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Golden Ties and Silver Secrets

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The summer had come and gone all too quickly. Recovery efforts from the wizarding war in the UK was taking a toll even over here with the community in America. Ilvermorny was doing what could be done to help, and that would include sending one of their most qualified students to help aid in welcoming new students and being an advocate for young students who needed help with the change of school and aftermath of the war. One who was not a stranger to that struggle, was Kara Celine. “Please Professor Mason, you’ve known me long enough to know that I go by KC. I don’t want to go somewhere new and pretend to be someone I’m not.”

Professor Mason just looked at her and smiled. “Be that as it may, KC. I know that the war wasn’t easy for you, given your past. You are by far our most qualified student to go. Are your parents approving of you going abroad for an extra year of schooling?”

“I’m of age now, I do not need their consent to further my education,” KC said as she looked down and folded her hands into her lap. “If this is something that will help me secure a better future for myself within MACUSA, I’m going to do so.”

KC’s parents had been supportive of her magical education, but not without their reservations. Her family had a twisted history when it comes to magic. According to Ilvermorny’s records, she comes from a family of No-maj. KC’s secret when it comes to her family is a little bit deeper than that. Her parents were born as ‘squibs’ as they are so called. Born into “Pureblood” families in Britain. Those families, no matter how much they wanted heirs, didn’t want their names to be tarnished in the eye of the wizarding world and erased their names from the family trees. They moved to America in hopes to start over, leaving the magic world behind. They married and when KC arrived, they thought they would finally have a normal life. But around KC’s 7th birthday, there was an incident at her elementary school, and their hopes of staying away from the wizarding world vanished. They were supportive of their daughter; pushed her to succeed in everything she wanted. KC not only was the top of her class, but also quidditch captain for 3 out of her 5 years on the team. Her parents truly thought that they had hidden what they were, but there were only so many late-night arguments that could be silenced. So many records that could only be hidden for so long. They may not know that she knows, but she does. She knows everything. Enough to know that if anyone knew the truth, her life, her parent’s lives, would be in danger.

“I’m sad to see you go, KC, but we both know that Hogwarts will be welcoming one of the brightest witches I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. You are going to change the world and it won’t even see it coming,” Mason said, coming to the other side of the desk to shake KC’s hand.

KC laughed. “I’ll settle for passing all of my NEWTs. I’ve heard those are extremely difficult.”

“You’ll set records, I’m sure. Just have some fun. Don’t be like me. Make friends and memories. That is what you’ll remember.” While KC had been successful in classes and quidditch, she never made close friends. She had those acquaintances that you have in proximity, but when it came to writing to people over the summer, Professor Mason was the only one she could talk to. She was used to being independent and it would likely stay that way. “And I know you’re used to doing things alone, KC. Just try, for me. Here is your international portkey. It is set to leave tomorrow. Here is your list of supplies you’ll need to get when you get to Diagon Alley. I have set up a small account for you at the bank of Gringotts. Just stop by and hand them this note and they will have it set up for you. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to get you started. And also, your ticket for the train to school. Just try to make a friend. Just one. I’ll see you when you get back.”

KC shook the professor’s hand and left with her things. Without looking back, she apparated back home to finish packing her things and preparing for what was to come.

 

                                                            ********

 

International portkeys caused the worst of motion sickness. She landed outside of the Ministry of Magic in London. The amount of paperwork required for coming into a new country was astounding. She got there when the office opened so she could get it all taken care of before venturing to do her school shopping. The school uniforms were going to be tricky. The most expensive part of her shopping list. Books were something you could buy second hand, but it was very unlike wizarding communities to have thrift stores. If she was lucky, she could get by with one set for a while, even if the house elves would hate her for having to do her laundry so often.

After 2 hours of waiting, she managed to get everything taken care of and she could leave the ministry. KC was stepping out of the craziest elevators she had experienced when she collided right into a hard chest. “My goodness, I am so sorry. Excuse me,” she said as she looked up. A boy who looked to be around her age with who she presumed was his mother. “This wasn’t even the floor I was looking for. I’m sorry, can I push a button for you?”

The boy just looked haunted. No emotion, broken. She knew that look, personally. His hair may be bright, the suit he wore perfectly fit, but you can’t hide when you’re that broken. KC felt her heart sink for this boy and she didn’t even know who he was. His mother smiled slightly and said, “Entry level will do. Thank you.”

KC just smiled back and stood while the elevator went again. She admired the mother. She held herself so well. Head up, Hair white blonde and black pinned with an emerald clip. Silver detailed black robes. KC knew better than to ask questions so she just looked down as they rode to the lobby. As the door opens, she lets the two leave before her. She did not expect what was waiting on the other side. There was a crowd. She couldn’t make out the words that were being yelled, and couldn’t see beyond the flashing lights, but there was no way anyone deserved that kind of treatment.

 “Let them through!” KC yelled. She pushed her way through grabbing the boy’s hand, dragging him with her. It was a fight and those who were there yelling at them started to turn their anger towards her. They were almost to the fireplaces to leave when one of the men in the crowd pushed her down, making the boy trip over her.

“That’s what you get for helping death eaters,” the man spat as he walked away.

The boy said nothing. He just got up and left, leaving KC on the black marble tile. The mother stood in front of her and held her hand out. “You didn’t deserve that. They don’t understand anything it seems. Thank you for your kindness and helping get my son out of here. This isn’t your battle, I’m sorry you got caught in the crossfire.”

“From what I was told the war was over,” KC said as she stood with the help that was offered. “It’s not my battle, but it seems that some of the war will never end. No one deserves that treatment.”

The mother smiled and walked towards the fireplace. “I wish more people saw it the way you do,” she said as the flames turned green. She was gone seconds later. Perhaps this year was going to be harder than I originally thought.

She spent a decent amount of time after the ministry, just exploring Diagon Alley. She got a room at the Leaky Cauldron and was eager to get started on the list before most of the shops closed. The goblins were quick at fixing the account which meant more time to get everything prepared. She stopped by Flourish and Blotts, and was able to gather some of the few books she needed from their ‘Used’ section. The apothecary was one shop she could spend hours in. Potions was by far an interesting subject and maybe one day there would be more ways to progress. And last was the shop she was dreading the most, uniforms. KC walked into Madam Malkins and she could already tell this was going to hurt more than anticipated. “Excuse me, I was wondering if I could get fitted for a new set of Hogwarts robes?” KC asked the lady at the counter whose back was turned.

“Which house?” said the lady, without turning around.

“I’m not sure yet, unfortunately.”

With that, the lady turned with a curious eye. “You must be the ambassador I’ve heard about. Let’s get you set up over here, while I finish up here with the other client.”

“Thank you. And I just want to be upfront with you. I do not have much to spend. I may just have to get one set and come back on break to get a few more,” KC said ashamed. She wasn’t one to hide her emotions well. When it came to finances, it caused more anxiety than anything else.

“Make sure she has at least 5 sets, Madam. Put it on our bill,” a voice coming from the back of the shop said. To KC’s surprise, it was the mother and the boy from earlier. “She should be set for the year, do not accept a knut from her.”

“I cannot accept that. You don’t need to do that for me,’ KC stammered. It was too much money. That was easily going to cost the woman at minimum $400, around 58 Galleons. More than she could ever hope to pay back.

The boy looked at her and left the shop without a word, still no emotion on his face. KC was absolutely speechless. “My dear,” the mother said from the counter. “You have no idea what earlier meant to me and my son. Though it seems he has lost his manners. Accept this as a thank you.” She walked towards KC and handed her a note. “Take care at Hogwarts. Keep your head held high.” She walked out of the shop without another thought. It was a receipt from the Leaky Cauldron. She had covered the cost of the room as well. Signed, Narcissa Malfoy.

Madam Malkin came towards KC with a rack of robes. “That is a powerful friend to have, dear. Narcissa is one-of-a-kind. Fierce protector of her family. Shame they ended up on the wrong side of things. But she and her son have a better future ahead of them.”

KC gave a small smile as she continued to watch Narcissa and her son through the window. They disappeared down the alley as Madam Malkin started measuring for robes. An interesting year ahead indeed.

 

********

 

Finding her way through King’s Cross station was trying. One does not find train stations in the middle of America. She saw there was a family walking in the direction she hoped was the right way. A band of red hair, large trunks and a small owl. Not many others would have that if they weren’t a wizarding family, so may luck be on her side. It seemed  that there was only one red-haired girl around her age that actually had luggage. The other was a similar aged girl with wild curly brown hair. She saw them disappear through the pillar and KC knew she had the right idea to follow them.

The red train was marvelous to see. So different from what she was accustomed to. The whistle blew and she realized just how much she had been lost in thought. She rushed to give the staff her trunk, adjusted her bag over her shoulder, and boarded the passenger car. Every compartment she passed was full. KC was excited that she had caught up to the two girls she saw on the platform, but as she got to the door, saw they had joined others in a now full compartment. It was good to see so many get together and smile after the horrors they had seen. One could only imagine what it was like. The train moved out of the station before she was ready and she stumbled right into someone. “I am so sorry!” KC said as she adjusted her bag once more. It was the blonde boy, wearing a similar black suit.

“Perhaps you are just clumsy. Watch yourself,” he said and stalked off towards the back of the train. The only words she had heard from him. The annoyed look on his face, almost a sneer, but not backed by any malice. She couldn’t quite read him. She watched him continue on and then continued looking to find anyone her age to sit with. It wasn’t looking promising. She ran into some younger students who were overly excited, waiting for the snacks to come around. KC smiled and wondered what it would be like to be in their shoes. No worries coming into a new school. No war looming over their heads; just the thought of a new school and new friends. The innocence of what was lost. If she had anything to say about it, no one would have to struggle through that ever again.

Just as she reached the last car, she knew seat options would be limited. “Just sit by the next person you see,” KC said to herself. As she opened the door to the car, she was surprised to see it scarcely empty. It was open seated instead of compartments, but it seemed like there were only a handful of students in this car, including the quiet blonde. She took a deep breath and went to sit across from him. “I’m sorry that we got off on the wrong foot. I’m KC,” she said and held out her hand.     

“Clumsy and chatty. Not off to a very good start, are we?” he said staring out the window.

“Look, I’m sorry that I’ve run into you so many times. It’s not hard to see I’m new. I just needed a seat and you were a familiar face. Even if I don’t know your name. I’ll just sit and be quiet.” KC reached into her bag and pulled out her advanced transfiguration book. As much as she wanted to solve the mystery of him, she knew when she was pushing past her welcome.  The things one can learn from body language alone is telling. He obviously didn’t want to be in her presence. ‘If he is still this tense in 15 minutes, I’ll move,’ KC thought to herself. ‘I’ll get through the first chapter on animagus and just go.’

After a tense few minutes, he turns to look at her finally. “I thought Granger was the only swot around here. She will be so disappointed.”

KC nearly dropped her book, she was so shocked, but tried her best to hide it. “I guess there might finally be someone in the library as much as I am then.”

He scoffed. It almost sounded like a laugh. “You could say that.”

KC looked up to find him still looking at her. His eyes looked brighter. No longer dull and void of emotion. He looked at her with what looked like curiosity. He didn’t say anything else, but he watched. She just smiled at him and continued to read her book. Hours went by in silence. The few others in the passenger car watched the two and exchanged whispers, but no one approached. After a while, they all left and it was just the two. KC had gotten through a decent amount of the information to be an animagus. It wasn’t going to be easy, but the possibilities added onto future employment with this skill were worth the time and effort.

“Look, KC…”

“There you are, Malfoy. I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” It was the girl with the wild curly brown hair. She was furious.

Malfoy just rolled his eyes. “I haven’t moved since we started, couldn’t have been that challenging. Even for you, Granger.”

She gave him a murderous look. “We have Head duties. Unfortunately for me, that means I need you. Let’s get to it.” With that, Granger stormed out without giving KC as much as a glance.

Malfoy got up with his bag and headed towards the door. “Hey, Malfoy!” KC yelled after him. He turned back to look at her. “What were you going to say before she burst in here?”

He just smiled and turned back towards the door. “It’s Draco. That’s my name.” and he left.

KC stared at the door with a grin on her face.  She closed her book and grabbed her uniform to change before they arrived. Maybe, just maybe, she could actually make a friend at school.

           

           

 

 

Chapter Text

Draco Malfoy Sentenced to Parole. Lucius Still at Large.

The Daily Prophet causes more issues than it is worth. The end of the war was hard enough for everyone without pictures being plastered across the front page, headlines reminding everyone what monsters some pureblood families were, how cowardly the Malfoy family was at the end. Draco was as misguided as those headlines were. Always told that there were so many deemed beneath him, but amidst all the rubble while Hagrid carried a lifeless Harry, he didn’t see the difference. He just saw how bad the side he was on. He was wrong and he knew it. Narcissa knew it. Lucius refused to believe he was in the wrong. The divided family left the scene of the battle as chaos insured once more. A divide that led to a long trial and a missing head of the family. Draco and Narcissa planned to own their mistakes, stood trial, and much to their surprise, it was Potter and Granger who had helped them the most. The reason they had escaped an Azkaban sentence. Narcissa to be on monitored parole and house arrest. She could leave the Manor to Diagon Alley upon advance notice, but to stay confined otherwise. Draco to join her after the mandatory return to Hogwarts. McGonagall held him to help restore the library from the rubble. Little did they know, it helped restore some of his sanity. Spending time reading books from the muggle literature section on his nights off, learning just how much on the wrong side of history he had truly been. He’d never be able to erase his past, but there was a chance to move forward.

“Mr. Malfoy,” Headmistress McGonagall called from the doors of the library. Draco left the shelf he was finishing up. The summer had passed so quickly. “I wanted to extend a thank you for the work you have put in. Without you, I’m afraid this wouldn’t have been open for the first few months of classes.”

“I’m sure Granger would have made sure it was finished. Where else would she hide?” sneered Draco.

McGonagall just gave him a glare and continued on. “Speaking of Miss Granger, I have appointed you as Head Boy for the year beside her as Head Girl. I’m going to need my brightest students here to help those returning. The road to recovery is going to be difficult enough without you both.”

“Professor, please do not mistake this as being ungrateful, but I don’t think many parents will appreciate having a death eater leading their children.”

“Mr. Malfoy, the road ahead isn’t going to be easy, but you had the path from hell to follow. Those who choose not to see that can answer to me,” McGonagall said walking back towards the doors. “You’re free to return home to your mother for the next few weeks. When you arrive on the train, I’ll have a special assignment for you and Miss Granger. I’ve asked for some help from our partner school, Ilvermorny. They are sending their top student to help us with new students coming in and aiding in classes that Miss Granger is not in. I’ll need you to be an example for those struggling. You’re a smart man, please do not let me down.” And she walked out the door.

Draco stared at the door. As if this year wasn’t going to be difficult enough on its own. Adding another person to ‘babysit’ him wasn’t going to change that fact. He returned to the last shelf, put the last few books away, and returned to the Manor.

 

*******

 

“Draco, I wasn’t expecting you quite this early. All is well?” Narcissa asked as he greeted her son in the foyer. “Never mind the mess down the hall.”

“Mother,” Draco said as he hugged his mother. “What is happening? Did those from the ministry destroy this all during their last raid?” Draco rolling his eyes. The ministry came and ‘searched’ the Manor for any dark objects. After the Dark Lord, the halls of his home were tainted and they used it as an excuse to make a mess to leave behind. Coming over unannounced, taking whatever they wanted to investigate, returning half of the items in a condition that deems them no longer usable.

“Now, Draco. Is wanting to see some change really all that bad?” Narcissa asked as she walked towards the drawing room. He could see she had updated that horrid room. The room that was home to so many nightmares, now looked unrecognizable. He would give anything for someone to obliviate that night out of his mind. That scream will be in his nightmares until the end of time. Remember, you can’t erase your past, but you can move forward.

For the next few weeks home, Draco spent time with his mother remodeling his childhood home. Making it brighter and more inviting than it had ever felt before. Change is possible. The owl holding the schedule for upcoming Hogwarts duties and supplies needed came sweeping in the window at breakfast a few days before the train would leave. “We will make a day of it. I was summoned to the ministry for one last questioning with the aurors. There was talking of Lucius in Knockturn Alley yesterday. I hope he has the sense to leave you be,” Narcissa said, setting down the Prophet.

The photo of Borgin and Burkes brought back unwanted memories. You can move forward. Draco stood with his list to start packing his trunk with essentials for the year. Suits, robes, the few books he had borrowed from the library, toiletries, everything that meant nothing. Leaving room for the new supplies he would need; he packed the emerald green blanket his mother had gifted him for his 11th birthday. Silly thing to hold on to, but to keep the reminder of simpler times. Before he truly knew how vile his father was, his actions were. Shaking his head of those memories, he places a single black leather-bound journal, writing slowly becoming a solace, an escape for the reality he has created. The wizarding community has made it well known that the Malfoy family wasn’t going to be welcomed back quietly, no matter the verdict of the trial. Arriving at the Ministry the next morning was a harsh reminder of that. Getting there at the opening couldn’t even avoid the sneers and insults. Lucius was causing more issues and the wizarding world was prepared to place the blame on the shoulders of his family. The aurors office turned out to be the most peace the family would experience.

“Mrs. Malfoy, this may take a bit. Come with me. Mr. Malfoy, someone will come for you if further questioning is necessary,” Auror Robards said monotonously. The auror didn’t look up from the file once while speaking.

Draco ignored the man and took a seat in the chair furthest from the door and Narcissa gracefully followed the man down a small hall towards the questioning room. This is where he spent the next few hours watching so many come and go through the office, no one even glancing in his direction. A few men huddled near the edge of the hall, arguing in hushed tones. “The Sympathizers are what they are being called. With what was taken from Borgin and Burkes, we cannot be sure what their end goal may be. One thing for sure is everyone should be on alert to those close to those families…”

“GENTLEMEN!” interrupted Robards from the hall. “Is there a need for a reminder not to discuss open cases with civilians in the office?” It was only then that the men looked around and saw Draco.

“Come, Draco,” Narcissa said walking towards the door. “Diagon Alley is waiting.”

The walk to the elevator was silent. The offices around them paused everything just to watch them leave. Draco turned on his occlumency walls. No emotion was better than letting them see they were getting to him. Waiting for the doors to open was internal hell and no one would ever know. The doors no more than creaked open and Draco bolted through, only to be collided right into, knocking the wind right out of him.

 “My goodness, I am so sorry. Excuse me,” she said as she looked up at him. “This wasn’t even the floor I was looking for. I’m sorry, can I push a button for you?” she asked, stepping back against the wall waiting for him to answer.

Draco was astounded. She actually spoke to him, looked him in the eye, and apologized. American accent probably didn’t understand who they were. “Entry level will do. Thank you,” Narcissa said with a small smile on her face. Draco watched the girl. She was almost as tall as he was. Thicker built. Dressed in a yellow sundress and denim jacket. Her mid-length sandy hair falling to her shoulders. She watched his mother with a smile on her face for a split second before catching herself. She looked down to the floor. She didn’t look like she came from money, but did Occlumency his emotions, but Draco was curious to find out if she was the ambassador Ilvermorny was sending. She stood back as the doors opened. Without a second glance, Draco pushed out the door, only to be greeted with what could be described as a small mob. The panic stilled him. Narcissa put her arm around his elbow and did her best to make her way through the crowd, to no avail.

“Let them through!” the American yelled pushing past Draco and the crowd. So, she didn’t know who we are. She grabbed Draco's hand and yanked as she bulldozed her way through the mess. It was a fight and those who were there yelling at them started to turn their anger towards her. They were almost to the fireplaces to leave when one of the men in the crowd pushed her down. Draco tripped right over her.

“That’s what you get for helping death eaters,” the man spat at her as he walked away. This wasn’t her fight and just by being a decent person around them, she was being persecuted. Draco stood and sped to the floo before any more damage could be done.

Narcissa held out her hand to the girl. “You didn’t deserve that. They don’t understand anything it seems. Thank you for your kindness and helping get my son out of here. This isn’t your battle, I’m sorry you got caught in the crossfire.”

“From what I was told the war was over,” she quipped as she stood with the help that was offered. “It’s not my battle, but it seems that some of the war will never end. No one deserves that treatment.”

Narcissa smiled and walked towards the fireplace. “I wish more people saw it the way you do,” she said as the flames turned green. She was gone seconds later. Perhaps things for Draco might be a little bit different with a girl like that around.

 

******

 

“I sure hope that you find that girl and properly thank her for earlier,” Narcissa said and they left the book shop.

“She put herself in harm’s way of her own accord. Another bloody Gryffindor in the making,” Draco said as he made his way towards the Leaky Cauldron for a drink. He found a table hidden in the back. Tom was working the bar and brought them their usual. “I’m just going to keep my head down and do the bare minimum this year. No one wants me there, so why not give them what they want and just be invisible?”

Narcissa just sighed and looked at her son. “We may have some work to do in saving our family name, but the only thing I care about is you. I want you to live your life and fight for your future. We can’t erase our past…”

“But we can move forward, I know, I know,” Draco sighed. They ate their meal in silence. No one came to them, no one looked their way. Tom came over one last time to clear the dishes and brought one more round of drinks. He stared at the amber liquid in his cup, thinking about how much the year to come would change things. For better or for worse, the wizarding world would keep moving with the Malfoys in it. It’s how they will be represented was up to Draco.

The door opened to the establishment with the ring of a bell. It was the American. Draco watched as she conversed with Tom with a smile on her face. She presented herself well, but the more he watched, the more he saw her. How her hands shook when the barkeep turned around. The sigh of relief, the anxiety on her face. For someone who was so bold earlier to appear so nervous was boggling. As Tom turned back around, the smile returned to her face like it never left. She shook his hand and was back out the door. How odd.

“I’ll be ready shortly, Draco,” Narcissa said, standing from the table. “Wait for me outside and we will make our stop to get you some new robes.”

Draco did as he was told and Narcissa made her way to the barkeep. “Everything satisfactory, Mrs. Malfoy?” He asked while cleaning a glass.

“As always, Tom. May I ask who was that charming young lady that you just saw?” She asked, pulling out her galleons for the meal.

“Lovely young lady, she was. Looking for a place to stay on a budget, poor thing. Only one night. I think she said she was boarding the train tomorrow. Offered to help close the bar tonight in exchange for a discounted room,” Tom said like it was nothing. He was always helping those in need.

“Please, let me pay for her stay.” Tom looked at Narcissa with a confused face. “I have a feeling that girl may bring many great things to this world. May this be one great thing for her,” Narcissa said smiling. She placed a handful of coins on the bar and Tom gave her a receipt with a smile. She signed it and put it in her pocket. One small deed could change so much.

Narcissa put on her black cloak once more as she walked out the door. Madam Malkin's shop was the last stop. Even if she had to force his hand, Draco was going to look his best. Avoiding the glares along the alley, they made it to the store painted a familiar purple on the outside, walking in and going straight to the back of the shop to pick some of the best available. Many grey and emerald green sweaters added, extra white uniform shirts tailored precisely. “You’ll be the most dashing Head Boy Hogwarts has seen,” Narcissa praised, as Draco stood with the last of the pins in the robes being worked.

Madam walked towards the front to grab a few last second details. The shop bell chimed. “Excuse me, I was wondering if I could get fitted for a new set of Hogwarts robes?” It was the voice and a familiar accent. Narcissa’s eyes lit up.

“Do not bother her, mother. Can we just leave?” Draco said annoyed. He pulled off the robes, done or not. And they moved towards the front of the shop.

“Thank you. And I just want to be upfront with you. I do not have much to spend. I may just have to get one set and come back on break to get a few more,” the girl said. You could clearly see the shame and anxiety of her face as she spoke.

“Make sure she has at least 5 sets, Madam. Put it on our bill,” Narcissa interrupted before Madam Malkin could say a word. “She should be set for the year, do not accept a knut from her.”

The girl looked like the air had been stolen from her lungs. “I cannot accept that. You don’t need to do that for me,” she stammered. Draco put up his occlumency wall and left the shop without a word, still no emotion on his face. The girl was absolutely speechless.

“My dear,” Narcissa said from the counter, paying for all of the items. “You have no idea what earlier meant to me and my son. Though it seems he has lost his manners. Accept this as a thank you.” She walked towards the girl and handed her the receipt from the Leaky Cauldron. “Take care at Hogwarts. Keep your head held high.” She walked out of the shop.

 

******

 

Draco never thought he would be thankful to be back on the Hogwarts express. He dressed in the all-black suit, grabbed his bag, and boarded without so much looking at anyone. Seeing the band of friends already sitting together, the first and second years excited to truly begin their magical journey. Draco watched as they laughed and smiled. If only that level of innocence could be spared. As he stood in his thoughts and the train started to move, he felt someone walk right into him. “I am so sorry!” He didn’t need to turn around to recognize that voice.

“Perhaps you are just clumsy. Watch yourself,” he said as he glanced back and stalked off towards the back of the train. All the way back to the very last car, sat at the table with his back towards the door. With any luck, they would avoid him and he would be able to have the majority of the ride without anyone to bother him. Granger would round him up eventually, early without a doubt, for head duties. A fellow Slytherins joined the car. Theo and Blaise. They gave him a nod and continued on in their conversation. The scarce letters that were sent between the three men over the summer were telling enough. Healing from a war that wants to punish you for their family’s involvement was difficult enough without banding together. It was safer to stay away.

After 15 minutes of quiet, Draco heard the door open once more. The shaky breath, mumbling to themselves. Two guesses who, Draco thought to himself.

He heard her take a deep breath and sat down across from him. “I’m sorry that we got off on the wrong foot. I’m KC,” she said and held out her hand.

Draco put up his guard one more time. “Clumsy and chatty. Not off to a very good start, are we?” he said staring out the window.

“Look, I’m sorry that I’ve run into you so many times. It’s not hard to see I’m new. I just needed a seat and you were a familiar face. Even if I don’t know your name. I’ll just sit and be quiet.” She reached into her bag and pulled out a worn copy of Advanced Transfiguration.

The things one can learn from body language alone is telling. Draco watched her out of the corner of her eye. She was putting on a brave face. She wore the same denim jacket with a different colored dress today. Playing it cool so as to not look silly for putting herself out there. You could feel the anxiety rippling off of her. After a tense few minutes, he turns to look at her finally. “I thought Granger was the only swot around here. She will be so disappointed.”

She froze but tried her best to hide it. “I guess there might finally be someone in the library as much as I am then.” An olive branch.

Draco scoffed. It almost sounded like a laugh and it surprised himself. “You could say that.” He started to let his walls down. Her eyes were still skimming the same page. For someone with so much tension surrounding her, she was surprisingly brave. She stopped to look up at him. Her green eyes looked right into grey. She gave him a soft smile and continued to read. Hours of comfortable silence filled between them. Draco could hear Theo and Blaise whisper but he wasn’t going to mention anything. Not until he knew what KC was. What she wanted, why she was really here. The others left the car and it was just the two. She was actually reading. Perhaps it was his turn to extend a peaceful treaty.

“Look, KC…” he started and was cut off by the sound of the train car door slamming open.

“There you are, Malfoy. I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” Granger, and she was furious.

Draco just rolled his eyes. “I haven’t moved since we started, couldn’t have been that challenging. Even for you, Granger.”

She gave him a murderous look. “We have Head duties. Unfortunately for me, that means I need you. Let’s get to it.” With that, Granger stormed out without giving KC as much as a glance.

Malfoy got up with his bag and headed towards the door. “Hey, Malfoy!” KC yelled after him. He turned back to look at her. “What were you going to say before she burst in here?”

So, she was curious. He just smiled and turned back towards the door. “It’s Draco. That’s my name.” and he left. Perhaps if one person could see him for who he was and not his family name, then it would be enough.

Chapter Text

Granger was on a true bossy start. Draco spent the last 20 minutes on the train listening to her rant about what the two heads were to do as soon as they arrived at the Hogsmeade station. Make sure the first years get to Hagrid for the boats, push students towards the carriages to the castle, make a final walkthrough of the train so no one is left behind, etc.. 

“Seriously, Malfoy. Have you been paying attention to anything I've said?” Granger snapped as the two heads walked onto the platform. “Have you even looked at the list of duties McGonagall sent? Just because you don’t take this seriously doesn’t mean you can ignore them.” 

“Believe it or not, Granger, I am capable of doing simple tasks. Listening to you run your mouth, however, is a little bit more difficult," Draco said and faked a yawn. 

“Honestly, will you stop messing around? We need to keep an eye out for the ambassador that Ilvermorny sent. They were supposed to be on the train!” She was scanning the crowd, not even trying to hide the annoyance on her face.

“She is here. Give her some time and I’m sure she will find us." Draco said, playing with the silver ring on his right hand. Messing with Granger was going to be one of the highlights of the year he could already tell.

Granger rolled her eyes and turned towards him. “How can you be so sure? How do you even know it’s a she?” 

“I'm right here, that’s how.” KC said, brushing off her new robes as he walked towards them. “You slammed the door so fast earlier I didn't get the chance to introduce myself. I'm KC.” 

Draco smirked in delight. He was going to have to watch the sass on this one. “Granger, if you would have asked earlier, I could have told you who she was, but that would mean you would have to stop nagging me.” KC smacked his arm. “Ow! What was that for?”

“No need to be rude,” KC quipped. She eyed Draco and he just rolled his eyes. She extended her hand towards Granger. “Obviously there is some history here. I'm not going to get involved with whatever you two have going on. Nice to meet you. You must be Hermione. Headmistress McGonagall told me you would be the one meeting me. It wasn’t until you ran off with him that I realized he would be waiting as well. I hope you don’t mind, but I made a lap through the train to make sure everyone was off. Feel free to check again, I was just trying to be helpful.” 

Hermione was shocked. “I apologize, I assumed anyone associating with him…” 

“I try not to make assumptions of people based on who they are with until I get to know them,” KC smiled and dropped her hand. Apparently shaking hands was not a common thing among Hogwarts students. “Shall we head towards the castle? I'm supposed to be sorted into my house before we start, is that correct?” 

Hermione nodded her head. The struggle on her face was apparent. There have not been many who challenge her or have called her out on prejudices. “Welcome to Hogwarts,” she said and turned to walk towards the carriages. KC followed along with a smile on her face, bag over her shoulder. Draco couldn’t help but grin. An interesting year ahead indeed. 

“Please do not be alarmed at our carriages to the castle. Some people cannot see them, as they were always rumored to pull themselves," Hermione started explaining as the three students reached the edge of the forest. “They are actually pulled by….”

“Thestrals. Sorry, they don’t exactly bring back the best of memories,” KC cut Hermione off. The shaky hands were back and you could see her wringing them together in hopes to stop it. She looked at her feet as they walked. “I can only imagine how hard it’s been to tell students coming back that they didn’t actually pull themselves.” Draco watched KC as they walked. What was it that caused her to shut down like that? KC gave up trying to stop the shaking and shoved her hands into the deep robe pockets. “My apologies, Hermione,” she said in a lower, unsure voice. “I didn't mean to interrupt, that was rude. Would you mind telling me about where we are?”

Hermione gave her a strange look and then they took turns climbing into the carriage. Hermione sat towards the front, Draco and KC took seats towards the back on opposite sides. Hermione took the opportunity to delve back into her “Introduction to Hogwarts” speech that she had been preparing all summer. KC looked towards her, but as Draco looked at her, it was easy to see she wasn’t watching Granger at all. Her eyes were on the thestral. The shaking anxiety was in full force. Face expressions blank for once. The look of reliving memories that were better off forgotten. Draco watched her for the 10 minutes it took to get to the front gates. Every few minutes you would see her shake her thoughts and acknowledge Granger as she rambled off facts about the grounds, but it always led back to the animal in front. 

They exited the carriage upon arrival to meet McGonagall in the entrance hall. Hermione took the lead and Draco stayed in step with KC. “Hey,” Draco said in a low tone. She met his eyes as they walked up the stairs. “What was that back there?”

KC turned away and focused on the stairs. “I don't know what you’re talking about. I’m fine.”

Draco could see the anger on her face. His voice softened and stayed low enough just for her to hear, “Whatever it was, you’re not alone. Some memories affect us more than others, don’t let it change who you are.” 

She stopped and tried to hide her emotion in her eyes. Draco left her on the stairs, passing McGonagall at the top and into the Great Hall. That man is a mystery, KC thought to herself. He made it look effortless to hide whatever he was feeling. she could only see something when he allowed it. Something about him made it even more difficult to mask feelings. She could ignore those at Ilvermorny. Those around her who made fun of her when she couldn’t hide anything. She just moved past their words, their actions, none of them mattered. Professor Mason was the only person who tried to help her. Draco was nothing like him. How did he make her shut down with ease?

“Welcome Miss Celine,” McGonagall said, drawing KC from her thoughts. “and welcome to Hogwarts. I trust our head students were a great help in getting you here safely.”

“Oh please, Professor. Please, call me KC. I don't use my full name if you don’t mind,” she stuttered.

“I address all students formally, but whilst you are here your fellow classmates can address you as you wish. Now, I want to get you sorted into your house for your year here. I know you will be a great help for students and staff alike. I will guide you through these doors and have you sorted before the rest of the first years. That hat doesn’t lie and I have faith you will make some of your closest friends here at this school.” 

Professor McGonagall was all business it seemed. Like the grandmother that doesn’t mess around when it comes to different events or family gatherings. KC followed her through the doors into the hall. The grand hall with floating candles and the starry night sky above. KC was in awe and didn’t even try to hide it. When they got to the group of first years, they made their way through them. KC was right at 6’ tall, those first years seemed so small compared to her and yet, they were all about to have the same experience. 

“May I have your attention, please,” projected McGonagall. “Welcome to another year at Hogwarts. To those returning, we all remember the horror of the past year. This is our chance to rebuild and unify together and make a better community. Our staff has taken the time to rebuild our school and make it safe. I would personally like to take the time to appreciate, Mr. Draco Malfoy.” One could hear the whispers and rude names across the hall. McGonagall sharpened her voice and scolded, “There will be none of that. He was tasked with restoring our library by himself. And if I may say so, he succeeded in every task I challenged him with.”

The hall was silent. KC looked to find Draco. He seemed to be sitting in the very back corner of the hall, the table was empty surrounding him. Back stiff, not making any eye contact with anyone. His robes were pristine, but the look on his face. Even looking at the table, one could see there was no emotion on his face. McGonagall went on with her welcome speech by announcing they had a new student from America as well as telling the students who their head students and prefects were. KC, just kept her eyes on Draco. Why does he just turn it off?

“Miss Celine,” McGonagall said, jerking her attention back to the front. “You will be sorted first.” KC took tentative steps towards the stool. She had heard of the hat. The amount of magic and legilimency was truly a marvel, but what would it look for in her mind? KC sat on the stool and the hat was placed on her head. 

“Now this is truly a surprise, Miss Celine,” the Sorting Hat spoke aloud. "Sorting you at this age after so much life has been lived. You are well on your way to becoming who you are meant to be. I can see your past, the events and your emotions that have shaped who you are today. You are hardworking without a doubt, your successes show us that. What you long for, what you are working towards is apparent. better put you in.... Hufflepuff!”

One of the tables with yellow erupted. KC went to assume that was where she was meant to go. She went over and shook hands with the prefect at the table and sat down. She snuck a glance back at Draco who was looking at her. He gave her a nod and turned his attention back down. McGonagall moved on with the sorting. Those around her introduced themselves and were polite. When the sorting finished up, the feast surrounded them. KC took a plateful and ate while answering questions about America and her previous schooling years. Draco watched her closely. He could easily see how tense she was around the others, more so than when she was around him. Her expressions showed ease, but anyone who was really paying attention could see that she was anxious. 

“She's the shiny new toy,” Blaise said, interrupting Draco’s thoughts. “She’s already captured your attention, hasn’t she?”

Draco glared at Blaise as he and Theo took a seat across from him. “He always gets that look when he is trying to solve a difficult problem, Blaise,” Theo grinned. “We don't want to distract him from his duties as head boy! We might end up in detention! Oh no!” 

All three of the boys laughed. The jokes broke the tension and it was like old times again. “Are you going to be playing quidditch this year with us?” Blaise looked at Draco. 

Draco looked confused. “I wasn't aware returning 8th years would be allowed. Besides, who is going to let the former death eater on the team.”

“Oh, come off it, mate. The team would be lost without our seeker. And you’re head boy. If McGonagall can give you a chance, so should the rest of the school,” encouraged Theo.

Perhaps the boys were right. Draco looked to KC. She had become quiet and ate slowly as those around her laughed and caught up with what happened over the summer. No one around her acknowledged her throughout the rest of the meal. She would try and insert a statement, but the sound of someone else would drown her out. Each time it happened, her face would drop even more. The energy was no longer anxious, but more somber. The feast came to an end and McGonagall addressed the hall. 

“Prefects, it is time to escort your houses to your dormitories. I would like our heads and our new ambassador to stay behind.” While the rest of the hall exited in a rush to get to their bed, the three stayed behind in a close line. “I hope you all realize how much I am relying on you. I'm handing you a lot of responsibility. Now, as you may know, the heads have their own rooms in each common room.  However, in order to show more inter-house unity, going forward, we have created a shared space for the two."

“But, Professor!” exclaimed Hermione, but McGonagall just held up her hand to quiet her. 

“As for you Miss Celine, you will be given a choice. I have put you in the previous room for the Hufflepuff head girl, but if you so choose, I can assign you a bed in the dorm with your fellow classmates.” 

KC just looked startled at McGonagall. “Oh, I don't want to be a bother. Where you have put me is fine. Thank you,” she stammered.  Hermione rolled her eyes at the situation. 

“Glad to hear it, KC,” smiled the headmistress. “The shared dorm is located in the dungeon between the Hufflepuff and Slytherin houses. Mr. Malfoy, I'm sure you will be able to locate where that room is. Your godfather’s portrait will be waiting for you both to arrive.”

Draco looked shocked. Snape had a portrait now, perhaps it will be better to have someone familiar around. Hermione was upset, but turned to leave the Great Hall. McGonagall left through the door by the staff table. KC stood still. 

Draco turned to leave, “Come on. I know you’re not going to ask. I'll show you where you need to go.” KC looked up and saw a small smile from him. “Can’t have you getting lost, even if it is fun to watch you Hufflepuffs struggle.” Draco walked towards the door and KC followed closely. They silently walked down the entrance stairs and past the doors they came in. Down another flight of stairs into a fire lit corridor. The castle continued to keep KC in awe and she almost bumped into him again. Hermione was already at the end of the corridor and turned out of sight. “To your left down this hall, you’ll find the Slytherin common room,” Draco pointed out. KC nodded and kept her eyes on him. The two kept walking, turning around the corner they had seen Hermione turn. A few more steps down and Draco saw Snape. Making eye contact with a portrait always seemed odd in the magical world, but this time it brought more comfort to him. 

“Draco,” KC interrupted his thoughts. “Do you know why Hermione has an issue with me?” Draco looked at her. She looked sad. Vulnerable. 

He thought about it for a second before putting his hand on her shoulder. “It’s not you. I think she is threatened by the idea that someone might actually put her in her place this year. Logically, it’s me she hates. It’s not you,” he reassured. 

KC just gave him a slight nod and he dropped his hand. They kept walking until they reached the end of the corridor where you saw a stack of old wooden barrels. “This is you. Now, I must tell you to be careful. Get this wrong and you’ll smell like vinegar for weeks. Tap this barrel here in the beat of Helga Hufflepuff.” 

She did just that and the round door popped open. As KC walked in, she looked back at Draco and said, “Thank you. For everything.” And disappeared out of sight. 

 

******

 

KC climbed through the barrel-shaped tunnel and found a warm room. A small window that was made to look like the outside, two long hallways separating the rooms full of students, and a nice welcoming fireplace. Plants lined every surface. It truly gave off the feeling of home. Students were on the couches chatting away, a few in the corner playing a game of wizards chess and many in the halls laughing with friends. She wondered if that would ever be her. KC sighed and found the head’s room. She opened the door and found her belongings there. A small window to the side of her bed showed her the night sky and her own small fireplace, as well as a door that held a small bathroom and shower. She put her bag down on her desk that had a small succulent as a welcome gift. "I'll have to tell Professor Mason he wasn't spoiling me enough at home," KC smiled to herself. This was now home. She grabbed her night things out of her trunk and crawled into bed shortly after. With the warmth of the fire and soft blanket from home, KC fell into a soft sleep, in hopes of a good first day of classes.

 

******

 

Draco watched the door close behind her. He wondered what had happened to her. What happened to the girl who was prepared to fight for him and his mother at the ministry? How was it that she could be so brave when it came to that incident, but shy and withdrawn when it came to herself. Why did he want to help her? “Snap out of it, Draco,” he muttered to himself and continued back down the hall towards his new residence. 

“It's good to see you again, Draco,” Snape welcomed him. 

“Not once did I think I'd see you again, Professor,” said Draco, watching the portrait pace back and forth. “Is there a reason you’ve been placed here? To watch me and make sure I'm not up to anything suspicious?”

“No one put me here. I asked to be of some use. The afterlife of a portrait is quite dull in the midst of an old office. Here I can at least use some of my skill," Snape sneered. Still as harsh as ever. “Now, in you go. This door is only made to open to yours and Miss Granger's magical signature. Best of luck.” The portrait swung open. 

He stepped up into the small entrance way. It was quaint. Vaguely similar to the Slytherin common room he was accustomed to. There was a small sitting area with a grey stone fireplace, 2 rooms opposite each other. a room close to the entrance which was to be a shared bathroom, and the wall with the fireplace had windows to the black lake on each side. That was always one of the best parts of the dungeons. The relaxing ways of watching the grindylows swim, the occasional glimpse of the giant squid. He saw one of the doors open and Granger came out in a storm. 

“Let's get one thing straight here, Malfoy. I am not happy about this!” She was fuming.

“Oh really, now? One could hardly tell. And here I thought we would be the best of friends," Draco sassed. He moved to the couch and sat down watching the fireplace. 

“Malfoy, I'm warning you. If you are up to anything, if you try to get in my way towards getting through this year peacefully, I will retract my statement through the ministry and get you right to Azkaban.” 

“Placing threats are we now? Fear not, Granger. I have no interest in making this year any harder than it needs to be. I want my NEWTs just as much as you do. So please, get your knickers out of a twist and relax. I'm not here to hurt you or anyone," Draco said casually. 

She glared and crossed her arms. “Right. See to it then.'' She took a deep breath and went back into her room. After she left, Draco went into what would be his room. His belongings were there and looks like the elves had already changed his sheets to the silk ones he brought from home. The journal from his mother still at the top of his trunk. Draco took to changing into his night clothes and heard Granger walking around the common area. He rolled his eyes and tried to ignore her. He grabbed his journal, slid into bed, and wrote until everything was out. An hour later he had finished and promptly fell asleep. Tomorrow could only be better.

 

Chapter Text

 

Hermione didn’t sleep as well as she should have before the first day of classes. She was awake when her class schedule magically appeared on her desk. She was supposed to have the year to spend with Harry, Ron, and Ginny up in Gryffindor Tower. Not in the Dungeons with the snake who had bullied her, who was a key reason why Death Eaters were able to take over the castle, the one whose home haunted her nightmares. It was supposed to be a ‘normal’ year. But everything was going to be different it seems. She grabbed her satchel with all of the books she needed. She was taking DADA and helping as an assistant to the new professor. It's strange that the new professor wasn’t at the welcoming feast. They did say he was well qualified. Charms, Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Transfiguration, Herbology, and Care of Magical Creatures where she would help Hagrid. There was an evening each week she would be helping brew potions with Slughorn for the hospital wing. She could only imagine what it would look like once she scheduled in her library time, Head Girl rounds, and prefect meetings. Add on the nightmares and that would mean no sleep. Adjusting her hair one last time, she was out the door to breakfast. She was surprised to see Harry and Ron already at the table. Ginny was without a doubt the reason why. She was a force to be reckoned with.

“Look who it is! The head girl who is too good to come up to the tower!” Ginny sassed laughing. “Spend all night in the library already?”

“I can’t believe it. McGonagall is making me share a dorm with Malfoy. House-unity and all,” Hermione rolled her eyes and sat down.

“Blimey, Hermione. You’re joking?” Ron said. “Probably making sure he doesn’t bring in more of his friends from the outside.” 

Hermione gave Ron a smile. The love between them didn’t last long after the battle. The fear of death drove them together, but outside of those moments, they were better off as friends. He was a little overprotective when it came to things and she was used to her independent self. Not that it was a bad thing, just not going to work long term. “I tried to protest but no luck. You’ll have to come and save me in the dungeon sometime.”

Harry laughed. It was light-hearted fun. “I’m just excited for quidditch. For once, that is the only thing I need to prepare for.”

“Say, Hermione,” Ginny interrupted. “Have you gotten to know the American yet? What’s she like?”

“Bloody push-over probably,” Ron muttered. Ginny pushed him. “What? Most Hufflepuffs are!”

“Honestly? I don’t like her. I don’t trust her. I don’t know her. She was on the train with Malfoy. When we were on our way to the castle, she was short with me and didn’t pay attention whatsoever the rest of the time. Quite rude.”

“Hermione, I love you,” Harry said, taking a bite of toast. “I never paid attention during your ‘Welcome to Hogwarts’ speech either.” The group laughed, Hermione didn’t.

“I’m telling you, Harry. I just have a feeling about her.”

“Well, I’m going to introduce myself,” Ginny said getting up. “If Hannah will sit next to her and Neville hasn’t gotten up yet, I’ll believe she won’t bite.”

Hermione scowled as her friend walked away. Why didn’t they trust her on this one? She sipped her tea and stabbed at her breakfast. It wasn’t until she heard Ginny scream that she lost her breath and shot right up.

 

*******

 

KC was not ready to start the day. The bed was too comfortable. She looked over at the robes hanging over her chair and sighed. The day wouldn’t wait. “I need to write to Narcissa and thank her for everything. I’ll worry about Mason later,” KC said to herself, getting up to get ready for the day. It was 5am. Remembering to take her few medications, she gave herself the final glance and walked out. Once dressed and put on the yellow-striped tie, she looked to her desk and there were two papers. One was her class schedule. Defense Against the Dark arts, Charms, Muggle Studies where she would be helping the new professor, Potions where she would help oversee projects for Slughorn, Transfiguration, Herbology, and Care of Magical Creatures. She would be spending her time helping with potions for the hospital wing and also nights with Professor Sprout taking care of plants. “The busier the better” they always say.  Add in library time and maybe quidditch practice if she makes it. Good thing she brought a time-by-time planner to keep her head on straight. She sighed and put the schedule in her bag. The second note surprised her. It was from Draco.

 “Looks like we have the same schedule. Meet you at breakfast. - DM”

Why did that make her smile? She put the paper down. She sat down at her desk and took out her muggle pen. If they expected her to use quills, they were in for a surprise. Quill and ink were one school supply that would always catch her off guard when it came to price. She needed to write to Narcissa. Where to start?

 

            Narcissa,

I hope that this letter finds you well. I just wanted to say thank you for everything you have done to get me to Hogwarts. The robes fit perfectly. I hope you aren’t too disappointed though, I was not placed in Slytherin with your son. I was put into Hufflepuff. It’s been one night but I’m hopeful that this year will be different. You didn’t know this about me when you helped me, but I come from a place where I didn't have many friends. My parents did as much as they could for me in No-maj America. Not having them here for this part of my magical journey has hit me harder than I would have thought.

            Draco and I seem to have the same school schedule. Tell me, am I going to want to smack him during study sessions? How much trouble would I be in with you if I did? All hypothetical of course. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high, but he might be my first real friend in my life. Merlin, I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.

            Will you be visiting for quidditch matches? I heard Draco would be the seeker for his house again. I played during my time at school, but I always borrowed a broom from my professor back home. I’ll find one in the old cupboards somewhere. I’d love to see you in the stands and if I don’t end up on the team, I’ll sit with you and cheer him on.

            Again, Narcissa, your kindness will never be forgotten. Thank you.

                        Sincerely,

                        Kara Celine (KC)

 

That was the first time she had told anyone her first name willingly. Why she trusted Narcissa she wouldn’t be able to say why. Must be the love of a mother. KC folded the letter and sealed it shut with a spell, needing to see if there were school owls she could borrow. Clock read 6:30. Breakfast and then class. She could do this.

Leaving her room, it was obvious that it was the time the others were just getting up. A few boys stumbled sleepily into the common room area and she decided it was time to go up. Getting to the Great Hall was one thing she could manage. As she walked down the corridor, she made sure to pay attention to the paintings. All so different. The one that guarded Draco’s door was pacing. He merely nodded and kept on. Up the stairs and through the doors, taking a seat at the same table she was at last night. Nerves were creeping up on her so she took out her book to finish her section on Animagus. She nibbled on her toast and sipped coffee reading along. It wasn’t until she felt the bench shift next to her that she looked up. A girl with brownish-red hair sat down next to her.

“Hi! You must be KC. I didn’t get the chance to introduce myself last night. I’m Hannah Abbott,” she said with the biggest smile on her face. Too bubbly to handle in the morning. KC went to open her mouth to talk when she started again, “I’m so happy you are here. I hear you are going to be such a wonderful help in all of our classes. You should join our Herbology club! Can you…”

“Hannah, let her get a word in!” A tall boy with brown hair came and sat across from KC. “I’m Neville.”  He extended his hand towards her. She shook it with a slight smile on her face.

“I’m KC. It’s nice to meet you both. I’m really looking forward to this year,” KC said with a small smile on her face.

Hannah continued to talk more as Neville grabbed more things for both of their plates. KC had never heard someone talk so much so fast. So much there was no need for her book anymore. She sat it down and just smiled. A taste of normalcy. As Hannah began telling a story, KC’s attention was drawn toward the door of the hall. Draco walked in. He merely nodded at her and took a seat next to the two boys that had joined him the night before. Giving her one glance before he took a bite of a bright green apple, he looked away as the curly-haired boy made a joke. She felt heat in her cheeks. What is that?

Neville waved at someone behind her and said, “Hey Ginny! What brings you over here?”

“Obviously I’m here to scout the competition. I’m Ginny Weasley, Captain of the Gryffindor quidditch team. You any good?”

KC looked a little nervous when she said, “I played most of my years at school. Nothing special.”

“Oh, rubbish.” Ginny took a seat next to her, looking like she was all business.  “I looked you up. You were captain the last 3 years and were the top scorer in the school last year! Am I going to see you at tryouts?”

KC blushed. “I’d love to play, but I don’t own a broom of my own. If I can find one, I’ll consider it.”

“I’ll be blunt with you. My dream is to play professionally. I can’t know that I’m the best unless I play against the best. You’d be a challenge for me. So, if I can find you a broom you’ll try?”

KC gave a look towards Draco on instinct. He was trying to be subtle, but you could see he was listening in on the conversation. “Sure, Ginny. I’ll try.”

Ginny jumped up and screamed! The entire hall stopped. “Oh, KC thank you!” KC looked up and saw Hermione with her wand pointed towards our table. Ginny grabbed KC and hugged her and went back towards her table. Dramatic that one is.

Neville laughed and then got up with Hannah. What an entertaining morning and it hasn’t even started yet. Draco was up and walking towards her as she put her transfiguration book away. “Seems like you were actually making friends,” he said in an unamused tone.

“More like friends talking around me and badgering me about quidditch,” KC said, standing to come eye to eye with Draco. “Ready to be my tour guide?”

Draco smiled and nodded his head once, and started towards the door.

 

******

 

“What was that all about, Gin? You nearly gave me a panic attack!” scolded Hermione. “I thought she had attacked you!”

“Calm down, Hermione. I’m fine! I convinced her to attend quidditch tryouts is all,” Ginny said.

“Have you gone barmy? Why would you be happy about more competition?” Ron joked.

“If I have hopes to play for the Harpies one day, I want to know that I played against the best. Just because you don’t have goals doesn’t mean I have to sit back and be content.” Ginny grabbed her bag and was out the door quickly. Ron was up and following her shortly after.

“It’s ok, Hermione,” Harry said, putting his arm around Hermione’s shoulder. “I was scared too. We are safe, it’s ok.” Hermione frowned and put her head on his shoulder. “I trust your instincts, but are you distrusting of her based on a feeling? Or because she was sitting with someone? I don’t want to see prejudice start something without cause.” He patted her shoulder and dropped his arm. Grabbing their bags, they walked towards the door for class. DADA would take her mind off of things.

As they walked out the door, they were met with Malfoy and the girl in question. Draco merely nodded at Harry as they passed. A small olive branch. Hermione kept a blank face and avoided eye contact all together.

“It’s ok, KC. You’ve done nothing wrong. If Potter can be civil towards me, then Granger is bound to come around,” Draco said reassuringly. KC sighed but nodded. Off to the first class they went.

This was her first time in this part of the castle. There were so many staircases, and they moved? Wonderful. “It looks more confusing than it really is.”

KC just smiled and took everything in. So many paintings, the architecture, everything was just magical. She will have to explore more before rounds started. They made it up a few floors and walked into the classroom. Draco gave her a smile and went to sit with Blaise and Theo. KC watched him interact with them. He was so serious most of the time, seeing him smile so easily with them was something she could get used to. KC took a seat next to Hannah from this morning and she gave a smile back. She got her supplies out to get ready for class to begin.

“Good morning, class.” The professor had scars on his face, but wore a beige cardigan and whimsical hair.

“Lupin! You’re the professor?” It was Harry who spoke up and the entire class looked shocked.

“Hello, Harry. They asked me back to teach you lot and I couldn’t refuse,” Lupin said, giving them all a smile. “Now, just because we have a war behind us, it is more important than ever that we prepare ourselves for what may be out there. Recent events are showing us that the cause may be gone, but the ripple effect is still happening. It is my job to prepare you for the dark creatures and things that may lie ahead.”

Hermione looked overjoyed that the professor was here. As were a majority of the Gryffindor students. Draco had a sad look on his face. There was a history there that KC would have to learn later. “Now, as a way to assess where we are all standing, we are going to have a small duel in class today. I’ll bring you up at random and we will see where we should start in various things. First up, I want our top students to show us how it’s done. How ‘bout it? Hermione and …. KC?” Lupin looked up from his list of students.

KC slowly got up, hands shaking. Hermione had a scowl on her face but walked confidently up towards the front. The whole class watched with interest. “Now, I know you both know how to properly duel, bow and turn. Ten paces and turn.” The two did so and took their positions. “Begin when ready”

Hermione jumped on it first. “Expelliarmus!” KC blocked it with a silent Protego. That made Hermione's eyes widen with frustration.  She tried again. “Stupefy! Expelliarmus! Petrificus Totalus!” KC moved while blocking them all. As the last spell hit her shield she moved quickly and hit Hermione with a silent Expelliarmus. Hermione’s wand flew behind Lupin’s desk.

The entire class gasped; Draco smirked. KC just stood there silently. “Very well done, KC! You’ve mastered nonverbal spells! Wonderful example you two, take your seats!” Hermione was upset and flew back to her seat and started writing. Taking notes on what to do next time, how to improve. Hannah congratulated KC as she sat back down as two more students went to the front.

Class flew by but KC didn’t look up from her desk until the end of class. It was time to leave for charms. She got up and walked towards the door and was right in front of Draco and his friends. Maybe it was easiest just to follow the crowd. This wasn’t far from where they were originally. Draco walked around her and took a seat in the back row bench. Mostly everyone was already sitting. KC got out of the way as a few more students tried to walk in. One boy dressing in red walked past her and knocked her bag to the ground. “Watch yourself, new girl.”

“That’s enough Mr. Finnegan,” the stout man yelled while climbing to stand on a stack of books. “Take your seat.” Finnegan gave KC a side glance and went to sit by the other students in red. KC picked up her back and when she got back up, she saw Malfoy watching her. She took the last seat right next to his friend Theo. Professor Flitwick went through the first lesson as a review. What the students knew, what they needed to work on, and what they could learn moving forward. KC noted the things she would need to review and a list of questions she would ask the professor throughout the lesson. When the professor asked questions, it seemed that she and Hermione were the only ones who would answer. Each time KC got an answer correct, Hermione gave her a dark look and it only made Draco smirk more.  KC watched as some of the Gryffindor students eyed her. It seemed that Harry Potter and Ron were the only two that didn’t give her the side eye. What did I do this time? KC thought to herself. At the end of class, she waited for everyone to leave before she got up. Draco was waiting for her outside the door.

“Thought you might be the last one out. Why didn’t you take out Seamus earlier? He would have never seen it coming!” Draco tried to joke.

“Just because he wants to be an ass doesn’t mean that I have to be,” KC said, adjusting her bag waiting for Draco to start walking.

He just gave her a small nod and walked forward. “Don’t let the Gryffindorks get to you. They protect their own blindly. Just because Granger has her head so far up her –”

“Draco, really it’s fine. I don’t want to think about it. Bullies are nothing new to me, I just want to get through the day without any more confrontation,” She held onto her bag strap to keep her hands from shaking. Draco noticed but didn’t mention it.

“Why are you taking muggle studies?” Draco asked. “With you using a pen I’m going to assume you know quite more than those of us who are being forced to take it.”

“Maybe that’s the reason they put me there?” countered KC. “McGonagall offered me the ability to take the NEWTS for Ancient Runes and Arithmancy if I helped steer this class. New professor and adult students who don’t know much about the non-magical world, they may need all the help they can get.”

“Wait,” Draco stopped. “You’re telling me that you’re still going to sit for 2 classes you are not currently taking?”

“No,” KC said, turning to look at him. “I already sat for them over the summer. Top scores on both so no need to take the class.”

Draco was surprised but continued on to class. “I was wrong. You are more of a swot than Granger.” KC just laughed and they continued on to class.

The next few classes with just Draco and his friends went smoothly. Muggle history and items, reviewing potion techniques we would need for the upcoming year and then going to Herbology where they were going to be growing things specifically for potions. This would be a good practice for the real world when they needed to be independent and do things on their own. KC had a knack for plants and animals. She understood them more than humans. KC was however feeling close to Draco and his friends. Hannah was also very kind to her. By the time the small group made their way down to a small cottage near the forest for classes, it was just starting. Hermione was at the front with Hagid and a girl with long blonde hair who was feeding the creatures.

“Welcome back, everyone. This year we are going to be learning about creatures that one would experience out in the world. Some in dangerous situations, some that are most common. We need to know how to take care of them all. I encourage you all to listen very closely and not make any rash decisions. None of these creatures are going to be responsible if anyone of you get hurt.” The half-giant stared directly at Draco. He flinched and looked down. “Now, today we are going to be taking care of the firecrabs. They have been feisty the last few days so take extra caution."

KC took note of Draco’s stillness. She just grabbed the sleeve of his robes and encouraged him to follow her. They got to the edge of the pen and the look of so many fiery animals looked back at them. “It’s ok. I’ll help you.” KC encouraged him. They both took their outer robes off as well as their ties to prevent anything catching on fire. No one else had entered the pen yet. So many of the animals seemed on edge. Something was wrong. Even Hagrid looked surprised. Everything seemed fine when they got there, then KC saw what it was. One of the crabs towards the middle was injured. She didn’t even think twice. She climbed over the fence, ignoring Draco's protests. She avoided a few that sparked up towards her but they seemed to leave her alone when she slowly approached the injured crab. Slowly kneeling down in from of the crab, she saw what the problem was. There was a sharp stick stuck in its neck skin between the head and shell. The crab tied to move back but cried out in pain as it tried.

“Shhhh it’s ok. I’m not going to hurt you.” KC quietly said, comforting the animal. “I’m going to help you.” She took time to scratch the underside of the crab’s chin to show she meant no harm and after a minute, the crab relented and rested his head on her hand. “That’s it, buddy. I’m going to get this stick out. Trust me here.” She made slow movements towards the stick. She touched it and the crab let out a cry and fired up its rear. Draco tried to climb the fence to help her when the rest of the crabs fought him back. You could hear Hagrid trying to yell at KC to back off. But she refused. “This might hurt, but I’m going to fix it.” She muttered a wandless cooling charm on the crab in hopes it might take away some of the pain, grabbed the stick and pulled. It was a clean take. The crab cried out and the others turned towards KC to protect their friend. KC saw that the wound was bleeding out. Without thinking she took off her white oxford and ripped one of the sleeves off. She was in a bra in front of the entire class. She took the sleeve and used it to wrap the wound as a bandage. The crab quieted down and the others stopped moving towards her. KC tore the other sleeve off of her shirt to add another layer to the bandage just in case. “See? All better. You’re going to be ok.” KC continued to comfort the crab and it put its nose to hers. The ultimate show of trust. Hagrid came through the gate of the fence and checked to make sure she was ok.

“Blimey, KC, you could have been severely injured.” Hagrid scolded.

“I’m sorry, professor. He was hurt, I couldn’t help myself. Here, this was the issue,” she said and handed him the sharp stick. She grabbed the scrap of her shirt and walked back towards the crowd of students. The other crabs nudged her as she went by as a show of thanks. Draco helped her down from the top of the pen. 

“For fucks sake, KC. Are you ok?” He asked, concerned.

“I’m fine, Draco. I promise. The crab was hurt, what else should I have done?”

“Let the professor handle it!” and it was then that Draco fully realized she was still bared to everyone. His expression changed from concerned and angry to embarrassed. He looked away from her. “Here, you might want to put the back on.” He handed her the robes she had discarded. She quickly threw it back on to cover herself.

The long-haired blonde came over to them. “That was really brave of you, that crab bonded with you!”

“Yah, but could have gotten herself fried in the process,” snapped Granger who came up behind her. “You should have let one of us handle it.”

“I can’t just sit here and watch while no one did anything,” KC defended. Hagrid came around to them. “I’m sorry, Professor. I should have been more careful.”

“Nonsense, KC. That was the most I have ever seen a crab bond with anyone. I tried getting to him earlier and the swarm blasted me. You must be a special one.” Hagrid said, roughly patting her shoulder. “Malfoy, would you mind escorting her back to the castle to get her a new uniform?”

KC blushed and Draco laughed, grabbing her bag. “Let’s go.” They walked back in silence for the most part. They got to the door of Hufflepuff before Draco spoke again. “I assume you can make it back for dinner here in a few hours, ok? Or do I need to make sure you’re not off rescuing another dangerous animal.”

KC smiled and knocked on the barrel door. “Well, You could always come in with me and help me review everything before dinner so you don’t have to worry at all?” Draco took a second to clear the shock off of his face. He put his mental shields up. “What, you’ve never been invited to study before?”

“Never been invited into Hufflepuff before.” Draco said with a blank expression and tone. KC just smiled. She grabbed his hand and dragged him through the barrel. He was welcomed with a warm room. KC wondered if that was what her face looked like when she walked in the night before.

KC walked to open the door to her room and Draco followed her inside. He closed the door and turned around to see KC take off her robe, showing herself again. Draco looked away and remanded him. “You act like you’ve never seen cleavage before. Sorry, I should have warned you.” She put on a v-neck t-shirt and grabbed her bag back from him. “Thank you for carrying my bag for me.”

“I’m sure that feather-light charm helped,” Draco said sitting in her desk chair. He took in her room.

She sat down and the end of her bed and started unpacking her things from class. “Would you like to make notes and such with me until dinner? I’ve never had someone actually take me up on my offer to study before. Let alone on the first day.”

“What can I say. Seeing someone be more of a know-it-all than Granger is quite intriguing. I won’t turn down the opportunity to observe her in her natural habitat,” Draco smiled and laughed. So did KC.  They both took their time to write out notes from the classes of the day. They would joke and give their opinions when questions were asked. Draco took the time to really observe her. How carefree she was in his presence. She when she laughed, her sandy hair would fall into her face. Her smile was so big. She took her hair down from its up-do and it fell past her shoulders. It framed her face when she turned to lay on her bed face down. Propping herself up to write more notes. Draco couldn't keep his eyes off of her and that shirt. He caught himself each time and shook away the thoughts that it brought. She is just helping you move forward. He looked back down at his notes and finished the last bit.  By the time they even thought to look at the clock, it was 9pm.

“Oh my goodness, Draco. I’m sorry! I kept you from dinner!”

“Time flies when you’re having fun,” Draco said, starting to pack up his things. “I’ll see if I can send an elf with something for you. I better leave before Granger throws a fit about rounds tonight.”

KC smiled at his joke. “Before you go, can I ask something of you?” Draco looked at her and raised a brow in question. “Would you mind sending this to your mother for me? I wanted to thank her for her kindness.”

Draco took the letter from her. “Of course. Your owl would have been accepted though."

“That would mean I would have one of my own to send,” she said looking away.

“Well, you are welcome to use mine anytime,” he said. “That’s what friends do.” KC looked at him in shock and froze. “What, did I say something wrong?”

“I’ve never had anyone call me a friend before,” KC whispered. Draco just smiled.

“Well, unfortunately for you, I’m now one. Better get used to it.” and he walked out the door.

KC stared at the door that he had walked through, the shock still apparent but slowly a smile came to her face. Friend. After a few minutes, an elf popped in with a plate and set it on her desk before bowing and disappearing again. Draco was a mystery for sure. She ate the sandwich and crisps on the side. She smiled when she saw a green apple on the plate as well. Setting it on her desk and the plate disappeared. She changed out of her uniform pants into sweat and decided it was time for bed. A friend. This year was already starting off better than she could have ever hoped for.

 

******

 

“Finally! Where have you been, Malfoy?” Granger scolded as he walked into their shared space. “We have rounds here in 15 minutes and no one has seen you since class!”

Draco rolled his eyes as he set his bag down on the chair. “I’m here now, what does it matter?”

“I will not let you make a fool of your duties just to hang out with your dodgy friends. Just because she put on a good show doesn’t mean she is a good person.”

“And what do you know of her? Hmmm?” Draco questioned. “Have you once tried to talk to her without your nose in the air? Even your friends have tried to talk to her and they don’t hate her. What is it about her that makes you so weary? Is it me? She has done nothing for you to question her.”

“Being friends with you puts her on the dark side of my list,” she said with less of an attitude.

“Don’t punish her for my actions. Get your head out your ass and do your job. House unity, remember? Let’s do these rounds so we can both come back and forget each other, right?” Draco said heading back towards the door. Hermione followed and they did their rounds around the castle until 11pm. When they got back after an uneventful round, they went their own ways. Draco collapsed into his bed and doused the fire out with his wand. First day in the bag. Tomorrow had to be a better day.

Chapter Text

 

Even in the dead of night, there were dodgy characters lingering around Knockturn Alley. The dark and sound of the rain brought out the worst of them. After the attack on Borgin and Burkes, many avoided the area, even for the most profitable of trades. They were not after them.

“Where exactly are we supposed to find those pages? We have been searching for weeks. The ministry is going to catch on,” a masked figure said to the group leader in front of him.

He stopped and turned to look at the man. He lifted his mask to reveal porcelain skin and hints on long white-blond hair. “The ministry is full of swine. They wouldn’t know what we are after unless it was sat right in front of their noses.”

“Lucius, why are these pages so important? We have enough information to get started on the task left to us.”

Lucius took two strides towards the man and had a hand around his throat in seconds. “I will not fail our Lord. We must keep the lines pure for the return. Our source said they were kept hidden here. I will not stop looking for them.”

The man struggled to breathe but nodded his head as his face turned almost purple. Lucius threw him to the ground and kept walking forward. The book shop was waiting for their presence. With a silent Alohamora the group walked in and searched for the pages. “Remember, they are sealed in a small case surrounding them. No one would want to ruin those pages. We must find them.” The group tore through the shelves, book by book, pages flying out as they hit the floor. Entire shelves knocked over in hopes to find a hidden compartment. The entire shop was trashed. Lucius moved to the back and found a few treasured books in glass. While rare, none would give him what he needed. Blasted.  “No more time to waste here. It’s not here. Set it ablaze. We’re leaving.”

Lucius disapparated, and the small group turned their wands on the shop before leaving. The flames rose high destroying the evidence and the shop. Leaving their mark on the ground before it, they left without any witnesses.

 

*******

 

Even after the uneventful rounds, Draco tossed and turned. The nightmares to come were always too much to handle. For hours he tried to sleep and managed a few intermittent hours before inevitably waking up in sweat. 5am. Knowing he wouldn’t be able to even attempt to sleep more, he got up and got ready for the day.

Walking out into the common room to use the bathroom, he was stopped dead in his tracks. That scream. It haunted his worst of nightmares and it was coming from Granger’s room. He couldn’t bear it. It brought back all of the feelings of that dreaded day at the manor. The feeling of helplessness, of fear, regret, guilt. He shook his head and slammed the door to the bathroom. He couldn’t unhear it. He slammed the shower on trying to shake the sound but it kept ringing. The water steamed around him as he slid to the floor. When will it stop? He fought the panic, he pushed his occlumency shield up. By the time he could control himself, the water was cold. Keep moving forward. He toweled off and heard a pound on the door.

“You’ve been in there forever, hurry up!” Granger yelled from the other side.

Draco rolled his eyes and walked out with a towel around him. “All yours. May I suggest a silencing charm around your door?” And he stalked back to his room.

Hermione glared at his door and walked through the door. Draco didn’t take long to get dressed and leave the dorm. The fast he got out of there and could see familiar faces, the better. Breakfast was the first step.

When He got to the hall, there were few people there. KC was there eating with Hannah and Neville, smiling as they told her various stories. The difference in her body language was astounding. You could tell there was tension there, but she didn’t look shut down. Luna joining them made a difference too. You could see the confusion hit her face when Luna said something quirky, but would smile and ask questions like it was nothing out of the ordinary. It is what you would imagine a normal school scene being. Blaise sat down and interrupted Draco’s thoughts. “This doesn’t look good, mate.” He handed Draco the morning paper.

Sympathizers Strike, Connection with Borgin Shop Fire.

“Shit,” Draco cursed under his breath. Scanning the story, seeing the pictures, there was no way his father wasn’t involved in this.

“Did you know?” Blaise asked.

“Of course not. I’m not risking my life going to Azkaban,” Draco said, setting the paper down and to the side. He put the blank mask on his face and turned his attention back to his breakfast.

KC saw his face drop and made a note to ask him what was in that paper.  “KC!” shouted the red-headed girl running to her from the entrance. “Are you coming to the first practice round for quidditch tomorrow? I asked Madam Hooch and she has a few extra brooms from the first years you could use.”

“Starting so soon?” KC asked. The bright smile on Ginny’s face was enough to guilt her into smiling. “Sure. I’ll be there.” Ginny sat down next to her and started eating breakfast and her friends came with.

“Who knew the Hufflepuff table would be the place to be?” said the redheaded boy. “I’m Ron Weasley. Hopefully this tornado of a sister hasn’t given you too much of a hard time yet.” Jokes. This is what it was like when a group was friendly and happy she was there.

Kc just smiled and shook her head. It was nice to feel a part of something. “And the messy hair man is mine. Isn’t that right, Harry?” Ginny really had no filter and it was something KC appreciated.

“It’s nice to meet you, Harry. You’ve got your hands full with this one.” KC jokes taking a bite of her toast.

“You have no idea. And I thought Voldemort was scary.” Harry said sheepishly.

Ginny stuck her tongue out at him and the whole table laughed. They were all close and you could tell. KC could only hope to belong one day. Hermione came into the hall and saw all of her friends currently sitting elsewhere. Much to her dismay she sat down on the edge of the group furthest from KC, not making eye contact with her whatsoever. It was a step forward.

As the owls brought mail in, letters fell around them. KC saw the Prophet all around them. “May I read this?” Harry nodded at her as he finished eating. When she saw the headline, her heart fell. Her stomach was in knots. Draco noticed from across the room. It was like the thestrals all over again. The shaking was back. The far-off look. He watched with concern on his face. Hermione noticed her change in attitude when she saw the paper. She was trying to piece together what was going on.

Thankfully time for class came quickly. KC followed the group to their classes, Draco quietly followed her. DADA was bound to be less eventful than yesterday. Professor Lupin was at his desk with a serious face. The students could see that something was wrong. They sat down in silence waiting for Lupin to address the class. He stood with the Daily Prophet in his hand. 

“As we are adults and have been through hell and back again, I’m sure by now some of you have seen what is going on. The Ministry does not wish me to address this, but I feel it is my duty to you and to this school to make sure you are all prepared for what may be happening.” Lupin’s face was hard. Draco’s eyes never left his desk. KC’s hands were shaking. The Gryffindors had scowls on their faces. “Sympathizers have emerged and have been attacking our own. Their cause hasn’t become quite clear yet. They have attacked those connected with Pureblood families. Details have not been released on this, but there was a murder discovered last night as well. A Pureblood had a wife who was muggleborn. They had a 4-year-old child who had just started presenting with magic. The wizard was spared, while his family wasn’t so fortunate.”

KC had tears falling from her eyes. It was happening. Her biggest fear when it came to her family. “We don’t know their intentions. But with a few libraries and shops destroyed, my best guess right now is they are looking for a specific book. Something attached with legacies and family ties. However, this is not why we are here today. We are here to put together a defense to help protect ourselves and those around us.”

KC couldn’t breathe. She stood up sharply and ran out of the room. The air in the hallway was too thick. Her vision was spinning. She stumbled her way into the girl’s lavatory and before she knew it, she was throwing up. How could this be happening? Her vision was still spinning. This was full-blown panic attack. She couldn’t help but get sick. Her body was so tense she couldn’t stop. She felt a hand on her back and she turned violently and shrunk back between the toilet and the stall wall. 

“Shhh, KC. It’s me. It’s Draco. Hannah is here too. I’m going to help you. Let me help.” He had such a look of concern on his face. He hadn’t seen someone this broken since that night at the Manor. KC was shaking so hard, head between her knees, violently trying to take breaths. Draco reached out and put a hand on her calf and another behind her head to rub circles on her neck. There were other footsteps coming into the lavatory, but Hannah held them back. After 5 minutes she finally tried to look up at him. He moved his hand from her neck to her cheek. “You’re safe. We’re here. I’ve got you,” Draco comforted. KC moved slowly from her spot and Draco moved backwards from his spot on his knees. She looked at him, tears still falling, but breathing was slowing down. 

“It’s ok, KC. I’m here. What do you need?” Draco asked softly, looking just at her. KC didn’t say a word, just grabbed him into the biggest hug. He moved to sit on the ground and pulled her into his lap. She just sobbed into his shoulder until Lupin came into view. He had a vial in his hand. 

“It’s a calming draught, we should get her to the hospital wing, just to be safe,” he said. Draco took the vial from him and coaxed it to KC’s lips. She put her shaky hand on his and tilted her head back slowly. It effects were immediate. Her shaking had calmed down. 

“Thank you, Professor. I’m sorry to have interrupted class that way,” KC said quietly. She looked at Draco and climbed off of his lap. Still a little dizzy so she kept her hand on him. 

“The effects of the war are no joke, even to those who were not at the final battle. We all feel the aftershock. Mr. Malfoy, will you escort her to the hospital wing?” Lupin asked, making eye contact. “I’ll excuse you both from classes the rest of the day.” 

“Please, professor, that isn’t necessary. I’m supposed to be helping with the next two lessons. I don’t want to let them down,” KC said quickly, almost panicked.

“You need your rest. Take this,” he said as he took the vial from her hand and replaced it with a chocolate. “It helps.” He turned and faced the others who were watching from the doorway. “Back to class now. Off you go.” and disappeared. 

“You’ll be alright, KC?” Hannah asked, still standing at the edge of the stall.

KC nodded. “Thank you. For being here. It means the world to me. Both of you,” she said grabbing Draco’s hand and squeezed it. “I’ve never had anyone here to help me with those. I hate that I burdened you through that.”

Hannah moved to hug her. “You are never a burden. I’m here for you. I’ll see you back in the Common Room later, yah?” 

KC smiled and nodded once more before Hannah turned to leave. And that left her and Draco alone. “You really didn’t have to do that.”

Draco simply smiled at her and pushed some of her hair that had fallen into her face behind her ear. “We all suffer. In different ways. Panic attacks are no joke. But we should get you to the hospital wing.”

“Please, I don’t want to go there. Please... can you take me back to my room? I promise I’ll rest,” KC asked looking up at him. You could see the begging in her eyes. Draco couldn’t say no.

“I’ll sit with you to make sure you do. Let’s go,” Draco said dropping her hand and moved out the way so she could leave the stall. She moved to head out and they made their way quietly to the hall. 

Harry, Ron, and Hermione were outside in the hallway. You could see Harry wanted to ask questions, but he stopped himself once he saw how distraught KC was. Harry even stopped Hermione from saying anything. As the two disappeared down the hall, the trio looked at each other. “They have to know something that is going on. They both froze the second they saw the paper this morning,” Hermione reasoned. 

“That was a bad reaction, Hermione. That was not a reaction of someone involved in whatever these Sympathizers might be doing,” Harry said. 

“Malfoy is a dodgy bloke. How do we know he isn’t helping good ole dad?” Ron questioned. 

“We don’t. But he wouldn’t have run after her if he was involved in that way. What do we know of KC’s family?” Harry asked. Both Ron and Hermione looked at him but didn’t have any answers. “Guess we need to figure this out. So much for a quiet year at Hogwarts.”

******

 

Draco and KC reached her room in the Hufflepuff area. “You really don’t have to stay, Draco. I’m going to be ok. I could easily go back to class,” KC said setting her bag down. 

“You know I’m not going to let you do that. Not with what just happened. I think we should talk about it.” KC froze again. Her hands started shaking a little bit. “Or not. It’s ok, we don’t have to. I don’t want to make you go through that again.” Draco quickly said before anything else happened. 

“I’m sorry, Draco,” KC whispered. “I want to trust you. But there is just so much that I don’t even understand. I don’t want to bring you down with me.” 

“You can’t do that even if you tried.” Draco looked at her and she seemed to become less tense. 

“How do you do it?” KC asked. Draco looked confused for a second. She sat down on her bed. “How do you hide your emotions? I’ve noticed that when something is said, or something happens, your face goes blank, it hardens. How do you do that?”

He looked at her in silence for a minute. No one had ever actually asked him before. “I’ve learned from a young age to block things out. Occlumency.” He moved to sit by her on the bed. “Those in my family always served the Dark Lord. I had to block out the worst of demons that came through our home. Even as a kid, I saw things no one should ever have to witness. So, I turned it off. Blocking my thoughts from everyone, including myself.” KC sat there in silence, processing the information. The room was too quiet. “Granted, not the healthiest coping mechanism,” Draco joked. KC gave a small laugh. “There she is. That’s the reaction I was hoping for.”

“And me? Why are you open with me?” She asked, looking him in the eye once again. “Why put your trust in someone you’ve met a week ago?”

“Lack of better judgement?” Draco sassed. She laughed, a real laugh. Draco just smiled. “Because you’re someone who didn’t judge me the second you saw me. You could have told me to fuck off and moved on.” 

“I can still tell you to fuck off,” KC laughed. It was good to smile after everything. 

“Rest. I’m going to go to the kitchens and see if I can bring us some lunch. I’m warding the door so you can’t leave. You’re not going to class.” 

KC gave a small foot stomp and muttered, “fine.” Draco left and did indeed ward the door behind him. Why did he trust her? He hadn’t ever told anyone that. Blaise and Theo had their suspicions, but never asked. Being skilled at occlumency was a talent that was difficult to build. It wasn’t even that she found out about his true past, but he had opened up about growing up which is something he kept hidden. Maybe one day he will trust him too. He made his way to the kitchens and the few elves were happy to put something together for him.  While she waited in her room, she took the time to write a letter to Professor Mason back home. 

Mason,

You will be happy to know that the school year has started off with a bang. Diagon Alley was as magical as I could have hoped for. Why hasn’t anyone made something similar in America? I’d love to know. 

I’ve been sorted into Hufflepuff. The honest, loyal, dedicated, kind, hardworking badgers. It fits me, I guess. As their ambassador I have my own room which I couldn’t have asked for more. You really didn’t spoil me enough back home and I’ll never let you forget it. And I’m making friends! It makes me nervous. I’m not used to people wanting to be around me. I was scared during the welcome feast when everyone talked over me, but I should have expected. They were catching up on what happened over the summer. They knew everyone there. I didn’t have a connection. I’ve become close to the head boy, Draco Malfoy. He’s been so nice. I didn’t even know who he was, I just kept bumping into him. (Truly. You know how clumsy I can be.) I’ve heard of his history from the papers, but I can tell there is something that has changed in him. I think he could be a key in helping me. The head girl, Hermione Granger, isn’t a fan of mine. She says she doesn’t trust me because I was sitting with Malfoy. I don’t understand why it matters. She testified at his trial, did she not? She had to believe at some point he wasn’t so bad that he deserved a harsh punishment, right? I’m hoping I can fix that soon. I don’t want her to hate me. I’ve had enough bullies there. I don’t need it here. I just want to fit in, for once. 

I ask that you watch over my parents. The Sympathizers are gaining ground around here and it is as I feared. I think they are “cleansing” family lines. I’m scared for them. I hope that we have destroyed our records well enough they won’t be able to find us, but please, help them. I’m scared for them. The news hit the papers here this morning of an attack on a shop, but they kept a murder of a family out of the papers. Our DADA professor shared the news and I had a severe panic attack. I don’t remember leaving the class, or going to the bathroom. I didn’t know what was happening other than the sheer fright I felt. I was overwhelmed. It wasn’t until Draco reached out to me that I knew anything of my surroundings. I was terrified. I was scared. Embarrassed that it was happening. You were the one who helped me with those. I’ve never had anyone help me like that before. Is this what real friends do? It’s only the second day and I’m already messing up. I’m going to turn it around. I’ll make it up to the professors here. I don’t want to let them down. I want to do the school proud and not regret bringing me here. 

I hope that the new students are giving you as much shit as you deserve. I mean it. 

Hope you are well,

KC

Satisfied with the letter’s content, she set it down on her trunk at the end of her bed. She took off her outer robes and changed into the same V-neck shirt and some more comfortable pants. Laying down a bit before Draco got back. It wasn’t but 5 minutes when the rest of the calming draught finally took hold and she was fast asleep. 

 

******

 

It was about an hour before Draco made his way back to Hufflepuff. He went around and got the lessons from classes today so perhaps KC wouldn’t feel so behind. He stopped by his room to change into a softer shirt and sweater. When he got back through the barrel and found Hannah Abbott knocking on KC’s door. “She can’t hear you. I warded the door so she wouldn’t leave and silenced it so she could rest,” he said. He took out his wand and ended the charm. 

“That’s a relief,” Hannah sighed. “Here I was thinking she didn’t want to see me. How is she?” 

“To be as expected. I’ll be surprised if she fought off that calming draught and stayed awake.”

Hannah looked at the door concerned. “I brought my notes from classes earlier and Neville said he would get me his from later. I just wanted to make sure she was ok.”

Draco thought for a second before turning the door knob. He started walking through before he looked back at Hannah and motioned for her to follow him. She smiled and followed instantly. What they saw didn’t shock him in the slightest. KC was quietly sleeping. He grabbed the blanket that was on the end of her trunk, moving the parchment that was laying on top of it, and placed it over her. Hannah conjured an extra chain and sat next to her. “Thank you,” she mouthed to Draco.

He grabbed the parchment and went to sit at the desk. He set the basket of food on the edge with a stasis so it would be ready when she wanted it. He thought the parchment was just notes, but he caught sight of his name. Rather confused. He read what was on it.  He smirked to himself when he read the amount of sass she was giving this person and tried not to laugh when she “bumped into him”. But what he wasn’t expecting was how open she was with this person. About him, Granger, her family. Why would her family need protecting? Destroyed records? He was missing something. He needed her to trust him so he could find out what was going on. He set the letter down and got out his own book to get a head start on their potions for the day. Hannah stayed bedside with a book in her hand, but wasn’t really reading. The quiet that filled the room was almost comfortable. 

They sat in silence for almost an hour before KC stirred. She opened her eyes and jumped at first when she saw Hannah and then smiled. 

“Thank goodness you’re alright!” Hannah said, almost tackling KC in her bed. 

“I am. It was a panic attack, not a heart attack,” joked KC, and Hannah let her go. “You didn’t have to be here. Aren’t you missing class?”

“I brought some extra notes for you and Malfoy here. I was too concerned to focus properly anyway.” 

KC smiled. This is friendship. “Thank you. To both of you.” Draco nodded, not looking up from his notetaking. “I’ll be back in a second. I didn’t expect to fall asleep,” and she got up to the bathroom. 

“Do you know what spiked that attack?” Hannah asked Malfoy quietly. 

He just shook his head, but looked back at the letter on top of the food basket. KC returned seconds later. “Would you like to stay with me and study, Hannah? I’m sure Draco wouldn’t mind extra help here,” 

Hannah smiled brightly and rushed to move her chair in between the desk and bed where KC sat after grabbing some food out of the basket. Draco rolled his eyes but gave a small smile. 

“You forgot something,” Draco said to KC as she finished her sandwich. She looked at him like he was nuts. He threw an apple out of the basket at her. She couldn’t help but laugh. He gave one to Hannah while grabbing one for himself. 

True friendship. This was the start of true friendship.

 

******

 

After hours of studying, it was suggested that they take a break for dinner. The three walked to the Great Hall together in a much better mood than yesterday. It seemed a majority of students were already there. Draco went to go catch up with Blaise and Theo. Hannah sat with KC as close as they could to them. 

“Any plans for the Wednesday off?” Hannah asked filling up her plate. The returning 8th years were given a break during the week for extra NEWT prep work and study time, which meant, many of them would use it to blow off steam and hang out with friends. 

“I wanted to go to the library when it opens in the morning. Before Ginny inevitably hunts me down and makes me go to quidditch,” the both laugh and raise their glasses towards the Gryffindor table. 

Theo overheard and made a joke towards them, “We will see if you can keep up, KC.” She turned to look at him. “The snakes might just have you beat.” He winked at her and Draco through a dinner roll at him. 

“I think you’ll be surprised. Just don’t cry when you get beat by a girl,” KC quipped.

“Oh, promises, promises,” Blaise teased. The group all laughed. 

Dinner went well. Everyone seemed in a lighter mood and it was much needed. On their way out the door, Professor Lupin walked by and handed KC another draught and some chocolate, which she happily ate. Draco walked with KC while the group went ahead down the stairs. 

“I’m glad to see you’re in a better mood,” he said.

“Thanks to you, and everyone else. You’ll never know how much it really means to me,” KC smiled. 

“Do you need someone tonight? I can come and check on you after I’m done with rounds.”

“I think I’ll be ok. Thanks. Don’t need you getting in more trouble with the boss lady who is perpetually mad at me.” 

“Forget Granger. I’ll meet you in the library tomorrow?” 

She nodded and disappeared through the barrel. There was no way Granger would ruin his mood tonight. 

Chapter Text

7am sharp, the library opened to students. Being the 3rd day back, no one was waiting outside the doors, except one. KC had heard that the library at Hogwarts was beautiful, but this surpassed anything she had dreamed. There were books that were as old as the Hogwarts founders themselves. There was a list that she had of books she was hoping they would have, but there was a definite chance that it was about to triple in size. There was a reading area by a fireplace near the front, and then there were rows upon rows of shelves, hidden stacks beyond what you could see at the front door. A restricted section? Full of many advanced things that the wizarding world may as well have forgotten. KC took off towards the back of the Restricted section just to look.

An hour later she finally emerged from that area. She turned around and closed the gate just as there was a group of students walking in. One of them was Seamus. She just hoped there wouldn’t be any trouble. She would just stay out of their way. She headed towards the back and found a few of the books on her list. There was a quiet area with a table surrounded by a square of bookshelves. A good spot to hide from reality and get lost in a book. She set the stack of books down, picking up the first one and started reading.

 

*******

 

Hermione was ready to be back home in her nook in the library. Getting lost in the many titles and forgetting the rest of the world for a bit. With all of the changes happening around her, this was one constant comfort she had. As much as she hated to admit it, Malfoy really did an amazing job restoring this place. It looks like nothing ever happened. She got up here a little later than she had wanted, but she was enjoying her time at breakfast with her friends.

She grabbed her first book from one of the first rows when she heard the gate creek open from the Restricted Section. Why would she be coming from there? She watched KC walk towards the back of the library. Seamus walked up to her and asked, “What was she doing in there, you suppose?”

As KC turned the corner, Hermione looked back to the shelf with a hard look in her eye. “I’m not sure, but I don’t have a good feeling about it.”

The group walked towards the sitting area by the fire as she walked around the shelves to head towards the back. She grabbed one more book on her way to where she hoped her favorite spot was. Just one comfort to sit and study. What she saw when she got there, stopped her and she was angrier than ever.

 

*******

 

KC finished the first chapter when she heard someone huff in front of her. “Oh, you startled me, Hermione. Good morning,” she said, trying to be polite. There was an angry look on her face that put her at unease.

“Why did you have to pick this one spot? The one spot in this entire place that is my comfort place?” Hermione snapped as she slammed her books down.

KC jumped. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled. “I didn’t realize there were assigned spots. I can move or you can join me if you’d like. I just wanted to dive into some books that aren’t available to us in Ilvermorny’s library. I could always use a study partner.”

“No thanks,” she said, going to pick up the books she slammed down.

“What did I do, Hermione?” KC pleaded. “For the life of me, I’m trying to figure it out. Why do you hate me?”

“I don’t hate you. I just don’t trust you. You? Who comes from America, who is also supposed to be top of her class and could ‘rival’ me, who didn’t fight in the battle, who is immediate friends with Malfoy, who lurks out of the Restricted Section before anyone else gets here? I’ll keep to myself thanks.” Hermione looked her up and down, and stalked away.

KC was shocked. Hermione knew nothing about her, but passed judgement so quickly. Was it jealousy? Guarding herself?

“She’s not wrong. We don’t trust you here either,” said a deep Irish accent.

KC turned to the other space where there were 3 Gryffindor men. “And is there a reason I have given that there should be any mistrust?” she asked in a cool tone.

“Hermione doesn’t trust you. If she is unsure, we are behind her,” Seamus quipped.

 “Didn’t the wizarding world just fight a man who had people that followed him blindly?” KC sassed to herself. She closed her book and went to grab the stack to leave. Seamus slammed them back down.

“And which side were you on? With that little death eater boyfriend of yours?” He was inches from her face.

“Say anything you want to me, but I’m on the right side here. Just because I wasn’t on this patch of land when it happened doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a battle to be won back home.” KC said standing, now towering Seamus. “I’m not going to let you push me around and hate me just because of your own judgement.” She turned to leave, but the other two boys were behind her. “I’m not here to cause any trouble. Just study and help out Professor McGonagall,” she pleaded quietly.

“Now, now gentlemen. Since when is three against one a fair fight?” Interrupted a voice. Draco was there, as was Blaise and Theo. KC jumped as the Gryffindors moved back and pointed their anger elsewhere.

“Oh look, it’s the death eater boyfriend, come to save the day.”

“That is Head Boy to you. As for you, I would suggest leaving before word gets to McGonagall that you are threatening her ambassador. 10 points from Gryffindor,” Draco said, moving towards KC and the boys. The closer he got, the more the boys moved away.

“He won’t always be here to protect you. Watch yourself,” and Seamus was gone.

KC let out a breath of relief. “You didn’t have to do that, Draco.”

“Oh please, and watch them pummel you into the table? Because that’s what was going to happen. You could have been severely hurt, and over what? An ego?” Draco was upset. The struggle to put his occlumency wall up was apparent and he was taking it out on her. But an ego?

“I was defending myself from those who don’t know a thing about me. They blindly follow the one that they care about without even attempting to understand the other side,” KC grabbed her things and got face to face with Draco. “But you wouldn’t know a thing about that, would you?”

His face hardened with anger, but without saying another word, he turned and stormed off. Blaise and Theo waited for her with a kinder approach. “Are you alright, KC?” Theo asked. “We can still go after them if you want.”

“Thank you for defending me, but no. I’m going to choose a different approach. I don’t want to be on their level. I’ll kill them with kindness.”

Blaise reached for her books to carry them for her. “You Hufflepuffs and your kindness, makes me sick.” They all laughed. “Are you ready to head down to the quidditch pitch? I know Red has been anxious for you to get there.”

KC smiled at them and nodded. Blaise set the books down at the return desk and they walked together out to the pitch.

 

*******

 

It was a beautiful day for quidditch. Very little wind, sunny, and just the perfect temperature. KC was almost more excited to see the view of the lake and the landscape than she was quidditch. But Ginny would have her head and she knew it.

“Finally!” Speak of the devil. “About time you showed up.”

“There was a bit of a … “ KC started when Seamus and his friends passed. “Let’s just say there was a small issue that had to be handled. But I’m ready now.”

“Good. Here is the broom Hooch said you could use, and I found an extra quidditch kit that should fit. Come on, let’s get you ready to go.” Ginny grabbed her hand and dragged her behind her.

She was a force to be reckoned with. Ginny was intelligent and passionate. You could see the fire in her eyes when she talked about quidditch strategy, but also when she talked about her friends. She talked about different things she wanted to try on the pitch while KC got dressed into the familiar tight pants and robes. Yellow was a good color on her. With the pads on and ready, Ginny wasted no time ushering her to the pitch. It was a wonderful sight. All 4 house colors together flying around, taking turns at the goal posts and working on passing the quaffle back and forth. She saw red, and thankfully, Seamus wasn’t in uniform. One of the others was though.

“Show me what you’ve got, Hufflepuff,” Draco smirked, slowly flying past her. He shot towards the sky with a few others in green. He flew with such ease for someone so tense all the time.

“If you like that view so much, why don’t you follow it?” teased Ginny.

KC’s face turned a little red. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” KC swung her leg over the broom and sped up. She wanted to fly a few laps to warm up before joining Hannah over by the goal posts. She tried to shake off what Ginny had said, but she knew she was right. She had enjoyed the view of Draco in a quidditch kit. She had never really thought about anyone like that, and it scared her. He was a friend. Her first friend. Why would she want to jeopardize that?

She shook off the thoughts and went down towards Hannah to start mingling with the team. She handled some drills with what would be her fellow chasers for warm up and for skill assessment. It felt so good to be on a broom again, even with it being an old Cleansweep. She couldn’t go as fast as she wanted to, but there was hope that she would be skilled enough to make that not matter.

“Ok, Let’s match up now. I’m going to send you over to do some drills with Gryffindor,” Hannah instructed the team. The group flew over to the other side and Ron was manning the goal posts.

“Oi! I thought they said they were bringing me a challenge, but all I see is a bunch of Puffs!” joked Ron.

“I’ll make you eat those words, Weasley,” KC sassed and threw a quaffle at his head. He barely caught it, laughing too hard. Ron seemed to be switching on and off with that one guy from the library earlier. McLaggen she found out was his name. Ron seemed to be more at ease with the team, and McLaggen had a sharp attitude, determined to earn a spot. KC wasn’t going to go easy on either of them. She went to about half field and turned to face the awaiting Keeper. KC tucked the quaffle under her arm and tried to speed up as fast as she could on the broom. Darting back and forth; she got close enough, faked in one direction making Ron turn and shot in the opposite direction. 10 points for KC, Ron - 0. KC The fake worked, but in truth it was the only reason she made it. This broom would have been too slow to make it otherwise. She flew down towards the ground to take a short break. Getting some water, Draco flew down beside her.

“Didn’t know Hufflepuffs could be so fierce on the pitch. I may actually have to catch the snitch faster this year to beat you guys.”

“Not unless I can get a fast broom. This will do for practice, but I can’t keep up with everyone,” KC said, sounding defeated. She finished her water, and Draco looked at her.

“Here,” he said, tilting his broom towards her. She looked at him confused. “Take the broom. Just because I want to see you smoke the Weasel.” He put the broom in her hand and he went to take a seat by Blaise. KC smiled and swung her leg over the Firebolt. Now this is flying. She was speeding around the pitch with the biggest smile on her face. She stopped back with her future teammates. It was McLaggen’s turn to keep. She wasted no time putting her skills to the test. She zoomed past him easily. Goal after goal, there was no stopping her. Ginny had the brightest smile on her face.

“Now that's what I call some competition. Even though the keeper is my brother I was rooting for you,” Ginny praised. KC smiled. They chatted until they heard yelling down below. Seamus was confronting Draco and Blaise. They flew down quickly, but not in time to stop Seamus from attacking Draco.

“Stop it! Get off of him!” KC yelled to no avail. Hermione was in the stands, just ignoring the situation. He can’t get away with this! KC’s magic began to spark in her fingertips. She summoned up all of the strength she had and grabbed Seamus around his waist. Having a good 6 inches on his height and more muscle, she easily threw him over her shoulder.

“Put me the fuck down, you bitch!” He screamed at her. She threw him down on the ground rather roughly. Hermione came running down the stands in a rage.

“What the hell was that for? That was completely unnecessary!” She yelled at KC.

“Unnecessary?! You’re joking right?! What was unnecessary was the way he attacked Draco and you did absolutely nothing about it!”

“It’s hardly my business what the head boy wants to fight about,” Hermione folded her arms in defense.

“Bullshit. I’m sorry but that is utter crap and you know it. Just because you don't care about him doesn’t mean that he did anything to be attacked. I will not apologize for man-handling someone who has been trying to bully me the last 2 days just because you don’t trust me. I may not do anything about myself but I sure as hell won’t stand by and watch someone I care about get hurt. All over a petty grudge.” KC was fuming. She turned towards Draco who was on the ground with a bloody nose. KC took out her wand from her quidditch boot. His nose was broken. “I’ll take you to the hospital wing if you want, but I can fix this,” she said calmly. He nodded. Episkey. The crack was audible to everyone around. She turned back to find Seamus standing back up and Hermione still had a scowl on her face. “For someone who was determined to make the world a better and safer place for everyone, you’re sure doing a great job at excluding people based on personal bias. How does that make you any different than those you fought against?” The crowd was silent. There were so many gathered around but it didn’t matter. KC helped Draco up and grabbed his broom. “The war is fucking over. It’s time you started acting like it so we can all start recovering.”

The walk back to the castle was a silent one. Draco led her back down to the shared head common room. They walked into the bathroom with some extra hand towels to clean the blood off of his face and his uniform. KC got the cloth wet and made Draco sit on the counter. She put her hand on the side of his face and tried to gently clean it. He flinched at the touch but didn’t make her back away. “What actually happened?”

Draco sighed as she rinsed the cloth out. “You mean before you decided to play Hero Hufflepuff?” KC glared at him to continue. “He was just trying to get a rise out of me. And when I didn’t take the bait, he started to come after you.”

“And I’m sure he had such lovely things to say about me. People who don’t even know me other than my name sure have been saying a lot.” KC said sarcastically. She took note of how much blood had actually gotten on his uniform. “I’m sorry, but I need you to take that off if there is any hope in saving it from that stain.”

Draco raised his eyebrow and smirked. “If you wanted me half naked, you should have just said so.”

KC blushed as he took off his robes and his shirt. His physique was more than she would have imagined. Toned and flawless skin, even with the jagged scar that ran across his torso. She looked away as he handed her the garments, still red in the face and Draco just smiled. Trying to break her awkward feeling she asked, “What did he have to say about me?”

Draco’s face became more serious again and she took back to cleaning his face and neck. “He called you a death eater’s whore.” KC’s breath stopped for a second. She’d been called worse but for some reason this hit like a joke.

“And you defended me? See that’s how you know he doesn’t know me at all. For one, I’ve only fought one death eater and two, in order to be a ‘whore’ as they say, you have to have experience and that just hasn’t happened.”

The look of shock hit Draco’s face before he quickly hid it again. She went to start cleaning his shirt. “You’re serious?"

“You’re the first friend I’ve ever really had. What makes you think I’ve dated, let alone that?” She said scrubbing.

“I meant about the death eater,” he said, trying to break the tension. Her shoulders relaxed and she let out a small laugh. “There’s nothing wrong with that. I didn’t mean to make you feel judged.”

“You didn’t but I appreciate the effort.” She rinsed the last of his clothes and spelled them dry. “I’m sorry I yelled at you in the library. You didn’t deserve that.” She had a smudge left on her check from when she touched her face with the shirt. Draco grabbed the wet cloth and touched her cheek softly, slowly getting closer until he was inches from her face. KC had stopped breathing. Draco raised his other hand with the towel wiping the little bit off of her face. He backed away slowly and KC released the tension that was holding everything in. That’s quite a reaction, Draco thought. Breaking through the silences, they heard someone behind them clear their throat.

“If you’re going to do that, I’d prefer it happen in private and not in our shared bathroom,” Granger snapped.

“It’s ok, Hermione, I was just leaving.” KC grabbed her wand and made her way towards the door. Gone before even Draco knew she had moved. Granger just had to ruin everything.

Draco grabbed the dirty towels and made to pass her through the doorway. She put a hand up to stop him. “Look, I wanted to say I’m sorry. She was right, I should have stopped it. I’ve talked to them and they’re going to back off.”

“It doesn’t undo what has been done,” Draco said, looking past her towards the common room. “What we can do is learn from it and move forward. You owe KC an apology, not me.” and he pushed past her and into his room he went.

Hermione was in shock. He didn’t yell at her? No nasty words? Two in the afternoon and she was speechless. Instead of dwelling on it too much, she went to sit in the common area to think about things and how things got so complicated. Staring out the window into the lake, watching the plants move to calm her thoughts. The waving helped calm things down enough and rocked her to sleep.

 

******

 

Draco had taken to his room after everything happened to take time to journal. And he wanted to make sure he remembered everything. His interactions in class, quidditch, the library, and his quick friendship with KC. He wasn’t sure what he had done to deserve that level of friendship, but he was done looking a gift horse in the mouth. He wrote pages on her. Her sandy blond hair, her quick to sass attitude, the way she tenses when someone yells or moves too quickly, her selflessness when it comes to herself but instantly protects those around her. She was only a few inches shorter than him, and her flying skills were going to be hard to beat. The way her green eyes complimented those yellow robes. When did he notice that stuff? Why did he notice that stuff? They were just friends, weren’t they? He took the time to write a letter home to his mother to ask her for a favor. His ‘friend’ was in need of a broom. If he was going to win, he wanted to do so because he was better, not because of lack of funding. Sending his owl off, feeling drained from emptying out all of his thoughts into words, he dozed off.

It couldn’t have been long before he was jolted awake. That scream. He had hoped it was a nightmare. It was coming from outside of his door. Before the panic of the scene could grip his mind, the occlumency wall was in place. He grabbed his wand for protection, but he was going to make sure she was ok. Walking out into the common room, Granger was thrashing around on the couch. He grabbed a blanket and put it over her to prevent her from hitting him. “Granger, it’s just a dream. Wake up. Granger!” The screaming stopped when her eyes opened but the fear was evident. “It’s just a nightmare. You’re at Hogwarts. You’re safe.”

She was breathing so hard and slowly nodded her head. Draco slowly got up and sat in the chair waiting for her to recover. He conjured a glass of water for her on the table and handed it to her to take slow sips. She was cautious. “Granger, if I was going to hurt you, I would have by now. It’s just water.” She winced but then started to take small sips. Her breathing became more normal. “I still have that dream too,” Draco offered, breaking the silence. “That night, your scream, it haunts me. I can't help but feel that I could have done something. I could have stopped it. But all scenarios lead to death.” Hermione just sat and listened to him. But there was no hatred on her face. “I can never take back what happened. I can’t even begin to apologize for the horrendous things that took place in my home. What I can do is learn and keep moving forward. I’ve spent so much time trying to be a better person and I actually started believing I was. And then we came back here.”

Hermione set the water glass down and curled her legs under the blanket. “Malfoy, I don’t blame you for that night.” That sentence stunned Draco. “I meant what I said at your trial, you were as forced as we were to do the things we were. You did what you could to help us. You didn’t give us up and you could have. You made it possible for us to make it to the end.”

Draco had his shield up so high to hide the fact he couldn’t believe what she was saying. “I didn’t know how bad it truly was until it was far too late.”

Hermione stood up and offered her hand to him, “To moving forward?”

Draco stood and shook her hand. To moving forward.

Chapter Text

KC returned to her room with her head still spinning. She leaned back against the door and thought to herself ‘What in the world just happened?’ She had never had that reaction to anyone before.  She had never had a true friend before, let alone someone that took her breath away like that. Don't fuck this up, KC. He’s just a friend. She left the door to go change out of her quidditch kit to prepare for helping with rounds later tonight. The quiet of her room was dangerous though. There was nothing to distract her from her thoughts. About the library incident, the way the Slytherins defended her, the glances McLaggen was giving her when she flew, the things she said to Hermione, taking care of Draco.... Draco... NO! She grabbed her transfiguration book in hopes to distract herself, but she looked at the pages blankly still thinking. 

That was exactly how Hannah found her. So lost in thought she didn’t even hear the door open or someone calling her name.  “KC! Are you in there?”

KC shook herself out of her thoughts and smiled at her. “Sorry, I was just so lost in thought. How did the rest of practice go?” 

“After your brilliant display, there was no more practice. It was basically all gossip. Blaise said he would stop by and bring you your things if that’s ok?” Hannah said everything like it was no big deal. She kept going on about what happened and she couldn’t help but smile. She made KC feel like a normal person for once. Besides Draco, she was the only other person who treated her kindly right from the start. She came to her after her breakdown to make sure I was ok, helped me and Draco catch up with what we missed. Every time he crossed her mind, her smile got a little bit wider, and Hannah definitely noticed. “Soooooo, are you going to tell me what happened with Malfoy?” she probed, sitting next to KC on the bed. 

As hard as she tried, she couldn’t stop the red from showing on her face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Nothing happened.”

“And yet here you are blushing. You like him!” Hannah teased, all smiles.

“Hannah, I can’t. He’s just a friend. I helped him fix his face. Seamus hit him hard,” KC said, trying to stay neutral. But she was failing and Hannah just smiled harder, motioning for her to go on.

“You’re telling me, that you staring at him while he flew off with a grin on your face, and him watching you the entire time you were in the air is just a coincidence? I don’t think so! He likes you, too! Hell, he even let you use his broom! He has hardly ever said a word at mingled practices before, let alone do something nice for someone.”

He was watching me? She thought. No, it can’t happen. “Hannah, I swear there is nothing going on. I’ve barely started making friends for the first time in my life. I can’t screw it up just because he might be attractive.” 

Hannah just put her arm around her. “Attractive, huh?” she teased, but then turned into a softer voice. “You know, I’m just messing with you. It’s ok if you do like him, but being friends is ok, too.”

“Who are we talking about, McLaggen?” Blaise interrupted as he walked through the door with her bag. 

KC shook her head in confusion. “Where did he even come from? McLaggen was one of the guys in the library this morning. Why would he go from cornering me so his friend could fight, to gazing at me like a hungry animal?” 

“That’s Cormac for you. Mighty proud prat he is,” Blaise said honestly. He brought a chair over to sit in front of the girls. “To be fair, you are quite a sight to behold when you’re flying. You’re brilliant.”

“I guess that’s what happens when you practice with the people who bullied you the most: You learn to dodge things quickly,” KC joked and the group laughed. 

Blaise spent the rest of the afternoon with KC and Hannah, enjoying the laughs and getting to know each other. The elves had brought them some sandwiches since they had missed dinner having so much fun. Hannah left to go to bed before she even realized what time it was, she had to do rounds with Draco. Blaise was nice enough to walk her down the hall on his way back to Slytherin. “I wasn’t exaggerating what I said earlier. You’re remarkable in the sky. Is there anything you can’t do?”

KC smiled, but tilted her head slightly confused. “What do you mean? I’m not great.”

“Bollocks. You’re going to be a star quidditch player, I can already see you’re going to give Granger a run for her money for top of the class, you’ve won so many people over in such a short amount of time. You’ve even melted down some of us Slytherins' icy hearts,” Blaise said jokingly. He grabbed her hand as they stopped in front of Snape’s portrait. “Give yourself a little credit. Good things come in due time. Just be patient.” He gave the back of her hand a kiss as the portrait opened. Draco saw and his face hardened. He glared at Blaise, like he was upset. Blaise turned and bid them good night.

Draco watching him turn the corner said, “Looks like you had a pleasant afternoon.” 

“I did thank you. We spent some time getting to know each other better. He’s a good person to have around,” KC said smiling. Once she looked at Draco, that smile fell. “What?”

He had a scowl on his face. “Nothing. Let’s get this over with,” and took off towards the stairs. KC was left wondering what just happened, and ran to catch up with him. They did the first half of the rounds in silence. KC followed since she didn’t know where she was really going, taking mental notes along the way. She would get distracted and fall behind. “Will you keep up?”

“Well excuse me for wanting to remember where I’m going. My tour guide never did get around to showing me the rest of the castle,” KC snipped trying to match his rude energy. He just sighed but didn’t say anything. On their way back down to the lower part of the castle when they were finished, he was still in a foul mood. “Ok, Draco, what gives?” KC asked. He ignored her and kept walking down the stairs towards the Great Hall. “Malfoy!” She yelled. That got his attention. He turned and looked at her from the bottom. “What the hell is wrong with you tonight? Did I do something wrong fixing your nose earlier? Did Granger say something to upset you? Come on, why are you giving me the cold shoulder?”

Draco balled his fists and tried to put up his walls a little. “Nothing happened. Everything is fine.”

“Obviously, that’s why you’ve ignored me the entirety of the last 2 hours. Seriously,” KC said, finally making it down to his level. “What is going on?”

He was silent and then made eye contact with her. “You know what? Fine, I’m not ok. When did you and Blaise become so chummy? Have fun together after you left me?”

“That’s what this is about? You’re mad that I hung out with Blaise? He brought me my bag that I left at the pitch to help your sorry ass. He came in while I was talking with Hannah and we all just sat around and had a good time! Is that so wrong?”

His face dropped, “Abbott was there?” 

Realization hit KC hard, “Wait, you thought Blaise and I were alone? What did you think was going on?” Draco didn’t say a thing, but looked away with a hard look etched on his face. “Wait, were you jealous?” 

“And just what would I have to be jealous of?” He challenged. He was hurt. She saw it in his eyes even if his face didn’t move. This was all new territory for KC. She is barely used to having a friend, jealousy and hurting someone was completely foreign. She was used to being hurt but this? This was too much. KC couldn’t take it. She backed away and stormed out the door. She needed air; it was almost midnight but she didn’t care. She needed space to breathe. “KC! Wait!” But she ignored him. She was at the pitch before she knew it. She found the broom cupboard that held the extra brooms and grabbed on without thinking. “KC, stop running from me!” 

“Not now, Draco!” she said, zooming off into the air.

Draco grabbed a broom from the cupboard and zoomed right off after her. She was flying so far towards the trees and lake. Draco put all of his might into speeding up and finally caught up to her. He caught the stick of her broom. “Will you just stop?!” Seeing no way out of it, KC slowed down, but didn’t look at him. “Damn it, why are you being so stubborn? I’m trying to apologize!” KC couldn’t make eye contact with him. He would see how close the tears were to falling. “I’m a mighty prat, aren’t I?”

“Draco, it’s not just that. It’s me. I’m broken and I don’t know how to feel about things. I don’t know how to handle certain situations because I’ve never had to go through it before.”

“We are all broken in different ways. I’m selfish, ok? I’ve never connected to anyone so quickly before and I got scared!”

KC looked up, but away from Draco. A tear fell down her cheek as she took in the view. You could see the forest trees dancing under the moonlight and the black lake rippling with small waves in the breeze. In the open sky under the purest night sky she had ever seen. She took a few deep breaths before she could process what she was about to tell him. “I meant it when I’ve never had friends. I was either bullied or isolated. I tried so hard to get those to like me but it only made things worse. When I was asked to come here, I had high hopes that things could be different. That I’d have the chance to actually make some friends; and you happened.” KC met Draco’s eyes. “I don’t know how to handle friends. I’m so used to people pushing me away or just deciding to use me for one thing or another. But you. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like we just understood each other. One minute I’m fighting my thoughts alone and then you show up. I can’t figure out how to keep this together because I don’t know what put us together in the first place!”

Draco pulled her broom closer and hooked one of his legs over so she wouldn’t fly away. “It’s been a short amount of time. There is no way anyone could figure that out by now. I cannot place it, but there is something. Something here. I’ve never felt safe around someone before. Blaise and Theo mean well, but I couldn’t trust them when I needed them and it hurt.” He slowly raised his hand to her cheek to wipe away the tears falling. “I pushed you away because I was threatened that someone might take that safe feeling away from me. Even if it was my friend. I don’t know how this friendship fell together, but I’m not upset that it did. Please,“ he pleaded. “Don’t leave me before we can figure this out.” 

KC closed her eyes and looked down to move away from his hand. Her hair fell to cover her face “And what is this? What happens if one of us wants more than the other is willing to give?”

Draco brushed her hair behind her ear and pulled her chin up. “Then we work through it. I’ll work on being less of an ass when it comes to handling situations with you, and you stop running away from me. Deal?”

She searched his eyes for any sign of hesitation. But he was crystal clear and sincere. She gave him a small smile and said, “Deal.” She pulled him in for a hug, or as close to a hug that you could get while sitting on a broom. When they parted she wiped her eyes. “Any tips on how to be friends with a Slytherin?” They both gave a small laugh.

Draco smiled and said, “First tip? Never take their first offer of a deal.” KC gave a small play slap on his shoulder. “I would have groveled more if I had to. You Hufflepuffs are too trusting.”

With a smile on her face, she looked back over the lake. “Will you fly with me a little bit more before we head back in? I’m not ready to leave this view just yet. I haven’t seen anything this beautiful, well, ever.”

Neither have I, Draco thought, never taking his eyes off her. But friends it was. Until things could come together on their own, friendship was perfect. “Let me show you the best views of the castle, come on.”

“Just don’t be cheesy and try and woo me with your constellation. I’m not going to get all starry-eyed because you think you’re fancy,” He shoved her and flew off quickly, making her chase after him in a fit of giggles. Their friendship was simple together and yet so complicated. But for tonight, they just moved forward.

Chapter Text

The little amount of sleep that happened before a full day of classes made the day go even slower. KC and Draco had made it back to their rooms around 2am, waking up for class was the last thing on her mind. KC was slow to rise, but made it to breakfast and a (thankfully) uneventful day of classes passed. Tonight, she was supposed to help Slughorn with potions. She tried to make the most of her time before by going to the library to brush up on her potions before then. She found the same table hidden in the back to not be disrupted. She had 3 hours before dinner and then potion brewing, plenty of time to study. She took out her potions and made notes for all of the ones she would be making, ones she thought might be helpful to the hospital wing, and some that she had been curious about. She had detailed notes on how to brew, tips on how to make it more effective, and easy instructions to follow. Satisfied with her notes, put the subject away and started to grab her work from other classes to get head start for tomorrow. KC had just opened her charms notes when she heard someone clear their throat from the stacks. Hermione was standing there. 

“If you’ve come to yell at me again about sitting here, I’m not going to move,” KC said. She went back to work on her notes.

“Actually, I was going to see if I could take you up on your offer to sit and study with you,” Hermione said in a kinder tone than she had taken previously. KC looked at her for a second. If this was an olive branch, she was going to try and take it. 

KC smiled and nodded, clearing an area on the other half of the table. The atmosphere was a little tense, but they were trying it seemed. Time went on and they both were focused on their work. It was clear they both had similar habits when it came to their coursework. Silence, but you could see the thought process on their faces. It was easy to get lost in their work when they complimented each other in a way they could actually focus. KC had finished her work, but didn’t want to ruin what was happening. She glanced at Hermione. She was immersed in her book. Had things taken a turn for the better with them? What happened to make her change her mind? 

“Well, if this isn’t a battle of the swots,” came Draco’s voice. He was leaning against the shelf, smirking.

KC smiled and rolled her eyes, but Hermione was less than amused. “It’s perfectly acceptable to read, Malfoy. Maybe if you did it more, you wouldn’t be stuck as second in class.”

“Believe it or not, Granger. I’m happy to come second.” That innuendo was not lost on KC. Granger may have ignored him but KC’s face turned a brilliant shade of red. “I’m actually here to fetch our ambassador on behalf of Slughorn. She was due to be in the classroom with us 30 minutes ago. I thought this might be the best place to check.” 

KC looked down at her watch. He was right! She scrambled to get here things together. “I lost track of time, I’m sorry! I meant to stop by dinner time.” 

“Then it’s a good thing I had the foresight that this would happen and grabbed you something from the hall,” he said, raising his brow at her.  “Oh, here Granger. I’m being nice.” He threw a red apple at her. She caught it and just looked at them both with a surprised look.

As KC was towards him to leave, she looked at Hermione. “Thank you. It was nice to have someone to study with.” She just nodded back and the two left towards the dungeons to make potions.  

They slowly made their way down the stairs to the darkened classroom. In a comfortable silence. The castle would never stop being beautiful in KC’s eyes. The stone detailing, the corridors. For someone who didn’t see it all in rubble, it’s hard to imagine any damage was ever done at all. The ghosts lingered around the halls, portraits still moving around. There was so much life between these walls.

“What’s got your head in the clouds tonight?” Draco asked, startling her from her thoughts. He held the door open to the Potions classroom where Blaise and Theo were working away around their cauldrons. 

“I guess I was just so tired and focused on studying I forgot about everything else. Not a great way to start off a potion apprenticeship,” She set her stuff down beside Theo and he gave her a smile.

“Fast on a broom but slow to class. Makes sense,” Theo joked. 

KC pulled out her notes and her and Draco started prepping for their potions. Simple calming draughts and pepper-up potions for tonight was on the list. Once it was all set up, she went to the store room to start gathering her ingredients. There were so many things on the shelves. She found a few things she needed, but there was one she just couldn’t find! She looked everywhere. She had to squat down to see the bottom shelves. AHA! There it was. In the back corner, bottom shelf. She moved to get it and Draco entered the room. “I think I have everything we need. I’ll be out in a second,” she said, focusing on reaching for the last item at the back of the bottom shelf. She grabbed it and it was then she realized that while she was squatting down, she was met with the view of black trousers. Her face was instantly red and shot right up. “See?” Trying to make herself feel less embarrassed. He took a step closer to her and her heart rate sped up. He just smirked at her and slowly raised his hand towards her face. Her breath stopped. Why is he looking at me like that? That smirk is going to be the death of me. How is it he smells so good? Her thoughts were running wild. He was almost pushed all the way against her and she was pinned to the shelf. She closed her eyes. And after a few seconds, the pressure of him was gone. She opened her eyes and he was almost laughing. He was reaching for one ingredient that was behind her. Merlin, that’s embarrassing. He sent a wink her way and left the room. That man is going to be the death of me.

Going back out to his cauldron, Draco gave no hints of what had just happened. He was just wanting to tease her. He had no idea she would have had that reaction. Yesterday after they had talked, he thought maybe she really did only want to be friends. If that was the case, why would she react like that. The occlumency shields were up so Blaise and Theo wouldn’t suspect anything happened. That hope had only lasted so long before KC came back to her cauldron. Setting the ingredients down, you could still see the flush of color on her face. Her breathing had mostly come back to normal. Blaise smirked but kept working. Theo was trying to figure out what was happening. Before he could ask, Slughorn came back into the classroom.

“Nice to see you all here finally. Tonight will be a fairly short one as these potions are quick to brew. But do be careful and bottle them up before you head out. Good luck,” and disappeared into his office. 

KC tried to stay focused on brewing but she couldn’t shake the feelings that were going through her. Her hands were a little shaky and her cheeks were pink. Blaise was trying not to laugh. Theo, trying to be a good friend, said, “Why don’t you go and eat? You must need something if your hands are that shaky.” 

I wish that was the reason why, thought KC. “Good idea. Thanks, Theo.”

She put down her stirring stick and went to the back corner where they had left their things. There was a plate under a stasis to keep it ready-to-eat. She could hear the boys talking about a variety of things while she sat there. Blaise kept glancing her way and was grinning like he was hiding a secret. At the edge of her plate sat a green apple. How did he know she liked the tart green apples the most? They were her favorite. Or maybe he was just bringing her something extra in case she didn’t get enough. There could be many things. It wasn’t specific towards her. She grabbed it to take with her back to her cauldron so she could finish brewing her batch for the night. 

The rest of their time flew by. It was her and her Slytherin boys. They were at ease with each other. The stories they told about their fun times and the jabbing jokes they made at each other made her heart full. She was happy to be a part of something like this. The boys poured the potions into the bottles as KC cleaned their work stations. After putting the last cauldron away, they boys were grabbing their things to leave. Draco was holding her things out for her. How could he be such a tease but also such a gentleman. Apple in hand, she grabbed her bag from him and they walked towards their rooms. 

“Just what were you doing in there?” KC asked in the most accusatory tone she could muster.

He tried to hide his smirk as he said, “I have no idea what you’re asking.”

They got to the barrels and she turned to face him and block him from knocking. “You know damn well just what you were doing, sir. Don’t play coy with me.”

He got closer to her just like he did in the potions room. “Sir? Now that’s a new one. I haven’t done a thing.” Her face was bright red and she gripped the apple in her hand so hard it might become mush. “But you seem bothered by something. So why don’t you tell me what it is?” He slid his hand down her arm slowly. KC was speechless. What has gotten into him? This teasing is going to kill me. He got to her hand that was holding the apple and brought it up to his mouth. Taking a bite with her holding onto it. He made eye contact with her as a bit of juice ran down the corner of his mouth.  “I just wanted a snack.” He wiped his chin and backed off as he heard the creek of the barrel start to open. Thank goodness. 

Hannah came out and didn’t even try to hide the smile on her face. KC’s face was bright red and Draco was trying not to laugh. “Don’t mind me! Just out for a stroll to see where my friend was.”

“I was just saying good night,” KC struggled to say.

“Mmmhmmm. I’ll wait for you inside. You can tell me the juicy news later,” she joked and shut the door again.

Draco lost it. “I never thought I'd say this, but I’m starting to appreciate you Hufflepuffs so much more.” KC pushed him away and he just laughed more. 

“Good night, you prat!” KC stomped off and Draco turned to go back towards his room. She leaned against the door as soon as she closed it. Her face was still unimaginably red. 

“I didn’t mean to interrupt,” Hannah said, standing by her door. “Maybe I should have waited a few more minutes.” KC couldn’t stop her thoughts from running. She opened her door and Hannah followed her in. “Now spill! I need the details!”

“I don’t even understand what happened!” KC let out a frustrated harrumph, rubbing her hands down her face. “Things were going just fine! You saw us yesterday. It just seems like things have been weird and I don’t know how to put it together in my head. After Blaise walked me to Draco’s door last night for rounds, he acted so distant from me. He was angry. We had a heated discussion. I ran. We went to the quidditch pitch and had a deep conversation. We flew around shaking off the negative energy and just talked. I thought there was an understanding of friendship.” KC flopped backwards on her bed and hugged a pillow. Hannah came and sat on the edge next to her, looking like the cat who got the cream. “I felt like there was more but I squashed it because I barely know how to have a friend. I wouldn’t even know the first thing about being attracted to someone. And then the tension today!” 

KC stopped, anxiety hitting her. “Sorry, I’m probably sharing too much. You don’t want to deal with my issues.”

Hannah took the pillow from her and helped her up. Not letting go of her hands, she said, “You are my friend. Friends listen and we are here to help. You say you’ve never had friends; well, you’ve been a good one so far. I’m asking for the details. Don’t think you’re getting away without them! Tell me about the tension!” she said, wiggling her eyebrows.  

KC couldn’t help but laugh. “I don’t know how or why it happened. Class went well today, went to the library and lost track of time, he came and found me for our potions apprenticeship. He cornered me in the storage room. I thought my face was on fire. I really thought he was going to kiss me, Hannah.” Hannah squealed so loud. “But he just grabbed the bottle behind me and left! I just wanted to disappear.” She took the pillow back so she could lay down. Hannah knew she needed comfort and herself so she was laying down next to her.

“I know you think you just want to be friends with him, but would it be so bad if you explored the attraction to him?”

KC was staring at the canopy of her bed. “I’m terrified, Hannah. What should I do?”

Hannah thought for a bit before an idea sparked. “You know what? Here is what we’re going to do.” KC turned her head to look at her. “We are going to beat that Slytherin at his own game.”

 

*******

 

Friday classes passed quickly enough. KC was ready for the weekend to rest and recover from the mental stress that was Draco Malfoy. But the universe had other plans for that. Theo and Blaise caught her after class.

“We were going to play quidditch after dinner. Would you like to join us?” Theo asked, putting his arm around her shoulder.

“I’m not trying out for the team, but there is always the need to get out and mess around. What do you say?” Blaise asked as he also put his arm around her.

KC was about to refuse when Draco walked up to them. His face hardened. “You know? I think I will join you both. See you later,” KC said, giving Draco a small wink as she walked off. She had a diabolical way to get back at him for messing with her mind. She went back to her room before dinner. Let the games begin, Malfoy.

 

*******

 

Friday dinner time is usually a quiet affair at Hogwarts. Many hanging out with friends in the common rooms, library time, or quidditch practice. Draco decided dinner was a good place to start in avoiding the crowd of people at the pitch. Blaise sat down next to him and Theo on the other side.

“You going to join us on the pitch tonight?” Theo asked. “We could always use some extra hands. KC is coming,”

“Oh you don’t need my help to beat that Hufflepuff,” Draco joked.

“Is that so?” KC asked, walking up to the Slytherin table. She had changed into her quidditch kit already, but carried the outer robes. Her athletic curves showed off in the tight jersey pants and form fitting long sleeve shirt. Draco’s face was blank, Blaise smiled to himself. Theo couldn’t stop staring. “Guess I better eat a little healthier tonight if I have hopes of beating the snakes.”

Draco dropped his fork. She knows exactly what she is doing, that naughty badger. She sat down by Theo and grabbed some fruits from the table. Strawberries, pineapple, peach, and an apple. Shit, Draco thought. He wanted to look away but he knew what was going to happen. He wasn’t about to miss this. Using only her fingers, she slowly brought a piece of pineapple to her lips. By the sound that left her body, it might have been the best pineapple she’s ever had. She added another. Draco tried to hide behind his occlumency wall, but he was struggling. Theo wasn’t even trying to hide. “Oh I’m sorry, I should share. Would you like some, Theo?” She held it up to his lips. He timidly took the bite from her. She used her thumb to wipe off the fruit juice that was left on his lip. “It’s delicious, isn’t it?”

Next she pulled the strawberries. Fuck. She grabbed some cream from the fruit tray as well. Double fuck. The dessert berry reached her lips and that bite could have killed the three men sitting there. “Why is the fruit so good here? I swear, if we had anything this fresh back home, I’d never eat anything else,” she said, grabbing another one. This was pure sin and she knew it. She was playing with fire. Theo quickly excused himself in a rush. KC looked unconcerned. “I hope he is ok!” The cheeky minx.

She finished her berries and she could see Draco struggling against his shield. Blaise gave a smirk, knowing exactly what was happening and played along. “Perhaps we should head out to the pitch to see if that's where he went.”

Blaise nodded and got up with a small laugh. KC grabbed her peach and apple to take with her. Draco watched her walk away. She was going to try every bit of control he had. She almost got to the end of the Hufflepuff table by the door where Hannah was sitting before she turned her head over her shoulder to look at Draco. “Coming?” and sauntered on. She gave Hannah a small high five as she passed. Draco got up quickly and strode after her. Two can play this game.

He caught up to her as she passed into the courtyard toward the pitch. He took a shortcut to cut her off towards the entrance to the grass. As she walked into the entry, he grabbed her and pinned her against the wall by placing his one hand by her head on the wall. The other corner helped keep her there. .

“Took you long enough, Draco,” KC teased. “I was beginning to think you wouldn’t catch up.”

“You naughty little badger,” Draco said in a hushed, husky tone. “You aren’t going to win this game.”

She smirked back at him, “Why, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She grabbed onto his hand that was down by his side. “Did I do something wrong?” She leaned a little closer to him. His control was snapping and he could feel it. She took her other hand and put against his chest. He leaned in closing the gap between them to where their noses were touching. His eyes closed, and he felt something touch his lips. Wait, what is that? KC had leaned back far enough to put the peach up to her lips. She took a juicy bite as he slowly backed away in realization. “What? I just wanted a snack.” Oh she was better than he gave her credit for. She still had a hold of one of his hands. “But don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you. That’s when he felt it. There was something in his hand and it wasn’t hers. He looked down. There was a bright green apple. He looked up and she had slipped away and was running towards the pitch. “Enjoy your snack, Draco!”

She is going to be the death of me.

 

******

 

As KC got to the pitch, she truly couldn’t believe what she had just done. She knew payback was coming, but she was giddy that she got away with it.

Theo was already warming up in the sky with Ginny and a few others. Blaise was waiting with his broom by the benches. She donned her outer robes and walked up to him.

“Well isn’t it the dead Hufflepuff walking,” Blaise joked. “You know he is going to get you back for that, right?”

God, I sure hope so…. No! Stop it, KC. “He started it. I’m just playing the game. We are just friends. At least, I need to be for a while. Too much has changed too quickly and I can’t wrap my brain around it all.” KC said as she leaned against the wall to finish lacing up her boots. “I just wanted to give him a little taste back.”

“In that case, want to have a little more fun teasing him?” Blaise asked with a raised brow. She looked up at him as she finished with her boot and he was moving closer to box her in. Hands went over her shoulders and he was incredibly close. KC froze. Merlin, what is it with these Slytherin men? How can they be so fine and smell so good!? Blaise leaned in to whisper in her ear. “Don’t look now, but here he comes. This should be fun. Let’s give him a show, yeah?”

KC nodded, finally understanding what was going on. She gave the best flirty smile she could muster and a small giggle. Blaise tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. It wasn’t more than a few seconds later that Draco pulled Blaise off of her.

“Quit bloody flirty and get out there. We came to play quidditch. Not fornicate on the field.”

Blaise gave a coy smile as he backed away, “Jealous much?” He winked at KC and took to the sky.

KC tried to smile and walk around him, but he grabbed her arm. “And just what was that?”

“Does it matter? We came to play quidditch, so let’s go play,” she teased and grabbed her broom. She really was going to pay for this later. She caught up with Blaise and Theo at the other end of the pitch. And they were both laughing.

“I didn’t expect that performance from a Hufflepuff. Well done, KC. Very well,” Theo smiled. “You almost had me fooled.”

“I think my time for revenge has come and gone. I’ll leave it to you snakes from now on. It’s exhausting being that confident all the time.” They both laughed and Draco flew towards them.

 “About time you got up here, slowpoke.” Ginny said, smiling towards KC. They were all going to take the mickey out of him for a while.

He had fire in his eyes. “Apologies. Seems I was a bit distracted.”

Blaise actually snorted laughing.

“Alright,” Ginny said, getting things focused. “We seem to have 4 on 4. Theo and Ron are going to be the keepers, we all will be chasers. No snitch for tonight. First to score 100 points wins and the loser has to host drinks tonight in their common rooms.”

“Bet,” said Draco. “Be prepared to be out matched.”

They got into their positions, levitated the quaffle to the middle. “On the count of 3….2…1…Go!” And they were off.

 

******

 

The score was 100-90.

That is how they found themselves walking up to the Gryffindor Tower. Listening to Ron and Ginny banter with Draco and Blaise about techniques and how some moves were “cheating”. It was all in good fun. You could easily see that the Weasleys and Draco had an uncomfortable history, but they tried to make the best of it and were making jokes. By the time they made it to the 7th floor, KC was absolutely exhausted. “Ok, I’m either going to have to start coming to see you more often so I don’t feel like keeling over, or we are just doing this in the dungeons. That was AWFUL!”

“Oh come on, ambassador. You’ll get used to it the more you have to do rounds,” Ginny smiled and told the portrait the password. “I’ll get you some firewhisky until you can’t feel the pain in your legs.”

“And you’ll just have to drink with me so you forget the fact I beat you for that last goal!” KC laughed as Ginny went to the stairs. She turned and flipped the bird, which sent the room laughing.

 KC sat in one of the armchairs by the fire. Gryffindor gave a homely feel, but it wasn’t as warm as Hufflepuff. The red didn’t feel as calm as the yellow. The closeness of the tower made it feel more snug. Theo took the chair next to her, Draco and Blaise took a seat on the arms of her chairs, while Ron, Dean, Harry sat on the couch. Ginny rolled down the stairs with 4 giant bottles of firewhisky. She stopped at the bottom at the sight of them all. She laughed. “It looks like we have Queen KC of Hufflepuff and her royal subjects of Slytherin. All hail, Queen KC!”

Everyone cheered at the joke. Friendship. True friendship. KC got up from her seat to help Ginny set up the table with drinks. Conjuring shot glasses and cups out of chess pieces for the night. Pouring 8 shots, passing them out when they heard more footsteps coming down. KC looked up and it was Hermione. Ginny ran up to her and handed her a shot. “Come on head girl. Join the fun before you leave us for the night. You know you missed a good Gryffindor party.”

“You know I hated them, Ginevra,” she scowled. But looking around at the group who looked happy, she didn’t want to ruin the mood. She felt like she always ruined the mood. She sighed. “One shot.”

Ginny squealed and went to pour herself one more. Turning around to address her friends, “To going a full week at Hogwarts without our lives being in danger!”

Harry stood and interrupted, “How about just ‘to friends’?”

“I dunno, Harry,” Ron stood beside him. “She does have a point.”

The group laughed and raised their shot glasses. “To friends!” and they all took it. KC went to go sit back down in her chair, but Blaise was now occupying the spot. “Never leave your spot. One of us might just Slither in and take it.”

“Hardy har har. Get up, Blaise. Pretty please?” KC bent over and met his eyes to give him the biggest puppy dog pout she could muster.

“Or you could just sit here with me?” He teased and pointed to his lap. Draco grabbed his friend and shoved him out of the chair. They all laughed.

Blaise came back a few minutes later with another round of drinks. They went down way too smooth. After three rounds of drinks and friendly jokes and conversations all around, KC tried to stand to find the bathroom. She stumbled.

“Oi, watch yourself,” Draco teased. “Don’t need to be carried away just yet, do you?”

“Oh I’m fiiiiiine,” KC stumbled a little bit more but caught her balance. “I just have to go to the… what do you call it… ‘the loo’?” She amused herself.

Ginny came to grab her arm and led her to the bathroom. No stairs involved thankfully. Down a darkened hallway they found the door.

“You really are a lightweight, aren’t you?” Ginny said from outside the stall door.

“Ha!” KC laughed out loud. “I’ve never had friends to party with before, so I wouldn’t know!”

“Wait, you’ve never drank before? KC!” she admonished her. “Why are you letting Blaise keep filling you with drinks?”

“Well, I wasn’t feeling anything until I tried to get up. But I’m soooo much fun Gin!” KC came out and almost fell into her. Ginny just gave her the strongest mom-glare that she could. “Fine, I’ll be good and stop.” She slowly went back out to the common room. More people had joined the party. Hermione was chatting, but now McLaggen and Seamus had joined. That was enough to make KC stop in her tracks. Or at least try to without stumbling too much.

She went to sit back in her chair and Draco moved so she could. He noticed her sudden stiffness. He leaned down to hand her back her drink and whispered, “you don’t have to interact with them if you don’t want to.”

“I’ll be ok,” she whispered back and he moved back to sit on the arm. ”Thank you though. I’m going to try and be nice. I don’t have the energy to fight anymore.” She said sipping her drink. Ginny decided then it was time to get everyone in a game.

“We are going to play some Would You Rather!” The room groaned but went along with the red-head. They knew better than to argue with the tipsy ginger. “Rules are simple. Answer or Drink. For your sake KC, you’d better answer.” KC stuck her tongue out when she joked at her. “I’ll start with you, Harry. Would you rather: Hug Umbridge or spend two hours with Moaning Myrtle?”

“UGH! Gin, why would you do that to me?” Harry was disgusted. Those who knew, laughed. KC just took a drink to hide her unknowing.

They went around the room coming up with impossible or funny situations. KC drank at the ones she didn’t know anything about. To her surprise McLaggen was the one who came around with the bottle to fill her drink. KC was shocked more than anything but in her drunken state she didn’t even care to figure it out. Draco watched with a side eye to make sure no funny business was happening. McLaggen winked at her before returning to sit back down on the couch. What was that about? Draco thought, watching him carefully. McLaggen kept glancing back and that sparked concern. KC went to tip the drink to her mouth but he stopped her. He grabbed the cup from her and took a drink. She glared at him, but he just gave her a look back and handed her his cup instead. He leaned down and whispered, “Rule number 2 you need to follow: Never accept a drink from McLaggen. I don’t trust him.”

She was skeptical but drunken logic told her just to trust him about it and question it later. “Ok, Malfoy. Your turn!” Ginny yelled across the room. “Would you rather; Hug Voldemort again OR be turned into a ferret again?”

“You think you’re funny, Red?” The room was all giggles. KC was so confused but it was quite a thought in her head. “Ferret.” Draco said and took a drink. The room burst.

“Alright, new girl.” Ginny turned all attention to her. “We have to think of something good for you. Would you rather: Go on a date with Theo? Or go on a date with Luna?”

KC replied without thinking, “Why can’t I have both?”

Ron did a spit take, Harry and Hermione just laughed. McLaggen smirked at her. Draco was so shocked he almost had to put up his mental wall.

“I think you officially win this evening,” Blaise said between laughs.

KC finished her drink in one big gulp. And stood up and did a dramatic bow, “Thank you, thank you! You’re too kind.” on the last bow she almost fell and hit the ground. Draco lept after her, but McLaggen caught her first. He made eye contact with KC and she froze. The eye contact was too much for her. “Thanks,” she whispered, trying to pull away from him.

He had a hold of her hand, and pulled her back towards him. He held too tight. He pulled it to his lips and then said “You’re welcome.”

Draco didn’t like this. He grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back. “I think you’re done, KC.”

“AWWWW come on! I’ve been having so much fun!” she stomped, but that put her off balance. “Ok, maybe, but I don’t want to go!”

Draco just smiled and shook his head. “Will you please walk outside with Blaise? I need a word with Red quick and I’ll be out.” She looked at everyone with sad eyes. Draco pulled her face back to him. “Please?” Blaise grabbed KC’s hand and pulled her towards the door. She didn’t have the sobriety function to fight him. When the door shut and Draco snapped back to the Gryffindors on the couch. McLaggen stood toe to toe with Malfoy. Both showing their chests. “I don’t know what you think you were going to get out of tonight, but you sure as hell never try that again.”

“Oh please. Like a death eater like you didn’t think about it,” McLaggen snapped back.

Hermione stood up. “What is he talking about, Cormac? What did you do?”

“There was something put in that drink he poured for KC,” he replied, never breaking eye contact with McLaggen. Draco moved one step closer and he was inches away from his face. He spoke low enough just for Cormac to hear. “If you ever try to do that to her again, I will end you.”

“Threats, Malfoy? That's the best you got?”

“No. Not threats. That is a promise.” He moved back. “Thanks for a good night, everyone. I’m going to make sure nothing bad happens to our friend.” He stormed out the door to catch up with Blaise.

He finally got to them as they hit the entrance hall on the way down to the dungeons. Draco was in trouble. “There you are, you slowpoke! What took you so long? Having fun without me?” KC was trashed. Blaise was holding her around her waist to stabilize her but there was only so much he could do to stop her trying to run towards him. She was doing well until she got close to him and she tripped. Draco caught her. “I’m sorry I’m such a mess. I’ve never drank before.” That explains a lot.

“We won’t be drinking for a while then. Come on, let’s get you to bed.” Draco held onto her as they walked towards Blaise down the stairs. KC was struggling to stay awake, so Draco decided to place a featherlight charm that would last long enough to get her into her room. They made it to KC’s room and Blaise helped set her up, but Draco didn’t want to let her go. “Blaise, I need you to stay with her.”

“Why me? It’s obvious she wants you,” Blaise tried to piece together the information.

“McLaggen spiked the drink he poured her earlier. I could taste something off but it wasn’t until we got up to leave that I realized what it was.” Draco took deep breath and separated himself from KC but she latched onto his hand even while unconscious. “Blaise, he put a lust potion in it. It’s a good thing I trusted my gut and switched the drinks, but I can’t stay with her. I won’t be able to control myself.”

“Fuck, Draco. We have to turn him in! He could have really hurt her,”

“I know. But that has to be her decision when it comes down to it. But I need to leave before I do hurt her. Please, make sure she is ok.”

Blaise nodded. Draco looked down at his hand that was still in hers. He set her hand down and turned to leave when KC whispered in her sleep “Draco”. It took all of him not to snuggle up right next to her, but it wouldn’t end the way he hoped. Instead, he tested his fate, took her hand again and kissed the back of her hand. “Good night, KC.” And left the room as soon as he could. No cold shower could fix this. He ran back to his room, locked his door with a ward that wouldn’t let him out until 7 hours later. That would be long enough for the potion to leave his system. Lust was a scary thing, but he would do everything in his power to make sure she wouldn’t get hurt. Not anymore.

Chapter Text

 

Hermione came rushing into her common room shortly after Malfoy got there. She went straight to his door. She tried to open it, but even with the best of her knowledge, she couldn’t get it. Pounding on the door, she yelled, “Malfoy! Open up! We need to talk about what happened back there with McLaggen!”

Draco was leaning against the door, fighting his urges of the potion. “Granger, I can’t do that. We need to talk about it in the morning.”

“It can’t have been that bad if you’re still awake. What happened? Why can’t I get this door open?”

“I can’t leave this room, Granger. I don’t want to hurt anyone.” Draco was struggling against his occlumency shield. He was trying to counteract the potion in his system, but it was getting stronger. He could hear Granger muttering all of the counter spells she knew against his wards. It was only a matter of time before she figured it out. He felt the magic of his ward fade. Shit. Why can’t she just leave it be for now? She pushed open the door despite him leaning against it. “Damn it, Granger! Why can’t you just listen to me!” He rushed to sit on his bed and held onto the post to try and center his attention.

“What did McLaggen use? I need to tell Slughorn and McGonagall. Perhaps we can get you an antidote,” She pleaded.

“It was a lust potion of sorts. A well placed hidden one. I could barely taste it. It works to make the object of your attention the first person you make contact with. You have to lock me in here.” He was struggling to keep himself on the bed.

“Malfoy, you know I have to report him,” she said in a lower voice, seeing how much he was struggling. “How can I help?”

“By fucking listening to me and locking me in here. Do what you have to, but I can’t hold myself for much longer.” He was physically shaking. The potion was starting to overtake his logical control. “Please,” he begged.

Hermione could see he was losing it and rushed out to try and ward the door behind her. She had to get to McGonagall, no matter how late it was. This had to be stopped. She rushed out of the portrait and warded the portrait door as well. If Draco was fighting so hard, she needed to make sure that she was double locked just in case. She rushed off up the stairs to the Headmistress.

Inside, Draco had lost his sense of control completely. His magic sparked and he was trying everything to take down the ward on his door. Time passed and he never stopped sending spells towards the door. He heard the magic of the ward crack.

 

******

 

KC stirred awake and didn’t recognize where she was. Her head was pounding. The fire was too bright, the crackling sound hurt. She tried to sit up and the gravity felt too much. “Shh, move slow. It’s ok.”  She focused and she saw Blaise coming to help her sit up.

“What happened? I thought we were in Gryffindor,” KC asked groggily.

“Turns out one of our friends had never drank before,” he said, giving her a pointed look. “She imbibed in a little too much, so Draco and I brought her back to her room to prevent any incidents.”

Draco, wait, where is he? “Where is he now? What happened?”

Blaise handed her a glass of water. “McLaggen happened. Do you remember him being there?”

“He was there when I came back from the bathroom, but I tried to drink to forget that fact. Didn’t realize it would work since after that it’s pretty foggy,” she said and took a big gulp of water.

“KC, he…”

There was a pounding on her door. “Open up!”

“Wait, is that Draco?” Blaise grabbed her and moved her into her bathroom.

“You need to stay here. Do NOT open this door. No matter what he says, I need you to stay here.” The fear in his eyes told her to listen and ask questions later. He shut the door and warded it. Blaise walked to the door trying to protect the ward that he had set just in case. He could hear Hannah trying to hold Draco back, but it was no use. He busted open the door and it was then he saw how frantic he really was.

“Where is she, Blaise? I need to see her!” He yelled in Blaise’s face.

“You know I’m not going to let that happen, Draco.” He said, hold Draco in his place. Hannah behind him looked terrified. She was pleading with her eyes to help.

“Blaise, I know she is here. What did you do to her? Did you touch her?” Draco was out of control. He pushed Blaise back until he hit the bathroom door. He had pushed his wand against the dark skin of his throat. “I swear I will end you if you did. She’s mine!”

They heard and audible gasp behind the door. Draco’s focus shifted so quickly and he threw Blaise to the floor. He was trying to shake the door handle. You could hear KC crying on the other side. He was relentless. Sending spell after spell at the door. Hannah kept trying to get his wand from her but he was too good at dodging her spell. Draco had cracked the ward and Blaise did the only thing he could think of. “Stupefy!” Direct hit.

Draco was knocked out. Blaise pulled him back from the door and used a sticking charm to hold him up against the wall by the door to her room. Hannah opened the door and grabbed KC into a tight hug. “KC, are you ok?” She was checking her over.

“I’m fine, is he ok?” She moved Hannah out of the way and darted over towards Draco. “What is going on, Blaise? Why was he acting so crazy?” KC was moving the hair out of his face, checking him to make sure he was ok.

Blaise sighed and Hannah went to KC’s side. “McLaggen filled your drink after you came back. Draco was skeptical of him, so he switched you drinks. Turned out that his instincts were correct. The drink was spiked with a lust potion.” KC gasped and focused her attention on Draco. “We didn’t know how strong it was when we left, but it was getting worse. He helped me get you here and told me to stay with you. He said he was going to ward himself into his room. Something must have happened that he was able to get out.”

Hannah looked towards Blaise, “Did someone tell McGonagall? We have to get him some help.”

KC couldn’t take her eyes off of him, tears in her eyes. Her hand didn’t leave his face. Even as he was completely knocked out, he slightly nuzzled into her palm. It was then that two more figures came into view. It was Hermione and the Headmistress.

“Oh dear, it seems we are too late,” McGonagall said with concern. “Will someone explain?” Hermione was in utter shock.

Hannah stood and volunteered. “How about we talk about this on the way taking him to the hospital wing. We need to get him some help and make sure KC is safe.”

McGonagall nodded and levitated Draco out behind her. Hermione followed with Hannah.

KC stood with Blaise, body completely shaking. She could feel she was still a little tipsy, and the level of anxiety the events just caused. Blaise led her back to her bed and tried to give her the glass of water again, but her hands were trembling too much. “What’s going to happen to him?”

“McGonagall is going to make sure he is ok. You know he would never want to hurt you, right?” Blaise squatted down to her level to make eye contact with her. “He cares so much. That was the potion, not him.”

She had tears in her eyes. “Why would Cormac try and do that to me?” She sobbed and laid down. “I was hoping that the days of people who wanted to hurt me were over.” Blaise was silent but stayed by her side. He let her cry until she could slowly start breathing normally. He was grabbing the chair to go and sit on the side of her bed to watch over her once she fell asleep. “Will you stay with me, Blaise?” She asked quietly.

“Of course, I’ll be right here.”

“No,” she said, not making eye contact. “Will you lay here with me? I don’t want to be alone.” She sounded utterly broken. Blaise took off his shoes and dress shirt and belt to make sure he didn’t hit her with anything uncomfortable. He laid on his back on the opposite side of the bed, hands behind his head to lift himself up a little bit to watch her until she was asleep. Before he looked her way, she rolled over and snuggled up next to him, head on his chest, holding on tight. Comfort. That’s what she needed. He smiled at her and her search for that safe feeling. He wrapped one arm around her and within minutes, they were both asleep.

 

*******

 

Draco woke feeling like he had been hit by a bludger. He was definitely not in his room. What had happened? He had warded himself in his room, he remembered fighting to keep control and then Granger... Granger! Shit, what did I do? He slowly sat up; the sun was so bright. He was in the hospital wing. McGonagall, Slughorn, and Granger were by the door conversing but stopped as they saw him sit up. Granger came and took the chair by his bed and the professors looked at him solemnly from the foot of the bed.

“How are you feeling, Mr. Malfoy?” McGonagall asked in a serious tone.

“What happened? Tell me I didn’t hurt her.” He tried his best to hide the panic in his voice, but it shook.

Hermione put her hand on his leg. Slughorn looked at him sadly, “You’re quite lucky Mr. Malfoy. We found the bottle that had been laced with the potion. It was quite strong. It is meant to heighten the level of lust towards the first person you contact. In this case, it was Miss Celine. It only gets stronger the more you are attracted to that person. We are lucky no one else drank it. We wouldn’t have had the antidote ready.”

“What do you remember, Malfoy?” Granger asked, a sorry look in her eyes.

“I switched the drink that McLaggen poured. I don’t trust him and KC was too far gone to care. I can only imagine what she would have done had she drunk that and gone after him. She would have hated herself. Blaise and I took her back to her room and I asked him to stay with her to make sure she was alright. I went back to my room and warded the door before I lost control. The last thing I can remember was Granger breaking the ward.” Draco was shaking.

“She is ok,” Granger said, cutting into his thoughts.

“Very lucky to be. Seems that once Miss Granger here broke through your wards, nothing was strong enough to hold you in. You went through three sets of complex wards. Blaise was able to stun before you got to her,” McGonagall explained. “We know this isn’t your fault. Mr. McLaggen is being severely punished and we can press charges, but that is up to you.”

“That is up to her,” Draco said looking down, not wanting to look at anyone. Shame. He felt ashamed.

“We will check on you a little bit later. We need to make sure the potion is out of your system,” Slughorn advised and the two teachers left the wing. Granger stayed. He couldn’t look her in the eye.

She was still sitting there, hand on his leg, giving him a concerned look. “You really are a better person,” she said quietly, breaking the silence. That got his attention. “The Malfoy I thought that I knew, he wouldn’t have thought twice about letting her drink that.”

“There's a lot you don’t know about me, Granger,” he said, trying to move, but his body hurt too much. She got up to help him lay back down.

“Perhaps. If you give me the chance, I would like to fix that.” Was he hearing her correctly? He moved to look at her. She moved her hand to his face and swept the hair that had fallen. This isn’t real, it couldn’t be. She took in a sudden breath like she had just realized what she was doing. She stood up quickly, “I’ll be back with some breakfast for you.” She nearly ran out the door. What a confusing start to the year at Hogwarts.

 

******

 

KC was slow to wake. Between the hangover and the events that happened last night, there was too much pain in her head. She didn’t want to think about anything. She went to move but felt something around her. She looked up. Blaise? Right. That happened. She didn’t want to be alone after everything. What did that mean for Draco?

“I can hear you thinking. Is your brain always this loud in the morning?” Blaise said groggily. He moved his arm and KC sat up to look at him.

“I still can’t process what happened. I just wanted a fun night with the people I now consider friends and everything went to shit.” She looked defeated. “Maybe it’s a sign I’m better off alone.”

Blaise sat up the meet her eyes. “That is the furthest from the truth. We are better because of you. Don’t let what one person did ruin this for you.”

She didn’t want to believe that was true. Everything that was happening, things got worse when she put herself in the situation. “Maybe I should go and talk to Professor Lupin about taking some extra defense classes then. Just in case.”

Blaise gave her a small smile and got up. “We are here for you if you need anything. You know that, yeah? I’m going to go change before breakfast. I’ll see you there?”

She gave him a slight nod and stared off thinking about what was all happening. Blaise left quietly and all she wanted to do was cry. But instead, she got dressed and picked up her defense book. She had some questions to get answered.

Off she went to see Lupin. Walking into his classroom at 9am on the weekend might have been weird if she hadn’t seen Harry and Ron sitting there chatting with him. “Ah, KC. What a wonderful surprise,” Lupin welcomed. “What can I do for you this morning?”

She was distraught, but he was trying to make her feel better. “Well, I was hoping that maybe I could ask for some help,” she said looking down at her hands. She was trying not to let her shaking anxiety, leftover from the night before, stop her from communicating. “I would like to become better at self-defense.”

Harry and Ron had serious looks of concern. Lupin understood. “I can understand why you may want that. I’ll help where I can. These two are here in the mornings to work on their skills as well for auror training. We can add you in if you’d like?”

Her face brightened. “That would mean the world to me, Professor.”

“Right then, let’s get to work!”

 

*******

 

Draco sat and ate breakfast in the hospital wing with Granger reading a book next to him. He was feeling better, but still extremely guilty about what happened. An owl swooped in with a package from him. Was that a broomstick? Attached to the handle were two letters. One marked for him, the other marked for Kara? Who is Kara? Then it hit him. KC. Kara Celine. He would make note of that for later and set it to the side. He read the letter from his mother.

 

My son,

I hope that you are not giving the students too hard of a time. I’m sure you’re succeeding in your role as Head boy. Kindly deliver the letter and gift the lovely Kara for me. She is going to go far and you better be kind to her. She admires you.

Be careful this year, Draco. There have been rumors that even I hear whilst sitting at the manor. Lucius will only wait so long before he tries to reach out to you. Be smart, my son.

Love, your mother.

 

How did KC charm his mother in such a small amount of time? He was done for.

“A gift from home?” Granger asked, watching the thought process on his face.

“Something like that,” he said, putting the letter in his pocket. “How much longer until I can go?”

She looked down at her watch and saw that it was past 11. “You can go if you’d like. You’re to follow up with Madam Pomfrey or Slughorn if you think there are any lingering side effects.”

Draco shot up out of bed, put on his shoes, and with the swift grab of KC’s package, he was gone. He made his way down to Hufflepuff. Just as he was about to knock to get in, Hannah was opening the door with Neville. “Oh, Malfoy! You scared me. How are you feeling?”

“Terrible. Is she here?”

Hannah gave a sad face and shook her head. “She left earlier. I don’t know where she is, but you’re welcome to go in and wait if you’d like?” She grabbed Neville’s hand and they walked down the hall.

He went to KC’s door. Knocking, just in case she was there. But there was no one. He slowly opened the door and saw the mess he had made. Things knocked over on the desk, books that had fallen off the shelf. He waved his wand to fix it all. It made him feel worse. He set the broom and letter on her bed. He found a spare piece of parchment and wrote two simple words: I’m sorry. He took one more look and headed back to his room. Spending the day doing the homework he had and avoiding everyone. He wasn’t going to hurt anyone.

 

******

 

It had been hours that the three students were practicing defensive spells. Which meant also a lot of dueling and dodging spells from each other. They were all exhausted. They sat down and one of the tables that had been pushed aside. “Blimey, KC,” Ron said. “Where did you learn to duel so well? I thought I was done for!”

Harry laughed but agreed. “If I had skill like that, maybe defeating Voldemort wouldn’t have taken so long.” It was all smiles. “You want to come and get lunch with us?”

“Sure,” KC said politely. “I’ll meet you there. I’d like to ask Lupin a question.” The boys understood, grabbing their things and leaving. She walked up to his office where he was reviewing some lower year essays. “Professor, might I have a word?”

“Of course! I’d be surprised if you wouldn’t want to after what you’ve been through,” he said, motioning her to sit down.

“Would you help me with my wandless defense?” Lupin looked at her curiously. “I know that I’m a sturdier girl than most around here. But when it comes to physical confrontation, I freeze. My flight response kicks in. I want to be able to help myself in case anything was to happen.”

He was impressed. “This is training that even first year aurors have not been able to master. Are you sure you’d like to do this?” KC nodded her head in silence. She didn’t want to sound pathetic. “Well, alright then. We can work on that starting next weekend.” He took his quill and made note of a book title. “Until then, here is something I would recommend reading. It’s in the restricted section, but it will be of good use to you.”

She took the paper and thanked the professor. She went to catch up with the boys for lunch.

 

******

 

Hermione made her way back to Gryffindor tower in hopes of catching Ginny. She was notorious for sleeping away the day on weekends, it would be especially true if she had been drinking the night before. Rushing up the stairs, she found Ginny asleep, the only one in the dorm, thankfully.

“Gin, I need your help,” she said, shaking her awake.

“Hermione, it’s Saturday. Let me be lazy!” She rolled away from her.

“I think I like Malfoy!” Hermione blurted out. Ginny shot right up.

“Well, that is not what I expected to hear this morning,” she joked. Hermione sat down on the bed next to her, leaning against the headboard.

“I was set on being prepared to hate him this year. No one could change that much. But then he has been kind. I’ve seen the way he interacts with others this year. And he helped me. He wasn’t rude. Snappy, maybe. But he has shown compassion so far. And after seeing him struggle last night, I can just tell he wants to be better.” Hermione’s head was spinning. Ginny sat there in shock. “Why does that change make him suddenly more attractive?”

“He was always attractive, just an arse,” Ginny clarified. Hermione glared at her. “But really, Hermione. If he is set on moving forward with his life and trying to be better, is it so bad to like him? He would be someone who could actually keep up with you intellectually. You wouldn’t have to take care of him like you’re his guardian. You could actually have a beneficial relationship. What’s so bad about that? And if he is anywhere near as protective of a partner than he was of KC last night with McLaggen, then you wouldn’t have to worry about anything.”

Hermione hadn’t really thought about that. “What do I do? He won’t want to explore the attraction. He has KC in his sight.”

“From what I hear, they are just friends. A little close, but she has been pretty pointed about just needing a friend. Perhaps you could swoop in?” Ginny suggested. “It can’t hurt to get to know him. That’s all I’m saying. And if the boys have anything to say about it, then they can answer to me. You deserve some happiness. If ferret boy does it for you, I won’t question it too much. Just be smart.” Hermione sat there and got lost in thought. So much had changed and her head hurt. “Come on. Let’s go get some food before all you have to eat is the inside of your cheek.”

 

******

 

Blaise joined the group in the Great Hall. KC was sitting with the Gryffindors and Hannah. Everyone seemed to be laughing and having fun. He joined her to get in on it. “I was beginning to wonder if we would see you,” KC smiled. She turned to give him her full attention. “Have you seen him yet?” She asked quietly.

Blaise shook his head, “Give him time.”

KC turned back to her plate and put her hand on his. She needed comfort from a friend.

Ginny and Hermione walked in to join the table. The red-head always jumps right in on the fun with her boyfriend, Hermione, just silently sat there observing. She looked at KC and Blaise and their connected hands. Ginny gave her a raised brow look. Perhaps I can explore this after all, Hermione thought.

Minutes later KC and Blaise got up with everyone else and they parted ways. KC needed quiet time and wanted to finish her assignments so she could have a silent Sunday. When she made it back to her room, she was confused. She hadn’t touched the mess that had happened. She looked on her bed and saw a broom? A letter and a note. It was Draco’s handwriting. I’m sorry. So, Draco had come to see her? She picked up the broom that was still wrapped in brown paper. Tearing it off, she gasped! It was the newest of the Firebolt collection. Why was it on her bed? She looked to find the letter and it had her first name on it. Ripping it open as quick as she could, she found it was from Narcissa Malfoy.

 

Dearest Kara,

I simply love that name. If I had a daughter, that was one of the names I had chosen. That was not in the cards for me. Instead, I have the thorn in my side that is my son. I love him dearly, but as you may have figured out by now, he is quite stubborn. Gets it from me, I’m sure. But I can imagine you will want to put him in his place, whether while studying or otherwise. You are a strong woman. Give it your all, I’ll look the other way.

It would be lovely to come and support you during your quidditch matches. With my house arrest sentence, I am unsure if it is possible. Perhaps, we can ask the teaching staff to support this. But I draw the line at wearing the color yellow. It’s ghastly. I would have hoped you’d be in Slytherin, but I could tell from the start your heart was too kind for that house. It is a noble house, but not for all. That does mean at some point I will get to see you play against my son and that shall be an interesting match. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Please, accept this as a gift. May this be good use of the Malfoy money. It’s time we used it for some good. Show Hogwarts what they’ve been missing.

As for your family, I know they are great people. They have raised a remarkable young lady. You should be very proud. I would love to meet them one day. You officially have an invitation to join me for Christmas.

Until then, please watch out for Draco. I meant it when he is too stubborn. I hope that he can have a real friend in you. Write back soon,

Sincerely,

Narcissa Malfoy

 

She hugged the letter to her chest. Whatever she did to deserve meeting Narcissa, she needed to thank her lucky stars. She knew that she couldn’t see Draco right now. She wanted to give him the space he wanted. They were both healing. Instead, she wrote him a note, and went to the kitchens to talk to the elves.

 

******

 

Draco was hours deep in work but almost finished. It was more tempting to put everything away and go try and fix whatever was happening. He wanted more than anything to leave his room and go tell KC exactly how he felt and how incredibly sorry he was for even trying to hurt her. Under the influence or not. He would be lying to himself if he tried to say that he didn’t care for her. The friendship was easy with her, but there was something more there. That terrified him. How easily that could get her in harm's way, especially with the so-called Sympathizers around. He wanted what was best for her and for her to be happy. He would let her choose when she was ready for him to be more than a friend.

He decided to be done with assignments and picked up his potions book to further read on some of the potions they would be making.

He was finishing the chapter when there was a pop! He looked towards the end of his bed and there stood a house elf. “Sorry to bother, Mr. Malfoy. I was asked to deliver this to you.” The elf set down a tray that had various amounts of food. Beside the tray, the elf placed a peach and a shiny green apple with a note between. He bowed and disappeared with a pop. He grabbed the note and recognized the handwriting.

 

I’m not going anywhere. You can’t scare me that easily. I’m here when you’re ready to move forward. My door is open for you. Always.

 

He read that note repeatedly. He wanted to smile but felt a tug of anxiety that he couldn’t shake. It will take time. He was moving the tray of food to his desk when he heard a knock on his door. Hermione was letting herself in.

“I’m sorry to intrude, I was going to… oh, looks like someone was ahead of me.” She was carrying a small tray of food with her. “I saw you weren’t at lunch and wanted to make sure you were ok.”

Draco smiled and took the tray from her. “That’s awfully kind of you, Granger. What did I do to earn such kindness from you? What do you need me to do?”

“Nothing!” She had a slight flush to her face. She cleared her throat and repeated in a softer tone, “nothing. I just wanted to make sure you were ok. You’ve been showing me how much you’re trying to change, and I…. I admire that.” She couldn’t make eye contact with him.

Was she blushing? Why is she acting shy? That wasn’t Granger. “Thank you, Granger, for making sure I’m ok.”

She nodded and turned to head out again, but she stopped when she got to the door. “Malfoy, would you like to study with me tomorrow?”

This was new. A blushing Granger, was she asking him to be closer to her? He decided to move closer to her to gauge her reaction. She stiffened a little. “I’d love to. Good night, Granger.”

She gave a quiet good night and out the door she went. This was going to be a strange year at Hogwarts, indeed.

 

Chapter Text

KC was determined. The school year had started off rather unexpectedly. She was thankful to now have those in her life that she can safely call friends, but she had overlooked her routines when it came to her classes. Sunday was her day to fix that schedule. No more games. If her friends wanted to be around her, they would respect her wishes of wanting to do her best.

Monday – Classes, Library, self-care, sleep

Tuesday – Classes, Library, Muggle studies class prep, Self-care, sleep

Wednesday – No classes, Library, Quidditch/flying session, Rounds, self-care, sleep

Thursday – Classes, Library, Potions, self-care, sleep

Friday – Classes, Library, Quidditch/flying session, self-care, sleep

Saturday – Defense practice with Lupin, Library, Rounds, self-care, sleep

Sunday – Rest Day, Letter writing, Flying time, Friends, Self-care, sleep

 

She always did better when she had a visual representation of what she needed to do. It kept her motivated to keep going. She hung it on her wall above her desk so she would always see it. Today was her rest day. She needed it. She left her door open in case anyone wanted to come in, but she took to laying on her bed with the book Lupin had recommended.

“I should have known this is what you’d be doing,” Blaise laughed from the door. KC just smiled and placed a bookmark and shut the book. “Do you ever take a day off?”

“Today is my rest day. This is just for fun. What brings you here so early?”

“A few of us were wanting to get together and fly later this afternoon. Care to join us? A little ferret may have told me you have a new broom to try out.”

Draco. She was trying her best not to think of him today. He would come to her when he was ready to. Blaise could see her face fall in thought. “Hey now, not today. It’s going to be fine, even if I have to slap him around myself.” He came and sat beside her. “He is really worried, KC. I know that may not change anything, but you should know he cares.” He looked around the room and found everything from the previous day had been fixed. Draco’s note laid on the desk. He saw her schedule that she had written for herself. “Does that new schedule include time for your favorite Slytherin?”

KC smiled to herself and opened up her book again. “Of course. There is always time for Theo.”

Blaise gave her a shove and she almost rolled off the bed. She was laughing so hard; it was good to smile again. He made sure she was balanced before he got up again. “I’m going to go and take care of some things. Be at the pitch by 6, ok?” and he was gone. This Slytherin had a plan to help his friends.

 

******

 

Draco had woken up early on the lazy Sunday. He couldn’t sleep. His mind was too full of what had taken place, and then there was the oddity that was Granger. They were going to study today apparently. He couldn’t stop thinking about her reactions to him last night. Her blush. It was different, she didn’t seem like the kind who would be easily flustered. You also don’t know her that well, Draco thought.

He needed a shower to refocus and relax. The hot water always helped calm him. The sound of the water was an automatic relief to the storm in his head. He let it run over him for a few minutes just to relish in the feeling. But he couldn’t drown out his thoughts forever. He couldn't get his mind off of KC. Was she ok? Should I go talk to her? What if she is with Blaise? That last thought bothered him the most. He couldn’t help but think of seeing them close and flirty on the pitch a few days ago. Then he remembered the way she had dressed to tease him. Fuck, this was not his plan for this morning’s shower. His body had its own plan. He tried thinking of anything else. Trying to imagine looking out a window at the landscape as the train moved, that made him think of KC on the train. He tried thinking of this Ministry, one of his least favorite places, but she was there in his mind too. He gave into the temptation and started stroking himself. He couldn’t help but see her everywhere. The sundress she wore on the first day he saw her. Her long, sandy blond hair. Her athletic build. Her smile, sweet Merlin, her smile. Her laugh. The way she teased him in the courtyard. “FUCK!” he yelled as his release hit him unexpectedly hard.

He stood there trying to get his breathing under control. He hadn’t felt like that in a while. Yet again, he never felt that level of attraction to anyone before. Shaking the thoughts as best he could, he washed and turned off the shower. Drying off, he wrapped the towel around his waist and went to go back to his room to start the day. When he opened the door, Granger was walking towards the bathroom. She froze. He was in a towel. Chest still slightly damp from the water dripping from his hair. Her face was so red. By the time she realized she was staring, Draco was smirking and waking away. He will have to start remembering his clothes to take in there with him.

He shut his room door behind him and sat down on his bed in thought. It wasn’t that Granger was unattractive. She was beautiful actually. But something just didn’t feel right. She didn’t give him that jolt, that subtle pull that KC did. Seeing her blush didn’t give him the same satisfaction. He had to push those thoughts aside and get dressed. He did tell Granger he would study with her. Even if he only had one more assignment to finish, it would give him the opportunity to sort out what was happening with her. He sat practicing his occlumency shield to keep it strong, if only to control his own thoughts better. And after he was good and ready, he went out into the common room to sit and study with Granger.

She was already at the shared table, books spread out next to her. It made him smile, these girls have more in common than they realize. “Oh, hi!” Granger startled out of her reading focus. Her face started turning pink at the near sight of him. “Let me move some things.”

“Don’t mind me. Just watching the head swot in her natural habitat,” Draco joked. He took a good look at her as she rearranged things. She had dressed differently than her usual self. Lower cut shirt to show off the little cleavage she did have, tighter muggle jeans. She even tamed her wild curls and put a little bit of make up on. He had never seen her wear make-up before. She looked great, but it just wasn’t her. “Have a special date later? You look nice.”

She paused and said timidly, “Thank you. But no special date, just wanted to study with you.”

She had done it for him. Interesting. He sat in the chair next to her and pulled out his classwork. He got to work but he could see Granger in the corner of his eye. She was smiling. He had never seen her with such a giddy grin before. Had she really wanted to get to know him? But she worked in silence. She would work, then she would stop and glance at him thinking she was sneaky. This went on for an hour. He was going to see if he could put her on edge. When she stopped to look at him again, he looked up to meet her gaze. He gave her a wink and then went back to work. Her breath caught for a second and he knew that there was something going on. He would just ignore it for now. Brave little Gryffindor would say something if she really wanted something. Her hints were there, but she was going to have to work for it. He was almost finished with his essay when there was a knocking at the door. It was Blaise.

“Stupid magical signature rule,” he said climbing through the portrait. “I was on my way back from seeing KC and I wanted to stop by. You up for some quidditch later?”

KC? Why was he there? Why did she not ask me to come? “Sure, after dinner?”

“Great. We’ll be there around 6. She said she was in for tonight.” Blaise was way too casual about seeing her. Draco frowned. Blaise put his hand on his shoulder. “It’s going to be ok, mate,” he said quietly. “She cares about you. She’s not going anywhere.” He looked up at Granger and gave her a small wave. “Looking good, Granger!” He winked her way and left out the door.

Draco wanted nothing more than to go with him. It was supposed to be him seeing KC by himself. He wanted to invite her to things. But after everything, he was scared she would reject him. Fucking McLaggen. It didn’t matter he was suspended from all activities the first half of the year. I didn’t matter that he was serving detention for months. He took something from her, from them, that night. Her sense of security. Around groups, around supposed friends. And that wasn’t something he couldn’t give back, no matter how hard he tried.

He went back to sit with Granger at the desk. Her face was crestfallen. “Everything ok, Granger?”

She looked up at him trying to put a fake smile on her face. “It’s fine.” Draco didn’t buy it. He urged her to try again with a raise of his brow. “I guess I’m just trying to sort through some stuff. My thoughts of you have changed rather quickly and I feel like I’m getting whiplash.”

Gryffindors were so easy to get information out of. “And what feelings might those be?” He teased.

“I’m not sure. But would it be so wrong to want to spend more time with you and figure that out?” She asked quietly. Almost like she was scared of the answer.

He sat and considered things. He didn’t want to lead her on, but he also didn’t want to go back to hating each other. It has been nice to have a good study partner. But KC had also been a great study partner. Granger wasn’t fighting her attraction to him. KC questioned everything. Both independent by nature, but wanting to care. Perhaps becoming friends wasn’t the worst thing. “I guess not, Granger,” he said. “I’m going to rest for a bit. Thanks for the study date.”

Her eyes went wide with his last word, but he was up and walking before she could get a word out. She was fun to tease, but he missed the fiery Gryffindor. He was going to have to bring her back if this was to be a fair fight.

 

******

 

KC was more than ready to get out to the pitch. After a day of rest, she was itching to get out and feel the wind in her face. It was still nice outside and they had about an hour of daylight left to enjoy it. She brought a blanket and a book so she could take some time by the lake and enjoy the sunset before she ended her day. If she was going to have a successful day, she wanted to enjoy the end of it. Ilvermorny was pretty, but the Scottish Highlands beat it by a mile.

Blaise was already on the pitch when she got there. No one else was there yet it seemed. She went over to him and set her stuff next to him on the bench. “Hey! I know I’m a little early but I’m surprised Ginny didn’t beat us out here!” she joked.

He looked up at her with a sly look in his eye. “Normally she would have. But she isn’t coming tonight.”

“What do you mean?” KC asked. She looked around confused. It was then she noticed that Blaise didn’t have his broom either. “What’s going on?”

It was then she heard someone else walking up behind her. Her breath stopped when she turned and saw Draco there. “I wanted you two to have some time to work through some things,” he said, grabbing KC by her elbow, walking her towards the blond who was frozen in place. “There has been a lot that has happened. And I know this Slytherin is far too stubborn to fix anything himself. And from what I can tell, you aren’t great with confrontation.” Draco’s mental shield was up. His face was expressionless. KC tried to hide her hands that were shaking with anxiety. “We all know you are close. I have faith you’ll figure it out. Good luck!” and he walked back towards the exit.

KC took the time to look at Draco. He was hiding from her, mentally and emotionally. Nothing that happened was his fault but he was blaming himself. He put his head down and was turning to walk away. She did what she had wanted to do since she had seen him knocked out on her bedroom floor. She ran up to him and put her arms around him. Her face was against his back and shoulder. “Please.” She whispered against his shoulder. “Please don’t go.”

She could hear him let out a shaky breath. His resolve was slipping. He pulled her hands apart from his front. She was scared he was rejecting her. But he turned around so quickly and embraced her. She held onto him for dear life. Tears had slowly started falling from her eyes. Overwhelmed with emotions; happy he stayed, sad that he felt the need to hide from her, frustrated at everything that had happened, fear he would run away from her. “KC,” He whispered. “I’m sorry. I’m so bloody sorry.”

“Shhh. You have nothing to be sorry for,” she said, loosening her grip so she could look at him without letting go.

“You’re joking, right? It’s my fault you almost got hurt. You should hate me right now.” He was angry. “I hate me right now.”

“That must be hard to admit for someone who loves himself so much,” she joked. He shook his head trying not to give her the laugh she was aiming for. “Draco,” she moved her hands to clasp them behind his neck. She wanted to look him in the eye and not try to hide away. “You protected me. You saved me from a stupid mistake. Who knows what I would have done with Cormac if I had actually drank that potion.” He tried to move his head to the side but she kept him in place. “I know what happened wasn’t you. You wouldn’t have hurt me. That potion made things so much worse. I could never blame you for that.”

“But you should, KC,” he said, grabbing her hands from behind his head and held onto them in front. “That potion? It had been modified. It got stronger the more you were attracted to that person. If I could control myself around you, it wouldn’t have been that bad.” Draco was distraught.

“I’m not scared of your feelings for me, Draco. I’m terrified of not being enough for you. I want to be so great to you, and I don’t feel like that I can give that to you right now.” She was shaking and it was her turn to hide her eyes from him. “I need to make sure I’m being the best person I can be, before I try and let anyone else in on that level. I’m still getting used to having friends, let alone one that I always want to be around. I don’t want to cling to you so hard that I scare you away.”

After a few moments of silence, Draco moved his hand to her cheek and brought her eyes to meet his. “You can’t scare me away, Hufflepuff. I’m stubborn. I’m not letting you go, but I will respect what you’re working towards. I’m your friend, first and foremost, and that means I’ll support you in what you’re wanting to do. We will study together, we can be friends, you can kick my ass at quidditch,” that made her laugh through her tears. “KC, you can cling to me. I’m not going anywhere.” She flung herself into him, embracing him and crying into his neck. His fingers went into her hair while his other hand held her to him. “I’m here. I’m right here,” he comforted. There was a sense of relief overall. Things were going to be ok.

KC let go of him after a few minutes, face puffy from crying. “Well, you look terrible,” he joked. She smacked him in the arm.

“You’re an ass, Draco Malfoy,” she said laughing and wiping her face. “I’m going to beat you. You’re lucky the bludgers aren’t out.”

“Am I now? How about a race. Seems my mother loves you more than me and got you a better broom. Want to test your luck?”

“And what do I get if I win?”

Draco thought on that. “You win, I’ll do your potions Thursday night. If I win,” he paused and got closer to her. Noses touching, he whispered. “If I win, I get to kiss you.”

KC smiled. “A Slytherin once told me not to take the first deal he offers.”

This cheeky witch. “Fine. If I win, you give me a massage after quidditch tryouts.”

“You drive a hard bargain, but you have a deal.” She backed away and went towards her broom. She turned to look at him, walking backwards. “By the way, I would have taken your first deal. I feel like I got the better end of things.”

“You cheeky little…” he said, running towards her. She raced off on her broom and he wasn’t far behind. They spend their time chasing around on their brooms. As the sun set, KC grabbed her blanket and book. Draco came with her to sit by the lake. He sat with his legs stretched out in front of him. KC laid down and put her head on his lap, watching the sun dance of the small quakes of the lake. This was peace.

“I hope you enjoy doing my potions Thursday,” she said softly.

He just laughed and moved her hair off her face. If he got more time like this with her, he would do her potions for the next year. He smiled.

Little did they know, Blaise was watching from the pitch entrance, satisfied with his work. He walked his way back towards the castle, knowing he would hear all about it tomorrow.

 But also, hidden from view was the head girl. She watched with mixed emotions. She was upset, jealous, sad. She wasn’t going to give up just yet. The game was just getting started.

Chapter Text

After the insanity that was her first week, KC was able to set herself into a routine that worked well. She was able to spend time studying in the library with her Slytherins and much to her surprise, Hermione joined them. What surprised KC even more, was the fact that she was trying to get to know the boys as well. Hermione was still a little weary about her, but if she was trying, then she would too. KC wanted to be on that level of comfortable with her, but it seemed every time she tried to get to know her, or invite her to different nights in Hufflepuff, she would put up a defensive attitude and say no. Harry and Ron were there for dinner times that were always interesting. They helped push her to be a better dueler during their Saturday mornings with Lupin. She still had some issues with her wandless protection spells. Simple warming or cooling charms were easy, but there was something blocking her magic from getting a simple Protego right. Ron was always quick to make her laugh when she was frustrated. But he didn’t quite understand why she wanted to get it right. No one knew when the Sympathizers would strike again, and she was terrified.

Ginny would always come and have fun. KC really admired that red-head. Her strong-willed attitude, pushing her to be better on the pitch, and she was a spark to be around. She made it possible for her to snag the top chaser spot on the Hufflepuff team, and all of the other houses were cheering on as they competed. On the nights where she felt alone when her boys were busy, Ginny and Hannah would grab her from the spot in the library and drag her outside to the pitch. They kept her balanced. KC was used to focusing on her work and doing quidditch workouts alone. Having friends who pushed her to be better. Draco would always show up to the pitch later, most of the time with Hermione walking with him. They were usually in some heated discussion about something. Draco would give a small smile but most of the time had a hard look of concentration while she rambled on. She would put her hand on his arm when they stop. He never reacted to it, but it made KC uncomfortable. She noticed it in the library too. If Hermione was sitting next to him, she would make moves to accidentally brush his hand when reaching for something, or would lean too close when he was trying to explain something. She was not subtle when it came to her intention of getting his attention. Something about seeing them together made her heart sink, but Draco could make his own choices.

Draco and KC had become much closer since they talked through the incident. KC was determined to keep her friendship with him. Nothing was going to take him away from her. She wasn’t about to jinx it all herself by admitting that there were feelings of more than friendship. When she spent time alone with him, she felt at peace. She didn’t have to try. They could converse about everything under the sun, and also be content with just sitting in silence, working on homework, or reading our books for fun. Their rounds together usually ended up with them at the pitch for a midnight flight, where she finally let him talk about his constellation. He would tell her stories that had her clinging to every word. When they had debates about potions or various topics, he was extremely passionate. She enjoyed seeing the sharp-grey tone in his eyes when he spoke about something important. He was always making fun of her for her relationship with his mother. Through their many letters back and forth, she felt so much like a mother to her. Draco swore his mother liked her more than she did him. KC would roll her eyes, but usually when she got a letter from his mother, she would send a book or some homemade goodies to her. Draco usually got a letter that just said be nice to KC. It made her appreciate them both so much in her life.

 Blaise was always there for her as well. It was a platonic friendship. So close, but they agreed the romance wasn’t quite right. Not with all that was happening with Draco  They had a deep heart to heart one night while Draco was doing rounds with Granger. After a few drinks (Blaise was mindful to not give her too much) they talked about everything. She still couldn’t tell him the truth about her family, but she shared the stories about some of the fun adventures she had back home with them. They just really enjoyed each other’s company. She would cuddle with him if she was having a hard day, or he would lay his head in her lap if he needed to vent. They found comfort in each other, a safe place. No expectations, just simple friends.

With her friends, life went by quickly. Before she knew it, it was a weekend of Halloween and it was her first Hogsmeade visit. Her first quidditch match was coming up as well. Caught up on all of her work for the week, she was ready to enjoy it as much as she could with her friends. She was sitting my Draco waiting for the Prefect meeting to start. They were supposed to go over rounding schedules, who would be supervising in Hogsmeade, and who would be responsible for monitoring Halloween after the feast.

“You ready for your first trip to Hogsmeade, KC?” Draco asked. “Can’t have my little Hufflepuff getting lost.”

“You’ve got jokes, do you?” KC gave him a slight shove, laughing. “I don’t get lost. I just have adventures in places I’ve never been. I just unfortunately can’t find my way back sometimes.” He hadn’t stopped giving her grief since she got separated from him on rounds one night. She ended up walking into the room where Peeves had taken to destroying. She was covered in goo from a prank he pulled and she couldn’t find her way back to the main staircases. She hadn’t seen Draco laugh that hard before, so in her mind, seeing that smile was worth it. That was the night he showed her the prefect’s bathroom. Her shower was great, but that bathtub was immaculate. It was a weekly treat to herself now.

“I’ll have to make sure you don’t have any adventures without me then,” he teased.

“I wouldn’t make too many plans, Malfoy,” Granger said, walking through the door towards the front of the room. “First Hogsmeade trip supervision has been assigned to us.”

Draco threw his head back in disbelief. “Really, Granger? You couldn’t have made it the 5th years?”

“It was McGonagall, not me. Sorry to ruin your date planning,” she said in sharp tone. She sounded irritated. KC flushed at the word date. Was that what Draco had intended? Didn’t matter now.

“Fine,” Draco said, disappointedly. He leaned into whisper into KC’s ear. “Guess we will have to have our fun when we get back.”

KC’s face when bright red. She was about to retaliate when Hermione started the meeting. She was determined to make sure no one would talk over her. She went over the schedules for the next week, the holiday and the following month. KC was confused. Her normal nights patrolling with Draco have gone from two to one. Hermione had replaced her. That’s weird. Draco had a scowl on his face but he hid it and listened. As much as she didn’t like it, she wasn’t going to question it. It wasn’t worth a battle when things were just started to get better. Once the things were wrapping up, Draco was asked to stay behind. Much to KC’s dismay, but she left him.

“Thanks for staying behind, Malfoy. I wanted to discuss some things privately with you.”

“Because we don’t live together or anything so privacy is hard to come by,” Draco said sarcastically.

“Look,” she started. “I know I can be a tyrant. But you should know that us supervising Hogsmeade really wasn’t my idea.”

“And what about taking away one of my rounds with KC?” Draco jabbed. “That can’t be a coincidence.”

Her face showed the fear in her eyes, but she held her ground. “There have been some comments about unprofessionalism…”

“Bullshit, Granger. We both know that is an absolute lie. But I’ll give you one opportunity here to give me the real reason why.” He stared her down and she remained quiet. Draco was more stubborn than her, he could wait. Her resolve waivered.

“Ok fine. That was me. I’d like to say I’m sorry but I’m not.”

“And why would you do that? Nothing has happened to where it would have been an issue. Why is it an issue now?”

“I’m jealous, ok!?” She huffed. She sat down but Draco stayed standing. “I’ve been trying for weeks to get your attention. I wanted a chance to show you that I wanted to be your friend. That I was interested.”

He rolled his eyes. “You haven’t exactly been discrete about it, Granger.” She looked at him in horror. “You think I wouldn’t notice? Not that I don’t appreciate the effort. But the dressing nicer, the make-up, the being extra nice to me and the people you obviously don’t like when I’m around.”

She looked down at her hands. “If you knew, why didn’t you say anything?”

Draco grabbed his bag to get ready to leave. “I didn’t say anything, because it’s not you. You were trying to be someone you’re not. You’ve always been strong-willed and opinionated. Nauseatingly smart. You’re snarky with your friends and you care. But you think that you had to dumb yourself down in order to impress me.” He sighed. “You’ve always been impressive. This just wasn’t the way to go about getting my attention.”

He turned to go out the door and was almost out when she yelled back to him. “Give me one chance, Malfoy.” That made him stop. “Give me one shot to show you I care. If you can honestly say you don’t feel even a fraction in return, I’ll drop it.”

He smirked. “Welcome back, Granger. See you in Hogsmeade.” And he stormed off towards the dungeons. What he didn’t see, was KC behind the tapestry and she had heard every word.

 

******

 

KC rushed down the stairs to the Hufflepuff common room. She saw Hannah sitting there in a group of people. She tried to hide her emotions but her hands were shaking too bad. “Can I talk to you? I need help.” Hannah got up and followed her to her room without questions.

KC flopped face down on her bed, face buried in her pillows. “mmmmmfhlpphmmm” is all Hannah heard from her. “Ok, you’re going to have to come up for air and tell me what’s going on. I’m all for pillow talk but that is a little bit different than my usual definition.” Hannah joked.

She flipped over and hugged her pillow. Hannah sat down next to her. “Hermione wants to date Draco.” KC put the pillow over her face and screamed. After a minute she moved it back off of her face and just looked at Hannah. “What should I do?”

Hannah laid down next to her trying to process that statement. “Do you want to date him?”

 KC didn’t know how to answer that. She liked him yes, and obviously there was attraction there. But they had been adamant about their friendship being just that. She loved being around him. She cared for him. But She couldn’t bare the thought of possibly losing him if something went wrong. The bigger question was: Did he want to date Hermione as well. They do live together in the same room. They are going to be spending a lot more time together. She was studying with them more and more in the library. “What if he wants to date her too?” KC whispered.

“That wasn’t the question I asked you,” Hannah tried to push.

“What should I say to that? You know I care about him. It’s obvious that the attraction is there. But what if I messed it up by pushing the ‘just friends’ over and over the last few weeks?” KC was absolutely devastated. “I just want him to be happy. I don’t want to be selfish when it comes to him. If she makes him happy, why should I stand in the way of that?’

“Then you need to talk to him. Let him explain what is happening.”

“Do you think I should ask Blaise how to handle it? He knows Draco better than I do. Maybe having a Slytherin mind would help me figure out what is going on,” KC thought.

“Whether you do or not confide in him, you’re still going to have to talk to Malfoy about it.” Hannah went to take KC’s pillow away from her and sat up. “Because if you don’t, I’m going to.”

“Please don’t,” KC begged. “I’m going to give him a chance to talk to me. I wonder if I get him a gift while in Hogsmeade and give it to him when we head back? Do you think that would work? He does like gifts and attention.”

“And if he chooses to see where things go with Hermione?” Hannah asked, turning on her side to look at her.

A tear fell down KC’s cheek onto her pillow. “Then I’ll be the supportive best friend who I told myself I was. I was serious when I said I just want him to be happy. I guess if she does it for him, then I’m not going to fight it.” She laid there in silence for a minute thinking about things. “I’m not going to make him choose between us. But I have a feeling she might and that scares me.”

“Malfoy may be a prat sometimes, but he isn’t stupid. He would choose you; I have no doubt in my mind about that.” Hannah said matter of fact.

“I wish I had that same confidence.” Her heart hurt. Hannah pulled her close into a friendly cuddle and let her cry. It was going to be a long wait until Hogsmeade.

 

******

 

Draco couldn’t believe what happened. Granger had some nerve. He was so angry at her for what she did. He was looking forward to those times with KC and now it was even more limited. But what was even more intriguing, was the fact that she actually acted like herself again. The hard-headed, bushy-haired know-it-all listened to him. She didn’t beat around the bush so to speak. She was blunt about what she wanted. He hated how much he was considering agreeing to give her a chance. KC was the one he wanted to spend his time with. Between their nights flying, studying nights, or even just the quiet times hanging out reading. He didn’t have to put up his mental shields around her. He didn’t have to hide. Granger on the other hand was something that he didn’t expect. Of course, she was intelligent. She was also fierce. She was going to conquer any challenge put before her. He wasn’t in a position to deny any physical attention, but would she be able to give him the emotional attention that KC did? The thought process was enough to drive anyone mad. He needed to find Blaise or Theo to unravel this all. He found them outside of the Great Hall.

Theo was the first to notice him in a brooding mood. “Ah, there’s the salty, brooding Malfoy we are used to. We were starting to think he was gone for good.”

Draco rolled his eyes and as he walked past them towards the stairs he said, “I need you two. Come with me.”

Blaise was shocked by that. Draco never asks for help; this must be something serious. They followed him down to the Heads common room. Granger wasn’t back yet thankfully, but they watched him storm off into his bedroom area. Blaise gave Theo a look of concern but went after him anyway. As they pasts the doorway, Draco slammed the door and silenced it. They watched as he tried to put up his mental shield but he just couldn’t.

“Ok,” Theo said. “Now that you have us worried you’ve lost it, why don’t you tell us what has you brooding.”

Draco sat down at the end of his bed and put his face in his hands. “Granger is an issue.”

“That’s always been the case. Why is it an issue now?” Blaise asked, trying to piece things together.

“She has been trying to get my attention for the last month. Have you noticed the change in her appearance?” Malfoy was stressed.  Blaise just motioned for him to keep going. “She definitely hasn’t been herself. And now she has switched my rounding nights with KC so I only have one. I have to go supervise Hogsmeade with her.”

“She is being bossy like always,” Theo summarized. “I don’t see how this is any different than the usual Granger activity.”

Draco dropped his hands and wrung them together to stop his shaking. “She asked me out. Like on a date. She is interested in me.” Blaise and Theo looked at him blank-faced.

“And that is a problem?” Theo questioned. Draco followed with silence and a sad look on his face.

Blaise finally understood. “You’re worried about KC.” Draco looked broken. “You know that she cares for you, Malfoy. She is going to support you if you want to explore the potential with Granger.”

“That’s the thing, Blaise. I don’t know if I want to. I want to be around KC! But she doesn’t feel the same way. She is always adamant that we are just friends. She wants to get a handle on her year and studies and getting used to having friends. Granger has made it very clear in her feelings. I’ve been denying myself the physical aspect because I don’t want to scare KC, but Granger has been forward in her advances.” Malfoy looked up at his two friends. “What would you choose?”

Theo was lost in thought. Blaise was concerned for their friend. “We can’t make that decision for you,” he said. “You need to talk to KC. It involves her. And it’s not like Granger has been the nicest towards her since the beginning. They both challenge you in different ways. You can see how things go on the Hogsmeade trip with Granger and decide after that. But you need to talk to KC either way. She would be heartbroken if you didn’t ask her opinion. As much as I hate to say it, she’s your best friend.”

“Hogsmeade is tomorrow,” Theo reminded. “You’ll have to either do it yet tonight, or after the trip.”

“I’ll ask her tomorrow,” Draco concluded. Tomorrow was going to be a trying day.

 

******

 

The day was bright and warm for October in Scotland. The rain was always beautiful and brought a sense of calm to the castle, but the days of sun were a gift to enjoy. KC skipped breakfast so she could enjoy it before she went to the village. Blaise came with her so she could do some drills with the quaffle. She flew harder than she usually did. Exhausting herself to empty her mind from everything that happened last night.

Blaise held the quaffle from her. “Come on, Blaise. I’m not done yet. Give it to me!” She yelled. He just shook his head. She flew at him to try and steal it back but he barrel-rolled out of her reach. “Just give it to me!”

 “I know what you’re doing,” he said to her. “You can’t exhaust yourself to hide from emotions. It’s far too early in the morning for that. Besides, it’s almost time to head to the village. You’re telling me you’d rather play angry quidditch than let me, your rich Slytherin friend, spoil you with chocolates and fun things?” She looked distraught, he dropped the quaffle down to the ground and slowly moved towards her. She was looking off into the distance and saw the group of students walking towards Hogsmeade. Draco walking in the front with Hermione. “Ah, so that’s why you’re upset.”

She looked away. “There’s nothing wrong with a group walking, Blaise.”

He shook his head and flew down to the ground, KC close behind him. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. I can tell you’ve been off for weeks. Has Draco talked to you?” She shook her head but the emotion was clear on her face. The mention of his name put a hint of sadness in her demeanor. “I take it you’ve noticed Granger’s intentions.”

“It’s not hard to miss,” She muttered under her breath.

Blaise grabbed her chin and made her look at him. “He cares so much for you. You know that, but I need you to remember it.”

She went off towards the locker room processing her feelings. Blaise followed her closely and they locked their brooms up. Once they finished, they met Theo at the entrance of the castle to go to the village. They sandwiched her between them and made a pact to give her the best time. And her reaction to the village was magic in itself. She spotted Ginny, Ron, and Harry and ran up to them. First stop was Honeydukes. A Self-induced sugar rush was in order. They piled her up with Chocolate Frogs, Sugar quills of different flavors, candy floss, and one box of every flavor beans. They were different than the sweets she was used to seeing in America and couldn’t wait to try them.

Ron handed her a red disk candy on their walk towards The Three Broomsticks. The look of mischief on his face made her challenge him silently. She put the disk in her mouth and the burst of hot cinnamon was instant. The group roared in laughter as steam blew out of her ears. KC laughed right along with them. He popped one in his mouth and his face got as bright as his hair. The steam whistled as it came out. It was pure joy. They giggled their way down the path when KC stopped in her tracks. Blaise stopped with her and motioned the rest of the group to go ahead. He saw what she was looking at. Draco and Granger walking from the opposite direction, her arm wrapped around his. She was talking passionately about something and he watched her intently. Hermione pulled him into the parchment shop and it was like the spell KC was under broke. Blaise watched her with a sullen look. She looked broken. He grabbed her hand and she took a deep breath. “It’s going to be alright,” Blaise whispered. She fought the tears that were threatening to fall but nodded her head and let him lead her towards the group that went inside.

She scooted her in the booth with the group right next to Theo. He went and grabbed drinks for the group. Butterbeers for the table. As he sat down next to KC, he put his arm behind her on the bench back and slid her a shot of firewhisky. She gave him a side eye but took it without question. Setting the glass back down, she grabbed her butterbeer with other hand and put her hand in Blaise’s under the table. She still wasn’t smiling, but being around the group and having her friend for comfort made things a little easier.

Outside of the pub there was more excitement happening. Shops bustling with life, students running the street, packages of various sizes being carried back towards the castle. Draco admired the students at ease. Supervising wasn’t as bad as he had expected. Granger was actually good company. She had some great stories of how she grew up and they debated on various topics. It wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t hate it either. They had walked and done most of the rounds expected of them. Most students were heading back towards the castle after a long day in the village. They decided to check in on their friends at the pub and join them for a few drinks. He was excited to see KC and ask her all about her first trip here. What he saw when they walked in made his heart sink. Her hand was in Blaise’s, his arm around behind her. The group was having a great time it seemed.

Hermione strode right up to the table and pulled up a chair by Ginny. KC made eye contact with him and she stiffened. She moved both her hands onto her mug of butterbeer as he pulled up a chair by Blaise. Conversation between the group continued on and was as boisterous as usual. KC tried to lighten up but Draco noticed something was wrong. She whispered into Blaise’s ear and he moved to let her out. She disappeared towards the washroom. He took that opportunity to ask Blaise what was going on. “Is she ok? What happened?”

Blaise just shrugged and went back to the group’s conversation. That was not an answer that he could accept. He got up and went to follow her. She was in the washroom and he wanted to make sure she was ok. Screw it. He opened the door to see if anyone else was in there. Looking towards the floor, he saw her boots were the only ones there. He stepped inside and locked the door behind him. KC was crying, he could hear her sniffling. “KC, it’s me,” he announced. The sound stopped, slowly the stall door creaked open.

“You didn’t have to follow me. I’m ok,” she said, wiping her eyes and heading towards the sink to wash her hands.

“You’re lying to me. You’ve never lied to me,” he walked up behind her as she turned the water off. She looked up at him in the mirror. “Please, tell me what’s going on?” He was trying to plead with her. She looked hurt.

“Why didn’t you tell me, Draco?” She asked quietly. The look of confusion crossed his face. She turned to face him and looked him right in the eye. “Why didn’t you tell me Hermione asked you out?” He froze. How did she know about that? “I stayed outside after the meeting to wait for you. I heard everything. I was expecting you to try and find me afterwards but you left so quickly.”

“KC, you should know that I was going to come to you after I was done today. Your opinion is everything to me,” he said, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear, his hand landing on her cheek.

“It’s ok. You don’t need my permission to go on a date, Draco. If she makes you happy, then why would my opinion matter?” She looked down at the floor, avoiding his gaze.

“You are my best friend, KC. You mean so much to me. Your opinion means more than anyone else.”

Friends. She had ruined her chance. She had to live with that. “I just want you to be happy. Your happiness is what matters the most. I won’t keep you from doing something you want to do,” she whispered looking back up at him. She embraced him. Her face into his shoulder, her arms under his clinging to him. He held onto her tight. One hand through her hair and he held tight. She was trying so hard not to cry. Her shaking gave her true feelings away, but she was trying to suppress it. She backed away from him slowly. “I’m going to be here for you, always. I won’t be selfish. I’d never make you choose. Just, please, be happy.” She patted his cheek and then made her way out the door.

He was frozen in shock. She didn’t fight it. He had wanted her to. He had wanted her to show the emotion he was so used to seeing. She was fiery when it came to her friends. She would talk with him about everything. Why didn’t she fight me? He walked out of the washroom back towards the table. As he rounded out of the hallway, he saw KC rushing out the door. He went right back to his chair by Blaise. Before he could get a word out, Hermione put her hand on his thigh. He looked at him. “Why did she leave?”

Blaise gave him a glance, looked down and the hand that was on this leg, and gave him a “really?” kind of look. Blaise whispered something to Theo and grabbed all of their things and got up to leave as well. I really messed things up, didn’t I? Draco thought.

He got lost in his thoughts, while the group continued to have a good time. That was until a crashing sound came from outside of the pub, followed by a multitude of screams.

 

*****

 

KC was out of the village before Blaise caught up with her. “Will you wait, please?” he yelled after her. She stopped, but didn’t make eye contact with him. “What did he do?”

“He didn’t do anything, Blaise. I just was tired and wanted to go back to the castle,” she said, trying to turn away.

“I know it hurt seeing him with her.” She stopped dead in her tracks. “Why is it so hard to just tell him that you want him?” She was crying.

“Because I can’t, Blaise! I ruined my chance! He said we were friends. Correction, best friends. I held him off for too long. I missed my shot and he moved on,” she said, shaking. “He went with the one who didn’t fight her feelings. He went with the better choice.”

Blaise grabbed her hand and pulled her back towards him. Enveloping her in a tight hug, he let her cry. She sobbed into his chest. He lowered them to the ground as he could feel her body collapsing. “He didn’t, KC. Not by a long shot. He may go along with it, but don’t believe for one second that he doesn’t want you. You mean the world to him. Just give him time and he will show you how much.” She just continued to cry for a few minutes and he put his head on top of hers giving her comfort. I’m going to strangle that man, he thought.

It was then they heard a collapsing crash coming from the direction of the village. KC shot straight up and they heard the screaming. “Draco!” She stood and grabbed Blaise, running as fast as she could back towards the village. It was pure chaos. The students left were scrambling to leave the village. She saw a few clouds of smoke coming from a few buildings and there were figures dressed in all black. She saw her group dueling off a handful while a few were inside shops. Draco was fighting to get them away from the group. She started fighting a few of them at the same time. It wasn’t long before it was only them left in the pathway. KC fought and was able to stun the two she was fighting when she was hit from behind. She heard Draco yell her name as she went down.

Her vision was going in and out, when she saw a hooded person above her. “It’s nice to meet you, Miss Celine. All the way from America.” The voice was low and posh. Through her blurry vision she saw a face that looked like Draco, just older and the hair was so much longer. “We have to run, but tell your parents I say hello. Give this to my son for me.” She couldn’t move. She heard her name coming from a short distance away. She turned her head to try and focus-in on him. It was then that a spell was shot towards Hermione and Draco dove to push her out of the way. He landed above her and she clung to him. All KC saw before she went unconscious was the sight of Draco on the ground with her and their faces so close.

The hooded figures disapparated and the dueling was over. Draco rushed to get up and sprinted towards KC. He put his hands on her face, but there was nothing there. He could feel her pulse, but she was knocked out. Blaise had been hit too but he was starting to groggily sit up. Draco looked down and saw a piece of parchment in her jacket pocket. “I have to get her to the hospital wing,” Draco said, looking back at the group. “You all wait for the Aurors to get here. I need to make sure she is ok.” He placed a featherlight charm on her and carried her bridal style. Blaise followed him to the castle.

“What was that, Malfoy? Who do you think attacked her?” Blaise asked concerned.

The Sympathizers. And he now knew without a doubt who was with them. He glanced down and saw the parchment in her jacket peeking out. It had his name on it. He had hurt her to contact him. This was about to go downhill very quickly, and it terrified him that KC was involved. “Blaise. That was my father.”

Chapter Text

The attack on Hogsmeade was a mystery. The aurors arrived and surveyed the damage done, speaking to every witness that was there. The most of the damage was done in the book shop. The store was ripped apart, shop keeper was murdered. When the aurors went to investigate, there was no evidence of anything stolen. Harry gave them as much information about what he went through, what he saw, any ideas he might have had. He told them that he saw Lucius Malfoy right before the group had disapparated away. Nothing quite made sense to him. What was so important that they would attack Hogsmeade on one of the busiest weekends? Harry walked over to his friends that were waiting their turns to talk to the investigators. “I’m going to head back up to the castle and report to McGonagall what happened. The aurors are ready for one of you. I’ll meet you in the common room later?”

Hermione and Ron nodded their heads as one of the investigators walked up. Harry hated lying to his friends, but he wanted to asks some questions on his own before everything exploded again. He needed to get to the hospital wing. If anyone might know anything it was the one that was targeted.

 

******

 

Draco was trembling. He laid KC on the hospital bed and Madam Pomfrey ran the diagnostics. She was going to be ok, but it was unknown what spell she was hit with. The long-term effects were up in the air. Blaise sat in a chair at the end of the bed, Draco sitting on the edge holding her hand. I can’t believe I was so careless with her. It was his father who had hurt her and now he didn’t know when she would wake. He pulled the parchment that was in her pocket. It was addressed to him.

 

Draco,

The time is now to cleanse the wizarding population. We will finish what was started. Don’t end on the wrong side again. There won’t be forgiveness this time.

Sanctimonia Vincet Semper

 

 

Purity will always conquer. That house motto made him sick. He couldn’t protect her from his insane father. He couldn’t understand why he would specifically attack KC. What made her so important? He couldn’t stand that it was his own blood that hurt her. Blaise got up and stood behind him. With one hand on his shoulder he simply said, “This is not your fault, Draco. You are not your father.”

Draco couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt. Potter walked into the ward and stood next to them. “Any news?” Blaise shook his head. Draco held tight to KC’s hand, kissing the back of it and holding it to his forehead. “This isn’t your fault, Malfoy,” Potter tried to reassure.

“The hell it isn’t,” Draco spat. “My father targeted her and I have no idea why. How can anyone say it isn’t my fault?” He was seething. That was until he felt the hand in his squeeze a little.

“Don’t you dare,” they heard a whisper. KC stirred in her bed, slowly opening her eyes. Draco shot straight over her so he could meet her eyes. Her eyes fluttered as they tried to focus. As she started to come to more clearly, she saw Draco and flinched. His heart sank. He tried to let go of her hand and back away but she held on tight. “I’m sorry. That wasn’t aimed at you. I thought you were....” she stopped. She knew he would beat himself up because of what had happened. “It’s ok, I’m ok.”

She looked around and saw Blaise by her said and Harry at the end of the bed. She couldn’t even muster the strength to sit up, but she held tight to Draco’s hand. “KC, do you know what happened?” Harry asked.

She shook her head slowly. “I don’t know exactly what they were looking for, but I have a pretty good idea of what they are trying to do.”

That piqued all of their interest. “You’re not involved, are you?” Harry asked. Draco turned to glare at him.

“How dare you, Potter,” he growled. “She is lying in the hospital bed and you think she has anything to do with this?”

“It’s ok, Draco. I get why he is here,” she said, letting go trying her best to sit up. Blaise and Draco were the first to help her. She smiled at them as she got comfortable. “What I’m about to tell you doesn’t leave this room.” Harry muttered a Muffliato. “I mean it, Harry. Not even Ron or Hermione can know. Lupin is the only one I have discussed this with even briefly, the more people that know, the bigger target my family becomes. Do you understand?”

The group didn’t, but they nodded in hopes to find out. “I think the Sympathizers are doing exactly what they think Voldemort wanted. He wanted clean bloodlines. So far, the attacks have been aimed at those who were bonded to a pureblood family, or had offspring from that union. What else would explain why the pureblood husband was spared, but the muggleborn wife and their child were killed?” That fact hit Draco like a ton of bricks. Blaise looked terrified. “I don’t know the exact details of my family history. I destroyed most of it, knowing it was the only record they had. My parents are squibs. Born of families that were in the Sacred 28.” The realization hit Draco hard and he got up to pace far away.

“So, that means that they are looking for the records that you destroyed. And they are coming after you,” Harry surmised. “What was so important about those records?”

“They stole those records when they left Britain. It was the only known copy of the most recent, most accurate family histories of purebloods. Most families have tapestries that represent their family tree, but most squibs born are left off and cast out, even in the nicest of families. That’s why I don’t talk about my family. If I give away specifics about where I’m from, who they are, or anything about their past, they could be in serious danger. I can't tell the aurors or McGonagall. I trust you three,” said looking down at her hands. Blaise sat by her and held her hand.

“My father used to have a copy of the most detailed records in the manor,” Draco said after a minute of silence. “When the ministry raided the manor after the battle, I bet that was one of the first things they took. Records like that are rare to come by. I’d bet anything that is what they are looking for. They get their hands on that again, they have a kill list.” He looked like he was going to be sick. “I’m so sorry, KC. I hate that they drug you into this.”

“I was in this long before you came along, Draco. There was nothing anyone could have done.”

“What do we do to stop this?” Harry asked, refocusing her attention.

“We have to gather the Sympathizers. Until then, anyone with ties to the pureblood lines are in danger. They can’t rid the world of muggleborns, so they are doing what they can. It has to stop.” Harry nodded his head and started to leave. “I meant what I said, Harry. I’m trusting you. You cannot tell anyone about my family. I can’t lose my parents.”

He understood that. He’d give anything to have his family. He cancelled the silencing charm around them as an auror walked in to talk to the three about today’s events. Now to come up with an excuse for Ron and Hermione. It was not his story to tell, but KC was not on their list of untrustworthy people.

The auror started with Draco and took him to the other end of the ward to interview him. Blaise sat down on the bed next to KC and took her hand. “I’m glad you’re ok,” he said.

“I’m glad you’re ok, too,” she said with a slight smile. She looked over to where Draco was talking and her frown reappeared. “He blames himself, doesn’t he?”

Blaise didn’t confirm, but they both knew the answer. “He hates that his father did this to you. He cares for you so much and there was nothing he could do to stop it.”

“Nothing was his fault. He cannot control his father’s actions. At least this time, he is fighting against him,” she said patting his hand. “I’m sorry if I put you in the middle between him and I. We have some things to work through, obviously. But I just want him to be happy.”

“Trust me, I understand,” he said smiling. “If anything, being in the middle is a good spot for me right now. I can’t be public with my relationship. You help take the attention off of that.”

KC raised her eyebrows at that revelation. “You’re with someone? Why didn’t you say anything? Will you tell me who it is?”

“I’ll make you a deal. You tell Draco how you truly feel, and I’ll tell you all of the details you’d like to know.”

KC glared at Blaise. He knew she wasn’t going to do that. Not after what she saw between him and Hermione. “If he is happy, then I'm not going to stand in his way. I ruined my chance and I have to live with that.”

Blaise shook his head and laughed. “For people who are so incredibly intelligent, you are both extremely thick. He...” Blaise started when the doors of the hospital wing flew open. Hermione was frantic. She saw Draco at the end, finishing up with the investigator. She ran up to him and he steadied her, both hands on her arms. KC took a firmer grip on Blaise’s hand, both not able to look away from what was happening. She was saying something quietly, and Draco had a hardened look. After a second it softened. He dropped his hands when she flung herself at him. Their lips connected. KC now had a death grip on his hand, but he couldn’t blame her. It was a simple kiss, only lasting a few seconds. Hermione took his hand but Draco’s face never faltered. His shields were up.

KC couldn’t take it and hid her face in Blaise’s shoulder. She couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, but she could feel the tears falling down her cheeks. He held her. Hermione was dragging him out of the wing by his hand. He watched KC cling to Blaise as he went by. I guess she meant it. She just wanted him to be happy. 

 

******

Draco wasn’t necessarily happy about what just happened. He sat in the Gryffindor common room with the Golden Trio and Ginny. Granger had been acting herself. She was kinder than he had expected throughout the day, and he was actually enjoying his time with her. But he couldn’t get another out of his mind long enough to truly enjoy the attention. And then the incident at the Three Broomsticks. KC was hurt. If she was so upset about the attention Hermione was giving him, why wouldn’t she just say so? I won’t be selfish, she had said. He definitely wasn’t used to being around Hufflepuffs. Slytherins manipulate things into what they want. Gryffindors are bold and take what they want. Ravenclaws are smart enough to know when to fight for what they need. Hufflepuffs are all over the place. They have big hearts, but tend to put others before themselves. Why couldn’t she just be selfish and tell him what was going on in her head!?

The group sat there discussing the day’s events. When it came to the topic of KC, Harry froze. Draco had to interact, “She doesn’t remember anything after she was stunned.”

“And there is no clue as to why your father decided to go after her?” Hermione asked putting her hand on his leg. This lioness wasn’t shy about showing her feelings.

He shook his head along with Harry. “My guess is she was left because they knew the ministry was coming,” Harry said.

Hermione had a fierce look. There was something she was missing and she knew it had something to do with KC. Harry and Draco knew. What did she have over them that they wouldn’t say? Harry wouldn’t be blackmailed, so why was he protecting her? She didn’t like the feeling this mess gave her. She grabbed Draco’s hand and scooted closer to him. If there was one thing she had over her, was that she now had Draco’s attention. She wasn’t going to give that up. Ginny eyed her and the hands that were linked together. There was a story there and she was going to find out.

Draco wasn’t opposed to the attention he was getting from Granger. It just wasn’t as electrifying as KC made him feel. He wasn’t going to deny attention when someone was going to willingly fight for him. Maybe he was selfish, but he couldn’t hold on to the hope of a maybe. It broke his heart a little, but until KC figured out what she truly wanted from him, he was going to indulge in the attention. Not that he wanted to hurt her, but he had needs and craved attention too.

“Can we skip to a brighter topic?” Ron asked. The group nodded in agreement. “Who’s ready to see Hufflepuff stomp Ravenclaw on Wednesday?” With that the group hurdled into the quidditch strategy debate and the outcomes. Draco pretended he was listening. He didn’t want to think about the color yellow, the speed of a certain chaser on her broom. It only brought the memories of late-night flying and practices. Instead, he nodded randomly to make them think he was paying attention. This might be harder than I thought.

 

*****

 

The Halloween feast the night following the incident was a quiet one. KC wasn’t there, still recovering in the hospital wing. Ginny was determined she would be better for the first game of the season. Draco sat with Theo and Blaise and let the Gryffindors celebrate on their own. He wasn’t feeling festive and didn’t want to be around anyone. He couldn’t wrap his mind around what was going on. So many students were excited and celebrating with all of the sweets and pulling pranks with Peeves. If there was anything he wanted to do, it was to forget the last few days happened. The day with Granger went smoothly, she read at the pitch while he flew off stress, they studied for the week coming up quietly, but that seemed to be all it was. It felt dull. The physical touch was nice, but emotionally? She didn’t really give it to him.

Classes Monday and Tuesday seemed to go by quickly. He sat by KC in the classes that Granger wasn’t in, and you could tell she was off. She tried to be her sassy self that he grew to enjoy being around, but when they got to their last classes with Granger, she would just shut down and walk away to sit with Blaise.

He looked forward to tomorrow afternoon so he could watch KC play her first quidditch match at Hogwarts. They had practiced enough to know that Ravenclaw didn’t stand a chance at getting the quaffle much from the Hufflepuff chasers. The only hope they had was that the Badgers’ seeker was slightly slower in catching the snitch.

Draco was trying to let Granger in, but it was difficult when all they really had in common was academics and stubborn attitudes. He wanted to connect with her in the way he had KC, but each time he tried, it felt wrong. He was going to ask her to come to the quidditch match with him, but he knew the answer.

“You know me, I don’t necessarily want to spend my time watching quidditch. I’ll support my friends, but I think I’ll stay in and finish studying. I was hoping you’d stay with me,” she said trying to sound casual.

“You don’t want to support your friend, Hannah? I know you’re not a fan of KC but she is playing too.” That was a mistake. She heard that name and her face glared. “You could join me and Longbottom. Red will probably be there too.”

“No, thank you. You enjoy it though. I’ll see you when it’s over,” she said as she grabbed her book and went to her room.

It’s not like Draco was upset she didn’t want to go. He was fine with it, ecstatic even. It just meant he could enjoy his time with KC. He was going to sleep well knowing he was going to see her tomorrow. In her element, joyous, and free. He fell asleep quickly and couldn’t wait.

 

******

 

KC was visibly nervous at breakfast. She sat with the group like always, minus Hermione who chose to be in the library today.  Hannah and Ginny sandwiched her in and piled her plate full of eggs and sausage, toast and orange juice. Hannah was happy to spoil her knowing how hard of a time she had the last few days. She had spent time with KC and Blaise, putting pieces together of what was happening with Draco. She thought KC was being ridiculous for not telling Draco how she felt, but they were both so stubborn, it wouldn’t do any good.

Ginny was talking KC’s ear off about different moves she should try all while Harry and Ron were sneaking in jokes. Blaise sat on the opposite side of the table between Draco and Theo, silently supporting the group. KC was trying to block out the noise so she could try and calm down. It wasn’t until she felt Harry shake her shoulder that she looked up. Draco was smiling towards the door. She saw and auror and … “Narcissa!”

KC shot up from the table and sprinted towards the door. She embraced her in such a tight hug. “I can’t believe you’re here! How are you here?” She loosened her hold on her and backed away, but still held her hands.

“You can thank Mr. Potter for that. He made a case that you were needing some love from a mother. Under supervision, of course,” Narcissa said as posh as ever. “Now tell me, is my son behaving?”

Her face fell a little. But she picked her smile right back up. It didn’t go unnoticed by Narcissa but she wouldn’t push it now. “Hello, Mother,” said a deep voice behind her. KC let go of her hands so that she could embrace her son.

“My son. Please tell me you are behaving. KC seems to believe you haven’t been.”

“I’ve been the perfect gentleman, don’t believe a word she says,” he joked.

“She didn’t say anything and I know that is an absolute lie,” Narcissa said casually. It made KC laugh. It was a smile Draco hadn’t seen in a week and he melted. “I do hope that it is ok that I came to see the match. It’s been so long since I’ve had the joy of watching a good round of quidditch.”

KC’s face lit up. “You came just for me?” She was overjoyed. Her parents, as much as they loved her and supported her, weren’t allowed to come to her matches at home. Only magical persons were allowed in the area of Ilvermorny.

“Absolutely. I know you’re going to do well. Draco has spoken highly of you in his letters. Said even he is afraid to match up against you.”

“As he should be,” KC sassed. Draco nudged her and they all smiled.

Hannah and the group showed up behind them. “You ready to go and kick some Ravenclaw ass?” Hannah grabbed her arm and led her away from the group. KC had never been more ready for a match in her life.

Draco stayed standing with his mother. “I’m happy to see you,” he said quietly. “It’s been a rough week.”

“I heard about Hogsmeade. I’ve gotten a few details but I’m afraid I don’t have any news for you. Still no sign from your father?”

His face dropped. He had the note in his pocket since he got it. He couldn’t stop thinking about it. “He was there, mother. He hurt her,” Draco said quietly. He handed her the note. She read it with a blank face but stuck in in the pocket of her robes.

“We can discuss this later. It’s time to go and support her.”

They walked to the pitch together. The auror was kind enough to walk far enough behind that they could talk amongst themselves. He told her about how the year had been going and how much he had grown close to KC. He also explained to her the confusion he had been feeling between them. The entire Granger situation. His mother was the only one who listened and could offer advice that was best for him. When he finished with everything, they were outside the pitch. “I know this seems quite stressful, Draco. But I am thankful that you are experiencing what most people experience at your age. Problems of the heart.”

“I understand that, but what would you do in my situation?”

“It’s not wrong to want attention. But in this case, I think your choice is clear. Don’t lead anyone on.” It was then they saw the teams walk out of the changing rooms. Most of the players zoomed off onto the pitch, flying around the students cheering in the stands. KC stood there after having a word with Hannah. “Go. Tell her good luck,” Narcissa nudged.

He looked at his mother and she just pushed him forward. He walked toward the entrance where KC was watching the players fly.

“And why aren’t you out there showing off yet?” Draco teased. She was shaking.

“I’m freaking out, Draco. I’m going to mess this up and my house is going to hate me.”

She really was nervous. He turned her to look at him and held her shoulders to keep her still. She met his eyes. “I want you to take a deep breath with me.” He breathed in and she followed him. Letting it out slowly, her hands were less shaky already. “See, it’s not so bad.” She let out a breathy laugh. “I’ve seen you fly. They don’t stand a chance. I barely stand a chance flying against you. Just take all of your anger towards me and put that frustration into throwing that quaffle.”

Her eyes widened. “You think I’m angry with you?”

“I thought you were. After everything, you should be,” Draco whispered.

She grabbed his face. “I am not angry with you. I couldn’t be even if I wanted to be. I just want you to be happy.”

Draco knew he shouldn’t keep her any longer. She needed to get out there, but he didn’t want her to leave. He grabbed her hands and pulled them down in front of them. He leaned in. She stopped breathing again. He decided to push his luck, and he placed a kiss on her cheek. Whispering in her ear, “Go kick some ass, Hufflepuff.” He backed away and she was smiling brightly. He started backing away and she stood watching him. “Seriously, get out there before I come chase you with a bludger myself!” She laughed and took off, speeding to join her team. Draco heard the crowd roar as she flew. She was going to be a force to be reckoned with.

He walked back towards the way to the stands and Narcissa was waiting for him. She held in her grin like she was holding in a secret. “And what do you find so amusing?”

“Nothing, Draco. Absolutely nothing. Let’s go,” she smirked as she wrapped her arm around his elbow. He led her up the stairs to the stands. They sat in the front row of the benches. He was enthralled watching KC fly. He had flown with her many times, but this was a whole new level. Hufflepuff was riled up and ready for the game to start.

Madam Hooch signaled it was time for the teams to line up. KC was right in the middle, the forward chaser to move to the quaffle first. The snitch was released and zoomed out of sight so quickly, neither of the seekers stood a chance. Madam Hooch flew below the circle. She blew the whistle, tossed the quaffle up and the match began. KC was the first to reach the quaffle. Narrowly avoiding collision with the oncoming chasers by turning to fly upside down. She spun back up, speeding right towards the Ravenclaw chaser. With one pump-fake move, she distracted the keeper enough to throw the quaffle in the opposite direction, scoring the first goal to Hufflepuff! The stands erupted with cheers. The yellow chasers zoomed back to get into their defensive positions as Ravenclaw took control. They tried on of their first moves: shuffling the quaffle between players. It took one well-aimed bludger to go between the players to throw off their concentration and KC was able to knock it free. Her and Hannah zoomed avoiding contact with players coming at them. KC went right and flew straight towards one of the Ravenclaw chasers that was waiting to block her. She zig-zagged enough to get past them and with an overhead, no-look pass, she tossed it to Hannah and she slammed it passed the keeper.  Ravenclaw couldn’t keep up. The game was 20-0 in the first 2 minutes and the badgers showed no sign of slowing down.

The back and forth of various ways the Hufflepuff chasers out-smarted the Ravenclaws was nothing short of astounding. He caught sight of Ginny sitting with their group of friends and she was fired up! Their entire group was up in their seats cheering loudly. KC! KC! KC! KC! Could be heard echoing around the stadium. After 1 hour of play, the score was 150 – 10. It was around then that he felt someone slide into the seat next to him. He looked and it was Granger. “Surprised, Malfoy?” she jeered.

“I thought you weren’t going to come to the match?” He asked curtly. He was banking on the fact she wouldn’t be here. He didn’t want to embarrass himself in front of his mother.

“You were right, I should be supporting my friends. As much as I may not get along with KC, she is important to you. Hannah is important to me too. I’m going to be nice and support them,” she said. She looked around Draco and saw his mother. “It’s so good to see you here, Narcissa.”

“Please, call me Mrs. Malfoy.” His mother said almost too sweetly. He had heard that tone before. She was not happy. Hermione flushed, knowing she was being brushed off, and turned her attention towards the match.

The score kept climbing. Eagles couldn’t fly compared to the Hannah and KC combination. KC scored a goal making the game 210 – 10 when one of the beaters bumped into her straight on. She went flying backwards, right towards where he was sitting. After spinning a few times, she was able to get control over her broom again. She looked around to figure out where she was, and she met eyes with him. She smiled until she looked behind him. When did Hermione get there? She tried to forget it, but the site of her hanging onto his hand while she sat and he stood watching burned into her mind. Narcissa yelled at her to get back out there and she flew. As far and fast as she could.

The next parts of the match, she couldn’t get back into her groove. She would go to make a move to steal the quaffle and she would completely miss. When she did try to hit the goal, she hit the ring of the hoop and it bounced off. Draco knew she was off and it was his fault. She had stopped in front of her friend group. Blaise was right towards the front yelling at her. He couldn’t make out what he was telling her. He saw KC take a few deep breaths and she zoomed off back towards her team. Moments later, you could hear the crowd cheer and the two seekers took off. KC did her best to keep going and stole the quaffle mid-air when they tried to score. She zipped through the pitch effortlessly. The Ravenclaw seeker ran right into the tail of his teammate's broom, causing him to spin out. Hufflepuff had a clear advantage. He was so close. It was then KC saw a Ravenclaw beater take aim. She threw the quaffle to Hannah and sped towards her seeker. “LOOK OUT!” She yelled trying to reach him. In just enough time, KC was able to wrap her legs around her broom and dive towards the bludger, attempting to catch it. It slammed right into her stomach, knocking all air out of her lungs, but she had a hold of it. She managed to slowly fall to the ground. She heard the whistle come from Madam Hooch. “HUFFLEPUFF WINS! Final score 380 – 20!”

She let go of the bludger and laid there on the ground. Her teammates flew down and swarmed her. Dog-piled on top of her in celebration. The entire pitch in unison KC! KC! KC! KC!

Her group of friends rushed down onto the pitch and swarmed her in hugs once her team let her go. Draco, Hermione, and Narcissa made their way down towards them. Draco was ready to congratulate her. He was almost to them when he saw Blaise sweep her up into a spinning hug. Held onto her tightly once he set her down, his face buried into her shoulder. Only he had ever been that close with her. She hugged others, but not like that. That was affection. He saw Blaise let her go and brushed a stray hair out of her face. She smiled and looked towards Draco. She ran towards them.

“What a rush!” She squealed. “I’m so happy you were here to see it, Narcissa.”

“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, my dear,” she said with a loving smile. That made Hermione’s jaw drop. KC leapt in to hug her. The affection of a mother. Hermione was upset and grabbed onto Draco’s hand. As he was trying to free it from her grasp, KC had let go and turned to him to give him a hug. And then she saw it.

“Oh,” she said, stopping herself from moving towards him. Her face dropped momentarily and then she put on a fake smile. “I’m happy to see you here to support us, Hermione. I know quidditch isn’t your thing, but it means a lot that you’re here.”

Hermione just gave her a nod. She looked towards Draco. “Thank you for giving me a confidence boost before the match. It really helped.”

He smiled. “You didn’t need me. That was all you. You were amazing. I’m terrified to play against you.”

“Will I see you at the party in Hufflepuff later?”

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Seriously, who parties on a school night?”

The smile dropped from KC’s face. “I guess that’s a ‘no’. I’ll see you in class then.” She turned back towards Narcissa and gave her one more hug. “It really meant so much for you to be here. Will you write to me when you return home?”

“I look forward to it.”

KC gave them one last smile and went back towards her team and friends. Draco finally was able to get his hand away from Hermione. “Why is it that you only give me affection when she is around?” She looked at him and froze. “If you’re doing it to make her angry, then you’re doing a fine job of it.”

“Malfoy, I swear that’s not what I was doing,” Hermione stood her ground.

“Draco, dear, is this really the place for this?” Narcissa questioned.

“I swear, Granger. If you’re trying to make her jealous, it won’t work. She has given you her go ahead. She wants me to be happy, whatever that means. You don’t have to compete with her, but it seems like that is what you feel like you have to. I’m not a prize to be won. If you want me for me, then so be it. But I won’t be treated like a prized possession that is to be shoved in everyone’s face.” Draco was seething. He looked back towards the friend group where Blaise had his arm around KC as they chatted with Theo. “I’m going to walk my mother to the gates and say good-bye. I’ll see you back in the common room later.”

Draco wrapped his mother’s arm around his and with permission from the auror, they walked off the pitch. They walked in silence. He was trying to put up the mental block to get a handle on everything racing through his head. When they got to the gate, he looked at his mother. “I’m sorry you had to see that, mother. I promise my manners actually have been immaculate otherwise.”

“I do not blame you one bit. I admire Miss Granger. However, I did notice the only time she wanted to be closer to you was when KC was near. If that is what you have decided you want, that is your choice.”

“I don’t think it matters what my choice is. You saw her with Blaise. She seemed happy. I won’t stand in the way of that. Granger gives me affection. As much as I wish it wasn’t in retaliation to a certain person, I don’t want to reject my chance at being happy too.”

Narcissa grabbed her son and hugged him close. “You have to decide if that is the kind of happiness you want.” She let him go and moved towards the gate where the auror was waiting. “Good luck. Write to me soon.” After a few steps past the gates, they disapparated.

After all of that, his head felt like he was the one who had tried to catch a speeding bludger. He went towards the castle to go to his room and rest. He was going to make an appearance at that celebration. He just wanted to clear his mind so he knew what he was going to tell KC. When did things become so complicated? He kicked a rock in the grass back onto the path. Emotions were messy. He sighed and made his way back quietly to the castle.

Chapter Text

The celebration in the Hufflepuff common room was a sight to behold. Hannah was celebrating with her team, Neville sitting in the chair next to her beaming at her like the proud partner he was. KC admired them. She was able to converse with many in her house that she hadn’t had the opportunity to. People were excited to see her and all were telling her congratulations. Blaise and Theo kept her company most of the evening. Still in her uniform from earlier, she was hoping that soon she would be able to sneak away to shower and rejoin the party. But she was having too wonderful of a time to leave quite yet. Ginny was bringing her shot upon shots of firewhisky. As much as it was going to hurt during class tomorrow, she didn’t mind. Once she felt more than tipsy, she sat down next to Ginny and just enjoyed the scene. 

“How does it feel to obliterate the scoring record for Hufflepuff?” Ginny shook her in excitement. 

KC joined her excitement with a small laugh. “I can’t feel anything right now, Gin. You made sure of that. I can’t wait to see you play soon! You’re going to show me how it’s really done.” The two girls held onto each other in giggles and conversed about many things. She was quickly becoming one of her best friends. KC was lucky to have them. They celebrated her and pushed her to be better. They wanted what was best for her and that was more than she ever dreamed of having. 

The crowd continued to grow and the night went on. But a couple came through the door that made her heart stop.  Hermione was pulling Draco through the barrel. She had a grip on his hand and she smiled at him effortlessly. Draco didn’t look as amused as she did. KC went stiff and her party mood was gone. “Bit of a hard thing to watch, isn’t it?” Ginny asked, putting another drink in her hand. She cheered and took a big gulp. “If it makes you feel any better, KC, I’m not a fan of it either.” 

KC looked at Ginny with surprise in her eyes. “Hermione is your best friend. You’re not happy for her?”

Ginny took a sip in contemplation before she answered. “It’s not that I'm not happy for her, but I’m afraid that she is going after him for the wrong reasons.” KC tilted her head in confusion, trying to put things together. “I say this because I care about her, not out of spite. But I think a lot of it has to do with you, KC.” Ginny looked towards Hermione before she spoke again, but KC couldn’t take her eyes off of her. “Hermione has always been at the top. She’s intelligent, a fierce friend, and loyal to the core. But in all honesty, she has never had someone who matched her equally like you have. But you didn’t just match her. You challenged her. You are starting to top her in classes, so she is studying even harder than I've ever seen her. You are skilled in quidditch, and flying is something she hasn’t mastered. You connect so easily with so many people around her and I think she is threatened?”

“Why would she feel threatened? I’ve never wanted to make her feel that way,” KC tried to insert but Ginny just held up her hand to stop her.

“None of this is on you, KC. I think she is just trying to get the one up on you in a way that she can. You care for Malfoy, yes?” 

KC turned to look at him. Hermione was talking to him passionately, one hand holding his. His face was dull, but he listened and gave his opinion back. “I ruined my chance, Ginny. I can’t tell him the truth. I’m not going to hurt Hermione in that way either, no matter how much she dislikes me.”

“KC, she is hurting herself. I’ve tried to talk to her about it and she is hiding something from me. As much as I want to protect my own, she is also hurting you, and I hate that.” Ginny got up from the couch they were sitting on. She turned back to look at KC. “You deserve to be happy, too. Maybe one day you’ll see that and put yourself first.” And she went to go sit with Harry. 

KC watched Ginny as she gave him a small peck on the cheek and he smiled at her. He was so attentive to her. Even when Ron sat there, making fake gagging noises. It was good to see them so happy together. Ginny made it seem so easy to be herself and open around her friends. Maybe one day she would get there. Blaise saw her from across the room where he was chatting with a group. He gave her a questioning look, signaling a thumbs up to see if she was ok. She nodded, deciding it was time to go to her room for a bit. Time to get out of her quidditch kit and shower. The hot water mixed with the tipsy feeling might empty her head of the anxiety she was feeling towards Draco. She wanted to be happy for him, but some of the things Ginny said were making her question things. Was he really happy being around her? Why did she feel so threatened by her? Perhaps it was just her sign that she needed to focus on herself and her studies. She knew she didn’t need anyone to make her happy, she has always done just fine on her own. And with the help of her friends, there was no way she was going to be alone. 

After 20 minutes in the shower, it was time to get out and rejoin the festivities. She wrapped a towel around her and opened the door to her room. There was someone pushed up against the wall and they were going at it. Lip locked. It took her a second for her eyes to adjust and realized they weren’t strangers. Holy Shit. “Blaise? Theo?” Theo was the one holding Blaise against the wall. He let go and backed away. Blaise smirked and had a glazed look in his eye. “Merlin, Blaise. This was your secret relationship?”

“Was,” Theo corrected. “Was being the keyword there. You told me she had left,” he scolded Blaise. 

“Not like you don’t like a good audience, Theo.”

KC was shocked. Both boys were looking at her with raised brows, giving her a quick up-down. She was still in a towel. She grabbed her wand and levitated her blanket so it blocked her and her wardrobe. She wanted to change but still figure out what was happening. “You were hiding your relationship because you’re gay? You don’t have to hide that! Especially with me!” She quickly tried to dry off enough to get dressed. 

She could hear Blaise snicker. “You’ve been around me, KC. Do you truly believe I'm gay?” Her thoughts went back to him teasing her that first week on the quidditch pitch and her face flushed.  She quickly put on her joggers and the V-neck shirt. Dropping the blanket, she saw they were standing there holding hands. “We are both bi, KC. But being anything other than straight in the realm of pureblood society doesn’t end well for those involved.”

“One day, it will be ok. If I can have anything to say about it.”

Theo grabbed her hand and pulled her closer to them. He was quiet and sweet most of the time and she appreciated that about him. But the look in his eye was different tonight. He took out his wand and he spelled her hair dry. He took the opportunity of her reveling in the magic and pushed her against Blaise, against the wall. Sandwiched between both men, she blushed. Blaise ran his hands up her arms. She was close with Blaise, but this was new territory. Theo brushed her hair away from her ear and leaned in. “Well, then we should really give them a show, shouldn’t we?”

Her face couldn’t get any redder at his point. She had never heard Theo's husky voice before.  “Now, now, Theo,” she heard Blaise say. “We mustn't scare her. Poor thing looks like she might melt into a puddle.”  

Theo backed away slowly giving her some space. He was right. KC was trying so hard to control her breath, her blush descending all the way down her neck.  “Apologies, princess,” Theo said smoothly. He grabbed her hand and kissed the back of it. “It wasn’t my intention to put you in a compromising position.”

Blaise pushed her a little forward so he could slide around her and appreciate the work they had done. “She is beautiful though. Sad that Draco would kill us if he even thought we had taken his Hufflepuff from him.” Both men chuckled and KC could breathe again.

“I swear, boys will be the death of me,” KC chuckled and went over to sit on her bed. “Besides, Draco wouldn’t be that upset. You saw him. He’s moving on.”

“And with that blush on your face, I’d give anything to see what you were thinking,” Blaise flirted. 

KC looked down and her hands, knowing her embarrassment was showing. “It’s perfectly normal to have fantasies.”

Both boys groaned. “Don’t tease us, KC. That’s not very nice.” Blaise was struggling to keep his cool.

Theo moved closer to her, getting close to her face again. “Because we are all tipsy enough to make things happen.”

KC had to get out of here before she did something she regretted. If she was going to let this scenario play out, it was going to be sober. But that didn’t mean she didn’t have a trick up her sleeve to get away. She put her hand on Theo’s cheek and slowly stood in front of him. She beckoned Blaise to join them. He smirked and did so swiftly. “Now whatever will I do with you two?” She asked. “I have something for you, you have to close your eyes.” The boys did so immediately, eagerly. KC took her opportunity to silently brush each of their chests and snuck past them towards her door. With her hand on her doorknob, she looked back at them. “My gift? A swift escape so you two can be alone. Have fun!” She winked at was out the door back to the party. 

She leaned against the door trying to regain her control. After a few breaths she looked and saw her friends sitting in a group. Hermione was unfortunately sitting on Draco’s lap. He looked almost as disturbed as she did. But that meant an empty seat next to Ginny who still had a drink in her hand. She walked over there and sat down as they chatted. She grabbed the drink out of Ginny’s hand and gulped it down. “Whoa, there! What has your wand in a knot?” She asked trying to pull the glass out of her hand. She only succeeded when it was empty. 

“You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you,” KC said giggling. 

“Well, whatever it is, that blush looks good on you. Doesn’t it, Malfoy?” Ginny teased, refilling her glass and handing it back to KC. 

KC didn’t need to look to know that he had a fiery look on his face. It was then that Blaise exited her room and came back to join the group. Subtle. She saw the looks exchanged between the two and knew that Draco was assuming the worst.  Hermione was flung to the side as Draco moved to stand toe-to-toe with Blaise.

“Upset, mate?” Blaise laughed.

“You know exactly what I’m thinking. You have two seconds to tell me what happened before I send you across the room,” Draco said, grabbing the collar of Blaise’s shirt.

“What are you going to do about it? Finally tell her how you feel?” Blaise had such a smart mouth. Draco drew his fist back and punch him.

KC yelled and went to put herself between the two men. “Draco, what the hell was that for? Nothing happened!”

“He came out right after you did. You both looked flushed. What the fuck was I supposed to think?” He was furious.

“It’s called ask and I’ll tell you! Seriously! What’s wrong with you? Blaise is my friend, just like you are. You have no right to be acting this way, Draco Malfoy,” She stood so close, agitated by his actions. “You don’t get to tell people how they interact with me. If he wants to be in my room, he can be. Hell, if I wanted to kiss him I very well could. You can’t stop me. Stop being an ass for two seconds!” She turned back to see Blaise sitting back up, and had blood on his lip. KC went and grabbed a wet cloth and cleared his face quickly. No real damage, but it was going to hurt. She sat back down by Ginny and downed her drink. 

Hermione stood giving her the death glare. “This is the part where I bid everyone good evening. Coming, Malfoy?”

He stood in silence for a second, but chose to sit back down. “I’m going to stay for a while.” That only made her angrier. It was almost like her hair got frizzier the more frustrated she was. But she left without another work, without looking back.

Ginny stood with her glass and poured KC another one. “Well, now that the theatrics are over. Let’s toast to one hell of a quidditch match! May your reign continue only to be knocked down by me!” The group cheered and took a drink. “Now, let’s play some games!”

The rest of the night passed quickly. To get more comfortable for games that happened, it ended up being Draco, KC, and Blaise on the couch. The others split so there were a total of three teams. After an hour of playing, KC had consumed far too much alcohol and no longer cared what was going on. She disassociated. She pushed her luck and decided to lay down between the two men. Her head on Draco’s lap, her legs resting on Blaise. The games didn’t last much longer, but KC fell asleep. The Gryffindors made their way back to their tower and Hannah left them to sleep. Draco spent minutes watching her sleep. He played with her hair and watched as she nuzzled deeper into his leg. This is what I should have picked. Things were not great. He had royally messed up. His mate was treating her right. He made his choice and he was going to have to suffer the consequences for now.

“I’m sorry, mate,” Draco whispered to Blaise, not taking his eyes off of KC. “I was a royal ass. I shouldn’t have hit you.”

“You are an idiot, but she seems to like that,” Blaise joked. “You know how much she cares for you. She wouldn’t ruin that for me. Not for anyone.”

Draco watched her sleep for a few more minutes before he decided he should go. “Take care of her, will you?” He asked. Blaise nodded, but as Draco tried to move KC enough, she moved suddenly and snaked her arms around his waist. She wasn’t letting go.

“I’ll move to her room so you can stay here with her,” Blaise whispered, slowly moving her feet. The movement just made her hold on to Draco even tighter. It made them both smile. Blaise winked at him and disappeared towards her room.

He was alone with her. She might be holding on, but he was going to try and make it so he was laying down next to her. He slowly moved one of her arms, which made the other grab onto his shirt for dear life. He was able to slide down enough that he could hold her between the back of the couch and him. Lifting her slightly so her head was on his upper chest/shoulder and one of her legs over his, propping her up enough to be comfortable and not cut off the blood supply to her arm. It was like she fit perfectly with him. He pulled her hair back so he could see her face and she nuzzled into his shirt. “Draco,” she whispered in her sleep. She was talking in her sleep. “Don’t leave me,” she whispered again and let out a soft snore.

“Never.” He wrapped his arms around her and let sleep overcome him.

 

*******

 

This was the best sleep KC had gotten since she had gotten to Hogwarts. She was comfortable, warm, her senses overwhelmed by the scent of mahogany and apples. Apples? She opened her eyes and saw the flash of blond hair and pale skin. His shirt clenched in her fist. How did this happen? She lifted her head up and saw that his arms were wrapped around her, her leg was over his. Draco looked peaceful. There were no tense features on his face now. Deep breathing from his nose signaled he was still asleep. Being wrapped up in him felt so perfect. She lifted her hand to brush the hair that had fallen into his face to the side, his reflex kicked in and nuzzled his cheek into her palm. She wanted to keep this feeling forever.

She looked at the clock that was about the mantle. 3am. She tried to slowly get up and not wake him, but she had removed enough of her weight that it jolted him awake from lack of warmth. Not knowing where he was, he flipped the person underneath him. This took her by complete surprise, but tried not to scream. “Draco,” she whispered. “It’s just me. It’s KC.”

He opened his eyes and tried to focus them. He had her pinned between him and the couch. “Well, this is better than I imagined waking up,” he whispered.

“Anyone could walk out here. I don’t want to get you in trouble with Hermione,” KC said looking to the side. She didn’t want him to see her sad eyes.

“And what if I don’t care what she thinks?” He asked, grabbing her face and turning it back to him. “I care what you think, KC. That’s all that matters.”

Tears were forming in her eyes, he shifted to release her from under him and sitting next to her. She sat up so they were face to face. “I want you to stay with me. But I won’t try and steal you away from someone else.”

Draco grabbed her hands and she sobbed more. “I’m going to fix this. Please, be patient with me. I’ll make this right.”

She nodded. “Until then, I need to keep my distance. I can’t control myself around you. I don’t want to either. But I’m not going to come in between anyone and ruin the friendships I have.” KC took her hands and scooted past him off the couch. She got to her room door before looking back at him. “Thanks for staying with me.” And went through the door.

Draco sat there in shock of what happened. Always. He got up and left the Hufflepuff common room and decided it was best to spend the rest of the morning in his room.

When KC saw what was in her room, she was shocked. She saw both Theo and Blaise, shirtless, under the blankets in her bed. Theo was on his back, Blaise laying facing the door. He heard her come in and sat up. “Everything ok, kitten?” he asked.

He saw the tears in her eyes. “My heart hurts, Blaise.”

Blaise grabbed his wand and made the bed a little bit wider. Theo startled awake, but when he saw KC, his features softened. “Come here, princess. We meant no harm earlier. But you look like you could use some cuddles. You’ve got two great friends right here and we’ll be here for you,” Theo said sweetly. KC wasted no time moving to lay between the two men. She laid on her side facing Blaise and held him close. Theo scooted closer to her, brushing her hair out of the way, comforting her. Safety and comfort. No expectations, just love. She let the tears fall and the boys comforted her until she slept again. They stayed like that through the morning, missing classes. Homework could wait. This was healing and moving forward for now

Chapter Text

The castle felt different after that night. Library study sessions seemed more tense. Draco would show up to study with them and Hermione would be quick to follow. Her little section in the library felt smaller and smaller each day. Blaise and Theo would always comfort her though. They would sit on each side of her, Blaise casually putting his arm around her chair, Theo either holding her hand or resting one on her thigh. Draco would always end up glaring more than reading his book, sometimes tearing his parchment with how hard he would push down on his quill to write. Hermione would try to comfort him but he would just put up his mental walls instead.

Time went on and he still hadn’t found a way to stop Granger’s advances. Since that party, she made herself more present around him. She tried to hang out with him in his room when he would study alone. She would watch him at quidditch practice. She did everything in her power to show him that she was trying, even if their interests were vastly different. Each time he would sit down to talk to her in their common room, she would distract him. Either by asking about random topics, or her personal favorite, straddling him and kissing him fiercely. His body would always react faster than his brain did. Once he was able to put up his mental shields to focus, he would push her back. His face would be flush which just encouraged her to do it again. He would have to physically move her and go take a shower or go to his room to blow off steam. He loved the physical attention, but each time things got a little more heated, he would only see sandy blond hair in his mind and not the curly brown that was actually there. Her skin was nice, but it didn’t electrify him like the warm feeling of KC’s fingertips. Hermione was a smaller build and he felt like if he was rough with her, she would break. It always ended the same. He would stop her, make some excuse of needing to shower, saying he wanted to take things slow, or needed to get things done. He left her hanging.

The only true freedom he got from her were the Thursdays he spent making potions and his one night patrolling the castle with KC. Draco made sure to make those moments special. He would always show up to their rounds with a green apple, just for her. The way her eyes lit up at her favorite snack was enough to melt away his stress from the day. When she got cold walking through the drafty castle, he always had his Slytherin scarf to help combat that. He could truly just enjoy his time with her. They would talk and joke during their walks like nothing was wrong. Like there wasn’t a wedge between them. It was at the end when they would wide up back in the dungeons, in front of Snape’s portrait, that her shoulders got tense again. She would give him a smile and a sweet ‘good night’ before walking the rest of the way to her room. Potions was a little bit more tense for Draco. She chose to stand by him and Blaise. The ease at which she interacted with him made him jealous and upset with himself that he hasn’t done anything to fix the situation. But she also looked so happy with Blaise. She would joke around with him and Theo like she didn’t have a care in the world. She was truly happy and he didn’t want to do anything to rip the friendship apart between his friends and her. He was jealous. But he did everything in his power to let things progress naturally so that when it was his turn, it was right. He wouldn’t be the reason his friends fell apart.

Hermione was struggling with her feelings. She spent her time trying to impress those around her. She was getting the feeling of being a first year all over again. Her friends were around her, but it seemed that when KC came around, the group was livelier. They laughed so much more. They would buzz with the energy of discussing quidditch, stories of random situations they found themselves in. She would feel excluded when she couldn’t add to the conversation. It didn’t happen on purpose, but when even the guy she was seeing was more interested in that rather than pay attention to her, it stung. She spent so much energy on the anger towards KC, that she was putting a damper on her relationship with her friends. She argued with Harry and Ron. She found out about the defense sessions on Saturdays with Lupin and KC. They never even asked if she would like to join. That hurt the most. She lashed out on them. “It’s like you’re trying to replace me with the girl that everyone is obsessed with but they hardly know a thing about!” She still felt like she couldn’t trust KC. The group knew nothing about where she came from, and it made it worse after the Sympathizers attacked her. The aurors weren’t able to find anything out about the attack, why it happened, or what they could be after. It made things even more difficult for her. Ginny tried to talk to her about many things, and when it came to her almost relationship with Malfoy, things got heated. “You only want him because it would be the one thing you had that KC didn’t. You’re jealous, just admit it! I’m jealous of her too! I wish I had her talent, but I’m not sitting here trying to sabotage her!” Hermione didn’t want to truly admit that was the case. But each time she saw Malfoy interact with KC compared to her, it was obvious that she was the background person in his life. She was only hurting herself by pushing forced feelings and putting pressure on him to stay with her. He deserved better than that. She deserved better than that. It was only a matter of time. She didn’t want to be in a constant battle the rest of the year. It would eat her alive. KC was right. The war was over, and it’s time to stop fighting amongst ourselves.

Things for KC had never been better. After the boundary she set with Draco and his relationship issues, she was able to truly focus. With all of the study sessions and her extra night off from rounds, she was surpassing Hermione for top of class. She took the extra time to practice her spells, practicing her defense skills with the help of Harry, Ginny, and Ron, and helped Hannah and Neville in the greenhouses. She even spent evenings helping Luna and Hagrid with all the creatures. The firecrabs still got excited when they saw her and she would spoil them rotten the second she got there. She also enjoyed helping the professors during the younger years’ study halls. Those nights brought her pure joy. Interacting with the younger students and seeing that ‘light bulb’ moment when they finally understood something, or when the charm they had been trying to master finally worked and they would smile so brightly! That time seemed to mean so much to them as well. Her favorite part about going to breakfast in the morning was when those students would come up to her while she was eating with her friends and they would tell her their exciting experiences from mastering something. It made her own struggles seem so far away. She truly enjoyed her time with Draco though. Their rounds were always fun and he was so sweet. Brought her favorite snack each time and it never got old. But he hadn’t talked to Hermione yet. She wasn’t going to push him to do it. She wanted to be first choice to him and she would be patient until that was the time. It made her heart sink seeing them interact even in the smallest amounts in the library, but Blaise and Theo were always there to cheer her up. She wasn’t alone and that made all the difference in the world. Her letters with Narcissa were consistent. Draco’s owl had learned just to come to her when delivering mail. The owl would be spoiled with treats and head pats at the table and he would hoot at her before flying off. Draco said he was upset that he liked her more than him, but he always said it with a smile. Things were looking up for her.

When the first week of December had come and gone, the only thing that frustrated KC was that she still couldn’t master her wandless defenses. Saturdays with Lupin and the others were great and became more intense as time went on. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get her wandless magic to spark. Lupin would always come to her after the hard sessions and give her some chocolate. He would sit with her, but this time, the reality of not being able to do it hit hard. “Why can’t I get this? We have been practicing for months now and I only managed a spark one time!” She wrung her hands in frustration.

Lupin sat in the chair next to her. “Wandless magic is not an easy feat. To be able to master it in a few months' time would be remarkable.” He saw her frustration and he couldn’t stop it, but he knew she would be ok. He hadn’t seen anyone this determined since he first met Hermione. “Wandless magic can be as temperamental as we are. Sometimes it comes naturally, but most times, it comes to us when we are under high stress or when we are experiencing extreme emotions. Now you have been able to use simple spells wandlessly and that is fantastic. But defense is a bit different. Protecting yourself and others is a different level of effort and emotional toll. I have no doubt in my mind that you are going to make it happen.”

“What is it with magic and emotions?” KC joked. They both smiled and continued practicing until lunch time. The rest of the day was spent in the library finishing her work after that. It was rare that she was alone in the library and amazingly she was breezing through everything. With the holidays coming up, she wanted to get as much done as possible so she could enjoy some quiet time and explore the grounds when no one else was here. She couldn’t go home for the holidays so she had planned on spending the break at Hogwarts. She had wanted to spend some time in London exploring the muggle world but she couldn’t financially make it work. Perhaps the summer time. A knock on the bookcase next to her interrupted her thought process. It was Hermione.

“McGonagall wanted me to come and get you. She wanted to have a quick meeting with the prefects,” she said shortly. KC nodded, moving to put her things away and wrap up her parchment. Hermione surprised her when she spoke again. “I know that Malfoy prefers you,” she said, breaking the silence. 

That stopped KC in her tracks. “I’m not sure what you mean,” KC tried to deflect. She wasn’t prepared to have this confrontation with Hermione.

“He cares for you. Far more than he does for me. I see it in his eyes,” she sounded defeated. “I’m always the one who initiates any contact. And even when I try to deepen things, he stops it. He goes stiff when I give the smallest of contact when we are studying, especially when you’re around. He listens to me, but he isn't engaged in the conversations like he is when you’re telling a story.”

KC wasn’t sure how to handle this information. Hermione didn’t sound mad at her like she usually did. This was new territory for her. “Whether he cares or not isn’t up to me. I’m not trying to break anyone apart. I don’t want to ruin any friendships by doing that.”

“I fear that is my problem, KC,” she said walking up to the table to stand in front of her. “I fear I’ve been so wrapped up in my jealousy towards you that I tried to rip you apart the one person who cared for you the most.” KC stood there, listening. Granger looked sad and that hurt. “I’ve never had someone who rivaled me. You matched my attitude at the beginning and that put me on edge. All of the people I care for most were so easily drawn to you. I had to work so hard to make friends here and I still felt like an outsider. I guess part of me wanted you to feel that same struggle.”

“And why are you telling me this?” KC asked. Hermione was a proud person. Something significant must have happened.

“The anger I feel has been eating me alive. Ginny has been upset with me and we fought about this. About you, about Malfoy, about my actions and my judgements. I’ve fought with Harry and Ron,” she sighed and grabbed onto the chair in front of her. “I can’t lose them because of some stupid rivalry in my head. My issues are my own and I shouldn’t be pushing them on to you.” She looked up and met KC’s eyes. “I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I am going to talk to Malfoy. It’s the least I can do.”

KC was quiet, contemplating what was happening. “It takes a lot to admit all of that, Hermione. I don’t hate you; you know? I admire you. You have a strength in you that I could never possess. You are fierce, extremely intelligent, and I can tell you have a big heart. You just hide it.” She reached up her hand to Hermione, “I know that you don’t trust me, but maybe we can push past all of this?”

Hermione looked at her hand for a second. She gave KC a small grin and shook her hand. “To moving forward.”

The pair smiled and went to McGonagall’s office.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was a start.

When they got to the office, everyone else was already there. Draco looked shocked to see both women walking together, and both smiling. Is hell freezing over? “Oh good, you’re both here,” McGonagall said, standing to address the group. “As you know, the Christmas holiday is coming up. As a celebration of a fine year at Hogwarts, I would like to host another Yule Ball.” Half of the group was ecstatic, the others groaned. “Hush. This will take place 2 nights before we release for break. Granger and Malfoy will be in charge of leading the school in the first dance. We want to celebrate the house unity that has been shown.”

Hermione gave KC a sorry look. The second she heard the word “ball”, she was hoping that she would finally be able to ask Draco. McGonagall went over the details and assigned duties to all of the prefects involved. She had asked the Heads to stay behind to discuss further.

KC made her was back down to Hufflepuff so she could break the good news to Hannah and the others. Blaise and Theo caught her as she entered the Dungeon and walked her the rest of the way back. Hannah was sitting with Neville on the love seat so the three coming in took the couch. “You’ll never guess what McGonagall has planned for us!” KC squealed in excitement!

Hannah perked up quickly. “Please tell me she cancelled end of semester exams.”

“Better!” Hannah looked at her with a tilted head. “We are having a dance!” Hannah leapt up from her seat and tackled KC in celebration. She landed in Blaise’s lap, all laughing at the joy of everything. Hannah went back to her seat and celebrated with Neville. KC stayed laying Blaise’s lap and Theo pulled her legs up on his lap. They chatted about the details of what the ball was going to be like. Hannah was so excited and everyone knew it when they walked by. “KC! You have to tell me, are you going to ask Malfoy to go?”

KC froze. “I can’t,” she said quietly. Blaise ran his hand over her hair.

“Of course, you can! You just have to walk up and ask him! Even if he is with Granger, you know the second you asked he would say yes.”

“That’s not why I can’t, Hannah. McGonagall is having the Heads show a ‘united front’. They are to have the first dance together and other things. But I’m sure I’ll figure something else out.”

Theo faked a gasp and motioned of being shot in the chest. Blaise smirked as KC giggled. “You’ll come with us, princess. No questions asked,” he said smiling.

Blaise threaded his fingers through her hair. “We’ll show you a good time, kitten.”

KC blushed but laughed. Hannah’s eyebrows were through her hairline. “That’s a new development, I’m going to need those details later!”

KC went to say something and Blaise covered her mouth. “We don’t kiss and tell, Abbott.” He winked at her. Hannah was in shock and Neville’s face was Gryffindor red. KC licked his hand so he would move it. He just laughed.

They heard the barrel door creak open, and saw the platinum blonde that walked through. “Who doesn’t kiss and tell?” He asked. He only saw Blaise and Theo. It wasn’t until KC sat up that it hit him who they were talking about. “Oh, never mind. I don’t want to know.” He was about to turn and walk back out the door.

“No, please stay, Draco,” KC asked, standing to go to him. He turned and looked at her.

“I just came to talk to you, but I’ll come back later.”

KC grabbed his hand. “Want to go for a walk later? I’ve been perfecting my warming charms.” Draco nodded and was about to leave when KC pulled him back to her into a hug. She whispered in his ear, “Hermione wanted to talk to you about everything. Will you come find me after? I’ll explain everything that’s going on between me and those two over there.” She felt him stiffen but she was quick to soothe him. “There is absolutely nothing to worry about. I still only want you.” Draco took in a deep breath and pushed her back. The surprise in his eyes was obvious. She smiled and backed away towards her friends. He left with the biggest smile on his face.

Hannah was hiding her smile like she had a secret. KC held out her hand to Hannah so she would follow her. “Excuse us, gentlemen. I need my girl best friend to help me figure out a dress.” She was giddy and they went to her room before the boys could argue.

 

******

 

Draco made it back to the common room quietly, hoping he could skip having to fake his way through his feelings with Granger. She meant well, but it was hurting him too much to keep it going. She was sitting on the couch waiting for him. Here we go.

“I was hoping I could talk to you before you hid away for the evening,” she asked in a small voice. That surprised him enough to bring his attention to her. He sat down next to her; she grabbed his hands. “I know that I’m not what you want, Malfoy.” He sat there in silence. “I haven’t been fair to you. I’ve pushed you to be with me for my own selfish reasons, for all of the wrong reasons.” Draco tried to shake her head but Hermione just cut him off. “I think it’s better that we just be friends. I’ve spent too much time being jealous, comparing myself to the one you actually want. I tried to be like her and I lost myself.”

The shaking in her voice was enough to make him believe her. He held in his excitement, knowing that it meant he could pursue who he had his sights set on. But he had to be honest too. “I used you too. I should have been honest from the beginning. But I just wanted the attention. I was selfish. I apologize.”

Hermione got up to leave but wanted to end on a good note. “I had no idea what was being announced when we were called to the office. I had gone to get KC and had the similar conversation. I told her to go after what she wanted. I’m sorry that you have to spend the ball with me. As soon as our part is over, go to her. I insist.” She left him sitting there in silence.

Draco left to go to his room to process everything that had happened. He finally had the go ahead, he had his out of the fake feelings he held. He knew that KC wanted to be with him. Things were solid for the first time in a long time. He knew what he wanted to do in order to make this experience the best for her. He took out parchment to write to his mother. He needed to gift her a night fit for a princess. He tasked his mother with designing, now he just had to plan the perfect evening. The Slytherin Prince would bewitch his Hufflepuff princess.

Chapter Text

With exams happening and all of her extra activities, KC hadn’t had much time to even think about the ball coming up. Blaise and Theo were there to keep her smiling through the stress. Exams were taken and they had a few quiet days before the ball was to take place. The castle was buzzing with excitement. Young couples and friend groups were planning their details or what they were looking forward to the most. KC wasn’t exempt from the hype. When she had found out about the ball, she immediately wrote back home to Professor Mason. He hadn’t returned any of her owls this semester. She worried about him, but she still wanted to keep him involved. The life of a busy professor would be enough to keep anyone from writing. She also wrote a letter to Narcissa. For the first time, she was actually nervous to write to her. How do you tell a mother figure that you are excited that you might actually get the chance to date her son? Narcissa had become such an important person in KC’s life. So much life advice, helpful words of encouragement, problem solving, and anything she could ever want to talk about. She responded to all of her stories with love and enthusiasm. This letter would be no different.

KC spent her morning a few days before the ball sending out her letters. She smiled each time she saw Narcissa’s name, because her thoughts would always turn to her son. He had been so respectful of her since things had ended with Hermione. He didn’t push her, but he was attentive. He respected her closeness with both Blaise and Theo. He didn’t ask questions about what was happening between them. When they were all hanging out together, Draco would be tentative when KC interacted with them, but he wasn’t worried. He just wanted to enjoy his time with her. One the nights where they had rounds and they could no longer fly with it being snow covered and freezing, they chose to cast warming charms around them and sit by the lake. Enjoying the moonlight reflecting off the snow and icy water. They would talk and joke like nothing had ever changed between them. Things were effortless. Inevitably when it was too cold, Draco would be a gentleman and take her back to her room. She invited him to stay but he would just kiss the back of her hand and say good night.

The morning before the ball, Hannah burst into KC’s room with Ginny in tow. “WAKE UP!” The girls yelled, jumping on the bed next to KC.

“It’s so early! Why are we up so early? I know you’re not going to let me take a nap later,” KC groaned trying to cover her face with her pillow.

“Girl, it is noon! You never did get your dress for tonight and we are NOT going to let you just show up in a casual sundress,” Hannah scolded, stealing the pillow and lifting her up.

Ginny took the blankets for good measure. “It’s a good thing that we love you and are going to spend the day making sure that you are ready. We collected all of the extra dresses we could find in hopes that we find you the perfect fit.” KC grunted as she was pulled up out of bed by the two of them. They shoved her into the bathroom to shower. “We have to make sure you look bloody gorgeous for Malfoy,” They saw her blush before they shut the door in her face. They high-fived each other and went to grab everything for their day.

There were plates of food brought in, drinks in abundance, and lots of laughter. Ginny made all of their hair look perfect while Hannah perfected the make-up looks. The only thing, that they spent hours trying to figure out, what the dress for KC. They tried everything they had. But due to her height or her curvier build, nothing sat quite right now her. “Come on, guys. This just isn’t going to work. I’ll just have to go in dress pants and a nice shirt of something. I’m ok with that!”

“Don’t you dare. We will find something, even if I have to make one myself,” Hannah said, with determination. It was then they heard a knock on the door.

“It’s Malfoy. Is it safe to enter?”

KC’s face lit up but Ginny sprinted towards the door. “Not today, Malfoy. We are busy getting the princess ready for the ball. What do you want?”

“I had a delivery from my mother. Turns out it was actually for KC, not for me,” he said and Ginny grabbed the box through the crack of the door. “I’ll see you all tonight. Or I better. Don’t make me suffer alone.”

“She’s mine, Malfoy. Go away,” Ginny said, closing the door in his face. KC tried to go to the door but the ginger held her back. “You’ll see him plenty tonight, I’m sure. But this box is heavy, you take it.”

The box was indeed very heavy. There was parchment on the front, but it wasn’t Narcissa’s handwriting.

 

Every princess deserves their chance to shine. Accept this gift as my way of showing you how happy I am you’re in my life. Tonight (and every night after), I’m all yours. Save at least one dance for me. – DM

 

Hannah and Ginny both went “ooooOOOooo” at the same time, making KC blush. Draco always had fine tastes but he had never bought her anything. She ripped open the box. Her fingers were met with emerald green silk. The gasp that escaped her lips was enough to send the others rushing towards her. KC moved the box to her bed so she could unpack what was inside. It was one of the most beautiful gowns she had ever seen. The bottom of the dress was a smaller ball gown style. Cinched around the waist with a green satin sash, the top was covered in sparkled emerald lace. It opened up to give her shoulders room breath with matching lace sleeves to dress her arms. The girls were gushing over the dress. Ginny was quick to take the dress and examine. Hannah’s eyes were wide with glee. KC saw another note at the bottom of the box.

 

Don’t let my son fool you. He asked if I would help him surprise you. We both knew you would have never asked for help. Let him think you were swept off your feet. Knock him dead, my dear. -Narcissa

 

KC had tears in her eyes; she was so happy. “Come on, KC. We have to get you into this!” She had never been so eager to put on a dress before. It took a few tries to get it over her head correctly. No zippers, no stretch, just the perfect fit. Madam Malkin had really outdone herself. It was outstanding. She had truly never felt more beautiful in her entire life. The dress felt so smooth over her skin, the lace soft, the sweetheart looking neckline accented her build perfectly. The dress was elegant enough she wanted to forgo any jewelry she was offered except the small crystal drop earrings Hannah had offered to let her borrow. The girls had finished getting ready around 7 when the ball was about to start. Harry and Neville had met their dates in the Hufflepuff common room. Blaise had promised to meet her outside of the Great Hall so she wouldn’t enter alone.

“You all look stunning,” Harry said, admiring them as they walked the corridor. “As always,” he winked at girlfriend.

“Oh, Mr. Potter. Smooth talking will get you nowhere. But you can keep trying,” Ginny joked, giving him a kiss on the cheek.

The couples walked up the stairs together. KC fell behind so she could properly pick up her dress to take the steps. “Let me help you, princess.” Theo had surprised her. He was dressed sharply in a navy muggle suit, crisp white shirt and navy tie. He held on to part of her dress as well as her hand to keep her steady. “You look brilliant. If I wasn’t a taken man….” he said and took in a deep breath to control his thoughts.

“And since when has that stopped you from chatting me up, Mr. Nott?” KC teased. He smiled at her when they reached the top of the steps and offered her his arm. She lightly grabbed it and they walked forward towards the crowded hall. She saw Blaise standing there with Draco and her heart stopped. Blaise looked like a star in his black suit and bowtie, but she couldn’t take her eyes of the blond. He had a well fitted black suit, perfect black oxford and vest underneath and an emerald green tie. His hair was swept to keep in perfect shape. He took her hand and bowed to kiss her hand.

“Kitten, you have left me breathless. How do I know it’s still you under there?” Blaise sassed, taking her other hand and kissing it.

“Blaise, if you were breathless then you wouldn’t be talking so much.” Blaise snorted at her retorted and backed away. Her eyes returned to Draco. “I should thank you, Draco. You really have saved my evening.”

“I have done nothing of the sort. You look divine.” He pulled her closer still not dropping her hand. He smelled incredible. His mahogany tones and crisp apple scent ensnared her senses completely. “Make sure that you save some time for me. You’re mine, Hufflepuff,” he whispered into her ear. She almost forgot she was in public, until she heard a whistle come from behind her.

“Wow, KC. You really are a woman underneath it all,” Ron joked.

Draco rolled his eyes as he pulled away, but KC just giggled. Hermione was with him and she looked beautiful in a fitted red dress. McGonagall came into the Hall are ushered everyone inside. “Mr. Malfoy and Miss. Granger. I’ll need you to stay out here to help me gather everyone.” She ordered.

KC was about to walk with Blaise when Draco pulled her back one more time. “I meant it, KC. Tonight, I’m all yours.”

KC moved her head up and kissed his cheek. She backed away smiling. Taking Blaise’s hand and Theo’s arm, she walked into the Great Hall, leaving a smitten Draco behind. The hall was busting with life. Decorated in magical ice and a white dance floor, snowflakes falling from the ceiling, beautiful Christmas trees with silver ornaments and white lights. The school orchestra was starting to play and the hall quieted. KC stood along the side of the dancefloor with Blaise. He held her around the waist to keep her close. He spoke into her ear teasingly. “If I wasn’t a taken man, Kitten. You have me thinking all sorts of inappropriate things.”

She laughed before she responded. “You and Theo really are meant for each other. He said the same thing.”

It was then Theo returned to them with flutes of sparkling liquid. Blaise grabbed two from him, one for her. “Maybe now you’ll actually consider joining us?” Theo asked with hope in his eyes.

“In your dreams,” KC smiled while taking a sip. “Even if I would want to, Draco probably wouldn’t be too agreeing with it. Consent is everything.” Blaise had fire in his eyes and Theo just laughed.

It was time for the dancing to start. Hermione and Draco stood in the middle of the dance floor. A blank expression for Draco as he led her around the floor. He moved with such poise. Others started to join in and it was a beautiful sight to see. Theo took the glass from KC’s hand and Blaise turned her out onto the dance floor. There was so much joy between them. Their friendship was truly effortless and pure love. The dancing went on all evening. Blaise and Theo took turns spoiling her with close dances and shared laughs. She even danced with Ron and Harry for fun. Ron was as clumsy as he was sweet. Harry wasn’t much better, but he showed that he was trying.  Harry tried, but it wasn’t until Ginny cut in that he thought he would be able to actually dance with his girlfriend. She simply pushed him away and whisked KC towards the middle of the floor, both laughing the entire time.

There were a few students, Colin Creevy included, with magical cameras capturing special moments. KC saw them moving around and there were plenty taken of her and her group of friends. She couldn’t wait to see the results. Blaise was dancing with her when she decided she needed a break. He led her to the table that their group had claimed. He was quick to the refreshments to grab her a drink and some snacks. “I do hope that we have made this night one to remember,” Blaise said, as she took a drink. The sparkling juice was cold and did wonders to cool her temperature from dancing so much.

“You and everyone else has made this so much more fun than I could have ever dreamed. Thank you,” KC said, putting her hand on his knee. He grabbed it and clinked their glasses together. She looked around the hall and saw that Draco was still conversing with McGonagall and a few other professors. It was nice to see him in his element. Hermione had joined Harry and the other Gryffindors, so she was hoping Draco was coming here soon. KC had noticed that there were another few people that had joined the Gryffindor group. She grabbed onto Blaise’s hand. “What is McLaggen doing here?” she asked, hiding away.

“We are going to keep him away from you,” Blaise reassured her. “You’re safe with me. I promise.”

She was absolutely shaking. McLaggen hadn’t been allowed at any events and he had been moved to classes she wasn’t in. But I guess even McGonagall had a change of heart and let him in on the Christmas festivities.

Draco walked up to her and held out his hand. “Would the lovely lady give me the honor of a dance?” He was being obnoxiously proper. He knew that it would distract her from what she was seeing. She took his hand and hers seemed to stop shaking so much. He led her to the opposite end of the room, away from the groups of friends and pulled her in close to him. One hand in hers, the other hand was snaked around her lower back, holding her as close as he could. “I do hope you have been enjoying your evening. My apologies, it has taken me so long.”

The double meaning was not lost on her. “You came right on time. You don’t have to leave again, do you?”

“I’m all yours. Well until your date decides he wants you back,” he said, sounding a bit defeated.

“Draco, I told you. I only want you,” she said, tilting her head in confusion.

“You and Blaise have been all over each other. You’re definitely closer with him than you are me. I’m jealous, and it’s not easy for me to admit that.” He spun her around and brought her back to him. Instead of grabbing his hand, she put both hands around the back of his neck.

“I’m not dating Blaise. He has someone. We have a platonic friendship, but nothing else.” Draco seemed both shocked and confused. It was then that KC put the pieces together. “Oh my God. You thought I was dating him the entire time?”

“I didn’t want to disrupt what made you happy, KC. I accepted the affection from Granger so you could be happy, no matter how much I wanted it to be you.”

KC laughed and shook her head in disbelief. “I thought I had ruined my chance with you. I thought I had said ‘just friends’ too much and you gave up on me. I wouldn’t have blamed you in the slightest. But you’re so important to me. If Hermione was making you happy, then I wasn’t going to be selfish and take you away from her.”

He grabbed her face and brought their foreheads together, noses touching. “Damnit, we are too stubborn, aren’t we?”

“It’s not too late to fix that. We can talk more about it later. Tonight, I’m all yours,” she said smiling. He looked at her with the biggest smile.

He whisked her around the floor. He taught her how to dance more intimately. He had enough ballroom training to make it seem simple. She was lost in him. She never wanted for this feeling to end. Time flew as they spent time talking and laughing while they danced. The hall started to thin out as the night was coming to an end. Draco pulled her back close one last time. “I still have to help end the night here. I don’t want to leave you.”

She looked and saw most of her friends had left as well. Hermione was already sweeping around the hall with her wand organizing things. “If I volunteer to help, we can leave together?” she asked, hopeful.

“I’d love that. I do love seeing you in that dress,” he said, moving his hands up and down her lace covered arms.

“What can I say, Malfoy’s seem to have great taste,” she gave him a shy smile.

He smirked at her and leaned in closer, “You look beautiful in it. I wonder if you’ll let me see you out of it?”

The blush that spread through her face was immediate. It made Draco laugh and he led her off the dance floor, hand in hand. They spent time cleaning up, flicking their wands to help turn the Great Hall back into something they recognized. KC found herself next to Hermione as Draco was finishing up towards the front. “I wanted to tell you this earlier, Hermione. But you look absolutely stunning. I hope that you had a wonderful time.”

She smiled at KC. “I did thank you. I hope that this was everything you had hoped for. I’ll see you in the library when we return from break?”

KC turned and embraced her in a hug. “I look forward to it.”

Hermione smiled at her and then left the hall. KC walked back towards the front and sat at one of the tables. She set her wand down and went to take off her shoes. She was wearing flats, but dress shoes were always uncomfortable. While she was massaging her foot, she didn’t hear Draco walk up to her. “You know, I can do that for you, if you would let me.” He grabbed her shoes and offered her his other hand.

She yawned and took it. She was exhausted, but deliriously happy. They made it out into the entrance hall before she realized she had forgotten something. “Draco, we have to go back, I forgot my wand on the table.”

“You stay here, I’ll go grab it. Be right back,” he kissed her hand and ran back into the hall.

She stood against the wall when she felt magic embrace her. Scared, she tried to move and realized she had been stuck to the wall. “Well, well, I never thought I’d get you alone.” She knew that voice.

“What do you want, McLaggen?”

He came into her view and was too close to her. “I think that is pretty obvious. You’ve made it pretty difficult to get to you, but I’m not going to waste my chance now.” She didn’t like the look in his eyes. Before she could respond, McLaggen pinned her arms to the wall, and his lips connected with hers. Her eyes opened wide and tried to struggle, but it seemed like he had placed an immobulus charm on her. Her body’s flight response kicked in and she was frozen. His lips were harsh and she wanted to scream. She couldn’t fight him. He was trying to rip through her dress to reach her breasts. She was terrified and tried to squirm away but it was no use. He was too strong. She was fighting a panic attack. She had one shot of getting out of this and she focused all of her energy. She heard a tear of fabric on her chest and she felt her magic explode from her body.

“KC!” She heard her name being yelled, but she could barely breathe. The panic had taken over. She felt arms around her and she tried to get away. “It’s me, it's Draco.” He rocked her back and forth, comforting her. McGonagall and Lupin came running through the corridor and what they saw was shocking. McLaggen had been thrown across the hall and looked to be knocked out. KC was crying and shaking so hard while Draco consoled her. Draco was absolutely furious. “He was attacking her. I went back in the hall for one minute because she forgot her wand on the table, and I came back out to see him on her. She couldn’t move. Her magic exploded. I don’t know what happened. You need to get him away from here before I kill him.”

“I expect to see you in my office tomorrow to discuss things, Mr. Malfoy. Does she need to go to the hospital wing?”

He shook his head. “Just get him out of here. For good.” McGonagall levitated McLaggen towards the hospital. Lupin stayed to make sure she made it through the panic attack.

“You’re safe, Miss Celine. You won’t see him again. I assure you,” Lupin tried to get his voice through. She was breathing sporadically. Draco tried to help her get it under control by taking exaggerated deep breaths. She tried her best to copy him. After a few minutes of uncontrollable shaking, she was able to get her control back.

“Thank you. You saved me,” she said, looking only at Draco.

“Actually, Miss Celine, that was all you. You finally produced your wandless defense,” Lupin said, standing in front of them. “Do you need help or want to go to the hospital?”

KC shook her head violently. Draco held her closer than he already had been. “I’m not letting you out of my sight.”

Lupin nodded. “I’ll be there with McGonagall in the morning to help explain the situation of wandless magic. She wouldn’t believe even the most advanced students would be able to use magic like that, at that intensity. Go try and get some rest.”

The two sat intertwined in the entrance hall. She cried and clung to him, probably ruining his suit jacket but that was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. He held onto her for dear life. He wanted to protect her and he had failed her. He pulled the hair out of her face. “Can I take you to your room? Let’s get you comfortable.” She nodded her head shakily. He stood with her slowly. The lace front of her dress was ripped apart. She held it together, embarrassed. Sad that it was ruined. Draco took off his suit jacket and pulled it around her so she could hide herself.

She smiled at him through the quiet tears that were slowly falling from her face. He kept his arm wrapped around her as they walked towards Hufflepuff. When they went through, Hannah was sitting on the couch with Neville. When she saw the state of KC she shot right up, but Draco just held up his hand and shook his head. He silently assured her everything would be ok and walked KC into her room. He sat her down on the bed. “Would it be ok, if I helped you change out of this dress? I don’t want to make you uncomfortable,” he whispered. He grabbed her sweatpants and the V-neck shirt she loved wearing so much when she was relaxing. “I won’t do anything without your permission.”

She looked up at him and her face was blank. She nodded at him and stood. “I trust you, Draco.” It was the first thing she had said since he had left her in the hall. She was giving him access to more than she had ever given anyone.

“You tell me if you need me to stop and I will. We have to get you out of this dress, ok?” He said softly. He took the suit jacket off of her shoulders slowly to gauge her reaction. She didn’t take her eyes off of him. Her body was tense. He bent down to grab the bottom of her dress. Slowly working it upward. He tried not to touch her body more than necessary so he didn’t make her uncomfortable. When it came to the lace, he had to put his hands between it and her skin to separate it without hurting her. “You’re going to have to lift your arms, love.”

She slowly moved her arms up and she winced. He stopped what he was doing. “It’s ok, Draco. I’m just really sore.”

He was slow to move things up and over her head. He set the dress over the chair and grabbed her shirt. “I’m going to ask you before I do this. Do you want your bra off?” She slowly nodded but made no move to do it. Her arms were crossed over the front of her body. “Do you want me to get it?” She nodded again. He slowly moved behind her. His hands touched her skin wanting to keep her as comfortable as possible. His fingers unclasped the band and she let it fall. He walked around to the front of her, keeping eye contact with her the entire time. Merlin, did he want to look but now was not the time or place. She raised her arms a little bit again and he slid her shirt over her head. “You’re ok. Do you want joggers?” She shook her head. He could tell she was on the verge of crying again. “Hey, you’re ok. I’m right here.” He guided her to the edge of the bed and knelt in front of her.

She looked at him, searching his eyes. “He took it from me, Draco.”

He looked concerned. “What did he take? I’ll get it back.”

She shook her head and looked down. “I’d never been kissed before. He stole it from me.” Tears were falling from her face. Draco moved closer to wipe them from her face and held her cheeks. “I don’t want that to be the memory I think of when people ask that question. I wanted it to be happy, special.” She was shaking beyond control, but she put her hands over his. “Draco, I wanted it to be you.”

He kissed her forehead and put his nose to hers. “Kara,” he whispered. He had never used her first name before. He wanted her to know he cared and he was serious. “I’m so sorry. I can’t give that first back.” He held her to comfort her, to make her feel safe again. He pulled back so he could look her in the eye again. “But would you like me to try? I want you to be happy. I wish it was me. It should have been. You deserve it to be a happy memory.”

She looked at him with hope in her teary eyes. She grabbed his face. The word “Please” was heard and she pushed her lips to his. He could feel the desperation in her kiss, but he did his best to try and soothe her. He softened his approach. He didn’t make it an urgent feeling for her. He pulled back knowing that he needed to stop before things went too far. She opened her eyes hazily. “I’m sorry, Draco. That was too much wasn’t it. I’m bad at it, I…”

He interrupted her with a quick kiss. “You’re perfect, KC. I don’t want to push you to do anything too brash. I’m thankful you want me here with you, but if you still feel this way in the morning, I’ll come back and we can pick up where we left off, ok?”

There was panic in her eyes. “You’re not staying with me? Please, will you? I don’t want to be alone right now.” She was scared.

“If I stay, I don’t have any other clothes. I can change and come back.” He got up to leave to do just that. KC leapt up and held onto him from behind. “Please, don’t leave. I promise, I’ll be good. Just don’t leave me.”

He let her hold him for a few seconds before he grabbed her hands. She let go and he went back with her to bed. He brought the blankets back and made her get under them. He covered her up and went to the other side of the bed. He was going to have to strip down. Still being in his suit, he was going to have to get rid of it all. “I’m going to have to sleep in my boxers. This suit is far too tight. Is that ok?”

Her face flushed, but she nodded, not taking her eyes off of him. He unbuttoned the vest and the tie came off. The belt, oxford and dress pants joined his pile. In his black boxer/briefs, He climbed into the bed under the covers with her. “I’ll stay as long as you need me, KC.”

She moved closer to him, putting one leg over his. “Kara.” He looked at her in confusion. “I like when you call me ‘Kara’.”

Draco smiled and leaned up and kissed her. He pulled back after a few seconds and she settled her head onto his chest. Wrapping his arm around her, he was in complete ecstasy. “Good night, Draco,” she whispered into his bare chest.

“Good night, Kara.” He played with her hair and watched her fall asleep. Once he felt her breath deepen and become steady, he allowed himself to fall asleep as well.

Chapter Text

The morning after the ball was a tiresome one. The entire castle was sleepy. Very few knew of the events that happened after the ball. KC had restless sleep. She only slept at all because she had someone there to protect her. KC was fierce, could protect her friends and be brutal with a wand, but last night proved when it came to physical contact, her body froze. She wanted to run. Her wandless defense last night was an extraordinary feat. But it also brought back some of the trauma she suffered during her childhood. She shook in her sleep. Draco would stir with her movements and hold her closer to try and soothe her nerves.  He ran his fingers through her hair when she calmed down and nuzzled into his chest. 

It was extremely early so he let her stay asleep and held on as long as he could. There was a small knock on the door. He looked up but didn’t dare move and wake her. The door opened slightly and he heard a whisper, “It’s Hannah. Is it safe?

Draco was still in a state of undress but under the sheets. He knew he would regret this. “Yah,” he whispered, doing his best not to startle the girl laying on him.

Hannah poked her head around the door and hand a note in her hand. Draco put a finger to his lips to signal her to be quiet. Her face was bright and giddy with the sight she saw. He motioned for her to bring him whatever was in her hands. It was a note from McGonagall, telling when to meet. Hannah was giving him a smirk thinking she knew what had happened that he was shirtless, until she saw KC’s closed eyes, red and puffy from crying. Her eyes went wide, and Draco stopped her. She’s ok, he mouthed.

He could tell Hannah was not fully convinced, but she walked towards the door. They had awhile before they had to leave, so he pulled KC closer and tried to fall back to sleep. It was even twenty minutes later that KC was shaking harder and started talking in her sleep. “No, please, no”.

Draco tried to shake her awake but it wasn’t working. He could feel her magic like static electricity. “KC, you have to wake up.” He was trying to use a calm voice as to not startle her even more, but it didn’t seem to help. Her talking just kept getting louder and he was scared her magic would discharge. He rolled her onto her back and did his best to wake her. “Kara! It’s ok. Wake up!”

He shook her into the bed and her eyes shot open. She was gasping for air. She still wasn’t quite aware of her surroundings. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. It was an accident,” she cried, trying to get away.

“Kara, it’s ok. You’re safe. You’re awake. It was a nightmare,” Draco whispered to her. He put his hand on her cheek.

She slowly realized it was him and her breathing slowed. Her magic wasn’t prickling his skin. “Draco. I’m sorry, you shouldn’t have had to see that.”

She tried to look away from him but he brought her chin back to look at him. “We all have terrors we have to battle. What was it?” He tried to get her to talk about it.

She just shook her head and let the last tears fall. “Not now, I don’t think I can rehash it all right now.” She put her hands on his chest, trying to ground herself. Bringing her senses back to her. She saw his pale skin, but had an athletic seeker’s build. The muscles in his shoulders flexed as he was supporting himself above her. She was just waking up from a nightmare, but her need to be close to him was strong. Running her hands up his chest, to his neck, to his cheeks. He sucked in his breath, relishing in her touch.

“Kara,” he sighed. She didn’t hesitate in pulling his face down to hers. Their lips fit perfectly together. He slid his hand into her hair to keep her there. It was soft, but passionate. Tongues sliding with ease. She tried to kiss him harder, but Draco was determined to set the tempo. He pulled away from her and moved to lay on his back.

 She looked worried. “Did I do it wrong? Am I that bad?”

Draco did his best to breathe and center himself through his mental shield. “The exact opposite,” he said putting his arm over his eyes and took a deep breath.

She looked at him confused. She put her leg over his to cuddle into him and she immediately felt what was the problem. “Oh shit, Draco. I’m sorry.”

“Please don’t be. I’m trying to keep it together.” KC tried to move away from him. He reacted so quickly. He grabbed her shoulders and flipped her onto her back, moving right on top of her. She could feel his erection right through the fabric. His lips connected with her with a new passion she hadn’t experienced. With one hand gripping onto his shoulder and the other threading in his hear. His kiss was fire running through her body. He moved from her mouth to her neck. It was like it sucked the air right out of her. His hands slid slowly down from her shoulders to right under her arms. She couldn’t stop herself. She let out a moan right into his ear. “Draco.” It came out like a breathless whisper. It was instant. He unlatched himself from her neck and sat up. “Fuck,” he yelled out. He sat up on his knees and just looked down at her. “I’m trying to control myself and you’re making that impossible.”

She propped herself up on her elbows. Her V-neck shirt had shifted just enough he could see the tops of her breasts and it had ridden up to where her stomach was showing. Her emerald lace panties that matched her dress still on. She looked at him. He was obviously struggling to hold himself together. He was tented to the point where it was unbearable. “We don’t have to stop, Draco. I’m not asking you to.”

“But I have to,” he said coming back into his own headspace. He grabbed her hands and pulled her up to him. She adjusted so she was on her knees in front of him. “I have to stop because when the time comes, I will make sex good for you. You deserve more than 10 seconds of me not being able to control myself.” KC leaned forward and gave him a soft kiss, pulling back slowly, she lifted her lashes and looked in his eyes. “Kara, please,” he was pleading.

She smirked at him. “It’s fun seeing you not in control.”

He threw his head back in frustration and she just giggled. He pulled her back closer to him and leaned to whisper in her ear. “You enjoy this while it lasts because when it’s time, I’ll be the one in control.” His voice was husky. Her face blushed at his meaning. “So, my princess, if that isn’t what you have planned for today, I suggest you be a good girl and go take a shower.”

This man was going to be the death of my self-control. She pulled back from him and was sliding off the bed when she looked back and him. “Yes, sir.”

She was just going to walk away when she saw him move to get off the bed. She laughed and he came after her. “You cheeky little witch!” He teased chasing her towards the bathroom door. She barely made it inside the bathroom. Draco leaned his back against the door, knowing he had to take care of the issue at hand and go change before she was done. He gave a small laugh to himself before gathering his suit from the night before and putting it on hastily and was out the door.

She could hear his laugh on the other side of the door. She turned the shower on the let it warm up before she stripped. She took that chance to look in the mirror. Her body was sore from fighting the sticking charm against the wall. Her makeup was mostly gone, but none was smeared across her face. Her hair was a fright but between the assault, the nightmare, and then Draco, she wouldn’t have expected any different. She had slight bruises forming on her lower arms where McLaggen and held her to keep from fighting being stuck. Upon further inspection, that was the only mark from the attack. She had a mark on her neck. She smirked knowing it was from Draco. She put her hand over it and thought about it. Being physical with Draco came so easy. She had been nervous and knew he was right about waiting. Especially after the night before. Did she avoid the topic of the nightmare by kissing him? Yes. But the comfort it brought chased the lingering fear away. She knew she would have to talk to him about it today, just not right now. She stripped her clothes and got into the shower. Washing away what was left of the worry and stress from last night. Her thoughts were about making it through today. She stood there under the hot steaming water after washing for much longer than she should have. She got the feeling like she couldn’t get clean. She felt McLaggens hands on her. She got lost in her thoughts and couldn’t shake the icky feeling in her spine. That bad feeling lead her thoughts back to the nightmare. That playground. That school. NO! She had to stop. But that panic kept her from moving to turn the water off. She didn’t even hear the door open. She couldn’t hear Draco’s voice over the loud, intrusive thought that was the memory. It wasn’t until the curtain pulled open a bit that she realized what was going on. The water had been boiling hot. Her magic had been sparking and caused the temperature to boiling. He quickly turned the water off and threw a towel around her, careful not to rub and cause more harm.

She stood frozen, trying her absolute best to shake the thoughts. She felt Draco cast cooling and drying charms around her so any damage from the water would be minimal. His voice was faint, couldn’t hear him well. He kept trying. He grabbed her face between his hands to steady her wandering eyes. His grey eyes were enough to focus her in.  The muffled sound of his voice slowly started to get clearer and clearer. “....Kara?” He asked and her eyes finally showed sign of life. “Bloody hell, what was going on? Were you trying to hurt yourself?”

He was upset. She felt bad that this had happened as it was. “I don’t know what happened. One minute I'm washing, trying to get the feeling of the assault off my skin, and then the next I get lost in my thoughts. I got trapped inside my head. I couldn't shake it. That nightmare just kept playing over and over. I didn’t even feel the water, I could have really hurt myself, huh?” She felt numb about the situation, but she felt bad that she had upset him. She realized that there was a towel around her so that was good. She grounded herself to the things she could feel. The softness of his hands, the fluffy towel, the mat beneath her feet. Two things she could smell, mahogany and apples. One thing she could hear, Draco breathing. “I’m going to be ok.”

“We are going to have to talk about this. I’ll listen. But we have to see McGonagall soon. We should get going,” he said, moving behind her as to help her out the door.  “I’ll meet you out in the Common Room in 10 minutes.” She nodded at him. He gave her a kiss on the forehead. “We are going to be alright.”

He left her to it. He was going to sit in the common room. A Slytherin among the Hufflepuffs. The stark differences between the two common rooms for being in the same area was astounding. Hannah was sitting on the couch reading but the second she saw him, she closed the book and looked at him. “Is she ok?” Hannah asked.

“She will be. McLaggen won’t be,” Draco said trying to keep his anger in check.

 Hannah’s eyes widened. “What did he do? I saw professors dragging him away during the ball. He wasn’t supposed to be there.”

“If I see him again, I’m going to keep my promise to him.” That was all he said. Draco wasn’t sure what to say. It wasn’t his story to tell and he wasn’t sure if she wanted anyone to know. He put up his mental wall to keep the feelings from his face. Hannah was worried, but he had to protect KC until she was ready. 

The door opened and she slid out. She had put on her jeans and a Hufflepuff quidditch jumper for comfort. She still hadn’t dried her hair from the shower. Hannah was off the couch in an instant, embracing her friend in a tight hug. KC was a bit sore still but she moved well to hug her friend tightly. “If you need anything, if you want to talk about what’s going on, I’m here for you in confidence. We care about you.” Hannah let her friend go. “I mean it. We can have a girl’s night tonight before we go home, would that be ok?”

KC just smiled and agreed. Hannah gave her friend a flick of her wand to dry her hair for her. “I swear, I need to remember that spell. I can do everything else, but I mess up that one.”

“I think if that’s your one flaw, then we are doing pretty well,” Draco chimed in. “You ready?”

KC grabbed his hand and they headed up to the Headmistress’s office.

Professor Lupin was waiting by the golden statue leading to the Headmistress’s office. He looked just as troubled as KC did.

“Morning, professor,” KC mustered.

He gave her a small smile. “I’m here to warn you before we go up. There are a few aurors here.” KC took in a sharp breath and grabbed Draco’s hand tightly. “Nothing you need to be concerned about. They are preparing to press charges against Cormac. But they need to ask some questions.”

Draco squeezed her hand and they followed their teacher past the statue, up to the office. McGonagall stood in front of her desk with the three aurors. KC’s mind went numb. She didn’t hear anything that was being said to her. But she followed Draco to where see would be questioned. When she would zone out, he would subtly squeeze her hand. Two aurors took notice that she would only answer after Draco would refocus her mind on the conversation. “Mr. Malfoy, I think it would be best if we chatted with Miss Celine alone. Just for now. I’ll bring her back to you when we are finished.”

The panic KC felt was immediate but she hid it the best she could. One of the aurors seems like a distinguished gentleman. He wore a crisp business suit. The other reminded her of the mob boss detectives she had seen on old tv shows. White shirt, suspenders, thick mustache that made it look like he was wearing a costume. Draco gave the back of her hand a kiss and left to go talk with Lupin. One of the officers followed. “Miss Celine. I hope you don’t mind. We just need to get your account of what happened. We don’t want there being any outside influences when you talk to us,” the man with the mustache snarked. “Now, why don’t you tell us what happened.”

KC was nervous, but she slowly started in on her memory. She mentioned that she saw him at the ball and was put off due to past events, but ignored him. She told him about staying later to help out, forgetting her wand, and what happened after Draco went back to get it. Their eyes perked up when she told her about her blast of wandless magic.

“Mr. Malfoy didn’t use a spell or a curse to save you?”

“Not that I recall. I remember McLaggen tearing my dress and my magic burst. It wasn’t until after that I heard Draco yelling after me."

“Have you been able to conjure that before?” one asked.

She shook her head. “Not to that extent. I’ve been working with Professor Lupin since the beginning of the year to try and learn. I’m a fair dueler, but when it comes to physical confrontation, I know my weaknesses. I asked him to help me learn wandless defense. I hadn’t managed more than a small spark before last night.”

“Are you aware of the injuries that we caused by that outburst?”

That question made KC freeze in horror. Had she hurt him? She shook her head. “I know that he was knocked out, but I was in such a state of panic, I don’t remember much of what happened after. What happened to him?”

“He’ll live. The blast through him back against the stair railing. Knocked his head right into the stone. He is at St. Mungos right now healing, but will be ok.” KC had conflicted feelings about him being ok. She was relieved to hear she hadn’t severely damaged someone, but she was disappointed that he would have the chance to get better. The auror pushed forward. “Seems there is a history here of incidents of outbursts of magic in the past. Is it true that you have had an incident with Mr. McLaggen before?”

The tone the man used asking that question. She knew he had her file and saw what was in her past, but this sounded like he was accusing her of something recent. “Yes, there was another incident earlier this year.” She told him the story of him spiking the drink and that Draco was smart enough to switch them.

“Did you hear him admit that he spiked that drink?”

KC shook her head. “I was too intoxicated, so Blaise Zabini escorted me back to my common room.”

“Has there been any proof that it was McLaggen that poured that lust potion? Or could it be that Mr. Malfoy staged it. He seems rather smitten with you, perhaps he dosed you?”

The amount of anger KC felt was instant. “Professor Slughorn had found the bottle that was laced with the potion. It was in McLaggen’s possession. Draco is the one that saved me from it.”

“And what reason would Mr. McLaggen have to come after you?”

This auror was getting one ever single nerve. The one standing behind in the suit could tell but he didn’t say anything. “Are you trying to say that I did something to deserve this?” The auror looked taken aback. “I sure didn’t ask him to do anything. The first interaction I had with him was when his friends were bullying me in the library. I wouldn’t say that justified any sort of attack.”

The man in the suit chose to speak. “That is not what we were insinuating. We are just trying to piece together why this would happen.”

“Your guess is as good as mine at this point,” KC snapped. “I’d barely said two words to him and this is what he did to me. Perhaps you should ask him. Are we done?”

Both aurors took a second, closing their files. “We will be in touch, Miss Celine.” They walked off towards McGonagall to ask her some more questions while she got up and went back to Draco and Lupin.

The auror had finished speaking with Draco and had moved on to her professor. She went right to him and wrapped her arms around him, buried her face in his shoulder. Not due to being upset, but needing to find the comfort from the whirlwind of emotions those questions had put her through. “Are you ok, Draco?”

“Aurors projecting their cases onto a former death eater, nothing new.”

KC raised her head and looked at him with anger. “They actually asked me if it could have been you who cursed McLaggen or spike the liquor at that party. I’m so livid.”

Draco pulled her back. “I think they are done with us. That guy said they would owl us with the results or with further questions. Would you like to go for a walk outside to calm down? Your magic is sparking at me.”

KC let go quickly. “Sorry. I want to, but my back muscles just hurt too much. I think it’s best if I let you get ready to leave for the holiday.

He grabbed her hand and they started to walk out. “Have you already finished packing?”

“Packing? For what?” She was confused at his question.

“My mother mentioned you were coming to with us for the holiday. She said you’re invited.”

“I didn’t think she was serious. I thought she was just being nice. I didn’t plan on intruding on your vacation.” KC was anxious, but she let it slide. Narcissa was kind, but she didn’t fully believe that she would have invited her into her home for a few weeks.

“I insist that you join us. My mother would be livid with me if she caught wind that I let you doubt her sincerity,” he said in the most gentlemanly tone he could manage. “How about this: You accompany me to my room, I’ll give you some soothing balm for your back, and then you can relax while I pack. When we are done, I’ll let you go spend the evening with Hannah. She’s really worried about you.” Hannah is such a wonderful friend. KC thought. “That and she probably wants all of the details from last night. She walked in this morning while you were still sleeping. I could see her imagination running wild when she saw me.”

KC laughed so hard at that. “I like that plan. I better make sure Hannah doesn’t think that I’m up to no good.”

“But you usually are up to no good,” Draco teased.

“Well, she doesn’t need to know that.” KC walked faster as he laughed. It was a lighter mood that she needed.

They made their way through the castle, KC still admired how many portraits there were everywhere. There were so many different secrets and stories among them, it would be impossible to learn them all. The most curious one to her was the one guarding the door to his common room. Severus Snape. Draco would acknowledge him with a head nod before entering but that was the most she’d seen him interact. She knew that he had once been an important figure in his life, but he wouldn’t say why. It was a topic he hid from her. When they got inside, there was a note from Hermione.

 

Left for the holiday. See you after the New Year – HG

 

“Good, that means I can have you all to myself!” Draco joked. He walked towards his room and she followed gladly. She hadn’t been in this space, let alone his room. He was very organized. It was minimalistic and the room was colored in black, silver, and deep green.

“You’re such a snake,” KC teased. “But I’m not sure why we always hang out in my room when they clearly made yours bigger.”

“I care about who is in the room rather than the furniture,” he said casually. That made KC blush. He could do the simplest things and it set her cheeks on fire. How was it he had such control over her? He went into his wardrobe and looked through the different bottles on the shelf. He finally found what he was looking for. “It’s my mother’s healing balm. She used it all the time when I was a kid. Helps bruises disappear and the muscles relax.”

KC went to grab it from him but he pulled away. “And what makes you think I’m going to let you do it yourself?” He asked, raising one eyebrow.

“I can handle it myself, you know,” she said, reaching for it again.

He moved towards her and put the bottle behind his back. “I don’t think so. Now will you be good and go lay on the bed? You’re not going to be able to reach all the spots on your back to rub it in properly.” His voice was deep. She wanted to melt but she did as she was told. His bed was so soft. She could easily just curl up and fall asleep. Laying on her stomach, she grabbed one of his pillows to help prop her up. She could feel him crawl over her and it made her shiver. “Now, now. Be good.” He was absolutely teasing her.

“I’m always good,” KC said, turning her head to look back at him.

He leaned down to kiss her cheek as she laid there. “That’s bullshit and we both know it,” he laughed. “Now, it would be easiest if you take off your jumper. Besides, that yellow clashes with my room.”

“You’re just mad it looks good on me.”  She tried to roll over so it was easier but he put more pressure on her hips with his. “But you’re on me so you’re going to have to help me get it off.”

“That was the plan. Now, stay still.” That deep, growly voice of his was going to make her melt right into the mattress. His hands slid slowly from her hips and up the hem of her sweater. His hands were extremely warm on her skin. She shivered because it felt nice and he just smirked. She hadn’t put on a bra. “You’re just asking for trouble today, aren’t you?” He moved teasingly slowly. He pushed his palms down a little to loosen her muscles along the way. “Arms up for a second,” he said when he got to the top to pull it over her head. She lifted without question. He leaned to get it all the way off of her arms and tossed it to the side. He ran his hands back down her arms and when they got to her shoulders, he took his time moving her hair to the side. Once he was in the clear, he leaned back down and placed his lips right behind her ear. She made a soft noise into the pillow. “You just lay here and enjoy this. Tell me if it hurts at all and I’ll stop.”

He grabbed the balm and got a decent amount, rubbing it between his hands to warm it up a little. Starting with her lower back, he spread it liberally. She took a sharp intake beneath him. “Good or bad?” He made out the word ‘good’ through a pillow. He smiled. He knew the feeling of this. Instant relief. It would tingle through the skin and it would sit and warm for a bit.  Massaging with it was perfect for the sorest of muscles. He spent a good amount of time working her back and she would reward him with moans into the pillow. When he got to her shoulders, he made sure to massage her neck to work out the knots trapped in there.

She turned her head. “Where did you get to be so good at this?”

“I’ll never tell,” he smiled. He moved to go farther up her neck to heal the mark he had left on her this morning.

“No! I want to keep that one!” She tried to turn the other way as to hide it from him.

He had not been expecting that one. “You like to be marked?” he asked with his eyebrow raised. “I'll keep that in mind for the future. If my mother saw this on you when you walk through the manor doors, she might murder her only son.” He rubbed the balm into the bruise much to her dismay. He watched it slowly start to disappear. He slowly moved down her arms. When he got to her arms lower towards her hips, she yelled for him to stop. She was shaking.

“What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?” He asked concerned.

She pulled her arms inward and hid them under her chest. “Sorry. It scared me for a second. Having my arms held down by my side made me think of last night. I can raise them though. I’m a pain, I'm sorry.”

She moved her arms up above her head towards the headboard. “You have no reason to be sorry. I’ll be careful.” He leaned forward to reach the entirety of her arms. They both watched as the marks on her forearms disappeared. Her last physical reminder of the events that happened.

“Draco,” she said, turning to look at him. “Thank you for doing this for me.”

He crawled off of her before he did something he shouldn’t. “I just did it to get that ghastly yellow off of you,” he joked. He went back to his wardrobe to put away the bottle of balm. He grabbed a green sweater out and threw it at her face. “You can put that on when the balm is done working its magic. I’m holding that yellow hostage.”

She smiled at him, hugging the sweater he gave her. She watched him as he gathered things from his drawers to pack in his trunk. She laid there on the bed and chatted with him while he worked. Their quips came easy with each other and it was nice. They both gave as much as they got in return. It took him a little bit to finish with him stopping to tease her every few minutes. He leaned down over the bed and gave her a kiss. She turned over. He didn’t think twice and he climbed right over her. It was simple and it was caring. He pulled back to look at her. “You really are testing me, aren’t you?”

“And I’m not sorry about it,” said smiling at him. She leaned and kissed him one more time. He pushed her back down and climbed off.

“I have to stop. You be good and put that green sweater on and I’ll be back in just a minute.” He heard her giggle as he left the room. He needed to wash his hands and grab the rest of the stuff out of the bathroom. By the time he returned to his room, he saw her curled up in his sweater, fast asleep. He knew that balm would kick in sooner or later. The relaxant always made him a little sleepy. Packing the last of his things, he grabbed an extra blanket and curled up next to her. Things were simple and this was the happiness he was looking for.

It was a few hours later that KC woke. She was learning that being cuddled was one of her favorite things. With Blaise it was nice, but this was a new level. She didn’t want to let him go.  She knew he was awake when he pulled her closer. “You don’t get to leave quite yet, I’m not done,” Draco said, snuggling right into her chest. She giggled but held on to him tight.

“I don’t want to go. But I did promise Hannah. You know she will come find us if I don’t show up sooner or later.”

He lifted his head to look at her. “We still need to talk about what happened earlier,” he said. She tried to roll away but he held on. “Kara, please,” he asked quietly. She melted hearing her name said like that from him. “I need to know how I can help you,” he added.

She sat up and turned to face him and he scooted up to lean against the headboard. “My nightmare was about home. When I first found out I had magic.” She could see the question on his face but he held it in to listen. “I was in first grade when it happened. I wasn’t a kid most people liked to play with. My parents had to work so much trying to afford things that I was always at school; got dropped off early and usually had to stay late. I would sit and read in the classrooms while the teachers worked on their things until it was time. They were always really kind to me, but the students only saw me as a nobody. One day at recess, there was a group of kids who were going around kicking younger students down. I couldn’t sit by and watch that happen. There was no need for it. I stepped in and helped the 5-year-old out of the sandbox and made sure they were ok. The bullies were walking towards me from the slide area right by the sand. They called me the worst of things that 7-year-olds could think of. I can handle it when people make fun of me, it wasn’t anything new. But then one of them started going after my parents. Saying they were terrible people and that there was something wrong with them. I tried to get him to stop, but there was no teacher around to yell for help. I was so angry I thought I was going scream, but I knew if I reacted it would only make the situation worse. He came up to me and said ‘your parents abandon you here, they are going to forget all about you. You deserve to live in a hole’ and pushed me to the ground. By the time my body hit the ground, I had a burst of magic fly out of me. The kid flew back and he hit his head so hard on one of the slides. His friends screamed and I couldn’t move. I was in shock.”

Draco leaned forward and grabbed KC’s hand. He squeezed her hand. “And that’s why you were haunted by seeing the thestrals the first night here.”

She had tears that threatened to fall but she held it in. She held on to his hand tight. “Draco, that kid died. Because of me. He had hit so hard it broke his neck. There was nothing anyone could do. School was shut down early, my parents came, the police were involved, and then the worst happen. MACUSA came. They had to explain to the teacher and administrators of the school what I was. They had to use Legillemency to look into my eyes to see what happened. That poor kid’s family couldn’t know what happened. They ended up having to withdraw me from school.”

She took a deep breath and looked at Draco. “They told the family that the kid fell from the top of the slide trying to climb on top of it. MACUSA had to modify memories of everyone involved. I had to be kept isolated until they could measure my magical control. My parents... My parents were absolutely terrified of me. I don’t blame them. They had to leave their jobs and we moved to be closer to Ilvermorny, where they put me in a special program to start training early. Apparently, my magic was stronger than anything they had seen in a child before. And since I was so young, I never quite fit in with anyone there. I became an outcast there, too.”

KC was absolutely shaking. “You are not responsible for that kid’s death. It was an accident.”

“That’s what I try to tell myself, but the guilt just eats me alive! I was 7! After that I was almost thankful to be an outcast. I couldn’t hurt anyone again. I was so scared the other night that I had done it again.”

“Kara, that is not on you. You were being attacked. You defended yourself. If you had your wand, it would have been different. You’re easily one of the best duelers I’ve ever seen. You didn’t mean to hurt him; you were protecting yourself.” He pulled her in for a hug.

“I killed someone,” she whispered. “That will never go away.”

He contemplated how to respond. She pulled away but looked down. She was defeated. “People died because of me,” Draco said softly. She looked up at him.

“I did what I had to do to save myself, to save my family. You read my trial information, but I let the death eaters in the castle. I may not have cast the Avada myself, but it’s my fault. So many of my classmates are gone, because of the decision I made.”

“That wasn’t a choice, Draco. You didn’t get one. I’ve met your mother. I would give my life to protect her too.”

“But it doesn’t change the fact that it happened. And my father is still out there, hurting more people. I’m responsible for a lot. And that’s something I’ll never get to take back. I’ve spent the summer trying to block everything out. I rebuilt the library to make it feel like I've done something to help, but it won’t fill the hole of guilt. McGonagall gave me a mantra and I've clung to it. ‘We can’t change our past, but we can keep moving forward.’ It’s what gets me through the hard thoughts. And then you happened.” He watched her reaction. She tried to comprehend what he was saying. “You helped me. You ran into me in that elevator and were kind. You treated me like I wasn’t scum of the earth. Like I mattered. Even if you were clumsy and chatty when I wanted to be left alone. I’m glad you bothered me.”

“Me too,” she said.

She leaned forward and he grabbed onto her. He kissed her and then cuddled her into his chest. “We’re in this together, Kara.” He kissed the top of her head.

“Together.” They sat in silence, just holding each other and processing everything. They were comfort for one another.  “Can I come back after Hannah leaves? I’ll pack my stuff and come here so we can leave first thing?”

“Absolutely,” he said. Draco kissed her head one more time and let her go. She was up and towards the door. Before she could walk out, he called to her, “You look good in green!”

She turned back to him, stuck her tongue out and left. She liked wearing his green, but she’d never tell him that.

Chapter Text

KC’s heart felt lighter after her afternoon with Draco. Her back was almost back to normal. Whatever Narcissa put in that balm, the was going to have to ask for her formula. It would save her some soreness during the rest of the quidditch season. She left his common room to head back to Hufflepuff, but she wanted to have one more conversation before she did.

She shut the portrait door shut and looked up to the man pacing. She was trying to think of how to phrase her questions when his voice interrupted her thoughts. “Your face doesn’t hide anything. Is there something I can help you with, Miss Celine?”

“I apologize, sir. I didn’t want to intrude, but I was hoping that I could ask you some questions.”

Snape stopped pacing and stood watching her. “And why would you think I had the answers?”

“Because at some point, Draco trusted you. He obviously respected you,” she mentioned. “I just want to make sure I can help keep him safe and make life better for him.” He stared at her. His sneer almost made her want to forget ever thinking of asking him anything. But she was determined. “I want to be able to protect him from his father. He has suffered in that shadow for too long.”

Snape started to pace again. Thinking about whether he should give her anything. But he could see the look in her eyes. There was nothing but worry and love for Draco. He simply gave her a nod to keep going. “I want to stop the Sympathizers. You were on the inside for a long time. Any ideas on what they are setting out to do or anything to be on the lookout for?”

“Death Eaters and the Sympathizers are different, but run by the same people. Their ideals have changed slightly. They are searching for information as well. Clues to all of the pureblood lineage.” This was stuff KC already knew, but she was determined to learn more. “There were rumors of a tool, a weapon, of sorts that would aid the Dark Lord in cleansing the blood lines. It was to hold great power. The Deathly Hallows would have made him the master of death, but this power would give him the ability to control and rebuild the wizarding world. Make the muggle world suffer.”

The horror on her face was evident. But she was determined to understand. A tool, weapon, great power. “But as it was at the end, no such tool had been found. Many fled looking for it, but many were looking for it after the Dark Lord vanished the first time. Any good information that might mention any sort of power might be found at Malfoy Manor.”

“Thank you for helping me, sir. It means the world to me,” KC bowed her head at him and turned to leave down the hall.

“Best of luck,” Snape said and went back to pacing. Narcissa was right. She was going to bring some good to this world, He thought. Or die trying.

KC made it back to her common room and Hannah was waiting for her, reading her book. “I thought I was the only one who got lost in a book all day!” KC joked.

Hannah quickly put the book down and ran to embrace her. “I’m glad you’re ok,” she said into KC’s shoulder.

“I might need something stronger than pumpkin juice for this. It’s been a long day,” KC sighed. They moved to sit on the couches. Hannah reached into the sofa cushions.

“Good thing Blaise wasn’t very observant when I took the firewhisky away from him then,” she said as they both laughed. “Now, what was the reason I saw you crying while sleeping on a nearly naked man?”

That made KC giggle. She took the bottle from her friend, took a long pull, and laid back against the couch to tell her story. The more she talked, the less weight she felt on her chest. The feeling on her skin was replaced by the memory of Draco healing her bruises. The attack was still fresh in her mind, but she didn’t feel it anymore and that helped more than anything.

“You’re telling me that NOTHING happened last night with that sexy Slytherin in your bed?” Hannah prodded. “I mean, I don’t blame you after all that happened. But I saw those pecs. How could you resist?” She was teasing.

That didn’t stop KC’s face from flushing red. “I didn’t say nothing happened.” Hannah leapt towards her and sat right next to her. She grabbed her hands in excitement. “I mean, it wasn’t that, but he gave something back to me. McLaggen stole my first kiss from me. I didn’t want that to be the memory I kept. Draco helped me with that,” KC said quietly. That didn’t stop Hannah from squealing in delight. KC grabbed the bottle and took another big gulp. She wasn’t drinking to hide the memory of anything. She was just enjoying her night with a friend. A comfortable, safe evening.

“You are going to have to spill so much more when we get back from break. Or you could write me all the naughty details. Your choice,” Hannah said nonchalantly. “How could you choose from your Slytherin trio? You have them all wrapped around your finger, if you didn’t realize.”

KC thought about that one. She deeply cared for Draco. The last few months with him even as friends were some of the best. Blaise and Theo made things interesting for her. They would tease, but she felt so comfortable with them. They made her face flush and made her feel tingly, but she didn’t connect to them on the same level as Draco. But that night during the party... and the cuddling after... Hannah could see the blush on her face deepen and her eyes widened. “You didn’t?!”

“No! No, nothing like that. I mean, in my perfect world I wouldn’t have to choose. I want them all in different ways. But there is just something about Draco. It’s so easy with him. He’s just...”

“Handsome? Dashing? Perfect? I’ll take any of those comments.” Draco had shown up through the door. He was smirking. Hannah was laughing so hard she might fall off the couch.

KC pushed her right off. “You knew he was standing there? And you let me feed into his ego like that? His ego is big enough already!”

She smiled through the laughter of her friend. Draco sat right next to her, putting his arm around her shoulder. Leaning in, he whispered, “You know that’s not the only thing big about me.” KC shot right up, not wanting to let her face blush even further. Both of them were laughing at her. She grabbed one of the pillows and hit Draco upside the head with it and then threw it down on Hannah.

“I swear, I don’t know why I'm friends with you guys.” But they were perfect for her.

Hannah got up to hug her. “I’m going to miss you. You better write to me at least once.” She lowered into a whisper, “But I understand if you are too busy.” KC pushed Hannah away in giggles. It put her off balance and she fell onto Draco’s lap. “I’ll see you both when I get back! Have fun!”

She took off towards the door, leaving the two on the couch alone. “So, Mr. Malfoy. Now that we are officially alone and I’m tipsy, what are your plans for me?” KC teased.

“You are going to be the death of my self-control, aren’t you?” Draco asked rhetorically. “I actually wanted to have a proper first date with you.” KC’s eyes lit up with delight. “I can’t do much for you while we are still here, but this way I have you truly to myself for a bit.”

He pushed her to stand. He stood in front of her, grabbing her hips. “Did you finish packing like I told you to?” KC’s face dropped. “I’ll take that as a no,” he said backing away. “You finish, I’ll meet you outside of my dorm in 20 minutes.”

“Should I bring anything special?” She asked, trying to step closer to him again.

He smirked and backed away at her advance. “Just go do as you’re told and I’ll take care of the rest.” He turned her towards her door and smacked her butt forward. She jumped a little but turned and smiled at him. Her cheeks, a beautiful shade of red.

She hurried into her room and made sure to pack everything she might need for a few weeks. She didn’t have much in reality, but she made sure that she had her journal, a book, a rotation of the few outfits she had other than her school uniforms. She made sure she had her information for Gringotts just in case they had a chance to go to Diagon before Christmas break was over. It was almost time to meet up with him. She didn’t know what he had up his sleeve for the night, but she wanted to continue to make him smile with her in his green sweater. She really did find it comfortable, and it fit her well. Not too oversized, but enough that it showed off the curves she did have. She wanted to make it dressier in a way, so she traded her jeans for her black pleated skirt and black tights. She wore her black flats to go with it and let her hair down all the way with a headband to keep it back. Innocent, yet cute. She grabbed everything she would need and took it with her.

Draco was outside the portrait as promised, leaning against the wall, arms folded and feet crossed.  He had changed, making her happy she did. He wore black trousers with a black sweater. It fit him so well. The dark made his eyes and hair more prominent. He saw her approach and he stood to full attention to greet her.

“My lady,” he said, grabbing her hand and kissing the back of it.

“Good sir,” KC giggled, playing along. “Just what do you have in store for us tonight?”

He didn’t verbally answer, but he pulled open the door and ushered her inside. He had set the whole common room up for them. Candles lit the table, there were flowers in a vase, and dinner waiting for them. He had candles all over the room to provide light, giving the soft glow instead of the harsh fireplace. “Dinner is served.” He led her to the table and pulled her chair out for her, scooting her in as she sat. He took this opportunity to hand her a flower from the vase. A romantic red rose. He poured her what looked like champagne and then went to sit in the seat across from her. She couldn’t stop smiling. Looking at the rose, she put it to her nose. It was fresh. He put so much effort into this. He looked at her with a smug look on his face. Taking his glass, he raised it to her. “To a promising first date and to many more with you.”

KC took her glass and cheered his. They both took a sip. He watched her reactions. She was lost in the sensation of it all. The champagne was sweet and it made her face brighten in delight. “I’ve never tasted anything so sweet before. It’s delicious,” KC said, setting her glass down. She reached over and put the rose back in the vase so she could enjoy it during dinner.

“I hope that this means you’ll let me spoil you again in the future,” he said, taking her hand from across the table, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb.

“I have a feeling even if I said no, you’ll do it anyway,” she joked.

“When it comes to spoiling you with dates, yes. But when it comes to anything else,” he looked down at their hands connected. “The second you say no, I’ll listen.” She smiled. Knowing that he would respect her in every way meant the world to her. He looked at her one more time before letting go. “Now, I hope you enjoy this tonight. If at any point it’s too much, you just say so.”

“Draco, this is perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” she reassured. It truly was more than she could have hoped for. He was the perfect gentleman, with the charm of a handsome prince. He took her plate and spooned things onto it. “You don’t have to serve me, I can do it myself.”

“I know you can,” he said, still serving her. “But you’re here to enjoy everything, so no work for you. Let me take care of you.”

He set down the plate full of delicious items. Rotisserie style chicken, with alfredo pasta, mixed vegetables, and berry mix with a strawberry glaze on top. She waited for him to plate his food and start eating before she grabbed her utensils. It was divine. Their conversation flowed easily. They told stories about things they experienced with their families, Draco told stories and jokes about his nights with Blaise and Theo. Everything about dinner was perfect. Chicken was tender, pasta perfectly creamy, mixed vegetables steamed just right. The berries were her favorite part. Assorted raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, with the sweet glaze. She couldn’t help but let out a groan as she ate it. “This is by far the best meal I’ve ever had.”

“I’ll make sure you have that fruit a thousand more times if you promise to make that sound again,” he smirked at her, taking another bite. Her face was red but she took her last bite. “I do hope you saved room for dessert?” He asked, pushing his plate to the side.

“You’ll have to save it for later. I’m stuffed,” she said, taking her last sip of her drink.

“Good thing we have all night then,” he said, standing from the table. He took her hand and led her to the couch. She sat with her legs underneath her. He went back to the table and grabbed their glasses and bottle. He handed her the glass and filled it for her, sitting down facing her after filling his own. “I know that things got a little heavy earlier today. How are you doing?” Draco asked.

She thought about it for a second. “Surprisingly I’m ok. It’s something I’ve hid for a long time. I don’t need a lot of people knowing, but just being able to tell you has taken such a weight off of my mind. But you told me a good amount too. That couldn’t have been easy for you, Mr. Stoic,” she teased, trying to lighten the heaviness of the situation.

“Many know what I did. It will probably be in history books one day. But no one has ever heard it from my side. Even at my trial they never asked. To tell someone who wouldn’t judge me means everything. Though, it kills my Slytherin self-preservation,” he smiled, taking a drink.

“You know I’m not going to tell anyone. I may tease you, but your secrets are safe with me. Feel free to tell me as many as you want,” she said, taking another sip. “But you keep giving me more of this and I may not be able to keep my mouth shut.”

“I’ll just have to find another way to keep it occupied then.” KC couldn’t even hide her surprise at his innuendo. He just laughed. “You know I’m joking, right?”

KC smiled. She was having a wonderful time with him. Spending time with him was effortless. She sat admiring him. He always had such a stern face with everyone else, but with her, she got to see his smile. She moved closer to him, just so she could run her fingers through his hair. “You are so handsome when you smile,” she said.

“It’s reserved for you. Don’t go letting others know that I smile. It’ll ruin my reputation of being the bad boy,” he said. He grabbed her hand in his hair and pulled it down. “I’ve been thinking about this all night. You said you were full but just one and I’ll let it go.”

He got up and went to grab something from the table. He turned and she saw a plate of chocolate covered strawberries. “Oh, well played,” she laughed. He sat down next to her. He sat the plate down on the end table next to them. He grabbed her drink from her and set it next to the plate. “I wasn’t done with that, give it ba..” he interrupted her by grabbing her and swinging her around onto his lap. She was face to face with him. Her bum sitting between his leg and the arm of the sofa. He handed her the glass back.

“You were saying?”

“You’re something else, Draco Malfoy,” she said, taking another drink. “Although, you moved me too quickly. I’m a little light headed.”

“Then perhaps, you need a little more to eat, and less to drink.” He grabbed the glass from her and set it out of her reach. She gave him a pouty lip and went to reach for it. He grabbed her sides and kissed her sad face away. He pulled away and he saw her face was blushed again. “I’ll never get tired of that.”

“Of what? The kissing?” She giggled.

“The beautiful blush on your face,” he said, tracing her cheek with a light touch. Her eyes closed with the touch and made her smile. His hand disappeared and seconds later she felt something against her lips. “Just a taste.”

She opened her eyes. She drew the berry right into her mouth and took a good bite. It was by far the sweetest berry she had ever had and the chocolate was perfect. A little bit of juice ran from the side of her mouth as she moaned at how good the taste was. He pulled the berry away and put his lips right to her mouth. She felt him run his tongue across the seam of her lips. He pulled away and she was in pure joy. She chewed the berry. He wiped his thumb in the corner of her mouth for good measure. “That’s what I should have done that night in the Great Hall. In front of everyone. I should have never let you question that I wanted you,” he said. He put the rest of the berry in his mouth.

She smiled at him. “I don’t think I would have known what to do then. I obviously cared for you. Having friends is still weird to me. Having someone who is interested in me? That's a different story.”

“Unfortunately for me, there are a few interested in you,” Draco said, annoyed.

“Good thing I’m spoken for then,” she said, wrapping her arms around him, laying her head on his shoulder. “You might have to share with Blaise though,” she giggled. He grabbed her and flung her down onto the couch. Her back against the leather, he was right over her.

“Not a chance,” he said and kissed her. She put her hands around the back of his neck to keep him there. She low-key loved that he was possessive. He pulled back and looked at her for a second. “You’re not serious?”

“You’re telling me you don’t want to share?” KC joked, knowing he would be playfully upset about it. But she was wrong. He had a concerned look on his face. He moved away from her and stood. He ran his hand through his hair, thinking. She sat up and watched him as he walked towards his room. “Draco, wait!”

KC scrambled to run after him, using her wand to waft the candles out. She shut the door to his room behind her, he was standing here leaning against one of the posts of his four-poster bed. “Draco, I was kidding. Please don’t be mad.” She put her arms around his waist, hugging him from behind.

“I know. I’m just not good at sharing, so even the thought…” he sighed. He turned around to face her, but she didn’t let go.

“I’m not asking you to. That is a topic for way down the road. I didn’t mean to ruin the mood. I was just being sassy,” she said into his shoulder.

He let go of her and backed away. He tipped his shoes off and pulled off his sweater, leaving a black shirt underneath. KC’s face blushed. He gave a small laugh. “I am in no way insinuating anything will happen tonight. I just needed to be comfortable. I was hoping you would stay though,” he said looking back at her.

“I’d love to, but I packed all of my things. I don’t have anything to sleep in,” she said shyly. She had wanted to look nice for him, but didn’t think through the sleeping arrangement. She still had his sweater so at least she would be comfortable.

“It’s ok. Feel free to grab anything out of the wardrobe. Or don’t. Your choice,” he smiled. He walked and gave her a kiss on the forehead. “I’ll be right back.”

She watched him walk out the door. She made the swift decision to just sleep in the sweater. She stripped her skirt and tights and set them by her shoes. She slept in just her underwear and a shirt last night and it was fine, so tonight wouldn’t be any different. She put her headband down with everything and ran her fingers through her hair, making it a little less messy after everything. She pulled back the blankets and climbed into the comfort of his bed. She was all set by the time he wandered back into the room. He had switched his black trousers for gray joggers. How could he make comfortable clothes look so good? KC thought to herself with a smile. He smiled back at her. “I think I could get used to seeing you in my bed.”

“Your bed is perfect. I may never sleep anywhere else again.”

He slid underneath the covers and pulled her close. “Good night, Hufflepuff.”

She snuggled into his chest and whispered, “Good night, Draco,” before relaxing comfortably enough that she fell asleep.

 

******

 

Draco woke to the soft snores of the beautiful witch beside him. The clock read 8:30 which meant they didn’t have much time before their portkey was ready in McGonagall’s office. She had turned away from him at some point, facing the other way holding her pillow. He rolled over and spooned her, propping himself up to look at her. She was at peace. He brushed the hair from her face, which caused her to stir. She moved closer into him, connecting her bum with his hips. Good morning, indeed. Draco thought. He kissed her cheek, causing her to stir even more. Eyes fluttering open, she looked at him and smiled. “Good morning, handsome,” she said in her groggy morning voice. She wiggled her hips even further back and he held onto her tight.

“Are you trying to start trouble this morning?” he whispered into her ear. He kissed below it. 

“Me? Trouble? Never,” she giggled, do it again.

Cheeky witch. He rolled her over so she was facing him. He took his time kissing her. He held her face with his hand as their lips slid like silk against one another. He pulled her away with a smile. “As much as I’d love to stay here with you all morning, I have a feeling my mother would be upset if we missed our portkey.”

“I’m so excited!” she squealed and popped out of bed, leaving him with a stiff morning problem to fight himself. She bent over to grab her things, giving Draco a nice sight of her bum, which wasn’t helping things. He watched her wiggle back into her tights and skirt.

She went over to his wardrobe searching for something. “What are you looking for?” he asked, watching her search through the drawers.

“I wanted my sweater. Ah ha!” She proclaimed, pulling it out from the back of his drawer. She slipped off his green sweater, leaving her back exposed to him.

He rushed out of the bed. He pulled her back against him, and she pulled the yellow sweater to her chest. “Warn me next time, you’re making it impossible not to throw you down on the bed right now,” He growled into her ear. It was then she realized what she had done to him. He ran his hands down her exposed sides and slid them across her stomach. He kissed her neck. KC melted right into him. A staggered breath left her and it shook him out of the trance. “You finish getting ready, I’ll be back shortly,” he said, pulling away from her and adjusting himself.

She giggled, putting her yellow sweater on over her head. Turning to watch him walk away with the obvious outline in his joggers. “If you need a hand, I’m right here,” she joked, going to sit back on the bed.

“Cheeky little…” he muttered as he shut the door behind him, only making her laugh.

KC was truly being sassy on purpose, but she knew that she shouldn’t push him too far. He was only trying to be respectful of her. It was a sweet gesture. She was excited to see Narcissa again. Her weekly letters have been the highlight of her week and she couldn’t wait to have days to spend with her. If she was being honest though, she was a little nervous to be going to their home. She never really asked, but she could tell that the Malfoy’s were fairly well-off. Draco always dressed sharp, even in his most casual attire. His gray joggers even looked like they were made from the best material around. Narcissa always carried this air around her that screamed class, but she didn’t want to ask. KC just wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t like she grew up poor; she had the essentials. But when it came to the extra stuff, she had to work for it. She borrowed what she could, which meant she took nothing for granted. She was hoping that one day she could do something nice for her parents for all of the hard work they put in for her. To support her. She was still hoping to one day pay Narcissa back for the robes and the room in Diagon Alley. It wasn’t that she had asked to be paid back, but it was a pride thing.

Draco came back into the room dressed sharp as always. Gray trousers and a black sweater. “How is it you look perfect in everything, Draco? It’s really not fair,” KC pointed out.

He stood adjusting his watch and raised an eyebrow at her. “I had to lure you in somehow,” he smiled. “Let’s go before we miss our portkey. Mippy already came and took our trunks so we wouldn’t have to worry.” He saw the confusion on her face and answered her question before it formed. “She is one of our house elves. She would have lost it had we not let her help.”

KC smiled and went with it. She followed him out of the common room with everything and prepared for the portkey ahead.  

 

*****

 

Portkey travel was still one of the worst things. KC held onto Draco for stability. She ultimately vomited right outside of the gates. He was nice and held her hair to the side for her, but it was off-putting. “I’m sorry you had to see that,” she said, wiping the side of her face. She used her wand to use a cleansing spell just in case. “I can fly and drive with no issues, but portkeys get me every time. I wish we could apparate.”

He straightened her hair back into place for her once she stood up. “You ready? It’s only a short walk up the path from here,” he said, rubbing his hand up and down her arm. He cast a warming charm over them with the winter cold blustering against them. Taking her hand, he used his wand to open up the tall gates in front of them.

KC tried her best to keep her face neutral as she caught sight of his home, but the shock on her face stopped her in her tracks. Draco felt her stop and turned to look. “Everything alright?”

She nodded. “I just wasn’t expecting this. It’s massive,” she said in awe.

“When it comes to manors, I’d say it’s a good size,” he said, trying to brush off the unintended innuendo. “I’ll have to make sure to show you the library. I have a feeling it might be one of your favorite places.”

“Draco, this is a castle! I'm like a peasant visiting the royal palace,” she was shaking. He could tell her anxiety was taking control.

“Breathe with me, alright?” He took deep breaths, hoping she would copy him. After a few attempts she did. It took a minute but she finally calmed down.

“I’m sorry. I get insecure about this stuff. I figured your family had money, but I didn’t even dare to think this was it. I don’t want you to think I’m after your money. I’ve never seen anything like this.” She looked down at the ground, but started walking forward towards the house.

“You didn’t need to ask. We can discuss it more later,” he said, reassuring her. “My mother is going to spoil you more than she ever did me.”

“And hopefully, she doesn’t get the attitude that you did,” they heard Narcissa yell from the door.

The couple rushed towards her. Once inside, KC brought Narcissa into a tight hug. “It’s so good to see you,” KC whispered into her shoulder.

Narcissa pulled her back just to hear a pop beside her. KC noticed a small house elf dressed in a simple blue dress. “Mippy,” Narcissa addressed. “Will you make sure tea and breakfast is ready here in about 30 minutes? I'm going to take our lovely guest on a tour of the grounds.” She turned to look at KC, “And if you need anything, do not hesitate to ask for Mippy. She will help.”

Narcissa wrapped her arm around KC’s and led her around the house while Draco followed at a distance. He gave his mother space to be a gracious host, but knew he would get to show her more later. The manor was extensive. On the ground level of the manor, there was a ballroom, drawing room, formal dining, multiple offices and studies, a library, a solarium, and music room. On the upper level there were Separate wings of bedrooms, with the upper level of the library. Outside there was a garden and greenhouse surrounded by a hedge maze, stables that housed a few abraxans, and a pond in the distance; the grounds surrounded by some of the most beautiful trees. KC was amazed by the detail in all the stonework around the building. The art, the elegance of it all. There were multiple portraits, that she assumed were family, that all gave her a sneer and looked away as they passed. KC tried to take in all of the history that Narcissa was giving her, but the beauty of everything was simply overwhelming.

“I’m sure Draco will be happy to give you a deeper insight to everything as the break goes on,” Narcissa smiled as they entered the dining room. Mippy had outdone herself. There was a full breakfast feast. Anything she could have wanted was there.

Narcissa sat at the head of the table, Draco next to her. Before he sat, he was a gentleman and pushed her chair in that was right next to his seat. He served her a plate full of everything. He avoided everything she didn’t like. Before she could even reach for it, he grabbed her a green apple and sliced it for her. “I could have done that, but thank you,” she whispered to him. He vanished the core when he was done and set the slices on a side plate for her, stealing one slice and putting it in his mouth. It was something small that made her laugh. KC saw Narcissa watching their interaction, but she looked down at her plate smiling.

“I do hope my son has been better behaved since the last I saw,” Narcissa said, breaking the silence.

“I don’t know what you mean, mother. I’m a perfect gentleman,” Draco said, acting innocently.

KC just scoffed. “You know better than to lie to your mom,” she teased. “He’s been as stubborn as usual. But he’s slowly getting better.”

“Good, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to whip him into shape before the New Year’s Gala,” she said, casually drinking her tea.

Draco’s fork dropped. “You can’t be serious. I thought you said this would be a quiet holiday.”

“That’s why we are only hosting New Years and not Christmas.” Draco rolled his eyes. “Oh hush, you have to let me have my fun, Draco. It’s the only interaction I get around here, besides Mippy’s wonderful stories. You’ll join in on the fun, won’t you, Kara?” She asked, trying to get someone else on her side.

KC was shocked. “I’m sorry, Narcissa. I wasn’t expecting any of. I’m not prepared for any of this. I don’t think I’ll have time to find a dress or anything fancy.”

“Just means I’ll have an excuse to take you shopping. We’ll make a trip of it. I have to go to Diagon Alley before Christmas anyway, it’ll be perfect,” she said getting up from the table. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some letters to send off. Draco, show her the library. If you do so, we might be able to get her out of there by dinner tonight.” She winked in her direction and walked away.

Draco waited for his mother to leave before grabbing KC’s hand. “She shouldn’t have planned that. I’m sorry she sprung that on you.”

“It’ll be just fine. I’ll get to pretend like I’m a princess in a castle attending a ball. Like the fairytales I read growing up. But I'm afraid if you’re my Prince Charming then the stories lied,” she said, sticking her tongue out at him.

He shook his head at her with a smile and stood. He walked around and held his hand out for her to follow him. “Well, if that is my duty, then let the crowned Slytherin prince show you around his favorite part of his castle.”

KC grabbed his hand and followed him out. She could get used to being treated like royalty.

Chapter Text

Malfoy Manor was made of dreams. Draco attempted to talk to her as they walked down the halls but it was done in vain; KC couldn’t stop gawking at the beauty of the manor. He held her hand to keep her walking straight. 

“If you continue to ignore me, I’m going to have to get your attention another way,” he said in a calm voice. But he knew she wasn’t listening. They got the door to the library and he twirled her around so that her back hit the door. He blocked her in with hands on either side of her head, one knee right in the middle of hers, threatening to go higher. KC’s eyes were wide with surprise. “I did warn you. You weren’t listening,” he said in a deep voice. He leaned in and kissed her hard. He leaned into her so she was pinned between his body and the door. One hand into her hair, the other under the hem of her jumper. She was done for. She melted into him and her mind couldn’t think of anything else. Her hand in his hair, the other clawing him through his jumper. There was no other care in the world other than that moment.

“Ahem,” was all they heard. Draco pulled back from her just enough to rest his forehead on hers. KC had her eyes closed knowing the second she made eye contact with Narcissa, she would die of embarrassment. “Don’t mind me,” she said, smirking, walking around the corner.

Draco moved away but KC clung to him, her face hiding in his chest. “That was not how I wanted to tell your mother about us.” Her face was burning red.

“It worked, didn’t it,” Draco said, bringing her face up to kiss her one more time. “And your face is priceless.” He was laughing at her. KC pushed him away and folded her arms. She was mad, but more embarrassed. “I had to get your attention before I lose you for the next 8 hours.”

He opened the door next to her and went through. She slowly followed him. Any anger she was feeling was gone in an instant. A Two-story library. Walls filled with books. Big bay windows that overlooked the gardens, alcoves by the fire place, and rows, upon rows of shelves. “I think I’m in heaven, Draco. I may need more than 8 hours.” It was then she remembered her conversation with Snape. “I need to tell you something,” she said, watching him walk towards the bay window.

He sat on one end of the cushion in the window sill, he grabbed her hand and pulled her close to him so that she was standing between his legs. “That is always a scary sentence to hear. Go on.”

“I talked to Professor Snape.”

Draco’s face hardened. He wasn’t looking at her anymore. “It wasn’t anything bad, but I needed to see if he knew any information on the Sympathizers. I thought that if he was a spy for Voldemort for that long, he might know what they are looking for.” He didn’t look mad, but he had his mental wall up. “Please don’t hide from me like that,” she whispered.

He looked up at her with a stern look. “I don’t want to be upset with you. You could have asked me.”

“You were no more a death eater than I was. He was in it for years! I just wanted to know if I could try and find any information to understand why everything is happening.”

He sighed, holding her hips in place. “Ok. What did you find out?”

“He didn’t have much, only rumors. But he did say that if there was anything that could help me, I could find it here in Malfoy Manor. It’s not much to go on, but I wanted to be honest about what I was doing. I want you to be here with me,” she said, holding his face.

“You tell me what we are looking for and I’ll point you in the right direction,” he said, standing to meet her eyes. “But next time, talk to me about your ideas? Let me help.”

“So, no owling your father, got it,” she sassed. She started moving backwards towards the rows of shelves.

“That’s not even remotely funny. Should I hide my owl?”

“You could, but you’ll have to catch me first to stop me!” She took off towards the darker shelves. He chased right after her, chasing her laughs.

KC spent hours browsing the shelves. They found quite a few books that wrote about the differences in pureblood ideology, family trees, even old tales of powerful magic. There were journals and papers kept of different ideas. They spent all day looking for any kind of clues. She would finish skimming through a few books and when she found them useless towards her search, she used her magic to whisk them back towards the shelves. Starting the search again, she would go back and get lost in the stacks.

Draco saw the frustration in her eyes, but she didn’t let any anger come out besides the occasional sigh. Each time she got up, it was more and more prominent. The only thing he could do to try and soothe some of her anger, was getting her some tea and chocolate pastries. She smiled at him when he brought it to the table. She got up and gave him a kiss on the cheek, took a pastry, and went back to the shelves. He dove into another book off her stack. He was halfway through the book a few hours later before he realized that KC still hadn’t come back. That worried him. He got up and started searching the stacks for her. The more places he looked on the ground floor, the more worried he became. Quickly rushing up the stairs to the second level and looked in every corner. He finally found her in the very back corner, on the floor, with her undivided attention in a very large tome. Laying on her stomach, just reading. He noticed that she wasn’t fidgeting. When she read, she would either be tapping her foot, biting her lip in concentration, tapping her fingers, some sort of movement. Seeing her still and focused was new, almost concerning. Her hair had fallen blocking some of the view of her face, but he could tell she had a serious look on her face.

“Seems like you got lost,” he whispered, trying not to scare her.

Her eyes went wide but didn’t jump. She looked up and him, but her facial expression didn’t change. “I don’t know if this will be of any help, but I got lost in it.” He went and laid down next to her so he could see what she was looking at. “I don’t know if this is any help to what I'm looking for. But there were different studies and theories on why there had been so many squibs born out of pureblood families through the centuries. It mentioned something about magical blocks, obscurus, and different conclusions that had been found.”

“And what conclusions had there been?” he asked, looking at her.

She moved her hair back behind her ear and met his eyes. “In all of these cases, there has never been a report of squibs or people with suppressed magic, having magical children. They either didn’t keep records once they had been banished from the families, or they were non-magical.”

He knew she was worried. He could see it on her face. Her magic was static around her. He crossed his arm over hers and took her hand. His touch seemed to pull her thoughts away and her magic soothed. “Sounds like there are some things you might need to ask your parents about.” She nodded then rested her head on his arm. He let her process what she needed to before stirring her. “Come on. Bring the book with us. There are chaises up here that are far more comfortable than wood flooring.”

Draco stood, making the motion of dusting himself off before helping KC up. He pulled her in for a hug and kissed her forehead. “We will figure it out.” She soaked in his attention. He knew that keeping a hand on her kept her calm. He walked her to one of the corners that had a fireplace and a lounge. He used his wand to light the fire, sitting so that she could sit with him. She sat between his legs, curling into him. She opened the book and started reading again. He read along with her and played with her hair. He could feel her magic had quieted.

“Draco?” she whispered as she leaned against him. He kissed the top of her head to let her know he was listening. “Have you ever had your magic spark like this when you’re upset?” He didn’t respond. He hadn’t. Anger was nothing new to him, but even at his worst, nothing like the static that KC had ever happened. “What’s wrong with me?”

He rubbed his hand up and down her arm as she curled even more into him. She hid herself into chest and he felt tears hit his sweater. “Nothing is wrong, Kara. We will figure this out.” He let her cry. Letting her emotions play out was safer in the long run. If she didn’t, her magic would build up and he didn’t want her to feel worse. He comforted her. He ran his fingers through her hair and down her back. The gentle touch helped ground her. Within 20 minutes she was asleep on him. He saw the clock and it was late. They had completely missed dinner. He moved slowly enough to adjust the book so he could read. Perhaps he could find out a little more information.

“You finally came to your senses,” Narcissa interrupted his thoughts quietly. She smiled when his face hardened. “She’s much better suited for you. I like Miss Granger but I also like seeing you happy, and you weren’t.”

He shut the book and Narcissa’s eyes saw what it was. “Mother, I’d appreciate no meddling in my affairs.”

“Nonsense, it’s all in good fun. Besides, I was right, wasn’t I?” she smiled, but Draco’s face gave nothing away. “Is there a reason that particular book was so intriguing?”

“She was hoping to find some information on non-magical people and their families. After father went after her, she has been on edge about everything. Can’t say I blame her,” he said. He watched KC sleep. She didn’t hold any expression to show she might be awake. Deep, steady breaths.

“I know that you might not want to, but you might check in your father’s study. I haven’t been in there since the fallout.” She got up to leave for the evening. When she got to the door, she turned back to look at him. “Take care of her, Draco. I have a feeling she needs you just as much as you need her.”

Draco watched the fire and contemplated everything after his mother left. Trying to figure out how different events added together. Any ideas he could muster from his time around the death eaters. Narcissa was right, they needed to search his study as well. KC moved and he jolted away from his thoughts. She looked at him with her sleepy eyes. “Perhaps we should head to bed. We can look more tomorrow,” he said, lightly brushing her cheek. “Shall I show you to the guest room?”

She looked at him, puzzled. “You mean, I can’t stay with you?”

He smiled. “I wasn’t going to assume. Let’s go.” He helped push her up and led her out the doors from the second floor. They walked to the other side of the manor. She was silent, looking at everything around her, but the grip on his hand never faltered. His room was at the end of the hall. KC took it all in. Noting that he had a very classy room. Two floor-to-ceiling windows and a fireplace, a King bed, his own sitting area, and a walk-in closet that was bigger than her childhood room. He smiled when he saw that Mippy had put her trunk right next to his in there. That made KC blush.

She went and grabbed her night things out of her trunk and he showed her to the bathroom. She thought the prefect’s bathroom was nice, but this was other-worldly. A soak tub that could easily fit 10 people in the corner, with a long, enclosed stone shower beside. Large vanity counters and a separate room just for the toilet. Quickly brushed her teeth and changed into her pajamas. They were comfy flannel pants like she had as a kid, but it brought her comfort, and a tank top. She left the bathroom and ran right into Draco. Her hands reached out to him to steady herself against him. Her hands met his bare skin. He had only put on a pair of black silk pants. She blushed, he smirked at her. “How about you go get in bed instead of drooling over me?”

Her face simply couldn’t get any warmer. She slid past him and went right to the bed. She pulled the blankets back and was met with the most luxurious linen she had ever felt. Laying on her side in the middle of the bed, she covered up slightly, waiting for Draco to come back. She had almost drifted off to sleep again by the time he had come back. “You took so long. I almost thought you’d forgotten about me,” she chided.

He slid his arm around her, pulling her so she fit right into him. “Sorry, love. I had to take care of something before I came to bed.” The motion he made into her hips made her face heat up again.

“You didn’t have to do that. I would have been happy to help with that,” she said, turning to face him. “Do you not want me to?”

Draco kissed her and pushed her onto her back. He wasn’t holding back and she was loving it. He was over her in a second, holding her down from squirming. He pulled back. “After a long day, I didn’t want you to feel rushed.” He latched onto her neck and she groaned into his ear. He ran kisses across her collar bones, towards the edge of her top. “Just you wait. I’ll ravish you until the only thing you can say is my name.” He kissed her hard one more time.

He pulled her with him as he went to lay on his back. She settled into his chest, flustered. He kissed her head and held her close. “You’re just going to rile me up and then we go to sleep? That’s not nice,” she giggled.

He let out a groan of frustration. “I’ll take care of you, I promise.” He pulled her face up to look at him. “And when I do, you won’t be able to walk the next day, understand?”

Her face was bright red. With a smile, she nodded her head and laid back on his chest. He knew what he was doing. Didn’t he learn his lesson last time?

 

******

 

KC was up earlier than expected. The large windows letting in the sun rise, she couldn’t help but marvel in the beauty of the room. Draco was still fast asleep, arms loose around her. She did her best to slowly ease out of bed so she could go and shower before the day started. The life of luxury was one that she could easily get lost in. The soaps smelled divine, multiple streams of water for the shower, perfect temperature. Her body was sore from sitting all day in the library on the floor. She saw that there was a bottle on the shelf that looked like the balm that Draco used. When she opened it, it smelled the same, so she used it. The relief was instant when she used it on her skin. The groan of relief came out unconsciously. She let the hot water run over her back for a bit before wrapping up in the fluffiest towel she’d ever felt. Drying off the best she could, realized she had forgotten to grab her clothes for the day. Tucking the towel to cover her completely, she went to leave the bathroom when she ran straight into a bare-chested Draco.

He grabbed her and hoisted her up onto the bathroom counter. The room was still full of steam from her shower, but her face was warm for another reason. He was standing between her legs, holding her face. She held onto her towel, but never left his gaze. “I've never been more jealous of a shower in my life,” he said huskily.

KC was slightly confused until she realized that she had made sounds when the muscle relief hit. She smirked at him. She moved his hands from her face to her hips and moved her lips to his neck. She used her nails to lightly graze his chest as she moved down his shoulder and then back up again to his ear. He was melting into her, moving his hands upwards at a dangerous pace. “Now, now Draco, play nicely,” she teased. His eyes were almost black. She grabbed his hips and pushed him backwards so she could move to stand. She adjusted her towel. He tried to move back towards her, but she put her hand to his chest to stop him. “Maybe this will teach you to tease me. I’m going to go have breakfast. I’ll see you after you’re finished.”

She heard his frustration as she closed the door behind her. I’m going to pay for that later, she thought, smiling. She put on a pair of nice jeans and a maroon sweater. She styled her hair so it was half up with soft curls. In a place this expansive, she went with simple flats. It took her a while to find the correct hall to get back to the dining hall, but she found Narcissa sitting at the table, sipping tea and reading the Daily Prophet. KC wasn’t sure what kind of interaction she was expecting after the show Draco put on in front of her outside the library yesterday. She sat down next to her, trying to hide the red tint on her face. “Good morning, Narcissa.”

Narcissa looked up at her with a smile that looked like she was holding in a secret. “I do hope my son didn’t keep you awake all night?”

KC’s face went beet-red. “Oh no. N-Nothing like that h-happened,” she tried to spit out through her embarrassment.

Narcissa just laughed, “I’m teasing, Kara. Not that I would mind having a grandchild to spoil.” KC choked on her tea. She folded her arms on the table and hid her face. “I love that you are so easy to read. Might get Draco into trouble later on,” she said as she poured KC more tea. “Would you like to join me on a trip to Diagon today?”

KC lifted her head up, regaining her senses. “I’d love to. I feel like I didn’t get to explore enough last time.”

“Great. I took the liberty of inviting your friends as well. I thought that you might enjoy some ‘younger’ tastes while shopping.” Narcissa said handing over a letter. It was from Ginny. It was a note that said her and Hermione would be there. That might not go over well, KC thought. “I was hoping to find you a proper gown for New Year’s.”

KC looked down at her clothes. She liked her style, but she knew it would not look nice in higher society. Nothing like what she saw Narcissa wear. “I’m afraid this is all I have to wear. I hope that’s acceptable for our outing?”

“You look wonderful,” said a deep voice from the door. Draco had come down wearing gray pants and a navy sweater, well fitted. He sat down by her, pouring himself some tea. “You’re not dragging her to high tea now, are you mother?”

“Not today,” she said casually. “You can have her back to entertain later. We might have a chat about discretion in the hallways.”

KC’s face fell back to the table. Draco gave her a smirk knowing that his mother was just trying to tease her. “My apologies,” he said, with a laugh.

“Perhaps while us ladies are out today Blaise and Theo would like to come over and decorate?”

Draco went rigid at the name of Blaise, but quickly shook it off. “And by decorate you mean get drunk and throw tinsel around? I’m sure Mippy won’t appreciate that much.”

Narcissa waved him off. Mippy went up to KC with a tray of chocolate croissants, “I’ve been told these are miss’s favorite,” Mippy offered. The elf had a pretty purple dress with a matching hat.

“They absolutely are. Thank you,” she said, taking two from the tray. “You look stunning today,” she added.

Mippy’s face brightened. She bowed and went around the table back to the kitchen. “Let’s take those with,” Narcissa said. “You are about to experience the day that is shopping with a Malfoy. The only time we slowdown is when the auror minding us is tired.”

KC shoved the last bit of the first croissant into her mouth standing. Draco covered his mouth with his napkin to hide his smile, watching her run out the door following his mother.  He summoned Mippy asking for parchment to write to his friends. Day drinking it was.

 

******

 

Diagon Alley was just waking up when they arrived. The auror was waiting for them by Gringotts. They made silent nods towards each other. KC thought they were going into the bank, but Narcissa led her away towards another end of the alley.

“I haven’t had a chance to retrieve my money. How am I to get a dress?” KC worried.

“Kara, did you really think that I would allow you to purchase anything with your own money today?” Narcissa asked, raising a brow.

KC tried to argue but Narcissa gave her a look that she knew not to argue with. “I still haven’t repaid you for the robes you bought for me.”

Narcissa carried herself down the alley towards. “There is nothing to pay back. I’m holding you hostage to attend the gala. That is payment enough,” she said, giving her a side smile. They walked towards the end of the alley towards a shop that looked newly renovated. Narcissa proudly walked through the door and heard the chime of a bell. KC followed a little weary. The ensembles in the shop window were extraordinary. The racks that lined the wall, the moving mannequins to show the movement of the dresses.

“Narcissa?” They heard a shriek from the back of the shop. A young woman with black hair came running towards the front and embraced her in a hug.

“Miss Parkinson,” she smiled as she pulled away. “I’ve come to see your work. I’ve seen many great things come out of this shop of yours. May introduce you to Miss Celine? She is the ambassador from America at Hogwarts this year.”

The girl reached out her hand. “Pansy Parkinson. Welcome to my shop.”

KC took her hand and smiled. “Please, call me KC. Your designs are outstanding.”

“Number one rated new shop of the year in all of England. I hope to be designing for a much larger, notable crowd soon,” Pansy said observing KC.

“That’s why we are here, Pansy,” Narcissa interrupted. “We are bringing back our New Year’s Gala. I hoped you’d be up to the task of designing special gowns for us.”

“Us?” She looked KC up and down, almost with her nose turned up. “Is Draco going to be in attendance?” It sounded almost hopeful.

“He will be escorting Miss Celine. I trust that won’t be an issue?” Narcissa almost scolded.

Pansy gave KC another glance and nodded at Narcissa. She walked towards the back of the shop motioning for them to follow. She had a rack of beautiful gowns lined up. “These are the newest I have been working on. They are a model size fit, but can be modified, if necessary,” she said in a rude tone, gesturing towards KC. KC was the athletic build, not a model figure. She knew she meant that as a criticism, but she wasn’t going to let it get to her. “I have the perfect dress for you, Narcissa. Classy and elegant. I have a few we can try for her, but her shoulders might get in the way for some of them.”

“Let’s fit them and see what we can find,” Narcissa said, starting to look through the rack of dresses. She grabbed six different styles and ushered KC towards the fitting room before she could protest. She used magic to slide the dresses on and fit them as best as she could. The sizing was small on her figure, making them look off. Nothing was looking quite right. Each time KC came out, Narcissa would give her a look. Not of disgust, just wasn’t the right dress. The colors didn’t look right against her complexion, she cutline made her look boxy, or she didn’t have the chest to fill out the strapless gowns correctly. KC ended up going through the entire rack of dresses. There was only one that even remotely fit or even came close to flattering her. Pansy, despite being the designer, seemed unwilling to give any tips. Narcissa was getting frustrated, KC was on the verge of crying. She had never felt more insecure in a setting than she had right then. “Are you sure there isn’t something that we could get for her?” Narcissa snapped.

KC changed quickly and slide out the changing room door as they debated different styles. Nothing was working, so she wandered into the main shop. She looked at all of the beautiful designs and was sad. She thumbed through until something caught her eye. There was a navy gown. Thick straps, low v-cut front and back, with mesh material blending into what would be her skin tone. The material gave a shimmer that made the dress look like the night sky. She grabbed it, hoping this would work; it was stunning. The women were still discussing when KC interrupted, “What about this one?”

Narcissa’s eyes lit up. Pansy had a blank face. “That was an order that fell through for a client in Paris. We can see if it would be fitting for the occasion.”

KC smiled and went back into the dressing room one more time. The material fit to her skin perfectly. The mesh changed to her skin color so it looked like the low cut shimmered. The smile that hit her face was instant. When she walked out, she felt like she was gliding. With the way Narcissa smiled, she knew it was the one. KC went to the rounded mirrors so she could see the back. It accented her muscles perfectly. The cut shimmered and looked like stars against her. KC felt beautiful, like when she put on her Yule dress. “This is the one, Pansy,” Narcissa smiled. Pansy left towards the front to write up the receipt in a huff. “Don’t give Pansy much thought. She always was interested in my son, the jealous type. I’m thankful that didn’t work out. He was miserable.”

That didn’t make KC feel great but it made sense now as to why she turned her nose up at her. The dresses would be delivered in a few days so they were perfectly tailored. They were about to leave the shop when KC stopped. “Hold on one moment.” She walked back toward the counter to where Pansy was. She stared right back at her. “Look, I know I’m not your preferred clientele, but your designs are beautiful. I can see why you are rated number one. I have nothing against you. I hope that one day we can be civil. Have a good day, Pansy.” KC smiled on her way back to the door. She passed by Narcissa, who had a gleaming smile. She was doing good for the world.

They walked down the alley in silence. She knew they were heading towards the more well-known shops for smaller items. “Thank you for sticking up for me in there. I can tell she respects you,” KC said in a small voice.

“Her family ranks next to ours. She respects the name and the power it holds. It’s a good thing Draco came to his senses quickly,” Narcissa said in a sharp tone.

“They were together?”

“Not for long. It was more of a matter of convenience during the darker times at the manor. I have a feeling her father is running around with Lucius. You’re a much better match than she ever was,” Narcissa smiled at her.

KC blushed slightly. “You’re not upset about us? It’s still new and there is a lot to figure out but I care about him very much.”

“I see the way you’ve looked at him since that day at the ministry. I have no doubt in your intentions. You’re a special one, Kara.”

That made her smile. As they passed one shop, KC was tackled from the side by a red blur. “Ginny, get off me!” The group laughed as Ginny stood. Hermione was standing beside her and helped her up. “With a tackle like that, you’d be smashing at American football.”

“I feel like I have missed so much and it’s only been a few days. Hannah had mentioned something bad had happened. No details but I’m glad you’re alright.”

Narcissa had a slight look of surprise but masked it. Hermione was on edge about it. But KC smiled and waved it off. “It doesn’t matter now. It’s been taken care of. I’m just happy to see you both! I know you have a big family, Gin. I can’t imagine how crazy home must be around Christmas.” It was true that KC had always loved the idea of a bigger family. She loved her parents, but it was lonely growing up. The stories that Ginny and Ron told about their home memories, it filled her heart with joy; The stories of them playing quidditch, the pranks they would play, the love of their mother but also all the yelling. It made her hopeful that one day she could build that with her friends.

Narcissa took this time to interrupt. “I’m going to let you ladies have a wonderful afternoon. I have some business to attend to at the bank. Shall we meet back here around four so we can head back?” She smiled at the girls and walked towards the bank with the auror.

Ginny grabbed her arm and yanked her down the alley. “We have decided it’s time you met the family.” She opened the door and as KC was walking in Ginny mentioned, “Just be wary of whatever my brothers hand you.”

“Now why would she have to be wary, sis? It’s not like George and I to cause trouble,” said a taller, handsome wizard dressed in a brown suit.

“We would never do something like that, Fred,” said an identical man. “You must be kc. We’ve heard loads about you giving our sister a run on the quidditch pitch.”

Ginny smacked George’s arm and he winked at KC. She just smiled at them. “Although, Georgie, we may need to have her rethink her taste in men.”

“A bit too ferrety for most. Come over to the light side,” George grabbed her arm and put her between him and Fred.

KC smirked at them. “You wouldn’t be able to handle me. Ask Finnegan about the body slam, You’re not ready.”

It was then that she felt arms wrap around her. They were extremely muscular and her back was against a sculpted chest. “This one is a spitfire.” He lifted her up like it was nothing and lifted her legs to hold her bridal style. “Name’s Charlie. I handle dragons, I’m sure I can handle your sassy ass.”

Ron walked around from a corner of the shop. “Don’t start, Charlie. She’s got her sights set on Malfoy. Merlin knows why,” he said as he popped a candy into his mouth.

“A glutton for punishment, even better than I imagined,” Charlie winked at her and set her down.

Ginny grabbed her and they all went up the stairs to the flat above. They had lunch waiting and a room full of games and drinks. There was nothing glamorous about this place, but the people inside made it feel like the most luxurious place on earth. KC learned all about the Weasleys. Fred and George tried pranking her most of all. A new target for some new fun. Every attempt made KC feel more included. Charlie made sure she always had a drink in her hand, and would occasionally bring her snacks. He tried to bring her shots of firewhisky but Ginny was quick to intercept those. She chatted with Hermione about some new books that were being released before break was over and was hopeful that they would be able to buy them before they went back. Rom was extremely sweet. He took the time to refresh her memory of playing chess. It was nice to play a few games before losing quite a few more. She even let the twins pull her into a game of Gobstones. She got them sprayed with that awful smell a few times before they finally gave up and wrestled her to the ground.it was hands down one of the best afternoons KC could have ever hoped for. This was how she had imagined having friends around the holidays was supposed to be like.

She needed a break from all of the excitement and went to sit down with Hermione and Ron. “I don’t know how you all aren’t exhausted from this every day,” KC said, taking a drink.

Ron laughed and refilled her drink. “This is why we drink so much. You have to be to deal with this amount of crazy. I’m surprised Hermione hasn’t run off yet.”

Hermione, who was quietly with a book said, “She might if you don’t stop talking.”

Ron rolled his eyes at her and left to go sit with his brothers, leaving the girls alone. KC could see that Hermione was on edge. She watched her long enough to realize she wasn’t actually reading. “Can I ask something of you, Hermione?” Her eyes went wide, but turned to look at KC regardless. “Are you upset with me about everything that has happened? I noticed you’ve been uncomfortable with me being here.”

Hermione quietly closed her book. “It’s not that I’m uncomfortable. I just don’t know how to feel about it. I’m still trying to accept someone new when I don’t know anything about them. It’s even harder when those closest to you interact with them so easily. I’m trying to let myself trust you, I’m just not good at it.”

They sat in silence for a minute. There was nothing KC had done to deserve that mistrust, but she understood not knowing how to trust the intentions of others. She sat and thought about the times where Hermione had been upset with her. “You think I’m on the wrong side of everything, don’t you? I remember you saying at the very beginning, that since I was associated with Draco that you didn’t trust me. I know what his father has done and I don’t want any part of that. My parents are in danger because of him.”

That made Hermione scoff. “Your parents? My parents are muggles. They were in danger the entire war. And now with the Sympathizers, I have no idea if I can bring them back into my world. How could you possibly relate to that?”

“My parents are squibs,” KC said quietly, looking down at her drink. “When the attack on Hogsmeade happened, I told Harry about them. I was afraid to tell many others. They are going after the pureblood lines and those who have ‘tainted’ them. I’m terrified they are going to go after my parents and I can’t do a thing to stop it.”

“I’ve been a right git, haven’t I?” Hermione said, putting her hand on KC’s knee. “Harry’s judgment is unnaturally spot on. I should have trusted that, but your fascination with Malfoy got me confused. And then my feelings for him only made things more complicated.”

“I never wanted things to be awkward between us. It’s going to take some time, but I think we can get there.”

Hermione smiled at her and quietly went back to her book. KC sat there and finished her drink. One more thought crossed her mind. “I noticed you still call him Malfoy. So do even his best friends. Did he ever ask you to call him Draco?”

“I’ve never noticed. It’s always just been Malfoy,” she said, eyes never leaving her book.

KC decided to leave it at that and go back to the group. She took the time to get to know Charlie and the twins. Charlie challenged her to a round of cards. She was too intoxicated and cut him off giggling when he suggested strip poker. Fred and George took her on a tour of their shop, as it was bustling with customers. She gladly tested some of their products, one even put pink streaks in her hair. This was pure joy they were spreading. She was looking forward to spending more time with them outside of this. They invited her over for their family quidditch game the day after Christmas. “I would love that. But only if I can bring my Slytherins?”

“It might get a little messy, but we can always use the extra players. I’ll warn the others,” Fred said.

George came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her to hold a box in front of her. “Gin said you were heading out here soon. Harry just got here so she’s a bit preoccupied, but she wanted you to have this.”

KC turned her head back to give both of them a wary eye but slowly opened the box. When she saw the green lace inside, she slammed the lid back down. The twins teased her relentlessly when her face turned a bright read. She wiggled away waving her goodbyes to them, holding the box close to her chest. She had made it just time to see Narcissa walking towards their meeting spot. She had shopping bags galore. “Seems like I wasn’t the only one to have a good time,” KC jeered.

“What good is having Lucius’s money if I can’t spend it on those I love? Let’s go see what the boys are up to. Theo Nott has an affinity to cause trouble if left alone for too long.”

KC’s eyes lit up when she heard his name. She had forgotten the boys were going to keep Draco company. Narcissa smirked and led her towards a small shop so they could floo home. Narcissa gracefully walked out of the floo and towards the door. KC barely took a step before she was twirled to the side. She slammed into a solid chest, the person holding her tight. She smelled the slight woodsy scent. “Hello Theo.”

“Welcome home, princess. Is that firewhisy I smell?” he said, burying his head into her hair.

“You’re not the only one who can day drink,” KC smirked, pushing him away. She backed up enough only to be picked up and thrown over a shoulder. “Blaise, I swear, let me go!”

“Never, kitten. We’ve missed you,” he said, smacking her butt. She giggled but still struggled to be let go. He walked her over to the couch that was sitting around the coffee table. Setting her down long enough to sit on the couch and pull her onto his lap. She couldn’t help but laugh. They were all having fun. Theo sat on the other side and grabbed her legs, massaging them.

“You both are too much. Where’s Draco?”

“He went to grab more firewhisky. He hasn’t given us anything to go on. Tell me,” Blaise whispered into her ear, “has he ravished you yet? Has he filled your fantasies?”

Her face was too hot, from both the alcohol and the flirtatious remarks. She tried to move her legs, but both men held her tight. “Come on, princess,” Theo said seductively, “tell us. Otherwise, we may have to take matters into our own hands.”

She giggled at them. “You know I don’t kiss and tell.” She tried to wiggle away from them, and in their tipsy state, she fell right onto the floor.

“What the hell was that?” Draco yelled coming in the door. Blaise turned to look at him with a smirk on his face, Theo hiding his laugh. KC got up to her knees and she could see him over the couch, face red.

“Draco! I’m so glad you’re here!” She stumbled trying to get up, but went over to him.

He was angry. He slammed the bottle down on the table next to him. KC tried to grab his arm but he angrily shook her off. The two on the couch snickered and he gave them a death glare. “Don’t stop on my account,” he snapped at her. He marched out the door.

“Wait! Draco, come back!” KC tried to stop him, following him out the door. She ran to catch up with him. Catching him by the hand, he froze. “Draco, what is wrong?”

She was caught by surprise when he pushed her against the wall and blocked her in. “What's wrong? I come back and find you on your knees in front of the guy who is blatantly interested in you.”

His nostrils flared and his eyes were black. She put her hands on his chest, trying to soothe him. “You think I would do that to you? I came back through the fireplace and they accosted me. I was laughing so hard I fell off the couch.” she slid her hands up to his neck and he looked away. It was then she realized what he had thought. “You really think that low of me that I would do something like that to you?”

He snapped back to her eyes. He pushed his lips hard against hers. This was possessive. He held her hips tight to him while pushing her against the wall. He moved to her neck and sucked hard. “Draco,” she whimpered.

He kissed his way up her neck until he was at her ear. “You are the only thing I think about. He doesn’t get to have you like that,” he growled.

“He won’t. I’m yours,” she whispered.

He met her gaze, nose touching. “Say that again.”

She smiled at him. “I’m yours, Draco.”

He crashed his lips down on her again and she didn’t fight him. She would let him have his moment, scold him later. His hands started to move up under her sweater, making her skin feel like she was on fire. Her hands moved into his hard and she gripped hard. He groaned into her mouth and she bit his lower lip. His hands moved around front and pushed her harder against the wall. His hands traveled over her bra and she gasped. His touch was fire.

“Draco, we have to stop,” she said breathlessly. He groaned into her neck, holding her in place. “I don’t fancy having your mother finding me topless in the hallway.”

He kissed neck and moved to kiss her slowly. He moved his hands back down to her hips and went to grab her butt. “We could tell them goodbye and continue this,” he suggested.

She giggled. “Not a chance. I want more firewhisky.” She wiggled her way out of his grasp pulling him back to the room.

The boys were laughing when they walked through the door. She poured herself a drink from the bottle that Blaise had already opened. Draco stood behind her as she did, putting his hands on her hips. She smiled. Blaise took that opportunity to catcall them. “About time you marked her, Malfoy.”

KC’s hand flew up to her neck, cheeks burning. Theo laughed. Draco moved her hair to the side and kissed the other side of her neck. “Why are there pink streaks in your hair?”

She laughed, slipping away from him. She had to move before he started things in front of their friends. She smiled at him and walked over to the couch. “I thought you were going to decorate while we were gone?” She asked the boys.

The boxes of decorations were out, but nothing had been done. She went to the boxes and bent to look through them. Blaise bent down beside her. “Don’t let him give you a hard time. I’m happy for you, Kitten,” he smiled at her. He patted her on the shoulder, turned to rummage through the box. “Aha! Here it is. Pucker up.” He had mistletoe in his hand.

She pushed him over and moved away. She went to sit by Draco, who wrapped his arm around her naturally. He wasn’t happy still, but there was plenty of time to talk about things. His brooding wasn’t going to ruin her fun with her friends. She waved her wand and sent the decorations around the room, hanging to look like a festive party was going to happen. Grabbing her drink, she rested into his arm, her friends around her, joking and telling stories. This is perfect.

Chapter Text

KC woke on Christmas eve much later than expected, it was almost noon. Mippy came into the room with a tray of food but Draco wasn’t anywhere to be found. “Mippy, do you know where Draco went?”

“Master Draco was out in the stables the last I saw, Miss,” she bowed and left the room. KC smiled at that. Draco hid his soft spots from so many, but she knew she was going to have to talk to him about his jealousy issues. In a way she liked that he was possessive of her but it was like he didn’t trust her. He jumped to the worst when he saw her with Blaise the other day, even though he knew he was seeing someone. He had been better since that evening, being respectful to her in the public areas of the manor, helping her search in the library for more information that could be any kind of helpful, bringing her tea to calm her nerves in the evening. He would be affectionate, but he didn’t push her anymore. It was almost unnerving. He cared for her, but her anxiety was getting the best of her. What if this was just the excited phase and he is over it? What if he doesn’t want you? Perhaps I’m being too much? Her mind was constantly questioning it. She trusted him to reassure her but the thoughts were always there. 

She quickly finished eating and when Mippy came to take the tray away, she asked if she could have some of Draco’s favorite tea to take to him outside. Mippy was gone and back before KC could finish dressing. With a quick thank you, she was out the door with the thermos towards the stables. There was a slight dusting of snow coming down, but against the grounds, it made it look even more beautiful. The stables were state of the art. Extremely well kept with warming charms keeping inside the perfect temperature. “Draco? Are you here?” she raised her voice. No answer came. “Draco?” KC looked around. As she wandered towards the other end of the barn, she saw a few abraxans that were eating. None of them paid any attention to her. She got to the end and there was one that had stuck its head out. She wasn’t sure if she should pet it so she approached slowly. “Hello. You’re beautiful. Can I pet you?” KC asked in a sweet voice. 

The abraxan sniffed her hand before nudging her hand for nose scratches. She looked at the name on the front of the stable. Midas. How fitting . He was a beautiful golden color, wings were pulled to the side so he could move around comfortably. Midas seemed to be more open to her attention so she went to pet his neck. He put his head around her back, almost like he was giving her a hug. “Aren’t you just a sweet boy?” She continued to pet him and he soaked up the attention. 

“Just how did you manage to get him to behave?” KC heard a voice from behind her. She startled and turned to see Draco holding a bucket. 

She smiled at him, “The same way I get you to behave, I suppose. Just needing some love and attention is all,” she said, scratching Midas behind the ear. He gave her a whinny in return. 

“I have never seen him be nice to anyone. He even hates me sometimes. Did you give him snacks?” He asked, motioning to the bucket. It smelled like whiskey. 

“No, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind one, would you Midas?” she said in a voice like she was talking to a toddler. Draco hung up the bucket for Midas to drink. “I brought you some tea though. Thought you might need it.”

Draco took it from her and pulled her in for a hug. He kissed her on the top of her head. “Thank you.” He let go of her and took a drink. “I can see in your eyes that this wasn’t the only reason you came out here.”

KC knew she needed to say something but didn’t want to make things weird. “Can we talk about what happened with Blaise the other day?”

His face went hard. He went behind her to grab a brush. “Do we have to?”

“I’d feel better if we did,” she said. 

She watched him pull Midas out of the pen. He motioned for her to follow them into what looked like a grooming area. He handed her the reins and he pulled out the wings of Midas. “I was a prat, I know it. Is there much more to it?”

“Draco, I could understand why you were upset, but that’s not why I want to talk about it. It felt like you didn’t trust me.”

He brushed the underside of the wings and down to the rear. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, KC. I do. Without a doubt I trust you. But seeing that, what was I supposed to think?”

“Draco, you haven’t even let me do that to you. Why would you think I would do that to him?”

“I didn’t want to push you. I’m trying to be respectful. You’re the first person I’ve been with that I actually care what you think. If I push you too far, you might leave. But seeing that,” he said as he moved back towards her at the front, “I thought maybe I hadn’t given you enough and you went elsewhere.”

KC grabbed his face and kissed him quickly. “You’ve given me plenty and I love that you are being respectful.” She pulled him in close to her. She whispered, “But I'd be ok if you were disrespectful.” 

He tightened his hold on her and let out a groan of frustration, “You can’t say stuff like that to me.” He let her go and went to finish the other wing on Midas. KC giggled at his reaction. Midas seemed to like her laugh and nudged her cheek. She spent time petting him, while Draco finished brushing. When he finished, he took the reins from her and held her hand as they led Midas back into the stall. “How about we compromise? I get to take you out tonight and when we get back, we can do anything that you want to do.”

“You want to take me out?” KC asked in a surprised tone. “It’s Christmas eve! Diagon is going to be packed.” 

“I’ll handle it. I’m going to finish up here. I’m sure I’ll find you later?” He pulled her close and kissed her. A soft, passionate kiss. She always felt like she melted into a puddle when he did this. His hands were starting to wander when they felt a strong nose come between them. Midas pushed Draco away. KC laughed so hard and petted him. “He’s stealing my witch.”

Draco winked at her and went back towards the grooming area. She gave Midas one more scratch under his chin before walking back towards the Manor. She was going to spend the day relaxing and getting ready for tonight. As she walked back, she saw Narcissa sitting in one of the chairs in the solarium. She walked in and sat next to her. 

“And what has your cheeks so rosy?” Narcissa asked without looking up from her book. “Don’t lie about it being cold.”

KC smiled at her. “I was wondering if maybe you had something nice but warmer to wear? Draco said he wanted to take me out tonight and I don’t have anything except my jeans.”

Narcissa smiled and shut her book. “Come with me. I have a surprise for you.” She led her out of the room towards where Draco’s room was. They stopped by the door right before his. “I want you to always feel welcome here,” she said, opening the door. It was a room slightly smaller than Draco’s but looks like it had recently been decorated. Narcissa led her towards a door along the opposite wall. “I’ve always wanted a daughter. I wanted to spoil her rotten, but that wasn’t in the cards for me.”  

She opened the door, revealing the walk-in closet full of clothes. Dresses, nicer wear, shoes, sweaters, bags, etc. It was endless it seemed. “Narcissa, I can’t. This is so much!”

“Oh pish,” she waved at her, going towards one of the racks and pulled out a few options for her. “If I’ve taught my son anything, he will be taking you somewhere nice, but not overly extravagant. I made sure you had everything.”

KC didn’t even let Narcissa put down the options before she embraced her tightly. Tears in her eyes. “Thank you.” 

She just smiled down at her. “Think nothing of it. I’ll leave you to it. Everything is yours, so make sure you wear what you want to. If you need anything else, I’ll get it for you.” She handed KC the options when she let go. Narcissa went back towards the door to leave, “Knock him off his feet.”

KC fell to the floor taking in everything. There was no way this way real. Her dress for the Gala was hanging in the very back. She wiped her happy tears away and sorted through everything. Narcissa wasn’t kidding when she said spoiled. There were so many things she would have never dreamed of buying herself. Looking through the drawers, she even found new matching bra sets. That made her blush. She set aside the outfit she wanted for tonight and decided to treat herself to a long bath. She left to go back into Draco’s room, starting to fill the giant pool that he called a bathtub. She used lavender scented bubbles to help her relax before tonight. She cast an extra warming charm on the water after stripping down and climbing in. She sat back when it was done filling, and enjoyed the silence. There had been so much happening the last few days that she hadn’t properly relaxed until now. It wasn’t long until the warm water and relaxing scents put her to sleep. 

That was exactly how Draco found her a bit later. He had come into the bathroom to shower away the work he put in the stables when he saw her laid back under the bubbles. Pushing his luck, he stripped next to her things and slid into the bath quietly. He moved to sit across from her, she was slightly snoring. He used his foot to nudge her and she gently woke up. It took her a second before she gasped, realizing she was naked and no longer alone. “Draco! You can’t just scare me like that,” she said, covering herself before she saw that she was still covered in bubbles. 

“It’s a good thing these bubbles stay awhile,” Draco laughed. Stretching out to relax. “You were asleep when I got here to shower. Figured why waste a good bath and opportunity to be with you?”

He dipped his head underwater. He looks like a model, how is it possible for someone to be that attractive? KC thought, blushing. He was being respectful towards her though. She grabbed the washcloth next to her and moved towards him. “Let me help then?” she asked in a quiet tone. 

His eyes opened wide and looked at her face. “I can’t promise I’ll be good.” 

“I’d be concerned if you were,” she smirked. “Turn around. You’ve taken care of me, let me take care of you.” 

He kissed her forehead and then slowly turned away from her. She started with his shoulders. She washed them gently and then massaged them. He had some tough spots that he had to breathe through, but she would kiss the side of his neck. “Kara, you can’t… I can’t….”

“Shhhh. Please, let me?” She whispered. He took a deep breath and let her continue. Her hands went lower and rubbed his spine down to his hips making sure to reach all the muscles in his back. “You can tell me to stop.”

“Never,” he said in a husky voice. “It’s taking all my restraint not to take you right now.” She got closer so she could move her hands down his arms. Her breasts brushed against his back and he shivered. She took her time with him. She just wanted to be close to him, wrapping her arms completely around him, hand sliding up his chest. “Fuck it,” she heard him mumble before he turned around and held her to him. He crashed his lips to hers and she clung to him for dear life. He pulled her back with him, sitting on the ledge under water. She straddled his lap and he pulled back from her. “Fuck, Kara. This is not how I wanted to seduce you.”

“Not what you wanted? Or are you upset that I took control?” KC teased him.

He ran his hands down her side, resting them so his thumbs were under her bust. “You can take control all you want,” he said in a low tone, pulling her closer so their noses were touching. “I was hoping to take you out for a spectacular evening and ravish you entirely.” He kissed his way down from her lips to her neck. KC’s eyes closed due to the overwhelming sensation. “But you, Kara, are testing my patience.”

“I’ll wait until tonight, I just want you, Draco,” She grabbed his face and kissed him hard, twisting her fingers into his hair. He groaned into her mouth, letting his hands explore. Her hands went down his chest, one traveled down even further making him pull back. “Please, Draco,” she begged in a jagged breath.

He nodded, going back to her neck. His hands went to cup the breasts that were pushed up against him. “You are bloody gorgeous.” Her hand went down and was surprised at how hard he was. She grazed her hand down the vein of his shaft and cupped him. He pulled her up a little further and took her peak into his mouth. It was instant. She met his intensity and gripped him. He took her nipple between his teeth and sucked harder. Her other hand went around the back of his neck and gripped the lower part of his hard while she slid her other hand up and down.

“Draco, please,” she whimpered. She was so sensitive she might just come undone from his mouth.

“I can’t hold on,’ he said, replacing his mouth with his hand on her chest. “Fuck, I’m … “ KC pulled him close and kissed him. He moaned and she came undone as he pinched her nipple hard. He was throbbing in her hand. After a few seconds of stillness, he pulled away, breathing hard. ‘Kara, you are going to be the death of me.”

“Better than doing it yourself?” She joked.

“You have no idea.” He kissed her one more time.

She slowly pushed him away so she didn’t start things again. “I’m going to go get ready for tonight. Look away if you want to be surprised later,” she said with a laugh. He covered his eyes, peeking through his fingers. She grabbed an extra towel. As she was about to stand from the water and take the steps out, she threw the extra at his face. Before he could move it, she was out of the water with her towel wrapped around her. “See you downstairs around 7?” she winked at him and left. She could hear him splash the water in frustration as she shut the door. Going back to the spare room next to his, she dried her hair, and decided it was time to take a nap and rest up for later. She was going to be putting Ginny’s gift to good use tonight.

 

*******

 

Draco spent hours trying to plan a date that would take KC’s breath away. In the past he had been with others, but none like this. Pansy was attached to him, but he just used her for attention. Similar to how he used Granger. This was different. There were quite a few things she remembered her talking about. Things she had talked about at a few of the parties, nights on patrol, or during her study sessions in the library. A few small things, but most of them were travel related, things to see. Gave him the nudge he needed for tonight. 

He met her down the stairs at seven, hands shaking. He had dressed in a black dress shirt and trousers and green tie, going to the entrance closet to grab his gray peacoat. “Are you ready, Draco?” He heard KC say from the stairwell. 

She looked beautiful. She had a dark green sweater dress with long sleeves and black belt cinched around her waist, thick black tights and heeled black boots. This is one of the only times he has seen her with make-up on and it still took his breath away like it did at the yule ball.  He grabbed a black coat for her out of the closet and helped her put it on. “Always ready,” he said, smirking. He took her hand, walking her outside. “I’m going to apparate us there,” he said so she didn’t accidentally get splinched. 

With a quick pop, they arrived at the Leaky Cauldron. “The Leaky Cauldron? Here?” she asked, slightly surprised. 

“Not quite, come on.” He grabbed her hand, pulling her through the crowd that packed the pub. He walked out the front door into muggle London. This was his first time in the muggle world, so he was hoping that he could rely on his apparating that he had planned out. KC looked at him with wide eyes. “One more time,” and he focused on the landmark he wanted to go to. He did not disappoint. 

They landed in an alley hidden away from sight. “What are we doing?” KC asked, giggling.

“You said you always wanted to see London,” Draco said, pulling her onto the pavement. 

She gasped. She could see the beautiful lights of the city. “Draco, this is wonderful! There are so many things I want to see!” Her excitement was rolling off of her. She ran to the edge of the gate by the river so she could fully enjoy the view of Tower Bridge.

Draco couldn’t help but smile at her. He walked behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “I’ll bring you back here a thousand more times to see you react like that.” He then grabbed her hand. “I did find you something that I thought you might enjoy. Apparently it’s a newer one.” He pulled out a camera. “It’s not going to be as good as our wizarding photos, but I know you would be upset if you couldn’t record this.”

“I’m impressed. You’ve actually been paying attention in Muggle Studies,” she smiled and kissed him on the cheek. “This is wonderful. “Let’s test it shall we?” She took the camera from his hands and went up to a random lady who was standing taking pictures of the bridge. Asked if she would be willing to take a picture of them with the view. KC was ecstatic, not even caring that people were giving her strange looks. She wrapped her arm around his back and smiled towards the camera. Draco didn’t even look, he just looked at her smiling. She thanked the lady and grabbed his hand dragging him towards the bridge. They had a lot of walking in store for the night.

KC took in everything. The streets were alive, bustling with people celebrating the night before Christmas. It was cold, but it added to the beauty of everything. As they crossed the bridge, she knew the museum to walk through would be closed, but it was still a wonder to look at. She told him all about the history that she knew and random facts. Draco let her drag him along and took it all in. There were no other worries in the world, just her. As they walked off the bridge, she saw down the path a Christmas market. She pulled him along to every little shop she could see., “These things are amazing!” She saw different things that she loved but her face fell when she realized she hadn’t had the chance to pull out money at Gringotts. “I’ll have to see if we can come back.”

“It’s ok to ask for something,” Draco reassured her, rubbing her back. “I planned ahead and converted money. It was very confusing, but I think we can manage.”

“Draco, the fact you brought me here is more than enough. I couldn’t ask for anything else. I don’t want to be greedy,” she said, looking at the booth across her path.

“What’s the point of having a rich boyfriend, if you can’t spend his money?”

KC’s eyes went wide and smiled brightly. “Boyfriend?”

“I said what I said,” he smirked.

She pulled him close and kissed him. “You’re going to have a really hard time making the next few dates better. I don’t know if you’re going to top this one,” she joked.

She pulled him to the booth she was looking at. It had some of the most beautiful water globes she had ever seen. The older gentleman who was running the booth explained that he handmade all of the ones there. The carved and metal detailing, the painted sculptures inside. She was in awe of them. She picked up ones that she really liked and smiled when she made them ‘snow’. She set a small one down when she saw the absolutely perfect one. Inside was the layout of the well-known places around the Thames. The detailing on the outside also showed various places around the city that she knew she wouldn’t be able to see tonight. Draco saw the look in her eye that she got when she was absolutely fascinated. It was a magic all its own. “If this is still here when we head back this way, can we get it?” She pleaded, turning towards him with it in her hands and held it up to show him.

He wasn’t as impressed, but he was enamored with how happy it made her. “As you wish.” She set it down and said goodbye to the merchant. They continued to walk down the river path towards the Globe theater. It was a decent walk, but she took the time to enjoy the scenery. She told him about her childhood and things she enjoyed. She asked him questions about everything she could think of, then took so many pictures. They walked for well over an hour until they reached their intended destination. “Draco! I’ve heard about this! It’s the London Eye! It’s supposed to open next week! Can we come back?”

“How about we go right now?” Draco suggested.

She protested as he pulled her towards the entrance. “It’s not even open yet, how can we go? Besides! It’s almost 9, no one would even be near there!”

She was wrong. There was a man waiting for them. Draco chatted with him for a second before he opened one of the pods. “After you,” he said smoothly.

Inside the pod, closest to the edge, there was a table with plates covered. A bottle of white wine chilled in a bucket. “Draco, how did you do this? How is this possible?” The pod started to move.

“Magic,” he said, taking her coat off. He put it to the side with his before pulling her chair out for her. She had the best view of the city. He poured their glasses and sat down in his seat. “It pays to have wizard friends in the right places. I wanted to make this night the best I could offer.”

She was smiling brighter and brighter with each passing minute. He lifted the lids to their plates. “This is too much, Draco. I’m overwhelmed but loving every minute of it.”

Draco’s charm was immaculate. His manners were on point, and he would catch her off guard with flirtatious comments. Her face was blushed from everything, but she was incredibly happy. There was a dessert of chocolate mousse for them to share after the lovely dinner. He lifted the spoon to her lips, she would enjoy every taste, meeting his gaze and smiling when he pulled it away. She would keep enjoying the view of Westminster Bridge and Big Ben. He vanished the table and dinner away when they were finished. “We are just past the peak. Would you care to dance?”

She looked at him confused and then she magically heard music. Before she answered she grabbed the camera. “I only have a few pictures left before the film is out. Can I try something?” She took out her wand and levitated the camera towards the other end of the pod. She grabbed him close like she was dancing with him, pulling their faces close. His eyes never left hers. He heard the click of the camera before she wandlessly set the camera with their coats. “I hope that turns out ok. I want to remember this moment forever. You amaze me, Draco Malfoy.” She kissed him. They danced until they reached the bottom. He held her coat out like a gentleman and helped her put it back on and re-casted the cushioning charm on her shoes. He could feel her magic tingling, but in a way that it was nice, not sparking like he was used to. “We are taking the tube back, I’m too tired to walk that far,” said leading him to the station.

That he didn’t know what it was. He was expecting a tunnel, but what he saw blew his mind. “Why are the trains underground?” he whispered to her as they waited for the next one to arrive.

“Maybe you weren’t paying attention that much,” she joked.

“Or maybe I was distracted by the beautiful aid to the professor and couldn’t concentrate on the lesson,” he said into her ear and pulled her closer.

Her face was red at his obvious public display, and pushed him back a little as the train arrived. It was full so they had to stand. “Hold on,” she said right as the train started to take off. He stumbled into her a little and ended up just pushing her to the wall by the door. He stood like that whispering flirtations into her ear as people got on and off. She was almost disappointed when they reached their stop. He walked behind her on the stairs to make sure no one was looking upskirt. She blushed when he grazed his hand on her bottom when the got to the top. They walked back towards Tower bridge where they had started.

“Would you like to go back to the Christmas market to see if anyone is still there?” he asked. She smiled and nodded enthusiastically. When they got there, many of the merchants were starting to pack up for the evening, but she rushed right towards where the older gentleman was. She searched and searched, but she didn’t see the globe she had loved so much earlier. She turned to him trying to hide her disappointment.

“Ah! I was hoping you would return!” It was the gentleman.

“I was desperate to. But I see that someone purchased the one I loved so much,” KC said with a small smile.

“Not a chance. I saw how much you loved it,” he handed her a box. “Happy Christmas you two.”

Draco handed the man money for the lovely gift. The man tried to tell him it was too much, but Draco just waved his hand to stay quiet. The smile in return was worth the price. KC’s eyes were watering. “Draco, tonight has been perfect. Thank you so much for this.”

“Excuse me,” they heard someone say in a small voice next to them. It was an older lady. “I was hoping you’d come back. You two inspired me to paint again and I wanted you to have it.” She had a medium sized canvas in her hands, shakily holding it. “Seeing you two earlier reminded me of the first date my husband took me on. It was a magical night, much like this one.”

KC took the canvas as the lady gestured it to them. It was outstanding. She had painted them, her holding the water globe between them. She got Draco’s serious expression and KC’s bright smile perfectly, Tower Bridge shining in the background. “This is beautiful! We can’t take this masterpiece from you!”

“Please do, dear. I haven’t seen anyone that happy in a long time. Thank you for taking me back to the good old days in my mind. Happy Christmas.”

KC handed the canvas to Draco and enveloped the woman in a hug. “Merry Christmas,” she whispered, trying to hold in her happy tears. The woman walked back towards the booth. She walked behind and helped the gentleman put boxes away. He smiled at her with such loving eyes and she kissed his cheek. KC took out her camera and captured that moment of them. It was her last picture on the film roll.

She took the canvas back from him, he was nice and carried her box. They walked back across the bridge, holding hands and admiring the last of the views. “I have to ask. I’ve been rolling back through all of our conversations and I can’t seem to remember ever telling you how badly I’ve wanted to see London.”

“You didn’t. I overheard you a few times when you were with Hannah, or when you were drinking with Blaise,” he said, his voice kind of dropping at that name.

Thinking back, she tried to remember when that happened. “But you were with Hermione then.”

“We both know who was on my mind that entire time.” He pulled her close. “I have one more surprise for you before it hits midnight.”

KC couldn’t believe him. “How is it you had time to think of all of this?”

“Just trust me on this,” he said, and apparated them to their last stop.

She couldn’t figure out where they were. It was so dark outside, lights in the far distance. There was nothing but twinkling stars and a bright moon. “Draco, where are –” she turned and saw exactly where they were. He had brought her to Stonehenge. “We are going to get in so much trouble for being here!” He smirked at her and grabbed her towards the rocks. KC was in awe.

“There has been speculation that this was a place where powerful magic was once held here,” he stopped them in the middle of the circle. He set her box and picture down and held her hands in front of him. “Your magic has drawn me into you. It’s constantly humming beside me, tingling my spine. But no matter what I do, I can’t get you off my mind,” KC tried to interrupt him but he kept going. “I don’t want you anywhere else. You’ve made me a better person.”

KC felt her magic like static between their hands, but this felt right.  “Draco, you’ve made me the best version of myself. I still can’t believe that you want me, too,” she put her forehead against his. “You’ve balanced my magic. It used to feel so out of control, but when you hold my hand, it’s like the whirlwind inside has stopped. I feel safe.”

He dropped her hands, putting one on her cheek, the other behind her back and kissed her. She felt her magic swirl inside of her, it enveloped them. She felt waves come off of her, pulling him closer to her. KC removed her lips from his and she opened her eyes to see pieces of her magic floating around them. Gold streaks and dust floating around them, making them glow against the rocks and snow. She giggled and he smiled at her. It swirled around them making their hair tussle in the movement of the wind. She kissed him one more time and the swirls wrapped around them. She moved back from him. She wanted to watch the display against the stars. The snow would melt, but she didn’t even care. “This is stunning. What is happening?” she asked in exhilaration. She sat down, pulling him with her.

Draco had no idea what was happening. He had never seen anything like this. Wrapping his arm around her, they watched the glittery magic swirl and dance among the stars. “It’s just showing us how special you really are,” kissed her cheek and felt the wind slightly shift.

The gold swirled around them, pulling some snow among the gold sparks. KC looked concerned but it didn’t feel like they were in danger. The gold streaks started circling their interlocked hands. She squeezed her hand tighter, a little frightened, but excited to see what was happening. After a few seconds, the gold magic turned into a solid form around their wrists. They had matching gold bands around them. The magic in the air around them split between them both, making the metal glow. KC looked right at Draco and kissed him like it was the only thing she wanted to do in the world. As soon as their lips touched, they were both filled with an elated feeling. When they pulled back, the magic in the air was gone. She looked down at their hands and saw the glowing bracelets.

“Kara, I think I can feel you,” Draco said, touching her bracelet.

“I can feel you too. Your magic is mingling with mine. What happened here?” she asked, touching his band.

“We’ll have to do some research. But I don’t think this was an accident. It’s a sign that I made the right choice in bringing you here tonight,” He looked at his watch, 12:01. “Happy Christmas, Kara.”

“Merry Christmas, Draco,” she said, kissing his cheek one more time. He helped her stand from the snow, cast a warming and drying charm on them. He grabbed their things and apparated back to the manor.

When they landed back in the foyer, Mippy met them and took their gifts from them to put away. Draco was a gentleman and took KC’s coat from her, hanging it up next to his. Taking her hand, he led her up the stairs to their rooms. She looked at him with expectant eyes. ‘Kara, the night can end here if you’d like to. You can go and sleep on your own if you’d like.”

She put a teasing smile on her face. “In what universe have I given the impression that is what I want, Draco?” He looked at her with a smirk but tried to reason with her, but she put her hand over his mouth. “Unless you are scared?”

He grabbed her hand and kissed it. “Not a chance,” He pulled her into his room and didn’t waste his time. He pushed her against the door and kissed her hard. She kicked off her boots so she could stand comfortably. His body was pushed against her hard, holding her in place. KC’s hands in his hair, pulling at the end of his hair. His hands traveled down her sides, resting to squeeze her ass. She groaned, her hands scratching down his neck and back. He unbuckled the belt that was around her dress before he pulled away. “Last chance to say no,” he said in a low, breathy voice.

KC pushed him back further. “Let me show you that you weren’t the one who decided this was happening tonight.” She stripped off her sweater dress and tossed it to the side. Taking off her tights to reveal the matching set that was given to her. An emerald green bra set that had black lace and jewels. “If you ever see a woman with a matching set, she knew that you would be enjoying it after.” She saw fire in Draco’s eyes.  She walked her way towards the bed, tossing her hair over her shoulder. “So, I should be asking you. This is your last chance to say no,” she said smirking, while sitting on the edge of his bed.

Draco flung off his shoes and ran over to her. She grabbed onto his tie and pulled him down to her to kiss him hard. He took that chance to unbutton his dress shirt and she loosened his tie.  She moved back towards the middle of the bed as he took his trousers off and climbed over her.

 “You little minx,” he growled into her ear. He latched onto her neck as his hand roamed over the lace of the bra. “You wore my favorite color. You look unbelievably delicious.” She whimpered as he touched her. Goosebumps covering her as he placed his hand on her stomach. He kissed down her neck to the valley between her breasts. She arched her back into his touch and she reached behind and unhooked the bra. The gold band that was around his wrist was cold against her skin, making her take a deep breath. He threw the garment aside, cupping one mound in his hand and latched his mouth over the other. He was warm and soothed the cold that came over her. She whispered his name and he groaned into her. He moved his mouth from her breast and moved his way back up to her mouth. She held onto him tightly, wrapping her legs around him, pulling him even closer. “You’re going to make me lose it before we even start, Kara. Don’t make me tie you down.” He pushed his cloth-covered erection over her center. “I’m making sure you come once before you get any of this.”

“Draco, please,” she begged, her nails scratching down his back.

He moved from her, grabbing the tie from beside the bed. KC’s eyes got wide. He smirked at her, taking both of her hands and tied them to the headboard above. “Your touch is sending me over the edge, Iove,” he whispered in her ear, running his hands lightly down her arms and chest. “But I’ve just started with you.”

She tugged her hands wanting desperately to touch him. He smirked up at her as he moved down her body. He teased her with light kisses right at the hem of the green lace. She wiggled her hips trying to get more contact from him. He ran a feather-light finger over her core and she shuttered. She had soaked through the silky lace. “Draco, I can’t. Please.” He grabbed the hem of the knickers and pulled them down her legs in a one smooth motion. Bare in front of him, he gave her a look that was almost feral. He pulled her legs up over his shoulders, kissing down her inner thigh, teasing her. “You are so ready for me, my darling. I can feel your legs shaking around me. You look perfect like this.”

His words were going to send her over the edge alone. He kissed up and down her outer lips. KC tried to close her legs around his head but he held her down. He used his tongue and slid right up her slit. She breathed in sharply and whimpered. She could feel him smile against her before he dove in. He took her clit right into his mouth, earning a delicious moan from her. He used his tongue as a weapon against her. He could feel her squirm from the intense amount of pleasure. “I can feel you trembling, love. Are you close for me?” He groaned against her, taking her into his mouth once more.

“Yes, Draco, please. I’m so close, please,” she pleaded, trying to move and pull him in closer.

He moved up and put two of his fingers to her lips. She looked him in the eye and pulled them into her mouth, coating him. “Fucking hell,” he muttered under his breath. “I can’t wait to see how that mouth feels around me.” He took his hand away from her mouth with a popping sound. He teased her entrance with slick digits. Swirling his tongue around her sensitive spot once more before he slowly slid his fingers in. KC made the most delicious noise and she tightened around his fingers. He assaulted her clit and started moving his fingers faster. “I can feel how close you are. You’re so wet for me, love.” He used the pads of his fingertips and found her spot inside that drove her wild.

“Draco, I’m.. going… to…” the faster he went, her back arched and she felt complete ecstasy. Her thighs held Draco’s head right where he was, slowing down on his ministrations. KC’s breaths were still hard and fast when she relaxed her legs. He withdrew his fingers; his face was glistening from her orgasm.

“You look so beautiful when you come,” he said, leaning down, kissing her without reserve. He wandlessly vanished the tie so she could touch him. Her hands moved around him desperately. She grabbed his briefs, trying to pull them down. “Impatient, are we?” He teased when he pulled back.

He got rid of the last remaining piece that was holding him back from her. He was well-endowed. KC’s eyes went wide. Feeling it was one thing, seeing it was another. He saw the look in her eye and froze. She felt the fear from his stillness. She sat up and grabbed his face. “Draco, you can’t scare me. I want you so much.” She pulled him back down on top of her, wrapping her legs around him once more. His cock slid right over her slit, causing them both to moan into each other’s mouth. She rubbed herself against him, nudging him. He adjusted himself right outside of her entrance. He looked her in the eye and whispered, “You tell me to stop if it’s too much.” She nodded, holding onto his arms. He slowly filled her up and she squeezed his arms. The sensation was overwhelming and there was a tear falling from her eye. “Kara,” he whispered, stopping.

“Please, don’t stop, I want to keep going. It’s just a lot of sensation all at once.” He kissed her tear away, rubbing his thumb on her cheek. He started moving slowly and they both felt an overwhelming sensation of heat. He grabbed onto her hand with the gold band and held it above her head. There was a soft glow coming from it. That made KC smile and kissed him. He was trying his best to make this perfect for her, but he could feel himself losing control. She pulled back from him. “Fuck me, Draco. I’m so close, you feel so good.” She used her legs to hold onto him tighter and latched onto his neck, dragging her one hand down his back, nails leaving marks on his back.

He didn’t need any more encouragement than that. He started moving harder into her. The little noises coming from her as she kissed his neck. The faster he went, the more he felt her tighten around him. “Kara, I’m not going to last,” he pleaded, squeezing her hand. She nodded, squeezing his hand back. She bit onto his neck and he lost it. She could feel him stiffen and she came undone around him. Their gold bands were glowing brightly. Both out of breath, he brought her face to his. He kissed her slowly. When they were both calmed down, he moved out of her. She felt empty, yet so satisfied. He cleaned any mess with his wand so he could move the blankets around them. Laying next to her, he covered them up and she curled against him. Their bands softly glowing, lighting up their faces. Draco could see her smile and she snuggled into his shoulder. He kissed her forehead and held onto her.

“Tonight was perfect, Draco,” she said, her eyes closed and her breathing was becoming more even.

“Rest, my love,” he ran his hand through her hair. He fell asleep smiling, holding onto her.

Chapter Text

Christmas morning was more than KC could have ever dreamed. Waking up next to Draco made it perfect. He held her tight against his smooth, muscular chest. She didn’t want to move. She loved how peaceful he truly was when he slept. She wiggled out of his grasp as slowly as she could so she didn’t wake him. Summoning a robe, she put it on and tried to stand. Her legs were definitely sore, from all the walking and because of Draco. He kept his word on making it hard to walk the next day, she thought and laughed to herself. She gathered her things from last night and quietly went next door to get ready for the day ahead. Christmas growing up for her was usually one or both of her parents working, meaning it was a quiet day. But there was always a movie night when they got home. It was never a big deal in her family. She put on some comfortable sweats and jumper and made her way to the library.  

KC was curious as to why her magic would create a solid band around her and Draco’s wrists. She had heard of different bonds before, but nothing like what she had seen last night. Nothing glowed like that. She spent hours scouring the library for books about bonds, soul bonds, bonding magic, anything that she could think of. She had a stack of them and went to the corner upstairs where she sat by the warm fire and could use the natural sunlight coming in from the windows. She skimmed through a few and didn’t find anything unusual. One on soul bonds was particularly interesting, but nothing quite matched what they had experienced. There were a few that were similar that she kept reading about.  

“Seems like you’ve found something interesting,” a sweet voice came from the door. Narcissa walked in and sat down next to her. “Bonding magic?” 

KC shut her book and looked down at her bracelet. “Something happened with my magic last night. The results were Draco and I with these,” she said, showing Narcissa her band. “It has to be some sort of bond, but this is something I can’t even explain. I can feel him with this. Not a heartbeat, but his presence, his feelings.” 

“I feel like there was more than bonding happening last night with the way Mippy was terrified this morning,” Narcissa joked, causing KC to flush red and bury her head in her jumper. Narcissa grabbed her wrist with a blank face, examining the band. The soft gold, continuous band. “There are pieces of magic that we may never understand,” she started, tracing the metal. “Bonding magic is as old as time itself. It’s very possible that no one alive may know this or we may not be able to find it in here.” KC’s face fell. Narcissa pulled her forward into a hug. “You are a special one, Kara. You’ll figure it out.” 

She held her tightly. The warmth of a mother’s love was just what she needed. “Thank you,” KC said sweetly. Looking at the clock, she saw that it was late afternoon already. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize how late it was already. I do hope I haven’t disturbed your holiday.” 

“Nonsense, that’s why I’m here. You’ve mentioned you wanted a big family experience. As did I. There will be a big dinner tonight. I’ve invited the Weasleys over as well as Blaise and Theo.” 

“That sounds like Draco’s worst nightmare,” she giggled.  

“Which is where you come in. Go find him and tell him the news. We’ll see you downstairs soon,” Narcissa said, getting up and leaving before anything else could be said. It made KC smile.  

She set the books she had left to read on the table and sent the others back to the shelves. Feeling Draco through the unknown bond, she found him a few doors down the hall, sitting at a desk in what looked to be a study. “What is this place?” She said to break the silence.  

Draco jumped in surprise, “Bloody hell, Kara.” She laughed walking towards him. He was so tense, he pulled her down to sit on his lap in the giant chair. “This is my father’s study. I try not to come in here. But I feel like there is something we are missing and this might be the place to look. So far, I haven’t found much. There were some notes from my 6th year but not much else.” He was frustrated, so she ran her fingers through his hair to calm him down. Kissing his cheek, she moved to get up to look around the desk. “There is a journal here, but it’s blank. He didn’t have anything else on his desk, but this was set to the side. I was hoping there were notes in here.” 

KC grabbed the journal and felt her magic spark against it. Draco’s attention was on her when he saw the sparks. She flipped through it and it was full of notes. “What are you talking about? There are loads of notes in here.” She saw small notes towards the back. Notes on a powerful source, magic that could control others.  

“What are you seeing? I see nothing but blank parchment,” he asked, standing to look next to her.  

“I think this may be what Snape was talking about, Draco. The power,” KC flipped through the pages carefully. It was an older journal, still well held together. The cover was faded so you couldn’t see the title very well. “It says ‘Oracles: 1199’. Draco, do you really think this book is 800 years old?” 

He could see the front of the book and she was right. “Oracles were the seers of years past,” Draco said, taking the book from her. “It’s how the Hall of Prophecies started at the ministry,” he said, staring at the book. He couldn’t figure out why she could see it and not him. It hit him. “KC, perhaps this is a book of prophecy. Prophecies can only be retrieved by those of whom they are about.” 

“You think this has something to do with me?” she asked, taking it back from him. “This just got a little more terrifying.”  

Her hands were shaking. He could feel her magic sparking through the band on his wrist. She was scared, so he wanted to make her forget for a bit. Draco grabbed it back from her and took her hand. “We will figure this out. We can take it with us.” He set the book down on the chair behind him and pulled her to stand in front of him. Pulling her hair back, he kissed her neck up to her ear. “But for now, I want to ruin this desk.” KC melted into him. “Put your hands on the desk in front of you,” he said in a low tone.  

She quickly did as she was told. He pulled her bottom towards him; she could feel him getting hard through his trousers. He ran his hands down her sides and he felt her magic soothe underneath his touch. “What a good girl,” he whispered into her ear.  

“Draco, we can’t do this here,” she said softly.  

He covered her mouth and bent over her to be close to her ear again. “We can and will.” He slid his other hand over her bottom and smoothed around towards her front and up her jumper. He molded his hand over her and pinched her nipple between his fingers. She gave a small, high pitch noise. He sucked on her neck and moved his hand down and dipped below her waistband. He felt how aroused she was, just by his small movements. “Feel how ready you are for me, princess,” he said nipping at her neck.  

She removed her hand from the desk to pull his hand away from her mouth. He grabbed it and put it back down “Draco,” she squealed trying to pull her hands back to stop him, but he held her there. “Please, slow down,” she whispered and he stop moving his hand.  

“Are you ok?” he asked, concerned. He removed his hand and turned her around, sitting her on the desk.  

“I’m just sore. I’m sorry, Draco,” she said, burying her face into his chest.  

He just held her. “There is nothing to apologize for. I’m glad you said something.” 

“Us too,” boomed a voice from the door. Blaise and Theo were laughing in the doorway. KC’s face was instantly red knowing that they had heard her. Draco shot a hex towards them. “Oh, calm down, we didn’t actually see anything.”  

KC let go and ran towards them. She went straight into Theo’s arms. “Although, Princess, you did sound delightful,” Theo whispered into her ear.  

She pushed him back and he laughed, moving to hug Blaise next. “I’m happy to see you having fun, Kitten. It’s a shame we couldn’t join in.” 

“You two are insufferable,” she laughed, letting go. “You’re here a bit early for dinner.” 

“What kind of friends would we be if we didn’t shower you with gifts on Christmas?” Theo joked.  

KC went back to Draco and pulled him over to them. He held her in front of him to hide the tent that was in his trousers. He connected their hands and their bracelets clinked together. Blaise raised his eyebrow when he saw but didn’t say anything. Theo noticed too. “You really shouldn’t have,” she smiled at them.  

“Nonsense, Kitten.” KC could feel Draco’s annoyance at the nickname. “You deserve the best,” Blaise winked at her. 

“Can you not flirt with my girlfriend like I’m not right here?” Draco drawled in annoyance. Theo snickered and motioned for them to follow them back to the library. Grabbing Draco’s hand, KC followed them and sat down on the chaise that she was at earlier, moving the books so Draco could sit with her.  

 The two boys handed KC a box each. “We know that Narcissa bought you everything under the sun, but we thought you might like some more useful things,” Blaise said, 

She opened one of the boxes. Inside was multiple pairs of quidditch pants and few new pairs of gloves. Also were some new white oxfords and black skirts and tights for her uniforms. “You didn’t have to do this for me!” 

Theo waved her off. “Of course, we did. You were never going to ask. You deserve to have nice things.” 

KC smiled at them, Draco taking the box from her, and she grabbed the other one. Inside she found a set of 4 journals. They each hand names on it. One for each of them. “What are these?” 

Blaise smirked like he had won a prize. “These are journals I've charmed. A version of the Protean charm. You have one of these. Each of us has one. In yours, you have sections you can write in. If you ever need us, or want to talk, no matter where we are, we have access. When you write to us, it’ll glow on the other end so we know there is something for us.” 

KC dropped the box and went straight to hug him. She could feel Draco’s slight jealousy but she didn’t care. “This was very thoughtful. You have no idea how much I love this.” 

“I know you don’t need me much now that you have him,” Blaise whispered so only she could hear. “You know you’ll always be important to me, Kitten.” 

She smiled at him and kissed his cheek before moving back. Draco held her close, trying to feel secure again. She could feel a mixture of fear and anger course through her bracelet. She grabbed Draco’s hand, pulling him close to her. She kissed him, right in front of the boys. She felt his feelings settle. “There is nothing to worry about, I promise you. You’re my only one, Draco,” she softly said to him. His face was serious, not giving her anything, but she could feel he was calm. 

Theo noticed a small glow coming from their wrists. Trying to figure out what they possibly were. 

“Ok, boys. I’m going to go get ready for dinner. By the way, Draco. The Weasleys and Hermione are coming tonight.” 

He rolled his eyes and fell back in frustration. “This was supposed to be a good holiday.” 

“And it will be if you behave,” she teased, walking out towards her room. 

The boys watched her go. “You know that I’m not trying to take her,” Blaise said casually. Draco eyed him harshly, but didn’t say anything. “She has made it very clear that there is no sharing and I’m ok with that. She is still one of my best friends.” 

“And you’re always so handsy with her? I don’t think whoever you’re seeing would appreciate your hands all over her,” he drawled. 

“She thrives with physical contact. Just because I’m not the one dating her doesn’t mean I don’t want her to be content,” Blaise said, slight anger in his eyes. He sat back letting Draco brood.  

“What’s with the gold bracelet? Seems a little out of style for you?” Theo asked, cutting some of the tension.  

“There isn’t much to tell. It appeared out of thin air,” he said, playing with the band. “But I can feel her through it. It’s like our magic is almost connected. I can’t figure out how it is possible.” 

“Bonds are a different kind of magic. Many kinds are still unknown to us,” Theo surmised. “What you two have is special, but there must have been something outside that caused that to happen. I’ve researched many kinds of soul bonds; this is like something I’ve never heard of.” 

Draco sat staring at his wrist. There seemed to be something impossible about what had happened between them. But he owed KC an apology. He should trust her around her friends, but seeing her between his best friends struck a chord in the worst ways. She was his vice and he couldn’t let her go even if he wanted to. 

There was an echo of voices coming from the foyer. Draco heard KC squealing with joy. Must be the Weasleys. The three left the library to go down for the party. Coming down the stairs, they could see KC greeting everyone with hugs. Narcissa was conversing with Molly and Arthur. Draco was content until he saw the largest of the family, swing KC up bridal style. She was giggling and gave him a hug around his neck. It only made his magic surged through him. “Ok, Charlie, put me down!” She laughed. He did so, winking at her as she backed away. Draco walked closer towards the group and a few faces of the family dropped. KC came back towards him and grabbed his hand. He pulled her in and wrapped his arms around her, showing possession. “Everyone, you know Draco and there’s Blaise and Theo. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have you all here.”  

KC looked around at the group and they all were in good spirits. Ron was rigid around Draco, Harry and Hermione were chatting with Narcissa; Harry with his arm around Ginny. The twins and Charlie coerced Blaise and Theo to be a part of their plotting for the evening. KC squeezed Draco’s hand before walking away to officially meet their parents. Ginny was bouncing with excitement. “I have to tell you; this is the first time we are cancelling our family quidditch match. We are going on an outing to Paris!” The girls squeal with excitement and she asked about what their trip would entail.   

Draco saw how easily she fit in with the group. Molly embraced her quickly and made her feel like part of the family. Arthur’s eyes lit up in delight when he learned of her upbringing, asking her as many questions as he could. It continued into dinner. She sat next to him with Draco on her other side. He learned more about the muggle world in America than he can say he ever cared to know. But hearing the way KC spoke with kindness and passion was endearing. On the other side of Draco was Hermione. It was a little off-putting at first with their history, but they had worked things out. Her energy of being back at the manor was sure to be negative.  He threw up his mental shields in hope to block it out. KC held his hand in hopes of calming him and took a drink of the elderflower wine that was provided. The rest of the family told stories about what they were doing now: how the shop was going, stories and experiences with dragons, Narcissa talked about some of the charity work she has been doing along with the renovations. Hermione went rigid when she heard about the rooms. She looked down at her plate and pushed her vegetables around. Draco wanted to comfort her, but how could he? There was nothing he could say or do to make what happened better. The flashback of that night of her screams, the torture from Bellatrix. His occlumency was barely hanging on. KC grabbed his thigh to try and reassure him, but it was past the point of helping. He stood quickly and excused himself from the table, KC chasing after him. He was almost outside by the time she caught him. “Draco will you stop, please?” 

Her hand was trembling in his. He couldn’t look at her. “I’m fine, go enjoy the rest of the night.” 

“I can feel you. Remember? I know you’re lying to me. It’s ok if you don’t want to talk about it, but you don’t have to run from me. Let me help!”  

“How in Merlin’s name can you help?” he snapped. “I can’t block out what happened here. I can’t do a damn thing to change it.” 

“Draco, we can move past this. Just let --”  

“You weren’t fucking here! You have no idea what it was like here. I had to watch people that I grew up around be tortured and I was on the wrong side! My family was threatened. If I did anything to try and stop it, I would have been dead.” He was yelling in her face. He was mere inches from her face and she was frozen. “I have to hear her screams in my head. It rings in my ears and having her here at my dinner table, trying to pretend like we are all one big happy family getting together for Christmas? I can’t fucking do it.”  

Tears were coming down from KC’s eyes, but she held her ground.  “You’re right,” she whispered. She felt broken and backed away from him. “I have no idea what it’s like. I just didn’t want you to have to handle it alone. But I know when I’m not wanted. I’ll go.” 

She turned to leave him and he knew he messed up. He tried to call after her but she just kept walking until she disappeared. She wiped her eyes and tried to freshen herself before she walked back into the loudness of the dining room. She walked back in and they didn’t pay any mind to her, keeping the conversation going. Sitting down, she took a sip of her wine and tried to pay attention to the story Fred was telling. It was always an experience with him, but it was difficult to laugh along when she could feel the mixture of anger, fear, and guilt through her band.  

Hermione watched her struggle to act like nothing happened. She had a good inkling on why Malfoy had left so abruptly. She excused herself from the table and went out to find Malfoy. 

 

***** 

 

Draco went out to the greenhouses to take a breath. His mother’s roses were still in bloom. He went around and sprayed some of them with water to distract his mind. “Those always were your mother’s favorite,” he heard a deep voice from the side. He looked up and saw his father.  

“What the hell are you doing here?” Draco snapped, drawing his wand. 

“Merry Christmas to you, too, son,” Lucius sassed, holding his walking stick. “I can’t visit my own family during a holiday?” Draco glared at him, wand never wavering its aim. “I sensed my study had been breached and came to see the damage. But what do I see, other than you and your pathetic excuse for a pet. Miss Celine, is that correct?” 

Draco sent a hex his way, but Lucius blocked it wandlessly. “Don’t be so touchy, son. It’s unbecoming.” 

“There must be something important in there for you to risk your life coming back to check it,” Draco sneered. 

“There are many things you do not understand. Things are starting to come together,” he said. He stopped when they heard a crunch of snow coming. “I’m warning you as my son. Take care at the gala.”  

Draco shot a hex at him as he disapparated, making the pot behind where his father stood explode. The Greenhouse door creaked open and he pointed his wand quickly. Hermione raised her hands quickly. He dropped his arm. “What are you doing out here?” 

“Same as you, I expect. Needing to get away from certain things inside,” she offered.  

Draco stood silently, not giving away anything. “Go back inside, Granger. I’m fine.” He turned away from her, starting to spray the flowers again.  

He felt a small hand on his shoulder. “I don’t blame you, Malfoy. I said it before. It’s going to take us both time to move forward from it.” 

He kept still for a minute. He knew that she wasn’t upset with him, but he still felt an immense amount of guilt. He turned and handed Hermione a spray bottle. “If you’re going to be out here, you might as well help.” That was all it took. They spent time in silence pruning the plants. Healing. 

 

***** 

 

Back in the dining room, things were starting to get rowdy. The family spent time playing games, while KC helped clear the dishes with Molly. Narcissa insisted they didn’t have to, but KC needed a distraction and a little quiet. Once she was done, she sat at one of the barstools at the kitchen island. She fidgeted with her hands until Molly came and sat with her, sliding a cup of tea her way. “My mother always said there was nothing a good cup of tea couldn’t fix. What’s wrong, my dear?” 

The motherly figure that was Molly Weasley. She was an instant comfort for KC. “I’m fine, Mrs. Weasley. Tonight with you and your family has been wonderful.” KC gave her the best smile she could while holding back tears. 

“Pish. It’s clear you’re upset,” Molly pushed. “Perhaps things with a certain boy have gone awry?” KC didn’t answer her, but played with her bracelet on the hand that held her cup. Molly noticed taking a different approach. “Tricky things, bonds.” KC froze and met her eye. “You feel the emotions of those who you’re attached to and there is not much you can do to take those feelings from them.” 

“I don’t even know how it formed. My magic just did it on its own,” KC said in a small voice.  

“We don’t always get an answer. I know I didn’t,” Molly pulled out her right hand, showing a gold band around her ring finger. “I didn’t know Arthur well when this happened. We had our differences; we were actually arguing when it happened. Young Mr. Malfoy must be a strong man for you.” 

“But why did it happen? For you? Did you ever find out why?” KC studied the ring. It was plain gold, just like hers. She couldn’t remove it.  

“I never really questioned it. A bond was taught as a gift when I was young. It’s given to those whose feelings are strong and true. It was foretold that those that were given this gift had incredible magic instore for them. 

She studied the bond. She could feel his emotions swirling. Anger to the max, then fear, then guilt, constant frustration. She felt a surge of magic and went back to anger. “I just want to help him. I can feel him through this. He’s upset and battling with himself and --” 

“And there is nothing you can do to stop that, dear. You have a big heart. But this might just be something he needs to do on his own.” 

KC felt the silent tears fall. “I just wanted everyone together for the holiday. I never had a big family or any friends so this was the first time I could have that chance. I just wanted it to be good for everyone. I feel like I ruined it.” 

Molly grabbed her into a hug and let her tears fall. “Don’t you think on it. You are important and didn’t do anything wrong. My family has been enamored with you. You’re welcome with us anytime you’d like. You’ve help make our Christmas together even more special. Your parents would be proud.”  

“I miss them so much,” she admitted. Molly held her tight. She smelled like baked goods and home. It helped bring her down from the overwhelming anxiety. KC pulled back and wiped her face. “Thank you for letting me be emotional, Molly.” 

“I’m always here for you, dear. Now, let’s go back out there. I’m sure Fred and George have caused enough mischief.” 

KC laughed and they went back out into where the group was playing games. She still didn’t see Draco anywhere, she wanted to see if she could find him one more time before she settled with the group. 

Heading towards the doors outside, she stopped when she saw him at the end of the hall. He was coming in with Hermione. He brushed the snow off her shoulders, she smiled up at him. It’s nothing, KC. Get a hold of yourself. She let them have their moment and went to go back into the dining room with the group. Blaise pulled her into the space between him and Theo, handing her a glass of wine. “Are you ok, Kitten? We much prefer seeing your cheeks red, not your eyes.” 

That made her smile. “I’ll be ok, Blaise. Thank you, though.” She wrapped her arm around his and leaned on his shoulder while the group played a hard game of Exploding Snap against the twins. Fred and George were unstoppable and cracked jokes the entire time.  

Draco and Hermione came back into the room. She sat down next to Harry like nothing was new. Draco just stared at KC. She gave him a small smile and went back to watching the game. He sat in a chair across from her, not giving her any facial expressions, but she could feel the stir of emotion through him.  “Who wants to play Charades?” Charlie yelled after getting beat by the twins for the third time. “KC’s my partner!”  

The group protested as KC laughed. Charlie picked her up over his shoulder, carrying her to the couches. “Charlie! I am perfectly capable of walking!” She couldn’t stop laughing.  

He sat her down on the couch before the rest of the group followed. “I can tell you’re sad. I just wanted to hear that laugh again,” he brushed her cheek before clearing the area so people could perform. She was in the middle of the couch, so Theo and Blaise surrounded her again, bringing her drink. It annoyed Draco, but he’d never show it. He sat down in the arm chair closest to her, refusing to play the game. She wasn’t going to let him ruin her fun. She played and laughed until the wine became too much and she rested on Blaise’s lap. It was almost midnight before the group left, KC was fast asleep, Theo on the other end of the couch asleep, holding her legs. It was the 4 of them left.  

“Come on, mate. You can’t stay silent forever,” Blaise joked.  

"Try me,” Draco sneered, looking down at KC. She looked at peace. He felt a light feeling run through him; it was almost a relief. “She’s upset with me,” he whispered. 

“And knowing her, you were a royal arse,” Blaise stated.  

There was no doubt that Draco had been a mighty prat. He stayed silent, watching her sleep. Her hair covering her face. “She’ll wake if I move her. Stay with her?” 

“You’re not going to attack me for it?”  

Draco moved towards her. He swept her hair out of her face and kissed her forehead. “She needed you tonight. You were there when I should have been. Until I can talk to her.”  

Blaise gave him a nod and Draco walked out of the room. His mother was waiting outside in the hall for him. “You caused quite a stir tonight, Draco.” 

He couldn’t make eye contact with her. He really had messed up and he knew it. Not just for leaving, but for taking it out on the one person who only had good intentions. And now he had to figure out how to protect her. “I saw father in the Greenhouse tonight.” Narcissa froze. “He said to take care at the gala.” 

“He makes a lot of threats, Draco. We mustn't jump to conclusions,” she tried to roll it off.  

“He mentioned Kara.  I don’t know what he has against her but I need to keep her away from him.” 

“We’ll tell her in the morning. Get some rest.” 

Draco spent most of the night tossing and turning, finally falling into a fitful sleep. 

 

KC wasn’t sleeping well either. She had woken up when Draco was leaving her on the couch with Blaise. 

“Ok Kitten, you can stop pretending now,” Blaise said, playing with her hair. She smiled at him trying to cut the tension, but she knew there was no hiding it. “What did the git do now?” 

“Why does he keep things from me? I just want to help and he shuts me out. He yelled at me. Not even just raised his voice, like really yelled at me.” She was to the point where she couldn’t cry anymore. Blaise turned her so she was laying on her back instead of her side, fanning her hair over his lap. Theo still had a hold on her legs.  

“He’s never really had someone who genuinely cared before. You are there for him unconditionally and it scares him. In the end, I think he feels like he’d scare you away if he showed you how much he was really hurting.”  

It was difficult to process what his actions were versus the feelings she felt from their bond. She was struggling with the power of his emotions. It was all so new and overwhelming, she never thought about how much her emotions would be affecting him too. The more she held in and faked around everyone else, the more he was probably frustrated with her. “I’m scared I’m too attached to him and I’m going to end up being hurt,” she whispered.  

Blaise put his hand on her cheek. “And if he gets to that point, I’ll take him out myself. You deserve nothing but love, Kitten. If he quits, it is nothing you’ve done.”  

KC leaned into his touch, contemplating everything. She knew she needed to go to him, even with it being too late to have a long discussion. But she felt miserable. “Thank you, Blaise. You’re the best.”  

“Don’t inflate his ego, anymore, Princess,” Theo spoke, eyes still closed. “I’m the one who has to deal with it later.” Blaise threw a couch pillow at him and they all laughed.  

KC sat up and gave each of them a kiss on the cheek, knowing they would take their leave instead of sleeping on the couch. She headed back to Draco’s room. She could feel his light feelings of panic and fear. When she opened his door, she could see him tossing in his sleep. She stripped out of her outfit so she wasn’t sleeping in dress clothe and climbed next to him. “Draco?” She whispered, grabbing his leg to shake him awake. He started up quickly and grabbed her throat hard. She patted his arm to shake his attention.  

“Fuck,” he let go so quickly once he realized it was her. She coughed trying to catch her breath. “Kara, forgive me. I didn’t mean--” He stumbled over his words when she looked at him. 

“I’m ok. You were having a nightmare,” her voice was raspy. He pulled her into him, holding her close and kissing her head. “Do you want to talk about it?” 

“Not right now. I just need to know that you’re ok. I’m an arse,” he said to her quietly. He was shaking, she just held him as calmly as possible.  

“I can’t sleep knowing you were hurting, Draco.” She said into his chest. “I know you don’t want me in on that and I need to be ok with that. I’m not going anywhere,” she reassured him. 

“I don’t deserve you, Kara.” He held her tighter.  

“You can tell me more about everything tomorrow. You need rest. I’m here.”  

He laid back holding her on top of him. He wanted the weight of her on him, the comfort it brought. She used his chest as a pillow, playing with his hair with one hand. She listened to his heart slowly calm to a steady thump thump. His breathing evened out and she felt a calmness come over her. “I’m right here,” she whispered, letting his heartbeat steady her to sleep. 

The problems would still be there in the morning, but this was calm. This was caring. This was just the beginning. 

Chapter Text

The days leading up to the gala were tense between KC and Draco. When she woke, he was gone. He spent a lot of time in the stables, the greenhouses, and searching around his father’s office.  Any time KC came around, he made an excuse to leave the room. He was using his occlumency shield constantly, blocking a decent amount of the emotions being felt between their bond. KC couldn’t stand it. She would read in the library, she would look through the Oracle they found in the study, and she would try to talk with Narcissa when she wasn’t too busy setting things up in the ballroom. When it became obvious that Draco was avoiding her, she hid in the guest room. She would take all of her books and notes to the room and would read in bed. She didn’t know which hurt more: the fact Draco wouldn’t tell her about what was going on, or that he hadn’t come looking for her. 

Since she couldn’t talk to him, she wrote to him. The journals that Blaise gifted were an amazing resource, but she couldn’t do anything about him ignoring the glow when there was a message. So, she just wrote to him. Told him how worried she was, asking what she could do, how she could help, notes that she had found about the bond and magic signatures, or just how much she wanted him to come see her. Anytime she would walk past his room, she could see the journal still sitting there; glowing and untouched. After a few days, she had given up trying. She wrote to Blaise and Theo. They comforted her, they made her laugh, and tried their best to brighten her spirit. They would come over for bits of the day and kept her company before they went back to their homes. But when they left, the silence only brought the anxiety back. She fell into a state of depression.

On New Year’s Eve, KC finally broke down. She hadn’t left her room. Mippy tried to bring her breakfast and lunch, but she didn’t leave her bed. The tears over took her. Her anxiety about everything had finally broken her. She saw that she had a glow on her journal from Blaise, she didn’t even want to touch it. He was not one to be ignored. After an hour, she heard her door open. She didn’t even look to see who it was. 

“Kitten, you can’t hide in here all night,” Blaise said, sitting in front of her. She was still under the covers, arms wrapped around a pillow. “Who else am I going to be able to twirl around the dance floor?”

She didn’t even make eye contact, just stared blankly towards the wall. “I can’t fight this anymore. I know that I've been insecure, especially when it involves Draco. He went from so caring and attentive, to pushing me away completely. I don’t know how I can fix this, Blaise. I don’t know how to fix myself.”

He was dressed for the gala tonight, sharp in a black suit with a silver tie. He took off his jacket and toed his shoes off, removed the pillow that she was holding, and laid over the blankets. He pulled her close. “You don’t have to fight alone, KC. I’m here.” She was like a zombie. She laid on his chest, but couldn’t acknowledge anything. 

“I told myself I wouldn’t break because of someone else. I convinced myself that if I was strong, if I kept my head down this year, I’d make it through unscathed like I had through my other school years,” KC said. With a single tear falling onto his shirt, she continued, “He blindsided me. The magic I've been experiencing has taken so much out of me, this bond has confused me, I haven’t been able to figure out what the Sympathizers are trying to do, I can’t write to my parents, I just... I... can’t.” 

The room was silent. Blaise ran his fingers through her hair, helping melt the tension from her. “No one is asking you to be strong right now. You’re handling a lot right now. You don’t have to have all of the answers.” She held onto him tight, hiding her face in his chest. “I know that I’m not the one who can fix this, but will you let me try?”  She slowly nodded and he just smirked. He moved her and stood quickly, pulling her to the edge of the bed towards him. “Let’s get you ready then.”

“Blaise, what are you doing?” 

KC’s eyes went wide and he pulled the blankets back. She had only put on her t-shirt and underwear. He wasn’t even phased by it. When she sat up on the edge, he pulled her up and forced her to the bathroom. “You are going to shower and I’m going to put you in that gorgeous dress that’s hanging in there. Just because Malfoy won’t be a gentleman doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t show off.” 

He smacked her ass and she jumped forward past the door line. “Blaise!” she yelled in surprise. 

He grabbed the door and pulled it closed, holding it closed so she couldn’t get out. “Get ready! I’ll wait for you in the closet when you’re finished.”

When she came out of the shower, there were things waiting for her so she didn’t have to walk out in a towel. It was a relief to an extent. She wasn’t going to jeopardize Draco seeing and freaking out if he saw them when she was just in a towel. They had enough miscommunication as it was. Blaise sat her down when she got to him. He magically dried and styled her hair. Wavy curls that gave a slight bounce, half pinned in the back for effect. He used magic to apply some make-up to even out everything. She strapped her wand holster around her leg so she would have it with her. As she stepped into her dress and pulled it up, she heard the door open. “Oh my, Princess. You are stunning.”

Theo came up behind her and slowly zipped up her dress. He twirled her around to face him, making her smile. “I have something for you,” he said, reaching into his suit jacket. He pulled out a diamond and sapphire headband. “Not quite a tiara, but you deserve to truly feel like a princess.” He gracefully placed it in her hair, it blended perfectly with the work Blaise did. He kissed her cheek and she hugged him fiercely. “Now let’s get this princess to the ball, hmm? She’s fashionably late,” Theo offered his arm and led her down to the ballroom. 

They made their entrance from the back not to make a scene. She was blown away by the beauty of the room. Decorated in gold and crystals, black and white tables on each side of the main dance floor. The small orchestra playing towards the front, plenty of drinks and small plates to go around.  Everyone dressed elegantly, the bright lights, the liveliness of the people chatting and dancing. She saw Draco towards the front door, mingling with guests next to his mother. He caught her eye and he froze, KC lost her breath. She gave him a small bow of the head before walking forward towards the crowd. 

She saw a group of friends and she couldn’t help but smile. Hannah rushed up to her and gave her the biggest hug. “I’ve missed you so much! You have to tell me everything!” Neville came and pried her away before she could get more out, winking at KC. Ginny came up to her with Hermione and Harry next to her. 

“Late to her own party,” Ginny sassed. 

“This is for Narcissa. I hope that she is enjoying it. You all have to tell me about your trip to France!” KC said excitingly. They all sat down at the round table and shared stories of their trip. Museums, Wizarding Paris, the fashion, and they even got to go to one of the quidditch stadiums. KC smiled when she heard the twins tell her about some of the pranks they pulled on the locals and the unfortunate hotel staff. When it was Ron’s turn to tell his story, his face when red. “That good of a trip, Ron?” KC joked.

His face matched his hair almost. “Ronny got himself a girl while he was there,” Fred jeered. “We barely saw him. You knock over one witch and you think you’ve met your match!” 

“I’m so happy! Tell me about her!” KC was happy for her friend. There was a lot going on and he was always the one trying to make people smile, lighten the tension, and being the best friend and supporter he could be. 

“Her name is Katie. Kat,” he smiled. “She went to Beauxbatons. I might have accidently knocked her over when we were trying to get out of the elevator at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Guess you could say she really fell for me.” George booed his poor joke and it made KC laugh. Ron continued telling the story about his week experience with Kat.

“What about you, Harry? Anything new happen?”

He sat and stared at his drink. Ginny nudged him, encouraging him. He was shaky to start. “Well, I’ve decided that I’m going to leave school early.” The table was quiet, Hermione was shocked. “Ron and I have decided to take Kingsley up on his offer for early Auror training. We start next week.”

The table cheered for them; Ginny smiled. They chatted and talked about the future and what it entailed. It wasn’t until there was someone walking up to their table that it stopped. “Well, fancy seeing you here, KC.”

She knew that voice. She turned to look behind her and bolted up quickly. “Professor Mason!” She hugged him and laughed. “How are you here?”

“I had a meeting with the Ministry over the holiday and decided to stay for a bit. I got the invitation and couldn’t say no.” He was just as casual as always. 

“You haven’t written me back. I was starting to think one of the other students finally took you out for being a dick.” KC heard Blaise do a spit-take of his wine at that comment. Theo was laughing. Mason gave them a careful look, figuring out who was there. 

“It’s good that you’ve finally found friends. Your parents would be proud.”

KC froze and looked down at the floor. “How are they?” she asked almost shyly.

“I’ve only had a few letters from them. Very little information, I’m afraid.” She just nodded, knowing it was for the best. “I’m going to let you go back to your friends, we can catch up later.” He patted her shoulder and left. 

Turning back to her table of friends, she felt bad she didn’t introduce them. She put her hand on Theo, standing next to him. KC looked up and saw Draco staring at her with a longing look in his eye. KC excused herself from the table. Blaise grabbed her hand, silently asking if she was ok. She smiled at him and walked off, making her way towards Draco. He stood eerily still. “Are you done avoiding me?” She asked quietly.

He grabbed her and led her to the dance floor. “Kara, I know you’re upset with me.” He pulled her into his arms and took the lead. 

“I don’t think upset is the right word. Hurt is closer to the truth.” 

“I need you to trust me on this. I promise I wasn’t trying to hurt you. The exact opposite,” he rubbed his hand down her arm. 

“It doesn’t change the fact that you did. You deliberately ignored me, you didn’t even look at the messages I wrote to you, you didn’t even come and find me. What did I do?”

Draco’s face was stone. Mental walls were up, she could only feel her magic sparking him. He pulled her towards the balcony outside, warming charms to keep them comfortable. “Kara. I need to keep you safe.”

KC was so confused. “By pushing me away?”

“I thought that if I stepped away, then maybe you wouldn’t come tonight.” He tried to put his hand on her arm but she jerked away.

“You don’t get to do that to me. You talk to me! You tell me what’s going on. I get to decide what I do. You do not get to make decisions for me, Draco.” KC was livid. Draco’s shields faltered when she raised her voice. Her magic was sparking, he could feel it shocking him through his bracelet. “What are you hiding from me?” She was trying to hold herself back, her voice came out shaky. 

He couldn’t take it anymore. He pulled her in and kissed her hard. It wasn’t passion, it was possessive, it was angry. He could feel her magic start to simmer down and she put her hands on his chest. Seconds later, it was a realization and she pushed him away. “Draco, that isn’t going to fix anything! Did something happen?”

Draco knew that if he didn’t say anything, he was done for. “Nothing has happened. It’s what might happen. I can’t risk you getting hurt.” He spoke in a soft voice, trying to show he wasn’t upset with her. He lowered his mental shield so she could feel his fear, worry, anger. 

“Is this about what happened at dinner on Christmas?” 

He nodded. “I saw my father. I didn’t say anything because I was trying to find a way to keep him out. He gave me a warning. To ‘take care at the gala’ and asked about ‘my pet’. He was talking about you.” Draco was shaking and KC was worried about him. “I spent the last week trying to find wards I could add to the estate to keep him out. But I failed, Kara. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

She slowly took his hand. “You should have asked. I would have tried to help.”

“You aren’t responsible for my family. I’m going to protect you, and if that means I have to push you away to do so, then I had to try,” He was broken. KC did her best to soothe him, but still think of different solutions. “Mother knows. She did some, but I'm afraid it won’t be enough.”

“Then be here with me. Be in this moment, with me.” KC put her hands around his neck, like she was pulling him in for a dance. “We don’t know what’s going to happen. Our fear is enough, but we can’t stop the unknown.” He scoffed at her and tried to look out towards the gardens, but she pulled his face back. “How about we go back in there, have some wine, you can get me snacks, and we can dance?” He closed his eyes, trying to focus himself. He stayed quiet. “Fine, I’ll ask Blaise to dance,” she said, backing away from him. 

She walked back towards the party and had almost made it to the door before Draco grabbed her hand, twirled her around, and pinned her against the wall. “Not a chance, Hufflepuff.” He kissed her. She smiled under his lips, but held him close. He pulled back, resting his forehead on hers. “You are breathtaking, Kara. You look unquestionably perfect.”

“Then how about you go and show me off? We worked very hard putting this together,” she said facetiously. 

He grinned, giving her one last kiss before offering his arm. He escorted her back into the party, unaware of the eyes that had watched their scene.

Back in the ballroom, they both sat with their friends and had a surprisingly pleasant evening. Draco made sure she didn’t have too much wine and her snack plate was never empty. He would debate with Ron and Harry about random things, Hermione and Ginny would add sassy remarks to throw things off, Blaise flirted to cause trouble. KC had the chance to tell Hannah everything that had happened. No dirty details, but she was aware that her and Draco were official. Fred and George took turns stealing her to the dance floor, while Draco gripped his glass to the point of almost breaking it. When they brought her back, Blaise went to reach for her hand and Draco intercepted it. He took her to dance and never brought her back. 

“You know, I like when you show your jealous/possessive side,” KC smiled at him.

“It’s not a good thing. I don’t want you to feel like you can’t do things with other people. But something about seeing you with Blaise just --” He cut himself off. 

“I know it’s not intentional, Draco.” She reassured him. “I’m just giving you a hard time. Would it hurt you to smile at me?” She gave him a big cheesy grin. He couldn’t help but roll his eyes and give her a small laugh. 

“You’re something else, Hufflepuff.” He pulled her close and they danced. The thoughts of an impending threat slowly drifting away for a few minutes. 

KC convinced him to walk her to get another drink. As he handed her a glass, he saw her wave at someone a short distance away. A middle-aged man who was over talking with Pansy Parkinson. She grabbed his arm and brought him over to them. “Mason, are you enjoying yourself?”

“Aw very much so. Miss Parkinson and I were just discussing some business. Who might this charming man be?”

“I wanted you to meet. Draco, this is Professor Mason. He is the one who took care of me at Ilvermorny. Mason, this is Draco Malfoy.”

“Pleasure to meet you,” Draco said, nodding his head forward in acknowledgement. He looked at Pansy. “Parkinson. Always a delight.” You could hear the sarcasm in his voice. Draco had an off feeling about this man. 

“Malfoy, huh?” Why does his American accent irritate me so much? KCs doesn’t . “Family of the hosts?”

Pansy snorted a laugh. “Like you don’t know who he is.”

“Just making small talk,” Mason gestured. “Are you making sure that our KC here stays focused? She always was a terror for me.” 

“Mason, that is an absolute lie and --” KC started, but Draco interrupted.

“Actually, she has surpassed all expectations. She’s top of the class and she now holds some quidditch records,” Draco sneered at him. “Better than any school, or any one, deserves.”

KC looked up at him in shock. She saw his face, he was irritated. She tried to play it off with a smile, but it felt wrong. “Well, watch out for her,” Mason waved the awkwardness off. “Accidents happen.”

Draco took a sharp intake, trying to hide his anger. KC grabbed his arm and led him away from them.  She lost them in the crowd of people dancing until they couldn’t see Pansy and Mason. “What the hell was that, Draco?”

He had a firm grip on her hips. “I don’t like him. I have a bad feeling about him.”

“He’s not going to do anything. He has watched over me for as long as I can remember.”

“Which is why you wouldn’t see it. There’s just something off. How is it he knows Pansy?” KC didn’t think of asking that. She shrugged her shoulders. “And if I take a guess, he didn’t have much information about your parents, did he?” 

KC tried to respond, when the heard the crowd cheering. Starting the countdown to midnight. “I don’t understand why--”

“I don’t know, it just feels off,” Draco said, pulling her closer. “I just need you to stay with me.”

5...4....3...2... “Always,” … 1! KC leaned up a little and kissed him. They heard celebration around them, but time didn’t matter for a second. They broke apart, smiling. 

Just as they were about to move back to the table, there was the sound of glass shattering. People screaming, running away from the explosion by the balcony. Draco ran back, pulling KC with him and hid behind one of the tables. “What is going on?” KC yelled. Then they saw them. Black cloaks. Hooded figures, some wearing masks. The Sympathizers. 

“Kara, you have to go. They can’t find you,” Draco tried to push her, but she stayed.

“I’m not leaving without you. Where’s Blaise and Theo?” 

“It doesn’t matter, you need to hide! I’m going to go to my father’s study to fend him off. There is something in there he needs, there must be. You, go!” 

She nodded and they ran to opposite doors. Draco was faster and was out before she could find the exit. In the hall, she saw Blaise, knocked down. She screamed and ran towards him. Theo was dueling another figure. She placed a protective charm around him, checking to make sure Blaise was ok. He was breathing, barely conscious. “Kitten, you have to go.”

“Not without you and Theo,” She tried to help him up when a stunner hit her arm. 

She jerked back and saw an older man leaning over her. “Now just where did you get that jewelry? Did you steal it from my son?” 

She couldn’t breathe. She shook with panic. She tried to reach through her dress to grab her wand but he was faster. “I’ll teach you for stealing from a Pureblood, you filthy --” The man flew back with a shot of red hitting him. Theo ran over to her and checked her over. She grabbed her wand and stood with him. “Come on, son. Give her over.”

“You’ll have to kill me first, father,” Theo sneered. 

The man stood still. “You... gave her ... YOUR MOTHER’S CROWN?”

KC gasped holding onto Theo’s arm, blocking Blaise as he tried to sit up. “Not that you’ll miss it. You sure didn’t miss Mother after you killed her.”

They dueled. Dangerous spells flying. KC grabbed Blaise and tried to drag him to a different room when she was hit in the leg; Dress ripping to scraps waist down. Blaise tried to aim a spell and hit barely, Theo’s hitting at the same time, knocking the man out cold. KC ran and knocked out the man’s wand and used Incarcerus to hold him in case he woke up. When she turned back, Theo was already at Blaise’s side, fussing over him and making sure he was ok. Rushing over to him now that the hall was clear. “What do you need? How can I help?” KC was scared. There was no hiding it.

“We need to move him, but I’m not sure how to best get him out of here,” Theo said. He was just as worried as KC was. 

She went to the other side to help move him when Theo’s eyes went wide. There were sudden spells, stunning both men. Immobulus! “I wondered where you had gone off to.” Lucius. He walked up to KC who was frozen. Her eyes wide with terror. Lucius looked down and saw the interlocked hands between her two wizards, disgusted look on his face. “Draco will be missing his pet. Let’s get rid of your distractions then, shall we?”

Lucius raised his wand. Avada -- “NO!” KC’s mind screamed. A bright silver light of her magic shot out and wrapped around Blaise and Theo, sending Lucius flying back. He apparated away before he hit the ground. It was enough to free her from being locked in place, able to revive the boys. She looked down, there were now silver rings, on their right ring fingers, as well as one on hers.

“Where did he go?” Theo asked, groggily. 

“Gone for now. MIPPY!” KC yelled for help. She knew it was a long shot, but after a few seconds, she heard the pop. “Please can you take us to my room? I can’t lift them.” The elf was shaky, but nodded. With a pop, they were gone. She made sure the boys were safe, before leaving the room and running to find Draco . Please, let him be safe.  

She heard voices. Coming from the study. She could see Draco, pointing his wand, she stood outside the door to listen in. 

“Now, Draco. Hand over the book. I’ve already got what I need, this will confirm it. Then we can go and get your little pet.” It was Lucius. He had found what he was looking for. 

“You won’t touch her,” Draco almost growled. 

“You think because you’re bonded that I can’t hurt her? She is the power we’ve been looking for.” KC gasped, covering her mouth instantly, but it was too late. “She can’t stand to be away from you, come on out, little girl,” Lucius said in a condescending tone. 

KC gripped her wand low, and slowly turned the corner. Lucius smirked, letting her walk towards Draco. He was tossing a baseball like silver orb up and down to himself. “What are you talking about? What power do I have?”

“Your power is of legends. The prophecy is told to be in that Oracle. Seeing as it’s not here, I’m assuming you have it.”

“That journal was empty,” KC lied. Her face was blank, her hands still shaking as she grabbed onto Draco.

“You really should teach her some more Slytherin traits, son. I can see it in her eyes.” Lucius laughed as Draco pulled her back to try and shield her. They heard a commotion coming from the hallways. The aurors had finally arrived. “This isn’t over,” he sneered. He cast a Bombarda and the shelves between Draco and the door. Draco grabbed KC and dove with her, taking cover from the flying wood pieces. The aurors get to the door, just in time to see Lucius apparate into a cloud of smoke.

KC couldn’t move. She was having a panic attack. Draco held onto her while the aurors swarmed the room. The commotion had stopped outside. The Sympathizers that were captured were being taken away, while aurors started questioning as many as they could. They tried to get to them, but she couldn’t move. Draco sat up with her and held her close. The mediwitch tried to come over to KC but she shuttered at her touch. The only words she heard were ‘panic’ and ‘shock’. Her senses were failing her. Her vision was hazy, hearing was muffled, the only thing for certain was Draco holding her. She could see others walking around the study, trying to fix things and search for anything dark. It wasn’t until Narcissa came into her view that she was able to focus on.

“Kara, my dear,” KC heard her trying to say. “I’m going to look into your memory, ok.” KC slowly nodded. Seconds later, she felt her mind shift. The events through the night flipped through, Narcissa searching for what she saw of the invasion. She watched the silver bond that happened, the information Lucius had been giving. Pulling certain memories where she could. There was a gentle release in her head and she fell against Draco’s chest. “Take her away from here, Draco. The room next to yours is warded. Until this all calms down, don’t let her out of your sight.” Narcissa was stern. Draco hadn’t heard her this serious since his 5 th year.

He placed a featherlight charm on her and lifted her to her room. She was with him, playing with his hair to ground herself. “Draco,” he heard her whisper.

“It’s ok, love. We’re safe.” He opened the door to her room, not expecting what he saw. Blaise and Theo were on the bed, snuggled together. Theo was running his fingers down his back as he slept. “Can you stand, Kara?”

She looked up at him, slowly nodded. Setting her down as lightly as possible to test her strength. He went into the closet that was conjoined with his and grabbed extra clothes for everyone. He put the sets for his friends on the end of the bed, leading KC to the bathroom.

She found herself staring at herself in the mirror. Her dress, torn, shredded. The night sky fabric looked like a storm now. She had a few minor scratches, mostly just dust covered from the shelf exploding. She heard the shower start, but she couldn’t even look away from her reflection. She saw Draco come up behind her and still flinched slightly at his touch. “Love, we’re going to get you cleaned up. I can feel how drained you are.”

“You’ll stay with me, right? I don’t trust my magic not to fail me right now,” She grabbed his hand that was on her shoulder, looking at him through the mirror.

He kissed her temple. “Of course.” He slowly unzipped what was left of her dress, but stopped.

“It’s ok, Draco. I promise,” she whispered, trying to slowly take down the rest of her stuff. Draco vanished the clothing the second it hit the floor. She carefully set the headband Theo gave her on the counter. It still looked in perfect condition. Draco let her get under the water while he undressed. She hadn’t moved, but watched as the grime went down the drain. Draco held her to the side, grabbing the healing wash. She tried to do it, but her hands were far too shaky. “I’m sorry,” she trembled, and put her head against the tile wall. He took care of her, without any words. Making sure they were both clean and free from any physical reminders of the attack. He turned her around when they were finished, grabbing her hand. He touched her gold band and his tingled. He was curious about the new silver band around her finger. “Strange isn’t it. I saved Theo and Blaise from Lucius. I think it somehow gave us a bond.”

Draco kissed her hand. “We can figure it out later.” He kissed her slowly. He wanted to show her how much he cared for her. He turned the water off, taking a towel and drying her softly. He wrapped one around his waist and helped her out. He helped her slide into shorts and a shirt and he put on the silk bottoms and a t-shirt. He helped pull her hair into a braid and slowly dried it. Leading her out to the room. He saw that Blaise and Theo had changed, and expanded the bed for two others, both sleeping soundly.

“Is it ok? I’ll be good,” she whispered, gesturing towards the bed. He knew she would need all the comfort she could. He could still feel the spirals of anxiety coming from the bond. He smiled at her and kissed her forehead. He led her to the bed, pulling the blankets back. She slid in next to Blaise, her back towards him. She let Draco get comfortable on his back before she curled into him. He wrapped his arms around her, rubbing her arm to comfort her to sleep. He laid there unable to sleep, but hearing her breath calmed him. A soft snore came from her and he knew she was out, but he still held her tight. Her hand moved suddenly, reaching backwards. Theo and Blaise spooned holding their hands together. It seems their rings matched hers. They were almost magically drawn together, both of their hands, linked to hold hers. He didn’t even feel jealous. He almost felt comfortable with it, knowing they brought her comfort and safety. It quenched the last of the fear he felt through her bond. He let her roll to the other side, facing them and he held her from behind. Falling asleep, safe and sound.

Chapter Text

 

The new year had started in chaos, but the morning brought a sense of peace. KC slept in a warm cocoon, feeling exhausted from all of the physical and emotional stress. She knew Draco was awake, he was talking quietly with the two others lying next to her. It shocked her that Draco had even considered letting them stay next to her. He struggled with the thought of KC being close to them. She felt warmth through her ring, different from the feelings she felt pass through her bond with Draco. She wanted to stay like this forever. 

She moved slightly to show them she was awake. Draco pulled her tighter into him and kissed her cheek, Blaise squeezed her hand. She opened her eyes and saw that the boys hadn't moved. Theo was behind Blaise, resting his head on his shoulder so he could chat. She turned her head to see Draco giving her a small smile. 

“Good morning,” her voice came out roughly. She rolled to put her face in Draco’s chest. “Lord, it’s like a furnace in here.”

“Too many hot men for you here, Kitten?” Blaise teased. 

She tensed, unsure of how to respond to that. Draco actually laughed. “Kara, it’s ok. I think I’m starting to understand.” She pulled back and looked at him. “You could have told me they were together.”

“It wasn’t my news to share,” she said timidly. 

“I think our Princess here just likes having her own little harem,” Theo said in a low, flirty voice.

KC’s face blushed deeply, hiding her face back in Draco’s chest. “I never meant to make things awkward.”

“Look at me,” Draco said in a soft voice, grabbing her cheek so he could meet her eyes. “I’m not saying that I want you to date them, even though they have made it very clear if I fuck up, they will take you away. But I’m not upset about it. You’ve bonded with them for a reason.”

“I want you, Draco. I’m not going to lose you, no matter how much I care for them,” She whispered. 

He had a serious face, but leaned in and kissed her. “You’re mine.” He kissed her again. “Part of you is with them. I’ll have to be ok with that.” Kissed her again. 

She held on to him tight. After a few seconds she heard one of the boys give an interrupting cough to give the reminder they were still here. “Any for me?” she heard Blaise ask. She could imagine the smirk on his face. 

Draco rubbed his thumb across her cheek. “I have to go talk with the aurors downstairs. They will be here later to talk more with you. You stay and get some rest.” 

He kissed her forehead. He moved to get up and she grabbed his hand back. “Can they stay with me?” she whispered. “Can I cuddle?” He thought about it for a moment. He was glad she was asking but he wasn’t sure how to feel about everything. She squeezed his hand gently. “It’s ok if you don’t want me to. Consent is everything. I need to know you’re ok with what I do.”

He could see she needed comfort. He was putting it out on the line when it came to her. “Cuddling. That’s it.”

She pulled him down and kissed him. “I promise. Good luck, Draco. Come back when you’re done?”

He moved to get dressed and meet the aurors. When he came back out of the closet, he saw KC in the middle between Blaise and Theo, her head resting on Theo’s chest, fast asleep again, Blaise holding her from behind. His heart froze for a bit. The scene was strange, but he could feel the feeling of peace coming through. He would question it more later once he was finished dealing with the aurors that were flooding his home.

He entered the dining hall to find his mother standing with a few aurors around her. He could see into the ballroom, most of which had been fixed after the explosion, still decorated from the night before. She came over to him, pulling him in for a brief hug. “My son. Is everyone ok?”

“All upstairs still sleeping.” Draco put up his mental shields so he could block out the sounds from everyone else. “KC was pretty exhausted.”

Narcissa nodded. “Understandably. We need to keep some information from the ministry. I feel they could be just as compromised as they were under the Dark Lord.” He stood still, giving no expression. “They can’t know about the prophecy, or Kara’s power. Don't mention your bond. Don’t give them a reason to take her away from here. From you.”

“What should I tell them?” Draco sneered, more frustrated with all that was happening.

“The truth. Tell them about your father. Tell them what you know of the Sympathizers. Just use proper omissions.” She patted his shoulder before walking back to the aurors. 

He walked into the ballroom to find the group of aurors who had brought a few others back for questioning. He saw Potter and Weasley standing amongst them. As he got closer, Harry came to greet him. “KC didn’t come with you?”

“Her magic took a lot out of her,” Draco offered quietly. “I’m here to do what I can.”

“There was a lot more that she didn’t see last night. There are people missing.” Harry was in a serious state. “Including Parkinson and her Professor from America.”

That raised suspicion for him. Draco had already questioned Mason’s character, but to bundle him in with Pansy made him even more on the dark side for him. “I don’t trust they are actually gone.” Ron came up beside them much to Draco’s dismay, but he continued on. “I can’t prove it, but his energy was off. It felt similar to when I had to sit around in a room of death eaters. And I haven’t trusted Pansy in a long time.”

Potter agreed. “There was something wrong with him. I noticed it too.”

“Dodgy bloke,” Ron echoed. 

The three of them went back with the group of aurors to go over the night's events. Draco gave as many details as he could without hinting at KC’s power, or what Lucius was particularly after. Theo came in to join after their sides were taken in. Draco learned about the attack of his father. Theo was smart enough not to mention the strange magic between him and KC. After they came to a conclusion, a few of the aurors started questioning loyalties. “How do we trust you aren’t helping your father?”

That infuriated Draco. He pulled up the sleeve of his sweater to show his left arm. There was red scaring, showing the faint outline where the dark mark used to be. “I never wanted this in the first place. If I was with them now, this would be as dark as ever. I’m loyal to one person. Do not question that.”

KC walked into the ballroom, Blaise in tow. She walked slowly, still exhausted. Draco went to her right away. “You’re supposed to be resting.”

“I felt how angry you were and then it cut off. I was worried,” she said, grabbing onto him. 

“I swear, I tried, mate,” Blaise tried to explain, but Draco cut him off. 

He brought KC to sit on the small couch that was brought in to rest, and to talk with the aurors. She explained what had happened on her end, holding onto Draco the entire time. He could feel her anxiety over the exhaustion. She could feel when he would alert her when she was approaching a subject she probably shouldn’t. They asked her about everyone she interacted with, and they all acted strange when she mentioned her professor.

“Of course, I talked to him. I hadn’t seen him since the end of August,” KC said.

“Did he give you any indication of why he was in attendance?” an auror asked.

That confused her. “He had said he had business at the Ministry during the holidays when he got the invitation.”

“Make sure to cross reference and guest entries at the Ministry,” the auror said to the one taking notes. “Miss Celine, did he mention any other business he may have had here?”

She shook her head. “I asked him about my family, since I haven’t been able to be in contact with them. He told me they hadn’t sent many letters. And then he asked Draco how I was at school. Said that I was a terror, which is completely not true, and --” She was rambling and forgot to breathe. Draco squeezed her hand drawing her back in. “But no. No other information. He was chatting with Pansy Parkinson when I pulled Draco away before Midnight.” Everyone was silent, one taking notes, somber looks all around. “Why so many questions about him?” 

“We accounted for everyone on the guest list as safe, aside from Miss Parkinson. Turns our Mr. Mason wasn’t on the list. They are both missing.”

KC’s heart dropped. “What happened to him?”

“That’s what we are trying to find out,” Harry said from behind her. “We will get it all sorted.”

After a few more questions, the aurors took their investigation back to the Ministry. KC sat in shock. Harry and Ron sat down with the group. KC tried finding her voice again. “Is everyone else alright? Ginny? Fred? George? Hermione?”

“We’re a bit shaken, but nothing we can’t handle,” Ron offered. 

“Can I visit them? I need to see for myself. Can we all come visit?” KC was hopeful. 

“As in you and Your snakes?” Ron laughed. “You really think they would want to check on us?”

“It doesn’t matter. I want to and they are coming with me,” she cut in before Blaise could say anything. 

Harry tried to hide his laugh, but gestured for them to come to the fireplace. The Burrow. She dragged Draco with her, Blaise and Theo not far behind. “I’m sorry I didn’t ask. I should have. I just need to know everyone is safe. This is all because of me. I don’t need any more blood on my hands.”

“We’re here for you, Princess. Whatever you need,” Theo smiled at her, taking Blaise’s hand. 

She turned to Draco. “I know that you and the Weasleys don’t have the best history. I understand if you don’t want to go, but I need you,” she said quietly to him. He had no words, just gave a stiff nod towards her. She went and grabbed the Floo Powder and off to the Burrow they went. 

Upon arrival, she was greeted with a small, cozy room. This felt like home to her. She saw Harry and Ron walk out a door and could hear everyone outside. Draco took in his surroundings. Blaise and Theo looked as uncomfortable as he did. They slowly followed KC outside to see everyone. She ran to Ginny, giving her a tight hug. Everyone stopped when they saw her there. When Ginny let go, the Twins sandwiched her into a group hug. There was an instant feel of relief. 

The Slytherin trio stood to the side. Molly came up to them and gave them each a welcoming hug. “I’m happy you are here. Come, have some tea with us.” She led them to a long table that was an open tent, enlarged and warming charms around to beat the cold snow outside. She poured them each a cup and sat it down on the table. “Thank you for taking care of her,” Molly said with a smile. “KC is a beautiful soul.” She took notice of the silver rings that were on the two hands, the gold band on Draco’s wrist. “Bonding is extraordinary magic, isn’t it?”

Draco sat straight, not acknowledging the statement. Blaise touched his ring, “I don’t understand what happened.”

Molly sat down next to them. She showed them her gold ring. “The reason it happens is unknown. There are many different types, but one thing is always true. There is a match of the soul. I’ve never seen one person match with more than one,” she said with a small smile. “KC is very lucky to have all of you.”

“What does that mean, more than one?" Theo questioned. “She has more than one soulmate?”

She sat in contemplation. “It’s not that simple. Bonds are a gift that aren’t understood. You cannot force it to happen, but when it’s given, there is a reason.” She grabbed Theo’s hand, looking at the silver ring. “A ring shows that connection on a soul level. A bond of loyalty and love. It could be from a sacrifice given out of pure love.”

She moved to grab Draco’s hand, pulling the sleeve of his left arm up a little to show the band. “This very well could be a first. I’ve never heard of a full bracelet like this. Gold tends to represent a lasting bond, a forever bond. Your magical signatures blend together.”

Blaise sat thinking. “Is it unheard of to feel different things through the bond?”

“It is a rare form to feel energy through a bond. The only ones on record have said they feel a temperature difference. Warm when they are happy, colder when they are sad, burning while angry.”

Draco sat still, not giving anything away. I can feel her emotions. I can feel her magic spark and tingle. What makes this happen? How is our bond so strong?

“This is something that you should be celebrating,” Molly reassured. ‘I can understand that this is a sudden change. And it may cause some issues between yourselves. But know, she needs you, and on some level, she loves you. She’s proven she is going to do everything she can to protect you. Just be there for her.” She stood, patted Draco’s shoulder, and left them at the table to think things through.

Blaise grabbed Theo’s hand under the table. Draco looked at them while twisting his band. “Malfoy, we aren’t going to try and take her from you. We care for her immensely, but we would never force you to be ok with that.”

“This is too much,” he said, putting his face in his hands. 

The rest of the bunch came in. KC was laughing with the twins, stopping behind him. She threw her arms around him from behind, laying her head on his. “Do you want to talk about it?” She moved back at him to sit in the chair by him, holding his hand.

He shook his head. She eyed Blaise and Theo; they gave her a sullen look. Everyone was sitting down for lunch. Molly made sure they were all welcome. It was the warm feeling of home. Surrounded by so many she cared for. Shepherd's Pie, soft buttered rolls, desserts, warm tea and so much love. Molly told the embarrassing stories about her kids, Arthur came and joined them later after a long day at the ministry. After hours of stories and laughter, Ron stood, proposing a game of quidditch. “Come on! If we get Hermione to play, we could have 5 on 5,”

“You’d have better luck convincing a garden gnome,” Ginny sassed.

“I’ll sit out,” Draco said, seriously.

KC squeezed his hand. “Are you sure? I’ll stay down if you’d like to play. I know flying helps calm you.”

He gave her a small smile, but insisted she go. She gave him a kiss on the cheek as everyone got up and left. He went to sit on the makeshift porch to watch the group fly from afar. They didn’t mind that they had the oldest of brooms. They didn’t mind that there were only two hoops. They flew with such joy, no matter how cold it was. Ginny teamed up with Fred and the Slytherins. Ron, Harry, KC, and George flew together. He watched KC laugh and scheme with George, whispering in her ear different plans to distract her Slytherins. She would be flirty to distract them while Ginny flew by and scored. And it worked every time. Draco laughed at it, but it was still off-putting.

“It’s hard to see, isn’t it?” Hermione interrupted his thoughts. He tried to hide his face, but it faltered. “It’s strange. I’ve never seen someone connect with everyone so easily.”

She wasn’t wrong. Draco had always wondered how she fit in with all of the different personality types of their group so well. “Perhaps it’s a Hufflepuff trait.” They sat in silence for a few minutes. He watched her wring her hands together, staring at them. “How are you after last night?” He asked, trying to defuse some of the tension.

“It was a little triggering. Could have been worse, I suppose.” Draco couldn’t help but have the flashback to the drawing room. He flinched. “Don’t blame anything on yourself, Malfoy. You didn’t do this.”

“I failed to help those in my home. Again.” He was serious, almost broken.

“You may be a prat most days, Malfoy, but you’re not a failure.” She put her hand on his shoulder. “At least you’re on the right side this time.” She stood, leaving him on the steps to go help Molly inside.

He watched as KC scored the last goal and everyone chased her down into the snow, tackling her and throwing snowballs. He loved seeing her so happy, wishing he could give her that all the time. The boys helped her up, everyone heading back inside for the evening. Blaise and Theo came over with her to bid their goodbyes. They each hugged her tightly before heading in to use the floo.

KC sat down beside him. “You’re freezing, Draco. Are you ok?” He didn’t answer with words, but pulled her in for a kiss. She melted away the confusion in his mind. She pulled back from him, not letting go of his arms. “How about we take this home? We can go say goodbye and then we don’t have to see anyone until we go back to school in a few days.”

“Deal.” He stood offering his hand to help her up.

“I thought Slytherins didn't take the first deal offered?” She playfully questioned.

“They do when they come from a gorgeous woman.”

He pulled her up into his arms and kissed her one more time. Taking her into the house to say farewell to those inside, Molly came towards them. She handed a small blue book to Draco. “For what we talked about earlier,”

She hugged him and KC before they walked through the floo back to the Manor. They didn’t even step foot out of the fireplace before Draco apparated them directly into her room. The bed was still expanded, sheets still crumpled. He grabbed her face and kissed her passionately. He pushed her back towards the bed, letting her move to the middle before climbing over her. She pushed off his sweater, feeling the warmth of his chest against her hands. He pulled off her layers as quickly as possible. They both struggled for dominance. He finally won out, holding her hands above her head. He fiercely connected with her neck, nipping and sucking, claiming her. He heard her whisper his name in ecstasy. He moved to palm one of her breasts. “Only I get to hear those sounds from you. They can’t make you feel like this, love.”

KC was melting into his touch, but those words drug her out of her haze. “Draco, I’m yours. No one else gets this from me without your say so.” She was serious. It wasn’t playful. She tried to give him the most genuine feeling of reassurance she could. “You’re mine,” She breathed into his ear. She used all of her strength to flip him over on his back. She straddled him, kissing him as hard as she could. He would run his hands all over her, pulling her closer so her entire body was on him. She started kissing down his neck, spending time to let him feel every sensation. She moved to his chest, his scars extra sensitive, slowly making her way to his waistband. As she pulled his trousers off, he put a stop to her.

“You don’t have to do this, Kara,” he said, barely restraining himself.

“But I want to. You’re mine, Draco.” She cupped him in her hands, slowly stroking him. She slowly took him into her mouth and he lost all of the air in his lungs. She was tentative, but she wanted nothing more than to make him feel good. With each movement, she became more confident. Feeling him almost become harder at her actions. She tried to take him all in, but she wasn’t sure. She pulled off of him, breathing hard. His eyes were dark, out of breath. “Draco, will you show me what you like?” She was stroking him in her hand as she asked. “I want this to be perfect for you.”

He pulled her up to kiss her. “You’re such a good girl. You’re perfect.”

She smiled at him for saying that. She loved hearing him say that. “That doesn’t help me get better at this,” she laughed. She moved back down and took him in her mouth once more. Swirling her tongue around his tip and the vein underneath. She reached for his hand and had him put it on her head. He automatically laced his fingers through her hair. He tentatively guided her movement, varying her speed, depth. She could feel him twitch inside her mouth before he pulled her head up and towards him.

“Kara,” he said before slamming his lips to hers. He gripped her breasts hard, pulling her nipples to a peak. She arched into him before he flipped her over. He took his time taking her peaks, one at a time. He would make her arch more against him and he slid the rest of her clothes of. “You’re mine,” said before lining himself against her, pushing in slowly. He wasn’t going to last long with her. He kissed her as he moved in and out of her. She met his hips with each thrust. “You’re so good. Such a good girl for me,” he praised.

She was coming undone. She was losing her senses, scratching down his back. He slid a hand down between them, teasing her bundle of nerves that threw her over the edge. “Draco!” Her walls fluttered around him and he lost it. She latched onto his neck and pulled her fingers through his hair. He stayed with her until they were both completely spent. He brushed the hair out of her face and kissed her slowly. He rolled her so that she was mostly on top of him, not once detaching from her lips.

He held her close. He ran his fingers through her hair as she laid on his chest, coming down from their highs. “You’re mine, Draco,” she said, lightly tracing her fingers across his chest.

He smiled at that. “All yours.”

Their last days before school was back in session, that is where they stayed. She read the oracle; he would lazily rub his hands over her as she explained what she was reading, and then he would get lost in her all over again.

Soon they would be back to the reality of school. Studying for their NEWTs, quidditch, finals, and the mystery of their bonds and the Sympathizers. But for now they had each other, and that was enough.

Chapter Text

 

Being back inside the castle felt different. It felt like years had passed with as much had happened over the holidays. Between the bonds, the research in the manor library, New Years, it was all so much to process. The first few days back in the castle preparing for classes to resume, she spent time with Hannah catching her up on everything that she could. She set up her new things in her room and they gossiped about everything; How Neville spoiled her over Christmas, KC’s date in London and the snow globe that now sat proudly on her desk underneath the painting that was hanging on the wall, the gala, and the bonds. Hannah had heard of such magic but never knew it was possible. It was something that she had only heard about in old tales her mother used to tell her. Never had she heard a story of having multiple bonds. 

Draco came and joined them whenever he could. He kept his composure when anyone was around, showing the serious face and attitude he kept up with everyone. He always had a hand on KC, but he was respectful. He was extra possessive when Blaise and Theo were around. She understood why he felt that way and tried to reassure him every time. He waited until everyone had left her, and would push her against the nearest wall and claim her lips. He was always passionate with her, like he couldn’t get enough.

The night before classes started, she made a trip by herself to see Professor Lupin about her extra defense lessons. She knew with everything that happened, she would need to put extra time into it. She saw him sitting at his desk when she walked into the classroom.

“Miss Celine! What a pleasant surprise. I was wondering when I’d see you after all of the excitement that happened over break,” he laughed.

KC smiled and sat on the table in front of his desk, but she couldn’t shake her sense of fear when she thought about all that had taken place. “I’m scared, professor.”

“I’d be worried if you weren’t,” he said, dropping his quill and looking at her. “I was in attendance at the gala. There have been rumors about the Sympathizers looking for something. Can I assume you know what that might be?” KC looked down at the floor, trying to reel back her anxiety. Nodding once, she let him continue. “Your magic is extraordinary, KC. Stronger than most I have seen in my lifetime. That makes you a target.”

“I’m afraid I have a target on me for many reasons. I don’t know if I can control my magic enough to stop them. I need help.” She looked up at him with sadness in her eyes. 

“I will help you in any way that is possible. I think for now, we need to focus on controlling your power surges. Would you like to continue our Saturday sessions?”

“Yes, sir. I would appreciate that very much.” KC worried that without Harry and Ron there, she wouldn’t be able to practice as much when it came to dueling. “How will we practice? I don’t have my usual partners anymore.”

She heard the door creek open. “You’ll have a new one.” She turned and saw Blaise walking towards her. He sat next to her on the table. “You saved me. Let me help save you.”

She blushed and nodded; Lupin watched with interested eyes. “You two should rest before class tomorrow.”

KC took that as their cue to leave. Blaise offered her his arm and they walked out together. “Malfoy had to go to a head meeting with McGonagall. I had left to visit you when I saw you run up the stairs.”

“I’m glad you came,” she smiled. “You don’t have to help me, Blaise. I appreciate it, but I don’t want to put you in more danger.”

“Oh, Kitten. Now that Lucius knows about Theo and I, I’m already in danger, no matter how you might try to avoid it.” 

They stopped outside the barrels. “I’m going to stop this. I’m going to protect you.” She slammed him into a tight hug and he just held her. “I can’t lose you. I can lose any of you.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” he said and kissed her cheek, tightening the hug. 

KC felt a stir of heat come through her bond. She heard familiar footsteps coming down the corridor. She saw Draco walking with Hermione. She smiled at him, releasing Blaise and walking to meet him in a hug. He had other plans and held her face, kissing her right in the middle of the corridor. She heard Blaise scoff. She smiled and pulled back. Draco was giving her a hard look. “Draco, is everything ok?”

“It’s not you he’s worried about, Kitten.” Blaise rolled his eyes. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Good night, mate.”

Hermione had already gone into her dorm. KC watched Blaise turn the corner before turning back to Draco. “You don’t have to do that every time he is around.”

He sneered, pulling her with him towards his room. She pulled her hand away. “Draco, stop. What is wrong with you tonight?”

“What’s wrong?” His voice was raised. “I’m gone for one meeting and I find you wrapped up in him!”

“That is not what was happening, Draco, and you know it.” KC was heated. 

“I don’t like that he is so handsy with you,” he said in a lower voice.

“Then that is something we can have a discussion about. I know that you’re not happy about the bonds, but you don’t get to be angry with me every time I give him a hug!”

He sighed, trying to reach for her again; she avoided him once more. “Can we go back to my room and talk about this?” He asked once he had taken a calming breath. 

“I have to get my things ready for tomorrow. You’re welcome to come to me once you’ve relaxed a bit.” She was snappier than she needed to be, but he knew that his behavior was wrong. She walked back to her room, alone. 

KC was trying to relax herself. She didn’t want to be upset with Draco. Feeling his emotions took a toll on her own. She packed her bag for the next day, finished her schedule for herself, took a shower, before finally being able to settle in for the night. She felt the quiet around her and she got lost in her thoughts. She grabbed her snow globe off her desk and sat on her bed. She watched the glitter and snow fall over the city she had loved exploring. She remembered how sweet Draco was to her. That was the Draco she wanted to see more of. She knew how he was and she was ok with it. But the lack of trust he had in her made her feel worse about the situation. 

She felt the bed sink beside her, she hadn’t even heard the door open, but she didn’t look up. She just shook the globe and watched the glitter swirl. “Kara,” Draco murmured. She slowly looked up at him. He came wearing his night sweatpants, she saw his bag by hers. His face was softer, concerned. “I need to apologize --”

“Do you even know why I’m upset, Draco?” KC asked in a soft voice.

His face went blank. “I was a royal ass, that’s why. I shouldn’t be upset over you being in contact with your friends.”

“That’s not it,” she whispered. She looked back down and shook the globe again. “I’m upset because of the way you responded. I understand that you don’t like him touching me. That is a boundary we can set. I’m ok with that. What I'm not ok with, is you not trusting me.”

“I do trust you--”

“Let me finish. I told you that nothing would EVER happen between anyone else without your consent. You’ve said that you don’t share. I listened and I’m ok with that. I want you and I care about you so much, Draco. But the second you saw me hugging him, you assumed the worst of me. That’s why I’m upset.” KC looked at him. His face was stone. 

“I’m a selfish bastard and I know it,” Draco said, looking right at her. “I do trust you, Kara. I do. I’m frustrated over the bonds that have been made. That isn’t your fault.”

“I can completely understand why you’re frustrated. I don’t even understand why or how it happened. But I do care for them. I just wish there was a way that I can reassure you that nothing will ever happen there as long as we are together.” She grabbed his hand. “Just talk to me before you jump to conclusions. I’ll let you see into my mind if you want. I want you to do what you need to feel comfortable. I’m not going anywhere.”

Draco was silent for a moment longer, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb. He stood to take her snow globe back to the desk. He went and pulled a blue book out of his bag. “I should have mentioned this sooner. Mrs. Weasley gave me this book. She explained some about bonds that she knew, hoping this book would help us. There are some things I can understand, but you need both parts to conjure things, to test the bonds.” He handed her the book, sitting back down beside her. “I know I’m a prat. And it may not change. I’m just asking you to be patient with me, I’m trying.”

“It’s a good thing that’s what Hufflepuffs are best at.” She leaned over and kissed him. “Thank you for sharing this with me. I haven’t made much progress with the Oracle either. We may need to have study nights where we figure it out together. All four of us.”

He didn’t like the idea, but he pushed the thought away. KC was stuck with them. She was bound to him. “Of course. Now, can we get some rest or am I going to get kicked out?” 

She kissed him again before they got under the blankets. He held onto her for dear life. He kissed her neck and temple. “You’re mine, Hufflepuff.”

“Always yours,” she smiled, wiggled back into him and slowly drifted to sleep.  

 

*****

 

The next few weeks were rocky. Her schedule was hectic. She was still mentoring for classes, helping the younger years during study halls, library study sessions. Blaise and Theo surrounded her at the study table, Draco would sit there across from her, studying, but very still. He entangled his long legs around hers so he could have physical comfort. He would always follow her when she went to a different section to grab another book, kissing her against the shelves.  She would return to the table slightly flustered, smile on her face, Draco smirking. Blaise and Theo would roll their eyes, but she knew they were happy for her. Hermione rarely joined them at their table anymore. She tried to go and fly at least once a week no matter how tired she was. The only time KC really got to sit and talk to her Slytherins were during dinner and their Thursday night potions sessions. Draco had to leave early during those sessions to go to McGonagall for Head meetings, which meant Blaise and Theo would walk her back to her room, sometimes staying with her until she fell asleep. KC’s duty of doing rounds was taken from her, in order to give her more security after the attacks, which meant Draco was assigned more rounds as head boy. They were making sure no one could get into the school and students weren’t out trying to make things worse. KC missed him. Since he wasn’t done with rounds until later, she would write to him in her journal. Sometimes telling him about her day or just simply saying she missed him and good night. 

The weekends were theirs to finish work together. Saturday mornings after breakfast, Her and Blaise would go to Lupin’s office. They would practice dueling and researching ways to harness her magical outbursts. Draco and Theo would join them when they could. Draco would sit attempting to read the blue book of bonds, taking notes he thought might help, but he would be easily distracted watching the way KC moved when she dueled, the way she so easily interacted with Blaise and Theo, the way she focused. Her wandless shields were becoming more and more consistent with each training session. In this particular session, she was putting all of her energy into it. As she pushed herself, he could feel her exhaustion. She hid it well until he could feel it hit hard. He dropped his quill and ran to her, catching her before she fell against the stone floor. 

Lupin didn’t understand what happened. KC looked just fine, she had managed to have consistent shields and a few wandless stunners. Blaise and Theo looked immensely worried as soon as they saw Draco catch her. The both had felt a subtle, cool temperature coming from their rings, but didn’t understand what it meant. Draco held her close, KC barely conscious. Lupin came up to her, running a diagnostic just to make sure. Her vitals were ok, but her magical signature was all over the charts. “How did you know she was going to collapse?”

Draco wasn’t sure how much to tell him about their bond. Without specifics, he said, “I could feel it.” Draco held her close to his chest, but her magic was sparking against him. She wasn’t in control of what was left. 

Blaise and Theo came to each side of him. “What can we do?”

Theo placed a hand on her shin, as a balance and a comfort. After a few seconds, her magical signature started to come down. It felt more like a small tingle rather than a sparking shock. Draco watched it in concern. When Theo moved his hand to stand, the sparks came back full force. “How peculiar,” Lupin said, watching the scene. 

“Theo, come back,” Draco said, he had a theory. “Put your hand back on her leg.”

“You’re not going to murder me?” Theo sassed, but was wary. 

Draco glared at him and he didn’t ask another question. He carefully put his hand back on her leg; the result was almost instant. “Blaise, will you hold her hand?” 

Draco was playing with fire and he knew it. But her magic was enough to cause an outburst that could injure them all in this proximity. Blaise cautiously knelt down and grabbed her hand. The three of them felt a subtle jolt between them and KC’s magic came back to a steady, normal-looking signature. Within seconds, her eyes fluttered open. “Draco?” Her voice was small, but she was aware of her surroundings.

“Extraordinary,” Lupin exasperated. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

KC looked around. She saw Blaise and Theo also around her, she gave them a small smile and squeezed Blaise’s hand. “What happened? Did I get stunned?”

Draco looked at her with concerned eyes. “You’re done for today.” She tried to open her mouth to argue but he cut her off. “That wasn’t a suggestion. You fainted. You’re done.”

Lupin went around to his desk and grabbed a bar of chocolate. “Just in case.” He handed it to Theo. 

“We should get her back to her room so she can rest,” Blaise said, squeezing KC’s hand, but looking right at Draco. Theo got up and went to grab his bag by the door. The further he got away from her, Draco felt her magic start to tingle, her magical signature started to spike back up. “Theo, come back!” 

Theo looked back and saw why they were concerned. He rushed back and sat with her. “Well, that’s not normal.” Her magic evened out again.

“What is going on?” KC’s eyes were wide after she saw what happened. 

“We don’t know, Kitten. We should get you to bed before anything else happens.” Blaise helped Draco pull her up. She was pretty steady on her feet, but balance was a little off. Theo walked in front of them, staying close just in case. Draco summoned the book and notes while they grabbed their stuff. They slowly helped her back down to Hufflepuff. 

She did her best to put on a brave face, so they wouldn't get stared at in the corridor, but she was so tired. Thankfully, no one was in the Hufflepuff common room when they entered. Draco helped her to the bed, taking her shoes off for her and bringing her comfy clothes. Theo moved her snow globe to her nightstand; he knew how much it comforted her. After she changed, Draco helped her sit up against the headboard, sitting next to her. “What happened when I fainted?”

Draco brushed the hair out of her face. “I felt how exhausted you were. There was something that pulled me and I rushed right to you. I caught you before you fell. Your magic was dangerously out of control.” She took a deep breath. The other two were moving her desk closer to her, conjuring chairs so they could sit right next to her. The closer they were, the better she felt. “When we all put our hands on you, your magical signature fell back to a normal level.” He pulled her against him. 

“I’m sure you loved that,” KC tried to joke, but she felt Draco stiffen against her back. 

“I needed you to be ok,” he tried to say in a confident tone, but she heard his voice shake. 

She grabbed his hands that were wrapped around her front. “I’m tired. Will you stay with me if I nap for a bit?”

He kissed the top of her head. “Rest.” 

She moved to lay down. Blaise and Theo quietly sat at the desk by her. “Will you stay, too?”

“Of course, Princess. We will be right here.” 

Draco had shifted so that he was laying down, slightly propped against the pillows. She laid on his chest, putting a leg over his. As soon as she fell asleep, he cast the diagnostic charm that Lupin had. Her magic was mellow. With that peace of mind, he held her close, and fell asleep with her. 

Theo was pouring himself into studying the book of bonds. They were missing something. He knew Draco had read it at least three times, there had to be something they could do to balance things. Blaise looked into even some of the most obscure things they could connect to bonds. The only thing that had made sense was in their divination texts about soulmates. He had noticed since they had the silver bond with KC, him, and Theo had something develop as well. There was now a gold line that went around the middle of their silver bands. Subtle, but it was there. He could feel when Theo had severe emotions . Is this similar to how Draco feels KC? He wondered. He couldn’t help but watch KC though as she slept. He cared for her very much. Almost as much as he cared for Theo. It wasn’t something he could explain, something he didn’t want to question. He never thought he would have feelings for two people the way he did, but there was nothing he could do. She was with his best mate. He wouldn’t come between them. 

Theo grabbed his hand, sensing his troubling thoughts. Blaise tore his eyes away from the couple sleeping. “I’m sorry, Theo. I got lost for a second. Where were we?” Blaise tried to go back to his notes, but it was useless. Theo could still feel a small amount of worry through him. 

“Come with me,” Theo said, slowly moving around the desk, so he didn’t disturb anyone. Blaise followed and Theo grabbed his hand, leading them to the bathroom. He gently closed the door behind them. “You need to calm yourself, love.” 

Theo took Blaise’s hands and he leaned against the counter. “You’re going to be upset with me.”

“You’d be surprised,” Theo laughed, urging him to continue. 

“I think this bond created something more for me. I think.... I think I’m falling for her.” Blaise took a deep breath, looking at his feet. “But I’m still very much in love with you. I can’t clear the lines in my head.”

Theo grabbed him close and kissed him. Blaise was almost shocked, but he felt a sense of peace coming through the ring. He pushed him back against the door, kissing him more passionately. Gripping his hips, Theo looked into his eyes. “I feel the exact same way. I wasn’t sure how to explain it.”

Blaise put his hands on Theo’s neck right under his jaw, caressing his cheek with his thumb. “Draco’s never going to go for it.”

“Until we know what’s going on, we have each other. You know I love you.” Theo pushed him back into the door and kissed him hard. He intended to show Blaise just how much. He was a dominating force against him. He quickly undid his shirt buttons and pulled it off. He loved touching every surface of his smooth, chocolatey skin. Blaise grabbed at Theo’s shirt, but he dropped to his knees away from his grasp on the buttons. “Now, be patient, love. You know I’ll take care of you.” Blaise watched him as he undid his belt like a mastered professional, his head falling back against the door as Theo took him in his mouth. 

“Theo, I can’t be quiet with you doing this. We’ll wake them,” he said breathlessly. 

Theo sucked him a little harder, earning a moan from him. He pulled off with a pop and smirked up at him. “Fine by me,” squeezing his thighs, he went right back to it. Blaise threaded his hand through Theo’s wavy locks, holding him closer. There was no way they weren’t waking them up.

 

*****

 

KC was having a very pleasant dream. She felt ecstasy, love, and comfort. Draco had woken up to her making a sound in her sleep. She was smiling and rubbing her hand on his chest. He knew that the other two had disappeared to the bathroom and could only assume what was happening as he cast a silent charm on the outside. 

KC kept holding him tighter as time passed. He had to make sure she was still sleeping. “Kara, my love,” he whispered. She made no indication she had heard him. She kept moving her hand lower and lower, though. As much as he loved it, he wanted her to be awake. He shook her a little, “Kara, come on.”

Her eyes slowly opened. “Draco,” she whimpered. He melted at the sound. He pulled her up to his level and kissed her hard. He let his hands grip down her back, stopping to hold her by her rounded cheeks. He was beyond hard from her actions. Trying to pull back to a clear mind, he tried to pull her back. “They could walk in any second.”

“Don’t care,” she said, kissing him again. “I need you.”

She ground her hips against him. He moved her so she could shift her bottoms down, under the covers. He moved his hand down to feel for her bud. Her head fell back, he could feel how ready she was. “You have to be quiet, my love. I don’t want them to walk in on me fucking you.”  She looked down at him, quickly undoing his trousers. She didn’t even let him pull them down all the way down before she straddled his legs again and was sliding herself on him. “I’m not going to last long with you on top, love. You feel divine around me.”

The new angle of her on top was overwhelming. He was hitting all the right spots. She could feel something hot coming from her bonds, adding to the sensation. Draco felt her through his bracelet. She was in heaven. He held her hips to him, moving quickly into her. “Touch yourself, love. I want to see you.” She quickly did as she was told, circling her clit hard. “Good girl,” he murmured. “Come with me, Kara.”

It didn’t take long before she was overtaken by the sensation. Moaning his name, her eyes saw white as she came around him. He thrust into her hard, emptying everything he had. She fell against him, both breathing extremely hard. He pulled the blankets to make sure they were covered before he locked his hand in her hair, keeping her against his chest. She still felt the heat coming from her ring. They were coming down from their high when the heard the door shake. She was almost ready to go again. “Draco, I think you’re going to be mad.”

“After that? How in the hell would I be mad?”

“I think,” she shuttered at the heat growing between her legs again. “I think, with them being so closes to us,” she struggled to put it together. “I think I’m feeling their emotions.”

She was panting. It took Draco a second to put the pieces together. “Fucking hell.”

“I’m so sorry, Draco. Please, help me.” 

She laid against him, trying to keep herself together. Draco wouldn’t be ready for a while. He slowly rolled her onto her back, removing himself. He kissed her. He moved his hands down and slowly circled his finger. She was slick with his seed. “You’re ok, love. It’s ok. You can give in.” She kissed him and didn’t let go. He sped up his movements and felt her reach the edge. He moved his hand down a little, inserting two fingers in and out, using his palm to put pressure on her clit. He heard the door shake again and she screamed, coming on his hand. She was coming down and he brushed the hair out of her face. “It’s ok, love. I’m not mad at you. You didn’t know.”

He kissed her forehead. He took out his wand, cleaning the mess they had made. He pulled his trousers back up. He carefully pulled her pants back up; she covered her face in embarrassment. He kissed her forehead one more time before pulling her back onto his chest. She buried her face into his chest as the bathroom door opened. Blaise froze and Theo just smirked. The room smelled of sex; KC was almost crying into Draco’s chest. They felt their rings felt cold. 

Theo made the connection of what happened. “Oh fuck.”

Draco was glaring at them. He was livid. Blaise was shaking. “Fuck. Mate, I’m --”

“Don’t even start,” Draco growled at them. “None of us knew that this would affect her. But you fuckers aren’t off the hook.”

“Please,” they heard KC whisper. “Please, don’t fight. It’s all too much right now.” She was trying to differentiate all of the different emotions that were happening. The feeling from her ring, the emotions coming from Draco, it was all overwhelming. 

Theo went right over to his parchment and wrote down some notes. The effects of everything, his theories. He took the notes and set it by her snow globe. He gathered the rest of their things before walking back to Blaise. “I think it’s best if we move away from her for a bit. Watch her. If things start spiking again, write to us. We’ll come back.” Theo dragged a visually upset Blaise out of the room.

KC didn’t let go of Draco. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry—”

“Shhhh,” Draco quieted her, running his fingers through her hair. He knew how much that calmed her. “You have nothing to apologize for.”

“I have to get this under control,” she said, trying to take deep breaths. “What happened today can’t happen again. I can’t lose control.” She was so tired. He checked her vitals again just to be sure she wasn’t spiking again. Everything looked ok. “I don’t want you to have to watch my magic. I don’t want it to hurt you. Or Blaise or Theo. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if my magic hurt you.” She hid her face in his chest, gripping his shirt in her hand.

“We will figure this out.” He had no idea how, but he would do anything for the woman in his arms.

He lightly ran his hands over her, soothing her back to sleep. He let his mind wander on how to take control. He read all of the books he could. He read the book on bonds a few times. It was all fascinating, but nothing explained their situation. None of the books explained feeling emotions through the bonds, not clear-cut emotional feeling. Slight tingling when the other was near was common in many of the situations, but nothing about sparks, temperature changes. Many described rings, not bracelets. Even her silver ring had changed, now having a small golden thread in the middle. Gold metal was very rare according to the book. There was only one instance that gold had appeared and it was a small ring. Silver rings were still a little on the rare side. There were a few noted, as well as Molly’s ring. But they didn’t say anything about temperatures or tingling. Most common bonds were small, matching marks on their skin.

He needed to dive deeper into what information was in the Oracle. They had only gotten so far through it, since KC was the only one who could read it aloud for them to take notes. He made a mental note to put that on tonight’s schedule. He needed to look deeper into possible runes that were used to control magic. Stones that harnessed power. Powers of balanced souls. Soulmates? Soul bonds? Bond rituals? Those were things that used to bring powerful magic to couples. They were ancient and highly discouraged.

Taking a deep breath now that she was asleep. He waved his hand and the notes Theo left came flying to them. He read through them. He had similar ideas that he did, similar theories. Questions he jotted down to research. Metal vs skin marks. Color? Emotional/Temperature transfer. Magic balancing. Does she balance ours? Bring ours to a higher state? Muggle science of energy? Crystals or stones to help buffer spikes of energy? Soulmates? Soul bonds? Multiple partners/bonds. Draco stiffened at that. Could it be possible to have more than one soulmate? To have your soul share pieces with 3 different people? He added that to his list of notes in his mind. Proximity makes feelings stronger. Does it change when bonded people are farther apart?

Theo really had put a lot of thought into this. He set the paper back down, curling more into KC. Checking to make sure her vital signs looked ok, he felt comfortable letting himself fall asleep next to her.

When they woke up, he talked to her. They talked about the concerns that she had from the event; What scared her, what she felt, what she was worried about, what she thought might happen. This helped him think about what he should prioritize looking into. He pulled out the notes that Theo had left for them. She read it over, taking her muggle pen and adding additional thoughts and questions next to each item.

She stopped when she read the word soulmates. “Molly mentioned this as a possibility. The book didn’t mention anything about multiples though?” He shook his head, but watched her as she touched the word on the parchment. She flexed her hand in front of her. The ring and bracelet had an everlasting shine to it. When she touched her wrist, he felt a warmth. Like she was touching his. “Do you remember when our bands glowed?”

He did. The soft glow and warmth he felt when he first slept with her. To his knowledge, it hadn’t happened again. “What did you feel when that happened?”

“It was, well, magical.” She laughed at how cheesy that sounded. “It was overwhelming. I felt a warmth around me, but not on my skin or in my muscles. It was on a deeper level.”

“In your soul?” He questioned. She looked up at him and smiled. “That’s how I would describe it.” He took the paper from her, moving closer to her again, pushing her down until her back hit the mattress. He leaned over her, putting his lips so close to her she could feel them move when he spoke. “But then again, sleeping with you is like an out-of-body experience.” He kissed her softly. “One that I hope to experience over,” he kissed one cheek. “And over,” He kissed the other cheek. “And over.” He kissed her lips one more time.

She smiled into the kiss. It was just simple with him. He didn’t do this to start anything. He just did it to show her love and affection. He pulled away and sat back up, pulling her up with him. “Now, as much as I would love to fuck you into the mattress, I have a feeling if we skip another meal, Ginny and Hannah might show up as a search party.”

She blushed and laughed at his statement. She knew he was right. “Can we go outside for a walk after dinner? I saw that there was fresh snow. Can we go sit by the lake?” She asked with an infectious smile.

“Only because it’s you, Hufflepuff.”

She gave him a kiss before hopping up, putting on different clothes, and dragged Draco to dinner.

Their night would be full of research, but for now, they could enjoy their friends, food, and some fresh air.

Blaise and Theo were waiting for them at the table. They were early for dinner which was ideal. They sat across from them and KC could immediately see the sadness in Blaise’s eyes. She looked up at Draco, silently asking if she could comfort him. He gave a small nod.

She reached across the table, taking his hands that were wringing over his plate. “Blaise,” she whispered. He couldn’t make eye contact with her. “What’s wrong?”

“I feel guilty for what happened.” Theo couldn’t show him affection in the Great Hall and in this moment, it was killing him.

“Please, don’t. None of us knew. You have nothing to be upset about.”

She could see him try and shake the feeling, but very little change happened. She would just have to show him that she wasn’t upset. Draco was another story. Theo looked at her with curious eyes.

“Were there any more side effects after we left?” Theo asked.

Her blush spoke volumes, but she tried to contain herself. “Nothing like what happened. I assume everything was ok since he didn’t wake me.”

Draco shook his head. “Why? Should there have been?”

Blaise looked away. Theo snickered. “We may have tested a theory. Glad I was right.”

KC laughed so loud it caused the others to laugh with her. It was then that everyone walked in and joined them. Hannah nearly pushed Draco out of the way to give her a hug. All of them sat down as a group and it felt like a family dinner. They laughed and chatted for over an hour. So many students had come and gone, but their group stayed.

Hannah finally pulled KC’s attention. “What are you planning for the Valentine’s Hogsmeade trip?”

Valentine’s Day. Shit. “I’ll be honest I forgot about that.”

“Oh, come on! It’s going to be so much fun! Madam Rosmerta always makes fun drinks, there will be lots of sweets, and flowers of course. And I bet Draco doesn’t even have to chaperone this time!”

KC wasn’t sure what to say. She hadn’t even thought about the day, let alone discuss it with Draco.

“You’re right, I don’t. But after everything, I don’t know if we will be allowed to go.”

Hannah’s face fell. “I hadn’t thought about that. Sorry.”

“I’ll be there if I can,” KC smiled at her.

The Gryffindors decided it was time for them to leave for the evening. Ginny was up from the table. “Want to come and party with us tonight?”

“I think I want to go outside for a while. It’s been a strange day and I think some fresh air will do some good. Rain check?” KC didn’t want to be excluded, but she wasn’t in the party mood.

“Suit yourself! More firewhisky for me!” Ginny gave her a hug before they all left. It was her and her Slytherins.

KC could see Blaise was still struggling with everything. She stood to leave with Draco, but she had to comfort him. “Will you both come and see me tomorrow? Maybe we can hang out in Draco’s dorm and go over notes?”

Theo looked at her with a smile, Blaise trying to be ok. “We will be there, Kitten.”

KC smiled and took Draco’s hand. Draco ran back to her room and grabbed their coats. Once she got her stuff on, they walked outside. The fresh, powdered snow sparkled under the moonlight. She grabbed Draco’s hand and they took the route towards the quidditch pitch, to sit at what she deemed ‘their spot’. She laughed, running through the snow, kicking it up so the powder would sparkle in the air. Draco just watched her with a smile on his face. Her pure joy was exactly what he had hoped for. She ran back up to him. “Come on! Don’t let me have all the fun!”

“I’m going to let you enjoy it,” he said, keeping her at a distance so she didn’t get him. She stood at an arm’s length.

She bent down and picked up some snow and threw it into the air. “Draco, it’s like we are in our own snow globe!” She was laughing.

“You are ridiculous,” he shook his head. Her happiness was overwhelming and he was loving every second of it. She fell back into an untouched patch of snow. He went to go help her up, when he saw her move her arms and legs. “Just what are you doing?”

“Snow angel!” She had snow all over her. After a minute, she reached her hands up to him. “Help me up, please?” He was skeptical, but stood his ground and pulled her up. “See? Snow angel!”

He could kind of see what she was talking about. She was happy, that’s all he wanted. He brushed snow off of her to help keep her dry, but she still shivered. He took off his scarf and wrapped it around her. “You’re crazy, Hufflepuff.”

“And you love it,” she smiled. She backed away and went running back through the powder.

He smiled watching her enjoy her time outside. He was enjoying her laughter and the shining stars that surrounded them. That I just might, Kara. He was lost in his thoughts about her when he was pelted.

“Did you really just throw a snowball at me?”

“What are you going to do about it, Malfoy?” She challenged him with a grin on her face. He just stared at her, daring her to try again. She met his challenge and threw one directly at his chest.

“That’s it.” He quickly ran after her, snow in hand trying to make his own ball. She squealed laughing and ran away. She scrambled trying to make more snowballs as she went, Draco throwing one and hitting her in the butt as she bent down. She tried to run away, but he caught her by the scarf he had put around her neck. She tried to turn, but he ran right into her, falling to the ground. He looked down on her. “Does this mean I win?”

She leaned up and kissed him. This was exactly what she had needed. Pure fun. No stress. She pulled back and he helped her up. She stood in front of him in silence, a smile plastered on her face. “Not a chance, Slytherin.” She threw a handful of snow right in his face. Laughing, she ran back towards the castle, knowing he would catch her any second. He caught her by the time she hit the courtyard.

“Stay with me tonight?” He asked seriously.

“Only because your bed is so much better than mine.”

She laughed when he muttered profanities and wrapped her arm around his. He got her back to his room and she was still shivering. He dressed her in as warm of clothes as he could, giving her warm socks and a sweater. He put her in bed under the sheets, making sure she was set. “I’m going to make us some tea, I’ll be back shortly.” He kissed her forehead and left the room. By the time he returned ten minutes later with their mugs, she had curled up in the blankets and was softly snoring. He sat by her and sipped his tea. He checked her magic one more time, seeing if anything that had happened made any changes. Seeing that she was content, he set his cup down, laid next to her and fell into a dreamless sleep. 

Chapter Text

Since that day in Lupin’s class, KC was never by herself. To make matters worse, she ended up getting a cold from her night in the snow. Draco kept her in his room so he could take care of her after class, bringing her pepper-up potions to help kick the cold. With the small fever she had, her magic would randomly spark at him. He was constantly worried about her, no matter how hard he tried to block it with his occlumency. He left her so he could go to class and halfway through, he felt sharp shocks coming through his bond. Blaise was worried too when he could feel the cold through his ring. When Draco couldn’t be there, he made sure that Blaise or Theo would stay with her to prevent any more sparks. They made sure she rested, helping with homework and taking notes while she slept. 

Valentine’s Day was less than a week away. The castle was buzzing with excitement from the decorations that had been put in the Great Hall. Theo knew that KC would have enjoyed seeing everything. Her little Hufflepuff joy always put a smile on his face. When it was his turn to watch over KC, he brought her a small gift. It wasn’t much, but he wasn’t one to overdo decorating. While KC was sleeping, Theo conjured some pink, red, and white roses to put on the nightstand for her. He also made some floating hearts around them. 

“Draco’s going to be mad,” Blaise said from the door. 

“He can shove it,” Theo said seriously. He brushed the hair back from KC’s face, checking her temperature. She was still warm. “Madam Pomfrey said her fever would be gone by now.”

Blaise came and sat by him, hand on his knee. “I’m worried about her, too.” He gave Theo a kiss on the cheek, then turned his attention to their sleeping girl. 

It was if KC could sense they were both there. Her eyes fluttered open, giving them a small smile. She coughed when she tried to speak, Blaise rushing to get her some water. “I’m sorry. I usually don’t get sick like this. I don’t know what it could be.”

Theo grabbed her hand, comforting her. “It’s ok, Princess. We’re here for you.”

“I’m cold. Will you cuddle with me? You’re so warm.” Her voice was airy, like she was delirious. Blaise made her drink some more water, giving her another pepper-up. “Please?”

She was dressed in all of the warmest things Draco had. He had even cast extra warming charms around her in hopes to help. Her hands were like ice. Not being able to say no to her, Theo took off his shoes and outer robes and got under the blankets with her. She put her face in his chest, cuddled into him. He put his arms around her, giving another wandless warming charm to be safe. Blaise smiled at the sight before him. Jealous it wasn’t him, but happy that their girl was content. The cold feeling from their rings started to slowly fade. Theo ended up falling asleep while Blaise did some more research. 

He had been reading as many books as he could find about bonds and power balancing. There were rituals, potions, and minor texts about talismans and bonding stones. They mentioned them, but never went into much detail. The rituals didn’t fit what they were needing, most of the potions had serious side effects that it wasn’t worth trying. Blaise made note of the potential for a talisman or stones to help, hoping to find more books on them later. 

Draco finally walked back into his room after 10pm. Being Head boy was taking so much out of him, on top of his worries for KC. He saw Blaise sitting next to the bed reading with notes next to him, and Theo was wrapped up in his witch. He tried to hide the pang of anger, because he knew that nothing happened, but he couldn’t help but feel guilty for not being here earlier. Theo was sweating, but held onto her. She was still slightly shivering. “She’s been like this for hours, mate. I don’t know what else to do,” Theo whispered. 

Draco took off his outer robes and dress shirt, changed into his sweatpants. “I hate this.” Blaise shut his book, looking worried. Theo watched with concerned eyes. “Why is she not better?”  His face was like stone, but his eyes glistened with tears threatening to fall. 

“Mate,” Blaise tried. “She’s going to be ok. She just needs you right now.”

KC moved in her sleep, twisting around, reaching an arm out to the side of the bed where Draco was standing. “Draco,” she whispered in her sleep. 

He didn’t hesitate. He climbed right under the covers with her and pulled her close. “It’s ok, love.” 

Theo moved to get up, but before he got too far, KC’s hand unconsciously grabbed his behind her. All three men looked shocked. “Theo,” came another whisper. KC put her face further into Draco’s chest, but held on to Theo. 

Draco wasn’t happy, but he could feel their bond calming down. “Stay,” he said, making eye contact with him. “Blaise, too.”

Blaise was hesitant. Theo was still sweating from the heat coming from the sleeping witch. He stripped out of his soaked shirt, transfigured his school trousers into cloth shorts before climbing back in. Blaise did the same. With them all together, KC’s shivers slowly stopped. A content sigh came from her and she held on to them. They noticed there was a soft glow coming from her right hand. The bonds were giving off a golden light. The boys quickly looked at theirs, seeing the same thing on theirs. KC smiled in her sleep, snuggling as close as she could to them. Theo checked her vitals to be safe. This was the first time her fever had dropped in the last few days. Her heart rate was coming down and her magic was steady.  “You both get some rest,” Theo said, summoning a small flannel. He used it to cool the back of her neck. “I’ve slept with her most of the afternoon. I’ll watch over her.”

Draco kissed the top of her head and brushed the hair out of her face. Blaise wrapped his arm around Theo, slowly dozing off to sleep. Draco couldn’t sleep. No matter how hard he tried. He couldn’t shake his worry, his racing thoughts about the glow that was happening. KC let go of Theo’s hand and put it up to his face. Her eyes slowly opened. “Draco? I’m glad you're back,” she whispered. “I’m finally starting to warm up it seems.”

She tried to sit up, but Theo kept a hold on her. “You shouldn't get up too quick, Princess.”

KC smiled back at him, slowing down her movements. “I have to get up for a bit. I haven’t been to the bathroom since this morning.”

Draco moved her slightly so he could get up and then slowly helped her out of bed. She was a little off balance, so she grabbed onto him. He led her out into the common area. “I’ll wait outside the door,” he said, kissing her forehead. She smiled at him and slowly went in. 

He leaned against the door, noticing for the first time that Hermione was sitting on the couch. He realized he was shirtless. “It’s ok, Malfoy. Nothing I haven’t seen before.” He rolled his eyes. He tried his best to ignore her. “How is she doing?” Hermione asked, still reading her book.

“Why are you even asking? We both know you don’t care,” Draco snapped.

Hermione closed her book and glared at him. “Believe what you want about me, Malfoy, but I’m not a monster. We happen to have mutual friends who are worried about her as well.” Draco continued to ignore her. He stood by the bathroom door, waiting. Hermione stood from the couch, and reached into her pocket walking towards him. “Luna wanted me to give this to her. She said it would help.”

Draco took the stone from her. It was a rounded turquoise stone with a rune etched into it. “How is a rock going to help?”

Hermione left to go back towards her room. “No idea, but it can’t hurt at this point, can it?” She shut the door hard behind her as the bathroom door creaked open.

“Is everything ok?” KC asked, looking up at him. “Is she mad I’m here?”

He placed the blue stone into her hand. “Luna apparently thought this would help make you feel better?”

KC looked at it. The rune etched in it stood for healing. “I’ll be sure to tell her thank you.” KC took his hand. “I’m sorry for all the trouble I've caused. I haven’t been this sick since I was a kid.”

Draco put his hand to her forehead one more time. Her temperature has come down a little since he got back. “Let’s get you some medicine and a sleeping draught. Then perhaps tomorrow you and I can sneak off to the Prefect’s bath if you’re feeling better.”

He couldn’t tell if her face was red from blushing or because of how warm she was. She smiled at him and they walked back to his room. Blaise was latched onto Theo, head on his chest. It made KC’s heart flutter to see it and she squeezed Draco’s hand. He went to his wardrobe and pulled out a few vials that Madam Pomfrey had given him. She took them as he grabbed her glass of water. “Thank you, Draco, for taking care of me.” She set her water down and hugged him. “I wish I could kiss you right now.”

“Soon, love. Let’s get you back to bed.” He let her slide in next to Theo and he watched as she put the blue stone under her pillow. Draco laid right next to her. She held onto him and quickly fell back to sleep. Draco watched her, watched Theo comfort Blaise, and watched the hearts floating around the flowers. 

“I thought they might make her smile,” Theo said, without taking his eyes off Blaise. “I didn’t want to cross a line, Draco.”

He thought about it hard the last few days. After seeing the way her magic balanced with them around, the glow of their bonds, he knew that he couldn’t be selfish. He was going to have to share her and there was no doubt. He hated it. His heart hurt thinking about it. “I don’t want to share her,” Draco said playing with KC’s hair. “But after what has happened, I don’t think I’ll have a choice.”

“Of course, there is a choice. You love her,” Theo said sitting up, Blaise’s head fell into his lap. 

“I don’t think that will be enough to save her.”

“We aren’t going to cross any lines. We aren’t trying to take her from you. The bonds are causing some issues and it’s frustrating,” Theo ranted. 

“But she also loves you both,” Draco said in a sad voice. “She’ll never tell me that she wants you. She’ll never act on it. What if I’m hurting her by denying her that? Denying her bonds that?”

“Talk to her. She will do anything to make you happy. Get some rest, mate.” Theo moved his boyfriend over so he could lay back down and held onto him. 

 

It was hours before Draco fell asleep. His mind was wild with thoughts about what was going to happen. When he did sleep, it was fitful. When KC woke up the next morning, both the other boys had left for class. Draco slept with a tight, scrunched face. She was feeling almost completely back to normal. She had to take off a few layers as she was starting to overheat. When she was comfortable again, she traced her fingers over Draco’s face, trying to release the tension. He sighed at her touch. After a few deep breaths he opened his eyes, scanning over her. She was smiling at him. 

His reaction was immediate. He felt her face and ran a diagnostic charm. “How are you feeling?” he asked in a very concerned manner.

“I’m feeling much better than I had been.” She threw herself on top of him, hugging him so hard he almost couldn’t breathe. She wasn’t lying. Her fever was gone, her vitals were back to normal. How is that possible? Draco didn’t want to question it too much; he was just happy she was feeling better.  “Can I go take a shower? I feel disgusting,” she said, wiping the last of her sweat off her face. 

“You go ahead and I’ll get us some breakfast.” 

She grabbed some of her things and left to the bathroom. He summoned an elf that had been bringing her things while she was sick, asking to bring lights breakfast items. While he waited, he made his bed. He saw the blue stone and grabbed it, putting everything back in order. He moved over and saw Blaise’s notes from yesterday. “Crystals and stones?” he asked to himself. He had heard of some odd theories but this one made him roll his eyes. But they had looked into many other things and nothing had worked. He rolled the turquoise in his hand. Perhaps he would talk to Luna to see what this was all about. The elf came back with breakfast right as KC was coming back through the door, hair still dripping wet. She was in her towel.

“I grabbed my dirty clothes by accident. I know I’ve worn a lot of your stuff lately, but can I borrow something until I can go change in my room?”

He smirked at her. “Of course, but what will you give me in return?” Her face dropped. “I’m joking, Kara. Nothing is happening. Not until Madam Pomfrey clears you to go back to class.” Draco went to his wardrobe and pulled out some of her clothes. “I actually went to your room a few days ago and grabbed some extras in case.”

She smiled at him and grabbed them. “That’s very sweet of you. Thank you.”

“Don’t tell anyone I’m nice. Now eat so we can take you to the hospital wing.” 

She ate while he went and showered. He walked with her up to the hospital. KC knew she would be missing classes the rest of the day, but it was important. Madam Pomfrey ran more diagnostics than necessary. Even she was surprised at her recovery. She shouldn’t have been sick that long with as many pepper-up potions were given. And then to recover overnight? It was strange. “You’re good to go back to class tomorrow, Miss Celine. I would suggest following up with your professors to collect missed assignments. You may go,” she said, leaving to go to the next student. Draco walked her around to her teachers catching them between classes and they went to the library to quickly do the assignments.

She was lost in her books, but Draco couldn’t concentrate anymore. There were floating hearts and flowers hanging around the library. He never was one to celebrate the day, not that there was a reason to. But there was something in him that wanted to make the day special for KC. With all the confusion happening, he wanted to have the chance to make her feel special. He knew she was just as confused as he was when it came to her bonds with the other two. He also wasn’t very supportive of her and it made her feel worse. She never showed it, but he could tell. He watched her study, ignoring his own work. She was so focus, but he couldn’t help but think about the notes that mentioned the stones. He decided to go and look for a few books that might help explain things a little better. 

“Everything ok?” KC said, looking up at him. She had ink on her face from her pen. 

He smiled. “I’ll be back in a second. I’m going to go check on something.”

She let him go with a smile, returning to her work. He found the section to do with runes. He looked into different books that mentioned crystal work and different stones that had been made. But nothing that would help harness her power. 

“Hello, Draco Malfoy.” He turned and saw Luna Lovegood smiling at him. “Did the stone work for KC then?”

 “I’m not sure,” Draco said, continuing his search. “She’s better, but we aren’t sure what kicked it.”

“Well, between your bond and the stone, I'm sure the magical energy worked in her favor.”

That made Draco pause. “How did you--” 

“I think I know of a few books that might help you,” she said, skipping off down a few rows. Draco followed her hesitantly. He found her pulling a few books from the shelves. “This one will give you an insight to different stones and their natural healing and powers. The other is one my father used to help make different healing stones for me when I was a kid.” 

She pushed the two books into his hands. Giving him a small pat on the shoulder, she walked away. Draco turned after her, “Lovegood!” She stopped and looked back at him. “How did you know?”

Luna shrugged her shoulders, “I just had a feeling,” and continued on her way. Draco skimmed through the books. This was exactly what he had needed. He made his way back to the table. He heard her laugh and it made him smile. Turning the corner, he saw Blaise and Theo had joined her, sitting across the table from her. The way she interacted with them was so pure and joyous. Am I the bad guy for holding her back?   KC was careful when interacting with them. After their talk, she kept her hands to herself more. Less hugging, less hand holding, no more kisses on cheeks; she respected his boundaries. What if that’s what is making her magic spike? Could the lack of interactions affect her magic and bonds? He went back to sit next to her. She immediately grabbed his hand, kissed him on the cheek, and kept writing her notes.

Theo had pulled out his homework for the day. Blaise sat across from him, looking over the notes he had written about the bonds and stones. Draco slid one of the books over to him, not saying anything to tip off KC. No use worrying her about something else until we know anything. It was close to dinner time before they even thought about taking a break. Draco had been overthinking their situation.

Draco interrupted the silence. “Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, how would you all feel about having dinner together?”

KC’s eyes were open wide in shock. Blaise was stone-faced. Theo tried to reason, “Mate, you don’t have to do this.”

Draco grabbed KC’s hand and she looked at him. “We need to talk about this, but I think this will be good for you.”

She squeezed his hand, “But what about what’s good for you, Draco? That’s what I care about.”

Theo nudged Blaise and they quickly gathered their things. “You two talk it out. But we will plan on being around you both for the day,” Theo said and they quickly left the library.

KC left her stuff there and dragged Draco to the back of the library. “Did you really have to spring that on me?” She didn’t sound mad, but concerned. “I want to talk about it, but where did this come from?”

Draco leaned against the wall, holding her in front of him. “I can’t get it out of my head. I don’t like it, but with your bonds, and when you were sick, I couldn’t make you feel better on my own. Your magic wouldn’t stabilize with just me. You need them.”

“I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about you. I’ve felt how heartbroken you’ve been the last week. And it wasn’t just because I’ve been sick. It’s every time you see them around me, your mood drops.”

“Am I excited about the idea? Absolutely not! But you can’t tell me you don’t feel a difference when all three of us are near you,” Draco pulled her closer, arms around her waist.

“This would be something I want you to be one-hundred percent ok with. I would rather be alone than know that I hurt you.” She put her forehead to his chest. “I couldn’t live with myself.”

“Nonsense, Kara. You’d be just fine without me. You’d be happy with them.”

Draco tried to push her back but she only moved far enough to look him in the eyes. “That is bullshit –”

“And why is that—”

“Because I love you!” She was trying to keep her temper down and she froze when she realized what she had said. “You mean everything to me, Draco. I will always value you over everything else.”

He was frozen looking at her. His mind went through a loop, hearing her say those words over and over. He crashed his lips onto hers, holding her close. Without warning, he flipped her around, pinning her against the wall. She let him take what he wanted from her. Slowly, she pushed him away so she could breathe. “Kara, you are my everything.”

“Then why would you put yourself through heartbreak?” She held his face.

“Because I can see how much you care for them. Your bonds with them also have gold. You need them, too.” He rested his hands against her neck so he could lightly brush her cheeks. “I want to try for you.”

She gave him a light kiss. “Then you tell me what you are ok with. We can work this out together. You get to call the shots. If it EVER becomes too much, you get to say when to stop.”

He backed up and let her go from the wall. “We need to get you something to eat. I don’t need you getting sick again.” She kissed him one more time before leading the way back to their table. He followed her in silence, thinking about everything. As she grabbed her stuff, he wanted to clarify his last thought. “You know I’m straight, right?”

She laughed. “Ok? What does that have to do with this?”

“I just don’t want you to expect – certain things – when this all happens.” Draco looked down as he grabbed his stuff.

“I would never expect that of you, Draco. I figured that wouldn’t be something you would want.” He sighed in relief. She grabbed his hand and they walked towards the Great Hall. “Not saying you don’t care about them, but you’re not bonded either.” She squeezed his hand. “We can see how dinner goes and then we can discuss it more.”

She dragged him into the Great Hall where their group was already eating. He barely ate, but made sure she was eating and having a good time. After dinner he took her back to her room so she could prepare for class tomorrow and he went back to his. His room was too quiet without her in it. He tried to sleep, but he failed miserably. Around midnight, he heard his door open. Wand drawn, he saw KC walk through carrying her snow globe. She was exhausted; looked like she was almost sleepwalking. She set down the snow globe next to the flowers that were still on the nightstand. Without a word, she crawled into bed with him and was asleep within seconds. He smiled, feeling calm and it didn’t take long before he joined her.

******

The rest of the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, KC and Draco felt distant. With Draco being overwhelmed with rounds and other Head boy duties and KC busy with her extra activities, the only time she saw him was at dinner. He even had to miss their night of potions because of a meeting with McGonagall. KC knew that it wasn’t because of what she had said to him. She hadn’t necessarily meant to blurt out the words I love you but she meant them. She was just hoping she hadn’t scared him away. During their potions brewing, she stood between Blaise and Theo. They watched her as she struggled with her thoughts.  

“You know, Kitten, your face gives away your every thought. What’s going on up there?” Blaise put his hand on her shoulder, pulling her attention. 

“Sorry. It’s nothing.” 

“You can’t hide from us, Princess. Our rings have been cold since you stepped in here tonight.” Theo slid an arm around her lower back.  

She added the last ingredient to her potion and set a timer to let it simmer. She moved to sit on the table behind her. “I’m scared about what’s going to happen with Draco.” 

Blaise was the first to follow her, sitting next to her on the table. Theo pulled a chair and sat in front of her. “He isn’t going anywhere. He cares about you too much.” 

“Am I pushing him away by needing both of you with me? I know he is trying to let this happen, he is trying so hard to be ok because he thinks it’s what I need. And I care for you both so much so please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m happy that he is giving me this chance. But at the same time, I need him to be happy. That’s my priority. I’m scared that if I act on what I want to, it’s going to break his heart and I can’t do that. It would break me.” Her hands were shaking. Her anxiety had been running her ragged with overthinking.  

Neither of the boys could say anything right away. Blaise snaked his hand through hers, lacing their fingers together. “We would never put you in that position. You know that we care for you. Draco is our best mate. We know he is a selfish prick.” That made KC laugh. “For him to even try this shows how much he loves you. For him to trust us with you is miraculous.” 

 Theo saw a tear fall onto her legs. Her uniform skirt covered her well, but when she sat, her thighs exposed. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. He lightly moved his hands past her knees and up to her thighs, wiping the tear away. Her breath caught and her hand tightened around Blaise’s. “We aren’t going to push it.  We are going to see how things happen at dinner with all of us.”  

KC nodded, as Theo kept moving his hands up and down her legs. She was trying to relax, and the boys felt a change in their bonds. Blaise kissed the back of her hand. “See, we aren’t so bad. You’re warming up to us.”  

Theo shook his head at the terrible joke his boyfriend made. He on the other hand, was watching KC’s body language. Each time his hands made it to the hem of her skirt, she held her breathe. With a smirk on his face, he wanted to test his luck. He made to stand between her legs, not once stopping his hands. He slid them to the outer parts of her thighs and her face went red. “I don’t think that’s what she’s warming up to. Is it, Princess?”  

His voice was rough. He smelled fresh linen and parchment. She leaned her head onto his chest and her legs squirmed a little. Blaise smirk at his boyfriend. “It’s not nice to tease her, Theo.”  

Theo dared to move his hands under her skirt and she let him. He moved closer so he could grab her and pull her closer. “Should we tell him what knickers you’re wearing? Hmm?” He loved feeling the soft lace against her smooth skin. “Would you like to know, Blaise?” 

Blaise’s eyes were dilated as he moved her hair out of the way. He let his hand linger on the back of her neck. Theo’s hands reached the top of her underwear, about to slide them down. KC clung to him, panting. Will Draco be mad? He said he wanted to try but I don’t know if he would be ok with this. But I want this. But I want Draco. Should I stop this? This feels righ t. She was about to let him when they heard the timer ring loudly across the room. Her focus came right back to her and she jumped. She wiggled her way out of their grasp. The boys sat there in a daze of what had just happened.  

Turning off the timer, she tried to control her breath, her shaking hands. She needed to ladle the potion into vials. She grabbed one and her shaky hands caused the contents to splash a little out of her vile. “You don’t have to do that, Kitten,” Blaise whispered from behind her. Her hand involuntarily dropped the glass vile and it shattered on the floor. She set the ladle back into her cauldron. “We didn’t mean to scare you.” 

Theo quickly vanished the glass on the floor before she hurt herself. She turning to look at them and her eyes were wide. “You didn’t scare me. I think... I think I’m just afraid to go too far.” 

Blaise pulled her into a hug. “It’s ok. There is no rush on anything. We can finish up here.” He let her go and grabbed her bag for her. “You go rest, we will see you tomorrow night for dinner, alright?”  

KC slowly took her bag, looking at both of them. “Ok,” she whispered. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” 

She bolted from the potions room. She tried to catch her breath but it seemed impossible. The common room was empty and she wondered if she should try and find Hannah. Her thoughts were becoming too much. She ran into her room, quickly stripped down and turned on her shower, hoping the water would calm her. It didn’t seem to be helping. She sat under the stream of water holding her knees. Her thoughts were rampant and she couldn’t stop them. “Draco,” she whispered to herself before putting her head down and just let the water run over her. She had no idea how much time had passed. She barely heard her door open.  

“Kara, where are you?” It was Draco. He must have heard the shower because he came rushing in. She felt his hand on her back 

“You’re going to get wet,” her voice said weakly.  

“Like it matters. You’ve been all over the place tonight.” She didn’t respond, only held onto her knees tighter. He reached to turn the water off. “Tell me.” 

She lifted her head and faced him. “Blaise and Theo. I’m just... I’m scared.” 

He froze at that. “What did they do?” His mind went wild and he was livid. He moved to stand to go after them but she grabbed him.  

“They didn’t do anything. They’ve been respectful. They tried to comfort me and... well... I reacted in a stronger way than I anticipated.” 

Draco tried to shut out his thoughts and feelings. He grabbed a towel for her and helped her stand. She let him guide her, not fighting him. Wrapped in a towel, she sat on the edge of her bed and braided her wet hair. “Do you want to tell me what happened?” He didn’t want to push her, but he would be lying if he said he didn’t want to know.  

“I don’t know if I could explain it well, or say it without you getting mad.” She grabbed his hand and he came right to her. “Draco, would you like to see it? I’ll let you go through my mind.”  

He moved to sit in the middle of the bed, thinking about it. She didn’t hesitate to straddle him. “Please?” 

“If it becomes too much for you, you can tell me to stop,” he said, pulling her forward so her forehead was against his. He gently pushed with legilimency. She didn’t resist him. He didn’t take long to get to the memory. He felt everything she felt. Her anxiety about their conversation in the library, her feelings between all of them. He could even feel the way Theo’s hands glided over her, the feel of Blaise’s hand on the back of her neck. She was scared that she liked the way their hands felt. She liked it, but she wouldn’t hurt him. He watched her panic after the timer went off. Her struggle before he showed up.  

He let her go, but she couldn’t make eye contact with him. “I didn’t want you to be mad. I didn’t mean--” Draco cut her off with a hard kiss.  

Her fingers went through his hair and she held on tight. He could feel how wound up she was. Pulling back, she was shaking. “I’m so sorry. I can’t help it. I’m sor--” 

“Kara. I’m not upset. Not by a long shot.” He rubbed her arms trying to calm her, she finally looked up at him. “I told you that I wanted to try. You have been so good, love.”  

“I’m so confused, Draco.” She tried to calm herself and took deep breaths. “I want you so much. You are everything to me. But part of me wants them, too. I’m so selfish.” 

Draco couldn’t help but let out a small laugh. “You’re not selfish. You have put everyone else first. You’ve always considered my feelings first. Now this is my turn to put you first.” 

She watched him. “What if it happens while you’re around?” Her voice was small, like she was scared of what he might say.  

“Then that is my problem. I’m telling you to go for it. I don’t know how I’m going to react. Do I want to watch you fuck them?” Her eyes rolled at his crude question. “Probably not. But if kissing them will make you happy, and it will keep the bond magic happy, then I won’t stand in the way of that.” 

“But Draco--” 

“No ‘but’s.” He slowly flipped her over so he could be over her, looking into her eyes. “I love you,” he whispered, “I will do anything to prove that.” 

Her eyes were wide. A small smile spread across her lips; she lightly touched his face. “Show me.”  

She pulled him down to her and claimed his lips. She slowly undid the buttons of his shirt, teasing her hands down him. He wasted no time banishing his clothes. He kissed down her neck and moved her towel out of the way, leaving her exposed to him. He gave her all of the attention she deserved. Slow, sensual movements. He made love to her, showing her just how much he loved her. She held onto him like he was the only thing that mattered in the world. They came together and they felt a jolt from their bond. It encased them in light and warmness. She smiled at it all. The light balled in between them, splitting in half and went into their chests. It left them breathless. He kissed her with all that he had, hands conjoined.  

The light started to fade, but the feeling stayed. He slowly moved out of her and summoned a blanket for them. She held onto him for dear life. “I love you, Draco Malfoy.” She shut her eyes. The calm and serenity that went through her overwhelmed him. He kissed the top of her head and let her rest. He watched her sleep, playing with her hair. He was going to rest with her when he saw her journal glow. He knew he probably shouldn’t but he grabbed it anyway.  

Please don’t be upset with us, Kitten. We meant no harm. Please tell Draco how sorry we are. If we are still allowed, I do hope to see you tomorrow. Theo and I are worried about you. 

Draco smiled. His friends really did care for her. It was clear. He may not know how he is going to handle everything, but he knew it was the right choice. He summoned her pen.  

Everything is fine. She is fine. We will see you tomorrow. --DM

He didn't even have the chance to shut the book before it glowed again. 

Take care of our girl.

Our girl, Draco thought. That doesn't sound so bad after all.

Chapter Text

When KC got up for class in the morning, there was an empty bed next to her. Draco had left a note by her wand.  

Had to get ready for the day. Stay out of trouble until I see you in class, Hufflepuff. -- DM 

She couldn’t help but smile. She quickly got herself together and walked out of her door. She was elated to see Hannah walking out as well. Running quickly to her and almost tackled her.  

“I am not awake enough for this!” Hannah laughed, but hugged her tightly back.  

They went on their way to breakfast chatting and catching up. Hannah was a great friend to KC. She felt this connection with her, that felt like she was a sister. One that KC wanted but never had. They sat down with Ginny and Neville, and started talking about quidditch coming up and future projects for their classes. Blaise and Theo walked into the Great Hall, looking perfectly put together as always. KC couldn’t help but watch them walk towards her. Hannah looked at her from across the table. “You act like you have never seen them before. You see them way more than I see you!” Hannah joked. 

The boys took a seat on each side of her. Ginny pointed her fork at her, “yah, tell them to share!” 

KC’s face turned bright red, Theo smirked, Blaise tried to hide his laugh. “No problems there, Red. She's in good hands.” 

Hannah wasn’t lost on the interaction. KC tried to sip her tea to hide her reactions. It was then that Hannah noticed the detail that her friend and the Slytherins had matching rings. She grabbed KC’s hand from across the table almost knocking the tea cup out of her grip. She didn’t say anything, but took a mental note to ask later.  

Trying to bring the conversation away from her, KC asked the table, “Are you all going to Hogsmeade tomorrow?” 

“Not me,” Ginny said boldly. “I had special permission to go to London. It feels like it’s been ages since I've seen Harry.” 

“Sounds like a blessing to me, Weaselette.” Draco snuck up on the table.  

Ginny gave him the bird as he sat down beside Blaise and poured himself some tea. Hannah watched as she saw the shine of the gold bracelet. She looked right back at KC who was playing with hers. Her eyes went wide. Just what has KC gotten herself into?  

“What about you, Hannah? Do you and Neville have plans?” KC asked.  

Hannah stuttered trying to bring her thoughts off of KC’s jewelry. Neville took her hand, “She doesn’t know what we are doing. It’s a surprise.” He kissed his girlfriend on the cheek and she smiled at him.  

“I hope you enjoy it. Bring me back some sugar quills if you can?” KC asked. She had gotten the official word that she wasn’t to go to Hogsmeade. She was sad about it, but knew it was for the best.  

“For the love of Merlin, don’t forget the sugar quills,” Blaise said in a tight voice. KC looked at him in confusion. He leaned down and whispered in her ear. “I could watch you put those between your lips all day long.” 

Draco did a spit take and KC went red. Theo couldn’t help but laugh. KC shoved him away and the table laughed as he fell backwards off the bench. Draco quickly slid to take his spot as soon as Blaise tried to get up. He grabbed KC’s leg under the table and continued to drink his tea like nothing happened.  

Hannah watched everything, keeping questions in her head for the time being. She would make sure to corner KC later and ask everything. Slowly everyone went to class, hoping to go through the day quickly before their holiday fun.  

KC would have been lying if she said she wasn’t nervous. Her boys surrounded her in each class. They did their best to distract her, but she ignored them. After classes, she dismissed them telling them she was going to rest alone instead of going to the library. She was excited for dinner with them, but she needed Hannah.  

KC went straight to the Hufflepuff common room. Hannah was usually there after class. She wasn’t in the common room, so she went and looked in her room that she shared with two others. Lucky for her, she was sitting there by herself. Without a word, she sat down next to her. 

“Are you finally going to tell me what’s going on?” Hannah teased. 

“I’ve missed you so much. I haven’t been myself lately.” KC pulled her legs under her so she could sit and face Hannah comfortably.  

“You’ve got yourself in quite the situation with those sexy Slytherins, I see.”  

KC knew Hannah was teasing her. “You have no idea, Hannah.” 

Hannah could see her friend was in distress. She went to grab KC’s hand, touching the jewelry that was on it. “Are these what I think they are? Do you have bonds with them?” 

“How is it that you know about bonds?” KC asked. It seemed like so many knew except for her. 

“Bonds are something that is legend in Pureblood homes. I say legend because they are so rare. Molly Weasley is the only one I know of personally. Yet, here you are, bonded to not one, but three people? That’s unheard of!” She was fascinated with the bonds. She touched them and KC couldn’t help but admire them with her.  

“I wish I knew why it happened. I don’t know how my magic has been so strong or if it has anything to do with my family history. I didn’t ask for this,” KC was confused and tired of holding it in. “I feel like each time I get close to an answer, there are four more to take its place.” 

Hannah listened while her friend went over the events over the last few months. The bonding at Christmas, the gala, the attack, her magic being out of control, the fact she could feel things through the bond, as well as the ideas how she might be able to harness that magic. 

“That is a lot to handle, KC. No one expects you to figure it out so soon!” 

“Those around me are in danger because I can’t figure it out! What if the Sympathizers take them like they did my professor? Do they know how to control it?” 

“We can figure this out. You’re not alone in this.” 

KC took Hannah’s hand. “You’re the best, you know that?” 

“I wouldn’t say that too quickly,” Hannah tried to be serious. “You haven’t told me about what’s going on in your little harem.” KC blushed too quickly, trying to hide her face. “After that display this morning, you can't tell me nothing is going on. I knew you and Malfoy were finally hooking up, but I didn’t expect the other two!” 

“Hannah!” 

“What? I’m jealous! They are seriously hot.” 

“Nothing has happened,” KC said, her voice going quiet. She smiled.  

“Why do I feel like there should be a ‘yet’ at the end of that sentence?” Hannah was prying, but so excited for her friend.  

“It’s still confusing and new, we are discussing it more while having dinner tonight.” 

“Ok, now you HAVE to tell me everything!” Hannah was excited for her friend. In the wizarding community, it wasn’t unheard of to have more than one partner but it wasn’t necessarily common. With the bonds, it made sense. It would take some time to adjust for everyone else. KC told her about the tension that had been building between the other two, dating all the way back to that quidditch after party where Draco punched Blaise. KC left out the fact of Theo and Blaise dating, that wasn’t her news to share. When she told her the details of the dinner, she dragged her to her closet. “I have the perfect thing for you to wear! I bought this a while ago, but ended up not needing it. You’ll look stunning in it!” 

Hannah thrust a short black dress towards her. It had off the shoulder sleeves fitted at the waist and flared out skater fit. “I can’t take this from you! It’s beautiful,” KC said in awe.  

“You go and enjoy your dates. How about you come with me to help Hagrid and Luna on Sunday and you can tell me all about it? If you don’t, I'll burst into your room. I don’t care if they are naked with you.” 

“Stop!” KC blushed. “Of course, I’ll help. I haven’t been down there since I’ve been back.” 

She left Hannah to go shower and prepare for dinner. She was more determined and confident that she was going to be fine. 

KC did everything to look her best. She knew they liked her for who she was, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t want to give them something nice. To complete her look, she gave her hair a slight curl and put on the jeweled headband Theo had given her and some black heels. When she left her room, Hannah was in the common room with Neville. She gave her a whistle as she walked away, giving KC a laugh.  

She walked to the portrait of Snape and smiled at him. “You do know that you’re technically not allowed to enter alone?” 

“You’ve been so nice to me, why are you glaring at me now, Severus?” 

“Be cautious. That bond may give you enough of Draco’s magical signature that you can enter, but it also gives you the power to hurt him.” He sneered at her.  

“I would never do such a thing. I care for him very much.” She went to open the portrait. “Enjoy your evening, sir.”  

She walked in as Draco was finishing preparing. He had made the room nearly unrecognizable. Blaise and Theo stood with a drink in hand, holding one out for Draco. “You’re not starting without me, are you?” 

They all looked up at the same time, Blaise almost dropped his drink. Draco immediately walked towards her. “You look stunning, Kara.” He kissed her lips as she smiled.  

“I wanted to look nice for you,” she said, taking his hand.  

“You succeeded. I’m about to call off this whole thing and take you to my room.”  

She leaned up a little to kiss his cheek and whispered, “I didn’t plan on going back to my room tonight.”  

He groaned. “I have to do rounds a little later, but I wouldn’t let you leave even if you wanted to.” Putting his hand behind her back, guiding her over to the others who were staring at her. She rushed over to embrace each of them.

“You didn’t have to get all dolled up for us, Kitten,” said taking her all in. He loved seeing her in heels. 

“Oh, but she looks divine.” KC moved and gave Theo a hug as well. When KC tried to pull away from him, he held onto her. “You are breathtaking, Princess. I love that you wore that headband.” 

She placed her hand on his face and smiled. She felt the happy mood in her bracelet dip a little before she let go and went back to Draco. “Thank you for agreeing to do this. I’m happy I get to spend the evening with my favorite people.” 

Draco handed her a glass of the wine that she loved so much. “How did you convince Hermione to leave for the evening?” KC asked.

“She said she was spending time in Gryffindor tonight. It didn’t take much convincing.”

 They sat talking about everything, laughing at stories and did their best to make KC blush as much as possible. The boys had put so much work into making the common room look magical. Floating fairy lights, fire burning bright with the couch extended out to be longer so they could rest their legs up. 

After a bit, Mippy popped in and placed dinner plates on the decorated table. Draco made to sit across from KC, giving the opportunity to Blaise to sit next to her. KC made sure to thank Mippy before she sat down. Theo refilled her wine glass before he sat down. Raising his glass, Draco tried to show support for her. “To moving forward.” 

Her boys cheered their glasses and she smiled when she took a sip. Mippy had outdone herself with this meal and KC couldn’t help but melt into it. After a few bites, Blaise put his hand on her thigh. She blushed at him, smiling, and quickly looked at Draco. She could feel dips in his mood, but he would reassure her every time. He nodded and winked at her. She truly couldn’t believe the change of heart from him. The boys watched her take bites and enjoy the small sounds she made while enjoying her meal. The conversation flowed easily between them all. KC felt safe around them and they made it easy for her to let go and enjoy her time with them. Blaise’s hand was light against her leg, and he slowly moved his hand to show her affection. 

“I know you boys have been doing a lot of research on the bonds,” KC stated, trying to keep the conversation moving to distract herself from the sensations she was feeling. “Have you found anything interesting?”

Blaise was the first to say anything. “We’ve been looking into certain things that could help balance your magic. You gave us quite a scare while you were sick.”

Draco took a sip of his drink and added, “there has been an idea that maybe certain stones or crystals could help us here. Not sure what it would do with our bonds, but there must be a way that we can keep you from being overwhelmed like that again.”

“I feel bad I haven’t gotten through the Oracle yet. I should make that happen. Will you all help me tomorrow afternoon? Maybe we can connect some pieces together. I don’t want you all to worry about me so much.”

Theo tipped his drink towards her. “We are always going to worry about you. Here to help in any way that we can.”

Dessert appeared and Draco knew what he was doing. He requested the strawberries and cream for her, as well as various other chocolate covered berries. Theo took it upon himself to slice up some fresh strawberries and put them in her wine for her. “You are all spoiling me. I don’t know how to take this all in,” she said smiling at them all. 

Blaise moved a little closer to her, hand traveling a little further up her leg until it was almost under her dress. He dipped one of the berries in the cream and held it up for her. She slowly bit into it and she could have sworn it was magic. The boys watched her intensely. Blaise moved his hand under her dress completely and rested in on her bum. Her breathing hitched as she swallowed the berry. He looked at Draco as if asking permission, and he gave him a small nod. “You missed some, Kitten.” He leaned forward and kissed the corner of her mouth, licking the small amount of sweet cream that was there. KC’s eyes closed and melted into his touch. When he moved back, KC put her hand on his leg to keep him close. To her surprise, Draco didn’t flinch at the contact that had happened. “I’ve dreamt about that since your show in the Great Hall all that time ago. Just as sweet as I’d hoped.” 

Blaise looked like he was floating on air. KC ate the rest of her dessert in silence. The boys cared so much for her and just wanted her to have a good time. Theo got up before everyone else, moving to the couch. Blaise squeezed her bum one more time before he removed himself from the table, to help clear everything away. 

Draco helped her stand and walked her closer to the center of the room. He held her close and danced with her even with no music. “Are you having a good time, my love?” 

“This has been wonderful, Draco.” She kissed him to show him how much she appreciated him. “I love you.”

“I love you, Hufflepuff.” He spun her and brought her back to him. “I want you to do what you’d like tonight. I see you checking with me each time, and I love that. But I’m giving you the go ahead here. Ignore any mood changes, I want you to explore whatever your heart desires.”

KC moved to run her fingers through his hair. “I want you to enjoy this, too. It’s not just about me. How about we make a deal. If either of us start talking about Ravenclaw quidditch, then we know we stop whatever is happening. I’ll come right to you. Would that be alright with you?”

“Perfect.” He kissed her one more time and led her over to sit with the others. Theo grabbed her waist and pulled her down on top of him, her bum right in between his legs. Blaise was right next to him, admiring her long legs in heels. Draco brought her wine back to her and sat down next to Blaise, propping his feet up to relax with his firewhisky. “I may never transfigure this couch back to normal. The lounge style is much more relaxing,” Draco said innocently. 

KC sipped her wine and took one of the berry slices into her mouth. It made the taste even sweeter and she loved it. Theo wrapped his arm around her body and his hand rested on her bum under her skirt. His other hand held his drink. Blaise ran his hands over her calf muscles. 

“Princess, you’ve made tonight absolutely wonderful. I’m a lucky man,” Theo whispered to her. He set his drink on the table behind them so he could put the other hand on her. “I’m asking if I may give you a kiss?”

Draco snickered at how cheesy Theo was being. KC stuck her tongue out at him and then smiled back at Theo. “Of course, good sir.”

Theo put his hand behind her neck and pulled her down to him. His lips were soft and sensual. She put her arm around his neck to stable herself against him. Theo didn’t push her to deepen anything, but she couldn’t help but feel the heat run through her. She pulled back and smiled at him. He pulled her closer again, putting his face near her ear. “You can call me ‘sir’ anytime you’d like, Princess.”

“Do behave, Theo,” Blaise joked at him. KC laughed at the way they all interacted. They made this feel comfortable, like it was the easiest thing in the world. She moved so she could take her heels off. Before she could, Blaise grabbed her hand and stopped her. “Don’t you dare.”

His voice was rough. She could feel the heat coming through her rings. She could feel Theo’s excitement against her leg. She looked at Draco and then remembered their conversation. He will stop me if it’s too much. She knew that she was turned on by them. She couldn’t help it, but she didn’t want that to be the expectation for tonight. “We don’t have to do anything tonight, if you don’t want to,” she tried to reassure the men with her. “This is all very new and I don’t want to make it seem like this is the only reason I want you around me.”

Blaise moved her feet down and grabbed her hands, yanking her over to him. “We’ve been dreaming of this for a while.” She straddled him to be more comfortable, but it ended up heating things up more. Draco finished the rest of his drink in one go and got up to get another one. Blaise snaked his hands up her smooth legs and around to her bum, pulling her so their hips met. She couldn’t help but let out a small moan at the contact. “I wonder if I could show you just how much we want you, Kitten.” 

Blaise leaned up so he could meet her lips. The heat was instant. He tasted like chocolate and cinnamon from his firewhisky. Their tongues slid against each other and she could feel how hard he was getting. She pulled back when she felt Draco sit back down on the couch. Kissing Blaise one more time, she shifted off Blaise so she could lay her head on Draco’s lap.

‘Hello, love,” He smiled down at her. “Enjoying yourself?”

“Mate, I think that is obvious,” Theo said in a husky voice next to his boyfriend. “The wet spot on his trousers is evidence enough.”

KC’s face went bright red and covered her face with her hands. “Oh no, love. You don’t have to be embarrassed.” Draco grabbed her arms and used his strength to bring her up onto his lap. He held onto her tight and slid his hand to the apex between her thighs. He whispered into her ear, “I can feel how aroused you are through the bond. It’s actually quite sexy.” He slid a finger through the barrier and was met with her wetness. “I’m setting one rule for you, love. Only I get to come in here. Understood?”

Her breathing had stopped as she melted and was panting against him. “Yes, Draco. I understand.”

“Good girl,” He muttered against her ear. He pulled his finger out and put it into his mouth. . KC hid her face into his neck. “What’s the matter, love?”

She shook her head, not moving away from him. He threaded his fingers through the hair on the back of her neck and pulled her back so he could see her. “Would you rather talk about quidditch?”

“No, thank you. I just feel a little warm.”

Theo silently checked her vitals to make sure she was ok. Her magical signature was a little elevated, but nothing they would be concerned about. Draco kissed her softly and she sighed into him. He put his forehead against hers. “I’m supposed to go do rounds. I don’t want to leave you.”

“Do you have to go?” She asked in a small voice, giving him pouty eyes.

“They will keep you entertained, love. You won’t even know I’m gone.” She kissed him hard. It took all of him to push her back. “I’ll be back in an hour.”

Blaise pulled her back to them so Draco could get up. “We will take good care of her,” he said against KC’s neck. Draco grabbed his robes by the door and left.

KC moved to sit between them. “Are you nervous to be alone with us, Princess?”

She shook her head. “I’m just trying to make sure I don’t overstep. I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to do anything.”

“Sweet girl,” Blaise turned towards her, running his hand over her legs again. “We are here because we care about you. We’ve cared for you before the bonds appeared.”

“You remember that night you found out about us?” Theo asked, running his hand over her other leg. “When you left? We couldn’t get you out of our minds. Your soft skin beneath our fingertips. Your sweet smell. You were intoxicating, love.”

Blaise moved her hair over her shoulder to expose her neck to him. “I had to suck Theo off so he wasn’t painfully hard.” He kissed her neck. She rolled her head back. “You want to know what he did?”

Theo moved to kiss below her ear. “I came saying your name, Princess. I couldn’t help myself.”

“Fucking hell,” KC sighed. She was putty between their hands.

“I think it’s time we return the favor. Don’t you, Theo?”  KC lost her breath as she saw him nod. Blaise slowly moved her to lay down against the seat of the couch. “Please, tell us to stop at any time, Kitten. But I can’t keep my hands to myself any longer.”

KC sucked in a breath as Blaise’s lips crushed hers. Her hands went to his face and traveled to his chest. Theo moved to suck on her neck. She was lost in the sensation. Their lips were sending shockwaves through her. As Theo moved up her neck to her cheeks, Blaise moved down in uniform movements. They tasted heavenly. Blaise was softer in his ministrations, Theo was commanding. Theo showed her the power of his tongue as Blaise took the initiative to pull her dress down. His hands went straight to cup her breasts. “Merlin, Kitten. You didn’t even wear a bra. Are you trying to kill us?”

She moaned into Theo’s mouth as Blaise swirled his tongue around her nipple. He used his tongue and then teased her with his teeth, pulling her to a peak.

“I think she likes that, Blaise,” he teased as he pulled back from KC. Her eyes were glassy as she looked at them. Theo ran his hands over her body. He moved down to caress her abdomen and legs, attaching his mouth to her other mound. She watched the boys work her, overwhelming her senses. Theo kissed down her stomach over her dress and Blaise replaced his lips with his hands and kissed her neck again. “Can we finally see what you’re wearing for us under here, Princess? I’ve been thinking about it since potions.” KC let out a groan under the feel of Theo’s hands on her legs, moving up. He flipped her dress up to expose her to him. “Oh Blaise, you have to see her. This color looks perfect on her.”

Blaise nipped at her neck before sitting up to see what his boyfriend was talking about. “Oh, Kitten. Did you wear Slytherin green for us? But what’s this?” He ran his hand over her cloth covered sex. “You’re ruining them. We can’t have that, can we Theo?”

They each took a side of her lacy green panties and pulled them down. “She is glistening, Blaise. Beautiful.” Blaise slid his finger over her slit, teasing her clit before running his hand back up to her breast. Theo kissed his way from behind her knee up to where she was now bare. “I’ve been wanting to do this all night.” He used tongue and lightly teased her. KC couldn’t help but arch her back as he moved his tongue around her bud.

“I think she likes it,” Blaise sassed. He moved up so he could look in her eyes. “You’re so good for us.”

KC put one hand on his cheek while her other threaded through Theo’s hair. “Please,” she muttered. “You’re driving me crazy.”

She tried to pull Blaise to her lips but he resisted, smirking at her. “We are at your disposal, Kitten.” Theo teased her a little more before sucking hard right on her clit. “You’re going to come on his tongue. Then you’ll come on my tongue. And to finish, we are going to cover these beautiful breasts of yours.”

“Please, Blaise!” She moaned.

 Blaise attached himself to her lips and played with her breasts, KC reached for his trousers but he grabbed her hand and pinned it above her head. “Behave or we will stop.”

“I’ll be so good,” she said leaning back into his touched.

Theo didn’t let up on her. He slowly slipped a finger inside her and he could feel her squeeze against him. “You’re so close, Princess. Would you like to come?” Blaise didn’t let her lips go, but she groaned into his mouth and tried to arch her back into Theo’s touch. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He added another finger and sped up sucking on her hard.

Blaise pulled back to watch her face. He watched as her ring glowed in his hand. He saw his was also giving off the soft glow. He pinched her nipple hard and she screamed, “Theo!”

KC came so hard she saw white. Her legs shook, holding Theo in place. The warm light in their rings sent shocks through them all, earning a moan from each of them. She was coming down from her high and let her legs relax. “You should see her face, Theo. She is glowing,” Blaise praised.

Theo sat up to look at her. His dress shirt was a little wet from her. “She is positively divine. She made a mess of me.” Theo unbuttoned his shirt and threw it to the side.

She looked at him, blush on her face. “I’ve never done that before, I’m sorry.”

“Oh, Princess. You have nothing to apologize for. That was by far one of the hottest things I’ve ever experienced.” Theo pulled her up so she was sitting in front of him. Her hands went to his face, tracing his cheeks. She pulled him in and kissed him hard. She could taste herself on him, not upset about it.

“Let’s give her a break, Theo.” Blaise pulled her up so she could sit on her knees, heels still on.

“I’m ok, I swear,” she said, clinging to both of them. Blaise smirked at her

“If you say so, love.” She moved to start unbuttoning his shirt. He didn’t let her finish before he just pulled it over his head. KC could have died happy with the view of the two sexy men in front of her. 

“Then let me continue spoiling you.” She tried to move, but Theo held her in place, smirking at her. She was confused when Blaise moved to lay under her. He made it so she was sitting on his face. She leaned forward enough so he could breathe as he held onto her ankles, admiring her heels.

Theo could see the anxiety on her face. “Trust me, love. This is exactly what he wanted.” Theo cupped her face and kissed her. He straddled Blaise so that he could give her his full attention.

Blaise’s tongue was unforgiving. It was sinful. He wasn’t shy to take what he wanted from her. “Kitten, you taste like heaven.” He sucked on her relentlessly.

Theo ground into his boyfriend as KC ran her hands down his chest. She moved her lips to his neck, determined to leave a mark on him. “Are you going to make it so the entire school knows I’m yours, Princess?”

“I want them to know they can’t have you,” KC whispered as she pulled up to look Theo in the eyes.

“A Hufflepuff who doesn’t want to share? A rarity!” He sassed her. He pulled her lips back to his and she scratched her nails down his back. She pushed her hands down to their trousers and Theo let her. She smiled against his lips as she unzipped him. Without hesitation, she went to unzip Blaise’s as well. She pulled both of them out and started stroking them. She heard them both moan into her. They were both well-hung men. As she stoked them more, the harder the went into her.

Blaise didn’t stop. He took a finger and pushed into her. “Merlin, you’re tight, love.”

“Isn’t she wonderful?” Theo smiled against her lips. She was losing her control.

Blaise used his other hand to spread her cheeks. He loved how well he could squish her in his hands. “May I, Kitten? You look perfect,” he asked permission, licking his tongue towards her rear.

She took a sharp breath, looking right into Theo’s eyes. “Answer him, love.” She nodded not being able to form words. That didn’t satisfy either of them. Theo pinched her nipple hard. “Out loud.”

She arched into him. “Yes!”

Theo smirked in satisfaction and soothed her breast. Blaise moved his head up and ran his tongue and circled her tight button. It was a new sensation for her completely. He felt her twitch around him as he continued his fingers movements, hitting her spongy spot inside. She was leaking down on his cheeks. He smiled and withdrew his fingers and moved them to her back hole. “Tell me if you want me to stop.” Using the wetness of her, he slowly slid in his finger. He could feel her tighten her grip on him and bit down on Theo’s lower lip. He stopped to make sure she was ok.

“Please don’t stop, Blaise. I’m so close.”

He smiled against her and moved his fingers slowly, sucking hard onto her clit again. He could feel her walls start to flutter around him and sped up. She wiggled her hips trying to get away from the overpowering sensations, but Theo held her still. Theo kissed down her neck. “Come for him, love. Give him what he wants.” Theo bit down on neck and she felt her eyes roll back as she came screaming Blaise’s name.

Blaise froze underneath her as she came down, Theo caught her as she melted and fell into him. He soothed her arms and Blaise wiggled out from underneath her. Theo kissed her before he let Blaise take her. KC’s focus started to come back to her.

“Are you ok, love?” Blaise held her face, steadying her.

“Perfect,” she said dreamily. “I need to lay down though.” She swayed back and both men caught her, gently setting her down.

Theo took off her headband and laid it next to her drink on the table. The both took to running their fingers through her hair and kissing her cheeks.

“You two are wonderful,” she said, soaking up their attention. “I want to take care of you both.” She reached down to stroke them again and them melted into her.

“You don’t have to—”

She cut off Blaise with a kiss. “Please?” she asked with need. The boys moved up closer so she could reach them. She reached between her legs and used her wetness to better slide her hands against them. She loved watching their reactions. Theo tried to stay in control but Blaise lost himself to his feelings, rolling his head back. Theo added his hand next to KC’s on Blaise, giving him extra sensation.

“Fuck, you both are going to kill me,” Blaise said, grabbing Theo next to KC. “I’m not going to last much longer.”

The both started moving fast against KC’s hands. “We’re going to avoid your beautiful dress, love. But I want to see you covered by us.” Theo’s voice was low and dangerous. She tightened her grip as she felt them twitch. She tilted her head back to give them a bigger area and she felt their warm liquid hit her chest. She hadn’t ever felt it on her and she was relishing in it. They both fell towards her, lying next to her trying to catch their breath.

“Draco is one lucky bastard,” Blaise said, rubbing in some of his seed to her. He loved being about to mark her in some way. Theo summoned a towel to clean her up. He got most of it and KC took it upon herself to rub the rest of it in.

“I think I got the best end of the deal,” she laughed. Theo was respectful towards her and pulled her dress back up to cover her. Kissing her for a little bit longer, he laid next to her. Blaise pulled her to lay on his chest, Theo wrapped his arm around her, hand on her breast. They let her rest and enjoyed their time with her. 

Blaise and Theo just admired the witch as she dozed off, smiling at each other for the love they felt. “I can’t believe this is real,” Theo whispered. Blaise couldn’t either, just kissed the top of the witch’s head.

After a while they heard the portrait door open, shielding KC just in case it was Granger. Draco hung his robes back up and rolled up the sleeves of his dress shirt. He looked at his girl with loving eyes.

Blaise shifted her off of him and got up to greet him. “Welcome back, Malfoy.”

He just watched KC rest. Theo moved towards them as well, grabbing their shirts from the other end of the couch.

“We are extremely lucky to be apart of this with you. We know she loves you so much,” Theo reassured Draco, tossing Blaise his shirt.

Draco smiled at them and just went to lay by his witch. She contorted into him even while sleeping, He kissed her forehead. The two men standing decided it was time to take their leave. “Please tell her good night for us.”

Draco nodded and let them leave. KC leaned into his touch and woke up as she heard the portrait close. “Draco?”

“Hello, love,” he said, kissing her lips. “You had fun, I see.”

She tried to hide her face. “I followed your rule, I promise.”

“I know you did, love. I trust you.” He kissed her again. “They left their marks on you though.”

“You should see them,” she laughed. She looked up at him seriously. “Are you ok? Are you upset with me?”

“Do I feel upset to you?” She searched his face and he was all smiles to her. She felt his contentment through their bond. She smirked at him and reached down to cup him through his trousers. He was already half hard.

“Will you take me to bed, Draco?” She kissed him. She found comfort in his touch. “I need to use the loo and then I’m all yours.”

Giving her one more kiss, he got up and helped her up towards the bathroom. He took out his wand and cleared the room of all of the remnants of their dinner. He shrunk the couch back to normal. He reached into the cushion and found her green lace hiding. He held onto them and her eyes went wide as she came back out. He smirked at her, grabbing her hand, dragging her towards his room. He shut the door and pushed her against it. “Are you going to tell me about it?”

“Would you really like to know?” she asked, pushing her hips towards him.

“Not right now.” He pinned her against the door and smashed his lips to hers. She curled her fingers into his shirt and pulled him as close as she could.

“I love you,” she whispered to him as he kissed her neck.

He nipped at her neck. “Show me,” He pulled her towards the bed. He pushed her onto in face down. She pushed herself up and reached to take off her dress, but he stopped her. “Don’t. You look positively delicious in it. Those heels, that skirt, your cleavage. You were killing me all night.” He moved behind her, pulling her back into his chest. His hands moved up to her chest feeling her hardened nipples through the dress. He teased them a little before pulling the dress down enough to cup her directly. With the pinches and massages he gave her, she ground her backside against his groin. “I can’t wait any longer.”

He pushed her forward and lifted her dress over her rear. Her smooth cheeks bare to him. He undid his trousers and teased his head over her entrance. “This is mine. I’m going to fuck you so hard. Do you want that?”

“Yes,” she murmured in anticipation.

“Yes, what?”

“Yes, sir! Please!” She begged.

“Good girl,” and he thrust hard into her.

She buried her scream into the mattress. He was hitting so deep. He started slow, but was hitting her hard. “Tell me, love. What did they do to you?”

She turned her head to the side. “They… they… oh God…”

“Tell me!” He growled.

“They each licked me,” She wailed as he hit her hilt. “I sat on Blaise’s face.” She tried to bury her face into the sheets at his punishing pace.

He smacked her ass to bring her attention back to him. “Is that all they did love?”

“Blaise… He put his finger in my…” she covered her face.

“Say it, love.” She shook her head and he spanked her again. “Say it!”

She squealed at his hit, but hid her face. “I can’t!”

Draco leered at her. She liked his spanks. That surprised him, but he loved it. “Oh love, then I’ll have to guess.” He pulled out of her and pulled her up to him. He moved his hand up her body slowly until his fingers rested against her lips. She reached her tongue out to try and suck them in. “Was it here?” She shook her head and whimpered as he moved his hand away. One hand grabbed onto her breast, holding her so her back was flat against his chest, the other traveled south. He rubbed his finger around her clit and teased her opening. “I’m sure they did here.”

She took in a sharp breath at his touch and she whispered a small yes. “Aw but that was to be expected. Was that all, love?” She tried to hide her face from him again. He pinched her nipple and used two fingers to put fast pressure across her clit. “Was it?”

“No!”

Satisfied with her, he lightened his touched and kissed her neck. “You’re such a good girl, Kara. So good for me.” She melted against him. He pushed her back down against the bed and dipped his finger into her wet opening. She moaned as she tried to push her hips into his hand. He held her still. “I must know, love,” he teased and she slowly moved his soaked finger up to her tight rear. “Is this where Blaise touched you?”

She nodded into the sheets, but that wasn’t what he wanted. He smacked her ass one more time. “Out loud, love.”

“Yes, sir.” She said quietly.

She hid her face and Draco was satisfied. He slowly pushed his finger into her hole and heard her moan. “Lucky bastard,” he smirked and thrust hard back into her. She couldn’t hold back the sounds coming out of her and Draco was losing his control. “You are absolutely perfect.”

He saw their bonds glow again. Her ring had been glowing since he returned, but now they were both bright. “Please, Draco. I’m going to—”

He pulled his finger out of her and flipped her over so she was facing him. He took off her heels and then pounded into her relentlessly. Her hands went to his back and she clawed into him. Legs locking around his back, she kissed him hard. She moaned into his mouth as she came around him. Her walls squeezing around him milked his orgasm out of him. He tensed into her. Both holding onto each other for dear life.

He kissed her slowly, giving her comfort. He kissed her cheeks and then her forehead. He saw that she had a few tears rolling down her cheeks. “Kara, I’m so sorry. Are you ok?”

“Draco, I’m perfectly happy. I’m so incredibly happy.” She kissed him softly.

He pulled back from her and rested his forehead against hers. “We should have talked about that. I shouldn’t have just done that.”

“Draco. It’s ok. I loved it. I would have stopped you if I didn’t.”

He pulled out of her. “You are beyond perfect; I don’t deserve you.”

“You are mine,” she said sitting up. He walked over to his wardrobe and unbuttoned his shirt and let his pants fall to the floor. KC laid on the bed and enjoyed the view before her.

He smirked at her, pulling his silk boxers up. He grabbed one of his t-shirts and brought it over to the bed. He slid his hands up her legs and moved to pull her dress over her head. He enjoyed her nakedness before he put the shirt over her head. She moved so she could get under the blankets. Once settled, he pulled her close, her bum wiggling back into him. He laced his hand with hers, watching their bonds glow against each other.

“Good night, my love,” he whispered into her hair.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Draco.” She smiled and snuggled into the pillow. 

Chapter Text

 

KC woke to Draco holding her tightly. She saw Mippy setting some breakfast for them on his desk before disapparating.  

“You’re not allowed to be awake yet,” Draco grumbled into her hair.  

She smiled and looked at the clock in his room. “It’s already 10. I should get up so we can look into the Oracle today. I hope that we can get through most of it.” 

“That sounds positively unromantic,” he said, twisting his hand under her shirt to squeeze her breast.  

“I think you gave me enough romance for one weekend.” She was being sassy to him, but in all honesty, this is the happiest she had ever been. Happy, and for the first time, her magic wasn’t racing inside her. She didn’t feel like she had to try and suppress it.  

“Is that right?” He nipped at her ear moving his hand down her body.  

She laughed and grabbed his hand. “You are going to make it so I don’t leave the rest of the day.” 

“I was hoping that would work,” he snickered, trying to continue his path. She wiggled out of his grip and went to grab some fruit from the trays Mippy left for them. “You sure are being a tease.” 

She looked down, completely forgetting she didn’t have anything on other than the shirt. She wiggled her bum out at him. “It’s not my fault you didn’t give me my underwear back.”  Taking a bit of her apple, she went over to his wardrobe and found the pair of sweats she had put in there for safe keeping. “I’m going back to my room then I’ll come back.” 

“Or we can just meet you there in a little bit. I’ll tell the others.” 

KC smiled and gave him a kiss before grabbing her stuff and walking back to her room. Most people had left for Hogsmeade already, leaving the hall and common room empty. It was the reason she didn’t have her training with Lupin either.  

She quickly went to her shower to wash away the remnants of last night. She was truly happy. Her heart was full of love for Draco for even allowing her to test her bonds with Blaise and Theo. She didn’t deserve that. She felt so selfish for wanting to have all three of them. She knew it was an odd predicament to be in, most of society would find it disgraceful. But she didn’t care. This was one of the first times she hadn’t felt like her magic was going to overwhelm her since she presented with magic. It wasn’t pounding through her soul. It didn’t make sense as to why she had the bonds with her three men and she didn’t understand how it balanced her magic, but she was determined to find out. When she was done washing, she wrapped herself in the fluffy towels and inspected her body. She had three prominent marks on her neck. They had all marked her. Possessive assholes, she laughed to herself. 

She decided to leave them so they could enjoy their work. She tossed all of her clothes in her laundry basket before going to her wardrobe to find something. She wanted to be comfortable so she decided on her V-neck shirt and sweats. She thought about looking cute for her boys, but it wouldn’t matter. They were going to tease her relentlessly no matter what she wore.  

Just as she was pulling her shirt over her head, her door opened. Blaise and Theo walked in, carrying a few books and extra parchment for their notes. Quickly setting everything on her desk, they pulled her over, sandwiching her between them. They each admired and kissed the sides of her neck that had been marked.  

“I’m so glad you left these, Princess,” Theo whispered from behind her.  

Blaise nipped at her neck before she pushed away from them. “We are here to get some work done. I’m so behind on everything. You keep distracting me!” 

“You’re no fun,” Blaise teased before sitting down in her chair.  

Draco came in moments later with his things to take notes. He saw KC bending over, trying to get the Oracle from her trunk, both boys admiring the view. He couldn’t blame them. He set his stuff down quickly and snuck over to her. He smacked her ass hard. She moaned and the boy’s eyes went wide, Draco laughing. She shot straight up and turned to smack the book on his chest. “Draco Malfoy! You’re an ass.” 

“You loved that. You can’t hide that,” he smirked at her.  

Her face was red. “That’s beside the point.” She moved to sit down on her bed so she could get reading. “I’m glad that you’re comfortable doing that around them though.” Draco was more open to the idea than he thought he would be. He was a possessive man, but knowing she was happy and taken care of was his top priority. He also loved teasing her and now that he had two others to help make her face flush? She didn’t stand a chance. “Do you guys have anything specific we need to look into today?” KC asked. 

Blaise opened up the book Draco had given him. “I’m going to look into some stones and crystals. They might be able to help regulate some of your magic. In case we aren’t around to help; your magic won’t explode or you pass out.” 

“What’s in the Oracle?” Theo asked. 

“I hope to figure that out today. My best guess is the prophecy that the Sympathizers were after. Maybe It will give us some answers on how to stop all of this.” She stared down at the old book in her hands. “It just seems like a lot riding on me. What if I can’t do this?” 

“We will figure this out,” Draco comforted, sitting next to her. “Now, start reading so I can take notes.” 

“Bossy prick,” she muttered under her breath. He pinched her side, making her flinch. She moved to lay on her stomach so her head was towards the end of the bed and started reading out loud for Draco. They used a quill that would copy everything into a new journal for her and he took notes of things he found insightful and wrote questions he wanted answered.  He kept his hand on her bum as she read, keeping her focused. It took them most of the day. Mippy brought food for them and drinks throughout the day.  

There was too much information. Half the book was blank to her and she assumed they were prophecies that wouldn’t pertain to her. She got to a part that was dated back to 1749, the only prophecy on the page. 

 

Born of two worlds, a power unknown.  

Bonds of balance and of soul.  

The power to perform magic new to the world.

A power to give and take.  

Sacrifices given to protect and control the future at stake.  

 

Well, that’s vague,” KC sighed in frustration. “Is this what the Sympathizers are after? That is hardly anything to go on!” 

“It could have been the smallest of power and they would chase it,” Theo grumbled.  

“Even you have to admit, Kara. This does sound like you,” Draco tried to reason with her.  

She rolled onto her back, frustrated. “I know, but nothing else is lining up! There has to be something we are missing.” She put a pillow over her head, trying to calm herself.  

“What if there was someone else who could help us try and find answers?” Draco asked.  

KC put the pillow under her head. “If it’s who I’m thinking you’re going to ask, I don’t think they would agree. They don’t necessarily like me.” 

“I’ll go and convince her,” Draco said, getting up to go. Blaise and Theo had been working on something most of the day. Something that they might be able to build. While Draco was gone, they tried to explain it to KC in hopes it was a positive step forward.  

 

*****

 

Draco went to his common room hoping he would find Granger. The room was empty, but there was light coming from her room. Throwing all caution to the wind, he knocked on her door. After a few seconds, the door opened and Granger stood with red eyes.  

“What do you want, Malfoy?”  

“Gee, aren’t you a ball of sunshine today?” He rolled his eyes and entered her room. Granger was particularly organized. Stacks of books and parchment, so much red and gold covered each surface.  

“If you came to make today excruciatingly worse for me, you can get in line.” She slammed her door shut and went back to her desk where she was working.  

“Awe, is Granger upset about all of the hearts and roses? Krum couldn’t make it this year?” 

“Fuck off, Malfoy. I’m trying to get work done. I don’t need shit from you.” 

“Believe it or not, I came to see if you might be up for a little project. You like to research,” Draco said casually. He tried to play it off like it was no big deal, he didn’t want to owe her later on. Granger eyed him, but didn’t speak. “And I know you would like the chance to prove prophecies are superfluous compared to logical magic.” 

“If this is about your girlfriend, you can leave.” She went back to writing.  

“You said you’re not a monster. I’m asking you to prove that. The Sympathizers must be stopped.” Draco stood his ground. Stoic and serious as ever.  

Granger sat in silence. “And what would you need me for?” 

“You are a different mind. You think differently. Perhaps you can take some of the information and put pieces together that may have been missed. Different solutions to the problem.” 

She tried to ignore him, but he could tell she was intrigued. “And we both know that you are just as determined to stop those bastards.” 

“Your father is one of those bastards,” she snapped at him. 

“I’m not my father, Granger. You testified and sat in my trial. You know that I’m not him. My mother and I want to stop him. Help us? I’ll let you have the first punch.”  

Her shoulders relaxed a little. “And what would we be researching?” 

“I’ll tell once you agree,” he said with a smirk. He knew he was getting his way.  

Hermione stood and grabbed her stuff. “I’m doing this for the sake of stopping the Sympathizers. It has nothing to do with you.”

She threw her bag over her shoulder and was going to rush past Draco when he grabbed her shoulder to stop her. “Hey,” he said in a quiet voice. He conjured a wet cloth and wiped her face. “Don’t let this stupid holiday get you down. Just because I was an ass, doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there for you.”

“I know that, Malfoy. I just…. Nevermind.” She tried to pull away from him again but he held on tight. She sighed. “Ron just said some backhanded things through a letter. It’s nothing.”

“You always did deserve better than that weasel, anyway,” Draco joked.

Hermione smiled at that. “Let’s go, ferret.”

Draco pushed her out the door and she just laughed. She followed him back to Hufflepuff in better spirits than she had been in all day.

 

*****

 

Blaise was teasing KC on the bed when the door opened. He had laid next to her to compare some notes and he ended up not being able to keep his hands to himself.

“Can you two not behave for ten minutes while I’m gone?” Draco scoffed.

Hermione couldn’t believe what she was seeing. “You’re not upset over that?” She whispered to Draco.

“It’s a long story, Granger,” Theo said loudly in their direction. Theo got up and got a hooded sweatshirt, tossing it at KC. “You might want to cover up, love.” KC’s hands went straight to her neck, she was mortified. Theo conjured another chair for Hermione, sitting it next to his.

Draco went to the other side of the bed and sat next to KC as she scrambled to put on the sweatshirt. “I brought Granger here because as much as I hate to admit it, she is brilliant,” Draco said, grabbing the blue book they had almost memorized at this point. “Sit down, Granger. We have to start from the beginning. It’s going to be a long night.”

He wasn't exaggerating. By the time Hermione comprehended the entire situation, KC had dozed off, her head laying on Blaise’s lap.

“This has to be one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard,” Hermione tried to rationalize everything.

“Imagine how we feel,” Theo rolled his eyes, continuing to study.

Coming to terms with what this project would entail, she opened the blue book. “Ok, show me what you have.”

Theo and Draco spent most of the night going over the information. She agreed that certain crystals could be helpful, inscribed in the correct runes. “It could become almost like a talisman.”

“That’s what we had thought, but we cannot seem to find and kind of binding spell that would help us,” Draco tried to explain.

Hermione thought about it for a bit, trying to put things together. Then one line of the prophecy hit her. “ The power to perform magic new to the world. What if we create a new spell?”

The room went quiet. “Think about it. If her magic is so strong and it supposedly says she could perform new magic, what if we make our own talisman?”

“Even if we could, we wouldn’t know how to make it balance her magical spikes,” Theo tried to reason.

“You wrote in your notes about muggle science,” Hermione grabbed a blank piece of paper and drew a swing. ”I think that’s what we need to find. Stones that can help balance and act like a buffer. It’s like her magic is Kinetic energy, in movement constantly, like a swing moving upwards. It gets to a maximum point, where it has the most Potential energy. That’s where it could explode or come back down the other way, like a swing. It goes back and forth constantly. I think the more she uses her magic, the more stressors there are, the more out of control it becomes.”

“Then why would our bonds balance her back to a normal level?” Draco asked, trying to follow her logic.

“My best guess? Some of her magic is flowing into you.” All three boys sat unmoving. “Think about it. When you’re together, do you feel more elated? Not just a happy feeling, but like a stronger push.”

Draco couldn’t deny that. When he was around KC, his spells were more powerful, more accurate. After a night of sleeping with her, his magic hummed through him. “It’s like we are siphoning it from her.”

“In theory, yes,” Hermione continued. “But I don’t think you could take it from her. It’s like she is unknowingly sending it to you through your bonds.”

“In theory, we need to make a talisman that functions like our bonds. That’s what you’re saying?” Theo summarized.

“Precisely,” Hermione had done it. She figured it out in one night that had taken them almost a month and a half.

“You really are the brightest witch, Granger,” Draco praised. He ran his fingers through KC’s hair that was across Blaise’s knee. “Now we have something to work towards starting Monday.” Hermione glowed with pride. She grabbed her things and got up to leave to go to bed. “We’ll see you in the library?” Draco asked her.

“Like you could do this without me,” she sassed. Smiling, she left and went back to her room.

The boys tried to wrap their minds around the information they had put together. KC still fast asleep. Blaise tried to gently move her up so he could lay with her. She clung to him for dear life. Draco laughed knowing how hard it was to get away from her. He shook her awake. “Kara, we’re finishing up.” 

Her eyes slowly opened. “But I want to sleep,” she whined. Begrudgingly, she sat up. “I feel like I missed a lot. What happened?” 

Theo just smiled at her. “We can catch you up tomorrow when you’re actually awake.”  

Blaise was up and KC reached for him. “You're not leaving me, are you?” 

He grabbed her hand and kissed it. “Of course, not, Kitten.”  

It was the first time KC had actually taken notice of the three men around her. They always dressed well. Even on a casual Saturday they wore black dress trousers, dress shirts or sweaters. She looked down at herself in the hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants. Draco put together her train of thought. “You look fine. 

“You are all so put together, all the time. I look like a mess compared to you,” she complained. She didn’t mind them looking nice all the time. She would never get tired of it.  

“We can always strip down so we are all on the same level,” Theo winked at her. KC blushed so hard. “Oh Princess, we will never get tired of that.”  

The boys laughed. Draco had stripped down to his boxers and the t-shirt underneath his sweater. KC tried to hide her face in her hoodie as the boys teased her. “You blushing Hufflepuff. Just what are we going to do with you?”  He put his hands under her sweatshirt and pulled it off of her. “Now you can show off how you’ve been marked,” he said huskily into her ear, then kissed the spot on her neck. Draco pulled her down with him and spooned her.  

Theo and Blaise had made a slow show about undressing. KC watched as they unbuttoned their shirts and slowly revealed their muscled chests. “You like watching them, love?” Draco whispered in her ear. She was watching so intently she couldn’t even form words. He slid his hand down from her waist dipping it under her joggers, she let out a delicious sound. “I can feel how much you like it.” He teased her, kissing her neck and made slow circles, purposely avoiding her clit. 

Blaise was the first to join them on the bed, shirtless and in well-fitted briefs. KC had one hand behind her in Draco’s hair, the other reached out to touch his chest as he looked her in the eye. “How about it, Theo? Should we give her more of what she wants?” 

Theo shirtless put his arm around his boyfriend. “Only if she says so,” he teased. “If she can ask like a good girl.” Theo nipped at Blaise’s neck and Draco still teased her slowly. 

“P-please,” KC was able to whisper out, her voice shaking.  

“I think that might be all she can manage,” Draco teased. “Her mind is going a thousand miles a second.” Blaise laid on his back and Theo covered him. There was no hesitation in their lips meeting. They all heard KC’s sharp breath intake. “You love that, don’t you? You watch them and it turns you on?” Draco continued to murmur into her ear. “I think they want to see us, just as much, love.” 

Draco removed his hand from her and rolled her back, laying on top of her. He kissed her possessively. She fought to control it, to speed things up, but he wouldn’t let her. She heard the other two stop and they were watching her wreathe beneath Draco. “Although, Draco,” Theo broke their concentration. “She never did vocalize what she wanted. Perhaps we should just let her rest.” 

KC pushed him back. “Don’t you fucking dare.”  

Draco raised an eyebrow. “I think Theo is right. Only good girls who ask nicely the first time get what they want.” She tried to push her hips against his to get him to continue, but he just smirked and held her down. “I think she needs to rest and ask tomorrow.” 

Before she could argue, Draco was off of her and pulling her to him again. Blaise was facing her with Theo’s arm around him. “You are all a bunch of wankers.” 

They all laughed at her. “Hearing that with your American accent is too much,” Theo said between laughs.  

“Fine, you assholes. I’m going to sleep then,” she pouted. She used wandless magic to summon an extra blanket and covered herself up, hiding her from their view. The boys laughed at her and settled down. Draco didn’t let her go. One by one she could feel them fall asleep, she soon followed with a smile.  

KC woke early enough that she could meet Hannah. Rushing to the bathroom while the boys still slept. She put on warm clothes and made sure to use the healing balm on her neck to hide the marks. Those marks were for her, she didn’t need to flaunt them around the school and be tacky. She had finished brushing her hair when the door creaked open. Blaise snuck in and shut it behind him. 

“Were you trying to run away without saying goodbye?” he asked as he came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her.  

“Of course not. I told Hannah I would help her and Luna down by the ‘care of magical creatures’ area.” She put her brush down and leaned against him. “Would you like to come?” 

“Does that have a double meaning?” He asked, raising an eyebrow at her in the mirror. 

She couldn’t help but laugh at his boldness. “Only if you’re lucky, Blaise.” 

He turned her around and put his hands on her face. “I’ll take my chances, Kitten.” He slowly leaned down and kissed her. It was the first time he had kissed her just because he wanted to; No one else was around, just them.  She melted into him. His lips weren’t as domineering as Draco’s tended to be. Her hands slid around his waist and lightly scratched her nails along his lower back. Blaise broke the kiss but held her there. “And she has claws.” 

KC couldn’t help but smile. “I should get going before Hannah barges in the room.” Blaise smiled but didn’t let her go. “She will. And she wouldn’t care if we were all naked, she would still drag me out.” She kissed him one more time before they left the bathroom. She went and put her boots on before going up to the other two boys still sleeping. She bent down giving both Theo and Draco kisses while they slept. Blaise dressed in a hurry while KC left a note for the other two. They left the room together right as Hannah was coming out of hers. 

“Ah, glad I didn’t have to cause a scene,” Hannah said, wrapping her arm around KC’s elbow. “You couldn’t leave them behind?” 

“I asked him to help. If that’s ok?”  

“I’m sure Hagrid will appreciate the help,” Hannah dragged KC towards the door. Blaise was amused at their friendship, and followed them quietly. 

Luna was already down at Hagrid’s Hut when they got there. She seemed to be watching the mooncalves run around their enclosure. She turned to greet them with a dreamy look on her face. “It’s nice to have extra help today.” 

“Of course, Luna. Anything you need from us today.” 

“That’s nice, KC. Hagrid had to run to Diagon Alley to pick up some supplies for later. We can split up to get things done faster. Hannah and I can feed the mooncalves and kneazles if you and Blaise wouldn’t mind feeding the firecrabs?” 

“Why do we get the dangerous ones?” Blaise tried to protest, but KC just grabbed his hand. 

“We can do that. We will come find you when we are done.” She pulled him behind her as she walked towards the firecrabs. She squeezed his hand to comfort him. “It’s going to be fine. They like me.” 

“Then I will watch you work. They didn’t like me during our lessons,” Blaise said, keeping close to her.  

KC grabbed a bucket of food for them and climbed the fence. The creatures surrounded her at once. It was unlike anything Blaise had seen before. These creatures tended to fight over their food, but each one patiently waited for KC to hand them each their piece. She patted each of them on the head as the backed away. After a while, there were only a few left. Most had dispersed around the encloser. Blaise was starting to get cold, so he climbed the fence to go stand by her. He put his arm around her, trying not to shiver. “I told you we could have stopped to get your coat,” KC said, tossing a piece to the next crab.  

“Then I would need to be so close to you, now, would I?” He admired her as she interacted with the creatures. They naturally took to her, blatantly ignoring him. For the last one, KC bent down. Blaise tried to stop her but she ignored him. The crab nudged her forehead, similar to how cats did. She gave it the piece of food and scratched under its chin as it ate. “Is this the one from the first class?”  

“Sure is, you can see his scar from that stick. I’ve named him Spike,” she giggled and scratched the crab's shell between the crystals and jewels that decorated it.  

“How original,” Blaise teased.  

“He seems to like it. Want to pet him?” He tried to say no, but she pulled him down to her level anyway. “You just have to do so gently. Spike won’t hurt you, will you, buddy?” 

The crab gave a small sound that was almost happy. KC took Blaise’s hand and slowly rested it on the shell. “Just give a light scratch. He loves it.” It was the smallest thing in the world, but as he pet the crab, it seemed to lean into him. KC smiled at him as he did so, continuing to scratch under its chin. “I think he likes you.” 

“He likes you. He’s only tolerating me because you’re here.” 

“Maybe. But it’s a step.” She kissed him on the cheek and went back to giving the crab small bits of extra food. He smiled at their simple interactions until he couldn’t contain his shiver anymore. It was one giant shake out of him. “We can go if you’re cold.” 

“No, it’s ok. You’re enjoying your time. Spike likes you being here.”  

Without warning the crab moved his backend towards Blaise. His eyes went wide with fear. KC held him. “Shhh it’s ok,” she tried to soothe the crab, but he wasn’t upset. He looked at KC with a gentle eye. Instead of shooting flames, the crab was giving off a small heat. “See! He does like you! He’s just warming you up. What a good boy, Spike.” 

Blaise gave a small laugh and scratched the shell above the heat. “Thanks, little man.” 

KC moved closer to him and kissed him. “Thanks for coming with me. It means a lot.” 

“Anything for you,” he said sweetly, kissing her again. “And to get away from homework.” 

She couldn’t help but laugh at him. She went back to pet the crab some more before they went back to the others. After a few minutes of enjoying the peace, there were a few more crabs that came to surround them. It was weird. Four of them lined up in a row facing them. Putting their shells together, they started shaking. “What are they doing?” Blaise asked quickly. 

“I have no idea,” KC said standing, wand at her side just in case.  

But nothing bad happened. They shook for less than a minute before the separated. Spike went over to where they had stood and started pushing something towards them. It was a bunch of gems that the crabs had shed. The shells of firecrabs were priceless. Covered in many gems and crystals, they were hunted for the longest time before there were official protections. Spike nudged them until they hit KC’s feet.  

“Amazin’!” She heard Hagrid yell from the fence! “They’ve never done that ‘efore!” 

KC gave Spike one more good pat before she and Blaise grabbed the stones. They headed back to the fence. “I have no clue what happened. I’ve never heard of anything like that before.” 

Blaise hopped over the fence, and then helped KC down. Hagrid was shocked. “I’ve never seen it with my own eyes. It’s very rare for them to shed parts of their shells. They must think you’re pretty special.” 

“I know I do,” Blaise said quietly, taking the stones from KC. 

“Why don’t you lot head back up to the castle for lunch? I already sent off the other two. Seems like you’ve finished everything I needed today.” 

“Thanks, Hagrid. I’ll come help anytime.” KC opened her bag to put all the stones in. “Shall we go check on the other two to make sure they haven’t lost it?” 

“Knowing those two, they are probably still sleeping.” Blaise grabbed her hand and they went back towards the castle. She would consider this a morning well spent. Blaise’s hands were like ice. Once back in the castle, she tried casting a warming charm but it didn’t seem to help much. “They are always cold. Theo hates it.” 

“I’d hate it, too, if you put those icicles on me!” 

“Would you now?” He pulled her into an empty classroom in the dungeons and locked the door. Crashing his lips to hers. He lifted her and she wrapped her legs around him, sitting her on the professor’s desk. “I’ll make you a deal; if you can stay quiet for one minute, then I won’t put my cold hands on your skin. My stipulation? I can do whatever I want to you to try and make you break.” There was the most devilish look in his eyes. He stripped her of her coat and outer layers. “Do we have a deal, Kitten?”  

“I was warned not to make deals with Slytherins,” she teased, running her hands up his chest.  

“I can always make it two minutes,” he smirked at her, leaning down to nip at her neck.  

“And what if you win?”  

Running his fingers through her hair, he grabbed on lightly before lowering it back down to the desk. “Then you return the favor from Friday night.” 

She took a sudden breath, her body shaking in anticipation at that thought. “Deal.” 

“You’ve got it, Kitten.” Blaise didn’t waste any time going slow. His lips were punishing against hers. He kept his hands on the desk. He didn’t need them to move her how he wanted. He hurriedly moved to the curve of her neck and she had to fight making a sound. He pulled up her shirt up over her head, careful not to touch her skin. His lips barely stopped their attack. He kissed his way down to her breast and using his teeth he pulled down her bra. “You’re doing better than I imagined, Kitten. Halfway there.” He attached himself right to her nipple, sucking hard. She was squirming under him, fighting how good it felt. He moved to the other one with the same enthusiasm. She did so well, until he used his teeth. She couldn’t help but let out a moan.  She covered her mouth so fast, but it was too late. Blaise was already smirking at her. “I win, Kitten. You were so close, I’m proud of you.” 

“That’s not fair,” she said, trying to compose herself.  

“Ah but you agree. I could do whatever I wanted. Now it’s your turn.” He kissed her hard again but pulled her off the table, switching her spots. She was nervous. She had only done this for Draco and still only believed he liked it because he was too nice to say otherwise. He could tell she was nervous as her hands shakily undid his trousers. He pulled back from her. “KC, it’s ok if you don’t want to. We can stop right now.” 

“No-no. I want to. I’m just – I don’t know if I’m very good at it.” 

He kissed her one more time. “I promise you it’ll be ok. I’ll tell you if it’s terrible.”  

She chuckled at that and continued to pull down his trousers. Her fingers trembled, touching him over his briefs. He was bigger than Draco was. But she wanted to make him feel good. She pulled down the cloth and he sprang to life. She wasted no time licking up the underside of his shaft. She could hear him take a deep breath in. Gaining her confidence, she took the head into her mouth, swirling her tongue over and around the tip. Slowly, moved up and down, taking as much in as she could.  

“Fuck, Kitten. You’re so good,” he praised as his head fell back in pleasure. She added a little bit more suction against him, varying her speed. To give him a little bit more, she wrapped a hand around towards the bottom of him and let it move with her. His hand went into hair as she felt him start to twitch inside her mouth. “I’m going to come in your mouth if you don’t stop, love.” She smirked at his comment and just went deeper. He didn’t last much longer. His hand tightened in her hair stopping her movement and he poured into her mouth.  

She was gentle as she moved off of him and he moved his hand to help balance him on the desk. He was still recovering as she stood up to meet his eye. “Everything ok, Blaise?” 

He pulled her close, cold hands on her arms sending goosebumps across her. “Perfect.” He kissed her slowly and pulled her bra back up. “Let’s get you back before they start to worry.” 

She moved back to put on her shirt as he readjusted his trousers. Grabbing the rest of their things, they left to go back towards her room.  

Blaise was right when he thought the two boys would still be asleep.  She quietly put down her things so she didn’t wake them. Blaise, on the other hand, had mischief on his mind. He snuck over to his boyfriend's side, still shirtless. He wiggled his fingers at her. Before she could stop him, he put his ice-cold hands on his chest. Theo shot right up. “You son-of-a-bitch,” he yelled, pulling him down on the bed. Draco had jolted awake and away from the bed, wand out in front of him. KC was dying of laughter. Theo had stopped assaulting Blaise and came for her. “You think that’s funny, do you?” 

“I already lost that bet. Don’t come for me,” KC tried to say as she came out of her laughter. Draco had calmed down, sitting on the floor watching the interaction.  

Theo put his hand on her face, gently. “I’m glad I got to see you first thing though. Did you have fun with Blaise?” She looked into his blue eyes, getting lost. She barely nodded before Theo’s lips were on hers. He didn’t wait to twirl his tongue with hers. It was quick and passionate, leaving her in a daze. “Tastes like you had a wonderful time with Blaise.” 

KC’s face went red and he gave her one last kiss before going to grab his clothes. She went over to Draco and sat in front of him. “Are you ok?” He nodded, occlumency shield was up. She decided to wait until the other two left to push it. She held his hand saying goodbye to the others as they left.  As soon as the door closed, he pulled her into a tight hug. She was flooded with his emotions. “I was so worried about you.” 

“I’m sorry, Draco. I left a note. I was hoping you’d see it,” she ran her fingers through his hair, trying to calm him down. “I’m ok. I’m right here.” 

“You were gone when I woke up earlier. Blaise was too so I figured he went with you, but I didn’t see the note. I tried to rest again but it wasn’t great. And then Theo jumping and scaring me I automatically went to the worst.” He held her close, not letting her go. 

“It’s ok. We’re ok, love.” She did her best to flood as much love as she could down her bond with him. He just held her. His breathing had calmed but she didn’t let go. “I’ll make sure to wake you next time. I’m sorry.” 

She pulled back enough to kiss him. He relished in her kiss, easing the worry out of him. She put her forehead to his and he was breathing normally again. “Better?” 

He nodded and she helped him stand up. “You taste salty. What did you eat?” 

KC gasped and covered her mouth running to the bathroom. She had never brushed her teeth so fast in her life. Draco laughed at her reaction, grabbing her things, getting them out so they could study some more before a long week of classes ahead.

Chapter Text

 

Spring time approached Hogwarts faster than anyone realized. February and March passed, the school getting lost in preparation for the final exams quickly coming up. KC spent much of her time in the library or studying in her room. Between classes and trying to figure out her power to stop the Sympathizers, she was slowly losing her mind. Between the extra duties for the Head students, KC saw Draco less and less. He would come and help her study when could, mostly giving her attention. She had to work extra hard to keep him caught up on his school work. Hermione had been a decent help when it came to the prophecy. She saw things in a more logical view and could separate different ideas piece by piece. Blaise spent his time trying to use the stones and finding runes to inscribe to them to be beneficial. Theo worked on new spells to try by using different Latin roots and trying to find more information on how bonds worked. He was determined to see if he could find a way for her to focus her power to transfer through the stones like it did with their bonds.  

The only thing KC had to look forward to for herself was quidditch starting again in April, as well as her study to try and become an Animagus. Between her four nights a week flying with her Slytherins, Hannah and Ginny to get back into shape for matches, she had begun reading the same book she had on the train ride. The process was written out clearly, it was just time consuming. Brewing a complex potion, 30 days of a mandrake leaf, waiting for a lightning storm; it was so much to consider. She had talked to McGonagall about taking the steps forward to do it, but with everything else going on, the headmistress encouraged her to focus elsewhere. That left KC with the drive to do it herself without help. It was the one thing she could do for herself.   

KC’s relationships with her boys never faltered. There was always at least one of them with her when she was outside of her dorm; Classes, studying, quidditch, dinner, defense practice, library. By the time she returned to her room for the night, she was exhausted and was asleep before any of the boys made it to her. The best part of waking up to her alarm was having an arm around her, most of the time it was Draco.  

The lack of time between all of them meant lack of intimacy. Draco would steal kisses between the stacks in the library. Blaise would walk her back from the quidditch pitch, usually pinning her against one of the walls in the courtyard. Theo would be wildly inappropriate with his touches at meals. She never stopped any of their advances. She was truly starting to miss them though. They always went out of their way to do things for her since she was so busy with everything else; she felt guilty that she hadn’t been able to give them anything in return. It made it even worse when the rumors started flying around the school. She was used to nasty things being said about her, it happened most of the time at Ilvermorny, but it was finally starting to get better at Hogwarts and she wasn’t prepared for it to hit hard again.  

Rumors and whispers about her chasing their money, being a whore to them, cheating on Draco with the other two. Some even tried to rumor her as part of the Sympathizers since she was hanging around ‘death eaters’. It didn’t matter that she was close with Ginny and Hannah. It didn’t matter that she was technically at the top of the class or was leading the quidditch league in scores. Outside of her friend group, no one trusted her. No one wanted her here. It really hurt when a few of the younger years she had been helping tutor all year turned away from her because of everything being said. It would usually end in a night of her going down to see the firecrabs and crying around them.  

That was exactly how her three boys found her one evening. It was the week of Easter, which meant less than a week before the quidditch match between Hufflepuff and Slytherin. She hadn’t shown up to practice and they were all worried. Draco had felt her sadness and exhaustion through their bond, and Blaise knew one place she would go for a break of happy. 

Most of the crabs would ignore her after they got their food, but there was always Spike. He had become her emotional support creature. Draco’s owl was sweet, but was as moody as his owner. Spike would always come to her for scratches and head nudges. He would even play fetch with a stick which Hagrid thought was hilarious.  

Draco climbed the fence and approached her quietly. Sitting behind her and putting his legs around the side of her and held her. He comforted her the best he could. “What’s wrong, love?” 

“I can’t do this anymore,” she whispered, holding her head between her hands. 

“Don’t say that, Princess,” Theo said as the boys sat in front of her. He grabbed her hands from her face and Blaise put his hand on her knee.  

“The stress of it is too much. The nasty things people are saying, not only about me, but you, the stress of NEWTs, we haven’t been able to get much further on the bonds which has me worried we won’t be able to figure it all out before the Sympathizers do, quidditch practice has been rough, and on top of everything I feel guilty. I feel like I haven’t been able to give you guys the attention you deserve. I can feel the pangs of sadness through the bonds when you come around me and I can feel my magic starting to spike at random times and I can’t suppress it. I feel like I’m failing.”  

KC was distraught. “Who do I need to take out? No one hurts you and gets away with it,” Blaise said furiously.  

“I love that you’d do that, but I don’t think you’ll be able to put fear into the entire school.” KC said defeated.  

“I did,” Draco smirked. KC leaned against him.  

“That’s not funny, Draco. You did that under duress--” 

“It was a joke, Hufflepuff,” he said and kissed the top of her head. “The point is, it doesn’t matter what they say. You don’t need their approval. We’ve been doing so much to research the bonds, even Granger thinks we are close.” 

“But if you think we are going to go easy on you during the match next week, you’ll have to think again,” Theo joked, trying to make her smile.  

Blaise moved so he could put a hand to her cheek and wiped the tears away. “Did you ever hear us complain about a lack of attention? Lack of affection?” KC tried to look away from him, but he held her strong. “You aren’t neglecting us, Kitten. Not by a long shot. You’ve been so busy and doing so much good. We couldn’t be upset with you.” He gave her a kiss before sitting back down. 

She couldn’t hold back her tears. All three boys felt the buzz of her magic, she could see the static at the tips of her fingers. “It’s like your touch isn’t helping anymore and I don’t know how to make it better. I need to be able to control this before I end up hurting someone. Before I hurt you.” 

The boys surrounded her in a group hug. It was enough to bring her some comfort and the small amount of static to die from her hands, but her magic was still strong.  

“Let’s get you inside,” Draco suggested as they broke apart. “You can stay with Blaise and Theo tonight and I’ll see you once you’ve had some rest.” 

“You’re not staying with me?” She asked anxiously. 

“I have rounds tonight and unfortunately I missed an essay that is due tomorrow. I will probably be up most of the night.” He gave her a kiss to squash the fear she felt.  

“I love you, Draco. I promise I’ll do better.” He helped her stand.  

“I love you, Hufflepuff.” He gave her another kiss. “You’re doing your best. That’s all I’ll ever need. Let’s get you back.” 

They helped her back over the fence and up to the castle. She felt better with them around than she had in weeks. Draco went to head towards the Great Hall so he could do rounds while Blaise and Theo took her to Slytherin. She loved how classy the common room felt. Black leather couches, emerald green tapestries. Books galore. The window that gave a look into the black lake. It was bigger than the one in Draco’s common room by far. KC loved watching it.  

The boys lead her to their dorm room where it was just them. They had magically put the three beds together. “Draco was supposed to be our third roommate, so we got lucky,” Theo reasoned with her when he saw the concern on her face. 

“Very, very lucky,” Blaise teased her, pinching her backside to get her to move further inside. She went and sat on the couch they had against the wall of their room, trying to stay out of their way. Her magic was all over and she wanted to try to calm down as much as possible. Both boys dropped what they were doing and were surrounding her in seconds. “You don’t have to hide from us.” 

“I’m not,” she defended. “I’ve missed you. I know that I see you every day, but I haven’t had alone time with you. But I may have to leave and come back.” 

“You’re not going anywhere, Princess,” Theo said, pulling her closer to him. 

“But I didn’t get to go get my things for class tomorrow. Or anything to sleep in tonight.” 

Blaise stood. “You rest, I’ll go get your things.” He leaned down and gave her a slow kiss. “I’ll be back before you know it.”  

He moved to give Theo a kiss as well before leaving the room. Theo wasted no time before he pushed her down onto the couch cushions. His kiss was unforgiving and passionate. Her hands went right into his wavy hair. “I’ve missed you so much,” She muttered against his lips, fighting to catch her breath.  

“We can’t have that now can we, love?” He got up and pulled her off the couch, taking her shirt off quickly. She grabbed him by his green tie and pulled him to her again. He pulled off his shirt and dress pants, pulling the tie from her hands. He slid her jeans down before pushing her to the bed. “Do you think I can make you come before Blaise gets back? He’ll be so upset that he missed it.”  

“I feel like that’s a challenge. I accept,” she nipped at his neck.  

He smirked. “Better make it twice, then.” His hands undid her bra and tossed it aside. He was going to mark her before the night was over. He teased her nipples with his hands as he bit down on the side of her breast. She arched into him. “You tell me to stop at any time.” 

“I won’t,” she brought his lips to hers. “I just have a rule to follow.” 

“I remember. I don’t plan on breaking it. Not this time.” His hand went down and ripped her underwear right off. He inserted a finger as he kissed down her body. “Are you already this excited for me, love?”  

Before she could find the words to reply, his lips attached to her clit. She covered her mouth to muffle her scream. His other hand teased her breast. “Fuck, Theo,” she groaned as she gripped his hair. That made him move faster. Her orgasm hit her by surprise and her thighs trapped Theo in place.  

He let her ride her high before releasing her and moved up to see her face. “That was once, Princess. Let’s see if I can get that second one from you.” She flipped him over in one strong movement. He brought a fire in her. Theo had a dominating presence around him, but she wanted to make him work for it. She went to take him into her mouth. He let for about 5 seconds before he regained his senses and pulled her up to him by her hair. “Oh no. You don’t get to be in control. It’s my job to make you lose control.” He flipped her back over by her arms holding her hands above her head. Teased her slick entrance with the head of his cock. “Please say yes, Princess.” 

“Yes! Please, please, ple--” Kissed her hard and he filled her before she could finish begging.  

“Bloody hell, Kara. You’re fucking perfect.” He pounded into her. She tried to move her arms to touch him, but he held her strong. “Only when you come for me, love.” 

“I ca--- I can’t--” she whimpered under him. He was overwhelming her with sensations.  

“You’re so close, I can feel it. Be a good girl and come around my cock,” he said huskily into her ear. He roughly sucked on her neck, thrusting in and out with all his might. Her legs wrapped around him and head fell back as she screamed his name. “Beautiful,” he groaned. He pulled out of her and let her hands go. She pulled him down to kiss him, reaching to stroke him. It didn’t take much before he melted into her hands. “Say my name, Kara. Tell me who made you feel so good.” 

“You did, Theo,” she said breathlessly. “I love you so much, Theo.” 

That was all it took. He thrust once more into her hand and her stomach was covered. He was tense for a few more seconds, both beyond spent. He fell on top of her, not caring about the mess.  

“Did you mean that? Please tell me you meant that,” he whispered, brushing her messy hair out of her face.  

“I love you, Theo Nott.”  

She saw the brightest smile spread across his face. “I love you, my Kara.” He kissed her slowly.  

It wasn’t but a few seconds later that they heard the door open. “Seems like I missed out on the fun,” Blaise teased. Theo summoned a towel and made sure to clean her off first before taking care of himself.  

“Give her time to rest, love. We can show her a good time later,” Theo winked at her before laying down next to her.  

Blaise stripped all the way down so he was naked with them. “As you wish.” He curled behind KC, holding her close.  

“Can I use your journal to send a message to Draco before I fall asleep?”  

Theo couldn’t say no to her bright, puppy eyes. He got up from the bed and grabbed her a quill and his journal. She sat up so she could write, her blanket falling down to give the boys a show. 

Good luck with your essay tonight. I love you so much. Yours always, KC.  

Theo couldn’t help but roll his eyes at how cheesy she was. “Sometimes I forget just how much of a Hufflepuff you are.” 

“And you love it,” she stuck her tongue out at him as he took the book back.  

Blaise pulled her back down and held her close, hand resting on her breast. Theo laid next to them, putting his arm under the pillow so he could lay on his side looking towards them. He kissed KC on her forehead and slid his hand up Blaise’s arm.  Both boys just watched her as she fell asleep. Once she was completely out, Blaise carefully slid away from her and moved to lay behind Theo. “You’re so good with her, Theo,” he whispered.  

Not taking his eyes off the sleeping witch, he leaned back into Blaise’s chest. “She told me she loved me.” 

“Lucky prick,” he teased. “I love you, too.” 

Theo tilted his head to kiss Blaise. After a few minutes, they were both fast asleep. 

 

*****

 

Draco’s night was hell. Rounds were awful. Granger was in a foul mood all evening, putting him in an even more annoyed state. The only thing that gave him a little bit of calm was the love he felt through his bond. Granger had become more involved in his life again now that they were studying about the bonds more. She had helped him organize the last of his essay before she went off to bed. He knew the essay wasn’t going to take very long, but he was hoping that he could finish the surprise he had planned for KC.  

After looking over Blaise’s notes over the different crystals, and seeing what stones they had to work with from the firecrabs and a few he had his mother send from the Manor. He had designed a pendant that could work, even spent a week in the library with Luna to make sure he had the right stones. If that doesn’t prove how much I love her. Using his wand, he chipped off pieces of the crystals.  

Amethyst for good fortune and success, to promote healing, purifying, and enhancing willpower.  

Tiger’s eye for great power and success.  

Garnet for Luck and success; protections from evil intentions and magic.  

Rose quartz for warmth and love in all relationships. Strengthen bonds.  

smoky quartz to keep in a more grounded state, focus on tasks ahead.  

Bloodstone as it carried energy of the blood. Helps tap into personal strength.  

Emeralds provide balance, wisdom, and patience.  

All encased in clear quartz crystals to magnify effects of all other stones around.  

 

It was a pendant that wouldn’t match anything she wore, but it might just be a start on helping balance her magic. It was hopeful that it would help with the magical spikes, but also help her transfer excess power through the bonds. He spent hours on it. By the time he was finished shaping it and adding it to a necklace, it was late. He only had a few hours until he would have to wake for class. He cleaned up his work space, storing the extra stones in case he would need more in the future.  

As he stored everything in his room, he saw his journal was glowing. He opened it and smiled. He knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep without her. Grabbing all of his stuff for class, he made his way to Slytherin. Being as quiet as he possibly could, he slid into the boys' dormitories. KC was softly snoring in the middle of the bed, she had a hand behind her that rested on Blaise and Theo, holding each other. He stripped down so he could join next to her. He slowly pulled the blankets back; he hadn’t even sat down before KC whispered his name in her sleep. Draco . He would do anything for her to forever say his name like that. Barely having time to lay on his back, she was curled into him; her arm over his chest, leg over his. He slowly put the necklace on her. It fell on his chest, right between her breasts that were against him. Kissing her on the forehead, she sighed and he was able to fall asleep instantly.

 

 

*****

 

The week of classes passed too quickly. KC did everything to stay ahead. But it hit her during the Thursday night potions, that tomorrow was the big match against Slytherin. They had practiced every night of the week. She was exhausted and not because of her magic for once. The pendent that Draco had given her was working wonders for her so far. It would take time and with more research it could be better. When she was stressed or anxious that would make her magic spike, it’s like she could feel it flow into her pendant and then down through her bonds. They were still needing to focus on how she can control it and send her magic on purpose. 

They all slept in her room trying to keep her calm. Making it through classes on Friday was difficult. There was no focusing.  They sat with her at lunch with their group of friends trying to hype her up, but she was nervous.

“I’ve been feeling like something is wrong all day. What if I can’t do this? I’ve seen you play. Your team is fantastic,”

Blaise and Draco tried to comfort her before Ginny interrupted. ‘They are sexy, not fantastic. You’re going to wipe the pitch with them.” KC tried to say something but Ginny wouldn’t hear it. “Just accept it. I’ve been practicing with you for the last two weeks. I know you’re going to smash it. Blaise can’t beat you on a broom.”

“It’s true, Kitten. You’re going to kick my ass,” Blaise laughed.

The table made her smile enough that she could stomach a little bit of lunch before they headed down to the pitch. She changed into her uniform trying to focus on the match ahead, trying to shake the nerves she felt. Hannah came and got her before the team went out. “There is someone outside the door who wants to see you.”

KC wasn’t sure who it would be. She twirled her necklace around her neck and headed out the door. She didn’t see anyone standing there.

“Hello, Kara, my dear,” She heard to her right.

“Narcissa!” KC ran straight to her and tackled her into a hug. “I can’t believe you’re here!”

“I had a feeling you might need some encouragement today,” Narcissa said, regaining her composure. “You’ve been through so much from what your letters have said. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”

“And Draco is going to be flying,” KC tried to play it off.

“I came to watch you win,” she encouraged her. Narcissa pulled back her hair to show her earrings. They were canary yellow diamonds.

“You said you’d never wear yellow,” KC exclaimed. That put a smile on her face.

 “Theo Nott is going to be too distracted by you to block your shots. Blaise Zabini would much rather watch you from behind then try and knock the quaffle from you. As for my son, you’re going to work your magic and he won’t stand a chance.”

“She’s not wrong, Kitten.” Blaise came up from behind her. Slytherin was leaving their changing rooms. Theo and Draco gave her a wink before flying out.

“I’ll leave you to it. Good luck, Kara.” Narcissa gave her one last motherly hug before leaving to climb up the stairs.

Blaise pulled her in giving her a kiss on the forehead. ‘You’re going to be great. I can feel how nervous you are, but I have no doubt you’re going crush us.”

“I just feel like there is something wrong. I can’t shake it,” KC fidgeted with Blaise’s uniform. He grabbed her hands and pulled her flush against him. Lifting her up and pinning her against the wooden wall. He kissed her roughly. She was surprised. He didn’t let up on her until he felt most of the tension fall from her shoulders. He put a hand against her cheek as he let her down from the wall. “What was that for?”

“I just wanted to show you that I love you,” he said and kissed her one more time. She couldn’t contain her smile under his kiss. He pulled back and moved away from her. “Now go. Kick my ass, Kitten.”

Her team came out of the room and she was ready to kick some Slytherin quidditch butt. The entire pitch roared in cheers as Hufflepuff flew onto the field. She flew around circling around her boys. Her mood had changed and she was ready for this match.

They lined up in the middle of the pitch to begin the game. KC across from Blaise. He winked at her and she blew him a kiss. The quaffle was up and KC zipped so fast she was a blur, barrel rolling underneath the lineup of Slytherin. She avoided the beaters to face Theo straight on. Without taking her eyes off him, she shot it in the goal to the right. He wasn’t quick enough.

Hufflepuff held back, waiting for Slytherin to bring it back. Her teammates took a page out of the Slytherin Playbook and they were playing rough. The two chasers alongside Blaise couldn’t keep up with the yellow that was leaving them in the dust. After the first hour of play, Hufflepuff was blowing them out of the water. 180 to 40.

KC was having the game of her life. She was outplaying the entirety of the Slytherin Team. She watched Draco fly frantically trying to coach his teammates, telling them how she would fly and how they should stop her. His beaters couldn’t hit her. Hannah was down the pitch trying to cut off Blaise as he avoided the Hufflepuff beaters. As he swerved to avoid a bludger, Hannah hit the quaffle from under his arm. She zoomed towards her, tossing the quaffle right before she got hit by green. She sped towards Theo. She went towards the left and he tried to catch her. She launched a no look shot towards the middle goal, barely making it in.

As she was flying back towards the center, she saw Draco shoot up towards the clouds. Shit, he’s seen the snitch. Hufflepuff had to fight to get the quaffle back. Blaise was zooming towards Macmillan at the Hufflepuff goals. Hannah’s broom hit by a bludger, leaving Blaise open to go straight towards the goals. KC couldn’t reach him in time. Shooting at the posts, Ernie shot right towards the quaffle. His fingers barely touched the quaffle, changing the trajectory slightly enough that it clanged off the metal of the goal. KC used her speed to keep going and caught the quaffle, looping to the point she was flying upside down briefly getting past the rest of the team. As she turned, she saw the snitch flutter past her. Draco was catching up with her. She needed to score that goal before he caught the snitch. The crowd all around was drowning out anything the players were trying to communicate. She saw the blonde in her peripheral vision, egging her to fly faster. As she got closer, she saw Draco get up to surf on his broom, hoping to be able to reach the snitch by jumping.

“Don’t you fucking dare!” She yelled at him.

“Scared, Hufflepuff?” He raised his eyebrow, not taking his eye off the gold.

They approached the Slytherin goals quickly. She had to think fast, Draco was going to catch that ball any second. In true ‘Hail Mary’ fashion, she launched the quaffle as hard as she could at the same time Draco leapt off his broom. KC didn’t even watch where her throw may have landed. She flew straight down trying to catch Draco before he hit the ground.

She barely heard the goal tone a split second before Draco’s hand wrapped around the snitch. She pulled her wand out of her boot “ARRESTO MOMENTUM!”

Her spell hit him right before he crashed into the ground. Letting him drop softly, she slid off her broom and bent over to check him. “You asshole, Draco Malfoy!”

Her teammates surrounded her in celebration. Her goal had counted right as he grabbed the snitch. Final score 200 to 190. She was too busy fussing over her boyfriend who had a death wish. “You fucker. I’m going to kick your ass, Draco. You scared me to death.”

He just laughed at her. “You wouldn’t let that happen.”

“No, but I may kill you myself. Don’t you ever do that to me again!”

He pulled her down on top of him and kissed her, she tried to pull back to yell at him more, but he just smiled against her lips and held her close. She finally gave in and kissed him back. He let her go and she sat back up, pulling him with her. He held the small golden ball up. “I caught this for you.”

Her teammates grabbed her and pulled her away to celebrate as Blaise and Theo dropped down beside Draco. “This isn’t over, Malfoy!”

The boys snickered at her, watching her celebrate with her team. Patting Draco on the back, the boys left to go towards the changing rooms. That was until Draco saw his mother walking towards the team with Professor McGonagall. That put him on pause. Narcissa motioned for him to stay. KC saw Narcissa and pulled away from her team.

She ran and gave her a hug. “I’m so happy you got to see the match!”

“Kara, I need you to listen.” She had a deadly serious look in her eye. Draco put his arm around her.

“Perhaps we should take this back to my office,” McGonagall said, trying to pull them towards the castle.

KC shook her head. “Something is wrong. What’s going on?”

McGonagall tried to keep a blank face, but they could all see her struggle. “I have some unfortunate news, Miss Celine.”

KC stopped breathing, holding onto Draco for dear life.

"Your parents are missing.”

Chapter Text

 

Your parents are missing.

KC didn’t hear anything after that. Her heart felt like it stopped. She felt like she couldn’t breathe. Her knees gave out and Draco lowered her gently to the ground. It was like all hell had broken loose. The magic in her started sparking again and Draco could feel it. She was in a straight state of panic. He tried to grab her face but her eyes were glazed over.

The crystals that Draco had made for her started to float from her chest and was glowing bright. It all happened so fast. The crystals shattered and power overflowed the area surrounding them. It shot so fast it knocked those around her to the ground. The wind swirled around her and Draco. He held onto trying to call her name.

“Kara! I need you to look at me!” He shook her, fighting against the wind surrounding them. He could see Blaise and Theo fighting the gusts to get back to them. “Kara, please!”

The other two boys finally were able to get to her, each holding onto an arm and rubbing her back. KC’s magic was surging out of control. Her eyes were glowing gold. “I need you to focus on me, Kara,” he yelled. He put his face right in front of hers and held her face in his hands. He saw her eyes shift just enough that she was looking into his eyes. ‘I need you to focus on me. On my voice. Look into my eyes.” Draco was yelling desperately in hopes she could hear him over the wind.

The glow in her eyes was something new that he had never seen. It was like her magic had completely taken over.

“We can feel her sparking!” Theo yelled to him. “What do we do?”

Draco’s mind was failing him. He looked down and Blaise's hand was squeezing her forearm. His ring was glowing bright. Draco quickly looked at his bracelet and his was blinding.

“Kara! I need you to focus on sending your magic to your bracelet. Focus a little bit at a time!”

“Draco,” she mouthed. Her eyes were shifting but still bright gold. “Help me!”

He couldn’t hear her, but he could feel the sheer fear that was controlling her. “Look at me! Focus on the grey of my eyes. We are here. We need you to take your overwhelming feelings, one by one, and think about pushing them to your bond!”

“I can’t!” she yelled, making her wind speed up.

“Yes, you can! We know you can! I’ve felt you send your love for us; I know you can send your magic. Try for me!” She put her hand on the legs of both Theo and Blaise by her sides. She squeezed on them and shut her eyes trying to concentrate. She tried to separate the feelings that were overwhelming her. The screams of the people around on the pitch and in the stands were making things worse. “You can do this. I know you don’t want this,” Draco tried to get to her. “We love you so much. Feel that. Reach for it.” She shook her head, trying to control her breathing. “Look at me! Let me help you!”

“Come back to us, Kitten. You can do this!” Blaise encouraged, holding on so the wind wouldn’t knock him away.

“You are unstoppable, Princess. Let us balance this!” Theo wrapped his arm around her back and fell against her. Blaise mirrored his movement. KC moved her shaking hands to Draco’s arms, her eyes opening to search for his, the golden color flickering in brightness.

“You can do this, Kara. Focus on the bond. We are ready, you can do this.” Draco put his forehead to hers.

KC was taking short, deep breaths trying to get her focus in control. She did the best she could. It took everything to concentrate on the bond connecting them; the magic was too much for her. She looked at her ring, she focused on the gold circle between the silver. She focused on the love she felt for her boys. She wanted everything to stop. She felt tingles shoot down her arm and stopped at her ring. “You’re doing it!” Theo yelled. “A little more!” She tried again and there were more twinges in her hand. Blaise and Theo held onto her tighter, and the wind was starting to slow down.

KC shifted her focus to her gold bracelet. She put everything she had left in her towards him. When it started to release, it felt like time had frozen. There was a golden glow flowing down her arm to where it met her bracelet. Draco took a sharp breath in as the window slowed down even more. “That’s it, love. We’re almost done, Kara. You’re doing so well. One more time,” Draco praised her.

She finally got her breath under control and pushed herself one more time with her mental energy that she had left. Draco moved back and watched the last of the gold glow in her eyes fade out as the light traveled down her arm to her bonds. All of their bonds glowed so bright they were almost white and the wind stopped to a slight breeze. The white light faded from her bonds and she collapsed into Draco’s arms. Everything was so quiet.

The entire quidditch pitch watched her in silence. Narcissa knelt beside her son as KC cried into his chest. Blaise and Theo just sat in stunned silence. “We need to get her out of here,” Narcissa said sternly.

McGonagall cast a featherlight charm on her and Draco lifted her bridal style, “To the hospital wing. We need to make sure this doesn’t surge again.”

“Draco,” KC whispered. He met her eyes and in seconds she fainted.

 

*****

 

Draco was beside himself. He couldn’t do anything in the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey, McGonagall, and Lupin hovered around her, while the rest sat to the side. Blaise and Theo sitting, hands connected in concern. Narcissa sat and comforted him. The aurors that were assigned to her today were thankfully Potter and Weasley. Never thought I'd be thankful for Weasley. KC’s magical signature vitals were floating above her. They were still elevated, but were coming down. 

The magic that had coursed through him was enough to put him on edge. Is this how she feels every day? No wonder her anxiety is out of control. Draco had never heard or read anything about a power like hers. Nothing out of all the magical bonds books, anything in the Manor Library, or even grasping at straws with the Oracle. The flow of magic didn’t make sense. 

Potter and Weasley came up to them. “I know this was not the reason we were here and this isn’t any business of the Ministry--” Ron started.

“Neither is it any of yours, Weasley,” Draco snapped, never taking his eyes off KC. 

Harry looked beside himself. “I know that we’re not included in what's going on. But we do care about her. If there is anything that we can look into at the ministry for you, we will.” Draco eyed them. “Well, for KC. She’s our friend, too.”

“Come on, Potter,” Blaise said, standing with Theo. “We’ll explain as much as we can as long as this all stays off the Ministry record.”

“We’ll know who to come for if it doesn’t,” Theo threatened.

They both nodded and walked to the back of the infirmary away from prying ears.

Narcissa sat in silence beside Draco. “This isn’t your fault, son.”

“To hell it’s not. I haven’t been able to figure out how to help her--”

“But you did.” She patted his shoulder. “When her power kicked that storm up, everyone was blown back. Nothing we tried could make it so we could get to her. You were the only one unmoved. Blaise and Theo were able to fight it enough to cut through to her. She could only hear you.” Draco watched as they cared for KC. They tilted her head giving her magic suppressant potions and strength restorations, taking caution and hoping they could wake her. He couldn’t help but spin his bracelet around to release some nerves. “Why didn’t you tell me about all of this? I may be stuck at the Manor, but we have access to unlimited resources.”

“I can’t lose her,” he whispered, his eyes never straying from KC. “The bond with me was one thing, but now the other two are involved. All while her magic keeps getting stronger. If I can’t protect her--”

“Draco. It’s not up to you to stop this. You’re doing everything you can. What we saw on the pitch was evidence of that. You got her to be able to focus again. It was you who got her to transfer magic out of her. With as powerful as that burst was and how strong it was getting, it would have killed her. She is alive because of you.”

Draco listened to her words, not quite believing them. Madam Pomfrey interrupted his thoughts by waving him over to her. He didn’t hesitate. He bolted straight to her bedside and grabbed her hand, ignoring everyone else. “We have her under control again. This is severe magic,” McGonagall stated. “How long has she been out of control like this?”

“She had a burst after the ball with McLaggen. But since then, as long as I’m around or the others are near her, her signature has been relatively stable," Draco said, putting his hand to her face. She unconsciously nudged into it.

“This should have been brought to our attention sooner,” she scolded.

“That is partially my fault, Minerva,” Lupin cut in. “KC here has been training with me every Saturday morning to try and get control on her wandless magic. We had seen some success when it overtook her and she fainted. It took all three of them to bring her back. I didn’t want word getting into the wrong hands.” 

McGonagall stuttered at that. “And put other students at risk?”

“KC’s life is just as important as the other students. Hogwarts failed to best help me when I needed it in school, I didn’t trust that she would be taken care of any differently.” Lupin was furious, and tried to collect himself. “It’s as we feared, Minerva. She is the power that the Sympathizers are after. Her parents were taken to lure her. She needs our help before this turns into another war.”

McGonagall had no response. She left the bedside to go consult with Harry and Ron about what they could do to help ensure safety for those involved. Blaise and Theo came over to the beside; Blaise taking her opposite hand, Theo standing at the end of the bed, hands on her ankles. “When do you think she will wake?” Theo asked Madam Pomfrey.

“We’ve done everything we can. Hopefully soon.” She put a pitcher of water on the bedside table and left for the matron’s office. 

Narcissa had waited until it had quieted down before she joined them. “How are we going to deal with this? She’s going to want to go home and we know it’s going to be a trap,” Draco questioned.

Ron came back over to check on them. “The auror department has cleared us for a mission. We can get clearance with MACUSA and enter the country. She won’t be going alone, Malfoy.”

“She won’t be going without us,” Theo amended.

McGonagall came back towards the bed, waving at Lupin to follow her out. Harry came over looking defeated. “He’s right, Ron. If we have any hope of keeping her magic under control, they need to be there.”

They stood and watched KC in silence after that. She would move slightly and the three Slytherins would hold their breath. Harry had gotten his notepad out to write down as much as he could so he could research what information the ministry might have. That was until KC started shaking. “I think she’s having a seizure!” Harry yelled to Madam Pomfrey.

 The boys flew to her side and the second they all touched her, she sat up. Her eyes opened, glazed over in white. She muttered under her breath, everyone watching in shock. “KC,” Draco tried to reach for her face. As soon as he touched her cheek, her eyes faded back to the green he had become accustomed to.

She tried to say something but her voice was so rough. She searched those around her, motioning for something to write with. Harry quickly handed her his stuff. Her hand flew incredibly fast, sketching something. She was so focused, no one could have gotten her attention. They all watched as she scrambled to draw. “What are you trying to draw?” Blaise asked, getting closer. When she didn’t respond, he sat next to her on the bed and put his arm around her. When she was finished, She had drawn a pair of amulets, one a jewel sun, the other a moon. Draco was quick to hand her a glass of water. She took small sips.

“I saw those,” KC croaked out. Her voice was rough from exhaustion and the yelling. “The moon looks familiar. I can’t place it.”

Narcissa took the sketch from her. It had runes inscribed in the stones. “You’ve never seen this before?” KC shook her head. “This is an old Black family heirloom.”

“But I’ve searched those vaults after Sirius left them to me. They were mostly empty,” Harry added.

“You wouldn’t have found it. It’s a necklace that has been handed down between family members. My mother handed it down to me when I was very young. It was always a secret. My sisters weren’t even allowed to know of it. It was said to hold great power and was given to the family member with the strongest magic.”

“What was it supposed to do?” Draco asked. He looked to KC who hadn’t taken her eyes off Narcissa.

“No one in our family line has ever been able to harness it. It was told to be able to amplify and focus power.”

“What was it stored in?” KC asked, throwing Narcissa off guard. “Lucius took something from the Manor at the gala. Please tell me it wasn’t in a silver orb.” Narcissa’s eyes gave nothing away, but her silence did. KC felt tears fall from her face.

“Don’t fret, my dear. I had a replica that he knew about. It doesn’t have the power that my heirloom holds. I’ll return to the manor and prepare things for you.” KC leaned back into Blaise, trying to calm herself.

“I need to go home,” KC said.

“That didn’t take long,” Theo sassed.

“I have to. I need to know if they left anything behind, if there is anything missing. I put my trust in Professor Mason. He was the only one who knew where they were.”

Ron tried to piece things together. “So you think that he gave them that information?”

“It’s either that or they tortured it out of him. He was my guardian for the longest time. He had control over my life almost more than my parents did most times. I need to go home and I need to go to Ilvermorny.” KC sat back up and leaned against Draco. “Please. I need to do this.”

“I’ll go set things up with McGonagall,” Ron said, nodding his head once towards them before sweeping out of the infirmary.

“KC, we will need a few days to get this cleared with MACUSA, until then, I must take Narcissa back home.” Harry said. He grabbed the notepad back from her. He tore the drawing out, handing it back to her. “We are going to find your parents.”

Harry took towards the door to go find Ron and plan details. Narcissa patted her leg before following him. “Harry!” KC yelled after him, voice cracking at the volume. He turned back at the door to look at her. “Please go find Ginny and tell her everything if she asks. She misses you.”

Harry smiled before leaving.

It was just KC and her three Slytherins. Theo had a stone face of worry and anger. Blaise was tense behind her, but held her as she leaned on Draco.  

“I’m sorry I broke your crystal, Draco,” KC said into his shoulder.  

“It helped for a bit. That’s more than I expected of it,” he said and kissed her forehead.  

Before KC moved to lay back down, she saw Hermione walking through the entrance of the infirmary. They were all silent as she came to stand by them. She held out a fisted hand to Draco, “I thought you might want this back.”  He opened his hand to her and she dropped the pieces of the crystal necklace. “I saw what you had used and it would have worked temporarily, but nothing would have been able to stop that blast. Might we try a second option until we can figure this all out?”  

Hermione reached into her pocket and pulled out another necklace. It was slightly bigger, with different variations of color. “I had been working on it for a few days now. I tried some different runes as well.” 

KC reached for it and put it on. She could feel the effects immediately. “Hermione, this was really nice of you. It means a lot to me. I take it you heard what happened?” 

She nodded. “I was in McGonagall’s office when she returned. But I agree with Harry. We need to make sure it’s safe before you go.” 

“Careful, Hermione. Someone might think you actually care about me,” KC joked. “Thank you. I think I need to rest now.” She slumped all the way against Draco, like her body gave up. 

“What’s wrong?” Theo scrambled to sit by her, in front of Blaise, helping to lay her down.  

“It’s ok, Theo,” she said quietly with a small smile. “I’m just a little lightheaded is all.” 

Hermione took that as her cue to leave. Blaise moved to pull another hospital bed so they could conjoin them. Madam Pomfrey tried to stop him but he gave her a death glare, challenging her to stop him. Draco didn’t lay down, He just leaned back against the metal bedframe and let KC rest her head on his lap. Blaise wrapped his arm around her as she fell back to sleep. Theo rubbed his boyfriend’s back, still worried about them all.  “I need some air,” he announced. “I’ll bring us some stuff to get out of our quidditch uniforms.” 

“Don’t,” KC whispered. Theo raised a brow at her. “You look so good in uniforms.” 

The four couldn’t help but laugh. Theo leaned over and gave KC a kiss on her forehead, which made her snuggle further against Draco’s leg. “Behave, Princess. I’ll be back.” 

“I love you,” her voice faded and she snored lightly.  

Theo couldn’t help but smile as he walked away. Draco smiled and ran his fingers through her hair. He grabbed the drawing of the necklaces to look at them closely. He hadn’t said anything earlier, but the crescent moon necklace looked familiar. Like it was something dark. He dropped his head back in thought. He had a feeling that things were going to get worse. He was finally getting past the point where people weren’t looking at him as a death eater. That people actually respected him. They didn’t fear him, he wasn’t the bully they cowered from. If they Sympathizers were getting what they needed, it was only a matter of time before people start coming after him for his father’s actions. KC and her kindness could only protect him for some long. As much as he hated to admit it, he wasn’t going to be able to be the one to save her, but he was willing to do everything that he could to do just that.  

 

***** 

 

KC was released from the infirmary after curfew hours. They wanted to be sure that in case her magic spiked again, no other students would be in danger. The boys led her back to her room, knowing she would want to be in a safe place. Hannah had been in the Hufflepuff common room waiting for her. They all chatted by the fire talking about things they could do. Hannah was a fierce friend to KC and was protective of her. She took note of everything happening, remembering to write home to review old records of their family history and heirlooms for anything that might be useful.  

Blaise and Theo kissed KC good night, going to their room to finally get out of their quidditch robes. KC had been adamant about them not changing when Theo had returned to the hospital wing. It made them all laugh, but they did it to make their witch happy. It was just her and Draco.  

“I’m sorry for taking the rest of your day from you. I’m still upset with you for jumping off your broom,” she joked, trying to ease the tension she felt from him.  

“I think you scared me enough in return,” he said seriously.  

KC had taken off her jersey, putting on a regular t-shirt, still in her quidditch tight pants. “I had wanted to do something special for you tonight. I was looking forward to spending time with you.” 

“You didn’t get to spend time with me earlier? The three hours of my leg being asleep from you laying on it would beg to differ,” he snickered, sitting in her desk chair.  

KC came and leaned against her desk so she could look at him. She grabbed the painting they had been given at Christmas. “I meant like this, Draco. I know things have not been easy for us recently. Everything has been a mess. I haven’t been giving you the attention you deserve and I feel terrible about it.”  

He pulled her down to his lap. “You’ve given me what you could. You know that’s what matters.” 

“But you’ve done so much for me. I was going to plan this nice dinner. I had even gotten permission from McGonagall to go to Hogsmeade special for the night. Now I feel like that won’t be able to do anything for a while.  With everything--” 

“Goodness. You have always been the chatty one, haven’t you?” He smirked at her. “Clumsy and chatty.” He pulled her closer to kiss her. “Who knew that’s what I would have fallen in love with?” 

She couldn’t help but blush at his sentiments. “But--”  

“Don’t argue with me, Kara. We are ok.” He kissed her one more time.  

“You’re not going to leave me for someone who gives you more attention?” She asked shyly. 

“Where would I find someone willing to save me when I stupidly jump off my broom?” He tried to joke, but he could see how anxious she was.  

She ran her fingers through his hair. “I’m just scared. We both have been so busy; I feel like it hasn’t just been me in you since Christmas. I thought you’d think you’re better off with someone who is just with you and doesn’t want to share or split herself.” 

“I may be selfish, but not with you. I can tell how much you love me. I will never question that. Whether they stay or go is not up to me, but you’re never losing me.” 

She grabbed his face and kissed him hard. She couldn’t pull him close enough, hands sliding behind his neck and pulled him in. He smiled under her, trying not to laugh. She let go, her eyes worried. “What? Did I do something wrong?” 

“Not at all. You just amuse me, Hufflepuff.” He kissed her cheek as her cheeks flushed pink again. 

She got up and went to her book shelf. “I did have something to show you. I wanted to sort of surprise you after our date.”  

Didn’t make eye contact with him as she handed the book to him. The cover was a black leather, no writing. It could have passed for a journal. He opened the front cover. Exploring BDSM and communication. He couldn’t believe it. He tried to pass a blank face to not get overly excited. “Would you like to tell me why this particular book interests you?” 

“I found it in the Manor library when I was looking for books on our bond. At the time it was something I had only read about in romance novels. We had only just got together so I didn’t want to make it seem like I was weird. But then our Valentine’s Day happened and..... and I....” KC looked to the floor in embarrassment.  

Draco spun the chair around to face her, keeping a firm face to mask that he was elated. “You must use your words, love.” His voice was rough. She stood wringing her hands together. He heard her mumble something. He was playing with fire, but he knew that she loved it. “You’re going to have to be louder. I can’t hear you.” 

“I liked it.” Her voice was barely more than a whisper, but it was enough. “Since you bound my hands the first time, and then you spanked me. I liked it. I liked you being in control of me.” She was so red and tried to hide her face from him.  

He set the book down and stood, grabbing her wrists, making her look at him. “And why do you want me in control?” 

“Because I feel so out of control with everything else, you give me somewhere safe. You make me feel loved, not broken. I just.... I just want you, Draco.”  

He put her hands down at her sides. “You are loved. You are not broken. And you will always have me.” He kissed her, slowly and passionately. “Do you have absolute hard limits?” 

“There are a few things that are completely wild that I wouldn’t do. But I am yours. I read that it was good to use a safe word.” 

He nodded. “Like we used on Valentine’s. If we talked about quidditch? What if we use the stoplight system? Did you read about that?” 

She slowly nodded, making him smirk. “Out loud, love.” 

“Yes, Draco.”  

“Very good, my love.” He put his hand under her chin and tilted her face up, enjoying how flushed she was. “I love to see you blush. You’re beautiful.” He turned to grab the book from her. “Is this something you’d like to try tonight?” 

She nodded and he just lifted a brow at her. She quickly amended herself. “Yes, please.” 

“Good girl,” he praised, giving her a heated look. “Now, here is what you’re going to do. You’re going to strip down for me. All the way. You’re going to take this book, and lay in the middle of the bed, flat on your back, knees bent. Understood? I’m going to give you some time to prepare.” 

He couldn’t contain himself any longer and went to the bathroom. Preparation was just as much needed for her as it was for him. He went to the sink to splash water on his face. Is this really happening? She's been through so much today. Perhaps this is what she needs to clear her mind. He didn’t want to stop her from showing her affection towards him, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to be patient. She was handing herself over on a silver platter. Collecting himself he went out to her and he was floored.  

She had done exactly as he had asked. Her head flat back on the bed, knees bent so she was open to him, book laying on her stomach. Her breath hitched in anticipation. “Very good for listening,” his voice was low. He saw her eyes watching him. Still in his quidditch kit and he knew she was enjoying it very much. He decided to make this slow for her. He started taking off his gloves. “This is going to see where we are. I am going to set some rules for tonight.” He slowly pulled off the outer robes. “First: You answer every question I ask, out loud.” She was watching intently, trying to hid herself. “Two: no hiding yourself from me,” he said as his hands went to her knees and moved them apart. He smirked as she held her breath. He moved to take off his shirt that was under the robes. “Three: You will do anything that I ask or tell you. You use your safe words if at any point you are uncomfortable. If you do not safe word, and decide not to listen or hesitate, I’ll issue punishment.” He reached for his belt and undid it, slowly sliding it out of the loops, “Do you understand?”  

She was mesmerized by his movements. Her hands were focused on his hands, as he knew she would be. He folded his belt in hand and snapped it together drawing her attention. “This is your warning, love. I asked you, ‘Do you understand?’“

“Yes.” She breathed. 

“Good. I want you to open up to the introduction in the book. And I want you to read it out loud.” 

“How many pages?” She questioned, grabbing the book quickly.  

“We will see how many you can do.” He winked at her. She was staring at his ass in his tight quidditch pants. “See something you like, love?” 

“You have a very nice body. I was appreciating it.” She answered, trying to use her shaky hands to turn the pages of the book. “I just start reading the introduction?” 

He nodded at her. She took her eyes off of him and looked to the page. “ What is BDSM? Short answer: it encompasses a host of different erotic practices that can hinge on one or several dynamics.”  

Draco moved onto the bed and she stopped. “Did I tell you to stop?” 

“No.” She refocused herself. “ Practitioners explore through different actions that target either physical touch,” Draco chose then to lightly run his fingers up from her ankles to her knees, “ Or psychological responses. Sometimes both.”  

“Often, it involves one person assuming a Dominant role,” Draco dug his fingers into her thighs, like a deep massage would. “ Controlling the course of activities, while a counterpart assumes a Submissive role,” He teased her by lightly soothing her thighs. 

She was trying to keep her composure, but she was rapidly failing. The cool air running over her, his light touches, his slow movements were driving her insane. She kept reading. “ There are differences between types of play. Physical play can be anywhere from restraints,” Draco put a slight sticking charm to her feet so she wouldn’t be able to move them, “ to pain/sensations on the partner’s body.” KC was expecting Draco to do something but he sat there, listening to her.

Sensations can also induce an elevated state of feeling through the release of endorphins from intense stimulation.” Draco chose then to use his fingers to pinch her clit. KC nearly dropped the book as her head flew back.

“Keep reading,” he said so casually. “I’d like to know about the other type of play.” KC took deep breaths, trying to move her legs but he had stuck them down.  “That’s one, love.”

“What? Do you mean?”

“You stopped reading when I told you to keep going. Continue on if you don’t want another.”

She scrambled to find her place again. “ Mental play intends to make a psychological impact. Such activities include role play and power play (example: where a Dom will issue commands to the Sub to obey).”

“It seems that you are liking it, too. Aren’t you?” He teased. He started kissing down her leg, starting at the bend in her knee, nipping at her skin lightly.

“Very much so,” she exasperated. She kept going as he touched her. “ Colloquially, “kink” tends to refer to what people enjoy as sexual interactions/dynamics with others; Whereas “fetishes” tend to be more focused on objects. (Example: getting handcuffed or having your neck breathed on,” He took that as his time to blow cold air onto her wet slit. She shivered in delight as he continued to move his fingers lightly and his mouth everywhere except where she wanted it. “might be a kink, while you might have a fetish for leather or shapely asses.”

Draco gave her ass a squeeze, slowly glazing his tongue over her clit. She moaned in delight. “You’re almost done, love.”

Take time to explore,” Draco started moving his tongue faster and sucked on her hard. “Desires can change and grow with experience.” His fingers entered her slowly as he lapped at her. “ Take proper precautions and …” She was losing it, “… Aftercare.” She finally finished the page . She dropped the book and tried to reach to put her hands in his hair.

He removed the sticking charm as he quickly drew away from her. “You did so well, love. I know I learned something. Did you?”

“I don’t remember a damn word I said,” KC said honestly. Her mind was focused on the brilliantly beautiful man in front of her, whose mouth was covered in her wetness. He grabbed her hips and flipped her over. He magically tied her hands in front of her. “You’re so close to coming. But I can’t let you do that yet. You didn’t listen well, so you’re going to get a punishment. Just one. You did well. I’m going to use my belt on your beautiful backside. But I need to make sure that you are warmed up. Understood?”

“I understand,” she said into the pillow.

“Good girl. Now, raise your hips to me.” She did as she was told. Pulling her knees up so she could stick her butt out to him. He cupped her cheeks, giving them another squeeze. He had to undo the zipper on his trousers to relieve the unbearable hardness pushing against the seam.  He started smacking her. Lightly at first, alternating sides after a few hits. “A little harder. Then I’ll move to the belt. Ok?”

“Yes. That’s ok.” She pulled against her hand restraints, wanting to rub a little of the sting out of her cheeks. He spanked her a little harder. She could feel the sting, but the warmth spread quickly and sent a wonderful sensation through her. He took a few seconds between each hit, enjoying the red print that appeared against her smooth skin. Merlin, I wish I could take a picture of this Draco thought. She shook to try and soothe some of the warmth. He picked up his belt. He teased the leather across her skin. Taking a deep breath in, she braced herself. “I don’t do this because I’m upset with you. You broke the rule you agreed to. Just one, ok?”

“It’s ok, Draco. I understand why.” She stared ahead waiting for him. He tapped the leather against her a few times to get the placement. He drew back and SLAP. The pain was instant. She let out a small scream before pushing her head into the mattress. He immediately undid her restraints and flipped her back over.

“Kara, what is your color?”

She took a second to comprehend what he was saying. She loved that he stopped to check on her. “Green. I promise, I’m green.”

“I’m going to make you come, and then I’m going to pound you into this mattress where you will come around my cock.” He was taking off his trousers so he was as naked as she was. She would never get over the sheer image that was Draco. He was a god, but she’d never say that out loud. “Yes, sir!”

He buried his face between her thighs once more. She was already so close and his tongue was unrelenting. He inserted a finger and moved it in and out quickly. She couldn’t control her thoughts anymore; the pleasure was too intense.  She slid her hands into his hair and he gave her one more hard suck on her clit and she came undone. She could hear liquid as his fingers were still moving in and out. “That was fucking hot, love. Have you done that before?”

“I don’t know how it happens,” she covered her face.

“Oh no, love. No hiding, remember. I loved that. It’s going to be on my mind every time I touch myself thinking of you.” Giving her no time to recover, he sheathed himself inside her. She was still riding the wave of her orgasm. “Fuck, Kara. You’re incredible.”

He moved slowly inside her. He held himself over her so he could kiss her. She tried to claw at his arms so he grabbed her hands and held them beside her head, lacing their fingers together. She tried to move, but he just started kissing her neck. “You are perfect, my love.”

“I love you, Draco,” she said breathlessly.

That was all the encouragement he needed. Giving her one more kiss, he lifted himself off her, putting her legs over her shoulder, and pounded into her. She was holding back her sounds from him, but he was going to make her let go. As he felt her tighten close to her release again, he dropped her legs and pulled her up onto his lap, bouncing her on top of him. “Draco I can’t.”

“You can and will. Give it to me, love,”

She held back as long as she could but her senses overwhelmed her. She wrapped her arms around him as she came, holding him tight, he followed right after her. They sat foreheads together, catching their breaths. “I love you, Kara.”

He gently laid her down. Moving her to her stomach. He summoned her lotion from her desk. “Draco, you don’t—”

“Let me take care of you.” He squeezed the lotion in his hands and started rubbing her shoulders, making sure they weren’t hurting. Working the muscles in her back, down to her hips and legs. He got the healing balm next. Her backside was red with his marks. He put his fingers lightly over the marks and she winced. “I’m sorry,” he quickly said.

“Don’t be. That was a good breath intake. You’re not getting rid of them are you?” She looked back at him, seeing the healing balm. “Please, don’t!”  

He raised his eyebrow at her in question. “And why not? I should be healing you after this.”

“I wanted the reminder,” she said shyly.

He smiled down at her. “Ok. But the second I feel you’re in pain, I’m healing it.” He picked the lotion back up and put that on instead. He cleaned up the mess they had made, cleaning everything with his wand. She got them some water. She curled up next to him, making sure to give him as much attention as she could.

“Thank you, Draco,” she smiled into his chest. “You didn’t have to do that for me. I loved it.”

“I did, too. Perhaps once we have more time, we can study that book together.” He kissed her once more before he pulled the sheets around them. “You need to get some rest, love.”

Her eyes were already closed. Holding on to her tighter, he followed her to sleep.

 

*****

 

After sleeping all afternoon with KC in the infirmary, Blaise stayed up all night researching everything he could about Ilvermorny and the wizarding community of America. He had never planned on going there or even a career where he would have to handle them. Theo left Hogwarts to search his ancestral home for potential information. With his father in Azkaban, there was a good chance they may find some clues left behind. In the early hours of the morning, he had some questions about various places they may need to visit, so he wanted to speak to KC. Blaise was torn, because he wanted to see her but also knew Draco hadn’t been able to spend much alone time with her. He was too selfish to spend any more time by himself. 

It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes past 6am when he knocked on her door in Hufflepuff. He felt the privacy wards and wanted to make sure they were respected. He heard something hit the floor, followed by quick footsteps. KC answered the door, wearing Draco’s quidditch jersey. Her sleepy eyes looked up and him, she smiled as she grabbed the front of his shirt to drag him in. He looked behind her and Draco was still fast asleep. She motioned for him to follow her. She turned towards the bathroom and he saw her bum peak out at the bottom of the shirt. Was it pink? What did she do? He quickly followed her, silencing the door behind him. She didn’t hesitate to push him against the door and kissed him.  He wrapped his hands around her back, holding her close. Slowly sliding his hands down to her but and gave it a good squeeze. She took in a sharp breath and pulled back from him.  

“I knew there was something. Just what have you done, Kitten?” He smirked at her. Her face flushed and she tried to hide her face in his chest. “If you don’t tell me I’m just going to look for myself.” 

She was too embarrassed and shook her head. “Have it your way then.” Without warning he spun her around and she caught herself on the counter. His hands traveled up her thighs, catching the jersey and lifting it to show him. There were marks on her. Mostly fading, but there was one solid line. “Did he do this to you? I’ll kill him,” he was livid, about to storm out to confront his friend.  

She spun so quickly and grabbed his hand. “Blaise, it’s not like that. I – I asked for--” she cut herself off trying to process her words.  

He turned back to her and saw she was almost smiling. “Does my kitten like to play?” He pulled her close and nuzzled against her ear. “Why didn’t you let him heal it? I know he would have.” 

She hid her face from him. “Is it bad that I wanted to show you?”  

Blaise’s hot breath was over her neck and she shivered. “I love that you wanted to show me. I just wasn’t sure if it was consensual. I’m glad that you enjoyed it.” He kissed her neck, holding her tight. Moving slowly up to her lips. He was losing himself in her. She melted away all of his worries for the moment, he forgot everything. She balanced him almost as much as he balanced her. “Shit, I didn’t come here to do this, love. I came here to ask questions and you’ve distracted me.” 

She teased him with her seductive eyes. “Why can’t we do both?” 

“With Draco in the next room? Is he ok with that?” 

That she still wasn’t sure. She knew he was ok with it happening. In fact, he had said he was happy for her and that it was happening. But the last thing she wanted to do was make him uncomfortable. “I guess I don’t know that.” 

He kissed her once more. “Then how about this? I heal your beautiful marks, and then we go back to bed and we can talk about everything when he wakes up.” She seemed to agree with the idea, going to bend over the counter. He grabbed the healing balm she had and dropped to his knees behind her. He made slow work of it so he could take his time touching her. The small sounds coming from her were addicting, and he could see how excited she was getting. He watched as the marks slowly faded away from her as the balm worked its magic. Once it was done, he gave into temptation and put his face to her, tongue entering her soaked entrance.  

“Blaise! I haven’t washed from last night!” 

He didn’t care. Her taste was addicting and he didn’t mind the added taste of Draco. She covered her mouth muffling her sounds, he just wanted to make her scream. He used one of his hands to rub her clit hard, knowing she wasn’t going to last. He tried to pull away but he wrapped his other hand around her leg and held her still. Both hands were over her mouth as she came. It was one of the most beautiful things he had ever heard. She fell forward against the cold countertop as she came down. “You are all going to make sure I can’t walk again. Is that your goal?” She asked when she could catch her breath. 

“Come on, let’s get you back to bed. We can actually talk later.” Blaise grabbed her hand and pulled her back out into her room. He watched her as she scrambled back against Draco, saving room for him. Blaise stripped down to his boxers and slide next to her. She was pushed up against Draco, so he carefully placed his arm under her as a pillow and the other resting on her bum. She was asleep almost instantly. Blaise was happy and could finally get some rest. 

 

***** 

 

Nott Manor was as dark and haunting as it always had been. Since Theo’s father was sent to Azkaban, The elves had been sent to Malfoy Manor, leaving dust to gather the empty halls. Theo hated it just as much now as he had growing up. He had only memories of his father being the most intolerant bastard in the wizarding world. The elves were constantly punished, father’s guests smoking during crude parties, the memories of the fights between his father and late mother. There were no good memories in the place. 

After sleeping through the night, Theo stood inside his childhood room. He had books that filled the shelves along a full wall. It was his escape from the hell he had experienced. He escaped in learning and in fictional stories about the muggle world when things were darkest. The only thing he ever heard about the muggle world was that it was dirty, dark, full of war and chaos, of people stealing magic for their children to come into the wizarding world and corrupt it. Muggleborns were scum.  Squibs were the outcasts that shouldn’t be allowed to live. That is what he was taught, his father drilled that into him. 

Across his room, on the bottom shelf sat a small stuffed dragon. He kept it so he would never forget what kind of monsters his father and the death eaters truly are. When Theo was 6, his father took him to Diagon Alley. It was shortly after his mother had “disappeared”. His father went into a meeting in a quiet room at the Leaky Cauldron, leaving little Theo at a table under the careless eye of the barkeep. As a bored child, he snuck out the door of the establishment and started walking. Not too far away was a park, full of kids his age. He hadn’t ever truly been allowed to play before. The elves were the only ones he could interact with. He remembered standing on the edge of the playground, watching all of the others laugh and run around. He wanted to be a part of it all. He was shy on the side until a little girl around his age grabbed his hand and pulled him to the sandbox with her and her parents. They were kind. They helped him build different castles. He took to making something that looked similar to his home. His smiles and the girl's giggles are all he could remember before the wind blew strong and thunder cracked. Families rushed their kids away from the park, the little girl grabbed her stuffed dragon, trying to hold onto her mom. His father stormed up to him and yanked him away. “How dare you interact with this filth!” His father drew his wand. The only thing he remembered was the little girl’s scream and the green lights. Little Theo ran to the girl on the ground, crying. He took the little dragon as his father dragged him up and apparated them back to the Manor. Theo was punished, locked in his room for weeks with no interaction. Elves would bring him food but the only thing he had were books. He was alone. From then on, he knew it didn’t matter what it was that he would do in the future, but he would be better than his father.

He never forgave his father after that. He kept the little dragon as a reminder to never look down on those for what world they were born into. For their family. It was hard growing up around the pureblood families. Blaise wasn’t someone he was around much, but they had both lost a parent and that gave them a silent connection. The Malfoys often visited their manor. Draco was the worst child, Theo tried to let him be and not egg him on. Lucius and Theodore Nott Sr often took meetings in the study. The kids sat at the other end while the men discussed various things. Often dark objects were brought in and traded. Once Theo saw the amulets KC had drawn, he remembered specifically seeing that moon crescent pass through his father’s study. He had rushed back home to see if he could find any trace of it.

Theo tore apart the shelves in the study. He blew apart the safe he knew was in the wall. He searched the desk of all papers he could find. He found transactions of different deals of objects, locations. Things that he wanted to look for, power he could find. He found coded letters that talked about a power that could give them what they needed. He found a picture of some of the death eaters that he remembered growing up. Lucius, his father, Dolohov, Mulciber, Crabbe, Goyle, and… this man was one he didn’t remember. He looked familiar. Flipping to the back, he found the names written. “Mason Ramsey?” Theo asked out loud. 

Professor Mason was my guardian when I was at Ilvermony. “SHIT!” He scrambled to gather all of the evidence he had found, shoving the coded letters into his back with the picture. Rushing to the floo, he was allowed into McGonagall’s office. He didn’t hesitate. He ran down to the dungeons to find KC. She needed to know, but he needed to talk with Blaise and Draco first. They didn’t need more information like this to send her spiraling out of control again. It was well after noon when he entered the Hufflepuff common room. Hannah stopped him asking about KC. 

“She is going to need us,” Theo said, putting a hand on her shoulder. “I don’t know if I can protect her, but we are going to try. She is going to be safe.”

Hannah slammed into him for a hug, squeezing him tight. “You’re a good man, Theo. Please, take care of her.”

She pulled back and watched him go into KC’s room. Draco was up reading at her desk, KC and Blaise still sleeping. Draco watched him walk in, seeing how distraught he was. Theo motioned for Draco to follow him into the bathroom so they could discuss things without waking and worrying KC. Silencing the door behind him, he pulled out the picture he found.

“I went to search my father’s study for any clues. I knew I had seen that moon amulet before, I just couldn’t place it. I didn’t find it, but I saw this.”

Draco’s eyes scanned the picture. Flipping the picture to read the names, he was just as confused as Theo first was. “Mason Ramsey? Why don’t I remember him?” 

“Draco, I think that’s ‘Professor Mason’. He looks so similar to the guy at the gala that KC was so excited about.”

The realization hit Draco hard. “He’s not missing at all. He’s in on this and has been for a long time.”

“We need to be careful how we approach her about this. If she finds this out now, she could spiral out of control again.” Theo leaned against the bathroom counter as Draco slid down against the door. “I want to protect her just as much as you do. Blaise and I love her very much and want to keep her safe. But she needs you. Can we agree to wait until Potter gets back? Let her focus on going home and finding what she needs to before we break the news to her.”

“I can’t lie to her, Theo. But this is going to devastate her.” Draco ran his hands down his face. “Did she ever tell you why she was under his ‘protection’ in the first place?” Theo shook his head. “It needs to be her to tell you.”

“Then let’s allow her to rest. We can look into these letters to see if it’s something we can use as we wait for your mother to return with the sun amulet.”

Draco played with his bracelet. Theo turned his ring. “She’s exhausted, I can feel it. This is all hitting harder than she is letting on.”

“And we will be there for her. For now, let's do the research and give her as much attention as we possibly can.”

Theo put his hand out to Draco to help him stand. “You know, I’m still not completely ok with having to share her. But I can see how much she loves you. How much she loves Blaise. If I have to share, I’m glad it’s with you.”

Draco gave him the brotherly hug between friends. They went to start more research in hopes to save KC from the fates ahead of her.

Chapter Text

 

Monday came too quickly without a word from Harry. KC was on edge the entire time in her classes, not using her wand in case her magic was as unpredictable as she felt. Draco hadn’t left her side since Theo had returned, using his occlumency more than ever. She tried to talk to him but he only gave her short answers, or mere nods. He got the letter from his mother that she had secured her amulet and it’s like he shut down completely. Blaise tried to comfort her and Theo made sure she took care of herself.

Lupin had kept her after classes on Monday to prepare her just in case they walked into a trap. Knowing they had aurors coming with made matters easier. Hannah sat with her at dinner and did her best to take her mind off of things. KC had caught her up on everything that was going on after she had made plans through McGonagall to return to the USA briefly. And if she had summoned them, Harry and Ron walked into the Great Hall. Her heart tightened and she grabbed Draco’s hand. They got up and followed them to the Headmistress’s office.

“Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley. Are you prepared for this?” McGonagall asked as the group settled inside.

“We’re prepared for the worst,” Harry assured. “We are confident our trip will go smoothly.”

Ron went and handed a gold coin to everyone there. “These are emergency portkeys. You activate them by saying Portus. It takes us to a safe house. The plan is that we will return to Malfoy Manor.”

“We won’t be coming back to school?” KC asked, worried.

“If things go awry, we need to make sure you are safe. We have a safe house set up as a precaution. Hoping it won’t come to that, but we have to keep our options open.

The tension that filled the room was stifling. KC couldn’t help but expect the worst when she arrived home. She had left for a reason, but now it was coming to haunt her from thousands of miles away.  

“We have received clearance to enter Ilvermorny. After that we can go back to your home. We scouted it previously, but MACUSA wanted to oversee what was happening there to be safe. Remind me what we are looking for at the school?” Harry was making a mental list. 

“I’m not sure, if I’m honest. That moon amulet looked so familiar to me and it was the first place I thought of. My ‘room’ was a makeshift room close to Professor Mason’s office. I bet if there are answers to be found, we will find some there.” KC stood, grabbing Draco’s hand. “Remember the time difference. They will be just about to end classes for the day.” 

“We hope to be out of the way to avoid drawing attention.” Harry gathered everyone around so they could floo to Malfoy Manor. Narcissa was waiting for them when they arrived.  

They didn’t have time for pleasantries, circling around a bucket that sat on the table. “Kara!” Narcissa got her attention. KC moved to her and gave her a warm hug. “Please, be careful. I hope to see you back here safely. If you ever need anything, call Mippy. She is here for you, just like we all are.” 

“Thank you. It means the world to me.” KC gave her one last hug before rejoining the group.  

Ron drew his wand and activated the portkey. “Ready in 3...2...1, Grab on!” They all quickly grabbed the silver bucket and were sucked away. KC hit the ground hard in the forest that surrounded the mansion of a school. Between the motion sickness from the international portkey, the bright sunshine, and the sudden change in elevation, she was violently sick. The three boys were around her instantly, while Harry and Ron watched in surprise.  

“What?” Theo sassed. “Never seen someone get sick before?” 

“Never seen a Slytherin care so much before,” Ron muttered. Harry gave him a shove as they helped KC up. 

“Sorry. Portkeys are killer,” she tried to joke, making sure there was nothing on her. She looked behind them at the school. “It’s weird to be back here.”  

The school was not quite as magnificent as Hogwarts, but it was impressive in its own way. Harry and Ron stepped up to walk towards the entrance. “We are going to go and talk to the head of the school to ask questions about Mason. Get as much information as we can. You can use your coin to send a short message when you are ready to leave. We will meet back here.”  

They left to enter the school; KC slowly followed. The boys could feel how nervous she was. They gave her silent encouragement, surrounding her as they entered. The halls felt more like a home than a school. Not as grand or historic, but warm in its own way. You could hear students in classrooms as they passed by. KC tried to ignore them as she walked forward. She came to a door and rested her hand on it. “You can’t judge me for anything you might find in here. I know that no one has been here since I left.” 

“I think a room is the last thing we would judge you for, Kitten.” Blaise was just trying to make her smile. 

KC gave him a weak smile as she turned the doorknob. There wasn’t much in the room. There was a twin bed, a small bookshelf and nightstand. The only thing that made this room personal was the row of books on the shelf by a small stuffed toy and then a picture of KC and her parents on the nightstand. This surprised Draco. She had made her room so comfortable at Hogwarts, this felt like a prison cell. He watched as she pulled a few small boxes from under the bed. He sat next to her, watching as she went through them. There were a few other pictures, some quidditch gloves, old birthday cards. The more she looked, the more frustrated she got. “What are you looking for?” 

“I know that I remember that moon. I know it was here.” She pushed the box away and grabbed the other one.  

Blaise sat on her other side, grabbing the box to look again. Theo was staring at her bookshelf. She had some of the same muggle stories that he had at home, but it was the toy that baffled him. It was a stuffed toy dragon. It could have been a replica of the one in his childhood room. He grabbed it from the shelf and walked towards them. “Where did you get this?”  

KC looked up at him and gave him a smile. “Mason gave that to me one of the first days I was here. I wasn’t able to grab much from home. He said he wanted me to have something of comfort. I was barely 7 at the time.” It was then Theo felt his strength deplete. He fell to his knees and dropped the dragon. “THEO!” She shot towards him, trying to hold him up.  

“Why did he give you that dragon?” He rasped.  

“Like I said, for comfort. When I had bad nights and I could feel my magic start to spiral, when I couldn’t be around others--” she said sadly, looking away from them. “I had my dragon. I would fall asleep holding onto it many nights. I'm not sure why it brought me so much comfort.” 

Theo regained his strength and pulled his wand. “I have a dragon exactly like that one.” He was weary but he cast a slicing charm. It was extremely weak, barely cutting a small hole in the toy. “When I held that, it took something from me. My magic is barely working right now.”  

KC looked alarmed and grabbed the dragon. She tore it open. Sifting through all of the stuffing, she saw something silver. Yanking it out of there, they all stared in silence. It was the crescent moon. KC was in shock. Draco grabbed onto her face when he felt her magic start to spark. “Kara,” he whispered. 

He watched as a few tears formed in her eyes. “He was in on this,” was all she said. “He was in on this the whole time.” 

She grabbed onto him for comfort. Theo picked up a small bag she had, placing the amulet in a protective bubble charm for safe keeping, hoping it would last long enough for them to get out of here. Blaise shifted as they all felt warmth coming from their pockets. He pulled the coin out. Sympathizers

“We have to get her out of here,” Theo growled, aiming his wand at the door to protect them as they got everything together. KC vanished the remnants of the dragon and quickly put the room back together to make it look like she was never there. As they entered the halls, it was pure chaos. Students running and screaming, spells flying.  

“We can’t go back that way. Come on!” she yelled. KC took off running in the opposite direction they came in. Some students yelled her name, staring at the boys that followed her. They stood out among the crowd, some barely getting out of the way before they were trampled. They had almost reached an exit when they heard There she is! There was no face to the man yelling, but it was enough to scare KC into running faster out the door. They watched as Harry and Ron entered the edge of the trees. She ran right into Ron. “We have to get to my house. Quickly. I have to make sure the records are still there!” 

“They know we are here. It won’t be long until they follow us there,” Ron yelled, trying to get the portkey.  

“Those records will mean life or death for some families. I can’t be the one responsible.” She yelled, pulling him back.  

Ron and Harry consulted before nodding in agreement. She gave them her address and they apparated away before the cloaked men chasing them all found them.  

They landed in a quiet area. It was a quaint house in the country, far away from any neighbors. Harry and Ron were on guard, wands drawn. They entered the house and saw the worst. The MACUSA auror dead on the floor. The house was in ruins. Everything was knocked over, like the house had been thoroughly searched. KC sprinted up the stairs without hesitation. Draco was quick to follow her, not even checking to see if it was safe. He found her moving things out of the way. Her room had been ransacked; many things were destroyed. Shuffling debris out of the way, she yanked at some floorboards under her bed. She stretched to reach for something, pulling out a small box. She opened it and panicked. “It’s gone.” She collapsed. The others were at the door watching. “Harry, the records are gone!” 

“We can worry about that once we get you to safety,” He ushered her to come back to them. They heard pops of apparation outside and the boys didn’t hesitate to surround her. “Emergency portkeys everyone!”  

They grabbed the coins in their pockets. With a quick Portus they were gone.  

Within seconds, the door to the bedroom was blown in. Mason and Lucius Malfoy stood, wands drawn. With a sneer, Lucius kicked the debris in anger. “You said she would be here!” 

Mason bent over to pick up the box from the floor. “She was,” showing the box to Lucius. “They know we have the records.” 

Giving the room one more glance over, they left.  

KC landed hard. Laying still on a hardwood floor. She stayed still, trying not to vomit. The room was quiet around them as they shifted to get up. It was dark again outside, meaning they were back in Europe. Draco hovered over her. “Are you ok?” 

She barely got a whisper out before the room started spinning. She took deep breaths to try and control the spinning. They slowly helped her sit up, letting her take the time she needed. After a minute she had collected herself. They helped move her to the nearby couch as Harry put privacy charms around the windows. “You’re at a safe house. Until we know what their plan is, it’s not safe for you to return to Hogwarts.” 

Ron went out the door of the room, pulling it closed behind him. KC was in too much of a shock to process what was happening. “You have to find those records,” finally got out. Harry tried to comprehend why they were so important. “Those records were the last in existence. They were the only ones who had the family trees of all of the pureblood families. The ones including any squibs, or those that strayed from tradition and married outside.” 

The Slytherins around her muttered profanities under their breaths. “It’s what they’ve been after all along?” Harry asked. 

“She told you that, remember Scarhead? Right after the attack in Hogsmeade. Those records have now become a kill list, Potter,” Draco said. “What do you think all of their attacks have been this past year? It’s been a pureblood is spared, but their family has been murdered. The squibs are being tracked. They are trying to cleanse the bloodlines, exactly as we feared.” 

KC grabbed his hand to calm him down. He sat next to her, holding her close. Ron returned with drinks in hand, making sure KC had water. “Harry,” KC grabbed his attention. “There is a reason they are coming after me. In my research, I had been looking into muggleborns and squibs. Now, there isn’t much research, but from what has been recorded, there hasn’t been another witch or wizard born into a family of squibs.” 

“How is that possible? You were born of squibs.” Harry tried to piece together.  

She nodded and continued on. “I think there is a prophecy they are trying to follow: Born of two worlds, a power unknown. Bonds of balance and of soul. The power to perform magic new to the world. A power to give and take. Sacrifices given to protect and control the future at stake.”  

“Blimey, talk about vague,” Ron tried to joke.  

“We don’t know it’s you they are specifically after,” Harry tried to reassure her, but she knew better. 

“But it is. I know it is. This prophecy fits me. It fits us,” as she gestured to the boys around her. “ Bonds of balance and of soul ? They are bonded to me. They balance my magic. The amulets? From what we can tell, the crescent moon takes magic and power away. Perhaps the sun will give me the power to harness and control it.” Harry sat down across from them, trying to process everything. “Harry, even if it wasn’t about me, they have made it about me. And with the way my magic has been out of control since I left Ilvermorny, it makes sense that Mason has been taking some of my magic little by little. How else would I not have had an outburst? Why else would they have taken my parents? They are trying to lure me out. I don’t have a choice. I’m going to have to figure this out and fight them.” 

“Let us go back to the Ministry and do some research. This will stay private in case there has been a breach,” Harry said, standing from the chair. “Until then, you will stay here. If you must leave the house, do so in disguise. Polyjuice potion is recommended.” 

Ron made to stand by Harry. “There is someone here to help with whatever you need. Kat will show you around.” 

Kat? KC thought. “Your girlfriend?” 

“Turns out she worked for the French ministry as an auror. Looks like we had more in common than I originally thought,” Ron smiled to himself. “We must be off before they send for us. We will be back with any news.” 

KC waved at them and the boys nodded towards them and they used their portkeys. KC couldn’t process what was happening. There was so much that had surfaced in such a small amount of time. Theo outstretched his hand to her. He pulled her up and held onto her tight. Blaise and Draco surrounded them in a group hug. KC let all of her emotions out. She sobbed hold onto Theo’s shirt and she felt Draco kiss the top of her head. “We are here for you, love. It’s all going to be ok,” Blaise whispered in her ear. 

She tried to contain herself as they let go. “We should go find the host,” Theo said, pulling her with him.  

They left the room and went down the hall. They found a beautiful brunette standing in the kitchen making tea. She turned with the kettle and smiled at them. “Welcome,” said in a kind voice, her French accent well hidden.  

KC tried to give her a smile. “I’m KC. This is Draco, Theo, and Blaise. Thank you for opening your home to us.” 

“It’s nothing,” she waved. “Ronald has given me the basic details. Come. I’ll show you the house.” The home was quaint. Structured like a townhouse, there were three levels. The lower level was an entryway and closets for coats and shoes. They had started on the second level, where the kitchen, bathroom, master suite and study were. Kat led them up the stairs to the 3rd level. It was wonderful. A bright bench window, overlooking the city. It was entirely open apart from the bathroom towards the back. There was a large King bed on one end as well as a queen bed towards the other end of the room. A small couch and loveseat seating area separated the two, with bookshelves full of material beside the window. “This is for you all. I was told that you would mostly stick together. The window has been warded for privacy, but can be opened if you wish. I’ll be out for work quite often so you should have most of the house to yourselves. Help yourself to anything I have and let me know if you need anything.” 

KC sat on the bed in silence staring at the floor. Blaise turned Kat at the door. “Thank you for your hospitality. We’re going to get some rest.” 

Kat smiled and shut the door behind her. Draco sat next to KC, comforting her. “It’s late. We should get you cleaned up.” There was no response other than her playing with the crystal that was around her neck. They could feel the stress coming off of her, but thankfully her magic was under control. Draco looked up at the other two. “Can I trust you to take care of her? I’m going to see if I can contact Mippy to get some of our things.” 

“I need my potion,” KC whispered. Draco was in front of her in an instant so he could see her eyes. “I usually have to take it once a month. I was supposed to take it tomorrow. I just – just in case--” 

“We’ll get it. Why don’t you go and take a shower? I’ll be here when you’re done,” he said as he helped her stand. He gave her a kiss on the forehead before Theo grabbed her hand and pulled her slowly towards the bathroom. Draco watched as she walked in defeat.  

“She’ll be ok, mate.” Blaise patted him on the shoulder then followed them. Draco knew that once she processed things it would be easier to talk to her about it. They needed to tell her what they knew in the morning. He left the room to go to the kitchen and see if he could summon his elf.  

Theo and Blaise weren’t as convincing as they had hoped. Theo turned the shower on to warm up for her, but KC just stared forward blankly. Blaise tried to be patient with her and slowly started to undress her. She barely moved, but let them take things off. He guided her under the water and she just stood there. She looked at him like her eyes were searching for something. Theo sighed. “Go. Take care of her. I’ll settle things out there.” 

“Stay,” KC whispered as he turned to leave.  

Theo looked at her and she was about to move out of the shower. “No, Princess. Blaise will stay with you. No funny business. I’ll wait for you out here.” Theo turned to Blaise. “I mean it, Blaise. Don’t let her use you as a distraction, no matter how much she asks. She’s not in a good state.” 

Blaise nodded before stripping down to join KC under the water. She had made it clear she wasn’t moving without one of them. She just stood still with sadness all over her face. “It’s ok, Kitten. We will take care of you. I’m here.” He kissed the side of her neck before grabbing soap. It didn’t take long before they were both clean, but KC just stood under the water. He let her enjoy it for a bit while he dried off and slid into boxers he spelled clean. He reached to turn the water off. He used the soft robe that was hanging behind the door to wrap her up. Doing his best to relax her, he grabbed the hairbrush and combed through her wet hair before he spelled it dry.  

For the first time all night, KC looked at him directly in the eye. “Thank you, Blaise. Sorry I’m a mess.” 

“You’re my beautiful mess. We are going to get through this.” He kissed her before he grabbed her hand and led her out to the room.  

Theo had turned down the sheets on the king bed for her, a cup of hot tea waiting for her on the bedside table. “Come on, Princess. Let’s get you to bed.” 

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep,” she said as she grabbed the tea. She took a sip and tasted something funny.  

Theo smirked. “It’s a small sleeping draught. I knew you’d have trouble sleeping after everything.”  

KC gave him a kiss before finishing her cup. “Are you two going to stay with me?”  

Blaise pulled the blankets over her, giving her a kiss on the forehead. “We will be here with you. Draco will be back shortly.” 

Theo pulled Blaise in for a kiss as he got up from the bed. KC watched them with a smile on her face as the draught kicked in. Her boys were safe and happy. That’s all she could ask for.  

She couldn’t tell you how long it had been since she fell asleep. It was still dark outside. Theo and Blaise were in the other bed, Draco had his arm wrapped around her. She felt exhausted, but wouldn’t be able to sleep. She carefully moved out of bed so she wouldn’t wake Draco. She used her magic to warm up some more tea for herself and went to sit on the window seat. She took her time looking out at the city. In the far distance, she made out the Eiffel Tower. The city was fairly quiet as she watched the lights.  

“You shouldn’t be awake,” Draco startled her.  

He sat opposite her on the bench. She moved her legs so she wasn’t exposing herself under the robe.  She looked back out the window. “I’ve always wanted to visit Paris. I never could get used to speaking French, but pictures of the city were always so beautiful. And now that I’m here, I can’t even go and see it for myself.” 

“I’ll bring you back a thousand more times,” Draco said, grabbing her hand.  

She looked him in the eye. “If I make it out of this alive.” 

“Don’t say that.” He grabbed her tea from her and set it to the side. “We are going to get through this. All of us.”  

“I wish I had your confidence, Draco.”  

Draco sighed. “I wanted to wait until tomorrow to talk to you about this.” He got up to get the one picture he had in his pocket since Theo had shown him a few days ago. “Theo found this in his father’s study. We had hoped it was just a coincidence, but after finding the amulet in your room, there is no denying it.” 

The picture shook in KC’s trembling hands. “He isolated me. Anytime I tried to make a friend he put more on me. Other than when I was allowed to go to quidditch practice. He said it was ‘for safety reasons’. I could only ever think about that little boy on the playground, so I stayed to myself. Mason was just raising me for harvest.” 

“He let you come to Hogwarts. That’s a good thing.” 

“I'm not upset about it. I met some of the most amazing people. But for them? It was the perfect plan, wasn’t it? I’m over in the UK where the Death Eaters and Sympathizers are. I’m away from my family and everything I’ve ever known. My parents became easy targets. I was far enough away that it would be days before I would find out any news, giving them plenty of time to find those records. Mason watched me destroy the set he thought I had, but he knew I would have saved a copy. And now that they have that, they have an attack list. They almost have a way to use my power to hurt those I care about. I’m so stupid to have not suspected anything.” 

“There is no way you could have known about any of this,” Draco tried to comfort her. She tried to look back out the window before he moved closer to her and grabbed her face. “I’ll kill him and my father before I let anything happen to you.” He was silent as he looked at her. His face was stone. “I need you, Kara. Blaise and Theo need you. No one is taking you from us.”  

She moved to him and straddled him. She put her hands on his face and aggressively pulled his lips to hers. She wanted the physical distraction from the war happening in her mind. He let her take what she wanted from him for a while before he stopped her. “You know I want you, love. But not right now.” 

“Why? Because you don’t want them to hear?” She teased, hoping he would give in.  

“No, that’s fine. I want them to hear me fuck you and be jealous,” he growled into her ear. She took in a sharp breath, clinging onto the back of his neck. “But you forget I can feel how anxious you are. Your fear. The physical distraction isn’t going to help that.” She gave him a pouty lip. “If you’re feeling a little better later then I will gladly take you on every surface of this house,” He nipped at her ear. “But you’ll have to be good and get some sleep.” 

She let out a sigh of frustration. “Fine.” She got up from him, purposely, exposing herself to him. As she moved towards the bed, she slipped the robe off completely. It took all of him to listen to his own words. She slid under the sheets and looked at him still sitting at the window. “Will you at least cuddle with me?” 

Little minx. He got up and went to the other side of the bed. He pulled her close and kissed her neck. “Good night, my love.” 

“Tease,” she muttered, wiggling her bum into his groin. He put a hand on her to stop her movements and laid quietly until he could hear her breathing even out. 

Draco laid there watching her sleep. It was the only time he ever felt their bond become quiet. Not silent, but a comfort. Similar to the sound of the air moving around you; it’s always there, but you can only feel or hear it if you’re concentrating on it. Their year has been so complicated. It seemed like the more they found solutions, the more problems appeared. And now, she was absolutely being targeted. She was going to do everything in her power to save her parents. But Draco knew how his father operated. It was her life, or theirs. He wouldn’t be able to tell her that. Her bleeding heart would sacrifice herself for them without thought. He was too selfish to let her do that. She was far more important than they would ever be. What kind of parents just ship their kid off to live at a school full time with no contact whatsoever? KC hadn’t received a single letter from her parents the entire time she’s been at Hogwarts, despite the few he had seen her send. Clearly she had the love of family with his mother. She clung to her and Narcissa treated her like the daughter she had always wanted. He was never going to let KC go; There was so much in store for her in the future. They were going to end the Sympathizers. Even if it’s the last thing I do.

Chapter Text

 

The next few days had passed and KC hadn’t moved much. She would get out of bed to shower or if one of the boys forced her to go downstairs, attempting to get her to eat something. She would nibble things to make them happy, but she couldn’t get out of her own mind. Her depression was hitting hard. No matter how much the boys tried to shake her out of things, they were failing. Even Kat had come up and tried to have ‘girl talk’ with her, but the replies weren’t much to go on.  

Draco sat at the kitchen island staring at his cup of tea. Blaise had been reading on the couch most of the morning. They both had been worried about KC since they arrived. She showed some fierce feelings when they got here, but now they were gone. She didn’t feel anything. The bonds had felt numb. They heard footsteps coming down the stairs, both boys immediately sat up straight hoping it was her. When Theo turned the corner, their faces fell.  

“Wow. Good morning to you, too,” Theo said sarcastically.  

“It’s nothing against you, Theo,” Blaise yelled from the seating area.  

Theo smirked as he poured himself a cup of tea. He sat in the stool next to Draco who was back to watching the steam come off his cup. “I think I have an idea to get KC to perk up again.” 

“It’s been days,” Draco said. “You’d think she would have snapped out of it by now.” 

“Think about it. She was isolated much of her life. Kept away from most of those around her. She finally gets to Hogwarts and makes friends. And now that she is stuck here, she is slipping back into that isolated state.” 

“And what are we supposed to do about that?” Draco was frustrated. He wanted to help her. He wanted to see her precious smile again.  

“I think we need to either get her mad. We need to get her frustrated at one of us so she can finally let herself feel something again. Or we see if we can take her out into the city. If even just for a little while.” Theo said, grabbing a few grapes from a bowl.  

“We are in a safe house for a reason, Theo,” Blaise said, coming up to Theo’s side, stealing his fruit. “Unless it’s necessary.” 

“We can all agree that her happiness is necessary, right?”  

Theo didn’t need to convince Draco. He would do anything to get her back to normal. “Kat is here. I’ll go chat with her about it.” 

“You do that. Blaise and I are going to try and get a rouse out of her,” Theo wink at Blaise. They looked like they were up to no good. Draco sneered at them as they walked towards the stairs. He went to find Kat in her study so he didn’t have to think of what they might be doing to KC. 

 

***** 

 

Before Blaise reached the stairs, Theo stopped him. “I have a plan. I don’t think you’re going to like it.” 

Blaise sighed. “I have a bad feeling about this.” 

“We both know that if we go in there and just try to goad her, it’s not going to work. It’s going to be like the bullies at school; she’ll ignore it. But she is protective of us, correct? We have to fight each other.” 

“You know I can’t--” 

“You can. Follow my lead. Just know, no matter what I say. I’m not actually mad at you. I’m not going to leave. We just need to get her to react.” Blaise simply nodded before Theo kissed him. “Let’s go get our girl back.” 

As they got to the room, Theo went to the queen bed they had been sharing. Blaise wasn’t sure what to expect so he decided to play it safe and check on KC. He climbed onto the bed and wrapped himself around her, giving her a kiss on the cheek. She gave him a small smile, but that was as much as he got. He tried to soothe her when he heard the slam of a book from across the room. They both flinched and Blaise shot up to see what Theo was doing. He was holding up their journal that would communicate with everyone. “Are you fucking kidding me, Blaise?” 

“What are you mad about now, Theo?” 

“We’ve discussed her from the beginning. I never once said I was ok with him being involved.” Theo was putting on a good show. He really believed he was upset. 

“I’ve done no such thing.”  

“I can see it right here! I knew we had some issues but I never thought you would go and do this to me.” 

Theo threw the book on the floor and Blaise shot off the bed. KC sat up and watched with concern.  “Guys, this isn’t right--” KC tried to interrupt. It was more than they had gotten out of her in days.  

“Oh yah? Can you blame me? You’ve been so distant with me. All you ever do is complain around me. You haven’t kissed me since we got here!” 

“So, you try and chat up our best mate behind my back?” Theo was putting on a good enough show that KC flung herself from under the covers. She stood trying to get the strength to yell at them. They both could feel the warmth of her anger coming through their rings, giving them the courage to keep going.  

“I’ve done nothing you wouldn’t have done. You’re an ass, Theo Nott.”  

Blaise prepared as he saw Theo lunge at him. They fell to the floor wrestling. KC didn’t hesitate and grabbed Theo around the waist. It was like she had with Seamus back at quidditch tryouts. He was slightly taller than her, but she yanked him up and basically threw him against the bed. He rolled to his back before she straddled him, pinning his wrists to the bed. “Enough!”  

Both boys were breathing hard. KC’s eyes were fire. “Will you two stop fighting for two seconds and talk about this? What the fuck is happening?”  

After a few tense moments, Theo raised a brow at her. “That’s the Princess I was looking for.” 

Blaise started laughing behind her. KC’s face dropped for a second before realizing what they had done. She started hitting Theo beneath her. “You--mother---” Theo was laughing as he grabbed her hands.  

Blaise came up behind her and held her arms down, leaning over her so she was effectively trapped between him and Theo. “Retract the claws, Kitten.” 

“You both are assholes. I was really worried!” She rested her head against Theo’s chest.  

“We needed to see some spark back in your eyes, love,’ Theo said as he moved her hair to the side. “You’ve had us worried for days.”  

She was sobbing into his chest. Blaise looked at Theo with deep concern. “We didn’t mean to scare you.” 

“Nothing is going to happen between us. I promise, Princess.”  

Blaise moved himself to grab the book Theo threw on the floor. “See? This is your journal, KC.” He saw KC turn to look at the book and take a deep breath. “Draco is straight. I wouldn’t hit on him. I respect you and him far too much. I love Theo.” He bent over grabbing KC around the waist again and kissed Theo. She took in a sharp breath. They both smiled at her sound. Blaise pulled back and met her eyes. “And I love you, Kitten.” He kissed her. Hand in her hair, he let his lips show her how much he cared.  

After a few seconds Theo grabbed her chin and tore her lips away from Blaise, crashing into hers. KC was melting between them. She tried to grind her hips between them but they both held onto her. “We promised we wouldn’t do anything until you were feeling better,” Theo whispered to her.  

“Promised who? Shouldn’t I get to make that choice?” KC sassed trying to move Blaise’s hand up to her breast.  

He groaned behind her. “Be good, Kitten. If you can make it through until tonight, we will give you what you want.” Blaise nipped at her neck as Theo kissed on the other side.  

“What’s tonight?” She sighed with her eyes closed, enjoying their touch too much.  

Theo gave Blaise a smirk as he pulled her up from between them. “We’re taking you to Paris.” Her eyes went wide while her imagination went wild. “Take her to get ready, Blaise? I’m going to go make sure your new lover doesn’t explode.”  

KC glowered at him as he walked towards the stairs. She picked up the journal and threw it at him, barely missing. “Not funny, Theo Nott!” He was laughing as he disappeared.  

Blaise grabbed her hand and turned her to look at him. “Are you really ok?”

“I’m trying to be. Honestly, I’m trying. I’m sorry that I’ve made you worry.”

He put a hand on her face, the other on her hip pulling her closer. “You have nothing to apologize for. We all handle things differently.”

“I wasn’t strong enough for you. For any of you. We went through the same things. I should have be there for you instead of---”

Blaise cut her off with a kiss. Resting his forehead against hers. “You are always enough. You are strong. You’re allowed to be sad and depressed, just don’t shut us out. We are here to help you.”

“I’m so used to being alone,” she pulled away from him to sit on the bed. “I know I’ve told Draco things, but I feel like I don’t deserve you guys. I’ve done some bad things. I’ve been isolated most of my life, I’ve been the odd duck out.”

He moved to sit next to her. “We are here for you through anything. I’m here for you. If you want to talk about what has happened, I’m all ears.”

“I didn’t realize how much of my childhood was linked to here. When I was 7, my magic had become uncontrollable. I hurt people by accident because I didn’t know how to handle it.” She shook her head, trying to hold back the tears. “Blaise, I killed a kid. A bully on the playground. My magic burst killed him.”

Blaise immediately grabbed her and pulled her into his chest. “It was an accident. You didn’t do it on purpose.”

“But it was still me! I was out of control. I was a danger to those around me. I still am. And then Mason took me away to Ilvermorny for my ‘safety’ and then it turns out he was stealing my magic little by little. With that dragon that he probably duplicated from Theo…. Because he was working with his father and the death eaters all along. How could I have been so stupid?”

“Damn it, KC.” Blaise ripped her off the bed and pulled her towards the bathroom.

“Blaise! What are you doing?”

He pushed her against the shower wall. He pulled her shirt off her head, leaving her in just shorts she was wearing to bed. He smashed his lips into hers. She gripped onto his shirt before he grabbed her hands and pinned them above her head. She couldn’t help but moan at his actions. “You are strong, KC. You are intelligent. You are loved. You are enough. Those are things you cannot argue.”

KC tried to move her hands but he reinforced himself against her. “You get them back when you repeat those things to me. We are repeating them until you believe it.”

She tried to fight him but knew it was futile. She let out a breath. “I am strong,” she whispered while looking away from Blaise.

“Loud enough so I can hear you, Kitten. Look at me.”

She turned her eyes back to him. His eyes were black with lust for her and she was lost in them. “I am strong.” He moved one of her hands to his chest. “I am intelligent.” He moved the other down to his chest. “I am loved.” He let her unbutton his shirt enough to take it off. She reached for his pants and he moved away from her. He raised a brow at her. “I am …. Enough.”

As soon as that last word left her lips, his were on hers. He let her undo his pants and he discarded them, leaving him naked before her. Blaise grabbed her hands again and held them to her side before she could reach for him. “Again, Kitten. Until you believe it. Let me reward you.”

She was trembling. Her back against the cold tile wall, but her body was on fire from his touch. “I am… strong.”

He moved to kneel in front of her. “Don’t move your hands.” He let go and she listened. He tugged down her shorts, throwing them to join the others that had been discarded. KC’s breathing stopped as he stood back to look at her. He didn’t move again and he wouldn’t until she spoke again. “I am intelligent.” Her voice was still shaky. Blaise turned the shower on, hot water quickly steaming around them. His hands grazed lightly down her face and onto her chest. He teased her nipples, not giving her any relief. She looked him right in the eye when she said “I am loved.” KC’s voice was sweet. He kissed her lightly and let his lips travel down her neck until he could tease her nipples with his tongue. “Fuck, Blaise. I can’t…” she tried to grab onto him but he put her hands back down.

“I said no. Not until you finish. You’re almost there.”

KC was putty in his hands. His voice was pure sin in her ears and she was going to do anything he told her to. “I am enough.” She barely got it out as a whisper. He stopped what he was going, moving her hands around his neck. He moved her under the water so she could warm up.

“One more time. Repeat that last one for me.”

Blaise slid his hands around her hips and cupped her butt. She looked him dead in the eye and in the most confident voice she had she said, “I am enough.”

He wasted no time kissing her hard. He pinned her with his body between the wall and lifted her legs around him. Her nails dug into his shoulders. He used his legs to help hold her up so he could line himself up with her entrance. “May I, Kitten?”

“Yes! Please, Blaise.” He didn’t hesitate. He was inside her quickly and they both groaned at the feeling.

“Fuck. You’re perfect.” He kissed her neck as he thrust into her. KC held onto him tight as he pounded her into the wall. “Say it again. Say it all one more time, love. One more time and I’ll let you come.”

KC whimpered. She could barely think, but she was feeling more confident in herself than she had in a while. “I am strong.”

“Yes, you are, love. You’re so strong.”

“I am intelligent.”

“So fucking intelligent.” Blaise was restraining himself as much as he could. KC felt like heaven around him.

“I am loved,” she moaned into his ear and she held onto him tight.

“I love you so much, Kitten.” She was whimpering into him. “You’re almost there.”

“I can’t hold out, Blaise. You feel so good, I can’t—”

“Yes, you fucking can,” he growled. “One more and I’ll let you down and make you come.”

She tried to hold herself together. “I…. I am…. Enough!”

He immediately set her down and flipped her around. “Put your hands on the wall.” She did quickly, more so holding herself up as he reentered her. “You’re so good for me. So beautiful.” He slid his hand around to her front as he watched her ass bounce against him. He found her clit and she almost screamed. “I can feel you squeezing against me. Are you going to come for me, Kitten?”

She was trying to respond but she couldn’t form the words. He used his other hand to reach up and pinch her nipple. It only took a few more thrusts before she came undone around him. Her yell echoed off the walls. Everyone in the house now knew that he broke their promise. He didn’t slow down, he was so close to finishing. “Don’t moved, Kitten.” He palmed her ass before he pulled out. He only had to pump once before he was covering her bottom with his thick, white liquid.

They were both panting so hard. KC pulled herself into a standing position and turned to kiss him. He was slow and passionate with her. She pulled herself back to look at him. “I love you, Blaise Zabini.”

“You’re such a ‘puff,” he sassed. He gave her another short kiss before she could say anything back. “Let’s get you cleaned up so we can get you ready for later.”

She was all smiles as she bathed herself. They both exited the shower when the water started to turn cold. He helped her dry off. Putting her in a robe before wrapping a towel around himself before they walked back out into the bedroom. Draco and Theo were waiting for them and as soon as KC saw them, she ran to them. She ignored their stern faces and pulled him into a tight hug. 

Theo had melted right into her, but Draco was still stiff. “We are glad you’re back, Princess,” Theo said as he rubbed her back. 

When she pulled away, Draco got up to grab something from the nightstand. “Mippy was able to find that potion you had asked for a few days ago. She wanted to say sorry it took so long.” KC grabbed it, shook the vial and downed it quickly. With a sigh of relief she put the stopper back on before it was lost. Draco had recognized what it was, but he felt like giving her a hard time. He missed seeing her blush. “There are only a few potions that are that color.”

KC went stiff. “Don’t you want us to be careful?”

Theo gathered what it was and quickly joined Draco in teasing her. “Oh Princess. Or maybe he wants to see little blonds running around one day.”

Her face was instantly red. She looked down and stammered through her reply, “Not yet. I don’t want that now. That’s why I’ve been so diligent with this. I even had Snape’s portrait help me make a strong one–”

“We’re just messing with you, you silly Hufflepuff,” Draco said sitting next to her. He brushed the wet hair out of her face. “I missed seeing that beautiful blush of yours.”

She tried to hide her face in his chest and it made them all laugh. Draco spelled her hair dry before he pulled her back to look at him. “As much as I’d like to admonish you for your performance in there, I do have a nice afternoon for you planned.”

“And how are we going to do that when we are stuck here?” She quipped, but he could feel her excitement.

He dragged her down the stairs with her still in her robes. Kat was sitting at the kitchen island waiting for them. KC was quick to pull her robe even tighter around her just to make sure she was covered. “Finally. I have work to get back to,” Kat said standing from her stool.

“Didn’t they tell you?” Draco asked with a smirk. “I’m taking you into Paris.”

That is not what I thought they meant. KC scolded herself. “That's wonderful. But we can’t leave.”

“Now you can,” Kat said, pulling two flasks out. “I have enough polyjuice potion for you two to be out for around 6 hours. I’ll be working here until then. So, KC you’ll be me for the day.”

“I can live with that. But– what about Draco? We don’t have anyone for him.”

Draco had a dark, annoyed look on his face. “You can’t say I don’t love you after today.”

Kat pulled out some worn clothes that looked a little bigger than he was used to. “Well, who else would be out on a date with me in Paris?”

Blaise and Theo made the connection and started laughing uncontrollably. “The ferret is going to be a weasel? Oh, this I have to see.”

“I’m going to kill you, Theo,” Draco was pissed.

KC took Draco’s face in her hands and his annoyed, angry face faded. “You’d really do this for me? I know how much you don’t like him.”

Draco kissed her before pulled away to change. “Let’s get changed so we can go.”

KC grabbed the outfit from Kat before rushing with Draco to change. She had never used Polyjuice before so this would be a learning experience. He watched her as she put on the loose-fitting clothes. His were a little baggy, and the pants weren’t quite long enough. “I don’t know how he lives in these,” Draco sneered.

“Ron is a good person, Draco. I know you all have history, but you should tell him thank you when we get back.”

‘I’ll do no such thing.”

They walked back out into the living room in different outfits. Blaise and Theo had gone back upstairs before KC could say goodbye. Kat made sure to hand them the correct bottles. “You have until 8 tonight to get back. If there is any sense of danger, you come right back here.” Kat left the room to go back to her study.

Draco looked at her before they clinked the flasks together. They each took a drink and the effects were immediate. Their bodies slowly started to change. It was by far one of the strangest feelings KC had every experienced and it was probably the worst tasting thing she could ever imagine. She watched as Draco slowly morphed into Ron.

The serious face that Draco usually gave looked foreign on Ron’s face. KC was speechless. She still felt like herself, but Kat’s body was different than hers. Her curves were more prominent, her chest was bigger by far, her long brown hair with loose waves towards the ends, KC felt a little envious.

Draco could tell from her body language alone that it was still KC underneath everything. She was comparing herself, no matter how much she tried to hide it, and she was anxious. “Let’s take you to see the city, love.”

Draco apparated them into an alley that was right by a busy street. The city was alive with many walking by, sounds of cars driving around. He grabbed her hand and they walked down the street. He stopped at a café and they sat at a table at the very back. He spoke fluent French to the waiter that came to them. KC was about the melt. The smirk he was used to looked ridiculous on Ron’s face, which just made her smile even more. He ordered her a sandwich with some fresh fruit, espresso and a chocolate croissant. He ordered a thicker sandwich for himself and some tea.

KC was beyond happy. Being in a city she had always wanted to see with the man she loved. Even if he didn’t look like himself, she could still tell it was him. He pulled Euros out to pay for their meal before he watched her finish her dessert. “Did you enjoy it, love?”

“I swear, you spoil me. I’m still trying to get over seeing you in a different body.”

“Don’t get used to it. I refuse to look at myself right now.”

“You did this for me. It means so much to me. You didn’t need to,” she reached for his hand across the table. “I’m sorry I’ve made you worry about me.”

She saw him sigh and bring his teacup to his lips. “I always worry about you, Kara. But seeing you in that state, feeling how numb you were? I was damn near broken with you. I wanted you to talk to me, but you shut us all out. Of course, I was worried.”

“I’m trying to be better,” she looked down at her espresso that was almost gone.

“Blaise helped more than I did.”

He sounded dejected. KC couldn’t help but move to the other side of the table to sit next to him in his booth, forcing him to look at her. “In his own way he did. But you set this up for me. You knew that I wasn’t going to do well in isolation. You are my first priority. That will never change. And if anything about my relationship with them makes you want me to end it, I will. I love you and I don’t want to jeopardize what we have.”

Draco didn’t respond. He sat there in silence like he was plotting something. After a few seconds, he nudged her to move. “Let’s go. I want to show you the Louvre amongst many other things and a limited time to do it.”

She smiled knowing that was the most she was going to get out of him for the time being.

Draco showed her around the city with ease. Told her stories about the things he and his mother would do when they were here on holidays and some of the mischievous things he had done. She enjoyed her time walking through the Louvre. Seeing all of the art was magic on its own. He showed her the catacombs, led her to see Notre-Dame in all of its glory. He waltzed her through the Palace of Versailles after apparating her a distance to get there. She was overwhelmed with the beauty of it all. Her love for Draco only grew as he listed off the many stories and facts about the things they were seeing. He knew she loved as many stories as she could get.

As the day was winding down, he wanted to walk her through Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. The park was breathtaking at sunset. It gave the softest feeling around them. Many local couples enjoyed an evening walk, taking in the beautiful trees and landscape. There were many views of the city in certain parts of the park she knew, but Draco wanted her to see the best parts. He walked her around a small lake before they reached a cave entrance. KC was nervous as she saw the darkness. “Trust me, love. You’re going to want to see this.”

He pulled her into the cave's entrance and she heard the sound of water running. There was a small light coming through. In the cave she felt her Polyjuice potion start to wear off. There was no one else around for the time being so neither of them were quick to change back. Before she knew it, they were standing in front of a beautiful waterfall. She marveled at the beauty of everything around her. “How did you know this was here?” She said breathlessly.

“When I was young, my mother used to love walking around this place. Me being the spoiled kid that I was, would always try to run off and scare her. I would always end up here. She would come and find me and I would jump out and scare her every time. She would then push me into the water. We spent many times laughing here. It became a place where I could find peace away from the rest of the world.”

KC went to him and ran her fingers through his hair that was back to it’s platinum color. “Thank you for sharing this with me.” She kissed him slowly. She had been waiting to do that since they started this journey. He ran his hands over her chest and she sighed into his mouth. She pulled back, feeling insecure. “They aren’t as big as hers,” she said as a whisper.

“I like them so much better this way. Kat is pretty, but you? You’re my favorite sight to see.”

She smiled at his cheesy comment. “I prefer you blonde over red hair any day.”

He kissed her one more time before pulling her back. “Good. Because I’m bigger than he is. You’d be very disappointed.”

She scoffed at his bold comment. She knew he was just being cocky but she wasn’t going to let him get away with it. Before he realized what she was doing, she pushed him into the waterfall, grabbed her flask and took a sip before running out of the cave, making him chase her.

He stumbled out of the water, taking the last drink of his potion before following her. He easily caught up with her before grabbing her and putting her over his shoulder. “Stop! You’re all wet!”

“Not my problem,” He slapped her ass before apparating away. He set her down in what looked like a bathroom. “I have one more place to show you before we have to go.”

He spelled them dry, making sure that they were still disguised. Grabbing her hand, he led her through what was the back of a café and out the front door. The streets were full of people and lights. She looked to her right and she was in awe.

“You didn’t think I’d let you leave without seeing the Eiffel Tower, did you?” He smirked as she walked towards it without even acknowledging him. He walked behind her but held her hand so she didn’t get swept away in the crowd.

She stood in front of it blown away as the lights twinkled in front of her. He wrapped his arm around her back and looked at her. She never looked at him, but he admired that her excitement still showed through someone else’s eyes. “You’re going to let me go to the top, right?”

“Only If I get to kiss you at the top,” He didn’t hesitate to place a kiss on her temple. He heard the clicks of a camera behind them and he quickly turned around to find the culprits.

It was a mother and a small child. The little girl was so excited to see what her camera was printing out. The mother saw his concerned face and stood quickly. “I’m sorry if we intruded. She has been excited to take pictures all day. Many random strangers have been victims of the flash.”

KC turned to see her and smiled. “It’s quite alright. She meant no harm.”

The little girl, maybe 4 or 5, walked up to Draco and tugged on his sweater. “For you, kind sir.” She smiled brightly as he took it and ran back to her mother.

“Merci!” KC yelled as the family walked away.

It may not have looked like a picture of her and Draco. But the view of him with his arm wrapped around her, looking lovingly at her, with the tower in the background made her tear up a little. He stuck it in his pocket so they didn’t lose it.

KC took his hand and went so they could get to the top. She leaned into him as they took the first lift up to the second floor. There were many people there, so he made sure to keep her close. The switched lifts at the second floor to get to the top. The anticipation was clear in her body language. Draco had seen the view so many times, but he was excited to see her reactions. She made exploring the city a new experience. When the doors opened and she stepped out, it was like the air left her lungs for good.

The city was lit up against the newly darkened sky. She couldn’t take her eyes off of the view. He led her around so she could see the best that the city had to offer. She looked out to the open grassy area and smiled. She leaned back into him. “Thank you for bringing me here.”

“I’ll bring you back a thousand more times, just like I promised.” He turned her to look at him. He slowly moved to kiss her. He pulled back quickly making KC giggle. “Your lips feel weird. I’ll make it up to you later.”

He smiled as she hugged him. They spent around a half hour at the top before she was ready to leave. He pulled her into the bathroom so he could apparate her back to the safe house. They had good timing as the second they walked in the door and warded it behind them, their potion wore off. 

He watched as her bottom bounced as she ran up the stairs. He was exhausted and slowly followed her. By the time he reached the second floor he saw her in a hug sandwiched between Blaise and Theo. They held her in relief knowing she was safe and that she was feeling better. Kat was sitting on the couch with Ron. He nodded towards them and she gave him a small nod in return. Ron looked mad but he didn’t care. He was too happy to see his girl content again. He felt nothing but love through their bond.

Draco pulled the picture out of his pocket and duplicated it. He walked over to Kat. “I know it’s not actually you, but you might like this.”

Her face lit up at the beautiful picture. Ron kissed Kat’s temple just like it was in the picture. “Thanks, Malfoy. I’m glad that she’s safe.”

KC waved him over to her as the two let go of her. “I owe you a kiss. It’s not at the top of the Eiffel Tower but –”

Draco cut her off with a passionate kiss. He was so glad she was back to looking like herself. He slid his hands over her shoulders and into her hair, slightly tugging at it. She groaned into his mouth. He couldn’t help but grin against her lips. “These are much better.” KC giggled, pulling away from him. “How about we take you upstairs so you can rest?”

“We’ll take her up for you,” Theo said, grabbing her hand. “And we will actually make you rest. You’re not going to distract us like you did with Blaise earlierr.”

“It was one hell of a distraction,” Blaise muttered under his breath.

“Go ahead, love,” Draco said, kissing her forehead. “I’ll be up shortly.” The boys moved her towards the stairs and Draco went to sit with Kat and Ron. “There must be some news if you’re joining us, Weasley.”

“Nothing to make us believe they know you’re here. But there has been an incident.,” Kat warned, grabbing Ron’s hand.

“They’re using the list. We need her to try and remember some of the names in those records,” Ron said, trying to sound professional. “There was an attack on a family in Scotland. The mother of 4 kids had watched her family torn apart before her. She’s being treated at St Mungo’s now.”

“Fucking hell. That was quick.” Draco was angry. KC was going to blame this all on herself and he just got her back. “I’ll tell KC what happened, but not tonight. She’s been depressed for days. I’m not going to bring her back down after we just got her back.”

“For once, we agree on something, Malfoy. I’m going back to follow up on the scene. Harry will be back with updates tomorrow. We’re doing as much as we can to get you back to school.”

I couldn’t care any less about school. She is all that matters. Draco left the couple to themselves and went up the stairs. He found KC under the covers, with Theo curled behind her on top of the blankets. She held Blaise’s hand as she told them about her adventure. He let her be with them so he could go and shower. The news of the family killed hit him harder than he had expected. He needed to get out of these old, borrowed clothes and wash it all away. He went through the movements, using the soap that comforted him the most. He stood there for almost an hour, getting lost in his thoughts. If the Sympathizers have a list, how fast are they going to go through it? How are they choosing families? How are they planning to use KC’s power? What can we do to stop them? The water had long gone cold, finally pulling him out of it. He quickly dried himself and slipped into his silk boxers.

When we got out to the room, everyone was asleep. Blaise and Theo cuddled together on one bed, KC hugging a pillow on the other. She was softly snoring and he couldn’t help but shake his head at her. He pulled the blankets back and pulled her against him. She stirred and turned to put her face in his chest. “ Draco,” she muttered in her sleep. He held her tight and let her warmth put him to sleep. 

 

*****

 

KC didn’t wake up when Draco had come to bed, but she was happy to wake up with her face on his warm chest. He always smelled so good and it did something to body. She didn’t move but she heard movement in the room. She stayed as still as she could so she could hear what was happening. It wasn’t until she heard a small moan and soft whisper from the other side of the room that she put the pieces together. Her ring was hot and it sent shivers through her. The sound of Theo and Blaise kissing was enough to drive her insane with want.

She bit down on her lower lip trying to stay still, but the sound of Blaise’s pleasure made her want to slowly slide her hand down Draco’s chest and torso. Right as she got to the band of his boxers, his hand quickly clamped down around her wrist. “Is my little Hufflepuff turned on by the sound of them snogging?”

She was caught red-handed. She nodded against his chest, hearing his heart start to race.

“Don’t be embarrassed, Kitten. Theo loves an audience.” Blaise teased from across the room.

“I didn’t want to wake you, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to interrupt your private time,” KC said, trying to hide her face.

“Let’s give her something to really listen to, Blaise. Do you think we can get her to break without even touching her? Perhaps Draco will attempt to make us jealous.” Theo was being a true devil.

Draco pulled her on top of him, so she was straddling him. “Did you really think I wouldn’t wake up when I could feel how turned on you are, love? Did you think I’d be surprised that you are a little bit of a voyeur?” KC couldn’t catch her breath. She knew she should answer him but she couldn’t make out what was happening. Draco pulled her down so her chest was against his. He ghosted his lips across hers, past her cheek, before nibbling on her ear. “Would you like to watch them?”

That shot straight through her and a small sound came from her. “Turn her around. Let her watch if she wants.” Blaise was teasing her without even touching her.

Draco pushed KC off him. He sat up to lean against the headboard. As she came back towards him, she grabbed the hem of the night shirt she wore and made her discard it. “What a bad girl, not wearing anything underneath. What were you hoping for?”

He knew she wasn’t good at answering back, but he loved to hear her try. “I – yes—I hoped you would--- touch me, Draco.”

Without being able to hold himself back, he flipped her so she was sitting on his lap, her back to his chest. He was hard beneath her, only the silk separating them.

Now that KC could see what was happening, she was practically drooling. Theo was on top of Blaise, attacking his neck with his lips while stroking his hard cock. She could feel how wet she was as she tried to grind against Draco.

Draco slid his hands around her and grabbed her breasts. He squeezed her and pinched her nipples between his fingers. Relishing in the sounds she was making. All three men groaned at her moans.

“I’m going to fuck him, Princess.” Theo was flipping Blaise over on the bed and pulling his hips up. He grabbed his wand and muttered a lubrication charm before tossing it aside. Blaise was almost panting as he waited for him. He made eye contact with KC and her heart was about to explode.

Draco nipped at her neck as she watched Theo slide in. KC was on the brink just watching but his lips were going to do her in. “I’m going to touch you as you watch them, love.”

He moved a hand down from her breast menacingly slow down to her clit. She was soaked. The satin of his boxers was drenched from her. You could hear the sound of the wetness as he swirled his fingers. Each time Blaise made a sound, or Theo cursed under his breath, she would spasm against him. Draco couldn’t take it anymore. He lifted her to her knees so he could remove his boxers. He lined up the tip of him at her entrance before he pulled her back down on top of him. The yell she held back was enough to make any of them come on the spot.

“Merlin, make her do that again,” Blaise pleaded. Both men watched as Draco thrust into her from underneath her.

Draco put a hand around her breast again before biting down on her shoulder. “Oh god, Draco. It’s too much.” KC begged.

She watched as Theo wrapped a hand around to stoke Blaise as he pounded into him from behind. “Who do you think is going to hold out the longest?” Draco questioned into her ear. “I’m going to make you scream my name and they are going to watch. They are going to wish it was them over here with you. But only I fuck you this good.”

She melted into him; her body was jelly against him. He used his other arm to hold her hips to him and played with her clit. Her back was against his chest and she reached around her head to put her hands through his hair. There were so many sounds of pleasure in the room that KC was overwhelmed. Her bonds were lighting up brightly. Her orgasms hit her hard and there was a spark that sent across the room. She was trying to hold in her scream but that spark sent everyone over the edge with her. Theo and Blaise and Draco all came at the same time. KC was left breathless and fell off of Draco into the mattress beside him.

“Bloody hell, that was fantastic,” Blaise praised. Theo laid in front of him so Blaise could be the big spoon as they watched KC and Draco.

KC turned to Draco as he slid back down the bed. She kissed him and ran her fingers over his cheeks and onto his chest. He looked right at her as she pulled back. “How did you make that happen?”

“I don’t know,” she said breathlessly. “But I wouldn’t be opposed to that happening again. That was beyond perfect.”

Draco laughed as he kissed her lips. As they all came down from their highs, KC passed out from exhaustion and dreamt of the most perfect men she could have asked for. 

Chapter Text

Days in the safe house were becoming quieter. Kat spent a majority of her time at the ministry, Harry would pop in the check on everyone each day, giving very few updates on what was happening. They hadn’t told KC about the attacks that had started. Her mental stability was more important than telling her something that isn’t in her control. Blaise wanted to tell her, but Draco and Theo knew what would happen if they did. None of them had the strength to see her fall into that depressive state again.  

While she was doing much better and regularly eating meals downstairs in the kitchen, KC still spent most of her time sitting in the window seat; watching the city come to life while reading whatever books she could. Her favorite to study was still her text on becoming an Animagus. She wanted to do it. And given the undetermined amount of time they were going to be stuck in the safe house, she tried to come up with an argument to have them help her.  

“I’m surprised you aren’t able to recite that word for word yet,” Blaise said from the doorway. He was holding two mugs of tea. KC smiled at him, scooting towards the window to make room for him to sit next to her. She took the steaming mug of Earl Grey from him and leaned against him. “Am I now going to be stuck here with you all day?”  

“Yes. There is a sticking charm on the seat. You’re not leaving until I say so,” KC sassed. She smiled as she took a sip.  

“I’ve been curious. Why do you want to be an Animagus so badly? It seems like a lot of work and you already have so much happening.” Blaise swept some hair over her shoulder so he could see her face.  

KC didn’t answer right away, running her fingers over the cover of her well-worn book. “I feel so out of control with my magic. This crystal necklace has been helping a little, but I still feel like I could lose it at any time. This? Being an Animagus? Maybe it is just one thing that I could finally be in control of. It would be something I could do and nothing could stop me.” 

Blaise put his lips to her temple. “You’re incredible, Kitten. I hope no one tries to get in your way, you’ll plow right over them.” 

She couldn’t help but smile at his words. She snuggled into him when she finished her tea and continued to read. He had his arm around her and fell asleep to her calm breaths.  

Blaise hadn’t been sleeping well. Ever since that night where KC watched him and Theo. He couldn’t help but feel that things had changed between them and he could feel the sensation in his ring change each time she saw them together. KC would snuggle closer into Draco, or she would advert her eyes whenever he leaned down to kiss Theo. Did we cross a line? Is what happened not something that she wanted? Did I mess things up? Blaise’s mind was constantly running, hoping that he could fix things. When it was just them two, he felt calm. He would make her tea just the way she liked; he would play with her hair while she read when Draco was researching things in the study downstairs. Theo wanted to comfort both her and Blaise, but didn’t know how. He was good at controlling certain situations, but emotions were a bit tricky. KC had brought out his emotional side and he was still trying to handle it.  

Hours had passed and KC had fallen asleep on Blaise’s lap, book on her chest. Draco came up the stairs and smiled at them. If anyone else walked in, they would laugh at how ridiculous she looked. Flat on her back, hair sprawled over Blaise’s lap, arm over her eyes, the other still on her book, slightly snoring. He almost didn’t want to wake them, but it was important. He sat across from them and slowly shook her arm. She scared herself away, sitting up so fast she scared Blaise in the process.  

“Bloody hell, mate. What was that for?” Blaise admonished, running his hands over his face. KC laughed controlling her breathing again.  

“As fun as that was, I need you both downstairs. Potter is here.” KC wasted no time following them. She hadn’t received any news the few times he had been around so she was ready for any updates.   

Harry was sitting across from Theo speaking in hushed tones. He looked serious. Taking a seat between both Theo and Draco, she prepared herself for the worst. 

“We’re sending you back to Hogwarts,” Harry said bluntly.  

KC sat in shock, not quite processing what was happening. “I’m sorry. I missed something here.” 

“We have captured a few Sympathizers after one of the attacks and we have enough information to know where they might be heading. They are more concerned on the list right now than they are of you.”  

“Attacks?” KC looked at Draco in surprise. “You didn’t tell me of any attacks.” 

Draco grabbed her knee. “You were under enough stress as it was. There was nothing you could have done to prevent it or anything after.”  

“It’s my fault this is happening. I need to know these things!” KC was panicking. Theo had to hold her still, both men trying to comfort her.  

“That was my decision,” Draco didn’t look at her. “I won’t apologize for it. There’s nothing any of us could have done.” 

Harry tried to insert himself to continue. “There is nothing the ministry could have done without knowing what is on that list. We were able to get some information from those we detained and have put those families into protection.  We’ve added security measures to Hogwarts as a precaution. We see no reason you can’t return to classes in a few days. For now, I’m here to take you to Malfoy Manor.” 

KC was elated to hear they would be leaving this place. She would get the weekend to enjoy with Narcissa and then she could go and pretend things were getting back to normal. “When we get there, can Hannah and Ginny come to visit? I need to know they are ok.” 

“Already notified. They’ll visit tomorrow.” Even Harry knew how much KC wanted them to know she was ok. Ginny had been pestering him since they disappeared. “Go get your things. We are using a portkey to travel just in case anyone has access to the floo network.” 

Draco tried to hold onto KC but she was up and running towards the stairs before he could say anything. He could feel how upset she was and it was all on him. Following her up the stairs, they all started grabbing the few things they had. KC avoided everyone and was out the door before anyone could say anything. Using his magic to gather everything, he quickly followed her. “KC,” he tried, as she went to open the door to the study. “Stop running from me.” 

She was holding herself back, hands shaking around her bag. “You should have told me.” Her voice was strained as she looked at him. “I know you wanted to protect me, but I feel out of control enough as it is. Information is the only thing I have to go off. You shut me out.” 

“I won’t apologize for trying to protect you. There was nothing we could have done. You don’t know the names on the list so how would knowing the ones who have been attacked help at all?” Draco was so close he had basically pinned her against the door. 

“Because even if I don’t know who it is, one of those families is related to me. My parents never told me where they came from. What happens when they no longer need my parents? What happens when they get through the records and it’s too late? What if it means I lose Blaise and Theo?” She latched onto Draco, trying to control her breathing into his chest. “What if it means I lose you?” 

Draco held her as tight as he could. “I’m not going anywhere.” 

They stood there until the other two came down the stairs. They were ready to leave and try to move forward from this. Harry didn’t waste much time pulling out the portkey and getting back to England.

The gates of Malfoy Manor had never looked so inviting. Spring always makes the grounds extra bright and colorful. Draco took pride in how his home looked. The white peacocks his father loved were running around and the hedges are sharply cut.

Upon landing, KC held onto Draco tightly to keep her balance. She was nauseous but held it in as best she could. He helped her to the up the path towards the door where he saw his mother waiting. As soon as they were far enough from the gate, he felt the wards shift back into place. There was a new anti-apparation ward that made it so no one could come in or out.  KC regained her footing and ran towards Narcissa. She was never one to show a lot of emotion, especially when Draco was young, but the ease at which she shows KC love was astounding.

“My sweet girl. You’re safe.” She didn’t let go until she saw Draco walk up and pulled him in the hug. “You’re both safe. Let’s get you inside.”

KC never let go of Narcissa as they walked. Blaise and Theo followed behind them. Dinner was waiting for all of them and they were able to catch Narcissa up on everything that had happened the last few weeks. The trip to Ilvermorny, KC returning home to ruin, the attack from her professor and Lucius. But they were also able to share the fun afternoon in Paris which made the mood much lighter. Even she could laugh at her son turning into a Weasley for the day.

Mippy brought dessert for everyone along with more tea. She padded along towards KC, giving her a piece of the fresh berry pie and an extra scoop of the homemade raspberry cream. “That’s very kind of you. Thank you,” KC made sure to praise the elf. Mippy spoiled her. Theo tried to swipe a bit off of KC’s plate but Mippy was fast to send a sting towards his hand. With a glare, the rest of the table laughed.

“If Master Nott would mind his manners, maybe Mippy would reward him too,” she sassed, taking her metal tray back to the kitchen.

Theo’s jaw dropped and he plopped back down in the chair. KC couldn’t help but laugh and gave him a kiss. Her face froze when she realized she had done that in front of Narcissa. “Shit, I mean….” She was flustered trying to come up with an explanation.

Narcissa just smiled. “You’re quite alright, Kara. I could see your bond with them. It was only a matter of time.”

“And I may have mentioned something in a letter or two,” Draco smirked. “Don’t let her fool you.”

KC hid her face that was bright red, giving Theo the chance to steal her dessert. She caught him out of the corner of her eye, and didn’t hesitate to try and grab it back. He just caught her arm and pulled her over to sit on his lap. “Theo! This is highly inappropriate for dinner.”

“Just eat your dessert, Princess.” He held her hips and she at every last bite.

As they finished dinner and moved to leave the dining room, Narcissa held Draco back. Making sure that everyone else was gone, she pulled her son into a tight embrace.

“It’s so nice to have you home, Draco.”

“Father hasn’t tried to come back, has he?”

Narcissa pulled away from him. “No. And he would be wise not to try. You’re safe here.”

“I’m scared I won’t be able to protect her from what’s coming.” Draco was lost. He wasn’t used to caring about anyone other than his mother. KC had thrown him through a whirlwind.

“You’re not alone in this, son. You’ll have me, and then Theo and Blaise right by your side. Kara is a fighter. The Sympathizers don’t stand a chance.” She comforted him the best she could. “Go get some rest. I’ll meet with you all tomorrow and we can try out the sun amulet.”

With everything that had happened, Draco had almost forgotten about that. It gave him some hope that things were going to be ok. After another cup of tea and talking to his mother about everything that had happened, he said good night to his mother and went to make sure KC was alright. He walked into KC’s room only to find Blaise and Theo laying in her bed. He checked her bathroom and closet, not there. He ran to his room and the sigh of relief he felt. She was curled up in his bed, in his quidditch jersey. He smiled, quickly changed and joined her.

“Why are you in here, love? I would have come in the other room.” He pulled her close to him.

“I just wanted to be close to you. Just you,” she yawned, laying her head on his chest. “You smell good.”

She was talking in her sleep. He just laughed to himself and let himself fall asleep with her.

*****

When KC woke up the next morning, she was alone. Looking at the clock, it was almost noon. Isolating in the safe house had thrown off her sleep schedule. Getting up to change into her clothes, she heard voices outside. Outside her window, she saw Draco out walking Midas, while Blaise and Theo goofed around with Ginny and Hannah. KC took off sprinting towards the gardens.

Once she was outside, there was no stopping her. She ran right towards her friends. They spotted her and then met in the middle, tackling each other. “I can’t believe you just disappeared on us!” Hannah cried. “You’re not leaving without me next time.”

“Hell, she’s not leaving at all,” Ginny said, pushing herself back. “What the hell were you thinking?”

“I had to go. They took my—”

“We know why you left. You best believe I gave Harry the fight of his life for not telling me about it.”

Hannah made to stand up. “She’s not that mad. Slytherin was supposed to play Gryffindor last week. Since three of their players were missing, they had to forfeit.”

“They would have lost anyway,” Ginny waved off, watching as Blaise flipped her off. “They filled us in on quite a bit of what happened. But they didn’t tell us all of the good stuff!”

“You have to spill!” Hannah, ever the gossip.

Theo came up behind KC and lifted her up over his shoulder. “She’s not going to tell you anything. Are you, Princess?’

“Theo, if you don’t put me down this second I’ll--”  

“You’ll what, Kitten?” Blaise teased. “You don’t look like you have power to do anything right now?” Blaise gave Theo a kiss before slapping KC on the ass and walking away.  

Ginny’s jaw dropped. When Hannah wasn’t surprised, Ginny pushed her. “You knew? This whole time?” 

“Not all of the details, but one can fill in the blanks.”  

In efforts to get away, KC used a wandless stinging charm, making Theo jump and drop her. He just sat down beside her on the ground and KC went into as many details with Ginny and Hannah as possible. There was so much to catch Ginny up on, it felt like they were there for hours.  

Needing a break, KC went to check on Draco in the stables. He was so focused on brushing Midas that he didn’t notice her walk in. “Didn’t feel like being social today?” 

He jumped at the sound of her voice, but didn’t stop what he was doing. “Figured you and Red would be gossiping the day away. No need to interrupt.” 

“I didn’t need the whole day to catch them up. They don’t need to know the intricate details of us.” He had a scowl on his face, never stopped working. KC stood in front of Midas, petting him and scratching under his chin. She missed this beautiful abraxan. “You don’t have to hide away the rest of the day. I’d like to spend time with you, too.” He didn’t answer her. Draco was avoiding something. “It’s almost like you’ve been avoiding me after what happened... after our date in Paris.” 

“It’s not that,” he was quick to say.  

“Then what is it? I’ve been feeling your bouts of fear whenever we’re in a group setting, your anger. And then you hide yourself. You stayed in the study most of the time at the safe house. If you need to get away from me, I get it. I’ll give you space.” 

“That’s nonsense.” 

“Then, please, explain to me what’s going on. My anxiety is eating me alive. I feel like I've hurt you, or pushed you too far, or you’re just done with fighting this battle with me.” 

Draco dropped the brush and rushed to her. He grabbed her face and kissed her, leaving her breathless. It was more passion she had felt from him since that night. He walked her back until her back hit the wall before releasing her lips. “I’m never going to be done with you. You can ditch that thought right now. We bound for a reason. If you were the only one who wanted this, it wouldn’t have happened.” 

“Then why are you hiding from me?” 

“I’m dealing with some personal demons here. My father is the reason your parents are missing, behind all of these attacks on wizarding families, on you! What if I can’t protect you from him? I’ll die before I let them take you from me.” 

KC let out a small laugh. “Always one for dramatics, aren’t you? We are in this together. You are not your father and you are not responsible for his actions. We are going to stop them. All of us, together. You don’t have to fight this demon by yourself.” 

She gave him one last kiss before moving away. “Now, if you’re done hiding from me, will you save me from getting lost in your hedge maze?”  

Draco smiled at her before putting Midas back outside in the fenced area. As they walked towards the maze, the group decided to follow them. Enjoying the sunshine and the easy laughter between them. Draco was quiet when it came to the group. he reserved his kind smiles just for KC. Everyone else got his snarky comments. Everyone dished it right back to him, making it even better. They made it to the other side of the maze, finding the pond that was on the edge of the tree line. Blaise and Theo ran off to find the old wooden fort that was between the hedges and trees down aways, while Ginny and Hannah decided it was nice enough to jump into the water. KC just wanted to enjoy the sun, making Draco sit with her.  

“You didn’t tell me you had a pond out here,” KC said, laying her head on his lap. 

“It’s not technically ours. But there were many summers spent out here with those fools. We got into so much trouble.” 

“No! I don’t believe that for a second.”  

“Sarcasm doesn’t look good on you, Hufflepuff,” he teased as he pushed her off his lap. She tackled him in repercussion, holding his hands to the ground. 

“Do I look good on you?”  

He smirked at her but let her pretend she was in control. “I dare say, love, you’ve never looked better.” 

He leaned up to give her a kiss when they heard the sound of spells being shot off where Blaise and Theo were. KC shot up quickly and saw that the spells were coming from the trees. They were under a protective shield, but they weren’t going to be able to escape. KC scrambled to find her wand but couldn’t find it. She had left the room in such a hurry, it was still laying on the bedside table. A stunner shot towards her, missing her and knocked Draco out. Ginny and Hannah were climbing out of the water when they were stunned. KC tried to take off in a run towards the others, but wasn’t going to get to them in time.  

The two figures came out of the trees. It was Pansy Parkinson and to KC’s shock, Mason. Pansy was able to catch KC by surprise, hitting her shoulder with a stunner. She fell to the ground in pain, but was conscious. She had to get to her boys. She wasn’t going to be fast enough. Theo raised his wand to fight back when both boys were frozen. “We take them back to headquarters,” Mason said. 

“No!” KC screamed. Her magic flooded her, only focused on getting to them to protect them. Before she knew it, her body took on a power of its own. As she ran, she transformed into a giant black panther. Mason tried to shoot at her with spells, but she dodged all of them. Growling at him as she got closer, she pounced. Her claws dug into his neck as she was able to get him down. She took one swipe at him and the cuts ran deep. Pansy took off running at the site of the big cat running towards them. They were still under the anti-apparation ward. KC was flying towards her. Pansy was almost to the line when she was swiped in the face. She fell just over the line and was gone before more damage was done.  

KC prowled back towards her boys to make sure they were ok. As she came back out of the trees, she saw everyone had woken up and joined Blaise and Theo. Backing away from her, they all stared at her in fright. She was still in animal form. She didn’t know how it happened in the first place, let alone how to turn back. No ability to speak, tell them that she was still in control of her mind. The Animagus section did not prepare me for this. She sat down and the tail curled around her legs. Looking down at her now paws, she saw the blood that blended into her black coat. On her right paw, there were thin white markings of where her bonds would be.  

Blaise was the first one to approach her, slowly at that. “Is that really you, Kitten?”  

She had the same green eyes and pleaded with him to not look at her like he was afraid, hoping that their bonds were still feeling her energy. He put one hand on her head and she lifted her right paw to show him the bond markings. “I guess I shouldn’t call you ‘Kitten’ anymore,” he joked. KC nudged her head into him, letting the cat instincts take over for a bit. The sound of purring from inside her was something she’d never get used to. The others quickly came over to her, marveling at her. She was trying to focus on changing back, but she wasn’t having any luck.  

Draco pulled her focus to him. “You can’t change back, can you?” KC just shook her head, making everyone worry. “Let’s get her back inside. We need to levitate the body back under our wards until the aurors arrive.” 

KC had almost forgotten what she had done to Mason. He had bled out because of her claws. They walked silently back through the maze and Narcissa was waiting for them on the patio. She was worried about the body more than she was about the panther crossing the garden.  

“We seem to have a problem,” she said as the group left the body outside. Bringing everyone inside to the solarium. “Has she tried transforming back?” 

“From the strain in her eyes, I’m going to say yes,” Theo said, sitting in the arm chair. KC rested her head on his knee.  

Narcissa went to her chair and pulled out a small, wooden chest from underneath. “Perhaps this will help.” She pulled out the jeweled amulet in the shape of a sun. “It’s never done anything for those in our family, but we can only hope it will help her get control of her magic.” 

The chain wasn’t long enough to put around her neck, so she set it on the flat part of the feline's head. After a few seconds, the sun started to glow. Everyone stared with wide eyes. “Now, Kara, you have to focus. This is supposed to give you control on your powers. Focus on shifting.” 

She did focus. The magic inside her was no longer tingling through her every nerve. The only time she had ever felt this level of calm in her magic was after using her bonds to send her magic out. After a few minutes of internal focus, she felt her body start to shift back. It exhausted her. The second she was human, she slumped over. She would have crashed into the marble floor had Draco not caught her. “Extraordinary,” Narcissa whispered. Draco quickly adjusted the amulet to hang around her neck. She was awake, but almost delirious.  

“How did this happen?” KC asked, straining her tired voice. “I didn’t even go through the Animagus steps. I wasn’t allowed to.” 

“Your magic is capable of many things that our world doesn’t understand. But we are here to help you learn to control it.” Narcissa turned her attention to the girls sitting on the couch. “Miss Weasley, will you contact the aurors? I believe we need to report this.” KC’s eyes showed how scared she was. “Don’t worry, Kara. Not you. We’re not saying anything about your ability. We will report finding him attacked by an animal just off our property and it triggered the wards. You have nothing to be afraid of.” 

KC hid herself in Draco’s chest. He was stiff, wondering what might be in store for her now. “Draco, you three take her to rest. Her body is going to need to recover from such a sudden change. Your bond energy might help.”  

Draco lifted her off the floor and she looked towards Hannah. “I’ll be ok. See you at school tomorrow.” Hannah gave her a weak smile as KC was taken from the room. Blaise ran ahead to get her room ready for her. “Draco, I can walk. It’s ok.” 

He only tightened his hold on her. His occlumency shield was up and she couldn’t reach him. Theo gave her a knowing look when she peered over Draco’s shoulder. Draco passed her room that Blaise was holding the door open for, going straight to his room. He carefully set her down, pulling the blankets back and helped her lay in the middle of the bed. “Draco, what’s wrong?” 

He slipped off his shoes and got into bed pulling her close as the other two walked in. “I almost lost you and I wasn’t able to protect you.” 

“I took care of it--” 

“And what was going to happen if you didn’t?” He whispered. “They could have taken you. I wasn’t even fast enough to shield a stunner.” 

“They were aiming for me, not you. They wanted to stun me because they were trying to take Blaise and Theo.” KC felt one of them crawl in behind her. Her skin was warm at the feel of their magic around her. “I’m glad all three of you are ok.” 

The amulet stopped glowing once all three of them were touching her. She could feel her energy slowly coming back. She shot straight up, leaving the boys confused. “Do you ever feel tired after being around me? Not physically, but like your magic is tired?” 

None of the boys acknowledged that question. I’m taking their magic. “I can’t do this. I think I’m taking your magic.” 

“Have you lost the plot, Princess?” Theo sat up looking at her. “You’re not taking anything from us.” 

“It makes sense though! Like how I was able to send you my excess magic through the bond. Maybe when I’m spent like this, I’m taking it from you.” 

Blaise sat up and put his hand on her arm. “We are fine. You’ve never taken anything that has affected us long term. It’s nothing we wouldn’t give you willingly. I think it’s like you’re borrowing it until yours can recover.” He tipped her chin towards him so he could lightly kiss her lips. “Let us help you, Kitten. Retract your claws and let us take care of you.” 

KC laid back down with Blaise, her back towards Draco. His soft hand snaked around her waist, pulling her tight against him. She reached out and linked her hand where Blaise and Theo’s hands were.  “You can take everything from me,” Draco whispered in her ear. “You have all of me, just take it.”  

He kissed her cheek and watched as she drifted off. He’d give up everything for her . Money, home, or magic. KC was the only thing that mattered. 

 

Chapter Text

I killed him. I killed Mason. I killed another person.

KC had the worst nightmares that night. The replay of the bully crashing against the playground equipment. The sight of Mason under what was her claws. One was an accident, the other, while in defense of those she loved, was on purpose. It just kept replaying. Each time, another person was ashamed of her, degraded her, and ultimately left her. Seeing the disappointment, the anger in their eyes even in a dream was enough to send her spiraling.

Draco couldn’t sleep. He felt her emotions in her sleep. She was fighting herself. He knew what that was like. She was a saint compared to the things he had done. Though forced, he still did terrible things. He let the death eaters into Hogwarts which led to many students dying. His home was used for torture and he had seen his fair share of death. He tortured when his family was in danger. It haunted him. But feeling her struggle, it was killing him on the inside. He couldn’t protect her when she was in danger, and he can’t protect her from suffering inside.

Shaking her awake, Draco turned her towards him. When she opened her eyes, the look of terror in her eyes would stick in his much forever. She had been crying in her sleep, her cheeks tear-stained. KC grabbed onto his shirt and hid her face in his chest, letting her emotions take over. “I killed him. I can’t believe I did that. I’m a horrible person.”

“You did nothing wrong. He got what was coming to him.”

“But it was me! I was the one who ended it. His blood is on my hands.”

“Kara,” Draco ran his fingers up and down her back, trying to soothe her. “You are one of the strongest, kind-hearted, fiercest protectors I’ll ever meet. You saved both of those snakes lying next to you. You protected every one of your friends. You did the ministry a favor.”

She didn’t have anything left to say. She felt broken. “Teach me.” Draco pulled her up to look in her eyes, searching for an explanation. “Teach me how to turn it off. How can you use occlumency to make it go away?”

As much as he didn’t want to say it, Draco knew she wouldn’t be able to do it. Her emotions have always been intense. She wears her heart on her sleeve every second of the day. “Don't rely on that. Don’t hide like I do. I can tell you are overwhelmed. Let me help you, but not like that.”

Theo watched with sad eyes. He wanted to help but there wasn’t anything they could do to take her pain away. Draco had some dreamless sleep in the bathroom. He did his best to signal and Theo was smart enough to know what he wanted.

“I’m not taking it, Draco. I can’t face those nightmares again.” She left her face buried into his shirt.

“I’m not making you take anything. It’s ok.” Theo made his way back round the bed and sneakily gave him the vial. Draco took a small amount into his mouth without jostling KC. He held it until he felt KC relax. He shifted her back down onto the bed. Looming over her, he lightly wiped the tears from her cheeks before putting his lips to hers. She melted into him and he used his tongue to get her some of the dreamless sleep.

She pulled back from him. “You’re an ass, Draco.”

“You need to sleep, so do I.” He kissed her one more time, meaning it. She rolled away from him facing Theo and Blaise. It wasn’t long until she was asleep again. “Thank you, Theo.”

“You both are important to me. Get some rest.” Theo gave sleeping Blaise a kiss on his temple before curling back behind him and falling asleep himself. Draco let himself fall into the dark sleep he needed. 

The dreamless sleep worked until the sun was starting to stream through the windows. We’re going back to Hogwarts today . KC couldn’t help but wonder what this meant. How are things going to play out? Are they going to keep more information from me? What if I can’t learn to control my magic even with the amulet? What if I hurt someone I care about?

“Kitten, your mind is so loud,” Blaise groaned, waking up and pulling her closer to him. KC could hear the shower running explaining the empty bed behind her. Theo was sitting against the headboard, reading a book. He always looks so good when he’s reading , KC smiled to herself. “Come on, love. Will you just stop worrying for two seconds and cuddle me? I’m touch starved.”

Theo rolled his eyes and knocked Blaise with his book. KC couldn’t help but laugh at them. “I’m actually going to go shower. I want to get downstairs and try to work on my magic before they take us back.”

She was quick to crawl out of bed and padded towards the bathroom. Draco was just standing under the steaming water hand against the wall. KC could see how exhausted he was, both emotionally and physically. She stripped down, carefully hiding the amulet in her clothes, and quietly entered behind him. He didn’t even acknowledge her when she ran her hand up his back. “Talk to me, Draco.”

“There’s nothing to say. I told you what was going on.” He turned to pull her around so she was standing under the water. “It’s not something I can shake.”

“We are both going to be ok. Now, can you stop hiding in here? You’re going to help me practice magic until we leave and I can’t properly kick your ass if you’re sad. I’d feel bad.”

“You can’t beat me, Hufflepuff. Not a chance,” he teased.

“I’ll take that bet. Let’s see if this cat can kick the ferret’s ass.” She winked at him, and made to wash up. Draco had to leave the shower before he took her against the cold tile wall. She knew just how to rile him up and shake him from the thoughts that plagued him.

He dressed quickly and went to eat breakfast. While drinking his tea, the other three came in the door, KC laughing at something Blaise had said. Seeing the crystal around KC’s neck, he wondered what she had done with the sun. She was quick to sit next to him, stealing the pastry that he had sat on the side of his plate. 

“You know, there are plenty of those available. I had planned to eat that one,” Draco said, watching her take a bite. The glare he gave her reminded her of the first day on the train on the way to Hogwarts. 

Calling his bluff of actually wanting it, she set the pastry back on his plate and grabbed another one from the serving tray. “You can have it back then. I apologize for taking the most delicious pastry from your plate.”  

She giggled as she took a bite of the new one. Draco smirked at her and tossed the pastry she bit back at her, hitting her straight on the nose.  

“Manners, Draco,” Narcissa scolded as she walked in the room. KC playfully stuck her tongue out at him and grabbed the apple he had set next to her plate. Draco sent a small stinging hex against her thigh making her jump, playing it off like nothing happened, drinking his tea. Blaise and Theo watched in amusement. They were glad KC was back to her happy, Hufflepuff self.  

Narcissa smiled behind her tea. “As nice as it is to have life in this house again, Mr. Potter will be here this afternoon to escort you all back to Hogwarts.” 

“Great!” KC bounced in her seat. “I feel Lupin might be interested in the new magical developments. Until then, Let’s go practice!”  

She grabbed Draco and pulled him out of his seat, using the side doors to head into the ballroom area. “First you steal my food and then you don’t even let me finish?”  

“You had one bite left. Fight me,” KC sassed, walking away towards the other side of the room. Draco sent another stinging hex towards her rear. “You’ll pay for that one, Malfoy.” 

“I’ve heard that before,” he muttered, before blocking the incoming spell from her.  

She dueled him with everything she had. With all of the practice with Lupin, their skills had improved immensely. Their exercise went on, almost taking turns on who would get taken down first. Blaise and Theo tried to step in, but they were no match for her. As she cast relentless spells against Blaise, Theo snuck behind her and grabbed her from behind. “No Fair!” She yelled, struggling against him while laughing uncontrollably.  

Theo puts her on her back on the floor. “Slytherins don’t play fair. Have you learned nothing, Princess?” He kissed her before moving away. “We are all aware at how sharp your dueling skills are. Perhaps you should take a break from assaulting us and maybe focus on transforming? See if that is something you can get a handle on?” 

She sat up and looked at them. She had read how to focus on transforming into an Animagus, but this felt different. “What if I’m not strong enough?” 

“You’ve already done it once. I think you’ve proven that you are,” Draco scolded her. She looked down to the floor, almost defeated. Moving to crouch down to her level, he pulled her chin up to look at him. “Be a good girl for me? Try?”  

His voice was like silk. It traveled smoothly through her. Her cheeks turned slightly pink before she nodded. Draco stayed in front of her. He motioned for her to take deep breaths and center herself. She put all of her focus on what she knew. She tried to empty her mind and just think of the transformation. She could feel her magic move and she pushed it. She felt something tingle across her skin and all of the sudden, her magic dropped. She opened her eyes, hoping it worked. Looking down, she saw her hands. Still human. She looked up to look at Draco and he wasn’t making eye contact with her, hiding his mouth behind his hand. Blaise and Theo trying to hold back smiles. “What? What is going on?” 

“I don’t think any of us NOSE what is happening, Kitten,” Blaise tried not to laugh, but he was failing.  

KC tilted her head in confusion when she saw something in her peripheral vision. Her nose felt heavy. She touched her face, feeling whiskers and a triangle shaped nose. “Oh no! I told you I couldn’t do it!”  

She was trying to hide her face, but Draco just sat down in front of her and let out a small laugh. He grabbed her hands. “Try again, love. We're just poking fun at you. You make a very cute kitten.” 

“Draco --” 

“Just try. One more time and then you can be done for the day. I’ll even let you have my pastry.” 

KC couldn’t help but smile at him. He really did support her, even if he gave more sass than she did. She squeezed his hands and closed her eyes to try again. Her face was contorting while she was focusing. Ignoring it as best as she could, she felt her magic surge through her again. Allowing it to flow, she felt things shift. After a few seconds, she opened her eyes and the boys were all smiling at her. She had black fur on her paws.  

Draco grinned at her and scratched her where her ears were. She couldn’t help but lean into him and purr. “Perfect. You did so well,” he praised her.  

The two others came closer to her. “Why is she so much smaller than last time?” Theo asked as Blaise reached down to her.  

“Can’t you just be proud of her?” Blaise snipped back towards him before picking KC up. She was the size of a cub. “She did it! Isn’t that right, Kitten?” He was using his cute little baby voice, making the others roll their eyes. KC was soaking up all the attention.  

Theo piped in between them. “Ok, now can she change back?” 

KC’s green eyes went wide. Her magic was exhausted from pushing so hard today, they all could feel it through their bonds. She shook her head. The sight was odd but they understood. She couldn’t talk while in her panther form. Draco took her from Blaise and supported her. “Can I look, Kara?” he whispered.  

She responded by putting her head on his forehead. Using legilimency, he heard her thoughts saying she was tired; her magic was exhausted. She needed to rest before trying again. “Would the amulet help? You can use it. It’s only here to help you.”  

I don’t want to rely on it. If I can get as much control now, then I can only imagine how well it will work with the amulet. Let me try, please. ”  

Draco wasn’t pleased with that thought process. With her powers and the control of the amulet, she shouldn’t have to push herself this hard.  

“Let me help her rest until Potter gets here,” Blaise suggested. “We can get all of our stuff ready while she does and that way, she won’t have to worry about anything except for changing back.” 

KC pushed her nose against Draco’s and he sighed. “Fine. I’ll get stuff ready for her. But make sure she rests.” He handed her to Blaise before storming off. They could hear him muttering as he walked away, only catching the words stubborn and Hufflepuff.  

They sat on the sofa that was across from the fireplace. She curled up right on Blaise’s lap and was asleep.  Theo rested a hand behind Blaise’s neck as he watched her sleep.  “Well, I was going to go and pack for us,” Blaise laughed. “Apparently she had other plans.”

“Let me take her then. I know how particular you are about organizing our stuff,” Theo carefully took KC and laid her against his chest. Blaise smiled happily at them before leaving. Theo just looked down and lightly pet KC. “You know I am proud of you, right?” He whispered to her. Her form made it so she was purring at his attention, even when sleeping. “You’re changing everything, Princess. You’ve changed all of us.” KC nuzzled into his chest, her claws slightly dug into his chest before retracting again. “Just, please, don’t lose yourself.”

Theo watched her rest. He kissed her fur covered head before cradling his arms around her. It wasn’t long before the other two were back, and Harry was walking through the fireplace. KC was still fast asleep. “We have to get her to change back before we go back to the castle,” Draco sneered. “How are we going to explain carrying a bloody panther through the school?”

“You can feel it just as much as we can how exhausted she is,” Blaise countered.

“Then she can use the bloody amulet!” Draco still wasn’t happy with her choice to not use it. 

“I agree,” Theo said, placing KC on the couch before standing. “She should be using it. But she has to be the one to do this.”

Draco glared at Theo before moving to kneel in front of KC. Harry looked wildly confused at the situation. “Ginny explained to me what was happening and I am still confused.”

“I feel like that is a constant state of being for you, Scarhead.” Draco slightly shook KC to wake her. “Come on, love. You've got to change back before we go.”

Her green eyes sleepily looked into his gray. She moved to sit and you could feel her concentration. But there was nothing. KC laid down in defeat. Draco cursed under his breath. “Fine, be mad at me all you want, but we have to do it this way.” He grabbed the amulet out of his pocket and put it around her neck. She tried to swipe at him for it, but he was too quick. Giving a small sigh, she sat up and tried again. It was an instant response. KC was back to sitting on the couch as her regular self. “See? Much easier.” 

“I could have done it with some more rest. I don’t want—” KC was upset but Draco cut her off.

“I know you don’t want to. But guess what? This amulet doesn’t work for anyone else. It only works for you so you can get a handle on your magic. No matter how hard we researched, how hard Granger worked on the crystals for you to make it stronger, they weren’t helping. There is no use in you exhausting yourself to the point of fainting. Stop being so fucking stubborn and use it!” 

Draco stormed away from her and took off through the floo before she could process what was happening. Harry motioned for them to follow him. She was reluctant, but Theo took her hand and they left together. They landed in the headmaster’s office. McGonagall was nowhere to be found. “Owl if there are any new developments. I’m here to help,” Harry promised before using the floo to leave. 

Draco had already fled the office. She could feel his mixture of emotions, not knowing which one was worse. The anger, the fear, the worry. He was just trying to look out for her, but he did it in his own way. She wasn’t going to let the prophecy control her. She wanted to be in control of herself for once, do something for herself. She wanted to be strong enough to control her magic. But she just wasn’t and she hated it. “I need to go find Lupin. I need him to fill him in.”

“We can help,” Blaise said trying to walk towards her.

“I love that you want to, but I think I need some time to think about everything.” KC tucked the amulet inside her shirt. “I want you with me, I just need some space for a minute. I’ll see you tonight?”

Space. Theo hated that word. The intention of it. He could tell she didn’t say it with malice, but it hit him right in the heart. He grabbed his boyfriend's hand and dragged him towards the door. “Let’s give her space then. What the princess wants, she gets.” His tone was angry.

“Theo! That’s not what I meant!” She yelled after him. Blaise looked back at her with sad eyes. 

KC trudged on towards Lupin’s office. The halls were mostly empty, making her return a quiet one. When she got to the classroom, she saw Hermione sitting there helping Lupin grade some tests. “Ah, Miss Celine. Welcome back!” 

“It’s good to be back,” she smiled. “It’s good to see you, too, Hermione.” Hermione nodded towards her but didn’t say anything else, going back to the tests. “I came to see you as there has been a few new developments that I think you should be aware of.” 

“I believe Mr. Potter informed us about your previous professor. But no details on how it came to be.” Lupin came to the front of his desk, leaning on it to confront her. “Would this have anything to do with that?” 

“A lot, actually.” KC pulled the amulet out of her shirt. Lupin wasn’t surprised, but Hermione shot out of her seat to take a look at it. 

“You got the amulet to work,” Hermione said in shock.  

“I still don’t know how it works. I just know that I can feel the difference. We found the moon amulet as well. Mason had been hiding it in my room at Ilvermorny. He was siphoning excess magic from me through it. I think that’s why when I came here, my magic started spiraling.” 

Lupin was impressed. “Have you tried using it?” 

“That’s what I came to show you. Mason and Pansy Parkinson tried to attack us at Malfoy Manor. They tried to take Theo and Blaise.” KC took the amulet off and handed it to Hermione. She was hesitant, but held it closely. “I had left my wand inside and I couldn’t reach them in time to protect them. This is what happened instead.” 

KC focused all her might on transforming. The amulet had brought her balance back and she was able to shift into her full form. Hermione jumped back; Lupin’s eyes lit up. “You’re an Animagus?” Lupin reached out to her to make sure he wasn’t imagining things. She shook her head, as she tried to focus energy to change back, but it wasn’t going to work. She nudged her paw towards Hermione to get the amulet back. She wrapped it around her paw and it began to shine. After a minute, KC was able to transform back.  

Lupin was astounded. “I don’t know if Animagus is the correct term for it. I never went through the process, but this happened. That’s how Mason died. I attacked him and my claws slit his throat. I can’t say I’m sad he is gone, but it’s tearing me apart knowing that I killed him.” 

“What about Miss Parkinson?” 

“She ran when I went towards her. I scratched her face before she got away.” KC put the amulet back around her neck and hid it. “The amulet is the only thing that has made it so I can shift back. Without it, the shift exhausts my magic. I want to strengthen it so I don’t have to rely on this.” KC pulled the crystal necklace that Hermione had made. “The crystal has been helpful with the overpowering surges, but it doesn’t help me control it. It just holds it and slowly gives it back to me. It doesn’t stop me from absorbing magic through my bonds when I’m depleted. I’m scared I’m going to take too much and hurt them.” 

“I don’t think that is how your bonds work, KC.” Lupin went back to sit at his desk and searched in the drawer for a parchment full of notes. “Yes, they are giving you some of their magic, but based on some of the research I've found, some of your excess magic flows back into them. It’s a small balance. There is no way you could take too much from them.”  

He could see that she was upset about it. The worry was clear. “Miss Granger. May I ask you to go and check on Mr. Malfoy? Catch him up on the last few weeks and get back on rotations.” Hermione quickly moved the tests back to his desk and went out the door. “Are you sure that is your only concern, KC?” 

KC was scared. Everything that was happening was overwhelming her. “What if I can’t stop them? People around me are going to die if I can’t.” 

Lupin could understand her concern. “Magic is special. It’s powerful. It listens and understands our bodies more than we do ourselves. That’s how I know that you could never hurt those around you.” KC looked at him, trying to understand what he was saying. “Magic is only as powerful as the knowledge we have of it. For example, your protective spells. Your constant study of defense and your ability for wandless magic, made it possible for you to save those two young men you are now bonded to. That’s why I think you’re now able to transform with your power. You’ve studied advanced transfiguration to the point you could recite that book. With your level of power and your desire, your magic gave it to you. That’s how I know you won’t hurt them; Everything in you wants to protect them.” 

KC pondered that in silence. He wasn’t wrong. “What if it comes down to saving them or my family?” 

Lupin sighed. “If it comes down to that, then that is a choice you will have to make. We are going to do as much as we can to prevent that from happening. We will continue to practice until we can save your parents. Now off you go. I know you have a lot of work to make up.” 

KC moved to leave. She knew she would be behind on making potions. Making her way towards the dungeon, she decided to get started on making up the potions for the hospital wing.  

Starting all four cauldrons, she started making pepper-up potions, followed by strengthening potions, sleeping draughts, and then wide-eye potions. This would take well until midnight, but she needed the distraction from her thoughts. That was exactly how Theo found her. “It’s so late, Princess. Why are you still here?” 

KC nearly knocked over one of the cauldrons she jumped so high. “Merlin, Theo. You’re going to give me a heart attack.” 

He smiled at her. “I know you wanted some space, but you’ve been at this for hours. I was worried about you.” 

Putting down her stirring rod, she went over to where he sat on the table. “I didn’t mean it in that way. I’m sorry that I hurt you by saying that.” 

“I know you didn’t. Blaise may have yelled at me for snapping at you. I don’t handle rejection well.”  

“I’ve just been overwhelmed. Before I came here, I was so used to being alone. Having quiet time to think, and work out things by myself. You three have shaken up my world. I just needed some time to think for a bit.” KC stood between his legs and hugged him. “Good news though, I think I may have overstocked on potions here. We probably won’t have anything for Thursday now.” 

Theo smirked at her. “I’ll just have to find another way to keep you busy.” KC blushed at his deep voice. “But let’s get you to bed. You’ll sleep through classes tomorrow if you don’t finish up.”  

She accepted Theo’s help in putting the potions in flasks and cleaning up. “I should go check on Draco. Have you seen him since we got back?” 

“He’s been in his dorm all afternoon.”  

Theo was nice enough to walk her to Snape's portrait before leaving for the night. KC knew Snape didn’t like letting her in, but he always did. The room was dark and warm as always. The black lake was dark on the window, but with the fire going, you could see the occasional fish swim by. She spotted Draco’s head leaned back against the couch that was facing the fire. Fast asleep, he was almost snoring. As she got closer to the couch, she saw that he wasn’t alone. Hermione was curled beside him, her head on his lap, his hand in her hair.  

KC’s heart froze. He did try and date her. Maybe she decided she wanted him back. And with all of the problems I’m having, I can’t blame him. He did ask for her help and he’s been close with her. It makes sense.... Stop it. You know he wouldn’t do that to you, KC. You know better. She tried to convince herself, but she couldn’t control it. She walked in a daze towards the portrait door. Once she opened it, she ran toward her room before any tears could fall.

Chapter Text

 

***Earlier in the day*** 

Draco was upset with KC as he stormed up the stairs to gather their things. S he had all of the tools to help her control her magic, to control the outbursts, to stop the exhaustion. How could she not use the control that was offered to her? He was going to lose his mind over her and her unnecessary decisions. Draco threw open the door to his room and angrily shoved the bookshelf over. Picking up book by book, he threw them against the wall. 

“I don’t think destroying your books is going to change anything, Draco.” Narcissa watched him from the doorway.  

He stared at the wall. “How can Kara be so bloody proud? After everything that has happened? She has all of the tools now to control everything, yet she is refusing to use it! She’s going to get hurt!”  

Narcissa understood where his anger was stemming from. She waved her wand, fixing everything back into its rightful place. “I know you’re afraid. You care for her.” 

“I’m in love with her. She is everything,” he whispered.  He clenched his fists as the anger bubbled to the surface again. “I’m not going to stand by and watch her get hurt when it can be prevented. I can’t protect her if she is doing things that would put her in danger unnecessarily!” He sent a spell across the room, shredding the painting that hung. “I let my father and his ideals hurt those around me, those I care about. I won’t sit by and let him do it again.” 

“Come with me.” Narcissa grabbed his arm and looped hers through his. She brought him to the library. She sat him in a chair while she searched the shelf opposite him. “I understand why you feel the need to protect her.” 

“What if I can’t? What if--” he stopped himself. What if I’m not strong enough?  

“Put yourself in her position. I can imagine she is feeling similar to how you are right now. She doesn’t feel like she is strong enough to protect those she loves. What does she want to do? Be stronger. She isn’t refusing help, Draco. She just wants to be able to protect those without relying on something else. Time can change many things, nothing is guaranteed.” She grabbed a book that was hidden on the top shelf. It was a very old leather-bound journal. “This was passed down with the amulet. It talked about the power the amulet could potentially hold. I want you to read it. And once you’re finished, if you are still upset with Kara, then we can discuss it.”

“Has she read this?” Draco asked, flipping through the handwritten pages.

“I think it’ll be best if you can discuss it with her.” Narcissa sat next to her son and smoothed his hair. “It brings me joy that you two have come together. The bonds with everything have made it complex, but if you could see the way she looks at you. You mean the world to her.”

“I should get packing before Potter gets here,” he said, trying to get away from the serious conversation. As he got to the door he turned back to his mother. “Thank you, mother.”

Draco took his time packing everything for KC. He found her spring attire and some extra things he knew she would love. He even grabbed extras of his t-shirts so he could leave them in her room. Knowing she would probably just end up wearing them, he grabbed a few more. As he was coming out of his room, he saw Blaise leaving KC’s.

“How’s she doing?” Draco asked.

“She’s sleeping like the dead, mate. We have to convince her to use the sun. She’s far too spent to attempt anything else today.” The annoyance on Draco’s face was apparent. Blaise dropped his bag beside him, moving to stand in front of Draco, a hand on his shoulder. “She’s going to be just fine. I’m worried about you, too.”

It was the way Blaise said that last sentence that melted something inside Draco. He looked up at the sincerity in Blaise’s eyes. “Why me? You’re not here for me, mate.”

“I was here for you long before her. You know that I care about you.” Blaise took his chances by taking his other hand and placing it on his cheek, slowly moving in to push some of the blond hair back away. “I’m always here for you.”

Before Blaise could pull away, Draco had grabbed his arms and held him still. Without warning, Draco smashed his lips against his. It felt like everything had frozen around them. As much as Blaise was enjoying this, it wasn’t how he wanted this to happen. Tentatively, he pushed him back. Draco stepped away. “What did I just do?” he muttered to himself.

“Mate, it’s ok. If you ever want that to happen, it’s ok. But not when you’re this stressed.”

“Fuck off, Blaise. I’m not gay.”

“And neither am I. Let’s focus on our girl for now and we can revisit this when you’re thinking clearly.”

Draco was slightly panicked. His emotions went from confused to scared and back to angry. He grabbed his bag off the floor and took off towards KC, Blaise rushing to catch up to him. Draco burst through the door, seeing Harry come to get them. Theo was trying to shake KC awake.

“We have to get her to change back before we go back to the castle,” Draco sneered. “How are we going to explain carrying a bloody panther through the school?”

“You can feel it just as much as we can how exhausted she is,” Blaise countered. Blaise tried to put a hand on his shoulder, but he jerked away.

“Then she can use the bloody amulet!”

“I agree,” Theo said, placing KC on the couch before standing. “She should be using it. But she has to be the one to do this.”

Draco glared at Theo before moving to kneel in front of KC. Harry looked wildly confused at the situation. “Ginny explained to me what was happening and I am still confused.”

“I feel like that is a constant state of being for you, Scarhead.” Draco slightly shook KC to wake her. “Come on, love. You’ve got to change back before we go.”

Her green eyes sleepily looked into his gray. She moved to sit and you could feel her concentration. But there was nothing. KC laid down in defeat. Draco cursed under his breath. “Fine, be mad at me all you want, but we have to do it this way.” He grabbed the amulet out of his pocket and put it around her neck. She tried to swipe at him for it, but he was too quick. Giving a small sigh, she sat up and tried again. It was an instant response. KC was back to sitting on the couch as her regular self. “See? Much easier.”

“I could have done it with some more rest. I don’t want—” KC was upset but Draco cut her off.

“I know you don’t want to. But guess what? This amulet doesn’t work for anyone else. It only works for you so you can get a handle on your magic. No matter how hard we researched, how hard Granger worked on the crystals for you to make it stronger, they weren’t helping. There is no use in you exhausting yourself to the point of fainting. Stop being so fucking stubborn and use it!”

Draco stormed away from her and took off through the floo before she could process what was happening. He should have waited to make sure it was clear, but he didn’t care. He had to get out before he completely lashed out at her. His anger blinded him as he made his way to his dorm. He no more than stepped foot through the door before he started to lose it. It was like the stress of 6 th year all over. He felt like he was hyperventilating as he grabbed the back of the couch. Time no longer mattered, he needed to get a hold of himself.

He felt a small hand on his back. Grabbing his wand, he turned so fast and placed the tip right under the neck. “Malfoy! It’s just me!”

“Piss off, Granger. Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something?”

“I’ll leave you to your meltdown then,” she snapped before starting to walk towards her room.

“Wait,” he called. “I didn’t mean that.”

Hermione quietly moved back towards him. Choosing to sit on the couch, she motioned for him to join her. He sighed doing so. “It’s good to see you back,” she offered.

“I would have thought you’d burn my things by now.”

She gave a small laugh. “Thought about it.” She glanced up at him. “I am really glad you’re ok. I know we’ve been through some things, but I do care if you’re alive.”

“It’s only been a few weeks. Give it a month before you start to worry next time,” Draco teased. “So much has changed.”

“Want to talk about it?”

Not particularly, he thought. “I’m sure Potter gave you enough to go on. I’m just going to try and read.” He grabbed the book his mother gave. “You’re welcome to keep me company.”

Hermione agreed to let it drop. She moved to grab a book out of her room and came back. No other words were needed between them. They fell into a comfortable silence. Draco was always one to brood in silence, but it seems that having someone around was a small comfort to him. Hours passed. Draco made notes occasionally but was going through the book in detail. Hermione did her best not to acknowledge him. The fire slowly faded to coals before she even looked up again. Draco had fallen asleep, book under his hand laying on the arm of the couch. That made Hermione smile. She went to add more wood to the fire and relit it. Throwing caution to the wind, she decided to lay down next to him, putting her head on his lap. He would be pissed later, but for now, they both needed comfort. Just as she was falling to sleep, she felt a hand fall on her head. “ Love you, Kara,” he muttered. She didn’t even try to correct him.

He never heard KC come in. The only thing that caused him to wake up was the feeling of someone moving on his leg, the feel of hair between his fingers. He didn’t even have his vision focused when he felt the sadness coming through his bond. Did she come and find me?  

Draco looked, expecting to find KC, but instead he saw brown curly hair. He was livid. “What the hell, Granger?”  

She didn’t wake up, but he wasn’t gentle about moving away from her. He went to his room to change. He didn’t like that he could feel that KC was upset. He knew Blaise would be keeping her company after he had yelled at her. There was just something so irritating about the way she had handled everything. He needed to calm down before he approached her again. For this first time in ages, he got out the journal that his mother gave him and wrote. The frustration flowed onto the pages. Frustration about the situation, the school year, KC’s stubborn attitude towards the amulet and her magic, his conflicting feelings about his best friends, and the worry he felt when it concerned KC. Once it was all out, he no more than set the journal down before falling asleep.

 

*****

 

Sleep wasn’t a friend of KC’s. After what she saw, there were unlimited scenarios running around her mind. A bath led to staring at the wall. With only a few hours until she had to be up for class, she tried to rest. As she walked towards her bed, she looked up at her desk. Her welcome succulent was doing extremely well, things had been kept organized, and then there was her snow globe from London. Above it, the painting of her and Draco. Back before the bonds complicated everything, before the attack on the manor, before her parents had been kidnapped, before finding out her professor was against her. She grabbed the painting and laid down. She held onto it tight before finally being able to rest.

Resting was all she could do. She felt Draco’s frustrations most of the night, before that, he had been hiding behind his mental wall. When she could finally drag herself to the Great Hall for breakfast, she was sure she looked pathetic. It was early enough that not many were there, but she saw Blaise and Theo. Blaise saw her rustled state and jumped up to her. “You look like you didn’t sleep.”

“I didn’t.” She brushed him off and sat down. Blaise wasn’t used to her shutting him out. He sat and watched her as she slowly grabbed a few bits of toast, barely nibbling at them.

“What happened, Princess? You look like shit,” Theo tried to jab, hoping for a reaction. But she gave away nothing.

“I don’t want to talk about it. Not right now.” She didn’t make eye contact with them.

Blaise wrapped his arm around her, letting her head fall into his shoulder. His eyes locked into Theo’s. When other voices they recognized came into the hall, KC sat up and put on a brave face. Ginny and Hannah nearly tackled her. It was the only thing that had put a small smile on her face. They caught her up on everything that had happened at the school. Even after all the gossip talk at the Manor, there was always more. Blaise used it as a tool to get her to eat a little bit more. She was doing well until her eyes were locked to the doorway. Draco was walking side-by-side with Hermione, chatting with a smile on her face, only to stop to chat with McGonagall.

“I’ll see you in class,” she quickly grabbed her bag and sped off before Blaise could catch her.

Draco saw her storm out before he felt the anguish from her bond. He excused himself from the conversation and went to his friends. “Why does it look like she didn’t sleep last night?”

“Don’t be stupid, mate. You can’t keep her up all night and expect her to be bright eyed in the morning,” Theo snarked.

“I didn’t see her at all last night. I assumed she was with you.”

“I watched her walk into your dorm last night. She was up late in the potions lab when I found her. Said she wanted to stay with you.”

 “I was up late reading and writing. I may have dozed off a bit, but I never saw her.” Why hadn’t she stayed? I’ve fallen asleep on the couch before, why would she— “Fuck,” Draco cursed. He ran from the hall trying to find her.

Hermione tried to run after him. “Malfoy, what’s going on?”

“Stay out of this, Granger. You’ve done enough.”

He ran up the stairs towards their class. She was nowhere to be seen. He continued his search, not seeing her poke her head out from behind a tapestry. Blaise barely saw her as she let it fall and swiftly joined her. He couldn’t see her well in the dark, but could feel how tense she was. He pulled her close. “Kara, my kitten,” he kissed her head. “Why did you run away the second they came into the hall?”

She shook in his arms, but refused to cry. “Do you think he still likes her?”

Blaise didn’t understand. “Like who? Granger?” When she didn’t move, he knew he had it right. “He never liked her. He used her for the attention, wishing it was you. He moped around for months waiting for you.”

She buried her face in his robes. “I wish I could believe that right now,” she whispered. He let her pull away. “I need you and Theo to sit by me, is that ok?”

“Only if you talk to me— us —later. You aren’t going to shut us out. Draco lost it when you left the hall.”

She grabbed his hand lightly and he let her pull him out. The walk to their class room was quiet, sitting next to Theo without a word. Blaise gave him a silent look and he knew. KC didn’t look up as anyone entered the room, Draco was the last to arrive, presumed he was looking for KC. The glare he gave the boys sitting next was the look of death. He sat behind them and tried to get her attention before the professor walked in.

KC didn’t interact in class like she normally would have. She took notes quietly, only helping in the few classes the professors needed her to.  It seemed like Draco was held behind by the professors in each class. The head boy had missed a good amount and they needed to make sure he was caught up. That didn’t help the frustration he felt. Theo gave him a sorrowful look as he entered their last class.

Draco was practically begging for her attention. Asking her even the most basic of questions to get a reaction from her. She would point to the spot in the book with the answer before turning back around to her notes. Without notice, she grabbed her things and was out of class before being dismissed. He tried to run after her but she had already disappeared.

“Mate, what happened?” Blaise asked as he caught up.

“Granger fucking happened,” he growled, his fists balling up.

Blaise put his hand on Draco’s arm, offering some comfort. “Let me talk to her. I’ll keep her in her room until you’re finished with rounds. 

“Nothing happened. I need her to know that.” Draco sounded defeated.

“She knows that, too. You know she trusts you.” Blaise slid his hand down and linked their fingers together. “We trust you. Let her get this out and she will realize it, too.”

Draco squeezed his fingers before letting go and left for the library.

 

*****

 

Blaise knew KC would be in her room. He sent Theo to keep Draco occupied. She had changed into her comfy clothes and had crawled into her bed, the first lit for comfort. She didn’t even look at him as he entered. “He’s mad, isn’t he?” She said it as a statement more than a question.

“Worried is a better word. Frustrated is closer to it. But you already do that.”

“Can I sleep? I feel sick. Will you stay?” Her voice was weak.

Blaise went into her bathroom and found a sleeping draught. “Use this. I’ll stay. But you can’t avoid him.”

“I know.” She took the vile from him and he slipped out of his school robes. “I saw them last night,” she whispered. “She was sleeping with her head on his lap. His hand was in her hair.”

He tilted the vile into her mouth since she wouldn’t. She let him sit and lean against the headboard before she grabbed onto his arms and laid on his chest. “It’s not even that bad. I know I’m overreacting. I know that my anxiety is making this worse. I know that it’s not logical. I’m hurting myself. This isn’t even his fault. I just ---” she huffed into his shirt. She took in a deep breath, taking in his scent of cedar and amber. “I know that he wouldn’t do that to me. Logically I know that. I know it’s selfish not to want him to be with her. I have you and Theo and him. But I can’t share him. She can’t have him.”

“Get some rest, love. You can talk more after you’ve slept.” Blaise put his arms around as she drifted off. The further into sleep she got, she curled further down into his lap. He had to adjust her so she didn’t have a zipper imprint on her cheek. She shook a little in her sleep, like she was having a bad dream. He ran his fingers through her hair to soothe her. “I’ve got you, Kitten,” he whispered to her.

It wasn’t until well past dinner that Theo walked into her room. He had brought a tray for the two that had missed. Draco wanted to be the one to bring it, but with as upset as KC was, she would have thrown him out.

“Theo, mate, come on. Just let me see her. She’s got this all wrong.”

“We all know that. I’m convinced even she knows that. But I think we can all tell there is something off with her right now. She’s overwhelmed.” Theo patted Draco’s arm as he picked at his plate. “You’re overwhelmed. She has been under so much stress; she is starting to remind me of you du