Actions

Work Header

My Lover Has Been Returned to Me

Chapter Text

Long ago, two different races roamed the planet: wizards and magical beings. Now, one might think...both possess magic, so are they technically two different races? They’re not in the same category of ‘magical beings’? Well, yes. They were different races. 

 

Wizards were still technically human, magical beings were individuals that had creature blood in them. Wizards need wands to expel their magic while most magical beings were able to go without (things like casting spells were situations where it didn’t matter what you were, you still needed a wand). Depending on the creature, magical beings were also just stronger physically. 

 

Examples could include vampires and their superior strength, speed, and sense. Werewolves and amimagi, with their ability to morph into dangerous predators (not all were predators, just the majority). Veelas and sirens, who were skilled in the art of manipulation via beauty and seduction. 

 

So on and so forth…

 

Two different races, each on the same land sharing the same resources. At one point, they were able to coexist harmoniously. Freely conversing with one another, sharing equal rights, and just being at peace with one another. Easily the perfect life. 

 

Unfortunately, nothing in the world can stay perfect. A fact only proven as wizards began to notice the power imbalance between them and their ‘friends’.

 

Wizards were powerful, but they needed their wands to conjure and control their magic. Wands that could be broken or lost (it’s easier than it sounds). No magical beings needed an outside device to control their powers. They were built in. And in the case of vampires and werewolves, they were also physically stronger without magic. 

 

It took some time, but eventually, these seemingly minor differences led to a fear that couldn’t be contained even if tried. Paranoia grew and eventually, wizards began seeing the worst in almost everything magical beings did. 

 

Magical beings excelling at anything in life? It was seen as them trying t push wizards out of the way. Magical beings trying to make suggestions on improvements that could benefit the magical world? Easily seen as them trying to implant laws that would only benefit one side and not the other. Magical beings being stronger because of a few genes and blood cells? Wizards were more than threatened, even if magical creatures didn’t really do anything to initiate that feeling of fear. 

 

The list went on and on. Though if one with sense took a look, most of the list comprised of things that were thought up from a delusional mind (more likes multiples delusional minds). 

 

Like what always happens when fear takes hold, wizards only lasted so long before lashing out. They no longer coexisted peacefully with magical beings, they felt that they no longer could. Violent public outbursts (things like public duels for the smallest of conflicts) and small cases of vandalism began to take place (vandalism as in messages like ‘magical beings are monsters and should leave’ were literally carves into buildings). 

 

Now as one would imagine, magical beings that were stronger than wizards (not bragging at all) were all too prepared to defend themselves. Defend their friends, defend their families, defend their species. The problem? There was this lovely group of individuals called a council that had made a pact with the wizard council long ago when wizards and magical beings first began to interact with each other. 

 

How else would they have lasted so long without a war occurring without the guidance of a council, where laws that were fair and just could be created? 

 

One thing the pact stated was that since magical beings were more powerful than wizards, there were certain boundaries that every magical being had to stay within. Translation: magical beings weren’t able to really fight back otherwise they’d break the pact by injuring or killing a wizard or witch. It acted as a sort of shield for wizards against the magical beings. A shield that was shattered when one wizarding group stepped too far out of their own bounds. 

 

They killed an innocent magical being. A werewolf to be specific. 

 

Not hexed for eternity, not cursed for eternity, not leave a physical mark that would never fade. They killed someone. They killed a female werewolf who was pregnant with her first litter of pups. 

 

Now killing someone was pretty bad in itself. You took someone’s life, you stained your hands with their blood, it wasn’t something popular to do. However, in a world where various werewolf packs, vampire clans, and veela clans shared a space, conflicts did arise. 

 

So a killing, while not encouraged, wasn’t entirely knew. What made the death of this female werewolf so different, so disgraceful, was the fact that she was pregnant. 

 

Magical beings had their own set of laws outside of the pact made with the wizards. One of the most important ones, one that was held above all others, was the one that the unborn children were not to be harmed. 

 

There were two exceptions, of course. You could abort your child if their very existence was killing you (taking too much magic from your body as it was developing or if your body wasn’t mature enough to handle it, which would lead to the child killing you). Or if you were sexually violated and didn’t consent to having a child. Those were the only reasons one would even think of harming an unborn child. 

 

Other than that attacking a life that wasn’t yet brought into the world, was completely helpless and vulnerable, was a disgrace to the magical being world. It was a sign of cowardice and a lack of a conscience. 

 

Combine that with the fact that the wizarding world was slowly turning on them and, well...the council of magical beings saw no more reasons to withhold the right to fight back. The pact was broken by the wizards and witches, a once long ally now an arch nemesis. 

 

War broke out, if it could even be called a war since there were obvious victors. Magical beings now held little mercy in their hearts for the wizarding community. So much so that even those who were neutral and didn’t get involved at all weren’t spared from the harsh punishments. 

 

Wizards and witches were no longer equal to the magical being community as they had once been. Magical beings who practiced wizardry and witchcraft were left alone, but those without creature blood in them? Yeah, they were screwed. 

 

Jobs became harder to acquire and once you got a job, you had lower pay, less benefits, and were almost guaranteed to be physically mistreated by pretty much everyone around you. Your boss, your coworkers, and even your patrons. 

 

In school or just in general, children with creature blood were also given special privileges just like the adults were. One that was popular was the use of school provided materials. Children with creature blood always had first dibs, no matter what. So if materials ran out, then the wizard and witch children were just left there with no way to do their assignments while the creature children successfully completed their work. It reflected horribly on their grades, which would later affect them in their adult life when getting jobs. 

 

As for getting your own materials, it could be difficult. Robes weren’t too difficult to gain, yes they could be expensive and not the best quality, but it was good enough. Cauldrons for potions class, those weren’t too hard either. Brooms, as a witch or wizard, you’d be lucky to legally be able to fly one. Magical beings didn’t like the idea that their enemies could fly alongside them and all that. 

 

Which left apparating and floo powder. Floo powder wasn’t too bad and apparating...it wasn’t the best since only the adults could safely do it. But it was alright. 

 

Textbooks were the main problem. They were pretty expensive and the amount you needed for your various classes...it could be seen as adding insult to injury. 

 

Basically, your childhood was most likely going to be hell and your adult life was going to be long and hellish. 

 

It was a nightmare. One that the future generations of wizards and witches without creature blood in them would have to endure because their ancestors allowed fear to control their actions. 

 

This is where young Harry James Evans Potter found himself hundreds of years later. Born a half blood, a mix between his veela father and his (human) witch mother. 

 

Chapter Text

“Harry! Harry!” 

 

The mentioned looked up at the sound of his name being called, smiling softly when he saw the form of Hermione Granger making her way towards him. Her hair, less curly and more straightened down, blew wildly in with light wind that filled the station caused by the train. Her skirt moved back and forth as she ran over to him. Her brown eyes filled with excitement, lips curled up in a joyful smile to match her mood. 

 

“Hey Mione.” Harry turned just in time to have his arms full of Hermione. “How have you been?” 

 

Hermione squeezed Harry a bit before pulling back and shaking her head at him. Unlike her, who’s appearance had changed a bit over their summer separation, he didn’t seem to change at all. He was still small, still had those horrid glasses when he had more than enough money to get a new pair, and still looked as though he refused to brush his hair. 

 

“Not bad, not bad.” She mused as she focused on what was asked of her. “Mom and Dad are still very busy, so we didn’t get to spend too much time together. Other than that, it hasn’t been too terrible.” 

 

Harry nodded, eyes falling into a sad look as Hermione sighed at the end of her sentence. Hermione didn’t live with her parents currently, but every summer she went up to visit them. The reason? Her parents couldn’t hold a job in town, so they had to move somewhere else to work. Because they couldn’t hold a job...they couldn’t afford a house or even an apartment for a family of three. The living space was too small and their wouldn’t be enough food. 

 

Just everyday life of wizards and witches. Not being paid enough at their jobs to be able to provide for their families. 

 

Luckily, Harry had known Hermione long before her parents big move and had immediately offered Hermione a roof over her head. Hermione had taken it, crying tears of thanks as Sirius joined Harry in welcoming her into their shared home. 

 

Yes, Harry lived with Sirius Black, closest friend to his father before he was killed. Big surprise? Not really. 

 

“Oh, turn that frown upside down.” Hermione’s hand came up to cup Harry’s cheek gently. Parents were still a sore subject for Harry, reasonably so, and she knew that her comment about not being able to spend time with her own affected him. “I got to spend a little time with them, that’s better than nothing.” 

 

Hermione smiled at Harry, trying to convey that while it wasn't the best visit, she was still happy. Happy that she even got to see them at all. The life of wizards and witches could be harsh, they both knew that. 

 

“I guess.” Harry mumbled, leaning into Hermione’s touch as a whistle sounded off. “Oh, look at that, we’re boarding earlier this year.” 

 

Harry and his friends were on their way to their sixth year of Hogwarts, only one more year after this (seventh year) before being sent off into the world. 

 

“Where’s Ron?” Speaking of his friends, Harry was missing one. His best friend, nonetheless (besides Hermione). “I hope he’s not lat-” 

 

“Harry! Hermione!” A tired voice called from behind the two. 

 

Quickly whipping around, Hermione and Harry only had to look for a second before breaking out into a fit of laughter. Ron was pushing his cart at full speed towards them, face red and flushed as if he had run a marathon. The way his chest was heaving and his mouth fell open as he took several large breaths only served to emphasize the effect. 

 

“Sorry I’m late.” Ron panted as he finally arrived, letting go of his cart so he could hunch over and take a small rest. 

 

“Woke up late again?” Harry, as the dutiful friend he was, took Ron’s cart and began pushing it (while using magic to push his own cart) towards the train. “Ron, we talked about this. You need to get used to getting up early now that we’re going back to school.” 

 

“It’s not that mate.” Ron allowed himself to rest against Hermione as she led him to the train, her own cart somehow able to stay on a straight path even though only one hand was steering it. “Mom and dad wouldn’t let me go until the last minute.” 

 

Harry turned back to frown at his friend. That didn’t sound like Molly and Arthur at all. They always wanted Ron to be prepared for school, hassling him more than Hermione hassled him about studying when it came for packing. To hear that they were the reason he was late...Harry had to know. It was just so out of character for them. 

 

“Why?” Hermione read Harry’s mind as the three of them boarded the train, taking their personal luggage off the carts before walking over to the compartment they’ve designated as theirs throughout the years. “Did something happen?” 

 

Ron bit his lip, something he only did when either: he was nervous/scared or he was upset and was trying to keep himself from blowing up. Seeing as how his face wasn't the angry red it got for the second option...process of elimination concluded that Ron was nervous. Which, believe or not, was more alarming. 

 

Cause if he was upset, normally talking about something different helped calm him down to the point where he wasn’t even upset anymore. Since he’s nervous or scared...that’s a bit more difficult to dispel. 

 

“Is someone hurt?” Harry opened the door to their compartment after they had all put their luggage in and waited until Hermione and Ron were comfortably seated before entering himself. As a precaution, he looked down the hall both ways before closing the door. 

 

No one seemed to be headed their direction and those who have had already passed Harry to get to compartment further down. No one needed to talk to him, Hermione, or Ron. They could talk in peace. 

 

“No, and I really hope that it remains that way.” Ron leaned back against the fabric covered bench with a heavy sigh, as if he’d been holding his breath all this time. Quite untrue, seeing as how heavily he was panting just a few moments ago. 

 

“Remains?” Hermione took a seat next to Ron, placing a hand on his knee as a form of comfort. “Whatever do you mean?” She and Harry shared a quick apprehensive glance at Ron gave them a defeated look. 

 

“Dad got another case last night.” Ron brought his hands up to wipe them down his face while Harry and Hermione both winced. Arthur Weasley worked in the only area of the magical being council that dealt with witches and wizards willingly: the misuse of dark artifacts/magic. “Apparently, a young witch got her hands on some pendant and accidentally cursed a siren classmate with it.” 

 

‘Bloody hell.’ Hermione and Harry both thought while groaning out loud. Cases like that...if Ron was anything to go by, they were unpleasant for everyone. Even the council of magical beings. There was just so much chaos since the world was the way it was. The parents of the child would plead for innocence, the council would most likely deny the pleading and deliver a harsh punishment, there would be more pleading and some grovelling, lots of paperwork. And...god, heaven forbid the Daily Prophet got hold of the story. Which they always did, by the way. 

 

It was honestly sad. Nine times out of ten, the accused wizard or witch was completely innocent, but was still punished because of their blood. Not to mention that if the situation were reversed, going to the council demanding justice would be a waste of time. The best case scenario? You aren’t humiliated in a public courtroom and are just told that you and your child weren’t careful enough, that the accident was your own fault. 

 

The child with creature blood in any conflict almost always gets off scot free. It was sickening, especially if the conflict involved magic. A physical injury could heal, a magical one? Most likely not if it was a curse or a hex. 

 

“Dad was at the office all night and was heartbroken when he came home.” Ron sounded like he could start crying as he spoke. “He said that the witch girl was expelled from her school and her family was to spend a month or so in jail for even having possession of the pendent. There’s a chance that once they get out, the girl won’t find another school that will take her and her parents...I don’t think I need to explain. You probably can guess what happens to them and their jobs.” 

 

Ron and his family were animagi, with their animal forms being beautifully coated lions. It made sense, their family was rather large, like a pride of lions. The first laugh Ron and Harry ever shared was when Ron claimed that the reason his family was so big was so they could connect more with their animal side. It had some truth to it, but it was mostly meant as a joke. 

 

Either way, Ron and Harry bonded over it. 

 

Back to the situation at hand, lion pride. Molly and Arthur Weasley had about seven children. To hear that another child was suffering like they were...it was heartbreaking. If Arthur was expressing that, Harry could only imagine that Molly, kind hearted lioness that she was, was probably sobbing.

 

If you hadn’t guessed, the Weasley’s had long since lost their hate for the wizarding world. One of the few families that had. Molly’s great grandparents had just realized how much hate would destroy their family, so they made sure to teach their children to be fair, despite what blood said. Despite what society said. Arthur’s attitude towards wizards and witches grew more out of his fascination for him. 

 

A strange fascination, as others described. But Arthur was a respected man, always polite to even his worst enemies in the council. No one had the heart to comment on his fascination since it didn’t dull his work (he worked very hard) and he didn’t hurt anyone. 

 

“They won’t find any.” Hermione sighed as she continued to rub soothing circles into Ron’s knee. “And without a job, they won’t have any money. Without money, they won’t be able to pay rent or buy food.” 

 

Then...they may die. The option was left in the air. Not even Hermione, who was normally able to steel herself when talking about these things, could bring herself to say it out loud. 

 

Ron cleared his throat. “Dad said that he’s working with some others to see if he can find a creature family that will take them in.” 

 

Creature family taking them in...that was a translation to a lifetime of servitude. It wasn’t an attractive option to say the least, but in a world like this, certain individuals did what they had to do to survive. 

 

Well, sometimes. There were definitely those who had their pride and would rather die than stoop low enough to accept being sold off as a servent (in reality it was more like slavery) to some family of magical beings. 

 

“I...suppose we should wish him luck.” Harry tried to pull off an encouraging smile, though it looked painful at best. Wishing Arthur luck seemed like a positive thing, when in reality, it was just pitiful. “I’m sure that...as long as the Daily Prophet hasn’t gotten their hands on this…” 

 

It sounded more like a question, like a hope that Harry had. Cause Merlin help them, whatever the Daily Prophet got involved in, they ruined. Even something good, they could ruin. Many reporters had too much desire for drama and hardly cared for the consequences that others were forced to take to make a juicy story. 

 

Actually, it wasn’t always like that. Just mostly. Specifically any stories that a certain Rita Skeeter was assigned to work on. 

 

Harry shuddered. He’d met the woman before and she was a big piece of work. Fake jewelry, fake nails, too much makeup, high pitch voice, trying so hard to look professional and cute that she just looks awkward and silly...ooof. She didn’t look nice and she didn’t do very well as a reporter in Harry’s opinion. Whoever hired her must’ve been drunk on the job. 

 

“They haven’t, but you know that’ll only last so long.” Ron sounded irritated now, almost a complete 180 to how sad he sounded not too long ago. “They find out about these things so quickly I wonder if one of the people in dad’s office is secretly a reporter.” 

 

“That might very well be the case.” Hermione furrowed her brow in thought. It certainly had its logical aspects to it. “There have been stories in the past that had certain details that were classified from the public. A professional council member would never spill such a thing, but a reporter undercover? They wouldn't have the restraint, no matter how much trouble it could get their department into.” 

 

“I’m surprised that Daily Prophet hasn’t been shattered by the council.” Harry brought a hand up to push his glasses up, knowing exactly what stories and details that Hermione’s referencing. “They’ve certainly done more than enough damage…” 

 

The rest of the train ride to Hogwarts was spent talking about the council and how the Daily Prophet just shouldn’t be a thing anymore. No discussion about any of their summers took place. No discussion about their hopes for the upcoming school year. No discussion about how any of them were gonna face what was left behind last year. 

 

Though maybe that third one was only for Harry. 

 

Chapter Text

“Thanks for letting me vent.” Ron groaned as he stood up, stretching his arms above his head and cracking his back. “Sorry I didn’t have anything else to talk about.” 

 

“It’s cool man.” Harry stood up as well, mindful of how Ron was moving around in an attempt to wake his muscles up. “We all have those days. Besides, I doubt either of us had anything to talk about either.” He gestured to himself and Hermione. 

 

Hermione didn’t say anything, but she did nod in agreement. Some of the conversation was still playing through her mind, so she was only half paying attention as Harry led her out and Ron helped with all of their luggage. 

 

The journey out of the train wasn’t as rushed or crowded as one would expect. Like Ron, many people took the time to stretch out their limbs, wake their bodies up. It was a long train ride, after all. 

 

“How do you think this year will go?” Hermione suddenly broke the silence as her and the boys began to approach the Hogwarts castle. 

 

Ron and Harry shared a glance, that question was awfully vague. “What do you mean?” Harry lifted a brow at his female friend. 

 

“Well, are you two gonna spend more time studying?” 

 

Harry and Ron groaned loudly as Hermione gave them a look. How did they not see that coming? They’ve been friends with Hermione for how many years now? Certainly long enough to know that she was gonna ask that. Or something similar to that. 

 

“I will say that I will study more than I did last year.” Harry began carefully, fully intent on not saying anything that would lead to Hermione lecturing him about his study habits. It was harder than it sounded, believe him. “But I’m not going to your lengths. That’s your speciality.” 

 

Ron nodded enthusiastically as Hermione snorted, half amused half expectant. Speciality, right. Sure, that’s what it was. Totally not Hermione just wanting to actually learn the material to its fullest and not half ass it. 

 

“I’ll tell ya one thing, I’m definitely not looking forward to another year with Snape.” Ron decided to spoil the mood as they neared the castle. “I swear he’s out to kill us.” 

 

Hermione shrugged: “Well, you and Harry to annoy him the most.” She supplied very unhelpfully. As if Ron and Harry didn’t already know that. Between the general accidents and such, there were those times where they annoyed him on purpose. Just to get a reaction out of the normally stone wall of a person. 

 

It was funny at the time, ok? It didn’t seem like the worst decision ever. 

 

“Doesn’t mean he needs to insult us every single day.” Ron shook his head, upper lip curling up a bit. “Do you have any idea how much control it takes for me not to let my lion out and go for the throat?” 

 

“Woah, threatening a professor already? How nice of you, Weasel. School hasn’t even started yet.” 

 

All three sixth years froze at the familiar voice. Heavy with fake joy and enthusiasm with a tint of genuine sarcasm topped with a sprinkle of patronizing. Only one person could come up with that type of tone. The one person who Harry wished he’d never have to deal with again...even though it was a waste of time to wish for such a thing. 

 

“Well?” Their newcomer sounded impatient now, footsteps almost heavy as he approached the group. “Not gonna say hello to me? How rude...guess I should take back my compliment for you, shouldn’t I, young Weasel?” 

 

“Weasel…” Ron’s eyes narrowed in anger as he whipped around to face the arrogant and punchable face of one Draco Malfoy. “If anyone’s a weasel here, it’s you, Malfoy.” 

 

Draco, to his credit, didn’t even blink as Ron snarled in his face. Ron’s inner lion had no problem coming out as he faced the youngest heir to his family’s tormentors. Flanking Draco were Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe, who weren’t as trained as Draco when it came to the art of concealment. They freely stepped back, almost tripping over their own luggage. 

 

Harry had to resist the urge to roll his eyes. Honestly, those two...They were stereotypical werewolves. Big brutes with absolutely no grace to speak of. Wolves like them gave the overall population a bad name (Harry was specifically thinking of Professor Remus Lupin, who was the epitome of a gentlemen despite being what’s known as a vicious hunter). 

 

“How original.” Draco drawled out the word ‘original’ as a further act of getting under Ron’s skin. “Are you seriously that brainless that you can’t come up with your own insults, you have to throw other people’s back at them?” 

 

Harry pushed his own thoughts of violence and desires for retaliation down. Like Ron’s inner lion, his veela wanted to come out and attack. Draco was a threat to Harry’s friends, Harry’s family. And Harry’s veela was not sitting right with that idea. 

 

Unfortunately for both Harry and his veela, Draco predicted that move. How could he not? He knew Harry. Knew how he reacted to all sorts of situations. It’s what happens when you go to the same school for several years and...well, Harry didn’t want to think of the other reason Draco would predict his next movements. It would only make him feel sad and hurt when he needed to be strong. 

 

Strong...so he could defend Ron and protect Hermione should Draco and his ‘friends’ chose to attack them. It was an unlikely option, but still an option. And Harry was anything if not prepared to protect. Typical Gryffindor heart. Daring, chivalrous, reckless, and impulsive. Two vices, two virtues. 

 

“Hello to you too, darling.” The purr in Draco’s voice nearly made Harry cringe, but he was able to hold it in. Though by the amusement in Draco’s eyes, he could see he hadn’t succeeded as much as keeping other emotions off his face. 

 

And when they were toge- Harry shook his head mid thought. Nope, not gonna continue that thought. In the past of knowing each other, Draco’s joked about why Harry wasn’t put in Slytherin even though the sorting hat contemplated it. The Slytherin Prince himself always claimed that Harry wore his heart on his sleeve with certain audiences. So why was he really surprised? 

 

“Malfoy.” Harry nodded stiffly, reaching out to grab Ron’s wrist and pull the other back to him and Hermione. “Ron, let’s go. We need to get to the inside and prepare to welcome the first year students.” 

 

As Harry pulled Ron’s wrist, gently as to not provoke the already agitated animagus, he kept his eyes trained on Draco and the other two Slytherins. Like many of their previous...encounters...no one from either side made to move. Ron stood his ground, glaring into Draco’s amused eyes as Harry gently tugged at his wrist. Hermione, calculating as ever, stood back and surveyed their positions. 

 

Unlike the males of the group, she was more aware of the outside world and promptly joined Harry in tugging Ron back as she noticed that a crowd began to form behind Malfoy and his Slytherin followers. 

 

Not a crowd of Slytherins, mind you. No, no, the crowd was a mix of all four houses. People who knew better than to risk stepping up and disturbing their conflict. Who knew better than to even move and risk Malfoy’s attention turning to them. 

 

There wasn’t a person on campus who was more intimidating than Malfoy. Not even Professor Snape. Why? Because come on and think, the worst he could do is give you a detention. Annoying, but not exactly a danger. Draco’s proven that the worst he could do was make sure you disappeared and your body was never found. It’s happened before, it can happen again. 

 

Obviously, he got some help from mommy and daddy dearest, but no one, not even Harry and his friends would say that to Draco’s face. Draco, like Harry, was a veela. And veela took family quite seriously. If there was even a hint of danger to Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy (mostly Mrs. Malfoy)...well, Draco wouldn’t be held responsible for his actions. Not in the eyes of the council, at least. He would be within his right. 

 

“Ron, please.” Harry mentally promised to apologize to Ron (in case this made him uncomfortable when he came back to his senses) as he sidled up to the other, tucking his head under his chin and nuzzling a bit. He gave the image that Ron had control and he could calm down because of that. “Don’t you want to help welcome the first years? Remember how nerve wracking it was for us?” 

 

Harry spoke in whispers, knowing that Ron’s sensitive hearing picked up what he was saying. He also knew that Ron probably wouldn’t appreciate Draco hearing Harry manipulate him the way he was. Using the younger ones as a way to get Ron to walk away…

 

Again, for animagi who were in packs, prides, big families. Magical beings valued children, but none more so than animagi and veela. A fact that Harry has never stopped being extremely thankful for, mostly in these types of these situations. 

 

“Come on.” Harry knew he was treading dangerously, but he also knew he needed to get Ron away from here before something regrettable was done. “Don’t you wanna go welcome the cubs? Make sure they’re safe from any...threats?” 

 

As he mentioned possible threats, he none too subtly glanced back at Malfoy and the others. It was a purposeful move, trying to imply that they needed to get inside now before the older Slytherins got inside and did something to the first years. 

 

It was risky...but it worked. Ron blinked a few times before snapping out of his haze entirely, eyes still narrowed and lips pulled back in a threatening snarl as he grabbed Harry’s wrist (ignoring Draco’s low growl) and turned to face the veela. 

 

“You’re right, Harry.” He spoke, voice still a bit gruff since his lion had succeeded in scratching the surface. “We should probably go make sure the cubs are safe and settled in.” 

 

Harry smiled encouragingly and nodded, allowing Ron to lead him back to their luggage and to the castle. Hermione followed silently, all too aware that she couldn’t help as much in this predicament. Just like she wasn’t able to whenever either of her friends got too much into it. 

 

As a witch, she never had those moments. Those...moments of...fighting one’s inner self. Wizard and witch magic didn’t work like that. She could be there, silent and supportive, but in the grand scheme of things, she didn’t know what to do when Ron and Harry got like...that. Were trapped in their own heads as they fought down their true nature, their instincts. 

 

“Thanks Harry.” Ron mumbled when they were safely out of earshot of the Slytherin Prince and his posse. “I...I honestly...I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened…” 

 

“You weren’t prepared.” Hermione cut in softly, walking on Ron’s other side, almost as an attempt to shield him from some unknown danger that was still lurking about. “We just got off the train, none of us were prepared to deal with...Malfoy or his Slytherins.” 

 

Hermione’s upper lip curled up like Ron’s had earlier. It was probably petty, really petty, but Malfoy’s name...it left a bitter taste in her mouth. In all of their mouths, really. The Ice Prince had done more than his fair share of bullying to each of them when they were younger, then he tricked all of them into believing that he had a heart and a conscience, then left poor Harry to-

 

Hermione stopped herself there and shook her head. Now was not the time to be thinking about that particular time of their lives. Harry needed to move on, they all did. They were letting Malfoy win by staying on that. 

 

“You’re right Mione.” Harry’s voice cut through Hermione’s thoughts like a swift, but gentle knife. An odd analogy, yes, but it described Harry perfectly in this case. “Don’t worry about it, Ron. You didn’t let him out and that’s what’s important.” 

 

Harry’s reference to ‘him’ was Ron’s lion. Just to be clear. 

 

“Yeah, wouldn’t want to get a detention on the first day.” Ron snorted, starting to truly calm down, lion sated as he and his friends traveled up to their dorms. 

 

“I wonder what example that would set for the younger ones.” Hermione giggled, earning her mocked eye roll from Ron and an amused shrug from Harry. It wasn’t a verbal response, but it still said enough. 

 

The three of them, now feeling safer and more at ease, continued up to their dorms. Hermione going to the girls, leaving Harry and Ron to go to the boys one together. Settling down and taking out their appropriate robes only took a few minutes, so they were back together and heading back downstairs to welcome the first years rather quickly. 

 

Draco Malfoy was long gone from any of their minds by then. Luckily. 

 

Back with Draco

 

Goyle waited until the group around them dispersed before turning around to fully face Draco. “So...why are you still interested in Potter?” He spoke hesitantly, knowing how...fragile the subject could still be. Despite a year having passed by…

 

“Haven’t we gone over this?” A raised brow said more than the actual words did as took in Goyle’s question. 

 

“We have.” Crabbe decided to try and save Goyle from a verbal beating that was no doubt coming (aimed at his intelligence). “We’re just absorbing what you told us.” 

 

“Really?” Draco sounded so unimpressed with that reasoning that it’s a wonder his throat didn’t hurt from it. “Absorbing it? That’s the best excuse you could come up with?” 

 

Draco didn’t even wait for a response, just shook his head and muttered something about being surrounded by mindless animals before beginning to walk to the castle. Blaise Zabini was most likely waiting for him in their dorms. Draco had initially planned to arrive at the same time as his friend (one of his only true friends and not a minion or someone he was forced to hang out with due to being exposed to them a lot as a younger child), but his brief run in with Potter and his little group had put a little dent in those plans. 

 

“What are you gonna do?” Goyle had to speed walk to keep up with Draco, despite having the longer legs of the two. “I mean, you have a plan for him, don’t you?” 

 

“Do you doubt me that much?” Draco sneered as he passed various Ravenclaws and other Gryffindors. Hufflepuffs in the area just kept their heads down and avoided eye contact. 

 

Times like these, Draco questioned the true intelligence of Ravenclaws. Because surely staring at a veela, a dominant veela, who’s obviously in a bad mood isn’t very wise, is it? It can be seen as a challenge, a sign of defiance. 

 

And if Draco tolerated anything, it wasn’t defiance. None from his fellow Slytherins, none from the other students in the other houses. He knew he was powerful, he knew he was dangerous. He expected respect and submission in return.

 

Most of the time, he received it. Received it with little struggle. Gryffindor was the main exception to this, but that was because that house was full of daring idiots who were too risky for their own good. 

 

Well, ok, that’s not entirely true. Yes, the house was full of daring idiots, but that’s not the only reason Draco wasn’t able to truly intimidate the mighty lions of the school (no pun intended, Weasel). There was another reason, a person who wasn’t afraid of Draco. Someone who talked back to his ice toned words with pure fire. Someone who wouldn’t submit, no matter what. 

 

“About time.” Blaise grunted as Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle arrived at the dorm. “What took you so long?” 

 

Draco opened his mouth to answer, but Crabbe felt it necessary to do it for him as if Draco didn’t have a perfectly capable voicebox. 

 

“We ran into Potter and his little friends.” Crabbe stood up straighter as Blaise raised a brow, then smirked knowingly at Draco. 

 

“Should’ve known.” He chuckled as he opened the dorm room and led them all inside. “I should’ve known...what did I miss? Hopefully nothing too exciting.” 

 

Draco chose his bed before answering, enlarging his trunks and setting them down in their desired spots. Oh, Blaise didn’t miss anything too exciting. He insulted Weasley, Weasley (as predicted) reacted to it just the way Draco wanted, Potter stepped in and-

 

Draco’s eyes narrowed and his veela hissed inside of him. Potter stepped in and interfered with Weasley’s...moment. He put himself between Draco and Weasley, he...he…

 

“Draco, I think your trunk lid is gonna acquire two new large holes if you don’t let it go now.” Blaise sounded amused and weary as he walked up to his friend, placing a hand on Draco’s shoulder. “Is there something you want to talk about?” 

 

Draco almost snarled as he felt Blaise’s hand on his shoulder, but he forced himself to remember that it was Blaise. Blaise Zabini, one of his few true friends. Someone akin to family to Draco. Draco would not hurt him, he had no reason to. Blaise was just trying to help him, that’s that. 

 

“Potter stopped a fight between the Weasel and I.” Draco ground out, veela continuing to hiss and snap from inside of him as he remembered just how the almost-fight was resolved. “He practically rubbed himself on Weasley, nuzzled Weasley’s chin and all that before leaning up to whisper in his ear.” 

 

Blaise nodded his head slowly, beginning to understand what had Draco upset. For one, Potter and his proximity to Weasley. He rubbed against the redhead, as Draco had kindly put it. Two, nuzzling under the chin. As a submissive veela, that action could be described as submitting from Potter’s part. Submitting to Weasley, which Blaise and pretty much every Slytherin knew would drive Draco mad. Three...whispering in the ear. 

 

Ok, granted, nobody knows what was said, but it’s added to the proximity thing. Potter was close enough to Weasley, meaning pretty close. 

 

“We’ll talk about this later.” Draco violently shut the lid of his trunk as he stood up and marched to the door. “Let’s deal with the ceremony first, then you will help me plan.” 

 

Chapter Text

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was a pretty safe place. Wait...no, scratch that, it was probably the safest place for any pureblood witch and wizard. Witches and wizards didn’t have to really worry about biased teachers. It led to a safer learning environment and all that since there was little favoritism (blood wise) and students didn’t get in trouble for defending themselves against attackers (you can guess who the attackers were). 

 

Yet, even then...Harry Potter took what felt like forever trying to navigate his place, social wise, in the school. He was a half-blood, a mix. He had veela blood in him from his father’s side, but since his mother was a pureblood witch, he wasn’t full veela. 

 

One might wonder, did he get crap from this? Did people find ways to make his life hell because of this split? Fuck yes! Do you have any idea?! 

 

He wasn’t a wizard. He wasn’t human. He had veela blood in him. Few people in the wizard community accepted him (even his own flesh and blood, his aunt Petunia) for this reason. A community that Harry had to spend the first few years of his life in, mind you. Before Sirius got the fucking paperwork sorted out and was able to save Harry from his personal hellhole. 

 

Cause honestly people, who in their right mind thought it was appropriate in any way to have a four-year-old clean your entire house, lock him in a cupboard for days on end without food or water, and completely shit talk him? 

 

Though, that wasn’t saying that his life surrounded by magical beings was perfect. There’s nothing like hearing this phrase several times: “Oh my, how impressive! A mix between a...a witch and a veela! You should be dead, but here you are! How’s that possible?” 

 

Really, wasn’t that just encouraging? To be asked that question, to be told that he should’ve been dead...Harry really didn’t fit in any world. He was hated in the wizarding community (there were a few exceptions) and questioned/heavily pitied in the magical beings one. 

 

Heavily pitied because, as a veela, family was one of the most important things in his life. He was made an orphan at a young age since his parents were killed (there were many who saw Lily’s marriage to James as a betrayal to the wizarding world and as one would assume, vengeance took place). His aunt and uncle despised him and abused him as a response. His family life was just...it was unstable. Not a good environment at all for a veela, even a half-blood like Harry. 

 

Still, Harry came out ok. Sirius made sure that the punishment his aunt and uncle got from the council was fair, so there was never a voice in the back of his head berating him for turning his back on his only blood family. So that cleaned up his family life.

 

Out with the rest of the world...Harry still struggled. Even to this day. So when the first year Gryffindors curiously bombarded him with question after question, Harry always answered with a polite smile. True, being asked the same question (how are you alive if you’re really a half blood) did get annoying. Discouraging as well since it implied that people expected him to be dead already. But really, these were young children. 

 

At least their questions were innocent curiosity. Some of the adults...MOST of the adults just sounded condescending. 

 

“Come now everyone.” Ron chuckled as he patted his friend on the back. Harry looked a few seconds away from having a mental breakdown after being asked how his magic imbalance hasn’t caused him to explode yet for the tenth time in one hour. “Let’s leave our favorite half blood alone and dig into this delicious looking dessert, hmmm?” 

 

Harry gave Ron points for trying to divert the attention off of him. He really did. At the same time, he couldn’t help but throw an exasperated look Ron’s way. Focus, plus sugary dessert, plus young children…

 

Harry could already foresee how difficult it would be to get the first years into bed. They’d be so pumped up from the sugar that they’d stay awake. Which would probably lead to more questions for longer periods of time. Then he and the other older Gryffindor students would have to suffer through their whining since they wouldn’t want to get up after staying up so late. 

 

Harry Potter loved kids, he did, and he had learned to be the most patient and understanding when it came to dealing with the younger ones. It was, after all, one of the only effective solutions that wouldn’t cause fights and tears. Ronald Weasley was from a big family (a literal pride of lions people), so he learned some neat little tricks here and there. Hermione Granger had one of the most extraordinary minds of the school, so she hadn’t struggled much in learning behavioral patterns and solutions to dealing with them. 

 

Even with all three of them combined...no. Just no. 

 

“Wait...isn’t he the only half blood of the school?” One of the first years...a vampire named Nebula, if Harry remembered correctly, asked. “Isn’t that a bit unfair?” 

 

“How so?” Harry placed his spoon down and folded his hands under his chin, making a show of giving little Nebula his full attention. 

 

“Well, if you’re the only half blood, doesn’t that automatically make you the favorite since there aren’t any others to fight you for the title?” Nebula sounded very mature as she spoke, despite the fact that she had been in this room, with these people, for less than two hours. And she was a first year, let’s not forget. 

 

Then again...magical being children were given quite a good education when it came to such matters. Especially veela, vampire, and werewolf children. Since their mating rituals involved fighting (quite a lot of fighting for veela), they probably were given extensive lessons on when fighting was appropriate. Like fighting for a title. 

 

Ok, Nebula knowing this didn’t sound so strange anymore. 

 

“I will admit, you are correct with that.” Harry laughed a bit in amusement, causing Nebula to blush a bit. She wasn’t embarrassed, that much was clear, but she was...flustered maybe? “Nice observation.” 

 

“Thanks.” She mumbled as she continued eating, already forgetting what she was asking and why she was asking it. Just satisfied that she had managed to please one of the older students despite only being in Hogwarts for a short amount of time. 

 

It was a nice accomplishment in her book. If she could please an older student, surely she would have little trouble making friends in her own grade level, right? And even if she didn’t, Harry was a Griffyndor. She’d see him around if she were truly lonely and wanted company. 

 

“Since that’s been brought up, maybe your title should be our favorite veela.” Ron was hasty to correct his mistake, not wanting to get into a whole debate about Nebula’s claim. He still had a dessert to finish eating. “Yeah, that’s better. You’re Gryffindors favorite little veela.” 

 

“Little, Ronald?” Harry drawled out Ron’s name as a teasing gesture even though his eyes narrowed a bit. “Little veela?” 

 

“Well, you are smaller than most of our classmates.” Hermione decided to pause from where she was eating and give Harry a little grin. One that could be described as Slytherin level mischievous. “So I don’t see how ‘little’ is an inappropriate adjective to describe you.” 

 

The other sixth years at the table ‘ooooh’ ed as Harry blushed lightly, giving Hermione and Ron an unimpressed look. One that was genuine, but not angry. He wasn’t angry, just...didn’t want to be teased like that so soon. In front of all the new first years. 

 

“Wait, you’re smaller than everyone?” Another first year asked, this one a siren that Harry wasn’t sure he got the name of. Or...maybe he did and he just didn’t have it on the top of his head. “You don’t look smaller…” 

 

The first year’s head turned from side to side, eyeing the other occupants at the table carefully. After a few moments, he made a sound of acknowledgment and nodded to himself. Seemed like he answered his own question then. 

 

“You’re posture is better than a lot of your friends.” The first year commented with a small giggle. “You sit up straight while a lot of others hunch over and slouch. It makes them look smaller while you look taller.” 

 

Harry sighed and rolled his eyes fondly as a new round of raucous laughter echoed through the halls. Laughter that sounded suspiciously louder than all of the other tables conversing combined. It was as if only the Gryffindors were in the room. 

 

“It’s a trait he inherited from his veela side.” Hermione decided to take mercy on Harry and brought up the logical explanation for Harry’s small stature. “He is a submissive, so he’s built to have a smaller, more feminine figure. That way he’s-” 

 

“He’s able to carry children when the appropriate time comes.” 

 

All the first years of Gryffindor froze up completely while the older students had a variety of reactions. The sixth years, many of them Harry’s friends, all whipped around to hiss or growl at the newcomer. Even the witches and wizards that didn’t have instincts screaming at them to protect their housemates and friend. The seventh years, a bit more tame, had glanced back to glare. The younger students who weren’t first years followed the seventh years example. 

 

“You shouldn’t be here.” Ron’s fists were clenched under the table as Harry shook his head and sighed in frustration. Now was not the time! He had calmed Ron down just in the nick of time as the first years were walking inside a couple hours ago, he did not need his hard work to be soiled! Especially with all the first years so close to the lion animagus. “Didn’t you learn just how welcome you are near any of us last year?” 

 

Blaise raised a brow at Ron’s gruff tone, though it took a few seconds for the expected mocking smile to appear on his lips. It annoyed all of the sixth year Gryffindors either way. 

 

“Amusing that you think I care whether or not my presence is welcome.” Blaise’s voice dropped in a low purr at the word ‘welcome’. Clearly, it was intentional. Was he attempting to mock Ron and his inner lion? Probably. “I just came to give Potter over here a message.” 

 

Harry stiffened as he saw Ron’s claws snap out. Calming Ron down now, in here, wasn’t an option. He needed to get Ron away from the Slytherin and he needed to do it now. Before Blaise had the chance to say anything else. Ron was already pushed today by Dra-by Malfoy after having a rough morning and night. 

 

Even though Harry wasn’t touching Ron, he could practically feel all the muscles in his friend tighten. He could feel how strong the urge to pounce and maul was. After a brief glance with Hermione, Harry could tell that she was picking up on the hostile air as well. 

 

“Well, Potter has places to be.” Harry spoke in the best sarcastic tone he could muster, pushing up abruptly and reaching over to grab Ron’s shoulder. If any of his silverware was pushed far away from his plate and into other people, then he’d apologize later. If any of his friends had questions about whether he was okay or not, he’d answer them later. 

 

Right now, he needed to get Ron out. They just got to school and they’ve already had two unpleasant run ins. Four for Ron, who looked about to-!

 

“Ron, come on!” Harry latched onto Ron’s shoulders as his friend launched himself off of the bench. “Don’t! You’ll scare the cubs!” 

 

Hermione quickly moved from her placed her two friends and joined Harry in trying to hold Ron back. As she passed the scared looking first years, she tried to give them encouraging smiles. Tried to non verbally tell them that everything was fine and that Ron would never threaten them like he was threatening Zabini. 

 

“Leave, Zabini.” Harry grunted as he and Hermione began their journey pushing Ron towards the door. He ignored the shouts of Professor McGonagall as she tried to call them to the Head Table. He ignored the worried voices of their friends. He ignored how the first years began to huddle close to each other, eyeing the scene nervously. “As you can see, now is a bad time.” 

 

“I’ll be quick.” Blaise easily disregarded the urgency in Harry’s voice. The other was making the situation a bit more dramatic than it actually was in his opinion. Blaise was a vampire. He was strong enough to defend himself should Weasley break free of Potter’s grip. 

 

“No, you’ll be gone.” Ron snarled as Hermione and Harry got more insistent in their pushing. By now, he’d snapped out of his furious haze and got back to actually acting instead of just glaring holes into Zabini’s face. “And stay gone if you know what’s good for you!” 

 

Several gasps were heard around the hall, but they were mostly from the first years or second years of each house. That threat was not expected, and for those who were just witches and wizards, watching two magical beings fight with each other was a terrifying experience in general. The older students, those who had been at Hogwarts for more than two years (wizard, witch, and magical beings), already knew of Ron’s temper. They had become familiar with how easily it could be provoked should anyone, specifically any Slytherin, say the wrong thing at the wrong time. 

 

Not to mention that Harry was the main focus. The half blood who Ron was undoubtedly loyal to. The half blood who Ron had taken under his wing during their first year with Harry being all nervous and scared about being surrounded by plenty of other full blooded magical beings. The half blood who was currently trying to herd Ron out before any of the professors got up from their seats and decided to physically interfere. 

 

How they hadn’t yet was actually a small miracle. No doubt Ron would remove a limb if the head of Slytherin house, Severus Snape, got involved. 

 

“He misses you, ya know?” Blaise took a small step back as Ron began to weakly thrash in the hold that Harry and Hermione had him in. 

 

Harry didn’t even need to consider who ‘he’ was in this situation. He knew very well who Zabini was referencing. And not to exaggerate or anything, but now was the worst time to make that reference.

 

“I’ve heard it a thousand times.” Harry shut his eyes as he felt his veela thrash within his person. It wanted to come out, reacting with Ron’s violent snarls and thrashes as well as Hermione’s growing tension. “And like I’ve always said, I don’t care. If it was such a problem, then he should’ve spoken about it. Not went behind my back and cheated.” 

 

Blaise opened his mouth, looking the tiniest bit saddened by the lack of compassion that Harry was known to have when solving problems with others, but Harry didn’t pay him any mind. 

 

Submissive veela were, as the name suggests, submissive. That didn’t mean they were weak, as one would automatically assume when hearing the label ‘submissive’. No, no. Veela mating rituals actually commanded that submissive veela fight any dominant who wished to claim them as a form of proof that the dominant may protect them. So even as a half veela, Harry was pretty strong. Magically and physically. 

 

As Ron continued to thrash and growl, beginning to quietly hiss profanity Zabini’s way, Harry decided to put said strength to good use. 

 

Despite being the smaller of the two, Harry easily managed to wrap his short arms around Ron’s muscled torso. With a shaky breath, Harry began to push Ron to the door. The breath was shaky because Harry could now smell the pheromones that Ron was permitting and they were not pheromones that one released when they felt safe and content. It made his veela even more stir crazy and the efforts to push out and join Ron in taking Zabini apart quickly became harder to repress. 

 

“Mione, please go calm the others.” Harry huffed as he finally got the three of them out of the Great Hall and grabbed Ron’s wrist. The grip was tight and unrelenting, so much power was put into making sure Ron couldn't slip out that Harry actually ended up bruising his friend. 

 

Neither realized it immediately though, so no harm was done. Ron knew, even in the mood that he was currently in, that Harry wouldn’t purposefully hurt him. Besides, bruises healed easily anyway. If push came to shove, while calming everyone down, Hermione could also do a quick check in with Madam Pomfrey. See if the mediwitch had any creams, spells, or potions for healing the bruises quickly. 

 

Madam Pomfrey would most likely roll her eyes and tsk about how Ron and Harry were too rough with each other. She’d known them since they were first years and between the universe’s need to constantly injure Harry ‘accidentally’ or the little play fights the Gryffindors would have with each other (obviously witches and wizards would not participate, they were a bit too hesitant to)...she had learned to be prepared in even the most ridiculous of times. 

 

Recklessness was a Gryffindor vice, after all. 

 

“You sure you’ll be alright?” Despite being nervous about leaving the two alone, Hermione was already walking back towards the door. Unconsciously, she had known that Harry would ask for such a thing and insist on handling Ron on his own. It tied into the whole idea that she was a witch and didn’t properly know how to snap her magical being friends out of their hazes. 

 

“We’ll be fine.” Harry gave Hermione the most sincere smile one could ever have, genuinely looking happy despite the fact that he was holding onto a pissed off animagus that threatened bodily harm to another student just moments ago. “Please trust me and go calm everyone down. Tell Mcgonagall and Dumbledore that I’ll apologize for the ruckus tomorrow.” 

 

Hermione spent a few more moments just staring at her friends, her bottom lip becoming victim to her teeth as she gnawed on it. 

 

“We’re just gonna talk for a bit then head to bed. Maybe some sleep and relaxation is just what Ron needs.” 

 

Well, Hermione couldn’t really argue with that. Getting some good rest had never before been presented as a negative solution. And maybe being in the Gryffindor dorms, where there was a no Slytherin guarantee, would help Ron. 

 

With a nod and a few words (wishing Harry luck and both of them goodnight), Hermione opened the door and walked back to the Great Hall, leaving Harry to drag his still angry lion friend up the stairs and to their rooms. 

 

For the first time in forever...Harry was glad that there were as many stairs as there were. Climbing all of them had presented Ron with some extra time, just he and Harry, to calm down and get his bearings. 

 

By the time they arrived at the portrait, Ron no longer looked murderous. Still upset, yes, but not murderous. 

 

Now all Harry had to do was ensure that Ron got what he needed out (translation: he would listen as Ron vented) and then got some rest. Tomorrow they had classes and Ron couldn’t afford to act like he had in the Great Hall. Not without facing the consequences, at least. 

 

Tonight was just lucky. Or, maybe not. Depended on how you looked at it. Unlucky because the three of them had to deal with Malfoy and his Slytherin friends so soon after coming back from break in the first place. Lucky because Ron didn’t get in big trouble for his outburst and open threat. 

 

‘Sleep.’ Harry let out the breath he had been holding as he sat next to Ron on one of the beds. ‘After this, hopefully some sleep will help both of us relax.’ 

 

It was a hope. A very strong hope. 

 

Chapter Text

Draco was strange when it came to sleeping and getting up. At least, in Blaise’s opinion he was. During the summer (yes, Blaise was speaking as a reliable witness), Draco freely slept in. He didn’t like getting up early and from the few times that Blaise had tried to force Draco out of bed earlier than the Malfoy heir liked, well...let’s just say Blaise was left to wonder just how bad of a father Lucius was. 

 

To be fair, there were other reasons that Blaise thought Lucius was a bad father. He borderline hated the man and had to admire Draco’s lack of fear as he openly admitted his disgust towards his father. But those were details that were not to be brought up. Ever. Not out of Draco’s presence, not in Draco’s presence...just...don't. 

 

Back to the original topic...Draco threatening his only true friend when said friend tried to force him out of bed earlier than preferred. 

 

Threatening to curse someone? Not so bad. It was so popular to the point where it was boring and even if the person making the threat was being serious, it was a hard situation to take seriously. If that made any sense? Perhaps if the curse was long lasting or just lasted forever, that would make a difference. Or if it did something truly terrible...otherwise it was a pretty weak threat. 

 

Threatening to rip someone apart slowly and painfully? Yeah, the idea was boring, but when faced with someone who would actually get away with that...it was pretty terrifying. Especially if that someone wasn’t planning on using any outside weapons, only using claws and teeth. 

 

Threatening to shove a...ok, nevermind...Draco threatened to shove a lot of things up Blaise’s ass. A lot of things. Some were scarier than others. Some things were objects that Blaise didn’t even know existed. Blaise would actually make a joke about how he always knew that Draco was a kinky bastard if he didn’t value his life. 

 

Draco just didn’t like being woken up too early during the days he was given free reign to decide when he woke up. There was one person who could get away with trying without having his head ripped off or his guts cut out of them, but...he and Draco weren’t on very good speaking terms right now and probably wouldn’t be for the remainder of the school year. 

 

Speaking of school, back to Draco’ strange sleeping habits, he was always the first to wake up. The order normally went: Draco, Blaise, Vincent and Greg at around the same time, then Theodore. 

 

Blaise refused to believe that Draco got up earlier than he did (someone who was somehow able to wrestle himself out of bed at a consistent time even during the summer) because Blaise was lazy. Or because Blaise allowed himself to sleep in while they were in school. He just summed it up to one of those weird habits that Draco had. 

 

“Morning.” The vampire grumbled as he sat up and reached his arms out to crack his back. Ooof. Must’ve slept wrong or something cause that was loud! 

 

Draco offered a small nod in return. “Morning.” Then he walked out of bed and dropped to his trunk, taking out his robes for the day and returning to the bed. He drew the curtains back so that he had privacy, then changed from his sleep wear to his day robes.

 

As Blaise followed Draco’s example, his mind drifted to the night before. After Potter had successfully gotten the feral looking Weasel out of the Great Hall, Blaise had returned to the Slytherin table. He delivered the message as Draco had requested, there was no need to remain. 

 

When he told Draco what Potter’s response to said message was, Draco had only nodded. He hadn’t spoken at all for the rest of the night. Not as Blaise and the others were discussing the upcoming school year. Not as they complained about the challenges they’d no doubt face social wise and academic wise. Not even as they bitched about all the witches and wizards that had come in this year. Draco was normally pretty vocal in those types of complaints. 

 

With Lucius as a father, there was no way Draco was allowed to see wizards or witches in a positive light. They were below magical beings. That was that. 

 

Well, except for one. There was one wizard that Draco respected. More than respected, actually. Admired, adored...loved. 

 

Blaise shook his head. Thinking about it...he was worried. Draco had been silent after he had told the veela about how Potter responded. By the distant and hurt look in his eye (as a Malfoy, Draco was trained not to show emotion via facial features unless they were things like anger or disappointment), Blaise could only guess that the night would be less than peaceful for his friend. 

 

“Draco.” Blaise called out quietly as he pulled the curtains back. He made quick work of folding his sleep wear and placing them under his pillow before walking over to Draco’s bed. The curtains were still closed, so Blaise had to be aware. Draco could still be changing for all he knew, or the curtains could just be up because the other wanted privacy. 

 

Either one would be respected, but Blaise still felt the need to check in on Draco. 

 

“You can come in.” Draco called out after moments of silence. “I’m fully dressed. Just keep the curtains closed. I don’t...I’m not ready to deal with everyone else yet.” 

 

Blaise nodded, though there was a small chance that Draco actually saw it. With slow gestures, Blaise parted the curtain and swiftly positioned himself so he was sitting in front of Draco. Draco, who had his head bowed and his hands fidgeting where they rested on his knees. 

 

The bowed head was all Blaise needed to feel confident enough to reach out and place a comforting hand on Draco’s shoulder. 

 

“I miss him so much, Blaise.” To anyone else, Draco sounded hollow, monotonous, emotionless. Unphased, despite what he was saying. But Blaise knew better. He could detect the underlines of sorrow, of defeat, as Draco spoke. “I...I want him. I really, really want him. And...and it...it hurts that I can’t have him.” 

 

Blaise nodded, rubbing Draco’s shoulders slowly, afraid that even the tiniest bit of strength would shatter his friend. It was a ridiculous thought, logically speaking. Between the two, Draco was actually stronger than Blaise. But still...it was the thought that counted. 

 

Draco Malfoy was allowing himself to be vulnerable in front of the young Zabini. He was letting his walls down (even if it didn’t look like it at first glance). Something he had not done with a lot of people. Something he had not done a lot at all in general. 

 

“I know it does, Draco.” Blaise’s voice was low, a comforting rumble as he allowed Draco to leech off his strength through their contact (metaphorically). “You know I’ll do what I can to help you.” 

 

“I know.” Draco sighed, sounding a tiny bit frustrated. “But it’s just...he’s...he’s just so bloody stubborn!” 

 

Blaise rolled his eyes. I mean really, after all this time, Draco still hadn’t learned. “He’s a Gryffindor.” Blaise deadpanned, tone changing from that comforting rumble to a more sassy, almost condescending one. “Stubborn is one of the more popular qualities.” 

 

Draco tilted his head up to give Blaise a warning look. A way of saying that he was not in the mood for the other’s sass. Not this early in the morning and not when talking about...this.

 

“His knights are also always with him.” Blaise decided to elevate the mood a bit, not sure how long he’d be able to handle Draco giving him that look. “They always get in the way.” 

 

Draco’s lip curled up a bit at the mention of Weasel and his pet witch, Granger. Those two...even before this entire incident, they had always been thorns in his side. What Draco wouldn’t give to properly put both of them in their place…

 

“Draco, you’re eyes.” Blaise leaned back a bit. Not in fear or alarm, but because he knew Draco. He knew that when Draco was feeling like this, he needed some space. While Blaise couldn’t give him the most while they were still sitting on the bed, he’d make do with what he had. “Calm down. I’m just offering a factor that you’ll need to take into consideration if I’m to be effective in my assistance.” 

 

As expected, Draco took a while to absorb those words. Blaise knew that the veela heard them, was most likely rolling them around in his head, but he didn’t really get them. Not yet. 

 

“Blaise? Draco?” A groggy voice broke the silence of the room. “Where are you guys?”

 

A shadowy figure appeared behind the curtain, almost directly behind Blaise. Draco, unable to really help himself, snarled in agitation at being interrupted. He was not ready to face the other Slytherins. He wasn’t ready to face his own bloody godfather when he had Snape’s class. He wasn’t ready to face anyone. 

 

Not while in this mood. Not while he had other things on his mind. 

 

“Woah! Mate, are you alright?” The shadowy figure, which Blaise was now able to identify as Greg, reached for the curtain. Blaise couldn’t allow him to continue. 

 

“Don’t.” His own hand whipped out to grab the bit of curtain that Greg was holding. If Blaise lowered his hand just a tiny bit, his hand would be on top of Greg’s. “Give us a few more moments. Draco’s in a mood.” 

 

Another snarl found its way out of Draco, but Blaise couldn't care less. He didn’t remove his hand or take his eyes off of Greg’s shadow. He couldn’t afford to or Greg might take it as a welcome to continue drawing the curtain back. 

 

‘Merlin give us luck today.’ Blaise inwardly groaned as he felt the bed move from under him. A sign that Draco himself was moving, most likely about to get off the bed and start shouting at Greg for disturbing the talk they were having. ‘If this is how the morning’s going, we’ll need as much as we can get.’ 

 

With Harry

 

“Professor Mcgonagall, Headmaster Dumbledore.” Harry nodded his head in greeting as he stood before the head table, smiling as each teacher took turns greeting him. Even the ones he hadn’t greeted himself yet. “I just wanted to apologize for yesterday’s fiasco. Ron was feeling threatened and thought that he was protecting Hermione and I. He didn’t really mean any harm.” 

 

Professor Mcgonagall, one of the most strict professors at the school, allowed a small smile to grace her lips. She also had a knowing look in her eye. As it was, she had predicted that this would happen. That one of the first thing’s Harry would do today was apologize and defend his friend. Years of knowing the young Potter probably had a part in her assumption, but that wasn’t what was important. 

 

“I don’t know what exactly Mr. Zabini said that could’ve triggered Mr Weasley’s...anger in the first place.” As she didn’t know the entirety of the situation, she spoke carefully so that Harry could correct her if she was misunderstanding something. Or was leaving a key detail out. “But please tell your friend that it would be appreciated if he kept threats out of the equation.” 

 

Harry nodded his head eagerly, almost sighing in relief at the prospect of Ron not getting in trouble. It was the first day back, after all. What kind of message would he and his friends be sending the younger ones if Ron had already gotten a detention? 

 

“I will, Professor. Thank you for understanding.” Harry nodded at Mcgonagall again before taking time to properly greet the other teachers. 

 

As he finished greeting Madam Hooch, Dumbledore decided to add his own piece. “I know that Mr. Weasley is not fond of Slytherins, Mr. Potter. But, and forgive me if I’m overstepping my bounds, I can sense that his dislike for the house is not the sole purpose of his outburst.” 

 

Harry bit his bottom lip as some of the professors perked up at this, interested to know the true reason Ron could be as hostile as he was. And only towards the Slytherins. Darn...he should’ve known that the Headmaster would pick up on something like that. The man was one of the greatest wizards that ever lived for crying out loud! 

 

One of the only pureblood wizards that was ever seen as a respected character in their shitty world. Even to the oldest magical being families. Which was impressive in itself. 

 

“You’re correct sir.” Harry avoided Professor Snape’s questioning look as he straightened his posture. “Ron has a...complicated past with some of them…” 

 

Professor Snape snorted, unable to hold back. In his mind, he knew exactly what Potter was hinting at. It just seemed so obvious…

 

“Severus!” Professor McGonagall barked. She was not only offended that he treated someone from her house so disrespectfully, but also disrespected Dumbledore, in a way, by interrupting Harry from answering the Headmaster’s question. 

 

Harry watched as the Slytherin head of house rolled his eyes in a bored manner. Clearly, he wasn’t the tiniest bit sorry for his interruption (not that Harry had really expected him to be). So before McGonagall could begin a tangent of Snape’s lack of respect, he continued to explain. 

 

It wouldn’t do to keep the Headmaster in the dark just because two of his colleagues were arguing among themselves. 

 

“You probably already know the hostility between the Malfoys and the Weasleys.” A small gesture from Dumbledore had Harry moving a bit closer. Mcgonagall and Snape had actually begun arguing and their voices easily drowned out Harry’s. “That plays a big role…” 

 

“That is not the only reason though.” Dumbledore spoke quietly as to not disturb the argument taking place beside him. “A Slytherin has hurt you. Betrayed you.” 

 

Harry took a moment to respond. It came out as a small, slow nod of his head. Was he that obvious last year? Did he...did he ...annoy people by unconsciously being obvious with his pain? Oh shoot...

 

“Your fellow Gryffindors were quite expressive in their retaliation last year.” The amusement in Dumbledore’s tone was louder than the Headmaster probably realized. The signature twinkle that was always present in his eyes seeming a bit brighter. “Even some of the witches and wizards found courage in fighting back against the magical beings in Slytherin.” 

 

Harry had to admit that that was a legitimate explanation. Hogwarts was one of the safest places for pureblood witches and wizards, its Headmaster was a wizard after all. And the Gryffindor house was where most of the daring and brave hearted souls thrived. But that didn’t mean that the hesitance about standing up to magical beings was one. It was still present. 

 

For a witch or wizard, being raised with the mentality that you couldn’t trust magical beings, any magical beings in fear of being severely punished...it carried. It was a constant fear that some of Harry’s classmates still had. 

 

So yeah, witches and wizards suddenly becoming brave enough to stand up to, to even fight, magical beings was probably a tell tale sign that something happened. Harry had to give Dumbledore credit for that. Just one thing though...

 

“How did you know it was me who was hurt?” Harry tilted his head a bit as Dumbledore gestured for him to elaborate. “Ron gets just as protective when Hermione is insulted for being a pureblood witch. Or when Neville is pushed around because he’s not a very confident person.” 

 

Dumbledore listened with a calm expression as Harry continued to list off the various reasons that his housemates could’ve gotten that angry with the Slytherins. In truth, the Headmaster had to admit that upon hearing the list, his stance on Harry being the one who was hurt wavered a bit. It did not, however, diminish completely. 

 

Cause while every reason Harry was giving him was true and had happened, there was something Harry didn’t realize. 

 

“My dear boy,” Dumbloredore gently interrupted Harry before he could go on, otherwise they’d be here all day. Harry had a breakfast to finish and breakfast was the most important of the day, “I know that you were the one hurt because you hardly smiled during the last few months of school last year. You couldn’t even bring yourself to joke around with the little ones.” 

 

Dumbledore spoke fondly at the mention of Harry’s relationship with the younger year Gryffindors. It probably had something to do with his veela half, but Harry got along with the little ones very easily. He was someone who they looked up to. Someone they trusted. Witches and wizards confided in him. Magical beings admired him. 

 

As it was mentioned before, veela were one of the creatures that had the most intimate bond when it came to mates. Had the strongest protective instincts and such when it came to family. It was no surprise that Harry, as a submissive veela who would most likely come to carry children of his own, would get along so well with a good portion of the younger Gryffindors. 

 

“Some youngsters even approached me about it. Asking about you, wondering if you weren’t in great health or something in your social life was bothering you.” A frown made its way onto Dumbledore’s face. A contemplative look in his eye. 

 

The aspect of younger Gryffindors being as observant as the were and as worried for their housemate as they were was wonderful. It meant that everyone in the house was looking out for each other. Wizards, witches and magical creatures alike. Social unity, one would call it. 

 

However...with the situation at hand...it was also concerning. Very concerning. 

 

Harry blushed, feeling a bit embarrassed that some of the younger Gryffindors did that. He didn’t mean to bother anyone else with his problems. He really didn’t. 

 

“Oh.” Was all that ended up coming out. Really, what else was there to be said? 

 

“Dear boy, if you feel threatened by someone, please feel free to tell me.” Dumbledore subtly glanced at the Slytherin table, where a few certain students were missing. 

 

Harry nodded, flattered that the Headmaster was as attentive to the situation as he was. “Thank you, Headmaster. It’s not that I feel threatened, it’s just a bit annoying at times. It’ll pass.” 

 

Dumbledore looked hesitant and doubtful of Harry’s claim, but decided to leave it alone. With a wave of his hand and a small smile, he sent Harry off to finish his breakfast and continue conversing with his housemates. 

 

He waited until Harry had sat back down on the bench, already joking and laughing as Ron threw an arm over his shoulders, before looking at his colleagues. Minerva and Severus had stopped their shouting match and were now looking at him suspiciously. 

 

Well, Severus was. Minerva just looked concerned. No doubt they heard at least the second half of Dumbledore's conversation with Harry. 

 

“Severus.” Dumbledore picked up a spoonful of food from his own bowl and raised a brow at the other. “Would it be too much to ask of you if I had you observe your Slytherins? Perhaps, figure out just what happened between Harry and our mystery person?” 

 

Severus gave Dumbledore his usual blank stare. Though Dumbledore could easily see the message that Severus was ending him through eye contact. 

 

‘I’ll do what I can, but I promise nothing.’ 

 

That was all Dumbledore needed. With a smile in thanks, he went back to his food. Unbeknownst to him, Severus already had an idea of what was going on. And if he was correct, then telling Dumbledore about wasn't the highest on his priority list. 

 

Chapter Text

Flashback

 

“I trusted you!” 

 

Draco flinched back, hands flying up as if he was going to shield his face from some incoming attack. In reality, if that were the case, his defense would be quite pitiful. More than pitiful, it would just be downright pathetic. 

 

Especially since the person who was shouting at him, looking ready to attack him, was one of the few people that Draco loved too much to fight back. To truly fight back. Fight with earnest. 

 

“Darling, please-” Draco’s plea was cut off as his other half growled at him, wings flaring up in warning. That wasn’t a good sign. His beloved was angry and if Draco pushed any further, than he would have to prepare to dodge several well aimed fireballs. 

 

“Don’t!” The other hissed and Draco briefly wondered how the harpy-beak hadn’t appeared yet. Then again, maybe that was just another trait that his beloved inherited from- “Don’t call me that! You don’t get to call me that!” 

 

Draco, for the first time in several years, felt genuine fear as his lover continued to hiss at him. It had been a mistake. An honest to god mistake. One that Draco swore he would never ever make again. 

 

Never again. Not as long as he lived. Which...based on the look his lover was giving him...might not even be that long…

 

“I trusted you, Dray!” 

 

The nickname, accompanied by the first round of sobs from his lover, was a stab to the heart. A reminder of just why they were fighting. Of what happened. 

 

“Please.” Draco continued, tears began to well up as every step he took forward, his little mate took a step back. He was running from Draco. He was trying to push Draco away. “Darling, please, hear my words.” 

 

“Why should I?!” An almost evil sounding laugh was forced out of the other’s throat. It was terrible. Not like how he normally acted at all. “I think Parkinson explained everything there was to know!”

 

‘Parkinson!’ Draco growled in his mind. That stupid, worthless, disgusting, pitiful creature...it was her fault that Draco’s lover was like this! If she had just kept her filth sputtering mouth shut-!

“You should’ve just told me!” His lover continued, sobs turning louder and louder, arms that had previously been thrown out to keep Draco away now wrapped around his body. His wings, the very ones that had been flared up and flapping wildly a few moments ago, came to rest. They fell down in a defeated manner. 

 

“I didn’t want to rush you!” Draco didn’t waste any time and quickly rushed over so he was standing in front of his lover. He made a move to cup the other’s cheek, but quickly learned that that was an action that would lead to the removal of his fingers. 

 

Yes, his little love had just tried to bite him. In the past, it was a teasing gesture. Draco would run his fingers over the cheeks or lips of his lover and the other, adorable as he was, would nibble on Draco’s fingers in retaliation. 

 

Now though...now there was no teasing. This was completely serious and Draco actually risked his fingers being brutally separated from his hand. Just because there wasn’t a sharp beak yet didn’t mean that he didn’t have to worry about teeth, which would be equally sharp. 

 

“I wanted to give you the chance to come to me when you were ready.” Draco struggled to keep his hand down at his hip. His veela begged that he reach out and take his little mate into his arms. That he wipe and kiss the tears away. “I just wanted to respect your desire to wait, darling.” 

 

“Oh, is that so?” A strong shove later and Draco found himself on his arse with his angry lover towering above him. Geez, he knew his submissive was strong, but that strong? That was new. “So you’re telling me that you had enough control not to jump me, but that control snapped when some pretty little siren spread her legs for you?!” 

 

Ok, Draco admitted that he deserved the accusatory tone his lover used. He admitted that he probably deserved to be shoved down and shouted at. His little loved was hurt, this reaction was natural...

 

“Why don’t I believe that?! How do I know you two weren’t just planning to go at it from the beginning and you only dated me as some sick joke?!” 

 

His love being hurt by Draco’s actions was acceptable. That specific accusation, however, was not. And as his mate opened his mouth to start shouting again, Draco snarled and got to his feet faster than anyone could say ‘wands’. 

 

Disregarding the warning look in his mate’s eyes, Draco harshly grabbed the other and shook him, hoping that he could shake some sense back into the other. Unconsciously, he knew it would take quite the amount of shaking. His little mate’s stubborn, determined mindset was one of the things that Draco loved and loathed. 

 

“Don’t you dare say that!” Draco felt his own transformation beginning, so he made sure that he wasn’t getting too close to his mate’s face, least he want his own beak to accidentally take out an eye. “My feelings for you were never a joke! They aren’t a joke! I love you, from the bottom of my heart, I swear I do!” 

 

His mate just wasn’t having it. As Draco began the second half of his own yelling fit, the submissive in his arms thrashed about. 

 

“If you loved me, you would’ve been honest with me!” Another harsh shove, this one not as strong or angry as the first. Rather, it was more tired. Like his little mate was just...accepting the situation and needed time alone to get over it. “Just...leave me alone. You’ve done enough! We’re through!” 

 

Draco’s heart stopped beating in his chest. His breathing stopped as he stared down at the other. 

 

Surely...he didn’t...he heard that incorrectly, right? What just...his mind...it was playing tricks on him. It had to be. Surely his little mate didn’t just…

 

“Darling, you don’t…” Draco let go of his lover’s arms as he backed up a bit, hand going to his chest as an ache began to settle where his heart was. “You don’t mean that. You can’t...you can’t possibly mean that.” 

 

The other stood firm. With tears gushing down his eyes and lips pulled back in an angry snarl, he nodded his head. 

 

“I did mean that.” He sniffed and brought up an arm so he could wipe the tears off his face. “We’re done, Draco. It’s not ‘darling’ to you anymore. It’s obvious that I can’t trust you, that it was stupid to trust you.” 

 

Black and red robes whipped around as the other turned and stalked away. He just about made it to the door before Draco called out again. 

 

“It meant nothing!” Draco allowed the desperation and the plea to coat his voice, uncaring if someone walked in right now and saw the mighty Malfoy heir begging someone. “Darling, please! It was a mistake, I swear! I promise it’ll never happen again!” It didn’t matter. Anyone who walked in didn’t matter. 

 

What mattered...the only thing that mattered...was how his mate glared back at him. Eyes filled to the brim with pain and anger. 

 

“I told you, it isn’t ‘darling’ to you anymore.” The sound of the doors opening took only some of Draco’s focus and he would’ve complimented his lover for using wandless magic if he weren’t on the verge of breaking down. “It’s just Harry. Or better yet, go back to ‘Potter’.” 

 

And with those parting words, the doors closed loudly. The echoes swallowed Draco’s cries of despair as he begged for Harry to return to him. Begged for Harry to understand. Begged for anything but this!

 

For the first time in history...Draco Lucius Malfoy, Ice Prince of Slytherin, experienced true pain. A pain that not even his horrible, deluded father could inflict on him. 

 

Flashback over

 

Draco shook his head with a grimace. Damn...what was he even thinking about to trigger that memory? He was sitting in a library of all places, studying with his friends. What was he thinking about that brought up that horrid memory?! 

 

“Draco, are you alright?” Blaise, as usual, was the first to notice the odd behavior of his friend. Odd, as in, Draco just spent at least 25 minutes staring off at Merlin knows what with a conflicted look in his eye. Like his mind was having a battle with itself. 

 

That feat alone wasn’t very strange. Draco, out of all the Slytherins, tended to have that happen a lot. For various reasons that only Blaise really knew and wouldn’t go into. Not even to some of Draco’s other ‘friends’. 

 

It was the fact that Draco spaced out for that long is what was odd. Usually when he went into deep thought, he only lasted a few minutes. Especially if someone (mainly Blaise) was calling his attention back to the real world. It had something to do with his need to always be aware of his surroundings and all that. 

 

He needed to know everything at all times so that if something happened, he could react immediately. 

 

“Draco-” 

 

“Guys, duck your heads.” Theodore rolled his eyes as a very familiar, very annoying face made herself known. “Cause here comes everyone’s favorite siren.” 

 

Blaise groaned quietly and quickly reached out to give Draco’s shoulder a light shove. It wasn’t the nicest way to get Draco to focus, but Blaise could deal being glared at for a few moments. What he didn’t want to deal with was listening to the shouting match that would take place if he didn’t bring Pansy’s presence to Draco’s awareness. 

 

Ever since that entire...incident, Pansy couldn’t even be in the same room as Draco without being harmed in some way. Few times it was physically, mostly it was just Draco screaming at her. He blamed a good portion of his and Potter’s break up on the little siren. 

 

Personally, Blaise couldn’t really blame him. Pansy annoyed quite a lot of fellow Slytherins when she boasted about being able to satisfy Draco in bed. Why did she think anyone else would care if her own housemates didn't? 

 

The answer is...she didn’t think. She just got excited and acted impulsively. Really, she could be mistaken for a Gryffindor sometimes cause she was not smart in certain situations. Most situations, actually, when Draco was involved. 

 

Long story short: Draco had met Pansy because of the relationship the Malfoys had with the Parkinsons. At first, it wasn’t so bad. Pansy wasn’t annoying, per say, more like gullible. Easily manipulated. Even as a young child, she had some form of infatuation with Draco and did what she thought would please him; listening and doing pretty much everything he said. 

 

As time passed and they both got older, Pansy ‘matured’ and moved on to a different strategy when getting Draco’s attention. It worked just as well as when she was a younger child. Which is to say...not at all. 

 

When various talks about a potential marriage began to take place between Lucius and Pansy’s father, Pansy got worse. She had assumed that it was a sure thing and had sought out to seduce Draco. As a siren, one would imagine that it was an easy task. Except for a few things she didn’t take into consideration when she should’ve. 

 

Number one: he was a veela. He was well acquainted with the arts of seduction, so Pansy’s little songs were practically nothing to him (not that she was very powerful anyway, the way he saw it). Number two: she was part of the group of people who threw themselves at Draco in hopes of gaining a high social standing in society. The only difference between them and her...well, her family had been close to the Malfoys due to the friendship their fathers shared. Hindsight, it seemed like she had a good chance at winning Draco’s attention sooner or later. 

 

In reality, that assumption couldn’t be more wrong. 

 

And the final thing, that was really only a contributing factor in Draco’s fifth year (a bit in his fourth, it was more towards the ending of that year) was one Harry Potter. The stubborn little Gryffindor submissive veela who fought back Draco’s advances. 

 

Like a worthy mate, Draco had explained to Blaise when he had finally told his vampire friend about his decision to court Potter. Most of Draco’s life, as explained before, had been full of people who had an ulterior motive for wanting Draco. Either because of his money or because of his status, it went back and forth. It led to people being desperate for his attention and when they got it, they were all too willing to submit to his more dominant personality. 

 

Harry was the opposite. Even during their first year at Hogwarts, when Harry didn’t have many friends, he wasn’t afraid to get in Draco’s way. He took the insults Draco threw at him and returned with the same courtesy. He shielded the various witches and wizards that he saw Draco and his little group of followers beating down on. 

 

He fought back. He didn’t want Draco at first glance. When Draco expressed interest in Harry, Harry made him work for it. It was perfect. There were no guidelines, expectations, or words of encouragement. Harry just challenged Draco to prove that Draco was worth Harry’s (not verbally, but it was implied through body language and action) time and left it at that. He made Draco start from scratch and work his way up. 

 

Harry Potter was everything Pansy Parkinson could never be. Especially in the eyes of one Draco Malfoy. Harry was strong (physically and willfully), kind, trustworthy, understanding, stubborn, loyal, physically beautiful...he was perfect to Draco. No matter how hard she worked towards it or how much time had passed. It was just a simple, logical fact of life. What was so hard to understand?! 

 

“Hey Drakey!” 

 

‘Speak of the fucking devil…’ Blaise sighed in surrender and brought his hand back to the table. Unfortunately, he had been unsuccessful in getting Draco’s attention soon enough and would now suffer the consequences of not simply punching his friend in the face to get the other’s attention. 

 

Would he be punched back? Would he be cursed? Probably. But honestly, those two options were more preferable than having to deal with Draco after any encounter with Pansy. That was worse than dealing with Draco when the other had a...ummm...disagreement with his father and the two Maloy males ended up fighting it out. Verbally and physically. 

 

“Drakey, why are you ignoring me?” Pansy’s bottom lip jutted out as she came to sit on the table that the boys were occupying. The first top few buttons of her shirt had been undone, exposing the trimming of her green bra (they’re Slytherins, what do you expect other than their class colors?). An obvious attempt at trying to draw Draco’s attention upwards.

 

‘If only she knew.’ Blaise allowed himself a small smirk as Draco growled low in his throat. If only Pansy had known that she was a bit too...hmmm...what was the word…? Pathetic for Draco’s tastes. 

 

“Sorry Pansy, we’re a bit busy right now.” Vincent, aware of just what Pansy’s presence was doing to Draco, tried to step in. They were still in the library, so shouting at the siren wouldn’t do any good except getting himself kicked out (seriously, the librarian could be scarier than Snape at times).

 

Greg joined in on Vincent’s attempts and nodded in agreement. “Yeah, maybe come back another time?” Though it sounded like a question, it was more like a demand. Not that Greg hoped that Pansy would catch them. He, like everyone else, didn’t have the patience to deal with the girl’s shrieking if she became offended. 

 

Pansy either didn’t notice Vincent’s and Greg’s attempts at dismissing her or didn’t care. She stayed on her spot, sitting on the table, and continued to pout at Draco. 

 

Why was he ignoring her? Especially after that night they shared? Was he still mad that she told other people that he slept with her? She didn’t mean to make him upset, really. She was singing his praise anyway! 

 

“Drakey, are you still mad?” Pansy didn’t even flinch back as Draco’s head shot up, looking positively murderous. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that it would make you upset. You were just so good, I just had to share it with someone-” 

 

Draco slammed the book he had been trying (and failing) to take notes from and shot up from his seat. His chair fell back, somehow not shattering as it made harsh contact with the ground. His eyes, silver like one of his mother’s oldest and sharpest daggers (a family heirloom), glowed brightly. 

 

“You had no right to talk about that!” He hissed quietly, somehow able to remain aware that they were in a library and not in the Slytherin dungeons or outside, where he could yell and snarl to his heart’s content. “It wasn’t just about you, ya know?!” 

 

Pansy frowned at Draco’s words, obviously missing his hidden message. And how would she even be able to decode it? The only people who knew about Draco’s relationship with Harry was Blaise, Greg, and Vincent. Perhaps Theordore figured it out and just didn’t say anything, but otherwise, no one else in Slytherin knew. 

 

Snape could have known before Draco confessed, but the guy was Draco’s godfather. He had a habit of learning Draco’s secrets before Draco himself could tell him. 

 

“Of course it wasn’t.” Pansy soothed, reaching out to run a hand up Draco’s arm. A gesture that had the other boys at the table flinching back. Oh, that was a bad idea. “I just thought that I was doing you a favor, ya know? I know how possessive you are, so I thought that if I told everyone about it, they’d know I was off limits-” 

 

Pansy’s sentence was interrupted by her own scream. The arm that she had been trailing her fingers up had, in the span of 0.25 seconds, moved away from her. The hand attached to said arm had come to grip Pansy’s wrist. The grip itself was tight, but breaking Pansy’s wrist hadn’t been Draco’s aim. 

 

Nope, that wasn’t very original. Vampires and werewolves did it too many times. What he had planned was a bit more...veela like…

 

“Draco, the smoke!” Blaise had used both hands to latch onto Draco’s arm, pulling harshly (ignoring Pansy’s whimpers and cries). Fuck, he needed to stop the other before he set the blood library on fire and Snape killed them all with the killing curse! “Let go! Let’s just go study in our dorm, or something! Draco! The smoke!” 

 

Draco watched Pansy’s face, which had earlier been set into an annoying pout, quickly turn to a look of pain. She probably wasn’t expecting Draco to burn her as retaliation for her mistake. 

 

That suited Draco just fine. Just made his action more shocking, which led to more pain on Pansy’s part. 

 

Perhaps it was twisted to find satisfaction from that, but you know what? This pathetic creature had cost Draco his precious mate. She was the reason Harry had broken up with him. 

 

In magical being law, it clearly stated that veela were within their rights to defend their mates. Potential or already fully mated. Pansy’s mistake had taken Harry from Draco’s side. She had posed a threat to his mate. 

 

For that, Draco would make sure his revenge was long and tortuous. 

 

Chapter Text

News about Pansy’s little disagreement with Draco spread like a wildfire. No pun intended since there actually ended up being a tiny fire, but that’s besides the point. 

 

What made the topic so interesting even after a week of the event? The reason behind why it happened in the first place. No one knew the answer, not even the other Slytherins in Draco and Pansy’s year. There were rumors and guesses, but no set truths. 

 

 Why had Draco burned Pansy? The girl had boasted that Draco had sought her out to bring her to his bed and that she had satisfied him. So...didn’t that mean they were together? 

 

It was a known fact that Draco trusted very few with even the most basic of secrets. So something so intimate, like sex, surely would be with someone he trusted above all others, right? The fact that Draco had taken Pansy to his bed was a sign that he did have an interest in her, that he trusted her to fulfill his needs. That she was someone important to him. 

 

Right? 

 

Well apparently not if the rumors were anything to go by. Rumors of him verbally insulting her, physically shoving her away, and now burning her in the library. 

 

“Guys, quit it.” Hermione narrowed her eyes at Seamus and Dean, who had been debating the reason behind Draco’s actions. In front of Harry and her, as insensitive as it was. Not that she trusted them to be aware enough of that fact until she pointed it out to them. Both boys had a tendency to let details like that slip from their minds sometimes. “It doesn’t matter why it was done. It isn’t even our business, let’s just be glad that none of the younger Gryffindors were in the library during that fire, yes?” 

 

Her tone left no argument and with Harry beginning to try and hide in his robes, Seamus and Dean figured that stopping would be wise. Besides, it’s not like the library burned down completely. Just some books, tables, and chairs were lost. Nothing that wouldn’t take a day or two to fix or replace. 

 

“Sorry Harry, sorry Hermione.” Seamus reached over to pat Harry’s shoulder as a comforting and apologetic gesture, Dean following his lead. “Didn’t mean to upset you.” 

 

“You didn’t, it’s fine.” Harry cleared his throat and looked up, giving his friends a small smile. “Hermione’s right though. Let’s just be glad that none of the children were in the library during that fire.” 

 

Seamus and Dean could appreciate that Harry was trying to lighten the situation by making a small joke. So he wouldn’t feel bad about it, they laughed quietly and shook their heads. Let’s face it, calling people children while you yourself are still technically a child always has some amusement to it. 

 

“How come Ron isn’t with us?” Seamus paused and glanced behind him, noting the lack of redhead and wondering why he didn’t notice before. Or how neither Harry nor Hermione had seemed to notice. 

 

“Professor McGonagall had to talk to him.” Harry assured. “She wanted to check in with his wand.” 

 

“His wand?” Dean raised a brow, reaching back to tug Seamus along as they walked towards the portrait that led to their common room. “What’s wrong with his wand?” 

 

“He was somehow able to transfigure his rat into anything but a box.” Hermione rolled her eyes, but her tone gave her amusement away. Yes, there were times where Ron’s struggle in Transfiguration baffled her, but most of the time it just amused her. 

 

It was ok though. Ron wouldn't ever admit it, but sometimes he purposefully messed up just to see his friends laugh.

 

“Ah, so that’s why Harry was giggling non stop in class.” Dean smirked a bit as Harry rolled his eyes. 

 

Here it comes...the endless teasing…

 

“Bloody hell!” Seamus smacked his forehead. Rather loudly, in Harry’s opinion. Was his friend ok? Cause that sounded like a harsh hit. “I didn’t finish my essay! I didn’t even start!” 

 

Dean visibly paled at the reminder while Harry gave Seamus a pitying look. Having a friend like Hermione meant he was constantly being reminded of all the assignments and pushed to do them as quickly as he could. At times it could be annoying, but Hermione meant well. 

 

She just knew that Harry was someone who could forget to do it at all if he pushed it off too much. A lot of people had that same habit. As his friend, it was her job to help Harry in any way she could, like Harry helped her. 

 

Plus...between Ron and Harry, Harry was definitely easier to deal with. Ron still had the tendency to act like a six year old being told they wouldn’t be getting any presents for Christmas when it came to doing homework. 

 

Correction...a six year old who had magical creature blood in them. Pureblood wizards and witches...depending on your family situation (which was shitty for the general population), you just didn’t have Christmas in the first place. It was hard to have relatives over because of the difficulty with travel, there wouldn’t be enough food to feed too big of a group, and presents…

 

Yeah, don’t even think about it. Wizards and witches were barely given enough just to survive. Forget about being comfortable and being able to give people things just for the sake of a holiday such as Christmas or someone’s birthday. 

 

“We’ll see you guys later!” Seamus hurried down the hall towards the very library that they had been talking about earlier. He knew that Harry and Hermione were most likely going to go up to the dorms. Based off of experience, Seamus would use that as an excuse to socialize more than he would work. 

 

So best go to the place where his friends wouldn’t be chatting. Friends that already finished the essay. Again, Hermione Granger, workaholic at the best of times. Harry Potter, one of her closest friends. 

 

“Good luck.” Harry teased as Dean ran after Seamus. “Those two sometimes…” He shook his head fondly. 

 

“They can be ridiculous.” Hermione agreed and looped her arm around Harry’s as they continued their original course to the portrait. “But that's why we love them, I suppose.” 

 

Harry laughed a bit, that was so true though. It left him wondering how many people loved him because of his utter ridiculousness as well. 

 

He and Hermione said no more as they walked. Neither really had much to say, other than the occasional greeting that they’d each give as they passed other students. Well, at least Harry didn’t really have much to say. Hermione...she did. 

 

Even though she told Seamus and Dean to leave the matter alone...and she would be a total hypocrite for doing this...she did want to talk to Harry about Draco. 

 

She could give him points for trying to hide the discomfort he felt whenever the Slytherin was brought up, but honestly, a blind man could probably see that Harry was still struggling with it. Even after an entire summer Draco-less. 

 

And why wouldn’t he? Harry had genuinely loved Draco. He had been hesitant at first, gave Draco a chance anyway, and had grown to love him. 

 

At the time, neither Ron nor Hermione could understand why. Hermione had assumed that Harry had probably been feeling a pull towards Draco’s dominant veela as a submissive veela himself. Ron had assumed that Draco slipped Harry a love potion. Both were...unfortunately incorrect. Hermione’s may have been more accurate than Ron’s, but in the end, both assumptions were incorrect. 

 

Harry loved Draco because he saw a different side. After Draco had (somehow) gained Harry’s attention, he had given Harry the opportunity to see more than the Ice Prince of Slytherin charade he had at school. 

 

To this day, neither Hermione nor Ron knew about this. Harry may have broken up with Draco, lost all the trust he had with the other, but he wasn’t a promise breaker. What Harry learned about Draco, specifically about Draco’s home life, stayed between the two of them. 

 

It was disappointing when one thought about it. Harry kept his promise. He dutifully respected Draco’s boundaries and offered him true love when the other needed it the most (even when the other didn’t, just to make sure Draco knew that Harry loved him). He gave his all into their relationship. Only for Draco to go behind his back. To lie to him, then attempt to hide his lie. 

 

‘He was such a mess.’ Hermione thought sorrowfully as she and Harry walked up the stairs, passed the Gryffindor common room, and walked to the dorms. ‘We should’ve known...we should’ve been more attentive to what was happening…’ 

 

Flashback

 

“I’m gonna kill him!” Ron growled as he and Hermione escorted a sobbing Harry into the safety of the Gryffindor common room. Right up in front of the fireplace so the flames in the fireplace would offer comfort with its gentle heat. “I’m gonna rip that bastard limb from limb!” 

 

The other Gryffindors in the common room were up and ready as soon as Harry was deposited on the ground. Some looked worried. Some looked angry like Ron (even though they had no idea what they were supposed to be angry about). Some looked confused. Some just had this blank look on their face as they glanced from Harry and the door he had just come through. 

 

“How could he, Mione?” Harry’s voice was muffled a bit as Hermione pulled him into a fierce hug. As if she was protecting him from the outside world (in this case, she might have well been). “How could he do this?!” 

 

Hermione shushed her friend as she fixed Ron with a stern look. She may have wholeheartedly agreed that a certain Malfoy deserved to have the utter life hexed out of him, but that desire would have to wait. Harry needed her and Ron here more than Malfoy needed them. Harry deserved the attention more than Malfoy did. 

 

She hoped that the stare she sent Ron would portray that. Hoped that Ron would understand just from her look that Harry needed them. Now more than he had ever needed them. 

 

“W-was it m-me?” Harry hiccupped a bit as he remembered just why Draco hadn’t told him in the first place. Just why this entire fight took place. “Is...was it...was it my fault for...for not…” 

 

“No!” Regardless of whether Ron understood Hermione’s message or not, he dove back towards where she was huddled up with Harry. “No! No! It wasn’t you! God, Harry…!” 

 

Harry sobbed louder as Ron harshly took him from Hermione’s arms and began to hug him. Ron’s inner lion was split in two. On half desperately wanted to go out and hunt Malfoy down. The other half wanted to stay here and comfort Harry. What was he to do? The more important one, that’s what. 

 

“Ron’s right.” Hermione leaned over, deciding to let go of the fact that Harry was yanked from her arms. She had an inkling it had to do with the urgency of Ron’s inner lion. He’s done the same thing before, only with Harry and Hermione being switched. Hermione being the one crying because someone made a pureblood witch slur and Harry being the first one to have her in his arms. 

 

“You asked him to wait and he said he would.” Ron nuzzled his face into Harry’s hair, only wincing a few times as the veela in his arms shouted choruses of ‘why then?!’. “I don’t know Harry, I don’t know…” 

 

“Even if we did, there’s no excuse.” Hermione looked up and gestured for everyone to leave the room. “What happened shouldn’t of.” 

 

Most of the occupants of the room were younger Gryffindors, so they chose to heed Hermione’s warning and were out within the span of five seconds. The older Gryffindors present, who like the three of them felt like it was there duty to help look after the ones younger than themselves, stayed and watched with sad looks. Just based on the conversation, this was obviously a lovers spat. 

 

And not a small one either. 

 

“He...he said...he kept saying it was a mistake. That since he came into his full inheritance, he had been feeling these...urges.” Harry had taken 20 minutes of sobbing his broken little heart out before he had managed to calm down enough to speak without that much of a stutter. “And he...he begged me, guys. What if...I’m not full veela! What if he was hurt and I just...I broke up with him cause he wanted the pain to stop?!” 

 

Ron and Hermione shared a look with each other as a fresh wave of tears made it down Harry’s eyes. Harry was defending Malfoy. He was trying to justify what Malfoy did, despite the fact that Harry was hurt as a result. 

 

If they hadn’t been as close of friends to Harry as they had, they might have questioned his sanity. Just who did what he was doing, defending the people who hurt them so? Apparently people who had Harry's mind set. 

 

Then again...it could’ve been the grief talking. Harry really loved Malfoy, so maybe even though he was hurt, he wasn’t ready to let the other go? That could’ve been it. It made perfect logical sense, in a way. It happened enough in life. 

 

“Full blooded veela don’t feel pain from the urges they get when they come into their full inheritance.” Ron brought a hand up to run his fingers through Harry’s hair, something he learned was pretty effective from past experience of getting Harry to settle down. Settle down in general, it worked if he got really angry-type upset or really down-type upset. “I don’t know for sure, since I’m not veela, but in my knowledge, Draco shouldn’t have felt any pain with his urges. The most he should’ve felt was longing, but it’s my understanding that making out with you could’ve soothed that just as effectively?” 

 

Ron didn’t want to defend Malfoy in anyway, just to be clear. But if he was wrong about urges that dominant veela got when they came into full inheritance, then he’d be misinforming Harry. That would definitely do more harm than good going forward. So as Ron spoke, he looked to Hermione for assistance. 

 

Hermione nodded her head. Ron was correct. Dominant veela coming into full inheritance just meant that their urge to look for a mate was heightened. Their allure became more difficult to resist (it acted as a way of calling potential mates to them) and in some cases, their level of aggressiveness rose. 

 

For a submissive, it was essentially the same thing except reversed. Submissives weren’t the one to seek dominants out, it was the other way around. 

 

There even used to be this entire ceremony thing where submissives were put in tents and dominants would pick them based off of their scent. If there was more than one dominant at a submissives tent, the dominants would fight. The victor would then go on to fight the submissive himself as a final proof that the dominant was strong enough to protect the family. 

 

Why this ceremony stopped happening was not something Hermione had on the top of her head. Though if she had to take a guess, it probably had something to do with more and more families already having chosen ones. 

 

Since there was the whole separation between witches/wizards and magical beings, young magical being children were brought up in these environments where they were more exposed to each other. Like young animagi were exposed to lots of other young animagi, veela exposed to other veela, werewolf to werewolf, vampire to vampire, ect. You get the point. 

 

This, of course, not only led to some traits being forced out early (due to all of this exposure), but children finding their other half sooner in their lives. Of course, there wasn’t any mating until the appropriate age and both individuals came into their full inheritance, but courting was now more available. Unlike the past, where courting wasn’t seen as a positive thing since it meant that you could be bonding to someone who might not have been the best choice for you. 

 

Again, this was all a guess that Hermione had because she didn’t have the answer off the top of her head. It sounded correct though, so she’d just go with it until there was an appropriate time to remind herself by looking for a few books she had recently finished reading...

 

“Harry!” A pair of voices called out, followed by the sound of several footsteps. 

 

Fred and George Weasley hurried over to where their little brother was sitting. Fred took a seat next to Ron and George took a seat next to Hermione. It just occurred to Harry that they weren’t in the room before, so it left him to wonder where they had been. 

 

“You alright mate?” 

 

“We just heard you were upset and hurried here from Potions as fast as we could.” 

 

“Who hurt you?” 

 

“Was it a Slytherin?” 

 

“I bet it was Malfoy, wasn’t it?” 

 

As the twins continued to do their thing, where they each said a sentence before combining and talking at the same time, Hermione and Ron shared a small sigh. They couldn’t hide this anymore. It’d be suspicious to say that it was just a case of bullying gone too far since everyone saw Harry like this already. 

 

No, no, they’d have to expose what had really happened. The secret would have to come out. At least, to certain people. Like their fellow sixth years and the twins. And anyone else who Harry felt safe with…

 

To say that the rest of the afternoon had been eventful was being nice. But hey, no one said anything too damaging. If anything, there was a surprising amount of support. It could’ve been because most of the sixth years were magical beings and, like Hermione, were mainly going off of the idea that Harry’s submissive veela nature was interacting with Draco’s dominant veela nature. Or it could’ve been because no one had the heart to express their shock openly and risk upsetting Harry more. 

 

Whatever it was...Harry appreciated it. Ron and Hermione appreciated it. 

 

Flashback over

 

“Hermione? Earth to Hermione?” Harry snapped his fingers in front of his friends face with a worried look. “Mione? You ok?” 

 

Hermione blinked a few times in confusion before realizing that she was in the boys dorm. Harry must’ve pulled her in and just left her to stand while she was lost in thought. 

 

“Sorry about that.” She shook her head to dispel her thoughts before walking over to Harry’s bed and sitting down. “Got a bit...distracted, is all.” 

 

Harry, though he looked like he wanted to ask more, took her answer how it was and nodded his head. He walked over slowly, trying to figure out just what had gotten Hermione so out of focus. Obviously, he would never really know unless he asked. 

 

But...what if it was unpleasant? By the look in Hermione’s eye, she didn’t seem to want to talk about it. So Harry did the only thing he knew was safe. He settled next to Hermione and gave her an encouraging smile before beginning to talk about the most random thing he could think of. 

 

If it was completely out of the blue, Hermione didn’t comment. If it was a completely ridiculous comment, then neither cared. If it was a conversation that ended with both Hermione and Harry on the floor, laughing their asses off when Ron entered the room, then nothing was questioned. 

 

Chapter Text

Narcissa Malfoy eyed the letter in her hands with a surprisingly proud look on her face. Surprising because, well, it wasn’t everyday a mother received a letter stating that her son had burned a fellow classmate and a good portion of the school library. Not to mention that said classmate was the daughter of an old family friend. 

 

Her lips curled up in distaste and she shook her head. No, not family friend, she corrected herself. Lucius’ friend. She had never really enjoyed the company of Michael Parkinson, but tolerated his existence because of her husband. Looking back on it, she could see how they got along. Men like Lucius and Michael stuck together, it seemed. 

 

Going back to the letter...that’s probably why she was proud. Her son’s reasoning for starting the fire, as stated in the letter, was because dear Pansy wasn’t respecting the very clear boundaries that were laid out before her. Draco harming her, according to Severus, was done as a punishment for her current misdeed and a warning against future ones. 

 

‘Misdeeds…’ Narcissa folded the letter back up, even though she still had a couple paragraphs to read (it was a very detailed letter), and allowed herself to lean back against the cushioned chair she was sitting on. ‘My poor dragon...I’m so sorry I could not help you…’ 

 

Narcissa’s mind flashed back to when her son had flooed her. It was a late Wednesday night, which told her that it must’ve been important. Her son saved his calls for the end of the week so they could have more than enough time to talk and he wouldn’t suffer from lack of sleep and get in trouble in his classes the following day. 

 

Not that he would allow his lack of sleep to interfere with his work, he was quite stubborn when faced with challenges that would affect his marks. All because of his father, unfortunately. The older Malfoy constantly felt the need to remind his son that if Draco wasn’t perfect, he was useless. And being perfect in school was a good place to start. 

 

Now, Narcissa was brought up in a fairly strict pureblooded creature household so she knew the expectations set upon her as an important figure from an important family. But even her own father never told her what Lucius said to their son. Multiple times. 

 

Narcissa shook her head and growled low in her throat. She was getting off topic. Her son...Draco...he came first. She could mentally curse her neglectful and love lacking husband later. Right now she had a son to worry about. 

 

Where was she previously ...oh yes! Parkinson’s misdeed! Yes, that little incident had caused quite the unrest within her little dragon. While Narcissa wasn’t proud of what her son had done, she did what any mother would do and consoled her son first before making her disapproval known. 

 

How could she not? Her precious dragon’s face was so flushed, tears still running down his cheeks as he spoke to her. His voice had been so rough, so painful sounding, as if he had been yelling and screaming for days before he had contacted her. 

 

Given the situation, he may as well have been screaming for at least a few hours or so. 

 

Once again, Narcissa growled in agitation. On one hand, she wanted to be mad at the person who caused her beloved son his tears. She wanted to be mad at Harry Potter and demand that the boy make her son happy again. Or curse him, that probably would’ve been the easier option. 

 

On the other hand...she wasn’t ignorant to the situation. She wasn’t a monster either. Her son’s happiness meant the world to her, but she wouldn’t punish Harry for breaking it off with Draco for the reason he did. She could, in a way, understand his pain. 

 

While the situation may have been different for the both of them, she understood what it meant to be betrayed by a loved one. Your own partner, your mate. While Harry and Draco may not have been mates, it was going to happen in the future. She could just sense it. 

 

The situation, loath as she was to admit it, reminded her of her own marriage to Lucius. During the beginning of their relationship, she had been so happy. Lucius had been so happy. His eyes were full of love and adoration as they stared at her. His lips, tilted in a genuine smile when they landed on her, always kissed hers as a gentle greeting. His hands, so strong and firm, always held her so tenderly. 

 

When had it all gone wrong? When did Lucius change into the man she came to despise with a fiery passion? Narcissa didn’t know. It could’ve been an act for all she cared too. She wouldn’t be able to tell you when she truly fell out of love with him if she tried. 

 

Wait...no, that wasn’t true. She had confirmed she had fallen out of love with him when he had said something truly damaging to Draco. When he had glared down at the small, pale boy and sneered out a hateful message. 

 

Narcissa didn’t remember what it was. Nor did she care. All she remembered from that afternoon was allowing her instincts to take over as she leaped at the man who dared to harm her child. Who had been hurting her child. 

 

Narcissa would never forgive herself for allowing the...the...the abuse to last so long before she did anything about it. 

 

And now...she had to see her son hurt from the same thing. Only instead of suffering as the one who was betrayed, he was suffering from the guilt as being the betrayer. Something his father never did. Not that Narcissa expected him to, if she was being honest. 

 

“Harry Potter.” She tested the name on her tongue. She had gotten so used to calling the young boy ‘Draco’s mate’ that ‘Harry Potter’ almost sounded foreign. “Harry Potter…” 

 

As Narcissa continued to say the boy’s name, her mind flashed to all sorts of places. First and foremost: what she knew of the boy, facts wise. 

 

Well, he was a half blood, for starters. One of the only ones known in existence currently. Which brought up the painful admittance that he didn’t have parents and he was forced to live a fair amount of his childhood life with...ugh...pureblood wizards and witches. Truly, she felt sorry for the poor boy on that part. 

 

Speaking of parents, according to Draco, Harry didn’t seem to suffer too much from the magical balance within him. Looks could be deceiving, certainly, but Harry would not have been allowed to return to Hogwarts for so many years if he was doing badly in his classes. The fact that he was doing well in his studies meant that he had a fair amount of control over his magic. Maybe not perfect, but he hadn’t lost control of it. 

 

Not that she had heard of from Draco or Severus…

 

The next place her mind flashed to was what she had heard about Harry from Draco’s more...ehem...detailed letters. A small laugh made its way out of her throat as she remembered some of the first letters she received about Harry. Quite shocking compared to the most recent ones she received about him. 

 

Her son had a...she didn’t want to say unhealthy, but he did have a deep fascination with Harry Potter. Unfortunately, as most male children do, he expressed it through being cruel to Harry. Then again, back to the Lucius thing, he didn’t have the best role model. 

 

Eventually, and this was around the time Narcissa got fed up with Lucius and had taken him to the veela court to have him removed so that he couldn’t hurt her or Draco, Draco had learned that being cruel was not the best way to get Harry’s attention. Not at all. 

 

She didn’t know how deep their relationship got before their fall out, but she did know one thing: Harry Potter made her son happy. Draco just had this more...energetic, lively aura surrounding him when he was around Harry or talked about Harry. She had heard so from Severus and could even see just from how Draco wrote his letters. 

 

The last place her mind halted at was...how she would help her son get his mate back. Cause Draco would get Harry back. She would see her son happy again. 

 

“Hmmm…” Narcissa hummed in thought as she reopened the letter she had been reading before her mind wandered. The last few paragraphs that she left off at were mostly just Severus complaining about Draco’s chosen location when punishing Pansy. There was also a bit about how Draco was doing well in his classes despite the numerous problems in his personal life. 

 

That was probably meant to reassure her that her dragon wasn’t in such a hard place that he couldn’t focus on the world around him. 

 

It was touching, reading Severus’ subtle praises. She knew that if Draco saw the letter, he’d be blushing. As one would expect, having Lucius as a father didn’t warrant many compliments. That paternal bond that most fathers have with their offspring was very strained. 

 

Narcissa shook her head and stood up, walking to her study. She had some reading to do, some friends to contact...maybe some strings to pull... 

 

With Draco

 

“How did mother react?” Draco ran a hand down his face as he gave his godfather an exasperated look. “On that note, why did you write a letter to her? I assured you that I would write it.” 

 

Severus only stared back blankly at Draco. Maybe the tiniest bit of amusement met his eyes, but otherwise, he didn’t find reason to grace Draco with any form of expression.

 

“I have not received a response.” Despite the very faint glow of amusement present in Severus’ eyes, his tone still sounded bored and uncaring. So, normal, basically. “You forget, owls need time to travel to their locations. And your mother may take some time to absorb my words.” 

 

Draco rolled his eyes. Knowing his mother, the woman was probably proud of him for doing what he did. She hated Pansy’s parents (and that had nothing to do with the friendship they shared with his father, she had multiple of her own reasons). Also, despite the fact they both of them didn’t like his father (Draco was confident enough so say he hated the man, but he wasn’t sure about his mother yet), the old man did teach Draco one valuable lesson. A single one. 

 

It was...be direct with what you want. There was hardly any time for dilly dallying if the matter was important. 

 

Well, this was pretty fucking important in Draco’s mind. Pansy was overstepping her bounds, yet again. Honestly, it was a miracle he didn’t burn her earlier, or rip something off. He had foolishly assumed that his verbal reminders and a few well placed shoves would be enough for Pansy to realize that Draco didn’t want her near him. 

 

‘I miscalculated.’ Draco thought bitterly. ‘Should’ve just obliviated her mind after we were finished. I was stupid to think that she could follow just a simply order…’ 

 

The order, in case anyone wasn’t clear, was for Pansy to keep her annoying mouth SHUT! What happened between the two of them...it would not be a repeat performance! It was a one time thing and only happened because she was disposable and Harry, his precious, sweet, beloved Harry was too important for Draco to pressure. 

 

Despite how painful the reality was, the idea was quite funny and ironic. Most thought that the reason Draco had chosen Pansy to be the one to sate his needs was because he trusted her. Because she had something he wanted and he could count on her to deliver. 

 

Ha! That assumption couldn’t be more incorrect! Draco chose Pansy for multiple reasons, but trust? Yeah, none of the reasons had that. 

 

The first reason was because he knew that he wouldn’t accidentally bind himself to her, which was a trust in his own abilities if anything. Her magic was too weak to initiate a bond with him and he had no plans on being the one to initiate a bond. The second reason was, as spoken before, because he had foolishly believed that Pansy would stay silent. She was one of the oldest followers he had. He thought that she knew that when he told her to do something, he expected her to do it. 

 

Especially if the order was so simple! Shutting up didn’t take that much effort! Newborns and toddlers could do it!

 

And the last reason was because she and Harry didn’t associate with each other in a positive way. It led to the belief that Harry wouldn’t find out until Draco told him (because he was planning on telling his little one, believe it or not). 

 

Only...it never got to that point. Because idiotic little Pansy fucking Parkison opened her big mouth like Draco commanded she NOT do and then his little one, alert as he was, easily sniffed her scent on Draco. 

 

‘I should’ve known a single shower wouldn’t have been enough to wash off the shame. No matter how long it was.’ Draco resisted the urge to groan in pain, least he want to appear crazy in front of his godfather. Then again, he may already have. Best not make it worse, in that case. 

 

“I know that Parkinson’s...advances have been unpleasant for you. Trust me, I have not been the biggest fan of hearing about them or...Merlin have mercy, witnessing her attempts at courting.” Severus’ tone was laced with disdain as he brought up a hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. Cause yes, there have been several times (where even one was too many) where he caught Parkinson trying to sneak into Draco’s dorm to surprise him with gifts. 

 

As the head of both Draco’s and Pansy’s house, he knew he shouldn’t be playing favorites. Even though the situation was more than appropriate for it. So, to Parkinson’s credit, the gifts themselves weren't horrendous. They were decent at best. However, decent at best did not mean that Draco would like them. That was another matter entirely though, as his godson was known to be...picky...with gifts. 

 

“But?” Draco drawled out expectantly. Severus’ pause may have sounded like the ending of the conversation to anyone else, but Draco knew better. Severus only paused because he was probably remembering something and needed to refocus again before continuing. “I know there’s more.” 

 

Severus took another moment before answering. Draco wanted to say that it was to spite him for giving the other some lip, but he knew that was probably not that. His godfather was probably either still coming out of his thought process or was figuring out a way to form his sentence appropriately. 

 

Draco was willing to bet it was the second reason more than the first. 

 

“Yes, yes, please carry a calming drought with you from now on.” Severus removed the hand that had previously been pinching his temple and almost smirked at the surprised expression on Draco’s face. The other had obviously been expecting to be lectured more about the fact that Draco set some of the library on fire, that Severus had been sure of. “I know you’ve already suffered an earful from our dear resident healer and the Headmaster.” 

 

Draco openly scoffed at that. Dumbledore has always been harmless in his mind. Certainly, Draco knew better than to go openly defying the wizard, but still, you had to admit...Dumbledore was soft. A white cloud 95% of the time. Most of the metaphorical fire (speech wise) he got was from Madam Pomfrey. That woman...Draco felt genuine sympathy for her at times. 

 

Years of working here and seeing children (mostly pure blood wizards and witches) injured, some on the verge of death, took a toll on her. She became protective easily. Then again, maybe she was always protective and just learned how to be more vocal about it as the years passed. 

 

Severus cleared his throat and waited until Draco had focused completely back on him before continuing: “You have already heard all that’s needed to be said regarding damaging school property and harming your own housemate. It would be a waste of time to give you that speech all over again.” 

 

Ooooh...now Severus’ seemingly strange warning made sense. Even if it took Draco off guard for more than a few moments. 

 

“I believe dinner is almost upon us.” Severus waved a hand near the door and didn’t even blink as they slammed open. “Come, it will not do to be late.” 

 

With a swoosh of his cape, Severus was walking to the door. Not waiting for a response, just allowing Draco to follow a bit closer than he would normally tolerate from other students. Draco was his godson, after all. 

 

At least he didn’t step on Severus’ cape like he did in his first year. Severus could still feel the faint marks against his neck from where he was almost given whiplash by his own clothing. 

 

His godson...honestly…

 

Chapter Text

“Thanks girl.” Harry smiled as Hedwig allowed him to take the parchment from her without much of a fuss. Unlike some owls, she wasn’t jumpy or fidgety. She rested on Harry’s arm with an easy expression on her face, or as easy as it could get for an owl, and found it appropriate to just stare at everyone around Harry as the latter unrolled the parchment. 

 

Now seeing as how there were few people who Harry talked to outside of school...he already had an inkling about who this was. And of course, he was correct. 

 

“How’s the old charmer doing?” Ron laughed as he shoveled some food into his mouth. “Crash any bikes recently?” 

 

“Perhaps it would be wise to think before you joke.” Hermione was on Ron’s arse the second his last word left his mouth. She fixed him with a stern glare as he gave her a confused look. “Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injury and in some cases, death. You can’t heal yourself if you’re too busy bleeding out or are unconscious because of a head injury.” 

 

Harry wisely chose not to comment as Ron paled besides him. Obviously, the other was probably feeling a bit uncomfortable right now. Who wouldn’t? It was only breakfast and Hermione was already on a role here. 

 

Cause really...we all love hearing about death and gore when innocently eating your morning toast with some bacon and eggs. 

 

Hey kiddo!

How’s school been so far? I know it hasn’t been too long since you’re arrived, but it’s never a bad idea to check in. And it’s school. You don’t need to be there for more than a week before everything turns to hell. Is Hermione alright? Did she arrive safely with you and Ron?

 

Harry glanced up and smiled. Hermione still had a stern look on her face, but he wasn’t glaring at Ron anymore. When her eyes met Harry’s, the look softened and she gave the other a small nod before focusing on her food. 

 

It always warmed Harry’s heart that Sirius cared for Hermione as much as he did. When he was preparing himself to ask his godfather on whether Hermione could stay with them because of her parents' situation, he had been scared of Sirius’ reaction.

 

As Harry looked back on it, he mentally scolded his past self. There was little reason to be scared. Sirius wasn’t like most of the other pureblooded creature families. He ran away from his own house just to escape all the hate that was going on in there. 

 

Plus, he was best friends with a man who married a pureblood witch. That should’ve spoke volumes. And it did. Mostly to Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys, who were more than relieved to know that there was another person out there who wasn’t prejudiced like the rest of the world. 

 

Tell her and Ron I said ‘hi’ for me, yeah? And seriously, you three protect each other. I mean it. Don’t hesitate to floo or owl me if anyone at your school messes with you or hurts you. Ron and Hermione as well. I won’t hesitate to apparate over and sick Padfoot on them.

 

Harry sighed. Did being constantly harassed by your ex-boyfriend’s friends count as a threat? No one’s made a move to attack him yet (heavy emphasize on the yet), but they could be a threat to his mental health. 

 

Moving on, I love you and I hope to hear back from you soon. Hermione too, by the way. I was gonna send her an owl, but then just thought to combine her message with yours.

 

Harry tilted his head and looked to the second half of the letter. 

 

‘Ooooh…’ Realization dawned as he saw ‘Dear Hermione’ just a few sentences down. ‘He split the parchment in half…’ 

 

Ok, that was creative. A bit strange since Hedwig could’ve also just carried to little slips of parchment, but whatever. 

 

Stay safe Prongs. 

 

Yours, Sirius. 

 

P.S. If Malfoy bothers you even the tiniest bit, then floo me immediately. I’ll tell Narcissa to keep her son away from you. Don’t worry, I’ll figure out an excuse as to why I would care without exposing you. 

 

Harry’s mind did a little blank as he read that last part. It took his mind to catch up with the actual message. 

 

Right...Narcissa Malfoy and Sirius were related. Harry couldn’t believe he had forgotten that. Though in his defense, he had been trying to forget about the day Sirius had told him that little fact.

 

Merlin, he was so embarrassed! He had been complaining about Draco for endless hours before Sirius burst out laughing before confessing that he knew how much of a brat Draco could be. The answer as to why? Cause he’s met the blond child before while having a meeting with Narcissa. 

 

The meeting itself ended badly, according to Sirius. Supposedly, Narcissa had heard that Sirius had received guardianship of a child and she wanted to know who it was. For reasons unknown to Harry at that time, Sirius wouldn’t introduce the two. 

 

Later, Harry found out it is because Sirius was scared for him. Lucius had a lot of influence over the manor at the time and Sirius was probably imagining that introducing Harry to Narcissa was opening the door to Lucius hurting Harry because of his blood status. Physically and mentally. 

 

Speaking of...he’s honestly surprised that Narcissa hasn’t learned yet. Then again, Harry had faith in his godfather. If Sirius didn’t want someone to know something about him or Harry, they wouldn’t know. And Harry never told Draco about his relationship with Sirius because he was afraid of how Draco would react. 

 

Which was completely justifiable. Sirius had lost his head when Harry flooed him and told him that Draco Malfoy had asked to court him. It was a good thing Remus was in the same room, otherwise Sirius fainting could’ve caused some sort of head injury. 

 

Remus would argue otherwise. Say that Sirius’ skull was too thick to receive that much damage from a simple fall, no matter how hard the floor was. 

 

“Harry, you alright mate?” Ron’s worried voice snapped Harry out of his thoughts. “You’ve been staring at that piece of parchment for a while now. Is something wrong?” 

 

“Yeah, yeah, sorry.” Harry shook his head and reached over to give the letter to Hermione. “The bottom half if for you. Don’t worry, I didn’t read any of it.” 

 

Hermione looked up from her food and raised a brow at Harry. From the look in her eye, she wasn’t sure if that was the truth or not. On one hand, it was Harry, who had become very knowledgeable in the fields of knowing when someone needed and/or wanted privacy. On another hand, sometimes curiosity could override anyone’s common sense. 

 

“I promise I didn’t.” Harry was beginning to grow a bit nervous as Hermione just kept staring at him, not yet taking the letter from his hand. “Mione, my arm is getting tired. If you don’t want this now, then that’s fine but please at least say-”

 

Hermione seemed to snap out of her own thoughts at that point and she quickly snatched the letter out of Harry’s hand. At his small pout at not being thanked, she rolled her eyes fondly. Harry, Harry, Harry…

 

“Thank you.” She smiled and opened the letter to begin reading herself. 

 

Almost immediately, she covered her mouth with her hand. From the way her eyes crinkled and her cheeks creased a bit, Ron and Harry could tell that she was smiling. Alright, it was settling to know that her reaction wasn’t because something bad happened. 

 

Neither male commented on the various emotions that flitted over Hermione’s face. Surprise, joy, some bashfulness here and there, the tiniest hint of guilt, and finally some exasperation. Though that last one was expected at some point. 

 

It was a well known fact that Sirius Black had his way with words. 

 

“Sirius says hi, by the way.” Harry addressed Ron before biting off the corner of the piece of toast he was eating. “Wants to make sure you know that you can floo him if someone gives you a hard time too.” 

 

Ron scoffed and shook his head. “I would’ve thought he’d be threatening me to keep his little pup safe.” He set down his fork so he could playfully ruffle Harry’s hair, which had learned to stay down during the summer and was no longer a wild bird’s nest. 

 

Harry laughed and shoved at his friend’s hand. “Ron!” He was so focused on how Ron was reaching for him, probably trying to ruffle his hair again, that he didn’t notice how far back he was leaning. 

 

Unfortunately, when he did realize it, his butt had already left the solid wood of the bench. He expected to feel the familiar ache shooting up his tail bone as he hit the floor soon. As well as hear the worried voices of his friends and sounds of laughing from the other houses. Mainly the Slytherins. 

 

What he didn’t expect was for a pair of long arms to catch him just as he was about to hit the ground. He didn’t expect to be hugged to a firm chest. The shout of alarm that he allowed to pass from his lips was smothered by black and red robes. 

 

“Harry! Are you alright?” The person holding him sounded so worried and his arms tightened around Harry as he sat them both up correctly. 

 

“Sorry mate!” It was Ron who spoke. He sounded worried and a bit guilty. Most likely viewing Harry almost falling as partially his fault since he was leaning so close the other. 

 

“I’m fine.” Harry’s voice was a bit muffled, so he pulled back a bit. He came face to face with Neville, who was still giving him a worried look. “Thanks for catching me Neville.” 

 

He gave the other a good natured smile as Hermione sighed in relief. Harry would bet that if he glanced over, he’d see her putting a hand to her chest. Over her heart specifically, as if trying to calm the beating organ. 

 

“Yes, he gets injured enough as it is from Quidditch and certain classes.” The ‘certain classes’ Hermione was referencing was mainly Potions. Harry just didn’t have that much passion or talent when it came to measuring certain liquids and cutting roots or creature parts into specific lengths. “It would be a shame if he strained his neck due to falling off the bench.” 

 

Harry blushed. Hermione, while she did sound genuinely concerned about that actually happening, also sounded a bit sarcastic. Like she was just waiting for the day it happened and she could scold both him and Ron for messing around like that at the table. 

 

“Nah, he’d get a concussion before straining his neck.” Seamus perked up, trying to ease the situation with his own added humor. Humor that may or may not have been the tiniest bit serious, mind you. “With how he was positioned, his head would’ve made direct contact with the floor.” 

 

Hermione looked thoughtful for a moment before shrugging. Harry felt a bit offended at this. Did Seamus and Hermione assume that he didn’t know how to fall? Granted, he’s had his fair share of injuries, but still. Receiving said injuries gifted him with an uncanny amount of life lessons. One of the most important ones: being able to fall and land correctly if you’re blasted into the air because your potion exploded. 

 

Because Professor Snape sure as hell wouldn’t catch you. He’d wait until you landed and then begin berating you for your stupidity. While you were injured, no less. 

 

“Thanks guys, truly.” Harry narrowed his eyes a bit as Hermione gave him an innocent look. One that he wouldn’t fall for. “Just for that, Neville’s replacing you as my second best friend.” He reached around and hugged Neville close to him just to spite Hermione. 

 

“I’m still your first, right?” Ron sounded genuinely curious and a bit indignant as he spoke up from his place behind Harry. 

 

“Yes, yes, don’t worry.” Harry turned around a bit, despite the awkward angle it put his neck at, and smiled reassuringly at Ron. “You’re still my first best friend.” 

 

Ron sighed, sounding a bit relieved. Though judging by the playful glint in his eye, he was obviously following along with Harry’s little joke. To sell the show, he put a hand to his chest and rubbed there a tiny bit. 

 

“Thanks Harry, way to remain loyal. A true friend you are.” 

 

The other sixth year Gryffindors laughed at Ron, catching the attention of the other houses. By now, everyone had long accepted that the Gryffindors were probably the most dramatic house in their school. So the volume of the laughter wasn’t as much of an irritation or a surprise. The stares were mostly out of curiosity. Just what were the Gryffindors laughing at and would it be appropriate for the entire room to erupt into laughter as well? 

 

“In all seriousness, thanks for catching me Nev.” Harry patted Neville’s cheek and leaned back as the other Gryffindor loosened his hold. “Cause that would’ve been a riot.” 

 

Neville smiled at Harry before casting a nervous glance at Hermione. “I didn’t actually replace Hermione as your second best friend, did I?” He gulped.

 

“No, no.” Harry waved his hand and gestured for Hermione to help him on this. “I was just joking. You’re a good friend Nev, but Hermione and Ron were my first two. They’ll stay that way.” 

 

Hermione smiled sweetly at Harry before giving Neville a nod, causing the other to let out a sigh of relief at the response. He actually took Harry seriously when the other said that. Not that Harry would blame him, he wasn’t the joker of the group. That was Ron’s duty and he did it fantastically. Much better than if Harry tried. 

 

“Finish your breakfast now, Harry.” Hermione’s strict nature was back as she eyed Harry’s plate. “Classes are gonna start soon and I will not have you attend them on a quarter full stomach.” 

 

Again, all the sixth year Gryffindors laughed at that, quite aware of how serious Hermione was about that. 

 

Harry mock saluted at his friend before picking up his long abandoned toast and taking another bite. This morning had been pretty nice so far, despite his original desire to stay in bed. Where he could pull the covers up and hide from the world. 

 

Maybe the rest of the day would follow. Maybe he wouldn’t run into Malfoy and his friends, or he’d be able to direct Hermione away from pureblooded witch slurs before any true damage was done. 

 

Chapter Text

‘I jinxed myself.’ Harry grunted as he was harshly pulled away from Hermione and Ron by Draco, who somehow managed to get close enough to grab him in the first place. ‘I shouldn’t of gotten my hopes up.’ 

 

“Hey!” Ron and Hermione were quick to follow as Draco quickly ducked into a nearby empty classroom. “Let him go!” Ron drew his wand, only for the door to slam closed. A quick spell later told Ron that Draco had also locked the door. “Malfoy! Give him back!” 

 

Draco ignored Ron in favor of pushing Harry harshly against the closest desk he could wrestle the other against. A difficult feat, mind you. Harry was quite squirmy and wasn’t opposed to hitting or kicking when he couldn’t grab his wand quick enough. Draco swore that he felt some air move across his crotch area. 

 

Harry probably figured that aiming down there would effectively distract Draco for long enough to open the door and get a head start on bolting out. It surprised Draco a bit that Harry would resort to that target so quickly. Surely, as a male himself, he understood just how much getting hit there hurt? 

 

Apparently, his desire to get away from Draco trumped over any logical thought or sympathy. A realization that had Draco growling out in anger. 

 

With a small side step, he avoided Harry’s next kick and pressed himself as close as he could to Harry. They were almost chest to chest now. When Harry’s hands came up to try and push Draco back, Draco grabbed them and pinned them to the desk. Now Harry was properly subdued and Draco could get his piece out without needing to worry about being hit. 

 

Not that a single hit would be all it took to discourage him from talking to Harry, but the assurance was nice. 

 

“What do you want, Malfoy?” Harry narrowed his eyes at Draco, futile struggles dying out almost as soon as they began. He knew from past experience that while he was faster than Draco, Draco was stronger. Physically, at least. 

 

Magically, they were pretty even. Or Harry liked to think, since he didn’t know for sure. 

 

“Why so upset?” Draco’s brow raised in a perfect arch as the blond regarded Harry with a playful expression. “Not happy to see me?” 

 

“Oh, overjoyed.” Harry sounded so sarcastic that it hurt his own ears. “I’ve just been begging for your attention, you have no idea.” His lips pulled back to expose his teeth as he growled lightly at Draco. 

 

“Have you?” Draco decided to play along, ignoring the sarcastic tone completely. After all, this meeting was about something that had come to his attention. It was a good transition. “Well, I must say that you’ve succeeded. You’re little morning show was just too good to miss.” 

 

“Morning show-” Harry began, before realizing that Draco probably saw what happened in the Great Hall. And why wouldn’t he? The Slytherin table was directly across the Gryffindor table. Of course he’d have a fucking front row seat. “Oh…” 

 

“Oh?” Draco’s eyes flashed for a split second as he regarded Harry carefully. “Is that all you have to say?” The way he spoke, you’d assume that he was accusing Harry of committing some kind of crime. Like, getting thrown in Azkaban worthy crime. 

 

It sounded oddly similar to the tone that Harry used when he confronted Draco about the whole cheating incident. 

 

“No, what I have to say is why the fuck did you pull me away from my friends to talk about this?” Harry knew that Draco wasn’t in agreement to their break up. Honestly, Harry had fought against the idea of breaking things off as well. But then he remembered...he couldn’t trust Draco. 

 

“Friends?” Draco laughed dryly and Harry had to fight himself to keep from flinching back. Draco was so close to his face and the laugh...ugh…it sent small shudders down his spine. “That’s what they are, friends?” 

 

“Yes.” Harry ground out, now realizing where this was going. Of course this would happen. Of course this would fucking happen. “They are. And again...you pulled me away from them to talk about something that happened a couple hours ago?” 

 

Admittedly, that wasn’t too long ago. In a 24-hour day, a couple hours was short. But still...Harry was gonna use any excuse that came to mind. Even if it was weak. 

 

“Last time I checked, darling …” Draco put some emphasize on the pet name, knowing full well that as much as Harry wanted to hate it, he couldn’t resist reacting. Pet names were one of the easiest ways to get his little love’s attention in the past when Draco first began courting him. Draco trusted that the effect they had on Harry then still existed now. “...friends don’t sit with their faces so close together.” 

 

As if to prove his point, Draco leaned forward. He was so close now that his nose almost touched Harry’s, his warm breath washing over Harry’s lips. Harry himself froze, not trusting himself to move. He knew he’d either head butt Draco (which might hurt him more than it would Draco) or he’d do something even more stupid. Like connect their lips. 

 

Despite being broken up for quite some time and Harry admitting to himself that it was the best choice to make, his feelings for Draco didn’t suddenly stop. Draco’s betrayal to him hurt more than if the flames from a dragon hit him directly, but his stupid feelings for the git continued on. 

 

No matter what Harry did, whether that be joining Ron in shit talking Draco or Hermione in taking his brain off of what happened through studying, his feelings of love for the Slytherin Prince didn’t die out. Ok, maybe they did a tiny bit, but not nearly enough. 

 

Harry still loved Draco, he still wanted the other. He wanted to forget that Draco cheated on him, he wanted to forget they ever fought, he wanted them to be like how they used to be. But...he knew that wasn’t a wise move on his part. Draco proved that Harry couldn’t trust him with his heart. 

 

No matter how much it hurt...no matter how long it hurt...Harry had to move on. Which was fucking difficult since they went to the same school and therefor were in most of the same fucking classes. 

 

“I wasn’t sitting that close to anyone.” Harry tried to sound firm and intimidating, but he sounded more...nervous than anything. He hated himself for that. “So I don’t understand what you’re getting at.” 

 

“Longbottom.” Draco practically sneered out the name. “You two were so close together, I wouldn’t be surprised if by accident you two ended up lip locking.” 

 

Harry’s face flushed at that, but he refused to stay silent. “He just caught me so I wouldn’t fall onto the floor!” He may have been louder than he intended to be, but he hardly cared. He was gonna defend Neville before worrying about the volume of his voice. Especially with Draco this close to him. “Like a good friend would!” 

 

“His face was an inch away from yours!” 

 

“So?!” Harry could mentally admit that Draco was right. Since Neville had hugged him to his body, their faces were pretty close. What he couldn’t do was admit it out loud. He wasn’t in the mood for agreeing with Draco right now. “Did you see our lips connect?! We didn’t kiss!” 

 

Draco’s hands practically crushed Harry’s into the desk as he leaned more of his weight onto the other. Harry allowed himself to flinch. Geez, with a crack as loud as that, he wouldn't be surprised of some fingers had popped from their sockets. Or, whatever. 

 

“Good.” Draco hissed, a twisted smile appearing on his face. 

 

“It’s not your business even if we did!” Harry didn’t want to give Draco the impression that he could control Harry’s love life. He had no right to. Not after what he did to Harry, what he did to them as a couple. “We’re done, Malfoy, have been for a while now. Or have you forgotten that?” 

 

Harry congratulated himself as he heard Dracos’ breath hitch. It was a reaction not many people could get from the Slytherin Prince. 

 

“You have no right to tell me who I can or can’t kiss.” Harry used Draco’s distraction to his advantage and quickly twisted around a bit so he could bring his knee up. The angle was awkward and he could feel a slight pull in his hamstring, but Harry didn’t pay it any mind as he slammed his knee into Draco’s stomach. “Not after what you did!” 

 

Draco coughed out as he was pushed back, hands leaving Harry’s so he could cover the abused flesh of his stomach. As Harry jumped off the desk to race to the door, Draco’s arm whipped out and quickly grabbed hold of Harry’s elbow. 

 

Harry glared back, fully intending to yank his elbow out of Draco’s grip, but stopped at what he saw. Draco’s eyes, fully trained on him...they looked...they looked vulnerable. 

 

They held a look of longing, desperation, pain. Like the day of their big fight, when Harry was sobbing and Draco was rushing to explain himself. 

 

Harry fought with everything he had not to give into that look. To not break down and cry like he had that day. 

 

“I know that you haven’t forgiven me.” Draco’s voice didn’t sound so rough anymore, didn’t sound so demanding. But...it didn’t sound sad either. It was a strange middle ground. “You had every right to be mad at me that day, but you still never gave me a chance to explain.” 

 

“What was there to explain?” Harry whispered, no longer looking or sounding angry, just small and timid. “I know about veela urges, Draco. You forget I am a veela.” 

 

Draco gave Harry an incredulous look. “You’re a submissive veela, you don’t get the same urges that dominants do. You’re also a half blood, so your urges don’t hurt as much-” 

 

“Urges don’t hurt!” Harry snapped, anger quickly returning as he yanked his elbow free and turned so he was facing Draco. “And don’t you dare use the fact that I'm a submissive and a half blood as an excuse. I was still educated in veela culture, I know what happens when you come of age and all that shit. Also, one of my best friends is Hermione fucking Granger. One of the smartest witches at school. No...THE smartest witch at school, actually.” 

 

Harry allowed a small smirk to play at his lips. Draco always tolerated Harry praising Hermione when they were together, but it was obvious that he still had the typical pureblooded creature mindset. The one that said all witches and wizards were below magical creatures. 

 

With that in mind, it felt good to rub in the fact that Hermione, a pureblood witch, was one of the smartest individuals in the school. It was like a big ‘fuck you’ to society and its stupid norms. 

 

“You have no excuse!” Harry shouted and slowly backed up towards the door. “There was nothing to say that day and I wouldn’t top myself from breaking up with you even if I had the time turner. In fact, I’d warn my past self about agreeing to dating you in the first place! Maybe save myself from the heartbreak!” 

 

Draco kept his narrowed eye glance pinned on Harry until the other reached the door. When he made a move to take out his wand, Draco unexpectedly threw his head back and laughed. Loudly. It made Harry wonder if he just walked into a trap. 

 

“You think you’re the only one who was hurt?” Draco took a step forward, mindful of the wand in Harry’s hand. In response, he drew out his own. “You think you’re the only victim here?” 

 

“I don’t know, am I?” Harry pressed his back against the door, almost jumping forward as he felt the wood move from behind him. Someone was definitely pounding on the door. Probably Ron and Hermione, trying to help get him out of here. “As I seem to recall, I’m not the one who withheld information from his boyfriend, cheated on him, then tried to hide it!” 

 

Draco just kept walking forward, even though he could see the muscles in Harry’s body tense. You might be wondering, how could he see that? Harry was wearing his robes. Well, Draco was just that aware. He paid attention to every detail, especially when it came to his Harry. 

 

“Withholding information is something you’ve done before. With me and with your friends.” Draco stopped when he was a few feet away. If Harry was gonna be like that, then he had a few things to say as well. “So if you’re gonna say that I should be guilty for that, then you’re being a hypocrite.” 

 

Harry gaped at that. Really? Draco was gonna play like that? Fine then!

 

“What I withheld from you wasn’t anything like-!” 

 

“You still did it.” Draco raised a brow, looking much more calm now. “And you’re saying that the fact that I hid something from you is why you broke up with me. You couldn’t trust me, is what you said. By that logic, shouldn’t I have broken up with you long before our fight? After all, you’ve held quite the amount of things from me.” 

 

Harry felt his face heat up in embarrassment. Because holy fucking hell...Draco was right. Harry has hid things from Draco before. He hid his childhood from the other, he hid the identity of his godfather, he hid various injuries that he’d receive sometimes while he was being impulsive in classes, and several other things as well...dammit, Draco had him there. 

 

“Those...those were…” Harry still tried to justify himself even though Draco technically had a point. He was still a Gryffindor and just a generally stubborn person. He wasn’t going down without a fight. “I didn’t feel ready to talk about some of those yet!” 

 

It was a weak excuse. One that Draco laughed at, though it was pretty quiet. “Not ready? Well, that works out perfectly since my reasoning was that I didn’t want to pressure you about having sex with me!” 

 

How Draco said that with a straight face, no blush at all...Harry would actually compliment him if they weren’t in the situation they were right now. 

 

“That’s reasonable, isn’t it?” Draco gritted his teeth as Harry continued to try and justify himself. “And hiding something from you? Oh beloved...you’ve physically hid yourself from me! And how many secrets do you have again?” 

 

Draco sounded close to hysterical now and it made Harry just want to phase through the door. Instead, he allowed himself to be pinned to it like an idiot. Great job there…

 

“You still cheated on me!” Harry knew his resolve was crumbling. Knew that if Draco was allowed more time to dwell on how Harry was technically being a hypocrite, then Harry would crack. Then proceed to do something crazy, like fling himself at Draco and apologize for breaking things off. “You took Pansy to your bed!” 

 

“I know, and I’m sorry. It was the worst mistake I ever made and I regret it.” Draco still sounded sincere, but Harry could sense the tension in the air. This was the root of the problem. With bringing it up, Harry just brought the conversation to a whole new level. “But I regret it only because I hurt you. What I don’t regret is respecting your decision to wait. What I don’t regret is not just flat out raping you even though my veela was screaming at me that I needed to mate with you!” 

 

‘Bastard!’ Harry could feel his anger simmering away, replaced with the feeling of aid guilt. ‘He’s using my own fucking conscence against me!’ 

 

As much as Harry wanted to fight it, Draco was right. At the time, Harry wanted to wait. Draco was a few months older than he was and as such, he reached the age where veela matured body wise (age 16) faster than Harry did. That was the logical reason as to why Harry wanted to wait, the personal reason was because Harry was a bit scared of the idea of sex. He just...wasn’t ready to give himself like that. 

 

Draco had respected his choice, but if he had come to Harry saying that he needed the other to...to help sate his needs...Harry...he would’ve...ugh! It didn’t matter that Draco technically wasn’t in danger, Harry would feel guilty about not helping Draco and probably feel obligated to. Which would lead to more drama and all that shit. 

 

“Harry!” Ron’s voice shouted from behind the door. “Mione got Professor McGonagall! We’ll get you out soon, alright?! And Malfoy, if you’ve done anything to him and I mean anything! I’m gonna make you regret ever being born!” 

 

Harry nodded his head, even though he knew Ron couldn’t see it. 

 

“Your decision to not trust me because I cheated on you is understandable.” Draco sniffed a bit, eyes narrowing into a heated glare as he regained his senses. “But don’t you dare assume that I never loved you, that I used you. You’re not the only victim here. You never gave me a chance to make it right, or to explain!” 

 

“I was never obligated to in this case!” Harry cried out just as another spell was cast, the door behind him quickly unlocking.

 

McGonagall rushed in and pulled Harry to her, ignoring the way Draco snarled at her for doing so. She spoke in hushed tones as she sensed Harry’s mood and ushered him out of the room to join Hermione. 

 

Meanwhile, Ron stood guard at McGonagall's back. He pointed his wand at Draco and his upper lip curled. 

 

“Stay away from him.” He spoke quietly, but venomously. “You’ve hurt him enough.” 

 

“As if he’s the only victim!” Draco responded, equally venomous. It was taking everything he had not to transform and maul the animagus before him. That wouldn’t do well with a professor nearby. “Isn’t one of the keys to a good relationship communication? Cause I must say, that was certainly lacking in this situation!” 

 

“Only when one of the partners in said relationship didn’t cheat!” Ron was amazed that Draco tried to use that as a shield. “Don’t try to use manipulation to justify yourself!” 

 

“Oh, it’s not manipulation.” Draco now felt smug enough to smirk as Ron faltered a bit, unsure of where Draco was going with this. “It’s just truth. We’ve both hidden things from each other before, we’ve both lied to each other before. It was never just one sided. And the cheating? As I told him, I only regret it because it hurt him. I don’t regret respecting his decision to wait, like a good lover would.” 

 

Ron decided he had heard enough and swiftly turned on his heel to stomp away. 

 

Chapter Text

The first thing that Ron and Hermione wanted to do once Harry was safely away from the classroom that Draco had dragged him in was whisk him away to the Gryffindor common room and ask about what happened. It was obvious that Harry wasn’t ok, so might as well get to the main point. 

 

However, before they could do so, they were reminded of a quite pesky fact: they had class to attend. 

 

An even peskier fact? That fucking Malfoy had their next class with them! 

 

The only relief that they could enjoy was the fact that their next class was Transfiguration. McGonagall being the Gryffindor head of house wasn’t the only the only reason she was the Professor that Hermione went to fetch. It was actually quite convenient. 

 

Unfortunately, one convenience didn’t make up for the fact that after saving Harry from Malfoy, they’d have to tolerate his presence (and not hex him) for the next hour or so. 

 

“I’ll make sure he can’t get near you, Mr. Potter.” McGonagall promised as she spelled open the doors to her classroom and ushered the three to the front. That way she could see them and hopefully help prevent anymore unwanted confrontations.

 

Since there were already students sitting in the front, McGonagall’s request for them to move brought on some stares. It was one thing for her to leave the classroom to go get some of her students, but to force them to the front? Something was going on here. And the only people who knew about it were the Gryffindors, maybe a few Slytherins as well. 

 

“Alright class, I apologize for leaving so abruptly, but there was an emergency that I needed to tend to.” McGonagall cast a stern look over the room as she noticed that most students were paying too much attention to the newcomers and not on their textbooks. 

 

10 galleons said that most of them didn’t even read the page she assigned them to read when Hermione came in and asked for her help. 

 

‘Severus and I will be having words today.’ She thought as she briefly glanced at where Harry, Ron, and Hermione were quickly getting their own textbooks out. 

 

“Professor, what happened?” One of the Slytherins spoke up, ignoring the warning glares that all of the Gryffindors (minus Harry and Hermione) in the room were giving him. 

 

“That is information I am not allowed to disclose.” McGonagall turned her back to her students as she walked up to the board. When she arrived, she turned back around and pointed her wand to the squirrel on her desk. “Now, Mr. Potter, Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley, please turn to page 230 in your textbooks. As I spoke earlier, class, today we will be turning squirrels into pillows.” 

 

A few groans could be heard around the room. Some students even whispering (quite loudly) their displeasure. “Pillows?” “Really? Out of all the things?” “Why can’t it be something cooler?” 

 

“Class!” McGonagall resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “I know that pillows aren’t the most exciting things, but it is the assignment for today. Now, if you read the page I assigned to you before I had to step out, then you know that this particular spell can be quite finicky. You must be exact in your pronunciation or you’ll find yourself pillow-less and the one who has the clean the classroom.” 

 

That got everyone quiet. Cleaning the classroom...that probably meant that whatever this spell was...it was destructive. If not said correctly, it was destructive. Oh well, guess that made up for the fact that they were transfiguring animals into pillows. That would be too easy if it was just that, now wouldn’t it?

 

“By the looks on your faces, most of you didn’t do the reading.” McGonagall allowed a look of disappointment to flash over her face. “Well, get to it then. I’ll not have my room being destroyed because of your inability to follow directions.” 

 

The sound of ruffling pages filled the room. As students silently read, some looking more attentive than others, McGonagall glanced at where Draco usually sat. 

 

Hmm...while it was not something she would encourage in the future, maybe his decision to not come to class was good on his part. 

 

Still...she would have words with Severus. Dumbledore as well if push came to shove. 

 

“Mr. Nott, what are you doing?!” Wand tightly held in hand, McGonagall abandoned her place in front of the class and approached the mentioned student. “I did not give you those squirrels to-! Mr. Nott, remove the squirrel from Ms. Cameron’s head immediately!” 

 

After the lesson

 

“Well, that was eventful.” Hermione grouched as she walked to the doors of the school. She and Ron had decided that since most of their housemates were probably going to be in the Gryffindor common room, it wouldn’t be wise to speak there. So they went to the next place in mind: Hagrid’s hut. 

 

The half giant had no classes and always found ways to lighten the situation. Besides, he had crups and knarls in his hut too since he took care of them. They all loved crups, so that would surely make the conversation more bearable.

 

“Never knew that Slytherins could be so jumpy.” Ron smirked and threw an arm around Harry as the three of them walked down the stairs to Hagrid’s hut. “We sure they’re the most cunning in the school?” 

 

Harry and Hermione laughed at that. Slytherins were known as the most cunning in the school, without a doubt. That being said...it was kinda funny watching said most cunning students jump around, obviously alarmed, when Seamus did his usual thing where he managed to cast his spell, but blow himself up. 

 

“They are.” Harry assured as they finally approached the door to the hut. “Everyone just has their moments.” 

 

A few knocks were placed on the door before Harry took a step back. There was the sound of rustling and a few screeches here and there, like when chairs are pushed away, before Hagrid’s friendly face greeted them. 

 

“Ay! Harry lad, Hermione, Ron, how nice to see ya!” Hagrid nodded his head as he said everyone’s name before stepping to the side and gesturing for them to come in with his hand. “Wasn’t expectin company, so the place is a bit messy. Crups were a bi’ unruly this mornin’.” 

 

“That’s alright.” Harry smiled in thanks and quickly stepped in, followed by Hermione and Ron. 

 

It wasn’t so bad. Sure, some chairs were knocked over and the table wasn’t completely straight, but it wasn’t exactly messy. It wasn’t neat, but it wasn’t messy. More like...disorganized? 

 

“Anyone want any pumpkin juice?” Hagrid closed the door before walking over and helping Ron adjust the table so it was at its correct position again. Harry and Hermione went around and picked up the chairs. 

 

“No, that’s alright Hagrid.” Hermione took a seat and smiled as Ron and Harry each sat at one of her sides. “Thanks for the offer.” 

 

“I’ll take that offer.” Ron lazily raised a hand. 

 

“I will as well, thank you.” Harry joined him. 

 

Hagrid nodded and quickly moved to grab some glasses and said pumpkin juice. Once everyone who wanted pumpkin juice had their glass, Hagrid included, Harry began to speak. 

 

“We don’t mean to bother you Hagrid, but something happened earlier today and we were wondering that since our common room was full, we could talk here?” 

 

Hagrid tilted his head. He didn’t look like he was gonna say no, but he also looked hesitant. 

 

“It’s just...it might be wise to talk about it away from the other Gryffindors, but with a Professor in the vicinity.” Hermione laid a hand on Harry’s shoulder as he tensed up. “It’s about Malfoy.” 

 

Hagrid’s mouth fell open at that. Yes, he knew about that entire situation. He had been one of the people to comfort Harry during that harsh time. With loads of help from the crups he had in the house, of course. 

 

“Wha’ happened?” He inquired as his gaze turned worried. “Did he hurt ya, lad?” 

 

Harry shook his head. It used to annoy him that people always assumed Draco hurt him when situations like this occurred. By now, he couldn’t be too bothered. He was used to it and knew that his friends were only looking out for him. 

 

“He dragged Harry into an empty classroom and locked the door.” Ron took another sip of pumpkin juice with a thoughtful look on his face. “I heard them yelling at each other, but I didn’t hear the actual words said.” 

 

Three expectant looks were aimed at Harry. Which, to his credit, didn’t make him want to curl up into the floor. Not like how it used to if anyone looked at him like that. 

 

“This morning, I almost fell out of my seat, but Neville caught me. Malfoy saw and he told me he didn’t like how close our bodies were.” He began quietly, pausing as Ron scoffed. It earned him a light elbow from Hermione. “When I told him it was none of his business, out past relationship was brought up.” 

 

Harry decided to stop there. Hagrid knew where he was gonna go from there. He’s heard Ron and Harry complain a dozen times that Malfoy trying to apologize for cheating wouldn’t just make the situation disappear. If anything, it seemed to be making it worse. 

 

“He had the audacity to say that Harry shouldn’t have broken up with him because he was being a hypocrite.” Ron suddenly remembered Draco’s parting words. 

 

Harry blushed a little in embarrassment. Yeah, that was said. And it was not something he was proud of. “He’s right about that.” He murmured. “I...I have..I’ve hidden things from him. I’ve lied to him.” 

 

Hermione squeezed his shoulder as Hagrid and Ron gave him surprised looks. “You weren’t ready to tell him about the Duresley’s. That’s reasonable. As for the lying...well, I’m sure that even they weren’t anything close to him cheating on you.” 

 

“Ya apologized for them too.” Hagrid added, remembering a few times be helped Harry overcome some of the more difficult truths. Ones that the young Potter just didn’t know how to talk about without becoming defensive or breaking down. “An’ ya eventually told ‘im.” 

 

“I’m not saying that I’m going to take him back because he’s right.” Harry assured, even though his heart reached out to his ex as he spoke. As said earlier, he never truly stopped loving Draco. He was hurt and didn’t want Draco near him, but he didn’t stop loving the other. “I’m just saying...he’s not lying.” 

 

Ok, that sounded much better in Harry’s head. Much, much better. Saying it out loud just sounded like Harry was defending Draco. Which he wasn’t, Harry reminded himself. No matter how much he missed the other, he wouldn’t take him back. 

 

Harry couldn’t do that to himself. 

 

“Maybe not.” Hagrid soothed as Hermione and Ron looked towards him for help on what to say next. “I’m glad that yer able to realize that. Yer ability to stay in touch with reality and not only on yer own pain will help ya move on.” 

 

Harry took a few moments to realize what that meant and how Hagrid had come to that conclusion. Ron and Hermione did too. 

 

Focus on his own pain? Harry would like to point out that he did do that more than once in this whole ordeal. If he hadn’t, he would’ve been able to get over Draco quickly and smoothly. Not spend weeks emotionally breaking down whenever Draco was mentioned. 

 

Also, what was staying in touch with reality supposed to mean? Sure, he wasn’t the smartest person around and he couldn’t do things like tell the future, but he’d like to say that he had a fair amount of awareness when it came to his life. He knew what was happening around him (to a reasonable extent, you can’t know everything). Not as much as he’d have liked to know, otherwise he would’ve seen the signs of Draco’s urges, but he wasn’t completely blind. 

 

“What I mean, younglings, is tha’ when ya can only see the person who hurt ya as a villain, yer too focused on that illusion. It’s hard to move on.” 

 

Hagrid gave the three students in front of him time to absorb that before smiling. 

 

“Harry, yer saying that Draco was right about ya lyin’ to him sometimes. That’s admitin’ that you’ve made mistakes. Admittin’ that someone who’s hurt you like Draco has isn’t always the easiest thing to do for anyone. Specially Gryffindors, you stubborn lot. Wha’ I’m saying is that what yer doing is pretty mature. It’s a good mindset to have.”

 

Harry laughed and shook his head. Taking no offense to that whatsoever. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do for him either. He questioned himself earlier, after being pulled away from Draco, why he admitted (out loud no less) that Draco was right. Why he gave Draco fuel for his fire. He didn’t know. 

 

Chapter Text

“Draco, mate, calm down.” Greg gulped as Draco pushed up from his seat angrily and began to pack his books. The care in which he handled them was, to put it bluntly, not there. He picked them up and shoved him in his book bag. Not like he normally cared for his textbooks. “Look, I’m sure there’ll be another opportunity, right?” 

 

“Pfft, yeah, sure.” Draco glanced up, anger rising as he saw the Gryffindor students eagerly leave the room. Laughing, smiling, hanging off each other...it was doing bad things to his already bad mood. “I bet he’s doing it on purpose at this point!” 

 

This...being Harry practically pressing himself up against Neville fucking Longbottom. 

 

“Draco, I’ll admit that they were close proximity wise.” Blaise grabbed Darco’s shoulder and pulled him back. He had an inkling that the veela was extremely close to launching himself at the nearest student and shredding them to bits. “But you heard what they were saying. Potter was just trying to help Longbottom.” 

 

“Yeah mate, you know how hopeless that guy is at potions.” Theo smiled maliciously at the very thought. As if Neville being in pain amused him (which it most likely did). “And you know Potter. Always has to be the good friend who swoops in to save the day.” 

 

“Good friends don’t stand that close together!” Draco hissed, though he had calmed considerably at the reminder that he had been close to Harry's group. If his little one really had tried anything, or if Longbottom had tried anything, then Draco was definitely within range to cause some very unpleasant...accidents. 

 

“Some do.” Vincent piped up, flinching back when Draco turned to glare at him. “Have you seen the Hufflepuffs? Or the younger Gryffndors?” 

 

There was truth to what Vincent was saying, but still. Those were Hufflepuffs, they had a reputation (it was more like a stereotype since not all Hufflepuffs were like that, but it wasn't necessarily a bad stereotype). And younger Gryffindors? They were kids in a big school. Especially with the pureblood witches and wizards, huddling together was a big safety thing or if someone needed comfort. 

 

Those had logical reasons. So forgive Draco if they didn’t help improve his mood. 

 

“Longbottom won’t do anything.” Blaise declared firmly as he began to tug Draco out of the classroom. Least they want Snape to get frustrated at them and start hurling potions. “And even if he does, I doubt he’s Potter’s type.” 

 

“You’d know a lot about that, wouldn’t you?” Draco was still angry, but under toning that anger was the barest hint of amusement. 

 

“Yes.” Blaise deadpanned, giving Draco a look as they walked to their next class. 

 

“Wait...how though?” Theo looked between Blaise and Draco, who seemed to be having a telepathic conversation with each other. He pouted at being left out. “You and Potter aren’t close, how would you know his type?” 

 

“I don’t have to be close to know that he wouldn’t go for Longbottom.” Blaise spoke in a bored tone. As if Theo just asked him what 2+2 equalled. “Longbottom’s personality wouldn’t be very compatible with Potter’s. They both have a more...submissive nature to them. That being said, Potter’s biology probably wouldn’t allow him to accept Longbottom as a mate.” 

 

Draco had to smirk at that. Potter’s biology was a reference to Harry being a submissive veela. And everyone knew how veela choose their mates. 

 

Ahhh, it brought back memories of the day that Draco asked Harry out. 

 

Flashback

 

“Hey!” Harry yelled as Draco ‘accio’ed his wand out of his hand. “Give that back!”

 

“Hmmm…” Draco muttered out ‘locomotor’ and titled his wand around, causing Harry’s now floating wand to do the same. “And why would I do that?” 

 

“It’s my wand.” Harry’s eyes narrowed from behind the lens of his hideous glasses. Glasses that Draco made a note to burn so he could buy Harry another pair. “I think it’s obvious why I would want it back.” 

 

“That is a matter of perspective, Harry.” Draco had been calling the other by his first name for a few weeks now, but it still felt new whenever it rolled off his tongue. “One might say that this is my wand since I am the one who currently possess it.” 

 

“Malfoy.” Harry clenched his fists by his sides, jaw tight as he tried not to bare his teeth at the other. “Give. Me. Back. My. Wand.” 

 

“Ah ah.” Draco taunted, grabbing Harry’s wand out of the air and placing it in his robes. “That’s not how you ask for things. Manners are important.” 

 

“Oh, you’re absolutely correct.” Harry held out a hand, willing to give Malfoy one last chance before things got physical. “Let me rephrase. Give me back my wand, now.” 

 

His voice hardened at the last word, body trembling as he pushed down his transformation. Not yet. Not...yet…

 

“Hmph, that’s even more disappointing.” Draco eyed Harry’s hand with a mock look of disappointment, shaking his head as his bottom lip jutted out. “I suppose I’ll just have to hold on to your wand until you learn how to properly-Harry!” 

 

Harry didn’t let Draco finish. With a low snarl, he lunged forward and tackled Draco to the ground. All he had wanted was to visit Hagrid and see how Buckbeak was doing, then head back to his dorm and maybe get a small nap in. Hermione and Ron were working on a project for Snape’s class (one that he and Dean had already completed since Harry didn’t fancy his 6th detention with Snape within the time span of a week), which meant that the dorm would've been void of anyone. 

 

But no, as soon as he started walking back, Malfoy appears and takes his bloody wand. Bastard! As if taunting him daily wasn’t enough! 

 

“Give it to me!” Harry wrestled with Draco on the ground. He tried to pin Draco down with one hand while his other reached for his wand, but that didn’t really work in his favor. Just gave Draco a free limb to grab onto. “Hey!” 

 

“Hey yourself.” Draco smirked as he pulled Harry down by the arm he had grabbed. Harry fell easily. He wasn’t balanced at all from his place on top of Draco, so the slightest pull would’ve been his downfall. “Oooh, I like this position.” 

 

Harry’s face heated up at the purr in Draco’s voice, but he didn’t allow himself to be deterred. Instead, he pulled the hand that Draco had grabbed and tried to twist out of the other’s grip. 

 

It worked out better than he thought. Probably because his robes offered Draco little leverage in terms of actually being able to keep Harry in his grip. Not with the way Draco was holding onto the sleeve. 

 

“Ha!” Harry pulled his arm free quickly and went to sit up. It was clear that pinning Draco wasn’t working, so he needed another strategy. Not that Draco would have that, though. “Hey! Let go!” 

 

Draco’s hands had latched on to his hips and he easily maneuvered Harry off of his body. As Harry was deposited off of Draco, the landing less graceful than Harry would ever admit, Draco stood up. Quickly, he took off into the forest. His robes following almost majestically behind him as he ran. 

 

“Malfoy!” Harry grunted as he pushed himself up and raced after Draco. “Get back here!” 

 

As the two ran, Draco ducking behind various trees and bushes as Harry stayed close behind, Harry couldn’t help but feel nervous. Why had Draco taken his wand? If it was to tease or humiliate Harry, then wouldn’t he have waited until they were on school grounds so that there were witnesses? 

 

Also, what was Draco hoping to accomplish by having Harry chase him? He knew how fast Harry was, knew that he couldn’t outrun Harry for long. So what was he doing? 

 

‘It must be a Slytherin trap!’ Harry quickly realized as he was closing in on Draco. ‘As soon as I pin him, a bunch of his Slytherin friends must be ready to ambush me!’ 

 

With that in mind, Harry sped up. If there was to be an ambush, that meant that Draco most likely had his friends waiting in specific areas in the forest. Trees served as good hiding places since Harry couldn’t see all around the tree. 

 

The Slytherins that were going to ambush him must’ve been hiding behind designated trees, Harry decided. If he tackled Malfoy now and got his wand quickly, there’s a good chance he’d be stopping Malfoy before he got to his designated ‘ambush’ point. 

 

With that in mind, Harry focused on getting as close as he could before pouncing. He brought himself and Malfoy into the ground. Hard. Then he rolled them around so Malfoy was under him again. Having learned from last time, he didn't bother with a pin and focused primarily on getting his wand. 

 

As it wasn’t in Malfoy’s hand and instead in his robes, it felt a bit awkward. Harry didn’t know which pocket it was in, so he quickly yelped ‘accio’ and held his hand out. His wand, as expected, slid out of Malfoy’s robes easily. 

 

Wand in hand, Harry jumped up and turned around. From here, he could either run or allow his wings out and fly. Either were acceptable, as long as it got him far away from here. Far away from-

 

“Oh no you don’t!” 

 

Harry suddenly felt arms wrap around his middle and he squeaked in surprise. A low chuckle next to his ear brought him out of his shock and he proceeded to violently struggle out of the hold. 

 

‘Dammit!’ Harry thought angrily as he kicked and snarled, tempted to swing his head back and hope it hit Malfoy’s nose, or something. “Let go! Why are you even doing this?!” 

 

Draco didn’t answer immediately, he just kept his hold on Harry. It was extremely creepy, in Harry’s opinion. He brought his hands up to claw at Malfoy’s arms, caring very little if he shredded Malfoy’s sleeves or broke some skin. 

 

Malfoy was a veela, his magic would help him heal basic cuts. And if push came to shove, he could always ‘episkey’ himself. 

 

“Mmmm, yes.” Draco suddenly purred, sounding way too satisfied with himself. “You are just a ferocious little thing, aren’t you?” 

 

While most would see that as a scary or insulting comment, Harry took it as a compliment. Especially since it was from Malfoy, of all people. 

 

“Yeah, so what?” He growled, allowing a small smile to form on his lips as he felt Malfoy tense behind him. “Just because other people let you walk over them doesn’t mean I will. I’ll fight you. I’ll fucking fight you.” 

 

Draco bit his lip to keep himself from groaning out. Those words did wonders for him. Especially with how Harry was thrashing in his arms, rubbing himself against Draco as he tried to push himself out. 

 

“I’m not scared of you.” Harry’s head tilted so he could give Draco a side glare. “And I don’t care if you tell your father about anything. He doesn’t scare me either.” 

 

Draco decided it was a good idea to not remind Harry that he’s only met Lucius once. That would just open another can of worms that he didn’t want to spend all day arguing about. 

 

No, no, he brought Harry out to the forest for a very different reason. 

 

“I just wanted to say that it’s cute.” Draco murmured, cooing when Harry stills in his arms at that. Awww, he surprised his little chosen. “What? Didn’t expect that?” 

 

“No.” Harry whispered, though quickly caught himself and cleared his throat. “No, I didn’t expect that.” He spoke a bit more firmly. “I expected you to mock me, then go on about how if I ever hurt you, you’d tell your father.” 

 

‘If only you knew.’ Draco frowned heavily, arms tightening around Harry. ‘If only you truly knew...about what my father was like…’ 

 

“I didn’t bring you here to mock you.” Draco lowered Harry so that the other’s feet were on the ground again before carefully releasing him. As expected, Harry practically flew out of his grip. 

 

But he didn’t run away. 

 

He got some distance between himself and Draco before turning around and just staring. His wand, held tightly in his hand, whipped up to point at Draco. Green, emerald green to be precise, eyes narrowed dangerously. Lips, looking oh so kissable, curled up as Harry snarled at him again. 

 

Draco didn’t feel like prey at Harry’s aggressive posture. Rather, he just felt more like a predator. Neither he nor Harry would submit to the other, no matter Harry’s submissive veela nature. They would fight each other until someone was forced to submit, was given a real reason to submit. 

 

And that’s why Draco brought Harry out here. Harry’s fighting nature, his stubbornness, his refusal to bend to the will of an individual without them earning any respect...it’s everything Draco’s always wanted in a mate. 

 

“I didn't bring you here to mock you.” Draco repeated, smiling as if to emphasize that point. 

 

“Then...then what is this?” Harry still kept his guard up, though his body lessened a bit in its tenseness and his glare didn’t look so furious anymore. Now it just looked suspicious. “What else could you possibly want from me?” 

 

“It’s not something I want from you.” Draco assured, waiting until Harry had gestured for him to continue before doing so. “It’s actually just...you.” 

 

Harry’s brows furrowed in confusion. 

 

“Let me rephrase.” Draco chuckled. Why did he think Harry would understand his intention when he worded it like that? It was obviously too vague. “Harry Potter, I have brought you out here to ask your permission to court you.” 

 

The look that Harry sent Draco after the last word left his mouth was one that would forever be implanted in Draco’s memory. One that even an ‘obliviate’ spell wouldn’t be able to erase. 

 

Flashback over

 

“Draco.” A voice broke through Draco’s memory, followed by the same person clearing their throat. “We’ve arrived.” 

 

Draco shook his head, clearing his mind of the haze it was in. He needed to fix this. Soon. Cause he couldn’t keep having memories pop up here and there. 

 

‘Soon.’ Draco assured himself as he entered the classroom with the others. 

 

Soon...he had a plan for getting Harry back and silently cursed himself for putting it on hold. The argument they had the previous day made Harry and his friends even more alert. 

 

Draco would have to wait longer because of his own impatience. But that was fine. If it got him Harry in the end, it was more than worth it. 

 

Chapter Text

‘I was careless.’ Sirius mentally slapped himself as Narcissa stared at him, shock evident on her face. He had allowed their argument about loyalty to family to escalate so much so that he was careless and blurted out the one thing that he promised himself he’d never admit to his cousin. ‘I should’ve just walked away, like a mature adult would have...like Remus probably would have…’ 

 

“Your godson…” Narcissa gasped, breaking Sirius out of his own mental scolding. “He is...your...godson…” 

 

Her stance, tense and poised to strike a few moments ago, had temporarily gone slack. Her mouth was parted in awe, her hands frozen and twitching, her entire body trembling as if she had just been threatened with the crucio curse. It would’ve made Sirius laugh in any other situation. 

 

His normally graceful, posh, noble cousin looked like a fish out of water. That was the correct expression, right? 

 

“Why did you not tell me before?” Narcissa whispered, but Sirius still heard her. Still heard the betrayal in her voice. “Merlin, were you even planning on telling me?” 

 

Sirius said nothing for a few moments. What was he supposed to do? Should he try to lie and say he was waiting for the right time? Or, actually, thinking about that just made him realize how terrible that would sound. Narcissa wouldn’t believe him in the slightest. So he just shook his head and allowed the look of regret to shine through his eyes for the briefest of moments before they hardened. 

 

“No, I wasn’t.” He murmured, trying not to get himself worked up. “I knew that Harry would be in danger if I introduced him to you and Lucius when he was still a child. You know how Lucius felt about James’ decision marrying Lily.” 

 

Narcissa frowned, looking conflicted. She couldn’t admit that her cousin was wrong in his worry. Even she, someone who disapproved of James’ choice of marriage heavily, didn’t think that Lucius was in his right mind. 

 

He had no respect for the fact that James was Sirius’ friend and freely berated him for marrying Lily. Then when they were killed, he showed no compassion whatsoever. Even Draco, who heard about it when he was an appropriate age, mourned a little. He may not have known them, but they were important to Sirius. Sirius, his cousin, his family. 

 

“But you knew that Lucius was put away for what he had done to Draco and I.” She narrowed her eyes once again as Sirius blinked at her. “You know I’m not like my husband, Sirius. I wouldn’t of harmed that child.” 

 

And she was being sincere. She knew how hard James’ death hit Sirius. How hard it hit most of James’ other friends as well. She would’ve done what any respectable family members would’ve done: accepted that Sirius choices in coping. If his choice of coping was taken in the orphaned boy that was Harry Potter, then she would’ve accepted it. 

 

She took family very seriously. It was instinct, as veela. It was taught almost religiously in her household as one of the rules you should never break. Family was everything. When the world turned against you, your family would be there. No matter what. 

 

“It wasn’t you I was worried about.” Sirius’ eyes hardened as he grit his teeth. “You and I both know how much of a hard time Draco gave Harry when they were younger. Whether you want to believe it or not, your son was raised by his father. Some of Lucius’ beliefs were drilled into Draco’s mind, never to be forgotten.” 

 

Again, Narcissa couldn’t argue with that. No matter how much she wanted to defend her son against being compared to his father, Sirius was right. Draco did inherit some...beliefs from Lucius. She spent years trying to undo some of the more fanatic teachings, but even then…

 

“Harry was exposed to Draco enough at Hogwarts, do you really think I wanted him to deal with being even closer?” Sirius decided to at least try and hide the fact that Harry knew about Narcissa’s relationship with him. Family relationship. If he exposed that, then his cousin might lose it completely. “Draco is my blood family, yes, I understand that. And for that, I love him and you. But Harry...Harry comes first. He’s like a son to me and one of the only things I have left of one of James. The only friend who truly understood what it was like to just want to forget the hatred in the world.” 

 

Narcissa wouldn’t say that she wasn’t hurt by that, because she was. She didn’t dislike James, he was a respectable man of a respectable family, but she did hate how he was the one Sirius went to about this. It hurt. Knowing that Sirius went to a friend, technically an outsider, to talk about problems he was having in his own family life. 

 

Talks like that were meant to be had with family. Not friends. 

 

“I’m sorry, Narcissa.” Sirius took a deep breath before turning around, fully intent on going to the fireplace so he could floo home. “I don’t mean to hurt you or Draco. I never did. But I’m not going to help you force my godson into a relationship with someone who’s already hurt him so much.”  

 

That managed to snap Narcissa out of her jumbled thoughts. With more volume than intended, she called Sirius back: “You won’t have to anymore. I have everything I need.” 

 

Sirius paused midstep, turning around slowly to narrow his eyes at his cousin. 

 

“We are family.” Narcissa stated, straightening up and giving Sirius a blank look. “But you are correct. We each have different priorities. Young Harry is yours, Draco is mine.” 

 

Sirius fully turned around, not liking where this was going. Did he and Narcissa not just have a little moment back there? Was she really going to continue her original plan, knowing what she does now? 

 

“Goodbye, cousin.” She whispered as she turned to exit the room. Her robes, long and elegant, glided along as she walked. 

 

Sirius...didn’t know what to make of that. 

 

“Should probably warn Harry either way.” He grumbled as he entered the fireplace and began to write a letter his godson. It was a week day, so he couldn’t floo Harry, the other might be in class after all. So owling it was...

 

Again...he had been careless with his words. He sincerely hoped that Harry would not pay for that. 

 

Chapter Text

While Sirius worried about Narcissa and her cryptic words (after he revealed Harry’s identity as his godson), Harry was dealing with his own problems. Well, ok, maybe not his problems specifically. They were more like Hermione’s, but Harry was her friend. So whatever bothered her would in turn bother him because he wanted to be a good friend. 

 

Anyway, moving on...Hogwarts was one of the safest place for pureblood witches and wizards. It’s been said many times. With that in mind, like everything else in the world, it wasn’t perfect. Just because pureblood creature students could get in trouble for their actions didn’t mean that said actions didn’t exist. 

 

Said actions including: throwing slurs at pureblood witches and wizards about being the inferior race or (for those who were more confident in their ability not to get caught) throwing curses and hexes. 

 

Today, Harry and Ron had helped Hermione deal with the latter. 

 

“Good Godric!” Hermione gasped and quickly placed a hand over her chest. Not an exaggeration, her heart was beating so fast and so hard that if she were to expose her skin, you’d probably see the skin moving to the rhythm of her heartbeat. 

 

That hex was way too close. If Harry hadn’t been arm-touching-arm close to her, he wouldn't of been quick enough in his grab. 

 

“What the bloody hell?!” Ron quickly moved from Hermione’s side to her front. He easily shielded her body with his own and glared at the snickering group of Slytherins.

 

“Awww, you missed, Daphne.” One of them spoke. A girl that no one in the trio knew the name of. Surprisingly, they tended to know the names of most their tormentors since they were the exact same people every time. 

 

Daphne, as in Daphne Greengrass, put on a small pout. Her hand, the one holding her wand, was still up and pointed at the group. “Whatever.” She ended up responding with. “That little witch can’t hide behind her bodyguards forever.” 

 

The group behind Daphne, which consisted of the unknown girl, Astoria Greengrass, Pansy Parkinson, Millicent Bullstrode, and Georgia...something. Ron knew the first name, but not the last name and Harry was too preoccupied with making sure Hermione was ok so he couldn’t really look up and identify her. 

 

“Don’t you have anything better to do with your time?” Ron crossed his arms, glaring the most dangerous glare he could muster. As an add on, he allowed his lips to curl back so his teeth were exposed as well. 

 

It didn’t really do anything, but Ron figured that it was the thought that counted. As Daphne and Astoria were both vampire, they saw fit to return the curled lips and teeth baring. Oly their fangs were a bit smaller since their ‘creature side’ wasn’t that of a big cat who’s fangs were meant for tearing and shredding large chunks of meat. 

 

“We could ask you two the same thing.” Daphne batted her lashes at Ron and pointed the end of her wand towards her own cheek. “Don’t you two have anything better to do with your time than watch over this pitiful little witch? Something more...worthy of your time?” 

 

Hermione winced as a chorus of malicious laughter followed Daphne’s sneer. Thankfully, Harry had predicted that little taunt and moved to cover Hermione so the group wouldn’t be able to see Hermione’s face. It was thoughtful, but seeing as how Ron was already covering both Harry and Hermione, it was also kind of unnecessary. 

 

“Or maybe you two are just as pathetic as she is.” Daphne continued, wand leaving her cheek and twirling around in front of her. It was as if she was painting a picture, or tracing the outline of Ron’s body with her wand. “What? Can’t make true friends, so you’re desperate enough to go for the likes of her?” 

 

Ron’s fists clenched as another round of laughter and mock cooing exited the group. 

 

“She is one of the smartest individuals at Hogwarts.” Ron ground out, eyes flashing dangerously as Daphne and Pansy each took a step forward. Most likely, they were trying to intimidate him and his friends into submission. “So I’d wouldn’t be calling her pathetic if I were you.” 

 

Pansy scoffed, bringing a hand to her hip and raising a brow at Ron. “Oh please, there are loads of others here who are much smarter than she is. And even if there weren’t, it wouldn’t change the fact that she’s still pathetic. Brains aren’t everything.” 

 

Ron growled out loudly, causing most of the girls in the group to tense up. Nobody moved back, but it was clear that nobody was gonna risk moving forward either. There was a tense moment of silence before Harry decided to end the confrontation. 

 

Now. Before one of the Slytherins got impatient and sent another curse their way. 

 

“Come on guys.” He muttered, reaching behind and placing a hand on Ron’s shoulder. He left it there for a second, knowing better than to pull immediately and possibly shatter the fragile control that Ron was managing to hold. “Let’s go. They’re not worth it.” 

 

Hermione’s hands whipped up to clutch at Harry’s shirt as Ron continued to pant loudly. His teeth were still bared and his eyes were still flashing in warning, but at least the rest of his body didn’t scream: ‘I’m gonna pummel them, I’m gonna pummel them!’

 

“Aww, leaving so soon?” Astoria pouted. It seemed like she was eager for a fight to break out. 

 

Not that Ron or Harry had that much of a problem indulging her desire…

 

Millicent snorted and decided to add in her own little piece. “Yeah, what happened to Gryffindor bravery?” 

 

Hermione narrowed her eyes, clenching the fabric of Harry’s robes tightly in her hands. Enough was enough. “I’d say that this isn’t a situation that calls for bravery.” 

 

Harry turned around to face the group now. His hands, which were originally resting on Hermione’s shoulders, have now dropped as he could feel the familiar heat begin to rise to the surface of his skin. What Hermione was about to say would probably make the group of Slytherins upset. Very much so.

 

However, since he felt like being a bit petty right now and because Hermione was usually the voice of reason and peace in their group, he let his friend continue. Might as well be prepared though, in case another hex was thrown. 

 

“None of you are real threats. You’re just annoyances.” Hermione spat, releasing Harry’s robes and reaching forward to grab Ron’s hand. At her touch, he instantly relaxed and turned to face her, face set in a relieved expression. 

 

It was always good to see Hermione fighting back. It just proved to everyone that she was not only one of the smartest individuals here, but also one of the strongest. She was someone who went through shit like this almost every day, at least twice or three times a day, but she still pushed forward. 

 

Sure, there were plenty of people who also had that fighting spirit, but it was about Hermione right now. So those people could celebrate with their own friends, Ron and Harry were just gonna settle with being proud of Hermione. 

And of themselves right now cause geez, Ron’s inner lion was trying to literally claw its way out into the open and Harry’s hands had become pretty hot with how his magic was rising to the surface. It didn’t take a genius to calculate just how close both of them were to snapping. 

 

“Excuse me?!” Pansy demand, shoving her hand down her robe pocket so she could take out her wand. “But what did you just call us, you insolent little witch?” 

 

“You heard me.” Hermione hissed back, ignoring how Harry was pulling at her. She wasn’t afraid of Pansy, she wouldn’t hide behind Harry. No matter how much he tried to pull her back. “You’ve been treating me like this ever since our first year of Hogwarts. I’ll admit, the first couple of years? It did hurt being reminded of how the world is fucked up the way it is, being reminded that there are those who are favored in society and those who are left for dead. It hurts.” 

 

“Anyone with a conscious would be hurt by that.” Ron decided to add in his own little piece, satisfied with how the group of Slytherins all tensed at what he had ended up saying. “It’s not just witches and wizards. But hey, what would any of you know about conscience? You’re all just a bunch of snakes.” 

 

Every house had their stereotypes. Every single house. The concept was just as ridiculous as the idea that pureblood creatures were better than pureblood witches or wizards. But alas, it still existed. 

 

Gryffindors were the brave, but most of the time, brainless idiots who would charge headfirst into any action without any type of plan. Individuals who all had hero complexes and never ever thought of the consequences of their actions. 

 

Ravenclaws were filled to the brim with know-it-alls who thought that they were the only ones who possessed true intelligence. That if there is ever a good idea, it was from a Ravenclaw. 

 

Hufflepuffs were soft and submissive, easily trampled over, easily intimidated. They were the weakest house. 

 

Slytherins were the noble, but cruel house. Cruel to the point where it was downright evil. The house that created the most dark wizards compared to the other houses. Not to mention that it was also the house with the least amount of pureblood witches or wizards. 

 

Though, before that could be brought into the equation, back to stereotypes. Every house had them. Some were...better...than others. But still, they were all stereotypes. 

Ron knew this, of course. As did Harry and Hermione. They were the ones labeled ‘brave, but brainless’ in the stereotype examples. But that didn’t stop him from running his mouth off. 

 

Despite logically knowing that playing around with the Slytherin stereotype was ridiculous and the tiniest bit immature, Ron couldn’t bring himself to feel guilty. He could feel himself grow a little nervous though. 

 

“You...you…” Pansy couldn’t even bring herself to say anything. She was stumbling over her words, trying to come up with a good insult to hurl back at Ron. 

 

An insult that Daphne had at the ready, it seemed. “You little blood traitor!” She sneered, wand up and pointed at the group again. “You’re out of your mind! Standing besides a pureblood witch and a half blood instead of your own kind!” 

 

“Oh, and what is my kind?” Despite the feeling that began to grow in his gut, Ron couldn’t stay silent. He had done as Harry and Hermione had requested earlier, he hadn’t attacked. But now...oh no...now he wouldn’t stay silent. “Bitchy, bigotted, and so miserable to be around that it’s no wonder Slytherin is still the most hated house despite having the most pureblood creatures in it?” 

 

Daphne growled loudly, eyes blazing with fury as she raised her wand up and spat her words. Her friends, equally angry with the lion animagus, followed her lead. 

 

Before Ron knew it, he had about seven spells being directed at him. And all at a speed that he wasn’t able to bring out his own wand to defend himself. 

 

Not that he needed to. Once again, a certain someone seemed to predict what would be happening after Ron had finished his insult. Not that it was difficult...

 

“Protego!” 

 

“Harry!” Hermione didn’t know what to make of anything. One second, Harry was still in front of her, within arms distance. The next, he was in front of both Ron and her with his wand drawn out. 

 

Harry ignored Hermione’s call of distress as the other six spells hit his shield. It would seem that none of the Slytherins in the group felt like using anything particularly strong today. “Expelliarmus!”

 

Oh well...that just worked out in his favor, didn’t it? 

 

“Hey!” Daphne cried out, glancing from her hand to her the direction her wand and flown. 

 

“You filthy half blood!” Pansy shrieked, raising her own wand to return fire. “Stup-!” 

 

“Enough!” A strong voice called out, interrupting Pansy’s spell. “What, by Merlin’ beard, is going on here?!” 

 

All eyes quickly whipped around to face the furious sounding Severus Snape. The potions teacher didn't have his wand drawn, but his hands still remained in his robes. So the possibility of him drawing it out was still hanging in the air. 

 

Harry, Hermione, and Ron each took a moment to glare at the startled Slytherins before mentally sighing. Well, Hermone mentally sighed. Harry sighed out loud and Ron full on groaned. Which did not make the situation better. 

 

Bloody hell...all they wanted was to have a peaceful free period outside! It was a nice day and no one was around! Or so they originally thought, before Daphne and her little friends decided to join them. 

 

Chapter Text

My dearest Dragon, 

I apologize for waiting so long since your last letter 

before responding. How are you doing, my son? How 

are your studies going? I have heard from Severus that 

you’re doing outstanding in his potions class, not an 

accomplishment that many can do. You have my 

congratulations, Dragon.

 

Draco snorted at that. His mother sounded so surprised. Then again, he saw no fault in that. Many of his fellow Slytherins either had Es or As in Potions. Just because Snape was their head of house didn’t mean that had it easier than other houses. In fact, it was the opposite.

 

Snape expected their best at all times, but especially in his class. Challenging you was his way of showing that he knew you were capable of taking on more difficult challenges. 

 

Adjusting himself on his bed, Draco continued to read past that. He knew his mother didn’t just write to him to congratulate him on a class.  

 

As I said earlier, I apologize that I sent you this owl so late. I

have just learned an interesting fact from my dear cousin Sirius 

and I needed time to integrate this new information into my plan.

 

Draco frowned at that. Sirius? Cousin Sirius? His mother was still talking to him? 

 

That was new. The last time Draco heard anything of Sirius was when the mutt had insulted his father. At their dining room table. In front of other guests. And yes, mutt. Draco wasn’t...let’s say, fond of cousin Sirius. He was fully aware that the feeling was mutual. His mother found it amusing, his father found it...less so. 

 

Anyway...what’s this about new information? And a plan? His mother had a plan? 

 

I know you have told me many times that you are almost an

adult and as such, can make your own decisions, but I must 

admit that I can no longer sit back watch you suffer from your 

lack of contact with your chosen one.

 

‘That’s what mother meant when she said plan.’ Draco blushed a bit, remembering all the nights he had flooed his mother to cry about how Harry wasn’t even looking at him, let alone allowing Draco to explain. It was kind of embarrassing, thinking back on it. 

 

I had called cousin Sirius over to, hopefully, obtain 

information on how to approach the subject with young 

Harry.

 

Draco shut his eyes and thought for a moment. Let’s see...yes, he knew that cousin Sirius and Harry had some type of relationship. Sirius was best friends with James Potter after all. It made sense that once James died, Sirius would latch onto Harry. The last memory he had of his best friend. 

 

But...was Sirius truly close enough to Harry that mother would ask HIM to talk to Harry? Draco didn’t think their relationship was that close…it certainly didn’t seem like it...

 

Cousin Sirius, as it turns out, is Harry’s godfather. 

He chose to hide the information in fear of your father  

Lucius hurting young Harry. 

 

Draco almost dropped the parchment as his eyes scanned over that one bit. Sirius...his cousin...was Harry’s godfather?! 

 

And...Harry...he never said anything?! 

 

Looking at the last sentence of that bit, Draco could understand the logic behind Sirius’ solution. Maybe he had scared Harry into silence as well. 

 

But still...bloody hell...Harry was his cousin’s godson! 

 

I won’t bore you with the details of why this was hidden 

for so long, but I will ask that you not be angry with 

Harry or Sirius about it. Sirius was just trying to protect 

Harry and I have no doubt that Harry was just going 

along with what Sirius needed from him. Which was 

silence. 

 

On to how this will help with my plan, it is my 

understanding that you are facing two problems. The first 

one being that Harry is always surrounded by his friends, 

people who are keeping him away from you. 

 

‘Granger and that Weasel.’ Draco thought bitterly. Though they weren’t the only ones, they were the most annoying. 

 

Your second problem is that Harry is stubborn 

and refuses to listen to you. Am I right, my dragon? 

 

Draco nodded his head in a grouchy manner, even though his mother couldn’t see him. Besides, it didn’t look like she needed his confirmation. Seemed like she had everything figured out, judging by what he’s read so far. 

 

I’m afraid I am unable to help you with your second 

problem, my dragon. You are the only one who will 

be able to explain the situation in a way that young 

Harry will understand. 

 

Draco scoffed loudly. If his mother was here...was present at any of the times Draco had tried to talk to Harry (last year and recently)...she’d know how wrong that was. 

 

Draco really didn’t know how to explain this to Harry. Or rather, he did. He knew what to say. It was getting Harry to listen and accept it as the truth that was the problem. 

 

As for the first problem, I have contacted the veela 

council and the council of magical creatures. It would 

appear that since Harry is legally family, should the 

situation arise, we do have the right to house him 

if Sirius is unable to. 

 

Draco’s eyes narrowed for a second, before widening. Wait...did he read that right? Legally family...rights...housing…

 

Yep, he read that right. It wasn’t just his eyes playing tricks on him. 

 

I do hate to abuse Sirius’ trust like this. But you, 

my dragon, you and your happiness comes first. 

 

Draco blushed at that, silently sending out all the love he could to his mother. 

 

If you would send me a date, then I shall make 

proper preparations for Harry’s stay. I do hope 

that this helps you rather than worsens the 

situation. I love you, my dragon, and I want 

your happiness above all else. 

Sincerely, 

Mother

 

Draco spent a few minutes staring at the word ‘Mother’ as his mind worked wonders. Were anyone close enough, they would’ve heard the gears turning in his head. 

 

This...this made everything easier. His original plan consisted of waiting until Harry had let his guard down, then send some of his fellow Slytherins out to keep his friends distracted. In the midst of the chaos that would ensure, Draco would stun Harry, then carry the other down to the Slytherin dorms. It wasn’t exactly what some may call an ideal plan. 

 

Naturally, there were ways that it could go wrong. He wasn’t exactly in the best place for a 100% successfully plan. Hogwarts was a place where he could actually get into trouble if he pushed too far passed the boundaries. 

 

But now, with what his mother had just given him...it was perfect. It was definitely less riskier than his original plan and also a bit less complicated. Distracting Gryffindors was easy, they had a tendency to have quick tempers and answer any fire spat at them with just as much ferocity. The complicated part of that plan would be to actually separate Harry from his group of friends. It would be doable, but difficult. 

 

‘Not anymore.’ Draco mused as he re-read the entire letter. He truly took time to absorb all of the information given to him instead of questioning every other sentence, like he had done for the first reading. 

 

Now, it would appear that all he needed to do was send his mother an appropriate time and she would make sure that he and Harry had their privacy. From there, he just needed to think of the way he was gonna go about this. 

 

From the most recent confrontation, it was clear that Harry wasn’t blind. He may not have been the most verbal in his agreement (he tried not to be), but Draco could still see it in his eyes. He knew that he had hooked Harry in when he pointed out that Harry hadn’t exactly been the perfect one in their relationship either. 

While it did hurt that he was once again the reason behind the pain in Harry’s eyes, it wasn’t for nothing. Draco now knew one thing for sure by now: he knew that Harry had little to fight him with. And Harry himself seemed to know that fact himself. 

 

It was too early to say that Harry still loved him. As much as Draco wanted it to be true, he couldn’t be sure. For now, the knowledge that Harry himself knew he didn’t have much to fight with was enough. 

 

‘What’s a good week?’ Draco leaned back into his pillows as he neatly folded the letter and placed it down. 

 

He needed a week for sure. He was being ridiculously overconfident if he convinced himself that a day would be enough to get Harry to understand. Even a couple days wouldn’t work either. What week he would request...he wasn’t sure. 

 

Hmmm...maybe Christmas break? At first glance, it seemed like the most logical choice. They’d be on a break, obviously. So neither of them would have to worry about missing any classes and falling behind. However...could Draco really wait that long? 

 

So far, it had only been a few weeks since school began. Close to a month, he’d say. Which would mean...the rest of September, October, November...he’d still have to wait about three or four months. 

 

‘Can I really do that?’ Draco wondered quietly, bringing a hand up to run his fingers through his white-blond hair. ‘Can I really wait that long for my beloved?’ 

 

The question wasn’t whether Harry was worth it or not. It was undeniable that Harry was worth it. He was worth so much…

 

No, the question was whether or not Draco could control himself for that long. Especially if every day he had to see his dearheart mingle with students like Longbottom or that Irish idiot, Finnigan. Or any of the other Gryffindors that stuck close to Harry to ‘protect’ him from Draco. 

 

‘Guess I have no choice.’ Draco finally decided with a tired groan. ‘He’d be even more upset with me if I took him out during the school year.’ Which wouldn't help at all. 

 

And with that, the new plan was set. Now he just had to tell Blaise and the others…

 

Chapter Text

Flashback

 

“Draco!” Harry gasped as he was harshly yanked into his boyfriend’s dormitory. The room was completely empty save for the two of them, not too surprising as Draco had made it clear to his other roommates that there would be days he wanted the room to himself. 

 

What was surprising, and a bit worrying, was how Draco hadn't spoken a word to Harry as he dragged the other here (secretly, of course). 

 

“Draco, what’s wrong?” Harry winced as he heard the door slam behind him, followed by Draco murmuring ‘colloportus’ into his wand. “Dray…?” 

 

Harry didn’t move towards Draco, afraid that the slightest hint of moment would shatter whatever scraps of control Draco had left and let loose a flood of emotions. Though, maybe he was exaggerating just a bit? He still didn’t know exactly what happened to Draco and why the other seemed so...unsettled. 

 

“Dray.” Harry called again, hoping that by using Draco’s nickname (Harry’s the only one who’s allowed to use it without getting hexed into oblivion), he’d be able to get the other’s attention. “Dray…” 

 

Draco just stared at the ground, body tense and hands at his side. The hand he held his wand in was gripping the piece of wood so tightly that Harry was afraid it would snap. 

 

Not that it was the worst thing in the world. Draco would still be able to access his magic without a wand. It would just be a hassle to do certain things...certain spells he couldn’t do with just the magic within him. 

 

It was just the concept. The idea that Draco was so tense that his wand could snap in his grip. 

 

“Dray.” Harry took a step forward, making sure to give Draco more than enough time to react before he took a second one. Then a third, then a fourth, then a fifth…

 

“Harry…” Draco finally spoke as Harry had closed the distance between them. He sounded delicate, hesitant...like a withering flower. It only made Harry want to pull Draco into his arms. 

 

But he resisted. He’d learnt from past experience that some situations required Draco to make the first move. It required Harry to take a more challenging role: to give only when Draco is willing to take. It sounded easy, but it wasn’t. Not compared to just being able to give comfort whenever. 

 

“I’m here, Dray.” Harry swallowed as Draco’s head slowly rose. He resisted the urge to gasp as silver eyes stared back at him. There were no pupils, no sclera, nothing but silver. 

 

It meant that Draco felt threatened. It meant that Draco was livid. They weren’t mates yet, so Harry was still in danger of being burned if he didn’t tread very carefully. 

 

“My father.” Draco began, the word ‘father’ sending shivers down Harry’s spine. Again, from past experience, most of the conversations involving Lucius Malfoy didn’t end with smiles and laughs. “He’s heard ‘rumors’ concerning my relationship with someone who isn’t a pureblood creature.” 

 

Harry’s reaction didn’t come as quickly as either of them figured it would in a situation like this. Sure, Harry immediately felt the shock and fear run through his system. His brain was able to comprehend what Lucius finding out about Draco’s relationship meant for Draco. He was able to do all that. 

 

He just...needed time to react…

 

“He’s not very pleased with me right now.” Draco continued, taking Harry’s silence as a sign for him to continue. “He didn’t tell me where he heard the rumors, but he’s made it clear that if they turn out to be true, I will be punished accordingly.” 

 

Harry swallowed, his throat felt very dry right about now and he didn’t want to half dead when he spoke. Based on tales that Draco (very hesitantly, mind you) has told him in the past, punishments was just another way of saying that Lucius was gonna torture Draco. “D-does th-this mean w-we have t-to br-break up?” 

 

Harry wanted to smack himself for how shaky he sounded. No, scratch that, he wanted to cast a ‘silencio’ spell on himself. 

 

Of course this meant they had to break up. There was no other way. Harry wouldn’t let Draco be hurt by his own father if there was something that could be done to avoid it. And he had a feeling that Draco would prefer that as well. 

 

It hurt...this entire situation hurt. But if it needed to be done...then Harry would comply. He wanted to fight for Draco, but he wouldn’t make the other choose between a potential mate and his own family. 

 

Family...Harry’s own veela jolted at that. If this were the same situation, but with Sirius, then Harry wouldn’t know what to do. If Sirius hadn’t just fainted when he told the other that Draco was courting him, if Sirius had gone on a tangent and demanded that Harry  breaks up with Draco, Harry would be in turmoil. 

 

Family was everything. Especially to the veela (and a few other creatures, but they aren’t important right now). 

 

So imagine Harry’s surprise when Draco growled, so loudly that it’s a surprise the room didn’t shake, and snarled out: “Absolutely not!” 

 

Harry soon found him face crushed into Draco’s chest, his arms instinctively reaching up to wind themselves around Draco’s neck. Short gasps made their way out of his mouth as Draco began to lay kisses upon kisses around the side of his neck and his collarbone. A small yelp came out when teeth made an appearance. 

 

“You’re mine!” Draco hissed into Harry’s neck. “My father won’t get between that.” 

 

Harry blushed as he felt Draco’s hands begin to wander around his back. They began by resting on his hips, but soon moved upwards. They splayed across the middle of his back, then began to move up and down, as if to soothe him. After a few moments of that, they quickly wandered downwards again, past Harry’s hips and settled right above his arse. 

 

“I just…” Draco sighed out in a frustrated manner, as if he couldn’t believe he was about to ask this of Harry. In reality, that was just the thing. He really couldn’t believe he was about to ask this of his boyfriend. “I...I need you to talk to Weasel and Granger. Ask them if they’ve told anyone or haven’t been careful enough when talking about it privately.” 

 

It was almost like telling Harry that it’s possible his own friends were the reason that they were in this predicament. That they purposefully shared it with people they shouldn't of about it in hopes that something would be done about it. At least, in Draco’s mind it sounded like that. That’s why he couldn’t believe that he was asking for it. He was afraid that Harry might become offended. 

 

Harry though...Harry couldn’t help but find the logic in that. He didn’t delve too deep into it like Draco had because it just made sense. Neither Ron nor Hermione were the most...excited about learning that Harry had let Draco court him. Even after Harry assured them that he made Draco work his arse off to prove that he was being serious. 

 

It was completely possible that they were complaining about it and didn’t know that someone else could’ve been listening. A habit that all of them had, so Harry couldn’t really bring it within himself to be too upset. 

 

“I’ll ask them.” Harry whispered as he lifted his hands and gena to run them through Draco’s hair. It was something Draco had only recently begun to allow Harry to do, so Harry found no problem in taking advantage of every chance he got. “Ron and I aren’t always the most aware when we start tangents. Maybe something accidentally slipped.” 

 

Draco snorted. While he wanted to believe that Weasel had purposefully told someone in order to get Draco away from his best mate, the prospect of this information being leaked on accident wasn’t entirely impossible. Draco would give Harry that. 

 

“I’m not gonna let my father take you away from me.” Draco murmured, teeth scraping against Harry’s neck when the other hugged him tighter. He had to resist the urge to smirk as he felt Harry shudder against him. Now was not the time for teasing. “Just be careful, yes? I’ll be investigating some of my Slytherins as well, see if they’ve heard anything or were the ones to start the rumors.” 

 

Harry tensed at that. If one of the Slytherins besides Blaise (and Blaise had already made an oath that he wouldn’t tell anyone unless Draco specifically gave him permission to) knew, then he’d be as good as dead. Not many Slytherins were great fans of his, so if one of them knew he was dating their prince…

 

“I hope, for their sakes, that the second option isn’t the case.” Draco furrowed his brow in thought as he felt Harry tense. 

 

“Hmm?” Harry pulled back a bit so that he and Draco had eye contact. “What do you mean ‘for their sakes’?”

 

Draco raised a brow at Harry. It surprised him that, even after all this time, Harry couldn’t always pick up when Draco was threatening someone. 

 

Then again...maybe that was a compliment to Draco’s skill in subtly. Maybe he should be taking Harry’s curiosity as a compliment. 

 

“If I find out that one of my housemates was the one to start this...rumor...then they’ll have the honor of experiencing a pain worse than the Crucio curse.” 

 

Harry narrowed his eyes at Draco’s amused face, not liking that threat one bit. Also, how did Draco know what the Crucio curse felt like? Sure, it’s symptoms were pretty popular (causing someone extreme pain), but still. It was a vague concept. Extreme pain was a vague explanation. 

 

“How do you know what the Crucio feels like?” Harry tilted his head as Draco surged forward to bury his face into Harry’s neck once again. “Wait...don’t tell me…” 

 

Draco shook his head, murmuring his answer into Harry’s neck: “My father is powerful, but even he wouldn’t get away with casting the Crucio on another magical creature. Especially his own son. Mother would have a fit and kill him on the spot.” 

 

Harry sighed in relief. It was nice to know that even someone with Lucius’ social standing had boundaries placed on him. Well, ok, technically Harry knew about the boundaries, but the reminder was still nice. 

 

“Harry…” Draco murmured, fingers digging into Harry’s back. “Harry...Harry…”

 

“What is it, Dray?” Harry whispered back, allowing himself to relax as he felt most of the previous anger leave Draco’s body. 

 

“Harry...Harry…” 

 

Flashback over

 

“Harry!” 

 

Harry blinked as Ron practically screamed in his face. 

 

“Mate, you ok?” 

 

Harry shook his head and reached up to adjust his glasses. They were at the edge of his nose, must’ve been close to slipping off. 

 

“What happened, mate?” Ron placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder, the annoyance he felt at being ignored being replaced by worry. “You’ve been completely out of it for the past 20 minutes.” 

 

“20 minutes?” Harry gaped, looking around the Great Hall in shock. “Oh jeez, I’m so sorry Ron. I didn’t mean to-” 

 

“Mate, don’t worry about it.” Ron shook his head and pushed his empty plate away from him before scooting over a bit towards Harry. “You alright?”

 

Harry swallowed audibly.  He kinda didn’t want to tell Ron about where his mind had gone, fearing that the other would get upset with him for continuing to think about Draco. In all honesty, he was still upset with himself for still thinking about his ex. But he also knew that Ron deserved an explanation for why Harry had been ignoring him for the last 20 minutes. 

 

“I’m sorry Ron.” Harry began, turning to face his friend. “I was just thinking about...the fight yesterday.” 

 

Ok, so it wasn’t the truth. Not at all. But it seemed to appease Ron and he shook his head, smiling to show that he forgave Harry for ignoring him earlier. It made Harry want to sigh in relief, but he held it in. 

 

“I get it, mate. Don’t worry about it.” Ron pat Harry’s shoulder in a comforting gesture and glanced across the table, where Hermione would usually be sitting. She had left dinner earlier, claiming that she wanted some peace and quiet before attending their detention with Snape later. “If I’m being honest, I’m still thinking about it too. I can’t believe some people still have that mindset, ya know?” 

 

Harry shrugged, getting up and gently pulling Ron’s arms. Maybe it was time they went back to their dorms as well to get some rest before the joined Hermione in detention. 

 

“I can.” Harry led Ron out of the room, ignoring the pair of grey eyes he knew were staring at him as he walked in close proximity with his friend. “Most of them come from really old pureblood creature families. They’re surrounded by people who have that mindset everyday, of course they’re gonna develop it.” 

 

Out of all of the Gryffindors, even those who were pureblood creatures like Ron, Harry seemed to understand the mindset of pureblood creatures the most. He didn’t forgive their attitudes because of this understanding, but he did understand more about where this attitude came from. And why it was so difficult to stop. 

 

It was mainly thanks to Draco, who had found himself pretty open to talking about his issues with his father after a few months into their courting. 

While Harry knew that not all pureblood creature families were as strict (crazy) as Lucius Malfoy was, he had an inkling that they weren’t much better either. 

 

“Hermione!” Ron called out as he spotted the witch ahead, as if just coming out from behind the portrait. 

 

“Oh, hey boys.” She smiled in a tired manner, arms crossing over her chest weakly as Harry and Ron approached. “I was just about to come warn you that we had 15 minutes before our detention.” 

 

Ron scoffed and reached out to pull Hermione to his chest. The fact that she looked so tired already, before their detention even began, wasn’t something he was gonna settle with. Not that he had that much control over it, but still. He’d figure out a way to help his friend. 

 

“I still don’t think it’s fair that we got detention.” Ron grumbled as Hermione hugged him back gratefully. “We aren’t the ones who started it.” 

 

“No, but I returned a few spells of my own in retaliation.” Harry walked around to Hermione’s side so he could give her a side hug. “And according to Snape, you two didn’t stop me, so you’re partially responsible.” 

 

“You didn’t even hurt anyone!” Ron exclaimed, pulling back so Harry could give Hermione a proper hug. “You conjured up a shield, for fucks sake!” 

 

Harry and Hermione winced at Ron’s volume and in this particular case, Hermione didn’t find it necessary to call Ron out for swearing. 

 

“Doesn’t matter to Snape.” Harry supplied as an answer as he began to lead the group to Snape’s classroom (where they’d be serving their detention). 

 

Ron grumbled out a response, but didn’t comment any further. 

 

“At least we only got one.” Hermione quipped up, allowing Harry and Ron to push her between them. It was their way of making sure she was safe as they walked down the halls. “Didn’t Parkinson and the others get...let me think...a week’s worth?” 

 

“A week’s worth of detention isn’t gonna teach them shit.” Ron drunted darkly as Harry nodded to Hermione’s question. “At best, it’s just gonna annoy them. Then they’re gonna find a way to blame their anger on you and just try to attack you again.” 

Ah yes, that was a problem…

 

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Harry drawled out, Draco completely forgotten as they neared Snape’s classroom. “For now, let’s just try not to murder Snape, shall we?” 

 

Chapter Text

The months leading up to Christmas, specifically Christmas break, couldn’t go by any slower. Especially for Harry and his friends. 

 

First: a letter from Sirius had arrived not too long after their fight with Daphne and her gang (not the first or last fight they’ve had, just the first of the year where spells were thrown). Which meant that Harry, while having to worry about Draco cornering him, now also had to worry about Narcissa. According to Sirius, she had said some pretty creepy words after it slipped out that he was Sirius’ godson. And while Sirius said he’d keep his eyes and ears open, Harry just couldn’t keep himself calm. 

 

Second: Ron had been correct about detention only making Daphne and the others angrier with Hermione. They’re taunting went from every other day to almost every time they saw Hermione. Granted, this pattern only lasted a month before they went back to their original pattern, but it was still unpleasant. Harry and Hermione now both had new records of visiting the hospital wing seven times in one week. 

 

Third: because Hermione had been attacked and taunted so much during that specific period of time, Harry had to keep Ron from practically mauling every Slytherin he saw. The other had just become so defensive and unsettled, he didn’t know which Slytherins would attack and which ones wouldn’t. It got so bad that Harry even had to stop his friend from attacking a group of fourth years. 

 

Fourth: Draco had been persistent in cornering Harry whenever he got jealous over watching Harry interact with his housemates. Which he had no right to be, considering they weren’t even together anymore.  

 

All in all...Harry was more than ready for a break. He had dealt with this before, he and his friends, but it wasn’t something anyone could get used to. Not even poor Hermione, who’s had to deal with taunting and unfair treatment her whole life. 

 

Speaking of Hermione…and Ron...

 

“Snape was there!” She sobbed as Harry hugged her close, murmuring words of comfort and encouragement into her ear. She was a bit taller than Harry (at the moment, they were both sure Harry would grow with more time), so he couldn’t wrap her up in her arms and shield her from the world like he wanted to. “Snape was there! He saw everything!” 

 

“I know, Mione.” Harry soothed, rubbing Hermione’s back as he led her to the Astronomy Tower. The Gryffindor common room would most likely be full of people, which was the last thing the two of them needed at the moment. “But you know Snape. He hates Ron and I. Of course he isn’t gonna jump at the chance of defending us.” 

 

“Well, too bad! He’s a teacher! He’s always complaining about our competence! Where’s his?!?” Hermione tried to keep her face in Harry’s shoulder so her cries wouldn’t echo through the halls and attract unwanted attention. 

 

For the most part, it worked. 

 

“I’m sure Professor McGonagall will figure it out.” Harry furrowed his brow in thought, wondering how said professor was feeling at the moment. If it were him, he’d be horrified and livid with his colleague if they had done what Snape did. 

 

“I hope so.” Hermione sniffed a bit, bringing her hand up and wiping her tears away with her sleeve. “Ron could be seriously hurt and it’s all because of Snape.” 

 

Harry nodded again before focusing all of his attention on the stairs. As Hermione’s eye still had tears in them, her vision was probably blurry. And the steps were a bit steep, so it wouldn’t do well if she tripped. Carefully, he guided her up to the tower while his mind flashed through the events that had just played out.

 

They were all walking in the hallway, talking about a story that Ron had heard from Seamus involving a badger and a levitating spell gone wrong when Draco and his friends showed up. Supposedly, they were just passing by so they could get to the dungeon. 

 

Harry was inclined to believe them since he, Hermione, and Ron had passed the entrance to the dungeons as they were walking. He didn’t say anything, just kept walking. 

 

As they passed the group, Draco made a comment about Ron being a big brute and attacking Slytherins for no reason. Ron, as always, couldn’t help himself and snapped back that if Draco could keep his Slytherins from attacking Hermione, then he’d keep himself from attacking Slytherins. 

 

Draco took that as a threat and drew his wand, followed by Blaise, Theodore, Greg, and Vincent. 

 

Harry and Hermione had tried to pull Ron away. Just as Snape had arrived, he claimed to be looking for Draco, Theo had shot a ‘sectumsempra’ spell at Ron. This time, Harry couldn’t get his shield up quick enough. Neither could Ron or Hermione, assuming that Theo wouldn’t take the risk of casting such a spell with a teacher right there. 

 

The result was...terrifying. Ron hadn’t been able to dodge quick enough and was hit. As Harry and Hermione carried him to the hospital wing (with some struggle and a lot of screaming), Snape did nothing. He didn’t even scold Theo or try to take his wand. He just stared after the three as they carried their bleeding friend to the hospital wing. 

 

Ron’s healing abilities were the only reason he didn’t bleed out by the time they arrived. While Madam Pomfrey assured them that something would be done about this, specifically about the fact that Snape hadn’t stopped it from happening, Harry and Hermione were still quite upset. 

 

“Come on.” Harry led Hermione to their usual sitting spot. He pulled her down gently and allowed her to lean most of her weight on him as they both gazed at the setting sun. “I think Madam Pomfrey said we could go see Ron tomorrow.” 

 

Hermione sighed against Harry, cuddling closer as a small breeze passed over the two of them. It was getting close to dinner time, so it wasn’t as warm as earlier and the wind was picking up a bit. 

 

“I know why we must wait, he needs rest.” She murmured as some birds flew in front of them. “But I just wished that her potions worked faster so we could make sure he was ok now.” 

 

Harry chuckled, turning his head so he and Hermione had eye contact. “Hermione Granger being impatient? Never thought I’d see the day…” 

 

“Hush.” Hermione lightly slapped Harry’s chest, a small smile pulling at her lips. 

 

Harry accepted the slap with a smile of his own, bringing up a hand to wipe off some of Hermione’s tears. Her skin, despite being wet and red from the crying, still felt so soft. It felt smooth. 

 

Almost like she used those expensive lotions and had 30 hour skin care routines. Which she didn’t, by the way. It just...felt like that. 

 

“We’ll talk to McGonagall and Dumbledore later tonight at dinner.” Harry promised as he finished wiping Hermione’s face of the tears. “For now, let’s just watch the sun set and try to calm down.” 

 

Hermione nodded, leaning down a bit so that she could rest her cheek on Harry’s shoulder. Not the most comfortable pillow, at least in Harry’s opinion, but Hermione didn’t complain. He was offering her comfort, she would take it. 

 

“I think our roles have been reversed.” She mumbled as Harry reached for her hands, grabbing them and holding them in a gentle grip. “Normally I’m the one who has the patience and you’re the one who wants to go actively try to fix things.” 

 

“Yeah.” Harry nuzzled Hermione as the sun continued to set, bathing them and the room in a delicate glow. “Guess today’s just...that type of day.” 

 

The two continued to stare out into the sky, exchanging no further words. Their focus split up between watching the sun and accepting comfort offered by the other. 

 

It was unfortunate. For if they had allowed their focus to shift just a bit to their other surroundings, they would’ve heard footsteps behind them. They would’ve heard the clomping of shoes as someone quickly descended down the stairs. 

 

With Dumbledore

 

“You just stood back as it happened?” McGonagall demanded as she glanced from Severus to Draco, who stood a few steps behind his godfather. Behind her, Dumbledore sat in contemplative silence. “Severus, are you out of your mind?” 

 

“It is my understanding that Mr. Weasley provoked them.” Snape spoke slowly, as if he was talking to a toddler. 

 

“That is no excuse.” McGonagall glared, tempted to bring out her own wand and try to spell the stupidity out of Severus. “If what Mr. Weasley did was so bad, then you should’ve given him a detention or reported it to me. What you shouldn’t of done is allow one of your Slytherins to cut him up like a piece of meat!” 

 

“Do not tell me how to do my job.” Snape narrowed his eyes, finally allowing a feeling other than boredom show on his features. Though the cold tone and obvious change of atmosphere did nothing to McGonagall. 

 

She wasn’t scared in the slightest. If anything, she became more frustrated. 

 

“I wouldn’t have to if you knew how to do it properly!” She huffed, crossing her arms as Dumbledore stood from his desk. It was obvious that if he didn’t break things up now, it would escalate too quickly and spells might end up flying. 

 

“Severus, old friend.” He began, walking around so he could stand beside McGonagall and place a calming hand on her tense shoulder. “Why did you allow Mr. Nott to perform the ‘sectumsempra’ spell on Mr. Weasley?” 

 

Snape took a calming breath. He had just explained this, but apparently the Headmaster hadn’t been listening. Or he just refused to acknowledge Snape’s reasoning. 

 

“Mr. Weasley had provoked them.” Snape began slowly once again, but in a less condescending tone. He respected Dumbledore a bit more than Mcgonagall right now. “I have heard from them that he even threatened to attack them.” 

 

“Mmmm.” Dumbledore hummed in thought, squeezing McGonagall’s shoulder when she made an attempt to respond. While he was interested to hear what she had to say, he didn’t want there to be a fight. “Did Mr. Weasley draw his wand? Or perhaps, Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger?” 

 

This time, the question was directed at Draco, who shook his head with a small glare on his face. 

 

“It shouldn’t matter.” He ground out, eyes flashing as he resisted the urge to draw his own wand. “He threatened us. Isn’t that enough reason to defend ourselves?” 

 

“If Mr. Weasely didn’t have his wand out, then you shouldn't have either.” This time, Dumebldore wasn’t quite quick enough to calm McGonagall. “There were no wands pointed at you. What you and your friends did wasn’t defense, it was intimidation.” 

 

“Minerva.” Dumbledore scolded lightly as Draco took a step towards the two. Those words clearly displeased the other and Dumbledore wasn’t exactly excited with the idea of having fireballs thrown around in his office. “Mr. Malfoy, while I understand that Mr. Weasley threatened you, that doesn’t change the fact that your friend threw the first blow. Severus…” 

 

Said man looked at Dumbledore, though his eyes held some sort of warning as the older wizard gestured for him to come closer. 

 

“I need to speak with you for a moment. Privately.” Dumbledore waited until Severus nodded before addressing Draco. “Please tell Mr. Nott that Hagrid will be expecting him after dinner every night for the next three months. He will be helping our dear groundskeeper care for some of his creatures.” 

 

Draco’s nose wrinkled in disgust, but he didn’t object. With a small bow of his head, he wished all the professors goodnight before turning around and exiting the Headmaster’s office. His head was held high as he felt all three of them staring after him. 

 

“Severus, what have you found out?” Dumbledore was quick to change the subject as McGonagall and Snape turned to glare at each other. He was getting old, he needed his co-workers to help him discipline students, not each other. 

 

“As it would seem sir, it is merely a small conflict between Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Potter. Nothing of a surprise.” Snape kept his glare aimed at Mcgonagall, though his tone still held some respect as he addressed Dumbledore’s question. 

 

“And what exactly was this conflict?” Dumbledore tried to dig, though Snape shook his head. 

 

“I’m afraid that Mr. Malfoy has requested to keep the reason private.” He turned his glare away from McGonagall to give Dumebledore his version of a pleading look. “There was an argument between the two and some things were said on both parts. Things that were...regrettable.” 

 

It wasn’t the complete truth, but it was enough to fool Dumbledore. The older wizard was obviously sympathetic and nodded, as a show that he would respect Draco’s and Harry’s privacy by not digging further. That was all Snape needed. He doubted that he’d be able to keep too much from the elder wizard if Dumbledore truly pushed for more. 

 

He promised his godson he’d try to keep his problem with Potter out of the Headmaster’s ears in fear that Dumbledore would try to interfere. But...he said he’d try. 

 

Succeeding was another thing. One that Snape hoped he could do.

 

Chapter Text

With Draco

 

“You’re sure?!” Draco hissed at Greg, eyes narrowed and almost completely silver as the werewolf nodded fearfully. “When did this happen?!” 

 

Greg gulped. Were he in his wolf form, he would’ve been cowering and whimpering right about now, but he just managing to keep enough of his cool. “J-just a...a few m-moments ago! In the Astronomy Tower!” 

 

The second part came out as more of a shout (of alarm) as Draco snarled loudly, eyes completely silver while the sound of ripping reached everyone’s ears. 

 

Oh shit...Draco was shifting…

 

“I’m gonna kill that witch!” Draco shrieked as his wings quickly shot up, his sharp beak not following too far behind. A beak that could slice up Greg’s face if he were standing any closer. 

 

“No, you’re not.” Blaise commented calmly, reaching out to place a hand on Draco’s shoulder. “We’re probably already on thin ice with Dumbledore and McGonagall for cutting up Weasley. If you go after Granger, then we might get thrown out of school.” 

 

Again, the thing about Hogwarts...pureblood creatures could actually get in trouble. It really made things difficult. It was one of the best schools, but it was also one of the few fair schools. Lots of pureblood families gambled with the idea of their child getting a good education vs. their child not getting too many benefits over the children of pureblood witches/wizards. 

 

It was mostly a pride thing for the second one. 

 

“I don’t give a shit!” Draco shrieked at Blaise, extremely tempted to remove the vampire’s hand from the rest of his arm for daring to touch him. 

 

“Well then think of it this way,” Blaise raised a brow, knowing he had Draco in the palm of his hand as he spoke, “if you get kicked out of school, then Granger wins, doesn’t she? You aren’t here, so she and Harry can do whatever they want without worrying about the consequences.” 

 

Draco didn’t respond to that. There wasn’t much he could say. Blaise was correct. If he acted and got thrown out of school, then Granger would win. 

 

It explained everything...now that Draco thought about it. It explained why Harry was still fighting with him so much about their relationship even though he didn’t have much to fight with. It explained why he Granger was almost always with him. It explained another reason that Weasel was so...aggressive. 

 

Granger had begun courting Harry. Harry being taken and wanting to stay faithful with his partner was the reason he was still fighting with Draco. Granger must’ve always been with him to make sure that Draco, and everyone else for that matter, could see that she and Harry had a deeper relationship than merely friends. And that Weasel…

 

He was probably behaving more aggressively because he wanted his friends to be happy, but knew that Draco would be...displeased...when learning of their relationship. The attacks on the other Slytherins must’ve been for intimidation. A subtle (in reality, it wasn’t so subtle) way of telling Draco to fuck off of else. 

 

It all made logical sense to Draco. It all fell into place…

 

And he hated it. 

 

His veela instincts were in overdrive. The thought of a threat to their already shaky relationship being so close to Harry was enough to make him want to burn this fucking castle to the ground. Like he probably would've done a long ass time ago if he could...

 

“We’ll help you separate them so you can talk to Harry about this supposed...kiss.” The word ‘kiss’ left a bitter taste in Blaise’s mouth. Despite his calm appearance, he was actually quite disgusted. It was really sad when one thought about it...how Potter chose a witch to try and replace Draco. 

 

Not even another magical creature, but a pureblood witch...

 

“Right.” Draco grunted as he calmed down enough to shift back. It wasn’t clean, nor was it smooth, and his robes were now ripped in odd places because of his shift. But at least the beak was gone, so the threat of being shredded to pieces wasn’t hanging in the air. 

 

“Bloody hell.” Vincent flinched back, covering his face with his hands. “I knew Potter was crazy, but dating a pureblood witch? Never thought he had it in him.” 

 

Greg nodded in agreement, unaware of the damage that his words were doing to Draco’s control. “Yeah, I knew he was desperate to get over you, but this desperate? It’s scary…” 

 

“Enough!” Draco snarled out, pinning Greg and Vincent with the deadliest look currently known to the magical world. “Now, here’s what we’re going to do. Tomorrow’s Saturday, yes? You two are gonna grab Harry as soon as you see him and no, I don’t care if he’s with Granger or not. Grab him and bring him to our room.” 

 

Greg and Vincent stared at Drao wide eyed, as if he was suggesting that they fire an Avada Kedavra curse while standing in front of an auror. He wanted them to grab Potter while there were witnesses (ok, more like one witness, but still)? That would attract attention! Draco was someone who normally liked to do things in the shadows so there was a higher chance he’d get away with them. 

 

What was going on in the head of the Slytherin Prince? 

 

“What if she tries to stop us?” Greg felt brave enough to ask, only flinching back as Draco growled at him. “Cause you know she will.” 

 

“Do I really have to think of everything for you two?!” Draco threw his arms up in exasperation. “One of you grab Potter and hold him for long enough to stun Granger. Then the two of you work together to drag him down to the dungeons!” 

 

Honestly, the utter idiocy that Draco surrounded himself with sometimes…

 

“Ooooh!” Greg and Vincent nodded at Draco, then each other. Now they got it…

 

“And make sure she’s in a decent body bind after you’ve stunned her, would you? Loathe as I am to admit it, she’s smarter than I give her credit for. I don’t need her figuring out just where you’re taking her precious boyfriend. I could do without the interruptions.” 

 

Greg and Vincent once again nodded, a bit more vigorously this time. Meanwhile, Blaise just stood back and shook his head. Most likely, he would be the one stuck with dealing with a frustrated Draco until tomorrow came. The other Slytherins couldn’t help either since they’d probably just make it worse. 

 

Blaise sighed. ‘Why couldn’t Granger just keep her hands off of what didn't belong to her?’ 

 

It was the question that everyone in the group was asking at the moment, though nobody dared verbally ask. That might just cause another transformation on Draco’s part. One that Blaise wouldn’t be able to calm down quick enough. 

 

‘I need to send mother a letter.’ Draco thought venomously as he turned on his heel and walked away. He didn’t stomph like a whiny child who didn’t get the two they wanted, that would be too...immature in this case. 

 

He had already had one explosion in front of a group of people, he had already failed to keep his emotions in check. So much so that he shifted. He wouldn’t add stomping away to that. 

 

“I’m guessing...that Christmas Break is when you plan on having Harry over?” Blaise sounded casual as he easily fell into step with Draco, the others wisely choosing to walk a few steps behind. 

 

“Certainly.” Draco grunted back, trying to calm himself down so that when he wrote to his mother, he didn’t sound in anyway bratty or demanding. 

 

She was willing to help him get Harry back. If Draco was too upset to use the ‘she’s your mother, so you should respect her’ logic, then he would focus on that. He loved his mother, he respected her. And he was extremely grateful that she was offering her assistance. 

 

Just...calm down and be patient. Explain the situation and give her the date that she needs. That’s all. 

 

Draco could always save the frustration for later, when he had Harry in his grasp and could finally get some answers out of the stubborn little prat. 

 

Chapter Text

“You’re joking me, right?!” Harry shouted as Draco glared at him, teeth bared and eyes glowing. “Where did you even hear this?” 

 

“A reliable source.” Draco grunted back, mentally congratulating Greg and Vincent for getting Harry here without attracting too much attention and without losing any limbs. It was something he was sure would happen to at least one of them. 

 

Harry could be quite vicious when he wanted to be. Draco should know. 

 

“Well your reliable source isn’t very reliable then because it didn’t happen!” Harry crossed his arms over his chest, breathing coming out in short bursts as he tried to push is panic down. How did he get himself into these situations? 

 

Oh yeah...Hermione had wanted to finish their breakfast quickly so she and Harry could go check on Ron. Probably a bad idea, in hindsight, because it meant that everyone else was at breakfast and wasn’t there to witness them both getting hit with a stun spell. 

 

“Mione and I aren’t...we’re not…” Harry wasn’t even sure why he was stuttering. He shouldn’t be afraid of Draco, he shouldn’t be nervous about talking about Hermione. This entire situation was just ridiculous! 

 

“You’re not what?” Draco sneered, uncrossing his arms so he could stalk forward till he was standing right in front of Harry. “You’re not dating that witch? You two aren’t lovely little boyfriend and girlfriend? You two didn’t kiss at the Astronomy Tower?” 

 

“No!” Harry cried out as he tried to push Draco away. All of this was overwhelming him and he wished that he had fought with Hermione when she suggested that they go visit Ron when they did. This was too much. “No, no, and no! We aren’t! We’re just friends!” 

 

“Friends don’t kiss each other.” Draco hissed and grabbed the arm that Harry was using to push him with. With a small tug, he had pulled Harry closer so that they were now chest to chest. “Last time I heard, kissing is saved for loved ones. Family and mates.” 

 

“Hermione is like my family! So is Ron and the rest of the Weasleys!” Harry pulled at his arm, trying to twist out of Draco’s grip. It would seem that the other has learned from past mistakes and is firmly gripping his actual wrist as opposed to his sleeve. Dammit. “Not that that matters since we didn’t kiss!” 

 

“Hmph.” Draco snorted in dark amusement, staring directly into Harry’s eyes as he hissed: “Somehow, I’m inclined to not believe you.” 

 

That did it for Harry. He was done. 

 

He had been worried all night for Ron, so he didn’t get much sleep. He had rushed his breakfast this morning to try and keep up with Hermione. He was now worried for Hermione, who was stunned somewhere in the hall where anyone could take advantage of that. He was trapped in a room with the last person he wanted to see. He was being accused of kissing someone who he saw as a sister...

 

And for some strange reason, he found himself needing to defend himself. Against Draco fucking Malfoy. The bastard that went behind his back and broke his heart. 

 

This was all too much, so Harry figured he could hardly be blamed for snapping as he did. 

 

“I don’t have to explain myself to you!” He jerked back, this time Draco let him go. Watching with narrowed eyes as Harry backed up towards the door. 

 

It was locked, so he knew that Harry couldn’t leave, but being near the door still set Draco on edge. So, just to be sure, he followed Harry’s movements. Up until the point where he had pretty much pinned Harry to the door. 

 

“We’re not together anymore.” Harry insisted, hand reaching for his wand before remembering that Draco had wrestled it from him earlier before throwing it...somewhere. “I can kiss anyone I want. You don’t have a right to tell me I can’t.” 

 

“You see, darling, that’s where you’re wrong.” Draco smiled cruelly and brought his hands up so he could place them on both sides of Harry’s head. Effectively trapping Harry in front of him. It also opened up his chest and stomach for Harry to punch, but that thought hadn’t exactly breached his mind yet. “You’re still mine, so yes, I do have I the right to tell you not to go kissing other people.” 

 

“You’re crazy!” Harry growled, starting to really empathize with crups and kneazles that are left in their cages for too long. It was absolutely suffocating and he vowed that if any of his friends did this to their pet, he’d personally curse them and make them see sense. “I’m not yours! In fact, why don’t I just go make my point by actually kissing Hermione, like you keep claiming I already did?!” 

 

Draco seemed to freeze at that. His eyes widened and his stance faltered a bit. It left Harry wondering if now was a good time to accio his wand and-

 

“If you do that…” One of Dracos hands left the door so he could grab Harry’s cheeks in a painful grip, squeezing so that Harry was forced to pucker his lips. “Then I’ll make sure Granger disappears. Permanently.” 

 

Harry whimpered, both at the threat and Draco’s grip on his cheeks. “No...you won’t. Cause I’ll protect her. I’ll make sure she’s never alone, even if it means I get in trouble. I won’t let you hurt her anymore than you already have.” 

 

‘Stubborn, but brave and determined. My little lion...’ Draco groused in his mind. Half of him was still angry at the idea of Harry protecting Granger. The other half was amused, sensing Harry’s familiar fire. The one he had whenever he was defending his friends or his housemates against prejudice Slytherins. 

 

“You can’t do that.” Draco pointed out, sounding rather pleased with himself. “You can try, but eventually, there will be a time where you can’t be with her. Who knows, maybe she might push you away herself because she’ll feel so suppressed by your constant presence?” 

 

‘You mean like how I'm feeling right now?’ Harry snorted in his mind. Though he quickly took in Draco’s words. And bloody hell, Draco was correct. Harry could try, but he’d fail. Either by circumstances or just Hermione wanting her space. 

 

If he and Ron were able to stay with her 24/7 without any repercussions, then Hermione would never have to worry about being harassed and hurt. But alas...their world wasn’t even close to good. Let alone perfect. 

 

So Harry had to change tactics. One that he sincerely hoped would at least get Draco to understand how serious he was about staying away from Hermione. 

 

The idea itself was terrible and Harry would forever regret even thinking it up, but it was probably the only thing that would affect Draco right now. Well, affect him the way that Harry wanted him to be affected. 

 

“You leave Hermione alone, Malfoy.” Harry began slowly, still very much hesitant about his next words, even though he’s already made his decision about saying them. “Or I’ll let someone claim me. And I mean CLAIM me. I’ll fight them, but let them win. I’ll bare my neck in submission and let them bite me. I’ll eagerly spread my legs as they run their hands all over me. I’ll beg them to fuck me. I’ll beg them to claim what should’ve been yours before you lost that cha-” 

 

Harry was cut off there. The hand grabbing his cheeks roughly pulled him forward. Whatever words he was about to say were cut off by the smooth lips covering his. 

 

Distinctly, Harry felt the vibrations of the growl that Draco let loose against his own chest. He felt the sound travel from the back of Draco’s throat to the inside of his mouth. Then, from his lips to Harry’s lips and down from there. 

 

It was like a surge of electricity. It passed so smoothly from one place to another. And Harry, unable to help himself, groaned in pleasure as Draco continued to kiss him. His hands, which had originally been braced against the door, now shot up to grab at Draco’s wrist (the one attached to the hand that was holding his cheeks). 

 

Harry squeezed Draco’s wrist as if it were the only thing that grounded him. The only thing that kept him in touch with reality. The only thing that prevented him from drifting off into the state of bliss and oblivion that he seemed to be headed to. 

 

“Don’t. Ever. Say. That. Again.” Draco pulled back, surprisingly gentle for the mood he was in, and moved his body closer to Harry’s. “Don’t you ever...EVER...imply that you would go to someone else.” 

 

Harry took shaky breaths as Draco leaned back in for another kiss. This time, teeth and tongue were added to the mix. Teeth nipped at Harry’s bottom lip, not only asking for entrance, but also just because biting was another form of marking. When Harry reluctantly granted Draco’s tongue entrance, it eagerly pushed forward. 

 

Draco had to resist the urge to moan in delight. It had been so long, too long, since he and Harry had kissed. It had been too long since he’s had a taste of his dear one.

 

“You’re mine, Harry Potter.” Draco murmured against Harry’s lips, nipping at the other’s tongue when Harry began to come back from his little daze. “And if you ever hint that you would let someone else claim you, then I promise you, I won’t be gentle when we do make love. Understand?” 

 

Harry shivered at the threat, fully aware that he was treading on thin ice-wait, no. Nevermind. The ice already fucking broke. He was somehow walking on water and the tiniest lapse of focus would mean he’d fall in and drown. 

 

No...he could swim. So he wouldn’t drown. He’d probably just freeze. 

 

Which, by the look in Draco’s eye, was sounding more and more preferable as each second passed…

 

“I said…” Draco’s grip on Harry’s cheek tightened, somehow not causing the lower half of Harry’s face to collapse inward from the pressure. “Do you understand, sweetheart?” 

 

Harry gulped. Draco’s voice dropped a few octaves at the pet name and Harry would be lying if he said that didn’t make him weak in the knees. Well, weaker than he currently was at the moment.  

 

Still, Harry didn’t let himself surrender, despite the logical section of his brain encouraging him not to push Draco further. He couldn’t let the other win. They had broken up, Draco had no claim over him. 

 

Despite how much Harry wanted to give in, especially with Draco talking to him in that tone (after kissing him almost senseless), he couldn’t do it. 

 

“I’m not yours.” Harry had to disguise his squeak with a cough as Draco tried to pull his face close again. He was most likely about to receive his third kiss and Harry knew that he could only hold himself back for so long before giving in and just submitting to Draco’s wishes. “We broke up. You have no claim over me. And if you threaten Hermione again, then I’ll let someone fuck me just to spite you.” 

 

Harry spoke quickly, all the while staring directly into Draco’s eyes. It was a power game, of sorts. A form of dominance play. If Harry broke eye contact first, it was like he was submitting to Draco’s will. It was like he was scared of Draco and couldn’t bring himself to look the other in his eye. 

 

That wasn’t the case. Harry was...flustered...of course, but he wasn’t necessarily afraid of Draco. At least, he wasn’t yet…

 

“You just can’t help yourself, can you?” One of Draco’s brows quirked up, surprising Harry. He had fully expected Draco to mindlessly fly into some sort of rage (again) at being denied. “Just have to challenge me at everything...” It was said as more of a statement than a question. 

 

“Thought that was one of the things you loved about me.” Harry couldn’t help but snark back, regaining some of his strength as his mind completely cleared. No hazy feelings whatsoever. The effect that Draco had on him a few moments ago was gone now. 

 

“I did.” Draco conceded, loosening his hold on Harry’s cheeks when Harry finally allowed himself to show a bit of weakness. And by that, I mean Harry winced since Draco’s nails began to bite into his skin. “I still do love that about you, even though what you fight me about drives me absolutely mad.” 

 

Harry simply glared at Draco, pulling at the others wrist as a signal that he wanted him to let go. Now. 

 

“Don’t think this is over.” Draco, ignoring the way Harry struggled, leaned down again to give his little lion a quick peck. “We will be talking about this some more. Hopefully, in a setting where we’ll have some more time to truly delve into the more important matters.” 

 

“Huh?” Harry tried to ask more, but Draco’s lips covering his, even for a split second, left his brain a pile of mush in his head. 

 

“Don’t worry, my little lion.” Draco purred, and Harry couldn’t tell if the purr was an add on to the whole ‘little lion’ thing or if Draco was just being Draco. “All will be crystal clear soon. For now…” 

 

Draco released Harry’s cheeks, watching in amusement as Harry’s hand immediately went up to rub at his sore face. He quickly ‘accio’ed Harry’s wand to his hand and shoved it at Harry. 

 

“Run along back to your lion pride.” And with that, Draco unlocked the door and quickly shoved Harry out before slamming the door closed. Locking it again for good measure. 

 

All the while, a single and simple question kept running through Harry’s mind: what the actual fuck was that?! 

 

Chapter Text

Narcissa smirked lightly as the head of the council stood and handed her the required forms. With a small bow of her head, she thanked him and the other members for their time before walking out of the meeting room. 

 

This was all going too perfect. In her hands were documents, stating that while Sirius was in St. Mungos recovering from his ‘accident’, she now had legal guardianship over Harry Potter. Due to the fact that Harry was a minor, he technically couldn’t make legal decisions over who his guardian was should Sirius be...unfit to watch over him. 

 

A law that Narcissa felt almost no regret exploiting. Even as she was rudely interrupted from writing a letter (to her son) by Remus Lupin, who had flooed to her home without any heads up or permission. 

 

“Mrs. Malfoy.” Remus began, eyes narrowed in a stern glare as the woman placed her quill down and stood up. “Just what are you playing at?” 

 

“Whatever do you mean?” Narcissa tilted her head, blue eyes settled and calm as she regarded the werewolf. 

 

“Sirius’ injury. How did you find out before we did?” The term ‘we’ was a reference to Sirius’ friends and co-workers, who weren’t too far away when the ‘accident’ occurred. Some of them were even the ones to rush him to St. Mungos. “The council has stated that by the time we got him to the hospital, you had already requested guardianship over his ward.” 

 

Narcissa raised a brow at Remus, looking at the other as if he’d just sprouted a mandrake out of his head. “He is my cousin. Family. I am notified immediately if something happens to him.” 

 

“You two haven’t spoken for a while. In my knowledge, you didn’t leave each other on good terms the last time he was here.” Remus made sure to emphasize the word ‘good’ in his sentence. It was another way to express his suspicion about Narcissa. 

 

“Siblings have fights all the time.” Narcissa finally narrowed her eyes, not liking where Remus was going with this. She didn’t know the true extent of how much the werewolf knew about her and Sirius’ relationship, but so far, she didn’t like what he seemed to know. “Yet, that does not change the fact that they do care for each other and will assist the other should they get into trouble.” 

 

“I’m not doubting that you care about Sirius.” Remus was lying through his teeth, but Narcissa didn’t seem to notice. Or care. If anything, she seemed pleased that Remus said that. “What I’m curious about is how quickly you jumped at the chance to claim guardianship over Harry.” 

 

Narcissa raised a brow. Hmmm...seems like not everything was going as perfect as she hoped. She had honestly assumed that Sirius’ friends and coworkers would be happy that Harry even had another guardian to take him in while Sirius was recovering. So happy that they wouldn’t question it, just be glad that he was safe and not on his own. 

 

It appears that she had been incorrect. 

 

“And it’s just Harry.” Remus continued, trying to pressure Narcissa into telling him the truth. “I know you’re aware that Sirius had another ward, a young lady named Hermione Granger. If you’re truly doing this because you want to be a caring family member, then wouldn’t you be taking Ms. Granger in too?” 

 

Narcissa rolled her eyes at this. “Ms. Granger is not legal family, so she’s not my concern.” 

 

Remus couldn’t believe it. Narcissa had sounded to uncaring, had lacked so much compassion, when talking about Hermione. It was a complete opposite to how she was talking just moments ago, when Sirius and Harry were the focus of the conversation. He had doubts that it was because Narcissa was being serious about being a caring family member. Rather, it added more prove to his original theory…

 

“If you were really doing this out of the kindness of your heart or because you want Sirius happy by making sure his wards are safe, you’d be taking in Ms. Granger as well.” Remus watched Narcissa carefully, attentive to her body language and her facial expressions. He looked for any signs that might indicate that she would attack him. 

 

When he found none, he continued, sounding a bit more accusing that he had meant to: “I don’t think you’re doing this for family sake. I think you have an ulterior motive for wanting Harry.” 

 

What that ulterior motive was...again, Remus had a theory. He and Sirius had talked about it before (more like Sirius angrily ranted while Remus tried to keep his friend from destroying whatever he got his hands on). But at the moment, there was no proof of the correlation. 

 

No proof...unless he could get Narcissa to admit it. 

 

“Do you?” Narcissa broke Remus’ train of thought, sounding impatient. Rightfully so, since Remus had just been staring at her for a good portion of time without saying anything. “And pray tell, what motive do you think I have for wanting Harry?” 

 

Here it goes...it was time to bite the bullet…

 

“I don’t think Sirius getting injured was an accident.” Remus ground out slowly, clenching his fists as Narcissa merely tilted her chin up a bit. “I think you had something to do with it.” 

 

“It was an angered pureblood witch who attacked my cousin.” Narcissa pointed out, sounding rather smug with herself. “She had confessed, before the council I might add, that she had been trying to act in retaliation against the corruption of the world.” 

 

A sudden memory flashed through Narcissa’s mind. It started with the utter disgust on the council’s face as they stared at the pitiful witch before them. It was a believable reason, so believable that the council didn’t allow the witch to have a defense representative. 

 

They had listed off her crimes; (attacking a pureblood creature, a member from the house of Black nonetheless), heard her reasoning, then delivered the punishment. A punishment that was easily agreed upon in under half an hour. 

 

The pureblood witch, Caroline Lance, would be publicly executed. Beheaded in front of her fellow pureblood witches/wizards and any pureblood creatures who wanted to take time out of their day to watch. 

 

“She also claimed that she was working alone.” Remus sighed, closing his eyes briefly and shaking his head. As someone close to Sirius, he had been allowed to know Ms. Lance’s punishment before the general public was alerted. That, and the council also just wanted to boast that they had been able to rid the world of another pureblood witch. “Tell me, doesn’t that seem...strange?” 

 

“What do you mean?” Narcissa was genuinely curious. By now, it was clear that no matter what she said, Remus wouldn’t believe her. He had solid reasons not to, she had to admit that. 

 

“There have been several groups of pureblood witches and wizards fighting for equal rights.” They both knew this, so Remus didn’t bother to wait for a response before continuing. “No witch or wizard alone could make any sort of impact. It’s too small and a guaranteed suicide mission because of how our world is. Do you really expect me to believe that a lone witch willingly attacked a pureblood creature, even if she was fighting for equal rights?” 

 

Remus began to sound more and more angry as he talked. It was as if hearing the situation out loud made him realize more and more how ridiculous and cruel it was. 

 

“You are saying that she was pushed into it.” Narcissa hummed as Remus now openly glared at her. Perhaps it was time to end this little game and just come clean. It wasn’t like anything would happen if he knew the truth. 

 

The worst that would happen to her is she’d get a warning, or perhaps have to pay a small fine for lying to the council about her lack of involvement in the case. Caroline Lance would still be executed though, because even if she was forced, she still did attack a pureblood creature. There was no saving her. 

 

“Very well. I must admit, I am not as innocent as the council assumes.” Narcissa sat back down and picked up her quill, now focusing back on the letter. She acted as if Remus wasn’t in the room with her and she was just talking to thin air. “I had some of my house elves bring me a random pureblood witch, then persuaded her to do what I asked.” 

 

Remus shivered in disgust. He didn’t expect Narcissa to really care about what she’d done. Most pureblood creatures probably would’ve done the same thing in her place. Still, it was unsettling, hearing how much lack of care she had for the situation. 

 

She just admitted that she sent an innocent life to death’s door mat. And she didn’t care. Neither did the council, or most of the world. 

 

“You injured your own cousin, so severely that he needed to be kept at St. Mungos for a whole month, because you wanted to get to Harry. You took the life of an innocent away because your son can’t accept that he fucked up.” 

 

Remus wasn’t someone who swore often. He had Sirius for that, who swore more than enough for the two of them. 

 

So Narcissa dropping the quill and looking up to gasp at the werewolf wasn’t unexpected, nor was it inappropriate. Though the shock soon wore off and turned to barely concealed anger. 

 

“My son understands what he’s done and has been pouring his heart and soul out in his attempts at seeking forgiveness.” Narcissa made no motion to stand, but Remus still backed up a bit, more towards the fireplace. You didn’t need to stand to lunge.He also couldn’t see her wand, which was unsettling. “It is no fault of his that some people don’t understand that the problem is between him and Harry alone.” 

 

“You think the best way to remedy the situation is to force Harry closer to Draco?” Remus was now more mindful of his tone, but he didn’t sound meek or understanding. He was still plenty shocked and plenty upset. “You understand that Harry will fight even harder, right? He’s not someone who will give up just because he’s cornered.” 

 

“I am not helping Draco apologize to Harry, that is his responsibility alone.” Narcissa shook her head, as if offended by the idea. “I am simply making sure that the two of them get the privacy they both deserve for having this conversation.” 

 

Remus just stared at Narcissa, silently contemplating the sanity of this woman. Really, he understood the whole ‘what would a mother not do or her child’ situation. Really, he did. 

 

But this? This was just...it was insane. 

 

He prayed, begging for any god or spirit that was listening. Prayed, as he slowly walked backwards towards the fireplace, Narcissa’s eyes remaining on him until he had flooed out. Prayed...that someone was watching over Harry. That someone would be protecting him, giving him strength. Lily’s spirit, James’ spirit...anyone. 

 

At the moment, as afraid as he was to admit it, Harry was on his own. Sirius was in the hospital and Remus, while Sirius’ friend, couldn’t claim legal guardianship over Narcissa, nor could he just march to the council and tell them what Narcissa told them. 

 

They either downright wouldn’t believe him or they wouldn’t care too much about it being the truth. The Malfoy family name held too much influence. 

 

Chapter Text

“Remus…” Harry gasped, hands flying up so he could cover his mouth as he looked pleadingly at Remus’ face. “Please...no... please tell me you’re joking? Remus, tell me you’re joking?!”

 

Remus’ heart broke as he watched panic overtake Harry. As soon as he had gotten home, he flooed the young boy, hoping that he didn’t have any classes. Luck seemed to shine down on him, for Harry had accepted the floo not many seconds after Remus had sent it. 

 

“I’m sorry, Harry.” Remus’ floating head shook, as if he was denying Harry. Which he was. “I told Sirius about what Narcissa had done in hopes that, as your original guardian, he’d be able to sort something else out. Like for you and Hermione to stay with me, or something like that.” 

 

“What was wrong with that?” Harry whimpered, already imagining what could happen to him while he was trapped at Malfoy Manor. “Why did they still say no?” 

 

“Narcissa is Sirius’ cousin, she’s family.” Remus tried to sound patient, as it wouldn’t be fair to take his frustrations out on Harry. He too found the reasoning ridiculous and, if he could, he would be shouting his disapproval to the entire Hogwarts school. “Legally, she has first rights to claim guardianship over you.” 

 

“But...but...what about all those safety laws?” Harry’s hands flew down to the floor, pressing against it. He sounded hopeful, which only made Remus sadder. “Can’t Sirius just say that it isn’t safe for me to be with her and Draco? Draco’s a dominant veela, I’m a submissive! Can’t that sway any council members?” 

 

It had to, right? What if Draco claimed him because...something? There was a high chance that, since Harry had come fully into his inheritance and his body was fully mature, he could get pregnant. Surely the council would see that Draco, being a dominant, was not someone safe to be around for Harry? 

 

And as such, staying at Malfoy Manor was a bad idea? 

 

“He tried.” Remus spoke softly, sounding horrified at the prospect at Harry being claimed against his will (he didn’t put it past the youngest Malfoy at this point). “It’s been promised that Draco is in perfect control of his urges. Not to mention that if there was a problem, then Narcissa would step in and help take care of it. She’s promised to protect you, Harry. I hate what she’s forcing you to do, but I don’t think she's lying.” 

 

‘Her lying isn’t what I’m worried about.’ Harry swallowed audibly, trying to calm his breathing so he didn’t start shouting in frustration. “W-will Hermione at least be with me?” 

 

Please don't say no ...please don’t say that Narcissa was cruel enough to deny that one sense of security…

 

“Narcissa has arranged for Hermione to stay at Hogwarts during the Christmas break.” Remus sighed, remembering Narcissa’s cold words when he spoke with her about Hermione and what would happen to her. “I’m sorry Harry, but I assure you, Hermione will be kept safe. I’ll make sure to visit as often as I can to check up on her and leave a house elf to protect her if other pureblood creatures are staying as well.” 

 

“No, no, I’ll ask Ron.” Harry shook his head and removed his glasses, the stress and the fear finally getting to him. His eyes, now beginning to well with tears, were covered as he took a few more deep breaths. “I’m sure if they understand the situation, they’ll be able to protect each other. Or...maybe Molly and Arthur could take her in?” 

 

It would be disruptive to ask, Harry knew that, and probably inconvenient. But...he couldn’t allow Hermione to get hurt. If she stayed at Hogwarts without him or Ron, with other pureblood creatures, there was no telling what could happen to her. 

 

This wasn’t just the paranoia talking either. 

 

“Harry, I know that this probably won’t help very much, but you need to know that you aren’t alone. No matter what it seems.” Remus gave Harry the sternest look he could. It was rather difficult when all he wanted was to floo into the Gryffindor common room and pull the younger boy into his arms. “Narcissa can’t keep you trapped in the manor without good reason. Neither can Draco. Just because they’re your temporary guardians doesn’t mean they can force you with everything.” 

 

Harry nodded slowly, sniffing a bit as a few stray tears began to roll down his cheeks. Call it him being bratty all you want, he did not like this situation. 

 

He didn’t like that he’d be forced to stay with people he didn’t trust, people he didn’t feel safe with. He didn’t like that Sirius was injured. He didn’t like the prospect of Hermione being here without proper protection. 

 

In his mind, he was well within his rights to shed a few tears from the stress of the situation. 

 

“If they try to force you, then I want you to lock your door and floo me, alright?” Remus sounded alarmed now. No doubt his mind was already conjuring up all sorts of things that could happen. “If I can prove that Draco is a danger to you, I might be able to take guardianship. I can’t promise this, but I can try.” 

 

“The Malfoys are an influential family.” Harry pointed out, wiping his eyes. “Wouldn’t it need to be extreme for the council to agree?” 

 

Remus took a few moments to answer, but the sigh was all Harry needed. He was correct. If it was stated that the Malfoys were a danger to Harry, the council would demand proof. They look for evidence and question him. No doubt with veritaserum. 

 

To get Harry away...it’d have to be something as serious as Draco trying to rape him or something. Which was definitely not something Harry was hoping for, no matter how much he wanted out of this situation. 

 

“Sirius and I are still talking about what else we can do.” Remus paused, trying to think of another solution. “We might be able to convince the council that as his godson, you have rights to see that he’s ok. We may be able to force Narcissa to allow you to spend a certain amount of time at St. Mungos to be with Sirius and she can’t call you back until you’re ready to return.” 

 

It wasn’t the preferred approach, as the council had a high chance of just pointing out that Harry could ask Narcissa to do that. That she didn’t need to be forced by the council. 

 

But...it was a solution nonetheless. 

 

“So essentially...I’d be hiding from them in the hospital.” Harry didn’t want to have to stay so close to Draco, or Narcissa, but that...that didn’t sound too appealing either. It would probably annoy the staff so much that they might ban him from seeing Sirius. Or even being in the facility until Sirius is healed. 

 

“Essentially, yes.” Remus smiled lightly, fully aware that asking Harry to hide anywhere was like asking a cat not to pounce on a bird. It was possible, the cat could listen to your scolding and leave the bird alone, but it was unlikely such a thing would happen. 

 

Harry was stubborn and didn’t like hiding. Especially not from his problems, having learnt the hard way that the past can come back to bite you in the arse. 

 

“I guess...I guess I should...tell Hermione?” Harry allowed some more tears to fall, biting his bottom lip to keep any sounds from coming out. 

 

“That would be wise.” Remus’ head moved a bit in an approving nod. “I’ll get in contact with the Weasleys and see if they have anything that could help.” 

 

“Don’t bother them.” Harry sighed, rubbing a hand down his face. He could feel the guilt coming on already, and nothing had even been done yet. “At least not yet. I’ll talk to Ron first, maybe I’ll be able to convince him to stay here with Hermione.” 

 

It was unlikely, seeing as how Ron (like many other people he knew) would want to be with his family for the holidays. If he agreed to this, Harry and Hermioe would both owe him big time. Cause good reason or not, asking someone to stay away from their family during the holiday was pretty selfish. 

 

“Thanks for letting me know.” Harry stood up, trying his best to smile at Remus as he waved. “Goodbye, Remus. I’ll owl you later on whether or not Ron agreed.” 

 

“I’ll still be talking to the Weasleys.” Remus smiled back. He couldn’t wave since this was a floo call, but his nod served as a decent ‘farewell’ gesture. “And goodbye, Harry. Remember what I said: you aren’t alone. We’ll all try to help you as best we can.” 

 

Before Harry could thank Remus, or assure the other man that he understood, Remus’ head disappeared from the fireplace. Leaving Harry alone in the Gryffindor common room. 

 

“So this is what he meant.” Harry hung his head and mumbled to himself as he climbed the stairs to the dormitory, where the rest of his friends were. They wanted to give him privacy for his call, that’s why the common room was empty. 

 

‘We will be talking about this some more. Hopefully, in a setting where we’ll have some more time to truly delve into the more important matters. Don’t worry, my little lion. All will be crystal clear soon.’

 

Those were Draco’s words and Harry cursed himself a thousand times in his head for not digging deeper. He should’ve known...he should’ve fucking known…

 

Draco Malfoy was a Slytherin for a reason. He was the fucking Slytherin Prince for a number of reasons. 

 

Cunning, resourceful, ambitious, clever, determined…

 

Harry had once admired some of those traits. Even when he disliked Draco, when he had thought that the other was just the biggest prat in existence. 

 

Harry had once admired the cunning, resourceful, and determined mind of the Slytheirns. Almost feeling honored that the hat saw those things in him and almost put him in Slytherin. 

 

Now though...now he just had more reasons to add to his already long list of why he hated Slytherins. Especially certain ones…

 

“Hey, I’m back.” Harry opened the door gently and all conversation in the room stopped as everyone quickly took in Harry’s appearance. “What did I miss?” 

 

“What did you miss?” Seamus asked, sounding surprised. “Mate, I think we should be asking you that question.” 

 

“Yeah, you’re crying, Harry.” Neville looked concerned and abandoned his place on his bed to start walking up to Harry. While he wasn’t as quick as Ron or Hermione for getting to Harry, he was better than Seamus and Dean. 

 

The two were still quite shocked and hadn’t even moved from their places. 

 

“What happened? What did Remus say?” Hermione used her sleeve to wipe some of the tears away, mindful of Harry’s glasses. She thought they were hideous and was a full supporter of Harry getting some new ones, but she wouldn’t break them by being careless. 

 

“Sirius got hurt.” Harry began, holding up a hand when some mouths opened. Most likely to ask if Sirius was ok or not. “He’s in St. Mungos and apparently he’s going to be staying there for a month.” 

 

Ron and Hermione gaped, glancing at each other nervously. A whole month...that meant over Christmas Break. That meant that Harry and Hermione couldn’t go back to him. 

 

Where would they be staying? Was Remus going to take them in? Would they stay here? What would happen to them? 

 

“Hermione, we’re still minors, so the council isn’t really fond of the idea of us going to Sirius’ home without supervision.” 

 

Hermione scoffed lightly. Supervision...yeah right. The council wasn’t concerned over their state of health. Well, at least not hers, they were probably a bit worried for Harry. ‘Without supervision’ in her case was probably just another way for the council to say that they didn’t want her out and about if she wasn’t under a pureblooded creature’s ‘control’. 

 

It was sickening. 

 

“So...someone else will be taking us in.” Harry swallowed audibly, lifting his head to meet everyone’s eyes. “Well, they’ll be taking me in. They’ve arranged for Hermione to be staying here during the break.” 

 

“What?!” A chorus of outrage broke out. Even Neville, who was normally more shy and composed, couldn’t hide his anger. 

 

“That's dangerous!” Ron exclaimed, throwing his hands up and grabbing at his hair with narrowed eyes. “What if there are other pureblood creatures are staying here too? They could take advantage of our absences! Especially if they’re Slytherins!” 

 

“How is it possible though?” Dean sounded more depressed than angry now, bringing a hand up to cover his mouth in shock. “You’re both Sirius’ wards, doesn’t this person need to take you both in because of it?” 

 

“Yeah, that’s what I thought too.” Neville tilted his head, brow furrowed as he tried to think of the reason something like this would be happening. 

 

Harry didn’t keep them waiting for long though. “Guys...it’s Narcissa Malfoy.” He blinked a few times as realization began to dawn. “She’s Sirius’ cousin, so...apparently she has first claim over me since he’s hurt.” 

 

“Malfoy…” Seamus whispered, saying the name as if it were an Unforgivable Curse. “I can’t believe it…” 

 

“But...but Draco…” Neville looked from Harry’s defeated face to Ron’s angry one. “She can’t seriously...this isn’t…” 

 

“Remus said that Narcissa admitted to taking part in Sirius getting hurt.” Harry’s fists clenched from where they were resting on his sides. “She knew that if he wasn’t fit for housing me, then she would be the next in line because they’re related. All that legal shit and stuff. He also said that she’s doing this so Draco and I can have a private talk about our current...relationship.” 

 

“That blasted ferret!” Ron roared, turning around to punch a hole in the wall. A rather large hole as well, one that would probably need more than one spell to fix. “He’s fucking twisted! An absolute nutter!” 

 

“Preach it!” Seamus shouted, smiling lightly in agreement.

“I know.” Harry ground out, shutting his eyes and trying his best not to shriek out at the injustice of the world (there would be a lot of shrieking). “This entire situation is fucked up, but I think we should be focusing less on that and more on Hermione.” 

 

Harry turned to his friend, giving her a worried look. His fists unclenched as she bit her bottom lip, understanding what he was implying without him needing to say it. 

 

“Remus said that he’d try to visit as much as he could, or he’d send someone here to watch over you.” Harry tried to remember exactly what the werewolf said as he hurried to soothe his friend. “But...I told him it might not be enough. So, Ron, I know this might be difficult, but-” 

 

“I’ll check in with my parents.” Ron promised, looking determined. “If I can’t stay here, then Hermione’s coming with me to the Burrow.” 

 

Hermione and Harry sighed in relief and launched forward to hug Ron. Alright, half of the situation had been solved. Now for the other half...the more complicated half…

 

Chapter Text

“If I wouldn’t get in trouble for doing so, I’d tear you to shreds.” Ron made sure to bare his teeth as he gave Harry a last minute hug before allowing Draco to drag his friend away. Or, not allowing, but not being able to do much to stop it. “What you’re doing is absolutely despicable.” 

 

Draco rolled his eyes at Ron. He hadn’t expected the other to approve of his actions. He hadn’t really wanted him to either. Draco was doing this because he needed Harry to understand, not because he wanted to please the Weasel. 

 

If he wanted to do that, he’d just buy an entire candy factory for Weasley. 

 

“You must be careful, Harry.” Hermione whispered in Harry’s ear as she got her own last minute hug. “I wish we could help you....” 

 

“I know. Thank you.” Harry murmured back, nuzzling into Hermione, as if he was soaking up as much as he strength as she would allow him to take. “But there’s really nothing any of us can do right now. I’ll just...lock myself in my room if I have to...” 

 

Hermione glared at the ground, gritting her teeth. “At least in that case, Draco can’t touch you.” She spoke with an acidic tone, as if imagining that very scenario happening. 

 

Which it would. It’d be idiotic for any of them to think that Draco wouldn’t touch Harry now that he had the chance to do it wthout Harry’s ‘body guards’ (friends) getting in the way. 

 

“Ehem.” Draco cleared his throat, lightly glaring at Hermione before raising a brow at Harry. “Darling, we should get going.” 

 

Harry sighed into Hermione’s shoulder and gave her an encouraging kiss on the cheek (a wish for luck and just to spite Draco) before relinquishing his hold on her. 

 

“Keep each other safe.” Harry murmured as he clutched his bag tighter to him. “Tell Remus if anything bad happens, alright? And please...wish your parents a happy Christmas for me?” 

 

Ron nodded, throwing an arm around Hermione so he could pull her close. His parents had been more than understanding when Ron owled them, requesting that he stay at Hogwarts for Christmas break. They even asked if they should floo over and help, but all three of them denied the request. 

 

Molly and Arthur had time to relax now that it was Christmas break. Neither Harry, Ron, nor Hermione wanted to ruin that for them. 

 

“I’ll owl over the presents that mum and dad got you.” Ron smiled reassuringly. 

 

“I hid all your presents in my nightstand.” Harry admitted, giggling when Ron facepalmed. “I knew you wouldn’t look there.” 

 

“It’s the most obvious place to hide stuff!” Ron tried to defend himself, though he was smiling back at Harry. A real one, not a sad one or a forced one. 

 

“I know, that’s how I knew you wouldn’t waste your time looking there.” Harry smiled, feeling proud of himself for being able to hide the presents without the use of his invisibility cloak, which he’s had to use for the last four years since he didn't have a good hiding spot in mind at the time. “You’ll need to unshrink them, just heads up.” 

 

Ron nodded, clutching Hermione closer as Draco took this opportunity to reach out and grab Harry. His grip was gentle, but firm. The way he pulled Harry was not. It was sharp and unrelenting, leaving Harry to wince a bit. 

 

If that bruised his wrist, he was gonna smack Draco’s pretty grey eyes out of their sockets. And yes, that was possible. Harry would make it. They lived in a world where one could go back in time, for Merlin’s sake.

 

“Come now, love.” Draco smirked at Harry for a second before directing a bored look at Ron and Hermione. “It’s time for us to leave.” 

 

Harry kept his snarky response to himself and settled for a curt nod in response. With a look of longing back, one that was returned by both of his friends, Harry willed his feet to walk forward. To walk away from the safety of Hermione and Ron and into Draco’s arms. 

 

Metaphorically and literally, in a sense. 

 

“Just so we’re clear, I get my own room.” Harry spoke in low tones, trying to make himself sound intimidating. “Even if that means I have to sleep in a garden shed, or something.” 

 

“A garden shed?” Draco raised a brow, looking perfectly offended and indignant at the mere thought. Putting his little lion in a shed...honestly. He knew Harry was upset with him, but that was a bit much. “Come now, I know you’re upset with this arrangement, but surely you don’t think that mother and I are that cruel?” 

 

“Your mother purposefully hurt Sirius, her own cousin, just to force me to live with you for a week.” Harry growled, tilting his head up so he could glare right into Draco’s eyes. Blazing green met flashing silver. “Forgive me if I act suspicious about her hospitality.” 

 

Draco pursed his lips. He probably should call Harry out on that as it would not do to have him thinking it was alright to use that as a shield whenever he liked. His mother was feeling guilty about hurting her cousin, whether anyone believe her or not. She just didn’t regret it and the outcome. 

 

Which is completely different from feeling no guilt. His mother wasn’t heartless, just trying to do what she could for her son. Not her fault that measures had to be so extreme. 

 

Then again...pointing this out to Harry would definitely cause the other to get defensive. And they weren’t at the manor yet. It would be awfully unpleasant if they were to get into a fight after spending only 5 minutes together. 

 

While it’s happened before, it wasn’t something Draco wanted at this specific moment. Especially since they had a long train ride ahead as well. 

 

“You will not be going in a shed.” Draco murmured, releasing Harry’s wrist so he could wrap his arm around Harry’s shoulders. With a small pull, Harry lost his balance and fell into Draco. “However, I’m afraid that you won’t be getting your own room either.” 

 

“Let me guess...I have to stay with you.” Harry struggled briefly in Draco’s hold, but realized after a few moments that it wasn’t worth the energy. He’d save what energy he had and use it during the train ride, where he’d most likely have to spend most of the ride trying to keep calm. 

 

Yes, he was super anxious. Surprised? Better not be…

 

“Of course.” Draco hummed in amusement, eyes forward so he wouldn’t accidentally lead Harry and himself into someone. Now that they were getting closer to the station, there were more people walking around. Some were more aware than others. 

 

Harry didn’t respond, just kept his eyes forward and hoped that the week would be over soon. It was kinda sad when one thought about it. 

 

First of all, the week didn’t even start yet and Harry was already wishing it would end. Dare he say it, the current feeling of dread he could feel clawing at his stomach could be described as close to how scared he always was when he was with the Dursleys. It’s been years since he even saw them, but the fear would never leave him. 

 

Second of all, it was Christmas break. Shouldn’t people be happy during that time? 

 

Though, as Harry thought about it...maybe he was being a bit dramatic with that second reason. Pureblood wizards and witches had it worse. Most adults didn’t get breaks from their jobs during Christmas and ended up working more shifts and earning no extra pay for said shifts. 

 

‘Maybe I’m being a bit selfish for that second reason.’ Harry winced as his mind immediately brought up Hermione. Bloody hell…

 

“Ah, Draco, Potter.” A familiar voice cut off Harry’s thoughts and, upon regaining his focus, he was met with the smirking face of Blaise Zabini. “What took you two so long?” 

 

Harry only glared, hoping that Blaise would get the hint that he really didn’t want to talk to the vampire right now. That he’d rather be left alone to stew in peace. 

 

Of course he wouldn’t get that wish granted. 

 

“His bodyguards didn’t want to give him up.” Draco snorted, answering for both him and Harry. “Honestly, it’s just a week. It’s not like they’ll never see him again.”

 

Blaise chuckled at Draco’s choice of words, subtly glancing at Harry to see how the other would react. Surprisingly, at least to Blaise, Harry didn’t say anything. Not verbally. His eyes screamed promises of painful deaths if Blaise decided to talk to him again, or if Draco didn’t let him go.

 

Other than that, nothing out of the usually expressive Gryffindor. 

 

“I’m assuming that since I don’t have a headache yet, Greg and Vince managed to complete their task?” Draco raised a brow at Blaise, ignoring the nasty look that Harry was sending both him and his friend. 

 

They’d have plenty of time to talk about it once they got to the manor, after all. 

 

“Yep.” Blaise popped the ‘p’ a bit while crossing his arms over his chest. The look of pure relief he had on his face was enough to rival Draco’s. 

 

Which was saying something. Blaise would happily admit (any day) that no one would be more relieved that Pansy was not present than Draco. No one in the entire fucking school. And if someone wanted to try, then step right up. They had no idea what Draco had to go through when it came to that deluded little siren. 

 

“What task?” Harry looked around, trying to see if he could see Greg or Vince from where he was standing. He was unsuccessful and after a few moments, Draco didn’t seem to appreciate that his attention was wandering, so the other veela forced Harry to look forward. 

 

Even though it was clear that Harry was looking for someone, Draco wouldn’t take any chances. The way Harry was looking around could fool anyone into thinking that he was looking for the nearest escape route. It wouldn’t be unlike Harry to pull something as risky as trying to run while in a crowded place. 

 

“Just making sure that Parkinson won’t be coming into our compartment.” Blaise answered as the train whistled, signalling that it was time to board. “She’s been pretty insistent on spending some time with Draco during the break.” 

 

‘Parkinson.’ Harry bit his lip to keep the curses from escaping as Draco pulled him forward so all three of them could board the train. Fucking hell...he honestly forgot about her. 

 

Which is strange...considering she is part of the reason he and Draco broke up. Not to mention that she was part of the main group of Slytherins that loved to torment Hermione. 

 

Maybe he was just a bit too focused on dreading this break that he forgot? That made sense...Parkinson, as annoying and terrible as she was, wasn’t important to Harry. And people tend not to remember things that aren’t important. 

 

Wait...speaking of annoyances...maybe Harry could use this, now that he thought about it. It would probably annoy Draco and Blaise, meaning they’d both be in bad moods during the ride, but Harry couldn’t bring it within himself to care too much. After all, Draco was annoying him plenty by making him do this. 

 

“Well, if she’s so insistent, then why don’t you spend the break with her?” Harry made himself sound as innocent as possible. No sass, no snark, no laughing. It was an honest question because he was curious (a complete lie). “Surely she’d be better company?” 

 

Blaise snorted in disgust as Draco quickly turned his head to stare down at Harry. The look the Slytherin gave Harry reminded him of the time he asked Sirius about what the ‘birds and bees’ talk was. Which was to say...traumatized...with a hint of pleading in the eyes. It was pretty funny, though Harry felt it was better not to say that out loud. 

 

“Absolutely not!” Draco quickly lead the three of them to where he and Blaise normally sat on the train before sitting down himself. 

 

The seat was meant for two people on each side, so Harry assumed that Draco would move over to give him space to sit next to him. Unless the other wanted Harry to sit across from him and next to Blaise. Unlikely, but anything could happen. 

 

“Draco!” Harry yelped as he was pulled onto the other’s lap. He pushed at Draco’s arms and tried to kick his feet out so he could gain some footing again, but it was a vain attempt. “Draco, let me go!” 

 

“Shhh.” Draco moved to rest his head on Harry’s shoulder. He pressed his lips right next to Harry’s ear and gave the outer shell a lick. He knew how flustered Harry could get when he did this, so he made sure to use that to his advantage. 

 

No apologies for it. Harry’s blush was pretty and the way he’d shudder or groan whenever Draco got him in certain moods always excited the Slytherin Prince. Especially with how much time has passed since he’s been able to do this…

 

“Might as well get comfortable, Potter.” Blaise took his seat across from the couple, smirking that infuriating smirk that all Slytherins just seemed to have by default. It creeped Harry out. A lot. “Cause something tells me you’re gonna be there for a while.” 

 

Harry stopped struggling for a second to lift his middle finger up at Blaise. Neither Slytherin knew what it meant, but that didn’t take any of the satisfaction out of it. 

 

Chapter Text

Harry all but leaped out of Draco’s lap when the train pulled up at the station. With the Slytherin’s arms no longer holding him hostage, Harry was all too willing to put some space between them. That, and his legs had fallen asleep. So being able to stand again was quite nice as well. Unfortunately, the privilege wasn’t long lasting. 

 

For obvious reasons, Draco’s immediate thought when Harry left his arms was that Harry would run. A compartment full of Slytherins wouldn’t stop his little lion from booking it. Harry had an uncanny ability to slip through the cracks really easily. Probably because of his small stature. 

 

Quidditch did wonders for Harry in certain ways, but height wasn’t one of them. 

 

“Hey.” Draco’s hand whipped out to catch Harry’s wrist. Were Harry truly trying to escape, he probably would’ve been pulling and shrieking to be released, but Draco wasn’t listening to the part of the brain that warned him of that. He wasn’t going to take any risks. “Come back here.” 

 

Draco spoke quietly, but the warning in his tone couldn’t be missed by anybody who could hear him. Most of the other Slytherins in the surrounding compartments didn’t care too much about it though. Harry wasn’t their responsibility (thank Merlin for that). If he was lost on the train or in the station, it wasn’t their problem. As long as they made no motion to take him away from Draco or try and help Harry escape, there wouldn’t be a ruckus. 

 

“I wasn’t exactly planning on going anywhere.” Harry grouched as he was, once again, crushed to Draco’s side. Why did he like being this close to the other when they were together again? Was it ever suffocating? 

 

Is it even suffocating now? 

 

Harry didn’t even know anymore. His mind was going everywhere. He had little to nothing to distract himself from the current predicament and pretty much everything Draco did reminded him of their past relationship. 

 

Being stuck on Draco’s lap for the hours worth long train ride? Harry’s mind went back to those weekends where he and Draco would sit quietly in one of their dorms and just cuddle. Maybe take a nap or two. Draco loved holding Harry and Harry (he only admitted this twice out loud and got teased for it both times) really loved being held. 

 

Watching Draco glare and hiss at everyone who so much as looked at Harry (who wasn’t Blaise, Greg, or Vincent)? It reminded Harry of the first few months of their courting. They both decided that it was probably for the best that they didn’t make it public yet. Harry didn’t want a house full of Slytherins on his ass and Draco admitted that he could do without all of Harry’s friends trying to take him apart. But there were those people who they really couldn’t hide it from. 

 

It was mostly just Blaise, though Greg and Vicent found out later when Draco actually decided to tell them. To this day, Harry still didn’t know why Draco trusted to tell them as soon as he had. He trusted Ron and Hermione with his life, but he still waited for some time before breaking the news. 

 

Anyway...back to the original point...their relationship had been exposed to three people. All Slytherins. Blaise wasn’t exactly bad. He was never really rude to Harry or anything, but there was always that sense of amusement coming from the vampire. Like he thought Draco’s and Harry’s relationship was a joke. Greg and Vince were more aggressive towards Harry after finding out, but learned that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to continue. 

 

Draco had a lot of say in that, he hissed and growled whenever Greg or Vince looked at Harry for an entire month after they learned of the relationship. Like Greg or Vince would allow themselves to be intimidated by Harry unless Harry showed them exactly why they should be afraid of him. That was asking for too much. Unfortunately, as Draco liked to tease, Harry’s little Gryffindor heart wouldn’t allow him to inflict any real damage without a damn good reason. 

 

Moving on though…before Harry got himself worked up...

 

Being crushed to Draco’s side as Draco pulled him out of the train? That was kind of an add on to the second memory. Draco never really got out of the habit of practically gluing Harry to his side while he was around his friends. It wasn’t very often in a general sense, but it was often enough for Draco. He trusted his friends (to an extent) with Harry, since he had been pretty generous with his warnings, but he could easily tell how nervous Harry still was around other Slytherins. 

 

It was a mix between a soothing gesture for Harry and a warning gesture against the people who knew about their relationship. Or just everyone else in general. A giant banner that screamed ‘Harry is mine and if you touch him (if you can even get to him while he’s plastered to my side) then I will make you wish you were never born’. 

 

“I’ll see ya later, Draco.” Blaise called out as he spotted his mother. She was in the opposite direction of where Draco appeared to be walking. “Good luck with your...reconciliation?” Blaise tilted his head and his tone took a curious turn. 

Could what Draco was doing with Harry be considered reconciliation? Also, should Blaise have been wishing his friend luck with getting his relationship back or luck in not losing any limbs? Or both? Priorities...priorities...

 

“Thanks Blaise.” Draco smiled as he waved back. “Enjoy your break. Wish your mother well for me, would you?” 

 

Blaise smiled and nodded before turning around and walking towards his mother. While Draco walked in the opposite direction with Harry tucked in his arm. His mother decided to request to meet them a bit farther away from the station. She most likely figured that Harry would have a few things to say to her concerning Sirius. 

 

There was no question that Remus had told Harry what happened. The werewolf even mentioned something along the lines of ‘warning’ Harry after Narcissa had confessed. Or, maybe he didn't and Narcissa could just sense that he was going to? Draco didn’t remember what it was. 

 

All he could confirm was that his mother knew that Remus had told Harry about her involvement in Sirius’ injury. She had fully expected Harry’s retaliation, whether it be small and subtle or loud and expressive. 

 

Draco would try to keep it subtle if he could. He understood Harry’s anger and made a mental note to apologize to cousin Sirius himself (and maybe get the poor mutt something nice as an apology gift while he was recovering at the hospital). Though that didn’t mean that Draco would allow Harry to harm his mother in any way. 

 

Not that he was calling his mother weak. She could most definitely protect herself should Harry decide to attack her. It was more of a ‘do I want to be stuck in the middle of a mother vs mate fight’ situation. 

 

‘Actually…’ Draco glanced down at Harry, noting the other’s tense body and scrunched up face. ‘Maybe we should have a few minutes to calm down first…’ 

 

Instead of wrestling with an ‘in the moment’ situation, why not use the time they have now to try and get Harry to calm down? It might just work out in both Draco’s and Narcissa’s favor…

 

“Now darling, I understand that you may be upset with my mother.” Draco began, keeping his eyes on Harry even as Harry whipped up to stare right back at him. Anyone else might’ve been intimidated or unnerved by Harry glaring at them, pure green eyes blazing with barely repressed fiery and venom. To Draco, it was actually kind of cute. 

 

It reminded him of the years before they decided courting. When Harry would try to hide how impressed or flustered he was when Draco did certain things with a well placed glare. Or when Draco tried to flirt with him and Harry would either curse him out or respond with sarcasm. 

 

Harry really did make Draco work for his affection, especially with how their pasts were. 

 

“But I’m telling you now that you’re not allowed to attack her.” Draco’s voice turned from sympathetic to firm, he even growled at Harry when the other opened his mouth to respond. Harry didn’t get any words out before Draco continued: “You won’t like what I do to you if you try to harm my mother.” 

 

‘So we’re starting off with threats then. Lovely.’ Harry thought sarcastically as he bared his teeth at Draco. He didn’t even get to say his piece yet. How bloody rude…

 

“Despite what you Slytherins may think about us Gryffindors, we do have brains. We’re not all mindless, impulsive idiots.” Harry kept his tone low as they walked. He didn’t really feel comfortable about the idea of other people hearing what he and Draco were discussing. “I have no doubt that if I tried to go after your mother, she may as well rip me to shreds.” 

 

Harry didn’t want to sound scared at the prospect. Certainly, being ripped to shreds wasn’t the worst way to go. With any luck, he’d die of blood loss after having his first limb ripped off and not have to suffer through feeling the others being ripped off as well. 

 

Not to mention that there were more curses than there were English words in the world. Surely at least a hundred of them would be worse to experience than bleeding out profusely. 

 

But...this was Narcissa Malfoy. Draco’s mother and Sirius’ cousin. Harry would gamble a handsome amount of galleons and bet that the woman was already cross with him for breaking Draco’s heart. And like with how Daphne and the other girls in her group handled getting detention over attacking Hermione, Narcissa probably had the same mindset. She’d probably use the same logic and justify that Harry ‘forced’ her to attack her own cousin just so Harry would be alone with Draco. 

 

Normally Harry didn’t like assuming the worst in people, but right now, the worst was all he could see. 

 

“She wouldn’t hurt you like that.” Draco stared at Harry, bewildered. Was his lion purposefully being obtuse? If his mother wanted to hurt Harry so badly, then she would’ve done so already. She wouldn’t have gone to this much effort to get Harry to Malfoy Manor. Alone, but otherwise unharmed. 

 

Draco figured that that fact would be obvious...especially to Harry. He knew how much Draco disliked things like wasted time or putting effort into things that weren’t worth it. Was it so hard to believe that his own mother, the woman who raised him, didn't have a similar mindset? 

 

“I don’t believe you.” Harry murmured, ducking his head low as he caught sight of someone staring directly at them. 

 

A woman, and judging by her elegant clothing, a pureblood creature. No pureblood witch or wizard would ever be able to afford such clothing, and even if they could, they probably wouldn’t use their money for it. They’d use it for getting ahead of things like rent or stocking up on food. As said before many times, survival could be harsh for many. 

 

Back to the woman though, at first glance, Harry could have just assumed that she was a random stranger. A random stranger who knew who Draco was and was curious on why he was holding someone like he was holding Harry. Upon further inspection, as they got closer, Harry could make out a few distinct features. Features that he could identify as similar to...

 

Realization dawned and Harry found himself ducking his head. Sirius never showed him any pictures of Narcissa Malfoy, but even if he did, it wouldn't of prepared Harry for seeing her in person. She was beautiful. Harry now understood where Draco got it from. And the realization made Harry want to bang his head on the nearest wall. 

 

Chapter Text

“He is...not what I expected.” Narcissa glanced at the staircase that Tipsy, one of their house elves, had escorted Harry to after entering the mansion. The boy had been quite eager to get his things settled in. Most likely, being in the presence of both Malfoys was overwhelming him and he needed a chance to breathe. 

 

Poor boy…

 

“What do you mean, mother?” Draco walked closer to his mother, joining her in glancing at the staircase. Harry and tipsy had disappeared after turning a corner, but their eyes remained as if there were people still walking up the stairs. “If I recall correctly, you expressed quite the amount of amusement in the past concerning my...longer letters.” 

 

Draco blushed, feeling a bit embarrassed as he too took a trip down memory lane. While he didn’t expect Harry or his mother to bond very much with the given circumstances and the given time, he still hoped that they would establish something stronger than acquaintances. And if they did, he really hoped his mother didn’t choose ‘embarrassing Draco by sharing his past letters about Harry with Harry’ as an activity. 

 

He wouldn’t put it past her to do such a thing. 

 

“It still amuses me when I think about those letters.” Narcissa turned her gaze away from the stairs to laugh softly. Whenever she and her son shared moments like this, reminiscing about the nicer times of the past, she couldn’t help but feel relieved. 

 

Most mothers would probably just feel happy. Maybe even a bit embarrassed themselves if their child managed to turn the tables. Narcissa...she was happy, but one could argue it was a different type of happiness. Relief wasn’t the same as pure joy. 

 

The only reason she felt relief instead of joy most of the time was because of Lucius. Most of the memories she had of Draco’s childhood was her trying to gently steer Lucius away from hurting their son. Memories of when she still loved him and believed he would change. 

 

To be able to drag up a memory that didn't involve that, that didn’t involve Lucius in any way...that was private between loving mother and beloved son…

 

It was a relief. A proof that Narcissa and Draco still had good moments with each other, despite what the patriarch of the Malfoy family had done to both of them. 

 

“He is very...hmmm…” Narcissa was actually having a hard time with this. Saying that Harry was not how she expected would merit some questions and wonder. That’s not surprising. Nut now that she actually has to answer, she doesn’t know what to say. 

 

It was quite frustrating. Particularly because she did have an answer, a way to describe Harry, a few moments ago when she made her observation. 

 

“Quiet.” Narcissa finally came to the word she was looking for. 

 

It wasn’t...originally what she planned to say, Draco was sure. His mother tended to be more specific when describing people. One word didn’t really do that job very well. You needed at least an entire sentence. 

 

“In your letters, you’ve always claimed he was an expressive person.” Narcissa continued, breaking Draco’s train of thought. Ah, here it came. “I was prepared for him to be angry with this arrangement. Perhaps try to expose my actions in public as retribution for what I had done to Sirius.” 

 

Draco decided that he wouldn’t mention the warning he gave Harry about that. He had no doubt that if he did, his mother would easily slide from one subject to another. Knowing her, she’d probably forget Harry’s attitude entirely and begin to lecture him on the importance of how to treat your desired mate. 

 

Even though the situation itself if a very poor example of how to do so. 

 

“He was very quiet. Didn’t look at me if he didn’t need to.” Narcissa had a thoughtful look on her face. Normally, people tend to get offended or even apprehensive if they were treated like that. Narcissa just seemed to find it interesting. 

 

“He hasn’t exactly been very willing to look at me much either.” Draco brought a hand up to rub the back of his neck, giving his mother a bashful smile. “Most I got were some glares here and there. Otherwise, he tried to avoid eye contact.” 

 

Narcissa hummed in thought and redirected her eyes to the stairs. Truly, Harry’s attitude did surprise her. So much so that she wasn’t really sure how to handle the situation. 

 

She had expected the afternoon to be filled with trying to help Draco restrain Harry for when he lashed out and tried to harm everything he could get his hands on. Not to say that Harry was a brute, but a caged animal did tend to snap if agitated. And Narcissa could say that the analogy fit Harry perfectly. 

 

Harry was a young boy who just came into his inheritance if she remembered correctly. He was sixth year, meaning he’s either 16 or 17 and just a few months younger than Draco, so that meant he was still 16...so yeah, Harry would’ve come into his full inheritance over the summer. That being said, and Narcissa didn’t know if this was the case, but Harry could still be feeling some hormonal effects of his new inheritance. 

 

A popular affect for most dominants and submissives would be their level of aggression. Mainly because of how their instincts demanded they choose only the strongest of mates. The only one that may best them in a physical dispute for submissives. So...Harry could still be feeling that…

 

“I-uh...I may have also...insisted…” Draco had to keep himself from cringing as he used that word. In this case, it was being used very lightly. Very, very lightly. “I may have insisted that he stay in my room. So he may be feeling a bit...oppressed…” 

 

Again, the word was being used very lightly to, hopefully, lift some of the tension that was already beginning to form in the atmosphere. 

 

Narcissa narrowed her eyes at her son. “Draco-” She began, already sounding like she was on the verge of unleashing an hour’s long worth lecture upon Draco. Really, and she only took 10 seconds to react to what he said. 

 

“I’m not going to do anything to him.” Draco brought up his hands in a type of placating gesture, hoping to soothe his mother’s concerns. “I swear, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t lay a finger on him like that unless given explicit permission to do so. He’s already undoubtedly furious with me, I don’t want him to be terrified of me as well.” 

 

And really, Draco didn’t. He wouldn’t. God, this whole mess started because he didn’t want to pressure Harry into that. Draco wanted to wait until Harry came to him. He wanted Harry to make the first move as a sign that he loved Harry. That he valued Harry’s opinion. 

 

“My Dragon...that’s not what I was worried about.” Narcissa’s features softened at the look he son gave her. At the tone he used. 

 

Merlin, she wouldn’t accuse her son of such a thing. She knew it wasn’t in his nature to…

 

No matter how the situation looked, or what anyone else thought, Narcissa knew that Draco wasn’t like that. Perhaps she should’ve been a bit more clear in her intentions. Though in his defense, Draco interrupted her before she could get anything besides his name out. 

 

“I am simply worried that too much time in your presence will do more harm than good.” Narcissa took only a step or two to reach her son. She cupped his pale face with her gentle hands, so he could leech off any and all comfort she offered. “You are currently the source of his discomfort, my Dragon. And while I encourage you to take advantage of the privacy you two now have, it won’t do to smother young Harry. It will only make him feel more caged, which will in turn make him more likely to lash out.” 

 

Narcissa could see how much it hurt for Draco to hear, out loud no less, that he was the reason Harry was feeling any sort of discomfort. Any sort of pain. She knew that all Draco wanted was to love Harry and be loved in return. Just who didn’t want that with their mate? 

 

Unfortunately, as the popular saying goes, the truth hurts. The truth, the only thing that would help Draco in this situation, would hurt him before it offered any sort of guidance. 

 

“Allow him his own room, my Dragon.” Narcissa soothed her cold words with a gentle voice. Hopefully, it would help take some of the stress and anxiety from her son so he could actually think straight. “Perhaps tomorrow, or the day after if that would be more preferable, you could also take him to see cousin Sirius? As a show of good faith.” 

 

Draco’s brows shot up at that. His mother was a wise woman. A very wise woman. Even in tense situations, she didn’t rush into things. She was cautious, she took her time planning and preparing. Planning and preparing that benefited her and her family greatly when all was said and done. 

 

But this? This didn’t sound like a good plan. This sounded like she was sending Draco into the battlefield without any armor or weapons. 

 

Ok, maybe some weapons since he had his wand and could unleash a fiery hell if he got too angry. Still though...battlefield. 

 

He’d be in St. Mungos with Harry and Sirius. One a boy who really didn’t trust or like him at the moment and probably wouldn’t defend him if there were any shows of aggression aimed at Draco. The other, an injured but still powerful animagus who would probably be the one to threaten harm. Despite being hospitalized and at a clear disadvantage. 

 

And...oh mother of Merlin, Draco didn’t even want to think about what would happen to him if Remus Lupin or Nymphadora Tonks was there, visiting Sirius as well. He knew the werewolf was normally a restrained man, but Harry being under threat tended to bring out the worst in people. And Nymphadora...she probably wasn’t his or his mother’s biggest fan right now either. For hurting so many people that she cared about…

 

“It’s just an idea, my Dragon.” Narcissa’s lips pulled up in a small smile as he son had a small panic attack. If she didn’t know any better, she’d say that he didn’t trust her. He had a right to, of course. They were in a pretty tight spot with plenty of people. “Who knows? Perhaps Harry will take it as a sign that you’re not the complete bastard that he and his friends are making you out to be.” 

 

Draco blinked a few times at his mother. She wasn’t someone who was too bothered by words like that. She’s heard them plenty of times in other cases. However, she also isn’t one who’d go around saying them. 

 

She preferred to be polite and proper if she could help it. She encouraged Draco to try and do the same, even though he didn’t really share the same mindset as her. 

 

“It will also give you a good chance to give your dear cousin a gift.” A playful glint glowed in Narcissa’s eyes as Draco groaned. 

 

Draco knew he couldn’t avoid doing it. He even agreed that it would be the right thing to do. But that didn’t mean he had a gift ready to go, or that he was even prepared to face his cousin. 

 

“Now, why don’t you go help Harry settle into his room?” Narcissa’s look turned expectant, daring Draco to argue against the idea of Harry sleeping away from him during his stay. “While I’m sure that Tipsy is doing her job well enough, Harry didn’t look very comfortable with her.” 

 

Draco scoffed at that. That had a lot to do with who Harry was friends with and their views on house elves. Cousin Sirius had a few, like Kreacher, but they were bound to him because of his bloodline. They couldn’t be free no matter what. As for the Weasleys...you could hazard a guess, but it should be obvious. 

 

They didn’t have house elves. Their way of thinking didn’t allow the idea of ‘tiny creatures doing your bidding’ to ever take place. 

 

So yes, Harry could be what some may call ‘uncomfortable’ with Tipsy. 

 

“I will help you in any way I can, Draco.” Narcissa leaned forward a bit to plant a kiss on her son’s cheek. “Just remember that you’re not alone.” 

 

‘Not alone…’ Draco nodded and turned to begin walking up the stairs. 

 

Not alone...not alone...not alone...why was he starting to feel like this was a bad omen? How many times has he heard those two words? How many times has Harry heard those two words? 

 

How many times have they both suffered even though they had others to help guide them? 

 

Draco shook his head and decided to try not to think about it. It would only give him a headache. Might also make him want to cry, but he wouldn’t freely admit that. 

 

Chapter Text

Day #1

 

Harry’s feet ached and his brain was so full that he felt his head might explode. This was a mansion, yes he knew that. Mansions were normally bigger than your average house, he knew that as well. 

 

But this? Merlin have mercy...this place was huge! Why were there so many rooms?! Why were there so many stairs?! Three people lived in this house before...two now! What’s the point of having almost 20 rooms? Did they have guests over that often? 

 

If that were the case, then some guests might as well just stay over and not have their own mansions! 

 

‘And to think...I got out of that warm bed for this?!’ Harry resisted the urge to grab at his hair in frustration. The previous night, he had been rather relieved to hear that he would be getting his own room. He didn’t know what was done to change Draco’s mind on the subject, but he wouldn’t ask. He was just grateful either way. 

 

The room itself had been nice. The sheets and the lining were obviously expensive though. The designs on them and the fact that they were the softest things he’d ever touched helped give that little fact away. It made him feel a bit bad since he had friends who were sleeping in Hogwarts campus beds that weren’t nearly as comfortable. 

 

Moving on...he got out of bed for this. He suffered an awkward as hell breakfast with Narcissa and Draco, then got dragged around the mansion for three straight hours! He had Draco pointing out all sorts of rooms and artifacts...it was making his eyes and his brain hurt! 

 

“By the look on your face, I’m guessing you’d like to take a break?” 

 

‘Fuck you and your cheery self.’ Harry grouched in his head, though when he turned to address Draco, he plastered on a bored look. “Now I wonder what made you think that?” 

 

Draco snorted and reached over to lightly brush some stray hair out of Harry’s face, giving the younger boy a small smile. “No need to be rude.” Draco also took the liberty of taking a step forward so he could grab onto Harry’s hand. “I’m just worried.” 

 

If Harry blushed for a brief moment, then he would take that admittance to his grave. Same with the knowledge that some butterflies fluttered around in his stomach as Draco gazed down at him. 

 

‘Merlin help me…’ Harry whimpered in his head. That look was giving Harry some serious flashbacks. Come to think of it, he better be ready for a series of flashbacks to start assaulting him now that he’s trapped here. 

 

“If I get lost in this place, then I’m placing full blame on you.” Harry was dead serious as he spoke, but he couldn’t keep the hint of playfulness out of his tone. Unfortunately. He wasn’t trying to be playful here, he was being serious!

 

Now Draco would probably doubt that because Harry let himself slip up with how he spoke. Just brilliant. 

 

“There’s a purpose behind this tour, darling.” Draco chuckled, confirming Harry’s worry. He thought that Harry was being playful. So that probably meant he would start playing along now. “I’m showing you where everything is so you don’t get lost.” 

 

“Trying to shove all this knowledge into my brain isn’t working very well, I’ll have you know.” Harry ducked his head, blushing a bit as Draco tried to nuzzle him. He managed to get the top of Harry’s head, but his original target was probably Harry’s cheek. 

 

Harry could feel a little accomplished at stopping Draco’s course. Even if it wasn’t by much. 

 

“Which brings us back to where we started...would you like a break?” Draco tried to hide his disappointment as Harry looked down. Presumably, one would assume that Draco shouldn’t be very surprised. Harry was going to be like this for either most of his stay or just all of his stay. 

 

Still...a guy could hope, right? 

 

Or, if you were Draco, a guy could try something different. 

 

“It would be appreciated.” Harry took some calming breaths as he felt Draco move away from him. Hopefully, the other had gotten the point that close contact wasn’t something Harry wanted right now. 

 

But then again...since when had Draco ever really gone with accordance to what Harry hoped he would or wouldn’t do? Case proved not two seconds later when-

 

“Draco!” Harry gasped as Draco’s arms wound around his waist. He was immediately pulled to a firm chest and temporarily forgot that he had arms that weren’t pinned to his sides. So when Draco leaned down to plant a kiss on Harry’s cheek, Harry didn’t push him away. Not on time. “Draco, seriously!” 

 

“I am being serious.” Draco grumbled as Harry suddenly remembered his arms. He began pushing at Draco’s chest, placing a few slaps here and there in hopes that maybe the pain would get Draco to release him. 

 

The robes that Draco wore helped take some of the impact off. So Harry’s slaps felt more like he was just being patted. Like how a friend would pat you on the shoulder when wishing you luck or congratulating you. There wasn’t that annoying sting that one would normally associate with being slapped. 

 

Though that could easily change if Harry stopped hitting Draco’s chest and tried to hit his face. Not that he would do that. Yet. 

 

Harry still needed Draco to finish the tour and, in doing so, point out where all of the potential exits were. Just in case things got bad and Harry needed to make a break for it, but wasn’t near the front or back door. Yes, windows were an option, but he didn't have his broom with him. Also most of the windows were pretty high up, so Harry didn’t fancy the idea of just leaping out and hoping that he would be able to cast a spell and levitate to the ground. 

 

And in case anyone was wondering...shifting into his veela form, even just letting his wings out, wasn’t the biggest advantage anyone could have. Though that was mainly because Draco possessed the same powers. If Harry allowed his wings out and tried to fly away, who’s to say Draco wouldn’t to the same thing? 

 

Both of them in their veela forms wouldn’t end well. Not while they were as tense as they were with each other and definitely not if Harry was trying to escape from Draco’s clutches. Mixed messages could be sent, they both could get seriously hurt, Narcissa would probably intervene and side with Draco…

 

It would just be this entire mess that Harry wanted to avoid at all costs. 

 

“You can’t tell me you don’t miss this.” Draco, ignoring the warning look Harry gave him, stole a quick kiss. “You can’t tell me you don’t miss being in my arms.” 

 

“Actually yes, I can.” Harry was fully aware that his face was bright pink. He was fully aware that his voice wavered as he spoke. He was fully aware that his struggles died down the tiniest bit as Draco kissed him. He was fully aware that if he didn’t get some space, he might do something stupid. “I can and I will. I don’t miss this.” 

 

Harry forced himself to glare into Draco’s grey eyes as he gritted out the declaration. It wasn’t true. Harry wasn’t being completely honest when he denied Draco.  He wasn’t being honest at all. One of the things he missed most about Draco was how safe he felt when he was in Draco’s arms. Since they were long and he himself was small, Harry easily lid into Draco’s warm embrace whenever they both wanted. 

 

When Harry was in Draco’s lap and Draco wrapped his arms around his waist while resting his head on Harry’s. When they were on Draco’s bed with Harry sitting between Draco’s legs with his head on Draco’s chest as Draco read a book or buried his face into Harry’s hair. When they were just standing, alone in the quiet, and Draco felt like holding Harry close or Harry needed the assurance that Draco was there. 

 

Harry was one of the biggest liars by saying that he didn’t miss being in Draco’s arms. But all the prisoners in tartarus would escape before Harry admitted that. He didn’t need to fuel Draco any more. Not after spending all this time trying to get over what the other did. 

 

The key word being ‘trying’, while not succeeding. Sure, Harry could distract himself, but the pain and the reminder was always there. Harry blamed that on the fact that he and Draco went to the same school and had multiple classes together. He was forced to see Draco a lot. 

 

“Bullshit.” Draco saw right through Harry. It used to be endearing, how Draco was able to tell if Harry was lying or not so easily. But that was mostly when Draco asked if Harry was doing alright. If Harry tried to say he was ok when in reality he wasn’t. Now, Harry could only see Draco’s talent as unfortunate. He’d appreciate if Draco didn’t practically read his mind whenever he wanted to keep something private. “You’re lying to me and, by the looks of it, yourself as well.” 

 

Harry kept the glare on his face as Draco’s expression turned from sad to annoyed. At least now he could fight fire with fire. Stubbornness with annoyance instead of stubbornness with sadness. It made Harry feel a little bit better, a little more confident too. 

 

“Just drop it.” Harry gave a hard shove, finally dislodging Draco’s hold on him. With crossed arms and a turned head, Harry then muttered: “Break time’s over, let’s just finish this tour, yes?” 

 

Draco’s hands tightened into fists and he had to fight with himself on what to do. If Harry had gotten frustrated instead of just brushing the matter off or outright ignoring it, then that means that Draco struck a nerve. This presented two choices. 

 

One: Draco could indulge Harry and drop the matter. Obviously, he’d bring it up later on when they weren’t touring the house, maybe in Harry’s room or Draco’s room. For now though, while Harry was insistent, Draco would drop it. 

 

Or…

 

Two: Draco would not drop it and refuse to continue until Harry stopped pouting and they finally had an actual discussion about this. If Harry tried to walk away, Draco could always just grab him and hold him. They were in one of the sitting rooms currently, so Draco could also choose a couch to sit down on with Harry in his lap until the other calmed down. 

 

Both had pros and cons. In deciding, it was more of a matter of which one sounded more appealing. Cause if they didn’t have this discussion now, they’d have it in the future. Why not get it over with? However, there was also a chance (a small chance) that Harry might be more open to the actual discussing bit if they did it later and he was more calm. 

 

“Just...please.” Harry brought up a hand to pinch at his nose. The silence was getting to him and the way that Draco stared at him, calculating and thoughtful, didn’t help soothe his nerves. 

 

Harry would happily admit that they were both stubborn individuals. When it came to who was more stubborn, it depended on the situation. 

 

Currently, Harry was feeling, more or less, emotionally tired. He had been walking around this maze of a mansion for hours with the person he once loved and was now trying to forget. He’s had a few kisses forced on him, he allowed himself to temporarily lose himself to past memories…

 

All the while, Harry didn’t know how to adjust to the situation. This was all a lot and while he certainly had plenty of time to panic last night, in the safety of his room (it was as safe as it could get, so Harry didn’t complain), that didn’t mean he was prepared. 

 

“Please just drop it.” Harry didn't care that he didn’t know where he was going as he pushed past Draco. He just walked straight forward, only catching Draco’s arm in the process. “Let’s just finish this…” 

 

Draco didn’t grab onto Harry’s arm as the other walked passed him. Not like he did with the other times Harry tried to escape confrontation. 

 

Maybe Draco should’ve waited until trying to bring the past up. 

 

Maybe Draco should've just focused on the tour today and waited until Harry was more cooled off. 

 

Maybe Draco should’ve taken his mother’s advice and just taken Harry to St. Mungos today. 

 

‘No, saving that for tomorrow.’ Draco grumbled in his head as he followed Harry, who’s eyes were still trained on the floor. Where did the other plan on leading them? And did he forget that minutes ago, he was complaining about this house being too big? 

 

Where did Harry get the sudden confidence that he wouldn’t get them lost, just walking forward with no regard to where they were going? 

 

Not that Draco was going to call Harry out on that. The other seemed upset with him as it was. Commenting on the lack of effectiveness of this current process (Harry leading Draco instead of it being the other way around) would probably be seen as an attack. A verbal statement used to degrade Harry’s intelligence, no doubt. 

 

‘This is going to be more difficult than I thought.’ Draco thought bitterly as Harry finally came to a stop. He seemed to have realized that Draco should start being the leader now. ‘I wonder if mother would be too opposed to the idea of giving me advice.’ 

 

His mother had already made it clear to Draco that he would be the one to apologize. Not just be the one to verbally apologize, but everything else that went into a proper apology for a situation of this caliber. He needed to make the time, set the scene, and write his own bloody speech if he had to. 

 

The last part was something Narcissa couldn’t help Draco with that even if she was planning on it. In a logical way, it made sense to Draco. She was encouraging him to accept the consequences of his own actions and saw it fit to make him fix his mistake. The goal was to not only (hopefully) help Draco mature, but also help express just how serious Draco was about fixing things with Harry. 

 

Cause things weren’t very sincere when they weren’t from you directly, now were they? Not when it came to apologies, at least. 

 

The rest of the day wasn’t much better, if it’s of any consolation. By the time dinner rolled around, Draco was so worked up that his mother didn’t even try to initiate any type of conversation. And yes, it would be a conversation between the two of them. 

 

Harry seemed to like the idea of being locked in his room. To make sure the other actually ate and didn’t do something stupid (like starve himself) Draco was forced to oblige in Harry’s desire. He sent Tipsy up to Harry’s room with more than enough food. Also, with a little note that warned Harry against not eating. 

 

(“I will excuse your rudeness for this evening, as I’m sure this first day has been rather rough on you. Rest assured though, for the sake of politeness, you will be expected to come down to dine with my mother and I for the future nights. I expect at least half of this plate’s worth of food to be gone or I will carry you downstairs and have every occupant in the house watch as you eat. Even if it has to be a forced feeding.”) 

 

With the privacy of his room, Harry had allowed himself to roll his eyes. Admittedly, it probably would be like him to not accept any food without ‘persuasion’ in fear that said food was poisoned. 

 

Draco had called him out on it. Damn that bastard who still knew Harry so fucking well...

 

Chapter Text

Day #2

 

“I’m not joking! I will break down this door!” Draco hit the door as hard as he could with his open palm. Having spent the last 20 minutes knocking/bangnig on the door, his knuckles were pretty sore by now. “Darling, honestly! How bloody difficult is it to pick out clothes?! I thought you were one of the quickest to get ready in your house!” 

 

“Well, maybe choosing wouldn’t be so difficult if not every single piece of clothing here didn’t have your family crest on it!” Harry barked back and he stared disapprovingly into the closet. He wasn’t exaggerating either. Besides the pants, everything else had the Malfoy family crest somewhere on it. 

 

The shirts had it on the upper left corner of the shirt, near the shoulder. Like where their house badges went on heir Hogwarts robes (except the house badges were actual badges, the family crests were sown onto the clothing, like how embrowdery is done). Speaking of robes...the ones in the closet were definitely not being worn in public. Not by him. Harry didn’t care if he froze or looked homeless without them, he was not wearing the robes. 

 

At least the crests on the shirts were more...subtle. They weren’t obnoxiously out there and could be covered if Harry hunched his shoulders just right. The robes? Yeah, no. The Malfoy family crest was plastered on the back of them.

 

Smack dab in the middle. 

 

And they were large. 

 

Meaning that everyone they passed would spend a good portion of time staring at Harry’s back if Harry wore them outside of the mansion. Staring and imagining that he had been claimed by one of the Malfoys. Draco, to be specific. 

 

Which...was not something Harry wanted to deal with right now. Especially not today, when he was already hyper aware of his surroundings as he was. 

 

Why? Because Draco was taking him to see Sirius! 

 

Harry would finally be able to check in on his godfather after hearing from Remus! It was unfortunate that Sirius didn’t know that Harry was coming though. It probably would’ve helped saved the man from the boat loads of stress that Harry could only imagine Sirius was feeling. 

 

And you’re probably wondering...why couldn’t Harry wear his own clothes? Well, it had something to do with the fact that Draco Malfoy was an absolute bastard. A very possessive bastard. He didn’t like the idea of Harry going out in public without any way of telling others that Harry was ‘his’. 

 

The solution? Taking all of Harry’s clothes, Harry berated himself for not expecting Draco to do that (honestly, he should know by now), and forcing Harry to wear the clothes provided for him by the Malfoys. Maybe it was also supposed to have a psychological effect on him as well. Making him depend on the Malfoys…

 

They housed him, they fed him, they clothed him...maybe this was supposed to make him more pliant? Maybe this had something to do with Stockholm Syndrome? 

 

Harry didn’t know. He didn’t really feel like putting too much care into it right now either. Later maybe. Now, he just wanted some normal freakin’ clothes! Ones that weren’t giant labels of possession! 

 

“They’re our clothes! Why wouldn’t our family crest be on them?” Draco didn’t take any time to truly analyze his own question. If he did, he probably would’ve realized the many loopholes or sarcastic comebacks that Harry could make right about now. 

 

In fact, why not demonstrate? 

 

“Do you guys label your furniture and your household appliances as well?” Harry temporarily forgot his frustration to focus on the door. The door that had Draco’s indignant form on the other side. “Funny, the table we ate at this morning is technically yours, but there wasn’t a giant crest of it to symbol that it belonged to your family. What about the plates and the glasses? The silverware?” 

 

Harry felt proud of himself when Draco didn’t answer. Clearly, the other was taken off guard. Either Draco didn’t expect Harry to fight with him on this or he didn’t want to fight about this himself, it didn’t matter. 

 

Perhaps it was the tiniest bit petty (ok, more like it was really petty), but Harry was quite happy with this victory. 

 

“That’s what I thought.” Harry turned away from the door and began to look through the robes again. All of them had the Malfoy family crest on them, he had already triple checked that part. What he was curious about was how ridiculous would some of these look if they were turned inside-out? 

 

They would look ridiculous to an extent no matter what. There was no escaping that fact. But...would some of them really look that bad? 

 

Maybe this black one? No wait...it had a weird lining inside that would definitely look terrible. Hmmm...nope, nope, nope...maybe this would work...nope, nope, nope…

 

“Why are you even going with me anyway?” Harry called back again when a new round of pouding was forced upon the door. This time accompanied by a few spells. “Isn’t this just gonna be me checking in on Sirius? Just the two of us?” 

 

It was surprising that Draco didn’t call for his mother to help by now. Or that he didn’t expect Harry not to spell his own door. 

 

“I have a gift for him. Think of it as an apology for his...predicament. And I don’t like the idea of you going out without me while you’re in this mood. You might run.” Draco replied in a grumpy tone. Again, surprise, he couldn’t break the spell that Harry had cast on the door. It was nice and Harry was really glad that it worked, but it was strange. 

 

Harry expected his magic to be weaker compared to Draco’s while in his own household. Wards and the like keeping him from hurting any of the Malfoys during his stay. Not that that was high on Harry’s priority list, but caution was a good concept. 

 

However, back to the clothing predicament...out of the entire wardrobe, Harry only found two that didn’t look utterly ridiculous when turned inside-out. Understandable, since being turned inside-out was not the purpose of any piece of clothing. Still, that meant that Harry would probably have to settle for walking around with the Malfoy family crest on his back while he was out and about. 

 

Public attention wasn’t what he wanted and he had a feeling Sirius might just have a heart attack when he saw Harry. Unless Harry just vanished the robes before Sirius could see them? 

 

Wait...vanish...vanish...that was it!

 

‘Of bloody course!!’ Harry facepalmed at his own stupidity. And I mean stupidity. He completely forgot about it! ‘My invisibility cloak! I could just wear that!” 

 

“Harry, open the door. Now.” Draco’s voice dropped a bit as he cast one more spell. One last attempt at forcing the door open before he had to call in help. It was probably pride related that he didn’t already. “I will call my mother to help break whatever spell you’ve cast if I have to. Or have one of our house elves teleport in and force you out.” 

 

‘Good luck to them for finding me.’ Harry thought somewhat evilly as he quickly retrieved the cloak from under his pillow. While he may not have expected Draco to steal his clothes, he did expect the other to try and take his cloak at some point during his stay. 

 

Just as a safety precaution, ya know? After all, how would you feel about not being able to see your guest? Let alone be able to find them should they get ‘lost’? 

 

‘Will I give him a heart attack?’ Harry grabbed the cloak and quickly wrapped it around himself while walking to the door. ‘Probably…’ 

 

“That’s it.” Draco hit the door, out of spite, and prepared to snap his fingers. Thinking on it...would one house elf be enough? Better call at least three just in case Harry got a little frisky. 

 

Harry may not hurt the house elves, but that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t resist them. And Draco knew that when Harry truly resisted, one house elf alone wouldn't be much help. It’d be just pitiful. 

 

“Alright, alright! Hold on!” Harry took out his wand and quickly removed the spell on the door. “Alohomora.” The door swung open, revealing where Draco was still thinking about how many house elves he’d need. “There, happy?” 

 

Draco had a pleased look on his face as he registered the door being open, though it quickly changed to confusion when he didn’t see Harry standing in front of him. Did Harry just spell the door open while he was still standing by the closet? 

 

“Thank you.” Draco spoke cautiously, entering the room slowly. He was unaware as Harry quickly and quietly snuck past him. It was actually pretty easy and as Draco stepped into the room, Harry stepped out and made his way down the hall. 

 

Time to test his memory for which hallways to go down and which stairwell to take…

 

Meanwhile, Draco was still under the impression that Harry was still fussing with the closet. No matter how strange that may have seemed…

 

“Harry?” Draco called as he looked around the corner. The way the room was arranged was almost like a hotel room. Almost. There was more space and comfortable furniture, as well as a fireplace. 

 

After entering the room, there was almost like a short hallway to walk through before you got to the actual open space. Once you rounded the corner, you’d see the bed, the fireplace, the couches, the table, the door to the bathroom, everything. Closet included. 

 

So when Draco didn’t see Harry by the open closet, his alarm spiked a bit. The door to the bathroom was open, but he couldn’t hear anything from it and the light was off. Besides, would Harry really feel comfortable enough to leave the bathroom door open in the first place? 

 

“Harry!” Draco whipped out his wand immediately as he looked frantically around the room. “Colloportus!” The door that Draco had just walked through shut loudly and locked. The sound echoing throughout the room. “Harry, this isn’t funny! Come out this instant!” 

 

Nothing answered Draco’s shout of panic as the dominant veela quickly began casting charms around the room. He was hoping that Harry had simply used a disillusion charm and was hiding somewhere in the room. It never once crossed his mind that Harry had slipped right passed him. 

 

With Harry

 

‘I can’t believe it!’ Harry quickly descended the stairs as he heard Draco begin calling out his name from the room. ‘I did it! I outsmarted him!’ 

 

Harry had no doubt that by now, Draco would be calling house elves and his mother to try and help him find Harry. Assuming that Harry was still in the room and just hiding from him. Which is why he needed to leave the actual mansion quickly before he accidentally bumped into Narcissa or ran into any house elves. 

 

Just because none of them could see him didn’t mean he wanted to take any chances. One thing went right for him today. By that logic, he should probably be prepared for something to go wrong sometime soon. Just knowing his luck and how karma worked. 

 

‘Wish I had a felix felicis.’ Harry grouched as he made it to the ground floor and checked the pathway to the door. It was right there. Just a few feet away. But if he opened the door and it turned out that Narcissa or any house elves were nearby, he might just get found out. 

 

Doors didn’t just open on their own. Not even in a world filled with magic. You needed to cast a spell, in which case the noise would bring company. Or you opened the door manually. Obvious reasons as to why that would expose him. 

 

Quietly and carefully, Harry began walking to the door. On the right side, a long corridor led to the dining room. So Harry’s main concern would probably be house elves tending to anything that involves breakfast clean up (even though enough time has passed). On the left side, there wasn’t any corridor to speak of, just a door that led to the living room. That would be where the Narcissa concern would come in. 

 

Harry was pretty confident that Narcissa was either in her study or in the sitting room doing...whatever it was the Malfoys did for the council. Harry still wasn’t completely sure. Or she was tending to Draco, who was still panicking upstairs. 

 

That being said, it was unlikely that she was in the living room. If she was though, unlike the house elves, there wasn’t a corridor to separate the rooms. Harry wouldn't have much of a head start in his running if the opening door attracted her attention. 

 

‘Should I just…?’ Harry had just arrived to the door and reached out to grasp the handle. He could just open it and run out. Narcissa nor the house elves would be able to see him, even if they were close enough to hear the doors opening and closing. 

 

So why not just take the risk? Especially since Draco wasn’t going to be distracted forever. 

 

“Mother! Harry’s gone!” 

 

‘Shit!’ Harry decided not to care anymore as he quickly opened the door. It wasn’t locked, so Harry didn’t have to waste time wrestling with any spells or charms and quickly made his escape. 

 

Now on the front porch, he could see the tall hedges that bordered the gardens and beyond that, the gates. Harry needed to get past the gates. If he got past the gates, out of the wards surrounding Malfoy Manor, he could just apparate to St. Mungos and finally see Sirius. 

 

As expected, the only reason he couldn’t apparate while within the manor is because Draco did something to the wards. Harry didn’t bother to find out the details. All he knew was that when he tried to apparate to St. Mungos earlier, he was unsuccessful. His tailbone paid the price for his failure when he was dropped unceremoniously in Draco’s room. 

 

Harry was halfway to the gates when he heard the alarmed voices of some house elves. Most likely they were on the other side of the hedge, tending to the gardens, when they were summoned. If they were being summoned. 

 

‘Why wouldn’t they be? You know Draco’s looking for you.’ Harry smacked his forehead, but made sure that the cloak stayed in place as he did so. It was difficult to make sure everything was still covered as he ran with one hand, ok? 

 

Harry continued to run and just made it to the gates as the familiar sound of house elves popping away sounded off. Even though it was probably unnecessary, he couldn't help but look back. It just...something was bothering him. It felt like someone was staring at him, someone who was close (proximity wise). It just felt like someone was behind him and he needed to make sure that no one was. 

 

Probably didn’t help that he knew a mansion full of elves and two veela were currently looking for him. How ironic would it be if as he opened the gates, they opened the front doors to check if he escaped? They’d know for sure where he was.  

 

‘Just keep going, bloody coward.’ Harry’s conscience hissed at him. 

 

With a deep breath, Harry quickly spelled open the gates before running out. He waited until he was a considerable distance away from the gates before taking off his cloak. He couldn’t apparate with it on him since there was a high chance he might splinch himself (what with something covering him and all that). 

 

“I’m coming Sirius.” Harry mumbled to himself before apparating away.

 

Chapter Text

“Yes, yes, send him in, send him in!” Sirius made a mental note to apologize to the nurse for his harsh tones as the young woman nodded fearfully and dashed out of the room. He just couldn’t help himself. He had just heard that his godson was in to see him! Of course he wasn’t going to act calm about that!

 

“Sirius!” Harry, for his part, didn’t disappoint. As soon as the nurse who let him here closed the door, reminding him and Sirius to be mindful of the other patients on the floor, he ran over to his godfather. “Are you ok?” 

 

Harry hugged Sirius for a short amount of time before pulling back and assessing the damage. When he and Remus last spoke, Remus only told Harry about how Sirius had been attacked. He neglected, or maybe just forgot in general, to mention how Sirius was attacked. What injuries he received, what state he was in…

 

All Harry knew was that Sirius was alive and well enough to throw a fit about what happened. Which, wasn’t saying much...since Sirius could technically be in a lot of pain, but too angry to register the true damage. 

 

“I’m ok, Prongslet, I’m ok.” Sirius breathed out a sigh of relief at the prospect of having his godson in his arms. Safe...for now. When Harry pulled back and began to inspect him though, Sirius couldn’t help but snort in amusement. 

 

It was pretty funny...the situation at hand. Harry was worried about Sirius and Sirius was worried about him. One was trapped in a hospital bed after being attacked (by a framed witch). The other, a prisoner of his ex boyfriend. 

 

“What about you?” Sirius waited a few moments to see if Harry would pause in his inspection to answer. When he only kept staring at some of marks on Sirius’ shoulder area (marks that should be fading in due time if the potions are working correctly), Sirius placed two fingers under Harry’s chin and raised his face. 

 

It’d be nice to see his godson’s eyes for this next part. Eyes are the window to the soul, after all. It was a good way to ensure that Harry would be telling the truth as well. Harry still had the tendency to hide things if he thought that confessing would worry people. 

 

Stubborn boy still hasn’t come to terms with the fact that hiding things would only worry people more. Though, in his defense, this was James and Lily Potter’s son. Both pretty stubborn individuals themselves. Even if they weren’t alive for long enough to truly raise Harry, it’s not a surprise that he’d inherit at least one personality trait from them. 

 

Sirius may have also had a hand in how stubborn or cheeky Harry could be at times, but that was beside the point. 

 

“Has Narcissa or Draco done anything to you?” Sirius tilted his head as Harry shook his head. “Anything at all?” 

 

“I was dragged around the mansion yesterday, but I learned where all of the exits were, so I won’t complain.” Harry smirked in a smug manner, causing Sirius to snort in amusement again. Both were rather proud of that, though between the two, it was mostly Sirius just being proud of Harry for outsmarting his cousin. 

 

“Well, that’s good.” Sirius patted Harry’s head in an affectionate manner, though he still had a teasing glint in his eye. He knew that Harry didn’t always like people patting his head. It mostly stemmed from the fact that Ron and some of Harry’s other Gryffindor friends liked to remind Harry was he was pretty small. 

 

To that, Harry would often say that his smaller stature only meant that he would have an easier time sneaking around without anyone seeing him (with the help of his invisibility cloak). Plus, he was quicker than most of his peers and had more coordination over his body. Having long limbs could be a challenge sometimes. Especially when it came to trying to be graceful or sharp. 

 

“I’m not saying I don’t like that you’re here, but I’m surprised that Draco allowed you to visit me alone.” Without really putting much thought into it, Sirius leaned to the side a bit and looked towards the door. It was like he was waiting for Draco to walk in and pull Harry to his side, or something. “I would think that he’d be taking full advantage at finally having you all to himself.” 

 

‘You have no idea.’ Harry grouched in his head. Though to be fair, Draco hadn’t technically done anything too damaging. It was only the second day, after all. And certainly, between the two of them, Harry was probably the one causing the most trouble and distress. 

 

He did kinda...walk out on Draco. 

 

When the other couldn’t see him. 

 

Without telling the other of his plan to visit Sirius alone. 

 

“Here’s the thing…” Harry blushed a bit in embarrassment as Sirius continued to stare at the door. 

 

Neither of them could lock the door to ensure they had privacy. It was against the rules as doctors and nurses needed to get to patients immediately if something happened, and most couldn’t just apparate themselves and the necessary equipment into the rooms. So if Draco really was here with Harry, then he could just walk in. Not something Sirius wanted if he and his godson were having a more private conversation. 

 

“He...doesn’t really...know I’m here…” Harry didn’t know why he was so nervous when confessing. He didn’t regret sneaking out from under Draco’s nose. He wanted private time with his godfather in case Sirius had something important to tell him. 

 

Draco’s presence would only serve to aggravate Sirius, which would probably lead to the two of them getting into an argument. Then Harry really wouldn’t be able to have a nice conversation with Sirius. On that note, Draco would probably stop Sirius from talking with Harry if what they were talking about sounded suspicious. 

 

Harry wanted to freely converse with his godfather. Was that so much to ask? Apparently it was, since he was starting to feel jittery about what he’d done. 

 

“Wait...what?” Sirius focused his gaze back on Harry, noting how the other was blushing and not meeting his eyes. 

 

Not to be confusing or anything, Sirius like having private time with Harry. Given how cross he was with both Narcissa and Draco right now...it was a good thing they weren’t present. However...Harry just sneaking out wasn’t the best idea either. 

 

What would Draco do to Harry once he found out where Harry was? What would he do to Harry once he got his claws on him? Would Narcissa interfere? Or would she just stand back and watch Draco do Merlin knows what to Harry? 

 

Sirius had faith that his godson was strong. Magically, physically, emotionally...Harry was a strong individual. But still...the thought of what angry Malfoys could do to Harry without Sirius or someone else he trusted there to help…what they would do...

 

There were a lot of possibilities. It was nerve wracking just thinking about it. Having to actually consider and visualize it made Sirius genuinely scared. 

 

Harry cleared his throat, imagining that he’d stutter if he didn’t compose himself before speaking. “Draco doesn’t know I’m here.” He bit his lip as Sirius’ eyes widened a fraction. Not enough to be too noticeable, but enough for Harry to see from his place. “I used my invisibility cloak to sneak out of the manor, then I apparated here.” 

 

‘Oh boy…’ Sirius resisted the urge to facepalm. That would make it look like he was disappointed or upset with Harry, which he wasn’t. 

 

He was just...nervous about how this would play out…

 

“I know that Remus already told you this, but I’m just gonna say it again.” Sirius reached out to grab Harry’s shoulders and bring his godson a bit closer. His grip on Harry’s shoulders was firm, the nails only lightly digging into the material of the shirt he was wearing. A shirt that Sirius knew wasn’t Harry’s, if the Malfoy crest on it was anything to go by.

 

“You’re not alone.” Sirius took a deep breath as he and Harry stared at each other. Almost staring each other down, to be honest. The glasses on Harry’ face only making the staring contest feel more intense. “If Draco or Narcissa try to hurt you, then get out of there and run. I’ll fight my way out of this damn hospital and come for you. Remus will come for you. Tonks will come for you. The Weasleys. Hermione…” 

 

Sirius continued to list off names as Harry listened intently. Some last names that left Sirius’ lips were names that Harry knew of (mostly Sirius’ co workers). Some last names were names that Harry hasn’t ever heard of until today. Either way, there were a lot of names. 

 

Harry felt like crying. There were so many people who he could turn to if he needed assistance. Some were willing, others were individuals who Sirius claimed he would force to help if they weren’t willing (no matter Harry’s protests). 

 

It just...it was overwhelming, but in a good way. Harry felt so overwhelmed with the feeling of security, of love, of peace…

 

It made him feel good, but it also made him feel so guilty. Thinking back on the situation at hand, he felt really petty. Draco wasn’t...ok, technically he was a pretty big danger to Harry’s safely mainly because of what he could get away with. But really, in the general sense, Draco wasn’t really that big of a problem compared to what some other people had to go through. 

 

In the end, this entire thing was just a fight with an ex boyfriend. That’s all there was to it, despite the more...uncomfortable...details.

 

It made Harry feel bad that so many people were there for him, but the situation itself wasn’t that big of a deal. Hermione dealt with hell because she was a pureblood witch. So did many of his other Gryffindor housemates. So did many of the other students in Hogwarts. 

 

The world was fucked up. It was super fucked up in so many ways. Yet here he was, being comforted like a child over a petty situation over his ex. 

 

Logically, Harry knew that he shouldn’t be underestimating the situation. Draco was a Malfoy after all, and they weren’t people you messed with if you didn’t want to either die or live out the rest of your life in hell. 

 

Emotionally though...Harry just felt so bad. So guilty. So...feeble, pitiful…

 

“We’re all here for you.” Sirius finished, sounding pretty shaken up himself. His hands, which had originally been on Harry’s shoulders, have moved to cup Harry’s face. His thumbs began to massage the skin under Harry’s eyes and Sirius had to try really hard not to disturb the glasses that rested delicately on Harry’s face. 

 

Harry, in return, nodded lightly. His thought process was broken at Sirius’ unnerved tone, so he missed some of Sirius’ earlier words (anything that came after the list of names ended). 

 

“I know.” Harry sniffed as he finally stopped being a statue and moved his arms. He covered Sirius’ hands with his own and closed his eyes, breathing deeply to stop himself from crying. 

 

After today, Harry wasn’t sure how willing Draco would be to allow him outside. Maybe he was being dramatic, yet Harry couldn’t help but treat this as if it were the last time he’d see Sirius. Alone, at least. 

 

Until the stupid week ended and he could stay far, far away from Draco. 

 

Chapter Text

Harry took a shaky breath as he arrived back at the manor. Right on the very spot in which he apparated from. 

 

Before he entered the wards again...he really needed a moment to breath. Before he put his invisibility cloak back on and tried to sneak into the manor, he needed a moment to breath. Before he confronted Draco and (possibly) Narcissa for sneaking out...he needed a moment to breath. 

 

Harry didn’t regret visiting Sirius without Draco’s company. He didn’t regret sneaking out. However, looking back on his actions...he definitely felt hesitant about owning up to what he’d done. 

 

Admittedly, he’d tried to stay with Sirius for longer. Hopefully, into the night so that Draco and Narcissa would be too exhausted from searching for him all day to really be active enough to lecture him on his actions. As it stood, it was a little past four at the moment. Meaning that dinner hadn’t even passed. 

 

‘Don’t show him you’re afraid.’ Harry closed his eyes tightly as he gave himself a small pep talk, clutching his invisibility cloak so tightly that his fingers started to ache. ‘Don’t give him anything to use against you.’ 

 

Not that Draco would really need to be given anything to use against Harry. He’d probably force something or try to guilt Harry. Or just be uncontrollably angry, which may or may not lead to an all out brawl between the two of them. 

 

“Don’t back down.” Harry whispered, and he waited until his cloak was on before opening his eyes. “Don’t...don’t submit. You don’t...you don’t owe him. You don’t owe him anything.” 

 

Harry began to walk to the gates of the manor. The pep talk he gave himself only served to heighten his anxiety and hesitation in opening the gate. 

 

“Sirius is your godfather.” He continued to mumble as he took out his wand and opened the gate. It opened with a small creaking sound that seemed to echo in the air. Or that may have just been Harry’s senses being, well, sensitive to anything and everything. “You had a right to spend time with him.”

 

Harry made quick work of walking through the gates and closing them behind him. There was no sound of elves working in the garden, like how there were when he was making his escape. He could only assume that they were either doing other chores or that Draco and Narcissa were still looking for him. 

 

The second option was unlikely. Harry was willing to bet that they probably figured out he was not in the manor not too long after he had left. 

 

“Just...just keep calm.” Harry shuddered as he walked up the steps and reached for the door handle. This was it. “Don’t...don’t let him sense your...apprehension. Don’t...don’t give him fuel. Just stay calm and tell him it’s none of his business.” 

 

Naturally, Harry’s words were easier said than done. Draco, alone, wasn’t something he’d really ever be afraid of. If push came to shove and they had a fight, Harry had confidence that he’d be able to escape if he couldn’t truly defeat Draco. 

 

What was really scaring Harry at the moment was the prospect of dealing with Draco and Narcissa. The woman, while she had not really given him any reason to think she meant him any harm (from personal experience, face to face confrontation), was fierce. Harry knew that he had definitely overstepped his bounds and while Narcissa may not hurt him physically, she also would take extra precautions to make sure Harry wouldn’t be able to do something like this again. 

 

Considering who she was, what place she held in their society...it was a scary prospect. A very scary prospect. Especially if it ever reached the ears of the council. Not only could Harry get in big trouble, but Sirius might as well. Even though he was still in St. Mungos an injured, he knew where Harry was and didn’t alert for someone to report Harry’s location to Narcissa. She was Harry’s stand in guardian. 

 

It was not something Harry felt like dealing with. And as he once again used his wands to unlock and open the doors (why did he think that he’d just be able to enter the manor and it wouldn’t be locked?), his panic only started to rise. 

 

‘Just walk to your room.’ Harry closed and locked the doors again before breathing out harshly (despite the risk of being heard). He leaned back until his back made connection with the sturdy wod of the door behind him. He was tempted to slide down it and just take a rest, to try and calm his beating heart, but he knew it wouldn’t be safe to do that until he was in the room. 

 

‘Walk to your room and push everything in front of the door.’ His inner Hermione screamed at him. ‘Send your daily owl report to your friends, floo Remus and Tonks. Just get up and get to your room already!’ 

 

“Ok, ok.” Harry whispered to himself and stood straight up again. “Get to my room and move the entire bloody bed in front of the door. Got it.” 

 

As he did when he was escaping, Harry walked quickly up the stairs. It was a bit harder getting back to his room because of how many corridors he encountered along the way. When he was leaving, all corridors just connected to one that would lead him to the stairs. Now, he was up the stairs and had to remember which way to turn and when to. 

 

‘Here.’ Harry mentally sighed in relief as he noticed familiar pictures and paintings linig the walls. ‘At least there were reminders…’ 

 

Land marks and signs were often used on the roads. Pictures and paintings could be used as markers for which corridor to go down, couldn’t they? 

 

Harry sped down to the door he knew was his, but before he could open it and enter, he was struck with a sudden thought. What if Draco and Narcissa were still in there? He didn’t run into them during his passage back into the house and certainly didn’t hear them along the other corridors. 

 

‘Please say it’s empty.’ Harry bit his lip and pressed his ear to the door. It was quiet. No voices or anything. But that didn’t mean that people couldn’t be there. It could just mean that they weren’t speaking, but were still in there. 

 

On one hand, Harry could technically just find another room to spend the night in. There were more than enough rooms in this corridor and he knew where Draco and Narcissa’s rooms where. It would help in making sure that he stayed far away from those rooms. 

 

On the other hand, all of Harry’s stuff was in his room. Not to mention that he still needed to floo people, or try to write to them. The flooing he could do anywhere where there was a fireplace. The writing letters...not all rooms had parchment, quills, and ink. To find that, he’d have to snoop around. And the longer he was out of his sanctuary, the more likely he would be found. 

 

‘Just go in!’ His conscience screamed at him. ‘Even if there’s anyone in there, they can’t see you! You tricked Draco before, just trick him again! You can’t stay out here!’ 

 

It took a few moments, and Harry would admit that he thought he was losing his mind as his own conscience screamed at him, but defeat was inevitable. Harry couldn’t stay out of a room for too long or he would be found. He couldn’t go into any other rooms because his stuff was in ‘his’ room. At the end of the day, Draco would find out he was back anyhow. 

 

Gryffindor bravery? Yeah, sorry, it was taking a vacation at the moment. That’s what Harry convinced himself as he opened the door. Well, unlocked, then opened the door. It wasn’t a surprise to find that his door had been locked earlier. 

 

What was a surprise was the spell that hurled at him as soon as he stepped into the room. 

 

“Petrificus totalus!” 

 

“Bloody hell!” Harry barely managed to side step out of the way as the spell whipped past him before the door slammed closed behind him. Apparently, Draco was making good use of the adrenaline no doubt pumping through his veins. His spells came fast, so fast that Harry couldn’t react in time. 

 

“You are in so much trouble!” Draco couldn’t see Harry, but he hoped that the other was fucking terrified! He had nearly caused Draco’s heart to stop beating with the stunt he pulled today! “Petrificus totalus!” 

 

Another spell, directed a bit closer to the wall this time (from where Harry’s voice came from), was cast from his wand. This time, Harry didn’t have much of a choice other than to duck. And on the floor was definitely not a good vantage point. 

 

Certainly not when you were an idiot and your wand fell out of your hand during the ducking process. 

 

“Accio wand!”  Draco didn’t miss a beat and as soon as he had Harry’s wand in his hand, he pointed his own wand towards the door again. He didn’t know that Harry was on the ground, what he did know was that Harry wasn’t near any of the walls this time. His wand rolled from the door, near the center. 

 

Draco was only guessing that Harry was standing in front of the door again. 

 

“Do you have any idea how much you scared me?!” Draco hissed and Harry made sure he was slow as he stood up. He would have crawled and used the advantage of Draco not knowing he was on the ground to try and slip past the others guard to grab his wand, but that brought the risk of his cloak slipping off or getting caught under his knees and his hands. 

 

Which would’ve been even more unhelpful in this already stressful situation. The icing on the cake, really. 

 

“Mother and I have been searching for hours! We had all of our house elves, all of them, looking everywhere for you! In the manor and at Sirius’ house!” Draco thought it was necessary to emphasize the ‘all’ when speaking about their house elves. It was a reminder of just how many there were and as such, how many people had been searching for Harry. “Merlin Harry, I thought that something had happened to you!” 

 

Harry didn’t answer, just continued to stand in place as Draco took a step forward. At first, Harry was tempted to follow the gesture by taking a step back. But then, if he moved too quickly, he would’ve made a sound. Then Draco would know for sure where he was. 

 

“I know you’re somewhere in front of me, Harry.” Draco’s eyes quickly shifted. His pupils disappeared and all Harry saw was silver. Oh geez, now he really needed to be careful. “I would’ve felt you if you moved past me. Revelio.”

 

Despite not being under a disillusionment charm, Harry did make an effort to avoid the ‘revealing spell’ that was sent his way. It would seem that Draco either forgot about his invisibility cloak (not likely) or he imagined that Harry left it at Hogwarts. Harry wouldn’t blame Draco for thinking that. As said earlier, Harry knew that the first thing Draco would do would be to take the cloak, so Harry made sure to hide it. 

 

If Draco never found it while he was taking Harry’s other clothes, why would he think that Harry had it? 

 

“Harry, I am in no mood for this.” Draco’s eyes seemed to glow as he growled and took another step forward. His new strategy seemed to be herding Harry back into the door. It was a good strategy if he wanted to make sure to actually hit Harry with the spell. “Do you have any idea how sick with worry I was today? Do you?! Revelio!” 

 

Another light from the tip of Draco’s wand, another spell was cast Harry’s way. This time, with how focused Harry was on Draco’s positioning and his words, he didn’t side step away in time. The spell managed to hit him and with a small ‘ugh’ he was pushed back against the door. 

 

Naturally, the contact between his back and the door made a fairly loud ‘bang’ sound. So even if Draco still didn’t know where Harry was, he knew now. 

 

“What the-?” Draco was quick to close the space between him and the door, but hesitated when Harry didn’t appear in front of him. What was going on? That revealing spell should’ve cancelled out the disillusionment charm that Harry had cast! “What in Merlin’s name-?” 

 

“Stay back!” Harry finally spoke, or more like growled, as he pushed himself more into the door. Draco, even though he was distracted, was still quite close to Harry. Another step or two and he would be chest to chest with Harry. When that happened, no doubt Draco would figure out how Harry was hiding himself. 

 

And when that happened...Harry would probably lose his cloak. Draco would take it. Harry would not only be losing the ability to sneak out undetected in the case of emergencies, but he’d also be separated from the only possession that he had left of his parents. 

 

Whether he wanted to or not, Harry had to reveal himself and try to convince Draco that he had used an advanced charm, or something. That a single revelio spell wasn’t what was needed to cancel out the charm. Yeah, he’d be facing the music sooner than he wanted, but at least he’d be able to hide his cloak. 

 

“Look, I...I used a more...advanced charm, alright?” Harry’s voice shook a bit and he inwardly cursed himself for allowing it to happen. Draco wouldn’t need to see his eyes or his face now to know that Harry was lying. Or at the very least, hiding something. “I can cast the revealing spell for it, but...but you need to stay where you are, alright?” 

 

Again, Harry inwardly cursed at how anxious he sounded. Draco would catch on that Harry was feeling vulnerable and probably use that to his advantage. Maybe try to force more kisses onto Harry or try to force Harry to tell him the truth. 

 

“I make no such promise.” Draco growled, though he did lower his wand just the tiniest bit at the prospect of Harry revealing himself. 

 

That brought on a second point though...another disillusionment charm? No, that couldn’t be. Harry was very magically powerful, but so was Draco. His revealing spell should’ve worked, no matter what disillusionment charm Harry used. Not to mention there was only ever just one charm for such a thing. 

 

Harry wasn’t telling him the truth. He couldn’t be. His voice was wavy, Draco didn’t know of any other disillusionment charms, and Harry still wasn’t revealed to him. Something else was at play here, but Draco needed to wait until Harry was visible before finding that part out. 

 

Getting back to it…

 

“Draco, I mean it.” Harry forced himself to sound more stern, a difficult task when all he wanted to do was phaze through the door and run back to St. Mungos. Run back to Sirius’ arms and never leave them. “I’ll reveal myself if you promise to stay where you are and only if you promise.” 

 

“Considering the amount of trouble you’re in, I don’t think you’re in any position to make demands of me.” Draco took a step forward just to prove his point and heard Harry’s intake of breath. “That being said, you have to the count of three to reveal your person before I just cast a body bind and leave you immobile as I figure this out.” 

 

“No!” Harry’s eyes widened, not that Draco could see, and he gulped. The idea of being body bound in front of an obviously angry Draco was not a pleasant nor a safe sounding option. Harry would avoid it if he could. “No, you don’t...you don’t need to do that-” 

 

“Don’t I?” Draco interrupted, deciding to stand his ground. Now that he was sure Harry had nowhere to run to, he allowed his arms to cross. Meaning, his wand wasn’t pointed directly in Harry’s face anymore. It was a little relief to Harry. “One…” 

 

“Draco, don’t!” Harry didn’t realize just how panicked-sounding that would come out. But he couldn’t focus on berating himself as Draco only narrowed his silver eyes at him. 

 

“Two…” 

 

Harry did his best to pretend he chanted a ‘different’ revealing spell before quickly throwing off the cloak and exposing himself. Acknowledging how strange it probably looked with his hands behind his back, Harry tried to keep Draco’s attention elsewhere. 

 

He never got that far though, for as soon as his whole body was revealed, Draco surged forward. The cloak slipped through Harry’s fingers as he yelped, but Draco was a bit too focused on crushing Harry to his body to notice it. Thank Merlin…

 

“Don’t you ever even think about pulling this stunt again!” Draco hissed into Harry’s ear before burying his face into Harry’s neck. Under all the anger and frustration of Harry sneaking out, Draco was truly concerned that Harry may have also gotten hurt while being out. “I swear to all things magical, darling, that as soon as I’m done hugging you, I’m going to shackle you to your bed!” 

 

Harry couldn’t help but shiver as Draco hissed out the word ‘darling’. It sounded venomous, not that Harry expected anything else with just how upset Draco was with him, but still had an undertone of affection to it. Draco didn’t use the name to mock Harry, but that didn’t stop him from being angry. That’s just what it was. 

 

“Don’t you dare!” Harry hissed back, brain quickly registering the second sentence out of Draco’s mouth. “You do that, and I will never speak to you ever again!” 

 

“Well, you’re definitely not walking around freely anymore!” Draco pulled back roughly to bare his teeth at Harry. It had the desired effect, and Harry swallowed whatever words of protest he had thought of. Though the glare stayed in place. “I am not losing you again!” 

 

“You didn’t lose me!” Harry tried to move his arms up and push Draco away, but Draco was one step ahead of him and quickly restrained Harry’s arms to his sides so that he wouldn’t be pushed away. Not that Harry could easily overpower him, but Draco could still do without the pushing. “I came back! It’s not like I ran away!” 

 

“I don’t give a single shit!” Draco’s grip on Harry tightened significantly, his mind already conjuring up the many possible times that Harry could suddenly disappear again. It had only been two days and he’s already had his first heart attack. “You went somewhere and I didn’t know where you were! Do you have any idea how worried I was about that?!” 

 

“I went to St. Mungos, ok?!” Harry didn’t really think before admitting that. He knew that as soon as Draco started going on about how worried he was, Harry would break and allow himself to feel guilty for said worry he had caused Draco. No matter how manipulative that would’ve been, it would’ve worked out for Draco. “I just wanted some alone time with Sirius! Is that so bad?!” 

 

No, it wasn’t that bad. Draco knew that logically. But that didn’t stop him from narrowing his eyes and growling at Harry. Just because the reason for sneaking out wasn’t necessarily bad didn’t mean that Draco would stop being furious with Harry. 

 

“And if you recall, the reason I wanted to go with you was because I wanted to give my dear cousin a gift and because I was afraid you’d run.” The silver in Draco’s eyes glinted a bit and it had a similar effect as if Draco’s eyes were normal and he was giving Harry a knowing look. “It seems that I’ve only been proven correct in that fear.” 

 

The hurt that Draco felt at that wasn’t as hidden as he’d originally planned for it to be. He knew that Harry wouldn’t mock him for being hurt, but showing Harry he was vulnerable in any way wouldn’t help his case. He needed to be stern and unrelenting, although difficult it certainly was. 

 

“Look, I’m sorry-” 

 

“We both know you aren’t.” Draco was quick to cut Harry off as he adjusted his grip and easily hauled Harry’s smaller body over his shoulder. “You aren’t sorry for sneaking out, you aren’t sorry for not telling me where you were, and you aren’t sorry for scaring me-” 

 

“Yes I am!” Harry struggled as his feet left the ground, momentarily forgetting that without his body as a shield, his cloak could now be seen by Draco. “I am sorry for scaring you like that, ok?! I just thought you’d be worried, then wait until I got back and be angry! I didn’t know I’d give you a freakin’ heart attack!” 

 

That part was true. He had known that Draco would be worried to some extent, but to this degree...Draco admitting that he almost had a heart attack was a pretty big reveal. No Slytherin Harry knew was ever really...jokey...about such matters. 

 

“Well, you did!” Draco turned on his heel and stomped towards Harry’s bed, throwing the other onto the mattress before giving him a deadly look. “You’re staying here while I summon my mother. Then the three of us are going to have a nice little chat!” 

 

“Don’t involve your mother!” Harry shouted, feeling rather indignant. “This is between you and I! Calling her into this is just plain petty!” 

 

“Yeah? So it sneaking out just because you didn’t get what you wanted!” Draco was quick to retort and refused to argue the matter further as he started back towards the door. “Do you really think that I would be so cruel as to deny you and my cousin private time? I know how worried you are for him, Harry. I would be the same way if my mother ended up in such an accident. I said I would come with you, not smother you every second we were in St. Mungos.” 

 

“Forgive me if I thought you would.” Harry didn’t want to appear obedient and submissive by following Draco’s order of staying on the bed, but he also knew better than to push Draco right now. “You haven’t exactly given the best first impression during my two day stay here!” 

 

“Have I really hurt-what the heck?!” Draco’s voice turned from one end of the spectrum to another so quickly that Harry almost jumped off the bed in curiosity. What had Draco so-oh...oh no...not good…

 

“So this is what you used…” 

 

“Draco.” Harry warned, stepping off the bed and beginning to make his way over to the door. “Don’t touch it.” 

 

“I had a feeling you’d have this, but I couldn’t find it with your other clothes.” Draco chuckled darkly and Harry could only assume he was picking the cloak up. “Maybe I need to look harder next time.” 

 

“Draco…” Harry turned the corner and saw that Draco’s back was to him. His head was tilted down and his arms were in front of him, so it was likely he was examining the cloak in his hands. “Draco...don’t...whatever you’re thinking...don’t do it.” 

 

“Remember when I told you that you were in no place to make demands?” Draco slowly turned, revealing that he was indeed holding Harry’s invisibility cloak in his hands. “That still stands…” 

 

Harry glared at Draco’s blank face. That son of a...it was his cloak! He had say in it!

 

“I changed my mind.” Draco hummed and turned again, walking towards the door with the cloak in his hand. “You and I will talk tomorrow. Just the two of us. For now, why don’t I just take this cloak with me to make sure you can’t get up to anymore trouble?” 

 

“What the-? No!” Harry rushed forward and tried to top Draco, but a spell sent him flying back. When he regained his footing, Draco was gone, the sound of the door locking echoing through the room. “Draco!” 

 

Chapter Text

Day #3

 

“I am glad that you have managed to...recover your mate.” Narcissa took a sip out of her cup as her son nodded at her from across the table. “I am curious though, why didn’t he dine with us the previous night or this morning? Was it not your wish that he did so?” 

 

Narcissa tilted her head as her son nodded at her again, though he didn’t make a move to open his mouth and respond to her verbally. It was rather bizarre in her opinion. She would have figured that after yesterday’s fiasco, Draco would be all too willing to grumble and maybe even shout his frustrations. Either in her presence or at Harry as they ate. 

 

Speaking of...at some point, she too had the desire to confront Harry about his ‘escape’ yesterday. Though, unlike Draco, it wasn’t because she was concerned something bad had happened to Harry. Of course, she knew that Harry was able to defend himself, but her main assurance came from the outside world. 

 

If Harry had been hiding and waiting for Draco to leave the room so he could make an escape, which they had both originally assumed he was doing at the time, then Harry wasn’t in danger. Yes, being able to see where he was would be nice and all, but the knowledge that he wasn’t in danger was soothing enough to her. 

 

When it was discovered that he had actually left the mansion, two hours after Draco had called for her, that did cause her some panic. Harry could be anywhere and if he wasn’t careful, he could get hurt by mingling with the wrong people. Or just bumping into the wrong people. 

 

Though, thinking about it, Harry wouldn’t of gone outside naked. He had to be wearing some clothes of any kind. With a quick scan of the closet, Narcissa was able to determine that Harry had taken a shirt. It brought her great relief. 

 

All the shirts and robes had the Malfoy family crest on them. No pureblood creature, not if they were sane, would attack an individual with the Malfoy crest on their clothing. It would be equivalent to challenging the Malfoy family and there were few families who even dared think to do that. 

 

Harry would be safe when out in public. Even if people were uncomfortable with his half blood status, they wouldn’t do anything to him. 

 

So Narcissa didn’t have any concern over whether Harry was safe or not. She was confident that he was fine. Her main concern after that was her son’s reaction. He was in a much more...active...state of panic. So much so that he wasn’t able to make the connection that she had. 

 

He had begun to assume the worst, worrying that everyone outside the manor would quickly figure out Harry’s half blood status and harm him in some way because of it. It wasn’t a ridiculous thought as some individuals could be rather strict about mingling with beings that weren’t creature purebloods. But at the same time...it was really unlikely. 

 

As stated before, even those individuals wouldn’t dare touch someone who had the Malfoy crest on their clothing. Though her son seemed too distressed to remember that fact. 

 

It showed just how much he cared for Harry, she thought as she watched her son pace and list off all of the possible places Harry would have run off to. 

 

“I can tell by the look on your face that you wish to speak with him.” Draco’s voice interrupted Narcissa’s thoughts, bringing her attention back to her son. He had a calculating look in his eye and she didn’t know whether that was directed at her or not. 

 

She decided to take the safe route and assure Draco that she wouldn’t harm Harry. “I am not upset with your mate, my Dragon.” She thought for a moment as she took another sip of tea. “Well, at least not angry. I am unsettled that he chose sneaking out as his course of action and only desire to alert him of what his absence caused.” 

 

It wasn’t necessarily assigning blame. That wasn’t what Narcissa was after. True, she wanted to bring awareness to Harry, but assigning blame wasn’t the correct way to do so. It would only make him defensive and, in the worst case, tempt him to do it again. 

 

She knew how the teenage mind worked. Some reactions just couldn’t be helped. Especially since Harry was a Gryffindor and had some certain...aspects to his personality. He was very much unlike her Draco in many cases. 

 

“He scared you yesterday.” She mumbled as Draco continued to stare at her with that calculating look in his eye. By now, it was pretty clear to her that he was under the assumption that she would severely punish Harry for his actions yesterday. “I knew that he would be safe because of the crest on his clothing. I could see that you weren’t in the right of mind to come to the same conclusion.” 

 

Draco took a moment to sigh and shake his head. He wasn’t very proud of that bit. It should’ve been the first thing that came to mind, really. After all, he did have a mini discussion with Harry about said crests and why they were on the clothes. 

 

“I have not ever seen you so distressed, my Dragon.” Narcissa set her tea cup down and placed her hands on her thighs. She gave Draco a warm, yet concerned look as he regarded her carefully. “I understand that Harry desired private time with Sirius, but I’m afraid that I cannot remain silent about what his method of achieving said privacy caused.” 

 

Draco blushed a bit at his mother, looking down at his own lap. There was a brief conversation an hour or so before Harry returned about his mother and what she thought of the situation. It wasn’t unlike any other situation that she encountered in life. She took Draco’s worry and Harry’s disappearance with a stride. Easily, she had remained calm and guided Draco through his own panic. 

 

She helped look for Harry in the mansion, then escorted Draco to Sirius’ house to check for Harry there when it was discovered he was missing. 

 

Sometimes, even to this day, Draco was amazed at how patient and wise his mother was. 

 

“I do not desire to hurt him.” Narcissa continued to assure her son, smiling a bit when he nodded at her. She knew that he probably believe her when she spoke of her intentions earlier, but it didn’t hurt to give him assurance. Especially with given how stressful the day was going to be for him as it is. “I just don’t want to see you in that state again. I was worried for you, my Dragon.” 

 

Draco once again nodded, smiling at his mother before standing up and walking around the table. When he reached her, he bent down and kissed her cheek gently. A very large ‘thank you’ to her for her patience with the situation and just a general sign of affection. 

 

“Thank you, mother.” Draco whispered as his mother turned to kiss his cheek in return. “It’s not that I don’t trust your intentions or you. I’m just...I’m on edge after yesterday.” 

 

“And that is completely fair.” Narcissa stood as her son straightened up and stepped back to give her some space. “I am just glad that Harry has been returned to the manor and you were able to see for yourself that he was safe.” 

 

Draco nodded and pushed his mother’s chair in after she had moved out of it. “Do you wish to speak to him now or later?” 

 

Narcissa smiled in thanks at her son’s kind gesture before considering the question. In truth, she didn’t even consider that. She knew she wanted to talk to him and what she wanted to talk to him about, but the actual time of their discussion evaded her. Most likely because she counted on Draco having a preference for when he talked to Harry himself. 

 

‘Hmmm…’ Narcissa hummed to herself as her son patiently waited for his mother’s answer. There were many things to consider. The first being how willing Harry would be to listen to either of them. 

 

Between the two of them, her and her son, it was a fact that she had more patience than Draco. Not anything to be ashamed of, he was still growing and maturing after all. 

 

That being said, maybe it would be wise that she go first. Draco was still on edge from yesterday, so who’s to say that Harry would not be? It would be wise to allow someone more calm to approach Harry first. It would help prepare Harry for the conversation he’d have with Draco, which could help in preventing a fight that the two would most likely have. 

 

“I will speak with him now.” Narcissa nodded at one of the house elves as they moved to take her now empty tea cup from the table. “Perhaps explaining a few things to him will help placate him.” She gave Draco a pointed look when he sighed in frustration. 

 

That would be the challenging part in this. Both Harry and Draco were pretty stubborn, so she didn’t expect for the conversation to go peacefully. Not 100%, anyway. However, if she could calm down one of the two (Harry), even make him more sympathetic with her son by trying to get him to understand, then that would be enough. It would mean that Harry and Draco would have a productive conversation and not just break out into a vicious fight as soon as one word was uttered. 

 

“I will call for you when we are done talking.” Narcissa gave her son another kiss, this one on the forehead and more of an attempt to comfort than anything else. “I urge you to use the time Harry and I spend talking to properly calm yourself.” 

 

With that, Narcissa turned and began walking up the stairs. Draco didn’t answer her or call out to her in concerns of her suggestion, but she didn’t really expect him to. Draco probably needed a few moments to truly understand that, despite what he’d liked to believe, he wasn’t calm enough as it was. 

 

Narcissa made a small checklist of things that she thought would be necessary to bring up in their conversation as she walked along the corridor. It would be small because there really weren’t too many things to bring up. At the maximum, maybe three things that she and Harry would have in depth conversations about. 

 

The first and most important thing that needed to be covered had to be how she never wanted Harry to attempt such a thing again. Even in emergencies. She was prepared to swear upon her magic that she’d protect him if he was in true danger, even from her own son, but Harry was not allowed to run away. Especially not how he had done so yesterday: with an object that would not allow Narcissa to track his magic and a least know where he was. 

 

Harry was family and she was his guardian. She was responsible for him. If something happened to him...not only might she get in trouble with the council (it was a small possibility, but it could still happen), but she doubted she’d be able to forgive herself. Not to mention that Sirius would be even more furious with her. 

 

Narcissa shook her head to rid herself of those thoughts. She wouldn’t allow Harry to get far enough away from her and Draco again. He wouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere where he could be in danger. 

 

The second thing that needed to be discussed was why Harry thought that sneaking out and running away was a good idea. The answer could be as simple as it was an impulsive move. It wouldn’t be surprising, he was a Gryffindor. But...that didn’t sound right. Not that Narcissa was an expert on all things Harry Potter, but blaming his choice on the fact that he was a Gryffindor couldn’t be the whole story. 

 

‘Draco did mention that Harry wanted alone time with Sirius…’ Narcissa stopped a few doors away from Harry’s room as she thought about Draco’s revelation. ‘Maybe young Harry was...afraid? Afraid that Draco would harm Sirius?’

 

Afraid...it would contradict the idea that he did this because of his Gryffindor nature, in a way. Gryffindors were brave, full of nerve. If Harry snuck out on impulse, he was acting like a Gryffindor. If he had snuck out because he was afraid that Draco would do something when they went to Sirius, then that wasn’t very Gryffindor-ish. 

 

This entire thing was beginning to frustrate Narcissa. The best thing to do about it would be to just wait until Harry told her why he thought what he did was necessary. She could only hope that she’d retain her patience once she heard the reason. 

 

The third thing that she needed from Harry was to understand how she could help make him feel less like a caged animal and more like a guest. Like a visiting family member. Because when one thought about it, take away why Harry was staying here and not with Sirius, then you were left with the fact that Harry was a visiting family member. 

 

The whole ‘he’s here against his will’ wasn’t very true. No one threatened Harry at wand point, Draco hasn’t shackled Harry to his bed (like Draco confessed he was considering), and Harry hasn’t been treated poorly during his stay. Narcissa liked to think that he was being treated like how other guests would be. 

 

He was given his own room. He was provided with three meals a day and offered snacks if he so wished. He was free to explore the manor as long as he didn’t run away. He was respected by her, her son, and the house elves. 

 

Harry wasn’t in danger while staying here. So why did he constantly have this air around him that said he was prepared to be attacked? Yes, Narcissa could admit that she and her son weren’t perfect. Still…Harry was under her care for the next four days. It would be nice for those next four days to be peaceful. Maybe happy was pushing it...but that would be great as well. 

 

“Mistress?” A timid voice caused Narcissa to blink a few times. It was Crim, the house elf that had delivered Harry’s breakfast. Most likely he stayed with Harry until said breakfast had been eaten. “Is there something the matter? Should Crim call Master Draco?” 

 

“No, no, I’m fine.” Narcissa shook her head to dispel her thoughts and she offered Crim an approving look. The tray that he was carrying only had empty plates and an empty glass. Good, it meant that Harry had eaten his entire breakfast and she wouldn’t need to worry about that part. “Continue with your duties. Everything is well.” 

 

“Yes mistress.” Crim bowed his head, dangerously low for someone who was carrying a tray full of dishes, before teleporting away. A popping sound echoed through the hallway. 

 

Narcissa continued to stand in the corridor for a few more seconds before passing the last few doors to Harry’s room. It wasn’t necessary, but Narcissa couldn’t help but do a quick double check to make sure she was presentable before raising her fist up and knocking on the door. Like Crim’s teleportation, the sound echoed through the empty corridor. 

 

“Harry, it’s Narcissa.” Narcissa waited patiently as she heard the smallest sounds of rustling. Followed almost immediately by the sound of footsteps quickly growing closer and closer. 

 

“Mrs. Malfoy?” Harry’s called out before opening the door. His eyes were a bit puffy, so Narcissa could only assume that he had been crying before she knocked. It was good to see that he had changed from her sleep wear though, she did worry that she would have to have this conversation with him while he still looked like he had just woken up. 

 

Maybe it was just her being picky or whatnot, but talking to someone who seems like they'd just woken up was awkward to her. 

 

“Yes, Harry.” She smiled sweetly as he blushed lightly and averted her eyes. It was clear that he was still nervous in her presence and probably thought that she was here to scold and punish him for yesterday. With that in mind, she made sure to look as welcoming as possible. “Please dear, call me Narcissa.” 

 

Normally, people calling Narcissa by her given name before a year or two made Narcissa uneasy. Calling one by their given name was a sign of familiarity. Something that was mainly reserved for family or friends. And even then, most of the people Narcissa had become friends with had to wait a considerable amount of time before they had earned the right to address her by her given name. It was the same thing vice versa. It was just the proper and polite thing to do in their society.

 

Yet with Harry, the situation seemed different. No, not seemed...it was different. Not only was he technically family, but he was also a scared and stubborn boy who had proven that he could be reckless when he thought he had an appropriate reason. 

 

An appropriate reason, in this case, took the form of being in an unfamiliar environment and being ‘forced’ to interact with people he didn’t trust. 

 

Being stern and forceful might cause cooperation quicker, but it also might make Harry even more anxious. While being patient and gentle might take a bit longer, but at least by then, Harry would trust them a bit more. It wouldn’t be fear or uncertainty controlling his actions, but a willingness and a trust. 

 

“May I come in?” Narcissa held out a hand to gesture to the room behind Harry. “I wish to speak with you.” 

 

Harry bit his bottom lip, glancing to the open space behind him for a moment. He weighed his options…

 

“Is this about what happened yesterday?” He mumbled out, still refusing to meet Narcissa’s eyes. 

 

‘We’ll work on it.’ Narcissa thought patiently as she nodded her head. “Please understand that I hold no desire to lay my hands on you in any way. Yes, I do intend to give you a scolding, but I assure you, it won’t be unlike a parent scolding their own child.”

 

Harry had to bite his bottom lip even harder to stop himself from responding. Something along the lines of: you’re not my mother, so it’s going to be nothing like that. 

 

“Of course.” Harry mumbled out, stepping back and opening the door even more so Narcissa could walk in. 

 

“Thank you.” Narcissa nodded and walked into the room. Against her better judgment, she looked around the room as she walked over to the sitting area in the room. 

 

The bed looked to be made. While it still had small wrinkles here and there, she wouldn’t bug Harry about it. There was a small dip near the head of the bed, on the edge, where a pillow also lay. The pillow itself was still a bit bent, and looking a bit closer, Narcissa could also see it was wet. 

 

‘He was crying.’ She affirmed as she sat on one of the couches and waited for Harry to join her. ‘I will bring it up...maybe I should have another talk with Draco before letting him and Harry have their own…’ 

 

Chapter Text

Harry didn’t mean to drag his feet after letting Narcissa in. Really, he’d prefer to get this conversation over with as quickly as he could so he could go back to sulking about how Draco had his cloak. It wasn’t sitting right with him. Especially since he knew that Draco wouldn’t be giving it back any time soon. 

 

Last night, Harry had even been tempted to try apparating just so he would be dumped into Draco’s room and he could destroy it in his attempts at getting his cloak back. The only thing that stopped Harry from doing just that was the possibility that Draco didn’t put it in his room, knowing that it would be the first place Harry looked for it. 

 

Oh well...Harry supposed that since he’d be stuck in the manor anyway, it’d give him plenty of time to walk around and search out any potential hiding spots. And if he encountered any wards, then he was more than happy to absolutely shatter them. Draco finding out be damned. He took Harry’s cloak, he could deal with the consequences of hiding it. 

 

That was something to think about later though. At the moment, as Harry sat down across from Narcissa, there was a different matter to be dealt with first. 

 

“I...I suppose...I should explain why I snuck out.” Harry wrung his hands in his lap as he stared down at his shoes. That had come out a lot shakier than he had intended. He didn’t want Narcissa thinking he was scared of her (even though he was a little), so he took a few deep breaths after speaking. 

 

“That would be nice at some point.” Narcissa nodded her head gently as she took in Harry’s posture. For the moment, he seemed content to be hunched over. His head was bowed, his eyes glued to the floor, and his hands in his lap. The typically position for someone who was put in an uncomfortable position and didn’t know how to react to it. “However, before we get into that, I would like to make some things clear…” 

 

Narcissa had to be mindful of the tone she used. The words themselves could already be perceived as threatening if Harry was still feeling defensive and cornered, there was no need to give him further reason to feel scared. This entire meeting was supposed to make things easier for Harry while he stayed with her and Draco. 

 

“I know that you are not happy here.” Narcissa waited patiently for Harry to look up at her as she settled down into the couch a bit more. It was a vain effort to make herself look calm, to show Harry that she didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable around her. “I understand why. But Harry, you must understand...that doesn’t change the fact that you are under my care. I am responsible for you and I take care of those who I am responsible for. It’s my desire and my duty to.” 

 

Harry barely stopped the snort from escaping. Duty? Yeah, he could believe that one. Narcissa didn’t want him running around, or else she’d get in trouble and her reputation would be ruined. Ok, maybe not ruined, but she might lose some respect here and there. 

 

As for desire? That was a bit more difficult to believe. 

 

Why would Narcissa want to take care of him? He broke Draco’s heart, he was good friends with a family that have been rivals with the Malfoys for years, he was a half-blood, he was the godson of a cousin who technically betrayed her trust, and he was more trouble than he was worth. At least, that’s the picture that was painted into Harry’s head yesterday during his sneak out. 

 

The only reason she could have any desire to actually care for him was because he meant something to Draco. For some reason, Draco didn’t move on from Harry (and Harry could admit that he was still facing the same issue). Draco still wanted Harry, so by default, that had to make Harry important to Narcissa. Or, that’s what made logical sense…

 

“You may not acknowledge it, Harry,” Narcissa had a knowing look in her eye as she spoke, “but we are family.” 

 

Harry’s head snapped up at that. That was a pretty bold statement from Narcissa. Legally, she was correct. If she wasn’t, then this entire thing wouldn’t be happening. Still...hearing her say it...it was...it was weird. It wasn’t something Harry was expecting and he wasn’t sure whether to be disturbed (it would be more than appropriate) or humbled. 

 

Make no mistake, the Malfoy family were filled with gits. According to Ron and now according to Harry. Condescending gits who thought they were better than almost everybody else. Yet, that didn’t mean that they were cruel people. 

 

It was probably in accordance to the veela blood flowing through their veins, or just the tradition of most pureblood creature families, but family was everything. Like said before, even when the world turned against you, your family would be there for you. 

 

“You are family.” Narcissa repeated, hoping that by doing so, it would somehow help explain why she cared so much even with all these reasons as to why she shouldn’t. “I am confident you know what that implies.” 

 

Harry nodded his head. Though the gesture itself appeared to be meek, almost submissive, Harry’s eyes still told Narcissa that he either didn’t believe her or still didn’t understand. His eyes, made a bit bigger thanks to his glasses, were slightly narrowed into what Narcissa could only describe as a focused gaze. Maybe even suspicious, if she really wanted to act unsettled. 

 

That was fine. Narcissa would allow Harry to continue whatever thought process he had. There wasn’t anything she could say at the moment or do that would change his mind immediately. These things took time. 

 

“If you don’t believe that I want to make sure you are alright at my own accord, then that’s alright.” Narcissa paused as Harry openly scoffed at that. 

 

It was a rather rude gesture, especially since she was making an attempt to be sympathetic. She wanted to call Harry out on it, but resisted the urge. Remaining patient would be the best option. She could always call him out on it later, when she didn’t need to worry about Draco speaking with him after her.

 

“But moving on from that, you really scared my son yesterday.” Narcissa narrowed her eyes slightly, though it wasn’t something she meant to do. Just remembering yesterday and how panicked Draco had been...it reminded her of how frustrated she’d been. 

 

Half of her frustration was because she couldn’t calm Draco down, so it was frustration directed at herself. The other half, though, was at Harry. At the fact that he snuck out because he thought that Draco was heartless. What mother liked hearing or knowing that her son was perceived as heartless? By the person he loved, no less? 

 

“Draco was beside himself.” Narcissa sighed in a defeated manner, though her facial expression contradicted the image of ‘defeated’. Her eyes were narrowed, her lips were pressed into a thin line, while the skin around her eyes and her nose were scrunched up. “I couldn’t calm him down, no matter what I did, what I said…it was like he couldn’t hear me. All he could think about was you.” 

 

Narcissa growled low in her throat and hung her head, hands clenching tightly as Harry just stared at her. He was pretty sure he knew where this was going and he didn’t fancy allowing it to continue. Though before he worked up the nerve to try and stop her or at least claim that he understood what she was going to say, Narcissa started talking again. 

 

“Neither of us knew where you were, knew who you were with. If you were hurt, or not. We didn’t have a way to contact you, or to find you. If something happened to you, like if someone had attacked you, then we wouldn’t know until it was too late. It was all getting to Draco and he couldn’t handle it. He broke down with stress, worry, and anger. I’ve never...he’s never been like that before. Not even as a boy, when we had Lucius under the same roof as us!” 

 

Narcissa shook her head and took a deep breath to calm herself down. She was getting herself worked up over her memories. With a quick glance at Harry’s body and face, she could see that she was getting him worked up as well. 

 

The first thought that came to Narcissa’s mind was that Harry was becoming wary of her. He was seeing and possibly feeling (from her magic and how it was reacting) how tense she was becoming. He was growing nervous that she would attack him. 

 

That was only half the reason though. 

 

The other reason for Harry’s obvious tension was because he was...he...it was...ugh! He didn’t want to admit it, but then he’d be lying to himself. Against his better judgement, Harry was beginning to feel guilty as Narcissa talked about Draco’s response to Harry sneaking out!

 

Yes, he knew that Draco would be angry. Yes, he knew that Draco would probably be freaked out a little. Did he know the extent in which said worry would go? No! He assumed (an idiotic move, yes, Harry knew that) that the extent wouldn’t be so serious. 

 

Hearing Narcissa tell him...hearing her voice rise or break because she was remembering being with her son as he had a meltdown…

 

It made Harry feel even more guilty. Guilty for freaking Draco out and guilty that Narcissa was dragged into it as a result. He didn’t like either of the Malfoys (lie right there, not that Harry would admit it), but seeing their reactions directly to something Harry knew he shouldn’t of done...it clouded his judgement. 

 

It clouded his judgement big time.

 

“That...I didn’t...there wasn’t…” Harry tried several times to get more than two or three words out. All attempts failed and he was left with a broken brain-to-voice filter. He sighed in frustration at the entire thing.

 

Any other occasion, he’d be all too happy to speak his mind. He understood that sometimes delicate situations required delicate handling, but most of the time, Harry just spoke his mind. He was a very blunt person, a quality that many loved and loathed at the same time. 

It wasn’t Harry’s fault that the truth hurt at times! 

 

“Look, you’re probably not going to believe me...but at this point I really don’t care.” A second, quieter sigh made it past Harry’s lips as he raised a hand up to run his fingers through his hair. It calmed him slightly, but not enough. Not nearly enough. “I didn’t mean to scare you or Draco that much. I thought that when I got back, you two would be a little worried, but mostly angry. I was expecting the silent treatment.” 

 

Narcissa raised a brow at this and leaned back a bit into the couch. The silent treatment? Wha-? What would...why would she and Draco give Harry the silent treatment? What would that accomplish? 

 

Maybe it could be a signal that they were upset with Harry, but he just admitted that he knew already that they’d be upset There would be no reason to remind him of that, so she and Draco could instead be using that energy to scold Harry. To dish out the appropriate punishment to the crime. 

 

Harry huffed and crossed his arms over his chest when Narcissa didn’t respond. “Like I said, I don’t know if you believe me and I don’t care. You asked, I answered.” He moved his head away and tilted back a bit so that Narcissa wouldn’t see his blush. He was starting to feel a bit embarrassed about this whole thing. 

 

Narcissa was right...there was some truth to her words. She was making this feel a bit like a mother or father scolding the town child. The similar level of embarrassment that could be shared between Harry and said child gettings scolded was uncanny. 

 

“Anyway, I guess I should start explaining the ‘why’ to this whole situation.” Harry brought his hands from across his chest and made air quotes as he said the word ‘why’. It just...it seemed appropriate for the situation. 

 

And Narcissa didn’t give him any funny looks, so Harry just rolled with it. 

 

“Truly, I did think that Draco would demand to be stuck to my side during the entirety of the visit. Or, maybe it would be me stuck to his side? Whatever, same thing. Anyway, I wanted privacy with Sirius and thought that Draco wouldn’t let me have it. I thought that sneaking out would just be the easiest way to solve the problem and...I’m not gonna lie...the ‘sneaking out’ idea was an impulse idea. I just...I had an end goal and I was prepared to do what I needed to do to achieve it. I didn’t care about the consequences at the time.” 

 

During his whole explanation, Harry made sure his eyes never made contact with Narcissa’s. In fact, if he could help it, his eyes wouldn’t land on her person at all. He would focus on the floor, on his socks, on the arms of the couch, on the ceiling, on the fabric of his sleepwear...anywhere that wasn’t in Narcissa’s general direction. He was embarrassed about being scolded, he was embarrassed at being caught feeling guilty he was embarrassed for allowing himself to feel embarrassed! 

 

This just wasn’t his morning. Not that Harry really expected it to be, but one could still hope for nice things…

 

“I...I also just…” Harry shut his eyes at this one, tilting his head down so far that he felt his chin touch his collar bone. What he was about to say would either disappoint Narcissa enough that she’d leave the room and just let Draco deal with him or it would just confuse her. He preferred the latter. “I wanted some time away from Draco. I’ve only been here for two days and I already feel smothered by him.” 

 

Smothered may not have been the correct way to describe what he was feeling, but Harry didn’t feel ready to pour his heart and soul out to Narcissa. In truth, the ‘smothering’ that Draco was doing only affected Harry’s ability to think. One could say that he was smothering Harry’s thoughts. Meaning he refused to leave them! 

 

It started when Draco forced those kisses during his tour. The feelings...the memories of Draco’s lips being there before plagued Harry that night. He didn’t allow Draco to see it, but in the privacy of his bedroom, Harry couldn’t keep his emotions off his face. He missed Draco’s lips, he missed how Draco used to hold him, he missed the feeling of safety that Draco always gave him when they were together. 

 

Then last night, when Draco had crushed Harry in a hug. When he screamed out his frustration and his worry about Harry’s disappearance. 

 

“I needed someone I felt safe with.” Harry hugged mid section and began to curl in on himself. Originally, he didn’t think he’d be reacting this way to his own explanation. He figured that he’d be uncomfortable, but it would be enough to handle. 

 

Now...as he dug further and further into why he had snuck out...Harry realized that there were a lot of components that he left out of his original planned speech. 

 

“You and Draco...look, I’m pretty sure you two won’t hurt me. Like, 75% sure, since you could get in trouble for it. But I...I just...I still can’t be sure. I’m here against my will, not to mention that I’m forced to interact with the person who put me in this position.” 

 

Narcissa winced at that. Harry’s voice was still soft, as if he was struggling to get the words out. He was quiet and sounded more tired that accusatory. Yet...she knew that comment was for her. It was...unpleasant...that Harry decided to bring it up in this conversation. Though in reality, Narcissa knew it would come sooner or later. 

 

“So...there. I wanted private time from Sirius and I didn’t want Draco anywhere near me for more than an hour.” Harry’s eyes opened slowly, though Narcissa wouldn’t of been able to see it with how his head was still angled (pointing downwards). “This whole thing is supposed to be some elaborate plan to force him and I together to...to what? To talk about what happened a year ago?” 

 

Harry began to feel frustrated. His thoughts were becoming scrambled and he couldn’t focus. Originally, this had started with just wanting Narcissa to say her piece, then get out so he could get his discussion with Draco over with. He hadn’t counted on the guilt that she’d make him feel or the fact that she’d be interested on his thought process on the matter. Harry didn’t count on being forced to dig this deep into his buried feelings. 

 

“Deary.” Narcissa stood up as Harry remained quiet. She stood slowly, and when he didn’t look up at her, she approached. She couldn’t see his face, so she couldn’t easily tell what mood he was in based on his expression. All she could do was rely on his body language. 

 

By the tense shoulders, curled in position, and how Harry wasn’t breathing at a steady pace...Narcissa could guess that he was far from ok. That maybe he was either on the verge of having a meltdown or a panic attack. 

 

“Harry, Harry dear…” Narcissa reached out when Harry didn’t respond. Her hand, delicate and gentle, cupped his cheeks. She couldn’t hold in the gasp as the skin on her thumbs instantly became wet. 

 

Was Harry crying? Oh no...

 

“Oh you poor dear…” Narcissa sighed and gently pulled Harry’s head up. Harry’s eyes looked out of focus, even though they were still narrowed into a glare. He had his bottom lip between his teeth and looked to be biting down hard enough that Narcissa was afraid that he’d start bleeding. “Harry...what did I say? Did I push too far? Harry...Harry…” 

 

Harry still didn’t respond. His mind had tried to stay on one thought at a time, but in the end, it failed. In admitting (or reiterating) that he knew why he was brought here, he was unwillingly brought back. Brought back to three very, very special moments between him and Draco. Starting from the first kiss they shared. 

 

The experience...it really was magical. Harry had never been kissed before (on the lips) before Draco, so he was quite shy to make the first move. Luckily for both of them, Draco didn’t have that same shyness and eagerly guided Harry through the kiss. First few moments were so gentle, so soft, so loving...Draco had to tilt his head a bit so their lips would slot together perfectly, but neither of them minded. The next few moments were a blur, but Harry did remember being blushy and giddy as Draco stared down at him. As Draco held him in his arms and wouldn’t let him go. 

 

Then there was the day that Draco decided that he wanted to take the risk of trusting Harry with his most deeply kept secrets and fears. The first on his list...his father and how their relationship was. They had been in Draco’s room since Harry wanted Draco to feel as comfortable as he could while explaining (a task that wouldn’t of been accomplished in the Gryffindor common room). By the end of it, they had both been crying rivers. Harry had never held Draco so tightly than he had that day and he vowed that he’d heal all the wounds that Lucius left on Draco. That he’d make sure that Draco knew how much Harry loved him, how much he needed him...all of it. 

 

Looking back on it, Harry and anyone who knew about that day would scoff. Just how had it gone from that to...this?!

 

Harry had begun to remember the details about the day that Draco had told him, not showed him, but verbally said the three little words that made Harry want shower Draco in endless kisses. He had begun to remember the day that Draco told Harry he loved him when he felt his cheeks dampen. 

 

‘Dammit!’ Harry sniffed lightly, still (somehow) not noticing the gentle thumbs brushing away the tears as they fell from his eyes. ‘What the fuck is even going on anymore?!’

 

Harry was so focused on his memories and thoughts that he actually forgot that Narcissa was in the room. Had been in the room not long after he had finished breakfast. He forgot what they were talking about earlier and forgot that he was safe. 

 

All he could notice was how his throat started to contradict and his vision started to blur, despite how he was wearing his glasses. There was also hands...hands, fingers...they were on his face. They were touching his face. They were awfully close to his eyes and...the barest hint of pressure was being applied to his cheeks. However, in the state that Harry was in, ‘the barest hint’ was still enough to cause Harry panic. It was still enough for Harry to convince himself that someone was crushing his face between their hands. 

 

“Deary, you need to breathe.” Narcissa continued to try and bring Harry back as the boy continued to cry. Well, maybe not fully cry, there weren’t any sobs yet. A few whimpers here and there, but there were mostly tears. “Harry, please, calm down…” 

 

Narcissa wiped away a few more tears before just settling for cradling Harry’s face in her hands. Her brows furrowed in contemplation as she quickly thought up a short plan. Harry wasn’t breathing at a steady pace. The speed at which he was breathing wasn’t increasing at an alarmingly rapid pace, but that could change if she allowed him to continue without calming him down. 

 

‘I have tried calling his name.’ Narcissa shut her eyes and shook her head. ‘If he doesn’t respond to that...or how I’ve been touching him...what will he respond to?’ 

 

Narcissa didn’t know, and by now, it didn’t look like she had much time to figure it out. She tried calling Harry’s name one last time while slowly reaching for her wand. Harry wasn’t breathing properly with the state he was in, so she would have to stun him and force him to take a calming draught before-

 

Narcissa’s own scream interrupted her own thoughts as Harry suddenly pounced on her. Two large, feather covered wings rose to close around Narcissa as Harry’s claws dug into her arms painfully, followed by a sharp beak cutting across her left cheek. 

 

“Draco!” 

 

Chapter Text

“Draco!” Even from his place in the living room, Draco was able to hear his mother’s scream and he practically leapt off of the chair he was sitting on before rushing out. “Draco! Harry-! I can’t-!” 

 

“Mother, I’m coming!” Draco shouted back, momentarily forgetting that he could apparate as he sprinted up the stairs. The house elves that chose to follow him, urging him to let them handle the situation, were brushed off as Draco made it to the correct corridor. “Mother!” 

 

“Draco! I can’t hold-! Gah! Let go!” 

 

‘What is happening in there?!’ Draco thought frantically as he finally stopped in front of Harry’s door. Since he had been running, he almost passed it and had to reach out to grab the doorknob to keep him from going past it. 

 

The sight itself was pretty embarrassing since Draco had tripped when attempting to right himself. Seeing as how the house elves were the only witnesses and wouldn’t say anything about Draco’s lack of grace, Draco didn’t put any thought into it as he threw the door open. 

 

The relief of the door not being locked only lasted for a few moments or so before Draco threw himself inside the room. What greeted him had him shifting after only two seconds of watching. 

 

“Harry!” Draco shrieked, launching himself forward. He couldn’t see his mother’s body or Harry’s thanks to the way Harry’s wings were wrapped around his captive, so Draco just launched towards where he assumed Harry’s shoulder would be. “Release her! Now!” 

 

“Draco!” Narcissa screamed again as she felt Harry shift in position. His claws, which were embedded in her arms, were suddenly yanked out as Draco slammed into Harry. It was painful, but Narcissa ignored the pain and instead tried to locate her wand. 

 

Draco hadn’t taken too long to respond to her scream, but Harry didn’t need more than a second to disable Narcissa. She didn’t know where he threw her wand, she was too focused on pushing against him so his beak wouldn’t take out one of her eyes. It could be under the couch she was sitting on, it could be somewhere near the wall, heck! It could even be under the bed for all Narcissa knew! 

 

“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?!” Draco shrieked as he and Harry wrestled on the ground. Draco had succeeded in getting Harry on his back, but with the way Harry’s wings were flailing around, there wasn’t a guarantee that it would stay that way for long. “Harry!” 

 

A sharp screech served as Draco’s answer, accompanied by an even sharper knee to the stomach. It was official...Harry wasn’t in his right mind. He was operating on pure instinct. A panic induced instinct. 

 

Before shutting his eyes and hissing in pain, Draco swore that he could still make out a bit of Harry’s pupils. There was still a chance that Harry’s ‘human brain’ could take back control, small as it may be. 

 

“Stop it!” Draco growled and shook his head as he resisted the urge to wrap his arms around his stomach to try and soothe the pain left by Harry’s knew. As he opened his eyes to stare down at Harry again, his hope to end this peacefully diminished. Whatever pupil remained in Harry’s eyes was long gone. 

 

Now, Harry’s eyes were completely emerald green. No signs of anything else. Harry had given into his instinct. He wouldn’t be brought back without taking drastic measures. And by ‘drastic measures’, that meant Harry would probably have to be knocked out before Narcissa could approach him. Before Draco could shift back. It wouldn’t be safe for them otherwise. 

 

Although the two of them combined could probably take Harry on and win in the fight they’d inevitably have, Draco didn’t want to take any chances. His mother was already injured (albeit not severely) and Harry was too ‘in his own head’ to act rationally. That made him unpredictable. That made him even more dangerous. 

 

“Draco, hold him!” Narcissa had finally found her wand (it had been thrown back to the wall) and hurried over to the two boys. She had to maneuver around Draco’s wings, which were fluttering wildly in response to Harry’s struggles, before pointing her wand down at Harry. 

 

The angle was a bit awkward since both Harry and Draco’s wings were flapping around like mad, so there was a chance that Narcissa might hit her own son with the binding spell she was about to cast. Narcissa paid no mind to that thought though. She could easily cast the reversal spell on Draco and free him when they had successfully subdued Harry. For now, her focus was getting Harry still so she and Draco were safe again. Then they could work together to try and figure out what had scared Harry so much. 

 

“Petrificus-!” Narcissa only got the first word out before a loud shrill made its way out of Harry’s throat. 

 

Narcissa’s last thought before she was pushed away by a surge of magic was: ‘I figured out what went wrong…’ 

 

When Harry had begun to panic earlier (what he was panicking about was something Narcissa knew she had to bring up with Draco later) she pointed her wand at him. She had pointed a potential weapon at him while he wasn’t in the right state of mind to think rationally. Of course he would react like this. He assumed that he was being threatened and acted to defend himself. 

 

“Mother!” Draco’s his head snapped up and his eyes were pure silver as his focus turned to his mother. She had landed so close to the fireplace, just a foot or two away from the outer edge. When she had made contact with the wall, she had smacked the back of her head, knocking her unconscious. 

 

As Narcissa fell forward, she still retained the same grace she possessed on a day to day basis. Draco was both impressed and horrified. Mostly horrified. His mother’s eyes were still wide with shock as her head hit the wall, but as she fell forward, he was able to see how her blue orbs roll back into her head. A moment later, and they had closed completely. 

 

Harry didn’t notice any of this. Though he felt no shame in using Draco’s shift of focus to his advantage. With a shriek, he shoved Draco away. It didn’t work in getting Draco completely off of him, but it did succeed in getting some space between them. That’s all Harry needed. 

 

“Argh!” Draco grunted as Harry’s foot made solid contact with his chest. Merlin’s balls...how was Harry flexible enough to bring his leg that high anyway?! 

 

Draco didn't have time to consider it before he was the one being wrestled on his back. Unlike Harry, he managed to remain in a sitting position as Harry mindlessly tried to push him towards the ground. Draco could tell it was mindless because he and Harry have play fought many times before. Maybe not in their veela forms, but that’s hardly important. They've play fought before, so Harry should be familiar with tactics that will work to gain the advantage and put Draco in a successful pin. 

 

The fact that Harry couldn’t do that, didn’t even appear to be trying to focus on anything but pushing Draco, indicated that Harry really wasn’t thinking at all. A reinforcement to how Harry wasn’t too far from a wild animal right now. A scared, possibly angry wild animal. 

 

“That’s enough!” Draco growled and used his body weight to push against Harry. While he was physically stronger than Harry, his sitting position didn’t give him any proper momentum to use a lot of that strength. The wings on his back helped a bit, since that could help push him forward, but other than that, most of his focus and strength was directed towards keeping a firm hold on Harry’s arms. “Harry! Enough!” 

 

‘He can’t hear you, you moron!’ Draco’s conscience screamed at him as Harry continued to struggle in his grip. How they were still on the floor was a miracle, Draco had expected Harry to try and take flight sometime sooner. ‘He’s not focused enough to think rationally! He’s terrified of you! He won’t listen to you!’ 

 

“Harry, please!” Draco tried a different approach after moments of hearing his own voice (in his head) berate him for his stupidity. “Harry! It’s ok! You’re alright! No one’s going to hurt you!” 

 

‘Oh, he’ll believe that for sure.’ If his conscience had a face, it’d be the perfect picture of disgusted. Nose scrunched up, eyes narrowed and cold, lips pressed together tightly. ‘If he could even bring himself to try and believe that, you wouldn't be fighting him and your mother wouldn’t be unconscious right now.’ 

 

Draco shook his head to dispel his negative thoughts. He couldn’t continue to focus on them and how much they pointed out his failure. He needed all the strength he could muster. Harry was putting up on hell of a fight, not that Draco expected anything less, and fighting a dragon suddenly sounded easier than this. 

 

The two boys spent several minutes wrestling. Neither could get the advantage. Whenever Draco tried to push farther against Harry, tried to go for another pin, Harry would take advantage of Draco’s close proximity and try to bite at Draco’s face. At this point, Draco was surprised that Harry hadn’t already began to tear off flesh from his arms or hands. Harry seemed to be saving most of the biting for Draco’s cheeks and his nose for when Draco tried to push against him. 

 

Which brought a sense of relief...Harry’s beak was gone. Draco wasn’t paying attention to when, he was just glad that he didn’t have to worry about getting his eyes pecked out now. 

 

As for both of their claws, Draco’s hands were currently the only thing keeping Harry from shredding his body like parchment. No, scratch that, it’d be a task easier than shredding parchment. Draco’s clawed hands were grasping Harry’s forearms, only lightly digging into the skin as Draco redirected Harry’s various swipes and punches anywhere that wasn’t his torso or his legs. 

 

With Draco so close to Harry, Harry didn’t take any chances trying to burn Draco. How he had enough sense for that and not enough sense for anything else confused Draco immensely, but that curiosity was pretty low on his priority list. So long as Harry didn’t get anymore space between them and Draco could keep Harry subdued until Harry exhausted himself, everything would be close to alright. 

 

At the very least, the manor wouldn’t be set on fire or just totally destroyed. A fight between two veela, specifically a fight between two veela indoors, gave the word ‘mess’ a whole different meaning. 

 

“Let. Go!” Harry suddenly howled, eyes flashing as he pulled away abruptly. As Draco was used to Harry pushing against him, his grip on Harry’s arms slipped and he fell on his stomach in front of Harry. His powerful, but also sensitive wings were vulnerable now, and Draco was momentarily afraid that Harry would burn the feathers or just shred the wings off of Draco’s back. 

 

Harry did neither. To the surprise of Draco, he quickly stood up and backed away. His hands, claws out and ready, were splayed before him. His eyes, though still glowing a dark and dangerous looking green, were wide with what Draco would now describe as shock. Harry’s wings were high on his back, as if he was preparing to take flight. Given the space they were in, Harry didn’t have much room to fly around, so that meant that he’d have to go around Draco to get to the window. 

 

“Just...stay away!” Harry wailed out as Draco rolled and sprang up. His wings came up high as well. Though unlike Harry, whose wings were up as if he was about to fly off, Draco wings were up as a sign of warning. 

 

Draco was warning Harry against whatever Harry was thinking about doing. It would only be totally like Harry to disregard that warning and quickly bolt to the side anyhow. 

 

“Come back here!” Draco growled and pivoted so he could launch himself at Harry. Harry sidestepped to avoid direct impact, but Draco caught himself before he could crash into the wall and turned to face Harry again. 

 

They were back to where they had just been. Only, to Draco’s annoyance, Harry was closer to the window. If he backed up a bit more, then he’d be right in front of it. From there, all he’d have to do was throw himself sideways and he’d have successfully thrown himself out. Then Draco would have to chase him around, not an easy task with Harry being the faster and more agile between the two. 

 

Then again...Harry was beside himself. He couldn’t think clearly and, by the looks of it, their grappling session earlier had affected him in some sort of way. Harry didn’t look so angry anymore. He just looked...he looked mostly shocked. A little scared, but mostly shocked. 

 

Then...oh...oh sweet Salazar...that smell...it was coming from Harry’s direction…

 

‘How could I not have noticed?’ Draco sniffed the air again, eyes widening as he put more thought into it. ‘How could I have been so...dismissive about it?!’ 

 

By the looks of it, Harry was sharing similar thoughts with Draco. Just how could he have been so bloody stupid?! What did Harry think would happen when he decided to try and fight against Draco instead of just running away the first chance he got?! Oh, right, he wasn’t thinking. He wasn’t making the right choices because he was so lost in his panic and his anger. 

 

Harry growled as he took a sniff of the air as well. He could very well smell how Draco’s scent had changed in response to his own scent. He could feel the tension in the air dispel, only to be replaced by a new sort of tension (if that made any sense).

 

‘Get away.’ A little voice in the back of Harry’s head suddenly perked up. Though it didn’t sound alarmed or angry. It sounded excited, encouraging, and borderline challenging all at the same time.’Get away. Fly out. Make him chase you. Make him chase you!’ 

 

‘Chase me?’ Harry heard his own voice this time. Nothing like the voice that had been tempting him a few seconds ago. This had to be his own conscious. The one that Harry was in control of, not the other one. That one was most likely controlled by his stupid instincts. ‘Why would I want him to chase me? I want to get away from him!’ 

 

‘No, no, you don’t. Don’t want that.’ The other voice whined at Harry, causing Harry to wince. ‘You don’t want that. You want him to chase you. You want him to catch you. You want him, you want him, you want him…’ 

 

“Harry…” Draco narrowed his eyes as Harry began to inch towards the window. Even with his focus elsewhere, Harry still seemed to find where the window was. What would be even more impressive at this point (and irritating for Draco) is if Harry didn’t try to throw himself out the window and was somehow able to carefully unseal the latch before gracefully flying out. 

 

‘You hear? He is ready for the chase too!’ That irritating voice squealed as Harry blushed. Draco’s voice had dropped a significant amount of octaves and Harry wouldn’t even try lying to himself by saying that it didn’t get his already fast beating heart beating even faster. The fight-fueled adrenaline now mixed with the excitement-fueled adrenaline and Harry found himself obeying the giddy voice in his head. 

 

‘Do it! Do it! Fly! Fly!’ If there was a body attached to that voice, Harry could envision it jumping up and down. Possibly clapping its hands in a wild frenzy. ‘Make him chase you! Make him prove himself!’ 

Prove himself…

 

Harry swallowed audibly and shut his eyes. Draco had to prove himself…

 

Draco had to prove himself…Draco had to...dominant…

 

Draco...dominant! He had to prove himself!

 

The window shattered before Draco could take another breath and in the blink of an eye, Harry was gone. Darco ran to the window, aware that the glass shards still flying through the air could pierce his wings if he wasn’t careful. Not to mention that the glass on the floor could cause him to slip. 

 

There were bits of blood on the window cill, but Draco paid no mind to it as he watched Harry fly downwards. 

 

‘Chase him!’ His instincts screamed at him as Harry made no move to fly off too far. He had flown down towards the ground and Draco could bet that he was only a few feet higher off the ground than the average individual would stand. It meant that Harry wasn’t truly trying to get away. ‘Chase him! Catch him! Prove yourself to him! You’re letting him get away!’ 

 

Draco snarled and quickly leaped out himself. Like Harry, at this point, his instincts were guiding him through the familiar ritual. The ritual that his ancestors before him had performed countless times. 

 

His wings opened out fully and Draco had felt a bit of a push as he quickly took off after Harry. Harry might’ve been the faster one between the two of them, but he didn’t know the outside of the manor well enough to know good places to hide or obstacles that he could put Draco through. Because of this lack of knowledge, he was forced out into the open. 

 

At that point, Draco had the advantage. He did know some good hiding places where he could wait and ambush Harry. He did know what obstacles he might encounter and could take the necessary precautions to make sure that while Harry was slowed down, he wasn’t. 

 

The hunt had begun. 

 

Chapter Text

‘He’s chasing me! He’s chasing me!’ Harry thought frantically as he barely missed running into another tall shrub. Jesus...how many more of those did he have to fly past before he made it out of the yard and into the forest?! 

 

But, no wait...did he even want to go that far? Did he want to immerse himself in countless trees, bushes, rocks, maybe even caves just to make this more challenging? What if he actually lost Draco, or if Draco had lost interest when Harry made a move to leave the borders of the manor? 

 

‘He has to chase you!’ The voice sounded angry this time. It practically snarled the words in Harry’s head. ‘He’s not worthy if he gives up! Make him chase you! Make him chase you!’ 

 

Again, Harry followed what his instinct was demanding him to do. With little focus on how far away Draco was from him or how lost he was sure he’d be once he flew into the forest, Harry furrowed his brows in determination. His wings were flapping like crazy, causing the dust and leaves below Harry to suddenly twirl up into the air. 

 

Harry was nearing the hedge that acted as a border for the garden. It was silly, if Harry had taken any moment to consider it, how much the hedge resembled a wall. The hedge was made of leaves and wood. Perhaps some of the wood pieces in it were stronger than mere twigs, but leaves and wood all the same. Meaning that Harry would face no challenges in simply pushing through it or burning a good portion to ashes. 

 

‘No.’ Harry thought to himself as he passed the 10ft mark. He was getting closer and closer, the outline of some of the trees in the forest behind the hedge becoming more detailed. ‘No, it’s easier to fly over. I’m quicker. It’s faster. Draco won’t catch me so easily. Draco will have to try. Draco will have to work to catch me-’ 

 

The edge of Harry’s wing singeing tore an alarmed cry from his throat. The air swirling around his wing as it continued to flap meant that the pain from being burned didn’t last too long, but it was the principle that startled Harry. Did Draco seriously just try to burn him?! 

 

Glancing at his wing, Harry noticed with relief that no feathers had been burned off. That would’ve hurt a lot more. It also would’ve interfered with his coordination in flying. But, back to the point...Draco had tried to burn him. Since it was only the edge of his wing, Harry decided (and hoped) that killing him wasn’t the objective behind Draco attacking him. 

 

Maybe it was to slow him down? If Draco had burned more of his wing, Harry would possibly lose the ability to fly for the rest of the evening (he could heal himself later). That would give Draco the advantage that he needed to finally catch Harry. 

 

If that were the case, then Harry dare not look back. He was scared that if he did, then he’d slow down and Draco would have enough time to catch up to him without taking off his wings. If he was close enough to deliver an accurate shot, then that could mean he was only as far as...maybe less than 8ft? 

 

“Draco!” Harry cried out as he felt another body crash into him, thus proving his assumption false. Draco was a lot closer than 8ft. How he got so close so quickly impressed Harry, as well as scared him. Wasn’t he supposed to be the faster of the two? Was that only because he and Draco had never had a race in their veela forms before? 

 

Whatever the reason was...Harry could think about it later. As Draco forced him to the ground, ironically only a few feet away from the hedge that marked the border of the garden, Harry grunted and tried to turn. He’d already had the edge of one of his wings burned today. He didn’t fancy breaking both of them because he landed wrong, or something. 

 

Harry grunted out as he made contact with the ground. Although the wind had been knocked out of his lungs, Harry didn’t remain immobile on the ground for too long. As Draco landed on top of him, Harry used the momentum of their fall to quickly throw Draco over him. It ended up, more or less, with Harry just dragging Draco over his fallen form. Expected, since Draco probably didn’t fancy being flipped over and must’ve resisted Harry’s throw because of that. 

 

‘Fight him!’ Harry winced as the voice screamed in his head. Why did it have to return? He knew what he had to do! He knew how to do it! He didn’t need his own self screaming instructions that he didn’t need. ‘Fight him! Make him prove himself! Don’t surrender too easily!’ 

 

“Harry…” Despite the rough handling that Draco was using, his voice sounded quite tender. Gentle, even, if Harry was being honest with himself. The silver eyes were still there, so it could be concluded that even though Draco sounded alright, he hadn’t calmed down from whatever state he was in. “Harry...Harry…” 

 

Harry shook his head back and forth, determined not to let Draco’s voice lead him into a false sense of security. It would lead to him dropping his guard. He couldn’t do that now, it would give Draco the advantage. Draco needed to prove himself. Draco needed to prove himself without the use of an advantage. 

 

Harry suddenly lashed out, wings high in the air as he rolled and lunged at Draco. Draco welcomed Harry’s lunge with ease, as if he had anticipated it (which he probably had). His arms spread wide and he caught Harry in an awkward ‘I’m going to squeeze you till your bones pop’ type of hug. He rolled them around a bit, each of them taking turns pinning the other down, until Harry had suddenly shrieked again. 

 

The shriek distracted Draco momentarily, who mistook it for a shriek of pain as opposed to a shriek of frustration. In response, Draco pulled a bit of his weight off of Harry. Perhaps...he had burned more of Harry’s wing than he had meant to and accidentally crushed it just now? Wings were sensitive, and throughout their grappling session, Harry had been pretty good about not allowing himself to remain in a vulnerable position for too long. 

 

It was a mistake.

 

As Draco had stared down at Harry, eyes just beginning to soften at the prospect of actually hurting his submissive, Harry brought his arm and quickly swung it across. His claws, which had been sharp and ready, sliced through Draco’s spotless white skin so smoothly Draco took several moments to register just what had happened. When he had, he narrowed his eyes and growled down at Harry. 

 

‘He tricked you!’ Draco’s own little voice mocked darkly at him. It fueled Draco’s already high need to beat Harry in this duel. ‘Little submissive tricked you! He had you wrapped around his little finger! He knows your weakness has always been him! He knows that all he has to do is whine and whimper, and you become as weak as a newborn werewolf pup!’ 

 

Ok, first of all, was there ever any doubt in Harry’s knowledge of Draco? It would be ridiculous to say yes, of course. They dated for more than a fucking year! It would be embarrassing for Draco to even think of the possibility that he hadn’t learned anything about Harry. About his personality, his likes and dislikes, his fears, his pillars for strength…

 

Draco obviously didn’t know everything, especially since Harry had changed a bit over their time of separation. But other than that? Draco would proudly say that he knew quite a bit about Harry. He also knew that said knowledge was returned. Harry knew Draco’s likes and dislikes, a fair amount of his fears, what Draco used as pillars of strength...what Harry knew about Draco, Draco in turn knew about Harry. Maybe not completely for either of them, but the knowledge they had on each other was a healthy amount. 

 

Back to the situation at hand...it was ra ridiculous thought to think that Harry hadn’t known one of Draco’s biggest weaknesses. Draco himself admitted it to Harry more than once. But it seemed like his subconscious was too distracted with mocking him that it seemed to forget. It didn’t make sense, since they shared a common mind and all that, but Draco didn’t have the energy to think of a logical explanation. 

 

(Also second of all, werewolf pups didn’t need to be physically strong when they were born. They had overprotective parents already. Making them violent and murderous would just be a bit much, even for a world like this.) 

 

Back to the fight though, Harry had also seemed to pause as Draco growled at him in displeasure. Even though his eyes were completely green, no pupils to speak of and completely unreadable to almost everyone else, Draco could detect the faintest signs of shocks evident. Surprising, Draco would’ve thought that Harry would be happy at having got the upper hand for a brief moment. 

 

A brief moment that Harry wanted to recreate, apparently. Harry had soon regained his senses and his other hand rose up, likely prepared to slash across Draco’s other cheek. Maybe even his eye, if he was feeling nasty or desperate. At the moment, Draco could gamble that Harry was feeling a high level of both. Not wanting to take any risks, Draco’s own clawed hands crashed down onto Harry’s wrists. 

 

Like Harry’s claws, they did break some skin on contact. The speed and force behind the swipe just made it impossible for there not to be any marks. Fortunately, the cuts that Draco’s claws made weren’t near any vital veins on Harry’s wrists. Draco managed, even in his lack of proper control, to avoid cutting anywhere vital and focused most of his force onto Harry’s hands. The edges of Harry’s palms were the areas sporting any cuts made from Draco’s claws. 

 

“Don’t even think about it!” Draco snarled as Harry tried to push himself up. Harry bucked his hips wildly as Draco made himself comfortable atop him, thighs almost crushing Harry’s sides and knees plowing into the ground below. This time, he was determined to keep Harry under him, to make sure that this dominant position remained in his possession. “Stop it Harry!” 

 

“Get off!” Harry hissed, eyes blazing as he thrashed about to free himself. “Get off me!” 

 

‘Get behind him.’ The voice in Draco’s head offered, actually sounding sincere this time instead of mocking. ‘Get behind him. Bury your face in his neck. Kiss his skin. Keep him close.’ 

 

Draco would have shaken his head if it didn’t mean that he’d be taking his eyes off of his submissive. Which in turn would leave Harry an opportunity to flip them or try and attack Draco again. For now, Draco would have to settle for hissing at the stupidity of the voice in his head. 

 

Get behind Harry? Strategically, being behind your opponent's back was a good advantage to have, but in this case, it meant surrendering the pin he had Harry in. The risk that Draco wouldn't be able to get another pin if he did not succeed in catching Harry from behind was pretty great. Besides, Harry’s wings would smack him before he got the chance to get a proper grip. 

 

No, no, that idea was out of the ballpark. At least for now. Maybe if Harry tired out, Draco would try that. But for now, while Harry was still thrashing, his wings flapping like a lunatic, Draco wouldn’t take that chance. 

 

Everything else though...Draco wanted that. He wanted to bury his face into Harry’s neck, like he had done so many times before. He wanted to lay kisses upon kisses all over Harry, ovr every centimeter of skin that was visible. He wanted to hug Harry close and never let him go again. Now that Draco knew what it was like without Harry by his side (it was knowledge that he learned unwillingly on his part), he grew even more determined to make sure that Harry stayed with him. It would be a struggle, if how the fight’s gone so far was any indicator, but Draco knew that it would be worth it in the end. 

 

Actually...maybe that was it! Draco wouldn’t risk trying to get behind Harry right now, he’d get knocked away easily. However, the kissing part...would it slip past Harry’s notice just enough...? Odds are, with this type of fight, Harry was expecting Draco to focus all of his attention on keeping him down. Maybe even trying to weaken Harry by burning him or hitting/clawing at him. What he wasn’t expecting was Draco being affectionate. At all. 

 

Maybe...if Draco used Harry’s expectations against him...it would catch Harry off guard and present a better opportunity. By now, it was obvious that Draco had won the physical part of their duel, after all. Unless Harry suddenly gained a burst of power and quite literally blasted Draco off, then he would remain pinned. Not to mention that the more he struggled, the more tired he seemed to get. Soon, or Draco hoped it would be soon, Harry might not have the strength to properly fight Draco. 

 

Either way, Draco could possibly speed this process up by adding a bit of affection into the mix. He’s already proven that he was physically powerful enough to protect Harry (ironically by beating him), so now it was just a matter of getting Harry to accept him. Something that Draco was confident Harry would do once he was reminded of how good it felt when they were together. 

 

Harry wouldn’t of given into the urge to make Draco chase him if he completely rejected Draco. He wouldn’t of gone through with this whole thing and would’ve made an honest attempt at escaping Draco if he, as in 100% of his person, didn’t want Draco anymore. 

 

“I’m not going to hurt you.” Draco mumbled, though Harry didn’t hear him over his struggles. Or, maybe he did, he just didn’t care. “I promise, I’m not going to hurt you…” 

 

As Draco continued to mumble his promises, he began to lean forward. As he talked, he needed to make sure that his teeth weren’t visible at any point in time. Harry may have been too focused to notice how Draco’s face was getting closer and closer at the present time, but if he caught a glimpse of Draco’s fangs, that attention could shift. He would then notice how close Draco had gotten to his face and Draco would need another plan. One that probably wouldn’t be as pleasant as this one. 

 

“I’m not going to hurt you, I’m not going to hurt you…” Draco’s face began to heat up. This was going way too well. He was so close now, just a few more centimeters and his lips would brush against Harry’s. “Just relax...just relax…” 

 

Harry hissed and dug his claws into the ground. His eyes were unfocused as he continued to try and use brute force to get Draco off him. Only when Draco was close enough to his lips, and Harry could tell because he felt the warmth of Draco’s breath against said lips, did he cease his struggles. 

 

Somewhat…

 

Harry was still struggling, though now it wasn’t as violent. He was growing flustered as his brain finally registered just how close the dominant veela was to his face. It was close enough that Harry could start to pick out the finer details that made of Draco’s own face and he cursed himself for allowing his mind to travel there. They were in a fight, dammit! He shouldn’t be admiring Draco! This was about testing Draco! 

 

‘I need to keep fighting!’ Harry narrowed his eyes and grunted, allowing his head to thump back against the ground for a quick rest. Out of all the times it could’ve come, his exhaustion decided that now was the perfect time to make itself known. ‘He’s not getting out of this fight just because I’m tired or by batting his pretty eyes at me! I’ll keep fighting! I need to keep fighting! I have to-!’ 

 

With all the pep talk that Harry was trying to give himself, he once again failed to notice the movements that Draco made from above him. For as soon as Draco felt Harry’s body weakened from exhaustion, he took the chance to close the very small gap between their lips. From there, whether Harry wanted to admit it or not, it was all over for him. 

 

The kiss itself was rough and demanding. Draco wasn’t about to leave room for Harry to fight him. His lips were pressed against Harry’s so harshly that they might leave bruises just by being there. And that wasn’t an exaggeration. 

 

This wasn’t just a kiss to distract Harry, as Draco had originally planned or it to be. This now also became a kiss to ensure that Harry’s mind would never travel too far away from Draco. Draco had the chance to feel Harry against him again, to taste him and to touch him like he was able to before their nasty break up. He needed to make sure Harry remembered this. 

 

‘Go on...do it.’ The voice in Draco’s head purred as Harry whined into their kiss. His body was slowly going lax under Draco, lips slowly, almost shyly, beginning to mold against Draco’s. It wasn’t a full response on Harry’s part, but Draco counted it as a win either way. Harry was surrendering completely now. ‘Bite him. Go on...you know you want to. You need to complete the bond. You need to make him yours. Yours, yours, yours!’ 

 

The word began to echo in Draco’s mind as he growled against Harry’s lips. Silver eyes flashed again and Draco bit at Harry’s lips a few times, earning some whimpers from the submissive, before pulling back. Harry whined at the loss of contact, mind so focused on the pleasure that coursed through his veins as Draco kissed him that he didn’t even register anything else. He didn’t think about what this would do to him in the future, he didn’t think about the consequences of his surrender. All Harry knew was that Draco had beaten him in combat, had gotten his attention with that kiss, and was now moving away from him! 

 

Why did his dominant pull back when he was just about to reciprocate?! That wasn’t fair!

 

Draco chuckled as Harry began to squirm. It wasn’t intense or desperate like it had been when Harry was trying to escape. It was more playful, if anything. Harry was rubbing himself against Draco as much as he could, whining out short sentences when Draco didn’t seem to understand what he wanted. 

 

“Dracooooo!” Harry whined as he felt the grip on his wrists tighten. Though the pain of having his wrists crushed so harshly against the ground was nothing compared to the want he felt a Draco only stared at him. Smugly, Harry added as an afterthought. Cheeky fucker! “Draco!”

 

“Shhhh…” Draco’s eyes, which were still pure silver, softened at seeing his submissive become upset. It was distressing and Draco knew that as the dominant, it was his job to soothe his submissive instead of rile him up. Yet he couldn’t shake off the intense feeling of satisfaction of having Harry under him, whining for his attention. It just felt too good. “I know, I know...just hang on a moment...settle down…” 

 

As Draco spoke, he leaned towards Harry’s exposed collarbone and gave the skin their an affectionate nuzzle. He breathed in Harry’s lovely scent, made even more so now that he was in this state, before pressing open mouthed kisses all over Harry’s chest. 

 

What Draco was about to do would likely be a bit much for Harry to handle right now. After the day that Harry’s had, it would probably be the wiser move to wait until tomorrow or even the day after. Poor baby...cried all night because of the loss of his cloak, then became stressed out after having a wand pointed at him twice, then was chased by a dominant and forced by his own instincts to fight. All in all, it’s been a rough day. 

 

Yet knowing this, it only fueled his desire to claim Harry. To get it done today so he could spend tomorrow...the remainder of Harry’s stay even...pampering his submissive. They could make up for lost time, Draco could do a quick check in for what freaked Harry out earlier, Draco could finally get Harry and his mother to do some quality bonding time…

 

Mind made up, Draco pressed a few gentle kisses to the patch of skin he planned to bite before opening his mouth and clamping down. Harry took a few moments longer to react than Draco expected. Though maybe that was a good thing…

 

A few moments after Draco’s teeth had pierced the skin, Harry’s mouth fell wide open as he cried out. Harry hadn’t really expected Draco to bite him. Really, he didn’t. With the butterfly kisses being laid across his check and neck, he expected Draco to spend a few more moments pampering him. So when Draco first made contact, Harry froze. He didn’t move until the effects of the bite became too intense for him to just push away. 

 

‘Ow...ow...ow…! Oh! Oh…’ Harry’s eyes rolled into the back of his head as the pain began to turn to pleasure. His limbs felt heavy and his mind was slowly turning black. Or...was that his vision? Harry couldn’t tell at this point, he was solely focused on Draco’s teeth in his neck. 

 

Teeth...that had slowly, very slowly, retracted from their spot in Harry’s flesh. Harry wasn’t focused enough for the following moments, but his mind did register the warmth, wetness, and smooth texture of a tongue. He could only assume it was Draco’s tongue, licking at the mark. 

 

“I’ve got you, darling.” Draco cooed as Harry’s eyes shut. His fingers, which had been clenching the dirt so firmly, released their grip and just lay against the ground as his  entire body relaxed. “That’s it...good boy. I’ll get us back to the manor, yeah? I’ve got you...I’ve got you…” 

 

Harry didn’t pay attention to Draco’s words. He could only focus on the feeling of safety and warmth that overtook him before he passed out, being carried in Draco’s arms bridal style. 

 

Chapter Text

Day #4

 

Draco yawned quietly and sat up, wincing slightly as the cold air hit his warm skin. Jeez! Who had left the window open? It was cold in the room now! Draco swore he had shut all of them after he and Harry returned.  

 

Wait…

 

Draco’s eyes widened slightly as he turned his head to the side. At the sight of a second, smaller body curled up next to his, Draco’s lips pulled into a gentle smile. He was now remembering, with more clarity, what had happened yesterday after Harry had allowed him that bite. Instincts may have guided him with what to do with his docile submissive, but Draco was still very much aware of what was happening. 

 

It was almost like Harry was asleep as Draco flew them back into Harry’s room. Though, that could’ve very well been the case. Passing out could technically be in the same category a falling asleep if you wanted to push it, right? You weren’t really conscious when asleep, and passing out literally meant you lost consciousness. 

 

Draco shook his head to dispel his silly thoughts. It didn't matter what state Harry was in while he was carried, all Draco was concerned about was getting both of their wounded bodies cleaned and healed. A task made much simpler when, upon arriving back into the room, Narcissa had greeted her son with pure relief. 

 

Maybe it made him a bad son, or maybe Draco just had too much trust in the house elves, but after spending a few moments thinking about it, he concluded that he wasn’t really concerned for his mother while chasing Harry. His main goal was catching his submissive and only when he had safely gotten Harry back into the manor and seen his mother waiting for him had Draco remembered that Harry had hurt her previously. Narcissa had told him that she wasn’t offended by Draco’s lack of focus towards her. It was to be expected really...that Draco would follow after Harry when Harry instigated the chase. 

 

Speaking of the chase...it didn’t end how it traditionally ended. Usually, after the mating bite, the actual ‘mating’ would take place to complete the bond. However, seeing as how Harry had passed out from being overwhelmed while Draco was biting him, that obviously didn’t happen. In the grand scheme of things, neither Draco or Narcissa were too worried about that detail. Draco even admitted that he didn’t think he’d be able to take Harry while he was in that type of daze anyway. 

 

It would feel too much like rape, Draco had explained previously. He wanted Harry to fully respond to his touch, to his lovemaking. If Harry was as out of it as he was yesterday while they were mating, it would seem too much like Harry was drugged. That part just didn’t sit well with Draco and, after it had been explained to her, Narcissa shared the same thought process. 

 

The actual ‘mating’ part of the bond would just have to wait then. That was fine. It wasn’t a big deal, it wasn’t the end of the world. Draco could be patient when he wanted to be and Harry was certainly more than worth it. 

 

Now then, onto more present matters...how should Draco go about waking Harry up? 

 

Likely, Harry would be...uncertain about how to react to his current position. He may be slow to remember what had happened yesterday, or just slow on reacting to what had happened. Either way, it meant that he might become anxious upon seeing Draco in his bed. He may become anxious upon seeing Draco so close to him. 

 

The knowledge hurt a bit. Draco would prefer that Harry be at peace upon realizing that they had been cuddled together almost all night. But Draco also knew that that might be pushing it a bit. Harry had passed out yesterday, after all. He didn’t remember anything past Draco biting him. He didn’t remember how gently, how carefully, Draco had handled him after getting him back to the manor. 

 

Draco grumbled to himself as he leaned down and gave Harry’s forehead a long-lasting kiss. Draco’s lips remained on Harry’s skin, moving around what areas of Harry’s face they could reach, before any signs of waking up became noticeable. Harry’s face scrunched up a bit, most likely feeling uncomfortable at being woken up from his peaceful slumber. It brought a smile to Draco’s face. It meant that Harry was feeling comfortable enough in his current position to allow his vulnerability to be shown. 

 

There was a small possibility that Harry was still super tired from yesterday and just wanted to rest more, instead of being comfortable in his presence, but Draco didn’t entertain that thought for long. 

 

“Good morning, darling.” Draco murmured against Harry’s cheeks as Harry finally opened his eyes. They weren’t open very wide, there were still strong signs of sleep in the green orbs, but Draco only found the sight adorable. It was honestly a shame that Draco needed to pull Harry out of that state. “Have a nice rest?” 

 

Harry hummed in content as Draco pressed a few more loving kisses to his cheeks. He was feeling pretty floaty right now. His mind was still foggy and he had a hard time getting his limbs to move. He was literally a potato right now. 

 

“Come now love.” Draco chuckled as Harry continued to lie beside him. It was adorable and Draco really hated himself for disturbing the peace, but it had to be done. “We need to get up. We have a lot to talk about today.” 

 

Again, Harry didn’t really respond other than a small whine. He was still very tired, his limbs felt sore and heavy while his mind was a broken puzzle of foggy memories. Getting up and having to face the world while in this state was not appealing. The world was dark, it was cold and confusing. This bed, these sheets, this pillow...they were all soft and warm. They were comfortable. And he had his dominant here to take care of him-wait…

 

Harry blinked a few times. His mind was foggy, filled with disconnected memories, but dominant? He would remember if he had mated with someone recently and now had a dominant. It was a pretty big deal, after all. Though...his limbs did feel sore right now, and there were only so many activities that one could do that would result in their limbs being sore. Working out was one of them, a popular one. Harry should know, Hermione wasn’t kidding when she claimed that he had obtained a fair amount of his injuries from Quidditch. 

 

The other one...Harry blushed furiously, mind suddenly shaping up at the possibility. It left him with a headache, of course, but now he was most definitely awake. 

 

‘Merlin’s balls!’ Harry gasped and sat up, hands wandering over his body in search for any bruises, markings, or anything that could point out to what he had done yesterday. ‘Please don’t tell me that I…! I couldn’t of…! Draco wouldn’t of allowed-!’ 

 

Draco...Harry shivered while his veela purred at the name. Shit...shit, shit, shit, shit, shit! This wasn’t a matter of mating with just any dominant, Harry realized with horror. He and Draco had fought yesterday! Draco had chased him around the manor. Harry had encouraged Draco to chase him around the manor! Sweet mother of mercy...what had they done?! What had he done?! What had he been thinking?! 

 

“I couldn’t of...we didn’t…” Harry stuttered as he turned to face Draco, bright green eyes beginning to water at the possibility that Draco had mated with him. Mated with him...while they were both in that state...while they were both out of their minds…

 

“Tell me we didn’t.” Harry whispered, sounding the most scared Draco had ever heard from his love. “Draco...we didn’t. You tell me right now that we didn’t...do it...while we were both completely out of it.” 

 

Draco eyed his submissive sadly and tried to reach out to Harry, tried to take Harry into his arms so he could cuddle him. So he could comfort him. He ended up needing to bite his bottom lip to keep from whining as Harry sat up and shielded away from him. Like Draco had feared (himself), Harry was scared. He didn’t remember what happened last night after he was bitten and has already assumed the worst. 

 

Harry has already assumed that Draco had...taken him...while he was unconscious. Well, maybe Harry hadn’t outright said that, but the implication was presented pretty strongly. Draco was hurt and a bit nervous on how to proceed from here, but he was also plenty offended. 

 

Draco had acknowledged long ago that Harry had thought him to be many things. An asshole, a bastard, a cheater, a blood-racist, a prick, a git...a lot of negative things that Draco could admit were true. Some of them, at least. Mostly the asshole and the blood-racist part. What Draco would not allow Harry to believe, two things Draco would not allow Harry to believe, were: that Draco used him/dated him as a joke and never loved him, or that Draco was a rapist. 

 

Draco wasn’t either of those things. While he certainly wasn’t opposed to admitting that he was fucked up in more ways than one (a lot of pureblood creatures were for crying out loud), there were definitely those limits that not even he would push. 

 

“Darling...we didn’t.” Despite the hurt that Draco was feeling, he forced himself to coo at Harry. He forced himself to appear calm and loving as to not cause his submissive anymore distress. “I promise you, I wouldn’t do that to you. I love you too much to do that to you…” 

 

Harry swallowed audibly as Draco opened his arms. The other was either expecting Harry to give in to his desire for comfort from the dominant or he was trying to show Harry that he meant no harm. Harry didn’t take any chances either way. He couldn’t afford to. He didn’t have any recollection from yesterday after Draco had bitten him and he didn’t trust Draco to tell him the truth. 

 

But...perhaps he should try? The entire reason Draco cheated on Harry was because he didn’t want to rush Harry. He didn’t want to pressure Harry with his urges, so he sought out an individual that he didn’t care too much about using. Why would that change now? Begrudgingly, Harry had to admit that Draco was an intelligent individual. Besides, it didn’t take that much intelligence to conclude that taking Harry against his will (after making such a big deal about not doing that) would only result in Harry being eternally afraid of Draco. Angry too, but mostly afraid. 

 

Not something any dominant wanted their submissive to feel concerning them and their bond. 

 

“All I did was bite you.” Draco continued to coo as he watched Harry’s eyes. There were some tears forming, but none had started to fall. With any luck, Draco would be able to calm Harry down before they did fall. “I didn’t touch you like that. I didn’t even consider it. Darling, please, you have to believe me when I say that I wouldn’t do that to you.” 

 

“Why should I?” Harry whispered, growing more and more frustrated as Draco only tilted his head in confusion. Bastard...he had no right to be confused! Draco knew there were plenty of good reasons that Harry had for not wanting to trust him. “You...you kidnapped me! You brought me here against my will,  you threatened to hurt Hermione just to intimidate me to going back to you! Why should I believe that you wouldn’t do the one thing that would guarantee that I have to stay by your side forever?” 

 

The tears had begun to fall now, not that Harry cared. He was sore, he was tired, he was hurt, he was angry, he was even more hurt...he has earned the right to cry. 

 

Draco reached forward and pulled Harry into him before he really thought about what that action would do to his crying submissive, before he really thought about how Harry would view his attempt at comforting. “Harry, listen to me.” He murmured, gently but firmly as he ran his fingers through Harry’s hair. “I know you’re angry, I know you don’t trust me, and I’m sorry. I’m eternally sorry that I made you like this. Please, believe me, there hasn't been a day that’s gone by where I don’t regret hurting you like I did.” 

 

“Stop it!” Harry sobbed, though he made no move to push Draco away. He really did want comfort right now and, whether he wanted to admit it or not, the comfort that Draco was offering him felt too soothing to push away. So, against the more logical part of his brain, Harry buried his face into Draco’s chest. “Just...stop! I’m trying to move on from you! You lying, cheating, manipulative git! Why can’t you just let me go?! Why do you still keep me here?!” 

 

‘Here?’ Draco blinked a few times, the fingers he had in Harry’s hair pausing as he tried to translate what Harry was saying. Harry had only been in the manor for a few days, so that probably wasn’t what he was referencing. He couldn’t of been talking about how Draco still claimed Harry as his either, Draco only really reminded Harry of that a couple times after the school year began. It wasn’t nearly as much as Draco would’ve liked to do, but picking your time wisely was the smarter choice than simply giving in to desperation. That...and it’s not like Harry acknowledged those attempts anyway, he mostly just got annoyed.

 

So what did Harry mean when he said that Draco was keeping him somewhere? 

 

“Darling…” Draco shushed Harry when the others sobs started to raise in volume. Harry was getting more and more agitated by the moment. Draco couldn’t stop that agitation completely, it’s already developed. What he could do is keep it from getting out of control though. “Sweetheart, what do you mean? You have only been in the manor a few days now…” 

 

Draco already knew that the manor wasn’t what Harry was talking about. It was obvious. But perhaps playing dumb and pretending to be naive would get Draco his answer without needing to fight with Harry for it. 

 

“I’m not talking about your stupid house!” Harry’s screech was somewhat smothered by Draco’s chest. It was probably a good thing, even Harry acknowledged that. “I mean...I’m trying to...for fucks sake! I mean you! You’re still in my mind constantly, everything about you! What we used to be, what we used to share...how you were before you cheated on me!” 

 

Draco’s eyes widened at the same time that Harry finally mustered up the strength to shove Draco away from him. He didn’t need comfort anymore. Now, he needed to scream. He needed to get everything that had been bothering him out. He needed to do it now, while he and Draco were alone, if he had any hope of being free from it. 

 

“Before you cheated, you were getting better!” Harry glared as Draco continued to stare, silently, at him. “You were nicer to Hermione and Ron, you were actually sweet instead of just being a smug prick! You showed me you had a heart, but I guess I shouldn’t of gotten my hopes up!” 

 

The words spilled effortlessly out of Harry’s mouth and all Draco had to respond with was a shocked stare and a rapidly beating heart. He hadn’t expected this from Harry, but watching just how upset Harry was about it, Draco was actually happy that Harry was saying this. It hurt to hear, it really did. It felt like millions of knives, millions of knives where the blades had been heated, were twisting their way into his chest. 

 

But besides the pain, it also meant that Harry was letting it out. Soon, he’d feel free from the burden that he’d been carrying for the past several months. He was bringing forth his pain and allowing Draco to see it. This way, they could both take steps towards healing. Draco would know what he needed to know with how to make it up to Harry and Harry might be more willing to at least see what Draco would do. 

 

“But even after all that...I still loved you!” Harry sniffed a bit. Tears were still falling down his cheeks, causing his eyes to go puffy. He wasn’t sobbing anymore though, a sign that maybe he had already burned himself out. He had been going on and on, even as Draco was in deep thought. “I still love you and I hate that about me! I hate that even though you are literally one of the worst people I know, even though you’ve hurt so many people that mean a lot to me, that I still love you! I hate it! I hate it! I hate it! I hate myself for it!”

 

Draco had heard enough at that point. Harry was starting to grow hysterical now, his hands that had previously been crushing the sheets in an iron grip were now in his hair. They were pulling at the soft looking dark locks and Draco was actually afraid that Harry might yank just about all of his hair out. His claws had not come out yet, thank goodness, or else Harry’s scalp would be plenty bloody, but his eyes were shining dangerously now. Instead of how they were shining before, when they had tears building up, now they were just plain angry. 

 

Harry was angry with himself. 

 

Harry was physically hurting himself. 

 

Draco had to stop him. 

 

Now. 

 

With a speed and force so great that Draco was sure he’d knock them both off the bed, he lunged at Harry. 

 

Chapter Text

As expected, Harry began to shout and struggle as he felt Draco’s weight on him. It was familiar, being that Draco had not too long ago pinned him against the ‘ground’. Only before, Harry’s struggles...Harry’s fight...was a lot more successful. Now, it was just pitiful. He was emotionally and physically exhausted, his eyesight was blurred because of the tears, and his voice was actually starting to hurt with the volume and amount of his shouting. 

 

Or, it might actually be more accurate to say screaming, at this point. 

 

“Stop it! Stop! Off!” Harry threw his head from side to side as Draco tried to catch his gaze. He would not look into those grey eyes, dammit! He wouldn’t fall under Draco’s stupid spell...again! Not again! Nope! Nope! Nope! “Get off!” 

 

The struggles were, as mentioned seconds ago, pretty weak. If Draco was in his usual mood, he’d probably tease Harry on how ineffective it was to use all your power in the first round of long-term battle. Seeing as how he was in this position and not in his usual mood...all Draco ended up doing was sighing. He wasn’t frustrated or upset in any way, he was just tired. He could already sense how this was gonna go. 

 

And earlier in the morning, Draco tried to prepare himself for having this conversation. Why did he think that would help? He never learned. He really, really never did...not if he didn’t expect this type of reaction from Harry at the mention of any social interaction between the two of them. 

 

“Stop!” 

 

“No!” Draco growled loudly as Harry weakly thrashed. He had thrown his head back, unconsciously exposing his vulnerable throat. Draco’s mouth watered and his own throat ached at the sight. 

 

It’d be so easy...so easy...he was right there...it wouldn’t be any trouble at all to lean forward and take another nip at the tender flesh. Who knows? It might even help Harry calm down a bit…

 

‘Stop thinking like that!’ Draco shut his eyes momentarily as his common sense returned. He shook his head, gently, as not to make it obvious that he was having an internal struggle. ‘If you do that, it might push him too far. Patience! He’s scared and hurt and stressed and...all sorts of things! Just...gotta...be...patient…!’ 

 

Turns out, Draco would have to be very patient for a very long time. A very, very long time. 

 

Harry had gone another 20 minutes, give or take of crying and struggling before he needed to allow his body to rest. He had almost no tears left to cry after sobbing for a total of 35 minutes or so, which left his eyes puffy and so red that it may have looked like the sockets were bloody. It was painful for Draco to look at. Though what made even worse was that even though Harry’s eyes were puffier beyond belief, Draco could still make out the signs of betrayal and pain in said green eyes quite clearly. 

 

Harry’s voice fared no better compared to his eyes. It was hoarse, almost glitchy, and Draco could only wince as he imagined the abuse that Harry’s throat must’ve been experiencing all this time. Screaming and crying for more than half an hour wasn’t what anyone would call ‘good’ for your throat. 

 

And finally, Harry’s body...it was already sore and exhausted from yesterday’s game of cat-and-mouse. Add that feeling to the resulting acheness of struggling underneath Draco for a long time and you can imagine how drained Harry felt. Harry’s limbs trembled under Draco’s weight, making him seem more fragile than fine china. 

 

Not a good condition to be in. For Draco, a dominant veela, it wasn’t the ideal condition he wanted to see his submissive in either. In the end, one could say that both parties suffered. 

 

“Just...let me go.” Harry finally whispered after spending several moments regaining control of his breathing. He sounded so...so...Draco didn’t know how to describe it. It wasn’t strong or firm, but it wasn’t weak or defeated either. It wasn’t sad or angry, but it wasn’t happy or relieved either. “Please...Draco...I can’t...I can’t take this anymore. Please…let me go...please...” 

 

Draco swallowed audibly. It was painful staring into Harry’s eyes as the submissive begged, but for some reason, something in Draco just wouldn’t let him look away. It was torture and Draco was the one doing it to himself. 

 

‘It has double meaning.’ Draco thought to himself sadly as he opened and closed his mouth several times. He felt that it would probably be a good time to say something, anything, that could help comfort Harry. But alas, nothing reasonable to say came to mind. 

 

“I’m sorry, Harry.” Is what ended up coming out in a light whisper. Because Harry looked so fragile and drained, Draco worried that being too loud might just damage him more. He was treading on dangerous ground here. Harry was sensitive, walls down and soul bared for Draco to see, for Draco to feel. “I’m so sorry…” 

 

“I don’t want your apologies.” Harry sniffed, moving his head so he didn’t have to look at the sorrow that carved its way onto every part of Draco’s face. “I just want you to let me go. I can’t do this anymore, Draco. It hurts too much…” 

 

“I can’t let you go, Harry.” Draco took a deep breath and quickly sat up. He knew for this next part, he would likely lose strength every passing moment and eventually fall down on top of Harry. That wasn’t really how he wanted this to go, so he decided to sit up and hold Harry against him (in Draco’s lap) to avoid that. “You know me, Harry, and you’ve said it yourself. I’m selfish. I’m a selfish asshole who doesn’t like to share or let go when it really matters.” 

 

Draco’s arms tightened around Harry when he felt hands press against his chest. It was unlikely that Harry would start pushing, but Draco felt threatened by the hands being there nonetheless. He wanted Harry to stay in his lap for this next part, for it just might be the breaking point for both of them. Harry would be pushed far beyond what he could handle (emotional baggage wise) after this Draco would be pushed to his own limits. 

 

It was a type of test. That’s how Draco imagined it. It was a test of trust. He was about to bare his own heart and soul to Harry, something he’s done in small bursts from time to time in the past. He needed to be strong enough for the both of them. He needed to catch himself before he fell too far and pull Harry from how far he’d already fallen. 

 

“You matter so much to me.” Draco started, placing his lips next to Harry’s ear. From there, every breath Draco took and every word that left his lips caused shivers to run down Harry’s spine. “I swear to Merlin himself, you have no idea how much you matter to me. How much I love you, how much I need you-” 

 

“Don’t start this.” Harry sniffed. Were he in a better state, it’d be safe to assume that he’d start crying again. Because he was in a much more fragile state, all that could happen was a quiet whimper as Draco shook his head in protest to his request. “Draco...don’t. Don’t you even go there. Don’t you start this again…” 

 

“I’m not starting anything, Harry.” Draco shushed Harry (via interrupting him) and leaned back a bit to press a kiss to the top of Harry’s head. His mouth did encounter some hair (which ended up getting in his mouth), but Draco was hardly bothered. He was much too relieved at the fact that Harry didn't try to move away to complain. “I’m just stating the truth-” 

 

“If you loved me as much as you say you do, then you wouldn’t have lied to me.” Harry gritt out, trying to push away the warm feeling that rose up in his chest when Draco kissed him. “Wait, no, I take that back. You wouldn’t of even cheated on me in the first place!”

 

Draco bit his lip to stop himself from sighing in frustration at the way Harry hissed at him. It always came down to this. Whenever Draco tried to talk to Harry about their past, it came down to this. Whenever Draco tried to apologize to Harry, it came down to this. Whenever Draco tried to (not so subtly) remind Harry that he still adored the submissive like no other, it came down to this. 

 

It wasn’t a big surprise to Draco. Hell, it had gotten to the point where it was an expectation. Draco had, at one point, accepted that he did deserve whatever Harry had to say concerning their ‘incident’. He didn’t like it, but he accepted it. Now though...it wasn’t something Draco accepted too easily. Not when Harry seemed to just use it to hide himself. Again, it wasn’t a surprise that Harry would do that. It was still annoying though, plenty frustrating to deal with. 

 

“I respect that that still hurts you, even to this day.” Draco pressed another kiss to the top of Harry’s head, this one more so to prove a point than to soothe. “I respect that you will demand that I earn your trust and your affection back. What I don’t respect is how you continuously try to hide behind what happened.” 

 

“I’m. Not. Hiding.” Harry grumbles dangerously, finding strength in his anger. Not nearly enough to even think about shouting more or struggling, but enough to feel less like shattered glass and put together. “I’m choosing to try and move on. That’s just my reasoning.” 

 

“You just admitted that you still love me.” Draco couldn’t help but smile faintly at that fact. It was probably twisted given just what their situation was, but Draco could hardly help himself. It felt good to know that Harry did still love him, despite how absolutely furious he was. “And between the two of us, I’d say that you were always the one to insist that we talk to each other instead of avoiding the problem and hope that it goes away.” 

 

“I haven’t been avoiding you.” Harry insisted, though a light blush appeared on his cheeks. That was a total lie. He had been trying to avoid Draco and he had succeeded for the most part. “And if I recall correctly, we did talk about what happened.”

 

“That was hardly qualified as a conversation and you know it.” Draco couldn’t stop the growl that he held in his throat from blending into his voice. Anytime he remembered their fight, or was reminded that he even had that explosive of a fight with Harry, put him in a bad mood. “We just shouted at each other and got nothing out of it.” 

 

“We got something out of it.” Harry growled back, though it was not nearly close to sounding as angry as Draco’s. It sounded more warning like (which sounded fairly different from angry, believe it or not). “We learned that we really weren’t a good match.” 

 

“You said we were through.” The grip Draco had on Harry began to loosen a bit, though it was only because Draco was moving his arms and hands from their current position (wrapped around Harry’s shoulders). “That isn’t what I would call ‘learning’ anything.” 

 

Harry knew he should take the opportunity to move while Draco was adjusting his grip. He knew he should probably push against Draco and get some space between them. With the bite mark so fresh and the bond only halfway complete, it was safe to assume that the close proximity and the oncoming aggression was doing things to his head. 

 

Specifically because of the incomplete bond, Harry was feeling rather...clingy. As well as a form of dependence, Harry also longed for his dominant. He depended on Draco to take care of him in this fragile state and longed for him to complete the bond so he himself could feel complete. He could take strength and comfort from their bond and eventually stop feeling like utter shit. 

 

But no. That was giving into basic instincts and given just what situation they were in, Harry knew better. I mean, just look at what giving into your basic instincts did to Draco. 

 

“We couldn’t trust each other.” Harry remained stock still as Draco made up his mind on where to put his hands. As Harry was deep in thought, Draco took the opportunity to grab his wrists and pin them against his own hips. It was a bit awkward, since it meant that Draco’s face was now closer to Harry’s than it needed to be. “You cheated and lied to me. I’ll admit that I’ve kept things from you. How can a relationship exist between us when we’re like that?” 

 

Harry expected Draco to give up after that. It just seemed obvious...how could a relationship thrive between individuals who supposedly didn’t trust each other? How the relationship even started was a mystery to many, even Harry himself. Logically and emotionally, he knew how it went. He knew that he really made Draco work for the chance to prove himself trustworthy enough to court him. 

 

Still though...it still felt like a make believe story looking back on it. 

 

That being said, imagine Harry’s shock as a determined look suddenly shined in Draco’s grey orbs. 

 

“I know that you’re probably referencing things that I brought up the first time I cornered you this year.” Draco had to make sure to specify that it was the first time, because he ended up cornering Harry a lot in the overall time they had gotten back to school. “And I’ll admit, I deserve it. I shouldn’t have tried to use the fact that there are some things you don’t feel comfortable talking about as an excuse for my actions.” 

 

Harry had to do a double take and Draco waited through it. It wasn’t what Harry expected Draco to say and Draco knew it. Draco knew that Harry had expected him to either try to bullshit some nonsense on how even though they couldn’t trust each other they could still work out or give up and admit that Harry had a point. 

 

“I respected that you wished to let things remain hidden at that time and I should've taken that into consideration before accusing you like I did.” Draco continued, gaze softening each passing moment as Harry stared at him with wide eyes. “With that in mind, I suppose it’s worth mentioning that the supposed ‘secrets’ you kept from me eventually came out.” 

 

Draco made sure to emphasize the word ‘secrets’ when the time came. Call it a reminder to how most of them weren’t very secret anymore. 

 

“You may not have confided in me for everything, there may be hundreds of things that your friends know that I don’t. There may be thousands of things that only you know about yourself while everyone, even your friends and cousin Sirius, are kept in the dark.” 

 

Harry felt a bit indignant as Draco pointed out the possibility of being that secretive. Sure, he didn’t like sharing his life story for all to hear or broadcast his emotions for all to see, but a hundreds worth of secrets? He didn’t have more than 10 traumatic events in his life that he hasn’t shared with at least Sirius. He wasn’t that bad (not that wanting to have privacy was bad)...

 

“And that’s ok.” Draco paused for a second and Harry could tell by his facial expression that he was trying to figure out how to say this next part. After a few moments passed, what ended up coming out was: “Yes, I would like it if you felt comfortable sharing what bothered you or what hurts you every time such a situation arises. Past or present. I know that you would like that of me as well.” 

 

‘Dammit.’ Harry internally flinched as Draco rose a brow at him. There were several points of time in the past where Harry had encouraged Draco to open up with him and feel safe talking to him. At the time, it didn’t seem like a pushy thing to do. Now, Harry was experiencing a sense of deja vu. ‘He’s got me there…’ 

 

“But in a grand scale, asking that of anybody is difficult.” Draco’s brow remained raised, as if he himself could feel Harry’s sense of deja vu. “Pouring everything onto another person or other people is difficult. You don’t want to burden the people you care about with your tales or you don’t feel comfortable sharing such private, personal information.” 

 

‘When did he get so philosophical?’ Harry had a really big urge to cross his arms and grumble to himself. Draco’s words may not have applied to everyone in the world, they could’ve been complete nonsense to someone else, but for Harry, they hit pretty close to the mark. ‘This sounds like he took a page from Dumbledore’s book.’ 

 

“You waited until I was ready to talk about my relationship with Lucius.” Draco had to try really hard not to let a sneer cross his features. It would clash with the mood he was trying to set and ruin the message he was trying to convey. “And I chose to share that information with you. You respected my choice of privacy or no privacy and I should’ve taken that into consideration when I brought up you keeping secrets.” 

 

A long pause followed that last sentence. For Harry, he was playing back pretty much all of what Draco had aid to him and trying to remember how they got from their relationship problems to...this. For Draco, he was keeping a close watch on Harry’s face. He wanted to make sure his words really sunk in. He wanted to make sure Harry understood what he was trying to get at and, hopefully, get what direction he was trying to steer this towards. 

 

It took a while, with neither of them saying anything. But alas, the silence had to be broken at some point and Draco really did need to get to his point for this to have any effect. 

 

“I guess the entire reason I even bothered explaining that is because...well, you said that we don’t trust each other.” Draco waited until Harry had made some type of move of acknowledgement (a nod or a tilt of the head would do) before he continued. This was what he was getting at, the entire reason for even trying to get all philosophical and deep. “I disagree. I chose to share the one thing that only three people, excluding myself, know about. The true extent of it.” 

 

The council may have known about Draco and Narcissa’s abuse at Lucius’ hands, but they only knew that it was physical and mental abuse. They didn’t know anything past that. They didn’t know the details and they didn’t pry. They just needed proof that Lucius had done what he was accused of doing before they could send him away. 

 

The only people who knew the true extent were: Narcissa and Draco (obviously), Blaise, and Harry. 

 

“I chose to trust you with that information. I also trusted you with my emotions, I trusted that if I allowed you to see them, you wouldn’t take advantage of my vulnerability by trying to hurt me more or manipulate me.” 

 

That was a real problem that Draco had encountered many times in his life. Most of it was from his own father, as one would assume. But he also experienced it outside of his family life. 

 

As pointed out earlier, this world was fucked up. Individuals weren’t above exploiting weakness if the opportunity was given to them. The Malfoys, while being one of the most influential and respected families in the nation, also had a fairly long list of enemies. Pureblood witches/wizards and in the pureblood creature community. 

 

People did what they had to do to survive, even if it meant exploiting the vulnerability and pain of a child. 

 

Draco slowly brought Harry’s hands up to his own face, resting the slightly trembling palms against his cheeks. The skin of Harry’s palms felt warm and strong, it reminded Draco of the very moments that he was describing. Moments where he could tell Harry something ‘secret’ and just...be there as Harry listened and comforted him when needed. 

 

It was wonderful. 

 

“Whether you want to admit it or not, you trusted me in return.” Draco shut his eyes and nuzzled into Harry’s hands, missing the blush that was beginning to brighten on Harry’s face. Draco wasn’t the only one affected by this, he was just more open in accepting it. “That trust may have been broken with what I did and...I won’t fight you on your anger. I never had a right to. But hear this, just because I made a horrible mistake doesn’t mean that I’m going to let it sit.” 

 

Draco fully covered Harry’s hands with his own, pressing them into his face with a bit more strength. If there was anytime Harry was gonna pull away and start squawking, it was gonna be now. 

 

“I’m selfish and greedy. When I want something, I take it and hold onto it.” A small smirk pulled at Draco’s lips as he opened his eyes and stared into Harry’s. “I never stopped loving you. I never stopped wanting to take you into my arms and kiss you senseless. To protect you from all the pain and the sorrow that I couldn’t protect you from in the past.” 

 

Harry had to shut his eyes and turn his head away. Draco’s words were beginning to cause that warm feeling again and Harry was determined to not budge on this. At least not yet. He wanted to put up some type of fight before Draco (inevitably) won this battle. 

 

“It may take me 100 hundred years to make it up to you, and a hundred more to gain your trust back.” Draco had to work hard to keep the whine out of his voice. Like most things concerning Harry, this wasn’t a situation where Draco was proud to say that he usually got what he wanted when he wanted it. He knew it was only right to wait for the proper moment when it came to wanting something from Harry. “But I’m not just gonna give up on you. I'm going to keep fighting for you.” 

 

Harry had drowned out whatever had followed that statement. It was time to do some thinking of his own on what he had heard so far. 

 

On one hand, this all sounded nice. Emphasize on ‘sounded’. Harry had already admitted that he missed what they used to have, that he missed Draco and the love they shared. There have been several times where he’s wanted to just forget that anything had ever happened and run back into Draco’s arms. 

 

On the other hand, what happened...happened. Draco made the choice to fuck someone behind Harry’s back because he couldn’t think with anything past his horniness. Draco made the choice to hide it from Harry. Draco made the choice to not even talk about it with Harry in the first place. 

 

Positive and negative reasons clashed in Harry’s brain. Draco did what he did because he thought he was helping himself and Harry, he thought he was killing two birds with one stone. The intent wasn’t malicious, it was loving. But still...he wasn’t thinking with his head, he was thinking with his dick. Draco really showed that he could be selfish and only think about himself. 

 

Which led to this entire thing where he wanted Harry and wouldn’t let him go. It sounded romantic and cheesy at first glance, only to evolve into clinginess and toxicity in the relationship later. 

 

All these thoughts...all these reasons...all these wants! They were invading every piece of Harry’s mind and Harry couldn’t focus on a single thing.

All these memories about Draco being very loving and attentive when it came to Harry. 

 

All these memories of fights (before their big one) that they’d overcome just by talking it out and putting their stubbornness and pride beside. 

 

All these memories of Harry truly being happy...of Draco being happy…

 

Harry knew he shouldn’t be giving Draco a chance. Harry knew he should shove the dominant away and claw Draco’s eyes out for good measure. He knew he should swear up a storm (despite his sore throat) and scream about how Draco was an awful, awful individual. 

 

Harry knew all of this. Harry knew that Draco probably didn’t deserve a second chance 

 

And yet…

 

Deep down...that’s all Harry wanted. Harry wanted to give Draco a second chance, if only to see if Draco could actually fix what he’s broken. Harry wanted to give Draco a second chance, if only to be able to experience the love they once shared again. 

 

Harry wanted to give Draco another chance...if only to bring the happiness that had while together back. The happiness that made this dark, fucked up world seem a bit easier to deal with. Maybe that made Harry sound selfish, but at this point, it didn’t even matter to him anymore. If he and Draco really couldn’t make this work, then he’d be the one to break it off (again) and he’d finally get some fucking closure. He wouldn’t be haunted by his past decision and instead actually feel justified and not shitty.  

 

‘This is ridiculous.’ Harry sighed to himself. He was frustrated with this decision, but also relieved that he had finally come to one at all. In all honesty, he had expected this to be something he’d fight himself about for the next three years or so. ‘I must be poisoned, or something. The bite’s probably affecting my judgement...that stupid...freakin…ugh! I can’t believe I’m doing this. Ron and Mione...hell, even Sirius, are probably gonna sign me up for a mental ward as soon as they can...’ 

 

“Ok, ok, I get it.” Harry sighed out loud and moved his hands downwards so he could cover Draco’s mouth. Underneath, he could still feel Draco’s lips moving, but he continued to talk anyway. “Look, I really hate what you did, ok? I hate it and I’m never going to forget it, and you were right in saying that it’s going to take a hell of a lot to get me to forgive you.” 

 

Another sigh, this one sounding more disappointed than anything else. Though in Harry’s defense, he was disappointed...in himself...for even considering this. He really needed a psychic evaluation, it seemed like. 

 

“But...I’ve already admitted that I still love and that I miss you. I miss us.” Harry looked away and bit his lip. “I’m willing to give you another chance. Mess it up, and I’ll walk away and never look back. Ever. And I’ll set all of your belongings on fire before transfiguring you into the ugliest thing I can think of.” 

 

Chapter Text

“Harry...you know I love you and want to support you...but you’re fucking insane!” 

 

Harry rolled his eyes in an exasperated manner. Yes, he knew that. He knew that this was probably a bad decision and would come back to bite him in the arse after a few years, hell, maybe even a few months or days. He didn’t need his best mate to remind him, but lo and behold, the universe didn’t care for that.

 

“Is he, like, controlling you or something?” Ron’s face, yes only his face since this was a floo call, tilted a bit. His eyes, though filled with shock and a bit of indignance, also possessed a heavy shine of genuine concern. “I see that mark on your neck! Are you sure he isn’t influencing you through that thing?” 

 

“To be honest, he might be using the effects of the mark against me, yes.” Harry brought up a hand to rub idly at the mark, blushing as he felt the indents where Draco’s teeth had sunk into his flesh. “But...I don’t think it’s just that. If it were, don’t you think I’d be begging for him to just mate with me?” 

 

“That’s true!” Hermione’s voice cut in, though her face didn't pop in next to Ron’s. It made sense, seeing as how flooing wasn’t something that allowed for two people at the same time. “Since it’s just the bite and you two haven’t actually completed the bond yet, you might feel a sense of longing or feel incomplete. It will clash with your rational thinking process.” 

 

“Yeah, it definitely did that.” Harry sounded dry as he spoke, but Hermione and Ron knew him well enough that they heard the tiniest bit of humor and amusement in his tone as well. It was hidden pretty good, but it was still there. 

 

“If that’s the case...then, like, is it possible that you’re not thinking clearly and are just focused on completing the mating bond?”

 

If Harry hadn’t been best friends with Ron for as long as he has, he’d immediately come to the conclusion that Ron was the most insensitive person that he’d ever met. As that is not the case, Harry just rolled his eyes again, albeit in a slightly annoyed manner. He couldn’t really be angry with Ron over that statement. He knew his friend wasn’t even trying to be rude and he was bringing up a real problem in the overall situation. 

 

Ron was just...not always the best with words. He was good with just being present and being good moral support, but comforting through words? That was more Hermione’s ground. Ron was a bit too brash in some situations…

 

Ron meant well though. Harry would give him credit there. And the need to get to the more important matters quickly as opposed to trying too hard to sugar coat the entire thing was something that even Draco could respect. Just as a side note though, Draco admitted that with much grumpiness and a whole lot more hesitance. 

 

“Ronald!” Hermione almost shrieked, followed by the sound of smacking. She most likely just hit Ron on the shoulder or over the head. Harry couldn’t really tell, though eh could tell from the way Ron winced that the strike must’ve hurt. “Don’t phrase it like that! You make it sound like all Harry’s brain is allowing him to care about right now is sex!” 

 

Both Ron and Harry’s eyes widened at that. While Ron scrambled to apologize, insisting that’s not what he meant at all, Harry blushed and hid his face. Hermione saying...that...got him thinking about sex. Ironic, considering that’s what she was accusing Ron of doing just now. 

 

“It’s fine, I know what you meant.” Harry couldn’t help but laugh dryly as he spoke, exposing his now red face and staring almost blankly at where Ron’s head was. “It’s just...you guys know how much he meant to me. You know how much I actually loved him and...just...I don’t know! He was the worst to me when we were younger and then cheated when I gave him a chance! Maybe I’m stupid and desperate, maybe I’m not as ready to move on as I thought I was...I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know!” 

 

Harry’s hand eventually found itself in his hair as he began to rant. This already stressful morning was quickly turning into the worst morning in the history of mornings. Out of habit, he began to pull at the dark locks, almost similar to how he was doing when he was talking with Draco. His nails dug into his scalp as he pulled, producing a dull ache from the top of his head. 

 

“And that was just me!” Harry grunted, shutting his eye and shaking his head. His glasses, which he had placed on after sending Draco out of the room for this floo call, balanced delicately on the end of his nose. “That was just what he’s done to me! Let’s not forget the utter crap he put you two through! What he and his friends have been putting our entire house through! I know this is a terrible idea! That I must be the most selfish being on the planet for even thinking this could work! But I…! I just...I don’t even know!”

 

Ron and Hermione watched on in horror and sadness as a new wave of tears made its way to Harry’s eyes. Why did love, supposedly the one beautiful thing in this fucked up world, have to be so complicated?! 

 

“Look, mate…” Ron started hesitantly as the tears started to fall.What he was about to say...he wasn’t proud of it. But he would be even less proud if he allowed his best friend to continue with this entire mess. It could lead to being self destructive and it’s been proven that no matter what they try to do, they can’t keep Harry away from Draco. 

 

Not in this world. 

 

Ron wasn’t prepared to lose someone like Harry in his life. Neither was Hemrione. So...if this fixed the problem...then Ron would soldier on and deal with it. Harry’s done it for him before, the three of them have been side-by-side since day one at Hogwarts. They would get through this, even if the journey was painful. 

 

“If you still love...Draco...then I’ll support you in your decision to get back with him.” Ron took a deep breath and shook his head. Saying the bastards’ name was really difficult. You could imagine that with their past, being on a first name basis wasn’t really a thing. “Don’t get me wrong, I still loathe that guy and wouldn’t mourn his passing, but...I do like you and I want you to be happy.” 

 

“Me too!” Hermione’s voice cut in before Ron could continue. Though...Ron may have also been done with his piece...whatever. “We’ll support you in whatever decision you make in this situation, Harry. And if he hurts you one more time, we won’t hesitate to avenge your honor.” 

 

Both Harry and Ron snorted at that. That was...a strange way to put it. Noble, but still a bit strange. It didn’t matter either way though. Harry already made his threat to Draco’s face earlier, before he asked the other to give him some privacy. 

 

“Thanks guys, this really helps.” Harry quickly rubbed away the remaining tears on his face, flinching when a growing ache settled near his eyes after. They were probably really sensitive since they were so puffy from crying so much for so long. “I just...I hope I’m making the right decision. I know I can’t change him for good, it’s been too long and...even if I could...people would have a hard time forgiving him.” 

 

Ron’s head bobbed in the floo. He was definitely in that category, though having a ‘hard time’ forgiving Draco was an understatement. And that’s assuming that Draco even knew how to properly apologize. 

 

“Nothing will ever really be...good...Harry, you know that.” Hermione’s voice was sympathetic, but also a bit angry. Out of their friend group, if anyone could speak about unfairness, it was definitely her. While she wanted to comfort Harry...this had to be said. “Our world is too far past the Golden Age, that even if you tried to curse him into kindness...it probably wouldn’t work.” 

 

Harry couldn’t help but laugh dryly at that. The statement was almost contradicting itself. A curse was generally seen as a negative thing, you’d be casting a spell that has negative effects on another thing or person. Whereas kindness was...kindness. Being nice, sweet, gentle...not what you’d expect a curse to include. Curses and kindness didn’t go well together, though Hermione somehow just managed to force them together. Honestly...it kinda summarized this entire situation quite well. 

 

Draco was the curse in this case. He wasn’t a nice individual, though that was hardly a surprise to anyone. With his social status and who he had as guardians (mainly Lucius), it would be some form of miracle for him to turn out to be a complete angel. Then there was Harry. He was the kindness of the situation (and yes, he has had his moments in the past). He, with who he was and who he found himself friends with, should not have gotten along with Draco. At all. 

 

Yet fate had decided to just say ‘screw you’ to the logic of the world and somehow bind Harry and Draco together. It started from them meeting in the first place, to Draco actually taking an interest in Harry, then Harry deciding it was a smart idea to give the bastard a chance, and now…

 

Now it was just a jumbled mess. 

 

“I know.” Harry brought his hands to his face, rubbing them down the skin. “Thanks for supporting me and all that. But now I also have another question...what am I gonna tell Sirius?” 

 

If Harry could see Ron’s actual skin and Hermione’s face, he’d probably see that they had both considerably paled. Sirius...fuck…!

Goddamn...motherfreakin...fuck! This was gonna go super well! And after he just heard about Harry escaping Malfoy Manor a couple days prior...perfect timing. 

 

(Note the sacrasm!) 

 

With Draco

 

“I think I should go check up on him now…” Draco looked towards the door, eyes a bit lost as he bit his lip in thought. When Harry had asked for some private time to talk with Weasley and Granger (Draco had hoped Harry would wait a couple days before doing that), Draco had decided to retreat to his mother’s room to talk with her. 

 

Truly, he had to admit with some selfishness, that giving Harry private time wasn’t something he wanted to do. At all. Especially not so soon after they had just come to a very strained understanding. With the mindset that Harry was in, it didn’t matter that he had said he’d give Draco another chance. If Granger and Weasley had claimed to feel threatened or just hated Draco that much, they’d probably be pretty determined to keep him and Harry apart. Which meant that they’d probably try to convince Harry that Draco didn’t deserve a second chance and should be dumped a second time (before his second chance even began). While Draco would openly admit to his submissive (and only to his submissive) that maybe the ‘undeserving of a second chance’ part was true, Granger and Weasley pointing it out made his blood boil. 

 

They irked him enough as it was. If they were the reason that Harry had changed his mind so soon after their chat...he might just burn down their homes. 

 

Thus...the choice to go to his mother and, hopefully, be calmed by her soothing voice and her wise words. It had been a good choice, he no longer had the need to barge into the room during Harry’s meeting even though he had the distinct feeling he was being shit-talked. Still though...it’d be much better when he got back into the actual room and was able to actually talk with Harry. 

 

“No, wait until he comes to get you.” Narcissa gave Draco a pointed look as he turned back to her and opened his mouth, likely to start whining about her advice. “Give him time to converse with his friends. He hasn’t seen them in a few days and with all that’s happened...it makes sense that he’d take a while.” 

 

Draco rolled his eyes. His mother had a point, and while he wanted to argue against it, it would be a waste of time and breath. 

 

“Don’t give me that look.” Narcissa couldn’t even try to look strict as Draco’s bottom lip jut out into a child-like pout. The resemblance to his younger self was uncanny, that was why she was having a hard time being serious with him. “You kept him in his room during his stay here and deliberately hid the floo powder.” 

 

That reminder only made Draco pout harder (if that was possible). In his defense, it seemed like a good idea at the time. If his Harry had access to floo powder, then he could floo anyone at anytime. Not only would that take his focus away from Draco  (the very reason this entire thing was planned), but he could also secretly plan an escape. He could contact one of his Gryffindor friends and together, they could hatch some crazy, but doable plan where Harry would be taken away and not found until the end of break. 

 

Perhaps Draco was exaggerating just a tiny bit with that second one, especially since it was clear that Harry didn’t necessarily need anyone else to sneak out of the manor. He could get out on his own. However...one would need to remember that Harry was a Gryffindor, and so were the rest of his friends. Valiant and dramatic were kinda in the description (in Draco’s case, at least). 

 

“I am confident that if he has said he will give you a second chance, then he will uphold that until you give him a reason to rethink his decision.” Narcissa had already said that exact phrase, word for word, a good ten times now. Maybe even twenty. But it wasn’t unreasonable that Draco didn’t believe in her words. 

 

Not when he knew he had messed up. Not when he knew that Weasley and Granger haven't forgiven him for messing up (not that he personally cared, but he knew that Harry did). 

 

“The trust that you two lost with each other goes both ways, my Dragon.” Narcissa stood up and moved around the table that separated the chairs they had been sitting in. She reached out and gently cupped Draco’s cheeks, massaging the smooth skin slowly. Her eyes flashed silver, though it wasn’t a warning or a threat, it was more like a sign of strength. A sign of determination and confidence. 

 

“You must earn his trust in you back. You have hurt him, and he needs time to accept that you’re trying to do right by him this time around.” Narcissa’s fingers pressed into Draco’s skin in a light scold when the other blushed in an embarrassed manner and tried to turn his head so he could stare at the floor. “That being said, you also need to trust that he will not raise your hopes, only to crush them into dust.” 

 

Narcissa paused at Draco’s very noticable and very harsh flinch. He must’ve imagined what that would be like. She could imagine it herself, and while recently she’s tried to be patient with Harry because of the other’s situation...if he did something as cruel as that, she may just hurt him. She’d prefer not to, since even if Harry did that, he’d still be important to Draco, but still. There was only so much a mother was willing to stand back and watch before she truly got involved. 

 

Then again...this was Harry they were talking about. Narcissa might not be the best qualified to judge his decision making, but she doubts that that would be something Harry would do. Not without being pressured to, at least. And even then, it would probably be obvious that Harry was up to something. 

 

“You both need to fix your relationship together. He needs to come to trust you again, and you have to be patient with him as he does.” Narcissa leaned forward to press a soft kiss, contradicting the sting of her message. “Give him time, my Dragon. Encourage him, but don’t push him. Love him, but don’t smother him. Give him freedom, but don’t let him go without a fight. He will see, eventually, that you are the only one for him.”

 

Chapter Text

Day #5

 

“Darling, I understand what you’re trying to do…” Draco swallowed audibly as he was (quite literally) dragged across the smooth floors of St. Mungos. “...but do you really think it’s wise to do it right now? Shouldn’t we, I don’t know, wait a few days and-?” 

 

“You’re not getting out of this.” Harry narrowed his gaze and gripped the sleeve he had a hold of tighter. The healers that he passed, upon seeing just who he had in tow, had wisely just stepped to the side as the two of them passed. It wouldn’t do well for anyone to interrupt Harry’s journey, for it would only give Draco an escape. Which, of course, would result in Harry getting even more anxious and frustrated than he already was.

 

“I just think that he would prefer more time is all.” Draco knew he probably shouldn’t push his submissive, even as he tried to talk Harry out of this mission. If he did, he’d have to deal with an upset Harry before dealing with an absolutely furious Sirius. Not a good combination, especially not so close together. “You were in here only, what...a couple days ago? Escaping me, if I recall correctly.” 

 

If Harry could sense the tiniest bit of bite in Draco’s voice at the mention of escaping, then he didn’t acknowledge it. Though, with the current state he was in and the goal he had in mind, Draco would just bet that Harry didn’t even listen to him. Just thought that Draco was making excuses to try and get himself out of this, is all. 

 

To Harry’s credit, he would be half correct if he was thinking that was Draco’s only intention. 

 

“He’ll find out eventually, so we might as well lessen your suffering by confessing ourselves instead of waiting for him to hear it from Remus or...Merlin forbid, Molly.” Harry shuddered at the thought. The lioness was good at hiding it, but he remembered the day she found out what Draco had done. Her display of aggression and anger had even startled Sirius, or so he heard from the Weasley twins. 

 

Draco, however, merely scoffed and rolled his eyes. He was far from afraid of the matriarch of the Weasley family. Besides, even if she tried to do anything to hurt him, he could defend himself just fine. And while he was taught that hitting women, especially elderly women, was not a very gentlemanly thing to do, he couldn't bring himself to care. If she attacked him, he would defend himself. 

 

And with the way Harry was making it out to be, that’s what was probably going to happen when she found out. 

 

Though, besides the mention of Mrs. Weasley, another thing had peaked his interest…

 

“Lessen my suffering?” Draco raised a brow, openly smiling as Harry suddenly paused in his step. The tone that Draco had used as he quoted Harry already exposed what was about to follow. “Why darling, perhaps you care more about my safety than you have been letting on for the past few hours?” 

 

Harry really wanted to ram Draco’s head into the wall right next to them. He wanted to ram his own head into the wall next to him. He just...really wanted to get physically aggressive with something. That purring-cooing tone was not what he wanted right now. 

 

“Is it so hard to believe that, despite that fact that you’re an asshole, I might actually not want to watch as your limbs are ripped off and your neck is snapped?” Harry’s attempt at sounding irritated (or at the very least, tired) only came out as...well...a mix between flustered and speechless. 

 

To that, Draco shrugged as best he could before quickly pulling his sleeve from Harry’s grip. Instead of running though, like Harry thought he might do once he was free, Draco crossed his arms and cocked his hip out a bit. Harry would dare call that one of Draco’s signatures poses, complete with a raised eyebrow, a tilted head, and a smug smile playing at his lips. 

 

All it needed was a tilted-chin up and it’d be Draco’s true signature pose. 

 

“Such a vivid picture.” He teased, feeling more amused as Harry tried to hiss at him in a threatening manner. Draco knew what Harry was like when he was truly angry and that hiss? That wasn’t even close to it. “To answer your question though, I suppose it’s not as difficult as it is satisfying. Were you not the one teasing me about being scared of my own cousin earlier?” 

 

‘Of course.’ Harry sighed and shut his eyes, bringing a hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose. He had gotten a tiny bit carried away this morning when he brought up the idea of going to tell Sirius about his decision. 

 

He couldn’t help it though. The way Draco and Narcisa froze like a deer caught in lumos was just too funny! He had to follow it up with something! Something...being taunting Draco about how Sirius may force him to fight for the chance to court Harry again. Then onto how even though Sirius was still technically injured, he’d be one of the most challenging opponents Draco has ever faced. He’d probably win the duel, even...

 

“You sounded so eager to see me get ‘tested’ by cousin Sirius.” Draco drawled out, having caught on that Harry was probably experiencing a sense of deja vu at the moment. “So, I wonder, why change your mind now? Perhaps...you don’t want me to get horrifically maimed?” 

 

“Not in my presence, no.” Harry had to force his answer through clenched teeth. Draco had gained a bit more confidence this morning, courtesy of yesterday’s assurance that he would get a second chance.  Which meant that he was probably going to revert back to being how they were in an attempt to move forward. Or, that’s what it looked like. “I can’t control what Sirius does when I’m not in the room though, so you’re not completely off the hook.” 

 

“Of course not.” Draco raised his hands in a mock sign of surrender, an easy smile still pulling at his lips. This entire thing was a game to him, Harry could tell. Draco was probably testing the waters, seeing what could push Harry into anger and what could push Harry to becoming a blushy-stuttery mess. “I’m just...overjoyed that you desire to defend me against my cousin, is all. Despite the fact that you were the one to warn me about his...violent response.” 

 

‘Violent response’ wouldn’t be as violent as Harry made it out to be at the breakfast table. They both knew that. The three of them would be in St. Mungos, a hospital, for crying out loud! Sirius wasn’t that testy. He was still healing and he probably wanted to talk to Harry about what he was about to hear. It would be more of an inconvenience to Sirius if he had to be knocked out by the hospital staff for lashing out at Draco. 

 

Moments of silence passed between the two boys, not interrupted by anything. Not even the curious/nervous healers who had tried to ignore them as they passed. 

 

Eventually, Harry was the one to break (though it was more out of impatience than the desire to agree with Draco): “Look, let’s just get this over with, yes?” He spun around and continued walking towards Sirius’ room, not waiting for Draco to respond and rather trusting Draco to follow him. 

 

The two of them continued to Sirius’ room, which by the way, only took a couple more seconds to reach. Harry hadn't noticed, but he passed more doors that he thought while he was dragging Draco. The only reasonable explanation for that was he probably didn’t trust Draco not to flee and thus, focused on him instead of the door numbers. 

 

Oh well. At least he didn’t accidentally make it so they passed Sirius’ room. 

 

Draco reached for the doorknob before turning to give Harry a hesitant look: “I take it...you want me to wait out here?” His tone implied that he was ready for Harry to reject him. He was under the impression that Harry thought he would bolt the second eyes were taken off of him. 

 

Though, to Draco’s surprise, Harry nodded his head in agreement. Even more of a surprise, he sounded shy as he explained: “I need to tell him about the bite first, otherwise he might think I was hiding it for you, or something. He doesn’t hold you or your mother in very high regard right now…” 

 

‘Understatement of the century.’ Draco bit his bottom lip to keep that retort in. It worked in his favor, since Sirius would probably start shrieking worse than a banshee if Draco was present as Harry was retelling the story. 

 

“I’ll come get you once there’s a smaller chance you’ll get staked by something Sirius gets his hands on and sharpens.” What that sharpened object would be, Harry wouldn’t even try to guess. There were a lot of things in a hospital room and for someone like Sirius, sharpening wasn’t difficult. If it were wood or plastic, then it would be a simple matter of snapping the object in half.

 

Draco nodded his head and quickly opened the door, still determined to get this meeting over with quickly. “Of course, of course. Don’t lose your own head, dear.” Draco was only half serious as he watched Harry enter the room. 

 

Harry waited until Draco couldn’t see him before shaking his head with a fond smile. That type of teasing...it was endearing, in a way. He wouldn’t admit it out loud for at least another three years, but it was cute that Draco tried to joke around with him, despite the position they were both in. It...it did a lot. It did a lot in, perhaps, showing that it was possible to fix things. 

 

While that fix would take a long (very long) time and might not even be permanent (yet to be determined), it was possible. 

 

“Was that Malfoy I just heard?” 

 

Harry’s eyes snapped open at Sirius’ incredulous tone. Right, right...he was here for a reason. He shouldn’t be taking time to think about him and Draco. This entire afternoon was probably going to be about calming Sirius down from the heart attack he would most likely have. 

 

“Y-yeah.” Harry swallowed the stutter that had managed its way in his throat before beginning to walk towards Sirius’ bed. This was it...he had survived telling his friends, now it was time to tell his father figure…

 

‘What am I even nervous about?’ Harry mentally scolded himself as he sat on the edge of the bed. ‘Worse case scenario, I’m just gonna have to keep Draco waiting outside a bit longer. Not a big deal...it’s not like he has any plans after this, we’re free all day.’ 

 

∾∾∾∾∾∾∾∾∾∾∾∾



The talk itself could’ve gone better, but it also could’ve gone worse. In the end, it was only an extended version of what Hermione and Ron had to say. However, unlike Hermione and Ron...Sirius could actually talk to Draco face to face. So this meeting, while it had the same content, was a bit longer. 

 

The door to Sirius’ room opened and Harry walked out, feeling lighter than he did when he first entered. Though that was to be expected. Now that he had actually gotten the chance to talk to Ron, Hermione, and Sirius, all he had to do was talk with the rest of the Gryffindors after break was over. 

 

It would be a challenge, but he doubted anyone would really act any different. Nobody trusted Draco from the start, so even if there was a more protective aura in Gryffindor house, it wouldn’t be a new development. 

 

“Draco, he wants to talk to you in private.” Harry held the door open as Draco gave him one last look. “Relax, he’s promised me you’ll return to me in one piece.” 

 

That did little to soothe Draco, but regardless, he sighed and pushed forward. This meant a lot to Harry and, whether Draco wanted to acknowledge it or not, he and his mother owed cousin Sirius. Big time. Like, really big time. 

 

“If you hear screaming, please feel free to intervene with our discussion.” Draco couldn’t help but mutter, pausing at the doorway to grab Harry’s hand and plant a kiss on the knuckles. It was a dangerous move, considering his cousin could probably see what he had just done clearly, but Draco needed the comfort. 

 

Harry didn’t object either, just blushed lightly before ushering Draco in. 

 

Just as a side note, there was no screaming. Maybe some...yelling, but no screaming. Impressive, considering when Draco came out, he looked like he had just witnessed a massacre.

 

Funny how...sensitive...Draco was when it came to threats that didn't involve magic. Then again, Sirius was an animagus. And out of everyone Harry knew, Sirius for sure was someone who knew how to make things hurt without drawing his wand. 

 

“All that’s left is your mother.” Harry laughed as Draco was the one to drag him down the halls. Funny how some things worked. “And then Sirius will finally be appeased.” 

 

“Doubt it.” Draco shuddered, quickening his pace as Harry tried to pull his wrist out of Draco’s grip. “If anything, seeing mother right after seeing me might be a bit too much for him.”

 

Harry would disagree, but he had a feeling that it wouldn’t matter to Draco. Sirius was Sirius, after all. And because of that, he was unpredictable. He may have spared Draco today, but Narcissa may not be so lucky. Not for a while. 

 

Ah, well…

 

Just meant that she and Draco had more time to figure out how to properly make it up to Sirius then. All in all, it worked out in the end. Maybe. Probably…

 

Ok, maybe it just worked out in Harry’s case. 

 

Chapter Text

‘I actually miss the break.’ Harry grouched as he covered his face with his hands, mindful of his glasses. ‘I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually miss the break...’ 

 

“Harry, get him out of here!” Ron hissed as Draco sneered at Seamus. The other had threatened Draco with bodily harm should he cause Harry any sort of pain (again). However, Draco (being Draco) saw it as a challenge and not as a warning. 

 

“I honestly thought that he’d try to not get in a fight!” Harry grumbled back, eyes still covered by the palm of his hand. He had thought that bringing Draco to the Gryffindor common room for this explanation would be wiser, hoping his friends would feel less threatened since it was ‘Gryffindor’ territory and all that jazz. 

 

“This is Malfoy.” Ron reminded, refocusing back on Draco and Seamus as Hermione tried to keep the two boys apart. “Did you think he would succeed?” 

 

Harry shook his head and sighed in exasperation. No, he didn’t think Draco would be the most successful in his attempts. He was hopeful, not naive. It’s just...Draco was so willing to go along with it that it just…Harry hoped he’d be able to keep his cool. Then all he would have to do is worry about how the other Gryffindors would react. 

 

Apparently he had misplaced enthusiasm. 

 

It was kind of a disappointment, but not that much of a surprise. “I see what you’re saying and I’m sorry.” Harry allowed himself to lean onto Ron for support as the other continued to stand by his side, as if to ward off oncoming enemies. 

 

Based on how aggressive Draco and Seamus appeared to...displaying...combined with Hermione’s failed attempts at keeping them separated, Ron was probably about to have to defend his friend. Push comes to shove, one of the two is stupid enough to stomp away and drag Harry away with them. That action would really spark some more violent reactions. 

 

Not just between Seamus and Draco, but some of the others present as well. Neville, while he typically had a meek and quiet attitude to him, narrowed his eyes at Draco. His wand was clutched tightly in his hand and at the angle he was standing, he could get a clean shot at Draco’s face if he chose to act. The same could be said for Dean, and while he didn’t have the best shot at Draco, that didn’t stop him from exposing his wand. 

 

“Ok, ok, this is stopping now.” Harry finally pushed off of Ron as Draco hissed something along the lines of ‘as if you could ever hope to beat me in a duel’. He quickly crossed the space between them and harshly grabbed Draco’s shoulder. “Seamus, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, really I do. Just maybe give me a moment to calm this one down before you continue, yes?” 

 

Harry didn’t wait for Seamus to answer and, instead, he turned away and pulled on Draco’s shoulder. The amount of force Harry used was more than he had initially meant, so Draco was left stumbling after him because of the way Harry was pulling. Their height difference, while not extreme, was significant enough to where Harry grabbing Draco’s shoulder meant that he had also pulled Draco down a bit. 

 

So as Draco stumbled after Harry, he was bent at this awkward down-side angle. It was the type of angle that could probably twist something out of place if Harry yanked on Draco too suddenly or too harshly. 

 

“I told you this would be difficult.” Harry grouched as he led the two of them up to the dorm rooms. The fact that there was no calling behind him or footsteps stomping after him meant that Ron and Hermione were probably holding the other Gryffindors down in the common room. “I told you that no one would trust you. No one would believe just your words. You promised that you would try not to get into a fight or push anyone’s buttons and get them more pissed with you than they already are. What happened?”

The last question was punctuated by the loud sound of Harry opening the door. And by opening, I mean that he whipped out his wand and just flicked his wrist. The door opened with such a speed that it didn’t stop in time before it crashed into the wall. 

 

“Darling, I-” Draco was cut off as Harry released his shoulder, only to shove him into the room and lock the door behind him. While it was tempting to make a joke about Harry’s choice in locking the door, the distraught look on his lover’s face was enough to send a pretty clear message to Draco. “I...I’m sorry, ok? Yes, you did warn me that pretty much all of your friends loathe me. Yes, I did promise I’d try not to get into a fight with any of them. I’m sorry I ended up failing, I just...I get it.” 

 

Harry titled his head as Draco paused. What was he supposed to get from that? Yeah, the apology was nice and all, definitely preferred over having to deal with Draco’s stubbornness, but ‘I get it’ was not a very satisfying answer. 

 

That could be an acknowledgement to how he technically broke his promise. It could be a reinforcement to how Draco was sorry. It could be an admittance to understanding why the Gryffindors didn’t trust him at all! 

 

The sentence; ‘I get it’ was not very specific! And Harry was stressed enough as it is. Hindsight, so was Draco. But Harry had warned the other that this would happen and tried to insist on waiting for a few months before bringing Draco in to explain. 

 

As one would expect, Draco did allow himself to push Harry on that decision. He had thought that by telling the truth immediately, he would be sending a positive message. He thought it would be equivalent to just saying: “Here’s the truth, I’m not hiding anything from you” and that would help quell some of the blood thirst.

 

“What I mean is...I get that I am far from deserving from you. I get that I made a mistake and practically everyone you know will be after my head if I hurt you again.” Draco sounded angry as he spoke, though his eyes told a different story. They were distant and unfocused, almost as if he was remembering something from his childhood. 

 

More likely than not, he was remembering what had gotten him and Harry into the position they were now. What had transpired between him and Pansy...what that had done to Harry...what that in turn had done to Draco himself…

 

“I knew that earning your trust would be a challenge. I knew, even without you telling me, that earning the trust of your friends would be a challenge. If it’s possible at all, at this point.” 

 

Harry had to roll his eyes at that. He knew Draco well enough to know that the only reason he cared about the opinions of his friends at all was because they were his friends. They were important people in his life, they supported and cared for Harry. For that, Draco would try to tolerate them.

 

But tolerating did not, in any form, mean that he would put too much care into what they thought about him. Nor did it mean that he would go out of his way to socialize with them. Especially not Weasley or Granger. 

 

“I understand all of that and...I know your friends are trying to protect you. It’s only reasonable to think that, as your friends, they care enough about you to get involved. But still...it’s infuriating. At this rate, I’m not even going to get to make up with you because I’m on death’s doorstep every time we’re not alone.” 

 

“That’s a bit of an exaggeration, don’t you think?” Harry tilted his head as Draco gave him an unimpressed look. Basically saying with his eyes that...no, he didn’t think it was. He thought it was true. “Draco, just remember that I already said I was giving you a second chance. I know that being hounded by every Gryffindor isn’t exactly the most encouraging thing on the planet, but I need you to be patient.” 

 

Harry’s voice turned gentle as he continued to speak. He had more of an understanding of what was really bothering Draco now. He had a better idea of what to say and what shouldn’t be said until later. 

 

“They’re looking out for me. I wouldn’t expect your own housemates to react much differently.” 

 

Draco winced as Harry narrowed his eyes lightly in accusation. They both knew that Slytherins would be worse to deal with. They’d probably just start firing immediately, making sure not to do it in public so they wouldn’t get in trouble. Slytherins were the most cunning and the most malicious when it came to settling scores. 

 

“I’m not gonna change my mind about giving you a second chance just because everyone in my house and my god-father hates you.” Harry stated firmly, bringing his hands up to cup Draco’s cheeks. “And it’s not like you’ll be coming back here very much anyway. This was just because we needed to tell everyone else and I didn’t want to make a ruckus in the dining hall.” 

 

‘That’s comforting.’ Draco scoffed lightly, but leaned into Harry’s touch. He wanted to bring his hands up to covers Harry’s smaller ones, but figured that he’d wait until Harry gave him permission. If he didn’t, he might get carried away and calming would turn to kissing. 

 

Which, predictably, would probably escalate. The bite on Harry’s neck, signalling the incomplete bond, would probably act up if Harry tried to resist. In a sense, it would turn to a situation where Draco was rushing Harry and Harry wouldn’t be the most motivated to fight back because of his veela’s desire to complete their bond. With that in mind, Draco didn’t want to put Harry in a position where he felt like he had to resist anything in the first place. 

 

“I know, I know. I’m sorry I acted out against Finnigan. I promise I’ll try not to speak to your Gryffindor friends unless it’s to say something nice.” 

 

Harry shook his head, a smile pulling at his lips. “We both know that’s not true.” He murmured, using his thumbs to rub soothing circles into Draco’s cheeks. “But I like how you’re trying, so I’ll give you points for that.” 

 

Draco smiled back, gaining some confidence in himself and feeling less defensive about the idea of being surrounded by Gryffindors for possibly the next few hours. “Thanks love.” 

 

Harry halted in the circle drawing at that last word. Love...Draco hadn’t used that title in a while. He stuck to ‘dear,’ ‘darling,’ or just called Harry by his name. It’s...it’s been a while since Draco referred to him as ‘love.’ And just hearing the title aimed at Harry again almost brought on the dopiest smile known to the wizarding world. 

 

This was much better compared to how things were a few days ago. 

 

Much, much better. 

 

It wasn't perfect, Draco and Harry still had many problems to sort out. There were still many talks that needed to be had. There were still many things Draco needed to prove...many things Harry needed to accept…

 

There were, overall, still a lot of obstacles that needed to be overcome on both parts. But...this was still better. Better than the time where Harry was actively avoiding Draco and Draco was trying to hunt Harry down. 

 

Now there was an...understanding, of sorts. And with that understanding came hope. Hope...that things could be fixed. Hope...that Harry could actually gain some closure to one of the most heartbreaking moments in his entire life. Hope...that Draco could learn to become better in his mission to make it up to his Harry. 

 

There was hope for the future…

 

In a world where little to no light existed for anyone who wasn’t a pureblood creature (Harry), hope was all one could ever want. 

 

Now that hope just needed the proper time to turn to reality. That’s when everybody would finally be...content, if not happy. 

 

It would take a long time to get there, but with how this was going so far...it might just be worth the wait. 

 

Harry was still prepared to burn all of Draco’s belongings before beheading Draco himself, just to be clear. He was ready to give the other a chance, but...one can never be too prepared, ya know?