Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Original Female Witch
Slash Drama
Harry and Classmates Post-Hogwarts
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix Quidditch Through the Ages
Published: 04/22/2005
Updated: 07/30/2008
Words: 247,857
Chapters: 31
Hits: 79,195

The Bet


Story Summary:
It all started with a little bet. "I bet you can't do it." "Do what?" "Seduce him." Draco Malfoy's never been one to back down from a perfectly do-able bet. But when that bet involves Harry Potter? Draco's realising that this bet isn't as cut and dry as it seems, nor as easy... AU post-war, post-Hogwarts, Harry/Draco/OC

Chapter 16

Chapter Summary:
For this chapter: Warm cookies shared over an upset conversation, repercussions realised, anger personified, and a shock to rock their world.
Author's Note:
Gah! Don't hit me! Please...? I know...I know...It's been like...three or four months... All I can say, is that I'm really, REALLY sorry. I can't say that I was overwhemingly busy, but I did gain a social life, which took away a lot of writing time.


Chapter XVI - Living Just Isn't Hard Enough: Take Everything Away



Let me enlighten you

This is the way I pray


Raven stomped loudly into Number Four, kicking her clogs off viciously and quickly stalking upstairs, a sour look on her face and a violent sheen in her eyes.

Daphne jumped as the front door slammed shut--the glass rattling dangerously--and two hard thwacks were heard against the wood panelling of the foyer. Looking up from her book, she just barely caught her roommate storm upstairs, worrying immediately about what had happened. Raven hardly ever lost her cool. But when she did...

Daphne set her book aside, uncurling herself from the armchair by the fire. A door upstairs slammed shut, and Daphne quickened her pace across the room and up the stairs, casting a very troubled look at Mandy, Tracey and Su, who were in the kitchen, washing dishes and baking cookies for dessert.

Tracey excused herself, wiping her doughy hands on a towel and following her two ex-Slytherin friends upstairs.

She found Daphne paused outside her bedroom door, apprehension all over her pixie features. Tracey nodded, and Daphne opened the door abruptly, not bothering to knock. It was better to catch Raven off-guard, after all; trying to pry the information out of her would prove to be much easier if you didn't act too consoling--getting her riled up tended to make everything come out.

But suddenly opening the door did not have the effect Daphne and Tracey were hoping for. Instead of yelling, Raven simply sat there at the head of her bed, glowering at nothing in particular.

"Raven?" Daphne asked the younger girl. She didn't answer. The two girls moved into the room and closed the door behind them. Tracey sat on the edge of the bed, and Daphne stood at the end, her arms crossed over her chest.

"What happened?" Tracey asked cautiously.

There was still no reply, so Daphne put her hands on her hips and glared down at her friend. "Spit it out, Raven, and then we can go beat the shite out of him already."

Tracey nearly smirked, but managed to keep a straight face. Raven cast her gaze down, but it was still another minute before she replied, "What makes you think that there's a 'he'?"

Tracey rolled her eyes. "Because, it's always a 'he'. What did Draco do now?"

Raven clenched her jaw and ground out, "Draco Malfoy is a fucking asshole, that's what he's done."

Daphne and Tracey shared a roll of eyes. This was nothing new. Draco Malfoy was always an asshole. Just why he was, was the difference.

"Like I asked, what did he do now?" Tracey said again, leaning back on one hand and cocking her head.

"He just... He fucking thinks... I fucking pointed him in the right direction... He never would have talked to Potter if it weren't for me! And then he just goes and blames me for pushing too hard, when he's the bloody one who's around him all the time! I just-"

"Whoa, whoa, Raven...back up. What's Potter got to do with it?" Daphne asked.

Raven sighed, burying her face in her hands. "He's got everything to do with it," she mumbled.

"But how?"

Raven tilted her head back against the wall, bringing her knees up to rest her arms on them, her gaze on the ceiling. Sighing heavily again, she began an abbreviated version of her tale.

"I've noticed Potter, alright? Ever since the war...I mean, you know I've been in love with Drake since we were initiated, but during Sanctuary...when I learned more about Potter...I've been fascinated."

"Okay..." Tracey said, sitting up straighter and looking at Raven more seriously. Daphne dropped her hands to her sides and watched the dark-haired witch warily.

"And...so I've, well...I've watched him. Paid attention. He hasn't been well. I didn't know him before or anything, but-" and she smiled wryly, "I've gotten very good at reading people, and I could tell...I could tell that the war was still bothering him. He hasn't really moved on, like everyone else."

"Not everyone did move on, Raven. We all still have nightmares. Sometimes," said Daphne.

"I know," Raven agreed. "I guess I just mean...he led everyone to think he was fine, that he was completely over it...but he never really was, you know? And every time Draco would give him shit, he wouldn't really do anything in retaliation. It drove Drake insane. I kept trying to tell him that fighting with Harry was pointless, that we weren't in Hogwarts anymore, but he wouldn't listen. And I couldn't watch while Harry just suffered. His friends didn't even seem to notice. None of them cast worried glances at him anymore. I do remember that from Hogwarts. And just after the war. But after that, after we started school again...everyone just moved on, leaving Harry behind."

Daphne bit her lip, and Tracey took a deep breath before saying, "So how does this connect to now? I know that you and Draco have become friends with Potter. It's been all over campus for weeks now."

Raven nodded, her eyes only half-focused. "I bargained with Draco, to make him be friendlier with Harry. To make-up with him, I guess. I...I really like Harry," she said in a subdued voice, looking at Tracey and Daphne through her eyelashes.

Daphne's eyebrows shot up, and Tracey looked bemused. "You mean," Daphne started, "that you like Potter?"

Raven nodded in a forlorn kind of way, averting her gaze to the floor between the beds. "I couldn't help it--all that watching him...he just... He's attractive, no sane girl could doubt that, and for the second time in my life, my heart reached out for someone...I just didn't think it would be Harry Potter."

All three girls were silent for a while, not knowing what to say. Finally, Daphne cleared her throat and asked, "So you became friends with him, you and Drake, and then what happened?"

"Does Draco know you like Potter in that way?" Tracey put in.

Raven nodded. "Yes. I told him. Before he became friends with Harry. I wanted him to be comfortable with Harry. Because...I want them. Both of them."

Tracey blinked, quite stunned. Daphne looked away, astonished. Raven only laughed in a rather mad way and exclaimed, "And so now Draco is getting feelings for Harry, just like I wanted, and I tried to help it along--and Draco says I'm pushing too hard! 'He's not ready,' he says. 'You haven't been talking with him', 'just let me handle it,'" Raven mimicked in a slightly whiny and hysterical voice. "Well, fuck you, Draco Malfoy. You didn't give a knut's worth of thought to Harry before I told you to, you stupid, poncy bastard!"

Raven was very worked up now, her cheeks stained red and her hands in fists. She didn't care if she sounded like a spoilt child; Draco had practically pushed her out of the equation all together. Out of the relationship. 'Well, you've gotten me to fall for Potter, good job. I won't be needing you anymore, so bye,' Raven thought, and snorted in response. What an asshole.

"So..." Daphne said haltingly, "Draco...likes Potter? As in...really likes him?"

Raven nodded, tears pricking in the backs of her eyes and her heart cracking a little at having someone else say what she had been thinking for a while now. "Yes. As far as I can tell, yes, Draco likes Harry as much as I do. He hasn't actually told me, but..." She sniffled, rubbing at her eyes. "I just wanted Harry to be happy. He deserves it, don't you think? But I...I think I pushed Draco away. I think he's so caught up in saving Harry that he's forgotten about me. We...we still kiss and whatnot, but not very often. He's too busy going to Quidditch practise or studying potions or talking with Harry that I never see him anymore. I'm happy for Harry, I really am, but I feel so...so..." She hiccoughed and tears started tumbling down her cheeks, and she muffled a sob behind her hand.

Tracey reached forward and touched Raven's foot consolingly, while Daphne came to her friend's side and wrapped her arms around Raven's shaking frame.

Raven sat there for long minutes, just sobbing into her roommates shoulder, feeling her entire world fall down around her. She was so frustrated, and this little pang of loss was thrumming with every heartbeat, stinging each time her heart slammed against her ribs. It was quite a while before her sobs reduced to shuddering breaths, and her grip on Daphne relaxed to a tired and defeated embrace.

Tracey and Daphne looked at each other, both at a complete loss as to what to do. Raven was their friend, sure, and had been for many years...regardless of her deviation to the Dark Lord's side and back, they still cared about her.

But the honest truth was that they didn't really understand the situation at all, and therefore, didn't know what to do to make Raven feel any better. In fact, they were both communicating to each other that whatever Raven got herself into wasn't anything they could help her with.

Tracey finally cleared her throat and murmured, "I'm going to get some milk and cookies for us to share. It'll help cheer you up, Raven; things will get better, I promise." And then she quietly left the room and headed downstairs.

Raven sat back from Daphne, muttering apologies and wiping her eyes. Daphne waved the repentance away, taking out her wand and cleaning her shirt of salty water and snot. Tracey came back in a minute later, holding a silver tray filled with a plate of freshly baked cookies and three large glasses of milk.

Raven smiled sheepishly. "Thanks, Trace."

"It's not a problem," Tracey replied, setting the tray between the three of them, handing them each a glass and offering a biscuit first to Raven, then to Daphne, before taking one herself and settling down on the bed.

They sat in silence for a moment, enjoying the confectioneries and losing themselves in thought, before Daphne finally broke the quiet.

"Raven, I can't tell you that I know how you're feeling, because to be honest, I haven't a clue. In fact, I'm not so sure I really understand what's going on...or if I even like what I've heard so far. Meaning--I'm not sure I can sympathise, because it really sounds like you got yourself in this situation."

Tracey's gaze at Daphne became pointed and wary, while Raven just pursed her lips and fought with her control. It wasn't odd for Daphne to be so point-blank, but it was still hard for Raven to hear that she was behaving like a brat about something she got herself into.

"I know that," the ex-Death Eater bit out. "I know I was stupid. But I thought I had everything under control. It was supposed to be the three of us...and now, I'm not even there, at all."

Daphne frowned. "Well then, do something about it! For Merlin sakes, Raven, you're just as sneaky and ambitious as Draco, you can wheedle your way back in if you want. Especially if you managed to get him thinking about Potter in...any way other than homicidal." There was a strange grimace on her face, and a note of bewildered awe in her voice.

"Yeah," Tracey said, "I'm still wrapping my head around that one..." She tucked a honey-blonde lock behind her ear and brushed some crumbs from her shirtfront and the duvet.

Raven turned away and contemplated for a moment, before Daphne's softened voice broke through her thoughts.

"Or...you can become completely unavailable, and win him back by playing hard-to-get."

Raven smirked and Tracey tittered.

"We've still got a bit of Slytherin in us yet, I think," Raven replied, setting her half-full glass on the nightstand and stretching a bit. "Do you really think that'll work?"

Daphne rolled her eyes. "I don't see why not. He loves you, Raven. Draco doesn't give his heart away easily. If he had, he would have been a lot more distressed over Pansy."

That comment made Raven bite her lower lip. That was the thing that Raven knew, and Daphne and Tracey didn't. Yes, Draco hadn't been as distraught as people would have thought about Pansy's death, but he hadn't shown much emotion when Vincent or his mother had died either. It wasn't that he didn't care; at that point, he just didn't show emotion to anyone. That was how it went.

Raven had gone to him on the evening after his mother's death; on a twilight so cold that even the orangey glow of the setting sun did nothing to make it seem warmer. It only gave the shadows more berth, and Draco had sat in the gardens of Malfoy Manor at Wiltshire, staring for hours and hours, until Raven couldn't bear to not let him know that she had come as soon as she could. That she had begged her Lord for a few moments to spend with the young Malfoy, abandoning her spy work for a few hours at most. Voldemort had been most displeased with her request, but saw her devotion to the other pureblood as a strange sort of acquiescence to the truth that purebloods should only ever unite with other purebloods. Any Muggle ties, and there was no good sense in letting you live.

She had placed her hands on his shoulders from behind, and pressed a chaste kiss to his cheek, which she had found to be cold and wet. He didn't move, didn't acknowledge her presence, just simply sat there, and let her hold him in a fond and loving embrace.

That had been the changing point in their relationship. They had become good acquaintances, friends even, through Blaise, but after that, he had taken to writing her long letters when they were apart, talking about nothing and everything. She wrote just as long letters back, amazed that she could keep her unbridled love for him in the background; veiled by friendly love and concern. He uncharacteristically didn't hide the need for those things from her, but didn't openly acknowledge it either. It had been hard for her not to break into her old habits of seducing what she wanted, because she wanted Draco so much; so very, very much. But there was this disquiet ache in her chest that drove her to sympathies that Draco had unconsciously told her he needed.

So no, Daphne wouldn't have had any idea that Draco had cared so much for other people. He didn't show it, after all, and while Daphne had not been a Death Eater, she had been at Pansy's funeral, and never realised just how much her death might have affected him. Pansy was Draco's first, as it was, and she loved him in her own way, even if he was unsure of his own level of feeling in return.

And only Blaise and Raven had ever really seen what the familial betrayal of his father had cost him in terms of trust and love.

But that line of thought was better left for other times.

"Yes, I suppose so," Raven said quietly, not entirely sure she believed it.

"Oh, he does, Raven," Tracey put in. "He adores you. And haven't you said that you two have been through so much? He can't just ignore that so suddenly for...Potter." She said the last word as if there was some type of interesting candy on her tongue, and she was unsure if it was sweet or sour.

"Yes, I know," Raven sighed, picking up another biscuit and grabbing her glass of milk. "I guess I'll just...act cold and distant until he apologises."

Daphne smiled and Tracey said, "I'm hoping it'll take more than that from him for you to take him back."

Raven smiled a rakish smile. "Oh yes. I've still got a few things that need finishing between us before he'll think he's off the hook."

The three girls giggled, and Raven felt the slight weight in her chest abate somewhat, but in the back of her mind, even in her dreams, she knew that something wasn't quite right...something was going to happen, and more than anything, she hoped she could find out what it was before it came. Because she had the feeling, had been having it for weeks actually; that what was coming was going to end badly.


Another nightmare about to come true

Will manifest tomorrow

Another love that I've taken from you

Lost in time, on the edge of suffering

Another taste of the evil I breed

Will level you completely

Bring to life everything that you fear

Live in the dark and the world is threatening


Draco knew he was awake before he opened his eyes. As he slowly slid into conscious awareness, his eyelids lifted slowly in response. It was still dark out, but he could feel that dawn was fast approaching. Turning his torso slightly, he rubbed his left eye and tried to focus on the surface of the white ceiling in his modest cottage dorm room. The memories he held of the day and night before crept into the fore of his sleep-muddled mind and he felt a jolt like tingling fire through his body.

Oh... Harry.

Turning his head further to the left, he saw next to him the object of his day's first thoughts. Wow, he thought softly, awed by his current reality. Harry was obviously shirtless, and if Draco remembered correctly, the man's boxers were also strewn somewhere about the room. His left arm was flung over his head; that chiselled face tucked into his shoulder, and his other arm lay loosely over his broad chest.

Carefully, so as not to wake the other man, Draco turned over, watching Harry as he slept. He could see a faded bruise in the soft skin between Harry's neck and shoulder, a place where Draco had found great pleasure in suckling last night. Using a gentle hand, Draco brushed the backs of his fingers over the bare skin of Harry's arm; making Harry's face twitch in Draco's direction before slightly tanned skin disappeared under the deep emerald duvet, and Harry rolled over, away from Draco.

Draco sighed softly, his thoughts turning maudlin. His groin was still tingling, but this usual pleasurable feeling was only causing him discomfort. As great as things had been last night, and as lost as he had felt being touched by and touching Harry, Draco had not forgotten what else had happened between him and Raven.

Sighing again, but louder this time and in frustration, Draco gingerly got out of the bed, crossing to his wardrobe to find a pair of pyjama pants to don. It was no use trying to find his boxers in the mess of clothes around the bed; he had more important things to think about than trying to separate his and Harry's garments. Like the journal.

He lit a lone candle at the far corner of his semi-cluttered desk, glancing back over to Harry to make sure he hadn't woken him. Taking the long flat box from his desk drawer, Draco sat, drawing the elegant white quill from the black velvet. He dipped his hand back into the drawer and came back up with a slender journal. He paused slightly, unsure if he should even bother with the journal for Raven anymore...but placed the end of the quill in his mouth and sucked on it anyway, before placing it against the parchment in the book and setting it aside, concentrating on what had happened yesterday, letting the memory-quill work it's magic.

After five minutes or so of heavy and confusing thought, he opened his eyes and grabbed a quill from the holder on his desk, his favourite ink well, and the other journal, which was buried beneath some papers. He would have to remember not to leave it out anymore...he had no idea how far someone's curiosity could go, and he didn't want to find out. In fact, remembering to constantly lock the drawer to his desk would be a good thing too.

Wetting the nib, he paused for a moment, listening to the scratch of the memory-quill, Harry's slow breathing, and the flickering of the candle. Taking a deep breath, he wrote:

12 October 2003

I don't even know where to begin; my thoughts are such a jumbled, overbearing mess.

It's early in the morning; the sun is about to show signs of wakening, and all I can think about is Harry, what we did last night, and Raven.

Oh Merlin, Raven.

I can't deny that I meant every word I said last night; but I was under the impression that Harry was indeed not ready for any sort of contact.

How wrong I was.

I thought after giving a hand-job to Harry in the art wing that we'd just come back here, and he'd reciprocate. Apparently, I underestimated the long repressed sexual frustration of a twenty-three year old man. Good Lord, how did Potter manage all these years just getting himself off?

It truly baffles me.

So the second we get into my room, he's all over me. I barely had the sense to cast some privacy spells before I couldn't think anymore. I'm still not sure I remember it all. There was a lot of fumbling...and we tripped at one point and Harry knocked hard into the bedpost. I think he'll have a bit of a bruise for that one. We managed to get into the bed, or I should say, onto the bed, before Harry decided that the best way to learn how to suck cock was to just do it. So he did.

It wasn't the best, of course, but I never much allowed for that sort of thing with my other partners...so the only basis I have is just as eager attempts by Pansy so, so many years ago, and a few by my more experienced Raven. But Harry improved quite quickly, it almost made me wonder if he'd been given one before and remembered what he liked himself; though I think he was just barely aware enough to postulate what would probably feel good...or perhaps...

Now that I think about it, he still has that book, hasn't he?

Huh. I think he's been reading up.

After that, it was just a lot of groping and snogging...most of which is still fuzzy in my head. I remember he traced his fingers over my scar again, when we lay side-by-side. He seemed lost in thought, just holding my hand and kissing my shoulder...

Maybe that's all there really was. A hand-job, a blowjob, and a few kisses? I just remember being thoroughly worn out by the time I fell asleep.

But wait...I remember a bit more. We...sort of...well, we didn't have sex in any rate, but I definitely remember me rolling on top of him and rubbing our bodies together until we got off again...? Yes. That's what it was. Kind of how like Raven and I do, but...not. Harry doesn't feel at all like Raven. But I like the way he feels. A lot. He's got the greatest body; really...I could stare at it all day. I can't pick a part I like more. Looking at him this morning, while he's still asleep...I can't believe he was ever that street urchin in those ridiculously large clothes I met all those years ago--scrawny and awkward.

He was so eager, and ready, and we could have gone all the way, I think...but I'm sure even Harry realised at some point that he wasn't quite ready. I think my warning earlier is actually lingering. I'll be honest and say that while Harry's kissing me, I would never be able to say 'no', but at the same time, I don't want Harry to regret it. Do I regret my first time? No, I don't think so. I was too young to care about the feelings that could be attached. I really didn't care, even though I cared as much as I could for her. For Pansy.

Okay...that's the second time that path wants to come up, but I'm not going down it. I'd much rather stay on Harry.

I want him. So much I'm almost willing to wake him right now and have a go. God, my prick aches with it. And Harry...well, he's probably as ready as they'll ever come. I know I was when I first starting messing around.

So, what I said to Raven was not a lie as I knew it, but now that I'm not completely surrounded by a rather randy Potter, I'm realising just how much my words might have hurt her. She told me that she wouldn't be around anymore. But does that mean we've broken up? That we'll never be together again? I don't know. I'm no good at this relationship stuff...I've never really been in one before. I just let her walk away, so does that mean I thought we should break up too? I don't want that to be the case, of course, but I just can't figure out how I got into this bloody mess.

And by 'mess' I mean that I'm in love with Raven and I have been for years. I'm in love with Harry, and I only realised it a few days ago, but it feels like forever. Raven and I never really talked about all the possibilities for relationship changes in pursuing this, and I never actually thought I'd fall for Harry. I never thought I'd have the feeling that I needed to choose between the two of them. And Gods, if I could, I never would, as selfish as that sounds. Isn't that just like Raven, though? She wants us both too.

But the irony still gets me that I'm feeling anything for Harry at all; I was just supposed to do it, get in and out and with a minimum of grief on all sides. Mess around with Potter, finally be with Raven...then drop Potter somewhere along the way and get on with my life. It was never supposed to mean anything. Not for me, and not for Potter. At least from my point of view. But I think--no, I know that it was Raven's plan all along to get us liking each other...really, how could we get together any other way?

And now I'm stuck with him, I can feel it.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Fuck if I know. Right now, I can't imagine just chucking Harry out of my life--going back to the way things were before--but I can't let him stay. He says that he should make his own decision about me, about Raven, about us. And I agree; really, I do. But it's just not right. It never was. I was a fool to let Raven talk me into pursuing this. And all to get laid.

What the fuck is wrong with me? I must be the biggest and most oblivious arsehole in the--

Draco silently set his quill down upon hearing the rustling of fabric behind him. Quickly and quietly, he shoved the book he'd been writing in under some papers. Scrambling, he took some other leaflets and draped them across the now unmoving memory-quill and journal in the corner of the desk. He straightened and turned to see Harry just sitting up, rubbing at his right eye to rid it of sleep-bogeys. The dawn outside had crept up behind Draco without his being aware of it; but now, when the soft golden hue shined squares across Harry's even more golden torso, Draco couldn't help but notice.

"Draco?" Harry asked in a gruff voice riddled with sleep, looking in his direction, but squinting without his glasses on.

"Yeah?" Draco responded, standing.

"What are you doing? Why are you over there?"

Draco shrugged, moving back to the bed and under the duvet. "Just thinking."

"'Bout what?" Harry lay down next to him, leaning over and almost hesitantly pressing a timid kiss to Draco's lips.

Draco kissed him back, smiling slightly, but sighed, rolling onto his back, breaking his eye contact with the other man. "About...about, er...last night," Harry smiled shyly, though Draco didn't catch this, continuing on with, "...and Raven."

Harry's smile faltered as he remembered the muffled argument he heard last night. And then Draco's numerous warnings about the consequences of Harry's hormonal-driven actions. He felt a little twinge of guilt in his stomach upon realising that he'd been so caught up in getting himself satiated that he had forgotten the blonde's falling out with Raven. Raven, the wily and charming artist that caught even Harry's eye. And then he just switched full-throttle to her boyfriend. To Draco.

He cleared his throat. "So, er...what are you going to do about...Raven?" And us, he silently added.

Draco sighed and rested an arm on his forehead. "I'm...not sure. I know I need to talk to her, but I'm not sure if she'll want to talk to me."

Harry nodded. It was understandable, though Harry realised that he had no idea what Draco really felt like. He himself had never been in a similar situation, let alone fathomed becoming part of a triangle that should have seemed improbable. But he could understand why Raven might not want to talk to Draco.

They lay there for a few moments in silence, watching the morning shadows move slowly across the walls of the room. Then Draco spoke again.

"Harry...I think...I think we might need to..." God, this was hard to say without hurting the other man's feelings, but Draco had to do it.

"What, Draco?" Harry could hear the barely traceable tremor in Draco's voice, and it made him much more alert, his heart speeding up slightly, and his body tense. He had a feeling he wasn't going to like hearing whatever Draco had to say.

He was right.

Draco lowered his arm to his side, staring resolutely up at the ceiling. "I think we need to step back for a moment. Stop--stop whatever is going on between us before it goes too-"

Harry sat up, his brows furrowing in puzzlement and frustration. "What? Goes too far? What the hell, Draco? Didn't I tell you last night that I can make this decision for myself?" Despite lying naked in bed with the pale man all night, Harry felt the urge to pull the black sheets more securely around his very unclothed waist.

Draco sat up as well, a pained look on his face and a flush to his cheeks. "Yes, Harry, you did, but-"

"Then again, what the hell? I want to be with you like--like, well--like this!" He gestured between them.

Draco sighed, looking down and chewing his lip. This was not going well. "I'm not saying I don't like it either, I just...I need some time to sort things out with Raven. And I think you need some time to sort out your sexuality," Draco ended matter-of-factly with a calm gaze at Harry.

Any retort Harry had ready on his lips died at that last comment. The last two comments, actually. My sexuality? He never had to think about his...his sexuality. It was never an issue. He kissed and...groped Draco because he wanted to. He was tired of worrying about the fact that Draco was a guy and just did it. Went with the flow. What did his sexuality matter? "My sexuality?" his mouth echoed.

"Yes," Draco replied. "You obviously are attracted to blokes, but what about girls? You told me you liked Raven, and then within the week you were snogging me and Chaikovsky."

Harry frowned. "So? Can't I like both?"

"Of course you can."

"Like you so obviously do."

Draco halted. "No. I don't obviously like both."

"Then what the hell am I?"

Draco huffed. "Look, Potter, this isn't about me, it's about you-"


The colour rose high on Draco's cheeks. "You are the only guy I've ever kissed," he bit out, "and I'm certainly not inclined to kiss any more."

"But you still like both."

"No, I just like you."

"Same thing."

"No, it's not, you insufferable brat."

"How so?"

"You, Potter. Harry. I like you."

Harry paused before a soft 'oh' passed his lips. Then he smiled triumphantly. "But that's still liking both."

Draco let out a frustrated growl before regaining control. Harry smirked like Draco had to him so many times.

"Exactly," Harry said. "So now that that's settled-"

"I still have to figure out what's going on with Raven and I." Draco cut off flatly.

That made Harry's heart stop short for a moment. "I understand, Draco...but what about that offer you made me last night? The one where you offered the same as Raven--to be my friend or lover, whichever one I needed?"

Draco grimaced at the memory. "And that still stands, Harry. But I...I don't want to lose Raven, either. And no offence, but you might complicate things at the moment. I want her and I to be okay, before we...you and me, continue, if that's what we do. I hate it when Raven's mad at me. Especially for my own stupidity. I love her."

The sudden tightness in his throat surprised Harry. He'd wanted to hear those three words towards himself for ages...but it didn't look like it was going to happen. At least not any time soon, and not from Draco. Or Raven.

"What do I do, in the meantime?" Harry asked sullenly, not able to look Draco in the eye. There was a clenching in his ribcage that was starting to make itself known quite painfully.

Draco shrugged. "I don't know, Harry. I'm sorry, I really am. But I...I'm just as confused as you are, and I feel like a right prat right now-"

"You are," Harry interceded.

Draco smiled slightly and ploughed on, "You could always help me lure Raven back..."

Harry shook his head, scowling at Draco's suggestion. "No. I don't think so. She's probably mad at me too. God, she'll probably kill me if she finds out what happened last night..." he trailed off, looking troubled out of the window past the bed. He was just now realising what his hormonal-driven actions the night before might have wrought. Any thoughts he had had about it last night went completely out the window at some point that Harry couldn't remember.

Draco snorted softly in response to Harry's words. "She'll castrate us both, Potter."

Harry looked over sharply. "Really?" he asked in mild alarm.

Draco sniggered. "No...not in the literal sense. At least, I hope not. I'm hoping she'll be happy. She wants you to be happy."

"I'm happy with you." Harry was vaguely aware that he was starting to sound like a petulant child.

"I understand that, but-"

"But what?" And now he was cross.

Draco sighed. "It's not like we're--boyfriends, Harry. I think you should try seeing someone else for a while."

"What?! Like who?" That hurt blossomed in his chest again, and he couldn't believe what Draco had just said. It was going against Draco's own offer at a relationship!

"Chaikovsky, for one."

It was Harry's turn to snort, crossing his arms and looking away. "Like that's going to work."

"Why not? He likes you, it seems, and you didn't totally blow him off, did you?" At Harry's shake of head Draco asked, "Then why wouldn't it work?"

"He's my Captain, that's why."


"It would be like favouritism, Draco."

"Again, so?"

Harry let out his own frustrated growl. "You aren't going to change your mind, are you?"

"Harry, look. I like you, I really do. But I've just got to sort this out with Raven...I can't just abandon her because you've decided that you'd like to have a go with me."

"I'm not asking you to abandon her!" Harry shot back incredulously.

"And I'm not asking you to give up on what could be! But Merlin, Harry, I was your first real kiss! Your first...your first anything! I think you should try things out with other people before you decide if you want to pursue a relationship with me, or with Raven, or with the both of us!"

"And what makes you think I'll come back if I go with Mikhail? Who's to say that we don't stay together?"

"Then so be it. You weren't meant to be with either of us, if that's the case."

"You're willing to give this up-"

"You don't even know what 'this' is-"

"-because you were my first? Bollocks."

"I don't want to give up anything, Potter. But I can't let you just...fall for either or both of us, when there's so much more out there for you to do!"

"Like what? Heard any rumours about a Dark Lord lately?" Harry mocked.

Draco stopped for a moment, stung. "No. I have not. You could experience so many different things Harry, if you'll just leave yourself open to them."

"What, like you probably did? I don't even want to know how many girls you had your cock stuck in before I came along."

Draco's jaw dropped open in shock. He never would have thought such words would have ever tumbled from those ruby lips that caressed his own and his body last night. And from the look on Harry's face, he was rather surprised at his own exclamation too. But Draco's chest hurt too much, and all he could reply in a mumble was, "I think you should leave."

"Draco, I-"

"I know you're sorry. But I need to be alone right now. You need to go."

Harry felt his heart breaking in two, in a way he'd never felt before. Did he really care about Draco that much? Yes, he realised. He did. Maybe he was being selfish...he wanted that feeling again, that exhilarating feeling that had consumed him last night. All he wanted was to take Draco into his arms and touch that pale skin again, and claim that mouth, and... Harry blinked his eyes and looked away. And he might never get to again. He couldn't believe he just said what he did. But he couldn't change it, and Draco had asked him to leave, so he would.

Slowly, not looking at his friend-turned-lover-turned...what? What were they? Harry moved about the bed, collecting his clothes and things and putting them on. Shoving his feet in his trainers, he took one last look at Draco, who had kept his gaze in his lap the entire time, and left quietly through the door.


Harry went home directly after leaving Draco's. He felt wretched, and the bright autumn sun was doing nothing for his mood.

It was still fairly early as Harry quietly made his way into his dorm, which still lay silent. None of his dorm mates were privy to getting up before noon on the weekends. And, he mused, neither was he. He trudged up to his room, shutting the door behind him and slumping back against it. Kicking his shoes off rather violently, he threw himself on his bed; letting the quiet permeate his ears before growling in frustration and turning over to bury his face in his pillow.

He was angry--with himself for the hurtful things he said, and at Draco for, well...being a prat, he supposed. Harry rolled back over and sighed. Draco had a point; getting things all right between him and Raven was priority; but why did Draco have to shut Harry out to do it? Couldn't Harry be there to help? It was like Draco was practically telling him that they couldn't be friends, either. And why on earth would Draco want Harry to date someone else? Especially after what happened last night? It made no sense. Unless...

That was why. Maybe Harry was just horrible at...at... What was the word the book used? Fellatio? Yes, fellatio, that was it. Maybe Harry was just bad at it. Maybe he should just...stick to girls. Or...something.

Harry frowned. That couldn't be it. He'd gotten Draco off, hadn't he? So he must have been good enough. Then what was it? Maybe it wasn't Harry; maybe Draco just...regretted it? Thought it messed up their friendship? Just wanted some time to sort things out with Raven, like he said?

Harry didn't know. And he wasn't sure what to make of Draco's suggestion to see Mikhail. Harry liked Draco, clearly; they got along, and Harry's body could only react in an embarrassing manner upon remembering the sight of Draco's naked body beneath him. And it wasn't that Harry didn't like Mikhail--he had never thought about liking or not liking him before--but why would he just date Mikhail when he so obviously liked Draco, and wanted something more with him? Even after Mikhail kissed him, and he wasn't sure he could really, truly like Mikhail...at least not as much as he felt he liked Draco. But again, if Draco was going to push him away, where else could Harry experience those wonderful feelings that he'd been missing out on all these years?

Gods, how could he let go of what he'd discovered with Draco last night? How could anyone?

So, upon Draco being a prat, for whatever reason, Harry knew he needed to keep a hold of some bodily contact with another person, for however long it took for Draco to come to his senses, or he was going to lose his own. Merlin, that man was like hot and cold; one minute, he's practically telling you he loves you and wants to try and have a three-way relationship with you and his recently estranged girlfriend, and the next, he wants some space to fix things with his girlfriend. But in between that, why not snog and get each other off?

Harry sighed again. This was ridiculous. Did Draco really want Harry to see someone else, or was that just a ruse to get Harry to back off? Should Harry date Mikhail just to see if it would make Draco jealous? Would Mikhail be able to provide at least something akin to what he felt with Draco?

Harry decided he would talk to Mikhail on Monday...maybe they could work something out. Mikhail did like him after all, and he was pretty good looking, Harry supposed; different than Draco, but then no one was quite like Draco. Mikhail was a nice guy, and Harry was hoping that that would translate into 'good boyfriend material'. He mused that they could try it out; logically speaking, it was probably healthier and saner than getting involved with Draco and Raven. That was likely to be a mess regardless of how Harry felt about them. Speaking of which...

Harry needed to talk to Raven sometime that day, before Draco tried to talk to her. Explain things from his point of view and soften her up for Draco (whom she was likely to not listen to at all) if she was mad. Harry wasn't quite sure how he knew that, but he knew that Hermione had the tendency to do the same thing, so it probably applied to Raven as well. A nudge in Harry's mind wondered why he was bothering to help Draco out at all, since he was being such a prat, but Harry brushed it aside. As pissed and upset as he was at Draco, he couldn't let his friends' relationship go sour because of a misunderstanding.

So today, Raven. Tomorrow, Mikhail.


Harry busied himself in those early hours by taking a shower, but the shower only brought his thoughts around to Draco as he not only smelled Draco slightly on his jumper, but he noticed a small love bite in the juncture of his neck and shoulder. So he tried to start on his potions essay that was due that week, but the potions essay only made him think of Draco again when he looked through the chart he and Draco had been working on for two weeks. There was a slight twinge in his chest, and Harry frowned each time. Gods, this sucked.

Sighing resignedly, Harry slipped on his denim jacket and trainers, making his way downstairs and ignoring dorm mates' sleepy questions and looks of confusion at Harry's sombre demeanour. Only a few of them traded looks remembering that Harry didn't come home last night. At least not while they were up in the late hours of the night.

The morning was still crisp, it only being around eight or nine A.M. As Harry approached Number Four from across the courtyard, he noticed that Draco was just stepping out of Number Three and making his own way over to his girlfriend's place. Draco was dressed in all black, as was usual, but he went sans coat, which Harry thought was kind of odd, seeing as it was so cold out that morning. Harry wondered if it was a punishment of sorts, but could think no more on it as he got closer to the blond. Draco's fists clenched as he caught sight of Harry, and the dark-haired man just took a deep breath and steeled himself for the inevitable. Draco stopped just before the stairs of Number Four, waiting for Harry to catch up to him.

Crossing his wool-clad arms across his chest, Draco said with a little bite, "Come to see Raven, Potter?"

Harry frowned at Draco's cold manner and use of his surname. "Yes, Draco," Harry stressed, and noted when Draco looked quickly away and let out a little breath.

"Look, Harry, I don't want to make this awkward-"

But Harry cut him off. "You made this awkward yourself, Draco. I can handle you wanting some...space, or whatever this is, but you don't have to be an ass about it."

"He does that when he doesn't know what else to do, Harry. Bastard 'til the end, huh, Draco?"

Both men turned to see Raven standing in the doorway to Number Four, dressed in a thick green jumper and scarf, with charcoal grey corduroy pants on. She closed the door behind her and stepped forward.

Draco walked straight up to her, saying, "Raven, love, we need to talk. I need to explain-"

She stopped in front of him, levelling an easy glare into his eyes. "I don't want an explanation from you right now, Draco. I want to talk to Harry." Then she moved past him, stepping off the stairs and taking Harry's hand in hers. "Don't follow us, Draco. We will know if you do," she said without glancing back, moving forward with Harry in tow.

Harry cast a torn look up at Draco, who was struck dumb on the porch, his mouth slightly open, watching them go with a visibly hurt expression. Though Harry was still rather pissed at Draco, the look on his friend's face worried him. "I'm sorry," he mouthed, before turning to follow Raven.

"Don't worry about him, Harry," Raven whispered. "He'll be back to his old self in no time."

"But what about you two?" Harry whispered back.

Raven looked over at him before squeezing his hand. "We'll see."

They walked in silence the whole way, Harry's hand sweating nervously. He didn't like this situation at all. Raven just brushed Draco off like he didn't matter, and now it looked as if he and Raven were going to...get together or something. Well, not really, but Draco probably didn't see it that way. Harry sighed quietly. He supposed this was just how Slytherins acted, and he couldn't do much about that.

Raven led them through the woods to the alcove...Draco's spot. Her spot. Harry's new spot. Their spot. The sun was filtering prettily through the leaves, casting rays of yellow-orange light on the earth. The ground was still a little damp from the rain earlier that week, and Harry and Raven slipped a few times on wet leaves. It was this sort of weather Harry liked, even though he wasn't sure if autumn was really his favourite time of year. The air was crisp and clean, and smelled of earth and rain.

They sat down on the edge, Harry dangling his feet, and Raven curling up beside him.

After a long moment of companionable silence, Harry spoke his thoughts. "Draco cares about you very much...why wouldn't you listen to him?" Harry realised that what he said was against his earlier thoughts of wanting to talk to Raven first, but brushed that quickly away as Raven responded.

"Because I wanted to talk to you first, like I said. I wanted to know what happened after I left. From you."

Harry let out a quiet breath. "Raven...Draco didn't mean to yell at you last night. He didn't know..." he trailed off.

"Didn't know what, Harry?" the woman asked, turning to look at him.

Harry blanched, nervous about sharing this next bit of information. "A-after you left, Draco and I talked, um, about what had been bothering me." Raven made a non-committal humming noise, so Harry continued. "Well, you see...I've been...having some thoughts...about...about, er, sex and stuff."

"Oh?" Her voice held a faint trace of amusement.

"Er, yeah. And Draco, well he--he showed me that book you gave him, and we looked through it...um..."

"And?" Raven was looking at him now, a smile playing on her lips and a twinkle in her eye.

Harry cleared his throat, trying to push his slight embarrassment down, "And, well, on Friday night, I went out with Mikhail, right, for drinks, and well he...he kissed me." Though he was pretty open with his two newest friends, because of the subject matter and whom it involved, he still felt a little awkward. They hadn't really ever talked about stuff like this before.

Raven's mouth opened in surprise. "He did? Wow..." She looked away for a moment before saying slowly, as if working it out as she spoke: "Is that why you were acting so weird being naked near Draco? You didn't know if you liked the kiss or not? If you were gay?"

Harry nodded, relief flooding him that Raven grasped the situation so quickly. "Yeah. I just...that was my first kiss, you know? Since, er, fifth year at Hogwarts."

Raven's brows rose. "Really? I didn't know that. Well...did you like it?" she asked.

Harry cast about in his mind, which was so far away from Friday night he wasn't sure if he remembered. He settled on, "Yeah...I think so."

"I'm really sorry I put you in that situation, Harry. It must have been very uncomfortable for you. I wish you would have said something before you nearly fainted."

Harry shook his head. "It's alright. I'm more worried about you and Draco right now, regardless of how much of a prat he's being."

"Has something else happened I don't know about?"

The ex-Gryffindor nodded, looking away and out to the sea.

"I've been...well, noticing Draco, I guess. Like noticing how good-looking he is. Only this week really, but he told me last night that he..." Harry hesitated for a moment, but decided just to plough ahead and tell her everything, "That he cared for me like you do; that he'd like to be there for me, either as a friend or a-a lover, and, I don't know, I guess I sort of took advantage of that and the fact that I've been unbelievably, er..." Harry paused, unsure of how to go on, but his blush and bashful grin said it all.

"Horny?" Raven suggested, and Harry's blush deepened.

"Er...yeah. And so we...kissed." It was just a breath of a word, but it held so much behind it.

Harry wanted desperately to know how Raven felt, but could not look up into her eyes, no matter how much he knew he should.

"I see." was her own quiet response.

Harry had to look up then, to see Raven's profile looking out to sea, not any recognisable expression on her face, except perhaps deep thoughtfulness and a silent searching in her eyes.

Harry wanted to say something, but was really quite afraid to ruin the quiet. He was afraid of what would happen if he did. It wasn't that the silence was pleasant, oh no, it was in fact quite tense, but he did not trust himself to say anything that wouldn't upset the woman next to him.

She looked sad for a brief moment, and then finally turned to Harry. "Harry, I'm not--mad. Really. I just... I'm really happy for you and Draco, I knew he cared about you, but I just wonder what that means for Draco and I. I didn't want things to be like this between us, when, well...when I thought of the three of us being together, to put it bluntly. But if...if you two want to be together, I can't stop you."

Harry was stricken. He wasn't sure what to think. "Raven, the last thing I want to do is break you and Draco up. You're my friends, and my attraction to Draco and...you, won't change that fact. I should go off and find someone else, really. You and Draco should be together."

Raven bit her lip. "Harry, don't get all self-sacrificing Gryffindor on me now..."

Harry chucked quietly, but sobered. "No, I think Draco was right. This morning. He told me that he needed to get things straight with you, so I should go date someone else."

"He said that?" Incredulity laced her tone.

"Yeah," Harry said a little sullenly.

"It sounds like you don't actually agree, Harry."

The dark-haired man sighed. "It's not that so much. I mean he's right...me trying to...be with Draco, I guess, would only make things between you two harder right now. I know you love each other, and I...I can't compete with that. I do really like Draco, though. And I...I don't want to just put on hold whatever it was we started, because I liked it. I really did. I've never felt like that before. And..." Harry sighed, "Draco suggested I try and date Mikhail."

"Hmmm," the woman pondered. After a moment, she unwrapped one arm from around her legs and patted him on the knee. "I think you should go for it."

"Really?" Harry asked.

"Yes. But not because I don't think that Draco's not being a prat. That was a rude thing to do, kissing you like that and sort of...leading you on, then dropping you. But I'm assuming when you say 'this morning' that you two did a little more than kiss?" At Harry's eyes lighting up, his avoiding gaze, and a badly repressed grin, she continued. "So, use this opportunity to get back at him a little. Date Mikhail a while, make Draco jealous, because it will, and when the opportune moment comes, take Draco by surprise. He won't know what hit him."

Harry stared at her. "Are you serious?"


"What? No. Raven, no. I can't do that! What about Mikhail? How do you think he'll feel, being used like that?"

"Just break up with him. Tell him that things aren't working out. Which they won't, if you're keen enough to get Draco back. Or tell him that you've fallen for someone else or something."

Harry tilted his head back in exasperation. "How can you suggest this? I mean, really?" He looked back down at her. "Don't you want Draco back for yourself?"

"I've got my own way of dealing with him. I'm going to make him wait a little longer. He's been so intent on you and how you're doing, that he's forgotten that we're in a relationship, and that I need attention too." At Harry's stricken face, she added, "But don't you go feeling bad about that. I've been rather worried about you myself. So--I say we both make him stew a little while longer...it'll teach him a powerful lesson."

"And what's that?"

"Never mess with the dark-haired, green-eyed variety. We're extremely volatile."

Harry snorted. "God, Draco's going to kill us when he finds out..."

Raven smirked. "All the more reason."

"So how are you going to make him wait? Ignore him some more?"

"Well, there's that."

"I hear an 'and' in there."

"And I'm hoping you'll help me with the rest."

"How so?"

"Act like you're on my side. Spend time with me, generally ignore Draco, and...mess around with Mikhail." She chuckled. "Draco really gave me something with suggesting that."

Harry rolled his eyes. "Well, I'll try. He does deserve it. Or something. For being so damn...insensitive."

"Hmmm. Yes, I agree."

They sat for a moment, the wind picking up and tossing their hair to and fro, stinging their cheeks and eyes.

"Do you want to head back?" Harry asked. "It's getting a bit nippy out here."

"Yes, I think that's a good idea."

"Winter's coming soon, huh?"

"Indeed it is," she replied.

They stood, Harry helping the girl up, and they made their way back through the woods, their fingers comfortably but loosely intertwined.

"I'm glad I wore corduroys today," she remarked, letting go of Harry's hand to climb over the fallen log in the path.

"It's the first time I've seen you without a skirt on," Harry said, hopping over the log and re-taking Raven's hand in his.

"I generally like skirts better...probably has something to do with my pure-blood wizarding heritage." Harry raised an eyebrow, unsure of how to interpret her words and non-committal tone.

"So," Raven said, "What exactly did you and Draco do last night?" Her voice was teasing, but inside, she was nervous about what she was going to find out. Far under all the nosy and rather voyeuristic tendencies she had, of course.

Harry blushed and bit his lip to hide his smile. "We...got off a few times, is all."

"How?" Raven's voice sounded eager, and Harry couldn't help but notice.

He shot her a raised eyebrow before saying, "A hand-job, a blowjob; the usual, I guess."

An almost evil glint formed in Raven's green eyes. "Interesting..."

"Why?" Harry asked, a smile half-formed on his face.

"Oh, no reason..." she smirked.

"Bull," he retorted. "You like knowing that sort of stuff, don't you? That's why you gave Draco the book...you wanted us to look at it together didn't you?"

"Why, Harry James Potter, however did you guess?" she said coquettishly. Laughing, she said, "Okay, I'll admit, I've got a bit of hedonistic voyeurism in me."

"Oh, only that." Harry jibed, as they stepped out of the woods.

"Yes, only that," she sniffed. "Well, mostly."

Harry laughed, letting Raven lead him back to Number Four. Draco was sitting on the steps when they arrived.

He stood as they approached, and Raven held on a bit tighter to Harry's hand, while the laughter died from his lips, and they easily fell into a solemn line.

Raven walked straight past Draco, dragging Harry with her. Draco looked hurt and perhaps a little pissed at her blatant dismissal, but Harry tried to ignore it as best he could. When they reached the front door, Raven turned to him, giving him a warm hug, which made Harry feel rather awful for returning right in front of Draco. When she pulled back, she leaned forward again and whispered lowly into his ear, "Remember what we talked about, Harry. I'll see you tomorrow." Then with a quick kiss on the cheek, she disappeared inside.

Harry was hit with a sad glare as he turned around, and tried to hide his wince. Shit. What was Raven trying to do? Get him killed? Merlin...

"Hello, Draco."

"What the fuck was that, Harry? When I suggested you try and date someone else, I didn't mean my girlfriend. I meant Mikhail, whom I believe I suggested."

Harry sighed. He was no good at this sort of thing. "We're not dating, Draco. She's just being how she always is around me. You're just looking at it differently now that she's mad at you, and not at me." Harry moved to step down from the porch but Draco caught his arm.

"What did you say? About us?"

"I told her what happened."

Draco raised an eyebrow. "Everything?"

"A condensed version," Harry said curtly, tugging his arm out of Draco's grip. The anger from earlier that morning came back, and now all Harry wanted to do was get away from Draco. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some homework to do." And Harry started off across the courtyard.

Draco took a quick glance back at the closed door of Number Four, and chanced his luck in the opposite direction. "Harry!"


"Are you still upset with me?"

Harry stopped and turned to Draco. "What do you think?"

Draco blanched, but quickly stepped in front of Harry as he turned to walk away. "I'm really sorry, Harry. I really, really like you. But I just need to sort things out with Raven, you understand. You saw how she's acting towards me."

"Do whatever you want Draco, I don't care. And Raven's not at all happy with you after I told her what happened this morning, just so you know. So, good luck with that. Have a happy life." Harry then turned away from Draco's stricken face and walked to his dormitory.

And even in his anger, Harry felt shameful at having to inflict that kind of worry and pain in his friend. But it was only fitting, with the pain from earlier that morning still raw in Harry's chest. Yes. He would talk to Mikhail tomorrow, and hope that it wasn't too late to start something.


Let me enlighten you

This is the way I pray


Draco Malfoy wasn't one to be easily swayed when he wanted something. If he wanted it, he got it, end of story.

But after Harry brushed him off that morning, all Draco wanted to do was go home and hide under the covers. He didn't want to see anyone, talk to anyone, or eat anything. His life was a fucking mess, and the last thing he felt like doing was facing it. So he tapped into his long-since-visited Slytherin self-preservation, and locked himself up in his room, far away from Raven or Harry.

Shucking off all his clothes and burrowing himself in his bed, he groaned loudly as the smell of his and Harry's sex hit his nose and with a violent jolt, he was flung back to the night before, and his subsequent fuck up early that morning.

Tearing back the covers and jumping quickly out of his bed, he grabbed his wand from the night table and quickly banished his used sheets to the hamper in the corner. Not caring to take the time and put on a fresh set of sheets (even now, he never could quite manage most household spells), he only grabbed a clean comforter and proceeded to wrap himself in it on his sheet-less bed, content with blocking the world out for the rest of his life.

All he had wanted was to talk to Raven, to tell her what happened, and to apologise. But Harry got to her first, and both of them were rather happy with not listening to him. What good would his apologies do if they fell on deaf ears?

So Draco was at a loss of what to do. Raven was one of those people who got rather vindictive and self-servicing when they were mad at you, and this was no exception. Draco knew that what he had said to her the night before wasn't anywhere near as bad as some other things they had yelled at each other in the heat of the moment, but they always managed to bounce back, and Draco was riding his hope that this time, things would be no different.

But really, things were different. For one, those 'things' involved Harry. A pang of resentment and guilt stole through Draco's chest upon remembering not only how he had pushed Harry away, but also what Harry had said to him. He knew that Harry didn't really mean it, but it still hurt. It was odd for Draco to find that someone was willing to settle on their first, because Draco had had no problem finding different partners throughout the years. And knowing what was out there, Draco didn't see any reason to let Harry settle on just him, or Raven. They were still young, and Harry would never have a problem finding someone if he wanted to.

But Harry wasn't like Draco. He was pure-hearted and trusting and loyal, and was possessive and territorial, just like the lions that his old Gryffindor House represented. But it was more than that. They should be beyond all of that House nonsense from Hogwarts by now...but it was something familiar, again, just like his recently discarded animosity for Harry, and it was safer to keep it and remember times before the war than to try and build new profiles, new lives.

But goddammit, he didn't want go back. He wanted Harry. And Raven. He wanted them to not be so angry with him, and he was at a loss as to how to go about mending their relationships.

He hated feeling so damn shaky in regards to the situation. He should know what to do, and should be able to just go do it. He had a feeling that Harry's talk with Raven only fuelled that particular fire more, and now Harry was just as standoffish as Raven, though at least he talked to Draco. And Raven was clearly not going to bother talking to him at all, or acknowledge him either, so he needed to figure out how to approach her. It was like trying to tame a frightened cobra...they'd strike back the second you get within range of their sharp and venomous fangs.

But Harry...maybe he could still talk to Harry. Maybe Harry would help him win Raven back.

Draco hoped and prayed to Merlin that he was right.


Harry spent most of the day brooding in his room, grabbing a snack or two when he was hungry, and trying his hardest to be diligent about his homework.

But it was still hard.

He couldn't get that look on Draco's face out of his head; that stricken look, the one that probably showed more pain and anger than Draco knew, or was likely to admit. Harry didn't really want to hurt Draco, and he most certainly didn't mean what he had said right before Draco kicked him out of his room. Harry still couldn't believe he said that. Shaking his head of the mental image of Draco's face after he said that, he resolved to do what both Draco and Raven had told him to do: get together with Mikhail.

That would show Draco not to put stupid ideas in a Gryffindor's head. Especially this one.


"Harry?" Ron knocked on the door before chancing to open it. He found his friend sitting at his desk, scribbling on some parchment.

"Oh, hey Ron," Harry answered when he glanced behind him.

"Harry mate, you've been holed up in here all day. Would you like to toss the Quaffle a bit before supper?"

Harry set down his quill and massaged his forearm. "Yeah, I'd like that." He smiled a little and grabbed his Firebolt II from the corner of his room, shoving on his trainers as he went.

"You might want to put on a scarf and gloves though, mate. It's really cold outside."

"And you want to throw the Quaffle around?" Harry laughed. "All right. Thanks for letting me know."

While Harry put on an extra layer, and scrounged around for his gloves and old Gryffindor scarf, Ron grabbed his own broom and then they made their way outside. The wind was bitter and whipping about, and Harry was again reminded that winter was fast approaching.

The courtyard was empty, and so Harry and Ron opted to practise there instead of trekking all the way to the pitch. They kicked off, and as Ron threw the Quaffle and the wind tossed it sharply, Harry veered quickly to the left to grab it. They were laughing and yelling, enjoying their time together, and waving at Hermione, Ginny and Luna who were headed over to Number One to start on dinner for everyone. The boys were hardly adept at fending for themselves. It was just easier for the women to cook for them all.

"It's great to see ya, Harry," Ron said, pitching the Quaffle to his friend. "We've missed you, you know."

Harry tossed the ball back. "Yeah, I know, Ron. I've rather missed you guys too."

"Yeah, Malfoy's been hogging all your time lately. I was worried he was converting you over to the 'dark side'," Ron joked, continuing the game, leaving Harry to dive sharply for the ball.

Harry chuckled after his catch. "You needed worry about that, Ron. I won't be spending much time around him anymore." Harry reciprocated the pitch.

Ron couldn't quite hide his glee at Harry's words. "Why? Did 'Princess Draco' decide you were too lowly to be seen in his oh-so-private court anymore?"

Harry caught the deep red ball and held it for a moment, looking at it as if it held the answer to an unasked question, before tossing it back and saying rather abruptly, "I think I like men, Ron."

Ron fumbled the catch, but managed to hug it to his body at the last minute. "Excuse me?" His blue eyes were wide, and his quiet and stunned question was nearly lost in the wind.

Harry flew a bit closer. "I said that I'm attracted to blokes."

Ron gaped at Harry for a moment, frozen on his broom. Gulping visibly, he looked away from Harry, who looked resolute but worried, and gradually Ron lowered his broom to the ground, dismounting just as slowly. Harry followed.

"R-Ron?" Harry whispered, afraid of breaking something that seemed rather fragile all of a sudden. Oh no...have I just totally ruined twelve years of friendship?

"Blimey, Harry," Ron exhaled after they stood there for a moment. He still wasn't looking at his friend. "I...I don't know what to say." Harry thought he looked a little peaky.


"You don't have to say anything Ron," Harry managed after a deep pause. "I...I shouldn't have just sprung it on you like that."

Ron finally looked up, a furrow in his brow. "Are...are you serious? You really...like...men?"

Now it was Harry's turn to look away and gulp. "Yes, Ron. I mean, I'm attracted to women too, but..." He finally matched Ron's gaze. "I wanted you to know. You're my best mate in he whole world, Ron, and nothing will change that. Ever."

Ron shivered, and Harry wondered if it was just because of the cold wind biting their ears, or the thought of Harry kissing guys. "Let's...go inside Harry. Where it's warm."

Harry nodded, nervously biting his lip. "Okay."

Harry wasn't sure what had made him come out with that realisation to abruptly. But he couldn't hide something like this from Ron, his best friend, who, for better or for worse, was always there for Harry. Harry couldn't see Ron as anything less than a brother, anything less than his own blood, and he prayed to whatever god out there that this discovery of his didn't destroy those bonds that had been formed over so many years.

They walked quietly back to their dorm and stepped gratefully inside to the warmth. Ron was just about to walk up the stairs, not waiting to see if Harry would follow, when Hermione greeted them from the kitchen.

Ron stopped his ascent to look back at his fiancée, and immediately, Hermione stopped what she was doing and came forward, halting just at the threshold of the kitchen, looking at them both with beseeching eyes. Ron looked back at Harry for a brief moment, and Harry nodded.

Ginny watched the non-verbal communication between her brother and friends, and wondered just what was going on so silently and so concisely among them. It was fascinating to watch their quiet interaction, just as it was fascinating to hear George and Fred finish each other's sentences, even after so many years of being privy to their interaction.

Hermione turned suddenly and excused herself in a low voice, following her two best friends upstairs. Ginny and Luna shared a glance, but went on cooking dinner, swatting an overeager Seamus away when he came in to steal a bit of the batter for the chocolate cake that was to be for dessert.

Meanwhile, Ron dropped off his things in his room, and met Hermione and Harry next door in Harry's room, closing the door securely behind him. He stood edgily by the door, wrapping his arms around himself, as Harry stood just as tense near his desk, and Hermione settled herself on the bed.

"Ron? Harry?" she asked softly.

Ron swallowed and breathed through his nose, and Harry bit his lip before saying. "Hermione, I have something to tell you." She nodded her head, a worried look not able to stay clear from her face.

Harry took a deep breath and blurted, "I like men."

There was that stunned silence for a moment, and then Hermione breathed, "Oh."

Harry clenched his jaw, ready to offer an explanation, but Ron beat him to speaking by asking for one himself.

"Harry, mate...how...when...how do you know?"

Harry blushed, murmuring, "I, er...was kissed by a bloke. And I liked it. A lot."

Hermione blinked and Ron's mouth dropped open. "When was this?" the girl asked.

"Uh...Friday night-"

"Friday?" Ron exclaimed.

"And yesterday."

"Yesterday?" came a similar exclamation.

"Ron, it's alright, calm down." Hermione stood up and put a hand on his arm, and he looked down at her before half turning away from the both of them.

"Maybe you should explain from the beginning, Harry," Hermione said, leading Ron over to the bed to sit.

Harry nodded and was about to start when Ron blurted out, "This has something to do with Malfoy, doesn't it?"

Harry tensed, and Hermione looked startled and bewildered at Ron, who was looking at Harry, waiting for him to confirm the glimmer of thought that had regained control of his mind since the first time he had thought it; a few weeks ago when he had nearly gotten in a fight with the ferret.

There was a strange fusion of emotion in the green of Harry's eyes; sad, angry and resolute; and his words also relayed his mixed feelings on the matter: "Yes and no."

Ron felt his chest clench and his throat close up. Oh god.

"Harry, Ron, what-"

"Hermione, I..." Harry interrupted, "I..." he floundered a second time. "Mikhail kissed me on Friday night after we went out for drinks," he finally got out.

"What?!" Ron exclaimed again. "Mikhail? Our Captain? He's gay?" Harry nodded. "Holy Morgana...Harry, are you sure?"

Harry rolled his eyes and said in an almost curt tone, "No, Ron, I usually just make up random guys kissing me on the porch. I was there. Yes, I'm sure."

Ron reeled back a bit, apologising under his breath. "I don't mean to sound... I don't... Harry, I don't exactly have a problem with blokes liking blokes, but I..."

"You didn't think I would?"

Ron sighed, nodding. "Yeah." There was a pause and then, "I just need a bit of time to get used to it."

Hermione bit her lip. "Harry, what happened yesterday?"

"This is where Malfoy comes in, isn't it?" Ron asked. Harry nodded, and Ron clenched his fists. "I'm not sure I want to know."

"Ron, let Harry explain."

"But it's...it's Malfoy. Ferret-boy! Bane of my bloody existence-"

"But not mine," Harry cut in.

"I know, Harry, mate, I know. Just...did you kiss him?"


Ron swallowed, looking sick. "Do you like him?"

"Yes. Quite a lot, actually."

"But...but you said that you wouldn't be seeing much of him anymore...what happened? Did that little shit do something to you?" he finished off somewhat angrily.

Hermione placed a calming hand on Ron's arm, moving it down to interlock her fingers in his. "Ron..."


Harry answered Ron's question, moving to sit down at his cluttered desk. "No, he didn't do anything, other than be a complete prat."

"What do you mean?" Hermione asked.

"Last night, he and Raven got in a fight. About me, but I'm not sure what exactly. Raven left, and Draco and I started to talk about Mikhail...I didn't know how I felt about it...I didn't pull away when Mikhail kissed me, in fact, I kissed him back a bit, before realising just what was going on."

Ron and Hermione nodded, and Harry was amazed he was even getting this far. He continued, lest he lose his steam, and couldn't carry on explaining.

"I actually wound up getting out of Draco that he had thought about guys too...and eventually he told me that it was me that he had been thinking about and I...well, I...I had kinda noticed him too, but didn't know what to make of it, and then...I asked him to kiss me."

"You...asked...him?" Ron choked out.

Harry nodded, and blush coming over his face. "And I really, really liked it, Ron."

"Did you...did you guys make out?" At Harry's nod, Ron let go of Hermione's hand to bury his face in his hands; trying to pull the mental images out of his head through his hair, Harry mused. Hermione immediately put a soothing hand on his back, and a small kiss to his hair. Then she turned to Harry.

"We support you, Harry. It just...might take a while to get used to."

"I understand. Thank you," he said quietly.

"So you guys made out," Ron's muffled voice said. "When did he become an arsehole?"

"Er...this morning."

"I knew you didn't come home last night..." Ron lifted his head, his face flushed. "You stayed with him, didn't you?"

"Don't make it sound like an accusation, Ron," Hermione chastised.

"I'm not! I just want to know the facts."

"Yes, Ron, I stayed with him last night."

A grimace. "Did you...?"


"Oh, thank Merlin."

Harry finally lost his cool. "Well you might want to get used to the idea of me shagging blokes, Ron, because one day, I will."

Ron's face was utterly shocked at Harry's sudden change in demeanour. "Harry...what...?"

"Look, Ron, I know you don't like Draco. I really understand that, believe it or not. But I like him, okay? I really, really like him. And Raven, and they want to love me. It may not make sense to you, but it's more than I've ever had, besides my friends. And if you don't like it, fine. I'm not asking for your approval. I'm asking for your support. As my best mate. And Draco's really being a prat right now, and I...I...I've never felt like this before."

Hermione stood up and wrapped her arms around Harry's middle. "It's alright Harry." Harry just stood there, glaring miserably at the floor; his arms limp at his sides. Ron eventually stood up, shakily making his way over. He bit his lip, staring at his friend, who looked no different, but was it really as if anything had changed? Harry was still Harry, right? He still liked Quidditch and Chocolate frogs, he still played Seeker, he was still studying medicine, he still had unruly black hair and amazing green eyes, and a dimple in his left cheek when he smiled...so was the fact that he liked men...that he liked Malfoy, going to make him a different person?

Ron continued to stare at his friend.


So with much trepidation, Ron reached out his hand and clasped Harry's shoulder. Harry looked up, and Hermione broke away, her arm still around Harry's waist.

"Ron?" Harry asked.

Ron didn't say anything yet; he just grabbed Harry in a bear hug. "What did he do?" he asked, as soon as Harry relaxed in his arms and returned the hug.

Harry sighed. "He broke it off...if there was anything to break off, really." Harry pulled back and looked up at his friend. "He told me that he needs to get things okay between him and Raven first...that I might 'complicate things'."

"Well," Hermione said, "that seems to make a bit of sense."

"Yeah, I know...but he just...it's not just that. He really shouldn't have done anything with me, if he felt that way. And he told me to go out with someone else! That I should have a go with Mikhail. That I have 'so many more things to experience' and I shouldn't be limiting myself."

Ron frowned. "What? That makes no sense."

"I know."

"So Harry, what are you going to do?" Hermione asked.

Harry took a breath. "Go out with Mikhail."

"What?" Both of his friends shared a confused look before turning it on Harry.

"Draco says he still likes me, right? But he wants me to date someone else while he patches things up with Raven. So...I'm going to date Mikhail...because he's not a bad guy...and to make Draco jealous."



"Harry Potter, that's not right!" Hermione reprimanded, her hands on her hips. She was turning more and more like Molly Weasley, Harry and Ron thought fondly. Did that mean Ron was marrying someone just like his mum? Oh Gods, he thought, I hope not.

"What's not right about it?"

"You'll be using Mikhail, that's what's wrong with it!"

"Hermione...I've thought of that, okay. I won't be...using Mikhail... He likes me, and I could probably like him...he's good-looking enough. Besides, I can just tell him I don't want anything permanent...he'll be my first boyfriend after all," Harry reasoned.

Hermione closed her eyes and shook her head. "You boys. I'll never understand your reasoning."

"Hey!" Ron said. "I've got no part in this! But if you ask me, Harry, then give Draco hell. He doesn't deserve you by a long shot."

"I'll try, Ron," Harry said wryly. "So...you guys...we're all still okay?"

Hermione and Ron nodded. "Yeah, Harry, we're okay," Hermione said.

"I still don't like that you and Malfoy...like I said, Harry, he doesn't deserve you."

Harry nodded. There was really nothing he could say, except... "You guys...won't tell anyone, will you?"

"No, Harry...but you'll have to tell some people, because I think people will notice that you and Mikhail are together, if you do indeed go out," Hermione said.

Harry sighed. "Shit. You're right. Do you think the guys would mind?"

"As long as you don't hit on any of them, I think they'll be fine," Ron said.

Harry hit him on the arm. "Shuddap."

"So Raven and Draco both want you? Like...in a three-way relationship?" asked Hermione.

Harry nodded. "Yeah..." He bit his lip.

"I don't get that myself, mate," said Ron. "But if it makes you happy..."

"We'll see, Ron. We'll see." There was a pause. "Do you think I should break it to everyone at dinner?"

"Dinner!" Hermione exclaimed. "I've got to go finish helping Ginny and Luna! I love you two, see you downstairs!" She gave them each a quick kiss on the cheek, and then the brown-haired girl was gone.

Harry chuckled. "She's turning a bit like your mum, huh?"

It was Ron's turn to punch Harry.


Author notes: So ah...I'm expecting flames. About various relationships not going as 'expected' or 'planned'...lol I wouldn't blame any of you, really. But please...be gentle...things happen for a reason...or maybe not for any reason other than that's the bloody way life goes, and that's what I'm writing about, so deal with it:D

Can't be sure when the next chapter will be up...I've lost another beta, but am not looking to bring anymore on-board and explaining things, so I think Erin and I will do for now. Chapter seventeen is well underway, but school is starting up on Tuesday for me, and I'm not sure how much time I'll have between that, homework, and work at the cinema. As is usual, of course, but hopefully, I won't wait a whole quarter either! Again, so sorry about that, and I hope, when I get my new website up, you'll visit that as well!

About my website...there is info on my userpage...we're hoping for a launch date of All Hallow's Eve. I'm excited about that! If you guys have any idea what a good mailing list server/service would be to use, we'd be forever grateful! (We were having problems with our other one). It'll basically be a more aesthetically pleasing site to use...like Yahoo! but with more control for me. So, I hope, when that happens, you'll all please sign up for the mailing list. Right now, I have most of everything up...but a few elements are missing, so it's not quite finished yet.

Thank you, and I love you all!

Review Responses

Thank you to all who reviewed: isangonce, talon1281, Goth Flamango, Abhorson, Ravenclaw Rockstar, Unregistere, ShadesOfMe, Elon, belahunter, and Minetta Moonlight.

You are actually the first person, I believe, to bring up the possibility of Draco being more hurt than Harry, and for that I thank you. Raven's feelings for Draco are as sure as she believes them to be...and they could really all be a lie...

Ravenclaw Rockstar: Wow...you...you read it FIVE times? I'm...so flattered! -blush- Thank you, and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

ShadesOfMe: I'm happy that you decided to read my story, and that you like it! I normally don't like OC's either, but like you, I just couldn't see fanon Pansy in this role, and I temporarily forgot about Daphne and Tracey...but I like the way it is, and I'm glad you do too!

I adore all of you, my dear readers, and just because I didn't respond personally doens't mean I appreciate you any less! I cherish every bit of comment, praise or criticism that I get, and I can't wait to see what you have to say this time! Thank you all so much, for making this story easier to write.