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 18

Chapter Summary:
Scandal. 1. A
Author's Note:
You'd think, with three weeks off of school, that one would have the time to write sloughs of chapters. But such is the life of a college student with a minimum wage job, especially one that is the busiest during the holiday season. So, right now, I'm just grateful I got this chapter out. :) And I'm already working on Chapter Nineteen (I really need to get farther ahead, here...), so hopefully, I can get that out shortly too. School has started again, so we'll see how much time I'll have. It's getting into the home stretch before graduation now, and I really need to concentrate on my portfolio. I hope you guys like this chapter, even though it is short. There's more fun to come, however!


Chapter XVIII - Scandal


He had been dreaming; about what, he couldn't remember, but suddenly it didn't matter any more. He hummed in his sleep before gasping softly at a sharp spike of pleasure that jolted down his still lethargic body. Opening his eyes blearily, he looked down to see a dark fall of hair pooling on his stomach, and that sweet pleasure spiked again.

"R-Raven?" asked Draco throatily.

She hummed around his cock before slowly pulling away and sliding up his body. "I thought you might like to woken up like that," said she, before kissing him.

By now, Draco realised that this was no dream and even as he responded feverously to Raven's mouth, he knew that this circumstance wasn't right. Well, not wrong exactly, but wasn't he supposed to be mad at her?

When she pulled away, her eyes were alight with pure love and desire, and her lips were darkened and parted in a smirk.

"Raven? Wha-what's going on?" His cock was starting to throb madly between his thighs and the weight and heat of Raven straddled directly on top of it was not helping matters. Or his rather muddled brain from processing anything at all. But her next words were enough to wake him up a bit more.

"I was stupid to make us wait. Make love to me."

Draco blinked. "Are-are you serious?"

Raven nodded sincerely. "I love you, Draco. I want to make love to you. I have for years now, but I didn't want to push you. I didn't want to make a move because I was afraid that the teasing was just that, teasing. And...I didn't want to be hurt."

He stared up at her for a while, before shaking his head and pushing at her shoulders. "What? No, I can't."

"Why not? You love me, and I love you. I've told you how I was in the past. I pursued whom I wanted, and I got them. But I couldn't do that to you. And I can't tell you how sorry I am to have started all of this. If I knew..." she shook her head. "It doesn't matter. We'll set it right, Draco. We'll set it right. And Harry will have his choice."

Draco looked worriedly into her eyes. Brushing his thumb on her left cheek he whispered, "I love him."

"I know. If I have anything to say about it, he'll never doubt it."

Draco kissed her then, feeling relief and trepidation at the same time. He never realised how much he missed Harry or Raven until they were hardly speaking to him, and even though he was rather upset with Raven for her attitude that evening, he missed this too. This intimacy. Once you had something like this, it was so hard to let go of it. But it didn't feel right. To sleep with Raven. But oh god, he wanted to. Was there really anything holding them back? Draco thought as he pulled her completely on top of him and felt her smooth and very naked skin against his.

The heat was driving him mad, and as he kicked his boxers off his ankles, he rolled them over and moved down to nip at Raven's collarbone. He was so close to just slipping inside of her, but he wouldn't. Not yet. She murmured her assent to the sensation of him on top of her and rubbing against her and kissing her, only to make a needy sound when Draco pulled away.

"I love you, Raven. And I know I always will. And I know I'm contradicting myself here, considering I kept pressing you about it just a few weeks ago, but I think...I want to wait."

Green eyes blinked in confusion. "What?"

"I said, I want to wait."

"Wait...? Alright..." Draco could tell immediately that she wasn't just supremely confused, but rather hurt as well. She looked off to the side and worried her bottom lip with her teeth.

"It's not you, Raven. Honestly. I just...I want this. I really do. But it feels weird. Without...without Harry. I guess I just got used to the idea that we'd all three be together or something. Or that...you and me would have to wait until Harry and I..."

"But you have been with Harry, Drake. Just six days ago."

"I know. But I...fuck, I don't know. Can't we just wait? Please?" He buried his face in the crook of her shoulder. "I want it. I do. So much." His voice was muffled by her hair and skin. "But if you and me...if we...it'd be like we don't need Harry anymore, and he'd stay with Chaikovsky. And I don't want that. We need him. I need him. You were right. I was stupid to say that to him. He'd date that bastard just to try and prove to me that he could, to make me jealous. And I am. I'm so jealous."

Raven's eyes closed, and she breathed deeply, wrapping her arms more securely around the tense blond. She was trying to fight back tears, and it took all she had to do so. This wasn't turning out right. It wasn't going to plan.

Okay, fine. She'd just have to alter the plan. It'd take a little longer, but she could do it. She'd have to.

"It's okay, love. It's okay to be jealous. I was jealous of Pansy for a while, do you remember? Well, I suppose you don't, because you didn't know how I felt back then, but I was."

"Yeah...you told me about it."

"It'll all work out, I promise. I'll talk to him or something. We can wait."

"Are you sure?"

The newly improved plan was already forming in the girl's mind. "Yes. I'm sure."

Draco kissed her neck. "But I suppose that doesn't mean we can't do other things," he murmured suggestively before trailing kisses down her body.

"No," she smirked deviously. "It doesn't."

Oh, she had a plan, and of course, she'd have to let Draco in on parts of it, to get it to work out properly...

...Or not.



With rumours flying about the Boy-Who-Lived's sexuality, it's no wonder that there are questions about how this came about and if this isn't just another ploy to regain the limelight after so many years absence, writes Rita Skeeter, Special Correspondent. The boy has been tight-lipped, and information has been scarce--until now.

The Man-Potter has been seen with several men as of late, state many of the hero's schoolmates. His current beau is the British Institute's Quidditch Captain and Chaser, Mr. Mikhail Chaikovsky, and one must wonder just how far Mr. Potter will go to stay on top. Figuratively, of course.

But what has brought about this sudden coming out of the broom cupboard? Is Harry Potter just exploring his sexuality, as no one has seen him with any women before? Or is Mr. Chaikovsky one of many male lovers for our young hero? Rumours lead this reporter to believe the latter.

Mr. Potter has indeed not been seen in the company of the gentler gender in quite a few years, save for one Hermione Granger (an ex-girlfriend now betrothed to Potter's best friend Rupert Weasley) and Luna "Loony" Lovegood (heiress of the eclectic Quibbler magazine). Perhaps Ms. Granger's move of affections to Mr. Potter's best friend led the young man to turn to the other side of the Quidditch Pitch?

Sources have led this reporter to believe that Mr. Potter has been spending an inordinate amount of time with Mr. Draco Malfoy, ex-Death Eater and Mr. Potter's Hogwarts school rival. Upon questioning Mr. Malfoy, it was found that he and Mr. Potter have strangely grown quite close, and that perhaps Mr. Potter's coming out is the result of a secret love spurned and new, open love claimed.

Whilst talking with Mr. Malfoy, while he didn't say exclusively, this reporter gleaned from the enigmatic blond that he is still in love with Mr. Potter, and that Mr. Potter's switch to Mr. Chaikovsky broke his heart.

This reporter cannot be sure what lies ahead for the love lives of these young men, but we can only hope that Mr. Potter figures out his heart before he breaks any more.


"That-that-that utter slag!" Harry exclaimed, slamming the newspaper down on the table next to his toast and standing up. His eyes were dark, and his face was flushed and livid. The sconces on the wall rattled slightly and the table jumped after meeting Harry's latent power, which seemed to be on the prowl; seething and dark and ready to rip a certain reporter's heart out.

Ron stared up at his friend with worried wide eyes. Granted, he was just as livid as Harry, especially knowing the truth of the whole matter. Well, hoping he knew the whole truth and that Harry wasn't keeping anything else from him. Harry break Malfoy's heart? Try the other way around, you bitch.

Hermione glared at the paper as if it should burst into flames by the strength of her gaze. "I thought I shut that woman up!"

"Apparently the threat has worn off, Granger."

Everyone looked to see Malfoy standing just behind Hermione, Daily Prophet in hand. He resembled himself from his Hogwarts Days so perfectly, Harry thought, that he wouldn't have believed that it was the Draco he knew from now if any one had told him so. The blonde's grey eyes flashed silver and promised darkness, and his face seemed more pointed than it ever had been. The snarl on his lips and the faint flush to his cheeks were the final signs that he was as livid as they all were.

Blaise stood just behind him, untold tortures hidden in the depths of his dark gaze.

Seamus peered around from the both of them, spitting out an apology. "Sorry, Harry, he insisted that he had to see you now-"

But Ron cut him off and sneered at Draco's words. "Malfoy, if you said any of that rubbish about Harry-"

"Ron, don't." Harry chided as gently as he could over his anger. He couldn't look Draco in the eye, but he knew those steely irises were trained on him.

Malfoy's lip curled slightly. "I take it you don't have a plan yet."

"A plan?" Ron asked.

"To deal with Skeeter," Draco said impatiently.

"We haven't had a chance to discuss it yet," Hermione cut in.

Draco spared her a half a glance before moving around the table to look Harry directly in the eye so that Harry had no choice to turn and face him. In a low voice, Draco leaned forward and said, "I told her not to fuck with me. Use your resources, Potter. And I'll use mine."

"My resources?" Harry questioned quietly, his dark eyes searching Draco's.

"Chaikovsky, Potter. Mr. Chaikovsky."

Harry's lips parted and he took a quick breath. Draco was emitting a sort of commanding force, and it was pressing upon Harry's own anger. "Mikhail's father," he breathed.

"If you won't talk to him, I will. She shouldn't have fucked with me. Or you. She either can't hear properly, or she doesn't care that her life will now be over as she knows it." It was said with such quiet ferocity that Harry's breath picked up and his eyes involuntarily scanned Draco's face and body. He found his body reacting to it without his permission, and hoped to all that was just that no one noticed. Too bad he didn't have robes on right then, instead of only the thin pyjama bottoms he was wearing.

Clearing his throat he said, "Right. I'll go talk to Mikhail right now."

Draco said, "If he's a smart boy, Chaikovsky will have already talked to his father. What you need to tell them is that Skeeter's unregistered."

Hermione grabbed the paper from across the table and glared at it again, almost sneering herself at the candid picture of Harry and Mikhail standing outside the Medi-Arts building, next to one of Draco walking by himself to class, looking rather morose, and playing directly into Skeeter's words. "Apparently, she's forgotten we know that. And of course she just had to have this shit printed before Luna's article came out."

Harry's jaw dropped. "Hermione!"

But the girl waved him off. "Oh shut it, Harry. Am I too proper to be allowed to use profanity when the situation calls for it? Besides, working on getting Skeeter in prison is our first priority, not my speaking habits."

Just then, Mikhail came bustling in, his hair dishevelled and his cheeks splotched with red. "The door was unlocked," he muttered to the crowd in the dining room before his eyes finally landed on Harry. "Harry!" He brushed past Draco, nearly knocking him over, and went straight to his boyfriend, wrapping his arms around him. He earned a well-placed glare from Blaise and Draco each as Blaise helped Draco regain his footing.

"Don't worry, Harry. I've already talked to my father; he's getting it taken care of right now. He woke me up with a fire-call."

"Mikhail, there's something we've got to tell you. Rita Skeeter's an unregistered Animagus. A beetle."

"With marks around the eyes like spectacles," Hermione put in.

Mikhail stared into Harry's eyes for a moment before kissing him soundly on the mouth and saying, "Brilliant! I'll go tell Father now!" And just as suddenly as he appeared, he was gone again, Blaise and Draco jumping out of the way in the nick of time.

"Rude, those Russians, aren't they?" Draco muttered, ignoring the glare from Harry.

"When will Lovegood's article be printed?" Blaise asked.

"Not until Monday. And it's only Friday now," Hermione answered, frowning. "We should have asked her to print a special issue or something this week, instead of waiting. Dammit! We should have seen this coming."

"There's nothing to be done for it now," Harry said resignedly, only a bit of relief at Mikhail's announcement blossoming in his chest. He sat down and pushed away his cold and soggy toast. He felt like he'd never be hungry again.

"Don't worry, Harry," said Ron in a rather uncharacteristic show of optimism. "Mikhail's dad's sure to get it sorted out."

Everyone ignored the soft snort from Draco. Except Harry.

"Well, Draco? You said you had resources, what are they?"

Draco crossed his arms and smirked in that old style of his. Harry wasn't sure if it was becoming on the blond any more or not, if it ever was. "I have connections as well. And money."

Harry frowned. "Money...? But I thought you-"

"Were being audited? Yes, I was. I just got a letter from my family's lawyers this morning. I'm in the clear."

Harry leaned forward in his chair. "Did they take anything else?"

Draco hid a smile at Harry's apparent concern. "Yeah, they seized all of our foreign lands to sell in auction, along with any possessions on the land." Draco shrugged. "It will take a while to build up the Malfoy name and prestige, but I still have the Manor in Wiltshire, and I'll probably be spending most of the Winter Hols going through everything there."

"By yourself?" Harry asked.

"Raven will probably come with, if I ask her."

"Oh? Did you two make up finally?" asked Hermione.

"Only just."

"Well, as wonderful as this impromptu breakfast gathering has been," Blaise drawled, "I need to go get ready for class. Coming, Drake?"

"In a minute. " Malfoy turned back to Harry. "Can I speak with you?"

"You're speaking to him now," Ron said, still unforgiving of Draco's behaviour towards his best friend in the past week.

"Ron, shush," Hermione chided, standing up and taking her Daily Prophet and the boy's unfinished breakfasts with her. "Let's give them a moment."

Ron begrudgingly got up, casting a wary glare in Draco's direction, following Hermione, Seamus and Blaise out of the dining area.

Harry looked expectantly up at Draco. "Yes?"

Draco looked into the kitchen to make sure everyone was out of earshot before taking a chair and sitting down directly in front of Harry. He leaned in close, leaning his elbows on his knees, and took a moment to gather what courage he could muster. Licking his lips he said quietly, "I'm sorry, Harry."

Harry crossed his arms over his chest, and leaned back in his chair. "For?"

Draco grimaced. "For everything. For being an utter prat, for hurting you, for...for everything."

Harry sighed, unfolding his arms. "Do you regret it?" he asked just as quietly as Draco whispered his apology.

Draco's eyes snapped to the green ones in front of him. "No. I never did. I just regret...what happened after. I wanted what happened, Harry. I still do. But it just wasn't fair to you--it never was."

Harry rolled his eyes and crossed his arms again. "And I told you that it was my choice to make. You told me the more than likely outcome, but pulled my choice away from me before I had a chance to make it."

"But that's just it, Harry. I really wasn't giving you a choice by allowing us to be together. That was...it was more like...I was trying to sway you, instead of telling you what Raven and I wanted, and then letting you make the decision, before something happened."

"I don't see it that way, Draco. You told me the consequences, I told you I would think about it, and I still made a move on you. I told you not to stop. I didn't care. I'd deal with that part later, if I decided I didn't want it. How would I know what I really wanted, if I hadn't the slightest idea what I might get into or pass up?" Harry frowned and looked away. "And now I'm dating Mikhail. We're going out tomorrow. Hopefully," he finished, thinking of all the media and nosy people in the area.

Draco clenched his jaw. Merlin, that hurt. But he couldn't be angry with Harry for saying it. He wasn't flaunting it, like Draco would have most likely done if it were him. He was just stating the current outcome of this whole mess.

"I hope that goes well for you," he managed after a moment.

Harry smirked knowingly. "No you don't."

Draco had to chuckle, but it was a little dry. "Okay, I suppose not." He sobered. "I just want you to be happy."

"I want me to be happy too. And you. And Raven."

He knew he'd probably not like the answer, but Draco had to ask. "Are you happy with him? With Chaikovsky?"

A half-smile formed on Harry's lips, and his eyes turned slightly far away. "So far. We'll see. I'd like to see what will happen. He's a good guy." Draco made some sort of non-committal noise in the back of his throat. "So, you and Raven are back together?"

"Like I said, only just. We..." Draco was unsure of his next words, despite any previous claims of never being unsure about anything. He ploughed ahead anyway with, "We miss you." He dared to look up to Harry's face. The darker man bit his lip and gazed sadly back.

"I miss you guys too."

Draco's heart involuntarily leaped, and regardless of his best efforts, he knew a blush was creeping across his cheeks, and a smile was twitching at the corners of his mouth. "Raven would still like to take some pictures of us. If you're still interested." Oh, that was a wonderful change of subject, Malfoy. Let's bring it back to the activity that brought this all about.

Harry shrugged. "I don't mind. But I should probably ask Mikhail. He might not like his boyfriend posing nude with some other guy, in spite of the evidence to that man's obvious heterosexuality." Green eyes shined with amusement.

Draco raised an eyebrow. He was about to come back with something profoundly witty, but Blaise poked his head in.

"Okay you two, it's been over a half-hour. I'm going to be late for class if I don't leave now."

"Go, Blaise. I don't have anything until this afternoon."

"You're telling me this now? After I waited nearly an hour for you?"

Draco rolled his eyes. "Blaise, you should know my schedule by now. But stop wasting time, if it's so precious to you. Go."

Zabini made a rather undignified growling noise. "Fuckin' blond, homosexual bimbos..." he muttered as he walked away.

"I heard that Blaise! And don't think I won't get you back for it, either!"

Harry chuckled, and couldn't help but burst out in laughter upon Draco's glare. "Yep. Obviously heterosexual."

"Fuck you, Potter," Draco muttered, standing. "I should be going, though. Thank you for listening to me."

Harry stood next to him, not quite hesitantly putting a hand on Draco's shoulder. "Apology accepted, even if I think that your reasoning was and is stupid."

The blond rolled his eyes and raised an eyebrow in mild exasperation. "Have a good day, Harry. I'll see you later."

"You too, Draco. Say hello to Raven for me."

"I will. As soon as I get her to calm down."

"Calm down?"

Draco, who had been just about to leave the dining area, looked over his shoulder and smirked. "Oh, she's likely to be right pissed off at Skeeter's lack of mention of her in that blasted article."

He and Harry shared a look that said, 'Yeah, Raven would be pissed about something like that.'

And indeed she was.


"That unbelievable cow!"

Draco rolled his eyes.

"Not only does she write ludicrous things about Harry, but she fails to even mention my existence!" Raven slapped the paper down much like Harry had done earlier that day, sitting back with her arms folded. "You are going to take care of her, right?"

"I have resources at my disposal, if need be." The blond reclined and laced his fingers behind his head. "Besides, Harry's 'Golden Boy'," Draco managed to say condescendingly and roll his eyes at he same time, "is handling it, thanks to dear, old daddy."

"Wait, you're letting Chaikovsky's father handle it?"

"No, I am not letting Chaikovsky's father handle it. I'm assisting him. Monetarily. My lawyers are also involved. I sent him an owl early this morning. Hopefully, we won't need any of my other resources."

"Does Harry know? About you giving his boyfriend's father money?"

A scoff. "Of course not."

Raven shook her head. "Draco, you are an idiot."

The blond frowned. "I thought we already established that fact, back when I told Harry to date Chaikovsky."

Black tendrils trailed over a shoulder as the young woman shook her head again. "Draco, you do realise that you've just set up yourself for more disaster, right?"

He dropped his arms. "How?"

"By letting Harry think Chaikovsky and his father are handling it, you've only confirmed Chaikovsky's 'Golden Boy' status, as you so put it, in Harry's eyes. You're making Chaikovsky look like the hero. How do you expect Harry to come back to you if Chaikovsky looks better than you? If Harry finds him attentive and loving and all he's ever dreamed of?"

After a moment, Draco blinked. "Dammit."

Raven looked smug. "What are you going to do about it?"

Draco's mind raced for a moment before his eyes narrowed. "Skeeter wasn't counting on my estates being re-instated. She doesn't think that I might still have friends in high places--because of my father's death, my turning traitor, and my family's name still tarnished after the war. But there's still a few... Daphne's father, Horwilde Greengrass for instance, was never a Death Eater, but he assisted my father numerous times in covering his tracks from the Ministry's prying eyes. I haven't spoken to him in years, but surely, Daphne and I can get him to help diverge the press...keep them busy elsewhere without causing too much trouble. And Mr. Chaikovsky is smart--I've heard of him before now--he'll take Skeeter for all she's worth. But if the courts won't deal with her, I will. Personally."

"But that doesn't guarantee you're known involvement in bringing her down, Drake. You're saying that only if the courts deal with her, will you step in. So what if Mr. Chaikovsky does what you're paying him to do? What then?"

"Well? Do you have any ideas, then? I just want Skeeter taken care of. She'll be stripped of her magic and living like a Muggle in the Sahara Desert when I'm through with her. The last thing she'll be thinking about is spreading lies about anyone."

Raven arched and eyebrow. "Lies? Why I might agree that most of what she wrote was slander, you do love Harry, and he did break your heart. Well, you broke his heart too, love."

Draco glowered. "I know you know that that is beyond the point. She shall be torn asunder by my wrath and justice."

Raven couldn't help but lean forward a pat him on the arm. "You're becoming melodramatic, sweetie."

He scoffed in a derisive manner and said, "Me? Melodramatic? No, no, no, love. Malfoy's are not bred to ever become melodramatic. We're bred to hold poise and grace in all situations. And to be ruthless in exacting our justice."

"Or revenge. Which ever way you put it." Draco humphed in response. "For the sake of being off topic, I must say you seem quite comfortable living up to your family's reputation. Have things changed, or have I always missed something?"

Draco held her gaze for a moment before shrugging. "Both, I suppose. We've talked about this before, Raven. I'll always have some Malfoy ways ingrained in me, whether I like it or not-"

"It makes you who you are."

"-Precisely. Just like spying and scheming will always be a part of you." He studied her from behind his fringe. "Not scheming lately, are you?"

Raven raised that eyebrow again. "No," she lied. "Why?"

He shrugged. "No reason. But we've gotten off topic, haven't we?"

"Quite. Now, how shall we convince sweet Harry to drop 'Prince' Mikhail?"

"Has he mentioned anything to you? About Chaikovsky?"


"He told me this morning that he was really going to give him a shot, though he doesn't seem to have fallen for him or anything. It was as if he hadn't been thinking that before."

"He wasn't."

"What do you mean? Did you have something to do with it?"

Raven waved his question away with a hand. "He wanted to make you jealous. And I'm sure he still does. But his Gryffindor morality won't let him just use the guy."

"I'm sure." Draco bit the inside of his cheek. "So he'll give the guy 'a chance', and probably find out what a 'saint' he is, and he and I will become 'just friends'."

"Yeah, that about sums it up."

"Well, shit." Pause. "I told him this morning that I never regretted what we did, just my stupidity after, but he's still set on being with Chaikovsky."

"I could try talking to him... I know he still likes you, Draco. What he's probably thinking right now is that you and I are together, and if he can find someone-"

"-Someone all his own, then maybe he won't need to be with us, regardless of his feelings, and risk getting hurt when one of us calls it off. Yes, I know." Draco slouched and folded his arms. "Seems like the perfect solution, though, doesn't it?"

"Unfortunately, yes." Silence. "Maybe he needs to know you won't give up. Maybe he needs to know that you actually love him. He doesn't know, does he?"

Draco averted his eyes for a second before muttering something that contained the word 'wait'.


"I said, I thought I should wait. For the right time." Draco felt his cheeks grow warm, and hoped he wasn't too pink; it was bad for his complexion and made him look like he had sunburn.

Raven managed to keep the soft look she wanted to give him off her face. She didn't think Draco would appreciate it. That's sweet, she thought, though she smirked on the outside. Well, that's probably part of the reason I love him. He's a ruthless, Narcissistic bastard that can be super-sweet and romantic when he wants to.

"Well? Go on. I know you have something to say about that," Draco said after he caught her smirk.

Smiling now, she shook her head and raised her hands in a complacent gesture. "No, not me." She dropped her hands at his derisive snort and looked at the Daily Prophet on the table. "But I do have an idea."

"Oh? Go on then, have you. Took you long enough."

Raven shot him a glare. "Oi, you're the one with all the bright ideas most of the time. Did you use them all up at Hogwarts?" she taunted.

"Hush up," he replied petulantly. "I've got plenty of ideas left."

"Uh-huh." Leaning forward she finished, "My idea is this: write an article."


"Write. An. Article. For the Prophet. Dispel the rumours, while still hiding the truth. Because you know that Lovegood's article isn't going to cover you. Or at least it shouldn't. I'm more than positive that Chaikovsky doesn't know about you and Harry."

"No, I don't think he does." He nodded. "Alright. As soon as I hear word about how this Skeeter situation is going, I'll pen it out. I'll get it in the Evening Prophet if possible."

Raven smiled. "Brilliant."

Draco leaned forward and kissed her. "No, you are." Pulling away, he said as an afterthought, "By the way, Harry says 'hi'."

Raven rolled her eyes and smiled.


Stanislov Chaikovsky's first letter to Draco came a half-hour later, as Draco was ignoring the questioning glances of his classmates. The bird landed on his shoulder abruptly as he was crossing the courtyard to his afternoon class. His only warning was a short hooting cry before sharp talons dug into his shoulder and an extra weight bore down on him.

Mr. Draco Malfoy,

Forgive me for not sending a reply owl sooner, I have been substantially busier with this new case, as I'm sure you can imagine.

I thank you for the offer of donations for my efforts; however, I feel it is not my place to keep it. This is my own son's livelihood as well at stake here, and I do not care to be paid. However, if you would still like to offer the help of your own family law-wizards as you mentioned in your previous letter, I would be most obliged for the help.

I have informed my son of your willingness to help; I am sure you will be hearing from him at some point today.

We will take thorough care of this atrocious grievance that has fallen upon you, my son, and Harry Potter's person. I have included your demands to Ms. Skeeter's ever growing list of things to be accountable for, and will send an official owl filing suit against Ms. Skeeter to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and the authorities at the Office of Special Talents Registration: Animagus Division as soon as you and your law-wizards approve the charges and demands for compensation. I have already sent word to Ms. Skeeter that we will be charging her with slander and personal grievances, and that she will be getting official papers later today. Please send a return owl as soon as possible. If you would like to give me the names of your personal law-wizards, I will contact them and work with them for your benefit immediately. I only wish to get this taken care of as soon as possible, and administer the justice Rita Skeeter deserves.

Sincerely Yours in Justice,

Stanislov Chaikovsky

Wizard at Law

Draco beckoned the owl down to his arm, and quickly made his way inside. Sitting down in his Potions Theory class, he coaxed the owl onto the table before pulling out a quill and parchment to write a reply.

Mr. Chaikovsky,

If you are resolute in not accepting my donation, then that is within your right. I will not force you to accept it. However, I am pleased with your determination for our common cause. Please accept my eternal gratitude.

The Malfoy law-wizards are Roy and Ira Oswold. They are located at 152 Diagon Alley, not far from your offices, I imagine. I have had a fire-call with them outlining my exact grievances and demands of Ms. Skeeter. Please keep me updated on your joint progress.

I am on the reserve Quidditch team for the British Institute, and know your son fairly well. I look forward to discussing this with him.


Draco Malfoy

Master of Malfoy Manor

Reading it over once more, ignoring the white lie he told about looking forward to seeing his son (Stanislov didn't need to know why), he added a post-script before tying it to the owl's leg and guiding it to the window.

P.S. I will be writing a short article for the Evening Prophet making a statement against Skeeter and her outrageous claims. I will not mention her unregistered animagus status until a formal charge is filed against her.

Satisfied, he sent the owl off, with a few coins as payment, and sat back down again to start writing the article. Class be damned; he knew most of this stuff anyway, and besides, this was a thousand times more important.




Mikhail caught up with Draco, who had just left his afternoon class, finished article in hand.

"I'd like to talk to you about what's going on."

"Well, I have an owl to post right now, and Quidditch practice after that, as I'm sure you know."

"I...well, can't I tag along for a moment? We'll go to practice together."

Draco stopped and turned to look at the older man. He was pleased to note that he nearly matched him in height. "You didn't seem to care much about my involvement in this situation this morning. In fact, I don't think you noticed I was in the same room."

Mikhail blanched. "Sorry. I was just really worried about Harry. He doesn't need that kind of press."

"And you suppose I do?" Draco shot back, frowning, before swiftly whipping around and walking towards the Spell-Weavers building, where the owlery was situated. He could hear Mikhail catching up behind him.

"Of course not. I just... Look, I know you're helping Father, and I thank you for that. I know Harry's your friend so I..."

They reached the staircase that led to the owlery, and began to ascend it. "So you what?" Draco snapped.

"I just want to know...why did Rita Skeeter write those things? You and Harry haven't...been together before, have you?"

Draco stopped abruptly in the winding staircase, causing the Quidditch Captain to nearly stumble so as not to run into him. Taking a deep breath, he said, "I mentioned we were friends when she asked about why I wouldn't give her information on Harry like I did before. She took that and made up her own story."

"Before? What did you say about Harry before?"

"It was our fourth year at Hogwarts. I hated Harry then." Draco felt resigned all of a sudden, and resumed his trek upstairs.

"Oh. So nothing's happened between you two?"

"Shouldn't you be asking Harry that question?"

"He said that he's never been with a guy before..."

A pang of hurt shot Draco in the chest as he roughly pushed open the door to the owl chamber. He avoided what droppings and regurgitated bones he could and made straight for an eagle owl perched low on the wall. Tying off the article, a letter requesting it's printing, and a satchel of coins for the service, he whispered, "To the Prophet's editor office, Hermes. Like the wind." Turning back to Mikhail, he said, "Then you have your answer, don't you?"

"Yeah..." There was a moment of awkward silent gazing as Draco and Mikhail stood there, staring at each other. "Do you have anyone, Draco?"

The blond blinked. "Excuse me?"

"Do you have anyone? Are you dating anyone?"

"Why do you want to know?" Draco eyed him warily.

"Because... I could see why Harry might be attracted to you, if he were. You're very striking."

Flash panic spread throughout Draco and a million thoughts whirled around his head, the least of which was, 'is he hitting on me?' He kept it off of his face, however, and only narrowed his eyes. "Are you suggesting that Harry would cheat on you? That I am gay?"

"What? No!" I just... I can see that you're..." the older man blushed and ruffled his hair. "That you're good-looking, like I said. I didn't mean to offend you."

Draco regarded him a moment before saying, "Let's get one thing straight, Chaikovsky. If you think you can hit on me, or hurt Harry, you are sorely mistaken. I will not tolerate someone messing around with Harry's feelings."

"What?! I'm not--I wasn't--I don't like you like that!" Mikhail rushed out, flustered.

Draco arched an eyebrow.

"Look, Malfoy, I wasn't trying to hit on you, honest. I just wanted to... I don't know. Never mind. Just...thank you. For your help. I'll see you later." And then Mikhail left.

Draco snickered to himself before throwing open the door and calling out, "But the way Chaikovsky, I might like guys from time to time, but I currently have a girlfriend!" He heard Mikhail's footsteps pause and a muttered 'oh, sorry', before they resumed again, albeit at more of a rushed pace. Draco waited a moment before following.


"I think your boyfriend has a soft spot for blonds."

Draco smirked when Harry jumped. The darker man relaxed without turning around, which Draco found endearing. He watched intently from the door while Harry's back muscles flexed when he pulled his Quidditch jumper over his head.

"What makes you say that?" asked Harry, sounding bemused.

"He told me I looked 'very striking'. 'Good-looking' as well."

Harry turned around and stared at Draco, who was leaning against the doorframe of Harry's bedroom in his Quidditch robes. "Well," he said finally, "you are."

Tossing his head back haughtily, Draco preened. "Oh, I know. It was just interesting to hear him say it." His companion shook his head in response.

As Harry pulled his Quidditch robe over his shoulders he asked, "What were you two talking about that he would say that?"

"He wondered if what Skeeter wrote was true."

Hands stilled their movement to work a clasp and green eyes regarded the blond seriously through thick, black fringe. "And what did you tell him?" Harry whispered.

Draco gazed steadily back. "That he should ask you that question. He told me you told him you'd never been with a guy before." Harry winced and resumed to work the clasp. "I didn't refute the claim," Draco finished.

When Harry turned to gather his pads and broom, Draco calmly and swiftly closed the distance between them to place a hand on Harry's shoulder. "He doesn't know, Harry. If you want to keep it that way, that's fine. It's not my business to tell him."

Looking at the back of Harry's neck, he couldn't help himself; he brushed one of his fingers across the skin. His mouth parted and his breath picked up when he felt Harry tremble in response.

"No, it's not. I don't want him to know. Not... Maybe later." Draco was intrigued to find that Harry's voice sounded slightly choked. He cleared his throat and finished, "I'll tell him when I'm ready."

Draco nodded. "That's your choice."

They stood there in a silent and slightly uncomfortable tableau: and Draco realised that this might be the time to tell him. To tell Harry that he loved him.


The man turned, and Draco was confronted with those beautiful green eyes that were closer than they had been in days. And he couldn't do it. He didn't know why. He just couldn't.

"Never mind. Let's go to practice, eh?"

Harry nodded, a small smile on his lips. "Okay."


A/N: So...yeah. I don't have much else to say, though I'm sure I'll think of things later. -smirk- Things will all work out, though, so no bothering me about that. :) You'll just have to wait like everyone else to see what happens. Thank you to all who reviewed, especially to those who I didn't respond to personally--I truly value that you took the time to say something, and I'm just sorry I didn't have much else to say other than: Thanks! It's really too bad I can't live off reviews, I'd probably never have to spend money on food. Can't wait to hear from you all again!