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The Crying Game

Chapter Text

August

Harry sighed as he changed Teddy's diaper. At 18 years old he was already technically a parent. However, he loved Teddy and wouldn't have it any other way. Harry just wanted to give Teddy the childhood that he never had. They were staying with Andromeda in Black Manor because even though Harry was Teddy's godfather and had custody, he didn't want to take him away from his grandmother. And honestly, after the end of the war a few months ago, he wasn't up to taking care of Teddy on his own.

The Weasley family became distant after Harry refused to "date" Ginny again. Well, if you could call it that. Harry had kissed her in his excitement over their win of the House Cup in Quidditch, and Ginny assumed that they were dating. From then on, she'd taken to following him everywhere and plastering her boobs against him. It didn't help that Ron was accepted to the Auror program and Hermione was studying abroad, so they had little contact - and only through letters. Luna was off with Neville hunting for Crumple-Horned Snorkacks in India; they wouldn't be back until sometime this month.

"Mama," Teddy exclaimed, breaking Harry from his melancholy thoughts.

Teddy had started calling him that since he learned to talk, and Harry couldn't get him to call him anything else.

"Hey, cub," Harry grinned, "are you ready for breakfast?"

Teddy just giggled in response. At only four months old, his werewolf genes made him more advanced than the average baby, so he could say simple words like "Mama" for Harry and "Nana" for Andromeda, but wasn't able to form full sentences yet.

Harry laid Teddy in his crib before continuing to get dressed. The face that looked out at him from the mirror was a lot different than the past. The defeat of Voldemort landed him in St. Mungo's which uncovered many machinations of Dumbledore and allowed him to repair the damage to his body caused by the "care" of the Dursleys.

In place of the previously malnourished 5'5" boy was a slender yet toned young man of 5'10". Large emerald eyes no longer hidden by glasses were surrounded by long, thick eyelashes. Dumbledore had placed a glamour over his looks to make him appear like a carbon copy of James with Lily's eyes. However, its removal revealed that he received more traits from his mother than he expected. Truthfully, the only thing he had in common with his father was the black hair, golden skin, and firm chin. From his mother he received her curly but manageable hair texture, green eyes, slim nose, and full rosy lips. He'd also gotten his slim build from her, which wasn't the effect of malnutrition as he previously thought. This resulted in a blend of masculine and feminine traits that became an image of androgynous beauty.

Harry also found out that Sirius blood adopted him when he became his godfather, adding the high aristocratic cheekbones of the Black family along with a ring of silver that appeared around his iris when he experienced heightened emotion. However, he never expected to receive the Black family secret of male bearer. Due to this ability, he now had to take a potion each month that was similar to the female birth control pill. That had been an unexpected yet welcome surprise.

Harry had known that he was gay since he was twelve and found himself having wet dreams about the muscular Oliver Wood instead of the well-endowed Lavender Brown. So far he'd been able to keep it a secret, but he was tired of hiding his true self. His first mission when he arrived back at Hogwarts was to be open about his sexuality; he wouldn't flaunt if but if someone asked he'd be upfront with them. Harry also wanted to befriend people from other houses, but mostly Draco Malfoy and possibly the other Slytherins, considering the stigma surrounding their House.

Shaking himself from his thoughts, Harry pulled his waist-length hair into a ponytail. He then put on a pair of black silk boxers, snug blue jeans, and a tight red T-shirt. Despite taking up his title as Lord Potter-Black, Harry still preferred Muggle clothing.

"Time to eat," Harry announced as he blew a raspberry on Teddy's belly, causing him to giggle happily.

Harry set Teddy on his hip before making his way downstairs.

"I was wondering when you lads would be up," Andromeda said.

"Teddy was being a silly little boy this morning," Harry said with a smile as he set Teddy in his high chair.

Harry then set a plate of mashed fruits and porridge in front of Teddy. Making sure that Teddy held his spoon securely, he guided the food to his mouth before fixing his own plate of toast and hashers.

"Good boy," Harry praised as Teddy continued eating on his own.

Andromeda observed Harry as he cast an anti-mess spell on Teddy's clothes and hair as well as wiping the excess food from Teddy's mouth, all while eating his own food and keeping Teddy entertained.

"You'll make a wonderful mother one day," Andromeda remarked.

"M-mother. Don't you mean father?" Harry stammered with a shaky laugh.

Andromeda pierced him with a look that had him squirming.

"Am I that obvious?" Harry asked panickedly before looking over as the floo flared to life.

"Of course not, Harry. You're no longer surrounded by Nargles, so the wind fairies have gathered because of your nurturing nature," Luna said as she appeared through the floo with Neville behind her.

Used to Luna's unexpected appearances and ambiguous words, Harry just smiled and continued to feed Teddy.

While Luna looked as whimsical as ever with her light blue robes, Neville had undergone a complete makeover. Instead of a timid, slightly pudgy boy now stood a tall and confident man. Not only was Neville wearing a pair of the finest robes, but Harry also spotted the lordship ring on his finger.

"How are you Luna, Neville?" Harry inquired.

"We're great of course. Our trip didn't yield as many creatures as I expected," Luna sighed before Neville interrupted her.

"Blimey, Harry! Is that really you?" Neville exclaimed.

"St. Mungo's was able to correct the damage to my body. Or as Luna says, they got rid of the Nargles. This is how I would've looked if I hadn't grown up with the Dursleys or had Dumbledore place a glamour on me," Harry said with a sheepish smile as he cleaned Teddy's face and picked him up from his high chair.

"You look great, healthy, ya know?" Neville observed.

"I'm a lot better," Harry admitted, "Luna, Neville, this is my son Teddy. Teddy these are my best friends Neville and Luna."

"Lulu. Nev," Teddy squealed with a toothless grin.

"May I hold him?" Luna asked as they left the kitchen for the living room.

"Of course. You don't have to ask," Harry said as he handed Teddy over.

Harry left Luna to entertain Teddy while he and Neville conversed.

"So how have you been, truly, Harry?" Neville inquired with a serious expression before his breath caught at the beautifully serene smile on Harry's face.

"I'm free, Neville. Free to be me, to dream, to love. I'm finally happy. I have a family in Teddy and Andy. The only thing that will make me happier is to create a family of my own one day," Harry murmured.

"I, Neville Frank Longbottom, hereby pledge my life to Harry James Potter. I pledge the Ancient and Noble House of Longbottom as protectorate of the Ancient House of Black and Noble House of Potter. So mote it be," Neville stated.

"What was that? Why did you do that?" Harry asked.

"I pledged myself to you because you are a good friend and as I am a magic sensitive, Lady Magic has made me aware of your bearer status. I'm also your informal Lord meaning that although you are the Lord of the Black and Potter House, your status as a bearer means that your intended must ask me for permission to court you. Not only that, but it's the duty of the protectorate to keep your bearer status a secret because the Ministry is known for either selling bearers to the highest bidder or using them as a brood mare," Neville explained.

Seeing Harry about to protest, Neville held up a hand.

"This is in no way undermining you as a person Harry. This law has been in place for centuries to keep people from taking advantage of male bearers," Neville continued, "although it hasn't been done in decades because there have been no male bearers."

"All bearers originally came from the Black line, said to stem from the metamorphagus abilities that they also possessed. Many families married into the Black family for this reason. However, the bearing ability died out several centuries ago because of too much interbreeding in the Black line. I believe the fusion of the Potter line and the infusion of new blood from a muggleborn mother released many dormant traits. I wouldn't be surprised if you also possess some minor metamorphagus ability," Luna surmised.

Deciding to push the overload of information aside, Harry revealed his first year sorting and his plans involving the Slytherins.

"I always knew that you were a bit too sneaky for Gryffindor," Neville said with a chuckle.

"A snake in lion's fur is often the best because it takes a true snake to hide in the lion's den," Luna stated.

"If Malfoy apologizes and shows that he actually changed, then I'll accept his hand in friendship," Neville stated.

"The water sprites around the flying serpent can be alternately soothing to the winds yet stormy against any threat in times of trouble. There is another hidden in the shadows cast by the flames that will be your fiercest protector if you let him in," Luna murmured with glazed eyes.

"So I'll have two males vying for my hand, one of water and the other of fire," Harry mused, "Will I have to choose between them?"

"There must be balance, Harry. Water and fire alone would fizzle out. Air and water would create volatile waves that would later crash. Air and fire would destroy everything in its wake. Fire needs air to stay strong, but also needs water to temper its flames. Water needs fire to dry the waves created by air before it reaches the shore. And air cannot stand alone and needs fire and water to bring out the winds that have lain dormant," Luna added.

"The only thing I got from that is you'll end up in a triad bond," Neville summarized.

"I didn't know those were legal," Harry muttered hesitantly.

"You have a lot of love to give, Harry," Andromeda said as she walked in the room, "don't be afraid to express it."

Harry blushed before nodding affirmatively.

"I'm going to lay Teddy down for a nap. Once you go off the school, you'll only see him on the weekends, so he needs to get used to not seeing you all the time," Andromeda said as she gathered Teddy from Luna's arms.

"I thought you weren't coming back to England until the end of the month," Harry wondered once Andy had gone upstairs.

"We weren't, but Neville reminded me that we had yet to go school shopping," Luna said.

"I also figured that you could use the company on your trip to Diagon Alley. With your defeat of V-Voldemort, you're a hero and everyone is going to want a piece of you," Neville added, "although they might not recognize you with your new look."

"Of course," Harry grimaced, "what are they calling me now? The Boy-Who-Defeated or some other rubbish?"

"Actually, it's The Man-Who-Conquered," Neville sheepishly corrected.

"The Wizarding World and their obsession with monikers. At least it's slightly better than You-Know-Who or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named," Harry sighed.

"Ah yes, the twins used to get a kicker out that with their product U-No-Poo," Luna giggled.

"Alright enough of that," Harry laughed, "so what are your plans for today?"

"We were going to return home, but I think that we should go to Diagon today before it gets crowded with last minute shoppers," Neville stated.

"Smart thinking. Do both of you have your supply list?" Harry inquired, knowing them to be slightly absent-minded.

"Of course, Harry," Neville grinned, "and I didn't even need a Remembrall to help me."

Harry smiled back fondly as he reminisced on their first year flying lesson. It gratifying to see that Neville was now a confident lord, yet Harry couldn't help the pang of sadness for the clumsy, innocent boy that he used to be. However, that's what happens when you spend the majority of your childhood in a war.

Harry shook off his melancholy thoughts and spoke, "I just need to tell Andy where we're going, and then I'll be ready. You're welcome to help yourself to anything in the kitchen."

"We've just eaten, so we'll wait in the living room," Luna murmured.

"Great! I'll be right back," Harry called as he loped up the stairs.

Chapter Text

Harry scowled as he stumbled out of the floo at the Leaky Cauldron. Despite having traveled this way for years, he still hadn't gotten the hang of it, and portkeys were just as disorienting. The only wizarding transportation that he was proficient at was flying and Apparition.

Neville and then Luna appeared right after him - flawlessly of course.

"We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz," Luna sang as she grasped their hands and pulled them along.

"Do you need to stop by Gringotts?" Neville asked, resigning himself to Luna's whims.

"Nope, I have their new promotional item. It's a black card that works like a muggle credit card, so I don't have to go to the bank for money every time that I want to purchase something," Harry grinned.

"Where to first?" Neville asked.

"Flourish and Blotts so we can get our books first," Harry decided, "and the apothecary for Potions ingredients."

"Then a break at Fortescue's for ice cream," Luna suggested.

"Honeydukes next. I need more chocolate," Neville hummed.

"The Magical Menagerie. I need a new owl," Harry murmured wistfully.

"Quality Quidditch Supples. I heard there's a new broom out," Neville added, trying to cheer Harry up.

"Really?" Harry questioned, practically bouncing up and down in his excitement, "what's it called? What are the new upgrades? How much is it?"

"Calm down, mate," Neville laughed, "you'll find out once we get to the shop."

"Well then, let's go," Harry called before walking swiftly to the bookstore.

Just as he entered, he spotted a head of bushy brown hair. Not wanting to deal with Hermione at the moment - especially since he was unsure of his reception - he ducked out of sight behind a bookshelf. Fortunately, it was on a subject that he needed. Over the summer, Harry realized that being an Auror wasn't what he really wanted to do. It was just expected of him considering that both his father and godfather were Aurors and he'd been set to defeat Voldemort from the time he was marked as a baby. However, Harry had enough of violence and wanted to become a Healer instead.

"Harry," a voice murmured from behind him.

"Hermione," Harry muttered as he turning, remaining impassive.

"You look so different," Hermione gasped, "I almost didn't recognize you."

"Well it's been months since we've seen each other and even longer since I've heard from you, so some change is to be expected," Harry replied.

"H-how are you?" Hermione tentatively inquired.

"Fine," Harry said shortly.

"I-I can we please start over?" Hermione begged, "I'm so sorry. I stayed with my parents this summer instead of at the Burrow with Ron. They made me realize how wrong I've been. And I wasn't upset with you because you're gay; I don't have a problem with homosexuality. I was just so caught up in us being the perfect family...me dating Ron and you, as my best friend, dating Ginny."

"I forgive you, but you really hurt me, Mione. I don't know if we can go back to being friends again," Harry admitted.

"Can we try? I promise to do better," Hermione pleaded.

"I'll think about it," Harry murmured before walking away.

"What's going on there?" Neville asked, having noticed the confrontation.

"Hermione and I - along with the Weasleys - had a bit of a falling out when Ginny and I broke up," Harry admitted.

"She was arse over tit for you, what happened?" Neville asked.

"Well, truthfully I'm not interested in Ginny that way. I just got caught up in everything, and honestly, our 'relationship' was kind of expected. And then I knew that I'd have to die to defeat old Voldy, so figured that I could at least make her happy by giving her what she always wanted," Harry confessed.

"I always thought that you weren't compatible anyway. I know that from the time that Ginny was old enough, Molly filled her head with stories about you until the point where Ginny actually believed that you would be married one day," Neville revealed.

"She did seem uncommonly attached to me," Harry frowned.

"I think the majority of the Wizarding World saw you two as the second coming of James and Lily Potter considering that you look - er, looked - like your father and Ginny has red hair," Neville continued.

"Even if you had been in love with Ginny - which I'm happy to see that you weren't - she never looked past the image of The Boy Who Lived," Luna divulged, "She knew Harry Potter but not Harry."

"But Harry is Harry Potter," Neville uttered in bewilderment, expecting Harry to be just as confused as him.

"She means that Harry Potter is whatever the Wizarding World wants him to be...hero, Golden Boy, Gryffindor," Harry deduced, "but I'm just me. I'd prefer to live outside the limelight. I hate the reason I'm famous because that night took my parents away from me, but all everyone else remembers is the night that Voldemort was defeated for the first time."

"The ones who really care about you, see the real you," Neville soothed, "And I for one happen to think that Harry is a better person than Harry Potter. Harry Potter might be a legend to everyone else, but Harry was the one who befriended me - the awkward, near squib boy that everyone else overlooked."

Chapter Text

"I'd really just like to grab my books and go back home to see Teddy," Harry muttered as he grabbed the 7th year Charms textbook.

"Don't let Granger ruin your mood, Harry," Neville advised before teasing, "besides, how will you continue to be the best seeker at Hogwarts if you don't have a top of the line broom?"

"Neville is right, Harry," Luna agreed, "now what classes are you taking?"

"Transfiguration, DADA, Herbology, Charms and Potions. I dropped History of Magic and Astronomy even though I got an Exceeds Expectations in both," Harry began.

"I'm taking the same but with Care and Muggle Studies for my electives. You're continuing with Potions even though it isn't required in seventh year?" Neville inquired as he found the Herbology book, "Although I guess technically we're eighth years."

"I want to be a Healer, so I need Potions. I'll also be apprenticing under Madame Pomfrey," Harry confessed, passing the Care of Magical Creatures textbook to them.

"What if you don't have an aptitude for healing magic?" Neville worriedly asked.

"I'd be upset of course," Harry conceded, "but if that happens I'll either work at Hogwarts as the Defense professor or maybe even join Charlie in Romania as a Dragon Tamer."

"Healing is an admirable profession, Harry. I think it suits you a lot better than fighting dark wizards. That simply wasn't in your nature. In fact, I think that if Voldemort's spell hadn't rebounded and killed him, he wouldn't have died as you'd have been unable to kill him," Luna stated as she stood on tiptoe to reach the Transfiguration textbook with her usual absentminded air.

"So what electives are you taking?" Neville asked, returning to the original subject.

"Care, of course. I dropped Divination, but now I can't decide between Arithmancy and Ancient Runes," Harry admitted.

"I'm taking Runes, so you should choose it so that we'll be in class together," Luna murmured as she grabbed two Ancient Runes textbooks for Harry and herself, "it'll keep away the Wrackspurts."

"That's fine with me. Ancient Runes it is then," Harry decided with a laugh, "what about you guys? What are you both doing after you graduate?"

"I really want to be a Herbologist, but in order to do so I'd have to uncover a previously undiscovered plant and figure out its properties and effects. Either that or create a completely new hybrid plant that has different effects than its parent plants. It's highly difficult, so I'll probably just become a Herbology teacher at Hogwarts as I heard that Professor Sprout was leaving in a year or two," Neville revealed.

"Don't let the Nargles get to you, Neville," Luna soothed.

"Wait, I thought that Nargles were a good thing. Didn't they tell you that Harry needed us?" Neville asked in bewilderment.

"Silly Neville, they're mischievous creatures, so sometimes they'll hide in mistletoe or cause you to misplace your things, yes?" Luna laughed musically, "However, they're also great about revealing information if you listen."

"Luna is right thought, Neville. If anyone can do it, it's you. You're a whiz in Herbology," Harry agreed, picking up the Potions book.

"I hope so," Neville sighed as he picked up the DADA textbook, "what about you, Luna? What are you doing?"

"I plan on researching magical creatures, specifically ones that are believed to be extinct or others simply don't that they believe exist," Luna stated.

By then they'd managed to get all of their books, so they bought and placed shrinking charms on them before putting them in their bags.

"Next we have the apothecary," Harry groaned.

"At least there's ice cream right after," Luna chirped.

"And chocolate," Neville added.

Harry rushed them quickly through the next few places, wanting to get to the broom shop.

"What about the Menagerie?" Neville reminded, slightly out of breath from rushing with Harry.

"Oh yeah, I forgot," Harry admitted with a sheepish grin.

As soon as they stepped foot in the owl emporium, a raven descended until it landed on Harry's shoulder. He had to grab Neville to remain upright as the raven weighed at least 10 lbs. - which was odd considering that they average around 2-3 lbs.

Harry turned to face the bird, happy that it didn't remind him of Hedwig in the least. With its midnight feathers, it was the complete opposite of Hedwig's own downy white. Where Hedwig was motherly, this bird was a protector that bordered on predatory.

"Are you male or female?" Harry asked, knowing that the raven had already claimed him, "one caw for male and two caws for female."

"Ah, so you're a male then," Harry observed as the bird cawed once, "do you have a name?"

The raven croaked which Harry took to mean no.

"Abraxas? No, I'm pretty sure that's Draco's grandfather's name. Besides, you don't look like an Abraxas." Harry said with a shake of his head.

"How about Kurai? It's Japanese for dark. Well, it can also mean gloomy. Although I suppose that could work seeing as how ravens are often viewed as bad omens. Ok, now I'm babbling," Harry muttered.

The raven cawed in agreement with a seemingly amused look in its eye.

"Kurai, it is then," Harry decided.

Chapter Text

September

Harry sighed as he was woken up by a cry from Teddy. Usually, Teddy slept in his own room in the nursery. However, he decided to move Teddy's crib to his room last night as he was returning to Hogwarts today and wanted to spend as much time with him as possible.

Harry cast a Tempus and his wand flashed 7:30 a.m. He decided that he might as well wake up as he'd need enough time to dress, eat, and floo to the Leaky Cauldron to catch the Hogwarts Express.

"Is your diaper wet, Teddybear?" Harry yawned as he approached Teddy's bed.

"Go potty," Teddy agreed, raising his arms to be picked up.

"Ew, that was a major potty," Harry grimaced as he removed Teddy's smelly diaper, "why don't I just give you a bath, huh love? Do you want to take a bath?"

"No!" Teddy cried out, struggling to get out of Harry's arms.

"Oh, you're in for it now," Harry growled as he filled a small tub with water, "here comes the tickle monster!"

Teddy squealed with laughter as Harry proceeded to tickle him into submission.

"Now, will you take a bath, Teddy?" Harry chuckled.

Teddy's bottom lip began to tremble as tears welled up in his eyes.

"That won't work, baby. You still need a bath," Harry responded sternly as he began to wash Teddy's body.

Teddy began to cry in earnest, wiggling his slippery body, almost causing him to slide out of Harry's arms. By the time that Harry finished bathing him, both Harry and the floor were soaked.

Seeing Harry's hair plastered to his face, Teddy giggled.

"You're promising to be a real troublemaker," Harry muttered, trying to frown but unable to do so in the face of Teddy's gummy grin.

"Twuble," Teddy agreed as Harry dressed him in a green onesie.

"Right. Now I'm going to take you to Grandma Andy, so that she can feed you while I shower," Harry said as he spelled himself and the bathroom dry.

"Ga-ma An," Teddy cheered.

Harry walked downstairs to find Andromeda already dressed and started in surprise at the sight of her cooking breakfast. Normally, the House elves did the cooking, so it was a surprise to see her at the stove.

"How'd you convince Cilly and Neesy to let you in the kitchen?" Harry inquired, knowing how territorial House elves were over their duties.

"I told them that they couldn't work for a week if they didn't lend me the kitchen," Andromeda revealed, "I won't punish them like their previous Black family owners, so preventing them from work was the only way."

"You don't have to explain yourself to me, Andy," Harry smiled, "I'm not like Hermione with SPEW. While she's made conditions better for the House elves, I also know that their magic requires a master."

"Why aren't you dressed, young man?" Andromeda inquired, changing the subject.

"Teddy got me soaking wet with his bath, so I decided to bring him down to eat, so that I could shower in peace," Harry admitted.

"Well, I'll take care of him now, so go get ready, mister. It's already 9 o'clock," Andromeda ordered.

 

          ___________________________

 

The Malfoy family presented a united front as they stepped onto Platform 9 3/4.

Lucius was a commanding presence with his height of 6'3", shoulder-length, white-blond hair and piercing grey eyes. Rather than offsetting this image, his snake cane only enhanced it, presenting him as the Lord that he is. Regardless of her 5'5" frame, Narcissa was as assertive as ever with her long blonde hair and cold blue eyes. Draco was a carbon-copy of his father with the same white-blonde hair and grey eyes, but stood an inch shorter with a more muscular build. His shoulder-length hair was tied back at the nape of his neck instead of flowing freely like his father's.

The downfall of Lord Voldemort had been good to them. Lord Malfoy had been found to be under a variation of the Imperius curse, forced by his father through the Heir ring to serve a madman. Once Abraxas Malfoy had died, the effects were nullified; however, it was too late, and Lucius continued to follow Voldemort in order to protect his family. With Narcissa Malfoy having lied to Voldemort about the Savior's death, she was also acquitted. Draco Malfoy was seen as a young boy pressured into the Dark side so that he could save his family.

Despite this, many people were still wary of the Malfoy family. While a lot of it had to do with their previous Death Eater status, a part of it was due to Lucius' reputation - that of a ruthless politician with heavy influence and connections everywhere.

"We will see you at Yule, son," Lucius murmured as he regally inclined his head.

"Be safe, my dragon," Narcissa frostily added.

"Always," Draco replied before heading towards the train.

For all the iciness of their public interactions, Draco knew that his parents loved him because they were more emotional in private, especially his mother. Lucius was the stern, yet loving father while Narcissa was the doting mother. His parents only dropped their emotionless masks around those that they cared for which - aside from family - included his best friends Blaise Zabini and Theodore Nott. Crabbe and Goyle had been merely an effort by the Dark Lord to monitor him for his loyalty. However, while Crabbe and Goyle, Srs. were amongst Voldemort's best Death Eaters, their children had neither their skill nor intelligence, so they were easy to fool.

"Draco," a deep voice called.

He turned to see Blaise walking sedately toward him with his mother, Gabriella Zabini, in tow.

"Madame Zabini," Draco greeted, pressing a kiss to the back of her hand.

"As charming as ever I see," Gabriella laughed sensually.

"My parents would tan my hide if I treated you otherwise," Draco reminded, "and a lady as beautiful as yourself deserves nothing less."

"If you're done flirting with my mother," Blaise drawled with a raised brow.

"Blaise," Draco acknowledged, only his eyes giving away how happy he was to see him, "how was your summer?"

"We went to Italy to visit my family as usual," Blaise stated, Italian accent slightly more prominent than usual.

"We traveled to France for the same reason," Draco said.

Seeing Theo approaching them, Draco turned to address him when he caught sight of the most beautiful person that he'd ever seen.
That the person was male didn't bother him as he was a connoisseur of beauty and appreciated both the male and female form. The beautiful young man stood at an inch or two shy of six feet with long, silky black hair, gorgeous eyes an unparalleled shade of green, and full, pouty lips. The toned, yet slender body was covered by Muggle clothes of all things with white jeans and a blue button-down.

Draco barely managed to hold onto his expressionless, pureblood mask when he realized that the gorgeous specimen was Potter. Nobody else had eyes that particular shade of emerald. Only the slight widening of his eyes gave away any reaction. Theo had no such restraint.

"Is that Potter?" Theo asked in disbelief, "since when has he looked like that?"

"Who knew he was hiding such a sexy body under those robes and baggy clothes," Blaise murmured as he eyed Potter.

Draco withheld a growl as a feeling of possessiveness coursed through him. However, he shook the feeling off. Just because the Golden Boy had gotten somewhat attractive, didn't mean he liked the git. It was just lust, nothing more.

Chapter Text

Draco managed to tear his eyes away from Potter with a scowl.

"At least he doesn't have the Weasel and Mudblood with him," Draco sneered.

"The Weasel isn't coming back to Hogwarts," Daphne Greengrass revealed as she approached their group with Pansy Parkinson and Tracey Davis behind her, "I heard that he's already at the Ministry of Magic for the Auror program."

"How do you know?" Pansy asked, disappointed at not being the first to know about the so-called Golden Trio.

"My uncle is the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and the Head Auror was talking about the new recruits," Daphne sniffed, as her uncle's position was common knowledge.

"Don't mind her, Pansy," Tracey smiled slightly as she pressed a kiss to the corner of Daphne's mouth, "She just doesn't have any tolerance for ignorance."

Draco withheld a chuckle as Pansy was obviously trying to figure out whether or not she had been insulted.

"What about the Mudblood?" Theo inquired.

"I think that she was taking some summer classes abroad, but I saw her in Diagon recently, so I believe that she is returning to Hogwarts this year-" Blaise explained.

"So why isn't she with Potter?" Pansy interrupted.

"If you'd let me finish," Blaise scowled, "perhaps they're meeting on the train."

"Speaking of trains, we should probably get on as it's already 10:45 a.m.," Tracey suggested.

"Same compartment as always?" Theo asked, leading the way.

"It seems that everyone knows that this spot is ours," Blaise chuckled at the vacancy of the compartment despite it being a prime spot.

"Did you expect otherwise?" Draco drawled as they entered their compartment and stowed away their belongings.

"It seems that your reputation proceeds you," Daphne observed.

"Quite. I'll leave you minions to it," Draco sneered playfully as left.

On his way to and from the bathroom, Draco was surprised at the lack of people in the corridors. However, he spoke too soon. He was turning to leave the restroom when he bumped into someone, almost knocking them to the floor. Draco quickly grabbed their upper arms and blinked in surprise as he made eye contact with a stunned emerald gaze.

"Malfoy," Potter greeted with a small smile.

Seeing the lack of hatred or disgust in those beautiful eyes, Draco gaped unattractively before recovering his neutral expression.

"Potter, h-how are you?" Draco ventured tentatively, deciding that if Potter was going to be civil, then he would as well.

"I'm fine, and you?" Potter inquired with an amused glint in his eyes.

"As perfect as always," Draco smirked before gliding away.

Draco groaned once he was out of sight, unhappy that he'd lost composure in front of Potter of all people. He spent the rest of the train ride in silence, ignoring the rest of his companions.

 

      ____________________________

 

Harry sighed as he entered the Great Hall with Neville and Luna. Luna left for the Ravenclaw table while Neville walked with him to Gryffindor. He was surprised to see Ron's brother Charlie seated at the Head Table next to a beautiful woman with blue-black hair and pale blue eyes.

"No way!" Harry breathed as he caught sight of the man sitting on the other side of the woman.

Seated between the woman and Professor Flitwick was none other than half-vampire and famous singer Lorcan d'Eath. With his black hair, blue eyes, and pale skin, he was classically handsome. However, he had a certain edge that took him from merely handsome to dangerously sexy. Harry struggled not to swoon like the majority of the girls and some of the boys as they all caught sight of him. Whispers began to spread around the Hall and rose in volume until McGonagall forced them to settle down to allow the first years to be sorted.

After the sorting - with Gryffindor and Hufflepuff gaining the most students - the new Headmaster rose to speak.

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen," he greeted once they quieted down, "my name is Conall O'Brien, and I am your new Headmaster. While we are saddened by the loss of so many brave people, it is time to move forward onto exactly what they fought for - a better future for their loved ones. Let us have a moment of silence for those who have gone on to be with Mother Earth and Lady Magic."

The entire Great Hall became quiet with numerous people crying silently.

"Thank you. Minerva McGonagall is continuing as your Transfiguration professor just as Pomona Sprout and Filius Flitwick are continuing as your Herbology and Charms professors respectively. However, we have several new additions to the staff here at Hogwarts. Regina Drake will be teaching Potions, Lorcan d'Eath will be teaching Defense, and Care of Magical Creatures will be taught by Charles Weasley," Headmaster O'Brien revealed "now I believe that our Deputy Headmistress has a few words for you."

"Past events have made me realize that, as Deputy Headmistress, I've been neglecting my duties as both a professor and the Head of Gryffindor House. Because of this, while I will continue as both Deputy and the Transfiguration professor, I've decided to assign Professor Weasley as the new Gryffindor Head of House," McGonagall announced.

The entire Gryffindor House cheered along with some polite clapping from the rest of the houses.

"Now then, let us feast," the Headmaster commanded and food appeared on the tables as everyone dug in.

As Harry glanced around, he noticed Hermione sitting on her own. He realized that without Ron and him, she was virtually friendless. Whenever Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil tried to engage her in conversation, she turned her nose up at them.

"It's because she looks down on girls who focus more on their looks than books," Luna murmured as she approached the Gryffindor table and noticed him eying Hermione.

"Hmm, you're right Luna, so how about I knock some sense into her," Harry grinned as he finished his plate.

"Uh oh," Neville muttered as Harry strolled to the middle of the table.

"Hi, Harry," Hermione greeted, assuming that he was coming over to talk to her, given that he accepted her apology several weeks ago.

She hadn't realized that despite forgiving her, Harry hadn't forgotten her hurtful words and actions, and it would take time and effort - especially on her part - for them to become friends again.

"Granger," Harry responded with a fleeting smile before turning his attention to Lavender and Parvati.

"Good evening, Ms. Brown and Ms. Patil," Harry greeted with a roguish smile, "how was your summer?"

"Hello, Mr. Potter," Lavender giggled, "It was quite well, thank you for asking."

"Father took Padma and me to Egypt this summer. The hieroglyphs tell fascinating stories," Parvati gushed.

"You can understand hieroglyphic writing?" Hermione asked in disbelief.

"Of course, Granger. The key is discerning the pattern for a particular section as they don't always follow the same sequence. Having a father who is a Master in Ancient Runes makes it a lot easier as he taught me everything that I know." Parvati revealed.

"Just because some females are more conscientious about their appearance doesn't mean that they can't be intelligent," Harry frowned at Hermione's blatant rudeness.

"I've always gotten Exceeds Expectations in all of my classes except Potions where I have an Acceptable," Lavender revealed.

"I've always received O's aside from Potions and Herbology which were EE's," Parvati admitted, "Father wouldn't allow anything less."

"Well it's easy to do well in your classes when you're taking ridiculous electives like Divination and Care instead of the more rigorous courses such as Arithmancy and Ancient Runes," Hermione fumed.

"Your so-called 'rigorous courses' have no use to us because while Divination does involve more guesswork - as Arithmancy uses numbers to predict the future - only people with the gift of Sight are able to do well in that course," Lavender scowled.

"I don't need to take Ancient Runes, Granger, as I already know everything. I'll take the Runes N.E.W.T. to gain qualifications, but the class is simply unnecessary," Parvati continued.

"We don't mean to gang up on you, Granger, but you shouldn't judge someone before getting to know them," Harry added.

Hermione flushed bright red before rushing from the Great Hall.

"I'd go after her, but I have Head Boy duties soon," Harry sighed.

"I'll take care of it," Luna murmured distantly.

"I'll see you guys in the morning," Harry muttered tiredly as he helped the prefects lead the firsties to their dorms.

"Good night, Harry," Neville replied.

"Look out for the Wrackspurts, Harry," Luna added.

By the time that Harry finished his tasks and arrived at his room, he was knackered. He groaned as he threw himself on the bed and barely managed to change into pajamas before falling asleep.

Chapter Text

Harry woke up surprisingly refreshed before showering and getting dressed. Instead of his usual French braid, Harry decided to put his hair into a fishtail braid. He put on a pair of black slacks and a purple silk shirt before pulling his school robes over it. Instead of going directly to the Great Hall for breakfast, Harry headed to Gryffindor Tower to pick up Neville, hoping that he wouldn't run into Ginny in the common room.

"Survivor," Harry stated to the Fat Lady before the portrait door swung open.

"Hey, Harry," Seamus Finnigan greeted in his usual Irish brogue, "Neville is putting on his robes, so he should be out in a few seconds."

"No rush. So how are you, Seamus?" Harry inquired.

"I'm great, Harry. Me mam an' I took a trip to Greece fer the summer," Seamus grinned.

"I've always wanted to go there," Harry gushed as he sat beside Seamus on one of the couches, "what was it like?"

"Th' beaches are so beautiful, but th' girls are even mor' so," Seamus replied with a wink.

"Do you have any pictures?" Harry asked excitedly.

"Of course I do! Drop by again after supper, an' I'll show you," Seamus suggested.

"I'm ready, Harry," Neville interjected.

"I'll see you at breakfast, mate," Harry called as he left the common room, "or in class if Dean makes you late."

"Get out of here, Harry," Seamus hollered with a blush.

"You'd think the teasing would get old by now seeing as how they've been shagging off and on since 4th year," Neville chuckled.

"Seamus has delicate sensibilities," Harry joked as he sat down at the front of the Gryffindor table.

"Yeah, right," Neville scoffed, "He curses like a sailor."

"I've heard that Seamus only curses a lot in bed. Been hearing him and Dean at night, Nev?" Harry teased as he piled some eggs and toast onto his plate.

"N-no, thank Merlin for silencing charms," Neville stammered with a blush, helping himself to some bacon.

They spent the next several minutes in silence, practically inhaling their food.

"Let's get our timetables," Harry suggested as he walked toward Charlie.

"Harry, I mean Mr. Potter, here's your schedule," Charlie greeted him with a grin that brought a blush to a nearby girl's face and had Harry smothering a laugh.

Even though he only saw Charlie as a brother, he wasn't blind to his appeal. With his muscular build, dragon-hide boots, and several scars that only added to his roguish appearance, Charlie was the embodiment of the rugged outdoorsman that sent hearts aflutter with simply a wink from one of those mischievous blue eyes.

"I thought that you and your family weren't talking to me anymore," Harry murmured, taking note of how happy Charlie looked to see him.

"Well, considering the fact that I was in Romania trying to complete my job transfer and Bill was in Egypt doing the same, we didn't have the opportunity to contact you," Charlie stated, "But we understand and don't begrudge you for breaking up with Ginny, especially if you're gay. It's better that you did so now instead of nineteen years later when you're married with three children."

"What about the twins?" Harry hesitantly inquired.

"I'm not sure what Fred and George's problem is, but I know that it's not because you're gay, considering the fact that Fred is gay, and I'm bisexual," Charlie revealed.

"Maybe they're just upset that I hurt Ginny," Harry suggested.

"I'll contact them later and beat some sense into them," Charlie frowned before comically lowering his voice, "I know siblings aren't supposed to have favorites, but Gred and Forge prefer you over Ron and Ginny as you've always supported them when nobody else would."

"Thank you, Charlie," Harry beamed before getting his timetable from him.

Harry went back to the table and looked over his timetable. On Mondays and Thursdays, he had double Potions with Professor Drake from 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Transfiguration with Professor McGonagall from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and double Herbology with Professor Sprout from 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, he had Charms with Professor Flitwick from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., double DADA with Professor d'Eath from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. and Ancient Runes with Professor Babbling from 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Care was on Fridays with Professor Weasley from 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

He had a lunch break in between his Transfiguration and Herbology class as well as his Charms and DADA class. Dinner was always served at 5:00 p.m.

Overall, Harry was very happy with his schedule because he only had to wake up early on Mondays and Thursdays. He hoped that the new Potions professor would treat him better than Snape had, and also that the new DADA professor wouldn't suck like the rest of them - pun not intended. The only decent Defense professors that they'd had was Lupin and Snape. He was also looking forward to having Charlie as a teacher although he'd have to remember to refer to him as Professor Weasley.

"What classes do you have?" Neville asked as he peeked over Harry's shoulder.

They exchanged timetables, and Harry noticed that they had Potions, Transfiguration, Herbology, and DADA together.

"May I see your timetable, Harry?" Hermione tentatively inquired.

"Sure," Harry replied with a small grin as he glanced at her schedule, "we have Potions, Charms, and Ancient Runes together."

"I can tutor you in Runes if you'd like," Hermione hesitantly offered, unsure if Harry was still upset about yesterday.

"I don't need a tutor, but I wouldn't mind assistance sometimes. Thanks, Hermione," Harry smiled with a soft glance.

With one look, Harry let her know that he recognized her help for the peace offering that it was and was willing to start over as acquaintances. However, Hermione knew that she had to prove to him that she meant her apology and would strive to be more open-minded in the future.

Chapter Text

Harry groaned as he realized that today was Wednesday. The only drawback of getting their timetable on the first day of classes was that everyone was forced to wake up early, given that some students would have morning courses. Therefore, it was only 7:30 a.m., and he didn't have Charms - which was with the Hufflepuffs - until 11 a.m.

"Tough luck, mate," Neville winced, "I have Care at 9 o'clock, but I can hang out with you for a bit."

"Do you think the Quidditch Pitch is free?" Harry asked, wanting to try out his new broom.

The Turbo XXX was a Quidditch player's wet dream. Not only was it streamlined with a tail of finely tuned bristles, but its aerodynamics and balance were honed to perfection. The broom also had an unbreakable charm with added anti-jinx protection and could go from 0 to 200 mph in just 12 seconds. Furthermore, its movements were said to respond to thought rather than grip, allowing for smoother flying.

"You won't have time to shower afterwards, Harry, and the Umgubular Slashkilters will attach themselves to you and ward off potential suitors," Luna warned as she appeared near his elbow.

Hermione squeaked in surprise, obviously not having heard her approach.

"Is that a nice way of saying that I'll smell?" Harry laughed before yawning, "maybe I'll just go back to sleep until Charms begins."

Harry noticed that Hermione wanted to say something - probably to tell him that he should do something productive like go to the library - but she held her tongue, realizing that she no longer had the right to order him around anymore.

"Do you want to walk to class together?" Hermione asked instead.

"Sure, I'll meet you in the common room," Harry replied, "see you later."

He quickly walked off without waiting for a reply and barely missed running into the group of Slytherins entering the Great Hall. Seeing a familiar head of blond hair, Harry thought back to his encounter with Malfoy on the train. If he'd known that being nice to the blond would fluster him so much, he'd have done so a long time ago. Seeing Malfoy's elegant brow wrinkled in confusion while his kissable lips...

Harry berated himself for his wholly inappropriate thoughts about Malfoy. Just because he wanted to befriend Malfoy didn't mean he should find him attractive. Nevertheless, Malfoy certainly lived up to his title as the Ice Prince of Slytherin. With his sleek blonde hair, lovely grey eyes, and patrician facial features, Malfoy clearly revealed his aristocratic roots. However, despite his refined appearance, Malfoy was nowhere near delicate with his broad shoulders, firm chest, muscular arms, and strong thighs.

Putting Malfoy - and his own oddly lustful response to him - from his mind, Harry arrived at the Head Boy room. Realizing that if he took a nap he'd wake up groggy, Harry decided to find his Charms textbook and read the chapter on the charm that they'd be working on today.

Time quickly passed before Harry discovered that it was already 10:30 a.m. If he wanted to travel from his rooms to Gryffindor Tower and still make it to the Charms classroom on time, he'd have to leave now. Harry quickly packed his school bag before rushing to the Gryffindor common rooms.

"Hey, Hermione," Harry called as he barged in the portrait hole, "ready to go?"

"Sure, just let me grab my books," Hermione replied from her place at one of the tables.

They quickly strolled out of the room and down the stairs until they made it to the classroom.

"Good morning, class," Professor Flitwick squeaked as everyone filed in, "This year is all about preparing for your N.E.W.T.s that you were unable to complete last year. We'll be working solely on nonverbal charms. Can anyone tell me the key to nonverbal casting?"

Hermione immediately raised her hand.

"Yes, Ms. Granger?"

"Many people believe that massive magical power makes it easier to cast nonverbal spells. However, if that were the case, only the most powerful wizards such as Merlin and the Founders would've been able to cast nonverbal spells. In reality, the most important aspects with nonverbal spells are concentration and mental discipline," Hermione recited.

"5 points to Gryffindor. What is the advantage of a nonverbal charm?" Flitwick asked.

Hermione again raised her hand along with Parvati Patil and Susan Bones.

"Ms. Bones," the professor chose.

"In defense, your adversary has no warning about what magic you are about to perform which gives you a split-second advantage and also prevents them from immediately casting a counter-spell. This can also apply to Charms as well given that Diffindo - which is a Severing Charm often used by tailors to cut fabrics precisely - can gravely injure or even kill your opponent if cast at the neck or major artery. Even a simple Levitation Charm can be used defensively by throwing someone from a great height," Bones explained.

"5 points to Hufflepuff," Professor Flitwick cheered, "Ms. Bones' explanation provided the perfect transition as we'll be working on the Levitation charm today, which I'm sure many of you remember the incantation for as we've been working with it since first year. Please divide into pairs and practice nonverbally casting the charm on your partner."

"Wanna be my partner," Harry ruefully asked Hermione, knowing that he'd had trouble with nonverbal casting in the past.

"Of course, Harry," Hermione smiled.

Soon the room was silent with the occasional sounds of some people trying to discreetly whisper the spell under their breath - Seamus being one of them.

Deciding to give the spell a try, Harry thought Wingardium Leviosa and blinked in surprise as Hermione began to slowly rise into the air.

"You did it!" Hermione squealed and made an abortive move to hug him before deciding against it.

"Your turn," Harry stated with a grin, high off emotion from his accomplishment.

By the end of the class, only Harry, Hermione, and Susan had successfully managed to cast the nonverbal charm.

"Are you going to the Great Hall for lunch?" Hermione asked.

"Nah, I'll just grab something from the kitchens and relax before heading to DADA," Harry responded.

"Oh okay, well I'll see you at dinner I suppose," Hermione returned before they went their separate ways.

Harry sauntered down the hall and down several sets of stairs - managing to avoid the moving staircase and false hallways - before arriving at the kitchens. He tickled the pear on the portrait, and it swung open.

"The Great Master Harry Potter, what can Mimsy bees doing for yous today?" one of the house elves greeted eagerly.

Seeing her enthusiasm, Harry was fondly reminded of another excitable elf, one who'd given his life for him during the war. Dobby was one-of-a-kind, and he'd never be able to forget him. Shaking off his melancholy thoughts, Harry smiled at the elf.

"I'd like a smoothie and ham sandwich, please," Harry requested, "and call me Harry."

"Mimsy gets right on that, Master Harry," Mimsy chirped before quickly ordering another elf to bring his food.

"Thank you, Mimsy," Harry said when the food was placed in front of him.

"Oh, Dobby was right! Master Harry is such a kind wizard," Mimsy cried, large ears flopping in distress.

Not wanting to spend hours soothing her, Harry quickly exited the kitchen and breathed a sigh of relief as the door closed behind him. He walked toward the library, munching on his sandwich as he went. Harry finished the last of his smoothie as he entered the library, hoping to kill at least an hour before he had Defense. Speaking of DADA, Harry was excited about finally having a competent teacher. If he was honest with himself, a tiny part of him was also interested in seeing the eye-candy of a professor.

"You're surrounded by Wrackspurts, Harry," Luna murmured as she drifted into the library.

"Hey, Lunabug. How is your day so far?" Harry smiled.

"It's going quite well, thank you for asking," Luna sighed as she set down her books.

"Have you had a class with the new Defense teacher yet?" Harry inquired, unable to help himself.

"So that's why the Wrackspurts were making your brain so fuzzy," Luna observed with a grin, "the tempter is very convincing, so don't let him distract you from your true path."

"There's nothing wrong with looking," Harry argued.

"Maybe you should invest in some Heliopaths to keep him away," Luna suggested, "vampires are quite leery of fire."

"I'll keep that in mind. Thanks, Luna," Harry winked before starting the trek to the DADA classroom.

Given the lack of returning 8th years, all of the houses were combined for Defense. As Harry finally made it to the room, he noticed that Neville was the only other Gryffindor in the class. The Hufflepuffs included Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones, Zacharias Smith, and Ernie Macmillan while the Ravenclaws were Anthony Goldstein, Lisa Turpin, and Michael Corner. The Slytherins included Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini, Pansy Parkinson, and Millicent Bulstrode.

"Before we begin, there are a few rules that I must impart," Professor d'Eath announced, "Number one, I won't tolerate any form of disrespect in this classroom. That includes, but it not limited to, insulting someone's blood status, sexual orientation, family, or any other differences. If I hear any insults, that person will automatically receive a week's detention. Keep in mind that I'm a half-vampire, so I WILL hear you. Number two, if anyone receives an injury while dueling that cannot be healed by a classmate, report straight to the infirmary. That being said, if the injury is minor, keep spell-casting; I hate whiners and weaklings. Number three, I expect all orders, directives, and suggestions from myself to be followed immediately. Failure to comply will result in either points lost or detention. Last but not least, my surname is d'Eath, which is quite similar to death. Keep any jokes to yourselves, or you'll find out just how little the difference is between the two. Any questions?"

"No sir," the class chorused.

"Great. Now, my objective is to teach you all how to defend yourselves not just magically but physically as well," Professor d'Eath stated, "can someone tell me why physical defense would be useful?"

No one spoke for several seconds before a few people hesitantly raised their hands - Harry being one of them.

"Yes, Mr. Potter?" d'Eath purred.

Harry blushed as those deep blue orbs locked with his.

"W-well, first and foremost, our wand is a weapon when dueling. If you take away a wizard or witch's wand, then they are defenseless as they are unable to retaliate unless they possess enough wandless magic to Accio their wand back," Harry ruminated, "Additionally, a stationary target is easier to hit, so if we're constantly in motion, then we are less likely to be hit."

Harry became flustered as the entire class stared at him in shock.

"Well done, Mr. Potter, 10 points to Gryffindor," Professor d'Eath congratulated, eyes gleaming and full lips curving into a wicked smile, "This is your goal: by the end of the year, everyone should make a formidable opponent, possessing both admirable dueling and fighting skills. Nevertheless, Rome wasn't built in a day. For today, you all will be working on your dueling stance and wand grip to ensure that your spells will be fully powered."

"I understand why our grip matters, but what does our stance have to do with anything?" Turpin inquired.

"Can someone answer that along with the importance of your grip on your wand for those who don't know?" Professor d'Eath questioned, "Mr. Malfoy?"

"You should grip your wand firmly as it makes it harder for your opponent to disarm you as well as allowing you to adequately power your spells. A stable dueling stance is also essential because it prevents you from misfiring spells because of bad aim," Malfoy drawled.

"As eloquent as always, Mr. Malfoy," d'Eath stated, "10 points to Slytherin. I want everyone to pick a spot in the classroom to stand, making sure that you are all at least 3 feet away from the person next to you. I will be walking around to make sure that both your grip and stance is accurate."

The class did as requested, and Harry found himself between Parkinson and Bulstrode of all people. Deciding to ignore them for now, Harry entered into a dueling stance, practicing wand movements along with it.

While a few people were taking the class seriously, the majority of his classmates were failing purposefully so that the professor would approach them. Harry rolled his eyes at the sight before relaxing his stance.

"You're the last one, Mr. Potter. Let's see your dueling stance," Professor d'Eath murmured from behind him.

Harry shivered as the professor's cool breath caressed the nape of his neck. He jerkily transitioned into his dueling stance, wand raised at chest-level.

"Perfect," d'Eath winked before stepping away to address the class, "no homework for today except reading the chapter on the topic that I'll be covering next class. Dismissed."

The whole class filed out of the classroom. Harry went to catch up to Neville, but before he could do so, he was stopped by Professor d'Eath.

"I quite enjoyed having you in my class, Mr. Potter," d'Eath murmured silkily.

Face flushed, Harry gave a shaky nod and practically stumbled out of the classroom.

Chapter Text

Luna smiled softly as she gazed absently at Harry. Few people understood the depth of her feelings toward him. He was her savior, her friend, her brother. When everyone else ignored or belittled her as "Loony" Lovegood, Harry saw her as someone to be treasured. She thought back to the day when she realized that Harry truly loved her. 

Flashback to Luna's 3rd year:

Luna had entered Hogwarts two years ago, bright-eyed and eager to make friends. However, with her odd ways and unique outlook on life, her fellow Ravenclaws began to bully her.

Her classmates had been particularly harsh to her one day, going out of their way to steal her books and dirty her belongings. Tired of the abuse and weary of life, Luna felt that to continue on was a insurmountable burden that she was unable to bear. Venturing out to the Black Lake, Luna waded in and began to steadily walk deeper. The water had just risen above her head when strong arms grasped her body and pulled her to the surface. She turned and locked eyes with worried emerald and realized that this was none other than Harry Potter.

"Are you alright?" Potter asked in concern.

Luna said nothing but simply allowed him to dry her off and walk her back to her dorm. After that, Harry spoke to her whenever possible, asking about her day and helping her find her missing things.

Several months later, they were sitting in silence, and Luna couldn't help but ask a question.

"Why me?" Luna inquired softly, wondering why such a great hero would even notice her and go out of his way to befriend her.

"Because you're perfect just the way that you are. You're absolutely gorgeous, and I don't mean just physically. You have the most beautiful heart I've ever seen, and I'm thankful that you're my friend. But most importantly, you matter, Luna. Just because other people can't see how precious you are, doesn't mean you aren't valuable," Harry confessed.

Luna cried for the first time since her mother died when she was nine. To think that she could remain stoic in the face of constant abuse, but kind words would finally break her restraint. However, Luna knew that Harry was wrong; Harry was the one who had the most beautiful heart. He managed to retain his kindness, his empathy, and his ability to love despite everything that he'd been through. On that day, Luna vowed to be the best friend possible to Harry - always there even when he didn't know that he needed her.

Chapter Text

"What was that all about?" Neville asked as Harry finally reached him.

"N-nothing," Harry stuttered, willing his blush to go down, "let's go to dinner."

"Somebody has a crush on our resident vampire," Susan Bones teased, making Harry's blush return. 

"O-of course I don't," Harry denied.

"So you don't think he's hot?" Hannah Abbott asked.

"I never said that. I mean who wouldn't find him attractive? I just meant that I don't like him in that way," Harry replied, becoming flustered.

"Whatever you say, Harry, dear," Susan teased with a cheeky wink.

"Enjoy your dinner. Maybe you can pass your drooling off as being hungry rather than ogling d'Eath," Hannah added as they approached the Great Hall.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd think you two were Slytherins instead of Hufflepuffs," Harry muttered as the two of them laughed.

"You Gryffs have corrupted us," Hannah sighed dramatically before pulling Susan toward their table.

"They're really something else," Neville murmured with a shake of his head.

Harry just snickered as he dragged Neville to the Gryffindor table. Because of the Defense Association - or Dumbledore's Army - back in 5th year, he'd gotten to know other people outside of Gryffindor. So while he wasn't close friends with Susan and Hannah, they'd developed enough camaraderie to feel comfortable teasing each other.

"Hi, Harry," Hermione greeted as they sat down. 

"'Lo, Hermione," Harry responded as he fixed a plate of roast and mashed potatoes.

"How was class, Hermione?" Neville inquired.

"It was fine, if a bit boring. We've been working on nonverbal spells in both Charms and Transfiguration today, and I find it a bit redundant seeing as how we've been practicing them since 6th year," Hermione replied.

"It's about building a strong foundation because your spells need to work with the correct result every time that you cast them. Besides, not every is as proficient as you are with nonverbal spells," Harry stated, hoping to soften the criticism with a compliment.

"Why don't you help the ones who are struggling...offer tutoring or something?" Neville suggested as he ate a spoonful of peas.

"Maybe we should do that for every class and offer it to all of the Houses. After all, not only are we 8th years, but Harry is Head Boy, so it'd look good on our résumés if we established tutoring sessions," Hermione mused.

"We should make it open to the younger years as well," Harry added.

"We will - but mainly Harry - will need to speak to our Head of House," Hermione began.

"I don't think that's necessary, Hermione. I mean it's just something simple, yeah? We're not making it all official and stuff," Harry interjected.

"According to Decree 8-2753, any gathering for educational purposes that has more than twenty students qualifies as a club and must be presented to the Head of Houses to be taken to the Headmaster for approval," Hermione recited.

"What about the DA then? That was never approved," Harry responded.

"Well, it was illegal because of Umbridge's rules, so we weren't able to go through the official channels," Hermione sighed in exasperation.

"Ugh, this sounds like more trouble than it's worth," Harry grumbled as he finished his treacle tart.

"How about we just study in the library and if we see students that need help, we'll offer it," Neville compromised.

"That could work, but I think we should just think it over and decide sometime by the end of the week," Harry suggested, "it's just the first day, so it's not a pressing issue."

"You're right," Hermione conceded before noticing the time, "let's head to Runes before we're late."

"See ya, Nev," Harry called as he scrambled to keep up with Hermione.

 

         __________________________

 

Blaise sighed internally as he realized that his Ancient Runes class was a blended one. Not only did it combine all of the Houses, but also the 7th and 8th years. It didn't help that Potter was also in this class. Not that there was anything wrong with Potter, per se. He just wasn't looking forward to dealing with a bunch of immature brats clamoring to catch a glimpse of the Man-Who-Conquered.

"Okay class, from here on out, you'll be working in pairs to complete a project by the end of the year," Professor Babbling announced, "I'll be deciding your partners, and I don't want to hear a word of complaint."

Many of his fellow Slytherins complained with Pansy being the most vocal.

"I don't want to work with any dumb Mudbloods," Pansy sneered.

"That kind of language is not tolerated in this classroom, Ms. Parkinson. 25 points from Slytherin," Babbling stated, "just for that, I am making you not only partner with Terry Boot, but you will be completely cooperative or else you will receive a failing grade for this project. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Professor Babbling," Pansy mumbled.

"Great! Now I can pair the rest of you off. Bones and Turpin," the professor ordered.

As Babbling continued on, Blaise lifted his brow as Theo was paired with Granger. Despite being a muggleborn, Granger was intelligent and would challenge the Slytherin who should've been in Ravenclaw, but ultimately his ambition won out over his Ravenclaw tendencies.

"Potter, Zabini," Professor Babbling concluded.

A slow smirk came over his face as Potter made his way toward him. Oh, he knew that Draco liked him - how could he not when the bloke was his best friend - but until Draco laid his claim and made his interest clear, he planned on seducing the beautiful Gryffindor.

"I'd introduce myself, but unfortunately everyone already knows who I am," Potter said with a sheepish grin as he sat next to him.

"They don't know who you are, Potter; they just know your name," Blaise corrected, wondering what made him say that.

However, he realized why when he was rewarded by a blinding smile that curved those full lips and brought a twinkle to those emerald eyes. Blaise was surprised that he hadn't noticed the aura of innocent sensuality that Potter gave off - as if he was unaware of his effect on people. He imagined having that slender body beneath him, trembling with pleasure while throaty moans fell from between those pouty lips.

"How do you know that?" Potter asked, bringing Blaise out of his fantasy.

"It's the same way with most pureblood families, especially the wealthy ones. People judge us based on our families' reputations, so very few people actually know the real people behind the name," Blaise explained.

"I'm guilty of that with Malfoy," Potter confessed with a blush, "but I'm hoping to change that and get to know the Slytherins this year."

"Well then, Potter, call me Blaise," he offered with a seductive smile.

"O-ok, Blaise. You can call me Harry," Potter replied, face flushing deeper and extending down his neck.

Blaise wondered just how far down that pretty blush went - if it would only cover his chest, highlighting those lovely pink nipples, or would it be a full body flush, bathing that gorgeous body in a shade of pink that would contrast with that midnight hair and bright green eyes.

"Harry," Blaise murmured silkily, delighting in the blush that continued to deepen on Harry's face, "what do you think we should do our project on?"

"W-well, I know that runes can be used in warding, so why don't we create a kind of protection ward," Harry suggested.

"Activated by the magical signature or a trigger phrase?" Blaise questioned.

"Magical signature," Harry decided, "Not only is that harder to fake or duplicate a magical signature, but what if the enemy discovers the trigger phrase or the person that needs protection is unable to speak the phrase?"

"That sounds like a unique idea, but it will only work if our magic is compatible," Blaise admitted.

"How do we test for magical compatibility?" Harry inquired.

"Are you free tonight?" Blaise asked.

"Yes, why?" Harry wondered hesitantly.

"Meet me in the library tonight at 10 o'clock," Blaise commanded, "we can gather our research material before heading to the Room of Requirement."

"How do you know about that room? Better yet, isn't it still damaged by the Fiendfyre?" Harry rapidly fired out his questions.

"Any Slytherin worth their mettle knows about the Room," Blaise smirked, "and the Room becomes whatever you want or need it to be, so while that specific part is damaged, the rest of it works."

Suddenly, the bell rang signaling the end of class, and everyone hurried out. Harry immediately walked over to Granger, so he decided to do the same in order to talk to Theo.

"How was the class?" Blaise inquired with a cheeky glint in his eye.

"Very informative. I won't tell you what we're working on as I don't want you stealing our idea," Theo huffed.

"Would I do that?" Blaise asked innocently.

"Yes, you would," Theo stated as he pinned him with a serious look.

Blaise's attention was diverted as he overheard Harry arguing with Granger about the class.

"I can tutor you in Runes," Blaise offered casually from behind them.

He had to hold back a chuckle as Granger jumped in surprise.

"What's the catch?" Harry asked, making a face that was probably supposed to be intimidating, but it was really just adorable with his big eyes and wrinkled nose.

"We already have to work together on the project, so it'd be no trouble for me to help you with the class as well," Blaise replied with an elegant shrug.

"I don't know," Harry murmured hesitantly.

"No rush; just think about it, yeah?" Blaise purred, trailing his hand down Harry's soft cheek before walking away.

Chapter Text

"What was that, Blaise?" Theo asked as they headed toward the dungeons.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Blaise denied.

"Oh, come off it. That there, just now! You were flirting with Harry bloody Potter!" Theo shouted.

"Tell the whole world, why don't you?" Blaise scowled as they entered the common room.

"Tell the whole world what?" Draco drawled from where he was reclined in an armchair.

"Blaise was putting the moves on the Golden Boy of all people!" Theo yelled, "I mean he's right fit now, but he's still Potter."

"Blaise," Draco growled before smiling sharply with steely eyes, "I finally managed to acquire the book that you've been wanting, but it's in my room. Why don't you come with me?"

"Of course," Blaise readily agreed, knowing how short Draco's temper was and hoping to diffuse his anger as soon as possible.

Despite being known for his icy demeanor, Draco had a fierce temper that he only revealed to those close to him. He turned and stalked away with Blaise following, leaving Theo standing in confusion. As soon as the door closed, Draco turned to Blaise, obviously furious.

"What the hell is wrong with you, Blaise?" Draco thundered.

"Nothing that I know of," Blaise blithely replied, "has someone said anything?"

"Cut the crap, Zabini!" Draco demanded.

"Let's get this straight, Malfoy. Friends we may be, but that doesn't give you the right to order me around," Blaise stated, completely serious now, "just because you won't man up and admit that you've like Ha-Potter since 4th year..."

"Bugger it all! Okay, I'm sorry," Draco sighed as he ran a hand through his hair.

"Can we talk about this rationally now?" Blaise inquired.

"Do you like Potter?" Draco inquired.

"Of course I don't like H-Potter. But he's fit, and he'd probably be a good lay," Blaise grinned.

"Why would you flirt with him when you know that I'm interested in him?" Draco asked, slightly hurt.

"It's just some harmless flirting, nothing wrong with that, is it? It's not like I was actively seducing Ha-Potter," Blaise said.

"That's the third time that you've almost referred to Potter as Harry," Draco observed, "is there something that you're not telling me?"

"We've been partnered on a project for Ancient Runes, so he asked me to," Blaise confessed, "speaking of, I'm to meet him in the library in a few minutes."

"Oh, this means war," Draco scowled.

"May the best man win," Blaise called as he walked out of the dorm.

"A muggle saying, really, Blaise?" Draco shouted after him.

 

          __________________________

 

Harry flushed as he thought about Zabini - or Blaise as he'd asked Harry to refer to him. Blaise was tall - 6'4" to Harry's own 5'10" - and broad-shouldered with a muscular frame and short, dark brown hair offset by piercing amethyst eyes. With his Italian heritage evident in his tan skin and slight accent, Harry could see why Blaise was known as the Shadow King of Slytherin. He could imagine that hard body on top of him, surrounding him as he... Harry rapidly shook his head. First, he was having sexual thoughts about Professor d'Eath, then inappropriate fantasies about Malfoy, and now a budding attraction to Blaise. He didn't know how he was going to survive the school year having to face such eye-catching men every day.

"Harry," Hermione's voice brought him out of his frantic worrying.

"What is it, Mione?" Harry asked, unknowingly slipping into his habitual nickname for her.

"Are you interested in Zabini?" Hermione inquired with a small smile.

"What? No! I don't even know him!" Harry hurriedly denied.

"You don't have to know someone to have feelings for them," Hermione said.

"You don't mind that he's a Slytherin?" Harry asked in shock.

"I'm not Ron, Harry," Hermione murmured sadly, "and if the war has taught me anything, it's that division and prejudice can only hurt us, and if you want something, go after it while you have the chance."

"So you'd be okay if I befriended the Slytherins," Harry questioned tentatively.

"Of course I don't mind! I might even join you," Hermione admitted with a slight blush.

"Any Slytherin in particular? A certain lean lad with brown hair and even darker brown eyes," Harry teased.

"Nope," Hermione huffed, but her flushed cheeks gave her way.

"You know I've heard from the girls that he's got eyes like 'dreamy pools of dark chocolate that you can just drown in'" Harry squealed and fluttered his eyelashes, trying to imitate the tittering girls that often gossiped about the hot guys at Hogwarts.

"That was so sexist, Harry," Hermione scowled as she swatted his arm.

"You're right, Hermione. I'm sure that some of the boys feel that way too," Harry cheekily responded.

"That's not what I meant, and you know it, Harry James Potter," Hermione scolded as she tried to withhold a giggle.

"But you enjoyed partnering with him?" Harry chuckled.

"Surprisingly, yes. He's just so intelligent; it's refreshing, you know?" Hermione beamed.

"Oy, are you calling me stupid?" Harry cried in mock offense.

"No, silly goose. It's not that you aren't smart, but Theo understands all of the theories that I usually have to explain to you," Hermione explained.

"You've finally found someone that can match you in intelligence? I'm happy for you," Harry responded.

"Thank you," Hermione replied.

"No problem! Well, I have to meet Blaise in the library in a bit, so can you take my bag to the common room?" Harry asked.

"Sure, but I thought you were going straight to your rooms. When will you have to to get your things?" Hermione inquired.

"Seamus wants me to see his pictures from Greece, so I'll get it when I go to the dorms tonight," Harry revealed.

"Alright. See you, Harry," Hermione smiled.

Harry handed his bag to Hermione before walking swiftly toward the library which was a few floors down. As he finally made it there, he looked in to see Blaise already seated with several books around him.

"Good evening, Harry," Blaise greeted with a smile.

"Hi, Blaise," Harry returned.

"I've already gotten the books we need, and the test of magical affinity is just a simple spell, so why don't we head to the Room of Requirement," Blaise suggested, gathering his books.

"Of course," Harry grinned nervously before following him.

Now that it was no longer class hours, Blaise had forgone his usual robes. Harry was surprised to see him wearing Muggle clothes - a pair of blue jeans and a plain black T-shirt - and couldn't help but admire his toned physique.

"You're drooling, Harry," Blaise teased with a smug smirk.

"Wh-wha, sorry," Harry stammered with a blush.

"I don't mind, especially when I was staring right back," Blaise murmured, blatantly perusing Harry, "but we're here."

"Do you mind if I choose the way the room will look?" Harry asked, choosing to ignore Blaise's come on for now.

Blaise merely inclined his head in acquiescence. Harry paced in front of the Room, picturing a place warm and inviting, yet catering to their current project. A few seconds later a door appeared, and they walked through.

"Tasteful," Blaise observed, taking in the dark red couch, cherry wood desk and tables, and silver rolling chair.

Harry immediately dived into the latter, spinning in lazy circles.

"Sorry," Harry grinned bashfully, seeing Blaise staring at him in bemusement, "computer chairs help me think better. Something about the movement gets my brain going."

"I see," Blaise chuckled, "how about we do the spell first, so that we know which direction our project will take."

"That's fine with me," Harry agreed.

"Affinitatem Revelio," Blaise intoned.

Harry shielded his eyes as a blue light shot from his body to meet a similar light of red from Blaise. The lights intertwined before combining in a white burst of magic. Harry shivered at the feeling of pleasure that coursed him. It felt like fingers were caressing his magic while simultaneously finding every spot of pleasure on his body.

"What just happened?" Harry asked in shock once the light cleared and the feeling passed.

"It seems that our magic is highly compatible," Blaise breathed, eyes wide in surprise.

"How do you know that? What does that mean?" Harry inquired.

"The different colored lights were our individual magical auras, blue for you and red for me. Yours was light blue which shows that you're a very understanding person and probably have an affinity for healing. Mine was more of a dark red which is associated with leadership and courage. For two people without magical compatibility, the colors will remain separate. If they have average compatibility, then the colors would blend, so ours would've been purple as the blue and red would combine," Blaise explained.

"What about white?" Harry asked tentatively.

"Well...it means that our magical auras are a perfect match," Blaise admitted.

Noticing Blaise's hesitation, Harry knew that he hadn't revealed everything.

"And that means?" Harry questioned.

"In the past, wizards and witches whose auras combined to form a white light were believed to be soulmates," Blaise confessed.

Chapter Text

"I-is that what we are? S-soulmates?" Harry asked in complete shock.

"Not necessarily. Modern studies have shown that it just means that their magic is completely compatible meaning that any spells cast together will be more successful and any children between the two will be more powerful," Blaise stated.

"So we're not like destined to be together or anything?" Harry clarified.

"Of course not. There was a brother and sister who were a magical match for each other - Elladora Black and Lycoris Black. While the Blacks are known for intermarrying, they never went beyond first cousins. Besides, Elladora and Lycoris didn't feel anything besides familial affection for each other. All it meant for them is that their spells were very powerful; they were formidable duelers," Blaise said.

"That's amazing," Harry gushed, finally overcoming his shock, "so our project should be spectacular."

"Forget the project!" Blaise cried with uncharacterstic emotion, "imagine what we can do with this in our careers. It's too bad that I'm not going to be an Auror like you though...would be useful against Dark wizards."

"Why do you think I'll be an Auror?" Harry asked in surprise.

"Well first of all, both your father and godfather were Aurors. But also because after the career meeting with our Heads of House in 5th year, that's all any of the professors would talk about," Blaise revealed.

"I mostly said that to spite Umbridge," Harry confessed, "I'm tired of fighting; I'd rather help people than hurt them."

"What are you doing then?" Blaise inquired. "I'm going to be a Healer, but if I don't qualify, then I'll be a Mediwizard instead," Harry admitted.

"While most people would say that you're wasting your magical power, I think that it's a good choice for you. Besides, as long as you have a talent for healing magics, then with the amount of power that you have, your patients will heal faster. You might even be able to cure possible diseases that others are unable to," Blaise responded.

"Thank you," Harry returned before casting a Tempus, "but curfew is at 12, and it's already 11:45, so we should be going."

"Alright," Blaise agreed, "I'll see you tomorrow."

Harry quickly exited the Room of Requirement, needing to think about what he'd just discovered. While he couldn't deny that Blaise was attractive, he didn't have any deeper feelings for him. He couldn't help the twinge that he'd felt, wishing that he was soulmates with a certain blond-haired Slytherin instead.

 

             ________________________

 

Draco scowled as he waited outside the Room. He knew that Blaise was meeting up with Harry tonight, so he'd gone to the library only to find them not there. He'd had to resort to asking a House Elf, who gushed something about the 'Come-and-Go Room' and happy magic for Lady Hogwarts - whatever that last one meant. Draco eventually headed to the seventh floor and waited patiently (more like impatiently) for Harry to venture out. He knew that he was practically stalking Harry, but he couldn't see past the feelings of jealousy at the thought of Blaise spending any time with his Harry.

Whoa, where did that come from? His Harry? While the thought of that filled Draco with pleasure, he was forced to admit that Harry was not his; however, if he had it his way, he'd soon be so. Draco was startled out of his thoughts by a voice.

"Hi, Draco," Harry greeted, walking down the hall which forced Draco to follow him, "what are you doing out here this time of night?"

"Good night, Harry. I've been trying to find you all day," Draco admitted before coming up with a quick lie mixed with the truth, "I'm currently apprenticing under Professor Drake to become a Potions Master, and I often offer tutoring to those who need it. In light of our current truce - and possible endeavor to become friends - I was wondering if you'd be open to being tutored by me?"

While Draco was indeed apprenticing to become a Potions Master, he might've stretched the truth on the whole tutoring thing. However, anything that allowed him to spend more time with Harry would be fantastic.

"Sure, if you really don't mind," Harry agreed before grinning sardonically, "I barely managed to scrape by in Potions with Snape. I was just lucky with my O.W.L. in Potions in that the written exam has a question about Polyjuice Potion and the practical included a bruise salve - both of which I'm familiar with."

"How do you know so much about Polyjuice?" Draco asked, assuming that the bruise salve had been for his many Quidditch injuries and confrontations with the Dark Lord.

Everyone knew how often Harry ended up in the hospital wing for one thing or another. It'd become a running joke among the Hogwarts students to bet on how long it'd take Harry to end up seeing Madame Pomfrey.

"Hermione brewed it in 2nd year so that we could sneak into the Slytherin common room to trick you into revealing that you were the Heir of Slytherin," Harry confessed, face flushed in embarrassment.

"I'm choosing to ignore that for now," Draco smirked, "when would you like for us to meet?"

"Well, I have a Runes project with Blaise, so we'll probably meet every Wednesday evening and the occasional weekend. I only have one class on Fridays, so would the afternoon work for you...maybe after lunch?" Harry asked.

"That's fine. Both of my classes are in the morning, so I'll be free for the rest of the day," Draco agreed.

"Would you mind coming by my rooms in the morning?" Harry questioned, "I need a quick review before Potions tomorrow."

"I don't mind," Draco grinned, trying to tamp down his excitement as he didn't want to seem too eager.

"Do you know where the Head rooms are?" Harry wondered.

"Yes, Greengrass is Head Girl this year, so I've been there," Draco revealed.

Draco watched in confusion at the odd look that crossed Harry's face before it became blank.

"Great. I'll see you in the morning," Harry said, walking away.

"May I escort you back to your room?" Draco asked.

"I'm not a girl, Draco," Harry chuckled, "I don't need to be walked to my room."

"I know, but I'd like to anyway," Draco smiled softly and offered his arm, not realizing the effect he had on Harry.

"O-okay then," Harry stammered before grasping Draco's bicep.

"How was your first day?" Draco inquired as he led Harry down the stairs.

"DADA was a bit weird, but we worked on nonverbal spells in Charms, and Blaise was surprisingly nice to me in Ancient Runes," Harry replied.

Draco forced down a scowl as he remembered the sleazy vampire that'd blatantly flirted with Harry. Vampires were known for their seduction of men and women only to throw them away after they'd gotten what they'd wanted. The only thing that stopped their polyamorous ways was their mate, who they would be completely devoted to. Draco just hoped that Harry wouldn't fall prey to d'Eath.

"Blaise is generally aloof, but underneath that indifferent demeanor is a sweet guy," Draco stated, "but don't tell him I said that. He'd never let me live it down and would tease me forever about my 'chick flick' moment."

"You know him?" Harry asked before blushing, "I mean of course you know him; you're both in Slytherin. Then again, I don't know everyone in Gryffindor-"

"I knew what you meant," Draco laughed, cutting off Harry's babbling, "and we've been best friends since we were toddlers."

"That must be nice," Harry smiled with sad eyes, "Ron was my first friend."

"Surely you had friends before you entered Hogwarts...Muggle friends," Draco withheld a sneer.

While he had no problem with Mud-Muggleborns, he had no tolerance for Muggles.

"My cousin Dudley was a bully and prevented the kids from befriending me. You actually reminded me of him which is why I didn't shake your hand on the train," Harry apologetically admitted.

"You'd compare me to a stupid Muggle?" Draco asked, offended.

"I don't think that anymore of course. Although you are a bit of a spoiled brat," Harry replied with a mischievous grin.

"I'm neither spoiled nor a brat," Draco sniffed.

"'My father will hear about this!'" Harry sneered, imitating Draco in his 1st and 2nd years.

"Ah, I apologize," Draco conceded with a blush.

"It's fine. You've been rather nice to me, so I've forgiven you. I also apologize for insulting you in the past," Harry said, "well here's my stop."

"Sweet dreams, Harry," Draco murmured, pressing a light kiss to the back of Harry's hand.

Chapter Text

Draco strived to keep his composure as he excitedly made his way to Harry's room. Malfoys did not smile in public and they certainly did not prance. He slowed his steps and forced his usual mask in place before knocking on the portrait door when he arrived.

He blinked as the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Siren winked with a smile and let him in. Figuring that she was just being flirtatious, he thought nothing of it. Hearing a noise from the bathroom and assuming that Harry was simply doing his hair, Draco ventured over and was unprepared for the sight in front of him.

His mouth opened in shock and arousal at the exquisite vision before him. Harry was in the shower, steam swirling sensuously around his lithe body. Lush, dark lashes cast tempting shadows across his high cheekbones. Long, black hair curled teasingly around slim shoulders and a lightly muscled chest. A narrow waist led to prominent hips and long, lean legs.

Dear Merlin, Draco thought, even his cock is beautiful. And it was. It was of average length and slim with a dark pink head that he couldn't wait to get his mouth around.

Draco moaned involuntarily as Harry turned around. He was unable to tear his eyes away from the sight of water dripping tantalizingly down Harry's slender back to his round arse. His arse was so deliciously plump, practically begging Draco to bite it - or grope it at the very least.

He swallowed in arousal before running back toward the door and launching himself through the portrait hole. He didn't pause even when he heard the tinkling laughter of the Siren behind him. Draco turned the corner into an alcove and tried to calm himself down. Breathing slowly and deeply - and thinking of Professor McGonagall in her knickers - he managed to tamp down his arousal. However, he realized that between his excitement and the steam from the bathroom, he was in a disarray. Needing to return his appearance to its previously impeccable state, Draco decided to return to his room.

 

 

     ______________________________

 

 

Harry hummed to himself as he finished getting dressed in black jeans and a purple t-shirt. He wrangled his hair into a Dutch braid and practically bounced in his seat as he waited for Draco to come. However, as 5 minutes passed, then 20, and finally 30, Harry realized that Draco wasn't coming. Needing to head down to breakfast now or risk being late for Potions, Harry sighed as he gathered his things.

I assumed that we could've at least been friends, Harry thought, but it seems that Draco hasn't changed. I can't believe it was just a cruel trick.

"At least he didn't do something like this in front of witnesses," he said aloud, "but now I have Potions with the bloody git."

Harry opened his portrait door to see Luna standing right outside. She always seemed to know when he needed her.

"Don't lose hope, Harbear. The moonlight child had something come up," Luna murmured as she looped her arm through Harry's and walked him to breakfast.

"Hey, Harry," Neville greeted as they sat down.

"Morning, Neville," Harry replied as he fixed himself a bowl of fruit.

Neville discretely placed a slice of buttered toast on Harry's plate.

"Ready for Potions?" Hermione asked from Neville's other side.

"Are we ever?" Harry joked. Just because he and Hermione weren't friends anymore didn't mean he was going to be rude to her.

Realizing that it was already 7:50, they quickly finished their breakfast and headed to the Potions classroom.

Harry stopped in surprise as he realized that they weren't walking toward the dungeons, but rather the center of Hogwarts where the rooms overlooked the Forbidden Forest. They took their usual seats, Gryffindor on one side and Slytherin on the other. Harry sat with Neville while Hermione sat with Lavender.

"Well this is new," Neville murmured as he eyed the large, sunlit windows.

"Yes, only certain ingredients don't work well with light, so as long as they are stored properly, and we black out the windows on days that we work with those ingredients, there's no need to constantly be in the dark. I suspect that was just Severus' preference," Professor Drake said.

Harry saw Seamus look at Dean and mouth "dungeon bat" before turning his attention back to the professor.

"When you get to be my age, and see so much conflict between magical races, house rivalry seems petty in comparison. There's nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition, but I won't stand for hatred and prejudice," Professor Drake continued and proceeded to pair them up.

Neville ended up with Greengrass, Hermione with Davis, Dean with Parkinson, Parvati with Zabini, Lavender with Nott, Seamus with Bulstrode, and of course Harry with Malfoy.

Neville looked at him sympathetically. Harry frowned as he sat beside Malfoy before remembering that Luna asked him to give him a chance.

"Where were you this morning?" Harry whispered after he'd gathered their ingredients.

"I couldn't find my Potions book," Malfoy answered, "and by the time that I did, it was time for breakfast."

"That makes sense," Harry responded, smiling in relief.

"I want to make it up to you," Draco added as he started to prepare the ingredients.

"What do you have in mind?" Harry asked as he turned up the heat under the cauldron.

"You'll see," Draco smirked, "just make sure you're dressed comfortably, and I'll see you after dinner."

Chapter Text

After his talk with Draco, the rest of the day passed by in a daze for him. Luckily, Draco was there to prevent any mishaps in Potions, and Neville did the same for him in Herbology. Transfiguration was one of his strong suits, so he had no trouble there.

"Harry," he heard and turned to see Hermione looking at him in exasperation, obviously having called his name multiple times.

"Yes, Hermione?" Harry asked.

"Your sleeve is in your soup," Hermione sighed, "you've had your head in the clouds since Potions."

Harry hurriedly moved his arm and cast a cleaning charm on his robes.

"You looked like Luna," Neville chuckled.

"Sorry, the Nargles were particularly strong today," Harry replied unconsciously.

"Sound like her too," Hermione added, lips pursed in displeasure.

"You look like McGonagall, Hermione," Seamus guffawed.

The rest of the table began to laugh causing Hermione to blush a deep red. Having calmed down from the hilarity, Harry went to speak only to dissolve into laughter again as McGonagall appeared at the table with the same look of irritation on her face.

"Despite being known for practical jokes - between the Marauders and the Weasley twins - I still expect my Gryffindors to comport themselves with dignity," McGonagall sniffed, "especially my 8th years. You should be setting an example for the younger students."

"Sorry, madam," the Gryffindors chorused.

"Don't you have a certain snake to meet," Neville reminded once McGonagall walked away.

"Thanks for reminding me," Harry grinned, "I need to change clothes too."

"Don't forget to read over the first chapter of becoming an Animagus and meditate tonight for Transfiguration," Hermione yelled.

Harry rushed to his room and rifled through his closet until he found an appropriate outfit. He quickly changed into a pair of grey joggers, a black tank top, and his black trainers. Realizing that Draco never specified where he was to meet him, Harry ruefully shook his head and looked over his CoM book to see what creatures they would be going over tomorrow.

Suddenly, an origami dragon landed on his lap. Opening the note he read:

In my haste to procure some time with you, I did not reveal the location of our rendezvous. All I can say is that I was distracted by your beautiful smile. Meet me between Hagrid's hut and the Forbidden Forest.
~Draco

 

 

       ________________________________

 

"Hello," Draco greeted calmly as he caught sight of Harry - even though he was inwardly bouncing on his toes in excitement.

"Hi, Draco," Harry returned.

"Since you love to fly," Draco began as he placed Harry's hand in the crook of his elbow, "I took the liberty of bringing a couple of family Abraxans for us to ride."

Draco watched as Harry approached them hesitantly before lightly stroking their gleaming white coats.

"They're beautiful," Harry murmured reverently before chuckling as the male tossed his mane in response.

"Have you ridden a horse before?" Draco asked.

"No, just a hippogriff and a dragon," Harry secretly grinned before turning to Draco, "and a broom of course."

"Well, we'll start on the ground, so you can get used to riding a horse before venturing into the air," Draco suggested.

"Tell me about yourself," Harry stated as they trotted along the path.

"I'm Draco Lucius Malfoy, son of Lucius Abraxas Malfoy and Narcissa Lyra Malfoy née Black," Draco started.

"What do you want to know?" Draco inquired, catching sight of Harry's frown.

"You've told me about Malfoy. I want to get to know Draco," Harry replied.

"My favorite color is not green as many think but rather blue, and I love to sketch. I admire my godfather, Severus Snape. Because of him, I've always wanted to be a Potions Master. That desire only increased after his death," Draco said.

"Race you!" Harry yelled before taking off into the air.

Blinking in shock at the change in subject, but not about to lose, Draco followed after him. He relaxed as the wind whistled between his hair and the large wings of the Abraxan pumped fiercely. He whooped as he passed Harry and saw a win within his grasp. Suddenly, Harry flew past him, and he chuckled.

"I win," Harry called as they landed.

Draco's breath caught as he took in the sight before him. With green eyes glowing in happiness, flushed cheeks, and a brilliant smile, Harry was a dream. Many would say that it was too quick for Draco to fall in love, but perhaps this had been building since their first meeting in Madam Malkin's. Draco realized that here was the man that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He wanted to wake up to the sight of Harry's face every morning and see that face light up in happiness every day. Harry's dark hair contrasted beautifully with the pure white of the Abraxan, causing Draco to imagine Harry splayed out on white silk sheets, just waiting for Draco to worship his body. Or perhaps black satin sheets to blend with his hair but highlight his moonlit skin and luminous green eyes.

"It's getting late," Draco muttered.

"Of course. You're right," Harry's smile dimmed a bit.

"Feel free to use either of the horses without me," Draco offered, "they're a gift."

"Thank you, Draco," Harry beamed.

"Next time I wish to get to know more about Harry rather than Potter," Draco gently smiled.

"I'd like that," Harry murmured.

"Let me walk you to your rooms," Draco said as he brought the Abraxans back to the paddock.

"As you wish," Harry giggled.

They made the long trek to Harry's room in relative silence.

"Goodnight, Harry," Draco whispered as he pressed a kiss to Harry's forehead and a purple larkspur into Harry's hand.