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Snakes Bite

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AN- This story is of my invention, but all characters and original inventions go to the great J. K. Rowling.

-HARRY-

"Draco, I really don't think I'll be accepting your offer, but I'll be making one of my own. I don't need you to show me who's worthy. But you can hang around with Ron and I. Maybe I can show you," I say.

"With Weasley? You want me to hang out with him?" Draco Malfoy spits.

"No, I don't care either way," I say.

"Take it or leave it," Ron smirks.

Draco spins on his heels and leaves the cart in a huff. I almost regret offering my friendship to him. He doesn't really seem like he's used to having anything other than what he wants.

"Draco Malfoy?" Ron whines, "The whole lot's been in Slytherin for centuries."

"I don't think that's such a bad thing," I say.

"It is. You-Know-Who was a Slytherin and so were his followers," Ron sighs.

Honestly, Ron's acting like Dudley when he doesn't get what he wants with all this sighing and moping and throwing a fit. The both of them need a nice dose of reality.

"Vol-sorry, You-Know-Who's followers were in Slytherin because he was in Slytherin. It isn't Slytherin's fault. If he was in another house then they would be too. Why wouldn't he go to people with the same interests and abilities?" I say, "And you are not required to be my friend, Ron. If you cannot be civil, than you can go follow Neville and help him find his toad."

"I guess you have a point. But that doesn't change the fact that nearly every dark wizard has come from Slytherin," Ron says.

"But has nearly every wizard that's come from Slytherin been dark?" I ask.

-SORTING TIME-

Malfoy, Draco is called to the front. The Sorting Hat can't have possibly touched more than one pale blond hair when it shouts, "Gryffindor!" Draco looks shocked and slightly disgusted. His so-called friends, already placed firmly in Slytherin, turn their backs to him.

"See, Ron? Nothing is definite," I say into Ron's ear. Before long we're in Gryffindor too. We walk to Draco and ask him if we can sit with him. He moves scarcely a fraction of an inch, allowing only one of us to fit on either side of him. Ron growls under his breath, but he does not leave me and for that I am grateful.

"I just cannot believe this," Draco mutters.

Ron rolls his eyes and focuses on his food.

"Believe what?" I ask.

"I'm in bloody Gryffindor! I don't know what that smelly old hat is thinking, but my father will hear about this. I belong in Slytherin!" he says.

I sit quietly and follow Ron's lead while Draco fumes loudly to anyone who will listen.

"What on earth qualifies you to Sort yourself, Draco Malfoy? I myself have read Hogwarts: A History and the Sorting Hat has never misplaced a wizard," Hermione finally says.

"Don't you dare speak to me, you filthy little Mudblood," Draco spits.

The entire table gasps. Just at that moment, Professor Dumbledore dismisses us. We follow Percy to our rooms.

"Still think I was wrong?" Ron asks.

"What's a Mudblood?" I ask.

-NIGHT-

"Harry, are you still awake?" Draco whispers.

I roll over towards his voice and debate whether or not I want to answer him.

"Harry?" he whispers.

No other covers rustle, so the room must be asleep, or pretending like I am, hoping that he will just go to sleep and leave me alone.

"Yes?" I ask.

"You didn't talk to me at dinner," he says.

"I had nothing to say," I say quietly.

Draco's bed squeaks and I think that maybe he's gone to sleep at last. Maybe my wish has been granted. What would I have said to him if I did have something to say? Probably the same thing I'd say to Uncle Vernon if I were to say anything at all.

"Did I do something?" he asks so quietly I'm sure he's saying something else.

"What?" I ask.

He repeats himself quietly and I wonder if maybe, just maybe, I was too quick to accept defeat.

"Yes actually. The language you used… I like Hermione, even if she can be a bit annoying. It was rude. You complained about Gryffindor like you got the plague for your birthday," I say.

He says nothing at all.

"I stood up for you, but Ron was right and so were you. You deserve to be in Slytherin," I say.

I wait five minutes for him to respond and then I go to sleep.

Chapter Text

After swearing that his father would be sending his angry reply to his placement in Gryffindor for days, when the post finally comes, Draco is extremely quiet.

"What's wrong, Slytherin?" Daddy powerless to take Ickle Dracokins out of the House of Nightmares?"

Several people at the table snicker.

"Ron, honestly!" I say.

Just then, Hedwig drops a note in my lap. I sit and read it. Hagrid wants me to come over! I scribble a response and send her off. When breakfast is over, Draco hurries from the room.

"He's been quiet," I say to Ron.

"If it would spread to that Hermione, we'd have a peaceful existence," he chuckles.

I can't help but smile as I walk after Draco.

"Where are you going?" Ron calls.

"To check on him," I say.

Ron sighs and walks away. I am determined to live my life with an attitude opposite the Dursleys and I refuse to allow anyone- even and especially Draco Malfoy- destroy that so quickly. I follow him up to our room.

"Hey, Draco, we have class," I say.

"Of course we do, " he growls.

" I was trying to help you. What is your problem?" I ask.

He continues to stare at the floor space in between his knees. At first I think that he won't answer again. He always seems to be avoiding my questions.

"My father…. he isn't pleased that I'm in Gryffindor," he says.

"What does that matter?" I ask.

"My whole family has been in Slytherin. Always. My father has said that he will refuse to speak my name," he says.

"I'm sorry," I say. The despair in his voice calls out to me. I can feel how upset he is, and I pity him.

"Never tell anyone I told you this. Not Weasley, not that oaf, and certainly not that Mudblood you talk to," he says.

"Their names are Ron, Hagrid, and Hermione. They are all people and do not deserve to be treated that way by you," I say harshly.

"Why should I?" he asks.

"Because like it or not, we're all going to have to live together. You can't want to live here without any friends. Think about it. Ron and I are going to Hagrid's later, and I think you should come," I say.

I turn and walk to class without waiting for a response.

-HAGRID'S HOUSE-

"I feel bad for him. I don't think we're seeing who he really is," I say.

Ron rolls his eyes while I explains what's been happening to Hagrid.

"And I think that we've already seen who he is. He should be in Slytherin and we… yes, we, should stay away from him," Ron says.

I try to think of something that I haven't already said to defend him.

"Harry, I agree with Ron. The Malfoys are a bad sort," Hagrid adds. I look down at the floor, defeated because our impartial judge has chosen a side and prepare to give in when a soft thud comes from the door.

I stand and go over to the door and open it slowly.

"Um… hi," Draco says when I find him standing awkwardly behind the door. Maybe I was right when I said that our opinions of him are wrong. He shuffles in and repeats his quiet greeting.

"What are you doing here?" Ron scowls. Draco glares at him.

"I came because Harry asked me to. He wants me here. I'm sure that you just followed him," Draco says.

"You asked him to come?" Ron asks. He looks wounded. I stare at Hagrid and silently beg for help.

"Do you want summat? Maybe tea?" Hagrid asks Draco.

He shakes his head but Hagrid turns to make some anyway.

"I don't want anything he would give me," Draco says quietly.

"Draco! Don't be rude!" I hiss. Ron looks at me pointedly and Hagrid appears not to notice anything while he hands the finished tea to Draco.

He lifts the cup to his mouth and pretends to drink it. Only I seem to notice or care that he's faking.

"Well, Hagrid, we should go," I say in an attempt to prevent even more awkwardness. Draco stands quickly, sloshing his tea, and walks to my side. A little less eagerly, Ron follows.

We leave the cabin and head back towards the school.

"Ron? Could you walk ahead? I want to talk to Draco," I say.

Ron stomps away.

"Draco," I begin. He turns to me and rolls his eyes.

"You want me to play nice with that oaf, I know," he sighs.

"Well, then, why can't you be nice to Hagrid?" I ask.

"Because I can't, Harry. I tried to, I drank that tea he handed me," he says.

I raise my hand to my head and sigh. He's hopeless.

"Why did you come?" I ask.

"I came because you asked me to. I don't like that- Hagrid, and I detest that Ron, but I came anyway," Draco says.

"You… you came..for me?" I ask.

I don't know how I'm supposed to respond to something like that. What does that mean? Draco says nothing.

"What does that mean?" I ask.

Draco raises one eyebrow and smirks, but doesn't respond.

"I can't promise to be like you, Harry. I'm not like you," he says after a moment of silence.

"You aren't? How so?" I ask.

"I care too much about what people think. Especially my father," he says.

I touch his shoulder and then he turns away.

"Draco," I say," what does it mean that you came for me?"

He starts walking away and calls to me, "If you tell anyone about any of this, Harry, I'll ruin you."

We all walk to the castle five feet apart and in silence.

Chapter Text

Draco Malfoy, To You, Disappointment,

I told you in your last letter that you are a disappointment to me. I don't care about your adventures as a Gryffindor, or anything else you care to tell me, though your meeting Harry Potter is one thing that interests me. I wish to meet someone so influential in the battle against the Dark Lord. Perhaps he will visit us in the summer. It is this possibility that allows you the privilege of remaining on the Black's tapestry of family members. You were almost erased from it upon the arrival of your letter proudly boasting you are not in our Honorable Slytherin, but she hesitated with the knowledge that this brings you closer to the Potter's son. Please do not send me any more owls because I do not wish to remain in contact with you this year.

-Lucius Malfoy

 

Son,

I was permitted to send you my letter as well. I know that your father is upset now, but he will come to terms with you being a Gryffindor. In our family, we are not typically in that house, you know this, and he is uncomfortable with them because he has never truly known any. He's just afraid that he doesn't know who you are anymore and he thinks that this will change you. I know that it won't. You are still my son, my Draco. Because your father will not read this, I feel as though I can reveal this to you The Sorting Hat suggested to me that I be in Gryffindor as well, but I protested and it put me in Slytherin. Sometimes, I wonder if my life would have been different had I accepted. I suppose there would be less of a chance that I would've had you. That said, you must follow your heart. You alone know where you belongs and once you are there, you will be all the better for it. I'm sorry that my letter can't be longer and I'm sorry that I can send few more, but Draco, I want you to know that I love you and this doesn't change a thing,.

Chapter Text

RON-

"This is ridiculous, Ron!" Hermione says in a whisper.

"Shh! We have to follow them. This is the second time they've snuck out after dark," I say quietly. We creep along the wall after Harry and Draco. All seems well until Hermione steps on someone.

"Ow!" Neville says, "Oh, thank goodness. I forgot the…. what are you two doing?"

"Ron is following Harry and Draco. I'm following him because I fell asleep in the common room studying and I woke up when he snuck out and now the Fat Lady is gone," Hermione says.

"Why are you following them, Ron?" Neville asks.

To be honest, I don't know why I'm following them. I suppose i was suspicious and a bit hurt at being left out and so I decided to catch them in whatever it is that they're doing. I thought I was Harry's best friend and Draco was just the charity case. Guess I was wrong.

"Shh!" I say, "Filch is coming! This way!"

DRACO-

I sit next to a suit of armor and read the letters from my parents for the fifth time. My father acts as though being in Gryffindor is some kind of abomination. I thought it was, but all that got me was alone for my first two weeks. Since then, I've been less lonely but just as alone. Harry talks politely to me in class, but Ron keeps him away from me outside of class and there's only so much you can talk about in a room full of people during a lecture on Uric the Oddball.

My mother is acting as though I was born a Gryffindor and not accepting that will lose her a son. Both of my parents are delusional. He hasn't disowned me because he might get to meet Harry? He would never come to meet my father, so I suppose once he realizes this I'll be homeless.

Of course, there is still time…

I hear the scratch of Filch's cat's nails coming towards me and I scurry away.

HARRY-

I feel awful. For the second time I've come out after dark to think about what Draco said. I feel bad for him. Since he wants to impress his father, he can't truly be himself. But I don't understand him. He'll say something, but then he'll take it back and threaten me. He can be nice, but he can be selfish as well. Ron is great, and he makes my life exciting, but I can't only have one close friend, and Ron seems to be offended that I would even want another friend. I feel lost and confused. But of course, I can't just think these things by myself. Any other time of the day and the whole school would look down on me. For the second time, I bury my head in my knees and fight back tears of frustration.

"Harry?" Draco asks.

"Draco? What are you…?" I ask.

"Never mind that. Mrs. Norris is coming!" he whispers.

We jog as quietly as possible away from the sound and the shadows. Looking behind us, we don't notice the group running towards us until we crashed into them.

"What are you doing here?" we all ask at the same time.

"Later,, Mrs. Norris is coming from that way," I pant.

"Filch is coming from that way!" Neville says in a strangled voice. We all look frantically for a hiding place. Ron jiggles a doorknob.

"It's locked!" he says.

Hermione whispers a spell and we leap inside, shutting the door behind us.

"Now, what were you two doing?" Hermione whispers harshly.

"I didn't… I was.." Draco says.

"Why wasn't I invited?" Ron snaps.

"Um… Harry?" Neville squeaks.

"Shh! I was thinking," I say.

"Thinking," Hermione repeats.

Neville pulls on my sleeve.

"I was reading," Draco says. I assume that he's decided that now that I've said something vague and cryptic, he can as well without sounding like he's hiding something.

"So you were reading, and you were thinking? Were you together?" Ron asks.

" No!" Draco and I say simultaneously. Ron and Hermione frown at us. Neville lets out a terrified shriek. I turn around to tell him to be quieter, but then I see it. I yell. Everyone turns around and then we fumble blindly for the doorknob, no one daring to take their eyes off of the monster, lest it move, and spill into the hallway.

"Well, now we know why it's forbidden," Ron says.

"I'm never following you again," Neville whimpers.

We run back to the dorm and shout the password.

"Why wouldn't you allow me to come?" Ron asks.

"I didn't tell you that you couldn't, but I wanted to be alone. I didn't go anywhere. I wasn't with Draco, I swear!" I say.

Ron stomps up the stairs.

" Draco, what were you doing?" I ask.

He smirks. "What were you doing?"

" I was thinking," I say, "I didn't lie."

"I was reading," he says.

I glare at him. Ron is mad at me for no reason, again, and it's his fault, again. I'm growing tired of this routine.

"What were you reading?" I ask.

" What were you thinking about?" Draco asks.

"You. Err…. What you said, actually," I say.

"And what did I say?" he asks.

" You said you were reading. Reading what?" I ask.

"Reading letters from my parents," he says.

Ron pokes his head around the stairs. His eyes shine and his fists are clenched.

"Not done leaving me out, then?" Ron asks.

"Ron, we were not together!" I shout. He leaves again in a huff.

Draco laughs. I sit on the couch and sigh sadly.

" I'm glad you think this is so funny. He won't talk to me," I say.

"Why does it bother him? You aren't dating, are you?" he asks.

"No," I say. My life is so miserable sometimes.

"Are you dating anyone? Maybe he thinks you're gay," Draco says.

"You're ever so helpful, but I am gay," I say, " Anyways, why were you reading letters from your parents outside of the dorm after hours?"

"I wanted to be alone. Completely alone. My father has told me that I am to never write him again nor send him another owl. Oh, here," he says while shoving the letters at me. I read them quickly and then look at him. How could anyone say such things?

"Draco, I'm sorry," I say.

"Don't bother. It's not your fault," he says.

"I'll go. To your house. I'll go. If you promise me not to try to impress him. Please yourself, okay?" I say.

Draco hugs me tightly.

"What was that for?" I ask.

He stands and heads towards the stairs.

"We should go to sleep," he says.

"Draco, one of these days I'm going to get you to explain yourself," I say.

"Don't tell anyone anything I tell you," he says.

I roll my eyes.

Chapter Text

HARRY-

" I think that you were rude to her, Ron," I say as we walk to the Great Hall.

"I was just trying to be like the Slytherin," he says.

"I didn't say anything. I, unlike you, am kind," Draco says.

"Hah! That's a laugh!" Ron says.

"Draco! Ron! Can we please just eat our food one time without an argument?" I say.

They grumble an apology and we sit. They're always at each other's throats. It's difficult when your best friends don't like each other. Every moment all three of us are together is a battle and every time I spend time with just one of them, it's a contest.

Professor Quirrel runs into the room screaming, "There's a troll!"

We are instructed to file to our dorms neatly and quietly, which means that it is utter chaos and noise.

"Hermione!" I suddenly remember.

Ron pulls my arm and tries to get me to move towards our destination.

"No, Ron, she doesn't know there's a troll," I say urgently.

We run into the hallway. The troll lumbers through and walks into a room.

"Quickly, let's lock it in!" Draco says.

We lock the door and congratulate ourselves. Suddenly there is a high, sharp scream.

"Um, Harry? I think that scream was Hermione," Ron says.

We unlock the door and rush in to save her, which we wouldn't have had to do if we weren't so helpful.

"Hermione, are you alright?" Draco says.

Ron stares at Draco with his mouth open.

"I'm fine,"she says.

l jump on the troll and beat it with my wand. It picks me off and my wand gets lodged in it's nose as slide off. the troll heads away from me and goes to-"Draco!" l scream.

Ron yells, "Wingardium Leviosa!" and I jump in front of the troll to cut him off. The troll's club spins around in the air and breaks a light. Hermione, Draco, and I run from the sparks and hide under the sinks in a cluster. The club falls from the air and lands on the troll's head, causing it to fall to the ground and lie still.

"Is it...?" I ask.

"No, I just think it's knocked out," Ron says.

We stare at the troll for a long moment. The door slams open and Professor McGonagall comes into the room. She looks around, her eyes widening at the sight of the demolished bathroom and the unconscious troll. She begins to lecture us furiously. I look at Draco.

"Your arm," I say.

"It's nothing," he replies.

I hug him tightly.

"What was that for?" he asks.

I smirk at him but say nothing. Professor McGonagall leads us out of the bathroom and sends us to the dorm. We quietly thank her for not punishing us and walk briskly to our destination. Hermione and Ron go off to play wizard chess, as we've been allowed an extra hour to wind down and clean ourselves up in order to prevent questions from the other students.

"Okay, Potter. You're going to tell me and you're going to tell me right now why you just hugged me," Draco says.

"You protected Hermione even though your father wouldn't have. And we could've died, but we got lucky. I was afraid that the troll would kill you, and it would've if it wasn't for Ron," I say.

"You're right. If it weren't for...Ron," he says.

I shake my head. I don't even want to think about what could've happened if Ron hadn't hit the troll over the head.

"I don't want to think about that," I say.

Draco smiles evilly. "Why not?" he asks.

"I'll ruin you," I laugh.

"Is that a threat?" Draco smiles. He gives me a gentle shove. I push him back causing him to stumble and fall. I offer my hand to help him up, but when he takes it he pulls me to the floor. We both lie on our backs and laugh.

RON-

"What are they doing? Move there, bishop," I ask.

"I think we should stay out of it, Ron. That way please," Hermione says.

My knight moves and places her in check.

"You're too good at this game," she laughs.

"Why are they on the floor?" I wonder aloud.

"Because they fell, Ronald. Why else?" she says with a bored tone.

"Oh. Thank you for getting us out of trouble, Hermione," I say.

It's a bit hard to be enemies with someone who just saved your life, so I suppose it's alright to be nice to her now.

"Thank you for saving me," she says quietly.

I win the game with three more moves. Harry laughs and gasps for breath on the floor next to Draco. Something burns inside of me. I don't see what could possibly be that funny.

"Are you and Harry very close?" Hermione asks.

A few boys wander downstairs and chatter happily with Harry and Draco.

"I thought so," I say.

HARRY-

"You're funny, Lee. But it's not really my fault, you see, I didn't know I was doing it," I say.

They laugh anyway at my story and deem it to be the best of all accidental magic.

"More snake-like than you thought, eh?" Draco says.

Lee then begins a tale involving himself, Fred, and George. Instead of listening I wonder if Draco and I are truly friends. I think so, but before tonight he was so angry and rude that I can't be sure.

"Draco," I whisper, "are we friends?"

"Of course. Don't be stupid, it's embarrassing. Lee was just telling me about-" he says.

Ron walks to us and taps my shoulder. I turn around to look at him. His face is slightly red and he's frowning. I wonder at what's wrong.

"I'm still here, Harry," he says.

"I know that," I say.

I don't understand why Draco makes Ron so angry. Even Hermione's forgiven him.

"Do you? I'm going to bed," he says.

Then he leaves me staring after him, more confused than ever.

Chapter Text

HARRY-

"Hey, Draco! I never said thank you for getting me on the Quidditch team," I say.

"Who'd have thought I'd be of some use? Good luck!" he says.

I blink a few times, still not exactly used to Draco being civil. I hold on tightly to my broom and walk into the pitch to meet my team. I'm the youngest player to become a Seeker, well, to play Quidditch at all for Hogwarts. Which means I can do this. I can kick off the ground and the game begins.

According to Wood, the Seeker is usually the one to get injured or fouled, so I have to stay high above any actual action and simply wait. Seems easy enough, until a Bludger heads for me. I swerve around it with ease and continue searching for the Snitch. I smile as I think of Hermione and Ron waving furiously while Draco pretends he doesn't care, even though we all know that he practically waves his arms off when I'm in close proximity and we can all hear him screaming. I observed this fact myself when I dove down in order to amuse myself and flew past them.

Ron and Draco have been trying so hard to become friends that now I'm the one that's jealous. Hermione has been brilliant though, even lending me a book about Quidditch to read. Snape took it away though.

My broom bucks unexpectedly. I struggle to control it. It throws me off and I dangle by my fingers on the edge of the bristles. I hold onto it and try to pull myself up, but it bucks harder. I manage to wrap myself around it just as it starts flying by itself. Suddenly, I can control it. I dly back to my position, from which I see a glint of gold. Just as I'm rushing towards it, I feel my broom beginning to gain control again. What is going on?! I swerve above the ground at the last minute and tumble off of my broom. I cough and struggle to breathe. There's something in my throat. It hurts, oh, it hurts and I see spots. The Snitch tumbles into my hands and I hold it up while taking deep, shaky breaths.

LATER-

"Why would Professor Snape try to hurt Harry?" Draco asks.

"You would be the only one to believe in him," Ron scowls.

I try to diffuse the situation. "Ron, Snape hates me. We all know that. But he likes Draco, so he wouldn't understand," I say.

Draco looks hurt. He turns away from us.

"I wouldn't understand? I thought that we were friends, but you've all put the divide back up," he says while turning to look at Ron, "I'm not a Slytherin."

There is a silence.

"That's not what you told me-told everyone-," Hermione says quietly.

I look at her and struggle to find some reason to disagree with her, but she's right. Despite his claims of being a Gryffindor at heart, he's very close with Snape, Slytherin headmaster, and friends with Crabbe and Goyle, however casually. He tries to be Ron's friend and he's more civil to Hermione, but he still treats other Muggleborns like dirt.

"Draco, Snape hates Harry. He would love the chance to do anything that would harm or humiliate him," Ron says.

"Hagrid said this was ridiculous. Don't you trust his judgment?" Draco says.

"Hermione saw him chanting," Ron says.

Draco shakes his head. I ask Ron and Hermione to leave us alone. They go off into the night, but not without a hurt look from Ron that says I'll have him to deal with as well. Draco sits on the couch and looks around at the others in the room.

"What is this about, really?" I ask.

"I don't believe he did it. That's all," he says shortly.

"But you're angry," I says.

"You don't trust me," he snaps.

I sigh.

"You're right," I say, "I don't really, and I should be able to. But you haven't given me much to work with. You are what you were before. You told me that wasn't you, so why are you acting like this?"

"I'm upset because none of you believe me. I can't be myself, don't you understand?" he says quietly.

" I don't think you understand. You can be yourself around me because I-" I say.

Draco looks at me curiously and gestures for me to continue. I contemplate saying the words and decide against it.

"You're my best friend," I say.

"You won't?" he asks.

I smile at him and roll my eyes.

"Yeah, yeah. I won't tell," I say.

He stares at me, seeming to search me for lies like a human Sneak-o-scope.

"Draco, I know that it's not easy for you. But we can't allow that to come between us," I say.

"Do I really mean that much to you?" he asks.

I stare at him with my mouth wide open. I don't know what to say.

"Er, yeah. I couldn't surive Potions without you," I say awkwardly.

Draco smiles at me in a strange, almost sad manner. He stands and goes up the stairs. I sit on the couch and think for awhile before I do the same.

Chapter Text

"Merry Christmas, Harry," Ron says to me.

I sigh and wipe the sleep from my eyes. Christmas. I never used to get excited about Christmas-or holidays in general- since the Dursleys only get presents for Dudley, but today I am determined to be happy. Ron doesn't know how bad it is at Privet Drive, and he never will.

"Merry Christmas, Ron," I say.

We sit beside the tree and look at our presents. Presents: there's another thing I can't expect from the Dursleys.

"It's nice isn't it? Just us, and no Draco," Ron says.

"Ron, you like Draco. He's your friend. You do understand the word friend?" I say.
He hands a parcel to me.

"It's from Mum," he says, "Yes, but he keeps you to himself and I feel.. left out. You're like George and Fred. I can't compete with that."

I pull my hair over my head and look at Ron with a grin.

"He likes you better, Ron. If you liked him better, it'd just be me and Hermione," I say.

"Merry Christmas ickle firsties!" George yells as he bounces into our room. Fred pops behind me and sticks a quill in my ear.

"Be cheerful! Be merry, Harry," Fred says.

"Oh, alright," I say.

We stand and I shove the invisibility cloak I unearthed earlier inderneath a bed with my foot. Fred and George line us up into an odd sort of line, like a party dance Dudley's friends would do, and usher us to some unknown destination.

-Night-

I double check to be sure that Ron is asleep while slipping my invisiblity cloak over my head. The Restricted Section is no match for me while I'm invisible! I slip through the rows of bookshelves and pull a book down. Once opened, it starts screaming like a small girl being tortured. I back into a pile of books, which fall, and then I run from the room. It is then that I realize the biggest flaw in my plan. Just because I cannot be seen doesn't mean that I can't be heard or felt. I don't glide like Peeves and I can't walk through objects. Much to my disappointment as Peeves comes through the hallway cackling madly.

I'm rather dense.

"Invisible thing, I know you're there!" he yells loudly.

I hold my breath and tiptoe past him. How well can a poltergeist hear, do you think?

"Maybe Filch should find you. Students out of bed!" Peeves says.

He can't see me so I swallow my breathless pants and press myself against the wall. He walks towards me and stares at me as though he can see me and for a moment I feel as though he can and yet I resist the urge to gasp. I barely allow myself to breathe at all. Snape's cloak flutters loudly as he approaches and heads towards Filch.

"I've seen no one, but I feel as though some presence lurks outside of our senses," Snape says.

"The intruder was in the restricted section, sir," Filch says.

They whisper things I cannot hear and sweep off together. I cautiously walk around the corner and listen. They aren't far away. I run inside of a room with an open door and turn around. There's a man standing there, and at first I jump, but I realize he's inside a mirror. He looks like me, but he doesn't have green eyes like mine. He waves eagerly.

A small woman with bright hair and emerald eyes appears beside him and she smiles at me.

"Mom, Dad?" I stand in front of the mirror and stare at them. My dad puts his hand on my shoulder and the mirror begins to fill with other people. My family. I look at them and see myself: my knees here, my messy hair there. I force myself to leave.

"Where were you?" Ron asks.

"I saw this mirror. It showed me my family," I say.

Ron seems mildly interested but distracted.

"What is it?" I ask.

"Nothing, Harry. I'd love to see your family," he says. He stares at the floor. I nudge his shoulder.

"Who's Elijah?" he asks. His voice sounds oddly hollow.

"You read my things!" I say.

"Who. Is. Elijah. Harry?" Ron asks through clenched teeth.

"The first and last friend I had from before. Dudley made sure to beat it out of him," I whisper.

"It?" Ron asks.

"My... friendship. And then he moved away. Why would you read my journal," I say.

"I wanted to be sure that you didn't like Draco more than me..." he says. He seems a little sad. What did I write about them?

I sit up and look into his eyes. "Whether I do or I don't, please never do that again," I say.

Ron smiles at me with a sad look in his eyes.

I turn around and shut him out.

Chapter Text

RON-

"I'm glad you had a nice Christmas," Draco says to me. I sit on the edge of his bed and swing my feet while looking at the floor.

"I'm sorry that you didn't," I say, "I missed you."

He gives me a quick, awkward hug then tugs on my left ear. I used to think that it was strange, but now I get it. Because I listen to him so well, he trusts me, but he still has to make sure that nothing stays in my brain. He has trust issues. When Draco doesn't want me to repeat what he's said, he tugs on my ear and we pretend that the memories fall out. It's almost childish, but it's funny, and it's ours.

"So how was your holiday?" I ask, playing the game. It helps him rehearse his answers for the rest of the world.

"Great! My father bought me the newest broomstick and it was amazing," he says.

"Harry found a mirror. It showed him his family, and he became obsessed with it so Dumbledore hid it from him," I say.

Draco makes the face I knew he would, smiles the smile that he always does, and excuses himself to go find Harry. I walk downstairs in search of someone who won't abandon me for him.

HERMIONE-

"Ron! I've been looking all over for you. What are you doing here?" I say.

Ron looks up at me.

"Looking for you," he says.

"I missed you. Harry's already told me about the mirror and that you had no luck searching for Flamel," I say.

Truly, it is disappointing that they didn't find anything, but at least they had better luck than I, having access to the magical world over the holiday.

"Hermione? I have a question for you," Ron says. I force my face into a neutral position. Something in his tone of voice, in the way he stands, in his empty searching eyes tells me that he's finally noticed. Boys can be so thick.

"I wondered when you would ask," I say.

HARRY-

"I think I found something on Flamel," Draco says.

I start to ask him what it is that he's found when Ron storms toward us.

"What's wrong?" I ask.

"Tell me...the truth," Ron fumes, "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Tell you what?" I ask, confused.

Ron starts pacing while he huffs. I look at Draco, who looks rather alarmed.

"Who are you talking to, Ron?" I ask.

He stops his angry pacing to glare at both of us and then continues.

"I don't like that carpet much either, but there are easier ways to get rid of it," Draco laughs uneasily.

"I can't decide which one of you I'm more upset with," Ron says.

Draco steps back. His eyes widen to an impossible size.

"Then yell at us both. Separately. Please," he says.

Ron steps forward and I shrink back.

"You're scaring me," I say.

"Why didn't you tell me, Harry? Why did you lie? I wouldn't have minded. I still don't mind, I'm more hurt than anything. I thought I mattered to you, Harry," Ron says.

"Are you talking about...?" I whisper.

"To be honest, I'm only angry that I'm so hurt by this. But..why?" he says.

I pull him into a hug and start crying. Draco retreats as silently as possible. I guess he sensed a sensitive moment.

"I'm sorry. But you're my first friend, my best friend. If I were to ever lose you... I'd rather marry Madam Hooch and pretend to be happy," I sniff.

My tears fall onto his robe and sink down through the fabric. Tiny bits of weakness that Uncle Vernon would beat me for.

"You thick twit! I could never hate you. I can't even be upset with you properly. It doesn't change a single thing that you prefer wizards. I can see the appeal," he says as he pats me on the head.

He goes over to Draco, who looks especially anguished. I watch them talk but I can't hear anything. Draco very calmly reaches for Ron's earlobe and pulls. My mouth falls open. They hug and then walk to me.

"Better?" I ask. Ron smiles at us and leaves. I stare after him in puzzlement.

"What was that about?" I wonder out loud.

Draco says, "I have no idea. As I was saying, I found something on Nicolas Flamel that I think you should see..."

Chapter Text

Author's Note- I thought I should speed the story up a bit, so I'm skipping to the end of book one. In order to get this far, Harry and Ron snuck into the forest and discovered Quirrel drinking unicorn blood for Voldemort. Thank you all, please read and review. Trigger WARNING! a bit of torture. I am not the glorious J.K Rowling.

HARRY-

" So, what about me?" Draco asks, " I can't go with you, and I can't leave with Hermione."

I pause, the vial of potion resting just upon my lips.

" I could drink half of it," I suggest.

" It will only take one, and you have to drink it all. I'll stay here. I'll wait for Dumbledore and he'll only come if Hermione tells him he needs to, so you have to go," he says.

Hermione smiles at him and slips through the flames. Draco sits calmly on the floor and waves me on my way. I'm going from a bottle and walk to the fighter. I walk into a large room.

" I've been waiting for you, " Professor Quirrel says.

"Where's Snape?" I ask.

I try to push Quirrel behind me. He allows me to and suddenly I feel my hands pulled behind my back and tightly bound with a rope. The Mirror of Erised is here and Professor Quirrel peers desperately into it. The fibers of the rope dig into my wrist and each halfhearted jerk of my arm causes it to dig a little deeper as the bonds tighten.

He notices my struggle and mumbles something to himself in a low voice, almost like a hiss. He walks to me and slaps me across the face. It stings badly and my eyes water. I hold my teeth together and make no sound. I stumble and land on my knees. I look at the back of his head and glare with hatred.

"Where is he?" I ask again.

"You fool! You think that Severus Snape, that bumbling idiot, could have done anything at all? Come where I have come? Serve who I serve with a heart as strong as it needs to be? No. You were mistaken and we allowed you to be mistaken for it kept you out of our way," Professor Quirrel says.

While he looks at me, his voice grows in intensity.

"I had this room set up so that I could receive your... assistance, Harry Potter," he hisses.

I crawl pathetically away from him. Not because I am weak, no, nor because I'm afraid. The heat of the cavern twists around me, suffocating me. He fills my head with lies. Behind everything, I hear him laughing. The Imperius Charm, I think bitterly.
He forces me to crawl away from him on my knees with my hands drawn behind my back. The action pulls the rope tighter and I know my skin will break beneath it soon. I reach the other side of the room and slam my head into the wall.

"Tell me where the Stone is, boy!" He shouts.

I shake my head as furiously as I can and bite my tongue. I can fight him.

"I don't know," I say.

My nose drips blood onto the floor and there is silence. Only the sound of me trying to stand and then CRACK.

I fall down again. I'm hit with something hard and cold. Metallic. I can feel my leg break.

He pulls me up roughly and throws me in front of the mirror while removing his turban. and I bite my lip so violently that it bleeds. Voldemort hisses instructions to him from the back of his head. It's horrific. I curl into the ground but Quirrel rips at a handful of my hair and presses my face to the cool glass.

"What do you see?" He yells.

I stare into it with all of my waning strength and wish for nothing but Voldemort to never find the stone.

"I see nothing," I say, "Only me winning the House cup."

He slaps me again, harder this time.

"You lie!" Voldemort hisses.

I look into the mirror. Let me find it. Please, let me find the Sorcerer's Stone.

Quirrel holds his hand as though he's been hurt.

"Get him!" Voldemort says while Quirrel mumbles something about pain. My head hits the ground and everything seems to come in pairs.

He lurches towards me and grabs my throat. My scar burns and for the first time, I allow myself to scream. I close my eyes and writhe in pain while everything goes black.

-HOSPITAL-

I open my eyes to find myself in Madame Pomfrey's care.

"Hello, Harry," Draco whispers gently.

I stare at him in confusion while I try to remember why I'm surprised to see him. And then I remember in flashes of red and I look down at my wrists. Faint bruises are my only visual memory.

"It's safe, Harry. You did well," Dumbledore says.

"Dumbledore?" I ask.

"I ran into Ms. Granger while I was searching for you. On my way to retrieve you from the dark and dangerous situation you had put yourself into, I found Mr. Malfoy keeping watch. I carried you up here, along with Mr. Weasley who seems to have a concussion," Dumbledore says.

I lay my head against the pillow and force myself to think. One part of that story doesn't make much sense.

"You carried us both?" I ask.

There is a momentary silence.

"No. I carried you," Draco says quietly.

I turn to him and whisper my thanks, knowing that he doesn't want to be embarrassed.

"I should go now, Harry. Madame Pomfrey watches me disapprovingly," Dumbledore says.

Draco nods at him. They seem to have a wordless conversation, after which Dumbledore smiles and says, "At your own peril then, Mr. Malfoy."

I play with the edges of the bed sheets while I try to gather my scattered thoughts into something worth talking about but when I try to do that all I can think of is what I just went through.

"You can cry, if you need to," Draco says. He pushes the sheets out of my hand and slips under the covers.

"I was afraid," I say quietly. A teardrop rolls down my face.

He guides my head down to his chest and lets me lay there and cry.

"Can I.. can I ask you what Ron wanted to talk to you about, Draco?" I hiccup.

I've been curious for awhile. Whatever it was, it seemed to have changed his relationship with Ron. They seem both closer and farther apart.

"What about you?" Draco asks.

"He didn't know that I'm gay," I say.

He looks shocked that I, the chosen boy, could keep a secret.

"I was afraid that he would leave me behind and hate me for who I love," I whisper. He runs his fingers through my hair and laughs a little, but not in a mean way.

I look expectantly at him and wait.

"Oh.. um, I borrowed his.. um.." Draco stutters.

"If you don't want to tell me, then you don't have to. But please, please, don't lie to me," I say.

He smiles at me gratefully and stays silent. I follow his lead and turn my face into his chest, hoping he won't feel the tears as I ease myself into a fitful sleep. When I wake, he's gone.

Chapter Text

“You don’t have to be so quiet, Harry,” Draco mumbles to me as we eat ice cream and wait for his father at a small table outside of Florean’s.
I spoon some butterbeer ice cream into my mouth.
“Neither do you,” I say, “I thought we were going for strong and silent.”
He hits me with his spoon, but it makes him smile and that was my goal. I lick the Cherry Jubilee specks off of my lip while staring pointedly at Draco.
“Cherries and butterbeer do not go together as well as you might think,” I grimace.
Draco laughs recklessly and sticks his spoon into my bowl, almost as if I had challenged him to try it. He winces a little, barely noticeable to anyone who didn’t know his every facial expression by heart, but smiles triumphantly as he successfully swallows what must be the worst combination there is.
“There you go. Don’t be so sullen. I came to spend the last two weeks with you so that you would be happier,” I say.
It hadn’t been easy either, since the Dursley’s are so intent on my destruction and detest anything that might make me happy. But since I so carefully neglected to tell them that we aren’t allowed to use magic at home, it wasn’t as difficult as it could have been.
“And it worked. But I’ve been hiding out in Diagon Alley all summer. I only talked to my father to tell him what day you were arriving,” Draco says sadly.
“I lived in a cupboard. I think I’ve got you beat as far as family life goes, lo….. Draco,” I say.
He smiles at me wickedly and eats a giant scoop of my ice cream, but I’m far too shaken by what I almost said to stop him.
“How has that been. Harry? I wouldn’t want you to spend another day there. I wish you didn’t have to,” he says.
“Better. They’re afraid of me now, so Uncle Vernon doesn’t beat me every single day anymore,” I say.
“Afraid?” Draco looks incredibly intrigued. As soon as I told him of my situation at home, he started begging me to hex the life out of them. It still astounds me that out of everyone, I trust him the most.
“Do tell me everything.”
I shrug my shoulders and eat the last cherry from his bowl.
“There isn’t much to tell. They hate me because they’re afraid of magic, which I conveniently forgot to tell them I’m not allowed to do, and because they know that it’s obvious they hate me, they’re afraid I’ll do something to them,” I say.
Draco’s fingers ghost across my wrist.
“I’ve been at the burrow since Ron rescued me about three days ago. Mrs. Weasley didn’t want to let me go to you, but I begged,” I continue.
“Glad to know I was invited,” Draco says.
I hit him over the head playfully.
“Don’t be silly, Draco. It’s not fun to be smothered and hovered over and overfed,” I say.
“Smothered? They hardly said goodbye when they brought you here. Just took your books and looked uncomfortable,” he says.
I just look at him, hoping he’ll catch on without having to say the words out loud.
“Oh,” he says sadly.
“They’ll get over it,” I say.
Mr. Malfoy arrives in the middle of my sentence. Draco looks at me, trying desperately to force me to remember without drawing attention to himself.
A book sits precariously atop my head while I read out of another one.
“Draco? I don’t really understand this step,” I say.
“Is this really necessary? I asked you to greet him formally, not.. whatever this is,” Draco sighs.
I almost tip over while I attempt to walk to him in a stiff, uncomfortable way so that the book doesn’t fall to the ground.
“I need to look refined,” I say.
“More like ridiculous. Harrym what is that you’re reading?” Draco asks.
I twist around to keep him from seeing the cover, but only manage a spectacular fall.
“Great, now my half hour starts over,” I sigh.
“Meeting His Parents:A Guide to Pureblood Manners?” He laughs.
I lay my head on my knee, which is now conveniently close to my face.
“Harry, what are you doing? This book has sections on courting and marriage contracts,” Draco asks.
“I just thought.. that this was important to you and I didn’t want to mess it up and..” I mumble.
Draco wraps me in a hug. I can feel his shoulders shake with laughter.
“Harry, just pretend I’m him, okay? We can go over conversations, and return this silly book. No one does these things,” he says.
“No one?” I ask while wiping my eye.
“...er, unless you do want to court me. But, Harry, I don’t think your leg is supposed to do that,” he says.
Draco walks toward me and looks at the odd position I’ve found myself in.
“Me either,” I sob.
I stand quickly, but not fast enough to overturn the chair.
“Nice to meet you, sir,” I say.
“Mr. Potter. I’ve been so longing to meet you. Tell me, do you really have the-?” Mr. Malfoy says.
I lift my hair gently to reveal the jagged lightning bolt that he’s looking for. Draco looks upset to be in his presence. I want to cease all contact with this horrible man and just pull Drsco into my arms and hold him, but I don’t. I just nod and follow them as Mr. Malfoy leads us to a floo nearby.

Chapter Text

I lay on Draco's bed and clench my fists into his sheets. They twist beneath my fingers and I silently wonder how they've stayed on the bed.
"Why do you care so much?" Draco asks.
"Because I.... because you..." I say.
I can't seem to explain it. I shouldn't have to at this point, I'm horrid at subtlety.
"You're my best friend, " I finally say.
He winces. I throw a ball against the ceiling just to watch it fall. Just to remind myself that there is still gravity.
"Don't do that! Where did you get that ball from exactly?" Draco says.
I laugh but don't answer. I throw the ball at Draco and then lay back down.
"We're going to have to go down at some point," he says.
"Some point can be tomorrow. I hate that man," I say.
" I suppose it could be. Mother won't be home until then anyway," he says.
" I just, I don't really get why you want him to accept you, because you're nothing like him," I say.
Draco climbs into the bed and crosses his ankle with mine. I immediately relax.
"That's exactly why I need him to accept me. I'm not like him, so he doesn't love me," he says.
"I," I say.
Draco looks at me.
His face isn't so close to mine, about the same distance away that it'd be were we standing, but his large blue eyes are so incredibly near.
He waits expectantly. I look into his eyes and whisper, "You are so wonderful, just the way you that you are, Draco. You don't need his approval , you have mine."
His hands find mine. His large blue eyes look so sad.
"I have your approval? I let go of his hand and pull those ridiculous eyes into my neck. He slips his arms around me.
"Of course, you ridiculous snake, you are my very best friend. Don't tell Ron, but I definitely choose you over him. Over all of them," I say sincerely.
He shudders but stays still. I relax my grip and fall asleep with his hair in my nose.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I wake up to the loud pop of an Apparating house-elf and a mouthful of blond hair. Did we really sleep like this? For how long? It's an incredibly uncomfortable position, with my torso turned sideways to accommodate my legs intertwined around his, so I'm confused as to why I'm not sore. In fact, I'm more relaxed than I have ever been.
"Harry Potter, sir! Dobby is most surprised to see you here, sir," Dobby's quiet voice pries my eyes open. I spit out Draco's hair and attempt to dry it while awkwardly explaining myself.
"Wait a minute… give me my letters!" I shout.
Draco wakes with a start.
"Dobby, you useless thing. Whatever are you doing now?" Draco mumbles sleepily.
Dobby lets out a frightened shriek and my eyes narrow when I remember what he told me about his Wizarding family. Then again, he never said the whole family was abusive. He simply said his "Master", which is most likely Lucius, being as Draco isn't old enough. And Draco only ever parrots his father, he honestly couldn 't hurt a fly if he wanted to with every fiber of his being. He's really very sensitive, though he'd kill me if l ever told a single soul.
"Master Malfoy," Dobby says.
Maybe. . .
"Dobby, l told you last week not to bother calling me 'Master',"Draco says as he wipes his eyes.
I smile gently. If he told him that only last week, it was probably because of my coming to stay.
"Yes sir, Mr. Malfoy, " Dobby says.
"No, no, not that either. Draco.You called Harry by his name," he says with a pout.
"Technically, he called me Harry Potter. Do you want to be nothing but a name for the rest of your natural life?" I ask with a smile.
"oh, hush you," Draco says when he catches me smiling at him.
It makes me smile to see him being... less awful to other species.
"Yes, Master Malfoy ," I smirk.
"Master Malfoy says to come to dinner, sirs" Dobby squeaks.
"We're coming," Draco says. Dobby pops away without another word.
Dinner? We slept for at least five hours then.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I came by your room earlier to see if you had shown Potter to his room," Mr. Malfoy says sharply.
I suppose it is his own way of letting us know he saw they way we were tangled together.
"No, sir, he did show me the room. It's lovely," I say, "Our falling asleep was purely accidental. We were talking previously, and the bed was just so comfortable that I couldn't help it, and Draco would never leave me alone without me specifically asking him to."
I push my anger deep inside and almost hope, with a tremor down in my heart as I wonder what kind of person that makes me, that this dinner makes Draco cry so that I can hold him to myself.
But thinking thoughts like that are foolish. I don't deserve the priviledge.
"Potter, tell me more about yourself. Where do you stay?" Mr. Malfoy asks.
"Mr. Malfoy, please call me Harry," I say.
Under the table Draco tentatively rests his fingers on my knee, the only place he can reach without alerting his father as to what he's doing. Out of the corner of my eye I see him watching me with a worried expression.
"With Muggles," I say.
"With...Muggles?" Mr. Malfoy says with disgust.
Hopefully now that he knows what they are, he won't care to find out who they are. I nod.
"Tell me about them.. Harry," Mr. Malfoy says.
Merlin, I just can't have any luck at all, can I?
"They.. well, they aren't the best examples of Muggles, sir," I say quietly.
I have to struggle not to curl into a ball for fear of the Dursleys having a way to find me talking about them. I have to be able to trust him. He works for the Ministry and he is my best friend's (terrible) father, but I think that is mostly because of a kind of poison in the mind. If you tell a person something long enough without contradiction, it will become fact to them. Irrefutable fact.
He will tell Dumbledore and Dumbledore will always protect me.
He leans forward slightly, something I wouldn't have noticed without the book that "nobody uses". I use it.
"They beat me, sir. Withold food and other things. But I only have to spend most of the summers with them," I say.
Draco's grip on my knee tightens. I scoot slightly towards him. He needs more reassurance than ever before, most likely because we're in the presence of his father.
"Do excuse me boys," Mr. Malfoy says. He stands and walks away. The moment he's gone, Draco pulls me into his lap.
"What are you doing?" I ask with a small smile.
"You get upset when you talk about them, and I know you'll shut me out if I let you. I'm not going to let you," he says.
"You're acting strange, Draco. Very strange, if I think about it," I say.
I push my legs towards the floor in a futile attempt to escape.
"Did you just bite me, Harrison?" Draco exclaims.
I yelp as he digs his fingers into my sides.
"We musn't bite," he growls at me while chuckling.
"Let me GO, you prat!" I say.
"Not until you agree to walk upstairs with me and talk," he says.
Anything to be free of his unexpectedly tight grip. He retracts his arms and I slip to the ground. He pulls me up the stairs by the hand.

Chapter Text

“What are we talking about then, you infernal snake?” I ask.

Draco sits on the bed and stares at me expectantly. I sit beside him. He bites his lip and suddenly becomes very interested in the edge of his shirt.

“Draco?” I ask.

“Jaeregm me?” he says.

“Those aren’t words, Draco,” I sigh.

I can’t help but wonder what it is that he’s trying to say. He seems to have trouble getting the words to come out of his mouth.

“I was just thinking about you reading all of those books before you came here and you’re being polite to my father for,me and I know that I’ve only known you for a year but..” he says.

I put my hand over his mouth.

“Breathe,” I say.  

“I hate to think of what those Muggles did to you, but I want you to trust me and I don’t want you to look so sad and resigned as you did at the table ever again. Like you deserved it. You don’t,” he says.

He’s rambling, and it’s almost endearing to see him so relaxed, and yet I can’t forget that he’s worried about me. I can’t allow that to happen. I don’t deserve it.

“It’s okay, Draco. I’m alright,” I say.

“Will you let me see?” Draco whispers.

He looks almost horrified with himself for asking, and that’s when I decide to let him. I nod and tug my shirt over my head, noticing that my hands are shaking. I stop with my shirt pulled over my head. He doesn’t need to see my eyes.

“Harry, please don’t hide from me. If you don’t want to show me, then don’t,” Draco says.

I tug the shirt the rest of the way and let it fall unceremoniously to the floor. And yet it feels like the most important moment in my life, the moment I choose Draco over Ron and the moment I place him above Hermione forever. The moment I believe in forever. Draco looks into my eyes until I give him a smile.

His eyes travel down my chest slowly and carefully.

“Does it still hurt?” he asks quietly.

“No,” I say.

He looks up at me with so much emotion that I start to cry. I hate crying. It makes me feel weak, and at the Dursleys it would have won me another beating. At Ron’s I would’ve gotten suffocated with hugs, but I don’t want Ron’s hugs right now.

Draco reaches for my stomach and traces the scars gently.

“You’re not a freak, Harry,” he says after a long silence.

DRACO-

Seeing the raised white lines on Harry’s skin sends me raving, but I don’t want him to see my anger and think that I’m upset with him. I’m not. They’re beautiful, in a way, because they are part of him. I hate the Dursleys. I hate them. He’s mine. My best friend, I mean, and no one hurts the people I care about. Harry sits quietly under my touch as I searcg for every cut, every bruise, every scar. Tiny tears drip down his cheek, which is slightly turned away from me. That won’t do. I pull my hands back.

Harry looks at me.

“I get further and further away from Slytherin every day I’m with you,” I smile. I wipe away his tears with my thumb.

He smiles but it doesn’t reach his eyes.

“Right now I’m more of a Hufflepuff. My father will die,” I laugh, “Oh, Harry, I wish you wouldn’t hide from me.”

“I’m not hiding,” Harry says.

In a moment of impulse, I bring my face to his. I kiss the wet tracks down his cheeks and then I bring his lips to mine. He’s incredibly soft, and it’s so beautiful. I will protect him with everything I am.

“Draco?” he mumbles when I release him.

“Yes, Harry?” I ask.

He wraps his arms around me and pulls me down to the pillow.

“I’m sleepy,” he says.

I smile and run my fingers through his hair.

“Thank you for saving me,” I whisper, but he’s already gone.

 

Chapter Text

AN- I’m sorry that there’s so much dialogue, but the way I see this happening in my head is less about the place and more about the competition.

-Harry-

“You have a flying car?” I say.

I know that my voice is full of excitement, and I can see Ron’s lip quirking up in a gentle smile.

“I swear, Harry, you and a two year old child share the same level of excitement about magical things,” Draco says.

His words sound harsh but he’s smiling at me too.

“I think it’s nice,” Ron says.

I smile at him while wishing desperately that I didn’t hear the challenge in his voice.

“Draco’s just an old man. He doesn’t know what fun is,” I laugh in an attempt to ease the tension.

Ron laughs.

“Tell me how your summer was, Ron,” Draco says.

“It was alright. There was this thing that-” he begins.

“Boys, do hurry along,” Mrs. Weasley calls to us.

We walk towards the barrier.

“That’s wonderful,” Draco says.

I smile happily. They walk with their heads huddled together, golden strands mixing with hair the color of fire. My smile disappears when my hand doesn’t sink through the barrier like it should.

“Ron?” I say.

“We missed the train!” he says.

“Because of you,” Draco growls.

“How is this my fault?” he yells.

“You distracted Harry with your flying car story,” Draco says.

“He would have seen the car if you hadn’t taken him to your house,” Ron says.

“Ron, Draco, honestly!” I say.

I can tell that they wouldn’t have stopped arguing without me saying something.

“What are we going to do?” I ask.

I can’t go back to the Dursleys for a whole year. The summer is almost too much to bear. I can’t. Draco notices my panic and grabs my hand. I look at him and then at Ron. He’s staring at our hands.

I didn’t know that we were anything. Meaning that I didn’t think he wanted to be with me, just that he kissed me because I was crying and shirtless and he didn’t know what else to do.

“Don’t you worry, Harry. We’ll find a way. Even if we don’t, I won’t let you go back to them,” he says quietly while his thumb traces mine.

“You can’t promise that,” I say.

“I can,” Draco says.

“What are you talking about?” I ask.

“I wanted to tell you in a different way,” he grumbles.

I like his grumbling and am about to tell him when Ron clears his throat. I swallow down a lump in my throat. His ears are red.

“Does anyone want to tell me what I am so obviously missing?” Ron asks.

I dig my nails into Draco’s hand until he pulls away. I look at Draco. What are we? I don’t know, and because I don’t know, I can’t explain it to Ron. To anyone. But it won’t sound that way to him. It will sound like I’m leaving things out, like we’re isolating him the way he thought we were last time.

“I see,” Ron says.

“We’ve..grown close,” I says.

Draco smiles.

“Very close,” he whispers in my ear.

“I’d like to take the car,” I say too loudly.

“Are you trying to get caught?” Draco asks.

“I think the car is a great idea. I have the keys,” Ron says.

Draco’s face turns sour and haughty.

“I don’t,” he says.

“Then you can find another way to get to school,” Ron snaps.

I nonchalantly walk between them.

“Ron,” I say.

“No! He’s trying to isolate you. Don’t let him,” Ron says.

Even though we’re being loud, no one comes to ask us to quiet down or leave.

I reach behind me for Draco. He moves forward and wraps his arms around my waist. I shift my feet and smile. He can tell what I’m trying to do. He lays his head on my shoulder just barely. Ron looks livid. He says something, but it’s more of a sound than a word.

“Ron, I missed you,” Draco says quietly after a while.

I’m proud of myself. It seems I make a good distraction.

“You didn’t ask me to stay this summer,” Ron mutters miserably.

“My father-” Draco says at the same time as I say

“His father…”

Ron winces slightly. I don’t think he even realizes that he did. I think I might be melting his brain, so I step out of Draco’s embrace.

“He never would have allowed it, Ron. Can we walk to the car?” Draco asks.

“Fine,” Ron says.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No one talks for the first few minutes. Draco is wedged awkwardly between Hedwig and Scabbers in the backseat. His expression is almost comical as I watch him over the seat. He catches me looking and pouts.

“What am I supposed to do?” I whisper.

“Rescue me,” he mouths.

Hedwig ruffles her feathers as if sensing our weak attempt at mutiny.

“How?” I say back.

“Did you say something, Harry?” Ron says.

“Just talking to Draco. Shouldn’t we be invisible?” I ask.

Ron wiggles a few levers and then sighs.

“It’s broken,” he says.

“Of course it’s broken,” Draco says.

“Could you two stay calm for five minutes?” I ask, “You were best friends. What happened?”

Draco looks pointedly at me and I rub the bridge of my nose aggressively.

“Nothing,” Ron says.

I can see him physically reign in his jealousy and smile.

“I’m sorry, Draco. I just felt left out,” he says.

“Okay,” Draco says.

“I won’t dig you out,” I warn.

“I’m sorry,” Draco mutters.

Suddenly we’re falling and rolling and crashing and Ron is yelling about something or another, but yelling means he’s alright.

“Draco?” I yell.

I hit my head on the dashboard and all is dark.