: Bonds that Bind
Date Written: 5-13-07
Summary: Draco is Lost and Harry must find him.
Disclaimer: I own nothing HP -- that would be JK Rowling, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Inc., Warner Bros., and any other entities involved.
A/N: Written for magdelena1969's birthday. I hope your day is wonderful. You have been such an amazing friend, and I want to thank you for everything!
A/N II: Thank you so much to RaeWhit (joanwilder) for beta'ing this for me!
Kensington Gardens was the last place Harry had expected to be today. He and Ron had made plans to go to Wales in order to investigate reports of Death Eaters, but as always seemed to be the case with this war, their plans had been changed. It was useless to try and have a life outside of the war, and as today proved, even war-related meetings were always being rearranged.
Ever since Moody had been killed, the Order had been in a constant state of chaos, and Harry and Ron seemed to be the ones to take on the duties that the experienced Auror had left behind -- not because they were the best qualified, but because the name Harry Potter, qualified or not, required respect. Harry and Ron had been in many situations over the past fortnight that had almost claimed their lives, but as always happened, someone came and rescued them at the last possible moment. More than not, it had been a haggard Remus who was the one to return them to Headquarters.
Not long after Harry's alarm had gone off, and as he had been eating toast and drinking his morning tea to get him going, an unwelcome if not surprising visitor had shown up: Tonk's Patronus -- still the form of a werewolf even though she and Remus had long since decided they were better friends than lovers -- standing in his kitchen. It had been insistent and had stayed until Harry said yes, he would meet with her. He probably should have woken Ron and had him come as well, in case they needed to go on a mission regarding what he was about to find out, but for some reason, Harry thought this was something he needed to do alone.
After showering and taking care of a few things around the house, and after leaving a note for Ron, Harry had grabbed his cloak and left for the Apparition point.
Fortunately he had Apparated to a place where there were no other inhabitants -- Apparating to places with no Apparition points was strongly discouraged because of the obvious risks of appearing out of thin air in front of Muggles. The Ministry advocated adherence to this, but it hadn't been enforced…yet.
Before the war had began in earnest a few years earlier, there had been Apparition points every few kilometers, but most of them had been removed for safety reasons, and as inconvenient as it was, this necessity because of the war certainly did serve its purpose, but it also made it bloody aggravating when you didn't have a lot of extra time and needed to be somewhere. This being said, it was also quite unsettling when you Apparated to an inhabited area -- it made for some interesting looks and exclamations, and no matter how careful you were, you were going to Apparate to an inhabited area at least once in your life. Even before the number of points had dwindled, there had been Apparitions where points weren't available.
Memory Charms to prevent the Muggle population from remembering what they had seen were used when necessary, but those were frowned upon -- two words: Gilderoy Lockhart. Even though his situation had been unique, it had happened, and being responsible for rendering a Muggle memory-less was not something any wizard or witch wanted on his or her conscience.
As always seemed the case with him, Harry had been impatient, and he was working within a time-frame -- the nearest Apparition point had been five kilometers away -- so he had risked appearing in the midst of a crowd of people. Ron had done just that three months earlier, and he still gleefully told the story about how the family was eating in the outdoor café when he had suddenly appeared in a chair across the table from them. Each telling of the tale saw new elements, but Harry knew whatever had happened had been traumatic for the Muggles before they had been Obliviated.
Walking to their usual meeting place, Harry sat down to wait. There were the usual tourists, mostly adults, but some young kids as well. It was October, but the foliage was still green and looking as manicured as all things royal usually did. Closing his eyes, Harry imagined himself back in the 1800's when Albert and Victoria had walked this very path. They had probably stood where Harry was at this moment. He wondered if--
"I should teach you a lesson. Most wizards would not close their eyes and decide to kip in a Muggle place. Really, what would Moody say?"
Eyes still closed, Harry rolled his eyes, and so Tonks could get that he was exasperated, he gave her a very Muggle gesture that he rather enjoyed using even if no one other than Tonks and Hermione knew what it really meant. Then he opened his eyes and gave the witch a big grin. "I don't bloody care what Moody would say, and seeing as how he got himself killed because he was not being careful, I don't think using him is a good example. So why did you call me here? I'm sure it wasn't to profess your love for me."
"Eh, sorry mate, but I don't fight losing battles, and seeing as how you only do the bloke thing, well, I think I'll just let you and little Harry find someone else. You're here because Remus found Draco last night and he knew you'd want to know."
"What? Is he okay?" Draco Malfoy had been a thorn in Harry's side for almost thirteen years, but as much as Harry wished he could say he didn't care one way or the other about the pompous blond, that wasn't true. A beaten and left for dead Draco had been found a month after Harry had left Hogwarts in 1997, and for the past five years he had been safely hidden behind the castle walls. Although Harry had been busy with the war, he and Draco had become somewhat civil towards one another. Friendship it wasn't, but there was definitely a grudging respect of one another.
Harry wanted to believe Draco was still alive, but he knew that was impossible. The younger Malfoy had made one too many enemies over the years
"Not sure, kiddo. He has yet to wake up. We found him behind the Leaky Cauldron and it was bad, Harry."
This was the last thing that Harry needed. "I need a fag."
"They're bad for you, or didn't you know?"
"Thank you, mother. They mightn't be good for me, but they sure as hell calm my nerves. What are we going to do? He isn't safe at Hogwarts now." A long sigh followed. "What does Minerva say?"
"She doesn't know yet, and I wish I could tell you what we should do, but I don't know. I am scared for him because he's a liability to many people, and most of the Order are going to be upset to discover he has been found. The only reason they allowed him to stay at Hogwarts was because they knew Dumbledore would have wanted him to stay there and be safe. All I know is the Ministry is still looking for him, and if he is caught, you know what will happen. I wanted to give you the opportunity to save him, although I haven't the slightest idea how you would do that. I want to protect him, but there isn't much I can do. He isn't safe at Hogwarts anymore, as you say, so…"
So Harry to the rescue again. Merlin's beard. It should have come to him sooner why Tonks had called him. Haven't the slightest idea…yeah, right. She knew exactly what she was doing. "Um, Tonks?" Harry scratched the back of his neck and rocked back and forth on his feet. Damn her. "This is about what we discussed after Devon, yeah?" Damn, he really did need a fag.
Devon had been the site of the first major battle, and had seen fifty wizards killed. After the Order returned to Headquarters, they had all discussed contingency plans. Some of them had been fairly straight forward, yet other plans were anything but simple, and a select few had been last resort ideas for situations which were dire…which apparently this one was.
"You want me to protect him. You're asking me to put him under my care. You want me to do the bond, don't you?" said Harry in a somewhat whiny voice.
"Remus's wards aren't that strong. It's only a matter of time before someone discovers he is hiding a fugitive."
This was so great…so fucking great. Yeah, Harry knew Draco was not as bad as he had once thought -- he hadn't been able to kill Dumbledore. But this -- this was too much. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. He sat down again and put his head in his hands. This was so unfair. When he felt a hand on his back, he looked up.
"Look, kiddo," said Tonks sympathetically, "I feel bad for this. He is not your responsibility."
Yeah he was. "Yeah, Tonks, he is. If it wasn't for me, he wouldn't have been in the position he was in when Snape killed Dumbledore."
"Um, Harry? Don't be so dramatic. The reason Draco was there that night had nothing to do with you."
Perhaps not directly, but…"Take me to him."
Standing in the doorway, Harry looked at the tired figure of Remus Lupin sitting by the bed. He had aged so much in the past five years: his hair was completely grey now, his face was lined with deep wrinkles, and when he walked, it was with a noticeable limp. His voice had weakened in the five years of the war, a result of a wayward curse sent by one of the Order Members. Harry had never been told who had sent it and he didn't really want to know, because accident or not, he would never be able to forgive whoever had done it. Remus was all Harry had left. Yeah, he had Hermione and Ron, and the other Weasleys, and they were all wonderful, but only Remus had known his parents, and only Remus could tell him stories of what they had been like.
Harry would fight for anyone, but he would die for Remus.
In contrast to the old and worn, Draco was the young and vibrant image of youth. His face was smooth, not even stubble was visible, and his hair and hands, which were resting on the top of the duvet, were both aristocratic-looking. Really, Harry wasn't even sure what aristocratic-looking looked like, but he had always equated Draco with that, so it had stuck. There were no visible signs of trauma on the young man's skin, but Harry knew first-hand that meant nothing. He walked into the room and sat beside Remus, not saying anything.
"I told Tonks you would come."
There was no inflection in Remus's voice and he continued looking at Draco -- he sounded resigned. Ever since he had seen Sirius and James behind the veil, he had been like this. He was alive and had Harry and Tonks, but he wanted to be dead with James and Sirius. It physically hurt Harry to see the man like this and sometimes he wanted to go shake him and make him want to live. But that was not Harry's fight, at least not now. Finally two amber eyes looked at him, and they looked as haunted as ever. They were pleading with him, but just what he was pleading for, Harry wasn't sure, although he could guess there were two things: the first, Harry would never grant, and the second, he was about to do, or so that was his current thinking.
"You would let me do this, Remus?" There was bitterness, and Harry didn't try to hide it. He would forever be asked to do things he didn't want to do. Voldemort was still out there and his main duty was going to be killing him.
"It is your choice, Harry. He'd be better off dead. His mum is dead, his dad is dead, and he attempted to kill Dumbledore."
"But you want me to do this, yeah?" Harry shook his head when Remus looked at him and nodded. Why was his life so fucked up? "Will you leave me and Malfoy alone?" Remus left without looking at him, and a small part of Harry died. Remus had always tried to protect him, but it seemed there was no protection from this. Harry was on his own. It was a lonely feeling. Even though he had said he would do this five years ago if need be, now that it was here, he wasn't so sure about it.
Looking at the sleeping figure of Draco, Harry noticed how peaceful he looked, but he knew that wasn't going to last long. Taking a deep breath, he toed off his shoes and climbed into the bed beside Draco, resigned to his fate, but surprisingly not as upset as he thought he should be about it.
There were numerous bonds Harry would rather create with Draco, but all of those bonds required both parties to consent. It would figure that there was only one bond that would work in this situation, and it would figure that it was the most powerful.
Propping himself on his side and looking down at Malfoy, Harry had to admit that the younger Malfoy wasn't half bad-looking. But neither was he conscious. Harry didn't like the idea of doing something so permanent without Draco knowing. But there was nothing for it -- Draco was as good as dead if he was caught.
Before he lost the nerve, Harry whispered the required words, then bent over and kissed Draco on the lips, lingering longer than necessary. When he pulled back, he smiled and licked his lips as he watched grey eyes open and stare at him. Talk about instantaneous reaction!
"What are you doing?"
Not surprisingly, Draco looked and sounded disoriented, which was probably for the best at the moment. "Trying to save your sorry arse," Harry said with a bit of humour. Sitting up, he placed two pillows behind Draco's head and helped him into a more comfortable position. "Do you remember what happened when you were taken?" A shaking head was the only reply he got. "You were Portkeyed out of Hogwarts last week."
"How? That should be impossible."
"Draco, you aren't stupid. We both know the only reason Hogwarts is protected as it is is because of the charms and other enchantments that have been placed on it. There are ways to break through or reverse them. All it takes is someone to do it."
"But who? Hogwarts is practically a fortress now."
"Not sure, although Ron and I were supposed to meet with officials in Wales today about some information they have." Harry watched as Draco grimaced, and decided he needed to be looked at. Poppy was being inundated with the war-injured, and Remus and Tonks would have been about as adept at helping an injured person as Dobby had been at keeping Harry injury-free in second year.
"It seems Hogwarts has a spy within her walls, but we can talk about that later," Harry said dismissively. "Where does it hurt?"
"Mind if I take a look? I can't do much, but I'll try."
It was saying a lot that Draco Malfoy was allowing Harry Potter to look at him -- he was in obvious distress, and it gave Harry no pleasure. He took the pillows from behind Draco's head and helped him lie down again. Then he lifted the shirt and began pressing his fingers lightly around Draco's abdomen and chest area. There was extensive bruising, and by the gasps and intakes of breath, most of Draco's ribs were at least bruised, and a few of them appeared to be fractured. Pointing his wand at each one, Harry chanted a few words. It wouldn't do much, but it would allow Draco a few hours of being pain-free. "You need sleep."
"Why'd you kiss me?"
"I told you, I--"
"Yeah, I know what you told me, but I am not that thick. You did something to me, didn't you?"
"We can talk about this when you wake up."
"HARRY, no we can't. I want to know what you did."
There was nothing for it, and Harry knew it. "I bonded you to me so you would be safe."
"You heard me," deadpanned Harry. Now that he had done it, he was thinking how stupid he had been. Hermione was right -- he was too honourable for his own good. Malfoy looked furious, as well he should -- Harry Potter had just buggered up his future.
"Bugger," replied Draco, his voice shaking.
Harry shrugged his shoulders and looked away. "I’m sorry. But I wasn't going to let them get you, and you weren't safe here or at Hogwarts. It wasn't my idea, but it was the only thing we could do." Harry got off the bed and stuck his hands in his pocket and pulled out the parchment he had found a few days earlier in Draco's rooms. Harry hadn't wanted Draco to know he had found it, but he had to know what if anything it meant. "What is this supposed to mean?" He could tell he had upset Draco.
"I see you have been in my personal things," Draco said accusingly, which he had every right to do. "I wrote it about two weeks ago, but every time I tried giving it to you, I lost my nerve."
"I am sorry for going through your things, really I am, but I need to know: do you mean what is written here?" Harry asked nervously.
"I do. The question is, does what I wrote mean anything to you?"
Well, this was certainly a revelation. So Draco fancied him. What Draco had asked was an easy question to answer, but it wasn't one Harry was sure he could. He studied Draco and thought about what all had happened. He and Draco had been through a lot. There was nothing near love for Draco, on Harry's part, but he had always wanted someone, and now he might get that. Love was overrated as it was.
The bond by itself would not have meant Draco and he would be together -- all it would do was keep Draco from being killed. It also meant Harry could not kill any of Draco's family, but neither could any of Draco's family kill Harry.
No matter what was said tonight, Draco's condition had to be taken into consideration. It was useless to take anything he said seriously -- he was injured and had some rather powerful potions in his system.
Harry had remained silent for a bit too long and Draco was frowning. "Yeah, I think so. Are you mad that I bonded with you?"
"Not really. It's the only thing that will allow me to live I guess, but I know what you gave up for me. Sorry."
A shrug of the shoulders, then a small smile appeared on Harry's face -- maybe one day he would tell Draco how relieved he was that he'd been prevented from killing Lucius Malfoy. "It's more important to me that you are alive than it would be for your father to be dead, Draco." And that was true. Those grey eyes looking curiously at him were getting heavy. Harry lowered the light in the room. "Go to sleep and we'll talk later."
"Will you stay with me?"
"Yeah, I will." When Draco was more coherent, they were going to be having this conversation again, but for now, Harry felt somewhat okay about what was happening.
He got under the duvet and smiled when Draco backed up and cuddled into him. Wrapping his arms around Draco, Harry closed his eyes. What a day it had been. He had woken up this morning planning to find out where Draco was, and a few hours later, here he was, bonded to said man and it seemed as though they might have more than the bond holding them close.
Hearing a string of curse words was not an ideal way to be awakened, but that was exactly what happened the following morning, and there was little question as to why his bed partner would be cursing. Turning over, Harry braced himself for the onslaught that he knew was about to occur. Instead Draco stopped mid-sentence and just stared, not saying anything. Well, if Draco wasn't going to speak, Harry would.
"What do you want me to say?"
Anything. Yell. "Don't know, but this is awkward as hell, so you better say something, Malfoy." When Draco propped himself on his elbow and allowed a slight grin, Harry wasn't sure it was a good thing, but at least he had made some semblance of a response.
"You are mental, Potter. Only you would bond yourself to me in order to save me."
Harry sat up and looked at the wardrobe across the room, wishing he could find his escape in there, but this was not a children's book, this was real life. Looking over at Draco, he shrugged his shoulders. "'I'm sorry."
"I can't believe I am bonded to a Potter."
There wasn't much bitterness in Draco's voice, but there was a lot of resignation. Harry knew a thing or two about that -- he had been resigned to his fate a long time ago, and had given in to the fact that his life was not his own. Now he had taken away someone else's right to decide their future. Life was so unfair.
Turning his body so he was facing Draco, Harry took a deep breath. "I am protecting you, Draco, but there is nothing that says this bond means anything more. You are free to do what you want to do and I am free to do what I want to do."
Five years later…
Knocking on the door that was open just enough so someone could see a small portion of the room, Harry waited to be invited in. He watched as Remus slowly made his way across the room, and it hurt Harry to see the man looking so frail. War had done that to him. His mum and dad and then Sirius had been taken from Remus. The only thing that made the man smile these days was when Harry visited with him, which he did daily, even when his schedule was full. He would always make time for the man who had helped him through so much.
"Ah, Harry, come in. I was about to make a pot of tea. Would you care for some?"
Harry smiled. "Yeah, that would be nice."
Once the tea was made and he and Remus were sitting by the fire, Harry set his cup down, his hands shaking.
"I take it you did not come for your normal reason of appeasing my need to see you. What troubles you, Harry?" asked a fatherly-looking Remus.
"He asked Katie to marry him." Harry knew he didn't need to elaborate. Remus was all too aware of the situation.
"So he did, did he? Well, you didn't expect he would remain single forever did you? It isn't as if you ever told him how you really feel. You told him to go and do as he pleased."
"Yeah, I did. I just thought that…I don't know. I just thought he would realise that we should be together. I know it sounds stupid and I sound completely hopeless, yeah?"
"Perhaps, but that is what happens when people sit back and expect things to happen. Draco has every right to be happy, Harry, and if Katie makes him happy, why shouldn't they be together?"
Harry could always count on Remus to be fair. He often didn't say what Harry wanted to hear, but he always said what Harry knew his parents would say. "I want him, Remus."
"We've had this discussion before, Harry, and you know what my advice to you was. It hasn't changed, although I don't want to see Katie hurt, and if you go to Draco now, that is what is going to happen."
Now this was new. "What? Draco would laugh in my face if I confronted him about my feelings. He loves Katie, so how could that hurt her?"
"Forget I said anything."
"You know something." A slightly raised eyebrow was Remus's only response. "What is it? You've gotta tell me, Remus."
"I thought you and Alex were talking about getting married."
Major sigh. Yeah, they had been. "Remus, please."
"Please what, Harry? You can't go hurting people like you are doing. I know what you want, and I would be happy for you if you and he ended up together, but there are other people involved now. You are an adult, and as such you can do what you please, but you need to be sure about this before you go and do anything you might regret. Draco deserves to be happy, and so do Alex and Katie. And most of all you, Harry. I want you to be happy. I just don't want you to regret this."
"Does Draco have feelings for me? And you know what I mean."
"He loves you, Harry and he always has. I think he would have waited forever for you, but that article in the Prophet about you and Alex looking at wedding rings was too much for him."
Quite obviously, Remus knew quite a bit about this. "Has he been talking to you?"
"Just one time about a year ago."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because, Harry, how was I to know that you would feel any different about Draco than you felt about any of the others you went out with?"
"I love him, Remus. I've loved him for a long time."
"So what are you going to do now that you know?"
Harry wasn't sure. He had been a right prat about everything. But if Draco loved him…he did deserve to be happy. Harry shrugged his shoulders as he stood up and walked to the door.
"Harry? Whatever happens, you can always come talk to me, don't forget that."
Harry stared at Remus and wondered how much longer he would be there for him. Harry was selfish and wanted him to be with him forever, but from the looks of things, Harry knew there wasn't a lot of time left for Remus. Without much thought, he returned to Remus, his eyes burning. Kneeling next to the chair Remus was sitting in, Harry leaned his arms and chin on the armrest and looked up at the man who meant so much to him. "I know I haven't done much to make you proud of me over the past few years, but I need you to know that if it weren't for you, I probably would have been a lot worse. I just wanted to be Harry, Remus, that's all."
"I know it hasn't been easy for you. I worry about you, about what is going to happen after I'm not here."
"Don't worry. I'll be fine. I'll make you proud of me, I promise." Harry stood and placed a kiss on Remus's cheek. "I guess I better go."
Draco was sitting by the lake when Harry found him. It had been three weeks since Harry's visit with Remus, and until today Harry hadn't known what he was going to do. Closing his eyes and gathering his courage, he approached Draco.
"Care if I join you?"
"Not at all. I could use the company. How is Remus doing?"
"He's good. The Healers at St Mungo's think they found out what is wrong, so I am hoping he will be okay."
"Me too. You're so lucky to have someone like him. He would do anything for you."
"Yeah, sometimes I think he is all I have."
"You have me," Draco whispered.
Harry shook his head and frowned, a bit taken aback by that statement. "Yeah I guess we both have each other; the bond makes sure of that."
"No, Harry, you have ME -- forget about the bond. I don't care about the bond. Look at me. I guess you should know that I told Katie we can't get married. Now what I need to know is if you and Alex are getting married, because if you are, then I am going to leave."
It was such an odd thing, seeing and hearing Draco unsure of himself. It was not normal, but it was all the proof Harry needed in order to make an important decision.
"No, we decided it wasn't working."
"So, you are available?"
So formal…so Draco. "I am," Harry said, his face slowly going from frown to smile.
"Would you allow me to court you?"
"But we have the bond."
"Forget the bond, Harry. I want to court you, may I?"
A year later…
As the music played in the background, Harry put his head on Draco's shoulder and wrapped his arms around his husband as they began to dance. He breathed in the cologne Draco was wearing and allowed it to wash over him. Closing his eyes, he grinned. He was married to Draco Malfoy. Those two little eleven year-old boys could never have guessed what their futures held.
"I love you, Draco."
"I love you, too, Harry. Thank you for allowing me to court you and marry you."
"Thank you for asking." Harry lifted his head and reached up for Draco's head. Pulling it down, he raised up and kissed those pink lips. He pulled back and looked into Draco's eyes before leaning back in for another kiss. Before long, he felt himself being lifted and placed on the bed, and soon after that, he was lying naked with an equally naked Draco on top of him. They had done this before, many times, but there was only one first time as a married couple. As Draco prepared him and turned his body into mush, Harry encouraged Draco with moans and whimpers.
When Draco entered him, that thick cock trying to find its way home, Harry wrapped his legs around the body above him and tried to stifle a scream as his prostate was hit.
When Draco pulled out and slammed back in, Harry couldn't help the tears that slipped out. This was what life was all about -- happiness. Draco Malfoy, once his most hated enemy, had somewhere along the way become someone Harry understood. That understanding had evolved into something else, and even though it had taken them long enough to admit their feelings, they had, and that was all that mattered. There were no wasted years in Harry's past and there would be none in his future.
He had been worried not so long ago that a bond would ruin his life, but now what he was realising was that the bond had probably meant nothing. It was likely he and Draco would have gotten together without it, but the bond had been an important element in their life, and they would never forget it -- it was a part of them and they were a part of it.
When Draco grabbed Harry's leaking cock and squeezed it, Harry shot his ejaculate all over Draco's chest and hand, panting as he tried to tell Draco he loved him.
When Draco let go and allowed his orgasm to overtake him, Harry leaned down and pulled the blond hair towards him and kissed it as the head and body attached to it shook.
When they were lying side by side, breathing normally again, Harry reached down between them and grabbed Draco's hand and threaded his fingers through it.
This was their bond.