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A debt to be paid

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Harry sighed as he walked through the halls of Gringotts, bowing his head respectfully to each Goblin. They still weren’t 100% okay with him after the dragon breakout a few months before.


He gave his key to the goblin as they approached his vault, stepping in and immediately headed to the table that hadn’t been there before. There was the Lord Potter and Lord Black rings, as well as a sealed parchment.


He frowned, unrolling the parchment, only to stifle a shout when he read it over. A MARRIAGE CONTRACT?


Draco was walking towards the great hall as he passed the golden trio who had, before noticing his presence, Ben shouting about something. Namely it was Potter who had been shouting. Once they had noticed him walking, they had hushed themselves and Potter nodded a slight greeting to him in which he raised an eyebrow at the gesture, continuing to the great hall.


Harry waited until Draco had slipped into the great hall before turning back to the others. "I have to." He sighed, scrubbing at his hair. "I could lose my magic, if not my life if I don’t. I... I’ll talk to you two later, alright? I need to set up a time to talk to him"


Draco chose to eat alone he really had nothing in common with the other Slytherins, they were all still bitter and hateful, the ones that actually came back, and him? He just wanted to finish school and get on with his life. His head lifted when someone entered the great hall, he noticed it was the trio, but he ignored it and went back to eating.


Harry took another bracing breath as he headed over, standing next to Draco. "May I speak to you in private?"


Draco stopped mid-bite, laying his fork down and slowly turning his head to look at Harry, eyebrow raised curiously, slight frown. Was something wrong? “Sure.” He said slowly. “Now?”


Harry shook his head. "No, please, eat. It can wait until after."


“Okay.” He said slowly again. “Where should I meet you after?” He asked after a moment, feeling awkward now


"Would the room of requirement be too much? Or would you rather somewhere else?"


Draco swallowed hard. “It will suffice.” He agreed.


"I'll meet you there. Thank you." He nodded his head, before walking out of the hall.


Draco nodded, going back to his food, head swimming with thoughts of what in the world Harry bloody Potter wants to talk to HIM about. He blinked down at his empty plate, when had he finished his food? Draco just hummed and pushed his plate back, looking around to see that Weasley and Granger were looking at him oddly as he got up, but there was no sign of Potter. He sighed to himself, making his way towards the room of requirements, not even sure how to get inside.


Harry opened the door to prop it open after a bit, blinking in surprise at Draco. "Come on in." He offered, holding the door open. He had asked for a comfortable area to sit and talk, and for a pot of tea.


Draco eyed him up and down, giving a slight nod as he entered “What is this about, Potter?” He sighed.


"Please sit." He swallowed. "Tea?" He sighed rubbing the back of his neck. "I went to Gringotts this summer. Sitting in my vault was this." He waved at a scroll of parchment on the table. "I had no idea what it was until I read it."


Draco eyed the table wearily but sat down, and politely declined the tea. He read over the piece of paper, face turning into a scowl. His scowl deepening each time he reread it. “A...marriage contract...” he said slowly.


"I had the goblins explain it. Especially because it sat next to my lord rings." He sighed. "Apparently because I owe such a life debt to Lady Malfoy, this was the result. Apparently in such an occasion it's an automatic marriage contract." He raised his chin. "With the next available in direct line if the holder of the debt is already married."


Draco tried to keep his jaw from hitting the grounds he didn’t have much luck. “What are you saying Potter ?” He spat out, laying the parchment back on the table as he stood up


Harry rubbed his face. "I'm saying. That apparently I become your blushing bride, or we both lose our magics and possibly die."


“Fucking hell, Potter.” Draco groaned, scrubbing a hand down his face in frustration. “Is there no way out of this?”


"Not that me or the goblins have found. And to make it worse, the bonding and completion of that bond must be before Yule. We do have SOME wiggle room, luckily, as it doesnt require an heir of sorts nor does it care which person takes which role out of dominate or submissive during the actual bonding."


Draco pulled a face. “This is bullshit. I am not doing it, Potter!” He yelled, pushing past him to leave the room of requirements, he needed air.


Harry sighed, calling out to Draco before he went through the door. "I'm sorry this is happening."


Draco just huffed and continued walking, not looking back.


Harry sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose as he staved off his headache. He sent a Patronus message after Draco with one last message before leaving to head to the tower. 'I'm not going to force you. Ever. If you dont want to, that's okay. It's up to YOU."


Draco made it back to the dungeons, he got Harry’s message, who could miss the beautiful stag patronus?  He heard what the stag had to say, sighing and flopping back on his bed, thanking. Merlin that the 8th years got their own rooms. He knew he’d have to talk to Harry again tomorrow, but not right now. Right now he could be childish and pout if he pleased.


Harry sighed in exasperation. "No, I'm not going to badger him about it. If he doesnt want it, he doesnt want it. I'm not going to force him. Hell, even if he agrees. That doesnt mean he actually wants to be BONDED to me. Just not die. So stop" he huffed, heading up to his own room, leaving Hermione and Ron staring after him


The next morning Draco has managed to avoid Harry all together, making his way into the dining hall and sitting down, fixing his plate.


Harry walked in, looking around until he saw Draco. He gave him a small smile before heading to his own spot.


Draco huffed, finishing his food before slipping out, trying to be unnoticed.


Harry decided to give him some space, heading to the Room, though he left the door propped open.


Draco grumbled all the way to the room of requirements, scoffing at the fact that Harry has deliberately left it open. “Expecting someone, Potter?” Draco asked from where he’d perched himself in the doorway, eyebrow raised.


Harry looked up from his book. "Not expecting. Just open minded, maybe a bit hopeful."


Draco rolled his eyes at the answer Harry gave. “What exactly do we have to do?” He said with a huff, pushing off the door frame and entering the room completely, sitting opposite of Harry


"For it to count? Bond, complete that bond, and stay within 4 yards of each other until the standard 3month honeymoon portion is finished." Harry sighed.


Draco pinched his nose “Can we get divorced when this is over or do we have to stay legally married?” He asked, of course he didn’t want to stay that close to Potter for four bloody months, but Harry wasn’t ugly, Draco had eyes, he just wanted to know the specifics.


"Stay." he sighed "Though it doesn’t have a clause anywhere about staying faithful to the marriage after the proximity spell has worn off." Harry looked up again from his cup of tea. "I won’t force you too." he offered softly. "Just like I won’t force you to do this at all. It's your choice."


Draco nodded slowly, taking the other cup of tea that he assumed was for him and sipping it. “Well I’m not a total asshole, Potter. I don’t want to lose my magic and I don’t want you to lose yours, or worst case scenario we die. What fool would not go through with it?” He sighed, taking another sip.


Harry blinked in surprise. "Someone who hated or resented me. Or hell, just disliked me."


Draco rolled his eyes. “That would condemn me to the same fate.”


"Some people wouldn’t care." he pointed out.


Draco raised an eyebrow. “Whatever made you think I was suicidal, Potter?” He drawled.


Harry shrugged. "I have no idea if you are or not."


“Well I’m most certainly not.” He assured Harry.


Harry grinned. "Good. Neither am I."


“How do we proceed?” Draco asked with a sigh.


"We talk to the goblins for the bonding rites."


Draco nodded. “When?”


"When is convenient for you? This weekend is a hogsemade weekend?"


“That will suffice.” He agreed, getting up.


Harry stood, holding out a hand, even though he feared rejection. Probably as much as Draco did in first year.


Draco raised an eyebrow, rolling his eyes with a huff before taking Harry’s hand and shaking it.


Harry's grin grew, tightening his grip just a bit. "Do you want to meet before? Talk about roles and our own expectations and such?"


“Sure. I’ll see you then.” He agreed, releasing Harry’s hand and exiting the room.


Harry watched him go. A hopeful smile on his face.