also let me worship them; to another wonderful author, Ayla, who always reviews even though I have yet to return her the favor and I feel so guilty about it—one day soon, chick, I promise. To the following people who always review and always make my day: Jacey, Anna, AVK, Daughter Hecate, Quidditch Mom, Venus4280, Sarah, Kearie, Tankgirl, Fyre, ClarKeRaVen, bondagechic, Warui Warui Neko, Valacirca, Bosch, and Whitebear (*hugs*). To Slightlights and Plu for the kinds of reviews that make me a better writer—and to Cliff Stamp for the kinds of reviews that make me want to be a writer. Much love to you all. I left out so many people, but please believe I appreciate every kind word.

Thanks to Lady Shalott, whose take on H/D has helped inspire the writing of this fic to no end. Huge thanks to Cassie for the ever-inspiring trilogy, and most especially for Reccing LUW to the Cassie/Rhysenn list along with the other two writers who have served as a huge source of inspiration: Al and Stacey.

To The RQ, for not letting me crawl into a hole during the last month. Josh was a big help in the “to kiss or not to kiss?” aspect of this chapter. I hope you like the result! *hugs the love monkey* Shandy helped me on a part of this chapter even though it got cut (no pun intended)—it’s the thought that counts, right? Dave the World’s Most Awesome Neighbor had to put up with me writing this thing for hours on end and rudely ignoring him (it’s almost done! I swear!! No, really this time!) *hugs Dave* thanks, pal, even though I know how much it will squick you to be in the thank you section of a slash fic. And finally, Weasley the RQ Kitten sat on my shoulder for the last half of it and made the trip seem worthwhile. *smiles*

Finally, hugs and thanks to ChinaWolf for putting LUW in the number one spot. Hope it was worth it.