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Discovering Love

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"Well, my boy, is there anything else that you need? Any concerns with Mr. Diggory, or Mr. Malfoy, or Professor Snape?" Dumbledore and Harry were sitting in the esteemed headmaster's office, while Dumbledore was sucking on a lemon drop. Despite Dumbledore's offer, Harry had refused, not wanting something else to distract him from the telling of his tale. Harry didn't want a distraction from the reason why he showed up at Albus Dumbledore's office.

"Well, Dumbledore, is that not enough concern for you to at least scrape together a few charges?" Harry's voice was calm, as was his expression, but the fury in his emerald green eyes was a dead giveaway.

Harry was desperate at this point for a change in lifestyle. Since, according to Sirius Black, Dumbledore was his magical guardian (whatever that meant), so he was in charge of his guardianship, and where he lived for that matter. And Harry was desperate for a new living arrangement...

FLASHBACK

"Hermione, I have to go! I need to get to Dumbledore's-"

"Harry!" Ron's and Hermione's twin expressions of shock and indignation were almost ironic, considering the only two things they had in common was the fact that they were both Gryffindors and they had an unhealthy worship for Dumbledore.

It was ridiculous.

But Harry didn't care what either of them were saying, didn't care that he was supposed to say Professor Dumbledore, he wanted to go to Dumbledore. Sirius was offering for Harry to live with him. And even though Harry hadn't known Sirius for that long, James and Lily Potter trusted him, and that was enough for Harry.

Dumbledore had said that he was willing to let Harry live with someone else if they wanted to take him in, and they legally could. Harry had no idea that Dumbledore could shut down anyone who wanted to take in the virtually unloved orphan, and he would, because Harry Potter having a loving guardian was not OK for the elderly wizard's plans. Harry, however didn't know that, so he couldn't close the loophole. Good thing Dumbledore had sealed the wills when he had, otherwise Dumbledore would deal with an extremely pissed off Severus Snape.

Yea, Severus would be pretty mad.

So when Harry Potter, the boy in question, busted through the cozy room with a rushed "Chocolate Frogs!" and sprinted for the only available chair, with a piece of parchment in his hands, Dumbledore was confused and concerned for what was to come.

"Dumbledore, I've found someone to adopt me!" The boy's obvious excitement permeated through the room, causing Fawkes to trill happily at the slight glow. The golden glow of the office only showed up when there was a powerful wizard with pure intents in the room, someone with pure hope, someone who had the opportunity to defeat the current Headmaster if the circumstances so wished it.

While Dumbledore was nervous, because the boy could defeat him, Fawkes was extremely enthusiastic, because he could escape the Headmaster who had bound him so harshly to him, and he could return to the school.

"Well, can't you stay with your relatives? What's wrong with them?"

Harry took a deep breath. He didn't really want to go there, he didn't think that Dumbledore would really think he had to use that kind of knowledge.

But Harry might as well get it out in a flippant manner, to shock Dumbledore even more. Being flippant really was his charm.

"Considering they beat me, starve me, and raped me once in the summer before third year, I really don't want to stay with them."

Dumbledore promptly choked on his lemon drop.

"Do you not understand? They abused me. Do you get off on that or something? Because I didn't think that the Boy-Who-Lived should be subjected to what I was subjected to."

Dumbledore was silent. He didn't know it was really going to be that bad. He always knew it wasn't ideal, but rape? Wasn't that a bit extreme?

"I was first starved in the cupboard. They probably started rationing when I was three. I knew that Dudley had another bedroom, but I didn't know that I should have had one too until I was about 6, so when I started school. That's when I learned my name too. Isn't that unbelievable?" Harry paused, trying to catch his breath, "I started getting forced to do all the chores relatively early about that age too. Maybe a little earlier. I don't think I ever had a moment to learn how to cook. It was either I did it right or I got burned. Obviously I learned pretty quickly!"

Dumbledore tried to interrupt, because there was a very shocked fifth-year Hufflepuff hearing every word. However, Harry didn't care.

"I think I first got beat when I was....7. Yeah, I was 7. I was going to school. I was running away from Dudley and his gang. And I ended up on the top of the school somehow. I got away! Vernon found out though, and that was probably one of the most painful days of my life. But the worst was definitely the summer after second year. I gave Ron my number, and he didn't know how to use the telephone. His call was very loud, and it irritated Vernon to no end. He really nailed in the coffin when he said he was a friend of mine. I don't have a cellular device, so it called the home phone. It-it was-it was so...painful. The whole time Vernon was telling me that I was worthless, and everyone who told me I wasn't was lying to me. I guess he wasn't all wrong, was he? You don't care. I don't think Ron cares, or Ginny, or Hermione for that matter. I think Cedric Diggory was one of the few to care, and he saw me once, and he showed concerned. I had to go to him, you know. So I didn't lose my fucking mind over the indignity. Over the shame. Over how dirty, how filthy, how used I felt. I never told him the truth, but I told him I felt wrong. He's helped me so much since he ran into me second year. I really can't even imagine where I'd be without him. Probably the next Voldemort."

"It's never gotten better since when I got my letter, only worse, and I can't see why you won't do anything about it!"

Harry's eyes flashed as he waited for Dumbledore to answer.

FLASHBACK

..."No. I don't understand the primal urge for you to lie, but I am sure that your relatives care about you. They may have a firm hand when it comes to punishment, but you must remember that you still love them, and they still love you. Perhaps I shall send them a letter about your disobedience and lies, so they are less frivolous with you, and allow you less privileges. As well as-"

"If the Dursleys allowed me any less privileges, then I would be living out on the street as a common whore."

"Harry!" Cedric had tear tracks clear on his face, shock and pain evident in his stance and furious glare. Also a slight bit of amusement, because even though Cedric was a prefect and had to be a good example, that remark was too funny.

"I might get more than average, with my eyes, and my gender, and being the Boy-Who-Lived to suck cock. Wonder what the Daily Prophet would say."

Cedric was dissolving into laughter, his sides shaking with laughter. Dumbledore was pressing his lips together in an alarming similarity to Professor McGonagall's face when Draco made a crude joke paired with a wink at someone different, usually Harry. Solely to see the look on Ron's face. Right?

Draco was alarmingly changing ever since second year. Unlike his Slytherin counterparts, Draco had left Harry alone after the dementor incident, and slowly, so did the rest of Slytherin. Draco also changed with his treatment of Harry. Constantly glancing at Harry's eyes for the first month, and the protective Hufflepuff that walked with him at all times. Draco later started making small jokes, after realizing suddenly that the twins didn't rib him for a laugh. A lot of them were about Quidditch, a lot of them were about the Slytherin-Gryffindor rivalry, and about their own rivalry by default. And a hell of a lot of them were innuendos.

Harry didn't get the first one (at the time) that Draco said, which was almost 7 months ago. Until he did, obviously.

Draco smirked as Harry brushed by him to get his potions ingredients. Harry was relatively bored, because his day was relatively boring. Draco hadn't even continued with their stupid rivalry. So Harry was pretty damn shocked when Draco turned him by his shoulder and forced Harry within 2 inches of Draco's face. In the damp, cold closet, he could practically feel the heat radiating off Draco's body.

"So, Harry, I've heard you're pretty good at Quidditch." His voice was low, laced with something Harry didn't understand.

Duh. The two boys played each other in Quidditch all the time.

"So why don't you try riding my broom sometime?" His volume was still so quiet Harry could barely hear.

Harry, confused said (rather loudly), "I've got my own broom. Why would I ride yours?"

Harry then walked back to his seat, oblivious to the snickering of the Slytherins (and quite a few of the Gryffindors) and the gaping of Ron, Hermione, and Professor Snape. Harry still had no idea what Draco was talking about until Seamus snickered under his breath and whispered, "Snagged a nice one, didn't you Harry?"

Harry's face suddenly flamed at what Draco had meant, and what Seamus said consequently. He sent a glare at the blonde, who responded with a flirty wink. Pansy dragged Draco's head down, whispering frantically with the blonde and Blaise, who was also sporting a rather large smirk. Ron and Hermione were gaping, horrified, at the raven haired teen. Snape was very much looking like he wanted to be left alone to die in solitude.

Much to everyone's amusement, Harry did not speak much for the rest of class, instead choosing to bury his face in his hands.

Returning back to reality once again, Cedric asked him what he was thinking about.

Harry paused, giving a very flirty wink that would make Cedric question his intentions if he didn't know what Harry was doing, and waited in the pause, watching Dumbledore squirm.

"Draco."

In a lower voice, he said, "The time Dr-Malfoy flirted with me in Potions and the Golden Duo flipped their shits."

Cedric snorted. "That's everyday, tell me the specific time." Dumbledore was very confused. What was so funny about Mr. Malfoy that they would both find it so innately hilarious that they shouldn't tell him anything?

Harry continued. "When Seamus told me I was damn lucky he was giving me any attention whatsoever, and Snape looked like he wanted to die."

Cedric's symmetric face had a perfectly arched eyebrow on it now. Harry thought whoever managed to snag his attentions was really lucky. He used to have a crush on the Hufflepuff, but Cedric had found out, and had been like, "I'm straight." The following discussion was very awkward.

"Now he just looks resigned, like he'll never be rid of it. Which he won't. Draco never shuts up either. I've started to cast Silencing Charms on his letters. They really are ingenious, speaking, but only to the receiver. To anyone else, it looks like a blank parchment, or a picture. His intentions behind the inventions were less than appropriate, however. The last one he gave me...you should really hear that one yourself." Harry laughed, a low, easy laugh to show he really liked that one.

Cedric glared suddenly at the Headmaster. Harry could not for the life of him guess why.

"Why don't you believe him?"

Oh.

Waves of anger rushed back, resulting in a scathing glare that should have killed Dumbles on the spot. Dumbledore only gave him a look of pure contempt that said, Nothing that you will do will change my mind.

Cedric realized this first, and said "Harry. Let's go."

Without another word, the two swept from the office, the glow leaving with it.