Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
Slash Angst
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published: 03/18/2003
Updated: 08/21/2003
Words: 70,367
Chapters: 11
Hits: 277,324

Beautiful World


Story Summary:
Draco is afraid of living and Harry is afraid of dying, but sometimes the choice isn't offered. Draco's got to learn what it is to really live, while showing Harry how beautiful the world really is when you're not too scared to see it.

Chapter 05

Chapter Summary:
Draco is afraid of living and Harry is afraid of dying, but sometimes the choice isn't offered. Draco's got to learn what it is to really live, while showing Harry how beautiful the world really is when you're not too scared to see it.

Beautiful World

Chapter Five

"Come on!" Harry shouted, running across the grounds and into the darkness. Draco could barely see him yank his shirt off over his head and toss it to the ground as he ran.

"Where are you going?" Draco called, even as he followed at a run, grinning and no longer caring that he was following Harry Potter again in the middle of the night when he'd be punished severely for it. After all, this time it had been his idea and that somehow made it more acceptable.

Harry hadn't responded to his question, and Draco figured he hadn't even heard it. He couldn't see the other boy any longer but knew where he had gone anyway: down to the lake.

He was soaked by the time he got down there, but Draco didn't mind. He was, however, appalled when he stepped onto the pier.

Harry's trousers, shoes, socks, glasses, and boxers were scattered all over it and the boy was nowhere in sight.

"Harry?" Draco called nervously. There was a splash from the lake and a burst of bubbling laughter. "Oh, bollocks," he mumbled.

"Come in," Harry shouted, and Draco could barely see his head bobbing on the surface of the lake.

"I don't think so!" Draco replied firmly.


"I don't swim!"

"You can't swim?"

"No, I just don't."

"Are you scared?"

"Well, there is a giant squid in that lake, you know."

"You're afraid of the squid." It wasn't a question, and Harry was laughing, that carefree giggle again. It was most distracting. "I've been all over this lake, last year, and it didn't bother me. It's fine."

"I don't think so." Draco crossed his arms over his chest and smirked. There was no way he was going in that lake. No sodding way.

There was a pause, and then Harry shrieked, "Oh my god! The squid! It's got my leg! Ahhh!" And then he went under.

"Oh shit." Draco didn't pause to think about why it mattered if Harry was eaten by the squid. All he knew was that in the next instant, still dressed in his robes, he was running and leaping off the edge of the pier, ready to battle the squid to save Harry's life.

"Potter!" he cried, after surfacing and pushing his hair out of his face. "Where are you?" The weight of his robes was pulling him down, and he could barely stay afloat.

A few feet away, Harry surfaced.

Draco started shouting. "You stupid idiot, I told you that the squid would —" He suddenly realized that Harry was laughing and felt like a fool. "You tricked me."

Harry just kept laughing.

Scowling, Draco snapped, "Help me back to the dock."

"I thought you could swim," Harry snickered.

"I can!" Draco growled. "But my robes are soaked and heavy and I can't…" Even as he said it, he was fighting to stay above the water.

"Oh, bloody hell!" Harry cried. "You're still wearing your sodding robes?" Swimming closer, he grabbed Draco's arm and pulled him near, wrapping Draco's arm around his neck. "Hold on to me, I'll keep you up," he commanded, seeming completely oblivious to the fact that he'd just tugged Draco against his naked chest. Naked body, for that matter.

Draco was not so oblivious and the sheer strangeness of it caused him to panic and fight against him.

"I'm not trying to drown you!" Harry snapped. "Stop that, just hold on, I'll pull you back to the pier."

Breathing heavily, Draco shook his head, unable to form words to explain how much he loathed being pinned against a naked, wet Harry. "Oh god," he moaned weakly.

"What?" Harry asked, alarmed. "Are you alright? We're nearly there. Oh, fuck this…" With that, he started jerking at the buttons of Draco's robes.

"What are you doing?" Draco shrieked.

"You're too heavy, I can't pull you, you're dragging me under!" Harry cried. "Take your robes off."

"I've got nothing underneath." Draco's face had turned crimson and he couldn't look at Harry, which was hard enough, given the fact that Harry was still holding him pinned against his chest.

"So? Honestly, it's not like I haven't seen you naked before," Harry said, exasperated.


"What? Oh!" Harry's eyes widened. "Umm. Oops. Oh my god, is that the giant squid?"

"Where?!" Draco's panic gave him the force he needed to pull away, spinning around and looking for the squid. It wasn't there, but that didn't matter, because the dead weight of his robes pulled him under then, his mouth still opened as he panted in terror. Water filled it and he swallowed instinctively, fighting the swirling blackness, unable to breathe.

Harry tugged him back to the surface. "Honestly," he chided, as he held Draco afloat while the other boy coughed up the water. "You're afraid of everything!"

"I am not!" Draco cried when he'd caught his breath. "I'm only afraid of two things. My father, and Vold… You-Know-Who."

Harry gave him a strange look but didn't ask. Instead, he said, "And getting detention."

"Doesn't count. It isn't the detention that scares me, it's my father's reaction."

"And the squid."

"It's a giant sodding squid! Anyone who isn't afraid of that is mad!"

He suddenly noticed that, as he was talking, Harry, who was holding Draco up now from behind, his arms wrapped around Draco's chest, was undoing the rest of his robes.

"And what the hell did you mean, you've seen me naked? In your dreams, Potter," he snarled, slapping the hands away and finishing it himself. After all, it wasn't like he had a choice. Besides, he wasn't scared of this.

"Hardly," Harry snickered, letting Draco finish undoing his robes. "Actually, it was earlier this year. Umm. See, my Quidditch team had a bet going on…"

"A bet that involved seeing me naked?" Draco snapped indignantly.

"No!" Harry laughed. "That was an accident. See, I lost the bet, and the deal had been, whoever lost, had to sneak up inside the ventilation pipes and crawl over your changing room, and spy on your Quidditch strategy. Sure death, if I was caught. But I guess… your changing rooms are set up opposite to ours, and instead of crawling over the changing room after our match, I ended up crawling over the…" he cleared his throat delicately. "Showers."

Draco, who'd been struggling to pull his arms out of the sleeves of his robes, froze. "Oh my god," he moaned.

"You were the only one in there."

"I always wait until everyone's done before I go for my shower. ‘Malfoys always shower alone'," he recited, quoting his father.

"Yes, well. I promise, it was an accident, and it's not like I stayed there and watched after I realized what I was looking at. I mean, no offense, but watching you shower is hardly one of my fantasies."

Draco, his entire body burning with humiliation, jerked out of his robes and swam away quickly, lest Harry catch a glimpse of his nearly naked body. He was still wearing his boxers and defiantly swore to himself that there was no way he was letting Harry talk him into removing those.

Harry swam to the pier and tossed his robes up there, and then swam back, careful to keep his distance. He was grinning like a madman.

"You do this often, then?" Draco asked, treading water. "Swim naked in the rain in the middle of the night?"

"No. I've never swum in the lake in the middle of the day even, except that Triwizard thing. I was always afraid of the giant squid…"

Draco's eyes widened. "What? You said that it wouldn't bother us!"

"I did not! I'm just not scared of the fact that it might."

"Why the hell not?" Draco was already swimming frantically for the pier.

"Don't see the point, really."

Pausing, he turned back, studying Harry as best he could in the darkness. "You've suddenly decided to take up smoking and go swimming with giant squids in the middle of the night not wearing any clothing," he said quietly, swimming back. Before Harry could guess his intention, he'd grabbed his hand, pulling his arm out of the water so he could see the cuts. The blood was washed away now, but the cuts were still there, raw and ragged. "Not to mention slicing up your arm. What happened to change you this way?"

Harry looked very solemn but didn't reply.

Tracing the cuts with light fingertips, Draco studied them in silence and then whispered, "What on earth would possess you to do this to yourself?"

"I wanted to prove that I was real," Harry replied thickly.

Draco looked at him sharply, but Harry looked so honestly miserable that he sighed. "And what did you prove?" he asked in an almost gentle voice, not bothering to wonder why he was being gentle. If he started thinking about that, he'd start wondering why he was swimming in his boxers with a naked Harry Potter, and then he'd go mad. If he wasn't crazy already.

Harry carefully pulled his arm away, studying the cuts himself and then saying rather dreamily, "That I am. For now at least."

Nodding once, Draco smiled faintly.

Green eyes rose to his again, and Harry said, "So then. Why is the son of Voldemort's favourite pet afraid of the Dark Lord himself?"

Draco's eyes widened. "Excuse me?"

"What? You think you're the only one who gets to ask the difficult questions?"

Draco panicked for a moment and then moaned and said weakly, "My head… I think my headache's coming back. You know, from having my head slammed into the stone floor after you pushed me in an unprovoked attack upon my person."

Harry laughed and sent a wave of water into Draco's face. "Yeah right. You always were a drama queen, Malfoy."

With a squeal of outrage, Draco lifted both hands to Harry's shoulders and shoved him under the water, quickly diving beneath the surface and swimming away quickly before the other boy had made it back up.

A full out water fight, in the rain in the lake in the middle of the night, erupted then, and both boys were rather lucky that this had never happened before and the giant squid was rather afraid of new things. It stayed at the bottom of the lake, twitching nervously at every burst of laughter, relieved when, hours later, both boys swam back to the pier and left.


Harry was grinning proudly as he came down the stairs for his shower the next day. Humming to himself as he washed the lake slime out of his hair and off his body, he cheerfully decided that it was time for a shave and did so quickly before running a hand through his wet hair and studying his face.

He didn't look older. Still a little boy. In fact, he looked strangely younger. It was his eyes, he decided. They were glittering in a way that disguised the fact that underneath all of that, they were older than they should have been.

Doing her homework in the common room, Hermione glanced up at him a few moments later. She dropped her quill and stared.

"Harry?" she asked hesitantly. "Are you alright?"

He faltered a bit. "Why? Do I look sick or something?"

"No, it's just… you look… different." She frowned thoughtfully, tilting her head and studying him critically. Then she smiled a bit. "Oh. You're smiling. I haven't seen you smile like that in days. Was detention that good?"

"Umm." His smiled turned sheepish. "Well. I suppose. I nearly killed Malfoy."

She laughed. "Did you? I would have liked to see that!" Studying his face again, she grinned. "It's so good to see you smile again, Harry. I was beginning to think you'd never smile again. You never laugh anymore; I was worried."

"I laugh," he said defensively, an image of spending his last month and a half in an angry depression hitting him so suddenly that he was nearly sick. Of course he laughed. After all, what was the point in being alive at all if he never laughed?

"When?" she asked, her eyebrows raised.

When I'm with Malfoy. Oh. "Umm."

"See? But still. It's a start, this smile of yours." She laughed when her words brought that goofy grin to his face again.

The portrait swung open suddenly and Heather, the Head Girl, stood there, looking grim. "Harry," she chided. "Dumbledore wants to see you."

"Again?" Hermione asked, frowning.

Harry rolled his eyes. "Don't worry about it. I know what it's about." He started towards the door and she grabbed his arm.

"What? Is it the same thing as last time? You never did tell us what that was about, Harry."

"No, something different. I suspect he's rather annoyed that Malfoy and I skipped detention last night… we're gonna be serving detention for the rest of our lives." He sounded quite chipper about it, refusing to remember that it wouldn't be that long, really, for him.

"Harry!" she cried. "You skipped?"

He just grinned at her and followed Heather out of the common room.

Draco was already there, waiting for them outside Dumbledore's office, and he smirked when he saw Harry, ducking his head in an attempt to hide it from Heather. Looking more and more suspicious, she frowned before whispering the password to the headmaster's office. "He's waiting," she said brusquely, before walking away.

Dumbledore looked very grim, and Harry fought the urge to laugh. He didn't know what had come over him, really, but he rather liked it. It was better than trying to punch through stone walls and hating everything that was going to last longer than he was.

"Words cannot express how disappointed I am in both of you," Dumbledore began.

Harry cleared his throat in a desperate attempt to restrain a giggle and Draco shot him an exasperated look, though he was grinning reluctantly. Both had ducked their heads in an attempt to look contrite.

"Do you find something amusing?" Dumbledore asked mildly, his white eyebrows arching.

"No, sir," Draco said quickly.

Dumbledore glanced from one to the other and sat back in his chair, looking rather perplexed and, Harry saw, after darting a swift glance at the headmaster, almost amused. "Harry," he said, focusing his eyes on him through the half moon spectacles "I'm glad, at least, that this recent transgression of yours has put you in a better frame of mind than when I saw you last. However, I cannot allow this to go unpunished; Mr. Filch would undoubtedly resign were I not to ensure that a harsh punishment were put in place for sneaking off while serving a detention for him."

"Resign?" Draco asked, perking up at that. "You think so?"

A smile twitched at Dumbledore's lips. "And that would, of course, be a terrible loss to this school. I was going to give you both more detention, however, with end of year exams next week, that would interfere with your studies. So instead, you will serve your two remaining detentions this Saturday and the next, and spend an hour studying in the library together every day after class. If there are any more transgressions, I shall have to consider suspending you both from playing Quidditch next year. Is that acceptable?"

"Yes, sir," Draco said quickly. Harry didn't speak at all.

"You are dismissed. Harry, if you'll mind staying for a moment," Dumbledore said graciously. Glancing at him suspiciously, Draco left the office. "I just wished to inquire as to how you were doing," Dumbledore said, a great deal more gently now. "Sirius said that this week's session went very well."

A lie, that, but Harry didn't correct it. "I'm fine," he said stiffly.

"I do hope this recent bit of bad behavior has nothing to do with what I told you last week."

"What do you mean?" His tone was defiant now. He did not wish to discuss this.

Dumbledore saw it on his face and sighed. "We're still working on it, Harry. Nothing's set in stone."

"Mmm. Well," Harry mumbled.

Dumbledore sighed. "We are doing our best, Mr. Potter. But you'd best be getting to class. I shall inform Madam Pince to expect you and Mr. Malfoy in the library directly after class to begin studying together. Good day."

Harry was in a significantly worse mood as he left the office than when he'd entered.


It was Friday, and the library was emptier on Friday nights than any other. Pince nodded stiffly at him when he entered, indicating that she'd been expecting him, and Draco was already there, books opened and scribbling quickly as he studied. He didn't look up when Harry approached the table.

"Hey," he said. "What should we study first?"

"I study best alone," Draco said, still not looking up.

"But Dumbledore said —"

"That we have to study together. Not that I have to help you." He finally glanced up and Harry saw how worried he looked. "I haven't got time to help you, Harry."

"I don't need help," Harry mumbled, irritated. He didn't comment on Draco calling him ‘Harry' either. It didn't seem worth the effort.

Laughing dryly, Draco said, "Oh, trust me, you need more help than I could ever give," he said, and Harry knew he wasn't talking about schoolwork. He didn't care. Dropping his books, he made his way over to the reference shelves, scanning the titles. He'd been meaning to do some research and now seemed a good time for it.

He returned to the table a few moments later with a large, dusty book, sitting across from Draco and opening it, scanning the table of contents and flipping to page 154.

He was studying the large pictures, old pictures that were faded but still moving, when Draco spoke. "Shouldn't you be studying?"

"What happens to a wizard when they die?" Harry asked, instead of replying.

"Are you asking if I believe in Heaven?" Draco snickered.

"No, I mean, the funeral. What's a wizard funeral like?

Draco frowned at him. "What on earth are you reading?"

"‘Wizarding Rites of Passage'," he replied.


"I've never been to a wizard funeral and I was just wondering what it was like, that's all." The pictures looked relatively like Muggle funerals, really. Coffins and bodies, tombstones and people weeping around an open grave.

"Interesting reading," Draco said sarcastically, coming to stand behind him and read over his shoulder. "Why do you care?"

"I just wondered is all." Harry shivered, feeling Draco's breath on the back of his neck and unnerved by it.

"Rather morbid, really."

"I don't think I'd like a regular funeral when I die. It's hardly dramatic enough," Harry mused out loud. "I mean, it's just flowers and people crying. Rather tacky, really."

Returning to his seat, Draco picked up his quill and asked, "Well, what do you expect? They're saying goodbye."

"It's just too quiet and calm."

"Death is quiet and calm."

"I don't think it would be. I think death would be… something that moved a lot. Something huge and complicated, way more complicated than this. Something with thousands of pieces that fit together perfectly, like a puzzle. When you look at a single piece, it doesn't make sense, but when the last piece fits it, it all makes sense."

Draco laughed. "Hardly. Death is the body shutting down. There's no puzzle, no great revelation. There's nothing."

Shivering again, though this time in panic, Harry whispered, "You don't believe in life after death? Even… even with all the ghosts around here?"

"That's different. That's not really death at all. That's when you don't want to die so badly that you refuse to understand that you've died. Oh, you might know you've died, but you refuse to be dead. I'd rather be dead than a ghost."

"You're wrong," Harry said with quiet conviction, his eyes welling up with tears.

Draco saw them. "Alright, whatever you want to believe, Potter," he said in a bewildered tone.

Pushing the book away, Harry turned to his studies, ignoring Draco for the rest of the afternoon.


That night, sitting on his bed and staring at the roof, unable to get the faded images from the book out of his mind, Harry felt that itch under his skin again. The one that led to a panic attack, the terror and need to prove to himself that he was real, to reassure himself that he was still here.

The knife was in between his mattresses and Harry slipped his hand under there and pulled it out. It was habit now; to keep from going mad, Harry would reach for the knife. It had evolved past proving that he was real and still bled. Now it was a way to pull the panic from his mind out and put it somewhere else, into his arm. It was a way of exorcising it, canceling it out. Proving that it was there and by facing it that way, destroying it.

He hadn't actually done it since before the night at the lake. Now, however, his hand was trembling as he ran the blade over his forearm in a curved line, splitting the skin. Blood welled out, more than ever; he'd never gone that deep before. He watched it run down his arm for a while before grabbing a cloth nearby and pressing it to the cut.

He fell asleep that way, cradling his bloody arm to his chest.


It was Saturday, and Draco, as a general rule, loved Saturdays. This one, however, he reminded himself as he gradually woke up, was supposed to be spent in detention. Which significantly lowered his enjoyment of the simple fact that it was Saturday. He moaned a little as he opened his eyes, wrinkling his nose.

He dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and left the Slytherin dungeons before anyone else was even awake. They were to spend the day serving detention with Hagrid and who knew what the giant oaf would have them doing. Attempting to rid the forest of werewolves or something, no doubt.

Harry was waiting in the Entrance Hall for him, looking wan and pale, weak, with dark circles under his eyes. Feeling a strange hint of sympathy, Draco smiled at him. It was an unprecedented move, really, that smile that held no hint of sarcasm or sneer.

"Hi," Harry mumbled sleepily. "We're supposed to go out to Hagrid's and meet him there."

"Right." Draco led the way out the door and Harry followed.

Hagrid was waiting for them, a dark shadow in the predawn light, and he shouted a cheerful hello before informing them that Professor Sprout required a garden dug and they were to dig it, out behind the green houses. They were to remove the dirt so she could fill the hole with her own blend of soil.

"Dig a garden?" Draco whispered, appalled. "You'd think I was a servant or something."

"Detentions are not supposed to be pleasant," Harry said tonelessly. Draco looked at him sharply. His eyes were dark again, almost black, and Draco hated it.

Hagrid led them to where the plot had been marked with stakes and handed them both shovels, promising that someone would bring them lunch, and then ambled off, leaving them alone.

It was going to be a sweltering hot day, Draco could tell already and the sun was just now rising. A sweltering day of digging. Lovely. He scowled and watched as Harry mechanically went about prying up strips of dirt with the grass still sprouting from the top. They were neat, nearly perfectly straight rows, and Draco smirked.

"An expert at digging gardens, are you?"

"Dug them for my aunt," he replied absently, wiping the sweat that had already begun gathering on his forehead with his arm. He winced a little. "Pull up the strips and roll them up, will you? I'll break them, this is the hardest part. The dirt will be softer underneath."

Draco snorted. "I don't think so. Honestly, this is servant's work. My father would roll over in his grave if he could see me now."

"You're father's not dead."

"Well, if he were dead."

Harry just looked at him and shook his head in irritation. "Fine. You sit there and get a sunburn, I'll do it myself."

Sighing loudly, Draco rolled his eyes and started pulling the turf up and rolling it awkwardly, grunting with effort as he carried them a short distance away. They worked in silence for a long while, until all the grass was gone and it was just dirt, and then Draco got his shovel and they started tossing dirt out of the large, rectangular plot.

Against his will, Draco found himself actually enjoying it. The way his muscles ached, the way his body sweated, it was novel for him, this physical labor. He'd never done anything like this before, anything that required this much effort.

By the time an hour had passed and the sun was up, Draco pulled his t-shirt off and tossed it aside, though Harry hadn't removed his long-sleeved button-up shirt.

When the shirt was filthy and stained with sweat an hour later, Draco turned to ask Harry about it. His own chest was sweaty now and streaked with dirt, and he felt rather sexy. Like the construction workers he'd seen in Muggle London one time when his nanny had taken him to McDonalds without his father's knowledge.

With a quirky grin, he said, "I feel so sexy. I'm all sweaty and dirty. Like a construction worker I saw in London one day."

Harry glanced at him and turned away quickly, face flushing a little. "More like one of those Village People."

"Who? Yeah, I guess they have construction workers in villages. It doesn't matter. Still sexy."

He was about to say something more when Harry shoved the spade into the ground and twisted his arm a bit. He winced but didn't make a sound, and Draco saw that the sleeve of his shirt was stained with blood.

"Oh, bloody hell," he snapped. Harry glanced up.

"What?" He looked startled, as if he'd forgotten Draco was there, and his eyes flew to his naked, dirty chest and then back to his face as his cheeks flushed even more than they had been from the heat. "Where's your shirt?"

Draco ignored his question, tossed his shovel aside, and stepped closer, grabbing Harry's shirt by the neck and jerking it so the buttons popped off. Harry started to protest but Draco just pulled his arms out of the sleeves roughly and tossed the shirt aside. "What the hell have you done now?" he mumbled, grabbing Harry's arm and turning it over.

A new cut had broken open, and it was oozing blood and covered in dirt. "Stupid, stupid boy," Draco scolded, sounding like a mother. Not his mother, but someone's mother. He'd heard they said things like that, and ‘clucked like a mother hen'. He'd read that phrase in a book one time and was startled to hear himself make a sound very much like what he assumed a mother hen would.

"It's fine," Harry said quietly. He shut up when Draco raised his furious gray eyes to his green. Rolling his eyes and looking away, Harry let Draco tend to the cut. A house elf had brought water a while before, and Draco tore Harry's shirt with an easy twist and wet it, gently cleaning the blood and dirt away from the cut.

"I swear, the amount of times I've had to clean you up," he mumbled, inspecting the cut. He was quite satisfied, really. It was deep, but it was on the upper side of the arm and not straight, which, he assumed, meant that it hadn't been a suicide attempt. That had to mean something. If it had been an attempt to slice open his vein, surely even Harry knew that the veins were in the wrist. And the cut would have been more deliberate and planned. It wouldn't have wandered like that.

They had been forced to leave their wands with Hagrid so Draco couldn't heal it for him. "Should have told me before, I would have healed it in the Entry Hall," he scolded.

"It doesn't matter," Harry replied.

Draco shot him another glare and ripped his own shirt this time, which was a great deal cleaner than Harry's. He tied a strip of it around the cut to act as a bandage, sure that Harry would kill him if he ran up into the castle to get bandages or, even worse, Pomfrey.

"There. Now keep your sodding shirt off, it's too hot for that."

Again, Harry's green eyes trailed lower, over Draco's chest, and his face turned even redder. "Right," he croaked, glancing away.

Draco grinned a bit and rolled his eyes, even if he didn't quite understand and his own face was a little red. "If it starts bleeding again," he said, "tell me. I suspect this digging's not good for it."

Harry laughed shortly. "What, you're going to make me sit and watch while you finish it?"

"If I have to," Draco said simply, picking up his shovel. Harry didn't move for a long moment, he just stared at Draco with some sort of wonder in his eyes that Draco wasn't ready to consider. Then he picked up his own shovel and they worked together in silence again, though where they had ignored each other before, now there was some heightened awareness between them. After that day, Harry would always be able to easily remember the way Draco looked when he wiped sweat off his forehead with the back of his wrist and Draco would never forget the way Harry's throat moved when he tilted his head back and drank from the water jug. The memories would be a bit hazy, however, with heat and nervousness and some strange sort of excitement that neither could yet identify.

Professor Sprout was to plant a wildflower garden there, and when Draco found out, he would laugh at the irony of it. He'd never liked wild gardens, they made him nervous, but he knew without knowing how he knew that they would be Harry's favourite.

A/N: I wanted to thank everyone for reading so far, and for trusting me on the cutting issue. I know it tends to be overdone and clichéd, so thank you for having faith that it won't be in this story. And, because I'm feeling defensive, a lot of people have been arguing as to whether or not my Draco in this story's in character. I think he is, I wanted to play with a different aspect of his character that I rarely do in my stories. The kid Draco was before he became all worldly and sexy and smooth. So I think he's more canon than the others I've written, and I knew that lots of people would think that out of character. I'm sorry if you think so. And also! As a final and rather unrelated side note, I know I haven't updated Beneath You in forever, and I'm very, very sorry. It isn't all posted yet, there are more chapters, and they have been written, just not posted yet. But soon, I promise. That being said, thank you again and hoped you liked this chapter! It was one of my favourites.