Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire
Published: 12/05/2002
Updated: 05/30/2003
Words: 114,031
Chapters: 15
Hits: 378,784

Beneath You


Story Summary:
Draco had no idea that the repercussions of stealing Potter's journal and shoving it down the back of his trousers would be so extreme. Featuring nefarious plots, the mating rituals of Slytherins, double-crossing spells, Ron/Pansy, and Draco/Harry.

Chapter 11

Chapter Summary:
Draco had no idea that the repercussions of stealing Potter's journal and shoving it down the back of his trousers would be so extreme. Featuring nefarious plots, the mating rituals of Slytherins, double-crossing spells, Ron/Pansy, and Draco/Harry.
Author's Note:
Sorry this one took so long! I was busy. However, it's longer than usual to make up for it.

Chapter Eleven

Where does the wound begin?
In a closetful of toys,
Or a childhood of faceless fathers?
You never let them in
They were only girls and boys
But you know that it's too late to bother now
And if you try to hard to ask yourself that scary question
We all know you'll hide again
You'll just turn your head and sell your soul away
--Matt Caplan, September

Things had gotten remarkably complicated for Hermione when Harry had decided to fall for Malfoy. For one, she was worried about Ginny, who seemed to have withdrawn from her, Ron, and certainly Harry, since he had told her. A perfectly understandable reaction, of course, except she had no one to withdraw to. She’d never gotten on well with her own year. Then there was Ron, of course, who was proving to be incredibly thick-headed and stubborn. She had accepted him wanting to be with Pansy though that hurt; why couldn’t he accept Harry’s decision? Didn’t he understand that accepting Harry’s decision didn’t automatically mean he had to accept Malfoy? Just like Hermione didn’t have to accept Pansy.

She sighed at that thought, and glanced over at the Slytherin table where Pansy sat beside Malfoy. It was lunch, and Ron hadn’t bothered to show up for it. Harry was sitting with Seamus, Ginny was sitting alone, and Hermione was standing in the doorway, trying to decide what she could do about this mess Harry had created.

Today would be her last chance until after Christmas as the holidays began the next day and she and Pansy were both leaving early in the morning.

Tightening her hands on the Arithmancy book she’d brought to study after lunch, she screwed up all her courage and strode purposefully over to the Slytherin table.

It was Malfoy who turned towards her first. “Is Harry —”

“He’s fine,” she said, glancing at Pansy, who hadn’t bothered to turn. “I actually wanted to talk to her.”

Malfoy glanced at Pansy, rolled his eyes, and elbowed her. “What?” she snapped, before seeing Hermione standing there. “Oh. Granger. Hi.” She smiled weakly, rubbing her side and shooting a furious glance at Malfoy.

“I was wondering if we could talk,” Hermione said.

“Why?” Pansy asked rudely.

She blinked. “Umm, it’s rather private.”

“I don’t know, I’m rather busy.”

“Shut up, Pansy,” Malfoy snapped, immediately increasing Hermione’s respect for him. “Just go with her, it’s got to be important if she’s willing to talk to you about it.”

Pansy scowled but still got out and stalked out of the hall, leaving Hermione to flash Malfoy a distracted, thankful smile, and then hurry after her.

When she finally caught up, Pansy was standing with her arms crossed over her chest, scowling furiously. “What?” she snapped.

“It’s about Ron.”

“What about him?”

Hermione paused and considered her next words delicately. Before she could think of how to say it, Pansy rolled her eyes and said, “Don’t tell me you fancy him.”

Her eyes widened and she stammered, “W-what?”

“He’d never have anything to do with a nasty-looking girl like you!”

“He’s my best friend!” she said indignantly.

Pansy laughed. “That’s what you think.”

“Will you shut up?” Hermione growled suddenly. “This has nothing to do with that, that isn’t the issue here. The issue is that Ron is being a complete prat to Harry —”

She snickered. “Why should I care?”

“Are you blind? Because Harry is now intimately connected to Malfoy, you stupid girl. Even you can’t be so blind as to not have seen it. The first thing he asked me today was if Harry was alright. He’s the first person Harry notices in a room. When Harry’s hurt, Malfoy’s going to notice, and right now, he is very hurt. Ron hurt him. I don’t know Malfoy well, but he certainly seems the type to be very protective. Do you want him to hurt Ron?”

Pansy considered for a moment, and then her shoulders slumped and she glared balefully. “No. I don’t want Draco to hurt Ron.”

“Then talk to Ron. Make him stop being so stubborn. You could lose him, Pansy. You’re friends with Malfoy, Ron might pull away from you because of that association. He’s just as hurt as Harry is.”

Shaking her head slowly, Pansy smiled rather painfully. “The only way I could lose him is if you decided to take him from me. Even I can see that.”

“What are you talking about?” Hermione whispered.

“Apparently I’m not the only blind one here.” She smiled. “But I’ll talk to him. I don’t want Draco hurt, and if talking to Ron makes that less likely, then I’ll be happy to do it.”

Hermione was still staring at her suspiciously. “What did you mean about —”

“Listen, Granger,” Pansy interrupted, nearly managing to sound bored. “I’ll talk to Ron, if the subject comes up. I don’t want Draco hurt by this thing with Potter, and I will do what I can to prevent that if only because if Potter does hurt him, I’ll have to kill him, and Ron’ll probably frown on that. As for this little discussion…Quite honestly, it’s boring. So unless you’ve got something particularly interesting to say, I’d quit now if I were you.”

“No,” Hermione stammered. “I… just wanted to talk to you about Harry and Malfoy.”

Pansy nodded once and walked away, leaving Hermione to gape after her, astounded at her rudeness.

“What on earth does he see in her?” she grumbled out loud. Probably the same thing Harry saw in Malfoy.


In Pansy’s defense, she did try talking to Ron about his stubbornness regarding Draco and Harry’s relationship. However, given that it was their last night together until after Christmas, the last thing Ron wanted to do was talk about Harry, and Pansy finally gave up with a sigh, resolving to talk to him about it tomorrow or maybe owl him later… After all, he had much more pleasant things in mind to do on their last night, and Pansy was only too happy to agree. Ron didn’t make it back to his own bed that night. It was lucky for him that he didn’t.

The promise of pumpkin juice and chocolate frogs is what lured Harry to accept Draco’s idea of a celebration of the beginning of the holidays and the last day of class. To make matters all the more intriguing, Draco had decided to have their celebration after hours, in the Great Hall, all alone, because any situation is made all the more exciting when given the added benefit of possible punishment if caught. So after all the other students had retired to their respective common rooms or Shag Spots of Choice, Harry donned his invisibility cloak and snuck into the Great Hall.

He got there before Draco and had a few moments to sit on the edge of the Gryffindor table (it felt wrong enough to be in the Great Hall alone in the dark, let alone to sit at another table) and consider how creepy the hall was when empty and dark. The ceiling shone with rolling, dark purple clouds and the occasional glimpse of a star or two between them, so the only light was the flickering, almost under-water quality of that false star light. Shadows seemed to dance like phantoms and that thought made Harry shiver as he fervently hoped that Peeves and the other ghosts would find other students to bother that night. The Great Hall was creepy enough without the undead floating around.

The silence was broken with the soft creak of the door, and Harry leapt off the table and spun around nervously. He was incredibly relieved when he saw it was Draco.

“Where’ve you been?” he hissed, gathering up his cloak.

Draco grinned. “Scared, Potter? I was in the kitchens, getting the pumpkin juice. C’mon.”

He walked past Harry and climbed the three steps up to the High Table.

“Where are you going?” Harry asked nervously.

“I thought it would be fun to celebrate up here,” Draco replied, glancing over his shoulder with a cocky grin. “That is, unless you’re scared.”

“Scared? Yeah, right,” Harry mumbled, climbing up onto the platform. Draco gracefully hopped up onto the table, crossing his legs and setting a bunch of frogs and a jug of juice down. He gestured with an impatient jerk of his head.

“C’mon, get up here.”

“It just doesn’t seem right,” Harry protested weakly, even as he climbed onto the table. It shone like ice and looked like it had just been polished.

Draco tossed him a frog and went about pouring the drinks, but Harry only glanced around nervously. “Why do we have to celebrate in here?” he whispered.

“Because,” Draco replied in a voice Harry was sure he’d made louder than normal on purpose. “I like living dangerously. Besides, who would come in here?”

Relaxing just a little bit, Harry smiled and took a sip of his juice. It was alright, he decided. Rather romantic, with the swiftly moving clouds and occasional glimpses of stars.

They ate all the chocolate frogs and drank most the juice and by the time they had finished, Harry had relaxed enough to have sprawled out on his back on the table, watching the clouds swirl above. Draco lay beside him, and they were silent for a long time.

Harry had been thinking of his parents. When everyone left to go home and visit their families, it invariably left him wondering about his, missing his. Draco sensed his mood and glanced over at him worriedly, unsure of what to say.

“Harry,” he said finally, gently. He wasn’t sure if it was a trick of the light or what, but Harry’s eyes seemed to be shining with tears.

“Hmm?” He didn’t pull his eyes away from the ceiling.

“Are you alright?”

“I was just thinking, that’s all,” Harry said softly.

“About what?”

It was silent for a long time, and Draco had almost given up on Harry ever answering when the other boy finally said, “If you had to die, would you rather die fast, suddenly, with no warning and no time to say good-bye, or would you rather know the day you were going to die and how?”

“Well,” Draco said slowly, worried more about why Harry’s train of thought had taken this path than the actual question. “Fast, I suppose.”

Harry snapped his head around to look at him now. “Why? Why fast? You wouldn’t have time to say good-bye.”

“Because I couldn’t imagine waking up each day and thinking to myself that it was one of the last days I’d ever wake up. I’d drive myself mad long before I actually died. I’d be…terrified.” Only to Harry would Draco ever have admitted such a weakness as fear.

Smiling a little and looking back up at the sky, Harry whispered, “I wouldn’t be scared. As long as you were there to hold my hand each morning, I wouldn’t be scared. And I’d make sure that everyone I loved would be taken care of and that they’d know that I loved them.”

Draco propped himself up on one elbow, one hand reaching over to pull Harry’s glasses off and set them aside so he could see his eyes without the reflection of the sky on his lenses. “Harry,” he admonished gently. “Your parents loved you, whether they had a chance to say good-bye or not.”

Swallowing heavily, Harry nodded. “I know.”

He didn’t know what else to say, so Draco slid closer, lying beside Harry with his head on the other boy’s shoulder, one of his arms across his chest, pulling him closer, his face pressed into Harry’s neck.

They lay that way for a long time before Harry shifted and turned a little, so that he’d buried his face in Draco’s chest. When he spoke, his voice was muffled. “I just wish I had someone to go home to for the holidays.”

“You may not have anyone to go home to, Harry, but now you’ve got someone to stay for.”

Harry lifted his head and smiled. “You.”

“Who else?”

“Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Dumbledore —”

“Shut up.”

They smiled at each other and Harry sighed, feeling a little better and laying his head back down, where it was cushioned on Draco’s arm. “Tell me about your father,” he said sleepily, closing his eyes.

“There’s nothing really to tell,” Draco replied, feeling a little defensive.

“There has to be,” Harry insisted. “You define everything you are by what your father would approve of and what he’d frown on. Makes me wonder what he’d think of this.”

Draco smiled a little. “I don’t know, honestly. He doesn’t pay much attention to me, he probably would only care because you were…” He trailed off uncertainly.

“Harry Potter.”

“Yeah.” Draco tightened his arm around Harry possessively. “Someday he’ll notice though,” he said quietly. “I’ll make him notice.”

Disturbed, he pulled away a little. “What if the only way to make him notice is to become Voldemort’s follower?”

“You’re thinking about the prophecy again, I told you to stop,” Draco said with a frown. “Besides, my father thinks I’m too weak for that. He sends me away whenever he knows Voldemort will be near.”

“You’ve seen him? Voldemort?”

“Once or twice,” Draco evaded, pulling Harry close again.

Harry didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t sure if he had the right to question Draco on this, who had never questioned him on Voldemort or Dumbledore or any of it. He nestled closer and closed his eyes. “Don’t leave me to join him,” he said quietly.

“I wouldn’t,” Draco said with a smile. “Not for the world. Besides. He insists entirely too much on giving orders. Maybe my father delights in taking them, but I don’t. It’s always been about impressing my father, not Voldemort. I couldn’t care less about him, all he’s done is made my father weak.”

“See?” Harry said, relieved at Draco’s words. “You do define yourself by your father.”

“No. I want to be everything my father is but stronger. My father’s nothing more than Voldemort’s puppet. He’s a strong man, my father, and whenever Voldemort isn’t around, you can see it in the way he walks and everything. But the instant Voldemort is near, he’s weak. Terrified.”

“Why does he follow him if he’s terrified?”

“Some people get off on fear, I suppose. That’s all I can think of. It used to drive me mad a few years ago when Voldemort came back, that my father who rarely noticed me would be so inclined to chase after Voldemort and beg for forgiveness for something he hadn’t really done, that sort of thing. That when I was a kid, he never had time for me, until I was six and I started repeating to him everything I’d ever heard him say about Voldemort and the cause. Then he finally paid attention to me. I remember the first time I said ‘Mudbloods should die’, it was at a dinner party, and he looked at me with absolute terror in his eyes for a second, while all his friends laughed, and then he blinked and it was gone and he was smiling at me. So I kept doing it.” He shrugged, smiling faintly.

“You were cruel to Hermione for seven years because you wanted attention from your father,” Harry said dully, offended on her behalf but too disgusted to react.

“You wouldn’t understand,” said Draco, very quietly. “You never had a father to impress.”

Harry did react to that, jerking away as fast as he could and sitting up, staring at Draco in shock. He wasn’t wearing his glasses and couldn’t see Draco’s expression, but he didn’t care. Fury and hurt were mixing together inside of him and making him shake. “I don’t,” he admitted, voice trembling. “You’re right. I haven’t got a father to impress. He was killed by the creature your father supports, the same creature you support to impress that father. So that makes it okay, Draco. Support him, because I haven’t got one so that means I don’t understand the pressure of trying to impress a father. So that makes it alright.”

“Harry.” Draco reached out to touch his arm.

“Don’t,” Harry snarled, flinching away.

“This is why we’ve both avoided this whole subject all this time,” Draco finally said, sighing. “Just let it go.”

Let it go? How am I supposed to let the death of my parents go?”

“I didn’t mean it like that! I was just pointing out a fact, Harry, I wasn’t saying that it was alright or that I’m right because your father’s dead! That’s ridiculous! I was just saying that you haven’t got a father, you wouldn’t understand!”

“And you wouldn’t understand just how much I’d give up so I could understand!” Harry shouted, not caring if anyone heard. “My father’s dead, Draco! Don’t you get it? Maybe you’ve got some bitter love/hate thing going with yours, but you’ve still got a lot more than I ever had. Every time you look at him and see that his eyes are the same colour, you know where you got yours from! And you did, I’ve seen. You have his eyes, Draco. I’m told I’ve got my mothers, but I’ll never know for sure, because all I’ve got is a few photos and the memory of seeing her reflected back to me in a mirror! So you can tell me my father’s dead in an effort to make me understand how hard your life is all you like, but I already know. How could I not know that I’ll never understand what it is to have a father?”

“Harry,” Draco said quietly. “Harry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.”

Swallowing thickly, Harry held his breath for a long moment, closing his eyes. “I know,” he said finally. Years of wondering what it would be like to have a father and a mother, all the pain and bitterness of not knowing, it was all swirling inside him, threatening to choke him, and he knew he was about to break. He just didn’t know if it would bring with it angry shouting or painful crying. Suddenly both seemed the same.

“Harry…” Draco called softly, pleadingly. “Stop it, you’ve got to breathe.”

Still holding his breath and trying to stop the break he could feel coming, Harry shot him a desperate look, whimpering low in his throat.

Draco stared in shock at his eyes. They’d nearly turned black with the force of his emotions, and he’d never seen eyes like that, so full of hatred and pain. For a long moment, he froze, not sure of what to do, and then Harry let out the breath he’d been holding, his entire body shaking with the force of it. He collapsed forward and Draco was there to catch him.

“You don’t think,” Draco said very quietly, after a few moments had gone by and Harry was still clinging to him, silent except for the occasional shaky breath that sounded like a sob, though he wasn’t crying, “that if your father could see you now, he wouldn’t be impressed, Harry? How could he not be impressed?”

“If that’s the standard by which we’re judging our fathers’ impressions of us,” Harry said finally, his voice stronger than Draco thought it would be, “then your father’s got to be proud of you too.”

Draco laughed a little, and Harry lifted his head, his hands still braced on Draco’s shoulders. His eyes weren’t so dark now, they were familiar and very bright green, though still shining with tears. He was smiling, however, just a little bit, and he shifted a little so he was kneeling in front of Draco, rather than collapsed against him.

“We’re both alright,” he said, tracing Draco’s features in the dim starlight. “Despite everything.”

Draco smiled and bit one of his fingers lightly. “I think so,” he agreed.

“I know it,” Harry whispered, leaning forward and brushing his lips against Draco’s. He moved to pull away and Draco shook his head, a soft growl in the back of his throat. One hand lifted to Harry’s cheek, cupping it and pulling him close again as Draco kissed him very gently, begging for forgiveness the way he couldn’t in words. Harry didn’t respond, though he didn’t pull away and his eyes slowly closed. Growing more insistent, Draco traced his tongue along Harry’s bottom lip before biting it lightly, his growl turning into something more like a whimper, and Harry suddenly realized that Draco’s hands were shaking.

“Shit,” he whispered against Draco’s lips, reaching up to take Draco’s hands in his, holding them tightly. “I’m sorry.”

Draco pulled back just a little, laughing weakly. “What are you sorry for?”

“For shouting. For getting angry. For being weak and for making you hurt.”

Shaking his head, Draco opened his lips to say something but Harry kissed him this time, his hands sliding up to tangle his fingers in Draco’s hair, his tongue slipping inside Draco’s mouth. Forgetting whatever he had been about to say, Draco tilted his head and opened his mouth further, letting Harry taste him. If that was one thing he’d learned since all of this with Harry had began, it was that it was sometimes just as good to submit as it was to dominate.

Harry was very gentle, more gentle than Draco could ever remember anyone being with him. He pressed closer, tilting Draco’s head so he could angle better, lightly stroking his tongue along Draco’s, grazing his teeth.

Moments later, with hardly a break in the kiss, Harry had pulled Draco’s shirt off and tossed it aside. “Lay back,” he whispered, kissing Draco’s jaw.

Letting himself be guided until he lay on his back, Draco smirked a little as Harry straddled his waist. “What are you doing, Potter?” he drawled.

Harry smiled but didn’t reply, only kissed him in that same incredibly gentle way as before, lying so that his entire body was on top of Draco’s, pressed against him. Draco shifted, pulling his knees up so Harry’s hips were cradled against his, and Harry whimpered a little into his mouth.

“Dumbledore,” Draco said breathlessly, moaning a little when Harry started undoing his trousers.

Harry froze, confused. He glanced down at Draco, who’s eyes were glazed over, his face flushed. “What about him?” Surely Draco wasn’t fantasizing about Dumbledore while Harry touched him.

Draco took a deep breath and grinned. “He wouldn’t approve.”

“Ah,” Harry replied, losing interest and returning his focus to Draco’s trousers. “Why not?”

“Because we’re about to shag on the High Table.”

Harry’s head snapped up again and he glanced around, eyes wide. He’d forgotten all about the Great Hall! Littered on the table all around them were chocolate frog boxes, a half-empty jug of pumpkin juice, and two tumblers, and they were indeed about to shag on the High Table, right in front of the headmaster’s chair.

For a moment, Harry considered stopping, but Draco shifted restlessly beneath him (probably a deliberate act to get Harry’s attention), and Harry turned back to him.

“He never has to know,” he said breathlessly, lowering himself again to kiss Draco, shoving his hands down the other boy’s trousers. Draco smiled appreciatively and moaned.

“Anyone here?”

They both froze, Harry’s eyes flying wide as he glanced to the door, which was slowly creaking open. He looked back at Draco, half-naked and panting beneath him, eyes smoky and lips swollen, and started frantically trying to think up an excuse for this.

Draco’s legs swung up and locked around him, and Harry opened his mouth to yelp, trying to pull him off. Draco laughed softly, clapped his hand over Harry’s mouth, and rolled, right off the table, ensuring that he landed on the bottom so Harry wouldn’t be hurt.

“Don’t say anything,” he whispered. He’d grabbed his shirt and the invisibility cloak as they fell and threw it over them.

It was Filch, with his cat, Mrs. Norris. They peered suspiciously into the hall, taking in the garbage all over the table.

“My glasses,” Harry hissed suddenly, very quietly. Draco swore softly. They were still on the table, partially hidden by the jug of pumpkin juice.

“Stay behind Dumbledore’s chair and don’t move,” Draco commanded softly, shifting the cloak around him as he stood up. Filch, holding Mrs. Norris, was now standing before the table, studying the mess with narrowed eyes.

Draco started sliding his arm across the table slowly, towards Harry’s glasses, which Filch hadn’t yet noticed.

Filch lifted the jug of pumpkin juice, stuck his finger in it, and brought it up to his lips. “Still cold,” he whispered to his cat. “That means there’s someone out of bed!”

The glasses were an inch from Draco’s reach when Filch slammed the jug back down, nearly crushing his hand and sending the glasses sliding a little. Flinching a little, Draco leaned forward, reaching for them again.

That’s when Harry, who had crawled under the cloak around Draco’s feet, smirked and started stroking Draco’s leg.

Draco jumped a little, knocking into a chair, which made a soft scraping noise. Mrs. Norris’s ears twitched and Filch narrowed his eyes. “Who’s there?” he rasped. “I’ll get you, just wait, I’ll find you…”

Harry’s hand was sliding up Draco’s leg, past his knee and up his thigh, and Draco started panting, desperate to reach Harry’s glasses and get back under the table so he could kill that stupid boy.

Filch was raging now, throwing chocolate frog boxes and shouting at them, fury at his inability to see them making him crazy.

Draco’s fingers had just wrapped around the glasses when Harry’s hand had slipped inside his trousers, and he strangled a moan as he snatched them and quickly sank back under the table.

“You’re trying to get us killed!” he hissed to Harry, shoving the other boy’s glasses back on, his voice not heard over Filch’s shouting.

Harry was grinning widely, and he pulled his hand away, kissing Draco hard. “I was bored,” he whispered, snickering.

There was a sudden silence above and then Filch whispered, “I’ll see what Dumbledore has to say about this! Children out of bed!” He left, still hissing under his breath, and Harry struggled not to laugh.

“We’ve got to get out of here before Dumbledore comes,” Harry said.

Draco was struggling to do up his trousers and nodded, flashing Harry a grin. As soon as he was done, they stood carefully, glancing about for Filch and then dashing for the door, still under the cloak. The hall was clear and Harry grabbed Draco by the wrist, tugging him down it and up the stairs to Gryffindor Tower. As they rushed up the stairs, neither one could help snickering, and by the time they got to the Fat Lady, they were both laughing breathlessly.

Harry pulled Draco across the common room and up the stairs, into his dorm room where Seamus, Dean, and Neville were sleeping, the hangings on their beds closed. Harry glanced at Draco and motioned for him to be quiet, before slamming him against the closed door and kissing him again. The kiss grew bolder as Harry pressed closer, his mouth grinding against Draco’s as he bit Draco’s lip, his hands sliding lower, until his arms were around the other boy’s waist and he was tugging him closer. This Draco responded to more than the gentleness in the Great Hall, fighting for control because it was a force of habit and he liked this better than anything with Harry. The battle for control that had stopped being so much about winning and started being more about seeing how far they could push each other.

They stumbled a few steps, falling onto the nearest bed, thankfully empty.

It was a long time later when, tangled up and sprawled over Draco, neither wearing any clothing, Harry realized something and sat up, eyes widening even as a horrified giggle escaped him.

“Oh god,” he whispered.

“What?” Draco asked sleepily.

“This is Ron’s bed.”

Draco smirked a little as he sat up, glancing around. “It was empty, I thought it was yours.”.

“It is empty,” Harry realized, eyes widening still further. “But it’s so late, where’s Ron?”

“I’ll have to thank Pansy for this,” Draco mumbled, rolling out of the bed and grabbing Harry’s hand. “But still, sleeping in Weasley’s bed has never been a fantasy of mine, which one’s yours?”

Harry half-heartedly tried to straighten Ron’s sheets and then gave up, gathering up their clothes and carrying them over to his bed, giggling again, breathlessly, as he climbed onto the bed, pulling Draco with him and closing the hangings.

Draco kissed him and they started all over again, falling asleep tangled together hours later, the curtains sealed with silencing and locking charms.


There is a subtle art to the way the body works, with smooth and silken skin stretched over muscles and framework of bone. The way a chest would rise and fall with breath, making it seem all the more vulnerable and perfect for that mortality. Eyelashes so delicate and dark against pale skin, lips parted the tiniest bit in sleep, a hand closed into a fist and attached to an arm, outstretched and reaching.

Then again, maybe Draco just found art in watching Harry Potter sleep.

His father would kill him, his friends loathe him, but none of that mattered, however, because the sun was rising, shining through the bed hangings in tiny specks of gold, falling over Harry’s body, half turned towards him with tangled sheets around his hips and legs. A fine splash pattern of muted gold. His father could kill him a thousand times over and Draco wouldn’t care.

He’d never known imperfection could be beautiful. All of his life Draco had been taught that nothing was worthwhile until it was oozing with pure-blood, aristocratic beauty. Poisoned oleander flowers and belladonna. Not buttercups (too plebian) or thistle (too rough). Maybe that was why he found beauty in wild black hair and wide green eyes, glasses, crooked smiles.

The sun was higher now, and still golden, though now bright enough to cast a hazy light over the entire room. The other seventh year Gryffindors would be rising soon, and he had to go. If they found him here, in Harry’s bed… It did not bear thinking about. Not even heavy velvet bed hangings of crimson pulled tight around the bed, wrapped in a silencing spell, could keep the secret for long.

The invisibility cloak was tossed negligently at the foot of the bed, and Draco watched the sunspots hit random threads, making them dance, reflect rainbows.

Watching it, knowing he’d have to sneak away under it, suddenly made Draco extremely bitter, and he found himself not caring, suddenly, who found out.

But he had to care. Harry could be in danger if they weren’t careful. Already, Pansy, Weasley, and Granger knew. His father could not find out about this.

So it was still a secret then, which meant a long day of pretending that it was different, that Harry meant nothing to him. The night before could be nothing more than something to think about, and only very rarely. Draco usually couldn’t bear to think of it for too long, his body inevitably reacted to it.

Somewhere, someone whispered and there was a snort of laughter. They were waking and Draco sighed.

“Harry,” he whispered gently, shaking his shoulder. “I’ve got to go.”

Moaning low in his throat, Harry turned his face into the pillow, eyelashes fluttering weakly. “No,” he mumbled, and Draco smiled, leaning down and kissing his shoulder.

“Yes. C’mon, Harry. I don’t want to sneak out when you’re still asleep, it’s not very classy.”

Harry turned his head, eyes narrowed into sullen slits, looking more vulnerable because his glasses were safely stowed inside his trunk. “Fuck class,” he said very clearly, before flopping back down on the pillow.

“You wouldn’t be so hard to wake in the morning if you got more sleep,” Draco teased.

Turning his head once more, Harry scowled. “Whose fault is that?” he asked, rolling over and sitting up, still blinking sleepily.

“Yours, if I recall correctly,” Draco said almost primly. “You do carry on, Harry.”

Harry smirked. “You like it.”

He was looking adorably mussed, sitting there with his hair fluffy from sleep and lines from his pillow on his cheek, and Draco impulsively leaned over and kissed him quickly before running his hands through Harry’s hair, tidying it.

Harry rolled his eyes but let Draco fix his hair. “Everyone’s leaving today for the holidays,” he remembered suddenly.

“Yeah.” Draco smiled. “And I’m the only Slytherin staying, you can come and see me any time you want. The password’s Incendio.”

“Harry? Harry!” It was Neville and he was digging fruitlessly through the bed hangings, trying to open them. “Are you awake?”

Draco rolled his eyes and dove under the cloak, even as Harry tugged a sheet over himself and ended the locking charm. The hangings flew open.


“It’s Hermione, she’s downstairs waiting to say goodbye.”

“I’ll be right down,” he promised, and Neville nodded, closing the hangings again. “Urg,” Harry mumbled, pulling a shirt over his head and reaching through the curtains for his glasses. Dean, Seamus, and Neville had already left the room, and Draco tossed the cloak off, smirking.

They were both just finishing dressing when the door flew open again and Draco froze, wide-eyes flying to it.

Ron stood there, his face pale, eyes narrowed as they flew suspiciously from Harry to Draco and then to the invisibility cloak on the floor.

Harry swallowed and glanced at Draco, who was smiling coldly, challengingly, at Ron. “Hi, Ron,” Harry said lamely.

“If you ever let him in here again,” Ron said very calmly. “I’ll tell Dumbledore. He’s not allowed in here.”

Harry got a little irritated. “And where were you all night? I’ll bet the same rule goes for Gryffindors in the Slytherin dorms.”

Ron turned a little red. “None of your business,” he snapped.

He pushed past Harry with enough force to knock him out of the way and into the wall. Before he got two steps away, however, Draco had stepped in front of him, smirking coldly at him. “If I didn’t know you were a Weasley and didn’t already know that you weren’t, I’d say that you obviously weren’t raised very well. That wasn’t very nice, don’t touch him again.”

Ron scowled, trying to shove Draco out of the way. “I could say the same for you, Malfoy, but I know you wouldn’t listen.”

“You could say the same, Weasley, but it wouldn’t be true, as I’m not a Weasley and was raised to be a hell of a lot more courteous than you.”

His face was turning purple and Ron snarled, “Not about that, about the rest of it. About not touching him again. Get out of my way.” This time, he tried to shove Draco, but the other boy reacted by pushing him back. Ron hit the door and growled, launching himself at Draco, knocking him the floor and punching him in the stomach. Smiling grimly, Draco reacted by slamming his fist into Ron’s jaw, sending his head snapping back and splitting his lip.

“Shit. Shit. Stop it! Will both of you grow up?” Harry cried, falling to his knees and trying to pull Ron off Draco.

“Don’t touch me,” Ron shouted as Harry tugged at him. He angled a swift kick at Harry, knocking him away and then going back to pounding Draco, who snarled and intensified his own attack.

“Don’t you dare touch him again,” Draco spat, flipping Ron over so that he was on top, pinning the other boy beneath him and slamming his fist against his face.

The shouting brought Hermione running, and she appeared in the doorway just as Harry threw all of his weight against Draco and knocked him off of Ron. They rolled, and Harry ended up pinning Draco against the floor, breathing heavily and scowling.

“Leave him alone,” he growled. “I don’t want to cause this.”

“He’s been asking for it for days,” Draco replied, his eyes narrowed and dark.

“I don’t care,” Harry replied, crawling off him and going to see if Ron was alright. Ron had already gotten to his feet and stalked to his bed, digging through his trunk to find something to stop his bleeding lip.

“Get Draco out of here,” Harry said over his shoulder to Hermione, as he approached Ron. He didn’t want them fighting anymore.

Draco snorted, rolled to his feet, and walked out without giving her the chance. Hermione hurried after him.

“Ron,” Harry snarled, after Draco had gone. “If you ever touch him again…”

“Only you’d be sick and perverted enough to think I was turned on, rolling around with Malfoy on the floor. Only you would have been jealous by that,” Ron spat.

Growling, Harry shoved him against the wall. “Don’t fucking try to make me any angrier, Ron. If you ever touch him again, I will hurt you. You may be my best friend, but you’re not doing a very good job of acting the part, and I will hurt you if you touch him again.”

He let go of him and walked away quickly, and if Ron had a reply, Harry didn’t hear it. He was gone in seconds, hurrying down the stairs.

Hermione was pacing the common room nervously. “Harry,” she said worriedly. “You didn’t hurt him?”

“Ron’s fine,” Harry said with a scowl. “But if he ever —”

“I know, Harry,” she said soothingly. “It was wrong of him, he shouldn’t have —”

Not feeling particularly up to listening to her pretend she understood, Harry interrupted. “Where’s Draco?”

She looked even more nervous now. “I caught up to him outside the Fat Lady, Harry, he was furious. He wouldn’t listen to me, he just left, I don’t know where he went.”

Harry felt an instant of panic and then he forced himself to calm down. Draco probably just went back to his own room.

“I’ve got to find him,” Harry said distractedly.

“Harry,” Hermione said gently. “Ron’s just upset. He doesn’t mean to make this harder for you.”

“You seem to be under the mistaken impression that being with Draco is hard for me. It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done. The hard part is everyone’s making such a big deal about it!”

She looked chagrined. “Alright. Sorry. I’ve got to go, the carriages are leaving soon. I’ll see you after the holidays.”

After a quick good-bye, Harry hurried off to search for Draco.

He still didn’t quite feel confident enough to just walk up to the entrance to the Slytherin dorms, say the password Draco had given him, and saunter in. Instead, he wandered into the library, the Great Hall, and even the kitchens, searching for Draco. He went up to the South Tower and then outside, ending up at the hollow and sitting down in the roots of the tree, remembering all those times he’d sat there before, writing to Draco. How stupid and stubborn they’d been, to waste so long with words written in poisoned ink in a journal.

He started idly shifting the powdery snow through his mittened hands, confused when something glittered like ice on his palm. He brushed the snow off and saw it was a shard of glass.

“The inkwell,” he remembered. Draco had crushed it.

Harry dug until he’d uncovered all the broken pieces of it. There were dried remains of black ink, like dried blood, staining some of them, and when the sun hit them, they glittered. He shivered, feeling a chill that had nothing to do with the cold, and climbed to his feet, determined to find Draco again. It had only been a few hours, but he needed to see him.

“Incendio,” he said at the opening to Slytherin House. The stone barrier slid open and he stepped inside the common room.

It was empty, the fire had died down to a few glowing embers, the torches on the walls were dark, cold, as if they hadn’t been lit since the night before.

“Draco?” he called, but got no response. “It’s me. Are you here? Is anyone here?”

Again, only silence, and Harry approached the stairs that had to lead to the dorms. He’d only ever been in the common room before, and that had been second year, disguised as a Slytherin.

It was silent up there as well and by now, Harry was feeling very uneasy. It wasn’t just that he couldn’t find Draco, it was that he felt he had to find him. He could only imagine what Draco thought, since that morning. It probably looked like Harry was choosing Ron over him, but he hadn’t been, and he had to explain it to Draco.

There was no one there, he opened the door to every dorm, thinking that maybe Draco had fallen asleep. He hadn’t. He wasn’t there.

More than that, none of his stuff was there. No trunks, no clothing tossed on the floor (Harry had enough experience with Draco and the way he removed his clothes to know by now that he was never very neat when he did it), nothing.

The faint unease he’d inexplicably felt all day had tightened to very real worry, and Harry left the Slytherin dorms quickly, heading for Gryffindor Tower. He went up to his room and sat on his bed, thinking hard.

“Where is he?” he whispered.

Idly, he picked the crimson leaf off of his trunk and studied it in silence, twirling it between his fingers as he thought about what to do next.

“If he’s not at dinner,” Harry decided suddenly, out loud. “I’ll ask Dumbledore.”

The remaining members of his house had already made their way to the hall for dinner, and Harry, still playing with the leaf, quickly left his dorm, setting out for the hall. If anyone knew where Draco had gone, it would be Dumbledore. Because he had to be here, he had to be. He’d promised that he was staying. Something had to have happened.

There weren’t many students staying over the holidays, and they were all gathered around one table, with the professors. Harry was a few minutes late, and he sat beside Ginny, glancing at Dumbledore and then back around the table. Draco wasn’t there, and there were no Slytherins staying, so he couldn’t even ask them if they’d seen him.

Hoping that Draco would show up late, Harry picked at his food and waited, jumping every time anyone spoke to him, darting many furtive glances at the door.

Finally, they’d finished eating and Dumbledore stood to leave, talking softly to Professor Snape.

Harry hurriedly rose as well. “Professor Dumbledore,” he called.

Snape shot him an irritated glare for daring to interrupt, and Dumbledore said, “My office, Harry, in about fifteen minutes? I’ve a feeling I know what this is about.”

Harry nodded and they left, still talking quietly. The entire table of students was staring at him, including Ron, and Harry winced at the fury in his eyes. He didn’t know what he’d done wrong this time, and didn’t particularly care to wait around to find out.

He left quickly, heading straight for Dumbledore’s office and waiting. Exactly the appointed time, the door opened, letting Harry in. Up the spiral staircase and into the round office he went, the faces of sleepy headmasters peering at him, boredom in their eyes.

Dumbledore was behind the desk, his fingers tented in front of his face, his eyes patient and kind. “Well now, Harry, why don’t you tell me what this is about?”

“I thought you already knew,” Harry said, wincing at his own rudeness. He wasn’t thinking right because something had to have happened to take Draco away.

“I could be wrong. Tell me.”

“It’s Draco,” Harry blurted. “I can’t find him.”

Dumbledore shook his head gently, smiling. “But Harry, why on earth would you want to find a boy you’ve hated since the first day of school?”

Irritated, Harry sat down heavily in the chair across from Dumbledore and said, “I know you know more than you’re letting on, sir, so let’s skip this whole vague part of the conversation and get to the point. Where is he?” He had no patience for politeness and Dumbledore seemed to understand that.

He sighed. “He went home, Harry. He was needed there.”

“He promised he’d be here.”

“Not all promises can be kept, you know that. Just as not all circumstances can be foreseen.”

“What circumstances? What happened?”

“I wouldn’t normally break the bounds of confidentiality, Harry, but I somehow doubt Draco would mind in this case. It’s his father.”

“His father sent for him?” Harry whispered.

“His father,” Dumbledore said delicately, “was in no condition to do so.”

Harry’s eyes narrowed. “Why? Just tell me what happened!”

“He’s ill, Harry. We got an urgent message from the house elves, sending for Draco. Lucius is very ill, they doubt he’ll survive the night. He’s finally taken on more than he can handle.” Dumbledore’s voice had grown softer, his eyes distant, thoughtful.

“Ill? He’s ill? Lucius is dying.” Harry thought for a moment and then panicked. “But Draco… You don’t understand, you can’t have sent Draco there!”

“He needs to be there.”

“He can’t be there! What if Voldemort comes for him? If Lucius is dying, and the prophecy hasn’t happened yet, then he’s only got tonight to give Draco to Voldemort!” He wasn’t thinking quite coherently, and he leapt from his chair. “You can’t let Voldemort have him! He’s mine!”

“It’s his choice, Harry. We’ve done all we can for Draco, he’s stronger than you seem to think.”

“No, you don’t understand! He’s not going to be strong, his father is dying! He measures himself by his father, and his father wants him to go to Voldemort. Sometimes you don’t get a choice in these things. Did I ever choose to be yours?”

Finally, Dumbledore smiled, though just slightly. “You did choose, Harry, when you were eleven and you stood before the mirror and had immortality and wealth and all of Voldemort’s power spread before you and you saw only yourself, finding the stone. You choose further when you called Fawkes to you in the Chamber of Secrets. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re making a choice, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t done so. You’ve got to have more faith in Draco, Harry.”

“I’ve got to go to him.”

Now, Dumbledore’s eyes hardened. “You won’t. You don’t belong there, I can’t protect you there.”

“You can’t protect him either and you let him go!”

“He’s not…”

“Not what?”

Dumbledore didn’t reply, and Harry scowled.

“Not Harry Potter? Not savior of the wizarding world?” Harry growled. “He could be, if you would give him half a chance!”

“He doesn’t want to be, Harry.”

“And I do?”

“Sometimes you don’t get a choice in these things.”

“Don’t you dare throw my words back in my face!” Fury made him reckless, rude. “So I don’t get a choice and he does?”


“Send me to him.”

“I can’t. You don’t belong there, it isn’t your world.”

Harry was on his feet now, and he leaned over Dumbledore’s desk, hissing through gritted teeth, “If you can’t see that I belong wherever he is, then you’re mad.”

“Calm down, Harry,” Dumbledore said, very gently, sounding tired. “I won’t send you to him. He’ll come to you, he always does. You think that he measures himself by his father, but he stopped doing that when he was eleven and met a green-eyed boy in a robe shop.”

Suddenly Harry felt like he was going to cry. “You don’t understand.”

“Perhaps I don’t,” Dumbledore agreed. “But then, I’m not so old that I don’t remember what it is to be in love, Harry. You’ve got to have faith in him. Draco is not his father. He’ll come back to you.”

“I wish I could believe you,” Harry said quietly, before walking out of the office.