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The Peace That Follows

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Disclaimer: This story/artwork 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.>

 

Author's/artist's notes (if any): I do not know how this fic got away from me! It did NOT start out as this monster. Kawanale, I can only apologize if you can’t recognize your prompt in here. The original outline was what you asked for – but—well… this happened instead.

Beta(s): enormous thanks to my lovely beta Morgana who worked her ass off for this fic even when I sent it to her when she was on vacation and I needed to turn it in THE NEXT DAY– it wouldn’t be here without her and that is not an exaggeration.

 

***

 

Hermione sighed when she looked over at Harry, he had been so melancholy since the end of the war; she didn’t understand it, he should have been celebrating, he should have been dating every witch who made eyes at him –which subsequently was every witch but her and Ginny- but he wasn’t doing any of that. Harry didn’t even play Quidditch anymore; he kept his head down and did his work. Harry had become dutiful but dark. She worried that he had lost his reason to be when he had won the war.

“You alright?” Harry asked her quietly, not looking up from his Potions essay.

“Just wondering how we’ll get through NEWTs,” she covered easily, smiling gently at him.

Harry smiled too, but he still didn’t look up and the smile never reached his distant green eyes. “You’re the one who convinced me to come back, you have no one but yourself to blame.” Harry put down his quill and stretched his back. “It’s not that I’m not happy that Snape survived, I am, you know that I am, I think that the mediwizards who saved him should all get an Order of Merlin; but I think he’s trying to kill us with this workload. Also, I’d forgotten how much we didn’t like each other.”

Hermione couldn’t help the quick, silent laugh that shook her shoulders. “Oil and water, the two of you.”

“I look too much like a Potter; he’ll never forgive me for that.” Harry was about to go back to his work when he suddenly sat bolt upright, a small glimpse of the real Harry in his eyes. “I’m hungry. Are you hungry?”

Before Hermione had a chance to answer, Harry was up out of his chair and striding through the early evening light that filtered through the windows of the library. Hermione shook her head in bewildered amusement and charmed their books and papers into their bags even as she picked them up to follow.

 

***

 

Draco Malfoy was sitting in the kitchens when they got there, leaning closely over a plate of very red meat and looking shiftily at the house elves that were scurrying around happily. Then he looked up at Harry and Hermione and they could see that he was instantly defensive.

“Hey Malfoy,” Harry said as though he hadn’t seen Draco's hackles raise. Hermione gave a small, somewhat apologetic smile as the house elves came to fawn over the newcomers.

Harry dropped his bag next to the seat beside Malfoy and sat down rather heavily. “Devil’s Claw and Wormwood,” Harry said without preamble, “do not turn blue no matter how many ways I mix them.”

Malfoy didn’t say anything; he just took another bite of his rare steak.

But Hermione wasn’t as willing to let this moment go, Harry hadn’t been this animated in months and she was not going to let him go. “Have you read all of the instructions already?”

“Backwards, forwards, and with the knowledge of how Snape’s mind works that I got two years ago,” Harry said, nodding a little sadly.

“I think you just need to get more of a feel of what you want the potion to be doing, take your time and let it talk to you,” Draco said, his voice slightly rough.

“Let it talk to me?” Harry questioned before Hermione was able to scoff. “How do I do that?”

“What is the end result you need?” Draco asked.

“Sustainable cohesion.”

“To what end?” Draco repeated, seemingly more relaxed.

“It’s supposed to create a stable foundation for a memory potion I’ve been working on. Jobberknoll tends to break down if you overcook it and then it gets unstable. And I found an old potions book that mentioned that if you start off with Devil’s Claw and Wormwood and combine them until they turn blue, then you can attain a more stable cohesion.”

“Have you tried talking to Professor Snape about it?” Draco asked.

Harry sighed. “He’s been avoiding me ever since the Ministry.”

“Potter, that was in July, it’s October.”

“I know,” Harry answered glumly.

The question was there in Draco's eyes, but he wasn’t going to ask; no one was ever willing to ask the details of that night. “He’s coming ‘round,” Draco said at last. “It’s not easy for us.”

“It’s not easy for me either,” Harry said quietly.

“I meant you too, Potter,” Draco answered, barely audible. “Send him a note after hours. Nothing about the war, just a question about potions to a Potions Master. He’ll respond. When is your next lab?” Those returning or retaking their Seventh Year for NEWTs didn’t have regular classes, instead they had a string of labs and private time with the professors and a lot of private study and study groups.

“I have a few days before I see him. Thanks,” Harry said with a slightly shy smile. “You know, we’ve got a History of Magic group meeting up tomorrow, it’s in the library after lunch. You should come join us.”

“How long does it meet?”

“We’re usually there until dinner.”

“Sorry, I can’t.”

“Well, if you change your mind…” Harry gave another shy smile as he drained his pumpkin juice and picked up his bag. He nodded toward the door and Hermione, who had been watching very closely, gathered her things and followed Harry out the door.

They were halfway to Gryffindor tower when she spoke again. “Harry?” she ventured in a careful voice.

“Yes?” Harry asked back, his guard instantly up.

“Do… I hate that I’m even thinking I have to ask this… do you… fancy Malfoy?”

Harry didn’t answer; he was too busy having his heart beat out of his chest. His silence spoke loudly enough to Hermione.

“Ah, I see.” She took a deep breath. “Why didn’t you ever tell me? I mean… how long have you known?”

“About Malfoy? Or that I fancy blokes?” Harry’s voice was rough with emotion.

“Either. Both. Is this what’s been wrong with you lately? This secret?”

“Nothing’s been wrong with me, Hermione, I’m just… I’m figuring some things out.”

“Is Malfoy one of those things?”

“Can we just… not talk about this?”

“No, Harry, it seems to me we’ve been not talking about this for too long already. “Just”- impetuously, she reached out and grabbed his arm, forcing him to stop, forcing him to look at her – “talk to me!” The look Harry gave her in response nearly broke her heart.

“I’ve known for a while now. Since after… after the last battle. We were at St. Mungo’s and he was there… outside of Snape’s room… when they were… when they were working so hard to save him. Malfoy was in St. Mungo’s pajamas. That night, in the Great Hall, I hadn’t noticed that he was hurt. But he was sitting there… just sitting there on one of the hallway benches, staring at Snape’s door. I don’t even know if he knew I was there.”

“How did that make you realize?” Hermione asked, confused.

“That didn’t. No, that happened two weeks later when I snuck out of the Order of Merlin to trade blow jobs with Kingsley’s second assistant,” Harry gave half a laugh, but there was no humor behind it.

“You didn’t!”

Harry just nodded. “I’d always wondered. After the war was over, I never wanted to wonder again.”

“You never have to wonder if you can talk to me, you know that, right?” Hermione reached for Harry’s arm again, this time her touch was gentle, reassuring. “Just because I’m Ron’s girlfriend, doesn’t mean I’m not still your best friend.” She linked her arm with the one of his she was already holding and together they walked back to Gryffindor tower.

Around the corner and halfway down the hallway that lead the way to the Slytherin common room, Draco Malfoy stood still with shock.

 

***

 

At lunch the next day Malfoy watched Harry carefully, out of the corner of his eye. He watched as Harry didn’t laugh with his mates. He watched as Harry picked at his food. He watched as Harry watched him in carefully short glimpses. If he hadn’t been paying such close attention he never would have seen it. But then, if what Potter had told Granger was true, he’d been watching Malfoy for months now.

Draco couldn’t lie to himself, he’d smelled something on Potter; something he hadn’t wanted to think about. But then he hadn’t had a basis of comparison for what Potter was supposed to smell like; there were some in the school who seemed to have higher pheromones naturally, but he wasn’t sure if Potter was one of them. He just didn’t have enough information to make a decision. But the information that he did have intrigued him.

He stood from the table before the rest of his house mates, not that he thought for a moment that they would notice or care. He made his way down to Snape’s private potions lab. He had never questioned why Snape had gone back to the position of Potions Master after the school was reopened; after the war Draco hadn’t questioned anyone’s motives. He reached the plain wooden door and knocked precisely.

Snape let him in without a word, leaning heavily on his cane; he simply walked back to the head table and motioned to the steaming goblet that sat there.

“Thank you, sir,” Draco said quietly. He walked up and downed the contents in a single gulp. He coughed gently a few times. “Do you think I’ll ever get the knack of not letting the potion touch my tongue on the way down?”

Snape didn’t turn from the book he was studying when he said, “Lupin never did.”

“I have a bit of a quandary for tonight. I’ve been invited to a study group in the library. The only issue is that they stay until after sundown.”

“Stay until the cold chills start, then return to your private room.”

“I… I don’t know if I should.”

Snape still didn’t turn, didn’t look up. “If your concern is for the well-being of Gryffindors, then go and stay until the chills start and then return to your rooms; if however you are worried for your own safety, then I recommend staying in your rooms and not going. But becoming a recluse isn’t going to help you.”

Draco didn’t respond to that. Anything that he would say would not be welcome. He couldn’t mention the hypocrisy in what his only ally had just told him, nor could he mention the real motives behind his sudden interest in inclusion with his year-mates, he said the only thing he really had as an option, “Thank you, sir.”

“I will see you tomorrow, Malfoy.”

“Yes sir, right after lunch.” Draco picked up his bag and walked out the door. It only took him a moment to decide, then he walked down the hall and up the stairs.

 

***

 

“Malfoy,” Harry said in surprise, but with a genuine smile, “I didn’t think you’d make it. You took off so fast after lunch, and – I’m glad you’re here.”

Draco smirked his best smirk and replied, “I figured you could use all the help you could get. But I can only stay a few hours.”

“We’ll take all the help we can get,” Harry said, blushing just a little.

They walked over to the table where Ron and Hermione were giggling together, Neville and Dean were pouring over scrolls with an intense look of concentration on Dean’s face and a look of serene patience on Neville’s; just then the doors opened again and Luna Lovegood walked in in the middle of a heated discussion with Justin Finch-Fletchley and Hermione pulled away from Ron, all seriousness.

“Everyone here?” she asked with a smile, even as Ron beside her was glaring at Malfoy.

Harry sat down one seat in from the end, making sure Malfoy would sit beside him but not have to have anyone else encroach on his space. And when Harry sat and adjusted his robes, his scent filled Draco's senses and made him dizzy for just a moment.

They worked for hours on end, arguments turning heated within the confines of the silencing bubble Luna had cast when Dean and Ron had first gone from whispers to outright snarling. Harry and Hermione had worked very hard to get the conversation away from Quidditch and now they were arguing the outcomes and missteps of the Goblin Wars with a depth that they couldn’t have imagined just a few short years ago. They could see nuance now that hadn’t existed before.

Draco shivered when Harry’s knee casually leaned against his own. And then when Harry had made a point he was particularly passionate about, his gesturing hands finally stilled where they were just touching Draco's own, not quite flesh to flesh, more like hairs to hairs, but just enough to make Draco shiver again.

“Don’t you think so, Malfoy?” Harry asked, turning his bright eyes on Draco just as Draco realized he hadn’t heard what Harry’s question was about.

“Well…” Draco hedged, his voice rougher than it should have been.

“Malfoy, are you alright?” Harry asked, honestly concerned, a small frown appearing between his eyebrows.

“I’m not actually. I think I’ve stayed too late. I have to be going. Good night all.” Draco grabbed his bag and ran off fast enough that he barely even felt the drag of the silencing charm as he rushed through it.

“MALFOY WAIT!” Harry called from half a corridor behind.

“Can’t, Potter,” he called back without stopping.

Another two turns toward the dungeons and suddenly Potter was there in front of him, leaning against a wall. “You’re running late, so I won’t hedge,” Harry said plainly.

“How did you-? Where did you-?”

“This Saturday is Halloween in Hogsmeade. Would you like to go with me?”

“What?”

“Would you like to come to Hogsmeade with me this weekend?” Harry repeated.

“Potter, I’m late, I don’t have time for this now.” Draco was beginning to panic and so he started to walk past Harry.

But Harry, in a fit of bravery the likes of which he had rather hoped were behind him, reached out, grabbed hold of Draco's robes, pulled him quickly in and kissed him. It wasn’t suave or gentle or sweet, it was a hard, harsh meeting of lips, with too many teeth to it and too much heat just beneath the surface, but it was the only plan Harry had.

Draco's senses were overcome even with the sloppy, too harsh kiss; Harry’s scent was all around him and when he pulled away Harry’s taste was on his lips. He didn’t know what to say, he didn’t trust his voice, not when the wolf was this close to the surface and on alert for this fearless man before him.

“Ten a.m. in the front hall?” Harry phrased it as a question, but Draco knew that wasn’t how he meant it, it was a command and Draco wanted nothing more than to follow it.

“I’m late,” was all Draco managed to say. He forced himself not to run away from Harry as he continued on his way to his private suite. He was halfway down the hallway when his clenched fist was grabbed in a tight grip.

“I’m sorry,” Harry said breathlessly. “That was a terrible snog; I can’t leave it at that.” And then Harry’s lips were on him again, not bruising this time, but so, so soft and gentle and pressing so slightly that there really wasn’t a choice but to open to them, to melt into them. Suddenly his arms were around strong shoulders, fingers were gripping in his hair and the whole floor seemed to tilt.

Harry was elated, Draco was kissing him back, holding onto him and making the sexiest little keening noise at the back of his throat. And then he knew, knew that if he didn’t stop right now, didn’t force himself to pull away from all of that heat and all of that… man in his arms right that second he wasn’t going to be able to stop. It was a Herculean effort but he managed to pull himself away from that enticing mouth. And that’s when he saw it, a flash of gold over silver. And then he understood. “You should get going,” he said softly. “Snape will yell at you if you’re late back.” He leaned in again, this time a quick kiss to the forehead, just a brush of lips really. “Saturday in the Entrance Hall, meet me there.”

 

***

 

Harry hadn’t slept all night; he’d sat up on his bunk thinking. Remembering, mapping out in his brain, fitting puzzle pieces. He knew what that gold glint meant; even though he’d only ever seen it over eyes that were nearly that color naturally. The night after the Final Battle had been the first night of the full moon, Harry remembered because there had been a scrambling of Aurors and specialists from the Department for the Control of Magical Creatures to contain the last of Voldemort’s werewolves; everyone had been so frightened about retaliation, about Greyback making a play for Head Badass.

Harry had been at St. Mungo’s doing what he could to help out, mostly he was trying to stay away from the Burrow and the press and the school and the Burrow and the bodies and the Burrow. He remembered hearing about Snape, that he’d been found by Kingsley Shacklebolt, that he had been a breath from his final breath, but still alive; too stubborn to die. The mediwizards had worked on him for two days straight, Neville Longbottom had brought the head of Nagini to St. Mungo’s and a suitable anti-venom had been made.

When Harry had seen Draco that evening in the hallway outside of Snape’s hospital room, Draco's left arm had been bandaged and in a sling and he’d been in St Mungo’s issued pajamas. The more Harry thought about it, the more he realized that after the battle, when the Malfoy family had all been so silently huddled together in the Great Hall, Draco had not been hurt. Harry remembered that that had come up later, how the Malfoys hadn’t had a scratch on them, not one of them had been hurt, and some took that as reason not to trust them. But Draco had definitely been hurt when he’d been in that hallway.

And tonight there had been a glint of gold over silver-grey iris. Harry sat up all night, watching the first night of the full moon track across the sky.

An hour before dawn Harry got up and got dressed and ready for the day. He took his invisibility cloak and snuck down to the kitchens.

The sun had peaked over the horizon by the time he knocked on the door the Marauder’s Map had told him was the one he needed. He had to knock three times before the door was opened by a very cranky Severus Snape. Harry just smiled his best smile and held out the tray in front of him, “I brought coffee!” he said brightly as he edged in passed Snape’s glowering form.

“Who was it?” Draco asked with a raspy voice as he walked into the main room wearing a dressing gown.

“It was me,” Harry said, still smiling, as he put the tray down on the coffee table that was in front of the couch, facing the fireplace. “I thought you might want some breakfast.” He pulled the cover from the plates of food. “Ham and eggs with coffee for Professor Snape and me; steak and eggs, both undercooked, with hot chocolate for you.” He looked up and made deliberate eye contact with Malfoy. “Remus swore by it, said it calmed him down during the days.”

Draco looked scared, his eyes wide, his shoulders and hands trembling just enough to be visible.

Harry tried to act like there was no tension in the room as he set out the plates. “You should try it. Remus was a chocoholic, but he was right that it’s dead useful.” He turned his attention on Snape. “How are the trials to make Wolfsbane taste better?”

“Slow going,” Snape said, his lips nearly too tight to allow sound out. He hobbled slightly without his cane, but the couch was close enough that his pride would not allow him to use the cane. He lowered himself carefully to the couch and began to methodically cut his ham.

“Come on, Malfoy,” Harry encouraged as he forked up some fluffy eggs, “tuck in.”

Draco sat down on the chair rather than between Harry and Snape on the sofa, he picked up the mug of hot chocolate and drank deeply. “How did you know?” he asked at last.

“Your eyes flashed gold last night,” Harry answered honestly, “I was able to piece it together after that. You’re not the first werewolf I’ve been around.”

Draco nodded, a short jerky motion that spoke of the coiled fear in his gut. He reached slowly for the knife and fork, tried not to drool as he cut into the rare steak and saw the pink blood spread out from within, tried not to groan as the scent of it hit his still-sensitive nostrils.

Harry gave him a small smile and a wink as he tucked into his own breakfast just a few feet away.

 

***

 

“You look pleased with yourself,” Ron observed when they took a study break midmorning, walking around the corridors near the library.

“I am,” Harry admitted.

“I haven’t seen you smile like that in ages. Haven’t seen you smile at all in ages.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing,” Ron said quickly.

“Then why did you say it?”

“Harry, mate, you don’t smile anymore, not since… not since Cedric died.”

“That’s not true!” Harry defended.

“No, don’t get me wrong,” Ron backtracked, “you laugh with us and you’ll smile if someone smiles at you… but… well… Ginny noticed it-“

“Ginny talked to you about me when I was dating her?” Harry demanded, incensed.

“NO! No, that’s not what I meant. I swear that’s not what I meant.”

“Then what did you mean?” Harry asked, trying not to talk through clenched teeth.

“When you don’t think anyone’s looking, or if you’re not looking at someone directly, you just… you know… look sad. And today, I looked over at you and you were smiling. And I hadn’t realized I’d missed it.”

Harry took a deep breath. “I’m gay.”

“What?” Ron stopped short and gaped at his best friend.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to just say it like that. I had a whole speech. What the hell, mate, I was going to ease you into it-“

“No, wait, back up.”

Harry bit his lip. “I’m gay. And I know I should have told you sooner, but… well there wasn’t really time, with the war on and all, and it’s not like I was dating anyone, and I wasn’t even sure for a while. But now I am. Sure that is. And there’s someone I fancy and-“

“It’s not me, is it?” Ron asked, looking slightly horrified.

“What? Ew! No, it’s not you, you pillock!”

“Why isn’t it me?”

“For many reasons, not the least of which is that you’re clearly a mad person.”

Ron pouted just a little, looked a little put out, but he was breathing normally again and his color was back to normal.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before.”

“Is that why? Why you’ve been so down? Wait; did you know when you were with Gin?”

“NO! No, mate, I didn’t know then. At least, I don’t think I knew. But I know now. And… well, I’ve asked someone out… and I’m… I’m really happy about it. And I know that you’ll see us together. And I needed to make sure you’re alright with it.”

Ron looked awkward for a moment more. “And you swear it’s not me?”

“I’ve just told you I asked him out. Have I asked you out?”

“You ask me out all the time.”

“Honestly Ron!”

“Alright mate, alright. Is it one of my brothers? I’ve always had my suspicions about Charlie. There was this one bloke he was really close with in his seventh year. And I’ve noticed that there aren’t a lot of girls who work on the preserve.”

“It’s not Charlie,” Harry said with a laugh. “And it’s not any other Weasley either, before you ask.”

“So who is it?” Ron pressed.

“Promise me you won’t freak out?”

“No,” Ron answered honestly. “But I can promise to be rational when I’m done having a good freak out. And if you tell me it’s Malfoy, it’ll be a while.”

“If you and he end up making a custody schedule for me, I will never stop taking the piss. At either of you.”

“You mean… I guessed right?” Ron’s greenish tint was coming back and he was looking horrified again.

“You did. We’re going to Hogsmeade on Saturday for Halloween. You and Hermione already have plans and I’ve been wanting to ask him out. And I did. And I don’t have to give you details, I have a feeling Hermione and Ginny will be lining up for that anyway, but I want you to be alright with this. I want to know that when you see us together, you won’t freak out.”

Ron frowned a bit and bit his lip. “You won’t tell me about, you know, snogging and stuff, right?”

“Wizard’s honor,” Harry agreed. “Until you’re used to the idea, I’ll try my best not to snog him in front of you. I can’t promise I’ll manage, but I’ll try.”

“You could too manage!” Ron squawked.

“I doubt it, mate, kissing him is really awesome.”

“You don’t know that!”

“Yes I do.”

“You’re not going out until Saturday, you’ve just said that.”

“That doesn’t mean I haven’t snogged him,” Harry said with a small smile.

“Oh that’s disgusting,” Ron said, but there was a smile on his face.

Harry laughed and slapped Ron on the shoulder. “Let’s get back to the library.”

It was about a half an hour later, Harry was back in the Restricted Section, looking for the potions text Snape had recommended that morning, when suddenly there was another body plastered to his back, hot breath on the back of his head. Harry was very still as strong arms came around him and the face moved to his neck and breathed deeply.

“Mmm,” came the husky sigh from right behind his ear. “You smell so good, Potter. Smelled you from three halls down.” The hands started wandering Harry’s stomach and chest, hesitating at the belt.

Harry shuddered and took a breath, “Malfoy?”

The hands stilled, fingers gripping Harry’s ribs. “Mine,” was whispered sharply. Open mouthed kisses started roughly on Harry’s neck.

Harry couldn’t help the moan that escaped his lips, nor could he help how he moved his head aside to give Draco more room. “You scared the hell out of me,” Harry admitted as he threaded his fingers with Draco's.

“I know,” Draco said quietly, halting his kisses. “I can… I can-“

“You can smell the fear,” Harry supplied.

Draco nodded, nuzzling his head against Harry’s back.

Harry brought one of the hands he was holding up to his lips and kissed it gently. “I’m not going to run. That’s why I came to you this morning; to show you it doesn’t scare me. I want you,” Harry said simply.

That wonderful mouth was on him again, trailing hot breath on his neck. “I’m not supposed to want you,” Draco said.

“Fuck supposed to,” Harry said in a near-growl.

Draco held tighter and pressed Harry against the stacks.

Suddenly there was a giggle from the other side of the bookcase.

“Madam, please,” came Snape’s unmistakable bass.

“Oh, come now Severus, we’ve worked together for years now, you can call me Poppy.”

Draco stifled a laugh against Harry’s shoulder and then gave a quick nip at the sinew he found there. Harry arched his back into the touch.

“I have work to which I must return.”

“Severus,” was said in a girlish voice.

“I will need that hand in the lab.”

“You know… I’m a little low on Drought of the Living Death. You could come by the hospital wing tonight and we could… brew up a batch.”

There wasn’t an answer, but there was another giggle that was positively coquettish and then they heard the heavy clunk of Snape’s cane on the wooden floor.

Harry counted to ten and then whispered, “I think I’m scarred for life.”

Draco was laughing as he turned Harry around without ever letting him out of reach. “I think you just need some positive stimulus.” And then Draco was kissing him. It was soft and sweet and tentative, and Draco was straining and shaking from the effort of holding back.

Harry was smiling as he pulled away. “Tomorrow morning, Entrance Hall.”

“You’re going to leave me like this?” Draco leaned in just enough to let Harry know that they were equally aroused. “And yourself, apparently?”

Harry exhaled on half a laugh. “No fair.”

“All is fair, Potter, hadn’t you heard?”

“And which of the two is this?” Harry countered.

“Somewhere between, I’d wager.”

Harry smiled and leaned in for a quick kiss, “At least you’re honest.”

“I’ll meet you tomorrow.” And with that Draco was gone.

 

***

 

Halloween morning, Harry was up before the sun, nervous flutters in his stomach. The few hours of sleep he’d gotten had been steamed with images of Draco, half of the imagery coming from recent memories of heated moments, the other half total fantasy of his overactive id. He’d woken with a raging hard on, hand already inside of his pants. He kept himself in a fuzzy, half dream state, holding onto the dreams as long as he could, letting his subconscious mind move his hand, working himself to a mind-blowing orgasm that contorted his body even as he nearly bit through his lip trying to keep from waking his dorm mates.

He lay there for a bit, riding out the aftershocks and milking the last of his spunk out of his still-hard prick, enjoying the shivers that branched out into every cell of his body.

It suddenly occurred to him that he might never survive it if he got into Draco's bed for real. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t more than willing to push his luck.

Harry took his time in the shower, making sure that there wasn’t a single part of his body he wouldn’t be all too happy to have Draco see, smell, taste. These thoughts led, inevitably to another wank. This time he was fast, casting glances over his shoulder, not that he really thought any of his dorm mates would wake at this early hour, but he still didn’t want to be caught.

It took him forever to dress, he had no idea what to wear that would impress Malfoy. In the end, with the aid of Hermione, he chose his soft cotton black button down. It wasn’t an adventurous choice by any means, but Hermione assured him that he looked really good in it. He chose his tight blue jeans; the ones that made Ginny stare at his arse, even after more than a year apart; and his basic black boots. Hermione kept telling him he looked great while Ron just looked rather gormless about why they were fussing so much over how Harry looked for Malfoy of all bloody people.

Harry waited in the Entrance Hall, just off to the side of the base of the stairs. The butterflies in his stomach were making their presence known again – each one bringing a tiny scrap of doubt to Harry’s mind. What if Draco didn’t come? What if Harry just stood here all day waiting? How long should he wait? Why did everyone coming down the stairs have to look at him like they thought he’d been stood up? Should he have worn the red shirt instead of the black one? Hermione was a girl, but she wasn’t really a… fashionable girl, maybe he shouldn’t have asked her. Maybe he should have gone with his gut instinct and asked one of the Patil twins. Did his palms always sweat this much or was that new? What if this was all some elaborate joke?

“Sorry I’m late,” Draco said from beside him, making Harry nearly jump out of his skin. “I had to get away from Pansy. She’s gone insane lately. Very sad. Shall we?”

Harry’s throat was too dry for him to say anything so he just nodded mutely.

Draco gave him a small, rather shy smile and brushed their shoulders together on his way past.

Suddenly Harry had all of the confidence in the world, like he’d downed a Felix Felicitous; the world was open before him and full of possibilities. He walked very close to Malfoy indeed all the way to Hogsmeade.

As they walked a whiff of autumn smoke wafted by and Draco stood stock still for a moment, eyes closed, just breathing that scent.

“Is it awfully different?” Harry asked at last.

Draco turned to look at him quizzically.

“The way things smell. You told me yesterday that you could smell me and just now… I can’t imagine how different it must be for you.”

“Didn’t you ever talk to Professor Lupin about that?”

“Honestly, no. Moony was just a boy when he was bitten. He never really remembered being anything but a werewolf. And he didn’t like to talk about it.”

“Why do you think that was, Potter?”

“Because it set him apart, made him different; and all he ever wanted to be was just like everyone else. But I never understood why.”

“You never understood why he didn’t want to be a monster? People hate werewolves, Potter, they hate us.”

“But I don’t understand why,” Harry said honestly. “Not now that there’s the Wolfsbane. Maybe before, when a werewolf on the loose would be dangerous, but now, you keep your wits, your human brain.”

“Because we could miss a dose.” Draco looked angry about it, truly furious. “The first time after I was bitten, I took myself to St. Mungo’s, turned myself over to be put in a cage for the night. I couldn’t stand the idea of hurting anyone. The cell was tiny, there was barely enough room for me to fit as a human, the wolf couldn’t move at all. I was never offered Wolfsbane, just stripped down and tossed in. The bars have a high silver content so that the wolf is contained. The only problem is, that when you’re that large and the cell is that small, you have no choice but to touch the bars with some part of your body. And while silver is uncomfortable for me in my human form; in my lupine form it is excruciating. They’re punishing us for being bitten.

“My name is on a registry at the Ministry, I’m not allowed to marry, and I’m not allowed to father children. Snape had to promise to brew Wolfsbane for me while I’m here – he told the Ministry that he has to perfect the potion. They only let me come back to finish my seventh year because they thought he was going to experiment on me. I’m not a full citizen anymore. Because I’m not human anymore.”

“It’s not your fault,” Harry said, his voice harsher than he intended it to be.

“Isn’t it?” Draco challenged. “I betrayed the Death Eaters, Potter. Greyback was a Death Eater. And if you want the truth of it, he was the favorite, not Snape. Snape was given the school because the last of the School Governors could justify it to themselves, he’s been a professor for fifteen years, of course he could run a school. But it was Greyback who meted out the punishments; who dared to terrorize even the Death Eaters. And the- Voldemort, that snake-faced bastard, got off on it. He fed off of the fear. And so did Greyback. He could smell it and it got him hard. And if V-Voldemort hadn’t known that one day it was going to come down to him against Greyback, just as soon as Greyback had enough wolves behind him, he would have been the second in command of Voldemort’s reign.

“After the final battle, when my family and I were trying to stay out of Azkaban, Mother and Father went off to talk to Shacklebolt – this was just before he was named Minister, he was just another Auror for a few weeks yet. –“

“This is when Ron and Neville and I were running down the last of the Death Eaters?” Harry interrupted for clarification.

“I think so, yeah. It was just the day after the final battle. I think. I’m not positive, it all kind of jumbles up in my mind, those few weeks from the battle to the first moon after. But I remember that there were some first year Ravenclaws next to the Forbidden Forrest. I went out to chase them back in, nothing was safe just then, even if their parents were on school grounds.” He lifted his hand and pointed to an area of the tree line that wasn’t too far from where they were standing. “It was right there, where the cleared earth is little more than an inlet into the forest. I stood there to make sure they were safe all the way into the castle. It was sunset, I remember that. The sky was blood red. And then, by the time they were back at the doors and I started walking, the sky was pitch black. I heard the most terrifying growl. And then I heard screaming. And it took me a minute to realize that I was the one screaming, that I wasn’t running back to the school anymore, that I was being killed. And it seemed so rational all of the sudden. And for the first time in days my legs didn’t hurt from the small scorches from the Fiendfyre. Everything made sense.

“And then, really rather suddenly, there was a massive weight on my back. Father – he’d been coming downstairs from the meeting when he saw the Ravenclaw girls come in. He heard me screaming. He killed Greyback. But I’d already been bitten. It was already too late.”

“I somehow doubt he agrees with that,” Harry said gently.

“Fuck, Potter, why do you want me? I’m… I’m a monster. And if I miss a dose of Wolfsbane, I could kill you. I’m not human.”

“Neither am I,” Harry said softly, reaching out to touch his fingers gently to Draco's cheek. “Not fully anyway.”

“What are you on about?”

“My great grandmother on my father’s side, she wasn’t human.” He stepped carefully closer to Draco and wrapped his arms around Draco's waist. “I found a lot of old Potter diaries in one of the trunks at the back of my vault,” he explained. “I started with my Grandfather Potter’s - my dad didn’t have one in there – he talked about gentle memories of his mother, she was a dark beauty and she was quiet and always melancholy, but she smiled at him and he loved her. When he was ten she disappeared without a trace. He went to Hogwarts the next year and by the time he was home for Christmas his father pretended that nothing had ever happened.

“So, naturally, the next diary I took was my great-grandfather’s. He met his wife – Undine – when he was climbing rocks at the beach right after he graduated from Hogwarts. He loved her as soon as he saw her. He loved her unruly black hair and her watery blue eyes and her quiet ways. He took her to his bed and the next morning he took her to the magistrate to be married. He knew before then. He knew when he saw her pelt in a small crevasse between two rocks, even before he first spoke to her. He kept her pelt hidden for years and years, he knew he couldn’t destroy it without destroying her, but he kept it hidden well. For twelve years. They had two children together and she was a good wife and a good mother. She was always quiet, but he loved her so much. And then one day she found her pelt. And she had no choice. She fled to the river where she put it on again and went through the rivers all the way back to the sea. Selkies don’t have a choice. It’s a compulsion.

“And Ron and Hermione both tell me that I don’t smile enough. And I have her hair. But I didn’t really like being in the lake all that much, so I don’t think you have too much to worry about.”

“She wasn’t really, was she?” Draco said, nuzzling against Harry.

“She was. Maybe that’s why Potters are never content. All of that, Draco, was in answer to your question: why do I want you? You give me a stillness that I’ve never had before. When I’m touching you I don’t want to run and I don’t want to prove anything; I just want to be. And when I’m not with you, you still make me smile. Even Ron noticed. Besides,” Harry said with a filthy grin, “you’re dead sexy.”

Malfoy leaned in that last bit and caught Harry in a wild, sloppy kiss, all enthusiasm and no finesse. “I don’t want to go to Hogsmeade,” Malfoy said without taking his lips away from Harry’s.

“Where?” was all Harry could say in return.

“I have… I have private quarters,” Draco said, panting now.

“Then by all means, let’s get in out of the cold.”

“You can’t stay long,” Draco said, suddenly serious. “It’s the last night of the full moon.”

“Have you dosed yourself?”

“It doesn’t matter-“

“I’m an unregistered Animagus,” Harry whispered. “I can keep you company.”

“And how long have you had that little trick?” Draco demanded, suddenly serious.

“About three months. But if you want to see it, you’ll have to wait. Come on, let’s go in.”

They tried to be nonchalant as they made their way to Draco's rooms in the dungeons, but in truth, they didn’t fool anyone. Everyone who looked at the two of them, walking quickly but purposefully down the corridors, faces flushed, lips swollen, pupils blown, hands linked, knew. Most breathed a deep sigh of relief.

Harry found himself propelled through the door to Draco's suite, a door he didn’t remember seeing Draco even open, to land on the same sofa where he and Snape had had such a civil breakfast conversation the morning before. Draco was on him in a flash, all teeth and elbows and knees as he tried to crawl into Harry’s very skin. Harry cried out in agonized ecstasy when Draco bit down on his nipple none-too-gently.

“Need you,” Draco said, a whimper behind his voice. He was ripping at Harry’s buttons, his fingers unable to get the tiny plastic disks to comply. He moaned when he saw the bare flesh of Harry’s chest laid out before him like a buffet. He took only half a moment to admire before he was back on Harry again, loving the way Harry was groaning and moaning and writhing beneath him. “How… how fast do you recover?” Draco forced himself to say when his hands were working on the button of Harry’s trousers.

“What?” Harry asked, unable to understand why the wonderful sensations had stopped.

“How fast do you recover? I want to suck you off, but I want you to come while I’m fucking you even more. I need to know if you can manage both.”

Harry made a small sobbing sound as he unconsciously ground his hips against the very air around him, wanton and brazen and desperate. “Please.”

“Tell me first.”

“For fuck’s sake, I’ve already wanked twice this morning, I’m gagging for it, Draco. I don’t think I’m ever going to be anything but hard for you for the rest of my life. Please, please, please touch me.”

Gold glittered over the grey of Draco's eyes as the wolf within snapped at its tether hearing Harry’s admission. “Mine,” he said in a growl, leaning up to claim Harry’s lips again, even as his magically-strengthened fingers ripped the sturdy denim from Harry’s hips.

Harry lifted his legs so that Draco could throw the trousers to the floor along with his own shirt. And then suddenly Draco was still, so still that he could have been a statue if not for the breath panting in and out of his lungs. His eyes, more gold than grey now, were fixed on Harry’s straining prick. And then he licked his lips, swallowed convulsively and moaned. He leaned down, pressing his face to Harry’s groin and inhaling deeply over and over.

It was the most erotic thing Harry had ever been a part of. It was somehow more sensual, more sexual, more claiming than if Draco had pulled Harry’s aching length into his mouth. He was leaking precome liberally; it was coating Draco's cheek where he was pressing against Harry’s flesh, seemingly content to breathe Harry in forever. Harry reached down on an unnamed instinct and combed his fingers into Draco's silky hair, ready to come just from that tiny intimacy.

Draco was drunk on it, on the scent of Potter so aroused, the heat of his flesh, the coarseness of his thick thatch of wiry black hair; this was pure, undiluted Harry. And Draco wanted more. He wanted all. And then Harry’s hand was on him, petting him, reassuring him that this was indeed all his for the taking; that touch was a promise and Draco was struggling to understand its language. And then Harry’s scent wasn’t enough, he needed more. He licked at the tender flesh in front of him and felt the shiver that ran through his lover. That was when he felt how much come he already had on his face, he saw the growing puddle of thick, gooey, wonderful-smelling Harry laid out there for him like an invitation.

Draco dodged around Harry’s purpling prick and lapped at the creamy come, moaning with the sheer joy of having the taste of that scent, the taste of Harry on his tongue. When the last drop was off of Harry’s stomach, Draco sucked Harry into his mouth, feeling fingers fist painfully in his hair and the most amazing, feral cry filled the air.

Harry was undone in a moment, holding tightly to Draco's head he plunged into that beautiful wet heat that was so suddenly around him, he knew he was speaking, knew he was making all kinds of embarrassing sounds as he fell into the pleasure of Draco, but all he could hear was his blood pounding in his veins. And just when Harry thought that it couldn’t get any better, the pressure on his over sensitized flesh became all too much as Draco sucked. Harry barely had time to shout a warning before he was coming in long, hot pulses into Draco's mouth, into his throat. And Draco was swallowing him down with a joyful sound.

It had never been like this with anyone else, this uninhibited and raw. Draco was drinking down every drop Harry had for him and he was loving it. When he was sure there wasn’t another pulse to catch, Draco pulled away, sat up and fought with the buttons of his trousers. “I’m sorry,” he panted. “I’m not… I can’t… I need to.” And then Harry’s hands were there, batting away his uncooperative, frantic fingers and working the buttons in a single move.

Harry leaned up, capturing Draco's lips in a rough kiss, tasting himself in Draco's mouth. He forced the black trousers down, freeing the angry-looking erection of Draco's. Harry pulled away and looked at it, he loved the way pricks looked when they were hard and ready to blow, it was so invigorating to him to know that he’d done that; that was for him. He licked his hand quickly and then reached out again, this time taking Draco's cock in hand and wanking him quickly to completion. “Come on, Draco, come all over me, mark me.”

It was too much for Draco, he threw his head back and howled as his orgasm ripped through him, racing to comply with Harry’s order, painting Harry in ropes of come.

And then they were in a heap of panting, sweat-slick flesh, piled together and losing track of whose limbs belonged to whom. He realized that Harry was petting him. Soft, long caresses up and down his back in a hypnotic rhythm. He could only think of one thing to do and so he pulled himself up enough to kiss Harry just as gently. There was no hurry now. The wolf had marked Harry, and that was important, so important, even if Draco didn’t really understand why.

 

***

 

Three floors up, in the Great Hall, the professors were looking worriedly at one another.

“Are we certain it wasn’t an attack?” asked Retired-Auror-Turned-DADA-Professor Savage.

“The wards are still entirely in place,” Headmistress McGonagall assured them.

“No fault lines on this earth are strong enough to do that,” Professor Sinestra argued.

“That was not an earthquake,” Severus said, his lip curling in distaste.

“Then what was it?” McGonagall demanded.

“That was a powerful, magical bonding. And I fear we haven’t felt the last of it. The two of them are too powerful for that to have been all there was.”

“The two of whom, Severus?” the Headmistress fixed her Potions Master with an icy stare.

“Yesterday morning I went to check on Mr. Malfoy and make sure that his wolf had not hurt him too badly this time,” Severus explained. “I had been there less than twenty minutes when there was a knock at the door.”

“Severus, stop hedging!” Savage demanded. “Who was it on the other side of the door? Who has bonded with the werewolf?”

“Harry Potter,” Severus said simply.

“Oh, just, hell,” Sinestra sighed. “Severus is right, that’s not the worst of it; that was just those two getting started. We need to find them and stop them – “

“That could kill them!” Madam Pomfrey scolded. “To stop a bond as strong as the one they have begun, without letting it resolve, when the magic of nature is involved as well.”

“She’s absolutely right,” Professor Vector agreed. “The magic of those two alone is bad enough, compound that with the magic of Hogwarts herself and the wild energies of All Hallows Eve… there isn’t even a theorem for that kind of power.”

“So we’re just to sit back while they destroy the school?” Sinestra scoffed.

Minerva sighed. “We should get the students to their dorms, we can protect them better there. And for Merlin’s sake keep them separate! The last thing we need is a rash of teenage pregnancies, the Ministry will shut us down for sure. Make use of your house ghosts, have them patrol where you cannot. And may the gods have mercy on us all.”

 

***

 

Neville Longbottom and Ginny Weasley were out in greenhouse four when the wave of energy hit; three rare flowers bloomed instantaneously and Neville, who had been trying to work up the nerve all week, drew Ginny close to him and confessed that he loved her before he pulled her into a passionate kiss. He nearly whooped for joy when she enthusiastically kissed him back.

 

***

 

Harry moaned loudly, “What the hell was that?!”

“It was my tongue Harry, honestly, now don’t move,” he pushed Harry’s face back down onto the pillow and then continued on his journey, tasting and sampling every part of Harry. He flattened his tongue again and gave a purposeful swipe against Harry’s arsehole, delighting in the lusty moans Harry was making.

“I need you, Draco,” Harry panted. “I need you inside of me. Please.”

“What do you want inside you?” Draco challenged. “My tongue?” He flexed his tongue into a strong point and pressed it right past that tight ring, breaching Harry’s body. He set up a rhythm, fucking Harry with just the tip of his tongue, loving every twitch of Harry’s responsive body.

When Harry was writhing incoherently, riding Draco's tongue to the best of his ability, and sweating and swearing and smelling just so damned wonderful, Draco tipped the vial of lubricant to spill into his hand.

“Or would you prefer my fingers?” Draco worked an oily finger into Harry’s loosening hole.

Harry’s whole body stretched and arched into the deeper contact, demanding more.

Draco made sure that he’d slicked Harry as much as he could before pressing a second finger in. Harry was keening now and Draco was soothing him with small kisses to the base of his bowing spine. He knew that this was as far as Harry had ever gone, and that the fingers had only ever been Harry’s before. Draco was being so gentle, trying so hard not to hurt Harry, not to press and force and take the way he so wanted to; because as much as a part of him wanted that, there was something more inside of him, a place where the wolf met the man and they agreed together that they would never hurt this human, their human, they were so thrilled that they would be the only one to ever know what Harry felt like inside, to know what he looked like when he was undone and writhing like this. It was amazing and precious and sexy.

He was so slow, so careful to keep Harry right on that razor’s edge of passion but never allowing him that sweet relief. And he was doubly slow and careful to make sure that every millimeter of Harry’s tight, virgin passage was loose and lubed and ready for him.

“Please, please, please,” Harry was chanting as his hips were canting on the length of Draco's fingers. “I can’t wait, please, I need you, please Draco.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’ve been sure for a bloody hour!” Harry snapped. “Please. I need you inside of me. I need your cock inside of me.”

Draco couldn’t help the small growl that came out of his throat. He pulled himself farther up onto his knees and trailed the hot tip of his aching prick against the sensitive hairs at the back of Harry’s balls. “I don’t want to hurt you,” Draco admitted.

“You won’t. It all feels so, so, so, so good. And I need more. I need you. I can’t wait anymore.” Harry’s hips were shifting restlessly, trying to steer Draco where he so desperately wanted him.

Draco reached down and took himself in hand, quickly coating his own flesh in the sweet-smelling oil and then he mounted Harry’s form the way the wolf had been demanding for what felt like forever, and he was pressing gently at that tight ring of muscle, biting at his bottom lip and forcing himself not to come from just this simple act. “Take a deep breath, Harry,” Draco instructed in a breathy whisper.

Harry did as he was told, and on the exhale he forced himself to relax, forced himself to let go of that small knot of fear as he felt the impossibly huge head of Draco's prick at his entrance. And then there was a burning and a stretching and he was being slowly filled by his lover. “OH GOD!” Harry cried out as Draco kept pressing, kept pushing further and further into him.

Draco nearly bit through his lip to force himself not to plunder that tight, perfect vise of heat. He pressed in gently as he could until he was fully seated; his hips snug against Harry’s gorgeous arse.

Harry was shaking even as Draco was shushing him and petting him and kissing him. It felt so good to be so filled, like something he’d been missing his whole life had just come back to him and fitted into his body and his mind and his soul like a puzzle piece.

“I’ve got you,” Draco's voice was soft and assuring. “I’m right here. Are you alright?”

Harry didn’t trust his voice, so he nodded.

“Harry, I need more than that. Talk to me.”

“Good,” came the raspy whisper that Harry had never heard himself make before. “So good. Need more.”

Draco didn’t trust himself to thrust yet, not while his control was snapping at the confines of its borders. He gently rolled his hips, giving Harry the friction he needed but denying himself the release that was already tightening his balls.

“More!” Harry said, his voice sounding more like him now. “Please, Draco, I’m so close. I need to come. And I need you to come inside me. Please just, take me!” He pushed his hips back at Draco harshly.

That was all it took. Draco's finely honed self control snapped and he felt the wolf start to take over. Oh, his shape was still his own, and most of his mind, but he felt it spreading out in his brain, filling in every corner. He pulled his hips back until he was nearly out of Harry’s tight passage and then slammed back in with all the strength of his Quidditch-toned thighs.

Harry’s head snapped back, his spine bowed, and he cried out in pleasure.

The harder Draco drove into him, the more Harry seemed to love it and the more he cried out, then he was canting backwards, counterthrusting and bringing their hips together in a harsh staccato. “Not gonna last,” Harry warned. “Touch me, please.”

Draco quickly reached down from where he had a death-grip on Harry’s hips and grabbed his hot column of flesh. No sooner had he closed his fist then Harry positively screamed and came explosively in Draco's hand.

Draco was right there with him, having been too worked up and then it was too good for him to hope to last and he followed Harry into the raging storm and the bliss that came with it.

 

***

 

The castle was shaking again, the very foundations of the massive magical building were threatening to give out. Poppy grabbed Severus by the shoulder and pulled him into an archway with her, knowing they were safer there. And then she gripped his tiny-buttoned robes and clung tightly to him.

She looked up at him in a moment of clarity as one of the windows in her hospital shattered, “Severus?” she asked quickly. “I’ve been coy, I’ve been flirtatious, I’ve been attentive. I think that bad boys are hot. I think that you are the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. And if I die here today, I’m going to die snogging you.” And just like that she pulled him down by those damned fastidious robes that she knew hid the truth and planted her best kiss on him.

It took a few seconds, but soon his arms were around her and he was returning her kiss with equal passion.

 

***

 

Harry was curled possessively around his new lover, trailing his fingertips over flesh, delighted he could just touch as much as he wanted. “Draco?”

“Yes Harry?”

“I still want you. I’m going to want you forever. And I think you know that.”

Draco didn’t say anything in response.

“Selkies only ever leave when they find their pelts. And I don’t have one. So I’m not going anywhere. And neither are you.”

“That’s not true, Harry. You are going somewhere, you’re going back up to Gryffindor tower and I’m going to change and then I’m going to sleep curled up on sheets that smell like you and sex.”

Harry stood up rather more abruptly then Draco was expecting, he’d been hoping he would have had to convince Harry at least a little.

But Harry didn’t grab for his admittedly ruined clothes, instead he grabbed his wand off of the coffee table where it had fallen when Draco had pounced on him, and he came back to the bedroom. He pointed the wand at himself. And in a matter of moments there stood an enormous, friendly looking, shaggy Newfoundland. He snuffled loudly and climbed up onto the bed to curl beside Draco.

Draco couldn’t help the quick laugh. “If we end up shagging as animals, I’m holding you personally responsible.”

Harry just sighed and laid his massive head on Draco's chest and went to sleep.

 

***

 

When the sun rose and Samhain came to an end the stones of Hogwarts were silent once again. And though many of her inhabitants, elder students and professors alike, woke in strange beds, none were upset by it. To a one they smiled at their partner, blushed just a little and then kissed gently.

Harry and Draco walked to the Great Hall hand-in-hand and smiling like a couple of idiots.

Minerva decided that their detentions could be handed out tomorrow just as easily; besides, she looked around the Great Hall, it wasn’t all bad. The only people who looked love struck were old enough to take care of themselves. Her eyes fell on Severus and Poppy, sitting next to one another and whispering quickly. Snape started to blush. Some were long overdue for a little love in their lives.