Lucius Malfoy's head drooped and the cold bricks bit into his back. He was sick of waiting, so very tired of the cold, the hunger pains, of his happy memories being torn free. He'd been here before, in Azkaban, but back then he'd had a reason to fight. He'd had to live for Draco and Narcissa.
Well they didn't need him anymore. Narcissa had finally divorced him after twenty years of a loveless marriage. Draco had friends to keep an eye on him, to keep people away from his allure. Draco, like his father, was a veela and yet to find his mate. He could live perfectly healthily until he found his mate, of course, but it was a half life; one where your heart, your soul, and your mind refused to feel completely whole.
Lucius wasn't as lucky. During the Battle of Hogwarts he'd found his mate, had physically touched and thus started the bonding process. But now he was stuck in Azkaban and his heart was tearing itself up. His soul was ripping to shreds and his mind was falling apart. He'd started the bonding, it was too late for him. He and his mate would both die if they didn't physically touch in the next 24 hours. Seeing as how Lucius was about to receive the Dementors' Kiss, he was pretty sure he wasn't going to touch his mate again.
What was worse, though, was that Lucius didn't know who it was. There had been so many people at the battle, it could be any one; student, professor, Order member or Death Eater. Lucius had spent every day since his seventeeth birthday waiting for his mate.
And now it was too late.
Lucius was near incoherent as he was dragged from his cell. They took him to a chamber and the new Minister, Kingsley Shaklebolt, watched as Lucius was forced to his knees. It didn't take much to wrench the Malfoy patriarch's head back and pull his hands behind him. The man was a wreck; filthy hair, grime covered body, weak from lack of food, a tortured mind, and the veela in him dying.
But it was finally over and that made Lucius sigh in relief. The door behind him opened and a Dementor swept in, hovering over the floor and turning it's head to Lucius. Lucius felt it's pull, felt his memories being tugged out.
Inside he screamed, on the outside he breathed out a sigh. His head was tilted back and the Dementor leaned over him, ready to start the kiss.
A bright flash of light pushed the Dementor back. A patronus roared over Lucius, chasing the dementor down. Lucius fell as whoever was holding him let go.
'No,' he pleaded weakly, 'let it come!'
There was confusion and shouting, a stag rearing up and flying over Lucius, shrouding the Slytherin in warm, bright light. He curled up on the floor as harsh voices broke out, one harder then the rest.
And then there were warm arms encircling him, an embrace so heart-wrenchingly beautiful that Lucius turned into it. He burrowed his head into whoever held him, relief and love washing over him. His mate, it had to be. His mate had come for him.
'What is the meaning of this?' Kingsley demanded again.
'He's a veela,' a strong male voice said, the chest beneath Lucius rumbling. 'You know that, yes?'
Kingsley nodded. 'Of course, everyone in pure-blood circles knows that the Malfoys carry veela blood.'
'So you know that he will die without his mate,' the voice said and Lucius curled into it. A hand went through his hair and Lucius practically mewled.
'So what?' Kingsley said. 'Malfoy is to receive the Dementor's Kiss. We can do nothing for his mate.'
'I'm his mate,' the voice said and there were sharp intakes of breath.
'You can't be serious.'
'He is,' a female voice behind Lucius' mate said. 'We did all the research and Draco Malfoy confirmed it. If you kill Mr Malfoy, you kill Harry.'
Harry? As much as he didn't want to, Lucius pulled back from his mate. He looked up...
... into the eyes of Harry Potter. He was breathtaking, gorgeous, with warm emerald green eyes and short spiky black hair. He was wearing Muggle clothes; jeans, a red shirt, a cloak thrown over the lot. His glasses made his eyes seem bigger and he stared down at Lucius like he could see into his soul.
'No,' Lucius croaked. He couldn't do this, couldn't spoil the Saviour, the man who had saved them all. He couldn't force Harry Potter to be with him. He was young, beautiful, talented... he deserved better then a forty-four year-old ex-Death Eater.
'It's true,' Harry said, telling both Lucius and Kingsley. 'I bumped into him during the Battle of Hogwarts when he was looking for Draco. I felt... something, a spark, but thought little of it.
'After the war, I started to feel sick, like a piece of me was missing. It waned somewhat when I was around Draco, whom I struck up a friendship with after he apologised. I couldn't figure it out, why I felt so connected to Draco yet so lost, like part of me was missing.'
He took a deep breath and pulled Lucius closer.
'Eventually I told Hermione and Draco how I felt. After some research, we learned that this was what a person felt when they connected with their mate but was away from them. Draco told me I must be Lucius' mate and I felt connected to him because eventually Draco would be my son, or kit.
'Well, I knew that if I didn't see Lucius soon I'd die so... here I am.'
There was silence, Lucius struggling weakly to push Harry away, Harry holding him tightly. Kingsley was staring from Harry, to Lucius, to Hermione Granger. 'Is this true?' he finally asked.
'I would never lie about this,' Harry said. 'As much as I dislike Lucius Malfoy, he's my mate, and I feel I have to save him. I don't want him to die. Draco's told me about him, about the things he did to save Narcissa and Draco both. He's a good man, I can tell, I can feel it in my heart.'
'Please, Kingsley, give me a chance to show the world that Lucius Malfoy's a good man. Give me a chance to know my mate, to have the family I've always wanted. If you let him receive the Dementor's Kiss I'll die. I don't care for myself but I can't let that happen to him or Draco.'
'No,' Lucius said in a hoarse voice. 'No, please, you don't deserve me.'
'You were made for me, Lucius,' Harry said softly. 'Don't fight it.'
'Find someone else,' Lucius begged. 'You deserve someone young and good and whole, not me, please.' He couldn't stand the thought of Harry being bound to him. As much as it was killing his veela, who wanted to ravish Harry until the day they died, Lucius knew he would never be good enough. Harry deserved better.
'I deserve nothing more or less then you,' Harry said sternly. 'Don't fight it.'
'Leave me here, please,' Lucius begged, not caring that there were others whitnessing his breakdown.
'No,' Harry said sternly. 'I'll never leave you again.'
Lucius continued to fight, even as his veela swooned when Harry encased him with strong arms. His veela didn't care that Harry was only seventeen, a boy, or a Gryffindor. It wanted Harry completely, the man who had been made to be Lucius' perfect other half.
Lucius whimpered as Kingsley said, 'There's nothing I can do, is there?' Harry shook his head. 'What do you propse I do?'
'Dumbledore said Lucius can be put under house arrest at Hogwarts because we need to be near each other. I'll be going back to do my seventh year with a lot of other people.'
'So he'll be at Hogwarts?' Kingsley asked. He liked the thought of Lucius being surrounded by powerful wizards.
'Dumbledore said if he proves to be rational and safe he can teach Defence Against the Dark Arts,' Harry said. 'He's willing to move past the war and accept Lucius as my mate. He won't be able to hurt anyone in Hogwarts, not if I tell him not to.'
Kingsley sighed but nodded. 'Very well. If this is the only way, Harry, you can take him to Hogwarts now.'
'Sirius and Remus are waiting to help,' Harry said and stood up. He managed to pull Lucius into his arms, the man far to thin and weak. Lucius started crying, burying his head in his mate's shoulder. He didn't want this, didn't want Harry to be bound to him, but there was nothing he could do.
So he allowed the famous Harry Potter to carry him from Azkaban, arms tight around the fallen Slytherin.