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Kingdom Come

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Panic flooded through his system as he looked around. He was in a large room, with only a single throne in the middle. There was a man with long blonde hair staring down at him from the throne he sat upon. A woman stood next to him, thick streaks of blonde in her otherwise brown hair.

“Execute him.” The woman ordered. A few men came from his peripheral vision that he hadn’t noticed before. Execution? His blood stilled in fear, as he glanced around in a panic as the men came forward to take a hold of him.

“Wait!” Came a shrill voice from behind him, he turned slightly to see where the voice had come from. There was a curly-haired brunette girl, running from the back of the room towards him. His eyes widened as she stepped in front of him in a protective stance. “Your majesties, you simply can’t kill him. You haven’t given him a fair trial, what is he guilty of?”

“Miss. Granger, you dare question us?” The woman snapped at the girl. The girl looked to her.

“You may punish me as you wish later, but please spare him if he is not guilty of anything. I could teach him to clean, he would make an excellent servant if given a chance,” The girl held her hand in front of his face as she spoke to the woman. He watched through the girl's fingers as the woman crossed her arms and turned her glare to the girl.

“Boy. What is your name?” The woman asked him. His eyes widened in shock as he stared up at the woman, speechless. Was she actually going to give him a chance? “Can you not speak? Or are you just stupid enough to ignore the Queen?”

“Harry Potter, your majesty.” He looked up at the Queen. She smirked in satisfaction.

“And what, Harry Potter, was a muggle like you doing in the Malfoy Castle?” She asked him. Harry swallowed, and his throat felt like sandpaper.

“I was searching for shelter.” Harry answered. The girl turned back to look at him for a split second. Confusion flashed across her face. He recognized the look because that was how he felt, confused.

“Muggles don’t belong on the inside of the walls. You must know this. I should have you killed, but Miss Granger seems to think you’d make a good servant. I can’t help but agree.” The Queen muttered. “But know this, muggle , the cost of your life is Miss Granger’s suffering. Leave me.”

Harry stared wide-eyed at the girl. His trance on her was broken when he was hauled up on his feet by two of the men from before. He recognized them to be guards now. They lifted him easily onto his feet and threw him at a red-haired boy. He slammed into the boy and they both fell to the ground.

The redhead turned to look at the girl, who nodded at him. Harry watched their silent communication and realized they knew each other, which meant the red-head must be a servant too. The redhead grabbed Harry’s arm and dragged him out of the room as Miss Granger’s shirt was ripped open.

Harry ran down the hallway with the other boy, the girl’s screams echoing through the corridor.

~*~*~

Harry had so many questions for the red-head. They were sitting in an old storage room it seemed. There were three tall, thin, windows along the wall. It seemed to be the only source of light in the room, aside from a few stray candles. There were books in stacks all around the room, and a small desk with several quills in a bottle. There were several empty beds, though they seemed to be planks of wood or slabs of stone covered in sheets and a blanket.

“This is the servant’s quarters. My name is Ron. This is where Hermione and I sleep but, since she’s training you now, it’s your room now too.” The redhead muttered to him.

Hermione must have been the girl who helped him. Ron was lying on one of the beds, facing the ceiling with his arm thrown over his eyes. Harry went over to one of the three beds and sat down on it. A cloud of dust drifted out of the blanket as he sat down on it. The bed was untouched, as if it hadn’t been used in a long time.

He brushed off the dirt and patted down the pillow to remove the dust. Perhaps Hermione could teach him home how to clean beds first. He turned away from Ron and looked at the books next to his new bed. The door to the servant’s room creaked open, and his eyes widened. He quickly glanced over his shoulder to see Ron bolting out of bed and towards the door.

“’Mione!” He shrieked. Hermione collapsed in Ron’s arms, her shirt cut open from the back and dangling from her shoulders. Ron pulled her into his chest so neither he nor Harry could see her nakedness. “Harry, go to Hermione’s bed, it’s the one next to mine. Grab a shirt, and a blanket. ‘Mione, Harry’s going to hand you a blanket, okay? I want you to cover your front with it, okay?”

Hermione nodded her head in response against his shoulder. Harry rushed to grab a shirt, and a blanket from Hermione’s bed. He ran over to Ron and handed him what he’d asked for. Ron gave the blanket to Hermione, and she sniffled as she removed her shirt, and crawled further into Ron’s lap to hide. Harry noticed Ron’s cheeks tint slightly, as Hermione pressed into him. She brought the blanket up to cover her front and held it there tightly with her arms.

“Thank you, Harry.” Hermione whispered, pulling her head away from Ron’s shoulder. She looked up at Ron and smiled, despite her tears. Ron brushed some strands of hair out of her face. “There should be a cloth in a water bucket somewhere, Ron could you grab it?”

Ron nodded vigorously. He held her as he moved to get up, and when he made sure she was covered, he walked past Harry to a bucket. Harry hadn’t even noticed it was there. He watched as Ron dipped the rag into the bucket, and began to dab it onto Hermione’s back. She began to cry. Harry walked over to her, and kneeled down in front of her. She tightened her grip on the blanket covering her chest. 

“Thank you for saving me, I’m sorry this happened to you.” Harry whispered to her. She sobbed as Ron rubbed a particularly sensitive spot on her back. He whispered an apology and continued. “What did they do to her?” He asked Ron. Ron motioned for him to come over, so Harry scooted to where Ron was sitting.

Harry gasped when he saw Hermione’s back. He looked at Ron, and back at Hermione. Her back was scarred over from what looked like whipping from previous punishments. Her back was bloodied, and the marks looked deep. He watched as Ron wiped the rag over the wounds again, and Hermione tensed. He noticed the slight lingering of Ron’s fingers on her skin, and looked back up at Ron.

When he finished washing her, he covered her wounds with a bandage and handed Hermione her shirt. She stood up and walked over to her bed. She sat down with her back facing the boys, and removed the blanket. Ron drew his eyes away from her, as she slipped on her bra. He knocked Harry in the head and glared at him for staring.

“Sorry.” Harry mumbled.

Hermione cleared her throat when she was dressed. “Well now, let’s have no more sadness. Harry I would like for us to talk, I want us to get to know each other. Ron too, we could stay up and talk for a bit before bed.” She smiled over at Ron, who nodded. The sun had long since gone down over the horizon, and the moon was high in the sky.

“As long as you get a good night’s sleep ‘Mione, I’m up for anything.” Ron smiled at her.

They gathered together on Ron’s bed, since he was in the middle. Harry carefully moved the candles onto a book-stand Hermione set up. They were cozied up with their blankets from their beds. They chatted about pointless things, until Hermione changed the subject.

“Why were you seeking shelter in the castle Harry?” She turned her body towards him, her back to Ron. Ron pulled her blanket softly around her back, making sure it didn’t snag on the blankets.

The smile dropped from Harry’s face, and he stared at his lap. He wondered if he should tell them. He quite honestly didn’t want to talk about it. He didn’t even know what to say, but the look in Hermione’s eyes told him that it was okay. He bit his lip, and sighed.

“I-I’m hiding, I guess you could say,” Harry stuttered. Ron leaned in, curious. Hermione nodded for him to continue. “From Lord Voldemort.” Ron’s eyes widened, and Hermione gasped.

“Harry! You could’ve at least checked a map! Why’d you come here?” Hermione whacked him on the arm. Harry grunted. Ron just stared at him.

“You’re hiding, from Lord Voldemort? Oh bloody hell, well that’s just fantastic isn’t it?” He exclaimed. Hermione elbowed him, and he grunted.

“Shut up, Ron! He was in the middle of saying something!” She turned and glowered at him. He opened his mouth, and shut it, and opened it again.

“You were the one who interrupted him first!” He furrowed his brows at her and humphed.

Harry laughed to himself, causing them to look at him. They both blushed as if they realized they’d been arguing in front of Harry. Hermione cleared her throat and nodded for him to continue again.

“He killed my parents, my whole village in fact. I’m the only survivor. He tried to kill me, so I had to run away. I don’t mean to cause trouble or anything, I just wanted a place to stay.” Hermione touched his shoulder, and brought him in for a slight hug.

“So you came to Hogwarts? What was that bloody decision all about? If Voldemort failed in killing you, these people will finish you off!” Ron whined. Hermione turned to him again, and he squeaked.

“Ron! Shut up! You do realize these walls are rather thin? How do you think King Lucius would take it, hearing you talk about him that way?” Hermione hissed. Harry glanced between the two of them.

“I mean honestly, I think he’d take it as a compliment.” Ron shrugged. He yelped when Hermione grabbed a book off of one of her many stacks, and hit him with it. “Ow! ‘Mione.” He whined. “Don’t stress your back muscles. You’ll pull the bandage off.”

Hermione sighed, and removed the blanket from around her. “I’m tired now. Both of you go to bed. Harry I hope you sleep well, we have a lot of training to do tomorrow.” Hermione glared at the boys, before slowly removing herself from Ron’s bed. Ron gently held her hand so that she could steady herself and get into her own bed. He tossed the blanket at her when she was under her sheets.

Harry climbed off Ron’s bed and into his own. It was much better than the clay and straw bed of his home, but he missed the smell of his mom’s perfume in the pillows. He wouldn’t be able to smell her perfume anymore.

~*~*~

Harry woke up with a groan, the sun had just come up and was shining through the thin windows onto his eyes. He sat up and looked around. His blankets had fallen off the bed, and his back ached. Hermione was already showered and dressed. Ron had just returned from the door across the hall, Harry guessed it was the bathroom. When he was washed, he dressed in spare clothes Ron gave him, and hurried out to meet Hermione.


“What time is it?” He asked her. The castle halls were empty except for a few other servants. The hallways were large, made out of stone, and warm from the sunlight that poured through the gigantic stained glass windows. Birds were chirping outside, and the cool breeze blew, through some of the cracked windows. Harry smiled, everything was silent, and he realized it was the most perfect thing he’d witnessed.

“Harry?” Hermione crowed. He snapped his head towards her. She smiled at him. “I’ve been trying to get your attention for a bit now. It’s beautiful isn’t it? The cool air, the warm sun, the peace? It’s my favorite part of the day. The royals aren’t up yet. To answer your question, it's about five in the morning. The sun wakes us every day, we bathe, we dress, we do our morning chores, and then we eat.” Harry looked at her incredulously.

“You do all of that work before you eat?” He asked. She nodded.

“It’s to help control your hunger, you become hungry at a certain time every day, or at least your stomach will be able to withstand the loss of certain meals, due to overtime work. We finish our day at whatever time we are given. My Lady lets me off work at 9PM each day. Yesterday was different, because you were found.” Hermione explained. Harry nods, his mind swimming with new information.

“Oh! That’s right. How’s your back?” Harry asked her. She hugged herself and smiled lightly at him. She walked over to a closet and grabbed a broom and dust pan. She handed him a broom.

“Ron helped me re-bandage it this morning, it’ll heal. The castle has three floors, plus the dungeons. We don’t clean the dungeons. First, we sweep the floors of every room.. Then, we wash them with bucket and rag. Next we clean the windows, borrow a ladder from the garden, make sure it’s clean, we don’t want to dirty the floors again. After the windows are cleaned, it should be time for breakfast, we go to the kitchen and ask the elves to prepare breakfast. You will help me set the table, and wake the Queen. Ron’s is the manservant for the King, but you are shadowing me today. Is everything clear?” Hermione rattled off to him. Harry nodded, and his stomach grumbled. He had a long day ahead of him. With that, Hermione took off down the hall with her dust pan and broom.

“Why are we going to the end of the hall?” He asked her. She waved at him to come with her, so he ran after her, down the hall.

“I find it best to start on the end where the stairs are not, so that when you work your way over, we can go straight up the stairs. I have a system. If Queen Narcissa decides to keep you, which I hope she does, she’ll give you your own assignments, and you can clean how you want.” Hermione smiled. She seemed to do a lot of smiling, for having just been tortured the night before. Harry guessed it must’ve had something to do with Ron.

Harry sighed and began sweeping the floor, he created a pile of dust, amazed that so much dirt can accumulate after only one day. Just what went on in this castle? It felt like hours before they finished the first floor. Harry was focused on his work until Hermione start humming, and he turned to look at her when he noticed a boy around his age walking down the hall.

Harry about dropped his broom, as the boy passed through the light shining through the windows. The green light hit the boy’s blonde hair, as the red and yellows and blues passed over his thin frame. He was in a dark suit, walking towards the throne room. The boy turned to look at him, their eyes met, and for a split second Harry found him to be the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. The boy turned his gaze back to the Throne room, as he walked into it.

Harry was at a loss for words, he’d stopped sweeping and had blatantly stared at the blonde boy. He turned to Hermione who was humming to herself a little further down the hall. She didn’t seem to have seen the boy, but Harry wanted to know who the bloody hell he was.

~*~*~

Harry felt like he was about to collapse by the time they finished cleaning the castle. Hermione had sent him down to the kitchen to tell the elves to make breakfast for the masters. He was on his way back up to the second floor to set the table for breakfast. It had felt like an entire day had passed, but it had only been a few hours, Harry wanted to sleep, eat, something.

He stood back with Hermione and Ron, who’d appeared from his own duties. The King walked in and sat down at the long table, the Queen following right behind him. That’s when Harry noticed the third place setting. He hadn’t even thought about it when Hermione told him to make three place settings. He was about to ask Hermione when the boy walked into the room. His eyes widened and his mouth dropped open slightly.

The boy demanded so much attention, just by his walk. He looked over at the servants and smirked. Harry felt a shudder go through him. Such a beautiful boy, with such a terrifying smile. He looked over to Hermione who covered her stomach with an arm and stared at the floor. Ron held her gently, his arm behind her back. Harry’s eyes widened, and he looked back at the boy. The boy grinned at him, his eyes flaring with pride, before going to his seat at the table.

“Leave us!” King Malfoy shouted. Harry jumped at his booming voice, and left the room with Hermione and Ron. As soon as they were outside the door, Harry let loose.

“Who in the bloody hell is that?” Harry exclaimed. Hermione looked at him in shock. Ron grabbed Harry by his shirt and threw him away from the door.

“Shh, Harry!” Ron hissed. Hermione glared at both of the boys. Harry just stared at them, confused. “You can’t talk like that, not near them. They’ll kill you, you understand that?” Ron hissed at him. Hermione turned to Harry,

“That was Draco Malfoy, Prince Draco Malfoy.” Hermione whispered. “He’s vile, and cruel, and his last servant committed suicide just two weeks after she was assigned to him. He loves no one, he’s never even shown interest in the princesses who visit. The only people he shows any sort of love or care for, are his parents. Every scar I have, Ron has, any of the other servants? They’re all from him. He’s a sadistic bastard, and I fear for any servant who has to care for him.”

Harry’s heart sank into his stomach as he heard the anger and fear in her voice. Ron touched Hermione’s arm gently, and she looked up at him. She smiled sadly, and turned away from the boys. Harry looked at the closed door behind him. His eyes widened as Draco walked out of the room, slamming the doors open. He smirked at Harry, and walked past them down the hall. Harry’s heart seized as Hermione gripped his arm.

~*~*~

Ron and Harry cleaned the table, while Hermione left with the Queen to organize an outfit for an outing with her sister. While Harry gathered up the plates, Ron gathered the silverware and wiped down the table.

“Do you have a problem with me?” Harry asked Ron. Ron looked up at him. He shook his head and walked with harry to the kitchen.

“No mate, I’m just used to it only being me and ‘Mione. I’m not used to having another bloke around. Before you, it was Myrtle, but as ‘Mione said before, Myrtle committed suicide two weeks after.” Ron sighed. “You hungry?”

Harry chuckled and nodded. He and Ron walked out of the kitchen and turned the corner only to run into Hermione and Queen Narcissa. They both stopped and bowed.

“You boy, come with me.” The Queen ordered. Harry scurried after her, followed by the other worried servants. The Queen grabbed him and tossed him to the floor in the Throne Room. He landed with a grunt. “Stand up.”

Harry scrambled to his feet, and stood facing the Queen. The King walked into the room as well, followed by Draco. Hermione and Ron entered the room after him, and shut the door.

“I have to say Miss Granger. You made quick work of him, he’ll make a good servant yet.” Queen Narcissa nodded towards Hermione. Hermione smiled and bowed. Queen Narcissa turned back to Harry. “She really did do good. You’re a quick learner, we need more servants like you.”

Harry bowed to her, and looked past her to the King, who sat smugly in his throne. Harry closed his eyes for a moment, and breathed in deeply. His heart was racing. He could feel everyone’s eyes on him as Queen Narcissa continued talking.

“As for your judgement Potter,” She started, and Harry opened his eyes to look at her again. “You’re now assigned as the personal manservant for my son, Prince Draco Malfoy.”

Harry’s eyes widened, and he heard Hermione gasp behind him. Everything went silent as he made eye contact with cold grey eyes. A shiver rolled down his spine as a smirk formed on the blonde’s lips. Draco rolled his tongue over his lips, and bit his bottom lip, before smiling at his new servant.


Harry turned around and stared wide-eyed at Hermione, whose back was blistering and scabbing over with dried blood from the torture Draco put her through. Hermione who was sobbing silently out of absolute fear for the boy she tried so desperately to save. Ron held her tightly, and he shook his head in sorrow for Harry. Why? Harry thought to himself. Why had he come to Hogwarts?

Chapter Text

Harry’s eyes widened as he stared back at Draco, the blonde was smirking. He uncrossed his arms and started walking towards Harry, his black suit defining his body well. Harry shut his eyes and cowered a little as Draco neared him, and he cursed at himself mentally for showing fear. When he opened his eyes Draco was not in front of him, but instead walking back towards Hermione and Ron.

He stood in shock as Draco grabbed Hermione by her hair. She screamed and cried.

“Shut up.” Draco spoke to her, his voice was smooth, and cold, it sounded menacing. Harry couldn’t do anything but watch as Draco slammed her head into the stone tile of the Throne Room floor. Harry was too scared to move, too scared to make a sound. He watched in terror as Ron ran to her, but was stopped short by Draco. Draco kneed him in the stomach, and Ron dropped to the ground. He held his stomach, and stared at Harry. Harry’s heart felt like it were on fire. What the bloody hell is going on? Why? Why is this happening? Why can’t I do anything?

His body wouldn’t move, his chest tightened, and his breath hitched as he looked around the room in shock, nobody was helping them. The King had a smirk of satisfaction on his face. Harry whipped his head back towards Hermione. Draco was kicking her in the stomach, and stomping on her head. Draco then turned around and slammed his foot into Ron’s face.

Draco stood over their limp bodies for a moment before turning back to Harry. He chuckled darkly at Harry’s expression, and Harry hated himself for the chills that ran down his spine at the blonde’s laugh.

“Let’s applaud his bravery everybody!” Draco laughed, and turned to his family and rose his hands in the air, before pointing at Harry and grinning. “Such a hero!”

Harry’s heart dropped into his stomach as he looked at his new friends knocked out on the floor, he wanted to cry. He couldn’t do anything to help them. He walked over to them, no longer petrified. He was stopped by a strong hand around his neck.

Draco pulled Harry’s face close to his, and tightened his grip. Harry clawed at Draco’s hand, and struggled to speak. All he managed was a small cry.

“They must have told you about me. I’m not as terrible as they say, as long as my slaves behave.” Draco licked his lips and set Harry down. Harry dropped to the floor and gasped for breath, clutching his throat as he coughed. He watched as Draco retreated down towards the large doors. “Follow.”

Harry scrambled to his feet, and ran after Draco, not without missing the chuckled “coward” from behind him. His spirits dropped even further. He paused by the door Draco had pushed open, and glanced over to Ron and Hermione.

“Malfoy, please. Allow me to care for them and bring them back to our room.” Harry pleaded, even bowing slightly. Draco looked over his shoulder.

“It’s Prince Malfoy to you, Potter.” He spat at the brunette. He turned back to the door and walked out of it. “You have ten minutes.”

Harry’s eyes widened, and he looked back towards the King and Queen, who looked a little more than unhappy with their son’s decision. Harry walked quickly over to Hermione and Ron, and grabbed their arms. He should’ve asked for permission to have help, but Draco probably wouldn’t have allowed him to even care for them if he’d asked too much.

Harry dragged them out into and hall towards the servants commons behind the kitchen. A young boy, probably Harry’s age walked up to him.

“What are you doing?” The boy asked. Harry looked up at him for only a second before dragging Hermione and Ron to their shared room. The boy followed him in there and Harry sighed in slight annoyance.

“Who are you? Are you the new servant Ron talked about? Harry Potter?” The boy pestered, he walked over to face Harry. Harry ignored him still, and hauled Ron up onto his bed, and covered him with a blanket.

“Why are they unconscious? Who did that to them?” The boy followed Harry as he lifted Hermione up bridal style onto her bed, caring not to touch her wounds from the night before. He tucked her in carefully. He rushed over to the bucket and rag they used last night to wipe her forehead from the blood pooling in the creases. He’d have to help them with that later. He needed to get back to Draco before he ended up headless.

Harry stood up and turned around, “Ah!” He gasped when he almost bumped into the annoyingly curious boy. He placed a hand over his heart and glared up at the boy. “If you would please move, Malfoy is waiting on me. I would rather not lose my head, thank you.”

Harry shoved past him and walked back out into the commons, the boy still following him.

“Wh-” The boy started to ask. Harry whipped around and glared at the boy.

“Stop following me, and stop asking so many bloody questions! Why not just ask Ron who I am when he wakes up?” Harry shouted. The boy flinched and took a step back, Harry took this as a chance to escape the boy. He ran down the hall to the stairs.

“My name is Neville by the way! It was nice to meet you, Harry!” Neville yelled from down the hall. Harry threw a hand up as a slight wave in response, and then practically galloped up the stairs to the third floor.

“Potter! You’re late.” Draco spat. Harry knelt down as an apology and panted in front of Draco’s feet. Draco looked down at Harry in amusement. “Are you hungry?”

Harry looked up at Draco in surprise. His stomach grumbled and he glanced down at the floor in shame. Draco tapped his boot on the floor impatiently.

“Ah, yes. I haven’t eaten in a long time.” Harry looked up, but avoided eye contact with Draco. He tried to remember the last time he ate food. It took him at least four days to travel from the outskirts of Lord Voldemort’s kingdom to the Malfoy kingdom. He hadn’t eaten the night before, and he’d been interrupted earlier before breakfast.

“Get up. We’re going to the kitchen.” Draco nudged him in the chest with his boot, sending Harry falling back onto his butt. Harry’s eyes widened and he gasped in surprise.

“Really?” Harry asked as he stood up, ruffling his hair. Draco stood on the top step, and looked at Harry over his shoulder and said with a light smile,

“Of course, I’m not a monster, you know.”

Harry watched in bewilderment as Draco started his decline down the steps. Harry breathed out a light sigh and followed him.

“Dobby!” Draco shouted. Harry furrowed his brows, what on earth was a Dobby? A small elf appeared before them.

“Y-yes Master Draco?” Dobby answered, looking up at him slightly from where his head faced the floor. Harry looked from Dobby to Draco and back again. He never knew royals used elves, he thought elves were only for servants.

“Tell Cedric to create a beautiful feast for Harry Potter, he has not eaten in a long while and he will be of no use to me if he dies of starvation.” Draco ordered. Harry couldn’t believe his ears as he watched Draco order the elf.

“Yes master.” Dobby bowed, and dissipated back to what Harry thought may have been the kitchen. Draco turned to Harry, whose eyes were still blown wide.

“Did the mudblood give you a tour of the castle?” He asked. Harry’s eyes narrowed as he glared at Draco and crossed his arms.

“Her name is Hermione, and no she did not.” Harry growled at him. Draco chuckled. Harry was growing more confused by the moment.

Draco crossed his arms and sighed through his nose. Harry took the moment to look him up and down, he noticed the blonde had changed. He was dressed down, in black slacks and a green t-shirt. There was a small snake embroidered onto the front breast pocket of the shirt. Harry groaned inwardly at noticing how well the shirt fit Draco. He tore his gaze away from Draco's clothing to his own. He was wearing the extra clothing Ron gave him, they were baggy and long. What a sight he must be, especially compared to the blonde. A question popped into his head and he looked over at Draco.

“Um, Malfoy, I have a question,” Harry asked hesitantly. Draco looked over at him, as if previously lost in thought. He hummed in response. “Do the servants make money by serving your family?”

Draco pursed his lips and uncrossed his arms, looking around the hallway, which was vacant. His eyes trailed the walls and windows. He sighed and looked back at Harry with a thoughtful expression.

“I don't know, I've never heard of it but the servants have to care for themselves somehow don't they? They don't have other jobs or anything.” Draco answered, and bit his lip in thought, his brows furrowed. “Why do you ask?”

Harry looked down and gestured at his borrowed clothes.

“Well, I didn't bring any belongings with me, so I don't have any clothes. These are Ron’s and they don't fit very well. I thought maybe if I made money on the job I could buy myself some clothes or something. I'm not asking for money or anything, I was just curious about it.” Harry explained, holding his hands up as reassurance. Draco nodded, understanding what the brunette meant.

“I can take you out shopping. I'm the prince, my servant has to look good.” Draco muttered, and licked his bottom lip. Harry watched as Draco’s tongue curled over his bottom lip, and he realized it wasn’t the first time the blonde had done this. Harry looked up into Draco’s eyes for a second and nodded. He decided to bow out of respect for the Prince.

“Thank you, but please don't go out of your way.”

Draco's eyes widened and he stared at the boy before him. He cleared his throat and looked past Harry to the kitchen. They were still standing at the bottom of the stairs, not really doing anything important, waiting perhaps, Harry thought. Harry turned around and looked at the kitchen, and when nothing happened for several minutes, sighed. Draco hummed.

“Cedric is taking longer than usual. I was going to give you the tour after the meal was done, but it's taking longer than expected. The castle is quite large, the meal will be cold by the time we're done.” Draco muttered more to himself than his servant. “Guess I can give you a tour of this area, though you might know it since the servants quarters are right down the hall.”

Harry had remained quiet, letting Draco talk. Harry felt strangely relaxed around the blonde. He nodded at Draco when Draco asked if he'd like a small tour now. Draco nodded and walked down towards the kitchen. Harry followed after him quickly, keeping up behind the taller.

Draco opened the small wooden door that led into the kitchen. Harry hadn’t been inside yet, even if the commons for the servants quarters was directly behind it. The kitchen was massive, much bigger than the room looked from the outside. There were tables and tables of foods Harry had never seen before, fruits and vegetables. His stomach growled as he looked over all the freshly cut meats.

The kitchen was quiet, save for a few servants grilling up some meat, and others cutting up fruits and vegetables. There was a taller man with long hair standing over a giant cutting board. He turned around and bowed to Draco, who nodded in return. The man wiped his hands on a towel, and walked over to greet Harry, hand extended. Harry took his hand and shook it firmly.

“Cedric, Cedric Diggory. Head chef, I make all the meals.” Cedric took his hand back. He pointed to the boy cutting up raw meat. “That over there is Seamus Finnigan, my right hand man and-” He pointed to the African-American boy. “Dean Thomas, our dish boy.” Cedric snickered. Dean flipped him off, and continued washing dishes. Draco chuckled, and Dean flipped him off as well.

Harry was appalled, Draco didn’t do anything towards Dean, just laughed at him. Harry’s eyes flicked between the two, wondering if Draco was going to do something. He’d beaten Ron and Hermione just an hour before, for crying when Harry was given to Draco. Draco turned to look at Harry, there was a bit of amusement in his eyes, and Harry realized he knew these boys pretty well.

“This is Harry Potter, my new servant.” Draco introduced. The boys whistled and hollered. Dean grinned at Harry.

“You’re the kid that Draco ordered the meal for?” Cedric asked, surprise written all over his face. He raised an eyebrow at Draco, who, Harry noticed, had a glint in his eye.

“Hope you last longer than his last one. Draco likes to have fun with his servants,” Dean wiggled his eyebrows at Harry, and he felt heat rise to his cheeks. Draco walked over to Dean and clocked him one, right in the jaw. Dean flew to the ground from the impact. He grunted, and spat out some blood.

“Bastard! I bit my tongue!” Dean whined, and stood up from the ground, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. Draco glared at him.

“Maybe it’ll teach you not to spread stupid shit, Thomas.” Draco’s voice was dark. A shiver ran down Harry’s spine at the tone Draco used. He looked back over to Harry who was watching them all, and growled, “Don’t listen to him, he’s a git.”

Harry nodded, and Cedric laughed. Harry looked over at the taller boy, and Draco did as well. When Draco glared at Cedric, the boy turned around and continued on making the dinner for Harry. Draco grunted and walked out of the kitchen. Harry followed suit.

Harry’s eyes widened when Draco pushed the door open to the servants’ commons. Every single servant in the room froze when they saw Draco enter. Some started crying; the women, the girls. The men jumped up to protect them, putting their bodies in front of them. Harry’s eyes flicked to Draco, and then at the servants.

Draco led him around the common room. The room, he’d never taken time to look at it before, was big. There were several short hallways with two doors on either side, and one bathroom on the end. Each room held three beds, and a desk. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t bad either.

The servants stared at them with wide eyes as Draco pointed out certain things. Things that the servants themselves could have shown him. When Draco turned and looked Harry in the eye, Harry saw a flicker of an emotion he’d seen plenty of times before. Draco wanted to show him the common room, because he knew the people were scared of him, and he loved it. Harry felt bile rise in his throat, as he looked at all the other servants.

He saw Neville, standing in the middle of the room. He glanced between Draco and Harry and then ran into Harry’s room. Draco smirked, and walked out of the common room. Harry stormed after him, pissed off with him for acting like a spoiled brat.

Draco led him back to the Throne Room, which was at the end of the corridor. The room was empty except for the King’s throne. The King and Queen had left the room it seemed, and it was just the two of them now. Seamus and Dean walked in, and set up a wooden table. Draco gestured for Harry to sit down on the bench seat, so he did.

Harry looked up in time to see Cedric walk in carrying plates in his hands. They were filled with the most delicious, most delectable looking steaks Harry had ever seen in his life. There were different kinds of fruit, cut into small squares; oranges, apples, mangoes, a weird white and black speckled fruit. Harry grabbed it and popped it into his mouth, the taste was faint, like a pear but very light. It was chewy, melted in his mouth, and the seeds didn’t grind on his teeth like he thought they would, they just dissolved on his tongue. He ate the rest of the fruit slowly, enjoying the sweetness, fearing he may never taste anything so wonderful again.

Draco watched him eat with his bare hands and nodded to Cedric, who returned a few moments later with a fork and knife. He handed the fork and knife to Harry.

Harry stared down at the meat, he’d never eaten something as nice as this, it was always, duck or goose, sometimes deer if his father got lucky. Usually they’d eat squirrel. Harry had to blink back tears as he stared down at the wonderful meal before him. He looked up at Cedric and smiled.

“Thank you, Cedric,” Harry beamed. Cedric’s eyes widened, as did Draco’s. The two boys glanced at each other, and then watched as Harry cut into the meat.

It was perfect, the steak was hot, and the inside was a beautiful red, warm not cold. He stuck the piece in his mouth and it practically melted on his tongue. He ate the rest of it hungrily, before moving onto the vegetables. Smoked broccoli, grilled carrots. He practically inhaled the rest of the food, licking his fingers when he was finished. He panted, and smiled. Best meal he’d ever eaten.

“You like that?” Draco asked him. Harry nodded. “Are you finished?” Harry nodded again, and wiped his hands on his pants. “Good. Now clean it up.”

Draco smirked, and Cedric chuckled, before walking out of the room. Harry looked up at the blonde, confused. Draco gestured to the dirty dishes on the table.

“Clean it up.” Draco ordered again. Harry stood up and began to gather the dishes. He held them out in front and walked over towards the door. His reflexes weren’t fast enough to move out of the way, when Draco’s hand came up from beneath the plates and knocked them on the floor. The plates shattered, and Draco grinned. Harry felt a kind of sadness pool in his stomach. He had hoped, and he was wrong. He had hoped.

“I said, clean it up.” Draco demanded, shoving Harry down on his knees. Harry began to pick up the pieces carefully, as not to cut himself. “Come on, Potter. We don’t have all day.”

Harry started reaching for further pieces, and Draco kicked them even further away. Harry huffed, and crawled to the scattered pieces. He gathered them in his shirt, and carried them over to the trashcan to throw them away. He shot a glare at Draco, as he dumped them in the trash.

“So that? All of that was an act? You were just pretending to be nice?” Harry nearly yelled, his voice cracking. He hated himself for being upset, he hated himself for having had hope. He should’ve listened to Hermione, he should’ve trusted her. She’d been around longer, she’d know if Draco had the ability to care about others.

Draco started laughing, it was a cold wicked laugh. It was different from when he had chuckled at Dean, Harry noticed.

“I never said I was a good person,” Draco spat in Harry’s face. “I just said I wasn’t a monster.”

Harry felt like he'd been slapped. Draco was right, he'd never said anything to prove he was nice, Harry had just assumed. Harry grew more and more frustrated with himself. Damn it! I'm so stupid.

Harry walked over to the doors of the Throne Room and opened them. Draco cleared his throat,

“And where are you going?” He asked the brunette. Harry froze. Did he forget something? He whipped back around and started scouring the floor. There weren't any pieces left. He frowned.

“You made such a mess. Mop it all up.” Draco gestured to the area. Harry looked around, and it looked clean. He wasn't about to question the prince, so he left the room and grabbed a bucket and rag from a closet in the hall.

Harry knelt down on the ground and began to scrub the floor where the plate pieces had fallen, double scrubbing certain areas so that he was sure he had cleaned everywhere. He tossed the rag back in the bucket and stood up.

“Bloody hell, just look at the difference! There's so much dust on the floor! You must not have cleaned well enough the first time. Might as well clean it again,” Draco grinned. Harry wanted to throttle him, but got back down onto his knees and began scrubbing the floor in different areas.

Harry wanted to guess that he'd spent about an hour cleaning. That's what the giant wooden clock said on the wall in the hallway, though he didn’t quite understand how to read it. Harry was exhausted, but at least he was full. Draco had been called out by one of the guards to go talk to his father about something or another. Harry didn't exactly know, he just kept cleaning. When he'd finished he'd put the rag and bucket away and had walked into the hallway.

He stared out the big stained glass windows, and saw a girl. She was blonde, pretty, and taking care of the horses. Her skin looked too perfect, her hands too dainty for her to have been a servant, but Harry didn't remember seeing her at breakfast that morning.

Harry felt Draco before he heard him. The thick air filled the hallway in waves, like back in the commons, during the tour. It felt as if it had a smell, a stench of fear maybe, musk. The servants were terrified of him, especially the women. Harry was new, he knew that, and he would learn.

“Potter!” Draco shouted. He looked up to see the blonde walking slowly down the hall, there was something different about his walk. Draco's presence was demanding, even from where Harry stood, despite something being off about it. “Follow me, I have your next task for you.”

Harry took one last look out the window, and the girl had disappeared from where she was, the horse she had been tending to was gone as well. He started walking towards Draco, who turned and led Harry up the stairs.

Harry’s legs felt like lead, and each step took a little more energy from him. By the time they reached the third floor, all Harry wanted to do was sleep. It’d been a terribly long day, one of the longest he’s had in awhile. He missed his mom, her voice, lulling him to sleep after a hard day. He missed working on the farm, plowing fields, and playing with the dogs. Those were good long days.

“Every wizard is trained in combat. Every mudblood, every half-blood, and I should pose the idea of muggles training in combat but my father may not like the idea too much.” Draco informed him as he walked down the corridor to a room.

Harry realized that the third floor was much nicer than the first and second, this must be where their rooms are. The stone was much lighter, had more of a slippery feel to it. Hermione had cleaned the third floor, she knew it better. Harry could almost tell the difference between his and Hermione’s cleaning. Perhaps Draco was right to make him clean the Throne Room again.

Draco had disappeared into the room, and Harry walked over to it. It was in the middle of the hallway on the left, with two other bedrooms next to it. There were large windows off to the right side. The doors were spread so far apart, Harry had guessed the size before even looking into Draco’s room. What he wasn’t prepared for, was the design.

Draco’s room was a deep green color, with black curtains hanging across the bed poles, draping over the side. His sheets were black, and his comforter was a dark green. The wall had a giant plaque with a silver snake on it hanging above his bed. Draco walked out of what looked to be a walk-in closet. Harry looked over to him, eyes skimming the other details of the room. There was a large painted black desk with a quill and ink. There were bookshelves, filled with many books of all lengths and colors. All of this for one man. Harry’s eyes met Draco’s and the blonde smirked.

“You like what you see?” Draco asked him, smirking through his breath. Harry took one last sweep of the room with his eyes, and shrugged.

“It looks.. Lonely.” Harry whispered, looking back at Draco. The blonde’s eyes widened a fraction of an inch, but Harry caught it, and his own eyes widened. Draco tore his eyes away from the brunette’s and pointed to the closet.

“There’s some suit armor in there, and some swords. I’d like you to polish them. When you’re finished cleaning the armor, clean my room, and prepare me a bath. I’d like to take a nap after you’re done. When you’re done you can do as you please.” Draco nodded to the armor, and then to the room. “I have some studying to do for a meeting with my father tomorrow, please don’t make too much noise.”

Draco walked over to his desk and sat down. Harry noticed the chair, it was painted black, with green buttoned velvet on the seats. He watched for a moment as Draco began writing down notes. Sweat began to form in the blonde’s hair, and his foot started moving up and down. Harry looked away, figured Draco knew he was being watched.

Harry walked over to the closet, and took a look inside. There were clothes everywhere, everything was sorted out neatly. The shirts were hung up and in color order. The shirts that didn’t fit on hangers were piled neatly in opened drawers, with pants and shorts of the like. Draco’s shoes were arranged along the bottom side of the closet walls. There was another door inside the closet, a small personal armory. Harry opened the door fully, and walked inside. The room was bigger than the actual walk-in closet, and he had to have guessed it was the work of magic.

In the personal armory there were two suits of armor, silver by the look of it, and a couple swords. They looked like they hadn’t been used in a long time, which made Harry wonder why he had to clean them. Draco had said that all wizards needed to learn to fight. Perhaps if they lost their wands, or were too injured to use their magic.

Harry let out a deep sigh and began taking mental pictures of how the armor was put together, before taking it apart. He set each piece away from the next, while also keeping it in a good order so he knew how to put it back together. If he got confused he’d ask Draco, and then ask Hermione later if she could teach him.

Once everything was placed, he walked back out into Draco’s room in search of a bucket and rag. When he didn’t see one in sight he walked out into the hall, aware of the eyes on his back. He walked to a hall closet, and grabbed a bucket and rag, perhaps they refilled themselves magically, because the bucket was full. He looked around at the small closet for anything else he could use to clean, and when he found none, he shut the door.

Harry turned back to walk into Draco’s room when he saw the girl out the window again. She was riding one of the horses, a black one. It’s mane was long from what Harry saw of it. The girl was wearing blue, and her blonde hair flew freely behind her as the horse galloped through the fields. He watched her go, before walking back into Draco’s room to clean the armor.

It was cold in Draco’s armory, Harry noted. He needed new clothes, a jacket, some shoes that actually fit him. Draco had offered to take him out shopping but Harry didn’t know if he meant it or if it was part of Draco’s act. Harry felt his heart seize, honestly what was he expecting? He shouldn’t have expected anything. He has a roof over his head, meals, a bed, which was more than what he’d had some days back at home.

Harry scrubbed each piece of metal, two times over, inside and out, to make sure they were clean. He put both sets of armor back together, it wasn’t hard, just time consuming. He’d still ask Hermione about cleaning armor, and perhaps ask Ron if he knew how to fight, it’d be good to learn.

When he walked out of the room, he noticed that the afternoon had begun to slip into the evening. Draco was sitting at his desk, hunched over, leaning on his arms. Harry wondered if the boy was asleep, so he quickly cleaned the rest of Draco’s room, which wasn’t hard. Draco kept his room spotless, there was hardly any dust.

Harry quickly ran to the bathroom, and started heating up the water, he lit the coals and watched as the water started to simmer. When he deemed it warm enough, he walked back over to the blonde boy.

“Malfoy,” He whispered. The blonde shot straight up in his chair, looking around until his eyes found purchase on Harry’s. “I’ve prepared your bath, come with me.”

Harry guided a sleepy Draco out of his chair and into the bathroom. Draco began to get undressed and before his shirt was over his head, Harry had turned around. He cleared his throat and walked to the doorway of the room, awaiting dismissal.

“You’re dismissed, I’ll come get you if I need you.” He heard Draco say. Harry nodded to the blank space in front of him and walked out of Draco’s room. He shut the door with a light click, and walked down the hall to the stairs. He wanted to go outside, to see the gardens, and perhaps the blonde girl.

He walked past the servants’ commons, to the back door of the castle. The grass was overgrown, wild wheat grew among it. There was a path leading down the hill, which forked off into three separate paths. There was a sign in the middle with painted letters, Graveyard, Garden, and Barn. There was a little arrow pointing to the right on Barn, so he took a right and wandered down the path to the barn.

There were strings of yellow flowers among the grass and wheat. It made the pathway look beautiful. The barn was large, and red, it seemed unfitting for the rest of the castle. There were pastures miles wide, for as far as Harry could see. Several horses were tied up in the round pens, grazing on buckets of wheat.

It was quiet, peaceful even. The sun was dipping below the horizon, and the bugs were beginning to sing. The air was warm still, and thick. It filled Harry's lungs and coated them with the musky scent of horse manure and freshly cut hay.

“Hi, can I help you with something?” A sweet voice called from inside the barn. The doors were open, and the barn was dark inside. He couldn't see the person who spoke, but they could obviously see him.

“Oh, no I was just exploring. I'm sorry to intrude.” Harry blushed, he must've looked like a fool just standing there. He rubbed the back of his neck with his hand and walked towards the barn. His eyes widened when he saw the pretty blonde girl from before.

“You didn't intrude on anything, and explore all you like. My name is Luna, you're welcome to visit this area of the castle anytime you please,” Luna smiled. Harry noticed how polite she was, her voice was high and sweet.

“I'm Harry, Harry Potter.” Harry extended his hand to her. She smiled at him, but didn't shake his hand. She nodded to him, and tossed a rag over her shoulder. She was wearing a blue button up shirt, with blue jeans, and brown boots. She was thin, and her pretty blonde hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail. She had a small knife on her right hip, and a spot for her wand on her left. She shifted her weight onto one hip and pulled out a cup of water from behind her.

Harry looked and saw a table, with different satchel’s and other riding equipment. She took a swig of her water, before she turned around and walked deeper inside the barn. Harry walked after her, curious to see the inside. He felt something soft beneath his feet and looked down to see muddy gravel.

The inside of the barn was smaller than he originally thought it would be. There were four giant stalls, with horses in them. A chestnut, a black, a brown and a pinto, by the look of them. There was a fifth stall, filled with equipment, and a back room of supplies. Luna had disappeared somewhere, so Harry was walking through the barn.

Harry stopped walking and stared in the stall at the black horse. It was beautiful, it’s coat was brushed, and shining. It’s mane was long and combed, and it’s tail hung down to a little before it’s hooves. He looked at the stall door for a name; ‘Hedwig’.

“Hello, Hedwig.” Harry whispered, and reached his arm through the stall bars. It was then that Luna walked out of the back room. She stood quietly for a moment, and then walked over to them.

“Who are you?” She asked him. He looked at her, confused. He’d introduced himself to her before walking into the barn, but he had a feeling she didn’t mean it like that. He looked at Hedwig, who was staring at him with big brown eyes. Luna stood there waiting for his answer.

“I’m Prince Malfoy’s new servant.” Harry sighed. Luna’s interest seemed to peak, and she led him outside to the outer barn area. She had asked him what he thought of Draco, so Harry let her have his opinion. “He’s a piece of work, a selfish prick and annoying bastard. He lied to me, messed with my head. Some king he’s gonna make some day!” Harry shouted. Luna stopped walking and turned to look at Harry. She made sure to make eye contact as she spoke her next few words.

“Don’t talk about Draco that way. I don’t care if that’s what you think of him, just please do not speak of him that way when you’re around me.” Luna glared. She crossed her arms and pursed her lips. Harry stared at her, dumbfounded.

“What you’re sticking up for him? Didn’t you hear about his last servant? Is that what’s going to happen to me?” Harry raged. Luna’s expression remained calm as she listened to him continue.

“He is a good man. Not many people see it, but I can. I see a lot of things, Harry Potter.” Luna replied to him. Her voice came out as a whisper, but she was adamant on making him believe her, so he shut up about Draco.

They walked together, out to the hay bails and the manure pile, which was hidden in a sort of overhang. Luna grabbed a shovel and started moving muck into the pile. Harry looked up and around at the grassy fields, his eyes landed on an old shed like barn, it wasn’t painted. He wandered down the path until it disappeared into the weeds. He stood at the end of the path and stared down at the old shed. He let out a deep sigh and looked back up at the castle. There was a slight movement in one of the high windows, like curtains fluttering. He scanned his eyes back down the castle, to the large barn, and then to the girl shoveling muck.

He closed his eyes and breathed out through his nose. The leaves rustled in the wind, passing across his exposed skin. The air smelled sweet, like flowers and honey from the treats the horses ate. He opened his eyes, and with one last glance at the shed, he walked back up the path to Luna.

“So, what do you do here? You’re too pretty to be a servant,” Harry asked Luna. She looked up at him and laughed. Harry blushed, perhaps he’d been too blunt. She set down the shovel against the side of the overhang. She wiped her hands on a rag.

“I’m the King’s ward. I’ve been living here since I was nine. So, I’m sorry if you don’t like them, but they’ve been taking good care of me for several years now. I simply can’t listen to anyone’s harsh comments.” Luna smiled at him. “Thank you, by the way. Your compliment was much appreciated.”

The King’s ward? Oh shit. No wonder she didn’t appreciate what harry had said about Draco. She probably grew up with him.

There was a rustling in the grass behind them, and he watched as Luna’s eyes smiled. He turned around to see Draco walking towards them. Harry felt his heart quicken, how long had it been?

“You making new little friends, Potter?” Draco sneered, once he was down the hill. He nodded to Luna who simply smiled at him. Harry watched the interaction, and grew curious. How well did Luna know Draco? Were they a thing? He’d have to ask Hermione about it later.

“S-sorry, I didn’t mean to stay out too long,” Harry apologized, and bowed a full 90 degrees to the Prince. Draco snickered, and knocked his feet out from under him, sending him falling into a small pile of muck. Anger boiled in his chest, and he got up off his face to growl at the prince, but he’d already began walking away.

“Some great man, that is.” He muttered to himself, and looked up at Luna who shook her head in pity. She helped him up, and began to wipe the muck off his face with her rag. He sat down on a fold-able chair.

“I don’t know why you keep it a secret,” She whispered to him. His eyes widened and he looked up at her in shock. “I can see it, I can tell.”

Chapter Text

“What do you mean? See what?” Harry asked, he stood up, eyes blown wide, and he took a cautious step back from the blonde. Luna smiled at him, her eyes crinkled in the corners, and she took a step towards him. She leaned in and whispered,

“Your magic. I can see it.” As soon as the words left her mouth, the world seemed to mute. He couldn’t hear anything but the ringing in his ears.

Harry’s chest tightened as the ground began to sway beneath him. He looked at Luna, past Luna, around Luna, but avoided her eyes. His head began to ache and he couldn’t get enough oxygen. How could she know? How could she tell?

He takes a step back, and then a few more. He stumbled back, over a rock, and crashed to the ground.

“Why are you hiding it?” Luna asked him. She was walking towards him and he couldn’t seem to scoot away fast enough. His eyes flicked around the hills and saw no one, this wasn’t a trap. Everything was okay, wasn’t it?

“I…” He looked up at her. Her expression was calm, and he wondered, how she could look so calm when she just blew his secret, everything he had tried to keep from coming out in the open since he ran away from home. “I don’t want to cause them any trouble, they- they don’t sense my magic like you do. They think I’m a muggle.”

She smiled slightly at him, “Oh, I know what they think of you, what each of their opinions of you are. I see things, remember? I keep secrets as well, so if you don’t want me to tell anyone I won’t.”

Harry stood up, panting. He looked around again, before looking her in the eyes. He nodded at her. She crossed her arms across her chest then, and slouched to the side.

“So what is it?” Luna asked him. Harry’s brows furrowed.

“What is what?” Harry asked her. She grabbed his arm lightly, and pulled him down a path. They started walking slowly down the path, and she eventually let go of his arm.

“Your story, of course.” She told him, with a tone that made him feel stupid. Like he missed something. He sighed deeply.

“I don’t really have one, I guess.” Harry muttered. Not one that he wanted to talk about anyway. Not to her at least, even if he didn’t really have anyone else he could trust here. He already told Hermione and Ron a little, not everything, not enough.

“That’s not true, everyone has a story. Even if you think it’s un-impressionable, or stupid, or worthless. Everyone has a story to tell, where they’re from, what they’re doing here, where they’re going, and why? What their childhoods were like, what food they ate, what bedtime stories their mom told them. What they were afraid of-”

“Stop! Okay I get it. Everyone has a story. I have a story.” Harry shouted and cut her off. He took a step away from her and rose his hands up in frustration. Luna just looked at him. He sighed and crouched down. He ran his hands through his hair, and over his face. He did not want to talk about it.

“I’ll tell you mine then.” Luna whispered. She sat down on the ground next to him. They sat there in silence for several minutes. Harry almost wondered if he’d misheard her, until she started talking.

“When I was little, I lived in a castle. It was a beautiful castle, the walls were this gorgeous shade of white, weird as it is to say that. My mother, she would slide down the railing on the stairs. She would wear this bright blue flowy dress, that when she landed would twirl around her waist and flutter at her ankles. She was wonderful, and kind, she would bake me sweets, even though we had elves for that. She was an amazing witch, she was a scientist too, would create potions and serums of the sort. She once told me this inspiring story of how a prince would come for me, and we’d fall in love and he’d give me a rose. At the end of her story, she created a rose, and brought it out from behind her back. I laughed and laughed. She died when I was nine.” Every word flowed from Luna’s mouth, expressing an image so terribly bright in Harry’s mind. Luna smiled sadly at the memory.

“I’m sorry.” Harry muttered. She reached over and patted his knee. The touch brought back memories of his own. Memories of his mother.

“Don’t be. It’s not your fault.” Luna whispered and looked away. "She took a deep breath in, and Harry waited, anticipating her next words. “Harry,” and he looked at her, “My name is Luna Lovegood.”

Harry’s breath caught in his throat, as he stared at her. His eyes were wide, and his body froze.

“No, no that can’t be. You- oh god. Luna, no..” Harry whispered. His breath was short, and she stared at him, but this time she looked beyond panicked. “I’m- I’m from Azkaban!” Luna visibly winced at that name.

“It wasn’t called that when I lived there. When I was growing up it was Hogsmeade. Where did you live in the kingdom?” She asked. Harry started carving the dirt out from under his fingernails. Nitpicking really.

“Outskirts. My mother was poor, and my father, though he was a pureblood, he moved in with her. We had a farm, a house elf, a dog. We had big open plains, but we survived on very little. He took everything, we had porridge and corn, that was it. We were happy, but we weren’t good enough for him.” Harry whispered. He buried his head in his arms and pulled his knees to his chest.

“What happened?” Luna asked, and Harry pulled his head out of his arms, and set his chin down on his knee. The sun was setting in the distance, growing darker, bit by bit.

“They came. The dark wizards. They ransacked my village, burned the houses, took prisoners, killed people. He killed my parents in front of me, Voldemort did. He tried to hit me, with some spell, I don’t remember. But I got away, and I ran for days. I hid in the fields, and the surrounding trees. They followed me, for awhile, but once I got too close to Hogwarts they stopped and turned back, so I kept running here. Now here I am.” Harry gestured out at the field before him.

“He killed my parents too. My mum first, and then my dad a few years later. How much suffering he must have been through. I ran as soon as I could, I thought my father was dead. They took the kingdom, I don’t even know where they came from. But one day, after I ran, I bumped into Draco. He was out hunting with his father and they saw me in tears and asked me what had happened. Since I was a princess, Draco and I had been set up on premature dates for possible future scenarios, so they knew me. They took me in, and I’ve been here ever since.” Luna whispers. Her tone was light and airy, and it made Harry feel better about what he had shared with her. Their lives had been ruined by the same horrid man, in very similar ways. “But don’t you see Harry? Our stories aren’t insignificant. They’re a part of our lives. Everyone has a story, Harry.”

Harry watched as she got up, and offered him a hand. He took it and she pulled him onto his feet. She gestured to the lowering sun. “We should head back, you’ll have to be serving dinner soon. I’ll hope to see you there.” With that she skipped up the hill and back to the barn, which had been lit up with lights from the inside.

Harry walked up the hill slowly, thinking about everything that had happened. After everything Hermione and Ron had told him they made this castle seem like an awful place to live, but after talking with Luna, she chose to come here, she thought it was the safest route. He was at a crossroads, not the one back to the palace, but figuratively. Who was he supposed to believe in this situation? He just met all of them, he had no right to judge them just yet but that meant he also couldn't tell which one was telling the truth. Maybe they all were, fuck.

Anywhere was better than home though. He would deal with Draco’s shit one hundred times over, and it would still be better than watching his mother die in front of him. He opened the back door to the castle and walked into the servant's room and sat down at one of the common room’s tables.

Several other servants he didn’t know were playing a cards game at another table. A few bedroom doors were shut, like his own, but several were open. There was a heat orb in the corner of the room, and a few floating candles lit the room from above them. He needed warmth, comfort, but he didn’t know where to get any, so he walked into his room and sat down on his bed. He glanced briefly over at Hermione and Ron, they were still asleep. Their clothes were soaked with sweat and they reeked.

Since dinner was supposedly already being prepared, and he’d never served dinner before, he absolutely needed to wake them up. Under any other circumstances, where he knew what the fuck he was doing, he would have let them sleep. He glanced around, before he muttered a cleaning spell at them, an action he could do wandless. He would’ve removed their clothes physically but he figured it would be painless to do it with magic so he wouldn't have to peel Hermione’s shirt away from her new and slightly old injuries. He gently shook Ron to wake him.

“Ron, hey. Sorry to wake you, but could you help me with dinner tonight maybe? I don’t know how to do it myself.” Harry whispered when Ron opened his eyes. The redhead groaned loudly, and clutched his head in pain. He nodded and sighed. Harry stared at Ron, who stared at the ground, before using Harry’s outstretched arm to pull himself to his feet. Harry steadied him, and they made their way slowly to the kitchen, to retrieve the food for serving.

“I’m sorry you had to witness that mate,” Ron muttered. He brushed down his clothes as they turned into the kitchen doors. Harry shook his head. He didn’t want to think about it, Ron talked about it as if it were a normal occurrence.

“I hate him,” Harry seethed. He clenched his fists, and slammed one into the wooden kitchen door. Blaise jumped, and nearly spilled the trash on the ground. The boy glared up at Harry, and gathered himself quickly. Cedric handed Ron and Harry the plates they needed to carry, they’d return or more, since Hermione wasn’t there to help.

When they walked into the Throne Room, Ron levitated the plates into their respective spots. There were four spots at the table, rather than the usual three, but Ron said nothing of it. Harry watched in amazement as Ron brought in the silverware using his magic. When Ron was finished he returned to Harry’s side by the door, awaiting the arrival of the Malfoy's.

Lucius Malfoy entered first, and Harry shuffled behind Ron a smidge. Ron smirked at him, but said nothing. Lucius sat at the end of the table in his large chair. Harry swallowed as Narcissa sauntered in, her gown flowing steadily behind her. She sat with grace, and gestured with her wand to fill her glass with some sort of red drink, Harry couldn’t tell. Luna came running into the room, galloping and twisting and dancing to her seat, in which she sat down and waved at Harry, who blushed and waved back. Ron stared at him incredulously.

Draco walked in last, and Harry couldn’t help but notice the way he was walking. He was looking at the floor, and his arms were folded in front of him, rubbing his hands. He sat down at the table across from Luna very slowly, and Harry watched as she tried to involve him in the conversation, but he refused to talk. Eventually Luna gave up, and returned to talking to Narcissa and Lucius, making them laugh at whatever it was that she was saying. Harry wasn’t focused on them, he was staring at the blonde boy, who stared at his full plate of food the entire meal, picking at it tentatively. When it was time for the boys to clean the meal, the Malfoy's and Luna stood up to leave.

“Thank you for the help Harry, give Cedric my thanks for a wonderful dinner,” Luna smiled at Harry. She touched his hand gingerly with her own, before skipping out of the room. Draco was the last to leave, standing up from his chair slowly. Harry wandered over to him.

“Malfoy, are you okay? Can I help you in any way?” Harry reached out to touch Draco’s shoulder, but his hand was slapped away, and he was shoved to the ground. Fear spiked in his chest as he glanced up at the blonde boy.

“Don’t touch me!” Draco screamed. Harry watched in shock as the realization dawned on Draco’s face at what he’d said. “I don’t want your filth on my clothes, these were specially tailored for me, it’d be a shame to burn them.”

Harry scoffed, and stood up. “My apologies. I figured I’d help the weak, and make a kind gesture.” At this comment, Harry realized his sass had gone too far when Draco went completely silent. Draco stood from his chair, and walked past Harry, and Ron and out of the Throne Room. Harry watched him go, before turning to look at a very shocked Ron.

“You got a death wish I don’t know about?” Ron’s voice cracked, and he cleared his throat. Harry shrugged.

“Probably. I’ve a lot of wishes you don’t know about, we’ve just met after all,” Harry smiled. Ron laughed as he started cleaning the plates up and away with his magic. He turned round and grinned, saying,

“True mate, that’s bloody true.”

They cleaned the rest in silence, only speaking to give thanks to Cedric from Luna. The silence was comfortable as they walked into the common room. Harry heard a humming in the distance, signalling to him that Hermione as awake. Ron knocked gently on their closed door, and she opened it. She had cleaned the room, and organized all of the books into neater stacks and washed every single item of clothing.

“‘Mione, you okay?” Ron asked, walking into the room to give her a gentle hug. Hermione laughed quietly, and rubbed an eye.

“Would you believe me if I said I was tired?” She laughed again. Both Harry and Ron nodded. Harry watched and she turned her body into Ron’s embrace. She closed her eyes as she laid her head on Ron's chest, and wrapped her arms around his waist. Harry began to feel uncomfortable, as if he were intruding.

“How was your day Harry?” Hermione asked, keeping Harry from leaving, even though he had one foot out of the door. He pulled his foot back in and shut the door gently.

“It was,” long, insufferable, tiring, “not bad,” Harry responded, surprising himself. He supposed it wasn't, he had met Luna after all. Luna had most certainly brightened his day. “But I'm exhausted.”

Hermione smiled grimly. “Prince Malfoy didn't harm you did he?” Harry shook his head.

“No, Malfoy just ordered me around. He made me feel like he was a good person, that I could trust him. I was wrong, he tricked me. I was stupid,” Harry muttered. He had personally witnessed Draco beating his two friends unconscious, and afterward he had the audacity to believe Draco was a good person. All because Draco had been nice to him, had smiled, had given him food?

“You trust too easily,” Hermione whispered, opening her eyes to look at Harry. She pulled away from Ron's embrace and turned to sit on Ron's bed. Ron sat across from her and motioned for Harry to sit as well. They had formed a triangle on Ron's bed.

Harry looked around the room, suddenly wondering why they didn't put a Glamour on it or transfigure it into something more homely.

“Why not transfigure the beds? Or at least make them softer, bigger, warmer?” Harry asked her. Hermione turned to look at her bed.

“Narcissa has surprise checks on everyone's rooms. We're servants, we shan't be living in comfort. You'll receive a lashing for every item you've transfigured. Usually Narcissa does them, but sometimes she makes Prince Malfoy do them, the lashing I mean. Prince Malfoy would never step down here.” Hermione explained, shivering.

Draco’s name sounded weird coming out of her mouth. Harry wasn't sure why the thought occurred to him, each of the royals in this castle shared the name, save for Luna. A light bulb went off in his head.

“What about their ward, Luna Lovegood?” Harry asked them. Harry furrowed his brows in confusion at Ron’s response, he’d begun snickering to himself, trying to keep his laughter in. Hermione glared at him.

“Don’t you mean Loony Lovegood?” Ron chuckled. Hermione swatted him on the shoulder, but then turned back to Harry. Harry was glaring at Ron, feeling protective over Luna.

“Why are you asking about Luna, Harry?” Hermione asked, leaning forward. He smiled lightly at her. He began to tell them about his meeting with Luna. Hermione’s attitude brightened as she listened to Harry talk about Luna. When he had finished telling them about Luna, Hermione glanced over at Ron.

“Aren’t the stories she tells beautiful?” Hermione smiled. She hugged herself in content. Harry frowned.

“Stories? She was telling the truth,” Harry gritted out. Ron glanced down at Harry’s fists, and raised an eyebrow.

“About what, mate?” Ron asked. Harry was shocked, absolutely flabbergasted. They didn’t believe a word Luna said, thought she was making up stories. Though to them perhaps she had, but Harry knew she wasn’t lying to him, he could hear it plain as day. She wouldn’t have faked the sadness in her voice as she spoke about her mother. Luna was not lying.

“All of it. Everything. At least, what she told me, was true.” Harry spoke, his eyes meeting Hermione’s. Her eyes widened as his narrowed, she swallowed and nodded. She believed him. What Ron thought of him didn’t matter though, the idiot probably thought everything Harry had said was a story as well.

“Do you fancy her mate?” Ron asked, his eyes widened. Harry shook his head quickly.

“No, no! But I wondered, is there something between her and Prince Malfoy?” Harry asked. “She got very defensive over him when I ranted to her earlier.”

Hermione tilted her head in curiosity, and her eyes seemed to drift. She was thinking about something, Harry could tell. Ron wrinkled his nose in disgust.

“Gross, I hope not. The bloody gits got no good qualities. I don’t even understand how his parents love him.” Ron shivered as disgust rolled down his spine. Harry smiled grimly at Ron. He could see where the ginger was coming from, but he wouldn’t go so far as to say those horrible things. “Blimey, and he’s ugly too.” Ron added. Harry stopped short from responding when he realized he disagreed, he thought Draco was bloody beautiful, minus the blonde’s personality.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen Prince Malfoy alone together with Luna, so I don’t think that they would have any sort of interaction of those sorts. He doesn’t harm her in any way, I know they’ve been friends since they were children. Maybe that’s why she’s fond of him. Now that you mention it, I’m not sure why she would be. He’s a horrible person, perhaps he’s managed to trick her,” Hermione explained, her eyes came back into focus.

Somehow Harry thought Hermione was wrong. Luna wasn’t stupid, she’d gone to the Malfoy’s after Voldemort had taken over her kingdom, she went there for safety for a reason. She liked Draco for a reason, and Harry wanted to know what that reason was. From what he's seen about Draco, there's not much to like.

“What do your parents do Hermione?” Harry asked, thinking perhaps a change of topic was best. Hermione beamed at the question directed at her.

She answered with pride, “They’re muggles, they work in the village. I visit them as often as I can to bring them food and clothes.” Harry admired her for not looking down on her muggle parents, but then her admission hit him. Hermione was muggle-born, and the Malfoy’s from what he could tell, were racist. Shit, that explains a lot.

“Did you grow up as a servant?” Harry inquired, shifting his position on the bed, relieving his sleeping foot. He winced as the tingle started.

“Yeah, my mother was Queen Malfoy’s servant long before I was. The Queen decided she wanted me instead, and let my mother go. It was a harsh relief. She could finally leave this wretched place, but she wouldn't be supporting the family anymore. I support them now, sad as that may be.” Hermione smiled sadly, and looked down at her hands. Ron, who'd been silent, reached over and squeezed her shoulder lightly.

“Oh, speaking of. I haven't seen any adult servants.” Harry muttered. Not as single servant he'd met or even glanced at was over the age of 15, except maybe the kitchen help, but even then he wasn't sure.

“They only allow older men and women to serve them. Those that can't fight back or are easily subdued. The Malfoy's are afraid of being overtaken, so they threaten the lives of the men and turn them into soldiers for the war. If the men were to try anything against the King or Queen, their family would be killed off one by one in public.” Ron explained. Harry's mouth hung by the end of Ron's explanation.

“That's horrible!” Harry gasped. Hermione nodded. She yawned, and glanced not-so-subtly at her bed. Harry chuckled to himself.

“We should go to bed, I'm exhausted. I've had a long day,” Harry yawned, standing up and walking to his bed. He crawled under the sheets, and turned on his side to watch the other two. Ron groaned as Hermione moved away from him, and he fell back onto his mattress.

“Yes, sleep.” Ron moaned, and then was out like a light. Harry watched as Hermione flicked her wand at his bed, in which the covers pulled away from Ron and over his sleeping figure.

“Goodnight Harry," Hermione whispered as she turned off the few lanterns that were lit and crawled into her own bed. The last lantern, the one by Harry's bed flickered lightly. Feeling the warmth on his lips, Harry leaned in close and blew the flame out.

~*~*~

The next morning, Harry was awake as the sun rose, they bathed, dressed and cleaned. Harry was faster than the day before but nowhere near as fast as Hermione. Harry had made sure the stairs to and from the floors were cleaned well, as Hermione had scolded him on how terribly they had looked yesterday.

The castle was unusually quiet, as well as outside. Hermione hummed down the hall as Harry finished putting his mop and broom away. Breakfast would soon be served, and his new day with Draco would begin. Hermione walked back towards him sending her mop and broom into the closet with her wand. Oh, how he missed using magic.

The two walked down to the kitchen, where Ron was already waiting the the food. Although his courses were for the servants. Hermione and Ron made small greetings in passing. Harry nodded his hello to Ron.

“Hey, Hermione?” Harry asked. She looked over at him from where she was standing by Cedric. “Would it be possible for us to go into town together sometime?”

Hermione blushed, and Ron, who stood in the hall, shot him a glare. Harry immediately rose his hands up and laughed sheepishly. “I meant the three of us.”

Cedric rose a brow over his shoulder, before turning and smiling at Hermione. “Breakfast’s ready!”

She smiled back at him, before waving her wand at the food, levitating it down the hall. Harry ran out after her, and watched as she placed each plate at each setting at the table. They backed away and stood by the doors as the Malfoy's poured in for breakfast. Harry's eyes scanned the room, and landed on Draco's empty chair. He hummed and excused himself from the wall, walking over to the table politely.

Harry smiled at Luna, who decided to join for breakfast, and grabbed Draco's plate. He bowed to the King and Queen, before turning away, and watching out of the Throne Room.

He walked up the stairs, making sure not to drop the food. It looked delicious, no breakfast foods he'd ever had before. Draco's door was closed, so Harry jiggled the doorknob, it was open.

Harry opened the door, and set the plate down on Draco's study desk. He then walked over to Draco’s closet, retrieving the clothes he figured Draco would wear that day. He then walked over to the window, and pulled open the curtain. The blonde groaned from under the covers.

“Malfoy, you've missed breakfast. I brought you a plate, you should get up for the day.” Harry spoke softly. He had no real idea why he was doing this for Draco but it seemed right.

Draco sat up slowly, Harry could tell his body was stiff by the way he moved. Draco winced as he sat up fully, looking sleepily around the room until his eyes landed on Harry. He scowled. Harry smiled warmly at him, and picked up the plate, and handed it to the blonde boy. Draco blushed slightly and tsked. Harry's eyes widened a fraction, and he looked away.

“Set it on the table.” Draco spoke, his voice was tired, strained. Harry did as he was told, and turned back around to see Draco raise from the bed, and immediately stumble over. Harry ran to him, and reached out to steady him but the look in Draco's eyes reminded him of what he'd said the day before. He removed his hands from Draco's proximity.

Draco steadied himself and stood, walking over to where Harry had set out his clothes.

“Not bad, you should know I like the color black. It's a must in all of my clothing choices.” Draco smirked. “Are you going to watch me undress Potter, or are you going to leave?”

Harry's face heated in embarrassment, and he shook his head. Draco walked over to his bed and laid out his clothes. Harry watched the blonde boys limp curiously. He decided to poke fun at the prince.

“What'd you trip over a log yesterday or something?” Harry chuckled, halfway out the door. Draco looked back at him, an empty look in his eyes.

“Something like that.”

Chapter Text

This is a note from the author. When I stopped writing this fic I was going through a lot, in the end life got in the way and I forgot about the story. I am so sorry that I just never updated. Thankfully though, my life is better now. I plan to continue the story, I hope you’re all still interested in it. Thank you for staying by me.

Chapter Text

Harry shut the door and walked away from it, still slightly flushed in embarrassment. He wondered if Draco found that outfit fit for a prince, or if he’d find his own outfit in his drawers. He sighed and looked around the hallway, before looking down the stairs, to see Hermione walking up the stairs to him. He smiled at her.

“Hello Harry, I need to have a word with Prince Malfoy,” She spoke sweetly to him. He looked back at the door and heard quiet shuffling.

Harry shook his head, “His highness is dressing right now.” The words felt weird coming out of his mouth. Hermione looked up at him from where she stood a few stairs below him, and furrowed her brows in confusion.

“Harry, as his servant you are supposed to dress him for the day.”

Harry felt heat rise to his face and he coughed and shook his head. He couldn’t, scratch that, wouldn’t ever change Draco’s clothes. He would jump out a window first before having to awkwardly remove and put on Draco’s pants and shirt. The idea that Draco shouldn’t be dressing himself was ludicrous.

“Malfoy didn’t say anything about that, he just asked me if I wanted to watch as he changed.”

Hermione chuckled, but pushed past him. She knocked at Draco’s door. When she received no answer she stood close to the door, her hands on her waist.

“Prince Malfoy, it’s Hermione, I carry a message from the Queen. If you would please open the door, I would like to discuss with you the details of the information I’ve brought.” Hermione bellowed.

Harry decided Hermione sounded right threatening if she wanted to be. Her voice was stern enough that he would have opened the door in an instant, not wanting to anger the woman. Draco yelled from inside something that Harry couldn’t quite hear. Hermione grumbled to herself for a moment, as if contemplating something.

“Prince Malfoy, as the messenger and maid of your mother the Queen, I have been ordered to do whatever I deem fit to get this information to you. If you do not open this door, I will.” Hermione waited, and Draco still did not open the door for her. “You leave me no choice then.”

Hermione unstrapped her wand and pointed it at the door. “Aloho-” The door swung open, cutting Hermione off. Harry at first didn’t see the blonde, only a shadow in the doorway, but as Hermione walked into his room Draco came into view.

Harry’s breath caught in his throat. The prince was clad in a tight fitting green shirt that tied loosely in a V below his collarbone. His pants were black and fit to his legs in places that made Harry blush to look at. His wand was holstered to his hip, but Harry also noticed a small dagger, one he hadn’t set out in the morning. Draco had decided to wear the outfit he’d picked out, and he looked damned good in it.

Harry was beginning to see the silver lining in being a servant to the royal ass. Harry cleared his throat and breathed in again, having forgotten that he’d stopped breathing. Draco looked over at Harry and rose an eyebrow, seeing the boy freeze, he smirked and looked back over toward Hermione.

“Close the door.” Hermione told the Prince. Harry felt his heart sink, what was so important that Hermione could know and he couldn’t? I guess it has to do with superiority. Perhaps also that she’s the Queen’s maid and he’s the Prince’s servant. Draco glanced between the two of them and crossed his arms, and Harry tried not to look at how tight Draco’s clothes seemed to fit across his chest and abdomen when his arms were crossed like that. He swallowed thickly, and cleared his throat again, heat rising up his neck.

“You can tell me with the door open, or you can leave,” Draco spoke. Harry’s eyes widened. Hermione looked between Draco and Harry, her eyes lingered on Harry for a second longer before she nodded.

“You are to leave the kingdom for a few days. King Lucius has arranged for you to visit the Parkinson’s. The Queen thinks perhaps it would do you some good to court Princess Pansy. The Greengrass’ are also visiting the Parkinson’s, so the King should hope you would take the advantage to talk to them as well. You would take Harry with you as he is your servant now. You will also take Lovegood to care for the horses, and to act as a guide for Harry’s while you are taking care of your duties with the Princesses.” Hermione explained.

Her explanation about Draco’s ‘duties’ was vague, but Harry had a feeling it had to do with him listening in. He wasn’t invading privacy, Draco had told her to keep the door open, for what reason he didn’t know. Perhaps Draco had guessed what Hermione had come to say and since Harry would be going with, didn’t mind if he listened in. Or if it was the case that he didn’t know what she was going to say, perhaps he simply did not want to be alone in a room with her.

Merlin knows Harry didn’t want Hermione alone in a room with Draco. After what he’d witnessed the other day, he really didn’t want her anywhere near the Prince. Hermione didn’t look affected by Draco’s presence but perhaps it was a front she was putting up, Harry didn’t want to think she was simply used to it.

Draco curled his lip in disgust. Harry remembered what Hermione had said on his first day. Draco didn’t like meeting princesses, he never paid them any mind. Harry would never understand the need to find someone to marry at the age of fifteen.

“Ah, yes. My father discussed this with me recently. Though I had no idea he had decided without me, that I am to be meeting with Pansy, and bringing Potter at that. I am well capable enough to go on my own.” Draco frowned. Hermione smiled and bit her lip.

“Why Prince Malfoy, just what do you have in store for Princess Pansy, that you would feel the need to go alone?” Hermione giggled. Draco blushed and glared at her, though it didn’t look so menacing with the blush on his face.

“Nothing, Granger.”

Hermione smiled, looking at Harry. “Then you won’t mind Harry and Luna joining you! I’ll tell your mother you’re to leave!” She clapped her hands in glee, and walked out of the room. She turned back for a brief moment and grabbed Harry’s arm.

“Wha-?” Harry started to ask. Draco stared after the two of them, and Harry looked back at Draco, who merely shrugged. Hermione shuffled him down the stairs. Harry nearly fell over his own feet as she hurried him.

“You’re so lucky. M’lady rarely ever leaves and I love traveling,” Hermione swooned as they landed on the next floor. “I will go over what is expected of you as a servant when outside of castle grounds, and Luna will act as your guide and friend while at the Parkinson’s. Prince Malfoy will be left to woo, and you two will be left to whatever it is you’ll do.”

“Malfoy will be left to what?” Harry asked, sure he’d misheard her.

“Woo, flirt, court, date. Pick your term. He’s being sent there to impress and date the ladies who may eventually become his Queen. The Malfoy’s like Pansy for it, but Astoria is the sweetest, when she visits she’s nice to both servants and House Elves alike.” Hermione told him.

“And that’s all it takes for Hermione to like someone really,” Ron interrupted. Hermione jumped in surprise. “Just treat the house elves kindly and she’ll take a liking to you. Even if you’re a rich princess that may end up marrying our royal asshole,” Ron chuckled. Hermione punched him in the arm and scolded him for his loudly spoken words about Draco. Harry didn’t disagree, he was just shocked that Ron had enough guts to say something like that so loudly.

“You sure it’s not you who’s got that death wish mate?” Harry chuckled. Ron scowled at him, though it was playful. The ginger reached out and ruffled his hair. Harry swatted his hands away and tried to fix his already messed up hair, but to no avail. He frowned at Ron, who simply just laughed.

“Ron, his hair is already bad enough as it is.” Hermione sighed. Harry pouted, and glared at the both of them. He smoothed out his hair, only for it to poof back out again. They all started giggling, and walked towards the servants common area to pack. As they walked Harry felt a warmth grow in the pit of his stomach. He looked around at all of the smiling faces of the servants as they worked, with the background of Ron’s teasing and Hermione’s laughter he began to feel like he belonged here in this castle. These people were going to grow with him and help him through his troubles as he would theirs, he would find someone here and settle down, have a simple quiet life, as a servant to the Royal Prince, prat or not. He was happy, he could live here.

The three started talking about the horrors of camping with Luna and Draco, and he couldn’t stop himself from smiling. He was walking behind the two, and slung his arms over their shoulders as they walked towards their room. Hermione and Ron gave him amused confused looks, as he gripped their shoulders and beamed. It felt like home.

*~*~*~*

A home he had to clean, constantly. Where the hell did all the dirt come from anyway? It’s not as if the royalties track in dirt, they hardly ever even leave the castle. Harry scoffed to the empty hallway as he idly brushed the floor with his broom. So where the hell did it all come from?

Though he’d have to say Draco’s room was quite clean. If he has no need for a servant why is Harry doing all of his housework? Wasn’t Hermione supposed to be teaching him about leaving the castle with his Highness and Luna? She told him how to prep Draco’s pack full of supplies but Harry had no clue how to pack for himself. They were to be camping in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere alone. He paused his sweeping.

Camping, huh? Harry thought. He’d never been camping, he’s never ridden a horse, let alone built a campfire. What would they be sleeping on? Where would they be sleeping? Would they all be separated, or would it be split girls and boys? Now there’s a thought. Would he be sleeping alone with Draco?

Harry’s face burned at the thought.

“What’s with the face, Potter?” A low voice came from down the hall. Harry jumped and dropped the broom. His ears red with embarrassment he scrambled to pick up the broom. Only managing to kick it further, he grabbed it and then ran his free hand down his face. Luckily, he didn’t kick it down the stairs that were just behind him.

“Sorry, sorry.” Harry muttered, heart beating rapidly in his chest. He willed himself to calm down, before he died of embarrassment. “You just startled me.”

“By walking down my own hallway? What are you doing anyway, isn’t Granger supposed to be teaching you the importance of slaving for me on our trip?” The blonde sneered. Harry sighed.

“She’s busy with the Queen, Malfoy. What do you care? As long as I understand the point of me being with you on this trip, it doesn’t matter. Go about your daily duties, I have cleaning to get back to.” Harry sighed. Draco took a step toward him. Harry didn’t move away, but shrunk back at the sudden closeness.

“What did you just say to me?” Draco nearly growled, “I could have sworn you just told me what to do.” Harry’s heart dropped into his stomach, and he took a step back. Draco tore the broom from his hands and he scrambled away from the blonde. Draco gripped the bottom end of the broom and smacked Harry with it. Harry yelped in pain and fell to the floor. Draco hit him with it again and again. Harry coughed as the broom handle hit him in the ribs.

“Hey! Hey!” A voice came from behind Harry. A flash of blonde flew past Harry in a blur. Luna stood in front of Draco her hands up in defense. She carefully took the broom from him, and set it against the nearest wall. “Draco, look at me, hey.”

Harry coughed, and sat up. He watched Luna talk Draco down. She ran her hands through his blonde hair, and down his face, and onto his chest. He couldn’t hear the words they were saying anymore, everything was a blur to him. Draco’s eyes flicked over to Harry’s and they stayed locked, until Luna forced him to look at her again.

His head was buzzing, throbbing perhaps, but not in a painful way. His ears were ringing, and sound was muffled. Did Draco hit him in the head? He couldn’t remember, his sides hurt, and he felt light headed when he moved.

“Harry?” A soft voice called to him, and he looked up at Luna. She rushed over to him, Draco walking away from the scene. “Harry stay with me, Harry!”

~*~*~

Harry woke up in his room. He couldn’t remember falling asleep. He blinked slowly, vision coming to him in waves, and then a splitting pain forced its way into his head from the smallest crevices of his brain. He groaned. Luna rushed to his bedside. Hermione and Ron were with her, standing in the background.

“What happened?” Harry asked, his voice sounded raw, his throat was dry. He coughed, and pain shot through his body as his ribs felt as if they were being crushed by his own muscle.

“Um, Draco hurt you. He, um. I don’t think he meant to Harry,” Luna whispered. Ron took an angry step forward.

“What so he accidentally hit Harry six times with a broom? Woops, my dignity slipped, guess that means I have to accidentally drop this broom on you several times.” Hermione grabbed Ron’s arm and shook her head. He shook her off and walked out the door into the common room. Hermione watched him leave, and then turned to her bed and sat down on it.

Harry looked up and Luna, and she smiled at him. He felt weird looking at her, knowing she touched Draco like that. Hermione and Ron had said there was nothing there, and why would Harry care anyway? Luna just didn’t seem like the type to get with a pure blooded prat like the prince. Harry liked Luna, he didn’t want her getting tainted, especially by a boy with sudden violent tendencies.

Luna pressed the back of her hand to his forehead, and Harry stilled. He glanced over at Hermione who hid a smile, and cleared her throat. He glared at her, and she went back to thumbing through her book. He knew what she assumed, she assumed wrong.

“You don’t have a fever, and you’ll be in pain for a few days, but I healed your ribs. Nothing was broken, just bruised, and you’ll have a headache for a while,” She whispered. Harry blinked and furrowed his brows at her, and leaned away.

“What are you, like some kind of medic or something?” Harry asked. Luna giggled,

“I dabble,” She spread her fingers and twirled her wrist around her head. Hermione chuckled to herself. Harry glanced over to her.

“And what is it you’re laughing at?” Harry grumbled. Hermione shook her head, as Luna glanced over at her. Luna smiled at the both of them.

“Well I have things to check up on, I’ll leave you be Harry. Make sure you’re well rested for the trip, and please refrain from pissing off Draco,” Her smile was sad, and she walked out of the room, her boots clicking on the wood floor. The door creaked shut, and Hermione and Harry were alone. There was shouting outside the door in the common room, and then it went silent. Harry glanced over at Hermione, who had her wand pointed at the door.

“Silencing spell,” she said. Her voice was soft. Harry nodded and laid back. He stared at the ceiling. He heard Hermione sigh, and a slight thud of a book being set on the floor. “I’m sorry he did this to you, but really you should have known better than to talk to him in such a manner. I’m not saying this is your fault, or that it explains his reactions. I’m just hoping you’ll watch what you say to him, in order not to set him off on you.”

Harry nodded, but didn’t look at her. It’s true he had gotten too comfortable in his speech to the Prince, he’d forgotten. He felt too at home here, and had forgotten his place. She sighed.

“Alright well, I suppose I should start telling you what you should know for the trip.”

~*~*~

Harry sighed, and closed his eyes tightly. He really didn’t want to go on this trip. He ran his hands down his face and was shocked by the cold. Perhaps he should bring mittens? It would get cold at night, Hermione said. He’d need several sets of blankets, pillows, clothes, and pans from the kitchen. How were they supposed to get food? Hunt? Harry had never hunted before, though perhaps Draco and Luna would do the honors. He mulled it over in his head, probably Luna.

Speaking of which, Hermione had told him to go meet her at the stables with all of the blankets, clothes and pots to begin packing, and setting the horses up. Harry sighed, stuffed his hands into his trouser pockets and walked outside, passed the sign, and headed to the barn.

Harry heard Luna before he saw her. She was humming a tune to herself, and brushing the mane of one of the horses, who he immediately recognized as Hedwig. Shocked, Harry walked into the barn and pointed at the horse in question.

Luna turned and jumped when she saw him, holding a hand to her chest and calming the horse she startled by patting its nose.

“Harry, you mustn’t walk so quietly, it is quite dangerous to spook a horse, they are rather hard to control. Thankfully, she noticed you before I did and didn’t startle quite as badly. Um, I’m guessing Hermione sent you? Did you bring the supplies?” Luna asked, and brushed a loose strand of blonde hair behind her ear.

“I don’t exactly know where to find the stuff we need.” Harry rubbed the back of his neck and glanced away. Luna nodded, and tied Hedwig’s lead to a wooden post, she brushed her hands off onto her blue jeans, and stretched, popping her neck and back.

“Alright, I can show you where to get the blankets and pillows, but you’ll need to retrieve Draco’s clothes on your own. I don’t think he’d take kindly to my being in his personal area,” Luna sighed. She started walking up the hill, not waiting to see if Harry was following.

When Harry got to the top of the hill Luna was gone, inside the house Harry presumed. He ran in the back door. He glanced down the hallways, and Luna was not in sight, he sighed and ran past the kitchen to his Masters room, and just missed the blonde exiting. Harry stumbled out of Draco’s way, and stood against the wall, bending his head in a slight bow.

The boots did not move and Harry’s body tensed, his head lowered even further, but the boots still did not move. He glanced up to see Draco raising his eyebrow at him. He raised his head, and backed off the wall, standing at attention to his Master. His eyes did not meet Draco’s. The blonde moved and said,

“Potter,” Draco spoke. His voice was light, and Harry glanced into his eyes. He froze, a shudder washed over him as he met the stunning grey eyes that bore into his soul, and his breath caught. He watched as Draco’s eyes wandered down his form, and back up again to meet his frozen gaze. “I needed to speak with you, it’s good you’re here. Come pack my clothes while we talk.”

Draco turned back into his room, Harry followed suit, and shut the door. He began grabbing various shirts and pants much like the ones Draco was wearing, and placing them into a large satchel like bag that was laying on Draco’s bed.

“So uh, about earlier,” Draco started, and Harry visibly winced, a minor ache in his head started to form at the thought. “I’m sorry.”

Harry froze, and his eyes widened. He set the shirt he was holding on the bed, and turned around to look at Draco. Draco nodded, and looked down at his feet, and then away.

“I got angry, and got carried away. I didn’t mean to hurt you, I used you as an outlet.” Draco’s cheeks tinted, and Harry’s eyes trailed over the blonde’s pink dusted cheeks, and a warmth settled in his stomach. He willed the heat away and cleared his throat.

“You’re what?” Harry asked, still in shock from the sudden apology. Draco looked back at him and scowled.

“Don’t make me repeat myself you twat. You heard me, I’m not saying it again.” Draco suddenly found the laces on his shirt far more interesting than Harry’s face. Harry’s mouth was dry, so he swallowed and coughed.

“I accept your apology and,” Harry paused, and Draco looked up from his shirt, “I forgive you.”

Harry could’ve sworn a dark flush passed over Draco’s cheeks the moment he said those words, but he couldn’t confirm it, as the blonde whipped around and cleared his throat, walking over to his wardrobe.

Harry was about to inquire what Draco was doing when the door flung open. Luna stood, panting in the doorway, before taking a deep breath and calming herself. She takes a look at the situation, before walking in. She needn’t announce her presence, as Draco called out from behind his wardrobe dress sheeting, “Shoo, Loony.”

“Rude. Harry, I need you to please hurry with your packing. I understand you’re new at this but please work faster. We need to get out of here at a reasonable time so we don’t arrive late. Draco your mother already sent out the letter and it’d be best if we could get there at a reasonable time.” She ranted, and tucked a hair behind her ear. Harry’s eyes followed her hand down her neck to rest at her hip. She sure was bossy when she wanted to be.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw movement and glanced over at Draco, who was out from behind his wardrobe and was watching them closely. Harry flushed and looked back at Luna.

“Meet me outside when you’re ready.” Luna pointed at Harry, and then turned around and walked away. Without a word Harry turned back to his work and packed many shirts that looked like the shirt Draco was wearing earlier in the day. Harry paid no mind in what Draco was doing, and only focused on folding his shirts and trousers.

“You seem to get along with Luna well enough,” Draco started awkwardly. Harry blinked, startled. Draco was trying to make conversation.

“Yeah, I really like her, she’s great.” Harry nodded, and folded another pair of trousers. Draco was quiet, and Harry felt a nagging inside of himself, something in his gut that didn’t feel right.

Draco remained silent, and Harry turned around to look at him. The blonde wasn’t anywhere in the room. Harry furrowed his brows and grabbed the folded clothes and tucked them into the bag. He looked around, and walked out of the room. He carried the satchel out to the bag strung to the horse, where Luna was packing other things like blankets. The sky was pink with the sun beginning to set, it was getting cold.

When he arrived at the stables, Harry found that Luna had pretty much packed everything onto the horses already. His blankets were neatly rolled and strapped onto the back of Hedwig’s saddle, and his bags of food and equipment were strapped to the sides.

“We should be good to leave in the morning.” Luna sighed. The air was heavy around her, something seemed off.

“Luna, did something happen?” Harry asked, stepping closer to her. She brushed him aside, and started fixing together the bridles and saddles to bring down to the stables. “Luna, please. You don’t usually act like this, from what I’ve seen anyway.”

Luna sighed and stepped back from her pile, “I overheard Lucius and Narcissa, talking about my father. That’s all.” Harry nodded, and stepped forward to take her into his arms. She stiffened, and then relaxed into his embrace.

“Thought you had more taste than this, Loony.”

Harry pulled away from the hug and looked up to see Draco walking down the hill towards them, a bag slung over his shoulders. He tossed it at Harry, who fumbled to catch it, and draped the bag over the horn of the saddle.

He watched in amazement as Luna grabbed the giant satchel of Draco’s clothing and stuffed it into the tiny carry on bag attached to the saddle of the horse.

Luna smiled at him and whispered, “Magic.” She wiggled her fingers at him and hopped on her own horse. Draco seemed to be having difficulties getting on his horse from his limp, so Harry grabbed a stool for him before Draco could quip at him.

“Well, well Potter you seem to have gotten better at your slave duties, imagine that. Well done, I needn’t even ask.” Draco smirked and slid his leg over the horse. Harry felt his neck heat at the praise, although it had come with the sass as well, he’d done something right.

“Let’s get going shall we? We’ve spent long enough packing. We won’t be leaving in the morning, we’ll be leaving now as to not upset my father worse.” Draco grunted, hopping into his saddle.

“Uh, you mean, Luna and I packed, while you did whatever you did,” Harry corrected. Draco shot him a glare. Luna laughed at the both of them, and jumped on her horse.

Harry stared at Hedwig, “So um, I’ll just have you know that I’ve never ridden a horse before.” He heard Draco snicker,

“Better learn fast then Potter.”

~*~*~

The sun had begun to set on the horizon, as Harry mounted Hedwig for the first time. His thighs ached at the stretch, Hedwig could use to lose some weight. He trailed his eyes along his steed, her muscles contracting under his weight. Luna had taught Hedwig well, he knew by the first step that Hedwig knew to follow. He on the other hand, did not.

“Whoa! What do I do?” Harry shouted and grabbed onto the knob of the saddle. He heard Draco chuckle from up ahead. He flushed in embarrassment, after all he was from a farm village why would he not know how to ride a horse?

“Harry,” Luna spoke from beside him. She’s slowed her horse down to walk beside his. “You hold those ropes, they’re called reins. You guide her by gently moving them, if they cross over her neck in either direction she turn her head to move in that direction. If you press your foot onto her right side as you move the rein to the right she will turn more sharply. To make her go faster you lightly kick her sides with both feet. Just say ‘woah’ or ‘calm’ if you need her to stop, while pulling up on the reins.” Luna demonstrated by making her horse stop.

“Seems easy enough,” Harry gave her a lopsided grin, “Thank you, Luna.”

He could practically feel Draco staring at him, but when he looked up to check, Draco had already moved farther along on the road. He took this time to watch the prince, thighs wrapped tightly around the girth of his horse, a black steed that made the alabaster pale skin stand out in the growing moonlight. Harry wondered to himself, if he could take a risk. Draco hadn’t said a word to him throughout Luna’s lesson, no quips, no sass, no bullying remarks. He double tapped Hedwig’s sides and was shocked by how she listened to him and picked up pace. He laughed to himself and trotted up to Draco.

He came to a rough stop by Draco, and then tried to get Hedwig to return her pace, and match the Prince.

Draco side glanced him, “What Potter? Miss me?” His voice was quieter, but the snark weighed heavy on the sentence. Harry shrugged,

“I thought maybe you’d like the company. You were alone.”

Draco stiffened, he was silent for so long Harry wondered if the blonde even heard him. Maybe he was just being ignored.

“I am always alone. I prefer the solitude.”

Harry somehow doubted that. Whenever he was left alone, his mind would retract into memories of his family, and many other things he didn’t want to think about. He didn’t know enough about the Prince to know what troubles he may have, but too long on your own can bring any bad thought to surface.

“I can leave you to be on your own then if you’d like,” Harry offered. He hoped that maybe he could stay next to the Prince. There was a calm surrounding them, perhaps because on the backs of their horses they were on equal ground. Away from prying ears and judgement, it was peaceful and calm. Luna was talking to her horse in the background, and Harry smiled at the image.

“No,” Draco said, before realizing his mistake. He had responded too quickly. Harry chuckled. “I just meant, it’d be better to talk to you than to discuss goons and goblins for my merry little cousin back there.”

A chill ran up Harry’s spine. “You’re family? She told me what happened to her kingdom. Why wasn’t her family here?” Luna was quiet behind them, Harry didn’t dare check on her. He figured she was ignoring them, and when her speckled grey horse glided past them down the hill he got his answer. He and Draco were left alone behind her.

“She’s a distant cousin. Not closely related, but her father is related to my father somehow. They didn’t get along in the slightest. So he decided to run off with some whimsical princess and start his own kingdom. They produced Luna, who my father adores. It’s only because of that adoration that she’s allowed to stay here. My father is not exactly forgiving.”

Harry found all of it interesting. The Prince opening up to him about his family, the fact that he was even talking to him in the first place, and that they were related even if it wasn’t close. Although Harry was sure if he’d asked Luna, she would have told him, even still Draco was opening up to him little by little.

“What’s your horses name?” Harry asked. Draco rose an eyebrow at the question. Harry shrugged, he figured it would be better to get off such a depressing and serious discussion. He didn’t want to push Draco to far and end up hurt, either of them.

“Ulysses,” Draco answered. “The English term for Odysseus, on of the most powerful men alive in Greece. Even so that he was revered among gods. He won many battles with his mighty power and won over many women. He could have had anyone he wanted, and no one would have questioned him.”

The cockiness returned to Draco’s voice as he boasted about the origins of the name. It was as if he was preening his feathers. His last sentence was tinged with a light sadness. Curiosity peaked in Harry, as he remembered something Hermione had said.

“Do you have to court with all the princesses?” Harry asked.

“Why do you keep jumping around on all the subjects Potter? Have some kind of agenda I should know about?” Draco squinted at him. Harry waved his hands in apology.

“No, I’m sorry. I just have a lot of questions. I’m curious about you, sorry. I was from a distant village, I’ve never been around royalty.” Harry’s hair stood on end at the base of his neck, as he remembered his home. The little cottage just outside the barriers of the kingdom walls. Draco pursed his lips, but sighed.

“Yes. I have to ‘court with’ as you put it, all the princesses. My mother says that both Greengrass princesses are going to be attending the ball in the Parkinson kingdom. My parents firmly believe that Pansy is the best fit for me.”

“You don’t get a say in who you marry?” Harry asked. “You can’t marry for power, marriage is for lovers.”

“What fairy tale do you live in Potter? I must find a good pure rich woman to take over the kingdom with me as my Queen. It is not about love, it is about finding a powerful suitor to hold power over a kingdom. It is about respect, it is purely business.” Draco snarled at him, with a not-so-hidden scoff.

“You can’t believe that. Do you agree with it?” Harry asked, still flabbergasted. He could not grasp the idea of marriage for power. Perhaps it was one of the things Luna’s father had disagreed with the King about.

“It does not matter if I agree with it. The choice is not mine to make. I am fifteen years old. We will be done with this subject now.” Draco took off over the hill, leaving harry alone. He’d crossed a line somewhere. How awful, no wonder Draco had been silent for part of the trip, he was being forced to choose a suitor at such a young age. Harry never could have imagined, he wondered if the Queen love the King in Draco’s family, if maybe there was a sort of bond there rather than just power. Perhaps it explains Draco’s behavior towards others, how did his family treat him?

Harry pondered to himself too long, as he realized he could no longer see the two blondes in front of him. A slight panic shuffled through his body and he glanced around in the dark of the night. He double tapped Hedwig’s sides and took off in the direction he assumed the royals went. Pain shot through his rib cage as his muscles shifted with the movement from his horse. He took a big breath in to calm the muscles. He could see the dapple speckle of Luna’s horse and sped up to catch up with her. He gripped the horn like his life depended on it. He strode past her on accident, the wind running through his hair, it was thrilling. He laughed. He’d never felt so alive.

“It’s amazing isn’t it?” Luna laughed beside him. Her horse ran beside his. “The wind in your hair feels amazing!”

“Want to make it a race Lovegood?” Draco called from the other side of Harry. Harry whipped his head the his left and made eye contact with the Prince. There was a brightness there that Harry had never seen before. Luna, on his right whistled and her horse took off ahead of them both. Harry laughed in amazement at her speed.

Draco hollered and rode off after her. Harry wondered if he stood a chance against Luna, the stable owner. He clicked his tongue and Hedwig took off after the two of them.

Harry wondered how he didn’t fall off his horse, as they came to a standstill outside some trees. Luna and Draco were bickering by the time he arrived.

“I let you win! I cannot possibly win every time, it would be showing off.” Draco boasted, hands on his hips. Luna had her arms crossed.

“You just can’t admit that I’m better than you at something.”

They were both standing next to their horses. Luna must have tacked them to the tree. How slow was he to arrive? He hopped off Hedwig, and began to grab his stuff off the back of the saddle. Luna grabbed Hedwig’s reins and tied her up to the tree adjacent from Ulysses.

They were in a small clearing of the woods, Harry hadn’t noticed the thick brush until Hedwig took off. He was new to riding, and nearly took his head off a couple of times from hanging branches and vines.

Draco was gathering small sticks and logs. Harry decided to gather dry and dead leaves from the area around them in order to start a fire.

Luna lit the fire with a spell, and while she tended to it Harry began setting up their cots for the night. He rolled out Draco’s mat first, before gathering the blankets and pillow and setting them on top to mimic a bed. He worked on his next, pausing when Luna began to talk.

“We’re about half way there now, we’ll reach there about midday tomorrow. We should eat something we prepackaged and we’ll hunt in the morning for a larger meal. Rabbit or deer or something. We need a good night’s rest, especially with our long day ahead of us tomorrow.” Luna rolled her eyes at Draco when she spoke the last sentence. Harry rose his eyebrow at her, and sat down on his makeshift bed.

“Luna doesn’t like Pansy,” Draco explained.

Harry watched out of the corner of his eye as Luna turned around and began to change, her back facing him. Draco sent him a side glare and he looked away from the Princess. When Luna was done dressing she faced them and began to set up her cot. She spelled different things out of her pack, including what looked like a book. Harry sat down next to her on his bed. Draco began to move out of the corner of Harry’s eye. He began to peel his shirt off in front of the fire, grabbing his night clothes from his pack. Harry’s eyes lingered on the blonde’s smooth skin, the firelight licked the edges of his ribs and along the edges of his spine. There was a light around his hair, and the flames flickered light amongst the shadows. Harry swallowed thickly as he found himself wanting Draco to face him, and looked away when Draco pulled his night shirt over his head.

He met Luna’s gaze and his eyes widened at the look on her face. She was grinning wide.

“You think he’s attractive!” Luna whispered, she leaned in close to him and held her hand over her mouth. Harry panicked, and his heart jumped into his throat.

“What? No!” He whispered in an immediate response to shut her up, or to quiet her down. “What makes you think that?” He couldn’t look her in the eye, and looked past her as she smiled at him.

“You couldn’t keep your eyes off him while he was changing.” She smirked. Harry growled.

“Well I watched you too. It doesn’t mean anything.” Harry side glanced to see if Draco was paying attention to their conversation. The blonde was doing something with his pack, not showing any signs of having heard them. Harry sighed in relief.

“Just admit it, you think he’s attractive!” She exclaimed again. Harry blushed, and refused to admit it.

“I bloody think you’re attractive as well!” He answered, and realized he hadn’t whispered. She’d left him feeling so flustered he forgot to remixing quiet. Draco didn’t make a noise behind them, and just crawled into his blankets behind Harry. Harry grimaced, he didn’t quite know how that sounded if he hadn’t heard the rest of the conversation. “He’s a royal prat.”

“He’s not that bad honestly, you guys held a good conversation on our way here. You’ll get used to him,” Luna stood her ground on the subject.

“He beat me with a broom for no reason!” Harry shouts. Luna glared at him and glanced at Draco.

“He’s done bad things, but he’s not a bad person.”

Harry sighed. He’ll never get through to her like this. He just shrugged and responded, “Well he’s not a fucking good one either.” He couldn’t help but think back to when Draco had apologized, and he suddenly felt bad for bringing up the broom incident again. He did say he had forgiven Draco and here he was talking bad about him in earshot.

Draco pulled the covers up over his head as the two continued their conversation. Harry felt strange, the royal prat hadn’t said anything to either of them, though he’d most definitely heard them. Harry left the subject be, and laid down in his bed. Draco was turned away from him, facing away from the fire, and Harry had the strangest urge to apologize.

~*~*~

“Well I bet you’re both starved after that riveting discussion about the ‘royal prat’ last night. Why you kept talking about me although I was right there I wouldn’t know, would you happen to have something to say to my face, Potter?” Draco asked the next morning. They packed up their stuff as Draco was grabbing his hunting bow and sword.

“No, sir.” Harry felt guilt settle into his system, he hated talking bad on people behind their back, no matter who they were. Draco pointed his sword at Harry’s face. Harry’s eyes widened at the tip.

“You’ll stay here with Luna while I hunt. Oh and don’t bother trying Potter, she’s not into you, she wouldn’t stoop so low,” Draco snarled. Anger bubbled in his chest as Draco removed the sword from his face and he averted his gaze to glare at the ground. Draco stalked off into the trees without making a single sound.

Luna sighed to herself. “You shouldn’t have said such mean things, Harry. He didn’t deserve them, especially because he didn’t even instigate it.” She bent over to fill a bucket with water for the horses.

“He instigated it by existing! He acts like he’s so great, that he can do whatever he wants, and can treat whoever, however he wants,” Harry vented. Luna set her bucket down and walked up to him. She poked her finger into his face and he leaned back at the close proximity.

“He is the prince! You work for him as punishment for breaking the law. He doesn’t know your life, he’ll treat you as he sees fit until he does! He is great and he is powerful but even he has limits to what he is allowed to do. Didn’t you learn anything from your conversation with him yesterday? He’s young just like you, forced into things he does not want to do. You have different lives, Harry. You won’t understand his life because you haven’t lived it.” Her voice trembled.

Harry opened and closed his mouth searching for an answer. He decided to end the conversation, and they just stared at each other for awhile. She glared at him, and returned to caring for the horses.

Harry ran a hand through his messy morning hair. Draco hadn’t poured water on the fire yet, to cook the meal, so Harry finished packing. He decided to go wander looking for more kindling.

“He’s the prince!” Harry mocked in a high pitched voice to himself, before he squatted down beneath the low branches of a tree to pick up some tree bark. He knew he was being childish, he was just angry.

He came across a bunch of dead leaves and reached his hand out to grab them when he heard a crinkling in the leaves off to his left. He paused and crouched low in the brush to peek under the branches. The leaves crinkled again and he realized the noises he was hearing were footsteps. They were light against the grass, careful almost. Harry’s breath hitched when a young fawn stepped into his field of vision. He made eye contact with the deer, and he moved ever so slightly against the brush to get a closer view.

His mouth hung open, and the air left his lungs and he refused to breathe out of fear that he would scare the beautiful wild animal in front of him. There was another slight rustle of the leaves behind the deer and Harry flicked his eyes up to see Draco. He was standing poised, bow ready, arrow aimed at the deer. In that moment everything seemed to slow, Harry swallowed thickly. Draco’s shoulder blades contracted as he pulled the arrow back against the string. The deer moved out from in front of Harry, and Draco’s eyes locked on his. There was a serene look in his eyes as they flicked back and forth between Harry and the deer.

Harry didn’t know what expression he was showing but something registered on Draco’s face as his brows furrowed and he turned quickly and shot his arrow off in another direction. The deer startled and ran into Harry almost knocking him over as it ran off into the woods. When Harry looked back to the place Draco had previously stood, the blonde boy was no longer there. Harry allowed himself to take gasping breaths of air as he sat in the brush, he felt different. He didn’t know why Draco had spared the deer, and he didn’t understand what was so important to him that the deer was left alone.

As he stood up he caught a glimpse out of the corner of his eye of red hair. There was a familiar sense in the air and he could have sworn that he heard a light bubbling laughter come from the direction in which the deer ran. Tears pricked at the back of his eyes as he thought of his mother, running through the woods with him as a child. He wondered if maybe the deer was the afterlife of his mother passing through.

“Potter.”

Harry jumped, and looked over his shoulder. Draco was stood behind him holding several squirrels attached to a string. Harry stood up and brushed himself off. He grabbed the kindling he’d found and faced Draco.

“You’ll explain to me what happened.”

His voice was different, it was an order but it wasn’t cold. It wasn’t void of emotion like his other orders could be, he was intrigued. Harry went to speak but Draco held up a hand.

“Another time.”

Draco turned and walked out of the woods towards the clearing they had slept in. Luna was awaiting their arrival. All of their gear had been packed onto the horses backs and all that was left were a few cooking utensils.

“Only squirrels? Were the woods inactive today? I was sure they would be full of life.” Luna hummed. She grabbed the bow and arrow from Draco. Harry watched as she shrunk the weapons with her wand and tucked them into a pouch on the side of the prince’s saddle. He shifted his weight and grabbed one of the squirrels Draco had set next to the rekindled fire. He sat on the log he’d sat on the night before and grabbed a knife.

Draco opened his mouth in question but stared in fascination as Harry began skinning the animals. His brows furrowed in confusion but he shrugged and returned to skinning his own squirrel. Harry did not watch him, he didn’t need to in order to know that the way they were skinning was different. Harry had learned from his father at a young age how to skin what few animals they had in the area. Meat had been a delicacy for him so he treated the animal’s carcass with care as to not waste a single ounce of meat. Draco’s squirrel was missing some fat tissue and it showed that he had never worried about his next meal. Harry wound twine around the squirrel and tied it to a rod and placed it over the fire.

“I’ve got it Malfoy, you can rest.” Harry whispered, sliding his hand over Malfoy’s to take the knife and the squirrel. Draco’s hand twitched as Harry’s fingers brushed over his knuckles, and he jerked his hand back. Harry didn’t question the action, nor the tingling sensation that crawled up his arm. He began to skin the two remaining squirrel. Draco stood up and wiped his hands clean on a rag.

~*~*~

After they’d eaten and climbed back on their horses, they headed for the Parkinson castle. Luna had said they were halfway or a little more than halfway after their playfulness the night before. The sun had yet to rise when the left, so they followed the light of Draco’s dimly lit lantern. Luna had lit the candle with magic, so there was a small bulb of light radiating from a small glass box on Draco’s right stirrup.

Luna had begun talking about something from her childhood, Harry tried to follow her story but was having a hard time focusing. She mentioned creatures he’d never heard of before, and places he’d never visited, until the word “dementor’ passed her lips. A chill ran up his spine. He remembered the dark ghostly creatures flying through the town roads of his village sucking the life out of people in broad daylight. They came in like a plague with Voldemort’s fledgling wizards and witches, and wrecked havoc on the townspeople before overcoming the kingdom.

“Save the scary stories for another night Lovegood, it’s morning now and I’m quite annoyed with depressing topics. I have a stressful day ahead of me.” Draco sighed. His voice was tired. Luna nodded and began to hum a tune that Harry had never heard. He took this time to ask Draco about his possible suitors.

“Hermione had said that Astoria was the nicest princess. Or her older sister Daphne. Are you going to be meeting with them too while we’re there?” Harry asked. Draco looked over his shoulder at Harry.

“Yes, I’m not sure how I’ll be visiting with each of them at the palace but I do know that I’ll be meeting with the three princesses separately. My father chose Pansy as best for me but in the end I suppose I get to decide who I’ll marry, as long as I have the approval of my kingdom.” Draco answered.

“What will Luna and I be left to do whilst you ‘court’?” Harry asked, using the terminology Hermione had used at the Malfoy castle. Draco chuckled a little at his sentence. He shrugged.

“Usually she likes to go through all the little shops in the village. I believe she made friends with a couple of the shop-keeps. Did you happen to bring any money with you that you’ve earned in your time working for my family?” Draco asked him with a side glance. Harry flushed; he’d completely forgotten to bring any money. Not that he has much, or has made anything substantial.

“I forgot. It’s alright, I don’t need anything.” Harry chuckled and scratched the back of his head. Draco gave him a once over and frowned.

“What do you mean you’re fine? You’re wearing rags Potter. I realize you didn’t have much with you when you got to my castle, but even the other servants have nicer clothes than you do.”

Harry’s body burned under the Prince’s gaze, and he looked away from Draco and cleared his throat. He looked down at the horn of his saddle and ran his hands through Hedwig’s mane.

“I really don’t need anything nice; I’ve never really had many clothes so I don’t really feel the need for them now. As long as I’m able to wash them, I can save my money to buy food or nice things for Hermione and Ron. Perhaps even Luna if I find something she likes.” He didn’t mention that he’d like to buy something for Draco as well. He didn’t want the idea to go to Draco’s head and inflate his ego even more.

Draco was silent again before he cleared his throat and turned to look at Harry.

“Do you like Luna?” He asked. Harry blushed and shook his head in a ‘no’. Draco squinted at him.

“Ron asked me the same thing. I don’t like her like that. I think she’s really cool and a neat girl but I don’t like her in a romantic way. I think she’s a great friend.” Harry clarified, and met Draco’s gaze when he said it. There looked to be a faint blush on Draco’s cheeks but Harry couldn’t see for certain. It must have been a trick of the light, but Harry wondered if it were a dusted blush on the Prince’s face, what it meant? He decided not to dwell on the feelings rising through his chest at the thought.

Draco nodded. “We should be nearing their castle soon. Are you prepared to act in your best behavior Potter? Some of the maids and servants in the Parkinson’s castle will keep you on your toes. They won’t hesitate to harm you if you let your guard down.” His voice was light, and it sounded like there was a hint of nervousness in it.

Harry couldn’t see the Prince’s face, but he knew he didn’t need to, to know how the Prince was feeling. Draco was about to begin a decision that would change the rest of his life, and he didn’t even have a choice in the matter. Harry swallowed, realizing his throat was dry, and nodded. Draco made the servants seem nasty, and from what he’s heard from Luna and Hermione if their Princess was just as nasty then he’d understand.

Luna appeared next to their side and pointed off into the distance, Harry could see through the trees a giant dark grey castle just before the sky met the land. It was close, and Harry could feel the anxiety rolling off of Draco in waves. Harry took a breath and reached his hand out to Draco’s. The blonde flinched, and looked at Harry with wide eyes. Harry ran his fingers across the Prince’s knuckles and gripped lightly. He wanted to comfort Draco, no matter what. Although the Prince could be a royal asshat, he didn’t deserve this. Nobody deserved this.

Draco inhaled and a deep flush began at the base of his neck, as he gripped Harry’s hand back for a second and then let go. The offer of comfort had been acknowledged and that was all Harry needed in order to remove his hand and smile in the Prince’s direction. ‘You can do this. It’s alright.’ Harry projected to him in his mind.

As they neared the castle, Luna began to move things around in her bags, telling Harry to do the same. They’ll be taken to their rooms as soon as they enter the castle. They’ll be asked to change and bathe before heading to dinner with the servants, unless of course they allow Harry to accompany his Prince to dinner. Highly unlikely, she’d said. Harry felt an odd weight in his chest, like someone was standing on it. Both blondes were on edge, and he-having never met anyone from the Parkinson Kingdom-didn't understand what was going on. He simply did as he was told.

His heart was in his throat by the time they reached the gates of the castle. The gates looked menacing, almost more so than the Malfoy’s. The gates began to open as they approached. Draco sat up straight, rolled his shoulders back and pointed his chin up. The air around him changed, Harry felt it shift and it reminded him of how Draco acted at home.

A girl appeared in the entrance; two guards stood at her side. She stood tall, graceful, but there was a near scariness to her. Her hair hung in a ponytail to her shoulders, she had her arms crossed, and she was wearing boots rather than heels. She didn’t look like what a typical princess would look like. She was wearing thin tight pants, and a loose-fitting blouse that hung low on her breasts. She was pretty but she wasn’t the most attractive person Harry had laid eyes on.

Draco hopped off Ulysses, and walked forward. He bowed to her and she granted him the same respect. She smirked and shifted her weight to one of her hips.

“Well you look loads better than the last time I saw you. Got an upgrade, did you?” She flicked her eyes to Harry and he felt his heart seize. He fought to keep his expression calm and serious as Draco had told him to do.

“Hello, Pansy.”