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Dragon Pox-Relapse

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Disclaimer (for the whole story): This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Pairings: HP/DM

Rating: NC-17

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings: language, sexual themes, a bit angsty at times, slight bondage, light humiliation, AU at the end of 5th year (e.g. Sirius is alive and Lucius is not in prison) and of course a lemon or two!

Please read until the end of the chapter as not everything is as it seems in the beginning.

Attention: This is the very short prologue of the sequel to Dragon Pox! So please go and read Dragon Pox first before reading this story. This sequel is basically an AU 6 th year story which is influenced by what happened in Dragon Pox.


-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Prologue -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

 

Lucius Malfoy was a very happy man right now. Not only had he been able to avoid being send to Azkaban after the fiasco in the Ministry, but he'd also been graced with a special honour. From all the Death Eaters, the Dark Lord had chosen his home to function as his base. And as this wasn't enough, Lord Voldemort had requested a private meeting with him.

 

Considering that Draco had just come back from his trip to France yesterday afternoon, the Malfoy Lord suspected that the Dark Lord wanted to talk about his son's future in the Death Eater ranks. With happy dreams of how Draco would be the first of his classmates to receive the Dark Mark, Lucius knocked on the door to his most eloquent guest room, where Lord Voldemort currently resided.

 

Instead of the usual “Enter”, the door opened wordlessly on its own. Shrugging his shoulders, Lucius Malfoy entered the guest room. When he saw that the sitting room was empty while the door to the bedroom was ajar, he suspected that the reason behind the lack of a vocal invitation was due to his Lord still being busy in the other room.

 

While it was basically his couch, Lucius didn't dare to just sit down on the soft black leather furniture without a prior invitation, less he angered the Dark Lord and risked the chance of Draco being initiated before the new term started. Therefore, he decided to walk around the room.

 

His feet led him towards the slightly opened door. Curious of what was keeping his lord from meeting him, he risked a short glimpse into the room and was surprised by what he saw. There on the big four-poster bed lay Lord Voldemort and next to him was none other than his sister-in-law, Bellatrix Lestrange.

 

He couldn't say that he was shocked that Bellatrix would cheat on her husband. Especially not if it was with their Lord. The woman apotheosized the Dark Lord and would do anything he asked of her. No, what surprised Lucius was that they were sitting rather close together, and—if he didn't know that he would be Crucioed for even thinking it—he would have said that they were having a post-orgasm cuddle.

 

Lucius came out of his shock when he heard the Dark Lord say his son's name. Interested, he perk up his ears.

 

“And because Draco is gay, this task should be even easier for him to fulfil.Therefore, Bella, it would please me immensely if you could teach him this very delicate art,” Voldemort told her, stroking her cheek lovingly.

 

“Of course, my Lord,” Bellatrix agreed, eager to be of use.

 

“If you excuse me, Lucius will be here any moment,” Lord Voldemort said in dismissal, as he got out of bed in all his naked snake-like glory and wandlessly dressed himself with a wave of his hand.

 

Not wanting to be caught eavesdropping, Lucius hurried away from the door.

 

“Ah, Lucius. I didn't hear you knock,” Voldemort said when he saw that his host had entered the sitting room.

 

“I'm sorry, my Lord,” Lucius replied. “When the door opened after I knocked on it, I assumed that you'd spelled the door opened,” he explained what happened, a bit afraid that he would be punished for entering without permission.

 

“Bella must not have closed it properly in her eagerness,” Voldemort said more to himself than to Lucius, but the blond man still heard him.

 

“Take a seat,” the Dark Lord said, pointing at the leather couch.

 

Quickly, Lucius did as he was asked and eagerly waited for his Lord to speak. Going by what he'd just overheard, Lucius assumed that the 'delicate art' the Dark Lord had referred to was the art of sexual pleasure. At least, this was the only art that made sense to the man.

 

He saw his assumption further confirmed by the fact that Draco being gay would make the task easier for his son and also that the request had been made in the Dark Lord's bed. So, he was surprised when, during their thirty minute talk, Lord Voldemort didn't mention at all that he wanted Draco to become his new lover. Instead, the Dark Lord explained to him that he would not mark Draco while he was still going to Hogwarts, less Dumbledore would throw him out of the school; something Voldemort did not want to happen.

 

What gave Lucius hope though, was that his Lord at least mentioned that he had a special task for his son. However, Voldemort told him that Bellatrix would inform Draco directly of what was expected of him as he didn't want the task to be known yet. Still, it bothered the blond man that he couldn't go around and boast that his son had caught the attention of their Lord.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Today must be my lucky day, Lucius thought as he was on his way from the Dark Lord's room to the library. If Bellatrix had closed the door, I would never have found out what the Dark Lord has planned for Draco. But why keep it a secret though? he wondered.

 

It can only be because Draco is still under age, Lucius mused, not able to come up with another explanation. As if it would bother me, the blond though, miffed.

 

“Draco,” Lucius called out when he spotted his son walking up the stairs, presumably on his way to his room in the north wing.

 

“Yes, father?” the younger blond inquired, walking to where Lucius stood.

 

“The Dark Lord has a special task for you,” he said, eager to inform his son about the good news. “Your aunt Bellatrix will inform you about the details later today. I want you to do your best to learn everything she teaches you,” he stressed.

 

“I will,” Draco promised. On the inside though, Draco was fearing what his crazy, torture-loving aunt would be teaching him.

 

“Good,” was Lucius short reply before he continued on his way towards the library. He had some books about the art of pleasure to find. It won't do if Draco only knows what Bellat knows. No, my son will have to know more than his aunt to surpass her to consolidate his place as the Dark Lord's lover, Lucius thought as he entered the library to began his search.

 

In the end, he had found four books he deemed suitable enough and presented them to Draco the next day with the order to read them andmore importantlypractise the movements/acts to perfection till the end of the new school year. Lucius' ambition went even so far that he promised his son that he would get him some sex toys to practise with before the week was over.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

You should never assume. You know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and me because that's how it's spelled.” — Ellen DeGeneres

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Poor Draco. If only Lucius had heard about the plebeian wordplay concerning 'assume', he may would have not been so fast into pressuring his son into having to learn how to perfectly pleasure a man. Because when Voldemort had been talking with Bellatrix, he hadn't asked her to train Draco in how to please him.

 

No, 'very delicate art' referred to the skill of Occlumency he wanted her to teach Draco. And why Draco being gay would make the task easier for him? Simple. The Dark Lord wanted Draco to become close to Harry. And if the blond would have to seduce the Boy Who Lived, then by all means, he should. Though, with the boys having been Dragon Pox vaccination partners, Voldemort believed that Draco would be able to get into Harry's good graces without having to whore himself out. Which only leaves one question open. Why didn't Voldemort tell Lucius what exactly his son's task was?

 

Mistrust? Wanting to play mind-games? No, Lucius simple wasn't an Occlumens. And as Lucius was prone to meet Albus Dumbledore be it in the ministry or at Hogwarts, Voldemort didn't want to risk the old headmaster finding out about his plans by seeing into Lucius' unprotected mind.

 

And so, the rest of Draco's summer holidays were spent learning Occlumency from his aunt and reading the books his father gave him. All the time wondering, but never daring to ask his father, why he wanted Draco to become the perfect lover for another man.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

AN: The updates for this story will be very slow as I have two other stories to continue. Also I would love if someone would be kind enough to beta (or at least proofread) this story. PM me if you're interested.

Next Update: Expect it about Christmas time.

Question: Which POV would you prefer for the next chapter—Draco's or Harry's?

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings:

Beta: animeroxursox

AN: As you can see Christmas has come a bit earlier this year. At least in regard to the promised update of this story. ;) And I also got a beta. :)

Anyway, thank you for the reviews. Here is the first real chapter of Dragon Pox-Relapse as the prologue was just to catch your interest. This chapter is in Draco's POV as it got one more vote than Harry's. Harry's POV will be the next chapter. Enjoy!

–-

-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 1 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

At the End of Dragon Pox

"... Draco did not travel by Floo powder straight from St Mungo's to the Leaky Cauldron to go to the Muggle world to buy himself an extended, Collector's Edition copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales to not read it together with Harry while they were at Hogwarts. He even planned to bring some of his own magical fairy tale books with him. And maybe over reading those books they could become friends or even something more than friends—at least that was what Draco hoped for. The one time he had slept with Harry had made him crave for more. And what a Malfoy wanted, a Malfoy got.

But for now, he would finally go back to the manor and do some research on Disneyland. It would not be good for him to be unprepared when Harry started to talk about his own trip when they were back at school. Besides his mother had told him to practise his French over the holidays, so she could not say anything against him visiting France, even if it was Muggle France... "

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Wednesday, 7th August 1996, Malfoy Manor

When Draco finally returned home after his unprompted shopping trip, his mother was there to greet him.

"Ah, Draco, dear. Welcome home," she greeted him as her blond boy stepped out of the Floo in the entrance hall of Malfoy Manor.

"Mother," he greeted her back as he got rid of some soot on his clothes.

"Everything went well I hope," Narcissa inquired.

"It did," Draco answered. "Better than expected actually. He immediately agreed to my peace offering. And after some awkward moments in the beginning, we got along rather well," he informed her. He left out that their temporal peace offering had went as far as shagging. Though, with Harry having been in a feverish daze, it didn't really count.

"That's good to hear, dear," his mother commented. She was relieved to know that her son had been able to get along with Harry Potter. If it looked like the side of the Dark Lord should lose the war, Draco would have a good chance to defect to the Light side and ask for their protection.

"But the Inoculation Room isn't the outside world," Draco admonished.

"No, but it's a good beginning," she said as they walked up the stairs towards Draco's rooms, already trying to think of a plan which would allow her son to strengthen the bond he'd formed with Potter without provoking the Dark Lord's anger.

"What I wanted to ask," Draco began. "I've been wondering if it would be okay if I spend a week or two in France?" the blond asked. With the Dark Lord living in their home, he didn't know if he was allowed to leave the manor, especially since he'd already been away for some days because of the Dragon Pox re-immunisation.

"We'll have to ask your father. But after having spent nearly a week in isolation, I would say that you earned a week of fun," Narcissa said with a smile. In her opinion, the less time her son spent at home, the lower the chances of the Dark Lord marking him or otherwise punishing her beloved son for her husband's failure a while ago.

"Thank you, Mum," Draco said, happy that his mother would support him in his endeavour. "And if Father should complain about not having enough time to organize everything for the trip, tell him that I plan to book a Muggle trip on my own. I wanted to try out the Muggle way of flying for some time anyway," he informed his mother.

The truth was that he wanted to plan the trip on his own so that his parents wouldn't know that he planned to stay for some time in the Muggle amusement park, which his father would never allow him to visit. At least not now that I'm sixteen. Back when I'd been six with no Dark Lord around, I'm sure that Father would have gone there with me had I asked. But those carefree times are long over, he thought with a sigh as he entered his rooms.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Thursday, 8th August 1996

The next morning Draco was beyond happy when his father told him that he was allowed to go on his trip to France. The only restrictions Lucius voiced were that Draco was only allowed to be away for one week and that he'd have to be back on the twenty-fourth at the latest.

"Thank you, Father," he formally thanked the older man. "I'll go to London today to get everything on its way. I should be back in time for dinner," Draco informed his parents of his plans for the day.

Back in his rooms, Draco went into his walk-in closet to change into Muggle clothes. In the end, he decided to wear a green shirt, a pair of dark blue jeans and a light grey business jacket—all, of course, designer brands.

As he wanted to leave the room, Draco's gaze landed on the desk where the Muggle fairy tale book he'd brought the day before lay. While he was curious to know what stories the book contained, he'd promised himself that he would read the stories for the first time together with Harry. Of course, only if the other boy agreed to his proposal.

With a last, longing look at the book and what it stood for, Draco left the room to Floo to the Leaky Cauldron from where he would enter the Muggle world to search for a travel agency.

Fortunately, the second travel agency he entered did have some last-minute seats for a trip to Disneyland left. And, as if this wasn't enough, the trip would start as soon as the very next day at 11:20am. Draco didn't hesitate to book himself a ticket right away, paying with one of his father's Muggle credit cards he'd 'borrowed' some years ago. Since his father wasn't missing it, he saw no reason to give it back just yet.

Thankfully he was already sixteen, had a Muggle passport and could book the trip himself. He really didn't know what he would have done if the legal age for signing travel contracts in the Muggle world had been eighteen. Probably would have asked my mother to sign it for me, he thought as he left the travel agency with a smile. It was time to find a nice restaurant or café for lunch.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Friday, 9th August 1996

Draco was relieved that it apparently wasn't too unusual for Muggles to be new to flying. This way his inexperience hadn't seemed out of the ordinary when he was a little bit lost at the check-in, he had to admit that he hated it that it took so long to get on the plane. Thank Merlin, he'd been advised by the travel agent to arrive at Heathrow early because he would need longer at the check-in because of his arrival at shortly before 8 am had given him ample time to get everything done.

While the flight from Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle only lasted an hour and twenty minutes, due to the time difference Draco landed in Paris at 1:40pm. On the way from the airport to the Disneyland Hotel, Draco thought about the flight. He couldn't decide if he liked that Muggle way of flying or liked the comfy seats, but he really missed the feeling of the wind around him and being able to do all the moves he wanted. The only options he had were to just sit in his seat and do nothing more than look out of the window or watch the film which was playing on TV.

Once they arrived at the hotel, Draco was glad to get out of the bus and away from all the parents with their loud and hyper excited children. Opposed to the other travellers who had received their Disneyland tickets by post a week ago, Draco had to wait until all the other people got out of the bus and grabbed their luggage to get his tickets and other information from the bus driver.

Because of this, it was already half past four when Draco was finally ready to leave the hotel and explore Disneyland for the first time. He had to say that for the park not being magical, it still created a magical atmosphere. What with all the little effects the Muggles had created with their technology and with what details they sometimes created in the scenes and attractions. And Draco had only started to explore a small area of the park and was far away from being done any time soon.

Thank, Merlin I still have six other days left to see everything, Draco thought as he returned to the hotel at around 8 pm. He was exhausted from the flight and from walking around all afternoon. Mum at least won't have reason to complain about not having practised my French, Draco thought as he fell down on the hotel's bed. He really didn't know what the other tourists here did to get what they wanted if the staff here stubbornly refused to speak anything but French.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Thursday, 15th August 1996

The flight back home took off at 4:15pm from Paris and Draco couldn't say how happy he was when the plane landed an hour later in London. If Draco had to spend one more minute with two hyperactive children sitting behind him, another one leaning over him to get a better look out of the window and the man sitting in front of him listening to his too loud Discman, he would go mad.

After getting his luggage it was nearly 5pm when Draco took the Floo home to Malfoy Manor and that only because of the one hour time difference between London and Paris. The blond was exhausted, but he couldn't say that he hadn't enjoyed himself in the last days. While he wished that he would have liked to have someone to explore the amusement park with him, he still had loved to explore the place.

Though, if he should visit the park again, he would go outside of the main holiday season. The lines to the attractions had been so long that he'd to wait for nearly an hour to get on some fairground rides. He could still remember the one time he stood in line for the Space Mountain. There a thirty-year-old man had made a scene just because he wanted to sit in the front-row seat of the teenaged boy who accompanied him and probably was his nephew had tried to calm down the man, but the man wouldn't take 'No' for an answer. In the end, the man and his nephew had waited until the next cars arrived so that they could sit at the front.

After calling for a house-elf to take care of his luggage, Draco went up the stairs to his rooms, wanting to lie down for a while before it was time for dinner with the Dark Lord. After having been able to avoid meeting the Dark Lord for the last two weeks, Draco wasn't very eager to meet the man again. But he would have no choice in the matter as his father insisted that he ate dinner together with the Dark Lord and the rest of the Death Eaters who were staying in their home. Kicking off his shoes, Draco lay down and fell asleep in minutes.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Friday, 16th August 1996

An unsuspecting Draco was walking up the stairs, having just enjoyed a Dark Lord free breakfast, when his father called him.

"Draco," Lucius called out.

"Yes, Father?" the younger blond inquired, as he walked down the stairs to meet his father in the floor below.

"The Dark Lord has a special task for you," he told his son, and Draco feared what task the Dark Lord would give him. Unlike his father, he was well aware that the Dark Lord still held a grudge against his family for Lucius failing to deliver the prophecy.

When he heard that his aunt Bellatrix would be the one to teach him, he already feared the worst. Draco really didn't want to learn how to torture another human being to insanity; thank you very much. Nevertheless, when his father told him do his best, he dutifully answered with, "I will."

An hour later Draco was relieved when his aunt told him that the object of his private lessons would be to learn how to shield his mind. In the one hour he'd been on his own, his mind had come up with one horrible vision after another that his aunt trying to penetrate his mind sounded harmless in comparison. And while a day wasn't much, it still gave him the chance to go to the library and search for a book on Occlumency, which he studied keenly till the late hours of the night.

There were things he didn't want his crazy aunt to see, especially not the memory of how Hermione had slapped him or how Harry had fucked him.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Saturday, 17th August 1996

The next morning, he'd met Bella in one of the empty dungeon rooms. Draco couldn't say that he was surprised about his aunt's choice of training room. As he'd expected, his aunt started her attack even before Draco had fully entered the room. And as he felt how she was brutally attacking his mind, Draco was more than happy that he'd seemed to be able to ward off the brunt of her attacks somehow.

And while at the end of the lesson Draco seemed to have a natural talent for Occlumency, he was still utterly exhausted after he'd been mind-raped for three hours without pause. So, it wasn't surprising that he wasn't in the best of moods when his father knocked on his door.

"Draco," he heard his father call and felt obligated to answer him with, "Come in."

"I have something for you," Lucius explained as he handed over the four books he'd found in the library which he'd considered suitable for his son to read.

"Ehm, thanks?" Draco asked ineloquently. He had no idea why his father should bring him some books. He'd finished his summer homework long ago. Looking at the title of the book at the top of the small stack, he doubted that 'The Indian Way of Pleasure and Pain' would have been a helpful reference for any of his essays, anyway.

"You'll read all these books and practise the skills described in them to perfection until the end of the coming school year," his father informed him matter-of-factly. "I'll acquire you some practice tools in the coming weeks," his father added before he left the room without another word.

What the hell is his problem? Draco wondered as the door closed behind Lucius. Wasn't learning Occlumency enough? Now his father wanted him to read book about kinky sex? But for what reason? Draco thought as he ruffled through the stack. Just reading the titles made him believe that his father must have gone insane.

'Man's Greatest Pleasure is Submission', 'Pederasty- What talents an Eromenoi should have' and 'How to bedazzle your Erastês' together with the first book title pointed in one direction only, his father wanted him to become the perfect lover for a dominant, older man. Though, the blond couldn't deny that he was curious to find out what tips the books suggested―as long as they weren't about SM.

But how this could be related to his Occlumency lessons with Bellatrix, Draco didn't know. Of, course, if he wanted to, he could ask his father why he should perfect the skills in the books. However, the only explanation the blond could think of was that his father planned for him to become the Dark Lord's lover. But as far as Draco knew, the Dark Lord wasn't interested in his own gender, the possibility alone prevented Draco from asking his father.

Nevertheless, it was a nice sight that his father apparently didn't mind that Draco was interested in males, but it still made Draco feel uneasy. But what bothered him the most was that his father wanted him to take on the submissive role in the relationship, which contradicted with what he'd been taught all his life: 'A Malfoy never submits and always gets what he wants!'.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Saturday, 31st August 1996

Father couldn't have meant for me to become Harry's lover? Draco wondered. I mean Bella explicitly told me that Father couldn't know about my task because he's rubbish at Occlumency, the blond thought as he searched for some Wizarding fairy tale books in the library to take with him to Hogwarts.

The blond couldn't describe how happy he'd been when his aunt finally told him why he'd to perfect Occlumency in two weeks. The task the Dark Lord had given him would give him the perfect reason to spend more time with Harry without having to worry about the Dark Lord punishing for it.

But as Draco packed three of his fairy tale books and the Muggle fairy tale book into his trunk, he realized that if Harry ever found out that the Dark Lord assigned him to become closer to Harry, whatever trust or friendship they'd built til then would be ruined.

Let's hope that Harry will never know, or that I will get a chance to calmly explain everything to him before he hears it from someone else, Draco thought as he closed his trunk.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Next Update: Expect it around February/March. (I warned you that the updates would be slow.)

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings: none.

AN: I'm really sorry that this is such a short chapter. But I hope that you'll still enjoy reading it.


-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 2 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

Sunday, 1st September 1996

Hopefully this year will be better than the last, Harry thought after the compartment door closed behind Ron and Hermione, who had to go to the Prefect Compartment.

He could hardly believe that only a month had past since the beginning of his dragon pox immunisation. So much had changed in the span of one month.

First, he had been positively surprised by how open Malfoy had been during their time in St Mungo's Inoculation Ward. Harry would never have imagined that the blond would so freely give away personal information about his childhood. And aside from some small disagreements and moments of awkwardness at the beginning of their stay, they'd gone along rather well. He wouldn't admit it to anyone, but secretly Harry really missed listening to Draco reading fairy tales to him.

Second, he'd finally visited Disneyland a day after Ginny's birthday. While he and Sirius had only been able to explore the park for two days due to their limited amount of Polyjuice Potion, those two days were still the happiest of his life and he would fondly remember the trip for the rest of his life. He couldn't describe how happy it had made him to just be a carefree teenage boy for a change while he also got to enjoy Sirius' happy laughter.

And third, even more joyous and life changing than their little trip to Paris, the letter Sirius had received at the end of last week. He didn't know how or why, but finally the Ministry had claimed that Sirius was innocent of the crimes they accused him off and therefore his godfather was now a free man again. At least on paper, since the Ministry had coupled the acquittal to certain conditions; Sirius wasn't allowed to leave the country for the next three years and had to be reachable at all times during the next year.

Since the later made it impossible for Sirius to stay at the unplottable Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, he was forced to move out of Grimmauld Place. Where his godfather had been staying since Monday, Harry hadn't known until this morning when an owl from Sirius arrived. And truthfully, Harry didn't know if he should be happy or afraid that Sirius would be teaching DADA this year. But at least we'll actually cast spells opposed to all the boring reading we had to endure during Umbridge's teaching last year. And even better, I'll see Sirius every day, Harry thought with a goofy smile on his face.

And finally there was thefourth change. Ever since he left the Inoculation Ward of St Mungo's behind, he'd been plagued by blurry images of a naked, moaning blond in his dreams and the faceless bodies in his sexual fantasies had more often than not changed into Draco Malfoy.

While, after the disastrous kiss with Cho , Harry had already wonderedif he may be bi or even gay, he'd still mostly imagined a female body when he'd wanked. So he assumed that he preferred women and was only slightly interested in his own gender. But with how his fantasies had suddenly changed, Harry was considering asking Dean or Seamus how they knew that they were gay or in Dean's case bi.

Harry was brought back from his thoughts when he heard the compartment door open. Turning his head around, he was surprised to see that instead of one of his friends, Draco Malfoy was entering his compartment.

"Hello, Potter," the blond greeted him after he closed the door behind him.

"Malfoy," he answered, not knowing what to think of the blond's sudden appearance. While he took the absence of Crabbe and Goyle as a good sign, Harry still didn't know what Draco wanted from him.

Deep down, he was hoping that Malfoy was here to ask about continuing the peace agreement they'd formed during their stay at St Mungo's. But Harry knew that this was an unrealistic hope. Here, out in the real world, it would be nearly impossible for them to be friends. Draco, the son of an 'imperiused' Death Eater and Harry, the Chosen One. Though I really miss spending time with the 'real' Draco,Harry thought wishfully, having dubbed the Draco he got to know in St Mungo's the 'real' one, while the mean Draco was the 'fake' Draco in his head.

"Listen, Potter," Draco began, demanding Harry's attention. "I know that with the Dark Lord being back and on the move, we won't be able to hold on to the peace agreement we made in the Inoculation Ward. However, I would really like to still spend some time with you and get to know you better."

"Me too," Harry suddenly blurted out. He'd been so surprised to hear the other boy voicing his own thoughts that the words unconsciously escaped his mouth.

A relieved sigh escaped Draco before he smiled and continued with his speech, "While it will be too risky for us to be seen together in public, I thought that we could meet each other once a week to talk and maybe even read some more fairy tales together," he suggested.

"That sounds great," Harry agreed, smiling shortly before his expression became sullen the next second when realisation struck him. "However, I have no idea how we can get a hold of the fairy tale books," he voiced the reason behind his fast change of mood.

"Don't worry, Potter," Draco said with a small laugh. "I brought three of my Wizarding fairy tale books from the manor and also bought a Muggle one in London. So we're all set."

Harry was speechless. For Draco to have brought the books with him, meant that the blond was really eager to continue whatever they had developed in the Inoculation Ward. That thought alone warmed Harry's heart.

"So, where will we be meeting?" Harry asked.

"I don't know. Maybe the room on the seventh floor you used last year?" Draco asked.

"The Room of Requirement? Yeah, that will work," Harry said. "Though, I can't give you a time yet since I don't know when the Quidditch sessions will take place."

"That's okay. We'll figure it out once we have our schedules and have set up the times for Quidditch practices. Just send me a note when you're free," Draco suggested.

"Will do," the brunet answered with a smile.

"Good. See you around then," Draco said before he turned around and left the compartment.

Did just now really happen? Harry wondered. The last five minutes felt so surreal that Harry could hardly believe that he hadn't fallen asleep and dreamed it all up. But before he could question himself further, the compartment door opened again and Luna Lovegood stepped in.

"Did Malfoy come in here to ask how you are?" the Ravenclaw asked him, proofing to him that Malfoy really had been here with him.

"Something like that," Harry mumbled.

Luna just smiled and opened up the latest edition of the Quibbler, leaving Harry to his thoughts.

Was he happy that he would be able to spend some more time with the 'real' Draco and hopefully get to know him better? The answer was yes. Though, he had no idea what spending more time with the blond would do to the crush he seemed to have developed for the other boy.

Besides, there was still the little problem with them being on different sides of the war. But hopefully Harry would be able to talk Malfoy into changing sides. But for now, Harry would have to make do with the protection Hogwarts offered and hope that the blond simply had enjoyed there time together as much as he had and wasn't scheming to lure him into a trap.

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Ten minutes after Luna had entered the compartment, Hermione and Ron came to visit Harry between their rounds. As they had been staying with their parents for the last weeks of the summer holidays, they hadn't seen Harry since Ginny's birthday party three weeks ago and therefore had a lot to catch up on.

So, before they'd noticed over an hour had passed, exchanging stories about the Burrow, Disneyland and Hermione's trip to Iceland. Ginny and Neville having joined them fifteen minuted into their talk.

"Any news from Sirius?" Ron asked.

"No," Harry lied. While he'd already told his friends in a letter that Sirius was now a free man, he wanted to see their surprised faces when it would be revealed at Hogwarts that his godfather was their new DADA teacher.

"I'm sure that he'll contact you soon," Hermione said. "Though, I'm really surprised that his acquittal wasn't featured in the Prophet."

"Yeah, it would be the perfect story for Skeeter," Ron commented.

"It is," Harry agreed. "But with the Ministry finally acknowledging that Voldemort is back, they'll can't allow the story to get out now. The people are already displeased enough with them as it is."

"Harry's right," Ginny voiced her thoughts. "However, it still would be a good thing to inform the public that Sirius is innocent. What good will it do for him if he can freely walk on the streets now, only to have the people call the Aurors as soon as they recognise him."

"Mhm," Hermione agreed. "Maybe I should try to contact Skeeter?" she thought out loud while Ron changed the topic of their talk to Quidditch.

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Harry and his friends were one of the last people to enter the castle. And while it wasn't surprising that the noise level during the Welcoming Feast was high, this year it was even louder than usual. And while Harry was sure that Sirius' presence was the reason behind the raised voices and excited whispers, his friends were left to guess the reason.

"Maybe Snape finally died," Ron suggested happily.

"RON! This isn't something to joke about," Hermione reprimanded him.

"Hey, you have to let a man hope," Ron answered, as they walked through the doors and spotted Snape sitting at the head table. "The slimy git is obviously still alive."

"That doesn't justify..." Hermione began but stopped mid-sentence when she saw Sirius sitting three seats away from the Potions master. "Sirius!" she exclaimed joyfully.

"Harry, Sirius is here," Hermione repeated, giving Harry a light shove in the rips when the boy beside her didn't show any reaction to her announcement.

"I know," Harry answered, a happy smile on his face. His friends' faces when they'd spotted his godfather had been as funny as he expected. "He is our new DADA teacher."

"Are you sure that this is a good idea?" Ron asked. "I would hate for you to lose him because of the curse on the DADA post," the red-head exemplified.

"Don't be so pessimistic, Ron," Ginny chided. "Be happy that we'll learn some really useful spells this year. Besides, Remus is still alive and well," Ginny appeased Ron's worries as they sat down on the Gryffindor table. Unknown to her she'd also effectively stopping Harry's own rising panic for his godfather's life.

To Harry's relief, after Dumbledore explained that Sirius wasn't a mass murderer, the pupils had calmed down and some were actually eager to once again have an Auror as a teacher. Though, the majority of the students were waiting for tomorrow's newspaper to confirm the headmaster's claim. Harry just hoped that Dumbledore was right that the Prophet would officially confirm Sirius' acquittal tomorrow.

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Next Update:Expect it around May/June. It will be Draco's POV.

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings: None this chapter.

AN: Super early update due to a beetle wanting me to write her article which makes up over a quarter of this chapter.


-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 3 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

Monday, 2nd September 1996, Great Hall, Hogwarts

When Draco Malfoy walked into the Great Hall on the first day of classes, he didn't know how he could have been so lucky yesterday. First, Granger and Weasley had been assigned the first rounds on the Hogwarts Express, leaving Draco free to search the train for Harry. And then, when he'd found the brunet, he was all alone in his compartment. This gave him the perfectopportunity to approach Harry without fearing that one of Harry's friends would destroy his chance by insulting himor starting a fight Draco didn't want.

So, with the rest of the Golden Trio absent, Draco gave Harry the little speech he'd come up with during breakfast without being rudely interrupted by Granger or his motive being questioned by Weasley. He'd debated long with himself if he should include the whole 'we're on different sides of the war' aspect, fearing that it would make Harry decline his offer. But as it was well known to the brunet that Lucius was a Death Eater, he'd decided to compromise by mentioning the Dark Lord while on the same time leaving out where his own loyalties lie.

He knew that this way of opening his speech was still risky, so imagine his surprise when half-way through the speech Harry already voiced his interest to start off where they'd left off in St Mungo's. Draco couldn't believe that Harry had so easily agreed to his idea of reading fairy tale books without him even second guessing Draco's motive behind it. It was like Harry too missed the easy and relaxed atmosphere reading had brought them.

Draco just hoped that the other boy hadn't changed his mind over night or had told his friends about it. They surely would forbid Harry to meet him, especially alone.

Now, I just have to wait until Harry writes me a time and hope that I won't get into a fight with Weasley in the meantime, Draco thought as he sat down at the Slytherin table. He knew Harry well enough that insulting his friends would make Harry think twice about spending time with him.

He'd only poured himself a glass of pumpkin juice when hundred of owls flew into the Great Hall, delivering letters from parents and the Daily Prophet.

Let's see if the old fool was right about Black's innocent being made public, Draco thought. As the son of a Death Eater he knew long ago that Pettigrew and not Black was the mass murderer everyone was so afraid of. But through his father's work at the ministry he was also well aware that the minister tried to sweep any failures under the rug, especially at times when his reputation was already at question.

After paying for his copy of the Prophet, he opened the front page to indeed find what Dumbledore had promised would be printed today.

~Ministry Made SIRIUS Mistake!

-an article by Rita Skeeter-

My dear readers, you won't believe me but the infamous mass murderer Sirius Black is innocent. I NNOCENT ! Who would believe this? Certainly not I if I hadn't seen the proof with my very own eye s.

The battle at the Min i stry of Magic in June ( see page 3 for more information) had not only led to the M inistry finally acknowledging You-know-who's return, but also to the arrest of several Death Eaters. Amongst them were the Lestrange brothers. During their interrogation they'd boasted how Bellatrix Lestrange had killed her cousin Sirius Black during the fight, l aughing all the while about how dumb the Aurors were to believe that Black had been a dangerous criminal.

When asked by one of the Aurors present at the interrogation to clarify what they were talking about , they readily answered with big smirks on their faces. As it turned out, not Sirius Black but Peter Pettigrew had been the secret keeper of the Potters. To avoid Azkaban, Pettigrew had come up with a scheme to frame Black for the deed and succeeded in assigning the blame to his friend .

"To bad the man is dead," Rodolphus Lestrange had ended his story, laughing like mad. Unbeknownst to the Death Eater (AND the Ministry!) , his wife hadn't succeeded in killing her cousin. Under the believe that Sirius Black was dead, the Ministry dropped all charges against the man. However, when Albus Dumbledore informed the Ministry in August that Sirius Black was still alive, they changed their verdict.

While they still dismissed all charges against him for killing 12 Muggles and Peter Pettigrew, they still h e ld him accountable for breaking out of Azkaban three years ago. This, of course, makes me wonder why? Mister Black shouldn't have been in Azakaban in the first place, s o how can our Ministry even consider to charge him for leaving a place he had no reason to be in?

Of course, this leads to the question how Sirius Black could have even been thrown into Azkaban. While I haven't uncovered the answer yet, I promise you, m y dear readers, that I won't rest until I unravel this truth too. But for now, do not let us forget what w as already revealed.

I t is outrageous that our justice system makes their verdicts depend on the status of the accused. Are the crimes committed suddenly less serious when the criminal is death? The answer is a clear 'No!' So why is Sirius Black suddenly charged for breaking out of Azkaban now that the Ministry knows he's alive.

And what is even worse, the Ministry had no intention to reveal the serious mistake that made all the years ago. The only reason why you're able to read about it now is that Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, hired M iste r Black as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. Oh, how scared must the pupils have been yesterday when they still believed that they had a mass murderer as a teacher.

We at the Daily Prophet wish Mister Black the best of luck as a professor and may he be spared from the curse on the Defence Against the Dark Arts position.

Yours faithfully,

Rita Skeeter~

By the time Draco had finished reading the article, the Great Hall was already in an uproar. The students were excitedly talking, more than one looking at the Head Table where Sirius Black sat, calmly drinking his tea.

No reference about Black being Potter's godfather? Draco wondered as he lay down the paper. It is completely unusual for Skeeter to miss the chance to write something about Potter, he thought as he prepared his toast. But hopefully, now that the article is out, Potter can stop worrying about his godfather.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Draco had to say that Black was a good, if annoying teacher. DADA certainly won't be as boring as last year, he thought, remembering the random pranking spells Black threw during class.

"'Constant Vigilance!' is becoming even more necessary than when Barty had taught during fourth year," Theodore Nott commented from Draco's right.

"I'm surprised that he doesn't favour Potter and his friends," Daphne Greengrass voiced her opinion.

"Yeah, he's sending more spells in their direction than at anyone else," Theo agreed.

Draco didn't comment, instead watching Harry take his seat at the Gryffindor table. When the brunet sent a small smile his way, Draco became hopeful that he would soon receive a note from Harry, informing him of a meeting time.

Halfway through the meal, two owls landed next to Draco. One he recognised as his father's owl, while the other was one of the school owls. Assuming that the school owl was sent by Harry, Draco opened the note first, laying the letter from his father aside, wanting to read it later in the privacy of his bed.

~Thursday, 7 pm

You-know-who's best friend ;)~

Really, he Dark Lord's best friend? Draco thought astonished when he noticed how Harry had signed the note. Everyone with a brain would know that one of the good guys wrote this,he thought with a shake of his head.Better destroy it before anyone else can get their hands on it, the blond decided and set the note aflame.

Seeing that his little spell had drawn attention to himself, amongst them Harry's curious green eyes, Draco gave a small nod into the brunet's directing, agreeing to the suggested meeting time.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Thursday, 5th September 1996

Draco was nervous. During the last days he didn't have any contact with Harry outside from their shared classes and passing each other in the halls. In fact, Draco had tried his best to avoid Harry, and especially his friend Weasley, to avoid a fight between them that could make Harry change his mind.

As the blond walked up the stairs to the seventh floor, he wondered how they would behave around each other in private outside of the isolated Inoculation Ward. While they would be on their own, Harry wouldn't be dependent on him like he'd been in St Mungo's. So, they only thing making them hold on to their new peace agreement would be their own desire to get to know the other boy better.

I hope that Harry likes the book I picked out for today, Draco thought as he stood in front of an inconspicuous door. Taking a final deep breath, Draco grabbed the door handle and opened the door to the room Harry created.

"Hey," Harry's voice greeted him from a big, comfy grey sofa.

"Hey, yourself," Draco greeted back, taking a look at the room.

The room was rather small and bare. Besides the couch, it only held a coffee table, as well as a fireplace with a rug in front of it.

"I brought us a snack from the kitchen," Harry said, pointing at the bowl of cookies and the jug of juice on the table.

"Thank you," Draco answered, glad that he would have something to drink if his throat got dry from reading out loud for too long.

After placing his knapsack on the ground next to the free end of the couch, Draco picked out the books he brought with him. "That's the Muggle fairy tale book and this is my copy of 'Finlay* the Brave'," he explained as he handed the books over to Harry.

While the atmosphere between them was friendly, they still felt awkward with Harry gingerly thumbing through the books in his hands while Draco watched the other boy in silence. So, to try and make them more comfortable, Draco asked, "So, which book would you like to start with?"

"Ehm..." Harry hesitated, considering if favouring either book could somehow anger the blond. "The Muggle one?" Harry asked cautiously.

"Okay," Draco agreed. He wouldn't have minded starting with either of the books, but as he didn't know the stories from the Muggle one, he'd hoped that Harry would pick that one first.

"Let's begin with the first story," Draco said, opening the book. "This story is called 'The frog king or iron Heinrich'," he told Harry, both boys getting comfortable at their end of the grey couch. Draco just hoped that by the end of the first story they both would be relaxed enough to talk and get to know each other better. And if not, he could always read another story or two to make them more relaxed.

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Finlay: Celtic name which means 'fair warrior'

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

AN: I hope you like this chapter. Most likely I'll switch between Harry's and Draco's POV with each chapter.

Next Update: Expect it around May/June. (This time for real.)

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

AN: Finishing this chapter took me a longer than I hoped and it also turned out shorten than I thought. But as Real Life is still very stressful for me, my updating schedule is all mixed up with delays of 1-2 months.


-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 4 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

Thursday, 5th September 1996

It was a quarter to six in the evening, when Harry sat on his bed in the Gryffindor sixth-year dorm. While he thought that reading fairy tales with Draco was a good idea on Sunday, today he was second-guessing his decision.

Maybe Draco changed his mind? he wondered. But he'd especially bought a Muggle fairy tale book and brought it with him to Hogwarts. So he must really want to spend time with me, a hopeful voice argued back in Harry's head. Besides, he hasn't insulted me or my friends even once this year.

Having signed the note with 'You-know-who's best friend' could have insulted him, his insecurity voiced itself. But he nodded in agreement anyway, Harry argued.

Arguing with myself won't bring me anywhere. My time is better spend with finding something to make it more comfortable for us, he finally ended the discussing with himself and got up from his bed.

"I could really use a snack," Ron suddenly announced, unaware of the tumultuous thoughts Harry had seconds ago.

"I'll come with you to the kitchen," Harry said. Yep, cookies and a drink sounds like a good idea to lighten the mood.

Half an hour later, Harry was sitting in the Room of Requirement. And while the room he'd conjured was rather bare, it at least was neutral enough to not bring up any house rivalries.

I really hope that Draco will come and that this isn't a trap to embarrass me in front of the other Slytherins, Harry thought. He could easily imagine the blond saying something along the lines of "Poor, little Harry. With his mummy and daddy death, he had no one to read fairy tales to him."

But he seems so genial, when he approached me on the train. And when we were in the Inoculation Ward he was so open with me. He wouldn't have told me about his childhood when this is a trick, Harry argued.

Why can't Draco just show up and relieve me from all the second-guessing, Harry thought with a pout on his face. And just as if he'd called out loud, Harry heard the door to the room open and Draco stepped in.

"Hey," he greeted the other boy.

"Hey, yourself," Draco greeted back, looking around the small room.

Harry was relieved that this wasn't a trick and that the blond really wanted to spend some time with him. So, to overcome the awkward silence he said, "I brought us a snack from the kitchen," pointing at the bowl of cookies and the jug of juice on the table.

"Thank you," the blond answered.

"That's the Muggle fairy tale book and this is my copy of 'Finlay the Brave'," Draco said as he handled the books over to Harry.

After Harry had decided that they would start with the Muggle fairy tale book, both boys got comfortable on their end of the couch.

"Let's begin with the first story," Draco said, opening the book. "This story is called 'The frog king or iron Heinrich'.

"In the olden days, when wishing still worked, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful; but the youngest daughter was so lovely that even the sun, who has seen many things, was struck with wonder every time he shone on her face..." Draco began to read the fairy tale.

"...And twice more they heard the same cracking noise, and each time they thought it was the carriage, but each time they were wrong: it was an iron band breaking away from Faithful Heinrich's heart, because his master was safe again," Draco finished the story a while later.

They were both silent for a minute, letting the story consume their thoughts, before Draco spoke up, "I'm surprised that the story is called the frog king, when the frog only turned out to be a prince."

"I wonder what would happen if you threw Umbridge against a wall?"

"She certainly wouldn't look worse. Though the note here says that originally the frog had to be beheaded by the princess to change back," Draco answered, having skimmed the additional notes.

"Now that would be something to think about," Harry said and both boys laughed.

After they both enjoyed images of a dead Umbridge, Draco suddenly asked out of the blue, "Was there a reason why you signed the note with 'You-know-who's best friend'? You know, only a Gryffindor and Dumbledore devoted would even dare to write such a thing."

Harry sheepishly ruffled his hair. "Eh, that. At first I signed it with 'You know who', but it reminded me too much of Voldemort," here Draco shuddered at the name, "and then I had the idea to add 'best's friend'. It sounded funny at that time," Harry explained.

However, mentioning Voldemort had changed the previous at ease atmosphere back into an awkward one. So, to change the topic to something lighter, Draco asked, "How comes that Skeeter didn't mention you at all in her article about Black?"

Harry hesitated, and then answered, "Ehm, let us just say that Hermione had something to do with it."

Harry had been very relieved when Hermione had told him that she was still able to blackmail Rita Skeeter to not write another horrid story about Harry. The little article about his Dragon Pox immunisation had been enough already.

"So, how do you like Sirius as a teacher?" Harry asked. He was curious to know what an outsider thought of his godfather's teaching methods.

"He certainly is better than Umbridge or Lockhart," Draco answered.

"Which isn't hard to achieve," Harry commented, wanting to draw some more details out of Draco.

"That's true. If he would stop throwing around all the hexes, he would be one of the better teachers. Though, with him targeting you and your friends the most, he was able to collect some brownie-points with my fellow Slytherins."

"And not with you?" Harry asked. He'd noticed how Draco had excluded himself in the last statement.

To get some additional time to come up with a good answer, Draco busied himself with filling both glasses with the juice Harry had gotten for them and very slowly took a sip. While he wanted to be truthful, he also didn't want to aggravate Harry by badmouthing his godfather and lose any chances of them meeting again next week.

"To answer your question, if he hadn't dared to throw a hair changing charm at me today, he would still be in my good books," he said, hoping that Harry could understand where he came from.

"I could always ask Sirius to not target your hair," Harry offered, not offended at all.

"And he would just try harder to turn it pink with bright green polka dots."

"He would do that, yeah," Harry agreed, taking a bite out of a cookie to cover up his embarrassment. He shouldn't have spoken without thinking first.

"These cookies are delicious. They taste just like the ones I enjoyed as a child," Draco commented after he took a first bite out of his cookie.

"Your family's ex-house-elf Dobby gave them to me," Harry admitted, unsure how Draco would react to that statement.

"I didn't know that he baked too. I thought he was only father's personal elf," Draco said.

"You're not mad with me that I freed him?" Harry asked worriedly.

"No. I didn't have any real contact with him. The only times I saw him was when my father used him as a messenger or when he was tasked to bring me to him. And considering Dobby's methods, I'm rather happy that we're rid of him," Draco answered truthfully.

"Yeah, Dobby's methods aren't always the safest," the brunet agreed. "He sent Bludgers after me in second year."

"During the game against Slytherin?" Draco asked. "That explains much. At least he didn't drag you through the garden pond when you were six, just because your father told him to bring his son straight to him."

"He took the 'straight' literally, didn't he?" Harry asked.

"Hmm," Draco hummed around a mouthful of his second cookie. "So, do you want me to read another fairy tale?" he asked.

Looking at the time, Harry saw that it was already after eight fifteen. "I would like to read another one, however Ron and Hermione must be already wondering where I am. Maybe we can meet again another time?"

"How about Saturday afternoon?" Draco asked.

"I should be able to get away unnoticed for some hours then," Harry agreed. "Around two?" he asked.

"Sounds good," Draco agreed.

"It's a date then," Harry answered. He got up from the couch, only now noticing that he and Draco had unconsciously moved closer to each other as they talked. After he picked up the jug of juice, he asked the blond if he wanted another cookie. After Draco got two more for himself, Harry also picked up the bowl and then walked towards the exit.

"See you Saturday," he said. With his hands full, he at least didn't have to worry about whether or not he should offer Draco his hand in farewell.

"See you," Draco answered with a nod of his head.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

When Harry lay in his bed three hours later, he was thinking back about his first meeting with Draco. He had to say that all in all it went rather well. Yes, the atmosphere had been awkward some of the time and they had more than once brought up a controversial topic. But as they both seemed to make an effort, neither of them took any real offence. Besides, he couldn't help but to admit that Draco still had a very nice reading voice.

I wonder how the next meeting will turn out, Harry thought. He certainly was interested to see what Wizarding fairy tale story Draco had chosen. Knowing him, it involves some dragon or another, he mused.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

AN: If you have an idea for the Wizarding fairy tale "Finlay the Brave", feel free to leave your idea in a review.

Next Update: Expect it around October/November? I can't make any promises right now. Just take a look at my profile too see the current updating schedule.

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings: non-consensual/forced oral-sex/rape, implied murder

AN: Sorry for not updating for over half a year. While I warned you that the updates would be irregular, I did not plan to not post anything for such a long time. I also noticed that this story was getting too slow paced, so I'll skip a month ahead in time. I hope you enjoy the longer and also darker than usual chapter.

-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 5 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

Thursday, 5th September 1996

The first thing Draco did when he entered the Slytherin sixth year dormitory was to hide the fairy tale books he'd taken to the Room of Requirement before his dorm mates could come back. As he moved the books deep inside his trunk, below his winter glows and scarf, his eyes fell on the letter he received from his father on Monday together with Harry's note.

The blond did not need to open the letter to remember the three words that haunted his nights.

~Don't stop practising.~

He did not know why his father was so intent on him becoming the perfect submissive lover. At least the first meeting with Harry went without too much trouble, he thought as he threw himself down on his bed, exhausted from just thinking about all the sexual skills his father wanted him to acquire during the next months. Learning how to deep-throat that stupid, overly large dildo could wait for another day. Tonight, he just wanted to relax and enjoy the memory of the time he'd spent with Harry and not think about the possibility that his father wanted him to become the lover of the Dark Lord.

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Saturday, 7th September 1996

Draco was excited. So far, this weekend had been perfect. Yesterday night, he, for the first time, succeeded in deep-throating the damned dildo for more than five secondsand this morning,his mother had sent him a whole package of his favourite chocolates, he caught the Snitch thrice during the two hour long Quidditch practice and now he was on his way to meet with Harry, his copy of 'Finlay the Brave'securely hidden in his inner robe pocket and a box of chocolates to share with the brunet was poking out of his outer pocket.

"Hello, Harry," he greeted when he saw that Harry was already inside the Room of Requirement, waiting for him on the couch.

"Hey, Draco," the brunet said in greeting, sitting on the couchthat was part of an exact copy of the room he had created the last time they met.

"I hope you do not mind that I copied you and brought us something to eat," the blond answered and put the box of chocolates on the table. Sitting down next to Harry, Draco opened the box, offering Harry to make the first pick.

"Who could say no to chocolate?" Harry asked rhetorically, sharing a smile with the blond as he decided on a piece of milk chocolate with an almond on top of it. "Thank you," he said, before he put the piece into his mount, humming in pleasure as the chocolate melted on his tongue.

Placing a piece of dark chocolate covered in pistachiosinto his mount, Draco open his robes to pull out his fairy tale book. "Shall we start with the first story?"

"Why don't we start with your favourite one?" Harry asked, sure that the blond had chosen the book withhis favourite Wizarding fairy tale in it as the first one to read from.

"That would be 'Finlay, the painter and the dragon*,'" Draco said, thumbing through the pages until he reached a page near the middle of the book.

"Once upon a time there was a Muggle painter who unknowingly entered the lair of a Welsh Green. As soon as the dragon's eyes spotted him, he snarled at the painter for disturbing him in his cave," Draco began reading the story.

"But the Muggle was clever and so he said to the dragon, 'Listen, dragon. You have no reason to kill me, I can even be of help to you.'

"'How could you possibly help me? You, a simple Muggle who is so weak and tiny! Do you know how to do anything at all?' the dragon mocked.

"'Well, I'm a great painter. I can see that your scales have faded a bit and with just a lick of paint I could help you to be much scarier,' the Muggle offered.

"The vain Welsh Green thought for a while, and soon decided to spare the painter's life on the condition that he would become his slave and paint and decorate him to his taste. And so the Muggle painter became the dragon's slave, repainting the dragon's scales whenever he wanted, being forced to follow the dragon everywhere."

Here Draco stopped and shoved the book closer to Harry so that the other could better see the moving picture on the double page. Harry was fascinated by all the different designs which the painter drew on the dragon, changing from a poisonous green to an angry red to a fiery orange with yellow dots over to an icy blue. And while he did not ask out loud, Harry still wondered when the namesake of the book would make an appearance in the story as Draco turned over to the next page.

"A year did pass by before Finlay heard about the painter's fate," Draco read on. Curious about who this Finlay was, Harry listened closely as the blond told the story.

"It took the brave Finlay eight weeks before he was able to finally find the Muggle painter and the dragon. Not wanting to make a hasty decision, Finlay followed the two for three days as they moved through woods and over water. During this time, he saw that the Muggle painter actually enjoyed the company of the Welsh Green. If the dragon would just treat the painter better and ask instead of demand, everything would be perfect, Finlay thought.

"The clever Finlay did not need long to come up with a plan to help the painter," Draco read on, his voice sounding more excited than before. "Changing into his dragon form, he used his magic to get thrice as large as the Welsh Green. Waiting for the right moment, he lured the dragon into a trap.

"'You dare to disturb me', Finlay snarled angrily at the dragon.

"And just as he planned, the Welsh Green answered, 'Listen, oh majestic dragon. You have no reason to kill me, I can even be of help to you. With me fire, I can roast your meet and warm your bed.' And so, Finlay accepted, forcing the Welsh Green to do everything he demanded.

"Only a week had passed, before Finlay overheard the dragon talking to the painter in the middle of the night. 'Now that it's happened to me, I've realised what I did to you. Forgive me, I shouldn't have abused my strength and my size," the dragon said and set the painter free.

"The painter felt happy at having been set free, but seeing the dragon, for whom he had felt much affection, and who had understood the injustice of his actions, he stayed close by, trying to think of a plan to liberate the dragon. And so, Finlay did not say anything when he watched through lidded eyes as the Muggle painter painted a set of rocks into a beheaded dragon and re-painted the Welsh Green's scales to resemble the rocks." Here, Draco stopped and showed Harry the moving picture of the scene.

"Finlay had a hard time to suppress his amusement, as he roared in faked anger over the painted rocks that even in the light of day looked like the perfect image of the Welsh Green. When he thought that he played the role of the outraged captor long enough, Finlay took off into the air with a happy heart, content to know that from now on the Welsh Green would treat the Muggle painter fairly," Draco finished reading the story.

Harry did not know what he should think about the story. On the one hand, this Finlay had helped to free the Muggle painter. But on the other hand, Harry did not like Finlay's method. And while the story did show that a simple Muggle painter could outdo even the best (Dis)illusionment Charm, it still showed how easily they could be enslaved.

"So, why is this your favourite story of the book?" Harry asked. "Because it has two dragons in it?" he suggested.

Draco laughed. "Actually, no. The reason why I liked this story so much as a child was because the pictures fascinated me. I still love how, even without possessing magic, the Muggle painter is able to create so much with just a bit of paint."

"Yes, the Muggles can be really creative," Harry agreed, thinking back about his stay in Disneyland. "There was this 3D film they showed in Disneyland. It felt liked I was back in a Pensive memory."

"Hmm," Draco hummed in agreement. "I was really surprised when I suddenly felt the rat tails moving against my legs."

"You went there too?" Harry asked, getting excited.

"Yes," Draco confirmed. "When you talked about it during the Dragon Pox immunisation, it got me curious. So I booked a last minute trip to Paris."

"That's cool!" Harry said, his eyes shinning with happiness and unconsciously moving closer to Draco. "What did you like best? I really loved the Space Mountain."

"There were these strange British men when I was waiting in line for the Space Mountain. For some reason, the older of the two did insist that they get a seat in the first car," Draco told Harry.

"That were probably Sirius and I," Harry said, taking a chocolate from the box on the table to hid his embarrassment.

"That was you?" Draco exclaimed in surprise, also eating a chocolate.

"Eh, yes," Harry admitted, embarrassed about his godfather's childish behaviour. "Since Sirius' name was not cleared yet, we had to use Polyjuice Potion. So, what was your favourite ride?" he asked again to change the topic.

"Also the Space Mountain. But I liked the Dragon's Lair the best," the blond said as he lazy let a chocolate fall into his mouth.

"Figures," Harry said with a shake of his head, also enjoying another chocolate, both boys smiling happily at each other enjoying the comfortable silence as they finished the box of chocolate Draco brought as they compared their experiences of Disneyland.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

During the rest of September, Harry and Draco met up five more times, reading some more stories from the Muggle and Wizarding fairy tale books, talking about Quidditch, Disneyland and their classes and even spending a whole rainy afternoon together playing Dragon Reserve.

And while they did only spend much more than five hours a week with each other, both boys felt that a friendship was securely developing between them. Even the initial moments of awkwardness during their first two meeting were gone by the third time they met. It was nice to know that the other also wanted them to become friends. Just knowing that they had honest intention towards each other stopped them from over-thinking what they should or shouldn't say. It was nice to just relax in the other's presence instead of walking around eggshells all the time.

Draco had to admit that he greatly enjoyed the time he spent in Harry's company. It certainly was a good change from Slytherin house. Being with the brunet seemed to be the only time when he could forget all about his father's crazy plans for him and just be himself.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Saturday, 5th October 1996, Hogsmead

With the beginning of October more than one aspect of their relationship changed. Apparently the Dark Lord was not happy with Draco's lack of progress in getting closer to Harry. While Draco did assure in his cryptic letter to the Dark Lord that he was slowly gaining Harry's trust, the fact that the boys were meeting in secret did not help to proof his words.

So, during the first Hogsmead weekend of the year, Draco was 'asked' by his father to meet with his aunt Bellatrix in the Hog's Head. To say that the blond was looking forward to the meeting was a great overstatement, especially since afterwards he was to got to the Three Broomsticks, where his father was waiting for him in a private room.

Just wanting to get the ordeal over with, Draco entered the Hog's Head, his Occlumency shields up to full strength, less his aunt saw something she should not see.

After looking around the room twice, Draco still did not see his aunt. Figures, he thought. As insane as she is, she still would not walk around Hogsmead without a Disillusionment Charm or a Polyjuice Potion.

"Don't stand there like a troll," a husky, female voice suddenly whispered from behind into his ear before his arm was taken into a strong grip, the woman's sharp fingernails clawing into his skin as he was dragged into a dark corner of the pub.

"Aunt," he greeted. Even with the changed face, the particular style of clothing the young brunette woman wore gave him no doubt that the woman sitting across from him was his aunt.

"Nephew," she greeted back. "How is your task going?" she asked, coming right to the point of her visit.

"Good. We met seven times during the last month," he informed her, even though she probably already knew this from his report to the Dark Lord.

"Not quite enough to get close to him, is it?" she rhetorically asked. "But do not worry, deary," she added in her sickly-sweet voice, "the Dark Lord is very gracious to you and ordered Snape to pair you with Potter for a long-term project in his class. He expects to see the first results by Halloween," she said, smiling at him. But even the lovely hearth-shaped face she received from the Polyjuice Potion could not cover up her insane lust for his failure. Draco could positively feel her desire to punish him if he could not present the Dark Lord with a sturdy proof that he and Harry were close.

"Don't let me down, nephew," she said in parting as she got up from her chair, and patted his hand, making Draco shudder. Somehow he knew that she meant 'Do not succeed and spoil my fun,' when she said to not let her down.

At least Snape will give me a reason to spend more time with Harry,Draco thought with a small smile when he left the Hog's Head three minutes later.

One down, one more to go,he remarked to himself as he entered the Three Broomsticks and walked upstairs. As he opened the door, he expected his father to wait for him with some more books and toys and be send back one his way to the castle to practise some more. But what he found was much worse. Much, much worse.

"Ah, Draco," his father greeted him, emptying the last bit of his brandy before he got up from the wingback chair. "I hope your talk with your aunt went well. Yes? Good," his father said when he nooded. "You did as told and perfected your oral skills?" he suddenly asked.

"Yes, father," Draco answered with a nod. "As I told you in my letter, I can fully deep-throat the dildo you gave me," he elaborated with red-tinted cheeks when his father gave him an expecting look.

"Good." Lucius smiled as he picked up a black and white stripped tie. "Let's see if you are as good as you claim."

Draco gulped, frantically looking around the room. He did not know if he was searching for a way out or just for a sex toy on which his father wanted him to demonstrate his oral skills. Surely he would not expect him to pleasure his own father. That would be beyond sick.

"The test subject is already waiting for us," Lucius said as he held out the tie for Draco. Relief flooded his body as he grasped on to the Portkey. But it was only short-lived. Wherever they were, Draco just wanted to leave again.

In the windowless room he found himself face to face with a bound up Muggle. The thirty-something year old man was gagged, his eyes full of terror, his hands tied behind his back, his feet chained to the legs of the chair, his trousers unzipped and his cock freed from the confinement of his underwear, leaving Draco no room to doubt what his father expected him to do to the man.

"Kneel, son," Lucius demanded. "Pleasure him as you would the Dark Lord."

Draco gulped. Once, twice, trice. His worst fear had just been confirmed. Father really wants me to become the Dark Lord's lover, his mind screamed at him.

"Draco!" his father warned him, his hand already gripping the hidden wand in his walking stick. Not seeing a way out of this mess, Draco felt no choice but to obey. Closing his eyes in resignation, he sank down to his knees between the Muggle's spread legs.

"Open your eyes," his father's voice demanded and Draco wanted nothing more than to close his eyes again. He could not look into the Muggle's face. Into the face of the man he was to force himself on. Draco felt sick to his stomach, but he knew that could not disobey when his father withhis hand still on his walking stick ordered him to suck the man's cock. Ordered him to swallow the large penis completely. Ordered him to worship the Muggle's penis like it was the Dark Lord's. Ordered him to not stop his ministrations until the Muggle had ejaculated in his mouth.

Draco could feel the tears forming in his eyes, so he blinked in fast succession to stop them from falling. He did not want to be here. He did not want to suck the cock of a stranger. He did not want to rape the Muggle. Merlin, he did not want to be the victim of his father's sick idea.

Letting out sobbing chokes around the Muggle's semi-errect cock, Draco hollowed his cheeks when his father instructed him to suck harder. He nearly chocked when his father griped his head and forced him to completely swallow the by now fully erect and large cock.

"Do not believe that the Dark Lord will make it easy for you," Lucius said, his grip on Draco's hair tightening as he dictated his son's pace. ake it easy for you," Lucius said, his grip on Draco's hair tightening as he dictated his son's pace. And a cruel pace he set. Fast and deep.

The sooner he comes, the sooner it will be over, the blond boy chanted in his head, motivating himself to continue with this madness. He just wanted to get out of this sick situation. To get away from this hell his father was forcing him into.

Draco could have cried out in relief when he tasted the bitter cum of the Muggle on his tongue.

"This will not do for the Dark Lord," Lucius scolded but the words barely registered in Draco's ears as he sank down on his heals, taking deep, calming breaths. He was still too shaken up from what had just happened and just wanted to leave to care about what his father had to say. He just wanted to get out of this sick hellhole.

"You must swallow everything he'll give you!" his father demanded. Draco ignored him in favour of wiping of the remainder of the Muggle's cum from his mouth, trying to stop his body from shaking.

"It's getting laid. Go back to the Three Broomsticks," his father ordered, his voice hard and displeased. "Practise until you can swallow it all. Get yourself a boytoy if you have to. But practise until you get perfect. I will not allow another failure next time."

'Next time.' The words repeated themselves in his head as his father but the black and white stripped tie into his hand and re-activate the Portkey.

Once his feet touched the ground of the private room in the Three Broomsticks, Draco threw up. He was utterly shaken from the previous thirty minutes. He felt utterly terrorized and helpless. He could and did not want to believe that what had just happened was anything more than a horrible, horrible nightmare.

The bitter smell of his vomit made him sick again. Leaning over, he hurled every little bit of food that was still left in his stomach on the floor. Pulling out his wand, he vanished the mess he made and let himself fall down on the wingback chair, his body still shaking. With the sleeve of his robe, he wanted to wipe away the remainder of the sick from his mouth, only to regret his move a second later. There, on the sleeve of his black cloak was a white stain. The cum of the Muggle and screamed at him that what just happened was not a simple nightmare but real.

It really happened,he thought in horror, his hands balling into fists. Only then did he notice that he was still holding onto the tie. The tie that probably belonged to the Muggle. Choking and than finally giving in to the tears that had wanted to fall since he realised his father's plan for him, Draco cried. He cried for what he had to endure. Cried for what he did to the poor Muggle; not even wanting to think what his father would do to the man. Cried for what he feared could come next. Draco cried until he had no tears left and his eyes were puffy and red. And even then dry sobs still overcame him.

With uneasiness Draco noticed how the sky got darker while his emotional tumult still did not want to go away. The blond tried his best to get his body to calm down. An hour, he thought when he laid eyes on the grandfather clock in one corner of the room. He only had one hour to get back in control before he had to go back to Hogwarts. Clawing his hands into the armrests of the wingback chair, he forced himself to take deep, calming breaths. Occlude your mind, Draco, he commanded himself.

One hour later, he let himself fall down on his bed in the Slytherin dormitory. Closing the drapes around his bed, he cast every locking and privacy spell he knew before he once again submitted himself to his tears. He still could not believe that his father did this to him. That his father wanted him to become the Dark Lord's lover. Father must have become insane from all the Cruciatus Curses the Dark Lord throws around, he thought.

It was past three in the morning when Draco finally succumbed to an exhausted, fretful sleep. The day's events still haunting him in his dreams. 'Next time' the words echoed in his mind, not wanting to leave him alone.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Finlay, the painter and the dragon is adapted from 'The Painter, the Dragon, and the Titan' as published under freestoriesforkids com

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

AN: Tell me what you think about my version of Draco's task(s) that terrify him.

Next Update: I'll won't make any promises. But I'll try to update in 3 months. Long, but somewhat realistic. It will be centred on Harry and his friend's reaction to the Potions project and thus will be less dark than this chapter.

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings: very short chapter

AN: Enjoy the next chapter in Harry's POV. And do not worry, the last chapter was as dark as the story will get.

 

-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 6 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

 

Sunday 6th October 1996

 

“ Everything alright, Harry?” Ron asked when he returned from the bathroom and saw his best friend sitting on his bed and looking worriedly at a small piece of parchment.

 

“Yeah, it's nothing,” Harry answered, hastily stuffing the parchment into his trouser pocket.

 

Ron shrugged his shoulders before they both made their way down the stairs into the common room. “By they way, you still did not tell me where you vanished to last Tuesday ,” the read-head stated.

 

“I was wandering around the castle before I ended up spending some time in the Room of Requirement,” Harry answered, omitting that he had purposefully walked towards the room to meet with Draco, where they spent the whole rainy afternoon talking and playing Dragon Reserve. It had been an enjoyable afternoon for both boys.

 

“Did anything happen?” Ron asked, worried. He and Hermione noticed that something was different with Harry. Since Wednesday morning something seemed to be off with their best friend. Thus, they assumed that something must have happened when Harry vanished on Tuesday.

 

“Nothing,” the brunet answered with a slight shake of his head before both boys greeted Hermione and walked downstairs to the Great Hall for breakfast. But opposed to his statement, something did happen, just not Tuesday afternoon. What plagued Harry w as the dream he had Tuesday night.

 

Ever since his Dragon Pox Immunisation the stars of his sexual dreams had more and more often been male rather than female, sometimes even changing their sex in the middle of a dream. Especially one dream where he was shaking a faceless blond had played repeatedly in front of his eyes during his sleeping hours. That that light shade of blond was exactly the colour of Draco's hair did not cross Harry's mind until Tuesday night when he had the dream again. However, this time the previously faceless young man had suddenly gained a face. Draco's face to be precise.

 

Having spent so much time with Draco yesterday must have triggered the change, Harry at first had thought. But when he had the exact same dream again on Wednesday and Thursday , where he did not have any contact with Draco outside if their shared classes, he started to wonder more and more about the dreams. With Draco's face present, the dreams suddenly felt more like a distant memory than an imaginary scene his mind and hormones created. But that cannot be true, Harry firmly told himself.

 

Why did this has to happen now of all things? Harry asked inside his mind as he buttered his toast. After there game of Dragon Reserve, he had finally felt like Draco was a real friend. A friend who was known inside Hogwarts to be gay. A friend Harry trusted enough to ask about how the blond knew that he was gay because he himself started to believe that he might be gay or at least bi.

 

But I cannot ask the star of my current sexual fantasies about this, Harry thought resigned as he added some jam to his toast. It would be too awkward if he asked why I am asking him about being gay. Or if he asked me, if there is anyone special I fancied, who made me question my sexuality, Harry thought. And not to forget that I can hardly look at him without having to think about my dreams. How kissable his swollen lips look as I move atop of him . With a shake of his head, Harry forcefully stopped his train of thought before his cheeks had a chance to turn red.

 

Still, I'm curious why he cancelled today's meeting . Looking around the Great Hall, he searched for the blond's distinctive hair but could not spot it among the students at the Slytherin table. Maybe he's ill? Harry wondered. The note he received this morning and was now lying in his trouser pocket did not say much.

 

~Sorry, I cannot make it today. Let's meet sometime next week. D.~

 

Did something happen to him in Hogsmead? Harry wondered. While he had seen the blond walk into the village, he had not spotted the blond in any of the shops while he was in Hogsmead or on his way back to the castle, which was very unusual. Even when they were still school rivals they saw glimpse of each other at least once an hour inside the village. I really hope that Draco is alright.

 

When Draco did not show up for dinner that night, Harry became really worried about the blond. Hastily eating his meal, Harry sprinted towards Gryffindor tower and took out the Marauders' Map. With relief he saw that Draco's name was not among the ones shown in side the Hospital Wing. Browsing through the map, Harry finally spotted Draco's name in the Slytherin dorms.

 

I really hope that he is okay, Harry thought as he went to bed, still wondering what had happened for Draco to cancel their meeting. Hopefully he has not found out about my dreams and wants to stay away from me because of them.

 

When Harry saw Draco's blond hair across the hall on Monday, he was relived. But once he was able to get a good look at Draco's face, he became slightly worried. The blond looked ill. He had dark circles under his eyes and his already pale skin looked nearly white now. Why isn't he in the hospital wing? Harry wondered. But when he asked the blond between classes, he only said that Madame Pomfrey would not be able to help him and that he would be okay again in a day or two.

 

Harry could only hope that the blond was right with his assumption. He really hated to see Draco in such a bad state.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Wednesday 9th October 1996

 

“Merlin, you really must have the worst luck ever,” Ron told Harry as they left the Potions classroom. Snape had just announced that for the next two months they would be brewing three very time consuming potions in the pairs he assigned.

 

“You know, Ron,” Hermione interrupted, “if you were not so determined on hating Malfoy, you would have noticed that his behaviour changed in the last month. And he knows what he's doing when it comes to Potions.”

 

“ She's right, you know,” Harry finally spoke up. “ I'm confident that it will go well. We have not quarrelled with him since the Dragon Pox Vaccination. At least with him as my partner the chance of the cauldron blowing up is non-existent,” he said, pointedly looking at Ron's partner, Terry Boot .

 

“ I have to give it to the ferret that he is good in Potions,” Ron grudgingly admitted, already imaging ten different ways of how his own assignment was bound to end in a disaster. While he and Terry were not as bad as Neville, they both still had barely made it into Snape's NEWTs level class.

 

“ Cheer up, mate,” Harry said, giving Ron a friendly pat on the shoulder. “If Hermione could brew the Polyjuice Potion in second year, I'm sure you can manage it on your own four years later.”

 

“ That's not the potion I'm worried about,” the red-head mumbled.

 

“ As long as we do not have to brew Amortentia , you should be safe,” the brunet said. “Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a brewing schedule to fix.” And with that Harry left his two friends and walked over to where Draco was walking a little bit ahead of them.

 

While Draco still did not look well, the dark rings under his eyes were considerably lighter and also Draco's skin looked healthier than two days ago.

 

“ Hey, Draco,” Harry said when he caught up with the blond, oblivious to the fact that he was using the blond's first name in public. “Can we meet up in the library after class to set up a schedule for brewing the potion?” he asked .

 

“ Sure, at five?” Draco suggested. “ We can start on the written assignment then.”

 

“Yeah. Meet me in the Potion s section,” Harry answered before he walked back to his friends and his next class. He knew that it was stupid to be eager about spending the afternoon inside the library, working on the homework of his least favourite subject. But he had not spent any alone time with Draco in a week, so even writing a Potions essay sounded like a good way to pass his time as long as he would be in Draco's company.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Wednesday 16th October 1996

 

Something was definitely wrong with Draco, Harry was sure. Thrice he'd ask ed during the last week if Draco was okay, but every time he only got an annoyed, “I'm fine,” in return. But Harry was sure that Draco was not fine. While he looked better than a week ago, Harry still noticed that Draco seemed to be more tired than not these days.

 

“ Let's start brewing this useless rubbish,” Draco said as he lit the fire under the copper cauldron.

 

“Snape would kill me for such a comment,” Harry said.

 

“It's his own fault for forcing us to brew this shame of a 'potion' , Draco countered.

 

“Maybe he thought you would have use of it,” Harry answered, playfully shoving Draco's elbow .

 

“Do I look like Pansy?” Draco asked.

 

“No, but you still look like someone who uses beauty products,” Harry answered.

 

“As if I would ever use a Beautification Potion,” Draco said as he separated the Fwooper eggs, as they only need the yolk .

 

“You look handsome enough already,” Harry muttered under his breath as he measured the right amount of Jarvey milk. “You know, the first part of this potion instruction sounds just like the recipe for vanilla pudding, just with magical ingredients,” Harry said conversationally .

 

“I wouldn't know about it. The house-elves always make the pudding back home,” Draco answered as he added the honey into the mix.

 

“I usually cooked the pudding. Except, of course, when my aunt was not awaiting important guests. Then she was always preparing it herself,” Harry admitted.

 

“ I'm sure yours still tasted better,” Draco said, smiling at Harry, who quickly looked away and focused on the cauldron .

 

“It certainly is better than this weird version,” Harry joked as he needed all of his strength to stir the now thick, yellow pudding inside the cauldron.

 

“But better this shit, which only has to sit for a week before we can continue brewing, than the hair straightener potion which has to be constantly stirred for five hours.”

 

“ Hmm,” Harry agreed, having a feeling that Draco was the only reason why Snape had not assigned them that cruel potion.

 

“ How about we read another fairytale while we wait for the mixture to cool down?” Draco suggested. And not sooner had the words left his mouth, a sofa appeared in the far corner of the room, safely away from the potions bench, but still close enough that they could keep a watchful eye on the thermometer.

 

“And that's why we're brewing in the Room of Requirement instead of the Potions classroom,” Harry said as he laid a friendly arm over Draco's shoulders and led them towards the sofa.

 

“Really? I thought you were just too lazy to walk all the way down to the dungeon,” Draco teased.

 

“ Shut up and start reading,” Harry said as he got comfortable, his head nearly touching Draco's shoulder.

 

By the time Draco had finished reading 'Hansel and Gretel', Harry's head had tilted forward so that it was now comfortably resting on Draco's shoulder.

 

“ It's nearly cool enough to add the breadnuts,” Draco stated after a look at the thermometer, but neither of them made a move to get up, being too comfortable where they were right now.

 

After enjoying the atmosphere for some more moments, Harry finally lifted his head from Draco's shoulder and slowly got up from the sofa, holding out a helping hand to the blond. “ Let's finish the potion.”

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

That night Harry lay awake in his bed, thinking back about what happened this evening . As they were brewing the potion, it was easy to forget about his growing sexual desires for the blond. As they teased and joked around, all he could think about was the here and now: Two friends having fun while doing their schoolwork.

 

But when Draco smiled at him as he told him that he was sure that Harry's pudding would taste better than Petunia's, the butterflies in Harry's stomach began to flutter and his chest grew warm. He knew that it was just a friendly comment, so he tried to not let his reaction show and concentrated on stirring the potion. But still, Harry feared that more of these smiles could be the one thing that make him start to fall for the blond who certainly was feeling nothing more but friendship for him, even though Harry knew that Draco preferred boys.

 

But when has my life ever been easy, Harry thought as he turned around to his other side and fell asleep. At least in his dreams he could enjoy making love to Draco without being confused and worried about his own feelings and desires for the blond boy that had become one of his best friends over the last weeks.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Next Update : Hopefully in August. It will switch to Draco's POV.

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings: overcoming a trauma

AN: Thank you for the kudos and favourites. I hope you enjoy reading this chapter. ^_^

-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 7 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

Thursday 1 7 th October 1996

I hate him. I Merlin-fucking HATE him! Draco screamed in his mind as he beat his fists against the mattress. He was so angry at his father. Angry at how his own father reduced him to this pathetic state.

For the last eleven nights he had woken up from an uneasy sleep totally drenched in sweat, his body shaking and his heart beating furiously in fear and desperation. The Occlumency shields that protected his sanity during his wake hours crumpling down as his mind tried to find some much needed rest. In his sleep the memory of what his father had forced him to do to the Muggle was haunting everything wasmade worse as the Dark Lord replaced the Muggle. It was Voldemort casting the Cruciatus Curse on him because he had not completely swallowed the bitter and black sperm that the Dark Lord spilt intohis mouth that woke him up most nights.

When his heart finally calmed down to a nearly normal rhythm, Draco slowly moved his right, still slightly shaking hand through the green bed curtains to reach the glass of water on his bedside table. Gratefully he swallowed half of the glass in one big gulp. Holding the glass with both hands, he used its presence in his hands to anchor him as he took slow, deliberate breaths.

On the second day after the 'Incident', Draco had brewed a large cauldron full of Dreamless Sleep Potion for himself. But as tempting as taking the potion on a nightly basis was, Draco knew that the potion was very dangerous. Too much of it over a short time would result in poisoning due to the common ivy and the lily of the valley the Dreamless Sleep Potion contained. Thus, Draco had only consumed one of the vials before going to bed on the day he brewed the potion. The other nights, he tried to get through the night without the double-faced help.

Before he brewed thepotion, the blond promised himself that he would only take it every second day and only when he wasn't asleep by one in the morning. Draco's resolution only lasted two days. He knew that it would be unhealthy and very risky to take the potion daily, but he also knew that only sleeping every second day would not help him either. Besides, he did not want Harry to worry about him even more. The worried glances he received across the Great Hall were bad enough already and he fearedthat if he did not show some kind of improvement soon, the brunet would drag him to the Hospital Wing. So Draco surrendered himself to take half a vial of the Dreamless Sleep potion every day, which would guarantee him four hours of nightmare-free sleep. At least for three weeks. He did not dare to take the potion daily for longer than that, even if he only took half a vial.

He did not want to become dependent on the potionthough. Thus, he stayed with his rule that he would only take the potion if he either could not fall asleep without it by one o'clock, or if woke up after a nightmare before three o'clock. To his great relief six days after the incident he was once again able to fall asleep without taking the potion. And since Tuesday, his nightmares only woke him up sometimes after three. And while he was very tempted to still use the potion, he stayed adamant and resisted the temptation. He drew strength from his firm resolution to not become an addict and motivating himself with the fact that he was already showing signs of improvement.

In a mix of dejection, annoyance and helplessness he emptied the remaining water, put the glass back on the bedside table and picked up his wand from beneath his pillow. Casting the Tempus charmDraco was positive surprised that is was already five fifty-seven.

Wow, I nearly got six hours of sleep tonight, Draco thought joyfully and immediately Harry's happy face as he stirred the Beautification Potion entered his mind. He had the feeling that it was Harry and the relaxing atmospherethe brunet radiated which had protected him from his terrifying memories tonight.

Hopefully my clock will ring before the nightmare starts by this time next week, Draco wished, deciding to get out of bed and take a long, warm shower to rinse away the sweat from his bodyand relax his aching muscles.

As he lathered his thinner than usual body with soap, he remembered with a smile all the times Harry asked him in the previous weeks if he was okay. The first time the brunet asked 'How are you?', Draco was deeply touched by his new friend's concern for him. But when Harry asked the question a second and third time, he was both touched and at the same time annoyed at Harry's concern for him. He just wanted to forget what had happened during that horrible Hogsmead weekend. It was bad enough that he was reminded of it every time he saw his dark circled eyes in the mirror. He did not need Harry to point out the obvious effect the 'Incident' had on him, too.

I cannot believe that I'm actually grateful for everything Aunt Bella did for me, Draco thought with a shake of his head as he rinsed off the soap. Bellatrix Lestrange helping me cope with the after-effects of my father's actions. The world must be going crazy, he thought as he stepped out of the shower. Still, he could not help but to admit that without his aunt's Occlumency lessons and her insistent that Severus paired him with Harry as they brewed three time-consuming potions, he would be much worse of right now.

Shit, crazy Bella is the one who is keeping me sane right now, Draco realized. Somehow the absurdity of it all made him laugh. Bellatrix and sane in the same sentence?

"What has you in such a good mood?" Theodore Nott suddenly asked him, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he walked towards the sinks.

"Bellatrix," Draco answered, finally able to laugh again after days of being depressed.

Theodore just shook his head and splashed his face with cold water. I must still be dreaming… Draco's roommate thought.

Maybe I can ask Snape to give me and Harry a more time consuming potion next? Draco wondered as he dressed in his school uniform. And another reading session with Harry would be perfect. When Harry laid his head on his shoulder, Draco could forget anything around him. He would only notice how the brunet's body waspressed against his own and the warmth Harry's body radiated.

Grabbing his bag, Draco left the sixth year dorm and headed towards the Great Hall. He was just about to take the left turn that would lead him to the Entrance Hall, when he saw Professor Snape entering his office ahead of him. Taking it as a good sign, Draco walked on and knocked on the office door.

"Enter," he heard Snape call through the door.

"Good morning, Professor Snape," Draco greeted respectfully.

"Mr Malfoy," Snape answered with a nod of his head. "What can I do for you?"

"I was wondering if Potter and I could receive a more time-consuming potion next?" he asked cautiously, careful to use Harry's last name.

"What makes you believe that you can choose your assignments?" Snape questioned.

"Nothing, sir," Draco answered submissively, looking at the ground. "It's just… How shall I befriend Potter, if the brewing process only takes an hour or two? Can't you give us something that needs constant observation while still giving us time to talk?"

"I'll think about it," Snape answered dismissively.

"Thank you, sir." As he closed the office door behind him, Draco smiled. Professor Snape not outright refusing his plea meant that he will get what he asked for. I just hope that it won't involve to be around emetic fumes for hours.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Fri day 1 8 th October 1996

A day later, Draco got his wish fulfilled. After he and Harry handed in their respective written essays on the Beautification Potion, they received a slip of parchment with the name of their next potion, the Sober-up Potion.

"I want a brewing schedule for your next potion handed in on Wednesday. And for those of you withthe tendency to forget their homework, a sample of the first potion is due next Friday. The three feet on your new Potion must be handed in on the thirtieth. You will then have all of Halloween to write why your first potion was a complete failure," Snape ended with a cruel smirk.

The students who kept up with him had already noticed that Snape seemed to plan for them to either have to hand in a potion or an essay in class for the next weeks, and probably for the remainder of their three months long time-consuming potions project.

"When do we need to hand in the new potion?" Hermione asked cautiously. "I need the information for the brewing schedule," she added meekly when Snape glared at her.

"Five points from Gryffindor for speaking out of turn," Snape said before he answered her question. "The new potions are due the same day as the Polyjuice Potions from the first round."

"Why can't he just say on the sixth?" Ron questioned, knowing the date as he was in one of the three groups that received the Polyjuice Potion as their first potion.

"You just lost Gryffindor another five points, Mr Weasley," Snape stated.

When Snape's back was turned, Harry turned towards Draco and asked silently, "We'll talk tonight?"

Draco nodded in agreement. He hoped that Harry meant that they would only shortly talk tonight about finding a time for them to meet in the library to research the potion and make a first draft of their new brewing schedule. The majority of the night he hoped to spend as planned with reading more fairy tales and just enjoying Harry's company.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Satur d ay 1 9 th October 1996

"Why can't we write a paper about poisons in fairy tales?" Harry asked, once he read through the description of their new potion.

"Can you imagine Professor Snape handing out an assignment on the poisonous apple in Snow White?" Draco asked, referring to the Muggle fairytale they read last night. "Besides, we already have a fruit as a main ingredient in our potion."

"But we wouldn't need the additional stabilization potion if we'd use apple seeds," Harry argued, annoyed that their new potion required them to brew two potions altogether, instead of one. In Harry's opinion, it was just not fair. But with Snape as their teacher, he couldn't expect any better.

Draco shook his head to the brunet's statement. "Like cherries stones, apple seeds also contain cyanide. The concentration is just lower." After a moment's pause, Draco suggested, "If you want, I can brew the stabilization potion and you just have to help me brew the Sober-up Potion."

"No, we'll brew both potions together," Harry quickly retorted. If it was up to him, he would spent much more time with the blond. He really enjoyed to be in the other's presence. The more time they spent together, the more Harry felt like he was falling in love with the other boy. Learning something new and surprising each time.

"Okay," Draco answered with a smile, sharing Harry's sentiment of wanting too spent more time in the other's company. Sometimes he still could not believe that, after Harry rejected his hand of friendship during first year, they now were good friends. To think that it all started with the Dragon Pox Immunisation, the blond thought, still smiling.

"So, we'llstart brewing the stabilization potion nextSaturday and a week later, we'll brew the Sober-up Potion on Sunday?" Harry asked for clarification.

"If Professor Snape approves our brewing schedule, then yes."

"Perfect," Harry said. Noticing the time, he got up from his seat and hurriedly packed away his notes. "Sorry, Quidditch practice. Have to run. See you on Tuesday," he said as he left, sprinting towards the tower to get his Firebolt for the practice that started in twenty minutes.

"Aren't you getting chummy with Potty," Pansy Parkinson said as she took the seat Harry had just vacated. "I wonder what the Dark Lord will say about your new best friend."

"Won't he be angry?" Gregory Goyle asked in answer to Pansy's question. "I mean Potter is not his favourite person and you are spending a lot of time with him now," he stated dumbly.

"Yeah," Vincent hummed in agreement, obviously worried about the blond.

Suppressing a groan, as well as smacking his head at the other's stupidity, Draco let out a sigh. He'd already waited for this moment. It was bound to come up sooner or later. While they mostly met in the Room of Requirement, in the last weeks they also met up in the library to do their Potions assignment and sometimes also their other homework. So it was only to be expected that people and especially the Death Eater children would notice and question the new development.

"The Dark Lord is already aware of my meetings with Potter. The why and how's, however, are none of your concern." With that, Draco flicked his wand, making his bag pack itself and got up from his chair, leaving his dumbfounded house mates to interpret his sentence as they wished.

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Sunday, 3rd November 1996

Five o'clock was far too early to wake up on Sunday morning, but alas the Sober-up Potion would take them roughly twelve hours to brew, give or take two hours. Let's hope that our cherry stones contain a high amount of pinocembrinand tangeritin with a low content of cyanide,Draco wished as he took a cold shower to wake up.

At least he had been able to sleep through the nights again for a bit over a week without being woken up by his nightmarish memories. The dark shadows under his eyes had vanished and even his appetite had returned. And during the day, classes kept him busy and Harry filled out most of his spare time, not leaving him any time to think about what happened during the disastrous Hogsmead weekend. And as more and more time passed the memory turned into just a bad dream, something which was not real and could be easily forgotten. Especially since his father did not send him any more practise toys, letters or anything else that could remind Draco about the looming threat over his head, leaving him in his blissful bubble of safety.

Porridge or toast? Draco contemplated as he got dressed. While he was in the mood for toast, he knew that Harry preferred porridge for breakfast. Maybe I can ask the house-elves for a tray with both? And add some sandwiches for lunch? he wondered and on the spur of the moment decided to add a box of chocolates to his bag with the fairy tale books.

"Why again did we decide to start at bloody six in the morning? After a Quidditch match no less," Harry complained when he entered the Room of Requirement, three minutes before six.

"Because we did not want to brew through the night?" Draco suggested and held out a cup of tea to Harry. "Some caffeine will wake you up."

"Thanks."

"And congratulation for winning against Ravenclaw," Draco added. "It was a really good catch."

"Thank you," Harry answered with a big grin and then took a grateful sip of his tea. "Too bad we did not already finish the potion. I've a feeling that more than one Gryffindor will need it this morning."

"And the Slytherins will happily consume the excess Sober-up Potion after they beat Hufflepuff at the end of the month," the blond countered with a cheeky grin.

"I hope you'll make them pay a nice price for it," Harry joked.

"I don't need their money. Favours though..." Draco trailed off. "You would be surprised what some of them would do for you just to get rid of their headache and the nausea feeling. Disembowel Flobberworms and half-rotten fish," he named as examples.

"The latter will surely help them against the nausea," Harry said and both of them laughed at this. "So, shall we start with the potion?" the brunet asked, once they calmed down again.

"Let's. The sooner we begin, the sooner we're finished."

And so, Harry and Draco began to set up the cauldron for the Sober-up Potion and slowly re-heated the now pale green stabilization potion they brewed last week to the required lukewarm temperature.

"We first need to boil a litre of water with 50 grams of salt, two spoons of vinegar and three pairs of herring's eyes," Harry read his notes.

"And which kind of vinegar do we need?" Draco asked.

"One with an acidity of at least 10%," Harry answered. If he had not already went over the whole brewing process with Draco, analysing and being questioned about every detail of the instruction, he would have used the normal malt-vinegar that was used to season the chips. But alas, a much stronger acid was needed to break the chemical compounds.

"Good," Draco praised as he measured the right amount of salt.

Once the water was boiling, the blond carefully added three Lionfish spines, stirred the potion three times clockwise, two times anti-clockwise before he added 10 grams of Alihotsy leaves. After stirring the potion for two minutes in a triangle motion, it turned from pink to soft blue.

"The crushed Gnat Heads and Moondew," Harry said as he placed the prepared and weighed ingredients next to the blond.

"Thank you. How about we eat breakfast once the first cherry stone is added?"

"Sounds good to me," Harry agreed, while they both watched the hourglass as they waited the required ten minutes before the dragon's blood could be added.

When the time was up, Draco gingerly added the dragon's blood into the potion, making sure to stir the potion in an even, anti-clockwise motion at the same time. Once all of the dragon's blood was added, Draco removed the spoon and lowered the flame. The potion was now a pale yellow, but still as thin as water.

"Sour or sweet?" Harry asked, holding two plastic bags filled with fresh cherries in front of him.

"Only you, Harry," was Draco's heartfelt response to Harry's adorable behaviour. Here, he asked Harry to order the cherry stones for them and the brunet brought fresh cherries instead. Still smiling, he said, "I'm for the sour ones."

"Good decision." The brunet smiled back, putting the bag with the sweet cherries aside and opened the remaining bag, holding it out to the blond. "Nothing's better than fresh ingredients."

"I seem to remembered something about not eating in the Potions lab."

"But we're not in the Potions lab. Besides, rules are there to be broken."

"Indeed," Draco answered, trying to mimic Snape's deep voice as he pulled one of the cherries out of the bag. After cleaning the cherry stone as good as he could, Draco let it fall into the potion, which instantly turned more greenish in colour as the dragon's blood reacted unfavourably with the cyanide in the cherry seed.

"One spoon of the stabilization potion?" Harry asked as he already prepared said spoon.

"Yes," Draco confirmed and Harry went along to add the spoon he'd scooped up.

"And now we wait fifteen minutes until we add the next cherry stone," Harry stated.

"Or add another spoonful of the stabilization potion," Draco added as they walked over to the sofa and table in the far corner of the Room of Requirement where they left their breakfast.

"Are you sure that we cannot just soak the seeds in the stabilization potion and then add all of them to the Sober-up Potion at once?" Harry asked as they were eating lunch six hours later.

"Yes," Draco patiently answered. "The dragon's blood can only react with the pinocembrin and tangeritin of the seeds if they are not contaminated with the stabilization potion. Luckily for all the drunkards, dragon's blood has a small tolerance of cyanide which allows us to add the seeds one after the other, let the dragon's blood instantly react with the pinocembrin and tangeritin the vinegar acid dissolved and then add the potion that will neutralize the cyanide so that we can add another seed. It's just our luck that the stabilization potion needs fifteen minutes to complete react with the cyanide," Draco explained.

"Great," Harry groaned. So far, they had three cherry stones whose cyanide concentration was so high that they had to add a second spoonful of the stabilization potion and wait another quarter hour before they could add the next cherry stone.

But it was not the process itself that got on the brunet's nerves. Rather it was the fact that they had to always watch out for the time instead of just enjoying to listen to the Muggle and Magical fairy tales Draco was reading. And while he would not admit it to anyone, Harry also hated that he had to leave his comfortable place at Draco's side to add the damned cherry stones. And of course, each time he got up he had to subtle cuddle up to Draco all over again.

"We could always play Dragon Reserve," the blond offered, and the Room of Requirement produced a copy of the Wizarding game. "We have enough time for a round."

"Or two," Harry stated. While the potion has become thicker, it was still a far cry from the supposed hone-like consistency it was supposed to turn into once the right amount of pinocembrin and tangeritin had been added. "But one round won't hurt." And as expected, Harry saw how Draco's face lightened up in excitement. He would never grow tired of seeing the blond's child-like enthusiasm and joy of playing a simple board game.

And so, the two boys spent the next hours playing the game while eating the chocolate Draco brought and some more cherries before adding their stones to the cauldron, talking about Quidditch, school and their friends, as well as the usual exclamations of smug joy and frustrations that occurred when one was playing a board game.

"I think the potion is nearly completed," Draco stated around four o'clock as he checked the consistency. "If we're lucky, we're finished in an hour or so."

"And if I'm lucky you'll be done at the same time," the brunet goaded.

"You're on, Potter," Draco countered as he sat down again and made his next move, only for the dice to stop at the number four which landed his dragon board token to end up on the Hebridean Black field, forcing him to pay 600 Dragon Claws to Harry.

"See?" Harry grinned.

It was shortly after five, when their Sober-up Potion finally reached the desired consistency. Once they had the required sample of the potion for Snape bottled up and Draco filled the leftover potion into one large vial and put it into his bag, they cleaned up their Potions table.

"Shall we finish the game?" Draco asked when they finished cleaning. While Harry had slightly more Dragon Claws still left, the blond was confident that he would win the game.

"If you do not mind loosing?" Harry asked as he and Draco sat down next to the board again.

To Draco's great amusement, half an hour later he won their game of Dragon Reserve with only 100 Dragon Claws to spare. Harry had ended up on the field of his Arctic Icestorm reservation with four baby dragons, making the brunet loose all the remaining 2,000 Dragon Claws he still owned.

"And that's why I always buy the Arctic Icestorm dragons," Draco told Harry.

"And you won what?" Harry asked in good humour as he got up from his seat, starting to move. "A kiss from the beautiful princess the dragon kidnapped?"

"A prince would be more to my liking," Draco answered.

"I see no prince, so you'll have to do with me." And with that, Harry impulsively leaned down and kissed the still sitting Draco on the cheek. When Draco came out of his shock, he shortly saw that Harry was as surprised about the little kiss as he was, before the brunet turned around and rummaged in his bag.

"Dinner is starting. I need to go before Ron eats everything. See you tomorrow." With that, Harry hastily left the room, not understanding himself why he just kissed Draco, even if it was only on the cheek.

Once the door closed behind Harry, Draco bewilderedly lifted his hand to his cheek, softly touching the place Harry's lips he been on. He kissed me, Draco thought happily, exhaling noisily through his nose as he chuckled in joy.

There was a short moment of fear, but Draco quickly rejected the thought that the kiss could mean the end of their currently blooming friendship. It was just a kiss on the cheek. Something done at the spur of the moment. Not a full out kiss. We'll be all right. And Draco continued smiling till the wee hours of the morning, happy that something positive was keeping him awake for a change.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Next Update:I have no idea. But the story should be finished in about 4-7 chapters, depending how long the chapters turn out to be before I reach New Year's day in this story.

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

AN: We're getting closer to the grant final.

 

-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 8 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

 

Sunday, 3rd November 1996

 

Opposed to what Harry told Draco, he did not go down to the Great Hall for dinner, instead he went into the direction of the owlery. In his forth year he'd found a small room, probably an abandoned teacher's office, that was just to the right of the small staircase that led up to the owlery. It was there where Harry sat down on the comfy chair behind the desk, looking out of the window as he though about the harmless kiss he gave Draco minutes ago.

 

I kissed Draco, he thought in wonder and disbelieve, leaning his head back against the backrest as he smiled. I really did it! Harry closed his eyes and let the positive flow overwhelm his body. The kiss felt so different compared to the kiss he'd given Cho and he'd only given the blond a kiss on the cheek.

 

Draco did not look upset did he? Harry asked himself, panicking for a moment. No, he looked more liked he was in shock. Like me, he thought with a laugh.

 

Now the only question is if I should try and see if Draco would also like to take our friendship a step further? he wondered, drumming his fingertips against the armrest of the chair. There are so many things to consider. Who can't my life for once not be complicated? Harry groaned in annoyance.

 

There was the obvious rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin house at Hogwarts. While being project partners for Potions stopped his house mates from wondering why he spent time with Draco, it did not stop them from saying things like “Poor Harry, you really must have rotten luck to get Malfoy as your partner” to Harry when he came back from a session with Draco in the library.

 

Then there were also Sirius's comments, such as “Snivellus is obviously abusing his position as a Professor to torture you by partnering you with Malfoy.” To Harry's great relief, he'd been able to stop Sirius from torturing Draco during DADA in revenge by telling him that Draco was not only very friendly to him and but also very good in Potions. And when Sirius heard that because he and Draco submitted the same potion and consequently had to receive the same grade, Snape was forced to give Harry an Exceed Expectation or even an Outstanding for his potions, Sirius was happy with glee. “Haa, his plan backfired!” he shouted excitedly. Harry wisely omitted that he still received only an Acceptable or even Poor for his written essays on the potions they were brewing as Snape could grade them independently from Draco's essays.

 

And not to forget the reaction I would face from Skeeter, Harry thought. She surely would love to write an article about us. She would be more than happy to remind her readers about her article on his Dragon Pox Immunisation before she went on to drag up mine and Draco's past. And even Hermione would not be able to stop her from writing it, Harry thought, irritated.

 

Of course, he could not forget about the whole Voldemort and his Death Eathers issue. Regardless what the papers and the Ministry said, Lucius Malfoy was definitely a Death Eater. And while he was sure that Draco did not want to follow the Dark Lord, or at least torture innocent people, Harry did not even want to think about what Lucius Malfoy would do when he heard that Harry Potter was dating his son. If I and Draco even become a couple, Harry thought in resignation. The more I think about it, the more reason I find why we will never start dating. Harry sighed, his good mood from fifteen minutes ago gone. And here I was feeling so good about the kiss.

 

There's no helping it. I'll need to see how it develops. Maybe Draco doesn't even like me as more than a friend, Harry thought as he got up from his chair and slowly made his way to Gryffindor tower.

 

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Tuesday, 19 th November 1996

 

The next two weeks passed without any drastic changes to their previous routine. He and Draco still met in the Room of Requirement at least once a week to read a Muggle or Wizarding fairytale story. And while neither of them mentioned the kiss on the cheek Harry had given Draco, both boys unconsciously, or not so unconsciously, moved to sit closer on the sofa as they read the fairytale or just talked about school and Quidditch.

 

One time, when Harry and Draco were shar ing a table in the library doing their Potions and Charms homework, Hermione had joined them. Since Draco had not insulted her even once this year ─ at least not to her face ─ Hermione thought she would give the blond a chance. Harry had told her how well Draco could explain some of their potions' quirks, allowing him to better understand why the potion needed to be brewed a certain way. And as Draco had also treated Harry unexpectedly well during the brunet's Dragon Pox immunisation, she saw no reason not to believe that Draco Malfoy had finally grown out of believing everything his father preached and became his own, independent man.

 

Seeing as he was working peacefully with Harry, Hermione asked if she could join them. Not only was Harry's happy face an amazing reward for her, but she also hoped that with her welcoming Draco, the blond would know that the light side would be there for him whenever he needed to escape his Death Eater father. With how it look ed , the time for Draco to decide for a side would not be t o o far into the future. But she did not share any of her war-related thoughts with Harry, to grateful that her best friend for once seemed to be in a good mood.

 

As for their three month long Potion project that would end with the Christmas holidays, Harry and Draco ha d received an Outstanding for their Sober-up Potion and their written reports were rewarded with an Outstanding and Exceed Expectation. What Snape must have been drinking to give Harry anything higher than Acceptable, Harry did not know.

 

Draco suspected that it was due to the short talk he had with Snape. The blond thanked him for receiving the time consuming Sober-up Potion and mentioned that Harry was very clad for Draco's in detail explanation of the brewing process, saying that he felt like he understood Potions better. Severus probably saw it as another way for Draco to get into Harry's good graces and wanted to help him by giving Harry a better grade. But he did not tell Harry any of his assumptions.

 

As for their third potion, they had not received the Polyjuice Potion like Draco had first suspected. When they'd handed in their Sober-up Potion, every pair had received a skin healing potion. To be more precise, each group had either received the Rameses* Skin Healing Potion or the Adelram* Skin Healing Potion. Many students were excited that this time they would be able to ask half of the class for help if they had some trouble with their potion instead of being on their own, or only having one other group who received the same potion.

 

Draco and Hermione were very sceptical about the potion. Knowing Snape, these two potions had to be either very time consuming, difficult to brew or have another disadvantage. As Draco and Harry received the Adelram and Hermione and her partner the Rameses potion, they decided to do their research on the potions individually. By the end of the day, both groups had come to the same conclusions. Both potions were much easier to to brew than the Polyjuice Potion. The tricky part of the potions was that the kind of skin wounds either potion healed depended on the moon phase it was brewed under. Severus, of course, left out that detail as he distributed the pieces of parchment with the potion's name to his students.

 

The Rameses and the Adelram Skin Healing Potions cured the same four skin diseases: chilblain, burns, psoriasis and skin rash from allergic reactions. However, the phase of the moon during the brewing process to gain the same healing effect differed between the two potions. For example, if the Adelram potion was supposed to heal burns it had to be brewed starting from the full moon to the new moon, for the Rameses potion it needed to be brewed from the new moon to the full moon.

 

Wondering which of the four subtypes he and Harry were supposed to brew, Draco looked once again at the slip of parchment they'd received from Severus. There, in the middle of the parchment stood ~Adelram Skin Healing Potion~. Draco had to look at the far right corner of the parchment, where he usually placed his thumb to see ~to cure chilblain~ added in a smaller handwriting below the potions name.

 

“ So, which variation are we brewing?” Harry asked Draco.

 

“The chilblain one,” Draco answered.

 

“Okay,” Harry said, searching for the reference of this version in the Potions book in front of him. “If one desires the Adelram Skin Healing Potion to cure chilblain, the potions has to be brewed in the period from the waxing to the wa n ing moon. To gain the possibly best result, it is advised for the full moon to be the half-time point of the brewing process. Nevertheless most brewers instead arrange the eleven day long brewing period according to their personal schedules ,” Harry read out loud. “ So let's first find out when the next waxing moon is and then see which day would be the best to begin brewing the potion.”

 

As it turned out, the day where the waxing moon began was the 18th November, a Monday. The full moon was on the 25th November. If they went with the suggestion to have the sixth brewing day on the day of the full moon, the would be brewing the potion from the 20th to the 30th November. Unfortunately, the 30th was also the day where Slytherin played Quidditch against Hufflepuff. Since Harry did not want to finish the potion on his own, they decided to start brewing the potion on Tuesday, the 19th November. Which is why Harry and Draco where currently in the Room of Requirement, setting up the cauldron and the ingredients they would need tonight.

 

It was during their one hour long dinner break, when Draco decided to do something about their current standstill. He too had been effected by Harry's spontaneous kiss two weeks ago and since then had noticed how Harry had decreased the space between them while he read a fairytale out loud to the two of them. While the distance was still too large to be called cuddling, Harry and he had both moved inside the other's personal space.

 

While he was the only one out of the two of them who still remembered that he and Harry did had sex when the brunet had been under a high fever during the Dragon Pox immunisation, Draco did not know if Harry also liked man and him in particular when he was not delusional. After all, according to Hogwarts' rumour mill, Harry had only ever kissed the Ravenclaw Cho Chang. And she certainly was female.

 

So, to find out if Harry, when he was the master of all of his senses, also liked the male gender, Draco brought his newest issue of Seeker Weekly. As they both leaved through the magazine, Draco started to add some comments like “Doesn't she have nice legs?” and compared Harry's reaction with those to “I bet he works out five times a week to get such strong shoulders.” Luckily, the current issue also include a feature on the Norwegian Karasjok Kites, whose Chaser Tore Thorstvedt resembled Draco slightly.

 

Draco was happy not to hear Harry say something along the lines of “How should I know, I'm not gay,” when the blond made reference to male Quidditch players. When Harry's cheek turned red as Draco pointed out how fit Tore Thorstvedt was and Harry began to stutter about them needing to continue the potion, Draco could only think, How cute.

 

Later that night, as Draco was back in his dorm, he happily thought, Apparently not everything is lost. But then he remember the task the Dark Lord had given him. While he did not want to be closer to Harry because of Voldemort, he started to fear what Harry would do if he ever found out that Draco had received such a task. Will Harry believe me, if I tell him that I just used the task as a pretence to not get killed by the Dark Lord while I truly wanted to become his friend?  the blond wondered. While they had developed a friendship, Draco was still well aware of their past five years and how much Harry could resemble an erupting volcano when he was angered. Last year's destruction of the Headmaster's office after Harry believed that Black was dead is a prime example for this. Why can't my life for once be uncomplicated? Draco thought, unknowingly resembling Harry's thoughts from two weeks ago. Successfully forgetting all about his father's plans to make him the Dark Lord's boy toy.

 

If only Harry and Draco could have foreboded how complicated their love life or the lack thereof would become come December, they probably would have worked up the courage to be truthful with each other and enjoy the short time of happiness while it lasted.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Rameses: means 'Son of Ra'. Ra was the ancient Egyptian sun god.

 

Adelram: 'Lord of Darkness' comes from two Germanic words, “adel”, which means 'noble', and “hraban”, which means 'dark or raven'.

 

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AN: A big “Thank you” to those who are still reading this story even if the updates are a long time apart and the chapters are short and unbetaed.

Next: The boys buying each other Christmas presents during the Hogsmead weekend .

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings: sexual content and voyeurism, kind of. But read for yourself.

AN: We reach the turning point and the reason why this story is named as it is.

 

-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 9 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

 

Saturday, 7th December, Hog s mead

 

With the first of December also came the first snow of the season. Since then the temperature had increased again, thus the roads in Hogsmead were currently all muddy and full of puddles. But Harry did not care about such a small thing as he wandered from the Shrieking Shack back towards the Three Broomsticks, where he would meet up with Hermione, Neville, Ginny and Luna who were doing some Christmas shopping of their own. Ron had been unluckily enough to receive a version of the Skin Healing potion that required him and his partner to brew it during the Hogsmead weekend. Harry and Draco had successfully finished brew ing the Adelram Skin Healing Potion last week.

 

When he and Draco met up last Sunday, Harry was surprise when Draco handed over two vouchers for Honeydukes to him. “From the Sober-up Potion,” Draco explained. “Since we brewed it together, you should also get some rewards.”

 

“I thought you only accepted favours as payment?” Harry teased.

 

“I already have someone to do my History of Magic homework for the rest of the term and another who'll carry around my rucksack for the next two weeks,” Draco said. “The leftover Sober-up Potions I handed out for nearly free, just to make them stop groaning.”

 

Harry translated it to 'I have a big heart and do not want my house mates to suffer from celebrating my victory.' Harry was been surprised when he'd entered Honeydukes to redeem his two vouchers to buy some sweets as Christmas presents for his friends and the Weasley family and the cashier told him that he still had five Sickles to spend. Making Harry add five Chocolate Frogs to his cart. And I guessed that I needed to add a Galleon to pay for it all.

 

And while Draco had complained about the heavy rain during the Quidditch match, Harry could still see how happy that blond was about the fact that after three hours of searching for the Snitch, Draco had caught the golden ball right in front of the Hufflepuff Keeper and Captain.

 

Looking up, Harry noticed a new shop which was situated in a side street. The sign read ~Yardley's~. While Harry did not know what was sold there, he felt a pull that told him to at least take a look around the shop. Entering the shop, Harry saw some writing utensils to his right, next to the counter. On his left hand side, there were shelves, filled with cups, plates and singing teapots. Walking into the next aisle, he saw snow globes and animated miniature animals. It was the assortment of miniature dragons that caught Harry's attention. There, level with his stomach, he saw a silver-grey dragon that looked like the Arctic Icestorm dragon from the Dragon Reserve game. This would be the perfect gift for Draco, Harry thought, picking up the small dragon figure. It reminded him of the Hungarian Horntail figurine he still had in his trunk from the Tri-wizard tournament.

 

When the witch behind the counter asked him if she should gift- wrap the dragon, Harry nodded in affirmation, grateful that he had one less gift to wrap himself. The red and green Christmas wrapping paper also looked beautiful and the witch was certainly more skilled at gift-wrapping than Harry would ever be.

 

Happy that he now had Christmas presents for everyone, Harry hasted to the Three Broomsticks to meet up with Hermione and the rest of his friends. On his way in, he nearly stumbled into Draco who was leaving the pub.

 

“Careful,” the blond said as he stopped Harry from falling into the wet ground by grabbing his shoulder.

 

“Thanks,” Harry said, smiling at the blond. As he walked towards the table his friends were sitting at, he wondered if Draco would also get him a gift. He did not expect one, but he still hoped.

 

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“I see the plan is progressing well,” a brunette woman told Draco not even a minutes later as he was dragged into a side street. If his Aunt Bellatrix had not used the same fake face the last time they'd met, he would have been scared for his life. Alas, he was still scared for his life, but at least with his aunt he knew which buttons to push or not to push to get away without being held under the Cruciatus Curse or killed. “Maybe even a little too well?” she asked, as she dragged Draco in a gap between two houses.

 

“I'm a Malfoy,” Draco answered, “we do not have a heart.”

 

“Don't they?” Bellatrix asked. While she could not be sure, she had the suspicion that not only little Potter had started to trust Draco, but that Draco too had developed real feelings for the brunet.

 

“Why are you here?” Draco asked to change the subject.

 

“To see if you should return to the Manor for Christmas or if you'll need the holidays to further worm your way into little Potter's heart,” she answered.

 

Draco did not know what to answer. On the one hand, he would like to spend Christmas at home with his family, but on the other hand, he did not want to spend the holidays in the same house as the Dark Lord. “ Has mother said something?” he asked to gain some time.

 

“She of course wants her little dragon home with her,” she said, painfully pinching his cheek. “ Your father too is eager to have you back. Which reminds me he told me to tell you that you should make sure to practise your little homework to perfection.”

 

Draco gulped and began to tremble slightly. Bellatrix of course noticed this. “ Were you not practising enough?” she teased him. “Don't worry, I'll help him punish you when I'm not busy celebrating the holidays with our Lord,” she said, dishevelling the blond's hair, her pronunciation of celebrating suggested that the celebration would occur in the bedroom. “Though why he thinks the Dark Lord will replace me, I do not know,” she added, unaware that she was speaking her thoughts out loud.

 

Maybe father is working under a false assumption? Draco for the first time wondered, drawing hope. If someone would know about the Dark Lord's lovers, it would be her. And she would never be talking to me like this if I would be taking her place as the Dark Lord's lover. No, I would have been dead cold on the ground already.

 

“So, will you come home for the holidays?” Bellatrix repeated her earlier question.

 

“Yes, I will,” he answered. “If this is all?” he asked, wanting to get away from Bellatrix as fast as possible.

 

“Going somewhere?” she asked, blocking his way.

 

“Yes,” Draco affirmed.

 

“Oh, and where are you going?”

 

“Looking for a Christmas present for Potter,” Draco answered, relieved that he remembered to use Harry's last name. “With me away from the castle, I must ensure that he does not forget about me,” he excused.

 

“I'm sure he would like something flashy. Maybe the nice black necklace they had in the showcase at Borgin and Burkes?” she suggested as she finally let Draco pass her .

 

Needless to say that Draco definitely did not go and brought Harry a cursed necklace or anything else dark. No, what he found was certainly something much better suited for the brunet. And thanks to his little talk with his aunt, he did not need to fear to be Crucioed by the Dark Lord if word came out that Harry had received a Christmas gift from him.

 

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Friday, 13th December 1996, Hogwarts

 

Harry and Draco had spend the late afternoon with Hermione, and surprisingly also Neville, in the library where they worked on their Potions and Herbology assignments. No one was more surprised than Neville when Draco asked, “Does anyone know if the Nottingham catchfly is a day or night blooming plant?” and the shy Gryffindor answered that the flower was a night bloomer.

 

“Thank you,” Draco had answered, making Neville stammer a “No problem” in turn.

 

“I'm surprised,” Neville told Harry when the two Gryffindors prepared for bed that evening. “I could not believe you and Hermione when you told me that Malfoy is now behaving decently to you.”

 

“He is,” Harry said.

 

“I see it now,” Neville agreed. “Good night, Harry.”

 

“Good night,” Harry answered as he closed the curtains around his bed and put up a Silencing Charm. While Harry still feared that neither Sirius nor Ron would accept Draco as his boyfriend ─ or even just as a good friend ─ Neville's comment had strengthened his belief that Draco had really changed from when he was eleven years old. But then, he himself had also changed over the years.

 

Even after a month had passed, Harry was still unsure if he should admit his feelings to Draco. While he did take Draco reacting normally after the kiss as a good sign, he was still a bit afraid that he would lose the blond's friendship if he admitted his feelings. And there was also all the danger Draco would be in if he became the boyfriend of the Boy Who Lived, especially with his family being so close to Voldemort. Would it be worth it? Harry wondered, fearing for Draco's well-being.

 

But even if it would be worth the risk and we could keep our relationship a secret, how do I tell Draco how I feel? Harry wondered. Thinking about his only other attempt at dating, Harry considered to ask the Room of Requirement to produce a mistletoe over his and Draco's head the next time the two of them met there. But as nice as the idea sounded, he did want to create something special for the blond and not just copy the first kiss he shared with Cho. Though, Harry still pondered about using it to at least get a real kiss on the lips from Draco as he fell asleep.

 

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“Bel- la,” Harry heard himself groan out in pleasure. Soon followed by the sight of a sweaty and naked Bellatrix Lestrange under him, breathing heavenly as she loudly voiced her pleasure .

 

"My Lord, yes,” the witch moaned as she orgasmed.

 

“So, Bella?” he asked a short while later as he relaxed against the bed cushions, and allowed the witch to lean her head on his shoulder. “How is Draco getting along with his task?”

 

“He certainly seemed to be successful in befriending Potter,” Bellatrix said. “ Though I still have my doubts that Potter has not ensnared Draco instead.”

 

“Harry certainly has lovely green eyes. Did you see how they sparkle just like the Killing Curse when he is angry?” he asked as he petted Bella's hair and laughed when Bella gave him a jealous look. “So very beautiful.” These were the last words Harry heard himself say through Voldemort's mouth before his consciousness went back to his own body.

 

The first thing Harry did when he came out of the vision was to run to the bathroom to throw up. I'm traumatized for life, he thought as he emptied the contents of his stomach. If he thought that seeing how he attacked Arthur Weasley was a nightmare, it did look almost harmless to the sight of Bellatrix during orgasm and the knowledge that Voldemort was having sex.

 

Once his stomach settled and he stopped dry heaving after about twenty minutes, Harry's body began to shake as his mind processed the new information he'd gained. He could not believe that Draco's behaviour was only an act to get close to him. O n Voldemort's orders no less . To say that Harry was confused was an understatement. If he could only know for certain if the vision he got was as real as the one from Mr Weasley's attack or if it was as fake as the one he'd received about Sirius at the end of the last school year.

 

Has Voldemort found out about our friendship? Harry wondered as he contemplated that the vision was fake and Voldemort had only sent it to torture Harry. Bellatrix's comment hinted at Draco having feelings for me, Harry thought as he went through the talk between Voldemort and Bellatrix he un intentionally overheard.

 

When he remembered that Voldemort thought that his eyes were beautiful, Harry wanted to throw up again. And Bellatrix's look. I'll be lucky if next time we meet, she won't want to scratch out my eyes in an act of jealousy.

 

'So very beautiful.' Voldemort's last words were ringing in his head as Harry tried to get back to sleep. The brunet could only hope that Voldemort had been referring to Bellatrix hair he'd been petting and not to Harry's eyes. That last thing he wanted was for Voldemort to think him beautiful. Thankfully it was the weekend and he could sleep in; otherwise he would have been a zombie the whole day in class.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Saturday, 21st December 1996

 

A week had passed since Harry had the vision from Voldemort. Since it had nothing to do with the war, Harry told no one about what he overheard. Whenever he had some moments on his own, Harry had thought about whether the vision was true or false.

 

He realised that he'd fallen in love with Draco and would feel more than betrayed if what Bellatrix said was true. He'd wondered if he should just approach Draco and ask the blond, but he was too afraid to hear that everything had been nothing more than an act. With everything they'd shared since the Dragon Pox immunisation, Harry could not believe that it were all lies just to gain his trust.

 

Still, until he could determine for sure if Draco's intention were true, Harry kept his distance from Draco, telling him that he had lots of homework to do when the blond asked to meet with Harry. Hopefully I'll find a solution over the holidays. I do not want to repeat the same mistake as with Sirius, Harry thought as he entered the castle after having said goodbye to his friends. Opposed to them, he would spend the Christmas holidays in Hogwarts. Sirius as their new teacher was not allowed to leave the castle due to his duties to look after the students that remained. So Harry stayed too to celebrate the holidays with his godfather.

 

Surprisingly Harry had not seen any signs of the blond, who should also be going home for the holidays. Just as he was about to turn a corner, he heard Snape's voice call out to the Headmaster, the following conversation answering the question of Draco's whereabouts.

 

“Ah, Severus, my boy. How can I help you?” the Headmaster asked.

 

“It's about Draco Malfoy,” Snape said.

 

“What about Mr Malfoy. Has he missed the train home?” Albus kindly asked.

 

“He is still in the castle. In the hospital wing to be precise.”

 

Draco was in the hospital wing? Why? Harry wondered, getting concerned about the blond.

 

“Madame Pomfrey was not sure yet, but it is likely that he has caught the Dragon Pox,” Snape said, making Harry even more worried about Draco.

 

Hadn't his grandfather died of Dragon Pox, starting the whole Re-immunisation process? I need to go and see how he is. But before Harry could run towards the Hospital Wing, Snape's next words caught his attention and made his heart stop beating for a moment.

 

“I fear this is not the worse. When I Floo-called Lucius about his son having to stay here, he was very angry. So angry to reveal that he'd planned to give Draco to the Dark Lord as a Christmas present,” Snape informed Dumbledore.

 

“He was to be marked?” Albus asked in disbelieve.

 

“Worse,” Snape answered. “He was to become the Dark Lord's boy toy,” Snape corrected, disgust for Lucius clear in his voice.

 

Not wanting to hear any more, Harry ran back the way he came and rushed towards the Hospital Wing. If Snape's words were true, and Harry highly believed they were, then the vision from Voldemort he'd received must be false. But at least Bellatrix comments make more sense now, Harry thought. If Draco had feelings for him, and Voldemort feared that they were returned, he of course would try to destroy any relationship he and Draco would or could have formed. And what better way than to make me believe it had all been a big scheme of Draco and Voldemort, Harry angrily though as he opened the doors to the Hospital Wing.

 

“How is he?” Harry asked as he came into Pomfrey's line of sight.

 

“Mr Potter,” Madame Pomfrey answered . “I have a patience to see to and a caretaker to arrange"

 

“I'll stay with him!” he called out.

 

“Mr Potter,” Madame Pomfrey said sternly, wanting to decline his offer.

 

“No, I was his Dragon Pox Immunisation partner,” Harry said adamantly. “He took care of me when I was infected and now I'll return the favour.”

 

“Your family certainly wants to celebrating Christmas with you,” Madame Pomfrey tried.

 

“The only family I have is Sirius and he is here in the castle. I'm sure he will not mind if I help a friend in need for some days. And since you do not have any other patients, your family will certainly be clad if you celebrate Christmas with them,” Harry replied. He would not change his mind.

 

“Are you certain?” the matron asked. From all the times Harry had been in her care, she knew that the brunet boy could be very determined and stubborn. And it would solve her problem of finding a caretaker, especially during the Christmas season.

 

“ I am,” Harry said, leaving no room for doubt about his seriousness.

 

“ Very well. If you'll follow me to the quarantine ward. We'll ask Mr Malfoy if he is agreeable to your offer,” she said in resignation, leading the way to the room Draco was currently staying at. Harry quickly following behind her.

 

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AN: I am currently thinking about writing a third part called 'Dragon Pox – Recovery'. The 'recovery' would allude to both Draco recovering from the Dragon Pox and to Harry (and Draco?) recovering the Horcruxes. But currently I do not feel like I am good enough to write a war-centered fanfiction.

But before that, I'll finish this part of the story. Which has about 2-5 chapters left.

Next Update: It will certainly not be as quick as this one. Three months maybe?

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings: Just keep in mind that the fairytale well all know ad have loved as children are not always well suited for children. Cue: Cinderella's step-sisters getting parts of their feet hacked off. Do I need to say more? Yes? Then read the two other mentioned fairytale mentioned in this chapter.

AN: This certainly is the climax of DP-R! So enjoy and tell me your thoughts in a review or comment 

 

-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 10 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

 

Saturday, 21st December 1996

 

Previously...

 

Very well. If you'll follow me to the quarantine ward,” she said in resignation, leading the way to the room Draco was currently staying in. Harry quickly following behind her.

 

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They stopped in front of a door at the back of the Hospital Wing. After knocking on the door, Madam Pomfrey called out, “Mr Malfoy, Mr Potter offered to stay with you. Is this agreeable to you?”

 

Both of them were barely able to hear Draco's weak “Yes” through the door.

 

“Very well,” she called back. “We will come to you in a minute or two.” In a lower voice she said to Harry, “Let's get you ready,” and led him away from the door. They entered a small room, where clean sheets, pyjamas and crockery were stored, ready to be used. “Here,” Madame Pomfrey said as he handed Harry a pair of pyjamas. At Harry's bewildered look, she added, “You surely remember that everything that goes into a quarantined room has to be burned afterwards.”

 

Harry certainly remembered the rather exposing hospital gown he'd been forced to wear during his Dragon Pox immunisation in August. “What about my glasses?” he asked.

 

“You'll need them to see properly,” Madam Pomfrey answered. “Don't worry, Harry,” she said, “I'm sure Professor Black will be happy to get you new glasses for Christmas. Last I heard, he was still searching for gift number twelve for you. If you want, I can cast a spell to determine your current visual acuity,” she offered. When Harry nodded in agreement, she cast the spell and promised to give Sirius Harry's visual acuity. “Meet me at the door of the quarantine room once you're changed. And maybe take another pyjama set or two with you. We do not know how long you'll need to spend in there.” With that she left Harry to change clothes in private and went into her own office to put on a paper robe, to be burned once she leaves the quarantine room.

 

Two minutes later, Harry was back at the door of the quarantine room, holding his folded clothes and the spare pyjama sets in his arms.

 

“Did you remember to take out your wand?” Madame Pomfrey asked.

 

“Yes,” Harry answered, “I left it in my trouser pocket.”

 

“Good,” she answered. “You can place your personal things here. I'll keep it in my office until you return.” Harry dutifully put his things in the basket she held out for him.

 

“Hey Draco,” Harry said as he was finally allowed to enter the quarantine room. Inside the room were four beds with a bedside table next to each one, a table with four chairs in one corner, three cupboards and a bookshelf. Harry could also see another door, probably leading towards the bathroom. Placing the spare pyjamas on the table, Harry then walked over towards the bed Draco occupied.

 

“Hello Harry,” Draco spoke up, his voice sounding week. He was laying on his right side on the bed, dark circles underneath his eyes and looked paler than usual.

 

“How are you?” Harry asked, concerned. The last time he'd seen Draco like this had been in the beginning of October, just after the Hogsmead weekend. Hopefully Draco doesn't have a serious illness, Harry thought, but with him being in the quarantine room, he was not very hopeful.

 

“I feel exhausted,” Draco answered, but he still had a smile to offer Harry. Smiling back, Harry took a seat at the edge of Draco's bed

 

“It's to be expected,” Madam Pomfrey said. “You are comfortable with Mr Potter knowing about your medical details?” she asked. While she too had heard that Mr Potter and Mr Malfoy seemed to be on much better terms since their joint Dragon Pox immunisation, she still ha d not forgotten the fights the two boys had gotten into during the last five years.

 

“If he is supposed to take care of me, he needs to k now as much as possible,” Draco answered, smiling at the brunet who was now holding his hand in support.

 

“Very well,” Madame Pomfrey agreed. “Professor Snape was alerted this morning that Mr Malfoy had collapsed in his dormitory. When he was brought in here, I discovered that his body was under great stress and that his magic was nearly exhausted. When he finally gained consciousness, he was able to tell me that he felt a slight itching. When I did take a closer look at the area, I saw blisters, which led me to suspect that it could be the Dragon Pox. As a precaution he was moved in here,” Madame Pomfrey explained to Harry

 

“As I told you, Mr Malfoy, I did the tests to confirm my first diagnosis,” she said, speaking directly to Draco now. “I'm sorry to say that you indeed are infected with the Dragon Pox. As there still is no cure, we can only hope that your magic will be strong enough to fight of the pox. All we can do to help you is to check the dispersion of the blisters and to keep a close eye on your body temperature and warm or cool you if necessary. Otherwise, I can just recommend that you try to relax to not stress your body even further and to get as much sleep as possible,” she told Draco.

 

“As for you, Mr Potter, you'll need to check Mr Malfoy's temperature every eight hours, hourly if it raises above thirty-eight point five centigrade. I think we still have a paper and ink lying around here somewhere,” she said and opened the drawers of the bedside tables and then of one of the cupboards, until she found a scroll of parchment, a quill and an ink pot. “I already took Mr Malfoy's temperature half an hour ago. It was thirty-eight point two centigrade. So you won't have to take his temperature before six thirty. Since Mr Malfoy has some blisters in his anus, his temperature needs to be taken orally,” she said as she notated the temperature she measured on the parchment.

 

Draco turned red in embarrassment when she told Harry about his internal blisters. Harry just squeezed Draco's hand in reassurance. “It's okay,” he whispered to Draco.

 

“The critical temperature is forty centigrade. I want you to try and lower Mr Malfoy's temperature by giving him either a cold bath or shower or by applying calf packing. I want you to alert me, by pressing the red button on the door, if the temperature stays above forty centigrades for longer than three hours or if it is above forty point five centigrades,” she told them. Both boys nodded to show her that they understood.

 

“Do you have an idea how you could have come into contact with the pox?” she asked Draco.

 

“No, I still have no idea where I could have caught it since I haven't left the castle in the last two weeks,” Draco lied through his teeth. He had a suspicion how he got the Dragon Pox, but since the other students could not get it the same way as him, he kept silent. It was not a theory he wanted to share with Madame Pomfrey, even less with Harry in the same room as them.

 

“Your meals will appear on the table, so keep it free. Since it would not be in your best interest to put any pressure on the blisters inside your anus, you'll have to be satisfied with juices and nutrient potions, Mr Malfoy. Any questions?” she asked them.

 

“Where is the thermometer?” Harry asked.

 

After showing Harry where the thermometer was, in one of the cupboards together with some basic healing stuff like creams and disinfectants, Draco and Harry did not have any other questions. “Get well soon,” she said as she left them on their own. She would need to ask the house-elves to clean the dormitory to the best of their abilities to keep the Dragon Pox from spreading further. Though, with Draco's blisters being mostly internal, she was hopeful that no one else had caught the infection.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

"I thought she would never stop her monologue,” Draco said after he was sure that Madame Pomfrey would not return.

 

“Is there really nothing she can do for you?” Harry asked.

 

“No. Either my magic is strong enough to fight it off or is isn't,” he said in resignation. “But since I had to Dragon Pox vaccinations, I'll hopefully defeat it.”

 

“I hope so too,” Harry told him, squeezing Draco's hand in reassurance and comfort. Not knowing if and how he should bring up the talk between Snape and Dumbledore he'd overheard or even the vision of Bellatrix and Voldemort, Harry remained silent, only moving towards the table to carry one of the chair over to Draco's bed.

 

Draco too was lost for words. He was happy that with Harry he ha d a friend with him and if things became awkward, he just needed to remember the time when their situation was reversed to feel better again. Still, Draco could not deny that he was thinking more and more about the task the Dark Lord gave him. Will Harry be more inclined to forgive me while I'm in here? he wondered, but couldn't find a definite answer. If he knew something about the other boy, it was that he was unpredictable. But in this isolated setting, it will be more probable that he at least will hear me out.

 

“Are you tired?” Harry finally asked after five minutes of silence.

 

“Not really. And even if I were, I do not think that I could sleep. The constant itching would keep me awake,” the blond admitted.

 

“Do you need to get your hands wrapped?” Harry asked, remembering how he'd had his hands safely enclosed in gloves to stop him from scratching at the blisters.

 

“Not right now. But thank you for asking.” With Harry in the room, Draco did not think that he would even consider scratching the blisters that were on his ass and even less the ones inside his anus when Harry could be watching him.

 

“Shall I read to you?” the brunet asked. “Maybe it will distract you.” At Draco's nod, he got up from the chair and walked over to the bookshelf. Looking at the titles of the books that were at eye-level his smile fell. Whoever had stocked the shelf had apparently thought that the students who were admitted into the quarantine room would have nothing better to do than to read their schoolbooks and maybe even do some of the homework assignments they missed. While Hermione would have appreciated this, he certainly did not.

 

The row below, while not strictly school books, still were not something Harry would read for fun. They were 'light reading' as Hermione had called them back in first year and even six years later, Harry still did not understand why his best friend thought that encyclopedias and history books were light reading. Only when Harry knelt down to look at the books in the two lowest rows did he find some books that he thought he could read to Draco.

 

The lowest row was filled fairytale books and novels that were appropriate for the younger Hogwarts students. The row above was intended for the older students as they contained some of the Muggle classics like Dracula, Jane Eyre and if Harry was to guess all the works of Shakespeare, as well as some modern romance and detective stories for a young adult audience. “What would you like me to read to you?” he asked. “They have a fairytale book by Hans Christian Anderson, a copy of ' Finlay the Brave ', Muggle classics and different youth novels.”

 

“I don't think that I'm up to listening to a longer story,” Draco said. “I haven't heard of Anderson yet. Are his stories good?” he asked.

 

“Yes,” Harry answered. “His stories are as well known as the ones of the brothers Grimm. Maybe you met the princess Ariel in Disneyland? She's the one with the red hair,” Harry added when Draco looked questioningly at him.

 

“Ahh, the one who had the red plush crab with her,” Draco said as Harry sat back down on the chair.

 

“Yepp,” Harry confirmed as he leaved through the book to find the first page of 'The little mermaid.' “She's from Anderson's story 'The little mermaid.'  Sirius said that she looked like Mrs Weasley in her youth.”

 

“Did he actually say it to her?” Draco asked.

 

“No,” Harry answered. “Though he brought Ginny a tea mug with Ariel on it,” Harry told him. When he finally found the page he'd been looking for, he began reading. “Far out in the ocean the water is as blue as the petals of the loveliest cornflower, and as clear as the purest glass. But it is very deep too. It goes down deeper than any anchor rope will go, and many, many steeples would have to be stacked one on top of another to reach from the bottom to the surface of the sea. It is down there that the sea folk live.” Draco silently listened to him until Harry came to the scene where the mermaid approached the sea witch.

 

“'But every step you take will feel as if you were treading upon knife blades so sharp that blood must flow. I am willing to help you, but are you willing to suffer all this?' 'Yes,' the little mermaid said in a trembling voice, as she thought of the Prince and of gaining a human soul,” the brunet read, but was interrupted by Draco.

 

“Seriously?” the blond asked. “Did she even thing what it would mean to walk for the rest of her life on glass shreds?”

 

“She's in love,” Harry argued, but he could not be mad at Draco; the blond was ill so he was allowed to be a bit cranky. “And I should have warned you that this story is rather different from the happily ever after Disney version.”

 

“I haven't seen the Disney version, but this story is certainly more morbid than the brother Grimm's fairytales,” Draco agreed and that was saying something as the last brothers Grimm story they'd read together was Sleeping Beauty, who had been raped and given birth while she was still in the coma before she married her rapist. “But I'll keep silent from now on,” he promised. And true to his word, he did not say a thing when the story went on and the mermaid agreed to have her tongue cut out. It was only when Harry finished reading the story that Draco spoke up again. “You know, the ending isn't really unhappy. At least if you believe that the mermaid's true wish was the eternal soul. Gaining the prince's love was just a means to an end for her. At least I got the feeling,” Draco admitted.

 

Harry hummed in a non-committal answer. When he looked around to find something to drink, he noticed that while he'd been reading, their lunch had already arrived on the table. “Our lunch is here,” he informed the other boy. “Can you get up on your own?” he asked. While Draco nodded, Harry still kept an eye on the other boy as they made their way over to the table, ready to catch him if he should fall. At least this time they both were clad in pyjamas instead of the stupid hospital gowns.

 

While Harry took a seat at the table, Draco remained standing, his hands grabbing the backrest of a chair. “Don't you want to sit down?” Harry asked.

 

“Sitting is not a good idea for me,” Draco responded. “The blisters,” he reminded Harry.

 

“Sorry, I forgot,” he apologized. This explains why there are only two sandwiches but tons of liquid stiff like juiced and yoghurt, he thought, also remembering that Draco was not allowed to eat anything because of where the blisters were.

 

“No problem,” the blond answered as he poured himself a cup of juice. They ate their respective lunches in silence. Only once they were finished did Draco ask, “By the way, how did you know that I was in here?”

 

“I did not see you at the station and when I came back, I heard Snape and Dumbledore talk,” Harry answered.

 

“And Dumbledore asked you to stay with me?” Draco asked.

 

“No,” Harry said, shaking his head. “I was worried about you and just went to the Hospital Wing and talked Madame Pomfrey into allowing me to take care of you.”

 

“Thank you, Harry,” Draco answered, walking over to the other boy and squeezing his shoulder in gratitude.

 

“You're welcome,” the brunet answered. Then after a moment of hesitation, he decided to add, “I also overheard them talking about something else...”

 

Draco froze. Snape hasn't said anything about my task from the Dark Lord to Dumbledore, has he?

 

Luckily Draco was still standing behind Harry, so the Gryffindor did not notice his reaction and went on. “He mentioned that your father was angry because you being here ruined his plans.”

 

A stone fell from Draco's heart when he heard that sentence. He still had the chance to tell Harry what the Dark Lord had tasked him with. But the blond's relief was only short lived when he realized a second later what Harry must be alluding to.

 

“You know what your father has planned for you,” Harry more stated than asked when he looked over his shoulder at the other boy.

 

Draco nodded as he walked from behind Harry to stand on his right, with some feet between them to be on the safe side. He would have liked to have this talk while sitting down, but he knew that in his current situation with the Dragon Pox blisters on his ass it would worsen his anxiety and uneasiness.

 

“How long did you knew?” Harry asked.

 

“Since October,” Draco admitted.

 

It suddenly dawned on Harry. “That's why you looked so ill back then!”

 

Draco just nodded mutedly.

 

“Shit, Draco. Why didn't you tell me?” Harry asked, getting up from the chair and taking Draco into his arms.

 

“I was afraid,” Draco admitted, referring to his father's plans but also to the task the Dark Lord had given him.

 

“I would have helped you. Or even just have been there to comfort you,” Harry said as he hugged the other boy even tighter to him.

 

“You did help me,” Draco answered honestly. “When we met to read the fairytale books, I was able to forget about it for a while.”

 

“Still,” Harry began, but Draco hushed him.

 

“I have other things to worry about right now,” the Slytherin said, wanting to finally confess what plagued him most.

 

“Yeah, you need to get well,” Harry said, lovingly caressing the blond's hair.

 

Not what I was referring to, Draco thought, slightly annoyed but warmth that Harry cared so much about his well-being. And while he would not admit it to anyone, he enjoyed the way Harry petted him and unconsciously leaned into the touch.

 

“I love you,” Harry suddenly announced, shocking both himself and Draco with his unexpected confession.

 

“Harry,” Draco began in a clearly apologetic voice, needing to tell Harry about the task he'd been given before he could say anything else; like that he loved him too.

 

The Gryffindor though saw it as a rejection and stepped back from Draco, letting his hand fall to the side. “Forget that I said anything,” he said, looking down at the ground, heartbroken. “I understand if you want me to leave,” he added, looking at the door.

 

“No, stay!” Draco ordered, taking Harry's hand in his to stop him from walking away. “It's just… I...” he trailed off. Why do I have to be at a loss of words when I need them most?  Draco thought dejectedly. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he tried again. “I do not know how I can explain this to you without it sounding all wrong.” Or you getting angry with me or without loosing you, he added in his mind. The hand that was not holding Harry's was firmly grabbing the backrest of the nearest chair, the knuckles turning white; something that Harry noticed with concern.

 

“You should not stress yourself,” Harry said, his thumb caressing the blond's hand.

 

“I'll be more relaxed once it's out,” Draco pacified.

 

“Then take your time,” Harry said soothingly. “I'm not going anywhere.”

 

“Hear me out till the end, please?” he begged. Harry nodded in agreement, his thumb still drawing circles on the back of Draco's hand, which calmed the other boy somewhat. “My father is not the only one who has plans for me,” he finally began. “The Dark Lord has also given me a task.”

 

“NO!” Harry yelled, letting go of Draco's hand and walking back and forth in front of the rows of hospital beds. No, my vision cannot be true, he prayed, shaking his head in denial. Draco would never...Never what? Betray me or Voldemort?  an alien voiced asked in his mind.

 

“You already knew,” Draco said, making Harry look in his direction as he suddenly stopped pacing. “I hope you also know that I did not fake anything,” he added, looking directly into Harry's eyes. If Harry'd already known and still proclaimed his love for me, this must work out in the end, Draco hoped.

 

“I do not know ANYTHING anymore!” Harry yelled. Pacing again and rambled on, “When I had the vision, I desperately wanted it to be fake. I could not imagine that the boy I became to know and love had only become close to me because of a mission from Voldemort. How could the boy who enjoys playing Dragon Reserve and loves nothing better than to spend a Sunday afternoon reading fairytales with me ever betray me in such a way?”

 

“I did not betray you,” Draco whispered weakly, but it went unheard.

 

“But then there also were the circumstance under which I saw the vision,” Harry went on, not even noticing that Draco was close to breaking down. “While Voldemort certainly is a sick bastard, I couldn't imagine that he would purposefully send me a fake vision where he has sex with Bellatrix. 'So very beautiful,' he'd said,” Harry repeated with a shudder, the memory still haunting him. “I started to have doubts, but do you know how much I hoped and prayed that it was just a rouse? That it was just another scheme of his? BUT NO! You really were tasked to befriend me and I so stupidly fell in love with you,” Harry's voice got softer with every word he spoke and his heart broke more and more. “But you know what?” he yelled again, furious now. “Right now, I would love nothing better than to HEX YOU! To throw things at you and to punch you to pulp!

 

“But since we're in here,” Harry sneered, “I have no wand and even the lunch plates have vanished, leaving me with nothing but my fists to throw at you—” Harry's voice stopped. At once he changed from being furious and angry with Draco to being overly concerned for him. What he had not noticed right away in his red hot anger was that not only had the tableware vanished from the table but also Draco was not standing at the table anymore even thought he'd stood right there not even three minutes ago. Looking around the room, it was only when his eyes returned to the table when he spotted the blond. “DRACO!” he yelled, running over to the blond who had collapsed to the floor. His anger was forgotten as he knelt besides the other boy, whose skin was burning hot.

 

“Shit,” Harry cursed. I knew that he was ill, he berated himself as he carefully lifted Draco up into his arms and carried him bridal-style towards the bed. Just as he was about to walk over to the door to press the emergency button to alert Madame Pomfrey, Draco regained consciousness.

 

“Harry,” he weakly whispered.

 

“I'm here,” the Gryffindor answered. “Shit, I'm so sorry Draco,” he immediately apologized, his previous anger completely forgotten as worry took over.

 

“It's okay. I should have told you sooner,” Draco said. “But you must believe me when I say that I would never betray you.”

 

Even Harry could hear how desperate Draco was for him to believe the blond. “We'll talk about it when you're well again,” was all Harry could say for the moment. And for now it was enough for Draco too.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

Far out...live *: This and other citations of 'The little mermaid' are taken from andersen (dot) sdu (dot) dk (slash) vaerk

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

AN: While I have not started the possible third part of 'Dragon Pox', I posted the first chapters of another more-or-less war-centred, mpreg Draco story called Toujours pur, toujours du sang de Black. Check it out if you like such stories.

 

Next Update: We'll see. Until then, can you guess how Draco received the Dragon Pox in such a private area?

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: See prologue

Guide: "Talk", Thoughts, ~letters and other written stuff~

Warnings:

AN: Another chapter finally finished. Happy Christmas/Yule or whatever you're celebrating at this time of the year! ^_^

 

-~-~- Dragon Pox - Relapse -~-~-

-~-~- Chapter 11 -~-~-

-~-~-by StillWatersAreDeep-~-~-

 

Saturday, 21st December 1996

 

Was Harry still angry with Draco and felt betrayed? Yes. But he'd shoved it deep down. He could not help himself but to let his love and worry for the blond take over —at least for the time being . Besides, even after collapsing Draco's only worry seemed to be that he believed him. Even if Draco was a good actor, Harry very much doubted that he could act while he was so very ill. Th is assumption was verified when the blond once again opened his mouth.

 

“Harry,” Draco began weakly , but a finger on his lips stopped him.

 

“Hush,” Harry said. “No more words from you. Save your strength for getting better. You're far too hot for my likening. Let's check your temperature and then we'll see whether you need a cold shower or some calf packings.”

 

So, even though it was still hours before the regular temperature check time, Harry asked Draco to open his mouth to put in the thermometer. After some moments it announced “Thirty-nine point seven centigrade.”

 

“It's not the forty centigrade where I'm supposed to cool you down,” Harry said, “but because of your collapse, I would feel better if we applied some calf packings.”

 

Draco agreed with the suggestion, he was feeling hot and weak and if it meant that Harry would stay with him, he would readily agree to anything the Gryffindor suggested .

 

Harry went into the bathroom to wet two towels and the n lifted the blond's pyjama bottoms to expose the calves. Carefully he lifted one leg, placed the wet towel and a second dry one underneath it and then coiled them tightly around Draco's leg. Once the right leg was finished, he repeated the process with the left one.

 

“Thank you,” Draco said, his voice sounding sleepy.

 

“Get some rest,” Harry advised. “You need it.”

 

“Don't leave me,” Draco begged.

 

“I won't” he said and allowed Draco to hold his hand as the blond got into a comfortable position, Harry's free hand lovingly caressing the blond's hair.

 

It was not long before Draco fell asleep, his breath evening out. Alone now, or as alone as Harry would get during the next days in the quarantine room ,he thought about the messed up situation he currently found himself in. He let his thoughts wander, trying to understand why Draco had not come to him sooner with either of his problems. Through his anger, Harry tried to see the memory of Draco's face as he told him of the task Voldemort had given him.

 

He'd obviously been stress about it. The stammering a profound sign of his insecurity, the rational part of Harry's mind provided. But why only speak up now? This was asked by his emotional side. Was their friendship not strong enough? Did Draco not trust him? Only Draco can answer this, Harry thought. But I do not want him to collapse again. He would need to wait some days before he could demand answers, even if he did not like the current uncertainty.

 

He looked at the sleeping blond in the bed, could feel his love for the other boy rise up inside of him, only for a mix of negative emotions to start swelling up when he began to let his mind think about the last hours. There was betrayal, fear and anger, but also confusion. It would be so much easier if I could just blame Voldemort for this mess, but I can't, he thought. Yes, Voldemort was the one who gave Draco the task to befriend me, but I would expect nothing less from him. From Draco though, I expected more, Harry realized. For fuck's sake, Voldemort even unconsciously send me a vision, informing me about the whole plot.

 

Should I have confronted him about it sooner? Harry wondered. Would it be of any help to us now? So many what 'ifs'… But it doesn't change the current situation. Like that I still love him. His heart ached at the thought.

 

“Why didn't you tell me sooner?” Harry asked softly into the silent room. His heart tried to find some reasons for Draco's actions, mainly arguing that the timing would always be of. During their first meetings, Harry feared that the trust between them would have been too fragile. We would not have been able to overcome the metaphorical elephant in the room. The task of befriending me would always have overshadowed whatever true friendship we built, if we had been able to built one at all. And the longer Draco waited, the stronger our bond became but also the more the revelation hurt. And it cannot hurt more than now when I love him, can it? he asked himself sarcastically.

 

But our bond cannot get any stronger than it is now either. At least on my side, Harry reasoned. Only time would be able to tell if his love was strong enough to overcome the hurt he felt right now. But deep down, Harry knew that he wished for nothing more than for Draco to get well and then to tell him a simple explanation that would make everything right again. And maybe also to tell me that he loves me too.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

The handles of the clock moved, an hour passed but Harry did not have the heart to wake Draco for another temperature check like he was supposed to do. Feeling the blond's forehead told him that while still hot, Draco's temperature had decreased somewhat. Carefully he removed his hand out of Draco's hold and went to the bathroom. There he used the toilet and then wetted two new towels. He would try to change the calf packings without waking the other boy.

 

But Harry didn't need to have worried, Draco was magically and emotionally so exhausted that he did not notice what Harry was doing to him. The only reaction Harry received was an arm that was thrown over the side of the bed that hit Harry's knees when he retook his seat in the chair.

 

It was nearly three hours since Draco's collapse when the blond woke again. “Harry,” he whispered when he did not see the brunet at his bedside.

 

“I'm here,” Harry appeased, making Draco turn around as the Gryffindor laid down the copy of Anderson's fairy tales he'd been reading. The smile that greeted him warmth Harry's heart and decreased his anger further. He knew why he loved Draco. If only the other trusted him more...

 

Slowly, Draco sat up and looked around for a glass of water. He was feeling thirsty. “Can I have some thing to drink?” he asked, testing the waters between him and Harry.

 

Harry could not see a glass anywhere in the room, but then he remembered that the bathroom had some cups for brushing the teeth. “I'll get you some,” he replied and went into the bathroom.

 

When Harry returned, Draco thanked him. The atmosphere in the room could only be described as awkward. But awkward was better than tensed. The situation didn't last long though. Draco was suddenly overcome by sickness. With a hand in front of his mouth, he tried to get up from the bed as fast as possible. He had, however, overlooked the calf packings that were still around his legs, so not even a step away from the bed, he found himself falling down to the floor. Fortunately , before he could be sick all over himself and the floor, Harry held out a basin to him.

 

“I'm sorry,” Harry said. “I should have taken the calf packings off sooner.”

 

“It's okay,” Draco said, his stomach still feeling queasy, but his heart was warmed by Harry gently rubbing his back.

 

With Harry 's help, Draco was guided back towards the bed where they unwound the calf packings, and the blond us ed one of the wet towels to clean his face.

 

“I'll take care of that,” Harry said, taking the basin and the discarded towels to the bathroom. “Just in case,” Harry said when he returned and placed a now clean basin back on to the beside table. “ Are you sure we should not alert Madame Pomfrey?” he asked. “You have me worried.”

 

“I'll be alright,” Draco said.

 

“I don't know,” Harry answered, doubtful. “When I went through my immunisation, I was not throwing up,” Harry said, concern clear in his voice.

 

“You were healthy when the cream was applied. I've been feeling a bit under the weather for some days now,” Draco countered.

 

“Still...” the brunet trailed off.

 

“I'll be alright,” the Slytherin repeated , giving a quick squeeze to Harry's hand. “Besides, with the Saviour of the Wizarding World as my personal nurse maid, I 'll have to get better, won't I?”

 

Harry snorted. If Draco could make jokes, he could not be at death's door. Fortunately. The thought lifted a stone of Harry's heart that he did not know had been there. “Only if you follow the instructions,” he replied. “So be a good patient and open your mouth for the thermometer.”

 

“Thirty-nine point four centigrade,” the measurement device announced after a moment.

 

“See,” Draco said like the thermometer proved his point.

 

“Thirty-nine point four is not good,” Harry answered, but it was at least lower than before.

 

“It is,” the blond countered. “It is perfectly in the range of the healing fever.”

 

Harry knew that Draco was right, but it did not stop him from worrying anyway. “If doesn't go down by tonight, we will do something about it,” he said firmly, leaving no room for argument.

 

Draco agreed. The healing fever should only last between three to nine hours to be healthy. “ Will you read to me?” he asked.

 

“How about 'The Emperor's New Clothes '?” Harry asked, picking up the book he'd placed on the bedside table when Draco had woken up.

 

“Sure,” the blond replied with a shrug. He did not know the story, so hopefully it would distract him from the itching on his bum that was getting more annoying by the minute.

 

“Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed,” Harry began.

 

One year ago, or even six months ago, he would have joked that Draco was just like this emperor. But during the last months, he got to know that Draco was not as focused on his looks as the rumours made him out to be. Did Draco care about his general appearance? Yes. Did he spend hours in front of a mirror? No. And while he always made sure to be properly dressed in his school uniform during classes, he was often seen walking around without his tie and with the first few buttons of his shirt undone once the lessons were over.

 

“Not only were their colours and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid,” Harry read two minutes later, and just like when they'd read 'The Little Mermaid' , Draco interrupted him.

 

“If your Invisibility Cloak would work like this, you would be in real trouble,” Draco pointed out.

 

Harry laughed. “I can only repeat, 'Trouble always finds me.'”

 

“Whatever makes you sleep at night, Harry,” Draco joked.

 

Harry just shook his head and continued reading. “The whole town knew about the cloth's peculiar power, and all were impatient to find out how stupid their neighbours were.”

 

“One does not need an imaginary piece of cloth to see how stupid the people around them are. Just observing them or talking to them will let you know,” Draco interrupted for the second time.

 

Harry nodded in agreement. He read how the people were all unable to 'see' the fabric. He fully expected Draco to interrupt him once more, just to comment on how stupid they were, but when he looked up he saw that Draco was stretching his bottom underneath the duvet .

 

“Draco,” he said in a warning voice.

 

Just like a kid with his hand in the cookie jar, Draco abruptly stopped his hand motion. His face turned even redder than it already was form the fever. Here goes my self-discipline, he thought , angry with himself and that he had not even noticed doing the unconscious scratching.

 

“I fear we'll have to bind your hands,” Harry said bu t his voice betray ed the amusement he felt at turning the tables. Now Draco would know how it was to w ear the damned gloves.

 

“Maybe there are no gloves in here,” the blond suggested when Harry, after two minutes of searching through the cupboards, still had not found the gloves.

 

“I'm sure they're here somewhere,” Harry said. “But I'll admit that Madame Pomfrey could organize the cupboards a bit better.” Draco agreed. Even she had search ed a while for the simple ink and parchment.

 

“Still not giving up?” Draco asked another three minutes later that felt like ten to Harry.

 

“No. And in the worse case, I 'll just use two of the smaller towels to wrap your hands,” the Gryffindor replied.

 

In the end, Harry found the gloves hidden behind three large bottles of disinfectants and potions in the back corner of the lowest shelf of the left cupboard. Feeling the soft woollen material in his hands made him feel like he was forgetting something; a long lost memory that was somehow connected to the gloves, or something that resembled them. He just could not remember what it was.

 

“They're still as annoying as they were when I was a child,” Draco said. He'd patiently allowed Harry to put on the gloves. As much as they got on his nerves, he knew that he would be even more annoyed if he should get Dragon Pox scars on his buttocks from scratching the blisters.

 

“ Don't remind me,” the brunet answered as he settled down on his chair.“ At least with the location of your blisters we can leave out the gag and the gloves for the feet.”

 

At least one good thing comes out of having them mostly internal and on my ass, Draco thought but just hummed “Hmm,” out loud.

 

With that matter taken care of, Harry continue reading. “The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, 'This procession has got to go on.' So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all,” Harry finished the story.

 

Draco laughed. “Sorry,” the Slytherin apologized. “When you read the last part, I had this strange image of the Dark Lord wearing such a 'robe' ― Damned these gloves,” Draco suddenly cursed when the gloves prevented his fingers from forming air quotation marks .

 

Harry laughed, both at Draco swearing and at the image. “While I do not want to see him naked,” he began. The imagine of him and Bellatrix after sex had been disturbing enough , he thought in his head, “I can imagine his followers still kissing the hem of his imaginary robes.” He conveniently left out that Draco's father would be one of those followers and instead offered to read the next story in the book: ' The Princess on the Pea.'

 

Having nothing better to do, Draco agreed, however his bladder made itself noticed, demanding to be emptied. “I need to visit the bathroom,” he informed Harry, and made to get up from the bed. Carefully he put his feet on the floor, but as he was about to stand up, a spell of blackness overcame him. Ever attentive, Harry was there to stabilise him.

 

“Let's walk there together,” he offered and slowly walked towards the bathroom. Once there, he opened the toilet lid for the blond. “Can you manage?” Harry asked as he sat him down on the toilet. Even with his hands in the gloves, Draco should be able to push down his pyjama bottoms on his own.

 

“I think so,” Draco answered.

 

“Call me if you need help,” Harry said as he left the bathroom, giving the blond his privacy.

 

Harry look out of the window, watching the Hogwarts grounds as the sun went down. A minute passed, then another and another. What is taking him so long? he wondered, but told himself that he would wait three more minutes before he would check on his patient.

 

In the meanwhile, Draco was with some difficulties trying to move up his pyjama pants. While he'd no problem to push them down with his gloved hands, putting them back up was not as easy. But at least the toilet here had the same spell as the one on the Immunisation Ward of St Mungo's, cleaning up his groin area once he was done.

 

“ Are you alright?” he heard Harry ask through the door.

 

“ Yeah, I'll be out in a minute,” he called back.

 

Once Draco with Harry's help finally returned to the bed, the Gryffindor began reading the new fairy tale. “Once there was a Prince who wanted to marry a Princess. Only a real one would do. So he travelled through all the world to find her, and everywhere things went wrong. There were Princesses aplenty, but how was he to know whether they were real Princesses? There was something not quite right about them all. So he came home again and was unhappy, because he did so want to have a real Princess.” Harry read, but this time it was he who interrupted he story. “You know, the last part sounds like you as a child,” he teased.

 

“I can assure you, I never wanted a real Princess,” Draco replied. “A real racing broom, though...” he trailed off and they both laughed together.

 

“And an Artic Icestrom Dragon,” Harry added, which set both of them off again.

 

“That too,” Draco agreed between laughter.

 

“And did you get it ?” the brunet asked.

 

“The dragon, no. I had to make due with my plush toy, the books and the Dragon Reserve game. But I got the broom. Kind off. They brought me one, but I was only allowed to fly with it under my parents' supervision, while I could use the toy broom whenever I wanted.”

 

Not wanting to say anything about how he would never get anything from the Dursleys, Harry continued reading, “ One evening a terrible storm blew up. It lightened and thundered and rained. It was really frightful! In the midst of it all came a knocking at the town gate. The old King went to open it.”

 

“As if a king would open the town gate,” Draco scoffed. “In the middle of a storm no less!”

 

Draco interrupted him once more when he read how many mattresses and feather beds were piled on the pea. Claiming that seven, or just any uneven number would have been much better choice than twenty. Every fifth year students who took Arithmancy would be able to tell him that.

 

Harry shortly imagined how Hermione would spend a sleepless night trying to prove that Anderson's twenty was the better choice. Or maybe she would just agree with Draco and would save him from a twenty minute explanation he would not understand anyway.

 

"In the morning they asked her, 'Did you sleep well?' 'Oh!' said the Princess. 'No. I scarcely slept at all,'” Harry read.

 

“No wonder, there was a storm raging outside,” Draco commented.

 

Harry hoped that if Draco should ever have kids that Draco would be the one to read the stories and not his child. He imagined a blond little girls, slowly but proudly reading from her favourite fairy tale book to Draco, only for the blond to interrupt her to offer a snide comment or two about the story .

 

“Dinner seems to be ready,” Draco announced once Harry finished the short story.

 

“Are you feeling up to eating?” Harry asked worriedly. He did not want Draco to throw up again.

 

“I'll try the soup,” Draco said as he slowly got up, feeling a bit dizzy.

 

“Let me help you,” Harry instantly offered, putting an arm around the blond's back. “Maybe we can turn the chair around by ninety degrees so that only your legs will touch the seat?” he asked, not thinking that standing as he ate would be a good idea in Draco 's currently weakened state .

 

While it was not the most comfortable way to sit on a chair, it at least took part of his weight of his feet and Draco certainly did not want to collapse to the floor a second time today. Cautiously he took the fi r st sip of th e tomato soup that Harry offered him, then he waited anxiously for his stomach to give a negative reaction. When noting happened after Harry had already eaten a third of his own meal, he asked for a second spoonful of soup, before he waited again.

 

If they'd served peas today, I would have been tempted to put on under Draco's mattress while he was not looking. The I could tease him about being a real Princess, Harry thought and tried to hide his smile in the mashed potatoes he was eating.

 

Feeding Draco was as weird as being fed by the other boy. Luckily it was only soup and not ice cream. He still remembered the talk between Lavender and Parvati he'd overheard in the common room at the beginning of this term. At that time, he had just shook his head as they discussed how one should eat ice cream to make the person watching you be aroused. Last week though, he'd dreamed about watching Draco sinfully eat a sundae and he clearly remembered how he imagined that it was his cock instead. Going by the residual wetness in his pyjamas, Harry believed that his dream had gone a bit further than just watching Draco eat ice cream , but the rest was a jumble of hazy memories.

 

“I think I'll be okay,” Draco announced after a minute and thus Harry began to feed him spoon s of soup between eating his own dinner of mashed potatoes, lamb and green beans until the blond said that he was full. The average sized soup bowl was still a quarter filled , but it was better than nothing, especially if it stayed where it was.

 

“Try to drink some water or tea later,” Harry prompted, not wanting Draco to dehydrate .

 

“I wi―ll,” he yawned. While sitting sidewards on the chair had not irritated his blisters, it was still taxing to sit that way, his fever not making the situation any better.

 

“Nap?” Harry asked.

 

“Sounds great,” Draco answered as he climbed back into the bed.

 

“Just let me quickly check your temperature and you can go to sleep,” Harry said.

 

“Hmm,” Draco hummed sleepily, exhaustion taking over. Fortunately he just needed to open his month for Harry to insert the thermometer. Harry was relieved to hear it announce “Thirty nine point three centigrade” some moments later.

 

“It's going down,” he stated, but Draco was already fast asleep. Lovingly Harry adjusted the duvet and caressed a stray strand of blond hair out of the other's face.

 

It were moments like this that made him hope that everything would work out between them if only Draco could give him a good enough explanation why he did what he did. His feelings were strong, Harry had no doubt about it. But in the back of his mind, the lack of trust on Draco's part also left him with a strong feeling of betrayal. Harry prayed that it would vanish just as Draco's fever was slowly going down as he dutifully wrote down the temperature on the parchment Madame Pomfrey had provided.

 

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Dragon Pox ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

 

AN: The citations of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' and 'The Princess on the Pea' are taken from andersen (dot) sdu (dot) dk (slash) vaerk

 

Next Update: I have no idea.