- Drama Angst
- Multiple Eras
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 01/29/2002Updated: 04/28/2007Words: 322,203Chapters: 11Hits: 100,487
- Story Summary:
- When you've spent six years fighting evil, all you really want is a quiet time. But when your name is Harry Potter the chances of that are very slim. A series of vignettes chronicling Harry's final six months at Hogwarts. Exams, friends, lovers, Quidditch, the war and Draco all conspire to make the year end seem a very long way away. Slash (Harry/Draco)
- Chapter Summary:
- Summary: res·o·lu·tion, noun -- solving of doubts, problems, questions etc. The Concise Oxford Dictionary
Chapter 4: Incompatible under normal circumstances. Arguments, reunions, bad guys, showers, a sofa and some skilful hands.
Dedication: This chapter is dedicated to Zed Adams, my guru on all matters *cough* intimate. Thank you for all the intriguing chat sessions, long may they continue.
Please note: This chapter follows directly on from events in Chapter 3. The events in Chapters 3 and 4 all take place over a 38-hour period.
The story so far...
It is 1998 and 17-year-old Harry Potter is in his last few months at Hogwarts. After a disastrous summer during which he was forced to kill a Death Eater who was threatening Ron, Harry has become a quieter, more insular person. He's spending much of his free time alone at a cottage in Hogsmeade belonging to Hagrid, and it is here he decides to see the New Year in. Unfortunately Draco Malfoy ends up stranded there after being caught in a blizzard while out skiing. The two enemies are forced to spend the day (and night) together and they manage to actually talk civilly for the first time since starting at the Wizarding School.
Over the next six weeks the boys have to deal with their growing interest in each other. Harry, who is hardly the Casanova, begins to wonder if he might just prefer boys to girls and finally confides in his closest friend, Hermione Granger. Meanwhile, Draco is having his loyalties tested. His father wants him to betray Harry and turn him over to Voldemort, but now Draco is unsure whether he can do this.
Then comes the Valentine's Day Ball, and Draco decides to take the opportunity to seduce Harry. He gives Harry several gifts including a small silver dragon. Everything seems to be going well, until they meet up at Hagrid's cottage again. Draco is eager, but Harry is unsure. He doesn't trust Draco and is also insecure about his own feelings and emotions. This is, after all, his old enemy Draco Malfoy coming on to him. And hasn't Draco admitted to having dabbled in the Dark Arts?
So, when Draco finally kisses him, Harry is torn between desperately wanting the Slytherin and his own self-doubts and insecurities.
Author's Note: As a companion piece to Resolution, Harry has been given his own LiveJournal. I decided I wanted to expand on Harry's Journals and setting up a LiveJournal of his own seemed to be a good way of approaching this. The idea behind this was to help me understand him just a little more. The additional journal entries don't normally have to be read to follow the actual story. However, something happened in one of these entries that I will be referring to in this chapter. What follows is the relevant entry from his journal and I hope it will help make sense of what is said later. Harry wrote this entry a month BEFORE the events that take place in Chapters 3 and 4. The journals can be found at http://www.livejournal.com/users/harrys_journal/
Harry's Journal -- Saturday 17th January 1998
I need to write it down before I forget.
God, my scar hurts.
Two people in black robes.
One kneeling, the other's got his hand on the kneeling person's shoulder.
He's talking but I don't hear the words.
Shit, this hurts so bad I think I might die.
I need one of my potions, but I left it in the drawer.
I don't think I can get out of bed to get it.
Morning -- at least it's now daylight
I woke up on the floor. Don't know how long I've been asleep since the nightmare. I must have taken the potion mix because there's a paper wrapper on the floor beside the glass. And I guess it worked again because the pain has gone. Before Professor Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey came up with this minor miracle, on bad scar days like this, I'd be left with a headache for days afterwards. They are getting worse -- both the nightmares and the pain. Does that mean Voldemort is close? I have such a bad feeling about things some days.
As for all my wonderful friends who have PROMISED to keep an eye on me -- not one of them heard me collapse. I could have been lying here dead for all they cared! I don't mean that, of course. I wouldn't have heard if one of them had collapsed either.
Oh, before I go on, there was a second dream. I was in the tunnels under the castle flying along on 'his' broomstick. The image is so clear even though I've been awake for nearly an hour. We've been talking about dream interpretation in Divination. Maybe I should ask Professor Trelawney what both dreams mean. She suggested keeping a dream journal. It's bad enough keeping an ordinary journal without having to write down my dreams as well!
Still, I'm glad I wrote that little bit about the nightmare because I don't even remember having it now. This happens all the time with Voldemort-related dreams. I normally know I've had one, but can never remember what has happened in them. And I KNOW this one was connected with Voldemort because of the pain in my scar.
I wonder if I should tell Sirius?
It seems stupid because I don't remember anything about it. I'm going to have to tell Madam Pomfrey so I can get a new potion mix from her. She is bound to talk to Professor Dumbledore AND Professor Lupin. Professor Lupin will tell Sirius, so I guess I better get in there first. Maybe I should remind Madam Pomfrey about student confidentiality!
Oh, and I've decided NEVER to mention him in here again. Not after Potions yesterday and that weird dream with the broomstick.
I need to remember what it was like Before New Year -- BNY!!!
Things don't -- can't -- change that quickly.
Late afternoon -- dark and miserable and wet
Quidditch practice started in a snowstorm but ended in the rain! Yuck -- cold, wet rain!
What a stupid thing to say -- rain is always wet!
We play Hufflepuff next week so Ron's had us training in all weathers. Of course his real target is Slytherin. He's so convinced we can win all our matches this season. We beat Ravenclaw at the beginning of the season and haven't played in competition since. Slytherin and Ravenclaw both beat Hufflepuff, which means there are just three matches left. Us against Hufflepuff next Saturday, Slytherin vs. Ravenclaw on 1st February, and then we play Slytherin on 14th March.
Of course, I had to practice on a SCHOOL BROOM!
We were on our way out to practice when I ran into Professor Snape. I turned a corner and he was there talking to "!" (I said I wasn't going to mention him anymore) and the end of my broom caught Snape right on his knee. For the record it was not a very hard blow, though I wish now I had whacked him around the head with the broom because he decided to confiscate it. Then, with "!" standing there with his arms folded and a smirk on his face, Snape proceeded to tell me I won't get to use it for the rest of term. Guess when term ends?
3rd April -- AFTER all the Quidditch games are over.
Ron wants me to go to Professor McGonagall, but I know that's what Snape wants -- me to go crying to her. I will get it back, but not through her interceding! I am going to ask him before this year ends. I want to bloody well know just why he hates me so much. His fight was with my dad, not me. So why is the fucker ALWAYS taking things out on me? On that last day, when he can't give me any more detentions or take points I am going to pin him against a wall and make him TELL ME!
And this drawing is of my pinning him against the wall! Note how my wand is up his great big nose! I think I will go to the library and find a nice little spell to give him a yucky cold.
So, practice was strange. The broom just isn't the same and is nowhere near as fast as the Firebolt, so I will have to get some extra practice in if I'm going to be any good against Hufflepuff.
"!" decided to come and watch my pain as I tried to fly on a broom which is nowhere near as responsive as what I'm used to. No doubt he had a good snigger about it with all of his little Slytherin team mates later.
I am going to play him out of the sky when we meet on the 14th.
Chapter 4: Incompatible under normal circumstances
Sunday 15th February 1998: Just after midnight ... Hagrid's cottage ...
"Wait... Wait a minute...."
"What?" Draco's question was a hiss of annoyance as he pushed against Harry's grip.
For the first time in what seemed a lifetime, Harry met Draco's eyes. The pupils were huge, almost obscuring the grey, and they glinted with something Harry didn't understand. Was that passion, he wondered? Can I make him look like that? Cause his skin to flush and his breath to gasp?
"Draco, I need to know." He grabbed the Slytherin's hands and held them both tightly, pushing Draco away. "I need to know if you're serious, or whether this is just another one of your games."
Draco became very still. "What?" The response was hard and cold.
"I know what you said." He struggled to free his hands from Harry's grasp, but the Gryffindor kept his grip. Hard, angry grey eyes locked with green for a moment and Harry let go as though the touch suddenly stung. Quickly Draco untangled himself from the other's limbs and pulled away.
"I just don't believe you said that."
Draco pushed himself away so they were no longer touching, and the loss of all contact made Harry gasp. His head snapped up, meeting the Slytherin's stare, which cut into Harry. He had been on the receiving end of that iceman look in the past, but never like this. The change from the burning passion of the kiss to this ice-covered glare froze him to the spot.
"How can you still think that? Why the hell would you say such a thing?" Draco hissed, his voice low and bitter.
"I..." Harry winced under the arctic stare that surrounded the burning core of Draco's anger, and he stumbled over his words. The depth of both his own and Draco's emotions cut deeply. It felt like someone had stuck a knife into him and was slowly turning the blade. He instinctively began moving away from Draco. Away from the kneeling figure clad in a cloak turned fiery red by the flames. The glow reflected along the underside of Draco's face and lit his hair with its brilliance. "I just need to know. Look, we've hated each other for six years, and..."
"And what?" The words were spat out.
"And six weeks ago something changed. I don't know what changed but suddenly we're touching and kissing...." Harry flinched as Draco suddenly got to his feet and strode to the fire. He placed his hands on the wooden mantelpiece, the cloak falling back to reveal his bare arms.
"And this is suddenly a problem for you?" Draco didn't turn; his words were spoken into the flames. "I don't remember you being worried when we were here two weeks ago, or when you gave me those coy looks across the Great Hall at breakfast."
"That was different."
"Or when we were in the robe shop." He finally spun round again. "You didn't mind when we were touching then. For fuck's sake Harry, you nearly kissed me. And you would have if that woman hadn't come back in."
"That was different," Harry repeated, taken aback by the strength of Draco's words.
"How was it bloody different?" Draco started to pace. "Didn't you say a few minutes ago you enjoyed what happened at the robe shop?"
Draco stopped and pointed an accusatory finger at Harry. "If you say it was different, so help me I might just do something I will live to regret." His voice rose for the first time.
Aware of the way Draco towered over him, Harry scrambled to his feet so they were once again face-to-face. It was bad enough trying to gather his thoughts when they were both on an equal footing, but to have Draco glaring down at him just made it impossible to think. "It's a simple question, Draco, I want to know if you are serious."
"About what?" The tone rose again.
"About THIS!" Harry's voice matched Draco's and he stood there, with his fists clenched tightly. "We've spent years fighting and arguing with each other. When we're not doing that, we're ignoring each other. Suddenly ... suddenly we're kissing. I mean REALLY kissing. You're a boy for god's sake."
Draco folded his arms, his weight transferring to one foot as his gaze raked over Harry. "Nice of you to notice. Do you have a problem with that?"
"Kissing boys. Kissing me."
"I..." Harry blinked, some of his own anger suddenly dissipating at least for a moment. "Stop twisting things back to me. You -- you started last night with that comment in the Potions classroom. Then all those things at breakfast, and the clothes --" He tugged at the tunic. "-- And the dancing -- and..."
"Is this because I picked some clothes out for you? You can't deny I have much better taste then you do. Just imagine what you would have been wearing now if I hadn't been there. God, Potter, you can be such an arse."
Harry watched the Slytherin for a moment, noting the hard look on his face and the condescending way he stared back. "Here, take them back then." He tried to undo the lacing down the front of the tunic, but it caught into a knot.
"No. What the hell would I do with them?"
"Well, I don't want them." Grabbing at the clasps that held the cloak in place, Harry had more success than with the lacing, and he ripped the green material away from his shoulders. It floated to the ground between them.
Draco stopped his pacing and looked down at the cloak before returning his gaze to meet Harry again. "I didn't buy any of it. You did. I just picked it out." The voice was patronizing.
"But..." Harry blinked, unsure of whether Draco was telling the truth. When he left the robe shop, he had paid for the blue and silver outfit that he'd picked out, but this ensemble had to have cost much more. "People don't do this sort of thing to me for nothing."
Draco frowned briefly as though trying to grasp what Harry was getting at. Then he gave a bitter laugh. "Oh, right, I get it now. You think I'm paying you for sex or something?"
Harry flinched as the words which had played through his mind earlier came back to haunt him. What does that make you? His little whore? He's going to want payment, Harry. People like Draco don't give things away -- they always expect payment. "Well... I..."
"If I'm going to pay for it, then I can find someone much better than you, Potter."
"Sod off, Malfoy!" Harry suddenly turned away, the stinging comment twisting in his gut. He needed to get away, to be anywhere but in this room.
"If you're looking for a life-time commitment, you know I can't give you that."
Harry stopped and looked back at Draco, his mouth set in a hard line. "Then what the hell is this all about?"
"I can give you tonight."
"That's not enough. If I'm going to.... If you want...."
"Don't you dare start playing the innocent with me, Potter. Next thing you'll be telling me you're a bloody virgin."
The silence that hung between them dragged on for what seemed like an eternity. Finally Harry spoke, his voice a whisper. "Yes, that's right. I'm a bloody virgin. Now, there's something to share with your friends back in the Slytherin Common Room." With that, he turned on his heel and strode to the kitchen, slamming the door with a satisfying crash.
With the sound of the door slamming still reverberating in his ears, Draco took several hesitant steps toward the kitchen, but got no further. Instead he turned away and grabbed for his travel cloak. Quickly he pulled it over his clothes, suddenly hating what he was wearing. Retrieving his broom, he looked once more at the closed door before disappearing into the cold frosty night.
In the kitchen, Harry sat perched on the edge of the table wondering what the hell had gone wrong. How could everything have fallen to pieces so quickly? He could still feel the sensation of Draco's fingers on his body and his tongue tingled from the incredible kiss.
Closing his eyes, he tried to pluck up the courage to go back out and say he was sorry. To try and explain his question and this time to make his intentions clear.
He jumped as the outer door slammed, echoing his own gesture from minutes earlier, and he realised Draco had left. The Slytherin's absence engulfed Harry like an icy blanket and he knew he was alone in the building. Slowly he came to his feet and opened the door.
One broom by the door. One black travel cloak over the chair, neatly folded with the House crest visible in the firelight. It was a Slytherin badge. Carefully, Harry picked up the cloak. The material felt different, less coarse than his cloak, and he unfolded it, holding it before him.
A sad smile flickered across his face. "Stupid arse," he muttered. Surely Draco would realise he'd taken the wrong cloak. Then he would come back.
Wrapping the cloak around his shoulders, Harry sat down in the chair and waited.
With surprising grace considering his current mood, Draco touched down his broom on the steps in front of Hogwarts' main entrance. The doors opened for him, recognising him as a Hogwarts student and he strode across the hallway, intent on reaching the stairs to the Slytherin dungeons before running into anybody. He had no wish to explain his presence at this late hour, least of all to Filch, or even to Snape for that matter.
He was sure there were other students still about, kissing and holding hands in dark corners, making love in some deserted classroom. Exactly what he should be doing at this very moment, if it weren't for the stupid pigheadedness of Harry Potter. How was it possible, he wondered, to want someone so badly but to hate them at the same time?
Gripping the smooth black ash handle of his broom, he stepped onto the wide staircase leading into the bowels of the castle.
"Out rather late."
Draco froze for a moment before turning towards the direction of the voice. A figure detached itself from the shadows and strolled across the tiled floor. "The same could be said for you, Weasley."
Ron stopped by the stone banister and leaned against it. "But I'm allowed to be out. Can the same be said about you? Oh, but I forgot, you're not a Prefect are you? They clearly didn't think you could be trusted."
With an exaggerated sigh, Draco cast a disparaging look at Ron. "Who died and put you in charge?"
"Now funny you should say that." Ron smiled, a look of triumph visible in his blue eyes. "While you were pounding Harry into the floor -- isn't that what you said you were going to do? -- I was off talking to Professor Dumbledore. The very nice, but totally ineffective, Justin Finch-Fletchley has been pulled out of school, which, of course is a real shame. But it does mean the Head Boy position has become vacant."
Grey eyes turned skyward as Draco answered. "Don't tell me. They've given the job to you." He met the triumphant eyes. "I always knew Dumbledore was an idiot."
"Ten points from Slytherin for being discourteous about the Headmaster." Ron pushed himself away from the banister and moved towards Draco. "Shall we see how many more points you can lose in the next 10 minutes?"
"Not limping much tonight are we?" The sarcastic tone matched Draco's expression. "In fact, you've gone from an excellent hobble yesterday to quite the belle of the ball. What's wrong, Weasley? Forgotten the fake injury already?"
"You just can't help yourself can you, Malfoy? Two in the morning, and you aren't down in your dank dungeon. Five more points from Slytherin. Oh, and you've been out flying as well. Another five points."
Draco looked down at his Nimbus before meeting the hard stare of the Gryffindor. He matched it, giving a smirk just to make a point. "Great, you've taken your points, now why don't you go take your shiny new Head Boy badge and stick it somewhere we won't have to look at it." With that he turned and started down the stairs.
Before he had taken more than a couple of steps, Draco found himself being dragged backwards. Reaching out for the support of the banister, he tried to prevent himself from falling. The shaft of his broom caught against a step, the action pulling it from his hand. It clattered noisily down the stone staircase, lost in the darkness below. Draco stumbled, the momentum causing him to lose his footing as his right foot slipped from beneath him. His elbow cracked against the stone and he bit back a yelp of pain. He ended up sprawled on the stairs, his cloak dragged upwards, pulling hard against his throat as Ron kept a tight grip on the material.
"Don't you ever turn your back on me again," Ron's voice resounded through the empty hallway.
Draco scrambled back to his feet as Ron released his hold on the cloak. "Don't you ever touch me again." He started to straighten the wayward garment and then realised Ron was staring at him in wide-eyed shock. It was almost as if he could see Ron's mind working wildly as if attempting to understand something.
"Oh, I do hope your house mates are still up in your little common room, Malfoy." Ron's eyes narrowed, the look suddenly vindictive. "I'd love to see what they'll say when you go in there with a Gryffindor badge on your cloak."
Silently Draco glanced down at his breast and saw the Gryffindor lion staring back up at him. It gave him a moment to compose his features before he met Ron's clearly amused expression. Now he realised why the material had felt different and the fit not quite right. Inwardly he swore and cursed at his own stupidity.
"Another five points for defiling the Gryffindor badge."
"Have you finished?"
"So, who was your little assignation with then? Lavender? She's always loved your hair -- a real sucker for blonds. But wait a minute, that's a boy's cloak." Ron's expression turned to one of mocking feigned surprise. "Malfoy, are you fucking a nice wholesome Gryffindor boy? I always knew you'd be like that, with your prissy ways."
"Weasley..." Draco shot a look of venom at the new Head Boy.
"Run out of Slytherins have you?" Ron grabbed at the collar of the cloak and pulled hard. The clasp dragged across Draco's throat as Ron yanked the cloak from his shoulders, before one end ripped completely away from the material.
With a hiss of pain, Draco's hand rose quickly to his throat and what felt like a long, thin cut. He pulled the hand away and looked at his fingers to see if there was any blood. There was none, but it hurt like hell, reminding him of a parchment cut. He scowled at Ron. "Give it back."
But Ron was determined to keep the garment out of the Slytherin's reach. He stepped back and began searching the cloak for something. "Well, look at this." Ron pointed to the white name tag on the inside collar of the cloak. "The owner's put a name tag inside." Sarcasm dripped from his words.
"Give it back, Weasley." Draco repeated. He deliberately didn't reach for the garment, not wanting to give any indication of how concerned he really was about it belonging to Harry.
"Did you enjoy your dance with him earlier?"
"Is that what this little vindictive streak of yours is all about? Are you really that pissed I danced with Potter? I danced with Granger, but I have no intention of shagging her. Or do you use dancing as foreplay?"
Ron looked off into the distance; eyes widening as if he'd just received a sudden revelation. His clenched jaw worked, and when he finally spoke again, his words were full of bitterness. "Is that what it was for you then? Foreplay? After all these years who would have guessed -- you and Harry. The archetypal bitter enemies. Did you shag him? Are you both gay?"
"You heard me. This is his cloak! " Ron shouted. Then, pausing to regain control, his voice became quieter, but the hard edge remained. "Did you fuck him and end up with the wrong cloak when you left?" Ron had stepped down to the same stair as Draco, but he still seemed to tower over the Slytherin. "Is The Boy Who Lived a little pervert as well, just like you? I should have known he wasn't straight. All that tidying up he does. He'll make someone a nice little wife one day. How long have you been fucking him, Malfoy? Weeks? Months? Does he enjoy it?"
Draco gave a little snort. "You are out of your mind, Weasel."
"Am I? Was it your star chart he did? Did you both have a good laugh at getting me to read it? All that compatibility crap and the great sex you'd have?"
"I have no idea what you are talking about. What star charts?" Draco tried to look confused, which actually wasn't difficult because he was. Harry had never told him the outcome of Ron's readings. Now he wanted to know.
"That would be just like him not to tell you. You are 8th April 1980, born in Bristol at midnight I take it?" Draco shrugged. "Don't worry yourself, I can always check it up."
"If you go near my personal records I will get you thrown out of the school."
Ron tapped his own chest. "Head Boy, remember. I can go anywhere I want. You know, I should have realised something was going on. Now it all makes sense. The questions he's been asking. Picking you for his study partner. All blushes and sneaky glances across the Great Hall. He used to watch you with loathing, but not now. Did you give him the flowers and that pathetic dragon? How twee -- a dragon from a dragon. And what about the poncy clothes? I bet you picked them out." Ron smacked his forehead with his open palm. "And the hair! God, he let you cut his hair as well." He suddenly turned back to face Draco, leaning close, his face looking like something nasty was very close to him. "It's bad enough he should be like that, but to do it with you? He's got less taste then I ever credited him with."
"I think being made Head Boy has finally addled your brain." Draco deliberately folded his arms over this chest and stared at the Gryffindor. Grey eyes burned with seven years of hatred for this person. He knew he had to remain calm and detached from this argument even if all he really wanted to do was to slam his fist into Weasley's smug face. Underneath the calmness, his mind was rushing in a daze of how did he know? followed closely by what the hell will Harry think if he finds out his best friend thinks he's a pervert? The cloak mix-up? Star charts? You really are a fool, Malfoy. All those years of being careful and you fuck it up in just one day!
"You are such a sanctimonious arsehole, Weasley. Who did you shag to get those clothes?" He picked briefly at the edge of the black and scarlet robes Ron wore. "Suddenly come into some cash? Or did you sell your soul? What I do is my business, so just stay the fuck out of my way."
"Sure, Draco." Ron moaned the name, accentuating and lengthening the word as though in passion. "Of course it's your business. Do you know what would really make my day? To be there when your father finds out that his precious son is not only a homosexual, but shagging the Great Harry Potter."
"That's enough." The words came out as a hiss. He held out a hand towards the cloak, closed his eyes briefly and took a small breath. "That's my cloak and I expect you to pay to have it repaired." He saw the expression on Ron's face change at his sudden insistent tone.
"Sure, Malfoy," Ron drawled sarcastically.
"It's mine. Look at the badge on the front. And what name tag? I don't need to use name tags. Everyone knows the Malfoy emblem." The Slytherin's voice was like ice.
Ron held up the cloth in his hands, unable to hide the surprise on his face as a Slytherin badge stared back at him from the left breast. And he knew he had seen a little white name tag on the inside of the collar. Yet there in its place was a tag he couldn't fail to recognise as the Malfoy Family emblem. With a look of fury on his face, he hurled the cloak at Draco, who caught the untidy bundle in his arms.
"You haven't heard the last of this, Malfoy." Ron raised his hand and poked a finger at the other boy. "I know about your sick little games." With each word, the finger dug into Draco's chest.
Draco grabbed at the hand, thrusting it away from his body. "Don't even think about trying to threaten me, Weasley. You aren't even in the same league. I will swat you like a fly."
Ron laughed, the sound actually shocking Draco. "Sure, Malfoy. I don't know how you changed that badge, but I'm on to you and I don't intend giving you a moment's peace." With that, he gently patted Draco's cheek a couple of times. "Now, why don't you get back down to your little Slytherin hellhole."
Student rooms at Hogwarts were not supposed to be locked; Draco had been told this when Snape had finally agreed to him having his own room. But there was no way Draco was going to allow others free and unfettered access to his little private domain. On the whole, people stuck to the rules and kept out of other people's spaces, but there were always one or two who enjoyed snooping.
One of the first things he had done when acquiring the room had been to set up a series of privacy spells and proximity wards. The wards shielded the room from the rest of the castle, keeping Draco's extracurricular activities secret. The privacy spells were used to hide individual items when he wasn't in the room, keeping them away from prying eyes. The same spells worked when he was in the room as well. With a single word, he could hide things should anyone come crashing in unannounced. It didn't overly concern him that the spells were based on memory charms or that when he used them he was, in effect, depriving that person of their recollection. What were a few lost seconds to the likes of Crabbe or Goyle?
Of course, all the students in his year knew countless locking spells, but Lucius had taught him several not on the normal Hogwarts curriculum. Draco was more than happy to lock himself away behind the thick wooden door when he needed his privacy, and this was the first thing he did after returning from his confrontation with Ron Weasley.
Fortunately, Draco had come across no one on his journey through the Slytherin corridors and as he approached the door, he intoned the spell that would transform the room into his own private world, complete with books and magical objects he wasn't prepared to share with anyone, not even his own father. The door swung open, and he entered the dimly lit room.
He stood for a moment before kicking the door shut with enough force to make objects on one of the bookcases rattle and watched in silence as a goblet rocked to and fro before tumbling to the floor with a satisfying crash.
He threw Harry's cloak onto a chair and studied the broom in his hand.
His much-prized Nimbus 2001.
Which his father had given to him in his second year. Which had helped Slytherin win the Quidditch Cup last year. On which he'd planned to win the Cup this year. Which he still got a thrill out of riding even after all this time.
The smooth black ash handle had been split during its fall down the stone staircase. There was now a gash running along the shaft where it had cracked open along the grain. Already the wood had warped, almost as though the magic was leaking out of the injury. One of the footrests had twisted, and the smooth metal collar was scratched and pitted. Even worse, most of the trim, neat twigs that made up the broom's carefully constructed tail were bent or broken. The smooth streamlined shape was completely ruined.
How the hell could a simple fall have caused so much damage? At best the broom should have survived completed intact. At worst he would have expected some of the outer twigs to be damaged and maybe a dent in the wood from striking the steps, but not this.
Frowning, Draco ran a practised hand over the broom trying to feel if there was any residual magical energy left from any spells that might have been cast on it. Nothing. Or rather there was most definitely magic leaking out all over the place, but that was the broom's own energy, and it's strength masked any other magical signatures. He quickly tried to block the split in the wood with an Obsignare cavum, but it didn't work. Neither did Obstruere, or a few more powerful Dark Magic incantations he tried. Even spells using his wand proved useless against the damage.
Something or someone had most definitely hexed the broom. He refused to believe it could be the Weasel, who was still crap with a wand even after seven years of training, but who else had access to it? There was Harry, of course, but he was never out of Draco's sight. Maybe it had happened days ago. Could someone have gotten into his room despite all the spells he had used to protect himself? Or during Quidditch practice? He tried to remember if the broom had been left unattended at any time.
He turned to the wall and studied the calendar parchments fixed there. Maybe it was Weasley after all. It was only four weeks until the Slytherin-Gryffindor Quidditch match. Had Weasley somehow orchestrated the whole meeting on the stairs just to destroy his broom? Was this the Gryffindor's way of getting revenge because Professor Snape had confiscated Harry's broom? But why bother going to the trouble of disabling Draco's broom when Harry was hampered by having to use an old Cleansweep? He had flown rings around the Hufflepuff Seeker during their last match.
Of course, beating Hufflepuff wasn't in the same league as playing Slytherin. Harry wouldn't stand a chance against him if he still had the Nimbus. But now? It hurt to remind himself that he had never beaten the Gryffindor in a Quidditch match.
Draco laid the broom on the floor and pursed his lips thoughtfully. Maybe he could talk his father into getting him a new one, but he doubted that would happen. Lucius would tell him he should be more careful and would use this as a lesson in taking care of his possessions.
Did he have enough money to buy a new broom himself? He liked people to think he was independently wealthy, but it was all 'Malfoy Money', controlled by the family, and he saw very little of it. One day, as his father was very fond of saying, it would all be Draco's, but at the moment all he had was his allowance.
So a new Nimbus or a Firebolt was out of the question unless he quickly found himself a murderous canine godfather willing to spoil him. How the hell was he going to beat Harry flying on a school broom? He could take a Nimbus from one of the other Slytherin players, but that would weaken his carefully trained team. With Gryffindor only 20 points ahead of Slytherin leading into this last game, he needed the rest of the team to be able to rack up points just in case Harry beat him to the Snitch.
Which, of course, he reminded himself, wasn't going to happen.
He frowned thoughtfully. There was always his own Cleansweep at home. If the House Elves had looked after it, it would be better than using a school broom ridden by some first year who had no idea what they were doing. And -- his eyes widened -- there was the Firebolt he had used for his Quidditch training last summer. Surely he could persuade his father would let him use that or maybe he could sweet-talk his mother to cajoling Lucius.
Draco began to pace, mentally counting his strides as he walked back and forth across the room. What was it with Gryffindors? First Granger had dragged him onto the dance floor and accused him of having ulterior motives about Harry. True, he did, but what gave her the right to warn him off?
He hadn't realised that at some point on his pacing he had picked up a crystal sphere from one of the shelves. Nor was he aware of throwing it until it smashed into the wall, shattering into a shower of crystal shards as it impacted with the stone. Instinctively he shot his hand out as the debris dropped to the floor. The shards came to an abrupt halt, hanging in mid-air, the light refracting off their broken edges.
Then there was Weasley, the stupid git. Standing there on the staircase sounding off about other people's lifestyles. How dare the Weasel call him a pervert!
The outstretched hand suddenly moved; and the crystal shards tracked with it, zooming across the room before embedding themselves in a piece of wooden panelling with a loud thwack. Draco studied them, a look of intense satisfaction on his face. If only that had been Weasley, he mused thoughtfully. I'd just love to pin him to the wall with blades of glass. He clenched his fist and the shards became crystal daggers pinning an all-too-lifelike representation of Ron Weasley to the wall, blood running from the many wounds, seeping into his robes.
Draco watched the image with grim satisfaction before turning his clenched fist. The daggers followed the movement, and the image screamed.
"You bastard, Weasley. How would you like me to do that to you for real?" Draco's voice was a hard hiss of retribution, eyes dark grey pits of cold ice. "What would they do if they found your blood-stained corpse in the morning?"
He watched the writhing figure for a long time. It would be so easy to send Weasley a nightmare right now. Get into his subconscious and make him experience something nasty. Maybe something with spiders? Who was it that'd told him Weasley was scared of spiders?
"Guess what you'll see crawling across your breakfast in a few hours?"
Draco opened the clenched fist and made a movement as though wiping something away. The image of the Gryffindor disappeared, leaving the crystal shards embedded in the panel. He smirked at the new decoration and decided to leave it in place.
And finally there was Harry. What an utter farce that had turned out to be.
"Shit!" Draco pulled at the burgundy cloak that still hung round his shoulders and threw it onto the bed. It landed in an untidy mess of red and gold. Had Harry even realised his adversary had been wearing Gryffindor colours?
Draco sighed loudly and pushed a shock of blond hair from his eyes. Or that said adversary had dressed him in Slytherin colours?
A sparkle on the bedside table caught his eyes; it was the emerald sent by his father. Draco picked it up, casting a critical eye over the stone as he turned it over and over. This had been the first time since receiving it that Draco had not carried it around with him. Surprisingly enough the sky hadn't fallen in because he'd left it here. No terrible message had arrived from his father expressing his displeasure.
In fact, life had just carried on despite the fact he had disobeyed his father. He had expected his father to be in touch about the stone, demanding to know why it hadn't been used. Once again he wondered just how far he was prepared to go with this disobedience. He remembered how he had felt when his father had come to the school before Christmas, how much Lucius' presence had meant to him -- how much it still meant to him. Was he really willing to forgo contact with his beloved father to have Harry? Could he have both? A relationship with his father's enemy carried on in such a way that it would not become public knowledge?
Which might not be possible after the fiasco with Weasley and the cloak. And, of course, Harry's big mouth. He'd already told Granger; how long would it be before he told Weasley and all hell broke loose?
Maybe the only way out of this was to give Harry the stone. Give it to him and let his father and Voldemort have what they wanted. The same circular argument he'd had countless times over the last few weeks ran through his mind. If he used the Portkey, Harry would be taken. If they got Harry, they would kill him. He couldn't let Harry die. But he should obey his father and use the Portkey. If he used the Portkey, et cetera, et cetera...
Round and round with no obvious answer.
Draco put the stone down with exaggerated care, as though it might break. Or could he? Could he just let Harry go? Put his life back on the course it had followed up to that stupid fucking snowstorm?
Don't go there now, Malfoy. Not in the middle of the night when your mind plays tricks. When the darkness could creep in and influence what you do and say.
He picked up the stone again and dropped it into the drawer of the bedside table. He didn't want to look at it. Didn't want to ever see it again. Slamming the drawer shut, he dropped onto the bed and turned his attention to the burgundy cloak, which lay in a crumpled heap beside him. Weasley had been right -- he was a priss and there was no way he could not pick the bloody thing up and hang it properly. With great resolve, he decided to see how long he could leave it there. Instead, he got back to his feet and crossed the room, back to the chair where he had left Harry's black cloak earlier.
The material had been torn when Weasley had ripped the cloak from his neck, and the two parts of the clasp hung loosely from one side. He should, he decided, be grateful he hadn't been wearing his own cloak. If Weasley had tried the same trick, the material would not have given way and the damage to his neck would have been much worse.
Draco crossed to a mirror and looked at the injury. Fingers prodded at the thin red mark, which ran from below his left ear to his throat, and he debated whether to heal it. He'd used so much magic in the room in the last ten minutes he was surprised the wards had held and that no one had come rushing to find out what was going on. Knowing his luck, a simple healing spell would be the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back and cause everything to come crashing down upon him.
No, he decided. He would leave it as it was and get the nurse to heal it. Let everyone see what their new Head Boy had done on his first night.
Harry's cloak was a different matter. If Harry turned up at Gryffindor Tower with a ruined cloak, too many questions would be asked and it would give Weasley the ammunition he needed to accuse Harry of whatever transgressions he believed his supposed best friend had done. Harry was a hopeless liar -- rather his lies were spectacular, but he always coloured up when he wasn't telling the truth. It was safer that he heard of the confrontation with Weasley from someone else. Draco needed Harry to walk into the Gryffindor common room with an intact cloak and an innocent expression when Weasley looked to see what his friend was wearing.
He sat down on the chair and set about repairing the damage to both fabric and clasp.
As for the whole fiasco at the half-giant's cottage...
What the hell had come over Harry?
"I need to know if you're serious!" Fiddling with the clasp, he muttered the words Harry had asked him a little over an hour ago and gave a bitter little laugh. "Serious -- bollocks!"
Draco ran a hand over the black material, feeling the texture under his fingertips. He'd had such big plans when he'd sat here in this room, in front of the fire, 24 hours earlier. Yet it was all shattered, as the glass sphere had been, thanks first to Harry and then Weasley.
He didn't consider himself gay. In fact he didn't consider he'd experienced enough of life to be sure of anything. Okay, he'd had several relationships throughout his years at Hogwarts, including gropes in deserted classrooms. But his only real sexual encounters had taken place during holidays at home. Out of the two, the one with Alex Palmer, his Quidditch coach, had been the biggest turn on. But the straight relationship with his tutor Stacey Cooper had been fun as well. It was a shame it had been cut short when his father had found out Stacey was letting him read Muggle literature. But Harry....
Oh, but Harry!
Pulling the black cloak around his bare shoulders, Draco dropped down onto a chair. He had tried many times over the weeks since New Year to work out why he was so fascinated by the four-eyed git, and when that fascination had turned in to a need to physically possess him. After all, it wasn't that Harry was beautiful in the traditional sense of male beauty. The Gryffindor had so many faults -- his untidy black hair for one.
But, Draco reminded himself, Harry's hair was just wonderful to touch. Like burying his hands in black silk.
And Harry's mouth was a little too big for his oval face.
But the lips on that mouth were so sensual to look at ... to touch ... to kiss. He wanted to feel that mouth around him, the way it had taken in his tongue earlier. To look down and see that dark head; to feel those lips move over him, surround him, caress him, and bring him to fulfilment.
He shifted slightly on the chair, feeling a familiar sensation grow in his groin as the sexual frustration from earlier threatened to return.
No! Don't go there, Malfoy. Think about something else! What do you HATE about him?
What about his voice? Vindictive, spiteful, full of contempt. Remember how squeaky it became when it broke? Harry had sounded like he'd had a permanently sore throat.
Now it had turned into something deep and almost soothing, even when full of rage.
You're back with the mouth again, Malfoy...
What about those glasses? Harry was always fiddling with them -- they would slide down his nose when he bent over his books, or get knocked askew. They made him look awkward and nerdy, hardly the Gryffindor Hero. How could he go fighting the Dark Lord's minions if the bloody things kept getting knocked off?
Besides, they hid Harry's eyes. Whoever heard of green eyes like that? Shouldn't people with black hair have brown eyes?
But if he looked again at the shocking green, Draco knew he would be pulled kicking and screaming into them. And when Harry glared at him in anger, the colour made his stomach flip.
Then there was the lightly muscled torso -- smooth except for the line of hair running from his navel, the taut abdomen and the sensual curve of his hips...
He dragged himself out of the confines of the cloak and stormed across the room to his bed. The hands that picked up his burgundy cloak were shaking slightly as he reached for a hanger, shoving the garment into the wardrobe with much more force than necessary.
Flinging himself down onto the bed, he tried to banish the images that played tantalizingly in his mind and to focus on the hurt he was feeling.
Hurt because the black-haired boy assumed he would tell people what Harry had said. After all, it was Harry who had told someone about their budding relationship. Draco had told no one. Not, he reminded himself, that there was anyone amongst the Slytherin population he would want to tell. At least Harry had Granger to talk to. If only he had someone as well, someone to confide in.
And had Harry been serious? Was he really a virgin? The thought caused a little shiver to run though him.
He'd assumed Harry had at least some experience. There had been all the talk about him and Lisa Turpin, the Ravenclaw girl. By all the accounts had been a very physical relationship. And surely Harry had fooled around with his dorm mates even if it hadn't lead to anything.
So, how far had Harry gone with Turpin? Did Harry mean nothing had actually happened and he really was a virgin in every sense? Or was he saying he was a virgin as far as gay relationships were concerned?
Well, whatever Harry's love life had entailed, Draco wasn't planning on getting involved AGAIN. If it hadn't been over when he'd walked out of Hagrid's, then the incident with Weasley must have finished it for sure. He couldn't go back again. Couldn't risk what the Weasel might do either to him or to Harry. He knew how much Weasley hated the whole Malfoy family, so it wouldn't surprise him if Weasley were bitter enough to carry through on that threat to tell Lucius. His father expected him to marry and have loads of little Malfoys to carry on the family name.
Let someone else have Harry's virginity; what Draco wanted more than anything at that moment was some sleep.
He turned onto his front and pulled a pillow over his head.
Oh, and a decent replacement broom.
And, of course, Weasley's head on a golden platter.
He was standing in a room lit by a strange glow, the source of which he couldn't fathom. The floor was covered with tiles -- cold under his bare feet -- and the walls were of stone. He wondered if he was still at Hogwarts. There was a window, high up on the wall through which a thin sliver of moonlight spilled across the room.
In the centre of the room there were two people, both dressed in black robes. One was kneeling. The other stood over the first, a hand on the shoulder of the kneeling man. He bent low to talk to the kneeling man, close to his ear. The moonlight fell across the lower half of the man's face and he could see the mouth moving as he spoke.
As the man spoke, the moonbeam picked up the sounds. Each word left a bleeding red patch on the silver beam. They rode down the beam, collecting in a growing puddle on the floor.
He watched as the puddle grew, spreading across the floor, slowly devouring the markings that covered the tiles.
The puddle reached the kneeling man, seeping into his robes, bleaching out the black where it touched and turning the fabric blood red. The robe suddenly flared brightly, as though on fire, and in that light he saw two others watching from the shadows. Watching in satisfied silence as the kneeling figure tried to rise to his feet despite being trapped in the morass of liquid words.
As the figure struggled, his hood dropped back. Blond hair shone in the moonlight, turning slowly red as the bloodstained moonlight touched him.
He screamed. "Draaaacccccooooooooo..........."
Harry woke with a start, staring about him in momentary confusion.
It took him a moment to get his bearings and he blinked a couple of times trying to clear the disorientation.
He was slumped in a chair in a room lit by the dying embers of a fire.
With some difficulty he struggled free of the black cloak that attempted to hold him prisoner, and staggering sleepily, came to his feet. His glasses tumbled from the arm of the chair, bouncing out of sight. His clothes were tight about his body and he tugged briefly at his trousers in an attempt to free himself. Still half asleep, he studied the waistband, trying to find the zip. Finally his fingers found the twin lacings and, muttering a few choice words, he struggled to release them. Eventually both laces came free and he tossed them to the floor before attempting to tug off the trousers.
Harry finally battled the tight trousers down to his knees and paused for a breath. He would, he decided, kill the person who had foisted this ridiculous clothing on him. Returning to the fray, he lifted a foot from the floor to pull the garment free, wobbled precariously on one leg for a moment before falling back onto the chair. He remained here, staring absently at his right ankle, which was still trapped, caught up in the material. Finally he realised the problem was he still had his boots on. Once he managed to remove them, the trousers came off with hardly any effort at all. Tossing the garment onto the floor in front of him, he studied it, wondering why everything seemed to be blurred.
Unable to fathom the problem, Harry shrugged and gave a sigh. "Oh well." He removed the tunic, letting it fall from his shoulders to the chair before fiddling with the buttons on his shirt. He succeeded at unbuttoning three of the tiny buttons before giving up.
He sat in the chair for a moment, eyes closed and elbows resting on his thighs. Then rousing again with a jolt, he pushed his hair out of his eyes and staggered toward the bedroom. He paused briefly beside the table littered with his study supplies. He should find a piece of paper and write down what he remembered about the dream. Picking up a quill, he stared at it for a moment, rocking slightly with sleepiness. The quill fell from his fingers and he continued his journey to the waiting warm bed.
As he buried himself under the blankets all memory of the dream disappeared, gone forever along with the sensation that he knew everyone who had been in that room. All he would remember in the morning was that he had dreamed of Draco.
The first thing he did when he walked into the Great Hall was to look towards the Gryffindor table. He didn't need to search for Harry because where he sat was ingrained on Draco's memory. To look had become an autonomic reaction, like breathing. And Harry had always responded by looking back.
Today it was different. Today he looked deliberately and with forethought. He had woken wondering if Harry had come back to Hogwarts and, if so, what Weasley's reaction to him had been.
The seat was empty and Draco couldn't find words for the feeling that sent his stomach plunging to the floor. It could be, he reasoned, that Harry didn't want breakfast or would be down later. It was, after all, a Sunday and breakfast was always a more leisurely affair on that day.
A quick casual glance over the gathered masses showed that about half the school was there, some students looking the worse for wear after the previous night's activities. In fact, he was the first of the senior Slytherins to arrive and none of Harry's Happy Campers from Gryffindor were about either. Of course, that could mean Granger, Thomas, Finnigan and Longbottom were currently stopping Harry and the Weasel from strangling each other.
Draco sat and began to gather breakfast items. He wasn't really hungry and ate his bowl of cereal without thinking, his mind mulling over entering the Great Hall. How many times had he searched out that familiar black head over the years?
Thirty days hath September, April, June and November. The little Muggle poem his grandmother had taught him ran through his mind. All the rest have thirty-one, excepting February alone, which has but twenty-eight days clear and twenty-nine in each leap year.
He picked up his cup of tea and stared absently into the distance as he sipped the hot liquid. How many leap years had there been since he started at Hogwarts? 1996 had been one, so that made 1992 a leap year as well.
"Morning, Draco." A hand brushed slowly across his back, and he looked at Blaise. "We all missed you last night. What happened?"
Draco smiled at her. "Blaise dear, you know I never kiss and tell." She sat next to him and he was grateful that she immediately began talking to Milena who had clearly come up from the Slytherin dungeons with her. The last thing he needed at this moment was to put up with the gabble of these two witches.
"Have you got a quill?" he suddenly asked the two girls.
"What do you want a quill for?" Blaise stared at him as if he had asked for every Galleon she possessed.
"I think I've got one." Milena began rummaging in her capacious bag and eventually came up with a small stub of pencil. She quickly wiped it off on a napkin and looked at him apologetically. "Sorry, this is all I have with me. Will this do?"
Draco shrugged. "Yes, thanks. Have you got a piece of parchment in there as well?"
Milena obliged again, but Blaise looked down her nose at the crumpled piece of parchment. "I hope you're not going to write some important letter on that."
"Who's writing letters?" Two chairs on the opposite side of the table scraped noisily across the stone floor. Draco looked up as Crabbe and Goyle sat down and immediately began dragging dishes of food towards them.
"I'm not writing a letter. I just want to work out some figures."
"Have you run out of allowance?" Crabbe frowned at Draco. "I've got some spare if you want."
"No, I'm okay." Normally Draco would have come up with some sarcastic response to such a statement, but his interest had already been distracted and he turned his attention to the sheet of parchment, hoping that if he kept quiet people would leave him in peace.
Thirty days hath September... Draco began listing numbers.
30 -- September 1991
31 -- October
30 -- November
31 -- December
31 -- January 1992
29 -- February
31 -- March
30 -- April
31 -- May
30 -- June
He quickly added the figures up -- 304 including the leap year day. Which meant in his first year at Hogwarts he'd come to breakfast 304 times (give or take the few when he hadn't bothered or went home for holidays).
That meant to date (two leap years, four not, plus 168 days since the previous September) he had come into this room, looked for Harry and then sat at this table for breakfast 1820 times. Absently he drew a circle round and round the number several times. He would have to check his Arithmancy books and see if the numbers meant anything. Not that the figure meant anything. To use it in Arithmancy he needed the precise number.
He started jotting down holidays and then, with a huff of annoyance he dropped the pencil onto the table and began chiding himself. You sad, sad person, Malfoy. You've just spent the last ten minutes working out how many times you've sat at breakfast looking out for Harry Bloody Potter! What next? How many potions we've prepared together?
"What happened to your neck, Draco?"
Pulled from his reverie, Draco blinked. "Sorry?"
Goyle was waving a piece of toast in his general direction. "You've got a cut on your neck and it looks a bit bruised."
Draco's hand went up to the cut, which he had temporarily forgotten. "It's nothing."
"Did it happen in the Astronomy Tower?" Crabbe sniggered. "Who were you snogging up there?"
"Vincent," he shot a hard look at his friend and then finished in a pleasant voice, "shut up." He handed the pencil back and folded the parchment in half then in half again before tucking it into his trouser pocket. "I need to see Pomfrey."
Deliberately ignoring sniggers from his fellow Slytherins, Draco pushed his chair back and got to his feet. He stopped, one hand on the back of the chair as he caught sight of the two people standing by the doors. Granger was there, next to Weasley and both were looking at him. Weasley was smirking, but Granger just glared and Draco knew that Harry had definitely not returned to Gryffindor Tower.
Harry's Journal -- Sunday 15th February 1998
Now that went well, didn't it!
Sunday morning and I'm at Hagrid's cottage. Alone! When I came here last night did I expect to wake up alone? The answer is probably 'no'. Did I expect anything to happen between him and me? Probably 'yes'. Am I upset at how things turned out? Definitely 'yes'. Would I handle it the same way if given another chance?
Bloody right! I would have asked the same question, but the discussion afterward could have been handled better. Surely I had the right to expect an answer to a perfectly reasonable question! I need to know what I'm getting myself into here.
I had a dream last night, but I don't remember any of it apart from the fact he was in it. I wanted him to be sitting in that chair when I woke up, just as he was six weeks ago. If I'm really honest, I wanted him in bed with me this morning more than anything. When I was lying there on my own, it suddenly occurred to me how lonely I am. Not lonely for friends -- I have friends -- Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Seamus, Neville, Dean, Colin ... the list is long. But this is a different loneliness, it's wanting to have someone next to you when you wake up in the morning -- wake up anywhere and any when for that matter -- to have someone who is just THERE. Who doesn't keep asking questions or making demands.
But why would I think he could do that? Be that person? Didn't he say he couldn't give me a lifetime commitment and he could only give me last night? Doesn't he just piss me off all the time?
We have NOTHING in common. I don't even know what his likes and dislikes are, do I? His father is a Death Eater for fuck's sake.
Yet I am saying I want to wake up next to him and I couldn't even cope with what he did yesterday. Why is it I can face down Voldemort without flinching, but I can't deal with Draco wanting to kiss me? Does that make me a complete and utter fool? I'm not surprised he left and I'm pretty sure he won't be coming back this time.
But if he did and he said the same things -- that he could only give me this one time -- would I take it?
At the moment I'd take anything. A day. Just an hour. Even a few minutes.
Setting his quill aside, Harry blew gently on a small red inkblot that marred the creamy-white parchment. He picked up the half-eaten piece of toast and took a bite as he studied the wording on the piece of paper with a critical eye.
Of course, his journal was safely locked away in Gryffindor tower, but he had felt the need to write -- to get his thoughts down on paper right now rather than when he got back to his room.
He glanced over them again and sighed. "Get a grip, Harry, this is a load of rubbish. Who needs a bloody journal anyway?"
Screwing the sheet into a ball, he tossed it onto the table and got to his feet.
"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, I have two announcements for you today." The sound of Professor Dumbledore's voice drifted from the Great Hall and was just audible outside. Draco was half-listening, but his attention was on the hand clamped firmly around his upper arm, dragging him towards a quiet spot in the shadows of one of the giant staircases. "The first is that our Head Boy, Mr Finch-Fletchley has..."
"I'm trying to listen to these very important announcements." Draco finally pulled free as Hermione came to a halt. It felt like her fingers had marked his arm.
"Justin's parents have moved abroad; they wanted him to go with them so he's been pulled out of school."
Draco snorted, "He could have stayed, I know people whose parents are out of the country." He looked pointedly at her. "And I know people I wish would leave the country."
"Well, Justin has gone with them. Ron is..."
"Going to be Head Boy," he quickly interrupted. "I had the pleasure of his Headboyness several hours ago."
The surprised expression on Hermione's face made it clear she had no idea what had happened a few yards from where they were currently standing. "Oh." She quickly regained her composure. "Headboyness? Is that a word?"
"Of course. It's right there in the dictionary after 'moron with a power fixation'. The Redoubtable Mr Weasley decided he didn't like the fact I was out late. I don't expect he's had time to deduct all the points taken for my supposed misdemeanours or to tell anyone of our little altercation right here." Draco tilted his head to one side, pulling the collar of his shirt and jumper down a little to make the red mark on his neck more visible. It had looked angrier this morning and, Goyle observations had been correct, his skin had bruised blue/black along the line. "I was just on my way to see the nurse when you dragged me out here."
Hermione peered at the mark, a frown marking her features. She actually managed to look concerned. "Are you saying Ron did that?"
"We had a ... difference of opinion. He grabbed my cloak and pulled it off. The clasp came loose and cut me. Now, what do you want? I have a very busy day ahead of me."
She folded her arms across her chest -- not quite so ample out of the ball gown Draco mused -- and her expression changed from one of concern to that of irritation. "Where's Harry?"
Brilliant, Draco thought, now I'm supposed to keep track of him as well. "I have no idea. Lost him have you?"
"You know perfectly well what I'm on about. He was supposed to meet you last night."
"He was?" Draco gave her one of his most innocent expressions.
"Don't get smart with me. You asked me to get his things."
"That doesn't mean we had some sort of secret assignation. Maybe it was just another of my little japes -- sending him on a wild goose chase."
"Look, Granger. If Potter is out after curfew, then that is up to him. He's a big boy now. I am not his keeper."
She took a step closer. "I warned you yesterday about hurting him."
"Don't try to threaten me again, Granger. You're just Head Girl, nothing else," he warned in a very quiet voice, grey eyes blazing. "What is it with you and Weasley? You threatened me yesterday, then he attacked me, and now you're at it again. What next? Are you going to arrange for all of Potter's little friends to beat me up behind the broom shed?" He smiled carefully and very deliberately, his eyes never wavering from her face; but there was no humour in the expression. He was surprised she didn't look away; most people would have. "Tell me, Granger, what do you and the Weasel have to do for punishment? Detention like the rest of us?"
Hermione studied him for a moment. He could see she was pondering whether to say something else. What was it she wanted to tell him but was so unsure of?
"I need to know if he's okay."
The two silently watched each other, both wary after their years of mistrust and loathing. But they now seemed to finally have something in common -- a black-haired, green-eyed boy called Harry. Granted, they'd always had him in common, but now it was different. Now it was all about concern. Realising he was chewing his bottom lip, he stopped immediately and gave her one of his best 'superior' expressions. "I guess he spent the night at that place of Hagrid's."
"Okay. That's all I wanted to know. Are you going back there?"
"What?" He tried to hide his surprise at her question. "Why the hell would I do that?"
"Do you have anything better to do?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact I do. I told you, I'm not his keeper."
"No, I guess you're not. Just remember what I said yesterday." With that she turned on her heel and headed back for the Great Hall.
Draco watched her retreating back and gave an exasperated sigh. If having a relationship with Harry meant dealing with his friends, then staying well clear of him was by far the better option.
"Mr Malfoy. Madam Pomfrey told me you were here. Not seriously injured, I trust."
Draco looked up from buttoning his shirt to find Professor Dumbledore standing at the door to the hospital ward. "It was just a cut, sir," he finally answered.
"Splendid, splendid." The Professor crossed the room and sat down on the chair beside the bed Draco currently occupied. Draco was suddenly aware of how young he must look as he sat on the edge of the bed, legs hanging freely. "You left the Great Hall before my announcements."
"Granger wanted to talk to me, sir."
"Yes, of course. No doubt she has told you about Mr Weasley."
Draco nodded. "He told me himself."
"So I understand. Professor Snape also tells me your broom has been damaged."
Draco didn't try to hide his surprise. Had Snape taken it upon himself to tell Dumbledore this so quickly? The Potions Master had turned up at his room not long after he'd collapsed back on the bed and hidden his head under the pillow. Someone, Snape told him, had reported a disturbance and Draco had been more than happy to feed his Head of House a slightly truncated version of events, worded to make it sound like Weasley had completely lost it. The look on Snape's face as he had picked up the broken broom had surprised him. It had been one of confusion and then concern as he had asked for permission to take the broom away.
"Yes sir, it got dropped," he told the Headmaster.
"Hmmm. I don't suppose it is repairable?"
"No sir." Draco hated talking to Dumbledore. The old man always talked in riddles, expecting everyone to operate on his own strange wavelength. And surely if the Headmaster had spoken to Snape he would already know the condition of the Nimbus.
"What a pity. Well, I'm sure you can find a nice school broom down in the sheds."
"I thought I might get my own broom from home."
"Well, that is up to you. You have my permission to pick out a school broom and keep hold of it for as long as you need to. Here." He held out a small square piece of parchment.
Draco took it and studied it for a few seconds. "This is a Hogsmeade pass."
"Is it now?" Dumbledore rummaged around in the voluminous pockets of his robe. "I know I have it somewhere. I wrote it this morning. Would you like a Sherbet Lemon?" He held out a wrapped sweet.
Draco had been about to refuse it, but the old man gave a smile and mouthed 'go on'. He was immediately transported back to his childhood and a similar expression on his grandmother's face when she gave him treats forbidden by his father. He took it. "Thank you."
"Have the bag, there are a few left. You might want to share them with someone else." Before Draco could refuse, the bag was thrust into his hands, along with a second piece of parchment. "There, that's for the broom."
The parchment instructed Madam Hooch to release into Draco's care 'one school broom'. The old man smiled. "Now, I suggest you go and get on with things. The weather is going to be wet later."
"And I have to meet someone." The Headmaster came to his feet. "Draco, when you've finished with your plans for today I like you to come and see me."
"Perhaps after dinner."
Draco finally nodded and held out the Hogsmeade pass, but Dumbledore was already heading for the door.
"No, no, my dear boy. Keep it. We don't want you running foul of Mr Weasley again do we? Have a nice day."
Draco stared for a moment at the closed door and shook his head in both wonderment and disbelief. Granger, and now Dumbledore. Gryffindors! Each and every one of them was clearly barking mad.
"I got here as soon as I could."
Albus Dumbledore took the proffered hand, shaking it. "Welcome back, my boy. I'm pleased you managed to make it so quickly."
"Your owl sounded urgent. Plus the news. Is it true?"
"Unfortunately yes, although Cornelius Fudge seems hell-bent on making sure the general populous are kept completely in ignorance. He's put a complete news blackout on the whole incident." The two men left the entrance hall and started down a corridor, which would lead to the staff wing. They made an odd looking pair -- Dumbledore in his traditional robes, his visitor who could have passed easily for a Muggle. "The teachers know, of course, but I haven't told any of the children yet. You can imagine how they will react to finding out that Voldemort's forces attacked the Parliament building at Stonehenge and that they killed five of the Council Aurors who where guarding the buildings. I think most of them are too young to understand the significance of Voldemort stealing the Hallows Capstone, however."
The younger man shook his head. "How in Merlin's name did they manage to remove it? It's supposed to be protected by incantations and shields which are unbreakable."
"Yes, ancient magic was built in when the Parliament was created over a thousand years ago. The fact it has been taken will cause great consternation when word gets out. It has been the one constant in all things. Even during the dark times, the Stone has worked its magic over our world, helping to shield it from prying Muggle eyes. For Voldemort to risk so much to take it..." Dumbledore shook his head. "And, of course, the message he left about Harry."
"Does he know?"
"Not yet. I realise now that we should have begun this many months ago. Harry needs special tuition and you are the person to do this. I will help, of course, but for me to train him would be too obvious." The Headmaster stopped, halting his companion with a hand on his arm. "But no one else must know. Not even Harry's friends -- or your friends for that matter."
"I understand, Albus. I won't let either you or him down."
"There is more at stake here than the three of us, my boy. Voldemort has been quiet over the last 12 months. But now he has played his hand and I wonder..." He stopped as a door slammed and a figure entered the corridor. The man was dressed in teacher's robes, open down the front to reveal much more casual clothes underneath. His head was bowed over an open book.
He stopped with a start as he realised he was not alone in the corridor. Brown eyes met Dumbledore's. "Headmaster, I wanted...." The words died on his lips as he met the face of Dumbledore's companion.
"Hello, Remus." Sirius Black grinned at his childhood friend and grabbed the man in a strong bear hug. "It's been a long time."
Sunday 15th February 1998: About 10am ... Hagrid's cottage ...
The water was too hot and it cascaded from the shower in a hard spray. Harry stood very still under the onslaught, letting the daggers of water drive into his skull, taking the edge off the headache he had woken up with and which still lingered now. With eyes closed, he moved slightly, allowing the massaging jets to find another tender area and do their work. Water tumbled down his face, his shoulders, and his body; hot enough to turn his skin pink where it initially touched.
With an audible sigh, he moved his head again, letting the water pound onto his neck. The force of the water parted his dark hair, allowing access to the sensitive area where his spine joined his skull. If he tried hard enough he could still feel Draco's fingertips against his flesh from that moment in the robe shop when the Slytherin had run his fingers up Harry's spine and into his hair.
Harry swallowed; could he still feel the pressure of Draco's hands on his face? Or the way those fingers had swirled against his belly, tracing the lines of the tattoo before pushing under his shirt? The thoughts caused a tightening in the pit of his stomach, which slowly spread downwards. A flutter of pleasure teased at his mind, making him feel a little light-headed.
He turned and let the water run across his face as though the sharp points could drive away the feeling. He hadn't expected Draco to kiss him like that. Worse, he hadn't expected to react to the kiss the way he had. Even if he never, ever spoke to Draco again, that kiss would be amongst the highlights of his life.
And what about the way Draco's fingers had felt when they had touched him? It had sent a jolt of what he could only describe as ecstasy running through his body. The sensation had cascaded from the point of contact, up through his chest and down into his groin.
It had been that completely unfamiliar sensation that had made him stop Draco.
When it came to sex, Harry had been through the adolescent problems of getting turned on by most things (brooms and Quidditch especially). Dean had fast become the supplier of Muggle magazines of a 'certain' type, which were passed around quite freely (only to be confiscated when some had been discovered during a routine spot-check of the dormitories). Looking back with his current knowledge, he realised that pictures of both guys and girls had turned him on. The significance of that was now obvious to him. But, damn it! He hadn't expected to feel sexually attracted to Draco Malfoy!
It was clear as well that Draco knew what he was doing, while Harry had no real idea apart from the vivid memories of the video Dudley had shown him and, of course, some of the discussions with his dorm mates. It wasn't that he was revolted by the idea of touching someone else; it fact he was a very tactile person and enjoyed being touched. It was more that he didn't really know what to do or what to expect. He was sure he could take hold of Draco and ... well, he'd done it to himself, so why should it be any different? He even thought he could take Draco into his mouth, though at the moment he couldn't imagine what it would feel like. In fact, he thought he was okay with everything except... He realised he was clenching his buttocks and quickly tried to relax. What if Draco wanted to do that? What if Draco expected him to do that?
He grabbed the sponge and squeezed shower gel over it. The smell of citrus and rosemary wafted up and he began to soap his body, spreading the foam over his skin. They really did need to talk about so many things if this was going to go any further, Harry decided. Both of them had too much at stake to just drop haphazardly into any form of relationship, whether it be one-night-stands or something longer lasting.
Hermione had been right when she had told him there would be people who wouldn't understand a relationship between him and another boy. And now that she knew the boy was Draco, he was sure she would be even more vigorous in her concerns. The last thing he wanted was to be some sort of leader, but people did expect him to play the part. The previous night's charade proved that. If he had to face up to Voldemort, he'd rather do it on his own than leading an army.
What would people like Dumbledore and Snape think if he went up to them and said, "By the way, I'm gay and my current boyfriend is Draco Malfoy." Harry blanched at the prospect. What the hell would Sirius think? His godfather might now be a free man since Pettigrew had finally confessed, but how would he feel about his best friend's only son not being straight?
And then there was Draco's father -- he was most definitely one of the people Hermione warned about. Harry tried to picture the look on Lucius Malfoy's face when he heard the news that his precious son had been kissing a boy last night -- and not just any boy, but Harry Potter. Lucius was a Death Eater, whether Draco knew or cared, and Harry was therefore, by definition, his enemy.
Thoughts of impending doom were temporarily forgotten as Harry ran his hand over and around his groin, soapy fingers moving easily over his body. For once he realised he was enjoying the breath-taking feeling of touching himself. There was none of the usual embarrassment as his fingers lingered longer than really necessary. Normally he would have washed himself quickly, moving on to other parts of his anatomy, but this morning it felt good to be aware of himself.
He wiped the sponge across his chest, feeling the texture against his skin. Everything felt much more sensitive than usual and he suddenly realised his whole body felt more receptive. The hot water splashed down in stinging bursts, playing on his nipples. He'd never noticed the feeling before -- how the pit-pat of water made them hard and responsive. He wiped the sponge across them again, letting out a little gasp at the stimulating touch that floated into him. Looking down at himself, he was amazed to see that that both nipples were puckered and hard and he ran a fingertip over one, before pinching it slightly. This time the gasp was louder as a bolt of pleasure flashed through him.
The sponge dropped from his hand as he marvelled at the sensation. Would it hurt so much just to reach down and touch himself? Especially here in the privacy of this place where he wouldn't be disturbed by someone crashing in. He sighed as memories of Draco's kiss trickled into his mind, filling it with images and emotions.
The feel of that mouth. The way it had moved against his. And the most important and incredible sensation -- that of someone else's tongue inside him ... in his mouth. A hand dropped down and wrapped around himself, stroking quickly. He knew he wouldn't last long, and he came quickly, biting down on his lip to stop his cries even though he was alone.
With a shuddering breath he closed his eyes and leaned against the wall for a moment, letting the water continue washing over him -- washing away the evidence -- while he waited for his trembling body to calm down. He let out a little laugh at the fact that for the first time in his life he didn't feel ashamed or awkward about masturbation or about touching himself. He clearly had something to thank Draco for after all.
Feeling more than a little pleased with himself, Harry smiled as he stretched under the flow of water, allowing himself one final cleansing moment. His body felt good -- lithe and warm -- and he raised his arms above his head, slowly turning under the hot water enjoying the feeling of the water on his skin. Another barrier from his childhood had finally been broken down for him and he realised Privet Drive and all the torment of living there was slowly being eroded away, left behind in the cupboard he had spent so many years in. He didn't need to listen to Uncle Vernon's bigoted views on the world or Aunt Petunia's hatred of her sister. Or even Aunt Marge telling him what a useless waste of space both he and his father were. He didn't need them or their ideas of what was right or wrong.
He turned off the tap and the steam, which had shrouded him, began to dissipate. He shook his head, the dark hair settling in wet rattails around his contented face, the water running from it to join the other droplets covering his body. He reached for the shower curtain and pulled it back, a hand moving automatically to the towel rail.
The towel was missing.
Harry growled in annoyance, wondering where he had left it. Pushing the tendrils of wet hair from his eyes, he stepped from the shower onto the floor, feet leaving wet puddles where he stood.
The pool of water at his feet continued to grow as he froze to the spot, unable to move. He was being watched.
It took him a moment to compose himself, but finally he held out a hand for the towel he could see in Draco Malfoy's hand. A torrent of emotions whipped through his mind -- He's come back. How long has he been watching? Did he see me...? Had he read the crumpled piece of parchment on the table? God, I'm naked.
He's come back.
Dressed in a teal shirt and black trousers, Draco didn't move from his place against the doorjamb, the relaxed posture completely belying the jumble of emotions that threatened to overwhelm him. The only telltale sign of his true feelings was the fact the hand holding the towel was clenched so tightly the knuckles were white.
Grey eyes raked over the naked, wet boy before him and Draco was sure he had forgotten to how to breathe. This was the first time he had ever seen Harry undressed. In fact, he reminded himself, yesterday in the robe shop had been the first time he had ever seen him without a shirt on. Yet here Harry stood in the light that streamed in from the window, the rays of the morning sun turning each droplet of water into a shimmering gem on Harry's skin.
He watched, enthralled by the sight, awed by how striking Harry was. Quidditch might have given them similar builds, but the Gryffindor was a little fleshier and his skin tone a couple of shades darker than his own. Standing there shimmering in the sunlight, Harry looked almost elfin or like some ethereal water sprite. Jet-black wet hair fell heavily, almost touching his shoulders, framing the all too familiar face, made different and somehow more innocent looking by the lack of glasses.
Water ran down the lightly muscled torso, little rivulets running over the shimmering Gryffindor colours of the tattoo around his navel, down and down to the floor. Draco watched as the chest moved with each breath, almost able to sense the way the skin stretched over the trim frame. Even the slightly rounded contours of Harry's hips seemed to be just perfect.
He continued his appraising look by following down the slightly parted legs. There was a scar on the left, which stretched from mid-thigh to knee and Draco wondered how Harry had gotten it. It started on the outside of the knee and finished on the inner thigh and, like that thin line of hair running down from Harry's navel, the scar was almost like an arrow pointing the way to his hips.
Harry's stance intrigued him as well. Left hand held out for the towel, while the right hung loosely in front of him, as though trying to cover himself without wanting to make it look too obvious. Draco's lip curled slightly as he wondered what Harry would think if he realised he wasn't really covering himself at all. Harry's feet were planted firmly on the ground just as one would expect of a Gryffindor Hero, Draco decided, but the toes were curled slightly, an outward sign of the boy's internal tension.
Of course, Draco had taken in all this in a matter of seconds and he allowed his gaze to move back up the body before meeting those green eyes again. The hand still reached out for the towel.
"You came back." Harry finally found his voice again. He thought for a moment about turning away, but decided Draco was not going to faze him. Let him stare all he wants, Harry decided, I am not going to let him get me all shy and self-conscious. His arms dropped to his sides and he met Draco's eyes, hoping he looked more self-assured than he actually felt.
Draco gave the tiniest of shrugs. "Yes." The voice was very quiet, almost soothing. Yes, he'd come back. Despite all his self-analysis earlier, all his personal recriminations for continually being drawn back time and again to Harry, all the reasons why he shouldn't be here, he had come back. How many times had he told Harry he would not ask him again? How many times had he told himself that he wouldn't come back? Draco had lost count. Yet here he was with the dark haired boy yet again.
But the one thing he did know was that being here had nothing to do with Granger, or Weasley, or Dumbledore. And he wasn't going to tell Harry about Weasley being made Head Boy, or their fight. He wanted Harry to himself for the day. The Happy Harry Gang could have him back later.
God, he wanted Harry so much it hurt.
"I took your cloak yesterday. I didn't think it would look good for you to turn up at Hogwarts wearing one with a Slytherin crest on it. It might give people the wrong idea."
Harry wanted to say he had noticed, that he had something else to wear back to school, but this was a gesture from Draco and Harry knew to accept it for what it was. "Thanks," he finally managed to speak, even though his mouth felt very, very dry. "Do you want to wait out there?" His head nodded in the direction of the lounge. "I won't be a minute."
The strength of that one word almost made Harry gasp. And he saw the look in those eyes change to the same one that had been there the previous night when Draco was kissing him. Predatory. There was also a faint flush across Draco's cheeks. Not a blush of unease, but a flush of desire. He tried to swallow. "I won't be long."
"I want to watch."
"I...." The single vowel sound faded to nothing as Harry could not think of a response.
The towel dropped from Draco's hand to the floor and in a move that Harry decided was utterly captivating Draco pushed himself away from the doorjamb and stepped closer. Harry tried to look away, but found himself drawn deeper into the frost-covered depths of those eyes. They held him trapped in their gaze. "I need...."
And Draco was in front of him, so close Harry thought he could feel his breath in his face.
The Slytherin raised his right hand, pushed it through the heavy wet hair. Water trickled down, soaking his fingers and the cuff of his shirt. Then, with utter care, he let the hand trace down the damp body -- across a collarbone, following the line of Harry's sternum, down to the same place it had rested the previous evening. There he rested the flat of his hand over the tattoo, fingers stretched to cover as much of the magical mark as possible. He pressed lightly. "Can I kiss you, Harry?"
It took Harry a moment to find his voice and by the time he spoke, Draco's left hand was under his chin, already tilting his head up slightly.
"Yes," he breathed and his eyelids closed.
At first, the touch of those lips was so gentle Harry wasn't really sure he had felt it. He did feel the hand move from his chin. It trailed down his throat to the back of his neck, pulling him closer, while the other hand moved from his abdomen to rest on the small of his back. Draco's mouth moved slightly, the lips parting with a sigh, and after a moment's hesitation Harry followed the lead.
And was crushed against the Slytherin's body.
The hand on his back pressed him closer as Draco thrust against him, the hard bone of Draco's pelvis digging into Harry's hip. Harry could do nothing but respond. His arms moved around the blond, pressing against his shoulder blades, leaving wet trails across the back of the shirt to match with the now soaked front.
Harry thought he might die when Draco caught his lower lip with his teeth, the gentle sucking pressure sending blood rushing into his own lips. Then Draco swept the tip of his tongue over the full lips and pressed persistently into his mouth. The tongue moved in deeper and he let out a small cry and groaned against Draco's mouth.
Almost as if Draco took this as a sign, the Slytherin moved his left hand from Harry's neck and joined his right has it moved to Harry's arse. Both hands grasped at the soft flesh and pulled upwards, bringing Harry up onto his toes. The movement made him pull away from Draco's mouth. "What...." But for the second time, Draco latched on to his bottom lip with his teeth, holding him there. Harry dove back in, his own arms now around Draco's neck.
Draco linked his fingers together and hauled Harry from the ground. Almost without thinking, Harry legs settled around Draco's hips, the ankles tucking together. Draco could feel Harry pressing against him as he cradled the boy and became aware of his own body, the soft material of his clothes actually feeling coarse against his sensitised skin.
Quickly Draco turned and left the bathroom. Harry was no weight in his arms and he carried him with ease out into the lounge and in front of that big fire. He had fantasized about taking Harry here on this rug ever since that first day they had spent together, and now he knelt down and bent forward, lowering the dark-haired boy to the ground. For a moment the legs stayed locked around his waist, then they slowly dropped away and Draco broke out of the kiss.
Kneeling between the spread legs, he looked down into those eyes, his hands resting either side of Harry's head. He didn't want to ask because he was scared of Harry's response, but he needed to know before he continued -- before it was too late to back out.
"You don't have to do this." The voice was husky with desire and longing. "I can stop now before it goes any further."
The dark hair looked even blacker against the white of the rug and he watched as Harry took a ragged breath.
"Don't hurt me." The hands linked up around Draco's neck again, pulling him down into a kiss. "Just don't hurt me."
Harry rose up and captured his mouth, cutting off any further comment.
The kiss wasn't magnificent, Draco decided. But what Harry lacked in expertise, he made up for with determination. As Harry's mouth moved over his, Draco settled back and let him take the lead, responding to the way the lips caressed and moved, but not pushing forward. He slowly lowered himself from his hands and knees, stretching full-length along Harry's body. He felt a bare arm snake around his waist, the fingers gripping his shirt, their hold somehow intense ... urgent...
His tongue flickered out briefly, brushing over Harry's bottom lip.
Harry's eyes opened and Draco found his whole world filled with the startling green of the Gryffindor's eyes. For the moment, Draco could do nothing but look into them. He wanted to close his eyes so he didn't have to look, but at the same time he wanted to see Harry's expression -- to see that green naked ... without barriers.
Breath quickening, Draco felt Harry's tongue reach out to touch his own. Grey eyes widened slightly before flickering closed again and he drew Harry's tongue into his own mouth.
The only other time Harry had been in anything like his current situation had been during his disastrous entanglement with Lisa Turpin. That, he quickly decided, didn't come even close to the way Draco was kissing him. I'm kissing Draco Malfoy, a little voice whispered inside of him. It was while he was contemplating this fact that he found out what the power of the raw emotion he was currently feeling was really capable of.
His tongue caressed the roof of Draco's mouth. He hadn't meant to do this -- in fact, Harry wasn't sure exactly what he should be doing. But as the tip of his tongue swept across that point, he heard ... and felt ... Draco groan audibly and physically. The Slytherin's body crushed down against him, pinning him to the floor. Somehow Draco managed to wrap both his arms around Harry; one hand grasping his wet hair, the other supporting the small of his back in an effort to hold Harry closer. He ground his pelvis against the smaller boy.
This, Harry decided, was good. Last night's kiss was incredible, but here he was naked, being pinned to the floor by the amazing weight of Draco's body. Everything was pressing onto him -- ribs, stomach, legs entwined with his own. And grinding against him was Draco's own hardness.
It was, Harry managed to muse in the part of his mind still currently unaffected by the overwhelming physical reactions, quite intoxicating.
And wonderfully naughty.
And he wanted more.
So it came as a bit of a shock when Draco suddenly rolled over, sweeping Harry on top of him. Harry whimpered at the sudden loss of pressure. He wanted the weight back, but the only way to get it was for him to now press down against the body beneath him. It wasn't the same. It wasn't nearly anywhere as nice. He pulled away from Draco's mouth and, without thinking, ran the tip of his tongue around the inside of Draco's lips, the hardness of teeth on one side and soft flesh on the other. The sensation sent a jolt of pleasure flashing through him. Could his own tongue make him feel like this? And if it made him feel like it, what was it doing to Draco?
Harry repeated the action, his tongue tracing around the circle of Draco's mouth. The response from the supine boy beneath him was almost immediate. Draco let out a quiet hiss and his hands, which had been nicely resting somewhere close to Harry's shoulder blades, suddenly moved away, ending up on Harry's arse.
Harry wasn't quite sure what noise he made in response to those long fingers moulding against his flesh, but he thought it was a squeak. The fingers gripped him with a pressure he thought might bruise, but all he wanted to do was push back and up into the hands.
At some point between the kissing (Draco knew how to kiss) and fingers kneading hard circles over his skin, Harry ended up on his knees, crouched over Draco and straddling his hips, mouths still locked together. He was aware of those fingers dipping into places he'd never expected another person to touch, and all Harry could do was bear down against both the hands and Draco's body.
Then, just when he thought it couldn't get much better, Draco stopped kissing him. A little bewildered, Harry pulled back slightly and looked down into the whole of the other's face for the first time in what seemed like forever. Draco was flushed a delightful pink, highlighting cheek bones, and his lips seemed fuller than normal, red and parted just a little. He could see the white teeth, feel the breath on his own face and almost taste Draco's tongue as the blond swept it briefly over his own lips.
But it was the eyes that surprised and held him in thrall. He remembered seeing them like this the previous night. Pupils dilated, almost black, obscuring the grey until there was only a tiny ring surrounding the black. There was something different now, however. Last night there had been an almost manic urgency in them. Today the urgency was still there, but it was tempered with something else. Something Harry couldn't quite fathom. He thought it was tenderness, but he'd never seen that look on the Slytherin's face before.
Then Draco lifted his head from the floor. Harry thought he was going to be kissed again. Instead that agile tongue licked a path from the base of Harry's throat to his chin, where the tip swirled briefly in the cleft between his chin and mouth. The wet warmth on his skin dried almost instantly, leaving it feeling tight and tingling, and Harry breathless.
Draco had licked him.
The Slytherin had actually run his tongue over his skin. Then, while Harry was still thinking about the sensation, Draco did it again, this time along Harry's jawbone. The touch made Harry's eyelids flutter close momentarily and without thinking he pushed his hips down, harder against the body beneath him.
He wanted to try that himself -- to taste Draco's skin, but at the moment was content to remain locked in the embrace, the sensation of the soft cotton shirt rubbing against his own flesh.
A moment of clarity in the haze of emotional overload going on in his mind drifted to the forefront of his being. He was naked. He had no clothes on at all. Draco had found him naked in the shower. Draco, on the other hand, was still fully clothed. Wet, but nevertheless dressed.
Still straddling Draco's hips, it took Harry a moment to disentangle himself from the Slytherin's hands, but once free he straightened and sat down on Draco's belly. The Slytherin's firmness was pressed very nicely against him and he rocked back and forth a couple of times.
Oh god, that feels so good!
Almost overwhelmed by the sensation, Harry glanced down and quickly decided that Draco seemed to be enjoying it as much as he was. Fingers dug into Harry's thighs, the incredible firm grip holding him in place as his hips swayed while the rest of his body still. He whimpered, the sound reverberating from a point deep inside of him. He'd never felt anything like it ... a dragging feeling that was building and tightening in his stomach and dragging downwards through his body.
Eyes suddenly flashed open as he realised what that feeling was. He was hard and in danger of coming again right there and then. He couldn't, not like this, not with Draco beneath him. He tried to pull away, but the fingers digging into him shifted, holding him in place.
"You're..." Harry gasped, breath catching in his throat. "You're still dressed."
"I know," Draco hissed.
"I don't think I can stop this." He pushed at Draco, trying to get free of him. If he came now... If he...
"God, it doesn't matter, Harry. It doesn't matter." Draco's words were hurried, almost inaudible. The deceptively strong hands suddenly left Harry's thighs, pulling him back down on top of the Slytherin. "Come here."
Harry squeaked, this time the sound an effort not to cry out loud as the two bodies meshed together, Draco's hands gripping his hips with a hard insistent pressure. He tried to match Draco's rhythm and the sound turned into a sob of frustration as he fought to control his body.
"Oh, please. I'm sorry. I can't..." Harry's words tumbled out, as he knew he couldn't hold back any longer and the knot of tight pleasure deep in his belly finally released in the jumble of physical emotions. He tried to pull away, but Draco held him close as he poured himself out. Little thrusts against the boy underneath him, little swear words from his mouth as Draco pulled him into a long, hard kiss.
Fighting for breath, Harry finally disentangled himself. Rising onto all fours, he pulled away, only too aware of the wetness of Draco's clothes. He realised he was trembling, his body feeling strange after what had just happened -- the thrusting, the movements -- all so very different from what had happened in the shower. So very different.
God, what was happening to him?
He hauled himself back against the sofa, and clutching his knees to his chest, he buried his head in his hands. "I am so sorry..."
Draco was still on his back, eyes now closed. He could hear the ragged sound of Harry's breathing over the hard pounding of his own heart and the sound of blood rushing in his ears. Wet clothes stuck to his body and he could feel his own moist warmth mingling with Harry's. How, he questioned to himself, could someone be so eager, yet so tentative at the same time?
It was, he finally answered himself, just Harry's way. It was what made the Gryffindor so provocative. Those downcast green eyes watching... watching... Draco finally opened his eyes and turned to look at him. No green now, just the black hair spilling over his hands and knees. Still wet.
A sob escaped as Harry let out a shuddering breath. Eyes squeezed tightly shut; Harry tried to comprehend the new sensations that were still racing through his body. This had been a whole different ball game. Mingled with the feel of Draco in his mouth, Harry's whole body seemed to be quivering with tension and there was a knot deep in his abdomen that threatened to explode. "I didn't mean to..."
There was a rustle of movement and Harry finally allowed himself to sneak a peek. Draco was on his feet and walking away. The Slytherin didn't even look back as he left the room.
Harry's head snapped up. Had it been that bad? Suddenly feeling chilled, he looked around him, desperate to find something to wear. He could go to the bedroom and get some clothes, but that would mean heading in the same direction as Draco and he wasn't sure he could face the sarcastic Slytherin or his taunts about sexual prowess. The green cloak was still where he had dropped it the night before and he crawled away from the sofa to where it lay. He had just pulled it around his shoulders when Draco came back into the room.
"Are you cold?"
Harry nodded and finally looked up at him. He blinked in surprise, unable to look away. Draco was naked.
He was sitting on the floor of Hagrid's cottage, and standing before him, once again holding a towel, was Draco Malfoy.
And Draco was naked.
Just standing there, with no clothes on.
Firelight glinted off the lithe pale body and turned white hair to gold. He could be an angel, Harry decided, imagination suddenly running riot at the thought of wings stretching from those shoulder blades.
He watched as the sky-clad angel intoned a single word, "Incalescerea." Almost immediately a warmth filled the room, bringing it to a very nice temperature. Then the angel crossed over to him and dropped to his knees. He ran a hand quickly through Harry's hair.
"It's still wet. You should dry it."
Harry managed to give a single nod. Later, when he ran over the day's events, he would remember the towel being held out to him, but all he could do at that moment was watch Draco and unconsciously lick his lips.
"What's wrong? Haven't you ever seen a boy naked before?"
"No," Harry managed a small whisper. "At least not one I've just... well ... you know." He finally met Draco's gaze and saw a smile.
"Yes, I know." Draco dropped the towel so that it covered Harry's head and began to dry the hair. "Harry, about earlier. It doesn't matter. Clothes can be cleaned."
"I just should have..." Hidden under the towel, Harry tried to find the words, but they wouldn't come.
"Should have what?"
"I -- I don't know." He took a shuddering breath, which hitched in his throat as though he was crying. "It's just... I didn't mean to..."
Draco chuckled and, pulling the towel back, he grinned at the mortified boy beneath it. "I hope it won't be the last time." He was still smiling when he finally tossed the towel away and sat back on his heels to study the messy-haired boy.
Harry sat there, watching him, looking for all the world like some little waif. "I should have got them to cut it all off," Draco murmured to himself. Tilting Harry's face up towards him, he ran his fingers through the still damp hair, teasing out snags as he went. He could, he decided, sit all day playing with this hair. It felt wonderful and smelled delicious and he wanted to bury himself in it.
Harry was fascinated by the rapt concentration on Draco's face as he went about his task. But wasn't that just typical of the Slytherin? Didn't he always have to do everything just right? Grey eyes looked at him, one hand still in his hair. The eyes sparkled with a smile not completely mirrored on Draco's face, but that was mainly because that face was just about to take Harry's mouth in another kiss. For the first time Harry's hand gripped into Draco's soft hair. The kiss was different this time. Less urgent, the movements slower, more deliberate.
As it ended, Draco stood again. He reached down and pulled the cloak from Harry's shoulders. "I don't think you need that."
"No, I guess not." He watched Draco cross to the sofa and sit down, legs stretched out along the length while his back rested against the cushions.
"Are you going to stay there all day?"
Slowly, Harry crawled the few paces to the sofa. Once there he sat back on his heels for a moment and studied the person before him. He was in Hagrid's cottage. He was naked and he was with Draco Malfoy. What was it Ron's star chart reading had said? This isn't just about sex, Harry -- whoever this person is, this chart shows love, pure and simple -- an attraction so powerful it could bring together people who are incompatible under normal circumstances. Maybe there's hope for you and Malfoy after all.
Incompatible under normal circumstances. Was that what was making him tingle right now? The thought that there was something forbidden about this? More forbidden than having feelings for someone of the same sex as he was? Forbidden because it was Draco Malfoy and what he represented?
Darkness. All the things Harry hated. Voldemort.
Hadn't Hermione warned him yesterday -- There are bigots everywhere, and I am sure that some of them would like nothing better than to find a way of bringing you down. If he decides to kiss-and-tell, the backlash could be horrifying. Yet here he was...
Here, kneeling beside this incompatible person who was most certainly capable of bringing him down to earth with a very violent crash.
I can give you tonight, Draco had told him earlier. Could it really hurt just to accept that? To have and enjoy this one stolen moment?
He climbed on to the sofa. It was big enough to take them both easily, and he curled up against Draco's side with his head resting against the pale shoulder. For several minutes neither moved, then Draco's cheek dropped to rest on Harry's head. Slowly, Harry stretched out an arm and laid it over the warm bare chest. Arms moved around him, cradling him in an embrace, which was crowned by the sensation of a kiss being bestowed on the top of his head.
This, Harry decided, wasn't nearly as bad as he had thought it might be.
Draco had learned the art of stillness early in his life. As a child, he had found it difficult to remain still, but it had been inexorably drummed into him until he was able to stand or sit for hours without moving. At first he had thought that just being still was enough, but his father had made it clear Draco still had to pay attention to his lessons while under instructions to remain still. So he learned to switch off from the physical discomfort and concentrate on his lessons.
His father also used stillness as a punishment. Lucius would start his chastisement with a verbal tirade stating clearly just what his son had done. Then Draco would be left alone standing in the middle of the room to contemplate the error of his ways until one of his parents returned minutes or hours later.
But there was another form of stillness, one he had learned from his grandmother. This was the stillness of quiet reflection, of watching and waiting. When she was alive they would go to the woods surrounding Malfoy Manor and watch the animals and birds. They would sit in hushed companionship waiting for the deer to come close or for other animals to venture into the clearing. Sometimes they would sit on the roof of the huge manor building and watch the sun dip behind the hills. Then, as the sky gradually darkened, they would wait for the stars to appear and she would tell him stories.
It was this second quiet contemplation he was engrossed in now as he stared into the flames, pinesap spluttering occasionally. When he had decided to return earlier, he had known he would have Harry; and at some point between talking to Granger and arriving here, he had also convinced himself that Harry wanted it as well. What he hadn't expected was that Harry would be such an eager participant. He had also thought that, despite the fact he had wanted this for so long, once it was over both he and Harry would depart back to their old lives, forgetting (or at least ignoring) the incident.
In spite of that, here he was, lying in silence, with Harry curled up against him.
And it felt like the most natural thing he had ever done in his life.
It also scared him to hell and back. Sex was one thing. He could distance that from real feelings and just focus on the physical act. Yet he really did feel contented lying here with Harry pressed lightly against him, jet-black hair spread over his skin, tickling and caressing.
He quickly reminded himself that Draco Malfoy took what he wanted, and didn't bother giving back. And yet...
This shared pleasure -- giving and taking. Draco Malfoy giving?
Draco looked down at the dark head and wondered if Harry was awake. The Gryffindor has turned away from him and they were now both laying on their right sides, spooned together, but not quite touching. Carefully he slid his right arm under Harry's neck; letting the limb rest across the smaller boy's chest, where he could feel the flutter of a heart beat.
Pushing Harry's head forward a little, Draco found no resistance as he brushed the hair away to reveal the pale skin at the nape of Harry's neck. He ran a finger along the spine as he had done in the robe shop, and the smaller boy moved his head slightly, giving him better access. His left hand twisted into Harry's hair, winding it into one long strand before placing a kiss where the neck joined the shoulder. He continued twisting, finally pushing the hair to one side.
With Harry's neck now completely exposed, he studied it for a moment. The skin was smooth, pale from where it was always sheltered from the sunlight under the thick black curls. His left hand ran over it, tracing from the tanned shoulders to the paleness as though trying to find something there. Like it held a great secret he couldn't fathom.
It seemed so intimate to touch Harry there, this place that was normally as hidden from view as his clothed body. To feel the muscles quiver under his fingertips was strangely erotic. Breathing in the boy's scent, Draco finally traced a line of kisses up the downy skin to the hairline. He felt Harry groan, a faint rumble from deep in his throat, and knew that he was making a similar noise. "Do you like that?"
"Mmmmm." Harry reached behind him, touching Draco's hip, and pushed back against him.
"So tell me then, Harry, is this better or worse?" With that Draco licked the same path he had just kissed.
"Ohhh." Harry took a deep shuddering breath. "I'm not sure."
"Maybe I should try again then." Draco arm tightened across Harry's chest, pulling the Gryffindor back tighter against him. The dark head had dropped to the sofa, exposing the whole of his neck for Draco to play with, from the tip of his shoulder right up to his ear. "Do you prefer this?" He tongued along the exposed skin, little fast flicks and slow lingering sweeps. "Or this?" The line of kisses was interspersed with the occasional nip of teeth on flesh.
"This...?" The tongue reached down and swept around the shell of Harry's ear, the tip dipping into the folds. "Or this...?" Teeth nibbled along the hard, sharp edge of a shoulder blade.
"Or this...?" Nip.
Lick. And kiss.
He felt Harry hiss and sigh under each caress. He occasionally bucked as Draco found a particularly sensitive area of flesh. When Draco sucked hard on his earlobe, Harry groaned aloud, but it was a different spot that elicited the best reaction. It was that point at the top of his spine, normally covered by his hair. All Draco had to do was to blow softly on it and Harry would make the most delightful noises. It was as if he couldn't decide whether to lean into any caress there or whether to lean away so that the area was better exposed.
Finally Draco took hold of Harry's hands, holding them lightly against the Gryffindor's midriff, gently massaging with both his own fingers and Harry's. "So, which do you prefer?"
"Both," Harry exhaled. "I didn't think..."
"Think what?" The hands moved down to the area below Harry's navel.
"Think... Think kissing could be like that."
"Oh, there's more to kissing than a peck on the cheek." Draco nibbled at the junction of Harry's neck and shoulder before sucking on the sensitive skin.
Harry's fingers tightened around Draco's. "Show me."
When Harry had said 'Show me' to the Slytherin he hadn't been exactly sure what it might mean.
And if he was completely honest he didn't really care that much.
He didn't care that it was way past lunchtime and he'd had very little breakfast. Or that the curtains were still closed. Or that he had homework to finish. Or, in fact, anything.
All he was interested in at that moment was the fact that Draco Malfoy was currently kissing his nipple.
In fact, 'kissing' wasn't strictly true, Harry decided. Granted, the Slytherin had started by kissing, but now he alternated between licking with his very able tongue, sucking with his wonderful mouth, and nipping gently with his teeth.
Harry had his eyes closed, his entire focus condensed down to just that three-inch-square area of his skin and the feel of Draco's tongue. It moved over and around flesh he hadn't realised could be so sensitive, sending wave after wave of little shocks though his body. Each one left him a little more light-headed ... a little more detached from reality.
His body felt like it was trembling imperceptibly, from the roots of his hair down to the tips of his toes. As if every inch of his skin was being brushed by invisible fluttering wings ... that those wings were underneath his skin ... inside him. For the first time in what felt like forever, Harry tried to speak. The voice sounded like it belonged to someone else. "Please..."
The tongue swept once more around the dark areola surrounding Harry's nipple before pulling away. Draco looked down at the boy laid before him like a dessert on a sweet trolley. "What, Harry?" He shifted, sitting up momentarily before moving a little further down the sofa towards Harry's hips.
"Can you do that again?"
"Do what?" Draco watched almost in awe at the way Harry's Adam's apple moved. He raised his index and middle finger, touching the dip just above Harry's sternum.
"Make ... make the other one feel like that." Harry squirmed a little, as if desperate to get Draco's mouth back on his body again.
"Why don't you do that for yourself?" Draco trailed the two fingers down Harry's body. He reached the little dip of Harry's navel, the gold and red circular design of the tattoo glinting in the firelight.
"Touch yourself, Harry." The voice was a deep purr as Draco began running a fingertip lazily over the tattoo lines.
"I don't know... I've never..."
"Sure you can." Reaching across the supine body, Draco picked up Harry's left hand and laid it across his chest. "Show me."
For a moment the hand was still, unmoving on Harry's chest. Then slowly the fingertips began stroking and teasing at the untouched nipple. His eyes were open now -- wide, bright with emotion. And Draco watched, his gaze fixed on the expressive features.
Sex had always been about the physical act to Draco. He'd never been particularly worried about the emotions involved. Do it and leave. If he wanted to be with the same person again, then fine, but he didn't want to get caught up in the emotional attachment others wanted. But watching Harry stirred something he hadn't experienced since the first time he'd ever had sex. The way Harry acted and responded -- his expressive eyes and face.
People are for using, he reminded himself. This is sex, nothing more. Physical pleasure only, like it was with Alex. I won't allow myself to be emotionally involved with him. I've already compromised myself enough for him.
But the look on Harry's face -- innocent virgin delight in his body. It was breath-taking to watch.
Propping himself up on his elbow, he ran his fingers over Harry's lips, needing to touch them. For a moment Harry lay quite still apart from the languid movements of his fingers over his own body, his eyes focused on some distant spot. Then he reached his hand to Draco's thigh and green eyes shifted, meeting grey. He watched Draco for a moment before taking the blond's fingers into his mouth.
This time it was Draco who gasped as Harry suckled on the two fingers. He watched, fascinated, as Harry's tongue twisted around his fingers, allowing them to push deeper into the warm depths. To have that mouth wrapped around him and those eyes watching as he sucked on him. With a sigh, Draco finally pulled free, running his thumb across the still open mouth before drawing away.
"Oh, Harry." The words were so quiet that Draco wasn't sure if he'd even spoken them out loud. Damp fingers leaving a wet trail down Harry's torso, Draco lowered himself to the cushions, lying beside him. He shifted down supine body and wrapped his leg around Harry's, hugging his thigh against the smaller boy's calf. Harry's hand trailed up Draco's back before settling on his shoulder, where it became a barometer for what he was enjoying. The lightly stroking fingers would become still or grip tightly as Draco kissed, licked and sucked his way over his body.
Draco swirled his tongue around the depression of Harry's navel before finally placing a kiss there, his tongue darting inside the hole. The grip on his shoulder became almost vice-like. Hips bucked beneath him, and Draco thrust into the little hollow a second time. Harry still tasted clean from his earlier shower, but there were other tastes on his skin. Of sweat, of the Gryffindor's own fluids, even a taste that he recognised as himself. This was, he decided, almost exquisite.
He paused for a moment and studied the thin line of hair spreading down from Harry's navel to his groin, a dusting of darkness around the flushed flesh.
There was something about touching and stroking Harry that turned Draco on even more than if Harry was giving it back to him. He couldn't describe it, but it caused a tight little knot to grow inside him similar to the sensation he experienced just before climax. Yet this seemed to just go on and on, leaving him feeling almost limp with pleasure. A pleasure that grew just playing with Harry like this.
Not, of course, that he wouldn't rather have Harry's mouth wrapped around him at this very moment.
Draco smiled to himself and dipped his tongue in the depression of Harry's navel once more. His right hand caressed the soft skin on Harry's inner thigh, fingers trailing from the knee upwards tracing little circles in the warm flesh. Reaching the hipbone, he traced a line over the curve of Harry's buttock before moving back down the outer edge to the knee. The journey was repeated and he could feel Harry's fingers mirroring the movements over his back, running up his spine and around the nape of his neck.
He shifted his body slightly, tongue trailing a path back up Harry's torso, up the sternum, following the line of a rib and lingering on Harry's side for a while. Then back across the trembling chest to swirl over the dark areola. Harry arched his back in response, as if trying to fuse their bodies together. His nails dug into Draco's shoulder, a moan escaping his lips. Draco finally took the nipple into his mouth, eyes closing as the knot within him grow tighter; the sensation caused his breathing to hitch erratically, his heartbeat quickening in tandem to Harry's own.
The single word was a whispered sigh, the tone low and urgent, sending electric chills up Draco's spine. He would probably never admit it, but he had always been enthralled by Harry's sexy baritone, and now as they lay entwined in each other's arms, the rumble seem to resonate through his very being, ripping into his very core and putting him back together again. Draco shut his eyes tighter and buried his head in the crook of Harry's arm, which tightened around him. In response, his mouth covered Harry in soft butterfly kisses, and he pressed urgently against the smaller boy's thigh.
Draco shifted once again, finally covering Harry's upper body with his own. He reached for Harry's wrists, gripping at them as he held them against the dark-haired boy's head. Stormy eyes bore into sea green; the darkened indolent gaze sent arrows of desire piercing through him. Draco knew he couldn't last long, the sensation of touching and stroking Harry was rapidly sending his body into overdrive.
He nudged his knee between Harry's legs, which parted automatically. There, he wrapped his leg around Harry's thigh, curling his foot under the calf, toes running circles against the soft skin. Draco sighed, and pressed himself against Harry's hipbone. He was rewarded by a sharp hiss.
"Harry, look at me," he whispered, and the smaller boy complied. The green had almost disappeared from his eyes, replaced by large black pupils that seemed to suck in the light, dragging Draco along with it. He released Harry's right wrist momentarily, before capturing with his right hand and holding both arms, one handed, over the boy's head. There was no struggle against the grip; no attempt to get free. Just those eyes staring at him and the panting rise and fall of Harry's chest against his own.
Draco ran his free hand over the contour of Harry's cheek, down to his jaw, lingering there as he looked deep into those eyes. His fingers continued up the other cheek, slowly to the eyebrows -- caressing, touching, then down the bridge of the nose before finally finding refuge once more in the warm wet depths of Harry's mouth.
Harry responded by sucking his fingers hard, teeth nipping against the digits, tongue swirling along the length. Draco hissed and dug against Harry's hip involuntarily, his blood pounding in his ears.
Oh God. Draco squeezed his eyes tight as he pulled his fingers free, his hand moving down to rest on Harry's thigh. Muscles trembled under his touch, as though an icy shiver had run through the dark-haired boy. But the skin was hot -- so very hot. Legs shifted and Harry whimpered, hips rising up to meet the caressing fingers which now held him. In response, Draco leaned forward, taking the waiting mouth in a hard, sweet kiss.
As the fingers played, Harry let out a little curse, lost against Draco's mouth, sobbing as he tried to suppress a moan. For the first time Harry pulled against the hands trapping his own.
Draco drew back and stared into the flushed face for a long time, willing his breath to slow... the rising tension in his body to subside a little. He grasped the hands tighter, and ran his tongue up Harry's inner arm.
"Please." Harry gasped out the single word, the sound a cross between begging and desire.
The reaction caused a self-satisfied smile to flicker on Draco's face. He pressed his lips against Harry's ear and whispered, "You can moan."
Watching the face, Draco's fingers finally closed around Harry for the first time.
The Gryffindor let out a shocked squeak, feet digging into the cushions as he attempted to propel himself backwards. "Bloody hell, Malfoy," Harry hissed, tugging at his hands again.
Draco tried not to smile as he just held on until Harry was finally still again. There was something else in those green eyes now and he tried to read them. Was it anger masking fear? Or was the darkness hinting at desire and wanting? His caressing touches turned a little firmer, each movement a little more urgent. Harry bit down on his lip and let out a strangled cry.
"Or you can scream." Still smiling, Draco leaned closer, his tongue gently licking on an earlobe, the dark hair stirring in his breath. A shudder passed through him as he felt the coiled spring of tension finally wind itself up completely, the growing knot in his belly threatening to explode. It built in sharp bursts of pleasure as his grip on Harry's hands tightened further, nails now digging deep into the flesh of his wrists, his own movements full of desperation and want. Oh yes, oh yes, his mind screamed incoherently.
"Oh God, " The words were choked from deep inside Harry.
"Or you can do both." Draco's voice was ragged as he thrust against Harry, his teeth sinking into the base of Harry's neck, where it joined the body and he bit hard. Culmination crashed into him with the force of a tsunami.
"Have you seen Harry?"
Hermione looked up from the library book and glared at Ron Weasley. "Shhhh. Some of us are trying to study." She turned to Susan Bones, her Hufflepuff study partner and shrugged. "Sorry." Susan shrugged back and continued reading the shared book, occasionally jotting down the odd note. "Now, what do you want?"
Ron dropped down onto one of the hard wooden library chairs, tilting it on the back legs. "I'm looking for Harry. No one's seen him since last night."
The expression on the Head Girl's face didn't alter. She had started covering for Harry at the beginning of their seventh year and was a past master at guarding her expression even from their best friend. Sometimes she felt a little guilty about it, but as most of the time Harry was trying to get away from Ron -- and the guilt Harry felt over Ron's injury -- she was willing to make the sacrifice. "Have you checked his room?" Ron nodded, tilting the chair back further. "If you fall and crack your head open I'm not fetching Madam Pomfrey."
He dropped the chair back to the floor with a loud crack. At least half a dozen students and Madam Pince, the school Librarian, all hissed at Ron to be quiet. "What are you doing studying anyway? It's Sunday."
"And the N.E.W.T.s are only 14 weeks away. It wouldn't hurt you, or Harry for that matter, to start revising." She waggled a reproachful finger at him. "You realise now that you have a reputation to maintain. Great things are expected of Head Boys and Girls."
"Do you know, you sound just like my mother. If I wanted a lecture, I'd go and find Snape." He pulled a book toward him, flicking back a few pages.
"Ron!" Hermione hissed as she grabbed the book back. "What do you want him for anyway?"
"Well," the redhead shrugged, looking a little crestfallen. "We argued at the ball last night over some stupid dance and I'm worried he might be mad at me."
"Don't be silly." Susan, who was pointing something out in one of the books, distracted her attention. Hermione nodded at the girl and quickly added some notes of her own. They began talking excitedly over what the Hufflepuff had found.
"And I wanted to tell him about being Head Boy. He probably doesn't know yet."
Hermione gave a little snort of derision. "I doubt that. I expect it's the talk of Hogsmeade as well as the school." She glanced back at Ron. "Though I expect it is Justin's sudden disappearance rather than your change of position that they are discussing."
"Did you speak to Justin?"
"Before he left?" Ron nodded. "He said goodbye."
"No, not really."
"He was upset." Both Gryffindors turned as one towards Susan. The girl's expression had turned to one of sadness. "Justin came back to the Hufflepuff common room yesterday morning after talking to Professor Dumbledore and he was really upset."
"Did he say what happened?"
"No, poor thing. Just that his dad had been given a new posting and they were flying out to America. What is even stranger is that his dad is a minister or something in the Muggle diplomatic services and has been posted overseas for most of Justin's life. Why should he suddenly want Justin to go with him this time? We all tried to convince him he should make his parents let him stay, but Justin didn't seem to care that there are only 4 months until the final exams." Susan suddenly started gathering up her books and it was clear she was upset by the sudden disappearance of her Housemate. "I need to get some things sorted out. I'll see you later." With that she was gone.
"Tactful as always."
"How did I know she'd get upset talking about Justin?" He suddenly sat forward. "Do you remember me and Harry telling you about the Mirror of Erised back in our first year?" Hermione nodded. "Well, when I looked into the Mirror, I saw myself not only as Head Boy and Quidditch Captain, but we'd won the House and Quidditch cups. Look at me --" He spread his arms wide. "I'm Head Boy and Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. We're sure to win the Quidditch cup and are currently leading for the House Cup."
"Ron, that Mirror doesn't tell the future. It's all about desires."
"I wonder what I would see in it now?"
"The Knight Bus probably, with you as the conductor if you don't do some work."
"No way!" Ron said with conviction. "I am going to do great things, believe me."
Hermione reached out a hand and briefly rubbed her friend's arm. "Of course you are."
"I wonder if he's at Hagrid's?"
"Harry? I expect so." She turned over a page and stared thoughtfully at an illustration.
"Maybe I should go out there."
"Good idea," she murmured. Then she realised what he had just said and spun back round to face him. "What?! No, don't do that."
"Why not? He wouldn't mind." Ron frowned and peered closely at her. "Are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost."
"No. It's..." Doing her best not to look flustered, Hermione suddenly wondered if Malfoy had actually gone to Harry. "It's lunchtime. Why don't we go and eat?" Ron was still staring at her and she realised she might just be blushing. She pushed her hair back behind her ear and pointed her quill at the window. "And look at the weather. You'd get soaked, end up with pneumonia or something like that and miss even more classes. Besides, you know what Harry's like. He'll be back later. I expect he's got his hands full right now."
If Draco were really honest with himself, he would admit to the fact he had joined in with Harry's scream. Not as loud or as unrestrained as the Gryffindor but a scream nevertheless. And he had moaned as well. So much for the more reserved sex he had always been used to.
Once he had regained his breath, he had settled beside Harry, trapping him against the back of the sofa, and proceeded to kiss, lick and nibble the boy nearly senseless. Now Harry hung bonelessly in his arms, his face a picture of bliss as Draco continued snuggling him. Tasting him. Touching him. He was completely enthralled by the little noises Harry made. Sighs, moans, little cries of pleasure and an occasional squeak that was normally the result of something unexpected. He would, he decided, have to start calling him 'Mouse'.
With a sigh, Draco pushed the dark sweat-dampened hair from Harry's face. The hand remained entwined in the soft strands, cupping the side of Harry's head. "So..." he breathed.
Mirroring the other's sigh, Harry met the grey eyes with a relaxed smile. "So..."
Both lapsed into a companionable silence, and Harry slowly allowed himself to surface from the vortex of pleasure Draco had left him in. He still felt just a little stunned by the whole experience and at that precise moment couldn't really comprehend what had just happened or how it made him feel. Three or four hours ago he had stood in the shower feeling ashamed of himself and of his feelings, yet this felt so right. He loved the attention Draco was paying him, loved the way it made him feel, loved being touched by skin not his own. The inhibited boy who had argued with the Slytherin in the early hours of the morning had changed and found a depth of expression he never thought possible.
"That was ... nice," the Gryffindor finally murmured. He turned his face into the hand still resting against his cheek and, after a moment, kissed the palm. Draco tasted like he smelled. The same smell Harry had noticed on his clothes six weeks ago. Cloves and cinnamon and spices and Christmas. He knew he had to taste and he flicked the tip of his tongue out, running across the skin. It was an intriguing sensation, feeling the ridges and lines on Draco's palm and he tried it once more this time in a broader, longer stroke.
"Oh," Draco groaned at the warm wetness on his hand and the way Harry's tongue dipped between his index and middle finger. "Only nice?" he finally managed to question.
Harry gave a drowsy chuckle. "Are you looking for marks out of ten?"
"Are you keeping score?"
"There were other things on my mind." He was sure he could still feel Draco's touch on his skin as if his mouth would be forever imprinted on his flesh. Branding him with those lips only inches away from him now. All he had to do was turn his head a little and he would be able to kiss that mouth again. "But if you want..."
"Mmmmm. Surprise me." He nuzzled into Harry's neck.
"Okay." Harry's gaze fixed somewhere over Draco's shoulder and he frowned thoughtfully. "For technical merit..."
"You're going to mark my technique?"
"Of course. I think I would give you 'very, very nice'."
Draco looked hurt. "Only nice?"
"Not just nice. Don't forget the 'very, very' bit of the marks. If I said it was exquisite or something like that, you'd turn into an insufferable git. And when marking, there should always be room for improvement, otherwise the contestant wouldn't have anything to aim for next time."
"Don't get your hopes up, Potter." Draco heart skipped a beat. Did Harry really mean he wanted there to be a next time?
"Don't tell me," Harry snorted, "Malfoys don't do next times." He placed a small, quick kiss on Draco's wrist before pulling the hand down to rest on his own chest.
"Malfoys have been known to make exceptions."
"So have Potters." Harry allowed his fingers to dance lightly over the back of Draco's hand. "Now, on to artistic interpretation." Draco started to laugh and Harry glared at him in mock disapproval. "This is very serious. The outcome of the House Cup could rest on these marks you know."
"Sorry. So, artistic interpretation?"
"For interesting use of hands and mouth, I would have to give it 'very nice, bordering on exquisite'."
"Only one 'very'?"
"Yes, but it did get an 'exquisite'."
"And interesting marking system, Potter. You'll have to show me how it works."
"I'll try, but you need to be a Gryffindor to really understand."
They snuggled together, drifting back into silence, without realising just how close their bodies were. Skin to skin. A comfort zone between them that would not have been possible a few weeks ago. In the stillness of the room, the only sounds were the crackle of the fire, the tick of the clock on the mantelpiece and the pit-pat of rain against the windows.
"It's raining," Harry finally noted.
"Yes." Draco gave a little smile. "Dumbledore said it would, but I think it's arrived a bit earlier than he thought."
"You've spoken to the Headmaster?"
"About anything interesting?"
Silence again. Neither moved, both content to lie there while Draco's hand played lazily with Harry's hair and the Gryffindor's fingertip grazed back and forth over the Slytherin's hand. Somewhere in the distance a rumble of thunder reverberated around the valley.
Finally Draco spoke. "So, how did you get the scar?"
Harry looked at him with mild surprise. "Evil curse. Dreaded dark wizard. I'm sure you know the story."
"I don't mean that one." Draco leaned forward, closing the few inches that separated him from Harry's forehead and placed a kiss on the zigzag scar above his right eye. "I mean the one on your leg." There was no reply and he looked down to see Harry staring at him, open-mouthed. "What?" He thought Harry looked like he was going to cry.
"Y-you kissed it." The Gryffindor's hand now covered the scar.
"Yes." Draco ran a finger along Harry's cheekbone. "Is it a problem?"
"It's just that..." Harry swallowed. "No one's ever touched it except you. When we were here at New Year." He could still feel the kiss as though it was flitting back and forth along the lightning bolt shape of the scar. "You were talking about your grandmother."
"I know." The finger traced around the edge of Harry's eye, before continuing along his brow. There, Draco pulled Harry's hand away and studied the thin scar again. The line had been white when he had last touched it, but today it was darker against the skin, almost pink, and he wondered at the significance of the colour. He traced the line again, recalling all the hurtful comments he had made about the scar in the past. Yet there was something about it now -- a resonance when he touched it that he couldn't understand. "Do you mind?"
"You touching it?"
"No, I don't think so."
With that, Draco leaned forward again and placed another kiss on the mark, before following the shape with the tip of his tongue. Harry's eyelids fluttered closed, dark lashes dusting his cheeks, as he followed the journey of the caress. When it finally finished, Harry didn't move for a long time. Then, with a little sigh, he swallowed and finally managed to speak.
"Why did you come back?"
"You haven't told me about the scar yet."
The Slytherin dropped away from Harry on to his back and stared up at the ceiling. "I told you. I brought your cloak back."
Draco's arm remained around Harry's shoulder as he pushed himself up on his elbow so he could still see the Slytherin's face. He could feel the long fingers moving absently back and forth, their touch light on his skin. What was Draco thinking, Harry wondered as he rested a hand lightly on the blond's stomach. What was going on behind those impassive eyes? And just how much of his own life should Harry entrust to Draco? Could it really hurt to tell him this?
"I fell through a glass door." Harry's voice was quiet as he spoke and the grey eyes met his again, a question in them. "The scar on my leg -- I cut it on the broken glass."
"I had a fight with my uncle and he pushed me. I overbalanced and slipped. The next thing I knew I was crashing through the glass door. Fortunately I had a jumper on or I would have cut my arms badly as well. Most of the little cuts healed without any marks, but I've got another scar here." Harry held up the hand that had been resting on Draco's stomach to show a two-inch scar on his forearm. Frowning, Draco's fingers closed around the limb, his thumb rubbing over the mark. "You should have seen all the blood." He gave a laugh. "Aunt Petunia was furious and she never managed to get it all out of the carpet. They had to replace it in the end."
The grip of the fingers on Harry's shoulder had changed, they now held him tightly, and when he looked at Draco again, there was something in the still face that worried him. The coldness in the eyes was frighteningly real and Harry remembered once again that this person messed with the Dark Arts in his spare time, and had offered to 'deal' with Harry's family less than twelve hours ago. Harry had thought he was joking, but seeing the face now, he realised the offer hadn't been made in jest.
"What did they do?" The Slytherin's voice was very quiet.
"They had to take me to hospital in the end and I needed stitches. At least it got me out of having to do the gardening," Harry added, trying to make his voice light-hearted.
"Are you going back?"
"To them?" Draco nodded and, lacing his fingers with Harry's, he brought the hand to his mouth. "Not if I can help it." Draco kissed the back of his hand before running his tongue over and around each of the knuckles. "Except I'll still be 17 when school finishes and legally not an adult." The agile tongue ran down to his wrist, licking over the pulse point before sucking on it briefly. "So..." Harry's voice rose in pitch and he cleared his throat in an effort to bring it back to normal. "So I'll have to see what happens." He groaned as Draco reached the scar on his arm and licked slowly up and down the slightly raised skin. "What are you doing?"
"Trying to take my mind off your relatives."
Draco lowered the captured hand down until it rested below his navel. He spread Harry's fingers out until they lay over his skin. "Yes. If I spend too much time thinking about them, I might just go and push your uncle through a door myself."
"It was probably my fault," Harry replied immediately, much too quickly. A thought bubbled up from deep inside, one that made him shiver. He cares about me.
"I doubt that very much. What terrible thing did you do to be worthy of that sort of treatment?"
The incident was still vividly clear in Harry's mind despite happening 18 months ago. He dropped back on to Draco's shoulder and joined him in his study of the ceiling.
"It had been a rainy cold afternoon in late-August. We were due to go back to school the following week and this was one of those typical August Bank Holiday Mondays when everyone wanted to go to the beach, but the weather was more like November than the end of summer."
"What's a bank holiday?"
"It's a Muggle holiday when the banks are closed and most people get the day off work. The one in August is always the last Monday in the month."
"Anyway, I was decorating the lounge while the rest of the family were out visiting Aunt Marge."
"Didn't you want to go to the beach?"
"I would have loved to go to the beach even on a day like that. I've never been to the beach before." Harry looked momentarily wistful, but quickly pushed the feeling away and continued. He didn't notice the fleeting look of surprise that crossed Draco's face or his furrowed brow. "Anyway..." he turned in against the warmth of Draco's skin, subconsciously moving closer. "I didn't mind, it's nice to be left on my own away from Dudley's snide remarks and Uncle Vernon's complaining for a few hours at least. I knew I'd made a good job of things, but hadn't noticed the few tiny spots of paint on the carpet. Which, of course, were the first things Aunt Petunia saw. That woman has a mouth on her. I think she didn't take a breath for at least five minutes when she got in and saw the carpet. And Dudley -- the fat bastard just stood there sniggering 'Just wait 'til dad gets in' over and over. When Uncle Vernon finally finished parking his precious car, he joined in the 'let's slate Harry' haranguing. He started by pointing out places I had allegedly missed..."
"I take it you hadn't?"
"Definitely not. I wasn't worried about it -- I'd had 15 years of him venting his anger. But then things started going downhill. I said I'd get some paint remover to clean the carpet and I turned to go and get it. He went mad. He grabbed my arm and spun me back around. Now I was worried because he was almost purple with rage. 'Don't you ever turn your back on me, boy!' he yelled, and then backhanded me across the face." Harry let out a long slow breath at the memory. "It bloody hurt. Normally I can read his moods and would be prepared for this sort of treatment..."
"Did he hit you a lot?"
"Sometimes, but this one caught me by surprise," Harry shrugged. "I staggered backwards, caught my foot on a paint can and stumbled to the floor. Unfortunately Uncle Vernon had closed the door between the lounge and hall. The door had a full-length glass panel and I fell through it. I don't remember much after that, except lying there surrounded by glass and listening to them complaining because the lid had come off the paint can and now there was Sunshine Yellow paint all over both them and the carpet. I tried to get up, but realised my leg was on the glass still in the doorframe. I tried called for help, but they were more interested in the paint.
"Aunt Petunia saw the blood and almost passed out in a swoon of Oscar-winning proportions. And though I hate to admit it, it was Dudley who came to my rescue. He got me off the glass, found some bandages and insisted they take me to hospital before I bled to death."
"Why didn't you use magic? It was an emergency."
"I don't know. For one thing, my wand had been locked away and for another, I just didn't think about it."
"He took away your wand?"
"Look, they are Muggles. They don't like magic. They don't understand." Harry swore under his breath. Don't keep defending them, Harry, they made you life hell ... are still making it hell. He shifted a little, feeling uncomfortable at admitting things to Draco. "I was taken to hospital, had the gash stitched up and I stayed there overnight. When I got home the next day, the hospital instructions had been for 'bed rest', but Uncle Vernon wasn't interested and Aunt Petunia refused to 'pamper me' as she put it. I couldn't even get down the stairs to start with and it was Dudley who came to my aid yet again. He would bring me my meals. Don't ask me why."
Harry paused. Could Dudley's sudden need to help his cousin have been because he thought Harry might tell someone about the porn videos Dudley kept in his room? Harry almost voiced the thought to Draco but quickly stopped himself. The last thing he wanted to admit to the Slytherin was the existence of those tapes or the fact he had watched them.
"I can't tell you how relieved I was to get back to Hogwarts the following week," he quickly continued. "Only Madam Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore had known how bad the injury had actually been and it took weeks for it to heal properly."
Harry finally gave a sigh. "And that is how I got the scar." He turned slightly, nuzzling against Draco's shoulder.
"So," Draco tightened his arm around Harry. "Had it healed when you played Slytherin six weeks later?"
Harry shrugged. "Madam Pomfrey couldn't use magic because of the Muggle treatment. She used something to make it heal a bit quicker and the stitches came out after a couple of weeks. But I didn't manage to get in much training. And Slytherin did win the Cup that year."
"But you still managed to beat me."
Propping himself up on an elbow, Harry stared down at Draco. The movement had allowed his knee to slip between Draco's legs. "Yes, Malfoy, I guess I did. Let that be a lesson to you."
Draco raised his knee slightly and pressed his leg against Harry. "I intend to set the record straight in four weeks, Potter."
"I doubt that very much, not with your current team anyway," Harry scoffed, pushing back against the leg.
"Would you like to wager a bet on it?"
"With you?" Draco's eyebrow rose sardonically and Harry found a slight smile growing on his face. "And what is this wager?"
"If I beat you, you'll turn up at breakfast the next morning wearing Slytherin Quidditch robes."
Harry burst out laughing. "You're joking."
"Do I look like I'm joking?"
He didn't, Harry decided. In fact Draco looked very, very serious. "What would everyone say? It would cause an uproar."
"No more than that Slytherin T-shirt you wore. Isn't it time I had a little revenge?"
"And if I win?"
"You aren't going to."
"But in the slim chance that I do beat you as I've done every other time we've played, including while seriously injured?"
"Then I'll acknowledge the fact by wearing Gryffindor colours."
Harry would have rubbed his hands with glee if they hadn't been preoccupied with absently running over the Slytherin's flesh. "Ron is just going to love this," he chortled.
Draco froze. "No, neither team must know about this until the game's over."
"Okay. I don't have a problem with that." Harry leaned towards Draco and placed a kiss at the base of his breastbone. He looked at the spot for a moment, studying the small indent there, before cautiously licking it. "Especially as you are going to be the one dressing up." He suddenly disentangled himself from Draco's arms and legs and sat up, casting a critical eye up and down the blond boy. "I wonder if my robes will fit you or if I'll have to borrow a set from someone else?"
"Well, mine will fit you, though a short-arse like you will have to be careful not to trip over the hem." Harry glowered at him and in response Draco grinned, reaching out a hand to run over Harry's arse. The touch started lightly, but slowly grew in intensity. "Do we have a wager?"
"I am going to fly you out of the sky, Malfoy."
"We'll see, Potter. Now, what would you like to do to seal the bet?"
Harry looked at the Slytherin, chewing his lip in thought. If he'd been able to see inside Draco at that moment, he would have realised just how tightly the blond was holding himself in control. Harry was kneeling naked beside him, his hair wild and messy, green eyes dancing, and now he was chewing at his lip. Draco wanted to turn him over the back of the sofa and take him right there and then.
Fortunately for Harry, he was completely unaware of these lust-filled emotions, even though he was feeling rather eager himself. "I have an idea," Harry finally said, the chewed lip red and ripe for the taking.
"A Gryffindor with a plan? This should prove interesting." Draco's voice was a soft murmur.
"We do plan, it's just that we're not as sneaky and twisted as Slytherins."
"Which is why they never work. So, Potter, what is this idea of yours?"
"Well, Malfoy, I thought that... well..." Harry swallowed, not knowing what to say and realised he was quite probably colouring up. Draco was sitting with his arms folded now and looking at him with a detached aloof expression on his face. It reminded Harry of the way Draco looked at him whenever he had made a mistake in class. It was the look that always made Harry want to slap Draco's face and he was itching to do this now. His eyes darkened and he held the grey gaze. "I thought I would do this."
His fingers closed around Draco and he squeezed.
It had been the last thing Draco had expected and he let out a shocked cry. "Harry!" The expression on Harry's face changed to one of innocence and he gave Draco a look which said 'who me?'
Except the expression was more truthful than Harry would care to admit. He'd been thinking about this almost from the first moment he had seen Draco naked, but now he was actually holding him, Harry was scared to death. Now what the hell should he do? Stupid question, Harry, you know what to do. Didn't you do it to yourself earlier?
In a voice much calmer than he actually felt, Harry finally spoke. "Can I touch you?" He'd planned to ask that before doing the grabbing, but somehow the order had turned out wrong. If Draco noticed, he said nothing about it. Instead he just nodded, his face a picture of surprise and pleasure.
Harry shifted down the sofa until he was at the same level as Draco's hips. He lay beside the long legs of his adversary and finally looked at his own hand. "Oh my," he sighed as he realised just how intimately he was touching Draco and what his reaction to that touch was.
Draco groaned quietly and Harry glanced back at him. The blond was watching, eyes wide, mouth open very slightly, his breathing very shallow. He could even see the butterfly beating of Draco's heart beneath his ribs. Still watching, Harry squeezed. Draco's mouth opened a little more as his breathing hitched, but he made no sound.
"Harry." His name was breathed out with a sob, Draco's hand closed into his hair, the fingers urgent as they tugged at the curls. Draco's face was flushed, his eyes bright, almost black. The flushed skin continued down his neck, spreading across his chest. Green eyes flickered from the face to the dark pink circles surrounding Draco's nipples. A light sheen of sweat glistened on the pale skin and Harry knew he just had to touch. His hand trailed up the Slytherin's torso before tracing a fingertip over first one and then the other hard pink nipple.
Please? Draco had said 'please' to him. Not just 'please', but was he actually pleading? A dark little smile flickered across Harry's face as he reached the hand up to Draco's mouth, fingers brushing the parted lips. He pushed a little, and the Slytherin took the fingers in, licking and nibbling at them.
With a self-satisfied smile, Harry looked at Draco's face, but the intensity of the expression that looked back left him gasping. The frost-covered eyes pierced into his being, holding him prisoner as effectively as chains and bars. Draco Malfoy might have the Gryffindor's fingers in his mouth, but the look oozed dominance and control. It sent a flush of excitement flooding through Harry. The sensation condensed in his groin and it felt like a fist was twisting his insides.
Draco finally released the fingers and spoke in a voice that dripped seduction. "I hope you're going to finish this off, Potter. I don't like people who tease and don't carry through. They usually end up regretting it." Draco's tongue licked Harry's palm, before quickly sucking the fingers one more time.
Harry met the look and tilted his head to one side. "I always finish what I start, Malfoy. You should know that by now." He gave a sweet little smile as he grasped Draco again and was rewarded by the same look of surprise that his first touch had provoked. So much for the 'I'm in control' Draco, Harry mused. In fact, hadn't Draco just mewled like a kitten? He swept his hand up and down the hardness.
"Oh god." The words were part of a low sobbing sound that rumbled through Draco's body. His hips jerked and twisted, rising an inch or two up from the sofa. "Harry."
The Gryffindor's response to the way Draco had moaned his name was simple. He leaned closer and finally tasted the Slytherin. It was a taste he would never forget and one that would always fill him with delight. It was also the beginning of a bond that would survive almost everything.
But on that wet Sunday morning, the two young men didn't care about the future. In fact neither were particularly concerned about the rest of the day - even the next hour seemed a lifetime away. They both became very still; an unmoving tableau in a room caught in time between one tick of the clock and the next. The blond head was laid back on the cushions, wide grey eyes turned unfocused towards the ceiling. The dark head was lying on the warm flesh of a hip; wide green eyes focused with a clarity his eyesight didn't normally allow on the warm, living work of art before him.
Overloud to Draco's suddenly sensitised hearing, the clock ticked forward another second. The sound echoed through him as though in slow motion. He had daydreamed of this moment for so long that it had turned into something he never thought would actually become reality. And yet...
Harry didn't daydream much about Draco. Well, he reminded himself he did, but his involved pinning the Slytherin down and beating the crap out of him or something similar. Yet this felt so right. So perfect. And yet...
The clock ticked forward and the rain dripped noisily from the roof.
The growing knot of tension in Harry's belly threatened to explode as he studied Draco and the silky luster of his skin. It glistened with a soft sheen of moisture. Beguiling. Tempting. His breath stirred the blond hair around the base of this living sculpture and he blew gently, watching the way the hair and flesh reacted.
A rumble of thunder turned into a whimper of desire and Harry knew he just had to use his mouth. As the clock ticked again, he lifted his head from the soft cushion of Draco's hip and....
The slow-motion moment suddenly smashed into real-time, burning reality crashing through both boys, threatening to drown them in a kaleidoscope of colour, texture and emotions.
Crash and burn...
Someone cried out, but neither was sure who had made the sound.
Bodies moved, wanting immediate release but neither receiving it.
Draco swore, but the word resonated in Harry's mind as if he had vocalised it.
For both, their worlds condensed down to this one single precious moment.
An intimacy unlike anything either had ever experienced.
Cries of pleasure mingling with the crack of thunder.
White-hot pulses of release mirrored with blinding flashes of lightning.
Knives of pleasure cutting away the poison of past animosity and loathing.
The tick of the clock regulating beating hearts, returning time to normal.
Slowly, Harry pulled away and wiped a trembling hand across his mouth. His tears mingled with Draco's taste and he looked around for something to clean himself with. Fingers closed around the green and silver cloak and he realised he was shaking. Clutching the material to himself he sat back on his heels and finally buried his face in the cloth. He didn't know what to do. There was a part of him that wanted to run away from this. To hide from the incredible emotion that was currently surging through him. He hadn't expected to feel like this.
Minutes ... possibly hours ... later, he finally looked up. Draco hadn't moved. He laid there, body tense, one arm thrown across his face hiding his eyes. Green eyes tracked briefly down the body and Harry saw there were scratch marks around Draco's lower abdomen. He looked down at his own body and found there were matching marks on his arms. What had they done to each other?
Harry took a deep breath and with exaggerated care, crawled to Draco's side. He draped the cloak over both of them and reached for the Slytherin. It took him a few moments to pull the resisting boy into his arms, but finally the blond settled against him. Pulling the cloak over Draco's shoulder, Harry looked at his face for a moment before brushing the hair back behind Draco's ear.
Draco resisted because he didn't know how else to act. He could feel Harry's fingers in his hair, the touch strangely intimate. And those surprisingly strong and supportive arms around him, holding him against Harry's warm skin. He wanted to tell Harry how he felt at, but he couldn't. It was too personal. Too terrifying. He struggled to blink away unshed tears, both awed at the unexpected depth of emotions, and desperate to convince himself this was all nothing. That it was, after all, just sex.
Just sex, he reminded himself over and over.
The sky was dark with heavy rain-laden clouds. They pressed down on the ancient stonework of the castle making the interior almost as oppressive as a sultry summer's day. In fact, the clouds were so low that the man staring out of the tiny window felt he could reach out and touch them. Rain beat against the leaded windows through which the wind had managed to find its way. He didn't like working on days like this. The turret, where the room he was currently in was located, was normally ignored by everyone; the staircase to it narrow and dark. But a wet Sunday afternoon like this was an ideal time for people to be wandering around the castle looking for things to occupy themselves. Someone might just decide to explore.
Still, if they got as far as the room, they would have to unlock the door. The wards on the locks would scare most of them witless and send them running way. Anyone who did manage to get in would find nothing but an empty room. The protection spells he had cast would keep all prying eyes away.
He turned from the window and gazed for a moment at the single candle that lit the room. The flickering light illuminated the features of the room's other occupant, making him look sallow in stark relief against his black robes. He was kneeling on the cold stone floor, his eyes closed, a raised hand circling over the flame.
"Well, Cloud?" he whispered to the kneeling figure. "What do you see?
Eyelids flickered open, excitement in the pale eyes. The room pulsated with ancient magic. His magic. Sucked by his incantations from the very walls to be transmuted into whatever suited his needs. Of course some people would call the magic 'Dark', but he knew the difference.
There is neither dark nor light. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.
His gaze became unfocused, no longer looking at the stone wall before him. They were focused somewhere else in the castle -- in another room -- on another person. "He's looking into himself. Looking at memories." Without glancing at the candle, Cloud picked up a pinch of powder from a small silver dish beside him and sprinkled it onto the flame. It flared upwards, producing a thin almost transparent sheet of iridescent smoke. Within the shimmering swirls, a dark-haired figure emerged; lying on his side, head rested on one elbow, his other hand slowly turning the pages of a book. "The dragon's working, I can zero in on him without any problem now."
"Good," the one known as 'Shadow' finally replied. " Are you ready?"
Focus returning to the room, Cloud snatched a hand out towards the figure in the smoke. His fingers yanked at the image and it collapsed as he drew his arm swiftly back. Then, taking a deep breath, his eyes dropped to the floor and the crumpled sheet of parchment that he had carefully laid beside the silver dish before starting the ritual.
He picked up the creamy coloured paper and held it between his hands as if trying to stretch it flat again. Some of the red wording had smudged when the author had screwed the sheet into a tight little ball while the ink was still wet. But the meaning of the words was still clear.
"Is that the original?"
Cloud nodded. "He doesn't realise what he now has is a copy."
"Of course not. How could he? You've learned your lessons well." Shadow's hand dropped onto Cloud's shoulder in an almost parental fashion. "It's time to start removing Mr Potter's protection layer by layer."
"I could do it in one go."
"But we couldn't hide that from him. No, we will strip it from him one piece at a time and we'll replace it with our own. By the time he realises it will be too late."
"Yes." Taking hold of the edge of the parchment, Cloud began chanting the Summoning Words. As he did so, he began to twist the paper as if wringing out a piece of fabric. A splash of red blossomed on the stone by his knees and he quickly held the paper over a small stone bowl. His hands and incantations stripped the lettering from the page like blood dripping from an open wound. Finally satisfied he had every last drop, he opened the parchment again. Its surface was completely blank.
He held the blank sheet to the candle, waiting for the edge to catch light. "You should be more careful, Harry. Words are power." The blackened ash mingled with the blood-red ink
With a slight smile, Cloud looked at Shadow, and nodded at him. "I'm ready."
I spoke about wings
... You just flew
I wondered, I guessed, and I tried
... You just knew
... But you swooned
The Whole of the Moon - The Waterboys
Chapter 4 (part 2): Darkness Rising
Who are Shadow and Cloud? Why is Sirius at Hogwarts? How will Harry and Draco cope with Potions on Monday? Preparations for the Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin (who else would it be between?). The Astronomy Tower (what H/D would be complete without at least one visit here).
Author's note: The August Bank Holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom that falls on the last Monday in August. In 1996, when Harry had his accident, this was on 26th August. I have assumed Harry would have started his sixth year at Hogwarts on Monday 2nd September.
Thanks to EVERYONE for being so very patient in waiting for this chapter. It's been a difficult summer and writing hasn't been easy. The support of people around me has help tremendously and I am very grateful for the kindness I have received over the last few months.
Thanks to all who have reviewed and commented on Chapter 3 at FictionAlley, FanFiction.net, Worlds_Colliding, LiveJournal and via email. I have tried to respond to as many of you as possible, but not everyone left an email address. Your comments are always welcome and I enjoyed reading them all. Thanks.
To my Betas (in alphabetical order): Ash, Alex, Debbie, Ina, Milena, Penguin, Tine and Zed. These people have been patient, supportive and without them the chapter would never have gotten finished. I have made them read and reread scenes until they must be fed up with everything. Yet they still managed to find the time to help.
To Plumeria for helping me with the R-rated version of this chapter.
To everyone on at Worlds_Colliding for their support and inspiration.
Artwork: I am very lucky to have new had some artwork drawn for Resolution. Bhanesidhe and Milena's artwork for this chapter is highlighted throughout the chapter. Also, please check out TK Yuy's wonderful drawings of Harry and Draco in their Valentine clothes from Chapter 3. If the artwork links don't work, please go to:
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